Saturday, February 16, 2008

T Minus 339/338 Days

"The senator has got to understand if he's going to have - he can't have it both ways. He can't take the high horse and then claim the low road."

-About Sen. John McCain,
Florence, SC, February 17, 2000

Chicken George the Fearmonger

Aren't we all just incredibly tired of the bullshit that comes out of the mouth of George W. Bush? Seriously, every time this guy opens his mouth, my spine curves, my ears bleed and my brain aches.

Once again, Chimpy has stated that "our country is in more danger of an attack" because of Congress' failure to adopt a Senate bill that includes telecom immunity protecting them from liability in possible lawsuits for violating Fourth Amendment rights.

"American citizens must understand, clearly understand that there's still a threat on the homeland. There's still an enemy which would like to do us harm," Bush said. "We've got to give our professionals the tools they need, to be able to figure out what the enemy is up to so we can stop it."

At yet at the same time, the national director of intelligence Mike McConnell, told Renee Montagne the main issue is liability protection for the private sector on NPR radio this morning, also stating that surveillence already underway will not expire for one year. Of course his excuse is that the telecom companies are more and more reticent to continue the program as time goes on for fear of lawsuits. But again, all that's needed is a warrant and poof!, liability is not an issue.

As usual, Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow explain it so simply, even a moron can understand it... uh, that is, almost any moron.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Andrew McCarthy on FISA Bill

This is just a laugh.

Steve Benen at C & L notes National Review's Andrew McCarthy and his latest editorial calling House Democrats out for playing partisan politics by not passing the horrible FISA bill with retroactive telecom immunity, which he admits is a bad bill, but what other choice do we have?

Here's another choice. No immunity. As Kevin Drum points out: , "...if it’s that important, there’s a simple answer: pass the bill without telecom immunity. Then come back and introduce immunity in a separate bill. If you’ve got the votes for it, fine. If not, too bad. I’m against immunity myself — though hardly hellbent on the subject — but whichever way the vote went, in the meantime we’d have the FISA extension and surveillance could continue normally."

Drum also notes that the "FISA extension" is shorthand for the Protect America Act, which passed last November and extended (i.e., changed) the then-current FISA legislation in various ways. PAA sunsets on Saturday if a new bill isn't passed, but the original FISA legislation will stay in place. It just doesn't magically disappear thereby materializing nasty Muslims on the streets who want to kill us for our freedoms.

As I said before, if it were truly a matter of life and death, why would the president effectively veto the bill by threatening to do as much without the immunity provision? Answer: Because there's no "there" there. The only reasons the administration wants immunity passed is so they can get away with the further erosion of the Constitution, protect corporations yet again while screwing its citizens and hide the crimes they have committed. Immunity equals no investigation.

So who's playing political football with national security? The Democrats who are trying to preserve Fourth Amendment rights for US citizens, or the Republicans who walk out of Congress, holding their breath til they get their way, crying "it's my ball and I'm going home"?

This false argument that we need to protect the telecoms from lawsuits or else they won't help us is complete bullshit. Case in point were the telecoms who stopped providing the information because the FBI failed to pay their phone bills! If they were really doing it "in good faith", then the information would have kept on flowing. So there goes that argument.

If the US government has a warrant, then the telecoms HAVE TO comply and no lawsuit would stand up in court. But the fact of the matter is that the US government doesn't want to pick and choose who they need to surveil on real facts and real leads. They just want to look like they're doing something so they record and read EVERYTHING from EVERYONE... how in hell can they effectively sort through all that data? It's the equivalent of the "no-fly"watch list being 800,000 people long (and including Senator Ted Kennedy). If everyone's on it, then it's absolutely useless.

I'll have more on this later because in skimming through McCarthy's editorial, it reads like your basic GOP talking points memo through and through, so I feel the need to stab a few holes in it when I have more time... much more time.

Wexler's Email: Defending the Constitution

Today, thanks in great part to your advocacy and persistence, the House of Representatives took a major, tangible step towards holding the Bush Administration accountable.

