McCain-Lieberman Ticket?

Did you catch the love-in between John McCain and (he's such a liar he still calls himself a Democrat) Joe Lieberman? The one where there was more than just a slight suggestion that McCain might actually consider the hawkish Orthodox Jew-slash-Unorthodox lawmaker as his running mate?

While anyone with a brain knows that among the countless reasons why Lieberman, in his current incarnation as loyal Bushie, should never be allowed near Capitol Hill, much less 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, his religious affiliation is not at all one of them, I still found myself wondering what the hell McCain is thinking.

Granted, McCain has tried to rebuild himself in the far right image, courting and getting the warm and wormy embrace of the late (and never great) hate mongerer, Jerry Falwell, and granted that the far right has painted itself the "great defender" of Jews of late. But this scurrilous crowd hardly "likes" Jews - no, they see them (most and revulsively despicably) as a "necessary evil" for the Rapture to occur the way they want.

But can even the increasingly erratic McCain think he can help his chances on Super Tuesday, or in South Carolina's primary, by suggesting he would consider as his vice president a man like Lieberman who is despised by most Democrats for his "me first" politics of late while many Republicans hold their nose as they try to find something nice to say about Joementum?

Chris Matthews, Hardball, Mea Culpas, And An Embarrassment of Rich (and Neverending) Embarrassments

Salon starts of this piece about how MSNBC's Hardball host, Chris Matthews, has caused the Internets (all of them!) to be agog about his terribly treatment of Hillary Clinton and goes on to say he's offering his mea culpas, which may or may not be because he could lose his job otherwise.

But let's be honest here: almost everything that comes out of Matthews unchecked and mealy mouth, usually about Democrats in particular, has been damned embarrassing.

Matthews started his very erratic slide - and this tool was never the most sharply calibrated instrument to begin with - when he went totally gaga about how MANLY Bush looked in May 2003 with his stunt landing on the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln to announce "Mission Accomplished" and "all combat pretty much over in Iraq". Matthews literally noted Bush's (quite obviously) padded crotch and opined that every woman in America had fallen in love with the brainless wonder and every man was proud that, if they had to have a president who had a bigger codpiece than they did, at least it was "this MAN's MAN". (Geez, I want to retch just thinking about this.)

Thus, Matthews simple-minded diarrhea of the brain isn't something that started with this election cycle. It's just that he's getting exponentially worse. In addition to the Hillary remarks, he's said Obama was inspiring because he did so well in Iowa considering he's a true candidate of the third world. Uh, I know Chicago has problems, but when did Illinois join the third world? And it gets worse from there.

Sadly, the only thing MSNBC is doing in having Matthews plastered on EVERY presidential campaign focused broadcast is to render useless the little bit of better analysis they DO have (and considering their team, we're pretty much down to Keith Olbermann who shouldn't have to be paired with a fellow host so incompetent he could be named a major Bush appointee).

Today's Nevada Caucus: Rules Must ALWAYS Favor the Voters, Not Specific Candidates

With all the talk the last few days of how critical it was that Barack Obama "won" a ruling in Nevada that permits caucuses in the casino areas (now there's something our forefathers probably did not envision) so that workers, like the culinary workers union that threw its support behind Obama, can participate in the caucus process despite the fact the votes are held on a Saturday (today) which has to be a very busy workday on the strip, comes a point too often lost.

The point is this: voting rules and laws should always favor the best interests of all voters. For example, anything that can be done to make it easier - and yet still able to protect the integrity of the votes cast - for voters to cast their ballots can and should be done. Such rules should NOT be designed to favor one candidate or another. In fact, screw the candidates: it's the voter's interest that comes above all else.

The most egregious example we've ever seen - and I pray it will never be repeated - of the system being rigged for a specific candidate rather than the totality of the American voters came in the presidential election of 2000. And no, I'm not talking specifically about the Bush-Cheney subversion of the votes through outright thievery.

