Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Violating a citizen's rights to free speech and to be in a public place has become commonplace anywhere near Republicans. It's a disturbing trend that started with the Secret Service keeping an opinion/news cordon sanitaire around Bush. Seems it's made its way all the way to the fetid bottom of the Republican food chain.

Senator George Allen, (R) made a campaign stop in Charlottesville Tuesday morning and it was met with controversy.

As Senator Allen was exiting a ballroom, coming to talk to the media, a protestor started yelling and asking, "Why did you spit on your first wife?". He wasn't able to get near the senator as he was tackled by three men wearing Allen stickers, presumed to be staffers. He was pushed and manhandled and ended up on the floor, near windows at the Omni.
These guys were not even Secret Service, just Allen staffers. I'm sure this "protestor" can - and should - file assault charges against these thugs. But as with so many things I guess it's okay if you're a Republican.

Where Was This Guy in 2004?

After stating the obvious, that the folks who always have and still fight our wars are predominately the poor and under-educated, John Kerry was on the receiving end of White House petulance.

"Senator Kerry not only owes an apology to those who are serving, but also to the families of those who've given their lives in this," White House press secretary Tony Snow said. "This is an absolute insult."
Pretty standard fare and what we've come to expect from Tony Snowjob when he can't answer with any substance. What was unexpected - at least in light of his rather weak-kneed response to the Swift Boaters - was Kerry's response:

"This is the classic GOP playbook," Kerry said in a harshly worded statement. "I'm sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did. I'm not going to be lectured by a stuffed suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium."
Once again we're left to ask "where the hell was this kind of spine in 2004?"

More Republican Priorities

The Never-Ending War on Terror, Faith-Based Missile Defense and Bridges to Nowhere are draining the federal coffers. Tax cuts to corporations and the rich are ensuring that those coffers are never refilled. So, given the chance to at least try to bring a little bit of balance to the books, what does BushCo. do?

The U.S. Interior Department has dropped claims that Chevron Corp. (CVX) systematically underpaid the government for natural gas produced in the Gulf of Mexico, a decision that could allow energy companies to avoid paying hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties, The New York Times reports in its Tuesday edition.

The agency had ordered Chevron to pay $6 million in additional royalties but could have sought tens of millions more had it prevailed. The decision also sets a precedent that could make it easier for oil and gas companies to lower the value of what they pump each year from federal property and thus their payments to the government, the paper said.
To hell with our kids and grandkids, there's money to be made - by their patrons in big oil.

And We're Winning Now?

There are no issues they can talk about. American's want to know what's going to happen in Iraq and in the Never-Ending War on Terror. So the Cheerleader-in-Chief is left with this:

Speaking at a rally held at Georgia Southern University to support Max Burn's bid for Congress on Monday afternoon, President Bush insisted that "the Democrat (sic) approach in Iraq comes down to this: the terrorists win and America loses."
Finding a way forward out of the quagmire in Iraq is now losing. Staying the course is now winning.

We'll Stand Down When?

Not that you can necessarily believe anything they say, but BushCo. has been saying that we can stand down in Iraq when the Iraqis stand up for themselves. So let's just say that this once we take them at face value. You know; "fool me once... can't get fooled again."

So, when might we be able to stand down? According to General George Casey, who gets his talking points from the very top, that would be in 12 - 18 months. What about if you ask the people who are actually training Iraqi security forces?

The infiltration of Iraqi police by militias may delay the United States handover "for decades," American soldiers training the Iraqi police tell the Washington Post.


Capt. Alexander Shaw, head of the police transition team overseeing the training of all Iraqi police in western Baghdad says, "To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure we're ever going to have police here that are free of the militia influence."

According to American soldiers interviewed by the paper, despite extensive evidence of police ties to the militias which they have turned over to Iraqi officials, "no one has ever been criminally charged or even lost their jobs."
As always, the truth on the ground is always something different than the story we get from BushCo.

Monday, October 30, 2006


We already know that conservative priorities - at least those espoused by the current gang of thieves - are, at best, misplaced. The latest word on investment to mitigate global warming which all but the GOP faithful acknowledge is going to be a huge problem within the next 25 to 100 years, provides the latest illustration.

