Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Potential Disaster of War With Iran

You may not have seen this article a little more than a year ago in The Atlantic Monthly but it's something you need to read. At the invitation of the magazine a group of some of the sharpest strategic thinkers and defense analysts in the United States came together to "war game" a potential strike against Iran. The essence of their conclusions:
The most important hidden problem, exposed in the war-game discussions, was that a full assault would require such drawn-out preparations that the Iranian government would know months in advance what was coming. Its leaders would have every incentive to strike pre-emptively in their own defense. Unlike Saddam Hussein's Iraq, a threatened Iran would have many ways to harm America and its interests. Apart from cross-border disruptions in Iraq, it might form an outright alliance with al-Qaeda to support major new attacks within the United States. It could work with other oil producers to punish America economically. It could, as Hammes warned, apply the logic of "asymmetric," or "fourth-generation," warfare, in which a superficially weak adversary avoids a direct challenge to U.S. military power and instead strikes the most vulnerable points in American civilian society, as al-Qaeda did on 9/11. If it thought that the U.S. goal was to install a wholly new regime rather than to change the current regime's behavior, it would have no incentive for restraint.

What about a pre-emptive strike of our own, like the Osirak raid? The problem is that Iran's nuclear program is now much more advanced than Iraq's was at the time of the raid. Already the U.S. government has no way of knowing exactly how many sites Iran has, or how many it would be able to destroy, or how much time it would buy in doing so. Worse, it would have no way of predicting the long-term strategic impact of such a strike. A strike might delay by three years Iran's attainment of its goal—but at the cost of further embittering the regime and its people. Iran's intentions when it did get the bomb would be all the more hostile.
Bear this in mind in the coming months as the war talk against Iran intensifies. Bush and the people around him may be tempted to strike. But if they do, the result could make our current difficulties in Iraq look minor by comparison.

Har! The Onion Nails It!

Yes, it's time for a new cabinet position.

Goodbye to Coretta Scott King

May God bless you always.

Monday, January 30, 2006

The D.C. Democrats Cave In Again

Winston Churchill, when a member of the opposition in the British Parliament, rose to speak after the Munich Agreement between Neville Chamberlain and Adolf Hitler had been concluded. In his opening remarks, he said, "We have sustained a total and unmitigated defeat." That's exactly how I'm feeling tonight. I feel betrayed and let down by the Washington, D.C. Democrats--again.

The cloture vote to stop debate on the Alito nomination has won, with the help of a substantial number of Democratic Senators. This paves the way for Samuel Alito--perhaps the most radically rightwing member in the whole federal judicial system--to be confirmed as an associate justice of the Supreme Court. It means that reproductive rights will be sharply curtailed. It means that workers' rights will be consistently ignored and crushed. It means that Bush will be allowed virtually unlimited executive power. It is, in short, a disaster. It was a disaster made possible by cowardice and lack of moral character. And America will pay for it by being stuck for decades with a quietly-spoken radical who will help the Republicans smash what's left of the Bill of Rights.
The Democrats caved in when THEY HAD THE VOTES TO BLOCK ALITO. They caved in to a President THAT A MAJORITY OF THE COUNTRY IS READY TO REMOVE FROM OFFICE. The Democrats who did this are cowards, weaklings, and appeasers. But why should I be surprised? The only battle we've won in recent times was over saving Social Security, and ordinary people and the netroots led that fight. The DC Democrats got beat in the recount in 2000 and failed to contest Bush's "certification" in the Senate in 2001. They failed to contest Ohio's results in 2004, despite clear and overwhelming evidence of fraud. They have allowed the most brazen criminals in modern American history to run rings around them--and now this.
Damn it, it makes it so hard to fight for them when they won't lift a G-d damned finger to fight for me.

No, Bush is NOT "Inching Up" in Popularity

He's still the most unpopular U.S. president since Nixon. Check the evidence out and see. There has no increase whatsoever in the Boy King's approval since December. None.

And I don't give a damn what the corporate media tell you.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

New York Times: Bush Lying Through His Teeth on Wiretapping

Today's editorial pulls no punches. I particularly like the way the piece's author nails Karl Rove's despicable arguments:

We keep hoping that Mr. Bush will finally lay down the bloody banner of 9/11, but Karl Rove, who emerged from hiding recently to talk about domestic spying, made it clear that will not happen — because the White House thinks it can make Democrats look as though they do not want to defend America. "President Bush believes if Al Qaeda is calling somebody in America, it is in our national security interest to know who they're calling and why," he told Republican officials. "Some important Democrats clearly disagree."

Mr. Rove knows perfectly well that no Democrat has ever said any such thing — and that nothing prevented American intelligence from listening to a call from Al Qaeda to the United States, or a call from the United States to Al Qaeda, before Sept. 11, 2001, or since. The 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act simply required the government to obey the Constitution in doing so. And FISA was amended after 9/11 to make the job much easier.
Why does anyone, at this point, expect Rove to be anything but what he is--a pathological liar and a smear artist extraordinaire? Rove has decided to campaign this year on terrorism because it is the ONLY issue the Republicans have left. Their only hope is to attack Democrats as traitors. Thank God there are some in mainstream media who will still call them on it.

