Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Please forgive the lack of postings of late. As I mentioned a few days ago, I'm on something of a mini-vacation and don't have an opportunity to spend much time in front of a computer. I should be back up to regular speed Wednesday afternoon/Thursday morning.

Thanks for coming by.

Monday, October 30, 2006



In an effort to undermine any credibility he may or may not possess, John Boehner appeared on This Week this week and claimed that Don Rumsfeld is the best thing that happened to the Pentagon in 25 years.
Let's all take a look back in time 25 years ago. The year was 1981 and Reagan had been in office for under a year. Now, what has happened over the last 25 years that might have been a pretty good deal from the Pentagon? Off the top of my head a couple of things come to mind. They coordinated the whole first Gulf War thing which turned out okay. I bet they had something to do with the Panama/Noriega invasion/snatch business which turned out pretty good. I'd be willing to bet that at least some part of the Pentagon had something to do with the whole fall of communism thing, and that was definitely not too shabby.
Yet Boehner, in his infinite wisdom, feels that a failed and out of control war in Iraq, coupled with the de facto abandonment of the "war on terrah" in Afghanistan is actually a good thing. Or rather, the best thing that has happened to the Pentagon in 25 years.
I'm actually not sure that the America could survive another two years of GOP-controlled government what with imbiciles like this spouting off this kind of drivel.

Sunday, October 29, 2006



It's not often that a self-righteous know-it-all puts himself in enemy territory by appearing on a program where he does not have primary control. One of the few instances where this is the case is when said bloviator has something to promote, say - a book that revels in its self-righteousness. With this in mind, I bring you Bill O'Reilly's appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman.
This is not O'Reilly's first appearance with Letterman, and if I recall, that meeting didn't go all that well for Bill-O, so why should this one be any different. And, in many ways, it was worse. From the start, Dave did absolutely nothing to hide the fact that he finds people like Bill and his Fox News cohorts as beneath contempt. It was really a masterful performance by Dave as he never missed a chance to get in a dig at the falafel man. When asked by O'Reilly if he wants the U.S., he paused for a moment. When O'Reilly commented that it's an easy question that doesn't require a pose, Dave quickly retorted, "It's not easy for me because I'm thoughtful," which got a huge audience response. It was such an enlightened answer and it illustrated the the polar opposite of how Fox News as an entity operates as the administration's mouthpiece, where deep thought is frowned upon and simple soundbytes and semantics are key. There aren't easy questions or easy answers when looking at Iraq and the middle east as a whole and Dave's response was illustrative of many people's views.
The discussion became more heated over time and at one point, Dave asked a question, Bill murmured a little something and Dave quickly interjected another question (which is basically standard operating procedure over at the Factor) to which Bill huffed, "Do you want me to answer the question?" Dave, not missing a beat, responded, "I don't care!"
I've watched Letterman off and on for years and I don't ever recall him ever treating a guest with such disdain. It was a thing of beauty to see a blowhard get something of a comeuppance. Night after night O'Reilly operates in much the same manner and it's just nice to see the tables turned on this offensive little troll of a man.
I think Dave struck just the right tone at the end as he noted, "I have no idea what I'm talking about ... but I don't think you do either."

(Note: Crooks and Liars has the video.)

Saturday, October 28, 2006



As I'm sure many of you are aware, the Dixie Chicks have had a bit of a rough time since they made their feelings about George Bush known over three years ago. They were shunned by much of the music industry, called traitor or worse by people who purport to believe in freedom of speech and suffered numerous death threats because they had the nerve to say that they were ashamed that Bush is from Texas, as they are.
I mention all of this because the Chicks have a feature-length documentary coming out which chronicles this time in their lives. The movie is set to be released soon and, as with many movies, it must advertise in order to get the word out so that people might come and see it.
Except NBC refuses to air the commercials. From Variety:

"It's a sad commentary about the level of fear in our society that a movie about a group of courageous entertainers who were blacklisted for exercising their right of free speech is now itself being blacklisted by corporate America," Harvey Weinstein [the film's distributor] said in a statement. "The idea that anyone should be penalized for criticizing the president is profoundly un-American."

According to the Weinstein Co., NBC's commercial clearance department said in writing that it "cannot accept these spots as they are disparaging to President Bush."

Um, what the f***!?! NBC won't air a commercial because it's disparaging to Bush? What the hell country are we living in? Last time I checked, I thought it was the United States, but apparently our country has become some sort of stalinist state that brooks no unkind words of Dear Leader on a publicly held company. Honestly, this just isn't computing with me. It's just so wrong on so many levels that a commericial isn't being aired because it disparages Bush. It's like the U.S. has become some sort real-life version of Orwell's Animal Farm where the rules seem to keep changing in order to fit the whims of the leaders. It's been a while since I read the Bill of Rights, but I don't recall it saying anything about a freedom of speech just as long as you don't say anything bad about the worst president in the history of the nation. I must have one of the old copies.



Michael Schiavo, the husband of Terri Schiavo, has become politically active since Terri's death as he now runs a PAC and supports people running for office who don't do things like interfere in a personal family decision. Things like Marilyn Musgrave did back during Terri's final ordeal early last summer of 2005.
Well, he traveled to Colorado and he has an interesting story to tell about his trip, which can be found over at Daily Kos diary.

[A] little background, first. Back in mid-July I travelled to Colorado and delivered a letter to Congresswoman Musgrave's office. asking her why she felt compelled to interfere in my family's personal affairs - questioning, in fact trying to refute the medical facts of my wife's case on the floor of Congress.

Not surprisingly, Marilyn Musgrave never responded to my letter.

So on Tuesday I joined about 1,000 citizens and members of the local and regional media in the Windsor High School Auditorium to hear the debate and try to get an answer to myquestion from Congresswoman Musgrave.

About twenty minutes before the debate started and after speaking to several reporters about how Musgrave had voted to transform her values into our laws, I took a seat in the front row. As it turned out, I was seated next to the timekeeper who held up yellow and red cards to signal time to the candidates.

But just minutes after taking my seat, I noticed a flurry of activity around my seat including about four uniformed police officers who were - I would learn later - called in by Musgrave staffers and asked to remove me from the building.

At this point, I had made no speeches, I had no signs, had made no attempt to disrupt or cause any commotion. I only came into the auditorium, spoke to a dozen or so reporters and took a seat.

To their credit, the police refused the Musgrave campaign's appeal to have me removed.

There's more to come, but I still can't get over even that part. A sitting member of Congress asked the police to remove me - a taxpaying citizen - from a public debate. Obviously, I misunderstand the concept of a political debate. I thought a debate was a place to share ideas, answer questions, defend your record and tell citizens what you've done and what you will do. Marilyn Musgrave believes, I have to gather, that debates are places to have the police remove people who don't agree with you.

After the police talked with obviously irritated Musgrave staffers and the debate organizer, the Musgrave campaign complained that my seat, next to the timekeeper, was inappropriate because - get this - Marilyn Musgrave would have to look at me. In an effort to appease the Musgrave camp, the debate organizers moved the timekeeper to the other side of the stage - about 15 seats away.

If you need to re-read that again, it's okay. A member of Congress who took to the floor of our Congress to speak about my wife, my family and my values made the debate timekeeper move so she wouldn't have to look at me. Just amazing.

Go check out the rest of his story. It speaks volumes to what kind of a person Musgrave is, which is to say, not much of one.

FBI visits Fake Boarding Pass Guy. That'll show us all, eh? Do the job the FBI should be doing and isn't, and get a visit from the Suits, especially if you've helped expose how Diebold machines can be rigged. Yep, that's not so good either. A congressman will sic the FBI on you.

Friday, October 27, 2006



Sean Hannity has gotten so desperate that he's begging Democrats to stay home come Election Day. Um, that's about all I've got for this. I just thought it was sort of funny and pitiful.

