From Josh Marshall:

Roll Call (sub.req.): "The Department of Justice has instructed the Senate Ethics Committee to steer clear of any investigations into actions involving ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, warning the panel it has “concerns” that any such probes could interfere with its long-running investigation."


Guantanamo Bay, Torture, and Bush's America

From the UK Guardian:

A high court judge yesterday delivered a stinging attack on America, saying its idea of what constituted torture was out of step with that of "most civilised nations".

The criticism, directed at the Bush administration's approach to human rights, was made by Mr Justice Collins during a hearing over the refusal by ministers to request the release of three British residents held at Guantánamo Bay.

The judge said: "America's idea of what is torture is not the same as ours and does not appear to coincide with that of most civilised nations." He made his comments, he said, after learning of the UN report that said Guantánamo should be shut down without delay because torture was still being carried out there.
KUBARK. Learn about it. Denounce it.

49% of America Beiieves Bush/NSA Broke Law in Wiretaps

.... while the other 51% was too busy shooting their fellow hunters or watching American Idol to hear about the story.

From Gallup:

The latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll finds nearly half of Americans believe that President George W. Bush and his administration were right in wiretapping telephone conversations between U.S. citizens in the country and suspected terrorists living in other countries. The public is also divided on whether or not Bush himself broke the law by authorizing the wiretaps.

What Exactly the Fuck is Wrong with Wyoming?

They give Dick Cheney a standing ovation for almost killing a man?

The man wasn't even bin Laden, although as a Texas multimillionaire, he might be almost as dangerous.

Bush Says Thank You for Military Sacrifice: Lowest Pay Increase Since 1994

Mr. Bush's budget includes a paltry 2.2% pay raise for the military which does not even cover the rise in price of bandaids.

Green Mountains Go Black

With wind speeds of in excess of 143 mph (not a typo) and sustained wind clocked at over 70 mph, it's no surprise much of the Green Mountain state is in the dark tonight. Burlington went from a daytime high of 51 to a projected low of negative numbers tonight.

First time I've ever seen emergency shelters set up throughout more than a half dozen towns (although often fairly far flung; I think our closest is about 50 miles away). But that's also no surprise; many homes and businesses lost roofs and, without power, furnaces won't be running to heat those in the sub-zero cold. At last count, more than 30,000 homes were out and more expected to go dark overnight. For a state with just 660,000 people, that's a good-sized chunk with power outages, or more than 10% of all homes.

The "great" thing about Vermont power outages (and you have to realize that Vermont ranks dead last in affordable electricity in the nation; a big chunk of our lights come from either that dreadful Vermont Yankee Nuclear plant or Quebec) is that you can be out of electricity for days and, when you next get your bill, it will actually be higher than normal. The two late summer outages we had, where we were out for more than two days each, our bill was 15-25% bigger than normal. Verizon does about the same with phone service here.

Try getting them to explain it, however, and you're no longer a "co-op member" but an unpleasant customer they give the heave.

The better news is that the big power outage that hit the Northeast in 2004 did not kill us; we were spared because the part of Canada that supplies our power stayed on while tens of thousands of other Quebecois were out.

Arlen Specter's Magic Bullet Lobbyist Paid Earmark Theory

Arlen's had an interesting life. Not only is he "the senator from Scotland", but he was the one who promoted the "magic bullet" theory to explain how Oswald's shot managed to go weaving in and out and back again from JFK and then Texas governor John Connelly. Arlen also represented a counterculteral homicidal maniac who killed his girlfriend because she had the nerve to leave him.

When Arlen tried to show he had a pair of testicles upon becoming chairman of the Senate Judiacy Committee, Karl Rove and Company bitch slapped his balls right down his throat and Arlen, like a good little paid-for whore, ate them.

Now there's this, which sure sounds like something Tom DeLay would admire Specter for:

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has asked that the Senate Ethics Committee begin an investigation to determine whether Vicki Siegel, a staff member employed by Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) on the Senate Committee on Appropriations, has violated the Senate Rules of Conduct.

