Saturday, August 11, 2007

Bush War Czar Wants To Draft Your Kids To Fight Their Halliburton-Enriching Wars

This is what will happen if you vote Republican (and don't primary a handful of moronic Blue Dog Democrats) . These jackasses are either being honest for once or really stupid. They are not mutually exclusive BTW:

From the Department of Irony by way of the I Told You So Committee:

Straw Poll Results Delayed Due To Voting Machine Malfunction

11 Aug 2007 08:25 pm

AMES -- The announcement of tonight's straw poll results has been delayed due to what one informed source says was a voting machine malfunction. About 4,500 ballots had to be re-run.
H/t to Steve Benen over at TPM .

"The allegations challenge President George Bush's repeated claims that the US does not use torture."

A British resident held by the US as an alleged terrorist has claimed his captors repeatedly tortured him, subjecting him to beatings, sexual abuse and threats of execution.
"We don't torture." --President Bush, August 9, 2007
Then what in the hell is this:

He says that in Lahore prison he was subjected to electric shocks: "The more I scream they will laugh and do it again ... my screams all in vain."

He says that in Pakistan he was handed over to the Americans who hooded him and placed him on plane in a torture position. [...]

"I was thrown in the plane. There were many others in the torture position."

After he was moved to Bagram in Afghanistan, he says he saw electric shocks used on other detainees and here he also saw death threats, with guards pointing their rifles at the Muslim men.

He says he also witnessed a prisoner shot dead after he had gone to the aid of an inmate who was being beaten and kicked by the guards: "The American said he tried to take the gun."

Another inmate was beaten to death: "One by the name of Abdaulmalik, Moroccan and Italian, was beaten until I heard no sound of him after the screaming. [...]

Another inmate, Mr Deghayes claims, was beaten until blood dripped on the cell floor and he was left "paralysed and mentally damaged".

In Bagram he says he was chained in a cage "with hands stretched above [my] head ...causing suffocation".

In Bagram he says he went without food for 45 days and was subjected to water torture: "They hold me naked in the night, freezing cold, and throw buckets of water and fill the bucket and throw [it] again. I shiver and shake badly and try to sit down to gain warmth. They kick and punch and say stand up until I fall to the ground in weakness."

While moving from Bagram to Guantánamo, he says he was so ill he suffered hallucinations that he was back in the UK and travelling on a train, after beatings and 45 days without food.

In Guantánamo Mr Deghayes says he was beaten on his first day. Special teams which tackle allegedly disruptive prisoners repeatedly beat him up, he claims.

... He says an FBI interrogator called Craig said he would face execution, and that he would not get a proper trial.

He says: "Many times one FBI interrogator by the name of Craig said, 'Omar, it is nothing like the law you studied in the UK. There will never be a proper court and lawyers etc, it would be only a military tribunal to determine your future and your life. Your best choice is to cooperate with me."

He says he was subjected to taunts insulting his religion and during his first year in Guantánamo a Qur'an was thrown in a toilet, causing a riot among inmates. As a punishment his head and beard were shaved.

In Guantánamo, he says, "they would pretend to search and want to put their hands on people's genitalia".

"We don't torture." --President Bush, August 9, 2007

Federal Judge Appointed by George Herbert Walker Bush in Colorado Was Too Drunk to Remember His $3,000 in Strip Club Charges While He Was Married

The Republican scandal for today is....ta daaaaaa.....

Court documents obtained by 9Wants to Know show Colorado's top federal judge was too drunk to remember how he spent more than $3,000 at a strip club in two consecutive days.

He also used an Internet dating service while he was married.

Judge Edward Nottingham is the chief federal judge in Colorado and he is held to the highest standards of personal and professional conduct.

Judge Nottingham recently presided over the insider trading trial of ex-Qwest Communications CEO Joseph Nacchio.
Tsk, tsk, tsk, He's a baa-aa-aaad boy.
The marriage ended after Jaeger [his wife] found credit card charges from a strip club in downtown Denver totaling more than $3,000 in two consecutive days.
He sure doesn't have very good judgment...for a judge.
Judge Nottingham testified, "I'm ashamed and mortified just telling you that is the Diamond Cabaret ... a topless establishment."

Asked how he could have spent so much money, Judge Nottingham testified he could not recall, explaining, "I had had a lot to drink … and I don't remember."
"I don't remember." He and Gonzo must hang out.
Judge Nottingham also testified about credit card charges for a Web site called

Jaeger testified that she originally thought it was a dating service.

"When I asked about the dating service he turned around in his chambers and he hit his computer and he told me all about the dating service," Jaeger said in court. "It was a porn site."
What?!! But he's a Republican! A Bush appointee! He'd never do anything so crass and unmarriagey as frequent a...PORN SITE! Okay, let's not be too hasty. I bet he has a reasonable explanation.
When asked in court about a $150 charge to, Judge Nottingham said, "I'm embarrassed to be even talking about this. I think you pay extra to get certain features, such as if you upload a picture or – I don't even recall."
Again with the "I don't recall." Gonzo, have you been coaching judges again? According to a legal analyst: a federal judge Nottingham can be removed from the bench only for high crimes, misdemeanors, treason or bribery.
He gets to keep his job. No wonder he didn't keep his wife, what with those pesky Family Values weighing on them and all. Them wacky Republicans, they just keep me in stitches!

©2007 Belo Corp.

Soldier supplies puppets to Iraqi children

Sgt. engineers a handheld goodwill effort

WASHINGTON – The reaction was immediate when Army 1st Sgt. Bruce Reges strode into the classroom in the Baghdad suburb of Baqubah, in the volatile Diyala province.

Army 1st Sgt. Bruce Reges uses puppets to gain the trust of Iraqi children with Peace Through Puppets, an organization founded by his mother, a former puppeteer. At 6 feet 5 and wearing full body armor, Sgt. Reges, 57, looked fearsome to the schoolchildren. Outside, two Stryker armored vehicles blocked the street. A heavily armed security detail was checking out the roof and other classrooms.

