Thursday, December 21, 2006

Jackass Awards Part Deux - Virgil Goode

I haven't been blogging much recently. I have been overwhelmed with work and I will be leaving soon for a long vacation.

But this caught my eye. It is a letter from one of our U.S. Congressmen writing to a constituent regarding the use of a Koran to swear in the freshman Representative, Keith Ellison, who is a Muslim.

Virgil Goode, Jr. responds to his constituent to express how much disdain he has for anyone not Christian.

Thank you for your recent communication. When I raise my hand to take the oath of Searing In Day, I will have the Bible in my other hand. I do not subscribe to using the Koran in any way. The Muslim Representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens don't wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran. We need to stop illegal immigration totally and reduce legal immigration and end the diversity visas policy pushed hard by President Clinton and allowing many persons from the Middle Ease to come to this county. I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America and to prevent our resources from being swamped...


So, apparently, Rep. Goode is not a big supporter of the First Amendment... It is ok for Goode to hold the bible while being sworn in, but god forbid that someone of another religion gets elected by democratic vote and wants to use the holy book of his own religion.

Additionally, I am completely confused about how Rep. Goode equates illegal immigration with the election of a Muslim form Minnesota. Keith Ellison, the recently elected Muslim, was born in Detroit to a Roman Catholic family. Rep. Ellison converted to Islam in college, like many other Americans have over the years. But, I guess you can't apply logic to Rep. Goode's letter since it is devoid of logic completely.

It is so sad that we have a single elected official in the U.S. government that is so narrow minded and so bigoted that he cannot accept his fellow congressman as a legitimate American. The troubling thing here is not a Muslim using the Koran to be sworn into office, but that Rep. Goode is being sworn in at all.

Dee the actual letter here

H/T Talking Points Memo

Update: Virgil Goode has decided to stand behind his bigorty and will not appologise for his letter.

Linwood Duncan, Goode's press secretary, said that Goode sent the letter to hundreds of constituents who contacted their office after Ellison disclosed his plans. At about the same time, a member of a local Sierra Club contacted Goode about a different issue, and the letter was accidentally sent to him in response. The Sierra Club member made the letter public.

"The congressman is not apologizing," Duncan said. "He stands by the letter." - Star Tribune


I guess it makes it ok that he accidently sent the letter to the wrong people. You can be a bigot, but only if you are a bigot to other bigots.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Jackass Awards

Sometimes there are people who deserve a special mention for being outright jackasses. So, today, today, I am listing some from the past week who have gone above and beyond the call of Jackassdom to reach new levels of jackassedness.

#3 - Tom DeLay

Tom Delay this week blamed the whole fiasco in Iraq on liberals and democrats. He claimed that if it were not for them whining and complaining about how bad things are in Iraq, things wouldn't be bad in Iraq. I guess Republicans who had complete control of the government had nothing to do with the failures we have suffered in Iraq. Sectarian violence? Democrats... No military plan to win the war? Liberals... The erosion of moral superiority in the world's eyes? Liberal media... Donald Rumsfeld's job performance? Ted Kennedy all by himself.

#2 - Freepers

The brain trust that is also known as the Free Republic had much to say about the recent tragedy of Tim Johnson's stroke. They spent the first two responses in the thread commenting on how repugnant it is for democrats to talk about the balance of power in the U.S. Senate if Johnson was not to fully recover or die... and then spent the next 78 responses talking about the balance of power in the Senate if Johnson was not to fully recover or die.

Notably, the Freepers also commented on how Johnson's stroke was the will of God to put control of the Senate back in Republican hands.

The real news of the day is that God may have placed the Senate back in our hands!


If the Senator recovers we can have joy for him and his family, we are abased. If he does not, we can have joy for our nation, we abound [emphasis is their own]

Then the freepers went on to make fun of the Senator if he were to be severely disabled.

One blink means 'tax'. Two blinks means 'spend'. Three blinks means 'surrender'

It warms the heart to know that the good people at the Free Republic are looking out for our best interests.

# 1 - Soledad O'Brien

Today, the waste of space that is Soledad O'Brien, interviewed the three wives of the men trapped on Mt. Hood. As the three women held each others hands, on the verge of tears, Soledad reiterated the horrible conditions on the mountain and asked the dumbest question ever:

"Are you still hopeful? The weather conditions as you've seen are so dreadful; the rescuers can't make it up the mountain; It is almost white out conditions; it's weather wise terrible, terrible conditions. Are you still hopeful you are going to get any good news out of this"

Thank you Soledad for telling these women that they have basically no cause for hope that they may ever see their loved ones again. What are they supposed to say? 'No, we have no hope. Our husbands are as good as dead'? Why don't you go eat one of their kids also, Soledad... lets see if you can do anything to make them feel even worse.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Why Do Today What You Can Put Off Until Tomorrow

Yesterday, President Bush stated that he will put off announcing his plans for changes in his Iraq policy until after the new year. As of right now, we have gone into a "new way forward."

And by a new way forward, he means a new way forward... to a new slogan.

Seriously, if they had put as much time into actually planning and executing the war as they put into coming up with new catchy slogans, we might have been able to win this thing.

First it was "Mission Accomplished" - Well, turns out that the mission wasn't accomplished, so they had to scrap that.

Then they moved to "The Next Phase" - Unfortunately, the next phase was a phase into insurgency.

After that, we had "Stay the Course" - Again, that course was right over a cliff

Then came "Adapt and Change" - This, of course, referred to the Bush administrations slogans and not actually policy. The policy remained stay the course. The only thing adapted or changed was Bush's catch phrase.

Now, it is "A New Way Forward" - Again, this appears only to be a way forward to a new slogan. He just needed enough time for his PR team to come up with a new slogan... Because, you know... a good slogan solves everything.

I am thinking the next one will be "What? Like You've Got a Better Idea" - But then again, I think Mrs. Harding's 3rd grade class could actually come up with a better idea, so that might not be a good one.

"It's A Hard Job Being the President" has already been used, so that is right out the window.

With any luck, then next slogan will be "Whatever Dude! I Quit!"

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Nut Job Convention

There is a world meeting today of the world's leading nut jobs in Iran. Hosted by Iranian President Mahmoud "Mommy Didn't Hug Me Enough" Ahmadinejad, world intellectual featherweights convened the first annual "Holocaust? What Ev" convention to deny the deaths of millions of Jews during the Nazi era.

Disturbing enough was the attendance of former Grand Wizard of the KKK, David Duke, but what really got me was the number of Jews in attendance.

At one point, Ahmadinejad said that Israel will go the way of the Soviet Union and that there should be elections among "Jews, Christians and Muslims so the population of Palestine can select their government and destiny for themselves in a democratic manner." I guess he forgets that Israel is the only real democracy in the middle east.

Ahmadinejad, while being completely insane, is not politically unsavvy. I have to wonder if there is a motivation behind this conference other than just pure blinding hatred. At first, I thought that it could be a wedge issue to try to split the U.S. from its allies. Anti-semitism is still somewhat stronger in Europe than it is in the U.S., especially in Russia. But if this was his plan, it was sure to backfire, as has proven to have happen. Strong rebukes from all over the world have landed at the Iranian President's door mat. Any indication that he had made to the effect that his nuclear program is "peaceful" is contradicted by this, along with many of his comments that Israel should be wiped off the map.

Unfortunately, just like we are stuck with Bush, Iran is stuck with Ahmadinejad. When military options are nil, the only other path is diplomacy.

Holocaust deniers' meeting spurs outrage
By WILLIAM J. KOLE, Associated Press Writer

VIENNA, Austria - A gathering of Holocaust deniers in Iran touched off a firestorm of indignation Tuesday across Europe, where many countries have made it a crime to publicly disavow the Nazis' systematic extermination of 6 million Jews.

The European Union's top justice official condemned the conference as "an unacceptable affront" to victims of the World War II genocide. British Prime Minister Tony Blair denounced it as "shocking beyond belief" and proof of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's extremism.

"I think it is such a symbol of sectarianism and hatred toward people of another religion. I find it just unbelievable, really," Blair said in London.

"I mean to go and invite the former head of the Ku Klux Klan to a conference in Tehran which disputes the millions of people who died in the Holocaust ... what further evidence do you need that this regime is extreme?" he added.

David Duke, an ex-Klan leader and former Louisiana state representative, was among those at the two-day conference. Although organizers touted it as a scholarly gathering, the meeting angered many in countries such as Austria, Germany and France, where it is illegal to deny aspects of the Nazi Holocaust.

In Washington, the White House condemned Iran for convening a conference it called "an affront to the entire civilized world."

The conference drew especially sharp condemnation in Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel said her country repudiated it "with all our strength."

"We absolutely reject this. Germany will never accept this and will act against it with all the means that we have," Merkel told reporters. She stood alongside visiting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who denounced the meeting as "unacceptable" and a "danger" to the Western world.

French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy was interrupted by applause from lawmakers when he told parliament in Paris that the conference showed a resurgence of "revisionist" theories "which are quite simply not acceptable."


