Monday, July 31, 2006

Eric Alterman (Nope)

Over at Newsweek, Eric Alterman (Still not the right guy) writes possibly the dumbest paragraph ever written about the Connecticut Democratic Primary race. From Newsweek:

At the same time, the Senate needs collegial moderates who work across party lines. It's the only way to stop the really bad stuff. And the revival of the romance of the antiwar left is a potential disaster for the Democrats. That's what gave the world Richard Nixon in 1968.

Nixon was a lot of things, but one thing he wasn't was polling at nine fucking percent before the election which republican candidate and known card counter Alan Schlesinger is. The republicans can't win this seat no matter what happens in the primary, period.

It is truly amazing how many apocalyptic warnings are being issued over this race. I think later tonight on CNN, Paula Zahn is going to see what the book of Revelations can tell us about Joe Lieberman.

Update: Yes, I am indeed an idiot. Must of been hung over that day. What can I say, I fucked this one up. My apologies to Eric Alterman, it was Jonathan Alter who wrote this.

Flat Lined

Here is a product you won't find in the latest Pew Poll on President Bush. He's still mired in the mid-thirties, quagmired actually.

Back Patting

While I'm sure there is a good deal of back patting going on in Washington over the 48 hour cessation in bombing by the Israelis, the reality is that nothing changed and the bombing continues. That's progress, Bush style.

One Simple Question

Did CNN mandate all of the women who appear on American Morning get spray on tans, or did they just decide to get them on the same weekend?

Three reporters, two supporters, not good numbers.

Won't Someone Think Of The Children

It's only eight days until these thugs force Mort Kondracke to flee the country.

Saddam Hussein, or Mel Gibson, you decide.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Cutting Down The Apple Tree

It appears that Alberto Gonzales wants Congress to cut down the apple tree before investigators can climb it to find out how far above those bad apples lying on the ground detainee abuse goes. From the Washington Post:

An obscure law approved by a Republican-controlled Congress a decade ago has made the Bush administration nervous that officials and troops involved in handling detainee matters might be accused of committing war crimes, and prosecuted at some point in U.S. courts.

Senior officials have responded by drafting legislation that would grant U.S. personnel involved in the terrorism fight new protections against prosecution for past violations of the War Crimes Act of 1996. That law criminalizes violations of the Geneva Conventions governing conduct in war and threatens the death penalty if U.S.-held detainees die in custody from abusive treatment.

In light of a recent Supreme Court ruling that the international Conventions apply to the treatment of detainees in the terrorism fight, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales has spoken privately with Republican lawmakers about the need for such "protections," according to someone who heard his remarks last week.

Gonzales told the lawmakers that a shield is needed for actions taken by U.S. personnel under a 2002 presidential order, which the Supreme Court declared illegal, and under Justice Department legal opinions that have been withdrawn under fire, the source said. A spokeswoman for Gonzales, Tasia Scolinos, declined to comment on Gonzales's remarks. [emphasis mine]

I think officials is the key word in this passage, quite a few of which work at the Pentagon with a smaller number working at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Perhaps the bill should be called the Save Dick Cheney's, Donald Rumsfeld's, Stephen Hadley's et al Act because these are the people Gonzales is talking about protecting.

The bill will be pushed as a tool necessary for protecting our troop in the War on Terror, but this legislation doesn't have squat to do with the troops. Indeed, if it did, where was it when Lindsey England and the rest of the Abu Ghraib bad apples were prosecuted and incarcerated, and if passed would this legislation exonerate them? Highly doubtful, though I bet their lawyers are itching to give it a shot.

This is simply a get out of jail free card for the administration. It will be interesting to see which republicans who voted for the War Crimes Act in 1996 will now vote for exemptions now that a republican sits in the Oval Office.

The Effects Of Trading Free Trade For Nothing At All

As I was preparing to write up a post on an encounter I had a couple of nights ago, I came across a passage in the Washington Post pointed out by David Sirota on Kos that talks about The Hamilton Project, "an effort by the (Bill) Clinton economic braintrust to generate new ideas and a Democratic election agenda." I decided to integrate it into this post because it really serves to provide backround and as The Dude would say in the Big Lebowski, it really ties the room together. From the Washington Post:

Policy-wise, this is exactly where the Democratic Party as a whole needs to be in terms of trade and globalization. But the problem is that, when you scratch the surface, the free-trade members of the Democratic establishment turn out to be more committed to Part A of the formula, more globalization, than they are to Part B, making sure the benefits from globalization are widely shared. For them, it's really not a package deal. And if push comes to shove, which it always does in trade politics, they'd welcome more globalization even without the compensatory social policies.

How do I know this? Because they said so.

At the conference's closing session, I asked former Treasury secretaries Robert Rubin and Larry Summers and former deputy Treasury secretary Roger Altman if any of them would be willing to support the idea of a "time out" on new free-trade initiatives until there was some tangible progress toward greater economic security for U.S. workers. To a man, they recoiled at the idea.

They recoiled. This says a lot about the friction between the bloggers and the Democratic beltway elite. We don't need to go to something such as a Hamilton Project conference to see what needs to be done, because we see the results of these trade policies every day. We're not far enough away to be afforded such disconnect.

Don't get me wrong, they're still better than the republicans. They can see the forest, but in the end, they simply cut down the trees as well. Currency is printed on paper you know, and that is where their true loyalties lie. It's not that I have anything against making money, I quite enjoy it myself, but I believe with wealth comes responsibility.

Anyway, these people do have a disconnect with us living in Realworldia, and Realworldia is where my story takes place.

Last night, upon returning from a bar I frequent, I ran into a gentleman probably in his early fifties who asked me for some money. He was a newbie, newbie homeless that is. He had lived as so many do too close to the edge too long. The odds had finally caught up with him.

It was awkward for him when he made his ask. He hadn't been on the street long enough to come up with a rap. No car out of gas with a pregnant girlfriend in it, no bus fare needed, no trying to be upfront and honest wanting money to buy liquor. He was simply hungry, and looked as if he felt shame in having to ask others for the means to satiate that hunger.

After I moved along, I started thinking about the others, the other newbies and the life long street residents that I have come across in my lifetime. Then I remembered that in a couple of months it would be the second anniversary of the death of one of the local long time street denizens, Tim.

Tim was a guy in the neighborhood who was always polite to me, and always kept me informed as to the goings on in our little patch of Columbus as well. He had been in some sort of accident or possibly a war that cost him three of his limbs and part of his right hand. I never asked. Almost two years ago Tim decided that he could take the street life no more.

Tim drug himself up under an overpass with the one good hand, then took the one track trip to hell on the mainline express. A pure matchhead of smack warmed his way into the afterworld. You always find these things out in strange ways. I didn't even know he was dead for a couple of weeks. I figured he was in the lockup, or the lockdown depending on which government agency was rousting the homeless that week. Another homeless guy shyly approached me and told me the story. A careful review of past newspapers confirmed it to me.

I wondered, would this newbie I encountered's life also end in such a manner? It's always impossible to know how someone will react to life on the streets. One thing is for sure, this government will do nothing to stop that slide, no, the only effect this government will have on his life will be to cut the already meager social programs that could help him rebuild his shattered life.

By this time I had reached the front door of my building. Taped to it was a summons to appear in court for an eviction proceeding. It seems my neighbor will soon be newbie homeless too. I guess tomorrow will be deja vu all over again.


Ohio GOP Chairman Bob Bennett has fired Gary Lankford, the staffer who recently sent an e-mail proclaiming that Democratic candidate Ted Strickland was gay. Bennett also sent Strickland a letter of apology.

Bennett had to fire the guy, if not for the bigotry of the attack, then because for $16,000 you deserve better opposition research than just saying he's gay. What are they hiring, ten-year olds? Seriously though, for half that money I could have at least come up with he's super gay, or really gay, or really super gay. The Ohio republican party really comes of looking pretty foolish from this episode.

