Sunday, April 29, 2007

Attorney who Pled 5th urged others at DoJ to destroy documents

This is after the Senate announced it would be holding hearings. That appears to be a big No-No. At minimum it indicates carelessness and sloppy practices.

Serving US Army Officer condemns Iraq strategy

Troops are beginning to speak out.

David Neiwert covers Austin's domestic terrorist

America faces as big a threat from our own home grown terrorists and their numerous supporters as from the Islamic jihad.
You have to be struck by the recent reappearance of the Phineas myth [Phineas was an Old Testament figure who slew an intertribal couple, an example cited by white supremacists as evidence of God's disapproval of race-mixing] in a speech by Tony Perkins of the Family Resource Council, a thinly disguised Reconstructionist operation opposed to abortion, and wonder about its influence in the recent Austin case....

But even more disturbing is how the case has been treated in the media -- which is to say, it's essentially been buried. Moreover, as zuzu notes, no one is calling it what it clearly is: domestic terrorism.

Balancing the Prophet

Conservative British art and religion expert Karen Armstrong reviews recent books on Mohammed and heaps particular scorn on Robert Spencer's polemic against Islam. He gets mad. He has the typical Islamophobic supporters - Men with small green balls and someone jealous of the small ballers.
People would be offended by an account of Judaism that dwelled exclusively on Joshua’s massacres and never mentioned Rabbi Hillel’s Golden Rule, or a description of Christianity based on the bellicose Book of Revelation that failed to cite the Sermon on the Mount. But the widespread ignorance about Islam in the west makes many vulnerable to Spencer’s polemic; he is telling them what they are predisposed to hear. His book is a gift to extremists who can use it to ”prove” to those Muslims who have been alienated by events in Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq that the west is incurably hostile to their faith.


Stephen Colbert vs. Sean Penn debate.

Former Lt. General declares Bush AWOL on Iraq

"In principle, I do not favor Congressional involvement in the execution of U.S. foreign and military policy. I have seen its perverse effects in many cases. The conflict in Iraq is different. Over the past couple of years, the President has let it proceed on automatic pilot, making no corrections in the face of accumulating evidence that his strategy is failing and cannot be rescued.

"Thus, he lets the United States fly further and further into trouble, squandering its influence, money, and blood, facilitating the gains of our enemies. The Congress is the only mechanism we have to fill this vacuum in command judgment.

"To put this in a simple army metaphor, the Commander-in-Chief seems to have gone AWOL, that is 'absent without leave.' He neither acts nor talks as though he is in charge. Rather, he engages in tit-for-tat games....

Texas and Florida's electoral influence to grow, thank Latinos

After 2010 it looks like Texas will pick up 3 seats and Florida two in the currently all important electoral college. By 2030 both will probably have gained eight or nine. All of this is due to Latinos and net immigration to my two home town states.

This is from a census presentation with a few additional sources called by the reporter. The Austin Statesman got essentially the same article being part of the Cox News Service. Politico produced a much more comprehensive article on the growing political influence on Latinos.

Hundreds of people marched in Houston Saturday urging Congress to not turn off the growth and deport illegals.
As police officers blocked traffic along the route from Immaculate Conception Church to Mason Park, the marchers blew whistles, banged on drums, and chanted through loudspeakers as they carried U.S. and Mexican flags, and a variety of banners, including one that said: "Amor sin la frontera: Love has no borders."

Wearing a bright green T-shirt and carrying an American flag, 5-year-old Grace Sanchez carried a hand-lettered sign, saying, "I am American. Please don't take my Daddy away."

As she strolled with her father, Hugo Sanchez, a construction worker, her mother, U.S. citizen Elizabeth Sanchez, said, "Not a day goes by that I don't live in fear they could take my soul mate, and my daughter's father, away."

As the crowd gathered in nearby Mason Park for a rally featuring several speakers, representatives of U.S. Border Watch stood across 75th Street and waved American flags, chanting back at the marchers.
Dos Centavos has a bit more. This was a prelude for larger immigration rallies across the country to occur Tuesday - May 1st. With a slogan of "We are all humans, no one is illegal" National Immigrant Solidarity Network is calling for people to support immigration reform and immigration and civil rights. A small Houston protest will be held at the Downtown Federal Building. The Rice Media Center is having a film that night about last year's events - Gigante: Despierta!

DC Madam's List Snags First Victim - Condi Rice Deputy

ABC has the list and is starting to run stories.

Washington Post: Deputy Secretary of State Resigns Over Visits from Call Girls. You know that is not the headline they use, of course. WP also gave the madam a front page interview.

ABC Blog:
As the Bush administration's so-called "AIDS czar," Tobias was criticized by some for emphasizing faithfulness and abstinence over condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS.
So did he wear a condom? What does his wife think?

More - He demanded AIDS funding not include prostitutes and killed programs that taught prostitutes to make their Johns wear condoms.

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Gravel Mania, he's the new Buzz!

Gravel picked up the most from the first Dem debate in a front loaded primary schedule that will demand major resources.

Alternative left sites have noticed his rousing call to battle - Truthdigger of the Week: Mike Gravel.

The liberal net roots war against the so-called-liberal-media

David Broder edition. The dean of America's columnists should have retired years ago. It is worth looking back to see his defense on Nixon and his trash talk about Clinton, maybe he was always over rated? Real liberals don't recognize those the right claim are on our side.

The NYT's Frank Rich also wants a piece of this, while breaking the news that the NYT will not participate in future DC press corps Presidential dinners.
It’s our country’s bitter fortune that while David Halberstam is gone, too many Joe Alsops still hold sway. Take the current dean of the Washington press corps, David Broder, who is leading the charge in ridiculing Harry Reid for saying the obvious — that “this war is lost” (as it is militarily, unless we stay in perpetuity and draft many more troops). In February, Mr. Broder handed down another gem of Beltway conventional wisdom, suggesting that “at the very moment the House of Representatives is repudiating his policy in Iraq, President Bush is poised for a political comeback.”

Some may recall that Stephen Colbert offered the same prediction in his monologue at the correspondents’ dinner a year ago. “I don’t believe this is a low point in this presidency,” he said. “I believe it is just a lull before a comeback.” But the fake pundit, unlike the real one, recognized that this was a joke.
Atrios jumps in on the elitist High Broderism.

Greg Sargent asks just who is as inept as Gonzales as he fact checks Broder's radio interview? David Broder is past the mandatory retirement age. Sargent warned that a blogswarm would arise over Broder's column. (He is now warning that Rush's racist parody songs about black Democrats went too far and are generating calls for stations to drop his program.)

All 50 Democratic Senators under Reid wrote the Washington Post a letter that said Broder was full of it. Greenwald continues in his post that there is a sea change taking place bypassing the media establishment. I feel that the right went away from watching and listening to them the past few decades and now it is the left's turn.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The GOP's cyber election hit squad

Did the RNC rig the 2004 Ohio vote count? The day before the election the site that reported the Ohio vote count was transfered away from Ohio to the RNC servers that also host Karl Rove's emails. The election reporting software is also the election counting software - the infamous Diebold GEM system normally but in this case also including web site design and other enhancements by a worshipful Bushie. Infamous because it was shown to have almost nonexistent security. Individuals could bypass the normal login and manually change votes with no audit trial and no way to detect that a change had occurred except for manual audits of the election day voting machine tapes which are never asked for. So why was the RNC counting the Ohio vote? Did they accurately count the votes? Why are the last reporting counties in Ohio the one with the most anomalous results? More here.

