Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Estate Tax Lunacy

I have written before about one of the greatest cons the republican party has ever pulled on the American people (Link), and the con goes on.

The great fleecing of America I am talking about is the estate tax. Or, for those of you who worship at the alter of Rush, the death tax.

Harold Meyerson wrote a good piece on the continued push by the GOP to create a permanent aristocracy in the country - Estate Tax Lunacy.

The proposed measure would gut another trillion dollars from the treasury over a decade by eliminating the estate tax. A bone headed Democrat from Montana, Max Baucus, is working on a deal that would only plunge us another half a trillion dollars in the hole as a compromise.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, only 19 family farms in the entire country had to sell off any assets to pay estate tax in 2000. There are 2,000,000 farms in this country. Only 94 family owned businesses had to pay estate taxes.

This means the family farms and businesses had to have assets over $3.5 million as a couple or $7 million for spouses in order to get hit with a tax bill.

Let me say this once and only once - if you have over $3.5 million in assets and don't have life insurance (which is business expense deductible) to cover the estate tax, you have absolutely no sympathy from me and you should fire your financial planner post-haste.

As for the non-farmers and non-family business owners - you know, the likes of the Vice President Dick Cheney, the repeal of the estate tax would save him between $16 and $61 million. Donald Rumsfeld would save between $32 million and $101 million. Ex-Exxon Mobil chairman Lee Raymond would save $164 million. The Wal-Mart heirs would save in the billions - to all of these people, who want to pass along money that mostly has never been taxed to begin with, I say:

a) Life insurance. Check it out.

b) If after leaving your heirs million upon billions of dollars and they still can't make it in the world, the world probably isn't missing much.

Look, I am sorry if Paris Hilton would only be able to throw herself a million dollar birthday party instead of a two million dollar party. But, hey, life sucks. I would rather the money be funneled back into education so the kids who actually have something constructive to provide to society can rise to the top.

I have a pretty earning potential over the course of my life. In the end, if I have (inflation adjusted) over $3.5 million to pass along to my children along with a top notch education and evey other benefit I can give them, and they still can't make it - well, then I failed as a parent.

From the Makers of Bad Idea Jeans

Some things may sound good when you are sitting around a table, knocking back some brewskis with the buds, but on second thought, aren't the brightest ideas. I am pretty sure that is how "New Coke" and "Chia Pets" came into being.

Well, the Pentagon just came up with their own version of Pepsi's bad idea of "Brown and Bubbly" as an advertising campaign (and if you have no idea what I mean by brown and bubbly, there is a very good reason).

The Pentagon wants to attach non-nuclear warheads to the tips of the Trident II submarine launched missiles. This would enable us to hit almost any target in the world within an hour. On first glimpse of the plan, that seems pretty good. We can get info and act on it swiftly to defeat our enemies.

There is only two teensy-weensy little problems.

First, and I think a killer within itself, is its $31,000,000 price tag per missile plus the half a billion price tag to convert the missiles. So, if used against a terrorist camp (as one of the possible uses proposed by the Pentagon) we would be deploying a $31 million dollar missile to blow up a couple of tents, an '81 bronco and a Zenith TV.

The second and really, really important problem - You can't tell the difference between a non-nuclear tipped Trident II missile from a nuclear tipped Trident II nuclear missile by radar or other means until after impact. And, also due to the flight path, unless you are the launcher, you can't tell were the damn thing is going until shortly before impact. This means if we were to launch one against the North Koreans, the Russians and the Chinese would think that it was coming at them. We launch one at somewhere in Afghanistan, Pakistan may think it is coming from India (or vice versa). One of these missiles could easily set off WWIII. Just the fact that Rumsfeld is 100% behind the idea has got to mean it is stupid.

Now, this may not be as bad of an idea as the "doomsday device" in Dr. Strangelove, but is is damn well close.

Pentagon Seeks Nonnuclear Tip for Sub Missiles

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Is this really the logo you want for a pediatric center?

New Treasury Sec Nominated

I knew that they guy couldn't be too bad since he is a Dartmouth grad, but it looks like he may be better than I originally thought.

Apparently Henry M. Paulson Jr., currently the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, is at least somewhat based in reality, and has stated that it is in America's best interest to join the Kyoto protocol. Paulson sits on the board of the Nature Conservancy who's statement on the matter is this:

Even though companies here in the United States are not subject to Kyoto’s emission caps, U.S. companies that operate in nations complying with the Kyoto Protocol do have to meet those countries’ caps. Until the United States passes its own limits on global warming emissions, innovative companies based here will lose out on opportunities to sell reduced emission credits to companies complying with the Kyoto Protocol overseas. Additionally, without enacting our own emission limits, U.S. companies will lose ground to their competitors in Europe, Canada, Japan, and other countries participating in the Protocol who are developing clean technologies.

Paulson is such a "moonbat" on the issue that many wingnut think tanks have lobbied against his nomination (Free Marketer: Don't select Goldman Sachs chairman). If the loonies are against him, he probably has some merit. The Freepers are probably going nuts right now.

I have often argued the same line of thought as Paulson. Opting out of Kyoto makes us weaker in the long haul. Unfortunately, I doubt that as treasury sec, he will get too much say on the issue. But at least there will be someone at the cabinet meetings with their head on straight.

Paulson Nominated as Treasury Secretary
By Fred Barbash and Peter Baker
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, May 30, 2006; 12:30 PM

President Bush named Henry M. Paulson Jr. , chief executive of Goldman Sachs, as the new Treasury secretary this morning to replace John W. Snow.

Bush made the announcement at 9:15 a.m. from the Rose Garden, saying Paulson would be "the leading force on my economic team."

Paulson would be the first Wall Street figure to hold the post during the Bush administration. Paul H. O'Neill and Snow were industrial executives. The appointment, which requires Senate confirmation, underscores the traditionally heavy Goldman Sachs presence in top economic policy jobs in Democratic as well as Republican administrations in Washington, represented in recent years by Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and Bush economic adviser Stephen Friedman.

The administration is said to have been dissatisfied with both previous Treasury secretaries, believing that they could have done more to get credit for the administration for economic growth.

(Full Story)

Update: Yup, checked out the Freepers... they ain't happy

Want to get a simple idea of what [former Goldman Sachs] Corzine and his [Goldman Sachs] cronies do... watch the movie "boiler Room" only think of it being done by a lot of rich and liberal jewish and secualr socialists with thugs to back them.

President Bush... Who abducted you and when?

This is indeed puzzling!When is"W"FINALLY going to come to grips with the fact that"Making Nice"with The LEFT doesn't work???????????

I've reluctantly concluded that while the President gives lip service to free market principles, he is essentially a crony capitalist, like Ferdinand Marcos.

I held out hope for years that he, unlike his father, was something of a stealth supply-sider. Now I wish I could just give him credit for being a misguided but principled Keynesian, but even that is not supported by his nominations.