(Full Story)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Way Forward

Well, the report is in - literally. The Baker-Hamilton report was released today and it flat out says that stay the course is not an option.

"The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating. There is no path that can guarantee success, but the prospects can be improved."

Hopefully, Bush will actually use this, along with the new Sec. of Defense as political cover to actually change course.

What I find very interesting about the report is that it acknowledges the role of the Palestine/Israeli conflict in the regions instability.

"The United States cannot achieve its goals in the Middle East unless it deals directly with the Arab-Israeli conflict and regional instability. There must be a renewed and sustained commitment by the United States to a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace on all fronts: Lebanon, Syria and President Bush's June 2002 commitment to a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. This commitment must include direct talks with, by and between Israel, Lebanon, Palestinians — those who accept Israel's right to exist — and Syria."


It took a lot of political balls to not only call Bush out on his failed Iraq policy, but on his failure to fully engage the other problems.

I will keep my fingers crossed that something will come out of this report, but I will not hold my breath. I doubt that Bush has the intellectual depth to comprehend the big picture on the Middle East and the War on Terror.

Excerpts of Iraq Study Group report

Panel: Bush Iraq policy 'not working'

Reaction to Iraq recommendations

Bush text on Baker-Hamilton report

Iraq Panel Calls Conditions 'Grave and Deteriorating'

Monday, December 04, 2006

Bolton Resigns Before Being Blown Out

Thankfully, John Bolton has resigned as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, a position that he filled after Bush appointed him by using the recess appointment process. Bolton, was active in the ongoing negotiations with both North Korea and Iran in regards to their nuclear programs. His track record on that alone is indication enough as to why he should not be confirmed.

Bush is calling the democrats obstructionist in the matter, even though there are Republicans who are also blocking his nomination.

I guess Bush will have to go back to his father's bull pen again to find someone who can actually do a decent job.

Bolton to exit as U.N. ambassador
By Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton will step down in the coming days, the White House announced on Monday, unable to overcome Democratic Senate opposition.

Bolton's attempt to hang on to his job, already tenuous, became even more problematic after Democrats who had blocked his nomination won control of the Senate in November elections.

President George W. Bush appointed Bolton largely because of a commitment to reform the world body. But Bolton's outspokenness and prickly manner often angered the diplomatic community and some of his fellow U.N. ambassadors at times found him difficult to work with.

(Full Story)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

7 Day Waiting Period for a 4 Day Cold

So, I am sick... yes, even superhero crime fighters get sick. I have been living the last couple of days off of Advil Cold & Sinus pills that I had left over from the last time I was sick. But this morning, still being in a drug induced stupor from the NyQuil I downed in mass quantities the night before, I forgot to take any of the Advil pills into work with me.

I figured that it would be no big deal. I would just pop into a CVS along the way to work and pick up some more and the day would go on as usual.

Unbeknownst to me, you can no longer just pop in to a CVS and buy the little buggers. Nooooooo!!! Now you have to go through a FBI background check to buy them.

I understand why. One of the ingredients in Advil Cold & Sinus is also used to make crystal meth. You have to take a little card from the shelf where the pills used to be, and take it back to the pharmacy where you have to wait in line behind all the little old ladies picking up their "water pills" and the middle age men picking up their little blue somethings that they cringe at when the clerk loudly exclaims, "Mr. Smith, your erectile dysfunction medication is now ready."

So, I finally get to the front of the line. I have to show ID, which they record. I have to sign my name. They then take a blood sample, urine sample, and run my fingerprints through IAFIS. I then have to recite a loyalty oath and tell me I can come back and pick up the Advil after a 7 day waiting period. I was waiting to the waterboarding to start.

Seriously, I think it is easier to buy a gun in North Carolina than to buy Advil Cold & Sinus in New York City.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Ethics Reform... Finally

While it is not a done deal, and I never hold my breath when it comes to politics and money in Washington, the Democrats are planning on actually doing what the Republicans promised, but never did... Ethics reform.

Early next year, the Democrats will roll out several bills that will ban meals, travel and other gifts from lobbyist.

Notably, the Democrats also plan on holding longer debates on each of the issues...

AND, get this, actually plan to allow the Republicans to take part of the floor debate and crafting of the legislation, something that Republicans never did when they had power.

Years of draconian rule by the majority party may be at an end, along with much of the money that spurs corruption.

But, like I said, I never hold my breath when it comes to politicians and money.

Democrats Plan Series of Votes on Ethics Reforms

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Rove Re-revisited

It looks like I am not the only one thinking about the effectiveness of Rove's campeign style in this last election.

...But many Republicans think Rove is off the mark this time. His critics say Rove based his 2006 strategy on what worked in the past--polarizing the electorate and attempting to rally the GOP base--and didn't pay enough attention to independents and swing voters. Adds a senior GOP strategist outside the White House: "The political world is always shifting and changing. We need to be flexible."


The 51% campeign can only work for so long. 6 years seems to be the maximum this time.

Rove Sells Election Spin; Some in GOP Aren't Buying

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Irony Is Not Just A River In Egypt

On the heels of Bush's cross country campaign against the "Cut and Run" democrats, Bush is now on a three nation tour of the far east.

One of those nation that Bush will be visiting is Vietnam. The irony of this trip could not be greater. Bush spent two solid months of crisscrossing this country, begging and pleading for people to return a Republican majority to the Congress. He bellowed over and over that a Democratically controlled congress will cut and run from Iraq and the world will come to a quick and decisive end, and now he is visiting Vietnam...

Vietnam is the last major conflict in which we cut and run. It was said that the whole of the far east would fall to communism. The American way of life would be jeopardized.

Now, 25 years later, Bush is attending a conference in Hanoi. Americans and Europeans flock as tourist to the same beaches that we "fled" from a generation earlier. The American way of life was preserved despite the pro-war faction's predictions. Post war analysis has pretty much definitively determined that the war in Vietnam would never have been winnable without 50,000 more American lives lost. 25 years since we cut and ran and the world didn't end.

The is because cut and run is not the end of the world. It wasn't then, and it is not now.

If Truman had cut and run in 1950 from the Korean war as soon as the status quo had been regained and the North Koreans had been pushed back to the 38th parallel, it would have saved 10,000 American lives. Instead, he decided to push the North Koreans all the way to China which ended up extending the war by three years. In the end, we ended up with the same result as we would have if we had just ended the war in 1950.

I have never advocated an immediate pullout of American troops. But lets stop the idiotic propaganda war of saying that cut and run is un-patriotic. Sometimes, cut and run is the best and most viable option. If you are down $20,000 at the poker table, is it really manly to keep on betting and lose the house as well? If we stop the name calling and the fake patriotic machismo, maybe we can finally have an honest discussion about how to best conduct the war in Iraq and the war on terror. From a purely global strategic position, cut and run might be the very best thing for the American people, the Iraqi people, and the War on Terror.

Bush's War On America Continues

Despite being thoroughly rejected in the polls last week, King George's war on America continues. Bush has declared that the recent law that allows him to hold detainees indefinitely in Cuba also applies to all immigrants, legal or illegal residing or visiting the United States. Any person that the Bush Administration declares to be an enemy combatant can be rounded up and detained forever with no right to a trial or to legal counsel of any sort. This means Mexican immigrants who came over the border yesterday, as well as your grandmother who came here from the old country 50 years ago.

The wing nuts out there will be saying, "but it only applies to the bad guys." Well, how the hell do we know it only applies to the bad guys if there is no way for the imprisoned person to ever confront the accusers and present evidence in court of their innocence.

Once a person is rounded up, the government does not have to present a single shred of evidence that the person being detained is or ever was a threat to the United States. If the person is ever tired, they would be tried in front of a military tribunal where the government cannot be forced to ever disclose the evidence against the accused.

What kind of fascist state is he trying to turn this country into? This is obscene in every aspect and is a slap in the face of our founding fathers. This country is based on the rule of law. If was based on principles of order and justice. Bush is throwing that all out the window. How do we say that we are spreading democracy and freedom around the world when we are turning this country into a police state.

US: Immigrants may be held indefinitely
By MATT APUZZO, Associated Press Writer
Tue Nov 14, 6:39 AM ET

WASHINGTON - Immigrants arrested in the United States may be held indefinitely on suspicion of terrorism and may not challenge their imprisonment in civilian courts, the Bush administration said Monday, opening a new legal front in the fight over the rights of detainees.

In court documents filed with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., the Justice Department said a new anti-terrorism law being used to hold detainees in Guantanamo Bay also applies to foreigners captured and held in the United States.

Ali Saleh Kahlah Al-Marri, a citizen of Qatar, was arrested in 2001 while studying in the United States. He has been labeled an "enemy combatant," a designation that, under a law signed last month, strips foreigners of the right to challenge their detention in federal courts.

That law is being used to argue the Guantanamo Bay cases, but Al-Marri represents the first detainee inside the United States to come under the new law. Aliens normally have the right to contest their imprisonment, such as when they are arrested on immigration violations or for other crimes.

