GOP Moderates Unhappy with Bush, Party Direction

They should be. GOP moderates have been ignored to the exclusive interests of the extreme right wing which make up a smaller contingent.

Operation Truth

Say hello to Operation Truth, a war veterans' organization.

Skippy: Bill O'Reilly is Da Bomb!

From Skippy:

here's an excellent idea...in light of bill o'reilly's latest comments on how al qaeda should blow up san francisco...why not google bomb him as a terrorist sympathizer?

after all, his words make him a terrorist sympathizer. anyone who encourages a terrorist act is a terrorist sympathizer. and we don't condone any terrorist sympathizer making statements like that on american airwaves. no terrorist sympathizer for us!damn that terrorist sympathizer!
I second that!

From Newt ("Women can't be in fox holes. They get infections!") Gingrich: Health Threat

Yeah, Newt, THIS is the biggest health concern we have with 1 in 5 Americans out of any real health insurance.

You're such a pig.

Justice Department Lawyers Leaving in Droves

This is not good either - anywhere the Bushies shine their flashlight always turns out to be a distraction from real misdeeds. But Civil Rights and democracy are NOT issues the Bushies like to bother with; too complicated with lots of big words and uppity people.

The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, which has enforced the nation's anti-discrimination laws for nearly half a century, is in the midst of an upheaval that has driven away dozens of veteran lawyers and has damaged morale for many of those who remain, according to former and current career employees.

Nearly 20 percent of the division's lawyers left in fiscal 2005, in part because of a buyout program that some lawyers believe was aimed at pushing out those who did not share the administration's conservative views on civil rights laws. Longtime litigators complain that political appointees have cut them out of hiring and major policy decisions, including approvals of controversial GOP redistricting plans in Mississippi and Texas.

At the same time, prosecutions for the kinds of racial and gender discrimination crimes traditionally handled by the division have declined 40 percent over the past five years, according to department statistics. Dozens of lawyers find themselves handling appeals of deportation orders and other immigration matters instead of civil rights cases.

The division has also come under criticism from the courts and some Democratsfor its decision in August to approve a Georgia program requiring voters to present government-issued identification cards at the polls. The program was halted by an appellate court panel and a district court judge, who likened it to a poll tax from the Jim Crow era.

Equality? YSR

Did anyone else catch, after Rosa Parks died and was given (I thought, quite rightly although I suspect the government agreeing to it may not have been for "higher" reasons) a state viewing in the Capitol Rotunda, that she was the ONLY woman ever to lie in repose there? Hundreds of men. No women until Parks, who was the second African American.

Although more than 3,400 men have been given the Medal of Honor, only one woman has ever been named as a recipient; a Civil War surgeon whose award was taken away for 60 years after her death. I suspect it had to do with her not owning a penis.

Note to WaPo:

Dear Washington Post:

FAR more than asterisks dot the White House's Iraq argument (puh-leez!).

If I can figure that out, why can't you?

The Price of Life in Iraq

Posted by Susan at Easy Bake Coven:

    Hameed Hassan sat in the remains of his car, next to his dead wife, and watched his four-year-old son begin to bleed to death.The family had been on the way to buy clothes in Rawah's small market when the American soldiers opened fire. A helicopter gunship joined in the attack, cutting the car and two of its occupants to pieces.

    A dead family member brings $2,500, while a television destroyed by a hand-grenade is valued at $350.

    One entry in the 4/14 Cavalry compensation log reads: "blown-up house, pay $1,300". Another: "destroyed boat, $20". Others include a blown-up potato field and irrigation equipment ($2,000), a damaged door in a hospital ($50) and a burned-down store ($2,500).

    During the past two months about $100,000 has been paid out to Iraq residents of the Rawah region for damages caused by the U.S. 4/14 Cavalry and its predecessors. It's so beyond crass to have such a small pittance placed upon the killing of an innocent loved one. As if the war wasn't fucked up enough already.Link

The Commander in Grief

From General JC Christian:

Dishonoring the Soldiers They Send to War

Jurassic Pork offers up this guide to how those men's men George Bush and Dick Cheney, both with other priorities during Vietnam than serving, spent Veteran's Day dishonoring the troops and the sacrifice and the country as a whole.

Hell Must Be Having an Extraordinarily Cool Day...

because I'm also about to quote from George S. Will. I know. I know. :x It frightens me as well. But no, I doubt it's indicative of the Rapture or the End Times prophecies yet I do believe God is getting mightily pissed by our home team's performance.

SALT LAKE CITY -- If you seek a window into conservatism's current consternations, look into Utah. The nation's reddest state -- last year, and in six of the past eight presidential elections, Utah was the most Republican state -- is rebelling against President Bush's No Child Left Behind law.

Only three states have not challenged in some way NCLB's extension of federal supervision over K-through-12 education, but no state has done so with as much brio as Utah, which is insurrectionary even though last year 87 percent of its schools fulfilled NCLB's requirement of demonstrating "adequate yearly progress." Utah, you see, is unique.

