Friday, April 28, 2006

Reason number 453 Frank Madla is an asshole

Dave McNeely covers it:

Frank Madla, D-San Antonio -- won't be back because he lost the Democratic primary. Shortly later, Madla decided he'd resign as of May 31. That means the district will probably go unrepresented until at least November, since Gov. Rick Perry will probably wait to have the replacement special election the same day as the Nov. 7 general election.

[...]

Why leave the citizens of the 19th District unrepresented for that period?

[...]

Madla had more than 60,000 other reasons for quitting besides returning the single-digit salute to the voters that spurned him. Those are the additional dollars more he'll collect as a retired senator for the last seven months of 2006 than he would as an active one.

[...]

Another reason to quit: he could join the dozens of former state legislators who make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year as lobbyists.

Say "Senator'' in the lobby outside the Senate when it's in session, and a bunch of heads will turn -- most of them attached to former senators.

Madla hasn't said what he'll do after quits. But if he plans to lobby, his early adios would let him start a lobbying business well before the 2007 Legislature is sworn in.

But, what about those 700,000-plus folks in a senatorial district that stretches from San Antonio to El Paso, bigger than several states?

Tough cookies, folks.

DINO Alert

Jane Harman and the rest of the DINOs, you've been put on notice.

Her repeated toadying for the White House has earned Harman a suprising primary challenge from Mary Winograd, a former teacher, newscaster, a peace activist.

Winograd denied Harman the 70 percent vote needed to get the California Democratic Party endorsement outright -- and a floor fight is expected at the convention.

Why does Winograd not like Harman? Raw Story explains:

"I decided to run for office after watching Jane Harman on Meet the Press," Winograd told Raw Story. "I found her interview very disturbing. She was a lawyer, yet she didn't know the law concerning the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)."

As the ranking minority member on the House Intelligence Committee, Harman was briefed by the Bush administration on warrantless wiretaps.

"Yet she never voiced any objections, never asked any questions, and then when the story was revealed by the New York Times, she tells[NBC's] Tim Russert that it was horrible the information was ever leaked," Winograd says.

The Empire Strikes Back

Dum dum dum dum. . . dum da dum. . . dum da dum. . .

The Friday Line: A Few Bright Spots For GOP in House Rankings

Friday random

1. Mark Morford has some zingers this week:

It was Earth Day weekend. The president talked about how mountain biking helped him "settle his soul" and "burn off excess energy when you're living life to its fullest," which apparently means blindly running your nation into a bloody flaming wall at full speed like a drunk NASCAR driver on Ambien.

[...]

Bush on Earth Day. It's like Satan talking up the joys of Easter. It's like Paris Hilton chatting about treading the planet with humility and grace. It's like Jerry Falwell gushing about his love of Brokeback Mountain, Eli Lilly extolling the virtues of meditation and green tea. It is, in a word, embarrassing. Humiliating. Intellectually bludgeoning. And hypocritical in a way, and at a depth, that is as nauseating to stomach as the testosterone levels at a Duke lacrosse frat party.

[...]

And right now, we are, it seems, living smack in the middle of a decade of just such madness, led by a bumbling and confused, tepid little devil himself, happily biking through the trees as the forest groans.


2. Poll numbers.

I can't post it, but I got forwarded a Hotline doc on polling. Included in a packet was a relase, the headline:

Democratic Voters Show Strong Support for Hillary Clinton as Presidential Candidate Kerry, Edwards Tied for Distance Second in 2008 Primary

Diageo/Hotline Poll Conducted by Financial Dynamics Finds John McCain More Popular among Democrats than Reid, Pelosi and Dean;Democrats Cite Iraq War as Primary Reason for Disapproval of Bush



Does anyone else see the crazy fucking cognitive dissonance here?

Dems don't like Bush b/c or Iraq but like Hillary for Prez, who aided and abetted Iraq?!!!!?!!!

Fuck that. I'm with Molly Ivins on this one.

Molly Ivins
I will not support Hillary Clinton for president
January 20, 2006
AUSTIN, Texas --- I'd like to make it clear to the people who run the Democratic Party that I will not support Hillary Clinton for president. Enough. Enough triangulation, calculation and equivocation. Enough clever straddling, enough not offending anyone This is not a Dick Morris election. Sen. Clinton is apparently incapable of taking a clear stand on the war in Iraq, and that alone is enough to disqualify her. Her failure to speak out on Terri Schiavo, not to mention that gross pandering on flag-burning, are just contemptible little dodges.


Anyway, the poll says Hillary gets 38% to Kerry's 14%, Edwards 13%, Biden 5%, Clark and Feingold 3%, and Warner and Richardson 2%.

How meaningless is this poll right now? I guarantee Warner has more of a shot than Kerry or Edwards at getting the nomination.

Even more misleading is the McCain stuff. The press release has McCain favorability at 55% among Democrats compared to 23% for Reid, 33% Pelosi, and 47% Dean. Sounds like that's more a measure of name id. Reid's obviously not at 77% unfavorable with Ds, I just imagine that most people who self-id as a Democrat just have no idea who Harry Reid is, or Bill Frist or Mark Warner either. It's like "McCain higher favorables among Ds than 99% of Dem congressmembers." Well, no shit, you have to report the % for "No opinion/don't know enough/haven't heard of" for this to be an accurate representation.

Which all leads me to:

3. Consultants suck.

Category one: losers who walk around like they know shit. As a friend put it, if you lent your car to a friend who wrecked it, why would you give him the keys again? Yet the people who have fucked up D campaigns for years continue to get paid.

4. I know I just dogged pollsters but I just saw some polling that made me say, holy shit!, we could take back the Senate. Seriously. Santorum, DeWine, Chafee and Burns are all going down.

