Ungodly Politics

"Announcing your plans is a good way to hear god laugh." - Al Swearingen

Saturday, January 31, 2004  

Well, this is shock. To who, I don't know, but I'm sure someone's shocked at this, somewhere in the world.

US officials knew in May Iraq possessed no WMD: "Senior American officials concluded at the beginning of last May that there were no weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq, The Observer has learnt.
Intelligence sources, policy makers and weapons inspectors familiar with the details of the hunt for WMD told The Observer it was widely known that Iraq had no WMD within three weeks of Baghdad falling, despite the assertions of senior Bush administration figures and the Prime Minister, Tony Blair. "

posted by lazarus | 18:19 | |

Via The Autonomist comes this story describing just how poorly our military is prepared for what they're facing in Iraq. Hint: We're not winning.

posted by lazarus | 18:15 | |

Bush OK's Independent Probe of Prewar Intelligence

The panel, (Senator Pat) Roberts said, would have to be bipartisan and include only recognized experts whose recommendations could "leapfrog" over the current debate and quickly tackle the issue of how to fix intelligence deficiencies.

So, let's head into the investigation already assuming that there are intelligence deficencies, and that they need to be fixed. Way to establish a good honest investigation.

posted by lazarus | 17:52 | |

Friday, January 30, 2004  

Wow. A racist Republican. I'm shocked. But also notice that, in the entire article, Deccio's party affiliation wasn't mentioned once He's identified as a Republican in the accompanying picture caption, but that's it. In the text, which will be picked up and repeated, he's the only congressman not identified by party. What a display of fair and balanced coverange.

Someone alert Bernard Goldberg, I'm sure he'll want to include this in his revisions for the next edition of Bias.

Outrage at Yakima senator's racial slur: "State House officials requested a written apology yesterday from a Yakima senator who used a racial epithet during an argument in a closed-door meeting Thursday.
Others are calling for more substantial redress, including at least one demand for Sen. Alex Deccio's resignation from the Legislature.

During a heated exchange over a controversial proposal, Deccio told Republican Rep. Tom Campbell of Roy, who is white, that he's always been a 'nigger in the woodpile' when it comes to health insurance reform."

posted by lazarus | 22:22 | |

Oh, now you want the facts.

Yahoo! News - Bush: "I want the facts" on Iraqi weapons.

posted by lazarus | 17:20 | |

Thursday, January 29, 2004  

And again with the lies. Eventually, one would hope that people would catch on.

"President Bush's new budget will project that the just-enacted prescription drug program and Medicare overhaul will cost one-third more than previously estimated and will predict a deficit exceeding $500 billion for this year, congressional aides said Thursday.
Instead of a $400 billion 10-year price tag, Bush's 2005 budget will estimate the Medicare bill's cost at about $540 billion, said aides who spoke on condition of anonymity. Bush will submit on Monday a federal budget for the fiscal year 2005, which starts next Oct. 1.
Bush just signed the Medicare measure into law last month. While it was moving through Congress, Bush, White House officials and congressional Republican leaders had assured doubting conservatives that the bill's costs would stay within the $400 billion estimate."

posted by lazarus | 13:41 | |

Georgie's lying again. As usual:

"STOCKHOLM - Contrary to recent US claims that its war on Iraq forced Libya to give up its nuclear weapons program, former UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix said Thursday that diplomacy should be given most of the credit.
'I think the dialogue in Libya started before the war,' Blix said, speaking in Stockholm at the first meeting of a new international commission on weapons of mass destruction, of which he is chairman.
'If the Iraqi affair injected a concern in Libya and Iran and North Korea... I really don't know,' he added. 'One could instead say that the Libyan case shows that you can through diplomacy and through sanctions and through other means obtain a voluntary renunciation of weapons.'"

posted by lazarus | 13:37 | |

Additions to the blogroll: The Autonomist, Blah3.com, No Fear Of Freedom, and doublethink.

posted by lazarus | 09:41 | |

Hesiod has a wonderful essay on Bush's reluctance to investigate the "intelligence failures" that led to 9/11 and the Iraq War. Go read. It finishes with this, which should be stated over and over and over:

"President Bush is the most shameful, corrupt, dishonest and dangerous man ever to occupy the Office of President of the United States. And if that isn't enough motivation for folks to overcome their lukewarm feelings for any of the possible Democratic nominees, you are pretty hopeless."

posted by lazarus | 08:15 | |

Yet another state determined to construct a bridge to the 12th century.

Georgia may shun 'evolution' in schools: "Georgia students could graduate from high school without learning much about evolution, and may never even hear the word uttered in class.
New middle and high school science standards proposed by state Schools Superintendent Kathy Cox strike references to 'evolution' and replace them with the term 'biological changes over time,' a revision critics say will further weaken learning in a critical subject."

posted by lazarus | 07:31 | |

Tuesday, January 27, 2004  

Justice Dept. Finds No Patriot Act Abuse

In related news, foxes find their hen house security sufficient.

posted by lazarus | 10:09 | |

Remember: They hate us for our freedoms.

More details of Army's abuse probe surface - Jan. 26, 2004

The U.S. military's criminal investigation into potential abuse of Iraqi detainees by U.S. soldiers at Abu Gharib prison in Iraq now includes reports from soldiers that military police took photographs showing soldiers hitting detainees, CNN has learned.

Earlier, several Pentagon officials who declined to be identified by name confirmed to CNN that investigators were looking into the reports -- all coming from fellow soldiers -- of photographs showing male and female detainees with some of their clothing removed.

It is not clear whether any photographs were taken, but several military police at the prison have been removed from duty until the matter is resolved, a military source said. The Army's Criminal Investigation Division seized computer drives searching for the photographs and more evidence of abuse.

The CID is looking into whether the Iraqis were hit by military police or whether the photographs were staged. Even if staged, such pictures would be a U.S. military violation of the Geneva Conventions that prohibit subjecting prisoners to ridicule.

posted by lazarus | 05:31 | |

I'm sure everyone is just shocked at this news. How many times do these bastards have to lie their way into office before the people will wake up and realise what's going on?

Governor broke campaign law, judge rules

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger broke state law last year when he used a loophole to loan his campaign committee $4 million, a move that prevented voters from knowing before Election Day who would end up paying the governor's campaign bills, a judge ruled late Monday.

