Saturday, July 21, 2007

* MTP: Dir. of Natl Intel Mike McConnell on NIE & terrorism; Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) on Iraq; roundtable of NYT's David Brooks, Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes and WaPo's Bob Woodward on Bush-Cheney admin

* FTN: Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) on Iraq and terrorism

* FNS: WH Homeland Sec. Adv. Frances Townsend; Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO); Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN); Sir Richard Branson

* Late Edition: WH Homeland Sec. Adv. Frances Townsend; Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY); David Bonior (D-Edwards); roundtable of Dana Bash, John King & Candy Crowley

* No This Week, this week. (British Open)

via Newsie8200 as usual

Okay, last one (unless Cliff has one, he's the boss)


At Camp David today (it was said)
Bush's doctor was filled with dread.
He exclaimed, "Gather round!
Look what I've found!
I believe it's the President's head!"

Conservatives open hearts and homes to foster children

By JAMES HOHMANN / The Dallas Morning News
In the days before Texas had nearly 19,000 abused, abandoned and neglected children on its foster care rolls, the church often helped take care of orphans.

Now, some conservative Christians say an intense focus on hot-button issues like abortion and gay marriage has come at the expense of caring for needy children. And they're doing something about it.


"We haven't done an effective job of treasuring the lives we say are so valuable," said Staci Taylor, a member of Memorial Baptist Church in Grapevine. "I think that's a big point of the church's involvement. If we're going to talk about pro-life, we equally need to discuss pro-adoption."

Gosh, no line in there like,"Liberals for years have been telling us to do more for the living children who need help in this world, and gosh they were right!"

At least they figured this much out.

'Cause I got nothing, you get Lil' Bush getting saved.

Australians wave goodbye to TV remote control
A new device that allows viewers to operate the TV by simple hand gestures may make the remote control obsolete.

You heard it here first.

GottaLaff: Your source for all tech news, all the time. And for Laughing Cow Cheese wrapper Fun Facts.

Buzzflash nails it
Unfortunately, their editorial makes all too much sense, and it's worth reading in full. They start by recapping the last week's worth of Bushevik assaults on democracy. They go on from there. Here are some excerpts:
The Democrats MUST remember this most important axiom about Bush, Cheney and Rove: There interest is not necessarily to stay in Iraq forever; it is to ensure that the Republicans can hold onto power indefinitely.
Good point. The point.
It would be a mistake to think that Bush’s ongoing chipperness and indifference to public opinion can be attributed to his sociopathology alone. It would also be an error to think that Dick "Dr. Evil" Cheney is simply becoming more hunkered down in his delusions that he is the power behind the throne, the rabble in the Congress be damned. [...]
BuzzFlash speculates that one of the reasons relates to their confidence in their ability to continue to manipulate events and emotions. Although the mainstream media has started to expose more of the reality of the utter debacle of the Iraq War, it still is more likely than not to give a White House spin to headlines and stories, as it did in Bush’s completely hypocritical and mendacious attack on Democrats for allegedly not legislatively "supporting our troops."
Rove. It always comes down to Rove.
Rove knows that one big event that is perceived as a military challenge to America can erase all the accumulated negative perceptions of Bush for enough time to ride the next Republican presidential candidate through an election cycle (or according to the worst fears of some, suspend the elections based on Executive Branch emergency powers that Bush has been incrementally accumulating through executive orders and with the consent of Congress.)
3 options (Not that there are only 3, but 3 are detailed;
Buzzflash elaborates on the pros and cons of each):
1) A short-term military assault on the Pakistani "tribal lands," bordering Afghanistan, where the Saudi dominated Al-Qaeda has allegedly been living openly and freely...
2) An air attack, likely employing nuclear weapons, on Iranian nuclear facilities...
3) A 9/11 repeat attack on U.S. soil.
I touched on #3 in my post on Paul Craig Roberts. I suggest checking out what he has to say here.
In short, why we concentrate on ending the Iraq War, the White House is kicking the ball down the field trying to figure out which of the above three scenarios (and others) might be the best diversion from the Baghdad conflict, while boosting Bush’s ratings in one fell swoop – and recharging the hopes of a Republican candidate for president.

Let's not forget their habit of rigging elections.

The bottom line is that the White House has its eyes on continuing the march toward consolidating Executive Branch and Federal Court Republican control over any efforts by Congress to assert their Constitutional powers.
The other bottom line? Removing this bunch of power-hungry criminals from office.

White House race stays nice and polite -- for now

By John Whitesides, Political Correspondent | July 21, 2007
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The 2008 White House race has groundbreaking candidates, record-shattering spending and crowded debates, but so far it lacks a more common feature of recent campaigns -- negative and sometimes personal attacks.

It's still early, though.

The sprawling fields of contenders in both parties have kept a largely civil tone through the early stages of a fast-starting White House race, mostly avoiding direct confrontations and leaving the rare attacks to surrogates.

I wonder what Mr Whiteside considers rude?

"Had It Been In The Old Testament, Harry Potter Would Have Been Put To Death"

I don't know what to say but, oh my Lord.

