Making Conservatives Cringe Since 1977
I'm not Liberal, I'm paying attention.
31 October 2005
This is why they call them "Dumocrats"
Michael Brown, Redux
New York Times
October 31, 2005
Responding to questions from three Democratic senators - Barbara Boxer, Paul Sarbanes and Barack Obama - at her confirmation hearing last week, Ellen Sauerbrey, the former Maryland state legislator nominated by President Bush to head a key State Department humanitarian bureau, could come up with no convincing reason for why her lack of any relevant experience coordinating emergency aid shouldn't disqualify her from the job. And yet the Senate once again seems to be on the eve of confirming another clearly unqualified Bush appointee.
As for her credentials, Ms. Sauerbrey apparently did a fine job serving as the state chairwoman of Mr. Bush's 2000 campaign. She is currently serving as the American representative to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, where she has zealously pursued an anti-abortion and anti-family-planning agenda. She has alienated many human rights groups, but endeared herself to the White House and her party's far-right wing.
-Democrats, Republicans, a distinction without a differance all to often.
ALITO WOULD OVERTURN ROE V. WADE:
In his dissenting opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Alito concurred with the majority in supporting the restrictive abortion-related measures passed by the Pennsylvania legislature in the late 1980’s. Alito went further, however, saying the majority was wrong to strike down a requirement that women notify their spouses before having an abortion. The Supreme Court later rejected Alito’s view, voting to reaffirm Roe v. Wade. [Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 1991
ALITO WOULD ALLOW RACE-BASED DISCRIMINATION:
Alito dissented from a decision in favor of a Marriott Hotel manager who said she had been discriminated against on the basis of race. The majority explained that Alito would have protected racist employers by “immuniz[ing] an employer from the reach of Title VII if the employer’s belief that it had selected the ‘best’ candidate was the result of conscious racial bias.” [Bray v. Marriott Hotels, 1997
ALITO WOULD ALLOW DISABILITY-BASED DISCRIMINATION:
In Nathanson v. Medical College of Pennsylvania, the majority said the standard for proving disability-based discrimination articulated in Alito’s dissent was so restrictive that “few if any…cases would survive summary judgment.” [Nathanson v. Medical College of Pennsylvania, 1991]
ALITO WOULD STRIKE DOWN THE FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT:
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) “guarantees most workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a loved one
.” The 2003 Supreme Court ruling upholding FMLA [Nevada v. Hibbs, 2003
] essentially reversed a 2000 decision by Alito which found that Congress exceeded its power in passing the law. [Chittister v. Department of Community and Economic Development, 2000
ALITO SUPPORTS UNAUTHORIZED STRIP SEARCHES:
In Doe v. Groody, Alito agued that police officers had not violated constitutional rights when they strip searched a mother and her ten-year-old daughter while carrying out a search warrant that authorized only the search of a man and his home. [Doe v. Groody, 2004
ALITO HOSTILE TOWARD IMMIGRANTS:
In two cases involving the deportation of immigrants, the majority twice noted Alito’s disregard of settled law. In Dia v. Ashcroft, the majority opinion states that Alito’s dissent “guts the statutory standard” and “ignores our precedent.” In Ki Se Lee v. Ashcroft, the majority stated Alito’s opinion contradicted “well-recognized rules of statutory construction.” [Dia v. Ashcroft, 2003; Ki Se Lee v. Ashcroft, 2004]
30 October 2005
Back by popular demand; The Word
Trick or Treat?!
News, news, news...We love news!
Is Turd Blossom to ride off into the Sunset? Join us next week.
How Bush will deal with the Libby indictment.
By John Dickerson
Nov. 7, 2005 issue
Published: October 30, 2005
10:15 AM ET
"This is significant. It is the first time in 130 years a sitting White House official has been indicted — Orville Babcock, who worked for Ulysses S. Grant, was the last." -lil'Russ
29 October 2005
Daniel, Holly and a Mom in America Part 1
Overheard at the DOD Monday morning staff meeting
Donald Rumsfeld: "Golly, it sure is a super fantastic morning."
Rest of the Table: "..."
Donald Rumsfeld: "I said good morning staff"
Rest of the Table: "... Good morning Secretary Rumsfeld."
Donald Rumsfeld: "That is much better."
General Peter Pace: "What is on the agenda for this morning?"
Donald Rumsfeld: "We must silence Daniel Goetz. Silence him I say."
General Peter Pace: "Who is Daniel Goetz?"
Donald Rumsfeld: "We must topple his blog like we did that statue of Sadaam in Baghdad."
Rest of the table: "..."
Donald Rumsfeld: "When we take over his blog, called "All the King's Men" we will be greeted as liberators. We will teach him to use Orwellianesque stuff on his blog, the bastard."
Donald Rumsfeld: "Anyone else ever get a craving for a green chile cheese burger at 5:30 am?"
Rest of the table: "...."
Donald Rumsfeld: "Just this morning I was craving one, you know a big and juicy double one, well nobody is open to make me one."
General Peter Pace: "Secretary, back to Daniel Goetz. What did he write on his blog?"
Donald Rumsfeld: "He said mean things about me. Made me cry."
o here is the post (if I’d had time) I should have written last Monday. It’s the follow-up to the story of SSG Daniel Goetz’s blog All the King’s Horses, which had an Orwellian final post entitled “Double Plus Ungood
.” If you follow my link to the story you’ll notice it isn’t on his site, because his site doesn’t exist anymore. In print you'll only find its reminants on his fiancé's site
. I was heartened to find that Holly had archieved Daniel's work, I'd been planning to do a post on my own "Going After Cacciato
" fantsy, much like SSG Goetz’s September 07th post “Tunneling to Iran,” and did a doubletake when I got the "404 page not found" notice. Some are not so lucky.