"It's pretty stunning that any alien living in the United States can be denied this right," said Jonathan Hafetz, an attorney for Al-Marri. "It means any non-citizen, and there are millions of them, can be whisked off at night and be put in detention."

(Full Story)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Rove Revisited

There has been a lot made out of the results of this election and the reputation and legacy of Karl Rove. His critics are saying that this shows that Rove is anything but a boy genius.

Rove has most often used the 51% strategy in his campaigns. That means, you try to get 51% of the electorate, but no more. You do this by creating a divided electorate and playing one side off the other.

It is true that Roves 51% strategy failed in this election. That is the problem with the 51% strategy. It is not a long term strategy. You can only hold together the coalition as long as you don't alienate anyone group. That, of course, is impossible.

Roves strategy worked great for 6 years. Now, with too many people tired of partisanship and too many people alienated from the Republican party, the power has shifted hands.

Whether or not Rove is a campaign prodigy is irrelevant. If he is a genius or a buffoon, is besides the point as to what is his current effectiveness? Rove plays his cards by dividing people, not in uniting them. If Bush was eligible to seek yet another term, this might be a viable option now that there is an opposition party in power. But, Bush is not eligible for another term, and Bush legacy is hanging in the balance.

If Bush follows the traditional Rove strategy of confrontation and division, the presidents last two years in office are doomed to be of inaction and greater resentment by the American populace.

Alternatively, if Bush wants to finish out his presidential career and a positive note, and have any hope of his name being remembered fondly in the history books, he needs to reject partisanship and embrace bipartisanship.

Can this happen with Rove as a top advisor? Can Rove overcome his own tendencies to go for the jugular? Can the Democrats in power trust anything coming out of the White House that appears to be cooperation, but coming from Rove's office?

I think that the answer for all of this is no. Rove is a ilability and has become as ineffective as Rumsfeld when it comes to political play. He is the political equivalent to the hockey goon who's job is to fight, not to score goals. The president needs a goal scorer if he is to leave an even marginal legacy from 8 years of office. Rove should be replaced with a new advisor that can be seen as less divisive. Otherwise, Bush really is a lame duck... and historically speaking, a dead duck.

Rove Remains Steadfast in the Face of Criticism

Friday, November 10, 2006

Quagmire

Can't Keep Quiet has a great little clip of Dick Cheney saying during the 1991 Gulf War that removal of Saddam from power and the occupation of Iraq could be nothing other than a quagmire. Go figure...

No New Tail to Tell

It has been a couple of days now since the American people swept Republicans out of power and swept a bunch of new Democrats into power.

To ease their woes, I see all over the right-sided blogosphere that the Democrats elected to oust the Republicans are "conservative" and that the American people actually didn't move the political spectrum towards the left.

Hmmm... Aren't these "conservative" Democrats just elected the same people that were "way too liberal" only days before the election?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Rumsfeld Resigns

It is officially a very very good day. The bum is out on his ass. I don't feel bad for him. I am sure that he will land a very lucrative job with Haliburton in about 45 seconds.

I am quite shocked that Rumsfeld is gone. Bush is so damn stubborn that I thought he would hold on to him until the bitter end. Afterall, it was only a week ago that Bush said he would keep Rumsfeld regardless of what people thought of the failing war in Iraq. Is this just another Bush flip-flop? I guess Bush was for Rumsfled before he was against him.

There are two possible reasons for his resignation.

The first is because of the election results. The message sent by the American people was that they have no confidence in the Republican leadership of the country. Bush can be stubborn for only so long. Sooner or later he must wake up and smell the grime. He (or should I say his advisers know) that it will be very difficult for the Bush Administration to deal with the Democratically controlled congress with Rumsfeld in office.

The second, is that it will give the Bush administration some breathing room on the war in Iraq. With a new person coming in, the democrats are almost obliged to let the new person have a shot at it before putting more pressure on the Administration to pull out troops.

It was clear that Rumsfeld was ineffectual as DOD Secretary and the democratic victory made him even more irrelevant. Either way, this is a victory for the American people, and most of all, the troops fighting in Iraq.

GOP says Rumsfeld is stepping down

It Sucks To be the King

It has got to be a sad day for King George. For all intensive purposes, he got a vote of no confidence from the American people yesterday during the mid term election. An anti-mandate was issued for his policies on domestic and foreign affairs. In the end, there will be about a 32 seat pick up in the House of Representatives for the Democrats. In the Senate, where no one thought that the Dems would pick up the six needed seats, the Dems took control. There is no other way to describe this than a massive blow out for the Republicans. The GOP pundits are trying to spin this anyway they can, but even the die-hard Freepers know what this was all about.

For me, the birds are chirping... the air is fresher... although, the latter could be due to the Clean Air Act being enforced again.

The American people sent a clear message. They are tired of the corruption, they are tired of the lies, they are tired of right wing extremist trying to impose their will on the rest of us, they are tired of incompetence, and the are really tired of George "stay the course" Bush. The message was so clear and convincing that as I writer this, Rusfled is getting canned (GOP says Rumsfeld is stepping down).

Karl Rove's belief that you could build a permanent majority by running a 51% divide and conquer style campaign has finally come to an end. First of all, no majority is ever permanent. Second, a majority built on 51% tactics is even more fragile.

I am guessing that Bush is ruing the fact that he claimed that a vote for a democrat is a vote for terrorist. He now has to deal with the democrats who control the legislative agenda.

I am also guessing that the Republicans who still have jobs are second guessing the way that they treated democrats over the past 6 years. Republicans who were in the majority blocked democrats from participating in the legislative process in all aspects other than the actual voting on bills.

The three GOP senators that I wanted to see lose the most all lost. That is Santorum of Pennsylvania, Burns of Montana, and Allen of Virginia. I think I wanted to see Allen lose the most out of all three of them. He is such a slimy guy. I feel that I need to take a shower after just watching him on TV.

I hope that the Dems hold up their end of the bargin and deliver on what they promised. I also hope that they treat the republicans with the respect that they failed to treat us. Just because we won does not mean we should play down to their level.

A Voter Rebuke For Bush, the War And the Right

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

How to Win as a Republican?

Pretend to be a Democrat.

Today, the Republican candidates for Governor and Senate bused in homeless people from Pennsylvania to had out literature in predominately black precincts.

There is only on catch... the pamphlets (sample ballots) that the hired hands were handing out labeled the Republican candidates as Democrats and not Republicans.

That's right, the only way for a Republican to win these days is to pretend to be a Democrat.

These actions, along with all the other crap that has been going on to mislead, confuse and trick voters is disgusting. Right or Left, let people vote on the issues.

Sample Ballots in Pr. George's Misidentify Candidates
By Ernesto Londo?o
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 7, 2006; 4:18 PM

Inaccurate sample ballots describing Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and Senate candidate Michael S. Steele as Democrats were handed out to voters in at least four polling sites in Prince George's County this morning.

The ballots were distributed by people who said they arrived by buses this morning from Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Erik Markle, one of the people handing out literature for Ehrlich, who is seeking reelection, and Steele, the current lieutenant governor who is campaigning to replace retiring Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D), said he was recruited at a homeless shelter in Philadelphia.

After a two-hour bus ride to Maryland, Markle said the workers were greeted early this morning by first lady Kendel Ehrlich, who thanked them as they were outfitted in T-shirts and hats with the logo for Ehrlich's reelection campaign. Nearly all of those recruited, Markle said, are poor and black. Workers traveled to Maryland in at least seven large buses.

(Full Story)

I Voted

It is done.

Regardless of how this election day ends up, I cast my vote against the status quo and for change. I cast my vote for success and against failure. I cast my vote as a referendum on the Bush administration and to tell him, in the only way I can, that he is not right, all knowing, and omnipowerful. I cast my vote for people who believe that we must progress and not regress. I cast my vote for people who believe all Americans are equal and not just those who fit the pre-ordained mold. I cast my vote for family values... real family values, not just the pretend ones that the right has been pushing. I cast my vote for cures for disease, a raise in the minimum wage and for holding our elected officials accountable.

In the grand scheme of things, my vote counts for little, but it counts a whole lot to me.

Update: Looks like there are plenty of problems with the electronic voting machines across the country. Several jurisdictions have already had to file motions with the courts to keep their polling station open for an extended period. In MO, there are electronic machines tabulating votes the Republican when the Democrat has been selected. In PA, it is reported that there are at least 2 precincts with no working machines. Similar issues in OH.

It is reported that even Ken Mehlman, the head of the Republican National Committee decided to vote with a paper ballot instead of an electronic voting machine when given the choice. That says a lot.

It is going to be a long day.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Bush Blames Republican Congress

Bush today blamed the Republican congress for posting the Iraqi blueprints for a nuclear weapon on the web. He claims that he was pressured by congress to post the seized documents on the web so conservatives could peruse the documents in hopes that they still might find a smoking gun.

