Friday, December 30, 2005

wouldn't it be nice to have a prez that wasn't the object of ridicule?

Bush's 'Brownie' Quote Wins Award
LOS ANGELES (Dec. 30) - Call it the wrong phrase at the wrong time but "Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job" was named on Thursday as U.S. President George W. Bush's most memorable phrase of 2005.

The ill-timed praise of a now disgraced agency head became a national punch line for countless jokes and pointed comments about the administration's handling of the Hurricane Katrina disaster and added to the president's reputation for verbal gaffes and clumsy turns of phrase.

Paul JJ Payack, president of Global Language Monitor, a nonprofit group that monitors language use, says Bush's statement in support of the then-director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency may be remembered for years to come.

"The 'Brownie' quote leads our 2005 list of Bushisms -- memorable phrases or new words coined by the president," Payack said, adding that Bush may be the foremost White House creator of new words, citing such past efforts as misunderestimate" (to seriously underestimate) and "embetter" (to make emotionally better).

Ten days after Bush verbally patted Michael Brown on the back before the TV cameras, Brown resigned amid a public uproar over his qualifications and the administration's failure to get aid to New Orleans after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

Although the president did not originate any new words this year, he had several notable statements, Payack said, citing the following:

-- "See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda," Bush said in explaining his communications strategy last May.

-- "I think I may need a bathroom break. Is this possible?" Bush asked in a note to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during a U.N. Security Council meeting in September.

-- "This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous. And having said that, all options are on the table," Bush said in Brussels last February.

-- "In terms of timetables, as quickly as possible - whatever that means," the president said of his timeframe for passing Social Security legislation in March.

-- "Those who enter the country illegally violate the law," Bush said in describing illegal immigrants in Tucson, Arizona, last month.

Global Language Monitor uses an algorithm to track words and phrases in print, electronic media and the Internet. The words and phrases are tracked in relation to their frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets.

So, our president will go done in history for his criminality and the fact that he doesn't know how to speak! The idiots who voted for him should be proud!

Friday Beagle Blogging!

Have an exciting new year - from Harley!

known by the company you keep

Iowa klansman wants protest of gay marriage
The repugs must be proud of who they have on their side!

finally, an investigation!

Justice Department Has Launched an Investigation Into Leak of NSA's Domestic Surveillance Program
Unfortunately, it is just an investigation into the LEAK (which exposed a crime), rather than the CRIME that was committed! Maybe someday there will be justice in America again, though I'm not holding my breath!
Of course, the administration certainly hasn't minded OTHER leaks - like the ones outing an undercover CIA agent. Those are ok - just ones exposing crimes are bad!

getting a little defensive!

Democrats Seek Records on Massachusetts' Gov. Romney and Other Potential
GOP Presidential Candidates
BOSTON -- The Democratic National Committee requested public records from state agencies on their dealings with Gov. Mitt Romney, who may run for president in 2008. His spokesman called it the work of a "dirty tricks attack squad."

The DNC is seeking similar records on at least 10 other potential candidates for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, spokesman Luis Miranda said.
Romney is "a Republican with well-known presidential ambitions, and these days, that's not that special," Miranda said. "This is just real standard operating procedure." Campaigns use research in hopes of finding controversial, embarrassing or previously undisclosed information about a politician's past.

Daly's letters request that any fees be waived, but Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom said fulfilling the requests wills cost tens of thousands of dollars.

"Taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for the Democratic National Committee to put its dirty tricks attack squad to work against Mitt Romney, so we'll bill them for it," Fehrnstrom said.

Boy, the way they are whining and fighting this, you would almost think that the repugs don't do the same thing ALL the time and that they don't spend an absurd amount of the taxpayers dollars on their smear machine!
Too bad (for them) that most people know better!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

great new ads!

Seen at Americablog

22% of Americans ignore reality!

Percentage of Americans who believe that Saddam Huissein helped plan 9/11. 24%believe some of the hijackers were Iraqis.

(Think Progress)

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

more DeLay obstruction and lies

Court Asks for Response to DeLay Motion
AUSTIN, Texas - The state's highest criminal court has asked prosecutors to respond to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's request that the charges against him be dismissed.

The all-Republican appeals court on Tuesday gave prosecutors a week to submit arguments regarding the request filed Friday by DeLay attorney Dick DeGuerin. The court will decide whether to take the case after the prosecutors' response is received.

DeLay spokesman Kevin Madden issued a statement Tuesday night saying the court had agreed to hear the case. A court official said Wednesday that was incorrect. The court's order had noted DeLay has filed the request and "it is ordered that the State may respond to these pleadings no later than one week from the date of this order."


Man, this scumbag is DESPERATE to not go to trial, cuz he knows he will fry if he does! And, my gawd, these dicks just lie like other people breath, don't they?!

justice looming!

Ex-Enron Accountant Pleads Guilty to Fraud
HOUSTON - A former top accountant at Enron Corp. sealed his plea deal with prosecutors Wednesday, becoming a key potential witness in the upcoming fraud trial of former CEOs Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling.

My gawd, are some crooks actually going to be convicted in 2006?!

alicublog giving them ideas!

Check it out - the next "war", now that xmas is over.

losses of all we once stood for

Fear destroys what bin Laden could not

Read this. A snippet:

One wonders if Osama bin Laden didn't win after all. He ruined the America that existed on 9/11. But he had help.

If, back in 2001, anyone had told me that four years after bin Laden's attack our president would admit that he broke U.S. law against domestic spying and ignored the Constitution -- and then expect the American people to congratulate him for it -- I would have presumed the girders of our very Republic had crumbled.

Had anyone said our president would invade a country and kill 30,000 of its people claiming a threat that never, in fact, existed, then admit he would have invaded even if he had known there was no threat -- and expect America to be pleased by this -- I would have thought our nation's sensibilities and honor had been eviscerated.

If I had been informed that our nation's leaders would embrace torture as a legitimate tool of warfare, hold prisoners for years without charges and operate secret prisons overseas -- and call such procedures necessary for the nation's security -- I would have laughed at the folly of protecting human rights by destroying them.

If someone had predicted the president's staff would out a CIA agent as revenge against a critic, defy a law against domestic propaganda by bankrolling supposedly independent journalists and commentators, and ridicule a 37-year Marie Corps veteran for questioning U.S. military policy -- and that the populace would be more interested in whether Angelina is about to make Brad a daddy -- I would have called the prediction an absurd fantasy.

That's no America I know, I would have argued. We're too strong, and we've been through too much, to be led down such a twisted path.What is there to say now?

(Hat tip to Kos)

Bin Laden won years ago when bush invaded a country that had nothing to do with the attack on 9/11. And bush has helped bin Laden win victory after victory as bush has destroyed everything that this country once stood for and turned a once-proud and united public into a fearful and divided group of people who are embarassed to call themselves Americans.

pitiful excuses

Now Bush says he was only spying on people with "a history of blowing up trains, weddings and churches"

From Reuters:

In Crawford, Texas, where Bush is spending the holidays, his spokesman, Trent Duffy, defended what he called a "limited program."

"This is not about monitoring phone calls designed to arrange Little League practice or what to bring to a potluck dinner," he told reporters. "These are designed to monitor calls from very bad people to very bad people who have a history of blowing up commuter trains, weddings, and churches."