I was alerted to a similar situation by Mom in America, which is best put in her words:
Note to the Kids
Afghanistantastic [dead link] had the misfortune to be on "Featured Spaces" this week. She's a young Captain, who as of yesterday was stationed in Afghanistan, working on the quake relief. She was there this morning, checked in today and is offline tonight...and is off the "Featured Spaces" list. Her last post was one of frustration. It seems that a lot of people are dying in Pakistan because of red tape and she had the audacity to say so. Probably offended some people that she said that. Could have even gotten a few stars taken off of collars. She could have lost rank for doing it, but if one kid in Pakistan is eating tonight because she did, it'll make up for her lost rank. I know that she knows that. I also know that she knew exactly what she was risking by making that post. She took the gamble. My prayer is that our government ensures that it was worth it, to her, but more importantly to the people of Pakistan.
This planet no longer has any use for red tape when people are dying in droves from exposure, starvation and disease. This planet is showing us this year, and more specifically tonight where I live, that it is quite capable of wiping us out if we don't start working together on this stuff NOW. There is no longer room for ego. There is no longer room for profit.
One Captain in Afghanistan, by doing her job with all of her heart, tried to bring that to light. She can't anymore. She's "gone silent". It seems to me that the question in all of this is, have we?
As you can tell "Afghanistantastic" is no longer posting, and like Daniel, you can no longer even access her blog. She's even been removed from the Best of "Whats your Story
" in an attempt, seemingly, to erase all trace of her presence.
28 October 2005
very once in a while I make the mistake of turning on Fox News and watching for a bit. I made it most of the way through O’Reilly by taking much needed breaks to finish carving pumpkins. Then I started watching Insanity and Moans. I watched as Insanity and Mary Matlin propagated absolute bald face lies while Moans just bent over and, well, moaned. Shawn Hannity said basically that Rove was in the clear and then trivialized the fact that indictments had been handed down for perjury and obstruction of justice. He even went as far as saying that the whole thing was silly when you look at how the left howled when Clinton was caught for something outside the original scope of the investigation!
Now I don’t need Media Matters
, or Crooks and Liars
to remind me these people are pompous asshats that can’t wrap their minds around the simple fact that Fitzgerald was looking specifically at wether or not Libby, Rove
, and others had committed a crime in the now established fact that they leaked a covert CIA operative’s name to the press. That is what this investigation is about. Conversly, Starr did not start investigating Clinton because of allegations of adultery, he started with Whitewater
, came up with zilch, and started fishing elsewhere.
Hannity practically admits to the fact that the Starr inquiry was a witchhunt, while overlooking the point that Fitzgerald has of yet to bring further charges under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, because Libby obstructed justice
. Don’t be mistaken, more charges are to come
. We have a saying in the Army, “you are only as strong as your weakest link,” and Libby may be that by default because he’s the first to be indicted. The house of cards is about to tumble. Again, this is just the first domino.
Bush Stresses Libby Is Presumed Innocent
Bush Saddened by Libby's Indictment, Says Former Cheney Adviser Should Be Presumed Innocent
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON - President Bush said Friday he was saddened by the indictment and resignation of vice presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, adding that "in our system each individual is presumed innocent and entitled to due process and a fair trial."
Speaking a few hours after Libby's indictment in the CIA leak investigation, Bush said the departed aide had "sacrificed much" and served in "extraordinary times in our nation's history."
Bush, speaking shortly before boarding a helicopter for a trip to the presidential retreat at Camp David, Md., also declared he remained "fully focused " on the issues confronting the country.
"We've got a job to protect the American people, and that's what we'll continue working hard to do," the president said. He added that he would name a new justice to the Supreme Court "pretty soon."
Accompanying Bush on the weekend trip was Harriet Miers, the White House legal counsel who withdrew as a candidate for the high court on Thursday in the face of withering criticism from conservatives. In accepting her withdrawal, Bush said Miers would resume her duties helping review contenders for judicial openings.
RAW STORY, Breaking: Bolton eyed as indictment reveals State Dept aided Libby; Sources confirm State Dept., NSC officials made deal with Fitzgerald... Soon...
BOLTON! This could take out BOLTON!
MORE ON ROVE: “This investigation is not yet over,” one of the lawyers in the case said. “You must keep in mind that people like Mr. Rove are still under investigation. Rather than securing an indictment on perjury charges against Mr. Rove Mr. Fitzgerald strongly believes he can convince the grand jury that he broke other laws.”
MORE: Lawyers: Fitzgerald believes he can get Rove on more serious charges... TPM
points out that they knew Plame was undercover. It's right in the indictment.
I told ya da chimp would go on another vacation!
Drive Darky...my work here is done.
Today, Libby was indicted by a grand jury on five counts -- one count of obstruction of justice, two counts of perjury and two counts of making false statements in the investigation by Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald of the leak of a CIA operative's name. The indictment accuses Libby of lying about how and when he learned of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity in 2003 and then telling reporters about it. After the indictment was made public, Libby resigned from his White House posts, according to White House spokesman Scott McClellan.
The first Domino...
Click here to download a PDF version of the Libby indictment.
...and the Indictments just keep on coming.