Think Private Schools Are Better Than Public? Think Again

Some surprising (to some--not me) evidence that public schools, after controlling for various socioeconomic factors, do just as well or better than private schools.
I'm a public school teacher and I get pretty tired of conservatives and their ugly and unfounded attacks on my colleagues and me. Here's some tangible evidence that the rightwing attack on public schools remains what it has always been--a fraud.
Remember: public schools must, by law, accept everyone. We in the public schools don't have the luxury of turning kids down or kicking them out whenever we feel like it. Private schools do. And can you imagine the "science education", with its emphasis on creationist idiocy, that a lot of kids in religious private schools are getting?

Our Problem, According to Bush? We Have TOO MUCH Health Insurance

Yes, amazingly, that's apparently the line he's going to push in the State of the Union Address. The health care problem isn't that almost 50 million people have NO insurance, or that something like 80 million people go without health insurance at some time or another in a five year period, or that millions of American kids have no coverage at all. You see, it's that we're OVERINSURED. It's OUR fault, not that of the fanatic rightwingers in Congress who have consistently killed any efforts to construct a coherent health care system.
What. A Freaking. Bastard.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

G-d Damn It, the Abramoff Scandal is a REPUBLICAN Scandal!

And I don't give a rat's ass how hard Katie Couric and the utterly insufferable Tim Russert are trying to make it look otherwise. The Poor Man has the knockout blow argument here.

The Media, as I said earlier today, are overwhelmingly controlled by corporate Republicans. The attempt to smear the Democrats with the excrement of the Abramoff Scandal is infuriating but not surprising. Don't buy NBC's bullshit on this story. Abramoff is the #1 Extreme Rightwing Republican bagman of all time, and the Abramoff Scandal is a REPUBLICAN scandal that overwhelmingly benefited the Republican Party. Period.

BTW: Here's a link to the American Prospect story on this issue.

The Media: Whitewater "Scandal"--Huge. NSA Spying--Minor

Media Matters has a tremendous post today contrasting the grotesquely disproportionate coverage of the so-called "Whitewater Scandal" by the mainstream media to the relatively modest coverage being given to Bush's outright and brazen violation of U.S. law in the NSA spying matter. Go take a read, and see if it doesn't piss you off all over again (or for the first time, for that matter).
Remember, Whitewater was the tool by which the radical right engineered the monstrous power grab known as the Clinton impeachment. It was the "story" about which the New York Times ran repeated articles in an effort to discredit Clinton. It was the excuse that sex pervert/lowlife Kenneth Starr used to pry into Clinton's PERSONAL AND PRIVATE SEXUAL AFFAIRS (lest we forget that such things ARE private). It was the "issue" the Wall Street Journal used to fuel the savagely anti-Clinton editorials flooding out of its psychotically rightwing editorial board. In short, Whitewater was used to try to destroy a president on no actual grounds whatsoever--because there was no "scandal" in the so-called "Whitewater Scandal". The entire accusation was pure out and out bullshit. Period.
George W. Bush's crimes, on the other hand, are real and monstrous. From helping to engineer the 2000 coup d'etat to starting a war with Iraq based on lies to authorizing torture to presiding over rampant corruption to conducting illegal wiretapping, Bush's Administration has been a ghastly series of shocking offenses against our laws. As noted in one of my recent posts, more than half of the American people want to get rid of Bush if he broke the law in the wiretapping scandal. And yet, of the two most recent presidents, Bill Clinton was harassed and tormented 10 times more than Bush has been. No more than 30% of the American people wanted him impeached, and yet the mainstream media drove the impeachment farce relentlessly.
And the rightwingers actually have the nerve to use the label "Liberal Media"? Bullshit. The media in our country are controlled overwhelmingly by pro-Republican corporate interests. That's why they've been comparatively easy on Bush.
After all, you don't kick your bed partner.

Friday, January 27, 2006

The Rude Pundit's Reasons for Filibustering Alito

The Rude Pundit is for filibustering Alito, as am I. It's not, he says, that the average American knows or cares who Alito is. It's because the Democrats need to make a statement. His language is, well, rude, but he's hit it right on the head:

Then here's a brief list of reasons to filibuster Alito that have nothing to do with Savage Sammy:

- Because President Bush authorizes spying on Americans without a warrant.
- Because President Bush authorized torture by Americans and through renditioning.
- Because President Bush detains people without charge for an indefinite period.
- Because President Bush ignores whatever laws he wants, even if he signs them.
- Because President Bush lied about Iraq to get us into the war.
- Because the Army is stretched "to the breaking point."
- Because the reconstruction of Iraq is being fucked up, too.
- Because President Bush refuses to acknowledge what it's gonna take to help the people of the Gulf Coast.
- Because Ford is getting rid of 30,000 employees.
- Because Karl Rove still has a job.
- Because President Bush and the Republicans fail to fully fund the bullshit "No Child Left Behind" program.
- Because President Bush denies the existence of global warming.
- Because the Medicare prescription drug program is a clusterfuck that will end up in people dying because of its existence.
- Because President Bush denies any connection to Jack Abramoff.
- Because President Bush refuses to speak before any audience that doesn't adore him.
- Because Dick Cheney exists.
- Because Osama Bin Laden is either living free or died free.
- Because Donald Rumsfeld still has a job.
- Because the White House has stymied every investigation into its fuck-ups.
- Because President Bush calls spying "terrorist surveillance" and pollution "Clean Skies" and money to churches "Faith-Based Initiatives."
- Because Richard Scaife doesn't need another tax cut.
- Because there has to be a line in the sand, somewhere; otherwise, it's just one long desert until who-knows-when.