Karl Rove has either got this election completely and totally fixed so that his party can't lose in eleven days or he is pathologically delusional. And if it is the latter, then apparently math and polling work differently in his delusional world since he believes that while most polling indicates the Democrats gaining control of at least one house of Congress, in Rove math the GOP will keep control. Because he claims to look at more polls. And all those polls we lowly peons do not see tell him that the Republicans are all set come November 7th. So, like I said, either the fix is in, or the guy has lost his marbles. It better be the latter because I'm hoping the American public won't stand for the former yet again.

It's been quite a busy week for George W. Bush as he's spent much of it mired in some insane morass of semantics. I'm not even sure what his latest talking point is since he's gone from "stay the course" to "adapt to win" along with a couple of benchmarks and sort-of timetables thrown into the mix. Of couse, none of this actually addresses ANY of the problems in Iraq; it is more like owning a dog that keeps crapping all of the carpet, but you keep arguing what you should call the dog instead of actually addresses the crap-stained carpet. Of course, if I wanted someone to seriously address pressing foreign policy issues, I certainly wouldn't ask this cretin.

Donald Rumsfeld earned a strong amount of my ire this week when he told people how they need to just chill out on all the Iraq griping. I mean, seriously, it's not like they've given us any reason to be concerned with just how horrendously they've screwed up Iraq, so maybe we should just all just trust that things will eventually work themselves out and until then we should all just shut the hell up.

By far, the biggest hunk of garbage of the past week is obviously Rush Limbaugh, who thought nothing of ridiculing Michael J. Fox for no other reason than Fox came out in support of stem cell research. Mr. "I've actually had a couple of run-ins with the law myself for drugs" actually spoke out of his ass when he opined that Fox got off his meds for Parkinson's in order to look "extra-shaky" for the stem cell ad. Of course, one quick google search would have educated the bloviating one about the effects of not taking one's meds when one has Parkinson's - namely the exact opposite of excessive movement. But then that storyline would fit in with his smear of someone who doesn't comport with his views.

Here's the latest tally after TEN weeks:
George W. Bush - 23 points
Joe Lieberman - 15 points
Dick Cheney - 13 points
John McCain - 12 points
George Felix Allen Jr. - 12 points
Donald Rumsfeld - 10 points
Denny Hastert - 9 points
Bill Frist - 8 points
Mark Foley - 8 points
Tony Snow - 6 points
Tom Reynolds - 6 points
Rush Limbaugh - 5 points
Ben Stein - 5 points
Chris Wallace - 5 points
ABC - Path to 9/11 - 5 points
Sean Hannity - 4 points
Matt Drudge - 4 points
Geoff Davis - 4 points
Peter King - 3 points
Matt Drudge - 3 points
Marilyn Musgrave - 3 points
Michelle Malkin - 3 points
Condoleeza Rice - 3 points
Ann Coulter - 3 points
Karl Rove - 2 points
JD Hayworth - 2 points
John Boehner - 2 points
Michael Savage - 2 points
Neil Cavuto - 2 points
Frank Gaffney - 1 point
Hugh Hewitt - 1 point

(Points are awarded based on five points for a first place finish, four points for second and so on. Points will be carried over from week to week.)

Sorry for the lack of posting today. I spent much of the day adlibbing a five-hour seminar for a contractor in New Orleans. Then, when I was done, I had an almost three hour drive back home to Daphne.
Of course, this was on top of the test to end all tests (at least in my mind), the GRE, which I took this past Wednesday and spent the better part of six weeks prepping for. Overall, it's just been a draining week and I'm looking forward to a mini-vacation of sorts as I'll be travelling to Atlanta for some Halloween fun with some old friends.
Anyway, give me a little time to drink a beer (or several) and I'll have the FIVE WORST PEOPLE list up in a little while.
Thanks for coming by.


Just when the political world was settling down from the Mark Foley controversy (come on, as if anything was going to come out of the ethic committee investigation before the election), it is now becoming more and more apparent that there was another congressman who liked to stick his hand in the page cookie jar. This time it's Arizona congressman Jim Kolbe. From ABC:
A source close to former House Clerk Jeff Trandahl told ABC News that Arizona Congressman Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) was one of a small number of "problem members" of Congress who page program supervisors complained spent too much time socializing with pages, taking them to dinner or sporting events outside of official duties.

What I'm curious about is the above quote makes reference "a small number of 'problem' members". The piece acknowledges that Foley was also on this list. Was there anyone else? I would tend to assume that if a Democratic member of Congress was on this exclusive list that his name would be up in neon lights on the Mall, so if there are more than two members on this list, is it another Republican. And if so, who is it? How long is this list really? If this list even exists, are steps being taken to deal with the problem members? Did the problem members commit any crimes or were they overly friendly or 'creepy' as the ABC piece notes? Lots of questions here.
17 OF 18 OF THE 109TH

Back on the 20th, I asked if anyone was keeping track of all of the crooked members of Congress. Yes, someone is and it is no less than Roll Call. Take a look, then print it and show it to all of your friends, family, neighbors, and the kid who bags your groceries. Again, it's astounding.

(Thanks to Josh Marshall and TPMMuckracker again. Really.)

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Twice now, I've felt assaulted while in my own home, minding my own business, watching the World Series. Assaulted by horrifying display of unmitigated greed exemplified in a commercial by Chevrolet that uses American disasters in an attempt to sell their automobiles. I'm just not feeling well enough tonight to formulate even a semi-literate commentary, so I'll just refer you to this blog entry by James Poniewozik over at Time.com. See the commercial at Jalopnik, then go here and let Chevrolet know that you don't find the deaths of thousands of American's acceptable fodder for their peddling of automobiles. Then, please link to this or email this information so that enough people will object to have this travesty removed from the airwaves.


Well, that's certainly one way to deal with what may just be the greatest foreign policy blunder in United States history. At a recent press briefing, Donald Rumsfeld responded to a question from a reporter who was looking for a little bit of clarification what with all this timetable/benchmark talk going on about Iraq. His response:
This is complicated stuff. It’s difficult. We’re looking out into the future. No one can predict the future with absolute certainty.
So you ought to just back off, take a look at it, relax, understand that it’s complicated, it’s difficult. Honorable people are working on these things together. There isn’t any daylight between them. They’ll be discussing this and discussing that. They may have a change there, a change here. But it’ll get worked out.

I would just have to assume that the families of all the armed forces stationed in Iraq will take this advice to heart. Just relax, people. I mean, we've got Rummy's word that "honorable people" will be talking about this and talking about that. After all, 'it'll get worked out' eventually. Probably not under his watch, but it'll get worked out. Just take a chill pill, folks.

Worst Administration Ever!


As he continues to consider a run for president in 2008, one of the issues that has kept me from embracing Barack Obama has been his exceptionally close relationship with Democratic turncoat Joe Lieberman. Today he did something of a symbolic gesture (though he could certainly do more) by sending an email to his list of Connecticut supporters showing his support for the actual Democratic candidate for Connecticut, Ned Lamont. From Lamont's campaign website:

Ned Lamont has waged an impressive grassroots campaign to give the people of Connecticut a choice in the November Senate election. He has a vision for his state and country, and his campaign has been about presenting that vision to Connecticut voters.

Ned Lamont and I share a commitment to bringing our troops home safely from Iraq, to achieving energy independence, to helping all our citizens realize the American dream, and to empowering the American people to reclaim their government. Ned Lamont’s campaign is about delivering on these goals in Washington.

The November 7th election is right around the corner. Please join me in supporting Ned Lamont with your hard work on-the-ground in these closing weeks of the campaign.


We all watched Ned’s improbable primary victory two months ago. His campaign generated a record turnout that saw 30,000 new Democrats vote to change course at home and abroad.

Ned earned the Democratic Senate nomination through his hard work and clear message. And his victory paved the way for an entire crop of Democratic challengers to stand up and fight for the common good. Today the candidacies of Diane Farrell, Joe Courtney and Chris Murphy are integral to the Democrats’ strategy to regain the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

A majority of Connecticut Democrats supported Ned Lamont in the August primary. I hope they will see this impressive movement through to the end by volunteering their time with Ned in these next two weeks.