Noe indicted: GOP backer is accused of laundering cash Federal grand jury cites Bush donations using 24 ‘conduits’
By MIKE WILKINSON
and JAMES DREW
BLADE STAFF WRITERS
Tom Noe, whose failed rare-coin deal with the state has triggered multiple investigations and rocked Ohio’s Republican leadership, was charged yesterday with illegally funneling $45,400 to President Bush’s re-election campaign.
Gregory A. White, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, announced a three-count indictment against Mr. Noe, saying he used two dozen people as “conduits” to make illegal campaign contributions at a $2,000-a-seat fund-raiser in Columbus.
In doing so, Mr. Noe skirted federal campaign finance funding limits while meeting a pledge to raise $50,000 for the Oct. 30, 2003, fund-raiser. The Bush campaign later named Mr. Noe a “Pioneer” for raising at least $100,000 overall.
The Noe case is the largest campaign money-laundering scheme prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department since new campaign finance laws were enacted by Congress in 2002, said Noel Hillman, chief of the Justice Department’s public integrity section
From the The Villiage Voice:
Exclusive: Harriet Miers Discloses Post-Withdrawal iTunes Playlist
GET OFF MY CLOUD
Stars and stripes--forever?
Riff Raff Classified Documents Series, #5
Supreme Court Injustice:
A Post-Withdrawal iTunes Playlist I Made
Mix and Liner Notes by Harriet Miers
October 27, 2005
01 Freedy Johnston: "Trying To Tell You I Don't Know"
I didn't! But now I do know: I never, ever should have bet my Supreme Court nomination on the goddamn Astros. Seriously, what the fuck was I thinking.
02 Death From Above 1979: "Pull Out"
Of course I'm bummed out about having to. Harriet Miers--Supreme Court Justice. What a ring. Now I'm just Harriet Miers--Woman with Crazy Tattoos on her Butt.
03 Miss Tammy Faye Starlite: "God Has Lodged A Tenant In My Uterus"
And it's not paying rent! Ha ha. Sorry, in a really punchy mood these days. Wow.
04 Rolling Stones: "Look What the Cat Dragged In"
For the longest time this song on the Stones' new record perplexed me. Look what the cat dragged in, Harri. What? Tell me, where is the cat? Then I realized, what the cat dragged in was me.
05 Three 6 Mafia: "Let's Plan A Robbery"
I know what you're thinking, but it's not that. This is just a reminder to myself that Blockbuster needs me to return Cops and Robbersons. Chevy Chase's acting--criminal! The other guys were fine.
06 Munich Machine: "Get On The Funk Train"
Well how do you expect me to get to Blockbuster? It's not like I'm going to ride my bike!
07 Ludacris: "Pimpin All Over the World"
A lot of people have suggested I pimp all over the world, you know, just to let off some steam. Well, I think pimping all over Texas will be enough for me thank you!
08 Killing Joke: "Wardance"
Now that this Supreme Court gig is finito, I'm thinking maybe a gig in choreography? You wouldn't believe the moves I got for this one: left foots in, sliding in, left foots in again, then this thing with my head, then this other thing with my bum (!), then everything in. It's like the Macarena doing the Macarena.
09 Slim Thug: "Like A Boss"
The bottom line is that, maybe I'm not a boss, but I'm like a boss, and for some people, like me and Mr. Thug, that's enough. For this song, I have a move where I act like I'm pretending to put things in a "shopping cart" and (oh dear)--pumping a keg!
10 Franz Ferdinand: "Do You Want To?"
11 Ex Models: "That's Funny, I Don't Feel Like A Shithead"
I really don't!
Posted by Nick Sylvester at 05:00 PM, October 27, 2005
TrackBack URL for this entry:
27 October 2005
Yes, you read that right.
Woman fired for missing work after seeing husband off to war
CALEDONIA, Michigan (AP) -- A woman who took an unpaid leave of absence from work to see her husband off to war has been fired after failing to show up for her part-time receptionist job the day following his departure.
Hat tip: Zwam
Out of touch, imploding, helplessly self absorbed. (R)
Hat tip to Donkey O.D.
Ding Dong the Witch is Dead!!!
Below is the text of the letter from Harriet Miers to President Bush, withdrawing her name from consideration as a justice of the United States Supreme Court.
Dear Mr. President:
I write to withdraw as a nominee to serve as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States. I have been greatly honored and humbled by the confidence that you have shown in me, and have appreciated immensely your support and the support of many others. However, I am concerned that the confirmation process presents a burden for the White House and our staff that is not in the best interest of the country.
As you know, members of the Senate have indicated their intention to seek documents about my service in the White House in order to judge whether to support me. I have been informed repeatedly that in lieu of records, I would be expected to testify about my service in the White House to demonstrate my experience and judicial philosophy. While I believe that my lengthy career provides sufficient evidence for consideration of my nomination, I am convinced the efforts to obtain Executive Branch materials and information will continue.
As I stated in my acceptance remarks in the Oval Office, the strength and independence of our three branches of government are critical to the continued success of this great Nation. Repeatedly in the course of the process of confirmation for nominees for other positions, I have steadfastly maintained that the independence of the Executive Branch be preserved and its confidential documents and information not be released to further a confirmation process. I feel compelled to adhere to this position, especially related to my own nomination. Protection of the prerogatives of the Executive Branch and continued pursuit of my confirmation are in tension. I have decided that seeking my confirmation should yield.
I share your commitment to appointing judges with a conservative judicial philosophy, and I look forward to continuing to support your efforts to provide the American people judges who will interpret the law, not make it. I am most grateful for the opportunity to have served your Administration and this country.