Even worse for the republican party, the publishing of the e-mail furthers the public's notion that their gubernatorial candidate is far out of step with the rational wing of their party. Even my right wing Christian accountant says there is no way he'd ever vote for Blackwell, and will vote for Strickland, and I don't know if he has ever voted for a Democrat in his life.

One last thing, how does anybody believe they can get away with a secret e-mail list anymore? Pretty much every list has been compromised by opposition researchers and you should always be prepared for any content you send out to be made public record if it is damaging to you.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Gus Boulis Bombshell

I haven't followed the gangland killing of Jack Abramoff and Adam Kidan partner Gus Boulis that closely since Kidan and Ambramoff plead out on their fraud charges, but I don't think I would have missed this bombshell that is casually laid out in today's Miami Herald. From the Herald:

Former SunCruz co-owner Adam Kidan told investigators that the triggerman was shot to death three years ago by his own business partner.

Kidan, who bought SunCruz from Boulis with lobbyist Jack Abramoff, gave Fort Lauderdale police a taped statement May 1, naming John Gurino as the person who shot Boulis four times in the chest in 2001, said Art Carbo, an investigator with the Broward state attorney's office.
During the 2 ½-hour taped statement, Kidan also told Fort Lauderdale homicide detectives and the lead prosecutor on the case, Brian Cavanagh, that Moscatiello and Ferrari devised the murder plot.

Kidan said he had no role in the plot to kill Boulis, with whom he had been locked in a contentious fight over the Dania Beach-based gambling ship fleet.

No role? But you know the shooters name and the plotters in the murder of a business associate you're having problems with? Sounds doubtful, and it also sounds like Kidan learned well from his mentor Moscatiello who has finked his way out of trouble for a long time.

For the record, Moscatiello and third suspect James Fiorillo are trying to make bail. They concluded their bail hearings yesterday, could be bad news for Kidan.

Brand D

The numbers in the generic House and Senate polls have been repeated ad nauseum, and I'm sure that you've heard even me say that I think those numbers don't mean much, however, these generic numbers from the latest NPR House poll are very important, because they were done on a district by district level of the fifty most competitive seat this cycle, forty of which are held by republicans. From MyDD:

In the fifty most competitive House districts this year, Democrats lead the generic ballot 48-41. While this is a smaller lead for Democrats than many national polls reveal, it is important to remember that this is primarily a survey of Republican-held.

When candidates are named across the fifty districts, Democrats lead 49-43.

Within the ten Democratic held districts, Democrats hold a whopping 60-29 advantage. This may only be a sample size of around 200, but these numbers show the tremendous strength of Democratic incumbents around the nation. We hold a 31-point generic ballot advantage in our ten most endangered seats? Amazing.

Within the "top tier" Republican held seats (not sure how many districts this included), Democrats hold a sizable 52-42 advantage in the generic ballot. These are the sort of numbers that make a takeover very likely.

Within the "bottom tier" of the competitive Republican held seats, Democrats still hold a generic advantage of 47-44. This is particularly amazing. This shows Democratic competitiveness across a wide swatch of districts.

Bush is at 45% "strong disapprove" in these districts, and only 24% "strong approve." Remember--these are in districts that Republicans hold.

Okay, that's very good news, news you can use if you're running for office this cycle. Here is how to take advantage of it. Candidates need to in every television and radio ad they run state that they are a Democrat. Say something like I'm "your name here", and I'm a Democrat, or I'm a proud Democrat, or and I'm the Democratic candidate for "your office here". Hell, I would even include a graphic showing that you are indeed a Democrat.

Say it loud, say it proud because what you're doing is branding yourself to the popular Brand D label. You must get the voters to associate your name with the Democratic label. Have you seen many republican commercials this cycle where the candidate says they are a republican? Didn't think so.

The last step, and I cannot stress how important this last one is because it helps all of us win. Have volunteers at every polling location handing out Democratic sample ballots. Have your volunteers barking out, "Get your Democratic sample ballots here!!" You can't have enough of them, and the quality of the printing isn't even important. If nothing else, simple xeroxed copies will do.

After all, here in Ohio they are only going to have to last five hours or so. Okay, that was a little snarky but seriously the voters don't care as long as it has the list of Democrats on their ballot. It's the last chance before the voter hits the booth to associate your name with the popular Brand D label.


Finish this statement:

Blogger is to online publishing is as the Bush administration is to______________________.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

FOP Says No To Blackwell

Ken Blackwell has failed to secure yet another traditionally GOP endorsement. The Ohio Fraternal Order Of Police has chosen to endorse Ted Strickland in the gubernatorial race. I guess the FOP figures with fewer republicans in office they can free up a lot of manpower from corruption probes.

Fred Phelpsowitz?

Just to prove that every religion has its share of wackos, I give you the Jewish answer to Fred Phelps, the right wing Christian who believes US troops are being killed in Iraq in response to our nation's tolerance of homosexuality. From the World Net Daily:

BEIT EL, Israel – Are Israel's troubles in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon and the Hezbollah rockets slamming daily into major Israeli population centers here a result of the Jewish state's tacit support for a homosexual parade slated for next month in Jerusalem?

Some rabbis seem to think so, and they are attempting to block the event from taking place in Judaism's holiest city.

"Why does this war break out this week, all of sudden with little warning? Because this is the exact week the Jewish people are trying to decide whether the gay pride parade should take place in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv," Pinchas Winston, a noted author, rabbi and lecturer based in Jerusalem told WND.

Hmm, come to think of it, these guys might be right. I've seen Hezbollah march on TV, and they do seem to have a flag corps. Plus, they do wear fabulous scarves. Maybe Hezbollah's incursion into Israel was simply an attempt to get to the parade, then they ran into some men in uniform and, well, you know how these things go.

Joe Conason

Over at the NY Observer, Joe Conason lays out the conventional narrative from the Beltway Bunch on the Lieberman / Lamont matchup to be appropriately mocked, and remember mockery is the sincerest form of mockery, at least that's what some old geezer on the radio used to say. From the Observer:

According to the standard version, Mr. Lieberman is the victim of ferocious “liberal bloggers” from around the country. Dispersed across the United States, these meddling left-wing activists somehow conspired to launch Ned Lamont’s primary challenge, and then somehow mesmerized voters, perhaps via the Internets, to reject the Senator they had chosen three times before. Combining Internet technology with progressive ideology, the miasmic and unwholesome blogosphere now threatens to swallow poor Joe in a cloud of angry, buzzing bytes.

Can we please dispense with this silliness. Perhaps initially, the left blogosphere offered Ned Lamont a voice to gain some initial momentum, but it is Ned Lamont that has offered a voice to the voters of Connecticut who feel disenfranchised by Lieberman's views.

If it is over one single divisive issue, the Iraq War, fine, so be it. Lieberman once offered that same voice to voters over a divisive issue, the Vietnam War, when he was beginning his career. Those who don't remember history are doomed to be buried by it, and it looks like memory has long ago left old Joe.

This campaign also reminds me a little bit of something that happens not just in politics, but in the lifespan of careers in so many fields. It's a simple fact that in the eyes of the American people one day you're hot, one day you're not. More often than not, those who are no longer hot have to be dragged kicking and screaming from the main stage. I think that explains Lieberman's behavior during this race.

The voters of Connecticut are tiring of Lieberman's old song and dance and want a new tune to whistle along to as they stroll to the voting booth. In other words, the hook is out, and Lieberman is about to get jerked off the stage.


Here are your two least surprising stories of the day. Thomas Friedman admits he rarely knows what he is talking about here, and Condoleeza Rice's peace mission to the Middle East has failed here. That brings us to our word of the day, inCondilent.

InCondilent - def. The inability to broker any deal anywhere on the planet. See Shelley Levine from the movie Glengarry Glen Ross.