As I previously noted, he should definitely be doing more, given his very high profile and presidential aspirations, but this is definitely a positive turn of events for a man who I understands looks at himself as a Lieberman protege of sorts.
Given Lieberman's antics of late (as in calling Lamont a "goddam sonuva bitch" to his face after their debate earlier this week), one might wonder if Lieberman might take exception to his buddy Barack cozying up to the guy who actually won the Democratic primary. regardless, I'm glad that he took this step, and hope that he can be convinced to take that book tour of his through Connecticut sometime in the next 12 days.



Karl Rove got a little testy when being interviewed by Robert Siegel of National Public Radio yesterday. Faced with the possibility of losing both houses of Congress in under two weeks, the normally self-assured Rove resorted to flights and fancy and snippy retorts.
Via Raw Story:

After midterm election interviewer Robert Siegel stated that "many might consider you on the optimistic end of realism" regarding Republican hopes to retain both Houses in November, Rove suggested that the NPR host was biased.

"Not that you would be exhibiting a bias or anything like that," Rove said. "You're just making a comment."

"I'm looking at all the same polls that you're looking at every day," Seigel responded.

"No you're not!" Rove exclaimed.

Rove said that he was reviewing 68 polls a week, and that "unlike the general public, I'm allowed to see the polls on the individual races," as opposed to public polls reported in the media.

"You may be looking at four or five public polls a week that talk about attitudes nationally, but that do not impact the outcome," Rove said.

Rove claimed that the polls "add up to a Republican Senate and a Republican House."
"You may end up with a different math, but you're entitled to your math," Rove said. I'm entitled to 'the' math."

I swear, the holier-than-thou attitude emanating from this man must be downright nausea-inducing when one is up close next to him. Based on this exchange, either Rove has permanently set his spin-meter on "super-duper-hardcore spin" or he is in for a terribly rude awakening coming Tuesday evening/Wednesday morning. I would pay money to see the look on his face when the results begin to roll in and the nightmares of a lame duck presidency begin to creep in.

The Appeal for Redress is providing servicemen and women an opportunity to communicate with members of Congress and express their thoughts about their efforts in Iraq.

It's wording is simple: "As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to support the prompt withdrawal of all American military forces and bases from Iraq . Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price. It is time for U.S. troops to come home."

One soldier was quoted in WaPo: "I think some things are worth fighting for, I just don't feel Iraq is one of them," said Madden, of Bellows Falls, Vt. The Quantico-based Marine plans to leave the service to attend college in January.

Amen, soldier, amen. I hope you make it.

Check out this great video found via Jesus' General:

A message to republicans

Wednesday, October 25, 2006



I had never heard of Ellis Henican before today. A quick Wikipedia search reveals that he's a journalist and a radio personality. He made an appearance on Hannity and Colmes recently and had this to say about those on the right that lament the lack of civility in political discourse:

Whenever conservatives say we should all get along and end the acrimony, what that really means is we should just agree with the president and everything he wants including (unintelligible), we love the nasty war and the deficit’s terrific. Conservatives’ view of this stuff is liberals ought to be quiet, conservatives ought to get their way and that’s how we’re all going to get along.

Huh, sounds an awful lot like how the right whines about so-called activist judges. Remember, they're not activist as long as those on the right agree with the judge's ruling. Cross them, though, and we've got ourselves the next activist judge that must be reigned in! Hypocrites, I say!

[Many thanks to Newshounds for the transcript.]

I have often believed that, given a fair election, Democrats would win more times then they would lose. But given the various convoluted election laws found throughout the country, there is always a fear in the back of my mind that something (or many things) will occur this coming Election Day that will once again undermine our democratic process.
Today, the Washington Post took a look at ten states that could very well be the Florida/Ohio of 2006.

In a state-by-state canvass, the 75-page report singles out places, such as Indiana and Arizona, where courts have upheld stringent new laws requiring voters to show poll workers specific forms of identification. It cites states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania, which have switched to electronic voting machines whose accuracy has been challenged. And it points to states such as Colorado and Washington, which have departed from the tradition of polling sites in neighborhood precincts.

I believe that one of the first acts of this new Congress, assuming Democratic control, should be the development of a nationwide voting system that would do away with local issues. Control over elections should also be taken out of the hands of partisan secretaries of state like Katherine Harris in 2000 and Ken Blackwell in 2004. Further, some form of papertrail must be readily available in the likely event of voting machine tampering. These three suggestions alone would go a long way to restoring faith in our broken voting system.

So, it's done. I took the GRE this morning. I almost didn't because I was terribly late thanks to a flat tire. Of all the times when I didn't need a flat tire, this was one of the top ones. Still, I made it to the testing center about 20 minutes late and they got me all set up.
The two essays came first and they went well, I suppose. They didn't exactly present a strain on me, but given that I was already stressed out from being late, they were probably a bit more challenging then they otherwise would have been. These scores will be mailed to me in the near future. They are graded 1-6 with six being the highest score. I would expect that I probably scored "5's" on them.
After that was the verbal which I didn't score as well on as I thought I might. I got a 620, which is still a fairly solid number (in the 87th percentile) though I was definitely striving for better. I immensely dislike reading comprehension questions given the amount of time they take to answer and at one point, the test hit me with five in a row. The test is timed and I was already feeling a time crunch since I was nearing the end of the section, so it definitely affected my ablility to concentrate.
On the math section, I was pleasantly surprised. As I was instructed from my study aides, I spent much time working the first five-eight questions to make certain that I got them correct, but I unfortunately overbudgeted my time on them since I basically had to guess the final five answers as I ran out of time. I hit the last answer with two seconds to spare so I did next to nothing as far as actual work on them. Still, I amazed the hell out of myself by scoring a 600, which is higher than any of my practice tests would indicate I was capable of.
Anyway, I'm just glad that's done. Now I can actually get back into the swing of things around here and we work our way to the election in 13 days. Wow, 13 days and America could be a much different place from the hell of the last six years. I'm looking forward to it.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


As some of my regular readers may remember, I've been busting my hump studying for the GRE, the required test for admission into grad school. Well, tomorrow's the big day. At 9am I'll be heading into the testing center and hoping to hit the thing out of the park. I'm not going to, of course, but I'll give it my best shot.
I had originally hoped that somehow I could study and study and study in order to get a perfect score on it, but after six weeks of work and more than a couple of practice tests, it is more likely that I'll score considerably less than perfect.
The test is broken up into three parts - verbal (analogies/antonyms/sentence completion/reading comprehension), math and two essays. My practice tests seem to indicate that I should do alright on the verbal as my practice scores have been in the mid-to-high 600's (high score being 800), which is in the 90th percentile of test takers - a pretty strong score. My math, on the other hand, is considerably less strong. My high in the practice testing was 550 (again out of 800) but the last practice test I took I scored a pitiful 430. The test is an adaptive one, meaning that if you score the first question correctly, your score (which starts at about 500 or so) goes up and they give you a harder question, but if you miss a question, it drops your score and gives you an easier question and so on. The test is structured in such a way that you really want to get the first six to eight questions correct as they mean more to your score than the last 8-10 questions (out of about 30 total questions). On the math section that I tanked, I missed the first two questions and that set me up on a path where even if I aced the rest of the test (which I didn't) I still wouldn't be able to make up the ground to get to a respectable score.
As for the essay part, I've only just learned what sort of structure the testers are looking for and it seems simple enough. As you may have noticed, I'm not a bad writer so as long as I can adapt my writing to the format of the two essays I should be fine.
I'm going to be calling it a night early this evening as I need to fight more nightowl urges and get to bed. I'm usually up until midnight or so most nights but tonight I'm popping some sleeping pills and heading off to lala land at about 10pm. I'll get up in the morning and pound two Red Bulls (I really really hate how those things taste) and I'll make the driver over to the university.
Hopefully, after all this testing is complete, I can go back to a more regular posting schedule. Many thanks to Kat as she's done a nice job of picking up the slack and hitting some good notes on her posts. I'm looking forward to seeing more of her stuff around here.



