Monday, October 31, 2005
SILENCE! I, Stewie Griffin COMMAND you to have a Happy Halloween. If you do not, I will make you regret the day you escaped from your mother's wretched womb... you vile and odious creatures.
Happy Halloween everyone. It is truly one of my beloved holidays and most favorite times of the yr. But please try to take a moment this yr to celebrate Halloween's most poignant reasons for existing: honoring the dead. If we do not properly pay our respects to the dead-- especially our own family's ancestors-- what kind of respect can we have for the living? Light a candle and pray, wish, or hope that any loved ones who have passed this yr are at peace, are at a place where they should be, had the strength needed to get to their resting place [that's why we give out treats to the kiddos dressed in costume-- due to the Celtic practice of the spirits (who didn't want to scare us in their spiritual form) dressed up in costume and begged for food to give them the strength to make their journey] and please remember all of those who have gone before us.
60 Mins' Ed Bradley nailed it on CBS's show when he analyzed what outing a CIA operative means to the operative, their family, the nation and our security, and makes clear the idea that the executive branch of the US would even consider such a move FOR ANY REASON is unthinkable, but for a PETTY POLITICAL VENDETTA makes it even worse. Hat tip to NYBri. Here's good analysis by 2 notables: 1) Murray Waas' "Addington's Role In Cheney's Office Draws Fresh Attention" 2) Bernard Weiner's "Patrick Fitzgerald's Diary: Watching Them Flop, Squirm, Flip".
Reuters: "Deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had secretly accepted a last-minute plan to go into exile to avert the 2003 Iraq war, but Arab leaders shot the proposal down. UAE Pres Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahayan made the proposal for Saddam to go into exile at an emergency Arab summit just wks before the war began in March 2003. But the 22-member Arab League, led by Secretary-Genrl Amr Moussa, refused to consider the initiative." Maybe the members of these Arab nations received an offer they couldn't refuse... an offer that promised them a chance to plunder and gulp down the blood-money and blood-oil along w/ Halliburton, perhaps?
TIME: "... a source close to the investigation told TIME that Fitzgerald and Libby's attorney discussed possible plea options before the indictment was issued last wk. But the deal was scotched because the prosecutor insisted that Libby do some "serious" jail time..." And an added bonus? - Cheney will likely be required to testify in open court, under oath. All of this hoopla is adding up for serious pissed off feelings on the part of Bush towards his WH minions.
AssocPress: "Willie Nelson opened up his central TX ranch and private golf course Sunday, raising an estimated $170,000 for his friend and TX gubernatorial hopeful Kinky Friedman-- an independent candidate for TX gov. Kinky will need up to $5 million just to get his name on next yr's ballot. Former Independent MN Gov. Jesse Ventura, who was elected as a member of the Reform Party, joined supporters for lunch and golf. Kinky dished out his signature one-liners along with a $1000-per-person, buffet-style lunch of brisket, sausage, barbecue chicken, beans and rice. Another table offered vegan and kosher selections. 9 contributors — including Dick DeGuerin, attorney for Tom DeLay, paid $5000 for a round of golf w/Nelson, Kinky and Ventura. DeGuerin, an unpaid adviser to Kinky said: "I'm a yellow dog Democrat, I represent Tom DeLay and I'm for Kinky- I see no contradiction there." Hmm, maybe DeGuerin is not a minion of evil, eh? B/c anyone who truly supports Kinky for TX Gov in a genuine way can't be all bad.
NYTimes: "The Natl Security Agency has kept secret since 2001 a finding by an agency historian that during the Tonkin Gulf episode, which helped precipitate the Vietnam War, NSA officers deliberately distorted critical intelligence to cover up their mistakes and that midlevel agency officers had deliberately skewed the evidence. The historian's conclusion is the 1st serious accusation that communications intercepted were falsified so that they would look as if N Vietnam had attacked American destroyers on Aug 4, 1964, two days after a previous clash. Pres Johnson cited the supposed attack to persuade Congress to authorize broad military action in Vietnam, but most historians have concluded in recent yrs that there was no 2nd attack. The NSA historian, Robert Hanyok, concluded that they had deliberately skewed the evidence but that they had done it not out of any political motive but to cover up earlier errors, and that top NSA, defense officials and Johnson neither knew about nor condoned the deception." That may be so, but tell that to people who served in Vietnam, lost their lives, limbs, or lively hoods due to injuries, mental anguish , and Agent Orange.
Today is Trick or Treat in my neck of the woods. And here is my 3 yr old sweet and beautiful lil devil princess. Notice even her horns glitter & shine? And of course, every lil devil princess must have a tiny handbag to complete her ensemble, no? Mommy will be a lovely "sparkley" witch... b/c dark ladies of Halloween can still be pretty and feminine, ya know? If you and yours will be Trick or Treating today too be careful, have fun, watch out for the kiddos and eat lots of yummy treats!
WashPost: "Libby and Rove, 1 facing indictment, the other hoping to avoid 1, are pursuing a similar strategy to prove their innocence in the CIA leak case: showing they are guilty of memory lapses, not lies. Libby, indicted on 5 counts of lying and obstructing justice, contends that any misleading info he provided to the grand jury or fedrl investigators was the result of a hectic schedule and foggy recollections, according to people familiar with his thinking." No Scooter, forgetfulness is when you leave the coupon on the table before you go the store. Foggy memory is when you accidentily forget that you already took your vitamin and take a 2nd vitamin that day. Nice try Scooter old boy, but I'm not buying it that the dog ate your memory during the many many many months it took for you to commit your crimes.
Want to laugh your ass off... or cry (as the case may be) over the fact that this CBS News article comes from June 2000 and compares stats on then presidential hopeful VPGore vs GovBush?... sigh... Well, then take a gander at these laughable quotes by Bush on how the Clinton-Gore administration had done nothing to help Americans feel less pain at the gas pumps (I know, we can only dream of those prices again): "The Clinton-Gore administration has been there for 7 yrs," said TX Gov Bush, "and we're more dependent now than ever on energy from foreign sources." OR "It becomes blatantly obvious that Democrats would rather do what is politically convenient rather than provide relief to the American people," he said. "It's time for Democrats to join us and help provide relief at the pump for millions of Americans." Read Congressman Bernie Sanders take on the obscene gas gouged prices and how Americans will be freezing to death this winter... funny... but the Bush-Cheney administration has been there for almost 6yrs, and yet.... well... screw it... you know the rest.
GuardianUK: "Emergency contraception became available w/out prescription in 2001 in Britain. Figures from the Office for Natl Statistics showed easier availability of the pill did not increase its use. About 7% of women aged between 16 and 49 obtained it at least once in 2004-5, unchanged on the yr before. But the proportion of supplies provided by local pharmacies went up from 27% to 50%. This may have been due to the convenience of using high street outlets, or a preference for not discussing the need for emergency contraception w/ the genrl physician or practice nurse. The Dept of Health defended the service as an essential step to helping reduce unintended pregnancies."Notice there were no stories of freako fundamentalist pharmacists? Notice the stats back up the usage and availability of the med? When do we in the US take our heads out of our asses and stop this theocratic insanity?
Whadd'ya mean the poor need to eat?
Reuters: On a party-line vote, a Repub-run House of Reps committee voted to cut food stamps by $844 million on Friday, just hrs after a new govt report showed more Americans are struggling to put food on the table. How do these soul-less bastards sleep at night? I'm for real... how can they push the agenda to make Roe illegal YET at the same time cut the program that allows poor people to EAT??? Psst... guess what ya diabolical freaks... unborn babies grow up to become kids who need to eat.1) More than 37 million people live at/ below poverty level. 2) 37.5% of all babies are born to unwed mothers. 3) Kids under age 18 make up 25% of our US population. Of that 25% kid population, 18% lives at or below poverty level. 4)The US infant mortality rate is ranked 36 out of 208 nations. Choke on those FACTS and still try to justify cutting food stamps and every other social program. So how much does $844 million stack up against the unnecessary and no-end-in-sight Iraqmire? 68.5 hrs. That's right. Hundreds of thousands of Americans may face uncertain hunger for themselves and families so King George the Inept can play Middle-East Risk for another 68 hrs. NC Dem GK Butterfield said this about cuts: "That is not moral. That is not American." It isn't moral nor American, but we must take from the poor to give to Bush's war... and to the bloated corporations & wealthy.
