Saturday, July 28, 2007

Stealing from Santa Claus?
How will Bush explain this one to the kiddies?

Does Bush still believe in Santa? He must, because he's going up there to grab all the gifts that the North Pole has to offer:

The Arctic's untapped resources include huge reserves of fuel and minerals. Now Moscow has raised tensions by dispatching an expedition to annex a vast expanse of the ocean.
Ho ho ho. Except it's not funny.
In the darkest depths of the Arctic Ocean a new Cold War is brewing. American and British nuclear submarines lurk in the shadows, preparing for company.

Who'd have guessed that they'd force Kris Kringel into the oil market? I hope the reindeer don't get spooked, what with all the drilling and all.

The stakes are high. The ocean is home to vast oil and mineral reserves as well as massive shoals of fish and strategically important shipping lanes...But if oil companies and mining firms start pumping out carbon dioxide and other waste as they open up the region, the pristine conditions that have helped scientists make past observations will be destroyed, obscuring our view of our dangerously warming world.
Call me crazy, but it's my feeling that a few world leaders are going to find coal oil reindeer poop in their stockings. the frozen waters around the North Pole one thing is certain: the days of the Cold War are back.
Merry Christmas.

Talk about risking life and limb...
Iraq is facing a hidden healthcare and social crisis over the soaring number of amputations, largely of lower limbs, necessitated by the daily explosions and violence gripping the country.
Why am I only reading about this in the Guardian? Oh yeah. We don't have a free press any more.
In the north of Iraq...there is a requirement for up to 3,000 replacement limbs a year. If that estimate is applied across the country, it suggests an acute and looming long-term health challenge that has been largely ignored by the world. The revelation of the scale of limb loss suffered by Iraqi civilians is not entirely surprising, even though it has gone unreported.
It's the Republicans' war. Hey, Commander Guy, is this what you mean by your surge succeeding?
Levels of amputations performed by military surgeons on US troops in Iraq are twice as high as those recorded in previous wars: the most recently available figures suggest 6 per cent of wounded US troops require an amputation, compared with 3 per cent in other conflicts.
Someone needs to amputate impeach the executive branch.

h/t Gimmeabreak for saving my ass.

Not that polls matter to anyone, but is it me, or is there a trend here?
I knew it wasn't me.

The 10 issues:
  1. National Security
  2. War in Iraq
  3. Immigration
  4. Government Ethics and Corruption
  5. Economy
  6. Taxes
  7. Health Care
  8. Social Security
  9. Education
  10. Abortion
A separate survey found that Democrats have a nine-point advantage on the Generic Congressional Ballot.

OMG. What a silly thing to get him to change. The man has been beating us over the head for 6 years with his hyperbolic rhetoric, and the D's are worried about this?

Bush alters radio address for Democrats

WASHINGTON (CNN) — One sentence in President Bush’s weekly radio address was deleted overnight after some Democrats privately complained that it was overly partisan on the explosive subject of reforming the administration’s warrantless wiretap program, White House officials confirmed Saturday.

In the initial radio address, which was taped Friday, Bush charged that the country is less safe because of Democratic delays in passing legislation that would reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

“Every day that Congress puts off these reforms increases the danger to our nation,” the president originally said.

White House officials say that line of audio was deleted after Democrats saw a transcript of the remarks distributed Friday afternoon.

Ooooo, Mr. Maliki no likey General Petraeus:

"Make him go home now or I'll tell al-Qa'eda!" (and no, that's not a direct quote)

Aw, come on. These are adults in a very precarious and dangerous moment in history. Everything hinges on working well together. Really, now, how bad could it be?

Relations between the top United States general in Iraq and Nouri al-Maliki, the country's prime minister, are so bad that the Iraqi leader made a direct appeal for his removal to President George W Bush.

Although the call was rejected, aides to both men admit that Mr Maliki and Gen David Petraeus engage in frequent stand-up shouting matches, differing particularly over the US general's moves to arm Sunni tribesmen to fight al-Qa'eda.

Use your indoor voices or no oil access for a week! And if I hear either of you start to threaten the other---too late:

"He told Bush that if Petraeus continues, he would arm Shia militias," said the official. "Bush told Maliki to calm down."

Hey now, what did I just say? Do I have to stop the car?

At another meeting with Gen Petraeus, Mr Maliki said: "I can't deal with you any more. I will ask for someone else to replace you."

That's it. Go to your room. We'll manage to blow up the rest of the troops and Iraqi population without either of you, thank you very much. And you can just forget about that extra hour of electricity.

Breaking news! Romney Flip-Flops!

Oh, wait. That's not news. But he is flip-flopping again:

He may, may, now join the other--How many is it again? Oh yeah, two--Republicans in the YouTube debate.

When asked about the YouTube format, Mitt felt that the "level of respectfulness was breached". He blamed it on the snowman. So remember all you Romney YouTubers out there: He discriminates against short, round, white questioners.

He also dissed Obama. He's an equal-opportunity disser.

But you never know. He may change his opinion about all this tomorrow. Stay tuned.

The Great Aquafina Joke--It's Tap Water!

The Great Bush Joke--It's Cheney!

The Great Gonzo Joke--It's Perjury!

The Great Iraq Joke--It's Unwinnable!