According to a USA Today story, Ms. Siegel is married to lobbyist Michael Herson, who is a co-founder of the firm American Defense International (“ADI”). ADI has apparently received nearly $1.5 million in lobbying fees since 2002 from six clients who, as a result of 13 earmarks offered by Senator Specter, received a total of $48.7 million in set asides. The article states that Senator Specter claimed credit for all of the earmarks in various news releases.

Given that the companies that received the $48.7 million in earmarks paid Mr. Herson’s firm nearly $1.5 million in fees, it appears likely that they paid ADI, at least in part, to lobby for those earmarks. As Mr. Herson’s spouse, Ms. Siegel indirectly derived a substantial financial benefit from Mr. Herson’s representation of those clients. And, as the primary Appropriations Committee staff member for Senator Specter, it also appears likely that Ms. Siegel was involved in securing the passage of those earmarks. As a result, CREW has asked that the Committee immediately commence an investigation into the circumstances that led to the passage of those earmarks and Ms. Siegel’s involvement in securing them.
Wow... 1.5 million got them 48.7 million in business? That's quite a return on their investment.

How much was Arlen Specter paid, anyway?

Cheney Shoots Three Presidents in Oval Office Mishap

From Steve Martin at Huffington Post:

Vice President Dick Cheney, while hunting wild geese in the Rose Garden, accidentally shot President Bush twice, once in the heart and once in the head. "I didn't really shoot the President twice," said Cheney. "The second time I shot him, I was president. It wasn't until my third shot, where I accidentally shot my own foot, that I had shot the president twice.

I was officially injured and unable to govern, when Dennis Hastert came in, and stepped on the butt handle of the rifle causing it to swing up like a rake and shoot his hair off. I guess I'm officially responsible for that too, meaning I shot the acting president for a total of three occupants of the oval office. I'm not proud, but it is a record."

All That Blogs is Not Golden

If any of you Vahmontahs happen upon VermontSenateRace and notice that there's a real slant against socialist Indy candidate Bernie Sanders, understand that - according to a program on VPTV just now - its blogger is tied to wealthy, wealthy Republican businessman Rich Tarrant who just happens to be Bernie's biggest competition.

You remember Mr. Tarrant who, until just recently, listed Vermont as a "vacation" residence and Florida as his primary. Then he got off with a small slap on the wrist for not doing right on his taxes related to his real residence.

Vermont doesn't need a Bushie in Jeffords' old seat. Like or loathe Bernie, he's sometimes been the only one to stand up for civil rights in a post-9/11 U.S. He's a decent man, if not always perfect.

And - unlike, apparently, the VermontSenateRace.com folks with "Very" Rich Tarrant - I'm not being paid to endorse Bernie. Nor would I accept money to do so.

My work is for sale but my vote and my opinion never are.

***Being paid to endorse a candidate just doesn't smell right. In fact, it smells more like the way they do things in Florida and Texas. We wouldn't want to live in either place, and we don't need that smarm here.


Go to Google, type in the word KUBARK.

Open the manual and read the footnotes that describe the psychological interrogation of prisoners under the control of the U.S.

Then tell me the abuses and photos we see in Abu Ghraib are "a few bad apples" and "not indicative of a plan and policy from top of the Pentagon" and "random incidents".

Democracy Now!, discussing KUBARK and other issues now, will spend an hour tonight (7 PM on Free Speech TV), detailing material like this.

NSA Spying

So Washington DC decided the problem with NSA spying wasn't that they were breaking the law - like that little fourth amendment to the US Constitution by performing a search without probable cause - but in the constitutional law itself? So the assholes in Congress, paying no attention to the anger of the American people, just rewrite the law to make it easier for the Bushies to spy against the Constitution.

Why haven't we fired all of Washington yet? Why?

And while you're at it, say hello to Unclaimed Territory by Glenn Greenwald.


The Increasing Politics of Pain Control

Story here.