Damned right. How much longer can Democrats fight for a party that won't fight for them?

Republican Psychotic Coulter "Jokingly" Calls for the Murder of Justice Stevens

You can read the details here. This is in line with her "joke" about terrorists killing everyone at the New York Times. If any Democrat made a "joke" like this, he or she would be arrested. Coulter has the mentality of a criminal. She's also the true face of both the conservative movement in general and the Republican Party in particular.
Ann Coulter IS the Republican Party.

Little Ricky, Pathological Liar

This item is simply bizarre. It's Soon to Be Ex-Senator Rick (Little Ricky) Santorum denying that he's met or associated with Grover Norquist, when in fact there is videotape of him being introduced at a meeting by Norquist himself. Talk about a lying con-man.

It's these Holier-Than-Thou types you gotta be careful of. They like to come off as morally upright and better than you and me--but they're usually corrupt, thieving bastards.

Like Santorum.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

52% Now Say Impeachment of Bush Should Be Considered

And 59% of the Independents. The details are here.

Funny, isn't it? Support for Clinton's impeachment never reached much higher than 30%, and yet rightwing fanatic bastards were able to turn the entire country upside down for two years with their garbage investigation. More than half of the American people say we should consider removing Bush from office, and you don't even hear about it from most of the "liberal" media. What does that tell you?

Join the War on Chris Matthews!

Check out this site and get in on the fun!

Matthews is a liar and the worst kind of media whore. He's a sickening Bush worshiper who consistently characterizes those who dare to criticize Dear Leader as the spawn of Osama. He's a fraud, a phony "journalist" who enjoys dumping on Democrats because he thinks we won't fight back. He's in for one damn rude awakening.
And he can take this "The Democrats sound like Osama" bullshit and blow it out his ass.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Want to See the Financial Catastrophe Bush and the Republican Congress Are Creating?

Then look here and here. This isn't some whacked out ultra-leftwing site reporting this; this is the freaking Government Accountability Office, for crying out loud. This is the impact of unbridled spending paired with unprecedented tax cuts in wartime.

I'd also like you to take a look at this graph the GAO prepared. You'll notice that the 1990s (Clinton) was a period of unparalleled fiscal responsibility. You'll also notice that the 1980s (Reagan) and 2000s (the Boy Emperor) were/are periods of rampant fiscal irresponsibility and a disastrous growth in the national debt

The message is clear: Republican financial policies are driving this country into disaster. Only a Democratic victory in 2006 and a succession of Democratic presidencies starting in January 2009 has any chance of saving our country from ruin.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Dear Friends: Type the Name Margie Schoedinger Into Google

See what you get. I had never heard of her until today, but apparently in 2002 she filed a suit against George W. Bush for an alleged rape committed in the 90s. The suit was dismissed in 2003, but not for lack of evidence.

You see, Ms. Schoedinger "killed herself" by means of a gunshot wound to the head. You can read about the case by following the links contained here.

Maybe there's a reasonable explanation for all this. For my part, I follow the national news and politics as closely as anyone I know. Why didn't I ever hear of this?

And for that matter, why didn't you?

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Republicans or the Mafia?

Here's a helpful guide to help you figure it out.

Haw! This is PRICELESS!

I'm not a big fan of Michael Moore but I thought Chris Matthews' recent comparison of Moore to bin Laden was wildly over the top. Moore has fired back using PhotoShop. Have fun checking the results out!

D.C. Democrats, the Country is With You! FIGHT THE REPUBLICAN CRIMINALS HARD!

New research from Pew by way of Emerging Democratic Majority demonstrates it beyond question. On virtually every issue, the American people stand with the Democrats. Key paragraph:

These data can be broken down by the type of national problem cited by respondents. Democrats had strong advantages in every area but one (security/terrorism): the economy (+21); social/domestic (+22); Iraq (+19); and foreign policy (+30). This compares to last January, when Republicans were actually favored overall and on social/domestic issues (by a point) and Democrats only led by 5 points on Iraq and 17 points on foreign policy. Even on security/terrorism, while the GOP still leads by 18 points today, that’s down from an overwhelming 39 point margin at the beginning of last year.

No wonder Master Thug Karl Rove plans to run the 2006 campaign on stirring up fear of terrorism--it's literally the ONLY advantage the Republicans have left. And we can beat them on the terrorism issue if we play our cards right.