The Great Economy Joke--It's Tanking!

The Great Election Joke--It's fraudulent!

The Great Republican Joke--It's Over!

Fun stuff!!!

ChickenHawk Squad 1:
(l-r) Ben Ferguson, Dan Senor and Ben Shapiro

Steal these pics - Duke.S

Did you guys know that there is a Progressive Book Club starting this fall?


So many soldiers dying that don't get reported on Icasualties.

Press Reports: Another Apparent Iraq Vet Suicide

By Greg Mitchell
Published: July 28, 2007 11:25 AM ET

NEW YORK One of the least covered aspects of the fallout from the Iraq war is the rising toll of suicides, both near the battlefield and back home.

Latest official figures released by the Pentagon reveal at least 116 self-inflicted fatalities in Iraq. But this does not include several dozen still under investigation, nor any of the many cases back in the U.S.

The Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported the latest example today. It revealed that an Iraq war veteran reported missing in northern Minnesota -- and suffering from post-traumatic stress -- had been found dead.

A sheriff's deputy said that he believed the body of Noah Charles Pierce, 23, was found in the Gilbert, Minn., area but had few details.

Lazy blogging, good videos.


Gorgeous beach in Rosslare, Ireland

Happy Saturday!!!

Here's some tidbits to make your eyebrows crinkle.

2 Charged in Tom Cruise Photo Plot

Unique reefs of glass sponges discovered off Washington coast

Man in jail after sex romp in kilt

Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband found naked in car, says he was mugged

Courts struggle to get jurors to serve

Ad for safe sex: massive floating condom

Pistol Packing Pastor Nabs Theft Suspect

Jerry Garcia's kitchen sink for sale

Coin dealer carries $1.9M dime in pocket

No end in sight for clash of toy train companies

Naked came the stranger – off a 60-metre cliff

Take That O'Loofah Factor! - Lowe's Pulls O'Reilly Advertising

That's right Falafel Man, two can play at this game. You want a war, you got it. We actually fight, unlike you blowhard cowards who always talk tough and then have a "bad knee" when the actual fighting takes place (or a falafel up the ---).

So Lowe's, upon being informed of the racist, sexist and downright stupid content of The O'Loofah Factor has now pulled their ads. This is going to be fun (and please try and "ambush" me at YearlyKos oh Fox producers, PLEASE).

Friday, July 27, 2007

Is it just me...


By far the most compelling confirmation of the phallic meaning of the president's aircraft-carrier cakewalk was found on the hot-selling "George W. Bush Top Gun action figure" manufactured by Talking Presidents. I originally ordered one to use as part of the cover design for this book.

The studly twelve-inch flyboy not only comes with a helmet and visor, goggles and oxygen mask, but underneath his flight suit is a full "basket" --- a genuine fake penis, apparently constructed with lifelike silicone.

I'll just let that percolate in your mind for a bit.

Or is that not the most bizarre thing you've ever heard? I mean, Ken's been around for 40 years and he's STILL not gotten one.

Totally unfair, and I'm sure completely dimensionally inaccurate.

I must own that doll.

Yeah, let's use our Blackhawks for a secret plan to help Mexico fight the drug cartels. Our guys in Iraq don't need 'em.

Shhhh. It's on the down low:

Mexican President Felipe Calderon, locked in a bloody confrontation with drug cartels, is negotiating a massive counter-drug aid package with the Bush administration worth hundreds of millions of dollars, several officials say. Officials on both sides are working out the details of a package that resembles a U.S. aid plan for Colombia. The talks have been taking place quietly for several months...
Hey, it's cool, we're just helping out those who value us as good neighbors:

Mexican officials have been reluctant to go public with the discussions, mindful of
anti-U.S. sentiments harbored by many Mexicans.
Okay, well, maybe it'll help us with that whole immigration issue somehow.
“If Calderon loses this battle,” says Roger Noriega [a former assistant secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere and now with the American Enterprise Institute think tank], “then there will be no wall high enough to keep out Mexicans who are displaced by violence and by the security threat that undermines Mexico’s growth.”
Mexico's got a Wish List! And guess what's on it?
People familiar with the talks say Mexico drew up a list that included equipment, training and technology, including Black Hawk helicopters, which are difficult to come by given the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but are considered the transport of choice for security forces.
Do we even have the money to pull this thing off? Silly question.
It is not clear how the administration will request the funds from Congress, since the foreign operations spending bill for the coming year already has been approved by the House.
How to sell a bad idea to a wary public:
The Mexico package more likely will be cast as an effort to improve Mexico’s judicial system and its security forces.
Send Gonzo! He needs a little time away, and if anyone can screw up improve their judicial system, it's him.

In a lighter vein, I started thinking about earworms earlier tonite when that incredastupid new commercial for Celebrex that lasts FOREVER was on.

You know the one I mean.

This youtube is my own personal earworm that bubbles up to torment me every few months since right around 1973. I know, amazing I can still tie my shoelaces.


Earworm, a loan translation of the German Ohrwurm, is a term for a song stuck in one's head. Use of the English translation was popularised by James Kellaris, a professor of marketing at the University of Cincinnati. His studies appeared to demonstrate that different people have varying susceptibilities to earworms, but that almost everybody has been afflicted with one at some time or another.