Wow, very bad people who have a history of blowing up commuter trains, weddings and churches, yet Bush never sought a court order to conduct the snooping because he thought a court wouldn't let him?! Huh? Let me repeat, the people they spied on "have a history of blowing up trains, weddings and churches." If that's true, then any court in the land would haven given Bush a search warrant.

But there's a larger question. If Bush is now telling the truth about who these people are, then pray tell, what the hell was Bush doing letting hundreds if not thousands of people "who have a history of blowing up trains, wedding and churches" run around free inside the US for the past 4 years?

Or maybe this is just another lie.


strange mechanizations in Iraq-related propaganda

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

more "freedoms" in Iraq

Christmas In Baghdad

Happy Holidays, in an Operation Iraqi Freedom sort of way:

"We used to celebrate this occasion by praying, and hundreds of believers would gather and wish each other well in the church lobby," said Father Boutros Haddad, the priest at the church in Baghdad's predominantly Christian neighborhood. "But we've stopped this because of the security situation."

Yet another somber Christmas is rolling by for Iraq's roughly 600,000 Christians, who enjoyed relative freedom under Saddam, but now live in fear of attacks from increasingly powerful Islamist groups and militias.

Since Saddam's downfall, churches have been bombed, Christian-run liquor stores attacked and many more in the small community killed or kidnapped.
"I didn't see any of my regular customers this year because many of them left Iraq after the bombing of churches last year," said 43-year old Sajid Rasool Shakir, who has been selling Christmas trees in Baghdad every year for years.

At least 20 people were killed in attacks on churches in Baghdad and Mosul in the latter half of 2004.

Gone is all sense of joy. [...]

For the third year in a row, Baghdad's night-time curfew will make such celebrations impossible.

"We pray for peace in Iraq this year, but we do it out of duty and not joy," said Hikmat. "We are chained to sadness, we need peace more than ever."

(Daily Kos)

12 myths & lies re: bush's spying on Americans

Debunked by Media Matters

just "wow"

Colin Powell says "nobody" has suggested Bush shouldn't continue eavesdropping

Uh, lots of people have suggested that what Bush is apparently doing is illegal and a violation of the 4th Amendment. That's hardly a vote of confidence in continuing the program. How much you want to bet Powell didn't get called on this?

Oh, the little general who still can't decide which side of the fence he wants to play on:

Powell, who also is a former chairman of the military Joint Chiefs of Staff, had no reservations when asked whether eavesdropping should continue.

"Of course it should continue," he said. "And nobody is suggesting that the president shouldn't do this."

Even Powell himself has said that this is illegal and yet he says this, as well?! Hasn't he been screwed over enough by this administration? Why is he still being an apologist?

more Iraq "successes"

The Iraqis didn't get the "Victory" memo

Bush says victory and successful elections. But, just because he says it, doesn't make it true:

After a lull during the election, secured partly by fierce security measures and partly by an informal ceasefire by Sunni rebels hoping for representation in parliament, deadly attacks have picked up. Ten Iraqi soldiers were killed in one assault on Friday as were 10 worshippers at a Shi'ite mosque.

A U.S. soldier was killed in a rocket-propelled grenade attack near Kirkuk on Saturday and troops marking Christmas had no respite on Sunday; an Abrams tank, the giant bulwark of American armored might, was left in flames after a dawn attack in eastern Baghdad -- witness said a roadside bomb blasted it.


spying even more extensive that bush admitted

Bush's Domestic Spying was way, way more extensive

The NY Times has yet another update that shows how far the Bush team has gone with their illegal spying operation:

The volume of information harvested from telecommunication data and voice networks, without court-approved warrants, is much larger than the White House has acknowledged, the officials said. It was collected by tapping directly into some of the American telecommunication system's main arteries, they said.

As part of the program approved by President Bush for domestic surveillance without warrants, the N.S.A. has gained the cooperation of American telecommunications companies to obtain backdoor access to streams of domestic and international communications, the officials said.

The government's collection and analysis of phone and Internet traffic have raised questions among some law enforcement and judicial officials familiar with the program.

Nothing is sacred with Bush. Not the rule of law. Not civil liberties.

And even more from Americablog

more spying on Americans

Bush authorized spying on American Muslims, just cuz

And we wonder why "they" hate us. Even we hate "us," at least the dark-skinned among us.

From US News:

In search of a terrorist nuclear bomb, the federal government since 9/11 has run a far-reaching, top secret program to monitor radiation levels at over a hundred Muslim sites in the Washington, D.C., area, including mosques, homes, businesses, and warehouses, plus similar sites in at least five other cities, U.S. News has learned. In numerous cases, the monitoring required investigators to go on to the property under surveillance, although no search warrants or court orders were ever obtained, according to those with knowledge of the program. Some participants were threatened with loss of their jobs when they questioned the legality of the operation, according to these accounts....

"The targets were almost all U.S. citizens," says the source. "A lot of us thought it was questionable, but people who complained nearly lost their jobs. We were told it was perfectly legal."


don't you wish people did this in America last year?

Massive political unrest breaks out in Iraq

Seems we created a bit too much democracy.

Large demonstrations broke out across the country Friday to denounce parliamentary elections that protesters say were rigged in favor of the main religious Shiite coalition....

Several hundred thousand people demonstrated after noon prayers in southern Baghdad Friday, many carrying banners decrying last week's elections. Many Iraqis outside the religious Shiite coalition allege that the elections were unfair to smaller Sunni Arab and secular Shiite groups.

"We refuse the cheating and forgery in the elections," one banner read.

During Friday prayers at Baghdad's Umm al-Qura mosque, the headquarters of the Association of Muslim Scholars, a major Sunni clerical group, Sheik Mahmoud al-Sumaidaei told followers they were "living a conspiracy built on lies and forgery.""You have to be ready during these hard times and combat forgeries and lies for the sake of Islam," he said.

Love this quote:

"living a conspiracy built on lies and forgery."

Tell me about it.


more repug wiretap lies

Daschle: we DID NOT authorize domestic spying

Daschle wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post today to rebuke Bush and Cheney'c claim of legislative authority:

As Senate majority leader at the time, I helped negotiate that law with the White House counsel's office over two harried days. I can state categorically that the subject of warrantless wiretaps of American citizens never came up. I did not and never would have supported giving authority to the president for such wiretaps. I am also confident that the 98 senators who voted in favor of authorization of force against al Qaeda did not believe that they were also voting for warrantless domestic surveillance.

It's almost unbelievable how the White House just plain lies. And the media laps it up. Remember what Murtha said about the Bush team: Just because they say it, doesn't make it true.


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Happy Howl-idays!

conservatives do a study

and - surprise! - find a "liberal bias" in the media!
Media Matters reports.

more conservatives FINALLY saying bush went too far!

Conservatives unhappy with Bush illegally spying on Americans
Too bad they didn't stand up to his abuses long ago!

someone who is very serious about the "war on xmas"!

another take on Spy-gate

from the Rude Pundit

Santa a victim in the war on xmas!

Oh, No!
Swedish press: Santa dead via suicide.(From Ed at Watch Me Sleep.)

I can’t live like this any longer. When I started giving out Christmas presents it was to help those who are worse off in society get a little extra. But greedy store owners took Christmas from me. They sold Santa’s workshop to China where the elves have to work for slave wages while they make billions themselves. The owner of H&M, Stefan Persson, for example, has 11 billion dollars and is one of the world’s 30 richest people. It’s people like him that benefit from today’s Christmas.

