Saturday, July 28, 2007

Michelle Malkin Defends Michael Vick to Attack PETA


From Newshounds.us
Michelle Malkin, in for Bill O'Reilly, talked with Daphna Nachminovich, a representative for People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals, about Nike and Reebok's announcement that they are no longer selling products endorsed by Michael Vick. Although the public outcry about Vick's horrific "Bad News Kennels" transcends politics, Malkin chose to side with Michael Vick and attack PETA simply because it's erroneously labeled a left wing organization. Once again, reich-wingers are on the wrong side of yet another issue.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Astronauts Flew While Intoxicated

From Aviation Week (AW is loading slowly, so I C&Ped the entire story):

A panel reviewing astronaut health issues in the wake of the Lisa Nowak arrest has found that on at least two occasions astronauts were allowed to fly after flight surgeons and other astronauts warned they were so intoxicated that they posed a flight-safety risk.

The panel, also reported "heavy use of alcohol" by astronauts before launch, within the standard 12-hour "bottle to throttle" rule applied to NASA flight crew members.

A NASA spokesman declined comment on the findings, which were obtained by Aviation Week & Space Technology. The spokesman said a press conference has tentatively been scheduled for Friday afternoon on the issue. At the direction of Administrator Michael Griffin, NASA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Richard S. Williams set up the panel to review astronaut medical and psychological screening after Nowak was arrested in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 5 on charges of attempted murder and attempted kidnapping for allegedly stalking and threatening a woman who was dating another astronaut. The attempted murder charge was subsequently dropped.

The panel is composed of military and civilian government physicians, psychologists, lawyers, safety experts and astronauts under the chairmanship of U.S. Air Force Col. Richard Bachmann, dean of the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine. Panel members visited Johnson Space Center in April to gather information from flight surgeons and the astronaut office on astronaut health screening. A panel member said Wednesday the report was still in draft form, and probably would be released in August. Separately, Griffin ordered JSC Director Mike Coats to review intake and on-going psychological screening for astronaut candidates and astronauts, and to recommend changes if necessary.

Griffin also directed Coats, himself a former astronaut, to "determine whether there were any areas of concern - any leading indicators we might have picked up on, based on Lisa Nowak's dealings with other astronauts or NASA employees," in the words of Deputy Administrator Shana Dale.

The Bachmann panel report apparently does not deal directly with Nowak or mention any other astronaut by name. Coats' findings also will be part of the press conference on Friday, according to the agency spokesman.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Bush Breaks Disapproval Records: Impeachment Imminent?

H/t to C&L

dubyah is the most unpopular President [sic] for the longest stretch of time in A
American history. Keith reports on the latest poll findings confirming this sad, sad fact, and conservative Republican & former Reagan Deputy AG Bruce Fein talks about why Bush must be impeached.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Bill Maher: The Decider on HBO

In his eighth solo HBO comedy special, comedian and social commentator Bill Maher offers acerbic takes on a wide range of social and political issues. Among the hot-button subjects he'll discuss are sex, drugs, Iraq, immigration, the environment and, of course, President Bush.

Here are 8 Youtube videos of his comedy special:

1 of 8


2 of 8


3 of 8


4 of 8


5 of 8


6 of 8


7 of 8


8 of 8

Minimum Wage Goes Up Today



From the NYT
The minimum wage rises 70 cents to $5.85 an hour today, the first increase in a decade. It ends the longest period without an increase since the federal minimum wage was enacted in 1938. The last previous increase came in September 1997. Legislation signed in May increases the wage 70 cents each summer until 2009, when it will reach $7.25 an hour. Government figures show about 1.7 million people earned $5.15 or less per hour in 2006. A person working 40 hours a week at the current minimum wage of $5.15 makes about $10,700 a year. A raise to $5.85 an hour would increase that to $12,168 a year before taxes. An increase to $7.25 would raise that to just over $15,000 a year.

Lindsay Lohan: Arrested Again, Mug Shot

From TSG

Here's the mug shot Lindsay Lohan posed for this morning following her arrest in Santa Monica for drunk driving and cocaine possession. The actress, 21, was nabbed after cops spotted her SUV chasing another vehicle at high speed. After Lohan failed a field sobriety test, she was transported to the L.A. county lockup, where a pat down search turned up cocaine in her pants pocket. Click here to see the Santa Monica Police Department's booking sheet for Lindsay Dee Lohan, accused felon. (2 pages)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Caption This: The Decider

Criminalizing the Antiwar Movement

From Global Research

The Executive Order entitled "Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq" provides the President with the authority to confiscate the assets of whoever opposes the US led war.

A presidential Executive Order issued on July 17th, repeals with the stroke of a pen the right to dissent and to oppose the Pentagon's military agenda in Iraq.

The Executive Order entitled "Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq" provides the President with the authority to confiscate the assets of "certain persons" who oppose the US led war in Iraq:

"I have issued an Executive Order blocking property of persons determined to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq or undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people."

In substance, under this executive order, opposing the war becomes an illegal act.