Edwards in Michigan Video: On Iraq, Gitmo, Trade, Unions, Energy, Healthcare, etc

My DD has a lot on an Edwards campaign stop including video and transcripts to give you the feel of one of these things. Edwards has a response to the debate: The question I wasn't asked.

Joe Klein at Time approves of Edwards as The No Baloney Candidate. Klein is not the best person to make recomendations as he is a known liar and a Bush enabler. CNN Political Ticker quoted him at the Democratic debate: "Tonight was the night for the nutballs." He didn't write that in his blog post about the debate.

Baghdad Burning Bugging Out

She and her family are about to become refugees.
On a personal note, we've finally decided to leave. I guess I've known we would be leaving for a while now. We discussed it as a family dozens of times. At first, someone would suggest it tentatively because, it was just a preposterous idea- leaving ones home and extended family- leaving ones country- and to what? To where?

Since last summer, we had been discussing it more and more. It was only a matter of time before what began as a suggestion- a last case scenario- soon took on solidity and developed into a plan. For the last couple of months, it has only been a matter of logistics. Plane or car? Jordan or Syria? Will we all leave together as a family? Or will it be only my brother and I at first?

After Jordan or Syria- where then? Obviously, either of those countries is going to be a transit to something else. They are both overflowing with Iraqi refugees, and every single Iraqi living in either country is complaining of the fact that work is difficult to come by, and getting a residency is even more difficult. There is also the little problem of being turned back at the border. Thousands of Iraqis aren't being let into Syria or Jordan- and there are no definite criteria for entry, the decision is based on the whim of the border patrol guard checking your passport.

An airplane isn't necessarily safer, as the trip to Baghdad International Airport is in itself risky and travelers are just as likely to be refused permission to enter the country (Syria and Jordan) if they arrive by airplane. And if you're wondering why Syria or Jordan, because they are the only two countries that will let Iraqis in without a visa. Following up visa issues with the few functioning embassies or consulates in Baghdad is next to impossible.

So we've been busy. Busy trying to decide what part of our lives to leave behind. Which memories are dispensable? We, like many Iraqis, are not the classic refugees- the ones with only the clothes on their backs and no choice. We are choosing to leave because the other option is simply a continuation of what has been one long nightmare- stay and wait and try to survive.

The Best Free Speech Around

Our house of Texas clowns in action as observed by The Texas Observor blog.

One quarter of our bees have died

Is a fungus to blame?

This will greatly raise the cost of food - a serious problem.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Karl Rove's Least Likely Interrogator

Why is a loyal Bushie pursuing Rove now? Is this at the urging of other GOP leadership? Questions but no answers.

Dan Froomkin - 'No One Suffers More Than the President and me"

Laura, I am sure the families of the loved ones killed might disagree.

What They Said When

Dunce caps, I want dunce caps on everyone that was wrong on the war for all TV appearances.

Unity08 Video

Because America will be swept up in Ron Paul/Kucinich fever ;-)

Ignore Duncan's advocacy for Tancredo/Sharpton.



Glenn Greenwald - The media and the Tillman / Jessica Lynch frauds

Myself and the left bloggers saw that the Jessica Lynch story, particularly as it was first reported on TV and the Washington Post, was a crock of lies and propaganda. Hers was a great story, but not the 1984 fiction someone connected to the military was dreaming up.

The vast majority of right bloggers never saw that and in fact Jessica later was attacked by them when she corrected the myths that had been spread of her capture and rescue.

This was a small part of the sad vast decline of the media reporting in this country covered by Bill Moyers last night. You can watch it online here. And this was also yet another example of the continuing lying insanity of the right blogosphere.

Slipping in the Daily Show Primary - Swampland

McCain got burned badly by Jon and the audience. I doubt he will be back. Who could have imagined that Ana Marie Cox would be Time's best blogger? This doesn't really show case her skills except for spotting obviously blog worthy material and getting quickly to the point.

The Daily Dish: Taxi To The Dark Side

Conservative Bush Iraq Illegal Invasion and Occupation supporters can redeem themselves and realize their errors. Andrew Sullivan wept as he watched a documentary on Bush administration's perversion of the Constitution, the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Geneva Conventions to allow torture.

He probably also had tears in his eyes watching United 93. I know I did.

We have a bunch of insane right nut jobs in this country and with enough FEAR! they can drive others down to their level.

Medical groups seek 'futile care' law compromise

Desperate to not be forced to keep patients alive longer when the money's run out and hope is dim, medical groups with the silent support of insurance companies are offering to cut a bit more slack on the current tight time limits for families to seek another hospital. Texas's brutal futile care law has united right-to-lifers and ACLU liberals and compassionate people of all political stripes against hospitals trying to save a buck by quickly pulling plugs. With an outraged public forcing politicians to apply major changes to the law the Texas Medical Association has reversed course and offered a compromise which keeps the law but adds a bit more time.

Too little, too late. Pull the plug on the current futile care law and ignore TMA compromises.

This has been another rant against the evil hospitals that hopefully may have to keep me alive against their accountant's wishes. On the other hand, if I and my family want me to die with dignity tell the politicians and the hospitals to stay the Hell away. I don't see any contradiction - these are primarily family decisions who can seek the best advice from medical experts but hospital administrators have financial conflicts of interest and should stay out.

Republicans equal life; Democrats equal death? - Olbermann

Another special comment by Olbermann which keeps increasing his ratings. We have to depend on the likes of Keith to respond as major Democrats keep playing it safe instead of fiercely counter-attacking.

An Imaginary Sensible Dittohead

I think the rightie bloggers, stuck out on a limb and increasingly out of the mainstream, are getting more organized with help from the DC based GOP groups in an attempt to push back. Trying to do it with rapidly shrinking support from the public may cost them.

"Hey, Rush, and Malkin and Fox News and Captain Kirk Lite says Reid has to go for saying we've lost in Iraq."

"Well, haven't we?"

"I guess you are right. Why do I even listen to those hot heads."

"Probably habit. Why don't you try watching The Daily Show or Olbermann instead. They're funnier than Fox."

"I might do that."

This was originally a comment I made at Oliver's blog.

When should you read a traitor's words?

Bob Novak, casual traitor but connected GOP war horse, does provide a glimpse of the wild alarm the GOP establishment views Bush now. How long before many GOP members in the Senate and House abandon Dubya all together to preserve their jobs? Not long if Bob's comments are any guide. 33% approval Bush, about the same number that think we can win the Iraq war, is a drag on the party and Novak was always a party animal, not a Bushite.

Bob Novak, traitor:
Bush, never entranced with life in Washington, detests dealing with a Democratic Congress. Reflecting annoyance and fatigue, he is unwilling to withstand incessant attacks from the likes of Reid and is ready to fight it out for the over 20 months left in his term. Retaining Gonzales means Bush has slipped behind the barricades.

