Say Hello to...

a blog to the north (and to the left), Le Revue Gauche.

Why Could Be Far More Classically Bush Than To Institutionalize The Demeaning of Women?

And that's exactly what President Bush did in appointing as head of a federal family planning initiative a crony who believes that family planning is "demeaning" to women,

After all, nothing says female empowerment better than being barefoot, pregnant, and shackled to the kitchen table while you submit to your man? Also, nothing makes a woman feel more empowered than having lots of fat, old, rich white men decide what she will do with her uterus. Truly.

Never, NEVER since Charles Darwin first gave us the fundamentals of human evolution has a single group of people - called Bush Administration officals - worked so damned hard to return to knuckle dragging, hair pulling, and then slithering around on their bellies!

Thanks to AmericaBlog (I think!) for the link.


WTF? UN's John Bolton's Personal Blogger Recommends Murder of State Department Officials?

Hey, I can't imagine many people dislike Secretary of State Condi Rice more than I do; hated her since the first Bush regime. Yet I as a progressive only want her to stand trial for acts of treason; I don't advocate her murder.

Perhaps you have to be a "compassionate conservative" to be so bloodthirsty. From Glenn Greenwald:

Pam Atlas, spawn of Little Green Footballs, personal blogger to Bush nominee/U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, hard-core Lieberman supporter, and general good friend to the right-wing blogosphere, yesterday called for the State Department to be bombed and for American diplomats to be murdered

"Fixing The Military Commissions Act"

From The Carpetbagger Report:

According to The Hill, there may be a move underway to try to undo some of the damage caused by the Military Commissions Act which the President signed into law in October:
    Gearing up for a major clash with the Bush administration and Republicans in Congress, several key Senate Democrats are planning to overhaul the newly minted legislation governing military tribunals of detainees. . . .

    Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), who is running for president and who, come January, will be the second ranking Democrat on the International Relations Committee, introduced legislation today that would amend the existing law.

    Dodd said he’s expecting the legislation to be taken up early next year. “The bill goes back and undoes what was done,” Dodd told The Hill. . . .

    Dodd is the first Democrat to take aim at the controversial military tribunals bill. But Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the incoming Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, also said that he is in the process of drafting “major changes” to the legislation.
Good for Leahy and Dodd. It’s nice to know that at least a few members of Congress understand how truly pernicious and un-American that law is.

Some perspective is warranted here, though. Even if Dodd and Leahy are able to push through this sort of corrective legislation (and get the House to follow suit), President Bush will never sign it, not in a million years. He would veto any such bill, and not only that, he would invite the entire press corps over to the White House to watch him do it, and would issue a statement accusing the Democratic Congress of trying to grant rights to terrorists.

Don’t get me wrong. I still think Dodd and Leahy should do whatever they can, especially given the very real possibility that various provisions of the Military Commissions Act will be struck down by the courts over the next two years, but it’s important to keep expectations in check. Until Bush leaves office, there is very little progress that can be made on this front, at least without the courts intervening first.

Fox News: "Is Global Warming a Hoax?" God: "Is James Inhofe An Ass?"

From Think Progress (and the extra degree of today's global warming is from my outrage):

In an interview with Fox and Friends this morning, outgoing Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works James Inhofe (R-OK) argued that the current wave of unprecedented warming is due to “natural changes.” “God’s still up there,” Inhofe said, and to the extent there is warming going on, it is “due to the sun.” He added, “George Soros, the Hollywood elitists, the far left environmentalists on the committee that I chair — all of them want us to believe the science is settled and it’s not.”

Despite Inhofe’s repeated efforts to muddy the picture, there is no real scientific debate over whether global warming is manmade or naturally-caused.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a body which involves thousands of scientists from over 120 countries who develop detailed reports on climate change, produced a report in 2001 which was reviewed by more than 1,000 top experts, including so-called “climate skeptics” and representatives from industry. The report stated, “There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.”

Most recently, the National Academy of Sciences has unequivocally concluded that natural causes cannot explain the unprecedented warmth over the last 400 years. Rather, “human activities are responsible for much of the recent warming,” the report states.

AmericaBlog: The Gitmo Kangaroo Courts

My God:

History will not be kind to Bush and his trashing of the American way. Why is Bush so afraid of using our system?
    The analysis of transcripts and records by two lawyers for Guantanamo detainees, aided by more than two dozen law students, found that hearings that determined whether a prisoner should remain in custody gave the accused little opportunity to contest allegations against him.

    “These were not hearings. These were shams,” said Mark Denbeaux, an attorney and Seton Hall University law professor who along with his son, Joshua, is the author of the report. They provided an advance copy of the report to The Associated Press late Thursday and planned to release it Friday on the Internet.
Some of the highlights of the report:
    * The government did not produce any witnesses in any hearing.
    * The military denied all detainee requests to inspect the classified evidence against them.
    * The military refused all requests for defense witnesses who were not detained at Guantanamo.
    * In 74 percent of the cases, the government denied requests to call witnesses who were detained at the prison.
    * In 91 percent of the hearings, the detainees did not present any evidence.
    * In three cases, the panel found that the detainee was “no longer an enemy combatant,” but the military convened new tribunals that later found them to be enemy combatants.

The Iraq War - After the Downing Street Memo

It's nearly four years past time for a thorough, exhaustive, balanced and non-partisan (no, Mr. Bush does NOT get to appoint the committee) into the lies that brought us into Iraq.

Video of Iranian-American UCLA Student Tasered By UCLA Cops

A few have asked me for a link to the video-audio footage from the UCLA Powell library incident with too many not too smart cops with too many tasers. Here's just one of seemingly hundreds out there on YouTube.

I warn you, however; it's rough - physically, ethically, and constitutionally.

Bush, The Embarrassment That Just Keeps "Giving"

I was going to post this about Bush's really, really, really tragically stupid comments in Vietnam today, but John Amato at Crooks & Liars beat me to it!

He actually said this:
    The president said there was much to be learned from the divisive Vietnam War — the longest conflict in U.S. history — as his administration contemplates new strategies for the increasingly difficult war in Iraq, now in its fourth year. But his critics see parallels with Vietnam — a determined insurgency and a death toll that has drained public support — that spell danger for dragging out U.S. involvement in Iraq.

    "It's just going to take a long period of time for the ideology that is hopeful — and that is an ideology of freedom — to overcome an ideology of hate," Bush said after having lunch at his lakeside hotel with Australian Prime Minister John Howard, whose country has been one of America's strongest allies in Iraq, Vietnam and other conflicts.

    "We'll succeed," Bush added, "unless we quit."
Emphasis - and mouth hanging open in sad astonishment mine.

Funny How It's Only Democrats Who Fight Among Themselves

We're just over 10 days from the mid-term elections and the general Democratic success. Yet, no matter where you look, the Mainstream Media has one solid message: the Dems fight more than tomcats over a bitch in heat.

Now, yes, there have been some squabbles. But all of them have been fairly small and quite stupid.

I'm far more concerned with the MSM's message that Democrats can't get along. I don't seem to recall them bothered too much that the Republicans all consumed poisonous Koolaid and each said the exact same things, complete with identical mispronunciations, for six years.


I won't tell you how many hours I've tried to post here today. But, as the Blogger error page keeps telling me, a technician has been notified and they are working on it.

Hmmm... perhaps the Carlyle Group purchased Google (owner of Blogger), too?

It's As Easy As Counting 1-2-3, Right?

Well, apparently not, at least not in this column about vote counting and the elections from The New York Times which reminds me of this graphic tendered by EvilGOPBastards.com.

As A Favor to Bulemics Who May Need A Little Assist In Purging Their Breakfast Binge

This should do it for you: two faces together that only Trent Lott can be proud of.

Al Jazeera: "Not Coming Soon To A Channel Near You"

[Ed. note: I for one frequently read al Jazeera's English version Web site. For all the talk here about how terribly slanted the network is in the Muslim world, I have to say that in my experience, I've seen them cover a story in a much more balanced fashion than CNN or MSNBC. Use Fox News for comparison, however, and al Jazeera definitely holds itself to a higher journalistic standard (by a factor of... wow, a gazillion?).]

