Friday, January 19, 2007

Tony Snow Smackdown!

My favorite part of yesterday's press briefing:

Q "Yes, Tony, thank you. Two questions. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Congressman Maurice Hinchy of New York have just introduced companion bills called the 'Media Ownership Reform Act,' which are an attempt to revive the 'fairness doctrine' for TV and radio with no such government control proposed for newspapers, magazines or wire services. My question, does the President believe that we should revive the so-called 'fairness doctrine' which was repealed during the Reagan administration?"

MR. SNOW: "You know, Les, we'll take that up if it becomes a real issue."

Q: "Okay. President Kennedy's Assistant Secretary of Commerce, Bill Ruder, said, 'We had a massive strategy to use the 'fairness doctrine' to challenge and harass the right-wing broadcasters and hoped the challenge would be so costly to them that they would be inhibited and decide it was too expensive to continue.' And my question, do you remember that statement reported by The Washington Times on September 5, 1993?"

MR. SNOW: "No. Although I do have some memories of the Kennedy administration, that particular utterance does not rise to thought."

Q: "That was from an article headlined, 'Return of the Fairness Demon,' and the byline was, Tony Snow."

Snow immediately turned to another reporter amidst laughter from the gallery, embarrassed and chastised!

Clergy protest Bush library

You know things are getting REALLY bad for ole G-Dub when even the religious types are protesting against the man. Recall that negotiations are underway to build George W. Bush's presidential library at Southern Methodist University. But, this action has divided the campus by pitting administration and some alumni against faculty members who say the project would be an embarrassment to the school. In a latest development, a group of Methodist ministers launched a petition drive Thursday asking church members to pressure Southern Methodist University to drop its bid for the presidential library. Their petition states: ''As United Methodists, we believe that the linking of his presidency with a university bearing the Methodist name is utterly inappropriate". Ya think?

From High on The Hilltop in Big D!: "I support the library being at S.M.U. because it will give students/instructors/visitors an opportunity to discuss his failed policies in an educational forum. Where better to learn from someone's mistakes?"

Thursday, January 18, 2007

AP Publishes Kerry with Nazi-like Salute


(AP Photo/Bizuayehu Tesfaye)

The right-wingers always have a hissy fit when an unflattering photo of one of their own appears on the internet(s): Here, here, here, and here for just a few examples of the righties screeching "liberal bias" about internet(s) photos. Drudge has even bitched and whined when a photo of Bush with a similar pose is published (I would appreciate if anyone can find a URL).

What will they have to say about this one with Mr. Kerry? Answer: Nada.

News Roundup

* Marine pleads guilty to Iraqi man's murder

* MySpace Hit With Online Predator Suits

* Chinese test missile obliterates satellite

* Oil plunges below $50 for first time since '05

* Retired Generals [YET AGAIN!] Criticize Bush’s Plan for Iraq

Song of the Day (Interpol, 'NYC')

This is my favorite song from Interpol.



2nd Verse:
subway she is a porno
and the pavements they are a mess
i know you've supported me for a long time
somehow i'm not impressed

Stupid People Say Stupid Things

"The Constitution does not say that every citizen has the right to habeas corpus." - Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee today.

Unless Gonzales doesn't believe the Constitution applies to all U.S. citizens, we need a new Attorney General that has actually read the Constitution:

Article I, Sec. 9:

"The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it."

Gee - I don't seem to remember being invaded, or a rebellion breaking out, do you?

Al Franken Seeks Advice for Possible Senate Run


"Senator Al Franken", now wouldn't that just piss off O'Reilly like we have never seen before? I would pay to see that O'Reilly implosion. Good Luck, Al!

From the AP:

Al Franken has reached out to Democratic lawmakers from Minnesota in recent days, seeking advice on a possible Senate run against Republican Sen. Norm Coleman next year.

Darth Cheney Responsible for War With Iran

As we've been reporting since prior to Bush's National Address last week, the Administration has upped the rhetoric against Iran a notch, and seems to be looking to pick another fight, and take the United States in another needless, unwarranted war.

The Administration claims the Iranian government is supporting terrorism, the insurgency in Iraq, and is attempting to build a nuclear weapon, as opposed to a civilian nuclear program as the Iranians claim.

If, in fact, the United States declares war on Iran, the responsibility of every single death of an American soldier or Iranian citizen will lay squarely on the shoulders of Vice President Darth Cheney.

According to the BBC, the State Department received a letter from the Iranian government shortly after the invasion of Iraq in 2003. According to officials, the letter offered to cut off funding to terrorist groups (Hamas & Hezbollah), promised "full transparency" on their nuclear program, and offered to help provide stability in Iraq.

In return, the Iranians wanted an end to sanctions, and "repatriation of members of the Mujahedeen Khalq," an Iranian "opposition group" that fought along Saddam Hussein during the Iran/Iraq war.

Sounds like a great deal, right? Not to Darth Cheney apparently. The article continues to explain that the State Department was initially positive on the offer, but once it was dead on arrival to the Veep's office.

