Saturday, February 3, 2007

Molly Ivins 1944-2007

The liberal newspaper columnist who delighted in skewering politicians and interpreting, and mocking, her Texas culture, died January 31st in Austin. She was 62.

Paul Krugman wrote a great piece on Ivins in the New York Times that shouldn't be missed.

"Molly Ivins — who didn’t mingle with the great and famous, didn’t have sources high in the administration, and never claimed special expertise on national security or the Middle East — got almost everything [regarding the results of Iraq War] right. Meanwhile, how did those who did have all those credentials do?

...Was Molly smarter than all the experts? No, she was just braver. The administration’s exploitation of 9/11 created an environment in which it took a lot of courage to see and say the obvious."

Friday, February 2, 2007

The Cheney Roast Continues

Dick Cheney was interviewed by Wolf Blitzer on CNN's The Situation Room on January 28th. I don't remember seeing much reaction of the way Cheney conducted himself on mainstream media; the only place I've seen it is on Keith Olbemann's Countdown and on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Here's just a sampling:

Now, give Blitzer credit. He did ask some good questions, although when Cheney gave him the death stare, Wolf looked like he crapped in his pants.

Well, comedians to the rescue once again. I don't know why Stewart has a bee in his bonnet regarding Cheney lately, but he's been lambasting him every chance he gets. This week he was particularly feasting on Cheney in a way that I hadn't seen before.

Once again, you'll only see this kind of stuff on satire and comedy shows. It is absolutely amazing that you won't see anything like this on mainstream media.

What is the point of Cheney going on interviews like this if he refuses to answer questions, tries his silly intimidation tactics and comes across looking like an asshole anyway? Nevermind the lies he's spewing (we all know it's crap) like, "The biggest danger is that we will validate the terrorists' strategy" if we show disagreement, or "things are fine in Iraq."

This guy is a joke.

While we're at it, here's the Washington Post with another Cheney bombshell regarding the Scooter Libby trial:

"FBI agent Deborah S. Bond also testified that Libby said that, while he was preparing to be interviewed by investigators in the fall of 2003, he came across a handwritten note he had made during a phone conversation with Vice President Cheney. The note made it clear that, shortly before June 12, 2003, Cheney had told Libby that Plame worked at the CIA's counterproliferation division and was married to an outspoken critic of the Iraq war."

"Libby had complained to Cheney that McClellan had... cleared senior White House adviser Karl Rove but not Libby, according to witnesses and trial documents. Cheney then called the White House to urge McClellan to do the same for Libby, suggesting some phrases that Libby and Cheney had worked out together. According to one exhibit, Cheney scribbled on a note: "Has to happen today."

Bribing Scientists

The Guardian Unlimited's new article is accusing AEI of bribing scientists to contradict new global warming reports.

The United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is publishing a report today emphasizing "international negotiations on new emissions targets to succeed the Kyoto agreement."

But "scientists and economists have been offered $10,000 each by a lobby group funded by one of the world's largest oil companies to undermine" the report. The American Enterprise Institute, a lobbying group for ExxonMobil, sent letters to scientists and economists offering "payments for articles that emphasise the shortcomings" of the report.

The AEI has close ties to the Bush Administration. These people will stop at nothing.

EXCERPT: "Climate scientists described the move yesterday as an attempt to cast doubt over the 'overwhelming scientific evidence' on global warming. 'It's a desperate attempt by an organisation who wants to distort science for their own political aims,' said David Viner of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia."

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Sen. Biden's Gaffe

So, how is it possible that you can step in it this early? Senator Joe Biden, on the day he announces his run for the Presidency in 2008 starts lobbing grenades in a New York Observer interview.

On Hillary Clinton's Iraq plan:
"From the part of Hillary's proposal, the part that really baffles me is, ‘We’re going to teach the Iraqis a lesson.’" Biden said. "We're not going to equip them? OK. Cap our troops and withdraw support from the Iraqis? That's a real good idea," he added sarcastically.

On John Edwards:
“I don’t think John Edwards knows what the heck he is talking about,” Mr. Biden said, when asked about Mr. Edwards’ advocacy of the immediate withdrawal of about 40,000 American troops from Iraq.
“John Edwards wants you and all the Democrats to think, ‘I want us out of there,’ but when you come back and you say, ‘O.K., John’”—here, the word “John” became an accusatory, mocking refrain—“‘what about the chaos that will ensue? Do we have any interest, John, left in the region?’ Well, John will have to answer yes or no."

And the most damaging comments, on Barack Obama:
“I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” he said. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”
But—and the “but” was clearly inevitable—he doubts whether American voters are going to elect “a one-term, a guy who has served for four years in the Senate,” and added: “I don’t recall hearing a word from Barack about a plan or a tactic.”

Oooooh... yeah, that would do it. In fairness to Biden, he did say this was meant as a compliment and has apologized to Obama. And Obama did understand that it wasn't meant as it sounded.

But he did add this:
"I didn't take Sen. Biden's comments personally, but obviously they were historically inaccurate," Obama said. "African-American presidential candidates like Jesse Jackson, Shirley Chisholm, Carol Moseley Braun and Al Sharpton gave a voice to many important issues through their campaigns, and no one would call them inarticulate."

So it wasn't the "clean" comment that bothered Obama, but the "articulate" remark is what he focused on. If you watch these people on a regular basis (as I find myself doing watching more and more C-Span and news programs), I find that the majority of their comments are taken out of context. Unfortunately, this is usually their demise. Biden will now be remembered as the guy who described an African-American candidate as "clean". I happen to think Joe Biden's an "alright" guy. Presidential material? I don't know. I would have to say yes considering what we have now. But that's setting the bar extremely low.

