Saying No to Fat Man and Little Boy (aka Jeb and Dumbya)

The Florida Supreme Court has tossed out the Dumbya-pushed and Jeb Bush-flaunted school voucher program.

Women and Pornography

You can read some of my take on the subject here at Associated Content.

130 Dead in Iraq on Thursday

5 American soldiers and the rest mostly civilians.

Yet Mr. Bush is out pounding his chest today telling us how wonderfully the war is going and how the economy is picture perfect. Statistics, as any mathematician or journalist can tell you, can always be manipulated. The Bushies have made manipulation into an art form. Oh, they're not all that artful at it, but they just bully people into shutting up.

After all, a bad economy where even the middle class is struggling to pay health insurance and heating bills keeps people directed towards home rather than looking at the world around them and how badly it smells.

Lou Rawls Dead, Ariel Sharon Severely Brain Damaged

First, goodbye Lou. I did not have to be a direct fan of yours to enjoy your music when I did hear it. You will be missed.

As for Mr. Sharon, God help me, but Israel and the Palestinians would have been better if this man had never been allowed to return to power. He helped bring about the most recent wave of violence since his re-election, there have been numerous scandals associated with his administration, the Bushies' close relationship with him has hurt us all, and we make a huge mistake in congratulating Sharon for his efforts in the "peace" process.

Sharon pulled out of a few areas, but Israel still controls water, travel, lights, food, and employment for the Palestinians, who are still essentially occupied.

Settlement building went mad under Sharon, and for every area vacated (very few), illegal Israeli settlements have been built to surround the Palestinians, effectively boxing them in to control every aspect of their lives. This is NOT freedom. This is NOT peace. This is NOT giving the Palestinians a place. And as long as this occurs, Israel cannot hope for peace even as so many good Israelis surely deserve it.

Sharon was a man of peace as much as Bush is, meaning, not at all.

I am sorry to see any human condemned to permanent brain damage, but this is a man who harmed so many with no regard. Unfortunately, his replacement will be another Likkud nutcase.


Being Told to Pray

Again and again during the mine disaster, what did the media and our leaders tell us to do? Pray.

Wolfie Blitzer was practically screaming at us to pray during CNN's coverage, but others were, too. The president told us to pray.

Oh, I have no problems praying. I frequently do.

But I pay Bush and Company to do more than tell me to pray. I support CNN through viewership etc. I don't need these dunderheads to tell me what I should do. I want them to do their goddamned jobs, and none of that involves telling me to call on a higher power I only know through faith to produce a miracle that proper mine operation or other procedures would prevent from occuring in the first place.

Where is MSHA in the Upshur Mining Accident?

Granted, it's a bigger story in a way that the media got it so wrong about whether the majority of the miners were alive or dead.

But that's just the surface story.

Much more important is the fact that this story was largely managed and communicated solely by the owners and top level management of the mine, International Coal Group. Yet we pay taxes for the Mine Safety and Health Administration, a federal group that is SUPPOSED to act as a watchdog.

Where was MSHA to tell us that this particular mine had more than 200 violations, almost all grave ones, in the last few years? Instead, the company people fielded questions and the only answer they really gave about the violations was, "Well, that was a different management."

No journalist who made it to TV ever said that ICG has continued those violations, or that new management is often a way to sugar coat prior problems. See, a new management team gets a few years' grace during which we seemingly can't blame them for past misdeeds. Many corporations have new management teams for problem units every few years, and I can't think it's just coincidence that this is the same length of time as the grace period we grant them.

As journalists and mining experts on Democracy Now this morning indicated, MSHA under Bush is a joke. MSHA is there to support the mine owners rather than employees going down into the mines. MSHA employees who try to whistle blow are marginalized or "downsized". Indeed, under Bush, MSHA has lost something like 1,700 positions. OK, if they can't do their jobs, I suppose we don't need so large an organization, but it's the people who DO monitor, who do demand changes, who get canned.


The Coal Miners

I haven't quite had the heart to write about this.

