Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bad Timing

And Administrative Stupidity.  You'd think they'd, at least, wait until Blackwater was cleared before pulling this stunt. Unless, of course, they know Blackwater will never BE cleared.  If that's the case, just keep piling the $$$$ on...

Pentagon Issues Blackwater New $92 Million Contract

Earlier this month, Blackwater USA was involved in the fatal shooting of 11 Iraqi civilians. While the Iraqi government swiftly condemned the contractor, the Bush administration has continued to back Blackwater’s story that it was “defensive fire.” Last Thursday, Gen. Peter Pace told reporters, “Blackwater has been a contractor in the past with the department and [...]


From Overseas

Comes more intriguing (albeit frightening) information:

U.S. coordinates with Gulf nations on possible air strikes.

“The American air force is working with military leaders from the Gulf to train and prepare Arab air forces for a possible war with Iran, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.” UPDATE: “John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, told Tory delegates today that efforts by the UK and the EU to negotiate with [...]

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Must Read

In case you don't make it far enough down the page (or onto the preceeding page), you'll want to read this about Iran. It's a "must read" for a Sunday evening...because it puts "guess who" right in the middle of things..


If you've been waiting around for the Sy Hersh article which gives you all the details about the coming strike against Iran brought to you by the lethally slapstick militarism of Dick Cheney ... well, here it is [....]

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Nobody Bought Into It

Something bothered me about that Climate Change conference sponsored by the Bush Administration.  Apparently, it bugged a few others, too.

The Climate Charade

Apparently nobody outside the U.S. was fooled for a minute by George Bush's "climate summit." The Guardian reports:European ministers, diplomats and officials attending the Washington conference were scathing, particularly in private, over Mr Bush's failure once again to [...]

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Murtha: Redux

My faith in Mr. Murtha is beginning to waiver.  Still, I hate to seed the right be so viscious in praying for his downfall..

Murtha Must Testify, Supply Deposition

...If Murtha is forced to giving a deposition, he'll likely be forced to say who, if anyone, gave him this information. If one of his cronies in the Pentagon fed him this information, it'll expose that person's anti-war (or possibly anti-Bush) agenda. If Rep. Murtha made this up, then he's in deep trouble. Even if another court rules that his accusations were part of his official responsibilities, he'll be exposed to the entire world as pitching these Marines' constitutional guarantees aside. At that point, it won't matter if he's made daily trips to Walter Reed. It won't matter if he's helped win [...]


Best Story of the Night

Oh, my. There's enough intrigue here to keep anybody interesting. Follow the twists and turns and be prepared to be surprised!

Dominionist Hoedown in Salt Lake City and YOU ain’t Invited

What’s a “dominionist”? It’s important that you ask that question first, or else you’ll have no way of analyzing what’s going on. According to Wikipedia: Dominionism is described by some contemporary scholars and journalists as a tendency among conservative politically-active Christians to seek influence or control over secular civil government through political action — aiming either at [...]

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McCain, Religion and Politics

John McCain steps in it, then grabs a hose to clean off.  It's not working. He needs to scrub harder..

McCain hurriedly tries to backtrack on bigoted interview comments

In response to the hubbub about a recent interview on religion (video mashup of the most outrageous moments above), John McCain has issued the following statement: “I would vote for a Muslim if he or she was the candidate best able to lead the country and defend our political values.” Clearly, this flies in the face of [...]

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One To Watch

Up for a little video?  Let's talk about war and the media.  John Amato at "Crooks and Liars" notes a great little video that says a lot.

“War Made Easy”: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death

Please go and see this new movie about the way the government uses the media to sell war after war after war. It’s a brilliant flick that dissects the great propaganda machine which is a curse to our democracy. War Made Easy reaches into the Orwellian memory hole to expose a 50-year pattern of government deception [...]

UPDATE: Just the latest example:

Sy Hersh on Bush and Iran: Shifting targets: New Propaganda push to attack their Revolutionary Guard

UPDATED: Sy Hersh joined CNN’s Late Edition and discussed his new article out in the NewYorker: “Shifting Targets,” which says that the WH has a new talking point which it will sell attacking Iran and as usual, our media will lap it up.  The CIA has created an Iran Study Group with dozens of [...]

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Wanna Pollute?

Don't worry. Be happy.

Bush’s EPA letting polluters off the hook

I don’t want to alarm anyone, but it appears that the Bush administration is dropping the ball, intentionally, in prosecuting polluters. Who could have imagined it? The Environmental Protection Agency’s pursuit of criminal cases against polluters has dropped off sharply during the Bush administration, with the number of prosecutions, new investigations and total convictions all down [...]

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Back Atcha

Iran plays our game. Back Atcha..

Iran Declares U.S. Army and CIA Terrorists

I hope the escalation of rhetoric between the United States and Iran remains on the silly level: "TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran's parliament on Saturday approved a nonbinding resolution labeling the CIA and the U.S. Army "terrorist organizations," in apparent response to a Senate resolution seeking to give a similar designation to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The hard-line dominated parliament cited [...]

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Great Mysteries of Life

Sunday evening.  A beautiful day around here, busy with the usual family, errands, food and friends stuff. And, of course, laundry. I'll be trying some of these tricks next time, since folding fitted sheets drives me crazy! Take look. See if they help you get through one of life's mysteries - how to fold those doggone fitted sheets! There are three interesting techniques - all with video to show you exactly how to do it.  Not sure I understand them all, just from watching, but will try 'em!

It can be done; how to fold the perfect fitted sheet.

I'm no slouch when it comes to folding laundry. I'll happily do my share, although my wife does way more than I do. However, I've just never understood that folding nightmare "the fitted sheet." Whatever I try ends up looking like I haven't tried at all. "There has to be a method to this madness" I said today as my fifth crib sheet sat before me wanting to be put out of it's misery. And once again, the Internet had the answer. I've put a selection of [...]