(Sadly, No!)

science works whether you believe in it or not

True Christians™ don't do science
Great article from Pharyngula explaining that, while he doesn't believe in an invisible sky fairy, it is certainly possible to do so and still believe in science, despite what some people say.

what a dick, cheney!

Executive iPod privileges:
During Cheney’s flight home, “most of the electric outlets went on the fritz. Working passengers began lining up their laptops to share the power from a couple of working outlets - particularly the reporters who urgently needed to prepare their articles to transmit during a quick refueling stop in England. But when Cheney said his iPod needed to be recharged, it took precedence above all else and dominated one precious outlet for several hours.” (via First Draft)

(Think Progress)

more on McClellan

TBogg reports that McClellan's not doing so well.
Can't imagine why!

twisted xmas!

Oliver Willis reports on Santa packing heat this season!

The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster!

Available in paperback in March 2006!
This may be the only religious book that I ever buy!

Pelosi standing up for the people's rights yet again

Pelosi is making the GOP work -- demands a recorded vote on the Budget

Oh, this is good. Nancy Pelosi is playing hard ball...and the GOPers are going to HATE it. Pelosi is demanding that they stand and be counted on their budget. Good for her:

Pelosi will not allow approval by unanimous consent and will request a recorded vote.

Oh, the GOP will whine and moan, but considering the pain the GOP is inflicting on millions of Americans, that's tough:

"Even though this budget passed the Senate by a one-vote margin, because Democrats secured key changes to this legislation, it must now return to the House to be re-examined in the light of day. As it stands now, it hurts the neediest in our country, while providing huge giveaways to managed care and drug companies and the oil industries.

"Democrats believe this Republican bill has the wrong priorities. That is why we will request a recorded vote where all Members return to Washington to make clear their values to the America people. Democrats will work with our allies to fight for a budget that represents the values and needs of all Americans."

This was a tough vote for many GOP members a couple days ago. Make them stand and be counted again. Just make sure every Dem. is there to vote NO. (And thanks to David Sirota for the tip.)


could they possibly be hiding something? surely not!

After three years in super secret US military custody, Bush now wants to transfer "terrorist" Jose Padilla to a regular old federal prison

May I be the first to say "huh?"If Padilla is so dangerous that we had to keep him holed up in secret military prisons without the right to an attorney for the past three years, then how does he suddenly become so unimportant that Bush now wants to put him in the regular old federal court system and try him like any other criminal?

Kind of suggests that Padilla is another very big "whoopsie" by the Bush boys.

Aren't you glad Bush has all that unfettered power to take away our constitutional rights? Glad he never seems to get it wrong.

Oh, and check this out from the NYT article about this:

In denying the administration's request, the three-judge panel unanimously issued a strongly worded opinion that said the Justice Department's effort to transfer Mr. Padilla gave the appearance that the government was trying to manipulate the court system to prevent the Supreme Court from reviewing the case. The judges warned that the administration's behavior in the Padilla case could jeopardize its credibility before the courts in other terrorism cases.

Gee, you mean the Bush administration is trying to manipulate the courts on cases regarding taking away the constitutional rights of Americans. Gosh, sound familiar?


a conservative finally realizes that bush is far from conservative!

One conservative blogger gets it

The Maytag repairman of conservative bloggers weighs in on modern conservatism:

I almost feel I don't know these people anymore. It seems now they feel government cannot have nearly enough power. Secret courts, secret warrants, secret prisons, suspect torture, massive data gathering on all aspects of US citizens including medical records, library records, and financial records are all wonderful things. They hold up the Patriot Act as a great piece of legislation that the Bush Whitehouse pushed through to combat terrorism (little seem to understand most of it was written during Clinton's years).

I truly and honestly do not understand. People who once proudly quoted Franklin's "Those who give up essential liberty for a little safety deserve neither" now cheerlead the executive branch on in removing any judicial oversight, congressional oversight, and in fact ANY oversight (as most of these laws are secret) from the land. Far from the transparent government the founders imagined, we are now entering a system where laws are kept secret, prosecutions are kept secret, and national security is a password to removing any and all liberty that stands in the way of anything government wishes to do....

People who support a clandestine program of warrantless domestic spying are not “conservatives” or “libertarians.” Neither are people who support the creation of a worldwide archipelago of secret torture sites. Neither are people who support the usurpation of the functions of government by the executive branch; who espouse the theory that the executive branch is the final arbiter of the legality of the actions of the executive branch; and who call for the investigation or prosecution of a free press that dares to report on the executive branch’s secret programs of domestic spying and outsourced torture.

Those people, my friends, are called the radical right.

More on this from liberal blogger Michael Berube. (Hat tip to Atrios)


more "success" stories from Iraq

Iraq Sunni, Shiite Groups Threaten Boycott
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Dozens of Sunni Arab and secular Shiite groups threatened to boycott Iraq's new legislature Thursday if complaints about tainted voting are not reviewed by an international body.

A representative for former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi described the Dec. 15 vote as "fraudulent" and the elected lawmakers "illegitimate."

A joint statement issued by 35 political groups that competed in last week's elections said the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq, which oversaw the ballot, should be disbanded.

It also said the more than 1,250 complaints about fraud, ballot box stuffing and intimidation should be reviewed by international organizations such as the United Nations, the European Union, the Organization of the Islamic Conference or the Arab League.

Some democracy we're building over there!

join the club, pal!

Saddam Mocks Bush Pre-War Claims on Iraq
Talk about an easy target!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

doonesbury and the logical extension of creationism

a win for the good guys

Cloture Fails On Defense Approps W/ ANWR
By a vote of 56 to 44, the Senate failed to stop debate on the '06 defense appropriations bill with the ANWR drilling provision attached.It now returns to conference, where members will likely strip the ANWR plank from the text and resubmit it for a vote.

(The Hotline)
I have never understood how completely unrelated subjects can be put together on a single bill to be voted on. Why & how ANWR drilling was attached to a defense bill will undoubtedly always be a mystery to me. Thank goodness the good guys got it removed!

more on the myth that Dems consented to bush's spying

Rockefeller and Pelosi COULDN'T Release Their Letters
It appears that one of the GOP talking points on the domestic spying scandal is to denigrate and even ridicule Jay Rockefeller's and Nancy Pelosi's letters to the White House protesting the spying policy divulged to them in classified meetings. This morning on NPR I heard GOP Representative Peter Hokestra claim that if Senator Rockefeller was really concerned about the domestic spying program revealed last week by the NYT, then he could have done more than write a letter.


Well, let me clarify that. Rockefeller could have publicized the existence and actions of the program, but if he or any of the other members of Congress briefed on the program went public with their opposition, they would have been breaking the law. To fail to acknowledge that anyone briefed on this program essentially had no way to oppose or publicize the existence of the program without breaking the law is bullshit.
In laying out his case for the NSA's domestic wire tapping on Saturday, Bush told the nation, "Leaders in Congress have been briefed more than a dozen times on this authorization and the activities conducted under it." Questioned about whether executive power had run amok at Monday's presidential news conference, an irritated Bush replied, "We're talking to Congress all the time, and on this program, to suggest there's unchecked power is not listening to what I'm telling you. I'm telling you, we have briefed the United States Congress on this program a dozen times."

