Monday, April 30, 2007

Dispatches From Iraq

The Iraqi Woman's Story.

Thanks to C&L for the link.


Carl Sagan

An oldie but a goodie. Carl Sagan - Who Speaks For The Earth?

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Marijuana Truths

Some common sense found at Dem Underground.

"..According to recent statistics provided by the federal government, nearly 80 million Americans admit having smoked marijuana. Of these, twenty million Americans smoked marijuana during the past year. The vast majority of marijuana smokers, like most other Americans, are good citizens who work hard, raise families, pay taxes and contribute in a positive way to their communities. They are certainly not part of the crime problem in this country, and it is terribly unfair to continue to treat them as criminals.

Many successful business and professional leaders, including many state and elected federal officials, admit they have smoked marijuana. We must reflect this reality in our state and federal laws, and put to rest the myth that marijuana smoking is a fringe or deviant activity engaged in only by those on the margins of American society. Marijuana smokers are no different from their non-smoking peers, except for their marijuana use.

Why should we decriminalize or legalize marijuana?
As President Jimmy Carter acknowledged: "Penalties against drug use should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against the possession of marijuana in private for personal use."

Marijuana prohibition needlessly destroys the lives and careers of literally hundreds of thousands of good, hard-working, productive citizens each year in this country. More than 700,000 Americans were arrested on marijuana charges last year, and more than 5 million Americans have been arrested for marijuana offenses in the past decade. Almost 90 percent of these arrests are for simple possession, not trafficking or sale. This is a misapplication of the criminal sanction that invites government into areas of our private lives that are inappropriate and wastes valuable law enforcement resources that should be focused on serious and violent crime.."
Pot facts at NORML


Sunday, April 29, 2007

United States of AfgCanadastan

Stephen Harper's United States of AfgCanadastan.

The US Invasion of Afghanistan was Announced Months Before the 9/11 Attacks and more.
Thanks Woods lot for the link.

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M81 Ursa Major

I think I just might buy(or rent) a nice little planet in this neighborhood when I retire. Hopefully there'll be no Limbaughs or Bill O'Reallys within light years.

M81 in Ursa Major


Saturday Cartoons

From Bob Geiger here's the Saturday cartoons.



Nearly A Billion Dollars in Katrina Aid Thrown Away by Bush Officials

I told co-workers a week after Katrina that it was going to be just another Bush money pit - like Iraq but not as big as Iraq. Now if they had taken this offered aid just think of all the poor Halliburton officials who'd suffer for lack of federal corporate welfare. I still remember Cuba offering nearly a hundred medical teams with supplies for aid and rescue which was turned down. That I can kind of understand, our government would rather it's citizens die horribly than get help from the great satan Castro, but the humanitarian offers from our allies?
Form the Washington Post:

Most Katrina Aid From Overseas Went Unclaimed

"..Allies offered $854 million in cash and in oil that was to be sold for cash. But only $40 million has been used so far for disaster victims or reconstruction, according to U.S. officials and contractors. Most of the aid went uncollected, including $400 million worth of oil. Some offers were withdrawn or redirected to private groups such as the Red Cross. The rest has been delayed by red tape and bureaucratic limits on how it can be spent.
In addition, valuable supplies and services -- such as cellphone systems, medicine and cruise ships -- were delayed or declined because the government could not handle them. In some cases, supplies were wasted.
The struggle to apply foreign aid in the aftermath of the hurricane, which has cost U.S. taxpayers more than $125 billion so far, is another reminder of the federal government's difficulty leading the recovery. Reports of government waste and delays or denials of assistance have surfaced repeatedly since hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck in 2005."

More also at AmericaBlog:

And meanwhile from NYT and OW we learn that 7 out of 8 hugely expensive building projects in Iraq are failures. Was Halliburton and the rest of the gangs involved?

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

More US Soldiers killed in Iraq

Speaking of Iraq nine US soldiers killed there today(so far). Oh, and scores of Iraqs(as always).

BAGHDAD - A car bomb exploded Saturday in the Shiite holy city of Karbala as the streets were packed with people heading for evening prayers, killing at least 58 and wounding scores near some of the country's most sacred shrines. Separately, the U.S. military announced the deaths of nine American troops, including three killed Saturday in a single roadside bombing outside Baghdad....

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Saturday Videos | Jackson Browne

Jackson Browne with "Lives in the Balance".

And "These Days".

The Must Do List.

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Jon Stewart For President!

Bill Moyers interviews Jon Stewart of The Daily Show. Oh, and does a Great job with Josh Marshall of TPM!

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Friday, April 27, 2007

"Baghdad Burning " Is Leaving Iraq

It looks like "Baghdad Burning" the Iraqi girl Blogger will have to leave Iraq with her family. I hope they get out safely and I hope they can return to their home(s) before long. To say it doesn't look good would be an understatement.


The Great Wall of Segregation...

"..On a personal note, we've finally decided to leave. I guess I've known we would be leaving for a while now. We discussed it as a family dozens of times. At first, someone would suggest it tentatively because, it was just a preposterous idea- leaving ones home and extended family- leaving ones country- and to what? To where?

Since last summer, we had been discussing it more and more. It was only a matter of time before what began as a suggestion- a last case scenario- soon took on solidity and developed into a plan. For the last couple of months, it has only been a matter of logistics. Plane or car? Jordan or Syria? Will we all leave together as a family? Or will it be only my brother and I at first?

After Jordan or Syria- where then? Obviously, either of those countries is going to be a transit to something else. They are both overflowing with Iraqi refugees, and every single Iraqi living in either country is complaining of the fact that work is difficult to come by, and getting a residency is even more difficult. There is also the little problem of being turned back at the border. Thousands of Iraqis aren't being let into Syria or Jordan- and there are no definite criteria for entry, the decision is based on the whim of the border patrol guard checking your passport.

An airplane isn't necessarily safer, as the trip to Baghdad International Airport is in itself risky and travelers are just as likely to be refused permission to enter the country (Syria and Jordan) if they arrive by airplane. And if you're wondering why Syria or Jordan, because they are the only two countries that will let Iraqis in without a visa. Following up visa issues with the few functioning embassies or consulates in Baghdad is next to impossible.

So we've been busy. Busy trying to decide what part of our lives to leave behind. Which memories are dispensable? We, like many Iraqis, are not the classic refugees- the ones with only the clothes on their backs and no choice. We are choosing to leave because the other option is simply a continuation of what has been one long nightmare- stay and wait and try to survive.