Gov. Jon Huntsman, 45, is a seventh-generation Utahan. A former diplomat, he believes what the proverb asserts, that "a soft answer turneth away wrath." He says, tactfully, that perhaps Margaret Spellings, the U.S. secretary of education, "has not had time to read our legislation."

Gee, When I Start Quoting The Weekly Standard

Anyhoo... Written by Billy Kristol (not the funny one, not the Whoopi Goldberg befriending one) and entitled, "Should Bush Fire Rove?":

These and numerous other hints suggest that, even assuming he is not indicted in the Plame leak investigation, Karl Rove is in danger of losing his job. His "resignation" would undoubtedly be presented as entirely voluntary. It might be accompanied by some kind of apology for misleading the president and others at the White House as to his role in the Plame affair--or he might leave while acknowledging no wrongdoing at all. In any case, Rove's departure would be called a resignation, not a firing. But a firing it would be, and the rationale would be that Rove has become a political albatross for the Bush administration.

But would firing Rove help Bush? No. It would reflect an attempt by Bush to find favor among "good government" moderates and allegedly reasonable critics. It would signal a repudiation of the dominant political strategy of Bush's first term. And it would most likely prove a disaster.

After all, it was with Rove as his primary adviser that Bush put together the remarkable back-to-back election successes of 2002 and 2004. Bush had barely won the presidency in 2000, and Republicans had lost five Senate seats. Yet with Rove's advice, Bush was able to help the GOP gain seats in both the House and the Senate in 2002 and 2004, as well as building a three million vote majority in the 2004 presidential election.

In the Soylent Green is People! Department

Taiwan to turn 2,000 hectares of rice paddy into "green fuel farms" AFP - Thu Nov 10, 8:53 AM ET TAIPEI (AFP) - Taiwanese agricultural authorities plan to turn 2,000 hectares (4,940 acres) of rice paddies into "green fuel farms" in an effort to cut the island's dependence on imported fossil fuel.

Anyone see Chuck Heston in Taiwan?


FEMA Schema

From the Wires:

FEMA Has Yet to Reopen No-Bid Contracts AP - Fri Nov 11, 7:42 PM ET

WASHINGTON - Despite a month-old pledge, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has yet to reopen four of its biggest no-bid contracts for Hurricane Katrina work and won't do so until the contracts are virtually complete. A promise to hire more minority-owned firms also is largely unfulfilled.

Senior Citizen Bloggers

They're out there and they defy stereotypes.

In my own experience, I've been surprised several times to discover that a blog I always assumed was written by a well-educated (and paying attention) 20 something turned out to be a 50-, 60, or 70-something blogger. One, active in the political realm, tells me he is 84 in Bush years. You figure it out.

Rick Sanctimonious: Like DeLay, Malpractice Suits Are Good for Him, Bad for You!

Not exactly new news but hypocrisy is hypocrisy.

Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., says that the No. 1 health care crisis in his state is medical lawsuit abuse and in the past he's called for a $250,000 cap on non-economic damage awards or awards for pain and suffering. "We need to do something now to fix the medical liability problem in this country," he declared at a rally in Washington D.C., this past spring.

But Santorum's wife sued a doctor for $500,000 in 1999. She claimed that a botched spinal manipulation by her chiropractor led to back surgery, pain and suffering, and sued for twice the amount of a cap Santorum has supported.
Tom DeLay did the same when his assinine father used a device incorrectly and then Tommy "Bug Boy" sued and won.

Where is Your Cell Phone Etiquette?

It's NEVER kosher to continue speaking on the telephone while you commit a felony. You should hang up, ROB THE BANK, and then return to your conversation after your GRAND THEFT Ringtone business is finished.

Take notes. There will be a test later!

Say Hello to

Tina Dupuy's The Sardonic Sideshow (I love sardonic).

Bush Administration Wants Prison Time for Illegal File Copiers

People who attempt to copy music or movies without permission could face jail time under legislation proposed by the U.S. Justice Department on Thursday.

The bill, outlined by U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales at an anti-piracy summit, would widen intellectual-property protections to cover those who try but fail to make illicit copies of music, movies, software or other copyrighted material.

It would also enable investigators to seize assets purchased with profits from the sale of illicit copies, as well as property such as blank CDs that might be used for future copying.

Those found guilty of a copyright violation could be forced to pay restitution to the owner of the material in question, and repeat offenders would face stiffer sentences.

They'll join the folks doing life for growing 10 pot plants while they let out the serial killers and drug kingpins to make room for them.

Oh, trust me, as someone who depends to some degree on the copyright to survive, I know stealing is stealing. You won't catch me playing games with copyrights. But to imprison file pirates while letting Bush and Cheney escape treason charges.... man...

Rick Santorum: Media at Fault for Low Approval Numbers

Right, Rick.

It's the media spin and NOT an almost comically bad performance on the part of our (cough, cough) leaders.

