Saturday, July 14, 2007

Politics ROCK!!!


Coming soon to a screen near you! Bin Laden on video!
Released just in time to distract 70% of U.S. citizens
who are fed up with the Iraq occupation and Bush in general!
CAIRO, Egypt - A new al-Qaida videotape posted Sunday on a militant Web site featured a short, undated clip of a weary-looking Osama bin Laden praising martyrdom. [...]

Bin Laden glorified those who die in the name of jihad, or holy war, saying even the Prophet Muhammad "had been wishing to be a martyr."

"The happy (man) is the one that God has chosen him to be a martyr," added bin Laden, who was shown outdoors wearing army fatigues and looking tired.

You know this is getting old when even Osama's pooped out.


...unless you add Thompson, which would make it 10 again.

Barely a ripple (emphasis mine):
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The crowded field for the Republican nomination for the 2008 U.S. presidential election shrank by one on Saturday when former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore announced he was withdrawing.

"It has become apparent to me that the combination of my late start, and the front-loaded nature of the primary schedule, have made it impractical to continue to pursue this path towards further public service," Gilmore said in a statement on his campaign Web site.

"I believe that it takes years of preparation to put in place both the political and financial infrastructure to contest what now amounts to a one-day national primary in February."

He has a point.




"Iraq For Sale" On Starz Tonight!


It is always nice when an important film like this breaks though to a mainstream channel. Already, the Brave New Films Crew (not including me, I was off causing trouble somewhere else when this film was made) deserves an immense amount of credit for what was accomplished with this documentary.

And I am not just talking about the beatdown Robert Greenwald gave Jack "Deliverance" Kingston during a congressional hearing. But the millions who have become informed about the travesty that is war profiteering in Iraq. Some might dare call it treason.

Here is a schedule of all the film showings. Watch, so the next time a right-winger makes something up (it does happen once every 1.125 seconds you know) about Iraq, you're prepared to hit back with the facts.

Here you go my friends:

IRAQ FOR SALE schedule:

Starz Cinema July 14, 10:00pm (includes special segment with me before and after)
Starz Cinema July 15, 11:05am (includes special segment with me before and after)
Starz Cinema July 26, 10:40am
Starz Cinema July 30, 4:35pm
Encore Drama August 2, 4:40am
Encore Drama August 8, 8:00pm
Encore Drama August 26, 2:35am
Encore Drama September 1, 12:35am
Encore Drama September 12, 2:35pm
Encore Drama September 28, 12:50pm

The Wal-Mart movie (Wal-Mart: The Hight Cost Of Low Prices) will also be airing:

Starz Cinema: July 25, 11:15am
Starz Cinema: July 25, 8:20pm
Starz Cinema: July 26, 3:14am
Starz Cinema: July 30, 6:00pm
Starz Cinema: July 31, 4:00am
Encore Drama: August 21, 2:20am


When you lose the heartland, you...well, you lose:
The town, by all accounts, once gave Bush the benefit of the doubt for a war he said would make America safer and a mission he said was accomplished four years before Behrle died. But funeral by funeral, faith in the president and his project to remake Iraq is ebbing away.

Deep into a battle with no visible end, many Republican and Democratic voters here say the cause is no longer clear, the war no longer seems winnable and the costs are too high. [...]

...small towns in the heartland and the South have provided the Bush administration with some of its most steadfast backers. But that support has cracked amid the echoes of graveside bagpipes and 21-gun salutes, which have been heard with greater frequency in recent months in small Midwestern communities. [...]

Like so many Tipton residents who saw the war delivered like an unwelcome package when the cortege passed, Pelzer realized that it took her son's death for her to focus on the war.

"I don't know that you can win," she said of the chances of victory in Iraq. "But if you can't accomplish what you need to accomplish, get them out of there. There's been enough. One is too many."

It goes without saying that we feel for anyone who has lost a son or daughter because of Bush's illegal disastrous invasion. It's too bad that it takes the death of a loved one to open their eyes enough to see that "one is too many"?


Don't even think it...you might get charged with supporting terrorists
...in Australia, anyway:

SYMPATHISING with a terrorist organisation is now a "thought crime" in Australia, say human rights lawyers concerned about the use of anti-terrorism laws against Gold Coast-based doctor Mohammed Haneef.

So you have to form thoughts. That pretty much puts Paris, Lindsay, Brittney and Bush in safe territory.

They warn the case against Haneef, an Indian national who ...yesterday became the first person to be charged in Australia with "recklessly" supporting a terrorist organisation, leaves thousands of people open to similar charges if they show even "a minute level of support to a terrorist organisation".

Haneef was charged after leaving his mobile phone SIM card with two cousins allegedly involved in the recent British car bomb attacks. [...]
Now, now, let's not panic. Nothing like that could ever happen here.
...new laws fail to strike a balance between the rights of the accused and those of the state. [...]
Too late.

"If you were to send an email to al-Qaeda in Pakistan, and the email expresses support for a planned future attack you could be charged with providing support to a terrorist organisation," said Mr Barns, a barrister who is appearing in a Melbourne terrorism-related trial.

"In other words, you can be convicted of what is essentially, in these examples, thought crimes. It potentially catches anyone who provides even a minute level of support to a terrorist organisation anywhere in the world."

Think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts....

Tiffani's Story, cont'd.
The following email was written by my pal and student, Tiffani, part of her story that I persist and insist on putting out there, unedited. Why? Because we rant and scream about this insane occupation, but she lives it. Every day. In pain and more anxiety than I can even imagine.