On the one hand, I know that leaving the country and starting a new life somewhere else- as yet unknown- is such a huge thing that it should dwarf every trivial concern. The funny thing is that it’s the trivial that seems to occupy our lives. We discuss whether to take photo albums or leave them behind. Can I bring along a stuffed animal I've had since the age of four? Is there room for E.'s guitar? What clothes do we take? Summer clothes? The winter clothes too? What about my books? What about the CDs, the baby pictures?.."


Great Moments in Punditry | Four years Gone

Speaking of the build up to dubya's excellent war adventure. Here's Tom Tomorrow with actual quotes from the all seeing, all knowing pundits from just a few years ago.



Thursday, April 26, 2007

Bill Moyer's Journal and the Bushco/Media Buildup to Their War

Bill Moyers Journal last night pieced together the reporting that shows how the "News" media were complicit in shaping the "public mind" toward the war, and ask what's happened to the press' role as skeptical "watchdog" over government power. I watched most of it but I'm at work so I'll have to save my comments till later (hopefully). The Knight Ridder guys were good, there's STILL some reporters left in America. The former CNN head and Tim Russert are whores, naturally. Anyway here's a clip.

From YouTube:

Digby does some nice rounding out here.
And Glenn Greenwald gives some excellent background and meaning here.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Roberts | The War Goes Ever On

The War Goes Ever On

Is the Iraq war to become a permanent feature?

The war persists despite the opposition of a majority of Americans and Iraqis.

The war persists despite warnings from US generals that the stress is breaking the US Army.

The war persists despite its enormous cost in red ink and dependence on foreign loans.

The war persists despite its total failure.

The war persists despite the known fact that it was based on Bush administration lies and deception. (...)

what Bush has demonstrated to Muslims is that American democracy is unresponsive to citizens and voters. Bush has demonstrated to the world that the US government is controlled by a small oligopoly of vested interests, the public be damned. Democracy means a government that follows the will of the people. Bush is ignoring public opinion and has made it clear that he will continue the practice.

Bush has shown the world that the only difference between American dictatorship and other dictatorships is that, for now, Americans are permitted to remove their dictator after his term is served....
--Paul Craig Roberts


Kentuckians Overwhelmingly Support Getting Our Troops Out of Iraq

DSCC Poll: Kentuckians Overwhelmingly Support Bringing the Troops Home!

By a more than two to one margin, Kentucky voters favor the Democratic plan to end the war in Iraq by redeploying U.S. troops within a year, a poll conducted for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee shows.

Would you favor or oppose a plan to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq this summer, and have almost all troops out of Iraq by the middle of next year?Favor……………………………………………………………………………. 64%
Oppose……………………………………………………………………….. 28%
Don’t know…………………………………………………………………… 7%

From The Bridge and Ditch Mitch.


World's Best Praying Mantis Photo

World's happiest praying mantis?

From the Boingboing.

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Don't Support Bush's Policies?

Well then, some Republicans have a message for you:

--Representative Dana Rohrabacher(R-CA, Insane)

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The Ten Steps to Fascism

Something to think about anyway. Probably a bit premature but better safe than fascist. I'm certain that the Bushistas want a monarchy, theocracy or dictatorship with themselves at the helm. Republicans are the party that could manage it if anyone could in this country today. They march in lockstep quite effectively. Whereas the Democrats at least for the last few years have been quite efficient at the circular firing squad. This also reminds me of the ten signs of fascism. Anyway from Naomi Wolf here's a Fascist America, in Ten Easy Steps:

Fascist America, in 10 easy steps

"..It is a mistake to think that early in a fascist shift you see the profile of barbed wire against the sky. In the early days, things look normal on the surface; peasants were celebrating harvest festivals in Calabria in 1922; people were shopping and going to the movies in Berlin in 1931. Early on, as WH Auden put it, the horror is always elsewhere - while someone is being tortured, children are skating, ships are sailing: "dogs go on with their doggy life ... How everything turns away/ Quite leisurely from the disaster."...

1 Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy

2 Create a gulag

3 Develop a thug caste

4 Set up an internal surveillance system

5 Harass citizens' groups

6 Engage in arbitrary detention and release

7 Target key individuals

8 Control the press

9 Dissent equals treason

10 Suspend the rule of law

"The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands ... is the definition of tyranny"
--James Madison.

Read the whole thing it's well worth it.

Thanks to Boingboing.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

This Modern World's : "Convenient Conclusions"



Wednesday on PBS | "Bill Moyers Journal" Probe of Press and Iraq

Bill Moyer's Journal sounds like a not to be missed slap to the MSM(main stream media), Wednesday at 9pm on PBS, set your alarms. This is from Greg Mitchell at Editor and Publisher:

'Devastating' Bill Moyers Probe of Press and Iraq Coming This Week

The disgraceful press reaction to Colin Powell's presentation at the United Nations seems like something out of Monty Python, with one key British report cited by Powell being nothing more than a student's thesis, downloaded from the Web -- with the student later threatening to charge U.S. officials with "plagiarism."

Phil Donahue recalls that he was told he could not feature war dissenters alone on his MSNBC talk show and always had to have "two conservatives for every liberal." Moyers resurrects a leaked NBC memo about Donahue's firing that claimed he "presents a difficult public face for NBC in a time of war. At the same time our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity."

Moyers also throws some stats around: In the year before the invasion William Safire (who predicted a "quick war" with Iraqis cheering their liberators) wrote "a total of 27 opinion pieces fanning the sparks of war." The Washington Post carried at least 140 front-page stories in that same period making the administration's case for attack. In the six months leading to the invasion the Post would "editorialize in favor of the war at least 27 times."

Of the 414 Iraq stories broadcast on NBC, ABC and CBS nightly news in the six months before the war, almost all could be traced back to sources solely in the White House, Pentagon or State Dept., Moyers tells Russert, who offers no coherent reply.

The program closes on a sad note, with Moyers pointing out that "so many of the advocates and apologists for the war are still flourishing in the media." He then runs a pre-war clip of President Bush declaring, "We cannot wait for the final proof: the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud." Then he explains: "The man who came up with it was Michael Gerson, President Bush's top speechwriter."

"He has left the White House and has been hired by the Washington Post as a columnist."

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Frayed Nerves | Arianna Does the Correspondent's Dud Affair

Arianna attended the DC zombies correspondents dinner, listened to the ancient jokes of Rich Little and survived:

Frayed Nerves, Excruciating Punchlines, and Sanjaya: My Night at the White House Correspondents' Dinner

You could sense an edginess among the administration figures in the room (waiting for the next round of subpoenas can have that effect). So the jovial MC Rove of just a few weeks ago was replaced by the Bellicose Boy Genius who took a gentle touch from the beguiling Sheryl Crow as the equivalent of a glove slapped across his face. Hurled invectives from 20 paces at dawn!!