Thursday, January 19, 2006

Bush and the Political Uses of bin Laden

Master criminal and ultimate scumbag Osama bin Laden is once again making threats against the United States. Personally, I'm not sure he's credible any more (he did, after all, offer a "truce", which sounds more like weakness than anything else). Still, I can't help but wonder why in the hell bin Laden is still alive and able to make threats in the year 2006. Let's look again at some quotes made about bin Laden by President Bozo, courtesy of our friends at Buzzflash:

"The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him."
- G.W. Bush, 9/13/01

"I want justice...There's an old poster out West, as I recall, that said, 'Wanted: Dead or Alive,'"
- G.W. Bush, 9/17/01, UPI

"...Secondly, he is not escaping us. This is a guy, who, three months ago, was in control of a county [sic]. Now he's maybe in control of a cave. He's on the run. Listen, a while ago I said to the American people, our objective is more than bin Laden. But one of the things for certain is we're going to get him running and keep him running, and bring him to justice. And that's what's happening. He's on the run, if he's running at all. So we don't know whether he's in cave with the door shut, or a cave with the door open -- we just don't know...."
- Bush, in remarks in a Press Availablity with the Press Travel Pool,
The Prairie Chapel Ranch, Crawford TX, 12/28/01, as reported on
official White House site

"I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority."
- G.W. Bush, 3/13/02

"I am truly not that concerned about him."
- G.W. Bush, repsonding to a question about bin Laden's whereabouts,
3/13/02 (The New American, 4/8/02)
And why should Bush focus on destroying bin Laden? The Saudi-born terrorist has been a political gold mine for El Presidente and the right-wing thugs that run this country.
Fear of bin Laden was used to propel Republicans to their narrow victory in 2002. At the start of that year, White House Traitor/Smear Artist/Professional Con Man/Trusted Bush Advisor Karl Rove was openly speculating about how Republicans could use the terrorism issue to their political advantage. During the campaign, the White House directed lying attacks against Senate Democrats, questioning their commitment to fighting terror. Rove and Ralph Reed helped slander triple amputee Vietnam vet Max Cleland by (absurdly) associating him with bin Laden. Cleland's crime? He had dared to question Dear Leader's conduct of the terrorism war. It worked.
Bush issued one phony terror alert after another during the 2004 campaign, including an outrageously fraudulent one right after the Democratic Convention that year. Have you noticed that the terror alerts have UTTERLY AND COMPLETELY stopped? Every one of the 2004 terror alerts was pure Republican bullshit, designed to distract attention from the Kerry campaign. And bin Laden himself popped up on videotape the week before the election, when Kerry was starting to pull ahead. Walter Cronkite suspected Rove timed the release of the tape; I have no reason to doubt it. Its release was one more Republican effort to campaign on top of the corpses of the 9/11 victims.
And now, with Republican scandal rocking the nation, bin Laden pops up again. If I didn't know better, it would almost seem like he's trying to help the Republicans out.
After all, it's more than four years after 9/11 and bin Laden is still a free man, the U.S. is bogged down in a useless war in Iraq, and huge numbers of Muslims hate America more than ever.
Isn't it clear? Bin Laden regards Bush as a gift from Allah.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

John Stossel, Right Wing Hack, Smears the Public Schools

John Stossel, one of America's most dangerously biased and irresponsible "journalists", recently devoted an entire hour of 20/20 to a grotesquely slanted attack on the public schools. Stossel is closely associated with a number of far-rightwing groups whose goal is the destruction of the public school system. Fortunately, the public schools are well defended here by DeweyCounts at DKos. Dewey rips Stossel a new one (well deserved) and stands up for the last great unifying institution in America. It is the egalitarianism of the public schools that conservatives hate the most, and it is the factor animating their perverse desire to destroy it.

Stossel is a pathetic liar and he, 20/20, and 20/20's sponsors deserve to be boycotted. I'm damned sick and tired of right-wing bastards like Stossel throwing garbage in my face, and I'm going to fight back.

UPDATE: Bob Somerby weighs in as well here.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Religious Right Fraud Ralph Reed Up to His Neck in Abramoff Scandal

You can read all about it here.

I know and love many, many Christians, but I don't love sanctimonious, thieving, lying right-wing Republican criminals who shout about their holiness and righteousness and then break evey single rule with impunity. Ralph Reed is one of the worst of these people, a stalking horse for the evil, demented Pat Robertson and a friend of Jack Abramoff for 25 freaking years. He's a hypocrite and a con-man and, by God, it's time his squalid little fifteen minutes were brought to an end.
I particularly like this quote from the article, by the way:
"Ralph Reed? He's a politician," said David Loudenflager, a Republican who retired after working 32 years for the Arrow Shirt Company. "He was involved with Jack Abramoff and the Indians and all those."

Loudenflager does not like the Democratic Party -- "they give away everything" -- but he puts no stock in the Christian Coalition: "All these people running around telling you how good they are, and how right they are. You better be careful and hold on to your wallet."

Things I STILL Want to Know

  • Just what was that wire that Bush had running up his back in the first debate with Kerry? Was it an audio device he was using to cheat?
  • Just what really happened to all those provisional votes in Ohio in 2004 that were thrown out?
  • For that matter, why hasn't any major news outlet thoroughly investigated the charges of electoral thievery in Ohio made by (Kerry hating) Christopher Hitchens, who noted that ALL of the anomalies and irregularities in that state in 2004 favored Bush?
  • Where in the hell did more than $8,000,000,000 in "missing" funds for Iraq's reconstruction REALLY go?
  • What is the full extent of the relationship between the "Rev." Sun Myung Moon and the far right (now governing) wing of the Republican Party?
  • What ever happened to the second round of Abu Ghraib photographs?
  • Why hasn't Cheney ever been really pressed to explain why the company he was helping to run was doing business with our Iraqi enemies in 90s?
  • Why hasn't the press done a full examination of Neil Bush's astonishing corruption?
  • Why did Bush seal all the records of former CIA director William Casey, especially those pertaining to the period of the 1980 election campaign when Casey was running Reagan's effort?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Bush's Administration: Both Incompetent AND Dishonest

Take it from one of my favorite women, Molly Ivins. This was supposed to be the Administration that was run like a business. Instead, it's being run like a Farrelly Brothers movie.


