Friday, August 31, 2007

Friday Beagle Blogging!


FoxNews misogyny

so, i wonder is these people think that Iraq is like a fair in Indiana?

Plane carrying U.S. lawmakers in Iraq comes under attack.

A military cargo plane carrying three senators — Mel Martinez (R-FL), Richard Shelby (R-AL), and James Inhofe (R-OK) — and a House member — Bud Cramer D-IL) — was forced to take evasive maneuvers and dispatch flares to avoid ground fire after taking off from Baghdad on Thursday night. The AP reports:

The lawmakers said their plane, a C-130, was under fire from three rocket-propelled grenades over the course of several minutes as they left for Amman,

”It was a scary moment,” said Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., who said he had just taken off his body armor when he saw a bright flash outside the window.

”Our pilots were terrific. … They banked in one direction and then banked the other direction, and they set off the flares.” […]

”We were jostled around pretty good,” said Cramer, who estimated the plane had ascended to about 6,000 feet. ”There were a few minutes there where I wondered: ‘Have we been hit? Are we OK?”’ […]

”It was kind of dicey,” Shelby said. ”But it just shows you what our troops go through every day.”

(Think Progress)
I'll be interested to see if they paint as rosy of a picture as some of their colleagues have?

i guess that lying for a living does take its toll

Breaking: Tony Snow stepping down on Sept. 14.

CNN reports that White House Deputy Press Secretary Dana Perino will be taking his place.

(Think Progress)

Iowa becoming progressive?

Judge strikes down Iowa gay marriage ban

DES MOINES, Iowa - A dozen gay couples applied for marriage licenses Friday morning as the county recorder's office opened, and at least one couple hoped to marry within hours.

The window of opportunity could be narrow.

A Polk County judge on Thursday struck down Iowa's decade-old gay marriage ban, clearing the way for the couples to apply for marriage licenses. But county attorney John Sarcone promised a quick appeal, and he immediately asked the judge for a stay that would prevent gay couples from getting marriage licenses until the appeal was resolved.

A hearing on the stay request is likely next week, said Camilla Taylor, an attorney with Lambda Legal, a New York-based gay rights organization.

In the meantime, the applications began rolling in.


Republican House Minority Leader Christopher Rants, said the ruling illustrates the need for a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

Of course, the repugs are trying to block civil rights for gays, as usual.

Can you imagine how this is going to look for the repugs in a couple of decades (if not sooner)?

They are going to be perceived exactly the same of the bigots of the 60's who were blocking civil rights for blacks.

They know that they can't fight this indefinitely, but they are willing to go down in history are bigoted assholes just for political gain.

What incredible scumbags! But, I guess it goes against the repugs' grain to actually do the right thing...

i'm actually kinda divided on this one...

Bush to outline aid to mortgage holders

WASHINGTON - Offering federal aid for strapped mortgage holders, the White House outlined proposals Friday to help borrowers hard hit by credit problems and the housing slump.

The initiatives, to be formally unveiled by President Bush, were intended to help homeowners with risky mortgages keep their homes. Bush also was to discuss efforts to prevent these kinds of problems from arising in the future.

I sorta think that if people were dumb enough to take out loans with terms that they couldn't honor, then they should be penalized.
But, I understand that this will screw up the economy even more...
I know that I waited until I was sure that I could afford a house before I bought one and I made sure that I bought one that I could afford. I didn't just jump blindly into something and I certainly wouldn't have accepted one of those ridiculous loan deals with adjustable rates. But, I know that people tend to be gullible and can be talked into things that they can't really afford...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I would hope so!

DoJ IG will continue probe into Gonzales.

Earlier this month, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT)asked “Justice Department’s Inspector General (IG) to investigate potentially false or misleading testimony given by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales during his appearances before various congressional committees.” Despite Gonzales’ resignation, Fine told Leahy today that his office will still assess Gonzales’ contradictory claims.

(Think Progress)

oh, give me a break!

Study: Democrats get more A.M. airtime

NEW YORK - A conservative media watchdog organization charged Wednesday that the network morning news shows have spent considerably more time this year on Democrats running for president than on Republicans.

Network news executives rejected any suggestion of bias, and said they have a considerably harder time getting Republican candidates to appear on their shows.

The repugs are refusing to appear on the shows, so somehow that means that the shows have a bias?! The shows can't force the candidates to appear!

Fuckin' whiny babies! Your candidates are too damn chicken to appear in a unbiased forum - you'll find them all over Fox News.

And this organization is counting stories on Elizabeth Edwards cancer as part of the bias! Truly pathetic...

This is nothing like the incredible bias against the Dems prior to the 2004 election, which was astounding!

I'm sick of these idiots crying "unfair" if everyone doesn't bend over and kiss their asses!

wild astrological finding

Astronomers find a hole in the universe

WASHINGTON - Astronomers have stumbled upon a tremendous hole in the universe. That's got them scratching their heads about what's just not there. The cosmic blank spot has no stray stars, no galaxies, no sucking black holes, not even mysterious dark matter. It is 1 billion light years across of nothing. That's an expanse of nearly 6 billion trillion miles of emptiness, a University of Minnesota team announced Thursday.

Astronomers have known for many years that there are patches in the universe where nobody's home. In fact, one such place is practically a neighbor, a mere 2 million light years away. But what the Minnesota team discovered, using two different types of astronomical observations, is a void that's far bigger than scientists ever imagined.

"This is 1,000 times the volume of what we sort of expected to see in terms of a typical void," said Minnesota astronomy professor Lawrence Rudnick, author of the paper that will be published in Astrophysical Journal. "It's not clear that we have the right word yet ... This is too much of a surprise."

Rudnick was examining a sky survey from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, which essentially takes radio pictures of a broad expanse of the universe. But one area of the universe had radio pictures indicating there was up to 45 percent less matter in that region, Rudnick said.

The rest of the matter in the radio pictures can be explained as stars and other cosmic structures between here and the void, which is about 5 to 10 billion light years away.

Rudnick then checked observations of cosmic microwave background radiation and found a cold spot. The only explanation, Rudnick said, is it's empty of matter.

It could also be a statistical freak of nature, but that's probably less likely than a giant void, said James Condon, an astronomer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. He wasn't part of Rudnick's team but is following up on the research.

"It looks like something to be taken seriously," said Brent Tully, a University of Hawaii astronomer who wasn't part of this research but studies the void closer to Earth.

Tully said astronomers may eventually find a few cosmic structures in the void, but it would still be nearly empty.

Holes in the universe probably occur when the gravity from areas with bigger mass pull matter from less dense areas, Tully said. After 13 billion years "they are losing out in the battle to where there are larger concentrations of matter," he said.

Retired NASA astronomer Steve Maran said of the discovery: "This is incredibly important for something where there is nothing to it."