Today, Don Rumsfeld basically confirmed what everyone with half a brain already pretty much figured - that Bush has no intention of changing his patented "stay the course" strategy. Appearing on Sean Hannity's loathsome radio program, Rumsfeld called media reports about Bush's reversal on 'stay the course' nonsense and said that Bush was of course not backing away from 'stay the course'".
What I find at least somewhat surprising is that Rummy is so steadfastly calling BS on the whole stay the course/change of course nonsense. Bush has come out intent on hoping to change the American's public mind and surrogates like Dan Bartlett have dutifully gone out and parroted the line.
Now Rummy goes out with Hannity and goes completely off script, calling any change from what they've been doing over the last three-plus years as nonsense. So, which is it? As I noted before, this is all semantics to the reality-based community since Bush would rather keel over a die than admit any kind of mistake, which a change on "stay the course" would certainly imply.
One thing that I wonder about is whatever happened to the vaunted message discipline coming out of this administration and all Republicans in general? A few short months ago, this sort of conflicting message would never have seeped out. Is the situation in Iraq, coupled with troublesome polling leading up to the midterms really knocking the Bushies off their game this much? Imagine how they'll be when the Dems take control of one or both houses of Congress. This could get really ugly.



I alluded earlier to the sort of "flippity-floppity" nature of Bush's recent unveiling of their non-staying the course strategy, but I like how Josh Marshall said it better, as he notes the New York Times and the New York Post reactions:

"The White House said Monday that President Bush was no longer using the phrase “stay the course” when speaking about the Iraq war, in a new effort to emphasize flexibility in the face of some of the bloodiest violence there since the 2003 invasion."

Flexibility? I thought it was 'stay the course' versus 'cut and run'. One or the other. Who heard of 'flexibility'? That sounds so friggin' John Kerry.

Peter Baker with the Post expounds:

But the White House is cutting and running from "stay the course." A phrase meant to connote steely resolve instead has become a symbol for being out of touch and rigid in the face of a war that seems to grow worse by the week, Republican strategists say. Democrats have now turned "stay the course" into an attack line in campaign commercials, and the Bush team is busy explaining that "stay the course" does not actually mean stay the course.


Political rhetoric, of course, is often in constant motion as well. But with midterm elections two weeks away, the Bush team is searching for a formula to address public opposition to the war, struggling to appear consistent and flexible at the same time. That was underscored by the reaction to a New York Times report that the administration is drafting a timetable for the Iraqi government to disarm militias and assume a larger security role.

To which Josh properly replied:

Struggling indeed. 'Cut and Run' lacks nuance. And after, what, 18 months of hearing how timetables will embolden the terrorists, it turns out we're giving the Iraqis timetables.

Why does Bush want to embolden the enemy? Why does Bush hate America?

And check out the great links at Discourse.net, He's got a passel of 'em. Here are just a couple.

Clinton (look, he's my hero!) campaigning for Sestak.

Sestak responding to attempts to swift boat him. How Weldon thinks he can even campaign against this guy is an example of Republican stupidity.

Speaking of stupidity, here's a great animation about our (too stupid to be) President and budpaul's favorite, Lieberman.

Finally, a very nice and really good song, America My Daddy Taught To Me.

Sometimes I love Bill Maher and sometimes I hate him and his particular brand of relativism. If I manage to ignore my cringe reflex, he usually is able to make some decent points such as here in his "New Rules" from his Saturday program, via Crooks and Liars, by the way of truthdig.

Additionally, Maher tore into "the neocons at PNAC and the Heritage Foundation for being disastrously wrong on every foreign policy prediction they've made regarding Iraq and the GWOT."

"Maher: And finally, new rule in two parts: (A) You can't call yourself a think tank if all your ideas are stupid; and (B) If you're someone from one of these think tanks that dreamed up the Iraq War and who predicted that we'd be greeted as liberators, and that we wouldn't need a lot of troops, and that Iraqi oil would pay for the war, that the WMD's would be found, that the looting wasn't problematic, that the mission was accomplished, that the insurgency was in its last throes, that things would get better after the people voted, after the government was formed, after we got Saddam, after we got his kids, after we got Zarqawi, and that whole bloody mess wouldn't turn into a civil war, you have to stop making predictions."

Monday, October 23, 2006


Another miner died today. Even though the families of the dead Sago miners wrote to President Bush urging him not to appoint a mine executive to manage the safety of the nations mines, guess what?

"Ah, the magic of the presidency. The Senate has refused to confirm former coal company executive Richard Stickler as the head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). So, while they were out, Bush gave him a recess appointment to the post."

Read the remainder by Justin Rood at TPMmuckracker here. And thanks to David Roberts at the Grist for the heads-up.

I'm just shocked that the Senate didn't rubber stamp the appointment, as is their habit.



Alright, we all know that Rush Limbaugh is a true cretin; a dispicable human being in any and every sense of the word who ought to be rotting in prison given his past transgressions and not spewing his bile over the taxpayer-owned airwaves.
Today's target of his offensive ramblings is Michael J. Fox, the actor who suffers from Parkinson's disease. Fox recently shot a campaign ad for Missouri Democratic Senate candidate Claire McCaskill urging that a vote for McCaskill would be a step towards getting federally funded stem cell research approved and a possible cure for dibilitating diseases like Parkinson's might be found.

It's a pretty powerful and effective ad and given that a standard election season has thousands of ads of dubious quality and veracity, this one resonates.

Limbaugh, being the kind and caring soul he is, had this to say about the ad:

"I stated when I saw the ad, I was commenting to you about it, that he was either off the medication or he was acting. He is an actor, after all."

He then goes on to claim he has received a "plethora of emails" stating that Fox has admitted in interviews that he goes off his meds and that he had done so for this ad in an effort to make himself look more sympathetic. Of course these emails' claim are bogus (if they even exist at all other than in Rush's drug-addled brain), as the interviews don't exist since Fox has never said such a thing. In fact, quite the opposite, in regards to meds/movement link appears to be the case - as in, the medicine is the cause of the movements and not the Parkinson's itself.
From a doctor emailer to Crooks and Liars:

The chorea that Michael J Fox has in that ad comes from chronic use of dopamine agonists in the context of Parkinson's. They're movements from the medicine, not the disease itself. Although he might have odd movements OFF of his meds, they wouldn't look like the ones in the ad.

Of course, guys like Limbaugh (and when I say that, I mean Republicans in general) don't cotton to things like science. They say whatever the hell they want in an effort to smear people who disagree with them and their point of view. That he would target Fox is just more evidence of this fact.

UPDATE: Another doctor backs up the above claim and shows Limbaugh to be the arrogant and ignorant fool we all knew him to be. Here's some quick research from Jonathan Cohn at The Plank over at the New Republic, who spoke to Dr. William J. Weiner, a professor and chairman of the department of neurology at the University of Maryland Medical Center:

What you are seeing on the video is side effects of the medication. He has to take that medication to sit there and talk to you like that. ... He's not over-dramatizing. ... [Limbaugh] is revealing his ignorance of Parkinson's disease, because people with Parkinson's don't look like that at all when they're not taking their medication. They look stiff, and frozen, and don't move at all. ... People with Parkinson's, when they've had the disease for awhile, are in this bind, where if they don't take any medication, they can be stiff and hardly able to talk. And if they do take their medication, so they can talk, they get all of this movement, like what you see in the ad.

When I want commentary on the side-effects of oxycontin I'll ask Rush. Otherwise, he should exercise some restraint and stop talking out of the side of his ass. Of course, if he did that, he wouldn't be able to make a living, but would that be such a bad thing for humanity?



Yesterday, Bush actually went on national television and claimed that his administration has never been about "stay the course" in Iraq, when obviously those three words have been the centerpiece of every speech for he past three years. Now White House counselor Dan Barlett demonstrated today that he did get the memo from his boss as he was on The Early Show this morning and claimed, it's "never been a stay-the-course strategy" in regards to Iraq.

As I noted yesterday, Bush said almost those exact words on This Week, "We've never been stay the course."

Do they think the American public is just plain dumb? Do they think that we've got the attention span of a fruit fly? Or is it something deeper? A (lone) commenter, Joe C, might be onto something regards to this pack of liars:

Pathological narcissists lie to you about facts they know you know. They lie to you about what you have said and done. Even if you said or did it only one second ago. They lie to you about what they have said and done in your presence. Even if they said or did it only one second ago. They lie about what you have done together. Even if it was only one second ago. In short, they lie like somebody out of his mind or hallucinating. Anybody we all know fit that description???