Harriet Ellan Miers
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20502
Inside scoop: http://harrietmiers.blogspot.com/
News and Politics
Quick Thoughts on a Failed Nomination
By Terry M. Neal
Thursday, October 27, 2005; 12:39 PM
The liberal People for the American Way, which vehemently opposed the Roberts nomination, did relatively little to oppose Miers. But it reacted with outrage--as though it had actually supported the nomination--upon news that she had withdrawn her name this morning. "It's an astonishing spectacle," said PFAW president Ralph Neas in a statement this morning. "The unelected power-brokers of the far right have forced the withdrawal of President Bush's own Supreme Court nominee, before a confirmation hearing has even been held. President Bush's complete capitulation to the far-right interest groups is astounding. The ultra-right wing dominance of Republican Party politics is complete, and they have dealt a terrible blow to an already weakened president and his administration. Right-wingers are openly saying they elected Bush to put a battle-ready ultraconservative on the court to replace the moderate Sandra Day O'Connor, and they're demanding a new choice -bipartisanship, moderation and mainstream Americans be damned."
26 October 2005
In my in-box
Yesterday you may have noticed this site didn't look the same, in the menu on the right (if you weren't distracted by the code) was the phrase "2000 How many more must die in this script?." This was my little protest, my little vigil . . .
Dear IVAW Members,
Today we've reached another grizzly milestone in this senseless war. IVAW co-founder, Mike Hoffman, has produced an op-ed that is on our website http://ivaw.net/
. There are also 2 links there to locate the hundreds of vigils to honor the fallen 2,000 that will be taking place on Wed 10/26 across the country. I encourage you to check out the website and take part in any vigil in your area.
The government refuses to show us the dead, hiding flag-draped coffins from the cameras. And many Americans would like to forget what is happening in Iraq. Publicizing the number 2,000 draws attention to the fact that the war continues to cost us lives, not to mention the destruction of the lives of many more Iraqi civilians, and the billions of dollars wasted. We must keep this tally on the minds of Americans and force them to consider, "How many more am I willing to tolerate?"
P.S. Looks like my comments are down untill I get home from work, feel free to e-mail me.
24 October 2005
On Fitzmas Eve, Wurmser in your stocking
The Blame America First Tm
(R) crowd is up to their old tricks again . . . (wink)
It's beginning to look a lot like Fitzmas,
Everywhere you go.
Take a look at the West Wing—
"What the hell will we do without Rove?"
know it's not good Karma to gloat. I know that no one can predict what's going to happen with this whole thing. So I take heart that our dear leader has changed his tune, flip flopped you might say, from characterizing Fitzgerald's investigation as, ". . . some background noise
," to "This is a very serious investigation
," almost over night.
Unfortunatly, however, with Herr Rove seems to have be distracted as of late, and the rest of the Republican brethern haven't recieve their regular installment of marching orders. The Washington Post quotes the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
, Melanie Sloan, as saying Republicans were "starting to undermine the prosecutor by implying that he's only going to be able to indict on technicalities." How could this be! This is a very serious investigation.
One of the storm troopers that hadn't checked their e-mail, was Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison
, who wished for substantive charges, " not some perjury technicality where they couldn't indict on the crime and so they go to something just to show that their two years of investigation was not a waste of time and taxpayer dollars," drawing parallels between the White House's leak about CIA agent Valerie Plame, whose husband questioned intelligence that served as one of the rationals for the War in Iraq, to Martha Stewart, which in it's self is quite the salient defense if I do say so myself.
So what are these "technicalties" that Republican talking points refer to? have a read:
Cheney aide passed Plame's name to Libby, Hadley, those close to leak investigation say
Jason Leopold and Larisa Alexandrovna
Those close to the investigation say that Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has been told that David Wurmser, then a Middle East adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney on loan from the office of then-Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs John Bolton, met with Cheney and his chief of staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby in June 2003 and told Libby that Plame set up the Wilson trip. He asserted that it was a boondoggle, the sources said.
Libby then shared the information with Karl Rove, President Bush's deputy chief of staff, the sources said. Wurmser also passed on the same information about Wilson to then-Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, they added. Within a week, Wurmser, on orders from "executives in the office of the vice president," was told to leak her name to a specific group of reporters in an effort to muzzle her husband, Wilson, who had become a thorn in the side of the administration, those close to the inquiry say. It is unclear who Wurmser had spoken with in the media, the sources said, but they confirmed he did speak with reporters at national media outlets about Plame.
If this is the truth, and Rove and Libby slip the noose . . .
Picture curtsey of Agi T. Prop, from his secluded lair in the Pime Forest
In its first 15 months, the [Fitzgerald] investigation cost $723,000, according to the Government Accountability Office.
Cost of the Starr inquiry after impeachment was over, $50 million.
tags: News and Politics
23 October 2005
. . . and all the King’s men.
he reaction to my last post was bigger than I expected and I’d like to thank everyone for their interest. I’d like to thank NavySwan
once again for bringing this situation to my attention. I’d like to thank NightBird
for helping me get the word out and really get the story rolling.
Mark at The Tattered Coat
really raised the profile of this thing beyond anything I’d ever be able to manage by myself.
Now that all the nicey nice stuff is out of the way, time to vent. I guess you could say I busted my cherry on this one. I spiked 400+ hits above usual. I should be happy, but I’m not. I’m pissed. Out of the hundreds of positive comments posted on all the blogs that covered Daniel’s story I’ve heard a couple that accuse myself and others in a roundabout way of disingenuousness and the politicization of Daniel’s situation.
