Friday, March 31, 2006

I Just Paid My Taxes, You're Welcome Big Oil

When you fill out your tax forms this year, remember to thank big oil. Thanks to the oil lobby, the US government won't be collecting between $20-$80 billion (yes that's with a b) worth of taxes that they would otherwise owe. Yup, 10 years ago, Congress voted to help subsidize Gulf of Mexico drilling. In all the time since, Congress & the administration has sworn up and down that the subsidy wouldn't cost a thing.

Well, apparently they were . . . oh, let's be generous, let's say they were simply mistaken (surely the administration would not lie to the American public!).

So who gets to make up that $20 - $80 billion to the government? Like I said, thank big oil when you fill out your tax forms.

As the Hairs on the Back of Delay's Neck Stand Up

His former deputy chief of staff, Tony Rudy, entered a plea today in an Abramoff-related case. Rudy was charged with conspiracy to corrupt pulic officials and defraud clients. And of course of violating that one year no lobbying rule for former government employees (there's a lot of that last one going around).

And in return for that plea? What will Rudy be telling prosecutors? Who knows. And who knows how close some of it will come to unveiling Delay secrets.

Get the feeling Tommy boy isn't getting much sleep these days with all that tossing and turning?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A sense of where you are?!

It's official--GOP Congressional Candidate Howard Kaloogian has been caught in an outrageous fib. Kaloogian was trying to show how journalists have misreported the war in Iraq, refused to report the "good news" breaking out all over the country(everyone knows they hate freedom anyway). As proof, he provided a photograph of a normal-looking metropolis with a market scene, happy people crossing the street, etc. That wasn't the only jarring note...all the street signs were written in western script. Absolutely no persian gulf language to be seen anywhere. Come to find out he had actually posted a picture of suburban Istanbul, Turkey...the only question is whether this is a case of deliberate falsification or ignorance. It leads me to wonder whether Kaloogian will be a member of the terminological inexactitude faction of the House Foreign Relations Committee or the "I-ain't-got-no-passport-and-i'm-damn-proud-of-it" caucus if he makes it to Washington. Either way, 50th California Congressional District Republicans AND Democrats have some rich food for thought in evaluating the fitness of Mr. Kaloogian to be their representative in the Nation's Capital.
Oh, and this guy is obviously an Armenian-American...if he's going to try to put one over on us, wouldn't you think he'd try to fake it with a city outside of, um, Turkey?!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Smile! You're on Looney Camera!

An interesting piece from Americablog yesterday titled Our loonies versus their loonies. He talks about something I've long wondered about in political debate, the fact that left wing debaters are simply happier people than right wing ones.

Think about the vitriol and red-faced hatred thrown out in a debate, and you think of some right wing commentator (on Fox, or radio). Think of someone who has called for the assassination of an opponent, you think of Anne Coulter or Pat Robertson. Think of someone laughing and mocking their opponent, you think of Michael Moore or a host of folks talking on Air America.

You'd think all that anger and vein popping would result in a few heart attacks over there on sanctimonious mountain after a while, wouldn't you.

God Told Him to Cheat and Steal?

Or was evangelical minister and former DeLay aide Edwin A. Buckham listening, as the Church Lady would say, to SATAN when he apparently took bribes, made bribes and did his level best to steal from fellow evangelicals? The Washington Post has a nice, in depth investigation of Buckham's dealings here. Findings from the Abramoff plea just keeps getting more and more interesting. Buckham and his wife grabbed over $1 million of the $3.02 million raised from the US Family Network (a non profit created by Buckham).

So what did the US Family Network achieve for all that money? Well, it managed to very successfully funnel money into DeLay's advisers' pockets. But it wasn't just all going into the Buckhams' pockets. For at least five years, the Buckhams' (Ed & wife Wendy) consulting firm sent checks that averaged $3,200-3,400 a month to Mrs. DeLay.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Since Bush is a Joke

Why not enjoy a Bush joke from time to time. Thanks to Josh on Best of Blogs for this one:

"The Lie-Clock"

A man died and went to heaven. As he stood in front of St. Peter at the Pearly Gates, he saw a huge wall of clocks behind him. He asked, "What are all those clocks?" St. Peter answered, "Those are Lie-Clocks. Everyone on Earth has a Lie-Clock. Every time you lie the hands on your clock will move."

