Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Beck Does Kucinich

As often: Blue Gal

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Slobber Goddess (Ann Coulter) is at it again!

From Media Matters

On the June 25 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, discussing Sen. Barack Obama's (D-IL) June 23 speech at a church in Hartford, Connecticut, co-host Alan Colmes asked right-wing pundit Ann Coulter if "[o]nly Republicans can talk in churches." Coulter responded: "No, but I do think anyone named B. Hussein Obama should avoid using 'hijack' and 'religion' in the same sentence." Colmes replied: "I see. So, in other words, you want to paint him as a terrorist by continuing to highlight that his middle name is Hussein?" Coulter stated: "Just avoid those two together. ... Avoid 'hijack and 'religion.' "

Coulter was apparently referring to Obama's comment in his June 23 speech about the use of religion as a divisive tactic: "But somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and started being used to drive us apart. It got hijacked."

Ann Coulter looking for a clue

How does someone with the name "Ann Coulter" get a gig on any reputable station?

... FAUX News ... Answered my own question...

The list of the un-American and patently stupid comments made by this reactionary bimbo in the name of book sales and Chris Matthews fawning is longer than a George W. Bush college-days, cocaine line .

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Stash's Cache - The Tokens

Found on CrooksandLiars

I love this song. The lead singer, Hank Medress, died yesterday.

While his falsetto made the song, the fascinating and captivating part of the arrangement is the chick's voice in the background. That high tone going under and around the melody was always hypnotic.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

It’s All al Qaeda All The Time

Where have all the Iraqi insurgents gone? How about those remaining Baathist loyalists? The Shiite militia? They’ve been magically turned into al Qaeda!

Glenn Greenwald, writing for notices a newly emerging pattern throughout the MSM. He notes the fact that recent reports have been referring to enemy casualties as "al Qaeda". Such as... "today in Iraq (x) numbers of al Qaeda fighters were killed"…as if they were wearing name tags.

He quotes from McClatchy news agency:
U.S. forces continue to battle Shiite militia in the south as well as and Sunni insurgents in Baghdad. Yet America's most wanted enemy at the moment is Sunni al Qaida in Iraq. The Bush administration's recent shift toward calling the enemy in Iraq "al Qaida" rather than an insurgency may reflect the difficulty in maintaining support for the war at home more than it does the nature of the enemy in Iraq.

Greenwald writes:
This sudden shift in describing the "enemy" in Iraq as "Al Qaeda" is the by-product of a very familiar information-producing system: namely, the administration formulates narratives, the President announces them, his top officials and military commanders recite them endlessly, and then establishment.
Of course, most reporters in Iraq, spending their time in the relative security of the Green Zone, are happy to pass along whatever is spooned to them. The talking points are free, too.

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The war on Christmas is getting underway early this year.

June 25th, AP
Bush attends Christmas Gala.

It's a shame. Tragic really, persecuted Christians everywhere are forced to take refuge - compelled to move their televised Christmas soirées to mid summer.

You have to wonder what the evening-gown clad guests thought as they emerged from their limos into a faux-Christmas party. Did any of them think; "You know, this is f*cked up".

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Genarlow Wilson - A Tragedy

Genarlow Wilson's Tragic Sentencing for Consensual Oral Sex
By Van Jones and James Rucker

Last Monday, June 11, a judge finally dismissed the sentence of Genarlow Wilson, the honor roll student and homecoming king serving ten years in prison for having consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old when he was 17. In granting Wilson's habeas corpus petition, Georgia Superior Court Judge Thomas Wilson wrote that it would be a "grave miscarriage of justice" for Wilson to be kept in prison for the remaining eight years of his sentence.

Yet, immediately after the judge's ruling, Georgia's attorney general, Thurbert E. Baker, filed a notice saying that his office would appeal the decision, leaving Wilson stuck in jail. Baker's actions have not only robbed Wilson of his long overdue freedom, they epitomize the insanity of a justice system that seems hell-bent on criminalizing young black men.

More of this sordid tale...

So, William Jefferson Clinton gets impeached for a blow job. Genarlow Wilson gets prison time for a blow job, but George W. Bush can screw a whole nation and nothing happens.

What’s wrong with this picture?

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Rahm takes a testosterone pill.... finally!