So, Bush is willing to use signing statements to allow torture and numerous other "programs" in the name of national security, regardless of congress laws, but he is willing to post nuclear material because the GOP threatened to propose a bill that would require him to post the documents.

Yeah, that ain't fly'n. Does he have "presidential powers" to protect us or not. I thought congress couldn't "tell him noth'n." I am confused.

U.S. shuts Web site said to reveal nuclear guide: report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government has shut down a Web site it set up in March containing documents captured during the Iraq war after experts raised concerns it offered a guide to building an atom bomb, the New York Times reported.

It said the Bush administration started the site under pressure from congressional Republicans who hoped to use the Internet to find new evidence of dangers posed by former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.


(Full Story)

Let the Fat Lady Sing

The negative ads have been run. The president has done his best to scare us. The push polls and the robo calls have been made. The voter suppression has been conducted. The political pundits have stuck to their talking points.

The only thing left is to let the fat lady sing and vote tomorrow.

Even if the Dems don't take back the Senate, I will be happy if Allen, Santorum and Burns all get shot down.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

With the Writing on the Wall... Bush Looks at His Feet

Things are really really bad for the Bush Iraq policy when the most ardent of supporters, the king of the Neo-cons, Richard Pearle, is saying that the presidents policy is failed and he is completely incompetent.

Iraq war proponents decry administration
By BARRY SCHWEID, AP Diplomatic Writer
Sat Nov 4, 5:39 PM ET

WASHINGTON - A leading conservative proponent of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq now says dysfunction within the Bush administration has turned U.S. policy there into a disaster.

Even worse is when the Military Times, et al, the news papers dedicated to the military branches and their issues, are calling for the removal of Donald Rumsfeld. None the less, Dick Cheney was on the Sunday morning Talking Heads saying that the Iraq policy will continue full steam ahead without change.

Time for Rumsfeld to go

“So long as our government requires the backing of an aroused and informed public opinion ... it is necessary to tell the hard bruising truth.”
That statement was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent Marguerite Higgins more than a half-century ago during the Korean War.
But until recently, the “hard bruising” truth about the Iraq war has been difficult to come by from leaders in Washington.
One rosy reassurance after another has been handed down by President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld: “mission accomplished,” the insurgency is “in its last throes,” and “back off,” we know what we’re doing, are a few choice examples.
Military leaders generally toed the line, although a few retired generals eventually spoke out from the safety of the sidelines, inciting criticism equally from anti-war types, who thought they should have spoken out while still in uniform, and pro-war foes, who thought the generals should have kept their critiques behind closed doors.
Now, however, a new chorus of criticism is beginning to resonate. Active-duty military leaders are starting to voice misgivings about the war’s planning, execution and dimming prospects for success.
Army Gen. John Abizaid, chief of U.S. Central Command, told a Senate Armed Services Committee in September: “I believe that the sectarian violence is probably as bad as I’ve seen it ... and that if not stopped, it is possible that Iraq could move towards civil war.”
Last week, someone leaked to The New York Times a Central Command briefing slide showing an assessment that the civil conflict in Iraq now borders on “critical” and has been sliding toward “chaos” for most of the past year. The strategy in Iraq has been to train an Iraqi army and police force that could gradually take over for U.S. troops in providing for the security of their new government and their nation.
But despite the best efforts of American trainers, the problem of molding a viciously sectarian population into anything resembling a force for national unity has become a losing proposition.
For two years, American sergeants, captains and majors training the Iraqis have told their bosses that Iraqi troops have no sense of national identity, are only in it for the money, don’t show up for duty and cannot sustain themselves.
Meanwhile, colonels and generals have asked their bosses for more troops. Service chiefs have asked for more money.
And all along, Rumsfeld has assured us that things are well in hand.
Now, the president says he’ll stick with Rumsfeld for the balance of his term in the White House.
This is a mistake. It is one thing for the majority of Americans to think Rumsfeld has failed. But when the nation’s current military leaders start to break publicly with their defense secretary, then it is clear that he is losing control of the institution he ostensibly leads.
These officers have been loyal public promoters of a war policy many privately feared would fail. They have kept their counsel private, adhering to more than two centuries of American tradition of subordination of the military to civilian authority.
And although that tradition, and the officers’ deep sense of honor, prevent them from saying this publicly, more and more of them believe it.
Rumsfeld has lost credibility with the uniformed leadership, with the troops, with Congress and with the public at large. His strategy has failed, and his ability to lead is compromised. And although the blame for our failures in Iraq rests with the secretary, it will be the troops who bear its brunt.
This is not about the midterm elections. Regardless of which party wins Nov. 7, the time has come, Mr. President, to face the hard bruising truth:
Donald Rumsfeld must go.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Mistress Ann Caught in Possible Voter Fraud

Mistress of the dark, Ann Coulter, is finding herself in a little legal trouble over possible voting fraud. Funny that...

It is surprising that someone with so much distaste for democracy would even vote.

Columnist Coulter in hot water over voting
POSTED: 5:44 p.m. EST, November 1, 2006

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida (AP) -- Conservative columnist Ann Coulter has refused to cooperate in an investigation into whether she voted in the wrong precinct, so the case will probably be turned over to prosecutors, Palm Beach County's elections chief said Wednesday.

Elections Supervisor Arthur Anderson said his office has been looking into the matter for nearly nine months, and he would turn over the case to the state attorney's office by Friday.

Coulter's attorney did not immediately return a call Wednesday. Nor did her publicist at her publisher, Crown Publishing.

Knowingly voting in the wrong precinct is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

Anderson's office received a complaint in February that Coulter voted in the wrong precinct during a February 7 Palm Beach town council election.


(Full Story)

Boehner: Iraq is the Troops Fault

So, a top GOP House Leader insults the troops and blames the mess in Iraq all on them... I am guessing you won't get outrage from the right-wing blogs on this one. I know I haven't seen any yet. It will just go to prove how insincere they were about Kerry's comments.

In an interview Wednesday on CNN, Boehner said, "Let's not blame what's happening in Iraq on Rumsfeld."

CNN's Wolf Blitzer replied, "But he's in charge of the military."

"The fact is, the generals on the ground are in charge, and he works closely with them and the president," Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said.


Boehner: Let's not blame Iraq woes on Rumsfeld

Wingnuts politicians keep saying that liberals hate the military. So, if Republican lawmakers love the military so much, compared to Democrats in office, why did so few of them ever serve in uniform?

Update: Still no outrage from the right... Go figure. As suspected, it was all political.

Boehner refuses to apologize for faulting generals

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Enough Already

Enough with he righteous indignation coming from the right wing already over Kerry's comments. Yes, what he said was extremely stupid and probably did offend some people.

But enough with the righteous indignation. Anyone who grew up during Viet Nam and either severed solely due to the draft or received a deferment due to being in school knows exactly what he he was talking about and know that he was right on point.

We should all be proud of the soldiers who are fighting in Iraq. And they should all be proud to serve in an all volunteer army. But anyone who tries to make the claim that the bulk of the armed forces in the direct line of fire throughout the history of warfare is not made up primarily of the lesser educated and low to lower-middle class either lying or living in an alternate reality.

For millennia, the armies of the world have been made up of those who have fewer alternatives for a prosperous future than those with an education or wealth. During Viet Nam, the war that Bush opted out of, it was the uneducated that were drafted. The rich who could pull strings and those who were in college were the ones who had a choice. Bush had a choice not to fight... Cheney had a choice not to fight... Limbaugh had a choice not to fight. The average high school grad working in the steel mill had no choice. He had to fight.

Yes, there are plenty of educated men and women who are serving in Iraq right now. But, I read the names of those soldiers who have fallen in Iraq every night. You don't see General and Majors in the titles. You see PFC and Sgt's. Lets face it. Even if you do volunteer for the army. If you have a college degree or higher, the chances of you being killed in Iraq is substantially lower.

This is an all volunteer army, but which high schools do the military recruiters target? The ones where 90% of the grads have been accepted to college or those which the kids are lucky if they go on to one semester at the local community college? There is a reason that the military targets the lesser educated. Because they know that they have fewer options.

When Edwards mentioned that Cheney's daughter was gay, there was the same outrage given by the right. Two days ago, Bush publicly declared gay Americans are less equal and less deserving of equal protection of the law than heterosexual Americans. Where was the outrage over that? Hmmm?

So spare me the sanctimonious crap. Kerry was speaking the truth. And you all know it. You are just looking for any excuse to be able to lay your anger over the botched "American Democracy Experiment" on anyone other that the people who deserve it. Was Kerry's comment stupid? Yes, but what is really insulting to the troops is the way that Bush has waged this war.

Bush Calls Kerry Remarks Insulting to U.S. Troops

Kerry Apologizes, Calls Remarks a 'Botched Joke'

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Intellectual Dishonesty

Yesterday, George "Stay the Course" Bush, came out swinging against the recent decision in the New Jersey State Supreme court saying that homosexual couples must be given the same state rights as heterosexual couples.