Let me state right here and now that nothing could be further from the truth. Let me be clear; what motivated me to post this story was pure unadulterated self-centeredness. This could be me next week! This could be you! If this soldiers situation goes by without scrutiny–and I know this is a big leap, but stay with me–our right as citizens to criticize our government, no matter whose in power, right, left or indifferent, slowly starts to slip through our fingers. Doesn’t matter if you ran across this story to day, or first heard of Daniel with the Operation Truth
piece, or earlier. Do you really want our government to take away the next Hemingway’s pen?
It is important to remember that our freedoms, such as they are, were never given to us by any government, they have been wrested by us. If we do not use them, if we do not guard them constantly, they will be taken away from us. If we do not demand more and more, we will be left with less and less. - Arundhati Roy
. . . and in the, "we didn't start the fire, but it was always burning category,"
Let the swarm begin:
Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 02:17:27 PM PDT
Another soldier silenced
tags: News and Politics
22 October 2005
All The King's Horses
I am, to say the least, disturbed by recent events brought to my attention by NavySwan. The following is an excerpt from Daniel's last post:
I thank all of you who have been so supportive recently. I have never before received so much positive feedback, and it was very heart-warming to know that so many people out there care. Having said that, it breaks my heart to say that this will be my last post on this blog. I wish I could just stop there, but I can not. The following also needs to be said:
For the record, I am officially a supporter of the administration and of her [sic] policies. I am a proponent for the war against terror and I believe in the mission in Iraq. I understand my role in that mission, and I accept it. I understand that I signed the contract which makes stop loss legal, and I retract any statements I made in the past that contradict this one. Furthermore, I have the utmost confidence in the leadership of my chain of command, including (but not limited to) the president George Bush and the honorable secretary of defense Rumsfeld. If I have ever written anything on this site or on others that lead the reader to believe otherwise, please consider this a full and complete retraction.
I apologize for any misunderstandings that might understandably arise from this. Should you continue to have questions, please feel free to contact me through e-mail. I promise to respond personally to each, but it may take some time; my internet access has become restricted.
This could be me. This could be you. In the Amerika that is Now.
Stay the Corpse
Veteran's Day Sale!
This item is on the cover of the latest Harriet Carter catalog.
Hurry up and order a personalized flag case, lovingly manufactured in China, made of beautiful realistic oak-like or walnut-like faux wood-like material and have the deceased's name, birth and death dates imprinted on a genuine brass-like plate, before supplies run out! Was $49.98, Now $29.98
Thanks for the heads up goes to BlondeSense
Knight Ridder Newspapers
WASHINGTON - The U.S. military announced Friday the deaths of four Marines and one soldier, bringing the number of American servicemen and women who've died in Iraq since the war began two and a half years ago to 1,993.
Three of the Marines were killed Thursday by a roadside bomb west of Baghdad and the fourth died Wednesday in a car-bomb attack in Karbala. The soldier died of wounds sustained during a mortar attack Thursday on a base in Hit, northwest of the Iraqi capital.
With deaths coming at an average of more than two per day, it appears likely that the number of dead will reach 2,000 in a matter of days.
There's nothing inherently special about that number, but it provides a marker of sorts for the American effort to transform Iraq from dictatorship to democracy, and it's a sobering reminder of the human cost of the U.S. presence in that country, which Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has suggested could last another 10 years.
The number of troops wounded in Iraq stands at 15,220, according to the Pentagon. Of those, 7,159 were so seriously hurt that they haven't returned to duty.
As the Bush administration vows to stay the course in Iraq, a poll earlier this month by the Pew Research Center found that 50 percent of American adults now think that invading Iraq was the wrong decision and 48 percent think that the United States should bring the troops home as soon as possible.
While few lawmakers, either Republican or Democratic, are calling for an outright withdrawal from Iraq, pressure is mounting for the Bush administration to cajole the Iraqis to reach a political settlement that will end the insurgency and come up with an exit strategy.
21 October 2005
Lurkers, Links, Trolling, and Blog Etiquette.
A Lurker is someone who is a constant visitor/reader to message boards but rarely posts on them.
A Troll is a person who posts messages in order to provoke an angry response or to start trouble without adding anything worthwhile to the conversation.
When a large amount of activity, information and opinion erupts around a particular subject or controversy in the blogosphere, it is sometimes called a blogstorm or blog swarm.
urkers, come out. I know you're there! Blogging is a delicate balance of form, content, and a give and take between the proprietor and the customer. Without your comments my narcissistic ego would shrivel up and die! (jk) Reason #1113 for blogging is getting someone else's point of view to bounce your own off of, and make adjustments as necessary. Nothing so sad as a blog with no comments.
Trolling; I don't believe in trolling. I mean I don't think it is a valid way dismiss what someone says. Have I, by definition, trolled before? Yes. Have I used language that didn't reflect the tone already in use at a particular blog? No. Have I gone off topic at times, maybe. Using incendiary language out of the blue, or going way off topic--if having started there at all--that's trolling by my definition.
There is, however, a problem with swarming. No, not the standard definition, the actual phenomenon. The swarming I'm thinking about is a combination of the standard trolling, compounded by the number of trolls. Again, see Republican Vet
to see what I mean. I appreciate that all of you who went to Mr. Leffingwell's Site
tried to have a productive dialogue with him, not go strait for the neck. Emphasis on tried.
So, I'm going a drinking tonight. I probably won't be back in command of the english language untill Sunday. Click on the links in my side bar. Run your name, and your site's URL, through Technorati
(mine too). Comment on old posts, I get notified about your comments through e-mail, so I'll know. Have a great weekend, and hopefully, a great conversation with someone who doesn't see things the exact same way you do.