How Did You Interpret Bush's Speech Today?

I found it particularly ugly, considering it was Veterans' Day.

Bush's speech effects were rendered uglier because it was a "stump" political speech when he's not running for anything/when Election Day is over/when it was (again) Veterans' Day. He sneered at the majority of Americans and made it clear he will have no problems getting us into more overblown wars. He took no personal responsibility.

And Mr. Bush made it obvious he couldn't give two farts about a single fallen war dead.


BYU Professor: Bombs Not Planes Took Down the World Trade Center

Another day, another opinion.

No, I'm not offering this because I think this is a particularly astute analysis.

But, in fact, the public doesn't seem to even realize that they've never actually been told what DID fell the WTC which, in truth, was probably a combination of events (poorer steel, critical flaws in the infrastructure, amount of fuel in the planes, to name just a few). Another truth: there's a lot more we don't know, and the Bushies don't want us ever to know. Why?

Belief-O-Matic, the Popeil Pocket Fisherman of Religion!

Brought to us by Julien's List:

If you've been feeling a bit lost in the sea of religion, you may just be saved, brothers and sisters, by Belief-O-Matic, a questionnaire presented by the website Beliefnet.

The quiz's tagline reads, "Even if YOU don't know what faith you are, Belief-O-Matic knows."After answering all of the questions, you get a printable list of 27 faiths; the one at the top of the list is the faith that Belief-O-Matic thinks most closely matches your expressed value system.

The site makes sure to say, however, that even a score of 100% does not mean that your views exactly match those of that faith. B-O-M also makes sure to state that they take no responsibility for the ultimate state of your soul... ;)
Do I have to take the quiz is I already know I'm a lapsed Catholic AND Episcopalian who's hornier than a Methodist but with much more self control than a Fundamentalist (Floating Baptists or others)?

No? Okey-dokey.

Shoot Me Now

Posted by Shakespeare's Sister:

These are my choices?
    If the 2008 presidential election were held today, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) would snuff Senator John Kerry (D-MA) 53% to 35%, and sneak ahead of Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) 44% to 42%, according to a Wall Street Journal poll released Friday…At this point in the game, Clinton crushes all other Democratic hopefuls. The erstwhile First Lady pulls 41% among Democrats to 14% for Edwards; Kerry draws 10%, Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) 5% and Wesley Clark 4%. Mavericks Giuliani and McCain lead Republican field with 34% and 31%, respectively, while Senator Bill Frist (R-TN), Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) and Senator George Allen (R-VA) draw 5% or lesss.

Notice the Assignment of Blame

It took a very short time before the US announced it was al Zarqawi to blame for the horrific Jordan bombings. Hell, it might even be true. But without any investigation, without any more corroboration than is offered by those discredited types who have made billions on the backs of 9/11 and Iraq like Bernie Kerik and other Rudy Giuliani Associates types who ALSO told us Saddam was behind 9/11 and we'd have mushroom clouds in Kansas if we didn't Shock and Awe, the media now says al Zarqawi did the bombings as established fact.

I'll say one thing. Whoever was responsible for planning and execution in Jordan was also the one - or his colleague from Terror U! - who did the Palestine Hotel deal in Baghdad a couple weeks back. Many similarities. But at this point, I can't believe a damned thing my government tells me so I cannot trust that it's al Zarqawi. I don't even know if there is an al Zarqawi. And if there is, is he any more dangerous or mean spirited than Pat Robertson? How could that be possible?

Pat Robertson

It takes a "Great Man of God" to wish death and destruction on people who voted off the Dover, PA Board of Education those humans who would happily ignore two of God's greatest gifts: mind and rational thought.

I really DO hope God gives men like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and Franklin Graham exactly what they deserve, painful though it may be.


Sad? Yes. But is Group to Blame for Girl's Suicide? No

CNN offers one of those guaranteed tear jerker stories today: a happy, bubbly "everything to live for" (except apparently not really) 19 yr old offs herself after exchanging dozens of messages with members of a group that support the right to terminate one's own life.

The girl had every right to participate in the newsgroup, as do the others. I don't think the parents have a leg to stand on trying to go after the group.

Something got very fucked up for her that she chose not to stick around to try to repair or get beyond. Punishing the group she belonged to won't change that.

The Times: Bush's Disaster Grows

They say Bush can't fire Cheney but my question is, "Why can't we fire the whole damned bunch?"

From The Times:

After President Bush's disastrous visit to Latin America, it's unnerving to realize that his presidency still has more than three years to run. An administration with no agenda and no competence would be hard enough to live with on the domestic front. But the rest of the world simply can't afford an American government this bad for that long.

In Argentina, Mr. Bush, who prides himself on his ability to relate to world leaders face to face, could barely summon the energy to chat with the 33 other leaders there, almost all of whom would be considered friendly to the United States under normal circumstances. He and his delegation failed to get even a minimally face-saving outcome at the collapsed trade talks and allowed a loudmouthed opportunist like the president of Venezuela to steal the show.