Here's the insane spin of the GOPers and right-wingnuts - all of them are insisting that the whole thing is about to blow over and that if Fitz COULD charge anybody w/ leaking classified info then he WOULD have, and the fact that he didn't do it today means he never will be able to! I know this is hard for them to grasp... especially since they forced impeachment proceedings over a consensual extramarital blowjob... but this indictment, trial or other future indictments are not just about outing a CIA covert agent. It isn't just about any criminal acts committed by Libby and/or an ongoing investigation of Rove or other administration officials, or even about perjury, obstruction of justice, and upholding the law. No, this whole sorry episode is about a very simple fact and much larger truth: what illegal tactics did the Bush Administration employ when it lied to the American people and took this country to war against another country not responsible for the Sept 11th terrorist attacks AND the neverending WH campaign to squelch all criticism of this war.
The transcript comes courtesy of the NY Times, and I agree w/ Sen Kennedy when he says that this indictment is far from being the end of the story. Joe Wilson's reaction to the indictment is here. And Howard Dean's reaction is here... and oh yeah... the indictment clearly states that the Bush Cabal knew that Plame was undercover.
Scotsman: Days after the US death toll in Iraq surpassed 2000, Bush is trying to bolster public backing for his war policies... so what else can he do but INVOKE 9/11: "We will never back down, we will never give in and we will never accept anything less than complete victory." Bush spoke to an audience largely made up of uniformed service members, delivering a speech which was 1 of several he has given recently to defend his war policies. It was nearly the same as the 1 he delivered recently in Washington. Outside the Norfolk convention hall, a small group of anti-war protesters greeted him by chanting "Bush lies." Inside, as the prez spoke, a man on the 2nd level interrupted him, yelling "War is terrorism. War is terrorism. Step down now Mr President. Torture is terrorism." Bush continued speaking as the man left the hall."
WCNC News: NCarolina military members surveyed in the latest Elon Unvrsty poll: Of the 539 adults surveyed, nearly 53% of military members said they strongly disapproved or disapproved of Bush's handling of his job. And 56% of that same group said they strongly disapproved or disapproved of his handling of the Iraq war. Overall, slightly more than 53% of those surveyed didn't approve of Bush's job performance, while 57% didn't approve of his handling of the Iraq war. These are people putting their asses in the line of fire for Bush's lies... When the very people you've asked to shed blood question the mission/ the cause, ya know there's trouble. Bush the Master of Lies & Deception had better come clean or come up w/bigger and better lies.
Ok, so ya remember my post about the young AR rape victim who was denied emergency contraception b/c the pharmacist didn't feel like doing his job but instead chose to deny the private right that exists between a doctor and the patient? Well some righteously angered citizens decided to fight back at this pharmacy: Flamingnerd via Live Jrnl: "Oh man and you should have seen people's responses! It was beautiful! I had so many people nodding/shaking their heads in agreement/disgust. Of course there was at least one piece of SHIT misogynist, as his car started pulling away he said, "Fuck the whores!" I was amazed! It was a 40 something man too! This was no stupid teenager. But anyway I had 2 TV stations videotaping my "explanation", and a LOT of pictures taken by a couple news reporters. My fellow protesters were cheering me on too!... People in this country should be outraged. We need to stop our complacency. This is just one way the religious right seeks to oppress us and drag us into the dark ages." Amen sister... and at least 1 AR paper picked up on this story, too. Grassroots' anger= change.
This is the Sesame Street I really want Gov Arnie to sing and dance down. I would pay good money to see Elmo bust a cap in his muscular ass, to see Ernie and Bert kick the Gov in the ribs w/some steel toed Doc Martins, and for Grover and Cookie to throw up some gang symbols and knock the gap right outta Gov Arnie's teeth. Then, when all was said and done, wounded & bloody Arnie could try explaining to some nurse in the ER why she should take a pay-cut, why her union is so bad, and why she should willingly up her patient load w/zero regard for patient care.
This short animation of Gov Arnold as "Arnie" of Schwarzenegger Street was sent to me via Crackpot Press, and it just made me laugh and laugh. It has the best of both worlds: My beloved Sesame Street characters and making fun of GOPers and Neo-Cons. Please enjoy.
NYTimes: "Lawyers expected Libby to be indicted on Fri, charged w/ making false statements to the grand jury. Rove will not be charged on Fri, but will remain under investigation, people briefed officially about the case said. As a result, they said, Fitzgerald, was likely to extend the term of the federal grand jury beyond its scheduled expiration on Friday. OK... As the LATimes reports: ""People close to the investigation said that, as of late Thurs afternoon, Rove had received no notice that he was going to be indicted. Some observers took that as a sign that the longtime Bush strategist might emerge from the investigation without being charged. But others said that Fitz might be waiting until Fri to alert those being charged to reduce the chances of last-minute leaks about his intentions." And then... there is this from the WashPost: Though there was considerable speculation among lawyers for witnesses in the case that Fitz could choose to empanel a new grand jury and extend his investigation, 2 legal sources said he has indicated he does not plan to take that route and will wrap up the case today. WTF?? I don't know what the hell is gonna happen, but dammit... we have waited way too long and gathered too much damning info to just see it pissed away now. I want the trophy GOPers indicted... ya know... the architects of this cluster fuck called the Iraq War... The BIG chickenhawks.
Okay, so I think that Miers is a completely unqualified lawyer/ crony who was being asked to fake it as SCOTUS material, but the truth is that she is completely unqualified in the Wingnut Ideology dept. The proof? Her Spring 1993 speech to the Executive Women of Dallas where Miers said this very pro-choice sounding comment: "The ongoing debate continues surrounding the attempt to once again criminalize abortions or to once and for all guarantee the freedom of the individual women’s [sic] right to decide for herself whether she will have an abortion." Of course, the big lie being shoved down our throats is the WH assertion that she stepped aside over the document/executive privilege issue. Funny, but when the Judiciary Committee Dems requested documents from John Roberts' time in the Reagan/Bush I White House, the Dems were refused on executive privilege grounds... so, why couldn't they do the same for 'ol Harriet? B/c they Religious Fright was chomping at the bit to dump Miers and what they fought to enforce in Roberts' case they were going to insist on the documents (supposedly) in this case. Hypocrites yet again.
For fuck's sake... this is outrageously obscene: "Oil companies are releasing their profits for the third quarter, and July, Aug and Sept have been record breaking months. Exxon, the world's largest publicly traded oil producer, announced profits of $9.2 billion, up 75%. Shell had profits of $9 billion, that's up 68%. And Conoco-Phillips saw profits of $3.8 billion, up 89%. Amerada Hess is reporting $235 million, that's up 53%. Murphy Oil claims a 95% increase, up by $231 million.
I just got back from the grocery store this evening, and just in time for making Halloween treats, Thanksgiving pies, and Christmas cookies, sugar is becoming very scarce and the price is expected to skyrocket. Why? B/c of the hurricanes: Sugar is now selling at 42 cents per pound on the wholesale market compared to 24.5 cents per pound a yr ago, according to stats compiled by Miller and Baking News, which tracks sugar prices for manufacturers. In the sugar belt, between extra costs and flat-out lost crops, a sugar cane crop expected to bring in about $500 million could be short by up to $280 million by the end of harvest. Sweet Jesus... how will the GOP Kool-Aid ever be made now??
MSNBC: Coin dealer Tom Noe, the major player in the Ohio Coingate scandal and a big GOP contributor (giving about $45,000 to Bush/ Cheney), has been indicted. Noe was accused in a fedrl indictment of giving money directly or indirectly to 24 friends and associates, who then made the campaign contributions in their own names. In that way, he skirted the $2000 limit on individual contributions, prosecutors said. "It's one of the most blatant and excessive finance schemes we have encountered," said Noel Hillman, section chief of the Dept of Justice's public integrity section. WOO HOO! Yet another corrupt GOPer gets indicted and this will hopefully begin the needed clean up and sanitizing of the filthy Repub scum that is polluting my state.
This is sickening... via Editor & Publisher: On Tues, US Army Lt Col Steve Boylan, a military spokesman in Iraq, wrote in an e-mail to reporters, "The 2000 service members killed in Iraq supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom is not a milestone. It is an artificial mark on the wall set by individuals or groups with specific agendas and ulterior motives." How disrespectful is this? Can you imagine being the loved ones of the service members who happened to be #1999 and #2000 to die? Why don't they just come right out and keep the number below 2000 for wks-- maybe even months-- so they can keep that "non-existent" milestone from being a milestone. As if America hasn't already caught on to the fact that this milestone marks what happens to human beings when your Prez is a big fat liar, narcissistic sociopath and raging fuck-up.