New TV Season

We tend to keep the TV on during the evening, even if we're reading or doing something for our jobs.  We also tend to have the same old shows on, all the time.  When the fall TV season rolls around, and familiar shows move to unfamiliar spots, we find ourselves catching bits of brand new shows.  After all, that's exactly why the networks move things around.  So, there we were, eating dinner and talking when CBS's new vampire-based show, Moonlight, came on.  We tried to watch it. We really did. I'm not a TV critic, but I'd have to agree with some of the professionals below - it seems laboriously slow. And some of the acting is right out about the level of a high school play.  No, let me take that back. I've seen high school actors who do a better job than some of the folks on Moonlight.  Maybe it's just the thought of a guy who has to shoot up with blood for breakfast every morning that turned me off in the first five minute...maybe..

Critics Line Coffin for CBS’s Vampire

Premiere week comes to an anticlimactic close tonight with the 9 p.m. debut of the vampire detective drama “Moonlight” on CBS. The show has had a rocky start. “The pilot underwent extensive rewriting and most of the original cast was given the boot,” the San Jose Mercury News notes. And the reviews have not been kind. The [...]

What I HAVE discovered is that there is a wealth of interesting stuff out there on the smaller cable nets and on the premium cable channels (HBO, Showtime, etc).  Once the kids left home, we dropped the expensive channels after finding we just weren't watching them that much.  There's an interesting new program you can download  - see the little logo linked at the top of the right-hand column on this page. You can use it free for a limited amount of downloads per month, and seems to offer a lot of those "alternative" shows. I've discovered some that might make me buy back into the premium channels.   It seems to be some variation on the popular p2p networks, but works a lot faster and seems to producer better quality files.  Legal? They say, "yes".  You decide.

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Sunday Morning Coffee

Welcome to Sunday morning.  As always on the weekends (and, yes, I'm thinking about giving up my "reverse posting" system during the week, just to avoid confusion.) I guess everybody is getting familiar with the way most blogs have the newest posts on top.  Just don't forget to scroll down for all the current content around here. Sipping coffee, watching MTP, mapping out errands to run this early afternoon, and clipping coupons for the grocery store. Skimming through the Sunday morning blogs, caught one that slipped past my attention earlier.  It's really tragic that our personal information gets moved around the way it does, without the protections that should be included.

Gap loses private data for 800,000 people

And the delightful folks at the Gap don't even think that it's important enough to provide any details. Sure, what could really happen with Social Security numbers and contact details? Sheesh, some people need to learn how to relax and put blind faith in a company that is too stupid to [...]

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Opening Act

Before we get down to business, a quick trip WAY back, down classic TV's "memory lane".  Almost 52 years ago tonight, you might have been watching "Your Hit Parade" and seeing this -

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Finally Friday

It's been another whirlwind week, populated by lots of stories to discuss and debate.  What are your plans for the weekend? The weather has, once again, turned fall-crisp and cool.  That bodes well for some outdoor activities.  We'll get you into the weekend with a few choice posts, collected from around the blogosphere.  All chosen to stimulate some conversation as you get together with friends and family this weekend.

Guess where we begin?  Day three (or something) of Bill-O!

Late Late Nite FDL: Rick Sanchez Breaks it Down

Rick Sanchez of CNN cuts right to the heart of Bill O’Reilly’s racism issues in a statement to the Washington Post: Sanchez, in a phone interview, said O’Reilly is perpetuating racism by using “the Mandingo argument” against black rappers. “The idea [is] that there’s a big, bad African American out there that we all need protection [...]

Don't forget, during the week, I try to get around blogger's usual idea of putting new posts on  top. I pre-write and post in reverse order.  So, at least for now, keep scrolling down. It's a lot of fresh stuff below.  I just wanted some kind of "welcome" to stay near the top of the page.

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Define "Imminent", Please

Have a nice weekend...

Right-Wing New York Sun Declares: ‘Attack On Iran Said To Be Imminent’

The New York Sun, a reliable neoconservative outlet that has advocated for a Dick Cheney presidential campaign, declares today: “Attack on Iran Said To Be Imminent.” The article’s lead states: In a sign that U.N. Security Council-based diplomacy is losing steam, a number of sources are reporting that a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities may [...]

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How Come They Can Do This

And we can't? I know there's a very simple answer, lurking out there.  Somewhere. 

Record Budget Surplus In Canada

Canada posted a record budget surplus of C$13.8bn last year, allowing Ottawa to reduce its debt ratio to the lowest level in 25 years and paving the way for a fresh round of personal tax cuts. The announcement on Thursday by Stephen Harper, prime minister, is likely to fuel speculation that [...]

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One of the better quotes of the week.  And, scroll down through the comments on the linked site.  Good stuff, via Mahablog -

What’s Good

Just found this quote: “We’ve lived by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We’ve been wrong. We must change our lives so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption that what is good for the world will be good for us. That requires that [...]


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Impeach Cheney?

One presidential hopeful is just about ready.  Guess who?

Kucinich 'seriously thinking' about forcing vote on Cheney impeachment

Rep. Dennis Kucinich says he is so concerned about what he sees as the Bush administration's push for a war with Iran that he is considering [...]

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Nuclear Power

I lived and work not far from a nuclear power plant for many years.  Honestly, I never really worried about it.  The company was open with reporters and frequently took us on tours to demonstate the latest safety technology, etc.  Nuclear power faded over the past several decades.  However, that seems about to change -

Nuclear Power: Ready For Its Second Act

Something happened this week in the American power industry that has not occurred in at least 30 years: Applications were filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to build new nuclear reactors. The last application was made in 1977, two years before the infamous partial meltdown at Three Mile Island near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. (One report says it [...]