From The New York Times (which the right-wing makes sound like it is al Jazeera; you should read it all at The Times link):

The lead story on the debut of Al Jazeera’s new English language channel yesterday was the re-election of President Joseph Kabila of Congo.

There were also features on the hip, multicultural scene in Damascus; traffic in Beijing; Brazilian indigenous tribes; and the trials and tribulations of a Palestinian ambulance driver in Gaza.

“Everywoman,” a weekly woman’s program, took on “the horrors of skin-bleaching cream” and also spoke to the wife of Sami al-Hajj, an Al Jazeera cameraman who has spent years imprisoned without trial at Guantánamo Bay.

Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld once famously denounced the Arab-language Al Jazeera as “vicious, inaccurate and inexcusable,” which may be one reason that major cable and satellite providers in the United States declined to offer the English version. Yesterday, most Americans could watch it only on the Internet at english.aljazeera.net.

It’s a shame. Americans can see almost anything on television these days, from Polish newscasts to reruns of “Benson.” The new channel, Al Jazeera English, will never displace CNN, MSNBC or Fox News, but it provides the curious — or the passionately concerned — with a window into how the world sees us, or doesn’t. It’s a Saul Steinberg map of the globe in which the channel’s hub in Doha, Qatar, looms over Iran, Iraq, Syria and the West Bank — the dots in the horizon are New York and Hollywood.

While American cable news shows focused yesterday on live coverage of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s hearings on Iraq, Al Jazeera English was crammed with reports about Iran’s growing influence in the Middle East, the crisis in Darfur, kidnappings in Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with frequent updates on Israeli retaliatory air strikes in Gaza.

Who Is The Carlyle Group? Well, Let's See.. They Own Dunkin' Donuts AND The White House

As you probably heard today (Thursday), the Carlyle Group is working over something like $19 Billion buyout for right-wing Clear Channel so the Bush White House can have another network - besides Faux Fox and most of CNN and all but Keith Olbermann on MSNBC in its pocket.

But who is the Carlyle Group? It's where the Bush family and the Bin Laden family have both prospered wildy from Bush Jr's many wars even though the Carlyle Group once kicked King George the Dubya off its board for being such a royal fuckup (apparently, only the American people - and their voting machines as well as the Supreme Court - were ever willing to keep George around).

From TruthOut in a piece entitled The Carlyle White House written by William Rivers Pitt (read it all at the link):

The Carlyle Group achieved national attention in the early days of the Iraq occupation, especially after Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" exposed the firm's umbilical ties to the Bush family and the House of Saud. For the uninitiated, Carlyle is a privately-owned equity firm organized and run by former members of the Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations.

Currently, Carlyle manages more than $44 billion in 42 different investment funds, which is an interesting fact in and of itself: Carlyle could lay claim to only a meager $12 billion in funds in December of 2001. Thanks to their ownership of United Defense Industries, a major military contractor that sells a whole galaxy of weapons systems to the Pentagon, Carlyle's profits skyrocketed after the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Some notable present and former employees of Carlyle include former president George H.W. Bush, who resigned in 2003; James Baker III, Bush Sr.'s secretary of state and king fixer; and George W. Bush, who served on Carlyle's board of directors until his run for the Texas governorship. One notable former client of Carlyle was the Saudi BinLaden Group, which sold its investment back to the firm a month after the September 11 attacks. Until the October 2001 sellout, Osama bin Laden himself had a financial interest in the same firm that employed the two presidents Bush.

How has Carlyle managed to acquire the White House? The newest edition of Newsweek begins to tell the tale in a story titled "The Rescue Squad": "Bush Senior has been relegated to watching all those political talk shows his son refuses to watch, wincing each time he hears his son's name being mocked or criticized. George H.W. Bush has been, in effect, sidelined by nepotism. He has repeatedly told close friends that he does not believe it is appropriate or wise to second-guess his son, or even offer advice beyond loving support. This time, however, was different. A source who declined to be identified discussing presidential confidences told NEWSWEEK that Bush 41 left 'fingerprints' on the Rumsfeld-Gates decision, though the father's exact role remains shrouded in speculation."

There is much more to this than Big George simply trying to shove Little George in a different direction, because Big George never travels alone. All of a sudden, two of the elder's main men - James Baker III and Robert Gates - are back in the saddle. Baker has spent the last weeks riding herd over the Iraq Study Group, a collection of old foreign policy hands tasked to come up with a solution to the Iraq debacle. Gates was a member of this group until he was tapped to replace Don Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense. The Iraq Study Group is slated to produce some tablets of wisdom come December.

Any Guess As To What Bush Is Planning For His New Excellent Iraq Adventure?

Perhaps Dick Cheney, wearing his own flightsuit with socks stuffed into the crotch, will parachute in on top of the biggest tank and proclaim, "The mission is accomplished when I say it is."


U.S. Soldier Found Guilty, Given Life For Rape and Murder of 14-Year-Old Iraqi Girl And Her Family

From CNN, but I can't help believe that George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld were as culpable as this soldier, forcing young men and women into an unjust war, demanding the soldiers win at any and all costs, and underwriting an occupation forged on torture, the wholesale execution of untold numbers of civilians, and perpetuating a climate where incidents like this will happen:

A soldier was sentenced Thursday to life in prison with the possibility of parole for conspiring to rape a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and kill her and her family.

Spc. James P. Barker, 23, one of four Fort Campbell soldiers accused in the March 12 rape and killings, pleaded guilty Wednesday and agreed to testify against the others to avoid the death penalty.

Under terms of the plea agreement, Barker will not serve more than 90 years in prison and has the possibility of parole, said Lt. Col. Richard Anderson, the military judge presiding over the court-martial. (Watch Barker's lawyer discuss soldier's feelings about case -- 2:04)

"This court sentences you to be confined for the length of your natural life, with the eligibility of parole," Anderson said.
Meanwhile, back in Bush's America, there is documented evidence of recruiting officers actively lying and coercing young men and women to enlist to go to Iraq and fight "the war on Terror", going so far as to tell these youths that the Iraq war is all over, so they don't need to worry about going into that hell hole.

Another Wonderful Day in Bush's Iraq

After more than a 100 Iraqi civilians were abducted yesterday, now 12 workers for American defense contractors over there were seized today.

But Mr. Bush won't be happy until we send MORE troops to Iraq and mount a NEW and undoubtedly fucked up new offensive. Perhaps he'll send the twins.

The Ever So Desperate O.J. Simpson: Needs Attention So Badly He'll Tell How He Would Have Killed His Ex-Wife and Her Friend

With each passing year, OJ gets more and more embarrassing.

Now, I won't go into his culpability for the murders of Nicole Simpson, his ex-wife, and her waiter friend, Ron Goldman. In this country, you're innocent unless you're proven guilty and despite the millions spent and the fire power of the LA district attorney's office, Simpson was not found guilty (he did, however, lose the later wrongful death civil suit which has a much lesser requirement for proof). Like it or not, OJ was simply never found guilty of killing these two human beings.

Since then, however, he's spent so much time begging for attention. The disastrous pay-per-view, the various failed commercial enterprises, and then the matter of him "stealing" satellite TV equipment and supposedly threatening photographers when it seemed like OJ very much wanted any paparazzi to be interested in him.

And now? He's looking to get money for telling how he would have killed Nicole and Ron IF he had indeed tried to do it.


Jonah Goldberg Needs To Take His Own Advice

From the LA Times:

Can't he just go away?
Jonah Goldberg: What is the GOP thinking electing Trent Lott as its No. 2 in the Senate?
Gee, if only uber bitch Lucienne Goldberg's (Lucienne was Linda Tripp's bestest friend and literary agent, some credentials, eh?) bastard son would only take his own advice.

Hundreds Of Expensive Temporary Homes Still in Storage Ruined; FEMA and Bush Continue to Screw Katrina Victims And All Taxpayers

The sudden heat you're feeling is coming from my rage at how the Bush Administration continues to fuck up on Katrina and New Orleans; from The Houston Chronicle:

Hundreds of modular homes bought by FEMA for victims of last year's hurricanes were damaged beyond repair as they sat unused and, in many cases, unprotected from the elements, the agency said Tuesday.