Herbert's column via TruthOutOrg: "In addition to the more than 2,000 dead, an additional 15,000 Americans have been wounded. Some of these men and women have sacrificed 1, 2 and even 3 limbs. Some have been permanently blinded and others permanently paralyzed - some both. Some have been horribly burned. For the Iraqis, the toll is beyond hideous. Perhaps 30,000 dead, of which an estimated 10% have been children. The number of Iraqi wounded is anybody's guess... Even Nixon's cronies are crawling out of the woodwork to urge the Bush gang to stop the madness... But Pres Bush, who never gave the country a legitimate reason for going to war, and has never offered a coherent strategy for winning the war, seems in no hurry to figure out a way to exit the war." Killing 1000s and 1000s of living, breathing, walking, talking children who are loved and love back is so pro-life, no?
This old lady has the right idea. Unfortunately, her fellow senior citizens who work at Wal-Mart may find themselves forced to do physical labor in order to keep their minimum wage jobs.
NYTimes: An internal memo (PDF) sent to Wal-Mart's board of directors proposes numerous ways to hold down spending on health care and other benefits while seeking to minimize damage to the retailer's reputation. Among the recommendations are hiring more part-time workers, discouraging unhealthy people from working at WM, reducing 401K contributions and wooing younger, and presumably healthier, workers by offering education benefits. To discourage unhealthy job applicants it is suggested that WM arrange for "all jobs to include some physical activity (i.e. all cashiers do some cart-gathering). Guess it's gonna suck to be a retired granny door greeter now, huh? Poor lil multi- billionaire Wal-Mart, I feel so bad for them being squeezed by increasing med costs (yeh, and everyone else doesn't?) Next time ya flip thru a WM sales paper w/the employees & their kids featured, consider this: 46% of the children of WM's 1.33 million US employees are uninsured or on Medicaid. And also think of this: "Most of what we do is driven by the fact that we make 3 cents on the dollar." [Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott] said. "As we travel, we ask our employees to take the ink pens from the hotel and use them at work." So, WM's CEO wants his employees to be pen thieves to save WM money? Maybe he could save them lots of money if he took a pay cut: CEO Lee Scott made $17,543,739 in total compensation last yr - nearly twice the average of $9.6 million for leading US CEOs as a whole, according to Business Wk.
PBSWashWk w/Gwen Ifill: (Martha Raddatz ABCNews) "There are some irregularities and I can tell you right now I witnessed them. When we went into the polling places, and it was interesting, the 1st polling place wouldn't let cameras in. The 2nd one was, 'Come on in, come on in.' I thought, 'This'll change under democracy. We'll come back in 4 yrs. This'll never happen again.' We were behind the voting booth. My cameraman was back there and there was a man who took 7 ballots, at least, b/c we have it on camera and marked yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes... and there were some neighborhoods where there was 99% voted yes. When you get over 90%, you start thinking something might be up. So that's going to take a while. And the hard part here as well is once the election commission comes out and says, 'This is how it was. There were or were not irregularities,' whether that sticks w/ the populations--again, especially the Sunni Arabs have been largely responsible for the insurgency and felt this disaffected by this--if it passes, there are these irregularities, they see our film, that's going to be trouble." Imagine all that... there is going to be more trouble. Maybe Cheney will tell us that the "election insurgency is in it's last throes", eh?
TheWashingtonNote: "Fitzgerald's people said that the investigation is coming to a close and the establishment of a website going up was just coincidence. Well, news has just reached TWN that Fitzgerald is expanding not only into a new website -- but also into more office space. What I have learned is that the Office of the Special Counsel has signed a lease this wk for expanded office space. More office space needed to shut down the operation? I think not. Fitz's operation is expanding." From WashPost: "People close to Rove said he fears a perjury charge because he did not initially tell the grand jury that he had spoken w/ Time reporter Matt Cooper about Plame before her name was publicly disclosed... Rove's legal team has been engaged in a furious effort to convince the prosecutor that Rove did not commit perjury during the course of the investigation. Sources, who indicated that the effort intensified in recent wks, said Rove still did not know Weds night whether he would be indicted." Well, Toady Rove may be sweating bullets, and according to Think Progress: Time Mag’s Mike Allen on Hardball: "Fitz got some indictments from this grand jury... Fitz can now go to the targets and say, you can plead to these or I’ll go back Fri and get more. You have 12 to 24 hrs to think about it." What I think is up: There will be an extension of the grand jury or new one impaneled. A) one of those indicted now will flip later and implicate someone new and new indictments will be needed or B) there are new areas that have been uncovered during the investigation and this grand jury is burned out and Fitz needs fresh jury. We'll find out Friday.
ArizonaDailyStar: After a sexual assault, a young Tucson woman spent 3 frantic days trying to obtain the drug to prevent a pregnancy, knowing that each passing day lowered the chance the drug would work. After calling dozens of pharmacies trying to fill a prescription for EC, she found that most did not stock the drug. When she finally did find a pharmacy with it, she said she was told the pharmacist on duty would not dispense it because of religious and moral objections. "I was so shocked," said the 20 yr old victim of sexual assault, who is not being named by the Star. "I just did not understand how they could legally refuse to do this." Well sister, ya just need to get over it b/c as Indiana head coach and certifiably insane mysoginistic sociopath Bobby Knight once said: "If rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it" and then don't have the gall to bitch about the unwanted consequences later. Jeeze... feminists.
Please sign this petition that states: "I demand that George W. Bush's daughters, and his eligible nieces and nephews, serve in Iraq to prove their support of Bush's 'noble war for a noble cause.' If the Bush family does not believe in 'sacrificing' for the war and is not willing to put their lives on the line, then Bush must bring the troops of middle class and poor Americans home now." After signing this, please watch this buzzflash animation "Peace Takes Courage" that marks the milestone of 2000 US war dead (see their pix here), and visit the organization's site.
Holy crap! CNN's Lou Dobbs must've had a coronary over this news (via USAToday): Federal officials are investigating how at least 10 undocumented immigrants performed hurricane reconstruction work at a naval base near NOLA. The illegals worked for BE&K, an Alabama-based contractor. BE&K is a subcontractor for Halliburton, which is doing the bulk of the reconstruction work at the base. The president of the Greater New Orleans AFL-CIO, said about 75 union electricians lost their jobs after the Bush administration temporarily suspended the Davis-Bacon Act, which guarantees the prevailing local wage for workers hired under federal contracts, which also cleared the path for undocumented illegals to be hired. Hmm... yet another example of US workers having their jobs outsourced to cheap labor.
It seems that many Brits get what exactly is wrong w/ this mythical war on terrorism (via the MalaysiaStar): "Under this provision, (suspects) will have never faced a charge, let alone a trial. And if they never do, they will be released after 3 months inside for no reason at all. If they didn't have a reason to hate Britain when they went in, they may well have one once they come out."
An Iraqi soldier, sporting pictures of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr on his machinegun, holds his helmet while looking at the scene of a car bomb explosion in Baghdad on Oct. 18/05. (Photo courtesy of AP/Hadi Mizban) We reached the sad milestone of 2000 US war dead. Take a good look at this picture. This is precisely some of the reason why we will have more war dead and why will never "win" in Iraq. This, and of course, our use of torture (which autopsy reports prove the US has tortured detainees to death), which is fully embraced by VP Cheney, who wants to have a special "torture clause" for the CIA in the McCain Anti-Torture bill thrown in just for shits and giggles.
As we reach the unfortunate landmark of 2000 US war dead in Iraq, please consider this from Dave Zweifel: "Bush's lies are coming home to roost" in the Capitol Times: "Several months ago I suggested in this column that if Bill Clinton could be impeached for lying about his extracurricular sex life, then George Bush could be impeached for telling lies to get us involved in what appears to be a never-ending war that has taken the lives of nearly 2,000 Americans, wounded another 15,000-plus and resulted in the deaths of at least 30,000 Iraqis. As far as I can tell, Monica Lewinsky was the only victim of Clinton's shenanigans and she's still very much alive." Amen brother Zweifel... and Clinton still left our Constitution intact, our economy booming, our desperately needed social programs funded, and a surplus in our coffers... what I wouldn't give for the good old days of extra-marital cigar sex in the Oval Office... sigh...