In the United States, annual federal spending for all energy research and development — not just the research aimed at climate-friendly technologies — is less than half what it was a quarter-century ago. It has sunk to $3 billion a year in the current budget from an inflation-adjusted peak of $7.7 billion in 1979, according to several different studies.


President Bush has sought an increase to $4.2 billion for 2007, but that would still be a small fraction of what most climate and energy experts say would be needed.

Federal spending on medical research, by contrast, has nearly quadrupled, to $28 billion annually, since 1979. Military research has increased 260 percent, and at more than $75 billion a year is 20 times the amount spent on energy research.

Emphasis is mine.
Our grandchildren will be living in a world warmer, with more violent weather; they'll be starving from the loss of cropland, many in refugee camps having been driven out of coastal areas by rising sea levels. But damn it, they'll have the best weapons money can buy.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Have Republicans Made Us Safer?

They've ignored the security of our ports and chemical manufacturing sites. But at least at airports, the weak spot exploited by the 9/11 terrorists have been secured, right?

Screeners at Newark Liberty International Airport, one of the starting points for the Sept. 11 hijackers, failed 20 of 22 security tests conducted by undercover U.S. agents last week, missing concealed bombs and guns at checkpoints throughout the major air hub's three terminals, according to federal security officials.

The tests, conducted Oct. 19 by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents, also revealed failures by screeners to follow standard operating procedures while checking passengers and their baggage for prohibited items, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

It's in their own commercials; Osam bin Ladin is still on the loose. Our ports are riddled with security holes, the major oil and chemical companies have congress in their pockets ensuring they don't have to pay to upgrade their security. And airports - the very place where 9/11 started - have fared no better.

Remember as you walk into the voting booth; you are not safer today and it's Republicans' fault.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Cheney: Torture is "a No-Brainer"

If you voted for this pack of rabid dogs, you own this:

Vice President Dick Cheney has confirmed that U.S. interrogators subjected captured senior al-Qaida suspects to a controversial interrogation technique called "water-boarding," which creates a sensation of drowning.

Cheney indicated that the Bush administration doesn't regard water-boarding as torture and allows the CIA to use it. "It's a no-brainer for me," Cheney said at one point in an interview.
If you are strictly a utilitarian - without regard for what's right - you might be tempted to say, "what the hell, at least we're preventing more attacks," You would be wrong.

The U.S. Army, senior Republican lawmakers, human rights experts and many experts on the laws of war, however, consider water-boarding cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment that's banned by U.S. law and by international treaties that prohibit torture. Some intelligence professionals argue that it often provides false or misleading information because many subjects will tell their interrogators what they think they want to hear to make the water-boarding stop.
You might also be tempted to think that these techniques are only used on those "damned foreigners." You would be wrong.

Legal scholars have said that clauses in the recently signed Military Commissions Act allow the President to declare anyone - citizen or not - as an "enemy combatant" for an exceptionally wide array of reasons.

Everything these guys have touched has turned to shit; including our Constitution.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Tactics vs Strategy

When the President starts talking about tactics the war is already lost.

Tactics are what field commanders study and practice. Tactics is the science of how to move individuals or units around on the battlefield to best meet - at the highest levels - strategic goals. Politicians - and most especially the President - should be talking about broad-stroke strategy. It's the job of the generals to translate those strategies into tactical orders for their subordinate commanders. Eventually those orders are translated right down to the soldier walking behind an M-16, driving a tank or flying a helicopter.

When Bush starts talking tactics, there are only a couple of possible reasons. The first is that we already know he has trouble saying "strategy;" anyone remember "strategery?" The second possibility is that he doesn't know the difference between strategy and tactics; not a comforting proposition, but one that wouldn't surprise me in the least (although you'd think his handlers would brief him more thoroughly). The final possibility is one that's even scarier than the second: think Johnson and Nixon and Viet Nam.

The thought of Bush leaning over a map of the Iraq and discussing where to place units, what targets should be hit and how infantry squads should move from house to house is frightening beyond belief.

