Saturday, June 09, 2007

It Pays (A Lot) To Be A CEO

Half Of America's Top Executives Make More Than $8.3M A Year

AP) A new Associated Press calculation shows that compensation for America's top CEOs has skyrocketed into the stratospheric heights of pro athletes and movie stars: Half make more than $8.3 million a year, and some make much, much more.

CEOs of companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 that filed proxy information in the first half of this year received a combined $4.16 billion in 2006, according to AP's formula.

The high cost of chief executive pay has drawn criticism in recent years as salaries rose, stock options paid off like lottery jackpots, and perks like chauffeured cars and private jets spread. Still, there are few signs of any investor backlash.

Cha-ching! Rags to Riches claims Belmont Stakes

Rags to Riches can beat the boys, too.

The fabulous filly outdueled Curlin in a breathtaking stretch run and won the Belmont Stakes today, becoming the first of her sex to take the final leg of the Triple Crown in more than a century.

Three side notes.... "I Am Woman" has it's embedding capability disabled or I would have use that, no clue what the deal is with the subtitles, and doesn't this whole segment (it's been many years since I've seen it) seem, um really "alternative lifestyle friendly"?

Doesn't one of the Presidential candidates blather on about something called "Two Americas"? Silly him.
MSNBC didn't have time to cover Stepha Henry's disappearance yesterday, but Kerry Sanders did a piece about her on Today this morning. And it dealt with the media angle:

"There's been media coverage, but not the type of wall-to-wall, nationwide attention that 18-year-old Kelsey Smith received," Sanders said. "Smith is the white Kansas teen who was abducted and murdered after she left a Target store. Two young women missing, two different levels in media coverage."

A Miami police spokeperson (the same one who was bumped from MSNBC yesterday) said: "I would hate to think -- I would hate to think that the color of anybody's skin would make an impact on whether or not they got media coverage."

MSNBC had booked two interviews about the case of missing Stepha Henry in Miami yesterday, but cancelled them due to Paris coverage...

Nah, no "Two Americas".

More info about Stepha Henry here.

Fun with PhotoPro!
Play Time While Paddy's Away

Anyone have a caption?

Yeah, so about that whole blaming the "liberal media" thing. I have a few questions:
  • Did the liberal media indulge in extraordinary rendition?
  • Did the liberal media condone the use of torture?
  • Did the liberal media eliminate habeas corpus?
  • Did the liberal media start an illegal, immoral war against a country that didn't attack us first?
  • Did the liberal media persist in an endless occupation?
  • Did the liberal media recklessly get us into this fiasco without so much as a plan to clean up the mess?
  • Did the liberal media foment a civil war?
  • Did the liberal media allow looting that resulted in tons of missing weapons?
  • Did the liberal media lose billions of dollars intended for reconstruction?
  • Did the liberal media allow the humiliation and torture at Abu Ghraib?
  • Did the liberal media threaten the health of all Americans with their lack of oversight of what goes into your bodies?
  • Did the liberal media fail to adequately address global warming?
  • Did the liberal media subject millions of Americans to illegal eavesdropping?
  • Did the liberal media try to change the course of the election process by appointing political allies?
The media did have sway after the fact, but it sure wasn't left-leaning, anti-war sway. But the point is, they weren't the ones who initiated these disastrous policies. They reported them, however accurately or inaccurately. Well, right after, you know, all those important Paris, Lindsay, and Britney headlines. But despite rumors to the contrary, it's not the press who resides in the White House. Well, except for that one guy, Gannon was it?

Comedy for Comedy's Sake

I saw the movie "Knocked Up" this week. It was pretty funny. Not an instant classic like "The 40 year old Virgin," but a really goofy, juvenile, entertaining, funny movie.

That's why I was surprised that some bloggers felt it necessary to insert politics into the movie. Andrew Sullivan referenced an anti-gay bias here. Ross Douthat talks about the politics of abortion in the movie here. Seriously? You guys realize its a comedy, right?

Maybe because the internet, no piece of modern culture will remain untainted by political views. If that's true, that's too bad. Because sometimes, a comedy's just a comedy, and jokes are just funny. Unless they're written for that bad Fox knock-off of the Daily Show. Then they're just stupid.

GOP Hypocrisy: Example # 7,146

Here is a chronology of life as Robert Bork (and here you can insert Trent Lott, Mitch McConnell and a variety of other hucksters).

You spend most of your life adamantly opposed to those injured by businesses getting just compensation. You deride them as complainers and call trial lawyers sharks (unlike, for example, executives at Blackwater, Bechtel and vice presidents with cholesterol drips).

Then you get hurt at some business locale or by some product. Well of course you're entitled, you're a Republican after all, so it's time to launch those lawsuits, damn your previous position!

Funny, whethr it's sex outside marriage or tort law, Republicans never fail to exempt themselves from all of their bs rhetoric.

The Romney Boys have a blog! A Gosh-Oh-G-Rated blog! It's called Five Brothers, and is the most popular feature on Mitt's website. And, golly wolly, you can see why:
Tagg Romney, 37, loves the Sox and has a thing for Billy Joel. Matt Romney, 35, always tunes in to "Saturday Night Live," and Josh Romney, 31, likes to surf and water-ski. Ben Romney, 29, hesitates to call his dog, Kingsley, a half yorkie and half poodle, "a yorkie-poo." And Craig Romney, 26, a Tom Brady look-alike, has 337 friends on MySpace and cites his dad, along with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., as his heroes.
Aren't they fun? Wowsers, I can't resist just one more snippety-snip-snippet:
On the blog's most popular entry, Josh asked readers to name the family's newly purchased used RV, which he will be driving to the 99 counties in Iowa. Suggestions poured in, some funny, not all of them supportive.

"The Romnebego."

"Heck on Wheels."




"Less Talk Express."

The brothers settled on "The Mitt Mobile: A Five Brothers' Bus."

"I can't believe we didn't think of that one growing up. We actually nicknamed the car my dad used to drive the 'gray grunt,' " Josh wrote. "It was an old silver Chevy Caprice Classic that was full of dings and dents, a true lemon that he drove for years. I have Tagg searching for a picture right now."

