Saturday, July 07, 2007

Spinal Tap Reunites for Live Earth To Fight Global Warming





Saturday Smorgasbord


Stuff you wouldn't know if I wasn't an obsessively bizarre woman.


7/07/07

Panda Gives Birth to Twins in China

Expanded Search for Extraterrestrial Life Urged

Boston police hunt for sweet shop bandit

Cat survives 3 weeks crossing ocean

Rock stars urge prisoners to escape through music

Whatever happened to the adult movie?

Flying the angry skies

N-Word 'Burial' Highlights Convention

Campaigns trying to turn voter text messages into votes

AK-47 Inventor Doesn't Lose Sleep Over Havoc Wrought With His Invention

7 New Wonders of the World Chosen

Bear on pole stops traffic in Calif.

Minn. circus school helps kids fly high


Another day, another "misstatement"
Those darn significant kills always confuse me, too.
The U.S. command in Baghdad this week ballyhooed the killing of a key al Qaeda leader but later admitted that the military had declared him dead a year ago.

A military spokesman acknowledged the mistake after it was called to his attention by The Examiner. He said public affairs officers will be more careful in announcing significant kills.

The incident shows the eagerness of the command to show progress in dismantling al Qaeda at a time when Democrats and some Republicans are pressing President Bush to withdraw troops from Iraq. Army Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander, has declared al Qaeda enemy No. 1 in Iraq.

How many dead second-in-commands does this make? I'm up to 1,078,592.

U.S. Aborted Raid on Queda Chiefs in Pakistan in '05
What an eyebrow-raiser, right? "Why would they do such a thing?" one might query:
A secret military operation in early 2005 to capture senior members of Al Qaeda in Pakistan’s tribal areas was aborted at the last minute after top Bush administration officials decided it was too risky and could jeopardize relations with Pakistan, according to intelligence and military officials.
It's okay, because I bet the targets were of little consequence, right? Do go on.
The target was a meeting of Al Qaeda’s leaders that intelligence officials thought included Ayman al-Zawahri, Osama bin Laden’s top deputy and the man believed to run the terrorist group’s operations.
I'm sorry, what? But they're, like, the evilestest ones besides Osama himself! Who would be so negligent as to pass up such a prime opportunity?
But the mission was called off after Donald H. Rumsfeld, then the defense secretary, rejected the 11th-hour appeal of Porter J. Goss, then the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, officials said. Members of a Navy Seals unit in parachute gear had already boarded C-130 cargo planes in Afghanistan when the mission was canceled, said a former senior intelligence official involved in the planning.
Then there had to be a really, really good reason...a reason that couldn't be disputed.
Mr. Rumsfeld decided that the operation, which had ballooned from a small number of military personnel and C.I.A. operatives to several hundred, was cumbersome and put too many American lives at risk...
That reminds me of something that the righties still whine about, a similar decision made for the very same reasons. But...what is it?...It's coming...it's coming....
Evidence before the Commission showed that the Clinton Administration had live footage of Osama bin Laden at a camp in Afghanistan in the Fall of 2000, a year before the 9/11 attacks, but didn't act. NBC's Tom Brokaw, playing the tape on-air in 2004, noted rightly that this was an enormous opportunity lost. Having gotten bin Laden in your sights isn't something to brag about if you weren't willing to pull the trigger.
Bingo.

Hypocrites.


Will Senator Leahy stick to his statement, "If they don't cooperate, yes, I'd go that far"?
We're about to find out.
An attorney for Sara Taylor, a former top aide to White House adviser Karl Rove, notified the Senate that she was unlikely to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee July 11.
Well, at least we still have Harriet Miers' testimony, right? Right?
At the same time, former Counsel to President George W. Bush Harriet Miers told RAW STORY she did not know if she would appear before the House Judiciary Committee July 12.
But the President would never be so stupidly arrogant as to thumb his nose directly at a subpoena!

"Ms. Taylor expects to receive a letter from Mr. Fielding on behalf of the President directing her not to comply with the Senate's subpoena," wrote W. Neil Eggleston, counsel to Taylor, in a Saturday letter to Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Arlen Specter (R-PA).
I'm nauseous. Not that I didn't expect this, but come on. I mean, it's not like this is a question of executive privilege or anything.
...she would follow the advice of Fred Fielding, White House Counsel, and respect the President's assertion of executive privilege.

"This clash may ultimately be resolved by the judicial branch," he added.

I'm sure Taylor has somebody on her side with a semblance of maturity and rational thinking.

While Taylor's attorney suggested that she wanted to comply with the Senate's desire to hear from Rove's number two, he also appeared to argue that the possibility of targeting her for contempt was unfair.

Targeting a target is "unfair"! Waaaaah! Stop targeting our little Sara 'cause it's not...FAIR!!!! So, um, Senator Leahy? Can you do us all one teeny tiny favor? Can you be the grown-up here and "if they don't cooperate", will you "go that far"? 'Cause if you don't, I'm gonna tell.


Senator Lindsey Graham returns from Iraq with renewed hopes.
While some Republican senators break with President Bush over Iraq, Sen. Lindsey Graham has returned from his seventh wartime visit there with renewed hope that the U.S. troop buildup is producing results.