And the more of us who witness what the child of a soldier in Iraq has to endure, the more insight we can have about how wrong it all is. If you've missed any of her story, you can find it in our archives, and also catalogued here.
She appreciates your comments more than you know.
i talked to my dad three times this week

he just got back from a mission


i asked him how it went and he said ok

then i asjked him if he was ok

and he said yes


by the tone in his voice i could just

telll it was a big no


and that he wasnt ok

and that he wasnt ok

he is getting sadder and becomming

less and less of my dad

he still is but he is changing

he sent me these pictures =/


(I obscured the faces intentionally)
i miss him

its scary seeing these

knowing thats what he is driving

and just imagining what he hoes through


i wish he was here and safe


This makes me very nervous.

Air Force quietly building Iraq presence

By Charles J. Hanley, AP Special Correspondent | July 14, 2007

BALAD AIR BASE, Iraq --Away from the headlines and debate over the "surge" in U.S. ground troops, the Air Force has quietly built up its hardware inside Iraq, sharply stepped up bombing and laid a foundation for a sustained air campaign in support of American and Iraqi forces.

(snip)

The escalation worries some about an increase in "collateral damage," casualties among Iraqi civilians. Air Force generals worry about wear and tear on aging aircraft. But ground commanders clearly like what they see.

"Night before last we had 14 strikes from B-1 bombers. Last night we had 18 strikes by B-1 bombers," Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch said approvingly of air support his 3rd Infantry Division received in a recent offensive south of Baghdad.

Statistics tell the story: Air Force and Navy aircraft dropped 437 bombs and missiles in Iraq in the first six months of 2007, a fivefold increase over the 86 used in the first half of 2006, and three times more than in the second half of 2006, according to Air Force data. In June, bombs dropped at a rate of more than five a day.


I remember vividly Sy Hersh on some show talking about how the administration wanted to use the Air Force more in Iraq, with an eye out towards Iran. Specifically, how with bombing raids the "collateral damage" is more antiseptic, less personal.

They aren't people, they're targets.

This interview with Amy Goodman goes into that, read the whole thing but this bit stood out.

In the latest issue of the New Yorker, Hersh reports that the Bush administration has increased clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack.

Sources told Hersh that Air Force planning groups are drawing up lists of targets, and teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups.


Iran is just a quick fly to the east. No big deal, hit some "targets" and you're out.

Oh my jeebus. I'm going to hurt myself rolling my eyes.

Fiscal Conservative?

As the Presidential candidate's FEC reports become available, some interesting patterns are developing. According to one report, Mitt Romney actually spent more money in the second quarter than he raised. He cut himself a check to cover the campaign deficit.

So now we know why ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney wrote himself a "nightmare" $5M check at the end of the second quarter: he spent more than five million more than he raised. Put together, Romney's burn through about 99% of his receipts.

Romney's campaign filed its second quarter report with the FEC today. Friday.

Romney aides insist that the campaign is on budget, and judging by the size of the check he wrote, Romney has promised to fill in the gap between receipts and expenses.

But raising money is tougher in the third quarter, and it will especially hard if Romney stays low in the national polls. It's unclear whether Romney can sustain the pace he's achieved: nearly $5M in television advertisements, $2.3M in salaries and insurance, and $1M in donor prospecting and list rental.


The real interesting point here is Romney's standings in the polls. Folks have given Romney credit for being atop the polls in Iowa and New Hampshire. But the fact remains, he's spent millions in advertising in those two states, while none of his opponents have spent a dime. He should be ahead right now. The question is - Will the lead hold when his competitors start advertising?

The other point worth mentioning is how his campaign's spending belies Romney's claim to be a fiscal conservative. I know he's rich, but he can't cover the annual federal deficit, can he?




Squirrel Spy Ring? Thats Nuts!
Updated: 16:32, Thursday July 12, 2007

Police in Iran are reported to have taken 14 squirrels into custody - because they are suspected of spying.

Britain's latest secret weapon? The rodents were found near the Iranian border allegedly equipped with eavesdropping devices.

(snip)

When asked about the confiscation of the spy squirrels, the national police chief said: "I have heard about it, but I do not have precise information."

The IRNA said that the squirrels were kitted out by foreign intelligence services - but they were captured two weeks ago by police officers.

Bill Moyers, Bruce Fein & John Nichols talk about Impeachment as a cure for the Constitutional Crisis.




Excellent. Let's take him at his word and get the hell out.

PM: Iraqis Can Keep Peace Without U.S.

By BUSHRA JUHI
Associated Press Writer
BAGHDAD (AP) -- Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Saturday that the Iraqi army and police are capable of keeping security in the country when American troops leave "any time they want," though he acknowledged the forces need further weapons and training.

The embattled prime minister sought to show confidence at a time when pressure in the U.S. Congress is growing for a withdrawal and the Bush administration reported little progress had been made on the most vital of a series of political reforms it wants al-Maliki to carry out.

Moreover, the Pentagon on Friday conceded that the Iraqi army has become more reliant on the U.S. military. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Peter Pace, said the number of Iraqi battalions able to operate on their own without U.S. support has dropped in recent months from 10 to six, though he said the fall was in part due to attrition from stepped-up offensives.

Friday, July 13, 2007



I don't even want to know where he put the hazard triangles......

Mich. Man Jogged Nude to 'Feel Alive'

By SVEN GUSTAFSON, Associated Press Writer
Friday, July 13, 2007
(07-13) 18:12 PDT DETROIT (AP) --

A man who was sentenced to 30 days in jail for taking his daily run while wearing only a stocking cap, gloves and reflective tape said that the nude jogging made him "feel alive," according to police.

Russell Rotta, 49, told police that he had been running naked since he was a teenager and that he generally woke up each day around 4 a.m. to conceal the activity from his wife.