20 October 2005
and now the moment you've been waiting for . . . (drumroll please)
Someone please photoshop a little nameplate with numbers, something a little more texas.
Hat tip to Blogenfreude
Oct. 20, 2005, 11:30PM
With arrest unavoidable, his lawyer wrangles to show positive image of client By R.G. RATCLIFFE and ROSANNA RUIZ
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle
U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay's booking photograph on conspiracy and money-laundering charges Thursday looked more like a campaign glossy than the mug shot of someone accused of felonies preparing to make his first court appearance.
DeLay wears a suit and a winning smile. There are no height hash marks in the background, no numbers across the chest of the Sugar Land Republican.
Here we go, much better. Thanks Zwam & MBall
Crushing Ignorance @ Crushing Liberalism
All I did was quote the poor guy some Operation Yellow Elephant?!
Our volunteer Army's largest recruiting shortfall since 1979 means that continued U.S. military engagement in Iraq and elsewhere will succeed, or fail, on Americans' willingness to serve.
Americans must volunteer to serve in our Army. Anyone who supports the war only if "other people" actually fight it does not, in fact, support the war at all.What does poor Jonathan Leffingwell do? He whips out this sorry ass strawman argument equating the chickenhawk tag to saying someone's for arson if they are not firefighters. Then he bans me. That's just sorry. It's not like I engaged in the disgusting conduct that is being perpertrated on Republican Vet right now. Well, we've all got our own bit of growing up to do, in one way or another.
Is that a finger I feel Mr. Rove?
Taegan Goddard's Political Wire
October 20, 2005
Rove Fingers Libby
Karl Rove told the grand jury in the CIA leak case that Scooter Libby "may have told him that CIA operative Valerie Plame worked for the intelligence agency before her identity was revealed," the Washington Post
reports. "Rove has also testified that he also heard about Plame from someone else outside the White House, but could not recall who."
"The account is the first time a person familiar with Rove's testimony has provided clues about where the deputy chief of staff learned about Plame, and confirmed that Rove and Libby were involved in a conversation about her before her identity became public. The disclosure seemed to further undermine the White House's contention early in the case that neither man was in any way involved in unmasking Plame."
"But it leaves unanswered the central question of the more than two-year-old case: Did anyone commit a crime in leaking information about Plame to the media?"
However, the AP reports "some evidence prosecutors have gathered conflicts with Libby's account of dealings with reporters."
The Big Picture:
Secrets, Evasions and Classified Reports
The CIA leak case isn’t just about whether top officials will be indicted. A larger issue is what Judith Miller’s evidence says about White House manipulation of the media.
WEB EXCLUSIVE By Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball
Updated: 7:14 p.m. ET Oct. 19, 2005
Oct. 19, 2005 - The lengthy account by New York Times reporter Judy Miller about her grand jury testimony in the CIA leak case inadvertently provides a revealing window into how the Bush administration manipulated journalists about intelligence on Iraq’s nonexistent weapons of mass destruction.
Whatever the implications for special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s probe, Miller describes a conversation with Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, Lewis (Scooter) Libby, on July 8, 2003, where he appears to significantly misrepresent the contents of still-classified material from a crucial prewar intelligence-community document about Iraq.
Pre-indictment Anticipation Stress Syndrome
On Oct. 20, 1973, in the so-called Saturday Night Massacre, President Nixon abolished the office of special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox, accepted the resignation of Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson and fired Deputy Attorney General William B. Ruckelshaus.
and you think we have it bad...
19 October 2005
Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2005 11:13 a.m. EDT
Rumor: Cheney to Resign; Rice as V.P.
After a Washington Post story suggesting that Vice President Dick Cheney’s office is involved in the Plame-CIA investigation, rumors are flying around Washington that Cheney might step aside – and be replaced by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
"If that should happen, there will undoubtedly be those who believe the whole thing was orchestrated – another brilliant Machiavellian move by the VP,” a White House insider told Paul Bedard of U.S. News & World Report.
Some observers are whispering that the driving force behind the Rice-for-Cheney scenario is political pundit Dick Morris’ new book "Condi vs. Hillary: The Next Great Presidential Race.”
In the book, Morris and co-author Eileen McGann warn that Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the U.S. unless she can be stopped.
And Condoleezza Rice, they say, is the only Republican who can win the GOP nomination, beat Hillary and hold on to the White House for the GOP.
A move now to elevate Condoleezza to the vice president’s position would better prime her for a run against Hillary in 2008.
Ya I know, its Newsmax, but think of it!!! Hat tip to Blog it Right
Cheney 'cabal' hijacked foreign policy
By Edward Alden in Washington
Updated: 7:43 p.m. ET Oct. 19, 2005
Vice-President Dick Cheney and a handful of others had hijacked the government's foreign policy apparatus, deciding in secret to carry out policies that had left the US weaker and more isolated in the world, the top aide to former Secretary of State Colin Powell claimed on Wednesday.
In a scathing attack on the record of President George W. Bush, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff to Mr Powell until last January, said: "What I saw was a cabal between the vice-president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy did not know were being made.
"Now it is paying the consequences of making those decisions in secret, but far more telling to me is America is paying the consequences."
The tabular content relating to this article is not available to view. Apologies in advance for the inconvenience caused.Mr Wilkerson said such secret decision-making was responsible for mistakes such as the long refusal to engage with North Korea or to back European efforts on Iran.
It also resulted in bitter battles in the administration among those excluded from the decisions.