Could be a sleepy flight home because coffee is for closers.

Anonymous No More

When both sides of the blogosphere are actively seeking to determine your identity, you don't stand much of a chance to remain anonymous. That GOP Senate candidate bashing Bush in yesterday's Washington Post was Maryland candidate Michael Steele.

See what happens when we work together guys. Now if the right would just drop their wrong headed views of virtually every issue, think what we could accomplish. Oh well, let the disagreement continue.

Biting The Bullet

Today at his trial, Saddam Hussein demanded that he be shot to death if sentenced to death rather than being hanged, as Iraqi law decrees. I guess it really doesn't matter.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


As Kos notes, the new primary schedule favors Edwards, but what he misses is it that it looks to to be a complete Hillary roadblock. Check out the votes here, when Hillary's voters took a stand, the rest of the party went the other way. Ickes and Brazile didn't exactly get their way. Guess hording all that money didn't sit well with the rest of the party in a year when we stand to make a move. Running for President early has it's disadvantages.

Arlen Spector: Silliest Bitch On The Hill

This is hilarious. Arlen Spector is now crafting a bill that will allow the Congress to sue President Bush over his use of presidential signing statements when he signs bills into law. These signing statement have the effect of a line item veto with the president deciding what part of the laws will be enforced. Of course our Constitution doesn't make provisions for a line item veto so they would normally be ruled unconstitutional.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the courtroom. Spector took a little side trip to put Sameul Alito and John Roberts on the bench. They are going to laugh Spector out of the building, no matter what the law reads. The bad thing is, Spector doesn't even see this coming. He is plodding along with the bill which will get tossed by the probably majority of Justices who buy into unitary executive theory, the power Bush claims when he issues these signing statements. Justices Spector helped get there to stop him.

CT Polling

In the latest Rasmussen poll, Ned Lamont leads Joe Lieberman 51% - 41%, a sixteen point swing in Lamont's favor over the previous poll Rasmussen did. I don't think I've ever seen a more meteoric rise, or fall in polling numbers where a enormous scandal wasn't involved.

Also Day Thirteen

The other people who really get excited every time Israel takes military action are the end of day folks. Last night on CNN, Paula Zahn did three whole segments on whether or not this fight is indeed the beginning of the rapture. I don't even know where to start. It is true that in covering something like this, you end up having to do a lot of filler, but this is something I would only expect on Fox News.

Tomorrow, on Zahn's show, "Could Noah's Ark break the Israeli blockade?"


I just caught this paragraph over at Atrios:

PRINCETON, NJ -- A new USA Today/Gallup poll finds 37% of Americans approving of the way Bush is handling his job as president and 59% disapproving. Despite many extraordinary events dominating the news over the past weeks -- including the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon and Bush's high-visibility trip to Europe -- this slight drop from the 40% approval rating measured earlier in the month is not statistically significant and falls within the margin of error between the two surveys. The current 37% rating is similar to his average approval rating of 37% for all of June.

Okay, so Bush's approval ratings go up 3% earlier in the month and all we hear is bounce, bounce, bounce. Bush is back, baby! Now, when Bush's approval ratings go down by the same percentage we get this is within the margin of error, nothing to see here. What's up with that?

It looks like it was the little bounce that wasn't.


This is kind of Liebermanesque. A GOP candidate for Senate called an informal lunch meeting with reporters, ripped the republican party, then refused to be identified for the piece. The only reason to do this would be to take a stand against your party for the fall election, yet he refuses to be identified. Bizarre. Here are some of the charges he levels, from the Washington Post:

The source of the candidate's anger -- and his anxiety -- is the Iraq war, which he called "the single thread that is weaving through every issue," including high gas prices and the violence in Lebanon. "People want an honest assessment from the administration, and they want to hear the administration admit we thought this, and it didn't happen that way, and -- guess what -- it didn't work, so we're going to try a Plan B." He continued: "Let's call it what it is. We thought this was going to be a different kind of engagement."

He seemed less agitated by the policy failure than by Bush's unwillingness to admit failure. "I don't know why the people around him don't see that," he said. "It is a frustration, to say the least. I think it is a lost opportunity to bring the American people along on a mission that is incredibly important."

Obviously, he wants to be seen as someone who will stand up to the administration, he goes on to say that he doesn't think he wants Bush campaigning for him, but if you don't make your identity known, how are the voters supposed to know you're the guy willing to do it?

Monday, July 24, 2006

For My Fellow Pastafarians

The Flying Spaghetti Monster makes a cameo in this New York Dolls video. In other FSM related news, the Gospel Of The Flying Spaghetti Monster is now available at Amazon.


I didn't see the Dispatch poll yesterday that gives Ted Strickland an enormous lead over Ken Blackwell, 47% to 27%. The Dispatch's polling is normally pretty accurate so I'm not sure what happened here. It does appear that the poll somewhat over sampled Democrats. I hope it's true, but I think the Zogby poll is probably closer to the mark.

Day 13

Anytime Israel engages in any form of military intervention the Nostradamus people crawl out from under the rocks they inhabit. I have been wondering how long it would take before I saw an ad, it was today at Raw Story.

Latest Zogby Numbers

Just out today, I have the latest polling numbers from Zogby, and it's more good news for Brand D in Ohio. Ted Strickland leads Ken Blackwell 48.4% - 43.8%. I still am yet to see a poll where Blackwell receives more than 45% and I'm pretty sure that is where he will stay. Over on the Senate side Sherrod Brown lead 45.2% to 36.6%. Polling in this race has been erratic to put it mildly. Personally, I think this race is going to be very close with the possibility of a recount needed to decide the race.

Band Pimping

Twelve Stops And Home is the debut CD from The Feeling. As with most good bands from the UK, they don't have a US distribution deal so it's only available as an import. It's pretty good though pick it up if you can find it.

A Never Ending Hell

I had written a long obscenity filled rant about the air quality in FEMA trailers, but Blogger ate it and I don't feel like retyping it. The short of it is it's pretty bad. Here's a link to the story if you want to check it out.

Smell It

Iraqi freedom is on the march, provided you don't need a tampon. From The Washington Post:

"Are you pure today?" the judge asked Nidhal, who nodded her assent to the standard question about whether she was not menstruating. Shiite Muslim women cannot participate in court proceedings during their periods.

Twenty eight days a month it's pure, pure freedom.

Not Hot

While Condi is actually touching a man, she makes sure to keep her genitals far, far away.


Thank God I don't live in Phoenix, it's a little after five in the morning, and it's already 94 degrees there. Fuck that.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Joe's Dough

Neocon Bill Kristol has heeded Mort Krondracke's call to action in the quest to save America from free elections which would surely plunge the nation into chaos. He has given Joe Lieberman $500 to fight back Ned Lamont's keenly fanged army of revolutionaries, otherwise known as Connecticut voters.

Who else will give Joe dough in order to stop the collapse of society?

Iraq Ratifies New National Anthem

It's a boomiful day in this neighborhood,
A boomiful day for a neighbor.
Would you kill mine?
Could you kill mine?...

It's a neighborly day in this bombed out hood,
A neighborly day for a bombing.
Would you kill mine?
Could you kill mine?...

I've always wanted to kill a neighbor just like you.
I've always wanted to live in a neighborhood without you.

So, let's make the most of this boomiful day.
Since we're together they�re gonna pay:
Would you kill mine?
Could you kill mine?
Won't you kill my neighbor?
Won't you please,
Won't you please?
Please won't you kill my neighbor?

Now can somebody tell the president it's a civil war? Nah, House republicans are too busy crafting that controversial Kittens Are Cute Constitutional Amendment.

A Little Over The Top

In yesterday's edition of Roll Call, Mort Kondracke actually wrote this little piece of tripe about the Lieberman - Lamont matchup:

This is no exaggeration: The soul of the Democratic Party — and possibly the future of civility in American politics — is on the line in the Aug. 8 Senate primary in Connecticut.

