Filtered news 3/29

“By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don’t think you can call it rape,” said right-wing activist Phyllis Schlafly yesterday at Bates College. She also noted that women have an “” and should not be firefighters, soldiers, or construction workers: “Women in combat are a hazard to other people around them.” Let's have Phyllis fitted for her new jacket:

Cause for outrage “Income inequality grew significantly in 2005, with the top 1 percent of Americans — those with — receiving their largest share of national income since 1928. … The top 10 percent, roughly those earning more than $100,000, also reached a level of income share not seen since before the Depression.”

War! What is it good for? Absolutely nuthin'! :

I suppose I should remind you, since many people appear never to have understood this point despite history's multiple proofs, that war is and has always been the . All of the Bush administration's major depredations — its unrelenting assault on civil liberties, including the (an immense evil which the Democrats appear unable and unwilling to correct ), its profound and probably irreversible damage to America's economy, probably for the rest of our lifetimes and far beyond, to say nothing of the destruction of an entire country that never threatened us and — are founded on war, and war provides the alleged "justification" for the ceaseless train of evils we have witnessed…

Smearing Obama Glenn Greenwald takes The Washington Post's Richard Cohen today for blasting Obama over the most trivial of memory lapses possible -- the fact that he got the name of a magazine wrong that he'd read when he was nine years old. No, Obama didn't remember the name of a magazine he read roughly in 1970, the year the Beatles broke up and Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin died. That was pretty dismal of Cohen, no question. Nonetheless, today's Award for Superficial Sliming -- or ASS -- goes hands down to...the Associated Press' Nedra Pickler!

The news org and Pickler win it for :

It says:

Is Obama all style and little substance?

The voices are growing louder asking the question: Is Barack Obama all style and little substance?

The freshman Illinois senator began his campaign facing the perception that he lacks the experience to be president, especially compared to rivals with decades of work on foreign and domestic policy. So far, he's done little to challenge it. He's delivered no policy speeches and provided few details about how he would lead the country.

There's much more like that. But wait -- no policy speeches since the campaign started? What about on March 21? What about on March 2? Those are both foreign policy speeches -- or doesn't that count?

Here's a calling for universal health care on January 25. Obama his exploratory committee on January 16. Perhaps the AP is suggesting that the campaign didn't "start" until his official announcement on Feb. 10. If so, laying down this marker is artificial and silly, and indeed is quite transparently designed to elicit the conclusion it did. Amusingly enough, the AP does mention Obama's health care and Iraq positions way down in the story -- without noting that Obama has indeed spoken about them at some length during the campaign. If you want to say these speeches are too short on specifics, go ahead, but that doesn't mean they're not policy speeches -- just thin ones.

Would it behoove Obama to go into more detail about his plans and policy prescriptions, and would it behoove him to do better on health care than he did over the weekend? Sure it would -- and his lack of experience is undoubtedly a valid topic. But taking things to the point where you're suggesting that the guy may have "little substance" on the strength of this stuff alone seems pretty damn thin. It's deeply superficial and stinks of the worst sort of slavishness to predetermined narratives -- today's being that Obama is a closet lightweight. Your Hack Pack at work, ladies and gentlemen.

One other point: The piece didn't mention that Obama has written . If you're going to question whether a guy has substance, that seems like it might have deserved a mention. It gets better. Now the Republican National Committee is this AP piece to reporters. Wonder why?

McCain leaps off the edge and into the deep end Senator John McCain makes the outrageous claim (a five year-old could debunk it) that neighborhoods in Baghdad are so safe that even a 4-star general can drive around in an unarmored Humvee, collecting sweets and flowers from the grateful citizens lining his path. Six thousand miles away, CNN's Michael Ware---a fixture in Iraq for years---gets fed up :

"Honestly, Wolf, you'll barely last twenty minutes out there. I don't know what part of Neverland Senator McCain is talking about when he says we can go strolling in Baghdad."

Hint: it's the part of Neverland you never want to venture into without a licensed psychiatrist.

What liberal media? The word "some," like the word "seems," generally means the journalist is full of it, .