Colo. school bans tag on its playground

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - An elementary school has banned tag on its playground after some children complained they were harassed or chased against their will.

Of all of the problems in schools, this is what they choose to concentrate on and ban?
But things like bullying, which is what has caused school shootings, goes on without interference...

reality contradicting what bush is saying (that happens a lot, doesn't it)

IAEA: Iranian cooperation significant

VIENNA, Austria - The U.N. nuclear agency said Thursday that Iran was producing less nuclear fuel than expected and praised Tehran for "a significant step forward" in explaining past atomic actions that have raised suspicions.

The assessment is expected to make it more difficult for the United States to rally support for a new round of sanctions against Tehran.

So, bush's idiotic tough-guy posturing against Iran is, once again, based on lies. What a surprise!

giving more people reasons to hate us

Kenya Muslims say U.S. backed torture and detention

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenyan Muslims marched on police headquarters in Nairobi on Thursday in protest against what they called the illegal detention and torture of fellow Muslims in an anti-terrorist drive urged on by the United States.

The protest involving a few dozen people followed months of simmering tensions between the east African nation's Muslim community and authorities they accuse of persecuting and arresting them on U.S. government orders.

"We don't expect this in our country. Just how much power do the Americans have over the Kenyan government?" said Al-Amin Kimathi, chairman of Kenya's Muslim Human Rights Forum.


as if we'd believe them anyway...

Pentagon disputes parts of Iraq report

WASHINGTON - Stung by the bleak findings of a congressional audit of progress in Iraq, the Pentagon has asked that some of the negative assessments be revised, a military spokesman said Thursday.

Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said that after reviewing a draft of the Government Accountability Office report — which has not yet been made public — policy officials "made some factual corrections" and "offered some suggestions on a few of the actual grades" assigned by the GAO.

The Associated Press has learned that the GAO report will conclude that at least 13 of the 18 benchmarks set to judge the Iraqi government's performance in the political and security arenas haven't been met.

So, because the report truthfully says that things are not going as well as bush has tried to tell us they have, then the Pentagon wants to change it!

Do they think that we'll accept that? It's obvious every day that it is a disaster over there and nothing that bush and his croneys are doing is making it any better - only worse.

Do they really believe that if they lie on a report then it will magically make things better?

They really do think that we're idiots....

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

makes me embarassed to be from indiana

Parent: Dress Code Unfairly Bans Religious-Themed Clothes
Student Suspended After Fourth Violation

ANDERSON, Ind. -- The mother of a student who was suspended for violating her school system's dress code says the rules unfairly targets religion.

Tracy Prochnow said Highland High School suspended her daughter, Brittany Brown, on Monday because the junior wore a Christian-themed T-shirt.

Monday was the fourth time Brittany violated the code, which the city's school board implemented this year and requires students to wear khakis and polo shirts.

Prochnow said the school may be violating her daughter's rights, and she has asked the school board to change the code.

"I don't believe it matters what she's wearing -- whether it be a T-shirt and jeans or polo and khakis -- as to what she's going to learn," Prochnow told 6News' Rick Hightower.

The front of Brittany's T-shirt features a cross and the words "This Shirt Is Illegal In 51 Countries." The back quotes the Bible's Romans 1:16: "I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God ... the salvation of everyone who believes."

"The school is basically saying I can't wear a shirt that talks about Jesus or Christ or God or any religious type of T-shirt because we have to wear a polo," Brittany said.

The school's principal, Mark Finger, said the dress code doesn't target religious beliefs.

"The policy states there are to be no logos or slogans on a shirt," Finger said.

A city council member, Ollie Dixon, said he would work to change the policy. It wasn't clear what changes he would favor.

Damn, the persecution complex of these religious assholes is mind-boggling!
The school is not saying that you can't talk about religion - it says that you can't wear a feakin' t-shirt!
I do believe that dress codes in school are silly, out-dated and obnoxious, but if you go to the school, you have to obey their rules. If not - find a different school! Don't be a cry-baby about it!

is every repug a complete hypocrite?

planning to stay forever

Another $50 billion

It looks the White House expects the surge to continue on indefinitely – Bush is demanding another $50 billion for his Iraq policy:

The request is being prepared now in the belief that Congress will be unlikely to balk so soon after hearing [David Petraeus and Ryan Crocker] argue that there are promising developments in Iraq but that they need more time to solidify the progress they have made, a congressional aide said.

As Kevin Drum put it, “So that’s that, I guess. The White House already knows what Petraeus and Crocker are going to say and they figure it’s going to be $50 billion of good news. And with that, the Kabuki show continues.”

(Crooks and Liars)

John Edwards talking common sense

John Edwards Calls For “Brownie’s Law” For Federal Agencies

Reuters Via Yahoo:

Former Sen. John Edwards said at a Hurricane Katrina conference he would propose what he called “Brownie’s Law” requiring that qualified people, not political hacks, lead key federal agencies.

Edwards, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, drew laughter when he spoke on Monday of the proposal at the “Hope and Recovery Summit” ahead of the two-year anniversary of the storm on Wednesday.

“It’s an absolute travesty to have people who are essentially political hacks in a very responsible position,” he told the audience at the University of New Orleans.

“Brownie” refers to Michael Brown, who was head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency when Katrina struck the United States on August 29, 2005. He was criticized as being a political appointee unprepared to lead FEMA when a floundering government effort stranded thousands for days in flooded New Orleans.

(Crooks and Liars)

what world is Glen Beck living in?

Beck: ‘Nobody cares’ about Gonzales resignation. »

Yesterday on his CNN Headline News show, Glenn Beck mentioned the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, stating that he was “surprised” the “media jumped all over this story”:

Well, after weathering the storm of congressional calls for his resignation, Alberto Gonzales has finally done just that, he has resigned. But the thing is, I don’t think anybody cares. I don’t think how he — anybody cares how he was connected to the firing of those nine U.S. attorneys.

Despite Beck’s claim that no one cared about Gonzales’s role in the U.S. attorney scandal, the Attorney General’s approval rating was at just 28 percent in a recent poll.

(Think Progress)
Oh yeah - in Fox TV's world:
Hannity Ignores Stories On Gonzales’ Resignation, Sen. Craig’s Arrest
(Think Progress)

his excuses are getting more and more creative

Craig: It’s the Idaho paper’s fault that I pleaded guilty.

Repeatedly claiming “I am not gay,” Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) blamed the media for his guilty plea of disorderly conduct. I have been “relentlessly and viciously harassed by the Idaho Statesman,” Craig complained. “The Statesman has engaged in this witchhunt. In pleading guilty, I overreacted in Minneapolis because of the stress the Idaho Statesman investigation and the rumors it has fueled all around Idaho.”