Some of the press is starting to get the drill. Give us something like the West Virginia coal mine disaster, and instead of standing around emoting like Geraldo Rivera, a few reporters have enough sense to ask the obvious question: What is this mine's safety record? And when it turns out to be abysmal, a few more reporters have enough sense to ask: Who's in charge of doing something after a mine gets 205 safety violations in one year? Where's the Mine Safety and Health Administration? Who runs it? What's their background -- are they professionals or mining industry stooges? Who's the Michael "Heckuvajob" Brown in this outfit? Why are so many jobs at MSHA just left completely unfilled? How much has MSHA's budget been cut since 2001 to pay for tax cuts for the rich?

The great irony is that this was supposed to be the CEO administration. Bush was supposed to put people in charge of government who had track records in private industry, who did in fact know how to run a railroad. For just sheer incompetence, this administration sets new records daily. All those years the right wing sat around yammering about government incompetence, and it took this administration to make it true
Additionally, Ivins points out, the IRS now focuses its audit efforts on the poorest taxpayers, not the richest ones, allowing hundreds of billions of dollars to be stolen from the Treasury in the process. Arrgghhh!
My only hope is that America will survive these looting, thieving right-wing criminals and that the true history of these times will someday be written.
But I'm not hopeful.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Bush's Approval Rating in Zogby an Anemic 39%

And approval on Iraq is 34%. Yes, THIRTY FOUR LOUSY PER CENT. Bush is being rejected by more and more Americans, and no amount of right-wing propaganda and lies will revive his standing.

The Moderate Voice: Swiftboating of Murtha Well Under Way

The story is here. Among the key quotes:

Isn't this now becoming a PATTERN in this country?

Someone prominent speaks out against the Bush administration.

A website or something emerges that casts them in a bad light.

A multi-pronged (website, conservative talk radio) campaign immediately starts aimed at bringing them down several notches so they are discredited and the actual content of their message is diminished and therefore not as politically damaging to the administration.

This filters into the mainstream media, which reports on the controversy forcing the person on the defensive. It WORKS if the news media stays neutral or takes the attackers' side. It CAN FAIL if the news media is skeptical of the original allegations and/or mentions there is an apparent political strategical motive for the attack surfacing when it does.

There is no seemingly iron-clad, direct connection to the White House or the GOP but there sure do seem an awful lot of interesting little coincidences going on. (And you can say THAT without a tinfoil hat...)

This is the same filth being peddled by the same rat-bastards that smeared John Kerry. It's being directed with the conscious knowledge AND DIRECT PERSONAL APPROVAL of Bush. I would stake my life on it.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Zogby: Increasing Impeachment Sentiment Among the American People

The most recent Zogby poll on the question of removing Bush from office for wiretap abuse is stunning: support for impeaching Bush is much higher than support for removing Clinton ever was, and in fact a majority of adults now favor it if indeed Bush broke the law in this matter. Why isn't this story reaching deeper into the mainstream media? Because much of the MSM is bed with this administration--and that's a story in itself.

Roy Blunt Just as Big a Crook as DeLay

Far Right Republican Roy Blunt of Missouri is in line to be the new majority leader in the House following the fall of Tom DeLay. But the evidence is clear: Blunt is just as wired into the DeLay-Abramoff corruption machine as DeLay himself. In fact, in every respect, Blunt is emblematic of the Mafia-like criminality of the Republican Party. I say, roust the son of a bitch.

Reid Tells It Like It Is: Republican Party No Different Than Organized Crime

Fighting Harry lays it out straight in this op-ed. This section of it deserves particular emphasis:

Our nation's capital has been overrun by organized crime — Tom DeLay-style.

The gangsters are the lobbyists, cronies and lawmakers who have banded together and abused their power to serve their own self-interest. The casinos are the Capitol, which has had its doors thrown open for special interests to waltz in and help themselves, and the victims, of course, are the American people.

It needs to be said again, and everyone who sees this blog, casually or otherwise, needs to see it again and SPREAD THE WORD:



Friday, January 13, 2006

The Next Far Right-Wing Tactic: Race War Against Latinos

We're already headed in that direction.

Look, I think illegal immigration needs to be controlled, too. But not by scapegoating and thinly veiled racist hysteria. And I especially don't want it controlled by vigilantism. There are sensible ways of approaching these issues.

Would the Republican Party, which has failed utterly to make inroads among Hispanic voters, exploit fears and hatreds against Latinos? Hmmm, let me think about this...

Bush's Poll Ratings Are Still Lousy

The happy news can be found here.

Don't believe all this junk about a "Bush bounce". He'll get a small uptick after the State of the Union speech--maybe--and that will be it. This bum is unpopular, and that's a fact.