When dirty tricks backfire (gotta love it!) Last week we learned that Karl Rove and the White House staff have routinely used their RNC accounts to send email as a way of evading congressional oversight. an aide told U.S. News & World Report. "We saw that with the Clintons but I don't think anybody saw that we were doing anything wrong." So what does this mean? "The easy and obvious point is that anything Rove sent out in an e-mail from his RNC address is not privileged." But then, drawing on an analogy with attorney-client privilege, he suggests it may mean even more: "A further interesting question is the extent to which using RNC e-mails to communicate stuff about meetings with Bush et al should be viewed as a further waiver of other executive privilege claims, at the limit on everything pertaining to the meetings and topics discussed in the RNC e-mails." In other words, if staffers were primarily discussing the U.S. Attorney firings on personal and RNC accounts, that implicitly means that they themselves weren't treating it as the kind of official business that would be protected by executive privilege. Alternatively, if they were using private accounts specifically to evade legitimate congressional oversight, then executive privilege claims might also fail for all their other communications as well.

Send McCain here, perhaps? An estimated 60 Sunnis who were by roaming gangs of Shiite policemen(!) Tuesday night in the Iraqi town of Tal Afar. It was Shiite revenge for Sunni truck bombs. Which was revenge for Shiite bombings. Which was revenge for Sunni kidnappings. Which was revenge for Shiite beheadings. And so on. And so on. And so on...

Zombie Terrorists "The consequences of failure are catastrophic because if we come home, bin Laden and Zarqawi, they are going to follow us." Otherwise, they won't know how to locate the USA.............?

Freddy Thompson My instinct was to , but when you think about it he's going to be the Republican nominee. He's precisely the generic conservative Republican the GOP base is looking for. And, I mean, it's an outcome I can live with. I'm really fearing Rudy Giuliani who I think will probably be the worst president on the merits of the people currently in the field, but also quite possibly the Republican with the broadest political appeal.

"If they had said, 'We fired those eight attorney's because we wanted to,'
they might have avoided this whole problem. Instead, they lied.
They lied because they always lie. It's the only thing they know how to do."
-- Randi Rhodes

Just asking 'bout that so-called liberal media Why is that pundits are forever throwing out "compromise" positions, suggesting intransigence of both sides, which are pretty

Hey! News folks! Wake up! I'd heard this study mentioned before, but now , courtesy of . It shows that "the offices of the U.S. Attorneys across the nation investigate seven (7) times as many Democratic officials as they investigate Republican officials, a number that exceeds even the racial profiling of African Americans in traffic stops." To state what I guess isn't clear to much of the national press corps, this is the scandal behind the scandal of the US Attorney firings. The issue isn't merely that a handful of US Attorneys seem to have lost jobs they shouldn't have lost -- they'll be OK all things considered -- but that if a handful of US Attorneys get fired for refusing to mal-administer justice, what does that tell us about the ones who aren't getting fired? The linked study is one strong piece of circumstantial evidence that something very fishy is up, and the firings are a second such piece.

The Onion:

Stewart...Colbert...Maher...and now the . Sweet.

Jon Stewart cuts through the spin on the 2007 Iraq supplemental bill. On one hand, you have the President and Republicans insisting that this bill is and for the troops. On the other, you have the Democrats saying that it does indeed while at the same time that our mission is defined and feasible. Jon cuts through the spin and gets to the truth. | |

If you're keeping score at home.... with links and dates. Eve Fairbanks writes today about the problem of

In the last couple of weeks, even in the minds of the lawmakers tasked with oversight, the administration's scandals and screw-ups have started to blur together into one Meta Screw-Up -- a situation in which every procedural safeguard, institutional norm, and carefully designed plan seems to have "just melted into oblivion with this sloppy administration," as Senator Dianne Feinstein put it at the Mueller hearing. The impression that we are, by now, witnessing the unfolding of one giant, undifferentiated scandal is compounded by the sense that this is some kind of watershed moment: The U.S. attorneys affair unleashed last Thursday's complaint that Bush partisans meddled with a Justice Department tobacco prosecution, which unleashed Monday's accusation that the General Services Administration was misused for political ends, and on and on.

Actually, that sounds about right to me. But does it mean there are serious scandals that aren't getting the individual attention they deserve? Fairbanks makes a case that that's what's happened to the FBI scandal, which is "arguably, just as serious as the U.S. attorneys scandal and the others." Read the rest.

Lest we forget The reason there is a fight over Iraq funding is because Bush decided not to include such funding in the regular budget. Why not? Who knows? Perhaps because his election-year budget presented fictional progress toward a "balanced budget". If he included his war funding in that budget, he couldn't pretend a balanced budget was within reach. (A trillion dollar war makes that difficult.) But let's not forget, the only reason this fight is being waged, is because Bush chose to our troops in his regular budget. And now he's threatening to veto the funding Congress is allocating for the war. In other words -- Bush refused to fund the troops in his budget, Congress is providing that funding, and Bush is threatening to veto that funding. Nice way of doing business.