At the same time, the South Carolina Republican told Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki and other Iraqi leaders that they've made too little progress on steps such as reconciling the country's warring factions and sharing oil revenues among Shiite Muslims, Sunni Muslim Arabs and Kurds. [...]

Graham's guardedly optimistic appraisal of the U.S. military effort in Iraq contrasts with the views of some other key Republican senators. [...]

McCain, who's running for president, addressed the re-enlistees, and Graham led the new citizens in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. [...]

Graham and McCain ate lunch in Ramadi, a former terrorist stronghold 100 miles west of Baghdad that two U.S. senators couldn't have visited six months ago, Graham said.

Whew! I am so relieved! Now we're seeing some real progress! For a minute there--wuh-oh!--I thought this thing would drag on forever. But, what with Graham and McCain being so optimistic and all, is my face red now!

Meanwhile...
The blast targeting ethnic Turkmans at a market in a northern Iraqi village injures 250. A car bomb in Diyala province kills 22 Shiite Kurds. Two U.S. soldiers die in Baghdad explosion.
Never mind.

Liberal Interpretation
Their headlines, my stories
Bush Rips Democratic Lawmakers' Failures In an ironic turn of events, the corporate media transposed the words "Bush" and "Democratic", and even failed to leave off the "ic" in "Democratic". There will be a series of apologies and retractions issued shortly. The headline should have read: "Democratic Lawmakers Rip Bush's Failures". "Damn," one editor muttered after realizing he had to print the truth. "Now that invitation to the White House barbecue is history. Not to mention the President's nickname for me. I'm gonna miss being called, 'Cowpie'."

Chinese Regulator Sentenced to Death
His last meal will be comprised of samples from local seafood.

11-year-old charged with driving drunk in Alabama A humiliated President Bush was kept overnight in a small Orange Beach jail cell. "It was just Near-Beer!" a tantruming Bush was heard wailing. "Turd Blossom promised that 5 or 6 bottles would be okay! Hic! Anyone got any blow?" A hearing is pending.



In honor of Live Earth day,
let's take another peek into our

*Vote Republican!* snappy Campaign-omercial
file:

Facts are annoying. Global warming's silly. Science? It's just another word for "voodoo". Anyone worth his or her weight in bibles knows that the Earth is barely 6,000 years old, dinosaurs were created on the sixth day, and men coexisted with them. And there's even a museum to prove it! Speaking of that pesky climate change, is it our fault? No way! It's pre-ordained! And, my stars, we've earned the right to our comfy SUVs, disposable Huggies, and plastic Dasani bottles! Vote Republican: The party of devolution!

Whatever you say about Senator Dodd, his campaign has the savviest blogger/tech/intertubes people going.


A beautiful setting in Council Bluffs, IA on the banks of the Missouri River. Paul Simon and Senator Chris Dodd are continuing their "River to River" tour across the state.

This is part of our effort to bring you as much live video as possible at D-TV. We go live from campaign HQ for several hours a day and as many campaign stops as possible -- not to mention constantly updated video clips on YouTube from the road. Take a look ... besides who likes The Police anyway (I kid).

Starts at 2:45p EST LIVE


The clip now up is the recorded version of the live performance.




Sinking ship, meet the rats.

'L.A. Times' Finds Two More GOP Senators Breaking With Bush on War

By E&P Staff
Published: July 07, 2007 12:30 PM ET

NEW YORK While much of the media on Friday focused on two new Republican defections from the White House on the war in Iraq -- namely, Sen. Pete Domenici and Rep. Jerry Doolittle -- the Los Angeles Times found a couple more.

(snip)

"It should be clear to the president that there needs to be a new strategy," said Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee. "Our policy in Iraq is drifting."

Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, who had helped lead the effort against Democratic restrictions on the "surge," said: "We don't seem to be making a lot of progress." It is vital to have "a clear blueprint for how we were going to draw down," he added.

"It's as if the dike has burst," said Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who until recently had been one of the few outspoken GOP critics of the president's war strategy.


There are so many of them bailing that it's ceasing to be news at this point.

Now if one of them actually grows some cojones and backs a withdrawal date, that would make some news.

We can only hope.

In case you missed it.


Al Gore Reads the Live Earth Pledge

An Amazing Response To "Impeach Cheney" Video

To quote an old song, "there's something happening here." People are sick of a venal, vengeful and vapid Vice President in an executive position--or not, if you believe his lawyer--where he can continue to do grave damage to this country's traditions and future.

Well you have all spoken. Yesterday, the Brave New Films video on this issue (disclosure #4,000, I work for them) got 100,000 page views and just under 300 blogs linked to this effort, all in only 24 hours. We got terrific writeups from The Nation, Mother Jones, Think Progress and the inimitable Howie Klein, among hundreds of others.

Thank you so much everyone. Whatever your personal opinion, the 54% of the country that want to see these proceedings begin are not crazy. They are, in fact, patriots, who want to protect a nation of laws, and not men who shoot their friends in the face.


Glasgow Suspect Angered by Iraq War, Relative Says

By Karla Adam and Kevin Sullivan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, July 6, 2007; Page A10

LONDON, July 5 -- Bilal Abdulla, one of the two doctors arrested after a blazing Jeep Cherokee rammed into the Glasgow Airport terminal on Saturday, is a deeply religious Iraqi who was angry that his prominent Sunni family "lost everything" following the 2003 invasion led by the United States and Britain, according to a close family member.