Oooo! Oooo! Did you catch that? You get to ask questions
on their wacky, crazy bloggy-woggy!
A query such as, "Being a Mormon, does Romney campaign on Sunday?" gets a reply -- yes, Romney tries to make it -- while something like, "Have any of the five Romney brothers, all healthy heterosexuals well under 42, considered volunteering for military service in the Global War on Terror?" is ignored.

Well, we wouldn't want Daddy Dearest to reveal too much, now would we? 'Cause boys just wanna have fun.

I'm annoyed today, and very much in need of a rant.

Head of Joint Chiefs is out

Yes, we all know now that Pace was pulled. And we all know that this was a big reversal in the usual course of things. Hmmm. Hasn't happened for years and years, going way back to the Johnson administration. Why would they break with tradition now? Could it be that....Pace would have had to face off with both Democrats and Republicans over Bush's miserable Iraq fiasco?

Pace became identified with Rummy McRumspeak and his spiffy little Shock and Awe plan. And he's gotten a lot of flack--not flak, that would be just wrong and subject me to ridicule--for not challenging The Donald, his loquacious Bossman, before and after the invasion that has now killed over 3,500.

So, Peter Pace who picked many a fine peck of a pickle to be in, was up against it , and so they cut him off.

Oh, and then there's that whole thing last March when Pace asserted that letting gays serve in the military would be immoral. Never mind that we're overextended and lacking vital expertise in vital areas. Gays are immoral. The occupation isn't, our president and vice president aren't, but gays are.

So here we are, left with an administration that decided it was more important to avoid a confirmation fight than to subject the country to the truth about Peter Piper and his many pickles. As Senator Lindsey Graham (R-N.C.) put it, the hearings would have been a "trial of all past mistakes in Iraq." Exactly.

And to make things even more squirmy, the Trial of Past Mistakes would have come at the same time as the all-important, ginned-up September evaluation of the "surge". That would just screw everything up. And we couldn't have that, now could we...?

Due Process Is Kinda Nice

Bob Geiger has a great post up on how Senate Dems and Iraq vets agree on restoring habeas corpus rights.

So that only leaves out one obtuse group of power-munchers. Let's see, who is that again?

Thinking. Thinking. Thinking....


I have been forgetting to repost my satirical Americablog columns here, among many other things that have slipped my mind if you missed it, enjoy (or don't, we believe in free choice here):

The Week That Was 6/8/07

Another week. More preposterousness to report.

Republican debates turn up so many interesting factoids. For example did you know that God created the Heavens and Earth? Amazing. The first 25 times they say that, it is still hard to digest, but by the 26th time, I felt I understood where they were coming from. I was still left pondering a few small items, however...

For example, did Rudy find God between his first and second wife, between his second and third wife, or did he find God while he was ignoring requests to make police and fire personnel radios compatible pre-9/11? You know, just to have an accurate chronology of ecclesiastical events. I'm sure, however, that God respects Senator McCain for the fact that he wants us to "win" in Iraq, because using the terminology sixth graders do to resolve a kickball game seems like the kind of thing God would be more interested in than, say, American soldiers and civilians in Iraq living to see their next birthday.

And it's also good to know that the same God who created us would want to torture our fellow human beings with no proof that they've done a thing wrong, and he'd especially want us to preemptively nuke Iran (though perhaps not on a Friday or Sunday, since we all know that Wednesdays are the traditional scripture day for nuking millions of innocents). Finally, it is always good to have God's wisdom available, as God is surely the only being who can figure out what side Mitt Romney might come down on any particular issue on any given day (though WHICH God Romney is speaking for on a given day is hardly a given).

So what does being a Republican mean? Well once again here's what I have learned, give or take:

1) It means you believe in the rule of law. Illegal immigrants cannot just come here illegally! They have to wait their turn in line like everyone else, or get the hell out since they're all lawbreakers anyway. We are a nation of laws, after all, and the law must be respected! Oh yeah, and pardon Scooter Libby.

2) For FOXNews bossman Roger Ailes it means his organization is comparable to Al Qaeda. Maybe bin Laden will be on FOXNews Sunday soon. He could join the FOX All Stars. I mean let's face it, he really couldn't be any dumber than Brit Hume, and he and Brit could have a contest to see who's the bigger advocate of US troops remaining in Iraq (me, no ME!).

3) It means that because of certain "behaviors," like let's say getting the deep... deep.... deep tissue massage from hookers, shooting the front nine at St. Andews with Jack Abramoff and taking bribes from defense contractors, you're left to hope for one thing to regain power: Another 9/11.

They're just so cute when they wish for Americans to die for political gain, aren't they?

4) It means that when a woman is arrested for making faces at a dog, you need to ask yourself, why hasn't Rick Santorum been arrested yet? And what happens if your spouse is a dog? Just in case, better double-bolt the door, Secretary Chao.

5) Finally, it means if you're running the new Creationist museum and you need an actor to play Adam in a film on Eden... you might not want to pick a guy who enjoys abominating more than Ron Jeremy on E, Mark Foley on a page, or Gary Bauer on a female campaign aide with whom he did nothing wrong and that's why we've never heard from him again (come on, does anyone really think Bauer was fooling around with a woman?). Or almost as much as Fred Thompson.

For more of this mindless banter, go to the usual spot,

The-Less-Than-Benign Neglect Continues

If Nero fiddled while Rome burned, one could say George W. Bush mainlined Near Beer while the United States burned up.

Yes, our favorite Near Beeraholic's continued incompetence and round-the-clock imbecility have led not just regions, or states, but now cities to have to step up and figure out how to combat the increasing signs that he's allowed the Earth to warm more on his watch than Bill Bennett's armpits while working the slots at the Bellagio.

Once again we give you conservative governance at its best....

Housecleaning stuff....

Ad stuff- When we first got the ad for Blue House, I popped over there and fell in love. Eco-Friendly, carbon offset shipping no less!! Check out their site, and if you're in the Baltimore area, you probably already know about them. Neat stuff.

I hope I don't have to explain to you how important the "Freedom to Marry" petition is!! Pop on over and sign it, please?

Representative Kucinich has a 12 point plan for peace. Worth checking out.

Paul Rieckhoff's book is a compelling read (almost done here), and all the other books that are noted in the sidebar are perfect summer reads.