It's amazing to remember that when Mr. Bush first ran for president, he bragged about his understanding of Latin America, his ability to speak Spanish and his friendship with Mexico. But he also made fun of Al Gore for believing that nation-building was a job for the United States military.

The White House is in an uproar over the future of Karl Rove, the president's political adviser, and spinning off rumors that some top cabinet members may be asked to walk the plank. Mr. Bush could certainly afford to replace some of his top advisers. But the central problem is not Karl Rove or Treasury Secretary John Snow or even Donald Rumsfeld, the defense secretary. It is President Bush himself.


The place to begin is with Dick Cheney, the dark force behind many of the administration's most disastrous policies, like the Iraq invasion and the stubborn resistance to energy conservation. Right now, the vice president is devoting himself to beating back Congressional legislation that would prohibit the torture of prisoners. This is truly a remarkable set of priorities: his former chief aide was indicted, Mr. Cheney's back is against the wall, and he's declared war on the Geneva Conventions.

Mr. Bush cannot fire Mr. Cheney, but he could do what other presidents have done to vice presidents: keep him too busy attending funerals and acting as the chairman of studies to do more harm. Mr. Bush would still have to turn his administration around, but it would at least send a signal to the nation and the world that he was in charge, and the next three years might not be as dreadful as they threaten to be right now.

Talk to the Hand, Dr Frist!

Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum, Senator from PA, looks on as Dr. Frist talks to his hand, explaining why Frist says he is not at ALL worried about secret prisons, just what charges he can file against Dems for GOP Congressmen leaking the info to the press.

"We're the party in power. We can't be reponsible for anything," added Dr Frist.

American Public Does Pay Attention to the Stink from the Bushies


WASHINGTON - The recent indictment of Vice President Cheney's top aide has struck a nerve with the American public. Four in five, 79 percent, said the indictment of former Cheney aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby on perjury and other charges is important to the nation, according to a poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. Pew noted that in September 1998, 65 percent said President Clinton's lies under oath were important. Clinton was impeached over his handling of an affair with Monica Lewinsky, but was acquitted by the Senate on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.

Libby was charged with lying to investigators and a grand jury during an investigation of his role in revealing the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame, wife of an outspoken critic of the war against Iraq.

Most Americans, six in 10, say they do not think the news about Libby's indictment has gotten too much coverage.

The concerns about Libby's case come at a time that a growing number of people, 43 percent, now say U.S. and British leaders were mostly lying when they claimed before the Iraq war that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, while an equal number said they were misinformed by bad intelligence.
There are some big core differences between Clinton and the Bushies, and not their political parties either. Specifically, Americans were NOT concerned about the Clinton's initial deed, but that they lied. This poll number, however, of those who thought it was very serious that he lied is much higher than any I can find for that time period. Later, as it became more obvious this was an attempted coup d'etat, Americans blamed the GOP far more than Clinton.

But re: the Bushies', however, polls show HIGH numbers of Americans are even more concerned about the events that occurred that then resulted in the Bushies lies.

And let's not forget: lying about semen on a blue dress is an order of magniture different than lying us into hundreds of thousands of needless deaths and years of crippling debt.

Judy's Amorous? Entanglements? And the Editor Who Cried Wolfowitz

A must read from Ed and Pub:

As part of Judith Miller's departure from The New York Times today, Executive Editor Bill Keller wrote and released a letter he had written to her clarifying his now-famous suggestion that she had an "entanglement" with I. Lewis Libby. She had complained that this word suggested a sexual relationship, and Keller finally admitted that this is not what he meant.

Keller's original statement probably was just a poor choice of words. Ultimately, the problem with the "entanglement" here had nothing to do with whether Scooter Libby was screwing Judy Miller, and everything to do with Scooter Libby and his boss using Judy Miller to screw America -- and her willingness to act as a one-note mouthpiece for a dishonest White House.
Please excuse me while I vomit at the concept of Judy and Scooter and Wolfowitz having a menage a trois acting out passages from Scooter's "bestial coupling" fiction.

What is it with ultra conservatives and the repressed total fucked-up shit they imagine?

Yet there's more to the Ed and Pub piece, and this is where Wolfie comes in:
And in that sense, Bill Keller has his own "entanglement" problem.Keller's entanglement was with Paul Wolfowitz, the then-deputy defense secretary and so-called "chief architect" of the 2003 Iraq invasion. Keller's apparently chummy relationship with Wolfowitz explains a lot. It certainly explains the convuluted pieces that Keller -- who was both a columnist and author of magazine pieces for the Times in 2002 and 2003, before he was called in to replace the ousted Howell Raines -- wrote offering his support for the military action before it was launched. He called himself a reluctant “hawk” on the war at that time

I Don't Want Libby Pardoned Either

From da wires:

WASHINGTON - The Senate's top Democrats challenged President Bush on Tuesday to rule out a pardon for I. Lewis Libby, a former top White House aide who faces trial on charges of obstruction of justice and perjury in the CIA leak case.

