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More filtered news

As always, no claim to original work. Just cutting and pasting from the "nets."


#0000ff" size="4">Best of the week&;s #0000ff" size="4">editorial cartoons ">Bob Geiger #0000ff" size="4"> #0000ff" size="4">Dueling soundbites

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

Franklin D. Roosevelt">Inaugural Address March 4, 1933

"The only thing we have is fear."

George W. Bush">Radio Address September 30, 2006

#0000ff" size="4">Who would Jesus torture? ">Randall Balmer relates the results in a Philadelphia Inquirer Op-Ed:


Several months ago, I canvassed eight prominent religious right organizations, including the Moral Majority Coalition, Falwell&;s group, for their views on torture. My query was straightforward: Please send me, I asked, a copy of your organization&;s position on the use of torture. These are groups that have detailed position papers on everything, including stem-cell research and same-sex unions, yet only two answered my query. Both of them defended the Bush administration&;s policies on torture. No organization associated with the religious right has yet, to my knowledge, summoned the will to issue a statement of unequivocal opposition to the use of torture.

These are people who claim to be "pro-life" and who profess to hear a "fetal scream." Yet they turn a deaf ear to the very real screams of fully formed human beings who are tortured in our name.

The religious right&;s indifference toward the ethical issues surrounding war and torture is hardly befitting those who designate themselves the moral arbiters of our society. If my fellow evangelicals aspire to be the conscience of America, they had better liberate themselves from their captivity to the Republican Party and to the morally bankrupt policies of the Bush administration.


#0000ff" size="4">GOP&;s perfect storm? ">SF Chronicle

One wonders at what point a political edifice starts irredeemably to crumble.

First ">this. Then ">this. Followed by ">this .

While Bush administration defenders say critics are drawing the ">wrong conclusions from the leaked parts of the NIE report, that Bob Woodward&;s book is full of "">myths", and that the Mark Foley affair is no worse than various ">Democratic congressional and presidential indiscretions, it is hard to see how things won&;t get worse before they get better (if they do) for Republicans, with mid-term elections just four weeks out.

Apart from the ">fallout from what some will construe as a GOP leadership coverup in the Mark Foley affair — one Republican has already said House Speaker ">Dennis Hastert "lied" about what he knew and Connecticut Republican Chris Shays has said anyone in a leadership comes position who knew about it should step down — along comes ">Colin Powell&;s new book which will only add to the "state of denial" flames.

Also lurking out there, in what appears to be an increasingly leak-happy atmosphere is another ">"damning" Iraq intelligence report , which, California Rep. Jane Harman, the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, wants released. ">Read on…

So the question becomes, can the Democratic Party capitalize on this non-stop reports of ineptitude, scandals, leaks, and corruption and regain control of one or both houses of Congress come November 7?


#000099">"Next time I see an attractive European woman, I&;m going to ask her out and say,#000099"> &;If you say no, the Muslims are going to get really mad. Can you run the risk of#000099"> enraging Muslims by not going out with me?&;" #000000"> -- the vulgar Pigboy, trying to trick a woman into going out with him,


#0000ff" size="4">State of denial Keith reports on Bob Woodwards new book ">&;State of Denial: Bush at War Part III.&; It sounds like it&;s going to contain alot of interesting tidbits mostly having to do with Bush administration secrecy and dishonesty when it comes to the Iraq war. Keith plays a short clip for Woodwards upcoming appearance on ">60 Minutes where he says that the military commanders are telling him that 2007 will be worse than 2006; completely contrary to what the Bush administration says in public. Can we really afford to "stay this course"? ">Video - WMV ">Video - QT Bay Buchanan was on the Situation Room earlier today downplaying the book saying that it contains nothing new. Carville was right there to remind her that conservatives/Republicans certainly haven&;t been saying that the Iraq war is a disaster like the book suggests. I think the entire Bush cult is in a "state of denial." Hopefully the voters aren&;t.