Please click on all our advertisers (so they will continue to advertise) and if you are thinking of buying something from Amazon, clicking on one of our links to go through benefits us. Each of the books that we have linked to Amazon through are hand picked by The Cliffster himself.

And for all of you bemoaning the lack of Cliff lately, the book is in the editors hands, he's tying up some loose ends and should be back to typing for us intertube people any day now today.

Friday, June 08, 2007

The jig is up.

From the Guardian UK

Withdrawal won't happen

The US plans permanent military bases in Iraq, confirming to many that it really was all about oil

Patrick Seale
Saturday June 9, 2007

Almost unnoticed, the war in Iraq entered a new phase last week. Laconic statements from the White House and the Pentagon confirmed what had long been suspected - the US is planning a long-term military presence in Iraq. This is a geopolitical development of the first importance. In spite of current difficulties - May was the most lethal month for American soldiers since 2004, with 119 killed - the United States firmly intends to maintain control of Iraq and its vast oil reserves. Iraq's neighbours, and energy-hungry states and oil companies, will take note.

On a visit to Honolulu on May 31, Robert Gates, the defence secretary, said that the United States was looking for a "long and enduring presence", under an arrangement with the Iraq government. "The Korea model is one, the security relationship we have with Japan is another," he said. US troops have been in South Korea since the end of the Korean war and in Japan since 1945. Last week the White House spokesman Tony Snow confirmed that President Bush wanted a lengthy troop presence in Iraq. "The situation in Iraq, and indeed, the larger war on terror, are things that are going to take a long time," he said.

Such statements, and the planning that goes with them, make nonsense of the current debate - in Congress, the press and the public - about a date for withdrawal from Iraq, and whether the surge is producing results. The administration is looking way beyond that.

What are the motives driving such long-term ambitions? The wish to retain control of energy resources, bearing in mind potential rivals such as China, is clearly one. If there were no oil in Iraq, the US would not be there.

I used more of the article than I usually do because the writer is spot on.

Something not a few of us had thought.

Uh-ohhhh. Move over, Paris. You may have company...
[Fred] Fielding is strengthening the staff to deal with an avalanche of requests the White House is getting from lawmakers investigating the flap over the firings of U.S. attorneys, missing e-mails, prewar intelligence and other matters.
Guess those
trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, reverent
little Boy Scouts over at the White House are sticking to their motto: Be prepared. No ankle bracelets for them!

And maybe, just maybe, if they're very, very good, Paris will order in cupcakes and dog food for them.

Here, so you don't think I'm (just) some "crazy pontificating hippie liberal woman from Indiana". I have a scoochy side too.

Pa. paramedics save ducklings from drain
June 8, 2007

WEST LAWN, Pa. --Real estate agent Liliana Gomez told sales manager Larry Kitchen about a duck she saw peering down a storm drain on her way to work at GMAC Real Estate Premier Network in Wyomissing, and the two drove back to look.

Five baby ducks had falled into the drain on State Hill Road in Spring Township. The mother paced nervously. Soon medics from the Western Berks Ambulance Association were working to retrieve the ducklings, attracting attention amidst rush-hour traffic.


Mike Roth, paramedic and Spring Township deputy fire chief, lifted the grate, climbed 4 feet and began lifting ducks up to paramedics Kimberly Bennethum and Diane Prince. "I handed them up and somebody put them in a box," Roth said.

Reunited in a nearby field, the mother checked the ducklings, and waddled off with them stringing along behind her.


Ooops, got distracted by "Paris Hilton in Jail Puppet Theatre".

Watch this while I find something else interesting. (getting warm here)

From your lips to G-d's ear Newtie.

Gingrich Forecasts GOP Losses in 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republican Newt Gingrich, in a jab at President Bush, warned on Friday that the GOP will lose the White House and Congress in 2008 if the nominee is perceived as a continuation of the Bush presidency.

Addressing a conservative organization, the former House Speaker never mentioned the president by name, but his political point was clear.

"If the Republicans run a stand-pat presidential candidate who ends up being on defense for all of September and October and who is seen by the country as representing four more years, the fact is that Republicans are not going to" win, Gingrich told the American Enterprise Institute.

And while the media obsesses about a spoiled brat, someone who is trying to change lives for the better gets his family destroyed.

Attack decimates family of Iraqi police chief

The Associated PressPublished: June 8, 2007

Carloads of attackers descended on a police chief's house northeast of Baghdad at dawn Friday, killing the official's wife, two brothers and 11 guards, and kidnapping three of his children, the police in Diyala Province reported.

The attack outside Baquba, which came when the police chief was not at home, was one of the boldest and bloodiest in months of stepped-up violence around the city, where Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia and affiliated groups have been fighting American and Iraqi forces and local insurgents who have turned against Al Qaeda.

Elsewhere in northern Iraq, bombings struck a Shiite mosque in a town near Kirkuk, killing at least 19 people and wounding 25, the police said.

At least L.A. is safe with Paris back in jail.

Stop Being Terrified

I can't tell you how many times over the past few years a parent, grandparent or elderly relative said something to the effect of "I feel so sorry for the world your children are growing up in." Inevitably, this statement would be made after some news story regarding terrorism.

And every time this happened, I would be be surprised. Surprised because in each case, the person telling me this lived through WWII, the Cold War, Viet Nam, et. al. These people lived through one of the bloodiest centuries, when madmen like Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot controlled countries, yet it is Osama Bin Laden, a international thug that has to hide in caves to survive, that has them so fatalistic.

I've never been able to understand this phenomenon, and it is something that I want to fight. We shouldn't live our lives in fear, or else the terrorists are really winning (sorry to go all "Bush" there). As usually, Bill Clinton has this nailed down. Here's what he said in a speech at Harvard.