Rotta reported running in the nude six miles a day every day, weather permitting.

(snip)

Rotta told police he didn't indulge his habit to disturb anyone or receive sexual gratification. He said he generally confined his running to open fields and wooded areas away from roads.

He wore reflective tape around his arms, ankles, waist and thighs to avoid being hit when he crossed roads, the police report said.


I'm sorry, there is some kink going on here no matter what he says.

Tape around your arms, ankles, waist and thighs?
Removing it seems dicey, and don't forget this is Michigan.

Rasmussen:


No. Nononononono. No!
Novak on C-SPAN: "I'm Never Going to Retire"
Novak says in closing that a "good model for a journalist" was "to be a stirrer up of strife. And I hope, as I say at the end of the book, I hope I don’t – and some people hope I do – but I hope I don’t end up in purgatory with my severed head in my arms." [he says that like it's a bad thing] This was a reference to Dante's "Inferno."

He also says, "I'm never going to retire."
Please. I just ate. That must be a misquote. I just didn't understand read that right want to accept such a grim prospect.
LAMB: You also do something that I don’t know that I’ve ever seen before. You name tons of your sources.

NOVAK: Yes. I had always thought that, when I wrote – I’ve thought a long time I was going to write a memoir, and that I would divulge all my sources then, as I tripped into retirement. But I’m not going to retire. I’m never going to retire.
That's a little like Bush saying he's never going to leave office.


What's wrong with this picture?
Look closely....very closely...at the caption to the right. (click to enlarge)
The MSNBC website misidentified a Republican Senator from Louisiana on Friday as a Democrat. The erroneously captioned photo was posted with a news story about Senator David Vitter, who outed himself on Tuesday as a client of the so-called DC Madam, Deborah Palfrey.

"Sen. David Vitter, D-La., may not be Bill Clinton, but he may wish his wife was Hillary Clinton," reads the MSNBC caption.
Let's give them the benefit of the doubt. Honest mistake, right?
The original caption accompanying the AP photograph that MSNBC attached to the story rightfully identified Vitter as a Republican.
Wrong. Tsk tsk tsk. Accuracy in reporting is everything, isn't it? Just ask Fixed News.

Right On The Mark

There's been some mumbling about forgiving the sins of David Vitter. Matt Yglesias really nails it (insert your own Vitter/hooker joke here).

Nor do I feel wronged by Vitter's hypocrisy since, at the end of the day, as far as sins go hypocrisy is pretty weak tea. What I do feel wronged by is Vitter's wrongheaded views about public policy whose wrongheadedness is demonstrated by the sympathy decent people have for Vitter's situation. I mean, who among us thinks that what the world needs is for the state to do a more vigorous job of harassing David Vitter into conforming his sex life to traditional norms? The answer, it turns out, is . . . David Vitter; except that maybe it turns out that Vitter thinks there should be a David Vitter Exception to his general views on the matter.


A ridiculous attempt at a solution to a barbaric practice.

'Indian register' for pregnancies

By Sanjoy Majumder
BBC News, Delhi
India banned gender selection and selective abortion in 1994

An Indian minister has proposed that all pregnant women register with the government and seek its permission if they wish to undergo an abortion.

Women and child development minister Renuka Chowdhury says the move is aimed at stopping the aborting of unwanted female foetuses.

Although prenatal sex determination and selective abortion are banned, far more boys than girls are born.
(snip)

According to the last national census, for every 1,000 boys, there are only 927 girls in India.


What they need is to retrain their society to respect and cherish females, and not burden their families with outrageous dowry demands.


No fair! How can we start a war with someone if they cooperate? Waaah! An agreement? With a charter member of the Axis of Evil? No! That's no fun!
The U.N. nuclear agency says Iran will allow inspectors to visit its heavy water reactor as part of an agreement aimed at resolving questions about Iran's nuclear program.
Why, I...sputter, sputter....You... They ...Whaaaaa?

The International Atomic Energy Agency said Friday that Iran agreed to allow U.N. inspectors to visit the reactor at Arak by the end of this month.

The U.N. agency also said the two sides agreed on how to resolve remaining issues regarding Iran's past plutonium experiments.

Okay fine, but Rule One: Never, ever talk directly with your enemies. Nothing gets resolved, you validate their very existence, and besides, they're just a bunch of stinky-pie-poopy-heads.

The agreement follows two days of talks between the two sides that concluded in Tehran Thursday.

Fine. Be that way. I'm taking my toys and going home.

Off topic: Bill Moyers Journal talks about impeachment this week with Constitutional scholar Bruce Fein and The Nation's John Nichols. Check your local listings.

UPDATE: Why am I not surprised...

The NRA Must Go Down

If you come to this site a decent amount, you know how passionate I am about this particular issue. We have beteen 80 and 90 gun deaths a day in this country, and many are simply unnecessary.

Just as unions, pro-choice groups and other progressive organizations and movements were put on the defensive throughout much of the 90s and now the 2000s by right-wing groups with no conscience, so have those arguing for meaningful gun safety laws when confronted with men with an extra-Y chromosome lodged in their cerebral cortex.

The NRA, with the money at their disposal and their willingness to do anything to win, with an almost gleeful expression as they lessen the security of the American people, are bar none one of the most evil of these groups in the country. The sad thing is not just the Republicans, but good Democrats who bow down before them.

I wrote a column three years ago on this subject, so let me quote liberally from that piece, and how today it is even more important as the NRA fights to ensure every terrorist, crimininal, child or mentally imbalanced person has access to an AK:

When I sauntered out into the hallway to pick up my copy of Thursday's Washington Post, a front-page story leapt off the page at me: "FBI Curbed in Tracking Gun Buyers."