"For decades, activist judges have tried to redefine America by court order," Bush said Monday. "Just this last week in New Jersey, another activist court issued a ruling that raises doubt about the institution of marriage. We believe marriage is a union between a man and a woman, and should be defended."
- Bush hits hard at gay marriage

Right off the bat, Bush decides to leave intellectual honesty at the door.

First, the state of New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that everyone must be treated equally. How does any president who is sworn to uphold the constitution stand behind a podium and claim that it is their political platform to make one class of Americans inferior to others. It is not hard to understand the words "equal protection of the law." It is an easy concept... seriously... it just means if you give certain legal rights to one group of people, you have to afford that same rights to similar other groups. How is this not a fundamental principal that Bush is 100% behind.

HELD: Denying committed same-sex couples the financial and social benefits and privileges given to their married
heterosexual counterparts bears no substantial relationship to a legitimate governmental purpose. The Court holds
that under the equal protection guarantee of Article I, Paragraph 1 of the New Jersey Constitution, committed samesex
couples must be afforded on equal terms the same rights and benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex couples under the
civil marriage statutes. The name to be given to the statutory scheme that provides full rights and benefits to samesex
couples, whether marriage or some other term, is a matter left to the democratic process.

Second, the State of New Jersey Supreme Court did not rule that homosexuals must be given the right to marry. The one and only thing they said was that homosexual couples must be afforded the same rights as heterosexual couples. That means they must be given the same rights to survivorship and state benefits. This can be done as a civil union or marriage. The Court left that decision up to the legislature to decide.

"I believe I should continue to appoint judges who strictly interpret the law and not legislate from the bench," the president said, earning more applause in the sweltering basketball arena at Georgia Southern University.

This ruling was anything but an activist decision. The court did exactly what the president wanted. They strictly interpreted the law. In fact, if the court ruled the opposite way, that same-sex couples do not deserve the same rights, that would be an activist court because the court is ignoring the law. You can't expect the court to ignore the law just because the thought of two men sleeping together gives you the willies.

Ironically, the religious people that Bush panders to on this issue are shooting themselves in the foot in the long run. For a government to legislate that marriage is between only a man and a women are infringing upon religious freedoms. They are encouraging the state to define religion and how you can practice your personal faith.

Bush can do nothing other than to play to the base fears of conservatives. He is being intellectually dishonest and in in no form or manner a leader upholding the Constitution of the United States.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

New Jersay Rules On Gay Marriage

The New Jersey supreme court today ruled that the state must either allow gay marriage or civil unions for same-sex couples. The court ruled that the inequity in marriage laws is intolerable under the New Jersey State Constitution. The state legislature now has 180 days to either allow gay marriage, or offer some sort of civil union. Since it is still my firm belief that banning gay marraige is a violation of the 1st Amendments freedom of religion clause, I am hoping that the NJ legislature will go with marriage and not a civli union. If the state is going to recognize marriages done by churches, it should recognize marriages done by all churches, not just the ones who believe marriage is between a man and a woman.

The holding was perfect in its constitutional analysis:

HELD: Denying committed same-sex couples the financial and social benefits and privileges given to their married
heterosexual counterparts bears no substantial relationship to a legitimate governmental purpose. The Court holds
that under the equal protection guarantee of Article I, Paragraph 1 of the New Jersey Constitution, committed samesex
couples must be afforded on equal terms the same rights and benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex couples under the
civil marriage statutes. The name to be given to the statutory scheme that provides full rights and benefits to samesex
couples, whether marriage or some other term, is a matter left to the democratic process.

Holding via Atrios

This is just one of four states now that has decided "equal protection under the laws" actually means equal protection.

Religious conservatives can hold out for a long time, but eventually, equal protection will be equal protection in all 50 states.

NJ court stops short of gay marriage OK
By GEOFF MULVIHILL, Associated Press Writer

TRENTON, N.J. - New Jersey's Supreme Court opened the door to gay marriage Wednesday, ruling that homosexuals are entitled to the same rights as heterosexuals, but leaving it to lawmakers to legalize same-sex unions.

The high court gave lawmakers 180 days to rewrite marriage laws to either include same-sex couples or create a new system of civil unions for them.

The ruling is similar to the 1999 decision in Vermont that led to civil unions there, which offer the benefits of marriage, but not the name.

"Although we cannot find that a fundamental right to same-sex marriage exists in this state, the unequal dispensation of rights and benefits to committed same-sex partners can no longer be tolerated under our state Constitution," Justice Barry T. Albin wrote for the 4-3 majority's decision.

Outside the Supreme Court, news of the ruling caused confusion, with many of the roughly 100 gay marriage supporters outside asking each other what it meant. Many started to agree that they needed to push for a state constitutional amendment to institute gay marriage.

(Full Story)

Rush Limbaugh - Still a Slime Ball

Michael J. Fox recently did a couple of TV ads for candidates who support stem cell research. This is not surprising since Fox suffers from Parkinson's disease and there is hope that a cure to the disease can be found using stem cell research.

We all know that stem cell research is a very divisive topic. I happen to think that the life of a human who is suffering from disease now is more valuable than some blastocytes that are going to be flushed down a toilet anyway. But that is just my view. Not everyone sees it the same way and I will respectfully disagree with whose who find this process of research immoral.

But Rush has to go one step further and claim that Michael J. Fox was faking his condition when he appeared in the TV ads.

"He is exaggerating the effects of the disease," Limbaugh told listeners. "He's moving all around and shaking and it's purely an act. . . . This is really shameless of Michael J. Fox. Either he didn't take his medication or he's acting."

I am sure that Rush is a medical expert who can diagnose the true affects of Parkinson's disease from a TV ad. After all, we all know that Rush is fully aware of the effects of drugs on the human system. So, Rush, like usual is right. Michael J. Fox was shamelessly acting and duping us all. I am sure the effects of Parkinson's disease had nothing to do with Fox quitting his acting career in his prime. In fact, Fox probably doesn't even have Parkinson's. This is just another liberal conspiracy to kill more babies.

Or Rush is just a big fat rat bastard...

Take your pick.

Rush Limbaugh On the Offensive Against Ad With Michael J. Fox

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Cutting and Staying... Errr... Running the Course... Errr

So, Bush is cutting and running... from staying the course... kind of.

Bush has decided to no longer use the term "stay the course." But that doesn't mean that we are not staying the course. No, we are in fact staying the course, just no longer using that term. (Bush's New Tack Steers Clear of 'Stay the Course', Bush officials: No big move in Iraq plan).

Since the course we are staying on is going right over a waterfall, the White house has decided to change the terminology used to explain his failed policies. After all, failure is fine as long as there is a nifty new catch phrase to accompany it. I think they are going to use something like "adapt and change." And by "adapt and change" they mean "stay the course." I hear that adapt and change just elbowed out "don't look at me" and "its hard being the president" for Bush's new slogans. Thankfully, Bush's favorite, "slap me in the ass and call me Judy," was nixed outright.

Additionally, the White House still refuses to set a time line for the take over of Iraq security forces and the withdrawal of American troops... except that we are now setting a time line for the withdrawal of American troops and the take over of American troops (Iraq agrees to develop security time line)

So we are no longer staying the course... only that we are not changing course. And we are not setting time lines... except for the time lines now being set... kind of... but not really.

Does he really wonder why no one believes that he has a plan to win in Iraq? They can't even articulate the basics. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people out there who will buy the shiny new box with the same old product inside.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Immigration-Schmigration

Much has been made in regards to the immigration of Latinos to the United States. The xenophobes among us cry out, "they are coming to steal our jobs and invade our lands." Ironically, most of these people arguing the loudest are descendants of immigrants. Of course the immigrants are coming for the jobs and the American dream. It is the same reason that our ancestors came!

Imagine if the English in the 1600's and 1700's said, "Winthrop... there is this great land across the sea that holds opportunity for us all. Lets pack up our things and move there."

"Na," replies Winthrop, "there are already Indians living there. It wouldn't be fair for us to move there and take their deer and land. Lets just stay here instead and drink our earl grey tea."

Imagine if the Irish of the 1800's said, "O'Reilly, we are starving to death from the potato famine. There is this land across the sea where we can start a new and make a better life for out children."

"Na," O'Reilly replies, "the English are already there. It would be unfair for us to move there and take their jobs. Lets just stay here and eat mud."

What if the Germans and Italians did the same. This is a nation of immigrants and every immigrant group came here and took jobs from those already here. But, we grew stronger with each group.

Those who oppose immigration now say, "but the Latinos are different than us and they don't intergrate into our communities. Worst of all, they don't speak our language."

The same thing has been said about every group that have immigrated to our country. For the Germans, most of their community schools were bi-lingual until World War I. The first German language newspaper started in 1732. By 1860, there were over 1.3 million German born immigrants in the United Sates, with seven German language newspapers in St. Louis alone. By 1894, there were over 800 German language journals in the U.S. The anti-German sentiment in the U.S. was also at its peak. It was said that they will never integrate into the "American way of life."