The vast majority of citizens, politicians and - most especially - media talking heads have never served and know little to nothing about military matters. So the idea of the President talking about "tactics" rather than "strategy" does not frighten them as much as it should. But then that's a huge part of why we've found ourselves in this situation in the first place.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Bush Poses With Latest Summer Footwear

"Stay the Course."

That is so yesterday. In fact, Bush was never for stay the course... or maybe he was for it before he was against it.

"No Timetable for Iraqi Withdrawal."

We can't let the terr'ists know when we're going to leave, they'll just wait us out. We can't just "cut and run." Or that was the story yesterday. Today, well, maybe leaving isn't such a bad thing.

U.S. officials said Tuesday Iraq’s government has agreed to develop a timeline for progress by the end of the year, and Iraqi forces should be able to take full control of security in the country in the next 12 to 18 months with “some level” of American support.

Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, also said he felt the United States should continue to focus on drawing down the number of American forces in the country, adding that he would not hesitate to ask for more troops if he felt they were necessary.
Maybe more like "cut and walk."

UPDATE: Seems BushCo. is even changing its mind on what to call the "insurgents" in Iraq. Not terr'ists," not even insurgents any more. Nope.

Both men spoke in unusually conciliatory terms about the Sunni insurgents who have been the main source of attacks on American troops until recently, referring to them as “the resistance.” General Casey called them “the Sunnis who fight us and claim to be the honorable resistance of Iraq,” and said that American officials have begun talking with them, along with the Iraqi government.
Now they are honorable. The people who they incited with an illegal invasion and occupation, who are killing our soldiers - 89 this month so far, now they are honorable.

To quote John Aravosis at AmericaBlog:

"Had enough yet?"

Monday, October 23, 2006

Pay No Attention to That War Behind the Curtain!

So the spin this week will be about the economy. The spin machine says it's not really about taking attention away from Iraq. No, really.

With his party facing a difficult midterm election, President Bush is focusing on the positive this week: a growing economy he is using to try to persuade voters to keep Republicans in power in Congress.

White House advisers say Bush is not trying to change the subject from a deteriorating situation in Iraq, and that he will continue to talk about Iraq and the war on terrorism as the Nov. 7 election nears. But Bush advisers said they think the president should get more credit for recent positive economic news.
Of course this is about diverting attention from Iraq, and Afghanistan and North Korea. But if Democrats were a little more on the ball, they could make this a dangerous thing for BushCo. to talk about, too.

The 800 pound gorilla in the room on the economy is the cost of the war. Yes, the DOW is over 12,000 right now; gas prices are down. But none of this says anything about the damage to future budgets and to the economy of the massive outlays for the failed Iraq war. Billions of dollars every month, emergency allocations every couple of months to keep paying for the war. None of which is in the current or the proposed budget. Military equipment is being destroyed and worn down by continuous operations. More soldiers are needed and the National Guard and Reserve, while they are on active duty, are paid for out of the Federal Budget.

Keep talking about the economy, 'Dub. That's going to catch up with you, too.

UPDATE: Added link to article about the cost of the war.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Smacking God Upside the Head

Not that I believe that there is one, but...

I've been through a lot of crap over the past five years and many well meaning friends have said things to me like, "god never gives you more than you can handle." My reply - when I had the strength for snark - was that if "I ever meet that son of a bitch I'll smack him right upside the head."

This article only confirms my instincts:

The top US general defended the leadership of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, saying it is inspired by God.

"He leads in a way that the good Lord tells him is best for our country," said Marine General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
I'll save some strength for a good smack for both General Pace and Rummy, too.

US Exporting "Terror Weapons"?

An article on The Raw Story about unusual injuries seen in the Gaza Strip led me an article on Defense Tech. So let me connect the dots:

Doctors in Gaza are finding some strange injuries after Israeli attacks:

Doctors in Gaza have reported previously unseen injuries from Israeli weapons that cause severe burning and leave deep internal wounds, often resulting in amputations or death.
The injuries were first seen in July, when Israel launched operations in Gaza following the capture of an Israeli soldier by Palestinian militants.

