Filtered news for 10/12

Solving the North Korea Mess by Jimmy Carter Excerpt: "What must be avoided is to leave a beleaguered nuclear nation convinced that it is permanently excluded from the international community, its existence threatened, its people suffering horrible deprivation and its hard-liners in total control of military and political policy." For some reason, Carter is ridiculed for saving the lives of those 400 hostages taken by Iraq. He's a "loser" because every one of those people came home alive. Yet the American whore media constantly tells us what a "winner" Bush is, even thoughhe's managed to screw up the whole world and get 2754 soldiers killed (What time is it?)

Bankers rape the Middle Class Bastards gouging like the oil companies Excerpt:
For the study, six large credit card issuers provided data on interest rates and fees paid. Their data showed that in 2005 nearly 80 percent of their accounts were assessed interest rates of less than 20 percent, and more than 40 percent had rates below 15 percent. However, they also reported 35 percent of their accounts paid late fees and 13 percent paid over-the-limit fees.

Karl Rove doesn't mind a sexual predator in his midst. We've known for a while that the House leadership leaned on Mark Foley to run for one more term in Congress before cashing in and becoming a lobbyist -- even if that meant keeping the House pages on their toes for two more years avoiding the F-man's constant advances. But apparently they weren't the only one. It now seems that Karl Rove also got into the act and if he didn't stick it out in Congress for two more years. :

It seems increasingly clear that the GOP congressional leadership, eager for every safe incumbent in the House to run for re-election, looked the other way as evidence accumulated that Mark Foley had a thing for pages. Holding onto his seat became more important than confronting him over his extracurricular activities.

But when Foley's friend saw the Congressman again this spring, something had changed. To the source's surprise, Foley told him he would indeed be standing for re-election. What happened? Karl Rove intervened.

According to the source, Foley said he was being pressured by "the White House and Rove gang," who insisted that Foley run. If he didn't, Foley was told, it might impact his lobbying career…

So the shocker of the day is that . The bottom line is that he realized that he wouldn't see his children for the next 10 years, and decided that it wasn't worth it for him. You all know how I've felt about being on the road and away from my wife and kid, so if there's a "best reason not to run", this is it.

The biggest winner of the 2008 field? There are several. John Edwards, already the frontrunner in my opinion, loses the only serious southern opponent. Already strong in Iowa and Nevada, this will make him the prohibitive favorite in the fourth contest in South Carolina. If he wins the first three out of four, he's looking pretty good.

Bill Richardson becomes the only serious candidate in the race who is a governor, making it easier for him to distinguish himself from the crowd.

As for Hillary, this is a double-edged sword. She loses the one candidate who probably could've gone toe to toe with her on the money front, and the one who had easily built up the most innovative, competent campaign team. But, Hillary will do best if the field remains cluttered with a ton of men. That way, she can win primaries with 30 percent of the vote. If the field narrows quickly, she'd be in trouble. (Of course, I'm still not convinced Hillary is running...)

Finally, this opens up a hole in the field for another compelling "outsider" not tainted with being part of the Corporate Dem DC establishment. Right now, the only serious outsider in the race is Wesley Clark. Another governor? The pickings are slim this year. Obama? Perhaps still too raw, but he's ambitious and the rumors are flying fast and furious.

Anyway, back to Warner, it looks like all of the illicit suitcases of cash he sent over to buy my support were for naught. Drats. Regardless, I'm left a bit underwhelmed by the current crop of contenders. But the nice thing about being 100 percent undecided about the field is I'll be able to cover the primary race without any biases.

Torture technique Is one of the US government's new 'alternative interrogation techniques'?

Sometimes the stupidity is really fun to watch MN-06: Holy crap is Michele Bachmann (R) a nut! , she's getting laughed at by the audience by saying Terri Schiavo was a "healthy woman". There's YouTube going around of her getting laughed at by claiming there is no such thing as global warming. Her Democratic opponent is .

"A former House page said he witnessed inappropriate contact between former Republican Congressman Mark Foley and another page in the back of the House floor in early 2001.

"The page, Richard Nguyen, a first-year student at the University's Gerald Ford School of Public Policy, said he saw Foley pat a male page's behind.

"Foley's attorney did not return calls for comment.

"Nguyen said he was not sure during which month the incident took place. He was a page between January and June of 2001.

