Monday, October 31, 2005

People are catching on

and the veil is lifting...

White House Ethics, Honesty Questioned
55% in Survey Say Libby Case Signals Broader Problems
By Richard Morin and Claudia Deane Washington Post Staff Writers

A majority of Americans say the indictment of senior White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby signals broader ethical problems in the Bush administration, and nearly half say the overall level of honesty and ethics in the federal government has fallen since President Bush took office, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News survey.

The poll, conducted Friday night and yesterday, found that 55 percent of the public believes the Libby case indicates wider problems "with ethical wrongdoing" in the White House, while 41 percent believes it was an "isolated incident." And by a 3 to 1 ratio, 46 percent to 15 percent, Americans say the level of honesty and ethics in the government has declined rather than risen under Bush.

"Poor George"

Interview with the personal cook for Bush Sr. and Babs the out-of-touch. The cook makes some interesting comments.

No surprise here about the Bush family's relationship to the Saudis:

I imagine you have fed many world leaders.
We ask them first if they are allergic to certain food. For one thing, Prince Bandar of
Saudi Arabia - he won't eat shellfish. He's a constant visitor to the residence, and he is a very nice guy.


A little surprising he says he's glad GWB didn't write a forward for his recently published cookbook:

As president, he is not supposed to endorse commercial products, so you
should not be too disappointed.
I like it that way, also. Everyone is pointing fingers on the president: it's all his fault, it's all his fault. And now, if he would endorse me, people might think that he is endorsing the book, so I would rather not have him be included on the cookbook.
Are you saying his endorsement could actually hurt sales of your book?
Yes. For a precaution, I'd rather not have him.


And George Sr. doesn't understand why "they" are blaming everything on "young George,"the self-described War President, the Commander in Chief and guy who asks the country to trust his gut on Supreme Court picks, wars, etc.

From what you have seen of his parents at mealtime, do they seem upset by the harsh criticism their son has been receiving lately?
They're used to it. They have been through that themselves, even though Mrs. Bush would sometimes give a deep sigh, and say: "Ah, they are blaming everything on young George. Poor George."

Let's reminisce

Bush Insists Miers Is 'Eminently Qualified' to Join High Court
By Daryl Strickland, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
October 4, 2005

President Bush, under fire from the political spectrum for nominating Harriett Miers as a Supreme Court judge despite having no judicial experience, vigorously defended his choice today, saying she's "eminently qualified" for the position.

In nominating the White House counsel and his longtime friend to replace the retiring Sandra Day O'Connor, Bush said he felt someone who has not been on the bench and shares his conservative views would bring a "fresh approach" to the court.

Moreover, Bush tried to counter charges of cronyism from his political foes, saying Miers was "eminently as qualified as John Roberts," who was sworn in this week as chief justice.

"I picked the best person I could find," Bush said of Miers during his first news conference in Washington since May. He added: "I don't want somebody to go on the bench to try to supplant the legislative process. I'm interested in people that will be strict constructionists.

Thoughts on Alito

So everyone is Washington is engaged in wild speculation about Bush's new Sup Ct. nominee -- why not us?

The new guy is Samuel A. Alito Jr., who currently serves on the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.

1. Bush looks like a fool. NYT reported:

Mr. Bush this morning described Judge Alito as having an "extraordinary breadth of experience" and as being "tough and fair." Referring to his long career and his current role on the appeals court, the president said Judge Alito now has "more prior judicial experience than any Supreme Court nominee in more than 70 years."


So four days ago Miers was the "most qualified" because she had "real-world" experience and hadn't been cooped up as a judge. Today Alito is qualified because he's been a judge forever.

2. It is mutually exclusive to say Alito is a "grand slam home run" for Gary Bauer, and also "mainstream."

An early signal of conservative approval came from Gary Bauer, a prominent social conservative, who called the choice of Judge Alito a "grand slam home run." Mr. Bauer, interviewed on CNN, called the judge a "mainstream conservative" and predicted that while there would be a battle from Democrats, Judge Alito would ultimately be confirmed. "They'll try to label him as extreme, but when you get into the hearings, you'll get into specifics," he said.


3. It could have been worse.

Republicans close to the selection process had said over the weekend that Judge Alito, Judge J. Michael Luttig of the Fourth Circuit, Judge Alice M. Batchelder of the Sixth Circuit, and Judge Priscilla R. Owen of the Fifth Circuit were leading candidates.


Owen, of Texas, is evil incarnate.

4. But it's still pretty bad.

He has been nicknamed "Scalito" for his ideological similarity to United States
Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia.


We might miss Miers.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Indictment Round-up

Joe Wilson says this is a sad day for America, and no one should be celebrating.

Fuck that.

This is the highest ranking White House official to be indicted since Watergate. This administration is finally getting a small iota of the scrutiny and justice they so much deserve. And the universe is karmically righting itself after what happened to Clinton.

It's Indictment Day, and I'm gonna celebrate.

Some of the bloggers are even talking about naming this holiday. Best suggestions:

St. Patrick's Day
Cheneykah
Jailoween
Thankscuffing


Make your own.

And take a look at this telling, and at times hilarious profile of Fitzgerald in the Chicago Tribune.

Even for a man who always has kept spare ties and toiletries in his office because he sleeps there so often, the past several years have been hectic for Fitzgerald.

Since becoming the top federal prosecutor in Chicago in 2001, Fitzgerald has spearheaded a fraud investigation into the administration of Mayor Richard Daley and directed the ongoing corruption trial of former Illinois Gov. George Ryan.He indicted 14 reputed mobsters for 18 unsolved murders, some dating back to 1970.

He went after alleged terrorists and routinely serves as one of the country's top experts on Al Qaeda, the terrorist network he has studied since 1996, when he first began investigating its leader, a then-unknown Saudi exile named Osama bin Laden.

[...]

"My parents--hardworking Irish immigrants--never understood being a government lawyer," said Fitzgerald, who grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., and spoke with the Tribune last year for a Sunday magazine profile. "They expected me to take jobs that paid more at one of the big New York firms."

But Fitzgerald went to work in the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan instead. A standout from Day One, he impressed even an office full of overachievers. To this day, his work habits are legendary among New York prosecutors. They recall how everyone knew to call the office first if they needed to reach him at 3 a.m.; how, when his father was dying, he hauled boxes of files home every weekend so he would keep up, even while nursing Patrick Fitzgerald Sr.

[...]

When New York colleagues moved on to other jobs, Fitzgerald often emceed their goodbye "roast" at a local Irish pub; friends point to his quick wit and instinctive ability to be funny, yet complimentary and kind. He loved the New York Mets--a loyalty he transferred to the Cubs when he moved to Chicago four years ago--and could down his fair share of Guinness beer on nights out with other prosecutors.

[...]

As the months wore on, Fitzgerald himself became an object of debate and speculation. But determining his motives was not an easy parlor game. Fitzgerald was branded a "runaway prosecutor" by segments of the punditocracy. Yet President Bush repeatedly has described Fitzgerald's probe as "very dignified," and congressional leaders of both parties long have said they trust Fitzgerald to get to the bottom of the leak.

