New video from Britian's Channel 4 analyzes the last moments before Bhutto's assassination and the subsquent suicide bomb detonating.
The idea that Pakistan is tyring to pass this off as an accident when Bhutto hit her head on the way back into the car is ridiculous. As far as the US government demanding a full investigation, what are they going to do? Put those that conspired to assassinate her in charge?
Here's the video. Channel 4 Bhutto footage.
Monday, December 31, 2007
New video from Britian's Channel 4 analyzes the last moments before Bhutto's assassination and the subsquent suicide bomb detonating.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
With all the ┼mas hullabaloo, I completely missed this. Peterson was a giant.
NY TIMES: Oscar Peterson, whose dazzling piano playing made him one of the most popular jazz artists in history, died on Sunday night at his home in Mississauga, Ontario, outside Toronto. He was 82 .
...Mr. Peterson was one of the greatest virtuosos in jazz, with a piano technique that was always meticulous and ornate and sometimes overwhelming. But rather than expand the boundaries of jazz, he used his gifts in the service of moderation and reliability, gratifying his devoted audiences whether he was playing in a trio or solo or accompanying some of the most famous names of jazz. His technical accomplishments were always evident, almost transparently so. Even at his peak, there was very little tension in his playing.
Bill Kristol Hired By New York Times
This is ludicrous. Bill Kristol, co-founder of Project for the New American Century and the warmonger who hasn't gotten one thing right when it comes to Iraq is being hired by the New York Fucking Times.
This is the same dipshit that came up with this gem:
"There's been a certain amount of pop sociology in America ... that the Shia can't get along with the Sunni and the Shia in Iraq just want to establish some kind of Islamic fundamentalist regime. There's almost no evidence of that at all. Iraq's always been very secular."
Iran was secular because of Saddam Hussein, you fuckwad. Remember him?
Guess I'll be cancelling my subscription to the Times.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Yes, you read the title right.
John Deady, Co-Chair of Veterans for Rudy tells us why Ghouliani is the only capable person for the job of President: "...we need to keep the [Muslims'] feet to the fire and keep pressing these people ‘til we defeat them or chase them back to their caves, or in other words, get rid of them."
And don't miss taking a quick look at all the frightened citizens of New Hampshire supporting Rudy because they "don't want a Palestinian coming in and wipe out a pizza parlor."
Is this what America needs? Perpetual war with an undefinable enemy? Yet another reason why Iowa and New Hampshire being first on the block to shape the field of candidates for the rest of the country is not such a great idea.
Well this gives me pause. I'm sure zoos all over the country are now checking their walls to verify the standards.
SAN FRANCISCO — The director of the zoo where a teenager was killed by an escaped tiger acknowledged Thursday that the wall around the animal's pen was just 12 1/2 feet high _ well below the height recommended by the accrediting agency for the nation's zoos.
San Francisco Zoo Director Manuel A. Mollinedo also admitted that it is becoming increasingly clear the 350-pound Siberian tiger leaped or climbed out of its open-air enclosure, perhaps by grabbing onto a ledge.
"She had to have jumped," he said. "How she was able to jump that high is amazing to me." Mollinedo said investigators have ruled out the theory the tiger escaped through a door behind the exhibit.
According to the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, the walls around a tiger exhibit should be at least 16.4 feet high. But Mollinedo said the nearly 70-year-old wall was 12 feet, 5 inches, with what he described as a "moat" 33 feet across.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Tired of that ol' "goin' to hell" feeling? Want to spend less time in purgatory? Well now you can with this great offer:
Pope Benedict XVI has authorised special indulgences to mark the 150th anniversary of the Virgin Mary's reputed appearance at Lourdes.
Pilgrims to the shrine in south-west France will receive "plenary indulgences" from the Pontiff, which the Church says reduce the time spent being "washed" of sin after death. The indulgences will be available from this weekend until Dec 8, 2008.
Also, don't forget that while traveling, rules are rules. According to BoingBoing, after the Vatican launched its chartered air service for pilgrims headed to Lourdes ...travelers on the way back had to dump their precious bottles of holy water. The headrests may be emblazoned with the Latin words for "I search for your face, oh Lord," but even those on a mission for God can't carry more than 100ml of liquid, holy or not, onto the plane.
Didn't some crazy guy nail something to the door of a church and start a new Christian sect because of the sale of indulgences? And some wonder why the Roman Catholic church is falling apart.
Times-Republican: Supporters of Barack Obama living on 25th Street reported a number of racial slurs and derogatory comments had been spray painted on their property. Further, the family’s Christmas presents were all stolen from a vehicle and a garage.
Chief Lon Walker confirms the police received the report Monday morning.
“We found vandalism to the house. When we got there, we found some racial things regarding presidential candidate Barack Obama,” he said.
So these racists decided to be thieves as well. Events like this is my prediction of what will happen all over the country if Obama wins the Democratic Party's nomination. There are so many (including myself) who say they will vote for Obama provided he's the candidate, but the underlying racial factor cannot be ignored. As enlightened as we all think we are or wish to be, there are still far too many people in this country that believe race or gender matters.
I wonder how many death threats Obama has already received that the public doesn't know about. Things like that are never reported. And I seriously fear for Obama's safety as his campaign continues.
Associated Press: RAWALPINDI, Pakistan — Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday in a suicide attack that also killed at least 20 others at a campaign rally, aides said.
The death of the 54-year-old charismatic former prime minister threw the campaign for the Jan. 8 parliamentary elections into chaos and created fears of mass protests and violence across the nuclear-armed nation, an important U.S. ally in the war on terrorism.
The attacker struck just minutes after Bhutto addressed thousands of supporters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, 8 miles south of Islamabad. She was shot in the neck and chest by the attacker, who then blew himself up, said Rehman Malik, Bhutto's security adviser.
At least 20 others were killed in the attack.
New York Times: The assassination also adds to the enormous pressure on the Bush administration over Pakistan, which has sunk billions in aid into the country without accomplishing its main goals of finding Osama bin Laden or ending the activities of Islamic militants and Taliban in border areas with Afghanistan.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
This is just bizarrely funny.
Kristol does his best Jeanne Dixon impersonation and predicts that Republicans will win the White House in 2008.
"...I think Republicans win in November, and if it's not Dick Cheney, McCain/Romney, McCain/Lieberman... there are some very good Republican tickets."
This guy has been full of shit for years now, and somehow he's still considered a "pundit" for Fox News, hopefully the only network that will carry him. I wonder if Kristol predicted Time Magazine was going to can him for his amazing lack of credibility?
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
The destruction of the CIA torture tapes just gets deeper and deeper.
NY TIMES: A review of classified documents by former members of the Sept. 11 commission shows that the panel made repeated and detailed requests to the Central Intelligence Agency in 2003 and 2004 for documents and other information about the interrogation of operatives of Al Qaeda, and were told by a top C.I.A. official that the agency had “produced or made available for review” everything that had been requested.