Here we have a segment with a crazy lady from Jesus Camp. She reminds us that "warlocks are enemies of God." Unlike, say, those brainwashing small children. Or Rush Limbaugh.

Anyone see my magic wand?
Bush Reclaims Powers After Colonoscopy
And here you thought it was Harry Potter's magic that was creating all the frenzy.

But here's a more satisfying plot twist:
Fish and Wildlife to Review Eight Rulings on Endangered Species The US Fish and Wildlife Service said yesterday it will review eight endangered species decisions that were "inappropriately influenced" by a political appointee of the Interior Department, throwing a lifeline to 18 species...
Once again, science and common sense v. the White House. If there's anyone who should be endangered, it's BushCo. Harry? Can you put those magical powers to use now?

And furthermore...

Republicans are partial to lying

And spinning and spooning and spying.
They are such hypocrites,
From Fred Thompson to Mitt,
It's no wonder their party is dying.

I've Been Inspired

After reading those great limericks, I decided what the hell. And when ohdave gave me credit, and I brought up guy named Gore, well it all came together:

There once was a vice-president named Gore/
Who wouldn't have rushed us to war/
But instead we got Cheney/
And his sidekick No Brainy/
And our country's respected no more.


Our wonderful commenters ohdave and via offered up their own "poetry" to enhance my posting of John Kerry's last night.

First, Senator Kerry's-

"There once was a man named Vitter/
Who vowed that he wasn’t a quitter/
But with stories of women/
And all of his sinnin’/
He knows his career’s in the -- oh, never mind."

Now one from via-

There once was a man name of Bush/
During 'Nam he just sat on his tush/
Now the same in Iraq/
Barb and Jenna hang back/
Let the common kids die in this push.

and two from ohdave-

I ran against Bush in oh-4.
And lost by a paltry score.
I sat on my bum
on advice from Bob Shrum
who worked the same magic for Gore.

If only we'd listened to Cliff,
things would be a little bit diff.
Osama no more,
Bush out the door,
and the economy would be terrif.

Uh Oh, Mitt Romney Is Lying Again

What's new. He attacks Obama with a quote that Pat Robertson's CBN called "unfair." Nope, nothing new for this vacuous, pathetically sad panderer who has absolutely no core convictions except his personal advancement.

Wow, am I going to enjoy watching him get his ass kicked whether in the primary or general election.

(h/t PoliticsTV)

India Elects First Female President

NEW DELHI — India elected Pratibha Patil as the country's first female president Saturday in a vote seen as a victory for the hundreds of millions of Indian women who contend with widespread discrimination.

Patil received 65.82 percent of the votes cast by national lawmakers and state legislators, said Election Commission head P.D.T. Achary. She had been widely expected to win.

Wonder if there was heavy reporting of her fashion choices?

Scary to think India may be be more enlightened that the U.S.

Right now this man is president.

Cliff Note: I think I just puked a little in my mouth

Michael Moore Has A Question For The YouTube Debate

And I think it's perfect:

(h/t jgilliam)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Where was this guy in '04?

Quote of the Day

"There once was a man named Vitter/

Who vowed that he wasn’t a quitter/

But with stories of women/

And all of his sinnin’/

He knows his career’s in the -- oh, never mind."

-- Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), quoted by The Hill, on Sen. David Vitter’s (R-LA) prostitution scandal.

Here's what $2,000 Make-Up-Face Mitt Romney said today to explain his support of CIA interrogation methods:
"I support tough interrogation techniques, enhanced interrogation techniques, in circumstances where there is a ticking time bomb, a ticking bomb," Romney said. "I do not support torture, but I do support enhanced interrogation techniques to learn from terrorists what we need to learn to keep the bombs from going off."
Got that? I don't support torture--tick, tick, tick--but I support torture. Sounds presidential, doesn't he? "Bush presidential", that is. You know, reckless and idiotic. He also praised the broad powers granted law enforcement under the USA Patriot Act... because they're so, you know, praiseworthy and patriotic and powery.

Nauseous enough yet? No?
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Friday that a White House bid by fellow Southerner Fred Thompson would make him less likely to join the race. "If Fred Thompson runs and he does well, then I think that makes it easier for me to not run," Gingrich said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "On the other hand, just given what you've seen with (John) McCain the last few months, how can you predict?"
Let's recap: You probably won't run if trophy-wife-Fred does, unless he doesn't, in which case you might, and, oh yeah, McCain's a loser.

Republican campaign season is like playing pin the tail on the asses with your eyes open.

I'm on my way over to B&N to grab my copy of the new Harry Potter.

Here is Keith's prediction as to the end of the series.

Another Powerful Video On Iraq By The Guardian - Inside The Surge

Wow, there is some impressive video coming out lately on the tragedy that continues to unfold every day in Iraq. I wish it meant that el presidente and leg-humping GOP members of Congress might spontaneously grow a conscience. But I guess that's just a bridge too far.

In any case, this is a MUST WATCH:

What A Nice Sign!