Now remember a few months ago, everybody I knew was shaking their head when we found out that there was a plot in London to put explosive chemicals in a baby bottle to make it look like formula to evade the airport inspection. And every time I ask somebody, I said did you feel a chill go up and down your spine, they said yeah, they did. Because they can imagine being on the airplane, or in my case, I could imagine my daughter, who has to travel a lot on her job, being on the airplane. But here’s what I want to tell you about that. The inequality is fixable and the insecurity is manageable. We’re going to really have to go some in the 21st century to see political violence claim as many innocent lives as it did in the 20th century. Keep in mind you had what, 12 million people killed in World War I, somewhere between 15 and 20 million in World War II, six million in the Holocaust, six million Jews, three million others. Twenty million in the political purges in the former Soviet Union between the two world wars and one afterward. Two million in Cambodia alone. Millions in tribal wars in Africa. An untold but large number in the Chinese Cultural Revolution. I mean, we’re going to have to really get after it, if you expect your generation to claim as many innocents from political violence as was claimed in the 20th century. The difference is you think it could be you this time. Because of the interdependence of the world. So yes, it’s insecure but it’s manageable.


What in the world is going on? A silly rich woman (not girl, she's freakin' 25) whines, pouts and "nervous breakdowns" herself out of jail for an arrogant crime and the media (I'm looking at you MSNBC) treats it like Princess Di has come back from the dead.

Aerial helicopter tracking that gives me a sour-stomach flashback to O.J., and Tommy FREAKING Chong doing color commentary? CNN does live coverage of Sec Gates announcing General Pace's resignation, and MSNBC plays video of imbecilic reporters carping that they can't get close enough to see if Hilton is wearing cuffs?

You want news MSNBC? Just a quick glance at my RSS feed shows that the Bush Administration is being accused of "disappearing" 39 men, women and children to "secret prisons." Our "recovering alcoholic" President is photographed enjoying a cold one, near beer or not. (AA does not approve of near beer) ETA is threatening to end the cease fire and start terrorizing Spain. Pakistan, one of our few allies in that part of the world (you know, where some guy named Osama is) is imploding. Our civil rights aren't being eroded, they have disappeared into that black hole of rectitude known as the Bush Administration.

Yet, right at this moment, there are hundreds, if not thousands of reporters from across the world standing outside an L.A. courthouse, waiting to see whether or not Paris is wearing cuffs.

*actually a rant, but editorial sounds classier

In the spirit of the impending veto of the stem cell bill, let's take another peek into our
*Vote Republican!* snappy Campaign-omercial file:

Who's not pro-life? Nobody! Wish you'd thought up that dandy little moniker "snowflake baby"? Come on, be honest, is adequate health care getting in the way of your belief system? Doesn't saving that precious little clump of undifferentiated cells trump treatment of devastating diseases? And how! Vote Republican: The born-again party of the unborn!
And just for good measure:
Gee whiz, it costs a lot of money to be innovative and do hard things like, well, end infant mortality among the poor, doesn't it? Calling it the "culture of death" or the "culture of ignorance" is a heckuva hard sell. We have to call it something that sounds like the values that we hope others embrace. We're all about celebrating the apocalypse, loving the petri dish, and stealing everyone's money. Idea! Let's call it The Culture of Life, and perpetrate huge fraud over people who long for a past era while repeating the history of the robber baron. Vote Republican: The party of euphemisms!


MSNBC Reporting that General Peter Pace is being replaced as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"Stomach Virus". Huh.

photo via Yahoo from G-8 Summit

Yeah, I've had that virus.

hat tip Dave1021

Three Major Papers: Don't Pardon Libby

By E&P Staff
Published: June 07, 2007 9:25 PM ET

NEW YORK In the aftermath of the sentencing of Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, to 30 months in prison for perjury, obstruction of justice and lying to FBI agents, earlier this week, some newspaper editorials have advocated a presidential pardon. But the Chicago Tribune, a strong backer of George W. Bush in his campaigns for president, declared today, "That shouldn't happen."

The Philadelphia Inquirer stated: "There are persistent calls for Bush to pardon Libby. That would be as arrogant and improper as the original scheme. While Libby was undoubtedly following orders, his culpability remains. He lied to federal agents investigating one of the most reckless and potentially dangerous political hit jobs in years."

The Denver Post: "The question that now has Washington atwitter is whether Bush will pardon Libby and, if so, when. The case was embarrassing to the White House from the start, focusing attention on the administration's clumsy handling of the Iraq war and its critics. A pardon also would be damaging, despite what Libby supporters think."

Just for fun, you can go read all the people who disagree with these op-eds, the letters begging for mercy for their wubby diddle Scooter.

Take a hanky.

Remember Me?

Hey folks. I am sorry I have not been around here much (for those who have not been rejoicing due to my absence). First, I had to get my book manuscript turned in by Monday at noon. Then after catching up on much lost sleep, I was off on a business trip to Burlington, VT for both my wife and myself. And now we are each switching off working and watching the little Dougie man, who at almost 8 months moves faster than a Republican looking for a hooker massage. So watching him is a full-time affair (a labor of love though, of course).

I will try and get back into it tomorrow afternoon when I get back home and will actually spend a few days in my humble abode. But then I am off on another business trip to Arizona and right after DC for the Take Back America conference (I will be liveblogging a good deal from there). In any case, It is just that kind of time right now.

Of potential interest to some of you multiple-progressive-blog readers, I will be going out to dinner tonight here in Burlington with Steve Benen, who you may know as the proprietor of The Carpetbagger Report, the editor of The Salon Blog Report, the weekend guy at Talking Points Memo, and a semi-regular blogger at both The Huffington Post and Crooks & Liars. In other words, Steve reaches more people through the intertubes than anyone alive.

Steve has a been a friend for a while, but the kind of friend you form in this brave new world of ours, which means many emails and a few calls, but this will be the first time we meet in person. Ain't technology grand?

In any case, I will try and write when I can, and soon enough, I'll be back full-time, as there are even going to be some exciting changes going on here, that will benefit all of us...

Thank you for taking a minute to listen to this cerebral excretion from our sponsor. Or, um, the loudmouth this blog is named after.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Nation of Slaves vs. Nation of Immigrants

From the revealing debate over at the NRO. Here's Mark Kirkorian's view of America

JPod: Sure, many phrases are no longer connected to their origins. Few people saying "writing on the wall" are even aware that it's a reference to the Book of Daniel, let alone trying to make a point about the king of Babylon.