For those who have known me for a bit, I spent a long time working with cancer patients as well as serving as a hospice volunteer. I've been an advocate for proper control of pain; there are better ways to reduce the potential for or the access to drugs due to addiction than by denying those with true pain the medications or treatments they need.

Indeed, prohibition of many painkillers will do nothing more than drive addiction into greater rampancy while creating even more suffering among those who really require relief from pain. You hear a lot about Big Pharma controlling what drugs you can take without a prescription and some of this is accurate. The Partnership for a Drug Free America is funded, in large part, by companies like pharmaceutical manufacturers, and the alcohol and tobacco industries that don't want "illicit" drugs to compete with their markets.

But too little is appreciated about what the extreme right and some fundamentalists are doing. Remember how they went nuts that Terri Schiavo might be getting morphine to ease her passing? They're throwing up roadblocks all over for the use of drugs in pain control (probably while they guzzle their alcohol and Viagra and Propecia).

Er.. Yes...

(Some nice person just - although I am not sure how - contacted me via MSN Messenger to ask but then Mess. took itself offline so I could not answer.

But the answer is yes)

to help keep this blog running, donations are mightily appreciated. You can use the Amazon link at the lower right sidebar or go to Paypal where the name is katejchase@cut-to-the-chase.net. Thank you.

Is Attorney General Brown Noser Gonzales Withholding Plame Outing Emails?

From TruthOut:

Sources close to the investigation into the leak of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson have revealed this week that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has not turned over emails to the special prosecutor's office that may incriminate Vice President Dick Cheney, his aides, and other White House officials who allegedly played an active role in unmasking Plame Wilson's identity to reporters.

Moreover, these sources said that, in early 2004, Cheney was interviewed by federal prosecutors investigating the Plame Wilson leak and testified that neither he nor any of his senior aides were involved in unmasking her undercover CIA status to reporters and that no one in the vice president's office had attempted to discredit her husband, a vocal critic of the administration's pre-war Iraq intelligence. Cheney did not testify under oath or under penalty of perjury when he was interviewed by federal prosecutors.

The emails Gonzales is said to be withholding contained references to Valerie Plame Wilson's identity and CIA status and developments related to the inability to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Moreover, according to sources, the emails contained suggestions by the officials on how the White House should respond to what it believed were increasingly destructive comments Joseph Wilson had been making about the administration's pre-war Iraq intelligence.

Facial Shots, or Duck! It's Dick! Part Three

Posted by Frank at FiredogLake:

When Bill Clinton lied about shooting someone in the face, he was impeached. Shouldn't Dick Cheney get the same treatment?
Yes, but Bill (if I recall correctly from the infamous blue dress) missed, not the case with Deadeye/Deaddick Dick.

George S. Will: No Checks, Many Imbalances

George S. Will, no less:

Terrorism is not the only new danger of this era. Another is the administration's argument that the president alone, as commander in chief, may conduct the nation's foreign affairs.
And this:
The next time a president asks Congress to pass something akin to what Congress passed on Sept. 14, 2001 -- the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) -- the resulting legislation might be longer than Proust's "Remembrance of Things Past." Congress, remembering what is happening today, might stipulate all the statutes and constitutional understandings that it does not intend the act to repeal or supersede.

But, then, perhaps no future president will ask for such congressional involvement in the gravest decision government makes -- going to war. Why would future presidents ask, if the present administration successfully asserts its current doctrine? It is that whenever the nation is at war, the other two branches of government have a radically diminished pertinence to governance, and the president determines what that pertinence shall be. This monarchical doctrine emerges from the administration's stance that warrantless surveillance by the National Security Agency targeting American citizens on American soil is a legal exercise of the president's inherent powers as commander in chief, even though it violates the clear language of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which was written to regulate wartime surveillance.

Secretary of Skank Condi Rice Wants $75 Million to Promote Democracy and Opposition in Iran

Well, there's another declaration of war; from WaPo:

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asked Congress yesterday to provide $75 million in emergency funding to step up pressure on the Iranian government, including expanding radio and television broadcasts into Iran and promoting internal opposition to the rule of religious leaders.