Earworms may be songs or tunes that become stuck in the phonological loop, the part of the brain that rehearses verbal information in Baddeley's model of working memory. This usually happens when a person sings the song or hums the tune once and then repeats it in his or her mind.

Synonyms for earworms include "Last Song Syndrome", "repetuneitis", or in extreme degree "melodymania". A "repetune" is a song or other musical piece stuck in one's head.

Medications that are used to treat Obsessive-compulsive disorder or anxiety can alleviate the symptoms of earworms.

So what songs stick with you..... forever?

To quote the paraphrasers.....

Josh is being snarky with this line:

But if they can't face Youtube how can they defeat the terrorists?

but it's important to remember who uttered a similar line. Russert:

It’s a TV show. If you can’t handle TV questions, how are you going to stand up to Iran, and North Korea, and the rest of the world?

Interesting headline.....
U.S. to sell advanced weapons to Saudi Arabia and others

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration has decided to supply billions of dollars in advanced new weapons to Saudi Arabia, other Arab allies of the United States and to Israel, senior State Department officials and congressional aides said Friday.

Um, lemme see....I've got it around here someplace.... okay, here it is....

Saudis’ Role in Iraq Frustrates U.S. Officials

...The Bush administration’s frustration with the Saudi government has increased in recent months because it appears that Saudi Arabia has stepped up efforts to undermine the Maliki government and to pursue a different course in Iraq from what the administration has charted. Saudi Arabia has also stymied a number of other American foreign policy initiatives, including a hoped-for Saudi embrace of Israel.


The American officials in Iraq also say that the majority of suicide bombers in Iraq are from Saudi Arabia and that about 40 percent of all foreign fighters are Saudi.

And this article laying out how the Saudis are undermining our efforts isn't from months or freaking years ago, it's from yesterday.

The surge is working, we're making progress, just move along....
nothing to see here.

The battle steps up.

Liberals Go After Fox News Advertisers

AP Television Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- Liberal activists are stepping up their campaign against Fox News Channel by pressuring advertisers not to patronize the network., the Campaign for America's Future and liberal blogs like are asking thousands of supporters to monitor who is advertising on the network. Once a database is gathered, an organized phone-calling campaign will begin, said Jim Gilliam, vice president of media strategy for Brave New Films, a company that has made anti-Fox videos.

(snip) is campaigning against Fox because it says the network characterizes itself as a fair news network when it consistently favors a conservative point of view, said Adam Green, the organization's spokesman.

"We're not trying to silence anybody," Green said. "Rush Limbaugh has a right to be on the air - he admits his point of view. Fox doesn't."

Every single time they get confronted on their hatespeech or lying, they grab the censorship meme and run with it.

Remember Coulters squawking about Elizabeth Edwards?

"You're telling me to stop speaking, you're tellling me to stop writing books, you're telling me to not do my columns." That is all they understand, what they see as being taken away from them. Not what Elizabeth Edwards was trying to ask her to contribute to the discussion- thoughtful, insightful, rational dialogue.

Fox will survive like a cockroach, we'll keep on railing against it, but at least we can say we tried.

To quote our BFF's BNF (hehe), Go Do Something.

This is the right way to make money off your cleavage.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Few political fundraising e-mails have ever carried the subject header “cleavage,” but White House hopeful Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign sent a solicitation to supporters Friday with the attention-grabbing header in order to decry a recent Washington Post article devoted to the New York Democrat’s chest — and raise campaign cash in the process.

“Frankly, focusing on women’s bodies instead of their ideas is insulting,” Ann Lewis, a senior adviser to Clinton, wrote in the e-mail. “It’s insulting to every woman who has ever tried to be taken seriously in a business meeting. It’s insulting to our daughters — and our sons — who are constantly pressured by the media to grow up too fast.”

Cue Queen

And another one bites the dust. At this pace, Thompson will be the first candidate to have a wholesale staff change before he enters the race.

Another aide to Fred Thompson's campaign-in-waiting resigned last night, two sources close to the campaign confirm. Tom Frechette had been effectively serving as campaign manager Tom Collamore's deputy. Collamore was removed from his post Tuesday and given a "senior adviser" role. Like Collamore, Frechhette was said to have chafed under the heavy influence of Thompson's wife, Jeri.

What should really worry the campaign is the lack of control over this story. If there was a mass resignation, it would be a one day bad story. Yet somehow, the resignations have dribbled out over the course of a week, meaning that the bad press has lasted for a week. I don't know much about Thompson's wife Jeri, but I do know this - a good manager would have squelched this story by now.

Note from Paddy

Click here to read about ole Fredrick of Hollywood's money woes....

Cheney to get new defibrillator Saturday
"On Saturday morning, the Vice President will have a scheduled visit with his doctors at George Washington University Hospital at which time his ICD will be replaced," his spokeswoman Megan McGinn said.
But if he's out of commission, who's going to be President?


Catch Greg Palast on PBS’ top current affairs program.
‘NOW’ furthers the story Palast first busted open for Britain’s BBC Newsnight, the scheme to attack voters of color - the ‘Blue’ ones.

Palast lays out the latest evidence never before televised.

8:30pm Eastern. Check local listings. 9:30n pm on KCET in L.A.

