Wednesday, December 31, 2008

repugs now calling BUSH a socialist!

EXCLUSIVE: RNC draft rips Bush's bailouts

Republican Party officials say they will try next month to pass a resolution accusing President Bush and congressional Republican leaders of embracing "socialism," underscoring deep dissension within the party at the end of Mr. Bush's administration.

Those pushing the resolution, which will come before the Republican National Committee at its January meeting, say elected leaders need to be reminded of core principles. They said the RNC must take the dramatic step of wading into policy debates, which traditionally have been left to lawmakers.

"We can't be a party of small government, free markets and low taxes while supporting bailouts and nationalizing industries, which lead to big government, socialism and high taxes at the expense of individual liberty and freedoms," said Solomon Yue, an Oregon member and co-sponsor of a resolution that criticizes the U.S. government bailouts of the financial and auto industries. Republican National Committee Vice Chairman James Bopp Jr. wrote the resolution and asked the rest of the 168 voting members to sign it.

"The resolution also opposes President-elect Obama's proposed public works program and supports conservative alternatives," while encouraging the RNC "to engage in vigorous public policy debates consistent with our party platform," said Mr. Bopp, a leading attorney for pro-life groups who has also challenged the campaign finance legislation that Mr. Bush signed.


(Washington Times, via the Huffington Post)
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So, anything to help this country is socialist and "big government" but if it hurts this country and removes individual freedoms, then they love government intervention.
What a strange world they live in!

Maddow on another way bush is making us less safe and the chaos in the repug party

Rachel Maddow's Ms. Information: OSHA Literally Asleep at the Wheel and the RNC in Disarray

From The Rachel Maddow Show Dec. 29, 2008. Sadly as someone who has read Molly Ivins' book Bushwhacked and after watching the debacle during Hurricane Katrina, nothing any Bush appointee does surprises me very much.

But first, it‘s time for a few underreported “holy mackerel” stories in today‘s news. The “Washington Post” front-pages a story today on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA, the part of the federal government that deals with workplace safety. They provide information about workplace hazards. They regulate workplace conditions so that they are safer.

Of course, in the Bush administration, OSHA does a lot less of that. They do 86 percent less of that, if you want to be precise here. OSHA under President Bush issued 86 percent fewer significant workplace safety rules and regulations than OSHA under Bill Clinton. Now, that‘s not necessarily a big political surprise. Republicans are the pro-corporation, anti-regulation party even when they can‘t really agree on anything else.

But what is a surprise about OSHA under President Bush which we learned in today‘s “Washington Post” is—I‘m not actually sure that I can improve on the facts as they are presented in today‘s “Washington Post” article by the reporter, R. Jeffrey Smith.

Quote, “In 2006, Bush‘s first OSHA director, a former Monsanto employee was replaced by Edwin G. Foulke Jr., a South Carolina lawyer and former Bush fundraiser who spent years defending companies cited by OSHA for safety and health violations. Foulke quickly acquired a reputation inside the Labor Department as a man who literally fell asleep on the job.

Eyewitnesses said they saw him suddenly doze off at staff meetings, during teleconferences, in one-on-one briefings, at retreats involving senior deputies, on the dais at the conference, at an awards ceremony for a corporation, and during an interview with candidate for deputy regional administrator.

His top aides said they rustled papers, wore attention-getting garb, they pounded the table for emphasis or gently kicked his leg, all to keep him awake. But if these tactics failed, sometimes they just continued talking as if he were awake - ‘We‘ll be sitting there and things will fall out of his hands; people will go on talking like nothing ever happened,‘ said a career official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to a reporter.

In an interview, Foulke denied falling asleep at work, although he said he was often tired and sometimes listened with his eyes closed,” end quote.

Listening with his eyes closed? The man George Bush put in charge or keeping your workplace safe, America. Twenty-one days left - 21 days.

And the Republican Party is having a little bit of trouble settling on its leadership for its post-Bush, post McCain-Palin rebuilding period. There are, at last count, roughly 400,000 people running to be the next chairman or chairwoman of the Republican Party, if you round off for the nearest 400,000.

Honestly, I don‘t know. It‘s very hard to tell how many people are actually running for RNC chair. But there are a lot, and it‘s turning out to be sort of an exciting race. One reason why is that RNC chair is the only national leadership job in the Republican Party now.

The White House and House of Representatives and the Senate will all be headed by Democrats starting very soon. Also, the question of whether or not Republicans can find their voice as the loyal, honorable opposition to the nation‘s first black president is turning out way more comically difficult for them that might have been expected.

First, there was the South Carolina Republican Party chairman who had to resign his long-term membership in a whites-only country club. Now, another candidate, the former Tennessee party chairman, has sent out as a holiday gift, a parody song about Barack Obama called “Barack the Magic Negro.”

RNC candidate Chip Saltsman‘s defense to the inevitable outrage here is that “Barack, The Magic Negro” is hilarious. You stay classy, GOP, don‘t ever change.


(Crooks and Liars)

escalation in Gaza

Israel rejects truce call, attacks Gaza

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Israel rejected international pressure for a two-day cease-fire with Hamas and sent warplanes Wednesday to demolish smuggling tunnels that are the lifeline of Gaza's Islamic rulers.

The diplomatic efforts to forge a truce were set in motion by the scale of destruction in Gaza since Israel unleashed an offensive Saturday against Hamas militants firing barrages of rockets that are striking closer to the Israeli heartland than previous attacks.

Gaza officials say the five days of airstrikes have killed 390, including 200 uniformed members of Hamas security forces, and have wounded about 1,600. The U.N. says at least 60 Palestinian civilians are among the dead. Four Israelis have been killed by militant rocket fire, including three civilians.

The offensive has touched off protests across the Islamic world. In Iran on Wednesday, fundamentalist students asked their government to authorize volunteer suicide bombers to attack Israel. The Tehran government had no immediate response.


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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

everything that bush said about Iraq has turned out to be wrong

‘Key Ally In The War On Terror’ Breaks With U.S., Condemns Israel For Gaza Strikes

After disastrously invading and occupying Iraq, one of the justifications President Bush frequently offered for sustaining the enormous U.S. costs in lives and resources was that we were developing a “key ally” in the Middle East:

Together we’ll help Iraq become a strong democracy that protects the rights of its people and is a key ally in the war on terror. [9/22/05]

Our mission in Iraq is clear. … We’re helping Iraqis build a free nation that is an ally in the war on terror. We’re advancing freedom in the broader Middle East. [6/28/05]

Freedom will prevail in Iraq; freedom will prevail in the Middle East; and as the hope of freedom spreads to nations that have not known it, these countries will become allies in the cause of peace. [3/20/06]

The Wonk Room’s Matt Duss notes that — in a central test of the U.S. alliance with Iraq — our “key ally” is instead more eager to disassociate itself completely from the United States:

Just as they did during Israel’s 2006 war against Hezbollah, Iraq’s leaders are now showing where their true sympathies lie. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s Da’wa Party “issued a statement condemning the attacks and calling on Islamic countries to cut relations with Israel and end all ’secret and public talks’ with it.”