Sgt. Reges is assigned to an Army civil affairs unit out of Fort Bragg, N.C., working to reconstruct and support schools, irrigation projects and honey farms in Diyala. The team was visiting the school in May to assess what could be done to help, but the young students were terrified.

"Two of the girls started to cry and escape somehow, and the teacher had to calm them down and tell them that we were there to help them, not to hurt them," Sgt. Reges recalled. "It was emotionally tough for me to see a child so traumatized by U.S. soldiers that they reacted that way."


"I thought, we need some way to let them know we are human, too – fathers, brothers, sisters, mothers," Sgt. Reges said. "So I thought two small puppets in my cargo pocket would be helpful in bridging the gap."

You know, not to sound all sappy, but isn't this in micro what Bush & co were spouting right and left?

Don't scare them, show them our human side and do the best you can to let them know we care.

It's being left up to the individual soldiers and their support groups, while the machine lumbers on, destroying.

The whole story is worth a read, but grab your kleenex.

Light posting, light posts, lighten up

Welcome to another edition of:
Lifting Jokes From My Father-In-Law

He used to write for Alan King, Milton Berle, Jonathan Winters, all the greats. And remember the Dean Martin Roasts? He wrote for Red Buttons, Don Rickles, Paul Lynde, Phyllis Diller, Sammy Davis, Jr., you name it.

A tiny respite from the frustrating events of the day:


After a two week loss of almost a 1000 points we now have a new class of investor. "The Nouveau Poor."

Things were so bad on Wall Street, a seat on the Stock Exchange now comes with an air bag.

The show "Wall Street Week" was transferred from PBS to the "Comedy Channel."

The stock market just gets scarier and scarier every day. As a matter of fact, the State of Texas is considering giving up executions. They'll just show the condemned man his retirement portfolio.

Last month in Spain on a street in Pamplona, they had "The Running of the Bulls" where you could get hurt. Last week in the U.S. on Wall street we had, "The Running of the Bears," where you could get killed.
Zing! Rim shot! Gotta go, my agent's calling. My people will call your people. Someone get me an Evian.

How to tell if you're a lamer? Read below.

Virtual sex software spawns lawsuit
Complaint seeks to stop people from copying, selling 'Second Life' sex code

TAMPA, Fla. - Kevin Alderman didn't bring sex to "Second Life." He just made it better.

The 46-year-old entrepreneur recognized four years ago that people would pay to equip their online selves — which start out with the smooth anatomy of a Barbie or Ken doll — with realistic genitalia and even more to add some sexy moves.

Business at Alderman's company Eros has been brisk. One of his creations, the SexGen Platinum, has gotten so popular that he's now had to hire lawyers to track down the flesh-and-blood person behind the online identity, or avatar, that he says illegally copied and sold it.

The $45 SexGen animates amorous avatars in erotic positions. It is software code, written in the scripting language of "Second Life" and placed in virtual furniture and other objects. Avatars click on the object and choose from a menu of animated sex acts.

How lame do you have to be to want this thing, let alone steal the code? I mean, I love my computer as much as the next person, but really.

Pastor Dan Profile

Great profile in The New York Times of Pastor Dan Shultz, a prominent blogger and yes a pastor, who believes in the 98% of the Bible that talks about helping those less fortunate than oneself (you know, the parts that conservatives suddenly develop glaucoma while reading).

In any case, I am proud to call him a friend and he is a great guy.

Go give it a read!

pic via Cat of course

That pic speaks volumes on how it feels here in N. Indiana. Hot and bare. It's supposed to hit 96 tomorrow with a heat index of 101. Dear g-d save me.

This op-ed made me sad- Al Gore: Leader of the Courage Wing of the Democratic Party.

Mr Geiger Sir's editorial cartoon round-never fails to elicit at least one giggle from me, but usually more sighs.

Is this not the stupidest thing you've ever seen?

Embattled AG Gonzales visits Baghdad
August 11, 2007

WASHINGTON --Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, under fire at home with calls for his resignation, is spending some time in Iraq.

The Justice Department said that Gonzales arrived in Baghdad on Saturday for his third trip to Iraq to meet with department officials who have been there to help fashion the country's legal system.

Because he's done such a crackerjack job back here in the U.S. doncha know.

Dear CNN and MSNBC (I refuse to acknowledge Faux):

All morning there has been a countdown to a news conference on the status of the trapped miners in Utah. I feel for them and their families, I really do. But listen to me for a minute.

There has been breathless coverage of the possibility that there might, maybe, perhaps be this news conference. It never materialized. While waiting, there have been endless interviews with experts who can do no more than speculate on a horrendous event and its even more horrendous outcome.

Meanwhile, nothing else in the world has been covered. During the time that 6 men have been trapped underground, many more than 6 have been killed, maimed, injured, emotionally scarred, or worried for their lives in Iraq and elsewhere. As you, CNN and MSNBC, hyperventilate in anticipation of the worst in Utah, there are countless families who have done the same for 4 years--years, not days--because their sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews are anticipating the worst in Iraq.

Why aren't they given the same coverage? Could it be that reporters over there can't so much as step outside the Green Zone to peek into the madness and carnage? Could it be that similar, empathetic, in-depth Iraq coverage won't get sponsored by Exxon and Pfizer? Could it be that the mining disaster provides some sick diversion from the perpetual bad news emanating from Bush's War?

What could draw more viewers than a good cliffhanger, right CNN? Is convincing us that we have restless leg syndrome, erectile dysfunction, and insomnia more important than insight into the rationale for war, the state of the occupation (call it that, for once, will you?), and the tragic results, MSNBC?

Well, here's a newsflash from me, free of charge: Your bottom line shouldn't take precedence over America's. Your bottom line (ratings) isn't healthy for the news industry, which in turn isn't healthy for our need to know, which in turn isn't healthy for informed voters, which in turn isn't healthy for Democracy.