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Another Media Dust-Up

This time the target is MSNBC's David Shuster.

David Shuster was right! UPDATED

Shuster asked the right question of Rep. Blackburn and predictably the attacks followed. (Newsbusters) Whenever someone leaks info to right wing blogs—red flags should go up. Via Blue Texan: Shuster’s apology [re: Marsha Blackburn] may have been premature. The tiny hamlet of Bon Aqua, Tenn., is where Bohannon lived in the months immediately prior to [...]

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The Arkansas Connection

This is one of those stories you kind of wish did NOT have a connection to Arkansas.  Newsweek has new details about a strange, strange, story.

Lost at Sea: A Ghost-Ship Story

A couple of men chartered the Joe Cool for a trip to the Bahamas. The boat was found floating north of Cuba, its crew missing—and feared dead. Two men are in custody. A ghost-ship story [...]

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You Didn't Hack Your iPhone, Did You?

If you did, it's likely an iBrick by now.

Bits Blog: Steve Jobs Girds for the Long iPhone War

After a software update, iPhones that have been modified do, as Apple warned, turn into bricks. The company must prepare for a long, nasty fight with its own customers [...]

UPDATE: iPhone update: facts and fiction

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One Legislator - Many Votes

Kudos to the Arkansas Times for snagging an incredible piece of news reporting out of neighboring Texas. You really MUST see what happens during a vote on a piece of legislation, when several legislators are missing!

Tricky Texas

From our resident web-troller, David Koon: Straight from the state that gave you George W. and Tom DeLay, video of lawmakers at the (nearly empty) Texas statehouse almost running over each other in a mad dash to cast votes on the electronic terminals of their absent colleagues. Republicans voting for [...]

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Farm Subsidies

They just keep on coming, even though demand is WAY up, thanks to -


Thanks to the ethanol boom, the Washington Post reports that:most farmers earned between $100 and $400 an acre on their 2006 crop after expenses, depending on whether they owned or rented their land. That translates into profits of $100,000 to [...]

Profits are fine.  It's all the other baggage that's bugging me.

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Thompson And The Issues

There certainly are issues, but Fred Thompson doesn't seem to be too knowledgeable.  In fact, Sam Seder says he's --

More Clueless than Bush?

I know it's hard to imagine but the Hollywood Raisin, Fred Thompson seems to know nothing about anything: "Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson said Thursday he was unaware that a federal judge had ruled last week that lethal injection procedures in his home state were unconstitutional. Thompson also told reporters [...]

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It's Not Only O'Reilly

Limbaugh has talked himself into trouble, too!

Jon Soltz of VoteVets to Rush: Say it to my face

Rush Limbaugh has no idea what he stepped into by denigrating those who actually served our country...Jon Soltz, who did serve his country and does oppose the Iraq war, has a challenge for Rush. Say it to my face. Anyone who has seen Soltz in action knows [...]

But. Wait. MediaMatters has more -

CLIPS: Limbaugh previously called Vietnam veteran Kerry "a fraud," "a total phony"

Then, today, still more from El-Rusho --

Limbaugh Outrage Amplified! Limbaugh’s response is to name Jack Murtha!

He not only doesn’t deny, or apologize … but names Jack Murtha!...Rush Limbaugh’s anti-troop remarks has set off a ton of responses so far. Send a message to Rush via Wesley Clark: “Is Jon Soltz a phony soldier?” Rep. Jan Schakowsky: Does Rush Limbaugh really want to look General Odom in the eye and [...]

Final update - even the White House isn"t siding with Rush -

White House Faults Rush Limbaugh Over "Phony Soldiers" Comment

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FDA: Protecting Our Health

At least I THOUGHT that's what the Food and Drug Administration was doing.  Guess I'm going to have to change my way of thinking.  Another government agency falls down on the job -

The FDA Takes a Sleeping Pill

Maybe the FDA has been dipping into the products they're supposed to be testing.  In any case, they've been asleep at the switch. "In a report due to be released Friday, the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services, Daniel R. Levinson, said federal health officials did not know how many clinical trials were being conducted, audited fewer than 1 percent of the testing sites and, on the rare [...]

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Put Up, Or Shut Up

This may be the time that we actually find out if the Democrats can stand toe-to-toe with the Administration.  And, for once, not blink.

Dems to ram S-CHIP down the GOP’s throat

Earlier this week, Sen. Chuck Grassely, a conservative Republican from Iowa, offered Dems some advice. Grassley, one of the leading proponents of a bipartisan measure to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP), said the majority party could keep bringing the children’s health legislation back up until Bush signed it or Republicans agreed to [...]

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Corrupt to the core.  Because they think they can get away with it.  There may finally be enough challenges, from those who still wield a bit of power, to effect change.  The said thing is, reaching that point is going to cost some good people their careers, no matter how you dice it.

State Dept. IG Retaliates Against Whistleblowers, Threatens ‘Their Jobs And Careers’

Approximately 10 days ago, House Oversight Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) wrote to State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard to report allegations from seven IG employees that he “has repeatedly interfered with on-going investigations to protect the State Department and the White House from political embarrassment.” Krongard has thwarted investigations into waste, fraud and abuse in [...]

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Oh, those Democrats and Republicans.  They just can't get along.  The Chicago Tribune's "The Swamp" blog has the details -

GOP: 'It's time for Bill Clinton to move on'

While the Democrats hammer Rush Limbaugh in their retaliatory strike against the offensive that Republicans launched over a newspaper ad criticizing Gen. David Petraeus, it’s clear that the Republicans are not ready to move on. The Republican National Committee is circulating an email rallying call to fellow Republicans to call radio stations and write letters to editors about a video clip of former President Bill Clinton dismissing [...]