The story explains how our anti-terrorism crusading attorney general, John Ashcroft, seems to employ the common sense of Jessica Simpson when it comes to implementing policies to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists.

-------

This combative attitude toward weapons that kill landing in the hands of the people who do comes from a man who is all too excited to declare suspected terrorists "enemy combatants," and haul them off to Guantanamo Bay without the benefit of such niceties as a lawyer and trial.

Why the discrepancy between the deference the attorney general shows to first and second amendment concerns? Three letters: NRA.

According to the pro-campaign finance reform Web site Opensecrets.org, pro-Second Amendment groups have given 85 percent of their campaign cash, a total of more than $17 million since 1990, to the Republicans.

It is also a little hard to forget the videotape that surfaced in 2000, where a high-ranking National Rifle Association official claimed in a campaign speech that, if Bush won, the NRA would be "working out of the White House."

-------

In a society where, sadly, the choice may be between giving up a few rights or having a weapon of mass destruction set off down the street, the former would seem to trump the latter. Shouldn't this same sacrifice of some freedoms also apply to gun owners?

Why would we not do all we can to keep guns out of the hands of those we deem to be dangerous or deranged? It is not like we are talking universal registration or licensing here, just the tracking of successful gun purchases by those who are on terrorist watch lists.

-------

Individuals with ties to al-Qaida and the militant group Hezbollah have been caught browsing local gun shows in the United States. And the manual "How Can I Train Myself for Jihad" found in the rubble of a terrorist training camp in Kabul recommended that members of al-Qaida living in the United States should try and "obtain an assault weapon legally, preferably AK-47 or variations," by taking advantage of the United States' lax gun laws.

You would think this would alarm people of all political stripes enough to forget politics for a moment and protect this country.

-------

On Nov. 10, 2001, President Bush addressed the United Nations, saying, "We have a responsibility to deny weapons to terrorists and to actively prevent private citizens from providing them." I agree. Bush and Ashcroft should show some leadership and act to further protect us from al-Qaida murderers in our midst.
So now back to the point. This has nothing, and I mean NOTHING to do with the Second Amendment. I wrote this, mind you, before Virginia Tech, before a militia was arrested in Alabama with a cache of weapons and plans for attack.

How long to do we want to wait while Congress is held hostage by a special-interest, a band of corporatized, extremists who don't care if the attacks in London come here, as long as they protect the rights of criminals to buy their products and earn them a tidy profit? 1,000 deaths of innocent children...bystanders...victims? 10,000? 1,000,000?

Well, enough is enough. And that is why I am honored that stophandgunviolence.org has chosen to advertise here. They have a large billboard up near Fenway Park (I would have gone with Yankee Stadium, but hey, I'm a die hard Yanks fan) discussing the hostages to the NRA (and likeminded idiots) we call our elected representatives.

Go click on the ad and go to their site. Join them in trying to add meaningful background checks to gun purchases in ALL states, because they currently do not exist in many (as we found out in VA). That's right, Osama himself could buy a handgun in many states as we speak (and varmints must continue to run for cover, as they know Mitt Romney is armed and dangerous).

It is time for the madness to stop. In any poll you look at, the public is on our side. By numbers usually in the 75-90% range. The time for talking is done. It's time to take some action my friends.

McCain Losing Because Of "Gay Sweaters"

Nope, not the walk in the Baghdad market, his support for a ridiculous war, his flip-flopping on evolution, abortion, Falwell, Bob Jones, campaign finance reform, lobbying reform and every other issue.

Not his temper, his ambition or his obstinence. Gay sweaters have done him in:

In the final days of his imploding candidacy, John McCain has taken a page out of Richard Nixon's play book, finding increasingly bizarre explanations for his political failures. Strangest of all: He reportedly feels his handlers forced him to wear "gay sweaters."

According to one insider, the knit-picking was the crescendo of a tirade by the Arizona senator, in which he blistered aides about the minutiae of the campaign. While many septuagenarians live in a perpetual state of sweater weather, McCain reportedly declared his frustration with being told to don the perceived homosexual outerwear in order to look younger and more approachable.

"He wasn't happy being dictated to. The sweaters were part of that," the source says.

NRSC Should Return Vitter Money

While I'm sure the NRSC staffers are currently busy reading up on David Vitter receiving phone calls from brothels during House votes, maybe they should consider returning the contributions they took from the fundraiser that Vitter hosted for Liddy Dole and the committee:

Dole has also designated other senators, such as John Sununu (N.H.), Trent Lott (Miss.), Ted Stevens (Alaska), John Cornyn (Texas) and Orrin Hatch (Utah), regional fundraisers.

And she has put lawmakers in charge of fundraising events. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) hosted a fundraising event Tuesday evening with the NRSC's "Inner Circle," a group of donors who must pay $2,000 for annual membership.

Senate Assistant Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) tonight will host the committee's 11th annual Senate Majority Celebration, a mega event honoring Vice President Dick Cheney. And tomorrow, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) will host a fundraiser with members of the committee's "Presidential Round Table," a group of business and civic leaders. (The Hill, 9/28/05)


My, speaking of "Grandma McConnell"...

Ethics groups blame AWOL McConnell

By Elana Schor
July 13, 2007
Frustrated by Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-S.C.) vow to hold up ethics conference talks until earmark reforms are enacted, Democrats and watchdog groups are pointing a finger at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

McConnell is standing idle while DeMint keeps a unanimously approved ethics bill in limbo, Democrats and watchdogs charge. By pressuring the Senate GOP and its leader, not merely the affable freshman who has become the face of the opposition, reform advocates hope to end the Senate’s ethics logjam without forcing a difficult procedural vote to silence DeMint.