Bush, Rove, and Radical Rightwingers Launch Smear Campaign Against Murtha

Congressman John Murtha, Democrat of Pennsylvania, was a hero to the Bush Administration as long as he supported the Iraq War. When he turned against it, Bush and his thugs turned on him with their usual ugliness and despicable cowardice. The White House has been coordinating a behind the scenes smear campaign against him, which has been joined by the radical right CNS news service (whose article I refuse to link to).
When is it going to be enough, America? When are you going to get sick of a bunch of chickenhawk, draft dodging pricks attacking the military service of the McCains, Kerrys, and Murthas of the world? WHEN IS IT GOING TO BE ENOUGH?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Scumbag Love Fest

You can see it here: Jack Abramoff giving Tom DeLay a glowing introduction at a meeting of the College Republicans in 2002. These two were and are good buddies. Only appropriate, I guess. They are, after all, the two biggest criminals in Washington.

I've said it before, I'll say it again, in big type for anybody who's still not sure:


Sign General Clark's Body Armor Petition

It's a demand for an investigation into why the Bush Administration has STILL not provided adequate body armor for our troops in Iraq. You can sign it here.

General Clark would make a fine president, don't you think?

Monday, January 09, 2006

Alito? HELL NO

Samuel Alito is being presented to the nation as a mainstream conservative little different than Sandra Day O'Connor. Don't buy it. Alito is firmly in the reaches of the radical right that controls the Republican Party. I haven't always agreed with The Nation, but their editorial opposing Alito's confirmation is right on the money. Key graph:

After a careful study, University of Chicago law professor Cass Sunstein described Alito's record of appeals court dissents as "stunning. Ninety-one percent of Alito's dissents take positions more conservative than his colleagues...including colleagues appointed by Presidents Bush and Reagan." A new study by the Alliance for Justice makes the case even more emphatically: In so-called split decisions--the most difficult cases, which divided the appeals court--"Alito has frequently gone to the right of even his Republican-appointed colleagues to find against individuals claiming that government officials or corporations violated the law." He has argued strenuously in favor of the strip search of a 10-year-old girl not accused of criminal wrongdoing; supported warrantless surveillance of a criminal suspect when other courts had disallowed the practice; and tried to strip his fellow judges of the power to grant habeas corpus rights to undocumented immigrants, a position pointedly repudiated by the Supreme Court. [Emphasis added]
He is also committed to eliminating virtually regulation on business and stripping every protection for working people. He can--and must be--defeated.
Filibuster? If not for use against the extraordinarily atrocious Alito, then for whom? Fire it up, Harry!

Two Hundred Contacts Between Abramoff and the Bush Administration?!?

And that was just in the first ten months of Bush's first term!

And people think this isn't chiefly a Republican scandal?



Sunday, January 08, 2006

John Yoo=Nazi Bastard

John Yoo, legal advisor to Bush, has said there is no legal barrier to the President ordering the torture of children if he deems it necessary for national security. I present the following excerpt:

John Yoo publicly argued there is no law that could prevent the President from ordering the torture of a child of a suspect in custody – including by crushing that child’s testicles.

This came out in response to a question in a December 1st debate in Chicago with Notre Dame professor and international human rights scholar Doug Cassel.

This part of the exchange during the debate with Doug Cassel, reveals the logic of Yoo’s theories, adopted by the Administration as bedrock principles, in the real world.

Cassel: If the President deems that he’s got to torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person’s child, there is no law that can stop him?
Yoo: No treaty.
Cassel: Also no law by Congress. That is what you wrote in the August 2002 memo.
Yoo: I think it depends on why the President thinks he needs to do that

What is particularly chilling and revealing about this is that John Yoo was a key architect post-9/11 Bush Administration legal policy. As a deputy assistant to then-Attorney General John Ashcroft, John Yoo authored a number of legal memos arguing for unlimited presidential powers to order torture of captive suspects, and to declare war anytime, any where, and on anyone the President deemed a threat.

It has now come out Yoo also had a hand in providing legal reasoning for the President to conduct unauthorized wiretaps of U.S. citizens. Georgetown Law Professor David Cole wrote, "Few lawyers have had more influence on President Bush’s legal policies in the 'war on terror’ than John Yoo."


Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Voice of the Insane, Part 3

Creationists in Florida claim that dinosaurs prove the Earth is only 6,000 years old. They are convinced that every word of the Bible is literally true and that everything in the world confirms that belief. (The amazing thing about people like this is that the people who wrote the Bible probably meant a great deal of it as allegory.)

The stupidity and crudity of their arguments are shocking, as is their unbending fanaticism and resistance to anything that contradicts their world view. From the article:

Most scientists consider the movement badly misguided -- or worse, intellectually dishonest. Creationists, scientists say, aren't doing real science.

They start with a conclusion -- that the Bible is 100 percent accurate -- and gather evidence to support that idea. True science, they say, actively looks for problems with a hypothesis.

Over the years, a tremendous amount of research has been conducted specifically to find major flaws in the theories about evolution and the age of Earth. The fundamental principles of both have held up.

I know I harp on this a lot, but this is a question of basic sanity vs. lunacy. In the name of reason itself, evolution must be accepted as the fact it is. Period.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Did Bush Wiretap CNN's Christiane Amanpour?

If so, the implications are huge. Amanpour is a major figure in the reporting community, and NBC is looking into allegations that Bush's people electronically eavesdropped on her. If Amanpour was a target, who else was wiretapped by Bush's thugs?
John Kerry, maybe?

Are U.S. Marines Dying Because of Inadequate Body Armor?