The request would substantially boost the money devoted to confronting Iran -- only $10 million is budgeted to support dissidents in 2006 -- and signals a new effort by the Bush administration to persuade other nations to join the United States in a coalition to bolster Iranian activists, halt Iran's funding of terrorism and stem its nuclear ambitions, State Department officials said.
Imagine how the U.S. would respond if Iran earmarked $75 million (as just seed money, mind you) to promote the fundamentalist Islamification of Iowa or Indiana or one of those other silly I states?

Tell you what: I won't give Condikins the money if you won't.

Duck! It's Dick! Part Duh!

So do you suppose that Dick Cheney, tanked (and man, the stories of what he drank or didn't drink that weekend are wide apart, changing hourly, and seem both inconsistent with Cheney's history of DUI charges and known booziness as well as all the meds he takes for his heart), thought the Texas lawyer friend was Osama bin Laden Forgotten so he shot him?

Yeah, me neither. Dick wouldn't lift a gun for his country; just for his trophy case. He has other priorities.

Still, it's awfully hard to have birdshot lodge in the heart directly (vs. traveling through the bloodsteam) considering the "facts" of the case. Cheney and Rove are saying pellet gun, which he was NOT using since he had a fairly high powered shotgun. A distance of many yards does not work for that kind of bodily entry. Quite honestly, it sounds close to point blank which would mean the VP either wanted to hurt this man (unlikely) or was not in any shape to be shooting (far more likely).

You want this man a heart beat (not his; he does not have a heart) from the red button? I don't.

I liked what Jack Cafferty said, however, about Cheney only appearing on Faux News today with that great Fox (wheeze), Brit Hume.

To paraphrase,

"Having Brit Hume interview Cheney is like having Bonnie interview Clyde."

More Grisly Abu Ghraib Torture Images Surface

And we haven't begun to see - or learn about - the worst of them.


Why I Hate the Olympics!

I'm already getting um.... well, hate mail isn't quite the word but it's close.

Newfane, Vermont to Vote for Impeachment Proceedings Against the President of the United States

Gotta love Vermont Town Meeting Day which is - as always - the first Tuesday in March, come blizzard or Siberian Express swept in from Hudson Bay. (Vahmontahs know to come early and plan to spend the entire freakin' day because we WILL discuss every $20 allotment given to everything and lunch WILL be served, breakfahst too, don'tchaknow and durin' the break, we can chew about Ethel's new teeth and isn't that a hairpiece Rudyard's wearin'? With his money, you'd think he'd buy from a bettah catalog than Monkey Wards. Oops, sorry, I've lived here too long, haven't I?)

Constant, posting in comments (please don't worry about misspelling my name; I've done in more than once myself... example, "See you, Late!"), pointed me to something going on in my own state I did not know about: a perhaps end-run around at least the first stage at which the fat boys of Congress could quash a state's call for impeachment proceedings against King George the Stupid (so you don't confuse him with the other Kings George) and Arrogant.

To whit, it looks like Newfane (New, not profane, tyvm), Vermont is first to post this to their agenda for Town Meeting Day:

ARTICLE 29: We the voters of Newfane would like Town Meeting, March 2006, to consider the following resolution:

Whereas George W. Bush has:
1. Misled the nation about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction;
2. Misled the nation about ties between Iraq and Al Quaeda;
3. Used these falsehoods to lead our nation into war unsupported by international law;
4. Not told the truth about American policy with respect to the use of torture; and
5. Has directed the government to engage in domestic spying, in direct contravention of U.S. law.

Therefore, the voters of the town of Newfane ask that our representative to the U.S. House of Representatives file articles of impeachment to remove him from office.
Check out the diary at DailyKos on this as well as Odum's Green Mountain Daily here.

Check out Constant's blog regarding the issue here. If I read this correctly, it looks like Oregon and California may join Vermont in continuing on the Bushies shit list. Bring it on.

Or, for you Bushies out there, "Duck! It's Dick!"

