Saturday, June 02, 2007

Meet the Press: Bob Shrum (D), James Carville (D), Mary Matalin (R), Mike Murphy (R). Topic: Decision08

Face the Nation: Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO); Rep. Peter King (R-NY); roundtable of NYT's David Sanger, Politico's John Harris and CBS' Lara Logan.

This Week: Rep. John Murtha (D-PA); Iraqi Pres Jalal Talabani; roundtable of Sam Donaldson, Cokie Roberts, and George Will.

Fox News Sunday: Newt Gingrich (R-GA); US Amb to Iraq Ryan Crocker; activist/author Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Late Edition: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA); Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL); Elizabeth Edwards (D); Donna Brazile (D); J.C. Watts (R); WMUR pol. dir. Scott Spradling; WMUR's Jennifer Vaughn; NH Union Ldr's Tom Fahey; Tagg Romney (R-Mitt's son); roundtable of Candy Crowley, John Roberts and John King

Via Newsie8200

How surprising!!

Terror Plot:

Its Scary, "Very Very Frightening," And "Chilling & Terrifying"

FNC covered the JFK terror plot more extensively than CNN or MSNBC on Saturday.

The word "terror" was used on FNC at least 77 times through 10pm according to a TVEyes search, compared to 43 times on CNN and 24 times on MSNBC.

It goes on to give individual instances of, dare I say, fear mongering on Faux's behalf. Like I've said before, they are the only channel to still regularly have the "Terror Alert" level in the scroll.

They're trying hard to keep us just where they like us, cowering and hoping for a "Daddy" figure to keep us safe.

Speaking of the 80's, great interview with Berkely Breathed over at Salon (I'm a huge fan), PLUS they are going to start carrying his "Opus" every Sunday!!!


Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!

Ok, two minute break and then back to that book thing. But I really had to link to this. It is Matt Taibbi, who is very simply my favorite political columnist in the world. Hopefully you are familiar with his incisive, take-no-prisoners broadsides on politics and culture.

With this piece on Giuliani, he does not disappoint:

Rudy giuliani is a true American hero, and we know this because he does all the things we expect of heroes these days -- like make $16 million a year, and lobby for Hugo Chávez and Rupert Murdoch, and promote wars without ever having served in the military, and hire a lawyer to call his second wife a "stuck pig," and organize absurd, grandstanding pogroms against minor foreign artists, and generally drift through life being a shameless opportunist with an outsize ego who doesn't even bother to conceal the fact that he's had a hard-on for the presidency since he was in diapers. In the media age, we can't have a hero humble enough to actually be one; what is needed is a tireless scoundrel, a cad willing to pose all day long for photos, who'll accept $100,000 to talk about heroism for an hour, who has the balls to take a $2.7 million advance to write a book about himself called Leadership. That's Rudy Giuliani. Our hero. And a perfect choice to uphold the legacy of George W. Bush.
Go read it.

Democracy stuns Polish coma man

WARSAW, Poland (Reuters) -- A 65-year-old railwayman who fell into a coma following an accident in communist Poland regained consciousness 19 years later to find democracy and a market economy, Polish media reported on Saturday.


"When I went into a coma there was only tea and vinegar in the shops, meat was rationed and huge petrol lines were everywhere," Grzebski told TVN24, describing his recollections of the communist system's economic collapse.

"Now I see people on the streets with cell phones and there are so many goods in the shops it makes my head spin."

I guess the reason this stuck out to me is that 19 years is exactly how long I've been back here in Indiana, so I can pinpoint exactly what the world was like back in 1988.

Check out this stuff from one of those, "This date in history" sites.

Bread: $0.61/loaf
Milk: $2.00/gal
Eggs: $1.13/doz
Car: $14,065
Gas: $0.96/gal

House: $138,300
Stamp: $0.25/ea
Avg Income: $38,608/yr
Min Wage: $3.35/hr
DOW Avg: 2,169

Top Songs

Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns N' Roses
Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley
One More Try by George Michael
Man In the Mirror by Michael Jackson
Anything for You by Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine

And finally...

Bush moved with his family to Washington, D.C. in 1988, to work on his father's campaign for the U.S. presidency.

Imagine waking up now.

Steve Gilliard of The News Blog, one of the pioneers of the progressive blogosphere has fallen.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. Here is what some of his friends are saying about him.

Jane Hamsher, Sara at Orcinus , Meteor Blades, Daily Kos and John Amato.

Gee whilikers! Wasn't that just "authentic, folksy" Fred I-Play-One-On-TV Thompson in that pickup?
Finishing his talk, Thompson shakes a few hands, then walks out with the rest of the crowd to the red pickup truck he made famous during his 1994 Senate campaign. My friend stands talking with her colleagues as the senator is driven away by a blond, all-American staffer. A few minutes later, my friend gets into her car to head home. As she pulls up to the stop sign at the parking lot exit, rolling up to the intersection is Senator Thompson, now behind the wheel of a sweet silver luxury sedan. He gives my friend a slight nod as he drives past. Turning onto the main road, my friend passes the school's small, side parking area. Lo and behold: There sits the abandoned red pickup, along with the all-American staffer.
Chris Matthews: "
But it was refreshing to me to see a politician with a cigar....he seems like the real thing to me."

Hey, Chris,does Paris Hilton seem like the real thing to you, too?

Cold War 2.0

Putin threatens to target Europe with missiles

Globe and Mail
Doug Saunders
June 2, 2007 at 2:32 PM EDT

In an interview with the Globe and Mail, Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened to target Europe with missiles, including potentially nuclear weapons, in a dramatic escalation of his Cold War-style showdown with the United States.

Mr. Putin, in an interview at his summer residence outside Moscow, said he considers U.S. plans to build an eastern European anti-missile site to shoot down Iranian missiles a provocation aimed at Russia.

He repeatedly described the anti-missile system as a part of the American "strategic nuclear potential," whose existence he said requires Russia to retaliate to maintain the global "strategic balance."

Asked what he might do to retaliate, he said he would return Russia to the Cold War status where missiles were aimed at European targets.