All the Republicans in Congress whom I contacted view this as pure folly. For the long term, they predict that constant war by their president against the majority Democrats would cast a pall on the Republicans' chances of retaining the presidency in 2008. For the shorter term, they foresee nothing but trouble from Gonzales continuing in power. "I cannot imagine," said a House GOP leader who would not be quoted by name, "how [Bush] thinks Gonzales can function effectively with no Republican support."

Gonzales's difficulties did not begin with the botched dismissal of U.S. attorneys or his serial memory failures. Much as Bill Clinton sought to replicate in Washington the culture of Little Rock by bringing along Vince Foster and Webster Hubbell, Bush imported such close associates from Austin as Gonzales and Harriet Miers.

While the current cliche is that Bush never should have named Gonzales attorney general in the first place, the consensus in the administration was that Gonzales also was at sea in his first post, as White House counsel. Colin Powell, Bush's first-term secretary of state, was so appalled by Gonzales that he shunted contact with him off to Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage, who in turn handed him down to lower levels along the State Department chain of command.

Karl Rove's quest to return to the glory days of the GOP lands him in trouble again

It should be clear to anyone with any grasp of history and government, especially after being briefed on the do's and don't's of being an appointed official, that once you get appointed it is illegal to use government offices and resources for obviously partisan political purposes. There are a lot of gray areas in this law but there are some bright lines you can't cross. If you get appointed to a position you just can't use the taxpayer's money to support political activities of your party.

Guess Karl Rove and 15 government agencies have forgotten this law in their efforts to obtain his "permanent Republican majority." Rove and other political operatives from the White House gave numerous briefings since coming to Washington in agency buildings to disscuss ways agencies could help Republican candidates.

The Washington Post:
Such coercion is prohibited under a federal law, known as the Hatch Act, meant to insulate virtually all federal workers from partisan politics. In addition to forbidding workplace pressures meant to influence an election outcome, the law bars the use of federal resources -- including office buildings, phones and computers -- for partisan purposes.

The administration maintains that the previously undisclosed meetings were appropriate. Those discussing the briefings on the record yesterday uniformly described them as merely "informational briefings about the political landscape." But House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), who has been investigating the GSA briefing, said, "Politicization of departments and agencies is a serious issue. We need to know more about these and other briefings."

In the GSA briefing -- conducted like all the others by a deputy to chief White House political adviser Karl Rove -- two slides were presented showing 20 House Democrats targeted for defeat and several dozen vulnerable Republicans.

At its completion, GSA Administrator Lurita Alexis Doan asked how GSA projects could be used to help "our candidates," according to half a dozen witnesses. The briefer, J. Scott Jennings, said that topic should be discussed "off-line," the witnesses said. Doan then replied, "Oh, good, at least as long as we are going to follow up," according to an account given by former GSA chief acquisition officer Emily Murphy to House investigators, according to a copy of the transcript.
The Hatch Act is from 1938 when many Republicans felt the WPA was being used to influence elections and elect Democrats. Senator Hatch, while a Democrat, wanted to remove the last traces of the original partisan nature of federal jobs and the law was passed with bipartisan support.

One of the first controversies of the current Bush administration was that it has been weakening and dismantling the federal civil service reforms that started in the 1880's and seeking a return to the political spoils system that prevailed before then. The American mass media did not cover that removing the new Homeland Security department from many civil service provisions was the cause of Democratic objections to getting it approved when they had originally proposed the department over the objections of the White House. This seemed to be only mentioned at the time and later in union newsletters and blogs - "Fear-Based Government: Bush Attacks Workers’ Freedoms Under National Security Guise" and by some House and Senate Democrats and totally ignored by corporate media.

This administration and Karl Rove would be happier in an 1870 - 1890 world, the glory days of the Republican party, and have been leading us in that direction from the beginning. They have not succeeded in that quest, a fact that Rove and other appointees forgot and may lead to their removal from office.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Why are people paying attention to the One-Percenters?

Oddly enough my source, USA Today, was just linked on the Drudge Report. Not only Right Wing Radio but MainStream Media, that So-Called Liberal Media, takes its cues from FoX News. Everyone knows they are just the GOP TV arm but have you ever seen how few people link or watch or read?

Top U.S. news and media sites on April 16, Share of visits, Change vs. 4/9
1. Yahoo News 8.69% + 62%
2. MSNBC 7.56% + 161%
3. 5.56% + 59%
4. Weather Channel 4.30% - 38%
5. Google News 1.87% + 6%
6. Fox News 1.72% + 64%
7. Drudge Report 1.71% + 14%
8. Yahoo Weather 1.70% - 32%
9. New York Times 1.51% - 2%
10. AOL News 1.3% + 37%
11. 1.14% + 245%
Source: Hitwise

When it is important news Fox News share of ratings is !.7% On a normal day it is just over 1%. Why is anyone listening to the yammering yahoos only 1% of net users get their news from?

In 2004 why was the RNC main computers couting the votes for Ohio?

"Netcraft is showing that an event happened in the Ohio 2004 election that is difficult to explain. The Secretary of State's website, which handles election reporting, normally is directed to an Ohio-based IP address hosted by the Ohio Supercomputer Center. On Nov. 3 2004, Netcraft shows the website pointing out of state to a server owned by Smartech Corp. According to the American Registry on Internet Numbers, Smartech's block of IP addresses – encompasses the entire range of addresses owned by the Republican National Committee. Smartech hosted the recently notorious domain used from the White House in apparent violation of the Presidential Records Act, from which thousands of White House emails vanished. Can anyone suggest a good explanations for this seemingly dubious election-eve transfer?"

Texas GOP Proposes TWO Poll Taxes, Same Requirements Kept Tens of Thousands Off Medicaid Rolls

This is not the typical cow pattie for brains stuff of Texas politicians. This is just the despicable evil Red Empire flunkies in action. I am going out so I don't have to read all of this now and make some calls to tell the suburban and rural legislators where to stick their certified birth certificates.

Informed Voters - Some Pasadena City Charter News

Looks like another great turnout election for Pasadena whose citizens show little appreciation of democracy. Or understand the game is rigged as non-voters have tried to tell me. Only twenty people show up for a presentation on the City Charter Amendments. You can also see my comment on the Houston Chronicle article.

I have another post on what the amendments are.

The election day is May 12th but most people are now voting early from April 30th.
First Day of Early Voting April 30, 2007.
Last Day to Apply for Ballot by Mail (received not Postmarked) May 4, 2007.
Last Day of Early Voting May 8, 2007.

April 30th - May 4th 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
May 5th 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
May 5th 1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
May 7th - May 8th 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

You can click here and vote at any location on this map during early voting. You can try to find your location May 12 here but really - vote early. You may also need to look up your precinct here if you vote on election day.

Information on the May elections is available here from Democrats and here from the county, which the evil Red Empire still controlls but is in retreat.

