Sunday is Mother's Day. Would it kill ya to run a comb through your hair? Fuzzy math. Well, at least fuzzy mathematicians. Einstein's theory of relativity (and its lesser-known corollary) was presented 91 years ago today. His words: "Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S relativity." Obviously he never spent an hour with Paris Hilton. That'd be relatively interminable.

Subversive genius. Monty Python was formed 38 years ago today. For your viewing pleasure:

The Ministry of Silly Walks

The Dead Parrot Sketch

"Doctor my brain hurts!"

And The Meaning of Life, Part I: Birth.

That should keep ya busy for awhile while I round up a shrubbery.

Petraeus condemns torture. In an open letter yesterday, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, “admonished his troops regarding the results of an Army survey that found that many U.S military personnel there are willing to tolerate some torture of suspects and unwilling to report abuse by comrades.” From the letter:

I was concerned by the results of a recently released survey conducted last fall in Irasq that revealed an apparent unwillingness on the part of some US personnel to report illegal actions taken by fellow members of their units. The study also indicated that a small percentage of those surveyed may have mistreated noncombatants. This survey should spur reflection on our conduct in combat. …

Some may argue that we would be more effective if we sanctioned torture or other expedient methods to obtain information from the enemy. They would be wrong. Beyond the basic fact that such actions are illegal, history shows that they also are frequently neither useful nor necessary.

Where your money goes Here's a cool, if somewhat infuriating, graphic, depicting where all of our federal tax dollars will go in Bush's requested FY 2008 budget. Of the $1075 billion in discretionary spending, 67% or $717 billion, is targeted for military/national security spending.

Hypocrisy watch Guess how many of the GOP "moderates" who privately warned Bush that the public wants out of the war actually voted for the House bill tying war funding to progress in Iraq?

Corruption watch Today's Must Read: More on Karl Rove's push to have voter fraud investigated just before the last election. Did it matter that the allegations were two years old and had already been investigated?

What's in your wallet? Retail sales in April were down 2.4%, "the most wretched year-over-year showing by major retailers since the International Council of Shopping Centers began tracking the data in 1970," according to the LA Times. But take heart. Sales may be down at places that cater to ordinary schmoes, but business is sunny at Saks, Nieman Marcus, and Nordstrom. Apparently shoppers at those places don't have to worry so much about the home mortgage meltdown, rising gasoline prices, or the soft labor market. And that's not all. In other economic news, business is booming for boat moorings in Newport Harbor. So buck up!

Wht the hell does he think about? Under the Bush administration, U.S. citizens can be detained as enemy combatants and arrested without being charged of any crime. At today’s House Judiciary Committee hearing, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) asked Attorney General Alberto Gonzales whether any U.S. citizens are “being held today, for over a month, who have been denied habeas corpus or access to an attorney.” Instead of giving an answer, Gonzales replied, “[Y]ou’re asking me a question I hadn’t really thought about.” Sherman then followed up and asked whether there any “U.S. citizens being held now by foreign governments or foreign organizations, without access to attorneys, as a result of rendition.” Gonzales again said, “It’s just — quite frankly, I hadn’t thought about this.”

When Gonzales testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in January, he claimed that there is “no express grant of habeas in the Constitution.” Today, Sherman asked Gonzales, “Wouldn’t it be your duty as Attorney General to make sure that their [U.S. citizens’] rights to habeas corpus were honored?” After some hedging, Gonzales finally agreed: “Yes.”

Matt Stoller and Glenn Greenwald have more on the habeas fight. Sign a petition telling Congress to restore habeas corpus HERE.

Mixed terra signals. President Bush's fantasy---"We're fighting the terrorists over there so we don’t have to fight them over here"---is a bit at odds with FBI director Robert Mueller's reality check:

Homegrown amateur terror groups such as the Fort Dix Six have supplanted Al Qaeda to pose the most immediate security threat to the U.S., FBI Director Robert Mueller said yesterday. ... "For some time now, we've been concerned about the growth of homegrown groups," Mueller said at a breakfast with reporters.

