November 18, 2009

There's stupid and then there's Rahm

WHAT A FUCKING PUTZ...

“It is foremost on his mind and the mind of the economic team,” Emanuel said of deficit reduction in comments yesterday at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council conference in Washington.

Fucktard. IN A RECESSION LIKE THIS, YOU WORRY ABOUT JOBS. YOU WORRY ABOUT DEFLATION AND TRY TO DUMP AS MUCH MONEY INTO THE ECONOMY AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN. You don't get overconcerned about idiots bleating on about debt and deficits, especially when they're the same folks who voted for the very tax cuts which doubled outstanding federal debt in less than 8 years.

I wrote this back in June and the only thing I'll add to it is that the majority of the deficit now, outside of the stimulus, is related purely to reduced tax receipts. In other words, once the economy returns, the deficit takes care of itself. What these 'tighten your belt' conservatives don't seem to get is that in a recession that has to be someone who expands. Sometimes, in a normal recession, that's business. In a recession like this, it's got to be the Government, there's just nothing else.

It might also help Rahm to think about that, too. Even better, would someone just tell him to STFU about things he doesn't understand. Even from a PR standpoint of mollifying your critics, this was stupid. And all it did was piss off your friends (like me) who actually know better.


Posted by mcblogger at 11:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 09, 2009

Yeah, put me in the disapproval column

What a loser...

According to a fresh Associated Press poll, public disapproval of President Barack Obama's handling of health care has increased to 52 percent. The poll was released hours before Obama pitches his version of a health care overhaul in a prime-time address to both houses of Congress.

Obama's marks are also poor on the economy, with 52 percent saying they disapprove of how he's handled that issue. The survey of 1,001 adults with cell and landline telephones was conducted from Sept. 3-8. It had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

Meanwhile, Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., a top Senate negotiator, conceded that the government-run insurance program demanded by the president's supporters cannot pass the Senate.

The same poll concludes that with health care reform crawling and unemployment reaching ever higher, Obama's overall approval rating has also plummeted. The survey showed that 49 percent now disapprove of how he is handling his job as president, up from 42 percent who disapproved in July.

OK, this isn't just about health care... this is about financial services re-regulation, the stimulus and, well, EVERYTHING ELSE HE'S DONE. He's taken a mandate and through action or inaction turned it into, well, shit. Oh sure, things could be much worse, but he's wasted a ton of time playing politics and footsy with the nutter teabaggers instead of driving through, hard, what he should know needs to be done.

It's weakness and a need to compromise even when it's unnecessary. We've gone from having a President who was steadfast and drove home what he wanted, but was always wrong, and replaced him with a President who is usually right but won't fight to get his way aggressively.

Not that I think McCain would have been any better, I just thought it worth mentioning to all of you who were so supportive of the President in the primary. Who were overawed by weak concepts of change and hope. Idealism is wonderful but without tenacity, it turns into what we have now... a President elected with the largest majority in 20 years who can't even get members of his own party to do the right thing.

And letting Sen. Baucus relay the bad news is just chickenshit, Mr. President. Especially after a former health insurance exec wrote the bill and he already ran it past K Street for approval.

I hope and pray that the President develops and spine, shows it tonight and forces the issue. We need a leader who is willing to fight tooth and nail, not someone who compromises everything they believe in.

Posted by mcblogger at 02:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 28, 2009

Ditto, Frank Rich.

With the President caving in to Republicans and Blue Dogs unnecessarily, you'd think on some level he'd develop a spine on a simple civil rights issue. But that's not, as Frank Rich astutely points out, the case.

No president possesses that magic wand, but Obama’s inaction on gay civil rights is striking. So is his utterly uncharacteristic inarticulateness. The Justice Department brief defending DOMA has spoken louder for this president than any of his own words on the subject. Chrisler noted that he has given major speeches on race, on abortion and to the Muslim world. “People are waiting for that passionate speech from him on equal rights,” she said, “and the time is now.”

Action would be even better. It’s a press cliché that “gay supporters” are disappointed with Obama, but we should all be. Gay Americans aren’t just another political special interest group. They are Americans who are actively discriminated against by federal laws. If the president is to properly honor the memory of Stonewall, he should get up to speed on what happened there 40 years ago, when courageous kids who had nothing, not even a public acknowledgment of their existence, stood up to make history happen in the least likely of places.

Posted by mcblogger at 04:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 18, 2009

Weak, Mr. President

Why aren't we investigating the last eight years? Because It'll make President Obama look bad...

But by late April Obama had vetoed the idea, fearing that it would look vindictive and, possibly, inflame his predecessor. “It was the President who basically said, ‘If I do this, it will look like I’m trying to go after Cheney and Bush,’ ” Panetta said. “He just didn’t think it made sense. And then everybody kind of backed away from it.”

Uh, frankly Mr. President, we don't care what it makes YOU look like. Some of us would like some accountability. Some of us would like to really know what happened and who drove us over the cliff. Some of us actually want the catharsis of an investigation.

Posted by mcblogger at 08:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 01, 2009

Secretary Geithner, Plagiarist

Well, Congress wants to regulate the more than $500 trillion market and asked Treasury to come up with a plan. Secretary Geithner, with tons to do, didn't really have the time. Wall St. had already written a plan that left regulation vague, had no real clearing authority or trade reporting (price quotes). And Geithner decided to just, well, put his name on that plan and submit it.

Wall Street’s largest banks are getting what they want in the U.S. Treasury’s plan to regulate over-the-counter derivatives by making all market participants adhere to the same capital requirements.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Credit Suisse Group AG and Barclays Plc sent the Treasury a plan written in February saying the Federal Reserve should extend bank regulation practices to companies and hedge funds, according to a document obtained by Bloomberg News and confirmed by the Treasury. Corporations, energy companies and hedge funds don’t face capital and margin levels now, while banks do under central bank oversight.

“The banks appear to wish to maintain the intra-dealer market and raise barriers to new entrants to keep the OTC business as compartmentalized as possible and to protect their profitable market conditions,” said Brad Hintz, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in New York. “The Street’s lobbyists appear to be asking for a ‘club’ structure in OTC trading.”

So, we get restrictions on entry into the market (meaning if you want to buy or sell, you'll have to go through one of the Wall St. banks), vague regulation AND we don't have to report trade information? What's not to love.

Excellent work, Timmy.

Posted by mcblogger at 12:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 13, 2009

Brilliant, Wanda... simply marvelous!

While everyone in Washington is running away from Wanda Sykes, we'd like to take a moment to thank her for her brilliant performance. The bit about Limbaugh, which everyone seems so worried about, was hysterical.

Posted by mcblogger at 08:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 05, 2009

Larry Summers, Dbag

PhotobucketUgh and What a dick.

I've never liked Summers. While Rubin may have gone overboard on deregulation (as were the vast majority of economists during the 90's), Larry always went further. Uncomfortably so. While Rubin was an advocate for government running surpluses and paying doubt debt, Summers stuck to his Friedmanite roots, unconcerned about debt loads.

President Obama has access to some of the most brilliant minds in economics and finance, yet he chooses Summers to chair the NCE. Instead of Volcker who is orders of magnitude more competent than Larry Summers.

Posted by mcblogger at 03:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 30, 2009

But, Mr. President...

... I don't smoke pot and I think it should be legalized. Oh, and I thought this was kinda dumb.

Posted by mcblogger at 11:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 24, 2009

So Dodd was telling the truth...

... and the Administration and Republicans have been lying?

EW's spot on... these contracts would have been busted by a BK judge had Treasury and the Fed not stepped in to pull AIG back from the brink. Abrogate the bonus contracts and let's move on.

Posted by mcblogger at 12:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 03, 2009

This just in...

A friend of Rick Warren's says he's not so bad a guy.

Sorry about the rehash, just found this and thought it was kinda funny.

Posted by mcblogger at 08:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 28, 2009

Come on, Mr. President!

Here's the thing... we need real regulatory reform and enforcement in financial services. This is not so much a good start, Mr. President.

Posted by mcblogger at 11:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 20, 2009

Stupid, Mr. President. Very stupid.

So, the housing plan is out. Cramdowns, mod's and all the other good times. Reich thinks the mod law and bankruptcy cramdowns will give the servicers leverage with the MBS holders. Yeah. Sure. Since they're under a legal obligation to listen to the servicers and all. Unless this law rewrites FAS 140 and overcomes ruining the Q, they're going to sue. And this may all end with 30 year mortgage rates in the teens.

Sure, I could be wrong. I certainly was about my bet with John Sharp. Of course, my side of that bet was predicated on smart people doing smart things. So far, that hasn't happened.

My big problem with the housing plan is that the damn thing rewards bad behavior and allows many people to profit from their bad behavior, while asking the investor to take it on the chin.

Let me tell you a little story... my family owns rental property. My grandmother depended on that income from those properties. When someone didn't pay, she felt bad but that was HER INCOME. Further, these folks signed a contract to pay a certain amount every month. She wasn't a monster, she'd work something out with them if possible, but she didn't write down what was owed. The payment was the payment. Millions of retiree's depend on income from MBS and you're, in effect, telling them to stock up on tender vittles.

This is the equivalent of letting everyone underwater on a car get the balance written down. I have no problem with the government subsidizing an interest rate for a borrower either directly as part of a refinance or through the purchase of MBS in the open market to a point where they can afford to pay. I do have a problem with a principle cramdown. When you buy a house, the people who lent you the money didn't write into the loan that they wanted to share in appreciation when you sell the house for more than you paid. Why the hell should they now share in your loss because the house isn't worth as much as you paid?

I am acutely aware of the crisis. I know people need help. I also know that the quickest way to get us on the path to recovery is to end the decline in housing and we can't do that until we arrest foreclosure rates. Unfortunately, this plan will end up causing more pain for far longer in an effort to help even those who really don't deserve it and couldn't afford their homes even at a 1% interest rate.

My plan is better.

Posted by mcblogger at 02:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 05, 2009

Circling the goddamn drain...

I read this yesterday...

I used to be optimistic about the capacity of our political leaders and central bankers to avoid the policy mistakes that could turn the current global recession into a deep and lasting global depression. Now I’m not so sure.

I'm not quite as worried about some of Buiter's concerns, least of all protectionism (mostly because there's going to be so much demand from China's infrastructure stimulus that basic materials are going to rebound sharply, even in the US). However, I AM concerned about the weakness in Washington. And the more I think about it, the more I'm ready to say, simply, FUCK IT. I can do that. I have money and I can survive a two year depression. Most of you can't.

In fact, a real depression would probably be good for me as it would allow me too pick up some great assets at 90% off their real value. Hell, I might just bail and leave you all here to rot. Maybe I'll be back when you fucks get your heads screwed on right.

Why am I saying all this? Because the public has turned against the stimulus bill. Democrats are actively working against their party and their President with the Republicans on more of this tax cut nonsense. The Republicans are easy... any failure of this bill will lead to a lot of economic pain and Democrats are going to get blamed. The Democrats working against this? They're harder to explain... I think it has something to do with a fundamental inability to understand economics and how to maintain a capitalist economy. I also think they're as goddamn stupid as this guy. Or this idiot who seems to think TARP was a bailout for the wealthy. Guess he wasn't paying attention nor does he seem to care that's it's left the Treasury with actual assets. Because he and those like him never understood TARP or TAF, they've been beating a political drum about it for a while. Now that beat has started to poison the Stimulus Bill.

It's kinda understandable, especially since the media is doing such a bang up job explaining all this to the American people. It almost makes me want to embrace what I see happening, the impoverishment of whole swaths of the country.

All the while our President sits on the sidelines, going on TV, seemingly content to let the whole thing go down the drain while the partisan bitterness he refuses to engage in consumes the Capital. Of course, he could step in and really decimate the Republicans. Maybe he will. But I certainly doubt it. My question, for now, is the same as this one... WHY ON EARTH WOULD OBAMA HAVE EMPOWERED THE GODDAMN STUPID REPUBLICANS??!?!?!?!?!?! Or, WHY THROW THEM ANY BONES IN THE FORM OF TAX CUTS THAT DON'T WORK? Has it occurred to anyone other than myself that President Obama and the Democrats are wasting our money on Republican ideas we know damn well won't work?!?!?!

Maybe, just maybe, the CHANGE we could believe in was nothing more than ineptitude. Not that asshat McCain would have been any better. I'm thinking more along the lines of Clinton or Edwards. God knows either of them would have already passed a much better bill and they would have browbeat the Republicans to do it.

Posted by mcblogger at 12:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 03, 2009

Fuckin' up with the President

Daschle? REALLY? FORMER Senator Tom Daschle, the meekest Senate Majority and Minority leader in the history of the US Congress? The guy who makes Harry Reid look charismatic?

Here's one side Daschle from the WaPo which is obviously much kinder. This is another from Greenwald. My favorite part is a quote from Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone...

In Washington there are whores and there are whores, and then there is Tom Daschle. Tom Daschle would suck off a corpse for a cheeseburger. True, he is probably only the second-biggest whore for the health care industry in American politics — the biggest being doctor/cat-torturer Bill Frist, whose visit to South Dakota on behalf of John Thune in 2004 was one of the factors in ending Daschle's tenure in the Senate.

But in picking Daschle — who as an adviser to the K Street law firm Alston and Bird has spent the last four years burning up the sheets with the nation's fattest insurance and pharmaceutical interests — Obama is essentially announcing that he has no intention of seriously reforming the health care industry. . . .

This, of course, dovetails rather nicely with two of President Obama's foundering campaign promises... Ethics Reform and Healthcare Reform.

UPDATE - Daschle withdraws! YAY!

Posted by mcblogger at 01:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 30, 2009

Yeah, we kinda already knew that...

According to recent revelations, it's now confirmed that NSA has been listening to all our comm traffic. Apparently, it's not just limited to McBlogger Authors. It's all of you people, too.

Apparently, some of you kinda resemble terrorists, what with your beady eyes, alcoholism and poor reading habits.

Of course, the NSA has been denying this FOREVER even though folks got them pretty cold at MAE-West.

Posted by mcblogger at 03:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

CBO doesn't love all of the stimulus package

The CBO report on the effects of the stimulus package is out and the verdict is not good for Republicans hankering for tax cuts. As it turns out, they don't do a whole lot. What does?

Infrastructure, direct Federal spending and aid to states to cover deficits and (you knew it was coming) INFRASTRUCTURE.

It's easier if you just start repeating over and over again, "McBlogger is always right!" And, for those of you worried needlessly about the speed with which this stimulus will hit, Krugman has you covered.

Finally, for all those worried about increase government borrowing costs, we're still the beloved of the world which means that in times of panic (now) everyone tries to buy US Treasuries increasing demand, driving up prices and driving down rates. We're effectively getting our money for free and, frankly, I wish the deficit hawks would just acknowledge this isn't business as usual so we could all move on down the road.

Posted by mcblogger at 12:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 27, 2009

More good news!

...and y'all thought we were getting rid of Bush. Oh, and in case you were wondering, those Republicans President Obama wants to work with are now holding up the stimulus plan the country needs.

Much thanks to Somervell County Salon

Posted by mcblogger at 09:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 12, 2009

Fun times with George and Pickles

KXAN's Leslie Rhode is interviewing President Bush and the First Lady. The thing's going to air tonight on the 5 and 6 so make sure you hop online and set your DVR to record them. After all, you'll be stuck in traffic like the rest of us.

In the event that you miss the broadcast, you can catch it here on KXAN's delicious website.

Posted by mcblogger at 12:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 23, 2008

Dick Cheney found to really be a dick

Does this surprise anyone?

Host Chris Wallace also asked Cheney if he was bothered by his outgoing approval ratings - a dismal 29 percent.

"We didn't set out to achieve the highest level of polls that we could during this administration," Cheney said. "Eventually you wear out your welcome in this business."

Yeah. Of course, starting wars against the wrong people, bankrupting the country and, in general, trying to dismantle the rule of law in your home country will make people hate you a little more.

Woe be to any company who puts you on the board.

Posted by mcblogger at 09:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 15, 2008

No, you can't look at my laptop

More than two years ago we talked about unreasonable searches being performed at the ports of entry into the United States. It turns out, that's all about to change. Finally.

Posted by mcblogger at 09:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 24, 2008

One Last "F*@# You, Amer'ca"

In these heady days of post-election afterglow, it's easy to get caught up in the moment. Folks, it don't get no better than this, as the beer commercial used to say. Breathe in, drink deep and gloat loudly in this historic victory.

But here's the thing. Remember the end of Star Wars? The theme song is playing in the background at full blast, Leia, Han and Luke are blinged out and smiley, Chewy lets out a proud "Rrrrraahhhhwwwww!" and R2 and Threepio are all polished and WD-40'd up. That's the kind of moment we're in now. But remember what happened next in the Star Wars series? Betrayal, deep-freezing, hand-severing, one serious bout of who's-yer-daddy mindfucking, and lest we forget, Yoda's awful homecooking. It took 6 years and 2 sequels for things to break in favor of the good guys again. And that was in the movies.

Now I'm only pointing out here that we're going to face some troubles soon no matter who our president is going to be. So let's not elevate the man to Messianic status just yet. Because that always ends badly anyway. See, e.g. "Jesus Christ Superstar." The point here is that the afterglow is soon to give way to some harsh realities about the state of our nation after 8 years of Bush/GOP rule.

On that note, it appears the current Douche-in-Chief is doing his best to keep trashing the joint even on his way out the door. Brother Froomkin at WaPo has the deets here. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/blog/2008/11/20/BL2008112001934.html?hpid=opinionsbox1 (sidenote: God Bless Dan Froomkin. He was calling out the Bu'shit long before it came into vogue among mainstream media types. 'Tis a pity his work is tethered to such increasingly unpopular and irrelevant subject matter.)

To summarize, Bush is using his 11th hour to ramrod through as many destructive regulatory changes as possible so they can't be easily undone by the regime change. Folks, this guy is like the deadbeat tenant who responds to an eviction notice by pouring concrete down the plumbing, taking a dump in all the closets, and inviting over some crackheads for one last meth-fueled orgy around a living room bonfire. They's gonna be needles, poop and scorched wallpaper waiting for the next guy is all's I'm sayin'.

Yep. Elections have consequences...sometimes even after the next election has already taken place. But I'll finally stop razzing You People about 2004 now....
CUZ WE WON THIS ONE, BITCHES!!

Posted by hbalczak at 10:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 12, 2008

Bush v Obama

While Bush is busy with new Executive Orders allowing polluters to unload toxins into our air and water...

The Great Deregulator wishes to pass such laws that “would allow current emissions at a power plant to match the highest levels produced by that plant, overturning a rule that more strictly limits such emission increases.”

President Bush “would ease limits on emissions from coal-fired power plants near national parks,” and “allow increased emissions from oil refineries, chemical factories and other industrial plants with complex manufacturing operations.”

The implications are significant for the American people. These news rules would condemn us to dirtier polluted air for years to come. This is all in the interest of big business.

There is no secret that President Bush has done more harm then good to the United States with his policies of deregulation and apparently he is not stopping just because his tenure is about to be over.

...and the President-Elect is already readying a counterpunch to take effect the day HE becomes President.

Posted by mcblogger at 07:52 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 29, 2008

You may have missed this...

With the passage of FISA, we were expecting the Government to file to dismiss the many lawsuits floating out there against the companies that aided and abetted the Government's illegal wiretapping program. And now, it's happened.

Eventually it'll hit the Supreme Court where I'm SURE CJ Roberts will make sure and uphold the constitutionality of an unconstitutional law.

Posted by mcblogger at 09:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 22, 2008

The fallout...

First off, for a moment, take a look at this again. Specifically point one. Think about that every time you read something from one of the chicken little's on the right (or left) who are bleating on about toxic securities.

One more time, there is no such thing as a toxic security. There is only a toxic price. In other words, be rational about the prices you pay for assets and you'll be happy. The market for credits got very frothy and people overpaid either because they were dumb or they didn't really understand the securities they were buying. Now people have gone the opposite way and are unwilling to buy these assets at any price.

As the old saying goes, be greedy when others are fearful. Be fearful when others are greedy.

Unfortunately, it looks like many investors are going to take a pass on these assets. Which leaves the Fed's and the few willing and smart enough to jump into the fray (like JPM). First off, I'm pleased as punch about the government getting involved since the 'free' market has completely gone off the rails. However, Paulson's plan is still the wrong way to go.

We're also mostly on the same page (though I, unlike Stirling, don't subscribe to conspiracy theory) except for a few highlights...

1) Cramdowns - Basically, this is a modification for mortgages in markets with declining values. It's also useless. What about the homeowner who is making their payments EVEN though their home is worth less than they paid? There's really no need for this unless you're talking about doing a workout on someone who really can't afford the mortgage and the value has declined dramatically. However, I don't like the government getting a piece of the inevitable increase in value down the road through some kind of hitherto unknown lien position. If you're going to help people, help people.

My advice : Don't do this with anyone who has had a greater than 50% decline in value. That's what you'll get on a foreclosure. Anyone more underwater needs to just walk away with a wipeout on the mortgage history so they don't have an adverse hit on the credit report.

Last thing... change the tax laws to benefit workouts rather than foreclosures. It's easy... if a company does a workout that results in the loss of loan balance (say, from $200k to $150k) then they can take that as a loss against ordinary income immediately. If they foreclose, they have to take the loss on that against income over THREE years. Either way, you have to alter the law to keep these companies from 1099ing the people effected for the difference.

2) Not so much with a national emergency and rationing. Let's look at changing tax policy to increase wages for ordinary people. That'll take care of commodities inflation and our negative savings rate. And that whole petroleum thing can be easily fixed with biofuels. Actually, it WILL be fixed fast as long as oil is over $50/bbl.

I'm fine with expanding FDIC and LOVE what Obama is hitting on. Plus, as many of you know, I've always hated excessive levels of executive compensation. I say go for it, Congressional Democrats! Take this time to make this a real solution, instead of another Paulson bandaid.