The Executive Order criminalizes the antiwar movement. It is intended to "blocking property" of US citizens and organizations actively involved in the peace movement. It allows the Department of Defense to interfere in financial affairs and instruct the Treasury to "block the property" and/or confiscate/ freeze the assets of "Certain Persons" involved in antiwar activities. It targets those "Certain Persons" in America, including civil society organizatioins, who oppose the Bush Administration's "peace and stability" program in Iraq, characterized, in plain English, by an illegal occupation and the continued killing of innocent civilians.

The Executive Order also targets those "Certain Persons" who are "undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction", or who, again in plain English, are opposed to the confiscation and privatization of Iraq's oil resources, on behalf of the Anglo-American oil giants.




The order is also intended for anybody who opposes Bush's program of "political reform in Iraq", in other words, who questions the legitimacy of an Iraqi "government" installed by the occupation forces.

Moreover, those persons or nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), who provide bona fide humanitarian aid to Iraqi civilians, and who are not approved by the US Military or its lackeys in the US sponsored Iraqi puppet government are also liable to have their financial assets confiscated.

The executive order violates the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments of the US Constitution. It repeals one of the fundamental tenets of US democracy, which is the right to free expression and dissent. The order has not been the object of discussion in the US Congress. Sofar, it has not been addressed by the US antiwar movement, in terms of a formal statement.

Apart from a bland Associated Press wire report, which presents the executive order as "an authority to use financial sanctions", there has been no media coverage or commentary of a presidential decision which strikes at the heart of the US Constitution..

Broader implications

The criminalization of the State is when the sitting President and Vice President use and abuse their authority through executive orders, presidential directives or otherwise to define "who are the criminals" when in fact they they are the criminals.

This latest executive order criminalizes the peace movement. It must be viewed in relation to various pieces of "anti-terrorist" legislation, the gamut of presidential and national security directives, etc., which are ultimately geared towards repealing constitutional government and installing martial law in the event of a "national emergency".

The war criminals in high office are intent upon repressing all forms of dissent which question the legitimacy of the war in Iraq.

The executive order combined with the existing anti-terrorist legislation is eventually intended to be used against the anti-war and civil rights movements. It can be used to seize the assets of antiwar groups in America as well as block the property and activities of non-governmental humanitarian organizations providing relief in Iraq, seizing the assets of alternative media involved in reporting the truth regarding the US-led war, etc.

In May 2007, Bush issued a major presidential National Security Directive (National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive NSPD 51/HSPD 20), which would suspend constitutional government and instate broad dictatorial powers under martial law in the case of a "Catastrophic Emergency" (e.g. Second 9/11 terrorist attack).

On July 11, 2007 the CIA published its "National Intelligence Estimate" which pointed to an imminent Al Qaeda attack on America, a second 9/11 which, according to the terms of NSPD 51, would immediately be followed by the suspension of constitutional government and the instatement of martial law under the authority of the president and the vice-president. (For further details, see Michel Chossudovsky, Bush Directive for a "Catastrophic Emergency" in America: Building a Justification for Waging War on Iran? June 2007)

NSPD 51 grants unprecedented powers to the Presidency and the Department of Homeland Security, overriding the foundations of Constitutional government. It allows the sitting president to declare a “national emergency” without Congressional approval. The implementation of NSPD 51 would lead to the de facto closing down of the Legislature and the militarization of justice and law enforcement.

"The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government...."

Were NSPD 51 to be invoked, Vice President Dick Cheney, who constitutes the real power behind the Executive, would essentially assume de facto dictatorial powers, circumventing both the US Congress and the Judiciary, while continuing to use President George W. Bush as a proxy figurehead.

NSPD 51, while bypassing the Constitution, nonetheless, envisages very precise procedures which guarantee the powers of Vice President Dick Cheney in relation to "Continuity of Goverment" functions under Martial Law:

"This directive shall be implemented in a manner that is consistent with, and facilitates effective implementation of, provisions of the Constitution concerning succession to the Presidency or the exercise of its powers, and the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 (3 U.S.C. 19), with consultation of the Vice President and, as appropriate, others involved. Heads of executive departments and agencies shall ensure that appropriate support is available to the Vice President and others involved as necessary to be prepared at all times to implement those provisions." (NSPD 51, op cit.)

The executive order to confiscate the assets of antiwar/peace activists is broadly consistent with NSPD 51. It could be triggered even in the absence of a "Catastrophic emergency" as envisaged under NSPD 51. It repeals democracy. It goes one step further in "criminalizing" all forms of opposition and dissent. to the US led war and "Homeland Security" agenda.

Wedding Announcements: Just for the hell of it

"I don't know, last I saw them, they . . "


Hurry .. hurry ..


"Well, years ago I might have . . . ..
"


"The main thing I learned in College was
. . ."


"As soon as I get done here I'm gonna . . ."


"The coroner told me that it looked like he had
been hit in the head several times with a . . ."


...no comment .


"Not only has my ass been itchin', on closer
inspection I find my . . . "


No Comment ... really!!!


"It figures, right after I got my Butts-McCracken

condition cleared up, now I've got an . . . ."