Joe C, you are wise beyond your years. (Oh, and congrats on the baby girl.)



Novakula was on Meet the Press this morning, and in an offensively lame attempt to downplay the importance of the upcoming midterms he actually made the claim, "This is going to be one of the least important elections that I have even seen."
Um, are you kidding me?!
Actually, this is something of an interesting tact that he's pursuing, this way when the GOP loses its majority in the House and possibly the Senate, he can sit on his throne and spouting all manner of nonsense like, "Hey, don't worry about it! It's really no big deal." He probably should have amended his statement since, in his mind, if the Dems win control, then it's no big deal, but if the GOP holds on, then it's a huge deal because it's just more proof that Americans support Bush and his policies.
One of the arguments he makes in an effort to prove the unprovable is that yes the Dems will have subpoena power, but that really doesn't mean all that much because the GOP had subpoena power back during the Clinton years and they were not effective in their efforts. Of course, this completely ignores the fact that the reason why the GOP was not "effective" in their investigations is because Clinton hadn't done anything wrong in almost all of these instances! Wow, there's an concept! But of course, this doesn't register with a hack like Novak. How about this, Bobby - we Dems win control of one or both houses of Congress, we'll start investigating Bush and then we'll see just how effective subpoena power can be. Sound good?
I truly believe that we're in uncharted territory here as the GOP bobbleheads are officially off of their daily talking points. How so? Well, here's Novakula telling us that these elections don't mean all that much, but then you have Sean Hannity crapping himself in abject fear of the Dems winning this November. I mean, he's begging Dem voters to stay home so that they do not participate in the downfall of the United States by electing a Dem Congress, but in Novak's mind, nobody should give a rat's patootie. You're starting to confuse me, fellas. I liked it better when you were always on the same page.

Sunday, October 22, 2006



Since I would be remiss if I didn't include this in order for Mr. Bush to qualify for my weekly FIVE WORST list, I bring you our flipflopper-in-chief (or is he the Liar-Liar Executive Branch on Fire?). Today on the George Snuffaluppugus Show, aka This Week, Bush actually claimed that his administration has never advocated staying the course, or, as he put it, "We’ve never been stay the course, George!"
At this point, I can only assume that Bush was in a specially insulated building that shielded him from the lightning of God raining down on the Pathological Liar-in-Chief.
Think Progress has a handy collection of stay-the-course-isms for you edification. I humbly reprint them here:

BUSH: We will stay the course. [8/30/06]
BUSH: We will stay the course, we will complete the job in Iraq. [
BUSH: We will stay the course until the job is done, Steve. And the temptation is to try to get the President or somebody to put a timetable on the definition of getting the job done. We’re just going to stay the course. [
BUSH: And my message today to those in Iraq is: We’ll stay the course. [
BUSH: And that’s why we’re going to stay the course in Iraq. And that’s why when we say something in Iraq, we’re going to do it. [
BUSH: And so we’ve got tough action in Iraq. But we will stay the course. [

Remember, boys and girls - President Clinton was impeached because he lied about a blowjob. Bush lies to the American people daily and Congress cannot be bothered to investigate him. Yep, that sounds about right.



Sean Hannity must be getting desperate. He's starting to beg. During his radio program on Wednesday, Hannity actually resorted to pleading with Democratic voters to stay home "for the sake of the nation." From Media Matters:

I want you [Dem voters] to stay home on Election Day because you must accept the fact that your party has abandoned you. You've gotta accept the fact that your vote doesn't matter anyway. So all you Democrats, stay home.


So I'm saying, for the sake of the nation, I think you Democrats should stay home. For you there's no reason to vote. But you Republicans out there, the ones -- there's enough people in this audience to make a real, significant difference in really key important states.

Sort of an odd comment (dare I say Freudian slip?) about Dem votes not mattering, don't you think? Still, to go on and on about this is so unseemly to me. And of course there's the fact that the tirade is about as effective and useful as discussing birth control options with a 90-year old woman given that the majority of his audience is either die-hard conservatives or die-hard liberals who only listen to hear the latest stupidity eminating from his piehole and wouldn't be inclined to pay any heed to his request to supress Democratic voter turnout. Have the GOP and their mouthpieces become so flat-out desperate that they've actually taken to a sort of semi-voter suppression? What next, does Hannity tell his Dem audience that they are required to vote November 8th while all Repubs vote Nov. 7? I bet it's coming.


In discussing what it means for the Dems to retake the Congress this November, the most important must be the resumption of Congress' oversight responsibilities. Rep. Henry Waxman had this to say that I think is just about perfect (from Newsweek via Daily Kos):
When the Clinton administration was in office, there was no accusation too small for the Republicans to rush out the subpoenas," Waxman says. "When Bush became
president, there wasn't a scandal big enough for them to ignore."

Two sentences is all it took to perfectly encapsulate the Republican Congress over the last twelve years. In a little over two months, Washington D.C. is going to look like a very different place.

Russert is doing his damndest to get Barack Obama to fall into the usual Demo pit... eating their own. In other words, he is trying his best to get Obama to criticize Democrats and the Democratic party in general. He's also just trying to trip him up any which way he can.

So far, and overall, Obama is doing a truly masterful job of deflecting and redirecting the conversation. Go Obama!

I swear I'd vote for him for President if he wasn't a teenager. Clinton/Obama, I just might go for.

BUDPAUL THOUGHTS - Just my two cents, but I've got a couple of problems with Barack and the possibility that he's going to run in '08. First, he's been in the Senate less than two years at this point and I do not believe that he is seasoned enough for the job at this point. Plus, look at the committees he's currently serving on - Environment and Public Works, Veterans' Affairs and Foreign Relations - not exactly a strong resume at this point. 2012? Better.
Another thing that chaps my ass about him is his ultra-close relationship with on Joe Lieberman. I know that Barack is more of a "DLC" Dem then "Netroot" Dem, and I will refrain from passing judgment on which is "better" at this point, but anyone with as close a relationship with Lieberman as Barak has given what Joe's done to and said about the Dems over the years certainly warrants closer scrutiny in my book.
BLUEKAT'S THOUGHTS: We are different people with different viewpoints, which should make this site even more interesting, I hope. I agree that Obama does not have a great deal of experience in Congress but I don't see that as a negative factor. If anything, I see any experience in Congress as a negative factor for anyone running for President, and to a lesser degree, Vice President. There hasn't been a member of Congress elected President since Kennedy. Congress (both parties) has an approval rating of 16%. Neither factor is encouraging. He is very compelling, but does need more scrutiny. Still, he's not seasoned enough for #1, possibly viable for #2, as I see it.
As for Lieberman, I don't think that he should be running as an independent. I disagree with the way he has conducted himself during the Bush administration. I also disagree with the way he was eviscerated by his party. Democrats eat their own. Since the Johnson administration, Democrats have tended to criticize one another more than their opponents. It is our greatest failing that we cannot come together as a party and recognize that there is room for far left liberals, liberals, moderates and centrists. I think, on whole, the far left liberals have nearly co-opted the liberal blogosphere and are attempting to do so party-wide, which will be disastrous for anyone running a national campaign. I find what they are attempting to do to Rahm Emanuel laughable, when he is working so hard to elect Democrats that he has lost 14 pounds and hardly finds time to gulp a sandwich. This, while I envision his attackers sitting on their asses like me, smoking, drinking and eating and typing, like me. As for me, I refuse to be categorized, except as a Democrat. Depending on the issues, I might be far right to centrist. The Democratic Party needs to be The Real Big Tent, if for no other reason, so that we can all get our bleary-eyed, fat ass carcasses inside. Perhaps here, we can help show how to pitch that tent, eh?