Now, onto what's happening today. Obvs, the market loved the Paulson/Bush/McCain plan as much as we did. The Dow is down around 3% and oil has shot back up to $120/bbl as investors pull out of equities and dump speculative money into oil.

Needless to say, we ALL apparently want something other than another silly gimmick. Except for Michelle Malkin who has turned this into yet another attempt to divorce herself and her Party from responsibility for this problem.

Robert Novak called attention to Paulson’s Democrat DNA last October. It’s worth reminding you of Paulson’s instincts and the liberal allies he has installed at the Treasury Department

No, no, Bitch. Paulson's one of yours. And quit quoting that sad, old alcoholic. As for him bringing in 'libruls', the problem is that all your financial guys suck balls. They all end up going broke.

Posted by mcblogger at 03:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 21, 2008

A special invitation to the Secretary of the Treasury

Go FUCK yourself, Hank.

Seriously, THIS is what you came up with? A massive expansion of the Executive Branch, no help for homeowners and absolute power with a blank check?

It's clear to me now that Paulson has got to go and we need Bob Rubin back at Treasury. Larry Summers is wrong for the job (honestly, he's a dumbass anyway) and Rubin is the only one with the kind influence in financial and political circles to get something done. He's also far smarter than Paulson which should help.

We need to re-regulate commodities and derivative trading (fuck you, Phil Gramm, you dirt leg moron) and begin requiring a lot more capital be held by companies wishing to operate in the securities industry. No more of this 30 to 1 leverage bullshit. But I don't see that it this little 'plan'. I also don't see anything to help expand efforts already proceeding to pull borrowers out of bad mortgages. No, I'm not talking about a cram down and share the wealth plan (seriously, why even bother, Ian? You gonna give everyone who's upside down on a car note a bail out, too? Just get them outta the bad loan and regular appreciation will work out the gap), just a reworking of underwriting guidelines and insuring to allow people to get into affordable mortgages.

We needed real solutions and an indication of some sort of contrition. Instead, we get a brazen attempt to steal still more power for an out of control President.

Congress should act. The Democrats should write one hell of a bill and tell the President to sign it or we'll let everything go down the tubes.

Enough bullshit and politics. And Chairman Frank should immediately demand Paulson's resignation.

Posted by mcblogger at 04:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 16, 2008

Warrantless Wiretapping... the inside story.

And now, we know... the entire saga and just close Cheney and Bush came to throwing the country under the bus. Part one is here, and part two is here. My favorite part is when Comey gives Cheney sycophant Addington his comeuppance.

This program, Cheney said, was vital. Turning it off would leave us blind. Hayden, the NSA chief, pitched in: Even if the program had yet to produce blockbuster results, it was the only real hope of discovering sleeper agents before they could act.

"How can you possibly be reversing course on something of this importance after all this time?" Cheney asked [19].

Comey held his ground. The program had to operate within the law. The Justice Department knew a lot more now than it had before, and Ashcroft and Comey had reached this decision together.

"I will accept for purposes of discussion that it is as valuable as you say it is," Comey said. "That only makes this more painful. It doesn't change the analysis. If I can't find a lawful basis for something, your telling me you really, really need to do it doesn't help me."

"Others see it differently," Cheney said.

There was only one of those, really. John Yoo had been out of the picture for nearly a year. It was all Addington.

"The analysis is flawed, in fact facially flawed," Comey said. "No lawyer reading that could reasonably rely on it."

Gonzales said nothing. Addington stood by the window, over Cheney's shoulder. He had heard a bellyful.

"Well, I'm a lawyer and I did," Addington said, glaring at Comey.

"No good lawyer," Comey said [20].

In the end, they got the variance and criminal cover they needed... From the partnership of EVERY Congressional Republican and a few Blue Dog Democrats.

Posted by mcblogger at 12:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 26, 2008

Blaming the Democrats...

I LOVE BLAME! I love it when one of my subordinates, whom I've asked to perform a task, blames someone else in the office (usually a peer) for failing to complete it. Nothing makes me happier than knowing that the job I expected to get done, wasn't done. Well, nothing except knowing who to blame for the failure.

Oh, I'm just kidding... I usually berate the dick who didn't perform the task. Over the phone since my office is far, far from me.

Bush, on the other hand, likes to berate his peers. For high gas prices...

"This Congress has been one of the most unproductive on record. They've failed to address the challenge of high gas prices," the president said. "They need to send me a bill next month that I can sign so we can bring relief to drivers, small business owners, farmers and ranchers and every American affected by high prices at the pump."

You should never believe a liar, which is what makes this AP story sooo intriguing. It's also interesting because there are no counterquotes from the Democrats. Nothing except some lame thing from Pelosi about allowing some limited offshore drilling. Which Bush says isn't enough. And we should take his word on that because he's been right all along. He was:

1) Right about deficits not mattering.
2) Right about WMD's
3) Right about that whole Axis of Evil thing
4) Right about Vladimir Putin's soul
5) Right about how tax cuts would trickle down
6) Right about how the economy wasn't having problems
7) Right about how energy price increases (which have gone on every day since he entered office) were temporary.

The funny thing is that Bush says all this without a hint of irony since HIS party was in charge during most of the run up in gas prices. In fact, when refiners continued to gouge retailers and consumers, Bush and the Republicans did nothing. As Exxon's profits soared and Americans started to buckle under the pressure, Bush and the Republicans did nothing. Except blame Democrats who weren't in power.

The funny thing about this is that none of it is the fault of the Democrats. However, because of how retarded their leadership is in the Congress, it'll come across that way and in the end they'll fall over themselves to give the Republicans what they want.

They'll whine about how the polling data was too strong and how the R's had talking points that were engineered to win over an audience. I know this because I've heard it for two years. The reality is that none of you are really smart enough to get how to control message and win a debate in real time.

So, just save us all the time and trouble... and give in. God knows none of you know how to browbeat and intimidate the other side into caving in to you. Democrats don't do that. Well, they don't anymore.


Posted by mcblogger at 02:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 14, 2008

Condi and why the Soviets should be scared...

Well, they WOULD be scared. If they still existed. Click here for THE BEST ASSESSMENT of Condoleeza Rice ever written.

I don't believe Condoleezza Rice can actually play piano. Everything else she's ever touched has been a fraud and a catastrophe, why should her alleged musical abilities be any different? Think about it. Think about any event she's been even remotely involved in since you first heard her name. An endless string of threats and blundering and arrogant bluffs turned squalid pigfucks. It's not that she can't do her job; she can't do anything. I think when she plays piano the piano catches fire and the audience dies.

So yeah, sure, Condoleezza Rice for Vice President. Time's a wastin'.

Oh, yes... it gets better. Just click the link.

Posted by mcblogger at 02:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 01, 2008

Pack Lightly

The LOVELY people at the Dept. of Homeland Security have the right to take and search your laptop, MP3 player, flash drive, etc. Oh, and they can keep it as long as they want. The money quote comes from Chertoff himself...

PhotobucketHomeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff wrote in an opinion piece published last month in USA Today that "the most dangerous contraband is often contained in laptop computers or other electronic devices." Searches have uncovered "violent jihadist materials" as well as images of child pornography, he wrote.

Bullshit, Michael you skeletal fucking waste of skin. You found rants from unhappy people (I.E., my posts) and called them 'jihadist'. As for the child porno, where are the convictions, asshat? And you found this on how many computers? One? Two?

Chertoff is playing a game that bureaucrats like him LOVE, Justify Your Existence. The sad truth is that there is no need for him TO exist. In fact, we could significantly scale back DHS and achieve the same result. Meanwhile our coasts and our borders leak like sieves and there are few (if any) real inspections of shipping containers entering the US through our major ports. Containers that could easily hold 20 W88 class nukes. But Michael and his staff are more concerned about what might or might not be on your computer.

This is absolutely ridiculous. Once again, Feingold is leading the way to refocus on DHS on REAL problems...give him your help.

Posted by mcblogger at 02:25 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 15, 2008

If you can't say something nice...

...say something not so nice about Douglas Feith

People often testify alongside witnesses with whom they disagree, Nadler said as he opened the hearing, and "such concerns are no reason to decline to appear when you've said you will."

But Feith's lawyer, in his letter, said he'd been assured his client would testify "in an atmosphere free from the vitriol and ad hominem attacks that have regrettably dominated the debate." And this other witness was none other than Lawrence Wilkerson, who had been chief of staff to then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and had allegedly made "reckless, bigoted and defamatory remarks" about Feith.

Moustakas said that in 2006 Wilkerson accused Feith of being a "'card-carrying member of the Likud party' whose allegiance is to Israel rather than the United States." (Actually, according to writer George Packer's book "The Assassins' Gate," it was Powell who made that allegation to President Bush in the Oval Office in January 2005.)

What's more, Moustakas wrote, "Wilkerson said of Mr. Feith in 2005: 'Seldom have I met a dumber man.' " (Actually, Wilkerson was simply agreeing with Gen. Tommy Franks, who famously called Feith "the [expletive] stupidest guy on the face of the earth.")

"Mr. Feith believes he not only has never met [Wilkerson], but has never even been in the same room with him," Moustakas sniffed in the letter, and no "proper, substantive discussion" would be had if Feith testified "with the likes of Lawrence Wilkerson."

Wilkerson said yesterday that he believes he met and shook hands with Feith when both were in the White House situation room on a Saturday morning in January 2003 for a meeting chaired by then-deputy national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley and attended by Ryan Crocker, then deputy assistant secretary of state.

"Doug was there and holding forth on ties" between al-Qaeda and Iraq, Wilkerson recalled. "The purpose was how we were going to 'market' the war." Wilkerson said he also met Feith at the Pentagon on several occasions.

What.A.Chickenshit.

Posted by mcblogger at 06:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 08, 2008

Russian leader is "smart" says leading American retard

You just know the reporter was drunk as a motherfucker when he wrote this.

President George W. Bush looked into the eyes of Russia’s new president, Dmitri A. Medvedev, on Monday and saw, he said, “a smart guy.”

The two presidents spent more than an hour together here in their first face-to-face meeting since Mr. Medvedev succeeded Vladimir V. Putin. Afterward, they said they had agreed on the need for Iran and North Korea to abandon their nuclear ambitions, but did not bridge their differences on Mr. Bush’s proposal to build a missile defense system in Eastern Europe.

“I found him to be a smart guy who understood the issues very well,” Mr. Bush said.

"And in those deep, iridescent pools of blue, I saw my future and the strength that would also stand beside me. In that moment of crystal clarity, when time seemed to freeze like a Thanksgiving turkey bought in August, I knew this was the only man who I could truly call an equal. The one who would make me complete."

Seriously, was I the only one thinking this read like a bad romance novel? Oh, but wait! There's more...

The two had met before, when Mr. Medvedev was a top adviser to Mr. Putin. On Monday, they seemed somewhat familiar; Mr. Medvedev repeatedly referred to Mr. Bush, who celebrated his 62nd birthday here on Sunday, as George, as in: “I congratulated George on his birthday, which is also a very important thing, irrespective of summits out there — irrespective of our will, these dates occur in our life.”

To which Mr. Bush succinctly replied: “Everybody has a birthday.”

Guess which one doesn't speak English as his first language.

Posted by mcblogger at 11:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 20, 2008

I have but one question...

HOW COULD YOU BE SO STUPID, DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP??!?!?!

Here's how this going to go... You candidates all write constantly asking for support. For you, I have only one question: Will support our current corrupt leadership or will you support leadership changes that will return this country to the rule of law?

How about it, Larry Joe? What are YOU going to do Michael Skelly? Rick Noriega? If you're going to support the absurd leadership of Pelosi and Reid, then there is really no point in electing you.

WHERE DO YOU STAND?

Posted by mcblogger at 01:06 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

June 19, 2008

Remember when Karl put that guy in jail?

Remember former AL Governor Siegelman? Yeah, that guy.

Apparently he's appealing his conviction which will, it seems likely, be reversed. As for Rove, the man who landed him in hot water by brow beating the FBI and the US Attorney, he's being called before Congress. And has refused the subpoena.

Tell you what, Conyers. This guy is not EVER going to testify. Put him in jail for contempt of Congress. There isn't a soul in this country who would care.

Posted by mcblogger at 09:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 28, 2008

Fun with the columnists

There have been some great columns out recently that you may have missed. You're so lucky I love each and every one of you for now, I will share them with you, my brilliant readers.

Oh, who the hell am I kidding... it's pearls before swine. Here's to hoping some of you learned how to read something more complex than my usual 'kindergarten words'.

First up, this piece in the NYT by David Leonhardt, a brill take down of Lou Dobbs. Make sure you also take a look at his analysis of the 'Bush economic boom' that's bypassed just about, well, everyone you and I know.

In part one of The Sun Rises In The West... Burka thinks it's a bad idea for Perry to run in 2010.

In part two, I agree with Gardner Selby. Well, at least on what a prolonged primary will do to the Democrats... absolutely nothing.

Finally, there's Frank Rich. Seriously, you need more than that to click the link?


Posted by mcblogger at 11:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 23, 2008

Just listen to me this time, K?

Well, folks, we can now say public consensus has made it official: Worst. President. Ever.

Be sure and congratulate all of your family, friends, coworkers and neighbors who hold the distinction of voting once or even twice for the person now officially known as "the president worse than Nixon."

I gotta hand it to you, though. You people might be responsible for bestowing upon our Nation the most colossal failure in the history of the White House - twice - but at least you didn't vote for that guy said to take credit for inventing the internet. Or that other guy who "flipflopped," windsurfed, and looked French. How utterly ruinous to the country would THAT have been? Not to mention embarrassing?

Lest we forget, insanity is when you keep doing the same thing over and over again, yet expecting a different result. Think about that between now and November, my friends.

Posted by hbalczak at 12:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 16, 2008

No, George, you can't invade Iran

BlueBloggin' has the down and dirty on Bush & Co. working their collective asses off to 'catapult the propaganda' to drive public opinion to support an invasion of Iran. He can try as hard as he likes, but there's no way we're going to believe Bush. We already know that the mullah's running Iran know damn well they can't use those nukes without us using ours. And they can't shut off the oil either because it'll collapse their economy.

No, a nuclear Iran does not scare me. And you're an idiot if it scares you. Well, either an idiot or a pussy.

Posted by mcblogger at 08:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 19, 2008

Bush to scrap state Homeland Security grants

No, I'm not kidding. Kind of a mixed bag since I thought it was nothing more than a slush fund anyway. However, I just have to ask, what about the terrawrists?

Posted by mcblogger at 01:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 16, 2008

Condoleezza Rice Was "Bombarded" with Warnings Before 9/11,

Contrary to story we were told by the Administration and our ersatz Secretary of State, she was advised on numerous occasions by Richard Clarke that Bin Laden was ready to attack the US in the months leading up to 9/11. Condi ignored that information and Philip Zelikow (9/11 Commission staff director) helped cover up the discovery that Rice was MIA.

read more

Posted by mcblogger at 09:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 13, 2008

Things aren't all that rosy in Iraq... nor are they completely dire

The NYT released their Iraq scorecard which can best be summarized with the following...

It is far too soon to predict that Iraq is headed for stability or sectarian reconciliation. But it is also clear that those who assert that its politics are totally broken have not kept up with the news.

This is all with a lot of stuff in the backdrop, namely the election season. Which is kind of interesting since the Republicans are solidly failing to land hits or adequately defend their position to keep troops in Iraq for the next 100 years. Here's the problem, which the Times glosses over... are our troops worsening or helping the political situation in Iraq? The Iraqi's seem to be pretty clear that it's the former.

Now the Senate wants to know what happened to all the money the Iraqi's have made on oil sales.

Despite the dire need for better health care, more electricity and clean water, a functioning sewage system and other services, the accountability office has previously estimated that Iraq spent only 22 percent of the oil money set aside for reconstruction in 2006. And in January, the office, which is charged with overseeing the Iraqi government’s finances, reported that Iraq had spent a meager 4.4 percent of its 2007 reconstruction budget by August of that year, the most recent figures available at the time.

As a result, the letter from the Armed Services Committee says, “we believe that it has been overwhelmingly U.S. taxpayer money that has funded Iraq reconstruction over the last five years, despite Iraq earning billions of dollars in oil revenue over that time period that have ended up in non-Iraqi banks.”

The Pentagon is releasing a detailed and thorough analysis of Iraq's connections to terrorism prior to the invasion. The conclusion? It's the same one you've heard before... there were no ties to terrorism. Period. Bush, Condi, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz made it all up. Which makes them liars.

Unfortunately, none of them can be prosecuted. Well, at least not the ones that didn't testify before Congress.

At the end, it's time to acknowledge we've done all we can do. We're more a crutch than a real help at this point and it's time for our men and women to come home from Bush's attempt to create a friedmanite paradise. We owe it to them.

Posted by mcblogger at 11:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 29, 2008

The Bush Legacy and telecom immunity

Love me some Richard Clarke. He's got the best take on the FISA bill I've seen so far:

Besides overstating successes in Afghanistan, painting a rosy future for Iraq, and touting unfinished domestic objectives, he again used his favorite tactic - fear - as a tool to scare Congress and the American people. On one issue in particular - FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) - the president misconstrued the truth and manipulated the facts.

Let me be clear: Our ability to track and monitor terrorists overseas would not cease should the Protect America Act expire. If this were true, the president would not threaten to terminate any temporary extension with his veto pen. All surveillance currently occurring would continue even after legislative provisions lapsed because authorizations issued under the act are in effect up to a full year.

Simply put, it was wrong for the president to suggest that warrants issued in compliance with FISA would suddenly evaporate with congressional inaction. Instead - even though Congress extended the Protect America Act by two weeks - he is using the existence of the sunset provision to cast his political opponents in a negative light.

For this president, fear is an easier political tactic than compromise. With FISA, he is attempting to rattle Congress into hastily expanding his own executive powers at the expense of civil liberties and constitutional protections.

I spent most of my career in government fighting to protect this country in order to defend these very rights. And I know every member of Congress - whether Democrat or Republican - holds public office in the same pursuit.

That is why in 2001, I presented this president with a comprehensive analysis regarding the threat from al-Qaeda. It was obvious to me then - and remains a fateful reality now - that this enemy sought to attack our country. Then, the president ignored the warnings and played down the threats. Ironically, it is the fear from these extremely real threats that the president today uses as a wedge in a vast and partisan political game. This is - and has been - a very reckless way to pursue the very ominous dangers our country faces. And once again, during the current debate over FISA, he continues to place political objectives above the practical steps needed to defeat this threat.

Of course, this is all about Telecom Immunity. That's the real objective. That's what must be stopped. So, to all the members of Congress who are thinking about voting for this bill (we see your IP's so we know you're paying attention), think again. It will be a campaign issue.

Bush is sticking with his "I'll veto to protect 'merican's" bullshit. Just as an FYI to any Republican thinking of sticking with our douchebag President, you're toast.

Posted by mcblogger at 04:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 27, 2008

Bush and his lies about FISA

Don't cave in, D's (and a few) R's in the House. We're watching you and while this issue may not be foremost on people's minds, imagine how front and center it can become. In an election year. You don't want that so why not do the right thing AND CYA! Drop Bush in the grease on this and stand with Pelosi!

El Presidente is all about telecom immunity because he knows it's the only thing that will save him from an eventual stretch in the federal pen. See, Bush ordered all this. He brow beat the companies into submission. Now he can't deliver the immunity they so desperately need. And he's sounding more and more desperate by the day...

``The House's refusal to act is undermining our ability to get cooperation from private companies, and that undermines our effort to protect us from terrorist attacks,'' Bush said in his weekly radio address, the second week in a row he has discussed the issue.

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives has balked at passing a Bush-backed bill that would give telecommunications companies such as AT&T Inc. protection from privacy lawsuits for helping the administration conduct wiretapping without warrants.

The bill, approved by the Senate, would extend the spying authority for six years. The prior law expired Feb. 16 after Bush said he wouldn't sign a brief extension while the House debated the issue.

Democrats argued the law's expiration wouldn't hobble surveillance of foreign-based terrorists or other enemies, since orders issued to telephone companies under the law remain in effect for a year.

Bush, in his radio address, said lawmakers who oppose the legislation are favoring trial lawyers over national security. ``Terrorists are planning the next attack on America,'' Bush said. ``To protect America from such attacks, we must protect our telecommunications companies from abusive lawsuits.''

Terrorism is all about instilling fear in a target. Bush is working hard to instill fear in the American people to, yet again, expand the powers of the Presidency. Doesn't that, by definition, make Bush a terrorist? Ponder that for a second...

Interesting, huh?

As for the first quote, these companies, like all entities in the US, can be compelled to cooperate with a court order, usually in the form of a warrant. That's what the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution is all about. These companies did what Bush wanted, they did something illegal based on his assurances, which he never should have given. Now, they're in trouble. However, so is he. It's pretty obvious that this ISN'T about these companies... it's about Bush keeping himself out a scenic vacation to a lovely spot in Kansas.

Sign the petition now. Ask The House to uphold the rule of law in the United States and let's restore accountability to the executive branch.

Posted by mcblogger at 09:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 25, 2008

DHS and the plan to gut civil service

Apparently, DHS has given up on that brill idea to gut civil service laws and hire non-union folks.

The Department of Homeland Security, in a court filing Friday, said it will not pursue rules to curb union rights and will abide by regular civil service labor-management procedures.

Shortly afterward, a federal court issued an order closing the case, and the union that fought the rules declared victory.

Colleen M. Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, yesterday called the result "a welcome end to a battle well worth fighting."

The battle began in the summer of 2002, when the Bush administration signaled that it wanted to create a separate personnel system for Homeland Security, changing how employees would be paid, promoted and disciplined.

Bush officials contended that the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks required changes that would give more discretion to managers and permit quicker deployment of workers without notifying their union representatives.