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Good Question

Because there has been a little issue about "who died when" in Iraq. 

Military Reports It Has Killed A Senior Leader of Al Qaeda In Iraq, But Was He Killed A Year Ago?

The U.S. military announced today that it has killed a “senior leader of al Qaeda in Iraq.” Brig. Gen. Joseph Anderson “identified the man as Abu Usama al-Tunisi, a Tunisian described as a close associate and likely successor to Abu Ayyub al-Masri, Al-Qaeda in Iraq’s Egyptian leader.” CNN quickly jumped on the story, reporting that al-Tunisi [...]

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The Craig Dividers

I wonder if he'll get a name plate on one of them...

Wide Stance Problem Solved

How to deal with a national epidemic? The infamous airport men's room where Sen. Larry Craig was arrested is getting new stall dividers that drop nearly to the floor to make it a less inviting spot for sexual liaisons...The Minneapolis airport has more than 80 restrooms, but only two are being targeted for the new dividers, including the one now known for Craig's arrest. How much does something like that cost? The new stall dividers will fall to just 2 to 3 inches above the floor, instead of leaving as [...]

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Pressuring Katie

Well, that forwarded email from a viewer should certainly be enough to prompt an attitude change.  One. Single. Email. Cripes.

Couric faced ‘corporate pressure’

Katie Couric admitted this week that she felt “corporate pressure” when she was at NBC to ease off of Condi Rice and the Bush Administration after a “tough interview.” After the interview, Couric said she received an email from an NBC exec “forwarded without explanation” from a viewer who wrote that she had been “unnecessarily [...]

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Almost TGIF

It's Thursday.  We're in the home stretch.  Woke up this morning to Tim Russert talking about last night's Democratic Debate.  We spent the evening immersed in the entertainment side of the new television season, and didn't watch the debate.  I know, that's not very "political" of me, but there IS more to life than politics and blogging!  Russert and the "Morning Joe" crew were pretty hard on the Dems for their answers to a question about how fast they would get our troops out of Iraq.  The "Big 3" wiggled in their answers, pretty much saying they really didn't know how quickly that could happen and it was possible our troops would be there until 2013!  The answers may be honest, but they are not going to sit well with voters who elected Democrats to Congress on an "end the war" campaign issue. Some further analysis here.

Posts may be light this evening, but we'll kick things off with our "buddies" at Blackwater.

Blackwater: Using the Iraqis for target practice

This is what happens when you privatize the military by outsourcing its functions to unaccountable private corporations: "The American security contractor Blackwater USA has been involved in a far higher rate of shootings while guarding American diplomats in Iraq than other security firms providing similar services to the State Department, according to Bush administration officials and industry officials. Blackwater is now the focus of [...]


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Kerry on SCHIP

You'd think Kerry was running for President, the things he's saying...

Playing Chicken with Children’s Health Care

If there’s anybody left who doubts that “compassionate conservatism” is an Orwellian smokescreen for the same old Republican policies, listen to this: After promising he’d work on “expanding health care for children,” the President has now unilaterally declared war on a successful, wildly popular program that gives health care to millions of low-income kids. Democrats see a [...]

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Clinton On The Attack

This is good television.  Watch Bill Clinton get all hot under the collar...

The Situation Room: Bill Clinton Slams Republicans for MoveOn Distraction

A visibly angry Bill Clinton had some choice words for the politics of distraction that the Republican party has employed to keep from having to confront their blind support for failed policies. Of course, CNN’s John King is obliged to bring up the Clenis for “balance.” CLINTON: …This was [...]

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Have You Heard?

It's really disheartening.  The U.S. Army.  It's broken.  That's not me talking; it's the Army boss...

Breaking the Army

It's remarkable what gets lost some days amid the mounting detritus of the Bush Administration. Yesterday the new Army Chief of Staff, Gen. George Casey, the former top commander in Iraq, went before Congress and essentially declared the Army to [...]

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Challenge For the Kids

Getting health care WILL be a challenge for many families with children, unless we get some kind of resolution to the SCHIP standoff in Washington. This, my friends, is a problem.

Bush Declares War on Bipartisan Bill to Provide Health Insurance to Children

John Kerry says all there is to say and then some, about Bush’s plan to veto the SCHIP bill… "Four days from now, a wildly successful effort to provide healthcare to 6 million low-income children will disappear. This summer, in a rare moment of bipartisanship, Democrats and Republicans in Congress came together to expand the State [...]


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The Transcript

We mentioned it yesterday. But, it's getting more attention today. Juan Cole takes a detailed look..

Transcript Reveals Impeachable Offenses by Bush Re: Iraq War

El Pais published a transcript (reprinted at this link) of the conversation between George W. Bush, Jose Maria Aznar of Spain, and Condoleeza Rice held at Crawford before the Iraq War. Bush is typically bullheaded, impatient, conspiratorial, bullying, arrogant, ill-informed and way over-optimistic. The transcript shows the true colors of the man-- a sort of thuggish, ignorant Mafia don-- who destroyed the United States and destroyed Iraq. At one point Aznar prophetically says, "The thing that worries me is your optimism." The transcript, it seems to me, provides [...]

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Now, it's Waxman's turn to report.  And, what a report it is -

Waxman: Blackwater Cost-Cutting to Blame For 2004 Fallujah Ambush

Right on the heels of a Brookings Institution report detailing the problems private military companies create for counterinsurgency efforts in Iraq, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) has released a study [...]

But. Wait.  There's more. via TPMmuckraker -

Blackwater Employee: Operations in Baghdad Were 'Flat Out Sloppy'

Also in Waxman's report on the 2004 lynching of Blackwater contractors in Fallujah is an expletive-laden internal assessment of the quality of the company's Baghdad shop at the time. "One Blackwater [...]