Khalid Hussain of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) told Gulf News “We have obligations towards Palestine and all Iraqi people are in solidarity with the people in Palestine, and we will support the people in Gaza.” […]

“Iraqi resistance groups have to retaliate against the Israeli aggression on Gaza by escalating their operations against the US military in Iraq since the US position is in favour of this aggression, firstly, and secondly because the United States and Israel are both enemies of the Arabs,” Omar Al Kubaisi, an activist of the Sunni Muslim Clerics Association.

Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Sistani has also condemned the Gaza strikes. Duss concludes, “Looking on the bright side, if one can call it that, as with opposition to the U.S. occupation, Gaza is an issue on which Iraqis have achieved rare political consensus.”

(Think Progress)

is there anything that does NOT mean we should attack Iran?

Bolton: Gaza Crisis Means We Should Attack Iran Now
(Think Progress)
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This guy is a blood-crazed maniac who wants war at any cost and at all times.
WTF is wrong with this asshole? We can't deal with the wars that we are already engaged in, much less adding another fruitless and unnecessary one.

more controversy over Obama's senate seat

Obama: Blagojevich appointee shouldn't be seated

WASHINGTON – President-elect Barack Obama waded into a racially tinged dispute Tuesday over who would replace him as the only black senator, siding forcefully with Senate Democrats in rejecting the respected African-American chosen by scandal-tainted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

While praising Blagojevich's pick, former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris, Obama and Senate Democratic leaders said federal corruption charges against the governor place the nominee under an ethical cloud.

"Senate Democrats made it clear weeks ago that they cannot accept an appointment made by a governor who is accused of selling this very Senate seat," Obama said in a statement.

The president-elect spoke out after Blagojevich defied national Democrats and appointed Burris to fill the vacancy left by Obama's resignation.

Senate Democrats released a letter reiterating their view that, despite their respect for Burris, they would vote not to allow him to be seated as a senator.

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what is going on in this f'k'd up world?

Ugandan rebels kill 400 in DR Congo: charity

KINSHASA (AFP) – Ugandan Lord's Resistance Army rebels killed more than 400 people in Christmas massacres in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the Caritas aid charity said Tuesday.
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gee, there's an easy way to solve all of this nonsense

Warren's inauguration prayer could draw more ire

President-elect Barack Obama's choice of Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural invocation drew one kind of protest. Whether the evangelical pastor offers the prayer in the name of Jesus may draw another. At George W. Bush's 2001 swearing-in, the Revs. Franklin Graham and Kirbyjon Caldwell were criticized for invoking Christ. The distinctly Christian reference at a national civic event offended some, and even prompted a lawsuit.

Warren did not answer directly when asked whether he would dedicate his prayer to Jesus. In a statement Tuesday to The Associated Press, Warren would say only that, "I'm a Christian pastor so I will pray the only kind of prayer I know how to pray."

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Anyone remember separation of church and state? Not having a religious segment to the inauguration would solve the whole thing, wouldn't it?

Why is the obvious solution usually ignored?

will this be legal?

Blagojevich to appoint Burris to Obama's seat

Via the Chicago Tribune:

Gov. Rod Blagojevich is expected today to name former Illinois Atty. Gen. Roland Burris to replace President-elect Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate.

The action comes despite warnings by Democratic Senate leaders that they would not seat anyone appointed by the disgraced governor who faces criminal charges of trying to sell the post, sources familiar with the decision said.

According to the Tribune story, the 71-year-old Burris, the first African-American to win statewide office in Illinois when he was elected as comptroller, had previously said that Obama's replacement should be able to win re-election when running for the seat in 2010. A news conference is reportedly scheduled for 2 PM in Chicago in which Blagojevich will announce the appointment.


(Daily Kos)
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I don't know of the person but he doesn't sound like a bad choice. I wonder what will happen with this now...

imagine if we had had a qualified president these last 8 years

Former Powell aide: Bush was ‘Sarah Palin-like’ in his knowledge of foreign policy.

In an interview with Vanity Fair for its upcoming issue on the Bush White House, Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, ripped President Bush, saying that after the 2000 election, Bush’s knowledge of foreign affairs was as poor as that of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R):

We had this confluence of characters—and I use that term very carefully—that included people like Powell, Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, and so forth, which allowed one perception to be “the dream team.” It allowed everybody to believe that this Sarah Palin–like president—because, let’s face it, that’s what he was—was going to be protected by this national- security elite, tested in the cauldrons of fire.

Bush famously was unable to name the leaders of Pakistan, Chechnya, and India when running for President in 1999. In a recent interview, he reflected on his early days as President, stating, “I think I was unprepared for war.” Similarly, in 2004, Bush said he “was not on point” prior to 9/11. “I didn’t feel that sense of urgency, and my blood was not nearly as boiling.”


(Think Progress)
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It is truly incredible the amount of damage this unqualified moron did to this country in 8 years. It is almost as incredible that the people allowed him to do so.
Thank the fates that we've been spared another unqualified presidency.

obstructionist repugs care nothing for the country

After Backing Massive Wall Street Bailout, McConnell Plans To Block Obama’s Economic Stimulus Plan

President-elect Obama has made it clear that one of his first priorities when he takes office will be an economic stimulus package that could reach around $800 billion. Top economists have said that such investment — in areas such as infrastructure, health care, energy, and education — is essential for boosting the economy. As Nobel-winning economist Paul Krugman has stated, the “risks of being too small are much bigger than the risks of being too big.”

Despite the urgency after eight years of the Bush administration doing nothing, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is now saying that he and his fellow conservatives are in no rush to provide this important economic relief and plan to put the brakes to attempts to quickly pass a package. From a statement he issued
yesterday:

As of right now, Americans are left with more questions than answers about this unprecedented government spending, and I believe the taxpayers deserve to know a lot more about where it will be spent before we consider passing it.

According to the Washington Post, McConnell has also “called for a weeklong cooling off period between when the bill is drafted and when it is voted on, allowing time to dissect it for signs of ‘fraud and waste.’” Conservatives have the power to filibuster the legislation if they oppose it.

McConnell, however, had no problem quickly passing President Bush’s Wall Street bailout, even though that package had almost no oversight safeguards. In fact, as McClatchy reported, McConnell “led the battle” to pass the bill.

McConell also opposed Congress’s rescue package for auto workers, arguing that he couldn’t “ask the American taxpayer to subsidize failure” and using it as a political opportunity to bash unions.

