Saturday, January 19, 2008

Bobby Fischer Dead At 64

NY TIMES: Bobby Fischer, the Chicago-born, Brooklyn-bred genius who became one of the greatest chess players the world has ever seen, died Thursday in Reykjavik, Iceland. He was 64, and had for decades lived in obscurity, ultimately settling in Reykjavik after renouncing his American citizenship.

...Mr. Fischer was the most powerful American player in history, and the most enigmatic. After scaling the heights of fame, he all but dropped out of chess, losing money and friends and living under self-imposed exile in Budapest, Japan, possibly in the Philippines and Switzerland, and finally in Iceland, moving there in 2005 and becoming a citizen.

T Minus 367/366 Days

From the calendar: "The night before Bush's first inauguration, members of Clinton's staff reportedly removed the "W" key from White House keyboards in protest of his election."

Kinda pisses me off that they couldn't find a quote for this day, he's had so goddamn many gaffes, but because so many people still believe the vandalism story to be true, let's research this, shall we?


"NOT LONG after George W. Bush was sworn in as president, many were aghast to read in newspapers and hear on television that in the final days of the Clinton administration, employees had trashed the White House. Democrats were embarrassed, and Republicans, stroking their wallets, gloated that they knew all along the Clintons were hillbillies. The story began as a gossip item in The Washington Post that the letter ''W,'' Bush's middle initial, had been removed from keyboards, and within days it had mushroomed to a scandal reported prominently on TV and the front page of the Post. The details were startling: Walls had been desecrated with obscene graffiti, file cabinets glued shut, telephone wires cut, presidential seals steamed off doors and pornography left on fax machines. So extensive was the damage that a communications worker was said to have been reduced to tears and a national magazine hinted that the White House was spending $10,000 a day to repair phone systems damaged by departing Democrats. Talk-show hosts from the nutty right, like Jay Severin in Boston and his audience of dumb and dumbest, all congratulated themselves on having been proved right that the Clintons were trailer-park trash.

"And what of the Globe? At a time when Bush aides were privately promoting the story, Anne E. Kornblut of the Globe's Washington Bureau was filing stories that were skeptical. For example, at a briefing Jan. 25, Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer deceptively encouraged reporters' suspicions while refusing to confirm or deny reports of damage. The next day, in a 620-word account, Kornblut wrote: ''No public evidence exists that Clinton and Gore staff members vandalized the White House or Old Executive Office Building.'' For that statement, she was denounced by some for political bias and for not reporting in greater detail what one reader said was further evidence that under Clinton, America had seen the greatest moral decay since the founding of the nation. ''Kornblut either knows the truth and she wrote a blatantly dishonest, biased story,'' wrote Lee Vincent of Groton, Conn., ''or she is incompetent or inexcusably clueless about a widely known set of facts.'' Now, three months later, buried in the national briefs column in the Globe a few days ago was an AP story four sentences long that said an investigation by the General Accounting Office found no evidence of vandalism, no evidence of wires slashed, no evidence of equipment damaged, and no evidence or anything to match the allegations.

"Knowing how difficult it is to write against the current and risk the wrath of readers, not to mention the censure of editors, I called Kornblut to congratulate her for having covered the story with temperance and, above all, for having gotten it right. 'Just basic reporting,' she said. 'What made me suspicious was the fact that the White House wouldn't give specific examples and wouldn't say, on the record, that this happened here or that happened there. I made phone calls to people who told me it just wasn't true. Also, there were no pictures, and they never seemed to be able to say on the record, in public or at a press conference, here is what happened.'" --Boston Globe, 5/28/01

