Saturday, September 30, 2006

Woodward's 9/11 Bombshell - White House Cover-Up of Meeting to 9/11 Commission

The emergency meeting about a terrorist attack on the United States that Condi Rice brushed-off was kept from the 9/11 Commission. CIA Director Tenet and counterterrorism chief, J. Cofer Black, set up an emergency unscheduled meeting with Rice about all the chatter indicating an attack was coming and felt they got the brushoff. Members and staff of the 9/11 Commission said today they were never told about the meeting.
Woodward describes the meeting, and the two officials' plea that the U.S. "needed to take action that moment -- covert, military, whatever -- to thwart bin Laden."

The result? "Tenet and Black felt they were not getting through to Rice. She was polite, but they felt the brush-off. President Bush had said he didn't want to swat at flies.

"Tenet left the meeting feeling frustrated. Though Rice had given them a fair hearing, no immediate action meant great risk. Black felt the decision to just keep planning was a sustained policy failure. Rice and the Bush team had been in hibernation too long....

"Afterward, Tenet looked back on the meeting with Rice as a lost opportunity to prevent or disrupt the attacks. Rice could have gotten through to Bush on the threat, Tenet thought, but she just didn't get it in time. He felt that he had done his job and been very direct about the threat, but that Rice had not moved quickly. He felt she was not organized and did not push people, as he tried to do at the CIA.

"Black later said, 'The only thing we didn't do was pull the trigger to the gun we were holding to her head.'"

Is Desperate Cheney Scheming Nuclear Sneak Attack on Iran?

The above link is to the LaRouche Intelligence Report.

They agree with conservative libertarian Paul Craig Roberts "Why Bush will nuke Iran".
The neoconservative Bush administration will attack Iran with tactical nuclear weapons, because it is the only way the neocons believe they can rescue their goal of US (and Israeli) hegemony in the Middle East.

The US has lost the war in Iraq and in Afghanistan. Generals in both war theaters are stating their need for more troops. But there are no troops to send....

It is astounding that such dangerous fanatics have control of the US government and have no organized opposition in American politics.

Kids with a parent in Iraq get a "Flat Daddy"

The one in a box may come later.

GOP Closet Gays and Bisexuals at risk of giving "unhealthy sexual advances"

Someone wanted to know which are the closet gays in the GOP I referred to earlier - OK. Rick Perry (TX), David Dewhurst (TX), David Dreier (CA), Mark Foley (FL), Phil English (PA), Jim McCrery (LA), and the head of the RNC - Ken Mehlman are at the top of my list.

This is the link to another controversial item in that post- Karl Rove Aide Accepted Abramoff Gifts.

Michael Rogers on Foley:
"I do believe that he had unhealthy sexual advances to these guys because he was living his life as a closeted gay man," Rogers said. "Healthy gay men who are mature and dealing with their sexuality in a mature way don't hit on kids who are 16 years old. What's his signature issue? You don't know whether to laugh or cry."

Gallup's volatile polls

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Child Predators - Silence From Religious Right When It Is One of Their Own

Republican leaders are creepy, weird, and perverted, seeking an authoritarian political system so that they don't have to deal with personal demons.

The religious right isn't religious, it is politically authoritarian. It is a movement of morally and ethically corrupted individuals who refuse to tell the difference between right and wrong.

I know there's a lot of bitterness out there about torture, and unlike Chris, I'm not really mollified with 75% of Democrats voting against torture. They should have spoken out early and often, and they did not. But at the end of the day, I'm not fighting for these Democrats, the ones in the House and Senate. These are followers, not leaders. We are the leaders. The Democratic Party is millions of people around the country, millions who don't like our direction, and it is up to us to change the direction of the country and the party. We can do it. We can support great candidates who are willing to call out the right-wing moral perversion that is sweeping across our country, who will show that it is as much Dennis Hastert and Fox News as it is Mark Foley responsible for preying on children. We will end the perpetuation and enabling of evil by these very bad men.
The NYT is not silent - Hitting a Self-Destruct Button.

Woodward: Before 9/11 Rice and Rumsfeld were "impeding" efforts to stop terrorists

Two months before the September 11 attacks, then National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice gave the "brush-off" to an "impending terrorist attack" warning by former C.I.A. director George J. Tenet and his counterterrorism coordinator....

Tenet told Woodward that before 9/11, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was "impeding" efforts to catch Osama bin Laden.
What has happened to the pro-Bush Bob Woodward from his previous books?

Bob Woodard also details a Saudi pledge to Bush to drive gas prices down for the election.
In a claim that could fuel conspiracy theories about the recent oil price decline – in an interview to be broadcast on CBS on Sunday – Mr Woodward described a conversation between Prince Bandar bin Sultan and Mr Bush in which the former Saudi ambassador said he could ease oil prices ahead of the elections.

They could go down very quickly. That’s the Saudi pledge. Certainly over the summer, or as we get closer to the election, they could increase production several million barrels a day,” Mr Woodward said.

A libertarian Democrat Manifesto

Government: assure liberty by staying as far away as possible from our bank accounts, our bedrooms, and our bodies. Spread pluralistic democracy and free markets by example, understanding that neither can be planted by force on political real estate lacking indigenous cultivators for their growth. Restore the moral authority of mid-20th century “civil rights,” fashioning public policy around individuals, not tribal identity groups.

George Allen's rampant racism: A long, sordid history

As I expected, many others have heard Sen. Allen speak the n-word and are coming forward. It is not only his use of that language but his total and unconvincing lies about it that are the issues. Here is the most detailed account, which includes fairly recent events, by journalist and former lobbyist and GOP operative Doug Thompson.
"You mark my words" Allen said. "Jesse Jackson can't win in Virginia. Hell, he's so far-out that even the niggers won't vote for him." (Jackson won.)

"I need your help and support," he said. "Virginia is an old-fashioned state with traditional ideas. Just because we've got a black face in the governor's mansion doesn't mean the niggers are taking over."

It was not unusual to hear racial slurs at gatherings of Republicans. Many GOP events are all-white. Allen, and others, would call Arabs "rag heads," Afro-Americans "niggers," and homosexuals "fags" or "queers" as part of their normal conversation. They would laugh at each other's racist jokes. When Allen and another well-known Senate Republican racist, Montana's Conrad Burns, got together the slurs would fly like confetti through the air.

There's an unspoken rule that if you want to continue to work in Washington you protect those in power and don't talk about their dirty little secrets. I no longer work there and am ashamed that I was involved with, and helped protect the secrets of, those who share such beliefs. Racism and homophobia run roughshod through the Republican Party and are among the reasons I got out of politics and returned to journalism.

Allen Monday issued a denial, claiming he has never used such slurs. "I don't ever remember ever using that word," Allen said in a carefully-staged photo op that included black pastors from the Richmond area. "That word was not a part of my vocabulary. It wasn't then. It hasn't been since then. And it is not now. It is not who I was and is not who I am."

He's a liar. Such words have long been part of Allen's vocabulary. He's used them often and I, and too many others, have heard him. I would swear to that under oath.
Doug Thompson expands on his long history in GOP politics, stupid politicians like Allen and reactions to his column.