Didja know that avian flu could be avoided IF hygiene and better animal husbandry practices were put in place? But, I guess that is neither here nor there at this pt, eh? Amidst the horrifying news that avian flu was just discovered in Germany on Tues, that it was discovered in Britain in a parrot & the criticism that the UK is about as incompetent as the US in dealing w/avian flu, that a 4th person in Indonesia has died of bird flu, the sales of respirator/ surgical masks are soaring as people fear the threat of pandemic and that the makers of Tamiflu say that they have practically exhausted their stockpiles of the drug as nervous nations scramble to build stockpiles, why would Roche- the makers of Tamiflu- object at all to allowing a generic form of the drug to be made if it means lives can saved? Well, despite this, India says they are moving foward w/a generic version of Tamiflu (despite the World Trade Organization's & drug companies' objections, just as they bitched when India made generic AIDS drugs) b/c the threat of a pandemic killing millions far outweighs a drug company refusing to allow generics b/c they want high profits, and b/c dead birds have just appeared in India (a very poor nation w/ dismal heathcare), apparantly from bird flu. So, you may ask, besides wealthy drug companies, who else stands to make killer (no pun intended) profit from the panic and possible pandemic? Investors in the drug companies. Investors/ drug company chairmen like Donald Rumsfeld... who conveniently had zero interest in encouraging the US to come up w/an avian flu vaccine since it 1st appeared in 1997, but who did stand to make huge profits (he had at least $91 million worth of interest) to keep people in panic and to allow the threat of a pandemic remain unabated. Coinky dink?
FinancialTimes: "On Tues night, news reports, supported by a source close to the lawyers involved in the case, said that target letters to those facing indictment were being issued, with sealed indictments to be filed on Weds and released by the end of the wk." Let's certainly hope so... and please sign Rep John Conyers' letter to TELL THE PRESIDENT: NO MORE PARDONS FOR TRAITOR-GATE CRIMINALS, b/c as our wise Congressman tells us: "As the Fitzgerald investigation nears its conclusion, I am becoming increasingly concerned that Bush will prevent the exposure of wrongdoing in Treasongate by pardoning any indicted members of his administration before trial."
ChristianScienceMonitor: With all the attention being paid to hurricane victims, America's poor have been wondering when anyone might get around to helping them, too. In moving to help the hurricane victims, Congress finds itself in a budget scramble that is likely to trim the very programs that are crucial to the 37 million Americans who subsist at or below the poverty level. The latest statistics are sobering. After much progress in the booming 90s (the dropping of 9 million from welfare rolls after welfare reform & social program funding coming from Clinton's tax hikes on the wealthiest top 2%) - poverty has returned in great force. Starting in '01, the share of Americans in poverty has increased each yr. In '04 alone, their ranks grew by 1 million. In all, some 12.7% live below the poverty line: defined as $15,067 for a family of 3. Well, it seems as least some in this nation realize that the Bush & Co assault on the poor/ mid class hurts our entire nation. Peter Rogness is bishop of the St Paul Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Please read his op/ed in the Minneapolis Star Tribune called: "Making our deficit bigger, poor poorer and rich richer." And to accompany this assessment on the assault on the poor/ mid class is this op/ed by Rob Levine called: "Case for vouchers ignores many facts". Levine examines why his 6 objections to giving poor kids the choice to attend private schools are "principled" objections based on facts, not fiction, and they are facts that pro-vouchers choose to ignore.
Holy Cripe! I am a perfume, body powder, full makeup, nails polished, hair always done kinda girl... so this is some scary-ass news from the IndependentUK: "B/c the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows the cosmetics industry to regulate themselves, most personal care products have not been safety tested. So, you have to ask yourself, how toxic is your bathrm?" And... will your (or your BABY's) daily beauty/ hygiene regime take yrs off your life? Yes, that is all we need in our homes... a ticking timebomb in the form of Olay Regenerist and Johnson's Babywash... sweet Jesus.
A CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll asked respondents: If the election for President were held this year, would you vote for Pres Bush or for the Democratic candidate? Vote for Bush: 39% / Vote for the Democrat: 55%. There may be hope just yet... if and only if we can take care of this voter theft/ voter "glitches"/ voting machine "hackability" issue, huh?
Yet again, the Religious Fright in this country never fails to shock me w/their ceaseless reserves of stupidity and hatred (via GoodAsYou): "The America Family Assoc's is suggesting that Walgreens is contributing money to the Gay Games in order to promote HIV transmission and therefore profit from HIV drug sales. The AFA actually has the gall to suggest that, "Walgreens must be salivating at the prospect of new customers this will create," that "they're making sure they capitalize on others' despair by supporting events that guarantee them a high yield return on their investment," and that "someone at Walgreens deserves a huge bonus for the idea to increase sales by helping drive events that result in the need for the company's drugs." Nice to see that not hating people and being tolerant means you want to profit from them possibly getting a deadly infection. For fuck's sake... what's next for these people?: If you believe in our justice system's basic tenets that all defendants (regardless of crime/ or if one can afford lawyer) deserve a fair trial, then one must want child rapists to work in daycares?
Why is this "cute couple" talking about launching a war with Syria?
ChristianScienceMonitor: The US wants the UN Security Council to hold Syria "accountable" for its role in killing former Lebanese Prime Mnstr Rafik Hariri. For the Bush administration, the options are difficult, but since when has that ever been a consideration of Bush's? Yes, the US is militarily exhausted by Iraq and Afghanistan, and can hardly pick a fight with Syria's pres, Bashar Assad, but it obviously doesn't matter since Steven Hadley, the dir of the US Natl Security Council, called the Pres of the Italian senate and asked if he had a candidate to replace Syria's Assad b/c the US is insisting on regime change or else. Nor can the US politically afford right now to further erode our internatl reputation by operating outside the UN Security Council, but the Neo-Cons have been planning on regime changes all over the world since at least '97 when the PNAC laid out these principles-- please notice who signed this scary-ass plan-- you'll recognize plenty of the names. But given that Tony Blair eagerly wants to prove undying loyalty to his master Bush as Blair repeatedly proves what a good lil Neo-Con bitchmonkey he can be, and Condi Rice has the gall to laughably call for a "firm response" from the internatl community, despite her own govt's MANY list of crimes... I don't see Bush & Co letting go of this pro-war w/Syria noose that is tightening. Especially worrying is the NYDaily News that more Bushies are coming foward to reveal how unstable W's mood swings have been. That's all we need... a now openly teetering on the edge narcacisstic sociopath w/ mood swings having the power to launch wars.
NY Times: "It would not be illegal for either Cheney or Libby, both of whom are presumably cleared to know the govt's deepest secrets, to discuss a CIA officer or her link to a critic of the administration. But any effort by Libby to steer investigators away from his conversation with Cheney could be considered by Fitzgerald to be an illegal effort to impede the inquiry." Sounds to me that Rove's lawyer will be dancing a jig over this news (and maybe this is proof that Bush values Rove over Cheney and that Cheney will, in fact, be resigning as VP) but regardless, Rove leaked to Cooper. He's caught b/c he confirmed to Cooper that Plame was CIA. Rove should have never have said 1 thing to a reporter. And there are at least 4 other things to consider: 1) Who told Cheney? 2) What role does Wurmser play in who said what to whom? and 3) What about the fake Niger yellowcake & forgeries and what exactly does Fitz know about those forgeries? and 4) Cheney must have lied his ass off to Tim Russert on MTP in '03, huh?
On 10/23's Meet the Press, Tx Sen Kay Bailey Hutchison said in televised comments concerning the Plame investigation that, "I certainly hope that if there is going to be an indictment that says something happened, that it is an indictment on a crime and not some perjury technicality where they couldn't indict on the crime..." That is beyond the pale given that KBH's clearly zealous record concerning Clinton's perjury charge over a blow-job can be seen here. And it seems that TX Dem candidate for Senate Barbara Ann Radnofsky is taking KBH's laughable indignation towards perjury seriously by calling on her GOP opponent to resign if she tolerates perjury: "No elected official should tolerate or excuse perjury. I call on Kay Bailey Hutchison to renounce perjury. She should resign if she tolerates it," Radnofsky said. Now we all know that won't happen... the rules do NOT apply to GOPers EVER, and what comes around does tend to go around, so if it was used against Clinton, it can certainly be appropriately used against Bush now.
DetroitNews4: Civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks, 92 yrs old, reportedly died around 7 pm Monday at St John Hospital on Detroit's east side. Rest in peace Rosa. You were someone who fought for civil rights and Americans' freedoms, yet you never wore a military uniform.