Wouldn't it be cool to have this across the street from your house? You not sure, you say? Well then just contact Sen. Norm "midnight toker but my teeth are still shiny" Coleman or Mitch "I'll send your job to China" McConnell and ask them what it's like.

Because apparently their neighbors have decided to send a none to subtle message to the aging hipster and the corporatized grandma:

Robert D. Novak plans to report this weekend:
Former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert has indicated to a close former aide that it is likely he will not run for a 12th term from his northern Illinois district and may even resign from Congress before his present term concludes. That runs counter to widespread speculation on Capitol Hill that Hastert will continue in the House for another two years as a private member with no leadership responsibilities. Since last year's Democratic takeover of Congress moved him out of the speaker's office, he has enjoyed returning to his former specialty of energy issues as a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. A footnote: If Hastert does not run, a leading candidate will be his chief of staff, Mike Stokke. Before going on Hastert's staff, Stokke was an aide for both the Illinois state legislature and the governor's office in Springfield.”
Buh-bye now.

The New Normal: 75% Of Americans Will Be Overweight By 2015 25% of them will be Denny Hastert. Cheap shot. Ask me if I care at this point.

Fair Pay Restoration Act

Rep. George Miller introduced H.R. 2831, the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and today Sen. Ted Kennedy introduced the companion Senate bill, the Fair Pay Restoration Act (no bill number yet). Both pieces of legislation will remove that 180-day time restriction.

Go sign the petition

This is b.s. of the highest degree.

Now, can someone tell me when habeas corpus will make a comeback?

I'm in hell.

Mike Barnicle, Naomi Wolf & Melanie Morgan are discussing Hillary Clinton's cleavage on my television.

"Something is in the works, staged or authentic, and these executive orders are implemented to create a dictatorial police state...This administration will orchestrate another 9/11 event if it doesn't happen on its own."

Indulge me for a minute. When I heard that, I stopped what I was doing and listened. The above quote is slightly paraphrased, but I rushed to transcribe it nearly word for word as he said it on the Thom Hartmann show yesterday. Who, you might be asking, would make such dramatic statements?

Paul Craig Roberts, an economist, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration , the "Father of Reaganomics", and former editor and columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Business Week.

He is one of an increasing number of former White House officials from the Reagan administration who want Bush impeached. And he will never again vote Republican.

Roberts: "Do you really think the neocons will sit back as the Republicans self-destruct over Bush's ego-fling? No. Republicans know they'll go down in 2008, and they've even said that they are 'praying for another 9/11 event'."

He went on to say how the Democrats figure that a lot of this stuff will blow over after the election, one reason they're not willing to impeach. In the meantime, he says, there will likely be a real or manufactured catastrophe during which Darth and Co. will somehow re-consolidate their power and, unless the public catches on in a huge way prior to this, there will be absolute rule.

Unless the military says they have had enough.

All of this was his response to
this: Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq (see my post of July 18).

Does this sound like someone who is prone to panic? Not to me. That's why I decided to bring it up to all of you. Could this happen? What do you think?

And wow, who'd have thought that Bruce Fein, John Dean, Paul Craig Roberts and I would have something in common?

One more quote:

"There is nothing wrong with America that can't be fixed by what is right with America."
--Bill Clinton.

Paul Krugman: "Yet Mr. Bush keeps doing damage because many people who understand how his folly is endangering the nation’s security still refuse, out of political caution and careerism, to do anything about it." This refers to the Iraq fiasco, but the quote applies.

ADDENDUM #2: From Raw Story, some direct quotes.

There is something fishy here.

Bush Alters Rules for Interrogations

Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush signed an executive order Friday prohibiting cruel and inhuman treatment, including humiliation or denigration of religious beliefs, in the detention and interrogation of terrorism suspects.

The White House declined to say whether the CIA currently has a detention and interrogation program, but said if it did, it must adhere to the guidelines outlined in the executive order.

Wish I knew where I could find the executive order, 'cause I'm betting there is some doubletalk in it that effectively does some CYA'ng for the administration.

This is not Mr Bush's style at all, unless there is another motive.

I don't watch "King of the Hill" er (per Kristen in comments) I don't watch
"Family Guy" either, so I never saw this before.

Kinda makes you wonder.

Via Left in Aboite

The scariest sentence in the world.

Cheney to become president…briefly

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Bush will undergo a routine colonoscopy Saturday, and will transfer power to Vice President Dick Cheney during the procedure, expected to take about two and a half hours, the chief White House spokesman said.

It All Makes Sense Now!!

The reason Ole' Frederick Of Hollywood Thompson is so manly and sexy and daddy-like--and such a swell actor too--is that he is really Viggo the Carpinthian! How did I miss it for so long?

See what you think my friends. Here is Frederick Of Hollywood:

And here is Viggo (you may have seen him in Ghostbusters II):

More Republican Hypocrisy

In the Washington Post, Ruth Marcus takes aim at Sen. Vitter and her Post colleagues. Marcus complains that many in DC, including Post writers E.J. Dionne and David Ignatius, are calling Sen. Vitter's tryst with a hooker a "private matter." Yet the DC Madam is facing serious prison time. Marcus thinks this is just wrong.