[...]

With his move to Chicago, Fitzgerald said he hoped to find a "little bit more balance" in his life. He bought a nice home downtown; his friends still marvel at the difference between it and his New York apartment, a place so shabby that police officers investigating a neighbor's break-in once assumed Fitzgerald had been robbed too.


And take a listen to a prescient and funky Afrobeat song called "Indictment" by Antibalas (free sample on their site).

Random PS: the R consultant who did the Kilgore death penalty ads also did the smear campaign against Vietnam vet and amputee Max Cleland.

News from the Right

It's hilarious to read the pathetic sputterings of right-wing reactionaries to the Libby indictment.

Here's a nibble of some collected thoughts by the National Review (ahh, the velvety softness of bought-off media).

"Yeah, yeah I swear its the REAL flu shot...TRUST ME"

Just in case yalls opinion of oil companies happened to be swayed by their ever so heart warming commercials portraying themselves as nature's helper and even going as far as to suggest that the wildlife around their miles and miles of pipeline is being benefited with them and "earth friendly" drilling equipment there. Let this story bring ya back to good ol mother earth. I guess the $100 BILLION earned this last quarter doesn't spend like it used to.


From Dallas Morning News:

The Irving-based company said third-quarter revenue rose 32 percent to $100.7 billion. Earnings rose 75 percent to $9.92 billion, or $1.58 a share, including a gain on the transfer of a stake in a Dutch gas company.

Excluding the gain, the world's largest company earned $8.3 billion, or $1.32 a share.

For Friday afternoon

Indictment A-Go-Go

Just in case you missed this major story with the OTHER indictment going around today (this has major implications in Ohio, the vote-rigging state):

A major GOP donor surrendered to authorities in Orlando, Fla., Friday on charges that he gave thousands of dollars to other people to contribute to President Bush's re-election campaign in an attempt to skirt a $2,000 limit on individual contributions.

Tom Noe, a coin dealer already embroiled in an Ohio state government scandal, was taken into custody just after 8 a.m. and was being held there by the FBI, said David Bauer, Assistant U.S. Attorney in Toledo.

Noe was charged in a federal indictment Thursday with illegally funneling $45,400 to the president's re-election bid through two dozen friends and associates.

The Bush-Cheney campaign donated $6,000 it received from Noe and his wife, Bernadette, to charity, said Aaron McLear, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee.

The committee said it is cooperating with federal authorities but will not return $100,000 that Noe raised for Bush for now. "At this time it appears those funds were given appropriately," McLear said.

Adios, Mofo

From Reuters:

Lewis Libby, a senior aide to Vice President Dick Cheney who was indicted in the CIA leak investigation, has resigned and left the White House, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said on Friday.

Libby resigned "earlier today, it was accepted, and he is no longer at the White House," McClellan told reporters.

"We'll have more to say after the special counsel has his press availability," he said. Special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald planned to hold a news conference at 2 p.m. EDT.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

A Drowning Man

The rats are fleeing the ship.

Fresh off the news that Virginia governor wannabe Jerry Kilgore (aka The Devil) won't be joining Bush at a Northern Virgina GOP fundraiser tomorrow -- we find out that The Terminator and the California GOP are "angry" at Bush for coming there recently.

From CNN:

Bush's appearance on Thursday evening in California, however, didn't suit some members of the state GOP. They said his stop at a $1 million Republican National Committee fundraiser was poorly timed because of the upcoming special election.

Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is trying to court independents and Democrats, two voter blocs that typically haven't supported Bush.

"Unless President Bush is coming to California to hand over a check from the federal government to help us with the financial challenges we face, the visit seems ill-timed," said Karen Hanretty, a spokeswoman for the state Republican Party.

Schwarzenegger chose not to attend the Thursday night fundraiser or the event at the library where Bush was to lay a wreath in memory of the late ex-president.

During a campaign stop Wednesday in Anaheim, Schwarzenegger addressed why he was passing on the opportunity to sit with Bush."We're in high gear right now for our campaign," he said. "So of course, right now, it's all about paying attention to that. So this is why I couldn't really accept the invitation to be part of the ceremony at the Reagan Library out there."

Translation: We don't need Bush coming here and fucking up our operation like he does everything else.

That Southern Charm!

"In a month, who will remember the name Harriet Miers?"
-- Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS), FNC, 10/27

And here's James Dobson ...

I believe the president has made a wise decision in accepting Harriet Miers' withdrawal as a nominee to the Supreme Court.

In recent days I have grown increasingly concerned about her conservative credentials, and I was dismayed to learn this week about her speech in 1993, in which she sounded pro-abortion themes, and expressed so much praise for left-wing feminist leaders.

When the president announced this nominee, I expressed my tentative support, based on what I was able to discover about her. But I also said I would await the hearings to learn more about her judicial philosophy. Based on what we now know about Miss Miers, it appears that we would not have been able to support her candidacy. Thankfully, that difficult evaluation is no longer necessary."

Pussies!


What a bunch of quitters.















This makes me think the White House knows
the indictments are coming out soon. Why else
create a big news buzz like this on a Thursday
and not Friday at 5 p.m.?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Shoe City!

Article today on the decline of cheesy, low production value, locally produced TV ads. One of the ads profiled was Shoe City here in DC:

Still, some local advertisers still make 'em like they used to. These days, the more idiosyncratic work shows up mostly on cable systems, not on broadcast stations. That means the audience is far smaller, since an ad placed on the cable system in, say, Fairfax or Alexandria reaches only a fraction of the audience served by regional broadcasters such as WUSA (Channel 9), WTTG (Channel 5) or WBDC (Channel 50).

So, unless you live in the District, you probably haven't seen the Shoe City chain's grainy rap commercials ("My city/Your city/. . . Shoe City!"). And if you live outside Montgomery County, you'll never be regaled by commercials for Ranger Surplus, an outdoor-gear chain, that feature a character named Captain Happy. Similarly, the comic stylings of Howard G. are now primarily reserved for cable subscribers in Prince George's and Montgomery counties.


My city/Your city/...Shoe city! I feel the beat. You truly are missing something if you haven't seen it.

I only wish they'd also profiled Eastern Motors, "where yo job is yo credit." At Eastern Motors.... Na na na na nah.

I'd also have added the local Subway ads that Sam Cassell did in Houston when he played for the Rockets. He slurred through one line to open the commercial, holding up a sandwaich for the camera: "Some people say I'm a super sub, but this izza super sub!"

Alright, it's happy hour time. Off to the bar!

Deterring suicide bombers with the death penalty, and more genius from the Texas congressional delegation

The WP reported today that the US House slipped "little-noticed" provisions to expand the federal death penalty into the renewal of the USA PATRIOT Act.

While the provisions themselves are bad, and the way they were added with no debate also shameful, I want to focus on the dumbass Texan at the center of it. From the Post:

The death penalty provisions were added as an amendment by Rep. John Carter (R-Tex.), who had originally proposed the changes in a separate bill called the Terrorist Death Penalty Enhancement Act. The same package was included in a House intelligence reform bill last year but was stripped out during conference negotiations with the Senate, officials said.