The failure to protect the homes from the sun and rain while they were in storage was outlined in a report by the Homeland Security Department's inspector general.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency bought the homes as emergency housing for victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. But many sat unused for months at an Army depot in Texarkana, Texas, because of restrictions on where such homes could be erected, FEMA said. A June inventory had 1,790 homes at the site.

FEMA put the total damage to homes both salvageable and unsalvageable at $5 million. The homes cost an average of $36,000 each, according to FEMA.

FEMA spokeswoman Debbie Wing said it appears at least 250 homes are not salvageable. That is worse than the inspector general's assessment, which indicated that all but about 110 houses might still be usable, though with some repairs.

Modular homes are made in large pieces in factories, so that they can quickly and easily be assembled.

About 1,000 of the homes are in Louisiana to provide teachers with temporary housing, Wing said. Some are already being used for that purpose, she said.

According to the inspector general, most of the homes appeared to have been protected by manufacturers' packaging. But in many other cases, sun and rain ruined tarps and cardboard boxes, and the wood and other pieces warped.

The Murtha-Hoyer-Pelosi House Majority Leader Issue: Behind The Scenes

While it's official that Steny Hoyer has won election by Democrats as House Majority Leader, making him deputy to newly-anointed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, I found some of the information provided in comments by regular contributor CK fascinating. Hope he won't mind me sharing it where it will be seen by more people.

    Hoyer is AIPAC's dem front man and Harmon is their front women on the dem side of the house ( along with uber Likudnik Lantos)

    Murtha is the Pentagon's voice.

    Murtha is loyal to PelosiHoyer is not

    They tried to nab Murtha in the ABSCAM sting many years back, but had a lot of difficulty since he didn't take the offered bribe.The talking heads can't stand Murtha because he is responsible for initializing the defeat of the rethugs.

    The Emmanuel/Hoyer/Harmon/Lantos crew dislikes him because he doesn't want to use American troops to further Israeli aims in the middle east.

    Pelosi could not duck on this, if she is to be an effective Speaker of the House, she has to have a loyal Majority leader and Hoyer is not that, and hasn't been loyal during his time as minority whip. Let's put it this way, the stakes in this battle are another 3-10 years of slow bleeding in Iraq or a clear timetable to have the US out of that situation ...

    In an even larger view, the shots at Murtha and the shots at Howard Dean are not occuring in a vacuum. There is a presidential election in 2 years. We already know that the rethugs will attempt to hang the situation in Iraq on the dems now that the dems are the majority.

    Carville works to elect Clintons not democrats just clintons. Dean is not a Clinton suck-up. Murtha is not a Clinton Suck-up. Dean appears to be untouched by Aipac, Murtha is on AIPAC's shit list.

    Pelosi will become in January the HIGHEST ranking Dem. She will outrank any senator, any ex pres, any rep. Speaker is two heartbeats away from the Oval; and you can bet that all the Bonesmen are praying to the skull of Geronimo that neither Bush nor Cheney has so much as flatulence for the next two years. Murtha strengthens Pelosi and that is scary to the clinton wing. So yeah this election is a bit more than just scratch ass and jollies.
We need to understand some of the machinations at work, especially given how different factions of the Democratic Party seem to be eating themselves even though they won last week.

What The Fuck Happened At UCLA?

Keith Olbermann is talking about the case of cops on UCLA campus, when conducting a random ID check of students at the library there, found a student of Middle Eastern descent who could not immediately produce his UCLA ID card, and then repeatedly tasered this student. Even one taser hit can be dangerous. Multiple taser applications is seriously contraindicated.

Then, when other students came forward to demand the badge numbers of the cops, they were threatened with tasering if they didn't shut up and get out.

I don't see this story up yet on The Countdown site on MSNBC, but here's video and information on the incident from the LA Times.

Say Hello to...

Evil Spock posting over at The Needs of the Few, with a thanks to the ever-charismatic Karlo for the introduction.

If You Thought Last Week's Vote Sent A Big Message To Bush On Iraq...

... our president appears to be hard of hearing (as well as hard of thinking, seeing, and speaking). The Guardian of London says Bush is planning yet another "big push" offensive in Iraq.

Of course, some of us have found everything Mr. Bush has done to Iraq - as well as our soldiers - highly offensive.

More On Fox News' Paying Off Terrorists

Story at WorldNetDaily (WND) about the Fox News payment of $2 million to those who kidnapped two of their news crew when the Bushies and Fox told us repeatedly during the kidnap for Daniel Perle and of Jill Carroll that you CANNOT pay a ransom or give money to terrorist EVER.

Glenn Beck: Proving That Evolution Doesn't Explain Everyone ::wheeze::

Just delightful - Glenn Beck is just like his fellow CNN Headline News co-hatehost, Nancy Graceless (except that Glenn has far less testosterone and his false eyelashes are six inches shorter than Nancy's):

CNN’s Glenn Beck to the first-ever Muslim congressman:
“[W]hat I feel like saying is, ‘Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.’”
I do hope Keith Ellison asked Beck what Grace did with Beck's balls.

As Karlo Asks So Ably, "Dude, Where's My Dictatorship?"

I love this, especially with the added Karlo-ism. ;)

Evil Spock at The Needs of the Few has an insightful reflection on the trampling of Shrub's party during the election.
    [Excerpt] Could it be that the direct line to God was a bad connection? That he didn’t hear that invading a sovereign nation with manufactured evidence is actually not a Christian thing to do? How about cutting social programs for the needy and poor while giving tax cuts to the richest among us? You’ve got to be kidding us!That must have been a shock to the system. Imagine the utter confusion and bewilderment as he tries to process what went wrong and what this would mean for his now uber-lame duck status. It is sad, isn’t it?
Evil Spock considers the Poor-manipulated-puppet Hypothesis:
    See our pity is derived from the fact that we have long seen our leader as a simple pawn of the truly evil neocons in the administration (Rove, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Perle, etc.) We imagine that when the line to God was clear and some sort of policy benefiting the average American was proposed, the Dubya independent thought alarm in Rove’s office would go off and he would dismiss said policy with a simply “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for” wave of the hand.

Those Voting Problems The Mainstream Media Keeps Ignoring

Well, of course the mainstream media isn't interested in detailing the many voting problems in last Tuesday's mid-term election: they're too busy documenting Nancy Pelosi's choice of suits and accessories as well as pretending that Trent Lott never suggested racism was a wonderful, time-honored American tradition.

But Xavier and Peter at Pibb Show detail some of the voting issues in San Diego, as well as show us how Curt Weldon lost his supposedly "assured win" in Pennsylvania.

Also, Buzzflash points us to Voters Unite's election log and analysis of voting irregularities (a nicer phrase for supreme clusterfuck-up).

"Be On The Lookout For" Fox News' "Fair and Balanced" Bias

I tried to post this leaked Fox News internal memo about a hundred times last night (OK, that's an exaggeration: but it was at least 37), even before Minor Ripper left his comment about it here:

How normally sane people can see this network as 'fair and balanced' is beyond my comprehension. It goes to show the power of slick propaganda. Isn't it ironic, though that the new English language version of Al Jazeerah is up and running on a Rupert Murdoch owned network in Britain? Hey, business is business I guess....
Read the memo posted at Huffington Post along with the commentary (quoted below) from Media Matters:
...The Huffington Post website posted "an internal Fox News memo written by the network's Vice President of news," which "details Fox's game plan the day Democrats won control of both the Senate and the House." According to the memo: "The elections and [former Defense Secretary Donald H.] Rumsfeld's resignation were a major event, but not the end of the world," and: "The war on terror goes on without interruption."

The Huffington Post highlighted the memo's suggestion to "be on the lookout for any statements from the Iraqi insurgents, who must be thrilled at the prospect of a Dem-controlled congress."

The memo also smeared House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), a candidate for House majority leader, noting: "In the House, the newly empowered Dems will shed some fraternal blood before settling in. [Rep. John P.] Murtha [D-PA] will challenge Hoyer for the leadership. A former hawk v. a political hack." The memo concluded: "Just because Dems won, the war on terror isn't over."