I had largely given up hope when I happened to see the excitement start up that 12 had been found alive. Stayed watching til the early hours of the morning with what seemed like incredible news... which turned out to be incredible indeed.

Then, like many of you, I awoke to the news that only one is alive and the rest was just a terrible, terrible mistake. Everybody seems to want to sue someone. As often as I heard the folks in the crowd say angrily - such people do not do well when given the microphone so frequently - that they intend to sue the networks for reporting what they themselves told the reporters.

But how many times have we heard about attempts to close down mines like that only to have these same people insist you just can't close the mines? People who vote for Bush and then are surprised that the Mine Safety group only works FOR the mine owners?

Oh, they have my sympathy. They do. But these folks want it both ways. And then they want to go shopping at Walmart and question why they - with their poor educations - can't get jobs except as miners.

Leader of Israel Suffers "Significant" Stroke

Wire services are reporting that Ariel Sharon has suffered a significant cerebral hemorrhage, is on respiratory assist, with paralysis below the waist.

I do not like Mr. Sharon but I wish the best for Israel, just as I wish the best for the Palestinians. Both need to be able to co-exist and live in that tiny area, and both perhaps have been badly served by some of their recent leadership.

Happy Bennett Day

Mr Judd/aka Andrew J Borden:

I cannot locate your email address since I last fucked up er.. enhanced my system.

So please forgive me if I post this private joke/memory from our day at Bennett College, now owned by the Moonies. This was the day I learned your mother had no concept of how to blend her makeup so that her face and neck were two wildly different colors, but only because YOU called everyone's attention to it.

Was that also the day we decided you were too disorganized to be gay? Your poor father.

Detroit, Autoworkers, and Health Insurance

The excellent Xavier and Peter at Pibbshow bring us this:

From the New York Times:
    The reason comes down to simple self-interest. The United Auto Workers is one of the few private-sector unions that doesn't run its own health plan. Rather, most have created huge companies to administer their workers' plans, giving them a large and often corrupt stake in the current system...Despite shrinking membership, organized labor still has enough money and muscle to get behind a campaign for national health insurance. Last month, public-sector unions in California came up with tens of millions of dollars in a successful campaign to defeat a ballot measure that challenged their right to use union dues for political purposes. The problem is getting American unions to fight for common concerns as opposed to narrow institutional interests. It may just be that a broad-scale union overhaul will have to precede one in American health care.
Now you see why American cars cost so much.

Letterman Wiping the Floor with Bill O'Reilly

O'Reilly is trying to tell David Letterman that there really is a war on Christmas and Letterman, no kidding, is calling him a liar to his face. I love it. Loved it even more when the audience clapped loudly.

Letterman also told O'Reilly HE should be careful calling Cindy Sheehan a terrible person and when O'Reilly insisted Sheehan was run by "far left extremists", Letterman said, "Gee, did you lose anyone in the war? If not, you have really NO right to speak for them or call Mrs. Sheehan wrong."

Then he hit O'Reilly with "Why are we in Iraq in the first place?"

The audience is loving this. Me, too.


Top 10 News Stories of 2006?

Washington Post already has some - part tongue in cheek - predictions up for what will become the biggest news stories of this year. More than a few are worth noting, including how the Condi who wants to be president suddenly is spending more time having her picture taken in the deep South than in other countries (her job does not usually include diplomacy in Alabama).

But these are the ones I noted specifically:

(1) George W. Bush will continue his bid to enter the Guinness Book of World Records for "Most Frequent Use of the Blame-the-Messenger Strategy (Modern Era)." We saw the latest example Friday when the administration reacted to disclosure of its vast domestic surveillance program by launching a Justice Department investigation -- not to reexamine the electronic spying itself, which seems to violate the law, but to identify the whistle-blower who brought this practice to light. Next target: Who's leaking all that unhelpful news from Iraq, such as figures on American casualties and reports of torture by U.S.-trained Iraqi police?