When Bush's people, led by constant Bushie savior James Baker III, raced to the U.S. Supreme Court to be sure that the recount of votes in Florida was stopped (lest it was proven that indeed Gore won), Baker took a law designed to protect the voter and turned it magically into an argument that one single voter and candidate, namely our current Moron in Chief, would be irrevocably harmed if the Florida recount was permitted to continue to its logical conclusion.

Somehow (magically, through a packed court roster - though hardly as weighted to the extreme Bushian mindset as it is today), the Supreme Court not only let them get away with a total perversion of the laws, they rewarded Baker and Bush and Grand Evil Emperor Cheney with the presidency in a decision that boils down to "we can't let Florida finish its recount because if it does, it's likely Bush will lose, and that will hurt poor Georgie's feelings and nobody ever says NO to Georgie and Dick(less)."

Thus, regardless of whether the court decision to allow Nevada voters to cast their caucus votes (and the caucus system is really a strange way to go, but that's a whine - without the cheese and crackers - for another day) in a more convenient arena like casinos favors Hillary, Barack, John or Dennis, or hell, even the (choke) McCain-Lieberman ticket, the important issue is not which candidate benefits or is hurt, but that voters get to vote. This is exactly as it should be.


Out of Iraq Bloggers Caucus

Some have noted; some have not: I've joined the others fighting the good fight at Out of Iraq Bloggers Caucus; hat tip to The Newshoggers for the link and to the fine folks at OOIBC for the warm welcome.


Say Hello to...

Dizzy Dayz, a fellow non-fella blogger whose family - with a husband on his third Iraq deployment - is living Bush's non-stop war machine more than many of the rest of us. Dizzy has been kind enough to note a few of my recent rants in her daily top 10 blog post lists.

A Recipe For Stolen/Erroneous Vote Counts

As you may already be able to tell, and I should also add that many/some consider me fairly expert in IS hardware and software which only increases my anxiety on this subject, I take our ability to vote, and have our ballots ACCURATELY COUNTED and REPORTED very seriously. Dirty tricks happened before the digital age, but on top of the "user errors" that are inherent in any data system, it's incredibly easy to cheat in the electronic realm. So few understand the process that you don't have to be a guru or a super-cracker to change results and yet make it look like everything is kosher. All of this is why you've seen me looking so hard at the New Hampshire primary results; that and that Vermont's system are similar.

THUS, when I read things like this at Bev Harris' forum, that memory cards and cartridges are NOT routinely kept and, in fact, are not even always included in any true "chain of custody" to make sure those data devices do not have their contents altered, I KNOW our voting is guaranteed to be invalidated by the process:


I believe that MOST, if not all of the country, has decided that menory cards or cartridges do NOT fall under the 22-months retention laws.

Cards and cartridges are ROUNTINELY reused in just about jurisdiction I am aware of. I think this is made possible because the paper report from each machine was legally held to be the "official record", not the card. If you think about it, in a way that makes a lot of sense, since it is a copy of the paper record that is posted at the precinct. Any difference between a card and the printout would be held that the paper printout is the official word. A card is by its very nature changeable after the fact. The printout is static once done.

"Everything's PERFECT With New Hampshire Primary Vote Recount" - Unless You Bother to Read The Numbers

The stench wafting across the border is riper than Cabot Creamery's special blue cheese. Cough.

Bradblog is all over some of the irregularities already found with New Hampshire Democratic Primary votes recount (Republican recount to come after the Dems); I visited Brad AFTER I saw this happy horseshit on WMUR (a New Hampshire TV station's Web site). From WMUR (for MURky fact-gathering, perhaps?):

The continuing Democratic primary recount in New Hampshire has not found any voting problems.
As of yesterday, even TINY counties were noting that optical electronic scanners had reported HUNDREDS of ballots were blank (thus not counted) when they were indeed marked for a candidate.

Something really doesn't meet the stink test here. And Diebold may have changed its (bleeping) name, but it sure hasn't changed its rigged machinery.