The Huffington Post identified the memo's alleged author only as "the network's Vice President of news." The header at the top of the memo identifies the "Writer" as "moody." John Moody is Fox News' senior vice president for news editorial. According to his Fox News biography, Moody "is responsible for both the design and editorial direction of FOX News Channel and oversees all story content for FOX News." As Media Matters for America and Salon.com have noted, some of Moody's daily memos to Fox News staffers, described as "marching orders" by a former Fox News employee, were highlighted in documentary filmmaker Robert Greenwald's 2004 film, Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism (Brave New Films).

Hmm... Which Do I Hate More?

Is it?

  • Blogger login and posting errors?
  • Internet Explorer 7.0?
  • My ISP?
Sadly, all pale in comparison to my intense dislike of the Bush Administration. ::sigh::


Say Hello to...

Minor Ripper, who calls our attention to the next (up) story about Fox News "creative" news reporting (they decide what to say and trim the news to fit their slant).

Tonight's PBS Frontline Episode: The Outing of Spokane Mayor Jim West

Watching "A Hidden Life" that details the newspaper investigation that led to the revelation that anti-gay politician, Jim West of Spokane, was trolling for males (not all of whom were of the age of consent) at the same time he led the fight to enact laws to discriminate against gay men and women.

It's sensitively and intelligently done, going far deeper than the sound bytes and headlines of nearly two years ago. I believe West recently died.

Series Of Riveting Paintins Based on Photos of Prisoner Abuse At Abu Ghraib in Iraq

From The Nation, a must-read although - and I tell you it would not be at all easy to do so - I feel compelled to see the paintings.

The Body in Pain
Arthur C. Danto Fernando Botero's latest series of paintings, inspired by the Abu Ghraib photos, immerse us in the experience of suffering in a way the original photographs never did.

The More Appointees Like Kenneth Tomlinson Cheat, Fuck Up And Over, Mistreat And Steal The American Public, The More Bush Lavishes Praise Upon Them

Many places are writing about this story of the head of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (overseer of public TV and radio) but Vermonter at What's the Point puts it best, IMHO:

Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?
I mean, really…

If you were the President of the United States and one of your appointees had been forced to resign as a result of the agency-in-question’s inspector general’s report...

And then the same person was cited in a State Department inspector general report for the following offenses at a different agency……
    – used resources to support his personal horse racing operation;
    – requested the hiring of a personal friend as a contractor without the knowledge of other board members or staff, and signed invoices providing almost $250,000 in compensation even though the contractor provided no written reports or other supporting documentation required by the contract;
    – requested and received compensation that exceeded the maximum allowed by law;
Would you…

A) Publicly distance yourself from obvious corruption?
B) Quietly distance yourself from obvious corruption? or
C) Reappoint the two-time loser?

Well, if you were George W. Bush, of course the answer is C.

And, in case you forget who Kenneth Tomlinson is, well, he’s the political appointee who used to head the CPB and, among quite a few other things, conducted a poll that was supposed to demonstrate liberal bias in public broadcasting. But, when the results showed that the vast majority of Americans disagree that PBS and NPR are overly biased, he refused to make public the taxpayer funded study.

Grover Norquist, Mr. GOP Sensitivity: "Republicans Lost Mid-Terms Because That Slut Whined About Being Choked"

You have to love Grover Norquist (best bud to President Bush, Dick Cheney and Karl Rove), although possibly because if you don't, the temptation to shoot him while you hang him while he's sitting in the electric chair runs just too high.

The man who all but announced that the government response to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and beyond was wonderful because stupid ass liberals now knew not to depend on FEMA for anything now blames the mistress GOP House Rep. Don Sherwood beat and tried to strangle as solely responsible for the downfall of Republicans last Tuesday.

Reported by Jon at Pensito Review:

Grover Norqist, the GOP operative who has been best pals with Jack Abramoff since college, is in denial about the message sent by voters in the midterm elections last week.

Norquist believes the heavy Republican losses were caused by discontent with the Iraq war but rather by voters’ fits of pique over the foibles of various members of Congress. For example, Rep. Sherwood’s loss in Pennsylvania, Norquist says, was a result of Sherwood’s mistress whining about his abusive behavior:
    “Bob Sherwood’s seat would have been overwhelmingly ours, if his mistress hadn’t whined about being throttled,” said Mr Norquist.
This is wrong on so many levels, the least of which is the fact that Sherwood’s name is Don, not Bob.

Despite running a campaign ad in which he apologized for committing adultery but denied the allegations of abuse, Sherwood lost to Vice Adm. Joseph Sestak, his Democratic opponent.

Lucky 11? A Bit More Complicated Than That

While I suspect this won't be of interest to everyone, I wanted to pass along a link - "Eleven Roars Loudly" with "Revelations From The Apocalypse", posted in Comments by Seven Star Hand.

I always used to dismiss such stuff but I keep finding material that suggests certain patterns keep repeating in ways that imply something more than mere coincidence.

Aren't We Lucky? We Get to Pay Karl Rove's Bloated Salary, And Have Him Rum the Country Into An Even Deeper Hole, Until January 2009

This from Keith Olbermann gleaned from The Washington Times.

I want him out even more than I want Bush out - and I want Bush out and in one of his own draconian secret CIA torture prison spas a whole lot.

The (Cough) Great House Dem Leadership Race

OK, I confess that my eyes blur whenever talk turns to the "fight" over the race for House majority leader among the Democrats John Murtha of Pennsylvania and Steny Hoyer of Maryland. It got even worse as I read deeper and deeper into what appears to be really murky ethics issues surrounding Murtha, some of which I learned about for the first time.

As you might imagine, I am no more in favor of Democrats being loose on ethics than I am for Republicans. It's worse, actually, because I generally expect more from Dems (as you nod your head pitifully at how hopelesly idealistic I remain). And, much as I like Murtha standing up on Iraq and the war there, this in no way gives him a free pass on everything else.

Anyone brave enough to discuss their take on it? National Journal offers information here on Murtha vs. Hoyer. David Korn writing at The Nation has been suggesting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should have ducked rather than thrown her whole-hearted support behind Murtha. However, Ari Berman also writing at The Nation says fellow Californian Henry Waxman would be the best choice for Pelosi's deputy.

David at Talking Points Memo pointed to a NY Observer piece that discusses the fight, but I'm not sure it answered more questions than it raised. I also feel I have no strong sense of Hoyer is despite the fact that he's been serving as the minority person for awhile now. But I'm equally unsure of why this has become something of an issue when there are so many more important things to be worked out.

ACLU Gets Memo Showing Bush & Company Wanted Aggressive Torture and Interrogation Methods

And imagine what we'd learn if 99% of these documents' content wasn't blacked out for "security" purposes (as in Bush's ass covering security, not national security):

After years of denials, the CIA has formally acknowledged the existence of two classified documents governing aggressive interrogation and detention policies for terrorism suspects, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

But CIA lawyers say the documents -- memos from President Bush and the Justice Department -- are still so sensitive that no portion can be released to the public.

The disclosures by the CIA general counsel's office came in a letter Friday to attorneys for the ACLU. The group had filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New York two years ago under the Freedom of Information Act, seeking records related to U.S. interrogation and detention policies.

The lawsuit has resulted in the release of more than 100,000 pages of documents, including some that revealed internal debates over the policies governing prisoners held at the military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Many other records have not been released and, in some cases, their existence has been revealed only in media reports.

Friday's letter from John L. McPherson, the CIA's associate general counsel, lists two documents that pertain to the ACLU's records request.

The ACLU describes the first as a "directive" signed by Bush governing CIA interrogation methods or allowing the agency to set up detention facilities outside the United States. McPherson describes it as a "memorandum." In September, Bush confirmed the existence of secret CIA prisons and transferred 14 remaining terrorism suspects from them to Guantanamo Bay.

The second document is an August 2002 legal memo from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel to the CIA general counsel. The ACLU describes it as "specifying interrogation methods that the CIA may use against top al-Qaeda members." (This document is separate from another widely publicized Justice memo, also issued in August 2002, that narrowed the definition of torture. The Justice Department has since rescinded the latter.)