Doctors said that, unlike traditional combat injuries, there was no large shrapnel found in the bodies and there appeared to be a "dusting" on damaged internal organs.
The article, from The Guardian, goes on to speculation that perhaps Israel is using a new class of weapons called Dense Inert Metal Explosives (DIME). Israeli sources refuse to comment on the types of weapons in its arsenal or being used in any operations, but other Isreali sources claim that "... no one in Israel ever developed such a Dime weapon. It doesn't exist at all."

Notice that Isaac Ben-Israel, a professor at Tel Aviv University and a retired Israel air force general who was involved in weapons development, only says that they have never developed such a weapon. However, the United States - Israel's biggest supplier of arms and munitions - has developed just such a weapon.

The U.S. military is working on a small, precise bomb that could hit targets "previously off limits to the warfighter."[snip]

Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME) is one of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s responses to the challenge of fighting in an urban environment without hurting innocent bystanders in the process.
So, how can I ask the question posed in the title to this post? Well that hangs on the one sentence I snipped out of the above quote from Defense Tech:

The problem is, it might cause cancer.
Even that admission is a bit candy coated. In the same article, there is the following result for testing the effects of the tungsten that is the dense metal that gives these new weapons their name:

In a study designed to simulate shrapnel injuries, pellets of weapons-grade tungsten alloy were implanted in 92 rats. Within five months all the animals developed a rare cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma, according to John Kalinich's team at the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute in Maryland.
Read that carefully - go check out the whole article, there's a link there to the full study: 100% cancer development.


And we've likely exported either the actual weapons or the technology to Israel. Which is using it on the Palestinians. If these don't qualify as biological weapons, I'm not sure the term has meaning any more. If our government exported or transfered these weapons to Israel - and you just know that the Israelis would use them - knowing the results of this study, then they - no WE are guilty of exporting "Weapons of Mass Destruction," biological weapons, call them what you will.

Another criminal act by our criminal government.

Another impeachable offense by this administration.

Another stain on the rapidly tattering reputation of our once great nation.

'Beginning of the end of America'

Maybe the most important thing you will read today.

For, on this first full day that the Military Commissions Act is in force, we now face what our ancestors faced, at other times of exaggerated crisis and melodramatic fear-mongering:

A government more dangerous to our liberty, than is the enemy it claims to protect us from.
This is not hyperbole, this is not hysteria. This is political criticism at its best at the most dangerous of times.

Read this. E-mail it to friends and family. Print it out and post it where it will be read.

Think Thomas Paine.

"these are the times that try men's souls"

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Our Republic Dies Not with a Bang But with a Yawn

Keith Olbermann has - with too little notice - done yeoman's work letting us know just how horrible the Military Commission's Act really is. His previous article laid out how all but one of the ten articles of the Bill of Rights are rendered obsolete by the Act. His latest is an interview with Jonathan Turley, a constitutional law professor at George Washington University.

A teaser, but go read the whole thing:

OLBERMANN: Does this mean that under this law, ultimately the only thing keeping you, I, or the viewer out of Gitmo is the sanity and honesty of the president of the United States?

TURLEY: It does. And it’s a huge sea change for our democracy. The framers created a system where we did not have to rely on the good graces or good mood of the president. In fact, Madison said that he created a system essentially to be run by devils, where they could not do harm, because we didn’t rely on their good motivations.

Now we must. And people have no idea how significant this is. What, really, a time of shame this is for the American system. What the Congress did and what the president signed today essentially revokes over 200 years of American principles and values.
I don't know about any of you, but I'm none to sanguine as to the "sanity and honesty" of Bush. As bad as they are, in comparison, Foleygate doesn't matter, Ney doesn't matter, Abramoff is a piker, honestly Iraq isn't as important as this story.

But as Olbermann says, the raping of our Constitution has been greeted with a national yawn.

BushCo. Owns This

Here's what going to war based on lies has gotten us. Here's what "Support the Troops - Repbublican Style" has gotten us. Here's what "staying the course" has gotten us.

The military reported 10 U.S. troops killed in bombings and combat a day earlier, raising to 69 the number of U.S. troops killed in October.
And we're just over half-way through the month.