Current quotes from comedians

“It’s been reported that Condoleezza Rice is dating a high-level Canadian diplomat. Sources say you can tell because Rice has an extra bounce in her step and is giggling a lot as she prepares for the invasion of Iran .” — Conan O’Brien

“In the West Bank a group calling itself the Lions of Monotheism fire bombed four churches, telling the Associated Press the attacks were carried out to protest the Pope’s remarks linking Islam and violence. The irony of the statement, and this is often the case we find, was lost on them.” — Jon Stewart

“I certainly hope that Hillary is the candidate.... I hope she’s the candidate, because nothing will energize my (constituency) like Hillary Clinton. If Lucifer ran, he wouldn’t.” – Jerry Falwell

"When questioned about Osama bin Laden, Clinton said he tried to kill bin Laden. I believe him, but we all know what bad aim Clinton has." - Jay Leno

"The Senate has voted to approve the building of a 700-mile fence along the 2,000-mile border of Mexico. This is what happens when you let President Bush do the math." - Jay Leno


Gregory Rodriguez: The Iraq War Won't Save Liberals

Arguments continue to be made that a national concensus needs to emerge on Iraq and then liberals can embrace it and propose universal health care and other very popular liberal programs. A national concensus is emerging on Iraq - the American people want us out as soon as possible, keeping Iraq relatively stable is a secondary objective. GOP warhawks don't like that policy and want to broaden the war to Islamic countries and groups that do not support the President, and to anyone else the President and his hawks declare is evil. Attacks on Iran and Syria remain highly probable while Bush is in office.

The link is to an August 13th editorial.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Recorded IM explicit seduction messages lead to Rep. Foley's resignation

Another closeted gay GOP hypocrite in Congress may be prosecuted under laws he pushed to enact.
In Congress, Rep. Foley (R-FL) was part of the Republican leadership and the chairman of the House caucus on missing and exploited children.

He crusaded for tough laws against those who used the Internet for sexual exploitation of children.

"They're sick people; they need mental health counseling," Foley said.

But, according to several former congressional pages, the congressman used the Internet to engage in sexually explicit exchanges.
House GOP leadership knew about Foley, let him retain leadership of sex offender caucus.
I cannot believe that Denny Hastert knew about Foley using the Net to chat-up underage boys a year ago and DID NOTHING (you'll recall that the email conversations we posted earlier were around the time of Hurricane Katrina last year).

Tell me why Denny Hastert shouldn't be forced to immediately resign. They left your kids with this man AFTER they knew what he was doing. They let him stay in the GOP leadership. They let him remain the chair of the child sex offender caucus. Jesus Christ.
Foley Interviewed About Page Last Year; Democrats Not Told

Just in time for the election, the lack of ethics and morals of Republicans are going to be a huge issue. Abramoff fallout is spreading as more contacts are revealed and possible bribes into the White House are coming to light. Two Republican congressmen are being hammered for supporting the sex trade in the Marianas as did Tom DeLay, several other GOP leadership figures are closet gays or bisexuals leading the anti-gay bandwagon. Republican Senators are still in the dark ages regarding prejudice.

"Where did this idea come from that everybody deserves free education, free medical care, free whatever? It comes from Moscow, from Russia. It comes straight out of the pit of hell." - Representative Debbie Riddle, GOP Incumbent Texas HD-150

This is the new GOP.

UPDATE - from Americablog - the conservative group the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which seems to be really just a ban internet porn group with a catchier title, has issued this statement: “Congressman Mark Foley’s resignation is a great loss to Florida and the nation. He has been a hard-working, dedicated and effective Congressman. He will be missed." Do they want to think about that a bit longer?

According to Jim

Todays Jim links.

Jim finds that conservatives like a Confederate Yankee are arguing that the closing of newspapers, suppression of dissent, and alien and sedition acts are good things.

Weird Al and John K, synergy of the silly cartoons and music.

The Unitarian Jihad
Startling new underground group spreads lack of panic!!!! Citizens declare themselves "relatively unafraid" of threats of undeclared rationality. People can still go to France, terrorist leader says.

We are Unitarian Jihad. We are everywhere. We have not been born again, nor have we sworn a blood oath. We do not think that God cares what we read, what we eat or whom we sleep with. Brother Neutron Bomb of Serenity notes for the record that he does not have a moral code but is nevertheless a good person, and Unexalted Leader Garrotte of Forgiveness stipulates that Brother Neutron Bomb of Serenity is a good person, and this is to be reflected in the minutes.

We are Unitarian Jihad, and our motto is: "Sincerity is not enough." We have heard from enough sincere people to last a lifetime already. Just because you believe it's true doesn't make it true. Just because your motives are pure doesn't mean you are not doing harm. Get a dog, or comfort someone in a nursing home, or just feed the birds in the park. Play basketball. Lighten up. The world is not out to get you, except in the sense that the world is out to get everyone.

Brother Gatling Gun of Patience notes that he's pretty sure the world is out to get him because everyone laughs when he says he is a Unitarian. There were murmurs of assent around the room, and someone suggested that we buy some Congress members and really stick it to the Baptists. But this was deemed against Revolutionary Principles, and Brother Gatling Gun of Patience was remanded to the Sunday Flowers and Banners committee.

People of the United States! We are Unitarian Jihad! We can strike without warning. Pockets of reasonableness and harmony will appear as if from nowhere! Nice people will run the government again! There will be coffee and cookies in the Gandhi Room after the revolution.
We have tracked down the Unitarian Jihad name generator. This radical moderate secret group has a wikipedia article.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Cannot 41 Democratic Senators Stand Up For The Constitution?

The legislation before the Senate today would ban torture, but let Bush define it; would allow the president to imprison indefinitely anyone he decides falls under a wide-ranging new definition of unlawful combatant; would suspend the Great Writ of habeas corpus; would immunize retroactively those who may have engaged in torture. And that's just for starters.

The compromise legislation, which is racing toward the White House, authorizes the president to seize American citizens as enemy combatants, even if they have never left the United States. And once thrown into military prison, they cannot expect a trial by their peers or any other of the normal protections of the Bill of Rights.
The Nation: Accessories to Torture

I'm outa here. Senate passes Detainee Treatment and Trials bill (S. 3930) by a vote of 65-34. Where were you when they gutted the Constitution and legalized torture? I think we will get another shot at this next week.. Nope, only another House vote tomorrow.

I should modify the headline, the Republicans were worse on this but now I just don't expect anything else from them. I think they may have permanently soured me on ever voting for a Republican again. This from someone who worked on a political campaign for one last year, although in a non-partisan race and against a very sorry Democrat.

CBS News - better than you think

Bob Woodward on this Sunday's 60 minutes - Bush knows Iraq will be worse next year.
The situation is getting much worse, says Woodward, despite what the White House and the Pentagon are saying in public. "The truth is that the assessment by intelligence experts is that next year, 2007, is going to get worse and, in public, you have the president and you have the Pentagon [saying], 'Oh, no, things are going to get better,'" he tells Wallace. "Now there’s public, and then there’s private. But what did they do with the private? They stamp it secret. No one is supposed to know," says Woodward.
Also on CBS, Bob Schieffer says the Pentagon has been lying to our soldiers.

CBS is the first network on the trail of GOP Florida representative Mark Foley as a gay sex predator. It has been widely reported for years, but Foley denounces as untrue, that the conservative representative is gay or bi-sexual. His creepy emails to a young male intern may expose him.

Worst president, worst national security administration ever

Present anyone this list and see if they can disagree. Stay on this course?