If this news isn't the complete antithesis of Rosa Parks, I don't know what the hell is. ABCNews: Home-schooled twins Lamb and Lynx Gaede have 1 album out, a music video, and lots of fans. They may look like the Olsen twins, but they are white nationalists and use their talents to preach a message of hate. Known as "Prussian Blue" (for their German heritage and blue eyes) the girls from Bakersfield, CA have been performing songs about white nationalism before all-white crowds since they were 9. "We're proud of being white, we want to keep being white," said Lynx. "We want our people to stay white. We don't want to just be, you know, a big muddle. We just want to preserve our race." Now on the surface, I have no problem w/that statement. I am proud of my heritage. I am proud of my husband's heritage, and I love that our kiddo is a combo of us both... but pride in our heritage does not come at the expense, hatred of, and/or repression of any other heritage, race, religion, sexual orientation. That is a MAJOR difference.
NYTimes: The legally binding 1978 map of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is gone. No map, no copies, no digitized version. The cartographer 1st says: "I don't think it was maliciously taken. I do think it was thrown out." But then the story goes on w/this: "Vandegraft said he had folded the map in half, cushioned w/in its foam-board backing, and put it behind the filing cabinet in the locked room for safekeeping. He said he was distraught when he learned of the loss. In its place in the original nook, he said, he found a new, folded piece of foam board similar to the old one - but w/ no map attached." This guy is either stupid or naive. Or stupidly naive. Of course it was stolen! And as if we needed more proof of the shallow depths of the Bush bros conservative compassion: "The Bush administration approved a sweeping Medicaid plan for FL that limits spending for many of the 2.2 million beneficiaries there and gives private health plans new freedom to limit benefits." B/c when there is a budget crisis, God forbid lawmakers increase taxes when they can take it out on the poor & elderly, huh? Hmm, I wonder if privatizing Medicaid would have forced Terri Schiavo's FL healthcare services to be cut or curbed?
USAToday: These survey results, which have not been publicly released, were provided to USA Today by the Army Cntr for Health Promotion & Preventive Medicine. They offer a window on the war and how the ongoing insurgency has added to the strain on troops. More than 1 in 4 US troops have come home from the Iraq war with ongoing health problems that require medical or mental health treatment. Overall, since the war began, about 28% of Iraq vets (about 50,000 servicemembers this yr alone) returned w/ problems ranging from lingering battle wounds to toothaches, from suicidal thoughts to strained marriages. The figure dwarfs the Pentagon's official Iraq casualty count: 1971 US troops dead & 15220 wounded as of 10/18/05. May God help them, b/c as we can see, this is how the GOPers show our troops gratitude, this is how Bush supports our troops, this is what our POWs have to go thru after being released, and these are the gripes vets have about begging for benefits.
Thank You All for the Happy Anniversary Wishes
Thank you all so much for the wedding anniversary wishes. We had a great time, but we deserved it since our landmark 5th anniversary was thrown to the wayside b/c we were so involved in trying to get John Kerry elected last yr. We drank way too many libations. We listened to fabulous music. We saw priceless things. And we spent way too much money. Again, thank you all so much... I cherish how sweet my lil blog friends & family are:)
I will be gone this weekend. It is my 6th wedding anniversary this weekend, so my parents will have our baby-girl and we will be celebrating. I'll be back Monday. Have a good weekend all... I know I will... :) To my hubby: I love being your best friend. I love being your companion. I love being your wife. And oh yeah... I love being your baby's momma. I love you honey, I love our little family, and I love the happiness we've made together. I'd marry you again in a second.
Read Frank Rich's piece on who is really guilty, courtesy of TruthoutOrg: "Whether or not Mr Fitzgerald uncovers an indictable crime, there is once again a victim, but that victim is not Mr or Mrs Wilson; it's the nation. It is surely a joke of history that even as the WH sells this constitutional referendum as yet another "victory" for democracy in Iraq, we still don't know the whole story of how our own democracy was hijacked on the way to war." And please read the Wall St Jrnl's take on Plamegate and the leaks. Hint: No wonder the WH is so afraid for Rove. Big ol' staff meetings on how to hurt Wilson by taking out his wife... whoa.
If this doesn't fall into the "most undeserving lucky bastard" category, I don't know what the hell does: WashPost: Sen Judd Gregg (R-NH) who lists between $2.5 and $9 million in assets on his financial disclosure form, added another $853,492 yesterday thanks to a little friend called Powerball. "I'm truly deserving, I feel this is the result of my ability and talent." declared the senator. Sweet Jesus... ability? Talent? It takes that to buy $20 worth of tickets? No, it just takes having 20 bucks, asshat.
FEMA public affairs officer Marty Bahamonde, was the only FEMA official to ride out Katrina while in NOLA, was none too gentle on his former boss Mike Brown or FEMA, in testimony Thurs before the Senate Homeland Security Committee: "Bahamonde contested former FEMA dir Brown's late Sept testimony, including Brown's account of the number of FEMA staffers sent to the city before the storm. "I was the only one," Bahamonde said AND on Aug 31, Bahamonde e-mailed Brown to tell him that 1000s of evacuees were gathering in the streets w/ no food or water and that "estimates are many will die w/in hrs." "Sir, I know that you know the situation is past critical," Bahamonde wrote. "The sooner we can get the medical patients out, the sooner we can get them out." Gee Brownie... good to see you lied YET again while under oath.
Holy crap! Scooter is a stalker (via LA Times): Libby was so angry about the public statements of former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, a Bush administration critic married to an undercover CIA officer, that he monitored all of Wilson's television appearances and urged the WH to mount an aggressive public campaign against him, former aides say. Of course, this could all just be Cheney (to divert blame from himself, Bush & Rove) throwing a drowning Libby an anchor. Don't worry, Libby is a good lil lap bitch... he'll fall on that sword, Big Dick.
NYTimes: "A well-known advertising executive and worldwide creative director at WPP Group resigned his position yesterday amid an uproar over remarks he made at an industry event about female creative executives. Neil French drew attention to the absence of women at the highest levels of the creative side of the ad industry. French told an audience in Toronto on Oct 6 "that women don't make it to the top b/c they don't deserve to," saying their roles as caregivers and childbearers prevented them from succeeding in top positions." We don't deserve to b/c we have kids and care for them? Gee, since males cannot conceive, carry and give birth to children, I guess we females are the ONLY ones biologically left to do it, huh? And what should we do w/our children once we pop 'em out? Allow them to raised by feral wolves perhaps? Maybe that worked out okay for Romulus and Remus... but call me a skeptic.
Murray Waas nails it on poor lil Judy's selective amnesia: NatlJrnl: "Judy Miller told the fedrl grand jury in the CIA leak case that she might have met with Scooter Libby on June 23/ 03 ONLY AFTER prosecutors showed her Secret Service logs that indicated she and Libby had indeed met that day in the Executive Office Building adjacent to the WH. Miller testified that she still could not recall the June meeting with Libby, but when a prosecutor presented Miller with copies of the WH-complex visitation logs, she said such a meeting was possible. And the NYTimes is reporting that Rove & Libby have been advised that they may be in serious legal jeopardy, as Fitzgerald is considering the charges of perjury, obstruction of justice and false statement, and MSNBC reports that the WH is already operating in a "post-Rove" kind of mindset as they brace themselves for Rove to be indicted next wk. If they (and others) are indicted, you can expect the attacks on Fitz to be kicked up a notch, but always keep this in mind: The Guardian UK reports that Fitz is an experienced prosecutor with a Republican pedigree, and that it was a GOP senator (Pete Fitzgerald- no relation- (R-IL) who suggested Fitz be the special presecutor, Fitz was appointed by former Attorney Genrl John Ashcroft, GOP darling of the Religious Fright (it was the only worthwhile thing he did while in the AG's office, if you ask me.)
LATimes: David and Tonia Parker believe homosexuality is immoral. So they were appalled when their son brought a picture book home from school that showed families w/ same sex parents. To ensure his "spiritual safety," they demanded the right to pull him out of class whenever homosexuality was discussed. To deny them that right, they say, would be intolerant of their faith. School administrators and Supt Paul Ash refuses to whisk the Parkers' son away if a classmate w/ same sex parents brings a family photo for show & tell, or a lesbian couple volunteers at a school party, and he says this: "Far more people would be hurt if Parker's demands were met. Imagine how bewildered a child of same sex parents would feel if a classmate had to be escorted from the room whenever they mentioned their family? Imagine how same sex parents would feel if they had to take turns attending class events to avoid being seen as a couple for fear of having their child's classmate whisked away?" What's next? Racists can demand their kid be whisked away due to a biracial family? What about anti-Semites? Personally, I have had 4 kids in my classrm who had gay parents: 3 same sex couples and 1 couple who were married to each other, but he was gay/ she was a lesbian. The only time anything had ever been made into an issue was when we made art projects for Mother's Day. My solution? I just allow the kids to make as many Mother (or Father's Day) projects as they want. I do the same for kids who are raised by grandparents, too. If I don't make it an issue, it usually won't be an issue. But 1 parent asked about lil Emily's 2 Mom's Day pictures, and I said: "Why can't she have 2 mommies? Lots of kids made 2 projects. 1 for their mom,1 for their step-mom, or 1 for their grandma who raises them. Should I force them to make 1 of their loved ones feel bad on a great family holiday like Mother's Day?" That shut the parent up FAST b/c how awful would she have looked if she defended bashing family on Mother's Day?