Carter spokeswoman Gretchen Hamel said the proposals are important because "the congressman believes capital punishment is a deterrent for all kinds of crimes, including terrorism."


Only a fucking idiot -- and a fucking idiot from a trigger-happy state like Texas -- could actually say something this stupid. First off, there's never been any evidence the death penalty is a deterrent to crime.

Second, not even law enforcement themselves believes that -- and I've seen them testify as such at legislative hearings. Third, in surveys of criminals and academic research on how criminals make decisons (I recommend this) it seems that the likelihood of getting caught is pretty much the only thing they consider, if they consider anything at all.

And fourth, of course, is that it's moronic to think that you deter terrorists and suicide bombers with the threat of death. (Maybe if you caught them alive, they might look forward to death if it meant an end to Al Gonzales-sanctioned interrogation techniques.)

You have to wonder if anyone read Carter spokeswoman Gretchen Hamel's quote before she put it out. Was she off the cuff with the reporter? Is she being ridiculed around the capitol today and feeling stupid? Or -- and this would be the worst -- did she write that line, run it by her Chief of Staff and the Congressman, have them consciously approve it, and then happily release it?

White House to Onion: Stop using seal

Symbol 'being used inappropriately,' says spokesman

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The White House is not amused by The Onion, a newspaper that often spoofs the Bush administration, and has asked it to stop using the presidential seal on its Web site.

[...]

Scott Dikkers, editor-in-chief of the satirical newspaper, said its lawyer disagrees with the White House assessment.

"I've been seeing the presidential seal used in comedy programs most of my life and to my knowledge none of them have been asked not to use it by the White House," Dikkers said.

"I would advise them to look for that other guy Osama (bin Laden) ... rather than comedians. I don't think we pose much of a threat," Dikkers said.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Fool me twice...

I thought we were done with faulty British intelligence:

A British academic told a US federal court yesterday that the theory of intelligent design is a scientific rather than a religious concept that should be taught to children in American schools.

Steve Fuller, a professor of sociology at the University of Warwick, said that the theory - which maintains that life on Earth was designed by an unidentified intelligent force - is a valid scientific one because it has been used to describe biological phenomena.

Some Advice for Bush

Seriously man, just give up. After 5 years, they ain't buying it.

Note the irony of honoring Rosa Parks while Bush touts a phony war in which poor African Americans are dying in disproportionate numbers:

"The civil rights icon, who died Monday night at age 92, set an example that helped touch off a movement that ``transformed America for the better,'' Bush said. ``She will always have a special place in American history, and our nation thinks of Rosa Parks and her loved ones today.''

Bush mentioned her at the beginning of an Iraq speech at a local military base.

What, like you've never lost 238 guns?

So last week Congress passed the immunity for negligent gun dealers act, which we covered earlier.

Today the Atlanta Journal Constitution has a great editorial on it, love the imagery in the lead.

OUR OPINIONS: A bullet in our hearts
By protecting gun makers from civil liability lawsuits, Congress has put industry rights before human life

Congress swaddled the gun industry in a blanket of legal immunity last week and left victims of gun violence shivering in the cold.

In a vote of 283 to 144 on Thursday, the House joined the Senate in awarding firearms manufacturers far-reaching protections from civil liability lawsuits that no other industry enjoys. The bill also includes the extraordinary provision that the immunity apply retroactively to lawsuits already under way.

That includes the suit filed by the family of Danny Guzman, an innocent passerby shot to death on Christmas Eve in 1999 in Massachusetts. The family is suing because security at Kahr Arms --- a gun manufacturing plant in Worcester run by the son of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon --- was so lax that an employee with a criminal record walked out with new guns that carried no serial numbers. One of those guns was used to take Guzman's life.

Apparently, guns go missing on a regular basis from dealers and makers. When federal agents ordered an inventory of the Bull's Eye Shooter Supply in Tacoma, Wash., where the infamous Beltway snipers obtained their deadly rifle, they learned that 238 weapons were "missing" from the shop's inventory.

"Republicans buy shoes, too"

NYT columnist rips Michael Jordan. So sad, I'd rather learn my heroes were jacked on steroids their whole careers than refused to stand up to Jesse Helms.

Jordan's Same Old Song Is Turning Into Sad One

By HARVEY ARATON
Published: October 25, 2005

Jordan's star power was always predicated on his coming through, then cashing in. He never attached himself to a cause that would enhance his legacy in his post-playing years. His most enduring quote comes from a book - Sam Smith's "Second Coming" - not written by him.

"Republicans buy shoes, too," Jordan reportedly told a friend, referring to his refusal to endorse an African-American candidate, Harvey Gantt, in a North Carolina Senate race against Jesse Helms.

"It's a heavy duty to try to do everything and please everybody," Jordan said, when Bradley mentioned criticism of his failure to be socially active or political. It was a familiar refrain for an unfocused question. Did Jordan ever feel guilt about not using his unparalleled leverage to speak out about the plight of impoverished blacks? What about his promise years ago to investigate Nike's alleged workplace malpractices, but never quite getting around to it?



Monday, October 24, 2005

The true meaning of "tort reform"

As described by Texas Monthly:

Here is what can happen to you in Texas today, thanks to tort reformers and the Legislature: If you go to an emergency room with a heart attack and the ER doctor misreads your EKG, you must prove, in order to prevail in a lawsuit, that he was both “wantonly and willfully negligent.” If you took a drug that was later recalled after studies proved it could cause fatal complications, the manufacturer can escape liability for your serious injury or death if the instructions inside the package were approved by the FDA when you took the medicine. If your child is blinded at birth because of medical malpractice, there is a good chance that her only remedy is to receive a few hundred dollars a month for the rest of her life. If a driver hits your old Ford Pinto from behind and burns you beyond recognition, Ford will almost certainly be able to shift the blame from its defective product to the driver of the other car. If you live in an apartment complex that lays off security guards and fails to maintain its locks and you are raped as a result, the apartment owner can still avoid liability. All of the above presumes that you can find a lawyer to take your case; many can no longer afford to do so because tort reform has reduced your odds of winning. And should you by some slim chance win and the defendant appeals, your odds of ultimately prevailing on appeal are 12 percent as of 2004—the paltry rate at which the Texas Supreme Court, which has also been subject to the influence of the tort reformers, has found for the plaintiff in cases involving harm to persons or property, according to Court Watch, an Austin-based public-interests organization.

D.C. Men Take Note

Metro-sexualism is "out" apparently. "Ubersexuals" are the new "it-guys" for women.

The ad exec who supposedly coined the term "metrosexual" has written a new book, outlining the future of men and what women are looking for in them (Personally, I think they've confused the term "metrosexual" with "homosexual"):

Now, however, maleness has hit back, she says. While metrosexuals were obsessed with self-image and lifestyle, the übersexual is politically aware and passionate about real world causes. The metrosexual has women who are his best friends, while the übersexual respects women but retains men as his closest confidants. The metrosexual grooms his hair: the übersexual grooms his mind. The metrosexual reads Vogue and Cosmo, the übersexual the Economist and the New Yorker.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Career prospects for Tom DeLay?