The Southern Democrats Shall Rise Again

From Jon Ponder at Pensito Review and interesting. Bloody interesting, despite of all Karl Rove's "I have THE math."

The hallmark of the conservative agenda over the past quarter century has been the ceding of power and resources from the government to corporations. The election last week may signal a reverse course away from corporatism toward a brand of liberal populism that has been out of favor since the presidency of Jimmy Carter.

Populist themes that resonated with voters this year included raising the minimum wage, slowing the transfer of manufacturing jobs overseas, making healthcare affordable, ending corruption of elected officials by lobbyists for corporate interests and the stopping the rise of undocumented immigration and its perceived strain on local economies and social services.

Even the conduct of the Iraq war, with the unprecedented outsourcing of war operations to Halliburton and its subsidiaries, has played into the idea that Republicans are hellbent on handing the government over to Big Business.

They Did What With Trent Lott Today?

Republicans really must be in an evil, vicious mood after last week's mid-term elections. That's the only possible way to explain why they would vote Trent Lott as the Senate Minority Whip when the man mooned philosophic that Strom Thurmond was a genius for hating blacks.

Of course, he's second in command to Mitch McConnell who is one of the dirtiest, nastiest elected officials since Jesse Helms and Tom DeLay left Capitol Hill.

The only good news? Well, Lott never quite forgave Bush & Company for not standing up for him more when he was ousted four years ago. His ego often takes first priority when the Bushies want to push.

Why Kate, Your Cervix Looks Just Fine. Very Healthy!

You know, I'm a veteran of GYN checkups, but I never hear the line above without breaking out into uncontrollable laughter.

My laughter always evaporates, however, when she asks me if I'm willing to consider a colonoscopy. Talk about a deep burrowing bug up one's ass!

A Statistic To Be Proud About?

Personally, I'm not going to celebrate.

But, from The Gun Guys, comes a report that the U.S. is the largest exporter of fire arms, outpacing its closest competitor three times over.

Thanks to Buzzflash for the link (also try Buzzflash.net).


Greg Mitchell: She Survived Iraq - Then Shot Herself At Home

Greg Mitchell of Editor & Publisher offers another heartbreaking tale of death that dogs our soldiers even once they return home from Iraq, sometimes felled by enemy fire, sometimes by so-called friendly fire and, too often, from suicide. These are stories we need to read because we need to understand more about what soldiers and civilians experience in war beyond the Pentagon press releases.

Here's a snip but read Greg's entire column:

Her name doesn't show on any official list of American military deaths in the Iraq war, by hostile or non-hostile fire, who died in that country or in hospitals in Europe or back home in the USA. But Iraq killed her just as certainly.

She is Jeanne "Linda" Michel, a Navy medic. She came home last month to her husband and three kids (ages 11, 5, and 4), delighted to be back in her suburban home of Clifton Park in upstate New York. Michel, 33, would be discharged from the Navy in a few weeks, finishing her five years of duty. Two weeks after she got home, she shot and killed herself. "She had come through a lot and she had always risen to challenges," her husband, Frantz Michel, who has also served in Iraq, lamented last week. Now he asks why the Navy didn't do more to help her.

Michel's story has now been probed by reporter Kate Gurnett in today's Albany Times-Union. It's headlined, "A casualty far from the battlefield."And yet, in many ways, not far at all. Why did it happen? "Like thousands of others returning from Iraq, her mental state was fractured," Gurnett explains. "And it went untreated. Within two weeks, Linda Michel would become a private casualty of war. Re-entry into the world of peace can be harder than deployment, experts say. Picking up where you left off doesn't just happen. ..."Women experience stronger forms of post-traumatic stress disorder and have higher PTSD rates, experts say. In response, the Veterans Affairs Department launched a $6 million study of female veterans.

Seeking treatment -- seen by some as a weakness -- may be even tougher for women, who still feel the need to prove themselves to men in military service.

"In fact, this past August, three veterans in New York's Adirondack region committed suicide within three weeks, according to Helena Davis, deputy director of the Mental Health Association in New York.

Michel has served under extremely stressful conditions at Camp Bucca in southern Iraq, a U.S-run prison where guards shot four inmates dead in a 2005 riot -- and an episode of female mudwrestling drew headlines. Michel was treated for depression and prescribed Paxil, but they took her off that medicine when she returned home. Her husband was not informed.

Can Fox News Explain?

When other hostages were involved, media companies joined the Bush Administration is saying that no ransom would be paid. So why did Fox pay $2 million for the release of its two employees kidnapped by terrorists who said they then used the payoff to buy equipment to kill Israelis?

"Bitch Slapping Dick Cheney"

Oh, be still my heart with a headline like that. ::fanning self::

From Larry Johnson at No Quarter on the dismissal of The Donald (Rumsfeld) and the (oh my, yes!) bitch slapping of the creepy Veep:

Wednesday's surprising resignation/firing of Don Rumsfeld and the nomination of the CIA chief who served Bush 41, Robert Gates, was a dramatic and emphatic smack in the face of Dick Cheney. While George W. Bush remains stubbornly committed to the present course in Iraq, there should be no doubt that he is no longer willing to be the Charlie McCarthy to Cheney's Edgar Bergen. Cheney's hand is no longer firmly up Bush's ass and Bush is speaking for himself.

This was a stinging rebuke to Cheney, who had brought his mentor, Don Rumsfeld, into the Bush 43 tent over the strenuous objections of the Bush 41 crowd. Cheney and Rumsfeld shared the same world view of the NeoCon crowd, which included a fierce distrust and anger toward the CIA. During the last five years Cheney assisted Rumsfeld's quest to set up a completely independent intelligence operation in the Department of Defense. At least with the DOD intel capability, the Pentagon and the White House could ignore the CIA view.

The appointment of Bob Gates, to replace Don Rumsfeld, is a mixed blessing.

Older AND Wiser

On a lighter note, the photo in the banner above is provided by the good folks at Wrapped-in-the-Flag. Go visit.

To Have Brain Damage, A Brain Is Required, Yes?

Well, Brains and Eggs is kinder to the president on the issue of brain damage than I am inclined to be:

"How could one notice," you're thinking. Not referring to the one encased in his skull, in this case:

    President Bush had many explanations for what he called the "thumping" his party took on Tuesday, but the most creative was the notion that his chief strategist, Karl Rove, had spent too much time reading books.

    "I obviously was working harder on the campaign than he was," the president said at (the Wednesday November 8) East Room news conference. The reporters laughed. The Architect, who had challenged Bush to a reading contest, wore a sheepish grin and stared at his lap.

Newsweek piles on:
    Rove's miscalculations began well before election night. The polls and pundits pointed to a Democratic sweep, but Rove dismissed them all. In public, he predicted outright victory, flashing the V sign to reporters flying on Air Force One. He wasn't just trying to psych out the media and the opposition. He believed his "metrics" were far superior to plain old polls. Two weeks before the elections, Rove showed NEWSWEEK his magic numbers: a series of graphs and bar charts that tallied early voting and voter outreach. Both were running far higher than in 2004. In fact, Rove thought the polls were obsolete because they relied on home telephones in an age of do-not-call lists and cell phones. Based on his models, he forecast a loss of 12 to 14 seats in the House -- enough to hang on to the majority. Rove placed so much faith in his figures that, after the elections, he planned to convene a panel of Republican political scientists -- to study just how wrong the polls were.

Bush's Nominee for Rumsfeld Replacement On Board Of Voting Machine Company

Ouch, from Blue State on Bush family loyalist, Robert Gates, further Bush strings:

Not that this really means anything. Just interesting. Black Box Voting notes on the connection between Bush's nominee to become the next Secretary of Defense and the largest voting company:
    Gates was on the board of directors of VoteHere, a strange little company that was the biggest elections industry lobbyist for the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). VoteHere spent more money than ES&S, Diebold, and Sequoia combined to help ram HAVA through. And HAVA, of course, was a bill sponsored by by convicted Abramoff pal Bob Ney and K-street lobbyist buddy Steny Hoyer. HAVA put electronic voting on steroids.
Black Box Voting labels Steny Hoyer as a "K-street lobbyist buddy?" That's interesting. No wonder Pelosi wants Murtha as the Majority Leader instead of Hoyer; Hoyer might try to stall Pelosi's bill that would crack down on interactions between lobbyists and members of Congress.