The plan outraged federal union leaders and a number of Democrats in Congress. When the department and the Office of Personnel Management issued rules for a new personnel system in February 2005, the NTEU and other employee groups sued. The union also began lobbying campaigns to stop the rules on Capitol Hill.

The proposed rules would have allowed the Department of Homeland Security to override any provision in a union contract by issuing a department-wide directive. The rules also would have made it difficult, if not impossible, for unions to negotiate over arrangements for staffing, deployments, technology and other workplace matters.

In August 2005, U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer blocked the department's plan, saying it did not ensure collective-bargaining rights for Homeland Security employees. A year later, a federal appeals court ruled against the department.

Just curious, but how much taxpayer money was wasted on advancing a stupid idea dreamed up by retarded Republicans on a purely ideological crusade?

Posted by mcblogger at 11:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 14, 2008

Just how BIG is DoD's Budget?

BIG. In point of fact, it is just a few billion shy of being more than what the rest of the ENTIRE PLANET spends on defense. And brings up a good point... Instead of raising taxes, the Republicans have just run massive deficits. Which drives up the cost of borrowing. Which in turn makes it more expensive for consumers to buy cars, houses, everything. Which acts as a drag on the economy, not just in higher borrowing costs but in terms of a weaker dollar. A weaker dollar means dramatically more expensive energy prices which leads to inflationary increases in the prices of EVERYTHING. The end result, if we're lucky, will be a mild recession.

If we're not lucky... well, read The Grapes of Wrath.

The reality is that our infrastructure and social safety net are crumbling. It's not just the roads and medicare/medicaid, it's schools, police, fire depts, community colleges and universities. By spending an inordinate amount on defense, we're sacrificing our economic prosperity now and in the future. Food for thought for all the 'strong on defense' hawks.

Posted by mcblogger at 07:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 08, 2008

May I see your papers?

Customs and Border agents are being a little intrusive in their searches. Two issues here:

1) An electronic device should be as secure as a briefcase. You may be able to look inside the briefcase, but you can't look AT the contents. A computer is the same thing, but easier. You should only be able to xray the damn thing. It's not like anyone has managed to digitize a bomb and put it in a Word document. Unless you count a conference call agenda.

"It's one thing to say it's reasonable for government agents to open your luggage," said David D. Cole, a law professor at Georgetown University. "It's another thing to say it's reasonable for them to read your mind and everything you have thought over the last year. What a laptop records is as personal as a diary but much more extensive. It records every Web site you have searched. Every e-mail you have sent. It's as if you're crossing the border with your home in your suitcase."

2) WTF? Profiling?

Customs sometimes singles out passengers for extensive questioning and searches based on "information from various systems and specific techniques for selecting passengers," including the Interagency Border Inspection System, according to a statement on the CBP Web site. "CBP officers may, unfortunately, inconvenience law-abiding citizens in order to detect those involved in illicit activities," the statement said. But the factors agents use to single out passengers are not transparent, and travelers generally have little access to the data to see whether there are errors.

Although Customs said it does not profile by race or ethnicity, an officers' training guide states that "it is permissible and indeed advisable to consider an individual's connections to countries that are associated with significant terrorist activity."

"What's the difference between that and targeting people because they are Arab or Muslim?" Cole said, noting that the countries the government focuses on are generally predominantly Arab or Muslim.

What's next? Allowing the fuckers at TSA to do shit like this? Congress needs to act to restrict this kind 'security'.

(h/t to BlueBloggin')


Posted by mcblogger at 02:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 01, 2008

Calling Bullshit : Hope Now

Apparently, I wasn't the only who thought Bush and Paulson's little plan to 'cure' the mortgage market in the US was a load of horseshit...

So what exactly does Hope Now do for the market? We think there is not much more to it than a 1-800 number for consumers.

We wonder why this led Paulson, a legendary Wall Street insider, to even think about doing this. First, he is a Republican, so we are not sure how he can justify his intrusion into market activities – however nominal it might be – with his political stance. (Bush has long ago stopped being a Republican in the classic sense.)

And even if he has some noble objective in mind, the numbers don’t justify the harm to his reputation, especially on Wall Street. All this for perhaps 1.2 million borrowers, many of whom would have gotten relief from servicers anyway? This seems like a bad trade for the former chairman of Goldman Sachs & Co.

The administration is painting this as an industry-led effort. The government is simply facilitating it. Facilitating what? The fact that servicers can, if they want to, modify loans upon reset? Of course they can. Loan modifications are spelled out in servicing agreements.

This, my friends, is politics – and it is hollow politics at that. When Paulson came to office, we thought he would be a Treasury secretary of substance. That Hope Now is just an empty shell.

Oh, and don't forget, when you call the 800 number, please don't call the one Connecticut native George Bush is giving out.

Posted by mcblogger at 02:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 12, 2008

Fly the friendly skies

AA is, as part of a DHS test, mounting defensive laser systems on their jets. For all those shoulder mounted rockets being fired by terrawrists.

Posted by mcblogger at 01:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 11, 2008

Stop me if you've heard this one before...

The recession is close... yeah, we knew that. We've known it for more than a year and frankly are a little shocked at how long it's taken to play out. So what's there to do?

If you're President George Bush, you cut taxes. Again. Because it's worked so well the last few times.

During the 'massive expansion' Bush LOVES to talk about, wage growth was minimal to non-existent. Inflation is up dramatically when you consider food and energy prices. Employment has been lousy and only rarely reaching even static employment levels (the level at which new jobs are available to those entering the workforce at age 18). The economy, for the vast majority of Americans, has not been good.Let's look at what should be done, shall we?

  • Foreclosures are at a high level and climbing. Tax cuts won't help that because it's an amortization and income issue. Most middle class people who are in this mess aren't in it because their taxes are too high. They're in it because the didn't have chair to sit in when the music stopped. They bought too much house with too little income and a sweet note that let them make small payments. They were counting on the house to appreciate and bail out by selling some other schmuck. They got caught. These folks, you can't really help. Fortunately, they're mostly limited to CA. The rest of the problem can be dealt with by dramatically expanding FHA guides under the Secure program and giving lenders liability waivers so they'll make the loans. That'll get America's massive origination market into high gear and will start to stabilize home prices. A tax cut won't do any of this. An extra $500/year isn't going to help someone in a $300k mortgage who's already 2 months behind.
  • New program to subsidize conversion of land in the south to sugarcane production through an ag credit that can be used to offset state taxes. Then force the oil companies to refine and get the newly produced cane ethanol to market, enough with the corn people. Tell the oil companies the government will leave their tax cut in place for one year if they do it. If not, the government should end it and seize assets for immediate payment. Then use the money to build refineries which can be sold off over time. You'll also have to nationalize the distribution network, either through control or paying the distributors... hell, tax dollars helped build most of the pipelines in this country, anyway. That'll bring down the cost of gasoline at the pump and give consumers some ease. Plus, it'll help our MASSIVE TRADE DEFICIT which is causing the dollar to devalue, driving oil prices up
  • Which brings me to the tax cuts from 01 and 03... kill them. ALL. In fact, institute an 80% tax on all capital gains realized in less than a year, then graduate it down to 20% over four years. Until you put the brakes on speculation, the markets will continue to be an unstable mess and real investors will be terrified of it.

    This will also stem the outflow of capital from the US and stabilize the dollar. A little known fact is that the 'rich', who've been given so much by the Republicans, have been diversifying their assets by buying non-dollar denominated securities. That tax cut that was supposed to generate jobs and massive growth (that never really materialized) generated money that actually went to buy eurobonds denominated in anything but dollars.

  • Take the increase in tax income and use it, half and half, to create a non-US invested SSN fund. Appoint people to run it, nominated by the Federal Reserve and approved by the Senate. We have to diversify SSN out of federal debt and IOU's. With the increase in tax revenues and a surplus in the federal budget, the dollar will begin to climb making it relatively cheap to buy non-dollar assets and it'll stabilize SSN well into the future without some kind of insane privatization scheme.

    The remainder of the money should be used for a massive infrastructure investment program covering schools and roads. This will create a boom in the economy, further enrich and stabilize the middle class and fix what desperately needs to be fixed, our schools and roads.

  • Some of you will no doubt think this a little radical, however it's all market based and set to privatize. What's more, it fills in where private enterprise isn't... in risky, long term ventures. As for starving out speculation by taxing the hell out of it, if you can't see the benefit of that as a price stabilizing move then you're really stupid. Seriously, go sit over there and be by yourself.

    A tax cut, George, ain't gonna cut it. The solution needs to be big, bold and actually fix the massive and looming problems we collectively face. A tax cut, in this environment, is like cutting off one's hand in and effort to stop a flesh wound from bleeding.

    It works because eventually the patient bleeds-out and dies. Maybe that IS what President Bush would like to see happen.

    These are both good plans, but they could use more money and more narrow targeting, not to mention addressing the deficit. As for the 'mortgage help', just allow people to refinance into FHA. You'll make the bond holders whole AND get these people into a mortgage they can afford. You'll actually fix the problem, rather than bandaiding it and the best part is it doesn't soak taxpayers since FHA pays for itself.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 02, 2008

    Just how good has the economy been?

    We've known for a while that the economy hasn't been on all that great for the vast majority of Americans. The reality is that supply-side economics does exactly what it was always supposed to do... concentrate income and, as a consequence, wealth at the top. Here's a breakdown of the economic gains made from 2003-2005...


    Bottom quintile: 2%
    Next quintile: 2.4%
    Middle quintile: 3.9%
    Fourth quintile: 3.7%
    Top quintile: 16%
    Top 10%: 20.9%
    Top 5%: 27.7%
    Top 1%: 43.5%

    71.2% of the income available in the United States went to 5% of the population. While no one ever said capitalism was fair, it has historically been a good way to create and distribute wealth across a large population. However, what we functionally have now isn't really capitalism, it's a form of pseudo-fascism with incredible amounts of government cooperation with industry, especially in terms of military spending. Whether the Republicans realize it or not, they've engaged in economic manipulation and a redistribution of wealth that is functionally impoverishing the vast majority of the people in this country.

    The total income of the top 1.1 million households was $1.8 trillion, or 18.1 percent of the total income of all Americans, up from 14.3 percent of all income in 2003. The total 2005 income of the three million individual Americans at the top was roughly equal to that of the bottom 166 million Americans, analysis of the report showed.

    The report is the latest to document the growing concentration of income at the top, a trend that President Bush said last January had been under way for more than 25 years.

    Earlier reports, based on tax returns, showed that in 2005 the top 10 percent, top 1 percent and fractions of the top 1 percent enjoyed their greatest share of income since 1928 and 1929.

    I suppose it's purely coincidental that the 'trend' toward a concentration of wealth at the top has run along with the rise of 'conservatism' and supply-side economics. And now, it's time to put the brakes on in a big way. This isn't about socialism, this is about re-regulating the 'free' market to stop the abuses, not impose restrictions on profits or make it difficult for people to make a living. It's about recreating the progressive tax system that helped make this country an economic powerhouse and created the middle class.

    Now's the time for aggressive moves from the Democrats.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 30, 2007

    Saving al-Maliki

    You remember that military funding bill that all the Kucinichites were all pissed as hell about? Bush vetoed it on Friday. As it turns out, there was a provision within the bill that would have allowed American military personnel held and tortured by the Hussein government in Gulf War I to sue the current Iraqi government.

    Yeah, I don't see anything wrong with it either. But apparently, it would have resulted in close to $1bn being paid to veterans and their families. The Iraqi's for their part, threatened to pull $28bn from US banks if the bill passed. Uhm, wait a sec... WE ARE THE FINANCIAL BACKING FOR IRAQ. US taxpayers have been happily subsidizing the puppet government in Iraq and now it wants to threaten us? Apparently, it worked with Bush the Weak who caved in like a horny teenage girl after sucking three Zima's through a straw. Screw the troops who fought in Daddy's war! We gotta help our Iraqi friends.

    The Democrats, for their part, have been on heavy offense...

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, criticized the president's decision.

    "The defense bill passed both houses of Congress by overwhelming bipartisan margins and addresses urgent national security priorities," including the pay raise and money for veterans' health care, Pelosi and Reid said in a written statement. "It is unfortunate that the president will not sign this critical legislation."

    The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, also expressed dismay at the president's decision.

    "This bill is important to our men and women in uniform," Levin said. "It is unfortunate that the administration failed to identify the concerns upon which this veto is based until after the bill had passed both houses of Congress and was sent to the president for signature.

    "I am deeply disappointed that our troops and veterans may have to pay for their mistake and for the confusion and uncertainty caused by their snafu."

    The disputed legal claims provision in the defense bill prompted the Iraqi government to threaten to withdraw $25 billion in Iraqi assets from U.S. banks, White House officials told CNN.

    You mean the Iraqi's have been storing OUR money in our banks? Well, that's awfully big of them. As for threatening a withdrawal, that's some bullshit. We're still holding frozen Iranian assets. We could easily add Iraqi assets as well.

    It should be clear, even to the most ardent Republican voter, that Bush is a useless piece of shit who is thoroughly incompetent. It should also be clear that he is the archetype of a Republican elected official. Which means, if y'all want this country to endure, you better start voting Democratic. Republicans certainly can't do the job.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 27, 2007

    The clueless and their delusions

    Bush is happy about the economy. He thinks the prospects are great!

    The White House is betting that the steps it has taken to address the housing and financial crises will be enough to avert a recession without resorting to a major tax cut or new spending, as leading economists in both parties have urged, senior administration officials said.

    In a news conference yesterday, President Bush said he is considering various measures to stimulate the economy but made clear his belief that it is not time to pull the trigger. "My view of the economy is that the fundamentals are strong, that we've had strong growth for a reason: that we're competitive, we got flexible workplace, that we kept taxes low, exports are up," Bush said.

    Bush's comments reflect a consensus among his economic advisers that it is still possible to avoid a recession and that their efforts should focus on executing the programs they have already announced for containing problems in the mortgage markets -- such as the plan to freeze interest rates on certain subprime mortgages or an initiative to pay for mortgage counselors who would advise people at risk of losing their homes.

    Bush is talking about FHA Secure which can help as many as 80k people. A drop in the bucket for the 3 million currently at risk. But, at least 80k would be something. They announced the program in August and I know a lot of people would want to jump on it. What may surprise you is that only 266 have closed.

    That's right. Two hundred and sixty six homes have been refinanced to FHA Secure.

    A program unveiled by U.S. President George W. Bush in August that is trying to save tens of thousands of homeowners from foreclosure has aided just 266 borrowers so far, according to government data released on Monday. The initiative, which helps high-risk or low-income borrowers win better loan terms by insuring mortgage payments, targets recent homeowners whose loans have a built-in interest-rate spike that made them miss a payment. More than 1.8 million borrowers could face mortgage rate spikes by the end of next year, according to the Federal Reserve Board, with the mortgage costs rising $350 a month. Until Bush relaxed the rules, borrowers who missed a payment would not have been eligible to refinance under the Federal Housing Administration -- a program from the Depression era designed to make home ownership more affordable. Officials behind the new initiative, called FHA Secure, said it is on track to move 60,000 delinquent borrowers into stable, fixed-rate home loans. But between September and mid-December, only 266 such borrowers have cleared all FHA hurdles, according to data compiled by the Department of Housing and Urban Development that was provided to Reuters.

    At that rate, it'll only be 80 years until all them are done! Greenspan and Lawrence Summers think that we need to expand benefits. That might actually help someone like this.

    Griffin, 49, like hundreds of thousands of homeowners across the country, is in foreclosure. Recently, she sat at the dining room table where for six years she has served holiday meals to her large, extended family of 19 brothers and five sisters, where they all hope to gather again this Christmas, and shook her head. "What will I do if I lose this house? What will I do? I think about it all the time."

    Good to know the President thinks things are going well! If only he could translate his wishes to reality.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 22, 2007

    Afghanistan and what went wrong...

    President Bush and the Republican Neo-Cons failed pretty miserably in Afghanistan. That we should have invaded goes without saying. That we lost what was a golden opportunity to really strike a crippling blow to international terrorism is well known. That they continue to fuck up is crystal clear. Now comes word that Gates has a new strategy.

    U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates will push NATO members meeting in Scotland today to provide more troops and equipment and reorganize the mission to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan.

    Rebel attacks have more than doubled in southern Afghanistan in the past year and NATO's international force is short of three infantry battalions, 20 helicopters and about 3,000 instructors to train the Afghan army and police, the Pentagon says.

    ``The numbers are not that big, which, frankly, is one of the sources of frustration for me in terms of our allies not being able to step up to the plate and meet these needs,'' Gates told the House Armed Services Committee in Washington this week. ``I am not ready to let NATO off the hook.''

    And now we know, he new strategy is to BLAME SOMEONE ELSE. Way to go, Bob. Good to see that accountability is alive and well in Republican circles.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 20, 2007

    Sign Wexler's impeachment petition

    Rep. Wexler has been working hard to give some traction to the move to impeach Cheney. As of last night, his petition was over 100k signatures. Go here to add your name to it. Let the Speaker know unequivocally that it's time to hold the hearings and see where things take us.

    Ed. Note - I originally posted that there were 100m signatures which means ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND. The Mayor informed me that some of you were, in fact, too dumb to understand that. So, in the best traditions of the broadcast media, I'm dumbing things down to the lowest common denominator by changing it to K. To me, that means 'kilometer' but he informs that most stupid people read that as thousand. Retards.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 19, 2007

    Burning down the EEOB

    Apparently, the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which houses the losers in the President's administration who don't get to have offices in the West Wing of the White House, is on fire. Not surprisingly, no one really cares if a bunch of back benchers go up in flames.

    Apparently, they found a new cache of documents they forgot to burn related to everything from the 9/11 conspiracy (it WAS an inside job) to who REALLY impregnated that Spears girl (Hucakbee's The One). Speaking of...

    Jamie Lynn Spears, the 16-year-old "Zoey 101" star and sister of Britney, told OK! magazine that she's pregnant and that the father is her boyfriend, Casey Aldridge.

    "It was a shock for both of us, so unexpected," she said. "I was in complete and total shock and so was he."

    That wasn't shock, hon. That was the sudden realization that HE'S the new K-Fed.

    On a more serious note, Sen. Wyden on Monday during the debate on FISA and Telecom Immunity made a reference to documents detailing the legal rationale for immunity and called them weak. He said they were at the EEOB. One has to wonder if maybe those documents are really the ones going up in smoke.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 17, 2007

    On impeaching Cheney

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Rep. Wexler...

    A CASE FOR HEARINGS

    By Representatives and Members of the Judiciary Committee:
    Robert Wexler (D-FL), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)


    On November 7, the House of Representatives voted to send a resolution of impeachment of Vice President Cheney to the Judiciary Committee. As Members of the House Judiciary Committee, we strongly believe these important hearings should begin.

    The issues at hand are too serious to ignore, including credible allegations of abuse of power that if proven may well constitute high crimes and misdemeanors under our constitution. The charges against Vice President Cheney relate to his deceptive actions leading up to the Iraq war, the revelation of the identity of a covert agent for political retaliation, and the illegal wiretapping of American citizens.

    Now that former White House press secretary Scott McClellan has indicated that the Vice President and his staff purposefully gave him false information about the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson as a covert agent to report to the American people, it is even more important for Congress to investigate what may have been an intentional obstruction of justice. Congress should call Mr. McClellan to testify about what he described as being asked to “unknowingly [pass] along false information.” In addition, recent revelations have shown that the Administration including Vice President Cheney may have again manipulated and exaggerated evidence about weapons of mass destruction -- this time about Iran’s nuclear capabilities.


    Some of us were in Congress during the impeachment hearings of President Clinton. We spent a year and a half listening to testimony about President Clinton’s personal relations. This must not be the model for impeachment inquires. A Democratic Congress can show that it takes its constitutional authority seriously and hold a sober investigation, which will stand in stark contrast to the kangaroo court convened by Republicans for President Clinton. In fact, the worst legacy of the Clinton impeachment – where the GOP pursued trumped up and insignificant allegations - would be that it discourages future Congresses from examining credible and significant allegations of a constitutional nature when they arise.

    The charges against Vice President Cheney are not personal. They go to the core of the actions of this Administration, and deserve consideration in a way the Clinton scandal never did. The American people understand this, and a majority support hearings according to a November 13 poll by the American Research Group. In fact, 70% of voters say that Vice President Cheney has abused his powers and 43% say that he should be removed from office right now. The American people understand the magnitude of what has been done and what is at stake if we fail to act. It is time for Congress to catch up.

    Some people argue that the Judiciary Committee can not proceed with impeachment hearings because it would distract Congress from passing important legislative initiatives. We disagree. First, hearings need not tie up Congress for a year and shut down the nation. Second, hearings will not prevent Congress from completing its other business. These hearings involve the possible impeachment of the Vice President – not our commander in chief – and the resulting impact on the nation’s business and attention would be significantly less than the Clinton Presidential impeachment hearings. Also, despite the fact that President Bush has thwarted moderate Democratic policies that are supported by a vast majority of Americans -- including children’s health care, stem cell research, and bringing our troops home from Iraq -- the Democratic Congress has already managed to deliver a minimum wage hike, an energy bill to address the climate crisis and bring us closer to energy independence, assistance for college tuition, and other legislative successes. We can continue to deliver on more of our agenda in the coming year while simultaneously fulfilling our constitutional duty by investigating and publicly revealing whether or not Vice President Cheney has committed high crimes and misdemeanors.

    Holding hearings would put the evidence on the table, and the evidence – not politics – should determine the outcome. Even if the hearings do not lead to removal from office, putting these grievous abuses on the record is important for the sake of history. For an Administration that has consistently skirted the constitution and asserted that it is above the law, it is imperative for Congress to make clear that we do not accept this dangerous precedent. Our Founding Fathers provided Congress the power of impeachment for just this reason, and we must now at least consider using it.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 04, 2007

    In which the rationale for invading Iran...