I'm mad about this nomination. It will go quite a long way in offending the base and ruining the next election.

Paulson also supports the economy-killing Kyoto Protocol and has demonstrated little respect for private property rights.

I'd bet my mother that Paulson will not fight for permanent long-term tax reform, be it a flat tax, NRST, or any other option that limits the preferences to the companies run by his friends in the liberal social world.

The very second we heard the words ''Goldman Sachs'', the ONLY reasonable response to this nomination became ''no effing way''.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Possible Retraction

Tommy has had some questions I raised about the FBI raid on William Jefferson's office (Link). I offered my response as this:

Thus, therefore, and therehua, the correct way for this to have been done would be for the DOJ to issue a subpoena for any papers related to bribery investigation. A team of lawyers would be brought into the office and would search through the entire collection of papers. Anything that was not relevant is excluded. Anything where the privilege of office attaches, it is put on a "privilege list." Anything relevant is turned over. If the DOJ has issues with anything of the privilege list, the DOJ goes in front of a judge and argues why it would be turned over to the DOJ. If the judge agrees, it will be turned over. If the judge does not agree, it remains privileged.

I have come to learn that the DOJ did in fact issue a subpoena and Jefferson refused to comply with it. While the second part of my response remains the same, Jefferson does have an obligation to respond to a subpoena in a legal manner. A flat out refusal to comply is wrong. I don't know all of what has gone on, but Jefferson should have had the papers where he is applying privilege to put on a privilege list. If the DOJ still wants to see them, they go in front of a judge and ask for a motion to compel. If Jefferson does not comply with that motion, then the FBI has more grounds for raiding his office. This is how it is done for the Oval Office. This is also how it shoudl be done for a Congressional office.

So, at this point, both the FBI and Jefferson appear to be in the wrong legally on this matter. The documents should be returned to Jefferson and then the DOJ should seek their disclosure in a lawful manner.

Real Big Fish

I just have to file this one under funny. This is a week old, but I still needed to comment. I am not bashing the president for this. After all, we have all told "fishing stories" that added a pound or two the the size of the days catch. When Bush was asked about the best moment of his presidency, he said:

I would say the best moment of all was when I caught a 7.5 pound perch in my lake,” [Bush] told the newspaper in an interview published on Sunday.

But, I do have to say:

a) it is an artificial lake.

b) it is stocked and he is the only one with access.

c) The largest perch ever caught is 4lbs 12oz.


Well, come to think about it... he is right. That was his greatest moment.

I heard afterwards, Cheney came over and bagged a 32 pound blue gill with his shotgun.

Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling Convicted

Well, it looks like Bush's good ol' buddy, "Kenny Boy" Lay will be seeing the inside of a jail cell. Mr. Lay, who once had his own desk in the West Wing, was found guilty on bank fraud and making false statements. The jury deliberated for only six hours before returning the guilty verdict. Lay was released on $5 million bond pending his sentencing.

Enron Leaders Found Guilty
By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, May 26, 2006; Page A01

HOUSTON, May 25 -- A federal jury found former Enron chairman Kenneth L. Lay guilty of every one of the half-dozen counts with which he was charged and convicted his protege Jeffrey K. Skilling of 19 more on Thursday, pinning them with responsibility for one of the era's biggest and most damaging business frauds.

Jurors deliberated for less than six days over a trial that took almost four months and was more than four years in the making. As they filed back into the courtroom, jurors avoided eye contact with the defendants and their families. Skilling rose first and stood impassively, holding his hands pressed together in front of him and exchanging words with his brother, while the judge read aloud "guilty" after "guilty."

Lay, who sat beside his weeping wife and daughter, bowed his head at Skilling's predicament, then stood and braced himself as the judge handed down a rapid-fire series of guilty verdicts against him. Relatives and friends of both men buried their heads in their hands and murmured "no" as individual jurors affirmed their ruling.

Moments after the verdicts, U.S. District Judge Simeon T. Lake III asked Lay to stand for a second time, finding him guilty of four counts of bank fraud and making false statements in a separate trial, related to personal loans. The judge then demanded that the once-powerful executive who had dominated this city's business and cultural circles surrender his passport and fork over a $5 million bond. At the bond hearing, Lay's wife and three of the couple's children pledged their homes on the promise that he would not abscond before he is sentenced.

(Full Story)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Who Reads What?


1. The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.

2. The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the country.

3. The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the country and who are very good at crossword puzzles.

4. USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don't really understand The New York Times. They do, however, like their statistics shown in pie charts.

5. The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn't mind running the country--if they could find the time--and if they didn't have to leave Southern California to do it.

6. The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country and did a far superior job of it, thank you very much.

7. The New York Daily News is read by people who aren't too sure who is running the country and don't really care as long as they can get a seat on the train.

8. The New York Post is read by people who don't care who's running the country as long as they do something really scandalous, preferably while intoxicated.

9. The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another
country but need the baseball scores.

10. The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren't sure there is
a country, or that anyone is running it; but if so, they oppose all that they stand for. There are occasional exceptions if the leaders are handicapped minority feminist atheist dwarfs who also happen to be illegal aliens from any other country or galaxy provided, of course, that they are not Republicans.

11. The National Enquirer is read by people trapped in line at the grocery store.

12. None of these are read by the guy who is running the country into the ground.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Iran and the U.S.

As I noted earlier today (Not a Time to Be Stubborn), there may be room to open direct, one-on-one talks with Iran in order to avert further escalation of standoff currently going on between the U.S. and Iran.

Later in the day, an Iranian official claimed that opening a dialogue with the U.S. was in fact not on their agenda (Iran official says US talks not on agenda), and President Bush claims that no talks will be held until after Iran has proven that they do not have a nuclear weapons program. (No Change on Iran Talks, White House Says)

So, why the mixed message from Tehran and the rejection by Washington.

First, I think this is a very similar situation to the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. I do believe that Tehran does in fact want to open back door channels with the U.S. When nations send mixed messages like this, it is most often a signal that, while they have to remain defiant for their own political reasons, they wish to engage in talks through other means.

Second, I have no idea what is actually going on in the west wing, but if Bush is using the same tactics as he has done with every other rogue nation, there are no back channel communications going on. But this could be a huge blunder and a missed opportunity.

I will point once again to the Cuban missile crisis. If Kennedy had been stubborn and reacted like Bush is now and not read the messages coming out of Moscow properly, we would have had either nuclear missiles in Cuba, or WWIII. The neo-con, one size fits all, diplomacy that Bush likes to engage in cannot and will not work globally. Even as Ronald Reagan was calling the U.S.S.R. the evil empire, he was communicating through back door means. Unfortunately, I truly don't believe that the presidents advisors have the ability to think outside of their self imposed box, and the president does not have the intellectual capacity to understand the subtleties of diplomacy. Four years of this type of "Bush" diplomacy put us in a worse position with North Korea than when we started.