Rockefeller was annoyed. "They're just saying we're all briefed and informed and they implied implicit consent and all the rest of that and it's totally untrue," he recounted outside the Senate chamber after Bush's news conference. He said the impression the administration was leaving was "totally phony."
But the most important thing to remember is this: because of the laws and regulations governing national intelligence and Congressional oversight, Congressional critics of the domestic spying were legally prohibited from publicly voicing their opposition to the program. How fitting that GOP shils, who themselves don't seem troubled by the fact that the administration isn't troubled by the fact that a CIA agent's cover was blown for political reasons, proffer Democrats' refusals to break intelligence and espionage laws as evidence that they weren't troubled by domestic spying on Americans.

(Daily Kos)

still more debunking the myth that Dems spied on Americans, too

From TBogg
Gosh, the repugs are lying to try to save their asses - who would ever think it?!
More from Daily Kos

more "success" in Iraq

Bush continues to divide - Iraq results show heavily divided country

As if it wasn't bad enough that he ripped apart the US, he then did his best to destroy years of US diplomacy and good will and now Iraq. With the election results coming in there is little doubt that the Iraq is a divided nation. The religious extremists have the upper hand and the puppets that Bush tried propping up were handed major losses. This fragmented environment seems to be a specialty of the Bush team. How long will Iraq continue to be Iraq before civil war breaks out?

The Shia religious coalition has won a total victory in Baghdad and the south of Iraq. The Sunni Arab parties who openly or covertly support armed resistance to the US are likely to win large majorities in Sunni provinces. The Kurds have already achieved quasi-independence and their voting reflected that.

The election marks the final shipwreck of American and British hopes of establishing a pro-Western secular democracy in a united Iraq.

Islamic fundamentalist movements are ever more powerful in both the Sunni and Shia communities. Ghassan Attiyah, an Iraqi commentator, said: "In two and a half years Bush has succeeded in creating two new Talibans in Iraq."

Iran will be pleased that the Shia religious parties which it has supported, have become the strongest political force.

Another victor in the election is the fiery nationalist cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose Mehdi Army militia fought fierce battles with US troops last year.

"People underestimate how religious Iraq has become," said one Iraqi observer. "Iran is really a secular society with a religious leadership, but Iraq will be a religious society with a religious leadership." Already most girls leaving schools in Baghdad wear headscarves. Women's rights in cases of divorce and inheritance are being eroded.

Mission Accomplished.


pathetic excuses for breaking the law and invading our privacy

Bush's NSA director Michael Hayden: We didn't seek retroactive warrants because it involved "paperwork"

I'm not kidding. This is the reason given by this two-bit un-American generalissimo who deserves to be fired and thrown in jail for life:

Air Force Gen. Michael V. Hayden, who was NSA director when the surveillance began and now serves as Bush's deputy director of national intelligence, said the secret- court process was intended for long-term surveillance of agents of an enemy power, not the current hunt for elusive terrorist cells.

"The whole key here is agility," he said at a White House briefing before Bush's news conference. According to Hayden, most warrantless surveillance conducted under Bush's authorization lasts just days or weeks, and requires only the approval of a shift supervisor. Hayden said getting retroactive court approval is inefficient because it "involves marshaling arguments" and "looping paperwork around."

Oh, well a big fat general thinks the current law is "inefficient" because it would require him to write down a few things and actually explain why he wants to invade the privacy of innocent Americans in violation of the law. Gosh, life must be really tough for General Hayden now that he no longer has Soviet dictators to emulate.

Then there's this little bit of illogic from Gonzales, who also needs to spend a few years standing on a box with a block hood on his head:

"This is not a backdoor approach," Gonzales said at the White House. "We believe Congress has authorized this kind of surveillance." He acknowledged that the administration discussed introducing legislation explicitly permitting such domestic spying but decided against it because it "would be difficult, if not impossible" to pass.

Did you get that? Gonzales claims Bush believed that Congress authorized the domestic spying. Then Gonzales says Bush didn't want to ask Congress directly to authorize the spying because he thought Congress would never approve of it. That means Gonzales and Bush knew that Congress opposed legislation permitting domestic spying without a warrant, so they also obviously knew Congress never intended to include such an authorization in the Patriot Act or elsewhere.

So basically, our Attorney General is now lying to us about why he massively violated the civil liberties of American citizens.


Dems did NOT endorse spying on Americans!

Pelosi wants her letter to Bush, criticizing NSA program YEARS AGO, declassified and released publicly

The shit is hitting the fan. Bush said Democratic leaders endorsed his domestic spying program, and we're now finding out that those very same Dem leaders either weren't briefed at all on the program OR expressed their grave concern about it at the time. That hardly counts as "the Dems endorsed it."

Go Nancy! The following is Pelosi's press release:

Pelosi Requests Declassification of Her Letter on NSA ActivitiesWashington, D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today on her request to the Director of National Intelligence to declassify a letter she wrote several years ago to the Bush Administration expressing concerns about the activities of the National Security Agency.

"When I learned several years ago that the National Security Agency had been authorized to conduct the activities that President Bush referred to in his December 17 radio address, I expressed my strong concerns in a classified letter to the Administration and later verbally.

"Today, in an effort to shed light on my concerns, I requested that the Director of National Intelligence quickly declassify my letter and the Administration's response to it and make them both available to the public.

"The President must have the best possible intelligence to protect the American people. That intelligence, however, must be produced in a manner consistent with our Constitution and our laws, and in a manner that reflects our values as a nation to protect the American people and our freedoms."


cheney's xmas present

Cheney breaks tie to pass budget cuts in Senate

Merry Christmas to the poor, students, the elderly and the sick from Dick and George:

The measure, the product of a year's labors by the White House and the GOP in Congress, imposes the first restraints in nearly a decade in federal benefit programs such as Medicaid, Medicare and student loans.

The "restraints" are cuts in programs. Meanwhile, the very, very rich are sucking up their tax cuts.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

pat robertson is nutz!

Robertson claimed "evolutionists worship atheism," evolutionary theory a "cultish religion"

Summary: On CBN's The 700 Club, host Pat Robertson claimed that "the evolutionists worship atheism" and that because "evolution becomes their religion" it is "an establishment of religion contrary to the First Amendment." Robertson went on to suggest that evolution advocates were "fanatics," stating further, "it is a religion, it is a cult. It is cultish religion."

(Media Matters)
I was going to say "have you ever heard a more bizarre argument, utterly lacking in logic", but this is 2005 and, with bush in power, of course you have!
That said, though, this is thoroughly bizarre!
"Evolution becomes their religion"?!?! No, evolution is science and people who believe in science believe that science should be taught in the science class. Not too hard to follow that argument!
Evolution has nothing to do with religion one way or another - it is not for or against religion. It is simply science. Science and religion can go hand in hand - if you are not a lunatic!

o'reilly surrenders!

Go Harry!

Harry Reid stands up to Fox and doesn't let them get away with their lies and insinuations! We need more like him!
Newshounds reports.

not funny at all

It's All A Big Joke

Government by executive fiat is all one big joke. And your media agree.

THE PRESIDENT: You asked a multiple-part question.

Q Yes, I did.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you for violating the multiple-part question rule.

Q I didn't know there was a law on that. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: There's not a law. It's an executive order. (Laughter.) In this case, not monitored by the Congress -- (laughter) -- nor is there any administrative oversight. (Laughter.)