But "nation of immigrants" is not that kind of phrase. It has an ideological purpose, to downgrade and delegitimize America before the beginning of mass immigration in 1848, or maybe even before 1880. It is, in a sense, the unofficial motto of multiculturalism. America is much more a "nation of settlers" and a "nation of slaves" that it is a nation of immigrants. As important as some immigrant groups have been in shaping the ongoing development of American culture (especially Germans, Italians, and Jews), the template was established by English and Scottish settlers, as well as by the reinterpretation of Anglo-Celtic culture by the African slaves. Immigrants may be the frosting — but the cake was baked long before they arrived.

I find it absolutely fascinating that someone admitted to seeing the phrase "nation of immigrants" as an insult. I was always taught that the "melting pot" of America was our strength, but according to Mr. Kirkorian, it's basically an embarrassment. I wonder what he thinks of the Statue of Liberty, which was donated after the "cake was baked."

So the next time any GOPer says that opposition to the immigration bill isn't based on racial tensions, have them read this post.

Actor's Risque Past Halts 'Adam' Film

By JULIE CARR SMYTH, Associated Press Writer
Thursday, June 7, 2007
(06-07) 17:50 PDT Columbus, Ohio (AP) --
The man who plays Adam in a video aired at a Bible-based creationist museum has led a different life outside the Garden of Eden, flaunting his sexual exploits online and modeling for a clothing line that promotes free love.

After learning about his activities Thursday, the Creation Museum in Kentucky pulled the 40-second video in which he appears.

"We are currently investigating the veracity of these serious claims of his participation in projects that don't align with the biblical standards and moral code upon which the ministry was founded," Answers for Genesis spokesman Mark Looy said in a written statement.

The actor, Eric Linden, owns a graphic Web site called Bedroom Acrobat, where he has been pictured, smiling alongside a drag queen, in a T-shirt brandishing the site's sexually suggestive logo. The Web site, which has a network of members, allows users to post explicit stories and photos.

I couldn't find the site "Bedroom Acrobat", and Eric Linden's site is really annoying, but I did find his resume here, Model Mayhem. Honestly, you have to wonder about these people. The man is a model/actor... did they do a freakin' background check on him? Sheesh.

Damn that Olbermann, stealing my thunder!!!

Some See Dead Mayor's Likeness in Tree
Thursday, June 7, 2007

(06-07) 11:51 PDT ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) --
Donald Stephens spent more than half a century at the helm of this Chicago suburb. Now, less than two months after his death, some say an eerie likeness of the late mayor's face has appeared in the peeling bark of a 50-foot sycamore.

The image is fueling speculation and wonder in the village of 4,200 residents — the town Stephens is credited with transforming from a tiny enclave of just a few dozen people to a bustling community with one of the nation's largest convention centers.

"He told me, you screw things up, I'm gonna haunt you," said Bradley Stephens, the mayor's 44-year-old son who was appointed to complete his father's term. "When it starts talking, we're all in trouble."

The tree, outside a health club, was twice slated to be torn down. It was saved each time because Stephens intervened.

Tree Photo- Tribune photo by Mario Petitti
Mayor Photo- Chicago Tribune.

So Full Of It

Over at the National Review, some of the conservative writers are debating the merits of Scooter Libby's sentence. Some writers have shown their sanity by pointing out that Libby was tried and convicted by a jury of his peers for lying under oath, which is a crime. In fact, this crime of perjury was something that Republicans thought should bring down a President, but now that ensnared one of their own, it is no longer a big deal.

But I was struck by some of the absolute crap spewed by Mark Levin. Levin rejected the comparisons between Clinton and Libby, by saying the following

Clinton’s repeated lies before a grand jury and during his deposition were not only material and relevant to underlying crimes, but the conduct went to the core of the investigation and civil suit.

This is utter garbage. There is absolutely no connection between the Whitewater hearings and Monica Lewinsky. It was a fishing expedition and no sane rational person could possibly suggest that Fitzgerald roamed farther afield than Ken Starr. Guys like Levin are slithering around, trying to avoid the obvious hypocrisy of their positions. Sorry, but it won't work.


Color me dumbstruck! Cupcakes eat other cupcakes. When she got home from her 3 day excellent adventure, Paris Hilton just had to have cupcakes ...and just like that they were delivered right to her black wrought iron gates! Almost like magic.

The most exciting moment was about 10:30 a.m. when a Mrs. Beasley's Gourmet Cupcakes van pulled up and Anthony Crisafulli delivered three containers of the treats to the house.

"She hasn't eaten well while she's been away," Crisafulli said, noting that Hilton had called the Beverly Hills store this morning. She is a regular customer, he said, noting her favorite cupcakes are strawberry and mocha.

I find this rather cannibalistic. But wait, there's more!
Around noon, a delivery man wheeled in six cases of Party Animal organic gourmet dog food, topped by an extravagant fruit basket.
Either she was being extra careful to avoid dog food of Chinese origins, or she had a sudden hankerin' for La Bone de Lait with a kumquat chaser.

And while I usually make a point of ignoring Paris stories, something about the cupcake angle just got me all choked up and I had to share.

What kind of deluded crap is this?

Feds may suspend border passport rule

By MATTHEW LEE and DEVLIN BARRETT, Associated Press Writers
5 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - The Bush administration may suspend a major post-9/11 security initiative to cope with increasingly angry complaints from Americans whose summer vacations are threatened by new passport rules.

A proposal under consideration would temporarily waive a requirement that U.S. passports be used for air travel to and from Canada and Mexico, provided the traveler can prove he or she has applied for a passport, officials said Thursday.

The proposed six-month suspension in the rules is aimed at clearing a massive backlog of passport applications at the State Department that has slowed processing to a crawl, they said.

But the plan has run into opposition from the Homeland Security Department, which controls U.S. border points and fears the move could make it easier for terrorists or other undesirables to enter the country, the officials said.

What a bunch of wussies Americans have become!! Calling your representative to complain you have to get a passport to leave the country? Good for Homeland Security, I hope they fight this crap. Why doesn't the State Department put some cash back into the system and hire enough paper pushers to catch up with the backlog? Seems simple enough to me.

This administration has done so little to secure our country after the attack, it just boggles the mind that they would consider suspending one of the few things they have.

Here in the great unwashed Northern Indiana....

Today : Mostly sunny, hot and more humid. It will become extremely windy by afternoon and evening. High: 90, Wind: S 20-40

But in the REAL "Windy City"....