With all of the anit-German sentiment in the U.S. did the Germans capitulate and adopt all of the native customs? No. Instead they created social groups to build understanding between the cultures.

“the case for our German culture will be better served if we attract Americans to our side. On the gymnastics field, we can acquaint them with our German customs and traditions and of course, also with our language more successfully than if we hold them at bay because of our nationalistic tendency to live in our own enclaves.” Der Vorbote, July 7, 1886.

This obscene reluctance to void themselves of native customs forced horrible things on the U.S. such as the Christmas Tree and the Easter Bunny. It took over 100 years for the German immigrant population to fully become part of Americana.

The same happened with the Italians. They were thought to be dirty and uneducated. They were blamed for taking American jobs and dragging the entire country down. One native claimed in a 1891 cartoon that “If immigration was properly restricted, you would never be troubled with anarchism, socialism, the Mafia and such kindred evils!” The Klu Klux Klan became an active organization against Italian immigrants. In 1890, there were 20 lynching of Italians alone, and Catholic churches were vandalized. The largest mass lynching in U.S. history was of Italians in New Orleans in 1891. The mass media was generally approving of the actions.

The Irish came to the U.S. and were forced to work the jobs that even slaves were not allowed to work because a slave was more valuable that an Irish man. By 1855, nearly a third of Boston's population were Irish born immigrants. The anti-Irish sentiment was so strong that a national party, the "Know Nothings," was formed to stop the flow of Irish immigrants. Their claim was that “Americans must rule America.” Once elected, the Know Nothings passed laws aimed specifically at Irish immigrants. They passed laws making the King James Bible (protestant version) compulsory and taking away arms from the Irish in violation of their 1st and 2nd amendment rights. In the south, the Irish were compared to slaves and were referred to as “niggers turned inside out," and black slaves were called "smoked Irish."



Every immigrant group has been considered to be a direct threat to the welfare of the United States. Every immigrant groups was said to be insular and unwilling to integrate into the native culture. But, in the end, every immigrant group has made the United States a better place. Every immigrant group has added a new fiber to the fabric of our nation. Were would we be without those O'Sullivans and Cervinos, the Schmidts and the Chans. What if the anti-immigration voices in the 1800's had been sucessful in blocking the flow of Italians, Jews, Irish, Germans, and Chinese. Adding the Sanchezs to the list will make this a better place, not worse. Those who come to the U.S. desire to live the American dream, not subvert it. They come for the same dreams that brought our grandparents and great grandparents. There was room for our ancestors in this country and there is room for more. Latinos will integrate in time, just as the Italians, the Irish, and the Germans did. They will, and already have, made great contributions to our economy and society. The current waive of Latino immigration means that we are doing something right here. The only way that we will ever really stop immigration is if we throw our economy and freedoms down the toilet. I would prefer to keep those, and welcome some new neighbors.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A Call For Darfur

Liberal and conservative evangelicals have put aside their difference in order to call for President Bush to do more to help stop the genocide in Darfur. Christians have been at the call for action, standing side by side with secular humanist.

So far, the congress has been a lot of talk with no action. Four bills written to help the victims in Darfur and to punish the Sudan government have languished in committees. Bush has not only done nothing to stop the genocide, he has actually lifted some sanctions against the government of Sudan placed on them during the Clinton administration. He even made it legal for Sudan to hire lobbyists in Washington.

Enough is enough. The time to act is now.

Evangelicals lobby Bush on Sudan crisis
By RACHEL ZOLL, AP Religion Writer
Wed Oct 18, 5:06 PM ET

Liberal and conservative evangelicals set aside their political differences Wednesday to urge that President Bush do more to end the humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan.

The Rev. Jim Wallis, head of the liberal Sojourners/Call to Renewal, an evangelical social justice movement, and the Rev. Richard Land, head of the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, are among the leaders of the Evangelicals for Darfur campaign.

"I believe the president does care deeply about this," said Land, a longtime Bush family supporter. "I see this as helping strengthen the president's hand and enable the president to do what's in his heart to do."

The White House press office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Religious groups from many faiths have been lobbying world leaders to help the Sudanese since rebel groups rose up against the Khartoum government in early 2003. More than 200,000 people have died and 2.5 million have been displaced since then, escalating the situation into one of the world's worst humanitarian crises.

But Wallis said world attention to the region has been sporadic, and evangelical leaders think time is running out to prevent what many consider government-backed genocide. The Sudanese government is accused of letting the Janjaweed militia of Arab nomads commit atrocities against villagers.

"Until we resolve this, we can't stop talking about it," Wallis said.

(Full story)

Election Round Up

We are in the home stretch now, and it looks good from my point of view. The Republicans that I want to see out most in this coming election are either trailing their Democratic contender or tied.

Rick Santorum is trailing Bob Casey 54% - 41% (Link)

Conrad Burns of Montana is way behind Jon Tester 46% - 35% (Link)

And Senator George "I like the darkies... I really really do!" Allen is tied with Jim Webb in Virginia. (Link)

Even if the Dems don't take back the Senate, I will be happy with these three getting tossed out. Now, only if we could get Stevens of Alaska out in the next round, I would be ecstatic.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Iraq Is On Double Secret Probation

According to the nutty GOP Senator our of Montana, Conrad Burns, president Bush has a double secret plan to win the war in Iraq... he is just not telling anyone about it. Because... you know... when support for the war is at an all time low and you are risking losing the House of Representatives and the Senate... that is the time to keep the winning plan a secret.

Burns, at a debate Tuesday night with Democratic challenger Jon Tester, said he believes Bush has a plan to win — but added: "we're not going to tell you what our plan is."


I am so sure that Bush called Burns up a couple of weeks ago and they sat down for a late night warm milk where the two brain children came up with the winning strategy in Iraq. They just are way to humble to announce that they have found the solution to not only the war in Iraq, but the national debt, social security, global warming, and crab grass in addition.

Burns: President keeping war plan quiet

Friday, October 13, 2006

Bush on Taxes... Or Crack... Take Your Pick

Recently, Bush praised his tax cuts as the main source for the yearly federal deficit being cut from $500 billion to $260 billion.

Hello! Earth to numb skull. It is the tax cuts that created the deficit in the first place. He is praising the cutting in half of something that he was the cause of. Big freaking deal.

In addition, why is he praising that we are still $260 billion in the hole for this fiscal year? We are still in the hole $260 billion. This only adds to the $8.5 trillion dollar deficit. To be precise - $8,532,458,400,732... no, wait... make that $8,532,458,428,654... $8,532,458,442,346. Oh, forget it...

We are still spending more than we take in. So much for GOP "fiscal conservatism." It is like already having $10,000 credit card debt and then seeing a fancy new pair of shoes on sale, marked down from $300 to $175. Republicans like to think that by buying the shoes on sale, they have saved $125. But, you don't save $125, you are just now $10,175 in debt.

Just to prove how stupid the man is, he said yesterday regarding bilateral vs. multilateral talks with North Korea:

"One has a stronger hand when there's more people playing your same cards."—Washington, D.C., Oct. 11, 2006

Now, I am anything but a card shark, but even I know that is a stupid analogy.

H/T Linnet

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

State of Denial is an Understatement for Bush

In a press conference today, Bush was asked about the report that there have been over 350,000 deaths in Iraq since our invasion. He said that he did not agree with the report and went on to say:

And I applaud the Iraqis for their courage in the face of violence. I am, you know, amazed that this is a society which so wants to be free that they’re willing to — you know, that there’s a level of violence that they tolerate.


A level of violence that they are willing to tolerate!!! Are you kidding me? What choice to they have? Or is Bush saying that they are willing to tolerate the violence because they hope America will finally leave?

Get real Bush. They aren't "tolerating" violence in order to be free. They are subjugated to violence because they have no choice. Either they endure the death squads and suicide bombers because they can't leave, or, like the over 800,000 who can, have already left the country.

Can he get anymore out of touch than he already is?

H/T Thinkprogress

Plane Crashes Into Building on Upper East Side of New York

A small plane or helicopter has hit an apartment building on the Upper East Side of Manhattan very close to my own apartment. No word as yet as to the cause of the hit (accident or terrorism). CNN was reporting that it is near Rockefeller Center. It is in fact near Rockefeller University, not Rockefeller Center.

Lets pray that no one was in the apartment building.

CNN

Update: It is now being reported that this is so far considered to be an accident and not a terrorist attack. Once person is confirmed dead.

Update: Yankees manager Joe Torresays the plane that crashed into a building in Manhattan is registered to team pitcher Cory Lidle.

Bush's Safe Schools

I could understand how Bush would want to try to draw some positive light on himself with his poll numbers back in the mid 30's and with Iraq and North Korea all Bushed up. So, in the wake of multiple school shootings, he decided to hold a school safety summit.

I watched a little bit of the summit on TV. You could tell how contrived it was... but that is besides the point.