Call me a humanitarian if you must, but I've been really concerned about what Thomas Dale DeLay is gonna do.

A felony indictment is serious stuff. I know it's hard to think about the future right now. But what's going to happen if he gets convicted and loses his seat in Congress? What will he do? How will he make rent?

Could DeLay just go back to his old job as an exterminator?



Maybe not.

In Texas you have to be a licensed pest management professional with the Texas Structural Pest Control Board to work as exterminator.

In the interest of being helpful, I contacted the Texas Structural Pest Control Board to see what it would take for DeLay to renew his license, and to discreetly ask if a felony conviction would be a problem.

Turns out, the application form asks for your criminal background. DeLay would be required to disclose his criminal record, and the Texas Department of Public Safety would do a full criminal background check.

I spoke with someone in the legal department who told me that a criminal conviction could be reason to deny a pest control license but not necessarily. He said the Structural Pest Control Board looks at criminal problems of applicants on a case-by-case basis.

Whether a conviction would bar you from working as an exterminator depends on the nature of the offense, and the amount of time passed.

For instance, he said, convictions for theft, sexual assault, and property and drug offenses tend to be reasons for rejecting a license (can't have rapists and thieves going into people's houses to kill termites -- makes sense to me).

He said they tend not to approve applications from applicants fresh out of prison -- they want to see evidence they've re-adapted to society.

So I asked him what about a white collar fraud case -- say, money laundering -- for which the applicant received probation but no jail time (I'm assuming DeLay could plea down to probation rather than time in the state penn).

The legal department said it'd be borderline call. Yikes. (Not sure if you could get special treatment as a former Majority Leaders of the U.S. Congress.)

Hope he's not forced onto the dole. We'll keep our fingers crossed for you Tommy!


Thursday, October 20, 2005

Garrison Keillor is a raging lefty?

I always just thought of him as the pretentious voice of homespun stories about Americana on NPR, but this column in Salon demands a reassessment:

The land of Republican perfection
Where the only mistake you can ever make is to confess your sins.

By Garrison Keillor
Oct. 19, 2005 If your alderman introduced a resolution in the city council called the Salute to Our Boys in Uniform Resolution, which proclaimed that we support the troops in their mission to light a beacon of freedom in a dark world, etc., and in small print in Section II, Division A, Paragraph 4, Line 122 was a provision giving the alderman's brother-in-law Walt the contract to haul garbage, the honorable gentleman would be denounced as a crook and a dodo. And yet this same dodge has worked beautifully for Republicans in Washington, who have clubbed their hapless opponents over the head with Old Glory and then set up shop and profited mightily, and more power to them. I am in favor of corruption so long as it makes people truly happy. And so long as somebody writes a good confessional memoir like John Dean's "Blind Ambition."

At this point in time, I don't see Karl Rove or Tom DeLay writing a good mea culpa, and I doubt that Colin Powell or Donald Rumsfeld will either. And of course presidents never do, and here is one more proof that we are not now nor have we ever been a Christian nation. Confession is at the heart of the faith. (All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.) But under this administration, the faith has been revised, all the stuff about the poor has been tabled and the confession of sin omitted, and prayer is now a promotional device in which you thank God for making you the terrific person you are. In the Christian view of the world, these folks rank lower than outright atheists, which is a terrifying aspect of the faith -- better never to have believed than to use sacred things for your grimy self-aggrandizement -- and which might scare a Republican into writing a decent book. One can hope for this....

Total Bullshit

Why does this indicted felon get the kid-glove treatment?

He's laundered more money than the freakin' mafia and he gets to pick the time and location of his "arrest"?

From the FWST (via Australia):

Tom DeLay, the former majority leader of the US House of Representatives indicted on money laundering and conspiracy charges, has been ordered to surrender to Texas authorities.

To spare him the embarrassment of being searched and fingerprinted in front of the media , the terms of the summons allow him to surrender on home ground at Fort Bend County and at a time of his choice.

Teaching the Iraqis the value of free debate and a diversity of viewpoints

Armed Forces Radio Tunes Out Liberal Show Host

Liberal radio talker Ed Schultz was eagerly anticipating his debut yesterday on Armed Forces Radio, which agreed last month to carry his program to nearly a million soldiers around the world.

But at 7 a.m., Schultz's producer got a call from Allison Barber, the Pentagon's deputy assistant secretary for internal communications, who said without explanation that the deal was off.

Perhaps, Schultz said in an interview, it was just a coincidence that he spent the end of last week chastising Barber for coaching a group of U.S. soldiers in Iraq before a teleconference with President Bush.


The Dem Senators wrote in a letter to Rummy:

AFN Radio carries the shows of a wide range of conservatives, including Rush Limbaugh, Dr. Laura Schlesinger, and James Dobson, to the near total exclusion of progressive talk radio hosts. This is in violation of DoD's own guidelines on political programming on the American Forces Network, specifically, DoD Directive 5120.20R, which calls for political programming on American Forces Network that is "characterized by its fairness and balance," as well as news programming guided by a "principle of fairness" that requires "reasonable opportunities for the presentation of conflicting views on important controversial public issues."


Related, Dan Rather had a good interview in Esquire a few months back. Thought this line was worth repeating:

"News is what somebody somewhere doesn't want you to know. All the rest is advertising."

Todd Baxter resigns officially

Read his statement on the QR.

Why is he retiring again?

So much for the "Great Flight Hope" as he was dubbed. Baxter was going to lead the GOP to the promised land in Travis County and finally tumble the Democratic citadel's walls. He was the advance man for the return of the white-flighters into the urban center of Austin to reclaim the land we've squatted on and teach us liberals a lesson.

Mission Accomplished (and by that I mean in a totally Bushian way).

Congressman Geoff Davis of Kentucky is an asshole

The U.S. House just passed a bill to give the gun industry -- including gun dealers -- sweeping protection from lawsuits when their negligence causes harm. The Senate already passed this one, so expect GWB to sign it in some sort of gun fetish ceremony with Charlton Heston.

What sort of suits are prohibited by this soon-to-be law?

For instance, the suit against a gun dealer who had such poor inventory control that he "lost" more than 200 semi-automatic assult weapons, one of which was used in the DC sniper attacks, 3 years ago this month. Surviving family members sued and won.

Suits against dealers who make "straw" purchases would be thrown out as well. A "straw" purchase is a transaction in which the actual purchaser, usually prohibited by law from buying a gun, uses someone else to undergo a background check and buy the handgun for him/her.

A June 2003 study by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles showed more than half of the gun stores surveyed were willing to facilitate illegal "straw" purchases. Protected by law now!

Earlier this year the Oregonian editorialized:

Recently, the Government Accountability Office turned up another appalling example of how gun rights have been allowed to trump every other concern in public life -- a review of FBI and state background-check records found 35 people whose names appeared on terrorism watch lists were permitted to buy guns. You know the gun-rights crowd owns the White House and Congress when even suspected terrorists have a legal right to buy guns in this country.