From a memo sent from Rahm Emanuel's office:

"Today, we discovered that everything we learned in U.S. government class was wrong. Evidently, the Vice President does not consider himself a part of the executive branch, and therefore believes he can obstruct meaningful oversight and avoid being held accountable. If the Vice President truly believes he is not a part of the executive branch, he should return the salary the American taxpayers have been paying him since January 2001, and move out of the home for which they are footing the bill."

Where was he hiding his testicles when it was time to demand getting out of a War of Choice? Was he playing pocket pool with his testicles when our civil liberties were given away? We elected a Democratic majority to be THE MAJORITY and to start holding these bastards accountable. Rahm has wagged his mighty finger like Harry Reid does. Now, let's see if there's any bark in the bite.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Cheney: The VP office is not part of the executive branch

Vice President Exempts His Office from the Requirements for Protecting Classified Information

The Oversight Committee has learned that over the objections of the National Archives, Vice President Cheney exempted his office from the presidential order that establishes government-wide procedures for safeguarding classified national security information. The Vice President asserts that his office is not an “entity within the executive branch.”

As described in a letter from Chairman Waxman to the Vice President, the National Archives protested the Vice President's position in letters written in June 2006 and August 2006. When these letters were ignored, the National Archives wrote to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in January 2007 to seek a resolution of the impasse. The Vice President's staff responded by seeking to abolish the agency within the Archives that is responsible for implementing the President's executive order.

In his letter to the Vice President, Chairman Waxman writes: "I question both the legality and wisdom of your actions. ... [I]t would appear particularly irresponsible to give an office with your history of security breaches an exemption from the safeguards that apply to all other executive branch officials."

A fact sheet prepared by Chairman Waxman describes other instances in which the Vice President's office has sought to avoid oversight and accountability.

Context: The oversight committee has asked for documents from the VP office which should have been preserved pursuant to the Presidential Records act.

Cheney is saying to us, the public, in unambiguous terms, "the illegal stuff we do is none of your business."

Maybe someone ought to do something.

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It just doesn't stop.

Political Hiring in Justice Division Probed

By Carol D. Leonnig
Washington Post

Karen Stevens, Tovah Calderon and Teresa Kwong had a lot in common. They had good performance ratings as career lawyers in the Justice Department's civil rights division. And they were minority women transferred out of their jobs two years ago -- over the objections of their immediate supervisors -- by Bradley Schlozman, then the acting assistant attorney general for civil rights.

Schlozman ordered supervisors to tell the women that they had performance problems or that the office was overstaffed. But one lawyer, Conor Dugan, told colleagues that the recent Bush appointee had confided that his real motive was to "make room for some good Americans" in that high-impact office, according to four lawyers who said they heard the account from Dugan.

In another politically tinged conversation recounted by former colleagues, Schlozman asked a supervisor if a career lawyer who had voted for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a onetime political rival of President Bush, could still be trusted.

Schlozman has acknowledged in sworn congressional testimony that he had boasted of hiring Republicans and conservatives, but he denied taking improper actions against the division's career officials. That account was challenged by six officials in the division who said in interviews that they either overhead him making brazen political remarks about career employees or witnessed him making personnel decisions with apparent political motivation.



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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Searching for answers: Republican style

It is well known in the reality-based world that in the days after 9-11 Saudis were allowed to charter flights out of the country prior to any meaningful interviews by the FBI. An unanswered question is: Who arranged it?

According to the FBI, Ryan Air flight 441 which left LAX on 9/19/01, may have been chartered by Osama Bin Laden himself.

The outrages keep coming. Think about that, the FBI can't say with any certainty that OBL wasn't the person who chartered an airline to whisk his countrymen away during a general ban on commercial flights resulting from his attack. It's hard to conclude that stupidity is the problem with this government.

I guess that Rudy wasn't the only one saying "thank God George Bush is president", immediately after he allowed us to be attacked.

Thanks to Breitbart

The original documents

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Welcome to another

Lumberjack has agreed to drop some of his content into The Whirlpool. Stash has appreciated his blogging on other sites and coerced him to start up once again.

The wedgie will be released upon his first post.

There are a couple others being enticed into the fold. Expect new announcements soon.

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Thanks to Stash for the invitation - and the prodding.

I had an epiphany.