And that's the way it is.


Der. Open mouth, insert Manolo.

Rudy Giuliani Says He Misspoke About Exposure to Ground Zero

WASHINGTON — Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani said Friday that he misspoke when he said he spent as much time, if not more, at ground zero exposed to the same health risks as workers combing the site after the Sept. 11 attacks.

"I think I could have said it better," he told nationally syndicated radio host Mike Gallagher. "You know, what I was saying was, 'I'm there with you."'

The former New York mayor upset some firefighters and police officers when he said Thursday in Cincinnati that he was at ground zero "as often, if not more, than most of the workers."

"I was there working with them. I was exposed to exactly the same things they were exposed to. So in that sense, I'm one of them," he told reporters at a Los Angeles Dodgers-Cincinnati Reds baseball game.

Fire and police officials responded angrily, saying Giuliani did not do the same work as those involved in the rescue, recovery and cleanup from the 2001 terrorist attacks, which left many workers sick and injured.

This man needs to learn to STFU.

Rudy Giuliani Says He Faced Same Health Risks as Workers on Sept. 11

CINCINNATI — Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani said Thursday he had exposed himself to the same health risks as workers at ground zero after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and spent as much time at the site as those involved in the recovery.

The former New York mayor has faced criticism from relatives of some of the firefighters killed at the World Trade Center, who have contended that Giuliani was woefully unprepared for 9/11.


"This is not a mayor or a governor or a president who's sitting in an ivory tower," he said. "I was at ground zero as often, if not more, than most of the workers. ... I was there working with them. I was exposed to exactly the same things they were exposed to. So in that sense, I'm one of them."

Battalion Chief John McDonnell, head of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association in New York, said: "I have a real problem with that statement. I think he's really grasping and trying to justify his previous attempts to portray himself as the hero of 9/11."

Or maybe he should just keep on talking. Both these pics look just the same.

By the way, who is that masked lady just to the right of the Mayor? Hmmm.

Friday, August 10, 2007

"Today, we face some of the greatest threats that any generation will ever know, and we must not be slow in confronting them. We must continue to emphasize integration across the Community to better serve our customers, provide frank, unencumbered analysis, and strengthen collection capablitlies that continue to penetrate the seemingly impenetrable."
---Director of National Intelligence, Mike McConnell
Well said!

A top US intelligence official has admitted a controversial domestic surveillance program is only one part of a much broader spying effort.

Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell wrote in a letter that other aspects of the National Security Agency's domestic spying program remain classified, the Washington Post reported.

Communication is everything, isn't it?
Spy Chief's Spokesman Quits After 3 Months
WASHINGTON, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- The chief of media relations for the U.S. director of national intelligence has quit after just three months, leaving several public affairs posts vacant. Stephen Shaw, who started in the post in May, left effective Friday, Vanee Vines, one of just two press spokespeople left in the office, confirmed to United Press International.
Vines declined to comment further, citing a policy of not commenting on personnel issues.
Oh my. Who will relate to the media for Director Mike now? He needs all the help he can get.

I know these people were probably horrible, but something about this really bothers me.

Couple Dead in Murder-Suicide After They Were Featured on The O'Reilly Factor

A couple featured as wanted child predators on The O'Reilly Factor Wednesday were found dead in an apparent murder-suicide shortly after the segment aired, sources tell FOXNews.

Paul and Myrtis Gauthreaux were wanted by the FBI for engaging in sexual conduct with minors and appeared on a segment of the show that profiled alleged child pornographers.

After seeing the O’Reilly Factor segment, a relative of the couple called them before notifying the FBI of their whereabouts. When federal investigators arrived at their home, the Gauthreauxs had fled to an undisclosed location. The FBI said Paul Gauthreaux shot his wife dead before turning the gun on himself.

The child victim that the Gauthreauxs photographed in online photos was later identified and found safe.

I bet he's proud of himself.

How long before he does this to someone innocent?

Holy Shmoly.

Scores of Relatives Aid Romney

AMES, Iowa, Aug. 10 — They have driven here from California, Ohio, Canada or Texas, while others have flown from Michigan, Utah or Florida. There are aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, in-laws, nieces, nephews and grandchildren.

At last count, 96 members of the Romney clan, a veritable army, have arrived here over the last few days to help out at Saturday’s Republican straw poll, bolstering what is already a huge ground operation for the event that far outstrips the efforts of any other campaign.

Leading the shock troops will be Mr. Romney’s five adult sons, who have come to occupy an increasingly prominent place in their father’s campaign, giving speeches, holding fund-raisers, blogging and even weighing in on strategy, all the while helping their father paint a not-so-subtle contrast to some of his leading Republican rivals.

Why the hell didn't he just have his family move to Iowa. He could have rigged it that way.

On another note, I found a pic of the family campaigning.

pic courtesy of Mr Gimmeabreak

Stolen from some guy named Cliff over at Brave New Films.

PoliticsTV @ Yearly Kos '07: Comedian Negin Farsad


"Fact v. Fear" Tomorrow AM On FNC

FNC tells us, instead of the usual two-hour business block on Saturday morning, Fox anchor and managing editor of business news, Neil Cavuto will host a live two-hour special, Cost of Freedom: Fact vs. Fear.

Cavuto will be "joined by the network's business team and an array of guests... Cavuto will lead the discussion with perspective on the volatile market and will talk about what people need to know." The live special airs from 10a-Noon ET.

Ted Stevens Doesn't Care What You Think

Despite being under investigation for accepting bribes from special interests, Ted Stevens is continuing to solicit campaign funds from (you guessed it), special interests (sub req). In his defense, he needs to raise money the old fashioned way, because he can't seem to squeeze money out of those damned internet tubes.

Undeterred in the face of a federal corruption probe, Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) is hosting a small klatch of top lobbyists and others this weekend for a fishing and fundraising trip to his home state.