90 m.p.h. winds could hit tonight

Tribune staff report
Published June 7, 2007, 2:43 PM CDT
Severe weather is expected to move through the Chicago area today, bringing with it the potential of 90 m.p.h. winds tonight. But lesser winds already are causing problems around the city.

Very strange weather. If I was still living in Miami, I'd call it hurricane weather.

Der. This is a surprise?
Secret CIA prisons confirmed by Polish and Romanian officials
Stephen Grey
Thursday June 7, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

The CIA operated secret prisons in Europe where terrorism suspects could be interrogated and were allegedly tortured, an official inquiry will conclude tomorrow.

Despite denials by their governments, senior security officials in Poland and Romania have confirmed to investigators for the Council of Europe that their countries were used to hold some of America's most important prisoners captured after 9/11 in secret.

None of the prisoners had access to the Red Cross and many were subject to what George Bush has called the CIA's "enhanced" interrogation methods. These included water-boarding which leads detainees to believe they are drowning, which critics have condemned as severe torture.

At least I guess we should be thankful they're admitting it now.

Some thing are, like, soooo annoying:

North Korea Fires Missiles Off Coast : North Korea test-fired short-range missiles off its west coast today, drawing an annoyed reaction from the United States and a dismissive one from South Korea.
Fer sure, all that hostile, shooty stuff is like, totally annoying. But, I mean, not as annoying as shoes that don't match your outfit, but, like, still rilly, rilly annoying, right?
But not as annoying as this:

US called to account for 'disappeared' detainees : Dozens of people who have vanished after allegedly being detained by the United States during counter-terrorism operations were named in a report published by human rights groups.

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and four other groups, are demanding that the US government accounts for the whereabouts of 39 people whom they believe have been held at secret CIA prisons since the attacks of September 11 2001.

Yeah, I'd call that pretty darned annoying too.

U.S. Death Toll Tops 3,500 in Iraq

Associated Press
BAGHDAD -- Another U.S. soldier was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq, the military said Thursday, pushing the four-year death toll for American forces to 3,501, according to an Associated Press tally.

The toll includes 23 deaths in the first six days of June, a relatively high casualty rate, almost double that of June 2006.

The Multi-National Division-Baghdad soldier was killed Wednesday when a roadside bomb exploded during combat operations in a southwestern section of the capital, a military statement said. It added that two other soldiers were wounded in the attack and evacuated to a coalition medical facility.

No comment, no photo.

Joe Klein Says Wahhhh!!!

In his Time column, Joe Klein decries the meanness of the left-wing blogosphere.

But the smart stuff is being drowned out by a fierce, bullying, often witless tone of intolerance that has overtaken the left-wing sector of the blogosphere. Anyone who doesn't move in lockstep with the most extreme voices is savaged and ridiculed—especially people like me who often agree with the liberal position but sometimes disagree and are therefore considered traitorously unreliable.

Joe did everything but call the netroots the "nattering nabobs of negatism" (fun for all of you Agnew fans out there). Yes, the left netroots is just too mean for Joe. Never mind that Joe wrote lines like "witless tone of intolerance" or calling George Bush "one of the worst Presidents in history." Joe doesn't like harsh tones or mean judgments when they come from others, especially if they are in regards to him.

Atypical of the MSM, Joe Klein likes to render judgments and give harsh opinions, but feels above being judged by others. In his own mind, his work is beyond reproach, so how dare someone else take him to account for the things he writes.

Newsflash for Joe Klein, Brian Williams and any other MSM within shouting distance, those days where your work was left unchecked are gone. There are now thousands of sites dedicated to getting the story straight, and you're going to have to take your lumps when you get it wrong. And you're going to have to deal with the judgment of others, whether you like it or not. Because all those people who used to read magazines and watch television now read blogs, because we're the ones doing the real journalism nowadays (Josh Marshall made the US attorneys story because he actually did some digging, like the journalists of yore). That's the new reality, so deal with it

In case you missed this last night.

It made me snort.

Love it!!

Flynt says he has dirt on Congress under covers
Carla Marinucci, Chronicle Political Writer

Thursday, June 7, 2007
"Hustler" publisher Larry Flynt -- just days after posting a $1 million bounty for verifiable information on the sexual exploits of U.S. Congress members and political leaders -- says he's already been deluged by more than 200 leads pouring in from around the country, "80 percent of them on Republicans."

"I'm not interested in exposing anyone's sex life," Flynt said in a telephone interview Wednesday. "It's the hypocrisy I'm after."


"Everybody -- because I'm a civil libertarian -- thinks I'm going after Republicans. That's not true," he said.

Flynt said he expects "2 to 4 percent" of the leads to develop into solid publishable information and wouldn't name names; but he's looking into, among others, "a couple of (congressmen) who are gay and they're voting against every piece of legislation that would adversely affect gays."

This is Part 4 of 4 in a series copied and pasted, unedited, from a lengthy email I received from a 14-year-old girl named Tiffani. She's one of the many teens I've gotten to know through my work. She willingly and passionately agreed to share this with all of you. Her 33-year-old father was just sent to Iraq. She inadvertently found out his mission, which is among the most dangerous and is one typically covered by the media.

T he truth about the families and the kids on Iraq.
One of the saddest moments before he left was when he, myself, His army buddy and his buddy's girlfriend, and my family went out to dinner. His buddy went with him overseas to Egypt before but he is young ….. About 25 26 . and he was scared …they all got drunk and his buddy made a toast. When he made that toast he started to cry… he was scared and he told everyone……. My dad began to cry …soon a table filled with tears. Another sad moment was saying goodbye. They didn't even let us walk through the air port…my dad my only dad and I had a 10 sec goodbye …and that's all. That ten second goodbye…… could be the last time I touch him …or see him.

You know the way the army prepares things is absolutely ridiculous. For example in the war on Vietnam, the army was so unprepared to loose that many men, they didn't even deliver the death letters themselves, nope, taxi drivers did. Can you even imagine how crapy that must feel to not even be able to be told by the army…but a stranger just driving a cab.
The army wasn't ready, and in this case the familys arnt ready to loose more soldiers. Im not ready to loose my dad. Hopefully b7y reading this you will get a kids hurt and view on what she thinks of all this. Thanks you for listininttg.