...In interviews this week, the two chairmen of the commission, Lee H. Hamilton and Thomas H. Kean, said their reading of the [seven-page memorandum prepared by Philip D. Zelikow, the panel’s former executive director] had convinced them that the agency had made a conscious decision to impede the Sept. 11 commission’s inquiry.
There are no words... Just watch.
Master G is lookin' out for his peeps. Represen'n' the little guy. POWER TO THE PEOPLE! Keepin' it real y'all.
You gotta feel for M-to-the-I-to-the-K-to-the-E. The man has good intentions, so you gotta give him his props. That Alaska home boy is fightin' for what he thinks is right. So what if his dome's cracked? At this point, I'd vote for him over Giuliani any day of the week and twice on Sunday, know what I'm sayin'?
We were all thinking it, weren't we? But to have The American Conservative Magazine depict Giuliani in facist , Nazi-esque garb is really something to behold. Kinda completes the picture, doesn't it...
...I was curious about where he stood as a presidential candidate, so in April 2007, I joined nearly 3,000 other Texas A&M faculty and students to hear him speak.
After saying some nice things about his host, President George H.W. Bush, Rudy launched into a stemwinder about the “war on Islamic fundamentalist terrorism” that basically repudiated everything the former president stood for in his foreign policy. Moreover, in the space of 40 minutes, Giuliani never once mentioned Osama bin Laden, the man who masterminded the attack on his city.
I was so appalled by the mayor’s simplistic message that terrorists were attacking us because they “oppose our freedom and ... want to impose their ideology on us” that I ignored protocol and challenged him during the Q&A. To the accompaniment of hisses from the rabidly pro-Rudy students, I reminded the mayor that Islamic fundamentalists in Saudi Arabia, Iran, and elsewhere in the Middle East have taken our side against al-Qaeda at various times. Like the students, Hizzonor was not amused, and I got five minutes of unvarnished Rudy chiding me for just not getting it.
...Those who thought George W. Bush was too timid in the conduct of his foreign policy will find a champion in Rudy.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Not only did Mitt Romney's father never march with civil rights leader Martin Luther King, as has been debunked by the press, but a little further delving into Mitt's past shows even more.
It's hard to believe that Mitt is trying to talk the public into his "figurative" language...
If you look at the literature, if you look at the dictionary, the term 'saw' includes being aware of in the sense I've described," Romney told reporters in Iowa. "It's a figure of speech and very familiar, and it's very common. And I saw my dad march with Martin Luther King. I did not see it with my own eyes, but I saw him in the sense of being aware of his participation in that great effort."
...but now comes word of a 1978 Boston Herald interview.
Mitt Romney went a step further in a 1978 interview with the Boston Herald. Talking about the Mormon Church and racial discrimination, he said: "My father and I marched with Martin Luther King Jr. through the streets of Detroit."Well, I suppose Mitt did "see" himself marching with his father and Martin Luther King. In the "figurative" sense. If you lie enough, you start believing what you say.
Yesterday, Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom acknowledged that was not true. "Mitt Romney did not march with Martin Luther King," he said in an e-mail statement to the Globe.
It's been a little while since I've posted about Ghouliani. Having to write about the Giuliani scandal du jour can get a little tiresome. But here's a new one!
There are some however, including this native New Yorker that lived through the Giuliani Mayoral Administration that don't agree with the "transparency" that Giuliani claims. But don't just take my word for it.
Under an unprecedented agreement that didn't become public until after he left office, Giuliani secreted out of City Hall the written, photographic and electronic record of his eight years in office _ more than 2,000 boxes....In a Republican presidential candidates' debate last week, Giuliani asserted: "My government in New York City was so transparent that they knew every single thing I did almost every time I did it. ... I can't think of a public figure that's had a more transparent life than I've had."
Read the rest of the story.
"He ran a government as closed as he could make it," said attorney Floyd Abrams, a widely recognized First Amendment authority who faced off against city lawyers when Giuliani sought to shut the Brooklyn Museum of Art because the mayor considered a painting sacrilegious.
...Mayor Giuliani was in many respects a good mayor, but in regard to First Amendment-related matters, he is surely the worst in living memory," Abrams said in an interview.
...In a slap at Giuliani's City Hall, a judge in one such case wrote bluntly, "The law provides for maximum access, not maximum withholding."
Apparently a guy named Tom Tancredo was running for the Republican presidential nomination because he just announced that he is ending his bid two weeks shy of the Iowa caucuses.
Tancredo, who has consistently polled at the bottom of the nine-man Republican field, said he decided to drop out in part because of concern that his presence could split the vote for other candidates who have taken a hard line on immigration, helping those who would take a less restrictive approach.
Well, that's mighty white of you, Tom. Nothing like self-importance to finish off an illustrious campaign full of hate and racism.
CNN: California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger plans to sue the federal government over its decision not to allow a California plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, he announced Thursday.How insane is it that a former bodybuliding Austrian immigrant turned action movie actor turned Republican Governor of California understands the importance of this issue, and the morons running this administration don't get it?
Environmental Protection Agency chief Stephen Johnson announced the decision Wednesday, refusing the state's request for a waiver that would have allowed it to cut emissions faster than a new federal plan the president signed into law Wednesday.
"It's another example of the administration's failure to treat global warming with the seriousness that it actually demands," the governor said at a news conference Thursday. ..."Anything less than aggressive action on the greatest environmental threat of all time is inexcusable," he said.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Chris Kelly over at Huffington Post skewers the Romney Unit on equal rights and drug prevention. I guess Mitt was putting out some "questionable" information on his record.
I find his writing laugh-out-loud funny and suggest you add him to your list of favorite bloggers at HuffPo.
Here's his take on Romney's equal rights stance.
Here's his take on Romney's "tough on drugs" stance.
UPDATE: Another laughable moron.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has said he watched his father, the late Michigan Gov. George Romney, in a 1960s civil rights march in Michigan with Martin Luther King Jr.
On Wednesday, Romney's campaign said his recollections of watching his father, an ardent civil rights supporter, march with King were meant to be figurative.
"He was speaking figuratively, not literally," Eric Fehrnstrom, spokesman for the Romney campaign, said of the candidate.
Washington Post: The first Democratic-led Congress in a dozen years limped out of Washington last night with a lengthy list of accomplishments, from the first increase in fuel-efficiency standards in a generation to the first minimum-wage hike in a decade.
But Democrats' failure to address the central issues that swept them to power left even the most partisan of them dissatisfied and Congress mired at a historic low in public esteem.
Read the whole story.
This is the bill that asked for CAFE standards of 35 miles per gallon... by the year 2020! So American auto makers have 13 loooooong years to adhere to standards that Europeans have already exceeded. And it wouldn't have passed at all if the $28 billion tax on oil companies to fund renewable energy insentives wasn't slashed. It's a goddamned joke.