That's the damning conclusion of this article in Soldiers for the Truth. The key, tragic paragraphs are the opening ones:
A recent United States Marine Corps forensic study obtained by DefenseWatch slams the Interceptor OTV body armor system, claiming "as many as 42% of the Marine casualties who died from isolated torso injuries could have been prevented with improved protection in the areas surrounding the plated areas of the vest. Nearly 23% might have benefited from protection along the mid-axillary line of the lateral chest. Another 15% died from impacts through the unprotected shoulder and upper arm," the report says.

The internally produced report revealed that a random sample of 93 Marine deaths studied for the report showed that 60 percent of the fatalities suffered by the Marines who were killed in Iraq between March 2003 and June 2005 died from gunshot wounds received while wearing Interceptor OTV body armor. Another 38 percent died from wounds sustained in Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks while wearing Interceptor gear and roughly two percent died from unknown causes.

The findings in the inquiry, reportedly classified as "For Official Use Only," also bring into question the Pentagon's consistent assertion that the principle cause of death among war fighters in Iraq comes from IEDs the insurgents are using with ever increasing ferocity.
Moreover, it's been known for a while that there are better body armor types that could have been obtained:
... U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center-Natick (SSC-Natick, Massachusetts), has known for at least several years that its in-house designed Interceptor body armor was not nearly as effective as other civilian body armor products already in production.
Stunning. Heart-breaking. Tragic. Whoever is responsible for this ineptitude needs to pay. When EIGHTY PER CENT of Marine deaths could have been prevented, such incompetence borders on the criminal.
"As you know, you go to war with the Army you have. They're not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time." Donald Rumsfeld, 2004
(Hat Tip: SusanG at DKos)

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Voice of the Insane, Part 2

It's Pat Robertson, telling us why Ariel Sharon had a stroke: It's God punishing him.

What were you doing to get God to smite you with prostate cancer a while back, Pat?

The Sickening Hypocrisy of the National Media

When Bill Clinton committed the apparently unforgivable crime of lying about adulterous sex, the clamor of the national media for his resignation was deafening. George W. Bush lied about the reasons we went to war in Iraq. Over 30,000 people have died because of these lies. Bush has authorized illegal wiretaps and approved the use of torture. He has alienated and shocked much of the international community in the process. How many newspapers have called for his resignation?
The details can be found here.

Excellent Profile of Abramoff

It's right here and it confirms much of what we already know: Jack Abramoff is not only a right-wing fanatic but one of the biggest crooks in U.S. political history, a man described as a "dear friend" of Tom DeLay. The article, as you can read, mentions numerous Republicans and one Democrat, Byron Dorgan, who received money from people from who knew Abramoff, NOT Abramoff himself. Don't let anybody tell you different: the massive Abramoff scandal is 99.99% Republican in nature. I'm in favor of wrapping it around those Republican bastards' throats, aren't you?

Newshog Feels Exactly the Same Way I Do

And he's even coined a term for it: Lying Bastard Fatigue. (A great phrase!) It's when you've been outraged by so much that the wretched sociopaths who run America are doing that you feel a sense of burnout. Go take a look; it's pretty insightful.

No Comment Needed

Read this and see why.

I'm tellin' ya, the more you hear someone attack gays, the more you're listening to someone in the grip of homosexual panic. I'm convinced of it.

OUTRAGE: Critic of Bush Put on No-Fly List. His Crime? Criticizing Bush

If this doesn't piss you off, I don't know what will. James Moore has been writing about George Bush and Karl Rove for many years and is the author of Bush's Brain, a study of how Rove took a thoroughly mediocre and unqualified human and rode him to power. Now Moore finds he is on the government's No-Fly List.

You know, the one terrorist suspects get put on.

He cannot sue about this. He cannot get information about this.

He has NOTHING in his background to warrant such a restriction except one thing: he has been critical of Bush.

And you still don't think America is heading for dictatorship?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

See If You Can Tell What These Contributions All Have in Common

They're from Jack Abramoff. See if you notice something similar in the party affiliations of the recipients of Abramoff's largesse.

Hint: It's the "R" after every single one of their names.

Ah, but the corruption in Washington is "bipartisan", isn't it?

DESPICABLE: Mine Where Tragedy Has Struck Was Cited 208 Times Last Year

See the article here.

And the Bush Administration, which has a history of placing coal industry executives in influential positions in the Mine Health and Safety Administration, did nothing about it.

Why am I not surprised?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Andrew Sullivan Gets It (Mostly) Right

I have sharply disagreed with Sullivan on many issues, but here I think he nails the essence of Bush's arrogant, King-like contempt for our Constitution:

We're not talking strict constructionism here. We're talking about a president who believes that he alone can determine any policy even vaguely related to a war that he has redefined as a permanent condition for the indefinite future. My best guess is that we've only begun to find out what powers he has secretly assigned to himself. I certainly don't trust him not to authorize torture again in the future. The only recourse is the press and the Congress. The Courts are in the process of being stacked with men and women completely deferent to executive power. I'm beginning to believe that Democratic retaking of at least one half of the Congress this year is essential to resisting the potential dangers of our current situation. And I'd say the same if we had a Democratic president with Bush's contempt for the rule of law, and if the Republicans were the party in opposition.
Well said. So why do I say he gets it mostly right? Because the retaking by the Democrats of BOTH houses of Congress is what will finally bring The Boy Emperor's efforts to gut our nation's fundamental law crashing down.