Jesus Mort, I don't think that if the anointed Lieberman loses in the primary New Haven is going to turn into San Salvador from the eighties. I'd hate to see how worked up Krondracke gets over serious threats to our democracy like the trampling of the 4th Amendment. Oh, that's right, Krondracke doesn't care that much about those trivialities. It's the fact that the voters of Connecticut might actually prefer someone other than Joe Lieberman that bring down our republic.

Ken Lay Would Have Been Proud

Remember that huge fundraiser the republican party threw last month. The Washington Post heralded it as the largest fundraiser ever, netting $15 million for the NRCC and $12 million for the NRSC. Well, both organizations have now filed their campaign finance reports and for the entire month of June they only netted $9.5 million and $4.8 million respectively.

That is quite a bit lower than what they claimed they received from that one single event. At the time Jim McCrery (R-La.), House chair for the event said, "I think this dinner is going to reestablish the cash advantage . . . that we've historically had." That didn't happen either, the DSCC now has $38 million cash on hand to the NRSC's $19.9 million. The RNCC has a marginal $1.7 million advantage over the DCCC.

Looks like there must have been a lot of seat fillers at that event, did anyone see Kramer?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Bob Ney 90 Day Rule

Bob Ney has been telling people that the Justice Department has a rule against indicting politicians within 90 days of an election. DOJ says they've never heard of such a rule.

Pimping Bands

I going to pimp out some of the bands I've been listening to lately in the next couple of days, but for now why don't you check out the next big thing, at least in the White Stripes / Ravonettes / Yea Yea Yeas type big. They have yet to release a debut album, but they do have a CD single out and an EP, plus they have some songs up on their MySpace page. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Noisettes.

Check it out, tell me what you think.

Dumbest Paragraph Ever

You would think that The Wall Street Journal would want to fill it's editorial pages with thoughtful, well reasoned columns that, even if they have a conservative bent, reflect the realities of the world so that readers could use this information to their benefit. They apparently do not. This paragraph by Peggy Noonan actually would have met the criteria I mentioned, if only it was written about thirty-five years ago. From the WSJ:

During the past week's heat wave--it hit 100 degrees in New York City Monday--I got thinking, again, of how sad and frustrating it is that the world's greatest scientists cannot gather, discuss the question of global warming, pore over all the data from every angle, study meteorological patterns and temperature histories, and come to a believable conclusion on these questions: Is global warming real or not? If it is real, is it necessarily dangerous? What exactly are the dangers? Is global warming as dangerous as, say, global cooling would be? Are we better off with an Earth that is getting hotter or, what with the modern realities of heating homes and offices, and the world energy crisis, and the need to conserve, does global heating have, in fact, some potential side benefits, and can those benefits be broadened and deepened? Also, if global warning is real, what must--must--the inhabitants of the Earth do to meet its challenges? And then what should they do to meet them?

Keep in mind, this was printed in the Journal today, July 20, 2006. What cave has Noonan been living in? These questions have long been answered. Only the most foolish, blind followers of Bush republicanism do not accept the findings of virtually all climate scientists. The work has been done, we know what we need to do. Actually, I assume Noonan knows this and is just trying to muddy the water on the issue, but how as an editor do you maintain your dignity when you choose to publish this instead of rightly putting it in the circular filing cabinet?

He Sucks, But Why Do Better?

George Voinovich writes an Op-Ed in today's Washington Post. In it, Voinovich acknowledges that John Bolton is "not perfect" and that at the time Bolton originally came up for confirmation he "came to the conclusion that the country could do better." Then Voinovich drops this paragraph:

Ambassador Bolton's appointment expires this fall when the Senate officially recesses. Should the president choose to renominate him, I cannot imagine a worse message to send to the terrorists -- and to other nations deciding whether to engage in this effort -- than to drag out a possible renomination process or even replace the person our president has entrusted to lead our nation at the United Nations at a time when we are working on these historic objectives.

It's probably a good thing Voinovich wasn't on ill-fated Flight 93 where he surely would have countered "Let's Roll" by saying, "Look, I know this shit is bad, but do we really want to change pilots now?!?"

You know, republicans are supposed to be good businessmen, and we hear when they are running for office that you want good businessmen stewarding the nation, right? Well, what the fuck happens after they get to DC? No accountability for anyone, and unqualified personnel are put into key positions. They don't run the country like a business, instead they run the nation as if it was some backwoods hick town where even the mayor's half-retarded cousin gets a city job.

A good question for Voinovich is, would you hire him if it was your money?

Joementum Is Slowmentum

Ned Lamont has grabbed the lead over Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut Senatorial race according to the latest Quinnipiac poll 51% - 47%. Both would easily defeat republican card sharp Alan Schlesinger, with Lieberman holding a decided edge in a three way race.

If there is one thing to be learned about this race, it's that the folks running Lieberman's campaign should be put on the Bob Shrum do not call these people, they have no idea what they're doing list. For a three term incumbent to be taken to the woodshed by a virtual unknown like Lieberman has so far doesn't say much about their ability.

One other thing about this race. Lieberman constantly says that Lamont is a one issue candidate, that issue being Lamont's opposition to the Iraq War. Lieberman should remember how he started his political career, as a Vietnam opposition candidate. I agree with Josh Marshall, it does appear that Lieberman has had his head in the clouds a bit too long.


Have you seen Mike DeWine's ad attacking Sherrod Brown using images of one of the Twin Towers burning? There is one problem with it, the wrong tower is on fire. From US News:

"This particular image is impossible," says W. Gene Corley, a structural engineer who led FEMA's building performance study on the World Trade Center after the 9/11 attacks. Corley reviewed the ad for U.S. News. "The north tower was hit first [so] the south tower could not be burning without the North Tower burning." Corley also says, "the smoke is all wrong." The day of the attacks, the plumes of ash were drifting to the southeast. "The smoke on 9/11 was never in a halo like that," Corley says.

The error in this ad really symbolizes the republicans response to 9/11. Getting it right, not that important. Demonizing Democrats for not enabling them to get it wrong, very important.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


It's official, right wing radio host Laura Ingraham has a bigger cock than Bill O'Reilly. Consider this exchange from O'Reilly radio show:

O'REILLY: Laura, here's how it works. It [left leaning groups] intimidates good people who may want to come into the public arena as politicians or commentators. It intimidates them. They don't want to put themselves --

INGRAHAM: I disagree. I hate to disagree with you, Bill, but I disagree. If someone is intimidated by George Soros and Media Matters, then they have no business being in politics or in our business. If you can't stand up for what you think is right and for the values that you think most Americans hold and for what you think is good for this country, then get out of the game, get out of the kitchen, whatever you want to call it, because these people are going to do that. That's the nature of this game. That has been politics for longer than you and I have been alive, and it's going to continue to be politics. And I understand what you're saying. I mean, it's amplified because of the new media and the Internet and everything.

Bill, I'm pretty sure she just called you a pussy.

More Troops For Iraq

Well, it looks like another nation is prepared to send troops to Iraq to help quell the unrest there. Unfortunately for us, it's Turkey and they're talking about attacking the Kurds in the relatively restive north. Bill Kristol says, "We're all Turkish today!!" But he privately thinks we should bomb the Turks as a way of bringing freedom to Iran.

Will The Last Harris Staffer, Please Bring The Stapler

Yet another defection from Katherine Harris' campaign, this time it's speech writer Jennifer Hickey who hit the door, and yes, in typical Harris campaign fashion she blasted off with a bang. Hickey floated an e-mail to announce her decision. From the SP Times:

Value of "George Harris Legacy Loan" to Senate campaign: $10 million

Value of "refurbishments" to Capitol Hill residence: $100,000

Value of Handing in my Resignation Letter: Priceless

Hickey went on to write, "No, I do not have a job lined up, But I have my dignity and a smidgen of the sanity I had when I came to work here."