Democrats offered an amendment in committee that would at least allow lawsuits against gun dealers that knowingly sell guns to people on the federal gang or terrorist watch lists. Apparently under this bill -- and this example was even used on the house floor -- a terrorist on the watch list cannot board a plane but can walk into a gun shop, declare, "Hi, I'm a terrorist on the watch list," buy an assault rifle, and the gun dealer is shielded from any liability.

Republicans voted it down on party lines.

Two former ATF directors (one from the Reagan administration) wrote a letter to Congress opposing the bill because it also prohibits ATF administrative actions against negligent gun dealers.

As a group of law professors wrote, "No other industry enjoys or has ever enjoyed such a blanket freedom from responsibility for the foreseeable and preventable consequences of negligent conduct."

No jurisdiction attempts to legislate standards of care as to every detail of life, even in a regulated industry; and there is no need. Why is there no need? Because general principles of tort law make clear that the mere absence of a specific statutory
prohibition is not carte blanche for unreasonable or dangerous behavior. S. 397 and H.R. 800 would turn this traditional framework on its head; and free those in the firearms industry to behave as carelessly as they would like, so long as the conduct has not been specifically prohibited. If there is no statute against leaving an open truckload of assault rifles on a street corner, or against selling 100s of guns to the same individual, under this bill there could be no tort liability. Again, this represents radical departure from traditional tort principles.

Find out more about gun industry immunity and the types of legitimate (and needed) lawsuits that are now prohibited.

Anyway, back to the subject line, why is Geoff Davis an asshole? Consider his line on the floor during the House debate: "I'd like to remind my colleagues on the other side of the aisle that the gun industry supplies the men and women of our armed forces."

1. Had someone forgotten this self-evident piece of information? Just who needs reminding of that congressman?
2. Is the implication here that Democrats as a whole are less aware or less concerned about the equipment needs of US troops? Because not only is that a really dick insult to insert into a debate that it has nothing to do with, but the congressman from Kentucky doesn't even have the balls to come out and say it. If that's what you think, make the accusation and back it up.
3. I might point out that it was Rs who voted to allow terrorists to purchase assult weapons, Rs who failed to provide body armor for the troops and then lied and said the production capability didn't exist, and Rs who wasted Congress's time on this giveaway to their contributors instead of debating an exit plan for Iraq.

His number is 202-225-3465, feel free to call him and ask just why Democrats needed his helpful "reminding."

Creative Advertising

From today's NYT (hey, another investigation! that's great):

The Pentagon announced Wednesday night that the Army had started a criminal investigation into allegations that American soldiers in Afghanistan had burned the bodies of two dead Taliban fighters and then used the charred and smoking corpses in a propaganda campaign against the insurgents.


Monday, October 17, 2005

I hope we get a perp walk

DeLay will likely be booked this week
October 17, 2005

AUSTIN, Texas --Rep. Tom DeLay will likely be booked in a Texas county jail this week despite attempts by his attorneys to bypass the fingerprinting and mug shot process.

The former House majority leader was forced to step down from the post last month when he was indicted by a Texas grand jury. DeLay initially was charged with conspiracy to violate the election code and days later was indicted on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to launder money in an alleged illegal scheme to funnel corporate money to Republican Texas legislative candidates.

DeLay's arraignment is set for Friday before state district Judge Bob Perkins in Travis County, Texas.

"Perkins believes that if God was charged with a felony, he would have to go through the booking process, too," said D'Ann Underwood, court coordinator for the judge.

Before Friday, DeLay, a Republican from Sugar Land, Texas, will likely spend about an hour being fingerprinted and photographed, she said. He'll also be required to state his attorneys for the record.

Convicted Child Predator Regrets Dealing with Abramoff

You know your name is mud when people in jail for soliticing child sex on the Internet say their involvement with you has sullied their name.

From the Washington Post:

According to the e-mails, Reed provided the name and address where Norquist was supposed to send the money: to Robin Vanderwall at a location in Virginia Beach.

Vanderwall was director of the Faith and Family Alliance, a political advocacy group that was founded by two of Reed's colleagues and then turned over to Vanderwall, Vanderwall said and records show.

Vanderwall, a former Regent University Law School student and Republican operative, was later convicted of soliciting sex with minors via the Internet and is serving a seven-year term in Virginia state prison. . . "I was operating as a shell," Vanderwall said, adding that he was never told how the money was spent. He said: "I regret having had anything to do with it."

Getting Eerie. . .

Bush cracks down on civil liberties after 9/11, Blair cracks down on civil liberties after London bombings.

Bush wants to invade Iraq, Blair wants to invade Iraq.

Bush orders wants the US to get back into nuclear weapons, Blair wants Britain back into nuclear weapons (while both threaten to invade Iran for attempting to even learn the science behind nuclear power).

I think these two are gay lovers or were spawned in some lab from shared DNA.

From The Independent (the 2nd most shocking story in the Independent over the last two days, click here for the first):

Tony Blair is facing a political backlash over his decision to order a new generation of nuclear weapons to replace the ageing Trident fleet at a cost of billions of pounds.

Rebel Labour MPs will meet tomorrow to coordinate their fight against his plans, which seem set to provoke one of the biggest shows of opposition to Mr Blair from inside his own party since the start of the Iraq war. . . Mr Blair is thought to be determined to have the matter settled before he leaves 10 Downing Street. He believes that Britain owes it to the US to remain a member of the nuclear club (Yeah, no Arabs or Persians allowed).

Exclusive: Confessions of a Wal-Mart Hit Man

Released exclusively to the progressive blogosphere.

Extended Bonus Scenes From
Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price
a Robert Greenwald Film

Help finish this sentence...

"Being lectured on the law by Tom DeLay is like . . ."

(Read this CNN piece for some background):

. . . Don McGahn, a lawyer for DeLay's campaign, said the use of the campaign for the anti-Earle effort was "perfectly legal" and had nothing do with trying to sway jurors.

The indictment "is obvious big news in Texas, so it is obviously something the campaign should address for the voters whom it affects," McGahn said. "The intent is just for people to understand the truth. There is no other purpose here."

"Ronnie Earle is wrong on the facts. Ronnie Earle is wrong on the law," the Web site states as it analyzes the twists and turns in the case in the most favorable light to the congressman.

Perfect Timing

Just in time for the soon-t0-be-legendary fundraiser this Wednesday for Nick Lampson (Pour House on Capitol Hill at 6 p.m.), the AP runs the story about how indicted felon Tom DeLay has outraised him 2-1.

From the AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Cash in the campaign coffers of Rep. Tom DeLay rose to $1.2 million over the past three months, although much of the money came before the former majority leader was indicted in Texas. DeLay raised about $920,000 in the three months that began July 1 and ended Sept. 30 in anticipation of a March primary race. His Democratic challenger in the November election is expected to be former Rep. Nick Lampson, who lost his seat in 2004 after he was forced to run in a new district under a redistricting plan pushed by DeLay. Aide Shannon Flaherty said Sunday that the fundraising set a new record for DeLay. His previous three-month top haul was $800,000, she said. . . Lampson reported raising about $323,000 in the same period and now has about $690,000 in his campaign chest. Most of the money was from individual contributions but included about $7,800 sent through MoveOn PAC, a political committee of liberal group MoveOn.org.