The getaway, billed as the “Ted Stevens El Capitan Fishing Event,” combines “three days of some of the best salt water fishing you will ever have,” according to the invite, with a fundraising reception expected to net at least $2,300 per person for the Senator’s re-election campaign.

I'm feeling a little under the weather, so I'm slacking.

This was extra special reading today.

RNC Voter "Audit" Letter Raises Questions

By Paul Kiel - August 10, 2007, 12:20 PM
What 83 year-old William Sidwell of Queen City, Missouri found in his mailbox last week scared him. It was a letter from the Republican National Committee, but it seemed to bear grave news: "Our records show that you registered as a member of our Party in Schuyler County, MO," the letter said. "But a recent audit of your Party affiliation turned up some irregularities."

Audit? Irregularities? Was he in trouble? Were they threatening him? Sidwell went immediately to his ask his son, Dennis, a licensed public accountant, for advice. (snip) Particularly puzzling to the both of them, Dennis told me, is that his father is a life-long Democrat.

The letter, it turns out, is just a misleading pitch for a contribution to the RNC -- one of the "irregularities" cited in the letter is that "I cannot find a record of you taking a single action in support of the Republican Party -- not locally, not nationally!" A contribution, the letter suggests, would help set the record straight.

Sigh, the smell of desperation does make me feel a wee bit better.

Cheney Urging Strikes On Iran

I have to go to work, so I have no time to expand on this. Paddy's post below, and mine from yesterday, address the drumbeat for war. So does this piece from McClatchy. Go read.

I Go Loofah Shopping At YearlyKos

Is it funny or just plain stupid? I report, you decide.

Oh Yeah, About What I Said, Nevermind

Over the past few weeks, the Clinton camp ahas been attacking the foreign policy statements of Sen. Obama as naive. They specifically hit Obama for taking nuclear weapons off the table as part of an attack strategy. Only one problem - Sen. Clinton said almost the exact same thing. This seems like a rookie mistake for someone who likes to tout her "experience."

Obama recently said when it comes to terrorist targets in Afghanistan or Pakistan, nuclear weapons are off the table, comments pounced upon by Clinton at a press conference.

"I think presidents should be very careful at all times in discussing the use, or non-use, of nuclear weapons," she said. "Presidents since the Cold War have used nuclear deterrence to keep the peace. And I don't believe that any president should make any blanket statements with respect to the use or non-use of nuclear weapons."

But in an April 2006 interview with Bloomberg News' Al Hunt, Clinton took the use of nuclear weapons off the table when discussing possible U.S. military options against Iran, if its leaders continue to pursue nuclear weapons.

"Senator, you sit in the Armed Services Committee," Hunt said. "There were reports this weekend, the 'Washington Post' and elsewhere, that the United States is considering a military option against Iran if it won't relinquish any ambitions to nuclear weapons. The 'New Yorker' even said that we're considering using nuclear — tactical nuclear weapons. Should those options be on the table when it comes to Iran?"

"I have said publicly no option should be off the table," Clinton said, "but I would certainly take nuclear weapons off the table. And this administration has been very willing to talk about using nuclear weapons in a way we haven't seen since the dawn of a nuclear age. I think that's a terrible mistake." The seeming contradiction was first reported by The Associated Press' Beth Fouhy.

Senator Jim Bunning Is INSANE

This is not much of a secret for those of us who have lived and/or worked in Kentucky. The last month or so of his campaign in 2004, his master, Mitch McConnell, literally forbade him from speaking to the press because he was killing himself every time he opened his retarded yap (in a red state in a red year, he came very very close to losing his seat).

Too many line drives to the head, methinks, during his playing days (sadly, he played my favorite sport, baseball).

In any case, watch this, and pray with me, just for sheer entertainment value, that he runs for reelection in 2010.

This week's winner?

Smoking declines as taxes increase

The amount of decline in smoking is directly tied to the size of the tax increase, the analysis shows.

Cigarette sales fell 18% in North Carolina last year after the tax was raised in two steps to 35 cents from a nickel. The tobacco-growing state resisted higher cigarette taxes until 2005. Elsewhere:

•Connecticut has increased its tax to $1.51 from 50 cents per pack in 2002. Since then, per capita consumption of cigarettes has fallen 37%.

•New Jersey raised its tax to $2.40 from 80 cents in 2002. Smoking has dropped 35%.

•California raised its cigarette tax to 87 cents per pack in 1999 but hasn't changed it since. Smoking is down 18% since the tax increase.

By comparison, South Carolina has kept its lowest-in-the-nation cigarette tax at 7 cents since 1977. Cigarette consumption there has fallen 5% since 2000.

Sound familiar?

Day After Gordon's Latest 'NYT' Front-Pager --
Bush and Cheney Threaten Iran

NEW YORK One day after The New York Times placed Michael R. Gordon's latest story about Iranian weapons allegedly blowing up large numbers of Americans in Iraq, President Bush warned that action might be taken against that country. McClatchy Newspapers meanwhile warned in a Web headline, "Cheney Urging Strikes on Iran."

It was reminiscent of the day in September 2002 when Cheney and other officials went on Sunday talk shows and touted the now-infamous Gordon-Judith Miller front-pager in the Times on the "aluminum tubes" in Iraq and the possible "mushroom cloud" on the horizon. The Times, and Gordon specifically, have been giving the unproven Iranian IED charges far more prominent play than any other major news outlet.

Meanwhile, a senior U.S. military officer told the Los Angeles Times that Saudi nationals compose 45 percent of foreign fighters in Iraq who actively target U.S. forces. Yet there has been relatively little media coverage, and few statements by U.S. military and officials, about this.

This made me pfffff my soda last night.