NY TIMES: The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday denied California and 16 other states the right to set their own standards for carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles.
The E.P.A. administrator, Stephen L. Johnson, said the proposed California rules were pre-empted by federal authority and made moot by the energy bill signed into law by President Bush on Wednesday.
...The 17 states — including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut — had waited two years for the Bush administration to issue a ruling on an application to set stricter air quality standards than those adopted by the federal government. The decision, technically known as a Clean Air Act waiver, was the first time California was refused permission to impose its own pollution rules; the federal government had previously granted the state more than 50 waivers.
How can the world take us seriously with "standards" like these?
The Bush administration keeps saying it wants the US to ween itself from oil dependency but does the exact opposite when called upon. The Democrats pushed a bill through that would get signed by President Dipshit even though it has no real teeth. 43 Democrats, 20 Republicans and 2 Independents voted for the bill.
Meanwhile, this is what's happening on the other side of the Atlantic:
European Union officials told leading automakers on Wednesday to make deep cuts in tailpipe emissions of the cars they produce or face fines that could reach billions of euros.
Companies including Volkswagen and Renault immediately promised a fight to weaken the proposed legislation, saying that compliance would be difficult and that it would hurt their competitiveness around the world.
But European officials insisted that the legislation was necessary if the region was to continue leading global efforts to reduce greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide.
At least they get it. The only way car makers are going to start listening is when the consumer starts buying products that serve their own best interests. There will always be a place for sports cars and a necessity for SUVs, but until a majority of the car buying public starts purchasing more fuel efficient vehicles, it'll all fall on deaf ears.
What will you be driving when gas prices are $6 or $7 or more per gallon? That might not be too far off.
Congressman Robert Wexler, D-Fl , has started a petition calling for Congress to hold impeachment hearings against Vice President Dick Cheney. Initially, Wexler was shooting for 50,000 signatures. It is now over 100,000 in 5 days; now Wexler is shooting for a quarter of a million signatures.
The charges are too serious to ignore. There is credible evidence that the Vice President abused the power of his office, and not only brought us into an unneccesary war but violated the civil liberties and privacy of American citizens. It is the constitutional duty of Congress to hold impeachment hearings.
Now in speaking to friends, I heard one give me the Rodney King-can't-we-all-get-along excuse. "That's all we need," he said, "more polarization." My friend is a Republican, not a neo-con. (Yes I do have a few Republican friends... keep it under your hat.)
But I say to my friend and everyone else: I remember Republicans marching lockstep in the Capitol Building chanting "Rule of law! Rule of law!" when the prospect of impeaching Clinton was an appetizing thing for them.
Yes, Clinton committed perjury. He didn't lie about illegal wars. He didn't lie about gaming the Justice Department for political gain. He didn't lie about torture. He lied about an extramarital affair. And for this, there was a two year investigation and millions of dollars spent, looking for some dirt to impeach Bill Clinton. Are you telling me that Dick Cheney doesn't warrant at least half that scrutiny?
Unlike the show trial put on by Republicans against President Clinton, a proper impeachment hearing would involve a fair and objective presentation of the facts without hyperbole or political gamesmanship.
We all thought it would be different after the November 2006 elections. Things would start to happen. Good, solid bills would be passed. The Iraq occupation would at least start being drawn to a close.
And there is the crux of the problem. The Budget bill that just passed would have been vetoed by Bush, had Congress not eliminated $22 billion in spending that it wanted. Bush would have shut down the government if he didn't get his way. And yet, in the Energy bill that just passed, the oil companies get $13.5 BILLION in subsidies. THIS IS OUR MONEY. This is another bill that would have been vetoed had Congress eliminated oil subsidies. So Bush can't spend another nickel for children's health care, for the elderly, for education, for middle class Americans, but can give $13.5 billion of our tax money to the oil companies in the middle of record profits. That is appalling.
...After the Democratic Party regained control of Congress, many – myself included – thought that it might be possible to meet President Bush half-way on the large issues facing our nation. Unfortunately, Bush has been nothing more than an ideological obstacle. He has vetoed stem cell research. He has vetoed efforts to bring our troops home from Iraq. He vetoed children's health care. So, the idea that we are somehow inhibiting Congress from passing our agenda by holding impeachment hearings – unfortunately – is a false argument.
...A Congress willing to stand up to the abuses of the Bush Administration through impeachment hearings will demonstrate a strength of will that will more likely convince Bush to accommodate on issues such as Iraq, health care, and energy and environmental issues...
Democrats lose every time because Republicans in the Senate threaten to filibuster and DO filibuster every single bill brought to the floor. And Bush threatens to veto any bill that doesn't give him everything he wants. Sort of like the spoiled, tantrum throwing Trelaine in that old Star Trek episode. (I keep waiting for the part where Pappy and Babs Bush finally take him back to discipline him after seeing how he's ruined the world they gave him to play with, all the while Dubya crying, "I don't wanna!... I don't wanna... I don't wanna...")
If Democrats show they have a spine and begin impeachment hearings, maybe the White House would start singing a different tune. So take a minute or two and sign the petition. It can't hurt.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
In a dramatic turn of events, the CIA is cooperating with Congress and handing over the documents created describing the interrogation in the destroyed videotapes.
WASHINGTON — The CIA said Wednesday it would begin handing over documents to Congress about the destruction of videotapings showing the harsh interrogation of two terror suspects after the House Intelligence Committee threatened to subpoena two agency officials.
Committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, said Wednesday he had prepared subpoenas for former and current CIA officials and attorneys if they won't appear before the committee voluntarily. The panel rejected a Bush administration request that it defer to an executive branch preliminary inquiry and has launched its own investigation into the videotape destruction.
Not to be outdone by Mike Huckabee and his spine chilling Christmas/Jeebus commercial, Giuliani does one of his own.
It's horrible. Not only does Rudy misread my Christmas list (I have no "sthrict contherative judgeth" on it), but he comes off like an idiot trying to parody Huckabee's message without enough parody.
Even Joe Scarborough flips out! And this guy wants to be President of the United States. He couldn't even be my latex salesman.
NY TIMES: Thick black smoke billowed from a fire Wednesday in Vice President Dick Cheney's suite of offices in the historic Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House.My theory is that the fire was started by the intense heat caused by the friction of industrial paper shedders that have been working 24/7 for months, if not years now.
Cheney's office was damaged by smoke and water from fire hoses, White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said. The vice president was not in the building at the time; he was in the West Wing of the White House with President Bush.
...Investigators were working to determine the cause of the blaze... The smoke appeared to come from an electrical closet on the building's second floor.
Please keep Dennis Kucinich in your thoughts today.
The youngest brother of Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich was found dead at his home Wednesday.