News of the dustup between Rove, Sheryl, and Laurie David quickly traveled around the room. When I went over to their table to find out exactly what had happened, I was proud to see the two of them huddled together, scribbling their blog about the incident on the back of a menu, with Larry King looking on.

Back to the surrealism: it would be hard to match the absurdity of listening to President Bush explain that in deference to the shootings at Virginia Tech he would forgo telling any jokes: "In light of this tragedy at Virginia Tech, I decided not to be funny." Okay. I get that. But it raises the question: why did he have no problem cutting up last year or the year before or the year before that as the body count of dead American soldiers and Iraqi civilians continued to rise? Is there some sort of comedy rule I don't know about? So it's comedically acceptable to goof around, pretending to look for WMD under your desk while the troops put in harm's way in the name of those WMD are killed and mutilated but not in good taste to deliver a monologue in the aftermath of a tragic school shooting? Who knew?

Or maybe the president just didn't want to upstage Little, who turned out to be irritatingly bad rather than soothingly bland as intended.

Look, I have nothing against Rich Little. He's a perfectly fine entertainer, if your idea of entertainment is impersonations of Dwight Eisenhower and Telly Savalas (is there anyone still alive who would know the difference between a good Eisenhower impersonation and a bad one?) or jokes about hemorrhoids.

And, full disclosure, I didn't watch his entire performance. It was so painful, at a certain point I ducked out. But from what I saw, Little delivered exactly what the White House Correspondents' Association wanted (give or take a groaner or ten). People remember Colbert's performance last year for his skewering of the president but, in fact, he also brilliantly and brutally skewered the media for their complicity in the outrages of the last six years.


Ten more Americans Blown Away in Bushopotamia on Monday

Jeeesus! Mission accomplished yet dubya? No light at the end of the tunnel? I'm sure Halliburten's move to tax free Dubai with their blood money is still going well.

Attack in Diyala province comes same day 5 other explosions kill 46

The names of the soldiers who were killed are being held pending notification of their families. All were members of Task Force Lightning.
Suicide bombers attacked five other locations in Iraq on Monday, killing 46 people and wounding more than 100, officials said as the U.S. ambassador stopped short of saying construction on a controversial wall in Baghdad would be halted.
The deadliest suicide attack occurred near a restaurant on a highway close to Ramadi, 70 miles west of Baghdad, killing at least 19 people and wounding 35, said Ramadi police Maj. Fuad al-Asafia.


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Something Wicked This Way Comes

It's Dick.



Friday, April 20, 2007

Video Log Against Theocracy

Thanks to Blue Gal meet the new Ms. Vlogger for Blogs Against Theocracy.
I like- and I hope you will to:


Esquire's 60 Things Worth Shortening Your Life For

Esquire's list. I don't think I'd have the nerve to do a lot of things on this list. Or even eat a lot of things on the list. It is an interesting hodgepodge though. Here's the top five:

1. Danger dogs.
The Tijuana delicacy -- a hot dog wrapped in bacon, fried, and topped with mayo -- has made its way to San Diego and Los Angeles, sold from carts outside stadiums, clubs, and wherever hungry drunks congregate. See also:

2. Jersey breakfast dogs.
An East Coast derivative with scrambled eggs and melted cheese.

3. Surfing Teahupoo, Tahiti.
Unbelievable swells that roll over a shallow coral reef. Catch a wave and you're flying; bail and you're bleeding.

4. Giving a buddy a kidney.
You only need one. Hopefully.

5. Black Cat espresso from Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea.
A triple. Note the exceedingly heavy body, with chocolate, caramel, and dried-fruit notes. Also note that you're vibrating. That means it's working.
The rest.


Bush Being Bush

The leader of the "Free" world before a hand-picked crowd(as always) at a townhall meeting in Ohio.

A President's brain is a terrible thing to waste:
Thanks to the Carpetbagger Report.


Wolfowitz, His Girlfriend, and Third World Poverty

Here's that Paul Wolfowitz video. He's done about as well at the World Bank as he did with his Iraq attack predictions:

Found at Huffington.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

John McCain Sings Bomb Iran

This is the guy some people want with his finger on the red button? Here's a You Tube video of John McCain singing "Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran" to the tune of the Beach Boy's song "Barbara Ann":

What is up with John McCain? If you can see the video the man is on the stage sniffing, dabbing and blowing his nose like a cokehead on a weekend binge. Is the Bush camp putting something in his camper Kool-Aid? I have no idea, but bomb Iran? The man is skating on the edge.
By the way while I'm at it here's the Beach Boys and "Barbara Ann", 1965 introduced by Jack Benny:


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Roe Vs. Wade Going Down?

The conservatives on the supreme court took a major blow against abortion today. They basically opened the gates to eventually outlawing a woman's right to choose in our country. The decision was 5-4. Bush's John Roberts and Samual Alito(of course) sealed the deal. A big raspberry goes to people like NARAL and Rightwinger Joe Lieberman for serving us Roberts and Alito, and telling women's freedom of choice to go to Hell.

Here's Jane at Firedoglake:

And what did they do with all that cash? They sat on it and didn't do a damn thing, didn't lift a finger to fight Samuel Alito. Worse yet, when the Gang of 14 decided to vote in favor of cloture, they said that they did not consider cloture votes "significant" and would not be considering them in their scorecard. They then went on to add insult to injury by asking their membership to thank Lincoln Chafee and Joe Lieberman for the beatings they delivered with their "aye" cloture vote by pretending that their "nay" floor votes were significant. They then poured salt into the wound by endorsing both "short ride" Lieberman and Chafee over their opponents who made it clear that they would not have voted for cloture for Alito, which gave us the 5-4 decision we have today.

Don't reward failure. Tell your friends. Don't give money to NARAL when they come knocking on your door to tell you that choice is going down the crapper unless you give them a lot of money, because what you'll be giving money for is Nancy Keenan's ability to point her little pinky over tea at Washington cocktail parties and tut-tut over the state of choice in this country at the hands of the fundamentalists. She'll take no responsibility for the fact that NARAL will not fight, will not back those that fight, and worse yet, that NARAL sucks up all the pro-choice money so nobody else can mount a meaningful fight, either.

And Howie Klein:

NARAL, Chafee and Lieberman brought you Sammy Alito– and made you pay for it– and today Alito was the fifth vote in the religionist right's effort to chip away further at Roe v Wade. NARAL is either naive or incompetent or both. When they ask you for money– based on today's Supreme Court ruling, no less– tell them you're donating to the Blue America PAC instead. The first question we ask a candidate is how they stand on women's right to choice. If they waffle we tell them "good luck" and recommend they go talk to the DCCC or DSCC.