Anyone else think Bush looks like Grandpa Munster in this?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

A partial recap of Bush's press conference*:

But first, a quick sidebar:
The Iran issue. The New York Times' Michael Gordon apparently is pulling a Judy Miller by referring to one, count 'em one, unnamed source on Iran's involvement in Iraq. No corroboration.* Drumbeatdrumbeatdrumbeat. Who says we can't go back in time? It's 2002 all over again. So, will an Iran attack be our new funsy October Surprise? Okay, now back to Bush's articulate, animated, endearing exchange:

  • Re: Gonzo. Congress should deliver legislation rather than being the investigative body! Excuse me for just a minute. My head just exploded.Okay, all better. Ahem. Breathe. Aaaand....HUH??!! Um, Mr. Pretend President? Congress is an investigatvie body. Why can't I seem to remember that he paid people to take his exams and write his papers for him in college? He was trained in how to run a, corporation, er...nevermind. The point is, he sure hasn't learned how to be the President of the United States, even though he's let others do that for him, too.
  • Gitmo: He said that countries won't take prisoners back. Mr. Stupid-In-Chief? Anyone read the paper to you lately? COUGHBritainCOUGH! Oh, and while we're at it...who says these prisoners are killers? Have we had any fair trials to determine that? I didn't think so.
  • Mortgages: No direct grants to homeowners. More education is needed, that's all. So go get a PhD! What's so hard? Problem solved. We Americans must be idiots not to have realized that.
  • And finally, the sage, oh-so-reverent recap by Tweety: Bush gave a strong performance. Powerful. Wow. (Who is he, Matt Damon?) It's safe to say we can add Chris to the list of entrants into Bush's Lyme-diseased rear entrance. I realize the results of the colonoscopy read "clear", but hey, there's no such thing as a perfect diagnosis.
2009 can't come soon enough.

*With a little help from Thom Hartmann

Iraq Summering McConnell - Counter-Protesters Wimp Out Fast


With friends like this, McConnell is toast. Listen to the Iraq Summer member taunt the McConnell-bots as they pack up and go home for a nice, smooth Colt 45, as Billy Dee would say (I am paraphrasing, of course).

Wow, the war supporters seem to grow more pathetic by the day.

All in all a fun trip to chez McConnell. Too bad senator. This is what comes with having a Heart Of Darkness.

The Democratic GLBT debate is on now here.

**** note- Anyone else smell patchouli when Kucinich was talking? Just saying..

Interview With Sam Seder

I sat down with Sam Seder of Air America fame (and putting-down-quite-a-few-frosty-beverages fame if you were at Y Kos) for a short rap session for his Sunday show, while enjoying the pleasant confines of Yearly Kos.

We discussed my new gig at Brave New Films, you know, becoming the home of all progressive orginal content video throughout the world. Ever.

Listen here if the mood should strike.

Actual graphic from GOP brochure


Purple-thumbed Republicans 'tipping hat' to Iraqis in weekend straw poll

Nick Juliano
Published: Thursday August 9, 2007
This weekend, Americans will see images of voters emerging from polling booths proudly displaying their purple-stained thumbs as a mark of pride after their democratic effort.

The images will not be beamed from Baghdad, though, but from Ames, Iowa, where Republicans will gather for an annual straw poll. This year's straw poll will be the first to have voters dip their thumbs in the same kind of dye used in the 2005 national elections in Iraq.

"We recognize the great privilege of voting by tipping our hat to the Iraqi people who cast their first votes in a free and democratic election," Chuck Laudner, the Iowa Republican Party's executive director, said in a news release. "Iowans will be just as proud to display their inked thumb as the newly liberated Iraqi people were."

Actual picture of the real thing including threat of death, dismemberment and beheading. Much different than a summer Saturday in Iowa.

More Good Times For McCain

Johnny Straight Talk is at 1.8% in the polls in Iowa. Yes, you read that correctly.

And it gets worse. That is among registered Republicans. Obama gets 6.7% of their vote, in comparison.

The Sword Of Damocles is almost at neck level, Mr. McCain my friend (PS It is definitely the "gay sweaters").

You know something is wrong when the Washington Times writes an op-ed glowing of your congresscritter.

Blue Dogs barking

For the first time during 110th Congress, the Blue Dog Coalition — a 47-member grouping of self-described moderate and conservative Democrats — defied House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership on a critical national security issue: Saturday night's vote on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), where 41 dissident Democrats, nearly all of them Blue Dogs, provided the margin of victory for President Bush on the issue of terrorist surveillance.

Thanks to the Blue Dogs, the administration's commonsense proposal to clarify that FISA permits U.S. intelligence agencies to monitor telephone calls made by foreign terrorist suspects outside the United States without first obtaining a warrant was approved by a 227-183 margin.

As someone else has called them, "The Candy-Ass Caucus".
Jason Altmire (4th Pennsylvania)
John Barrow (12th Georgia) Blue Dog
Melissa Bean (8th Illinois) Blue Dog
Dan Boren (2nd Oklahoma) Blue Dog
Leonard Boswell (3rd Iowa)
Allen Boyd (2nd Florida) Blue Dog
Christopher Carney (10th Pennsylvania) Blue Dog
Ben Chandler (6th Kentucky) Blue Dog
Rep. Jim Cooper (5th Tennessee) Blue Dog
Jim Costa (20th California) Blue Dog
Bud Cramer (5th Alabama) Blue Dog
Henry Cuellar (28th Texas)
Artur Davis (7th Alabama)
Lincoln Davis (4th Tennessee) Blue Dog
Joe Donnelly (2nd Indiana) Blue Dog
Chet Edwards (17th Texas)
Brad Ellsworth (8th Indiana) Blue Dog
Bob Etheridge (North Carolina)
Bart Gordon (6th Tennessee) Blue Dog
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (South Dakota) Blue Dog
Brian Higgins (27th New York)
Baron Hill (9th Indiana) Blue Dog
Nick Lampson (23rd Texas) Blue Dog
Daniel Lipinski (3rd Illinois)
Jim Marshall (8th Georgia) Blue Dog
Jim Matheson (2nd Utah) Blue Dog
Mike McIntyre (7th North Carolina) Blue Dog
Charlie Melancon (3rd Louisiana) Blue Dog
Harry Mitchell (5th Arizona)
Colin Peterson (7th Minnesota) Blue Dog
Earl Pomeroy (North Dakota) Blue Dog
Ciro Rodriguez (23rd Texas) Blue Dog
Mike Ross (4th Arkansas) Blue Dog
John Salazar (3rd Colorado) Blue Dog
Heath Shuler (11th North Carolina) Blue Dog
Vic Snyder (2nd Arkansas)
Zachary Space (18th Ohio) Blue Dog
John Tanner (8th Tennessee) Blue Dog
Gene Taylor (4th Mississippi) Blue Dog
Timothy Walz (1st Minnesota)
Charles A. Wilson (6th Ohio) Blue Dog