Seriously Katherine, call me. I'll come down to Florida to run your campaign. I just have to see this shit up close in person. Just don't do that close talking thing you do, it's rather creepy.

Big Red's Owned Senator

Back in May, Chinese Ambassador to the United States Zhou Wenzhong payed a visit to Ohio. A source familiar to the Ambassador's told me at the time that Zhou had expressed "concern" that Sherrod Brown might defeat Mike DeWine in Ohio's Senatorial election. I thought it odd at the time, but just brushed it off as a guy interested in politics. I may have been wrong.

Last Friday, something in an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer this jumped out at me:

He [DeWine] got more than $1 million from companies that move jobs offshore, and he supported every Bush administration trade agreement.

That is a lot of coin, if fact it's at least 12% of all the campaign funds DeWine has received since 2001. This made me revisit my thinking about the Ambassador's remarks back in May. Corporations that do business with China are funding a large portion of DeWine's campaign, and here you have China's representative to the US concerned about a possible DeWine defeat.

Makes you think, doesn't it? I have to wonder if any of these corporation made their donations at the behest of the Chinese government, which is legally precluded as a foreign entity by campaign law to contribute to candidates. It's an interesting question. Say you need a permit in China, maybe the government there can green light that a lot faster if you say make a sizable donation to DeWine's reelection campaign.

I'm not saying that DeWine is knowingly accepting donations coerced by the Chinese government, but they clearly believe that Big Red has the Senator deep in their back pocket. Whether or not they are in fact using US corporations wanting to do business in China as proxies remains to be seen, but it is plain as day that DeWine is serving their interests. Is it at the expense of him serving ours?

Reed Rolled

It's always nice to wake up to some good news in these troubling times. Today, we get some. Ralph Reed took one on the chin yesterday in the Georgia Lt. Governor GOP primary 56% - 44%. That doesn't bode well for those running for office this fall with Abramoff taint on them.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

George Will On The Neocons

George Will today smacks around the Weekly Standard, a bastion of neocons, today in the Washington Post. Will is actual right for once, just as you can't dig your way out of a hole with a shovel, we can't war our way out of this war with another war. Well, not unless we want to pay eight to ten dollars a gallon for gasoline. This was by far my favorite paragraph of the column. From the Post:

Neoconservatives have much to learn, even from Buddy Bell, manager of the Kansas City Royals. After his team lost its 10th consecutive game in April, Bell said, "I never say it can't get worse." In their next game, the Royals extended their losing streak to 11 and in May lost 13 in a row.

Ouch, I believe the neocon agenda was just compared to the Kansas City Royals who at the time of this writing are a mere 30 games out of first place. I wonder if Bill Kristol has been sneaking up on his locker to see if it has been red tagged. Probably not, I doubt if he understands that two or three errors a game isn't out of line. After all, in Kistol's mind all of his errors have in fact been spectacular plays in which the public doesn't understand that to get the runner out at first you have to throw the ball into the stands on the third base line.

There might be a metaphor in there, but in case there isn't, we should bomb Iran. Right Bill?

Apologies to anyone in KC that had to be reminded that you do indeed have a baseball team.

No Belly Kiss, But...

More bizarre behavior from Bush at the G-8. Here he attempts to give German Chancellor Angela Merkel a massage. Judging from her reaction, she prefers Shiatsu. She skipped the happy ending.

Monday, July 17, 2006


Tomorrow, the US Navy will escort the Greek cruise ship The Orient Queen into Beirut to evacuate Americans trapped in the war torn nation. If you feel like you need safe passage to Cyprus aboard The Orient Queen, bring your checkbook. For the service of having your government rescue you from a war zone, you'll have to pay the full commercial fare.

Gotta love a government that cares about its citizens, don't you? I'm sure there are several working ATMs in the area.

Our Current Foreign Policy: Calling All Cars And The Empty Headed Octopus

A lot has been made in the last couple weeks about how the administration's foreign policy has went down the crapper. Kevin Drum says, "the administration seems to no foreign policy at all anymore." Josh Marshall wonders if our policy towards North Korea is a fraud, or a joke, or a fraud and a joke. Let's take a look at the two big reasons the administration is floundering.

The first is obviously Iraq. In a lot of ways Iraq reminds me of an August morning in 2004. August 4th to be exact. On that day both George Bush and John Kerry descended on Davenport, Iowa for separate political rallies. Having two presidential campaigns in town on the same day strained the police force as they had to help with motorcade traffic and security. Three banks were robbed in Davenport that morning, the first bank robberies there in years. While the mice were away, as they say, or at least stretched thin, the mice played.

That is what Iraq is doing to us militarily, and without that stick, the carrots just aren't as tasty. Our failures in Iraq have indeed led us to a quagmire, one where we can't even call for back-up at a time where we should be calling all cars.

As bad as Iraq is, our problem with the empty headed octopus is certainly scarier. After all, we could leave Iraq soon if necessary, but we're stuck with the octopus. What I'm talking about here is that it seems to me that President Bush has lost interest in being the leader of the free world. Take a look at the recent G-8 summit. Bush sure looked to be more interested in what was for dinner than any of the number of crisis currently facing the world.

With the world's elite at his fingertips, Bush was far more concerned with hitting the door after the G-8 crafted a mealy mouthed statement than attempting to advance resolutions to any of our current problems. Sure, he took time to swear into an open mic, but that only really went to show how little of the problem he grasps.

Since Bush has been AWOL from any serious foreign policy lately, the different tentacles that make up the octopus that is the Bush administration has largely been left to their own accords. Our foreign policy is now suffering seriously from a lack of leadership at the top. They just stumble around from hot spot to hot spot with no real direction as different departments pursue different policies to achieve different means to the same problem.

Now I'm sure that part of this can be explained by the fact that this is an election year, and with Bush's approval ratings in the low to mid thirties, he needs to keep his head low as the republican party tries to regain control of the House and Senate, but there is no excuse for disappearing from the foreign policy scene just for partisan political reasons. People die when foreign policy suffers. But I sense it's even more than that. Perhaps it has a lot more to do with Cheney and Rove being slightly out of the equation, but something is wrong with Bush these days, and I don't know if he can ever get back on track.

Don't You Understand We Have A Double Standard

I'm going to reprint this in its entirety because it is emblematic of the modern republican party. From the Cincinnati Enquirer:

House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-West Chester, called on Democrats last week to pull a TV ad that shows images of flag-draped caskets of U.S. soldiers, calling the spot "outrageous."
"To use those images to rally Democrats and to raise money is, I think, appalling," said Boehner.

But the outrage from Republicans comes after Democrats complained in 2004 about a campaign ad from President Bush that showed firefighters carrying a flag-draped coffin from the ruins of the World Trade Center.

Questioned by reporters on what the difference was, Boehner seemed tongue-tied. "These were American citizens killed by terrorists. That is a very different policy issue than American soldiers dying on the battlefield protecting the rights and freedoms of American people."

"How so?" a reporter asked.

"How so? You want me to describe the difference between men and women of the military out there defending the American people, and victims - victims - of terrorist activities?" Boehner asked.

"They were both killed by opponents, right? Terrorists or Islamic insurgents?" a reporter pressed.

An exasperated Boehner said: "The World Trade Center victims were victims of a terrorist act here on our shore and I think all Americans were appalled that this did in fact happen. But I think the differences, in terms of the images, are as clear as night and day."

I doubt Boehner is dumb enough to believe there is any discernible difference between the two ads, it's just a situation where he got caught playing politics with his pants down and as a good republican always does when confronted with reality, he simply ignored facts and proclaimed himself to be right. If you notice, Boehner never did bother to answer the question.

If Boehner truly has a problem with these ads (which I have not seen), perhaps he should ask his own party why they set the bar so low.