Well, actually the author of "Being Right is Not Enough" - Paul Waldman, had the epiphany and I'm getting a contact high from it.

The basic premise is that we progressives don't get anywhere by talking about policy. We should learn from conservatives, for whom details are anathema. The lesson to be learned is: talk about basic principles and our moral code. This basic principle, the "master narrative" is; we're all in this together.

From this first principle (which compares favorably to the darwinian conservatism which rules today) all other progressive values flow. Further, these progressive values have broad support. What has been missing from progressives isn't good policy, it's communication of a good ethical framework.

Further, conservative ought to be a dirty word. The word should be spoken only to disparage it. Republicans don't try to appeal to those who are hard to attract - they ridicule them. Here's an example from the book;
...consider this television ad, aired in Iowa by the conservative Club for Growth during the 2004 primary season:
Announcer: What do you think of Howard Dean's plans to raise taxes on families by nineteen hundred dollars a year?
Man: What do I think? Well I think Howard Dean should take his tax-hiking, government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading...
Woman: Body-piercing, Hollywood-loving, left-wing freak show back to Vermont, where it belongs.
Man: Got it?

You may have heard of this ad; its appearance was a minor story, discussed by cable anchors with amused smiles. But imagine for a moment the outrage that would have resulted had a liberal group aired an ad telling George W. Bush to "take his tobacco-chewing, trailer park-living, NASCAR-loving, Field & Stream-reading, grits-eating, right-wing freak show back to Texas, where it belongs".

It's okay to disparage both coasts - in fact, for Republicans it has proven to be a winning strategy. It would be equally effective for us to disparage the south. We won't win there anyway, and we don't want to pander to the chronic racism that being effective at it would require. True progressives in the south (like conservatives on the coasts) know that it isn't them who are being addressed.

Does this conflict with the 50 state strategy? Not at all. The 50 state strategy requires a grass roots effort. Running for the presidency requires mobilizing one's base, and calling ones self "a fiscal conservative" as if it were praise does nothing for the party. Is this writing off the south? In the short term, yes. Progressives won't change hearts and minds from the sidelines.

Another example of the author's point is provided by Bill Clinton. Did he win election because he expanded EITC? No. We elected him because he "felt our pain" - the EITC was an outgrowth of those values.

One last thought. At one time, I thought that taking the high road was the better long term strategy. I rationalized the idea that if we only communicated our policy better, eventually voters would see the light. It's been 25 years now. "Eventually" ain't ever gonna get here.

In politics, it's not useful, productive, effective or moral to roll over and take it. To succeed in politics, we need to hit hard and not just in retaliation, and certainly not to turn the other cheek. Everything depends on it.

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How to NOT hire an American!

h/t to Lumberjack, but somewhere other than his dead blog.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

New Orleans turns to foreign aid

(Stash, thanks for the's an initial post to get the ball rolling...BB)

Well, it’s official: We’re now a "Third World" country. It’s been nearly two years since Hurricane Katrina, and we have yet to seriously attempt to restore one of the most-fabled U.S. cities.

Becky Bohrer of The Associated Press reports that NOLA city leaders are talking to foreign countries for assistance in rebuilding.

Kenya Smith, director of intergovernmental relations for Mayor Ray Nagin, said city leaders are talking with more than five countries. He wouldn't identify the countries, saying discussions were in the early stages. But he said the city is "very serious" about pursuing foreign help.

"Of course, we would love to have all the resources we need from federal and state partners, but we're comfortable now in having to be creative," Smith said. He did not know if the city would have to overcome any obstacles if it got firm pledges for aid, but "we want to make sure we're leaving no options unexplored."

For months Nagin has complained bureaucracy is choking the flow of much-needed federal aid dollars to New Orleans - slowing the city's recovery. As of June 8, the city said it had received just over half of the $320 million FEMA has obligated for rebuilding city infrastructure and emergency response-related costs. The city has estimated its damage at far more than that - at least $1 billion. And that doesn't include other improvements - such as raised neighborhoods - meant to help build the stronger city promoted by Nagin and his recovery director.

Discussions with foreign representatives have been occurring off and on since the storm, but Smith said the city became re-engaged after a news report in April that millions of dollars in aid offered by foreign countries after Hurricane Katrina went unaccepted.