"If you're not prepared to stop the feuding elements in the bureaucracy as they carry out your decisions, you are courting disaster. And I would say that we have courted disaster in Iraq, in North Korea, in Iran."
The comments, made at the New America Foundation, a Washington think-tank, were the harshest attack on the administration by a former senior official since criticisms by Richard Clarke, former White House terrorism czar, and Paul O'Neill, former Treasury secretary, early last year.
Mr Wilkerson said his decision to go public had led to a personal falling out with Mr Powell, whom he served for 16 years at the Pentagon and the State Department.
"He's not happy with my speaking out because, and I admire this in him, he is the world's most loyal soldier."
Among his other charges:
■ The detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere was "a concrete example" of the decision-making problem, with the president and other top officials in effect giving the green light to soldiers to abuse detainees. "You don't have this kind of pervasive attitude out there unless you've condoned it."
■ Condoleezza Rice, the former national security adviser and now secretary of state, was "part of the problem". Instead of ensuring that Mr Bush received the best possible advice, "she would side with the president to build her intimacy with the president".
■ The military, particularly the army and marine corps, is overstretched and demoralised. Officers, Mr Wilkerson claimed, "start voting with their feet, as they did in Vietnam. . . and all of a sudden your military begins to unravel".
Mr Wilkerson said former president George H.W. Bush "one of the finest presidents we have ever had" understood how to make foreign policy work. In contrast, he said, his son was "not versed in international relations and not too much interested in them either".
"There's a vast difference between the way George H.W. Bush dealt with major challenges, some of the greatest challenges at the end of the 20th century, and effected positive results in my view, and the way we conduct diplomacy today."
Copyright The Financial Times Ltd. All rights reserved.
© 2005 MSNBC.com
White House Watch: Cheney resignation rumors fly
U.S.News & World Report
This makes my Wife feel so much better...
Which bumper sticker should I put on my car, the one they sent,
or the one I already have?
I fought the War, I fought the War but the War won.
1 in 4 Iraq vets ailing on return
By Gregg Zoroya, USA TODAY
More than one in four U.S. troops have come home from the Iraq war with health problems that require medical or mental health treatment, according to the Pentagon's first detailed screening of servicemembers leaving a war zone. (Related: Troops screened as never before
Almost 1,700 servicemembers returning from the war this year said they harbored thoughts of hurting themselves or that they would be better off dead. More than 250 said they had such thoughts "a lot." Nearly 20,000 reported nightmares or unwanted war recollections; more than 3,700 said they had concerns that they might "hurt or lose control" with someone else.
Terror Alert Level: You're Kidding Again, Right?
Baltimore tunnels reopen after terror alert
Senior U.S. officials who I've spoken to say it is absolutely not corroborated, Windrem said. This appears to be very similar to what happened in the New York subway case, where federal officials did not believe that the source was credible, but after they turned it over to local authorities, local authorities decided to act in an abundance of caution.
**This shit is starting to get to see through coincidental...
During the election, the start of plame-gate, Dick Cheney's up to his neck,
My thanks to Tiger Wasteland
Source: Closures Coincided With FBI Action
18 October 2005
~Helping Louisiana Air National Guard Families~
Subject: Message from the 159th FW - New Orleans, LA
I am sending this out for the 159th FW New Orleans, LA. I know many of you have asked how you can help. If you would like to help out the families in the LA ANG they are in need of gift cards so they can give them out to their families. Cards from Walmart, Kmart, Home Depot, Sears, Phone Cards, JC Penny, and AAFES could be used by them at this time.
If you wish to send donated gift cards to the 159th FW here is the address that can be used for mailing:
LA ANG Family Readiness
(Attn:CMSgt Lee Long) 400 Russell Ave (or P.O. Box 27)
New Orleans, LA 70143-0027
I know anything would be appreciated by them. And thanks for all your thoughts, prayers and concerns for those affected by Hurricane Katrina and Rita.
Charles J. Carrigan, Civ, MS ANG Base Family Program Coordinator
ANG CRTC - Gulfport/FRSS DSN: 363-6018,
Fax #: DSN: 363-6035,
Toll Free Telephone #: 1-866-618-9851
Rice: I Don't Want to Run for President
For Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, no means no — and no again — when it comes to whether she will run for president.
"It's not what I want to do with my life, it's not what I'm going to do with my life," Rice said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."
A group pushing for a Rice candidacy has run a television ad in New Hampshire — traditional site of the first presidential primary — and plans to air it soon in Iowa, where the first party caucuses take place.
At least two Web sites are promoting Rice even though Rice herself has said for months that she is not interested in running.
Asked on NBC and on "Fox News Sunday" whether she would run for president in 2008, Rice said she is flattered but would decline.
"I'm not somebody who wants to run for office. I haven't ever run for anything," Rice told NBC. "I think I'm doing what I need to do, which is to try and promote American foreign policy, American interests, the president's democracy agenda at an extraordinary time."
Pressed by host Tim Russert, Rice said, "I don't know how may ways to say no."
In an Aug. 19 fundraising letter, Jeanine Pirro told potential supporters of her race to unseat Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, “I cannot win without your support.”
Pirro sent one of those appeals to:
Hillary Clinton1600 Pennsylvania Ave.Washington, D.C. 20500-0030
That, of course, is the White House where Clinton used to be first lady.
The Pirro letter came to light just three days after the Westchester County district attorney reported raising $438,555 for the three-month period ending Sept. 30 in her bid for the GOP nomination to challenge Clinton’s 2006 re-election effort. Clinton reported raising $5.3 million.