If you own a "Candy-Ass," won't you pick up a phone and give them a call? Even better, drop by their office and ask them about this little faux pas.

Who knows, they may have not known better and perhaps you can fill them in.

Picture By Larry Downing, Reuters

What better example of cronyism and hatred of the American populace.

Two days ago.

Bush May Try to Cut Corporate Tax Rates
President Cites Need To Compete Globally

By Peter Baker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 9, 2007; Page A01

President Bush said yesterday that he is considering a fresh plan to cut tax rates for U.S. corporations to make them more competitive around the world, an initiative that could further inflame a battle with the Democratic Congress over spending and taxes and help define the remainder of his tenure.


Bush against raising gas tax

WASHINGTON (AP) — A week after a deadly bridge collapse in Minneapolis, President Bush dismissed Thursday raising the federal gasoline tax to repair the nation's bridges at least until Congress changes the way it spends highway money.

Romney's "Hometown" Newspaper Calls Him A Liar

In Today's Boston Globe, Romney's ostensible hometown newspaper (some day's he's from Michigan or from Utah, depending on the audience), The Boston Globe, ripped him for his inability to tell the truth over his abortion stance. It's a brutal article, and one that shreds Romney's rhetoric on the subject of choice.

MITT ROMNEY is determined to prove he's pro-life. How about proving he's pro-truth?

Every time Romney tries to explain his evolution from supporter to opponent of abortion rights, his honesty comes into question. That's because his explanations over the years don't add up.

When Republican presidential candidates were asked recently to cite their biggest mistake, Romney replied: "Probably from a political standpoint and a personal standpoint, the greatest mistake was when I first ran for office, being deeply opposed to abortion but saying, 'I support the current law,' which was pro-choice and effectively a pro-choice position. That was just wrong."

The truth is, when Romney ran for office in Massachusetts he went far beyond saying, "I support the current law."

He begged voters to accept him as an embracer of abortion rights. "I believe that abortion should be safe and legal," he said. He staked his credentials on his mother, Lenore. He said she ran for the Senate in 1970 on an abortion-rights platform, inspired by the death of her son-in-law's teenage sister from an illegal abortion. "My mother and my family have been committed to the belief that we can believe as we want, but we will not force our beliefs on others on that matter. And you will not see me wavering on that," he said.


Romney campaigned for governor in 2002, again as a pro-choice candidate. He responded to the National Abortion Rights Action League's candidate survey with this statement: "I respect and will protect a woman's right to choose. This choice is a deeply personal one. Women should be free to choose based on their own beliefs, not mine and not the government's."

Romney's running mate, Kerry Healey, vouched for his pro-choice credentials, saying, "There's isn't a dime of difference between Mitt Romney's position on choice" and that of his Democratic opponent.


"He's been a pro-life Mormon faking it as a pro-choice friendly," Romney adviser Mike Murphy told the National Review in 2006.

Politicians always listen for the beat of the constituency they seek to represent, and waltz to it as best they can. They routinely tap dance around tough issues. They cha-cha-cha, reversing course when necessary. But they don't all do what Romney did on abortion rights. He engaged in a full-body tango with Massachusetts voters, doing everything he could to convince them he was pro-choice. He used his mother and another dead relative as props in a cold political calculation. But, this "pro-life Mormon," to quote Murphy, was "faking it" big time.

That's more than a mistake. That's dishonest.

Gays For Giuliani!!

Does anyone else see an ad buy coming in South Carolina?

One More Crazy GOPer For President

One would think in light of well-reasoned remarks blaming Americans for 9/11, coming from members of the GOP base such as the late Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and Fred Phelps, John Cox would fit right in with this band of blow-dried Gorgons.

For some reason, though, they are trying to exclude him. Probably for saying out loud in this video what they are lustily pontificating in their tortured innner-monologues. But that is not the only part of this "musical enterprise" that offends me.

As my pal Matt Ortega says:

It's GOP fear-mongering meets cheap '80s hair band rock.
Yes, as you know if you just watched it, the video is that bad. And to make matters worse, he besmirches the great musical legacy of Led Zeppelin. I grew up on those guys, so that really ticks me off.

From what I hear he also hangs out with Mitt Romney's sons. So he's a wimp too.

British Criticize U.S. Air Attacks in Afghan Region

SANGIN, Afghanistan — A senior British commander in southern Afghanistan said in recent weeks that he had asked that American Special Forces leave his area of operations because the high level of civilian casualties they had caused was making it difficult to win over local people.

Other British officers here in Helmand Province, speaking on condition of anonymity, criticized American Special Forces for causing most of the civilian deaths and injuries in their area. They also expressed concerns that the Americans’ extensive use of air power was turning the people against the foreign presence as British forces were trying to solidify recent gains against the Taliban.

It has struck me throughout this administration that one of the things lacking was just the basic building blocks of being a decent human being. You know, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." or "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything" etc.

This situation in Afghanistan and (arguably Iraq) fits perfectly into that thought.
"If you're not part of the answer, you're part of the problem", so get the hell out.

Anyone have any idea what happened to Harold Ford Jr?
All I can say is wow.