Perry Kucinich, 52, was found face down by another brother, Larry, at about 9 a.m., said Powell Caesar, a spokesman for the Cuyahoga County Coroner's office.
There were no signs of foul play, Caesar said.
The Rude Pundit has another great post after listening to Dubya speak to the Fredericksberg Rotary Club in Stafford, VA on Monday.
Rude Pundit (graphic language): ...George W. Bush wouldn't know democracy if it bit him on his nutsack and jumped around while screaming, "I'm Democracy, motherfucker." The notion that democracy is "all about" tolerating words of dissent is patronizing and degrading, and it's like having a suggestion box in the coffee room of the local Wal-Mart: hey, drop a note in, Consuela, and maybe the assistant managers will look into giving you more regular bathroom breaks. But the second Consuela tries to unionize, you shut that down. The illusion of participation is more important than actually having a say. And that ain't democracy.
A TSAR IS BORN: TIME's Person of the Year is not and never has been an honor. It is not an endorsement. It is not a popularity contest. At its best, it is a clear-eyed recognition of the world as it is and of the most powerful individuals and forces shaping that world—for better or for worse. It is ultimately about leadership—bold, earth-changing leadership. Putin is not a boy scout. He is not a democrat in any way that the West would define it. He is not a paragon of free speech. He stands, above all, for stability—stability before freedom, stability before choice, stability in a country that has hardly seen it for a hundred years. Whether he becomes more like the man for whom his grandfather prepared blinis [Stalin] —who himself was twice TIME's Person of the Year—or like Peter the Great, the historical figure he most admires; whether he proves to be a reformer or an autocrat who takes Russia back to an era of repression [like Dubya?] —this we will know only over the next decade. At significant cost to the principles and ideas that free nations prize, he has performed an extraordinary feat of leadership in imposing stability on a nation that has rarely known it and brought Russia back to the table of world power. For that reason, Vladimir Putin is TIME's 2007 Person of the Year.
Bill and H.W. On The Road? Not A Chance
Yesterday, I had a bit of a heartstopping moment when Bill Clinton had this to say if Hillary became the next White House resident in 2009:
Well, the first thing she intends to do, because you can do this without passing a bill, the first thing she intends to do is to send me and former President Bush and a number of other people around the world to tell them that America is open for business and cooperation again.... and I thought, "WHAT THE FUCK?!" The last thing I want as an American citizen is having ANY Bush galavanting around the world in the name of American foreign policy.
Well it didn't take long for Pappy Bush to answer Bill's claim:
Former President Bush wholeheartedly supports the President of the United States, including his foreign policy. He has never discussed an "around-the-world mission" with either former President Bill Clinton or Senator Clinton, nor does he think such a mission is warranted since he is proud of the role America continues to play around the world as the beacon of hope for freedom and democracy.Well I can now breathe again. So Pappy is proud of his son's record including foreign policy? Jesus H. Christmas! At least it's a relief to know he's not interested in promoting Hillary and America after Chimpy gets booted out on his ear. He'll support any Republican candidate. The Jesus freak, the cross dressing fascist, the guy wearing the magic underwear, hell, even the bored actor for all Pappy cares, as long as he's a Republican!
...President Bush is excited about several of the excellent Republican candidates running for President, and looks forward to supporting their candidacy once the Republican nominee is determined.
Get these lying, criminally insane bastards as far away from Washington as humanly possible. Good riddance to bad rubbish.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Charles Grodin was plugging his new book on Hannity & Colmes and having the chance, challenged Sean Hannity to name mistakes he's made, called him a fascist, accused him of "bomb throwing" for the right wing and wondered why they were covering an election way before its time, when they should be talking about topics like port security, airline cargo screening and the felony murder roll.
Grodin took over the show and kept it in his teeth like a pit bull with a bone. Hannity didn't know how to react. Should he be his rabid, right-wing frenzied self or was this a joke?
Sean Hannity: How can you sing "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and not be a left-winger?
Charles Grodin: I'll tell you, that's an insightful comment if I ever heard one.
I don't know why his first show was canceled, but maybe MSNBC should think about giving Grodin a new one based on this interview alone.
Finally, a politician with the balls to do what's right and follow through on what he promised.
From ChrisDodd.com: Majority Leader Harry Reid has just pulled the FISA bill from consideration in this session. It will be brought up at some point next month.
Without Senator Dodd's leadership today, it is safe to assume that retroactive immunity would have passed.
This is a great victory for the American people. His outspoken opposition to retroactive immunity and the Intelligence Committee's FISA bill made it impossible to move forward now. From a process standpoint, that took the persistent shadow of a Dodd filibuster on this legislative process, a "hold" against any legislation that included retroactive immunity, and today, a refusal to grant unanimous consent to rules of debate that would have made it harder to strip retroactive immunity from the Intel Committee's bill through the Dodd-Feingold Amendment. He brought along some of the Senate's most passionate voices -- Senator's Feingold, Kennedy, Boxer, Wyden, Brown and Bill Nelson joined him to stand up to the President today.
Clinton, Obama and Biden, all of whom said they supported Chris Dodd and his filibuster, did not take the time to return to DC from the campaign trail in Iowa to help Dodd in his fight against giving retroactive immunity to telecom companies that aided and abetted in the illegal wiretapping of American citizens by the Bush administration.
Here's Dodd's FISA speech on the Senate floor today.
So if we take the President at his word he is willing to let Americans die to protect the phone companies!"
Senator Kennedy: "Voting for amnesty would be a vote for silence, secrecy, and illegality... The President has said that American lives will be sacrificed if Congress does not change FISA, but he has also said that he will VETO any FISA bill that does not grant retroactive immunity. No immunity? No FISA bill.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Huffington Post: White House visitor logs are public documents, a federal judge ruled Monday, rejecting a legal strategy that the Bush administration had hoped would get around public records laws.
The ruling is a blow to the Bush administration, which is fighting the release of records showing visits by lobbyist Jack Abramoff and prominent religious conservatives.
The records are created by the Secret Service, which is subject to the Freedom of Information Act. But the Bush administration has ordered the data turned over to the White House, where they are treated as presidential records outside the scope of the public records law.
U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth said logs from the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney's residence are subject to public records request.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
CNN: Dan Fogelberg, the singer and songwriter whose hits "Leader of the Band" and "Same Old Lang Syne" helped define the soft-rock era, died Sunday at his home in Maine after battling prostate cancer. He was 56.
...Later in his career, he would write material that focused on the state of the environment, an issue close to his heart. Fogelberg's last album was 2003's "Full Circle," his first album of original material in a decade. A year later he would receive his cancer diagnosis, forcing him to forgo a planned fall tour.
Same Old Lang Syne is one of my favorites.
Reid Blows It Again - Chris Dodd Tries To Save It Reid's office was reportedly inundated with phone calls and messages from citizens who did not want Congress to allow immunity to telecoms, before their actions have even been detailed in a court of law. The heat seemed to have stirred Reid, who later in the day indicated that he would actually bring both versions of the FISA bill up for a vote.