Other very low turn out elections are also being held. The state wide election is an amendment to give elderly, mostly well-off property tax payers a break so they will quit their whining about how the GOP Texas politicians forgot them in the property tax roll back last year. No, everybody just figured they needed more exercise so they get to vote again and Karl Rove's Texas legacy GOP company needs to work on their computers and voter databases some more to figure who to target to maximize votes.

An informed vote will overthrow the evil Empire. Don't be a storm trooper, vote intelligently.

Paul Krugman - A Hostage Situation

Bush (and the GOP in Congress) hold our troops hostage against the will of the American people.

Gonzales was overseeing a selective definition of voter fraud

Joe Conason has some details.

William Rivers Pitt - What Gonzales Really Told Us

Dana Bash of CNN reported comments made by appalled Republicans during breaks in the hearing. "Loyal Republican after loyal Republican in this hearing room," said Bash, "and more specifically in private to CNN today, have made it clear that they are frankly flabbergasted by how poorly they think the attorney general has done in this hearing. During the lunch break, in private, several very loyal Republicans made it clear to CNN that they were really dripping with disappointment."

Another CNN reporter, Suzanne Malveaux, offered other Republican statements of dismay. "Two senior White House aides here," reported Malveaux, "described the situation, Gonzales's testimony, as 'going down in flames.' That he was 'not doing himself any favors.' One prominent Republican described watching his testimony as 'clubbing a baby seal.'"


So what is to be made of this? As attorney general, Gonzales is the top official in the Department of Justice. The list of DOJ-related agencies that Gonzales is expected to oversee is nearly 60 items long. Among these are the FBI, the ATF, the DEA, the Civil Rights division, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the US Marshals Service, the Office of the Solicitor General and, of course, all the US attorneys spread across the 50 states. The DOJ's own web site explains that, "Since the 1870 Act that established the Department of Justice as an executive department of the government of the United States, the attorney general has guided the world's largest law office and the central agency for enforcement of federal laws."

Is it possible that the man charged with such awesome responsibilities is, in fact, a blithering idiot? Nothing in Thursday's hearing served to disabuse anyone of this notion, and in the final analysis that may be the whole point of the exercise ... and the tip of a very dangerous iceberg....

It can be easily argued that Gonzales couldn't answer simple questions, not because he is especially dumb, but because he truly didn't know how. He wasn't there to run the place, but to open doors for, and get out of the way of, Bush's political hatchetmen. Any appointees who weren't going along with the program, including those fired US attorneys, were swept aside.

It can just as easily be argued that he was able to answer those questions, but avoided doing so for tactical reasons. The New York Times's editorial on Friday raised this line of thinking by stating: "At the end of the day, we were left wondering why the nation's chief law-enforcement officer would paint himself as a bumbling fool. Perhaps it's because the alternative is that he is not telling the truth. There is strong evidence that this purge was directed from the White House, and that Karl Rove, Mr. Bush's top political adviser, and Harriet Miers, the former White House counsel, were deeply involved."

Either way, subpoenas need to be delivered to the hatchetman-in-chief, Karl Rove, as well as to members of his crew, to gather their sworn public testimony on the matter. It was made clear Thursday that Gonzales wasn't in charge at Justice, and Rove appears likely to have been the man who stood in his stead. Why? That's why we ask questions.
Link from Janette.

Bush likes Gonzales, Gonzales worships Bush

One photo explains all you need to know about Bush and Gonzales. There are similar photos of Bush and a great many people that some photo blogger with more talent and skill than I could make into a great photo essay.

Crooks and Liars misses that the reason MSNBC picked Michael Smerconish as the Imus replacement was that Imus's problem was all that wild hair, actually combed and trimmed here. MSNBC thinks the problem is solved.

Since we are looking at photos, go to Bagnewsnotes for an example of a Democratic two-headed monster and this photo of a Wolf.

UPDATE: That Gonzales photo reminds me of a SF story where the US and the world become controlled by one man who aliens send on a mission after giving him the ability that everyone he is in personal contact with adores him "Why Do Birds." This light fantasy novel explains what every world leader needs - adoration. The title refers to the Carpenters song.

George Soros rules the world! Bill O’Reilly loses it…

Is O'Reilly from Texas? Or are all-powerful Jewish financiers with secret plans to rule the world generic to Fascists worldwide?

Dubya gets a purple heart

Gosh darnation we have us some cow pies for brains people here in the Lone Star State.

Fox News = GOP TV

Looks like the GOP doesn't bother making their own videos any more or getting them from any place but Fox News.

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The watering of Mike Daisey

Have Christian youth groups taken to interrupting and trying to destroy artistic performances they disapprove of? Invincible Summer is Mike Daisey's story of the last glorious summer before everything changed. Starting with the bizarre history of New York's epic subway system and his hilarious detailing of dog days in a cramped apartment in the hot city, Mike crafts a startling vision of his neighborhood before and after one terrible day, setting an intensely personal story of a family in crisis against the backdrop of massive social upheaval.

So this Boston monologue that involves a story of 9/11 seems to have gotten a Christian flash mob displeased school outing treatment with one member dousing the actors notes with water. On further investigation it looks like some teachers taking their Christian high school students to a play they booked at group rates decided to walk out and the students had to follow and may have been encouraged in their behavior. Watch the video and see what you think.

To have chosen this performance, this monologue, seems particularly ironic. I believe he was also perfoming Monopoly but the performance "Invincible Summer" during which they walked out and attacked his notes refers to Camus's philosophy that it is our inner being, our soul to put it in religious terms, that determines our fate, not the vicissitudes of life.

Mike Daisey the performer writes:
I'm still dealing with all the ramifications, but here's what it felt like from my end: I am performing the show to a packed house, when suddenly the lights start coming up in the house as a flood of people start walking down the aisles--they looked like a flock of birds who'd been startled, the way they all moved so quickly, and at the same was shocking, to see them surging down the aisles. The show halted as they fled, and at this moment a member of their group strode up to the table, stood looking down on me and poured water all over the outline, drenching everything in a kind of anti-baptism.

I sat behind the table, looking up in his face with shock. My job onstage is to be as open as possible, to weave the show without a script as it comes, and this leaves me very emotionally available--and vulnerable, if an audience chooses to abuse that trust. I doubt I will ever forget the look in his face as he defaced the only original of the handwritten show outline--it was a look of hatred, and disgust, and utter and consuming pride.

It is a face I have seen in Riefenstahl's work, and in my dreams, but never on another human face, never an arm's length from me--never directed at me, hating me, hating my words and the story that I've chosen to tell. That face is not Christian, by any definition Christ would be proud to call his own--its naked righteousness and contempt have nothing to do with the godhead, and everything to do with pathetic human pride at its very worst.

And it wounded me in my heart, because I trusted these people. Scared parents and scared teachers running from a theater because words might hurt them, and so consumed by fear that they have to lash out at the work, literally break it apart, drown it. They've made me afraid of my audience, afraid of my craft, just the smallest amount, and that's the trust I will have to relearn tonight and every night. That's the work--the only way out is through, I tell my students, and it is true for me and it is true for everybody.