#0000ff" size="4">Rummy is off his rocker ;In 2005,&;">#0000ff">In 2005, two senior national security officials pressed the administration to get congressional approval for its ">terrorist detention policies. But their memo was rejected and “so angered Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that his aides ">gathered up copies of the document and had at least some of them shredded.” CNN&;s special on Donald Rumsfeld details his dismissal of troop level suggestions, failure to anticipate the insurgency and marginalization of dissenters. ">Video-WMP ">Video-QT #0000ff" size="4">How stupid is Dubya? He&;s so stupid... ;President Bush fired Colin Powell.&;">#ff0000">President Bush fired Colin Powell. “On Wednesday, November 10, 2004, eight days after the president he served was elected to a second term, Secretary of State Colin Powell received a telephone call from the White House at his State Department office. The caller was not President Bush but Chief of Staff Andrew Card, and he got right to the point. ‘The president would like to make a change,’ Card said, using a time-honored formulation that avoided the words ‘resign’ or ‘fire.’ … ">Bush wanted Powell’s resignation letter dated two days hence, on Friday, November 12, Card said, although the White House expected him to stay at the State Department until his successor was confirmed by the Senate.” " size="4">Western-style Democracy Apparently Doesn’t Mean Free Press ">Mother Jones:

It&;s a rotten time to be an Iraqi journalist. If being ">kidnapped and murdered by insurgents or ">detained indefinitely by the U.S. military aren&;t bad enough, now the government is cracking down. From today&;s ">New York Times:

Under a broad new set of laws criminalizing speech that ridicules the government or its officials, some resurrected verbatim from Saddam Hussein&;s penal code, roughly a dozen Iraqi journalists have been charged with offending public officials in the past year. Currently, three journalists for a small newspaper in southeastern Iraq are being tried here for articles last year that accused a provincial governor, local judges and police officials of corruption."> Read on…

A " size="4">working timeline going of Foleygate. Take a look. #0000ff">Foley now in FBI crosshairs, ABC News ">reports:

The FBI has opened a "preliminary investigation" of disgraced former Congressman Mark Foley over the sexually explicit Internet messages he sent to congressional pages, all male high school students under the age of 18. Agents in the FBI&;s Cyber Division have already begun to examine the texts of some of the messages, according to a FBI spokesperson.

ABC, which has led the way on the Rep. Mark Foley story, now ">reporting that GOP congressional staff was warning pages about Foley five years ago:

A Republican staff member warned congressional pages five years ago to watch out for Congressman Mark Foley, according to a former page.

Matthew Loraditch, a page in the 2001-2002 class, told ABC News he and other pages were warned about Foley by a supervisor in the House Clerk&;s office.

Loraditch, the president of the Page Alumni Association, said the pages were told "don&;t get too wrapped up in him being too nice to you and all that kind of stuff."


#0000ff" size="4">Why not call Rep. Mark Foley a pedophile based on what we now know? ">Glenn Greenwald offers an explanation:

For now, I will just note what seems to be the bizarre and incoherent contradiction in the law, noted by Atrios yesterday, that#ff0000"> in-person, actual sex between Foley and a 16-year-old page would be perfectly legal in D.C. and in most places in the U.S., but it seems that it is a criminal act for Foley to discuss or solicit sexual acts with the same page over the Internet. Despite all the irritatingly righteous (and overheated) "pedophile" language being tossed around, in the overwhelming majority of states, and in Washington DC, the legal age of consent for sex is 16 years old. That means that actual, in-person sex between Foley and a 16-year-old page in D.C. would not be criminal at all (though it likely could have other legal implications).

But under the so-called "Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006" (of which Foley was a co-sponsor), along with 18 U.S.C. 2251, discussion or solicitation of sexual acts between Foley and any "minor" under the age of 18 would appear to be a criminal offense (see Adam Walsh Act, Sec. 111(14) ("MINOR.--The term &;minor&; means an individual who has not attained the age of 18 years") and 18 U.S.C. Sec. 2256 (1) (“&;minor&; means any person under the age of eighteen years").

But those are just the criminal aspects. It goes without saying that having a predatory Congressman sexually solicit teenage Congressional pages is a serious problem and the House leadership had a responsibility to act when they learned about it. And here, they clearly appear not to have taken action due to the political desire to protect Foley&;s seat.