Rudy Giuliani: Bush Is a Visionary, A Great In The Tradition of Winston Churchill

One of Rudy's one-time endearing qualities was that he refused to brown nose or engage in silly political pandering. Those days are long gone, as apparent here from Blue State as Giuliani compares George Bush to Winston Churchill.

Also, regarding my post yesterday about the many reasons decent Americans will reject a Rudy Giuliana bid for president, JurassicPork of Welcome to Pottersville posting in comments here adds to the list the fact that Rudy ordered debris from Ground Zero be shipped out of state, further corrupting the "crime scene" and making it even more impossible to get real answers into what happened that day (and you don't need to be a conspiracy theorist to know more went on than planes hitting buildings).

Paul Krugman: "True Blue Populists"

More there, snippet here:

Senator George Allen of Virginia is understandably shocked and despondent. Just a year ago, a National Review cover story declared that his “down-home persona” made him “quite possibly the next president of the United States.” Instead, his political career seems over.

And it wasn’t just macaca, or even the war, that brought him down. Mr. Allen, a reliable defender of the interests of the economic elite, found himself facing an opponent who made a point of talking about the problem of rising inequality. And the tobacco-chewing, football-throwing, tax-cutting, Social Security-privatizing senator was only one of many faux populists defeated by real populists last Tuesday.

Ever since movement conservatives took over, the Republican Party has pushed for policies that benefit a small minority of wealthy Americans at the expense of the great majority of voters. To hide this reality, conservatives have relied on wagging the dog and wedge issues, but they’ve also relied on a brilliant marketing campaign that portrays Democrats as elitists and Republicans as representatives of the average American.

This sleight of hand depends on shifting the focus from policy to personal style: John Kerry speaks French and windsurfs, so pay no attention to his plan to roll back tax cuts for the wealthy and use the proceeds to make health care affordable.This year, however, the American people wised up.

True to form, some reporters still seem to be falling for the conservative spin. “If it walks, talks like a conservative, can it be a Dem?” asked the headline on a CNN.com story featuring a photo of Senator-elect Jon Tester of Montana. In other words, if a Democrat doesn’t fit the right-wing caricature of a liberal, he must be a conservative.

But as Robin Toner and Kate Zernike of The New York Times pointed out yesterday, what actually characterizes the new wave of Democrats is a “strong streak of economic populism.”

Look at Mr. Tester’s actual policy positions: yes to an increase in the minimum wage; no to Social Security privatization; we need to “stand up to big drug companies” and have Medicare negotiate for lower prices; we should “stand up to big insurance companies and support a health care plan that makes health care affordable for all Montanans.”

Speaking Of Those In Need of a Reality Check: Investor's Business Daily

Editor & Publisher shows us a publication which perhaps needs a reality check at least as much as The Weekly Standard and The Washington Times. Namely, Investor's Business Daily heralds the dangers of a "Democratic jihad", calls Rep. John Conyers an "Islamic tool" for even considering to address the Muslims in his Michigan constituency, and lauds Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld as "great."

Uh huh.

Robert Fisk On America's Elections Last Week, Iraq, And The Middle East

To anyone deluded enough to think that last week's mid-term elections in the U.S. would immediately spell relief in Iraq specifically or the Middle East as a whole, Robert Fisk offers some candid analysis designed to reintroduce us to reality.

Does The End of Lincoln Chafee Mean Republicans No Longer The Party of Lincoln?

JurassicPork at Welcome to Pottersville tackles what the end of Lincoln Chafee's elected tenure in Rhode Island means to all of us and to the GOP in particular. Go read.

Keith Olbermann: His "Angry Everyman" Comes As "Cultural Earthquake

While I agree with much in this San Francisco Chronicle piece about MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and the hotness of the Special Comment section he has done fairly regularly since the 6th anniversary of 9-11, an undercurrent in it does bother me.

This "bother" comes down to comparing him as the flip side (so to speak) of the phenomenon of Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly.

I believe very strongly - with some evidence to back it up - that Limbaugh and O'Reilly have created their "on air" personalities and adopted a schtick just to appeal to their audience. O'Reilly is hardly the poor boy from the lower middle class Long Island suburbs he likes to depict; he came from an affluent home and attended lofty private schools.

By comparison, I don't think Olbermann does anything more than express his own concerns. He certainly isn't consulting some "talking points" list from Dems or the left or progressives. In other words, with Olbermann we get Keith; with Limbaugh and O'Reilly and even a Howard Stern, we get schtick specifically to pander to the audience.

Joe Lieberman: Torn Between Two Lovers, JoeMentum Shouldn't Leave His Drink Glass Unattended

Joe Lieberman keeps showing he has the loyalty and intelligence of a gnat. Says Joe, he insists on being listed in the Senate directory as an Independent Democrat - this despite the fact that Republicans worked 10 times harder and spent 20 times as much money getting him re-elected in Connecticut than it did for any of its own GOP candidates.

However, continues Joe, if the Democrats don't play nice with him (which I assume means to brown nose and beg him), he says he may jump parties and align himself with the Repugnants. However, Joe has already done that.

But if I were Joe, I would NOT leave my drink glass unattended at the Senate bar lest Karl Rove or Ken Mehlman slip some GHB (the date rape drug) into his glass. They already know Lieberman is a cheap slut so I suspect the people most apt to treat Joe-mentum badly are the Republicans!

Isn't It Rich? But Frank's Right: 2006 Is The Year Of The Macaca"

This definitely has been the year when the macaca not only got hurled and hit the fan, but the shit blew back in the faces - and some bad hairpieces - of "men" like George Allen, Karl Rove, Mark Foley, Dennis Hastert, Don Sherwood, George Bush and others. Read all of the Rich column here, but you can start out with this appetizer (pigs in a blanket, perhaps?):

Of course, the “thumpin’ ” was all about Iraq.

But let us not forget Katrina. It was the collision of the twin White House calamities in August 2005 that foretold the collapse of the presidency of George W. Bush.

Back then, the full measure of the man finally snapped into focus for most Americans, sending his poll numbers into the 30s for the first time. The country saw that the president who had spurned a grieving wartime mother camping out in the sweltering heat of Crawford was the same guy who had been unable to recognize the depth of the suffering in New Orleans’s fetid Superdome. This brand of leadership was not the “compassionate conservatism” that had been sold in all those photo ops with African-American schoolchildren. This was callous conservatism, if not just plain mean.

It’s the kind of conservatism that remains silent when Rush Limbaugh does a mocking impersonation of Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s symptoms to score partisan points. It’s the kind of conservatism that talks of humane immigration reform but looks the other way when candidates demonize foreigners as predatory animals. It’s the kind of conservatism that pays lip service to “tolerance” but stalls for days before taking down a campaign ad caricaturing an African-American candidate as a sexual magnet for white women.

This kind of politics is now officially out of fashion. Harold Ford did lose his race in Tennessee, but by less than three points in a region that has not sent a black man to the Senate since Reconstruction. Only 36 years old and hugely talented, he will rise again even as the last vestiges of Jim Crow tactics continue to fade and Willie Horton ads countenanced by a national political party join the Bush dynasty in history’s dustbin.

Elsewhere, the 2006 returns more often than not confirmed that Americans, Republicans and Democrats alike, are far better people than this cynical White House takes them for. This election was not a rebuke merely of the reckless fiasco in Iraq but also of the divisive ideology that had come to define the Bush-Rove-DeLay era. This was the year that Americans said a decisive no to the politics of “macaca” just as firmly as they did to pre-emptive war and Congressional corruption.