This is amazing. For all the hot air that Harry Reid has expelled in ensuring that amnesty to the telecom companies that helped the Dark Empire spy on us illegally will not be tolerated, he has chosen to bring to the floor, a version of the FISA bill that does just that.
Gleen Greenwald writes about it on his Salon.com blog:
The summarized version is that there were two competing bills which Reid could have brought to the floor -- the Senate Intelligence Committee version engineered by Jay Rockefeller and Dick Cheney which gives the administration most of what it wants, and the Senate Judiciary Committee, which does not contain telecom amnesty and contains far more extensive oversight protections. Reid could have brought the bill to the floor using whatever process he wanted, and he has decided -- contrary to weeks of assurances -- that the SIC bill will serve as the "base" bill, meaning that improving it (by removing amnesty and increasing oversight) will require 60 votes, rendering such efforts virtually impossible. In doing so, Reid is brazenly ignoring the demands of 14 Senators -- including all of the Democratic presidential candidates -- to have the Judiciary Committee bill be the base bill.
Worse still, Reid is completely disregarding the "hold" placed by Chris Dodd on any amnesty bill -- simply refusing to honor it, even as he respectfully honors literally scores of "holds" from GOP Senators such as Tom Coburn. And while Dodd is interrupting his campaigning to fly to Washington to lead the filibuster he vowed, Reid has ensured with scheduling manuevers that the filibuster will take place only over the weekend -- when all of the members are away raising money anyway and journalists aren't paying attention -- with the intent to try to force cloture once everyone returns on Monday.
...This isn't a case where they are trying to oppose Bush's demands on telecom amnesty and warrantless surveillance powers but are sadly thwarted by a lack of votes. Rather, Harry Reid is doing everything he can to thwart those who are attempting to impede Bush's demands and thus doing everything he can to ensure that the White House is liberated from the prospect of accountability for past lawbreaking and vested with vast, new eavesdropping powers with as little oversight as possible...
...even [Senate Minority Leader Mitch] McConnell might lack the audacity to simply run roughshod over Dodd's hold, as Reid is apparently doing -- while treating Tom Coburn's holds as sacred.
What the hell is going on? Why is Reid pulling out every trick in the book to try and prevent his own party member from filibustering what he considers a flawed bill and not honoring Dodd's hold?
Who's got the goods on Harry Reid?
Crooks & Liars reports that Senators Feingold and Kennedy will help Dodd filibuster by asking questions to let Dodd rest.
...But both bills coming up appears to presage a showdown: a promised Democratic filibuster to keep the telcom immunity provision out, versus an apparent Republican filibuster to keep it in.
Reid's office was reportedly inundated with phone calls and messages from citizens who did not want Congress to allow immunity to telecoms, before their actions have even been detailed in a court of law. The heat seemed to have stirred Reid, who later in the day indicated that he would actually bring both versions of the FISA bill up for a vote.
Would a sixty-vote Senate be able to pass either bill?
Can the remaining few that still insist on calling Holy Joe LIEberman and "Independent Democrat" (Fox News) please stop now?
Sen. Joseph Lieberman (Conn.), who was on the national Democratic ticket in 2000, will cross the aisle to endorse Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) tomorrow, Republican sources said.
...Lieberman is an independent who caucuses with Democrats.
It's also time for Democratic leaders in Congress to oust Holy Joe "Bomb Iran" LIEberman out of the Democratic Caucus, knowing full well he brings nothing to the table.
...Iraq—no weapons of mass destruction. Iran—no nuclear weapons program. Throw in the fact that since our Mideast misadventure began, we’ve misplaced 190,000 of our own rifles and weapons somewhere, who knows where, in Iraq, and I’m thinking maybe we should outsource our weapons location intelligence gathering because it doesn’t seem to be what you’d call our specialty. Article here.
Mr. Compassionate Conservative once again vetoed a bill that would make possible the inclusion of 5 million children to obtain health insurance.
Bush issued his veto on Wednesday, saying "our nation's goal should be to move children who have no health insurance to private coverage - not to move children who already have private health insurance to government coverage." This statement of course has no basis in fact. The State Children's Health Insurance Plan is available to those who make too high an annual income to receive Medicaid but not enough income to afford to pay for a private insurance policy. SCHIP is not free. It is a discounted plan, with participants paying low cost premiums. But President Bush would have you believe that it is a substitute for private insurance and that the Congress is trying to expand a program to those who already have private coverage as a step toward that evil concept we call socialism. Of course, Bush and the rest of the elected members of government already receive government funded health care. If it's so bad for the rest of us, why doesn't he switch to private insurance? He can certainly afford it.
Mr. No Child Left Behind would also try to make you think that the $35 billion that Congress allocated over five years is fiscally irresponsible and that his economic conservatism was a main reason for rejecting the bill. This is a strange reason when you consider that $7 billion pays for approximately 2-3 weeks for the occupation in Iraq.
The fact is that at the current funding levels, some participants currently covered by SCHIP would have to be dropped.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said the House will take up the extension question Thursday in a bill that also will make adjustments to Medicare.
"We'll obviously need to put additional money" into the children's health insurance program, Hoyer said, because several states say they will have to remove recipients from their rolls if the current funding level continues into next year.
As far as raising taxes is concerned, "What a sad day that the president would say that rather than insuring [millions of] children, 'I don't want to raise the cigarette tax,' " said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
In 2006, an estimated 20.8% (45.3 million) of U.S. adults were current cigarette smokers; of these, 80.1% (36.3 million) smoked every day according to the Center for Disease Control. I, for one, would not be affected by this tobacco tax increase, and neither would 80% of the US population. If a 61 cent per pack tax deters people from smoking and become healthier in the process, so be it.
Why do cigarette smokers feel discrimiated against for a tobacco tax? Do drinkers feel discrimination on an alcohol tax? Or drivers on a gas tax? If you don't drink or don't drive, there is an automatic savings. Should I feel angry that the non-drinker doesn't pay tax on my glass of wine or bottle of beer? Is Bush is worried about the smoker that is against a tobacco tax , or is it the tobacco lobby?
One more question: if Bush was so proud of this veto, why did he sign it in private?
...such votes are uncomfortable for GOP lawmakers. It is a popular program with the public, making some Republicans wary of sticking with Bush on such an issue with the 2008 elections looming. Of the 43 million people nationwide who lack health insurance, more than 6 million are under 18 years old. That's more than 9 percent of all children.Bush said the bill "moves our country's health care system in the wrong direction." If we aren't currently moving in the wrong direction, what the hell does Mensa Man have in store for us?