In a vote on the House floor, we acted to enforce the law and our Constitution, and hold former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten in Contempt of Congress.

Bolten and Miers have ignored congressional subpoenas for nine months and thumbed their noses at Congress and the American people.Executive privilege has never permitted officials to avoid appearing altogether when subpoenaed. This behavior is unprecedented and outrageous. Now, these two renegade officials must face up to their blatant disregard of the law and constitution.

Our message of accountability for Bush/Cheney is finally resonating on Capitol Hill. Judiciary Chairman John Conyers fought hard to bring this to a vote, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi herself took the floor to support contempt.

While Democrats may not all agree on how to press this Administration, one thing is clear: Today, Congress has asserted its rights under the Constitution. We must not back down. We must never cede the rights of the Congress to the Executive. I am pleased to inform you that today's legislation allows Congress to bypass the Attorney General (who has stated to me this week that he would not enforce contempt) and immediately take action in the courts.

Today, Congress finally defended the Constitution and our rights as an equal branch of government.

Yours truly,
Congressman Robert Wexler

Here's his webiste: Wexler for Congress

T Minus 340 Days

"Joe, I don't do nuance."

- Time magazine, February 15th , 2004, to Senator Joe Biden

GOP Walks Out Of House - Dems Say Keep Walking

Today, House Minority Leader John Boehner accused the Democrats in the House of Representatives of "political stunts" in bringing to the floor a vote on a resolution to hold Harriet Miers and Josh Bolten in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with subpoenas isued by the Judiciary Committee. Then he and his rat bastards colleagues pulled their political stunt and walked out of the chamber in a seemingly "impromptu" moment... to a waiting podium and microphones on the Senate steps.

All this under the guise of accusing the Dems of wasting valuable time instead of bending over and letting the Bush Crime Family fuck them again, and by using the fear card (the only card in their deck) to attempt to scare the American people yet again, with threats of terrorism and imminent attacks if the House didn't acquiesce and give telecom companies immunity in the latest FISA bill.

But who knew that finally, Nancy "Impeachment Is Off The Table" Pelosi would show more balls than Harry Reid and continue with the vote while the Rethuglicans froze their asses out on the Senate steps?

It's about fucking time you started showing you're in the majority, Nancy. Thank you!

And yet we have Chimpy saying he'd delay his trip to Africa so he can sign the legislation that the House must pass, then only to find out that the whole "walk out" backfired... so he decided to leave anyway.

To Mr. Bush I say this: Get a warrant, you fucking criminal. It's worked for 200 years.

And I say this to Boehner and the rest of the filthy pigs who walked out on their oath to defend the Constitution agaist ALL enemies, foreign and domestic: Keep walking you miserable motherfuckers. You are useless, obstructionist, do-nothing assholes with absolutely no regard for the rule of law, complete neglect for the system of checks and balances and you have spit in the face of Congressional oversight.

If we truly were in imminent danger as these Chicken Littles suggest, they why in the hell would Bush threaten to veto any legislation without telecom immunity attached and also deny an extension of the current law? The answer is because there is no imminent danger.

Here's Keith Olbermann with another amazing Special Comment, in which he calls Bush a liar and a facist! Incredible!

So, fuck off George. Fuck off, John "Boner". And fuck off, all you Republicans who walked out of the House of Representatives today.

Here's the "did not vote because God forbid we expose the administration for what it truly is and we can't do that because we are cowardly bastards, so we'd rather walk out and make believe we're doing it to protect the people" list. File it. Keep it. Highlight it. Do whatever you need to do to remember these names and do everything you can to vote them out of office when the time comes.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Music Break! Jamie Cullum

Waxman Bitchslaps Clemens

Looks like Roger Clemens isn't used to being in a situation where he isn't the domineering intimidator, after interrupting the Committee Chairman during his closing statements.

And as John Amato notes, "Watching the Republicans on the committee go out of their way to protect Roger Clemens, a Texan and fellow Bush supporter was sad. Steroids in sports is not a partisan issue. Andy Pettitte’s testimony, another Texan and Clemens pal is most damaging to his case... [Waxman] also apologized for the hatchet job that was done to McNamee by Chris Shays, Davis, Burton and Co."