Schwarzenegger will probably face no fines as a result of the ruling, but he will be blocked from paying himself back with the more than $3.4 million he has raised since his election and will have to convert the loans into a personal contribution to his campaign.

... While there's no way to know how much Schwarzenegger's use of the loans influenced the outcome of the election, Berkeley attorney Lowell Finley said, ``it did make a difference in how long he was able to maintain the illusion that he was above special-interest politics.''

Schwarzenegger said days before the election that voters should ``trust me'' and shouldn't be concerned whether they knew who his donors were before or after the election. ``I will not take money from special interests, from any of the unions or Indian gaming,'' he said.

He has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from developers, insurers and dozens of other businesses.

posted by lazarus | 03:12 | |

Monday, January 26, 2004  

Initial voting in New Hampshire is in. Just for the fun of it, this is what will greet voters in the morning when they wake up:

Wesley Clark 14 (44%)
John Kerry 8 (25%)
Howard Dean 4 (13%)
John Edwards 4 (13%)
Vincent Hamm 1 (3%)
Joe Lieberman 1 (3%)

Hamm smacks the JoeMentum.

posted by lazarus | 23:57 | |

Tim Russert, liar extraordinaire. Here's the link to the transcript for Meet the Press on Jan 25th.

The relevant quote:

MR. BRODER: Tim, I was at the event where Michael Moore did that introduction and asked General Clark about it immediately after the event. I couldn't believe that he didn't kill that snake immediately. And here it is eight days later...

MR. BROKAW: Right.

MR. BRODER: ...and he's still trying to answer that question.

MR. RUSSERT: Well, Michael Moore is now saying it was a joke.

MR. BRODER: It was not a joke.

Curiously, no record of Moore's claiming it was "just a joke" can be found anywhere. Indeed, over at Michael Moore.com, the opening page is a rather lengthy defense of his accusation.

But more disturbingly, the transcript goes on...
MS. BORGER: Well, it wasn't.

MR. BROKAW: But, also, Clark just a few moments ago, "I haven't checked out those allegations. I had been aware of them."

MS. BORGER: Why not?

MR. BROKAW: That's the phrase that he used. It was. And we do know that he had a big absentee record as a National Guard member in Alabama. That's fixed. But desertion...

posted by lazarus | 03:43 | |

Sunday, January 25, 2004  

Paul Wellstone said, on the floor of the Senate in October of 2002:

"We have succeeded in destroying some Al Qaida forces, but many of its operatives have scattered, their will to kill Americans still strong. The United States has relied heavily on alliances with nearly 100 countries in a coalition against terror for critical intelligence to protect Americans from possible future attacks. Acting with the support of allies, including hopefully Arab and Muslim allies, would limit possible damage to that coalition and our anti-terrorism efforts. But as General Wes Clark, former Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe has recently noted, a premature go-it-alone invasion of Iraq "would super-charge recruiting for Al Qaida."

But the media and some candidates would have you believe that Clark has "waffled" on his position.

posted by lazarus | 06:08 | |

Well, the ignorant are at it again. First Kansas, now Missouri. They want to teach "intelligent design" in the same classroom as evolution, and fire teachers who won't do it.

And check out the "justification." “Our objective is to improve science instruction and make textbooks more accurate,” said Cooper, whose bill was co-sponsored by six other Republican representatives. “We want to create academic freedom to allow this discussion.” Sure, that's all they want.

Make textbooks more accurate by putting bullshit fairy tales in them. It's just beyond belief that there are still people in this world who actually believe this stuff. But then, lots of people believe in astrology and tarot and other crap, too.

Good thing we don't waste any time in schools teaching logic or critical thinking, isn't it?

Evolution battle looms in Missouri:

Lawmakers push alternative theory (quick note: ID isn't a theory, it's a fairy tale. These people don't actually understand what a theory is, apparently. - laz)

Some Missouri lawmakers want the state to force public schools to teach intelligent design as an alternative theory to evolution.
Even if it never becomes law, House Bill 911 figures to toss Missouri into the same furor over origin-of-life science that embroiled the Kansas State Board of Education in recent years.
Many science educators in Missouri are distressed, said Rebecca Litherland, a past president of the Science Teachers of Missouri and the science coordinator for Columbia Public Schools.
"I thought, 'Oh, my gosh, we're going to become Kansas.'"
The bill, which Republican Rep. Wayne Cooper of Camdenton said was brought to him by individuals in the St. Louis area, also would require school science curriculums to define evolution as a theory resting on a historical hypothesis that has not, and cannot, be proved.
He figures it has a 50-50 chance of getting out of committee and onto the House floor.
>“Our objective is to improve science instruction and make textbooks more accurate,” said Cooper, whose bill was co-sponsored by six other Republican representatives. “We want to create academic freedom to allow this discussion.”
The seven-page bill defines scientific terms and how they should be applied to the teaching of evolution and intelligent design. It would require equal treatment of both theories, in the amount of textbook space and the time spent in classroom instruction.
If the measure becomes law, teachers who do not follow its requirements could lose their jobs.
Every science classroom would have to post a copy of the law on the wall.

posted by lazarus | 03:00 | |

Hey, Peter Jennings, do you remember this?

Kerrey-Inouye-Cleland Press Conference, November 2000

Press Conference by Senators and Veterans
Bob Kerrey, Daniel Inouye and Max Cleland

Senator Bob Kerrey: Well, I want to thank Bob Clemens for the very nice introduction and I want to thank the Tennessee Democratic party and all that you've done to put this together. I want to thank our good friend Max Cleland who has done such an outstanding job of making certain that we keep our word and commitment to America's Veterans. And, we're all real proud.

We are fortunate to have as our standard bearer a man who has not only served this country but has put himself on the line saying that we have to keep and honor the commitments that we have made to our Nation's Veterans and who has put before the American people spending proposals that call for putting more resources and more resources for taking care of our Veterans. It's not enough just to talk. It's not enough just to say I'm going to be compassionate. You've got to put your money where your mouth is or, otherwise, you're not going to be able to keep your word.


On the 27th of May when Governor Bush got out of Yale University, after having a four year deferment.