It was only after Kennedy began negotiations that a bargain could be struck. It may only be after communications with Iran begin that we can start to muttle our way out of this.

Jefferson Refuses to Step Aside

Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana is refusing to step aside from his position on the House Ways and Means Committee even after House Minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, demanded an immediate resignation by Jefferson.

Jefferson, who is under a serious investigation for $100,000 bribe is remaining defiant, even after being caught on tape taking the bribe.

Unlike how Republicans rushed to the defense of Tome DeLay, Democrats need to take a firm position that Jefferson step down until he is either indicted or cleared of charges. And, unlike the GOP, Democrats need to show that they take corruption seriously. Pelosi's demand for a resignation is a good first step, but it should not end there.

Jefferson refuses to quit Ways and Means

Not a Time to Be Stubborn

Iran has requested direct talks with the U.S. over its nuclear development program. This, following an 18 page letter written to Bush, is the first real interaction we have had from Iran in the past 25 years. Both the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have endorsed direct negotiations with the U.S.

Sa far, Bush has dismissed all overtures to the U.S. as being purely tactical. This could be correct, but it might also be wrong. By rejecting the Iranians outright, bush may be missing an opportunity to make substantial progress on the issue. To start to analyze the issue, we must remember that Iran does have every legal right to engage in a peaceful nuclear program. It is only on nuclear weapons that we have any standing to intervene

In 1962, despite hard-line rhetoric coming out of the Soviet Union in regards to the Cuban missile crisis, President Kennedy was smart enough to open up back door communications with Khrushchev, do some dealing, and successfully end the nuclear stand off. If Kennedy had not had the foresight to engage the USSR diplomatically, and instead played only a game of nuclear chicken, we would have either endured missiles in Cuba for the next 30 years, or even possibly engage in nuclear war.

For Bush not to engage the Iranians in talk is foolhardy in the least, and possibly down right disastrous. Maybe the talks would be fruitless, but a door not knocked upon is a door never opened.

The only reasons for not engaging the Iranians at this point is either because Bush cannot swallow his cowboy machismo, or he is hanging political advantage on ratcheting up tensions with Iran even further.

Either way, rejecting the Iranians outright is a dereliction of his duty to the American people. There is little upside to outright rejection and a big down side. Not only would the Iranian leaders be put in better standing in the eyes of their own people, but we loose future opportunities for meaningful progress without "complete submission" by the Iranians (which we already know they don't go for). If negotiations fail, we can always go back to the current course of actions.

Iran Requests Direct Talks on Nuclear Program
By Karl Vick and Dafna Linzer
Washington Post Foreign Service
Wednesday, May 24, 2006; Page A01

TEHRAN, May 23 -- Iran has followed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's recent letter to President Bush with explicit requests for direct talks on its nuclear program, according to U.S. officials, Iranian analysts and foreign diplomats.

The eagerness for talks demonstrates a profound change in Iran's political orthodoxy, emphatically erasing a taboo against contact with Washington that has both defined and confined Tehran's public foreign policy for more than a quarter-century, they said.

(Full Story)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

FBI Raids Congressional Office

In all appearances, Congressman Jefferson (D-La) is guilty as sin for taking bribes and adding to the already corrupt congress than inhabits D.C. He, along with any other corrupt politician, should be punished for their misdeeds and he should be run out of town on a rail. The fact that he is corrupt does not surprise me in the least. Louisiana has some of the most corrupt politicians in the country (regardless of party). A former Governor (who is now in federal prison) was even re-elected after he was indicted on federal bribery charges. Corruption in Louisiana is as common as the afternoon summer thunderstorm in the Mississippi delta. jefferson even says he plans on running for re-election, and in all honesty, it would not shock me in the least if he is re-elected (pending trial results).

But, the FBI raiding his capital hill office is going way beyond the separations of powers and is down right wrong. His home is one thing, but no congressman of any party should ever have their office raided in the middle of the night.

Even the likes of GOP leaders such as Senator Frist and Newt Gingrich are calling this a serious violation of presidential enforcement powers.

“What happened Saturday night ... is the most blatant violation of the Constitutional Separation of Powers in my lifetime,” Gingrich fumed, after having seen news of the search on CNN. “The President should respond accordingly and should discipline (probably fire) whoever exhibited this extraordinary violation. ... As a former Speaker of the House, I am shaken by this abuse of power.”

Who ever made the final call on this blunder should be given walking papers, and Bush should make sure of this. Of course, Bush doesn't seem to mind any other crossing of constitutional lines.

GOP worry over FBI’s raid on Dem

FBI Raid on Lawmaker's Office Is Questioned

So $90,000 Was in the Freezer. What's Wrong With That?

Monday, May 22, 2006

CEI Calls it Life - the Rest of Us Call It Stupid

I am really having a hard time trying to determine who is sadder... the Competitive Enterprise Institute who though up these stupid ads, or the 20% of the population who have so little common sense that they can't see right through the ads. I think it is a tie.

see the CEI ads for yourself.

They call it life... I call it stupidity.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Yellow Stars to Return In Iran

I guess all old fashions do make a comeback eventually. Iran recently passed a law that is reminiscent of the days of the third richt, where non-Muslims, would have to wear insignias denoting that they are infidels. I think the article will speak for itself.

Iran eyes badges for Jews
Law would require non-Muslim insignia
Chris Wattie
National Post
Friday, May 19, 2006

Human rights groups are raising alarms over a new law passed by the Iranian parliament that would require the country's Jews and Christians to wear coloured badges to identify them and other religious minorities as non-Muslims.

"This is reminiscent of the Holocaust," said Rabbi Marvin Hier, the dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. "Iran is moving closer and closer to the ideology of the Nazis."

Iranian expatriates living in Canada yesterday confirmed reports that the Iranian parliament, called the Islamic Majlis, passed a law this week setting a dress code for all Iranians, requiring them to wear almost identical "standard Islamic garments."

The law, which must still be approved by Iran's "Supreme Guide" Ali Khamenehi before being put into effect, also establishes special insignia to be worn by non-Muslims.

Iran's roughly 25,000 Jews would have to sew a yellow strip of cloth on the front of their clothes, while Christians would wear red badges and Zoroastrians would be forced to wear blue cloth.

"There's no reason to believe they won't pass this," said Rabbi Hier. "It will certainly pass unless there's some sort of international outcry over this."

Bernie Farber, the chief executive of the Canadian Jewish Congress, said he was "stunned" by the measure. "We thought this had gone the way of the dodo bird, but clearly in Iran everything old and bad is new again," he said. "It's state-sponsored religious discrimination."

(Full Stroy)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Americana Uberalias!