5. This video is fucking hilarious. Joe Jamail calls another lawyer "fat boy"

Our Man in Pakistan

It's generally not a good sign when your "allies" are talking like this:

"When you are talking about fighting terrorism or extremism, I'm not doing that for the US or Britain. I'm doing it for Pakistan," he said. "It's not a question of being a poodle. I'm nobody's poodle. I have enough strength of my own to lead."

If necessary he had "teeth" to bite back, he added. "Yes sir, I personally do. A lot of teeth. . ."


Those teeth, remember, include nuclear warheads. Oh, and then there's this gem on civilan casualties from good ol' Pervez:

"We take extreme care to be 100% sure of the target from all sources of intelligence ... There is minimum collateral damage. If someone happens to be very close to [the target], that somebody is an abetter and they suffer the loss. Sometimes, indeed, women and children have been killed but they have been right next to the place. It's not that the strike was inaccurate but they happen to be there, so therefore they are all supporters and abetters of terrorism - and therefore they have to suffer. It's bad luck," he said.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Ham-Fisted Foreign Policy

So the Iraqis FINALLY get together and pick leaders for the new US-imposed government.

Remember, this was the step that the war pimps have said would be the turning point in the insurgency. The Iraqis finally had leaders of their own. No more provisional governments, no more Coalition Provisional Authority and its money-laundering dark overlord Paul Bremer.

Finally, the US can recede into the shadows to give this new government some iota of credibility among its own people!!

So what does the Bush do to facilitate this quintessentially Iraqi moment? This brief window of Iraqi pride and optimism for their future?



He's sends Donald Freakin' Rumsfeld (possibly the only man more internationally despised than G-Dub; approver of torture; dismisser of Iraqi nationalism; etc.) along with the State Department to take photo ops with the new leaders -- doing all they possibly can to TOTALLY DISCREDIT THE NEW IRAQI GOVERNMENT (not to mention the State Dept.) and remind all the Iraqis that their "leaders" are simply marionettes to the Pentagon puppet-masters.

Most Iraqis will also remember that Donald Rumsfeld shook hands with another one of their leaders a few years ago:



It's almost as if they want things to go poorly in Iraq. After about 3 years it's fairly apparent to most of us that IRAQIS DON'T LIKE DONALD RUMSFELD AND THEY DON'T WANT US THERE ANYMORE!

Jesus, the one thing the Bushies used to be good at was PR. They've spent hundreds of millions on Madison Avenue PR flunkies and this was their plan???

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

First they came for the cattle. . .

. . . and then they came for us.

Oh wait, they already have:

Applications for our products include identification and monitoring of pets, humans, fish and livestock through our patented implantable microchips as well as message monitoring of aircraft in remote locations through integrated GPS and geosynchronous satellite communications systems.

The Silent Murder of Andrea Clark

The second person in the post-Schiavo era is about to be put to death under the 1999 Futile Care Law signed into law by one George W. Bush.

Andrea Clark and her family want her to live. Her insurers (NOT Medicaid) and Texas hospital want her to die.

Guess who wins.

*Finally. . . why are only right-wing blogs talking about this story? This is the complete opposite of Terri Schiavo. Schiavo wanted to die and was forced to stay alive because of politics. Clark wants to live but is being forced to die because of politics.

If you're as pissed off as we are about this, feel free to contact St. Luke's here and tell them what you think. Please pass this contact information around as Clark has only 6 days to live.

A Man of Few Words

Tony Snow is the new flack for the White House. He spoke for about 15 seconds to the press gaggle before being hustled off the podium.

Curiously, it took George W. Bush to get Tony Snow to finally shut the f*ck up:

MR. SNOW: Well, Mr. President, I want to thank you for the honor of serving as Press Secretary. And just a couple of quick notes, I'm delighted to be here. One of the things I want to do is just make it clear that I -- one of the reasons I took the job is not only because I believe in the President, because believe it or not, I want to work with you. These are times that are going to be very challenging. We've got a lot of big issues ahead, and we've got a lot of important things that all of us are going to be covering together [Go Team!].

And I am very excited, and I can't wait, and I want to thank you, Mr. President, for the honor, and thank all you guys for your forbearance, and I look forward to working with you.

Thanks.

Oh, and I have to take exception to the White House transcript (as if this would be the first time). Bush tried several one-liners during his intro of Snow and each failed worse than the previous. In the following crack, the only one laughing after the joke was Bush, yet the transcript seems to indicate "laughter" in the room:

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. I'm here in the briefing room to break some news. I've asked Tony Snow to serve as my new press secretary.

Tony already knows most of you, and he's agreed to take the job anyway. (Laughter.)

NYT Editor Begins To Awaken From Slumber

From a great National Journal article about the double-standards when it comes to leaks in D.C. and the War on Journalism being waged by the Bush Administration:

In a response to questions for this article, Times Editor Bill Keller said in an e-mail that he believed the Bush White House is on a campaign to intimidate the press. "I'm not sure journalists fully appreciate the threat confronting us," Keller wrote. "The Times in the eavesdropping case, the Post for its CIA prison stories, and everyone else who has tried to look behind the war on terror."

Keller asserted that "there's sometimes a vindictive tone in the way [administration officials] talk about dragging reporters before grand juries and in the hints that reporters who look too hard into the public's business risk being branded traitors." He warned that journalists possibly are "suffering a bit of subpoena fatigue. Maybe some people are a little intimidated by the way the White House plays the soft-on-terror card. Whatever the reason, I worry that we're not as worried as we should be."


Perhaps as the EDITOR of his newspaper, he could start a Times series on exactly what he's talking about above and run it on A1 above the fold.


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Bring It On Douchebag!

Tony Snow, the comically over-the-top right wing Fox News commentator and Brit Hume toady, IS NOW GOING TO fill the troglodyte slippers of Scott McClellan.