VoteVets Goes After Arkansas GOP Chief For Saying Republicans Need Another 9/11

Iraq veterans attacked Dennis Milligan for his remarks asserting another attack on American soil is needed. Meanwhile, Milligan is struggling to garner support among his depleted Arkansas Republican Party which does not hold a single statewide constitutional or U.S. Senate seat, and now only holds a single Congressional district with John Boozman, who is currently being investigated in the US Attorney scandal:, a PAC supported by veterans who are critical of the handling of the war in Iraq, condemned state GOP Chairman Dennis Milligan for his remarks in a recent newspaper interview.

"At the end of the day, I believe fully the president is doing the right thing (in Iraq), and I think all we need is some attacks on American soil like we had on (Sept. 11), and the naysayers will come around very quickly to appreciate not only the commitment for President Bush, but the sacrifice that has been made by men and women to protect this country," Milligan was quoted as saying in the Sunday edition of Arkansas' statewide newspaper.

"Those of us who fought to defend America won't even dignify Milligan's sick suggestion that Americans should die to justify the political argument for George W. Bush's failed policy in Iraq, other than to say he is a sick man and should step down," Iraq War veteran Jon Soltz, chairman and co-founder of, said in a news release Wednesday.

Housecleaning stuff....

Big fight in the halls of government today over the Immigration Bill.
Who will win?

Ad stuff- When we first got the ad for Blue House, I popped over there and fell in love. Eco-Friendly, carbon offset shipping no less!! Check out their site, and if you're in the Baltimore area, you probably already know about them. Neat stuff.

Representative Kucinich has a 12 point plan for peace. Worth checking out.

Paul Rieckhoff's book is a compelling read (almost done here), and all the other books that are noted in the sidebar are perfect summer reads.

Please click on all our advertisers (so they will continue to advertise) and if you are thinking of buying something from Amazon, clicking on one of our links to go through benefits us. Each of the books that we have linked to Amazon through are hand picked by The Cliffster himself.

And for all of you bemoaning the lack of Cliff lately, the book is in the editors hands, he's tying up some loose ends and should be back to typing for us intertube people any day now.

Woman Arrested for Making Faces at Dog
CHELSEA, Vt. (AP) -- A prosecutor has dropped charges against a woman who was arrested for staring at and making faces at a police dog.

"Prosecuting a woman for `staring' at a police dog is absurd," said her lawyer. "People are allowed to make faces at police dogs and officers to express their disapproval. It's constitutional expression," said public defender Kelly Green, who represented Jayna Hutchinson.

Hutchinson, 33, of Lebanon, N.H., was charged with cruelty to a police animal and resisting arrest after a July 31 incident in West Fairlee in which police were called to a market to investigate a report of a brawl.

If making faces at dogs is "cruel and unusual", I better turn myself in to the ASPCA stat.

NOTE FROM CLIFF: I'm in Burlington, VT right now, so I'll make faces at every animal I see, as well as a few people, and I'll let you all know how it goes.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

DAMN that first amendment.... I'd sign up to see these people fry.

Soldier funeral protester arrested

By Eric Olson, Associated Press Writer | June 6, 2007
OMAHA, Neb. --A member of the Kansas group that has drawn criticism for protesting at soldiers' funerals has been arrested for letting her 10-year-old son stomp on a U.S. flag during a demonstration. She promised Wednesday to challenge the state's flag desecration law in court.

Shirley Phelps-Roper, 49, will be charged with flag mutilation, disturbing the peace and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, Sarpy County Attorney Lee Polikov said Wednesday.

Phelps-Roper, a member of the Westboro Baptist Church, acknowledged that she allowed her son Jonah to stand on the flag Tuesday -- something she says is protected by the U.S. Constitution.


Phelps-Roper is a daughter of Westboro's founder, the Rev. Fred Phelps. Members have protested at more than 280 military funerals in 43 states since June 2005, she said.

The group says the deaths of U.S. soldiers are God's punishment for a nation that harbors gays and lesbians. Nebraska and 37 other states have laws restricting how close protesters can get to funerals, inspired at least in part by the Westboro protests.

I'm guessing that liberal uber socialist organization, the ACLU will defend their right to stomp on the flag.

Damn those hippie liberal commie freaks for defacing our flag!!!!

Environmentalist helps Abramoff probe

Another day, another guilty plea:
The head of a Republican environmental advocacy group is set to plead guilty in the Jack Abramoff scandal and is cooperating with an FBI investigation into corruption involving Congress and the Bush administration...
Italia Federici served as a go-between for Abramoff, the once-powerful lobbyist, and J. Steven Griles, the deputy interior secretary during President Bush's first term, prosecutors said Wednesday in documents charging her with tax evasion and obstructing a Senate inquiry into the Abramoff scandal.
Authorities believe Federici may be able to provide information about former Interior Secretary Gale Norton, other Bush administration officials and the contacts that she, Abramoff and Griles cultivated in Congress, the second individual said.

And another one bites the dust...

Bit of nostalgia...

"The Price Is Right" reminds me of staying home sick when I was a kid. It is such an "everyman" type game that you couldn't help but love it. (GWB would never make it off the floor) As the years went on, I figured it was an older persons thing.... the residents of the "Assisted Living" place my mom lived loved it, but I always thought it was just an excuse so they could leave the teevee on and watch the soaps afterwards.

Nope, they love them some Bob Barker.

Bob Barker Tapes Final 'Price Is Right'
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Blowing kisses to the camera, Bob Barker signed off on 35 years on "The Price Is Right" and 50 years in daytime TV in the same low-key, genial fashion that made him one of daytime TV's biggest stars.

Barker, who had said before the taping on Wednesday of his final appearance that he would try to act as if it was "just another show," stuck to that promise. He ended the program as he always has, signing off with the words: "Help control the pet population, have your pets spayed or neutered. Goodbye everybody."

Barker has influenced the shows prizes over the years, said longtime producer Roger Dobkowitz.

"Because he's a vegetarian, we respect his wishes and we don't advertise meat products on the show," he said. At Barker's request, they also stopped giving away fur coats.