But Vitter didn't just cop to a "very serious sin." It's a fair inference that he committed a crime. Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the "D.C. Madam" in whose phone records Vitter's number turned up, is facing federal charges of running a prostitution ring.

Do my colleagues bemoaning the loss of privacy think those charges should be dropped? Dionne says we should "grant Vitter our collective absolution and move on." Does he want to do the same for Palfrey? What makes Palfrey "fair game" for prosecutors, in Ignatius's words, but puts her client list off-limits?

Perhaps my colleagues are sexual supply-siders, uninterested in the demand part of the prostitution equation.

Ouch! For my money, Marcus is right. Vitter didn't just commit a sin, he committed a crime. It's not nearly as grave as briebry (I'm looking at you, Mr. Money In The Freezer) but it is still a crime. If he gets a free pass, shouldn't Palfrey get one as well?

But my favorite part of the article is the end, where Marcus shines her bright light on one last bit of GOP hypocrisy.

One man who has understood the importance of dealing with the demand side is former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, who went after prostitution in the city by
targeting customers as well as prostitutes. Under "Operation Losing Proposition," Giuliani's police arrested johns and confiscated their cars. He didn't wring his hands over their lost privacy.

So what does Candidate Giuliani say now -- now that his own marital missteps are campaign fodder, and his southern regional chairman is David Vitter? At a town meeting in New Hampshire last week, Giuliani sounded like my fellow columnists. "I believe," he said, "it's a personal issue."


He did promise an example of far-right hatred in the "Most Ridiculous Item,"which turned out to be a clip of the raving lunatic Fred Phelps condemning O'Reilly. Pretty funny that BOR had to go off the chart to a mentally ill man to find the far-right, from where he sits.

Poor Bill, Kos came back from his vacation early to set him straight.

Psst, Bill? JetBlue ain't going nowhere

,,,it's kind of fun to mark my return with a Nelson-style "Ha ha" directed at Bill O'Reilly and his flunky Michelle Malkin, who yesterday celebrated the withdrawal of JetBlue from the ranks of the YearlyKos sponsors.

In short, that dynamic duo triumphantly claimed that O'Reilly -- the most powerful man in the universe in his own mind -- forced airline carrier JetBlue to pull its sponsorship of the YearlyKos conference.

But go to the YearlyKos convention website, and you'll note the JetBlue logo is still there, on the home page. And I've confirmed that yes, indeed, JetBlue isn't going anywhere. They don't plan on caving to pressure from the neanderthals at Fox News.


JetBlue caved to O'Reillys' minions.

Once You Join The GOP, You Can Never Leave The Family

This is just spooky. As you may or may not know, the Kansas GOP, much like the national party but even worse, has been melting down. Their former state party chair is now the lieutenant governor under Democratic Governor Kathleen Sebelius. The AG is also a Republican-turned-Democrat who ousted a crazy Republican from that job. And the list goes on and on.

So now you have to sign a loyalty pledge, like you're in one of the Five Families or Stalin's Communist Party. I know, you're not surprised. The GOP is nothing but a clinically paranoid cult these days, so what else could one expect.

Here is your loyalty oath friends:

I, _______________, promise never to abandon my present Republican Party affiliation for the purpose of political gain. The Republican Party, both nationally and domestically, was founded on sound and principled ideals, that include but are not limited to, personal liberty, individual freedom, responsive and citizen-based Government, life-affirming values, economic growth, strong and cutting edge military, low taxes and a mutual respect for fellow Republicans. Because of that, I will, at no point in my political or personal future, find cause to transfer my Party loyalty to any other affiliated organization.

I will not, at any future moment, become a registered Democrat for the purpose of seeking any political office. Additionally, I will not change my Party affiliation to that of any peripheral political party, such as the Reform Party, the Green Party or the Libertarian Party. Such a move would be not only opportunistic, it would be an unjustified trampling of everything that I previously claimed to stand for.

I care far too deeply about the previously espoused Republican ideals as well as the thousands of hard-working Republican citizens all over the State of Kansas to ever consider changing my political Party affiliation. I look forward to a life of citizen-serving, Republican political involvement. I thank the Kansas Republican Party, including all of the registered Kansas Republicans, for their years of service, good will and friendship.

I solemnly pledge to always be a Republican, no matter what promises are made by external forces seeking only to undermine the Republican values I stand for. I can have reasonable disagreement with members of the Republican Party; however, at no point will ‘Party switching’ or quitting of the Party be tolerable.


X __________________________________

(h/t Senate Guru and found at Blue Tide Rising)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Say Hi To Flip Romney Everyone!

Jim Webb's Statement On Levin-Reed

As usual with Senator Webb, it makes you want to stand up and cheer. He is unbowed by these extremists masquerading as a "party of freedom" and "liberty"...blah blah blah...BS, BS, BS...