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The O'Reilly Debate

I'm still thinking there's a bit of a ratings ploy involved here, but the debate over Bill O'Reilly's comment about eating at Sylvia's Restaurant in Harlem isn't going away. Olbermann kept the flames roaring last night...

CLIPS: Wash. Post's Robinson on O'Reilly: "[I]t was, at best, a casually racist remark"

During the September 26 edition of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann, discussing Fox News host Bill O'Reilly's controversial September 19 remarks about his visit to Sylvia's restaurant in Harlem, Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson said of O'Reilly's comment: "[I]t was, at best, a casually racist remark." Robinson also said: "[W]hat really ticks me off is that when you say that, when you point that out, you know, immediately you get charged by O'Reilly and cohorts with, you know, you're the thought police, you're the thought Gestapo, you're the word Nazis, you're interfering with free speech, and somehow cutting off an honest debate about race. Well, tell me what in the year 2007 is [...]

And, this morning, Joe Scarborough kept the chatter going on "Morning Joe" -

Scarborough Slaps Sharpton For Not Going After 'Moron' O'Reilly

This could be a first: Al Sharpton criticized for being insufficiently inflammatory; faulted for not shooting from the hip. At the opening of today's "Morning Joe," host Joe Scarborough panned the Rev's "O'Reilly Factor" performance last evening, in which the normally obstreperous one was relatively subdued on the subject of his host's comments on Sylvia's restaurant in Harlem. Later, Scarborough escalated his criticism, [...]

Newspapers are all over it, too -

O’Reilly at Sylvia’s: O’Reilly and Sanches comment…

The Washington Post’s Paul Fahritalks with both Bill O’Reilly and CNN’s Rick Sanchez… O’Reilly was still simmering last night. “They’re making it something that it isn’t,” he said in an interview by phone from New York. “Anyone who listens to the tape [of the radio show] and is fair-minded will tell you this was an intelligent [...]

O’Reilly at Sylvia’s: More write-ups…

Variety’s Michael Learmonth writes about the story… Cut, parsed, and repurposed, and according to O’Reilly, taken out of context, the comments have been red meat for liberal groups as well as for O’Reilly’s 8pm rivals, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and CNN substitute host Rick Sanchez. Both have spent two nights keeping the controversy alive. Williams, who was present [...]

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Palpable Anger

You can see it.  The anger among Democrats. It came front and center in the past 24 hours.

The Democratic Party has betrayed us

Mere words cannot convey the depth of my disgust with our current political class in DC. As Cernig, has already pointed out, the Dems failed us and betrayed us so completely this week that we can longer trust them to restore our government to its proper functioning as our Founders intended it. For over 200 years we've survived many corrupt and power mad administrations but never have they been not only left so unchallenged, but actively enabled by the legislative branch of government as they have been for the last seven years. There is only one conclusion that can be reached. The Democrats [...]

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All About The Money

Politics=Money.  Lots of it.  More than ever before.


Bloomberg reports that Hillary Clinton may be about to "blunt one of rival Barack Obama's few advantages" in the presidential race: "As the campaigns press donors with predictions that their candidate is losing the fund-raising race, both Clinton and Obama are [...]

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Making "Caging" Legal

This doesn't seem at all right to me. After all the rucus over the practice of "caging" during the U.S. Attorneys being fired, we're going to officially make it legal?  Apparently so, in at least a couple of states. If this is a good thing, please explain how. 

New Law May Hurt Democrats in Ohio, Florida

"Ohio and Florida, which provided the decisive electoral votes for President Bush's two razor-thin national election triumphs, have enacted laws that election experts say will help Republicans impede voting by Democratic-leaning minorities in 2008," McClatchy reports. The new Ohio law aimed at reducing voter fraud allows for "caging" -- "used in the past to target [...]


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Rather's Case

My feelings, exactly.

Dan Rather's Worthy Crusade

I'm not in a place to judge the veracity of Dan Rather's reporting on Bush's National Guard service, but as usual, Sidney Blumenthal has done an extraordinary job sequencing the bits and pieces of the Rather CBS story and suggests that Rather's $70 million lawsuit against CBS will animate some much needed truth-telling about Bush's slippery story on military service. Blumenthal writes: "If the court accepts [Rather's] suit, however, launching the adjudication of legal issues such as breach of fiduciary duty and tortious interference with contract, it will set in motion an [...]

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Idiot Of The Day

First, O'Reilly.  Now, Limbaugh. Oh, man. This post is from an Iraq War veteran.

My thoughts on Rush

Sorry to once again "preach to the choir." But just moments ago it was brought to my attention that conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh once again issued an unforgivable insult to those who disagree with his neoconservative philosophy of blind loyalty to George W. Bush's needless war in Iraq. Limbaugh boldly stated that any troops who call for a withdrawal of troops in Iraq are "phony soldiers."  Not that long ago he made a similar comment about [...]

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Confused and Dazed

What's up with the Democratic leadership in Congress?  Have they forgotten their campaign promises?  Apparently, they think they're living up to them!  At least Nancy Pelosi does.

Pelosi: Still Sending the Wrong Message

Nancy Pelosi is schizophrenic. That's not a psychiatric diagnosis, but it does seem a reasonable assumption to make considering what she told Wolf Blitzer on CNN yesterday. To cut to the quick here's what she said to Blitzer that I find suggests evidence of a massive dissociative mental disorder and a deranged personality: "Nine months after taking control of the House, Nancy Pelosi is taking credit for "changing the debate" on the war while in Iraq there are 30,000 more troops than on the day the San Francisco Democrat first [...]