We all know what this means: Fox News is going to start taking it easy on the Bush Administration now.


"Aw shucks, we may
have dropped a few nukes
on Iran. Hey Larry, ace suit!
Anyway, what were we talking
about? Oh yeah, apple pie.
God I love America. Did y'all
catch this flag behind me? I
have one on my lapel too!"

Mission Possible

The national Democratic Party needs to dump Allan Mollohan post-haste.

Thanks for your years of service, but just like Mission Impossible: If you or any of your team are caught or killed, [the Minority Leader] will disavow all knowledge of your actions.

We don't need some well-meaning but equally corrupt Democrat spoiling the "kick the bumbs out" message that the national party will hopefully be hammering away on in the coming months. Otherwise, taking back the House will be "mission impossible."

Eh? Get it? "Mission Impossible"?!? Is this thing on?

Monday, April 24, 2006

The 'Good News' About Earth From Your GOP

Earth Day, House Republican style:


MYTH: Economic growth harms the environment; wealthy nations have the worst environmental problems.
FACT: The more wealth a nation has, the better its environmental performance.

MYTH: Emissions are devastating America's air quality and choking our cities.
FACT: Air quality has
improved dramatically and is getting better all the time.

MYTH: The evils of oil can easily be replaced with renewable energy.
FA
CT: Oil is the lifeblood of the American economy.

MYTH: The Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973 has been 99% successful.
FACT: The Federal data on
the Act's implementation over the last three decades shows a failed program


MYTH: The GOP believes in science
FACT: The Bible didn't say nothin' about no species extinctions or global warming

MYTH: The Religious Reich cares about the planet
FACT: Their idea of eternal damnation is to be "left behind" on Earth during the Rapture.

*And my personal favorite:

Since passage of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act, the federal government has quadrupled the amount of money spent on fuels reduction projects (ie. cutting down trees), increasing the total number of acres treated (cut down), annually, four-fold.


Not fooled by the 'Healthy
Forests Restoration Act'

Thursday, April 20, 2006

4/20 is National High-Five Day

Thought the annoying high-five was on the outs? WRONG!

In fact, celebrate National High-Five Day with your officemates making repeated exaggerated "up highs."

But remember, you CANNOT follow with the "down low" because it's not National Low-Five Day.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Another Texas Congressman Caught With Hand in Cookie Jar (Or, Up Abramoff's Ass)

Pete Sessions, COME ON DOWN!

Leave it to Pete to mix a little Duke Cunningham with Tom DeLay to come up with his own unique recipe for corruption.

From Raw Story:

CREW’s complaint alleges that Rep. Sessions co-signed two letters, one to former Attorney General John Ashcroft in 2001 and another to former Interior Secretary Gale Norton in 2002, which benefitted Mr. Abramoff’s client, the Louisiana Coushatta. One month after his 2002 letter was sent, Rep. Sessions’ political action committee, PETE PAC, received $3,500 from the Louisiana Coushatta and another $3,500 from other tribes with casinos. Within 18 months, PETE PAC received $20,500 from tribes associated with Abramoff.

Rep. Sessions also traveled to Malaysia on an Abramoff-arranged trip with indicted public relations executive Michael Scanlon, two lobbyists from Abramoff’s firm Greenberg Traurig, one of which, Tony Rudy has been indicted, and two other Members of Congress, Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Gregory Meeks (D-NY). Prior to the trip, Rep. Sessions had shown no public interest in Malaysia, but four months after the trip, Rep. Sessions became an advocate for Malaysia by forming the Malaysia Trade, Security and Economic Cooperation in the House with trip-mate Rep. Meeks.

Additionally, Rep. Sessions promoted the interests of Promia, a firm based in San Francisco that hired Session’s former communications director, Adrian Plesha, as vice president and director of its Washington office. Mr. Plesha pleaded guilty to felony charges related to FEC offences shortly after he began working for Promia.

Promia was able to garner a nearly $800,000 Navy research and development contract in May, 2000 and Rep. Sessions, along with Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA), publicly worked to get an additional $8 million to Promia through a Department of Defense grant.

The end of my sympathy for Ciro

TX-28: Ciro Rodriguez Still Has $330K Cash-on-Hand
Posted by DavidNYC

Yeah, the title is not a mis-print. Evidently, Ciro thought it would be wiser to save all that money for a run-off, which of course never happened. Is it 20-20 hindsight to carp about this now? I'm not sure. What I can tell you, though, is that Cuellar spent $1.1M on the race. Ciro spent a mere $422K. The campaign had to know it was being badly outspent.

Lying sack of shit to step down

Or rather, mouthpiece for lying sack of shit to step down:

McClellan leaves White House press office
Associated Press

WASHINGTON - White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Wednesday he is resigning, continuing a shakeup in President Bush's administration that has already yielded a new chief of staff and could lead to a change in the Cabinet.

Appearing with Bush on the White House South Lawn just before the president boarded a helicopter at the start a trip to Alabama, McClellan, who has parried especially fiercefully with reporters on Iraq and on intelligence issues, told Bush: "I have given it my all sir and I have given you my all sir, and I will continue to do so as we transition to a new press secretary."

Rumor: Tony Snow could be replacement. Yikes, though that would be entertaining.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Good quote and new blog

A friend passed this along...

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." Theodore Roosevelt, 26th US President (1858-1919)

(To which I'll add, "That's right, bitch!")

...and a blog recommendation:

renegadecrafters.blogspot.com

Not even good at being criminals

So this piece by Matt Taibbi came out three weeks ago or so, but if you missed it, take a look.

The comparisons to HST always seemed a little overboard, but there are glimpses for sure.