The Wingnuts over at World Daily Net are at it again. I have posted several times on their obscenely stupid articles, and today, they put up another one.

This one by Vox Day, a novelist and (so called) Christian libertarian, is as bad as usual. He comments on the immigration speech given by Bush the other night and about the issue of deportation.

And [Bush] will be lying, again, just as he lied when he said: "Massive deportation of the people here is unrealistic – it's just not going to work."

Not only will it work, but one can easily estimate how long it would take. If it took the Germans less than four years to rid themselves of 6 million Jews, many of whom spoke German and were fully integrated into German society, it couldn't possibly take more than eight years to deport 12 million illegal aliens, many of whom don't speak English and are not integrated into American society.

So, now we are to have an American version of "Crystal Nacht," then round up all of the "undesirable" brown skinned people and pack them into cattle cars and ship them off to some far away "detention center" until we have enacted our immigration "final solution."

Even a Broken Clock is Right Twice a Day

I listened to Bush's speech on immigration the other night. Once you get passed the obscenely ironic statements such as:

"We are a nation of laws, and we must enforce our laws."

"We cannot build a unified country by inciting people to anger, or playing on anyone's fears,"

Which goes directly against how this administration has acted over the past 6 years, the substance of Bush's speech, I agree with (text of speech). It is odd to see Bush all of a sudden trying to be a centrist, but hey, if it will actually help this government actually do something constructive for the first time in 6 years, I am all for it.

It is impossible to deport every illegal alien in this country. The strain it would put on the judicial system and law enforcement agencies in this country is beyond the scope of most American's imagination.

But that does not mean that we should not secure our borders nor should we enforce the employment laws which would reduce the ease of using migrant workers or other illegal alien work.

But to create no means for the millions of illegal aliens to remain here and work the jobs that they have been working for years, and to uproot parts of families and tear communities apart serves no one, citizens or non-citizens. Many families in this country are hybrids of legal and illegal aliens. More often than not, the father will be here legally, the children will be natural born citizens, and the mother will be here illegally. A plan to uproot and tear apart families goes directly against the conservative notion of "family values."

Any immigration plan that does not allow for some legalization of the status of illegal aliens will be disastrous for individual families as well as society as a whole. The quesiton now is if Bush can actually get the regressives in Congress to act with vision beyond their own toes.

Immigration Proposals Pass Test In Senate

On Immigration, Bush Seeks 'Middle Ground'

House GOP Fails to Warm to Bush Border Proposal

Immigration Proposals Pass Test In Senate

Guard Vows 6,000 Troops for Border

Suddenly, Mr. Centrist

Monday, May 15, 2006

Where Big Brother is Not Watching

For those of you who have a problem with your phone company sharing all of you call history with the government so they can build a "threat" dossier on you, and if you live in the eastern half of the country where Qwest does no offer service, there is some good news. Optimum on-line, which does my cable as well as offers telephone services does not share information with the NSA. Qwest does not offer cell phone services in the east yet (but hopefully soon), but it does offer long distance services across the country.

If anyone else who has information about who does not share our information with the government, please leave a note here.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Bush Hits Bottom and Keeps Digging... I, Just Hit Bottom

In the latest presidential approval poll, Bush broke the 30% mark (Bush job approval falls to 29 pct in new poll). I didn't think it would happen. I figured that there are too many wingnuts out there who could watch Bush urinate on their mother and they would somehow convince themselves that she was set on fire by terrorists or illegal aliens, and that Bush is saving her.

But, Bush is above average when it comes to being below average and has broken through the proverbial rock bottom of 30%. He is no slouch when it comes to screwing up the U.S. government. The lower he gets, the harder it is to get even lower. To cut even further into the support from die hard, wingnut supporters, Bush most show even higher levels of utter incompetence. Somehow, Bush seems to be able to muster it, even against all conventional wisdom.

On another note - I, also, have hit rock bottom. But here is where I stop. I am outraged out. I am too fatigued by his gross incompetence and distain for American values. I have no more anger to give. Sure, I will still blog about his misdeeds, but I have accepted the fact that we are cursed with this man for another 2 and a half years and he is not going to some how become competant in that time. It is like when you accept having a chronic disease. You can fight it, but it won't go away. the only thing to do is accept it and hope it doesn't kill you too quickly.

Big Brothers

According to the latest poll, the majority of Americans don't have a problem with the government collecting data on our calling records (Poll: Most Americans Support NSA's Efforts). While I am very skeptic of the poll, since by the way polls are conducted, Americans who are most concerned with their privacy will not have their numbers listed and will not be included in the calling sample. Nor are young people who are completely wireless included.

But either way, for the sake of argument, let us assume the poll is correct and that the majority of Americans don't have as much an issue with this as with the NSA actually listening to our conversations without a warrant.

For me, this issue is almost worse than the NSA spy program for several reasons.

First, it is anti-capitalistic. As we have seen, paramount to a functioning capitalistic (i.e. publicly traded companies) is transparency. The shareholders have the right, and the board has the obligation to inform the shareholders of its business practices. Programs where the telecom companies cooperate, and apparently take money from the government to do so affects the bottom line. The telecom companies have opened themselves up to massive liability suits, as well as customer dissatisfaction with the government data mining. By making these secret deals with the government, the CEOs have shown a dereliction of duty to their shareholders.

What the CEOs have done is different than just accepting a contract to provide "classified" services. While the actual services provided are not disclosed, the contract itself is disclosed and the voting shareholders can act accordingly.

Second, we are seeing a merger of corporate America and the government. This is a regressive practice and aligns the interest of private corporation data collection with that of government. I have heard rumors of the NSA program for a while now and had no doubt that it was true. But, is the collection of phone records where it ends? And if it does end there, for how long? The next logical step would be to collect all of your credit card and debit card transactions, bank transactions, medical records. If it is ok for the government to collect "business transaction" data, there is virtually no limit to the amount of data - and thus a government profile - the government could collect on you. Every time you pass through a toll gate. Every time you use public transportation, what TV shows you watch, what web-sites you visit. So, not only do you have the government as Big Brother, you have corporate America as governments surrogate.

And if you don't think that corporations aligning their interests with government data collection by cooperating with the NSA that there will be no demand for reciprocity, you are living in a cave. While government demands corporations cooperate with its interest, corporations will demand that government cooperate with its interests. In essence, it will be just another form of special interest government lobbying. After all, leverage of this magnitude will be used, without question.

Third, not only do we have the merger of the corporation to the government, we are currently seeing the militarization of the government. It is impossible to say that the appointment of an active duty military man to run the civilian spy agency will not have an impact on operations. You now have the man, Mike Hayden, who led the NSA domestic spying programs, who is an active duty general, to lead the CIA.

Folding these three entities into one another is a danger to all Americans. Protecting us from terrorism is one thing, but this is a fundamental erosion of our civil liberties. I am disheartened to see that Americans don't care enough about our fundamental ideals of America to stand up and say enough is enough when every American has become a terrorist suspect in the governments eyes.