Here is part of his statement on chickenhawk Republican Senators, most of whom never served when they had a chance, but who callously send others abroad to die in their phony war of freedom in Iraq while allowing Al Qaeda to grow stronger in Waziristan:

Before I speak about Iraq, I believe it is important to mention another issue at play here tonight. What does it mean to have majority rule in a democracy?

Harry Reid and Dick Durbin are right. There is no justifiable reason for us to be denied an up or down majority vote on this and other issues. Why should it take more than 60 percent of the members of the Senate to decide a matter of policy? If it took 60 votes to be in the Senate, most of us wouldn't be talking tonight.

I support this amendment. I have reservations about certain parts of it, and I want to make them clear. But I do intend to vote for it and I suggest to my colleagues that they do likewise.
For the rest go to Raising Kaine.

Wow, This Looks Like A Pretty Powerful Doc Coming Out On Iraq

Happy Blogosphere Day!...And Juan Melli For Congress!!!

Today is Blogosphere Day, a good time to take stock in what the liberal blogosphere has accomplished. One of the major pieces of this is supporting progressive candidates, which ActBlue has done so well. So let's take a moment to congratulate them, especially in light of the breakthrough we had in 2006.

And in that vein, a personal friend, all-around great guy and influential blogger, Juan Melli of BlueJersey, is having his name floated as a potential candidate for Congressman Rush Holt's seat, should Senator Frank Lautenberg step down and Holt then run for the Senate.

Not only is this important, in that The NY Observer's blog is doing it, and they reach a wide variety of folks in NJ. But also it is apparently pissing off the local idiots at RedJersey (must apologize, don't link to trash). So please go vote for Juan immediately, he is within a vote or two as we speak!!

Good Ol' Fred's Problem

Fred Thompson just can't seem to tell the truth about his pro-choice lobbying career. The New York Times this morning had an article that nailed Fred.

Billing records show that former Senator Fred Thompson spent nearly 20 hours working as a lobbyist on behalf of a group seeking to ease restrictive federal rules on abortion counseling in the 1990s, even though he recently said he did not recall doing any work for the organization.

According to records from Arent Fox, the law firm based in Washington where Mr. Thompson worked part-time from 1991 to 1994, he charged the organization, the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, about $5,000 for work he did in 1991 and 1992. The records show that Mr. Thompson, a probable Republican candidate for president in 2008, spent much of that time in telephone conferences with the president of the group, and on three occasions he reported lobbying administration officials on its behalf.

Mr. Thompson’s work for the family planning agency has become an issue because he is positioning himself as a faithful conservative who is opposed to abortion.

Earlier this month, Mr. Thompson disputed accounts by the group’s former president and others, saying through a spokesman that he had “no recollection” of doing anything to aid the group’s efforts to overturn a rule banning federally financed clinics from dispensing information about abortion to pregnant women. At most, said Mr. Thompson’s spokesman, Mark Corallo, he “may have been consulted by one of the firm’s partners who represented this group.”

Right wingers are starting to notice. This was from a post by a fan over at the National Review.

Fred Thompson is letting this abortion story get out of control, which is entirely avoidable and unnecessary.


While in the Senate, Fred Thompson voted to restrict abortion every chance he got. That is a more solid basis on which to judge him than anything else. He ought simply to say, "It is true that in the early 1990s, I had mixed feelings about abortion and in some ways I was basically pro-choice. But over the past 15 years, I've become solidly pro-life, and and I have the voting record to prove it."


I honestly don't know why he isn't taking this approach, but it would be far better than the kabuki dance we're going through with each new client and questionnaire the media unearths from 15 years ago.

Good, let Fox have him.

Bo Dietl Becomes FNC Contributor

"Richard 'Bo' Dietl has signed on with FNC as a contributor," ICN reports. "He will analyze crime stories exclusively for the network."

Dietl was on Geraldo At Large over the weekend.

He was co-host of a short-lived MSNBC crime show in 2005. At the time, Dietl said he had been offered a primetime show

Just in case you forgot or don't know what an jerk Dietl is.

You know you're a real ass when Dick Morris is calling you out.


Valerie Plame's Lawsuit Dismissed

By MATT APUZZO, Associated Press Writer

Thursday, July 19, 2007
(07-19) 11:59 PDT WASHINGTON (AP) --
A federal judge on Thursday dismissed former CIA operative Valerie Plame's lawsuit against members of the Bush administration in the CIA leak scandal.

Plame, the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, had accused Vice President Dick Cheney and others of conspiring to leak her identity in 2003. Plame said that violated her privacy rights and was illegal retribution for her husband's criticism of the administration.

U.S. District Judge John D. Bates dismissed the case on jurisdictional grounds and said he would not express an opinion on the constitutional arguments. Bates dismissed the case against all defendants: Cheney, White House political adviser Karl Rove and former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

The Bush Administration: Criminally Negligent or Negligent Criminals?

Some things never change with George W. Bush and his corporate cronies. Prepare to be literally sickened reading this, as the following residents of New Orleans post-Katrina were, by the Bush Administration.