White House Transcript

PRESIDENT BUSH: I will answer the question. I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue.

I was able to get a sense of his soul; a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country. And I appreciated so very much the frank dialogue.

Time to do some more "frank dialogue" and "soul sensing" there George.

I woke up to this in the L.A. Times this morning: Mr. Murdoch: Clear out of the Street by Tim Rutten, someone who IMHO, nails it most of the time. Paddy's post below about what's real news vs. what is a simply another fear-mongering splashy news cycle inspired me to expand the discussion to include Rupert, who drenches, soaks, and nearly drowns us with his disgraceful brand of incessant self-serving splashdom and worse. Mr. Rutten discusses the dire consequences of Rupert Murdoch's possible success in purchasing the Wall Street Journal.
Rupert Murdoch should not be given control of Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal for a number of compelling reasons. First of all, whatever his assurances to the contrary, the man has a demonstrated history of intervening in his journalistic and publishing enterprises in ways calculated to serve his other business interests.
The first overarching public question is whether we want the nation's — indeed, the world's — single most important source of financial news in the hands of an owner, like Murdoch, who has a documented history not simply of meddling with his publications but also of meddling for his own financial gain.
[Because of Murdoch] we have not only the Fox contingent of ranters and distorters, but also the CNN demagogues and faux-populist snarlers, such as Lou Dobbs, Nancy Grace and Glenn Beck.

Similarly, Murdoch's New York Post has helped create a public appetite for a certain form of vicious and self-serving gossip.

Thus the formerly deviant joins the mainstream and the whole social current becomes that much more abrasive and polluted.

Thanks, Rupert.
Do we now want him to control our single most important source of information on business and economics?

"These people had neither the money, resources or expertise to pull this off."

Then why is it "BREAKING NEWS" all over the teevee, complete with "LIVE NEWS CONFERENCE"?

3 arrested in JFK fuel line terror plot
NEW YORK (AP) — Three people were arrested and one other was being sought Saturday in connection to a plan to set off explosives in a fuel line that feeds John F. Kennedy International Airport and runs through residential neighborhoods, officials close to the investigation said.
The plot, which never got past the planning stages, did not involve airplanes or passenger terminals, according to the two officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the arrests had not yet been announced.

The plot posed no threat to air safety or the public, the FBI said Saturday.

Look at what I just got in my inbox. Doesn't this look more like "BREAKING NEWS" to you?

-- At least 146 German police officers are injured, 25 of them seriously, in clashes with about 2,000 protestors ahead of Group of Eight summit in Rostock, Germany, police spokesman says.

Well, congratulations to our police forces who nipped this in the bud before it could take hold. Keep on doing it.

Hmmm, Something's Missing

George Will had a good column today about the 2008 electorate looking for competence. He states that the American people are looking for a competent leader, which is why Hillary and Rudy lead in the polls.

Accepting the 1988 Democratic nomination, Gov. Michael Dukakis, a carrier of Massachusetts's political culture, allowed his fervent hope to be the father of his surmise when he said, "This election is not about ideology. It's about competence." His meaning was opaque -- how would he decide what to competently achieve? But perhaps today's events -- from Iraq to Hurricane Katrina to the irrationality of immigration policy -- have put Americans into Mencken's frame of mind as they shop for a president. Which could explain why two among the parties' front-runners are who they are.

But George Will doesn't say why the American public craves competence. Maybe it goes unsaid that Will's party, the Republican Party, has run this country into the ground. Or maybe Will can't bring himself to say that the GOP, not just Bush but his enablers throughout the Party, are utterly incompetent.

Joe, Joe, Joe.

Biden scolds other Dems for bowing out of debate
By Beverley Wang, Associated Press Writer | June 1, 2007

CONCORD, N.H. --Joe Biden just wants to debate.


"It's really disappointing that no one's really willing to debate me," said Biden, who lays out a five-point Iraq plan on his Web site,

"It won't be much of a debate (but) I'm prepared to subject myself to questions from experts and the news media about what needs to be done," he said. "I don't see how we can responsibly ask to be president and not lay out clearly what our position is on how were going to deal with this war in Iraq."

Um, Joe? Quick clue. It's not that they don't want to debate you, it's that they don't want to validate Fox's bullshit and manipulation of truth. Get it?

If not, give me a call. I'll draw a picture.

Let the eagle soar..... and sing.
Calling John Ashcroft
The House and Senate Intelligence Committees have asked the former attorney general to testify about his role in a dramatic showdown over a controversial eavesdropping program. Will he play ball?

By Michael Isikoff

June 1, 2007 - The Senate and House Intelligence Committees are asking former attorney general John Ashcroft to testify about a March 2004 hospital-room confrontation during which he refused to sign off on a continuation of President Bush’s warrantless eavesdropping program, according to congressional and administration sources.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Can You Believe It?

It seems Connecticut mobsters have actually lowered themselves to working with Republicans:

A legislative leader was arrested Friday on charges that he tried to have a businessman at the center of a federal racketeering probe arrange to threaten someone the senator believed was abusing a relative.


DeLuca, a Republican from Woodbury, was booked on a misdemeanor charge Friday of second-degree conspiracy to commit threatening. He was scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Waterbury Superior Court.
Poor mafia. What are things coming to when you have to sink that low?

Is is possible to go into Schadenfreude overdose?

Number of Republicans in U.S. Hits New Low,
Number of Democrats Also Decline

Friday, June 01, 2007

For the fourth straight month, the number of people identifying themselves as Republicans has decreased. For the third straight month, the number of people identifying themselves as Democrats has also decreased (see history).

A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of 15,000 adults in May found that just 30.8% now say they’re Republicans. That’s down slightly from last month and down more than six percentage points from the GOP peak of 37.3% during Election 2004. The number of Republicans has been falling fairly steadily since the middle of 2005.

However, the survey also found that the number of people identifying themselves as Democrats has fallen to its lowest level in seventeen months (since January 2006). Democrats gained about two percentage points of support during 2006 and peaked at 38.0% in December of last year. Since actually taking control of Congress, Democrats have given back most of those gains. Today, 36.3% say they belong to Nancy Pelosi’s party.