Friday, October 14, 2005

A blog you should read. Regularly.

BottleOfBlog:

When are these people going to get it? You can't consistently defend the...um...principles of the modern Republican party because they don't have any. They don't believe in anything--not anything they can tell you, anyway, and still get re-elected. They have no convinctions.

They have propaganda.

And if you stupidly adopt one of their "talking points" today as a principle, as a conviction, as a value today, you're going to look like a fucking idiot tomorrow.

You're outraged that John Kerry said "fuck" today? Tomorrow, Dick Cheney says it on the floor of the Senate. You're appalled at the 82nd Airborne providing security in Kosovo today? Tomorrow, they're directing traffic in Baghdad. You're incensed at governement spending today? Tomorrow, you're going to have to defend the biggest deficits in the history of the world and the unheard of increases in discretionary spending.

You're pulling your hair out at the unheard of gall of Democrats asking a Supreme Court nominee to disclose his political and judicial positions? Tomorrow, you'll be demanding a Supreme Court nominee to disclose her political and judicial positions.

Yesterday, you're all for the "rule of law". Today? The world is full of prosecutors out of control!

Don't these people get it? Or don't they care?


Support the Troops!

Un-freakin-believable:


"His hand had been blown off in Iraq, his body pierced by shrapnel. He could not walk. Robert Loria was flown home for a long recovery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he tried to bear up against intense physical pain and reimagine his life's possibilities.The last thing on his mind, he said, was whether the Army had correctly adjusted his pay rate -- downgrading it because he was out of the war zone -- or whether his combat gear had been accounted for properly: his Kevlar helmet, his suspenders, his rucksack. But nine months after Loria was wounded, the Army garnished his wages and then, as he prepared to leave the service, hit him with a $6,200 debt. That was just before last Christmas, and several lawmakers scrambled to help. This spring, a collection agency started calling. He owed another $646 for military housing."


When Good Intentions Go Bad

I had to reread this article several times before I believed it.

Scientists have devised a rapid-check HIV test that, with a simple swab of the tongue, alerts you about your status... in 20 minutes. Then I read that this amazing breakthrough happened 18 YEARS AGO.

The science that could have prevented hundreds of thousands of people from transmitting HIV to others during the 80s and 90s was bottled up with political support from .... progressive activists concerned that a private diagnosis of HIV -- absent any counseling -- would lead to many suicides.

From the Guardian:

The technology has been around for some time. Eighteen years ago a company applied to license a home test, but there was concern at the impact of the diagnosis, which then looked like a sentence to imminent death by Aids. At FDA hearings, activists handed around obituaries of a man who leapt off San Francisco's Golden Gate bridge when he received his diagnosis. For years, the activists said tests must be linked to counselling and support.

I find it reprehensible that activists would use one case of a distressed man to bottle up science that could have saved hundreds of thousands of people.

It just shows that being anti-science isn't a trait exclusive to conservatives.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Doctors are whiny little bitches

WHAT’S IN A NAME? A LOT OF ANGER
Doctors Protest Renaming of Hospital Tower for Lawyer Who Sued Them

Imagine being sued for medical malpractice and, years later, having your bosses rename the place where you work in honor of the attorney who took you to court.

That’s what happened at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in Houston, where powerful plaintiffs attorney John O’Quinn donated $25 million, and the hospital renamed its landmark medical tower after him.

The move has outraged several St. Luke’s doctors, who petitioned against the move.

"It offends us to have money we earned—and which he took by suing us—going to name after him a medical building in which we work each day," stated the petition sent to the Right Rev. Don A. Wimberly, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas and chairman of the hospital’s board of directors.


The arrogance is unbelievable. It's all about them. It's about them getting sued. How dare anyone question a doctor? Never about the victims they fucked up on and maimed or killed.

The Inst. of Medicine estimates that 100,000 Americans are killed every year by medical negligence and preventable errors in hospitals, more than die yearly from auto accidents or breast cancer. Where's the outrage from the docs about that?

According to Dr. Priscilla Ray, a Houston psychiatrist and author of the petition, O’Quinn sued several doctors at St. Luke’s in a massive breast-implant class action case against Dow Corning. Although Ray declined to comment for this article, she told the Houston Chronicle that despite ultimately being dropped from the lawsuit, the doctors suffered because they had to hire attorneys and prepare for depositions.


So? It was a legit suit. Dow's implants made many women sick, and they had sue to get compensation for their medical bills and injuries. That's the way the legal priocess works.

"Perhaps you are unaware of the intensity of feelings held by many physicians about Mr. John O’Quinn," Ray’s petition stated. "The primary source of his financial success has been representing plaintiffs in medical liability and products liability cases."


Woah. This is on face a bad thing according to the docs? Representing, on contingency, people who have been hurt by medical malpractice and dangerous products? This is offensive to the docs? What would they prefer those victims do?

In August, the John M. O’Quinn Foundation made the largest gift in St. Luke’s 51-year history.

"In recognition of the philanthropic donation and Mr. O’Quinn’s commitment to the health of our community, the St. Luke’s Medical Tower … will be renamed the O’Quinn Medical Tower at St. Luke’s," according to a hospital press release.

The money will go toward renovations and construction of a patient care center and a new center for spirituality and health.


[...]

But there are some benefits to medical malpractice lawsuits, says Tom Baker, director of the Insurance Law Center at the University of Connecticut School of Law and author of The Medical Malpractice Myth, which is slated for release in November. The book, which reviews the research on medical malpractice, contends there are many more malpractice cases than there are lawsuits and that such suits are rarely frivolous.

"When you think about it, at least in theory, medical malpractice law is one of our quality controls," Baker says. "Instead of treating the lawyers as the enemies, if [doctors] would learn from medical malpractice lawsuits and pay attention to them, they would do a lot better."


A voice of reason at the end of the article.

Plaintiffs attys are essentially private prosecutors. They represent people who are hurt and sue the people that hurt them. Somtimes the evidence isn't there, and sometimes innocent people get sued. But that's just the way the system works. It's the same in the criminal justice system.

America has plenty of things named after former Attorneys General, but does anyone object to a building named after RFK for instance, just because, when he was AG, I'm sure he indicted people who were later acquitted or had to drop charges?

Wow. 2%.

So probably everyone's rejoiced now at GWB's pathetic poll numbers:

'Giddy Dems' Point to Bush's Sinking Poll Numbers

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, based on the responses of 807 adults, shows that President Bush's approval rating has dropped to a new low of 39 percent. Only 28 percent believe the country is heading in the right direction.


But lacking in the reporting has been that his approval rating among African Americans is 2%.

Russert also noted that only two percent of African-Americans give President Bush a positive rating in the latest poll - something he attributed to memories of Hurricane Katrina. Russert called it a "very dramatic setback" for an administration that has reached out to African-Americans.