(Think Progress)
I can't really imagine how I would react if I was wrongly put into this kind of situation, but I certainly don't think that the first thing I would do was to say I was guilty! Especially as a public figure! I think that I would repeatedly say "what are you talking about? I wasn't doing that!"

But then, I'm not a hypocritical homophobe...

And, in typical FoxTV fashion:
FOXNews Isn’t Sure What Party Senator Larry Craig Belongs To
(Crooks and Liars)

moron-in-chief pounding war drums for Iran

Fear-mongering Bush warns of Iranian ‘nuclear holocaust.’

In his speech about Iraq to the American Legion today, President Bush warned that allowing Iran to pursue “technology that could lead to nuclear weapons threatens to put a region already known for instability and violence under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust.”

As Steve Benen points out, Bush’s hyperbolic rhetoric about a “nuclear holocaust” in the Middle East is reminiscent of his pre-war claims that “we couldn’t wait for actual proof to justify an invasion, because the ’smoking gun could be a mushroom cloud.’”

(Think Progress)

recap of repug corruption

GOP Corruption: '07 is the New '06

Jack Abramoff is in prison. Ex-Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-CA) is in prison. Ex-Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) is in prison. Ex-Reps. Mark Foley (R-FL), Katherine Harris (R-FL), Tom DeLay (R-TX), Curt Weldon (R-PA), and Ex-Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT), all either lost or did not seek reelection. Gone, away, to be forgotten. This year was supposed to be different for the Republicans. But...

As The New York Times notes this morning, scandal has pursued them into 2007. “The real question for Republicans in Washington is how low can you go, because we are approaching a level of ridiculousness,” says one Republican strategist.

So what's the tally this year so far? Well, there is, of course, 1) Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) and 2) Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) with their sex scandals (the attempted restroom tryst and numerous successful hotel room trysts, respectively).

But then there's the much greater toll of just plain ol' corruption. 3) Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) and 4) Rep. Don Young (R-AK) are under investigation for their ties to the oil company Veco (though that's just the tip of the iceberg for Young). 5) Reps. Tom Feeney (R-FL) and 6) John Doolittle (R-CA) have found themselves the focus of a reinvigorated Abramoff investigation (though Abramoff is in prison, he's still busily cooperating). 7) Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ) had his house raided. 8) The FBI is investigating Rep. Gary Miller's (R-CA) land deals.

And then there's 9) Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) whose land deal with a businessman and campaign contributor became such a scandal that she finally just sold back the plot of land.

(A kind of bonus field of scandal has been campaign officials for the various Republican candidates and their various scandals.)

And there are a couple holdovers from 2006, of course; scandal figures who've stuck around and managed to keep a relatively low profile. 10) Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) is still apparently under federal investigation. And 11) Rep. Ken Calvert's (R-CA) land deals are still winning scrutiny.

(TPM Muckraker)

but we'll have to wait several more days for the anniversary of bush noticing this disaster

Anger, sadness mark Katrina anniversary

NEW ORLEANS - On the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, anger over the stalled rebuilding was palpable Wednesday throughout the city where the mourning for the dead and feeling of loss doesn't seem to subside.

Hurricane Katrina made landfall south of New Orleans at 6:10 a.m. Aug. 29, 2005, as a strong Category 3 hurricane that flooded 80 percent of the city and killed more than 1,600 people in Louisiana and Mississippi. It was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States.


And more from Americablog

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

for fans of gay male prostitutes turned administration shills

Gannon: I’m ‘the most honest’ White House reporter.

Jeff Gannon, the infamous former male escort who for two years gained a White House press pass using a pseudonym, is releasing a book next week, in which he chronicles what he sees as liberal bias in the White House press corps. “In my mind, I was the most honest reporter [in the White House press corps] because I was absolutely transparent with regards to my [conservative] perspective,” Gannon told the Washington Examiner. “My work has never been discredited.”

(Think Progress)
Wow - if the "most honest reporter" is one who is running a gay male prostitute web site, offering himself up for the hour or the weekend, then we are certainly in trouble!

Of course, that is a pretty apt metaphor for the administration apologists in the media (which, of course, is the majority).

freakin' scary

trying to shift the blame

Ari Fleischer: ‘Congress Is Dangerously Politicizing The Justice Department’

While Fleischer puts his finger on a real problem — the politicization of the Justice Department — he misdiagnoses the culprit. After six years of Congress’s failing to assert any accountability over the Justice Department, the new 110th Congress revealed the ethical wrongdoings of the Gonzales through aggressive oversight. Here’s a review of the record:

– It was Alberto Gonzales, not Congress, who fired attorneys for political reasons.

– It was Alberto Gonzales, not Congress, who gave the White House political team unprecedented power to intercede in the affairs of the Justice Department.

– It was Alberto Gonzales, not Congress, who allowed his department to illegally hire attorneys based in part on their loyalty to the Republican Party and the Bush administration.

– It was Alberto Gonzales, not Congress, who dissembled and misled about the administration’s spying activities.

– It was Alberto Gonzales, not Congress, who lied in stating that all Bush appointees would be Senate-confirmed.

(Think Progress)

this administration continues to reward incompetence

Despite Announcing His ‘Retirement,’ General Who Oversaw Walter Reed Scandal Still Serving In Army
(Think Progress)
It sounds like this person should be brought up on criminal charges, not rewarded!

still another conservative sexual hypocritical

Conservatives Begin Calling For Craig To Resign Over ‘Lewd Conduct’ And Guilty Plea

Yesterday, Roll Call revealed that Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) was arrested in June for “lewd conduct” in a public restroom at a Minnesota airport. On Aug. 8, he pleaded guilty to “misdemeanor disorderly conduct.”

(Think Progress) and more from TP

Flashback: Larry Craig Called Bill Clinton "A Bad Boy, A Naughty Boy"

And from Americablog:
Larry Craig defended DADT in letter to constituent after sex sting guilty plea

It just keeps getting better and better. This is just pathetic. Just days after his guilty plea for cruising an undercover officer in the mens room of the Minneapolis airport, Larry Craig wrote a constituent a letter propping up the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military.

Steve Ralls at The Frontlines:

In what could be called another of Craig’s "he said/he said situations," the Senator corresponded with a constituent (and SLDN supporter) earlier this month about why he’d never support repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." In the August 17 letter to his constituent, Craig wrote that, "The armed forces exist to wage war. It is unacceptable to risk the lives of American soldiers and sailors merely to accommodate the sexual lifestyles of certain individuals." He also noted that, "I don’t believe the military should be a place for social experimentation."

No, that's what train station and airport loos are for, huh, Larry?

The gall of the hypocritical repugs never fails to amaze me...

And even more from Americablog

more of bush's "progress"

A million pilgrims told to leave Karbala

BAGHDAD - Police ordered a curfew Tuesday in Shiite holy city of Karbala and told more than 1 million pilgrims to leave after two days of violence claimed at least 27 lives during a religious festival. More than 100 people were wounded.