Numbers go up and down, but that is a startling decline for the R's.

This is what scares me. I hope our elected representatives don't screw this up.

A recent tracking survey found that voters trust Democrats more than Republicans on ten key issues including taxes and national security. Democrats continue to enjoy a large advantage on the Generic Congressional Ballot.

Elaine Johnson lost a child in Iraq. She, along with five other families, were given a rare opportunity to meet with our warm and fuzzy Commander Guy. There it was, Bush's big chance to show how compassionate he was. Because, you know, here was a mom who was grieving, and she needed some presidential grace and support. Let's take a peek at some of the highlights as told by Ms. Johnson:
"But you know, they so brilliant, they up there in D.C., now, that a mother with a high school diploma can sit down and say, okay, now I won’t send them over a hot spot without protection."

"President Bush, he just didn’t see that, and he told me I was kind of, seemed like I was kind of hostile. I said, ‘yes I am hostile, because you sent my son over there.’ So my thing is -- all the questions that I asked him, he didn’t know nothing then, and he definitely don’t know nothing now, because the United States is in worser shape now that it was in 2003 that my son died.''
Johnson said: "When he told me -- I said what’s, what’s the mission? He couldn’t give me an answer."
"Then he gave us a presidential coin,'' she said. "Now you check this out: He gave six of us a presidential coin, tell us not to tell the rest of the people that was there, and then after that he told us don’t go sell it on eBay. Now you tell me how insensitive that can be?..."

Yes indeed, I bet we can tell everyone how insensitive that was.


Fun With Captions, Kids!

Having a dreary day? Why not play "Fun With Captions"? It's easy, it's free, and it releases lots of hostility! Come on, gang! Join the fun!

Still suffering with a bad case of ain'tgotnonewsitis......

Amuse yourself with this for a while.

Sex in Your Sleep? For Real!

or this

Eiffel Tower Offers Free Scuba Lessons

Oh, this just popped into my inbox...
James Carville & Bill O’Reilly on 2008 Presidential Candidates
(8pm EST) on C-Span Tonite

Nothing. Got. I.

So go and bang on something.

Pretty cool, partially good news.

Media Bistro

Scarborough's The Favorite:
MSNBC, WFAN May Be Near "Morning Joe" Deal

MSNBC's favorite to replace Imus in the Morning is Joe Scarborough. And WFAN is taking a liking to him too, TVNewser hears.

Scarborough was at WFAN's headquarters in Queens yesterday and today, hosting Morning Joe on TV and radio. The cable net and the radio station may be nearing an agreement to give Scarborough a permanent morning show seat.

MSNBC is feeling good about Morning Joe.

On Wednesday, he tied American Morning in the demo between 6 and 9am. He actually beat CNN during the 8am hour and had the second highest rated hour on MSNBC all day.

"There's some pretty good momentum behind him," an insider says.

And now the cool news...

also Media Bistro
Live Earth: Seven Hours Of Concert Coverage On CNBC; Live Reports On MSNBC

Variety: "NBC Universal has landed the U.S. broadcast rights to Al Gore's Live Earth concerts."

Ann Curry will co-host a three-hour primetime special on NBC alongside Carson Daly.

Also: "CNBC will feature seven hours of concert coverage starting at 7 p.m. ET. MSNBC will offer news coverage throughout the day, with live reports from Gotham and London."

This doesn't look good.

Rove Linked to Prosecution of Ex- Alabama Governor

In the rough and tumble of Alabama politics, the scramble for power is often a blood sport. At the moment, the state's former Democratic governor, Don Siegelman, stands convicted of bribery and conspiracy charges and faces a sentence of up to 30 years in prison. Siegelman has long claimed that his prosecution was driven by politically motivated, Republican-appointed U.S. attorneys.

Now Karl Rove, the President's top political strategist, has been implicated in the controversy. A longtime Republican lawyer in Alabama swears she heard a top GOP operative in the state say that Rove "had spoken with the Department of Justice" about "pursuing" Siegelman, with help from two of Alabama's U.S. attorneys.

Ha!! This may be that "politically motivated witch hunt" Tom Delay was blathering about. Just the wrong state.

Read the whole article.... it involves "siccing my girls on him" and lots of calls to "Karl." Involved, but very interesting.

The election's only months away! Why not introduce a new series of

*Vote Republican* Campaign-omercials

Why, here's one now!

Howdy, voters! Question-O'-the-Day: What's the secret to winning elections? Easy! Register Republican! That's the very best way to be assured that you won't be denied a vote! Who needs a two-party system when one is so much more efficient! Election fraud? Unthinkable! Disenfranchisement? Get outta here! Vote Republican: We're incorrigible!

But wait, there's more! Let's peer into the Republican Campaign-omercials and see what else we can find!

George Bush's gang at the Department of Agriculture says they'll fight to keep meat packers from testing their animals for mad cow disease. Hear that, folks? Our heroes! They want to fight...for us! Because that's just the kind of scrappy Agriculture Department we have! Makes you choke up a little, doesn't it? Defending those poor mad cows no matter what the cost! Who says we're not for animal rights? Vote Republican: Fighting to the death for self-regulation!

Stay tuned for more Republican Campaing-omercials coming soon to a blog near you!

Bush family compound/Copyright 2005 by Deborah M. Fowles

Cape Cod Guantanamo?

Federal charges dropped against N.J. man arrested at Bush estate
June 1, 2007

PORTLAND, Maine --Federal charges are being dropped against a New Jersey man who spent more than four years in custody following his arrest near the Bush family estate in Kennebunkport.

Theodore Miller approached Secret Service agents on Sept. 30, 2002, outside the home of former President George H.W. Bush to complain that he was being followed. He also said he wanted to talk to the president about a disability claim.

Miller was taken to the Kennebunkport police station, where a previous commitment to a mental hospital and two boxes of shotgun shells in his truck were enough to charge Miller with violating federal gun laws.