For all of Mr. Limbaugh’s supposed clout, his nasty efforts did not defeat the ballot measure supporting stem-cell research in his native state, Missouri. The measure squeaked through, helping the Democratic senatorial candidate knock out the Republican incumbent. (The other stem-cell advocates endorsed by Mr. Fox in campaign ads, in Maryland and Wisconsin, also won.) Arizona voters, despite their proximity to the Mexican border, defeated two of the crudest immigrant-bashing demagogues running for Congress, including one who ran an ad depicting immigrants menacing a JonBenet Ramsey look-alike. (Reasserting its Goldwater conservative roots, Arizona also appears to be the first state to reject an amendment banning same-sex marriage.) Nationwide, the Republican share of the Hispanic vote fell from 44 percent in 2004 to 29 percent this year. Hispanics aren’t buying Mr. Bush’s broken-Spanish shtick anymore; they saw that the president, despite his nuanced take on immigration, never stood up forcefully to the nativists in his own camp when it counted most, in an election year.

But for those who’ve been sickened by the Bush-Rove brand of politics, surely the happiest result of 2006 was saved for last: Jim Webb’s ousting of Senator George Allen in Virginia. It is all too fitting that this race would be the one that put the Democrats over the top in the Senate.

Mr. Allen was the slickest form of Bush-Rove conservative, complete with a strategist who’d helped orchestrate the Swift Boating of John Kerry. Mr. Allen was on a fast track to carry that banner into the White House once Mr. Bush was gone. His demise was so sudden and so unlikely that it seems like a fairy tale come true.

As recently as April 2005, hard as it is to believe now, Mr. Allen was chosen in a National Journal survey of Beltway insiders as the most likely Republican presidential nominee in 2008. Political pros saw him as a cross between Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush whose “affable” conservatism and (contrived) good-old-boy persona were catnip to voters. His Senate campaign this year was a mere formality; he began with a double-digit lead.

That all ended famously on Aug. 11, when Mr. Allen, appearing before a crowd of white supporters in rural Virginia, insulted a 20-year-old Webb campaign worker of Indian descent who was tracking him with a video camera. After belittling the dark-skinned man as “macaca, or whatever his name is,” Mr. Allen added, “Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia.”

Another Bush War: The "No Poor Black Person Left Behind in New Orleans" Act

And yet another claim tendered by the Bush Administration that New Orleans is bigger and better than ever before thanks to the Bushie's "hard work" after Hurricane Katrina is nothing more than happy horseshit.

The Bushies' definition of better apparently means that poor blacks and Indians and others of color will no longer be welcome in a city that is being sold to mega corps, where public schools and charity hospitals and clinics will be just an historical note. Public schools, public housing, employment, medical care for any but the wealthiest residents are all in crisis in New Orleans.

Check out Justice for New Orleans and re-visit it often!


TamiFlu Has a Boo-Boo That Makes You Loo-Loo?

Donald Rumsfeld is the "gift" that keeps on "giving". Rumsfeld, as you may or may not recall, happened to ink a deal that gives him money on every prescription of TamiFlu sold in the U.S, which has been wonderful for Rummy since everyone who is terrified with the idea of the bird flu-pandemic-to-be has been ordering the stuff in massive doses regardless of the teeny weeny inconsequential fact that there is no way to tell if the prescription-only medicine would do one bit of good should the bird flu boo-boo strike.

And now it turns out that experts are cautioning that anyone who takes TamiFlu should be monitored carefully since it can make patients behave in bizarre ways.

Hey, I won't even bother to suggest that perhaps Rumsfeld has been sampling his own medication.

Charming. Just charming.

Who Says Big Business Can't Thrive In Baghdad? OR "Sorry, There's No Room At The CadaverInn"

True, it must seem sometimes like I can say nothing nice about George W. Bush. To be fair, however, he truly is the supreme grand master of fuck ups.

But credit should be paid where it is most assuredly due. President Bush has managed to drum up more business in Iraq that the billion dollar war chests of Halliburton, Bechtel, and Company.

Yes, indeedy, it's true true true: morgues in Baghdad are so flipping busy they have to turn away the dead! Perhaps we could arrange for them to be FedExed to Crawford? DHLed to Rumsfeld? UPSed to Condi Rice? Express Mailed to Karl Rove?

McCain and Giuliani: Running Is Very Different From Winning

After McCain has already announced (pretty much) that he's running in 2008 for president comes word that Rudy "The Ego" Giuliani will be in the race as well.

I've stated why McCain won't get it, but let me be clear on why New York's former mayor won't. The far right won't let him have it for a number of reasons that amount to:

  • his name ending in a vowel
  • his father tied to organized crime
  • his three marriages (each wife being the mistress he left the previous wife for)
  • his Catholicism
But there are much better and appropriate reasons to deny him it:
  • His willingness to do whatever the Bushies wanted after 9/11 that amounted to ceasing any attempts to find live survivors to accommodate George's bullhorn moment
  • His forcing through the lie that ground zero was safe for rescue workers and for residents to return
  • He fought against rescue workers getting help for their illnesses
  • He lied to the 9/11 commission to help the Bushies
  • His agreement to stop processing ground zero as a crime scene when dozens and dozens of more body parts have been discovered in the five plus years since.
  • He made a fortune off 9/11 and in a lot of not very good ways.
  • Lies to try to force his man, Kerik, into head of Homeland (In)Security
  • He's so dirty than his DNA is corrupt.

There's more. This is just what I could think of in under 30 seconds.

Now That's Obscene!

Having George Bush "lead" a ground breaking ceremony for the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial is nothing less than obscene, even worse than forcing Coretta Scott King's funeral service to accept the Bushies up on the stage. To accommodate the Bushies, of course, honorable people like Harry Bellafonte get "disinvited".

Today, Detainees Have No Rights; Tomorrow, You And I Will Have No Rights

[Ed. note: And yet, despite the Bushies' constant rhetoric of fear, the MAJORITY of American citizens believe detainees at Guantanamo Bay (Gitmo) and elsewhere not only deserve rights but already have them. Sounds like America's citizens are far smarter, not to mention more compassionate, than their president.]

The Bush administration said Monday that Guantanamo Bay prisoners have no right to challenge their detentions in civilian courts and that lawsuits by hundreds of detainees should be dismissed.

In court documents filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the Justice Department defended the military's authority to arrest people overseas and detain them indefinitely without access to courts.

It's the first time that argument has been spelled out since President Bush signed a law last month setting up military commissions for the thousands of foreigners being held in U.S. prisons abroad.

Bush hailed the law as a crucial tool in the war on terrorism and said it would allow prosecution of several high-level terror suspects.

Human rights groups and attorneys for the detainees say the law is unconstitutional. Prisoners normally have the right to challenge their imprisonment.

The Justice Department said Monday that the detainees have no constitutional rights because they are being held overseas. Giving military detainees access to civilian courts "would severely impair the military's ability to defend this country," government attorneys wrote.

"Congress could have simply withdrawn jurisdiction over these matters and left the decision of whether to detain enemy aliens held abroad to the military," the Justice Department wrote.

Instead, Congress set up a military commission structure establishing "unprecedented" levels of review for detainees, the attorneys wrote.

Until the Bush Administration rolled into town on a steam roller of money and corruption, it was largely believed that the documents carefully forged by our forefathers - and I take these especially seriously because my ancestors were signatories of these - afforded rights and protections for ALL people. You did not have to be an American citizen to be afforded basic rights when you were on American soil.

But the Bushies - happily able to annihilate habeus corpus which was first awarded in 1215 or nearly a millennium before the latest King George arrived - eagerly redefined laws to make them apply only to U.S. citizens. Then, in the six years that have passed, we've seen rights and protections become more and more something a Bush-friendly corporation or very wealthy individual may have but which the poor, the Bush-unfriendly, and those detained "secretly" do not have.

So will you and I have ANY rights left by the time the Bushies leave office?

Maureen Dowd: Spurious George And "The Drapes of Wrath"

Didn't you just know all those pre-election lies President Bush tendered about how all the Democrats were doing amounted to picking out drapes for the offices they would take from Republicans would backfire faster than Bush himself after a whole pot of eight-bean chili? A snip-snip here but go there for not just the rest, but excellent original commentary as well (Steinbeck would be proud, MoDo):

The new Democratic sweep conjures up an ancient image: Furies swooping down to punish bullies.

Angry winged goddesses with dog heads, serpent hair and blood eyes, unmoved by tears, prayer, sacrifice or nasty campaign ads, avenging offenses by insolent transgressors.