The comments are illuminating as well.

The most interesting thing about this post is it is on one of the most respected warhawk warblogging sites. Update: a followup post urges supporting our troops by electing a Democratic Congress. When the hawks come out for a Democratic Congress Bush is terribly wrong for the country.

Nearly all the intelligent people, even the hawks on national security, have had it with the Republican Party leadership and the Bush administration. From John Holbo:
The moral progress of the spectacularly ill-named Diogenes, through the thread, is worthy of special attention. He is the first commenter, leaping in with a brash accusation of partisan bias. When it is pointed out this thing he calls "a subsidiary of" is a catalogue of facts, he fires back, guns blazing in all manner of directions. Gradually he is reduced to mounting a narrow but determined point defense: we need to be roughing up some terrorists. He's shining a lantern beam of, like, moral darkness, in the dead of factual night, looking for a bad man. Or, to put it a bit less unkindly, he is bound and determined to find some way to be bloody-mindeder than thou. The last stand of the moral clarity brigade. The fact that Diogenes in effect sidetracks serious discussion of Iraq and national security issues by loudly making the case for torture is a hideous illustration of just how wrong the frame of the national debate is, at the moment
Link from Brad DeLong. I am reading and hearing a lot more of the Bush defenders being reduced to blantant anti-Muslim attacks and support of torture. Probably for this reason.

Pasadena councilman Harrison calls it quits

The Chronicle has the story. The big issue is how long in a court battle over election results can you ignore court rulings and let the loser remain in office? The answer in Pasadena was half the term of the office seat. Was the First Court of Appeals agreeing with that argument?

Crooked American Contractors in Iraq Fail in the Cornerstone of Bush Policy

New Iraqi Police Academy has to be closed, partially demolished.
The Baghdad Police College, hailed as crucial to U.S. efforts to prepare Iraqis to take control of the country's security, was so poorly constructed that feces and urine rained from the ceilings in student barracks. Floors heaved inches off the ground and cracked apart. Water dripped so profusely in one room that it was dubbed "the rain forest."

"This is the most essential civil security project in the country -- and it's a failure," said Stuart W. Bowen Jr., the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, an independent office created by Congress. "The Baghdad police academy is a disaster."

The report serves as the latest indictment of Parsons Corp., the U.S. construction giant that was awarded about $1 billion for a variety of reconstruction projects across Iraq. After chronicling previous Parsons failures to properly build health clinics, prisons and hospitals, Bowen said he now plans to conduct an audit of every Parsons project.

Sorry Sekula-Gibbers, what a disgusting women and DeLay wannabe

Houston council members leave after political anti-immigration remarks regarding officer's death.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Bush Blamed More Than Clinton for Failure to Capture Bin Laden

The Christian Conservative run Gallup poll, link is to a Christian defense of Gallup. "It's a kind of ministry..." I should be somewhat optimistic by this but instead I look at the Republican numbers, those who blame Clinton. "71% of Republicans say Clinton is more to blame..." They live in their own reality and you can't pour intelligence and sense and knowledge into closed vessals.

Dirtiest campaign season ever - as GOP fights desperately to cling to power

"Kip Hawley, head of airline security, is an Idiot"

Today's link from Jim.

I've been having serious problems with blogger for about a day. Also someone reported a possible virus within blogspot. That seems implausible but I am passing it along.

Bush declassifies 3 pages of 30 page NIE report

Breaking News Exclusive - Over a year after being declared the winner Leroy Stanley takes city council seat

Pasadena Texas finally removes the blot from its record of not recognizing the legal winner of a city council race.

In October 27, 2005 a judge declared that two of Don Harrison's absentee voter ballots had signatures that did not match and the votes under Texas law did not count. Don Harrison in his campaigns relies heavily on absentee elderly voters. Harrison defense in the trial, the appeal, the further appeal, the Texas Supreme Court appeal, and the further Texas Supreme Court appeal was that he had testimony from three voters whose absentee ballots were not counted that those were their ballots. All 12 judges who saw the case said that Texas law was settled on the matter, the signatures must match. Don Harrison as of last week was still discussing appealing to the United States Supreme Court.

The election dispute started in early May last year with a 525-525 tie in Pasadena's District C council race. The runoff election in June as a result of absentee and provisional ballots gave the election to Don Harrison by a vote of 591 to 590.

State District Judge James Mehaffy made the decision that in the runoff, two votes were illegally cast for Harrison, making the result 589 to 590. Mehaffey did issue a temporary stay preventing Harrison from taking his seat until the appeal was heard.

The appeals court sustained the decision and the temporary stay was lifted but Pasadena refused to seat Leroy Stanley as Harrison appealed to be heard by the full appeals court. The full appeals court denied the motion leaving Harrison still the winner. The city of Pasadena refused to unseat Don Harrison as the decision was appealed to the Texas Supreme Court.

The Texas Supreme Court refused to hear the case stating state law in ballot matters was settled and no new issues were presented. The Pasadena mayor and city council remained silent on the matter but refused to seat Leroy Stanley. Don Harrison made a further appeal to present oral arguments to the Texas Supreme Court. The full Texas Supreme Court confirmed all of the lower courts judgements by denying the petition to a rehearing on September 15. This was the last stop for Texas appeals. Don Harrison stated he was considering appealing to the United States Supreme Court. Pasadena refused to take any action on the matter.

On September 19, 2006 Don Harrison, still from his seat on city council, a $300 a month stipend position, announced he would not step down until ordered to do so by a writ of mandamus. Pasadena city council and the mayor remained silent as they have been on this issue from the beginning. A writ of mandamus is an order from a court to an institution or government official that we command you to follow the law and cease your illegal acts. The mayor of Pasadena would be the likely official to be issued the writ.

September 26, 2006 I received an email from Diane Stanley, Leroy Stanley's wife, late in the evening that Harrison has moved out of the District C offices after a mandate was issued by a judge. Harrison had been acting as district C representative at the council meeting earlier that day, and as is his wont, speechifying quite a bit for the TV cameras.

There is still no word from the mayor or city council why they refused several determinations from the courts that Harrison was the loser and not the winner of the election. It should be considered that Harrison has not been as strong a critic of the Pasadena mayor as many expected he would be this term.

The voters in District C, and the successful candidate, had been denied their legally elected representative for over half his term. In fact, it is about time for the new election race to begin for the two year term seat. Harrison at last word is still considering an appeal to the United States Supreme Court. It is not yet known if any recourse is available for the deprivation of the civil rights of the voters in district C and the winning candidate. Mayor Manlove has had no comment on these issues.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

One part macaca - William F. Buckley disses Allen

Texas Democrats File Suit Against Voting Fraud Law

Why isn't Abbott charging his people for being peeping Toms?
The action, filed Thursday in federal court in Marshall, challenges both the constitutionality of the law and the way it is being enforced. It contends that Attorney General Greg Abbott and Secretary of State Roger Williams are exaggerating the threat of election fraud and selectively applying the statute, enacted in 2003, so that they can “suppress voting by disfavored groups” that generally support Democrats.

The law makes it a crime in certain cases to carry someone else’s filled-out ballot to the mailbox, to possess another person’s blank ballot or to provide absentee ballot assistance to anyone who has not asked for it.