White House Steamrolls Over Attempts to Launch NSA Spying Probe

Also from WaPo:

Congress appeared ready to launch an investigation into the Bush administration's warrantless domestic surveillance program last week, but an all-out White House lobbying campaign has dramatically slowed the effort and may kill it, key Republican and Democratic sources said yesterday.

The Senate intelligence committee is scheduled to vote tomorrow on a Democratic-sponsored motion to start an inquiry into the recently revealed program in which the National Security Agency eavesdrops on an undisclosed number of phone calls and e-mails involving U.S. residents without obtaining warrants from a secret court. Two committee Democrats said the panel -- made up of eight Republicans and seven Democrats -- was clearly leaning in favor of the motion last week but now is closely divided and possibly inclined against it.

Terror "Watch" List in the US Stands at 325,000

A number which suspiciously has included, at times, Gore Vidal, Al Gore, Jimmy Carter, Ozzie and Harriet's son David, and others. Gee... are only non-Republicans on the Watch List?

Today in Bush Reality (Surreal to Most of the World)

... Cheney is expected to speak publicly about his shooting of a man in Texas.

Right. Through whom? Sean Hannity? Bill O'Reilly? Someone else who will phrase it, as Bob Schieffer on CBS did last night, that poor Mr. Cheney was the victim of an accident?

... The GOP is getting mighty concerned about Cheney as a liability. From WaPo:

Marlin Fitzwater, a former Republican White House spokesman, told Editor & Publisher magazine that Cheney "ignored his responsibility to the American people."
Yeah, they're just trying to protect the (cough) boy king, Bush, not to mention the 2006 mid-term elections.

... John Perkins, author of "Confessions of an Economic Hitman", says that he has proof that had Saddam agreed to give the Bushie-friendly oil companies really cheap oil priced in dollars and NOT Euros, he would still be president of the occupied Iraq. Perkins also says we're sending economic hitmen in to threaten Evo Morales in Bolivia.

Sadly, I really don't doubt this at all.

Liberal Media? Fair and Balanced? Yeah, Sure, Right

From Media Matters:

... as this study reveals, conservative voices significantly outnumber progressive voices on the Sunday talk shows. Media Matters for America conducted a content analysis of ABC's This Week, CBS' Face the Nation, and NBC's Meet the Press, classifying each one of the nearly 7,000 guest appearances during President Bill Clinton's second term, President George W. Bush's first term, and the year 2005 as either Democrat, Republican, conservative, progressive, or neutral. The conclusion is clear: Republicans and conservatives have been offered more opportunities to appear on the Sunday shows - in some cases, dramatically so.

Among the study's key findings:

The balance between Democrats/progressives and Republicans/conservatives was roughly equal during Clinton's second term, with a slight edge toward Republicans/conservatives: 52 percent of the ideologically identifiable guests were from the right, and 48 percent were from the left. But in Bush's first term, Republicans/ conservatives held a dramatic advantage, outnumbering Democrats/progressives by 58 percent to 42 percent. In 2005, the figures were an identical 58 percent to 42 percent.

Counting only elected officials and administration representatives, Democrats had a small advantage during Clinton's second term: 53 percent to 45 percent. In Bush's first term, however, the Republican advantage was 61 percent to 39 percent -- nearly three times as large.

In both the Clinton and Bush administrations, conservative journalists were far more likely to appear on the Sunday shows than were progressive journalists. In Clinton's second term, 61 percent of the ideologically identifiable journalists were conservative; in Bush's first term, that figure rose to 69 percent.

In 1997 and 1998, the shows conducted more solo interviews with Democrats/progressives than with Republicans/conservatives. But in every year since, there have been more solo interviews with Republicans/conservatives.

The most frequent Sunday show guest during this nine-year period is Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who has appeared 124 times. Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE) has been the most frequent guest since 2003.

In every year examined by the study -- 1997 - 2005 -- more panels tilted right (a greater number of Republicans/conservatives than Democrats/progressives) than tilted left. In some years, there were two, three, or even four times as many righttitled panels as left-tilted panels.