Meet Mr. Republican: Jack Abramoff
The secret history of the most corrupt man in Washington


So this is it, finally. By the time this magazine hits the newsstands, Jack Abramoff -- right-wing megalobbyist and great feckless shitwad of our new American century -- will be but a tick of the geological clock away from The End. There will be no rack, no stoning, no scorpion-filled sand pit, no bucket of fire ants. Just a sanitary plea agreement and a single blow of the gavel, and "Casino Jack" Abramoff will disappear for a few years of weightlifting and Talmudic study.

En route to his day of reckoning, Abramoff really did travel each and every right-wing highway, from Jo-burg in the old days to the Bush White House. But he's being sentenced for only the last few miles of that trip. It's almost an insult to a criminal of Abramoff's caliber that the charge he'll go to jail for is a low-rent wire-fraud scheme committed in a pickpocket capital like Miami Beach. In that one, Jack and his cronies claimed to have $23 million in assets when he didn't have a dime, and he persuaded financial backers to purchase a $147.5 million cruise-ship casino empire. A nice score for a Gotti child, maybe, but a bit gauche for the wizard of the Republican fast lane.

[...]

The story about Jack Abramoff and the elementary school election, the one first reported by The Los Angeles Times, is true. It only seems like apocryphal bullshit. Born in Atlantic City to Frank Abramoff, an affluent Diner's Club executive who would go on to represent golfer Arnold Palmer, Jack moved with his family to Beverly Hills as a boy and grew up attending one of the more prestigious elementary schools in the country, the Hawthorne School. And it was here, at this same fancy-pants school that would one day be home to a chubby girl named Monica Lewinsky, that Jack got his start in politics by being disqualified from a race for student-body president for cheating.

[...]

In a hilarious convergence of ordinary workaday incompetence and pointlessly secretive cloak-and-dagger horseshit, Operation Babushka's grand opus would ultimately turn out to be the production of the 1989 Dolph Lundgren vehicle Red Scorpion, in which American moviegoers were invited to care about an anti-communist revolutionary targeted for execution by a sweat-drenched jungle version of Lundgren's overacting Ivan Drago persona. The film, which Abramoff wrote and produced, was instantly derided by critics around the world as one of the stupidest movies ever made.

[...]

The Eighties show Abramoff involved in a series of almost comic backroom escapades, the most famous being the organization of a sort of trade convention for anti-communist rebel leaders in Jamba, Angola. There are not many facts on the record about this incident, but what is known smacks of an articulate young Darth Vader putting out scones and lemonade at a sand-planet meeting of the leading bounty-hunter scum in the universe. Under the auspices of the Citizens for America, a group founded by Rite Aid drugstore magnate and one-time New York gubernatorial candidate Lewis Lehrman at the request of Ronald Reagan, Abramoff helped organize a meeting of anti-communist rebels that included Angolan UNITA fighters, Afghan mujahedin, Laotian guerrillas and Nicaraguan Contras.

[...]

One of the ugliest developments in American culture since Abramoff's obscure Cold Warrior days in the Eighties has been the raging but highly temporary success of various "smart guys" who upon closer examination aren't all that smart. There was BALCO steroid scum Victor Conte ("The smartest son of a bitch I ever met in my life," said one Olympian client), Enron's "smartest guys in the room" Jeff Skilling and Ken Lay, and, finally, "ingenious dealmaker" Jack Abramoff. Somewhere along the line, in the years since the Cold War, Americans as a whole became such craven, bum-licking, self-absorbed fat cats that they were willing to listen to these fifth-rate prophets who pretended that the idea that rules could be broken was some kind of earth-shattering revelation -- as though they had fucking invented fraud and cheating. But to a man, they all turned out to be dumb, incompetent fuckups, destined to bring us all down with them -- not even good at being criminals.

[...]

That's the most striking characteristic of Abramoff and his crew of ex-student leaders; nearly thirty years out of college, no longer young at all, the whole bunch of them are still Dean Wormer's sneaky little shits, high-fiving one another for executing the brilliant theft and pre-dawn public hanging of the rival college's stuffed-bear mascot. That whole adolescent vibe permeates the confiscated Abramoff e-mails, the best example of which being this exchange between Jack and his "evil elf" aide Michael Scanlon regarding their lobbying fees for the Coushatta Indian tribe:

Scanlon: Coushatta is an absolute cake walk. Your cut on the project as proposed is at least 800k.

Abramoff: How can I say this strongly enough: YOU IZ DA MAN

Again, these assholes affirm every stereotype about campus conservatives. They don't spend enough time being kids when they're supposed to, so they do it when they're balding, middle-aged men with handles and back hair -- using Washington and Congress as their own personal sandbox.

They figured out how to beat everything. Everything about the Abramoff story suggests that at some point, he and his buddies Norquist, Reed and DeLay took a long, hard look at the American system, war-gamed it and came up with a master plan to strike hard at its weakest points. In the end, almost all of the Abramoff scams revolved around the vulnerability of the national legislature to outside manipulation. Once Abramoff and his cabal figured out how to beat Congress, everything else fell into place.

[...]

Everyone sold themselves on the cheap. They apparently got Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio), and many others in the House, to lie back and open their legs all the way for a few thousand dollars in campaign contributions. In the Third World, corrupt politicians at least get something for selling out the people -- boats, mansions, villas in the south of France. If you offered the lowest, most drunken ex-mobster in the Russian Duma $5,000, $10,000, $15,000 in soft money for his vote, he would laugh in your face; he might even be insulted enough to shoot you. But Jack Abramoff apparently got any number of congressmen to play ball for the same kind of money.

Glad I am not in Texas right now...

...because it is hotter than a fur coat in Marfa. It's so hot the hens are laying hard-boiled eggs. It's hot as a two-dollar whore on the 4th of July, hotter than a stolen tamale, hot as a pot of neck bones. It's even hotter than two gophers fucking in a wool sock.