(2) The administration will see steady "progress" in Iraq, even if the new government's first act is to sign a friendship pact with Iran. This "progress" will allow some U.S. troops to be brought home in the summer and fall. Unfortunately, they will have to be sent right back to Iraq in mid-November, after the midterm election. But who could have foreseen that?

(8) Fox News Channel, having had such success inventing and then covering last month's imaginary "war on Christmas," will go on to concoct imaginary "wars" against other holidays. A "war on Easter" would be too obvious and a "war on Independence Day" too easy, so here's a challenge to my talented friends at Fox: Come up with a "war on Labor Day." It sounds tough, since organized labor isn't a natural Fox constituency, but maybe there's a way to work in the illegal immigration issue, or examine how the practice of outsourcing jobs robs Americans of employment opportunities.

(10) Americans will suddenly wake up and question the Bush administration about Iraq, about domestic spying, about global warming, about tax cuts. But just then, as the president fumbles for answers, a compelling news event will steal away the nation's attention.

Hard to believe, but another attractive young white woman will vanish.

Wanted (By Some, Anyway)

Shamefully (I do guilt well) lifted from Open Your Mind's Eye, a poster that is all too apt - but nonetheless a crying shame, something we should hate ourselves for engaging in - in today's climate.


Wow. Could he have looked anymore like an evil G-man or a character from a movie today as he appeared in the fancy black trenchcoat and the hat?

And immediately, the GOP choir came out to insist that DeLay did nothing wrong and that it will be only Democrats who go down because of this scandal. A few even had the chutzpah to suggest that DeLay had been unwillingly forced to accept the $148K all-star golfing extravanganza in England or Scotland as well as all the other pricy benefits he took from the lobbyist.

How exactly does one force a Congressman to take a $148K golf trip? Does the lobbyist also force the Bugman to get the hair plugs and the hair dye and the Botox injections and the expensive clothes and stuff? Did he force DeLay to go from an exterminator turning a bit of profit into a multimillionaire all during his tenure in the (Whore)house of Reprehensibles?

It boggles the mind!


"US Says End is in Sight for Iraq Rebuilding"

Uh huh. And I'm still planning to be 5'8 and flat chested when I grow up.

But let me point out this little bit of news missing from the Washington Post piece on which the above headline is taken:

1) Iraq did not need rebuilding until... oops... we shocked and awed them because - another big oops! - we said they had WMD and were just about to land a mushroom cloud over the US and .... gosh.. it turns out that their weapon program amounted to Saddam's rather reckless abandon when shooting off his rifles.

2) Not only did we cause some damage in Iraq, and not only have we blasted the place all to hell, BUT we've left depleted uranium EVERYWHERE.

3) One has to wonder if one of the reasons we chose to do so very much damage is because we knew Halliburton (Dick Cheney's little company), Bechtel (which gave us Rummy), and others were going to get very, very, very lucrative contracts to rebuild even if we've learned that they're basically just taken the money and not delivering.

Enron, George Bush, and Uzbekistan

Brought to us by the fine folks at Left Edge North, this is very much worth a read:

Read this, pass it along....thanks.
Via Europhobia, here's a note from Britain's former Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray.

Spread it around, please. Liberally.

More old newsFrom the chatter on the web, it's clear that there are still a few diehard Bush/Blair supporters out there who believe this is about democracy and security.

I hate to disillusion such people, but everyone should be aware of this document: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/bushlay12.html(This was released with other Enron court documents. To anyone covering the Enron story, it meant very little. Now, however....)

This is about corporate power and governments who do their bidding. It's about the subjugation of democracy.

Attila the Honey: Ann Coulter Oughta Get Smacked

The woman does nothing but spew hatred. She's worse than anthrax, which happens to be her nickname.

Anyway, I will not give her a link, but I'll link to Port City Underground that gives her latest loath letter.

"Bolton Plans to Restructure the U.N."

That's the headline of this Washington Post piece.

I just see oh... maybe a couple of little problems:

1) John Bolton is NOT the leader of the U.N. God help us all if he were.