"Senator Hagel is saying the U.S. is not a monarchy.
Of course it's not a monarchy. What an outrageous thing to say.
The president should confiscate Hagel's land and revoke his privilege."
-- Stephen Colbert

Just in time -- an in the Washington Post explaining what everyone who's really studied the subject knows: that the GOP 'voter fraud' claims are themselves a fraud. The whole thing is a scam designed to make it harder for people -- especially members of minority groups -- to vote. Michael Waldman and Justin Levitt comment today on the apparent obsession the Justice Department had with U.S. Attorneys who failed to prosecute voter fraud cases. The problem, they say, is that despite the GOP's insistence that such cases must be widespread,

Firing a prosecutor for failing to find wide voter fraud is like firing a park ranger for failing to find Sasquatch....Proven voter fraud, statistically, happens about as often as death by lightning strike.

....Alarmingly, the Supreme Court suggested in a ruling last year (Purcell v. Gonzalez) that fear of fraud might in some circumstances justify laws that have the consequence of disenfranchising voters....Identification requirements often sound simple. But some types of paperwork simply aren't available to many Americans. We saw this with the new Medicaid proof-of-citizenship requirement, which led to benefits being cut off for many longtime citizens. Some states insist that voters provide photo IDs such as driver's licenses. But at least 11 percent of voting-age Americans, disproportionately elderly and minority voters, lack the necessary papers. Required documentation such as naturalization paperwork can cost as much as $200.

As everyone knows -- but no one will say in public -- GOP strategists like voter ID laws not because they're truly afraid of fraud, but because experience tells them exactly which groups of people are most likely to vote less in places where such laws exist: the poor, the elderly, the disabled, and minorities. And guess what? Those groups are all disproportionately Democratic. Just a coincidence, I'm sure.

"Foley Flashbacks" at the DOJ level in .

Creeps on wheels. So I got to thinking the other day, "Whatever happened to Mark Foley, to whom we owe so much for giving us back the House and Senate?" Well, he graduated from rehab, is bracing himself for probable child predator charges, and enjoys in tight li'l biker pants. Oh, and masturbating. Lots and lots of masturbating.

Corruption watch & Attorneygate Evidence linking the White House directly to the Duke Cunningham scandal. No wonder U.S. Attorney was fired

Payback's a bitch :

Someone on Presidential hopeful John McCain's staff is going to be in trouble today. They used a well known template to create his . The template was designed by Founder and CEO Mike Davidson (original template is ). Davidson gave the template code away to anyone who wanted to use it, but asked that he be given credit when it was used, and told users to host their own image files.

McCain's staff used his template, but didn't give Davidson credit. Worse, he says, they use images that are on his server, meaning he has to pay for the bandwidth used from page views on McCain's site.

Davidson decided to play a small prank on the campaign this morning as retribution. Since he's in control of some of the images on the site, he replaced one that shows contact information with a statement:

Today I announce that I have reversed my position and come out in full support of gay mariage…particularly marriage between two passionate females.

Ruh roh. Now that's REAL "maverick" talk from the Straight Talk Express.

When bad Bible-thumpers go good It all started when Pam Spaulding of the blog Pam's House Blend read an op-ed column in Philadelphia's Evening Bulletin which was critical of General Peter Pace's assertion that being gay is "immoral." The author was Joe Murray---the same Joe Murray who wrote columns and served as a staff attorney for the rabidly anti-gay American Family Association. Pam's reaction was, "What the hey??" So she contacted Joe, who agreed to an interview to explain his change of heart.

What emerges is the story of an influential Christian who finally had the good sense to question the tactics and beliefs of his earthly superiors, thanks to a fresh assessment of what The Bible really says...and his own two eyes:

How could preachers preach such vehement messages towards gays when it was clear that the Bible was unclear at best, and silent at worse, on the issue? Why recklessly condemn a group of individuals? Why fixate on them when your congregation is knee deep in divorce (Jesus had some pretty clear words on that issue)? And as for gluttony, how could preachers lecture gays on restraint when churches host pot luck dinner after pot luck dinner and not be deemed hypocritical?

It was this hypocrisy that caused me to open my eyes. Those on the Christian right, for whatever reasons, have become fixated on homosexuality. They are obsessed by it and perverse form of vengeance appears to be fueling their inquisition. I may be wrong, but I think actions are speaking much louder than words here.