One plaintiff, Gloria Meeks, a 69-year-old Fort Worth woman who said she was being investigated for helping elderly and disabled voters cast ballots, provided a sworn statement saying two state investigators “peeped into my bathroom window not once but twice while I was in my bathroom drying off from my bath.”

What does it take to be a DC serious policy thinker ?

David Sirota notes that for the So-Called-Liberal-Media it takes being the recipient of large sums from the companies you do your serious policies for, authoring these corporate giveaway bills, and having no logic to your lies.

'Wait, don't move to Canada'

"The sticking point for me is still the weather" at Pandagon.

More Kinkyisms surface

Kinky is a more colorful libertarian Republican in a cowboy outfit.
"You folks know the Friedman family motto now: The Jews own the world. The Catholics run it. The Protestants work it, and the n-----s and Mexicans enjoy it, basically."

Ventura disagreed with Friedman on the Texan's vows to bring prayer and the Ten Commandments into public schools.

Friedman foresees Texas schools having a revolving prayer along the lines of "may the God of your choice bless you."

"But what if there is no God of your choice?" Ventura asked Monday.

"If there is no God," Friedman said, "the kids will find out sooner or later. But (for) the time being, let's let them believe in something."
UPDATE - My other Kinky post with the photo that is drawing the attention is further down today. Also, the media won't touch this Kinky quote but that is what you have blogs for, right? Kinky says he received a Negro blood transfusion and woke up with a bigger dick and on welfare.

Off the Kuff: Interview with Janette Sexton

My friend Janette Sexton is running against Robert Talton. Talton has finiancial ties to the Republican Harris County leadership and the local Christian Right media. Kuff has the podcast interview.

Administration Bars Another Hurricane-Global Warming Link Report

GOP Strategy this election - negative ads by the slop bucket full

This is coming to media notice after the left bloggers have had the GOP strategy memos for awhile.
"When people are looking at national issues that are not breaking our way, what you want to do is focus on your opponent," said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a former Republican National Committee chief of staff. "You've got to play the field's conditions. They demand very tough tactics."

Cole spelled out that approach in a recent strategy memo to House Republicans: "Define your opponent immediately and unrelentingly…. Do not let up — keep the tough ads running right up to election day. Don't make the mistake of pulling your ads in favor of a positive rotation the last weekend."

Republican incumbents this year began running attack ads earlier than ever. But the hardest-hitting are yet to come.

"You haven't seen the majority of the negative ads yet," said Carl Forti, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, where a staff of 10 has been deployed on opposition research

"Do Nothing Democrats"? Say "Do Nothing Media"

What happens when Democratic leadership from both House and Senate hold a press conference on the capital steps to announce their plan for Iraq and national security. The media refuses to cover it. When they hold hearings about voter disenfranshisement in Ohio raised questions about the 2004 election? No coverage. Other hearings about British memos showing Bush lied about his plans for war - shoved into the basement so the Washington Post can make fun of it. Hearings from high military officers on the situation in Iraq - threats from the GOP to shut the hearings down and no media coverage.

How about a lying SOB do nothing media?

The media corporate conspiracy of silence is the real story.

White House Briefing Gets Relabeled on Links as Opinion

Froomkin's online blog about the White House has been relabeled on the link from the front page as opinion, as the Republican senior editors wished.

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Video Daily Show - Two Bill Clintons

Vote Satan - Vote Kinky

Click for larger image
Kuff spotted this picture of Jesse Ventura campaigning for Kinky. Do you think Jesse has let himself go just a tad?

Lampson with 29 point lead

In the race for Texas CD-22 Lampson has a huge lead in a properly done poll. This is not Sekully+Something's "if I was on the ballot" poll.

If the GENERAL ELECTION for U.S. Congress were held today and the candidates were: [ROTATE]

o Nick Lampson, the Democrat
o Bob Smither, the Libertarian

for whom would you vote or would you write-in another candidate? (IF WRITE-IN) Who would you write in?


Dallas area teacher fired for taking kids to an art museum

A Message From Glenn for Progressive Texans

I’m really pissed off right now. The weekend events surrounding Ann Richards’ memorial reminded me over and over about why I do this work. I’ve spent my entire life working for Democrats and the Democratic Party.

Ann Richards taught me a lot. I worked in her campaigns, I served as a Texas legislator during her tenure, and I worked on lots of issues with her over the last 25 years. It was hard to listen to all the great stuff about her this weekend… and think that we’ve actually regressed in this state in the last decade.

While it made me feel good about what we accomplished, the bigger thing gnawing in the pit of my stomach was this: We’ve let it all slip away, and most aren’t willing to expend the energy or resources to take it back.

I have neither the time nor the energy to ruminate about what went wrong or whose fault it is. But I do know one thing as clearly as the sparkle in Ann Richards’ eyes. This year, we can turn it around. Polls say it. Demographic shifts say it. Damn, even Republicans are saying it.

So what are we doing?

For a lot of us, it’s sitting back and bemoaning this or that. I’m sick of people worrying about little shit, when we could be about the business of taking back our government.

Oh, but Glen, the naysayers whine: “We don’t have the star candidates. We don’t have the money. We don’t have the …. “ Whatever. Give me a friggin' break.

This for the armchair politicos who would rather worry and talk than do anything:

You want the entire ticket to win in 2010? Of course. So let’s put that in motion now.

You want to run a credible candidate against Cornyn in 2008 and put Texas in play in an open presidential race? Of course. Everything we do now is a step forward for 2008.

This is for you issue-oriented folks who can never see the big picture because we’ve siloed and targeted our efforts so narrowly that we can make about as much noise as a BB in a boxcar:

Want to stop the coal-fired plants?

Want to say no to the Trans-Texas Corridor?

Want to tell Jim Leininger and Bob Perry, and the rest of the “buy me the government” crowd to go to hell?

Want to make sure that this scary trigger law issue doesn’t show up on the books in Texas if Roe v. Wade goes down?

Worried at all about these pricks taking away your children if you’re gay or lesbian?

I’m with you 100% on all that. But what the hell are we doing about it?

It’s pretty easy.

Democrats will win in Texas when we show Texans a Democratic win statewide.

Presidential politics will play out in Texas when we show the nation a Democrat can win in Texas.

All it takes to change that litany of issues (which I stopped typing because it makes me too angry to keep listing this crap) is to put someone in office with the power of appointments and a veto pen.

And what are we doing?

Well, I guess that’s the question.

I’m so tired and pissed off about folks worrying about swing voters and targeted crap that we can’t just turn out our base vote.

Chris Bell is running against three Republicans.

We’re about seven weeks out from the election.

Color me clueless on campaigns (only worked in 200 plus), but if you’re the incumbent and you’re stuck at 35% for over a year, you ain’t gonna git any better.

So it comes down to who can win this thing among the other three.

First, for all of you NOT paying attention, it only takes one more vote than Perry for the winner to be Bell, Kinky or Carole. There aren’t any run-offs or majority votes.

We know that even in the worst of the Bush tidal wave, we were getting over 30% of the vote for the Democrat in Texas.

The best shot to take out Perry is the person with the most “base” vote behind him. And by definition the other two Republicans don’t have a base.

This is the most doable statewide race since Ann Richards’ 1990 campaign.

We now have the tools, the technology and the ability to phone, and walk and register voters in every precinct in Texas. This stuff doesn’t happen by itself. Each one of us makes it happen.