Maybe this will help Tony Snow the next time he has trouble answering the question of whether or not we're "winning."

For the U.S. military, October’s death toll is on a pace that, if continued, would make the month the deadliest for coalition forces since January 2005, when 107 U.S. troops died.

The war’s deadliest month for U.S. forces was November. 2004, when 137 troops died.

At least 2,780 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.
That would be "no," Tony.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

"Nothing could be further from... American values... than the Military Commissions Act"

No word yet on whether Shrubby made any signing statements to the it, but he signed it. This bill, described by the ACLU as "one of the worst civil liberties measures ever enacted in American history," is the latest in the effort to build the imperial presidency.

While civil libertarian groups and some Democrats have decried this law, Americans are strangely quiet about the trampling of their rights. No matter the original targets, such laws are almost always more broadly applied than originally pitched.

"The president can now, with the approval of Congress, indefinitely hold people without charge, take away protections against horrific abuse, put people on trial based on hearsay evidence, authorize trials that can sentence people to death based on testimony literally beaten out of witnesses, and slam shut the courthouse door for habeas petitions," said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero.
The intended targets are supposedly Islamic terrorists, but there is absolutely nothing in the law to keep them from applying it to you.

This quote from Benjamin Franklin cannot be repeated too often:

They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Refugee Crisis

When we see a headline like the one above, Americans think of Darfur or The Sudan. Some failed, third-world nation where rebels threaten and murder and drive people from their homelands. In this case, well...

Thousands of Iraqis are fleeing the country every day in a “steady, silent exodus” and a spike in sectarian violence has stopped others from returning to their homeland, the U.N. refugee agency said on Friday.
Right-wingers are always trying to equate the level of violence in Iraqi cities to that in major US metro areas. That argument, on it's face, is specious. Throwing in a steady stream of refugees to the mix only further puts the lie to that argument.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

While Nero Diddles

In case the non-stop talk about Foley-Gate should make you forget, Keith Olbermannn reminds us of the passage of the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

This is probably the most horrific act of constitutional rape since... well, since ever. The constitution states that habeas corpus can only be suspended in case of rebellion or invasion, but our craven congress critters have once more given the boy king what he wants in his Never Ending War on Terror.

The president has now succeeded where no one has before. HeÂ’s managed to kill the writ of habeas corpus. Tonight, a special investigation, how that, in turn, kills nothing less than your Bill of Rights. Because the Mark Foley story began to break on the night of September 28, exploding the following day, many people may not have noticed the bill passed by the Senate that night.
Read the rest - find out how this one law rescinds the whole of our Bill of Rights (except for the Third Amendment, but really, who even knows what that one is?). Pass it on to everyone you know.

It's important that we not forget.

There Goes the "Parent Vote"

UPDATE: See story behind the headline.

This AP Breaking News headline on MSNBC should completely alienate any remaining Republican voters with kids coming up on draft age:

U.S. Army making plans to keep current Iraq troop level through 2010

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

David Frum is MAD

Not that anyone should be particularly surprised at my assessment of Frum's mental capacity, but his opinion piece in today's NYT certainly confirms it.

He makes four main suggestions about what BushCo. should do in response to the - most likely failed - North Korean nuclear test. All of which are foolish on their face:

1. Step up the development and deployment of existing missile defense systems.
This is just what our overstretched military budget needs. We are "eating the seedcorn" as it is, blowing through a couple of billion dollars per week in Iraq and Afghanistan. Spending more on a system that has failed every operational test is sheer idiocy. Any hope of stemming a nuclear arms race in the area would be dashed by just the announcement of such a program.

2. End humanitarian aid to North Korea and pressure South Korea to do the same.
While there is some merit to using some of this aid as a carrot and a stick, from a strictly ethical point of view it seems a callous thing to do to punish the already starving people of North Korea in this case. Not that this has stopped us - or the rest of the world - in the past. And should this cause a popular uprising in the DPRK, the collapse of Kim's regime will destabilize the entire region even more with a flood of refugees and the potential loss of control over whatever nuclear devices have actually been assembled. If a collapse is somehow avoided, there would be strong incentive for Kim to sell the technology or the actual devices for much needed hard currency.