"Oh," said the man, "whose clock is that?" "That's Mother Teresa's. The hands have never moved, indicating that she never told a lie."

"Incredible", said the man. "And whose clock is that one?" St. Peter responded, "That's Abraham Lincoln's clock. The hands have moved twice, telling us that Abe told only two lies in his entire life."

"Where's Bush's clock?" asked the man." Bush's clock is in Jesus's office. He's using it as a ceiling fan."

Question Time

I don't claim to have anything in common with Tony Blair, but he and the MPs at Westminster get together weekly for Question Time. It's Question Time today, on this side of the pond, in my universe. To wit:

President Bush claims there is no civil war in Iraq. Former PM Allawi maintains the country is already plunged into civil conflict. Is there any way to settle this question? How many sectarian deaths must occur each week for there to be a civil war? The New York Times reports that deaths number in the hundreds each week, some of the bodies badly disfigured or mutilated.

What is the United States to do about the Afghan citizen in danger of corporal punishment for the crime of changing his religion? The President claims that freedom of religion is a universal value that must be upheld. But Afghanistan, as presently constituted, has an independent judiciary, separation of powers, a legislature, all the things the President touts in his quest to plant democracy everywhere. And conservative elements in the independent judiciary have declared conversion from Islam to Christianity a crime punishable by death. Should the USG apply heavy pressure to obtain a result pleasing to the American electorate, or should it respect what seems to many to be a repugnant and morally indefensible law? Did our blood and treasure spent there buy the right to intervene?

Is it time to take the old Spiro Agnew/Mickey Mouse watch out of mothballs? Vice-President Agnew was a champion adversary of the media, leaving us such gems as "nattering nabobs of negativism," or the people who opposed the Vietnam war. It looks as if President Bush and Vice President Cheney are taking that page from the Nixon-Agnew playbook: how to blame critics of a war and the media for bringing the bad news.

Why doesn't anybody take the President aside and teach him to pronounce "nuclear?" It's like nails on a chalkboard, hearing him mangle that time after time. Is this part of affecting a folksy, RedState demeanor? Do you have to mispronounce things and commit malapropisms to be an authentic American?

What is the strategy behind Senator Feingold's censure motion, if it has absolutely no chance in a heavily Republican Senate? Is this the opening salvo in a Feingold campaign, or are there other motivations at work?

Have at it, Wise People of the Blogosphere!

Friday, March 24, 2006

He Don't Need No Stinkin' Permission

After he signed the reauthorized Patriot Act (as if THAT were not bad enough), Bush added a "signing statement" that noted he did not consider himself bound to tell Congress how the Patriot Act powers were being used and that, despite the law's requirements, he could withhold the information if he decided that disclosure would "impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative process of the executive, or the performance of the executive's constitutional duties."

Congress needs to step up to the plate and stop hiding from a man who doesn't respect them, or us.

Bush continues his march so far over the edge of presidential powers that we're going to start to try and feel like a monarchy.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Simple Bill

If you haven't heard or seen it yet, you will. State Senator Bill Napoli of South Dakota, speaking in support of the state's absurd abortion restriction legislation, let folks know just what an idiot and/or caveman he is. For those who argued that abortion must be allowed in the cases of rape, Napoli responded that if it was a case of "simple rape," then no abortion should be allowed.

In an interview, Napoli explains the one scenario he might consider allowing a woman to have an abortion would be:
real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life.

Good to know Napoli is such a caring guy about women's (oops, sorry, virginal girl's) feelings. One cartoonist has suggested women give him a call to ask for his help in making other decisions in life. Click here for that cartoon. And thanks to YB for telling us about it.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Sometimes the Most Obvious Answer is the Right Answer

The Toronto Star has a story on research on children's tendency to grow up liberal or conservative based on how they behaved as children. The study began in the 1960s and tracked 95 kids. The basic result? Whiny children grow up rigid and traditional, becoming junior Republicans. The confident, resilient and self-reliant kids? Well they grew up to be liberals. The researchers hadn't started out looking at political orientation, it became part of the record keeping as the study progressed and the young adults began defining their beliefs.