Kerrey #1
During May 1968, there were 350 Americans dying every week in Vietnam, and he applied, as was his right, to the Texas Air National Guard. He applied to the Texas Air National Guard. In spite of the fact that there were 500 people ahead of him; he was accepted on the same day he applied. Now, I'll let him explain how that happened. I don't question that both he and I were both given an opportunity to go to college, and we were not required to go to Vietnam while we were in college. When we got out of college, we were required to serve; he made a commitment to the Texas Air National Guard. And, God bless him for doing so. There have been many moments when Nebraska National Guard folks are on their way to Bosnia or some other deployment and they say goodbye to their families, too. They rip their lives as well. I'm not taking anything away for our Guard or our Reserve men and women. But, Governor Bush made a six-year commitment. And, he's making truth telling and character a big issue in this campaign. I heard him say recently in Pennsylvania, that the Vice President was guided by a controlling legal authority.

Kerrey #2
He said, I won't be, I'll be guided by my conscience and I'll do what's right. Well, if he's going to do what's right, he ought to release his military records, as John McCain did and let us know where he was during that six year period of time, because, there appears to be a period of time from June of 1972 to late until about October in 1973 (when he was given an early release so he could go to Harvard Business School), that he didn't report to meetings.

If you're going to make a commitment to join the Guard when a lot of us were given special privilege and special opportunities to go to college and given deferments while we did and didn't have to go into the service at the time, you've got to keep that commitment. Especially, if you're going to make character an issue in this campaign. So, I call on Governor Bush to tell us where you were and to release your records, as John McCain did, and let the American people decide. If you're going to be Commander In Chief, you may have to discipline people who did the same thing you did, and it may be difficult as a consequence.


Inouye #1
Senator Daniel Inouye: All right, thank you very much, Bob. I'm sorry I can't be there with you. I wanted to be there in person to tell you how much I admire Al Gore. I wanted to be with my fellow Veterans to tell you we have something at stake here. I would have hoped that all of American could have heard what Bob Kerrey just said. The question is where were you, Governor Bush? What about your commitment? What would you do as Commander In Chief if someone in the Guard or in another service did the same thing? During my service, if I missed training for two years, at the least, I would have been court-martialed. I would have been placed in prison.


Senator Max Cleland: Thank you Congressman Tanner, Congressman Clement, Carl Wallace and Bill Manning. It is an honor to be with four of Tennessee's favorite sons, who all have done so much for your state and your country.

In 1967, I volunteered for duty in Vietnam. It was not a popular thing to do, but I felt it was my duty to go. It was a decision that changed my life forever.

As I said, it is wonderful to be here in the "Volunteer State." I know you're proud of that nickname, but what does it mean to you? I can tell you what it meant to one Tennessean. About thirty years ago, there were two young men about my age who faced a similar decision. They were both the sons of influential families. They both attended Ivy League colleges. They both could easily get a deferment or an easy assignment. One did, one did not.

It's still a little unclear what George W. actually did do, but I can tell you what Al Gore did. Al Gore was the son of a United States Senator who opposed the Vietnam war. He did not have to go, but he chose to go because he said he knew another young man from Carthage would have to go in his place. Not only did he go, he went as an enlisted man. An anonymous inscription on a bunker in Khe Sahn reads, "For those who fought for freedom, it has a flavor the protected shall never know." Al fought for freedom, and today, I consider him my brother.

posted by lazarus | 01:39 | |

Saturday, January 24, 2004  

Now we know. We were lied to about WMD. So now Blair should go. It is now entirely appropriate to put a capital I in front of WMD when we look back on the war in Iraq. I standing for imaginary. With the resignation last week of the top US official charged with leading a 1000-strong team of experts to hunt for Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction, saying that they can’t find any, we now must face the shocking truth that we were taken to war on false pretences. Did the Prime Minister, knowing the shaky foundations of the intelligence he was being offered, nevertheless decide to massage the facts to make the case for war alongside the US? The verdict of this week’s report by Lord Hutton will not necessarily address this issue head on, since his remit was to look into the causes of the death of the Ministry of Defence’s chief scientist, Dr David Kelly. That took him into the contents of the government’s two dossiers of “evidence” against Saddam Hussein. But it was tangential, rather than direct. Now far more is required in terms of a wider judicial probe that has the potential to be even more politically explosive than Hutton.
As head of the Pentagon’s Iraq Survey Group, David Kay had more than nine months inside Iraq where his CIA-backed investigation team turned up nothing. His conclusion after the months of searching was not shrouded in the diplomatic fog which befuddled the explorations of the UN team of inspectors led by Hans Blix. Kay said he did not think there had been a large-scale weapons programme inside Iraq since 1991. Blix has said much the same thing to the UN. Even the new head of the ISG, Charles Duelfer, believes his search will come up with another zero.

It is now time for Tony Blair to end the verbal sophistry. Blair can no longer offer his often repeated excuse of wait-and-see.

... Let’s hope that instead of trying to imagine himself out of this nightmare, Blair will at long last tell us the truth and properly accept responsibility for misleading parliament and the nation. He should then do the only honourable thing and go.

posted by lazarus | 22:58 | |

Thursday, January 22, 2004  

Yahoo! News - Janklow Draws 100-Day Jail Sentence

If you're famous, that's all a human life will cost you.

posted by lazarus | 14:34 | |

Bill Frist and Robert Novak are implicated in this new scandal that the liberal media will be sure to cover in excruciating detail, just as soon as they can break from the Martha Stewart jury selection.

Infiltration of files seen as extensive: "Republican staff members of the US Senate Judiciary Commitee infiltrated opposition computer files for a year, monitoring secret strategy memos and periodically passing on copies to the media, Senate officials told The Globe.
From the spring of 2002 until at least April 2003, members of the GOP committee staff exploited a computer glitch that allowed them to access restricted Democratic communications without a password. Trolling through hundreds of memos, they were able to read talking points and accounts of private meetings discussing which judicial nominees Democrats would fight -- and with what tactics."

posted by lazarus | 04:55 | |

BBC NEWS | Politics | Panorama prompts war probe calls

See what it's like when there's an open government? That has actual investigations into things?

posted by lazarus | 03:13 | |

Wednesday, January 21, 2004  

Al Franken's 17 minute response to the State of Bush's Reelection Campaign address. Uses quicktime. Hilarious.

posted by lazarus | 02:18 | |

Okay, since everyone else is issuing after-caucus analysis, here's mine:

Dean: Likely done. He could come back, but the speech was a defining moment. Yeah, it's unfair. That's life. He's developing a reputation, earned or not, and played right into it.