I tried to engage with the group as they fled, but they ran out like cowards, and not one of them would stand and discuss with me what they'd done. That cowardice still takes my breath away--that they wouldn't stand and speak like men and women and tell me in their voices their grievances. In spite of everything, I still believe--Jean-Michele says that's one of the reasons I'm a monologuist--and I fought to the end to get a single voice to speak and reckon with me, but they ran and didn't look back.
Another link from Jim.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Liberal Christians lament passing of old GOP

The old blue blood upper echelon WASP party is dead.

Discover's Map of the Blogosphere

There are three major hot spots unlabeled on the map. Gizmodo and Atrios and Talking Ponts Memo?

FDA Was Aware of Dangers To Food

E coli Republicans slackened FDA standards.
"This administration does not like regulation, this administration does not like spending money, and it has a hostility toward government. The poisonous result is that a program like the FDA is going to suffer at every turn of the road," said Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), chairman of the full House committee. Dingell is considering introducing legislation to boost the agency's accountability, regulatory authority and budget.

In the peanut butter case, an agency report shows that FDA inspectors checked into complaints about salmonella contamination in a ConAgra Foods factory in Georgia in 2005. But when company managers refused to provide documents the inspectors requested, the inspectors left and did not follow up.
The contaminated food as of late can be traced back to FDA cutbacks of the Bush administration. This new breed of conservative supports sh*t-tainted salad and killing pets.

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Rove to Sheryl Crow: "Don't Touch Me."

Laurie David and Sheryl Crow:
We asked Mr. Rove if he would consider taking a fresh look at the science of global warming. Much to our dismay, he immediately got combative. And it went downhill from there.

We reminded the senior White House advisor that the US leads the world in global warming pollution and we are doing the least about it. Anger flaring, Mr. Rove immediately regurgitated the official Administration position on global warming which is that the US spends more on researching the causes than any other country.

We felt compelled to remind him that the research is done and the results are in ( Mr. Rove exploded with even more venom. Like a spoiled child throwing a tantrum, Mr. Rove launched into a series of illogical arguments regarding China not doing enough thus neither should we. (Since when do we follow China's lead?)

At some point during his ramblings, we became heartbroken to think that the President of the United States and his top advisers have partially built a career on global warming not being real. We have been telling college students across the country for the past two weeks that government does not change until people demand it... well, listen up folks, everyone had better get a lot louder because the message clearly is not getting through.

In his attempt to dismiss us, Mr. Rove turned to head toward his table, but as soon as he did so, Sheryl reached out to touch his arm. Karl swung around and spat, "Don't touch me." How hardened and removed from reality must a person be to refuse to be touched by Sheryl Crow? Unfazed, Sheryl abruptly responded, "You can't speak to us like that, you work for us." Karl then quipped, "I don't work for you, I work for the American people." To which Sheryl promptly reminded him, "We are the American people."

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Obsidian Wings: To Call Maureen Dowd Catty Would Be An Insult To Cats

I should write to Maureen again.

Boing Boing: Mayor of Boston bans Boing Boing

First they came for the Mooninites....

Happy Earth Day

Grists's second annual Earth Day list of the year's goodies, oddities, and inanities

I had to link since they linked to my favorite Green Earth Girl - not safe for work.

Day of Silence spawns Day of Hate

Nearly half a million students participated in a Day of Silence to highlight gay prejudice and bullying in schools. This silence was too much for some homophobics. The event spawned a rebuttal: "Day of Truth," by the right-wing Alliance Defense Fund, to counter the "homosexual agenda" and offer an "opposing viewpoint from a Christian perspective." Mixing up messages, their slogan was that the truth about the nasty gay cooties could not be silenced. At least two students in Florida were suspended for silently participating, another high school in Michigan had to be locked down because of fears of violence, and homophobic, anti-Semitic and racist graffiti vandalism appeared in a San Francisco High School.

link from Jim.

Edwards rises to the moment

A big rally for Edwards is turned into a moving Memorial service for the Virginia Tech victims. Will the anti-Edwards East Coast press corps pay attention?

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Over 50% Good News, no mention of administration opponents, administration enemies must be clearly labeled enemies

No, not Clear Channel but the Russian equivalent. The new owners of a Russian radio media company with ties to the Kremlin have issued their news format orders.
At their first meeting with journalists since taking over Russia’s largest independent radio news network, the managers had startling news of their own: from now on, they said, at least 50 percent of the reports about Russia must be “positive.”

In addition, opposition leaders could not be mentioned on the air and the United States was to be portrayed as an enemy, journalists employed by the network, Russian News Service, say they were told by the new managers, who are allies of the Kremlin.

How would they know what constituted positive news?

“When we talk of death, violence or poverty, for example, this is not positive,” said one editor at the station who did not want to be identified for fear of retribution. “If the stock market is up, that is positive. The weather can also be positive.”
Link from America's own most important conservative news source - Drudge.

Friday, April 20, 2007

A simulated nuclear bomb will go off in an American Harbor next week

A worldwide terrorist nuclear weapons exercise will be run by the United States military, the Joint Innovation and Experimentation Directorate (J9), FEMA, Virginia police and Homeland Security April 23 to April 27. Other states will also be involved along with NATO. More here.

If Virginia were New York....

Police arrested a Rochester Institute of Technology student when it was discovered he had two assault rifles and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Gotta love how those gun laws don't work.

Training Iraqi Troops No Longer Top Priority

There goes the justification and rationale for the surge. The American military has concluded that the Iraqi Army is unable to stand up. Just read the Moderate Voice. Instead the policy looks like new massive American search and destroy sweeps, which creates more insurgents and terrorists and many American and Iraqi casualties.

Justice Department being used to help GOP battles

The McClatchy newspapers have a long article on the Justice Department attempting to restrict voter turnout in key battleground states in ways that favor Republicans. It documents a widespread pattern of supporting harsher voter ID requirements that force more of the poor, the elderly, and minorities off the voting rolls while ignoring Civil Rights requirements.

A blogger asks - would my sister had died because of the Supreme Court ruling?

The abortion procedure just banned doesn't provide medical exceptions. Steven D's sister had to have it because she developed a medical condition that would have caused her to bleed to death. Elections have consequences.
My sister was fortunate, in that she survived the procedure without any serious injury, although she kept bleeding for several days afterwards. She was also very fortunate that the Dilation and Evacuation procedure she had was not barred by any state or federal law. Would her doctor have been willing to perform this procedure on her today because of the risk that doing so would violate federal law?

I don't really know. But I suspect that many doctors, fearful of their own legal and criminal liability, will be increasingly reluctant to perform 2nd trimester D&E procedures, even in cases like my sister's, where the health of the woman, and her physical well being, could be compromised by failing to do so.
I followed natasha to the link.

YouTube - Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran sings McCain

McCain is now more unpopular than Hillary. You don't see the so-called-liberal-media discussing his electablity problem, however.

Washington Post/ABC News Poll shows more people would definitely not vote for McCain. Hillary Clinton: Definitely would not
John McCain: Definitely would not, 47%.