Yikes. The Bush administration had a chance to redeem itself after the "heck of a job" it did in the in the immediate wake of the storm. Instead it’s chosen to make the recovery of NOLA one of the "crown jewels" in its legacy of failure, leaving the city to fend for itself.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

The calvary has arrived!

Bleedin-blue has joined the ranks. With any luck we'll have a new tasty treat once in a while. When I noticed BB's blog got a little stagnant, I issued an invitation to share some wisdom here.

Welcome aboard. Fire when ready!

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Who the hell is Angie Paccione? This lady rocks!

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Friday, June 15, 2007

You know it's bad when....

... your party can meet in a phone booth and they kick you out! Where to now, Joe?

I think the Whigs need a member.

Party head lambastes Lieberman on Iran

Connecticut Post Online

WASHINGTON — Connecticut for Lieberman Party Chairman John Orman called Tuesday for Sen. Joe Lieberman to resign, saying his advocacy of a military strike against Iran could explode into a global conflict.
"He has crossed the line," said Orman, a professor of politics at Fairfield University. "His unilateral warmongering could lead to a new World War III."

During an appearance on "Face the Nation" on CBS Sunday, Lieberman said the United States should consider a military strike against Iran because of Tehran's involvement in Iraq.

"I think we've got to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians to stop them from killing Americans in Iraq," Lieberman said. "And to me, that would include a strike over the border into Iran, where we have good evidence that they have a base at which they are training these people coming back into Iraq to kill our soldiers."

Lieberman reiterated his call for a military strike on Monday during an appearance on Fox News in which he claimed that Tehran is training and arming Iraqi insurgents to kill American and Iraqi soldiers. He also suggested that failing to launch a military strike now would embolden Tehran's efforts to develop nuclear weapons.

"If we let them get away with this they will continue to move throughout the region and if we think we are going to have a prayer of a chance to stop them from developing nuclear weapons, it's not going to happen unless they take us seriously," Lieberman said.

Orman, a former Democrat, switched party affiliation and took over the Connecticut for Lieberman Party earlier this year. Lieberman created the party last August to run for re-election as an independent after losing the state's Democratic primary to Ned Lamont of Greenwich. However, Lieberman never joined the new party and remains a registered Democrat.

Orman issued a news release Tuesday asking Lieberman to immediately resign and urging Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell to appoint Susan Henshaw, secretary of the Connecticut for Lieberman Party, as his replacement.


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The clowns are spilling out of the Volkswagen

Neocon II: Lie Hard with a Vengeance
By Matt Taibbi

Call it the Leslie Nielsen effect. Your first attempt at a show-biz career fizzles out and dies, but your failure is so quirky and charming that it wins you a whole second career. Think Robert Goulet, Bill Shatner, even John Travolta. America loves a brave second act, particularly one that doesn't mind doing a take or two with egg still on his face.

What the Zucker brothers did for actors, the neocons are now doing for politics. In the first six years of the Bush presidency the administration's ideological nucleus -- a tribe of humorless conservative revolutionaries led by Dick Cheney and including the likes of Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Doug Feith and Elliott Abrams -- racked up a startling record in matters of official policy. From their juking of the case for the Iraq War to their Jacobin-esque purges within the government's intelligence apparatus to their paranoid and sometimes criminal fragging of political enemies great and minor, the neoconservatives working for George Bush botched virtually every important move they made in the last six years.

Moreover, each time they used the presidency's bully pulpit to make a prediction, be it about the post-invasion spread of democracy in the Middle East, the utility of Iraqi oil revenues in financing the occupation, or the chilling effect our presence in Iraq would have on Palestinian resolve, more or less exactly the opposite ended up taking place.

And yet, despite the walloping defeat of the Republicans in the 2006 midterm elections that seemed to spell the end of neocon rule in Washington, the clowns are once again spilling out of the Volkswagen. Lately the neocons seem to be all over the public airwaves, and not as the targets of purgative public flogging or tarring ceremonies, but as the subjects of serious interviews, with respected journalists treating them like real human beings with real opinions. Even worse, a few are still in office, and appear to be cooking up a last-minute encore before the curtain finally comes down in '08.


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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Scooter reporting, Sir!