It will be interesting to see this week's Meet The Press. Ford goes up against Kos, of Daily Kos fame, for a little "debate."

I'll be watching.

(via Newshounds)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Why not just have the primary...I dunno...tomorrow?

After other states moved up the dates of their 2008 presidential primaries in hopes of increasing their influence, New Hampshire and South Carolina now appear set to strike back.

South Carolina’s GOP Chairman Katon Dawson is expected to announce Thursday that the party will hold its primary before the Feb. 2, 2008, scheduled date to try to “protect this battleground” and its first-in-the-South status. The move was precipitated by Florida’s decision to move its primary up to Jan. 29.

This is just getting silly.

Republican officials said South Carolina could hold its primary in mid-January, butting up against the primary and caucus dates for New Hampshire and Iowa. That in turn could cause Iowa and New Hampshire to move up their contests, with Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucus being held as early as mid-December — four months from now.

Which in turn could cause California to change theirs again, to early November, which would make South Carolina really mad and make them switch theirs to, like, October!

Well! Florida would have none of that, and they'd insist on changing theirs to, ohhhhh, sayyyy...early September. And New Hampshire and Iowa surely won't stand for that kind of nonsense.

So my estimate is that the first primary will be in about an hour. Given that nobody else changes a thing.

Oh, and this just in: Bush has had Lyme disease for a year.

Almost forgot-

Yearly Kos Convention Panel on Recent Blog Topics (10pm EST) on Cspan 1.


AFL-CIO Democratic Forum
August 8, 2007
"The president of Canada" and other factual bobbles.

Seven Democratic presidential candidates appeared Aug. 7 in a nationally televised forum at Chicago's Soldier Field, sponsored by the AFL-CIO. Once again, we found some claims that were wrong and others that were questionable.

Sen. Joseph Biden said none of the others "has a better labor record than me." Actually, they all have better AFL-CIO "lifetime" ratings than Biden.

Sen. Barack Obama attempted to revise his own earlier remarks about invading Pakistan, claiming: "What I said was that we have to work with" Pakistan's president. But the record shows Obama didn't actually say that.

Obama also said he would call "the president of Canada" about trade matters. Actually, that nation doesn't have a president.

Sen. John Edwards said the North American Free Trade Agreement "has cost us a million jobs." That million-job estimate is disputed.

That's pretty damn good for the Democrats!! I forgot to put up the one I got for the R's last debate, but I won't forget next time. It's waaaaay longer.

One Year Since Democrats Said Buh-Bye To Neocon Joe

Sam Seder's Funny

Here is his hilarious recap of Yearly Kos:

Poor Pathetic John McCain

This is what he has been reduced to. From an e-letter he sent out today:

Have you seen the headlines about how much money the Democrats are raising? In just six months, the Democrats running for president against me have raised more than a jaw-dropping $100 million combined! These well-funded Democrats are so far out of the mainstream that electing any one of them as President would lead to a less secure homeland, surrender in Iraq, socialized health care, new taxes, and even more wasteful spending. For every issue facing our nation, their solution is more government.
Remember this is Mr. Bipartisan, works well with others, blah blah blah. Sure seems like it from those kind comments.

Nice job aligning yourself with people who hate you Senator NumbNuts. Fun to watch your campaign staff become smaller than a David Duke fan club meeting at the Apollo.

As you told your campaign staff, it's gotta be the "gay" sweaters that brought you down.

Reviews on Keith last night.

Comments, comments on Keith Olbermann's role as moderator of last night's AFL-CIO Presidential Forum here in the Windy City:

The Washington Post columnist Howard Kurtz: "How did Olbermann do? He asked substantive questions, kept things moving crisply and followed up. But I have to say that he seemed less aggressive than he does when picking apart President Bush's record on "Countdown." He mostly threw straight policy pitches that the candidates hit easily, with no curveballs about contradictions in their records."'s Brad Wilmouth: "Did the sweltering Chicago temperatures somehow get to him? The MSNBC host who is notorious for anti-Bush, anti-conservative rants employed a more balanced approach when he moderated Tuesday's 90-minute plus debate. While audience members posed numerous left-leaning questions to the candidates, Olbermann asked a number of challenging or contrarian questions, a few even from the right."

And check out another installment of HuffPost's Debate Liveblog Series. "In terms of moderators, I feel like Olbermann is the best we've seen thus far. He's serious, but equally interested in letting the candidates have their (reasonable) say as he is in keeping within the time limits."

Fred Thompson: Is He This Much Of A Dumbass Or Does He Just Play One On TV?

Frederick Of Hollywood apparently thinks the economic numbers have fared better during the Bush years than they did during the Clinton Era.

Yes, he really does.

Maybe all that trouble with figures explains how he ended up marrying one of his granddaughter's recess playmates. In any case, Steve Benen has the story and a spiffy new look to his site. Go check it out.

I should have something snotty to say about all this, but I don't.

Iraq Violence Leading to Abortions, Drug Abuse Among Civilians

Justin Rood Reports:

Pregnant Iraqi women who have been forced from their homes by worsening violence are obtaining illegal abortions because they are unable to get medical care for themselves and their unborn, according to a new report by a national humanitarian group.

A record number of Iraqis -- most of them women and children -- are fleeing their homes to escape the bloodshed of sectarian violence and anti-U.S. attacks, according to a new report by the Iraqi Red Crescent organization, the largest aid group operating in Iraq.

Health care is inadequate and difficult to access for those people, according to the IRC report.

"Pregnant women, infants and children are unable to get...required medical care," states the report, which was translated from Arabic, "and criminal abortion became [sic] the norms."


"The outlook is bleak," the Red Cross noted, and "likely to worsen."

Spreading democracy one death at a time.

I wonder what all the evangelicals will think about this when they find out.

Oh wait, they'll never hear about it, Faux doesn't want to sully their chaste minds.