The General Services Administration has found that the White House vandalism flap earlier this year was a flop. The agency concluded that departing members of the Clinton administration had not trashed the place during the presidential transition, as unidentified aides to President Bush and other critics had insisted. Responding to a request from Rep. Bob Barr, a Georgia Republican, who asked for an investigation, the GSA found that nothing out of the ordinary had occurred. "The condition of the real property was consistent with what we would expect to encounter when tenants vacate office space after an extended occupancy," according to a GSA statement. No wholesale slashing of cords to computers, copiers and telephones, no evidence of lewd graffiti or pornographic images. GSA didn't bother to nail down reports of pranks, which were more puckish than destructive. Among those pranks was the apparent removal, by aides to former President Bill Clinton, of the "w" key from some computer keyboards and the placing of official-looking signs on doors, saying things like "Office of Strategery," after a popular "Saturday Night Live" spoof on Bush. But the vandal scandal, tales of torn up offices and items stolen from the presidential jet, was the hottest story in town during the early days of the Bush administration until White House furniture and last-minute pardons pushed it off the front page. "I think it was this calculated effort to plant a damaging story," said Alex S. Jones, director of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University. "There was a sort of fertile ground for believing anything bad." Typical was Tony Snow, a syndicated columnist and former presidential speech writer for President Bush's father, who wrote that the White House "was a wreck." He also said that Air Force One, after taking Clinton and some aides to New York following the inauguration, "looked as if it had been stripped by a skilled band of thieves -- or perhaps wrecked by a trailer park twister." He went on to list all manner of missing items, including silverware, porcelain dishes with the presidential seal and even candy. "It makes one feel grateful that the seats and carpets are bolted down," Snow fumed. Except none of it happened. An official at Andrews Air Force Base, which maintains the presidential jets, told The Kansas City Star at the height of the controversy that nothing was missing. Bush himself acknowledged the same a few days later. And now GSA has made it official. --Kansas City Star, 5/17/01

Even back then, with the Clintons on their way out the door, these bastards had the nerve to kick them one last time, in true Rovian fashion, with lies about vandalism. And after they had handed the election on a silver platter by the Supreme Court. This is just another of many reasons why I hate these fucks. Looking at it in hindsight, it shows just how diabolical their thinking has been from the very beginning. It's not bad enough that they stole the election to begin with, they started spinning and mudslinging the very second they stepped in the White House.

The mentality on this one was, 'This has to be true. Why would anyone make up something this outrageous if they couldn't prove it?'. And they couldn't, but it didn't matter. It was the first of now hundreds of times the press became repeaters, not reporters. This was the turning point of where true journalism fell. Perhaps it was a test by then Press Secretary Fleischer to gauge the press corps he had to deal with, to see just how far he could get away with what would become the norm in the Bush White House. If they investigated, then he would know he'd have to be careful. If they just became human mimeograph machines, then all bets were off. Lie, lie, and lie became the status quo for the Bush Administration.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Huckabee: No Bestiality In My America!

That's right. You don't have to worry about the definition of marriage with good ol' Mike Huckabee. In response to a question regarding adapting biblical laws into the Constitution, Schmuckabee said this:

Well, I don’t think that’s a radical view to say we’re going to affirm marriage. I think the radical view is to say that we’re going to change the definition of marriage so that it can mean two men, two women, a man and three women, a man and a child, a man and animal. Again, once we change the definition, the door is open to change it again. I think the radical position is to make a change in what’s been historic.

That's right, goddammit! 'Cause everyone knows that if we define homosexual marriage legal, the next logical step is bigamy, pederasty and bestiality. I can't wait for them to pass that bestiality law. I've had my eye on this chicken for quite some time now, and I don't know how much longer I can hold out. She's a hot little chicken.

How is a Christian fundamentalist freak like Huckabee a viable candidate for leader of the free world? Oh, and by the way, nice little dig at Mitt Romney and the old Mormon teachings by throwing "a man and three women" in there. You're good, Huckabee... you're gooood. Sly fox... Hmmm... foxes...

T Minus 368 Days

"I want everybody to hear loud and clear that I'm going to be the president of everybody."

-Washington, DC, January 18, 2001

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Chris Matthews Apologizes For His Clinton Comments

...and sounds sincere. Of course, you have to guess that he was probably getting major pressure from MSNBC and his viewers.