Data on Phone Calls Monitored

Lawmakers Call for Hearings

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Big Brother

Some people (I won't mention any names) seem to like big brother looking over their shoulder. You can probably guess that I am not one of those people.

It was confirmed today something that I had heard rumors about for months now - that the government is collecting data on all the phone calls you make (NSA has massive database of Americans' phone calls, NSA Call-Tracking Program Sparks Alarm). They claim that they are not listening to your conversations, just collecting a list of all the phone calls you make and storing them. All of the major phone companies are involved in this except Quest (three cheers to Quest!). I can only hope that Quest expands eastward so I can change my phone service to them.

So, why am I opposed to this big brother program? After all, doesn't it make us safer from terrorist?

Well, I am against it because it is un-American and dangerous.

First of all, the government has no business recording who I call and when. I am an attorney. I speak to clients all the time. They have no reason to record to which numbers I am calling and who is calling me. It undermines the judicial process, it chills the freedom of speech and impinges on your rights.

Second, we cannot trust the government especially when there is no oversight - which this program has none. The US government has proven time after time that they are not capable of not abusing their power. We have no idea how this information will be used. Think it will be only used to track terrorist? Think again. We already know that the Patriot act has been abused to spy on religious and civil groups. That is just the last in a long line of abuses by the government. Even with the other American spying program the NSA is conducting, we don't know what the hell is going on since the NSA won't give clearance to government investigators (With Access Denied, Justice Department Drops Spying Investigation). This government has given me no reason to trust them - none. Trust is to be earned, and they have not earned it.

All of you who rail against Stalinism, but yet condone this sort of big brother programs, are putting us on the same road. And please don't respond with some sort of "well Clinton did something similar." I don't care who does it. Republican, Democrat, Mother Theresa... I don't care. It is wrong whoever does it.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

More Bush Cronyism

Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Alphonso Jackson, admitted to an audience of minority real estate people that the Bush administration expects cronyism if you want to get contracts with the government. You are not allowed to dislike the president or his policies, even if you have the best bid and would be the lowest cost to taxpayers.

Jackson relayed a story about how a contractor was denied a bid because the contractor did not like president Bush. While denying a bid for personal reasons is acceptable in the private sector, it is illegal in the public sector. The government awards are required to be neutral to political affiliations and, it is an infringement on freedom of speech.

I hope there will be inquiries into this, but with a Republican controlled congress, I would be surprised that there is one. If there is preferential treatment on government contracts due to political leanings, it will only add more fuel to the cronyism fire burning in D.C. and there will be one more "shake up" in the Bush White House. Not only is it just plain wrong from a political aspect, not only is it wrong from a legal aspect, it costs us, the tax payer more, and we don't have any money to spare.

Costly Words: 'I Don't Like President Bush'

"...He had made every effort to get a contract with HUD for 10 years," Jackson said of the bidder, according to an account of the speech in the Dallas Business Journal. "He made a heck of a proposal and was on the GSA [General Services Administration] list, so we selected him. He came to see me and thank me for selecting him.

"Then he said something. . . . He said, 'I have a problem with your president.' I said, 'What do you mean?' He said, 'I don't like President Bush. ' I thought to myself, 'Brother, you have a disconnect -- the president is elected, I was selected. You wouldn't be getting the contract unless I was sitting here. If you have a problem with the president, don't tell the secretary.' "He didn't get the contract," Jackson continued. "Why should I reward someone who doesn't like the president, so they can use funds to try to campaign against the president? Logic says they don't get the contract. That's the way I believe."

(Full WaPo Story)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Bumping the National Debt Again

Congress is looking to bump up their credit card limit again. This time to almost $10 trillion. This would be the 5th bump in the debt ceiling in 4 years. The limit on the national debt has almost doubled since Bush took office.

The Current Debt clock is at $8.2 trillion, meaning each American family owes over $89,000 for the congress's spending.

And this is so they can push through 70 billion in tax cuts to the wealthy.

Another Possible Bump to the Debt Ceiling
By Jonathan Weisman and Shailagh Murray
Tuesday, May 9, 2006; Page A21

A $2.7 trillion budget plan pending before the House would raise the federal debt ceiling to nearly $10 trillion, less than two months after Congress last raised the federal government's borrowing limit.

The provision -- buried on page 121 of the 151-page budget blueprint -- serves as a backdrop to congressional action this week. House leaders hope to try once again to pass a budget plan for fiscal 2007, a month after a revolt by House Republican moderates and Appropriations Committee members forced leaders to pull the plan.

Leaders also hope to pass a package of tax-cut extensions that would cost the Treasury $70 billion over the next five years. They would then turn Thursday to a $513 billion defense policy bill that would block President Bush's request to raise health-care fees and co-payments for service members and their families.

In recent days, Congress has received some good news on the budget front. A surge of tax revenues this spring, sparked by economic growth, prompted the Congressional Budget Office last Thursday to revise its 2006 deficit forecast from around $370 billion to as low as $300 billion.

But the federal debt keeps climbing because of continued deficit spending and the government's insatiable borrowing from the Social Security trust fund.

With passage of the budget, the House will have raised the federal borrowing limit by an additional $653 billion, to $9.62 trillion. It would be the fifth debt-ceiling increase in recent years, after boosts of $450 billion in 2002, a record $984 billion in 2003, $800 billion in 2004 and $653 billion in March. When Bush took office, the statutory borrowing limit stood at $5.95 trillion.

(Full story)

Sorry Bub

Moussaoui, who will be spending the rest of his life in a very, very small box, tried to recind his guilty plea because the jury spared his life.

Sorry Chief, but you should have thought about that before you said that you were proud to have been part of the death of 3000 innocent Americans.

Moussaoui's Move to Recant Guilty Plea Is Denied
Published: May 9, 2006

WASHINGTON, May 8 — Zacarias Moussaoui, who was sentenced last week to life in prison for his role in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, filed a motion on Monday asking to withdraw his guilty plea and go to trial again.

Judge Leonie M. Brinkema quickly rejected Mr. Moussaoui's motion, noting that under federal law a defendant may not withdraw a plea after sentencing. Nonetheless, the motion contained some interesting tidbits.

Mr. Moussaoui said he pleaded guilty in April 2005, over the advice of his court-appointed lawyers, because his "understanding of the American legal system was completely flawed." He said he was "extremely surprised" that the jury in the federal court in Alexandria, Va., decided to spare his life.

As a result, Mr. Moussaoui said he wanted to withdraw his guilty plea "because I now see that I can receive a fair trial even with Americans as jurors and that I can have the opportunity to prove that I did not have any knowledge of and was not a member of the plot to hijack planes and crash them into buildings on Sept. 11."