McConnell Lies Again On WHAS Radio

Not even two weeks after the Courier-Journal caught Mitch McConnell lying on CNN, McConnell played games with the truth once again on WHAS radio this morning. McConnell discussed the problems in Iraq by claiming, “”most of the problems over there are being caused by Al-Qaeda.”


Actually, McConnell’s claim is not even close to the truth. Anthony Cordesman, a security analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Time Magazine that estimates are that al Qaeda accounts for only 15 percent of the attacks in Iraq.

Most of the problems, Mitch?

Gonzo will be grilled by YouTubers, a la the Big CNN-YouTube Extravaganza
Welcome to the newest reality show, "Last Republican Standing"!
IS THIS A SPOOF? Yes, it is. I just spoke to the writer.
YouTube, the video-sharing Web site that is already reshaping the form of presidential debates, will now try its hand at revolutionizing Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

With the blessing of Congress, YouTube plans to grill the United States Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, "and get the denials that the Senate Judiciary Committee can’t."
Couldn't they get anywhere on their own?
"It was clear we weren’t gong to get anywhere on our own," noted Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., the top Republican on the panel.
Specter was even hopeful that the "mind-bending format," in which Gonzales will have to deliver answers to video-recorded questions sent in by the public, will help encourage others to come forward to testify "and grab their chance for fame." The Pennsylvania senator said it was one thing to stonewall "a bunch of elected old white men in suits with subpoena power," but quite another to turn up an opportunity at the latest reality production.
One of the criticisms of the CNN debate was that it got a little silly. This is very serious business, what with Gonzo perjuring himself and all. I can't imagine that this will get as YouTubey as those wacky presidential debates did.
Some of the videos do not ask questions at all. In one, a man plays guitar and sings a song — "If I had a Problem" — about the attorney general’s plans to stay on and "fix the problems" in the Justice Department, which is sung to the tune of "If I had a hammer" by Lee Hays and Pete Seeger.
Song parodies at a Judiciary hearing? No way!
"What would you, as attorney general do to make it up to me?" Ashcroft sings into the camera to the same musical score as his famous "Let the Eagle Soar."
Way. Oy. Oy way.

One political insider said, "
If Congress can’t vote Gonzales ‘off the island.’ They’re going to enlist YouTube to do it for them. There is no end to where this could go, especially if Rupert Murdoch buys it."

Kill me now.

UPDATE FROM GOTTALAFF: We're all asking the same question: Is this for real? Here's the byline:

By Philip Maddocks
GateHouse News Service

Michael Moore, you've been served (no, not as an entree...yet)

Tit for Tat
(Call the FCC. I just said..."tat"):
Michael Thursday said the Bush administration has served him with a subpoena regarding his trip to Cuba during the making of his new film, "Sicko."

The Oscar-winning filmmaker, who appeared Thursday on NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," said he was notified about the subpoena at the network's studios in Burbank, Calif.
NBC will do anything for ratings, won't they? And Bush will do, well, anything.

Maybe Michael should just ignore the subpoena. I understand it's okay to do that now.

Breaking: Ray LaHood Retiring

A so-called "moderate" from Illinois. Expect to see more of this, from Republicans in the Northeast, Midwest and West who simply cannot win anymore because their national party chose Iraq, corporatism and religious extremism as their path to salvation.

It's been a long week when you want to crack a beer at 1030am.

"Reckless rhetoric." Huh.

To quote "Friend Of Cliff" Mike Stark......

Defense Spending In Iraq And Afghanistan Set To Be Over $30 Billion More Than In 2006

The Department of Defense is set to spend an estimated $131.3 billion by the end of October 2007. Spending levels in Iraq have dramatically increased, while those in Afghanistan (in the region where Osama bin Laden is believed to remain at-large) are stable, as noted in this report.

David Vitter Knows Branding!

David Vitter, who you might have thought only mentally perused "branding" in masochism fantasies containing ladies of the avenue, is now apparently a GOP marketing maesto.

Vitter rose recently among his colleagues, the first time since his heartfelt admission that he had felt up other organs than hearts. He talked about "re-branding" the GOP as "fiscal conservatives." Which is easy to do when you took a surplus and under united government over six years, turned it into the largest deficit since the creation of the slide rule.

Yes, this is a man you want to listen to on public perception, oh GOP miscreants. In fact, please listen to him guys. PLEASE.

If I could, I think some re-branding as Scientologists or the Son of Sam or Ann Coulter's neck would also do wonders for you. I think I'm going to call Dave right now. I hope he is not, um, "busy."

Joe Trippi Talks YouTube And Mocks Republicans

He asks if "they even know what YouTube is?" Um, the answer would seem to be no, as only John McCain and Ron Paul have so far signed up for their version of this debate.

Technology can be scary. Woooooooooooooo.....

Max Blumenthal Visits Armageddon Tour 2007

And once again he brings his trusty camera:

Tastes Like Chicken

Just to add to Cliff's earlier post, according to a few reports, Rudy Giuliani has decided to annul his appearance at the YouTube debate in September (sorry for the bad pun).

I have to admit, I am a bit surprised. Rudy is fading in all the polls, so you'd think he'd want to get out there and show himself. Maybe he's feeling confident because he's managed to keep most of his staff on board, unlike Fred Thompson and John McCain.