Ok, the winner is Schlussel

The category was who is the next Coulter or Malkin wannabe? She has the sputtering attacks, the vicious smears, and reprehensible lies all down. Debbie Schlussel has been hanging around the edges of the punditry world, firing off daily faxes to media platforms asking to be a guest on topics for over a year. Now that she has gone over the top in rabidness I bet she will get foundation sponsorship and a permanent gig somewhere. Oops, she already picked up Heritage sponsorship.

I should probably just create a mad dog tag for these links to rabid conservatives.

Debbie: "Media Matters bragged to the Wall Street Journal that it was responsible for taking down Don Imus. I suppose now that Don Imus is gone, they've assigned the vegan lesbian transsexual 'interspecies erotica' devotee they had monitoring the Imus show to monitor my site."

Traitor ... scumbag ... loser ...

Your choice, is it the Senator from Nevada or the rightie blogger with foam flying out of his mouth?

Glenn Greenwald on Gonzales testimony

Part 2.

For myself, I believe as a lawyer Gonzales pleases what he believes is his client - Bush. That should not be his true client. The real wrong doings are brushed over lightly in the hearing, except for the central fact that Gonzales is a serial liar who should not be in that position at all.

Jonathan Chait:
"As Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales takes to Capitol Hill to testify today, it's worth keeping in mind what this whole imbroglio is really about. It's not about whether Gonzales and his minions lied to Congress and the public. (They did, repeatedly.) It's not even about whether the Justice Department improperly fired federal prosecutors. (It did, of course.) It's about whether the Bush administration sought to subvert democracy by turning the federal judicial system into a weapon of the ruling party." -link from Salon.
Gonzales fell back on faulty memory, saying he could not recall or remember conversations or events of at most five months ago at least 64 times. Heckuva Job Gonzales, Bush pleased with performance.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Bad legal news

DoJ: Democrats, Moderates, Liberals need not apply.

DoJ decided to fire a 16-year veteran attorney after a 90-second review. When questioned by Congress they brainstormed for reasons.

Abortion ban upheld on shaky legal reasoning. Regardless of your opinions on this procedure, the Supreme Court language is the worst legal reasoning since the 2000 political decision stopping the recount in Florida. BTW, All Catholics on the Supreme Court voted for the ban, all non-Catholics against it.
Writing for the majority in Wednesday's decision, Justice Anthony Kennedy said the lack of a health exception does not automatically render the statute unconstitutional. "Whether the act creates significant health risks for women has been a contested factual question," he writes. "Both sides have medical support for their position."

Instead of a theoretical "facial" attack on the law, the court said such issues should be resolved in individual cases testing how the partial-birth abortion ban act was being applied to a particular woman.

"In an as-applied challenge the nature of the medical risk can be better quantified and balanced," Justice Kennedy writes.

He noted, "The prohibition in the act would be unconstitutional, under precedents we assume to be controlling, if it subjected women to significant health risks."
ADDED - Late term abortion - one women's story. Why is the government involved in this heart-breaking decision?
I wrote my doctor a long thank-you note on my good, wedding stationery. I thanked him for his compassion and his kindness. I wrote that it must be hard, what he does, but that I hoped he found consolation in the fact that he was helping vulnerable women in their most vulnerable of times. He keeps my note, along with all the others he's received, in a large bundle. And he keeps that bundle right next to his stack of hate mail. They are about the same size.
All of this for a procedure that, as I had linked to before, doesn't exist. There is no such term as a partial birth abortion. That is a made up term someone invented because it made people shudder. This is bad law in so many ways that bans maybe a couple hundred medically necessary procedures performed yearly that now more dangerous procedures will be substituted but thousands of abortions won't be performed at all because you can't clearly tell what the law is trying to ban and doctors and clinics don't want to take the risk.

John Edwards quickly denounced the decision.

Lawyers for the Presidential rallies assert a right to violate the Constitution

Everytime Bush gives a speech, even if it is in a public space, his team excludes any audience member who looks like they may be non-supportive. There is a court case going on that says simply no one, not the President but no one, has that right in America. In looking through case law if it was a private event they can exclude people but not for public events on public property. The attorneys don't answer the question of what gives them the right to control admission to public events in public spaces in violation of the Constitution and hundreds of cases showing they have no such right. Their argument, such as it is, points out that private organizations can exclude people. They seem to be wanting to privatize the presidency.

More blaming the victims

How should the survivors at VT feel? If you say greatly ashamed you must be a conservative.

Contrast that with Down With Tyranny:
Cho's Glock and ammo cost $571. He had a valid immigration card and driver's license and walked out of the store with the gun; no waiting period; no checking; nothin'. You can blame that on Bush and the right wing loons who have taken over our country. This morning a friend told me how her alcoholic son staggered into a gun store and bought an AK-47 and within minutes was threatening to commit suicide. The police arrived in time. My friend called the gun shop and the owner said, "Hey lady, I'm running a business here."
What about me? What do I think and why should you care? Well, I could be just another angry weird writer who's pissed off and can afford a gun.

Conservatives think that if they have a gun they can defend themselves from whatever enemy they fear is coming to get them. The government, the IRS, looters, blacks, Mexicans....

Smarter people know that if they and everyone else had guns they would be shot in the back or facing a gang of thugs better armed. For examples of no gun control see Lebanon and Somalia.

Post 13,664 on this blog.

One Virginia Tech is a good day in Iraq

I feel I should contribute to pointing out the obvious. Juan Cole on PBS said the same.

Now McCloskey leaves Republican Party

At one time Republicans stood for pro-business wealthy anti-government compassionate conservatism.
McCloskey says he is disgusted with the "succession of ethical scandals, congressmen taking bribes and abuse of power by both the Republican House leadership and the highest appointees of the White House."

"A pox on (Republicans) and their values," he wrote.
I have been admiring these party switchers for a long time. I still subscribe to Charles Aulds's mail list but don't read it often. He was an Alabama Republican who switched and tried to keep both right and left informed about what was going on in the new GOP and spread the real news our media was distorting. After the 2004 election results he found a new job and moved his family to Canada, unwilling to stay in an America that would return Bush and the current GOP to power.

Charles and the late Molly Ivins were right just before the invasion that those WMD's that the administration and the American media insisted that Saddam had had better be there or there would be Hell to pay. (At that time Charles and Molly weren't sure, I was sure they weren't there except for possibly limited chemical weapons like we had.)

Charles still closely follows American politics and seven days ago noted that the Washington Post revised a Reuters posting. They had to scrub mentioning that Iraq insurgents were manufacturing the IED weapons the administration is insisting Iran is supplying. The co-head of the "so-called liberal media" doing another blatent propaganda rewrite. That rewrite is something a good people's ombudsman would cover. I am still waiting for the WP to get one.

The much exagerated death of Europe

Hang around much in rightie and hard-core Christian circles and one theme you hear repeatedly is that Europe will be dead in a generation, or at most two. Overwhelmed by Muslims, liberal nanny stateness and not enough babies. The thing is that has been said for over a hundred years.

The best counter-example is America. We have many more minorities and immigrants than nearly all European states. It has also been said repeatedly for over a hundred years that America would succumb to the black peril, the yellow peril, the Catholic peril, the barbaric Eastern Europeans, the Jews, and now the brown Latinos. These have all joined the great American melting pot.