Edwards: Nice guy. Works well with others. Why did it take him until the last few days to catch on? Did he catch on? Did he just absorb a lot of voters who were Dean voters who maybe changed their minds? Needs a strong showing in NH (not a win, but at least be on the radar) to take him into SC.

Kerry: Moribund until a few days ago. Lots of money, great organisation. So what's the problem? You have 4 things in a campaign: money, organisation, message, and candidate. The first three are covered, and didn't change a bit. Neither did the 4th. The problem with the Kerry campaign is Kerry, I think, and it's not going to get any better. Mild bump, not goign to help much long term unless he can follow up with a strong showing in NH.

Clark: Just ride out the next couple of days. Polls are going to be wacky, then they'll stabilise and you'll see where you are. Just stay on message, it's all about leadership.

It's really a strong 4 person race right now, but this is going to be a critical vote for Dean and Kerry. If either of them finishes way out of the running, it could be a disaster.

That's my first attempt at analysis, for what it's worth.

posted by lazarus | 01:28 | |

Monday, January 19, 2004  

As W makes his third State of the Union tonight, we can expect the "liberal" media to air the inevitable complaints from Republicans about the behaviour of Democrats during the speech. Cries of "partisanship" and "poor behaviour" are inevitable.

As usual, these will be utterly hypocritical. Let's harken back to 1995, to President Clinton's third State of the Union address:

"While the language was markedly centrist for Clinton, many Republicans were not appeased. They applauded wildly when Clinton hit their political hot buttons: smaller government, tax reductions, less bureaucracy. But they glowered or sat on their hands when he invoked his own -- gun control; government programs that he believes work; his version of the crime bill, not theirs; his version of welfare reform, not theirs.
Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) summed up the partisanship when he said, 'I have been to 15 of these and I haven't seen an occasion when one party was doing the applauding and the other was sitting on its hands. I think that bodes a very tough year ahead.' "

posted by lazarus | 23:52 | |

Dunno what happened to comments, but hopefully they'll be back soon. In the meantime, anybody know any free comments services?

posted by lazarus | 21:07 | |

Go read this speech by General Wesley Clark. It's the speech he gave in South Carolina for Martin Luther King Day.

Here's my favourite bits:

Forty years ago, hundreds of thousands of Americans convened in our Capitol to march with Dr. King and hear his dream for our nation. Together, they stood - halfway between a monument to the man who granted the first measure of freedom, and the Congress of men who had yet to finish the job. And on that hot August day, citizens from across our country who yearned for justice linked arms, and pledged together in song: We Shall Overcome.

But as I stand before you today, forty years later, the sad fact is that we have not overcome.

When black Americans are twice as likely to be out of a job, twice as likely to live in poverty, and a third less likely to have health care - then we have not overcome.

When hundreds of thousands of black men sit behind bars and millions never finish school - then we have not overcome.

When our President has the audacity to visit the grave of Dr. King one day, then dishonor his memory the next by appointing an anti-civil rights, anti-voting rights, anti-justice, anti-American judge - then we have not overcome.

And when a political party can suppress the vote and steal a presidential election - when a man can sit in the White House when the only vote he's won took place in the U.S. Supreme Court - then my friends, we still have not overcome.

posted by lazarus | 13:06 | |

Sunday, January 18, 2004  

This is the same speech that is supposed to show that Pretzel Boy is "above politics."

"The winner of the Iowa caucuses on Monday night will have an unexpected competitor waiting right around the corner, and he is not one of the Democrats running for president. The opponent is President Bush and his State of the Union address, which White House officials scheduled for Tuesday night, only 24 hours after Iowa, to draw attention from the Democratic victor, a Republican close to the Bush campaign said.
'Was it planned?' the Republican said. 'Yes. The fact that the Iowa caucus was going to be held on a certain date was not unknown to people in the White House.'
The underlying strategy, the Republican said, was not to steal all the thunder from the Democrats, which even another 'axis of evil' State of the Union address was unlikely to do, but rather to change the subject.
'What you achieve by doing it quickly is to get people to focus on the president's positive agenda after two weeks of people beating his brains in and criticizing every aspect of his policies,' the Republican said. He did not want to be named for fear of angering White House officials who insist that there is no political element to Mr. Bush's address -- even as Bush campaign officials say the speech will outline the broad themes of the his 2004 campaign."

Remember: These people do nothing that is not politically motivated. Nothing.

posted by lazarus | 19:33 | |

Saturday, January 17, 2004  

How very strange. The original link, Clark Hints at Bush's Military Service, now leads to a story about Clark's being endorsed by McGovern. This change was made across the news services. Rather interesting. The link has now been corrected. Note that the headline has been changed, as well, while the story remains the same. Hmm....

Well, it's beginning. Rove's nightmare. Clark Backer Questions Bush Guard Service:

"I want to see that debate: the general versus the deserter," Moore said to enthusiastic applause at a packed rally in a high-school gymnasium, reiterating a line he uses frequently.

Clark, asked later by reporters if he agreed with Moore's characterization of Bush as a "deserter," said: "I've heard those charges. I don't know whether they're established or not. He was never prosecuted for it. The question in this election is can we bring a higher standard of leadership to America."

What's much more important, to me, is that the Associated Press actually printed the following two paragraphs:
"Bush spent most of his time in the Guard based near Houston, but in May 1972 he received a three-month assignment in Alabama with the 187th Tactical Recon Unit in Montgomery while he worked on a political campaign in the state.
Retired Gen. William Turnipseed, a commander at the Alabama base, said during the 2000 presidential campaign that he never saw Bush appear for duty for that unit's drills. Bush maintains he was there, but records have never been produced to document that Bush was there."

posted by lazarus | 18:35 | |

Friday, January 16, 2004  

Cheney Hunting Trip With Scalia Raises Impartiality Questions

Vice President Dick Cheney and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia spent part of last week duck hunting together at a private camp in south Louisiana, just three weeks after the high court agreed to take up the vice president's appeal involving lawsuits over his handling of the administration's energy task force.
While Scalia and Cheney are avid hunters and long-time friends, several experts in legal ethics questioned the timing of their trip.