    ...evaporates.

    A new assessment by American intelligence agencies released Monday concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the program remains frozen, contradicting a judgment two years ago that Tehran was working relentlessly toward building a nuclear bomb. Senator Harry Reid said the assessment was “directly challenging some of this administration’s alarming rhetoric” on Iran.

    The conclusions of the new assessment are likely to reshape the final year of the Bush administration, which has made halting Iran’s nuclear program a cornerstone of its foreign policy.

    The assessment, a National Intelligence Estimate that represents the consensus view of all 16 American spy agencies, states that Tehran is likely to keep its options open with respect to building a weapon, but that intelligence agencies “do not know whether it currently intends to develop nuclear weapons.”

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    November 28, 2007

    Frustrated douche to leave Bush Administration

    Al Hubbard, director of President George W. Bush's National Economic Council for almost three years, will step down by the end of the year and be replaced with Hubbard's top aide, Keith Hennessey.

    ``Al came to the White House after spending nearly 30 years as a successful entrepreneur and business leader,'' Bush said in a statement. ``He brought to the White House his capacity for hard work and creative thinking, and fostered an open, cooperative working environment.''

    Wait. This guy has been present for the creation of the problems currently leading us into recession? WOW. Sounds like getting rid of him isn't such a bad thing. 30 years as a successful entrepreneur? The guy ran a chemical company in Indiana. Other than that, it appears that damn near every one of his jobs has been related to politics. Which gives him a similar career track to the massively incompetent Dick Cheney. He also went to Harvard with W. What the hell? Was it just an extraordinarily bad year?

    Hubbard informed Bush of his plans this morning, press secretary Dana Perino told reporters at the White House. Hennessey, the current deputy director of the National Economic Council, is ``as prepared for the challenge of this job as anyone could possibly be,'' Perino said.

    '... As prepared for the challenge...' Well, that inspires a great deal of confidence. I'm sure Mr. Hennessey will be as much of a loser as Mr. Hubbard. He'll likely spend hours staring at charts trying to figure out how their brill economic strategies forced the country off the rails. They'll blame the Democratic controlled Congress who, though in power for less than a year, have clearly 'fucked everything up'. Except for the economy and, well, everything else.

    So why is Hubbard leaving? Apparently, he doesn't like not be able to get his way anymore...

    Hubbard expressed ``huge frustration'' with the Democrat- controlled Congress last month, saying lawmakers were resisting Bush initiatives that would help the economy. `I came out of the private sector, I'll go back to the private sector, and my orientation is getting things done and Washington is really gridlocked,'' he said in a Nov. 13 interview.

    Hubbard also said ``there would be a lot more cooperation with the Democratic Congress and unfortunately, the Democrats -- who control Congress -- have not been oriented towards getting things done.''

    Democrats were resisting Bush's stupid plans? Holy shit! You mean they are DOING WHAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HIRED THEM TO DO??!?!?? Why, that's unheard of! During Hubbard's time in government, the American economy saw massive stratification and little real growth. Wages stagnated and inflation is once again a top concern of Americans. Great job there, pal.

    On last thing caught my eye...

    Before coming to the White House in 2002, Hennessey was a top budget aide to Senator Trent Lott, Republican of Mississippi and also was an aide on the Senate Budget Committee, Perino said.

    He worked for Lott? And Lott is also retiring? Interesting... maybe they were both involved in the same scandal. Or maybe they were LOVERS?!?!?!?!

    I know, sometimes I gross even myself out.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    November 16, 2007

    FISA and Telecom Immunity update

    Feinstein's still being a mad old cow about telecom immunity but the bill was reported out of the Judiciary Committee today, without telecom immunity.

    Now the bill goes to the floor where amendments will be added, including one from Sen. Specter

    When the full Senate takes up the bill, Specter is likely to offer a compromise that would shield the companies from financial ruin but allow lawsuits to go forward by having the federal government stand in for the companies at trial.

    I appreciate what Sen. Specter is doing and it will help us finally find out just how far the Administration went, but these companies have to be held accountable. The only way it'll happen is if they bear the brunt of all this.

    The really great news is that the Democrats in the House passed their version of the bill tonight, without telecom immunity. And our own Lamar Smith, ever the douchebag, is still cheerleading to let them off the hook. Just so you know, one of his constituents is AT&T.

    "These companies deserve our thanks, not a flurry of harassing litigation," said Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, the Judiciary Committee's top Republican.

    The bill, though not perfect, is still better than what we had which was that horrible bill that allowed the President to do whatever he wanted. It didn't stop the White House from saying something stupid...

    In a statement after the vote, the White House said, "This evening House Democrats passed legislation that would dangerously weaken our ability to protect the nation from foreign threats." It reiterated Bush's intention to veto the legislation in its current form.

    Oh, hell. Show me an instance where you've been able to do something with this intelligence, something good enough to over ride the impact on our Constitution, then maybe we can talk. Otherwise, shut up you ineffectual douche. In case you hadn't realized it, the Democrats in Congress are finally showing some spine... and they're working hard to protect us from you and your insane desires.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    November 13, 2007

    Calling Bullshit : TSA to make travel even worse

    Just when you thought air travel in the US couldn't be any shittier, TSA is planning to implement some ridiculous program called 'secure flight' to restrict Americans from traveling with the permission of our government. First 100,000 on flight restrictions, now some douchebag asking me for my 'travel authorization'?

    To travel overseas, American Citizens will have to be cleared by Homeland Security. Get it? You will need permission from the Government to leave the country or enter. Now in case you are younger than me, you may not have learned the history lesson taught when I was a child. It was the story of Germany in the 1930’s and that fatal day when the Nazis began controlling who left and entered Germany. It was the beginning of the “final solution” and that should be something you do know about.

    I am not saying that the US government has any such plans for a “solution” but the idea of having to have all my travel cleared by the Government makes me angry and sad at the same time. How could our lawmakers, the people we elected do this to us? Easy, they are easy dupes for this kind of thing. Wrap a bad law in a patriotic name and the Congress will vote for it rather than to have to explain to their constituents what it means.

    The reality is that this isn't leading us to totalitarian government. It's just STUPID and the Democrats in Congress should do everything they can to stop it. Oh, sure, the Republicans will stand with the President against the American people. But it's important that the Democrats take a stand on this. And then beat the Republicans to DEATH at the polls with it.

    Posted by mcblogger at 06:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Dregs : Some things you missed

  • Bush refused to allow a Marine Corps lawyer to testify on waterboarding.
  • Speaking of waterboarding, the Senate voted to confirm 'Let's-Take-A-Bath' Mukasey as our new Attorney General! Frank Rich wrote a brill piece on why this was not such a good idea for our esteemed sellouts, Senators Schumer and Feinstein. Just as a reminder, give money to Senate candidates. Don't bother giving to the DSCC because Schumer will waste it on losers. Like himself and Feinstein.
  • Ahead of still more protests in Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto is once again under arrest. By order of our good friend and ally in the war on terror, General Musharraf (the same one Frank Rich also said some things about in the piece I linked above),
  • The really big winner from last Tuesday's election? No, it's not our good friends at Zachry Construction, it's none other than T. Boone Picken's who created his own water district so he could use tax payer subsidized funding to transfer water from the depleted panhandle wells to Dallas/Fort Worth. You're the suck, Boone.No, really, you are. I know suck and you, my friend, are defintely the SUCK.
  • ELLN has a good post up about the IEA's conversion to environmental concerns, not to mention their questions about the feasibility of making the investments necessary to continue running the world off fossil fuels. Their estimate? It'll cost $22 trillion, or far more than it'll cost to convert the planet to biofuels.
  • Texas Monthly calls for the impeachment of Sharon Keller
  • Oh, there's more...

  • Dungeon Diary has a post up about a whistleblower at AT&T who's coming clean about the Administration's illegal wiretapping.
  • Jenny Hoff over at KXAN is doing an interesting series on her trip to Afghanistan
  • Once again, Texas ranks #1 in the nation for the most expensive home owner's insurance. And that's after all the tort reform 'savings'. You can thank the Republicans for that. I suggest you do it when you go to vote next year.
  • Congrats to the D's in Congress who voted for the Tax Relief Act... to those who voted along with the Republicans, we're hating on y'all.
  • Have a goodun!

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    November 09, 2007

    House moves one step closer to contempt charges

    The White House is still stonewalling the House Judiciary Committee and it looks like the next step is contempt of Congress.

    The House Judiciary Committee sent a final warning to the White House yesterday to provide Democrats with access to disputed documents and testimony, pushing the House closer to a vote on contempt citations for two administration officials.

    In a letter to White House counsel Fred F. Fielding, Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), gave the Bush administration until Friday to work out a deal on documents and testimony relating to last year's controversial removal of nine U.S. attorneys. If Fielding refuses the latest request, the House could vote as early as next week on the contempt charges, Democratic aides said.

    The committee also filed a formal, 102-page contempt report with the House clerk that lays out its request for testimony from former White House counsel Harriet E. Miers and for documents controlled by White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    November 02, 2007

    Melissa Francis (hearts) Buttertroll

    Yeah, I'm pretty much done with CNBC. Why? UT Permian Basin had Rove as a speaker last night and guess who flew all the way from New Jersey to interview him? None other than CNBC bobblehead Melissa Francis. Given that Francis redefines weak as a reporter, the 'interview' was really nothing more than an open ended dissertation from Rove that...

    1) Democrats will raise your taxes
    2) Raising taxes on the rich will be a disaster (they said the same thing in 86 and 93... wasn't right either time. Of course, Rove lies so openly and earnestly that it's not really surprising)
    3) Hillary will cost you an additional $2300 per year

    And Francis, being the weak school girl reporter she's always been (why do they employ her? No brains and only mediocre looks... she must be very cost efficient. Or maybe she's blowing someone in management at CNBC), doesn't call him on any of it or offer counterpoints. Rove could not have produced a better propaganda piece.

    Melissa, sweets, let me clue you in on something... Rove is so thoroughly discredited that it's even offensive for you to interview him.

    Oh, and CNBC. Your loss is Bloomberg's gain. Have a goodun!

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    November 01, 2007

    Calling Bullshit : 100,000 people on flight restrictions?

    Oh, this is just a load of crap.

    The freedom to travel of more than 100,000 Americans placed on "watch" and "no fly" lists is being restricted by the Bush-Cheney regime.

    Citizens who have done no more than criticize the president are being banned from airline flights, harassed at airports, strip searched, roughed up and even imprisoned, feminist author and political activist Naomi Wolf reports in her new book, "The End of America."(Chelsea Green Publishing)

    "Making it more difficult for people out of favor with the state to travel back and forth across borders is a classic part of the fascist playbook," Wolf says. She noticed starting in 2002 that "almost every time I sought to board a domestic airline flight, I was called aside by the Transportation Security Administration(TSA) and given a more thorough search."

    During one preboarding search, a TSA agent told her "You're on the list" and Wolf learned it is not a list of suspected terrorists but of journalists, academics, activists, and politicians "who have criticized the White House."

    OK, Congress... here's a reason for impeachment.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 29, 2007

    More on the US Attorney scandal

    Congress is continuing it's hearings and a Republican former AG dropped Bush and his minions in the grease...

    Richard L. Thornburgh, who served as attorney general under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, accused the Justice Department yesterday of prosecuting a prominent Pennsylvania Democrat for political reasons, one of a series of cases singled out by House Democrats as examples of alleged GOP meddling at the Justice Department.

    Thornburgh, who served as attorney general from 1988 to 1991 and whose law firm represents Cyril Wecht, a nationally known coroner from Pittsburgh, testified yesterday that Wecht had been indicted for mail fraud and a "hodgepodge" of other charges by overzealous prosecutors keen on pleasing political appointees in Washington.

    "He has always been a contentious, outspoken, highly critical and highly visible Democratic figure in western Pennsylvania," Thornburgh told the House Judiciary Committee. "In other words, he would qualify as an ideal target for a Republican U.S. attorney trying to curry favor with a department which demonstrated that if you play by its rules, you will advance."

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 21, 2007

    Reason #3296 why Verizon and AT&T suck

    Verizon joins AT&T in admitting that it complied with Bush's illegal wiretapping order...

    Verizon also disclosed that the FBI, using administrative subpoenas, sought information identifying not just a person making a call, but all the people that customer called, as well as the people those people called. Verizon does not keep data on this "two-generation community of interest" for customers, but the request highlights the broad reach of the government's quest for data.

    The disclosures, in a letter from Verizon to three Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee investigating the carriers' participation in government surveillance programs, demonstrated the willingness of telecom companies to comply with government requests for data, even, at times, without traditional legal supporting documents. The committee members also got letters from AT&T and Qwest Communications International, but those letters did not provide details on customer data given to the government. None of the three carriers gave details on any classified government surveillance program.

    DO NOT GIVE THESE COMPANIES IMMUNITY.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:54 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    October 19, 2007

    Bush discovers fiscal responsibility?

    Reid and Pelosi need to eat this son of a bitch alive...CT Native Bush is threatening to veto the budget bills and he's still lying through his teeth about tax revenues since his tax cuts took effect, further proving that he understands the Laffer Curve as well as I understand the vagina.

    Not to mention the fact that his new found 'fiscal responsibility' is all BS.

    Stanley Collender, managing director of Qorvis Communications and a federal budget specialist, said the debate is disconnected from the improving deficit numbers. "It's purely a power play by the White House," he said. "If these spending bills were coming from a Republican-controlled Congress, the president would be signing them and applauding the House and Senate for their fiscal responsibility."

    Democrats are just as eager to fight over spending proposals, particularly the State Children's Health Insurance Program. Bush, who did not veto a single appropriations bill while Republicans controlled Congress, rejected a bipartisan proposal to more than double spending on SCHIP over the next five years. Polls show Bush on the wrong side of public opinion, and many congressional Republicans have opposed him on the issue, although not enough to override the veto.

    "What happened to compassionate conservatism?" Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean asked in a statement Monday. "President Bush and his Republican friends are willing to spend billions of dollars on their failed Iraq strategy, but they have no problem denying our children the health care they need and deserve. That's just plain wrong."

    White House aides recognize that the SCHIP fight is, in many ways, a political loser, but they hope to portray it as part of a broader struggle over spending and taxes.

    We need roads. We need schools. We need police. All these things will grow the economy and the tax base. THESE projects are reasons to run a deficit and Congress should get to it. You don't run a deficit to send money overseas so you can invade a country and fail at rebuilding it.

    Let him veto... then beat the hell out of the Republicans until they override. Don't let yesterday be the end.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 16, 2007

    Interesting Question...

    Somervell County Salon has a interesting question related to attempts to retroactively limit the liability of telecom companies that cooperated with Bush's illegal wiretapping scheme...what's to stop any President from breaking the law through a third party?

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 11, 2007

    Draw your own conclusions...

    Naomi Klein has written a thoroughgoing indictment of Milton Friedman and his Chicago School of economic theory which is functionally supply-side with a penchant for what Friedman called 'economic shock treatment'. Basically, you create the conditions that allow the economy to get sooo bad that the people will accept a change, any change, that promises to fix the problems. In theory, it should expand services and create wealth across every economic level. In practice, it creates massive stratification and does little to fix or create critical services. It also makes everyone not already wealthy destitute...

    Klein argues that Friedmanian free market rules do exactly what they were designed to do: they don’t create a perfectly harmonious economy, complete with the much-lauded “trickle-down” effect, but rather, turn the already wealthy into the super-rich and the organized working class into the disposable poor. Further, she describes these orchestrated raids on the public sphere in the wake of catastrophic events, like war, as exciting marketing opportunities or “disaster capitalism.”

    So, why even mention this? Simple. This is about to happen to us and you might as well be prepared for it. Since the supply-side revolution Reagan ushered in more than 26 years ago, we've seen economic stratification climb to alarming levels not seen since the Gilded Age. Despite the fact that it doesn't really help anyone other than those already rich.

    Which brings us to the tax issue we mentioned yesterday. The supply siders will tell you that cutting taxes will increase economic growth and create surplus revenues. That's actually not true since it's dependent on the Laffer Curve and even it is subject to the law of diminishing returns. What's needed is a balance in marginal tax rates and efficient use of the money by the government, not endless deficits, mounting debt and low taxes for the already rich. That and the fact that tax policy has less of an impact on business conditions than interest rates.

    Think, for a second, about our crumbling infrastructure, our rising deficit, underfunded entitlement programs... it's all leading up to a situation in which things will spin violently out of the control. Of course, when that happens, then we'll be ready for shock treatment.

    Think it can't happen here? Cause a massive economic disruption in the US and people will accept anything that will fix it.

    They elected Reagan, didn't they? Think of that as a dry run.

    One other note about investments and taxes... I'm a HUGE fan of massive capital gains taxes, especially on gains realized in less than two years. Why? Because I hate traders and speculators. I'm a long term investor...THAT more than anything done by private equity companies actually provides long term stability and growth in businesses. It also stabilizes the retirements of hundreds of millions of people.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:15 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    October 09, 2007

    Someone tell Harry Reid to get the dick out of his ass

    According to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, making private equity managers pay the same taxes the rest of us pay isn't even going to come up this year.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) has told private-equity firms in recent weeks that a tax-hike proposal they have spent millions of dollars to defeat will not get through the Senate this year, according to executives and lobbyists.

    Reid's assurance all but ends the year's highest-profile battle over a major tax increase. Democratic lawmakers, including some presidential candidates, had been pushing to more than double the tax rate on the massive earnings of private-equity managers, who the Democrats say have been chronically undertaxed.

    Harry, a word of advice... GET A BILL ON THE FLOOR. RECORD THE VOTES. MAKE THE REPUBLICANS TAKE A STAND AGAINST ORDINARY AMERICANS. I know you're kind of sloppy at PR, but not even bringing the thing to battle is just stupid. This could be a wonderful campaign issue, but if you don't let it come up then we can't use it as effectively. Damn, I know you're smart as a whip so why the fuck can't you see this?

    This is a debate we're ready for. This is one we can win and crush the Republicans on economic issues. Get something, ANYTHING, moving and let's take the fuckers head on.

    On the lighter side, Senator Obama has come out, chiding the lobbyists who kept this legislation down and trumpeted his intention (if elected) to close the loopholes that let private equity managers get away with this. My question? Why not do something now since you are, you know, IN THE FUCKING SENATE.

    Idiots.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 05, 2007

    "A Strong and Vibrant Economy"

    President Bush used the mediocre job report to beat up Congress about raising taxes on the 'hard-workin' people of 'Merica'. By 'hard-workin' people' he means those making more than $200m per year which is the only income class that has seen any growth in their income. It's also a relatively few people in this country.

    I referred to the mediocre job report. August was revised up from -4,000 to +89,000. That means that in August, using BLS' numbers, the economy added 89m jobs. That's only 61m short of STATIC employment. The economy needs to produce 150m jobs per month to keep employment at a static percentage. Why? Because of growth in the population of the work force, balanced by deaths and retirements. In August, as in most of the months of this terrific expansion, the miraculous republican economy hasn't even produced enough jobs to keep up with the new people coming into the economy. So, there's no wage growth and jobs, not even the bad ones that are the real 'strength' of this economy, are still fewer than they should be.

    The September report which came out today will probably be revised downward. However, for today it was 110m jobs. The unemployment rate 'ticked up' to 4.7% but in reality it's far higher since BLS no longer counts people who've 'dropped out of the workforce' which is their nice way of saying people who've been unemployed longer than 12 weeks in most cases. The real number is probably 2.5-3% higher and there's a really easy way to prove it. Just look at the earnings of the nations largest retailer, Wal-Mart. The lower end of the economy(which includes everyone making less than 200m per year), the one that actually spends money and generates consumer spending, is hurting and they aren't buying at Wal-Mart or other discount retailers.

    They are going without. And that's what Connecticut native George W. Bush calls a 'Strong and Vibrant Economy'.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 04, 2007

    Rally for S-CHIP

    Rally for Kids Health


    Outside Chase Tower (Location of Sen. Cornyn's office)


    221 West Sixth Street


    Austin, TX 78701


    Thursday, 4 Oct 2007, 6:00 PM

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Housing : Democrats go after Bush

    Yesterday, the Democrats went on the offensive regarding the foreclosure increase in the housing industry...

    The effort by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others is an attempt by Democrats to step up pressure on the White House to respond to the troubles in the housing market.

    Democrats have been critical of the Bush administration's response to the mortgage market problems, which started among loans made to borrowers with weak credit and has spread to other loans.

    At an 11:30 a.m. press conference, the lawmakers are expected to reiterate calls for more funding to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. To alleviate strain in the mortgage market, they will also ask the Bush administration to further increase the investment portfolio caps for home-loan finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    The Bush Admin said that HUD Secretary Jackson was on top of it but we all know that's not true. To date, all the Administration has done is block Congressional initiatives, even those with bipartisan support. They've also rolled out FHA Secured. Which is a great program. Problem is, no one is offering it.

    No, I'm completely serious. My company is one of many that has survived this mess and will NOT be purchasing these mortgages via our TPO relationships. Why? Because we can't find anyone to take them from us. Bush was hoping that the market would react well to FHA Secured. Instead, the market has said, 'No Thanks'. Connecticut native Bush needs to realize that sometimes there are problems created BY a free market that simply can't be fixed by the free market. Government must create additional incentive if they ask private business to take on astronomically more risk.

    It would also be nice if he'd stop being such and asshole about Agency expansion and let Congress get to work...

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 03, 2007

    Bush vetos S-CHIP, then heads to PA to sell it

    Right now, Connecticut native George Bush is in Lancaster, PA trying to sell his economic policies. To a handpicked bunch of supporters. Maybe 150 of them. I wonder how much they had to be paid to come listen?