And digby gives 'em hell to:
The forced childbirth movement realized a while back that overturning Roe all at once was politically risky and they would have to build up steam to get it done. (They also enjoy milking it for $$$) So they have devised a cunning plan to chip away at it over time and with addition of the Gang of Fourteen's shiny new vanity project, Samuel Alito, they just opened up a brand new avenue to do it. It would appear that the health exception is no longer valid because no matter what the medical profession and the science says, if a rightwing congress decides that something isn't medically necessary, by God it isn't necessary. (Presumably, the sodomized virgin exception remains in place, dependent, of course, on valid determination by good rightwing Christian men who will assess whether the victim was properly chaste prior to allowing herself to be gang raped.)

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Photographer Bilal Hussein's One Year Anniversary in U.S Prison

From PRWatch and the AP.

For one year, Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein has been held at a prison camp in Iraq by U.S. military officials who have neither formally charged him with a crime nor made public any evidence of wrongdoing," AP reports. Hussein "was taken prisoner in the western Iraqi city of Ramadi on April 12, 2006." The director of the Committee to Protect Journalists commented, "It's unfathomable
to me why, after an entire year, there has been no progress in terms of the legal process moving ahead." A Pentagon spokesperson pointed to four reviews of Hussein's case, each of which "determined Hussein represented an imperative threat to security and recommended continued detention," he said. AP, "numerous journalism organizations ... and many newspapers," have called for Hussein's release. AP executive editor Kathleen Carroll said, "The absence of evidence leads to the conclusion that Bilal is being held because of the photographs he took for the AP -- which were published around the world -- and which were part of AP's Pulitzer Prize-winning submission in 2005."


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Top Ten Reasons to say no to Lunsford

Mark Nicholas at BluegrassReport gives Kentuckians all the reasons we need to NOT vote for Bruce Lunsford for Governor

Top 10 Reasons To Vote Against Bruce Lunsford For Governor

10. During the 2006 congressional race, Lunsford personally contributed more money to Anne Northup ($4,100) than to John Yarmuth ($2,000).

9. Four years ago, during the KET Democratic gubernatorial debate, Lunsford vowed to support the Democratic nominee in the general election, but on October 20, 2003, while standing next to his “friend” Sen. Mitch McConnell (R), Lunsford endorsed Ernie Fletcher for governor.

8. Lunsford now promises “I’ll fix our broken health-care system” but as Chairman and CEO of Vencor, he paid $104.5 million to the federal government for Medicare/Medicaid fraud claims.

7. A few months before Vencor publicly admitted to investors about declining revenues and staggering debt in 1997, Lunsford had sold 50,000 shares at $47 apiece, for $2.35 million. Within three months, Vencor was trading at $30/share, and eventually the stock became worthless.

6. On the Vencor Board of Directors at the time of its crash was none other than current U.S. Secretary of Labor, Elaine Chao, also the wife of U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R).

5. Following his election as governor in 2003, Fletcher named Lunsford to lead a blue ribbon transition team to re-organize government. Immediately, Lunsford’s team eliminated the Labor Cabinet.

4. After Congress cut Medicaid reimbursements to nursing homes, Lunsford offered cash bonuses to his employees who successfully evicted seniors who relied upon Medicaid to pay their bills so they could fill those beds with higher paying, private patients. This practice was known as “patient dumping.”

3. After Congress passed legislation to outlaw Lunsford’s practice of “patient dumping,” he paid a Washington, DC lobbyist $60,000 to try amend the Social Security Act to allow patient dumping after courts told him to stop and Vencor had been fined $780,000 for trying to kick out 137 residents.

2. Between 1995 and 2000, Lunsford personally donated $52,000 to federal political candidates and parties. Of that amount, $40,250 (77%) went to Republicans, including to both of Kentucky’s Republican senators, four Republican congressmen (Rogers, Whitfield, Lewis, Northup), as well as the Republican Party of Kentucky, Republican National Committee, National Republican Senatorial Committee, and George W. Bush for President.

1. In May 2003, Lunsford dropped out the Democratic gubernatorial primary after polls showed him falling into third place (behind Ben Chandler and Jody Richards). Rather than finish third, Lunsford pulled-up lame and blamed a mean Chandler television ad for his surrender. Does Kentucky want another wimp as governor?

***On May 22, Kentucky Democrats must refuse to elect Bruce Lunsford as its nominee for Governor***

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Human Butchery | Virginia Tech to Iraq

I'd thought of the Virginia Tech massacre in comparison with the civil war raging in Iraq myself but others will do a better job of the actual side by side horrors. Not in any way to diminish the horror of the Virginia Institute's victims and their friends and families. If you have any moral scales at all though you have to see the same scope of attack going on 2 or 3 times daily in Iraq to recoil at the bloody nightmare. Juan Cole(as always) and No Quarter are two that give a decent perspective on the daily horrors. Another comparison, try Darfur and the human cleansing going on there.

Here's just a few Iraqi excerpts:
04/15/07 Reuters: 19 bodies found in Baghdad on Saturday
Police found the bodies of 19 people in various parts of Baghdad in the past 24 hours, police said

04/15/07 Reuters: 20 Iraqi troops and policemen abducted
A group linked to al Qaeda said it abducted 20 Iraqi troops and policemen and demanded the release of all Sunni women held in Iraq's prisons, according to a Web statement

04/15/07 Reuters: 4 killed by suicide bombers in Mosul
Four people, including two Iraqi soldiers, were killed and 16 wounded when two oil trucks driven by suicide bombers exploded outside a military base in the northern city of Mosul, police said.

04/15/07 AP: Suicide bomber kills 5, wounds 11 in northwest Baghdad
a suicide bomber blew himself up on a minibus in northwest Baghdad, killing at least eight people and wounding 11, police and hospital officials said.

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Bush at Blacksburg, FDL Predictions

Preznit, "Give me the money" is going to be at Blacksburg Virginia today for a photo-op, er.. speech to the masses. FDL has put a list together of just what the chimpster is gonna say and do. I think it's pretty spot on so here 'tis:

1. An assertion that if everyone in the building had been armed, this never would have happened.

We also suspect that:
2. He will gather students from the ROTC to use as props. Failing that, he will scare up some veterans, an arrangement of Marines, or a lovely bouquet of family members of soldiers killed in action.

3. There will be at least one comparison of what happened today in Virginia to the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

4. He will take at least one breathtakingly nasty dig at Democrats for "not funding the troops".

5. Within the same breath as his dig at Democrats, he will urge the nation to "come together" and eschew "partisanship", accusing "some" of attempting to "politicize this tragedy".