"The better part of wisdom should have led Justice Scalia to avoid the vice president while this case was pending before the court," said New York University law professor Stephen Gillers.

Federal law says "any justice or judge shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might be questioned."

For nearly three years, Cheney has been fighting demands that he reveal whether he met with energy industry officials, including then-Enron Chairman Kenneth Lay, when he was formulating the president's energy policy...

"I do not think my impartiality could reasonably be questioned," Scalia said today in a written response to an inquiry about the hunting trip.....

I have an idea. After we get rid of Bush and Cheney, let's start impeaching these bastards on the Supreme Court, too.

posted by lazarus | 23:00 | |

Wesley Clark's campaign just pulled off a brilliant move:

Today, Wes Clark opened the doors to his Manchester Reading Room and Clark slammed the Bush Administration for governing behind closed doors. The public can come to the Manchester Reading Room to find out about Wes Clark's personal and financial track record.

"It's time President Bush played it straight with the American people," Clark said. "President Bush has shut the people out of government and told them they have no right to know what he says to special interests in the Oval Office. As President, my administration will be an open book. We need a higher standard of leadership in Washington."

posted by lazarus | 14:43 | |

Via The Yorkshire Ranter comes this troubling story.

Ayatollah Ali-al Sistani wants his direct elections, and he wants them now. He's not going to settle for "refinements" in the system, or anything less than free direct elections.

Of course, his campaign pledge is, basically, vote for me, and there won't be anymore elections.

Mind you, Viceroy Bremer is playing down the rift, but is that a surprise?

Here's a fun quote: "We will see protests, strikes and may be clashes with the occupation troops if they insist on their colonialist scheme." -- Shia cleric Abdul Mahdi

These are not people who are happy with us.

You see, W, this is why planning for the future is an important part of these little adventures.

posted by lazarus | 14:00 | |

People For the American Way | Opposing The Confirmation of Charles W. Pickering, Sr. to The United States Court Of Appeals For The Fifth Circuit

40% of his rulings are unavailable. 40%. What is available is disgusting. I strongly recommend you read the whole report.

Not much that can be done now. The Republicans in Congress certainly wouldn't go along with impeachment of this judge. But this sort of extremist judge is another example that needs to be shown when Bush tries to run to the middle during the campaign.

posted by lazarus | 13:14 | |

Yet another reason to get rid of this bastard. Yes, let's put a bigot on the Federal bench. Why not?


Kansas.com: "WASHINGTON - President Bush bypassed Congress and installed Charles Pickering on the federal appeals court Friday, opening an election-year fight with Democrats who had stalled the nomination for more than two years.
Bush installed Pickering by a recess appointment, which avoids the confirmation process. Such appointments are valid until the next Congress takes office, in this case in January 2005."
"Democrats have accused Pickering of supporting segregation as a young man, and pushing anti-abortion and anti-voting rights views as a state lawmaker."

The New Yorker: Press Releases: "'No President has ever done more for human rights than I have.'"

posted by lazarus | 12:55 | |

digby has found the answer for those who say Clark and Perle were in agreement about Iraq, as well as the link: "PERLE: 'So I think General Clark simply doesn't want to see us use military force and he has thrown out as many reasons as he can develop to that but the bottom line is he just doesn't want to take action. He wants to wait.'"

posted by lazarus | 12:43 | |

Thursday, January 15, 2004  

Children still held at Guantanamo: Pentagon

The New Yorker: Press Releases: "'No President has ever done more for human rights than I have.'"

No, he still doesn't understand irony. Or hypocrisy.

posted by lazarus | 17:42 | |

Hooray, freedom. Just keeps getting better and better, doesn't it?

"Iraq's Governing Council on Wednesday defended its approval of a controversial family law that would make it possible to apply Islamic law - Sharia - instead of civil statute in domestic matters such as inheritance and divorce.

Opponents, mainly Iraqi women's groups, say the measure is a sop to Islamic clerics, who are holding up agreement on the national political process.

In a stunning display of blindness to reality,

Hamid Kifa'i, Governing Council spokesman, denied the text, which was approved with no announcement, was part of a political deal with clerics. 'It is not a concession to fundamentalists, we don't have fundamentalists in Iraq,' he said."

posted by lazarus | 16:59 | |

Wednesday, January 14, 2004  

So, the right is all up in arms about comparing the President to Hitler. Particularly they're upset about the ad submitted to MoveOn.org which didn't even make the finals. So let's see how the right really feels about comparing the President to Hitler, shall we?

Washington Post, June 27, 2000, via The Tooney Bin and Eschaton:

For example, retiring Rep. Helen Chenoweth-Hage (R-Idaho), commenting on one of Clinton's national monument designations, said, "This president is engaging in the largest land grab since the invasion of Poland."

Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.) went a bit further a couple of weeks ago when Clinton designated Arizona's Ironwood Forest a national monument. "I would draw a parallel to Hitler," Shadegg said. "He eroded the will of the German people to resist evil."

Our favorite is Arkansas Republican Rep. Jay Dickey's recent fundraising letter reminding supporters they can give him $1,000 for the primary and another $1,000 in the general election campaign. He doesn't want anyone to "later . . . say to me that I should have reminded you of the threats," he said.

"Just as people who read Hitler's 'Mein Kampf' and then later were surprised at the evils of the 3rd Reich [sic]," Dickey said, "we have the blueprint for what the White House plans to do: defeat me! This is because I not only dared to vote my conscience on the impeachment issue, but dared to do it after a publicly expressed threat that I would lose the election if I did. Are we going to let an astounding abuse of power go unanswered?"

Rush Limbaugh had something to say, of course:

As Hitler proved in Germany, the most dangerous leader may be elected and have enormous popularity. Hopefully Clinton is no Hitler, but he is certainly as good a liar.

And now we come to the right's favourite place to foam and fuss and fume, Newsmax. They've been all over the Bush/Hitler ad, so we can assume that they'd be just as upset to find that anybody had compared Clinton to Hitler, right?


1. Bill Clinton Admired Hitler Too over

We are not sure Arnold Schwarzenegger admired Adolph Hitler. If he did, he would share something with Bill Clinton.

The Clintons' anti-Semitism is now well known.