    Having vetoed that S-CHIP bill earlier, he has decided to go out into the world and talk about why it was a good idea. He talks about keeping taxes low but the increase in the program was negligible compared to the war funding appropriation. Seriously, it was 3-4% of the war funding. Regardless of the size, this is a cost effective, long term program that keeps emergency room visits low and actually has the net effect of lowering health care costs and taxes. Bush would know that if he'd actually spent time analyzing the costs of kids without health care on a community. Look at Travis County's budget.

    He's also saying it was about keeping bureaucrats out of your health care decisions. It must be nice to not have to deal with that stuff. If he did, he'd know that whether they work for the government or the health insurer, a bureaucrat will be making decisions. Given that, doesn't it make sense to go with the more efficient operation and the cheapest payment?

    That would be the government. Problem is, Bush can't see that because he's blind to financial reality. It's a talent that helped him run companies into bankruptcy AND change the US budget from surplus to deficit almost overnight.

    The stocks of private insurers are up across the board.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 17, 2007

    Worried about Iran? Don't.

    Stratfor has a great article up about the strategic corner into which President Bush has neatly placed the United States. For those of you worried about an imminent attack on Iran, don't. We don't have the resources. Further, we don't have the resources to handle revived Russian militarism. Nice, huh?

    Just one thing to mention to the geopolitically ignorant friend of yours that's just certain Iran will take over Iraq in our absence... the Turks don't like the Iranians that much. Unlike Iran, Turkey is an economic force in the region.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:24 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    September 14, 2007

    What he said

    Couldn't agree more!

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 07, 2007

    You know, I totally don't believe you...

    Via PDiddie over at Brains and Eggs comes word that the DOJ has told the FCC that it should not establish a 'net neutrality' regulation.

    The agency told the Federal Communications Commission, which is reviewing high-speed Internet practices, that it is opposed to "Net neutrality," the principle that all Internet sites should be equally accessible to any Web user.

    Several phone and cable companies, such as AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and Comcast Corp., have previously said they want the option to charge some users more money for loading certain content or Web sites faster than others.

    The Justice Department said imposing a Net neutrality regulation could hamper development of the Internet and prevent service providers from upgrading or expanding their networks. It could also shift the "entire burden of implementing costly network expansions and improvements onto consumers," the agency said in its filing.

    Bullshit. This is a way for the Telco's to kill companies providing VoIP service (like Vonage) and send us all back to POTS hell. Not to mention the money to be made by squeezing the hell out of companies who want faster load times on their websites.

    What happens if no one decides to pay? Do the telco's just decide to drag down the network until someone coughs up some dough?

    My favorite part of the article...

    The agency's stance comes more than two months after Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Deborah Platt Majoras cautioned policy makers to enact Net neutrality regulation.

    Such a regulation could prevent rather than promote Internet investment and innovation and have "significant negative effects for the economy and consumers," the Justice Department said in the filing.

    Supporters of Internet regulation have said that phone and cable companies could discriminate against certain Web site and services.

    However, the agency said it will continue to monitor and enforce any anticompetitive conduct to ensure a competitive broadband marketplace.

    Oh, hell... we don't believe a thing that comes out of the currently politicized DOJ. No way are we going to do this and rely on you to enforce.

    PDiddie's right... it's time to mobilize...


    Posted by mcblogger at 04:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    You know, I totally don't believe you...

    Via PDiddie over at Brains and Eggs comes word that the DOJ has told the FCC that it should not establish a 'net neutrality' regulation.

    The agency told the Federal Communications Commission, which is reviewing high-speed Internet practices, that it is opposed to "Net neutrality," the principle that all Internet sites should be equally accessible to any Web user.

    Several phone and cable companies, such as AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and Comcast Corp., have previously said they want the option to charge some users more money for loading certain content or Web sites faster than others.

    The Justice Department said imposing a Net neutrality regulation could hamper development of the Internet and prevent service providers from upgrading or expanding their networks. It could also shift the "entire burden of implementing costly network expansions and improvements onto consumers," the agency said in its filing.

    Bullshit. This is a way for the Telco's to kill companies providing VoIP service (like Vonage) and send us all back to POTS hell. Not to mention the money to be made by squeezing the hell out of companies who want faster load times on their websites.

    What happens if no one decides to pay? Do the telco's just decide to drag down the network until someone coughs up some dough?

    My favorite part of the article...

    The agency's stance comes more than two months after Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Deborah Platt Majoras cautioned policy makers to enact Net neutrality regulation.

    Such a regulation could prevent rather than promote Internet investment and innovation and have "significant negative effects for the economy and consumers," the Justice Department said in the filing.

    Supporters of Internet regulation have said that phone and cable companies could discriminate against certain Web site and services.

    However, the agency said it will continue to monitor and enforce any anticompetitive conduct to ensure a competitive broadband marketplace.

    Oh, hell... we don't believe a thing that comes out of the currently politicized DOJ. No way are we going to do this and rely on you to enforce.

    PDiddie's right... it's time to mobilize...


    Posted by mcblogger at 04:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 03, 2007

    Bush doesn't understand where we went wrong in Vietnam

    Bush recently drew a faulty analogy between American's leaving Vietnam and our troop's departure from Iraq...

    "One unmistakable legacy of Vietnam is that the price of America's withdrawal was paid for by millions of innocent citizens whose agonies would add to our vocabulary new terms like 'boat people,' 're-education camps' and 'killing fields,' " Bush told a friendly audience of Veterans of Foreign Wars members.

    See, the problem with Vietnam, as Mayor McSleaze pointed out recently, was that Truman followed the advice of Dean 'Nuke 'em' Acheson and backed the wrong horse. Had he recognized Ho Chi Minh's government and told the French to get bent with their efforts to retake their colonies, it's more than likely that Ho would have welcomed US aid and support instead of turning to the communists in Moscow or Beijing.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 01, 2007

    Now DOJ investigates Gonzales

    via the Washington Post

    The Justice Department's inspector general indicated yesterday that he is investigating whether departing Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales gave false or misleading testimony to Congress, including whether he lied under oath about warrantless surveillance and the firings of nine U.S. attorneys.

    The disclosure by Inspector General Glenn A. Fine in a letter to Congress signals an expansion of the department's internal investigations into Gonzales's troubled tenure, probes that were not previously known to be focused so sharply on the attorney general and his testimony.

    Fine's office has also separately expanded a probe into whether senior Gonzales aides improperly considered partisan affiliations when reviewing applicants for nonpolitical career positions. As part of that inquiry, Fine sent hundreds of questionnaires in the past week to former Justice Department job applicants.

    In the questionnaires, Fine asks applicants whether they were quizzed by political appointees about their party affiliation, favorite politicians and judges, voting history, campaign contributions, and views on the death penalty and terrorism, according to a copy of the Aug. 24 questionnaire obtained by The Washington Post. Recipients are also asked to say whether White House aides participated in the interviews and to confirm if they were asked "what kind of conservative you were (law and order; social; fiscal)."

    What do you want to bet that the investigation comes up with some political pressure from the White House but not an undue amount. It will also say that Gonzales' lies before Congress were really 'errors' and not actionable.

    Whitewash is F*U*N!

    Posted by mcblogger at 07:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Now DOJ investigates Gonzales

    via the Washington Post

    The Justice Department's inspector general indicated yesterday that he is investigating whether departing Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales gave false or misleading testimony to Congress, including whether he lied under oath about warrantless surveillance and the firings of nine U.S. attorneys.

    The disclosure by Inspector General Glenn A. Fine in a letter to Congress signals an expansion of the department's internal investigations into Gonzales's troubled tenure, probes that were not previously known to be focused so sharply on the attorney general and his testimony.

    Fine's office has also separately expanded a probe into whether senior Gonzales aides improperly considered partisan affiliations when reviewing applicants for nonpolitical career positions. As part of that inquiry, Fine sent hundreds of questionnaires in the past week to former Justice Department job applicants.

    In the questionnaires, Fine asks applicants whether they were quizzed by political appointees about their party affiliation, favorite politicians and judges, voting history, campaign contributions, and views on the death penalty and terrorism, according to a copy of the Aug. 24 questionnaire obtained by The Washington Post. Recipients are also asked to say whether White House aides participated in the interviews and to confirm if they were asked "what kind of conservative you were (law and order; social; fiscal)."

    What do you want to bet that the investigation comes up with some political pressure from the White House but not an undue amount. It will also say that Gonzales' lies before Congress were really 'errors' and not actionable.

    Whitewash is F*U*N!

    Posted by mcblogger at 07:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 30, 2007

    Another 50 Bn? And your choice of AG? Not so much...

    That stupid pig farmer is asking for another massive dose of funding to continue his party's colossal disaster known as the Iraqi Invasion, or less popularly, as Cheney's Bad.

    The request -- which would come on top of about $460 billion in the fiscal 2008 defense budget and $147 billion in a pending supplemental bill to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq -- is expected to be announced after congressional hearings scheduled for mid-September featuring the two top U.S. officials in Iraq. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker will assess the state of the war and the effect of the new strategy the U.S. military has pursued this year.

    Let me get this straight (laugh it up, losers)... you want to spend more than $650 BILLION on 'defense and your wars' but we can't find the money for CHIP? Or the money to fix our crumbling infrastructure here at home? Come on. The reality is that if we don't do something now to improve the lives of all Americans, winning the war on terror will be meaningless since the entire country will be stuck in traffic, dying of some curable disease that they couldn't get treated because of a lack of health insurance.

    Current estimates of infrastructure repairs and improvements NATIONWIDE amount to $700 BN over 10 years. Toss in another $50 BN and you can fund expansion of CHIP for more than 5 years as well. That money would directly and indirectly improve the economy and the lives of ordinary Americans for DECADES and create a massive economic expansion.

    Instead, Bush wants to spend it on a war he can't win because he's not fighting it right. Give me $70 BN. I'll win the war on terror in two years. Bush is annually asking for 10 TIMES that and can't get the job done.

    Priorities, George... priorities.

    On top of his spendthrift request, we also have him demanding his own AG nominee...

    Democratic Senate leaders have called on the White House to consult them closely during the selection process, but administration officials warned yesterday that the president intends to nominate an attorney general who agrees with his policies. "It is the president's prerogative to appoint someone who shares his views," a senior administration official said.

    I don't care HOW good the candidate, if they don't say "I unequivocally support the Constitution of the United States, especially in matters where it is in conflict with the Executive Branch and I will faithfully cooperated with ALL Congressional Oversight activities" then turn them down. The United States can not afford another Bush crony in such an important office.That, and it's time to put dickhead in his place.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 28, 2007

    No bid contracts on the rise

    First rule of government spending under a Republican Administration : Why pay someone to do a job when you can hire a consultant at twice the price.

    Second rule : Don't bid the job out to multiple consultants, no-bid it, baby!

    And so, the Washington Post reports that more and more government contracts at being put out on a no-bid basis, creating an environment in which even the most ridiculously bad consultants can get hired and charge exorbitant fees. So much for fiscal conservatism from Republicans.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 23, 2007

    Even now the poor decisions continue...

    Via Forbes comes word that el Presidente has decided to veto a gas tax increase to repair the crumbling infrastructure in America. Why?

    Bush said in a White House press conference that he would prefer that members of Congress better prioritize how current tax revenues are spent before raising taxes. He said currently, members of Congress use revenue for their own personal priorities first, then distribute funds for infrastructure improvements.

    Yeah, Ted Stevens 'bridge to nowhere' was a really shitty project. Remind me which party he belongs to, Mr. President?

    OK, so you're the President and you're opposed to any tax increases that might actually accomplish something good for the country and boost the economy (seriously, look at the numbers... tax increases used to finance public works have a pretty good record of paying more than they cost in terms of economic activity). What ARE you for?

    President Bush said yesterday that he is considering a fresh plan to cut tax rates for U.S. corporations to make them more competitive around the world, an initiative that could further inflame a battle with the Democratic Congress over spending and taxes and help define the remainder of his tenure.

    More competitive? They already pay less in taxes here in the US than most of their competitors, not to mention the fact that cutting corporate taxes will exacerbate the hole in the budget that Republicanomics has already created. Corporations already pay less than 7% of the taxes in the US. Now the President wants to unload MORE of their responsibilities onto the middle class?

    Think I'm lying? Check out Daimler Benz's operations in Germany. Or Lever's in Britain. They pay WAY more in taxes than US companies and they are WAY more successful. People actually want a Mercedes, meanwhile GM can't make a decent car to save it's life.

    The President, again, took Congress to task for spending while not mentioning that more of the discretionary budget under Democrats is going to necessary programs, a dramatic change from all the crap the Republicans spent money on. If only there were someone to offer a counterpoint...

    "After six years of reckless spending in Washington, President Bush is the last person who should brag about fiscal responsibility," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). She accused the president of misrepresenting Democratic spending plans, which she said come in lower than his and have received some Republican support. And she said Bush wants "to spend $2,800 each second . . . to keep our troops in the middle of a civil war in Iraq."

    Thanks for that, Nancy. It's pretty clear to all of us out here in the real world that Bush knows as much about rational spending and fiscal responsibility as he does about winning a war on terror.

    I'll make you a deal, Mr. President... I'm all for cutting corporate taxes by 5% if we can eliminate all loopholes. Oh, and increase the capital gains tax rate to 30% for gains made with less than two years in an investment. It'll bring money into the government, boost corporate profitability because of decreased accounting overhead and provide stability in the markets because traders will be less likely to churn stocks to eke out a few percentage points.

    Wait. That'll never happen. It makes too much sense.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Tolls : A modest proposal that does not involve Carona gorging on Children

    The Statesman now thinks it's a good idea. At the federal level and we can only assume at the state level as well. Peter Stern loves it. So does Eye on Williamson.

    So, one has to wonder, why the hell the gas tax hasn't been indexed?

    There is a really simple explanation... it's a lack of courage and an inability to do the right thing, especially when it's most important. Save CHIP? Well, sort of. Save our infrastructure so that the economy can continue to grow? Sadly, no. Instead, Republicans in executive office and the Lege hide behind the non-existent 'need' for privatization and tolling. Which is why you're going to see so many Republican members of the Lege out of office next year.

    Think about that fatass Carona in Dallas. Go on, think about his twinkie-cream filled ass. Right now there are four Democrats thinking about getting in the race. Three of them actually look human, as opposed to Carona who looks like the human equivalent of a jelly doughnut.

    One of them will beat him in the general and there will be a new Senator from Dallas County. Which is my affectionate way of letting all of you know, Republicans and Democrats alike (but mostly you stupid, obstinate, inactive Republicans), that you're all expendable. And you're all threatened.

    You need to be worried because the groups and individuals aligning against you have money. And feet on the street. Republicans have been able to get away with the toll road bullshit because the industry groups that stand to benefit from them have been the only voices running PR. That's about to change.

    I gotta tell you, I'm pleased as punch. I love a good, bloody fight. Speaking of a fight, Pink Dome has some information up on the Democrat who is going to fuck Time Machine Krusee up. One has to wonder why Seabiscuit hasn't resigned yet. It almost makes me think he's kinda gutsy.

    Almost.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 21, 2007

    Oh, George... you just can't help beating up on the poor...

    The WaPo has the deets on the new administrative rules promulgated by the Administration to govern States' rollout of the child insurance program known as SCHIP. Here's a quote...

    Cindy Mann, executive director of the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University, said they "would effectively foreclose the opportunity for states to cover children in families with incomes of about $40,000 to $50,000 a year, depending on the size of family."

    This makes total sense because a family of four living on $40-50m/ year is rich, right? Always nice to see the President playing 'gotcha last' with the lives of children.

    Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said if the president were serious about enrolling the lowest-income children, the administration would allow states to sign up youngsters for SCHIP when they qualify for school-lunch and other federal programs.

    "States want to get these kids enrolled, and they will get them enrolled," said Emanuel, who helped create the program as a staff member in the Clinton administration. "I think states will see the letter for what it is, and that's a political ploy by the president. This is a political attempt by the administration to try to intimidate states."

    Rewrite the law, Rahm. Give the Administration ZERO flexibility on this and get these kids insured. The $1 we spend today insuring kids saves us $4 down the road. It's an excellent investment in the future of this country.

    It's also the right thing to do.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 14, 2007

    The Taliban, like bad penny, keeps turning up

    The Taliban attacked a US base last Tuesday. In Afghanistan, just so we're clear. I point this out because we 'beat' these fuckers in 2001. So, my question is, why the fuck aren't all these assholes dead? These are, after all, the same dicks who sheltered bin Laden prior to and after 9/11. So, what's the deal?

    Oh, that's right. Bush decided to unofficially call it quits and diverted resources to the invasion of the one country on the Earth where we knew bin Laden WASN'T. So, not only have we failed to capture the man most responsible for 9/11, we've failed to get rid of the assholes who protected him, not to mention failing to secure the country we fought hard to free from them.

    The Taliban that attacked the US base didn't succeed, however the question remains : WHY THE HELL ARE ANY OF THEM STILL ALIVE?

    Posted by mcblogger at 06:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 10, 2007

    EBAY?!?!! That's all you have?

    El Presidente, in what will likely be remembered as one of his most asinine comments, rehashed 'The Economy is strong. Just look at EBay' talking point.

    “Twelve years ago, eBay did not exist,’’ the president said, noting that now it’s a $12-billion-a-year business. “eBay is an entpreneurial success story that has helped many Americans become entrepreneurs themselves.’’

    The president, who had lunch with economic advisers at the Treasury Department, will sit for an interview with Neil Cavuto of Fox News as well as news reporters specializing in economics today. Tomorrow, the president will head for Kennebunkport -- where the president and first lady will play host to French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife for lunch Saturday. The French president and first lady are vacationing in New Hampshire.

    Cutting taxes boosts revenue, Bush said in his brief public remarks at Treasury, noting that the U.S. expects $167 billion more in tax revenues this year than last year “because the economy is strong.’’ Projecting that the federal budget deficit will drop to nearly $200 billion, he said the budget he proposes could eliminate the deficit in five years.

    “If the majority in Congress gets its way, the American people and small businesses will face a massive tax hike – it will amount to the largest tax increase in history,’’ said Bush, promising to veto any such bills. “I will use the veto to keep your taxes low and to keep federal spending under control.’’

    “We want this to be the land of dreamers and doers,’’ Bush said, adding, “I love… the idea that eBay didn’t exist 12 years ago, and now is a thriving enterprise.’’

    You're right, Mr. President. EBay was created during the administration of a truly great President, the one before you. Taxes were higher then, we were paying off federal debt, employment was great, there was a housing boom, and real wages were rising. The reason, dipshit, that EBay is doing so well know is that people are having to sell their belongings to stay afloat in your 'great economy'.

    You can't eat GDP, bitch. Your Dad found that out the hard way.

    As for tax revenues going up because of tax cuts, give me a break. Your tax cuts, which you and every other Republican promised in 2001 and 2003 wouldn't lead to deficits, have led exactly to deficits and an ever increasing federal debt. Which is putting upward pressure on interest rates.

    Why the hell am I surprised? This is, after all, from the same guy who thinks someone working three jobs to afford health care is great!

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 09, 2007

    Never fear, dipshit is here!

    President Bush had a little press conference this AM. I actually watched it. With my eyes.

    Yeah, you're damn right you owe me.

    He berated Congress for not passing his budget. He berated Congress for beating up on his friend, Al Gonzales. I know, who the fuck cares what he thinks?

    He also spent some time talking about the markets and the ongoing risk adjustment that's going on. He had this to say...

    The basic issue is liquidity, Is there enough liquidity to get the markets moving. I'm told there is enough liquidity

    Shit. You. Not.

    Right now there is an absence of buyers. It's not because there isn't enough money in the system (how much did M3 grow last year and so far this year?!?!!) or because of rates being too high. The problem is there are no buyers for certain securities. Which means Freddie and Fannie need to jump in and work through the assets now that the risk has been repriced. That is, after all, why the GSE's exist... to provide a stable market for home loans in the United States, especially in cases when the private markets break down.

    Oh, and someone tell him to stop using terms he clearly doesn't understand.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 04, 2007

    Bush schedules Minneapolis photo op

    Bullshit will be pumped up as bridges fall down.

    Seriously, fixing America's bridges is an expensive proposition. We might have to trim a year off Bush's War to pay for it.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 07:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 01, 2007

    Wiretaps : Give me more!

    Oh, fucking hell. We first talked about this back at the end of 2005 when the NSA's warrantless wiretap program was first disclosed. Turns out, it was FAR broader than anyone thought

    Kate Martin, executive director of the Center for National Security Studies, said the new disclosures show that Gonzales and other administration officials have "repeatedly misled the Congress and the American public" about the extent of NSA surveillance efforts.

    "They have repeatedly tried to give the false impression that the surveillance was narrow and justified," Martin said. "Why did it take accusations of perjury before the DNI disclosed that there is indeed other, presumably broader and more questionable, surveillance?"

    All this comes out around the same time that the Administration is lobbying for (I kinda phoned it in, didn't I?) EXPANDED WIRETAP POWERS WITHOUT WARRANTS.


    Posted by mcblogger at 10:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 31, 2007

    Yeah, it's time Congress took control

    You've seen it over the last two weeks or so, just as I have. The news about various Executive Orders designed, ostensibly, to protect this country but in reality will do nothing more than rationalize the conversion of this country from a Constitutional Republic to a Dictatorship. Oh, it will be done for our safety and security. All under the guise of 'continuity of government' and 'protection of the homeland from enemies internal and external'.

    It's also bullshit and, unlike 2001, we aren't ready to accept it. Not by a long shot.

    The executive orders are also wholly illegal. The Constitution of the United States makes no provision for it's suspension. There is no 'hold' clause. The Rights guaranteed within are absolute and can not be waived. No signing statement can overcome that, and no act of Congress can undo it, save the Amendment process. And now, it would seem, we have our legal reason for impeaching the President, violation of his Oath of Office.