He said, "I had thought that I would be sentenced to death based on the emotions and anger toward me for the deaths on Sept. 11, but after reviewing the jury verdict and reading how the jurors set aside their emotions and disgust for me and focused on the law and the evidence that was presented during the trial, I came to understand that the jury process was more complex than I had assumed."

(Full Story)

Monday, May 08, 2006

Bush Taps NSA Spy Program Head to Run the CIA

In previous posts, I have said that Bush never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity... I misspoke. He also never misses an opportunity to say F-you. His decision to name Gen. Michael V. Hayden to head the CIA is just one of those F-yous to the American people and his own party.

It came with little surprise that Porter Goss stepped down from the CIA. He was met with immediate resistance for his plan to staff the CIA with former capital hill staffers and can all democratic CIA employees who worked in the CIA. He was never able to mesh with the organization.

But with Hayden, Bush continues to push his, "you are with me or against me, and ifyou are against me, F-you," agenda by tapping the man who headed up the NSA spy program on American citizens. I have no question that Hayden is an extremely intelligent individual. There is no lack of respect in the intelligence community. But, he comes with two issues.

First, he is a military man and would be heading up the civilian intelligence agency. He could resign his position as general, but he would still have immense ties to the military and to Donald Rumsfeld's disaster of a DoD.

Second, he has already publicly stated that he does not agree with the Supreme Courts interpretation of the constitution, and constructed the NSA spy program specifically around that snub of the 4th amendment. For anyone who is concerned about Bush's overreach of presidential powers, Hayden is the wrong man to head up the CIA. For all intensive purposes, Hayden does not see a line between domestic and foreign intelligence gathering, and the presidents authority to spy domestically is not hindered by the 4th amendment requirement for a warrant.

Not only does Bush further alienate liberals opposed to domestic spying, he puts the Republicans running for re-election is an even worse position, by forcing them to defend the nomination of a man many independents and conservative libertarians see as a direct threat to personal privacy.

Bush took another opportunity and squandered it intentionally on confrontation instead of unification.

Hayden Nominated to Head CIA

In GOP, Doubts On Likely CIA Pick

White House Set to Fight for Hayden

Hayden Faces Senate and CIA Hurdles if Named

Friday, May 05, 2006

Running Against the Wind

33% approval rating... That's a stinger.

This is the problem with running a divide an conquer administration. Bush really has no one to blame but Karl Rove on this.

From the beginning, Bush and Rove ran a 50.1% strategy to win the presidency. This means that the goal is to get 50.1% of the vote, and the other 49.9% can go screw themselves.

You can't really argue with it, since it worked. He was elected... twice.

The problem is that when you intentionally alienate 49.9% of the population in order to win the 50.1%, it leaves you with no wiggle room. Since you have already written off the rest of the population, you have to keep all of the 50.1% happy or you loose your majority support. And, there are a lot of fickle people in the middle. Once you loose them, your approval sinks like the Titanic.

He can't move to the center because he won't be seen as being genuine. And, he would loose the last die hards he had on the far right. Yup... He has painted himself into a corner here.

Now, due to the polarization this has created, running a centrist campaign will not get you the nomination of your party. It might get you a close second, but no convention rights.

Yes, the 50.1% strategy may get you elected, but after that, one false step and you can't govern. I would like to say, "sucks to be him," but it really sucks to be us. We are the ones paying for his blunders. He still thinks his shite don't stink.

Maybe the GOP can put up someone who plays to the middle, but that will be only because of charisma, and not policy

Conservatives Drive Bush's Approval Down

Thursday, May 04, 2006

These are a Few of my Least Favorite Things

I got a chuckle from this one. Lizzy Dole, the chairperson of the National Republican Senate Committee, sent out a frantic e-mail and snail mail message to die hard republicans on Wednesday.

"If Democrats take control of the Senate in '06, they will cancel the Bush tax cuts, allow liberal activist judges to run our courts and undermine all Republican efforts to win the War on Terror. Even worse..."

Here is where you must ask what could be worse? What on earth could be worse than higher taxes, liberal judges, and handing over 3000 lbs. highly enriched uranium to Osama Bin Ladin? Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

"Even worse, they will call for endless congressional investigations and possibly call for the impeachment of President Bush!"

Yes, even worse than being blown up in your local shopping mall by an Islamic terrorist... is holding the president accountable for any transgressions he may have committed. That's right folks. Investigating the truth is far, far worse than death by anthrax.

As for the rest of the message...

Pay as we go instead of run up our children's debt... hmmm

Judges who see all Americans as having equal rights, not just straight evangelicals.

And undermining the was on terror... I think she means democrats wanting to actually secure our ports, but that is just an assumption.

There is a reason Lizzy has been hailed as the worst NRSC chairperson in recent history. This, a day before the Senate passed another pork filled appropriations bill... I think she is selling the idea of change for us.

Republican Plea

Climate Change Response

Tommy left this comment on a post I put up on global warming

There is growing frustration among the statistical analysis people with the climatologists misrepresenting the data they find. In short, many of their most important finds have been reproduced with random numbers and the filters the climatologists used.

The globe is getting warmer, but the significance of it and the time frame reference is in dispute, and it is doubly questionable since you can get increased funding for saying there is a problem.

He is right that there is dispute in the data. There is dispute in what data is right, and even what data is relevant.

Yes, we could be wrong on global warming, just like the early anti-tobacco advocates could have been wrong on the effects smoking. But most likely we are not. Statistical probability alone points to us being right. I will try to put in non-scientific terms.

Think of it like cooking a big pot of chili (without beans, of course). You have a big pot. You add a pinch of salt (CO2). It will not change the taste. You add a pinch more. Still, no change. With each pinch of salt you add, the probability goes up that it will affect the taste of the chili. And, at some point you put in so much salt that it goes from being just right to being ruined. If you are a cook, you probably have a pretty good idea how much salt you can put in before it turns to crap. The problem is that we have no "cooks" when it comes to the climate. We are all armatures, cooking for the first time. We can guesstimate by looking at what other cooks have done and what tastes good (historical data on past climates) and try to figure out the recipe and how much salt was in the chili (CO2 amounts). And, granted, different cooks use different ingredients which will effect the amount of salt you can put in before you ruin it (differing variables). More cumin, less paprika, etc. But if you just keep adding salt, regardless of the recipe, you are eventually going to ruin the chili. There is no getting around that. And we are not adding pinchs of salt anymore. We are adding tablespoons.

There is no guarantee that the world will have dramatic changes if we keep pumping out CO2. Just like there is no guarantee that you will die a premature death if you smoke. But with each cigarette, and each pinch of salt you add to the pot, you chances of causing change increase.

Would you let your kids smoke because there is a chance that it will not adversely affect them? Of course not. Just like you would not empty a complete shaker of salt to your chili without a recipe. For me, I like the current climate just fine. I don't want to take the risk of adding anymore salt to the pot.