Either way, for someone who revels in his "tough guy" persona, this stinks of being chicken.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Pat Tillman and his brother Kevin
The continuing cover-ups surrounding Pat Tillman's death make my blood boil
Army medical examiners were suspicious about the close proximity of the three bullet holes in Pat Tillman's forehead and tried without success to get authorities to investigate whether the former NFL player's death amounted to a crime, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.
This is beyond appalling. For his family to have to endure this kind of deception and for our government to spit on them the way they do our Constitution is unspeakable. Check this out:
The medical examiners' suspicions were outlined in 2,300 pages of testimony released to the AP this week by the Defense Department in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. Among other information contained in the documents:
• In his last words moments before he was killed, Tillman snapped at a panicky comrade under fire to shut up and stop "sniveling."
• Army attorneys sent each other congratulatory e-mails for keeping criminal investigators at bay as the Army conducted an internal friendly-fire investigation that resulted in administrative, or non-criminal, punishments.

• The three-star general who kept the truth about Tillman's death from his family and the public told investigators some 70 times that he had a bad memory and couldn't recall details of his actions.
• No evidence at all of enemy fire was found at the scene -- no one was hit by enemy fire, nor was any government equipment struck.
First the Pentagon and the Bush administration lie their brains out in order to use Tillman to sell their sick, disastrous little war, then they put his mother and the rest of his family through utter hell with more lies and an excruciating trickle of misinformation. Way to support the troops, Commander Guy.

Congress is holding another hearing next week.

How many times, in how many ways, has this administration broken the laws and the spirit of this country? Tell me again why we haven't started impeachment proceedings?

Reporter quits White House beat over 'censorship'

Not that I'm a fan, but what will the White House briefings be like without Les?

White House press secretary Tony Snow took time out from answering questions at Wednesday's briefing to lecture a veteran reporter [Les Kinsolving] on journalism and demand that he change the "twisted words" in an article he had written.
Tony Snowjob wouldn't let Les get a word in edgewise. Nope, he just had to keep chewing him out, because, you know, Les Kinsolving's a bit of a neophyte.

Snow continued to press Kinsolving, "I saw the piece you wrote the other day, that has been thoroughly twisting[sic] out of context." At this point Kinsolving tried to get a word in, but Snow was having none of it, "You know what I don't care, because the fact is, if someone is going to take questions about things that don't fall under the president's purview, and I answer that question, and it gets twisted, it is a disservice to this White House and the craft of journalism."

It was never clear exactly what piece Snow was objecting to, but he was annoyed enough to suggest, "that if I were you, I would pick up the phone and tell them to start cleaning up or writing corrections."

Did I mention Les has twice been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize? When Snow finally stopped his blathering, Kinsolving didn't miss a beat and went right on with his next question.

But he's not coming back.

Tony Snow is the mouthpiece for the worst president ever. How perfectly appropriate.

Using marijuana increases the risk of one day developing a psychotic illness such as schizophrenia, according to a study that provides some of the strongest evidence yet linking the drug to a mental disorder.
Yeah, but come on. Someone like, say, Norm "The Toker" Coleman, despite his smoke-filled past, couldn't be affected now, so many years later...or could he?
The researchers found that marijuana users had a 41 percent increased chance of developing psychosis marked by symptoms of hallucinations or delusions later in life than those who never used the drug. The risk rose with heavier consumption.
I have a habit of speaking too soon.

Other findings have highlighted the link between marijuana use and the risk of schizophrenia-like symptoms such as paranoia, hearing voices and seeing things that are not there.

Like, um, high poll numbers?

But this study marks one of the most comprehensive, thorough and reliable reviews of its kind and should serve as a warning...
Norm! Stop! Don't inhale!

Oopsie. Too little, too late. Tsk, tsk. Too bad.

Raul Castro offers olive branch to....? Hillary? Obama? Edwards?....Gravel?
Interim Cuban President Raul Castro on Thursday again offered an 'olive branch' to the United States, but said no dialogue would be possible with Washington until after US President George W Bush leaves office . The November 2008 US presidential elections will bring Bush's 'erratic and dangerous' administration to an end, Castro said in a speech...
Personally, I'm up for it ending prior to November 2008, but beggars can't be choosers.

'The new (US) administration will have to decide if it wants to keep the absurd, illegal and failed policy against Cuba or whether it accepts the olive branch that we offered' on December 2, Raul Castro said, referring to statements made in a speech last year.

'If the new US authorities finally step aside from their arrogance and decide to talk in a civilized manner, they're welcome,' he said.

What, "go f*** yourself" isn't civilized enough for you?

I transcribed the following as best I could. It's in bits and pieces, but you'll get the idea.
Who do you think said it? Hillary? Schumer? Al Franken?

Our civil liberties, our right to privacy, are disappearing before our very eyes...

...the unabashed way our political leaders are playing on our fears to increase military powers...

The remedy? The vice president and the neocons have worked their way into the top echalons of power.
One: Take advantage of the new leadership in Congress, like Patrick Leahy...who are in a position to conduct oversight hearings...against the Department of Justice, against the illicit, unlawful surveillance of citizens. Especially that...The Democrats neet to change the laws. The ACLU deserves our support. This kind of thing takes a long time.
Two: Get the people in power to support the Constitution.