If you are ready to live with Rick Perry for another four years, sit on your ass.

But if you’re like me and just plain pissed as hell, ask yourself one simple question:

What could I have done to have given Chris Bell that last handful of votes in my county or precinct or church or bar that would have pushed him into first place? (And you’re really out of it if you even think that by election day Kinky or Carole will be in that position. Ain’t gonna happen. No way.)

So as I sat in the Erwin Center and listened to Liz Smith deliver that one-liner of “What would Ann do?,” I have to tell you that I know. Because she has been saying it for a long, long time.

“Get off your butt and make something happen.”

And you can make it happen in a million ways. Pick up the phone. Turn on the computer. Print out a walk list, use the new statewide online phone bank. There are voters to call NOW in your precinct. Activists all over this state are looking for things to do.... educate them where to find the tools.

You can find lots to do in your precinct at new website at

Just do something. Anything.

And when we all start working on turning out our base voters again, Democrats will win in Texas.

Glen Maxey

John Bolton not to be confirmed as UN ambassador

Check the comments on this one after Steve Clemons tries to let him go with dignity.

Conservatives Aggressively Attack Contraception

Conservatives are massively organizing for the fight against "the root cause of abortion." Sex? No, they mean contraception.

The Pro-Life Action League hosted 250 people at a conference entitled Contraception Is Not The Answer, Chicago Tribune story here, forming a new alliance for the "sex for only married Americans in a proper Christian home." There already is an ever-expanding cast of ideologically motivated organizations. They believe that "contraception is the root cause of abortion," so contraception should be banned, something that fully 81% of Americans would disagree with. In fact, 73% of thinking Americans think contraception should be free for those who can't afford it. This is really about the most far out Protestant evangelical groups trying to form alliances with the hard-Catholics on another issue. Only after they near a ban on contraception will they go after sex itself - although reinstating the old anti-fornication laws is on the agenda. Some history of recent American sexual attitudes.

Today's links from Jim - the affection and fashion police

It seems like some American Airlines flights have affection police, or at least gay kiss police. I think it is telling that the stewardess who almost had the flight diverted was wearing a Dallas bouffant hair style.

MSNBC must read Ann Althouse - ran entire segment on Bill Clinton showing a little leg. Ann Althouse's post on the interview turned into a fashion review which she defended in comments - as she defended her attacking an attractive women with breasts posing in a Clinton group picture.

That was it for Jim, I'll leave you with two thoughts of my own to think about.

Redistricting means that almost any fool can get to be a congressmen with a bit of money and rich friends. Has that has contributed to the decline in civic discourse and the increasing political atmosphere of idiocy?

How many of the leading Republicans on the Hill are rural rich Republican hicks? I don't have a real problem with hicks. I watched All the King's Men the other day. It retold a tale of populism with a strong demagogue leading the hicks to throw the rich bums taking money from Standard Oil and the Utility Companies out of office. But these hicks can be motivated either by economic issues or fear. Since they love the rich, the GOP has mobilized them by the fear of those people who are different - fear of the minorities and the gays and of those who aren't Christian or the right kind and of the decadent elites in the cities; or the big fears of those who might kill them or take away what they have.

All of the King's Men is so-so - a murky, not focused story of politics intertwined with some of the dark corrupt lives of the high class.

Condi Rice lies

2001 memo to Rice directly contradicts her statements about Clinton, Pakistan. Every since she was NSA head I have pointed out she often lies and is a very poor liar.

The 9/11 Commission report directly contradicts her claims.

So both these contradict her statements.

Here’s what the 9/11 Commission Report has to say about it:
As the Clinton administration drew to a close, Clarke and his staff developed a policy paper of their own [which] incorporated the CIA’s new ideas from the Blue Sky memo, and posed several near-term policy options. Clarke and his staff proposed a goal to “roll back” al Qaeda over a period of three to five years …[including] covert aid to the Northern Alliance, covert aid to Uzbekistan, and renewed Predator flights in March 2001. A sentence called for military action to destroy al Qaeda command-and control targets and infrastructure and Taliban military and command assets. The paper also expressed concern about the presence of al Qaeda operatives in the United States.” [p. 197]
Clarke, who also worked for the Bush administration, wrote Condoleezza Rice a memo as soon as the Bush administration took office, stating, “[W]e urgently need…a Principals level review of the al Qida network.”

His request was denied.

Noam Chomsky - America is not a Democracy Video

What Chavez was talking about.

Army Warns Rumsfeld It's Billions Short

Iraq war spending that Bush is unwilling to pay for has caused an Army revolt. The top general wants an increase of over 40% to meet all of his needs. The GOP and the Bush administration have been running Bush's war on emergency requests.

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An important study on authoritarianism and the new GOP

AUTHORITARIANISM....Since 1992, the National Election Study has asked respondents four questions that collectively make up an "authoritarian index." The four questions ask you to specify which of two attributes you value more in children:

1 - Independence vs respect for elders
2 - Self-reliance vs. obedience
3 - Curiosity vs. good manners
4 - Being considerate vs. being well behaved

The first item in each pair marks you as less authoritarian and the second item marks you as more authoritarian. After you've answered all four, the scores are added up and normalized on a scale from 0 to 1, with 1 being the most authoritarian.

It will come as no surprise that authoritarians tend to vote Republican. What may surprise you, though, is that this has only become true in recent years. Over at the Democratic Strategist, Jonathan Weiler and Marc Hetherington tell the tale:
Appeals to authoritarian issues are mobilizing non-voters into the Republican camp, making non-voters and Republican voters nearly indistinguishable in their authoritarianism. This formerly disaffected group has found a political home.

....Republicans always benefit from increasing public fears, whether about gays, terrorism, illegal immigration, or anything that activates authoritarianism. It makes people who only have a little authoritarianism share the preferences of those who have a lot. The political implications of this fact for Republican fortunes are clear
. It makes people who only have a little authoritarianism share the preferences of those who have a lot. Appeals to fear move even moderates toward the authoritarian end of the scale. Fear is the conservative's friend, never the liberal's.
Amen to that.

Katie Kouric on 60 minutes - a perky Larry King

I can agree with that - in fact, CNN is needing someone to replace Larry soon.

One Hundred Iraqi MPs Try to Force a US Withdrawal Plan

A majority of the Iraqi government wants us out - the sooner the better.
Reliable surveys show that the percentage of Iraqis favoring a withdrawal timeline has risen from thirty percent in February 2004 to 76 percent in February 2005 to 87 percent earlier this year. [NYT, Mar. 19, 2006] of 70 to 82 percent, Moreover, 47 percent of all Iraqis, including 88 percent of Sunnis and 41 percent of Shiites, approved attacks on American forces in a January 2006 survey. [Knight Ridder, Jan. 30, 06, posted on] Only the pro-Western Kurdish minority want the US troops to stay. Perhaps in response to this overwhelming popular sentiment, large numbers of elected Iraqi parliamentarians have been trying to force the US pullout by legislation.

On September 12, 104 Iraqi parliamentarians signed a petition calling for a withdrawal timetable. There are 275 members of the Iraq parliament, and frequently as many as eighty are not present. The constitution allows a measure to become law if supported by a majority of those present and voting. So the withdrawal proposal suddenly would have become law if it wasn't arbitrarily ordered to a committee for "review".