Monday, August 27, 2007

fallout from gonzales' resignation

Gonzales to be replaced by Chertoff?

CNN: Bush Plans To Install Inexperienced, Bush Loyalist Clay Johnson At Homeland Security

Flashback: Chertoff’s Incompetence At DHS Prompted Repeated Calls For Resignation

(All from Think Progress)
Of course, there is no doubt that bush is going to nominate people who are not qualified for the positions - that is what he does.
We'll see how badly he screws things up in his last year...

it's about time!

US Attorney General Gonzales resigns
Reid says that this is not the end of the hearings on gonzales' scandals. I hope that the Dems continue to expose the illegal activity of this administration.

Lots more from Think Progress and Americablog and bush's spoiled brat reaction also via Americablog

Thursday, August 23, 2007

apparently, the fact that Iraq is failing miserably in every way is a positive for bush

Iraq report may bolster surge policy

WASHINGTON - Intentionally or not, a new assessment of Iraq's political and military prospects landed just in time to bolster President Bush's case that the United States should maintain its troop buildup in the country and stand by its beleaguered government.

So, apparently because everything that bush and his crew has done has been an unmitigated disaster, we should stay the course because it is going so badly!
Wow! That's some "logic"!

MAJOR distortion in NY Times

NYT claims ‘anti-war activists’ protest military funerals.

Editor and Publisher reports:

In a report [yesterday] on Sen. Barack Obama’s appearance this week at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Kansas City, New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleney took a decidedly wrong turn in referring to one statement.

Zeleney wrote that Obama “said it was wrong for anti-war activists to protest at military funerals, declaring: ‘It needs to stop’.”

The quote at the end was accurate but nowhere did Obama refer to the protesters as “anti-war activists.” In fact, the protesters who have caused much outrage have been anti-gay activists.

(Think Progress)
Wow! That is an incredibly blatant distortion of the facts and of what Obama said. I certainly hope they retract this immediately, as this is inflamatory and is certain to give people a negative impression of Obama.

ridiculous fear-mongering

a repug blocking an investigation? what a surprise!

Foley blocking police investigation into page scandal.

Florida’s top police agency said its investigation into former congressman Mark Foley “has been hindered because neither Foley nor the House will let investigators examine his congressional computers.” The House claims the computers are considered “congressional work papers” and that only Foley can release them.

(Think Progress)

no good news on Iraq

because they have nothing more serious to worry about...

Atlanta considers banning baggy pants

ATLANTA - Baggy pants that show boxer shorts or thongs would be illegal under a proposed amendment to Atlanta's indecency laws.
The proposed ordinance would also bar women from showing the strap of a thong beneath their pants. They would also be prohibited from wearing jogging bras in public or show a bra strap, said Debbie Seagraves, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia.

I seem to recall hearing about something like this not too long ago, which also failed miserably because it is incredibly stupid and pointless.
I despise the baggy pants "fashion" because it is mind-bogglingly ugly and an absurd statement, but I would never try to regulate it.
Man, isn't "fashion police" supposed to be a joke?!

he agrees that it is a problem, but doesn't want it regulated?

Army secretary wants deployments limited

WASHINGTON - Army Secretary Pete Geren on Thursday ruled out extending troop deployments beyond the current 15 months, saying that longer tours in Iraq put stress on soldiers and their families, and have contributed to an increase in suicides.

But Geren, who was confirmed in the Army's top civilian post in July, also criticized any congressional efforts to mandate deployment lengths or rest time at home.

Because we know that this government would never abuse the length of troop deployments (which are now 3 months longer than they should be), right?

more of bush's "progress"

Intel report questions Iraq's government

WASHINGTON - The Iraqi government will become more precarious over the next six to 12 months and its security forces have not improved enough to operate without outside help, intelligence analysts conclude in a new National Intelligence Estimate.

Despite uneven improvements, the analysts concluded that the level of overall violence is high, Iraq's sectarian groups remain unreconciled, and al-Qaida in Iraq is still able to conduct its highly visible attacks.

"Iraqi political leaders remain unable to govern effectively," the 10-page document concludes. A copy was obtained by The Associated Press in advance of its release Thursday.

Yeah, we've sure done a great job of installing democracy over there, haven't we....

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

wasting our money on propaganda

Original Iraq War Propagandist Ari Fleischer Returns To Flack For Bush’s Escalation

Beginning today, Freedom’s Watch, a new right-wing front group for the White House, “will unveil a month-long, $15 million television, radio and grass-roots campaign” to pressure Congress to continue supporting President Bush’s disastrous Iraq strategy. The group, which is “funded by high-profile Republicans who were aides and supporters of President Bush,” is headed by a familiar face from the Bush war effort: former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer.

The privately-funded ad campaign will run in 20 states, featuring Iraq war vets and families of fallen soldiers arguing that the war should continue. The four ads produced so far by Fleischer’s Freedom’s Watch group contain little more than fear-mongering about an Iraq pullout. “They attacked us and they will again. They won’t stop in Iraq,” one ad says. “It will mean more attacks in America,” says another. Yet another ad warns, “We’ve already had one 9/11, we don’t need another.”

(Think Progress)
How long are they going to continue to try to link Iraq with 9/11?! This is way past being absurd!
And why are they wasting our money with propaganda ads instead of trying to cure the problems they've created in Iraq?

(Actually, reading this again, it does not look like it is our tax money they are using, though i wouldn't put it past them...)

More from Americablog

See the ads here - every one is linking Iraq to 9/11! Wow! I am amazed every day that they truly, honestly believe that every American is a complete moron who doesn't realize that Iraq had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11. I am so sick of having my intelligence insulted by these cretins...

bush breaking the law by hiding global warming reports

Bush must release global warming reports

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge ordered the Bush administration to issue two scientific reports on global warming, siding with environmentalists who sued the White House for failing to produce the documents.

U.S. District Court Judge Saundra Armstrong ruled Tuesday that the Bush administration had violated a 1990 law when it failed to meet deadlines for an updated U.S. climate change research plan and impact assessment.

Armstrong set a March 1 deadline for the administration to issue the research plan, which is meant to guide federal research on climate change. Federal law calls for an updated plan every three years, she said. The last one was issued in 2003.

The judge set a May 31 deadline to produce a national assessment containing the most recent scientific data on global warming and its projected effects on the country's environment, economy and public health. The government is required to complete a national assessment every four years, the judge ruled.

The last one was issued by the Clinton administration in 2000.

The administration had claimed that it had discretion over how and when it produced the reports — an argument the judge rejected Tuesday.

"The defendants are wrong," Armstrong wrote in the 38-page ruling. "Congress has conferred no discretion upon the defendants as to when they will issue revised Research Plans and National Assessments."