[I ] support an inquiry into the issues, like FISA issues especially, which are the most serious potential grounds for impeachment. They have violated federal laws... perjury and obstruction of justice.
That was all said, nearly to a word, by Bob Barr.
Barr was one of the most conservative members of the House, but occasionally displayed a libertarian streak. He only voted for the Patriot Act after his amendments adding "sunset clauses" were added to the final bill. However, he is best known for his role as one of the House managers during the Clinton impeachment trial. During debate on the impeachment articles, he argued that Clinton's misleading testimony in the Paula Jones case endangered the Constitution, and thus demanded Clinton's removal from office.
He said that on Thom Hartmann's radio program this morning. His words echo those of Bruce Fein, John Dean, and Jonathan Turley, among other conservatives/libertarians. Keep talking, guys, because we're listening.

More On Impeachment

Susie Madrak, a brilliant writer over at Suburban Guerilla, makes a compelling argument for impeachment. Not based on revenge or political calculation, but loving this country and not allowing precedent to be set where the executive branch can act in a dictatorial manner.

Whether you think this is the proper course of action to take, or not, you should give it a read. I highly recommend it.

Fox Attacks Bloggers!

Our new video (Brave New Films) on another aspect of the paranoia that pervades the right-wing extremist demagogues of FoxNews.

Like A Kid In A Candy Store

Yes, that's what I feel like. Or like you're sitting in the movie theater about to watch the opening scene in that movie you've been waiting for all summer (for me, The Bourne Ultimatum).

Rumor has it that in my now-home state of Ohio--where I am loving life for a variety of reasons--that a member of the "Ohio House Delegation" has been uncovered for cavorting with Mrs. Palfrey's ladies (I'm sure it was just a massage) through those infamous phone records. I know who my bet's on, but let's wait and see.

Yes, just what the Ohio GOP needs, more scandal! Hopefully there is a warm cell open next to Bob Ney...

Heh, Freeway Blogger strikes.

Via Wonkette

Well, hell, it worked last time. Sort of. Okay, it didn’t actually work last time, but at least impeachment proceedings actually started and thrilled the nation for a few weeks! That’s something.

And then Bill Clinton continued to be the most popular president ever and we were all rich — okay, some of us were rich — and oh my god we weren’t all losing our houses to foreclosure and the dollar was worth like nine Euros and Al Gore hadn’t even invented global warming yet.

Really, someone needs to sit these people down and have a chat with them.

Will The Last Person Please Turn Out The Lights

More news about the disintegrating campaign of John McCain. His media folks just left. It's going to be difficult for McCain to win without money, staff and campaign commercials, I imagine.

So sweet I'm getting a toothache.

Democrats urge perjury probe of Gonzales

WASHINGTON - Senate Democrats called for a perjury investigation against Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Thursday and subpoenaed top presidential aide Karl Rove in a deepening political and legal clash with the Bush administration.

"It has become apparent that the attorney general has provided at a minimum half-truths and misleading statements," four Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee wrote in a letter to Solicitor General Paul Clement

They dispatched the letter shortly before Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., announced the subpoena of Rove, the president's top political strategist, in remarks on the Senate floor.

"We have now reached a point where the accumulated evidence shows that political considerations factored into the unprecedented firing of at least nine United States Attorneys last year," said Leahy, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Mitch Blocks D.C. Voting Rights Act

What a disgrace. There is one thing this is about. Mitch McConnell trying to stop African-Americans from going to the polls. Even after progressives and conservatives reached a compromise that would allow citizens of Washington, D.C. to vote by giving Utah an extra seat. Once again, the obstructionist-in-chief Mitch McConnell has blocked a debate on the bill:

Kemp, during a conference call earlier this week, argued that supporting D.C. voting rights is a way for the GOP — the party of Lincoln, he kept saying — to get back on the right side of history.

A 2005 survey found that 85 percent of Americans agree that D.C. residents ought to be allowed off what, symbolically at least, is America’s last political plantation.

This is all well and good, but there is an individual who has the power to keep all these juicy issues from being debated in the Senate.

That man is Kentucky’s own Sen. Mitch McConnell. He’s Senate minority leader, and unfortunately, on the D.C. voting rights bill, McConnell is on the opposite side. His contention is that the Constitution is clear that D.C. residents are not to have voting rights in Congress.

Well, well, well. Here at Casa de Cliff, it's been a rollercoaster for the past few days.

Gottalaff's post the other day about the illegal detention of a man who disagreed with Dick Cheney has had us at the top of Digg's Top News, Most Dugg and a couple other lists over there.

So, if you have an account (if you don't go get one) and give us one last nudge.

And in other blog-centric housecleaning stuff, please click on our newest advertisers-

Clean My Ride is a fantastic site for an important cause, plus very funny clips from very funny people.

And what can I say about Paul Rieckoff and his book? The best.

Lastly, if you're thinking of buying from Amazon, clicking thru our link to order gives us a little mojo at no cost to you!!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Take a bow Gottalaff!!!!

At least 70k hits on this post.

Cliff and I are taking the rest of the month off and going to Aruba.

It's All Because The Gays Are Getting Married!

Hysterical musical rendition of how gay marriage ruins everything, paticularly one guy's marriage. His wife leaves him, because marriage is just not sacred anymore.