The link is to a very Christian site and I do not agree with much of the essay except that "the Death of Europe" is very wrong headed thinking. I would add that it is also code words for America is the last stand of the White Race.

California foreclosure boom

Up 800%. Ouch.

Blog anniversary - not mine

Quote of the day: "I wonder how long it will be until literally dozens of people are reading this on an almost monthly basis." - Atrios on his first day of blogging April 17, 2002. It was interesting that in his first week Duncan took on the elder blogger by months, our local Kuffmiester. These things have been on for five years?

The inevitable hateful attack of the unevolved

From The Carpetbagger Report - Debbie Schlussel, the winner of the competition of Ann Coulter wannabes, gets her hate speech wrong, twice.
Yesterday, while details of the shootings were still sketchy, Schlussel told readers, “The Virginia Tech campus has a very large Muslim community, many of which are from Pakistan.” When news reports indicated that the shooter was Asian, Schlussel said, “Pakis are considered ‘Asian.’”

Today, Schlussel added this gem.

So, the perpetrator of the Virginia Tech massacre is a Chinese national here on a student visa. And, today, this alien did “the job that Americans just won’t do.”

Remember that the next time you hear President Bush and Condi Clueless waxing lyrical about how we need more foreign students in America. We do not.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Mass Media, Still Wrong, Still Influenced by GOP

Water is also still wet.

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I lost my bet

The low level war the US has been waging with Iran has not turned hot according to Google News.

Meanwhile, Israel sent a message to Syria via House Speaker Pelosi that it does not plan to attack Iran this summer. No wonder the right was upset.

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Where Values & Reality Collide: The Sad Tale of Emma Rose

A tale of a stupid judge and anti-gay prejudice and the child he harms. This is in the conservative Red State, of all places. I suspect Erick may not remain in that hotbed of right-wing nuts long. This is more their stuff: I hate democracy, I hate government, I wanna keep all my money.

Women who suck, and not in a good way

I was wondering who would be the next Ann Coulter wannabe as the hate-mistress sinks under a pile of her own garbage. Drudge may have provided an answer as he links to a diatribe against Anne Marie Cox, the Time blogger, by a "Ann Coulter protégée." Here is one writers experience with the lying Lisa De Pasquale, Ann's attack dog. Wouldn't that mean Ann Coulter's bitch is actually the appropriate term? I find it especially rich that she defends Ann's lies with a long series of lies which were easily exposed and her long article gets removed from Human Events, a Moonie website with low standards.

PBS "America at a Crossroads" veers to the right - and more

Shockingly incomplete and some scenes staged to cast neocons in a good light makes a very mixed important series from PBS. Let's not talk about Middle Eastern history in looking at the present and future.

America is already close to having a flat tax system as taxes for the poor rise and those for the rich were drastically cut. We don't pay no stinkin' taxes, that's for the poor.

Hey, your taxes are funding corporate air travel.
"They're making out like bandits," said Bob Poole, director of transportation studies at Southern California's Reason Foundation and author of several studies on air transportation costs. "It's not only that airline passengers are paying more than their fair share, but they're being overtaxed to give private jets a free ride."

This has been another edition of links from Jim.


Would you rather read about Sex and the C.I.A.


Imaginary heroics if I'd have been there and been prepared unlike all of those dead wusses.


A play by a killer writer? Don't piss off writers, particularly those who seem odd and disturbed and have money to buy guns.

Quote for the day: "if David Brooks and the Rightwing can blame video games and the violent movies coming out of Hollywood for the school shootings, then I think it is also fair to place some of the blame on our political leaders who called for us to invade and occupy Iraq."

Monday, April 16, 2007

Gonzales likely to provide meaningless testimony Thursday

Misogynist Days

Does the New York Times notice what is wrong with their headline?

Let's try this headline: Ted Bundy, the Washington State GOP staffer who liked women.

Link from the blog of the Moderate Left.

Quick Updates

Juan Cole - Iraqi government collapsing as Sadrists pull out of cabinet. Mallawi probably would not survive a vote of no confidence. The division is that a majority of Parliament wants America to set a date and leave.

Unsafe language - Glenn Reynolds did not take long to go stupidly political on Virginia Tech shootings.

Then again, White House reacts to tragedy by reassuring the NRA.

Jim reminds me via email that Bolton is a boob - The Former US UN ambassador says we have no interest in Iraq’s well-being. The "we broke it, you own it theory."

Trying to summarize the World Bank scandal, Socialist perspective: Paul Wolfowitz, after negotiating his own lucrative package at the World Bank, found out his mistress could not work with him due to their nepotism regulations. He personally oversaw new contracts transferring her to the US State Department while she still kept her tax-free World Bank salary, giving her an over $60,000 raise to $193,590 and guaranteed 8% annual raises, and she would get her old position or better back at the new salary plus a new raise when Wolfowitz left. Incredibly, the girlfriend has issued a statement saying that she is the victim in this scandal. Wolfowitz also brought in other GOP operatives to get in on tax-free $250,000 salaries despite their having no development banking experience. Wolfowitz, one of the head neo-cons responsible for the Iraq War, is, of course, leading an anti-corruption drive. Another detail that emerged from this affair is how little the US funds the World Bank, it is now a European operation. The way the World Bank breaks it out is that the United States and Japan only contribute 12%. Wolfowitz has also insisted on greatly increasing loans to important allies of the US like Pakistan and Iraq and new African oil nations without regard to standards and corruption. The WP had important developments.

Should amateur political fund raisers get a commission?

Politics and Technology looks at Romney's student fund-raising site. Romney offers a 10% commission. It is against the ethics code of professional political fund raisers to get a commission based on percentage of funds raised. Should this code apply to amateurs and students?

I drafted fund raising letters for a candidate and developed mailing lists and didn't ask for a commission. They were highly effective in terms of response rate. In the discussion their are disagreements as to rather commissions are sleazy or smart.

How long can Kos be stupid and obtuse?

Kos writing that a female tech blogger who has recieved death threats that the police take seriously, although details are sketchy, should in effect just "shut up and take it like a man" generated much criticism, including mine.

In response, Kos give the worst non-apology I've seen. "I agree with another blogger that it could be serious, but I refuse to compromise my opposition to a Blogger Code of Ethics, the non-controversial part of my reply somewhat distantly related. Thank you and G'Night."

Sorry Kos, not funny, not smart. Perhaps Mark or Terrance may explain it better.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Poll: More Americans Want "General Pelosi To Dictate Troop Levels

Sounds like Bush has found the War Czar the people want.
Currently, President Bush and Congress disagree about what to do about U.S. troop levels in Iraq. Who do you think should have the final say about troop levels in Iraq, the President or Congress?

President: 44%
Congress: 49%

The poll also finds that an astonishing 67 percent of respondents think Congress should either allow funding only with a withdrawal timeline (58%) or cut off funding completely (9%).
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Dan Froomkin - E-Mail Saga Gets Fishier

The saga of the missing White House e-mails took a turn from the deeply suspicious to the deeply, darkly suspicious yesterday as Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman disclosed the bizarre response by the Republican National Committee to early indications that consequential White House e-mails -- particularly to and from Karl Rove -- were being deleted.