“No wonder Ms. Pirro raised so little money,” quipped Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson on Monday.
17 October 2005
A peek at my closeted "Liberal Elitism"
Click on picture, and zoom in, for a look at my tragically hip taste in music.
16 October 2005
When a Conservative can't win an argument, or is shown up as sorely lacking in the catagory of Political Science, you can expect your comment to be deleted. That's exactly what happened at "The Political Teen" this weekend.
15 October 2005
Pre-register for your swift boating now!
Vet of the Week
Posted by Susie in War Stories
(October 15, 2005 at 8:40 am
Via Operation Truth:
(Daniel Goetz is currently serving in Samarra, Iraq. Read his blog here.)
Seven months ago, my service in the army was to have terminated. Instead, I am in Iraq for the second time. I sit next to a DOD contractor whose job is identical to mine. Except he makes $120,000 more, works four hours less, and visits home four times more often than I do.
I am not alone in my anger and humiliation. When we were here in 2003, there was anger, but there is a difference between anger and bitter hatred. The atmosphere of discontent is thick and contagious. Even soldiers not stop-lossed feel The Betrayal. They know it might be them next time. Dissent will not change anything for us now because our voices are muted. Still, there is hope. It is that in twenty years, it will be these men and women in office. Perhaps, that alone should make me feel better. I don’t think it is enough, though, for our wounded and fallen. I can’t speak for them, of course. Not yet, at least.
I found this post with one comment to it, and it was right on target:
No, Daniel, in twenty years “these men and women” won’t be in office. It’ll be the men and women who didn’t go, and they’ll slime those who did as traitors.
If they live, of course…
14 October 2005
Fair & Balanced
ne of the posts
here at Making Conservatives Cringe Since 1977 has prompted an interesting interchange between a couple of my patrons.
I agree that Miers is NOT qualified for this position . . . Ike [Eisenhower] even commented in the years after he appointed Gov. Earl Warren of California to become Chief Justice, that Warren was "the biggest damn fool mistake he ever made." Today, before getting on the highest bench, a justice needs to have proved him/herself as being capable on a lower ranking bench.
By the way, since harping on lack of judicial experience is ok, what about her legal career and tell us what are the qualifications for being on the Supreme Court.
True that there are no other "constitutional" qualifications for serving on the nation's highest court other than 1) being nominated by the President and 2) being confirmed by the Senate . . . Being a lawyer does give a back ground in legal knowledge and shows that you can argue a point...but it does NOT show that you can fairly adjudicate, in light of the Constitution, a legal dispute.
She's more than qualified and I think she'll be great . . .trust me. She has legal experience beyond experience. You don't run the bar of one of the largest states in the Nation and not have enough legal experience to decide cases on the Supreme Court.
This is too funny. We have two conservative bloggers on a liberal site arguing with each other over a conservative judicial nominee.
I was thinking about all this quite intently as I found myself on another 2 hour ride out to State Headquarters yesterday. I've mentioned before the sensitive nature of my job and have come to the conclusion I shouldn't elaborate to much after reviewing some of the policies on blogging in the military (thanks again Pebble Pie), although I really wish I could share my perspective from inside Homeland Security world. Lets just say the National Guard has been busy as of late. On the ride we pulled over at one of New York's fine rest stops on the Thruway. There I purchased the October 13, 2005 edition of The New York Times. It cost a freaking dollar, but USA Today just wasn't going to cut it.
Low and behold I stumbled across an article by Linda Greenhouse that combined the themes that I'd been pondering:
Justices Grapple With Whether Public Employees Enjoy Free-Speech Rights on the Job
WASHINGTON, Oct. 12 - The free-speech rights of public employees proved a thorny and elusive subject for the Supreme Court in an argument on Wednesday.
The question was whether the Constitution protects government workers from retaliation for what they say on the job or in the course of their routine duties. A deputy district attorney in Los Angeles who claimed he had been demoted for challenging the legitimacy of a search warrant was found by a federal appeals court to be entitled to a trial on whether the demotion violated the First Amendment.
In trying to put myself in someone from the other end of the political spectrum's shoes, I've come to some conclusions. I wouldn't be worried about Miers toeing the party line if she ascends to the bench. I think everything about her say "Conservative," and "Team Player." Between Roberts, Thomas, and Old Scalloped Potatoes, they should be able to get the results with Miers that they want. On the other hand I would be worried that the strength of her written opinions could cause whatever significant decisions that go in favor of the Conservative agenda to be overturned in the future. Then again maybe Confederate Yankee's Rovelogic is the truth that lies beneath all of this.
Speaking of Confederate Yankee, you may have noticed that my Link section, "The Darkside," has been reincarnated. I know some on the left decline to link to the right, but sometimes I need the comic relief that can only be supplied by the absurd, strained logic, all to often on display at these blogs. Once in a while, however, I find a gem of an actual discussion which makes all the time I waste perusing the pulp pay off. Liberty Just in Case is a prime example of this. One of the other links there, The Political Teen, shows a video highlighting the game of chicken that Conservatives are playing with their political power. The Rightwing News asks the very real question of "Is 2006 Going To Be The Democrat's 1994?"
The objective truth of this whole situation is that Harriet Miers is qualified in every aspect except when it comes to the ethics involved with her selection and her relationship with the President. The conflict between Conservatives over this nomination is like a slow motion train wreck that you just can't look away from. It could indeed give the Democrats an advantage in 2006. It could also give Progressives, and Independents from all ends of the spectrum an opportunity as well.
Who ever it is better take a listen to this song. Then fix shit.