6. He will use the phrase "in a time of war" at least twice.

7. He will take no questions.

8. He will use the words “evil” or “evildoer” repeatedly, and he will smirk when he says them.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

DU's Top Ten

From Democratic Underground:

The Top 10 Conservative Idiots, No. 287



"Daily Show" and "Colbert" Viewers Most Knowledgeable

As if you didn't know Fox Viewers and network Morning show viewers are dead last. From Editor and Publisher:
Most Knowledgeable Americans Watch 'Daily Show' and 'Colbert'-- and Visit Newspaper Sites

NEW YORK A new survey of 1,502 adults released Sunday by Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that despite the mass appeal of the Internet and cable news since a previous poll in 1989, Americans' knowledge of national affairs has slipped a little. For example, only 69% know that Dick Cheney is vice president, while 74% could identify Dan Quayle in that post in 1989.

Other details are equally eye-opening. Pew judged the levels of knowledgeability (correct answers) among those surveyed and found that those who scored the highest were regular watchers of Comedy Central's The Daily Show and Colbert Report. They tied with regular readers of major newspapers in the top spot -- with 54% of them getting 2 out of 3 questions correct. Watchers of the Lehrer News Hour on PBS followed just behind.

Virtually bringing up the rear were regular watchers of Fox News. Only 1 in 3 could answer 2 out of 3 questions correctly. Fox topped only network morning show viewers.


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Freeway Blogger Lives!

Make a sign and put it in a public place. The Freeway Blogger tells you how:


Rove's Mysteriously Deleted Emails Can be Restored

Experts say that Karl Rove's thousands(millions?) of conveniately deleted emails can be restored. Hopefully investigaters started confiscating hard drives days ago. Now if the old rules apply they'll just let the White House investigate themselves.
From Raw Story:

Deleting embarrassing e-mails isn't easy, experts say
--Robert S. Boyd
McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON - If Karl Rove or other White House staffers tried to delete sensitive e-mails from their computers, experts said, investigators usually could recover all or most of them.
The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is investigating whether the White House or the Republican National Committee erased "a large volume of e-mails" that may be related to the firings of eight U.S. attorneys.
Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, denied Friday that his client, President Bush's top political adviser, intentionally deleted his e-mails. He said Rove thought they were being stored on other machines as well as on his own.
Deleting a document or e-mail doesn't remove the file from a computer's hard drive or a backup server. The only thing that's erased is the address - known as a "pointer" - indicating where the file is stored.


How Your Senator/Representative is Voting

Progressive Punch has the complete voting history of our Senators and Representatives. Here's the progressive voting comparisons of my Mstrs. Chandler(D), Bunning(R, senile) and McConnell(R, Moneybags for Bushco).


Bob Geiger's Cartoon Page

Bob Geiger has the week's best poltical cartoons up and a new Mark Fiore cartoon, "MC Rove".


Verizon Gets to Patent the Internet?

This is a scary development I must say. Apparently a district court has upheld Verizon's actual claim to the Internet. Apparently it's only (for now) voice communications but still a bad development. From TPMCafe and Kos here's the story:

We know this as a result of that court case in which Verizon is trying to sue competitor Vonage out of business. Vonage offers telephone service over Internet connections, and so takes customers away from Verizon. In tried-and-true form, Verizon filed suit and a silly District Court ruling (currently being appealed) awarded Verizon $58 million plus a piece of Vonage's revenues.

But the interesting part comes as part of the decision. Here are three claims upheld by the U.S. District Court, as quoted from the decision that could cost Vonage big time:

1. A method as in claim 1, wherein the public packet data communication network is a packet switched network.

2. A method as in claim 6, wherein the packet switched network comprises a system of interlinked data networks using TCP/IP protocol.

3. A method as in claim 7, wherein the system of interlinked data networks comprises the Internet.
Look closely at what those supposedly valid claims describe. A public packet data communications network? A network using TCP/IP? Interlinked data networks? Verizon has patented the Internet.


Friday, April 13, 2007

KY Governor Democratic Candidates on Creationism and Abortion

Although I like Jonathan Miller's positions on most everything else. I prefered Beshear's answer here on Creationism/Religion in schools. Lunsford is my absolutely last choice even after the wacky Gatewood. Lundsford's got to be spending an obscene amount of money for name recognition out there. If you watch Kentucky tv you've seen his commercials. Of course those commercials don't tell you that he(Lundsford)supported our horrible Republican governor Ernie Fletcher last time.

Candidates for governor debate abortion and creationism
--John Stamper

ALEXANDRIA --The Democratic candidates for governor are split on the issues of regulating abortion and teaching creationism in high school science classes.

Although none of the six candidates taking part in a debate last night said he favored teaching creationism, the belief that the world was formed by one divine creator, some said they thought such decisions should be left to local school districts.

Their comments came in a wide-ranging debate at Campbell County High School that was televised on local cable stations in three Northern Kentucky counties.

Former Lt. Gov. Steve Henry was the only Democratic candidate absent. He had promised to take part, but canceled because of a conflict with filming a campaign commercial.

Asked whether public schools should be required to teach creationism, Louisville businessman Bruce Lunsford said he would leave the decision to local schools.

"I'm very concerned that we keep making our schools places to set social standards," he said.

House Speaker Jody Richards took a similar stance, saying the legislature should not mandate local curricula.

Three others said flatly that creationism should not be taught in science classes.
"Let's let the families teach religion," said Beshear, noting that he is the son of a Baptist minister.

State Treasurer Jonathan Miller said he believes the world was created by God, but said teaching such beliefs would be appropriate only in a class that compares the world's religions.

Lexington attorney Gatewood Galbraith, who described himself as a "spiritual kind of guy," said it's OK to talk about creationism in class, but that it shouldn't be considered a scientific fact.

"I don't see any scientific evidence out there that supports creationism," Galbraith said.


Even Lee Iacocca's Had Enough of the Dumbya Gang

Even some old wealthy former CEOs are starting to get teed off. Here's Lee Iacocca from his new book, "Where Have All the Leaders Gone?":

Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, "Stay the course."

Stay the course? You've got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned Titanic. I'll give you a sound bite: Throw the bums out!

You might think I'm getting senile, that I've gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore. The President of the United States is given a free pass to ignore the Constitution, tap our phones, and lead us to war on a pack of lies. Congress responds to record deficits by passing a huge tax cut for the wealthy (thanks, but I don't need it). The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs. While we're fiddling in Iraq, the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving pom-poms instead of asking hard questions. That's not the promise of America my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I've had enough. How about you?

I'll go a step further. You can't call yourself a patriot if you're not outraged. This is a fight I'm ready and willing to have.