Thankfully the bomb squad was there to defuse the ticking sausage links.

GOP leader: confused or lying? Apparently John Boehner believed Dick Cheney and George Bush when they insinuated that Saddam Hussein was involved in the attacks of September 11, 2001. That can be the only explanation for this statement (paraphrased) he just made on the House floor: "Every Member of this House voted for war in Iraq, except one." You see, on the AUMF for Iraq passed on October 10, 2002, 126 Democrats voted "no." The vote Boehner must have been thinking about was the vote to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Those Responsible for the Recent Attacks Launched Against the United States. That vote did indeed have just one dissenter, Barbara Lee. Is the conflation of the two votes just a mistake by Boehner, or just part of the ongoing effort by Republicans to tie Iraq to 9/11?

Don't mess with Wes After a cordial disagreement over the correctness of Army General John Batiste (who retired SO he could speak out against Bush's handling of the Iraq war) making a commercial for VoteVets.org, things got heated as Bill O'Reilly attacked Wes Clark for accepting $75 thousand (WesPAC, actually) from O'Reilly's current number one enemy and target, George Soros. Clark was magnificent as usual. I love watching Clark tell Bill-O to stick it when it comes to Soros. You almost hear some Antisemitism in Bill-O when he says "Soros and One World government". Better watch it Bill-O. The "money" quote -

Clark said "That's character assassination", and O'Reilly, wide-eyed now, replied "You bet it is!" Realizing what he just said, he started shouting, "No! It's facts!"

Bill-O blows a gasket when he realizes that he is losing the battle. Bill-O admits to character assassination on his part, but then says it is unfair to commit character assassination. Huh? I look forward to round two. My bet is that Mr. Clark will not be in another studio - so Bill-O can cut his mike the next time Clark takes it to him. Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NimlV-hZnyA

What would you say about someone who thinks he can get the presidential nomination of the Republican Party as a pro-choice candidate who, together with his current wife, boasts six marriages -- how many annulments? -- lots of consorting with criminal types like Bernie Kerik, and too many other nutty adventures to mention (and who will be undermined by the Vatican)? Maybe you'd call him crazy. And you'd be right. But he's not only crazy, he's corrupt as well extremely nasty to those who are most vulnerable to his whims and desires. I seem to remember a story in Barrett's book about how Rudy would dump his son Andrew off to go to Yankee Stadium with the Secret Service detail while Rudy and Judy high-tailed it to their favorite motel, or whatever. Of course, his public humiliation of his wife would have been enough to turn Andy against him in any case, but it's amazing, as strange as the Republican Party has been in recent times, that they could actually find a guy who, I can't believe I'm writing this, could make George W. Bush look good. (This is just what Bush did for Reagan, who was, despite the current orgy of revisionism under way, a terrible president and a generally dishonorable fellow who purposely enabled mass murder in Central America.) The only highlight I needed to see: Maxine Waters royally pissed off. If anyone needs to talk with Al, I believe he's still in Waters' office writing "I am a bad Attorney General and I deserve to be punished" a thousand times on her chalkboard. Big Pharma owns us all “Senators who raised millions of dollars in campaign donations from pharmaceutical interests secured industry-friendly changes to a landmark drug-safety bill.” The senators pared back the FDA’s power to monitor the safety of drugs and helped defeat “efforts to curb conflicts of interest among FDA advisers and allow consumers to buy cheaper drugs from other countries.” The religious fanatics didn't buy the Republican party because it was virtuous; they bought it because it was for sale.

They're covering Alberto Gonzales' hearing over at TPMmuckraker. Some early gems:

Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) sets the tone for the hearing.

Gonzales answers a question with ""I think I may be aware of that."

Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) pushes Gonzales to hurry up and indict Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA).