(More Texas sayings about the weather)

Stress on power grid sparks rolling blackouts across Texas
In Austin, power shut off 10 minutes at a time Monday afternoon throughout city

The 100-degree mark at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport broke the date's record high of 97 set in 1987 and the record for any day in April — 99 degrees on April 19, 1951. At Camp Mabry, Monday's high of 99 degrees topped the daily record of 97 set in 1920.


Sweltering summer could be in store for Texas

April's unexpected warm-up sent temperatures surging to 101 degrees Monday in Dallas, rewriting weather records, triggering rolling electric blackouts and offering an early taste of what could be a hot, dry summer even by Texas standards.

[...]

Besides setting a record high temperature for the date, easily eclipsing the old record of 94 set in 1913 and equaled in 1925, Monday's high of 101 at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport broke the record for the hottest-ever April temperature.

It also marked the third earliest 100-degree day in the books and shattered the daily record for electrical consumption across most of Texas.


The heat seems to have inspired John Kelso, who is on a tear:

Gay ol' time had by all – except Bush
Tuesday, April 18, 2006

On Monday, the Easter Bunny's eggs weren't the only things that didn't want to be found on the White House lawn.

President Bush didn't want to be seen out there, either. At least, not for long.

Oh, sure, Bush made an appearance at the annual Easter egg roll. But he made sure to hightail it out of there before all the gay couples showed up with their families. The president rubbing elbows with those people would cost the Republicans votes.

And, as we all know, people in the red states don't vote for Brokeback Bunny.

[...]

I figure George split early because there was no proper photo opportunity for a self-proclaimed war president: no soldiers, no cops and no old guys in VFW hats. Just a bunch of snot-nosed brats rolling eggs around with a spoon.

See, when Bush makes an appearance, he loves to show up on the evening news with hundreds of big Marines in uniform sitting behind him in folding chairs, applauding every time he flaps his gums. And since this was an Easter event, that wasn't likely to happen.

Maybe what Bush should have done was have Donald Rumsfeld make an appearance as the Easter bunny. At least it would give the old goat a way to hide from all those retired generals who want to stew him. That way, he could apply for seasonal work at Wal-Mart.

[...]

You know what I've never figured out about the Easter egg thing? How did the eggs pop out to start with? There are two constants in Easter marketing stunts: the Easter bunny and chicken eggs. How'd they get here with a rabbit and no chicken?

Here's one possibility. Maybe George laid all the eggs on the White House lawn by himself. Maybe George is the missing chicken. I mean, after all, he was too chicken to stay around until the gays showed up, right?

Ouch.

Monday, April 17, 2006

News Tidbits and Blog to Recommend

To all the Christian nuts, Roy Moore, GWB, Santorum, Brownback, etc. I have one word: Deism.

Great piece in WP on the The Prayer Breakfast Presidency:

And a treaty with the Islamic nation of Tripoli of Barbary begun by Washington, finished by Adams, and unanimously ratified by the Senate in 1797, said: "As the government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion . . . it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

Thomas Jefferson was perhaps the least orthodox Christian imaginable. He went through the Gospels with a razor, excising references to the supernatural and rearranging the text. Dismissing the Trinity, Jefferson once remarked: "Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them, and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the
mountebanks calling themselves priests of Jesus." On New Year's Day 1802, in a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, Jefferson cited the constitutional "wall of separation between church and state" -- yet closed with words of prayer "for the protection and blessing of thecommon Father and creator of man. . . . "



This is terrifying, could be more road trips for me:

Boeing Parts and Rules Bent, Whistle-Blowers Say
The Washington Post

Jeannine Prewitt knew there was a problem when the holes wouldn't line up.

On a Boeing Co. assembly line in Kansas in 2000, Prewitt saw workers drilling extra holes in the long aluminum ribs that make up the skeleton of a jetliner's fuselage. That was the only way the workers could attach the pieces, because some of their pre-drilled holes didn't match those on the airframe.

Prewitt was a parts buyer, the third generation of her family to work at the sprawling Boeing factory on the outskirts of Wichita. She believed that pieces going into one of the world's most advanced and popular airliners, the Boeing 737, should fit like a glove.

The assembly workers Prewitt observed were not the only ones who noted problems with parts from a key Boeing supplier, AHF Ducommun of Los Angeles. Other workers told her that many pieces had to be shoved or hammered into place. And documents reviewed by The Washington Post show that quality managers reported numerous problems at Ducommun in memos recorded in Boeing's system for monitoring its suppliers.


Another Texas blogger to recommend:

I like the Easter thoughts:

But I must say a few words to the right-wing evangelicals: ... b] Where do you get all these ridiculous rules? Certainly not from Jesus. Jesus said there were only two rules - 1. love God with all your heart, and 2. love your neighbor as yourself. All other rules were made by men, especially Paul, who never met Jesus but had the audacity to speak for him, and really seemed to love making rules. Many evangelicals think drinking alcohol is a sin, but Jesus didn't believe this and even helped provide more wine for a wedding he was attending. Shouldn't christians be more interested in what Jesus wants them to do, than what Paul or some other man wants them to do?


And damn if this isn't good news:

Texas Alcoholic Beverages Commission has suspended their recent practice of going inside bars and arresting patrons they believe to be drunk. One of the arrests made was on an out-of-town woman who was drinking in the bar of the hotel where she was staying. They certainly can't claim to be protecting the public on that one! Arrests such as this have angered many merchants and businessmen, who believe this would send many conventions and other business to other states. Seeing that they have stirred up a hornets nest, the TABC is now backpedaling as fast as it can. They have suspended the program so they might "study" it further. My guess is that the program will never come back. You don't step on business toes in Texas.