Congressional opponents of the Iraq war were largely absent from the Sunday shows, particularly during the period just before the war began.

In short, the Sunday talk shows on ABC, CBS, and NBC are dominated by conservative voices, from newsmakers to commentators. The data from the Clinton years indicate that the disparity cannot be explained simply by the fact that Republicans currently control the government.

Congress Continues to Shirk Its Duties While Forever Voting Itself Raises

Lifted from O'Franken Factor:

Rep. Henry Waxman's Comm on Government Reform:
    One of Congress' main constitutional responsibilities is to conduct oversight to check abuses of power by other branches of government. During the last four years, however, Congress has failed to conduct meaningful investigations of allegations of serious misconduct involving the Bush Administration. As described below, Congress has failed to investigate:

    • The role of the White House in promoting misleading intelligence about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and ties to al-Qaeda;
    • The responsibility of senior Administration officials for the abuses at Abu Ghraib;
    • The role of the Vice President's office in the award of Halliburton contracts;
    • The role of the White House in withholding the Medicare cost estimates from Congress;
    • The identity of the energy industry campaign contributors that met with the Vice President's energy task force;
    • The role of White House officials in leaking the identity of a covert CIA agent;
    • The influence of industry lobbyists in writing EPA regulations;
    • Allegations of conflicts of interest at multiple federal agencies and the White House; and
      The role of Attorney General Ashcroft in illegal campaign finance activities.

Very Expensive Lipstick on Those Pigs!

Posted by Pudentilla at Skippy International (which sports a revised look):

it may be lipstick on a pig,
    bush admin. spent over $1.6 billion on advertising and p.r. since 2003, gao finds - today rep. henry a. waxman, democratic leader nancy pelosi, rep. george miller, rep. elijah e. cummings, and other senior democrats released a new government accountability office report finding that the bush administration spent more than $1.6 billion in public relations and media contracts in a two and a half year span.
And THAT'S in addition to the billions in "royalty free" oil drilling we're giving energy companies this year that already received BILLIONS more in "incentive" tax breaks. You know, for companies that PAY no taxes.

Remember Enron paid no taxes for years while it got big tax breaks.

Praise to Jesus! And His General!

PatriotBoy is writing letters again!

Dear Pastor Mowery,I just recently learned about the good work you're doing with kids there at Combat for Christ. We need more programs like it. It's certainly the only program I'm aware of where a young "Christian Soldier" can receive the weapons training needed to "engage and eliminate [Jesus'] greatest enemies."

That said, I have a couple of concerns. First, you seem to be missing something in your firearms training. Although your web site features photos of kids firing pistols and shotguns, I couldn't find a single picture of one of these junior Christian soldiers executing the Cheney "swing around and shoot the guy behind you" maneuver. That raises a big red flag for me. I can't trust a man who doesn't show proper respect for the Deputy Leader's innovative shooting style.
Funny, my savior doesn't carry a gun. Why's that?

Do I Hear One Million?

According to The Times of London, the English language will soon anoint its one millionth word. Gee, that only took some centuries.

Please, dear Lord, don't let the millionth word be:

1) Truthiness
2) Nipplegate
3) Nukular
4) Any other Bushism

Now excuse me while I go find a downloadable version of "Drop Kick Me Jesus Through the Goal Posts of Life".

Why the Sudden Interest in Farris Hassan?

I notice the searches are going wild for him.

For those who have forgotten, he's the creepy Florida repugnantcan teen who cashed in his stocks (I don't think kids under 18 are supposed to own any) to go to Baghdad expecting America to protect him so he could become the media darling of the far right nut wing. Anyone who gives him anything more than a smack is a fool.


Duck! It's Dick!

Uh... so the fellow we were told just had a tiny bit of birdshot (the kind of thing where you go to the emergency room, they dig the stuff out, and send you home) and would go right home has now been moved BACK (did we hear he was there in the first place? Uh no...) to ICU because he had a heart attack with shot lodged IN his heart. Now he's expected to be in the ICU for at least another week.