Kill the messengers If you've been following the trial of the two British officials accused of breaking the Official Secrets Act, here, you'll see that not only did George W. Bush and Tony Blair lie about their discussion -- which is no surprise -- but that George W. Bush really did want to murder the Al Jazeera journalists in Doha, Qatar. Otherwise, what would be the "official secret" that these two patriots are accused of leaking? I salute them, and I only wish our government was peopled with such brave souls. I also wish our media would pay attention to the fact of our having a president who apparently thinks it appropriate to target journalists for deliberate assassination.

What a waste of resources Filmmaker Michael Moore “is being investigated by the Treasury Department over a trip he made to Cuba for his new film, ‘Sicko.’” The department is “investigating whether he had violated restrictions on travel to Cuba when he accompanied sick workers seeking free medical care as part of a documentary on America’s health care industry.” Sorta like throwning Chong in prison....

California Idiots:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is poised to call for privatizing the state lottery, a move that would bring California a cash infusion of as much as $37 billion to help solve pressing budget problems but also could sacrifice a major revenue source for decades to come.

....It comes at a time when the state is facing only a modest budget deficit for the coming fiscal year — about $1 billion. But billions more in bond payments will be due soon after.

Once again, Arnold "We Have To Stop This Crazy Deficit Spending" Schwarzenegger is desperately trying to figure out a way to increase CA's deficit spending so that he can continue to pretend that he hasn't raised taxes. That's all this is about. He's already done this once with his deficit bonds, which will have to be repaid out of increased taxes eventually, and now, to make sure that "eventually" is sometime after he leaves office, he wants to raid the lottery to tide himself over. The result, of course, will be lower revenue in the future and therefore higher taxes. But not on his watch. Schwarzenegger may have a sunnier persona than George Bush, but the cynicism on offer here is even worse than Bush's. Arnold knows perfectly well he's raising taxes. He's just hoping the rest of CA is greedy enough to allow itself to be convinced otherwise.

The Gonzo Show One of the great discoveries of the Republican Party over the past decade or two is that an awful lot of the rules we take for granted are, in reality, just traditions. Like redistricting only once a decade, for example, or keeping House votes open for 15 minutes. And what Republicans have found out is that if you have the balls to do it, you can just ignore tradition and no one can stop you. It's that simple.

Alberto Gonzales has learned this lesson well. Normally, cabinet officers who have been caught in multiple obvious lies have to either resign or else seriously try to defend themselves. But Gonzales realizes this is just tradition. Unless House Democrats have the votes to impeach him, he doesn't have to do anything. He can just mock them to their face and there's nothing much they can do about it. Here's Dahlia Lithwick on his cavalier approach to his congressional testimony on Thursday:

The House Democrats are furious. To them, there is only one plausible explanation for what happened to the eight (now nine?) fired U.S. attorneys. There is only one narrative that works with the facts. The White House wanted party loyalists placed in either key battleground states, or in states where Republicans were being investigated or they thought Democrats should have been. Gonzales rolled out the welcome mat at the Justice Department and told them to install whomever they wanted while he played hearts on his computer. If Gonzales truly wants to rebut that narrative, he needs only to offer some plausible alternative. Anything at all. But he doesn't. He offers only distractions.

Read the whole thing. In Thursday's testimony, Gonzales made it clear that he just doesn't care what anyone thinks. After all, if Democrats don't like it, what are they going to do? Roll their eyes at him?

Big Time corruption watch Lots of good fireworks at today's Gonzales hearing. But here's another great scoop out from McClatchy which brings us back to what should be one of the two key focuses of the US Attorney Purge investigation: the White House was using the Department of Justice to suppress Democratic voter turnout in pivotal swing-states in order to preserve Republican control of Washington.

Off the McClatchy wire ...

Only weeks before last year's pivotal midterm elections, the White House urged the Justice Department to pursue voter-fraud allegations against Democrats in three battleground states, a high-ranking Justice official has told congressional investigators.

In two instances in October 2006, President Bush's political adviser, Karl Rove, or his deputies passed the allegations on to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' then-chief of staff, Kyle Sampson.