You can count me in with those who believe Israel has overstepped in its response to Hezbollah's initial attacks from Lebanon. While I firmly believe Israel has the right to defend itself, the heavy handed response they have used is a bit over the top. I see no reason to destroy a civilian airport, especially when the enemy has no air force and destroying food stores is really a bad idea as well.

What is really occurring here is that Ehud Olmert has decided that he has to play his hand as heavy as possible. I believe that Olmert, who is the first Prime Minister in years to have not served in Israel's military, feels that he has to prove to the electorate that he is "tough enough" to handle the job. In a lot of ways, it's classic George Bush politics. Olmert is sacrificing long term policy initiative for the sake of short term gains, a sort of band-aid approach to the problem. It's easy, popular, and in the long term will result in a negative outcome. Sharon would have probably had the juice to hold off the dogs, Olmert does not.

That being said, only Hezbollah at this point has the ability to stop the violence, which they seem to have no intention in doing at this time. Israel's problem is that conventional military force is pretty ineffective against the hit and run tactics Hezbollah is employing, however, the rockets that Hezbollah is firing into Israel aren't very effective either so what we have is a stalemate with the Lebanese citizens stick in the middle.

We'll have to wait and see how long it takes Israel to change tactics in this latest fight with Hezbollah, what they're doing right now is only bound to increase Hezbollah's stranglehold on the power vacuum in Lebanon right now.

Ah, I see that while I was writing this Israel is planning on creating a buffer zone in southern Lebanon.

Is Katherine Harris On Crack?

At some point you have to start asking what the hell exactly is wrong with Katherine Harris. Bizarre story after bizarre story has came out of her campaign and this weekend was no different. Harris has previously stated that she will contribute $10 million dollars of her own money towards her campaign, and indeed, she has already thrown $3 million in that money pit.

Of course, what she didn't say was that there would be gimme backs. Her latest FEC filings show that Harris took $100,000 from her grossly underfunded campaign to renovate her house in Washington DC, one she's not going to be needing very much longer. Even former Harris staffers, thought to no longer be shock-able by Harris' behavior were stunned. From The Orlando Sentinel:

"I have never heard of a candidate taking money out of a campaign coffer like it's an ATM. It absolutely boggles my mind," former Harris campaign manager Jim Dornan said. "This is a woman who has completely lost touch with reality. You don't take your campaign contributors' money, whether it's yours or not, and spend it to renovate your house. This is absolutely insane."

Seriously, something is wrong with this woman that I don't think can be ascribed to the usual stress that candidates feel during a run for office. She has gone totally fucking fruit loops.

Found via TPM Muckraker

Because In Iraq, Progress Smells Like Burnt Flesh

Today in Iraq, progress took the form of gunmen storming an open air market killing 41 and wounding at least 90. The customers of the market are mainly Shia, so it is assumed that the gunmen were Sunni. I wonder what will happen tomorrow.


I will have more to say about the Israeli involvement in Lebanon later, but seriously, is twenty one people so far the best we can do when it comes to airlifting our citizens out of the war torn country? Is Brownie in charge of this effort?

Friday, July 14, 2006

John Does?

As you have probably heard, at 10:00 AM this morning Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame are holding a news conference to announce that Plame is suing Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and Scooter Libby over the disclosure of Plame's identity. What you may not have heard is that the suit also names ten John Does who are defined in the suit as:

Defendants John Does No. 1-10 are persons whose identities currently are unknown but who are believed to be persons who were either employed by the United States Government in senior positions at all times relevant to this Complaint or who were political operatives with close ties to such persons.

Mehlmen? Guckert? Inquiring minds want to know.

Probably a pointless endeavor.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


The much maligned campaign of Katherine Harris is again losing pretty much her entire campaign staff. Not surprising considering she is down 33% in recent polls. In other Harris news, she has surgery scheduled Monday for a "previously described medical condition." Did something spring a leak?

I Think He Can Count His Votes Slipping Away

Alan Schlesinger, the republican candidate for the Senate in Connecticut has a little problem. It seems that he likes to go to the Indian casinos and play blackjack in a way that casinos frown upon. Apparently Schlesinger was counting cards, under an assumed name. That surely can't help his chances come November. Republicans are furiously searching for a replacement.

Perhaps ala Lieberman, Schlesinger can petition to run as an independent, under the Bill Bennett party.

Seriously though, this could really help Joe Lieberman if he doesn't win the primary and has to run as an independent. Any replacement would have little time to make a name for him or herself and republican voters would surely choose Lieberman over Ned Lamont.

If a viable replacement for Schlesinger can be found, at least viable in the Connecticut republican sense of the word, I think Lamont would win a three way race. Without one to peel enough votes off from Lieberman, I think he loses.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Doctor Is In?

I always say take internal polls with a grain of salt, but you might want to bring the whole shaker for this one. According to an internal poll released by Dr. Victoria Wulsin's campaign, the good doctor and Jean Schmidt are in a dead heat, tied at 44% apiece. Even if this poll is completely screwed up, Wulsin must still be running ten points ahead of what I would expect from an Democratic unknown in this district, and yes I admit, I'd never heard of her until today.

Wulsin has been endorsed by Paul Hackett, and from the YouTube videos on her campaign website proves herself to be a polished speaker, but it is still OH-02 and this is about as tough as it gets for Democratic candidates. Of course, we're talking about Jean Schmidt here and she probably has the lowest approval rating of any member of the House so who knows.

Check out Wulsin's website here.

Just To Prove Other States Have Politicians As Dumb As Jean Schmidt

Following debate on an immigration bill that will allow Colorado children of illegal aliens to continue to receive some benefits, Debbie Stafford R-Aurora was quoted as saying, "We're helping create the next generation of terrorists."

Yes, Debbie, we're all pissing our pants over food stamps of mass destruction.

Israel Has Invaded Lebanon

In response to an attack on its northern border, Israel has invaded Lebanon bombing bridges to prevent Hezbollah's escape. I'd say this one will be ugly.

A Pyrrhic Victory In The Battle Against War Profiteering

Today's Washington Post tells us that Halliburton has lost the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program contract (LOGCAP). The US Army has decided not to exercise the option for a sixth year of this contract. That is a good thing considering Halliburton has been all alone to eat at the trough in Iraq, right? Probably not. It's more a PR move than anything substantial.

Meet the new defense contractor ripping off the Pentagon in Iraq, same as the old one, in fact, exactly the same one only without restraint. The problem here is that any other contractor that would want to compete with Halliburton for these contracts would have to eat massive mobilization costs just to begin to compete, and I'm sure that the other subcontractors already working in Iraq would price protect Halliburton against other bidders. In other words, it would be a loser for another contractor to try to go up against Halliburton in Iraq.

This fact is indeed a problem. You see, now that the Army is going to get competitive bids in Iraq, Halliburton is no longer constrained by their previous cost plus contract which guaranteed them cost plus 1% with a 2% incentive bonus for performance, which everybody pretty much collects no matter how bad their service. I know that doesn't sound like much of a mark-up but when you're subcontracting out work to companies that are subsidiaries of your company that can charge much higher mark-ups, it adds up quick.

Now, however, Halliburton can openly charge more due to a built-in competitive advantage from being the only contractor in theater able to do such work. It was a mistake to change horses midstream when all that was really required was better auditing. Real changes in the way the Army procures such services needs to be done in peacetime to guarantee true competition.

Today's News

What we have today is what I call a target rich environment. It might take a couple days to get to all of it.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

O Canada

Well, I guess congratulations are in order. Today, the US Senate passed The We're So Incompetent That We Can't Even Begin To Acquire Our Citizens Reasonably Priced Prescription Drugs, So Seriously, Get That Shit In Canada Act Of 2006.

For the record, both of Ohio's Senators, Mike DeWine and George Voinovich, voted against the measure, yet alas, The We're So In Big Pharma's Pocket, We Don't Want Our Citizens Getting Reasonably Priced Prescription Drugs No Way No How Caucus couldn't stop the proposal to the Homeland Security spending blueprint from passing 68-32.