(Think Progress)
More:
Krugman: GOP has ‘no coherent theory’ behind obstructing economic stimulus package.
(Think Progress)

another dino discovery

Huge dinosaur discovery in China: state media

BEIJING (AFP) – Paleontologists in east China have dug up what they believe is one of the world's largest group of dinosaur fossils including the remains of an enormous "platypus", state press said Tuesday.

Paleontologists have discovered 15 areas near Zhucheng city in Shandong province that contain thousands of dinosaur bones, the Beijing News reported.

"This group of fossilised dinosaurs is currently the largest ever discovered in the world... in terms of area," the paper cited paleontologist Zhao Xijin of the China Academy of Sciences as saying.

In one area measuring 300 metres (990 feet) by 10 metres, more than 3,000 bones were found, the report said. Since digging began in March scientists have discovered more than 7,600 bones.

Included in the find was the largest "platypus" -- or "duck-billed dinosaur" in Chinese -- ever discovered measuring nine metres high with a wingspan wider than 16 metres, the report said.

Zhao said the discovery of so many dinosaurs in such a dense area could provide clues on how the animals became extinct towards the end of the Cretaceous period 65 million years ago, the Beijing News said.

Scientists have also identified the remains of ankylosaurus, tyrannosaurus and coelurus, according to China's official Xinhua news agency.

Xinhua said paleontologists are expecting to find many more remains in the area, which lies in a region that has produced more than 50 tonnes of dinosaur fossils since the 1960s.

Plans are being made to set up a fossil park in the area, but local mine operations that were suspended for the dig are eager to resume mining, it said.

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C'mon Franken!

Franken lead at 50 with absentees left to count
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I wonder how far into 2009 it will be before we know that Franken has officially won?

racist repugs rallying around Saltsman

'Magic Negro' flap might help Saltsman

The controversy surrounding a comedy CD distributed by Republican National Committee chair candidate Chip Saltsman has not torpedoed his bid and might have inadvertently helped it.

Four days after news broke that the former Tennessee GOP chairman had sent a CD that included a song titled “Barack the Magic Negro” to the RNC members he is courting, some of those officials are rallying around the embattled Saltsman, with a few questioning whether the national media and his opponents are piling on.

“When I heard about the story I had to figure out what was going on for myself,” said Mark Ellis, the chairman of the Maine Republican Party. “When I found out what this was about I had to ask, ‘boy, what’s the big deal here?’ because there wasn’t any.”

Alabama Republican committeeman Paul Reynolds said the fact the Saltsman sent him a CD with the song on it “didn’t bother me one bit.”

“Chip probably could have thought it through a bit more, but he was doing everyone a favor by giving us a gift,” he said. “This is just people looking for something to make an issue of.”

“I don’t think he intended it as any kind of racial slur. I think he intended it as a humor gift,” Oklahoma GOP committeewoman Carolyn McClarty added. “I think it was innocently done by Chip.”
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The day after the story was first reported by The Hill, RNC Chairman Mike Duncan issued a statement expressing disgust over the song.

“The 2008 election was a wake-up call for Republicans to reach out and bring more people into our party,” said Duncan, who is seeking reelection to his post. “I am shocked and appalled that anyone would think this is appropriate as it clearly does not move us in the right direction.”

Duncan was joined by Michigan GOP Chair Saul Anuzis, another RNC chair aspirant who chided Saltsman for sending out the CD.

North Dakota Republican Party Chairman Gary Emineth said he was “disappointed” when he heard about the story and questioned Saltsman’s viability as a candidate going forward.

“There are a lot of things about Chip that would have made a good a RNC chairman, but this has definitely hurt him,” he said in an interview with Politico. “With less than a month to go Chip needs to be talking about where he wants to lead the party and he is not going to get that opportunity.”

Not everyone is so sure, with some RNC members contending that Anuzis and Duncan may have actually hurt their candidacies with their responses.

“Those are two guys who just eliminated themselves from this race for jumping all over Chip on this,” one committee member told Politico. “Mike Duncan is a nice guy, but he screwed up big time by pandering to the national press on this.”


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Wow - only repugs would defend their racist members and denigrate the people denouncing racism!
That's a sure way to expand their base to include minorities! I don't how anyone other than rich white folks could possibly align themselfs with the republican party.

Monday, December 29, 2008

nothing can come between bush and his vacation!

Bush Refuses To Interrupt His Final Vacation As Middle East Crisis Escalates

In an effort to “prevent Palestinians from attacking towns in southern Israel” with rockets, Israel today undertook its third day of offensive military airstrikes in the Palestinian territory of Gaza, raising the death toll to more than 300. The Palestinian casualty numbers have been described as the highest over such a brief period since the 1967 Six-Day war. Scores of Israelis have been wounded — and at least one killed — by rocket attacks fired by Palestinians. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak called the situation “all out war.”

While Bush has been briefed on the situation by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, he has opted not to interrupt his final vacation as president to make a public statement on the crisis. For someone who has enjoyed the most vacation days as sitting president — including days spent relaxing in comfort during Hurricane Katrina and in the lead-up to 9/11 — it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that Bush prioritizes vacationing over crisis management. ABC News reports:

Even an emerging crisis in the Middle East, one he pledged to resolve just 13 months ago, has not drawn President George W. Bush from his final vacation before leaving office. Despite his personal pledge at Annapolis last year to broker a deal between Israel and the Palestinians before 2009, this weekend Bush sent his spokesmen to comment in his stead. […]

Since departing Washington for Crawford on Friday, President Bush has made no attempt to be seen in public. In fact, he has yet to leave his ranch.

Today, in a press briefing delivered from the “Western White House” in Crawford, TX, White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe was asked what is on Bush’s schedule today. In addition to receiving “updates on the ongoing situation,” Johndroe said, “I expect he’ll probably ride his bicycle today and spend time with Mrs. Bush.”

President-elect Barack Obama has also been monitoring the violence from his vacationing spot in Hawaii, staying in contact with Bush and Rice. “President Bush speaks for the United States until Jan. 20 and we’re going to honor that,” Obama adviser David Axelrod said.

One senior Bush administration official told the Washington Post that he thinks the Israelis acted in Gaza “because they want it to be over before the next administration comes in” and because “they can’t predict how the next administration will handle it.” Indeed, Bush has become fairly predictable in how he manages these sorts of crises.

Update - On ABC's This Week yesterday, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) expressed his hope that removing Bush's hands-off approach may help address the situation. "I'm hopeful that as this transition comes, as we look to January, that strong presidential leadership can make a difference here."

(Think Progress)
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No one can possibly be surprised at this, can they? I mean, bush wouldn't interrupt his vacation when an American city was destroyed, why would he care about something happened on the other side of the world while he only has a few weeks left in the presidency. It's not like he ever did anything to help any situation anyway.