Yet Another Fat, White Fascist GOP Lawmaker Wants Rights To A Woman's Womb


Gee, what a surprise; a Republican who wants to force his beliefs upon others. Who'd a thought? Mind you, there are many women doctors who will NOT undergo an ultrasound with their own pregnancies (except in extraordinary circumstances) because they question the "health" of doing so.

Women seeking an abortion would first have to undergo an ultrasound under a new bill proposed in Kentucky, reported Louisville, Ky., TV station WLKY.

Members of the Kentucky Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice in Louisville had a lot to say about the bill. They drove to Frankfort hoping to get more information about it, and hoping to convince the senator who sponsored the bill that it should not get passed at all.

"I think defeating it would be the best thing for the people of Kentucky, regardless of your feeling about abortion," said coalition member Anne Maron.

The new bill would make it mandatory for doctors to perform an ultrasound on a woman seeking an abortion, provide an explanation of the results and provide the ultrasound images to the pregnant woman and review them with her.

"I want to make sure women understand fully what is happening if they get an opportunity to see the little fingers and toes of the baby that they're thinking about aborting," said state Sen. Jack Westwood.
Come to think of it, "dolt" is too kind for a man like Westwood who would probably kill before he'd let a law directly act on his penis.


Former Republican Lawmaker Charged With Promoting Terrorism

OK, it's very tempting: a Midwest man (Mark Deli Siljander of Michigan) who formerly served in Congress (as a Republican) and as a delegate to the United Nations has been charged with 42 - count 'em - charges of funding and promoting terrorism. The righteous Republican tag makes me want to exploit this story for all it's worth.

But here's why I won't.

First, there's that strange notion of "innocent until proven guilty" that was hard hit even BEFORE the Bushies rode into office on a surplus of rigged electronic voting and almost completely eliminated now. But even that is not the only reason here I won't take the bait.

Siljander has been charged for his efforts with the Islamic American Relief Agency which the feds claim funnels money to groups that have actually threated America and its war of empire in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. However, we've seen a BUNCH of such charges that, even when the feds DO manage to win in court, seem to be built on unsubstantiated so-called evidence. Outside the U.S., many courts throughout the very civilized world have, often using info "developed" by the Bushies, have failed to render guilty verdicts because of the speciousness of the charges and the evidence the cases are built upon.

As the Christian Science Monitor so WISELY opined soon after September 11th, 2001 when they decided to stop using the term "terrorist" to identify everyone the Bushies do not like, "one person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter." This government is waging war on money going to every Muslim cause that isn't directed at keeping the Bushies and American corporations in charge of the oil in Iraq and the huge oil pipeline planned to cross Afghanistan OR to promote the war Bush WANTS to have in Iran.

At the exact same time, this government turns a blind eye to fund raising for others who also might be construed as religious fascists; for example, it's fine if you donate huge sums of money to some of the seriously rightwing "let's get rid of these Muslims and anyone else of not-our-kind-of-Semite" groups in Israel. (Palestinians and others are also Semites, btw, which makes any criticism of the most rightwing of the Israeli government's actions as "anti-Semitic" just because some of us want a fairness way beyond odd.) And Israel is just one example of the terrorists our government IS willing to support while condemning a select group of others.

Knowing how many charges have been brought by the highly politicized judicial system under Bush for reasons that have nothing to do with actual justice, I'm sorry but I don't think anything they do stands up to the smell test.

IF Siljander's group and Siljander himself actually are terrorists, then I have no problem with them being charged and prosecuted. But persecution just for being Muslim - to this Christian, me - just stinks. STOP ALL TERRORIST FUNDING and then apply the rules, or stop bringing charges only against CERTAIN parties. We still support, for example, many programs that help keep any Saudi but the Saud royal family in extreme poverty in ways most of the rest of the world sees as terrorism against the Saudi people but God forbid an Islamic charity does anything to feed and educate those poor.

Vermont's War To Violate Medical Privacy Wages Ever Onward

This latest widespread abuse of confidential medical drug records is IN ADDITION to a story first broken at Green Mountain Daily a few months back and I noted here - and the invasion continues! - that Vermont State Police, apparently bored (not enough one-day-expired emissions stickers they can ticket?), are going to pharmacies and demanding records on anyone taking painkillers along with antidepressants, etc.