SmokingGun: DeLay's smug-ass smiling mug shot is just more proof that he truly believes he is beyond the laws that apply to all other citizens. Please notice this ridiculous add (via Atrios) that freepers are running on their sites, showing DeLay looking like a lost lil waif w/big sad eyes and this phrase flashing across it: "Will it soon be a crime to be a conservative?" No, it is not a crime to be a conservative. But it is a crime to commit conspiracy and money laundering, and you are well aware of that Congressman... but you simply do not care if you commit crimes and frankly, the toothy smile in the mug shot says it all.
Alliance for a Better Cali (via DKos): Arnold's CA's Recovery Team (CRT) has been violating the law by sending out campaign mail that illegally uses discounted non-profit postage and displays a fraudulent union bug. Both actions are violations of federal law. We have requested an investigation by the USPS and announced possible legal action unless they cease their activities. Visit BetterCAblog, and should we be shocked that yet another GOPer commits a crime?
ProgressiveDailyBeacon: According to Bill Berkowitz's piece "Christian Right's piece of the 'Promised Land'" in Working for Change: In a move geared toward solving northern Israel's unemployment crisis, increasing tourism to the country, and solidifying relations w/ US evangelical Christians, the Israeli govt has offered 35 acres of land on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. The Israeli govt is hopeful that Christian evangelicals will build a large conference center to attract 100s of 1000s of evangelical tourists from the US and other countries. Good. Israel can have em, b/c we in the US have had enough of their hate filled spew. But they had better be very careful what they wish for b/c it was thru extremist nationlism partnered w/extremist Christianity that the Nazis were able to rally the people to hatred and persecution of the Jews. Does anyone really think these American Zionist Christians will not try to convert the Jews? (besides, born-agains need Jews for Jesus in Israel to bring about the Rapture... so, conversion MUST take place). Merely look at this '02 study: The born again Christians are less tolerant than other groups and most likely to believe their faith is the only true one. They are the most threatened by religious diversity, but they are also the most likely to stress the importance of doctrines and beliefs. When asked about a duty to convert others to Christianity, born agains (37%) put the most stress on conversion. Good luck w/this new plan Israel, but what will you say when Falwell, Dobson, and Robertson call for your leader to be assassinated, lay claim to your land as a Christian birthright, and start demonizing your religion, beliefs, customs, and social mores? I for one will just say "Told ya so."
Pinch me... I must be dreaming.
AssocPress: A TX state crt issued an arrest warrant on Weds for Rep Tom DeLay requiring him to appear in TX for booking on state conspiracy and money laundering charges. He could be fingerprinted and photographed, although his lawyers had hoped to avoid this step. DeLay probably will surrender in his home county of Fort Bend, near Houston, but he could go to any law enforcement office in TX. His court appearance will be in Austin. And it seems that Gov Haley Barbour (R-MS) (who happily claimed that he- unlike LA Gov Blanco- never had to call Bush during the Katrina debacle b/c 'ol Dubya kept calling him repeatedly) is tied up in DeLay's mess, via Jackson Free Press: The Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care Inc. was formed in 2000 as a corporate coalition of 14 of the country’s largest for-profit nursing home companies to help ease the way for the corporate consolidation of the nursing-home industry. The coalition opposed Medicare cuts and govt regulation of nursing-home standards and consolidation, and most vitally, wanted low caps on the lawsuit damages the companies had to pay for injuring nursing-home residents. The coalition was willing to pay top dollar to ensure the election of candidates who agreed with its agenda. Enlisting the top-dollar aid of Barbour and his firm, the Alliance lobbied hard for its wish list to be fulfilled. It also directed impressive campaign donations to mostly GOP candidates around the country who would, in turn, honor the wishes of one of the country’s most tenacious industries. That resolve is how a check for $100,000 written 3yrs ago this wk ended up illegally funding GOP candidates for the TX statehouse. That’s also how that canceled check ended as a primary exhibit in the case of State of Texas v. Thomas Dale Delay et al. Hmm... maybe that's why 'ol Dubya made sure he kept calling Barbour, eh?
On Hardball Tues night, Pat Buchanan ranted about a conspiracy theory that the forged Niger uranium documents were merely part of a broad conspiracy to get the US into war. Read the transcript, but when a hardcore conservative like Buchanan puts out a theory like that, ya know we Dems & libs aren't wearing tin foil hats. And as if we needed more evidence, there is this: FinancialTimes: In a scathing attack on the record of Pres Bush, Col Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff to Colin Powell until last Jan, said: “What I saw was a cabal between the VP Richard Cheney, and the Secrty of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy did not know were being made... Wilkerson said such secret decision-making was responsible for mistakes such as the long refusal to engage with N Korea or to back European efforts on Iran. "Cheney and a handful of others had hijacked the govt's foreign policy apparatus, deciding in secret to carry out policies that had left the US weaker and more isolated in the world... Now it is paying the consequences of making those decisions in secret, but far more telling to me is America is paying the consequences." Wilkerson said his decision to go public had led to a personal falling out w/ Powell, whom he served for 16 yrs at the Pentagon and the State Dept: "He's not happy w/ my speaking out because, and I admire this in him, he is the world's most loyal soldier." Guess we can expect Wilkerson to suddenly be discredited when he is "found" in a hotel bed w/ a dead Camp Fire Girl and a raped Cub Scout, huh?
Surprise surprise! Toady Rove rats out Libby: WashPost: "Rove told the grand jury in the CIA leak case that Scooter Libby, VP Cheney's chief of staff, may have told him that CIA operative Valerie Plame worked for the intelligence agency before her identity was revealed." Nice job Rove. Didja hand Libby the sword he'll be throwing himself upon, too? But all may not be well w/Toady Rove: "Juggling appearances before a grand jury and conservative admirers didn't seem to make sense, so pres adviser Rove has canceled 3 such outings as he waits to hear whether he or anyone else will be indicted in the leak case." And the worm turns... well, David Wurmser has turned on Cheney's office: RAWStory: "A 2nd Cheney aide, David Wurmser, has agreed to provide the prosecution w/ evidence that the leak was a coordinated effort by Cheney’s office to discredit Plame's husband Joe Wilson b/c these thugs silence all critics. Wurmser, Cheney’s Mid East advisor and an assistant to then-Under Sec of St for Arms Control and Internatl Security Affairs John Bolton, likely cooperated because he faced criminal charges for his role in leaking Plame's name on the orders of higher-ups. According to those familiar with the case, Wurmser was in attendance at several meetings of the WH Iraq Group (WHIG), a little-known cabal of administration hawks that formed in Aug 02 to publicize the threat posed by Saddam. Those who say they have reviewed documents obtained in the probe assert that Cheney was also present at some of the group’s meetings." Imagine all that? Cheney was a pivotal architect of this crime... gasp!... so shocking. And at BoomanTribune they mention that my fav contender for being VERY involved in the Plame leak (due to Novak's outlandish & over the top response to her very Dem husband, James Carville, while on camera at CNN) is still in the running for investigation: Mary Matalin.
TheNewRepublic: You can't make this stuff up. The counsel to the pres of the United States... Harriet Miers... wasn't licensed to practice law in DC: "Earlier this yr, I received notice that my dues for the District of Columbia Bar were delinquent and as a result my ability to practice law in D.C. had been suspended. I immediately sent the dues in to remedy the delinquency. The nonpayment was not intentioned, and I corrected the situation upon receiving the letter." I guess we can knock "detail-oriented" off her ever-shrinking list of qualifications, huh? And Maureen Dowd (via CypheringBlog) rightly points out that if Miers could be "... such a scatterbrain about paperwork that a little tiny thing like being able to legally practice law slipped her mind while she was serving as the lawyer for the leader of the free world..." what kind of SCOTUS Justice could she possibily make? And this, from the NY Times: The committee chairman, Sen Arlen Specter (R-PA) said Miers should redo a questionnaire prepared by a bipartisan Senate panel because her initial responses had been insufficient on "many, many of the items." The ranking Dem, Sen Patrick Leahy of VT, agreed that Miers's effort on the questionnaire had been "inadequate," adding that some of his Senate colleagues had found her responses "ranged from incomplete to insulting." Way to go Bush... yet another f-up crony.