Now, granted, Dick Cheney could never be hurt that way. He has no heart.

But I also noticed that White House medical staff is being widely consulted on the case, which means we're ALL picking up the tab for Dick's dickyness.

Man said he had "much bigger priorities" during Vietnam but loves those guns now.

There is, however, a much bigger issue here. If Cheney lies and counterfeits a shooting incident, what the hell else will he do?

The more this Administration plays out, the less I feel I know about 9/11 and the "official" version we have been given. I'm not even sure how much anyone in Afghanistan - Osama bin Laden Forgotten included - had to do with it. We already know they lied us into Iraq - and continue to lie their way through that "cakewalk" - and are using the exact SAME lies to bring us to Iran. And Iran will open up a whole new can of whoopass that may make these Muslims-Against-Danish-Mohammed-Cartoons riots seem like a game of ring-around-the-Bush-rosy.

Vermont Daily Briefing

I happened on Vermont Daily Briefing today and it's good. Non-Vermonters will enjoy the artwork (gotta love the Rove and Cheney caricatures), but stick around to read the commentary. A lot of non-Green Mountain cash and political clout is being used to turn Vermont's one US Senate opening (with the departure of GOP-turned-Indy) and its ONLY US House of Representatives seat (now held by Indy/Socialist Bernie Sanders who is going after Jeffords' seat) into a showcase for more of the right-wing nutcases we see elsewhere. Not good. Not good at all.

Also say hello to The Peace Garden.

Words of (Cough) Wisdom from Henry Kissinger

"Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; who controls money can control the world."
~ Henry Kissinger

"We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth...for my part, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst; and to provide for it." -
Patrick Henry


Smoldering Embers...

You know, I was convinced today was going to go better. But after the chimney fire a little while ago - and my outrage that the Bushies stage scripted another day (apparently successfully), I think I'll just go up to my smoky bed for the first time before midnight since... well... I suspect I was 9.


Oh yes, and congratulations to fellow Vermont blogger, Cathy Resmer, and her significant other on the birth of their new baby boy.

Irony, Another Word Bush Does Not Know

Does anyone find it YET another irony that men like Cheney - and Bush, and Scalia, and Tom DeLay, and Clarence (hardly Darrow) Thomas, et al - did everything in their power to avoid wars they're happy to start themselves (yet not fight in) while they also then can't WAIT to pick up a gun against pheasants and, oh yes, doves?

Yes, the creepy VP loves to shoot doves.

Why am I not surprised?

Only thing a good Bush Republican won't do apparently is pick up a gun to fight in a war he starts. That's always someone else's - like a poor person's (and hopefully for the most rabid GOPers, some "shiftless wetback" or "colored") - cross to bear.

Montpelier and Peace

For those who failed to notice, more than 300 Vermonters braved very cold weather on Saturday to call for an end to the War ON Iraq. I have no doubt many of them included people, like me, whose previous marching and letter writing resulted on us appearing on government watch lists.

Nothing scarier than people who don't believe guns are the answer to everything, of course, and MUCH better to have a draft-dodging gun nut like Cheney in charge.

Impeachment Buzz, Wiretaps, and More

From John Conyers' blog:

First, I see in today's New York Times that Senators Kennedy and Feingold have also made inquiry of telecommunications firms concerning their involvement in the NSA wiretap scandal. I released a letter to numerous firms on the date of our Democratic hearing last month, but am glad to see that others are weighing in to help us get to the truth.

Second, I see the impeachment buzz is not abating. The New York Times writes on the issue (in the context of noting that the DOJ inquiry in the the so-called leak of the story is growing).

John Nichols of the Nation writes on the subject as well, with an extensive discussion of my resolution to investigate Bush Administration wrongdoing and make recommendations regarding impeachment.
Even the nitwit Heather Wilson (GOP, Planet Mud) - remember her? - is also starting to shout for a look into the NSA wiretap debacle.

On Impeachment? Please do!

White House Held News of Cheney's Half-Assed Shooting Incident for More Than 24 Hours...