I would just say to Lee that I'm glad he's catching up. A lot of us have been living in a Bushco alternate universe hell for years now. Welcome to the club Lee, glad you finally made it. Bring your wealthy friends on board.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut | 1922-2007

Kurt Vonnegut R.I.P.
Chilblains in the wintertime, and darkness indoors and out when the sun goes down? Light a candle made from the fat of a lower, dumber, deader animal? Who's got a wooden match when there are no trees? Our century should be called this: the Age of the Planet Gobblers. We, the ancestors of all Generation A's still to come, inherited an aromatic, juicy blue-green planet, and we ate it up!
-Kurt Vonnegut

Photo here.

He survived the firebombing of Dresden and battled depression throughout his life, once attempting suicide, while writing some of the most iconic American novels of the 20th century. Now the legendary American novelist and freethinker Kurt Vonnegut has died at the age of 84.

Custodians of chaos
Kurt Vonnegut

"..Eugene Debs, who died back in 1926, when I was not yet four, ran five times as the Socialist party candidate for president, winning 900,000 votes, almost 6 percent of the popular vote, in 1912, if you can imagine such a ballot. He had this to say while campaigning:"As long as there is a lower class, I am in it."As long as there is a criminal element, I am of it."As long as there is a soul in prison, I am not free."Doesn't anything socialistic make you want to throw up? Like great public schools, or health insurance for all? When you get out of bed each morning, with the roosters crowing, wouldn't you like to say. "As long as there is a lower class, I am in it. As long as there is a criminal element, I am of it. As long as there is a soul in prison, I am not free."How about Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes?Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth.Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. And so on. Not exactly planks in a Republican platform. Not exactly George W Bush, Dick Cheney, or Donald Rumsfeld stuff. For some reason, the most vocal Christians among us never mention the Beatitudes. But, often with tears in their eyes, they demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings. And of course that's Moses, not Jesus. I haven't heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, be posted anywhere."Blessed are the merciful" in a courtroom? "Blessed are the peacemakers" in the Pentagon? Give me a break! It so happens that idealism enough for anyone is not made of perfumed pink clouds. It is the law! It is the US Constitution. But I myself feel that our country, for whose Constitution I fought in a just war, might as well have been invaded by Martians and body snatchers. Sometimes I wish it had been. What has happened instead is that it was taken over by means of the sleaziest, low-comedy, Keystone Cops-style coup d'état imaginable."


"..I was once asked if I had any ideas for a really scary reality TV show. I have one reality show that would really make your hair stand on end:"C-Students from Yale".George W Bush has gathered around him upper-crust Cstudents who know no history or geography, plus not-so-closeted white supremacists, aka Christians, and plus, most frighteningly, psychopathic personalities, or PPs, the medical term for smart, personable people who have no consciences. To say somebody is a PP is to make a perfectly respectable diagnosis, like saying he or she has appendicitis or athlete's foot. The classic medical text on PPs is The Mask of Sanity by Dr Hervey Cleckley, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the Medical College of Georgia, published in 1941. Read it! Some people are born deaf, some are born blind or whatever, and this book is about congenitally defective human beings of a sort that is making this whole country and many other parts of the planet go completely haywire nowadays. These were people born without consciences, and suddenly they are taking charge of everything. PPs are presentable, they know full well the suffering their actions may cause others, but they do not care."


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Defenders| Help Save the Polar Bear

Please help save America’s polar bears! Urge the U.S. government to protect them under the federal Endangered Species Act.

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Katrina VandenHeuvel and Stephen Colbert

Katrina VandenHeuvel on the Colbert Report:
"We never lost our head — while too much of the media gave head....we need watchdogs, not lapdogs".

The Huffington Post.

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An Interview With Lewis Black

An interview with my favorite guy, the immensely funny Lewis Black.
Thanks to The Progressive and Kos:
A few excerpts:

"Q: What do you see as the main problem of this Administration?

Black: As much as the problem is the Iraq War, there is a bigger problem: There are unqualified, incompetent people within the government bureaucracy. There are people who spend their entire lives working within government and are experienced and know how to run FEMA, the FDA, the EPA. You can find these people and they will do their jobs well. It’s the Administration’s job to find them and put them in these positions. This is what is called maintenance. What fell apart is maintenance. I lived around the government when I was a kid and I know it’s got many problems but you don’t elect people who don’t like government because that’s what they’re in charge of.

Q: I know that Dick Cheney shooting someone in the face while quail hunting was your favorite moment in 2006. What are some other highlights?

Black: The Mark Foley scandal—that is a joke that tells itself. A Congressman who is on the committee to protect children from sexual predators is himself a sexual predator. The flag burning amendment last summer was really absurd. We have five million other things to worry about and this is what Congress is going to spend their time on? Ridiculous. I mean, were people running out of briquettes for barbeques and began using flags? Then there’s the proposal to build a wall on the Mexican border but they don’t vote on the money to build the wall. And if we can’t build levees and homes anymore for people who have been displaced by Katrina, what’s our ability to build a wall? And of course the natural, obvious joke is, they are going to use illegal immigrants to build the wall. Well, wouldn’t you know that a company down there got busted for really using illegal immigrants to build the wall? It just goes on and on and on."


"Q: Many people are finding real news through fake news with shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Why do you think that is?

Black: I call this news by default. It starts with things like when The New York Times had to apologize for the lack of research they did reporting on the Iraq War. Whether anyone likes it or not, they are the paper of record and it was their responsibility to pay attention, and the reality is that they didn’t. And now it’s started again as they start quoting these “sources” in regards to Iran’s weapons. They report, “unnamed military sources.” I can’t believe they are doing this again. The New York Times said, and this is extraordinary, this is a much better presentation this time around."


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Richard Dawkins interviews the Bishop of Oxford

Interesting conversation. On creationism, etc.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Aurora Over Alaska

Aurora borealis over Frozen Bear Lake. I'd LOVE to see these in person some day.


Gingrich Calls For the Resignation of Gonzales

Newt is now calling for the resignation of Alberto "torture" Gonzales. Of course I believe Newt Gingrich about as much as Mitch McConnell. He is running for President though and is tacking to whatever wind he sees most American's going to.

Gingrich: Gonzales should consider resigning

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Newt Gingrich is joining the list of Republicans calling for the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Gingrich appeared on "Fox News Sunday" and criticized Gonzales' judgment in allowing the firings of eight U-S attorneys to become a political scandal.

Earlier this year, Gonzales insisted that the dismissals were based on performance and were not politically motivated. But e-mails between the Justice Department and White House contradicted those claims and prompted a public apology from Gonzales.

Gingrich calls the controversy the "most mishandled, artificial, self-created mess" he's ever seen in his years of public service.
Go here.