Clinton's interest in Hitler was not based on the fascist leader's anti-Semitism, but the great leadership skills of Hitler, according to Patterson.

Clinton, Patterson remembered, was intrigued that Hitler "had so much power over these people and that it had just been a short period of time since World War I where they'd been defeated, and this man had come forward and had rallied the German people."


But that was just one passing reference, based on just one man's testimony. Surely it wasn't an editorial slant or anything...

Bill Clinton and How He Got That Way
Norman Liebmann
November 11, 1999

In order to understand more poignantly Bill Clinton's character, it is useful to recall the ancestors whose blood flows in his veins. Here is a list of some of Bill Clinton's antecedents, and the quotations by which they are best remembered and defined. Conclusions are irresistible:

ADOLPH HITLER CLINTON: "The fact that nobody in Arkansas wears shoes does not necessarily mean they're not Aryans."

Now that's starting to get a little troublesome. And here they go talking about his "fascination" again. Are they trying to tell us something?
He did find it bothersome, however, that Bill Clinton had a deep fascination for Adolf Hitler and his book Mein Kampf.

And here they go right over the top. I recommend reading the whole article, for a full few into the deranged minge of the lunatic right. It's really quite hilarious.

In the Sudeten crisis, Hitler claimed to be inspired by internationalist ideals. "Among the fourteen points which President Wilson promised ..." the Fuhrer proclaimed, "was the fundamental principle of the self-determination of all peoples ..." By freeing the Sudeten Germans, Hitler argued, he was fulfilling Wilson's vision.

Clinton too claims he is fighting for human rights. But ethnic cleansing does not bother Clinton when his friends are the ones doing the cleansing. He ordered no bombing when the Croatians drove 300,000 Serbs from Krajina, burning their homes and killing many. Nor did he intervene when our NATO ally Turkey slaughtered over 35,000 Kurds.

Every schoolchild today knows that Hitler's real goal, in seizing Czechoslovakia, was to use it as a stepping stone for his planned invasion of Russia.

But what is Clinton's real interest in Kosovo? Nobody knows.

And, finally, they report from an old "friend" of Bill's. Amazing that we didn't hear any cries of outrage over this, isn't it?

Thursday, Feb. 28, 2002 10:26 p.m. EST

Gennifer Flowers Warns: President Hillary Would Be 'Hitler-esque'

The woman who first tried to warn America about Bill and Hillary Clinton in 1991 said last week that the prospect of the former first lady becoming president of the United States is "Hitler-esque."

Disclaimer. This took approximately 10 minutes to compile using Google. I'd imagine someone with Lexis/Nexis could find a lot more fun stuff, putting specific conservative talking heads into the search string.

posted by lazarus | 12:42 | |

Tuesday, January 13, 2004  

TalkLeft on improper judicial questioning in Florida.

Sample questions:

Whether they are active in their church.
Whether the candidate is a "God-fearing person."
How they feel about the U.S. Supreme Court's 2003 ruling striking down a Texas law criminalizing homosexual activity.
How they would feel about having the Ten Commandments posted in their courtroom.

Full article here.

posted by lazarus | 17:44 | |

Why not go take a walk down The American Street? It's a new collective blog that looks quite good. Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, one of my first reciprocal links, is part of it.

posted by lazarus | 16:52 | |

AintNoBadDude has a scary link to a piece on counterinsurgency or guerilla warfare. I want to point out the final paragraph, which shows just how bleak our chances in Iraq are:

Yet if predicting the future is a hopeless endeavor, learning from the past is not. The counterinsurgency books that Nagl studied do impart an important lesson. The goal the United States hopes to reach in Iraq -- a successful counterinsurgency that does not drag on for years and does not involve a large amount of killing -- has never been achieved by any army.

posted by lazarus | 13:06 | |

Hooray, freedom, eh?

US soldiers kill Iraqi demonstrators

posted by lazarus | 11:02 | |

The man simply doesn't understand irony, does he?

Bush bars corrupt from US:

"US President George W. Bush ordered that public officials guilty of corruption be barred entry to the United States. "

Well, at least we're rid of him. Right?


posted by lazarus | 09:35 | |

Monday, January 12, 2004  

Hey, look, North Dakota is getting ES&S electronic voting machines.:

"Experts have raised questions about whether touch-screen machines, which do not provide a paper receipt of a voter's choices, are vulnerable to tampering. Congress is considering two measures that would require permanent records of votes.
Jaeger said he believes printing a paper copy of a voter's picks could "take away, a little bit, the privacy of the vote." In any case, election equipment is tested for accuracy, and is not part of a large computer network, Jaeger said.
"We really feel kind of comfortable with where we're at," he said.
Election Systems was one of three companies that competed for the contract. The others were Diebold Election Systems of McKinney, Texas, and Avante International Technology of Princeton Junction, New Jersey."

That's right. Paper ballots take away privacy. Never mind that you can't actually have a recount without a paper trail. It's all about privacy issues now.

And don't you feel secure when the Sec of State says he "really feels kind of comfortable" with the system?

Finally, notice that one of the other two companies competing for the contract is run by the brother of the man who runs the company that actually won the contract. Convenient, isn't it?

posted by lazarus | 09:33 | |

Sunday, January 11, 2004  

How many vacation days has George W. Bush taken to date as president?

This is a bit out of date. Anybody got any more recent numbers? As of August 2003, Bush had spent 250 days on vacation, compared to Clinton's 152 days for his entire 2 terms.

posted by lazarus | 22:53 | |

Saturday, January 10, 2004  

A conservative in talk radio finally figures something out:

Imagine these startling headlines with the nation at war in the Pacific six months after Dec. 7, 1941: "No Signs of Japanese Involvement in Pearl Harbor Attack! Faulty Intelligence Cited; Wolfowitz: 'Mistakes Were Made.'"

Or how about an equally disconcerting World War II headline from the European theater: "German Army Not Found in France, Poland, Admits President; Rumsfeld: 'Oops!', Powell Silent; 'Bring 'Em On,' Says Defiant FDR."