2) John wasn't liked going in, but no less than Britain has complained of how badly he's behaving in the job. They want him out.

3) Considering that the rest of the world would rather have a very bad case of clap than have the U.S. thrusting itself any harder down their throats right now would just seem like a poor time for Bolton to decide unilaterally that the rest of the world has to bend to the will of a nasty little Bushie bureaucrat.

And these problems don't even begin to address the very real problems - diplomacy, cooperation, efficacy and much, much more - afoot here.

To Futz or Not to Futz...

Yes, I'm still futzing. I don't like this template and the 57 ones I created myself all have various deficiencies.

So expect to see different templates tried (I'm pretty trying myself, btw) and I continue to exercise my "God given right" to futz.


Say Hello to

We Don't Agree, But...

A Note to Mr. Bush: Be Careful What You Wish For

We might just get you in prison where you belong.

Interesting Time Mag piece, which starts like this:

Up until a couple of weeks ago, George W. Bush's script to put the misery of 2005 behind him had seemed destined for a smooth rollout. Buoyed by the apparent success of the Iraqi elections, the President would score a quick confirmation victory with Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito, follow it up with a soaring State of the Union address and then return to full campaign mode with a sweep around the country, talking about big issues like immigration and Medicare and throwing the spotlight on a resurgent economy. But the revelation that his Administration has been spying in this country without warrants--illegally, critics say--may have put a crimp in Bush's plan to climb back on top of the agenda as the new legislative session begins. "When Congress comes back," warns a top G.O.P. congressional aide, "domestic surveillance and privacy issues will be all over the front pages."

To which the President and his strategists seem to be saying, Bring it on. From practically the moment news of the domestic-surveillance program hit the front page of the New York Times, the White House decided its strategy would be to "overwhelm the skeptics, not back off, not change anything about the program and really home in very strongly on the fact that this is a legitimate part of presidential warmaking power," says an adviser. Bush launched a ferocious defense in his Dec. 17 weekly radio address, inviting in a network camera to capture the rare live delivery of the speech as he declared that the no-longer-secret surveillance program makes it "more likely that killers like these 9/11 hijackers will be identified and located in time." G.O.P. strategists argue that Democrats have little leeway to attack on the issue because it could make them look weak on national security and because some of their leaders were briefed about the the National Security Agency (NSA) no-warrant surveillance before it became public knowledge. Some key Democrats even defend it. Says California's Jane Harman, ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee: "I believe the program is essential to U.S. national security and that its disclosure has damaged critical intelligence capabilities."

But the NSA operation--and particularly Bush's decision to bypass the generally amenable Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for authorization--has drawn fire not only from liberal Democrats but also from some of the most conservative in Bush's party, in which government restraint is a fundamental precept. "There is a test of Republicans on this," says activist Grover Norquist, normally a White House ally. "The country will let you get away with this in the wake of 9/11, but that doesn't make it right." And even if Republicans are prepared to bless Bush's program, they know it theoretically would have to mean extending such sweeping Executive power to, say, a President Hillary Clinton.

Oh Really?

Posted by John at AmericaBlog:

Well, isn't this growing curiouser and curiouser. Now Bush is saying that some of the calls he's illegally tapping are being made FROM the US and that the people making them are Al Qaeda or Al Qaeda affiliates.
    Bush stressed that the surveillance involved telephone calls from "a few numbers" outside the United States by people associated with al-Qaida, the terrorist organization that plotted the Sept. 11 attacks.

    The White House later clarified Bush's remarks, saying he meant to say calls going to and originating from the U.S. were being monitored."

    It seems logical to me that if we know there's a phone number associated with al-Qaida or an al-Qaida affiliate and they're making phone calls, it makes sense to find out why," he said.
Really? So now there are Al Qaeda members and Al Qaeda affiliates inside the United States making phone calls, we know who they are, and:

1) Bush is letting known terrorists and known terrorist affiliates roam around our country free, which begs the question: Why aren't they under arrest?