From the Star:
The whiny kids tended to grow up conservative, and turned into rigid young adults who hewed closely to traditional gender roles and were uncomfortable with ambiguity.The confident kids turned out liberal and were still hanging loose, turning into bright, non-conforming adults with wide interests. The girls were still outgoing, but the young men tended to turn a little introspective.

The reporter also notes that:

Of course, if you're studying the psychology of politics, you shouldn't be surprised to get a political reaction. Similar work by John T. Jost of Stanford and colleagues in 2003 drew a political backlash. The researchers reviewed 44 years worth of studies into the psychology of conservatism, and concluded that people who are dogmatic, fearful, intolerant of ambiguity and uncertainty, and who crave order and structure are more likely to gravitate to conservatism. Critics branded it the "conservatives are crazy" study and accused the authors of a political bias.

WTG Mr. Robinson

Check out Eugene Robinson's piece in today's Post, "The Planet of Unreality." He shows just how far off the edge the unholy trio (bush, cheney, rumsfeld) have wandered.

Robinson notes:
It's reprehensible when our highest elected officials act cynically, as I believe this administration has done -- Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the rest knew the evidence for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was less than conclusive, but they hyped it anyway to build support for an invasion they were determined to launch. It's dangerous when our leaders act cluelessly,l and the Bush White House has done plenty of that as well -- experts who called for a much bigger invasion force were silenced and shoved aside, assurances that Iraqi oil revenue would defray U.S. costs turned out to be a sick joke, and there was no effective plan to get the electricity turned on, much less deal with thousands of insurgents.

But cynicism and cluelessness are one thing. Actually being divorced from reality is another. Do Bush et al. really see only the democratic process they have installed in Iraq and not the bitter sectarian conflict that process has been unable to quell? Do they realize that whatever happens, there's not going to be a neat package, tied up with a bow, labeled "victory" -- certainly in the 34 months (but who's counting) that the Bush administration has left in office?

It's a piece well worth reading. And one that makes me ask how on earth did Republicans have the guts to rise in indignation against Feingold's censure motion? And where was the Democratic Party? Where IS the accountability for what the unholy trio and their neo-con masters have done?

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Finally, an Explanation for Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld

You knew there had to be one somewhere, didn't you. I reached back a few years to a psychological study completed in 1999. The study, "Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments," was completed by Justin Kruger and David Dunning, Department of Psychology, Cornell University.

The study makes three main points:
First, in many domains in life, success and satisfaction depend on knowledge, wisdom, or savvy in knowing which rules to follow and which strategies to pursue. This is true not only for committing crimes, but also for many tasks in the social and intellectual domains, such as promoting effective leadership, raising children, constructing a solid logical argument, or designing a rigorous psychological study.

Second, people differ widely in the knowledge and strategies they apply in these domains with varying levels of success.
Some of the knowledge and theories that people apply to their actions are sound and meet with favorable results. Others are imperfect at best and wrong-headed, incompetent, or dysfunctional at worst.

Third, and most important to our trio of administration fools,
when people are incompetent in the strategies they adopt to achieve success and satisfaction, they suffer a dual burden: Not only do they reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it.

It's not just that Bush surrounds himself with yes men and refuses to acknowledge ideas that challenge his perseption of reality. It's that he is so incompetent that he does not realize he is incompetent.

Sock it to Them, Molly!

Julie Christensen of Stone Cupid Real has reminded us of just what a national treasure Molly Ivins is. In an article that was published in this month's issue of The Progressive, Molly takes on our weak willed Democrats for their failure to lead, their failure of nerve, and their failure to take on the good fight and win public opinion away from a party that has shown failure after failure.

The Democratic response is the watch the Republicans shoot themselves in the foot and hope that the voters vote them out. Sit back and watch. Oh, and in the mean time, let's not rock the boat by taking any stands. I agree with Molly whole heartedly when she calls our Democratic leaders "calculating, equivocating, triangulating, straddling, hair-splitting sons of bitches."

This is, she notes, "not a time for a candidate who will offend no one; it is a time for a candidate who takes clear stands and kicks ass."