I'm sure that everyone is acting while bush is still president because they know that he is worthless and powerless and they don't have to worry about any repercussions from him.

more on racist repugs

MSNBC Host: It wouldn’t be ‘funny’ if someone called me ‘Tamron Hall the Magic Negro Anchor Lady.’
(Think Progress)
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Watch the vid embedded in the above link to hear a repug representative defending the song! She doesn't find anything at all wrong with the song, but thinks that it was wrong that a repug distributed it. But if there wasn't anything wrong with it, why was it wrong to send it out?

Sickening...

madness in the mid-east

Hamas fires more rockets despite Israeli strikes
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White House backs Israel's attacks on Gaza Strip

CRAWFORD, Texas – The White House, calling Monday for a lasting cease-fire in the Mideast, backed Israel's deadly air attacks on the Gaza Strip and said the Islamic militant group ruling there had shown its "true colors as a terrorist organization." After Hamas, which controls Gaza, fired mortars and rockets deep into Israeli territory, Israel retaliated Saturday with a fierce bombing campaign — the deadliest against Palestinians in decades. The airstrikes, which have killed more than 360 people and wounded some 1,400 others, have enraged the Arab world.

"Right now the people of southern Israel are not able to live in peace," White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said in Crawford, Texas, where President George W. Bush is spending time at his ranch. "They have to live in bomb shelters a lot of the time. And that's unacceptable."

In Israel, 17 people have been killed in attacks from Gaza since the beginning of the year.

A six-month truce between Hamas and Israel expired earlier this month, but Hamas refused to extend it, saying Israel had violated its terms.

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Scenic Pakistani valley falls to Taliban militants

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Taliban militants are beheading and burning their way through Pakistan's picturesque Swat Valley, and residents say the insurgents now control most of the mountainous region far from the lawless tribal areas where jihadists thrive.

The deteriorating situation in the former tourist haven comes despite an army offensive that began in 2007 and an attempted peace deal. It is especially worrisome to Pakistani officials because the valley lies outside the areas where al-Qaida and Taliban militants have traditionally operated and where the military is staging a separate offensive.

"You can't imagine how bad it is," said Muzaffar ul-Mulk, a federal lawmaker whose home in Swat was attacked by bomb-toting assailants in mid-December, weeks after he left. "It's worse day by day."

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We desperately need a new leader - one that will bring people together, not cause more unrest. Obama is certainly not going to be able to cure the world's ills, but hopefully he can at least start repairing all of the damage that bush has caused.

HE never recovered?!

Ex-aides say Bush never recovered from Katrina

WASHINGTON – Hurricane Katrina not only pulverized the Gulf Coast in 2005, it knocked the bully pulpit out from under President George W. Bush, according to two former advisers who spoke candidly about the political impact of the government's poor handling of the natural disaster.

"Katrina to me was the tipping point," said Matthew Dowd, Bush's pollster and chief strategist for the 2004 presidential campaign. "The president broke his bond with the public. Once that bond was broken, he no longer had the capacity to talk to the American public. State of the Union addresses? It didn't matter. Legislative initiatives? It didn't matter. P.R.? It didn't matter. Travel? It didn't matter."

Dan Bartlett, former White House communications director and later counselor to the president, said: "Politically, it was the final nail in the coffin."

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My heart bleeds for the little shit that stayed on vacation while New Orleans was flooded. He easily could have made this a victory for himself, but he wanted to f'k off instead, like usual.

New Orleans is still trying to recover from this heartles bastard's inactions.

He makes me wish there was a hell so he could rot in it for all the harm he did to our country and the world...

another crazy Palin in the world

Palin's daughter gives birth to son named Tripp
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I will be eternally grateful that this looney-tune family will simply be butts of jokes and not in positions of power...
More:

UPDATE 12/30
MSNBC is reporting that the Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston may receive up to $300,000 for the first pictures of their son Tripp.

The price didn't soar immediately, according to the sources, because Sarah Palin stories just didn't sell all that well for the weeklies on newsstands.
...
The drug-related arrest of Johnston's mother, however, caused the price tag for the photos to go up.


(Huffington Post)

even shaman agree that Obama will be a good president


During a ceremony to ring in the New Year, Peruvian shamans gave President-elect Barack Obama a good forecast for the coming year.

According to a local news source:

They predicted that President-elect Barack Obama will have a successful government that will promote peace around the world. But they warned of possible attacks against him by people who quote "disagree with world peace".

They also predicted that Mexico and the U.S. will experience a "desperate crisis" when it comes to the global financial meltdown.

(Huffington Post)

grotesque

RNC Chair Candidate Distributes ‘Barack The Magic Negro’ As His Christmas Greeting
(Think Progress)
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The repugs don't even try to hind their racism any more, do they?

still more mid-East chaos

Israeli air strikes on Gaza continue for second day, Hamas calls for ‘third intifada.’
In response to increased rocket attacks from a number of Palestinian groups, Israel launched a second wave of air strikes late Saturday and early Sunday morning. The weekend’s estimated death toll increased to 280. Last week, Hamas declared an end to a rocky six-month-old ceasefire agreement. The IDF is reportedly “sending tanks and infantry reinforcements southward in preparation for possible ground incursion.” After the first wave of air strikes yesterday, Hamas launched a new series of rocket attacks, while Khaled Meshal, Hamas’s political leader, said during an interview, "This is the time for a third Intifada.” The White House called Hamas ‘thugs,’ saying, “Israel is going to defend its people against terrorists like Hamas that indiscriminately kill their own people.”

(Think Progress)

i'm sure that many, many people would be happy to educate him!

Cheney: ‘I Don’t Have Any Idea’ Why People Don’t Like Me
(Think Progress)
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There is no way a cognizant human being could be this much in denial, is there? He's just bs'ing for the media, right? He's got to know why people hate him, right? Does he actually think that he has been good for anyone other than his corporate buddies?

they can't actually believe this, can they?

Bolton: ‘In 100 years people aren’t going to remember Guantánamo or Abu Ghraib.’

With President Bush’s time in office rapidly coming to an end, his loyal supporters are working overtime to spin his legacy positively. In an interview with the Telegraph, Bush’s former UN ambassador, John Bolton, claims that “in 100 years,” people won’t remember two of the biggest stains on Bush’s record, Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib:

“In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, he was strong and decisive and that was critical for both the country and for the Western world,” believes John Bolton. “In 100 years people aren’t going to remember Guantánamo or Abu Ghraib, they’re going to remember 9/11 and Bush’s reaction to it.”

Bolton’s claim that history will forget Bush’s human rights abuses is similar to State Department spokesman Sean McCormack’s claim that in 50 years no one will remember the shoe-hurling Iraqi journalist.


(Think Progress)
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So, according to Bolton, no one will remember bush's failure to prevent 9/11 or his reaction to 9/11 (Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, along with the other loses of civil rights around the world) but will remember his reaction to it (meaning what, who knows - invading Iraq?).