The plaintiffs — the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace — said the ruling was a rebuke to an administration that has systematically denied and suppressed information on global warming.

"It's a huge victory holding the administration accountable for its attempts to suppress science," said Kassie Siegel, an attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity, one of the plaintiffs that filed suit in Oakland federal court in November.


jeez - does this sound familiar?

U.S.: Iran cooperation insufficient

VIENNA, Austria - A senior U.S. envoy dismissed increased Iranian willingness to answer questions about its nuclear program as a smoke screen on Wednesday and said it would not prevent the U.N. Security Council from imposing additional sanctions on Tehran.


hey, if he doesn't want us there...

Iraqi PM lashes out at U.S. critics

DAMASCUS, Syria - Iraq's prime minister lashed out Wednesday at U.S. criticism, saying no one has the right to impose timetables on his elected government and that his country "can find friends elsewhere."


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

kind of amazing that we actually need a law for this

Court Ruling Gives Nationwide Protection To Children Adopted By Same Sex Couples
(Crooks and Liars)
You would think that this would be simple common sense, but you can't discount the power of bigotry.

are these people literally insane?

Family Research Council: Same-sex marriage = marrying a corpse
How do they come up with this sick nonsense? Are they simply voicing their actual perversions? How could any sane person think that these things are even remotely comparable?

cuz bush hates kids

scumbag pleads guilty

Vick Pleads Guilty
So, can someone explain again why it was "racist" to believe that this inhuman maggot was guilty just because he's African-American?
I hope he gets the same treatment his dogs got...

making us less safe here

Wars contributing to police dept. bullet shortages.

“Troops training for and fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are firing more than 1 billion bullets a year, contributing to ammunition shortages hitting police departments nationwide and preventing some officers from training with the weapons they carry on patrol. … And the shortages are resulting in prices as much as double what departments were paying just a year ago.”

(Think Progress)

what the heck?

Short of Purple Hearts, Navy tells vet to buy his own.

Last week, Korean War veteran Nyles Reed, 75, learned he had earned a Purple Heart for “injuries he sustained as a Marine on June 22, 1952.” But instead of a medal, he received a form that said the Purple Heart was “out of stock,” and he could either “wait 90 days and resubmit an application, or buy his own medal.” “I can imagine, of course, with what’s going on in Iraq and Afghanistan, there’s a big shortage,” Reed said.

(Think Progress)

not surprising at all

POLL: Liberals Read More Books Than Conservatives
(Think Progress)
Obviously, it depends on what you read, but it seems logical that the more well-rounded you are, the more progressive your ideas will be.

and what possible reason would i have to believe him?

Bush tries to calm skittish investors

WASHINGTON - President Bush sought to calm nervous investors Tuesday as the Federal Reserve plowed $3.75 billion into the financial system, the latest efforts to stanch a spreading credit crisis that has unhinged Wall Street.


still another corrupt repug

Ex-Illinois governor's conviction upheld

CHICAGO - A federal appeals court upheld former Gov. George Ryan's racketeering and fraud conviction Tuesday and refused to grant a new trial that could delay his 6 1/2-year prison sentence in the biggest political scandal to rock Illinois in decades.


again, not really news, but good that it is admitted

CIA missed chances to thwart al-Qaida

WASHINGTON - The CIA's top leaders failed to use their available powers, never developed a comprehensive plan to stop al-Qaida and missed crucial opportunities to thwart two hijackers in the run-up to Sept. 11, the agency's own watchdog concluded in a bruising report released Tuesday.

We have known for years that this administration ignored all of the warnings from Clinton's administration regarding al-Qaida. There is no way to know if the events of September 11th could have been avoided, but bush purposely ignored all the warnings that he was given, so we know that he didn't do all that he could have to prevent the disaster.

Friday, August 17, 2007

another offensive asshole


Pentagon paid $998,798 to ship two 19-cent washers.

The Pentagon paid a small South Carolina parts supplier about $20.5 million over six years “for fraudulent shipping costs, including $998,798 for sending two 19-cent washers to an Army base in Texas. The company also billed and was paid $455,009 to ship three machine screws costing $1.31 each to Marines in Habbaniyah, Iraq.”

(Think Progress)

whiny baby bush

Fashion article peeves Bush.

The Washington Post reports, “What really gets George W. Bush riled up? Calling him a fashion victim.” After Marques Harper of the Austin American- Statesman wrote a short style piece critiquing Bush’s choice of clothing while he down’s on the Crawford ranch, noting that lately “he’s opted to look more like ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’ than a sweaty, tough ranch hand.” Harper said after the article appeared, the White House called to express its disdain:

Harper received a phone call that morning from White House deputy press secretary Dana Perino, who, Harper told friends, said the president read the article and was unhappy about the way he was portrayed.

(Think Progress)
Can you imagine calling up someone to complain about an innocuous piece like that? What a f'k'ing crybaby!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

more good tv

more on Cheney from the Daily Show

Daily Show: 1994 Dick Cheney vs. Post-9/11 Dick Cheney

It’s really amazing to contrast these two Cheneys. The latter Ceney would argue that “9/11 changed everything,” but what did Saddam have to do with those attacks? According to President Bush, nothing. Whatever else you might say about Dick Cheney, he is not a dumb guy. The 1994 Dick Cheney was dead on about what would happen if we toppled Saddam Hussein. Hell, even Bush 41 and Brent Scrowcroft advanced the same argument back in 1998. Other than having a President whose strings you can pull, what else could have changed Cheney’s world view since then? I wonder….

(Crooks and Liars)
This is pretty amazing. Cheney knows full well the "quagmire" (his own words!) that we would be in if we tried to topple Saddam, and yet he lied flat out to the American people.
Motherfucker should be tried for treason, not be the vice-president....

Once again, the Daily Show does the job that the mainstream news media should be doing...

powerful interview

Jon Stewart Grills Cheney Biographer Stephen Hayes: Calls out John Gibson too

Jon asks sycophantic Cheney biographer Stephen Hayes why we should trust the Vice President when literally every prediction he’s made has turned out wrong. If only we listened to 1994 Dick Cheney…

Stewart: I can’t jive with the portrait you paint of the steadfast leader with the fear-mongering not bright guy that I’ve seen..I myself had some idiot from FOX playing the tape of me after Sept. 11th, very upset and then calling me a phony because apparently my grief didn’t mean acquiescence...

(Crooks and Liars)
Just saw this on TV and Jon is freaking excellent here. He makes terrific points and you almost get to the point of feeling sorry for Hayes because he can't defend the indefensible and just babbles the same inane nonsense over and over.
Damn, I wish that Jon would run for president....or at least have a prime time show so that someone could bring the truth to America...

more signs that some Americans are waking up

Poll: Americans distrustful of ‘Petraeus report.’