#0000ff" size="4">Happy birthday. Hope it&;s your last. ;‘Slumping’ Fox News celebrates 10th anniversary.&;">#0000ff">‘Slumping’ Fox News celebrates 10th anniversary. The AP reports, “Fox News Channel will mark its 10th anniversary this week in an unusual position: knocked back on its heels. The network is ">in the midst of its first-ever ratings slump.”


Brit Hume: Still an idiot (film at 11) This morning on Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume compared Mark Foley’s predatory behavior towards underage pages to President Clinton’s relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Hume said that while Foley is now “in total disgrace in his party,” Clinton’s “inappropriate behavior toward a subordinate [didn’t] even cost Bill Clinton his standing in his party.” Really. Let us compare and contrast: Foley made unwanted advances towards underage boys which one page described as “">sick” and reported to authorities. The leadership of Foley’s party ">covered up his behavior for months. President Clinton had a consensual relationship with an adult. The fact that it was an extramarital affair was virtually unanimously condemned by members of both parties. Hmmm....


#0000ff" size="4">GOP 9/11 coverup It&;s endemic to Republicans. Covering up sexual predation by a Member of the House of Representatives is one thing. But covering up the fact that Condoleeza Rice ignored warnings she received in July 2001 about the potential for an imminent attack by al Qaida on American soil is a whole new level of ">malfeasance and deceit.


Members of the Sept. 11 commission said today that they were alarmed that they were told nothing about a White House meeting in July 2001 at which George J. Tenet, then the director of central intelligence, is reported to have warned Condoleezza Rice, then the national security adviser, about an imminent Al Qaeda attack and failed to persuade her to take action.

Details of the previously undisclosed meeting on July 10, 2001, two months before the Sept. 11 terror attacks, were first reported last week in a new book by the journalist Bob Woodward.

The final report from the Sept. 11 commission made no mention of the meeting nor did it suggest there had been such an encounter between Mr. Tenet and Ms. Rice, now secretary of state. . . .

Although passages of the book suggest that Mr. Tenet was a major source for Mr. Woodward, the former intelligence director has refused to comment on the book.

Nor has there been any comment from J. Cofer Black, Mr. Tenet&;s counterterrorism chief, who is reported in the book to have attended the July 10 meeting and left it frustrated by Ms. Rice&;s "brush-off" of the warnings.

He is quoted as saying, "The only thing we didn&;t do was pull the trigger to the gun we were holding to her head." Mr. Black did not return calls left at the security firm Blackwater, which he joined last year.

The book says that Mr. Tenet hurriedly organized the meeting -- calling ahead from his car as it traveled to the White House -- because he wanted to "shake Rice" into persuading the president to respond to dire intelligence warnings that summer about a terrorist strike. Mr. Woodward writes that Mr. Tenet left the meeting frustrated because "they were not getting through to Rice."

The disclosures took members of the bipartisan Sept. 11 commission by surprise last week. Some questioned whether information about the July 10 meeting was intentionally withheld from the panel.

Intentionally withheld? My guess would be that&;s a yes.


" size="4">Young Republicans beat their own ">Wonkette:

Is it still a Hate Crime? Ann Arbor student and official Fark photoshop subject Justin Zatkoff wasn’t actually beaten silly by leftists, blacks, militant homosexuals, pansies, hippies or violinists. He was clobbered by his own “friends,” who hate him. That’s what police in Ann Arbor have finally revealed about last weekend’s pathetic incident, which a Michigan website frequented by campus conservatives claimed was some kind of retribution for his political views. But no, it was just retribution for him being a a drunken asshole around his high-school buddies. Next martyr, please!


#0000ff" size="4">Next GOP idea: Sterilize the parents of bad kids! What sort of mindset does this"> remind you of? This country is in total meltdown.