Chairman Waxman: "Another FEMA official wrote, the office of general counsel has advised 'We do not do testing, because it would imply FEMA's ownership of this issue.' Early in the process, due to the perseverance of a pregnant mother with a four month old child, FEMA did test one occupied trailer. The results showed that their trailer had formaldehyde levels 75 times higher than the maximum workplace exposure levels recommended by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The mother evacuated the trailer. FEMA then stopped testing other trailers."

Paul Stewart, a travel trailer occupant from December 2005 to March 2006, gives opening testimony: "One morning I found our pet cockatiel was very lethargic, unable to move, he was regurgitating, unable to keep his balance. I immediately called a veterinarian who told us to get him out of the camper immediately... The veterinarian told us that the camper was probably making him sick. He said there are many chemicals inside the camper, especially a new one. He said that formaldehyde was the likely cause. He said if we don't get the bird out of there, the bird will probably die. He explained to us that birds, much like children, breathe much more rapidly than adults, and they take in much more of the toxins that are inside the camper, and that he's going to show symptoms before we do, but that we should also get out."

James Harris, Jr., travel trailer occupant from April 2006 to the present, gives opening testimony: "We noticed a pungent, and overpowering odor that permeated through the whole FEMA travel trailer...Our eyes burned and watered as we tried to inhabit the trailer facility. We were told by the person who gave us the keys to the trailer initially, that if we opened the doors and windows of the trailer and allowed the trailer to air out for a couple of hours, that all the odors and the burning sensations of our eyes would pass and not come back. Over a period of time and to this day, we have found that this remedy did not remove the strong odors that we now know to be formaldehyde."

I thought I had laughed my yearly fill with the "War on the Toy Box".

Guess not.

First Plame Case Film Set to Roll --
With Kate Beckinsale as Judy Miller?

By E&P Staff

Published: July 19, 2007 1:55 PM ET

NEW YORK The first major Hollywood film inspired by the Plame/CIA leak case is ready to roll and, surprise, the main focus apparently will not be on a character based on Valerie or Joe Wilson, Bob Novak or even Patrick Fitzgerald -- but rather on Judith Miller. And she may be played by Kate Beckinsale, who is quite a few years younger than the real thing.

Edie Falco, fresh from "The Sopranos," is targeted to play the Bill Keller role as the editor of the jailed female reporter. Matt Damon would be the prosecutor, and up-and-comer Vera Farmiga would play the dashing CIA agent.

News has emerged that Rod Lurie, known for his fine Capitol Hill drama "The Contender," will direct the film, titled "Nothing But the Truth."\

According to Variety sources, the lead is a Washington reporter who outs a CIA agent, then is jailed for refusing to reveal her source. Shooting may begin in October.

If it happens, this would beat to the screen a planned fact-based film based on the memoir being written by Plame.

Vera Farmiga as Valerie Plame

Congrats To Dave Johnson

His great blog, Seeing The Forest, just had it's five year anniversary. I am not sure that I knew what a blog was back then. Obviously, no Early Adapter am I.

Here is his first post, Ralph Nader is a scab, with which I heartily agree:

In the union movement we learned the hard way that the only way to fight the moneyed interests is to stick together. It's called SOLIDARITY. It's what "union" MEANS. When unions are in a fight the members stick together, and those crossing the lines are called "scabs".

In the 2000 election it was the usual fragile Democratic coalition fighting the usual moneyed interests. Ralph Nader broke the solidarity, divided the coalition, and lost us the election. Ralph Nader is a scab.
Once again Dave, all the best pal, and keep it going!

The Mitt Is Starting To Hit The Fan

Maybe pretending to be a right winger is such a good idea after all. They don't seem to be buying it (of course, years of purveying porn and your moderate record on abortion and gay rights might have something to do with their disbelief).

This carefully sequenced attack on Romney over hotel porn is just the opening volley in what appears to be a concerted effort to doom his candidacy. Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association's Michigan chapter, told me, "This is just part of a broader pattern of concern over Mitt Romney's record of aggressively promoting abortion on demand, the homosexual agenda and gun control. We are judging Romney by his record." Glenn is a leading Christian-right operative in the home state of Romney's late father, former Republican Governor George Romney, one of Romney's bases within the Republican Party. Glenn is also a member of the DC Group, a conference of 15 anti-porn activists that meets four times a year to plot political strategy. The DC Group devised its plan to undermine Romney at its most recent gathering, Glenn revealed to me.

The hostility of segments of the Christian right to Romney coincides with its mounting interest in Fred Thompson. Less than two weeks before Focus on the Family launched its attack on Romney, the Family Research Council began an informal campaign to rally support for Thompson. Without fanfare, the Family Research Council's director of web communications, Joe Carter, and the group's web editor, Jared Bridges, founded Blogs for Fred, a website that alternately shields Thompson from criticism and promotes him as the Great Right Hope.