(First Draft)

condi the clown

OK, Condi Is Just Stupid

Judd Leggum caught Condi defending Chimpy's illegal spying to Wolf Blitzer last night.

The President spoke to this earlier and the Attorney General, who is, after all, the highest legal authority in the country, has spoken to this.

Yeah, the AG is the "highest legal authority in the country" alright. That's why he has to plead before all those federal judges, not to mention the Supreme Court. Note to Condi: the "Supreme" in the name "Supreme Court" is a bit of a tip-off as to just where ultimate legal authority resides.

(First Draft)

many, many, many more McClellan non-answers

From First Draft
Check out how many times he sites "9/11" (I know bush thanks all his gods every night for 9/11 because otherwise he'd be less than the nothing that he is) and, even more absurdly (if that is possible!) the number of times he says "they're an independent branch of government"!
Wouldn't it be nice if this administration actually answered a question with an answer at times?!


more repug lies debunked

The Echelon Myth
Prominent right-wing bloggers – including Michelle Malkin, theCorner, Wizbang and Free Republic — are pushing the argument that President Bush’s warrantless domestic spying program isn’t news because the Clinton administration did the same thing.

The right-wing outlet NewsMax sums up the basic argument:

During the 1990’s under President Clinton, the National Security Agency monitored millions of private phone calls placed by U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries under a super secret program code-named Echelon…all of it done without a court order, let alone a catalyst like the 9/11 attacks.

That’s flatly false. The Clinton administration program, code-named Echelon, complied with FISA. Before any conversations of U.S. persons were targeted, a FISA warrant was obtained. CIA director George Tenet testified to this before Congress on 4/12/00:

Im here today to discuss specific issues about and allegations regarding Signals Intelligence activities and the so-called Echelon Program of the National Security Agency…

There is a rigorous regime of checks and balances which we, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and the FBI scrupulously adhere to whenever conversations of U.S. persons are involved, whether directly or indirectly. We do not collect against U.S. persons unless they are agents of a foreign power as that term is defined in the law. We do not target their conversations for collection in the United States unless a FISA warrant has been obtained from the FISA court by the Justice Department.

Meanwhile, the position of the Bush administration is that they can bypass the FISA court and every other court, even when they are monitoring the communications of U.S. persons. It is the difference between following the law and breaking it.

(Think Progress)
These repugs don't even try to have a real argument! They just make up baseless accusations and hope that no one checks up on them! Unfortunately for the public, the media rarely does.

unmitigated gall!

First fire Karl, then get back to us about your "outrage" over people leaking

Your top aide is a leaker, so shut up.

"As a result, our enemies have learned information they should not have," [Bush] said. "The unauthorized disclosure of this effort damages our national security and puts our citizens at risk."

how does bush have the balls to say something like this?! He has been caught breaking the law and he is pissed because someone did the right thing and FINALLY (a year too late) brought this to the public's attention! And his administration has how many admitted leakers?!?!
How did I move to Bizarro World without realizing it?!

more Frist corruption

AP: Frist AIDS Charity Paid Consultants
WASHINGTON - Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's AIDS charity paid nearly a half-million dollars in consulting fees to members of his political inner circle, according to tax returns providing the first financial accounting of the presidential hopeful's nonprofit.

When are these pigs going to jail?!

bush spying on Americans without cause

It's the Constitution, Stupid
Just read it.
Since bush freely admitted to breaking the law, in a sane world, this would be an impeachable offense. Let's see if the Dems have the backbone to stand up for our freedoms!

more DeLay corruption

Donors Underwrite DeLay's Luxury Lifestyle
WASHINGTON - As Tom DeLay became a king of campaign fundraising, he lived like one too. He visited cliff-top Caribbean resorts, golf courses designed by PGA champions and four-star restaurants — all courtesy of donors who bankrolled his political money empire.
Public documents reviewed by The Associated Press tell the story: at least 48 visits to golf clubs and resorts with lush fairways; 100 flights aboard company planes; 200 stays at hotels, many world-class; and 500 meals at restaurants, some averaging nearly $200 for a dinner for two.

Instead of his personal expense, the meals and trips for DeLay and his associates were paid with donations collected by the campaign committees, political action committees and children's charity the Texas Republican created during his rise to the top of Congress.


learning from the US!

Sunnis Say Iraq Vote Was Fraudulent
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Sunni Arabs alleged Tuesday that last week's parliamentary elections were fraudulent, especially in Baghdad province, and they said if the irregularities are not corrected, new balloting must be held in Iraq's largest electoral district.

An electoral commission official said more than 1,000 complaints from the Dec. 15 vote were being investigated, but only 20 were "very serious," and were not expected to change the overall outcome. Final results will be announced in early January, he said, which would delay formation of a new government.

Another "success" in Iraq!

intelligence instead of "intelligent design"

Federal Judge Rules Pa. School District Cannot Teach 'Intelligent Design' in Biology Classes
I am always amazed these days when logic and common sense prevails!

Friday, December 16, 2005

worst president

You know who it is.

President George W. Bush ranks as the least popular and most bellicose of the last ten U.S. presidents, according to a new survey.

Only nine percent of the 662 people polled picked Bush as their favorite among the last 10 presidents. John F. Kennedy topped that part of the survey, with 26 percent, closely followed by Bill Clinton (25 percent) and Ronald Reagan (23 percent).

Bush was also viewed as the most warlike president (43 percent), the worst for the economy (42 percent) and the least effective (33 percent).

Let's see, ten presidents...
Worse than Clinton, Bush I, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon (!), Johnson, Kennedy, Truman, and Eisenhower.

I can buy that.

(First Draft)
I think goes without saying! And I never thought that anyone could be worse than Nixon!

funny in its absurdness

O'Reilly asserts Bible is "courtroom necessity" to combat alleged rise in perjury
Summary: On The Radio Factor, host Bill O'Reilly argued that, historically, witnesses would swear on the Bible to "tell the truth" before testifying in court, because the "Bible was considered a symbol that ... you didn't mess with." O'Reilly claimed, "Now people perjure themselves all day," without giving any evidence to support his contention that perjury is on the rise.

(Media Matters)

as you know, ben stein is a comedian

Ben Stein: "Bush is going to go down in history as one of the great peacemakers"
I thought that his show, "Ben Stein's Money" was pretty funny, but it was nothing compared to this gem!
(Of course, he didn't go into politics during that show!)

odd definition of "winning"

Gibson on "meaning of election day in Iraq": "We won. We won. We won. We won."
Well, according to Gibson, I guess all of our soldiers will be coming home any day since we won! Cool!
If not, I wonder what it is that we've won.....
There's still a long, long way to go before there's a stable government in Iraq.

candy canes?!?!!?

Your GOP Congress at work: defending candy canes
These people really have too much time on their hands! Do they really think that they can convince people that CANDY CANES are under attack?!?!


Senate rejects pleas from President Bush and filibusters legislation to renew the Patriot Act. "The Senate fell seven votes short of shutting off a filibuster that threatens to block an extension of much of the law.”

(Think Progress)
Now let's make some much-needed changes!

repug priorities

One week after the Republicans passed FOUR MORE TAX CUTS costing $100 billion, today they cut federal aid to education for the first time in a decade

We're cutting education because the rich just don't have enough tax cuts.