In the entire program, none of the panelist, including Bush himself, ever mentioned guns a single time.

Hello!!! School shootings!!! How can you have a summit about safety without mentioning guns a single time? We didn't have a rash of school knifings. Not a single episode included a bomb. No one claimed they were going to put someone's eye out with a stapler.

It was guns! So, guns are relevant. Lets face the facts here. If it were not for guns, we would not be having this summit at all. You cannot have an honest discussion on the subject without bringing up the subject of guns.

When we talk about stopping terrorism, do we leave out planes, chemical/biological weapons, nuclear material? No! So, why can't we have a discussion about the weapon of choice for school shootings? They didn't have to call for a ban on guns, but they have to at least acknowledge the problem in order to have an honest discussion.

I think we all know the answer to that one.

Guns Are in Schools but Not in the President's Vocabulary
By Dana Milbank
Wednesday, October 11, 2006; Page A02

President Bush has always been a disciplined man, but yesterday he set a new standard for self-control: He moderated an hour-long discussion about the rash of school shootings in the past week without once mentioning the word "guns."

First lady Laura Bush was nearly as good, giving a seven-minute speech at yesterday's White House Conference on School Safety without mentioning guns. Two longtime aides, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, deftly led hours of panels at the National 4-H building in Chevy Chase with only a few glancing references to weapons.


(Full Story)

John McCain, North Korea, and a Big Pile of Something

Today, John McCain came forward and placed all blame of the current crisis with North Korea squarely on Bill Clinton. Whatever respect McCain had won back from me is now gone again. George Bush's policy towards North Korea has been a complete and utter failure. Bush has had six years to stop North Korea from progressing on a nuclear program and has failed.

Until Bush took over, there were International Atomic Energy Inspectors in the country. The plutonium that they had prior to 1994 was sealed and stored and regularly inspected. In 2002, Bush claims that North Korea started a secret uranium enrichment program. To this day, there is still no proof that this program ever existed. But once we pulled out of the 1994 framework, we do know that the plutonium was unsealed, the inspectors were kicked out, the nuclear power plants were restarted, and North Korea used that plutonium in an attempt to become a nuclear state.

The North Koreans had to deal with John Bolton for the next 4 years. Talks went nowhere, and even career U.S. diplomats claimed that half of the problem was Bolton himself. Negotiations were predicated on North Korea stopping the enrichment of uranium, which the North Koreans denied doing, and we had no proof of them doing it. It is like saying, "I am going to keep you in jail until you stop trying to kill your wife," when there is no proof that you ever did try to kill your wife. We based our claims that North Korea was enriching uranium on our "intelligence" reports. Well, after Iraq, we see how good our intelligence was.

Unbeknownst to most Americans is that North Korea is toying with capitalism. Its Stalinist system has failed. It sees its neighbor to the north, China, who has retained authoritarian control over its masses while still engaging in an economic renaissance. North Korea wants to be seen as an adult and respected as one, even though, in actuality, it is just a bratty little kid because it has no experience with dealing on a global scale. It wants attention and is seeking it in the only way it knows how. It is unfortunate that we have to deal with a bratty little kid, but we do!

Do people not realize that we are still technically at war with North Korea? We signed an armistice but we have never signed a peace treaty. If you were them and saw what happened to Iraq, wouldn't you want a nuclear weapon too if Bush was in power, calling you the axis of evil?

I am not about to say that North Korea is a "misunderstood" nation and that it is really "good a heart" or all will be better if we just hugged. But for the love of all that is good and holy in the world, the hard line approach is not working!!! For the past six years, the Bush administration has "misundersetimated" North Korea, just like it "misunderestimated" the aftermath of an Iraq invasion or the results of ignoring Afghanistan.

The notion that this is Clinton's fault, six years after he left office is full of crap and McCain is too.

McCain blames Clinton policies for N. Korea woes

Update: McCain Targets Both Clintons

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Darfur Still Burning

As much as the Republican cover-up and spin attempt on Foley has amused me for the last week. The world is still spinning, the Yankees are still out, Bush foreign policy still sucks, and the genocide in Darfur is continuing.

The government of Sudan is rumored to be planning a new offensive to crush the remains of any resistance before the UN, NATO, or the US decide to get off their asses and actually do something about it.

Obasanjo warns of Darfur genocide, aid staff attacked

Fighting cuts off 224,000 in Darfur from WFP food

Huh?

There was a discussion about sex over at the wingnut Free Republic website.

One of the responses to the deiscussion was this:

The West is disappearing because of people who have disconnected sex from its God-given purpose.

There is no practical difference between using contraception and converting to Islam.

That is the full quote. 200 bonus points to anyone who can tell me what this wingnut was talking about?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Nuclear North Korea

North Korea claims to have conducted its first nuclear test after restarting its nuclear program after Bush withdrew from the 1994 treaty freezing North Korea's program. (N. Korea Claims Nuclear Test). President Bush calls this a "great threat."

Well, duh! Of course it is a grave threat that further proves that the Bush administration foreign policy is a complete failure. The one-size-fits-all "do what we say or else" foreign policy is a direct cause of North Korea's nuclear ambition.

Almost immediately after taking office, Bush completely backtracked on Clinton's accomplishments in stemming NK's nuclear ambitions. While Clinton's plan was far from optimal, it sure is a hell of a lot better than the current situation we are in now. In 6 years of the Bush White House, we have gone from a less than perfect solution to a utter break down in the situation.

The hard line approach to NK has not worked over the past 6 years. The only thing that a continued hard line approach will continue to do is make NK more and more desperate. A destabilized NK is the last thing that we could possibly want.

The U.S. is proposing additional sanctions against NK (U.S. Proposes Embargo, Sanctions on N. Korea). Well, let me get this straight - We had to invade Iraq because sanctions were not working and there were too many ways around it... But it will work for NK?

The U.S. wants to cut off all oil shipments from China to NK. So, when there is no oil, what other way is there for NK to produce power other than to ramp up its nuclear reactors?

The U.S. is demanding that it suspend all plutonium enrichment, but Bush refused to build the two heavy water nuclear reactors promised under Clinton, which materials could not be used for the production of a nuclear weapon. (Reported Test 'Fundamentally Changes the Landscape' for U.S. Officials)


NK wants assurances that the U.S. will not invade it the same way that it invaded Iraq... after all, it is in the axis of evil. But Bush refuses to deal with NK unless it stops all of its nuclear programs. But the only guarantee that NK has that the U.S. won't invade at this point is to increase its nuclear capacity. We know that Bush's goal is regime change. Obviously, this regime wants to stay in power. If you were NK, what would you do?

This foreign policy is a failure on so many levels. We need someone who can think logically in the White House. This is way too out of hand.

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Busk Stops... Over there

This is just getting too screwed up to even follow. The conspiracy theories are all over the place, but the Republicans still can't even get their own story straight.

You have Dennis Hastert who claims, "the buck stops here." And by here, he means anywhere but himself. Yesterday, Hastert placed the blame on Bill Clinton and George Soros, claiming this was all their doing. Once again, the fact that he is the House majority leader who is ultimately responsible for this is completely lost on him. (Hastert takes responsibility, but won't step down) This says nothing about the fact that ABC confirms that they received the e-mails from a republican. (Longtime Republican was source of e-mails)

You have fake news stories on the Drudge report claiming that the former page who's IMs shocked the world were just a prank. Conservatives are actually claiming that the former page "goaded" him into typing the sexual IMs as a prank. Yeah, because a man will check into rehab and then claim he was molested by a priest over a prank. You also have the three additional republican former pages who have come forward. (Three More Former Pages Accuse Foley of Online Sexual Approaches). And, lets say for just the sake of arguement that Foley was "duped" into the online sex conversation. You are trying to tell me that he, an elected official supposedly competent enough to be trusted with the running of this country didn't know better than to engage in an online sexual encounter with a minor?

You have the conservatives claiming it was a "network of gay staffers" who knew about Foleys online activities and were covering it up, even though it was the "network" of gay republican staffers who first notified Hastert of Foley's actions. (CBS Evening News Uncritically Reports ‘Gay Cabal’ Conspiracy Theory)

You have the same conservatives saying that the Foley scandal is a complete fabrication... but then claiming that the boys were of age, so Foley did nothing wrong. So, what is it? Were the IM's forged or were the boys of age? Don't try to make both arguments. (Ex-Page's Lawyer: Drudge's "Prank" Story "A Piece of Fiction")

Conservatives are also going on a homophobe witch hunt now. Lists of top republican staffers who are gay is being circulated in the GOP circles so as to purge the "open tent" party of undesirables.

The GOP would try to get their stories straight before trying to push the blame on others. It just shows how incompetent they are all around.

Update: This is so sad. Conservatives are now out there with a story that Democrats are refusing to take a polygraph test to prove that they didn't know anything about the Foley IMs. Oh, puuuhleeees. And who are the GOPers who are lining up for polygraphs? When Hastert takes a polygraph, then you can come talk to me.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Hastert's Unhappy Little Ho' Down

Things are getting bad on Capital hill to the embattled speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert.