And now we learn that all control for how things were handled to the public came not from Pennsylvania Avenue but from Cheney on his long, long weekend of shooting. Barf.

Fellow Vermont Blogs I Have Not Noted Before

Say hello to Vermonters First where you can find good stuff on Lake Champlain (the other great lake), Vermont National Guard honcho Martha Rainville's bid for Jeffords' seat, and the endorsement by Dean's Democracy for America of Bernie Sanders for US Senate and State Senate pro tem leader Pete Welch for Bernie's vacating seat).

(Me? I'm still shuddering at the Rich Tarrant - I'm from Florida... wait, NO! I'm from Vermont! Hey, I can buy my way out of tax trouble, too - candidacy for Bernie's current spot. He's already got $2M to "buy" this cheap seat and I do not like him one bit. Vermont only gets ONE US Congressman; let it NOT be Tarrant! I would also LOVE to see Jim Douglas sent back under his rock but 67% of Dems voted for this pompous Bushie ass last time out.)

Also say hello to Vermonters Against the Death Penalty. Vermont does not have the death penalty but the feds forced a death penalty case through up here with - of course - the predictable result of sentencing death. Anyone who has watched fed cases in the era of Ashcroft and Gonzales probably knows exactly how that works. The point with cases in New England was to "reduce the northeast's shyness about executing people. I'd rather just eliminate men like Ashcroft and Gonzales, and not in the death chamber either (TYVM).

Eventually - meaning when I find time and less chaos in my life - I'll get these progressive blogs onto the blogroll.

What is it With the Bushes and Cheneys?

Laura Bush, as a teenager, joy rides over another teenager - there was some question whether Laura and her friend in the car were drunk at the time and I've heard the victim they ran over died. Laura of course was NOT charged, the delicate little flower. Makes you realize how close to the tree Dubya and Laura's twins fell.

NOW VP Dick Cheney shot a friend and fellow hunter not once but SEVERAL times in one of his privileged, energy/oil company funded hunting trips of his. The victim, expected to survive, was a major donor to Bush/Cheney in 2000 and 2004.

The former I feel sorry for; the latter perhaps got what he deserved.

Of course, Mr. Cheney will face no charges either.

It's so nice to be privileged.


Feds Start Massive Data Mining Effort on Us All

Lovely story out of the Christian Science Monitor (Jill Carroll, our hopes are with you).

Funny, the Bushies get ALL the intelligence wrong but they have to know when our last bowel movement was.

Answering Email Including About the Appeal

Since my email is still a bit... uh.. non-functional, let me respond to a few emails here.

First, no, that was no joke in comments about John Bolton being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. There is always a loon somewhere willing to nominate a Bushie.

Second, yes, I am aware that former VP candidate John Edwards is in Vermont for an anti-poverty conference. I'm just too poor to attend. ;)

Third, Olympics? Sorry, I don't watch sports. :>

I also did not catch Tanya Hardin's miracle Hollywood makeover, Sheryl Crowe's breakup with the "energy enhanced" Lance Armstrong (Texas boys feel obligated and privileged to cheat), or the actual cartoon that spawned the Mohammed protests. I did catch O'Reilly once this week, however, and I'm still wretching because of it.

Fourth, no, my emergency situation that resulted in my appeal is not resolved. I was able to cobble together a temporary line but it's running over snow and negative temps so I do not expect it to last more than a day. I could be back offline by Monday but.. who knows...

Four people were very generous of their time, their hopes, and their finances, and it is appreciated. Hopefully, all four have received notes.

If you have money - and please do not try to give if your straits are as dire as mine - and want to donate, there is Paypal.com (address: katejchase@cut-to-the-chase.net) and my Amazon honor box on the lower right sidebar. Doing so will help keep another independent voice speaking. Thank you.

For Someone Who Can't Remember Ever Meeting Disgraced Man Who Bought Washington Jack Abramoff

Our belubbed president, George W. Bush, certainly had his picture taken often enough with lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his clients.