And yet Vermont (ha!) is called the People's Socialist Republic of the U.S.:

Lawmakers Tuesday complained that a new electronic database of prescription drug records goes too far into the private lives of Vermonters. Members of the House Human Services Committee, who worked on the plan creating the state-run database of all prescribed drugs in Vermont, said the program now appears to have powers beyond what they envisioned when they passed it two years ago.

Committee members said the proposed policies of the Vermont Prescription Drug Monitoring Program would allow the state to collect too much information on people prescribed medication and share it with too many other state government employees.Bowing to privacy concerns, the bill passed in 2006 called for the commissioner of the Vermont Department of Health "personally" to share that prescription drug data to the commissioner of the Vermont Department of Public Safety "personally."

But the proposed rules for the law – the policies created and carried out by the state based on legislation passed by lawmakers – would now allow lower-level officials within the two departments to give and receive the sensitive information.

"I can't remotely think that anyone could construe from the word 'personally' that we meant designees," said Rep. Anne Donahue, R-Northfield, who added that the changes had her "beyond stunned." "We had lots of discussions about this here in the committee."

The Vermont Legislature passed the drug-monitoring system two years ago to help stop the illegal use of prescription drugs, which is now the top source of fatal drug overdoses in the state. The system will be maintained by the Vermont Department of Health and information from it can be used by law enforcement officials for investigations into specific alleged crimes.
In at least three cases (and this isn't a case with a warrant for a specific person's records, but just wholesale "give us all you got on anyone" situation), they've gotten it, too, with these being only the cases we KNOW about. Many pharmacies, of course, would never admit to providing this information because this would be a pharmacy that would (guaranteed) lose customers.

But the Vermont Congress can't skate here; anyone who agrees to the establishment of such a database DAMN WELL KNOWS it will be abused far worse than what individuals might do with those meds.

Bush's Kissing Cousins, The Royal Saudis

Also from Think Progress, some photos that almost make you wonder where Bush's allegiances FALL and scratch your head about how many Saudis were accused of being the 9-11 hijackers; happy photos from Bush's Middle East/Saudi fun fest trip.


Why Does John Ashcroft Get The Time of Day, Much Less A HUGE No Bid DoJ Contract?

John Ashcroft ("let the eagle snnnnnnnnnore") was such a shit that it took an even bigger turd, also former Attorney Bushie General Alberto Gonzales to make him look not so bad; so why the hell would Ashcroft deserve millions of our taxpayer dollars?

And no, the question is NOT purely rhetorical, NOR is the $26-52M he's posed to get exactly chump (except that we're the chumps) change; see Think Progress for more.

Last fall, New Jersey U.S. Attorney Chris Christie awarded his former boss, John Ashcroft, a lucrative no-bid contract to “monitor a large corporation willing to settle criminal charges out of court.” Ashcroft’s consulting company is set “to receive payments of $28 million to $52 million” in the deal, one of the biggest payouts ever reported for a federal monitor.

In an interview today, former U.S. Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach said the case is suspicious because no-bid contracts are generally awarded only if there’s a strong “
reason why there isn’t” a competitive process

Huckabee, The U.S. Constitution, And The Will Of The People

Pressing Issues: Pastors of plenty?

[Note: This is the same link as directly below; I'm just testing blogger changes.]

Pressing Issues: Pastors of plenty?

Huckabee: Change The Constitution To Fit God's Word

Update: Here's a strange note; the video has now magically disappeared from YouTube. Hmmmm.... Found a different clip of Huckabee's same miserable performance, however, and I'll post it post haste.

Gee, I didn't know that the U.S. Constitution was supposed to BE the word of God and must be changed to fit!