3. Invite Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore to join NATO — and even invite Taiwan to send observers to NATO meetings.
A sure-fire way to alienate China and lose any hope of gaining their leverage over North Korea. Additionally, this could potentially drive the North and China closer together in military cooperation against a suddenly united South East Asian theater, leading to a truly nuclearized North Korea. And anything that upsets the delicate balance over Taiwan, especially during a crisis, should be avoided at all costs.

4. Encourage Japan to renounce the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and create its own nuclear deterrent.
Could there be a worse idea other than arming the DPRK ourselves? As soon as Japan makes such an announcement, China would make grave denouncements and perhaps move to redeploy nuclear and non-nuclear forces to counter such a perceived threat in their sphere of influence. They could conceivably even offer to post weapons on the Koreanpeninsulaa to counter the threat. I'm sure that China has learned the lessons of the Cuban Missile Crisis. I doubt that BushCo. has learned a single lesson from anything in history.

Whether North Korea's test was successful or not, I can't see anything in Frum's proposals that make any kind of sense in the world we all actually live in. Of course, given BushCo.'s record, Frum is exactly the kind of advisor/speech writer that Bush and his Cold-War-Cronies have cultivated.

Language Barrier

I've figured out why North Korea seems to have completely misread U.S. reaction to their nuclear weapons program. It's a simple thing, really; Kim Jong Il had no idea what the hell Bush was talking about.

"Nookyuler" just doesn't translate into Korean.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Whadda Ya' Gonna Do Now?

I can still remember hearing the southern drawl of a drill sergeant - somehow all Army drill sergeants are from the South - after I'd gotten myself into some kind of trouble during basic training. I might have gotten tangled up in a rappel rope, or made my way half-way up a vertical wall in an obstacle course. Whatever it was, there would be Sergeant Smith, looking disgusted and asking in that sarcastic way that only a non-com could manage. "Whadda ya' gonna do now, cadet?"

I've decided that every President needs his own personal drill sergeant. Bush more than most.

When I read this morning that North Korea had likely detonated a small nuclear device, it was the first thought that went through my mind. I can't imagine what option that Bush has left; our military has been stretched to nearly the breaking point, we've alienated most of the rest of the world and previous "discussions" with North Korea have been less than foundational.

"Whadda ya' gonna do now?"

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Staying the Course

Straight to hell...

The number U.S. troops wounded in Iraq has surged to its highest level in nearly two years as American GIs fight block-by-block in Baghdad to try to check a spiral of sectarian violence that U.S. commanders warn could lead to civil war.

Last month, 776 U.S. troops were wounded in action in Iraq, the highest number since the military assault to retake the insurgent-held city of Fallujah in November 2004, according to Defense Department data. It was the fourth-highest monthly total since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003.
I wonder if anyone in BushCo. has heard of a compass.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Time Stretches to Infinity at the Event Horizon

There had to be some reason for the GOP leadership to still be stuck to Denny Hastert like week-old gum to the bottom of a ten year old pair of wingtips. And I think I've found that reason.

The leadership actually can't help but fall towards Hastert. He's grown so large - apparently the Speaker's never met a sandwich he didn't like - that he now has his own gravity. Based on my calculations, Hastert has a gravitational field of a small black hole. Bush, Baker and Frist don't have any choice. They've been sucked in and can't escape.



An Empire Built on Lies

A tipping point, perhaps?

The MSM - albeit in a news site blog - is finally saying what the blogosphere has been saying for years. Keith Olbermann, on MSNBC, has written what may be the defining piece of journalism of this administration. It will be roundly savaged or dismissed by the most fundamentalist right and accepted with vigorous head nodding by most of the left. But it's the reaction of the unmoved masses in the middle that may well be it's most important effect. If they read it...

A teaser, but really, you have to read the whole thing:

Mr. President, these new lies go to the heart of what it is that you truly wish to preserve.

It is not our freedom, nor our country—your actions against the Constitution give irrefutable proof of that.

You want to preserve a political party’s power. And obviously you’ll sell this country out, to do it.
This is a powerful piece and deserves wide dissemination. Pass it on.