    Don't waste time calling the Democrats in Congress... call the Republicans. The Democrats would love nothing more than to remove him from office. FIrst, there needs to be a limit on Presidential pardons that restricts them to specific illegal acts, not a blanket for all crimes committed in the United States. With that out of the way, begin the impeachment process and amend the UCMJ to make sure that the military knows that there ARE unequivocal limits on the power of their Commander in Chief.

    We live in an inherently unsafe world. We always have, though we've insulated ourselves with fences, military spending and a belief that we are protected. The fact of the matter is that no one can stop someone hellbent on killing people from doing just that. Banning all guns will not make us anymore safe than a police state. It's time Americans remembered what it MEANS to be American. Our freedom and liberty is far more important than transitory security.

    Congress must act. If ever there was an issue that deserved bipartisan support, this is it.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:52 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 27, 2007

    Wealth Condensation...

    In case you were wondering what 'trickle-down' and 'supply side' economics really means, here's a great resource for you in understanding how wealth gets concentrated in an economy.

    Maybe it's time to reimplement a progressive tax system? You know, one that actually taxes unearned income as much as earned income?

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:52 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 25, 2007

    Deficits as far as the eye can see

    Just a little more about Cheney, this time the great ideas he had on the economy...

    So Greenspan sent Cheney a study by one of the central bank's senior economists showing that big deficits lead to higher long-term interest rates, according to a person with firsthand knowledge. Higher rates, Greenspan believed, would wipe out any short-term benefit from a tax cut.

    And history has shown, Greenspan's senior economist was right.

    Posted by mcblogger at 06:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    It's not under oath...

    ...but they are lies, nonetheless.

    Of course, it ain't gonna happen until Republicans in the Senate are so afraid of losing their seats that they cave in. I certainly hope THAT doesn't happen. I'd much rather see Bush convicted after he leaves office and I really don't want Cornyn to do a thing to save his decaying ass.

    There is a ton of interesting stuff that's come out over the last couple of days...apparently, Bush signed what is more than likey an illegal Executive Order condemning those who oppose his wildly misguided policies in Iraq.

    "I don't actually think they're very strong," said Roberts of his words. "I get a lot of flak that they're understated and the situation is worse than I say. ... When Bush exercises this authority [under the new Executive Order] ... there's no check to it. It doesn't have to be ratified by Congress. The people who bear the brunt of these dictatorial police state actions have no recourse to the judiciary. So it really is a form of total, absolute, one-man rule. ... The American people don't really understand the danger that they face."

    The piece goes on to speculate (keep in mind, this is a CONSERVATIVE speculating) that Bush, et al., may well have other plans in store for 2008 and 2009, namely not leaving office. Uhm... if that happens, you WILL see people in the streets.

    However, Roberts emphasized, "the problem with this reasoning is that it assumes that Cheney and Rove and the Republicans are ignorant of these facts, or it assumes that they are content for the Republican Party to be destroyed after Bush has his fling." Roberts believes instead that Cheney and Rove intend to use a renewal of the War on Terror to rally the American people around the Republican Party. "Something's in the works," he said, adding that the Executive Orders need to create a police state are already in place.

    "The administration figures themselves and prominent Republican propagandists ... are preparing us for another 9/11 event or series of events," Roberts continued. "Chertoff has predicted them. ... The National Intelligence Estimate is saying that al Qaeda has regrouped. ... You have to count on the fact that if al Qaeda's not going to do it, it's going to be orchestrated. ... The Republicans are praying for another 9/11."

    Hartmann asked what we as the people can do if impeachment isn't about to happen. "If enough people were suspicious and alert, it would be harder for the administration to get away with it," Roberts replied. However, he added, "I don't think these wake-up calls are likely to be effective," pointing out the dominance of the mainstream media.

    "Americans think their danger is terrorists," said Roberts. "They don't understand the terrorists cannot take away habeas corpus, the Bill of Rights, the Constitution. ... The terrorists are not anything like the threat that we face to the Bill of Rights and the Constitution from our own government in the name of fighting terrorism. Americans just aren't able to perceive that."

    More on the EO is at BOR and Blue Bloggin' has a great post up about the Administrations plans not to prosecute any official cited by Congress for contempt. Exactly who does the DoJ work for, Mr. President?

    (video via PinkDome)

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 23, 2007

    Iraq, Terror and why are people so fucking dumb??!?!

    Have you seen Orson Scott Card's jeremiad on why the War on Terror is important? Take a look here. Seriously, it's always nice to see someone who was once rational completely lose his mind. He spends paragraph after paragraph comparing the WOT to WW2 and insinuating that Bush is the American version of Churchill. Funny me, I always thought that was FDR, especially when it came to drinking.

    The whole thing is such a rambling mess that I honestly wouldn't know where to begin with excepts. It's very obvious he's extremely scared of Islam (why?) and has cooked up one hell of a fantasy scenario...

    But if we do insane things like withdrawing from Iraq (which would be seen by everyone as a massive victory for Al-Qaeda and Iran and a proof that America cannot be relied on as an ally) or allowing Iran to develop nuclear weapons, then several things will certainly happen:

    A. All the Muslim nations that have trusted us will immediately make friends with Iran or be toppled by Islamicist coups and revolutions.

    B. Israel will be destroyed and its population slaughtered in a new holocaust. We might be able to bring out a few survivors.

    C. Europe will be neutralized. Radical Islam will completely dominate the Muslim populations in European nations, and the governments will almost certainly bend their foreign policy to accommodate their demands. America will have no allies.

    D. The world economic order, from which America skims its prosperity, probably would not endure. Oil still calls the shots, and Russia and China will join with Islam to marginalize or shatter the American economy. Never mind that the resulting worldwide depression would ruin their own economies. If America is brought down, they will feel like relative winners. And without America as a beacon of hope, what internal opposition would they have to worry about? None.

    Peppered throughout the piece are historical anecdotes (like where Hitler went wrong) and Lincoln's true goal during the Civil War (he wanted to hold on to the Presidency long enough to win the fight). The Hitler related stuff is really the best as far as comedy (seriously, read it and tell me you don't think of long supply chains). The biggest issue is that Card, like so many of the cowards on the right, see a massive enemy when in fact there are only a handful of fanatics with whom we really have to contend. They can't visualize how to fight that enemy, so instead they blunder about trying to remake countries and failing miserably at it.

    In the same vein of We Have To Win In Iraq (whatever THAT means... I thought we achieved the goal of knocking out Saddam) Or They'll Come Here And Kill Us, Under Secretary of Defense Eric Edelman sent a nasty little note to Senator Clinton basically accusing her of treason...

    Premature and public discussion of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq reinforces enemy propaganda that the United States will abandon its allies in Iraq, much as we are perceived to have done in Vietnam, Lebanon and Somalia. … [S]uch talk understandably unnerves the very same Iraqi allies we are asking to assume enormous personal risks.

    Left out of his oh-so-kind note is the fact that his boss (Secy of Defense Gates) actually thinks talking about departure is exactly what the Iraqi's need to get their asses in gear.

    Finally, EOW has nice piece up on Glenn Greenwald's take down of Ted Sorenson who, while a great speechwriter 50 years ago, is clearly slipping a little...

    The United States is not a “nation under siege.” That is a ludicrously melodramatic description of the terrorist threat and it is precisely the failure to challenge such fear-mongering sloganeering that has enabled so many of the destructive policies of the last six years. Any political figure who is authentically interested in the type of real debate which Sorensen touts will challenge, not bolster, this misleading premise. More importantly, a genuine debate regarding how to recover from the last six years (soon to be “last eight years”) will require a fundamental re-examination of America’s role in the world and, most of all, whether we want to continue to maintain imperial dominance. Contrary to conventional Beltway fears, this is plainly a debate which the American public is not only willing, but eager, to engage.

    Uhm... yeah. What he said. We shouldn't be afraid, they should be afraid. However, as long as the R's can sell fear, that's just what they'll do. That and the need for invasions and bombs when in reality all you need is a unit made up of really mean Americans who will hunt down and kill, anywhere in the world, terrorists.

    Sounds mean, right? Oh pish. You don't stop a fanatic by bombing his/her hometown... s/he's not there and s/he doesn't care about those left behind anyway. You also don't stop them by negotiating. You kill them until their numbers dwindle to zero. You need assassins, not an Army battalion. That, my friends, is the number one reason why none of you should even think of voting for a Republican. They just don't get it.

    Maybe they aren't mean enough.


    Posted by mcblogger at 12:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 16, 2007

    Editorial Wrap Up : Get us OUT of Iraq, fuckers!

    Two editorials stood out to me today, both had the same point: Congress needs to get us out of Iraq now since the President has continued to follow is own insane advice and refuses to acknowledge reality.

    This is NOT a 'let's beat up on the Congressional Democrats' post. They've done all they can to date. It's been up to the President to change and adapt. That hasn't happened. So, the only choice we have left is to put a terrific amount of pressure on Republican Senators and Representatives to flip and override a Bush veto on a withdrawal. In short, it's time for Congress to fully emasculate the crazy man in the White House.

    To that end, the Star-Trib in Minneapolis-St. Paul is calling on Senator Norm Coleman to flip and join Senate Democrats in this effort.

    President Bush, having dispatched top officials to Capitol Hill to shore up support on Iraq, saw defections occurring instead and ended up in a high-stakes power showdown on Thursday. After lecturing Congress on its role (consultation, by his lights), he emphasized his power as chief decider. But it's way past time for all that. Members of Congress must counter his stance with a strong new, and newly bipartisan, effort to responsibly end this war. ... Since Bush is having his logic all ways and clearly is in denial about the state of affairs in Iraq, senior members of Congress -- despite Bush's implication that they are overstepping their authority -- must get beyond their party interests and/or 2008 campaign maneuvering and craft a firm, joint message to Bush. Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman, who has shown at least a limited willingness to differ with the president on Iraq policy, is in the right position to be a player in such an effort. But it can't be Sen. Levin this and Sen. Warner that. Just as it took truly bipartisan cohesion to get out of Vietnam, it will take more than a determined majority and a few straggling Republicans to turn Bush around.

    Then this from the Sac Bee, for those Democrats out there who still want to beat up on the Speaker...

    Three significant events happened last week regarding U.S. policy in Iraq.

    First, the president issued a preliminary report required by Congress on progress in Iraq. It offers unwarranted optimism and no adjustments to Bush's current strategy. It states that the "overall trajectory" has "begun to stabilize" compared to the "deteriorating trajectory" in 2006. But, the administration notes, none of 18 benchmarks has been reached. In eight, "satisfactory" progress has been made; in 10, only "unsatisfactory" or "mixed" progress.

    Second was the 223-201 vote in the House in favor of a bill (HR 2956) to require U.S. combat forces to start leaving Iraq within 120 days. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she will bring back similar bills "as often as necessary, hopefully with an increasing level of support from our Republican colleagues, until pressure from the American people causes the president to change his mind and change his policy."

    Third, Sens. John Warner, R-Va., and Richard Lugar, R-Ind., have drafted legislation that admits reality: A "unified, pluralist, democratic government" is "not likely to be achieved in the near future" in Iraq, and the U.S. military cannot "interpose itself indefinitely between sectarian factions." It rejects a "poorly planned or precipitous" pullout, but requires Bush to come up with a plan by Oct. 16 to keep U.S. troops from "policing the civil strife or sectarian violence in Iraq" and focus instead on protecting Iraq's borders, targeting terrorists and defending U.S. assets. Implementation would begin by Dec. 31.

    The President has already shut the door on the Republican proposal, proving once more than he has no intention of working with Congress or acknowledging reality. Now you can be mad the Speaker for not bringing up impeachment (personally, I'd love nothing more but the investigations have not yet uncovered enough evidence to prosecute, nor are there the essential Republican votes to impeach... we don't have THAT large a majority) but don't jump up her ass over this. Call Republican members of Congress. ANY Republican member of Congress. Bitch them out.


    Posted by mcblogger at 09:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 05, 2007

    More on the Libby Amnesty

    Apparently, Republicans are just as irritated about Connecticut native George W. Bush's commutation of Scooter Libby's sentence as we are...

    "How can parents instill values and morality in their children?" asked a befuddled Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE). "How can educators teach our children? How can the rule of law for every American be applied equally if we have two standards of justice in America – one for the powerful and the other for the rest of us?"

    Former Senator Bill Frist joined Hagel in slamming Bush's actions, saying the commutation amounted to unfair treatment. "He is not above the law," said the clearly enraged Republican from Tennessee. "If an ordinary citizen committed these crimes, he would go to jail."

    You would think, of all places, President Bush would find some love in his home state of Texas -- but not so. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison said the Libby communion jeopardizes the nation’s entire legal system.

    "I very much worry that with the evidence that we have seen that grand juries across America are going to start asking questions about what is obstruction of justice, what is perjury," the senator said. "And I don't want there to be any lessening of the standard. Because our system of criminal justice depends on people telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. That is the lynch pin of our criminal justice system and I don't want it to be faded in any way."

    Fellow Republican Texan Tom Delay, himself indicted, nonetheless issued a scathing attack on the commutation.

    "No man is above the law, and no man is below the law," Delay said, choking back tears. "That's the principle that we all hold very dear in this country."

    Oh, and just in case you were wondering about just how 'excessive' Scooter's sentence was, check out this.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 02, 2007

    Fuck fuck fuck!

    Fuckety fuck!

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 05:40 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    July 01, 2007

    Calling Bullshit : Document Subpoena Fight Edition

    Looks like the Congressional Democrats are gearing up for a fight with the tremendously unpopular President Bush about his ridiculous decision not to obey their subpoena.

    In a letter to White House counsel Fred Fielding, the heads of the Senate and House Judiciary committees demanded an explanation in 10 days of why the White House claimed executive privilege on subpoenaed documents, and vowed to invoke "the full force of law."

    The White House - echoing the senior Republican on the Senate panel - urged the chairmen to accept the administration's earlier offer to allow private, off-the-record interviews with current and former aides to President Bush.

    "If the committees just want the facts, then they should withdraw the subpoenas and accept the president's offer, instead of this continued pattern of gross overreach and confrontation," said White House spokesman Tony Fratto.

    No, no, no. We want testimony. On the record. And we want documents. We don't care about executive privilege. This isn't something Connecticut native George W. Bush or Sen. Specter get to decide. We want answers and if you don't want to give them, you need to do the honorable thing.

    Yeah, you could resign, too.

    Posted by mcblogger at 05:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 29, 2007

    Dick Cheney, the fourth branch of government

    Click here for the best analysis on Cheney's claim that he is not, in fact, part of the Executive Branch.

    Posted by mcblogger at 05:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Bush stonewalls Congress

    OK, Congress... go after the son of a bitch and get the evidence. It's time for some fucking accountability in the Executive Branch.

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush, moving toward a constitutional showdown with Congress, asserted executive privilege Thursday and rejected lawmakers' demands for documents that could shed light on the firings of federal prosecutors.

    Bush's attorney told Congress the White House would not turn over subpoenaed documents from former presidential counsel Harriet Miers and former political director Sara Taylor.

    Congressional panels want the documents for their investigations of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' stewardship of the Justice Department, including complaints of undue political influence.

    The Democratic chairmen of the two committees seeking the documents accused Bush of stonewalling and disdain for the law, and said they would press forward with enforcing the subpoenas.

    Tony Snow, while talking to reporters, had this to say...

    "It's pretty clear that again members of Congress are engaged in an attempt ... to try to do what they can to make life more difficult for the White House," Snow said. "It also explains why this is the least popular Congress in decades, because you do have what appears to be a strategy of destruction rather than cooperation."

    Uhm, Tony, the only reason they are a little unpopular (compared to the President who is even less popular) is that they haven't been mean enough to him. While people may be pissed at Congress, they HATE your boss. Compared to the President, Nancy Pelosi is BELOVED.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 28, 2007

    Darth Cheney

    Oh, I don't really know what to say about the WaPo series on Dick Cheney, other than that it's very well written and comprehensively researched. I guess I could tell you that reading it will leave you absolutely infuriated and ready to march on the White House.

    It'll take a while to get through all four sections but it's well worth it to see just how far one man has gone to dismantle this country to remake it according to his own insane design.

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Darth Cheney

    Oh, I don't really know what to say about the WaPo series on Dick Cheney, other than that it's very well written and comprehensively researched. I guess I could tell you that reading it will leave you absolutely infuriated and ready to march on the White House.

    It'll take a while to get through all four sections but it's well worth it to see just how far one man has gone to dismantle this country to remake it according to his own insane design.

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 27, 2007

    When the children turn...

    Presidential Scholars, also known as 'high school students' , signed a handwritten petition asking President Bush to stop torturing people captured (or abducted, or extraordinarily rendered) during the war on terror.

    The handwritten letter said the students "believe we have a responsibility to voice our convictions."

    "We do not want America to represent torture. We urge you to do all in your power to stop violations of the human rights of detainees, to cease illegal renditions, and to apply the Geneva Convention to all detainees, including those designated enemy combatants," the letter said.

    Kids never heard of a 'computer'? What, was it written on a cocktail napkin?

    Bush was nice, explained that the US doesn't do that sort of thing (Cheney, who was standing close by, snickered) and only had them rendered to Syria AFTER they left the White House.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 19, 2007

    WH and RNC refuse to come clean on emails...

    That's right! The emails they said didn't exist actually do. Not only that, but more people at the White House turn out to have had RNC accounts than was initially admitted.

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- E-mail records are missing for 51 of the 88 White House aides with Republican Party accounts, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee reported Monday.

    The White House says the accounts were set up to keep political work separate from official business, but investigators concluded White House officials used the accounts to conduct official business in a way that circumvented the Watergate-era Presidential Records Act.

    The 37 accounts the Republican National Committee did save include nearly 675,000 individual messages -- more than 140,000 of them from Karl Rove, President Bush's top political adviser.

    "Whether intentionally or inadvertently, it appears that the RNC has destroyed a large volume of the e-mails of White House officials who used RNC e-mail accounts," the report states.

    The committee found 88 officials who held GOP e-mail accounts; the White House had acknowledged 50.

    So, the next question becomes, did Gonazales know? Of course... not only that, but when he gave the order to preserve WH communications, he didn't even enforce maintenance of the RNC accounts that were being used to skirt the law.

    The committee found that although then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales ordered presidential staff to preserve official e-mails from outside accounts, he failed to enforce that policy.

    Ralston told investigators that Gonzales, now attorney general, knew Rove was using his party e-mail account for official business, "but took no action to preserve Mr. Rove's official communications," the report states.

    And the Republicans wonder why no one trusts them? Even their attorney's are either stupid, criminal or some combo of the two.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 15, 2007

    Decidership

    Decidership

    A form of government with one person exercising absolute power and unrestricted control in a government who regularly disregards opinions, petitions or mandates of the people or elected representatives.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    This guy for Surgeon General? Why not just nominate Dobson.

    Connecticut native George W. Bush has nominated Dr. James W. Holsinger Jr. to be our next Surgeon General. Let's just say that he's one of those doctors who still thinks that homosexuality is a disease. He's also one of the people who has helped keep the United Methodist Church (of which I'm a member) not exactly friendly to it's LGBT members.

    As a member of the church's Judicial Council, Dr. Holsinger voted with the majority to boot a lesbian from her post as a minister and to allow ministers to deny church membership to gay men and lesbians. It is not our place to tell religions what their beliefs should or should not be. But that stricture does not apply when bigotry masquerades as science. Dr. Holsinger prepared "Pathophysiology of Male Homosexuality" for the Committee to Study Homosexuality of the United Methodist Church, which was discussing whether to end the church's stance of not condoning homosexuality. Pathophysiology was defined as "abnormal function."

    As a member of the UMC, I don't want this guy anywhere near my church anymore. Let's not even mention his 'Gay Conversion' project, Hope Springs

    Another point of contention during Holsinger's nomination process was his affiliation with the Hope Springs Community Church, a United Methodist church. The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association and other LGBT health organizations expressed concern of Holsinger’s association with the church because of allegations that it condones reparative therapy. The church's pastor, David Calhoun was quoted as saying the church “ministers to people who no longer wish to be gay or lesbian.”

    Yeah, not so much with this clown as Surgeon General. The HRC also thinks he's a the wrong person for the job. They have a petition up that you should really go sign.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 11, 2007

    Girl, that M16 looks hella hot!

    Via Dungeon Diary comes word that the Pentagon was developing a 'gay bomb' that would have rendered, when deployed, enemy troops instantly infatuated with each other. For those unable to read between the lines, it would have made them gay. Gay sex fiends. Gay sex fiends incapable of doing anything other than sucking off their buddy.

    Yeah, since that's totally the way gay guys are. I know I'm all the time having sex with gay co-workers and friends. In fact I find it difficult to do anything other than have sex with my fellow gays.

    $7.5 million for this? Couldn't we spend that money finding bin Laden?

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 10, 2007

    Yeah... we all feel the same way...

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    To all our British friends... this is how we all feel. We'd like to proffer an apology for the boorish behavior of our President. Hey, we just barely tolerate him.

    (props to PinkDome for the great pic)

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:37 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    June 05, 2007

    Rove's been busy with the US Attorney's office

    Oops... The worlds most powerful ButterTroll may get his tit caught in a wringer over something else entirely...

    The allegation was made by Dana Jill Simpson, a lifelong Republican and lawyer who practices in Alabama. She made the charges in a May 21 affidavit, obtained by TIME, in which she describes a conference call on November 18, 2002, which involved a group of senior aides to Bob Riley, who had just narrowly defeated Siegelman in a bitterly contested election for governor. Though Republican Riley, a former Congressman, initially found himself behind by several thousand votes, he had pulled ahead at the last minute when disputed ballots were tallied in his favor. After the abrupt vote turnaround, Siegelman sought a recount. The Simpson affidavit says the conference call focused on how the Riley campaign could get Siegelman to withdraw his challenge.