Brad'sBlog: 'In an extremely detailed 2891-word pg one Washington Post report Tues by James Grimaldi and Susan Schmidt, Rep Bob Ney (R-OH) is tied to at least 4 different aspects of ongoing probes being carried out by criminal investigators looking into the corruption of GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff and former House Majority Leader Tom Delay -- both of whom have been indicted recently on charges relating to the various investigations." As if I needed YET another reason to despise the poisonous pit of GOP vipers my state produces... sigh...
Pix courtesy of CagleCom.
While Sen Arlen Specter claims that Harriet Miers told him that she believes that our Constitution grants a right to privacy (which gay marriage rts, and all contraceptive/abortion rts are hinged upon) BUT then the WH quickly backtracked and said that Miers DID NOT support a right to privacy-- some documents arrive to clarify Miers' abortion position. AssocPress: As a candidate for the Dallas City Council in 1989, Miers answered in a Texans United for Life questionnaire: Would you support legislation restricting abortions if the Sup Crt allowed it, Miers indicated she would. Her reply was the same when asked, "Will you oppose the use of city funds or facilities" to promote abortions? Why should we be shocked? The God Squad can't whore out her religion/ church enough as if it were conclusive proof of her fanatical devotion to the Bush agenda. It does not matter that she is completely unqualified to sit at our most mightiest of courts b/c as long as Miers ends legal abortion, her purpose will be served for them. But I truly want the Talibornagains to back up their crusade against abortion w/the Bible. It is not there, nor will it be found. Jesus said NOT 1 single word about abortion (or homosexuality for that matter). Read this by Baptist & Bible scholar Graham Spurgeon. It backs up every thing I say and pretty much exactly how I feel about abortion.
Atrios: The Pentagon has reneged on its offer to pay a $15000 bonus to members of the Natl Guard & Army Reserve who agree to extend their enlistments by 6 yrs. Who knew that indentured servitude was alive and well in our 2005 military? Gee... the GOPers, Neo-Cons, and WH certainly do know how to "Support Our Troops", huh? I wish a pack of beefy and buff soldiers would rip those yellow magnets off of GOP voters' cars and shove them up those voters' asses... waaaay deep. Let this news hit the streets... we'll see how the recruitment numbers sink even lower. And the Govs of all the States need to start screaming. It will affect them in the end because they rely on the Guard for disasters etc. and soon these Govs won't have their Guard at a decent strength level b/c who in their right mind would sign up, and get bent over and pounded like this, w/out a reach around or a kiss?
Read about Judy's highly unusual relationship w/the military as she acted as a “middleman” between a US military unit and the Iraqi Natl Congress while she was embedded w/ the armed forces searching for WMDs in Iraq in April 03, and how she 'took custody" of Saddam Hussein’s son in law, 1 of 55 most wanted Iraqis. Good grief... does Judy's slimeyness ever end? At this point, I'm expecting we will discover a "Judy Gone Wild in Iraq" tape to prove how "embedded" Judy has been.
RAWStory: John Hannah, a sr natl security aide on loan to VP Cheney from the offices of then-Under Secr of State for Arms Control and Internatl Security Affairs, John Bolton, was named as a target of Plame probe. He was told in recent wks that he could face imminent indictment for his role in leaking Plame’s name to reporters unless he cooperated w/ the investigation. Those close to the investigation said in 6/03, Hannah was given orders by higher-ups in Cheney’s office to leak Plame's name. The specifics of who issued those orders and what directives were given were not provided. NYTimes: Fitz has told associates he has no plans to issue a final report about the results of the investigation, heightening the expectation that he intends to bring indictments. By signaling that he had no plans to issue the grand jury's findings in such detail, Fitz appeared to narrow his options either to indictments or closing his investigation with no public disclosure of his findings, a choice that would set off a political firestorm. C'mon already!
AMERICAblog: "A 26 yr old woman was refused EC when she handed her Rx to a pharmacist at a Target store in Fenton, MO, on Sept 30. The woman was told by the pharmacist, “I won’t fill it. It’s my right not to fill it.” She was told that she could go to a local Walgreens instead. The woman said, "When the pharmacist told me she wouldn't fill the prescription, I went from disbelief to shock to anger... It seems unbelievable to me that a medical professional could/would deny access to a federally approved drug and impose their personal beliefs in a professional setting." Target natl headquarters hasn't responded to 3 PPFA attempts to clarify its policy on pharmacist refusals. Well, I do shop at Target, and THAT practice can cease immediately if they refuse to clarify what their policy is on pharmacists refusing to fill LEGALLY OBTAINED and PHYSICIAN PRESCRIBED meds. Feel free to contact Target yourself-- I did, just simply click on the link "Target Corporations" which is listed under the heading "Our Stores & Company". I let them know that I already will not set foot in Wal-Mart/ Sam's Club and that we can easily separate our hard earned money from Target, too. Also, please consider filling out your info and then just clicking this written letter which will be sent to Target. I don't take my church to their store, so how dare stores allow their pharmacist to bring their church/ personal beliefs to my Rxs? If they object to dispensing meds, they should not be in the business of dispensing drugs. Not to mention the fact that refusing to fill drugs completely violates the Code of Ethics of Pharmacists.
CrackpotPress: "Everyone's favorite Old Bat Helen Thomas (and the term Old Bat is used lovingly) took a switch to rich kid Scotty McClellan today. Turns out we killed 18 kids in a airstrike today in Iraq and Helen was trying to get some answers from our "err on the side of life" administration. Especially take a good look at Scotty's response at the end... the lines between "us" and "them" are blurring." Yeh... the WH position is VERY clear: We could care LESS if it is 1800 kids- let alone 18- that were killed in a airstrike... so suck it up ya kid lovers and get over yourselves. We've got some bloodmoney to be makin, some gays to be bashin and some mythical "pre-born" babies to be savin.
Sasquatch Hughes arrives at the TX Bigfoot Conference w/ fellow human hunters Karl Rove and Scott McClellan. Sasquatch is carrying a lovely pumpkin bucket filled w/ pre- Halloween treats... or is it human bait?
AssocPress: "In Jefferson, TX, hundreds gathered for a Bigfoot Conference. Believers milled around tables covered w/ casts of large footprints, books about nature's mysteries, T-shirts proclaiming "Bigfoot: Often Imitated, Never Invalidated.", and lifelike replicas of giant ape heads." Shockingly, Karen "Sasquatch" Hughes showed up carrying a bright orange pumpkin bucket-- filled w/pre-Halloween treats, "human bait" or perhaps a bit of bigfoot pheromone. It seems that Hughes and her fellow companions/ human hunters Karl Rove & Scott McClellan arrived all dressed and ready in their hunting clothes. Sasquatch Hughes denied that they were hunting humans... but did say that she wouldn't mind ripping that "pesky punk-ass prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald from limb to limb"... Sasquatch Hughes was last seen leaving a trail of treats/ bait for a group of unwitting kindergartners whom she lovingly referred to as "tasty tots"... I kid b/c I love. Yeh... I love making fun of GOPers.
Now, keep in mind that I write my posts at midnight of any given day, so... let's keep our eyes peeled on Tuesday to see what is coming. If the "flipper" is Ari Fleischer, Mary Matalin, Karen Hughes (or other such lower level Bush bootlickers) and/ or all fingers start to point in Bush/ Cheney's direction (and the focus is narrowing in on the VP's office, according to the WashPost)-- I may just pee my pants yet! We already know that Libby has opened up a can of serious deep shit for himself, so who else will need hip wading boots? RAWStory: The case of outed CIA agent Valerie Plame is set to explode. The NY Daily News is set to report in Tuesday editions that a well-placed source interviewed by the newspaper believes a senior WH official has flipped and may be helping the prosecutor in the case. The Daily News will reveal that a top source believes that based on the questioning of Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald and his other contacts with the investigation, someone in the WH has turned. On Monday's edition of Hardball, Michael Isikoff said that Fitzgerald flipped the Novak source and he is talking about meetings of higherups. Hmm, Stephanopolous did say his source said Bush and Cheney are being named as being at meetings... I'm crossing my fingers, toes, and legs on this one.