Since this year's parliamentary election, when large numbers of Sunnis chose to vote rather than abstain, the number of anti-occupation parliamentarians inevitably grew. According to one Iraqi analyst I have interviewed, between 140 and 160 members would vote for a timetable if one was proposed.

Afghanistan: Is Victory Turning to Defeat? - Newsweek: International Editions

Here is the cover story on the international editions of Newsweek. Why was this blocked in the United States?

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Global Temperature Highest in Millennia

The planet's temperature has climbed to levels not seen in thousands of years, warming that has begun to affect plants and animals, researchers report in Tuesday's issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The Earth has been warming at a rate of 0.36 degree Fahrenheit per decade for the last 30 years, according to the research team led by James Hansen of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York.

That brings the overall temperature to the warmest in the current interglacial period, which began about 12,000 years ago.

Hansen, who first warned of the danger of climate change decades ago, said that human-made greenhouse gases have become the dominant climate change factor.

The study said the recent warming has brought global temperature to a level within about one degree Celsius - 1.8 degree Fahrenheit - of the maximum temperature of the past million years.

"If further global warming reaches 2 or 3 degrees Celsius, we will likely see changes that make Earth a different planet than the one we know. The last time it was that warm was in the middle Pliocene, about 3 million years ago, when sea level was estimated to have been about 25 meters (80 feet) higher than today," Hansen said.

Also - Coral dying due to higher temperatures.

600 sites in Lebanon littered with unexploded American-Israeli cluster-bombs

"It's impossible for me to work out what the logic was," said David Shearer, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Lebanon. "To me, it just seems outrageous that it would happen as it did."

Added Chris Clark, the program manager for the U.N. Mine Action Coordination Center: "What we've seen are strikes on top of strikes on top of strikes on top of strikes. It's tantamount to shooting a dead body 20 times."

Hezbollah launched an average of about 100 rockets a day into Israel during much of the conflict, climbing to 240 near the end, with many of the rockets landing in populated civilian areas. Some U.N. officials speculated that the Israeli military's inability to stop the rocket firing led it to use weapons that sprayed across a wider area. The result was what U.N. officials euphemistically refer to as "contamination" -- a density of unexploded munitions higher than that left in Kosovo in 1999 and in Iraq after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

In the 2 1/2 years after the Kosovo conflict, de-miners cleared fewer than 25,000 cluster bomblets, Clark said. In four weeks here, they have cleared more than 30,000 bomblets. Adding to the problem, the landscape remains littered with as many as 400,000 land mines left by Israel and its Lebanese allies during the occupation that ended in 2000.

So far, U.N. officials say, exploding cluster bomblets have killed 14 people and wounded 90 since the war ended.
Cluster bombs are area people killers, a shrapnel napalm.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Senator Allen's teammate 'defenders': GOP operative, political appointment, corp benefactor...

As I expected, Sen. Allen has political connections to all the people who agreed that he has never used the n-word.

Oops, the New York Times finds another - How many people do you think Allen may have used the n-word around?

Three Retired Officers Demand Rumsfeld's Resignation

"Secretary Rumsfeld ignored 12 years of U.S. Central Command deliberate planning and strategy, dismissed honest dissent, and browbeat subordinates to build 'his plan,' which did not address the hard work to crush the insurgency, secure a post-Saddam Iraq, build the peace and set Iraq up for self-reliance," Batiste said.

In addition, Rumsfeld "refused to acknowledge and even ignored the potential for the insurgency," the retired general said. "At one point, he threatened to fire the next person who talked about the need for a post-war plan," Batiste added.

"Secretary Rumsfeld's dismal strategic decisions resulted in the unnecessary deaths of American servicemen and women, our allies, and the good people of Iraq," Batiste said. "He was responsible for America and her allies going to war with the wrong plan and a strategy that did not address the realities of fighting an insurgency."

Eaton told the panel, "We went in with a bad plan," adding that "stay the course is not a strategy."

Dan Froomkin - Joking About Torture -

No one in Congress is really serious about torture as they want to skip out of town to raise money for their campaigns.


Why Retired Military Brass Don't Like the Chickenhawks Urging Torture


Indications of at least one more hidden FCC report on media consolidation ills

Olbermann’s Special Comment: Are YOURS the actions of a true American?

OMG! Give'm Hell Olbie! No wonder his ratings are climbing while the rest of MSNBC slowly fades away. The link is to transcript and clip.

George Archibald: More tales of the racist The Washington Times

An inveterate blogger, McCain posted messages on under a pseudonym BurkeCalhounDabney, raling against blacks, liberals, and interracial marriage. In one message, he complained that the media "now force interracial images into the public mind and a number of perfectly rational people react to these images with an altogether natural revulsion. The white person who does not mind transacting business with a black bank clerk may yet be averse to accepting the clerk as his sister-in-law, and THIS IS NOT RACISM, no matter what Madison Avenue, Hollywood, and Washington tell us."

McCain later bragged to people in the newsroom that Coombs and Pruden had held meetings with him where they said "they agreed with me." According to McCain, however, they warned him that "they may have to fire me" if the "mainstream press picks up on the story." But apart from a few reporters and bloggers, the press largely ignored the story. Many in the newsroom-myself included-were stunned and dismayed that Pruden and Coombs had not fired McCain for his outrageous comments.

For Coombs to now claim that he has no knowledge McCain made any outrageous racist statements is simply false. Over two dozen Times reporters and editors over the years have personally heard McCain make deeply derogatory statements about African-Americans, Hispanics, and women. If Coombs really cared about running a professional newsroom that is respectful towards women and minorities, then he should simply ask the people that work underneath him what they have heard come out of McCain's mouth. But Coombs doesn't care-and that is the point. It is an open secret in the newsroom that McCain is a racist, and that Coombs is one as well.

Ultimately, the buck stops at the top, as Harry Truman famously put it. McCain and Coombs are allowed to flourish at the paper because their neo-Confederate, anti-black, white supremacist views are shared by Pruden. In his columns, Pruden openly portrays himself as a champion of the Confederacy. He waxes nostalgically about "the War Between the States," presenting Abraham Lincoln and the Union forces as the immoral "aggressors" in the Civil War. He supports the cause of Southern independence during the war, even though the practical consequences for the region's blacks would have been the continued existence of slavery and a system of apartheid across the country, in which millions of blacks would be mired in misery, poverty and oppression.

Yet it is not just Pruden's neo-Confederate views that are troubling. It is even more troubling that Pruden has deliberately supported, nurtured, protected and promoted Coombs during his tenure at The Times. This was done even though Coombs' virulent racism and abusive management-style were well-known to almost everyone in the newsroom.

Politicians know a lot about you - GOP Microtargeting

This a key factor in close races and can be key in many races.

Added - In Ohio, a battle of political databases.

Every single one of the top 20 House seats likely to flip is GOP

Independent Hotlines new campaign tracker doesn't show a House Democratic seat likely to flip. The Senate and Governor races are tougher, all of the top five likely to flip are Republicans but if the public is in the mode to throw all the rascals out....

If you go down to the top ten Senate seats flipping the Dems only net four, 7 - 3. On governors the Dems net two 6 - 4.

Interesting - if this is a slight change election the Dems pick up 5 Senate and 5 governors and it depends on how much they can run the table on the House seats. If it is a throw all of the rascals out election the Senate only goes 4 Dem (7-3) and the Governors split (6-4) but a bigger run of the table for the Dems in the House.