The whole gay issue is no longer about the quest for the Truth; it is about fear and loathing. It is about shame and sorrow. It is anything but Christian.

I don’t expect a cavalcade of Joe Murrays to suddenly see the light and come out (so to speak). A belief, especially one reinforced by fire-breathing elders, is almost impossible to change no matter how much it conflicts with reality. More likely is a steady drip, drip, drip of defections, which will eventually reach a tipping point and bury the "gays cause hurricanes, terrorist attacks and varicose veins" ridiculousness for good.

You can read the full interview (and leave questions for a follow-up discussion Pam is planning with Murray) .

The corruption runs very, very deep. Hear the Republicans are running against David Iglesias in New Mexico. Some weird mix of parody and infamy. But give it a listen. As I said, the depth of the moral corruption of the GOP at the moment is profound. And it shows itself in both the contemporary (bribery and self-dealing) and Early Modern (bodily and moral decay) senses of the word.

So who's behind the anti-David Iglesias radio ad now running in New Mexico?

The of the group running the ad, New Mexicans for Honest Courts, says that the group's chairman is Linda Chavez Krumland.

Krumland was an to the 2004 Republican National Convention.

FEC records show, not surprisingly, that Krumland is a major contributor to Republican candidates in New Mexico. And she lists her business as .

A year ago, Krumland's husband Tom -- also a 2004 RNC delegate -- in a heap of trouble after he and state Rep. Dan Foley the New Mexico state National Guard into arranging an F-16 flyover to mark the opening of his new dealership. When first confronted about the scam, Krumland said, “If we offended anybody, then they’re unpatriotic.” As the controversy continued to grow, he eventually was forced to apologize.

In any case, you can see the Krumland's seem to be real pieces of work.

There's probably more to find out about New Mexicans for Honest Courts and the Krumlands. If your sleuthing bears fruit, let us know.

Perfect pitch. Oh, Nancy Pelosi, you done good. The way you responded to President Bush's over the deadline for troop withdrawal in your war supplemental bill was priceless. Like a patient mother explaining why it's not nice to stick gerbils up Aunt Glady's nose to 6 year-old on a sugar high, the right words and the right tone...

"Calm down with the threats, there's a new Congress in town". ... "I just wish the president would take a deep breath, recognize again that we each have our constitutional role, and we should respect that in terms of each other."

...and made him seem very, very small.

What liberal media? caught this little gem at (R)ight now on , this is what a paragraph states in the article on the Senate backing the March '08 deadline for withdrawal of troops from Iraq:

"The effect of the timeline would be to "snatch defeat from the jaws of progress in Iraq," agreed Lieberman, who won a new term last fall in a three-way race after losing the Democratic nomination to an anti-war insurgent."


Lieberman's continual hackery and slavish devotion to neo-con ideals, reality be damned aside, can I just say anti-war INSURGENT???? I'll take "Loaded Terminology" for $1000, Alex. So Ned Lamont (with his netroots support) should be viewed as an insurgent? Nice of the traditional media to finally (albeit tacitly) admit to what we've been saying for some time now: there is a war going on here at home too. The war between the truth of how everyone outside the Beltway perceives this country and her actions and those inside the Beltway desperately trying to hang on to the status quo. -15729">(Read the rest of this story…)

Bwahahahaha!!! Bush: On Iraq, public opinion is .

The re-emerging Democratic majority. According to this Pew research graph, one of the parties in America needs a prescription for political Viagra...and . And the blue team can go all night, America!

How the Repugs think According to the AP, in his prepared remarks, Kyle Sampson will tell the senate Judiciary Committee: "The distinction between 'political' and 'performance-related' reasons for removing a United States attorney is, in my view, largely artificial."

Pat Tillman's family is fed up with the lies and wants a congressional investigation into exactly what happened to their heoric son. Pat's mother Mary spoke with Keith Olbermann and Dan Patrick on their Tuesday and did a great job of explaining the shifting stories and laying out what she's seeking. | | This poor family has been for nearly three years now, being told countless versions of how Pat died. They, along with this country that reveres him, deserves to know the truth once and for all. How 'bout and asking him to do his thing.

Corruption watch New just out from the Department of Justice -- and just in time for tomorrow's Kyle Sampson testimony. They appear to clearly show that Sampson attempted to mislead Congress by proxy -- that is to say, he gave false information to DOJ officials who were preparing to provide information to Congress. And it those false statements were cleared by the White House.