"I cannot find a pollster who can remember any president ever getting just two percent approval from African-Americans," Russert said.

Harriet Miers: a Strunk and White nightmare

David Brooks has a scathing column in NYT today on Miers's writing.

No one should have to pay for $49.99 for his typically dumbass commentary, so I'll just repost the good parts.

In Her Own Words
By DAVID BROOKS
Published: October 13, 2005

Of all the words written about Harriet Miers, none are more disturbing than the ones she wrote herself. In the early 90's, while she was president of the Texas bar association, Miers wrote a column called "President's Opinion" for The Texas Bar Journal. It is the largest body of public writing we have from her, and sad to say, the quality of thought and writing doesn't even rise to the level of pedestrian.

Of course, we have to make allowances for the fact that the first job of any association president is to not offend her members. Still, nothing excuses sentences like this:

"More and more, the intractable problems in our society have one answer: broad-based intolerance of unacceptable conditions and a commitment by many to fix problems."

Or this: "We must end collective acceptance of inappropriate conduct and increase education in professionalism."

Or this: "When consensus of diverse leadership can be achieved on issues of importance, the greatest impact can be achieved."

Or passages like this: "An organization must also implement programs to fulfill strategies established through its goals and mission. Methods for evaluation of these strategies are a necessity. With the framework of mission, goals, strategies, programs, and methods for evaluation in place, a meaningful budgeting process can begin."

[...]

I don't know if by mere quotation I can fully convey the relentless march of vapid abstractions that mark Miers's prose. Nearly every idea is vague and depersonalized. Nearly every debatable point is elided. It's not that Miers didn't attempt to tackle interesting subjects. She wrote about unequal access to the justice system, about the underrepresentation of minorities in the law and about whether pro bono work should be mandatory. But she presents no arguments or ideas, except the repetition of the bromide that bad things can be eliminated if people of good will come together to eliminate bad things.

[...]

Throw aside ideology. Surely the threshold skill required of a Supreme Court justice is the ability to write clearly and argue incisively. Miers's columns provide no evidence of that.


I'm liking this nominee more and more. I see Ginsberg putting her through a grueling intellectual hazing, law clerks laughing at her behind her back, consistent losses in the Supreme Court Justices scrabble games, etc.

Profiles in Courage

If you saw the movie Control Room, you remember this man as the only US marine with an apparent conscience in the Pentagon spin machine located in Doha, Qatar.

From the Guardian:

'Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists," President George Bush told the world after September 11 2001, and he has made it clear ever since that he means it. But in that black and white universe, where do you put Josh Rushing. Rushing is a blue-eyed son of Texas, a marine for all his adult life whose clean-cut friendly charm made him the ideal public face for the US military during the Iraq invasion. But he has now joined the Arab television channel al-Jazeera as an "on-screen personality", a move which, in the eyes of many Americans, is one step short of signing up with al-Qaida.

. . .

The conservative blogs hum with bile. The comments on freerepublic.com include: "He was crap to begin with - he stinks even worse now. He is no longer an American". Another writes: "He is a leftist, terrorist sympathiser who infiltrated the US marines. Now he is home". A third adds: "I sure hope he don't have some kinda accident or sumtin [sic] ... There have been quite a few along the lines of that last remark, enough for the former marine captain to take a few security precautions at his new Washington home, and he admits to feeling the strain. "It's kind of hard for a guy who's dedicated his entire adult life to the health and wellbeing of this country to be called a traitor by people who, I feel, have probably sacrificed a lot less than I have," he said.


"I'll be back!"

Wow, cuz I couldn't get enough of the first True Lies. Like Walken in his SNL's skit " More cowbell" I need "more Tom Arnold". Along with Wesley Snipes movies I believe True Lies plays at least once a day on my 45 HBO's on my cable package. I wonder if there is any correlation to his poll numbers being in the tank.

“The people of California want me to be the governor, and I will do that and nothing else. I will work as much as I can, even if it is around the clock. There will be no time for movies or anything else. I will pay full attention to this job. I take this job very seriously.” -- Schwarzenegger, during 2003 campaign.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Rare outbreak of democracy in Austin?

This is interesting.

Judge may call halt to city smoking ban

Testimony reveals problems with two-month-old ordinance

Good Comedy

Here are the 8 questions Tom DeLay's lawyers want Ronnie Earle to answer in his subpoena. This is standard DeGuerin, scare the bejesus out of the plaintiffs and their lawyers. Somehow I don't think Ronnie's shaking in his boots:

You are commanded to produce and permit inspection and copying of the following documents and tangible things:

1. Any and all documents, emails, notes, telephone records, and telephone lists related to efforts made by you or any member of the Travis County District Attorney's staff to contact former members of the 167th grand jury at any time between September 29, 2005 and October 3, 2005.

2. Any and all documents, emails, notes, photographs, recordings, transcriptions, or tangible things that you or any member of the Travis County District Attorney's staff showed to, discussed with, or otherwise described or conveyed to any former member of the 167th grand jury at any time between September 29, 2005 and October 3, 2005.

3. Any and all documents, emails, notes, photographs, recordings, transcriptions, or tangible things obtained from any former member of the 167th grand jury at any time between September 29, 2005 and October 3, 2005.

4. Any and all documents, emails, notes, recordings, transcriptions, or tangible things related to efforts made by you or any member of the Travis County District Attorney's staff to persuade the members of the 390th grand jury to change their decision or Pass on the matter after that grand jury voted to No Bill the allegations against Congressman Tom DeLay.

5. Any and all documents, emails, notes, recordings, transcriptions, or tangible things related to efforts made by you or any member of the Travis County District Attorney's staff to delay the filing and the public disclosure of the No Bill vote from the 390th grand jury until Tuesday, October 4, 2005.

6. Any and all documents, emails, notes, recordings, transcriptions, or tangible things related to information obtained from any former member of the 167th grand jury at any time between September 29, 2005 and October 3, 2005 that you or any member of the Travis County District Attorney's staff showed to, discussed with, or otherwise described or conveyed to any member of the 403rd grand jury.

7. Any and all documents, emails, notes, recordings, transcriptions, or tangible things related to the preparation and timing of the October 4, 2005 press release which purported to notify the public regarding the No Bill vote of the 390th grand jury.

8. Any and all documents, emails, notes, recordings, transcriptions, or tangible things that comprise the "additional information" referred to in the press release that was showed to, discussed with, or otherwise described or conveyed to any member of the 403rd grand jury.

Not so friendly skies

Woman bounced from flight for T-shirt

A Washington state woman intends to press a civil-rights case against Southwest Airlines for booting her off a flight in Reno after fellow passengers complained about a message on her T-shirt.

Lorrie Heasley, of Woodland, Wash., was halfway home on a flight Tuesday that began in Los Angeles, wearing a T-shirt with the pictures of President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and a phrase similar to the popular film, "Meet the Fockers."

Heasley said she wore the T-shirt as a gag. She wanted her parents, who are Democrats, to see it when they picked her up at the airport in Portland, Ore.