"He was hurt by the destruction of his family's property in Iraq," the relative said during a 2 1/2 -hour interview in Cambridge, England. "I think he wanted to be a martyr. He wanted to send out a message to withdraw troops from Iraq. He wanted to cause chaos and fear; he didn't want to kill people. He fears God, and all he wanted to do was die."


He's just one of the many that are angry George. Others are going to be a lot more compentent. Thanks for nothing.

Bill O'Reilly, Morality Police of the 'Net?
With Michelle "Screeching Viper Woman" Malkin as his trusty sidekick? Oy.



Via Newshounds


Pic via Cat of course.


Gorgeous morning here in Indiana!!! I've got the teevee lined up on Bravo waiting for Live Earth. I hope my cranky old self will hear some music I like. U2 & Genesis are a given that I'll be happy, but I haven't heard of alot of them. You can watch it streaming, on Bravo starting at 9a EST, MSNBC on and off all day and NBC 8p-11p EST tonight.

I will also be doing Saturday Night Loser's Club tonight on Daily Kos about 8p EST, so if you're in the neighborhood drop by for a little commiseration with other Losers. We have fun.

So, what's happening with you guys this fine summer morning?

Friday, July 06, 2007



Holy Schmoly.
Abortion-rights group says Thompson once lobbied for it

A spokesman for the GOP presidential hopeful says he did no such work. An ex-colleague calls the denial 'bizarre.'

By Michael Finnegan, Times Staff Writer
7:35 PM PDT, July 6, 2007

Former Tennessee Sen. Fred D. Thompson, who is campaigning for president as a "pro-life" Republican, accepted an assignment from a family-planning group to lobby the first Bush White House to ease a controversial abortion restriction, according to a 1991 document and several people familiar with the matter.

A spokesman for the former senator denied that Thompson did the lobbying work. But the minutes of a 1991 board meeting of the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Assn. say that the group hired Thompson that year.

His task was to urge the administration of President George H. W. Bush to withdraw or relax a rule that barred abortion counseling at clinics that received federal money, according to the records and to people who worked on the matter.


Not just abortion rights, but federal funding of abortions. And you know how the wingers feel about their tax money paying for "innocent deaths" that aren't warmongering brown people related.

This is what happens when you are such an entrenched beltway insider lobbyist that you can't remember everyone you've lobbied for.

Toast.


Aaron Brown is speaking for the first time about his abrupt departure from CNN and the general cable news business to E&P .

Couple of choice bits.

But in a competitive race, Fox knows exactly what its audience wants. It's been one of the most remarkable things I've ever seen in television: no matter what the story is, no matter what the circumstances are, if it's not what the audience wants, they will walk away from the story."

He cites examples.

Immediately after Hurricane Katrina, Fox's reporting was terrific, Brown said. He specifically mentioned Shep Smith's reports. And then...

"In my mind, when it became clear that the story had become the incompetence of the administration, that did not fit their view, so they walked away. They pulled troops out," Brown said.


I miss his show.

All the usual suspects have the video of David Shuster handing author Fouad Ajami his butt in a basket tonight (not on youtube yet), but this one from 7/3 was actually much sweeter in that it was nice to see fTucker confronted.



Unfortunately, Shuster didn't mention that fTucker's dad is one of Scooters BFF.

Oh Dear III
Newsweek:

2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president?


Approve Disapprove Don't Know
Current Total 26% 65% 9%
Republicans 60% 25% 15%
Democrats 8% 87% 5%
Independents 20% 71% 9%


Microsoft Corp. said on Thursday it will open a software development center in Vancouver, giving it a place to employ skilled workers snagged by U.S. immigration quotas.

It may signal the start of a new hiring trend, with other U.S. high-tech firms following in Microsoft's footsteps to Canada, where lawyers say it is easier for foreign nationals to obtain work credentials.

So, okay, we think it's okay to go elsewhere to work, but we don't want them coming here. We can go there. So we're developing centers over there so they won't develop centers over here. Neither will we because they're over there. Who's on first? Blahblahblahimmigrationblahblahblah. Outsourcingblahblah. Educated/non-educated, skilled/unskilled, tomatoes/tomahtoes, let's call the whole thing off.

The last thing we'd want to do is encourage meaningful employment in the U.S.


From the "Why Am I Not Surprised?" Dep't.
Ex-NBC President In Talks to Join Fox
From the moment NBC Entertainment prexy Kevin Reilly made his hasty exit from the Peacock in late May, there was speculation that he would wind up on the Fox lot, and for good reason. Industry insiders confirmed Thursday that Reilly is in talks to join Fox in a role that is expected to have him sign on as head of programming, while the current occupant of that job, Peter Liguori, takes on a broader role overseeing the network.
Why waste time with all of this mergey stuff. Why not just let one person run everything in the world. Oh, wait. Cheney's already doing that.
Reilly might report to Liguori, or Liguori and Reilly could share a title (co-heads are all the rage around H'wood these days, especially at News Corp., which has two-headed toppers at both its film and TV studios).
There are so many "two-headed topper" jokes I could make. But this is fundraising week, and I don't want to sully Cliff's good name. I'll just go with the much safer, yet still snark-laden Hydra-and-its-poisonous-fumes reference and leave it at that.