Kirk Fordham, Foley's former Chief of Staff, and long time Republican staffer, came forward to state that he told Hastert about concerns he had about Foley's flirtations with congressional pages all the way back in 2003 (Ex-Aide To Foley Cites '03 Warnings).

Hastert can't remember this ever happening.

Fordham was the fourth Republican to come forward and claim they warned Hastert.

Rodney Alexander, Republican congressman of Louisiana claims to have told Hastert.

Hastert can't remember this ever happening.

House Majority Leader John A. Boehner, Republican of Ohio claims to have warned Hastert.

Hastert can't remember this ever happening.

Originally, Hastert claimed that Foley resigned so quickly that Hastert didn't even have a chance to ask Foley to resign.

Hastert apparently didn't remember that either and then claimed that he told Foley to take a hike.

Hastert said he was going to do something about Washington corruption after the Abramoff scandal. He forgot to do something about that also.

Currently, even FOX News is saying that Hastert is going to cost the GOP the House. But Hastert is refusing to go on his own (Hastert Rejects Calls To Give Up Leadership)

I wonder if Hastert will remember not to let the door hit him in the ass on the way out.

Bush Never Has And Never Will

Key congressional lawmakers thought they have made waterboarding forbidden. Waterboarding, a form of interrogation used by the CIA to extract information from suspected terrorist, is considered to be torture by most, including many former military leaders and politicians. While McCain, Warner and Graham held out against the presidents plan to make torture legal under his interpretation of the Geneva convention, they later sold out our military and American moral standards by allowing the president to interpret Article 3 of the Geneva convention. The one thing that they all had done though, was to ban waterboarding.

Apparently the president doesn't think so. He has not ruled out the use of waterboarding and says, "it would be wrong to tell terrorists which practices they might face."

How can so many people assigned the task of running this country be so freaking stupid. The goal was not to tell the terrorist what practices we will and will not use!

It is to tell the rest of the world who we are asking to back us in our fight against terrorism what practices we will and will not use!

The world views us as having lost our moral compass. We used to be the guy everyone looked up to. Now we are the guy everyone looks down upon.

The president had an opportunity to tell the world, "We are better than the terrorist. We hold firm to the belief that torture is wrong. We hold firm to the commitment to uphold international law."

At this point, Bush keeps trying to frame the conflict as one between good and evil. The rest of the world is sitting around, scratching their heads saying, "Ok, on this side, we have a bunch of guys who fly planes into buildings and kill innocent people... On the other side you have a bunch of guys who attach electrodes to people's genitalia, operate KGB style prisons, and invade countries that had nothing to do with the people who flew airplanes into buildings... Who are the good guys supposed to be? This looks like a battle between evil and evil."

What the president thought he said was, "we want the terrorist to be uncertain of what techniques we will use to extract questionable information."

Instead, the rest of world hears is, "Well, is being the moral superior really all that important? Rummy Dick and I don't think so. Now excuse me while I take a short trip down to Gitmo to kick around some towel heads while they are chained to a fence."


Waterboarding Historically Controversial
By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 5, 2006; Page A17

Key senators say Congress has outlawed one of the most notorious detainee interrogation techniques -- "waterboarding," in which a prisoner feels near drowning. But the White House will not go that far, saying it would be wrong to tell terrorists which practices they might face.

Inside the CIA, waterboarding is cited as the technique that got Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the prime plotter of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, to begin to talk and provide information -- though "not all of it reliable," a former senior intelligence official said.

Waterboarding is variously characterized as a powerful tool and a symbol of excess in the nation's fight against terrorists. But just what is waterboarding, and where does it fit in the arsenal of coercive interrogation techniques?

On Jan. 21, 1968, The Washington Post published a front-page photograph of a U.S. soldier supervising the questioning of a captured North Vietnamese soldier who is being held down as water was poured on his face while his nose and mouth were covered by a cloth. The picture, taken four days earlier near Da Nang, had a caption that said the technique induced "a flooding sense of suffocation and drowning, meant to make him talk."

The article said the practice was "fairly common" in part because "those who practice it say it combines the advantages of being unpleasant enough to make people talk while still not causing permanent injury."

The picture reportedly led to an Army investigation.

Twenty-one years earlier, in 1947, the United States charged a Japanese officer, Yukio Asano, with war crimes for carrying out another form of waterboarding on a U.S. civilian. The subject was strapped on a stretcher that was tilted so that his feet were in the air and head near the floor, and small amounts of water were poured over his face, leaving him gasping for air until he agreed to talk.

"Asano was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor," Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) told his colleagues last Thursday during the debate on military commissions legislation. "We punished people with 15 years of hard labor when waterboarding was used against Americans in World War II," he said.


(Full Story)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Gingrich Tries His Hand At Stand Up Comedy

Newt Gingrich tried his had at stand up comedy Sunday on Fox News by saying that the reason that Hastert didn't investigate the Foley e-mails earlier was because he was afraid of being called a gay basher.

Com'on... Republicans make a sport out of gay bashing. Half of their agenda is about gay bashing. Republican politicians compare homosexuals to Satanists and bestialitist. This is the party that believes homosexuality is a disease and that it is curable. the only thing that Republicans fear more than terrorist is being touched by a gay person.

Maybe if Foley was not so hemmed in by his own party and forced to live a lie, maybe he could have formed mature adult relationships with someone of his own age. Repression can screw with your mind and cause you to do things you would not normally do. If Foley is indeed an alcoholic, it most likely stemmed from his repressed sexuality as a form of self medication. He knew that he could never be honest with himself and others and still receive support from the GOP and its base.

So, Newt, lets be intellectually honest about this. Hastert didn't sweep this under the rug because he was afraid of being called a gay basher. He wept this under the rug because he wanted to remain the speaker and because it would anger the base that feeds on gay bashing.

GINGRICH: Well, you could have second thoughts about it, but I think had they overly aggressively reacted to the initial round, they would also have been accused of gay bashing. I mean, the original notes had no sexual innuendo and the parents did not want any action taken.

WALLACE: How would it have been gay bashing?

GINGRICH: Because it was a male-male relationship. And they had no -- there was no proof, there was nothing that I know of in that initial round that would have led you to say in a normal circumstance that this is a predatory person.


H/T MMFA

In related news, many of the conservatives are coming out to call for Hastert's resignation over the handeling of the matter. (Hastert Dismisses Call for Resignation Amid Foley Scandal & Pressure Grows for Republicans Over Foley Scandal). As well as adding more fear that the "permanent majority" that the GOP thought they had may not be so permanent. (After Foley, New Fears For the GOP).

Update: Even better than Gingrich's comedy routine is Katherine Harris's, Republican Candidate for senate in Florida. According to her, the Republicans knew nothing and it was in fact the Democrats and the media that knew about Foley and did nothing and it is all their fault. Crazy is as crazy does. The more I hear Harris speak, the more I think that there really was something was screwy in Florida's 2000 election. See the video clip at Wonkette.

Monday, October 02, 2006

GOP Knew Bout Foley As Far Back As 2001

It is kind of fun watching the fallout over this Foley thing. It is a sad situation for the pages, but the wingnuts are clamoring to shift blame. It is tough to spin something that is already out of control, and it is tough to claim that Democrats are politicizing that was being covered up for political reasons. The right wingers are all coming out of the wood works now to defend the situation. Over at the right wing blogs like Gateway Pundit, they are claiming that the age of consent is 16 in D.C. therefore there was nothing wrong with Foley's actions. They are also claiming that the e-mails were doctored and that this is just a conspiracy.

Over at the Right Wing Nuthouse, they are also talking about the conspiracies. Apparently, since ABC news and other organizations had these documents earlier and didn't report them, they are the bad guys because they were allowing a sexual predator to run free. I guess the fact that GOP leadership knew about these problems as far back as 2001 and did nothing to investigate the issue escapes them.

If all elese fails, attack the "liberal media." Its so sad... so sad...

GOP Staff Warned Pages About Foley in 2001
October 01, 2006 4:00 PM
Maddy Sauer and Anna Schecter Report:

A Republican staff member warned congressional pages five years ago to watch out for Congressman Mark Foley, according to a former page.

Matthew Loraditch, a page in the 2001-2002 class, told ABC News he and other pages were warned about Foley by a supervisor in the House Clerk's office.

Loraditch, the president of the Page Alumni Association, said the pages were told "don't get too wrapped up in him being too nice to you and all that kind of stuff."

...

Pages report to either Republican or Democratic supervisors, depending on the political party of the member of Congress who nominate them for the page program.

Several Democratic pages tell ABC News they received no such warnings about Foley.

Loraditch says that some of the pages who "interacted" with Foley were hesitant to report his behavior because "members of Congress, they've got the power." Many of the pages were hoping for careers in politics and feared Foley might seek retribution.

(Full Story)

H/T Smokey

Update: Ex-Rep. Foley Checks Into Rehab