2) Bush is saying that the courts would never grant a warrant to listen to the phone calls of Al Qaeda members or Al Qaeda affiliates inside the United States. That's just a lie.

DeLay Not Alone in Generous Taking from Lobbyist Abramoff?

Posted by Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo:

AP: "Federal prosecutors and lawyers for Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff are putting the finishing touches on a plea deal that could be announced as early as Tuesday, according to people familiar with the negotiations. The plea agreement would secure the lobbyist's testimony against several members of Congress who received favors from him or his clients."

Depleted Uranium, That Other White Meat

Daily Read at Trailing Edge Blog points us to a good article on depleted uranium, the stuff we've been freeing all over Iraq like it's confetti and we have cause for celebration. ::sigh:: It isn't as safe as confetti and we hardly have cause to be happy.

The Dangers of the Disappearing Middle Class

Cali Dem at Nite Swimming shares this Paul Krugman quote that I think says a LOT about our current situation:

"Since 1980 in particular, US government policies have consistently favored the wealthy at the expense of working families - and under the current administration, that favoritism has become extreme and relentless. From tax cuts that favor the rich to bankruptcy "reform" that punishes the unlucky, almost every domestic policy seems intended to accelerate our march back to the robber baron era. ... But the real reasons to worry about the explosion of inequality since the 1970's have nothing to do with envy. The fact is that working families aren't sharing in the economy's growth, and face growing economic insecurity. And there's good reason to believe that a society in which most people can reasonably be considered middle class is a better society - and more likely to be a functioning democracy - than one in which there are great extremes of wealth and poverty."

More Windows Vulnerabilities Noted

[Update: Miss M kindly shares these links and additional information about this not so lovely vulnerability: The same fix, two places to find it, and pleas to install the "unofficial fix" it could be a week till MS comes up with one (can you say "Patch Tuesday") Internet Storm Center - Cooperative Cyber http://isc.sans.org/diary.php or Security Now! Notes for Episode #20 http://grc.com/sn/notes-020.htm - thank you, MissM!]

From the Chicago Trib, and these aren't limited to Internet Explorer this time:

Users can infect their computers by visiting certain Web sites that are able to exploit some Windows-based applications, Internet security company Panda Software said Friday. It called the discovery "one of the most serious vulnerabilities recently detected."

The flaw to the world's most popular software leaves PCs open to adware and spyware as well as Trojans that can hide damaging programs. Internet Explorer, Outlook and the Windows Picture and Fax viewer are used to insert the potentially harmful code, said Patrick Hinojosa, chief technology officer of Panda."

Because this exploits particular programs on Windows, rather than Windows itself, your machine can get infected simply by visiting a Web site that's set up to exploit the flaw," he said.
If this behaves anything like the worm I was attacked with at Thanksgiving, God help us. That was the worst mess I'd ever seen, and I've done this kind of work professionally for a very long time without coming across anything that wreaked that much havoc.

Boston Globe Doesn't Like Bush's "Drug Plan" Either

No wonder less than 10% of Americans have signed up for it. It's a case where not understanding may save you, since you have to go HMO rather than stay in regular Medicare to get coverage.


For starters, coverage is woefully inadequate. You pay a $250 deductible and then a 25 percent copay on the first $2,250 of drug benefits each year, plus roughly another $450 a year in premiums. So if your prescriptions cost $2,250 a year, or about $190 a month, you pay $1,200 a year all told and the plan pays just $1,050.

That's pretty shabby. But then, the truly bizarre feature of the plan kicks in. Coverage simply disappears for the next $2,850 in drug expenses and only picks up again when you have incurred a total of $5,100 in prescription costs. This is the infamous ''hole in the doughnut."

A great many seniors will never get the coverage because the plan is a bad bargain, and they just won't sign up. Of if they do sign up, they will run out of the ability to pay enough out of pocket before qualifying for needed benefits. Even with these disgracefully skimpy benefits, the plan is expected to add over half a trillion dollars to the federal budget over the next decade.
Why would anyone have designed such an insane program?

