Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

The quote of the day from an anonymous source in my offce:

The reason I had kids was so I could keep trick or treatin'.

I'm down with that. I've got two lil fellas waiting for me tonight to take 'em house-to-house, even the scary ones.

John Kerry Fights Back!

Via O Dub.

You can see the video of Kerry's statement responding to the hateful right who are trying to take a botched joke and turn it into an anti-troop statement that no sane person would understand as having been intended.

How sad and hateful the right has become. We've learned that tons of Iraqi reconstruction money and weapons for Iraqi security forces are ending up in the hands of insurgents and Al Qaeda ... outraged by that? Nope. More than 100 US troops dead in less than a month ... any problem with that? Nope. Afghanistan is going to hell in a .... YAWN!!!

Life and death issues to the troops are meaningless to many of these righties. But when Kerry misspeaks ... you get an en masse woody popage.

Bizarre Reports On Pakistan Madrassa Bombing

ABC yesterday was reporting that its sources were claiming the bombing was from an American Predator drone. The bombing was purportedly an attempt to kill Al Qaeda No. 2 Ayman Al Zawahiri but, instead, resulted in the death of some 80 people attending the madrassa. ABC raises the issue as to whether this was an October surprise that was missed.

Though the ABC piece was up midday yeesterday, the New York Times was reporting late last night that the strike was the work of Pakistani helicopters and that the Pakistanis were claiming to have killed some high level Al Qaeda targets.

We've heard these claims before when a prior American airstrike killed numerous civilians, including women and children. Then the initial claim was that Zawahiri had been killed ... then, after admitting that was not true, they claimed to have killed Abu Kabbab and posted a pic of him (but the pic turned out to be that of Abu Hamza, a nutjob cleric in London) ... then there was an admission that they had no evidence to support the claim of Al Qaeda deaths but continued to claim the unsubstantiated deaths anyway.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Next Big Thing

Friday, October 27, 2006

Bush Stumps for "Dave" Lamberti

The only problem is that the guy's name is Jeff Lamberti.

See the Video.

100 Military Fatalities: One Cost of Bush's Iraq Strategy for October 2006

While Bush hems and haws about what rhetoric to apply to his Iraq strategy, we know that strategy has cost 100 military fatalities in the month of October alone.

The violence will continue to ebb and floe for the next two years and we will continue to see war supporters shift to the fantastical "more troops" position (without, of course, giving any specifics as to from where this magical horde is to appear). They'll distance themselves from Bush's failure while pounding their hawkish chests.

Call it what you want ... what I call it is "More of the Same."

NBC: Free Speech Does Not Include Statements "Disparaging to President Bush."

Think Progress has a post up on NBC's refusal to air the commercial for the Dixie Chicks' movie "Shut Up and Sing." NBC has statee in writing that it "cannot accept these spots as they are disparaging to President Bush.”

Your liberal media at work.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Matt Lauer's Sick Thoughts

Matt Lauer on Rush Limbaugh's statement that Michael J. Fox was either off his meds or just acting:

"Didn’t Rush Limbaugh just say what a lot of people were privately thinking?”

Only twisted whackjobs like you, Matt.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Balanced Journalism at ABC

ABC does a piece on dirty campaign ads citing a slew of them specifically. Not surprisingly, the dirty ones are all from Republicans.

What's astounding is that ABC then notes:

Democrats aren't necessarily running clean campaigns, though. As the races tighten in the next couple of weeks, the left will likely unleash its garbage as well.

So even though there's no evidence, ABC finds away to say Democrats are just as bad.

(Via Kevin Drum).

Harold Ford Responds

The scumbag Republicans are getting desperate - trying to smear Ted Strickland in Ohio with gay innuendo, falsely claiming in New York that Michael Arcuri calls sex lines, and running a racist ad against Harold Ford in Tennessee.

Harold Ford today responded to the Repugs smear job:

"I was there. I like football and I like girls. I don't have no apologies for that."

Me neither.

Bush: I Voted For "Stay the Course" Before I Voted Against It

Josh posts the DNC video shoving the "stay the course" talking point down Bush's throat.

Bush is not alone in playing flippy-floppy with "Stay the Course." Corker's done it in Tennessee, Bartlett's done it, Tony Snow's done it and ...

remaining consistent it with the flip flop being a Republican only talking point ...

Joe Lieberman's done it.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Repugs: No Free Speech for Michael J. Fox Or Anyone With Parkinson's

Numerous Repugs - including Kathryn Jean Lopez and Rush Limbaugh - are blowing a fuse because Michael J. Fox made a campaign ad supporting Claire McCaskill in the Missouri Senate race.

Apparently, they believe people with Parkinson's should neither be seen nor heard.

Wonderful people, those ones.

Instapundit EXPOSED (for the 3,845,677th time) !

Instapundit - a University of Tennessee law professor - who constantly pisses on liberals while decrying the lack of civility on the blogs, wrote this lil diddy back in 2003:

So maybe we shouldn't rub in just how wrong, and morally corrupt the antiwar case was. Maybe we should rise above the temptation to point out that claims of a "quagmire" were wrong — again! — how efforts at moral equivalence were obscenely wrong — again! — how the antiwar folks are still, far too often, trying to move the goalposts rather than admit their error — again — and how an awful lot of the very same people who spoke lugubriously about "civilian casualties" now seem almost disappointed that there weren't more — again — and how many people who spoke darkly about the Arab Street and citizens rising up against American "liberators" were proven wrong — again — as the liberators were seen as just that by the people they were liberating. And I suppose we shouldn't stress so much that the antiwar folks were really just defending the interests of French oil companies and Russian arms-deal creditors. It's probably a bad idea to keep rubbing that point in over and over again.


Via T-Rex at Firedoglake.

But media elites like Joe Klein think the Ol' Prefesser is someone we should take seriously.

Monday, October 23, 2006

100s of Saddams

Anthony Shadid in the Washington POst writes about the fractured auithority in Iraq where, on a local level, the rule of the bullet is the only thing that seems to apply.

Before we invaded Iraq, American liberals noted that taking out Saddam would be the easy part, but that replacing him with something humane was virtually impossible. We predicted Civil War and anarchy and our voices were ignored and, worse, portrayed in the media as voices of the deranged.

Our fears have come to light as it appears that Iraq is now effectively in the grips of 100s of Saddams - leaders with no respect for human rights intent on only shoring up their own base of power and killing anyone they perceive as blocking their way.

Kevin Tillman Speaks

In the aftermath of 9/11, Kevin and his brother and friend Pat joined the Army to battle Al Qaeda. Sadly, Pat, a man who gave up a career in the NFL to serve his country, was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan. The military exploited Pat's death and falsely spun the facts of it for political gain. Pat's case, unfortunately, became notorious for exposing the lengths to which the military will go to mislead the American public.

Now, Kevin has written a powerful piece at

Here's a sample:

Somehow the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless, vacuous, malicious criminals are still in charge of this country.

Read the rest.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Picks for A Boring Weekend

Take Underdogs Rutgers (+6 1/2) and Nebraska (+5) in their respective games against Pittsburgh and Texas.

Cal will beat Washington by 20 but not by the spread of 23 1/2. Take another dog.

Staying with the underdog theme, take Georgia Tech and the 7 points as the Yellowjackets go on the road against Clemson.

Finally, break out for a favorite by giving up 3 1/2 points and betting Oregon playing Washinton State in the tough environs at Pullman, Washington.

Fantasy Island Starring John McCain

GlennGreenwald hooks us up with a transcript of St. McCain's latest ruminations on Iraq.

The short of it - McCain calls for an expansion of the Army and Marines by 100,000 but states we will not need a draft.

Where is this magical horde going to come from - he doesn't say and who the fuck knows. Really, for McCain, it's who the fuck cares. Anyone with more than two brain celss knows it is not going to happen. The call for 100,000 more troops is really just cover for a man who supported the war but does not have the courage to admit its wrongheadedness.

He's just setting up his out for when the Iraqi adventure is deemed a failure.

While the Washington elite have crowned McCain a foreign policy stalwart, let's review his record:

WRONG for supporting the war in Vietnam.

WRONG for not supporting the intervention in Kosovo.

WRONG for supporting the Iraq war ... and now, the worst kind of ass-covering dissembling - Calling for 100,000 troops with no specific plan.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Free Speech for Justice Hecht

During the comedy that was the Harriet Miers nomination, Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht gave about 120 interviews supporting the Miers nomination.

The New York Times has the story on the hearing to determine whether Justice Hecht's pro-Miers statements violated the Code of Judicial Conduct.

Now I, of course, could sit back and laugh my ass off at this jam Hecht has found himself in. But screw that! I really like freedom of speech and while I disagree with his support for Miers substantively, it is hard for me to think of a more important public issue on which we should all hear from people - pro or con - who knew her and were familiar with her judicial acumen. It is purely political speech and I cannot think of any countervailing interest as to why Justice Hecht's free speech rights should be suspended on such an important issue.

Throw this nonsense out.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

True, True

The conservative movement has been very effective attacking the media (broadcast and print) for its liberal biases. The refusal of the media to disclose and discuss the ideological leanings of reporters and editors, and the broader claim of objectivity, has made the press overly anxious, and inclined to lean over backwards not to offend critics from the right. In many respects, the campaign against the media has been more than a victory: it has turned the press into an unwilling, and often unknowing, ally of the right.

-- Building Red America author and former Washington Post reporter Thomas B. Edsall (via Media Matters.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Poster Boy for A Crappy Republican Congress

How Bad Is Your Media? Foley Edition

Media Matters has collected the top ten myths that the media has been spreading regarding the Foley Scandal.

They all just happen to be helpful to Republicans.

* Democrats and their allies orchestrated the Foley scandal as a political dirty trick.

* Hastert did not learn about Foley's alleged behavior until September 29.

* Alleged Foley emails that House Republicans possessed were merely "overly friendly".

* Foley scandal has not affected voters or Congressional races.

* Hastert and the GOP leadership forced Foley to resign after they learned of the lurid instant messages.

* Gay Men are More Likely Than Heterosexual Men to Sexually Abuse Children.

* Kirk Fordham's Claim that Hastert's Office Told About Foley Before 2005 is Uncorroborated.

* Hastert "Took Responsibility" for the Foley Scandal.

* Conservative Evangelical Voters are Particularly Outraged by Foley Scandal.

* Upon Learning of Emails, GOP Leadership or Rep. Shimkus Told Foley to End All Contact with Pages.

* CREW Withheld Emails and Other Information From FBI, Congressional Leaders.

* A "Velvet Mafia" on Capitol Hill Knew of Foley's Alleged Behavior and Protected Him from Public Exposure.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Condi's Definition of "Failure"

Condi called the Clinton era approach to North Korea that included bi-lateral talks and the Agreed Framework a failure.

Josh Marshall, for the second time in as many days, breaks it down so simply that even a Bushie might understand:

"Failure" =1994-2002 -- Era of Clinton 'Agreed Framework': No plutonium production. All existing plutonium under international inspection. No bomb.

"Success" = 2002-2006 -- Bush Policy Era: Active plutonium production. No international inspections of plutonium stocks. Nuclear warhead detonated.

Face it. They ditched an imperfect but working policy. They replaced it with nothing. Now North Korea is a nuclear state.

Facts hurt. So do nukes.

655,000 Estimated War Deaths of Iraqis

This according to a survey, being published online by British medical journal The Lancet.

I'll have more to say later.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

North Korea for Dummies

Uber deceptor John McCain was at it today stating: "I would remind Senator (Hillary) Clinton and other critics of the Bush administration policies that the framework agreement of the Clinton administration was a failure."

Josh Marshall provides the nutshell version of the Agreed Framework as it existed under Clinton and Bush's complete failure to do anything regarding North Korea.

Here's the money quote:

So Clinton strikes deal to keep plutonium out of the North Koreans' hands. The deal keeps the plutonium out of reach for the last six years of Clinton's term and the first two of Bush's. Bush pulls out of the deal. Four years later a plutonium bomb explodes.

Clinton's fault, right?

Now obviously John McCain isn't really this dumb. He's simply showing the depths of deception he is willing to plumb in his desire to become President.

Baghdad Better Than Chicago

NBC's Jane Arraf puts to rest the nonsense that the violence in Baghdad is no worse than in an American City:

Some readers and viewers think we journalists are exaggerating about the situation in Iraq. I can almost understand that because who would want to believe that things are this bad? Particularly when so many people here started out with such good intentions.

I'm more puzzled by comments that the violence isn't any worse than any American city. Really? In which American city do 60 bullet-riddled bodies turn up on a given day? In which city do the headless bodies of ordinary citizens turn up every single day? In which city would it not be news if neighborhood school children were blown up? In which neighborhood would you look the other way if gunmen came into restaurants and shot dead the customers?

Read the whole piece. (Via Atrios)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Ashcroft Caught Lying About Briefing

The Mahablog has a great run down on the latest about the CIA's July 2001 briefing of an imminent Al Qaeda attack on the United States.

It turns out the current NSA head Steven Hadley was also present at the July 10, 2001 briefing to Condi.

Additionally, it turns out former AG John Ashcroft was lying when he told the media he didn't receive the briefing. The State Department has now confirmed that both Ashcroft and Rumsfeld received the briefing shortly after Rice.

Worse, the briefing corresponds with the timing of when Ashcroft switched from commercial flights to private flights.

So I guess we cannot so no action was taken ... efforts were plainly made to protect, at least, one American.

Who Brought the Ruler?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A Convention of One

Following on the success of YearlyKos, the first annual Macswain convention will be held in Las Vegas this weekend at the Bellagio.

Joe Lieberman is booked to speak - craps table no. 7 on the Bellagio main floor (Joe apparently can't read a site meter and is really desperate for some - any - blogger support).

Okay ... I'm really going to a buddy's wedding, but I do have the hook-up on a less than market rate room at the Bellagio.

Why Did 9/11 Commission Cover for Condi?

Bob Woodward's book has brought to light - in starker detail than was previously public - the emergency briefing on the Al Qaeda threat to America given by the CIA's George Tenet and Cofer Black to then NSA head Condaleeza Rice on July 10, 2001; almost two months to the day before 9/11.

Condi initially played dumb claiming she couldn't recall such a meeting. Now that it's been confirmed, she claims to have acted by ... wait for it ... suggesting the same briefing be given to Rumsfeld and Ashcroft. As with the August 2001 PDB, she apparently did nothing else. Condi seems to have viewed the NSA's role as one of a passive disseminator rather than as proactive player.

More dumbfounding is the fact that Democrat Richard Ben Veniste and the Executive Director of the Commission Phillip Zelikow were both informed of the meeting and, in fact, had been presented with a recreation of the briefing. Yet, while the Commission's final report contains many "he said/she said" descriptions of the events preceding 9/11, this meeting was completely and mysteriously left out. Justin Rood's piece on TPMmuckraker deserves a full read.

As Rood shows, Ben Veniste has been floundering for an explanation. I suspect he may have had his own agendas to pursue - protecting Clinton and preserving his position as an elite Washington insider. As Rood points out, Ben Veniste's latest tact is to point to Zelikow for the answers. Yet, if he was relying on Zelikow, his reliance was misplaced. As liberals noted at the time, Zelikow had a close relationship with Condi and even had a financial conflict to see her do well and escape unscathed; he had co-authored a book with her. Indeed, after the report was published, Zelikow was nicely rewarded by being selected as a top aide to Rice, a position he continues to hold.

Right now, Zelikow is about as easy to get an interview with as Osama Bin Laden. An NSA wiretap just uncovered a call from Zelikow to Pakistan asking, "Is there more room in that cave?"

Yet, the question must be asked --- did Zelikow act to cover for Condi and, in doing so, work to produce a less than full accounting of the events leading to 9/11?

Iraq Still Deadly to Troops

Though you may have missed it, given the traditional media's scant coverage on their websites, there is a spike in violence underway against coalition troops in Iraq.

79 killed in September.

14 killed in the first 3 days of October.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Foley Photodump

Well, we found something the Republicans can react quickly too. We know its not e-mails that raise suspicions of predatory activity. So what is it? What are the quick to react to?

I just did a Google image search on Mark Foley and you would be astounded as to how quickly sites with photos of him and fellow Republicans are swirling down the memory hole.

As always, Republicans are on top of what's most important. Saving their own asses.

To Save A Predator: It's Always About Power & Money

While CNN was playing up GOP spin that their leaders were outraged at the Foley story, the New York Times and Washington Post were breaking stories that the Republican leadership - specifically Hastert, Reynolds and Boehner - had known of some of Foleys activities for months and had actually turned a blind eye toward the whole unsavory event.

Now, I don't believe that any of these guys actually favor ignoring predatory behavior in general, so the question is why would they do so here?

And just as I was readying to type --- I noticed that Markos had already said what I was thinking.

The GOP is facing a tough reelection with history, Bush, and their own incompetence weighing down their chances. The DCCC has had a banner fundraising and candidate recruitment year. And suddenly, Foley faces the GOP's worst nightmare in Tim Mahoney -- a Democratic challenger who 1) was a former Republican, and 2) is worth $8 gazillion and can self-fund his race. Mahoney announced his candidacy October 12, 2005, right around the time the House leadership was trying to figure out what to do about Foley's predatory practices.

Without Foley on the ticket, not only would the GOP suddenly face a competitive contest in a relatively safe district, but it would cost them $2-3 million to defend -- money that they no longer have available.

So they made a decision. They were going to look the other way despite knowing about Foley's predatory actions against the House's pages, and in return, Foley would keep them one seat closer to the majority and save them millions.

Forget about Foley. He's done. What's incredible about this scandal is the lengths this Republican Party will go to maintain their majorities. We already knew that power trumped everything for these guys. But coddling a child predator merely to save some cash and protect a single House seat.

On the brightside, a friend notes "Who Better?" Who better than Foley to draft legislation regarding internet stalking. Yet, if he's like the typical Republican, he is certain to have drafted the legislation with an eye on leaving himself a few loopholes.