"What we&;ve got is a failure in society, whether it&;s in Mount Pleasant with yuppie parents or whether it&;s on the East Side with poor crackhead parents," Shirley said Friday. "We pick up stray animals and spay them. These mothers need to be spayed if they can&;t take care of theirs. … Once they have a child and it&;s running the streets, to let them continue to have children is totally unacceptable." Deadbeat dads might ought to be sterilized as well, he said


#0000ff" size="4">Finally! Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) took to the floor today to deliver a scathing indictment of the Bush administration. From the August 6th PDB to the bogus intelligence given to us by Curveball — an alcoholic whose assertions turned out to be 100% false and whom we based our entire case for war on — Dorgan let&;s it fly. ">Video-WMP ">Video - QT


#ff0000">#0000ff" size="4">Report Warned Of Suicide Hijackings ">Link#ff0000"> #000099"> #000000">Excerpt: (CBS) Two years before 9-11, an analysis prepared for U.S. intelligence warned that Osama&;s terrorists could hijack an airliner and fly it into government buildings like the Pentagon. "al Qaeda suicide bombers belonging could crash-land an aircraft with high explosives, CIA headquarters or the White House," the September 1999 report said.


#0000ff" size="4">In Case I Disappear by William Rivers Pitt ">Link #000099"> Excerpt: I have been told a thousand times at least, in the years I have spent reporting on the lies and failures of the Bush administration, to watch my back. "Be careful," people always tell me. "These people are capable of anything. Stay off small planes, make sure you aren&;t being followed." A running joke between my mother and me is that she has a "safe room" set up for me in her cabin in the woods, in the event I have to flee because of something I wrote or said. I always laughed and shook my head whenever I heard this stuff. Extreme paranoia wrapped in the tinfoil of conspiracy, I thought. This is still America, and these Bush fools will soon pass into history, I thought. I am a citizen, and the First Amendment hasn&;t yet been red-lined, I thought.

Matters are different now.

Habeas corpus has been suspended for detainees, so the rule that a person can face his accusers is now gone. Once a suspect has been thrown into prison, he does not have the right to a trial by his peers. Suspects must accept one of Bush&;s military lawyers as their defender.


#0000ff" size="4">Three great Op-Eds worth reading in this weekend&;s papers:

  1. Garrison Keillor asks ">Can you trust a Methodist in power?

    I would not send my college kid off for a semester abroad if I were you. This week, we have suspended human rights in America, and what goes around comes around. Ixnay habeas corpus.

    The U.S. Senate, in all its splendor and majesty, has decided that an "enemy combatant" is any non-citizen whom the president says is an enemy combatant, including your Korean greengrocer or your Swedish grandmother or your Czech au pair, and can be arrested and held for as long as authorities wish without any right of appeal to a court of law to examine the matter. If your college kid were to be arrested in Bangkok or Cairo, suspected of "crimes against the state," and held in prison, you&;d assume that an American foreign service officer would be able to speak to your kid and arrange for a lawyer, but this may not be true anymore. Be forewarned.

    The Senate also decided it&;s up to the president to decide whether it&;s OK to make these enemies stand naked in cold rooms for a couple days in blinding light and be beaten by interrogators. This is now purely a bureaucratic matter: The plenipotentiary stamps the file "enemy combatants" and throws the poor schnooks into prison and at his leisure he tries them by any sort of kangaroo court he wishes to assemble and they have no right to see the evidence against them, and there is no appeal. This was passed by 65 senators and will now be signed by Mr. Bush, put into effect, and in due course be thrown out by the courts.


  2. Cary McMullen has intercepted a memo from ">Screwtape to Wormwood:

    Your latest report from last week&;s Values Voter Summit was most encouraging. That it was held in Washington was so much the better. When people get close to seats of worldly power, they become intoxicated by it and are much more vulnerable to our temptations. I cannot tell you how many people we have welcomed into the infernal regions after they have lived there for just a short while. These days, it is practically a suburb of Hell.


  3. Georgia10 spots another good one on ">H.R. 2679, a measure that would nearly gut the First Amendment. We&;ve talked a good bit about this, but the column is definitely worth reading.


  4. As a bonus - too bad it&;s not on the web yet - Stephen King eviscerates Nancy Grace in the latest edition of Entertainment Weekly. I kid you not, King is becoming one of the sharpest observers of pop culture and politics writing these days. His column makes EW more than just a guilty pleasure for me.