From Greg Mitchell's personal blog (some may recognize his name, however, as editor at Editor and Publisher and columnist of Pressing Issues):

Obama got heat today from Richard Cohen in The Washington Post because his pastor said some nice things about Louis Farrakhan. Former reverend Mike Huckabee, meanwhile, in Michigan yesterday called for amending the constitution to ban abortions and gay marriage, explaining, that "it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God -- and that's what we need to do, is to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards."

A new video of alleged "radical cleric" Huckabee.

KillBill 3: A Bill We Must KILL Dead, Dead, DEAD

My apologies that I just stumbled (literally) onto this sucker today, since it's been kicking around Capitol Hill since last summer and the House (blind, repressive motherfucking Constitutional assassins that they are) already passed it BUT... it's not through the Senate yet and we need this mofo deader than Ken Lay, Fred Thompson's campaign, Bush's brainstem, and Dick Cheney's humanity ALL ROLLED together.

The bill is S.1959 with the designed-to-scare-your-pants-into-a-brown-mess name of The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act (see here and here) which is likely to do NOTHING but kill my right and your right to speak out against an unjust, corporation-controlled government (like the one we have). Don't trust the media to watch this for you; they're too busy watching Britney Spears' crotch.

Wait... let me pile about a thousand soapboxes atop one another before I say... (whew.... wiping righteous sweat from my brow)


News Flash: Obama Is Black, Hillary's a Girl, GET OVER IT!

I think (excellent attorney and blogger) Jeralyn Merritt at TalkLeft gets it absolutely right in a way that too much of the country - and especially Lardass' Chris Matthews -just can't fathom (and a hat tip to Pamela at The Democratic Daily for pointing me to Jeralyn who I hadn't read yet today):

Obama is black. Hillary is a woman. Those are facts beyond change. Neither one qualifies or disqualifies them from being President. Let’s accept it, welcome the diversity and move on.


Pot Boosts Brain Cell Growth?

It almost makes me wish my smoking days were not long behind me; this from Libby posting at Newshoggers under "Marijuana is good medicine":

The prohibition profiteers lie to you when they tell you that pot has no medicinal value. A new study just out shows marijuana increases brain cell growth.
    ST. JOHN’S, Nfld — Supporters of marijuana may finally have an excuse to smoke weed every day. A recent study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation suggests that smoking pot can make the brain grow.

    Though most drugs inhibit the growth of new brain cells, injections of a synthetic cannibinoid have had the opposite effect in mice in a study performed at the University of Saskatchewan. ...

    The researchers found that rats treated with HU-210 on a regular basis showed neurogenesis — the growth of new brain cells in the hippocampus. A current hypothesis suggests depression may be triggered when the hippocampus grows insufficient numbers of new brain cells. If true, HU-210 could offer a treatment for such mood disorders by stimulating this growth.

Now cannabis is a complex plant and the research was conducted with only two of a multitude of elements it contains so this study isn't really a license to smoke pot, but this could explain why so many people who suffer from depressive disorders self-medicate with marijuana. Taken in moderation, it works better than Zoloft with a lot less dangerous side effects.

Meanwhile, I have mixed feelings about this research. It's good to establish that cannabinoids are useful as medicine but the focus on using synthentic compounds suggests to me that prohibitionists want to profit from marijuana without having to give up their equally lucrative war on the natural plant.

Race and Gender NOT Just Dem Issues, IMHO

According to this MSNBC happy horseshit, race and gender are becoming big factors in the Democratic presidential nomination campaign. But that rather IGNORES the fact that race and gender have ALWAYS been big factors on the right - and the farther right you go, the bigger the factor - which have pretty much FORCED them to be issues for anyone who doesn't think blacks, women, and other minorities don't belong strictly doing the dirty work for the wealthier white so-called Christians.

BTW, I hate that in 2008, we're discussing gender and race as much as we are. When I was a wee child in the 60s, I envisioned a time when these would not be big issues. Apparently, I was wrong.

But it's just as wrong to pretend that race and gender are only issues for Dems when the Republicans have never put forth a serious candidate of color and one who doesn't have a penis. This speaks VOLUMES about their fears and dark desires, IMHO.