According to a CNN poll released today, 53 percent of Americans said they suspect that the military assessment of the situation will try to make it sound better than it actually is. Forty-three percent said they do trust the report.

(Think Progress)

due process is still the American way - despite bush

Former enemy combatant Jose Padilla found guilty.

Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen who had been arrested in 2002 as an enemy combatant, has been found guilty in a Miami court on all charges of supporting terrorism. The Washington Post wrote that the administration’s detention of him had been “bruising to liberty.” The Bush administration had claimed that Padilla, who was held in a military brig for more than 3 years, could be detained indefinitely and
without access to a lawyer. Ultimately, the federal courts forced the administration to provide Padilla access to the courts. The verdict today affirms the merits of a judicial system that provides both due process and due punishment. Padilla’s attorneys are expected to appeal.

(Think Progress)

more rats leaving....

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

actual headline on Yahoo News

Success of U.S. surge in Iraq cut short by deadly bombings
I don't know if this was supposed to be an actual news story, but it is definitely a bush-flavored opinion piece.
Yahoo News is usually more even-handed than this piece of propaganda...

Clinton tells the truth

White House criticizes Clinton ad

CRAWFORD, Texas - The White House on Tuesday assailed Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton for criticizing President Bush in her latest television ad, calling her statements "outrageous." The 60-second spot, which began running Tuesday in Iowa, intercuts scenes of the candidate interacting with voters and talking about challenges facing many working people.

"If you're a family that is struggling and you don't have health care, you are invisible to this president," the New York senator says in the ad. "If you're a single mom trying to find affordable child care so you can go to work, you're invisible too.

The ad also argued that U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are "invisible" to Bush.

Sure, the WH is going to criticize Clinton - that's just what they do - but they can't actually deny what she says since it is true.
Well, they can and will deny it, but it won't make it any less true...

more on the repug candidates pandering to the extreme right-wing

Giuliani recants previous support for gay civil unions - flip flop flip flop

It's simply amazing that Giuliani is now trying to convince Republican primary voters that he isn't pro-gay, and isn't a flaming liberal. Just like Romney, and even McCain, Giuliani feels the imperative to reinvent himself in order to win the Republican primary now that the party is controlled by far-right Baptist bigots. And the funny thing is, the far-right Baptist bigots are so uneducated, so simple-minded, that they buy this stuff. So what if Newt Gingrich is on his third marriage, he's for family values! So what if Mitt Romney called himself more pro-gay than Ted Kennedy, he's for family values! So what if Rudy Giuliani's hobby is dressing up in female drag, he's for family values!

They really are suckers.

These guys will literally say and do anything to get elected - their beliefs and values and integrity be damned!
And somehow we're supposed to believe their current positions won't change once they're elected!
they truly do count on the stupidity of the American public...

no surprise here

because the repugs just aren't funny

Fox’s Right-Wing Alternative To Daily Show Fails

In January, Fox announced that it would begin airing the “Half Hour News Hour” on Sunday nights, the so-called “right-wing answer to ‘The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.‘” “You can turn on any show and see Bush being bashed,” said creator Joel Surnow, producer of Fox’s 24. “There really is nothing out there for those who want satire that tilts right.” As Fox has learned, that’s because no one wants to watch
that kind of satire.

TVNewser reports today that the HHNH has been canceled.

(Think Progress)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

more on bush's "progress"

Four suicide bombings kill 175 in Iraq

BAGHDAD - Four suicide bombers struck at communities of a small Kurdish sect in northwestern Iraq with nearly simultaneous attacks Tuesday, killing at least 175 people and wounding 200 more, Iraqi military and local officials said.

The death toll was the highest in a concerted attack since Nov. 23, when 215 people were killed by mortar fire and five car bombs in Baghdad's Shiite Muslim enclave of Sadr City. And it was most vicious attack yet against the Yazidis, an ancient religious community in the region whose members are considered infidels by some Muslims.

The bombings came as extremists staged other bold attacks: leveling a key bridge outside Baghdad and abducting five officials from an Oil Ministry compound in the capital in a raid using gunmen dressed as security officers.



At least 200 dead after Iraq blasts

And another horrific update:

At least 250 dead after Iraq blasts

Jon Stewart does mainstream media's jobs for them

more post-Katrina waste

Katrina aid going to inland luxury condos

The AP reports that “rich federal tax breaks designed to spur rebuilding are flowing hundreds of miles inland to investors who are buying up luxury condos.” The Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005 granted “generous tax benefits available to investors. Now, investors are renting out luxury condos in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, which “got only heavy rain and scattered wind damage from Katrina.” “It was supposed to be about getting put housing in New Orleans, Louisiana, or Biloxi, Mississippi. It was not about condos in Tuscaloosa,” said a developer.

(Think Progress)


Fox: Is Rove departure a loss for Wall Street?

On Your World with Neil Cavuto, Fox displayed a chyron asking: “Karl Rove Leaving: A Loss for Wall Street?” Note to Fox: The financial markets are already in bad shape, due to volatility over sub-prime mortgage loans and other factors. And the departure of a man who helped drive the nation into long-term deficits is the least of the market’s current concerns.

UPDATE: Media Matters reports that “Cavuto frequently purports to identify possible effects on the stock market or the economy of ‘news’ stories, or allows his guests to do so, often in order to attack Democrats and progressives.”

(Think Progress)


Romney: Bush ‘was at a different phase in his life.’

Asked recently by Conde Nast’s Matthew Cooper about his time as a classmate’s of President Bush’s at Harvard Business School, Mitt Romney drew a sharp contrast between himself and the president. “I was living in Belmont with a wife and two kids and going home every night to be with them and do my homework,” said Romney. “George was at a different phase in his life.” (HT: Political Wire)

(Think Progress)

more bigotry

Passenger sues over Arabic T-shirt

NEW YORK - A discrimination lawsuit charges federal officials and JetBlue Airways with racial profiling for refusing to let a passenger board an August 2006 flight at Kennedy International Airport because he wore a T-shirt inscribed with an Arabic phrase.

The incident is part of a discriminatory pattern at airports since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, with officials targeting people perceived to be of Arab descent — particularly those displaying their ethnic background or religious faith, two civil liberties groups said Thursday in filing the lawsuit.

The ACLU, joined by the New York Civil Liberties Union, filed the federal lawsuit on behalf of Raed Jarrar. The Iraqi architect was barred from the JetBlue flight for wearing a shirt that read, in English and Arabic, "We Will Not Be Silent."

"Racial profiling is illegal and ineffective and has no place in a democratic society," said Reginald Shuford, an ACLU senior staff attorney.

Last August, a Transportation Security Administration official identified only as Inspector Harris pulled Jarrar away from a boarding gate, took him to a JetBlue counter and told him his shirt made other passengers uncomfortable, the complaint said.