Jon Stewart slams Gonzo These make it so easy, what with their obvious lies and contradictions and all. Alberto Gonzales he had nothing to do with the the decision to fire the USAs. But once suggesting otherwise, the story suddenly shifts. Nothing amazes me at this point. Jon Stewart takes him to the woodshed. | |

"Wow. I guess Alberto Gonzales is the Attorney General kind of like the homeless guy is Mayor of the park. He's not actually involved in the day-to-day operations, just kind of like a general observer."

In other purge-related news, the House — following the to ditch the Patriot Act provision that allows the President to bypass Senate confirmation of interim US attorneys. Welcome back, checks and balances. It's nice to see you again.

Behold! Karl Rove's of targeted House and Senate races for 2008.

You've never seen such a tongue-tied witness. Here's from the House hearing with GSA party-hack-in-chief Lurita Doan. Duncan ….This is hilariously sad… | | Nitpicker: :

Listening into the of the GSA hearings just now, the camera was down, but the audio was still up and you could here GSA Administrator Lurita Doan griping about the investigation and telling one of her people to take her glass, cause she doesn't want "them to have my fingerprints. They've got me totally paranoid!"

and has Rove's slide show: "Another slide shows which seats Rove feels the Democrats are most likely to take in 2008 and he was asking the GSA to help him defend those incumbents…" By the way, Christy is -8106">liveblogging the hearing…

Keith O turns the tables on Fox Noose You'll recall this week's screenshot from FOX's "Hannity's America" that read, sans , "Democrats Legislating Defeat in Iraq." Last night Keith offered — in jest — an equally irresponsible (although arguably more accurate) screen graphic of his own; also sans question mark. | |

Constitutional law expert appeared on "The Factor" last night to discuss Gonzalesgate and as the picture shows, BillO ends up losing it…again. Although this was actually a fairly civilized segment , as BillO realizes he's brought a knife to a gunfight, he does what he always does when he's wrong: he drowns out his guest. | | The real comedy gold begins when the topic turns to Alberto Gonzales' counsel and White House liaison . Bill goes nuts trying to convince Turley that Goodling's decision to plead the fifth is a good idea. Bill completely misrepresents the facts in the Libby case as he attempts to use it to make his point, but as Jonathan points out: Turley: "Well, see that's a bad thing to choose cause he's a convicted felon. A jury found him guilty of lying." If you want a lesson in responsible journalism, compare this segment with O'Reilly to on the same topic. Granted it's a few weeks old, but you'll get the point. Josh Marshall of TPMmuckracker, who has really led the charge on this entire scandal, (and shatters) the "Lam was dismissed for not proescuting immigration cases" spin. I'll take a TPM factual analysis over a "Factor" one any day. BillO the WH offer includes testimony under oath, for crying out loud!

The global warming (ahem) debate has done it again. This time, he's taking on "professional global warming denier" of the .

"Mr. Ebell, I'm sorry, but I feel like I walked in on you in bed with my wife and you just spent the last two hours asking me if I was going to believe me or my lying eyes." The crowd (and remember, this was a Federalist Society event) chortled.

"I mean, heat waves killed hundreds or thousands in Europe and Chicago. Coral reefs are dying off. Bark beetles are devastating forests they've never been found in before because the temperatures were to cold to sustain them. I don't have to go through it all, you've heard it all before… data point after data point after data point says global warming is a problem."

"Further, Exxon-Mobil recently admitted to spending $16 million dollars to cloud the science - to propagandize against global warming. And your firm, the supposedly non-partisan Competitive Enterprise Institute was one of the greatest recipients."

"Which leads me to my next point - your claim of non-partisanship. I've heard Senator Inhofe, Richard Pombo, Tom delay when he was there and many others mis-state the science, often while quoting your organization. But I'm looking at your web-page right now, and I see story after story that supposedly debunks Al Gore. Why haven't you ever had anything bad to say about a Republican? Because to a simple guy like me, well, when I look at the big picture, it looks as if you folks care less about the truth than you do about furthering a pro-business agenda."

Go read the whole exchange at . I especially like Mike's analysis of arguing with someone that has no credibility.

Who supports our troops? Air Force Gen. Lance Smith yesterday said that if President Bush’s escalation extends beyond the summer, “there is a ‘high probability’ that some Army units would have less than a year at home between combat rotations, further and reconnect with families.”


March 29, 2007 - 7:40pm