I don't know where that man or woman is, but I hope he or she shows up in time.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Caveats for the next war/intervention temptation

Since tomorrow is the 3rd anniversary of what is looking increasingly like a misbegotten war, there's no time like the present to start thinking about how to avoid, or at least manage, the next round of shock and awe. Some thoughts, timely and untimely:

1) If war is inevitable, can we make sure that any friendly fire goes in the direction of Phelps Military Funeral Profanation Corps?

2) Don't break fake states. Let them die a natural death. The chaos from a natural death will be bad enough.

3) Push the eject button on any members of the leadership clique who speak of pre-emptive strikes and effusive welcomes in the same breath. Their intellectual predecessors promised British troops that "all the Germans will be long dead" after the 7-day bombardment at the Somme" and then that saturation bombing would break the backs of the Viet Cong. Etc., etc., ad nauseum.

4) Is there an exit strategy? is there an entrance strategy? is there a plan at all? A point to do more with than ponder, maybe?

5) The pottery barn rules apply immediately. Do you really want to skulk around as an occupier, making enemies when you have to turn people's houses upside down, harass and kill them, like the British army in northern Ireland?

6) Is it possible just to say no? In l9l4, everyone wanted to say "yes" to a six-week war that would win everyone a medal and "teach those people in(Russia, Germany, France, Austria-Hungary, Serbia, you choose)a lesson they won't forget! What they got instead was four years of industrial-strength slaughter, four dead empires, the middle East peace settlement--the peace to end all peace!!--and 9 million casualties. A broken world. "No" should always be the first response when someone talks war. Let's do everything we can to avoid rolling those dice.

7) Let "cheerful skepticism" be your guide when evaluating the records of those who actively advocate war first, and practice ruthless re-selection when election time comes for those who fail the test.

I don't want the security of the slave or the peace of the grave. I'd settle for some more responsible stewardship of this superpower.

And the Desks in the Missouri State House Chamber Cause Brain Damage

Say hello to Missouri Representative Susan Phillips, a (what else) Republican who in the midst of a debate over birth control funding announced that "If you hand out contraception to single women, we're saying promiscuity is OK as a state, and I am not in support of that."

So thank you Ms. Phillips, and hope you're on the pro-choice bandwagon, otherwise, you've just asked the state of Missouri to start supporting the babies who are going to show up under your no birth control plan.

As Sick as Sick Can Get

Ok, so I've been a bit distracted by work these days and haven't paid attention to the news as much as I'd have liked in the past couple of weeks. So I've just now read about the Phelps family. Most of you probably already know about the latest activities of this group of hate mongers. Led by a freaked out psycho right winger who has been a passionate hater of gays for ages, Freddie is now saying that (hang in there with me here) US soldiers should be killed because they are fighting for an army of a nation that accepts homosexuality. Are you still with me? Having read that CNN article, and having just written this, I'm not sure I'm with me. Are we sure somebody's not just playing a really sick early April Fool's joke?

This guy is serious? He has gone to a couple of soldiers' funerals with his family (the guy in not just fruit loops in the head, he's been fruitful and multiplied -- one way to ensure you've got supporters for your point of view, no matter how wacked). The crew carries signs at the funerals that read "Thank God for IED's" and "Thank God for Dead Soldiers." Non brain-damaged folks have stepped in and offered their services as buffers between the psycho brigade and grieving families. But really now folks, is this a sign of bush's america or what? Republicans have spent years now playing to and encouraging the spread of the psycho right.

And Freddie seems to be fitting right in.

Happy Anniversary Mr. President

Will Cheney and Rumsfeld buy you flowers tomorrow to celebrate? After all, it was only three short years and 2,317 American lives ago that you and your neo-con pals shocked and awed your way into history with the most poorly conceived and planned invasion this nation has known.

As you go through your day tomorrow, be sure to pat yourself on the back and take your bows for those kids' deaths. The deaths of countless innocent Iraqi citizens (oh, I'm sorry, you probably know them as collateral damage). And look at what you've got to show for it. Saddam in a ludicrous show trial, your approval rating in the toilet, your "efforts" as you would call them, to establish democracy helping to lead a nation into civil war, and so many more results it would use all this page's space up just to list them.