Sampson tapped Gonzales aide Matthew Friedrich, who'd just left his post as chief of staff of the criminal division. In the first case, Friedrich agreed to find out whether Justice officials knew of "rampant" voter fraud or "lax" enforcement in parts of New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and report back.

But Friedrich declined to pursue a related matter from Wisconsin, he told congressional investigators, because an inquiry so close to an election could inappropriately sway voting results. Friedrich decided not to pass the matter on to the criminal division for investigation, even though Sampson gave him a 30-page report prepared by Republican activists that made claims of voting fraud.

Late Thursday night, a Justice Department spokesman disputed McClatchy's characterization, saying that the White House asked for an inquiry, but never ordered an investigation to be opened.

The other point that appears to be being forgotten is the firing of Carol Lam. Lots of important stuff in this scandal. But this is pivotal. It's the big picture that most of the media has never seemed to fully grasp. All the evidence points to the conclusion that she was fired because of the expanded Cunningham investigation. More on that shortly.

"Make no mistake about it, I understand how tough it is, sir. I talk to families who die." George W. Bush 12/7/06

Big Time corruption watch II New story out from Murray Waas at National Journal:

The Bush administration has withheld a series of e-mails from Congress showing that senior White House and Justice Department officials worked together to conceal the role of Karl Rove in installing Timothy Griffin, a protégé of Rove's, as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

Here's our analysis of what it all means.

Neocon media Try to imagine the enormous media outcry that would ensue if a Democrat snubbed an Iowa farmer the way the Rudy campaign now has.

A reach that far has got to hurt! Rep. Cannon (R-Time Travel): David Iglesias's failure to report the corrupt practices behind his firing is itself corrupt. So Iglesias deserved to be fired, even if for actions taken after his firing. So it all comes out in the wash. No harm no foul.

Hot wheels. It only took 'em four years, but It looks like the bomb magnet known as the Humvee is finally going to be replaced by a much less blow-upable vehicle in Iraq. When asked why it took so long, a Pentagon spokesman said, "It took us forever to figure out where to put the DVD player."

Necon media CBS fires Gen. Batiste over VoteVets ad. Iraq veteran Gen. John Batiste “has been asked to leave his position as a consultant to CBS News” over a new VoteVets ad criticizing the Iraq war. He was interviewed by MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icIuoyshO3U

Former Generals Can Only Say Certain Things I half overheard a surprisingly decent NPR report the other day which dealt with the issue of what's appropriate for "former generals" to do. While the piece was a bit slanted on the side of "clap louder for tinkerbell" it at least did manage to mention the point that lots of former generals and similar are on the cable networks cheering on the war, so anyone who criticizes former generals speaking up is essentially saying they can only express their opinions in one direction. In addition, while this point wasn't (IIRC) made explicitly, it essentially makes the whole "former general as cable news commentator" position a farcical one at odds with any claimed journalistic pretension, as they're only on if they support current policy. And that point has just been proven.

Nothing They won't do anything. Not now, not in September. Not next September, either. I don't know what's going to happen once the Republicans have a presidential candidate, but right now I can't see how any of them are going to climb out of the rhetorical trap they've locked themselves in. The pot calling the kettle black. Russia's president Vladimir Putin---he of the pure soul, according to our Commander Guy---says the United States has become like the Third Reich. See, that's where you're wrong, Vlad. In the Third Reich, I couldn’t call our leader a scumsucking incompetent greedy trigger happy lying drunk coke addict warmonger sh*t for brains mealymouthed lunatic ass. Now if you'll excuse me, the guard just shoved some slop under my cell door and I'd like to slurp in peace. Shorter GOP economic theory: Deregulate. Promote corruption. Concentrate wealth. Slash the safety net. This will promote economic growth and prosperity for all. Can they both lose? Richard Perle lays into George Tenet on Post OpEd page (appropriate venue). Like a cage match between So No Evil and Evil. Public diplomacy through fingerprinting. CBS News reports:

Promoters from 64 countries vied this week to lure big-spending Arab tourists to their countries at the Middle East’s largest tourism convention. But not a single promoter from the United States turned up. Instead, the U.S. government sent officials from the Department of Homeland Security to demonstrate its mandatory fingerprinting of Arab and other foreign visitors. The only other U.S. presence inside the Americas hall at the show came from a tiny boutique hotel in New York.