White House Admits Recycling of Backup Tapes

From C&L:

CREW: The White House has now admitted that it does not have an effective system for storing and preserving emails. This is no mere technicality; it is this failure that led to the likely destruction of over 10 million email. What the White House has not explained is why it abandoned the electronic record-keeping system used by the prior administration — a system that properly preserved White House email — but did not replace it with another effective and appropriate system.

David Brooks: Republicans Fall Looks Dim

I can't believe I'm quoting David brooks here (I can't stand to read his crap most of the time) but at least he was honest in this assessment:

...the Republican prospects in the fall just got even dimmer. I say this not only because a weak general election candidate won a primary, but because Mitt Romney’s win pretty much guarantees a bitter fight for the nomination. If you doubt that, here is what Rush Limbaugh said about McCain and Huckabee on his program today: “I’m here to tell you, if either of these two guys get the nomination, it’s going to destroy the Republican Party, it’s going to change it forever, be the end of it.” This week, Rush and his radio mimics have been on the rampage on the party’s modernizers, from Newt Gingrich on over.

This thing will only get uglier.
Even Limbaugh is this forlorn?! It's says something about the incredibly weak candidtates on the GOP side that the pundits and wingnuts are starting to eat each other.

Wexler Calls For Impeachment Hearings Against Cheney

Last night, Congressman Robert Wexler (D-FL) took to the floor of the House of Representatives and outlined the case as to why Congress must hold immediate hearings on Dennis Kucinich’s Articles of Impeachment.

"History demands that we take action because the case against Vice President Cheney is far stronger than the illegality surrounding Watergate.

When compared to the partisan and petty allegations made against President Clinton by Ken Starr and the GOP Congress, the true gravity of the case against the Vice President appears at its most devastating clarity. In fact, in the history of our nation we have never encountered a moment where the actions of a President or Vice President have more strongly demanded the use of the power of impeachment."

It's nice to see someone with balls speak on the floor instead of hearing those tragic and empty words, "my good friends on the other side of the aisle."

T Minus 369 Days

"I'm hopeful. I know there is a lot of ambition in Washington, obviously, but I hope the ambitious realize that they are more likely to succeed with success as opposed to failure."

-To the Associated Press, January 2001

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Schmuckabee and God's Laws

"[Some of my opponents] do not want to change the Constitution, but I believe it's a lot easier to change the constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God, and that's what we need to do is to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards."

Did Mike Huckabee just disqualify himself from consideration for the office of President of the United States? The Presidential oath states, "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." Nowhere in that sentence does it say, " ...and I swear to amend it if it doesn't fit my religious beliefs."

But there he was in all his glory, Huckabee "preaching" in front of knuckle dragging, mouth breathers in Michigan of all places, who were cheering his statement that he would amend the Constitution to conform to "God's standards" rather than "preserve, protect and defend" it.

I can almost understand it if Huckabee was stumping this type of speech in his home state of Arkansas, or in Alabama or South Carolina. Actually, fuck that! I won't even make an excuse for it.

Mike Huckabee is also in favor of HR 536. If you haven't read this little gem of a bill, it attempts to define human life at the point of fertilization and would outlaw all forms of birth control.

But let Dr. Robert Hatcher, professor of gynecology and obstetrics at Emory University School of Medicine, explain it.

I am concerned about the impending visit of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on Jan. 22, the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion. He is here to encourage the passage of House Resolution 536, supported by Georgia Right to Life.

Most Georgians are unaware of the full implications of HR 536, which designates personhood in the state of Georgia beginning at fertilization and continuing to natural death. The intention is to ban legal abortion in Georgia. Additionally, defining personhood as starting at fertilization is contrary to the medical definition of pregnancy by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which is at implantation — when the embryo adheres to the wall of the uterus.

HR 536 would impact all hormonal methods of birth control, including birth control pills, the patch, the Nuva-Ring, injections like Depo-Provera and both currently available IUDs. It could even prevent the use of some forms of assisted reproductive technology and cast a shadow on the reporting of miscarriages.