NYTimes: Iraqi election officials said Mon that they were investigating "unusually high" vote totals in 12 Shiite and Kurdish provinces, where as many as 99% of the voters were reported to have cast ballots in favor of Iraq's new constitution. The investigation raised the possibility that the results of the referendum could be called into question. the Independent Election Commission of Iraq said the results of the referendum on Sat would have to be delayed "a few days" because the apparently high number of "yes" votes required election workers to "recheck, compare and audit" the results. Well, this article from the SanFranGate tells this story: "Less than 2 hrs after polling stations opened Sat morning, potential voters in the Sunni town of Ishaki were convinced the Iraqi govt had rigged the referendum in favor of Kurds, Shiites and Iran. Dozens of locals, all planning to vote against the draft constitution, had been turned away from the single polling station in town. According to election officials here, all those rejected were registered at another polling station 3 miles away (the only place they would be allowed to vote under the referendum's stringent rules). But a driving ban inside all urban areas, designed to stop suicide bomb attacks, meant these Sunnis, entering the democratic process for the 1st time, had effectively been disenfranchised." Hmm... disenfranchising a minority group of voters? Sounds like the 04 Election all over again. Wonder if Diebold helped steal this one, too? Oh that's right... Iraqis are allowed to have 2 things we Americans will never have: Paper ballots and national healthcare.
EdSchultzShowSite: The US' military's Armed Forces Radio has reversed a decision to add The Ed Schultz show to their lineup abroad, despite being told on Sept 29th that his show would be added to AFR. On his program Fri, Schultz attacked Alison Barber, an Armed Forces official, over Bush's staged conversation with US troops in Tikrit. Barber is an Assistant Sect of Defense, and she said this: Barber told producer James Holm that the Ed Shultz show would not start on AFR today because her boss, Pentagon spokesman Larry DiRita, was out of the country and couldn’t approve it. Barber also said she was going out of the country soon for a wk and a 1/2. Holm asked Barber if the show would begin when DiRita and Barber returned. Barber said she couldn’t guarantee that."Here’s the really interesting part. Barber told Holm she heard Ed announced that he would begin on AFR during his show Fri. Schultz’s show Fri began with audio outtakes of Barber sounding foolish as she rehearsed the troops “Q&A session” with Bush." Yeh, so now the troops get to hear hrs of the likes of Limbaugh, & Dr Laura... dear God... no wonder our troops are so inclined towards depression and suicide. There's nothing better I'd like to hear when putting my ass on the line in a trumped up war than a spew of Neo-Con lies from a fat-ass drug addicted Vietnam era chickenhawk and a withered up hag going on yet another one of her endless anti-gay/ anti-Muslim tirades. Nice to see that they treat our troops like mindless children who aren't allowed to hear 2 sides to a story, huh? As if they don't know better than anyone how full of shit this WH is. Good to see they're defending freedom of speech, eh?
This evil Wal-Mart smiley face only needs a pair of devil horns to make the picture complete.
As Jib-Jab takes aim at Wal-Mart w/both barrels via their animation clip "Big Box Mart", the site of the preview for Robert Greenwald's Confessions of a Wal-Mart Hit Man just gives me even more hope that people truly are seeing Wal-Mart for the predatory corporation they really are. The transcript of the documentary can be seen here, and the most telling part of the preview for me is where the former Wal-Mart employee of 17 long yrs says that they would drive around a town where they just opened a new Wal-Mart and point at the local businesses and say "3 months", "6 months", "a yr"... as they predicted how long it would be before that local business closed. Instead of people working, being able to buy a house, send their kids to college, retire, have some money for a trip now and then, instead of this nice and comfortable-- not rich-- middle class exisitence, we have a Wal-Mart ghetto in every town, every town a company town, every town owned by Wal-Mart. It is nauseating. And didja know that Wal-Mart owns 25% of the toothpaste industry? So, if you do happen to lower yourself to shopping there, please... DO NOT buy toothpaste. They are counting on you to buy it. By all means... dental hygiene is paramount. Just don't buy toothpaste at Wal-Mart. And if you won't do it b/c I asked you... then do it for Betty and her healthplan and diet.
This is shocking given the Wall St Journal's pro-Bush bias, but maybe the questions and evidence are simply too overwhelming even for them. WSJ: "Ms Miller's account was printed in the Times; her piece and an article by other reporters on how the paper handled the matter covered 2 pages. Together, the articles show both that the Bush administration has cause for concern and that there is dissension within the NY Times about Ms Miller and whether she was adequately supervised." And Howard Kurtz clearly smells the rotting stench that Plamegate carries: "If the NY Times does not trust Judy Miller to do stories in her area of expertise, what do they trust her to do, and why should we trust what she does? She's a great, energetic talent, but investigative reporters need to be managed very closely, and her characterization of herself as Miss Run Amok is something an institution like the NY Times can't afford." Unfortunately, Miss Run Amok had a special security clearance. That's like giving Limbaugh the keys to the Oxycontin storage cabinet.
JewishWorldReview: "Based on your personal knowledge of her, if she had the opportunity, do you believe she would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade?" "Absolutely," said Judge Kinkeade. "I agree w/ that," said Justice Hecht. "I concur." Shortly thereafter, according to the notes, James Dobson apologized and said he had to leave the discussion: "That's all I need to know and I will get off and make some calls." Great. So in addition to being a completely unqualified "never even served as a judge" choice, an unmarried, barren or barren by choice woman will take away the most personal, private, heart wrenching and important choice a woman can make in her life. I wonder how the Religious Fright will justify all of the unwanted babies that will be abused, killed, abandoned and/or left to starve in the streets b/c their parents are simply destitute once Roe is overturned? Think their Jesus-inspired charity will extend to them? Or does that Jesus-inspired charity only apply to pre-emptive wars, the use of torture, and bankrupting America?
PrensaLatina: The 2005 UN report on the State of the World Population released on Wednesday stated that the possibility to make poverty history hinges on this: there must be equal social, cultural, economic and political rights for all. The release of the UNPF study comes on the 60th Anniversary of the UN Charter that calls for equal rights for all human beings. The study highlights that gender equality reduces poverty and both saves and improve lives. If this became reality in the world, in 10 yrs 100s of millions of people would be able to get out of poverty, the lives of 30 million children and 2 million mothers would be saved, and the propagation of AIDS would be curbed. The world has a golden opportunity to wipe out poverty and the target can be reached by 2015 w/ $200 billion annually (50 cents for each person living in poverty), a sum much lower than the billion dollars spent for military expenses every yr.
WashPost: "Beginning this wk, the House GOP lawmakers will take steps to cut as much as $50 billion from the fiscal 2006 budget for health care for the poor, food stamps and farm supports, as well as considering across-the-board cuts in other programs. Only last month, then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) and other GOP leaders quashed demands within their party for budget cuts to pay for the soaring cost of hurricane relief." Suddenly, the GOPers feel the need to appear fiscally conservative eh? But it ALWAYS comes at the expense of the poor, now doesn't it? Oh well... these social programs don't really HELP people in need anyway... cough... and I can't wait til the 06 campaign kicks up. I want the GOPers to explain how they justified cutting aid to pre-schoolers, sick Vets, and the mentally disabled. Maybe the God Squad will claim it was what Jesus wanted, eh?
Yes, if were up to the Nixon Gang, freedom of the press would have died in 1973. So honestly, why exactly are we letting Judy Miller kill the freedom of the press now in 2005 with her lies for the Bush WH?
Read this self-indulgent sack of lies by Judy in the NY Times. You will ask yourself how many times can a REPORTER (they are supposed to take notes, remember things... etc) say "I don't recall" or "as I recall" or "I'm not certain". She forgot a lot of things, such as: People she spoke with, What she spoke to them about, What they spoke to her about. On a matter of natl interest and high security, ya would think Judy might have PAID ATTENTION, or bothered to listen or take notes. I have to wonder how she does with the things that don't matter? No wonder those at the NY Times are pissed off, sick of Judy, sick of her killing any remaining integrity of the Times (& the entire press world) as a whore for the WH, and feel like their editor, Bill Keller, has put his ass on the line for a hack/ WH shill. Jill Abramson, a managing editor said this when asked what she regretted about The Times's handling of the matter: "The entire thing." And I am willing to bet the farm that Judy's memory will become a steel trap when it comes time for that "tell-all" book to be written. What else can a whore like Miller sell off when she has already sold everything? Oh well, she'll just take an indefinite leave of absence to let her back heal from bending over backwards for Libby & the WH.