McConnell Says Democrats Want Our Soldiers Dead

Wingnut Mitch "Mo' Money" McConnell is one of the people that the Democratic majority is supposed to try to work with, he sure doesn't make it easy does he? At least he didn't call us traitors(this time).

Mitch McConnel: Democrats want the troops dead.

I’m not kidding. Listen to the clip. I’ve provided full context - the question before, and the question after. McConnel never qualified his statements. Below is the relevant transcript:

Bennett: “…what does the position feel like, do you suppose, when you’re a Democrat in the Senate when your political well being is tied to, I guess, rooting that we don’t succeed…”

McConnell: “Yeah, I mean that I… there’s no question that they don’t wish this exercise well, which is why they keep moving the goalposts and keeping the issue alive. In the meantime we’re talking about the lives of our soldiers, we’re talking about the lives of a very large number of Iraqis…“
Thanks to Crooks and liars.


Sunday, April 08, 2007

Gayest American President Ever?

Dubya just needs the Indian, the policeman and the construction worker and he'd be "The Village People".


Saturday, April 07, 2007

YouTube | The O'Reilly and Geraldo Rivera Cage Match

Here's that Rivera and O'Reilly screamfest. I love it for some strange reason. Long awaited kudos to Rivera for standing his ground.

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Friday, April 06, 2007

Conservative News Network

I wonder if Ted Turner can watch his old network CNN without beating his head against the nearest wall.


"Unfortunately, the past week suggests CNN was simply play-acting rather than rededicating itself to serious journalism. The cable channel's coverage of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trip to the Middle East suggests that, rather than checking the facts, CNN is dedicating itself to the tireless pursuit of a rather narrow demographic: those who think that Fox News would be great, if only it were a more reliable source of Republican talking points."
-Foser at MediaMatters
Thanks Atriots:


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Kos Funnies

A few funnies from Kos:


"Hillary Clinton is running for president. She set a fundraising record---she's already raised 26 million dollars. That's a lot of money. To put that in perspective, that is more money than President Bush lost in all the years he was a businessman." ---Jimmy Kimmel

"Bush visited Walter Reed today. When you've got a problem like Walter Reed that needs solving, what better sight than to see George Bush walk through the door? He's created so many disasters, I'm not sure he knows which is which anymore. He walked into Walter Reed and he said he wanted to have it ready for next year's Mardi Gras." ---Bill Maher

"Actor and former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson---the guy from Law and Order---is thinking of running. He's only been married twice. By Republican standards, that would make him the family values candidate." ---Jay Leno


Police Eye in the Sky

Finally(!) got my broadband connection working at home!

Police put guard tower in Harlem, coming soon to a corner near you. From the New York Post and LEN.


"..Big Brother is watching you.

Without fanfare, the NYPD has begun installing Sky Watch, an eye in the sky mounted on a tower, The Post has learned.

The Sky Watch, about two stories tall, consists of a booth for a cop that stands atop a tower that collapses when the officer is ready to leave.

The booth, which gives the cop a line of sight from 20 feet up, has four cameras, a high-powered spotlight and various sensors. The digital cameras, which continue recording when the booth is unstaffed, save the video to a hard drive.

The units, which costs from $40,000 to $100,000 apiece, are also being used by the U.S. Border Patrol and cops in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Dallas and Fort Worth.."

Also see The NYPD Panopticon Imprisons Harlem.

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John McCain | American Tragedy

From William Rivers Pitt at truthout. John McCain's descent into looneytunes.

The American Tragedy of John McCain
--William Rivers Pitt

Arizona Sen. John McCain took a walk through a Baghdad market on April Fool's Day, and may well have burned his presidential campaign down to the ground in the process. That little stroll has visited upon his head a deluge of humiliation and shame vast and astonishing enough to beggar imagination, and that was before the bodies started hitting the ground.

Translated into mathematical terms, McCain's walk was Pythagorean in scope, squared hypocrisy added to squared idiocy equaling squared disgrace. In political terms, McCain's Baghdad walk was a full-blown, bull-moose, train-wreck disaster of truly galactic proportions: a veritable Hindenberg of campaign photo-op debacles. It was so mind-bendingly ugly and deranged and disgusting that the once-iconic "Dukakis in the Tank" blunder now seems quaint by comparison.

The genesis of this catastrophe, in case you missed it, was a verbal gaffe by McCain during a widely broadcast interview last week. After enduring several minutes of sharp interrogation regarding his staunch support of Bush, the war and the "surge," a neuron within his logic circuits apparently misfired. He claimed, with an entirely straight face, that the streets of Baghdad are today entirely safe for an American to walk down. This whopper made even the most shamelessly craven war apologists shake their heads in public, and forced McCain to undertake a desperate face-saving lunge to recover some shred of credibility.

McCain traveled to Baghdad to prove his claim correct, and the pictures appeared shortly thereafter. In the first available frames, the senator was shown walking through a Baghdad marketplace wearing a Kevlar vest, a general on his right and a troop on his left, and a second troop three steps ahead brandishing his rifle. While this kind of protection detail seemed to undermine his claims of safety, the escort and the vest could easily be understood as normal and necessary precautions taken to protect a visiting dignitary. For a time, McCain appeared to have made his point.

It didn't last. On the heels of those narrow-scope photos came reports of what McCain's entourage was actually comprised of. That "safe" Baghdad market had been flooded with more than one hundred battle-ready troops and armored Humvees. Three Blackhawk helicopters and two Apache attack helicopters roared overhead, and sharpshooters were posted on the surrounding rooftops. Simply put, McCain's "safe" street was one overly loud mouse-fart away from being paved with flaming lead during every step of that little walk.

To compound the calamity, a report emerged two days later describing the abduction and slaughter of 21 Iraqis who worked in the marketplace McCain's mini-Normandy force had stormed the previous Sunday, an obvious act of retribution for his visit by a violent Baghdad militia. Already belied by the revealed firepower he brought along, McCain's "safe" walk in Iraq led directly to yet another horrific Baghdad bloodbath. There is bad, there is awful, and then there is this thing, this quantum singularity of ignominy that bends the very light now shining upon it.


Thursday, April 05, 2007

ABC Network | Misinformer of the Year

I would have thought that if a corporate network could receive "Misinformer of the Year" that Faux(Fox) News would win it hands down every damn day. Then again ABC is becoming quite well known for getting on their knees for conservatives. Here's Media Matters:

Misinformer of the Year: ABC

"..This year saw ABC air The Path to 9/11, a two-part miniseries that placed the blame for the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the Clinton administration and whitewashed some of the Bush administration's failures leading up to the attacks. Additionally, the network's news coverage frequently reported Republican spin as fact, passed on falsehoods propagated by conservatives, and missed numerous opportunities to challenge or question the administration's actions during solo interviews with Bush and key members of his administration.