The first person I ever heard advocating for spay/neuter was Bob Barker, and he was one of the first people who I ever heard declare himself a "vegetarian".

Pretty heady stuff for a mainstream television star in the 70's.

I don't usually say this, but kudos to Kirsten Powers.
(and Gibby is an ass)

Boy, he's really stretching on this one. BTW Gibby, as a female Democratic voter, I'm glad Hillary did whatever she thought she should. End of story.


Over at the Atlantic, Ross Douthat was discussing the different strands of conservatism, when he unleashed this gem. It's a perfect description of the Bush/Rove/DeLay way of governing.

First, it turned out that the Administration didn't have that much interest in policy detail except as a means to win political victories, which gave us everything from steel tariffs to prescription drugs to the explosion of pork - policies that weren't examples of a crusading conservatism of any stripe, but just forays into old-fashioned "buy yourself a majority" statism.

It's an important reality that often gets overlooked. Those on the left like to describe Bush as a right-wing conservative and (especially now) conservatives like to describe Bush as a liberal. But to the extent they had an ideology, it was to gain power through elections. It's why we have the US Attorney's scandal and why we have a gigantic deficit.

Cut taxes, spend on domestic policies, drop pork, whatever it takes to get elected. Unfortunately, this mish-mash of policies has left this country in the biggest hole its ever seen. And its why no matter what Rudy McRomney says, we will have more of the same if they are elected. They all endorsed this strategy before, and there is no reason to believe they will be any different in office.

(HT - The Daily Dish)

Gore wins award for environment work

By Daniel Woolls, Associated Press Writer | June 6, 2007
MADRID, Spain --Former Vice President Al Gore won Spain's most prestigious prize Wednesday for his "decisive contribution to progress in solving the grave problems of climate change which threaten our planet."

Gore won the Prince of Asturias award for international cooperation, considered by some to be a warm-up for the Nobel Prizes, for which Gore is nominated this year in the peace category.

Any excuse to put up my favorite pic.

New York Observer

Ailes: "The Candidates That Can't Face Fox, Can't Face Al Qaeda"

“The candidates that can’t face Fox, can’t face Al Qaeda,” said Mr. Ailes. “And that’s what’s coming.”

That was followed by applause from the crowd which featured several News Corp. executives and journalists from Murdoch-owned papers—Richard Johnson, the Post’s Page Six editor, for one.

You subversive, lying, manipulitive sack of rancid refried beans.

More example of Faux here.

A Fox News spokesperson has further explained his remark: "Mr. Ailes was repeating a comment made to him by many friends of his who are Democrats and are disappointed that their party is not currently debating on Fox."



From TPM Reader RT:

"I guess he validates the theory you shouldn't negotiate with terrorists."


And speaking of wacky election seasons, let's take another peek into our
*Vote Republican!* snappy Campaign-omercial file:

Are you anti war? Think saving lives is the answer? Want to bring the troops home? After only 4 years of occupation? Holy cow, you must be a traitor...who sides with terrorists! Call the National Guard...if you can find them! But hey, there's nothing more bracing than good old fashioned quality combat time with an unrecognizable enemy. No end in sight, you say? Baloney! Eternal warfare is the American way! And what's a lengthy occupation without a signature injury? Brain trauma: It's the boo-boo that builds character! Remember, a war without shell shock is a war without reason. Vote Republican: The party of blood and guts.

Mike Huckabee Is Dangerous

He won't win the GOP primary, and I think that is a good thing for Democrats. Because out of all 10 on that stage, he's the only one that "gets it."

"We didn't do what we were hired to do," former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said, explaining GOP losses at the polls. "And the people fired us. We've lost credibility, the way we bungled Katrina, the fact that there was corruption that was unchecked in Washington, and the fact that there was a feeling that there was not a proper handling of the Iraqi war in all of its details, and the indifference to people pouring over our borders."

Truth will out.

Young clerk let Tiananmen ad slip past censors: paper
June 6, 2007

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A young clerk with no knowledge of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown allowed a tribute to victims slip into the classified ads page of a newspaper in southwest China, a Hong Kong daily reported on Wednesday.

The tiny ad in the lower right corner of page 14 of the Chengdu Evening News on Monday night, read: "Paying tribute to the strong(-willed) mothers of June 4 victims."

An investigation was launched by Chinese authorities to find out how the advertisement slipped its way past censors.


"This highlights (the fact) that the government needs to face up to history," the paper quoted the source as saying.

References to the massacre are barred in state media, the Internet and printed works, meaning many of China's younger generation are ignorant of the events.

No subversion, no grand plan. Just an ignorant kid too young to know.

I'm telling you, I see stuff like this and want to run to the neartest "Paul for President" office and sign up. Then someone comes along and lists the reasons why I shouldn't, here-

Ron Paul hates you.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Here we go!! This will separate the men from the boys!! (figuratively)

Spanish TV puts ’08 hopefuls into a bind
By Alexander Bolton
June 06, 2007

Univision, the nation’s largest Spanish-language TV network, has presented the ’08 presidential candidates with a problem. It has invited them to take part in debates in Spanish and thus forced them to choose between snubbing Spanish-speaking voters and displaying their ignorance of the language.

Univision has invited the presidential candidates to attend two debates in Florida in September in which the questions will be asked in Spanish, according to Democratic and GOP sources. Fluent candidates could answer in Spanish, while the others can answer in English and have their questions translated into Spanish.

Oh yeah, I'm seeing Duncan Hunter & Tancredo just being pleased as punch about this!!

What will Lou Dobbs say?

Kristol Unclear

Seriously, Bill Kristol has lost his mind.

I FEEL TERRIBLE for Scooter Libby's family. Millions of Americans feel terrible for Scooter Libby's family. But we can't do anything about the injustice that has been done. Nor can we do anything to avert a further injustice looming on the horizon--Judge Reggie Walton seems inclined not to let Libby remain free pending appeal.

Millions of Americans feel terrible? Really? Does anybody know a single person outside of the right wing media that care one whit about Libby, a CONVICTED PERJURER? Yes, such a terrible injustice, putting a man behind bars for lying during an investigation. Does anyone else find it funny that the same people who support torture and holding folks indefinitely at Guantanamo find the Libby case an injustice? Good god, how can anyone take these people seriously?