Crooks and Liars: When asked about mandatory limits on climate change, Bolton had this to say [on Fox News]:
Well, it’s not unusual for Vice President Gore to be wrong, either, as he is in this case. Of the G8 industrialized democracies, four — the United States, Japan, Canada, and Russia –share our view…If you look at the developing countries, Brazil, India, and China all oppose these targets as well. So, the notion that this is the fault of the U.S. is wrong.
If anybody’s isolated here, I think it’s the Europeans and Al Gore…
Isolation? How about the US being the only country out of 184 that haven't signed the Kyoto treaty? At least the White House is starting to back down lest everyone in the world regards us as lunatics. Too little, too late for this administration.
Unbelievable. Is that what it takes? Being heckled? I suppose tar and feathering was next.
Following gruelling all-night talks, the conference of 190 nations finally launched a process to negotiate a new treaty for when the UN Kyoto Protocol's commitments expire in 2012.
...The United States, the only major industrialised nation to reject the Kyoto treaty, reached a compromise with the European Union to avoid mentioning any figures as a target for slashing greenhouse gas emissions.
[The senior US negotiator, Paula] Dobriansky was loudly booed by other delegations, and a US environmental activist representing Papua New Guinea said to rousing cheers: "If you're not willing to lead, please get out of the way."
...After repeated verbal lashings, Dobriansky again took the microphone and said that Washington would "go forward and join consensus," to the cheers of the conference.
Robert Scheer writes a great article questioning the destruction of the CIA tapes.
When the CIA destroyed those prisoner interrogation videotapes, was it also destroying the truth about 9/11? After all, according to the 9/11 Commission Report, the basic narrative of what happened on that day—and the definition of the enemy in this war on terror that George W. Bush launched in response to the tragedy—comes from the CIA’s account of what those prisoners told their torturers. The commission was never allowed to interview the prisoners, or speak with those who did, and was instead forced to rely on what the CIA was willing to relay.Read the rest here.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
After Attorney General Michael Mukasey refused congressional demands for information Friday, the Justice Department filed late-night court documents urging a federal judge not to begin his own inquiry.
...Congressional inquiries and criminal investigations frequently overlap and it is not uncommon for the Justice Department to ask lawmakers to ease off. The request for the court to stand down is more unusual. Judges take seriously even the suggestion that evidence was destroyed, but they also are reluctant to wade into political debates.
Kennedy ordered the administration in June 2005 to safeguard "all evidence and information regarding the torture, mistreatment, and abuse of detainees now at the United States Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay."
Five months later, the CIA destroyed the interrogation videos, which involved suspected terrorists Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.
...[Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey S.] Bucholtz argued that the tapes were not covered by Kennedy's court order because Zubaydah and al-Nashiri were not at the Guantanamo military prison in Cuba. The men were being held overseas in a network of secret CIA prisons. By the time President Bush acknowledged the existence of those prisons and the prisoners were transferred to Guantanamo, the tapes had been destroyed.
...Even if Kennedy agrees that the government did not violate his order, he still could schedule a hearing. He could raise questions about obstruction or spoliation, a legal term for the destruction of evidence in "pending or reasonably foreseeable litigation."
Speaking of obstruction, Senator Lindsay Graham is becoming the new Arlen Specter. The House passed a bill that bans waterboarding yesterday and Graham blocked it from being voted upon in the Senate. So even though he believes waterboarding violates the Geneva Convention ("I don’t think you have to have a lot of knowledge about the law to understand this technique violates Geneva Convention common article three, the War Crimes statutes...") and plainly was pissed off at Brigadier General Hartmann during a Senate Judiciary Commitee hearing on Guantanamo detainees, he still protects the Worst President Ever and prevents Bush from having to veto a bill banning waterboarding.
Just like Specter, Graham is all talk, talk, talk and then continues to tow the party line. Heckuva job, Grahamy.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Where have I been? Lee Stranahan has been putting together some great videos. Here's one on the latest National Intelligence Estimate spin. You can visit his blog at Stranahan dot com. He'll be an instant favorite.
This is a great parody commercial on Huckabee! Enjoy.
In his first major decision since his confirmation as Attorney General of the United States, Michael Mukasey waved his middle finger at the Senate today as he rejected Congress' demands for details into the Justice Department's inquiry regarding the destruction of CIA interrogation videotapes.
"At my confirmation hearing, I testified that I would act independently, resist political pressure and ensure that politics plays no role in cases brought by the Department of Justice," Mukasey wrote. "Consistent with that testimony, the facts will be followed wherever they lead in this inquiry, and the relevant law applied."Would that be the same confirmation hearing where you decided not to classify waterboarding as torture and actually tried to give the impression that you didn't even know what waterboarding was, Mr. Mukasey?
The three letters [in response to letters sent by Senators Patrick Leahy, Alren Specter and Dick Durbin] represent an attempt by Mukasey to push back against growing pressure from lawmakers, primarily Democrats, who have showered the Justice Department with demands for investigations or information on topics ranging from the baseball steroids scandal to allegations of rape by a former military contractor employee.Mukasey doesn't want to open an investigation into the destruction of the CIA torture tapes that Mukasey himself used in signing a warrant for the detainment of Jose Padilla based on the information gathered from the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah on those videos.
The letters also are an assertive move by the new attorney general, who was confirmed last month with the lowest level of Senate support in the past half century because of his refusal to say whether a form of simulated drowning known as waterboarding amounts to torture under U.S. law.
This is sickening.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
First it was Fox News Channel's 1/2 Hour News Hour, and now this. Another pathetic attempt and proof positive that Republicans have no sense of humor (and no talent either).
NY TIMES: “For more than a decade there has been widespread anabolic steroid use,” Mr. Mitchell said in a news conference announcing the results of a 20-month investigation he led at the behest of Major League Baseball. He said the use of performance-enhancing substances “poses a serious threat to the integrity of the game.”
The players named in the investigation:
The following players were connected to steroids, either use or possession, in the report:
Paul Lo Duca
Exavier "Nook" Logan
The following players were cited under "Alleged Internet Purchases of Performance Enhancing Substances By Players in Major League Baseball."
Gary Matthews Jr.
The following players were linked through BALCO:
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Rep. Steve King was on... wait for it... FOX NEWS today to rip into the nine Democrats that voted no on his Christianity resolution; the same Steve King that voted against a resolution for Ramadan and Diwali. It was a classic Fox hit job with the host "mm-hmm"ing and "yeah"ing every word uttered by Congressman Christmas.
Check out the video at Think Progress.
Funny that King didn't mention the 10 other members who voted "present" because they could care less about the meaningless resolution and the 40 other members who didn't even bother to vote. Interesting how the crackerjack host didn't bring up the fact that more Democrats voted for the resolution than Republicans (a fact I'm not proud of). Ah, good ol' Faux News spreading the Christmas cheer.