Jarrar was told to cover up the message if he wanted to board the flight to his home in Oakland, Calif. The TSA official equated wearing Jarrar's an Arabic shirt to an airport with "wearing a T-shirt at a bank stating, 'I am a robber,'" the complaint said.

The ACLU said it was clear Jarrar, a U.S. resident since 2005 and the husband of an American citizen, was "not a security threat." It said the TSA official and JetBlue should have simply assured any uncomfortable passengers there was no safety or security risk.

Jarrar, who now lives in Washington, D.C., said he was intimidated into wearing a shirt purchased by a JetBlue customer service agent over his T-shirt. His seat was also moved to the back of the plane and he was forced to board first, said the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages.

JetBlue Airways Corp. has a policy of not commenting on active litigation, spokesman Bryan Baldwin said Thursday night. Lara Uselding, regional spokeswoman for the TSA, said Friday that her agency does not comment on pending litigation.

The civil liberties unions said the U.S. Department of Transportation has received complaints of discrimination by air carriers — including JetBlue — every month from January 2002 to June 2007, the last month for which statistics were available.

I think that Jarrar has every right to sue - this was completely absurd. If people have a problem with something as innocuous as that, it's there problem!

unending anarchy in Iraq

Iraqi deputy oil minister kidnapped

BAGHDAD - Dozens of uniformed gunmen in 17 official vehicles stormed an Oil Ministry compound in Baghdad and abducted a deputy oil minister and three other officials, a ministry spokesman and police said. Outside the capital, a suicide truck bomber struck a strategic bridge, killing at least 10 people, police said.


Monday, August 13, 2007

boy, what would make people think this?

Public sees media as biased, inaccurate, and uncaring. A poll conducted by the Pew Research Center showed that more than half of Americans say U.S. news organizations are politically biased, inaccurate, and don’t care about the people they report on. “More than two-thirds of the Web users said they felt that news organizations don’t care about the people they report on; 59 percent said their reporting was inaccurate; and 64 percent they were politically biased.”

(Think Progress)

lots more on rove

more religious bigotry and hatred

Megachurch cancels vet’s memorial because he was gay

24 hours before it was to hold a memorial service for Navy vet Cecil Howard Sinclair, the High Point Church in Arlington, TX, canceled the ceremony after discovering that Sinclair was gay. “It’s a slap in the face. It’s like, ‘Oh, we’re sorry he died, but he’s gay so we can’t help you,’” said Sinclair’s sister, Kathleen Wright. High Point’s pastor, Rev. Gary Simons, claimed the church acted on “principle”:

“We did decline to host the service — not based on hatred, not based on discrimination, but based on principle,” Simons told The Associated Press. “Had we known it on the day they first spoke about it — yes, we would have declined then. It’s not that we didn’t love the family."

(Think Progress)
I could live without this kind of "love"...
Way to "support the troops"!

more anarchy in Iraq

Roadside bomb kills Iraqi governor. A powerful roadside bomb on Saturday killed Khalil Jalil Hamza, the governor of the Qadisiyah province in southern Iraq, a province “that has seen fierce internal fighting between Shiite factions. … The area also has seen a rise in internal rivalries between rival militia forces, including the Mahdi Army that is loyal to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.”

(Think Progress)

yeah, this breaks my heart

Rev. Billy Graham on Iraq: “I’m getting a little depressed about Iraq… Think of what it is doing to Bush. There doesn’t seem to be any way out.”

(Think Progress)

the biggest rat leaving the sinking ship

Rove to leave White House Aug. 31

WASHINGTON - Karl Rove, President Bush's close friend and chief political strategist, announced Monday he will leave the White House at the end of August, joining a lengthening line of senior officials heading for the exits in the final 1 1/2 years of the administration.

A criminal investigation put Rove under scrutiny for months during the investigation into the leak of a CIA operative's name but he was never charged with any crime. In a more recent controversy, Rove, citing executive privilege, has refused to testify before Congress about the firing of U.S. attorneys.

Rove's departure reinforces Bush's lame-duck stature and declining influence, particularly with Democrats in control on Capitol hill.


Since Democrats won control of Congress in November, some top administration officials have announced their resignations. Among those who have left are White House counselor Dan Bartlett, budget director Rob Portman, chief White House attorney Harriet Miers, political director Sara Taylor, deputy national security adviser J.D. Crouch and Meghan O'Sullivan, another deputy national security adviser who worked on Iraq. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was forced out immediately after the election as the unpopular war in Iraq dragged on. White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten told senior aides that if they stayed past Labor Day they would be obliged to remain through the end of the president's term in January 2009.


Friday, August 10, 2007

at leasy he's good at something (unfortunately, it's taking vacation)

Bush set to beat Reagan’s vacation record.
Yesterday, President Bush took off for his vacation home in Crawford, TX, where he has already “spent all or part of 418 days of his presidency.” With 17 months left in office, Bush is on course to beat “the presidential vacation-time record holder,” the late Ronald Reagan, “who tallied 436 days in his two terms.” Bush’s vacation will mark the 65th time he has visited Crawford as President.

(Think Progress)

Friday Beagle Blogging!

Here is Harley towering over our neighborhood!

hiding health info from the American people

President Bush Treated For Lyme Disease Last Year

Via Firedoglake:

Via Atrios, this is just beyond weird:

President Bush was treated for Lyme disease a year ago after developing a circular rash characteristic of the ailment, the White House announced yesterday.

Especially when you consider this:

The disease varies widely in its presentation, which may include a rash and flu-like symptoms in its initial stage, followed by the possibility of musculoskeletal, arthritic, neurologic, psychiatric and cardiac manifestations. In most cases of Lyme disease, symptoms can be eliminated with antibiotics, especially if treatment is begun early in the course of illness.

A percentage of patients with Lyme disease have symptoms that last months to years after treatment with antibiotics. These symptoms can include muscle and joint pains, arthritis, stiff neck, cognitive defects, neurological complaints or fatigue. The cause of these continuing symptoms is not yet known. There is some evidence that they may result from an autoimmune type of response, in which a person’s immune system continues to respond even after the infection has been cleared, as well as evidence of ongoing infection with the spirochete. (emphasis mine) Read more…

As much brush-clearing as George does this doesn’t come as a surprise, but Lyme disease is no laughing matter. This should have been made known to the public and might also explain a few things about the president’s behavior…

(Crooks and Liars)

my only question is "why at a later date?"

Biden suggests bringing criminal charges against Bush admin.

In a recent interview with Newsweek, Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) said he is opposed to impeachment proceedings because they would disrupt Congressional business. “But he has a pretty stunning Plan B“:

The alternative, and it’s taken me time to think through, I think we should be acquiring and accumulating all the data that is appropriate for possibly bringing criminal charges against members of this administration at a later date.