Friday, April 14, 2006

George Bush Don't Like Black People

Or, at least, Republican voters don't like Black Senate candidates. From WP:

Bad news for Michael S. Steele, the leading Maryland Republican candidate for Senate in November: The scuttling noise he hears on Election Day could be the sound of tens of thousands of white Republicans crossing over to vote for the Democrat.

In fact, white Republicans nationally are 25 percentage points more likely on average to vote for the Democratic senatorial candidate when the GOP hopeful is black, says economist Ebonya Washington of Yale University in a forthcoming article in the Quarterly Journal of Economics.


Gotta recommend this remix of a Kanye West song:

Five days in this motherfucking attic I can't use the cellphone I keep getting static Dying 'cause they lying instead of telling us the truth (...) Screwed 'cause they say they're coming back for us, too but that was three days ago and I don't see no rescue(...)

Swam to the store, tryin' to look for food Corner store's kinda flooded so I broke my way through Got what I could but before I got through News say the police shot a black man trying to loot

[...]

Five damn days, five long days And at the end of the fifth he walkin' in like "...Hey!" Chillin' on his vacation, sittin patiently Them black folks gotta hope, gotta wait and see

If FEMA really comes through in an emergency But nobody seems to have a sense of urgency.

[...]

I bet he had to go and check on them refineries first.

Making a killing off the price of gas. He would have been up to Connecticut twice as fast

Thursday, April 13, 2006

We lucky duckies. . .

Thankfully, one thing I HAVEN'T thought about during the Iraq debacle is:

"How can we make it so that the USA is more like Iraq these days?"

Maybe you have, but I haven't. Well, MSNBC says luckily the Pentagon has taken care of that answer for you and is "having a series of private meetings" to discuss creating a domestic secret police force -- similar to the Savak in Iran, the German Stasi, and the Iraqi Mukhabarat.

Wait, who hates our freedoms again? We were talking about al Qaeda. . . right?!?!

This gives Ari Fleischer's once-confusing warning that "Americans need to watch what they say, watch they do. . . " a little more context.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

See what happens, Al?

See what happens when you're the one Democratic vote for the Craddick tax plan? See what happens when your one big idea is the naughty cheerleading bill? See what happens when you're a sell-out, pseudo-Democratic arrogant prick? You lose, Al.

27-year incumbent Al Edwards loses
Democrat had angered party with cheerleader bill, votes with GOP

He faced the toughest battles in his career after he angered House Democratic stalwarts by voting with the Republican majority on a tax plan and an amendment banning gay marriage, refusing to flee the state with other Democrats to block congressional redistricting, and proposing legislation to ban sexy dancing by cheerleaders – a measure derided by House Democrats as a restriction on free speech.


See ya! I don't mean to revel in Al's loss. Oh, I guess I do. But at least I wasn't as blunt as Pink Dome, who had this pre-election message:

Dear Houston, My Houston. We need to get you out to the polls. We need to get rid of people like Al Edwards. If he wants to switch parties and become a Republican, that's fine. Just stop running in a Dem district (ahem, Madla) and calling yourself a Dem when you're so far up Craddick's ass you can tell us what he's had for lunch last week.


Hehe.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Google Can Go To Hell!

Someone needs to get this damn Katrina button of our Web site!!!

After the Google Ads debacle, I'm not hosting jack shit for them ever again.

I don't care if its donations for homeless mentally handicapped children, I'll give them the money myself and skip the shitty Google middleman (especially if this link goes to the totally inept American Red Cross, which it does).

Good question

Are We Really Going To Nuke Iran?
Decoding our options.
By Fred Kaplan

What are we to make of Seymour Hersh's bombshell, in this week's New Yorker, that not only is President George W. Bush keen to attack Iran's nuclear facilities but that several higher-ups in the White House and the Pentagon would like to do so with nuclear weapons?

[...]

Is this for real? Is President Bush or anyone else in a position of power truly, seriously thinking about dropping nuclear bombs on a country that poses no direct threat to the United States, possesses no nuclear weapons of its own, and isn't likely to for at least a few years? Pre-emptive war—attacking a country to keep it from attacking us or an ally—is sometimes justifiable. Preventive war—attacking a country to keep it from developing a capability to attack an ally sometime in the future—almost never is. And preventive war waged with nuclear weapons is (not to put too fine a spin on it) crazy.

[...]

Another possibility is that Bush is going to launch some sort of raid on Iran, and if people think he might drop nuclear bombs, they'll be relieved—they'll consider it a relatively moderate gesture—if he confines the attack to conventional bombs.


They are masters of managing expectations, we should all be scared.

Monday, April 10, 2006

No Sh*t Sherlock

Here's a head-slapper headline for the day:

"Media Plays Up Role of Zarqawi"

The Post article goes on to contend that many intelligence officials are concerned that Zarqawi is being hyped up by US psychological operations (PSYOPS) personnel -- ultimately winding up in The New York Times (surely none of it made it's way to the Washington Post!).

For the excrutiatingly short attention span of Post journalists, we at PA have dug up this little nugget that might shed some light on this situation.
Way back in the day (like 2 years ago), the Pentagon admitted it created something called the Office of Special Plans (OSP -- God, we LOVE acronyms these days). The sole purpose of this office was to bullshit intelligence, over-hype Saddam (or Zarqawi or whomever), and place false stories in global newspapers (gulp, including the Post and NYT!).

But that happened a couple years ago so how would a Post reporter remember something like that, it was soooo long ago!! I mean, Rumsfeld promised he'd shut it down so he must have.... right??

The Post editors, by the way, penned this shameful editorial on Sunday defending Bush's 2 years of lying about being the Leaker in Chief by calling it a "good leak" and condeming those who insist he did it for political gain. The Post, neglects to mention that no classified material accurately depitcting Iraq as a paper tiger was ever leaked from the Administration.

Get Your Ass to The National Mall!