"Nguyen did not report the incident to authorities. At the time, the then-16-year-old thought it was 'questionable activity,' but he was unsure how to interpret it.

"'I wasn't sure if it was a social norm I wasn't accustomed to,' Nguyen said. 'I mean, you see athletes patting each other's asses all the time on the field.'" (The Michigan Daily)

Corruption watch "The former director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives violated ethics rules by requiring 20 employees to help his teenage nephew prepare a high school video project, part of a wide-ranging pattern of questionable expenditures on a new ATF headquarters, personal security and other items, according to a report issued yesterday. "Carl J. Truscott, who previously served as head of President Bush's security detail at the Secret Service, also took several trips with excessive numbers of ATF agents, including a $37,000 journey to London in September 2005 with eight other employees, according to the report." (WaPo)

What liberal media? If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. The AP's John Solomon take at nailing Harry Reid.

Privacy? What privacy? Number of private records lost or stolen from U.S. companies and institutions: 93,754,333
(Source: Privacy Rights Clearinghouse via The Week)

Brutal honesty. This is horrible, but I'd rather know than not know: the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq may have . And who would make such wild estimates? The scandalous Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the ruffians at Johns Hopkins University, and those lying bastards at The Lancet. In the interest of fairness, it's worth noting that nearly half of them died from excessive liberator greeting.

“The beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart.” --Mary Shelley’s Victor Frankenstein

While we build a border fence... In Europe they're building a bike path along the route of . They're moving forward, we're moving backward. Who's in charge around here? Oh. Wait. Never mind.

It's snowing here. Our first annual winter driving tip: don't forget to .

Stewart strikes again! As John the other day, Dennis Hastert chose to give his press conference about the Foley scandal in front of a cemetary. Well, Jon Stewart and the brilliant Daily Show team picked up on it and started off Tuesday's show with a hilarious skit about the power and symbolism of the meticulosuly chosen photo-op backdrop. They also pick up on the slightly more flattering angle FOX News chose to shoot the press conference. Video Video

"When your opponent is drowning,
throw the son of a bitch an anvil."
-- James Carville, right again,

Oh, oh Uncle Jimmy says the wrong thing James Baker's Iraq policy commission appears to have arrived at the :

 

A commission formed to assess the Iraq war and recommend a new course has ruled out the prospect of victory for America, according to draft policy options shared with The New York Sun by commission officials. Currently, the 10-member commission -- headed by a secretary of state for President George H.W. Bush, James Baker -- is considering two option papers, "Stability First" and "Redeploy and Contain," both of which rule out any prospect of making Iraq a stable democracy in the near term.

 

The wingers will flip, since they expect everyone to ratify their "Tinkerbell strategy", in which we "stay the course", clap really loud, and Iraq magically transforms into a stable pro-Israel democracy.

Kids without a conscience. Eight years ago today, 21 year-old student Matt Shepard died after being severely beaten outside of Laramie 5 days earlier by two aimless thugs with sh*t for brains. Matt was politically aware and we have no doubt he would have been a big-time blogger. A note from his fearless mom, Judy, . Meanwhile, the knuckledragger wing of Republican party issued its annual reminder today: "Please don't kill the gays---it leaves us with fewer people to ridicule and exclude."

"The nuclear options left are dumb and dumber: Either passively accept Pyongyang's
defiant threats and ability to slip weapons-grade plutonium around the world, or launch
an invasion that could spark a devastating attack on Seoul. Thank you, Mr. President.
I feel so much safer now that we have a cowboy in charge of the free world."
-- Robert Scheer,

Old soldiers On October 12, 1870, George Allen's hero, Robert E. Lee, passed away at the age of 63. The leading general of the Confederacy once said, "It is well that war is so terrible---lest we should grow too fond of it." That quip had Wolfowitz & Co. in stitches during the build-up to the Iraq war.

Great performances. On October 12, 1960, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev went ballistic at the United Nations, taking off his shoe and pounding it on his desk. No one ever mentions the hole in his sock....