I gotta ask all you Republicans out there: These people represent you?


more proof of repug cheating

The GOP does cheat to win

And every now and then, the cheating is so egregious, they actually get caught, prosecuted and convicted:

A former top Republican Party official was convicted on telephone harassment charges Thursday for his part in a plot to jam the Democrats' phones on Election Day 2002.

The federal jury acquitted James Tobin of the most serious charge against him, of conspiring to violate voters' rights.

Tobin, 45, of Bangor, Maine, was President Bush's New England campaign chairman last year. He could get up seven years in prison and $500,000 in fines when he is sentenced in March.

For nearly two hours on Election Day 2002, hundreds of hang-up calls overwhelmed Democratic get-out-the-vote phone banks in New Hampshire and a ride-to-the-polls line run by Manchester's firefighters union.

The RNC paid for Tobin's lawyers. Haven't seen any comments from them or Senator Sununu who was the beneficiary of Tobin's shenanigans.

Too bad more of these cases are prosecuted. Maybe someday we could have fair elections again.

I guess this is only news to repugs

Congress report says that Bush had more pre-war intelligence

Shocking. Who would have guessed since the administration has repeatedly said otherwise so many times? Go figure why more and more Americans do not trust the

Democrats said the 14-page report contradicts Bush's contention that lawmakers saw all the evidence before U.S. troops invaded in March 2003, stating that the president and a small number of advisers "have access to a far greater volume of intelligence and to more sensitive intelligence information."

The Bush administration has routinely denied Congress access to documents, saying it would have a chilling effect on deliberations. The report, however, concludes that the Bush administration has been more restrictive than its predecessors in sharing intelligence with Congress.

There can't really have been anyone in the world who believed this whopper of a lie anyway, can there? It's only common sense....oh wait, that's something that the repugs are sorely lacking!

damn it sucks to be McClellan!

Bush can only talk about some ongoing legal proceedings

Apparently, the unwritten White House policy is that Bush will talk about ongoing legal proceedings if it's good politics. So, he could talk about DeLay's legal trouble and proclaim him innocent, but talking about the Plame scandal is off limits. Scotty got lots and lots of questions about that at the briefing yesterday. And, of course, he couldn't give a real answer. E&P has the transcript....definitely worth a read:

Q But it's hypocritical. You have a policy for some investigations and not others, when it's a political ally who you need to get work done?

MR. McCLELLAN: Call it presidential prerogative; he responded to that question. But the White House established a policy --

Q Doesn't it raise questions about his credibility that he's going to weigh in on some matters and not others, and we're just supposed to sit back and wait for him to decide what he wants to comment on and influence?

MR. McCLELLAN: Congressman DeLay's matter is an ongoing legal proceeding --

Q As is the Fitzgerald investigation --

MR. McCLELLAN: The Fitzgerald investigation is --

Q -- As you've told us ad nauseam from the podium.

MR. McCLELLAN: It's an ongoing investigation, as well.

Q How can you not -- how can you say there's differences between the two, and we're supposed to buy that? There's no differences. The President decided to weigh in on one, and not the other.

MR. McCLELLAN: There are differences.


repugs once again play divisive politics instead of working for a solution

House GOP Bill Rejects Iraq Withdrawal
WASHINGTON - Republicans sought political advantage Friday by forcing a vote to put the House on record once again rejecting calls for a timetable for withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq.

Just weeks ago, the Republican-controlled chamber voted against an immediate pullout.

Democrats called the fresh vote, like they did the previous one, a political stunt, and offered an alternative resolution that would simply congratulate Iraqis for three successful elections in Iraq this year.

But Republicans rejected that.

As a result, "the majority has chosen to give us an ugly and divisive debate," said Rep. Tom Lantos of California, the top Democrat on the House International Relations Committee.


The GOP resolution says the House is committed "to achieving victory in Iraq" and that setting an "artificial timetable" would be "fundamentally inconsistent with achieving victory."

Some Democrats objected to the frequent use of the word victory. "What is victory? Nobody has defined what victory is," Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., said.

A vote would force Democrats to choose whether to support the resolution — and stand with Republicans — or oppose it, opening themselves up to criticism, on the eve of a congressional election year in which Iraq will be a focus, that they had rejected the notion of victory in Iraq.

The resolution "honors the tremendous sacrifices" of U.S. forces and praises Iraqis for voting in parliamentary elections Thursday. It says U.S. forces would be required in Iraq "only until Iraqi forces can stand up so our forces can stand down, and no longer than is required for that purpose."

The House GOP maneuvered for a vote in the face of Democratic calls for an immediate or eventual troop pullout, which have intensified since a prominent hawk, Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., said last month it was time for U.S. troops to start coming home. Some Democrats, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, have lined up behind him.

Seeking to kill momentum that was building behind Murtha's call for withdrawal, House Republicans forced a vote rejecting the immediate pullout of U.S. forces just before adjourning for Thanksgiving break. Democrats called the quick vote a political ploy that prevented thoughtful debate on Murtha's proposal — and almost all voted against withdrawal in what they said was a protest.

House Democrats have been voicing disparate positions on Iraq in the weeks since Murtha announced his proposal, and some members have been taking steps aimed at building a consensus position.

On Thursday, a group of 26 party members — led by Rep. Ellen Tauscher of California — sent a letter to President Bush urging him to follow four principles they say should guide future policy in Iraq.

"Over the next twelve months the United States should stand down its military personnel and participation in Iraq as the Iraqi government takes increased responsibility for its political and security needs," the letter said.

Signatories included Democratic whip Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland and the senior Democrats on the Armed Services and Intelligence committees, Reps. Ike Skelton of Missouri and Jane Harman of California, respectively.

Really disgusting! The Dems are attempting to come to a reasonable conclusion to this disaster that is Iraq and the repugs simply keep playing politics and coming up with absurd publicity stunts aimed at creating talking points to use against the Dems.

Via the Stakeholder - John Murtha responses

I admit, this is impressive!

Iraq Voter Turnout Estimated at 70 Percent
Let's see if this changes anything, but I gotta admit, I wish that we had this kind of commitment to voting in the US. We probably wouldn't be in the situation we are now if we did.

once again, the Dems are looking out for our rights!

Senate May Derail Patriot Act Extension
Feingold Now Has Numbers on His Side to Block Renewal

Let's see if they prevail, but at least they are fighting for us!

how does this happen?

Iraq Mistakenly Freed Terror Leader
Don't they keep records of who they have? Jeez, this sounds like something that we'd do!

land of the free (haha)

Bush Lets Government Spy on Callers Without Warrants
WASHINGTON (Dec. 16) - Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.
The White House asked The New York Times not to publish this article, arguing that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny. After meeting with senior administration officials to hear their concerns, the newspaper delayed publication for a year to conduct additional reporting. Some information that administration officials argued could be useful to terrorists has been omitted.

Again, I can't imagine that anyone is surprised by this. This administration thinks nothing whatsoever of anyone's personal rights and freedoms.
And, it is certainly not surprising that the WH asks that this article not be printed and also not surprising that it wasn't printed for a year. Gawd forbid that our people are told that our government doesn't trust them! I'm sure it was just a coincedence that it was election year!