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It Happens Every Year

So, that makes it okay?

Dozens Die in Car Bombings as Iraqi Violence Surges

Car bombs and other attacks killed at least 56 people in Iraq on Wednesday and wounded another 103 in a day of mayhem that heralds an annual surge in violence [...]

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The Campaigns Heat Up

Andrew Sullivan has a couple of notable posts today, focusing on the Presidential campaigns and Iowa.

Neck and Neck In Iowa

The New Primary Schedule

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Lack of Trust

Incredibly dismal numbers, but they speak volumes about Americans' attitudes right now -

GALLUP: Trust in Federal Government, On Nearly All Issues, Hits New Low -- Even Less Than in Watergate Era

...Among the findings: Barely half trust the government to handle international problems, the lowest number ever. And less than half express faith in the government handling domestic issues, the lowest findings since 1976.  Faith in the executive branch has fallen to ['...]

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The Senate Does Something

But, it's not going to be an easy sell from here on out...

Breaking: Senate passes hate crimes bill.

Moments ago, the Senate voted to expand the hate crimes law to include crimes motivated by gender, sexual orientation, or disability of the victims. The vote retained the 60 votes necessary to prevent a filibuster, and it will pass as an attachment to the defense authorization bill. Opponents of the measure immediately predicted it “ultimately would [...]

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Makes Perfect Sense

You just had to expect this would happen. The amazing thing is that our tax dollars are paying the salaries, whether it's through the U.S. military or private contractors.  Maybe the military should just ante up and pay comparable salaries.

Gates: Military Contractors Luring Away Many Troops

During a time of significant military overstretch, private security companies hired by the Defense Department have been actively recruiting U.S. troops. Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the Senate [...]

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Missed him again.

Letting Bin Laden Escape Once Again

According to NBC News last night, the Bush Administration just bungled another chance to get Osama Bin Laden and/or Ayman al Zawahiri last month. And why did the local military commanders miss a chance to get one or both of the top leaders of Al Qaeda? Because the necessary [...]

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Oh, This Is Getting Good!

And, the best part is - it's a l-o-n-g way from being over!  It's not just Bill-O versus CNN, but MSNBC and others are getting their licks in.

Bill O’Reilly: CNN has joined Media Matters “on the Dark Side”

Oh, Falafel Boy is TOO predictable. When confronted with his racist comments regarding eating out in Harlem with Al Sharpton, does he take a step back and do a personal inventory and consider the possibility that some deep-seated racism may lie [...]

Looking for still more?  Click and read -

So a white guy walks into a restaurant in Harlem...

Now it might shock you to learn that I don't think Bill O'Reilly meant any harm or intended to be racist in his comments on The Radio Factor about his dining experience with Al Sharpton at Sylvia's, a restaurant owned and operated and largely patronized by African-Americans in Harlem. But the road to hell is paved with good intentions. With video [....]

By the way, you might want to check out my quick post over at Olbermannwatch. Just a hint.

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Media Update

I've mentioned before that I tend to line up with Dan Rather in his lawsuit against CBS, if for no other reason than to see what comes out during discovery.  I think some of the documents could be most interesting.  Here's Ted Koppel's take on it all -

Ted Koppel on the Rather Suit and Bush

Ted Koppel addressed a forum at Fordham University in New York City on Monday that was organized by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Koppel called “the ouster of Dan Rather from CBS News in 2006 a “travesty,”” and he said that he “hopes the $70 million suit filed by Mr. Rather against [...]

Just keep reading.  You'll understand...

"The Story Was True"

Dan Rather's lawsuit against CBS has reignited debate on the question of President Bush's Texas Air National Guard service. The allegedly fake documents (I think they were faked) overshadowed what I believe was an overwhelming case that Bush obviously was derelict in his duty. Eric Boehlert revisited the issue: "The simple, yet apparently elusive, truth is that CBS' report on Bush and the National Guard could have (and should have) been broadcast without the controversial memos. And if it had been [...]

Mr. Rather, it seems, may have somebody really big in his legal sights..

Rather Gives "The Impression He Will He Will Call The President As A Witness"

Former "Evening News" Dan Rather choked back tears on several occasions today when discussing his decision to file a lawsuit against CBS and he left many audience members with a sense that he may call President George W. Bush as a witness should the lawsuit proceed to trial (and Rather said he hoped it would). When asked by Carol Joynt, host of the "Q&A Café" held at Nathans restaurant who worked with Rather at CBS in the 1970s, whether "he'd like to" call President Bush as a witness in the trial, Rather said [...]

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Home Prices Drop

Driving in to work this morning, I was noticing how many homes along our street are for sale.  The majority of the realtor signs have an additional note: "Price Reduced" or "Motivated Seller". Times are tough for many, and they don't see a light at the end of the financial tunnel. They are not alone.

Today's Housing Bubble Post - Biggest Price Drop in 16 Years

...So the situation: a huge wave of "ARM resets" - steep rises in monthly payments for holders of adjustable mortgages - is only beginning. Then it takes several months before they get into enough trouble to be forced into foreclosure. At the same time, it is hard to get [...]

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The Abstinence Rift

I wonder if this comes up during family dinners at the White House.  They DO have family dinners, don't they?

Jenna distances herself from dad’s abstinence-only policy.

Asked if her new book’s advocacy of condoms and sex-ed contradicts the Bush administration’s abstinence-only policies, First Daughter Jenna Bush told ABC’s Diane Sawyer she refuses to endorse the views espoused by her father’s administration: "No, I mean, not at all, first, because I’m not part of the administration. You know, I’m just my father’s daughter. [...]