Do these people even think about what they're saying?

unfortunately for them, denying reality does not change the truth

Mrs. Bush, Rice: Bush presidency not a failure

WASHINGTON – The two most influential women in President George W. Bush's White House — first lady Laura Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — are strongly defending the president's legacy against critics who are calling his administration one of the worst in history.

"I know it's not, and so I don't really feel like I need to respond to people that view it that way," Mrs. Bush said in an interview that aired Sunday. "I think history will judge and we'll see later."

Rice took a similar view in a separate interview, saying that claims that the Bush administration has been one of the worst ever are "ridiculous."

"I think generations pretty soon are going to start to thank this president for what he's done. This generation will," Rice said.


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I know they keep saying that "history" will validate this presidency, but isn't it funny that we always knew that Clinton's presidency was a success and we didn't need "history" to tell us this.

Who knows, maybe in the far distant future some ramification of bush's fuck-ups will have some positive impact somewhere, but it's not likely and it obviously is not worth the hell that he has put this world through.

incredibly obvious headline of the day

Many Teens Don't Keep Virginity Pledges

MONDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Teens who take virginity pledges are just as likely to have sex as teens who don't make such promises -- and they're less likely to practice safe sex to prevent disease or pregnancy, a new study finds.


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Does someone really need a study to tell them this?
Teens will have sex. If they don't know any better, they will have unprotected sex. These are facts of life and this is not news. Anyone who doesn't think so doesn't remember being a teen and is sticking their heads in the sand...

what a stupid idea

Blagojevich lawyer to submit Obama report to panel

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The lead attorney for Gov. Rod Blagojevich said he plans to submit President-elect Barack Obama's internal report on contacts with the scandal-plagued governor to the Illinois House committee weighing impeachment.

Attorney Ed Genson told the Chicago Sun-Times on Sunday the report would support Blagojevich's claims that he hasn't done anything wrong in his handling of Obama's vacant U.S. Senate seat.

Earlier in the week, Obama released the internal report supporting his insistence that there had been no inappropriate contact with the governor's office by Obama or his staff.

State Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, chairwoman of the committee, said Sunday that Genson's request to submit the report would probably be approved. But she expressed skepticism that the report would prove the governor's innocence.

"Maybe in this particular instance someone didn't run a stop sign, but it doesn't say they didn't run a different stop sign," she said.


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No one ever thought that Obama's team was involved in this scandal so showing that they weren't involved proves nothing whatsoever. How could anyone even begin to think otherwise? This report proves the innocence of Obama and his team, not of Blagojevich.

Mindbogglingly dumb...

Friday, December 26, 2008

coincidence?

Pardoned gambling executive contributed to Bush’s re-election campaign.
USA Today reports that Alan Maisse, a former gambling executive who was pardoned this week by President Bush, had made two contributions to Bush’s re-election campaign in 2003 and 2004 totaling $1,500. White House deputy press secretary Tony Fratto declined to comment on the case but said “[w]e do not look into political contributions” in reviewing pardon requests. “We think it would be inappropriate to do that. They should have no influence over our decision-making,” Fratto added. Bush revoked a pardon of a Brooklyn developer earlier this week after reports surfaced that the man’s father gave nearly $30,000 to the Republican Party. White House press secretary Dana Perino said Bush “decided not to go through with the pardon” because the contributions raise “the appearance of impropriety.”

(Think Progress)

still causing trouble in Illinois

Gov's lawyer asks panel to subpoena Obama staff

CHICAGO – In a move intended to force public testimony from President-elect Barack Obama's inner circle, a lawyer for Gov. Rod Blagojevich has asked the legislative panel considering impeachment of the governor to subpoena more than a dozen witnesses, including Obama's incoming chief of staff.


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hardly a surprise

Obama is most admired American: poll

WASHINGTON (AFP) – President-elect Barack Obama has replaced US President George W. Bush as the most admired man in America, according to a poll published Friday in the USA Today newspaper.

One-third of the 1,008 respondents surveyed named Obama as their first or second choice, with Bush falling to a distant second after seven years as the country's most-admired man.

Thirty-two percent of respondents chose Obama against five percent for Bush. It was the first time a president-elect topped the poll since Dwight Eisenhower in 1952.


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I was astonished to hear that bush came in second until i read that this meant that he got 5%, which is about the percentage of the population who would love bush even if he raped and set fire to babies on live TV.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Xmas!


And let's hope that next year's is better for this country and the world!

Now let Santa have a drink!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

wow - bush did something decent and humane

Bush signs law protecting retirement savings for gay couples.

Yesterday, Bush signed into law the Worker, Retiree and Employer Recovery Act of 2008 (WRERA), requiring employers to allow employees to roll their retirement plans over to nonspouse partners. The Human Rights Campaign hailed the bill for allowing gay couples to share benefits:

PPA [Pension Protection Act of 2006] made it possible for employers to allow any nonspouse beneficiary of an employee’s retirement plan—including an employee’s same-sex partner—to roll inherited retirement benefits directly to an individual retirement account (IRA) and avoid immediate taxation. WRERA requires that all employers provide this rollover opportunity to nonspouse beneficiaries.

(Think Progress)
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Amazing - he can act like an actual human being once in a while! Good for bush! (Never thought i would say that!)

heartbreaking

"Please don't divorce..."

Infamous prosecutor Ken Starr has filed a legal brief -- on behalf of the "Yes on 8" campaign -- to nullify the 18,000 same-sex marriages performed in California between May and November of 2008.

Yes, they really did go there after promising repeatedly not to do this.

It's time to put a face to Ken Starr's shameful legal proceedings. To put a face to the 18,000 couples facing forcible divorce. To put a face to marriage equality. Because, gay or straight, YOU are the face of the Marriage Equality Movement.

The Courage Campaign just launched "Please Don't Divorce" a community photo project. They will break your heart and have made me cry on more than one occasion.

Please click through the photos in the slideshow above and then submit your own photo, as an individual, a couple or in a group (perhaps with your family over the holidays). Take a picture holding a piece of paper that says "Please don't divorce us," "Please don't divorce my moms,""Please don't divorce my friends, Dawn and Audrey," "Please don't divorce Californians" or whatever you want after "Please don't divorce..." and send it to: pleasedontdivorce@couragecampaign.org.

(Crooks and Liars)

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Click the link to see the photos.

Isn't this the season for love and understanding and not bigotry?

Xmas traditions

rove lying again (so what else is new?)

this administration still trying to f'k the environment

Boxer demands Mukasey force EPA to withdraw ‘blatantly illegal’ memo ignoring carbon emissions.

Last week, EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson — citing “sound policy considerations — wrote a memo declaring “that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant to be regulated when approving power plants.” On Monday, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, wrote Johnson a letter to Attorney General Mike Mukasey demanding that he ensure that Johnson withdraw “his blatantly illegal memo“:

I am writing to request that as the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, you intervene immediately with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson to ensure that he withdraws his blatantly illegal memo. […]

The Johnson document presents as arguments against including carbon dioxide emissions in a Clean Air Act permit the same kind of transparent excuses for inaction on global warming pollution that both the Supreme Court and the Environmental Appeals Board flatly rejected in their respective opinions.