Tomorrow morning your apologists will be roaming the talk shows, doing their best to sell the good news version of events that you folks have cooked up to tell each other so you can sleep at night. And there will be people, here and there, who will continue to buy your lies, told with such conviction because you start by lying to yourself. But they are fewer and farther between. The hearts and minds you are losing now are those of the American public.

Monday, March 13, 2006

The war next door?

Wow, who wrote that dissertation here yesterday? down with wordiness, which is tantamount to truthiness, in other words bad news. A pithy corrective tonight: did you happen to catch the President's speech today? One paragraph in particular might set off alarm bells in some quarters. To wit, "Some of the most powerful IEDs we're seeing in Iraq today includes components that came from Iran. Our Director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte, told the Congress, "Tehran has been responsible for at least some of the increasing lethality of anti-coalition attacks by providing Shia militia with the capability to build improvised explosive devises" in Iraq. Coalition forces have seized IEDs and components that were clearly produced in Iran. Such actions -- along with Iran's support for terrorism and its pursuit of nuclear weapons -- are increasingly isolating Iran, and America will continue to rally the world to confront these threats." (Applause.)

If anyone hears the faint sound of war drums out there, i hope he or she will write the congressperson and demand a slightly higher standard of proof that Iran is directly involved in the killing of our troops in Iraq than he/she did when confronted with allegations of WMD. All we need is a rubber stamp for another war in the Persian gulf.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Sic transit Slobo

Amidst all the musings about Slobodan Milosevic's passing, I'm reminded of the old adage, there are no end to lessons. is One concerns the inevitable disaster that ensues when a fake state, like Yugoslavia, loses the only thing that unites its peoples. The original Yugoslavia was created for the convenience of the Versailles peacemakers, who didn't know what else to do with the collection of small peoples in the neighborhood, namely Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, Bosnians, Albanians, a smattering of Greeks and various and sundry others. Some of them could understand each other linguistically speaking, and they were of similar ethnic origin, so can't they all just get along? That was the reasoning at work in l9l9. Well, of course, they could NOT get along--the Serbs dominated the state, because that's what they were used to doing, and the Croats resisted, which was what THEY were good at doing. Eventually, opportunistic and covetous neighbors became involved, and the state disappeared with the invasion of German and Italian forces in l941. The man who emerged from the fratricidal wars of l941, Tito, enjoyed genuine popularity for leading the lone multinational resistance group, the Partisans, to victory and establishing a new Yugoslavia based on "brotherhood and unity." He was popular, he was good at balancing the desires and egos of all the groups, and if anyone brought up injustices or slights done to his group--played the national card-- he just put'em in prison and threw away the key. The only trouble was that he was mortal. With him went the lone commonality among the groups.
As unscrupulous a politician as there ever was, Slobodan Milosevic raised the Serb standard in the post-Tito vacuum and in effect declared that post-Communist, post-Tito Yugoslavia would be a Serboslavia. Other groups reacted by trying to get away, sometimes resurrecting their own murderous nationalist leaders, and he was able to "intervene" in Croatia and Bosnia because Serbs lived there and they were "under threat." And the rest constitutes a new low for the late 20th century.
Remembering Slobo and the sorry history of the state known as Yugoslavia, I can only think of the latest fake state broken into pieces--Iraq. The makers of the middle east postwar "settlement" put together three provinces of the Ottoman empire--Basra, Baghdad and Mosul--essentially for the convenience of the British empire. They declared that these were the same people, fundamentally, and couldn't they get along, anyway? Saddam's rule is proof that they could NEVER get along--Iraq is not the way it is because of Saddam, Saddam was the way he was because of Iraq--he governed by manipulation and force because that was the only means of "uniting" the Sunnis and Shia, Kurds, Arabs, Turkomen, all of them.
No doubt Iraq was destined to go the way of post-Slobo Yugoslavia when Saddam passed on--descent into division, chaos, war. But because we elected to break Iraq, rather than let this happen as a matter of course, OUR NAME is on the division, the insurgency, the chaos, the civil war. We bear the blame and the ill will for the misery we have wrought on a people who had done nothing to us. It seems to me that in the future, if presented with a choice of breaking a fake state and letting it die a natural death, we should opt for the latter and then do what we can to help pick up the pieces--rather than volunteering for a "preventive" takedown.
To paraphrase Johnnie Cochran: "if a state is fake, you must not break!" once upon a time, maybe they understood this in foggy bottom. I'm not sure they do today.