Strait of Hormuz Spinning 101

For those who want a roundup of how BADLY the Bushies tried to spin the story of two little speedboats somehow presenting a MASSIVE THREAT to two big ass U.S. warships (who perhaps do NOT themselves belong in the fucking Strait of Hormuz in the first place) in Bush's latest attempt to launch war with Iran, see Cernig's (excellent) Newshoggers.

Myself? I laughed at the incident once I saw the video (wow, was that dumb) but laughed less when CNN's poll yesterday said that 44% of Americans agreed that Bush is right about Iran being "such a threat". However, CNN's damned poll is also REALLY easy to vote multiple times in, so it could be Karl Rove with an hour on his pudgy, murderous hands changing the vote (not exactly the first time he's done that, is it?).


Depressed? Well, Just Hold Your Funeral Now, Get Reborn Later

So a company in South Korea - the nation where this "fad" is big - will "stage" a mock funeral, complete with you being boxed and nailed into a coffin for 15-20 minutes, and then help you get "reborn" and happy for only $325 a person.

What a deal!

[Note to self: Apparently South Korea, like Orange County, California, really has TOO much disposable income... and nitwits.]

Mind you, when I studied long and hard working with the grieving and terminal patients, some of the many exercises we did involved our own "deaths" and projection. But the coffin part? A tad bad.

Once More, Proving Charles Darwin RIGHT

Who says natural selection is "just a theory"?

Perhaps not the ghost of this fellow in Hollywood who decided to "slide" down the banister of an escalator in a Hollywood (California) mall.

Was New Hampshire's Primary Vote Count ACCURATE? We Need To Know: Here's Why

Last week, I noted that Ohio Congressman - and still Democratic presidential hopeful - Dennis Kucinich (along with a Republican few know) demanded a recount in New Hampshire to carefully recount the votes cast there last Tuesday. But what's gone under the radar is the WHY: that in the Democratic primary alone, whether Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama won, on the surface, depends on how the votes were counted. Specifically, the hand-counted votes seemed to go to Obama; the electronic machine counted ones seemed to favor Hillary.

I very much applaud Kucinich for making the demand; we NEED to know if there is a problem and, if there is, whether it's willful or a deliberate cheat. While our (already, if not always so fairly or appropriately) elected leaders have already kissed away true voting reform until 2012 at the same time that those in the know indicate that, even if verified voting reform were enacted TODAY, we can't even be sure the 2012 vote will be who we actually elected.

As you might imagine, there is HUGE doubt as to this November's validity of vote. And if you aren't paying attention to this, you may deserve what YOU get, but I don't think the rest of us do.

Real ID: Another Bush Step In The War Against Americans

(Where's a graphic of an upraised middle finger when you need one?)

Our forefathers - and generations of leading minds since the nation known today as The United States was founded - held certain truths to stand above the will of capricious government. One was that we would never be required to proclaim our allegiance to the throne (in whatever form it takes, including the Bush White House) because they remembered how it would be abused, and one of the others was that Americans should not be required to prove they are, uh, you know, Americans.

Yet the Bush White House, under Major Demon Homeland InSecurity Secretary Michael Chertoff, has announced that really, they'd like you to pledge allegiance to THEM and, while you're at it, PROVE you're an American by signing up for one of the most invasive and yes, ridiculous, national ID systems we can imagine. And - oh yeah - according to Chertoff, if you don't want to have a national ID, you're either Osama bin Laden (or other terrorist), an illegal alien who wants to steal the job of toilet bowl brushing many other Americans choose not to perform, OR you're a criminal.

I guess the idea that a patriot, much less than a regular citizen, might balk at being FORCED to prove he or she was born here, isn't a terrorist (and according to the Bush White House, terrorism has repeatedly been expanded to mean ANYONE who does not agree 312% with some fascist program of the Bushies), and isn't a serial killer (like Bush, in many respects, isn't one of the world's WORST of those and now wants to expand his killing fields into Iran).

I'll fight this with everything I have. I hope you will, too. It's the patriotic thing to do.