Boxer points out that the memo “flies in the face” of the Supreme Court’s 2007 decision. As conservative legal scholar Jonathan Adler acknowledged, “Under that decision, the EPA is effectively obligated to begin the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.”

(Think Progress)

what rove thinks is "goofy", the rest of us think is life-and-economy-saving

Rove Mocks Infrastructure Spending As ‘Goofy Pie-In-The-Sky Spending Ideas’
(Think Progress)
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And he's still pushing for corporate tax breaks! Like that's done so much good for our economy!

Merry Xmas Eve!


Harley's all ready to start dreaming of sugar plums - or maybe the homemade doggie biscuits that are his Xmas present!

Happy Howl-idays to all!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

hilarious!

cheney admits to helping expose Plame

Cheney admitted to FBI he altered Plame talking points in a manner certain to expose her

Murray Waas has uncovered a major piece of evidence tying Vice President Dick Cheney to the efforts to attack Joe Wilson by exposing his wife as a CIA operative:

Vice President Dick Cheney, according to a still-highly confidential FBI report, admitted to federal investigators that he rewrote talking points for the press in July 2003 that made it much more likely that the role of then-covert CIA-officer Valerie Plame in sending her husband on a CIA-sponsored mission to Africa would come to light.

Cheney conceded during his interview with federal investigators that in drawing attention to Plame’s role in arranging her husband’s Africa trip reporters might also unmask her role as CIA officer.

Cheney denied to the investigators, however, that he had done anything on purpose that would lead to the outing of Plame as a covert CIA operative. But the investigators came away from their interview with Cheney believing that he had not given them a plausible explanation as to how he could focus attention on Plame’s role in arranging her husband’s trip without her CIA status also possibly publicly exposed. At the time, Plame was a covert CIA officer involved in preventing Iran from obtaining weapons of mass destruction, and Cheney’s office played a central role in exposing her and nullifying much of her work.

Cheney revised the talking points on July 8, 2003– the very same day that his then-chief of staff, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, met with New York Times reporter Judith Miller and told Miller that Plame was a CIA officer and that Plame had also played a central role in sending her husband on his CIA sponsored trip to the African nation of Niger.

Go read it all. Cheney may believe he got off the hook in the Plame affair, but it may not be over yet.


(Crooks and Liars)

Obama's creepy pastor friend

repugs STILL lying about global warming

Shuster Pushes Inhofe On Global Warming Skepticism: ‘If There Is A Hoax, Isn’t It This Report Of Yours?’

Earlier this month, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) released a report citing “more than 650 international scientists” who back up his claims that manmade global warming is a hoax. This list was a revision of his original compilation of 400 names earlier in the year. That list fell apart, however, when experts pointed out that many of those people 1) had no background in climate science, or 2) “demanded to be taken off, since they didn’t disagree with the scientific consensus on climate change at all.”

Inhofe’s new report with 650 “expertsdoesn’t seem to be much better. Anja Eichler, one of the scientists cited by Inhofe as believing that half of the earth’s warming is caused by the sun, said that her work was “misinterpreted”; in fact, she believes that “Earth’s temperature does not change randomly — it changes when it is driven to do so by an external forcing.” TNR’s Bradford Plumer also found others on this list new who appear to support the theory of manmade global warming.

Yesterday on MSNBC, David Shuster grilled Inhofe on his report, bringing up the case of Eichler. After pointing out all the problems with the report, Shuster asked, “Senator, if there is a hoax, isn’t it this report of yours?” Inhofe continued to dig in his heels, insisting that the “majority” still agreed with him.


(Think Progress)

Obama to be sworn in on Lincoln's bible

President-elect Obama’s team has announced that on Jan. 20, Obama “will take the oath of office using the same Bible upon which President Lincoln was sworn in at his first inauguration.” He “will be the first President sworn in using the Lincoln Bible since its initial use in 1861.”

(Think Progress)

new discoveries in evolution

Earthly organisms developed in two sets of fits and starts: study

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Life on Earth went from single microscopic cells to blue whales and giant sequoias in 3.5 billion years in two distinct bursts tied to the planet's geological evolution, according to a new study.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, goes against the common hypothesis that life slowly evolved from a single-celled organism to complex multi-celled organisms.

"We were surprised to observe that nearly all of the increase in size occurred in two distinct time-intervals," said Michal Kowalewski, a co-author of the study and professor of geosciences at Virginia Tech.

"And what is more, those intervals followed two major oxygenation events."

In analyzing fossil records, the study found that the two size jumps were from bacteria to eukaryotic cells, and from unicellular to multi-cellular organisms.

Only bacteria-like fossils were found in the first 1.5 billion years of recorded life on Earth, and they did not grow until more complex organisms developed around 2 billion years ago after the appearance of eukaryotic cells.

Over three billion years ago, primitive bacteria "invented" photosynthesis, nourishing themselves from the sun's energy and carbon dioxide. They thrived in low-oxygen environments.

But the oxygen they released into the atmosphere allowed for more complex cellular structures to develop, and thus the eukaryotic cell was born. During about two hundred million years, organisms grew from cells invisible to the naked eye to organisms about the size of a thumbnail.

"In a way, thus, an increase in size and complexity was a consequence of geobiological interactions between life and earth. Life itself enabled life to become more complex," Kowalewski said.

It was not until another big increase in oxygen levels -- reaching as much as 10 percent of current oxygen concentration -- about 540 million years ago, that life developed into multi-cellular, tissue-forming organisms.

"What is really interesting is that each of these 'steps' correlate with a time in life's history where there is innovation in the complexity of life, the first one being the eukaroytic cell and the second is the multicellularity of life," said Virginia Tech researcher Jennifer Stempien, another study co-author.

Through the 3.5 billion years of documented history of life on Earth, the scientists found that organisms' maximum body size increased by 16 times.

Today, marine animals like blue whales or vascular plants like the giant sequoia -- the largest known form of life -- can reach body sizes greater than the biggest dinosaurs.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

WTF?

Pope likens "saving" gays to saving the rainforest

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict said on Monday that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behavior was just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction.

"(The Church) should also protect man from the destruction of himself. A sort of ecology of man is needed," the pontiff said in a holiday address to the Curia, the Vatican's central administration.

"The tropical forests do deserve our protection. But man, as a creature, does not deserve any less."

The Catholic Church teaches that while homosexuality is not sinful, homosexual acts are. It opposes gay marriage and, in October, a leading Vatican official called homosexuality "a deviation, an irregularity, a wound."