If a monkey can be smuggled undetected onto a plane to New York, under some guy's hat, then Homeland Security has a brand new monkey on it's back

They make us take off our shoes and get strip searched because they're worried about explosives, but they miss a monkey?
Federal investigators are trying to determine how a man smuggled a monkey from Peru to New York...under his hat.

I baking powder? Exsqueeze me?

It began Monday when the man boarded a flight from Peru to Fort Lauderdale, Florida with the tiny monkey tucked under his hat.

He then spent several hours at the Fort Lauderdale airport before catching a connecting flight to New York's La Guardia airport.

During that flight the monkey crawled out from under the man's hat and onto his shoulder, where it was spotted by other passengers.

Pardon me while I stifle a giggle. This makes such a farce out of our Very Serious Security People that I'm tempted to get on a flight to D.C. with a chimp under my cap, just to see if anyone notices.

Oh wait. President Cheney's most likely already done that with Vice President Bush. Never mind.

Was I the only one who saw CLIFF SCHECTER ON THE COLBERT REPORT last night?

There I was, trying to get lulled to sleep by the dulcet, soothing tones of Stephen Colbert's voice, when suddenly--screeeeeeeech!--I'm startled into consciousness by his reference to YearlyKos. My eyes widen. My pulse quickens. Who were those familiar faces flashing on my plasma screen??

None other than Cliff and Dougie Schecter!*

My life was complete. I could now resume slumber mode knowing that my dreams would be that much sweeter for having seen two of the most influential forces in my life (yes, Dougster, you're that cool) referenced by the one and only Stephen Colbert. And congratulations, Mini-Schecter. Your TV debut was an impressive one.

*He showed the clip from this video.

Rudy, This Is The Republican Primary, Remember?

Sometimes, I wonder if Rudy Giuliani realizes he is running in the Republican primary. Take his answer to this question about his religion.

A man in the high school multipurpose room asked him if he were a "traditional practicing Catholic."

Giuliani did not pause.

My religious affiliation, my religious practices and the degree to which I am a good or not-so-good Catholic, I prefer to leave to the priests," he said in a controlled low voice.

"That would be a much better way to discuss it," he said. "That's a personal discussion and they have a much better sense of how good a Catholic I am or how bad a Catholic I am."

Rudy, Rudy, Rudy. While almost all New Yorkers and many Americans agree with your statement, the base of the Republican Party does not. To many GOPers, your religion is your qualification. Just look at the dust-up between Gov. Huckabee and Sam Brownback.

So expect more questions like this. And be prepared, because your current answer will not satisfy those who really care about your religion.

Wow. This is right here in my neck of the woods. Must be bad all over.

Heat spurs opening of cooling centers in St. Joseph County
Officials declare state of emergency.

SOUTH BEND -- The St. Joseph County Commissioners announced Tuesday that a state of emergency has been declared because of extreme heat conditions.


The announcement noted that the National Weather Service had issued a heat advisory stating that heat indexes were expected to exceed 100 degrees.

How hot is it going to be in your area?

Reason # 9,485,769,604 for Universal Healthcare.

Hospitals are shutting down burn centers
By BILL POOVEY, Associated Press Writer

U.S. hospitals are increasingly shutting down their burn centers in a trend experts say could leave the nation unable to handle widespread burn casualties from a fiery terrorist attack or other major disaster.

Associated Press interviews and an examination of official figures found that the shrinking number of beds is a growing cause for concern in this post-Sept. 11 world.

Experts say burn centers are expensive to maintain and often lose money because they are staffed with highly specialized surgeons and nurses and stocked with sophisticated equipment designed to ease patients' excruciating pain, fend off deadly complications and promote healing.

The number of burn centers in the U.S. has dropped from 132 in 2004 to 127, and burn beds have fallen from 1,897 to 1,820, according to American Burn Association records compiled from voluntary reporting by hospitals.

"People ought to be pretty frightened by this," said Dr. Barbara Latenser, burn center director at the University of Iowa Hospitals. "Some people who live out West, they are 800 miles from a burn center."

The (very detailed) article goes on to quote HHS preparedness spokesman Marc Wolfson as sounding like he spent every spare moment with Brownie-

HHS preparedness spokesman Marc Wolfson acknowledged that a disaster such as nuclear blast in a large urban area could produce thousands of burn victims, and that there would not be enough burn facilities to treat everyone.

"The number of total beds available in hospitals, we don't have direct control over that," he said.

Yeah, if there's no burn centers, then take 'em to the trauma units. If the trauma units are full, take 'em to the Vets hospital.

And if the Vets hospital is full?

I thought about listening to my buddy Bill, but at the last minute I decided I'd give Yearly Kos a go.

Damn, not a single Nazi or KKK member in sight. And I looked.

Oh, and I must have missed the "Foot Kissing Ceremony".
Sounds like fun.

(via Newshounds)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Rep. Thelma Drake Is Losing Her Mind

She needs "protection" from questions about her sending our sons and daughters to die in Iraq apparently.

No Mzzzz. Drake, our sons and daughters need protection from Kristol-Kowtowing, elitist, Republican Chickenhawks like YOU.

This answering questions thing. Yeah, its called, um, democracy.

General reaction on TV to the Democratic debate


I just felt like rubbing it in some more, what with the spirited debate just having taken place and all.

Oh, what's that? Keith just popped on to the ol' TV screen again? And what's that he's saying? Let's live blog it:
Edwards "put it out of the park", re: the veteran on braces who got the standing ovation. It was "vibrant", the crowd was lively, the debate and the crowd was more intense.
Well, I could have told you that. But when Keith says it, it sounds sooo much better.
Corporate control of the country, he says. People disaffected, he says. If a candidate can translate the pain of corporate favoritism vs. citizens re: health care, it's a tipping point. The time has come.
Amen, Mr. O.

I'm going to shut up now and let Keith do the talking. This sure beats being cooped up in the Embassy Suites with nothing but CNN.