Oh dear II
Washington Talk Radio Station Drops Bill O'Reilly
Washington DC FM talk radio station 106.7 WJFK yesterday announced it was dropping Bill O’Reilly’s nationally syndicated show, and replacing it with a sports-talk program. The Washington Post reports today that O’Reilly’s cancellation is a “case in point” of how poorly conservative radio programs have fared in DC.
Oh, please make it a national trend, ohpleaseohpleaseohplease.

With the exception of Rush Limbaugh, conservative talk-radio hosts have struggled for years to find a wide audience on the local dial. While Limbaugh’s afternoon program remains popular on WMAL (630 AM), not many other conservatives’ programs have.

“Such radio stars of the right as Laura Ingraham, Glenn Beck and Michael Savage at times have literally had no ratings in Washington, as measured by Arbitron.” [...]

One factor that went unmentioned, however, is the impact media consolidation has had on the local market.

In the Center for American Progress’s recent report on the “structural imbalance of political talk radio,” it noted that Washington DC had 65 percent conservative content and only 35 percent progressive.

Is it any wonder why "naughty Republicans fare better than naughty Democrats?" (see my post a few down)


Oh dear.
Paul tops McCain in campaign cash
Ron Paul's Republican presidential campaign raised $2.4 million in the second quarter of this year and currently has that much money in the bank, topping onetime-frontrunner John McCain's $2 million cash on hand, ABC News reported.
Like, oh-em-gee! MySpace too?
Paul's YouTube channel has 2.1 million page views -- three times the number of the next closest Republican, Mitt Romney, who has 700,000, The Hill reported. And the Texas Congressman has more than 41,000 MySpace friends.
McCain's campaign manager is working for free? Maybe he should become a blogger.
McCain has far out-raised Paul this year, with a total haul of $24 million including $11.2 million in the last three months. But McCain also has a much larger campaign infrastructure to maintain, which has eaten up much of the campaign's cash so far. The Arizona Senator's campaign manager will be working without a paycheck for the next few months and dozens of staffers have been laid off as part of a campaign restructuring, campaign advisers said in a conference call with reporters this week.
Thought bubble: I wonder how Mike Gravel is faring.


Judicial vacancies leave G.O.P. with empty feeling
Some Republicans are upset that the White House has nominated only 25 people to fill the 47 vacancies now on the federal judiciary. Not to worry. If history is any guide, President Bush can nominate as many people as he wants, but most of them will not don the black robes anytime soon.
Yaaay!
As we head into the administration's final 18 months, it appears that, with the Democrats running the Senate, Bush, who has put 278 district and appeals court judges on the bench, has virtually no chance of besting Bill Clinton's370 appointments to those courts -- about 43 percent of the total 853 judges.
Yaaay!
...the late senator Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) and Senate GOP leaders refined the rule to block "judicial appointments in the last year of a presidency unless (they are) consensus nominees." That means Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Leahy and Arlen Specter (Pa.), the committee's ranking Republican, all have to approve the nomination.

Hmmm. Sounds as though conservatives should stop giving Bush a hard time about these nominations. He's already close to his likely maximum.

Yaaay!

Then there's that whole Supreme Court thing. Booooo.


Mayors, presidents -- many have strayed. But do naughty Republicans fare better than naughty Democrats?

LOS ANGELES MAYOR Antonio Villaraigosa, the latest in a long line of political leaders to be caught having an extramarital affair, would have done well to consult the bible before cheating on his wife. Not the King James version but the political bible, in which the seventh commandment states: "Thou shalt not commit adultery, unless you're a Republican."

Perhaps it's more perception than reality, but it seems that Democrats' sexual shenanigans do more damage to their political careers than Republicans' do. Examples of Republican leaders who have gone on to enjoy long and fruitful political careers after dumping or openly betraying their spouses include GOP presidential front-runner and former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who cavorted publicly with his mistress and famously announced his divorce in a news conference before he had informed his wife; Sen. John McCain of Arizona, another presidential candidate, who remarried just one month after his 1980 divorce; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who divorced his first wife while she was recovering from cancer surgery; and our own Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, elected by a landslide despite widespread allegations that he took an overly hands-on approach toward female co-workers.
Dems who have been "caught with their pants down" and paid a price (pulling their pants down was free, they had to pay politically)
include Gary Hart, San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros, who lost his job as Housing and Urban Development secretary in the Clinton administration, Rep. Gary Condit of Modesto, and of course President Clinton.
But it may well be that Republicans are better at using their opponents' sexual peccadilloes against them, summoning up the moral outrage among voters that can be deadly in a close race. It also doesn't help roving-eyed Democrats that women are a mainstay of the party, and women don't appreciate men who cheat.
Maybe some Republicans are better at portraying holier-than-thou hypocrites because of their penchant for lying? Is that what you meant? Or maybe it's because the corporate media delights in headlines about Democrats because of who they're owned by? And how many of the media who get off on their voyeuristic obsession with horny Democrats are guilty of the same thing? And if Democratic women "don't appreciate men who cheat", wouldn't they retaliate against Republican cheaters more than those in their own party?