Miller, now 40, found himself in what his lawyer described as a legal "black hole" for more than four years because he was considered too ill to stand trial but he refused to cooperate with mental health professionals.

4 years? Four freaking years for mental incompetence?

This looks to me like a liberal dose of our stoopid legal system with a huge dollop of "You scared the Bush" on top.

What a horrible miscarriage of justice.

Boehner Leads Effort to Polish GOP 'Brand'
By Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 1, 2007; Page A13

Their president's approval ratings are at historic lows. The war in Iraq is grinding down their political prospects, and their party is showing deep divisions on issues such as education and immigration.

But to House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), Republicans' path to power rests on brand recognition. Boehner has convened a group of allies and confidantes to work on GOP "branding," an exercise designed to restore an identity to a party that many voters no longer see as holding a core set of principles.


To some House conservatives, the branding effort is navel-gazing in the middle of a hurricane. A Republican lobbyist familiar with the project, speaking on the condition of anonymity to maintain relations with GOP leaders, said it will be impossible to create a new Republican "brand" out of the House, while President Bush casts his shadow and image on the party.

I'm not going to bash Boehner for being emotional. I may not agree with his premise, but it is obvious that he cares.

But can you honestly see Republicans coalescing behind a "rebranding" concocted by a man who so nakedly shows his sensitive side?

Isn't that against their code, punishible by banishment even?

pic via Think Progress


Dan Bartlett resigning from White House next month!!! (MSNBC)

Longest-serving Bush aide resigning
Dan Bartlett says he is quitting to go into private busines

WASHINGTON - Dan Bartlett, one of President Bush's most trusted advisers and his longest-serving aide, said Friday he is resigning to begin a career outside of government.

The move was announced on Bartlett's 36th birthday. He has been with Bush for nearly 14 years, from Bush's first campaign as governor of Texas, through two races for the White House and more than six years of a presidency marked by costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and an ongoing battle against terrorism.

As counselor to the president, Bartlett has been at the center of White House decision-making, stepping into the public eye in times of trouble to defend Bush on everything from the unpopular war in Iraq to the government's bungled response to Hurricane Katrina and the Republicans' loss of Congress.

To "Spend more time with his family", per David Gregory. heh. Seems a little fishy with only 18 months left in Bush's term.

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais-Bartlett on right, Snow on left)

Take a moment and start your day with a big cup of "awwww".

Too Bad
President Bush has torn the conservative coalition asunder.

The White House doesn't need its traditional supporters anymore, because its problems are way beyond being solved by the base. And the people in the administration don't even much like the base.

Ooops, cat's out of the bag.

What I came in time to believe is that the great shortcoming of this White House, the great thing it is missing, is simple wisdom.

Um, yeah.

Now conservatives and Republicans are going to have to win back their party. They are going to have to break from those who have already broken from them.

This will require courage, serious thinking and an ability to do what psychologists used to call letting go. This will be painful, but it's time. It's more than time.

Bravo Peg!!! Welcome to the club.

They're so cute when they sober up.
All self-righteous and stuff.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Almost made it to bed....

Senate Panel Questions C.I.A. Detentions

Published: June 1, 2007
WASHINGTON, May 31 — The Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday questioned the continuing value of the Central Intelligence Agency’s secret interrogation program for terrorism suspects, suggesting that international condemnation and the obstacles it has created to criminal prosecution may outweigh its worth in gathering information.

The committee rejected by one vote a Democratic proposal that would essentially have cut money for the program by banning harsh interrogation techniques except in dire emergencies, a committee report revealed.


But the committee stopped short of using its budget authority to shut down the program.

In a closed session on May 23, two Democrats, Senators Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Dianne Feinstein of California, proposed barring spending on interrogation techniques that go beyond the Army Field Manual, which bans physical pressure or pain.

Under their proposal, the only exception would have been when the president determined “that an individual has information about a specific and imminent threat.”

The amendment failed when Senator Bill Nelson, Democrat of Florida, joined all the Republicans in voting no.

I have nothing to say about Bill Nelson that is appropriate on a PG blog.

Tomorrow on C-Span "Washington Journal"

· Newspaper Articles
· Viewer Phone Calls
· John McWhorter, Manhattan Institute, Senior Fellow
· Randi Rhodes, Air America, Radio Talk Show Host

Should be good for a few "frothy" call-ins.

per comment- Randi will be on at 9a EST.


Thousands volunteer for candidate Obama in Nevada
By Kathryn Reed | May 31, 2007
RENO, Nevada (Reuters) -

In Nevada, a state of mostly desert, Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama is quickly nurturing a grass-roots campaign, with a rally on Thursday showing such efforts are generating enthusiasm.

More than 3,500 people filled a Reno park to hear the 45-year-old senator from Illinois. At a press conference after the rally, he talked about the importance of attracting ordinary voters back into the political process.

"My campaign is bringing in new people. It is galvanizing people," Obama said.


Helping spread the word is his army of volunteers. More than 5,000 have signed up in Nevada to try to make Obama the Democratic candidate for president in the November 2008 election.

Pretty damn impressive. No endorsement or non endorsement, but am I missing something? I thought he started out very strong, but in the debate I was underwhelmed.

Guess he'll have another chance at me this Sunday.

He's lost it
But by all reports, President Bush is more convinced than ever of his righteousness.

Friends of his from Texas were shocked recently to find him nearly wild-eyed, thumping himself on the chest three times while he repeated "I am the president!" He also made it clear he was setting Iraq up so his successor could not get out of "our country's destiny."

Oh dear. Methinks Bush is ready for a rubber room. To quote a certain Dr. Spivey: "Well, the real reason that you've been sent over here is because they wanted you to be evaluated... to determine whether or not you are mentally ill. This is the real reason. Why do you think they might think that?"

"Why?" indeed...


Over at the NRO, Larry Kudlow comes up with this gem

Hillary’s been out proclaiming her government redistributionist message of “shared prosperity.” Her growth-paralyzing solution? Increase taxes on Americans making more than $200K a year. This is France before Sarkozy stuff.