(H/T C & L)

Senate Ethics Panel Admonishes Craig

The Senate Ethics Committee sent a letter to Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) saying he was a nasty, bad, naughty boy.

In a letter to the Republican senator, the ethics panel said Craig's attempt to withdraw his guilty plea after his arrest at a Minneapolis airport was an effort to evade legal consequences of his own actions.

Craig's actions constitute "improper conduct which has reflected discreditably on the Senate," the letter said.

...The six members of the committee - three Democrats and three Republicans - told Craig they believed he "committed the offense to which you pled guilty" and that "you entered your plea knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently."
The panel said Craig only tried to remove his guilty plea after his attempts to avoid public disclosure had failed.

"Your claims to the court ... to the effect that your guilty plea resulted from improper pressure or coercion, or that you did not, as a legal matter, know what you were doing when you pled guilty do not appear credible," the letter said.

The panel also said Craig should have received permission from the ethics panel before using campaign funds to pay his legal bills. Craig, who is not running for re-election, has spent more than $213,000 in campaign money for legal expense and public relations work in the wake of his arrest and conviction last summer.

Bill Kristol On "A" Daily Show

Isn't is sad when a Republican operative disguised as a "political pundit" gets schooled by... a comedian?

My favorite line: Stewart after Kristol is still trying to sell the Iraq occupation and escalation as a good thing - "I understand why you feel like you have to say that a lot to yourself, because if I had suggested going in there ten years ago and it turned out this way, I'd feel shit too."

Happy Valentine's Day

T Minus 341 Days

"[Laura is] out campaigning along with our girls. And she speaks English a lot better than I do. I think people understand what she's saying."

-Third presidential debate, Tempe, AZ, 2004

Bush to House: Approve Immunity Or We All Die

More fearmongering from our intrepid leader. What a pig.

NY Times: President Bush strongly urged the House of Representatives on Wednesday to quickly approve a surveillance bill passed by the Senate Tuesday evening, saying he would not agree to a further extension of the current eavesdropping law.
The president effectively gave the House a deadline to act, since the current authority to intercept telephone conversations or electronic communications expires at midnight on Saturday.
“There is no reason why Republicans and Democrats in the House cannot pass the bill immediately,” he said in comments made at the White House, adding that the failure to do so “will jeopardize the security of our citizens.”

Keith Olbermann and Jonathan Turley have more:

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

McCain Votes FOR Waterboarding

Can we stop calling him "Maverick" now?

Faced with a vote to ban waterboarding or to acquiesce to President Bush and side with him on torture, Mr. Straight Talk decided to bend over, spread wide for the Republicans and vote against the bill that contains a provision from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) that establishes one interrogation standard, requiring the intelligence community to abide by the same standards as articulated in the Army Field Manual and banning waterboarding.

The bill still passed 51-45, with every Republican voting against it, save Dick Luger and Chuck Hagel. Holy Joe LIEberman, Independent "Democrat" voted against banning waterboarding as well. The Republicans didn't put up much of a fight in expectation of a Bush veto.

Thank you for playing, Mr. McCain. We have some lovely parting gifts for you.

T Minus 342 Days

"The relations with, uhh - Europe are important relations, and they've , uhh - because, we do share values. And, they're universal values, they're not Americn values or, you know - Eurpoean values, they're universal values. And those values - uhh - being universal, ought to be applied everywhere."

- Washington DC, 2005

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Obama Overruns Potomac Primaries

Barack Obama is literally sweeping the nation with big wins in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia tonight. He's getting 2 votes for every 1 Clinton vote in VA and MD and 3 to 1 in DC.

After tonight, Hillary Clinton can no longer claim that she leads in the popular vote.

Bob Cesca was liveblogging at Huffington Post and came up with this:

Total delegate count according to MSNBC:
Obama 1078
Clinton 969

Both campaigns told Howard Fineman that Senator Clinton will not be able to win a majority of pledged delegates.

Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign is falling apart. Clinton's Deputy Campaign Manager Mike Henry has resigned so that Maggie Williams can build her own team.

Democratic Senate Caves Again!


The Senate rejected a series of amendments that would have restricted the government’s surveillance powers and eliminated immunity for the phone carriers, and it voted in convincing fashion — 69 to 29 — to end debate and bring the issue to a final vote. That vote is expected later this afternoon, with the result all but assured. On the vote to end debate, 28 Democrats and Senator Bernie Sanders, independent of Vermont, opposed the measure. Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Lindsey Graham did not vote.

...Beyond the immunity provision, the Senate measure would also widen the executive branch’s surveillance powers by allowing the National Security Agency and intelligence agencies to use broad orders — without getting court orders in advance — to eavesdrop on groups of overseas targets, rather than using individualized warrants.

Here are the 20, TWENTY! Democrats that voted for ending debate. I suggest you right this list down for future reference because these are the scumbags we don't want representing the Democratic party.

Baucus (D-MT), Yea
Bayh (D-IN), Yea
Carper (D-DE), Yea
Casey (D-PA),Yea
Conrad (D-ND), Yea
Feinstein (D-CA), Yea
Inouye (D-HI), Yea
Johnson (D-SD),
Kohl (D-WI), Yea
Landrieu (D-LA), Yea
Lieberman (ID-CT), Yea - They still list this motherfucker as an Independent Democrat.
Lincoln (D-AR), Yea
McCaskill (D-MO), Yea
Mikulski (D-MD), Yea
Nelson (D-FL), Yea
Nelson (D-NE), Yea
Pryor (D-AR), Yea
Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea
Salazar (D-CO), Yea
Webb (D-VA), Yea - Jim, what the fuck?!
Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea

And our presidential candidates, how did they vote?

McCain (R-AZ), Yea
Obama (D-IL), Nay
Clinton (D-NY), DID NOT VOTE.

FISA Vote Today

Is Paul Krugman Watching A Different Election?

In Paul Krugman's latest column in the New York Times "Hate Springs Eternal," the journalist seems to be fretting about the "bitterness of the fight for the Democratic nomination" and wonders why "is there so much venom out there?"

Now, I've been watching a lot of the politics that have been going on this last year, more than I ever have in the past. And I've been keeping a closer eye on the Democratic side, and I have no idea where Krugman gets his feeling from. How many times does he have to hear the candidates say they like each other, they were friends before this campaign started and they'll be friends after?

Sure, he goes on to mention David Shuster and MSNBC, as if that's the first time that the network has said something negative against the Clinton camp, but he accuses not the media, but specifically Barack Obama of using "Clinton rules"... well not so much Obama but Obama supporters. Maybe he's been reading too many comments on the internet.

But the problem is that Krugman is using guilt by association and indirectly accusing Obama. I had to reread sections of the article for it to become clear to me that he was actually accusing supporters and not Obama, likening them to a cult.

I won’t try for fake evenhandedness here: most of the venom I see is coming from supporters of Mr. Obama, who want their hero or nobody. I’m not the first to point out that the Obama campaign seems dangerously close to becoming a cult of personality.
Unfortunately, Clinton fans will read this and assume it's Obama using harsh words and not the more than occasional rant in the comment sections of liberal blogs. And it's not like Clinton supporters haven't been just as vitiolic at those same sites.

What does Mr. Krugman have to say about Bill Clinton's "fairy tale" comment, or Mark Penn bringing up Obama's drug use when he was a teenager, which was already part of the public record? The Clinton's have not been playing with kid gloves through any of this campaign, they are in it to win, as well they should be; and if the public in general has a feeling or suspicion of the Clintons, it's only due to the fact that the media itself have been playing by Clinton rules for the last 15 years. Paul Krugman's own colleagues have been the ones aiming for the Clintons.

The funny thing is that I'm a Krugman fan, but he wears his heart of his sleeve with this opinion in defense of the Clintons.