"I just thought it was hilarious," said Heasley, 32, a lumber saleswoman. And she felt she had the right to wear it.

"I have cousins in Iraq and other relatives going to war," she said. "Here we are trying to free another country and I have to get off an airplane in midflight over a T-shirt. That's not freedom."


This is ridiculous (side note: great that she's a "lumber saleswoman"). As a CruzBustamante reader suggested, next time you fly Southwest, find something that offends you about a fellow passenger and ask that they be removed in accordance with Southwest's rules.

Personally, I'm offended by overweight, middle-aged middle managers in too-tight Wranglers and NASCAR paraphanelia reading Tom Clancy books but I seem to always get one next to me on every Southwest flight I take.

I'm offended by Aggies in buzz cuts, small children, crying or not, mullets (actually more amused than offended), people who bring fast food on a plane, people who give me bad looks as I'm ordering my third drink on a (long) flight, and especially the girl I sat next to once who worked for Rock for Life, "a teen-oriented collection of many bands who hold that abortion is the killing
of an innocent human being."

Southwest, it's on.

Vote for Jason Earle...

...in this Daily Kos poll. Ronnie's son Jason is taking a crack at Terry Keel's old House seat. Here's to a clean primary fight and a united front in the fall.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Breaking: Ronnie Earle Subpoenaed

The Statesman is reporting:

Ronnie Earle and two aides to be subpoenaed

DeLay lawyers want Travis County prosecutors to answer questions about grand jury deliberations. Story to come.

Instead of defending himself against the charges he's going after the prosecutor - typical for a guy like DeLay.

As the Observer commented recently...

...the Texas GOP is keeping criminal defense lawyers busy.

The latest: U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady was arrested and charged with driving under the influence while in South Dakota, according to a published report.

Americablog has some great commentary:

Brady voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment. Last time I checked Kevin, no one died when homos married in Massachusetts. Drunk driving, you bet people die. Good to know your priorities are in the right place. Your Texas constituents must be so proud of you right now.

The Most Greatest President Ever!!!

Man, are the superlatives are flowing!

If Harriet Miers wasn't gay, I'd be shocked at the amount of ego fellatio taking place in her private correspondence with George W. Bush and Laura Bush (affectionately referred to as the "lump in my bed" by GW).

"You are the best governor EVER -- deserving of great respect" cooed Miers. She urges Bush to continue dispensing his "sage advice" and remarks on how "cool" he is.

She then tells Bush that Texas is in "great hands" under his leadership and thanks he and Laura for their "personal sacrifice" (actually, he took Texas from a 4 billion surplus to a 6 billion dollar shortfall in 2 years which led to 150,000 kids being robbed of Medicaid, but hey... who's counting?).

It's pathetic that these Rick Perry-reviewed documents are all we have to review before appointing this woman to the highest court in the land.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Texas/o.u. weekend's sightings

While in Dallas for the glorious Texas vs. o.u. weekend I was made aware of that Karl Rove was on SMU's campus trying to convince the drama department director to accept his gay son (how fitting) into their school. I don't know what is more shocking the fact that Karl Rove has a gay son, or the score Texas put up against o.u. On another note the party I went to in Deep Ellum on Saturday evening was graced with the ever so lovely and drunken presence of Miss Jenna Bush. I can't believe that my one and only chance to merge the Chapman and Bush bloodlines was missed because of my yearning for more gin.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Army Finds Cannon Fodder Plentiful in S.A.

Plagued with bad press and a revolt among concerned parents, Army recruiters are having a tough time convincing our poor teenagers to relocate to Baghdad or Tehran.

Having a tough time everywhere but San Antonio, that is. Good ol' reliable San Antonio.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Turd Blossom Tries 11th Hour Stunt to Avoid Indictment!

Breaking news from the AP.

(If there is a god, Rove will finally pay for his history of dirty tricks)

Checklist

I'm trying to get everything sorted out here. In the last week, the following has occurred (and, please feel free to add anything I missed):

1. Tom DeLay was indicted on three felonies
2. Bush's top procurement officer (Safavian) was arrested for fraud and obstructing justice
3. Larry Franklin, a top DoD official was arrested for passing national secrets to Israeli agents
4. A spy was discovered at the White House (in Dick Cheney's office)
5. Numerous indictments in the Plame/Spy/Treason scandal will be handed out shortly

Did I forget anything???

Hell of a good week, no?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Breaking: Plame Case

You heard it here first - rumor has it that 22 separate indictments will be handed down tomorrow in the Plame case. Normally I don't put much stock in rumors like this but when it's specific enough to include an exact number, I start believing...

Update (10/06): Rumor has it that Rove got his letter about the indictment today. For more on the letters the prosecutor is sending out, read this.

"Oops, I did it again and again and again and again..."

How comforting to know that the FBI may or may not be getting the "right" phone number when performing wire taps. One would think that having a budget of $34 billion could possibly prevent from such "mistakes" from happening, but then again this is the same FBI that actively prevented any and all proper investigations prior to and after the attacks of 9/11/01.

Go back to bed, America, your government has figured out how it all transpired. Go back to bed America, your goverment is in control. Here, here's American Gladiators. Watch this, shut up, go back to bed America, here is American Gladiators, here is 56 channels of it! Watch these pituitary retards bang their fucking skulls together and congratulate you on the living in the land of freedom. Here you go America - you are free to do what well tell you! You are free to do what we tell you!
-the late great Bill Hicks

Frankenstein's Monster

The NY Times is running a piece on how NYC's falling crime rate is going to be Bloomberg's ace in the hole for re-election.

Is that all it's about? Is this all we expect of our elected officials now? Safety and security? What about a vision for the future, compassion for the poor and marginalized, defending liberty against fascist federal laws??? If we continue to reward security over all else, then our elected officials are going to get more and more ambitious with their plans to keep us safe.

Hell, scrap Posse Comitatus and give me the military, a battalion of SWAT teams, martial law, and a castrated media and I'll reduce crime too!

I'll scrap any existing records guaranteeing anything resembling "rights," institute a curfew, round up any "agitators," hang some people in the town square, and let my paramilitary goons terrorize the citizenry into submission.

Hey, the Taliban made Afghanistan crime-free, why did we have such a problem with them?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Miers: Not that there's anything wrong with that . . .

except when you are a hypocrite.

Apparently, the word on the street in the Texas Capital is that there is a long standing rumor about Bush's newest Supreme Court nominee, Harriet Miers. Apparently, she has "dated" Texas Supreme Court justice Nathan Hecht over the years. But the story is that the dating is just "cover" for both of them, if you get my drift.

Oh reeeeaaaallllyyyyy?

Needless to say, there would be nothing wrong with that except that Miers and Hecht belong to a party that demonizes and dehumanizes homosexuals, a party that sends them to "re-education camps" and denies them the basic human right to marry the person they love.

Any truth to the rumors? Junkette doesn't know.

But one thing I do know, regardless of Miers's sex life: Republicans are power-hungry hypocrites with a sense of entitlement as big as the state of Texas. Case in point? Oh let's start with Tom Delay (now a two-time indictee) and go from there.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Oops