(snip)

“Some of the inmates may be running the asylum over there,” the Democratic aide said. “McConnell needs to decide whether he wants to lead or let a few overzealous members of his party run the caucus.”


At the first sign of weakness Grandma, they're all over you. Good luck.


Spot the problem with this story.


U.S. forces kill 6 Iraqi police

July 13, 2007

BAGHDAD --U.S. forces battled Iraqi police and gunmen Friday, killing six policemen, after an American raid to capture an Iraqi police lieutenant accused of leading a cell of Shiite militiamen, the military said. Seven gunmen also died in the fight.

The U.S. troops captured the lieutenant in a pre-dawn raid in Baghdad, but the soldiers came under "heavy and accurate fire" from a nearby Iraqi police checkpoint, as well as intense firing from rooftops and a church, the military said in a statement.

I bet our buddy "Grandma McConnell" isn't liking this.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Weekly Standard Chickenhawk Taken to Task on C-SPAN



Let me know how far you get before you want to
slap the crap out of this kid.

I didn't get very far.


Can you say "Duck!!"?

BAGHDAD — Nawal Na'eem Karim was surprised this week to hear her toddler tell her, "Talaq inana! Talaq inana!" — "Bullets here! Bullets here!"

He was warning her to step cautiously past the windows. Their house is in a kill zone. At 18 months, her baby already had learned counterinsurgency survival. He still wears a diaper.

Baby's first words are always memorable. I'm sure these will be indelibly etched into Mommy's memory.




Churchill dropped from England's history syllabus

Britain's World War II prime minister Winston Churchill has been cut from a list of key historical figures recommended for teaching in English secondary schools, a government agency says.

The radical overhaul of the school curriculum for 11- to 14-year-olds is designed to bring secondary education up to date and allow teachers more flexibility in the subjects they teach, the Government said.

But although Adolf Hitler, Mahatma Gandhi, Joseph Stalin and Martin Luther King have also been dropped from the detailed guidance accompanying the curriculum, Mr Churchill's exclusion is likely to leave traditionalists aghast.


British kids won't have Churchill as part of their curriculum?
That would be the equivalent of taking FDR out of ours. I don't get this as all.

But I guess since they took Hitler out, Churchill doesn't make much sense without him.


There is only a few words that come to mind, and two of them are...

"Primary opponent".


Committee approves funding to Cheney's office in 15-14 vote
July 12, 2007

BY ANDREW TAYLOR
WASHINGTON — The White House scored a win Thursday on Capitol Hill after a moderate Senate Democrat broke with his party to restore funding for Vice President Dick Cheney’s office.

The 15-14 vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee came after the House last month narrowly rejected a companion bid to punish Cheney in a continuing battle over whether he is complying with national security disclosure rules.
(snip)

Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., switched his position from a subcommittee vote Tuesday.


No love lost here. That horrid rug has always gotten on my nerves.


Ooops.

Pro-Bush 'Wichita Eagle' Joins Those Calling for U.S. Pullout in Iraq

By E&P Staff

Published: July 12, 2007 6:20 PM ET

NEW YORK Few newspapers have called for the start of a U.S. withdrawal in Iraq until recently, and many of those that did opposed President Bush in his re-election bid in 2004.

Not so in the case this week of the Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, which endorsed the GOP candidate in 2004 but now writes: "President Bush must face reality: It's time for a different strategy in Iraq, one that acknowledges America's limited power to determine Iraq's future....

(snip)-from the editorial

The sacrifices are all too real and painful.

Bush needs to chart a course that brings many of our troops home and redeploys others to fight in a more effective way in the war on terror.


What is that saying?

"As Kansas goes, so goes the nation"



Ooooh, Glenn Greenwald was supposed to be on fTucker to talk about Vitter.
It didn't happen, so he wrote up what he would say.

Go read it here.


Quick funny headline.

Marijuana plants found near DEA offices

Jane Hamsher of FDL Smacks Down Republican Hack



Cretins.

Protesters Disrupt Hindu Prayer In Senate
Police Remove Three From Visitors Gallery Who Shouted During Invocation By Hindu Clergyman

(AP) A Hindu clergyman made history Thursday by offering the U.S. Senate's morning prayer, but only after police officers removed three shouting protesters from the visitors' (ed note-peanut) gallery.

Rajan Zed, director of interfaith relations at a Hindu temple, gave the brief prayer that opens each day's Senate session. As he stood at the chamber's podium in a bright orange and burgundy robe, two women and a man began shouting "this is an abomination" and other complaints from the gallery.

Police officers quickly arrested them and charged them with disrupting Congress, a misdemeanor. The male protester told an Associated Press reporter, "we are Christians and patriots" before police handcuffed them and led them away.

For several days, the Mississippi-based American Family Association has urged its members to object to the prayer because Zed would be "seeking the invocation of a non-monotheistic god."
(snip)

As the Senate prepared for another day of debate over the Iraq war, Zed closed with, "Peace, peace, peace be unto all."

Seems to me "Someone Doth Protest Too Much".



My feeling is that fTucker is all riled up about someone getting busted for blatant hypocrisy because..... it hits a little too close to home. On a few levels.



Gotta give him credit for trying.

NAACP CONVENTION

Lone GOP candidate takes advantage of empty podiums
July 12, 2007

BY KATHLEEN GRAY
Standing in the middle of 10 podiums, nine of them empty but waiting for Republican candidates, U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo asked, “Do you think we should wait a few minutes to see if these other guys show up?”