As for the increased funding, that is the same for saying that there is not a problem. Big tobacco spent over a billion dollars on research proving that smoking is harmless.

GOP Welches on Lobbying Reform

House Republicans have basically said that they will do nothing about lobbying reform, going back on their promise to make major overhauls in the lobbying system.

Flights on private jets... still ok. Gifts and meals... still ok. Basically, the only thing that is different is that the lobbyist must disclose who they are bribing 4 times a year instead of only two times a year.

Great job guys... way to clean up the corruption.

House Lobbying Rules Call for More Disclosure

In other news, the House and Senate Republicans decided it better to put the financial burden on future generations, and extended the tax cuts on capital gains that benefit only the wealthy. For those of you in the middle class, if you somehow think this benefits your 401K, it doesn't. You don't pay capital gains on that until you retire, and then only at a rate less than regular income tax. If you have a Roth IRA, it doesn't benefit you at all.

I could understand why some in Washington are against the temporary repeal of the gas tax, but at least that is targeted at people who will benefit from it the most. Instead, the only tax benefits are targeted at the upper end of society.

I guess they needed to find a way to increase the already wideding wage gap in America. Could please someone make it November already.

Tax Deal Sets Day of Reckoning

Bush, Hill Republicans Agree To Extend Expiring Tax Cuts

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Government Scientist See the World Getting Warmer

People of the world 1 - Bush administration 0

But, apparently, we are playing with ping pong rules and the game is to 21.

The first of 21 "assessments" by government scientist has found that the lower atmosphere is indeed getting warmer and there is "clear evidence of human influences on the climate system." But, for Bush, this is just one of 21 assessments.

The White House study found that "there is no longer a discrepancy in the rate of global average temperature increase for the surface compared with higher levels in the atmosphere."

If there was ever a perfect storm for Bush to step up to the plate and commit us to altering our energy consumption, it is now. But, Bush never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

You can find the complete report here.

Federal Study Finds Accord on Warming
Published: May 3, 2006

A scientific study commissioned by the Bush administration concluded yesterday that the lower atmosphere was indeed growing warmer and that there was "clear evidence of human influences on the climate system."

The finding eliminates a significant area of uncertainty in the debate over global warming, one that the administration has long cited as a rationale for proceeding cautiously on what it says would be costly limits on emissions of heat-trapping gases.

But White House officials noted that this was just the first of 21 assessments planned by the federal Climate Change Science Program, which was created by the administration in 2002 to address what it called unresolved questions. The officials said that while the new finding was important, the administration's policy remained focused on studying the remaining questions and using voluntary means to slow the growth in emissions of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide.

The focus of the new federal study was conflicting records of atmospheric temperature trends.

For more than a decade, scientists using different methods had come up with differing rates of warming at Earth's surface and in the midsection of the atmosphere, called the troposphere. These disparities had been cited by a small group of scientists, and by the administration and its allies, to question a growing consensus among climatologists that warming from heat-trapping gases could dangerously heat Earth.

The new study found that "there is no longer a discrepancy in the rate of global average temperature increase for the surface compared with higher levels in the atmosphere," in the words of a news release issued by the Commerce Department and approved by the White House. The report was published yesterday online at

(Full Story)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I Am The Decider

This is just too good. And I still want to know what the "voices" are saying to him...

The Colbert Report

For those of you who missed Steven Colbert at the White House Correspondence dinner (I guess everyone doesn't watch C-Span), here is the transcript. It was much funnier live, but you can get the drift.


STEPHEN COLBERT: Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. Before I begin, I've been asked to make an announcement. Whoever parked 14 black bulletproof S.U.V.'s out front, could you please move them? They are blocking in 14 other black bulletproof S.U.V.'s and they need to get out.

Wow. Wow, what an honor. The White House correspondents' dinner. To actually sit here, at the same table with my hero, George W. Bush, to be this close to the man. I feel like I'm dreaming. Somebody pinch me. You know what? I'm a pretty sound sleeper -- that may not be enough. Somebody shoot me in the face. Is he really not here tonight? Dammit. The one guy who could have helped.

By the way, before I get started, if anybody needs anything else at their tables, just speak slowly and clearly into your table numbers. Somebody from the NSA will be right over with a cocktail. Mark Smith, ladies and gentlemen of the press corps, Madame First Lady, Mr. President, my name is Stephen Colbert and tonight it's my privilege to celebrate this president. We're not so different, he and I. We get it. We're not brainiacs on the nerd patrol. We're not members of the factinista. We go straight from the gut, right sir? That's where the truth lies, right down here in the gut. Do you know you have more nerve endings in your gut than you have in your head? You can look it up. I know some of you are going to say "I did look it up, and that's not true." That's 'cause you looked it up in a book.

Next time, look it up in your gut. I did. My gut tells me that's how our nervous system works. Every night on my show, the Colbert Report, I speak straight from the gut, OK? I give people the truth, unfiltered by rational argument. I call it the "No Fact Zone." Fox News, I hold a copyright on that term.

I'm a simple man with a simple mind. I hold a simple set of beliefs that I live by. Number one, I believe in America. I believe it exists. My gut tells me I live there. I feel that it extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and I strongly believe it has 50 states. And I cannot wait to see how the Washington Post spins that one tomorrow. I believe in democracy. I believe democracy is our greatest export. At least until China figures out a way to stamp it out of plastic for three cents a unit.

In fact, Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong, welcome. Your great country makes our Happy Meals possible. I said it's a celebration. I believe the government that governs best is the government that governs least. And by these standards, we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq.

I believe in pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps. I believe it is possible -- I saw this guy do it once in Cirque du Soleil. It was magical. And though I am a committed Christian, I believe that everyone has the right to their own religion, be you Hindu, Jewish or Muslim. I believe there are infinite paths to accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior.

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe it's yogurt. But I refuse to believe it's not butter. Most of all, I believe in this president.

Now, I know there are some polls out there saying this man has a 32% approval rating. But guys like us, we don't pay attention to the polls. We know that polls are just a collection of statistics that reflect what people are thinking in "reality." And reality has a well-known liberal bias.

So, Mr. President, please, pay no attention to the people that say the glass is half full. 32% means the glass -- it's important to set up your jokes properly, sir. Sir, pay no attention to the people who say the glass is half empty, because 32% means it's 2/3 empty. There's still some liquid in that glass is my point, but I wouldn't drink it. The last third is usually backwash. Okay, look, folks, my point is that I don't believe this is a low point in this presidency. I believe it is just a lull before a comeback.

I mean, it's like the movie "Rocky." All right. The president in this case is Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed is -- everything else in the world. It's the tenth round. He's bloodied. His corner man, Mick, who in this case I guess would be the vice president, he's yelling, "Cut me, Dick, cut me!," and every time he falls everyone says, "Stay down! Stay down!" Does he stay down? No. Like Rocky, he gets back up, and in the end he -- actually, he loses in the first movie.