The pope said humanity needed to "listen to the language of creation" to understand the intended roles of man and woman. He compared behavior beyond traditional heterosexual relations as "a destruction of God's work."

He also defended the Church's right to "speak of human nature as man and woman, and ask that this order of creation be respected."


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(Reuters via Huffington Post)

shoe-throwing helps the economy

Shoe thrower creates 100 jobs

That's more than Bush has created!

Their deployment as a makeshift missile robbed President George Bush of his dignity and landed their owner in jail. But the world's most notorious pair of shoes have yielded an unexpected bonanza for a Turkish shoemaker.

Ramazan Baydan, owner of the Istanbul-based Baydan Shoe Company, has been swamped with orders from across the world, after insisting that his company produced the black leather shoes which the Iraqi journalist Muntazar al-Zaidi threw at Bush during a press conference in Baghdad last Sunday.

Baydan has recruited an extra 100 staff to meet orders for 300,000 pairs of Model 271 - more than four times the shoe's normal annual sale - following an outpouring of support for Zaidi's act, which was intended as a protest, but led to his arrest by Iraqi security forces.

Orders have come mainly from the US and Britain, and from neighbouring Muslim countries, he said.Around 120,000 pairs have been ordered from Iraq, while a US company has placed a request for 18,000.

A British firm is understood to have offered to serve as European distributor for the shoes, which have been on the market since 1999 and sell at around £28 in Turkey. A sharp rise in orders has been recorded in Syria, Egypt and Iran, where the main shoemaker's federation has offered to provide Zaidi and his family with a lifetime's supply of shoes.

To meet the mood of the marketplace, Baydan is planning to rename the model "the Bush Shoe" or "Bye-Bye Bush".


(Americablog)

cheney lying again

funny

Sarah Palin: Too important to return President George H.W. Bush’s call?
U.S. News reports that “President George H.W. Bush is a bit miffed that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin hasn’t returned his phone calls of congrats for a good effort in the presidential election.” Bush has reportedly called Palin twice: The first time, he left a message at McCain headquarters after she was chosen as the VP candidate. After the election was over, he left a message with the governor’s office. Palin’s aide claims that they never received the messages. (Of course, during the election, Palin had plenty of time to take calls from pranksters.)

(Think Progress)
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Can't say i blame her for wanting to distance herself from him as much as possible though! Look what McCain's affinity for bush did to him!

smart

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Obama did serious damage to his reputation

i guess if anyone knows about "gross negligence", it is this administration

not surprising

jeez, i hope not

wow, really? a moment of honesty?

Asked To Name Highest Moment In Office, Cheney Comes Up With '9/11'
(Daily Kos)
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Maybe he really means this because without 9/11 they wouldn't have been able to get away with a vast majority of the illegal bullshit that they did to this country and to the world. They would have continued to be the powerless jokes that they were before 9/11.

Still, quite sick to admit it...

the law meant nothing to this administration

utterly classy

huckabee defending warren

Huckabee: ‘It’s ridiculous for people to be upset at Rick Warren.’
(Think Progress)
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Not surprising as they have the same bigoted views, despite being comparatively progressive on some other issues.

cheney berates obstructionist repugs

Saturday, December 20, 2008

fuckers

more qualified Obama picks

Obama names Holdren, Lubchenco to science posts

WASHINGTON – President-elect Barack Obama on Saturday named a Harvard physicist and a marine biologist to science posts, signaling a change from Bush administration policies on global warming that were criticized for putting politics over science.

Both John Holdren and Jane Lubchenco are leading experts on climate change who have advocated forceful government response. Holdren will become Obama's science adviser as director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Lubchenco will lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees ocean and atmospheric studies and does much of the government's research on global warming.

Holdren also will direct the president's Council of Advisers on Science and Technology. Joining him as co-chairs will be Nobel Prize-winning scientist Harold Varmus, a former director of the National Institutes of Health, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Eric Lander, a specialist in human genome research.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

does he think he hasn't been on You Tube since the campaign?

Bush: I’m grateful YouTube wasn’t around during my campaign.

In a new interview with RealClearPolitics, President Bush notes the technological challenges that the 2008 presidential candidates faced:

“I am the very last President not to really have to worry about YouTube” while campaigning for the White House, President Bush told RealClearPolitics in an exclusive Oval Office interview last week, discussing the role the Internet and new media played in the November 4th elections.

“The ‘gotcha’ moments in my campaign in the past were few and far between,” the President recalled, noting that with the advent of YouTube candidates have to be “really careful” what they say or “you’re liable to see yourself on the Internet, along with 20 million other people.”

While Bush may have been able to avoid YouTube during his campaign, he certainly hasn’t been able to get away from it during his presidency. As Steve Benen writes, “Bush is the ‘very last President not to really have to worry about YouTube’? Here’s a crazy idea: maybe he should have worried about YouTube.” (Highlights here.)

(Think Progress)

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Actually, I guess his point is that since the media didn't report on his idiocy, if You Tube had been around during the campaign and people had seen what a jackass he was, no one would ever have voted for him.

But now we have plenty of records of all of the asshole things he's done to this country and its people.

not only is he corrupt, he's an ass

Ill. Gov. Blagojevich pledges to fight, won't quit

CHICAGO – A combative Gov. Rod Blagojevich served notice Friday that he has no intention of quitting over his corruption arrest, declaring: "I will fight. I will fight. I will fight until I take my last breath. I have done nothing wrong." The forceful three-minute speech marked the first time the former amateur boxer directly addressed the allegations since his arrest 10 days earlier.

With it, he made it clear that removing him could be uglier and more drawn-out than anyone imagined just a week ago, when the governor's career appeared to be in its final hours and nearly the entire political establishment seemed to be holding a death watch.

"I'm not going to quit a job the people hired me to do because of false accusations and a political lynch mob," a composed and deliberate-sounding Blagojevich said at his downtown Chicago office building. He took no questions from reporters and immediately left the room after wishing his listeners, "Merry Christmas, happy holidays."

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I guess he wants to f'k the Dems as much as possible on his way down...

hahahaha - classy Alaskans!

Bristol Palin's Future Mother-In-Law Arrested On Drug Charges

The Anchorage Daily News reports that Sherry Johnston, mother of Levi Johnston, was arrested on Thursday:

A 42-year-old Wasilla woman was arrested Thursday at her home by Alaska State Troopers with a search warrant in an undercover drug investigation. Sherry L. Johnston was charged with six felony counts of misconduct involving a controlled substance.


Johnston is the mother of Levi Johnston, the Wasilla 18-year-old who received international attention in September when Gov. Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, announced their teenage daughter was pregnant and he was the father. Bristol Palin, 18, is due on Saturday, according to a recent interview with the governor's father, Chuck Heath.

Politico adds that Johnston has been released from the Mat-Su Pretrial Facility on a $2,000 bond.