Incidentally, Hillary’s tax hike plan would slaughter somewhere around 25 million small, owner-operated businesses. How’s that for sound economic policy?

A couple of quick thoughts. Larry, bubbelah, it's tough to accuse Sen. Clinton a growth paralyzing solution when we have almost no growth at all. That's right chief, our GDP grew at .6% in the first quarter this year, the worst growth in four years.

Must be all those tax increases Bush has passed. What's that you say, George Bush has only passed tax cuts. Hmm, you mean with all those tax cuts we have almost no growth? Wow, without growth from those tax cuts, all we are left with is a crippling deficit. But that's the kind of policy Larry loves.

Economic growth slows to a near halt

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Economic growth skidded to a near halt in the first quarter, with the worst showing in more than four years raising concerns about how long the country's sluggish spell will last.

The Commerce Department reported Thursday that gross domestic product increased by just a 0.6 percent pace in the January-through-March period, much weaker than estimated a month ago. Government statisticians slashed by more than half their first estimate of a 1.3 percent growth rate for the quarter.

Second point is pretty simple. We heard the same kind of dire predictions about a Clinton tax increase in 1993. Didn't happen. Republicans were wrong then. No reason to believe that they are right now.

So to sum up, Clinton passes tax in 1993, Republicans claim the sky will fall, and yet we had growth. We are in year 6 of Bush tax cuts, and we have no growth. But Larry Kudlow would have you believe that his way is the best way, regardless of the facts.

Valerie Plame and Simon & Schuster v. The CIA
Simon & Schuster alleges that the CIA is trying to reclassify information about the dates Plame served in the agency, thus making publication of her memoir, "Fair Game," untenable. ...
Publisher alleges that information about Plame's dates of service was contained in a letter that the government sent as an unclassified document to her; it has since been posted on the Web.

"By unreasonably interfering in Valerie Wilson's memoir in violation of the first amendment the executive branch seeks to prevent information relating to its own misconduct from reaching the American public," the complaint says.
Complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in New York, seeks to stop the government from reclassifying the dates and allow the publication of the manuscript, in which Plame writes of experience as her CIA identity was leaked.

The CIA has said that the letter was sent in error and the information should be considered classified.

The CIA is getting all antsy in its pantsy about Plame's new primer on setting the record straight. I guess it's only okay to reveal super duper double whammy ultra top secret stuff to justify a war against a country that didn't attack us first.

Washington Times via Wonkette

The Republican National Committee, hit by a grass-roots donors' rebellion over President Bush's immigration policy, has fired all 65 of its telephone solicitors, Ralph Z. Hallow will report Friday in The Washington Times.

Faced with an estimated 40 percent fall-off in small-donor contributions and aging phone-bank equipment that the RNC said would cost too much to update, Anne Hathaway, the committee's chief of staff, summoned the solicitations staff last week and told them they were out of work, effective immediately, the fired staffers told The Times.

The national committee yesterday confirmed the firings that took place more than a week ago, but denied that the move was motivated by declining donor response to phone solicitations.


God bless Jerry Nadler.

Chairman Nadler Announces Hearings Series:
“The Constitution in Crisis:
The State of Civil Liberties in America”

Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee to Explore Administration Programs Threatening Americans’ Liberties;

Kicks Off with June 7 Hearing on NSA Wiretapping Program

Nice, very nice.

From A Whitney Brown.

Give Her The Chair!

No mercy, ey Tony?

AP Pinpoints 5 Vulnerable Hurricane Areas
Just because Katrina was the perfect storm (AP) -- a catastrophic combo of the wrong hurricane in the wrong place at the wrong time - doesn't mean that history can't repeat itself, leaving another city obliterated by another tempest. It can.

And as we enter what weather prognosticators are euphemistically calling another "active season," citizens and civil servants from Texas to New England are asking themselves: Where's the next New Orleans?

The Associated Press has pinpointed five of the most vulnerable U.S. coastal spots.

Among them: Galveston, Texas, sitting uneasily by the Gulf of Mexico, its residents limited to a single evacuation route; Miami, full of elderly people and others who might be trapped; and New York City, long spared a major storm but susceptible to a calamity of submerged subways and refugees caught in horrendous traffic jams.

My parent's house was destroyed in Hurricane Andrew in '92, and I was down there soon after. Homestead was a very suburban city, houses with big lots and a good deal of open space. Trying to imagine the kind of damage I saw then on a much more dense population is impossible.

The condos and high rises that would have to be evacuated?

The elderly and fixed income people crammed into those condos and high rises?

We're not ready at all.

Good to hear.

West Baghdad residents rise up against Al Qaeda
The Associated Press Published: May 30, 2007

BAGHDAD: A battle raged Thursday in a west Baghdad where residents rose up against al-Qaida intimidation and called for U.S. military help to end threats that kept students from final exams and random gunfire that forced people to huddle indoors, a member of the district council said.

"Called for help" not "expected the military to do."

They rose up in defense of their own lifestyles and then the military backed them up. Very good news.

Charlie Owen Moves Closer To Challenging Mitch McConnell

It appears Kentuckians may be getting the race they have long dreamed of. Charlie Owen, who energized the Kentucky Young Dems with a speech blasting Mitch McConnell, the day Owen announced he would forgo the governor’s race, appears to be in the final stages of deciding whether to take on McConnell. Mark Hebert reports Owen traveled to Washington, D.C. last week to meet with leaders and garner support for Kentucky Democrats.

Owen is McConnell’s worst nightmare. As a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and head of the Kentucky Crime Commission, he is poised to become the Henry Waxman of the Senate, a champion of progressives in rooting out the stench of corruption left behind by McConnell and his pal Jack Abramoff (who gave $16,000 to McConnell).

Grassroots Democrats in Kentucky are encouraging people to send Owen their suggestions at:

Draft Owen

Former Democratic Lt. Gov. nominee Charlie Owen has made no secret of his desire to hammer Mitch McConnell and George W. Bush over the Iraq War, and with millions to spend, it looks like Kentucky Democrats may just get their wish!