(Think Progress)

apparently a vast majority of Americans are liberal

Combating global poverty bridges bipartisan divide.

Today, the ONE campaign released the results of a bipartisan survey of likely Democratic and Republican New Hampshire primary voters. Among its findings:

– Nearly all Democrats (97%) and 70% of Republicans agree that America’s standing has suffered in recent years.

– Democrats (91%) and Republicans (78%) agree that the United States also needs to improve diplomatic relations by doing more to help improve health, education and opportunities in the poorest countries around the world.

– Democrats (90%) and Republicans (85%) agree that it is in keeping with the country’s values and our history of compassion to lead an effort to solve some of the most serious problems facing the world’s poorest people.

See more results from the survey here.

(Think Progress)

sick motherfucker

Columnist calls for another 9/11.

Philadelphia Daily News columnist Stu Byokofsky: “One month from The Anniversary, I’m thinking another 9/11 would help America.” (Via Atrios.)

(Think Progress)
Apparently, his "logic" is that because the country is divided on Iraq - due to bush's incompetence and his going to Iraq for no reason - that we need another 3000+ American deaths to bring us together again.
No, we need to get the repugs out of leadership positions and end the madness that they have created for our country and let the Dems make us safer, more secure and more economically viable and help our fellow Americans (as well as others), instead of murdering thousands of innocents around the world.
Maybe eventually we can restore our reputation in the world.

more repug bigotry

Rep. Bill Sali: Religious Diversity In Congress ‘Was Not Envisioned By The Founding Fathers’
(Think Progress)
Is bigotry the new republican talking point? Is that the base that they are trying to reach? How utterly disgusting and unAmerican!

Dems try to support the troops - bush opposes

Bush admin resists education benefits for troops.

The Blotter reports that the Bush administration is opposing a congressional effort to restore full educational benefits for returning veterans. “Senate Democrats, led by Virginia’s Jim Webb, want the government to pay every penny of veterans’ educational costs, from tuition at a public university to books, housing and a monthly stipend.” The administration is resisting because it finds the program cumbersome.”

(Think Progress)
Once again - for the millionth time - we see the Dems actually trying to do something for the troops - and not just spout stupid cliches - and the repugs fighting against them.

I literally cannot imagine how a single military personal could vote republican unless they are masochists.

Dems and gay issues

Dems take sharp questions on gay rights

LOS ANGELES - Democratic presidential contenders faced pointed questions on gay marriage and the basis for sexual orientation in a forum that forced candidates to confront politically touchy issues that have vexed a nation.

Former Sen. John Edwards found himself discussing whether he is comfortable around gay people — he said he is. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson appeared to struggle with a question about why people become gay or lesbian. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton ended up defending the record of her husband, former President Clinton, on gay rights.

"We certainly didn't get as much done as I would have liked," the New York senator said. "But there was a lot of honest effort."

Six of the eight Democratic candidates answered questions Thursday on gay rights at the two-hour forum co-sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign, a gay-rights group active in Democratic politics, and Logo, a gay-oriented cable TV channel that aired the forum live.

Organizers said it marked the first time that major presidential candidates appeared on TV specifically to address gay issues. The candidates appeared one at a time in an upholstered chair on a Hollywood studio set and took questions from a panel that included singer Melissa Etheridge.

The candidates underscored differences with Republicans on gay and lesbian rights, but leading candidates also faced aggressive questioning on their reluctance to embrace marriage for same-sex couples.

All of the Democratic candidates support a federal ban on anti-gay job discrimination, want to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy barring gays from serving openly in the military and support civil unions that would extend marriage-like rights to same-sex couples.

A majority of Americans oppose nationwide recognition of same-sex marriage and only two of the Democrats support it — former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel and Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, both longshots for the nomination.

Barack Obama belongs to the United Church of Christ, which supports gay marriage, but Obama has yet to go that far.

"If we have a situation in which civil unions are fully enforced, are widely recognized, people have civil rights under the law, then my sense is that's enormous progress," the Illinois senator said.

In a campaign dominated by the Iraq war and terrorism, the forum provided unusually probing talk about issues that alternately touched on questions of tolerance, morality and religion.

Clinton said she made a mistake in March when she steered around a question on whether homosexuality was immoral. She was asked about it after Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he considered homosexual acts immoral and similar to adultery. He later said he should have not expressed his personal views. Clinton later issued a statement saying she did not think being gay was immoral.

"It was a mistake," Clinton said. "I should have put it in a broader context."

Clinton was cheered by the crowd when she alluded to the prospect for change at the White House in the 2008 election. Edwards argued that Democrats must speak out against discrimination coming from the Republican right wing.

Unless you speak out against intolerance, it becomes "OK for the Republicans in their politics to divide America and use hate-mongering to separate us," Edwards said.

Etheridge, speaking to Edwards, said she had heard he once said he felt uncomfortable around gay people — an assertion contained in longtime political strategist Bob Shrum's book "No Excuses: Concessions of a Serial Campaigner."

"I'm perfectly comfortable," Edwards said. "I know where it came from. It came from a political consultant. And he's just wrong."

Richardson skirted a thorny debate on homosexuality.

When asked by Etheridge whether "homosexuality is a choice or is it biological?" he said, "I don't see this as an issue of science or definition. I see gays and lesbians as human beings."

Richardson later elaborated in a statement issued by his campaign:

"Let me be clear — I do not believe that sexual orientation or gender identity happen by choice," Richardson said. "But I'm not a scientist, and the point I was trying to make is that no matter how it happens, we are all equal and should be treated that way under the law."

When Kucinich was asked whether there was anything on the agenda for gay and lesbian rights he didn't support, he paused and said, "All I can say is, keep those contributions coming ... and you'll have the president that you want."

In a statement clearly aimed at the leading Democrats in the field, he said his support for same-sex marriage was "a question of whether you really believe in equality."

Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese, who was on a panel posing questions to the candidates, said in a statement, the forum "was an important night in the fight for equality."

"Unfortunately, we have more work to do," Solmonese said. "The overwhelming majority of the candidates do not support marriage equality. While we heard very strong commitments to civil unions and equality in federal rights and benefits, their reasons for opposing equality in civil marriage tonight became even less clear."

Of the eight Democratic candidates, two did not attend, Sens. Joe Biden of Delaware and Chris Dodd of Connecticut.

Logo, available in about 27 million homes, wanted to hold a second forum for Republican candidates but GOP front-runners showed no interest, channel officials said.

I am so surprised that the repugs did not want to participate in a forum on gay rights! Whatever reason could they possibly have?!

Just goes to show that repugs still do not believe in equal rights. The Dems still have a way to go but they are obviously far, far ahead of the repugs. I guess that's why Dems are called "progressive" - because we believe in progress and not going back in time.