GOP: Quick, we need a Clinton distraction! A group of conservative lawmakers, led by Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), called on House Government Reform Committee Chairman Tom Davis (R-VA) to once again handling of classified documents. For a Congress that has conducted “” of the Bush administration, the move to investigate a former Clinton administration official long out of office is both misplaced and a . In a objecting to the investigation, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) wrote:

The Berger incident is not new, and there is no conceivable standard under which it would be considered a vitally important national security matter. As you know, the Justice Department thoroughly investigated the incident in 2004, and Mr. Berger pled guilty in April 2005 to a misdemeanor charge of taking classified documents without authorization. At the time of Mr. Berger’s please, Noel Hillman, the chief of the Justice Department’s public integrity section, said Berger “did not have an intent to hide any of the content of the documents.”

Instead of pursuing a politically-motivated, dead-end investigation, here are some legitimate national security issues over which Congress should be exercising its oversight:

– The release of an intelligence estimate that paints a “” picture of the situation in Iraq which is being by the Bush administration

– The White House’s role in manipulating intelligence about Iraq through their

– The National Security Agency’s

– The of senior administration officials in the and mistreatment of detainees

Mother Jones has some ideas for Congress should pursue.

The new smirker on the block. I know it's a year old, but have you noticed that the new nickel design shows Thomas Jefferson with an . He seems to be thinking: "You turned the executive branch over to whom??"

Hit in the face with the iron skillet of reality. Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson sums up the shocking truth that religious conservatives . They've been had:

 

The culture war is supposed to be about morality, but really it's a crusade to compel Americans to follow certain norms of private behavior that some social and religious conservatives believe are mandated by sociology, nature or God. Republican officeholders have paid lip service to this crusade, all the while knowing that the human family is diverse and fallible. They know that the gravest threat to marriage is the heterosexual divorce rate. They know that Republicans drink, swear, carouse and have affairs, just like Democrats. They know that homosexuals aren't devils.

Most Americans know all of this, too, by the way. Main Street hasn't been Hicksville for a long time. But Republicans positioned themselves as our national Church Lady and were rewarded with the support of the staunchest religious conservatives, who now feel betrayed.

Isn't that special!

Playing the Religious Reich for fools (don't say it...) A new book charges the Bush Administration cynically manipulated social conservatives for political profit. But unlike past accusations, these come from an insider. Tempting Faith is written by David Kuo, former Special Assistant to President George W. Bush and Deputy Director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. The book is reported to chronicle Kuo's growing frustration and eventual realization that the Republican Party in general and the Bush White House specifically were shamelessly using Evangelical Christians to advance a secular political agenda with little or no connection to the concerns of the religious right. Keith Olbermann, host of MSNBC's Countdown, has more:

(Transcript and must see video at ) The book, "Tempting Faith," not out until Monday, but in our third story tonight, a Countdown exclusive we've obtained a copy and it is devastating work. ... Now, as the Foley cover-up has many evangelical Christians wondering whether the G.O.P. is really in sync with their values, "Tempting Faith" provides the answer: No way. Kuo's bottom line: the Bush White House is playing millions of American Christians for suckers. According to Kuo, Karl Rove's office referred to evangelical leaders as 'the nuts.'

My understanding is that is planning to do more on the story tonight. And indicates the story may also be covered this Sunday on Sixty Minutes. Let's all tune in and give them a big progressive boost in ratings!

This explains a few things RNC privacy slip up reveals (emphasis mine):

In a breach of privacy, the Republican National Committee erroneously e-mailed a list that contained the names, races, and Social Security numbers of dozens of top Republican donors -- and that identified two of the contributors as Muslim -- to this reporter.(...)

The attached spreadsheet of 76 guests included category headings with Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and "race." The race of all but three were listed as "Caucasian." One was identified as "Asian," and the race of two others, Malik and Seeme Hasan, was listed as "Muslim."

The classification drew criticism from Mrs. Hasan, who founded a group called Muslims for Bush and who, along with her husband, has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republican committees and candidates in recent years.
"The only word I can think of is not very nice," Mrs. Hasan said yesterday in a telephone interview from her home in Colorado. "I think that whoever wrote this obviously has no knowledge, because Muslim is not a race. It is a religion," she said.

Tellink liez und tings of dat nay-chuh Last night on Jay Leno, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger claimed, “To link me to George Bush is like linking me to an Oscar. It’s ridiculous.” But on August 31, 2004, in a prime-time speech, Arnold said, “Our president, George W. Bush, has worked hard to protect and preserve the American dream for all of us. And that’s why I say, send him back to Washington for four more years.” As Vice President Cheney stood and applauded, he led the crowd in a raucous cheer.