(HT: Marc Armbinder)

Mitch Messes With The Facts On Al-Anbar

Mitch McConnell expressed his view on the Senate floor this week that the situation in Iraq is improving, calling al-Anbar “a stunning success.” Not only that, Mitch claimed that “everyone agrees.” Maybe Mitch is following the lead of his fellow Senator Jim Bunning (who proudly noted in his 2004 reelection campaign that he doesn’t read the newspaper) and missed headlines in the past few weeks such as:

“Five members of the U.S. military were killed in Baghdad and the western province of al-Anbar yesterday.”

Maybe Mitch was simply ignoring the June 25th bombing that killed 12 people, including 5 sheiks after a new alliance in al-Anbar was announced:

The early afternoon attack risked derailing an emerging alliance between Sunni tribal leaders in long-restive Anbar province and the country’s Shia majority a day after key negotiations to formalize their relationship with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government.

Either Mitch seems to sharing his good friend Jim Bunning’s reliance on Faux News as his sole media outlet or he is simply making things up.

Local guy does good.

Bayh bill would help military personnel

Tribune Staff Report
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., has introduced a bill that would defer interest on federal student loans for active duty service members and their spouses.

The proposed Interest Relief Act would apply to active duty members of any branch of the military, including reserve units and the National Guard and military spouses who have student loans through the Federal Direct Loan Program.


"The principle behind this bill is very simple: When Americans go off to serve their country during time of war, the government should not charge interest on their federal student loans," Bayh said Wednesday. "This is relief we can and should provide for our soldiers right now."

I frequently disagree with my Democratic Senator, but this is a fantastic bill.

(Hey Evan, it's the least you can do. For a former Prez candidate, you've been pretty quiet on the war. What's with that?)

Awww, maybe Fredrick of Hollywood is..... scared?

2008 and counting: Please jump in, say Fredheads in frustration , one of the many websites encouraging former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) to join the presidential race, is growing tired of waiting.

The site’s home page currently asks, “What’s the holdup?”

“Fred Thompson enjoys an unprecedented groundswell of grassroots support,” the page reads. “Fredheads believe in his potential. Fredheads know he can very well be the next president of the United States. This support should be nurtured, not pushed aside and asked to stand-by forever.

“The time has come. Enough with the ambiguities.

Enough with those around you being more decisive than you are.”

And he's a fan.

(side note- anyone else get the visceral impulse to scream, "Get your hands away from that woman's boobs you dirty ole perv!" when they see that pic?)

Fox viewers are so dumb, they won't let Matt Groening run fake tickers because the viewers might mistake them for real ones.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

More Healthcare Horror Stories

If you thought Michael Moore had rounded them all up, before self-promoting, publicy policy dunce Sanjay Gupta made a fool of himself trying to attack him--hey Sanjay, how's that pilot you wrote on the hero doctor in Iraq doing for ABC? Did you include the part where the hero doctor didn 't report the truth so he could promote his career?--sadly there are many more to go around...

Killer compilation from last night.

Cambridge monks offer retreat for war weary soldiers
By Jay Lindsay, Associated Press Writer | July 18, 2007

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. --National Guard Capt. Jeffrey Cox watched soldiers lose sight of God in the violence and daily grind of the war in Iraq.

He's hoping they can find him again in an Episcopal monastery along the Charles River.

Prodded by Cox, the Society of Saint John the Evangelist is offering a "healing retreat" weekend in October to help soldiers returning from war adapt to life back home and reconnect with their faith.

The retreat aims to give soldiers space to reflect, worship and share their experiences.

What a wonderful idea!!! Hope it catches on and more things like this get planned.

"I contend [abortion] affects you in immigration," DeLay told the Washington-area gathering. "If we had those 40 million children that were killed over the last 30 years, we wouldn't need the illegal immigrants to fill the jobs that they are doing today. Think about it."
Max Blumenthal caught that little gem on tape. He was later apparently forcibly escorted out of the conference by College Republican staff.

Blumenthal's full video, in which he engages College Republicans in a variety of conversations on political issues, can be viewed in full at this link.

Max rocks. Plain and simple.

(Yes, that's a mug shot of King: Allegedly, he stole $5000 from a business partner in 1971.
All charges were dropped)

Who needs newsflashes about terrorism and explosions when you can have

FLYNT: We've got good leads. We've got over 300 initially. And they're down to about 30 now which is solid.

KING: When are you going to print?

FLYNT: Well, the last thing now is we don't know if we want to let it to drip, drip, drip or we want to go with everything at once.

KING: You mean you might release 30 names at once?

FLYNT: A good possibility.

KING: Will we be -- I don't want to get into names yet. Will we be shocked?


KING: Were you shocked?

FLYNT: I was shocked, especially at one senator but...

KING: One senator especially?


(Aired July 17)

Explosion reported in Midtown Manhattan, crowds running from scene: Reuters reporter
UPDATE: Not terrorism, per MSNBC. New York City police said the explosion did not look suspicious and ABC-TV reported that it was as a transformer explosion.

But think of all the fun they could have had, just to keep us scared as hell.

In other news:
A former White House official who took top secret documents from U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney's office and gave them to opposition figures in the Philippines was sentenced on Wednesday to 10 years in prison.