Huckabee is coming to Georgia to highlight his support of legislation that could prevent public health facilities in Georgia from providing the contraceptives that 95 percent of women use at some time in their lives. Is this what anyone in the United States would want to see happen?

When did the United States become a fundamentalist country? If this is the direction that we are headed in, I'd better bone up on my Canadian history so I can pass their citizenship test. It doesn't matter what religion you are. As my friend Armadillo Joe and I were ranting today, he said,"A fundamentalist is a fundamentalist is a fundamentalist." If this is the road Huckabee is taking, then he isn't running for President, he's running for Ayatollah of the United States.

Dumbest Leader On The Planet

I was watching "Morning Joe" just now and was interrupted by a live Bush speech with Egyptian President Mubarak . In the span of one minute, Raisinbrain used the word "appreciate" at least eight times. Every time this guy opens his mouth, he's an embarrassment to the United States.

What a way to start the day...

Broadway's "Rent" To Close

NY Times: ...recently the show’s take at the box office was consistently less than its costs. A closing date was on the horizon, and after some not entirely amicable back-and-forth, the Broadway producers, Jeffrey Seller, Kevin McCollum and Allan S. Gordon, agreed to a guarantee to keep the show running through June 1.

Mitt Takes Michigan; Dem Debate Docile

Okay, just quick one before hitting the sack.

Mitt Romney wins in Michigan, where he was born and raised; where his dad was Governor. If he hadn't won there, where could he have won? A loss in Michigan would have sent the Mittmobile to the garage for good. So, in three primaries on the GOP side there have been three different winners... and none of them were Rudy. Mr. 9/11 got 3% of the vote coming in sixth. Ron Paul got double the support. Jeebus, even Fred Thompson beat Ghouliani!

Does it say anything about Clinton's electability that she got 55% of the vote in a state primary where she was the only "major" candidate on the ballot? 40% voted "uncommitted." Not that it mattered anyway in terms of delegates won (zero) because Obama and Edwards withdrew their names at the request of the national Democratic Party, which penalized Michigan with the loss of its convention delegates because the early date of its primary violated party rules.

As far as the Democratic debate in Las Vegas went, it was docile. No stupid questions from the moderators. Only twice did candidates challenge one another on possible misrepresentations of what they've said, how it was perceived, or how they've voted in the past. They all looked good. I'm still a little leery of Hillary only because until she proves otherwise, I still consider her part of the old establishment. But it was nice to see a calm, respectable, smart debate based on the issues. (Only one "who's ready to lead on Day One" soundbite from Hillary.)

Dennis Kucinich was not allowed to participate after all.

One day after a lower-court judge had threatened to block the debate from being broadcast if MSNBC did not provide a space on stage for Mr. Kucinich, the network won its appeal to the state Supreme Court.

T Minus 370 Days

"There's no such thing as legacies. At least, there is a legacy, but I'll never see it."

- The White House, January 2001

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Biden's Wife Involved In Car Accident

MSNBC reports that Senator Joe Biden's wife, Jill was involved in a car accident at 9:45am shutting down two lanes of I-95 according to Delaware State Police. No information was offered as to injuries regading the car crash.

A spokeman for the Senator told the Wilmington New Journal that he would not comment on private family matters.

Kucinich Should Be Allowed to Debate, Judge Rules

NY Times: A Nevada judge has ordered MSNBC to include Representative Dennis Kucinich, a Democratic presidential candidate, in Tuesday night’s debate in Nevada, the Associated Press reports.

Of course, MSNBC has filed an appeal. But here is another example of the mainstream media trying to force feed the public into what candidates are viable and what candidates aren't. Including someone like Kucinich would raise the level of debate discourse, unless Russert and Brian Williams ask inane questions.

T Minus 371 Days

"Because he's hiding."