"We also urge you to state publicly whether anyone in the White House — including White House counsel Harriet Miers or Vice President Cheney — has already discussed the possibility of a pardon with Mr. Libby," added the letter, signed by Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and three other members of the leadership.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan declined to rule out a pardon when asked about the issue by reporters before Democrats sent their letter. "I'm not going to discuss an ongoing legal proceeding. And I'm not going to speculate about any matters relating to it," he said.

At a news conference, Reid launched an extraordinary attack on Cheney, whom he said had been involved in the "manipulation of intelligence to sell the war in
Iraq" as well as "leaking classified information to discredit White House critics."

Say Hello to

(Slightly off topic but for the wondrous MissM, she's definitely tangent worthy...)

MissM who is the blog dominatrix... er.. adminisratrix at On Computers Tips. You might get to to meet the Geek Goddess with the Electric Cattle Prodess", too. (waving to Hally and MissM, the Thelma and Louise of Wireless Escapades)

Going Down, Arnold?

And no, I did not mean oral sex. (eeewww! - not in general, with Ahnold specifically)

You went bust on all FOUR of your great initiatives, Mr Schwarzenegger?

If only they had a steroid or plastic surgery procedure to fix that, eh?

Good piece on the topic at The Moderate Voice.

"I'm Dreaming of a Rovian White Fitzmas..."

and all the Bushies frog marching, too.

From Crooks and Liars:

Fitzmas again?
Fitzmas again?
Susan Ralston, chief of-staff to presidential adviser Karl Rove, is scheduled to appear again before Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald who is investigating the circumstances surrounding the leak of Plame�s identity in the media---As Rove�s assistant covering for him from policy pronouncements down to housekeeping issues, Ralston works very closely with George Bush�s senior adviser....read on" (hat tip Monk for the graphic)

Very interesting indeed. This is more proof that Patrick is still looking very closely at Rove.


And Speaking of People Whose Prostate Judy Miller Diddled...

Think Progress has a good piece up on why Chalabi's suddenly appeared in Washington, making himself "available": it's to fuck up the investigation into Chalabi.

Chalabi, as you recall, was Judith Miller's BIG source on the Iraq War (his stories were hung even better than Scooter Libby before the crutches and his porn novel), WMD, and her own overgassed sense of importance.

In other words, the Bushies brought him here to stonewall yet another investigation into their dirty laundry.

True or False?

Judith Miller is another person who deserves to get her ass FIRED and then returned to a prison cell for crimes against humanity rather than allowed to retire with "lucrative" potential.

In Judy's case, I'm sure HOPING there's a final accounting.

White House Alters Rove Press Briefing Transcript

And this isn't even the one where Helen Thomas made Scott McClellan cry.

Fourth Bomb Found in Jordan

Death count is currently at 57.

The hotel attacks and bomb configuration sounds a lot like what we had was it last week or so at the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad. But that it is the country of Jordan is significant: major US ally, never had a major attack like this before, extremely secure, a land led by a man who tries very hard to straddle the US - Arab world continuum.

Immediately, we have the usual suspects including Bernie Kerik (whose disgrace is strangely never raised at times like this) telling us this was al Zarqawi, you know, the new "everywhere" bogeyman after bin Laden. I'm still sure the president will tell us al Zarqawi is responsible for those levies giving way in the wake of Katrina and that Michael Brown as head of FEMA was an al Qaeda plant. It's not like lies are tough on Bush.

More on Fallujah

Mark Kraft posts several important bits of news information about Fallujah here (as does MissM!).

But you can also catch his fine posts at Live Journal. Say hello and don't track wet leaves in on his rug. Thank you.

Pissy, Pissy, Pissy..er.. Judy, Judy, Judy

From DC Media Girl:

Judy Miller’s talking, and she’s hopping mad:
    Ms. Miller and her lawyers signaled that they were specifically displeased with and might consider legal action about Mr. Keller’s use of the word “entanglement” in his memo to describe Ms. Miller’s connections with now-indicted Vice Presidential aide I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby. In the light of long-circulating gossip about Ms. Miller’s romantic life, that word choice led to widespread speculation and mockery. In a follow-up phone conversation, Ms. Miller described the insinuation as “completely untrue.”

    “Many people many other journalists—assumed that there was an improper relationship,” Ms. Miller said in Sag Harbor. “Many people assumed there was a sexual relationship, which is one reason I’m so insistent on that, on his clarifying [the word choice]. I’ll be diplomatic, O.K.? I call it a correction. And at The New York Times, we call it a correction …. But I’ll settle for a, quote, ‘clarification.’”...

    ...Ms. Miller continued: “I welcome a debate on the subjects that we should debate …. But to then let all this other stuff blur the core issue - W.M.D., alleged sleeping with sources, taking seats away from colleagues 15 years ago - to let all of that cloud the issue does our profession and those issues no good.”