    According to Simpson's statement, William Canary, a senior G.O.P. political operative and Riley adviser who was on the conference call, said "not to worry about Don Siegelman" because "'his girls' would take care of" the governor. Canary then made clear that "his girls" was a reference to his wife, Leura Canary, the U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Alabama, and Alice Martin, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama.

    Canary reassured others on the conference call — who also included Riley's son, Rob, and Terry Butts, another Riley lawyer and former justice of the Alabama supreme court — that he had the help of a powerful pal in Washington. Canary said "not to worry — that he had already gotten it worked out with Karl and Karl had spoken with the Department of Justice and the Department of Justice was already pursuing Don Siegelman," the Simpson affidavit says. Both U.S. attorney offices subsequently indicted Siegelman on a variety of charges, although Leura Canary recused herself from dealing with the case in May 2002. A federal judge dismissed the Northern District case before it could be tried, but Siegelman was convicted in the Middle District on bribery and conspiracy charges last June.

    Yes, Siegelman was convicted... here's the synopsis on that...

    Siegelman was convicted of appointing Scrushy to a hospital regulatory board in exchange for a $500,000 contribution to a campaign for a state lottery to fund education. Defense lawyers have argued that Siegelman drew no personal financial benefit from Scrushy's donation to the lottery campaign, and they note that Scrushy had served on the hospital regulatory board under three previous governors, before Siegelman reappointed him. The reappointment, they have argued, offered little of value to Scrushy except more work.

    So, there was NO payoff to the Governor and there was no real benefit to Scrushy, other than maybe getting a sweet deal for his company, HealthSouth which, coincidentally, is having major issues with Scrushy and his backdating of stock options. Needless to say, Scrushy's not a good guy. However, there was nothing that personally benefited Siegelman, which is exactly what you'd need in a case like this. Seigelman may not pass the smell test, but he's hardly a Duke Cunntingham.

    $10 says he walks on appeal. Any takers?

    Posted by mcblogger at 07:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 01, 2007

    Bush shows off fake border security station

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    President Bush recently visited one of our newest border security stations. In Glynco, GA. Which is here...

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    Yeah, I bet the people in Georgia are happy now that they can control immigration... from Atlantis.

    (via Wonkette)

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:22 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    May 31, 2007

    The result is still the same...

    Here's a great article demystifying what it really means to de-fund the war. It's also a bad article because, in yet another way, it calls the Democrats in Congress cowards.

    It also ignores political reality which is that any bill to 'de-fund' the war will fail because Bush will veto it and there are not enough Republicans who will cross to override the veto.

    Until Republicans in Congress start feeling real heat, they are going to keep enabling their out of control President, Connecticut native George W. Bush. That's reality, it sucks and blaming Democrats in Congress is going to change none of it.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 29, 2007

    Bin Laden's Back

    Recently, President Bush pulled big scary Bin Laden out of the closet to get Americans skeered. Well, Mr. President, if you're so scared of Bin Laden now, why weren't you in 2002?

    We may have took out Saddam Hussein, but the guy who was actually responsible for 9/11 is still at large. Good work there, President Bush.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 24, 2007

    Congressional Democrats on the hot seat

    I love Keith Olbermann's special comment. So much, in fact, that I'm going to post it.

    You know, there is something to be said for being as obstinate as Bush and cutting off all funding from the DoD. It's brinksmanship and it's a game the Democrats will likely lose. I like Olbermann's commentary because it fully encapsulates all the anger and frustration I and many others feel. I don't like it because it misplaces that anger and frustration which should rightfully be directed at two places... Connecticut native George Bush who vetoed the bill that placed a deadline on our involvement in Iraq and the Congressional Republicans who let that veto stand.

    It is to them that I say 'We're done'. The American people see past your pathetic and cynical attempt to hold the men and women of the US Armed Services hostage to your failed policies and misguided attempts to remake the world. While we would LOVE nothing more than for Congressional Democrats to throw a giant wrench in everything, we know that isn't possible as long as Congressional Republicans feel free to continue enabling the disastrous President Bush. Just as they've done since 2000.

    Congressional Democrats have held the good of the country above all since they assumed control in January, a marked departure from the actions of the far more partisan Republicans. Maybe it's time to let them really take the bitches on. And crush them. It apparently is the only way we're going to end our involvement in a civil war and bring our troops home. Go ahead, Nancy. Make Boehner cry.


    Posted by mcblogger at 11:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 21, 2007

    Second Verse, Very Much Like The First

    Mr. Gooberhead is upset again, this time about the planned vote of no-confidence in Alberto the Torture Guy Gonzales:

    It is this kind of political theater that has caused the American people to lose confidence in how Washington operates.

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    Irony Accomplished.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 01:22 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    What are Dole and Shalala up to?

    Remember the problems at Walter Reed? Remember Bush's appointment of Donna Shalala and Sen. Dole to get to the bottom of the Administrations failure to provide adequately for our wounded? As BlueBloggin points out, things have been real quiet since March. So what's up with this?

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    May 20, 2007

    Oh, THAT leak thing... that was just a policy dispute!

    Rove, Libby and Cheney (AKA, Tres Pequeñas Conchas) are now claiming, in their bid to dismiss the civil suit brought against them by Valarie Plame and Joe Wilson, that any convo's they may have had regarding Plame's identity and employment were all part of work.

    Don't look at me that way... I couldn't even think of an excuse this ridiculous.

    The lawyers said any conversations Cheney and the officials had about Plame with one another or with reporters were part of their normal duties because they were discussing foreign policy and engaging in an appropriate "policy dispute." Cheney's attorney went further, arguing that Cheney is legally akin to the president because of his unique government role and has absolute immunity from any lawsuit.

    The lawyer for Wilson and Plame is having none of it, of course.

    "This isn't a case where the government said mean things about Mr. Wilson. This is about revealing the secret status of his wife to punish Mr. Wilson," Chemerinsky said. "In the end, this is egregious conduct that ruined a woman's career and put a family in danger."

    So, does this mean that these asshats could have revealed the recipe for Coke and gotten away with it?

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 19, 2007

    Stormy weather

    The nation's top weather officials are resigning.

    One day after its hurricane forecasters complained of budget cuts, the head of the National Weather Service and his deputy announced they will retire next month.

    David Johnson, the director, and John Jones, the deputy director, plan to bow out at the end of June, according to an internal memo they sent Friday to staff of the nation's weather agency.

    On Thursday, the AP reported that the director of the Miami-based National Hurricane Center, which is part of the weather service, believes the government is wasting millions of dollars on advertising while shortchanging his hurricane forecasters' budget.

    Bill Proenza, the center's director, said in an interview that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the parent of the weather service, is spending up to $4 million to publicize its 200th anniversary while cutting $700,000 for hurricane research. A NOAA spokesman said the agency plans to spend $1.5 million.

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketSpeaking from an undisclosed location, Darth Cheny announced that henceforth he would be in control of the weather.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 03:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 10, 2007

    The end of Don't Ask, Don't Tell?

    It would appear so...

    The Stars & Stripes, a paper published for the U.S. military, is reporting that petty officer second class Jason Knight, who was discharged under the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, is back on active duty. He told the Navy he was gay after annulling his marriage and explaining the circumstances to his superiors...

    So, when desperate need meets irrational fear/hatred, we now know that need wins out. Good.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 24, 2007

    Impeachment is beginning to sound VERY reasonable

    Tom Raum at the AP wrote a great piece on corruption and scandal within the Administration. While none of it is a smoking gun (yet), it paints a vivid picture of a President that's clearly out of control. Just in terms of staffing. He never thought of hiring an HR troll to make things so hellish for everyone that only the best and most dedicated would stay?

    Just in case you are thinking about impeachment, SnatchCracker at INPT pointed this out earlier today.

    Bush Administration Awash in Scandals
    By TOM RAUM
    Associated Press Writer

    WASHINGTON — Campaigning in 2000, Texas Gov. George W. Bush would repeatedly raise his right hand as if taking an oath and vow to "restore honor and integrity" to the White House. He pledged to usher in a new era of bipartisanship.

    The dual themes of honesty and bipartisanship struck a chord with many voters and helped propel Bush to the White House in one of the nation's closest-ever elections. Americans re-elected him in 2004 after he characterized himself as best suited to protect a nation at war.

    Now, with fewer than two years left of his second term, the Bush administration is embroiled in multiple scandals and ethics investigations. The war in Iraq still rages. Bush's approval ratings are hovering in the mid-30s. And Democratic-Republican relations have seldom been more rancorous.

    In the highest-profile current case, even some key Republicans are questioning the truthfulness and judgment of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in the firing of eight U.S. attorneys. The panel is investigating whether the prosecutors were dumped to make way for more politically obedient successors.

    Gonzales is fighting to hold onto his job. So far, two top aides have resigned, one indicating she would invoke her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination if questioned by Congress. E-mails and other evidence released by the Justice Department suggest Bush political adviser Karl Rove played a part in the firings.

    Congress is also investigating whether Rove and other Bush political advisers improperly used Republican e-mail accounts to discuss the firings and other official business. The White House concedes the possibility but says much of the e-mail was lost or deleted.

    "I don't believe that," asserted Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.. , chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. White House spokeswoman Dana Perino acknowledged that "we screwed up."

    The furor over Gonzales and Rove's e-mail practices follow disclosures of shoddy medical treatment of war-injured veterans, FBI abuses of civil liberties, and the conviction of a top White House aide of lying to a grand jury.

    What ever happened to restoring honor and dignity?

    "From the very beginning, this administration emphasized loyalty over competence. And at some point, that catches up with you," said Paul Light, a professor of public policy at New York University. He said the increase in scandals and investigations also reflects the "natural decay" that happens late in a second presidential term as many experienced people have already left and those remaining start focusing on their financial futures.

    Some recent incidents:

    _ World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, one of the architects of the Iraq war as deputy defense secretary, acknowledged he erred in helping a female friend he is dating to get transferred to a high-paying job at the State Department while remaining on the World Bank payroll. The revelations fueled calls from the bank's staff association for him to resign.

    _ Matteo Fontana, a Department of Education official who oversaw the student loan industry, was put on leave after disclosure that he owned at least $100,000 worth of stock in a student loan company.

    _ Lurita Doan, head of the General Services Administration, attended a luncheon at the agency earlier this year with other top GSA political appointees at which Scott Jennings, a top Rove aide, gave a PowerPoint demonstration on how to help Republican candidates in 2008. A congressional committee is investigating whether the remarks violated a federal law that restricts executive-branch employees from using their positions for political purposes.

    _ Julie MacDonald, who oversees the Fish and Wildlife Service but has no academic background in biology, overrode recommendations of agency scientists about how to protect endangered species and improperly leaked internal information to private groups, the Interior Department's inspector general said.

    Increasing coziness between federal officials and the industries they oversee "is not endemic to any particular administration in Washington," said Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, which seeks to reduce the role of money in politics. "This has been an ongoing problem for some time now."

    Potential conflicts "come into heavier play in the second term of two-term administrations because people who have been there for some time start leaving," said Wertheimer.

    Both the House and the Senate, responding to voter frustration with corruption and special interest influence in Washington, have approved ethics and lobbying measures. But they apply only to members of Congress, restricting their gifts and free travel, and not to the executive branch.

    Republicans like to emphasize that scandals, some large, most small, happen under Democratic presidents too. But Bush's critics say the number of current ethics allegations is unusually high. And they say evidence is strong of close links between the Bush administration and certain industries such as energy and defense.

    For instance, Philip Cooney, a former oil-industry lobbyist who became chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, acknowledged to a House committee last month that he edited three government reports to eliminate or downplay links between greenhouse gases and global warming — and defended the changes. He left the government in 2005 to work for Exxon Mobil Corp.

    Former Air Force procurement officer Darleen Druyun served nine months in prison in 2005 for violating conflict-of-interest rules after agreeing to lease Boeing refueling tankers for $23 billion, despite Pentagon studies showing the tankers were unnecessary. After making the deal, she quit the government to join Boeing.

    Scooter Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, became the first high-level White House official to be indicted while in office in more than 100 years.

    He was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in a grand jury's investigation of the outing of CIA operative Valierie Plame. The trial also implicated Rove and Cheney in a campaign to discredit her husband, retired diplomat and Iraq war critic Joe Wilson.

    Ties between Bush administration officials and convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff also taken its toll in the executive branch, as it has in Congress.

    J. Steven Griles, a former oil and gas lobbyist who became deputy interior secretary, last month became the highest-ranking administration official convicted in the Abramoff influence-peddling scandal, pleading guilty to obstructing justice by lying to a Senate committee about his relationship with Abramoff. Abramoff repeatedly sought Griles' intervention at Interior on behalf of Indian tribal clients.

    Former White House aide, David H. Safavian, was convicted last year of lying to government investigators about his ties to Abramoff and faces an 180-month prison sentence. Roger Stillwell, a former Interior Department official, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge for not reporting tickets he received from Abramoff.

    Not all the administration officials who have left under a cloud have been accused of white-collar misconduct.

    Claude Allen, who was Bush's domestic policy adviser, pleaded guilty to theft in making phony returns at discount department stores. He was sentenced last summer to two years of supervised probation and fined $500.

    ___

    EDITOR'S NOTE — Tom Raum has covered national and international affairs for The Associated Press since 1973.

    ___

    April 22, 2007 - 12:41 p.m. Copyright 2007, The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP Online news report may not be published, broadcast or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

    Posted by mcblogger at 05:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 20, 2007

    The totally true misadventures of a really bad AG

    AG Gonzales finally got to testify yesterday and blew the Senate Judiciary away, not with quick and truthful answers to questions but with his complete incompetence.

    I'm not giving this guy through the weekend.

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- White House insiders tell CNN that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales hurt himself during testimony before a Senate committee Thursday on the firing of eight U.S. attorneys.

    The sources, involved in administration discussions about Gonzales, told White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux that two senior level White House aides who heard the testimony described Gonzales as "going down in flames," "not doing himself any favors," and "predictable."

    "Everyone's putting their best public face on," one source said, "but everyone is discouraged. Everyone is disappointed."

    Imagine how we feel, 'one source'. This guy is our Attorney General and he comes across with all the credibility of a sociopathic liar. That being said, is anyone calling for his resignation? Sure. And that's just on the Republican side.

    Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, said Gonzales should resign.

    "The communication was atrocious. It was inconsistent -- it's generous to say that there was misstatements; it's a generous statement. And I believe you ought to suffer the consequences that these others have suffered," Coburn said, adding, "I believe the best way to put this behind us is your resignation."

    Sen. Schumer is rumored to have wanted to have the CIA 'extraordinarily render' Gonzales to Syria. So that they could have a talk with him. Go for it, Chuck!

    PDiddie who is inexplicably blogging at Feet To Fire has a highlight reel of what the freepers are saying. All I'm going to say about that is that they seem to be coming out of the delusion and reality is setting in.

    May I recommend you start with a 'training liquor' like vodka or rum, then move on to the really fun stuff? Trust us, it helps numb the pain.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:53 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    April 18, 2007

    Justice is having some staffing problems...

    It turns out, Monica Goodling wasn't the only bad apple at the Justice Dept. from Regent. According to Washington Monthly, there are 150 of her fellow Regent Alumni working at Justice, one of whom had a BIG problem with the SC striking down the Texas anti-gay 'sodomy' law.

    In a recent Regent law school newsletter, a 2004 graduate described being interviewed for a job as a trial attorney at the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division in October 2003. Asked to name the Supreme Court decision from the past 20 years with which he most disagreed, he cited Lawrence v. Texas, the ruling striking down a law against sodomy because it violated gay people's civil rights.

    "When one of the interviewers agreed and said that decision in Lawrence was 'maddening,' I knew I correctly answered the question," wrote the Regent graduate . The administration hired him for the Civil Rights Division's housing section — the only employment offer he received after graduation, he said.

    The graduate from Regent — which is ranked a "tier four" school by US News & World Report, the lowest score and essentially a tie for 136th place — was not the only lawyer with modest credentials to be hired by the Civil Rights Division after the administration imposed greater political control over career hiring.

    'Modest credentials'? These folks may as well have bought a diploma online from some completely unaccredited school. How did this happen? Well, one of the first hires by the Bush Admin for Justice was a former Dean from (oh, like you couldn't see it coming) Regent. The other enabling move was Ashcroft's decision to not have veteran lawyers screening the new applicants. So, if you go to Regent you will have no problem getting a job, as long as there are no real qualifications other than hatin' on the gays.

    The next President needs to fire all of these people.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 09, 2007

    Hey Belgium! Help us out!

    So, remember last week when el Presidente decided to appoint that douche Fox Ambassador to Belgium? Sister Ruth certainly does and pointed out that, if so inclined, the Belgians could refuse to accept him. So, in the spirit of domestic tranquility and positive international relations, we'd like you to join us in asking the Prime Minister of Belgium to refuse to accept Fox as the US Ambassador. How? Well, you can call or fax the Prime Minister of Belgium or you can contact the Belgian Ambassador to the US...

    H.E. Dominique Struye de Swielande Ambassador Tel: (202) 333-6900 Fax: (202) 333-3079

    We've also found an email address for the First Secretary which is way easier than sending a fax.

    Mr. Piet Heirbaut First Secretary Tel (202) 625-5866 Fax: (202) 333-3079 E-mail: Piet.Heirbaut@diplobel.fed.be

    Take a moment to voice your opinion on 'Ambassador Fox' and ask the Belgians to help us appoint someone better to represent the US.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 06, 2007

    Creepy or Metaphoric?

    Sister Ruth, who for some reason isn't able to login and actually, you know, BLOG THIS HERSELF, sent this along. It's video of the press conference yesterday...very interesting footage.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:36 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    April 05, 2007

    Y'all take off the gloves now...

    ... cause it's pretty clear el Presidente's ready to throw down.

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush named Republican fundraiser Sam Fox as U.S. ambassador to Belgium on Wednesday, using a maneuver that allowed him to bypass Congress where Democrats had derailed Fox's nomination.

    Democrats had denounced Fox for his 2004 donation to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. The group's TV ads, which claimed that Sen. John Kerry exaggerated his military record in Vietnam, were viewed as a major factor in the Massachusetts Democrat's losing the election.

    Recognizing Fox did not have the votes to obtain Senate confirmation, Bush withdrew the nomination last month. On Wednesday, with Congress out of town for a spring break, the president used his power to make recess appointments to put Fox in the job without Senate confirmation.

    This means Fox can remain ambassador until the end of the next session of Congress, effectively through the end of the Bush presidency.

    I can't believe even a single Republican in Congress would let this happen without turning on Bush. In fact, I'd be surprised if more than a few didn't flip parties. Y'all better start thinking about it because it's sure as hell clear now that none of you can be trusted and bipartisanship is something only Democrats care about. In short, if you want to salvage your party, you better start toeing the Democratic line.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 03, 2007

    President Bush all but challenges the Congress to impeach

    OK, truth be told I really don't like el Presidente Cabeza de Caca (was it obvious?), however I've not been real adamant about impeachment. Until today.

    I'm watching the President's news conference and am stunned. This man is no longer living in reality. On the US Attorney fiasco

    President has ability to remove US Attorney's at will.

    True. However, you can't do so to protect members of your party from prosecution. That's illegal. It's called obstruction of justice.

    Democrats' delay could keep some troops in Iraq longer. Congress should pass "clean" funding bills for troops. It's clear that veto of troops withdrawal bill will be sustained. Democrats sem determined to make a political statement. Armed Forces will have to make cuts if the bill is not passed. Delay in war funding bill will have 'serious consequences'.

    So, basically, if you don't give me what I want I'm going to make it an absolute living hell for the troops rather than comply with the will of the Congress. So you should really give me a bill without any timetable. And quit trying to bow up and act all co-equal and shit. I'm the BSD in this outfit. If you don't do what I want, something way bad is going to happen.

    Oh, yeah, and the terrorists are coming here if we don't git 'em in EYE-Rack.

    Reporters are now asking about Dowd's comments. The President understands that Matthew is anguished about war especially in light of the fact that Dowd's son is deployable.

    I'm not kidding. The man just threatened a critic directly, in front of cameras.

    "We should take a look at the sober consequences of failure in Iraq". Huh. Perhaps you should have made a sober decision BEFORE you went into Iraq and dragged us along with you.

    Congress: Impeach the psychotic before he decides to nuke Tehran. Remove him from office. But first, go for the outright funding cutoff.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 21, 2007

    Petulant little bitch... someone slap Bush for me, 'K?

    I caught just a bit of el Presidente retardado comedy hour, otherwise known as the press conference regarding the firing of US Attorneys around the country. Gonzales is in deep shit over this and Politico is saying that the White House has begun searching for another puppet to replace him.

    The operative assumption, the GOP source said, is that Gonzales will go but that he will do so on his own schedule. The first stage in finding a replacement is gauging who is available among the well-established lawyers under consideration, most of whom have previously been confirmed by the Senate. "I think it is going to come down to who is willing to take the job," said the source.

    During the conference, it was very clear that the combative, petty executive is alive and well. The White House claims to have given over everything requested by Congress but in reality it's heavily redacted and major pieces are missing. Then there is whether or not Rove will testify...

    White House counsel Fred Fielding went to Capitol Hill with an offer Tuesday, outlined in a letter released after his meeting, offering testimony by Rove and other top aides but only if the interviews "would be private and conducted without the need for an oath, transcript, subsequent testimony or the subsequent issuance of subpoenas."

    Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) responded coolly to Fielding's proposal, calling it unique but "with a lot of pitfalls" that made it inadequate. "With no transcript, with no oath, with private conversations that can be contradicted, recollections can fail, you're not going to get very far," he told reporters. "Counsel Fielding … said he wanted this to be a conversation rather than a hearing. A conversation's fine. But let's have a conversation under oath with a transcript. … Mr. Fielding indicated that he did not want to negotiate, but that doesn't mean we're not going to try."

    Nah, we've played that game. Swear his ass in. Rove likes to lie too much.