Here's Joe Biden on the Daily Show the same day these comments were reported.

Terror Free Gas!

I just caught this on MSNBC. A gas station in Omaha, Nebraska is advertising itself as "terror free", claiming it is using non-Middle East oil. According to the owners of the gas station, any money used to buy gas that is manufactured using Middle Eastern oil is directly going to "Islamic Terrorism" and there are signs on the gas pumps to prove it!

This is a nice sentiment, but not very likely. The oil used is blended in pipelines, so there is no way to guarantee that it is coming solely from a location that isn't using oil from the Middle East. It is disturbing, however, that the gas pump has a lovely little logo on it, using images of the World Trad Center, the Pentagon and containing the flight numbers of the four jets that went down on 9/11.

Call me a pessimist, but it seems to me that this is a marketing ploy to tug at the patriotic heartstrings of passers by looking to fill up. Otherwise, why bother with the fancy logo?

Scheer on Impeachment

I think we've all heard this argument by now. Clinton gets impeached for lying about an affair and Bush is still in office after lying us into a war. We've all heard the bumper sticker comment already.
But Robert Scheer's "A Case For Impeachment" puts it in a way as to not be so crude and seriously think about the issue, because to be honest, it all too often falls on deaf ears.

Scheer: "Not all lies are created equal. It is understood that there is a chasm of importance between little white lies and big black ones. Most would agree that lying about a consensual sexual affair, even by the president, is of significantly lesser concern than lying about the proliferation of nuclear weapons as an excuse to take the nation to war.

How then is it possible that a Republican-controlled Congress impeached President Bill Clinton over his attempt to conceal marital infidelity but that a Democratic-led Congress will not even consider impeaching this president for far more serious transgressions against the public trust?"

This Administration had to be held accountable for its high crimes and misdemeanors.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Obama's Freeze on FOX

The Washington Post is reporting the possible "freeze out" by Barack Obama of FOX News in response to the inaccurate Muslim/madrassa story regarding his upbringing. And in my opinion, good for him. No one should be beholden to these hacks passing themselves off as journalists.
Of course unnamed sources at FOX, being the self-important entity that it claims to be, say that this is equivalent to shooting himself in the foot.

"One source familiar with the dynamic between Fox and Obama, who asked not to be named, said Obama and his staff are in for a rude awakening if they think they can write off Fox News. If a candidate is serious about running for president, he or she is going to need a network like Fox to reach out to all those voters in the red and purple states, the source said."

Earth to FOX "source": Anyone watching FOX News in a red or "purple" state is most likely voting Republican regardless of what Obama does.

Wouldn't it be bliss if others followed suit and shut out FOX to the point that they would struggle in interviewing prospective candidates? It would never happen, but one can wonder what would happen to a news outlet if a majority of candidates refused interviews on their network.

Olbermann: Bush State of Union Address Claims Fake Terrorist Plots

Keith Olbermann's Special Comment of January 30th claims that the State of the Union Address this past week contained a section in which Bush took credit for terrorist plots that have been thwarted. Here's the passage:

"For the terrorists, life since 9/11 has never been the same.

Our success in this war is often measured by the things that did not happen. We cannot know the full extent of the attacks that we and our allies have prevented, but here is some of what we do know: We stopped an al Qaeda plot to fly a hijacked airplane into the tallest building on the West Coast. We broke up a Southeast Asian terror cell grooming operatives for attacks inside the United States. We uncovered an al Qaeda cell developing anthrax to be used in attacks against America. And just last August, British authorities uncovered a plot to blow up passenger planes bound for America over the Atlantic Ocean. For each life saved, we owe a debt of gratitude to the brave public servants who devote their lives to finding the terrorists and stopping them."

Olbermann dissects these sentences and makes a strong case that Bush took credit for thwarted attacks that weren't threats to begin with.

Hmmm... I don't know who to believe. A journalist with a history of integrity and foresight that is rare among his "peers", or GEORGE THE LIAR. This one is tough.

Alberto is Gonzo!

While I'm in the middle of trashing Alberto "Torture Boy" Gonzales, let us not forget that over the last few weeks, the Bush Administration has been firing federal prosecutors. Gonzales has been filling these positions with... you guessed it, more Bush cronies. And due to a provision in the Patriot Act, these interim attorneys are indefinite appointments. No confirmation process necessary. How convenient!

Here's Jack Cafferty on the subject.

Thanks to "psalm54" at YouTube for the video alert.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What Habeas Corpus?

I have one question: How did Alberto Gonzales ever make it through law school?

The US Attorney General, in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing said that habeas corpus is not expressly granted in the US Constitution. Is this guy insane? If the Constitution states that “the privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it”, doesn't that also mean that it's a given that this is a right? Why state something cannot be suspended if it doesn't already exist?

Not according to this dimwit. Here's what Gonzales said: “The Constitution doesn’t say every individual in the United States or citizen is hereby granted or assured the right of habeas corpus. It doesn’t say that. It simply says the right shall not be suspended except in cases of rebellion or invasion.”
To which Arlen Specter replied, "“You may be treading on your interdiction of violating common sense."

These criminals never cease to amaze me. They shit all over the Constitution and wring their hands in glee. Look at this shithead smirk while answering the question. God, I hate these people.

Must we have Alberto Gonzales tune in to Comedy Central to help him understand how ludicrous his statements are? Stephen Colbert's satire is great, but unfortunately, no one in this administration wouldn't understand it as satire.

Also read : Gonzales Questions Habeas Corpus by ROBERT PARRY