Hat tip to the commentors at AmericaBlog for pointing me to this.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Last Vestiges of the Old Republic Have Been Swept Away

The Imperial President is a concept to be studied no more. It is fact. Many of us have known this for a while, but even the MSM is starting to catch on.

President Bush, again defying Congress, says he has the power to edit the Homeland Security Department’s reports about whether it obeys privacy rules while handling background checks, ID cards and watchlists.

In the law Bush signed Wednesday, Congress stated no one but the privacy officer could alter, delay or prohibit the mandatory annual report on Homeland Security department activities that affect privacy, including complaints.

But Bush, in a signing statement attached to the agency’s 2007 spending bill, said he will interpret that section “in a manner consistent with the President’s constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch.”
Of course it seems that our new King George should never be allowed to speak without the Grand Vizier whispering in his ear; for the boy king is a bit of an idiot:

Bush’s signing statement Wednesday challenges several other provisions in the Homeland Security spending bill.

Bush, for example, said he’d disregard a requirement that the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency must have at least five years experience and “demonstrated ability in and knowledge of emergency management and homeland security.”

His rationale was that it “rules out a large portion of those persons best qualified by experience and knowledge to fill the office.”

Pitching a Fit

Everyone's seen it. The little brat who doesn't get what he wants in the grocery store (usually) who falls to the floor, kicking and screaming. All the other shoppers give the kid and his embarrassed parent a wide berth. As do I for fear I might place a well aimed kick at his head.


That's the image that came to mind when I read our Preznit's latest tantrum. He's just won't put up with a nookyular North Korea. He just won't. This on the heels of telling the whole world that he just won't put up with a nookyular Iran.

Kicking and screaming is about all he can do about either of these truly rogue states as he's squandered any chance of really working with other countries in either region and - should the now impossible diplomacy fail - he's also squandered our military; leaving us impotent to do anything about anything.

What else is left for our juvenile Commander-in-Chief but pitching a good old-fashioned hissy fit (as my mom would call it)? Is it any wonder that all the other countries are giving us a wide berth?

Fortunately there's nobody out there big enough to place a well aimed kick to our head.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

What Liberal Media?

I had to borrow the title of Eric Alterman's book for this post after reading this from The Raw Story:

Fox News had copies of emails written by Congressman Mark Foley (R-FL) to a Louisiana boy, but chose not to run the story, according to a passage in an Associated Press report.
Okay, you'd expect Fox to cover Republican assess even if they were caught in the act of eating young boys they'd just diddled. But then there was this:

Meanwhile, Florida newspapers — who were leaked copies of the e-mail with the Louisiana boy last year — defended their decision not to run stories. Both The St. Petersburg Times and The Miami Herald were given copies of the e-mail, as were other news organizations, including Fox News.
Eric's fond of asking, so I'll ask: "what liberal media?"


I've watched the implosion of the Republican leadership of the House with a mix of revulsion and schadenfreude. Suddenly the blue dress of a consenting adult doesn't seem so bad, now does it? But suddenly those on the right - especially the religious right - who frothed so righteously over Monicagate are nowhere to be seen.

Did someone say "hypocrisy?"

For all the information on this latest Republican melt-down, check out AmericaBlog. John and his co-bloggers have done a great job in covering this from the very beginning. And they are much closer to the action and have much more time to get into all the details than I'll ever have.

Best line of this scandal, so far? "The Republican leadership has been decapitated."

Monday, October 02, 2006

Wal-Mart Still Evil

Just in case you were wondering:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is pushing to create a cheaper, more flexible work force by capping wages, using more part-time workers and scheduling more staff on nights and weekends, The New York Times reported on Monday.
A new Wal-Mart is being built just half a mile from where I work. The people in the county are very happy to have the new monstrosity, making no connection between their "always low prices" and the stagnant wages in the local economy. The article above mentions that unofficially (of course) Wal-Mart's goal is to have 40% of its workforce part-timers. That means no benefits and no retirement. That will all be paid for by you and me while Wal-Mart shovels the money into its bank accounts.

I still refuse to step foot into one of their damned stores.