In response to King's challenge on wanting to know why the liberal nine voted no, Rep. Alcee Hastings ripped King a new one regarding the resolution as “another sad attempt by conservative Republicans to skew the line between church and state” and said this:
America is not a Christian nation. It is a nation of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and everyone in between. Our diversity is our strength and those who seek to use religion as a litmus test are doing a disservice to all of us.
As for the “assault on Christianity,” all someone has to do is visit a shopping mall, turn on the radio or TV or look at the Christmas trees sitting on the front lawns of the White House and the United States Capitol to realize that no such assault is underway.
Rep. Steve King: another in the growing list of losers that need be ousted from office.
Great new post by Bob Cesca on Huffington Post:
...given our extraordinarily enormous and expensive military-industrial and intelligence establishment, the ultimate safety of our citizens and cities is coming down to... what? Torture? Sorry, no. If the shopping list for preventing a terrorist attack is a wooden plank, a hanky and a jug of water, I want my goddamn money back.
The reality is that the cost of doing business as a democracy is a certain level of danger. Freedom and liberty are, by their very nature, porous.
That's why, in the face of terrorism, we can't allow ourselves to acquiesce to unchecked executive power; invasions of privacy; torture; illegal searches; or warrantless eavesdropping in order to ameliorate the inherent dangers of a free and open society. This is non-negotiable and it's disgraceful that these authoritarian policies of the Bush administration have become, as John Kiriakou said, a matter of "national debate."
Missouri's Senator Kit Bond is the ranking REPUBLICAN on the Senate intelligence committee... and he thinks waterboarding is like swimming. But he wouldn't use it. Maybe the good Senator can't swim.
Ever wonder why Congress is supposedly getting nothing done?
With the president warning repeatedly that he will veto any budget package he dislikes and the Democrats short of the 60 votes they need in the Senate, the Republican minority is in an unusually strong bargaining position — and not just in the budget negotiations that are the top priority in Congress these days.By the way, this 110th Democratic led Congress has done more work in its first year than the Republican led 109th Congress did in its previous two years.
Mr. McConnell and his fellow Republicans are playing such tight defense, blocking nearly every bill proposed by the slim Democratic majority that they are increasingly able to dictate what they want, much to the dismay of the majority leader, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, and frustrated Democrats in the House.
In fact, the Senate Republicans are so accustomed to blocking measures that when the Democrats finally agreed last week to their demands on a bill to repair the alternative minimum tax, the Republicans still objected, briefly blocking the version of the bill that they wanted before scrambling to approve it later.
Mr. McConnell, of course, said it was up to the Democrats to work things out, whether on spending or any other measure, in a way that Republicans would accept. “They are in the majority,” he said. “But in the Senate, to do most things, it requires 60..."Fuck you, McConnell. It didn't take 60 votes to approve anything while the Rethuglicans were in control, and now the abuse of the filibuster is at an all time high. I can't wait for this putz to be thrown into the street on his ear come next election.
Looks like the new Bush excuse is "I didn't know." First he tries to lie out of knowing that Iran had stopped its nuclear weapons program in 2003 by saying he hadn't learned about the NIE report until the week before it was released, even though he told Isreali Prime Minister Ehud Olmert even before then during his fake peace summit. And now Bush is trying to use the same excuse in the destruction of the CIA torture videos.
ABC News' Martha Raddatz Reports: In an exclusive interview with ABC News President Bush said Tuesday he did not know about the destruction of CIA videotapes of detainee interrogations.
The President said he was told just a few days ago.
Is he incompetent or lying? In either case, this loser has to go.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
One of the major reasons the Democrats have given for not persuing articles of impeachment is the fact that it would take too long, and Congress would get little to nothing else done in the process. Well I'm glad that they have time for this little resolution because I don't know how the American people have gotten by without it so far.
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) plans to take the House floor today and introduce a bill (HR 847) recognizing the “importance of Christmas and the Christian faith.”I shit you not. This is an actual resolution brought to the floor by a religious nutbag who couldn't stand the thought of other religious observances getting an offical resolution (also idiotic) in a country that has a federal holiday on December 25th, where some form of Christianity accounts for over 75% of the religious denominations and where 1/3 of the entire world is Christian. Do we really need a resolution to say Christmas is good? What a taxpaying waste!
A spokesman for King told ThinkProgress that the bill was introduced in response to previous resolutions recognizing the Muslim celebration of Ramadan and the Hindu Diwali.
The votes are in:
The House passed this bill today. The vote, surprisingly, was 372-9, with 10 members also voting "Present," meaning they took no position on the legislation, and 40 not voting. One of the "Present" votes was cast by Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.). More Democrats -195 - voted for the bill than Republicans, 177.
The nine members who voted against the bill - God bless them! - are Reps. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.), Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), Bobby Scott(D-Va.), Pete Stark (D-Calif.) and Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.).
Well, that's a relief. Since we can't get these bastards to go after the criminal syndicate occupying the White House, I suppose I'll petition for Kwaanza to be next. I wonder how that vote will go?
They're finally starting to revolt.
Former CIA agent John Kiriakou, who witnessed the waterboarding of top al-Qaida operative Abu Zubaida, has said that the practice is indeed torture and “a policy made at the White House, with concurrence from the National Security Council and the Justice Department.” Kiriakou added during an interview with NBC that the destruction of video evidence of the technique was “a terrible mistake.”
How many more agents and former agents are going to come out of the woodwork? Perhaps this is a little payback for blaming the intelligence agencies for the failed Iraq occupation and for the outing of Valerie Plame.
... and this was number 1.
Howard "Cookie" Krongard, the embattled State Department inspector general who has been accused of impeding a Justice Department investigation of Blackwater Worldwide and other inquiries, announced his resignation on Friday.
Cookie resigned on the slowest news day of the week, as all cowards are wont to do.
You may remember Cookie in the investigation of the $740 million Iraq US Embassy that has yet to open. On September 18, 2007, House Oversight Committee chairman Henry Waxman charged Krongard with actively impeding probes into waste and corruption related to the Iraq War and other matters. Waxman informed Krongard that allegations of witness intimidation had been made against Krongard's staff. Aides to Krongard threatened two U.S. State Department investigators with retaliation, including termination of their jobs, if they cooperated with the investigations into Blackwater USA and Krongard, according to a report released by the U.S. House of Representatives.Krongard directly interfered with federal prosecutors when they asked his office for help with investigating possible Blackwater arms smuggling.
When asked what relationship his brother and former CIA official Alvin "Buzzy" Krongard had with Blackwater, Cookie stated, "I can tell you, very frankly, I am not aware of any financial interest or position he has with respect to Blackwater. When these ugly rumors started recently, I specifically asked him. I do not believe it is true that he is a member of the advisory board that you stated. And that's something I think I need to say."
Well, right in the middle of the investigation, Cookie said this after a recess. "During the break, I did contact my brother. I learned that he had been at the advisory board meeting yesterday. I had not been aware of that. And I want to state on the record right now that I hereby recuse myself from any matters having to do with Blackwater."