-Aboard Air Force One, discussing why Osama bin Laden is still at large, January 2005

Monday, January 14, 2008

Clinton Attacks Obama - Obama Bites Back

Tim Russert poses the question, Clinton answers with some Obama bashing.

Obama fights back:

I have to point out that instead of telling the American people about her positive vision for America, Senator Clinton spent an hour talking about me and my record in a way that was flat out wrong. She suggested that I didn’t clearly and unambiguously oppose the war in Iraq when it is absolutely clear and anyone who has followed this knows that I did. I stood up against the war when she was voting for it, at a time when she didn’t read the intelligence reports or give diplomacy a chance. …I have to say that she started this campaign saying that she wanted to make history and lately she has been spending a lot of time rewriting it. I know that in Washington it is acceptable to say or do anything it takes to get elected but I really don’t think that is the kind of politics that is good for our party and I don’t think it is good for our country and I think that the American people will reject it in this election.

(H/T) Crooks and Liars

Edwards in a Three Way Race in Nevada

David Sirota writes about the Punditocracy and the MSM insisting it's a two way race for the Democratic ticket:

For those of you who think the Democratic presidential nomination fight is just a two-way race between Obama and Clinton, check out this brand new poll from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Yup, that's right - it shows the Nevada caucus race a three-way, dead heat with John Edwards right in the mix.

He then goes on to rip Lawrence O'Donnell's ridiculous post demanding Edwards get out of the race and mentioning the Reuters article last week headlined "Corporate Elite Fear Candidate Edwards" detailing how Wall Street moneymen and K Street lobbyists are frightened about Edwards populist, power-challenging message against greed and corruption.
...Let me conclude by saying I have no idea if the Review-Journal poll is accurate and/or whether Edwards will win Nevada (or any other state). Unlike most reporters, I don't spend my time covering the horse race, nor judging the candidates' viability only on the grounds of how much corporate cash they've been able to vacuum in. I spend my time trying to figure out which of these candidates represent the most fundamental form of change. One of the ways to judge that is to see who these candidates make uncomfortable. And by that measure, here's what I know: Edwards is generating hostility from precisely the kinds of people who are likely to be most averse to real, systemic change. And that speaks very well for the former senator from North Carolina.

Kucinich at CNN Debate

Oh, what might have been...

I will support Hillary Clinton if she is the Democratic nominee for president, but so help me Jeebus, if I hear the phrases "who is ready to lead on Day One" or "35 years of experience being an instrument and agent of change" one more time, I'm going to stick an ice pick in my temple.

One wonders how Dennis Kucinich's campaign would do if he looked like John Edwards.

T Minus 372 Days

"The California crunch really is the result of not enough power-generating plants and then not enough power to power the power of generating plants."

-The NY Times, January 14th, 2001

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Kucinich Wants NH Recount

Dennis Kucinich has requested a recount of the New Hampshire primary ballots due to the “unexplained disparities between hand-counted ballots and machine-counted ballots.” It seems that every district with electronic voting machines were won by Senator Clinton, while every hand counted, "paper trail" district went to Senator Obama.

BradBlog has more information as well as a warning to Dennis Kucinich:

We would also caution Kucinich and his team to closely inspect the chain of custody for the ballots in question, and what has happened to them, and the vulnerable op-scan memory cards, since the election two days ago, during the period that concern has been widely expressed about the seemingly anomalous results of Tuesday's election. It's important that the chain of custody be both secure, fully logged, and transparent.

Nancy Tobi of New Hampshire for Democracy, a Granite State election integrity watchdog group, previously noted her concerns in earlier discussions about the possibility of hand counting the state's op-scan primary ballots.

"We have no control over the ballot chain of custody and we have learned the pain from the 2004 Nader recount, in which only 11 districts were counted, chosen by a highly questionable person, and then nothing showed up," she wrote recently. "Now all we hear is how the Nader recount validated the machines. A candidate asking for a recount may well be a tool used to 'prove' everything was okay and then that candidate will be further discredited," she warned.