Protest Day!

Known as National Day of Action for Immigrant Justice, or simply "La Marcha," up to 250,000 are expected to march on the National Mall today against the House's backwards immigration stunt to criminalize nuns, nurses and good samaritans who aid undocumented workers.

Memo to Media: The protests around the country are NOT "in favor of immigration reform." They are marching AGAINST the proposed immigration reform. Please do try to keep that straight.

Friday, April 07, 2006

DeLay's Brownshirts Back in Action

After whetting their palate trying to forcefully end Florida's court ordered recount in 2000, DeLay's fascist goon squad is back in action, shouting down a Lampson press conference and roughing up one of the people in the crowd.

Lampson's news conference calling for an earlier election was interrupted by about two dozen DeLay supporters who shouted anti-Lampson slogans.

Although there was some jostling and a Lampson supporter said she was roughed up, no one was injured or arrested.

Lampson spoke for about five minutes before the DeLay group, many carrying signs, arrived and surrounded the candidate and his supporters.

One of the demonstrators, Vera Kuhn, said she and other DeLay backers do not want Lampson to be their next congressman. "We want a Republican representative who has conservative values. We do not agree with any of his values," she said.

Longtime Fort Bend County Republican activist Terese Raia said she wanted Lampson to know he was in "Tom's country."

"We decided we wanted to cause a little a rumpus this morning and show our support for Tom DeLay," she said.

The anti-Lampson demonstration was organized by Chris Homan, who was DeLay's campaign manager.

*Note to Vera Kuhn and Teresa Raia: Tough shit you idiots! Do you think 3 million Texas voters liked getting their congressman yanked by that asshole? Have you heard of VOTING for someone you like as opposed to rounding up the local fascist goon squad to rough up supporters of the other candidate? And how can it be "Tom's country" when he ditched your pathetic ass and is moving to DC permanently to get away from you yokels.

*One final note: DeLay actually invoked Martin Luther King to describe his recent resignation -- proving once again he has absolutely no idea what MLK meant when he said "free at last."

Deliver us from evil

From our good friends at Whitehouse.org:


THE HAMMER'S PRAYER:

Our Thomas, who art in Congress,
Hallowed be thy ethics.
Thine indictment come.
Thy will undone.
By some bitter pinko in Texas.
Give us this day our daily graft.
And bequeath us our gerrymanders,
As we bequeath squat to poor, colored trash.
And lead us not into taxation,
But deliver us from mercy.
For thine is the vitriol,
And the avarice,
And the goose step.
For ever and ever.
Amen.

Just sad

While totally abusing my work privileges I ran a Factiva search that I thought would turn up a depressing tidbit.

Alas, I was right.

U.S. media stories about Bush being the architect of the CIA leak scandal: 185

U.S. media stories about Cynthia McKinney's run-in with Capitol Police: 557

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Out-Orwelling Orwell

Where to start?

White House Trains Efforts on Media Leaks

Sources, Reporters Could Be Prosecuted

Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, March 5, 2006

The Bush administration, seeking to limit leaks of classified information, has launched initiatives targeting journalists and their possible government sources. The efforts include several FBI probes, a polygraph investigation inside the CIA and a warning from the Justice Department that reporters could be prosecuted under espionage laws. . . Some media watchers, lawyers and editors say that, taken together, the incidents represent perhaps the most extensive and overt campaign against leaks in a generation, and that they have worsened the already-tense relationship between mainstream news organizations and the White House.

Well, apparently they haven't soured relationships too much (see post directly below).

Shame

Not one question asked today about the STUNNING NEWS that the Big Tuna himself authorized the CIA leak -- despite lying about it to the White House press corp for over a year and a half.

Not one fucking question.

The Pimp-Slapping of Texas 22

Here are some additional "ponderings" to add onto BDA's great DeLay post yesterday:

1) If DeLay is "the federal government," is his resignation a sign of some larger corruption scandal and isn't the federal government under his and Bush's watch really under indictment?

2) DeLay said he was dropping out of the race because there was a 50-50 chance he would lose.

Message to the youth of Texas 22: If you're not absolutely sure you can win. . . quit! Why go through all the embarassment of trying something and not succeeding? Character is for losers.

3) DeLay's permanent relocation to Washington D.C. out of Sugarland is a GIANT "FUCK YOU" to his Texas 22 constitutents on whose behalf he has couched his most egregious behavior.

Think about it, his dogged push for Clinton's impeachment, continually voting against Houston light rail, his demonization of the Democratic Party, and congressional redistricting were all supposedly done on their behalf. Now that he's done whoring them out for his own political agenda, he's leaving them behind forever to move to the town he's REALLY been representing since he got here.

*Sorry Sugarland, you're like an overused old penniless prostitute who smells like whiskey and feet waiting with baited breath for a john to come back and make you feel special for another 2 years. Well, it ain't happening. . . he's left you for good and made you all his bitches.

The buck really does stop there. . .

After years of wasted man hours, millions of dollars, and a stalled investigation -- Cheney aide "Scooter" Libby has finally fingered none other than George W. Bush as the person who authorized the Plamegate leak to the media.

Just to refresh your memory about the "accountability administration's" reaction to the news that an undercover CIA agent working on WMD's cover was blown by and administration official seeking to merely settle a political score:

"I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action." [George W. Bush: Chicago, Illinois, 9/30/03]

Finally, there's this nugget:

Asked in June 2004 if he’d stand by his pledge to fire anyone found to have leaked, Bush replied “yes.” [Bush Press Conference: Savannah, GA, 6/10/04]

So, we'll be expecting his resignation any day now.

Leader of Malcolm X Drum Circle Passes

WP has obit for Percussionist Barnett E. Williams;
Beat Ran Through His Varied Roles

Barnett Edward Williams, 61, a percussionist who lived his life to the beat of African drums and who loved sharing the drumming tradition with other enthusiasts, died March 4 of a heart attack at the home in the District where he was born. He was a District resident.