This is not a sexy topic. Are you still interested?
At the risk of antagonizing the UAW, DaimlerChrysler is in talks with China's Chery Automobile Co. to build cheaper, more profitable cars.

Chrysler, according to company sources, has been talking to Chinese automaker Chery Automobile about manufacturing a small car based perhaps on the Dodge Hornet design study, or concept car, glimpsed at auto shows since last year. Chery has already earned some headlines in the U.S. for signing an agreement with automobile entrepreneur Malcolm Bricklin, whose New York-based dealer network, Visionary Vehicles, will sell Chery-built premium and luxury vehicles in the U.S. The start date has been sliding, however, with the vehicles now not expected until 2009 or 2010 (see BusinessWeek.com, 6/6/06, "Here Come Chinese Cars").

In a few short years, U.S. cars will take a back seat (no pun) to those made in China. Take that, U.S. economy! And now this:

U.S. recalls 3 more Chinese kids products
A former department head at China's drug regulation agency was sentenced to death Friday on bribery charges, as U.S. regulators ordered a recall of three more Chinese-made products deemed dangerous to children.

The developments were the latest in widening concerns about the safety of Chinese goods both at home and abroad. [...]

Meanwhile, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Thursday three recalls, covering jewelry that the agency said could cause lead poisoning. They also covered a magnetic building set and plastic castles with small parts, which it said could choke children.

Can somebody point me to the U.S.of A.? I'm not able to recognize it any more.

I've worked up an appetite. Anyone up for a Pu pu platter?

=
Why must this headline
Just askin'.*




*And yes, I know why. I'm simply trying to provoke a discussion. Did I provoke one?



It pays to be specific.

Bookmaker had money on the wrong Al Gore
July 6, 2007

DUBLIN, Ireland --Ireland's top bookmaker, Paddy Power PLC, paid out more than $13,500 on Friday to people who bet that Al Gore would be arrested. Trouble was, the company neglected to specify which one.

The former U.S. vice president and global-warming activist was rated as a 14-to-1 outsider in a list of American celebrities likely to be arrested next. On Wednesday -- the day after the betting went live on Paddy Power's Web site -- Gore's 24-year-old son, Al Gore III, was arrested and charged with illegally possessing marijuana and prescription drugs.

Paddy Power said it was paying out winnings to about 50 people, because it had failed to identify which Gore it meant. "We got a good stoning," the Dublin-based company said in a statement.

Eric Cartman Makes The Case For Government-Funded Stem Cell Research




Poll: People doubt feds' ability to handle disease outbreak

By Alan Fram, Associated Press
WASHINGTON — The public has little faith the government is adequately screening visitors to the country or could cope with an outbreak of an infectious disease, according to an AP-Ipsos poll.

Only one in five surveyed said the government is doing enough to scrutinize people crossing the border into the U.S., the poll found. Just two in five expressed confidence the government is ready for an epidemic.
(snip)

The pervasive sense of futility about government security efforts comes less than two years after the plodding federal response to Hurricane Katrina, which flooded New Orleans and devastated the Gulf Coast.

Analysts have said Katrina left many people questioning whether the government would come to the rescue in the next major national emergency.


I think the point should be made that most people question whether THIS administration could deal with the situation. I don't remember any questions like that about Clinton or Bush 41's FEMA.




Court Rejects Ohio Domestic Spying Suit

By LISA CORNWELL
Associated Press Writer

CINCINNATI (AP) -- A federal appeals court Friday ordered the dismissal of a lawsuit challenging President Bush's domestic spying program, saying the plaintiffs had no standing to sue.

The 2-1 ruling by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel vacated a 2006 order by a lower court in Detroit, which had found the post-Sept. 11 warrantless surveillance aimed at uncovering terrorist activity to be unconstitutional, violating rights to privacy and free speech and the separation of powers.

U.S. Circuit Judge Julia Smith Gibbons, one of the two Republican appointees who ruled against the plaintiffs, said they failed to show they were subject to the surveillance and therefore do not have standing for their claims.


As Cliff's friend Kagro X over at Kos said, "Let the courts settle it!" isn't working any more.

Now what are those wacky folk over at Brave New Films up to?



Petition for impeachment here.



Bush Celebrates His 61st Birthday
With Fireworks, Family, Friends, Baseball Execs & Golfers

(AP) When President Bush turned 60 last year, the milestone garnered interest around the globe. On Friday, he turns a year older, but with a bit less fanfare.

President Bush got started early on the festivities for his 61st birthday - with dinner and a party that first lady Laura Bush threw for him Wednesday evening at the White House, where he watched the Fourth of July fireworks over the National Mall.


Without additional comment, I can honestly say I wish you good health Mr President.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

HA!!! I am prescient, if not down right psychic.
(or just someone who pays attention)

My sister is a Rush Limbaugh loving Republican. We argue alot about most stuff except social issues where she leans left. She had been out of the country the past few weeks, and recently got home. We chit chatted yesterday about various things and as usual, it lead to politics.

I told her, "I'll bet you $20, that tomorrow when you listen to your beloved drug addled Rushbo, he'll be harping on how having a National Health Service, or Socialized Health Service or Hillarycare would be a boon to terrorists because of what happened with the doctors in England over the weekend."

She forgot to listen to Rush today, but I fell upon this.



HA!