It's seriously an embarrassment that we can't provide this domestically.

Over 100 Dead In Mumbai Train Bombings

Jesus, I step away from the computer for a few hours and the whole world goes to shit. Over 100 people have been killed in a series of seven train bombings in the Indian city of Mumbai. This isn't necessarily the work of al-Queda, there are a lot of interested parties that have conducted bombings in Mumbai in the past decade and a half. It could be a lot of people, but apparently the Indian government has a good idea who it is. From The Age:

A senior Mumbai police official, PS Pasricha, said the explosions were part of a well-co-ordinated attack. The country's home minister told Indian television that authorities had information that an attack was coming but did not know the time or place.

You'd certainly never hear an American official be that candid with the press, no matter what political party they are affiliated with, but India has had a lot more experience in dealing with terrorism than we have, and how in the world would you ever be able to stop something like this in a city of sixteen million people anyway? I don't know.

Another Ney Aide Subpoenaed

Ah, another day, another subpoena in one of Ney's offices. This time it's John Bennett, an aide in Ney's eastern Ohio office. Sounds like the Justice Department is getting ready to present to the grand jury.

Found via TPM Muckraker


There apparently was a video posted on an Islamic web site today which shows the bodies of the two American soldiers who were kidnapped and murdered last month. The audio states that these two soldiers were killed in retaliation for the rape and murder of a 15 year-old girl and her family as the family was killed by members of the same regiment.

This is most likely complete bullshit. The rape story didn't become public until after the two soldiers were killed, and given the stigma surrounding rape in the Islamic culture, it's highly unlikely the family would have gone around telling people about it. It's pretty obvious that the audio was added at a later date to take advantage of the situation, pure propaganda.

No, these two soldiers were killed along with one other who died at the initial attack scene because the opportunity presented itself. Somebody screwed up and these three were left alone to guard a checkpoint, nothing more.


The Washington Post has an article today about goldbricking republicans, It's a decent article I guess, but there are a couple of things I want to address about it. First, this passage about Julie Doolittle. From the Post:

[John] Doolittle's wife, Julie, a professional fundraiser, has collected 15 percent of all contributions to Doolittle's leadership PAC and additional commissions on contributions to his campaign committee -- a total of nearly $140,000 since 2003, according to Federal Election Commission records.

A professional fundraiser? Are you joking? You might remember when I wrote this about Mrs. Doolittle in March based on an article in the San Diego Times Union:

Doolittle paid his wife, Julie, over $180,000 in commissions through her company Sierra Dominion Financial Solutions. She must be pretty good at fundraising, huh. Actually, she had no fundraising experience prior to forming SDFS and simply took a 15% cut of money that she brought in, or umm, to put it kindly, the money that was steered to her. [ed note] The $180,000 figure I quoted here dates back to 2001 when SDFS was founded while today's Post story only goes back to 2003.

Julie Doolittle is in no way a professional fundraiser, she is just the wife of another goldbricking republican who is using his position in Congress to enrich himself.

Also, this part about Rick Santorum really struck me as funny. Maybe it's because The Big Lebowski has recently been airing on Showtime. From the Post:

Sen Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) received attention in February when the news media reported leadership PAC expenses at a Starbucks near his Virginia home that totaled $558 since 2001, as well as payments to Wal-Mart, Burger King bills totaling $50 and 11 meals at Arby's worth $118.

This is classic goldbricking behavior. Can it be long before Santorum's charity Operation Good Neighbor (The Little Santorum Urban Achievers) has to pay a "ransom" to get Karen back? Better stay out of Malibu Rick, I hear the sheriff is a real reactionary, man.

Monday, July 10, 2006

A Picture Worth 25,000 Votes?

Zack Space has released an internal poll showing him ahead of Bob Ney 46% - 35%. It's an internal poll, so as always, take it with a grain of salt. I myself still have the general feeling that the race is closer than that.

Still, if these numbers are to be believed, I would have to attribute Ney falling behind due to the picture that was recently floated showing Ney meeting with the Tigua tribe of Texas, a meeting Ney lied about to Senate investigators when he denied it ever happened.

Space should enclose that photo on every mailing he sends out. Hell, I'd buy billboard space featuring that picture with the caption, "Bob Ney says he never met with these guys."

Hackett To Endorse Brown Today

At a rally in Cincinnati today, Paul Hackett will endorse Sherrod Brown. Hackett has the potential to push Brown over the top should he rally the independents that support him to back Brown. I don't know what Hackett has on his plate these days, but I'd like to see him make more appearances with Brown than this one rally.

A lot of the Hackett supporters that I met at various functions seemed to me to be more Paul Hackett activists than they were partisan political activists if that makes any sense. To be honest, several of them didn't even really seem to know that much about politics. That is the kind of people that Paul Hackett brings out, and that is important.

There was a lot of nasty infighting between staffer of Brown and Hackett after Hackett dropped out of the race. Hackett didn't help much by saying he was forced from the race by the beltway crowd. That always struck me as total bull. I'm not saying that pressure wasn't applied, but those such as Ned Lamont faced the same pressures and stayed in the race. Of course, Lamont has the advantage of not needing their money, so there is a slight difference.

Hopefully Hackett's endorsement will end any ill will his supporters still have towards Brown.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

This Is How The GOP Likes To Fight It's Wars

Sounds eerily familiar to today, doesn't it?

Friday, July 07, 2006

Rumsfeld's Transformation Of The Military

In 2004, Donald Rumsfeld famously uttered, "As you know, you have to go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you want." One of Rumsfeld's main goals for the military was to transform it into a different fighting force, and oh what a transformation it has been.

Rumsfeld has taken a great institution and turned it into one that unofficially has a don't ask, don't tell policy for white supremacists, despite a 1996 dictate to keep such individuals from the military. The rule came into place after it was found that Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh had recruited fellow soldiers for that act.

Recruiters have been hiding the fact that some recruits belong to white supremacy groups to make up for recruiting shortfalls, and commanders in the military have been silently overlooking these people to maintain numbers. How bad has it gotten. From the New York Times:

[Defense Department investigator Scott]Barfield, who is based at Fort Lewis, Wash., had said that he had provided evidence on 320 extremists there in the past year, but that only two had been discharged. He also said there was an online network of neo-Nazis.

This is a bad thing of course for many reasons. We don't want to train another crop of McVeighs obviously, and the reason this rule was enacted back in 1996 was because they found these individuals degraded unit cohesiveness. Also, our soldiers are in some parts of the world, the face of America. These are people we do not want representing that face.

In other great transformation news, it appears that financial shortfalls are hitting our domestic and foreign bases not in the Iraqi theater. From MSNBC:

In San Antonio, Fort Sam Houston hasn’t been able to pay its $1.4 million monthly utility bill since March, prompting workers in many of the post’s administrative buildings to get automated disconnection notices.

Fort Bragg in North Carolina can’t afford to buy pens, paper or other office supplies until the new fiscal year starts in October.

And in Kentucky, Fort Knox had to close one of its eight dining halls for a month and lay off 133 contract workers.

Heck of a job, Rummy. We went to war with the Army Rumsfeld had, we'd better make nice with the Army Rumsfeld has transformed.

The Possible Coming US Building Sector Disruption

One of the materials that the US construction industry depends heavily on is copper, and global inventories of copper are at an all time low so any disruptions in the supply chain can cause major disturbances in the US market.

Such a disruption seems poised to happen at the end of this month. BHP Billiton's Escondida mine in Chile, the largest copper mine in the world has started a work slowdown and can legally strike on August 2nd, the day their contract expires. Indeed, this possibility caused copper futures to soar 21.3 cents per pound (6%) just yesterday.