Seriously, watch this. It's fantastic.

Funny Chris Dodd Ad

Watch it, don't cut and run!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Bush Rubs Soldier's Wound

This was actually reported a little while back. Nobody picked up on it. Well, nobody but our trusty friend OhDave. President Bush actually wanted to touch a soldier's wound. Yeah, I said "touch it."

Does that not spook anyone else out a little bit? Perhaps make you feel a bit icky, like David Vitter's dry cleaner? In any case, OhDave has the whole story.

Oh those RUDE, VILE, erm, praying (?) bloggers?

Mr. O'Reilly, We Will Pray* For You

We are not haters. We are not rabid. We are not extremists. We are people who want to help their neighbors and do what is right for their nation as best we are able.

With that in mind, I wanted to let you know that we will pray* for you, both now and at the Interfaith Worship Service at Yearly Kos: for continued good health, strong and equitable relationships with your family, friends, and staff, for peace of heart and mind. We will do this not out of sanctimony, nor because we have anything to prove to you, but simply because it is the right thing to do.

Better people than me over there at Street Prophets, much better.

Limerick-Off Continues

I was inspired yet again (maybe this is just a dream, however):

There once was a man named Alberto/
Whose constitutional knowledge was zippo/
Then he created a mess/
When he lied to Congress/
And now he's headed for Gitmo.

We may see that frogmarch yet.
Documents Contradict Gonzales' Testimony

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Documents indicate eight congressional leaders were briefed about the Bush administration's terrorist surveillance program on the eve of its expiration in 2004, contradicting sworn Senate testimony this week by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

The documents underscore questions about Gonzales' credibility as senators consider whether a perjury investigation should be opened into conflicting accounts about the program and a dramatic March 2004 confrontation leading up to its potentially illegal reauthorization.

"He thought he did something wrong," his mother, Krista Martin, 36, of Coral Springs, said. [...] Because he shares a name with a known or suspected terrorist, he has run into roadblocks three times before boarding an airliner, Krista Martin said.
The idea of the no-fly list is " to avoid confusing a real terrorist with an innocent passenger, officials said."

I can see how 7-year-old, 3-foot- 9 Michael might have been confused with say, a 50-year-old, 6-foot-6 Osama Bin Laden type. Anyone would have made that mistake. I often confuse Mary Kate Olsen with Yao Ming.
Or a watch list with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
"The airline has the ability to and should immediately de-select any child allegedly on a watch list," White, the TSA spokesman, said.
I'm sure that's a huge comfort to Michael...and the rest of us. Although I wouldn't be too upset if they were to mistake me for Angelina Jolie, who probably is on their list.

Bush Administration Still Screwing Veterans

Shocker, I know. Our good friend Paul Rieckhoff and his great organization, The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Of America (IAVA), is on the case. Here is their response to the damning Dole-Shalala report just released:

Wednesday, July 25, 2007
CONTACT: Michael Houston, IAVA (212) 982-9699

IAVA Responds to Dole-Shalala Commission Report: Today's Draft Report Should be a Wake-up Call for All Americans

NEW YORK ­ Following today's final public meeting of the Dole-Shalala Commission, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the nation's first and largest organization for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, released the following statement:

Today's draft report from the Dole-Shalala Commission has shown the American public that the Walter Reed fiasco is just the tip of the iceberg. Their findings should be a wake-up call for all Americans, said Paul Rieckhoff, Iraq veteran and Executive Director of IAVA. Last week the Secretary of the VA resigned. This week disabled Iraq veterans are suing the VA. Our veterans' healthcare system is facing tremendous challenges at every level and the Department of Defense and the VA are not ready to respond.

IAVA commends the Commission for their hard work and dedication, and we wholeheartedly endorse their call for fundamental changes and strong leadership to address the crisis facing veterans, said Rieckhoff. We urge the news media and American combat veterans of all generations to ensure that the recommendations of this report are implemented. Today's findings should not be buried in the back pages of our nation¹s newspapers beneath Lindsay Lohan's DUI.

The Commission heard testimony from a number of Iraq veterans in the past few months, including IAVA Director of Government Affairs Todd Bowers, who served two tours of duty in Iraq and was wounded in the face by a sniper's bullet. He was in attendance today at the Commission meeting in Washington, and said, "Too often we see reports like this get brief attention in the media and then they are set aside to collect dust on the shelf. But right now, there is a clear focus on veterans¹ care in America. Congress has appropriated more funds to the Veterans Administration than it has in 77 years. We call on the President and Congress to build on this progress andensure these recommendations are enacted quickly."