Emails Can Be Fun

Your Late-Afternoon Guide To The Newest Bumper Stickers

1. Cheney/Satan '08

2. 1/20/09: End of an error

3. That's OK; I wasn't using my civil liberties anyway

4. Let's fix democracy in this country first

5. If you want a nation ruled by religion, move to Iran!

6. Bush . . like a rock, only dumber.

7. If you can read this, you're not our President

8. Of course it hurts: you're getting screwed by an elephant

9. Hey, Bush supporters: embarrassed yet?

10. George Bush: Creating the terrorists our kids will have to fight.

11. America: One nation, under surveillance

12. They call him "W" so he can spell it

13. Jail to the Chief

14. No, seriously, why did we invade Iraq?

15. Bush: God's way of proving intelligent design is bullshit

16. Bad President! No banana.

17. We need a President who's fluent in at least one language

18. We're making enemies faster than we can kill them

19. Is it Vietnam yet?

20. Where are we going? And why are we in this hand-basket?

21. You elected him. You deserve him.

22. Impeach Cheney first; of course that would make Bush president!

23. When Bush took office, gas was $1.46

24. Pray for impeachment

25. The Republican Party: Our bridge to the 11th century

26. What part of "Bush lied" don't you understand?

27. One nation under clod

28. 2004: Embarrassed; 2005: Horrified; 2006: Terrified

29. Bush never exhaled

30. At least Nixon resigned

New Versus Old

Mystery Pollster Mark Blumenthal has an interesting post up analyzing the Democratic Presidential spending on pollsters this year. The most interesting part to me, was the following;

The generational contrast to the Obama pollster crew is also present here. The lead pollsters for Edwards (Harrison Hickman), Richardson (Paul Maslin), Biden (Celinda Lake) and Dodd (Stan Greenberg) were all name partners in campaign polling firms in the 1980s (and, interests disclosed, yours truly managed to work for all four between 1986 and 1991).

I find it interesting that Obama is more apt to use lesser known (and younger) consultants than anyone else. Given the history of electing Democrats to the Presidency, it may turn out to be a smart move.

Another King George decree. This is why Bruce Fein says we have to preserve the Constitution via impeachment. This is disturbing stuff.

Here we go again. The Dictator In Chief just made it a snap to "block your property", meaning, wipe you out. If Bush
deems that you are "undermining" his "
efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq and to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people", then he can freeze your assets.
Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq
I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, find that, due to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by acts of violence threatening the peace and stability of Iraq and undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq and to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people, it is in the interests of the United States to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order [blah blah blah]. ...I hereby order:

...all property and interests in property of the following persons, that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of United States persons, are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in: any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense [...]

(B) undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people;
Think about it. According to this, legally, even members of Congress can be cut off financially if they "undermine" (however the Homeland Decider decides to define "undermine") "efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform". If the King says you have messed with what he wants to do with Iraq, his majesty and his royal Secretaries of Treasury, State, and Defense can do away with you.

And no, I'm not overreacting. I just listened to in-depth discussions of these issues on Thom Hartmann's program, with both Larry Johnson and Bruce Fein. They're a lot smarter than I am, and I'm inclined to take their word for it.

"Quote of the Day"

"Dick Cheney has ruined the job."
-- Sen. Christopher Dodd, in a CNN interview, explaining why he doesn't want to be vice president.


Commenter noahnoah alerted me to this Edwards ad with Elizabeth.

You can't buy that sincerity.

Bush starts panel to ensure safety of imported food
July 18, 2007


WASHINGTON — President George W. Bush on Wednesday established a high-level government panel to recommend steps to guarantee the safety of food and other products shipped into the United States and to improve U.S. policing of those imports. The White House denied the effort was aimed primarily at China.

The president was to meet later Wednesday with his new Import Safety Working Group. The panel will be chaired by Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt.

Um, if I'm not mistaken, isn't that the job of the Food & Drug Administration?
Why the dog & pony show?


Easy scmeasy there George. Now you can get back to your bike.

God I love this lady.

Another Zinger From Elizabeth Edwards

July 18, 2007 11:44 AM ET | Permanent Link
She's known for her earthy charm and quick wit, and when she appeared at Planned Parenthood's annual public affairs conference in Washington, Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, didn't disappoint.

Filling in for her husband, who is on a three-day swing intended to highlight poverty issues, Edwards was introduced as "perhaps even more popular than her husband," reports our Liz Halloran. Edwards smiled ruefully and suggested that "everyone who is not running is more popular than everyone who is running." Dramatic pause. "Hence, Fred Thompson." The audience roared.

Want to help fight global warming? Take off your tie, says the Italian health ministry.
And stay away from the Chianti. A couple of glasses and you're hot to...never mind.
It has urged employers to let their staff dress casually at work in the summer so the air conditioning can be turned down.
Simple solution to a global issue, no?

Tie makers, however, were left hot under the collar.


"Italy confirms that it is a strange country," Flavio Cima said in a letter to financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore under the headline: "I, tie maker, am responsible for global warming". [...]

"I should have listened to my friends and become an oil producer instead."