It seems to me that when there is reason to go to war, it should be self-evident. The Secretary of State should not need to convince a skeptical world with satellite photos of a couple of Toyota pickups and a dumpster. And faced with a legitimate casus belli, it should not be hard to muster an actual constitutional declaration of war. Now in the absence of a meaningful Iraqi role in the 9/11 attack and the mysterious disappearance of those fearsome Weapons of Mass Destruction, there might be some psychic satisfaction to be had in saying, "I told you so!" But it sure isn't doing my career as a talk-show host any good.

The criterion of self-evidence was only one of dozens of objections I raised before the elective war in Iraq on my afternoon drive-time talk show on KFYI in Phoenix. Many of the other arguments are familiar to readers of The American Conservative.

All I can add is, welcome to the party, pal. Maybe the ol' "liberal media" hype isn't all it's cracked up to be, ya think?

posted by lazarus | 15:25 | |

Friday, January 09, 2004  

Escort Scandal!, Stranger Investigation Uncovers Damning Evidence of Bush Ties to Sex Industry(01/08/04)

Okay, this is just funny as hell. And it's actually a firmer connection than most of the tenuous and made up crap the wingnuts come up with to attack us.

posted by lazarus | 20:26 | |

Uh oh. So, they're not in Iraq, they're not in Syria...

Look, they're on Mars!

Rice: No Evidence Iraq Moved WMD to Syria

The United States has no credible evidence that Iraq moved weapons of mass destruction into Syria early last year before the U.S.-led war that drove Saddam Hussein from power, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said Friday.

Rice said, "Any indication that something like that happened would be a very serious matter.

"But I want to be very clear: we don't, at this point, have any indications that I would consider credible and firm that that has taken place, but we will tie down every lead," she said at a White House briefing about Bush's trip Monday to a hemispheric summit in Mexico.

posted by lazarus | 15:09 | |

Thursday, January 08, 2004  

Bush Plans Major Space Announcement

Don't get too excited. The relevant sentence in the article is this:

"Under this scenario, there could be more exchanges of technology between NASA and the Defense Department. "

The militarisation of space is a primary goal of PNAC, apparently.

posted by lazarus | 17:18 | |

Vets say visits restricted to U.S. wounded

In a letter sent this week to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Dave Gorman, executive director of Disabled American Veterans, complained that the DAV is being blocked from carrying out its congressionally chartered mission.

Gorman questioned measures that require hospital pre-screening and approval of all visits, and full-time escorts during those visits, according to the letter a copy of which CNN obtained. Gorman said because of those escorts there is a lack of privacy over matters the counselors discuss with patients and their families at Walter Reed.

He said the monitoring of these conversations "is particularly unnerving and inappropriate as all conversations between a representative and client are confidential in nature."

They've promised to "look into" it.

posted by lazarus | 12:00 | |

It's been blogged by everybody else. I just want to add, this makes me sick. I knew the Bush people were lying, but to have proof....

CNN.com - Report says Iraq didn't have WMD - Jan. 8, 2004: "Iraq had ended its weapons of mass destruction programs by the mid-1990s and did not pose an immediate threat to the United States before the war, according to a report released Thursday. "

posted by lazarus | 11:52 | |

He's back! Roy Moore is seeking reinstatement, and does he ever have a doozy of an argument:

Article VI, Section 3,of the U.S. Constitution says ". . . no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

And he thinks his dismissal was over a religious test. He's utterly and completely wrong, but it's fun to watch, just the same.

posted by lazarus | 11:43 | |

So, about those WMD we went to war over.....

Arms Search: U.S. Withdraws a Team of Weapons Hunters From Iraq

The Bush administration has quietly withdrawn from Iraq a 400-member military team whose job was to scour the country for military equipment, according to senior government officials.

The step was described by some military officials as a sign that the administration might have lowered its sights and no longer expected to uncover the caches of chemical and biological weapons that the White House cited as a principal reason for going to war last March.

Mr O'Reilly, we're still waiting.

posted by lazarus | 07:44 | |

Wednesday, January 07, 2004  

I.M.F. Report Says U.S. Deficits Threaten World Economy

And the hits just keep on coming....

"The report warned that the net financial obligations of the United States to the rest of the world could equal 40 percent of its total economy within a few years — "an unprecedented level of external debt for a large industrial country" that it said could play havoc with the value of the dollar and international exchange rates."

posted by lazarus | 16:41 | |

Here's a great example of conservative fiscal policy in California:

"Bibles would be given to every public school student in California unless parents objected under a proposed ballot measure by an Orange County man.

The secretary of state's office gave the go-ahead Monday to Matt McLaughlin who will begin collecting signatures for the ballot initiative that would allow the use of the Bible as a textbook in literature classes.

McLaughlin must collect 598,105 valid signatures by May 24, according to Secretary of State Kevin Shelley's office.
Voters would then decide whether to amend the state's constitution authorizing the voluntary use of the authorized or King James version Bibles for classes in elementary, middle and high schools.

A release by Shelley's office said the study of the Bible in public schools would be without devotional or denominational purpose. Projected costs to the state and local school district are about $200 million, legislative analysts said."

Now, I can almost accept the idea of teaching elements of the Bible as literature. IIRC, there were Biblical passages from the Old Testament in my World Lit textbook. I question the wisdom of using the entire Bible as textbook, however. A few selected passages in context with other ancient writings would be better, I think.

Also, permit me to rant a bit, but the state is about to go bankrupt, and these idiots want to spend $200 million to put Bibles in schools?

Finally, this is, hopefully, much ado about nothing, as this line from the article attests:

McLaughlin, an attorney from Huntington Beach, said he has collected between 50 and 100 signatures over the last two days and has received a good response from people.

Only 598,000 to go.

posted by lazarus | 15:12 | |

Let's not forget this bit of old news:

"U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said Monday the Bush administration last year told him and other senators that Iraq not only had weapons of mass destruction, but they had the means to deliver them to East Coast cities.
Nelson, D-Tallahassee, said about 75 senators got that news during a classified briefing before last October's congressional vote authorizing the use of force to remove Saddam Hussein from power. Nelson voted in favor of using military force. "

It's old news, but everyone seems to have forgotten about it.

posted by lazarus | 13:42 | |

Why I'm supporting Wesley Clark:

"'If [Republican strategist] Karl Rove is watching today, Karl, I want you to hear me loud and clear: I am going to provide tax cuts to ease the burdens for 31 million American families -- and lift hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty -- by raising the taxes on 0.1 percent of families -- those who make more than $1,000,000 a year. You don't have to read my lips, I'm saying it,' Clark said.
'And if that makes me an 'old-style' Democrat, then I accept that label with pride and I dare you to come after me for it.' "

posted by lazarus | 13:27 | |

Old news, but I just read it:

Just months after Zeferino Colunga Sr. lost his GI son in Iraq, the government arrested him and sent him back to Mexico.