Cross-posted at

Labels: ,

Impeach Gonzalez Two: Electric Boogaloo

The great minds at Brave New Films, in partnership with Democracy For America (DFA), have added a sequel to their very impressive first video explaining why Abu Gonzalez needs to go.

You can watch it below (and then go to the site and sign the petition!):

Disclaimer: I happily consult on various other projects for the fine folks at Brave New Films

Well Duh!

The right-wing conservatives are in a lather because president Bush has attacked their motives over the immigration bill. Here is what conservative talk show host Mark Levin had to say.

Mark Levin took similar offense to the president's suggestions on Tuesday, and even suggested that Bush hadn’t read the bill.

"We are the 28 percent or the 32 percent who supports this president, and he puts us down? He treats us like we're stupid?" Levin said. "Don't degrade us, Mr. President, don't smear us. Don't project onto us what you want to think of us, because we aren't what you say. And the idea that you'd turn on your own supporters and treat them this way, something's wrong with that."

"You imply that we have animosity toward a certain race of people. You treat us like we're Klansmen. To be frank, it's pretty disgusting, to be honest with you," he continued. "We are studying the bill, we are breaking it down. Are you? And you really think by smearing us, you'll win the day?"

Well, duh, Mark. Of course he thinks by smearing you he'll win the day. That's been his modus operandi for the past six years. You know it, of course, because it's been the modus operandi of the right wing noise machine as well. Like when Republicans question the patriotism of anyone who dare oppose the Iraq war or when you go after the medals won by Democratic officeholders such as Sen. Kerry and Rep. Murtha. Those kind of smears, the kind that talk radio enabled, has carried the day. And now he's using them on you. Kinda sucks right? Well, karma is a female dog, ain't she?

A Presidential Daughter Gears Up for the Next Chapter in Her Life
By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Thursday, May 31, 2007; Page C03

Jenna Bush, author. The first twin completes her transformation from party girl to global activist this weekend when she starts the promotional rounds for her book, "Ana's Story: A Journey of Hope."

Bush, 25, will appear Saturday at N.Y.C.'s BookExpo America, meeting with booksellers to spike sales and generate buzz. "Ana's Story" will be issued Oct. 2 with a huge first printing of 500,000 copies, and publisher HarperCollins will be handing out hundreds of copies of the book at the expo.

Must have been a helluva transformation.


U.S. Marine Vet Faces Hearing on Discharge Status for Wearing Uniform at Protest
Thursday, May 31, 2007

KANSAS CITY, Missouri — A U.S. veteran who served in the Iraq war could lose his honorable discharge status after being photographed wearing fatigues at an anti-war protest.

Marine Cpl. Adam Kokesh and other veterans marked the fourth anniversary of the war in Iraq in April by wearing their uniforms — with military insignia removed — and roaming around the nation's capital on a mock patrol.

Now, a military panel has been scheduled to meet with Kokesh on Monday to decide whether his discharge status should be changed from "honorable" to "other than honorable."

"This is clearly a case of selective prosecution and intimidation of veterans who speak out against the war," Kokesh said. "To suggest that while as a veteran you don't have freedom of speech is absurd."

So, I'm guessing this guy was dishonorably discharged, right?
Enemies like Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein "will only be defeated if we come against them in the name of Jesus," Boykin said during an Oregon church gathering last year.

Appearing in uniform during a speech at the Oregon church, Boykin said: "Why do they [radical Muslims] hate us? Why do they hate us so much? Ladies and gentlemen, the answer to that is because we're a Christian nation."

In another speech he recounted the time he chased down a Muslim Somali warlord who was bragging that the Americans would not capture him because Allah would protect him. "My God is bigger than his God. I knew my God was a real God, and his was an idol," Boykin said.

By my guess, I'd think it's alot worse if you're a serving general in full uniform than a discharged schlub in unmarked fatigues.

The important words here would be "selective prosecution and intimidation".

Media Bistro
MSNBC Shows Strongest Growth Of Any Cable News In Both Total Day And Primetime

"Countdown with Keith Olbermann" Completes Month In Second Place Among News Nets With Whopping +56% Advantage Over CNN In Total Viewers

Now, I'm not some fancy schmancy network teevee exec, but if I were, I'd be looking at these numbers and trying to figure out what I'm doing right....

More significant gains were posted later in the day.

From 8 to 11pm, MSNBC delivered 179,000 demo viewers, up 50,000 / 39 percent from last May's 129,000.

In total viewers, the net had 504,000 in primetime, up 51 percent from last May's 334,000.

...and keep on doing it.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Ladies And Gentlemen: I Give You Joe Lieberman

Does this man even take himself seriously anymore?

Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) made an unannounced trip to Iraq today, telling reporters, “what I see here today is progress, significant progress.” Hours later, he was confronted by U.S. soldiers with a very different message: “We don’t feel like we’re making any progress.”

McClatchy reports tonight on Spc. David Williams, who collected questions for Lieberman from 30 other troops. At the top of his note card was the question he got from nearly every one of his fellow soldiers:

“When are we going to get out of here?”

And there's nothing like making the Dukakis in a tank photo look downright impressive.

The U.S. Justice Department has notified Arkansas's congressional delegation that Interim Eastern District U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin is resigning effective Friday, June 1. Jane Duke will become acting U.S. attorney. (This is the assistant in the office who the Justice Department once had said had to be passed over as an interim appointee because of her pregnancy. Since it's illegal to discriminate on account of pregnancy, Justice had to back off this statement.)

Still no word from the White House on selection of a nominee to put through the Senate confirmation process from a slate sent up by Rep. John Boozman.

No word yet on whether Griffin will join Fred Thompson's presidential campaign or move into the private sector.

Gotta love cranky old men.

No wonder they hate lawyers:
The American Civil Liberties Union sued a Boeing subsidiary on Wednesday for allegedly helping the Central Intelligence Agency transport prisoners under its extraordinary renditions programme.
"We are filing this lawsuit on behalf of three individuals who have been repeatedly tortured, terrified, humiliated and deprived of their basic human rights," said Anthony Romero, the executive director of the ACLU. "American companies should not be profiting from a CIA rendition programme that is unlawful and contrary to core American values."