So, is this election dominated by a throw all the bums out or just throw the GOP out?

Jesus Camp - The Movie

The American Right Christian Talibani youth camps where kids learn to worship Bush, or at least pray to photos of Bush, and give their lives to God. No training yet on bomb making for America's future "Christian soldiers."

Texas Senator "Coward " Cornyn gets an earful about the Constitution

Senator Cornyn, I'd like to address a few remarks you made.

You said these are enemies of the United States captured on the battlefield. None of the 10 we represent were captured on the battlefield or are enemies of the United States.

You said no one suggested that the enemy combatants were entitled to the habeas corpus. The Supreme Court of the United States in the Rasul case two years ago held specifically that they were entitled to habeas corpus, to challenge the reason for their detention.

You said they have an administrative review following a trial on the merits. None of them got a trial on the merits....

When they started out in these hearings, these [Combatant Status Review Tribunals], they were presumed guilty. There had already been a finding they were enemy combatants. The determination had been made. No witness or evidence was presented by the government....
And then they put in some classified evidence. I've been down to the secure facility. It's a joke. It's a sham.

I've read the classified evidence. I'm not free to disclose it, but I can tell you it's a sham.

There was no lawyer given to the defendants. They didn't speak English, most of them. They were young men who had no training in law. There were no rules of evidence applicable....

No cross-examination was allowed. There wasn't any objection to physical evidence, because there wasn't any produced.

Now, you call that due process, Your Honor? Do you?

This is a historic moment in our time. To suspend the writ of habeas corpus without hearings, rushing it through just before elections, where people are afraid to vote against this bill because somebody on the other side is going to hold up a TV commercial and criticize them for it, is phony.

How dare you wear boobs when meeting the President!

I have been avoiding this controversy which had been causing palpitations among the right blogosphere. It started when catty and legally deficient Ann Althouse made remarks about a female liberal blogger sticking out her boobs for Clinton. I must admit I have closely peered at the photo and she is wearing nothing. Nothing, that is, you don't see in church. It is not like she pulled a Streisand. It is clearly obvious that after masturbating to Ann "Adam's Apple" Coulter wingnuts, both men and women, are amazed at what real women look like. Ann Althouse has now gone to fashion reviews of Bill Clinton.

Cragg Hines notes the obvious

Dean has grassroots Democratic support and is doing what he said he would do, rebuilding the party in all 50 states. Rich Democratic insiders and DC Democrats have their knives out for him and complain about his lack of rich fundraising. These DC Democrats and the rich insiders are the reason why the party is in the shape it is in.

The Mega-donors of Texas politics

An analysis by the Houston Chronicle of the $25 million raised by the four major candidates between last year and the first six months of this year found key donors with interests ranging from energy and tort laws to food processing and home building.

Their contributions ranged from $50,000 to $850,000.

Texas is one of seven states with no limits on the size of campaign contributions. Critics say the absence of limits has created super-donors who wield a disproportionate amount of political power.

Last week a coalition of citizen groups, including the League of Women Voters and Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission, called for a $100,000 aggregate limit on the amount individuals can give to all state candidates and political committees.
WTF, $100,000! Way to stick up for the middle class LWV and Baptists.

Eric Alterman's new blog: We told you so

Texas Representative slandered teen sex slave for Abramoff money

In November of 1997, Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX) publicly questioned the credibility of a teenage girl's claims that she'd been the victim of the sex trade in the Northern Mariana Islands. The statement, which Rep. Hall entered into the Congressional Record, was prepared by Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist for the islands.

"[S]he wanted to do nude dancing," Hall's statement said of the fifteen-year-old girl. She had earlier told federal investigators that she'd been forced to work for a local nightclub in a nightly live sex show. You can read the entirety of Hall's statement here.

Press accounts at the time detailed how the girl had been taken from her parents in the Phillippines, and forced to perform sex acts on stage and before video cameras at a Northern Marianas sex club. A 1998 Department of Labor report confirmed those reports.

Hall's challenger in Texas' 4th District, history professor Glenn Melancon, has made the episode a campaign issue. "When investigators discovered child prostitution and forced abortions on the Mariana Islands, Congressman Ralph Hall was paid for covering it up and publicly attacking one of the raped children," read postcards his campaign distributed to voters.

Hall has called the charge an "outright lie." His office did not respond to our request for comment on this story. But records show that Abramoff's staff contacted Hall's office fifteen times in the two months leading up to his statement in the Congressional Record.

'Passion of the Christ' Mel comes out against war in Iraq

Iraq insurgents establishing Talabani Republics

That sure sounds like a civil war to me, one that the Iraqi government is losing. Iran and the Islamic fundamentalists are winning.

The Intelligence Report ought to drive the Republicans from power

Glenn Greenwald, always an optimist.

Fox News Attacks - Calls Bill Clinton a Liar

What was that about respecting the President again? About not calling a President a liar?

ADDED: Washington Post's Howard Kurtz disregards substance of Clinton remarks, echoes Fox News claims, ignored Chris Wallace lies. Ignored Clinton's remarks that his attacks on al-Qaeda were called by the GOP as "wag the dog."

Latest from Jim

So-Called-Liberal-Media - Newsweek International Editions

Iraq for Sale - Clip, local screenings.

U.S. Army Extends Iraq Duty

War brewing in Kurdistan with Turkey and Iran poised to invade?

An Israeli intelligence and military source is warning that Turkey and Iran are both preparing to strike into Kurdish Iraq. Turkey is seeking the Kurdish oil fields and destroying Kurdish independence groups and infiltrators. Iran is also after Kurdish rebel groups and denying Israel and the United States a staging area for any attack on its nuclear facilities. Iran and Russia intelligence reportedly believe an attack on Iran by American and possibly Israeli air and missile forces could take place as early as late September.

DEBKA is an interesting Israeli source but often its scoops are just rumors and not reliable.

Intelligence Finding: Bush's War in Iraq is Increasing Terrorism, making world less safe

White House refuses to declassify leaked report.


Millions of Seniors Facing The GOP's Medicare 'Doughnut Hole'

"Virtually everyone who calls to say they've been denied coverage, they're shocked," said Robert M. Hayes, president of the Medicare Rights Center, a nonprofit that helps seniors navigate Medicare. "Trying to explain that this is the way the program was created by Congress angers folks who think it makes no sense. Many people feel blindsided."

The coverage gap was one of the most contentious elements of the 2003 legislation that created the new benefit. It ends federal payments for a person's drug purchases once an annual spending limit is reached, resuming them only after the beneficiary has spent thousands of dollars out of pocket.

Many Democrats in Congress, long critical of the gap, are not waiting until then. They dubbed last Friday "doughnut hole day," saying it was when the average Medicare beneficiary would reach the gap. They and their supporters criticized the policy at dozens of events last week, airing grievances from seniors in public forums and delivering edible doughnut holes to the office of at least one House Republican.

"This gap does not have to exist," said Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.).
Thank the AARP who made a deal with Bush and the GOP to push this bill in the hopes of improving it later despite many Democratic protests. Also blame Ted Kennedy for his second or third time of agreeing with Bush and screwing Americans.

Gary Hart: A Bush October Attack on Iraq would be No Surprise

In more rational times, including at the height of the Cold War, bizarre actions such as unilateral, unprovoked, preventive war are dismissed by thoughtful, seasoned, experienced men and women as mad. But those qualities do not characterize our current leadership.