Stop reading the blogs, Mr. Krugman. The comments you read are not what the mainstream voter feels. Instead, why not try watching and listening to the actual candidates and reading their words instead of biased opinions and acerbic critiques of anonymous commenters in a blog.

T Minus 343 Days

Another silly post in the countdown calendar about Bush being added to the roster of bad rhinoplasties at, so I'll find a quote myself on the Internets... yes, I know how to use The Google.

"One of the things I’ve used on the Google is to pull up maps. It’s very interesting to see — I’ve forgot the name of the program — but you get the satellite, and you can — like, I kinda like to look at the ranch. It remind me of where I wanna be sometimes."

-CNBC Interview with Maria Bartiromo, October 23, 2006

Monday, February 11, 2008

No We Can't! McCain Parody Video

This is awesome. As soon as I post the video below, (it's been out for a week or two) out comes a new parody!
By the way, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush have endorsed John McCain today.

Rep. Tom Lantos Dead at 80 Rep. Tom Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor ever to serve in Congress, died early Monday after a six-week fight with cancer, his spokeswoman said.

Spokeswoman Lynne Weil said this morning that the 80-year-old Lantos died at Bethesda Naval Medical Center in suburban Maryland. He was surrounded by his wife Annette Lantos, daughters Annette and Katrina, and many of his 18 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

His wife said in a statement that her husband's life was "defined by courage, optimism, and unwavering dedication to his principles and to his family."

Yes We Can

In celebration of Obama's Grammy win, and's Grammy appearance.

Obama's Already Been Tested By Clintons

Jumpypants brought this up regarding Obama's lack of experience and Hillary Clinton saying as much on 60 Minutes (only click on the link if you can stomach Katie Couric's softball interview and another "Day One" quote). Her argument is that he'll be unprepared to handle the Republican Smear Machine which she has experience in dealng with. The problem is that any vetting the Republicans do to Obama has already been done... by the Clintons.

Daily Kos' davefromqueens has a laundry list.

NY Times: Army Buried Study Faulting Iraq Planning

Michael Gordon reports that the RAND Corporation submitted a study in the summer of 2005 critical of and identifying problems with every organization or leader involved in the reconstruction of Iraq. The report was buried by the Army.

Asked why the report has not been published, Timothy Muchmore, a civilian Army official, said... “After carefully reviewing the findings and recommendations of the thorough RAND assessment, the Army determined that the analysts had in some cases taken a broader perspective on the early planning and operational phases of Operation Iraqi Freedom than desired or chartered by the Army... Some of the RAND findings and recommendations were determined to be outside the purview of the Army and therefore of limited value in informing Army policies, programs and priorities.”
In other words, the report was too detail-oriented to be of any use to the government. We don't want details. It just needed to state that all was well in the rabbit hole. Anything other than that could undermine the propaganda.

Could it also be due to the fact that the study was critical of George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell and Gen. Tommy Franks?
One serious problem the study described was the Bush administration’s assumption that the reconstruction requirements would be minimal. There was also little incentive to challenge that assumption, the report said.
“Building public support for any pre-emptive or preventative war is inherently challenging, since by definition, action is being taken before the threat has fully manifested itself,” it said. “Any serious discussion of the costs and challenges of reconstruction might undermine efforts to build that support.”
Another problem described was a general lack of coordination. “There was never an attempt to develop a single national plan that integrated humanitarian assistance, reconstruction, governance, infrastructure development and postwar security,” the study said.

Lack of coordination? On only has to look at Hurricane Katrina and the FEMA fiasco to know that "lack of coordination" is the Bush administration's middle name. Besides, it's hard work to coordinate the running of a country when all coordination recources are being used for voter supression, firing US attorneys, rendition, torture, rigged elections and caging lists, not to mention the coordination of hiding the truth in any study done or report published (or not published) from the American public.

T Minus 344 Days

While hunting for quail in Texas on February 11, 2006, Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shoots his hunting partner Harry M. Whittington with 200 pellets of buckshot... in the face.