Armitage Was First Libby Leaker For A Reason


I spent 10 blood pressure raising minutes this evening screaming at Melanie Sloan on Hardball. If only she could have heard me.

It makes perfect sense the Richard Armitage was the first and primary leaker. I know because the "Beltway Insiders" told me

Newsweek

Armitage, a well-known gossip who loves to dish and receive juicy tidbits about Washington characters,


Weekly Standard

"a slip-up by an inveterate gossip--but one that occurred alongside a concerted White House effort to undermine a critic of the war."


Now doesn't that make sense?

Let's say you work in an office, and you have a vendetta against a co-worker that took your parking space. You have something that would tarnish that person's reputation. You want to destroy them.

Where do you start the rumours? With the friend in the next office that will just make fish eyes at the co-worker and tell no one?

Nope, you tell the person that will tell everyone else in the company.

Armitage couldn't help it, he liked to have the tidbits, the "insider info." So everything that came after that, every malicious, snide, threatening word could claim to be just echo from Armitage.

Not a concerted effort to destroy an enemy.


Fred Thompson, left, Nixon White House mole
Paddy posted about this down thread. The photo was also too good to pass up.
BLITZER: Who's afraid of Fred Thompson? It appears many people are. The "Law & Order" actor is taking some huge steps toward a White House run. Joining us now... [is] our CNN contributor Bill Bennett, Washington fellow of the Claremont Institute.
[...]
BLITZER: Why is Fred Thompson so appealing to a lot of Republicans?

BENNETT: Big handsome man, you know?

No.

No, Mr. Bennett, I don't know. Ew. With taste like that, what must he think of Bill O'Reilly?


Will Deadeye Dick be on the DC Madam's list?

Maybe not, but I wonder who is....?

A judge in the US district court in Washington, D.C. has lifted the temporary restraining order (TRO) preventing the so-called 'DC madam,' Deborah Jeane Palfrey, from selling or distributing the list of phone records from her escort business.

Earlier this week, in an interview with the Vallejo Times, Palfrey said she would make the 46 pounds of Sprint phone records available to any member of the media, including bloggers.

"A couple dozen to 100 or so" of the 10,000 names listed in the records are high profile names, said Palfrey.

With the injunction lifted, it appears Palfrey can now "distribute the records en masse to as many responsible journalists, press, media, bloggers in this country," as she has promised.

Did they ever say definitively that this was a bunch of nothing? Or is there still a possibility of yet another scandal here?

=
Libby Case May Aid Hamas Suspect

An alleged Hamas operative is likely to be among the first criminal defendants to try to capitalize on President Bush's commutation of the 2 1/2 year prison sentence imposed on a former White House aide, I. Lewis Libby Jr., for obstructing a CIA leak investigation. Mohammed Salah, 57, is scheduled to be sentenced by a federal judge in Chicago next week on one count of obstruction of justice. In February, a jury convicted Salah and a co-defendant, Abdelhaleem Ashqar, of obstruction, but acquitted the pair of a far more serious charge of racketeering conspiracy in support of Hamas's terrorist campaigns in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank.

"What the president said about Mr. Libby applies in spades to the case of Mohammed Salah," Salah's defense attorney, Michael Deutsch, told The New York Sun yesterday. "We'll definitely be bringing it up to the judge. … It's going to be a real test, a first early test of whether we're a nation of laws or a nation of men."

Does the Commutitator not realize that everything he does has a domino affect? No, because he's so wrapped up in his tiny little sewer of a world that no, he doesn't realize that.



US restore pride with hot-dog victory
I really don't care much about this story. What struck me is the headline. This, apparently, is what it takes to restore pride in this country. Not stopping the Bush/Cheney crime family in its tracks. Not ending a deadly occupation. Not improving health care. Nope. An American guy eating more hot dogs than a Japanese guy.

A "hot dog victory" makes us proud. Too bad our president doesn't.


First, just how much did the scientists say? Were they male or female? Did they go on and on or just mumble a few words about this? Hmmmmm?
Women did speak an average of 546 more words a day than men in the study, results of which will be published in Friday's issue of Science magazine, but that wasn't a statistically significant number. It's certainly a far smaller difference than what's been previously suggested [...]

In fact, both women and men use roughly 16,000 words a day, according to the latest research. [...]

Mehl said no one knows for sure where the stereotype that women talk more than men came from, but psychologists think it probably has to do with what men and women talk about, not how many words they use.

Women tend to talk more about their feelings and relationships -- topics that usually make men clam up.
I just cannot for the life of me figure out why anyone would think women talk any more than men. I mean, come on, that's just the worst kind of stereotype. Anyone who thinks that is obviously a man, right? Women are no more babbling idiots than men are. The fact that a study even had to be done about his is nuts. I, for one, cannot begin to fathom where anyone got this idea. Women talking more than men? Ridiculous. Ridiculous, do you hear me?! Nuts?Crazy!Insane!Allthistalkaboutwomengabgabgabbitygabbing isjustludicrous!Allthroughhistory,womengetblamedforeverythingincludingthis!Why?WHY?I'lltellyouwhy!
Because.That'swhy.Icannotconceiveofsayingmorethnaisabsolutelynecessary,asyoucanplainlysee.Right?
Whereverdiditcomefrom? Notmethat'sforsure!I'mthe shy,quiettypeandwouldn't
THINKofsayingmorethanisABSOLUTELYNECESSARY!