Republican Brainwashing

Is still as effective and frightening as ever. A Le Moyne College/Zogby Poll of 944 US troops throughout Iraq has revealed some astounding, and scary responses. While most of the respondants wanted the heck out of Dodge (can you blame them?) most had no idea why they were really put into danger in the first place.

72% of American troops serving in Iraq think the U.S. should exit the country within the next year, and more than one in four say the troops should leave immediately.

Almost 90% think war is retaliation for Saddam’s role in 9/11.

Almost every single man and woman in Iraq still believes that Saddam had a role in 9/11. These men and women are fighting and dying for Bush's lies. And still don't know it?

Pakistan? Or Republican-Controlled U.S. -- You Be the Judge

An alternative to democratic rule is command and control by a tiny elite. That's unfortunately what we have seen for much of the past decade in [ . . . ] -- and we're still living with the legacy of corruption, broken promises, abject poverty, the collapse of the rule of law.

I leave it to readers to determine, was Dick Cheney talking about the Palestinian territories, or the U.S. government.

Psst, Dick, Can You Pass This Info Along to George?

In a recent speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Cheney spent most of his time talking about the administration's newly termed "long war." He goes on to say that among their goals is the encouragement of democracy across the world:

As Americans, we have faith in democracy, but no illusions. We know that it takes time and effort and patience for democratic values and free institutions to take hold, and the greater Middle East has a long way to go. The promise of democracy rests ultimately on free elections and the ability of free peoples to hold accountable those who govern them -- but that is only the beginning.

Cheney goes on to share the essentials that these new democracies must keep in mind:
A functioning democracy requires institutions that endure beyond a single vote. Democracy requires the protection of minority rights, religious liberty, equality before the law, freedom of expression, and an inclusive society in which every person belongs. And those who win elections have a duty to nurture institutions and laws that serve the peaceful aspirations of their people.

Uh, Dick, um .... I don't know how to tell you this, but your own administration can't stand up to the requirements you say a "functioning democracy" requires. But I'm sure nobody will notice.

He Still Thinks Saddam Supported Bin Laden?

In his remarks to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on 3/7, Cheney was doing his beligerant, we control the freedom of the world, thing when he said "we are determined to deny the terrorists the control of any nation," (ok so far) . . . and then continued on to say that's why we're in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and went on with "and that is why we are fighting the Saddam remnants and terrorists in Iraq."

Saddam remnants are those al Qaeda terrorists? Does Dick still believe that Saddam supported Bin Laden? You remember that fun concept, it's one of the rallying crys the neo-cons used to get us into Iraq to begin with, along with the infamous weapons of mass destruction. Al Qaeda got its toe hold in Iraq because of the wonderful work we did in destroying the existing state without thinking about step two.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Ah, Gee, That's Big of Ya, Walmart

Walmart has reversed its original psycho right wing position on Plan B, and starting March 20, will have it available in its pharmacies. In some areas, thanks to Walmart's kill small downtowns plan, the Walmart pharmacy is the only one available. So in theory women in those areas should be able to access this legal drug almost as easily as they can get crystal meth.

Oh yeah, there is one slight hook. The company will continue what it calls its conscientious objection policy (don't you just love how the psycho right works so hard to equate Plan B with abortion -- check your science morons) (oops, wait, oh yeah, science / psycho right. Never mind). This policy, except in 2 states that outlaw it at this point, allows Walmart pharmacists who don't want to dispense it to refer customers to another pharmacy. And where there isn't another pharmacy?

Sorry sisters, just think of it as your own personal trip back in time to that simpler time when women could be made to stay pregnant.

[for the psycho right wingers who want to open up their minds a bit to science, here's how Plan B works. It's a high dose of birth control pill hormones. It doesn't abort anything. It just blocks fertilization. But don't worry, we know you folks don't care to have facts get in the way of a good rant.]

That's Quite a Vote of Non Confidence You've Got There Georgie Boy

A recent poll shows that
56% of Americans think the US is not making significant progress in restoring civil order in Iraq.
43% of Americans think the US is reestablishing civil order.