Why is France Burning?

Karlo at Swerve Left said it first and best, so...

Direland has an excellent post on the latest French Riots titled Why is France Burning: The Rebellion of a Lost Generation. (Posts like this renew my confidence in the blogosphere.)
People like Karlo certainly help renew my confidence in it, but I think we're actually blessed with a lot of good voices ringing strong and clear. Or this could be my antihistamine talking.

I blather. You decide.

Wait.. maybe I could sell that motto to Bill O'Reilly along with the batteries to make it vibrate!

Impact of Nursing Home Closings

Following a link at Rob's House, I read this piece by Richard Douglass, an expert in this area (and also Rob's uncle), in the Detroit Free Press on Detroit-area nursing home closings. I initially glossed over it but found myself compelled to go back and read. Glad I did.

Detroit is hardly the only place to see this happen; what it means probably isn't good.

Sure, lots of people are able to maintain a quality of life now so a nursing home isn't a given at end of life. But nursing homes accommodate far more than seniors. And these closures have a lot to do with Bush budgets and state program cuts. When nursing homes close, where do the residents go?

Nursing homes aren't the only element in crisis. Public health here has been shrinking faster than the population can grow (and it's growing fast). That's how you end up with Bush threatening to send US soldiers in to hold those exposed to the bird flu under armed guard lest they sneeze on one of the rich Bushies.

No great society, in my estimate, can survive without some form of public-oriented health system that tries to close holes in the dyke. When America wakes up someday to realize we're all bankrupt buying wars to fight people who are just responding to our shabby ethics and have no public health care, the results won't be pretty. It may take a pandemic like the Avian flu to do it.

Say Hello to


The Secret Prison Debacle

Anyone paying attention to what the Bushies have been willing to do to "protect us" - all of which seem designed far better to endanger us and to exploit profits for Halliburton et al from public fear - can't be surprised that we have secret prisons all over the world where we ferry people to keep them outside US laws and courts so we can do whatever we like to them with no intervention.

I'm not even sure the pact with the devil the Washington Post made to report this story - telling us the prisons exist but not identifying the countries where we operate them - is a surprise. It's a TERRIBLE decision, yes, but not a surprise in Bush's America.

No, the surprises here have been that the Senate wants to investigate who leaked this story to the Washington Post but NOT the existence of such prisons, and that Trent Lott pops off with the fact that it must be Republicans who did this because - and here he speaks rare truth - the Republicans don't tell the Dems anything.

And yes, I'm still sadly surprised that we think torture is peachy-keen-o-reeno when we KNOW it does not produce reliable information. People lie to stop being tortured, and then we spend billions racing around checking leads that don't pan out.

Well, Pennsylvania Did Better Than Kansas

Voters there ousted the whole damned Intelligent Design school board.

Going, But NOT Quietly

Fired "Rathergate" CBS Producer Mary Mapes comes out swinging in book about WH spin and corporate interests taking over the news.

Rumsfeld's Department of Defense May Ban Torture

But despite the document, it sure happens anyway.

Tuesday's Elections

From what I can tell, many of Bushies' hand picked candidates like Forrester in NJ (governor) and Kilgore in Virginia fell on their tax cut enhanced faces.

National Rifle Association (NRA) to Landowners

Your land is MY land, whenever I want to use my gun.

Imagine a law that rules it's perfectly legal for anyone to carry a gun in your driveway on your own property because the NRA already does.

Kansas: A Very Sad Decision

Really, what can be said?

The worst thing is that Christianity isn't at the heart of this; it's another brick in the foundation of public education that the people who own Bush want removed. What better way to kill public schools and the taxes we pay for them?

Say Hello to

Head and Shoulders, from dudlee who may or may not have dandruff.

Lovely Statistic I Heard Today

Source could have been Wolf Blitzer or Lou Dobbs:

As of today, President Bush has borrowed more money
than ALL OTHER US presidents COMBINED.
More tax cuts for billionaires, anyone?

The Horror and Death We Wrought in Fallujah

DemocracyNow! devoted a big part of its program today to the secret prisons, WaPo selling its soul to the Pentagon to protect the program, and to the "truth" of what we did in Fallujah a year ago. We burned people to death in their beds with a powder that caramelized or blackened their skin and yet their skin intact. What I saw of the documentary left me heaving up the breakfast I could not eat.

But here's this from Cat's Dream saying the BBC piece stating white phosphorous is NOT a chemical weapon is very wrong.

Scandal Overload

With disclosures coming a million a minute right now, and White House Spokes Weasel practically crying that Helen Thomas was trying to subvert democracy by not allowing him to spin "truth" from the Bush Talking Points of the Day, I find myself wondering how much average Joes are getting about the severity of the problem.

Watergate, to me, is kid's play compared to the cooking of a war like this, and yet the media makes it sound like this case is more like a Watergate Junior. That's a heinous distortion.