The Colorado Republican was the only one of 10 GOP candidates who accepted an invitation to speak at the NAACP’s 98th annual convention in Detroit.

“Do they know something that I don’t know?” Tancredo said. “The fact is that I know something that they don’t. We may not agree on all issues, but we do have a very common cause – that the playing field is level for everyone and the gates of opportunity are open for all.”


So, do you think this means the Republican candidates have completely written off the African American vote?


BREAKING

John Edward's campaign headquarters in Chapel Hill have been evacuated because of a suspicious package.


more as I can find it.

UPDATE

The campaign office of presidential candidate John Edwards was evacuated this morning because of a suspicious package.

Jonathan Prince, deputy campaign manager, said staffers evacuated the office, in Southern Village in Chapel Hill, on the advice of authorities "and will continue to take every possible precaution."

(snip)

The is the third such episode this year involving the Edwards campaign.

In May, the U.S. post office on Franklin Street was evacuated after an employee found a letter to the campaign containing a powdery substance.

In March, the campaign headquarters was evacuated after a staff opened an envelope containing white powder.

Both letters tested negative for harmful agents.


Per a comment and a quick search, the office is open and the incident is being investigated.


If you can read this sentence, thank your underwear.

How discarded pants helped to boost literacy

The Guardian
The role of pants in the spread of western culture has been wrongly sidelined, according to medieval historians, who are starting to rank the underwear factor alongside the invention of printing.

Rags from discarded pants and knickers led to a 13th century breakthrough in the making of cheap paper, undercutting expensive parchment.

Research into fashion habits has shown that the use of underwear increased dramatically after 1200, both on the continent and in England, as more people moved into towns.
(snip)

"As underwear became more popular, so the supply of rags increased significantly," Marco Mostert of Utrecht University told the conference in Leeds. "That in turn increased the amount of paper and brought knowledge within reach of a much wider audience.

Oh my JEEBUS.

The Diane Rehm Show Today

10:00
Military Strategy and the Debate Over the War in Iraq
(snip)

Guests
Gen. Wesley Clark, Lawrence Korb, Erik Swabb, and
Kimberly Kagan, affiliate of the John M. Olin Institute of Strategic Studies at Harvard University and executive director of the Institute for the Study of War in Washington
and part of the Kagan Family "Surge is Teh Good" echo chamber.

And, the guy that Gottalaff was quoting the other day is on at the 11a hour.

11:00
Drew Westen: "The Political Brain" (Public Affairs)

This will be goooood. I'm going to try and get an email in about the Kagan Echo Chamber. (Diane is good, she prefaced the debate with the facts about the Kagan Family)

One More Failure

Feel safer yet?

al-Qaida Has Rebuilt, U.S. Intel Warns
By MATTHEW LEE and KATHERINE
SHRADER,
AP
Posted: 2007-07-12 07:31:02
WASHINGTON (AP) - A new threat assessment from U.S. counterterrorism analysts says that al-Qaida has used its safe haven along the Afghan-Pakistan border to restore its operating capabilities to a level unseen since the months before Sept. 11, 2001.

A counterterrorism official familiar with a five-page summary of the document - titled "Al-Qaida better positioned to strike the West" - called it a stark appraisal. The analysis will be part of a broader meeting at the White House on Thursday about an upcoming National Intelligence Estimate.

Here's some of that "Fair and Balanced" news you probably missed.



While I deal with a minor crisis.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


New Dehli Lesbian Soap Opera


Same-sex marriage in city shocks families
12 Jul, 2007 l 0503 hrs ISTlTNN

NEW DELHI: When Geeta and Babli became friends after they met at a wedding five years ago, nobody imagined that they would end up getting married one day. The two got married at an Arya Samaj temple in Karol Bagh on Sunday and their families promptly disowned them.

Sparks first flew when the 23-year-old Geeta and 33-year-old Babli, both residents of Bappa Nagar in central Delhi's Karol Bagh area, met during Geeta's elder sister's marriage to Babli's younger brother. And then passions flared as the two continued their secret liaison. Their love remained hidden and it was not until two years ago that the families suspected a lesbian relationship.

(snip)

Babli's family claims that a month ago Babli and Geeta eloped. On Sunday, they landed at Babli's house declaring that they had got married. Both families however refused to accept them or let them in.

On Wednesday night, they reached Geeta's house and tried to convince the family one more time to accept their wedding. There was apparently an argument between the couple and Geeta's family which led Geeta to call the police.


Nice to know we're no more backwards than..... India.

A Bollywood movie is not far behind.

+=

Want to make a dirty bomb? Just get a postal box.
Think of the fun! Impress your friends! Scare you neighbors!
Congressional investigators set up a bogus company with only a postal box and within a month obtained a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that allowed them to buy enough radioactive material for a small "dirty bomb."
Sorry to bring White Fang the Toker into this, but:

Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., who will ask the NRC about the incident at a Senate hearing Thursday, said the sting operation raises concerns about terrorists obtaining such material just as easily.

Nobody at the NRC checked whether the company was legitimate and an agency official even helped the investigators fill out the application form, Coleman said in an interview Wednesday.

See? All you have to do is ask, and the nice man will help you fill out the form! Just like at the hospital emergency room!

...the investigators from the Government Accountability Office, Congress' investigative arm, found a way to purchase as many as 45 of the gauges and could have bought many more because they duplicated the NRC-issued license and removed the restrictions on the amount that could be purchased.

"With patience and the proper financial resources, we could have accumulated from other suppliers substantially more radioactive source material than what the two supplies initially agreed to ship to us," says the GAO in a report prepared for Thursday's hearing.

It's just like Mom always said. Patience is a virtue.