This will be known as the year macho politics failed — mainly because it was macho politics by marshmallow men. Voters were sick of phony swaggering, blustering and bellicosity, absent competency and accountability.

They were ready to trade in the deadbeat Daddy party for the sheltering Mommy party.All the conservative sneering about a fem-lib from San Francisco who was measuring the drapes for the speaker’s office didn’t work. Americans wanted new drapes, and an Armani granny with a whip in charge.

A recent study found that the testosterone of American men has been dropping for 20 years, but in Republican Washington, it was running amok, and not in a good way. Men who had refused to go to an untenable war themselves were now refusing to find an end to another untenable war that they had recklessly started.

Republicans were oddly oblivious to the fact that they had turned into a Thomas Nast cartoon: an unappetizing tableau of bloated, corrupt, dissembling, feckless white hacks who were leaving kids unprotected. Tom DeLay and Bob Ney sneaking out of Congress with dollar bills flying out of their pockets. Denny Hastert playing Cardinal Bernard Law, shielding Mark Foley. Rummy, cocky and obtuse as he presided over an imploding Iraq, while failing to give young men and women in the military the armor, support and strategy they needed to come home safely. Dick Cheney, vowing bullheadedly to move “full speed ahead” on Iraq no matter what the voters decided. W. frantically yelling about how Democrats would let the terrorists win, when his lame-brained policies had spawned more terrorists.

After 9/11, Americans had responded to bellicosity, drawn to the image, as old as the Western frontier myth, of the strong father protecting the home from invaders. But this time, many voters, especially women, rejected the rough Rovian scare and divide tactics.

The macho poses and tough talk of the cowboy president were undercut when he seemed flaccid in the face of the vicious Katrina and the vicious Iraq insurgency.Even former members of the administration conceded they were tired of the muscle-bound style, longing for a more maternal approach to the globe. “We were exporting our anger and our fear, hatred for what had happened,” Richard Armitage, the former deputy secretary of state, said in a speech in Australia, referring to the 9/11 attacks. He said America needed “to turn another face to the world and get back to more traditional things, such as the export of hope and opportunity and inspiration.”

Talking about hope and opportunity and inspiration has propelled Barack Obama into the presidential arena. His approach seems downright feminine when compared with the Bushies, or even Hillary Clinton. He languidly poses in fashion magazines, shares feelings with Oprah and dishes with the ladies on “The View.” After six years of chest-puffing, Senator Obama seems very soothing.Because of the power of female consumers, some marketing experts predict we will end up a matriarchy. This year, women also flexed their muscle at the polls, transformed into electoral Furies by the administration’s stubborn course in Iraq.


Once Again, The U.S. Wants Policies To Harm Latin America, To Exempt The Bushies' Crew From War Crimes

Lovely, lovely, lovely. From Saturday's USA Today:

Concern about leftist victories in Latin America has prompted President Bush to quietly grant a waiver that allows the United States to resume training militaries from 11 Latin American and Caribbean countries.

The administration hopes the training will forge links with countries in the region and blunt a leftward trend. Daniel Ortega, a nemesis of the United States in the region during the 1980s, was elected president in Nicaragua this week. Bolivians chose another leftist, Evo Morales, last year.

ON DEADLINE: Will the move help U.S. influence or cause more trouble?

A military training ban was originally designed to pressure countries into exempting U.S. soldiers from war crimes trials.

The 2002 U.S. law bars countries from receiving military aid and training if they refuse to promise immunity from prosecution to U.S. servicemembers who might get hauled before the International Criminal Court. The law allows presidential waivers.

The White House lifted the ban on 21 countries, about half in Latin America or the Caribbean, through a presidential memorandum Oct. 2 to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The training is conducted in the USA.

A ban on giving countries weapons remains. Commercial arms sales are not affected, said Jose Ruiz, a U.S. Southern Command spokesman.

The training ban had resulted in a loss of U.S. influence in the region. The issue gained urgency after a string of leftist candidates came to power in Latin America. Rice said this year on a trip to the region that the impact of the ban had been "the same as shooting ourselves in the foot."

China stepped into the gap. Ruiz said China "has approached every country in our area of responsibility" and has exchanged senior military officials with Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile and Cuba and provided military aid and training to Jamaica and Venezuela.

The ban remains in effect for some countries. Venezuela, whose fiery President Hugo Chávez is a critic of the Bush administration, remains ineligible because it is on a State Department list of countries alleged to have permitted the trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation and forced labor.

Chávez is up for re-election in December and leads in the polls. Cuba is also off-limits because of a long-standing U.S. embargo against Fidel Castro's regime.

Ruiz said efforts are being made to transfer money this year to begin training foreign officers from eligible countries.

Intellectual Integrity: A Concept The Bush Administration Cannot Spell, Much Less Appreciate

*** [Ed. note: Others on that original list included Media Whores Online (long since gone), Skippy The Bush Kangaroo, MaxSpeak, Corrente Wire, Atrios, Pandagon, Democracy for California, Jesus' General, TalkLeft, and Talking Points Memo.]

It's been waaa-aaaa-aaay too long since I last visited one of the blogs that was on a very short roster *** of those I read daily when I first discovered political blogs during my three lovely weeks in ICU in the summer of 2003: Ruminate This. [See editorial note *** above.] So when I happened over there a short while ago, I was delighted to see them in full operation and with a piece entitled, "Intellectual Integrity", so good I want to share. Here's a snip, but visit Ruminate This for the entire thing:

For a time, as the toxic dust settled, I drank nothing but that Kool-Aid poured by the Bush administration and its post-9/11 media helpers. But when this here New Yorker began to substitute critical thinking for emotion and knee-jerk, something disturbing happened: questions, questions, and more questions about the official story began to percolate within, and the Kool-Aid just wouldn’t slip down as it had before. Since that time, I’ve noticed that the number of people who have made a similar transition has gone from a trickle to a stream. May that stream flow into a rapid river of truth.
    George Kenney is editor of the Electric Politics weblog, and the host of its namesake podcast. His is an invariably interesting program that is focused on US policy and its impact on the domestic and global community. Kenney is a former State Department foreign service officer, and a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace alum. His guests are reflective of connections made during what he calls his “salad days.” In this week’s episode, The Case for Intellectual Integrity, Kenney interviews Bill Christison, on how this essayist and retired prominent CIA analyst went from unyielding allegiance to the official narrative of September 11th, to considering the alternatives.

    It’s an eye-opener, for sure, and especially recommended for those among us whose hearts, minds and political strategems make it difficult or impolitic to catch the looming and fetid elephant in the room.

    You can download/stream this podcast by clicking here - or if you fancy the idea of finding Electric Politics delivered automatically each week to your computer, do as I do, and subscribe to the podcast through ITunes or PodFeeder.

What, If Any, Big Surprises Did This Last Week Deliver For You?

[Ed. note: Sorry for not posting much at all yesterday; Blogger has been a real pain in the ass er.. ASCII since a couple of days before Tuesday mid-term vote.]

Fess up! Were you surprised by:

  • Rumsfeld's dismissal (dismissal probably is truer than resignation)?
  • Charges being sought in Germany against the Secretary of the Indefensible Defense - as well as Attorney General Gonzales and others for war crimes?
  • How Iraq reacted to Rumsfeld's "desire to spend more time with my family"?
  • the Bushies sudden claiming al Qaeda was going to attack the White House? (Considering how the Bushies have attacked 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, what greater damage could the Osama bin Laden crew do?)
  • Having U.N. bully John Bolton tossed up again for appointment as ambassador?
  • Bush's (probably unintentional) admission of a lie regarding Rumsfeld's future with the Bushies?
  • Ned Lamont's defeat in Connecticut? (Of course, if you paid attention to the huge money the Republican National Committee (RNC) poured into the nutmeg state, you probably shouldn't have been too startled.)
  • McCain's rocket-fast announcement he's running for president in 2008?
    How the media has largely ignored stories of huge voting irregularities, as if the fact that Dems largely carried the wins means all voting was fair and accurate?

So what am I missing from this list?