Bush's Economic Leadership: F

Despite right-wing propaganda about the "great economy" under Bush, the inimitable bonddad at DKos strikes again with the truth: Job creation under Bush is the weakest of any president of the last fifty years. The truth of the matter is simple: Bush is an economic disaster. To bonddad's latest observations, I would add:

  • His extremely unwise and unfair tax cuts for the richest are driving the U.S. government into bankruptcy.
  • Actual pay for the average person has risen only negligibly.
  • Debt at all levels in our country is approaching catastrophic levels.

We need to counter the right's lying, misleading propaganda. "Conservative" economic policies are leading this nation into disaster.

Good to See: Support for Bush in the Military Declining

This is encouraging. A major survey of our nation's military personnel shows a sharp drop in support for Bush.

It's about time, I say. The son-of-a-bitch lied to them about why they were being sent to war, failed to supply them with adequate body armor or humvee protection, and has them stretched dangerously thin. Hopefully, the decline in Bush's military support is a trend that will continue.

Abramoff Starts Singing, Republicans Start Sweating

Republican fixer and con-man Jack Abramoff has started cooperating with prosecutors in regard to the huge Republican Congressional scandal beginning to unfold in Washington. As I've indicated before, all the key Republican players in Washington are involved, including traitor-smear artist extraordinaire Karl Rove, sanctimonious thief Ralph Reed, anti-government fanatic Grover Norquist, and Republican criminal Tom DeLay, who's a crook right down to his toenails. Despite misleading right-wing propaganda that scandal in Washington affects "both parties", don't buy it: the vast majority of people on Abramoff's payroll are right-wing punks who like to lecture people about morality while taking dirty money wherever they can find it. I hope Abramoff sends every Republican bastard in Washington to jail.
Not that I'm angry or vindictive or anything.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Haw! I Love It When O'Reilly Gets His Ass Ripped

As in this wonderful article in Raw Story. O'Reilly is a lying, pathological blowhard who lately has been spending his time trying to whip up Fox viewers about a so-called "War on Christmas". Here's a key graph about this:

He claimed a town in Michigan had banned red and green clothing. Lie. He claimed a school in Texas had done the same. Another lie. He claimed the post office no longer offered Christian - themed stamps. That lie's so obvious anyone who's been to a Post Office should be able to spot it a mile away. He said a school in Wisconsin changed the lyrics to "Silent Night." You guessed it: big fat lie. It's as if he's his very own Santy Claus, only hateful and less genuine.

There's a lot, lot more about all Billy Boy's lies and smears in the article. It's fun to read.

It's No Fun Teaching Biology in Kansas

Especially when you have to deal with creationst--er, I mean "Intelligent Design"--pinheads like this idiot, who objected to contentions that new science standards that weaken the teaching of evolution in Kansas are making the state look ridiculous and are degrading the teaching of science:

Christopher Iliff strongly disagreed. The Kansas attorney also is a board member of Intelligent Design network, inc., a non-profit organization based in Shawnee Mission, Kan., that promotes "objectivity in origins science" and champions standards critical of evolution.

"What the Kansas standards do is encourage more thorough analysis of the existing scientific basis for evolution. I think what it will encourage is discussion of what I think are huge gaps in the purely materialistic explanation that is offered for evolution," said Iliff.

The only "huge gaps" here are in this guy's education. That a fool like this is making educational decisions is bad enough. When half the American people think the Earth is 10,000 years old, that's an educational tragedy of colossal proportions.

The Democratic Objective in 2006: Victory

Happy New Year to you! As we start out 2006, there are a lot of hopes we have, especially those for the well being of our loved ones. Part of my hope for those dear to me is the conviction that this year will mark the start of the downfall of the political right wing and the beginning of our country's salvation. The Democratic Party's goal must be simple and straightforward:
This means:
Taking back the House of Representatives
Taking back the Senate
Taking the majority of the nation's governors
Winning a huge new number of seats in the state legislatures
Winning a multitude of new local offices
We are raising the money, we are recruiting the candidates, we are waging and winning the war of ideas. The Republicans are running scared. I say let's keep them that way. This year is a golden opportunity for the Democrats. There are at least seven Republican Senate seats that are ripe for the taking. There are at least 40 Republican House districts that are within our grasp. Democrats can win governorships in New York, Massachusetts, Ohio, California. Florida, and a number of other states. We have the issues in our favor, too.
  • The sewer of Republican corruption from Washington, D.C. to the local level.
  • The utter and complete mismanagement of the Iraq War, not to mention the avalanche of lies about its origins.
  • The monster deficit.
  • The "good" economy that's being sustained completely by borrowing and debt accumulation.
  • The Republican attempt to destroy Social Security.
  • The iron control of the Republican Party by far-right religious fanatics who have attempted to interject themselves into the most intimate areas of personal life. From Schiavo to the attempt to restrict or outlaw birth control, a lot of Americans are fed up with the lunatic right's attempt to run everybody else's lives.

So there it is: the task and the opportunity of the Democratic Party. On the success of the Democrats rests the hopes for our nation's future. I'm committing myself to a sweeping Democratic victory, and I hope you'll join me. Our loved ones are counting on us.