#0000ff" size="4">Ask yourself the following questions and decide, “Are you a Republican?” (and my apologies to Jeff Foxworthy)

If you enjoy shoplifting while working at the White House, you might be a Republican.

You may not recognize Claude Allen&;s name, but you&;ve probably seen his face in photos, a little off to the side, a few steps away from the president. As George W. Bush&;s top domestic-policy adviser, Allen stuck close to the boss. He was Bush&;s frequent companion on Air Force One, and helped stage-manage issues like Social Security and education. A born-again Christian (his wife home-schools their four kids) and credentialed conservative (he got his start as an aide to Sen. Jesse Helms), the 45-year-old lawyer was regarded as a man on his way up in Republican politics. Party leaders, always on the lookout for conservative black candidates, pegged Allen as a future congressman or senator. "> (Note: Allen pled guilty in September 2006-- " face="Times New Roman">

If you enjoy soliciting teenagers and children for sex over the internet, you might be a Republican:Congressman Mark Foley. Republican Rep. Mark Foley resigned yesterday after the exposure of several sexually suggestive messages he sent to underage boys. Mr. Foley, a Florida Republican and chairman of the Missing and Exploited Children Caucus, led efforts to overhaul sex-offender laws, apologized in a brief statement that did not mention the electronic correspondence with the former congressional pages. (" face="Times New Roman">

Randall Casseday. Metropolitan Police today charged the director of human resources at The Washington Times with one count of attempting to entice a minor on the Internet. Randall Casseday, 53, was arrested at 9:45 p.m. yesterday in the 1300 block of Brentwood Road NE, where police said he had arranged to meet who he thought was a 13-year-old girl. He had actually exchanged Internet messages and photographs with a male police officer posing as a girl. (" face="Times New Roman">

Brian J. Doyle. The deputy press secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was arrested Tuesday for using the Internet to seduce what he thought was a teenage girl, authorities said. Brian J. Doyle, 55, was arrested in Maryland where he lives on charges of use of a computer to seduce a child and transmission of harmful material to a minor. The charges were issued out of Polk County Fla. (" face="Times New Roman">

If you enjoy sending other people’s children to war while your kids go to college and hang out in bars, you might be a RepublicanOn August 2, day two of the summer terror scare, Jenna and Barbara Bush had to go to midtown. . . .Later, Miller invited the whole group, about a dozen of them by now, back to his loft farther down Bond Street, where they drank wine that someone had brought from their dad’s wine cellar. The party continued till 3 a.m. or so, which made it kind of an early night for the twins, who have been known to shut down meatpacking-district clubs like the tiny, exclusive Bungalow 8. Once, at that club, Jenna saw Joey co-star Jennifer Coolidge and a few friends in a banquette across the way. “I loved you in Legally Blonde 2,” gushed Jenna (Coolidge played Reese Witherspoon’s hairdresser confidante). " face="Times New Roman">

If you start a war in Iraq while lying to the American people that " face="Times New Roman">Saddam was tied to Osama Bin Laden, you might be a Republican.

If you failed to complete your own " face="Times New Roman">National Guard service and your Vice President " face="Times New Roman">received five deferments to avoid service in Vietnam, but accuse " face="Times New Roman">political opponents who challenge your failed foreign policy in Iraq"> of being cowards, you might be a Republican. If you call dark skinned people " face="Times New Roman">Macacas and Niggers, you might be a Republican. If you " face="Times New Roman">ignore intelligence community warnings that Bin Laden is determined to strike inside the United States, you might be a Republican.

If you follow policies that squander a budget surplus and create an " face="Times New Roman">$8.5 trillion dollar budget deficit, you might be a Republican.

If you " face="Times New Roman">expose the identity of an undercover CIA"> officer in charge of tracking down Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, you might be a Republican.If you believe the President should be entitled to jail, without ">recourse to Habeus Corpus, anyone he decides is a threat, you might be a Republican.

After careful consideration, I realize that I lack the moral bankruptcy, cowardice, and fiscal recklessness to call my self a Republican. I&;ve decided, I am an American.


October 2, 2006 - 11:57am