Money talks -- even on the Left The idea that Hollywood money comes with no strings attached is a tempting one, especially to liberals, and there's even some truth to it. But still, one should recognize the limits of such thinking. It's not a coincidence, after all, that American copyright law is tilted so heavily in favor of major record labels and movie and television studios. Eric Alterman adds: There are two kinds of Hollywood money: corporate, which is given by PACs to protect copyrights (well beyond anything that would be required by the intent of the law, by the way), and the ideological money, which is for most purposes, almost entirely un-self-interested. When I investigated the process for The Atlantic, I focused on the latter, and was occasionally accused of ignoring the former. Well, perhaps, but the point still stands. The fact that Disney's PAC operates like any other PAC does not obviate the fact that the rich folk in Hollywood (and a few other places) contribute far more selflessly than the ones the media appear to admire. I tried to make that point here. Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

Ahhh, the Fort Dix Six may not quite rise to the level of the take-down of the 'Seeds of David' non-Muslim jihadist goofball cult in Liberty City, Florida last year. But it may not be far off the mark either.

Writing about these domestic terrorism busts is always a delicate task. So long as they are operating within the bounds of the law, I certainly hope the FBI and CIA have their ears and eyes on the look out for the next terror plotters. But the real jokers they actually bust turn out to be such hopeless goofs that it's hard to know whether to feel reassured that if Islamic terrorism is catching on in the US that it's only doing so among the deeply stupid or that these are the only ones our guys can catch.

The Fort Dix Six? Well, seems they made a jihad training film featuring themselves. But they couldn't figure out how to burn it to a DVD. So they went to a Circuit City and asked the clerk on duty if he could do it for them. D'oh! I guess that means these guys probably needed remedial terrorist training.

There also seems to be more than a hint of entrapment in the role the government informant played in helping arrange the planned attack. Back in November one of the plotters called a Philly police officer and told him that he'd been approached by someone [i.e., the government informant] "who was pressuring him to obtain a map of Fort Dix, and that he feared the incident was terrorist-related."

Because unemployment is soooo lucrative Gonzales on why White House Counsel Harriet Miers wanted Lewis prosecutor Debra Yang fired: Because she was sensitive to Yang's financial situation and that she wanted a more lucrative job. Said Gonzales: "Ms. Miers may have known about Ms. Yang's concern about being able to remain on the job due to financial reasons." See the video here. Needless to say it's always helpful to fire someone when they're looking for more profitable employment.

I am woman, hear me spin! Up in Minnesota, those four career prosecutors who voluntarily demoted themselves to protest how Rachel Paulose, the fresh-faced, hard-right new U.S. attorney there, was running the office are still unhappy. Now it's about Paulose's not-so-subtle suggestions in the media that the four stepped down because they couldn't deal with having a young, female boss. You can read their letter to her here.

Corruption watch VA exaggerated success of medical system. “The Department of Veterans Affairs has habitually exaggerated the record of its medical system, inflating its achievements in ways that make it appear more successful than it is,” reports McClatchy. Among the many distortions:

– The agency has touted how quickly veterans get in for appointments, but its own inspector general found that scheduling records have been manipulated repeatedly.

– The VA boasted that its customer service ratings are 10 points higher than those of private-sector hospitals, but the survey it cited shows a far smaller gap.

– Top officials repeatedly have said that a pivotal health-quality study ranked the agency’s health care “higher than any other health-care system in this country.” However, the study they cited wasn’t designed to do that.