Happy Helen is in the Front Row! See Happy Helen Smile!
See Bush Play Frat Boy and Ruin Her Mood
THE PRESIDENT: Let me cut the ribbon -- are you going to cut it with me,
Steve --and then why don't you all yell simultaneously?
(Laughter.)
Like, really loudly. (Laughter.)
And that way you might get noticed.

Q It doesn't sound like you're going to answer --
THE PRESIDENT: No, I will. I'll, like, listen --
Q And leave?
THE PRESIDENT: -- internalize, play like I'm going to answer the question,
and then smile at you and just say, gosh -- (laughter) -- thanks,

thanks for such a solid, sound question. Here we go, ready?
I'm going to cut the ribbon. (Laughter.)
Then you yell. I cogitate -- and then smile and wave. (Laughter.)
[...]
Q -- (inaudible) --
THE PRESIDENT: Brilliant question.
Q -- (inaudible) -- cogitating that, right?
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. See you soon.
Q We look forward to seeing you come and do a little --
THE PRESIDENT: I will see you soon, thank you.
Q Y'all come back. (Laughter)
See the press do a jig with Mr. President? Golly, what a team!
Can you say "codependent"? But not Helen!
Stay tuned for the next episode!



**note from Paddy
Don't forget, this blog helped Helen keep her seat!!

Firefighters Hand Lying Giuliani His Ass For His 9/11 Failures



Booga Booga

Threat assessment suggests rebuilt Al Qaeda

July 11, 2007

BY KATHERINE SHRADER and MATTHEW LEE
ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON — The government has concluded that Al Qaeda has rebuilt its operating capability to a level not seen since the summer of 2001, the Associated Press has learned.

A new threat assessment suggests the group that launched the most devastating terrorist attack on the United States has been able to rebuild despite nearly six years of bombings, war and other tactics aimed at crippling it.


But keep on shopping.


New Day Backward Forward
Another day, another lie
We've got 'em on the run, all right, all right. Ooooo, they're really scared now:

While the military has maintained that al Qaeda is on the run in Iraq, by any number of measures the terror group and its affiliates are as strong as ever, and June was the most violent month since the start of the war, a senior U.S. military official told ABC News.

"Despite our successes in taking out leaders and infrastructure," said the official, "al Qaeda's operational capability appears to be undiminished." [...]

Well, at least overall violence has been down. That's what they told us, right?

ABC News has learned the most recent military intelligence assessment of Iraq also shows that the overall level of violence in the country -- measured as the number of "violent incidents" -- hit its highest level in June since the war began. [...]

The number of attacks on U.S. soldiers is way up, now accounting for 70 percent of all attacks in Iraq.

Oops.

While violence has dropped dramatically in Anbar Province, the number of attacks has risen sharply in four other provinces: Baghdad, Salahaddin, Diyala and Basra.

In June, there were a record 55 attacks with Iranian-made roadside bombs -- called explosively formed penetrators. This is the deadliest form of roadside bomb seen in Iraq.

Mortar attacks on the Green Zone have dramatically increased.

Bush's "new way forward".


Updates:

Olympia Snowe Backs Withdrawal

Or so she says:

July 9 (Bloomberg) -- Republican Senator Olympia Snowe, saying the political ``tide has turned'' on the Iraq war, backed forcing President George W. Bush to withdraw U.S. troops and predicted that more Republicans will abandon his war policy.

Snowe, of Maine, said that she is likely to support at least one of several Democratic amendments to a defense policy measure that will demand a reduction in U.S. forces.

"We have to set it in motion,'' she said of a withdrawal.

So, go ahead. Set it in motion already. And then there's this:

Bush orders Miers not to testify

President Bush ordered his former White House counsel, Harriet Miers, to defy a congressional subpoena and refuse to testify Thursday before a House panel investigating U.S. attorney firings.

John Dean said otherwise on Keith the other night. He said that the committee decides whether or not she has to appear, not Bush. Whether she opens her mouth and says something once she's there is another story.

Update: Dean says this will expedite this matter going to court (for contempt). It was an "in your face" move by Bush to the committee, looking to force this into court, where a Bush appointed attorney would handle it. Oy. There are other scenarios, like trying her in front of the House (1934 was the last time this was done) which would be preferable, according to Dean.


Where's Mitch?

Looks like Democrats and Republicans alike can't find Addison Mitchell McConnell, Jr. Roll Call writes:

A virtual no-show during last month's divisive immigration debate, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) is expected by his fellow Republicans to emerge soon from the shadows and reassert himself as a leading face of the GOP. But at least in the early hours of this week's showdown over the Iraq War, that hasn't happened yet.

McConnell was missing for much of the Senate's consideration of comprehensive immigration reform — a controversial measure that the Minority Leader quietly opposed and one that divided his party.

Even Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions isn't sure whether Addison will provide leadership:

"I think he will provide leadership," Sessions said.

What's more, McConnell has been absent from several high-powered meetings on Iraq with other senior Republicans, including Minority Whip Trent Lott (R-Miss.), Conference Chairman Jon Kyl (Ariz.), McCain and Graham. Those Senators have been in discussions with the White House over the past several days to determine how best to proceed on the Defense Department authorization bill.

I am so *$%)&*&$(%&^ angry with Joe Lieberman right now.
[W]e’ve got the enemy, Al Qaeda, on the run. We’ve chased them out of Anbar province, where they were going to create the capital for the Islamist Republic of Iraq. We’ve chased them now to Diyala. All of this is possible because of the surge.


Oh really? Let's hear from someone who lives in Iraq.



Give me 5 minutes alone with Joe Lieberman,
and I'll show him what "On the run" really means.