Adam Nagourney writes about his friend Ken Mehlman's faltering outreach for blacks

Adam in another story gets in a dig at Howard Dean while concluding that Democrats look to be setting up a takeover election.

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W. Lee "Please Pass the Biscuits, Pappy" O'Daniel

Kinky isn't the first pop culture Texan with no qualifications to run for office. "Pappy" O'Daniel, images, ran with his flour company and radio network using the sound of the later version of the Light Crust Doughboys. He won, twice, and then was elected Senator.

O Brother, Where Art Thou?, which reminds me of both opera and the Three Stooges, is somewhat based on Texas at this time. The original band hated O'Daniel as their manager but he also hated "hillbilly" music and just used it as a gimmick. Some free mp3s of the Light Crust Doughboys are here and here.

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George Allen, the macacas keep coming

The Neocon Weekly Standard recaps all that is wrong with Allen, once a leading candidate for President, now struggling to hold on to his Senate seat.

UPDATE: Three former teammates remember a very racist Allen -
Allen said he came to Virginia because he wanted to play football in a place where 'blacks knew their place,'" said Dr. Ken Shelton, a white radiologist in North Carolina who played tight end for the University of Virginia football team when Allen was quarterback. "He used the N-word on a regular basis back then."

A second white teammate, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he feared retribution from the Allen campaign, separately claimed that Allen used the word "nigger" to describe blacks. "It was so common with George when he was among his white friends. This is the terminology he used," the teammate said.

A third white teammate contacted separately, who also spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear of being attacked by the Virginia senator, said he too remembers Allen using the word "nigger," though he said he could not recall a specific conversation in which Allen used the term. "My impression of him was that he was a racist," the third teammate said.

Shelton also told Salon that the future senator gave him the nickname "Wizard," because he shared a last name with Robert Shelton, who served in the 1960s as the imperial wizard of the United Klans of America, a group affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

They hate us for our freedom - McCain's abomination bill edition

Hullabaloo sure documents the atrocities, doesn't it. You should read all the posts the last few days.

I have said before I am mostly a balance-of-powercrat. I believe that for the same reasons the Constitution is set up the way it is, you have to prevent unrestrained unchecked power. The McCain bill makes the President the only arbiter of what is done in secret prisons. There are words in there against some particularly repellent tortures. There are no enforcement procedures. More than that, all possible enforcement procedures are explicitly made illegal. This is a retroactive CYA bill that then proactively gives the President the future power to do whatever he wants, to whomever he wants, and removes Congressional and judicial overview.

I wonder who McCain as president would feel like torturing? Or Hillary?

Chris Wallace Has Never Asked A Bush Administration Official About The USS Cole

That follows this smackdown by Clinton.


Molly Ivins battling cancer

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Nation - War Signals

The Nation is now also reporting alarming signs that an Iran strike is imminent. The Eisenhower will be in the Persian Gulf by October 21st. Missing from this report is what any military analyst would want to know - where are all the carriers? The Eisenhower is just one carrier group deploying to Iran. The Enterprise appears to be staying in the Persian Gulf, extending their deployment (!!!), and the Reagan (South China Sea) and the Lincoln (Philippines) are close by. The Kitty Hawk has just pulled into Japan for supplies and could be there by late October. The other carriers are in training or maintenance except for the Roosevelt which has been in Norfolk since March. They should want at least three carriers in position so keeping up with the Reagan, Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Kitty Hawk the next few weeks will show how close this is to a go. Some other military deployments to the surrounding countries would also be a confirmation. Late nights at command HQs, particularly logistics, is traditionally what spies look for.

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U.S. Hard Landing And Recession Steaming Ahead: Now More Likely than a 70% Probability!

"a real, ugly, severe and protracted US recession more likely than ever." - Nouriel Roubini

This and the previous post are from Jim.
Oil and commodity prices are falling, fixed income is rallying and the stock market suckers’ rally has continued for a while but there are signals that the coming recession is finally making equities nervous. The Fed pause is a now a full stop and markets are starting to debate and price whether the Fed cutting rates will be in December or rather February. The global business cycle looks peaky based on many forward looking indicators. The housing market is in free fall and prices are already falling sharply (considering generous seller side subsidies and incentives). Banking stress is already evident in the sub-prime lending segment. The dollar is under weakening pressure; the US current account deficit is getting worse, net factor income payments are negative and foreigners’ purchases of long term US assets are faltering. I can thus comfortably argue that almost all of my predictions are well under way to become reality.

No wonder perma-bulls are going now into a perma-freeze as the markets are starting to price in a now inevitable US recession. Of course such perma-bulls will keep on deluding themselves that lower oil prices and lower long rates and a Fed cut will rescue the economy, not understanding that those price movements are bad news – rather than good news – as they reflect the severe US and global slowdown; they are systematically biased in their forecasts. But the reality check is coming soon as the onslaught of bad macro news make the reality of a real, ugly, severe and protracted US recession more likely than ever.

In the last three months I have been called all sorts of names and insults: “Dr. Strangelove of Global Macro”; “Eeyore”; “Doomsday Cult Central”; “Dr. Gloom & Doom”; “A combination of Count Dracula, Dr. Frankenstein and Godzilla together”; a lot of this from folks whose comparative advantage is in insults rather than in the serious and detailed economic analysis that I have performed in these pages. We have heard only wishful delusional dreams and insults from such perma-bulls.

To conclude, until now I have said that the only thing orderly and soft about the comatose housing market landing will be soon the undertaker carrying the coffin; I can now comfortably also say that the only thing soft or orderly about the economy landing is the undertaker carrying the coffin.

Bush reading program gets failing grade for corruption and cronyism

A scorching internal review of the Bush administration's billion-dollar-a-year reading program says the Education Department ignored the law and ethical standards to steer money how it wanted.

The government audit is unsparing in its view that the Reading First program has been beset by conflicts of interest and willful mismanagement. It suggests the department broke the law by trying to dictate which curriculum schools must use.

The ranking Democrat on the House education committee was furious.

"They should fire everyone who was involved in this," said Rep. George Miller, D-Calif. "This was not an accident, this was not an oversight. This was an intentional effort to corrupt the process."

E-voting macines make write-in candidate winners unlikely

A story on Sekula-Gibbs troubles.

Galveston county is also using a separate system so the e-slate instructions aren't useful or uniform across the district. The biggest problem on election day will be voters giving up on writing her name in frustration - it takes a long time with the circular dial and hitting accept after each letter.

Check out the rest of after you watch the ad - this weekend they recommend Fearless over All The King's Men. Many, many wonderful things in the archives and wandering around the site.

Also be sure to check out the Rolling Stone article on e-voting with a Texas connection:
Questions also arose in Texas in 2004. William Singer, an election programmer in Tarrant County, wrote the secretary of state's office after the vote to report that ES&S pressured officials to install unapproved software during the presidential primaries. "What I was expected to do in order to 'pull off' an election," Singer wrote, "was far beyond the kind of practices that I believe should be standard and accepted in the election industry." The company denies the charge, but in an e-mail this month, Singer elaborated that ES&S employees had pushed local election officials to pressure the secretary of state to accept "a software change at such a last minute there would be no choice, and effectively avoid certification."