President George W. Bush conceded the existence of the secret detention sites last year.

The Department of OMFG.
Mental incompetence doesn't preclude owning a gun

May 30, 2007

CONCORD, N.H. --Someone found mentally incompetent to stand trial in New Hampshire still may be competent to own guns, the state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

The court overturned a Concord District Court ruling in which a man was denied his weapons after being found mentally incompetent to stand trial on theft, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges for an outburst at Division of Motor Vehicles headquarters in Concord three years ago.

Scott Buchanan took the issue to court after authorities refused to give two guns back.

The court ruled the criteria for being found incompetent to stand trial were different from the legal standard for being declared mentally defective under federal law -- the standard by which gun ownership can be denied.

Okay, I'll give them this bit.
Maybe he's just illiterate, or not a great cognitive thinker?


Police seized a gun from Buchanan's car, and Buchanan later surrendered a second firearm as a result of a bail order while the charges were pending against him, Senior Assistant Attorney General Ann Rice told The Telegraph of Nashua.

The charges were dismissed after Buchanan was found incompetent to stand trial because of his excessive and unusual paranoia about police and government, according to court records.

Is that all?

Give the man back his guns, but only if he gives the officers a 5 minute head start to make it fair.

The Department of Homeland "Security"

I feel completely confident they're protecting us:

New reports indicate that the U.S. government is to blame for an Atlanta man taking two transatlantic flights despite having a rare, potentially deadly type of tuberculosis that is highly resistant to treatment. The man – under the first federal quarantine in decades – says CDC officials knew he had the disease and even put him on a no-fly list, yet he was still able to leave and return to the United States.
Nope, no "Heckuva Job Brownies" working there.

(h/t to Zappatero of Square State)

Norway rated world's most peaceful country
Duncan Campbell
Wednesday May 30, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

Scandinavian countries are the most peaceful in the world and, perhaps not surprisingly, Iraq the most dangerous and violent, according to a new international league table published today. The UK is listed only 49th of the 121 countries surveyed, with the US at 96.

The Global Peace Index uses 24 different factors to assess a country's level of violence and danger. Apart from internal and external wars, it takes into consideration street violence, prison population and levels of organised crime. National spending on the military and numbers of police per capita also form part of the equation.


The survey found that "small, stable countries which are part of regional blocs, such as the European Union, are most likely to get a higher ranking".

The main determinants of internal peace were income, extent of schooling and the level of regional integration.

"This is a wake-up call for leaders around the globe," said Mr Killelea. "Countries need to become more peaceful to solve the major challenges that the world faces - from climate change to decreasing bio-diversity."

The numbered rankings are here. The U.S. ain't lookin' too good.

COMMENT FROM CLIFF: I don't know about you, but I always aspire to be just below Yemen and just above Iran--you know the place we should bomb according to Podhead--on any list.

Some Emails Are Cool

Dear Friend,

The voice of the people was heard loud and clear last Tuesday.

142,735 Kentuckians voted to put Kentucky First again.

Then, just 48-hours after the primary, all five other Democratic tickets for Governor stood up, together, and endorsed Steve and Daniel.

The Democratic Party and Kentuckians across the state have never been more unified in their call for change in Frankfort.

Late last week, we received news on just how deep this desire for change has become.

A poll, conducted by SurveyUSA on Wednesday and Thursday of last week, showed Steve Beshear and Daniel Mongiardo leading the race by 28-points!

The Poll includes this breakdown of the votes:

All Voters
62% Beshear
34% Fletcher
4% Undecided

Oh and at the GOP unity rally over the weekend, after failing to take out his own handpicked model of corruption to be governor, The Corrupt Mr. Fletcher, with another handpicked loser, Anne Northup, McConnell had this to say about Fletcher. “I've never met a finer man than our governor, Ernie Fletcher,” and then this gem “I’m proud of Ernie Fletcher. I'm proud of Glenna Fletcher. And I’m proud of the image they present for our state.”

Would this be that image?

Fletcher Charged With Three Misdemeanor Charges in 2006, Forced to Admit Wrongdoing in His Administration. Last year, Ernie Fletcher was indicted on three misdemeanor charges for allegedly doling out state jobs to political supporters. The indictments came after Fletcher took the Fifth Amendment and declined to answer questions before a grand jury. In August, Fletcher admitted to wrongdoing in his administration as part of an agreement to drop the charges, but a grand jury report released later said that Fletcher oversaw a "widespread and coordinated plan" to avoid state hiring laws. [Louisville Courier-Journal, 5/23/07, 5/13/07, 8/25/06; AP, 5/28/07]

Fletcher Pardoned Every Member of His Administration Involved in Hiring Scheme. In August 2005, Fletcher issued a blanket pardon covering all the members of his administration who were tangled up in the hiring scandal, although he didn’t pardon himself. The grand jury indicted 14 people along with Fletcher, and they returned 14 additional sealed indictments in 2006. [Louisville Courier-Journal, 11/16/06; New York Times, 8/25/06; Lexington Herald Leader, 11/16/06]

In any case, here's a video of the endorsement, for you visual types:

Conservative Crack-up

If you want to know just how bad it is for Republicans right now, go over to the NRO online. Kate O'Beirne opines that Scooter Libby, not illegal aliens, ought to get amnesty (conviction for perjury be damned!), Andrew Stuttaford insinuates that President Bush is a liar and ignorant of his own immigration bill, and Iain Murray pimps an article that recommends Rush Limbaugh get the Nobel Peace Prize instead of Al Gore.

So today alone, the NRO calls their glorious leader a specious imbecile, suggests a pardon for a convicted felon and urges the Nobel Peace Prize for a loudmouth addict with no public acumen whatsoever. Looking good fellas!