This very well could happen. The company and it's employees are pretty far apart in negotiations. BHP has offered miners a ridiculously low 1.5% wage increase while the employees are demanding an equally ridiculous 13% wage increase with a 16 million peso ($29,299) signing bonus.

If a strike does occur, with global inventories virtually nil, this would lead to a slowdown in this country's building sector. We import 23% of our copper from Chile, and while many would be eager to fill the US demand for copper it is important to remember that copper is sold on the commodity market, so the spike in price would also contribute to a slow down.

Jobs Report

Another first Friday of the month, another lousy jobs report. I just don't understand how these forecasts can be so far off. There were 121,000 job created, 175,000 jobs forecast. Actually, the yammering I was hearing this morning talked of the possibility of 225,000 jobs created.

I think it is time to face facts, the economy is nowhere near as good for wage earners as republicans are making it out to be. They're out of touch with working Americans and Democrats really should start pushing that meme instead of cowering when people say that other economic indicators show the economy doing well.

Those indicators don't mean a damn thing to the man on the street who is unemployed or at least underemployed. Sure, Iraq is a bigger issue, as is being showed in the Connecticut Senatorial primary between Lieberman and Lamont, but out here in the fly over states, the economy sucks for a lot of people.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

That Was Close

The Miami terror unit had their first hearing today. It looks like they were simply garden variety IslamoBuddoChristoGnostoTao Freemason terrorists. They ran into problems when they went looking for help from two men who were FBI informants. From the Miami Herald:

The investigation began last fall when Batiste allegedly tried to obtain financial and military support from two men of Arabic descent who worked as informants for the FBI.

One was a North Miami convenience store owner who got acquainted with Batiste, the group's ringleader, in October. He introduced Batiste to the other man, a veteran FBI informant with immigration problems who posed as an al Qaeda representative.

These guys were obviously trying to obtain slushies of mass destruction, probably lime. I think this case might become an embarrassment for the FBI.

Found via TPM Muckraker


Since copper was on the move today, I had to hit the net to find out the reason, and umm, well here is something you don't see everyday in the business section of the paper. From the Australian:

If you don't believe that Australian Mining Investments is sitting on a copper resource worth many billions of dollars, then Wayne McCrae, the company's executive chairman, reckons you're a "dickhead".

"The proof will be in the pudding - any doubting is totally uninformed," he told The Australian yesterday at the site of the company's find near Cloncurry in northwest Queensland. "If you want to know what the definition of a dickhead is, these guys (the doubters) symbolise it. I don't know why we've been forced to defend ourselves."

McCrae might want to stay out of the Fosters while he is working.

John McCain: He So Crazy

Well, it looks like John McCain's attempt to mend fences with the base has finally got some results. Rightwing news outlet has run a hit piece on him using a familiar theme from the 2000 presidential campaign, that he's insanely angry and unfit to be the Commander and Chief. From NewsMax:

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is considered a front-runner for the 2008 race, but does McCain have the temperament to be president?

As portrayed by the mainstream media, McCain is an engaging war hero, a man of political moderation positioned between the left and the right.

But to insiders who know him, McCain has an irrational, explosive side that make many of them question whether he is fit to serve as president and be commander in chief.

Actually, if you read the rest of the article, it would lead you to believe he has never had a conversation that didn't end with him telling the other party to fuck off. He is also portrayed as a complete paranoid. Also from NewsMax:

"People who disagree with him get the f--- you," said former Rep. John LeBoutillier, a New York Republican who had an encounter with McCain when he was on a POW task force in the House. After LeBoutillier had openly tape recorded comments at a conference, McCain got the idea that LeBoutillier was secretly tape recording him.

"Are you wired up?" LeBoutillier quoted McCain as asking. "Of course not," LeBoutillier said.
"Prove it," McCain said.

LeBoutillier said he lowered his pants, apparently satisfying McCain that he was not taping him.

It should be noted that LeBoutiller actually writes for NewsMax now, and does regular appearances on right leaning radio under their banner. It's always nice when you don't have to bother to go out of house to get your hit quotes, isn't it?

The bottom line is that these people are never going to accept McCain no matter how much he reaches out to them. They're gonna punk him again. Hell, we're not even through the 2006 elections and they are taking shots at him for 2008, and I'm happy to pass those shots along. That McCain fucker is nuts.


I've been ill the last couple of days, so look for posting to remain relatively light today. Perhaps I celebrated the fourth a little too vigorously.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

This is a picture of the National Debt Clock that was installed in 1989 in Times Square. It's an old picture, mind you. Our current national debt is $8,416,483,511,679.68 as of this writing and rising. Under a republican president with possibly a republican held Congress, next year this sign will no longer have enough digits to measure our national debt. It's pretty simple, if you want to downsize the debt, voting Brand D is a no brainer.

Ken Lay Has Died

I think there are better ways to avoid prison.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy J4

I myself am off to see the Doo Dah parade, an exemplary example of irreverence. For those of you that like to partake in illegal fireworks, try not to lose a finger. Happy J4

Monday, July 03, 2006

Social Security & Mike DeWine

Last year during the Social Security debate, Mike DeWine offered up pretty much every possible answer and position as he ducked and dodged the issue, how shall we say, as diplomatically as possible.

This year DeWine is up for re-election and President Bush has stated that he would again next year try to take a run at dissolving the current system. It's time the local press here in Ohio pressured DeWine into taking a firm stand one way or the other if he wants to be granted another six years from Ohio voters. What's it gonna be Mike, up or down for the venerable safety net for senior citizens?

Farm Subsidies

Today, the Washington Post reveals the ways farmers game the system to maximize sell prices and collect the most farm subsidies. It's pretty interesting, but far more interesting is how some Democrats can exploit this issue in an election year. I'll touch on that subject Wednesday when blogging resumes to a much more normal level.

Because 9/11 Changed Nothing

It's no wonder the Bush administration has been trying to put the kibosh on the lawsuit against major telcos over the NSA spy program, there is a lot of politically damaging information about the administration that will come out if the suit proceeds.

Bloomberg released some of that damaging information Friday. You see, as much as the Bush administration claims that 9/11 changed everything, the fact is they were already moving to spy on the American people and even if 9/11 never happened they would still be spying on us.

Indeed, a June 23 filing by attorney Carl Mayer in this case states that the administration came to AT&T seven months before 9/11 to see about implementing the program. Now, a little simple arithmetic tells us that they approached AT&T within two weeks of Bush's inauguration. The administration had it's foot to the floor on this program from day one.

The divulging of the timing of the beginning of the program tells us something very important about this administration. This isn't an idea a transition team works up in a couple of months, the powers that push and pull Bush's strings had to be planning to spy on the American people before the 2000 presidential election. Kinda makes you rethink election irregularities, doesn't it?

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Welfare Queens

Farm subsidies have been spiraling out of control ever since the republicans took control of Congress in 1994, but I had no idea that it has gotten as bad as is exposed in today's Washington Post. The federal government now pays $1.3 billion a year to people who live on land that used to be farmland.

That's right, if you buy a tract of land that was formerly farmland, you get farm subsidies for every undeveloped acre. Even worse, people who decided they didn't deserve the money were appalled to find out that if they didn't take it, it wouldn't save the country money, it just meant others in the program would get more money.

Look, it's long been a dirty little secret that the program had become a form of welfare for republican supporters in the red states, in fact this program has grown to be 50% larger than the actual welfare program which serves millions more people at a time when farming profits have soared to near record highs. I'd really like to see the number of subsidy recipients that donate to republican candidates. Certainly the farm lobby pours a ton of money into republican coffers.

If the republican party wants to have any credibility anymore on conservative fiscal policy, this program needs to be reigned in, and subsidies for non-farmers have to stop. That isn't going to happen though, the modern republican party threw their principals down the drain years ago. They are now simply about steering as much of the nation's treasure as they can to their supporters. They are modern day legislative robber barons.