Obama Wins Grammy

Barack Obama couldn't lose anything this weekend! Not only did he take four states, he also won a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Story Telling) beating out Maya Angelou, Alan Alda, Jimmy Carter and ... Bill Clinton.

Obama won for "The Audacity Of Hope: Thoughts On Reclaiming The American Dream".

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Roy Scheider Dead at 75

Roy Scheider, a versatile and appealing actor who appeared in more than 70 films, including Steven Spielberg's Jaws and William Friedkin's French Connection, died on February 10 at 75.

Matt Taibbi: The Chicken Doves

Great story by Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone about the spineless Democratic Congress and how they sold us down the river.

The story of how the Democrats finally betrayed the voters who handed them both houses of Congress a year ago is a depressing preview of what's to come if they win the White House. And if we don't pay attention to this sorry tale now, while there's still time to change our minds about whom to nominate, we might be stuck with this same bunch of spineless creeps for four more years. With no one but ourselves to blame.
By no means is he suggesting to vote Republican, just to vote for the right Democrats.

Obama Leading In Maine - Edwards Meets With Candidates

With 59% of the precincts reporting, Barack Obama is leading Hillary Clinton 57%-42%.

I think that'll seal it for Obama in Maine. Meanwhile, CNN reports that John Edwards met with Hillary Clinton Thursday, and is meeting with Barack Obama Monday, to discuss a possible primary endorsement.

Clinton Campaign Manager "Steps Down"

NY TIMES: Patti Solis Doyle has stepped down as Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign manager, the campaign announced on Sunday.

She will be replaced by Maggie Williams, a senior adviser to the campaign.

Ms. Solis Doyle will stay on as a senior adviser and “will continue to be a key part of the campaign,” said Mo Elleithee, a spokesman.

Smooth transition, I'm sure. But it does seem odd, doesn't it? A little panick perhaps? The campaign claims it is not a "shakeup."

I got a real kick out of this:

The announcement of Ms. Solis Doyle’s replacement came minutes after Mrs. Clinton was grounded by what her campaign said were high winds at Dulles Airport. After arriving at the airport for a charter flight to Roanoke, Mrs. Clinton, her staff and the traveling press corps were not allowed to board the plane.

A spokesman for Mrs. Clinton said high winds at the airport had forced “a number of planes” to be kept on the ground, and that some planes that had taken off today had suffered structural damage. (Other planes at the airport were taking off as Mrs. Clinton’s motorcade drove away, en route to Washington.)
Well, Senator Clinton, you're too important to let fly in this dangerous weather, but fuck these other plebians. They fly coach anyway.

Frank Rich on Clinton's Hallmark Town Hall

...However boring, this show was a dramatic encapsulation of how a once-invincible candidate ended up in a dead heat, crippled by poll-tested corporate packaging that markets her as a synthetic product leeched of most human qualities. What’s more, it offered a naked preview of how nastily the Clintons will fight, whatever the collateral damage to the Democratic Party, in the endgame to come.
For a campaign that began with tightly monitored Web “
chats” and then planted questions at its earlier town-hall meetings, a Bush-style pseudo-event like the Hallmark special is nothing new, of course. What’s remarkable is that instead of learning from these mistakes, Mrs. Clinton’s handlers keep doubling down.

McCain and The Republicans

Mets Original Sign Man Dies

NY TIMES: Karl Ehrhardt, who through championship seasons and woeful ones and grand slams and botched plays let the Mets know what he thought of them by raising block-lettered signs from his box seat behind third base at Shea Stadium, died Tuesday at his home in Glen Oaks, Queens. He was 83.
...On Oct. 16, 1969, when left fielder Cleon Jones caught the final out of the World Series, a choked-up Sign Man held up, “There Are No Words.”
...In an interview with The New York Times in 2006, Mr. Ehrhardt said, “I just called them the way I saw them.”

Matthew Artus, Metsblog: So raise a glass for Karl Ehrhardt, and think of him the next time you hear the Cowbell Man banging away - because it's these small gestures that make going to a baseball game all the more memorable.
Four days til pitchers and catchers.