Don't mess with the nurses!

Supporters of Proposition 89, the campaign-finance initiative spearheaded by the California Nurses Assn., have purchased advertising time Wednesday and early Thursday on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" to counter the appearance of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

State Treasurer Phil Angelides and his supporters and sent thousands of e-mails to the late-night show — arguing that federal law requires broadcast entertainment shows to be fair to major candidates. Angelides also asked California affiliates to pull the show. But NBC contends the Schwarzenegger segment should be considered news, and therefore exempt from the rules.

How's that democracy thing going in Iraq? “The Shiite-dominated parliament Wednesday passed a law allowing the formation of federal regions in Iraq, despite opposition from Sunni lawmakers and some Shiites who say it will and fuel sectarian violence.”

This reminds me of my kids Have you noticed how conservatives and Repubs refuse to call the Democratic Party by it's correct name? They consistently call it the "Democrat Party" -- Bush did it again yesterday. Can we say silly? Even childish? My children play these sorts of games when they're mad at each other, but hey, they're children.

“The Bush administration plans to in Jordan even as security in Iraq worsens,” the New York Daily News reports. At orders of the State Department, who wants to move all training centers to Iraq, the Jordan-based training center “will stop training Iraqi police recruits this year.” Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) called the closure “mystifying and maddening.”

Because we spent it all on Iraq? The U.S. Medicare trust fund in a dozen years, two earlier than forecast last year, because of increasing health care costs.

Tempting faith Or…"How the Extreme Christian Right were played as chumps by Karl Rove and George Bush to snatch up all their votes." After seeing from the book and following up tonight with another segment (60 Minutes has it on Sunday also), I hope this wakes them up to reality, but I doubt it. A fellow blogger thinks they will get the message, We'll see. I wonder how David Kuo will be swift boated in the end? Pre-order a .

Returning to the 1950s Civil rights scholars call the legislation the most blatant recent effort in the nation to or, as in Omaha, to resegregate districts that had been integrated by court order.

A fair fight Alternet's Evan Derkacz had a unique to yesterday's New York Times on evangelical pastors' fear "that if current trends continue, only 4 percent of teenagers will be 'Bible-believing Christians' as adults." Derkacz notes that James Dobson used the same 4 percent figure at last month's Stand for the Family Rally, except in a completely different context: "We are at war in this country with an enemy who wants to destroy us," he said. He stressed that only a small minority of Muslims believe that their faith justifies violence, "but let's say 4 percent of Muslims want to kill us...That's 48 million people who want to bring us to our knees." Derkacz's conclusion: "To hear the religious right properly, then, we're headed for a battle in which 4% of 'bible believing' Christians do battle with 4% of murderous Muslims. Sounds like a fair fight."

The has released its own interpretation of a poll it conducted with the Washington Post:

An analysis of USA Today/Gallup poll trend data indicates that while Democrats have made gains across the board on the generic Congressional ballot in the latest Oct. 6-8 survey, the change has been greater among religious whites than among less religious whites and among non whites. At this point, religious whites are equally as likely to say they will vote Democratic as Republican, a marked change from their strong tilt towards the Republicans in surveys conducted June through September....

The data reviewed here suggest that the Republicans have lost -- at least temporarily -- some of the disproportionate advantage in voting preference they have enjoyed among religious whites. This group continues to be much more likely than less religious whites or nonwhites to support the Republican candidate in their House race, and is currently as likely to support a Democrat as a Republican Congressional candidate. But, the difference between religious whites and these other two groups has narrowed somewhat as of the Oct. 6-8 poll.

One plausible explanation for the broad drop in Republican support in the most recent poll is the Mark Foley scandal in Congress. Since this situation involved issues of morality on the part of Foley, and allegations of a cover-up on the part of Republican leadership, it appears plausible that religious whites may have become disproportionately disillusioned with the Republicans and as a result lost more of their fervor for voting Republican than others in the population.

These two graphs are amazing:

All indications so far are that we're headed for a Democratic landslide on November 7th, but there's still quite a bit of time left between now and then. Keep your nitroglycerine tablets handy.

They call it FOX News? (Warning: Long download time)

Published

October 12, 2006 - 11:12pm

Author

randomness