Because the political purpose was never to deliver good benefits. One administration goal, running the program through the private insurance industry, conflicted with the imperative of a clear, cost-effective plan. Seniors must evaluate innumerable competing private plans, each with subtle differences in costs and benefits that make an impenetrable program even less fathomable, and raise total costs because each of these private plans tacks on a profit. This was a case of privatizing something done far more efficiently through a direct government program.

Damn Them

Really, damn them right to hell.

Not even Satan would want to take in the Bushies. No class, all brass.

A Little Close to Home

Just found this report in the Times Argus from the AssPress. While the exact anti-war marches are not referenced, I believe I participated in most of the major ones held by this group, which means I was monitored, too.


COLCHESTER — Sen. Patrick Leahy wants the Defense Department to give him the details about two Vermont anti-war protests that were monitored by government officials.

Leahy, a Democrat, said Vermont had a long tradition of peaceful political protest.

"I want to know the extent of it. I want to know under what conceivable, conceivable legal justification they are doing it," Leahy told Vermont Public Radio.

"And even if they could legally justify it, what dunderhead policy reason (is there) for doing it," he said. "And again, I'd like to know how much it cost. The Department of Defense says we don't have enough money to get the kind of armor and protection our troops need in Iraq, but we've got money to go around and spy on Quaker meetings?"Pentagon policy allows it to take the legal steps necessary to protect military installations and personnel from violence.

Earlier this month, NBC News reported that the Pentagon has monitored anti-war protests as part of a stepped up intelligence collection effort. The efforts included monitoring two Vermont protests.

Joseph Gainza of the American Friends Service Committee, who helped organize those protests, said he was not surprised that the Pentagon keeps tabs on the peace movement."What disturbed me was that it's part of a larger pattern that this government seems to be doing what it pleases and hiding from the American people so much of its violations of law," Gainza said.

Leahy wrote Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld asking for more information."Besides, I told the Department of Defense, if they really want to hear Vermonters speak out against the war, they don't have to send a camera crew to snoop around Vermont, just turn on C-SPAN," Leahy said. "I do it on the Senate floor all the time."

Gainza said the Pentagon's monitoring of protests could have a chilling effect on the public's right to challenge the government."People don't want to have their names on files somewhere as doing something which the government doesn't approve of. People are very concerned about that," Gainza said.
Anyone who has ever met Joe Gainza could not imagine that he would be perceived as a threat to the DoD or anyone else. He is an intelligent man who strives - as many of us do - for non-violent solutions.

But if they think they will deter people like me from showing up at these, well, they're sorely mistaken. They can and have hurt me in various ways for speaking up and out, but I really don't have much more to lose.

One thing I REFUSE to lose is my freedom of speech, my freedom to assemble peaceably with my neighbors, and to try to affect change in a government that I feel in no way represents the ideals or even the Constitution of this country.


See previous posting for what this means. Hrrm.


I'm screwing around.

We'll see how messed up I leave things when I finally scream "Basta!" and go clean the bathroom or figure out under what dung pile my career has curled up to die or something.

Paul Krugman's Look at 2005

Speaking of ToppleBush, they're often a great source for op/ed pieces kept from us by the Times' assinine subscription wall, like this from Paul Krugman:

A year ago, everyone expected President Bush to get his way on Social Security. Pundits warned Democrats that they were making a big political mistake by opposing plans to divert payroll taxes into private accounts.

A year ago, everyone thought Congress would make Mr. Bush's tax cuts permanent, in spite of projections showing that doing so would lead to budget deficits as far as the eye can see. But Congress hasn't acted, and most of the cuts are still scheduled to expire by the end of 2010.

A year ago, Mr. Bush made many Americans feel safe, because they believed that he would be decisive and effective in an emergency. But Mr. Bush was apparently oblivious to the first major domestic emergency since 9/11. According to Newsweek, aides to Mr. Bush finally decided, days after Hurricane Katrina struck, that they had to show him a DVD of TV newscasts to get him to appreciate the seriousness of the situation.