Some of the week's headlines:

"During National Character Counts Week, Bush Stumps for Philanderer." The Washington Post.
"Gubernatorial race: Gibbons denies doing anything inappropriate, offensive." Las Vegas Review-Journal.
"Ellison campaign says woman has blackmail in mind." Minneapolis Star Tribune.
"Priest offers further details about his relations with Foley." Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Read the rest with further extrapolation here. But, let me tell ya, this is the best:

"I'm a happily married man, a father and a grandfather," Gibbons proclaimed Thursday, clenching his wife Dawn's hand. Gibbons said the woman, who he said "might have been tipsy," tripped outside the restaurant and he tried to help her up.
"Gosh, I learned an important lesson, never to offer a helping hand to anybody ever again," he said.


Silly me. I thought we still had the same Constitution we've always had. But, according to Justice Antonin Scalia, there is a "new philosophy of the Constitution". Mind you, I'm just part of the reading public who Scalia clearly disdains since he states that "nobody would read it " if the press were to report the details of the justice's rulings.

Of course, I always thought that judges and the courts were independant and approached each case with an open mind and no agenda of their own. The esteemed Scalia has certainly disavowed me of that notion with his statements following:

"'You talk about independence as though it is unquestionably and unqualifiably a good thing," Scalia said. "It may not be. It depends on what your courts are doing."

Scalia added, "The more your courts become policy-makers, the less sense it makes to have them entirely independent."

Policy makers. Hmmm. Golly, I'm a whole lot dumber than I thought. All this time, I've thought that Congress and the state legislatures made the laws and the executive branch made... er... policies for the country, in addition to upholding the law (ahh, pardon me while I have a chuckle).

Scalia went on to blame the blogosphere (who else?) for taking a toll on the judiciary. Poor judiciary, what with us expecting unbiased, reasonable, Constitutional rulings and all.

I got a little carried away with some of Scalia's statements, so I posted my rant at Demokat because I didn't want to burden Paul's site with my viewpoints on misogyny, abortion, etc. Demokat deals with religion in politics and vice versa, and individual rights, with a feminist slant, so it has a better home there.

Read the whole AP story by John Heilprin here.

The AP reports with a dateline from Syracuse, NY at 8:44pm last night that the NRCC is running a campaign ad so scurrilous in its accusations that the Republican candidate and the attacked Democratic candidate are both decrying it. It accuses Democrat Michael Arcuri of billing taxpayers for a call to a phone sex line. Arcuri is a district attorney and has threatened to file a lawsuit as the ad is "clearly libelous".

"The ad, which began airing Friday, shows Michael Arcuri leering at the silhouette of a dancing woman who says, 'Hi, sexy. You've reached the live, one-on-one fantasy line.'

Arcuri's campaign said an associate mistakenly dialed an 800-number sex line two years ago from Arcuri's New York City hotel room, and released records supporting the claim. The number shares the same last seven digits with the number for the state Department of Criminal Justice Services, which was dialed the minute after the first call was made."

The ad was called "'an egregiously stupid accusation'" by a professor of television and popular culture at Syracuse University.

The NRCC is standing behind their ad. Of course they are.

An "adjustment" has been made in CNN's reporting now. Bush's "tactics" have been "adjusted", but his "overall strategy" remains the same. And the White House is trying to downplay the meeting with the Generals.

Oh boy, this is priceless.

BBC News reports this morning that Alberto Fernandez, "A senior US state department official has said that the US has shown "arrogance and stupidity" in Iraq. Apparently, the administration is also now willing to talk to anybody, including Aunt Sue's knitting club if they have any ideas about how to stop the sectarian violence. Okay, those were my words, but here are theirs:

"Mr Fernandez, an Arabic speaker who is director of public diplomacy in the state department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, told Qatar-based al-Jazeera that the world was 'witnessing failure in Iraq'".

"'That's not the failure of the United States alone, but it is a disaster for the region,' he said. "

"'I think there is great room for strong criticism, because without doubt, there was arrogance and stupidity by the United States in Iraq.'"

Unfortunately, Mr. Fernandez was no more forthcoming with Al-Jazeera than Tony Snow is with the White House press corps.

"'Our goal in Iraq is clear and unchanging,' he said. 'Our goal is victory. What is changing are the tactics we use to achieve that goal.'"

I refer you to Paul's post on the 18th as I tell you this.

To quote his imagined press conference:

Question: "Tony, what is Bush's strategy to win?"
Snow: "Our strategy is to win."
Question: "So, what you're saying is his strategy to win is to win? Is that what you're trying to sell us?"
Snow: "That would be correct."

CNN is now reported that Mr. Bush is changing his strategy in Iraq.

So, I guess that wraps it up. No more winning going on in Iraq.

Saturday, October 21, 2006



There's been a lot of chatter on the right in regards to nightmare America will become if Nancy Pelosi becomes House Speaker as expected if the Democrats win control of the House this November. Her evil San Francisco ultra-liberal ways would no doubt be the death knell of this once great republic; at least, according to administration mouthpieces like Bill O'Reilly, Brit Hume and Sean Hannity.
The Washington Post has a decidedly different take on her. The piece is a nice chronicle of her time as minority leader, including her ascension through the ranks of the Democratic minority. It definitely paints a picture of a very strong and tough person.

Dismissed by her critics as too liberal, too elitist and too lacking in gravitas, Pelosi, serving her 10th term, has proved to be a tough-minded tactician who has led her caucus from the political center and kept the fractious House Democrats in line. Pelosi and House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) rarely work together, and the Democrats voted along party lines 88 percent of the time last year -- the most unified voting record in 50 years -- according to a Congressional Quarterly study. By hanging together, the Democrats have thwarted many GOP initiatives, including the centerpiece of Bush's second-term agenda, restructuring Social Security.


In describing her dealings with fellow Democrats, Pelosi said, "I expect a certain level of discipline when we have agreed on where we're going." Some members, she said, "mistake sometimes my courtesy for a lack of strength, and they ought not to do that."

If polled, I was one of those people who had no real opinion of her. Certainly I supported her in that she was a Democrat and I am nothing if not a blazing partisan, but I will readily admit to not knowing all that much about her, other than the basic biography. The Post piece was a nice introduction to her and those wishing to know the future Speaker of the House should give it a read. Find the whole article here.

It's official. Republican's have hit bottom in sinking to a new low. To get any lower, they will have to bring in an earthmover.

Via CommonDreams, according to an article in UK's The Independent, Andrew Gumbel writes from Los Angeles that Republicans are accusing Democrats of supporting a "group of gay pedophiles", or NAMBLA, the North American Man Boy Love Association.

"Why?" you ask. Well, because they are utterly morally bankrupt, I answer. But, let me go into more detail.

Amongst hundreds of obscure campaign workers in one Democrats campaign, lurked a man convicted of exposing himself to children.

Self-same Democrat had abstained from a vote relevant by only the most twisted convolution.

A Democratic challenger in California is a member of the ACLU.

Democrat Nancy Pelosi, representing San Francisco, participated in gay pride parades.

Wait for the kicker....

Congressman Brad Miller (D-NC) voted once for appropriations to the National Institutes of Health. The NIH is one of the leading medical research facilities in the world. They have made tremendous strides towards cures for some of the most fatal diseases known, and in the treatment and cure of incurable diseases such as the one from which I suffer.

For such Angel's work, Mr. Miller has not only had his sexuality questioned for being childless when his wife is unable to bear children, but has been further slimed by homophobic Republican challenger Vernon Robinson with the following advert:

"Instead of spending money on cancer research," a recent campaign advert ran, "Brad Miller spent your money to study the masturbation habits of old men ... Brad Miller even spent your tax dollars to pay teenage girls to watch pornographic movies with probes connected to their genitalia. Brad Miller pays for sex, but not for body armour for our troops."

I am speechless. I am just absolutely speechless. It takes my breath away.

We blame George W. Bush for many things. We blame him for entering us into a disasterous war for no good reason and complete ineptitude in the prosecution of the war. We blame him for fearmongering, lying to the country, subverting the Constitution. And these are just the tip of an enormous iceberg, dangerous enough to sink our country just as assuredly as the Titanic. Oh, we blame him for so many things, and all deservedly so.

We just don't blame him enough.