The GOP In A Nutshell

Your adultery is worse than my adultery, according to DeLay:

The difference between his own adultery and Gingrich's, he said, "is that I was no longer committing adultery by that time, the impeachment trial. There's a big difference." He added, "Also, I had returned to Christ and repented my sins by that time."
Hot Tub Tom DeLay, perhaps the only man out there who could make Newt Gingrich seem likeable.

DeRanged DeMint

South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint blamed Democratic "wimps" like Harry Reid for the deaths of our soldiers in Iraq. Reid, by the way, was a former boxer and I would bet DeMint wouldn't dare talk so tough if Reid were within punching distance.

“Al-Qaida knows that we’ve got a lot of wimps in Congress,” DeMint said. “I believe a lot of the casualties can be laid at the feet of all the talk in Congress about how we’ve got to get out, we’ve got to cut and run.”

Asked later who he had targeted in his comments, DeMint replied:

“To a large degree, the Democratic party and those who basically declared defeat like Harry Reid.”

This post goes hand in hand with my post last night by Victor Hanson. Republicans understand that Iraq is a disaster and looms as a millstone around their neck for a generation to come. They are desperately looking to pawn off this abortion on anyone else. Too bad guys. This is George Bush's war, and you let him run it without an ounce of oversight. Man up!

Insane. Totally, unequivocally insane.

Via Editor & Publisher.

'WSJ' Op-Ed: Bomb-bomb Iran

By E&P Staff

Published: May 30, 2007 10:30 AM ET

NEW YORK It was sort of funny last month when Sen. John McCain, in a takeoff on the old Beach Boys tune, sang, "Bomb-bomb-bomb Bomb-bomb Iran" but some conservatives aren't laughing -- and no one else should, either, it is now apparent. In a lengthy op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today, Norman Podhoretz, the neo-con legend (and father of columnist John Podhoretz) advocates just that, the sooner the better.

The op-ed is titled,

"The Case for Bombing Iran" with the deck,
"I hope and pray that President Bush will do it.

Jerome a Paris has more at Kos.

The entire piece is behind the pay firewall, but Jerome has a good bit of it.

They Care...Really They Do

We cannot pull out of Iraq, say the wingers, because there will be "chaos" and perhaps "genocide." And you know what, that's why I do believe we need to redeploy to bordering bases in countries like Kuwait and retain a residual force that works with the EU and Muslim nations, to prevent this very horror show from taking place.

Funny though, in virtually all cases, wingers couldn't care one bit about Darfur. I have a friend there, a lawyer, who has been working on trying to save migrants out of the worst areas, I worked on a documentary a year and a half ago on this painful subject and I wrote a column on yes, the acts of TERRORISM taking place there, what seems like forever ago (and is for all those who have needlessly died there).

Am I tooting my own horn, ABOSOLUTELY NOT. Like most people, I have not done nearly enough. Yet, "not nearly enough" is still so much more than the Bush Administration has done.

I co-authored that piece with a man with whom I am staunchly disagree on most issues, in particular Iraq, because we needed action then and my God, do we now. At least in his case, that of my co-author Cliff May, he really cares about this issue. I will also give credit to Senator Brownback on this, another man with whom I disagree on virtually everything, but has tried to push this issue to the front-burner constantly, labeling it a moral issue. But where is the Bush Administration and most Republicans on this?

Nowhere, that's where.

They, as usual, talk the talk but never walk the walk. So does it surprise you to know that the sanctions the Bushies just passed against the government of Sudan, the sponsor of this mass murder, have a loophole that renders them useless?

Nothing like pretending you care when you have a ringside seat to a genocide.

Politico is reporting that Fred Thompson is running for president with an exploratory committee to be formed in June, and the formal announcement in July.

Now remember, Politico also reported that John Edwards was going to resign when Mrs Edward's cancer came back, so take it with a grain of salt.

I dug around in YouTube for quite a while, and couldn't find any good clips of Ole Fred from any of his movie or tv appearances. Looks like we've got some work to do.

Oh, and she's gonna have to get a new stylist.... stat.

Slow going here this morning, the most exciting thing that I've seen happening on the intertubes is the Wingers squawking over "Plame was covert"!!

Seems they think it's all George Tenet/CIA's fault for not "hiding" her well enough. Too funny. (won't link to them, but I'm sure you can find them) And of course they toss out the "Vanity Fair" cover, (a year after she was outed) and various other half-truths and red herrings.

Fact. Valeria Plame was covert.

Now run off to the store.... Kroger is having a special on Cheetos..... 3 for $5!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Noooooo!!! What is this world coming to?!?!?!

Ethanol boom may fuel shortage of tequila
Mexican farmers burning agave fields and replanting them with corn

Updated: 1 hour, 29 minutes ago
MEXICO CITY - Mexican farmers are setting ablaze fields of blue agave, the cactus-like plant used to make the fiery spirit tequila, and resowing the land with corn as soaring U.S. ethanol demand pushes up prices.

The switch to corn will contribute to an expected scarcity of agave in coming years, with officials predicting that farmers will plant between 25 percent and 35 percent less agave this year to turn the land over to corn.

It's just plain wrong people!! This must be stopped.

I will make it my mission.

And now, another episode of "As the Stomach Turns"....

Former Marine Claims Illness From Mystery Vaccine

Military Source Believes Experimental Shots May Have Been Given

Target 5 has discovered that an alarming number of U.S. troops are having severe reactions to some of the vaccines they receive in preparation for going overseas."This is the worst cover-up in the history of the military," said an unidentified military health officer who fears for his job.A shot from a syringe is leaving some U.S. servicemen and women on the brink of death.
The Department of Defense stated that "all service members' vaccinations are documented in the individual's permanent medical record." But Fey's military medical records revealed no shot on that day. Another Marine in Fey's unit told Target 5 that there is no shot listed in his medical records either and also said that the people who administered the shot never told his unit what it was.
The military official who spoke to Target 5 on the condition of anonymity said that it was not surprising that nothing appeared originally in Fey's records."We have a lovely term for that," he said. "We call it C.Y.A. That's unfortunately an S.O.P. in the military."