Buzzy quit advising Blackwater two days later.
Did anyone see this on Fox News?
Saturday, December 8, 2007
George W. Bush is completely insane. After Dems compromise on a budget that would give Raisinbrain an initial $50-70 billion for the Iraq occupation with no strings attached, the White House came out with a statement threatening to veto the bill even though they haven't even seen the proposal.
White House Budget Director Jim Nussle said Saturday it's too much money for domestic programs - and not enough for the war.
"If Congress insists on sending the president a budget-busting bill they know he will veto and that will not become law, they should also pass a continuing resolution that keeps the government running and provides the troops in the field the funds they need," Nussle said.
Fuck you, Nussle.
I wish the Democrats in Congress had the balls to say, "Okay, President Dipshit. You want to veto a bill that would give you your blood money for your illegal occupation in exchange for some sorely needed spending at home? You want to screw border patrol, Homeland Security, hurricane and mortgage crisis relief? You want to give the middle finger to repairing our crumbling infrastructure? Fine, asshole. Then shut the whole goddamned thing down. It's either this bill, or no bill."
But of course, they won't do that even though 75% of Americans would support them. They'll posture and whine and hold news conferences and issue "strong statements," and then cave in to these neo-fascist thugs at the end of the day. January 20th, 2009 can't come fast enough. And don't be surprised when the day comes that we won't be trying to stop an illegal coup by these criminals before the changeover.
It's time to play chicken with President Chickenhawk. He doesn't like his $70 billion Christmas gift? Then SHUT IT DOWN.
Worst. President. Ever.
Mitt Romney's pandering speech to the religious right shows once and for all how this man will say anything to get elected and how he's soooo not ready to lead this country, or anything else that needs an objective eye for that matter.
How can one speech contain "Let me assure you that no authorities of my church, or of any other church for that matter, will ever exert influence on presidential decisions. Their authority is theirs, within the province of church affairs, and it ends where the affairs of the nation begin," AND "Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom."?
And in fruitlessly trying to compare himself with John F. Kennedy, Romney says this:
"Almost 50 years ago, another candidate from Massachusetts explained that he was an American running for president, not a Catholic running for president. Like him, I am an American running for president. I do not define my candidacy by my religion."...but then says this:
So screw all the non-believers. They're all going to hell anyway. Talk about an A-1 panderer in full bullshit mode! Someone should remind Mitt that this country was founded on the belief of freedom of religion and freedom FROM religion if one so chose. He even tries to make it sound as if our forefathers had religion on the brain during the founding of our nation. And as everyone knows, that is just entirely wrong.
"...the notion of the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning. They seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgment of God. Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in public life. It is as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America - the religion of secularism. They are wrong."
..."Any believer in religious freedom, any person who has knelt in prayer to the Almighty, has a friend and ally in me."
As Lee Papa at RudePundit.com (graphic language) states:
Romney also cites a bit of writing by John Adams often used by right wingers hoping to shove religion up all our asses. In his letter to a brigade of the Massachusetts militia, yes, Adams did write, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
But in the rest of that letter, Adams says, "[S]hould the people of America once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another, and towards foreign nations, which assumes the language of justice and moderation while it is practising iniquity and extravagance, and displays in the most captivating manner the charming pictures of candor, frankness, and sincerity, while it is rioting in rapine and insolence, this country will be the most miserable habitation in the world; because we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net."
Adams warned us not to be fucking hypocrites. He was talking about religion in its truest sense. Not as a way of saying that one is superior because one has religion, but in the sense that religion ought to be humbling, not a reason to preen like a goddamn nit-filled peacock before the salivating hyenas of the media and the Republican base.
Amen, Brother Papa!
For Romney to suggests that atheists and agnostics have no place in America shows that his magic underwear is a bit too tight. Thanks for playing, Mitt. Leave your endorsement for the Joseph Smith/Brigham Young ticket at the door on your way out.
UPDATE: THE NATION: John Nichols - Defending his candidacy and his Mormon faith in Texas, Mitt Romney did little to assure those who expect their president to serve the national interest and resist pressure from religious groups.
UPDATE II: Mitt's No JFK: Maureen Dowd - The problem with Mitt is not his religion; it is his overeager policy shape-shifting. He did not give a brave speech, but a pandering one. Disguised as a courageous, Kennedyesque statement of principle, the talk was really just an attempt to compete with the evolution-disdaining, religion-baiting Huckabee and get Baptists to concede that Mormons are Christians.
...The world is globalizing, nuclear weapons are proliferating, the Middle East is seething, but Republicans are still arguing the Scopes trial.
Mitt was right when he said that “Americans do not respect believers of convenience.” Now if he would only admit he’s describing himself.
Not only did the C.I.A. destroy videotapes containing the interrogation of two suspected terrorists, but they did it despite warnings against it.
White House and Justice Department officials, along with senior members of Congress, advised the Central Intelligence Agency in 2003 against a plan to destroy hundreds of hours of videotapes showing the interrogations of two operatives of Al Qaeda, government officials said Friday.Democratic Senators are calling for an investigation.
The chief of the agency’s clandestine service nevertheless ordered their destruction in November 2005, taking the step without notifying even the C.I.A.’s own top lawyer, John A. Rizzo, who was angry at the decision, the officials said.
Where are the Republicans on this issue?
Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts accused the C.I.A. of “a cover-up"... “We haven’t seen anything like this since the 18½ -minute gap on the tapes of Richard Nixon,” Mr. Kennedy said in a speech on the Senate floor, as reaction to the disclosure about the videotapes seemed to intensify minute by minute.
Mr. Durbin, the Democratic whip, said he had written Mr. Mukasey to ask for an inquiry into “whether C.I.A. officials who destroyed these videotapes and withheld information about their existence from official proceedings violated the law.”
Talk about stuck between a rock and a hard place! Democrats are getting a half a trillion dollar package ready. Iraq war funding would be voted on separately.
NY TIMES: Congressional leaders are assembling a $500 billion package to try to resolve an impasse by providing President Bush with unfettered money for the Iraq war in exchange for new spending on popular domestic programs.
...Under this deal, the president would be given $70 billion out of a still pending request of nearly $200 billion for the war. The compromise is also likely to include provisions that address the mortgage crisis, as well as agricultural drought relief and other disaster financing.
Fair tradeoff? Who the hell knows? I'm just sick and tired of the whole goddamned thing.
The Senate would then add up to $40 billion for Iraq combat operations, with the expectation the final war spending total would produce enough Republican support to offset defections by House Democrats.
After the measure returns to the House for a final vote, Democrats opposed to the war are likely to vote against it but may not be able to stop it. The decision to free some money for the war without a deadline or goal for withdrawal would represent a major concession by Democrats. They had earlier said they would not send Mr. Bush any more war money this year unless he accepted a change in Iraq policy.