U.S. Army soldier Zeferino Colunga Jr. died four months ago from a mysterious illness he contracted while serving in Iraq and was buried with full honors in a Texas cemetery. Last week, with the family still in mourning, the soldier's father was deported to Mexico as an illegal immigrant. Now family members wonder if the deportation of Zeferino Colunga Sr. was connected to their public demand for an independent investigation into the young soldier's death.

Thanks for your son, now get out.

posted by lazarus | 12:56 | |

Tuesday, January 06, 2004  

Yahoo! News - White House Seeks Secrecy on Detainee:

"In an extraordinary request, the Bush administration asked the Supreme Court on Monday to let it keep its arguments secret in a case involving an immigrant's challenge of his treatment after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
Mohamed Kamel Bellahouel wants the high court to consider whether the government acted improperly by secretly jailing him after the attacks and keeping his court fight private. He is supported by more than 20 journalism organizations and media companies.
Solicitor General Theodore Olson told justices in a one-paragraph filing that 'this matter pertains to information that is required to be kept under seal.'
Justices sometimes are asked to keep parts of cases private because of information sensitive for national security or other reasons, but it's unusual for an entire filing to be kept secret. "

Something the administration might want to familiarise themselves with:

The Constitution of the United States, Sixth Amendment: "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial."

Considering that Bush swore to uphold the Constitution, this really is grounds for impeachment.

posted by lazarus | 00:53 | |

Monday, January 05, 2004  

Daily Kos brings us this bit of media whoredom from Nedra Pickler, "reporter" for the Associate Press.

Truly disgusting.

A brief sample of misquoting Dean:

Her article quotes him: ""I opposed the Iraq war when everyone else up here was for it."

Transcript: "I have two big policy differences with almost everybody up here. I opposed the Iraq war; with the exception of Dennis and Carol, everybody else supported it."

Clark and Sharpton weren't there, so he was telling the truth. But Pickler decided to change things up, make the statement "sexier" or something.

In other words, she lied. Well, it worked against Gore, didn't it?

posted by lazarus | 17:38 | |

Say hello to a couple of new blogs on the roll. Alton Brown Rants is that Alton Brown, from Food Network's Good Eats. If you haven't seen it, it's a great cooking show. The blog is a weekly thing. Not very political, but still worth a read every week or so. Right now he's dealing with mad cow hysteria.

Also say hi to bolo boffin, a fellow Clark supporter. Give him a read, he's got good things to say.

posted by lazarus | 15:27 | |

John Reese over at SkepticReport has written an interesting article about conspiracy theorists. Unfortunately, too much of it is stuck on attacking on person's article, and on conspiracy theorists in general, without seeing one problem.

His article is based on the September 11 attacks.

He is attacking people who are trying to find the truth about the September 11 attacks.

He has finished his article with the following:

If conspiracy theorists wish to be taken seriously, this is what they must do: They must come up with a clearly stated hypothesis that can be tested for truth or falsehood. They must test their hypothesis by looking at all the evidence. They must examine this evidence in a rational and lucid manner, preferably with the help of others who do not necessarily share their political views. If they cannot think like scientists, then they can at least think like journalists. No more taking quotes out of context, no more drawing questionable conclusions based on personal biases, no more placing the burden of proof on others. They are making the extraordinary claims, they can do the work required to support these claims.

Until then, my advice to conspiracy theorists everywhere is…put up or shut up.

Funny, I'd say the same thing to the Bush administration, which has constructed a fairly elaborate and bizarre conspiracy theory of its own, but one which has come to be accepted as Gospel Truth by too many people, for the sole reason that it's being handed out as Truth by the government.

posted by lazarus | 13:24 | |

AlterNet: Faith-Based Parks:

"In a series of recent decisions, the National Park Service has approved the display of religious symbols and Bible verses, as well as the sale of creationist books about the origins of natural wonders in national parks, according to documents to be released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). "

Up next: Paul Bunyan created the Grand Canyon when he got tired and started dragging his axe.

posted by lazarus | 08:16 | |

Sunday, January 04, 2004  

Yeah, this is a good idea.

US soldiers ransack Sunni mosque:

"The American troops who burst into his mosque on Thursday morning had smashed down the front gate, broken the air conditioners and ripped up the carpets. They had also thrown several Korans on the floor and allegedly punched the man giving the call to prayer in the face. "

posted by lazarus | 06:43 | |

Friday, January 02, 2004  

TSA Chief At Dulles Is Charged With DWI (washingtonpost.com)

I feel safer. How about you?

posted by lazarus | 09:11 | |

From the
D'oh! Files:

"Citing French officials, the [Wall Street Journal] said the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation gave French police on December 22 a list of six suspects' names and information indicating militants linked to al-Qaida were planning to hijack an Air France jet.

French officials said that when French agents detained the passengers on the Paris-Los Angeles flights with names matching those on the list, Air France found the name matching that of the head of a Tunisian-based terror group was a child.

Another "terrorist" was a Welsh insurance agent while a third was an elderly Chinese woman who once ran a restaurant in Paris, the newspaper said. The other three on the list were French citizens."

On the other hand, a "source close to French investigating judges" who are involved in terrorism cases claim we never actually gave them any names, just flight numbers.

Nice to see we're working so well with our allies, isn't it? Make you feel a lot more secure?

posted by lazarus | 05:26 | |

Thursday, January 01, 2004  

Japan government considers pre-emptive military strikes: TOKYO (AP) - To counter the growing threat of terrorism, Japan's government plans to consider legislation that would relax a long-standing ban against a pre-emptive military strike, allowing troops to fire at suspicious vessels and armed spies - even outside the country's borders, a newspaper reported Wednesday."

Let's not forget the last time they experimented with pre-emptive strikes. Dec 7, 1941, I believe it was.

George W Bush, leading us bravely into the past....

posted by lazarus | 04:37 | |
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