Neocon media: At Time, time has no meaning Remember that day when the space-time continuum collapsed, and Joe Klein thought it was OK to invent a fake chronology so that he could attack those nutty, nutty leftists who call themselves... (cover the children's ears!)... bloggers?

If not, here's the run down. Klein wrote:

Only 9% of Americans say they are in favor of cutting off funds for the war, according to an April 13 cbs News poll. Unfortunately for the Democrats, that 9% includes the noisier elements of the party's base. Senator Barack Obama found this out the hard way recently, when he said in an Associated Press interview that perhaps the best course of action was to "keep the President on a shorter leash"-that is, approve funding but limit the funds, forcing Bush to keep coming back for money. This unleashed the ire of Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, proprietor of the Daily Kos blog, who wrote with typical restraint, "What a ridiculous thing to say. Not only is it bad policy, not only is it bad politics, it's also a terrible negotiating approach. Instead of threatening Bush with even more restrictions and daring him to veto funding for the troops out of pique, Barack just surrendered to him."

Problem was, Markos wasn't responding to the "shorter leash" comment, because that comment hadn't even been made yet. In fact, the "shorter leash" comment was a clarification offered in response to concerns like those Markos expressed.

Klein, challenged on the call, came up with this beaut:

It was chronologically incorrent [sic] for me to make it seem that Kos was responding to the "shorter leash" comment, but substantively correct. My description of the difference between Obama and Kos was accurate. Let me repeat the main point: Obama favors a "clean" bill, perhaps of shorter duration. Kos is opposed, vehemently, to that position--he wants the Democrats to dig in their heels and send the President another bill with a timetable and end date.

The whole substance of Klein's assertion depended on the chronology, and the chronology was incorrect. But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln... So what do you do? This got printed in the actual dead tree edition of Time. So you get a correction, right?

Wrong, says Time editor Priscilla Painton. Priscilla, by the way, finally got into the act when we actually had the gall to pursue that correction. In an e-mail exchange with Markos, she first said that Joe's "correction" -- issued on the blog and not in the magazine -- was sufficient. And when pressed, said instead:

From: priscilla_painton@timemagazine.com
Date: May 10, 2007 11:18:57 AM PDT
To: Markos
Subject: RE: Correction

Dear Markos:After reviewing the facts, I don't believe Joe's
column was incorrect.

Priscilla

Got that? The online correction to the print piece is sufficient. And not only that, but what I just said wasn't even necessary, because there's nothing to correct.

Now how could you look at those facts and say they're not incorrect? Well, first of all, you have to ignore what Joe Klein said, which is, of course, that he was incorrect. But Klein still insists he's "substantively" correct, because Markos is "vehemently" opposed to the "short leash" approach.

Has anyone seen this "vehement" opposition? They're going to vote on the "short leash" tonight, so make your search quick. (Although if you're Time magazine, I guess you can wait, since the chronology doesn't really matter, nor does the word "oppose." You can just fill that in later.)

But looking for that "vehemence" won't help you with the ridiculous temporal distortions. They're so incorrect, they've exploded relativity and screwed up the very fabric of the universe with this one.

So I'm gonna take my cues from Priscilla and Joe and follow them into the wormhole here. I'm gonna declare this a victory. Joe has humbly apologized, and Priscilla has offered her resignation. No, that hasn't actually occurred yet, but when it does, I'm gonna match it all up and call it "substantively" correct.

You can e-mail Priscilla, and thank her for having the honor and good sense to step down. Whenever.

Corruption watch Yesterday, the House Republican Steering Committee voted to seat Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) on the Appropriations Committee, “filling the vacancy left by embattled Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA),” who is under investigation by the FBI for his longstanding ties to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. According to Roll Call, Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) “has sought to enforce a tougher ethical standard in the 110th Congress,” and thus called on Doolittle to immediately resign his committee seat in the wake of corruption charges. But Boehner’s rhetoric is merely a PR stunt. Named one of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington’s “20 Most Corrupt Members of Congress,” Calvert has a history of abusing his power just as much as Doolittle:

Made huge personal profits off his own earmark. Calvert pushed through an earmark to secure over $9 miilion for freeway and commercial development near property he owned in California. After the development of the area, Calvert sold his property for a 79 percent profit.