"Honest Judge, I'm not really a . . . ."


"My Doctor told me the best way to get rid of my
Aikin-Johnson was to . . . "


"And...the Doctor also suggested for preventive measures,

at least twice a week, I should be . . . "


"After I get all of these medical problems taken care of,
I think I'll go get a . . ."

The Only Moral Abortion Is My Abortion

Right-wing dilemma and scathing hypocrisy (From DKos)

When the Anti-Choice Choose

Abortion is a highly personal decision that many women are sure they'll never have to think about until they're suddenly faced with an unexpected pregnancy. But this can happen to anyone, including women who are strongly anti-choice. So what does an anti-choice woman do when she experiences an unwanted pregnancy herself? Often, she will grin and bear it, so to speak, but frequently, she opts for the solution she would deny to other women - abortion.

In the spring of 2000, I collected the following anecdotes directly from abortion doctors and other clinic staff in North America, Australia, and Europe. The stories are presented in the providers' own words, with minor editing for grammar, clarity, and brevity. Names have been omitted to protect privacy.

"I have done several abortions on women who have regularly picketed my clinics, including a 16 year old schoolgirl who came back to picket the day after her abortion, about three years ago. During her whole stay at the clinic, we felt that she was not quite right, but there were no real warning bells. She insisted that the abortion was her idea and assured us that all was OK. She went through the procedure very smoothly and was discharged with no problems. A quite routine operation. Next morning she was with her mother and several school mates in front of the clinic with the usual anti posters and chants. It appears that she got the abortion she needed and still displayed the appropriate anti views expected of her by her parents, teachers, and peers." (Physician, Australia)

"We too have seen our share of anti-choice women, ones the counselors usually grit their teeth over. Just last week a woman announced loudly enough for all to hear in the recovery room, that she thought abortion should be illegal. Amazingly, this was her second abortion within the last few months, having gotten pregnant again within a month of the first abortion. The nurse handled it by talking about all the carnage that went on before abortion was legalized and how fortunate she was to be receiving safe, professional care. However, this young woman continued to insist it was wrong and should be made illegal. Finally the nurse said, 'Well, I guess we won't be seeing you here again, not that you're not welcome.' Later on, another patient who had overheard this exchange thanked the nurse for her remarks." (Clinic Administrator, Alberta)

"Recently, we had a patient who had given a history of being a 'pro-life' activist, but who had decided to have an abortion. She was pleasant to me and our initial discussion was mutually respectful. Later, she told someone on my staff that she thought abortion is murder, that she is a murderer, and that she is murdering her baby. So before doing her procedure, I asked her if she thought abortion is murder - the answer was yes. I asked her if she thought I am a murderer, and if she thought I would be murdering her baby, and she said yes. But murder is a crime, and murderers are executed. Is this a crime? Well, it should be, she said. At that point, she became angry and hostile, and the summary of the conversation was that she regarded me as an abortion-dispensing machine, and how dare I ask her what she thinks. After explaining to her that I do not perform abortions for people who think I am a murderer or people who are angry at me, I declined to provide her with medical care. I do not know whether she found someone else to do her abortion." (Physician, Colorado)

"In 1973, after Roe v. Wade, abortion became legal but had to be performed in a hospital. That of course was changed later. For the first 'legal abortion day' I had scheduled five procedures. While scrubbing between cases, I was accosted by the Chief of the OB/Gyn service. He asked me, 'How many children are you going to kill today?' My response, out of anger, was a familiar vulgar retort. About three months later, this born-again Christian called me to explain that he was against abortion but his daughter was only a junior in high school and was too young to have a baby and he was also afraid that if she did have a baby she would not want to put it up for adoption. I told him he did not need to explain the situation to me. 'All I need to know', I said, 'is that SHE wants an abortion.' Two years later I performed a second abortion on her during her college break. She thanked me and pleaded, 'Please don't tell my dad, he is still anti-abortion.'" (Physician, Washington State)

Go to DKos for additional stories of right-wing hypocrisy

Miers, Bush Chief of Staff to face contempt charges

From Raw story

Former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and Joshua Bolten, the current Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush, will likely be charged with contempt by the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday this week.

"This investigation, including the reluctant but necessary decision to move forward with contempt, has been a very deliberative process, taking care at each step to respect the Executive Branch’s legitimate prerogatives,” said Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, in a statement. "I've allowed the White House and Ms. Miers every opportunity to cooperate with this investigation, either voluntarily or under subpoena. It is still my hope that they will reconsider this hard-line position, and cooperate with our investigation so that we can get to the bottom of this matter."

Through an attorney, Miers had had earlier stated that she does not fear contempt charges. She refused to comply with a subpoena and appear before the House Committee on July 12 as part of the investigation into the firing of 9 US Attorneys. Bolten also has failed to turn over documents sought by House Democrats. The Bush chief of staff was ordered to comply with the subpoena by 10 AM this morning.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

How to Create an Angry American: Expose the Lies

H/T to Informed Consent:

A clever montage of Bush administration falsehoods and denials regarding the Iraq War, via YouTube: