Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Mark Warner

In a move that will certainly play to the base, outgoing Governor and 2008 presidential hopeful Mark Warner has decided he doesn't want to be Mr. 1000. Warner has commuted the sentence of Robin M. Lovitt, who would have been the 1000th person executed since the death penalty was re-instituted in 1976.

Warner did have a good reason to commute his sentence, a clerk had thrown away evidence that could have exonerated Lovitt, but the sense I get is that some other reason would have been found if needed. It's a good move for Warner. This will excite the left wing of the Democratic party and these are the only ordinary people who are actively watching the presidential race right now. This will be long forgotten by the time conservative democrats start to pay attention.

This Sucks

I didn't realize that when CNN was expanding American Morning they were going to stop going live at five AM. I want my live news at five AM back! I do understand that I am probably the only person watching, but let's be clear. ME! ME! ME!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Coleman Out

Michael Coleman has dropped out of the Ohio Gubernatorial race.

Dumb Duke

How did it take so long to catch Duke Cunningham? On of the bribes he accepted was a thirty thousand dollar personal check that he deposited in his Congressional Credit Union account. Must of thought that hiding the money in plain sight was the way to go. Dumb.


An interesting event will take place this week as the United States will execute its 1,000th prisoner since the death penalty was re-instated in 1976. It will probably take place in Virginia, which will execute its 95th prisoner, second only to Texas with 355.

I have mixed emotions on the death penalty. I am mainly opposed to it due to the cost. Life without parole is a much cheaper alternative, although keeping the death penalty around helps steer criminals to plea to avoid it, so I'm not necessarily for banning it.

My only problem is that 122 inmates sentenced to the death penalty have been exonerated since its re-implementation. That's roughly 12% of the total we will have executed by week's end. If we are going to continue to apply justice in an irreversible manner, I think we owe it to ourselves to do a tad bit better than the upper eighties in correctly convicting people for capital crimes.

Critics might point out that the 12% number is misleading being that there are currently 3,415 inmates serving time on death row in America today, but I would like to point out that those inmates have yet to reach their demise. A few will be exonerated, and some will be executed, but most of them will simply die in prison from mostly natural causes. California currently has 648 inmates on death row, but has only executed 11 since 1976. With most of these inmates ending up serving life without parole, the only thing that has been accomplished is that we paid Cadillac prices for Geo sentences.

Approval for the death penalty is at an all time low so this event may lead to some renewed debate about its application, though it will probably get pushed aside if Rove gets indicted.

Monday, November 28, 2005


What does it cost to own a US Congressman? Here is a sample of the Duke's gifts of grafts. From

It is "clear from the facts that this was a crime of magnificent and extraordinary audacity," said U.S. Attorney Carol Lam.

The case started earlier this year when Cunningham and his wife, Nancy, were accused of using the proceeds from the $1,675,000 sale of his home in Del Mar home to buy a $2.55 million mansion in ritzy Rancho Santa Fe. Cunningham then had the capital gains tax on the property paid by his conspirators.

Though no others were named, in prior reporting, defense contractor Mitchell Wade was said to have bought the Del Mar, and then sold it nearly a year later for a loss of $700,000.

Lam said Cunningham also was given money for a yacht, a party for his daughter's graduation, rugs, antiques, furniture and a Rolls Royce as well as travel expenses for his wife and a payment of more than $500,000 to pay the mortgage in the Rancho Sante Fe home.

All in all, it summed up to about $2.4 million.


From the various things I've been reading, it's pretty clear Karl Rove will be indicted later this week. I'm going to guess that he gets indicted on three counts of perjury, two counts of making false statements, and one count of obstruction of justice, unless he pleas out. It's Fitzmas all over again.

The Duke Pleas Out

Duke Cunningham has pleaded guilty to four counts of conspiring to take bribes and for tax evasion for not paying taxes on those bribes. Sentencing is set for Febuary 27. He's going to give a press conference at 2:30 EST outside the San Diego Federal Court. Just in case you want to track all of your republican scandals in one place, here's a scorecard.


I think yesterday's New York Times article about Cuba misses its true potential. Sure, Cuba will become a major travel destination once Castro is gone and these silly sanctions end, but the real potential for Cuba is to become the number one retirement destination for aging Americans.

There is already a movement to retire south of the border to stretch ever shrinking retirement benefits, but Cuba has something the rest of Latin America lacks, some of the finest affordable health care in the Western Hemisphere. Hell, they have a lower infant mortality rate than the US.

All that this requires is for the United States to reverse 46 years of failed policy. That reversal would certainly bring some new players to the table to lobby their position. Big Pharma for instance? I can't imagine they want a couple of million customers getting on the socialized medicine bandwagon.

Friday, November 25, 2005


There's a mouse in the house. A big one, specifically Big Tony Moscatiello. Moscatiello has fingered Jack Abramoff and Bob Ney pal Adam Kidan as the financier in the gangland murder of Gus Boulis. Big Tony went as far as to basically label the killing dumb. From the Sun-Sentinel:

Moscatiello said that killing Boulis made no sense and he never would have approved of it. Even if there were a lengthy legal fight over SunCruz, it would still have been a profitable venture for him, he said.

"It's a company doing 147 million a year," Moscatiello said. "If you can't skim a few dollars off 147 million a year, ha-ha you shouldn't be in business."

Moscatiello said later in the conversation, "I'm not going to go down the yellow brick road for something that I would ... I would have been dead set against and never, never once in a million years would I have said, `Let's do this.' And I'm just not going to go ... I'm not going [to] do life without parole for this."

By the way, Moscatiello has made a career out of not doing time when entangled in criminal probes. He was once indicted with John Gotti's brother Gene, but mysteriously the charge went away and he never did any time. The funny thing is that either Moscatiello didn't tell his lawyer that he is a career stoolie or his lawyer is trying to keep him alive long enough to make it to witness protection. Really funny couple of paragraphs from the Sun-Sentinel:

David Bogenschutz, Moscatiello's attorney, said Wednesday night that he had not seen the transcripts of his client's statements to police.

"At this time and since the time from his arrest, Anthony Moscatiello is not cooperating," Bogenschutz said. "He never intends to cooperate and does not have a history of cooperating."

Oh, I think he does, and did, and will. Enjoy LWOP Adam.


I wonder if this guy is a general in Bill O'Reilly's push back in "The War Against Christmas"?

Thursday, November 24, 2005


On this Thanksgiving morning, I am thankful for someone whom I do not yet know. That someone is the person willing the make public the Bush-Blair memo about the bombing of al-Jazerra. The British government is threatening any publisher with the Official Secrets Act. The memo must be made public. If valid, it shows that the United States is currently being run by a madman, and that madman must be removed from office.

I don't know if the average American can grasp what this truly means. An attack on the free press, even a foreign free press, is an attack against all of us. It is prima fascia evidence of tyranny being committed against free men. Evidence of this nation committing the same offense that turned the Thanksgiving attendees of 229 years ago into revolutionaries to form this country to rid ourselves of the tyranny of King George III. It's one of the reasons cited for fighting this current war.

Who will stand against this tyranny? Publish the memo.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

They Write Letters

Rebecca Lusignolo-McGlone writes a letter to today's Dispatch imploring people to leave Thanksgiving alone. She's talking about the supposed "War on Christmas" that has been trumpeted by the right the last couple of years. From the Dispatch:

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this quote in an Ohio Historical Society tract while attending a school field trip a couple of weeks ago. Rather than mentioning the Thanksgiving holiday by name, it was listed as "a day set aside to celebrate good fortune." This, by the self-described historical society!

These people are nuts. I don't know how the whole Happy Holidays thing got turned into a conspiracy by the left to attack Christians, but it isn't. These things are focus grouped and studied to death by marketers and apparently they feel it helps them sell more crap, period. I personally don't care, but let me be the first to wish you a better than average end of the year annual events time period. May whatever gift giving fiasco you celebrate be fruitful.


Murray Waas has found the smoking gun that proves the Bush administration lied to the American public on at least one aspect of the pre-war intelligence that led to the Iraq War. On September 21, 2001 George Bush received a Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB) in which he was told there was no connection between Iraq and al-Queda and no evidence to the contrary has ever been given to the president. From the National Journal:

Ten days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Bush was told in a highly classified briefing that the U.S. intelligence community had no evidence linking the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein to the attacks and that there was scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative ties with Al Qaeda, according to government records and current and former officials with firsthand knowledge of the matter.

The information was provided to Bush on September 21, 2001 during the "President's Daily Brief," a 30- to 45-minute early-morning national security briefing. Information for PDBs has routinely been derived from electronic intercepts, human agents, and reports from foreign intelligence services, as well as more mundane sources such as news reports and public statements by foreign leaders.

One of the more intriguing things that Bush was told during the briefing was that the few credible reports of contacts between Iraq and Al Qaeda involved attempts by Saddam Hussein to monitor the terrorist group. Saddam viewed Al Qaeda as well as other theocratic radical Islamist organizations as a potential threat to his secular regime. At one point, analysts believed, Saddam considered infiltrating the ranks of Al Qaeda with Iraqi nationals or even Iraqi intelligence operatives to learn more about its inner workings, according to records and sources.


The conclusions drawn in the lengthier CIA assessment-which has also been denied to the committee-were strikingly similar to those provided to President Bush in the September 21 PDB, according to records and sources. In the four years since Bush received the briefing, according to highly placed government officials, little evidence has come to light to contradict the CIA's original conclusion that no collaborative relationship existed between Iraq and Al Qaeda.

"What the President was told on September 21," said one former high-level official, "was consistent with everything he has been told since-that the evidence was just not there."

In arguing their case for war with Iraq, the president and vice president said after the September 11 attacks that Al Qaeda and Iraq had significant ties, and they cited the possibility that Iraq might share chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons with Al Qaeda for a terrorist attack against the United States.

Gotcha bitches!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Batshit Loony

George Bush met face to face with Tony Blair last April to bounce an idea off of him. Bush wanted to blow up al-Jazerra's headquarters in Qatar. Blair shot the idea down. If two members of the British government weren't being charged with violating the Official Secrets Act in leaking this information, I'd be tempted to say this is bullshit. However, David Keogh and Lee O'Conner are being charged so there must be some validity to this.

Can Bush really be that insane? This is the stupidest thing I've heard yet come out of the White House.

Na Na Na Na, Na Na Na Na, Ney, Goodbye

The Dispatch has all the juicy tidbits that Michael Scanlon will testify against Bob Ney. From the Dispatch:

In the agreement made public by Justice Department officials, Scanlon will testify that he and Abramoff provided Ney and his staff with all- expense-paid trips to the Marianas Islands in 2000, the Super Bowl in Tampa, Fla., in 2001 and Scotland in 2002 to play golf at the prestigious St. Andrews course.

The papers also say Scanlon has told prosecutors that he and Abramoff supplied Ney and his top aides with free tickets to concerts and sporting events in Washington, made campaign contributions and paid for meals and drinks at a posh Washington restaurant that Abramoff used to own.

Some-body's going to do some time. Maybe Ney can bunk with Jim Traficant.

Shameless Revisionism

Dick Cheney simply sounds like a fool with the latest line of attacks on critics of the administration's prosecution of the Iraq War. From The New York Times:

Vice President Dick Cheney stepped up the White House attacks on critics of the Iraq war on Monday, declaring that politicians who say Americans were sent into battle based on a lie are engaging in "revisionism of the most corrupt and shameless variety."

Let's take a look at some of the shameless revisionism that has marked the rhetoric in the Iraq War. Remember when we had to take out Saddam Hussein because he had large stockpiles of WMD? Hmm, that didn't quite work out for us so then the rationale became that Hussein had an active WMD program. Yep, that's why we attacked him. Oops, no program either, umm, well the real reason we went to free Iraq from a dangerous dictator. After all, who could argue that the world isn't a safer place without Saddam.

That's some mighty fine shameless revisionism, if I do say so myself. The latest reason given as to why we have to stay given by the administration is that we can't let Iraq's oil fields fall into the hands of terrorists, and unfortunately, there is some merit to that claim. But if you parse that statement closely what Bush is saying is that we really fucked up, and we have to keep on fucking up otherwise our enemies will get there hands on a lot of money to really fuck us up. That's not a policy, that's a prayer.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Jean Schmidt

I was talking over the weekend with a friend of mine from across the aisle who works at a large state agency. When Jean Schmidt's name came up, he told me that the director of the agency wouldn't even send her a congratulatory letter when she won the primary last year. The reason? He said she was a pathological liar and he was afraid she would claim that he had endorsed her.

My friend then looked at me and said,"your guy almost pulled that out." I replied,"Yea but I'm glad he lost. It would be difficult to hold that seat next year and now your stuck with that idiot."

Out Of Touch

If there is anyone out there who still isn't convinced that the republican party is out of touch with mainstream America, they should be forced to read this story from the Washington Post.

Bruce Springsteen famously was "born in the USA," but he's getting scorned in the U.S. Senate.

An effort by New Jersey's senators, both Democrats, to honor the veteran rocker was shot down yesterday by Republicans who apparently are still miffed a year after the Boss lent his voice to the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.

The chamber's GOP leaders refused to bring up for consideration a resolution, introduced by Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Jon Corzine, that honored Springsteen's long career and the 1975 release of his iconic album "Born to Run."

This goes to show not only the level of vitriol of the modern republican party, but also their arrogance.

Closing Time

The bar that me and my crew hang out at, Brian Borus, is closing. It is located in an apartment complex that went condo and the condo association doesn't want a bar there so they bought the business to close it. It will become some sort of crappy retail space. So, where do we move to? We go out a lot, and we spend a lot of money. We debated over the weekend what demands we should put for the new hang out to acquire our business. (We really spend a lot of money at bars) One bar manager has already offered us ten% off of our tabs. We also debated buying our own bar.

Use the comments to put in your input into what bar should be our new hang out. We would prefer to stay in the Short North. Food is always a plus, as is a large amount of bar space. (We would rather sit at the bar than at tables) Also, and I hate to admit this being the good liberal I am, some hotties on the staff doesn't hurt either. Anyway, any ideas are appreciated.

Then We Can Leave

I've written my beliefs about Iraq here before, but I left one thing out. We gotta clip Abu Musab al-Zarqawi before we can leave.


Brad Pitt is now taking an interest in trade with Africa. Ah, these are the hoops you have to jump though to tap one of America's, or um, Cambodia's greatest resource...the eco-pussy of Angelina Jolie.

Ratted Out

Why does cash suddenly appear?
Everytime Bob Ney is near
Congressmen aren't free
Ney needs to be, "duped" by you
Why does cash fall down from the sky?
Everytime Ney walks by
Congressmen aren't free
Ney needs to be, "duped" by you

Friday, November 18, 2005

Jean Schmidt

Jean Schmidt just had to withdraw her words from the House floor or face censure. She called John Murtha a coward. She also should have faced censure for that um...thing she was wearing. Apparently it was stolen from a patriotic clown.


Patrick Fitzgerald will present evidence to a grand jury in the Plame Case. Today the Washington Post reported this:

Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald said in court filings that his investigation "will involve proceedings before a different grand jury than the grand jury which returned the indictment" against Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

I'm not an attorney, but my inclination is to think that Fitzgerald is preparing to ask for another round of indictments. This will be an existing grand jury that is not familiar with the case so I don't think Fitzgerald is going to take it over, but instead ask for specific indictments based on the information he has acquired.

Perhaps in house attorney Jeff would like to speculate on my theory.

The Game

Who's coming to the bar to watch the OSU - Michigan game tommorrow?

Duncan Hunter & John Murtha: Two Side Of An Irrelevent Coin

US House member and part time food critic Duncan Hunter had the following to say in response to John Murtha's call to leave Iraq.

Ladies and gentlemen, I'm Duncan Hunter, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. And I'm joined by my colleagues today to make some comments regarding the recent congressional initiatives that would call for an immediate pullout of American forces from Iraq.

You know, American military operations have two phases. In the attack phase there's great patriotism, there's a groundswell of support for the troops and much flag waving.
The second phase is a more difficult phase. That's a time when you have casualties. That's the time when you make incremental gains. And it's a time when you sometimes see faltering political support. That always happens. And right now in the war-fighting theater in Iraq, we're in the second phase.

Okay, the second phase Hunter is referring to is the nation building phase, and the only time it is more dangerous than the first stage is when you totally fuck up the first stage. In fact, the first stage is not yet complete. We are still fighting it because, unfortunately for us, the Iraqis did not dutifully line up in tight formations on the battlefield to be blown to bits. Much like a group of rag tag revolutionaries did in this country 230 or so years ago, the inferior force resorted to guerrilla warfare. It has been the standard playbook when fighting a superior force ever since then. The fact that the planners of this war didn't take that into account is the reason we're in this mess to begin with. Well, that and the fact that we never should have been there in the first place. Let go back to Hunter's statement.

And I thought that we would talk a little bit about what's at stake, because I think that the attack on 9/11 is something that Americans have not forgotten, and I think they understand that the aggressive operations of America's military have helped to keep the insurgents in the war against terror off balance.

That's why Americans today are able to go to parks, go to schools, go to the grocery store, live life without fear of having a second 9/11 attacks, and that's why four years have expired without a second attack on our homeland: because we've aggressively projected America's fighting forces in the theaters in Afghanistan and Iraq, and they are doing a superb job.

Yep, gotta drop in a couple of 9/11 references when deflecting criticism about a completely different war. The bottom line is that both these paragraphs are complete horseshit with the exception of the Afghanistan mention. The war in Iraq has nothing to do with keeping our homeland safe from terrorists. In fact, what we've managed to do is create the greatest terrorist training camp in the world. Iraq is now a laboratory where terrorist can test new methods soon to be exported to other parts of the world.

Also, it is important to remember that just because our homeland hasn't been attacked, our allies have, lest we forget Madrid, London, Amman, and Bali. Hunter had one other thing to say that interested me.

And we are in the process of delivering a free Iraq and delivering a nation that will be, instead of an enemy of the United States, a friend of the United States in a very strategic area of the world, that will not be a platform for terrorists, that will have a modicum of democracy and therefore not be a threat to the United States.

As soon as they are able to, the Iraqis are going to throw us out of the country. It is going to be simply impossible to get elected in a new "free" Iraq having a pro US stance. That's the danger of creating a democracy where we are hated.

That being said, John Murtha is also wrong. The danger here is not in repeating the mistake of Vietnam. It is in repeating the mistake of 1980's Afghanistan. Once the Soviet Union withdrew from Afghanistan, we basically threw the Afghanis to the wolves. Of course, other factors made it difficult to continue aid such as the untimely death of Pakistan's leader Zia-Ul-Haq in a 1988 plane crash and the KGB blowing up one of our arms warehouses in Pakistan. But, the reality is we left Afghanistan to become a failed state. How did that work out for us? Oh yea, thirteen years later some assholes flew some planes into some buildings. (I highly recommend reading Charlie Wilson's War for more information on the covert 1980's CIA operations in Afghanistan.)

We can't let Iraq become the same thing, but what are our current real-time options. First of all we need to commit enough force to Iraq to make the population restive. I can only come up with three ways to accomplish this given that our military is becoming increasingly battle weary. The first is obviously to have a draft. Not gonna happen with presidential approval ratings in the thirties. Members of Congress like being members of Congress and approving a draft puts you in the fast lane out of town. The second is recruit foreigners to replenish our ranks. Bad idea, leads to a clusterfuck of a military. The third, and in my opinion the best option is to play a high stakes game of chicken with the UN. Tell them to give us 150,000 troops next month or we are going home. This isn't going to happen either. So, there are no military options available to us except for Bush's policy of staying the course. He doesn't seem to understand that we can't keep on fucking up and expect a conclusion to our liking just because we are Americans.

The other option is to allow the free elections and let the Iraqis expel us. Once we're gone, there will probably be an extremely violent civil war with the Madhi army siding with the Sunnis to go against the Badr Brigade and the pro-Iranian Shia. The ugly reality is that we are going to have to pick a side and arm them though a third pass though country. And we're going to have to hold our nose while the ethnic cleansing takes place. We're also going to have to whack a few guys, it's going to be messy. Then we're going to have to live with whatever government the winner sets up. Probably a pro-Iranian theocracy. We have to try to make nice with them which will be hard because unlike Afghanistan, they won't need our money, they have oil. We are also going to have to lean on Turkey not to intervene when the Kurds withdrawal from Iraq to form their own country.

Hopefully, we will not all feel the scalding steam blast from the pressure cooker that George Bush foolishly opened.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Wow, how well did irresponsible score in the focus group. Bush can't put together more than ten words right now without using it. Thing is, it doesn't matter anymore. My sense is that the American people are not hearing him. When the administration's credibility left town, so did its ability to use the bully pulpit that comes with being president. Their constant prattle about irresponsibility is nothing more than the muzak at your local supermarket. Bland, irrelevant, and most importantly forgettable.

Kanye Was Right

Despite the fact that four out of five team members of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division assigned to review Georgia's new voting legislation deemed it likely to disenfranchise African-American voters, Bush political appointees overruled their recommendation and gave it "pre-clearance."

Two courts have ruled the law unconstitutional, but hey, how could they pass on the chance to disenfranchise black voters. From The Washington Post:

State Rep. Tyrone L. Brooks Sr., a Democrat and president of the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials, said he was not surprised by the Justice Department's position in the case.

"Some of my colleagues told me early on that, because of politics in the Bush administration, no matter what the staff recommendation was, this would be approved by the attorney general," Brooks said. "It's disappointing that the staff recommendation was not accepted, because that has been the norm since 1965."

My God, are we going to have to resort to that fucking purple finger thing to have a fair fucking election in this country. If 2006 turns out to be the shit storm I think it will be for republicans, I want to be in the front of the line when it comes time to hand out cock punches.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 has paired two conservative musicians to write a song praising President Bush. They are planning on making a video to air on MTV. Wow, is it bad. I'm really hope their Robo-calling minions get this on MTV, it will allow us to claim a generation of voters without lifting a finger.

First of all the music appears to be almost entirely lifted from Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start The Fire."

Secondly, the lyrics are written in a form similar to something a ten year old would write. sent an e-mail so potential viewers will be ready to call TRL once the video is done. Here is a sample:

This is what the youth in America need. They’re already bombarded with songs on the radio and videos on MTV that trash our President, conservative beliefs, and traditional American values. From “Mosh” by Eminem, to “Idiot Son of an A**hole” by NOFX… all of these songs serve to fill young people’s minds with LIES.

And of course, everywhere they turn, the mainstream media is lying to them about the FACTS — like the FACT that WMDs *were* found in Iraq, including enriched uranium, chemical weapons agents, chemical warheads containing cyclosarin, radioactive materials in powdered form, roadside bombs loaded with mustard and “conventional” sarin gas, etc.; or the FACT of clear, uncontested, proven links between Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and Al Qaeda; or the FACTS of all of the GOOD news that’s happening in Iraq, which the media refuses to report!

Okay, as far as I know, NOFX doesn't even make videos, and the second paragraph is about as far away from reality as you can get.

I'm going to post a link to a sample of the song, but beware. If you are susceptible to involuntary urine releases during fits of laughter, go the the restroom before listening.

Here's the link.


Always feel free to leave comments on this blog. I wouldn't have them turned on otherwise. You can leave them even if they are off topic, no, especially if they are off topic, no, even, no, especially. Fuck it, leave anything you want.


I've been wondering about the houses they didn't search in New Orleans, specifically whether or not they contained any bodies. Apparently they do. Relatives are now coming home to find decomposing loved ones in their ruined homes. The death toll has jumped 104 since the state stopped searches on October 3rd. This is with the Lower Ninth Ward, which had the worst flooding, still closed to the public. I think there are still a lot of bodies in attics to find. This is just fucking ridiculous.

Found via Atrios via Scout Prime


In a Newark Star Ledger poll taken after last Tuesday New Jersey Gubernatorial election, the top reason cited for impacting voters was political party, the second most cited reason was Doug Forrester's association with President Bush. It's important right now that we brand the entire republican party with the House Of Bush brand. It's pure political poison.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Diet Time

In a rare foriegn policy coup for the Bush administration, Condoleezza Rice has brokered a deal that will allow Palestinians to travel to and from the Gaza Strip with relative freedom. Relative freedom means Ariel Sharon, pictured on the left, will now only have the authority to eat every fourth Palestinian that makes the crossing. It is rumored that Sharon consulted with Jenny Craig before agreeing to the accord.


It looks like the Bush administration is now collapsing under the weight of the pre-war intelligence. Today, the New York Times runs a lead editorial effectively calls Bush a liar. That's an upgrade in the rhetoric. From the Times:

Yesterday in Alaska, Mr. Bush trotted out the same tedious deflection on Iraq that he usually attempts when his back is against the wall: he claims that questioning his actions three years ago is a betrayal of the troops in battle today.

It all amounts to one energetic effort at avoidance. But like the W.M.D. reports that started the whole thing, the only problem is that none of it has been true.

EJ Dionne piles on in the Washington Post noting that "the president clearly needs to tend to his credibility problems. But his partisan attacks on the administration's critics, in a Veterans Day speech last week and in Alaska yesterday, will only add to his troubles."

As for my two cents, in the two speeches mentioned by Dionne, the Bush administration is starting to sound like a small child who blames the dog for coloring on the walls.

Sorry For The Light Output

It's Michigan Week, what do you want?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Sinking In

Doug Forrester, the recently defeated GOP candidate for governor in New Jersey, has admitted what I talked about here earlier. Hurricane Katrina was the Democrats 9/11, at least politically. After Katrina, everything changed. From The Star Ledger:

Doug Forrester, in his first postelection interview, laid the blame for his loss in the governor's race last week directly at the feet of President Bush. He said the public's growing disaffection with Bush, especially after Hurricane Katrina, made it impossible for his campaign to overcome the built-in advantage Democrats have in a blue state like New Jersey.

"If Bush's numbers were where they were a year ago, or even six months ago, I think we would have won on Tuesday," Forrester said. "Katrina was the tipping point."

Yep, get used to it.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Audio Bullys

I just got an advanced copy of the new Audio Bullys CD titled Generation due out on January 26. After a couple of listens it sounds mellower than their previous releases. Fave tracks are I'm In Love, This Road, and the only really hard driving track on the album, Shot You Down. There are seventeen tracks in all. It's probably worth buying, but not necessarily a must have.

Deeply Irresponsible?

The one trick pony that is the Bush administration is using that one trick on critics who claim that Bush lied about prewar intel to get us into the Iraq War. Attack. Attack. Attack. Today in Tobyhanna, PA Bush gave a speech in which he said the following:

“While it’s perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began,”

Irresponsible? If you change the first r in that word to an m and throw in an apostrophe, you get a lot closer to the truth at hand. I'm-responsible. That is what the president can't tell you, but I will. He's responsible for the prewar intel that was given to Congress. He's responsible for the 2,062 American deaths to date in this war that was made possible by those cooked books. He's responsible for the 200 billion dollars this war has cost to date.

But of course, the Bush administration is woefully unable to own up to any of the facts in its many screw-ups, so they resort to the one trick they know. Unfortunately for Bush, he no longer has the credibility to back up those attacks.

Why Bother

I don't really know why anyone bothers paying any attention to election law. Actually, the republicans don't. The case involving ads ran against Alice Resnick in 2000 by Citizens for a Strong Ohio, a front group for the Ohio Chamber of Commerce has been resolved. It took five years, five fucking years. And for what? Citizens for a Strong Ohio will be fined $1,100. They ran seven million dollars worth of illegal ads and they only get fined $1,100. What a fucking joke.

Of course that's not all. They also will receive a written reprimand. That's right boys and girls, not an oral reprimand, but a written one. I'm beside myself wondering why they even fought this. They should have shook some fucking nickles out of their pocket, gave the Ohio Election Commission the finger, and walked away.

If you want some real campaign reform, you might want to start by putting some fucking teeth in existing campaign law.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Lott Backpedals

Trent Lott has backed off the remarks he made about the lunch leak, saying he was referring to another story in the Post. I still want to know however, which other Senators are secret torture meeting club?

Legal Defense Fund

Bob Ney has joined the swelling ranks of republicans with a legal defense fund. After all, you don't expect these assholes to pay a lawyer out of their own pocket for their criminal dalliances. It's actually starting to be a crowded field so I'm proposing the GOP as a whole hold a telethon for all of their legal defense funds. Two weeks from today sounds good, maybe name it the Thanks For Giving Pay For Play Day Telethon. Remember, this is the gift that gives back, if you know what I mean. (Assuming acquittal)

Ah, I can see it now. For only a dollar a day...You can give a republican in distress a much needed gift, a billable hour.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Judy Miller Unemployed

Judy Miller's severance package is now a done deal and she is retiring from the New York Times. Tomorrow's Times will feature a letter from Judy explaining her side of the story. She will not be missed.

Parsing Trent Lott

Yesterday, when speaking to reporters about the secret prison story in the November 3rd edition of the Washington Post written by Dana Priest, Trent Lott mentioned a luncheon for republican Senators attended by Dick Cheney held on the 2nd where information similar to the Post story was disseminated by Cheney to those in attendence and suspected that the leak about those prisons came from that luncheon. From Democracy Now:

"Information that was said in there, given out in there, did get into the newspaper. I don't know where else it came from…. It looked to me that at least one of those reports came right out of that room."

That doesn't make sense to me, at least on the surface. I don't think that Priest received the leak on Tuesday afternoon, wrote her article, fact checked it, and then confirmed it with other sources in time to make deadline for Wednesday's paper. I could be wrong, I'm not privy to the inner workings of the Post, but it seems difficult.

What I believe actually happened is this. Someone leaked to Cheney that Priest was working on the story and Cheney used the luncheon to prepare a response. After all, Cheney wasn't talking about these prisons with the full intelligence committee, just select republicans. Why else would he be discussing these prisons at all?

So, that brings us around to motive for revealing that the luncheon happened at all. Lott has been at odds with the White House for some time now, and I believe that Lott is really making this statement to cut Dick Cheney's throat. In other words, he is laying the prisons directly at the Vice President's feet. Unfortunately, the media took Lott's statement that a fellow Senator may have been the leak at face value.

Whatever the truth is, I have to think that Lott has now had his secret torture meeting club card revoked.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Ah, there must not be anything like waking up on yet another rainy election day in Ohio only to see your office's $90,000 screw-up on the front page of The Dispatch. That's the position Mike Pirik is in today as the Municipal Clerks office released Eric Shipley on felony drug possession for $10,000 instead of $100,000 as ordered by the court. From the Dispatch:

Shipley’s bail bondsman called it the "biggest goof-up" he’s seen while working with the courts.

"I’ve never run across this before. I’ve been in this business for 10 years and I’ve never heard of this happening," bondsman Conrad Meyers said last night.

Ouch, happy voting.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Ohio Senate Poll

Today's US Senate poll in The Dispatch appears to have over-sampled Democrats based on previous Ohio polls. I would have to guess both Paul Hackett and Sherrod Brown trail Mike Dewine by a slight bit. Still, with Dewine's numbers as low as they are for an incumbent, next year is looking like a gold watch year for Dewine. Brown and Hackett should both push ahead of Dewine as the primary season heats up.

It's looks like the over-sample happened due to a lack of response from Southwest Ohio. It could be because of zeal on the side that seems to have the momentum, or just a general malaise among republican voters in the aftermath of the Noe scandals, the Katrina debacle, and continued lack of visible progress in the Iraq war.

I'd have to call the poll an outlier for now.

Paging The IRS

The La Times has a story today about All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena getting a letter from the IRS concerning their tax exempt status due to a sermon given last year that criticized George Bush and the Iraq war.

The sermon reportedly was more about helping the poor and being against the war than last year's presidential election. I think the IRS ought to drag itself to Ohio to check out World Harvest Church and the way more political Rob Parsley.

Friday, November 04, 2005


Bob Ney's office has been subpeonaed in the Abramoff case. Like Josh Marshall, I find it amusing that in a 206 word statement, Ney's spokesperson failed to mention the word subpoenaed. Ney has claimed he was "duped" by Abramoff. That's par for the course for Ney, although I doubt he went that low at St. Andrews. How many times can you be duped before the voters realize your a dope?

Jerry Kilgore And The Chimp

Jerry Kilgore is hoping a Monday night rally with president Bush will put him over the top in the Virginia gubernatorial race. It's a risky play to bring in Mr. 35% so Kilgore must believe he is somewhat behind.

What is really telling about this rally is that it is at the airport. President Bush is such damaged goods that the only place he can rally the voters from is the airport. This is going to hurt many republicans in the mid-term elections. When you have to distance yourself from the top dog in your party during an election, you usually end up walking a knife's edge between pissing off the base and losing the middle. It is a fine line that makes success difficult.

I think Kaine wins this race but it is going to be extremely tight.


Zogby has finally been forced by the Downing Street crew to put the impeachment question back into his polling. 51% now favor impeachment if George Bush lied on Iraq. This poll just dropped and I don't have a link yet.

PR Fiasco

I didn't catch this in last Sunday's Washington Post, but Magorn over at Kos did. The short of it is that last Thursday, George Bush paid a visit to the traditionally African-American Howard University for a youth summit. The summit was held at the Blackburn Center, which holds the university's dining hall thus shutting the dining hall down. Angry students were told they would have to come back later and go around to the service entrance in the rear to get their food.

How do you fuck up a PR event this badly? This think this line from WAPO sums it up:

To set off a student protest at this school, you'd have to be politically tone-deaf in the extreme, out of touch and flying blind. And yet, Bush did it.

Do You Believe Me Now?

Last month I wrote this about the Christian Right:

You guys are considered to be backwoods snake-handling goat fuckers by the pro-business part of the republican party.

Yesterday, a memo from Mike Scanlan, an aide for Tom Delay, was revealed to say this:

"The wackos get their information through the Christian right, Christian radio, mail, the internet and telephone trees," Scanlon wrote in the memo, which was read into the public record at a hearing of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. "Simply put, we want to bring out the wackos to vote against something and make sure the rest of the public lets the whole thing slip past them."

Thursday, November 03, 2005


Cronyism is alive and well at the White House post Katrina. Last week, George Bush filled nine of the sixteen positions on the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board which oversees national intelligence with fundraisers from his re-election campaign. Yes, these extremely important national security positions were filled with hacks by our "security president." Feel safer yet?

Somebody should tell Bush that the French and Indian War is over. We don't need any pioneers being our first line of defense. Of course, if Al-Queda decides to attack us with bundled checks, these guys will sniff it out well in advance.

Unlikely Backer

Arnold Schwarzenegger has endorsed the Reform Ohio Now inititives despite pleas from Denis Hastert. I don't know why Schwarzenegger thought he had to involve himself in the Ohio effort. Yes, he does have Proposition 77 on the California ballot this year which basically does the same thing as Issue 4, but he could have simply dodged taking a position on the Ohio inititvies. He could have answered that how should he know what's right for the people of Ohio, or simply said that he hadn't seen the wording of the Ohio proposal. Instead Schwarzenegger seems to have actively pursued giving an endorsement as if he needed to get some sort of street cred for Prop 77.

Ohio republicans are certainly peeved and were the ones who enlisted Hastert to lean on Schwarzenegger.

I also endorse the Reform Ohio inititives.

Found via Kos


My bad, I was wrong about Omar al-Farouq. He actually did escape and boasted as much in a video shown on Al-Arabiya on October 18th. It didn't garner any attention is the US press and it was only yesterday that the Pentagon confirmed the mistake.


The above is a screenshot showing that someone in the Franklin County Municipal Courts visited this blog this morning after finding it by running an MSN search for "Mike Pirik". Is it someone goofing off or are Pirik's employees doing campaign work on the county dime? Inquiring minds want to know.

Poll Numbers

The new CBS poll has George Bush at 35%. That's bad, but not nearly as bad as Dick Cheney's 19% approval rating. Christ, that's Bob Taft bad. I don't think Bush can get much lower than 30% so he's getting pretty close to the bottom.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Andy Ginther & Betty Drummond

For Columbus School Board I am supporting Andy Ginther and Betty Drummond. Outside of Intelligent Design freaks, anyone, and I mean anyone, regardless of party deserves a pat on the back for running for any school board. It's a pretty thankless job. I often tell people who want to get into politics to run for their local school board. They're cheap campaigns to run and it gives the candidate real world experience in honing their campaign style. I also tell them that whatever they do, don't win. The job sucks.

That being said, on November 8th, I'll be pulling the lever for Andy and Betty.


I find the claim by the Pentagon that a detainee cannot testify in an Army abuse case because he has escaped to be highly dubious. From

A man once considered a top al Qaeda operative escaped from a U.S.-run detention facility in Afghanistan and cannot testify against the soldier who allegedly mistreated him, a defense lawyer involved in a prison abuse case said Tuesday.

Omar al-Farouq was one of Osama bin Laden's top lieutenants in Southeast Asia until Indonesian authorities captured him in the summer of 2002 and turned him over to the United States.

A Pentagon official in Washington confirmed Tuesday evening that al-Farouq escaped from a U.S. detention facility in Bagram, Afghanistan, on July 10. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information.

An Army lawyer for Sgt. Alan J. Driver, a reservist accused of abusing Bagram detainees, asked Tuesday where al-Farouq was and what the Army had done to find him in time for Driver's court proceedings.

Capt. John B. Parker, a prosecutor, said al-Farouq and three others escaped from the Bagram detention center and have not been found.

"If we find him ... we will make him available," Parker said.

That smells like complete bullshit to me, but fuck it, lets take the Pentagon's word at face value. That means that somewhere in the US military is a person that ran a prison which allowed "one of Osama bin Laden's top lieutenants" escape. That seems like a pretty demotable offense to me. Who is this person and what punishment has been meted out to this individual? I say this person must be named so the entire nation can shame him or her. Also, why wasn't the public notified that this dangerous figure is now at large? I could have walked right by Omar al-Farouq and not recognized him with my Omar al-Farouq card sitting at home in the captured pile.

That's Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon folks, so mismanaged that they have to fabricate a fuck-up to cover up a fuck-up.

Give 'Em Hell Harry

Harry Reid shut down the Senate yesterday to demand resolution into the investigation of prewar failures. FrankenFrist called it a slap to his cold dead face. If Fristybot 5000 had a human tongue he would realize that this is just a taste of things to come. Take off your debutante gloves Frist, the band is playing our song and we’re gonna dance, bitch!

I tried to reach Fristybot for comment, but his internal processor was busy conducting pre-session online trading in his blind trust. Merck has a new erectile dysfunction drug for robots called uprdownathol.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Nuclear Option

Now is the time for the showdown on the nuclear option. If we don't force the republicans to invoke the nuclear option over this nominee, do we really have an effective filibuster anyway? It actually goes a lot further than that. We are in a can't lose situation.

First of all, I agree with Kevin Drum. Let's suppose the republicans successfully use the nuclear option to get Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. It that happens, the Christian right will demand the Senate use it in other places to pass God knows what loony legislation. What do you do then? Capitulate and completely lose the middle, or throw the right overboard? Either way it is over for the republican party.

Secondly, I don't think the republican party can do this without having 51 votes. I can't imagine there are many Senators wanting to go out on the campaign trail next year having been the vote that gave Dick Cheney the keys to the hen house. How would you like to be that vote which every yes voting Senator would be when Scooter Libby decides he likes his children more than the current VP and cuts a deal? Ouch.

As far as the Christian right is concerned, they are approaching the top of the mountain. They just don't understand it's all downhill from there.

Sam Herd

Since there is one week until the 2005 election, I'd like to take the time to tell everyone which candidates and issues I'm supporting this year. I'll start with Sam Herd for Cincinnati City Council if for the only reason that I am attending an impromptu fundraiser for her tonight at Metro on South High St in Columbus from 5:30 to 7:30. The ask is for $50, but any contribution is appreciated. If you can't attend but would like to throw her some coin, you can do so here.

You can read more about Samantha Herd at her website or at her profile at

Oxley To Retire

Michael Oxley is retiring from the US House according to the Toledo Blade. A year ago I had five republican US House members on my wish list to take out in 2006 even if they were replaced by other republicans. Rob Portman is already gone, Michael Oxley appears to be retiring, and credible candidates have been found to run against Deb Pryce and Bob Ney.

Anybody want to throw their hat in the ring to take on Pat Tiberi?