His actions have not only endangered American lives, he is responsible for endangering the entire world. I think the current relative silence from the leaders of all the other countries speaks volumes. I dare say that they are sitting and gaping, knees weak and jaws dropping. They know not what to say or do for fear of the reaction of a reckless commander in chief of the most powerful military in the world who has a publicly stated policy of preemptive military option and is so obviously out of touch with reality. After all, when Bush declared Iran, Iraq and North Korea the "axis of evil" in January 2002, they expressed their dismay and deep concern (total batshit freakout), and what good did it get them? In May 2002, it got Cuba, Libya, and Syria added to the list. Maybe the administration saw this but chickened out on China.

We need to do something which has our President and Cabinet have apparently never considered. We need to put ourselves in the shoes of the rest of the world.

Putting personalities and past actions aside for the moment, imagine you are the leaders of Iran, North Korea, Iraq, Cuba, Libya, and Syria. Now, you know that you are third, or fourth tier nations in the pecking order of things. You may have been up to some mischief, may have been supporting some really bad guys who ended up doing a very, very bad thing, but they had their own agenda and weren't representing you or your country. Now, suddenly, the sole occupant of the First Tier of nations who can turn your country and all of your people into dust, has just virtually declared war on you.

What would you do? If you're Libya, you might totally cave. If Iraq, you let the UN in and show you have no IMD's. Syria, you send diplomats double-time quick. Cuba? Well, you sit down and have a nice cigar because you know that squat's likely to happen because you've been playing this game for decades.

If you're North Korea, you cry out to the world that you've just had war declared upon you by the Biggest Big Daddy (batshit freak out ) and you start begging Big Daddy to just come, sit down and talk awhile. You need so many things and Daddy has so much, you're sure something could be worked out. Only, Big Daddy sticks his nose up in the air and turns his back on you.

As Iran, you know you're sitting on the most important thing in the world to #1 and #1 hasn't deigned to talk to you in decades.

You watch as the most powerful nation in the world invades the weakest of the sextus of evil, despite having shown to all eyes and ears that were paying attention, that they had no IMD's and were not a threat.

So, what do you do if you are North Korea and Iran? Sure, you could turn your country over to Big Daddy and let him rape your natural resources and rule your country by proxy, but that doesn't look appealing.

What do you do? What do you do? What is the one thing you could do to get Big Daddy to pay attention and focus the rest of the world on your situation enough to involve themselves?

I think we all know the answer to that question. Unless this administration is even more criminally ignorant and careless than we think they are, they knew, too. And, now have no real clue as to what to do about it.

For a telling analysis of this situation, check out "The Axis of Evil Goes Nuclear" by William Montgomery, October 18, 2006, out of Serbia and Montenegro, no less. "One of the first rules of parenting is to never make a promise, threat, or commitment to your children, which you are not prepared to fulfill. If you lose their trust in what you say, you will never get it back and your ability to influence their behavior, for better or worse, will be significantly diminished."

The only conclusion we can draw is that the world is in the present situation of dealing with a nuclear threat from the two most radically dangerous nations who have been purposefully backed into a corner, solely due to the actions of our President.

The nations of the world are in dire and grievious danger because of the United States of America.

Now, if you were China, Russia, France, Germany, Spain, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, etc., what would you do? I dare say, once you pick up your asses from off the floor where you've slid to in utter dismay and shock, you might consider talking amongst yourselves.

The United States of America is in dire and grievious danger because of George W. Bush. That is what he should be blamed for and nothing less.

Friday, October 20, 2006



TONY SNOW hit the rare combo of being both a scoundrel and a nincompoop all in one week. He started off by claiming that Bush reminds him of "one of those guys at the gym who plays about 40 chessboards at once" and then followed it up a day or so later with the rather telling statement that he and the administration really have no idea what the hell they're doing in Iraq and haven't the slightest idea what winning in Iraq even means, much less how to accomplish it.

KING GEORGE THE BUSH gets a nod this week for signing the Military Commissions Act into law this week. It signing marks a black day in American history, much like the Alien and Sedition Acts, Dred Scott v. Sandford and Plessy v. Ferguson, all three of which were eventually proven to be dark stains on the American tapestry. In short order, the MCA will join that ignominious group.

PETER KING should never ever get a job working for the New York Tourism Board after making the claim that Baghdad and Manhattan were very much alike. Except of course for the car bombs and the IEDs and the snipers and the heavily armed troops and the fact that oh, about a hundred or so civilians are killed on a daily basis, as opposed to approximately ten a month in NYC.

Time after time JOE LIEBERMAN proves that he's as loyal to Democrats as I am to staying on a diet (which is to say not so much). Earlier this week, Lieberman claimed that he hasn't given any thought as to whether it would be a good thing if Democrats won control of the House. If you, a supposed Democrat through and through, cannot muster up enough common sense to answer, "You bet it's good for America," regardless of how you might feel. Unless of course you're so driven to win Republican votes in order to hold onto your seat that you're afraid to say or do anything that would make you sound like someone even remotely interested in remaining a Dem should you be reelected.

When will the lying and bullshit stop? If I had only one question to ask the vice president, I would love it if DICK CHENEY could give me a straight answer on this. Earlier this week, he appeared on Rush Limbaugh's radio program to continue his BS parade about how things are going so well in Iraq. He then came back and preposturously claimed, during a local television interview, that universally denounced lie that Iraq and al Qaeda were linked. Enough, sir. Enough. It does not matter how many times you repeat the exact same lies, it will never make them true. Just stop, you evil little man.

Here's the latest tally after nine weeks:
George W. Bush - 20 points
Joe Lieberman - 15 points
Dick Cheney - 13 points
John McCain - 12 points
George Felix Allen Jr. - 12 points
Denny Hastert - 9 points
Bill Frist - 8 points
Mark Foley - 8 points
Tony Snow - 6 points
Tom Reynolds - 6 points
Donald Rumsfeld - 6 points
Ben Stein - 5 points
Chris Wallace - 5 points
ABC - Path to 9/11 - 5 points
Matt Drudge - 4 points
Geoff Davis - 4 points
Peter King - 3 points
Sean Hannity - 3 points
Matt Drudge - 3 points
Marilyn Musgrave - 3 points
Michelle Malkin - 3 points
Condoleeza Rice - 3 points
Ann Coulter - 3 points
JD Hayworth - 2 points
John Boehner - 2 points
Michael Savage - 2 points
Neil Cavuto - 2 points
Frank Gaffney - 1 point
Hugh Hewitt - 1 point

(Points are awarded based on five points for a first place finish, four points for second and so on. Points will be carried over from week to week.)



The Washington Post has an interesting article on the subject. Before reading it, I thought that it was pretty cut-and-dried that, given the 22nd Amendment, coupled with the 12th Amendment would make his running for the second slot on the ticket impossible. After reading the article, I see that there is apparently some amount of gray area, most of it revolving around the difference between being elected, being eligible and serving as president.

The 12th Amendment says "no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President."

Okay, so that means if you're not eligible to be president, you're not eligible to be vice president. Makes sense. What would be the point of electing a vice president who can't succeed the president in case of death, incapacity or vacancy?

But then Congress and the states added the 22nd Amendment in 1951 to prevent anyone from following the example of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who won four terms. That's where things get dicey. "No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice," the 22nd Amendment says.

On its face, that seems to suggest that Clinton could be vice president because he is only barred from being elected president a third time, not from serving as president.

"In preventing individuals from being elected to the presidency more than twice, the amendment does not preclude a former president from again assuming the presidency by means other than election, including succession from the vice presidency," [Scott E. Gant, a partner at Boies, Schiller & Flexner in Washington, and Bruce G. Peabody, an assistant professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey] wrote. "If this view is correct, then Clinton is not 'constitutionally ineligible to the office of president,' and is not barred by the 12th Amendment from being elected vice president."

Others, of course, disagree:

"My tentative answer is that 'eligible' roughly means 'elected,' " [Eugene Volokh, a law professor at the University of California at Los Angeles ] wrote on his Web site, the Volokh Conspiracy, this summer, meaning that if Clinton cannot be elected president, he is no longer eligible at all.