Personal firm received commission from earmark. “In another deal, a group of investors bought property a few blocks from the site of a proposed interchange, for $975,000. Within six months, after the earmark for the interchange was appropriated, the parcel of land sold for $1.45 million. Rep. Calvert’s firm received a commission on the sale.”

Rewarded K Street firm under investigation with pork projects. The Copeland Lowery lobbying firm is currently “enmeshed in a federal investigation of Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA).” “Rep. Calvert has helped pass through at least 13 earmarks sought by Copeland Lowery in 2005, adding up to over $91 million.” The lobbying firm has been Calvert’s largest campaign contributor.

Traveled to Saudi Arabia with convicted Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-CA) in 2004. They were accompanied by Thomas Kontogiannis, an alleged co-conspirator in the Cunningham controversy.

Despite Calvert’s controversial past, Boehner maintained that a simple interview was enough to erase his past in the eyes of House conservatives. “Congressman Calvert answered every question asked of him by the Steering Committee,” Boehner said. “It was a candid and frank conversation, and the members of the committee were satisfied with his answers.” CREW’s blog has more.

Shouldn't he, like... I dunno... shut up or something? DeLay Calls Liberals Nazis, Then Claims ‘Only’ Liberals Make Nazi References Writing on his blog this morning, ex-Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) accuses liberals and “the radical left” of being the “only” people who enjoy “likening the United States to Nazi Germany,” ignoring his own past comments comparing American liberals to “the ranks of scoundrels like Hitler.” Noting a recent speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin, in which the head of state apparently compared U.S foreign policy to that of the Third Reich, DeLay hypocritically launched into an attack on liberals:

Odd, I only thought it was the radical left in our own nation which enjoys likening the United States to Nazi Germany. Apparently this disease has spread to Russia as well.

As recently as last month, DeLay made comments comparing American liberals to Nazis. On April 10, appearing on WERS radio in Boston, DeLay claimed that the process that saw him indicted for money laundering, which would be the American legal system, “is the same process” that led to the Holocaust: “it may be six million jews, it may be indicting someone on laws that don’t exist, but it’s the same philosophy, it’s the same world view,” said DeLay.

DeLay also compared liberals to Nazis in his recently released book, “No Retreat, No Surrender”:

“I believe it was Adolf Hitler who first acknowledged that the big lie is more effective than the little lie, because the big lie is so audacious, such an astonishing immorality, that people have a hard time believing anyone would say it if it wasn’t true. You know, the big lie — like the Holocaust never happened or dark-skinned people are less intelligent than light-skinned people. Well, by charging this big lie” — that DeLay violated campaign-finance laws in Texas — “liberals have finally joined the ranks of scoundrels like Hitler.”

DeLay is demonstrating a Gonzales-like memory when he claims that Nazi analogies are an exclusive tool of liberals. In fact, DeLay and many of his conservative allies, are more than happy to make Nazi references if it suits their political aims.

Bigotry is no big deal? Recruiter who sent racist e-mail is ‘re-assigned.’ After learning that Jersey City resident Corey Andrew was gay, U.S. Army recruiter Sgt. Marcia Ramode responded in an e-mail, “GO BACK TO AFRICA AND DO YOUR GAY VOODOO LIMBO TANGO AND WANGO DANCE AND JUMP AROUND AND PRANCE AND RUN ALL OVER THE PLACE HALF NAKED THERE.” The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network reports that Ramode has now “been suspended from recruiting duties,” and “has been reassigned from Army Recruiting Command to a duty position elsewhere in the Army.” Pam’s House Blend notes that it seems to be a “slap on the wrist.”

Submitted by RKing on