The judge told Scooter to report to prison. He will not be able to post bail while exhausting appeals. An interesting note from The White House:

"Scooter Libby still has the right to appeal, and therefore the president will continue not to intervene in the judicial process," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Thursday. "The president feels terribly for Scooter, his wife and their young children, and all that they're going through."

Does the President feel bad that Scooter lied to the Special Prosecutor and obstructed justice?

The link

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Monday, June 11, 2007

We have a winner

Blue Gal had a poetry contest for this picture.

The winner in Stash's opinion was CunningRunt's opine:

Young man, your hand is so soft
That if all of my vestments I doffed
You could prob'ly insert it
And prob'ly not hurt it
Unless, by poor timing I coughed!

Holy Father, your kind invitation
Leaves me horny, and filled with frustration.
Though you have a fine ass
I'm afraid I must pass'
Cause I'm too busy fucking a nation!"

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Saturday, June 09, 2007

What the hell is wrong with these people?

Democratic Congress Increasing Funding for Abstinence-Only?

This post, written by Ellen Marshall, originally appeared on RH Reality Check
June 6, 2007

Thinking globally doesn't seem to apply locally for the Congress. In the same week, the House Appropriations Committee seems to be of two minds on ensuring that all people have the information and services they need to decide when they do begin to have sexual relations, and when they do, to be able to protect themselves against unintended pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

While yesterday the House Foreign Operations subcommittee approved legislation that enables global HIV prevention programs to determine at the country level the most effective and relevant mix of services needed by individuals there, the word is that the House Labor-Health and Human Services subcommittee is planning on spending $27 million more than last year (a total of $150 million) on abstinence-only programs (specifically for CBAE--Community Based Abstinence Education program--as early as tomorrow). Yes, the same programs that time and again have been proven to have NO impact on changing the sexual behaviors of young people--but can create increased risk because they are refused a breadth of knowledge on the subject.

It is unconscionable for the Democratic leadership to play into the politics of abstinence only programming, rather than paying attention to the public health evidence. Even more disturbing--in a time of limited resources for public health programs--that the United States think about throwing good money after bad by adding funding to these programs. Just take a look at the states--coast to coast and parts in between--that are rejecting this kind of programming. So why spend more money?

Certainly if the Congressional leadership can see the benefit of ensuring flexibility in international programs to enable the best public health outcomes, the same principle should be applied to domestic programs.

One definition of insanity is "Doing the same thing and expecting different results". The Democratic Leadership know this is wrong. The last time they tried to act like Republicans, the American people decided to elect Republicans. I'm starting to think I need to find a Party that wants to win. These yahoos seem to be playing "not to lose" rather than to win.

The Republicans have done everything they can to ensure they are either a permanent minority party or an extinct party. The Democrats are doing everything they can to let them back in the game.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

End of a myth

Found on Crooks and Liars.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Hey, Dick. Go F@#k Yourself!

Court Rebuffs F.C.C. on Fines for Indecency


WASHINGTON - If President Bush and Vice President Cheney can blurt out vulgar language, then the government cannot punish broadcast television stations for broadcasting the same words in similarly fleeting contexts.

That, in essence, was the decision on Monday, when a federal appeals panel struck down the government policy that allows stations and networks to be fined if they broadcast shows containing obscene language.

Although the case was primarily concerned with what is known as “fleeting expletives,” or blurted obscenities, on television, both network executives and top officials at the Federal Communications Commission said the opinion could gut the ability of the commission to regulate any speech on television or radio.

Kevin J. Martin, the chairman of the F.C.C., said that the agency was now considering whether to seek an appeal before all the judges of the appeals court or to take the matter directly to the Supreme Court.

The decision, by a divided panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York, was a sharp rebuke for the F.C.C. and for the Bush administration. For the four television networks that filed the lawsuit — Fox, CBS, NBC and ABC — it was a major victory in a legal and cultural battle that they are waging with the commission and its supporters.

Under President Bush, the F.C.C. has expanded its indecency rules, taking a much harder line on obscenities uttered on broadcast television and radio. While the judges sent the case back to the commission to rewrite its indecency policy, it said that it was “doubtful” that the agency would be able to “adequately respond to the constitutional and statutory challenges raised by the networks.”

The networks hailed the decision.


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Friday, June 01, 2007

Car Wash For Peace

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