"As soon as it got to the White House, and as soon as it got to the Vice-President's office, the old mantra of 'we don't talk to evil' ... reasserted itself," said former State Department official Lawrence Wilkerson.

Apparently, Cheney will only talk and work with Iran as a representative of Halliburton.

As a matter of fact, not only did Cheney turn down the offer that could have avoided war and accomplished exactly what we're trying to accomplish now, Cheney responded to the Swiss (who provided the US with the communication) and blasted them for even sending the proposal.

If, in fact, the United States does send our troops into battle with Iran, all responsibility will lay squarely on the shoulders of Darth Cheney for his refusal to attempt diplomacy, and his out right denial of everything we've been trying to accomplish.

House Democrats at 34 hours: 5 bills down and 1 to go

The 109th-do-nothing Congress is behind us and now the new and much improved (and motivated) Democratic-controlled 110th Congress is making progress. Five bills have been passed and one more is on tap as House Democrats sprint through their list of promises, not even in sight of the 100 hours set aside for that goal. From the AP:

About seven more hours ticked away Wednesday on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's 100-hour clock for passing each item on an agenda that Democrats told voters they would enact after sweeping to victory in November.

It has taken just over 34 hours to pass the first five bills (my emphasis), including a measure approved Wednesday to lower interest rates on some student loans.

The items passed so far would:
* make the government negotiate for lower Medicare prescription drug prices. It passed last Friday.

* expand federally funded stem cell research. It passed Jan. 11.

* raise the federal minimum wage. It passed Jan. 10.

* seek to bolster terrorism-fighting efforts. It passed Jan. 9.

* change rules governing ethics, lobbying and the budget. These changes were passed on Jan. 4-5.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Song of the Day (Switchfoot, 'Meant to Live' [Live Acoustic])

Today's SOTD is dedicated to my concert-partner-in-crime, Laura. Switchfoot is currently on tour; we'll be there. Check them out if they are in your part of the world.

Breaking News: Bush Reads Constitution

In an amazing twist, Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez has issued a new letter in which he states that the NSA Wiretapping/domestic surveillance program is now subject to FISA courts.

The full text of the letter can be viewed below (via TPM).



According to right-wingers, FISA was absolutely unnecessary and the President had the power to do as he wishes, without the approval of FISA (even when a warrant could be received retroactively up to 72 hours of wiretap initiation).

In late 2005, Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol, and AEI "scholar" Gary Schmidt penned an Op-ed for The Washington Post (which of course left out much vital information about FISA) which contained this gem:

"This is presumably one reason why President Bush decided that national security required that he not simply follow the strictures of the 1978 foreign intelligence act, and, indeed, it reveals why the issue of executive power and the law in our constitutional order is more complicated than the current debate would suggest. It is not easy to answer the question whether the president, acting in this gray area, is "breaking the law." It is not easy because the Founders intended the executive to have -- believed the executive needed to have -- some powers in the national security area that were extralegal but constitutional."
Kristol and Schmidt argued that the President can, in some instances, break the law if he deems it necessary. These "rule of law" Republicans (neocons in sheeps clothing) threw their ideology out the window and sold their souls to support actions by the president merely because he is of the same party, and wished to support the neoconservative agenda. All of this for actions that could easily have been avoided, since FISA allows for wiretapping to begin, with the stipulation a warrant is received within 72 hours. Not to mention only 6 requests from the Bush Administration to the FISA court for a warrant were ever denied.

Now just over a year later, the President is admitting (or is possibly frightened of Congressional subpoenas)that FISA is the rule of law in the United States, and will finally follow its provisions. Integrity, credibility and the Constitution were thrown out the window over the slighest of challenges: 6 denials and slightly over 150 modifications to warrants by the FISA courts. Another example of Bush's delusion that he is King, and can do as he wishes.

Or maybe someone finally read the Constitution to him.

Update: This sudden change of heart, it seems, comes only a day before Gonzolez is set to testify before Congress on the issue. After 6 years of GOP rule, unchecked powers, and the ability to do as he wishes, President Bush reversed his course just one day before his "course" was set to be questioned. Under oath.

Stupid People Say Stupid Things

"We liberated that country from a tyrant. I think the Iraqi people owe the American people a huge debt of gratitude." - President George Bush during an interview with 60 Minutes.

Yes, for killing their families, ruining their country's infrastructure, taking away their rights, starting a civil war, taking away their electricity, and occupying their once sovereign nation.

Thanks George Bush.

Let the Children Lead the Way, Part II

My absolutely beautiful, brilliant niece, Kayla Alexis, in Washington DC showing the world that she won't let them take away her Constitutional rights.

Song of the Day (Concrete Blonde, 'Joey')

Jim Webb Tapped for Dems State of the Union Response

For the second year in a row a Virginian has been chosen to deliver the Democratic response to the President's State of the Union speech. Freshman Senator and Military Vet Jim Webb has been slated to make the response.

And speaking of the SOTU address, just remember the following clip while the President continues to lie and spread his propaganda to the Country.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

34,000 Iraqis killed last year

Just last month we lost our 3,000th serviceman in Iraq. With Bush's escalation (it's not a "surge", I don't care how many times the MSM uses that bullshit term) of another 20,000+ Americans, there will now be more targets to get in the way of Iraq's civil war. However, our 3,000 precious lives doesn't even come close to the more than 34,000 Iraqi civilians who died last year.

Think about this, Saddam was hung for killing 5,000 of his own people.


Update:
The one-day death toll tops 100 in Baghdad. What will it take for the unhinged-chickenhawk-pro-death/pro-war types to admit they are wrong?

America, are we this stupid?

Sometimes I just cringe when I hear my fellow countrymen open their traps.

Obama to Announce Candidacy Today?

Raw Story currently has a "developing" story, reporting that Senator Barack Obama is expected to announce his candidacy for President today.

Updates provided when more information is available.



Update I: Obama has scheduled an 11 am CST conference call with supporters, where he is expected to make his official announcement.

Update II: Senator Obama has announced on his website that he will be launching an Exploratory Committee today. A final decision on his candidacy will not be made until Feb. 10th.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Note: Scooter Libby Trial Set to Begin Tomorrow

That's right, boys and girls! It's Fitzmas time again!

The Scooter Libby/perjury trial is set to begin tomorrow, and Jane Hamsher at Fire Dog Lake has received press passes to cover the trial live. Make sure to check out her coverage daily!

Here's to Fitzy absolutely CRUSHING Tricky Dick!

John Bolton Says Iraq is in a State of Civil War

Now that the Bush Administration shackles have come off, it seems former UN Ambassador John Bolton has decided to acknowledge "reality", and has declared there most certainly is a civil war raging in Iraq.

Unfortunately for America, Bolton made these comments during an interview that aired in the UK. Will the rabid-right, that goes after every Democrat for making discouraging statements about the United States while in other nations, go after Bolton for this perceived "anti-American" stance?

Too bad Bolton couldn't bother with little details like "truth" while he was in office - or in the United States.

The video can be viewed at C&L.

"New Way Forward" Plan Coordinated with Iraqi Officials?

Since Bush announced his "new way forward" plan for Iraq, the plan itself has been touted endlessly as something that was proposed by the Iraqis themselves. During the President's address to the nation, he referred to the plan as "the new Iraqi plan", in what can be seen as a concerted effort to give the appearance that the Iraqis are on board, and will live up to their role in the plan, which they have failed to do in the past.

During a press briefing, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said, "The President has outlined a strategy that relies on three main points. First, and most importantly, the Iraqis have devised their own strategy -- political, economic, and military -- and our efforts will support theirs.

General Peter Pace, testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee said, "Sir, I believe the Iraqi leadership is saying they're 100 percent onboard."

And according to AP:

"Sen. Gordon Smith, the Republican from Oregon who recently criticized the handling of the war, said Bush told the senators that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki presented him with the plan for a U.S. troop increase several weeks ago when they met in Jordan. Bush indicated to the lawmakers he was willing to send more troops because the Iraqis were willing to meet certain criteria. "
But in today's "New York Times" a very different image of this new "plan" is presented.

"Just days after President Bush unveiled a new war plan calling for more than 20,000 additional American troops in Iraq, the heart of the effort — a major push to secure the capital — faces some of its fiercest resistance from the very people it depends on for success: Iraqi government officials."
The article continues on to discuss certain areas that are serving as points of contention between the American and Iraqi governments, with one American official saying, “We are implementing a strategy to embolden a government that is actually part of the problem. We are being played like a pawn.”

If this plan was presented by the Iraqis themselves, why is the United States facing a push-back from Iraqi government officials, officials that the White House has claimed are already on-board?

Why would the President of the United States go on national television to address the world with a plan that not only hasn't been finalized, but doesn't have the full support of the government, while claiming it did?

Happy MLK Jr. Day

I personally can't think of a better way to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, than by sharing, quite possibly, the greatest, most moving speech of all time.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

More guns equal more murders in U.S. states. Go figure

I'm not anti-gun in any way, shape, or form. If the NRA wasn't so closely linked to the GOP and wing-nuts, I would be a member.

I'm a former hunter, a veteran, and a gun owner. Unlike so many citizens, I respect guns and realize their danger in the hands of untrained and unstable extremist individuals (i.e. right -wing-nuts).

So, it's no surprise to most rational individuals that, "American states where more people own guns have higher murder rates, including murders of children, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health reported on Thursday."

"Our findings suggest that in the United States, household firearms may be an important source of guns used to kill children, women and men, both on the street and in their homes," said Matthew Miller, assistant professor of health policy and injury prevention, who led the study.
The right-wing-nut argument that a "armed society is a civil society" is complete bullshit (think old west, the middle east, etc where people were/are shot at the drop at the hat). The people that want everyone to be armed are typically the most unstable and irresponsible citizens in a society and are part of the pro-death crowd. Why else would they want to carry a gun unless they wanted to murder someone?

Updated:

A priceless and comical look at arming teachers versus bulletproof books in school (h/t to C&L):