These examples, and many more, earned ABC the distinction of being named Media Matters' Misinformer of the Year for 2006. The selection of an entire network for the honor represents a change from previous years, when individual media figures -- Fox News' Bill O'Reilly in 2004 and MSNBC's Chris Matthews in 2005 -- received the award. But a look at some of its most flagrant examples of conservative misinformation confirms that ABC won the Misinformer of the Year the old-fashioned way: The network earned it.."


Huffington | The Other (Failed) War

I haven't gotten to post much in the last few days. I'm trying to get broadband connection up and going at home and I'm having problems. Till I get it going I don't have Internet access there. So very intermitent posting. Here's an interesting article by Arianna Huffington on our failed and increasingly costly money pit "the war on drugs":
The Other War: Democratic Candidates are Deafeningly Silent on the Drug War

While all the top candidates are vying for the black and Latino vote, they are completely ignoring one of the most pressing issues affecting those constituencies: the failed War on Drugs, a war that has morphed into a war on people of color.

Consider this: according to a 2006 ACLU report, African Americans make up 15 percent of drug users, but account for 37 percent of those arrested on drug charges, 59 percent of those convicted, and 74 percent of all drug offenders sentenced to prison. Or consider this: America has 260,000 people in state prisons on nonviolent drug charges; 183,200 (more than 70 percent) are black or Latino.

Such facts and figures have been bandied about for years. But what to do about the legion of nonviolent -- predominantly minority -- drug offenders has long been an electrified third-rail in American politics, a subject to be avoided at all costs by our political leaders, who fear being incinerated on contact for being soft on crime.
Continue here, with comments.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Reporting the War at NBC

From Raw Thought.
John Hockenberry on Reporting the War at NBC

I was very happily employed at NBC. I wasn't like, running around, trying to stuff toilet paper into the plumbing and sabotage the place. [...] But I was interested, because we had a lot of meetings at NBC about, you know, if you're doing a story and the person you're doing the story about offers to buy you a drink, you've gotta say no. If you're doing a story and they send you, after they see the story, some napkin rings -- silver napkin rings that are monogrammed "Thank you, Jon, for the story," you've got not only to return those, you've got to report those to the standards people at NBC because there's a whole ethics and conflict-of-interest thing.

So at one of these ethics meetings -- I called them the return-the-napkin-ring kinds of meetings -- I raised my hand and said "You know, isn't it a problem that the contract that GE has with the Coalition Provisional Authority [...] to rebuild the power generation system in Iraq [is] about the size of the entire budget of NBC? Is that kind of like the napkin rings thing?" And the standards people said "Huh. That's interesting. No one's brought that up before." Now I'm not saying that I'm smart or that I'm advanced or that I'm ahead of my colleagues or maybe I had a lot of free time to think about this or maybe I'm some pinko-proto-lefty like Richard Nixon. I don't know! But the fact that it drew a complete blank among the NBC standards people was interesting to me.

Thanks to This Modern World.


Climate Change Report | Chaos and Effect

New climate report from IPCC will have bad news and worse news

On Friday, a comprehensive new report will map the likely effects of global warming -- and it ain't pretty. The good news is, we can expect higher food production in northern, more affluent regions. Whee! Now the bad news: globally, we can expect increased poverty and starvation, drinking-water shortages, more infectious diseases, flooding, drought, heat waves, melting glaciers, disappearing islands, vanishing species, and the continuing popularity of reality TV. The report is the second of four expected from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change this year. The first, in February -- perhaps you heard about it? -- covered the basic science. The report this Friday is on "Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability." Cheat sheet: we're vulnerable, impacts will be nasty, and we'd better adapt...
From Scientific American:
OSLO (Reuters) - Northern nations such as Russia or Canada may be celebrating better harvests and less icy winters in coming decades even as rising seas, also caused by global warming, are washing away Pacific island states.

A draft U.N. report to be issued in Brussels on April 6 foresees unequal impacts from warming: tropical nations from Africa to the Pacific, mostly poor, are likely to bear the brunt but those nearer the poles, mostly rich, may briefly benefit.

"At least for a few decades there will be a few winners," said Rajendra Pachauri, the head of U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of 2,500 experts which will release the report outlining regional impacts of warming.
Continue and here.


Lawsuit Against Fletcher to go Forward

Lexington Herald-leader
Free-speech suit against Fletcher to go forward

A federal judge refused to dismiss a free-speech lawsuit filed by a political commentator against Gov. Ernie Fletcher.

U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell on Friday referred the case filed by Internet blogger Mark Nickolas to a federal magistrate to manage the exchange of evidence in the case and to conduct a settlement conference "as he deems appropriate."

The Fletcher administration blocked state computers from various Internet categories.

Nickolas, represented by the Washington-based advocacy group Public Citizen, claims in the lawsuit that the Fletcher administration singled him out, blocking access to his Web site,

The state produced a list of Web sites that were blocked, including religious sites, blogs operated by newspapers and one University of Kentucky Web site.


Monday, April 02, 2007

Bill "O'Really" Can't Handle the Truth

Bill O'Reilly abuses and cuts the mic of retired Colonel Ann Wright, 29-year veteran of the US Army, after she refuses to fall victim to his leading, dishonest questions and smear tactics.
Here's crazy Bill on YouTube:

And here's Crooks and Liars:

WRIGHT: "I want to make sure the United States treats people properly.."

O'REILLY: "Sure you do. Sure you do."

WRIGHT: "I surely do. That's what I spent 29 years of my life trying to do."

O'REILLY: "Sorry. No you didn't. You know what happened to you…somewhere along the line you started to dislike your own country…."

WRIGHT: "I served 29 years. How many did you serve? Where did you teach the Geneva Conventions?"

O'REILLY: "Cut her mic."

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New DSCC Anti-Mitch Ad

I caught this new anti-Mitch ad during the NBC Nightly News cast tonight. This election year may be tougher than Mitch McConnell has been used to in a long time.


John McCain "Straight Talk" Tool

Does John McCain really have no idea what a complete Dick he is? I read this article this morning and had to laugh out loud. When will "straight talk John" be re-embursing my tax dollars for his campaign stop in Baghdad? From AmericaBlog:


McCain takes 'safe' stroll in Baghdad market... wearing body armor, flanked by 100 American soldiers, 3 Blackhawk helicopters, and 2 Apache gunships.

On a related note dozens were killed along with four more G.I.s Sunday
Maybe John meant Baghdad Kentucky.


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