Mr. Williams, who was artist in residence for Fairfax County's School Age Child Care Program, could be found on most Sunday afternoons in recent years in a drumming circle in the District's Meridian Hill Park, also known as Malcolm X Park. Sweat-soaked on a summer afternoon, his palms callused from decades of drumming, he and fellow percussionists would pound out a seductive beat on squat West African djembes or maybe Senegalese kimbe drums or tall, sleek congas, as well as on maracas, bongos, cymbals and cowbells.

Considered one of the elders of the drumming circle, he started drumming at the historic park along 16th Street NW in 1967, when he was 11.

[...]

After graduation, he was lead percussionist with
Gil Scott-Heron and the Midnight Band and performed with Donald Byrd, Oscar Brown Jr., Candido, Dr. Billy Taylor and Donny Hathaway. He composed and directed the musical score for Lorraine Hansberry's play "Les Blancs" and played drums for the movie soundtrack for "Cornbread, Earl and Me."

He also was lead percussionist for Vinnette Carroll's "When Hell Freezes Over, I'll Skate"; Billy Wilson's "Dancing in the Sunset"; and Debbie Allen's "Soul Possessed." He conducted workshops and lectures at more than 50 colleges and universities in the United States and Europe and often played at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the Mall.

His passion was pounding out the beat to rhythms that reached far back in African history, but his passion for teaching percussion and polyrhythms was almost as great. He taught African drumming at several recreation centers in the District and from 1994 to 1998 was artist in residence at the Kennedy Center.



Tom DeLay Tidbits

Badass Austin attorney Cris Feldman has an oped in WP asserting that DeLay is Out of the House, Not Out of Trouble.

In announcing yesterday that he was dropping out of the race to keep his seat in Congress, Tom DeLay said he now intends to "engage in the important cultural and political battles of our day from outside the arena of the House of Representatives." Before he does that, though, he still faces a more immediate battle in another arena -- a Texas courtroom.


Badabing!

Some more coverage of the machinations:

Under siege from state and federal probes into his actions and those of his closest aides and advisers, Rep. Tom DeLay had considered resigning on several occasions over the past four months. But he waited until after he had vanquished his challengers in the Republican primary to deny them the chance to become his successor, associates said.


Awwwww, pobrecito:

They also cited what the Texas Republican has privately described at his frustration at no longer being a part of the House leadership, and his diminished satisfaction with rank-and-file congressional life.


What a petty punk:

DeLay was determined to hang on to his seat at least through the primary, said Carl Forti, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. That was because he considered his three Republican challengers gadflies and traitors and he was determined to try to block them from succeeding him.


Hehe:

An additional impetus for putting off the resignation until now was suggested by John Feehery, a former aide to DeLay and House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.). "He needed to raise money for the defense fund. That was the bottom line," Feehery said. "He wanted to make sure he could take care of himself in the court of law." Under federal campaign rules, any reelection money a lawmaker raises can be used to pay legal fees stemming from official duties.

[...]

Friends and associates of DeLay say they think he can make a prosperous future for himself as a corporate-paid legislative strategist, book author and speaker.


Wasn't that the problem -- that he already was a "corporate-paid legislative strategist"?

And this is hilarious. "I am the federal government" calls someone else arrogant:

''Cynthia McKinney is a racist,'' Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, said on Fox News Channel, a day after abandoning his reelection bid under a cloud of ethics charges. ''She has a long history of racism. Everything is racism with her. This is incredible arrogance that sometimes hits these members of Congress, but especially Cynthia McKinney.''


What we are losing.

Killer cartoon

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Going after Ronnie

Think Progress reports DeLay wants the lege to go after Ronnie Earle:

On an interview this morning on Fox News Radio’s Tony Snow Show, Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) revealed a plan to have the Texas legislature oust district attorney Ronnie Earle, the prosecutor who charged DeLay with money laundering:
Transcript:
SNOW: Okay, so at this point, you know — are you willing to let bygones be bygones?
DELAY: Absolutely not. Texas should not allow a district attorney from Travis County have this kind of power. And they can take his power away from him because there was the Texas legislature that gave him this power. And I think that will happen in the next session of the Texas legislature.
SNOW: Oh, really?
DELAY: Yes.


I say, "bring it on!"

If they do it, we can run ads against R legislators who voted for it. "Your rep voted to eliminate the Public Integrity Unit, which prosecutes corrupt elected officials who violate state ethics laws. Why? Because Tom DeLay told him to stop the Public Integrity Unit from going after cronies like Jack Abramoff -- many of whom already admitted to massive public corruption."

I think the consultants should design some mock mail pieces and TV spots just to circulate around. Let these fuckers know we're coming after 'em.

The big news

So everybody knows now Hot Tub Tom isn't running.

1. While I am celebrating a little humility forced on DeLay along with everyone, it's tempered by the fact that this sucks for Lampson and the Ds' chances of taking back that seat.

2. How appropriate and wussy that DeLay is going to become a resident of Virginia -- in essence denouncing his Texas citizenship -- to drop off the ballot and avoid getting trounced. If DeLay had been at the Alamo he would have joined the Mexican Army. We don't want him in Texas anyway.

3. Maybe we can challege the ballot replacement. See commentary. At the very least the controversy over it shows: a) DeLay to be a slimy bastard, and b) this is a calculated move by the national Rs to keep a seat. Whoever we run against must be tarred from day one as part of the corrupt machine. I see direct mail with DeLay as a puppeteer. I hope the DCCC and DNC oppo shops are working 24-7 on every potential challenger and finding every time they appeared at the same fundraiser or are connected in any way.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Updated red vs. blue map