Friday Beagle Blogging

I don't even know what Harley is trying to do here!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

great quotes

From Fundies Say the Darndest Things:
I never believed in santa, and im happy i didnt. im glad i didnt spend my whole child hood believing in a lie. furthermore, Christmas is about the birth of Jesus Christ."

hahahahahahahahahahahahaha - i can only hope that this person wasn't serious! Too hilarious!
Ohmigawd - this site is hilarious - i keep forgetting how good it is! Here's another one:
"Loads of people say they can't hear God.I for one can. Through out my day, He's the only one I talk to. I have no friends. He's the reason why I'm not out of my mind."

These are truly laugh out loud funny, but at the same time, i'm pretty scared when i think that these people could be driving next to me on the freeway!

Dems (of course) show the true meaning of Xmas

The better way to use Christmas to advance a political agenda

Perhaps more so than at any time in recent memory, the politicization of Christmas is a little overwhelming this year. Republicans at the activist level are crusading against "happy holidays," while Republicans on the Hill are rallying behind a congressional resolution to "protect… [the] symbols and traditions of Christmas."

Perhaps hoping to level the playing field a bit, some Dems have made an effort to use Christmas to advance a far more noble cause. House Dem Whip Steny Hoyer, for example, is less concerned about what clerks at the mall are saying and more concerned about the plight of low-income working families.

As Congress focuses on leaving town to enjoy the holidays, I stood in the cold before the Capitol Christmas Tree with Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Rep. George Miller (D-CA) today to call on Congress to act on the true meaning of Christmas – hope, generosity and good will toward others – and raise the minimum wage.

As a new report we released today with the Center for Economic and Policy Research details, families living on the minimum wage scrape and struggle each month to afford life’s most basic necessities. It is simply not possible for them to enjoy the holidays like the rest of us. No dozens of presents piled under the Christmas tree. No lavish meals on Christmas Eve and Day. It would take almost their entire December paycheck to afford the more than $700 that the average American spends celebrating Christmas.

Congress has the power to brighten the holiday for the almost 8 million Americans living on the minimum wage by increasing their paycheck. Yet, this is the eighth year in a row that Congress has failed to enact even a small increase in the minimum wage. By freezing it at an inadequate $5.15 and ignoring the effects of inflation, Congress has essentially given a pay cut to these workers. In fact, if the minimum wage in 2005 was worth what it was worth in 1968 (its peak value), it would be $8.88 an hour.

How can the leadership in Congress leave Washington this week to enjoy a plentiful Christmas and a comfortable New Year knowing that their inaction has guaranteed another tough Christmas for millions of Americans?

It's not an unreasonable question. To their credit, Hoyer, Miller, and Kennedy stood in front of the Capitol Christmas tree to discuss the matter yesterday, and as Christmas-related press stunts go, I thought this one was pretty good.

Ezra suggested the other day that the effort wouldn't generate much in the way of press interest and I was hoping he'd turn out to be wrong. He wasn't. Knight Ridder mentioned it in passing and the only paper to cover it in any real detail was, oddly enough, the far-right Washington Times.

When Dennis Hastert issued a press release calling Congress' tree a "Christmas tree," reporters were all over it, and yet, three high-profile Dems can't get an AP story connecting Christmas and the minimum wage? Bah humbug, indeed.

(The Carpetbagger Report)

another completely insane defense of creationism

Attacks on evolution officially go over the edge

I've followed the creationist movement for years, and I thought I'd seen just about every attack on modern biology imaginable. Alas, I was wrong. As one very astute reader brought to my attention, Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum published its latest attack on evolution this week with one argument that left me shaking my head — and reaching for the Tylenol.

Evolutionists claim that their battle against creation-science is primarily a "scientific" issue, not a constitutional question. But our treasured U. S. Constitution is written by persons and for persons. If man is an animal, the Constitution was written by animals and for animals. This preposterous conclusion destroys the Constitution. The Aguillard Humanists leave us with no Constitution and no constitutional rights of any kind if they allow us to teach only that man is an animal.

These subtle and dangerous attacks on God Himself and the Constitution must be repelled.

They don't appear to be kidding. As far as the Eagle Forum is concerned, this is a legitimate and reasoned argument against modern science. Wow.

On a related note, a month after Kansas undercut its biology standards and redefined the meaning of "science," South Carolina is poised to follow in Kansas' footsteps.

A proponent of teaching various theories of human origin, which include creationism, gained support Monday from the state's public school reform oversight panel.

At the urging of Sen. Mike Fair, R-Greenville, the Education Oversight Committee voted 8-7 to strike from high school biology standards wording that tied schools to teaching only evolution.

The mind reels.

(The Carpetbagger Report)
Man, these anti-science wackos aren't even trying to make sense anymore! Apparently since they are arguing against scientific reasoning they feel logic and comprehensible arguments are not necessary!

because catholic leaders aren't idiots!

o'reilly can't understand why Catholic leaders aren't standing up for his manufactured "war on xmas"! Media Matters shows that o'reilly is "dopey" (to use his word).

more DeLay corruption & lies


More Fun with Jack and Tom
Capital Athletic Foundation, a charity run by disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff now at the center of an influence-peddling investigation on Capitol Hill, told the IRS it gave away more than $330,000 in grants in 2002 to four other charities that say they never received the money.
Celebrations for Children was a short-lived effort to raise money for children's charities by providing donors with special access to DeLay, plus yacht trips and other enticements, during the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York. Watchdog groups protested, claiming the fundraiser violated a new ban on accumulating unlimited "soft" money, and DeLay dropped it in May 2004.


Dems on the correct side again!

Majority of House GOP vote for torture

The majority of the GOP caucus, like the White House, still have a hankering for torture:

In a symbolic move, the House endorsed a Senate-passed ban on cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of foreign terrorism suspects Wednesday as negotiations between the White House and Sen. John McCain over the provision appeared at an impasse.

Approved 308-122, the procedural vote puts political pressure on House negotiators - but does not require them - to include the ban and another provision standardizing interrogation techniques used by U.S. troops in a final wartime military spending bill.

The vote tally was 200 Democrats, 1 independent and 107 Republicans against torture; 121 Republicans and 1 Democrat for torture. You can see the actual tally of the members of Congress who support torture here.


more nutjob homophobes

Extreme right group wants to launch "quit gay sex" campaign

Via Media Matters

"Quit Gay Sex" CampaignBy Cliff Kincaid December 14, 2005

It appears that the homosexual lifestyle is as addictive as smoking. Have you noticed that many news organizations, in honor of former ABC News anchorman Peter Jennings, have embarked on a quit smoking campaign? So why don't our media launch a campaign advising people to quit engaging in the dangerous and addictive homosexual lifestyle?

Uh, something you want to tell us, Cliff?

I really can't imagine why the media doesn't get behind this idea!!! What a loon!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

the "war on xmas" is over!

McClellan & torture

Today's gaggle from First Draft:

Q I have another question. You keep saying we don't torture, but you're trying to negotiate a compromise where we can, an exemption.

MR. McCLELLAN: That's not correct, and I've told you that before.

Q What is correct?

MR. McCLELLAN: The President has made it very clear that we do not torture and we do not engage in torture.

Q But you want an exemption.

MR. McCLELLAN: Now, what we do want to do is continue working with Senator McCain and others to come up with a good solution. And Steve Hadley had a meeting --

Q A solution to what?

MR. McCLELLAN: Steve Hadley had a good discussion with Senator McCain earlier today; it was a constructive discussion. We are continuing to work with Senator McCain and his staff to find a good solution on how we move forward. And Secretary Rice spoke about this at length just last week --

Q Why do you need a solution if we don't torture?