So there.
HA!


Edwards Adds Staff, Reshuffles Roles
John Edwards is reshuffling the ranks of his top staff, adding two prominent Democratic operatives as senior advisers and shifting some responsibilities from campaign manager David Bonior.

Paul Blank and Chris Kofinis, leaders of the labor-backed anti-Wal-Mart effort ``Wake Up Wal-Mart,'' were expected to join the Edwards campaign as early as next week. Blank would take over day-to-day campaign operations, while Kofinis would serve as communications director. [...]

Blank was political director for Howard Dean's 2004 presidential effort and remains close to former Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi...Bonior, a former Michigan congressman, would retain the title of campaign manager but step up his role as public spokesman for the campaign. He's also expected to travel extensively with Edwards. [...]

Top Edwards strategist Jonathan Prince said staff changes reflected the campaign's continued growth and shouldn't be taken as a sign that anything was amiss.

Maybe so, but we're thinking it anyway.

Rep. Robert Wexler says President Bush’s commutation of Scooter Libby’s prison sentence “is nothing short of (a) political quid pro quo, and Congress must go on record in strong opposition.”

Wexler has drafted a resolution to censure Bush and plans to introduce it when Congress returns next Tuesday. A censure is a rare public reprimand but does not carry any other penalty. [...]

...the resolution will be sent to the House Judiciary Committee of which Wexler is a member. Since this is a “sense of the House” resolution, it would not require Senate approval.

Wexler said Bush’s “intervention is an unconscionable abuse of authority by George W. Bush, and Congress must step forward and express the disgust that Americans rightfully feel toward this contemptible decision. [...]

The last president who was censured was James Buchanan in 1860, so the odds are pretty long against this one being adopted.

The entire text of Wexler’s censure resolution is at the end of the piece.

The plus side to this is that it would put both Dems and Repubs on record. The downside? IMHO, it's cathartic, but that's about it. What do you think?

What do you know? We May Have Gotten Mouthpiece Fred Off ABC

I started a relatively lonely campaign about 2-3 weeks ago to get Fred Thompson--all but declared presidential candidate who admitted he was benefitting from free ABC airtime--off the radio there. And off their Intertube site.

I posted on it, and it was picked up by Kos, C&L, I cross-posted at Huff Post and then did some radio on it (The Young Turks, etc.). We ended up getting some print coverage and it blew up into a mini-brouhaha.

Well lo and behold, ABC is now talking about Fred in the past tense. I am not bragging here. Obviously what they were doing was so beyond the pale, that anyone who brought it up would have been able to put pressure on them. But I guess that is the point. Stand up and make yourself heard, and who knows what happens.

On a related note, can we now assume Fred is about to officially launch an ill-fated attempt to be the next corrupt Republican President?



**note from paddy

BREAKING Fred Thompson News Friday 7/06/07 11p EST


Ooooh. First Senator Lugar, then Senator Voinovich, now Senator Domenici?

And a big military area paper?

Bet George is looking around for Ashton right about now.

Fundraiser


Yeah guys, I hate asking but I must. Paddy's got a mortgage (and a tree just flattened part of her roof). BC's got kids. I don't take a CENT from this site, in fact I put my own money into it.

If you donate you are ensuring that this site keeps going. With Paddy and BC and Gottalaff, and Jay Finestein checking in every once in a while from the coffee shop. And The Hounddog doing his thing when not drunk on good Kentucky bourbon.

Seriously, although I am flattered by the money people are offering to have lunch with me at YearlyKos, this site is one of my loves.

So here you go. If lunch is worth $255*** (or whatever it is up to now, a bit scary if you ask me) how much are drinks worth? Anyone who gives $50 we'll set up a happy hour to hang at YearlyKos. If you give ANYTHING, you will be the first to have access to an as yet not YouTubed "confrontation" I had with Sean Hannity.

How does that sound. Please go to the Make A Donation button on the right and do so. We'll have your emails so we can find out anything we need to set up a meeting or a viewing of the little spat with Little Sean.

Thanks so much guys!

Cliff

***final amount raised for charity to lunch with Cliff $281

bumped

Contractors In Iraq Now Returning With Same Health Problems As Soldiers

This problem will only get worse as Republicans privatize our armed forces that much more, so Halliburton and CACI can swim in green. But being Republicans, they also provide NO HEALTHCARE to contractors upon their return from Iraq, because, you know, it would mean Dick Cheney might have to forfeit a few stock options from Halliburton.

And as you know, Cheny would only trade that for the satisfaction of outing another covert operative or fitting his carotid artery with a Salisbury Steak drip.




Makes you wonder what GWB would have seen if he had looked into Hitler's eyes.

Putin's children
By Michael Hammerschlag Published: July 5, 2007

It's official. To be patriotic in Russia is to be a fan of Putin, specifically a Putin Youth. During the celebration on June 12th of Independence Day (Russia from the Soviet Union in 1990), "the only groups allowed onto Red Square were the youth group Nashi" - which means "ours" - "the Young Guard and Young Russia," according to Sergei, a Nashi supporter.