The Post isn't saying that Bill is looking to run and notes prominently at the beginning of the article that "politically ... it's a non-starter". Still, it is an interesting exercise in Constitutional interpretation.

For me, after eight years of Bush, I'd take another four of Clinton, even if it is only the vice presidency.


The documentary, WAR OF THE WORDS, has it's latest installment available over at http://www.thewarofthewords.net/. For those not in-the-know, it is a documentary by Paul H. Henry that explores the right wing blogosphere, aka the 101st Fighting Keyboarders. They're the people who epitomize the phrase "chickenhawk" - those willing to wholeheartedly support Bush's foreign policy by sitting in a darkened room and fighting the war on opinion whilst never actually picking up a gun and going off to fight in said war.
It's very well done and I highly recommend checking it out.



Here's something of an odd question. But first let me preface it by saying that I'm not a religious person really. I was raised Catholic but the scandals of the church really rattled my faith in the faith. Their views on homosexuality and a woman's right to choose and now with Ratzinger in charge, I feel even less secure in my beliefs. I have prayed in my life. I've often tried not to ask for things from God, instead spending my prayer thanking him for all that he has given me. Never once during these times have I ever felt that God has talked to back to me. So, here's the question - has God ever talked to you? Not in a "What Would Jesus Do" sort of way as you feel as though you're doing what God would want you to do, but a real sort of, "This is God, thank you for praying to me. I believe that you should do this and this. Thank you. God, out."

I ask this because apparently God, in addition to all the other things the Almighty has to do in a given day, is apparently also the diety who came up with this "Stay the Course" nonsense. At least, that's what I would assume since apparently God has been telling Don Rumsfeld what to do in Iraq. So says General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
From Yahoo:

The top US general defended the leadership of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, saying it is inspired by God.

"He leads in a way that the good Lord tells him is best for our country," said Marine General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Well, if this is the case, I think that when the Dems take control of one or both houses of Congress, God should get the first congressional subpoena since he apparently has a lot to answer for. I guess it was God who told Rumsfeld not to plan for the postwar reconstruction. And it was God who told Rumsfeld he only needed 140,000 troops instead of the several hundred thousand or so that General Eric Shinseki said we needed (I guess God wasn't talking to him). I guess it was God who told Rumsfeld to do a lot of really stupid things in regards to Iraq that have us in the horrendous situation we find ourselves in now.

This is astounding. No, it's downright Nixonian, except that Nixon kept firing the Special Prosecutor investigating him, rather than just his Republican buddies. (Who doesn't think there ought to be somebody investigating Bush? Is that a hand way, way back there in the back? No?)

House Appropriations chairman and Leslie Nielsen/Peter Graves lookalike Jerry Lewis (R-CA), who "is under federal investigation for possible improprieties in how he oversaw Congress' spending of $900 billion annually", fired 60 investigators, contract workers, who had been working for his committee. They were fired Monday morning, effective immediately. Only 16 permanent investigators remain to handle the "extraordinary level of fraud investigations facing the panel." "This eviscerates the investigatory function" said one of the contractors, into the myriad fraud, waste, and abuse the staff was actively investigating.

One might think these investigations are like those that brought down Randy "Duke" Cunningham, himself a member of the House Appropriations panel. Oh no, no, no. Heaven forbid! In case you don't recall, Cunningham was brought down by Marcus Stern, a reporter for the Copley News Service. Now, Cunningham is having a hissy fit, blaming Stern for having been sent to prison, and "telling him his 'constant cruelty' had nearly destroyed Cunningham's life." Apparently, in his own mind, Cunningham's own actions had nothing to do with it.

I guess the House Appropriations committee doesn't want to take any chances by having enough fraud investigators to actually investigate fraud, what with seemingly dozens of members of Congress under scandal and investigation now. Is anyone keeping tabs? I mean, I'm losing count here. Wonkette has a Crook List but it's not just limited to Congress. It includes lobbyists, aides, miscellaneous Bushies.

Where does it all end? Hopefully, on November 7th. Then the American people just might end it, if this country is still a shadow of what it was once.

Again, astounding. I long for the days when we had a president subverting the Constitution only to cover his own sorry ass. "Crooks" hardly describe these Republican Congressmen and Senators. Congress is nothing but a Den of Thieves.

Here I am. Paul, thank you for this opportunity. I hope I don't let you down and I'll do my best. I'll try to keep my wacky stuff to Demokat so I don't freak out ALW regulars. At least for now.

Take all the time you need this weekend. Make a perfect score on the GRE. I know you can.

I'll try to keep you regulars engaged and thinking, as much as I can. Or vent on you. Or run you all off. Heck if I know. I guess we'll all find out together.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome aboard a brand new writer and blogger to my formerly single-person operation. BlueKat just started writing her own blog yesterday and she asked my opinion about it. I really liked her stuff (which can be found at DemoKat) and thought that she would fit in nicely around here. Given that I know how difficult it can be to build any kind of a readership with a brand new blog, I thought that she'd like to get onboard one that already has some "numbers" under its belt.
I've been interested in bringing on someone as my work and coming school schedule is cutting into my time here. I've gone from doing 5-6 posts a day to about 3-4 posts and having another contributor will allow the two of us to hit on many of the days' topics that I might be missing given my schedule.
BlueKat brings a little something different to what I do as I tend to focus on individuals who are doing stupid things; Kat definitely has something of a "big picture" outlook that I don't tend to address. Her perspective around here should make for a more well-rounded and entertaining blog. I would assume that there will be times that we overlap on our subjects and there will probably be a time or two when we disagree, but that's okay. Different opinions are always welcome.
I'm told that given her situation, she could be immensely prolific on any given day, and non-existent on others, but that's no biggie. I look forward to having her join my little corner of the blogosphere. I hope everyone else digs her writing as much as I do.

Oh, and Kat, if you could possibly have a really prolific weekend this coming weekend, that would be awesome. I've got the GRE coming up this Wednesday and I really need to focus on studying over the weekend. PLEASE!!!



I've been sitting on this topic for a couple of days (Think Progress had it I think on Monday). Cheney was on Limbaugh (as is his wont since he will not be interviewed by anyone who is not Limbaugh or Fox News) where he said the following:

CHENEY: Well, I think there’s some natural level of concern out there because in fact, you know, it wasn’t over instantaneously. It’s been a little over three years now since we went into Iraq, so I don’t think it’s surprising that people are concerned.

On the other hand, this government has only been in office about five months, five or six months now. They’re off to a good start. It is difficult, no question about it, but we’ve now got over 300,000 Iraqis trained and equipped as part of their security forces. They’ve had three national elections with higher turnout than we have here in the United States. If you look at the general overall situation, they’re doing remarkably well.

First off, I think that if anyone should receive some level of blame for there being unrest about the conflict not being over "instantaneously", perhaps we should all remember when all the prognosticators were out in force saying how the war would be over in short order. Don Rumsfeld claimed, "It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months." Cheney himself said, "I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators. ... I think it will go relatively quickly, ... (in) weeks rather than months."

So please, DICK, pardon us if the American people are a little uneasy that the war has lasted a teensy bit longer than you and Rummy predicted.

Next, Cheney claims that the current Iraqi government has only been in place for less than a year; a democratically elected government, mind you; yet there are now stories floating around that Bush is considering replacing the current government, so just how much faith does this adminstration have in their friends in Baghdad?

And finally, DICK claims that overall situation is going remarkable well. Does this even need a comment, especially considering how American troops are dropping like flies, dozens (on a slow day) of Iraqis are found dead with signs of torture present and the electrical grid is so broken that the average citizen has about two hours of electricity a day?

With someone like Bush, there's a strong possibility that he's just completely disconnected from reality, but DICK doesn't get that benefit of the doubt. You just know that he's ... I hate to use the word "evil" so what about conniving and calculating? When he speaks to Rush or Fox News, you just know that he's not deluded; he knows exactly what he's saying and he knows that he's full of crap. He says whatever he wants regardless of the facts because he knows that the bobbleheads would never ever call him on it.