A year ago, before "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job" became a national punch line, the rising tide of cronyism in government agencies and the rapid replacement of competent professionals with unqualified political appointees attracted hardly any national attention.
A year ago, hardly anyone outside Washington had heard of Jack Abramoff, and Tom DeLay's position as House majority leader seemed unassailable.

Topple Bush

Have you visited? You should.

NSA Freely Shared "Secret" Wiretap Data with Other US Agencies

Lovely. Just peachy keen.

Alito's Judicial Record Defies Stereotyping? Oh Really?

WaPo makes the assertion that potential (let's face it, a foregone conclusion he'll be shoved down our throats) Supreme Sam Alito's judicial record defies stereotyping. But I don't think that's true at all.

His record keeps getting massaged, sure, but any good look shows he's happy to hand off civil liberties for the White House and NSA to trash, and wants Roe vs Wade undone. How is that against stereotype?

The White House won't allow a judge to go up to the Supremes who would fight for civil liberties or for checks and balances on unbridled power by the prez and VP. In other words, the Supreme the Bushies want cannot be a Supreme concerned with the people of the US, just in concentrating power in a few hands with no recourse for the people.

WaPo: DeLay-Abramoff Money Trail

The Washington Post draws you a map of sorts.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure the public gets it. Oh yes, there is corruption on both sides of the aisle. I would never pretend to state otherwise. But the size, scope, and even the sentiment behind the corruption on the part of key Republicans like DeLay, like Dr HMO, Bill "Here Kitty, Kitty... I want to dissect you!" Frist" and even James Senselessbrenner... er... Sensenbrenner is on a scale so much larger and more dangerous to our society than what we see elsewhere that everything else pales by comparison.

Yes, I'd like to see corruption everywhere abolished. But first, we have to understand the problem. DeLay has corrupted politics in a way that is so much worse than it ever was before. Frist corrupted it again by making Capitol Hill a rubberstamp for this White House - and at the point we have a rubber stamp, we could save a fortune by simply firing all of Congress.

Israeli Paper Reports US Prepping NATO for Possible Attack on Iran

Holy fuck, Batman.

From Haaretz:

German media sources have recently reported that the Bush Administration is preparing its North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies for a potential attack on nuclear sites in Iran.

The "Der Spiegel" weekly emphasized that "Washington is now sending high level officials to prepare allies for a potential strike, as opposed to conducting talks that just hint at the possibility, which is what has been happening until now."

The Berlin paper "Tagesspiegel" quoted NATO intelligence sources last week who said that "NATO members have received information that the United States is currently looking into all possibilities, including a military attack against the regime in Tehran."
In how many languages can you say the word "crap"?

Just Another Day in Paradise

Violence was particularly high in Iraq on the final day of 2005, with notations that it was at least as violent as 2004.

So where's the great improvement? You know, the one we always hear about when the Bushies complain the media never tells us about all the nice stories in Iraq (while CNN shows about 10 hours per day of footage of Baby Noor, the child with spina bifida that they came across while they were sacking the family's home looking for insurgents because what you do in a free democracy is have combat troops enter homes by force).

Happy 2006!

Rats - Anderson Cooper is not spending most of his Times Square coverage with drag queens, although Ed Lavendera was down talking with a few. OK, OK. It's not that I have a particular affinity - or distaste, for that matter - towards drag queens, but it's just nice to know CNN can (albeit unintentionally) really piss off the right wing nut quotient with its Ring in the New Year broadcast. Last year, most of 2 or 3 hours was spent with some of the most outrageous and colorful drag queens since J Edgar Hoover last put on a deep violet organza party dress and demanded everyone call him, "Madame Mary".

Anyway, the best to each and everyone of you in 2006. May we finally make progress instead of doing so much wheel spinning, hand wringing, and watching and listening to everyone in the media tell us Bush is such a man.