Rove: Going Down?

That's the word: Rove's waiting for a quiet time to announce he's "eager to spend more time with" his non-existent family.

Resign? Hell, no. Fire his ass. Anyone else would have had his security clearance pulled TWO and a HALF years ago. This is unconscionable.


Your link is a bust. Please repost.


UN Audit: US Owes Iraq $208 Million

And no, you can't pay it using Tom DeLay's Jack Abramoff American Express card.

With Pirates Attacking Luxury Liners/Cruise Ships...

how long before Bush invokes the end of Posse Comitatus while our president warns us of pirates about to reach our shores, who will rape our (white, Christian) women, send suicide parrot pilots into bomb Halliburton, and pee in Wal-Marts?

The French Riots

While these are only getting footnotes on our MSM broadcasts, what's going on in the cities and suburbs of France is worthy of more attention. WaPo has a decent analysis of it.

It seems to be part young rage gone full bore, with class and race struggles, treatment of Muslims and Arabs, poor opportunities, how globalization has killed all but the mega conglomerates, and a host of other issues tossed in.

But one thing I keep hearing from police confronting the protests is, "These rioters are our children."

They Regret It? No. WE Regret It. BIG Time.

Can't we just give Fort Knox to Ted Stevens of Alaska and be done with it? That's what we pay Alaska to denude and degrade itself daily.

GOP congress cretins "regret" pork-filled highway bill:

The highway bill seemed like such a good idea when it sailed through Congress this summer. But now Republicans who assembled the record spending package are suffering buyer's remorse.

The $286 billion legislation was stuffed with 6,000 pet projects for lawmakers' districts, including what critics denounce as a $223 million "Bridge to Nowhere" that would replace a 7-minute ferry ride in a sparsely populated area of Alaska. Usually members of Congress cannot wait to rush home and brag about such bounty -- a staggering number of parking lots, bus depots, bike paths and new interchanges for just about every congressional district in the country that added $24 billion to the overall cost of maintaining the nation's highways and bridges in the coming years.

A $223 million bridge is to replace a 7-minute ferry ride between Ketchikan, Alaska, left, and Gravina Island. The island, right, has a population of 50.

But with spiraling war and hurricane recovery costs, the pork-laden bill has become a political albatross for Republicans, who have been promising since President Bush took office to get rid of wasteful spending.

"Does it make all the difference in the world? No," said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), one of four senators who voted against the highway bill. "But there's a great deal of symbolism associated with whether we're going to add $24 billion to the debt in unwanted and unnecessary pork-barrel projects."

Conservative groups, government watchdogs and ordinary folks around the country are so offended by the size of the legislation -- signed into law by Bush in early August -- that efforts are underway in the House and the Senate to rescind or reallocate a portion of its funds.

Our Secret Prisons

Story here. Meanwhile, Cheney is arguing for the miracles of modern torture.

And then they have the nerve to say some "left of far right" person "endangered" the troops by speaking carelessly with Cheney spouting this shit.

More Balkin' at Malkin

MJS at CorrenteWire brings us Michelle Malkin's (prettier) inner child. Ann Coulter should only hope she looks that good after she finishes the gender reassignment surgery.

Katrina and Bush: Two Nightmares Without End


Two months after vicious winds and surging waters crushed communities on the Gulf Coast, the health institutions impacted by the storm are at the center of a different calamity, fraught with waiting lists, empty prescription bottles and unpaid medical bills.

The Bush administration’s plan for addressing the health needs of hurricane survivors is to adjust the Medicaid system, the federal healthcare program for the poor. But healthcare advocacy groups say such stopgap measures fail to remedy the short-term crisis or the longstanding problems amplified by the plight of Katrina’s poorest victims.

Through a special waiver program, the Department of Health and Human Services has authorized states to provide Medicaid to Katrina survivors, based on existing eligibility guidelines that cover families, the elderly and the disabled. But these provisions leave out many poor adults, including those who have lost jobs and employer-sponsored healthcare plans due to the hurricane.

Medicaid enrollment patterns in Louisiana’s hurricane-shelter population indicate that even in their native state, a large portion of people seeking assistance will be shut out of the system. A state-led outreach effort in shelters, which ended last month, found that nearly one in every five survivors who requested Medicaid was rejected during initial eligibility screenings because they did not fit Medicaid requirements.

Tara Lachney, a spokesperson for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, reported that of about 6,900 remaining households that progressed to the application process, nearly 60 percent were denied coverage, or had their applications shelved "in hopes that we would be able to cover them under a future program."

Those hopes are riding on legislation to expand Medicaid in Katrina’s wake. A bill introduced by Senators Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Max Baucus (D-Montana) would essentially grant full coverage to all affected individuals who met basic income requirements and would waive state matching fund rules, thus committing the federal government to absorbing the full cost.
But conservative lawmakers have stalled the proposal, instead pushing through a narrower plan that would relieve impacted states of matching payments but would not broaden eligibility categories.