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Done Deal

It's yet another example to toss on the growing pile that confirms the Bush Administration was going to attack Iraq, no matter what.  No matter what the excuses were, no matter whether there were any excuses, no matter what Congress thought.  Thanks to the "internets", we find a fascinating front page story from the big newspaper in Madrid, Spain.

Bush reportedly told Spanish PM that we'd invade Baghdad whether or not Saddam complied with UN weapons inspections

So, the war didn't happen because Saddam wouldn't comply. It happened because Bush and the Republicans wanted it to happen no matter what, whether or not it was [...]

UPDATE: Whoa, Nellie.  Reign in the horses on this one -

All In The Translation: Leaked Spanish Memo Does NOT Show “Bush Planned To Invade Iraq No Matter What”

Yesterday we carried a post on reports about leaked Spanish memo that reportedly showed that in a private conversation President George Bush indicated he wanted to invade Iraq no matter what to take out Saddam Hussein. But a new translation indicates that was a bad translation and that was not the case. The Spain-based Barcepundit reports: MUCH [...]

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American News

And you ask why I got out of the TV News biz? Really...

Snapshot: The Death of American News

After a long and painful illness, American news has finally succumbed to disease. Things have been going downhill for years, and there's plenty of blame to go around, to be sure. But here's a snapshot [...]

I wish I knew how to fix it.  Actually, I do have my ideas.  They cost money. 'Nuff said.  Oh, wait. Katie proved $$$$ isn't the solution, didn't she.  So much for my ideas....

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Just A Bit of Terror Talk

That's all it took to twist the collective arm of Congress.

Countdown: Rep. Harman Gives More Details On Bogus Terror Threat On Capitol

Following up on Monday night’s Nexus of Terror & Politics report, Keith Olbermann talks with Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) to get more details on the revelation that the Bush Administration used bogus intelligence in order to frighten lawmakers into voting for last August’s expanded FISA bill. Harman says that after much digging she found [...]

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Read Those Labels

I've become a really avid reader of the labels on food products, looking for sodium, fat and cholesterol.  If you're a fan of frozen dinners (even the "healthy" ones), you'll be amazed at the amount of salt in most of them.  I got "hooked" last winter on a popular brand of Chicken Pot Pie, until I read the label. One of those things contained about half of the total sodium recommended for the entire day! Diet dinners (according to my research) can contained 25 to 30% of the RDA.  And, it doesn't stop there -

Is Gatorade junk food?

There's a debate in Congress, and elsewhere I suspect, as to whether drinks like Gatorade, that have far too much sugar and salt, are junk food. This is something I've been concerned about for a while - the level of salt in our packaged food. I only started looking at salt a few years ago, when mom mentioned that fat and calories weren't the only things to watch out for on food labels. I used to be a regular drinker of V-8, two fine glasses a day, until I read the fine print [...]

On the upside, we're lucky enough to live in a part of the country where the growing season is long and the Farmers' Market offers much to bring to the table.  In fact, one merchant has organized a subscription plan that delivers a bushel basket full of local fruits, vegetables, eggs, cheese, etc each month.  At our house, that means the basis of meals for as much as the next two weeks. 

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Check Your Wallet

The national wallet is getting lighter all the time, thanks to the Iraq War..

The Price Tag for War

Does this look like a budget request for a war that is going to end any time soon? Gates says another $42 billion is needed to cover additional requirements. The extra money includes: $11 billion to field another [...]

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I'm Confused

Is this really the Congress America elected?  Or have the little green martians stolen the "good guys"?  At least they took out the most worrisome clause. Still...

BREAKING: Senate Passes Lieberman/Kyl Amendment; House Vote to Condemn MoveOn

The Lieberman/Kyl Amendment has passed by an unbelievable 76-22 vote. Roll Call here Biden’s Iraq Partitioning Amendment passed by a vote of 75-23. I’ll put up Roll Calls as they become available. And the House of Representatives, evidently eager to show that they are as spineless and easily cowered as the Senate, voted to condemn [...]

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Police State

That's the concern of one Daniel Ellsberg.  You remember him, don't you? 

Ellsberg Warns of Possible ‘Police State’ in U.S.

Just to put current world events in perspective, here’s a transcript of a recent speech by Daniel Ellsberg, the former Defense Department analyst who released the Pentagon Papers to the press during the Vietnam War, about some potential developments that could severely harm our country in the [...]

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They Don't Want You To Know

That's what that "Classified" stamp is for.  It sure is getting use a lot these days.  Just the latest example -

State Dep't Classifies Publicly-Available Corruption Document

Another triumph for the State Department! You'll recall that yesterday, Rep. Henry Waxman wrote to Condoleezza Rice to complain, among other things, that her department promptly classified internal [...]

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The President Speaks

And creates a double-barreled Quote of the day.  Just follow the link.  To quote any part of it would give it away.


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Razorback Ruckus

Oh, those angry Razorback fans.  I know there are a lot of folks who type "Razorbacks" into Google and look for anything and everything "Hawgs". It's pretty sullen among the ranks of the true Razorback fans.  It's not been the best start for a season that was supposed to be stellar.  And fun. So, when the natives get restless, and angry, they also get creative.  Thanks to the Arkansas Times for passing along this tidbit..

Flying Nutt

Those wacky souls who frequent the Razorback message boards are at it again. This time, the anti-Houston Nutt contingent has started passing the online pot to fund planes towing anti-Nutt banners to fly before and during future Razorback football games.  The group has already [...]

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

It Comes Full Circle

Welcome!  It's Tuesday. The new TV season is here, not that it appears to be a whole lot better than the old TV season. We tend to gravitate toward the crime shows.  I have to tell you, CSI: Miami is absolutely gorgeous to watch in High Def. The colors are incredible, to the point that I find myself losing track of the storyline! Still, nothing impresses me as much as some of the Classic TV from years gone by. Perhaps I was younger, and not as demanding then. Enough frivolity.  Let's get down to the task at hand.