When asked about the arrest, Sarah Palin's spokesman, Bill McAllister, issued the following statement to the ADN: "This is not a state government matter. Therefore the governor's communications staff will not be providing comment or scheduling interview opportunities."

(Huffington Post)

logical

i think that the nation's emotions will be "glee", "joy", "exstasy", etc

this isn't going to go away, Obama - you f'k'd up

Warren: Gay people are immature.

Today, NBC’s Ann Curry aired a new portion of her recent interview with pastor Rick Warren, whom President-elect Obama selected to deliver the invocation at his inauguration. During the interview, Warren said that “it doesn’t matter” whether or not homosexuality is “part of your biology”; it’s still wrong. Attempting to explain himself, he compared accepting one’s homosexuality to being “naturally inclined to have sex with every beautiful woman I see.” Resisting homosexuality is about “maturity,” he concluded:

CURRY: If science finds that this is biological, indisputably…would you change your position?

WARREN: No. … We all have biological predispositions. … You say because I have natural impulses to the same sex, I shouldn’t have to reign them in. Well I disagree. I think that’s part of maturity, I think that’s part of delayed gratification, I think that’s part of character.

(Think Progress)

And from Americablog:

BREAKING: Tape shows Rick Warren praising Israel-hating terror state Syria as a "moderate country" that treats its Jews great!
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And even more from Think Progress:
Warren Supports Program That Seeks To Cure Gays Of ‘Same Sex Attraction’
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And still more from Americablog:
Rick Warren explicitly bans "unrepentant" gays from membership in his church
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Rachel Maddow on Obama's "first big mistake"

Maddow: Obama Choosing Warren For Invocation Is The ‘First Big Mistake,’ A ‘Lose-Lose Proposition’

Yesterday, President-elect Obama’s press conference on his new economic team quickly digressed into a discussion on Obama giving Pastor Rick Warren – who has a long record of anti-gay views — the privilege of delivering the inaugural invocation. Obama said he was reaching out to religious conservatives, showing that he could “disagree without being disagreeable.”

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who is openly gay, devoted an entire segment last night to the topic. Maddow noted that Obama has now sparked the ire of the LGBT community as well as the religious right, some of whom are even attacking Warren for accepting Obama’s invitation. She called it Obama’s “first big mistake”:

MADDOW: What are we left with here? We are left with the cold, hard political fact that this is a lose-lose proposition for Barack Obama, the first big mistake of his post-election politicking. The Christian Broadcasting Network folks are proverbially loaded for bear against him anyway. … And Obama’s supporters among centrists and progressives? Well, they just dumped a big bucket of tarnish all over Obama’s star power.

In his press conference, Obama stated, “A couple of years ago, I was invited to Rick Warren’s church to speak, despite his awareness that I held views that entirely contrary to his when it came to gay and lesbian rights, when it came to issues like abortion.” Maddow countered that Obama had invited Warren to speak at the people’s house, not his own private domain:

MADDOW: The implication of Sen. Obama’s defense is that he is returning the favor. … But Obama is not inviting Rick warren to his church or to his campaign or something. He’s inviting him to the nation’s capital to convene the swearing in of the next president of the United States. The President-elect did not invite Warren to his home. He invited him, proverbially, to our’s, the nation’s.

Maddow concluded that in centuries, when human rights activists reflect on the inauguration of the first black president, they might also ask, “But what was that guy who compared homosexuality to incest doing there?”

(Think Progress)
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This is so unfortunate that Obama has chosen to start his presidency on such a sour note.

US continuing to look backwards instead of forwards

US balks at backing condemnation of anti-gay laws

UNITED NATIONS – Alone among major Western nations, the United States has refused to sign a declaration presented Thursday at the United Nations calling for worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality.

In all, 66 of the U.N.'s 192 member countries signed the nonbinding declaration — which backers called a historic step to push the General Assembly to deal more forthrightly with any-gay discrimination. More than 70 U.N. members outlaw homosexuality, and in several of them homosexual acts can be punished by execution.

Co-sponsored by France and the Netherlands, the declaration was signed by all 27 European Union members, as well as Japan, Australia, Mexico and three dozen other countries. There was broad opposition from Muslim nations, and the United States refused to sign, indicating that some parts of the declaration raised legal questions that needed further review.

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The US and the Muslim nations, eh? Do our religious extremists even realize how closely their views match the extremist Muslims?

will we ever get the final results?

Franken opens first lead in Minn. Senate race
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I can only hope that Franken prevails and not corrupt Coleman...

Deep Throat dies

Mark Felt, ‘Deep Throat’ During Watergate, Dies at 95

Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) -- W. Mark Felt, who remained anonymous for more than three decades as the source known as “Deep Throat” in the 1972 Watergate scandal that toppled Richard Nixon’s presidency, has died. He was 95.

Felt died suddenly in his sleep yesterday at a hospice near his home in Santa Rosa, California, the Washington Post reported, citing his daughter, Joan.

Felt provided tips and information that guided Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein as they wrote stories stemming from the bungled burglary of the Democratic Party National Committee headquarters in 1972. Nixon ultimately resigned as a consequence of the White House role in the scandal and in the cover-up that followed.

The identity of Felt, a former associate director at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, remained a secret until May 2005, when Woodward and Bernstein confirmed revelations published in an article in Vanity Fair.

“Because of his position virtually atop the chief investigative agency, his words and guidance had immense, at times even staggering, authority,” Woodward said in an article in the Washington Post on June 2, 2005.

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Would we have even know about Nixon's immense corruption without this man? Staggering to think what Nixon might have gotten away with without this information...

WH auto bailout

Bailout approved: Automakers to get $17.4B

WASHINGTON – Citing danger to the national economy, President Bush approved an emergency bailout of the U.S. auto industry Friday, offering $17.4 billion in rescue loans in exchange for tough concessions from the deeply troubled carmakers and their workers.

The government will have the option of becoming a stockholder in the companies, much as it has with major banks, in effect partially nationalizing the industry.

At the same time, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Congress should release the second $350 billion from the financial rescue fund that it approved in October to bail out huge financial institutions.

Tapping the fund for the auto industry basically exhausts the first half of the $700 billion total, he said.

Allowing the U.S. auto industry to collapse in the middle of what is already a severe recession is not a responsible course of action, Bush said.

"It would worsen a weak job market and exacerbate the financial crisis," Bush said. "It could send our suffering economy into a deeper and longer recession. And it would leave the next president to confront the demise of a major American industry in his first days of office."

President-elect Barack Obama, who takes office a month from Saturday, praised the White House move.

"Today's actions are a necessary step to help avoid a collapse in our auto industry that would have devastating consequences for our economy and our workers," he said. "With the short-term assistance provided by this package, the auto companies must bring all their stakeholders together — including labor, dealers, creditors and suppliers — to make the hard choices necessary to achieve long-term viability."

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