Why Spy On Us?

Seriously. Why? They can't catch the obvious suspects, so do they have to watch us just to have something to hold over our heads if we happen to catch them at something nasty and feel like reporting it to someone?

Remember: it's not paranoia if someone IS out to get you.

The FBI came calling in Windsor, Conn., this summer with a document marked for delivery by hand. On Matianuk Avenue, across from the tennis courts, two special agents found their man. They gave George Christian the letter, which warned him to tell no one, ever, what it said.

Under the shield and stars of the FBI crest, the letter directed Christian to surrender "all subscriber information, billing information and access logs of any person" who used a specific computer at a library branch some distance away. Christian, who manages digital records for three dozen Connecticut libraries, said in an affidavit that he configures his system for privacy. But the vendors of the software he operates said their databases can reveal the Web sites that visitors browse, the e-mail accounts they open and the books they borrow.

The FBI came calling in Windsor, Conn., this summer with a document marked for delivery by hand. On Matianuk Avenue, across from the tennis courts, two special agents found their man. They gave George Christian the letter, which warned him to tell no one, ever, what it said.

Christian refused to hand over those records, and his employer, Library Connection Inc., filed suit for the right to protest the FBI demand in public. The Washington Post established their identities -- still under seal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit -- by comparing unsealed portions of the file with public records and information gleaned from people who had no knowledge of the FBI demand.

The Connecticut case affords a rare glimpse of an exponentially growing practice of domestic surveillance under the USA Patriot Act, which marked its fourth anniversary on Oct. 26. "National security letters," created in the 1970s for espionage and terrorism investigations, originated as narrow exceptions in consumer privacy law, enabling the FBI to review in secret the customer records of suspected foreign agents. The Patriot Act, and Bush administration guidelines for its use, transformed those letters by permitting clandestine scrutiny of U.S. residents and visitors who are not alleged to be terrorists or spies.

The FBI now issues more than 30,000 national security letters a year, according to government sources, a hundredfold increase over historic norms. The letters -- one of which can be used to sweep up the records of many people -- are extending the bureau's reach as never before into the telephone calls, correspondence and financial lives of ordinary Americans.

Issued by FBI field supervisors, national security letters do not need the imprimatur of a prosecutor, grand jury or judge. They receive no review after the fact by the Justice Department or Congress. The executive branch maintains only statistics, which are incomplete and confined to classified reports. The Bush administration defeated legislation and a lawsuit to require a public accounting, and has offered no example in which the use of a national security letter helped disrupt a terrorist plot.

Bush's America: Hunger Up 43%

Nice work, George Bush. Hungry people probably aren't donating to you anyway.

Hunger in American households has risen by 43 percent over the last five years, according to an analysis of US Department of Agriculture (USDA) data released today. The analysis, completed by the Center on Hunger and Poverty at Brandeis University, shows that more than 7 million people have joined the ranks of the hungry since 1999.

The USDA report, Household Food Security in the United States, 2004, says that 38.2 million Americans live in households that suffer directly from hunger and food insecurity, including nearly 14 million children. That figure is up from 31 million Americans in 1999.
Want to Super Size! that?

Did I Miss This?

[Editor: No, you did not miss this. You never aimed for it.]


Online political expression should not be exempt from campaign finance law, the House decided Wednesday as lawmakers warned that the Internet has opened up a new loophole for uncontrolled spending on elections.

The House voted 225-182 for a bill that would have excluded blogs, e-mails and other Internet communications from regulation by the Federal Election Commission. That was 47 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed under a procedure that limited debate time and allowed no amendments.

The vote in effect clears the way for the FEC to move ahead with court-mandated rule-making to govern political speech and campaign spending on the Internet.

Opposition was led by Rep. Marty Meehan (news, bio, voting record), D-Mass., who with Rep. Christopher Shays (news, bio, voting record), R-Conn., championed the 2002 campaign finance law that banned unlimited "soft money" contributions that corporations, unions and individuals were making to political parties.

"This is a major unraveling of the law," Meehan said. At a time when Washington is again being tainted by scandal, including the CIA leak case, "it opens up new avenues for corruption to enter the political process."

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (news, bio, voting record), R-Texas, said the federal government should encourage, rather than fetter, a phenomenon that was bringing more Americans into the political process.

"The newest battlefield in the fight to protect the First Amendment is the Internet," he said. "The Internet is the new town square, and campaign finance regulations are not appropriate there."
Without his legislation,
Don't ask me. I just work here.

Roe v Wade: States Will Duke it Out if Case Overturned

And trust me, there is no way this will not happen.

I'm sad to say it, but there would almost have to be a revolution now for us to even begin getting back on the right (and I don't mean the right) course in another decade. And none of us would want the revolution to tie up traffic or interfere with the Super Bowl because we already give our all in putting all that Chinese made so-called Patriotic crap all over the gas guzzling SUV or Hummvie.