Well that is 43% deluded people, but the numbers reveal something interesting. a 17 point drop in optimism since December. That's right 17 points down in three months.

What do we think folks will be saying three months from now?

Sunday, March 05, 2006

What's Easier Than Fixing or Owning Up to Your Mistakes?

The always popular witch hunt, of course! Let's say your in an administration that the majority of Americans believe to be out of touch, wrong, or just incompetent. What do you do to turn things around? Do you focus on what you've done wrong in a war and work to make it right? Do you agree that spying on your own people without warrants is wrong, but you believe you need to keep spying, so you ask Congress to remake the FISA laws? Do you admit that you bungled the biggest natural disaster we've had and redouble your efforts to make it right?

Nah, of course not. What, did you wake up in Disneyland this morning? This is Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld World. Where no matter how many tomatoes the public is pelting at you during the ride, you don't change direction.

So what do you to do divert the public's attention? Well you ask your justice department to track down the people who have been leaking your bad news and hidden secrets to the public.

Are you going to argue that the public has a right to know what their government is doing? Where do you think you are? America?

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Taking a Moment to Remember

On March 19, 2006, it will be 3 years since the war in Iraq began. On May 1, 2006, it will be 3 years since the Bush administration called that "Mission Accomplished."

As of today, 2300 of our military men and women have died in Iraq. Over 2100 of them have died since "Mission Accomplished." Over 16,650 of our military men and women have been injured in the war.

Congratulations to Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld for the blood on their hands.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Ethics? We Don't Need Your Stinkin' Ethics

Well it's been what, at least a few days since Abramoff's been in the news. Of course now it's time for Congress to shrug its shoulders and move on as usual. And in that manner, a Senate committee voted 11-5 NOT to create an office of public integrity to toughen enforcement.

So what is Congress looking to push in the wake of the Abramoff plea? Well certainly not ban any activities, nor any of their legal bribery. But they will push legislation to step up disclosure and reporting requirements.

Yup, that'll do it. I can feel the essence of a new and cleaner Congress washing over me already. Can't you?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Yeah, Thanks a Lot Dobson

How do you thank someone who's worked hard to make sure you get put onto the Supreme Court? Someone who worked that hard because he believes you're going to vote to overturn RvWade and sit in the lap of psycho right wing conservatives?

You write him a letter, of course. And here's the letter from Alito to Focus on the Family founder James Dobson (who read it to his faithful):

Dear Dr. Dobson:

This is just a short note to express my heartfelt thanks to you and the entire staff of Focus on the Family for your help and support during the past few challenging months. I would also greatly appreciate it if you would convey my appreciation to the good people from all parts of the country who wrote to tell me that they were praying for me and for my family during this period. As I said when I spoke at my formal investiture at the White House last week, the prayers of so many people from around the country were a palpable and powerful force.

As long as I serve on the Supreme Court I will keep in mind the trust that has been placed in me. I hope that we will have the opportunity to meet personally at some point in the future. In the meantime my entire family and I hope that you and the Focus on the Family staff know how much we appreciate all that you have done.

Sincerely yours,
Samuel Alito

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Oops. You Mean There's Tape of That?

At some point you just have to feel sorry for Bush and his collection of cronies. Here they are going out of their way to deny this or that, sell this view or that view, and once and a while comes along a piece of tape that shows . . . well, . . . pretty much the opposite is what happened.

The latest round of "oops, you mean there's tape of that?" comes from Bush who has spent a whole lot of time bemoaning the fact that no one could have guessed Katrina would do what she did, that the levies would break, on and on.

So imagine their spin masters' utter depression to learn that the AP's gotten ahold of footage and transcripts that show that they did anticipate a major event, but were still pretty slow in getting their act together.

Katrina + four had Bush saying, ""I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." However, a few days before Katrina hit, the transcripts show that Bush and crew were concerned that this is exactly what would happen.

Bush was given a briefing on the storm down home in Texas on August 29. He must have liked the presentation, because he didn't ask any questions. Not one.

I'm wondering if he thinks he might have asked a few questions about our preparedness in hindsight?

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