MR. McCLELLAN: -- and talked about the difficult issues that are involved here, because we're talking about the safety and security of the American people, and we're engaged in a different kind of war against a very dangerous enemy.

Q -- need an exemption? Isn't that what you're trying --

MR. McCLELLAN: That's not a correct assessment, Helen, because there are already laws that prevent and prohibit torture.

Q What's it all about then?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think we've made it very clear. Maybe you should go back and look at what we've said over the last couple weeks.

Q It has not been clear. I want to know why you need an exemption to torture.

MR. McCLELLAN: That is not correct. There are already laws on the books that prohibit torture, both treaties and our own laws. And our own laws prohibit torture.

Helen Thomas rocks! More reporters need to call these idiots on their two-faced stupidity! The answer that everyone wants to know is why does the administration need a "solution" when they don't torture and McCain wants an amendment saying that we will not torture. What's the problem?!

how do they come up with this stuff?!

THE NEW ANTI-GAY-MARRIAGE ARGUMENT! Now here's one I hadn't heard before:

...The picture is of two people of the same gender in full wedding regalia.

They look longingly into each other's eyes as if to say, "I love you so much, I'm willing to make the state fund our forgery of marriage and enforce its acceptance on everyone else". Though the romance is laudable, there is an immediate sense of offense to one's values. This isn't like the bigoted offense of seeing a person of a different race move into the neighborhood, as it is often portrayed by same-sex marriage advocates. It is easier to celebrate the love of two people. But here there is offense because depending on how much one values the ideals of equal gender participation one might see something very precious and dear being imitated and mocked. Whether that mockery is intentional or circumstantial, it may be best described as the offense a black-man who may have seeing old vodvillian actors who pretended to be black by painting their face with shoe-polish and saying "Mammie, Mammie" to the laughter of the crowd. Surely bringing the offense to the crowd would make one in that day and age a party-pooper also.

Gay marriage is to heteros what blackface is to black folk! I guess that makes ass-fucking the equivalent of a Confederate flag or something. And "Will & Grace" is Birth of a Nation.

Give it three days and it'll be a Maggie Gallagher talking point.


more on the war on xmas

Fox hypocrisy?! Who would think it?!

more on the "war on xmas" that wasn't

Think Progress exposes the latest lie used to try to convince morons that somewhere, somehow, someone actually is having a war on xmas - other than Fox & o'reilly, that is!

you're kidding, right?!

OK, Let A Me Get This Straight

On one side of the world the Pentagon is re-writing their interrogation rules in order to clearly delineate just how much torture is enough torture for freedom-loving America while on the other side of the world the US military will monitor Iraqi prisons to make sure they don't torture their fellow Iraqis.

You can hear the Wolf Brigade's howls of derisive laughter from here.

(First Draft)

this can't be a surprise to anyone, can it?

Pentagon may be spying on anti-war activists: NBC
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon has a secret database that indicates the U.S. military may be collecting information on Americans who oppose the Iraq war and may be also monitoring peace demonstrations, NBC reported on Tuesday.

They did this in the 60's, why would anyone think that they were not doing this today?!

more on DeLay

Yet another headache for the Bug Man

Texas prosecutor Ronnie Earle has issued subpoenas for bank records related to the California defense contractors who are under investigation for bribery in the Duke Cunnigham scandal and who also gave money to the DeLay political slush fund. Earle has also requested documents about a previous court settlement that DeLay had with a former business partner. If the Bug Man was hoping to move on quickly, he was sadly mistaken because even after all of this is settled there is still the other problem of Jack Abramoff to deal with.

DeLay is not going to be able to whine and plead his way out of this! Earle seems to be extremely thorough! Looking forward to the trial!

Fox working with Al Qaeda!

Senator Levin to block wingnut nominee

Good for him. The extremists that Bush has been promoting who are well outside of the middle are getting old. The latest wingnut to be proposed is the Bush nominee to be the chief Pentagon spokesman, J. Dorrance Smith. It's crazy enough to hear the ramblings of the extreme right who think that any independent press is somehow anti-American, but this guy actually included Fox News in one of his tirades against the US media.

In an opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal in April, Smith wrote: "Osama bin Laden, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and al Qaeda have a partner in Al-Jazeera and, by extension, most networks in the U.S. This partnership is a powerful tool for the terrorists in the war in Iraq."

Smith also singled out U.S. networks, saying: "Al-Jazeera has very strong partners in the U.S. -- ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CNN and MSNBC. Video aired by Al-Jazeera ends up on these networks, sometimes within minutes."


odd juxtaposition of 2 headlines

Baghdad Eerily Quiet on Eve of Elections

Streets in Baghdad were eerily quiet on the eve of Thursday's parliamentary election, with police strictly enforcing a traffic ban. Only an occasional police siren, a sporadic gunshot, a U.S. helicopter or shouts from boys playing soccer could be heard. Borders and airports also have been closed, and the nighttime curfew has been extended.

In scattered violence, gunmen shot up four polling stations near Fallujah, but no one was hurt, police said. Two police officers were killed and four others were wounded by a roadside bomb that exploded next to an Interior Ministry patrol in northern Mosul, according to officials at Jumhouri hospital.


Shiite Protesters Burn Allawi's Offices

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Angry Shiites marched Wednesday and set fire to the offices of a secular politician after a Sunni Arab guest criticized Iraq's Shiite religious leaders during an Al-Jazeera talk show.

These 2 headlines were in consecutive order at Yahoo News! A strange definition of quiet!
Even the article talking about the "quiet" had quite a bit of violence in it!

does he expect anyone to believe him?! (no not bush, this time!)

Ken Lay Sees 'Wave of Terror' by Prosecutors
A Month Before Trial, Former Leader of Enron Proclaims His Innocence
HOUSTON (Dec. 14) - Enron Corp. founder Kenneth Lay launched an impassioned plea for former employees of the bankrupt energy company to defy a "wave of terror" by federal prosecutors and help him battle criminal charges.

Oh, the poor baby!!! Gimme a freakin' break!!! A "wave of terror"?!?!?! What a jackass! Why is it that the more guilty someone is, the more they whine and cry and accuse others?! I guess i know the answer to that, but damn, it is such a cliche these days!

never-ending bush*t

Bush Steadfast on Iraq Despite Faulty Intelligence
"It is true that much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong. As president I am responsible for the decision to go into Iraq," the president told The Woodrow Wilson Center on the eve of elections to establish Iraq's first permanent, democratically elected government. "And I'm also responsible for fixing what went wrong by reforming our intelligence capabilities. And we're doing just that."

Does he really think that anyone believes that BS?! And how can he defend his decision to go to war even as he states that every reason for going to war was a lie?! People are no longer going for this absurd nonsense!


More from Yahoo News:

"We are in Iraq today because our goal has always been more than the removal of brutal dictator," Bush said. "It is to leave a free and democratic Iraq in his place.

"My decision to remove Saddam Hussein was the right decision. Saddam was a threat and the American people and the world is better off because he is no longer in power," the president told the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.


I guess that he's counting on us not remembering that the removal of Saddam was NEVER the original goal! This was all about WMDs and the (non-existent) threat to the US! Damn, he really has an incredible low opinion of the public, doesn't he?!