Tickets were carefully dispensed only to the faithful near the Krasny Ploshad Metro from a truck, I finally discovered after questioning a dozen reluctant people holding the tickets.

The 120,000-odd Putin Youth members are perhaps the most creepy demonstration of Putin's "Back to the Future" cult of personality - youth groups created, supported, and used by the Kremlin to harass, bully and intimidate opponents and critics.

"The idea was to create an ideology based on a total devotion to the president and his course," says a Kremlin adviser, Sergei Markov. Obsessed by the color revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia, the Kremlin decided to create their own loyal youth brigades.


The article goes into details that are just bone-chilling.

Sounds close to the Hitler Youth, or even the creepy young people cheering Coultergeist along on Hardball.

Looks like we better keep a close eye on old Vlad, no matter what the Decider thinks.

Cliff Note: This is just another of the many foreign policy disasters of this administration. Between Iraq, Iran and North Korea's belligerent nuclear buildup and the Osama-been-hiding fiasco we forget sometimes that he has given Russia the cover to become a totalitarian state again, right before our eyes.


Fantastic article in the Boston Globe about Thompson.

Not all would put a heroic sheen on Thompson's Watergate role

By Michael Kranish, Globe Staff | July 4, 2007

WASHINGTON -- The day before Senate Watergate Committee minority counsel Fred Thompson made the inquiry that launched him into the national spotlight -- asking an aide to President Nixon whether there was a White House taping system -- he telephoned Nixon's lawyer.

Thompson tipped off the White House that the committee knew about the taping system and would be making the information public. In his all-but-forgotten Watergate memoir, "At That Point in Time," Thompson said he acted with "no authority" in divulging the committee's knowledge of the tapes, which provided the evidence that led to Nixon's resignation.

It was one of many Thompson leaks to the Nixon team.....


Worst thing about it is that the Rabid Authoritarian Republican Fascist Freaks that loved Nixon will just find this exciting and endearing. Ugh.

No Joy This 4th Of July

I didn't post this yesterday, because I didn't want to imply to anyone that they should not go out and celebrate and be proud of the many things that are, and have been great about this country.

Yet, I think Bob Geiger hit the nail on the head, in terms of the way many people who care deeply about this country feel about things this year, thanks to the behvavior of the criminals currently residing at 1600 Pennsylvania. Take it away Bob:

No Joy This Fourth Of July

"A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people." ~ Declaration of Independence

I've always enjoyed the Fourth of July.

It's summer, it's a festive holiday about celebration -- not mourning or remembrance -- and, as a military Veteran, it has been a time to feel good about whatever miniscule role I've played in maintaining our country's strength and freedom.

But I'm going to skip the barbeques and just go to work today. I do this because the state of my country under the reign of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and their entire cabal of crooks and non-patriots, leaves me with a feeling so hollow and barren that I simply cannot use drinking a beer, eating a hot dog or watching fireworks as a soothing balm.

With Bush's effective pardon of Scooter Libby on Monday, he has once again acted on behalf of the American people with no regard for what the people actually want. Poll after poll has shown that Americans still cling to a belief in equal justice under the law and that letting Libby off the hook on perjury and obstruction of justice charges in the outing of a covert CIA agent is horribly wrong. But that doesn’t stop Bush from doing whatever he damn well pleases to help his cronies and appease his political benefactors.

The overwhelming majority of the country now also knows the truth of the Iraq occupation and made clear in the last election what is expected of our leaders in ending that disaster. The American people know that the White House cooked the intelligence books to make a bogus case for war against a country that posed no threat whatsoever to the United States and by far most Americans want us out of Iraq as soon as possible.

It is the same thing with the way most of us feel about the promise held in the science of stem cell research and the huge nationwide support for raising the federal minimum wage, which have both been fought tooth and nail by Bush and the Republican party.

No matter how we the people want to be governed or how we decide we want our country to look, Bush sticks stubbornly to what he wants, to what he mandates and what he decides in his delusional world of absolute power and authority over all he surveys.

It's a bitter irony that what we celebrate today is deliverance from just such an absolute power and authority in the form of King George III, about whom the Founding Fathers railed in the majority of the Declaration of Independence and from whom they declared our freedom. We broke away from the colonial rule of a tyrant and, in the preamble to this sacred document, we stated that our leaders are ultimately governed by those for which government is created and that those elected president get "their just powers from the consent of the governed."

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

We declared our break from a monarch, an absolute ruler, in 1776 when the 13 colonies risked it all to repudiate that form of government and to say that the leader of what would become the new United States of America should listen to the will of the people and not the other way around.

One has to wonder what Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Hancock and the other Founding Fathers would think of where we're at, 231 years later, if they could see the vision of Democracy they cherished so soiled and the 43rd president known not at all for his wisdom and entirely for his outrageous abuse of power.

George W. Bush has taken our country and made us despised throughout the world, ruined our global reputation in a way that may take a generation to salvage and made us far less safe in a dangerous world. Indeed, he has used our nation's wealth and power to make the world a more dangerous place.

His administration has also found a way to diminish a great holiday like our Independence Day, to make us feel less like proudly waving our flag and to even cause many like me, who have worn our country's uniform, to wonder what the hell it was for.

And, for that, every American who voted for Bush, should take time this July Fourth to perform a truly patriotic act and be profoundly ashamed.