 And, it appears, we have come full circle in this race to outsource tech jobs to India. Now, if we could just eliminate the middleman, maybe we could pay the people here just a little bit more.

The race to the bottom

It's no longer cheap enough to outsource tech jobs to India. As the tech industry in India has grown, workers are demanding higher wages. So now, Indian companies are outsourcing FROM India, so they can pay even less. But what's even more disturbing is that one of those "developing countries" is low-cost areas of the United States: "One of the constants of the global economy has been companies moving their tasks — and jobs — to India. But rising wages and [...]

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The Evangelical Vote

It's crucial. The Republicans have it.  The Democrats want it.

Dems court evangelical voters in earnest

Last November, 70% of white evangelical and born-again Christians voted for Republican candidates nationwide, which is about the same performance as in 2004. DNC Chairman Howard Dean thinks Dems might be able to shave a few points off that number. Richard Land had never met one-on-one with a chairman of the Democratic National Committee. The Tennessee [...]


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The Terror Threat

It's always handy.  And the President doesn't hesitate to use it.  Keith Olbermann doesn't hesitate to challenge him on it, either.

Countdown: Bush Used Bogus Terror Threat To Scare Votes For FISA Bill

Keith Olbermann has been tracking the Bush Administration’s use of trumped up terror alerts to manipulate the American people for the past two years, but in this latest Nexus of Politics & Terror report on Countdown, it appears the president stooped to a new low by using a bogus terror threat that specifically [...]

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Political Double-Play

Hmmm. If the Democrats manage to pull this one off, it could be significant. It would actually put a "win" in their column. It's a column that, until now, has been filled with wishes and promises and not much more.

Good luck, GOP.

The SCHIP game plan: Democrats think they may be on the brink of the political equivalent of a double play. First, they plan to pass the legislation with strong bipartisan support — including a veto-proof margin in the Senate — unifying the party around a significant policy issue. Secondly, Democratic political operatives plan to use Bush’s veto [...]

And a Republican is leading the way!

Grassley: Target Fellow Republicans Over SCHIP Rejection

How bad is the Bush GOP when a senior GOP senator calls out the president for sandbagging the nation’s uninsured children, and then suggests that the Democrats target GOP senators and representatives who side with the president against the SCHIP expansion? That’s exactly what Indiana GOP senator Chuck Grassley is doing, in expressing his displeasure about the White House’s attempt to stop [...]

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Does This Bother You?

Just a little bit, perhaps?  Pretty darn tacky, seems to me.

Giuliani Backer Holds "$9.11 For Rudy" Fundraiser

A spokeswoman for Rudy Giuliani says it is unfortunate that a supporter throwing a party that aims to raise $9.11 per person for the Republican's presidential campaign is asking for that amount. Abraham Sofaer is having a fundraiser at his Palo Alto, Calif., home on Wednesday, when Giuliani backers across the country are participating in [...]

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Say WHAT? I guess we can all go home...


Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki says the threat of civil war in Iraq is now over and Iranian interference in the country has "ceased to exist." [...]

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Keeping Us Confused

That's the name of the game.  Throw out multiple sets of numbers and we'll eventually get tired of trying to figure out which ones are accurate. Excuse me, but I think there are a few, fearless, folks out there who are more tenacious than that...

Pentagon and Petraeus’ casualty data ‘differ significantly.’

In a report today on the Pentagon’s methods for determining sectarian killings in Iraq, the Washington Post’s Karen DeYoung writes that “apparent contradictions are relatively easy to find in the flood of bar charts and trend lines the military produces.” For instance, the numbers in the Pentagon’s quarterly Iraq report released last week “differ significantly” [...]

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Smoke Break

Thankfully, I gave up the nasty habit years ago.  Still, I grew up in an era when, it seemed, almost everybody smoked. Heck, I can remember making cigarettes for my dad, using some little gizmo that you inserted an empty cigarette shell into and it would insert a filter and stuff it full of tobacco.   And the commercials were EVERYWHERE!

Four out of five physicians prefer Camels

Here’s something for the nostalgia crowd: a pleasant, bichromatic jaunt through the 1950s, when men were men, Elvis was thin, and doctors made house calls. Also, they smoked cigarettes. Lots of cigarettes. Enough cigarettes to develop a serious brand loyalty [...]


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Come On, Now!

Please tell me this doesn't have a snowball's chance. 

Lieberman to Senate: Approve War With Iran

Joe Lieberman is at it again, this time with the help of Republican wingnut John Kyl of Arizona. The two of them have introduced the Lieberman-Kyl amendment to a defense bill which would, if passed, state that the Senate supports military action against Iran, and against anyone considered to be one of Iran's proxies (such as Hezbollah, or the Shi'ite militias in Iraq). Here's the relevant text of the amendment: 3) that it should be the policy of the United States to combat, contain, and roll back the violent activities [...]

Yup -- Quick. Strong.  Reaction.

Webb: Lieberman And Kyl’s Hawkish Iran Amendment Is ‘Cheney’s Fondest Pipe Dream’

On the Senate floor today, Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) made an impassioned appeal to his fellow senators, declaring that the Lieberman-Kyl amendment on Iran should be “withdrawn” because the “proposal is Dick Cheney’s fondest pipe dream.” Webb cautioned that the “cleverly-worded sense of the Congress” could be “interpreted” to “declare war” on Iran. He continued: Those [...]

And that led to this:

Reid: Lieberman-Kyl amendment being revised.

At a press conference this afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said that the hawkish amendment on Iran being offered by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) is now being revised prior to a Senate vote on the matter: REID: There are efforts being made before we vote on them to modify those [...]

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