Saturday, December 22, 2007

CIA Obstruction

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.

Gravel: Power To The People

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'?

Peace out.

Heil Rudy!

Oh. My. God.

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...

From the article: Declaring War Forever by Michael C. Desch
Giuliani has surrounded himself with advisors who think the Bush Doctrine didn’t go nearly far enough.

...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.

It only gets better from there. What do you suppose the Ghouliani camp will say about this?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Romney Lies Get Worse

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."
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.
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.

The Giuliani "Transparency"

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!

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."
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.

"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."

Read the rest of the story.

Tancredo Quits.


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.

Arnold Sues Federal Government

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.

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.
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?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

MItt Romney on Drugs and Racism

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.

Democratic Pros and Cons of 2007

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.

EPA Restricts States In Emissions Rules

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.

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.

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.

Wexler Wants Hearings

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.

Quoting Wexler:

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.

...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...

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.

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

CIA Will Release Destroyed Video Documents

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.

Read more.

Note To Rudy: I Want My Fruitcake!

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.

Fire In Cheney's Office

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.

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.
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.

Dennis Kucinich's Brother Found Dead

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.

What Democracy Is About

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.

Time Magazine's Person of the Year 2007

Vladimir Putin!

I'm speechless.

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.

Good Riddance To Bad Rubbish

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.
...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.

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!

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 Challenges Hannity & Colmes

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.

Dodd Delays Telcom Amnesty FISA Bill

Finally, a politician with the balls to do what's right and follow through on what he promised.

From 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.

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.

So if we take the President at his word he is willing to let Americans die to protect the phone companies!"

Monday, December 17, 2007

Who's Been Visiting Georgie?

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

Dan Fogelberg Dead At 56

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.

RIP, Dan.

Who's Got The Goods On Harry Reid?

Reid Blows It Again - Chris Dodd Tries To Save It

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 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.

UPDATE (12/17):

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.

...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.

Would a sixty-vote Senate be able to pass either bill?

LIEberman Endorses McCain

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.

Will Durst - Does Anybody Have WMD?

...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.

Bush Vetoes SCHIP Again

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?

Bolton's At It Again - What Global Warming?

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.

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.

Unbelievable. Is that what it takes? Being heckled? I suppose tar and feathering was next.

Robert Scheer - Waterboarding Our Democracy

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.