The Commission, authorized by President Bush in response to reports of poor conditions, neglect, and bureaucratic hurdles faced by outpatients at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, will release its final report next week. A draft is available now at and includes the following recommendations:

1. Implement Comprehensive Recovery Plans
2. Restructure Disability and Compensation Systems
3. Improve Care for People with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
4. Strengthen Support for Families
5. Transfer Patient Information Across Systems
6. Support Walter Reed Until Closure

IAVA, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, is the nation's first and largest organization for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, representing more than 60,000 members and civilian supporters in all 50 states. To arrange an interview with Paul Rieckhoff, Todd Bowers or any other IAVA member veterans, contact Michael Houston at (212)-982-9699, or email For more information, visit

They still think the "No Flip-Flops!" line is funny

Proper attire must... maintained at all times. And you...viiiill....liiiiike it.
So signs have popped up at various White House entrances -- including the press entrance and the staff and visitors' entrance at the southwest gate -- along with e-mails to staff members, to remind everyone, particularly tour groups, that, even in these times of sinking poll numbers, proper attire is to be maintained.
The email was in ALL CAPS, so you know it had to be important. Either that or nobody-- visitors, press, staff--takes anything the White House says seriously any more. Who's for the latter? Hands?
Some visitors from the Reagan and Bush I days were taken aback by the rule postings. "We were plenty button-down," recalled a Reagan aide who saw one of the signs, but added: "Do they have nothing else to do" than fret about this?
Other than infringe on all our rights, shred the Constitution, and declare martial law...? Nah.
And flip-flops have always been verboten. "As you know, this administration has a strong record against flip-flops," said White House spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore. But Crocs, with or without socks, presumably are okay if you're biking with Bush.
Crocs with socks on Bush. Time for some new rules.

Your kid can read a menu and calculate a restaurant check!

But she thinks the cosmos are part of Kramer's clan, can't sing a song, and (correctly?) believes The Odd Couple is Bush and Cheney. Oh, and she's hungry.

In the five years since a federal law mandated an expansion of reading and math tests, 44 percent of school districts nationwide have made deep cutbacks in social studies, science, art and music lessons in elementary grades and have even slashed lunchtime, a new survey has found.

The most detailed look at the rapidly changing American school day, in a report released today, found that most districts sharply increased time spent on reading and math.

I've worked in several schools for several years. I have kids of my own. Without the very programs that have been cut, and this is depressingly obvious to those of us who witness it firsthand, kids become limited in ways that the shortsighted backers of No Child Left Behind either choose to ignore, won't admit, or simply can't recognize. Plus, every teacher I know hates it.

The arts result in more creative, expansive, sharper minds and attitudes. Integrated into academic subjects, they bring dry subjects alive and make facts more memorable. Music and theatre allow developing minds to learn, flex, and even cope with emotions that they might otherwise be oblivious to. Science enhances logical thinking, to balance the emotional. I don't need to go on, you know all of this.

I'm not a credentialed teacher. I speak as someone who has worked in the classroom, partnered with a teacher, in theatre and fine arts. I have witnessed the increasing inability of kids to analyze, let alone comprehend, anything deeper than their iPods (Music!) and cell phones (Writing skills! "u r 2 kul, lol!").

My concerns are genuine; communication skills are vital. Without a well-rounded education, the quality of life is diminished. Coincidentally, in the past 5-6 years, I've witnessed a decline in commitment, focus, ability to communicate effectively (including spelling and grammar) if at all, and most disturbingly, an inability to effectively recognize and tap into one's own emotions.

Most have forgotten how to "pretend" or how to use their imaginations.

"No Child Left Behind". Many of us can read those words, but how many of our kids can understand them, explain them, or have a heartfelt response to them?

And while we're at it, let's give 'em a longer lunch break.

First Minimum Wage Increase In A Decade In Effect!

Yup, even though none of the beneficiaries are corporate CEOs who need more gold plating for their toilet seats--which makes Baby Republicans cry--some people will have a little bit of a better life now.

So the next time Republicans accuse Democrats of having done nothing, remind them that yeah, for their corporate-crony base, that is correct. For real people, it's a whole different story.

Watch the video of the celebration on Capitol Hill.

Re: Gonzo, Arlen Specter tells reporters that "there is a jail in the Capitol complex"
Specter later circled back to Gonzales on the matter, warning him: "My suggestion to you is you review your testimony to find out if your credibility has been breached to the point of being actionable," Specter said. The maximum penalty for being caught lying to Congress is five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 per count. Specter wryly noted to reporters during a break that there is a jail in the Capitol complex.
And speaking of getting dragged off to jail, after watching the House Judiciary Committee this morning on CSPAN 3 (Consideration of Contempt Citations Judiciary) citing White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former Counsel Harriet Miers for contempt of Congress, and with the knowledge that King Chimp will decree that none of his royal court can be held in contempt, I'm more convinced than ever that the inherent contempt option could be the logical next step.
It was unclear whether the White House would allow a prosecution of criminal contempt to move forward, since the refusal to comply is based upon Bush's claim of executive privilege.
Inherent contempt:
Under this process, the procedure for holding a person in contempt involves only the chamber concerned. Following a contempt citation, the person cited for contempt is arrested by the Sergeant-at-Arms for the House or Senate, brought to the floor of the chamber, held to answer charges by the presiding officer, and then subject to punishment that the House may dictate (usually imprisonment for punishment reasons, imprisonment for coercive effect, or release from the contempt citation.)
I'm certainly no expert, but I've heard inherent contempt discussed, even suggested, by John Dean, Bruce Fein, and others who understand it better than anyone. When it comes down to it, what's left? The utter disregard of Congress by the Monarchical Branch requires action.

Any lawyers out there?

Who thinks we'll see the Sergeant-at-Arms slap Harriet, the official president of the King George Fan Club (I hear she'll send out an 8x10 glossy of him for a price, assuming she's willing to part with one) with a spiffy new set of bracelets?