OK. Doesn't matter. The point is it is the heart-warming story of a man who was repeatedly punched in the face. So don't pay attention to the approval ratings that say 68% of Americans disapprove of the job this man is doing. I ask you this, does that not also logically mean that 68% approve of the job he's not doing? Think about it. I haven't.

I stand by this man. I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers and rubble and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message, that no matter what happens to America, she will always rebound -- with the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world.

Now, there may be an energy crisis. This president has a very forward-thinking energy policy. Why do you think he's down on the ranch cutting that brush all the time? He's trying to create an alternative energy source. By 2008 we will have a mesquite-powered car!

And I just like the guy. He's a good joe. Obviously loves his wife, calls her his better half. And polls show America agrees. She's a true lady and a wonderful woman. But I just have one beef, ma'am.

I'm sorry, but this reading initiative. I'm sorry, I've never been a fan of books. I don't trust them. They're all fact, no heart. I mean, they're elitist, telling us what is or isn't true, or what did or didn't happen. Who's Britannica to tell me the Panama Canal was built in 1914? If I want to say it was built in 1941, that's my right as an American! I'm with the president, let history decide what did or did not happen.

The greatest thing about this man is he's steady. You know where he stands. He believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on Monday, no matter what happened Tuesday. Events can change; this man's beliefs never will. As excited as I am to be here with the president, I am appalled to be surrounded by the liberal media that is destroying America, with the exception of Fox News. Fox News gives you both sides of every story: the president's side, and the vice president's side.

But the rest of you, what are you thinking, reporting on NSA wiretapping or secret prisons in eastern Europe? Those things are secret for a very important reason: they're super-depressing. And if that's your goal, well, misery accomplished. Over the last five years you people were so good -- over tax cuts, WMD intelligence, the effect of global warming. We Americans didn't want to know, and you had the courtesy not to try to find out. Those were good times, as far as we knew.

But, listen, let's review the rules. Here's how it works: the president makes decisions. He's the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put 'em through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know - fiction!

Because really, what incentive do these people have to answer your questions, after all? I mean, nothing satisfies you. Everybody asks for personnel changes. So the White House has personnel changes. Then you write, "Oh, they're just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic." First of all, that is a terrible metaphor. This administration is not sinking. This administration is soaring. If anything, they are rearranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg!

Now, it's not all bad guys out there. Some are heroes: Christopher Buckley, Jeff Sacks, Ken Burns, Bob Schieffer. They've all been on my show. By the way, Mr. President, thank you for agreeing to be on my show. I was just as shocked as everyone here is, I promise you. How's Tuesday for you? I've got Frank Rich, but we can bump him. And I mean bump him. I know a guy. Say the word.

See who we've got here tonight. General Moseley, Air Force Chief of Staff. General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They still support Rumsfeld. Right, you guys aren't retired yet, right? Right, they still support Rumsfeld.

Look, by the way, I've got a theory about how to handle these retired generals causing all this trouble: don't let them retire! Come on, we've got a stop-loss program; let's use it on these guys. I've seen Zinni and that crowd on Wolf Blitzer. If you're strong enough to go on one of those pundit shows, you can stand on a bank of computers and order men into battle. Come on.

Jesse Jackson is here, the Reverend. Haven't heard from the Reverend in a little while. I had him on the show. Very interesting and challenging interview. You can ask him anything, but he's going to say what he wants, at the pace that he wants. It's like boxing a glacier. Enjoy that metaphor, by the way, because your grandchildren will have no idea what a glacier is.

Justice Scalia is here. Welcome, sir. May I be the first to say, you look fantastic. How are you? [After each sentence, Colbert makes a hand gesture, an allusion to Scalia's recent use of an obscene Sicilian hand gesture in speaking to a reporter about Scalia's critics. Scalia is seen laughing hysterically.] Just talking some Sicilian with my paisan.

John McCain is here. John McCain, John McCain, what a maverick! Somebody find out what fork he used on his salad, because I guarantee you it wasn't a salad fork. This guy could have used a spoon! There's no predicting him. By the way, Senator McCain, it's so wonderful to see you coming back into the Republican fold. I have a summer house in South Carolina; look me up when you go to speak at Bob Jones University. So glad you've seen the light, sir.

Mayor Nagin! Mayor Nagin is here from New Orleans, the chocolate city! Yeah, give it up. Mayor Nagin, I'd like to welcome you to Washington, D.C., the chocolate city with a marshmallow center. And a graham cracker crust of corruption. It's a Mallomar, I guess is what I'm describing, a seasonal cookie.

Joe Wilson is here, Joe Wilson right down here in front, the most famous husband since Desi Arnaz. And of course he brought along his lovely wife Valerie Plame. Oh, my god! Oh, what have I said? [looks horrified] I am sorry, Mr. President, I meant to say he brought along his lovely wife Joe Wilson's wife. Patrick Fitzgerald is not here tonight? OK. Dodged a bullet.

And, of course, we can't forget the man of the hour, new press secretary, Tony Snow. Secret Service name, "Snow Job." Toughest job. What a hero! Took the second toughest job in government, next to, of course, the ambassador to Iraq.

Got some big shoes to fill, Tony. Big shoes to fill. Scott McClellan could say nothing like nobody else. McClellan, of course, eager to retire. Really felt like he needed to spend more time with Andrew Card's children. Mr. President, I wish you hadn't made the decision so quickly, sir.

I was vying for the job myself. I think I would have made a fabulous press secretary. I have nothing but contempt for these people. I know how to handle these clowns. In fact, sir, I brought along an audition tape and with your indulgence, I'd like to at least give it a shot. So, ladies and gentlemen, my press conference.

H/T Kos

Monday, May 01, 2006

Deport the Bastards

Just a note to all of you out there who really think that deporting all of the illegal immigrants is really an option - you are out of your minds. The immigration courts can't even come close to handling all of the legal immigrants at this point.

If you want to see illegal immigrants be a real drain on our society, round them all up and try to deport them. You are talking about 11-12 millions people. The amount of time and money that would cost would make Iraq look cheap in comparison. You would be looking at a decade or more before you could get them all through the court system. In the mean time, we would have to build jails to hold them all, feed them all, care for them all. All the while, we would have to find foster homes for all the children until their parents were adjudicated, further putting the financial burden on the tax payers.

So, to those who want to go this route because illegals are a "drain" on our coffers, put a little thought into your statements. You are making no sense. the only people who would be better off financially would be the lawyers... Trust me, I am one.

So, accept that deportation is not a real option and start being constructive already. You are better off that way.

Immigration Bill Lobbying Focuses on House Leaders

Immigration's Bottom Line