From 2001 to 2004, the RNC's highly unusual "document retention" policy was to intentionally destroy all e-mails that were more than 30 days old. In the summer of 2004, due to "unspecified legal inquiries," the RNC changed its policy by allowing -- but not mandating -- the indefinite retention of e-mails sent and received by White House staffers on their RNC accounts. That was just around the time special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald's investigation of White House involvement in the leak of CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity was kicking into high gear.

Then, in 2005, when RNC officials discovered that all of Rove's RNC e-mails were still getting deleted, presumably by Rove himself, they blocked his ability -- and his ability alone -- to do that. Other White House staffers could still delete at will, just not Rove.

All this stands in dramatic contrast to explicit White House rules mandating that all official White House electronic communications take place exclusively through official White House e-mail accounts, which are supposed to automatically archive everything forever.

Rove, the Bush administration's ultimate political fixer, reportedly used his RNC e-mail for the vast majority of his electronic communication in violation of those rules.
A collection of quotes: "I now have an RNC blackberry which you can use to e-mail me at any time. No security issues like my WH email." --Susan Ralston, assistant to Karl Rove.

"It is better not to put this stuff in writing in their e-mail system because it might actually limit what they can do to help us, especially since there could be lawsuits, etc." --Jack Abramoff associate.

"Dammit. It was sent to Susan on her rnc pager and was not supposed to go into the WH system." --Jack Abramoff

Another communication from Susan Ralston to Jack Abramoff also states: "I know [now] have an RNC laptop at the office for political use. I can access my AOL email when necessary so if you need to send me something that I need to read, you can send to my AOL email and then call or page me to check it.” Can AOL be asked by Congress or a special investigator to turn over emails and explain their retention policies? Should the new supercomputers and terrabyte storage at the NSA monitoring email traffic be searched? Will the NSA snooping claim Rove as a victim?

Firedoglake has more including the White House Counsel's response to requests for more information: Cheney You.

Not email purge related but attorney purge related:

Wisconsin Attorney targeted for firing until he prosecuted a Democrat at election time.

Sen. Domenici asked Bush to fire New Mexico attorney.

What was in the latest Friday Night Dump

Extensive Government Study: Abstinence-Only Sex Ed Doesn’t Work.
"After 10 years and $1.5 billion in public funds these failed abstinence-only-until-marriage programs will go down as an ideological boondoggle of historic proportions," said James Wagoner, President of Advocates for Youth.

"The tragedy is not simply the waste of taxpayer dollars, it is the damage done to the young people who have been on the receiving end of distorted, inaccurate information about condoms and birth control. We have been promoting ignorance in the era of AIDS, and that's not just bad public health policy, its bad ethics".
What are all the owners of programs that don't work going to do? They've hired a lobbyist to keep the increasing millions of dollars the GOP controlled governments have been giving them.

UK Guardian: $1 Billion dollars down the toilet on abstinence classes.
Mathematica Policy Research sampled teenagers with an average age of 16 from a cross-section of communities in Florida, Wisconsin, Mississippi and Virginia. Both control groups had the same breakdown of behaviour: 23% in both sets had had sex in the previous year and always used a condom, 17% had sex only sometimes using a condom; and 4% had sex never using one. About a quarter of each group had had sex with three or more partners.
Since his days as governor of Texas, George Bush has been a firm advocate of abstinence education programmes, which teach that keeping zipped up is the only certain way to avoid unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, and that to deviate from the norms of human sexual activity is to risk harmful psychological and physical effects. "Abstinence hasn't been given a very good chance, but it's worked when it's tried. That's for certain," he said.

But even in 1990s Texas, where Mr Bush spent $10m a year on abstinence education, the state had the fifth highest teen pregnancy rate in the US. Over the past six years he has stepped up the programme to more than $100m a year. He recently braved ridicule by extending it to adults aged 20-29, an age range in which 90% of people are sexually active.

Hate Speech Radio and Recalled Pet Food

It was the advertisers that brought down Imus. That and black and women journalists and workers at the networks saying I am really, really offended. Pretty much the the same thing happened with Rush Limbaugh and Mike Savage being kicked off of short lived TV jobs. It is the advertisers that are making making hate speech radio in California on KSFO sweat as Spock's Brain lets advertisers hear what they are supporting and they start taking their ads down.

Interesting that I had a conservative friend tell me she thought the station and Disney were right to fill a lawsuit to force Spocko to not use clips of their outrageous hate speech from the radio. I am pretty sure the use of short clips of broadcast material to illustrate a point is the very definition of the "fair use" doctrine. My conservative librarian friend calls it harassment and violation of copyright. (She should get a law degree and try for a much, much better paying job as a corporate lawyer.)

Spocko and other have now teamed up now to provide a master list of all recalled Pet Food as the FDA and the media and the companies had not done that when I went looking. Update - the FDA now has an Excel file. They had many scattered lists of various companies. The FDA new list is not as usable as the bloggers as it contains over 5500 rows. The injured and dead pets are now apparently in the tens of thousands, over 4,000 reported, something that corporate media is down playing as getting straight answers is an exercise in futility.

Rove warned in 'manuals, memos, and briefings' to save emails

All of his emails before 2005 have "gone missing."

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Gonzales's Justice Department - Shattered, Dysfunctional, Highly Politicized

Q: Was the politicization a contributing factor to your decision to retire?

....Yes, it became quite clear that under Gonzales, the department placed no more than secondary value on the standards that I and my office had valued so heavily for the preceding 25 years -- accuracy, integrity, responsibility and quality of decision-making being chief among them. Had I stayed as director of OIP, I might have been working for a Monica Goodling protege by now.

Q: Are there any possible benefits to this "decision-making by consensus" approach?

A: Yes, but they accrue only to the participants in the process. Indeed, by operating in this way, they manage to avoid any singular responsibility for the result, or any part of it, which is another way of saying that they see themselves as running no risk of blame if anyone beyond the group has any problem with what they've done at any point.

Q: You began in the Justice Department during the Watergate years. How would you rank Alberto Gonzales in terms of politicization of the department in comparison to the other AGs you have worked for?

A: ...Third, and most significantly for present purposes, there was an almost immediate influx of young political aides beginning in the first half of 2005 (e.g., counsels to the AG, associate deputy attorneys general, deputy associate attorneys general, and deputy assistant attorneys general) whose inexperience in the processes of government was surpassed only by their evident disdain for it.
Link from Digby

Friday, April 13, 2007

DNC appoints RIAA shill to run Public Affairs for convention

Even with Dean supposedly in charge we can still get stupid decisions that seem designed by the DLC. A PR person who won't take phone calls who works for the most hated company in the US is handling PR for the Democratic Denver Convention.

Matthew Yglesias on Bush's favorite white supremacist historian

TNR, which has in the last month really worked to become a good magazine again, studied up on Bush's favorite historian. Andrew Roberts has recreated the "white man's burden" argument in favor of Bush's imperialism. Wouldn't you know he had been giving speeches in favor of the white regimes of South Africa as the blacks just didn't have what it takes to be civilized.