Speaking of Rudy (see Cliff's post below), let's take a gander into our
*Vote Republican!* snappy Campaign-omercial file:
Hey there, fire fighters and other first responders! Still wishing for those respirators? Still need radios for vital communication? Still looking for protection during a crisis? What's the rush? Ground Zero was just a fancy name for Adventure! Think of it as a challenge...like one big reality show! Dare to persevere in the face of real danger! Vote Republican: The party that takes chances!
And a special bonus, kids! A sneaky peeky at Commander Guy's very own personal notes from this morning's ribbon-cutting for the newly renovated White House Briefing Room!


(click to enlarge)
Anyone else surprised he could read?

Your GOP Presidential Hypocrisy Update

Try not to snicker...ahh, go ahead, laugh your ass off at this groups of pathetic malcontents:

9/11 Heroes Vs. Rudy Round One

In a video being released today, New York City firefighters and their families criticize former mayor Rudy Giuliani for his handling of the Sept. 11 , 2001, terrorist attacks.

They argue that Giuliani's administration failed to provide adequate radios for first-responders at the World Trade Center. And they remain angry at his decision to speed the removal of the enormous pile of rubble at ground zero, cutting back the size of the group searching for remains.

"He's not a leader. He is running on 9/11, and it's all a fallacy," says Jim Riches, the father of a Sept. 11 victim and a deputy New York fire chief, in the video.


Fred Thompson: Wanted To Ditch Divisive Republican Platform In 1996 – Described As Pro-Choice

It seems Mitt Romney has some competition in the "say-anything-to-get-elected" department. Election central links to a David Brody post which has some choice quotes from lobbyist Fred Thompson in 1996--when he wanted to chuck the national Republican platform.

Thompson wants to change the way the 1996 Republican National Convention is conducted. For starters, he wants to abolish the party platform--just toss the archaic thing away. 'It's the most useless device I've ever heard of,' Thompson said during a recent visit to Memphis."

"Thompson said he opposes making early-term abortions a crime, as some Republicans would like to do with a constitutional amendment. 'But I don't think you should bolt on one issue. I'm still not convinced platforms are a good idea. We know what we believe in and I don't think we need to write it all down in a document,' Thompson said.

The Tennessee Republican, a pro-choice defender in a party with an anti-abortion tilt, is preparing for next week's convention in San Diego. He said the party must avoid distracting issues and focus on electing Bob Dole as president. 'We need to concentrate on what brings us together and not what divides us,' Thompson said in an interview with The Tennessean published Tuesday.

So if Fred Thompson thought in 1996 that the Republican platform is divisive, when did he change his mind? He's an actor, so was he acting then--or is he acting now?


Giuliani: I Swear They're Volunteers ... Really Big Volunteers. Rudy breaks federal campaign law

Giuliani's campaign spending reports showed no security expenses during the first three months of this year. But the burly guards who trail Giuliani around the country have not been working for free.

For most of this year, Giuliani's consulting firm, Giuliani Partners, has paid the cost of the security detail -- an arrangement that has existed since Giuliani stepped down as New York mayor -- campaign spokeswoman Maria Comella said. His campaign travels eventually became so extensive that the campaign began picking up the costs on June 18, she said.

"It certainly appears to challenge the law, with respect to a corporate contribution," said Ellen Miller, a longtime campaign finance watchdog in Washington. "A corporation cannot make an in-kind contribution by paying for a service or a party or even food at a party."


Iraq Is Hurting Republican Front Runners

As President Bush struggles to maintain support in Congress for his Iraq "surge" strategy, the three leading Republican presidential contenders have been quietly backing away from any commitment to continue the buildup.

Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson have made it clear that their original support for the escalation does not mean they are signed on to keeping the current 160,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, even as they have laid out hawkish positions on other aspects of foreign policy.


McCain's National Chairman: Not So Pleased

"Of course I'm concerned" about the future of his campaign, said Rudman, who represented New Hampshire in the Senate from 1981 to 1992 and is now McCain's national campaign co-chairman.

"John has to reach as many people as he can," Rudman said. "But you know the next three months are absolutely vital. If he doesn't recover financially and in the polls by the fall, it will be very difficult for him to continue."


Giuliani Latest Hire: Dr. Strangelove

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giulianiannounced his foreign policy team today, and included on the list as a senior foreign policy team member is Norman Podhoretz, who recently admitted with glee that his plan to bomb Iran would "unleash a wave of anti-Americanism all over the world that will make the anti-Americanism we've experienced so far look like a lovefest."


Hookers And Coke Are OK, But Keep Off The Grass

Presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani said Tuesday that people who want to legalize marijuana for medical purposes really just want to make the drug available to all.

"We'd be much better off telling people the truth. Marijuana adds nothing to the array of legal medications and prescription medications that are available for pain relief."


Romney's New Hampshire Residency Is About As Real As His Rifle Collection

The real estate adage "location, location, location" applies to politics as well, and Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is playing that for all it's worth.

The former Massachusetts governor has an 11-acre estate valued at more than $10 million on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, allowing him to portray himself to New Hampshire voters as one of them as he seeks to win the state's first-in-the-nation primary.

Romney, who is worth an estimated $190 million to $250 million, rarely passes up a chance to mention his New Hampshire vacation home. His references to his other residences - a colonial main residence in the comfortable Boston suburb of Belmont and a lodge near the ski resort community of Park City , Utah - are few.


Are McCain Staff Now Outnumbered by McCain Pets?

If election victory was solely dependent on the pet factor, the Arizona senator would have excellent chances at a landslide victory: a cat, two turtles, a ferret, three parakeets and 13 saltwater fish inhabit the 70 year old's house along with his two dogs.