    In a feisty statement at the White House late Tuesday afternoon, Bush told reporters in the Diplomatic Reception Room that he will not abet "show trials" by Democrats and that their initial response indicated they "appear more interested in scoring political points than in learning the facts." He said he wanted to avoid an "impasse" but said defiantly: "I will oppose any attempts to subpoena White House officials."

    What Politico characterized as feisty was in fact childish. Seriously, you should have seen it if for no other reason that to understand just how little the Chief Douche respects Congress. Why can't they learn 'the facts' with sworn testimony, Mr. President? Do you seriously think it's going to inhibit someone from speaking their mind in the future?

    Go to court, Mr. President. Let's see how far executive privilege really goes and settle this shit once and for all.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Petulant little bitch... someone slap Bush for me, 'K?

    I caught just a bit of el Presidente retardado comedy hour, otherwise known as the press conference regarding the firing of US Attorneys around the country. Gonzales is in deep shit over this and Politico is saying that the White House has begun searching for another puppet to replace him.

    The operative assumption, the GOP source said, is that Gonzales will go but that he will do so on his own schedule. The first stage in finding a replacement is gauging who is available among the well-established lawyers under consideration, most of whom have previously been confirmed by the Senate. "I think it is going to come down to who is willing to take the job," said the source.

    During the conference, it was very clear that the combative, petty executive is alive and well. The White House claims to have given over everything requested by Congress but in reality it's heavily redacted and major pieces are missing. Then there is whether or not Rove will testify...

    White House counsel Fred Fielding went to Capitol Hill with an offer Tuesday, outlined in a letter released after his meeting, offering testimony by Rove and other top aides but only if the interviews "would be private and conducted without the need for an oath, transcript, subsequent testimony or the subsequent issuance of subpoenas."

    Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) responded coolly to Fielding's proposal, calling it unique but "with a lot of pitfalls" that made it inadequate. "With no transcript, with no oath, with private conversations that can be contradicted, recollections can fail, you're not going to get very far," he told reporters. "Counsel Fielding … said he wanted this to be a conversation rather than a hearing. A conversation's fine. But let's have a conversation under oath with a transcript. … Mr. Fielding indicated that he did not want to negotiate, but that doesn't mean we're not going to try."

    Nah, we've played that game. Swear his ass in. Rove likes to lie too much.

    In a feisty statement at the White House late Tuesday afternoon, Bush told reporters in the Diplomatic Reception Room that he will not abet "show trials" by Democrats and that their initial response indicated they "appear more interested in scoring political points than in learning the facts." He said he wanted to avoid an "impasse" but said defiantly: "I will oppose any attempts to subpoena White House officials."

    What Politico characterized as feisty was in fact childish. Seriously, you should have seen it if for no other reason that to understand just how little the Chief Douche respects Congress. Why can't they learn 'the facts' with sworn testimony, Mr. President? Do you seriously think it's going to inhibit someone from speaking their mind in the future?

    Go to court, Mr. President. Let's see how far executive privilege really goes and settle this shit once and for all.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    What goes around...

    ...comes around, as Bush's spokesman Tony Snowjob demonstrates in his comment on that old fallback of presidents in trouble.

    Executive Privilege is a Dodge

    Evidently, Mr. Bush wants to shield virtually any communications that take place within the White House compound on the theory that all such talk contributes in some way, shape or form to the continuing success and harmony of an administration. Taken to its logical extreme, that position would make it impossible for citizens to hold a chief executive accountable for anything. He would have a constitutional right to cover up.

    Chances are that the courts will hurl such a claim out, but it will take time.

    One gets the impression that Team Bush values its survival more than most people want justice and thus will delay without qualm. But as the clock ticks, the public's faith in Mr. Bush will ebb away for a simple reason: Most of us want no part of a president who is cynical enough to use the majesty of his office to evade the one thing he is sworn to uphold -- the rule of law.

    Alright, I admit I did a naughty thing. That quote actually came from an op-ed piece Snow wrote in 1998 attacking The Big Dog, so all the references to Bush should actually read "Clinton". Still, I can't fault his argument. Perhaps Tony would like to explain why we should now consider it inoperative.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 08:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 16, 2007

    Why aren't these bastards dead?

    The WaPo has a story up about US fears of a resurgent al-Qaeda.

    The new director of national intelligence said yesterday that the United States is "very concerned" that Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda leadership are attempting to rebuild their terrorist network and establish training camps in a region of northwest Pakistan "that has never been governed by any power."

    "We inflicted a major blow, they retreated to another area, and they are going through a process to reestablish and rebuild, adapting to the seams or the weak spots as they might perceive them," retired Vice Adm. John M. McConnell told the Senate Armed Services Committee as he delivered his first global threat assessment to Capitol Hill.

    There is STILL al-Qaeda leadership? Those people should have been killed by the end of 2004. Maybe if we hadn't been invading countries that had nothing to do with al-Qaeda they would have been. Thanks a lot, President Bush. Your stupidity has made us all LESS secure, especially when coupled with yet more proof of a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan.

    But the strike nonetheless demonstrated that Al Qaeda and the Taliban appear stronger and more emboldened in the region than at any time since the American invasion of the country five years ago, and since the Bush administration claimed to have decimated much of their middle management. And it fed directly into the debate over who is to blame.

    The leaders with whom Mr. Cheney met on his mission to Pakistan and Afghanistan have appeared increasingly incapable of controlling the chaos, and have pointed fingers at one another.

    Mr. Cheney said the attack was a reminder that terrorists seek “to question the authority of the central government,” and argued that it underscored the need for a renewed American effort.

    His critics, on the other hand, said the strike was another reminder of how Iraq had diverted the Bush administration from finishing the job in Afghanistan.

    The only saving grace appears to be that these people are even more incompetent than Bush and Cheney. Of course, you don't have to be real smart to get the better of them.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 13, 2007

    The Treasury Dept. has a coffee klatch

    LAME-O.

    The US CoC is worried about all the companies worldwide who are choosing to list their stocks on exchanges located in other countries. The CoC focuses on regulation and legal expenses (the cost of litigation) as major factors. What regulations would they like to see relaxed? The very ones that are designed to protect the integrity of accounting results and create an even-playing field for all market participants.

    The proposals being discussed include a blueprint laid out Monday by a committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Proposals included giving the SEC the authority to exempt some companies, especially smaller firms and overseas companies, from some aspects of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, passed in the wake of the accounting scandals at Enron and WorldCom.

    The chamber is arguing that global companies are choosing to list on overseas markets rather than U.S. exchanges, which they say poses a risk to the U.S. economy long-term.

    Nice... Of course, what the CoC fails to mention is that exchanges in emerging markets have been expanding for years and it's not because of regulation here in the US. It's because their countries are becoming more stable and their capital markets more efficient. Further,you had to list in the US if you wanted access to US capital. That's no longer the case as US investors are very likely to put assets to work globally. In short, the money is now chasing the deal.

    Lastly, they talked about tort reform and distributed as a media talking point (CNBC's Liz Clamon actually used it on the air) the bullshit about litigation in the US costing American business $250Bn. Then they drove the point home that the number is twice as high as Germany. Just as an FYI to the thoroughly stupid US CoC and the reporters who used this stat, Germany has around 27% of our population. Given that, do we REALLY need more tort reform? Isn't it obvious that we offer less protections to American consumers than German consumers enjoy? If we had the kind of protections that Germans enjoy, we should be seeing consumer advocates winning a little less than $500 bn for their clients. If anything, I would say the legal environment in the US leans TOO FAR TO PROTECT CORPORATIONS.

    Message to tort reformers... you're done here. We'll beat the hell out of you in PR if you don't. back. off.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 07, 2007

    Let me tell you a little story...

    Let's say, for instance, that you are in default on your student loans. Let's then say that you went to a buy a home and were a perfect fit for a FHA insured mortgage, save one problem... you were in default on your student loans. The reality is that you aren't eligible for a FHA insured mortgage because of that default. The same should be true of federal contractors who violate federal law. But, as it turns out, the Bush Admin thinks that what's best for individuals isn't necessarily best for government contractors. Think about how much we've heard about Halliburton's blatant violations of federal law and war profiteering? Now we find out that much of what has happened at Walter Reed may have been the responsibility of Halliburton?

    How about Congress passing a law to ban those who violate federal law or regulations from doing business with the government?

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 06, 2007

    Libby Guilty on Four out of Five Counts

    ROCK!

    Photobucket - Video and Image HostingJurors found I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, a former White House aide, guilty of four out of five charges in his trial following an investigation into the leak of a CIA operative's identity.

    The verdict came on the 10th day of deliberations by a panel of seven women and four men. The announcement was made by Randall Samborn, a spokesman for special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. It was read in the courtroom where jurors heard 19 witnesses during the five-week trial in the perjury and obstruction trial of Libby.

    Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, is the only person charged in the case, which grew out of an investigation into the 2003 leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 27, 2007

    Iran into a little problem

    Condisleezahad some harsh words for Iran

    "We have the common goal to encourage Iran back to the bargaining table," Rice said after a meeting in Berlin with her counterparts from Russia, Germany and the European Union. "The hope is that the sanctions show the Iranians the isolation that they are enduring, that isolation is likely to increase over time and that it is time to take a different course."

    Cheney took things a bit further

    At a joint news conference with Prime Minister John Howard during a visit to Australia, Cheney said the United States was “deeply concerned” about Iran’s activities, including the “aggressive” sponsoring of terrorist group Hezbollah and inflammatory statements by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    Cheney said top U.S. officials would meet soon with European allies to decide the next step toward planned tough sanctions against Iran if it continues enriching uranium.

    “But I’ve also made the point, and the president has made the point, that all options are on the table,” he said, leaving open the possibility of military action.

    Then the Iranian Foreign Minister called Cheney's bluff

    “We do not see America in a position to impose another crisis on its taxpayers inside America by starting another war in the region,” Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told reporters Saturday.

    And, of course, he's right. Which leaves us only able to fight Iran with patience, which is what all of us have been saying all along. Russia, like the vast majority of Americans, is sick of our unilateralism.

    In any relationship, disagreements arise. But observers make a grave error when they mistake the honest and open airing of concerns as some sort of casus belli. President Bush rightly emphasized the other day that, while differences exist between our two countries, "there's also a relationship in which we can find common ground to solve problems." Russia is ready to work with the United States on an equal and mutually respectful basis.

    Another Cold War? Certainly not. A democratic world in which a strong Russia coexists with a strong United States, as well as a strong Europe, China, India, Brazil and others? That is Vladimir Putin's vision -- and it is well worth considering.

    The problems we all face are OUR problems and we have to work together to solve them. Just as we were able to tget the North Korean's to return to the table, so too can we obtain an agreement with Iran that provides for non-proliferation. It's really our only choice.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 26, 2007

    So much for the great economy...

    The fastest growing socio-economic group in the US? Those living in P-O-V-E-R-T-Y!

    The McClatchy analysis found that the number of severely poor Americans grew by 26 percent from 2000 to 2005. That's 56 percent faster than the overall poverty population grew in the same period. McClatchy's review also found statistically significant increases in the percentage of the population in severe poverty in 65 of 215 large U.S. counties, and similar increases in 28 states. The review also suggested that the rise in severely poor residents isn't confined to large urban counties but extends to suburban and rural areas.

    The plight of the severely poor is a distressing sidebar to an unusual economic expansion. Worker productivity has increased dramatically since the brief recession of 2001, but wages and job growth have lagged behind. At the same time, the share of national income going to corporate profits has dwarfed the amount going to wages and salaries. That helps explain why the median household income of working-age families, adjusted for inflation, has fallen for five straight years.

    As a result, welfare rolls are growing...

    The welfare state is bigger than ever despite a decade of policies designed to wean poor people from public aid.

    The number of families receiving cash benefits from welfare has plummeted since the government imposed time limits on the payments a decade ago. But other programs for the poor, including Medicaid, food stamps and disability benefits, are bursting with new enrollees.

    The result, according to an Associated Press analysis: Nearly one in six people rely on some form of public assistance, a larger share than at any time since the government started measuring two decades ago.

    Where does Texas rank in all this? #2. We have the second largest percentage of our population living in poverty.


    Posted by mcblogger at 11:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    And now they fix the problems at Walter Reed

    While it comes only after people have bitched and screamed (on the left, natch) about how badly how returning injured are being treated, it's good to see something's being done. My only question is how the hell the Republicans let it get this bad? I want blood on this one.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 22, 2007

    Conservatives not pleased about NK deal

    Connecticut native George W. Bush's idea about ignoring North Korea didn't work out so well. The change in strategy to one of negotiating and helping is bearing fruit (which is what Democrats had been saying for years), however that isn't stopping conservatives from grumbling

    John R. Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, called the agreement -- in which North Korea would freeze its main nuclear facility in exchange for an initial supply of fuel oil -- "a bad deal" that violated principles that were closely held in the beginning of the Bush administration.

    Yeah, principles like stupidity, arrogance and a complete disregard for what might actually, you know, work. It's funny that Bolton would call this a 'bad deal' since everyone thought he was a 'bad ambassador'.

    Bolton's comments, the barbs from conservative publications and the Abrams e-mails reflected deep concerns among conservatives that the agreement could turn out to be an important and troubling turning point. Current and former Bush officials said they fear that after six years they are losing control of foreign policy to more pragmatic forces. The shift, they said, has become especially apparent with the departure of Donald H. Rumsfeld, who as defense secretary was often seen as a counterweight to State.

    Losing control to more pragmatic forces? Hope springs eternal. I think we can all agree that less pragmatic forces have done fuckall for the country.

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Conservatives not pleased about NK deal

    Connecticut native George W. Bush's idea about ignoring North Korea didn't work out so well. The change in strategy to one of negotiating and helping is bearing fruit (which is what Democrats had been saying for years), however that isn't stopping conservatives from grumbling

    John R. Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, called the agreement -- in which North Korea would freeze its main nuclear facility in exchange for an initial supply of fuel oil -- "a bad deal" that violated principles that were closely held in the beginning of the Bush administration.

    Yeah, principles like stupidity, arrogance and a complete disregard for what might actually, you know, work. It's funny that Bolton would call this a 'bad deal' since everyone thought he was a 'bad ambassador'.

    Bolton's comments, the barbs from conservative publications and the Abrams e-mails reflected deep concerns among conservatives that the agreement could turn out to be an important and troubling turning point. Current and former Bush officials said they fear that after six years they are losing control of foreign policy to more pragmatic forces. The shift, they said, has become especially apparent with the departure of Donald H. Rumsfeld, who as defense secretary was often seen as a counterweight to State.

    Losing control to more pragmatic forces? Hope springs eternal. I think we can all agree that less pragmatic forces have done fuckall for the country.

    Posted by mcblogger at 04:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 21, 2007

    Tony Snowjob: Bush Knew About It Before He Didn't Know About It

    It seems that all previous statements about the shameful conditions at Walter Reed are now inoperative.

    During yesterday’s White House press briefing, Tony Snow tried to play down the neglect uncovered at Walter Reed by portraying it as old news. President Bush “certainly has been aware of the conditions in the wards where he has visited, Snow said, affirming that the administration was aware of Walter Reed’s conditions “before the articles appeared in the paper.”

    The White House has since backtracked from Snow’s comments. In a small addendum added to the bottom of yesterday’s briefing transcript on the White House website, a note now reads that Bush “first learned of the troubling allegations regarding Walter Reed from the stories this weekend in the Washington Post,” and that he is “deeply concerned” by the conditions:

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 11:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Bush rediscovers Afghanistan

    You know when, at the beginning of winter, you'll find money in a coat pocket? It's always a nice treat. I'm all the time forgetting that I left money in pockets. So I understand how Connecticut native George Bush could forget about Afghanistan. I'm glad to see he's finally rediscovered it (we've been bitching about it for a while)

    Bush announced that he will extend a temporary increase of 3,200 U.S. troops in Afghanistan "for the foreseeable future" and urged Congress to give him $11.8 billion more to accelerate training, reconstruction and counter-narcotics programs. He also insisted that NATO allies should drop restrictions on their forces in Afghanistan and join the fight against Islamic extremists.

    "America and our allies are going to stand with these folks," the president said in an address to the American Enterprise Institute. "That's the message I want to deliver to the Afghanistan people today. Free debates are important. But our commitment is strong. We will train you, we will help you, and we will stand with you as you defend your new democracy."

    The speech was the first Bush has devoted to Afghanistan during his second term, reflecting the shifting priorities in Washington as the Iraq war has turned increasingly violent and consumed more of the president's attention. But though Iraq dominated the debate, remnants of the ousted Taliban government have regrouped and launched a potent new challenge. Attacks on U.S., Afghan and other coalition forces nearly tripled last year, and the Taliban by some estimates controls four times as much territory as in 2005.

    One has to wonder why we rushed into Iraq before we crushed these clowns. Maybe now we'll correct the mistake and finally help the Afghani's really get back up on their feet.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 20, 2007

    Bush tries to privatize the land

    B&B has a great post up Connecticut native George W. Bush's attempt to sell off federal land. What is it with Republicans and selling public assets?

    For the second year in a row, the Bush administration has proposed selling off as much as 300,000 acres of national forests and other public land to help pay for rural schools and roads.

    And for the second year, Western lawmakers and environmentalists blasted the plan, saying short-term gains would be offset by the permanent loss of the land.

    Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., the new chairman of an Appropriations subcommittee that oversees environmental spending, pronounced the plan dead on arrival. “They are just not going to do this. It's not going to happen,” Dicks said Monday.

    “We're going to find a way to fund the (rural) schools program without selling even one acre of public land,” added Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana.

    Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., called the plan a “betrayal,” and said he would “work around the clock ... to convince Congress to act honorably and fulfill the federal obligation to our rural counties.”

    Is this some kind of bad joke?

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:17 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    More ethically questionable deals in the Administration

    What IS it with these people?

    A senior Justice Department official who recently resigned her post bought a nearly $1 million vacation home with a lobbyist for ConocoPhillips months before approving consent decrees that would give the oil company more time to pay millions of dollars in fines and meet pollution-cleanup rules at some of its refineries.

    Sue Ellen Wooldridge, former assistant attorney general in charge of environment and natural resources, bought a $980,000 home on Kiawah Island, S.C., last March with ConocoPhillips lobbyist Don R. Duncan. A third owner of the house is J. Steven Griles, a former deputy interior secretary, who has been informed he is a target in the federal investigation of Jack Abramoff's lobbying activities.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:17 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    February 16, 2007

    Texas Monthly presents Others On Bush

    Sounds a little like a porno, right?

    Pink Lady got an advance of the March,2007 article in which Texas Monthly reveals to us what others think will be the legacy of Connecticut native George W. Bush. I have to quote her post on this because we weren't included in the distribution. I blame the son of a bitch in the Audi station wagon who cut me off yesterday on 281 in SA. I gotta say, he was trying hard to look cool with the glasses and the 'just so' hair. Unfortunately, he didn't realize that it's impossible to look cool in a station wagon. ANY station wagon. Was it REALLY his fault? Probably not. However, I'm blaming him for everything right now.

    At any rate, here are a few of the choicer quotes that made me laugh a little...

    Mark McKinnon (chief media adviser for both W’s campaigns; lifetime PR flack): “We haven’t had another attack [since 9/11], and God willing, we won’t for some time. Critics can argue, but the facts are the facts: The president has protected the homeland.”

    Mark, way to work God in there especially since it's more an act of God than of Connecticut native George W. Bush that we haven't been attacked again since 9/11. We're not secure and nothing will make us secure, not even a police state. Get over it, dude. You sound like a pussy who has been hiding for over five years because he's afraid of the 'big, bad terrorists'. For all those out there who are terrified of dying in an attack, here are a few tragedies which are far more likely to occur:

    1) An Airbus 380 could crash. On your head.
    2) Lightning could strike your house, causing an electrical surge that will create a portal (using your TV as a focal point) that will allow the evil dead to come through and eat you, your family, your pets and your neighbors. Even the fat, hirsute, bald one.
    3) Your car could explode. While you're pumping gas at the Shell station in San Marcos (the gross one at the exit to WonderWorld). Just after, a dinosaur will eat your carcass.


    Paul Begala (that guy that used to be on Crossfire): “Mr. Bush has been an abject failure. He promised to be a uniter, not a divider. You can look at data that show him to be even more divisive than Richard Nixon—he’s the most divisive president of the past fifty years.”

    Connecticut native George W. Bush will make Nixon look good in comparison? The Mayor heartily agrees.

    Donald Evans (former Secretary of Commerce): “While I know a lot of people think his legacy rests on what happens with Iraq, historians will say, with time and reflection, that he did a remarkable job. He didn’t worry about polls or focus groups or even elections. He worried about doing what was right—and our world will be a better place because of it.”

    Don, if he worried so much about doing the right thing, why does he so consistently do the exact opposite?

    Needless to say, I'm going to rush out an buy a copy. No, I don't subscribe. I have too many magazines as it is including the neverending subscription to Entertainment Weekly. A word of advice... don't ever make Barfly mad.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:28 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Yeah, we're not so much believing him either

    "In the old days, if the U.S. government had come out and said, 'We've got this, here's our assessment,' reasonable people would have taken it at face value," the official said of the Baghdad briefing. "That's never going to happen again."

    In yesterday's White House news conference, Bush grappled with the issue head-on. "What makes you so certain," a reporter asked Bush, of the military's charge that "the highest levels of Tehran's government" are responsible for shipments of lethal weapons to Iraq for use against U.S. troops?

    Bush contradicted the military's account, saying, "We don't know . . . whether the head leaders of Iran ordered" it.

    "But here's my point," he added. "Either they knew or didn't know, and what matters is, is that [the weapons] they're there."

    via the WaPo

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 13, 2007

    Building the case against Iran

    Anonymous DoD sources have already started building the case against Iran...

    During a long-awaited presentation, held in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone, the officials displayed mortar shells, rocket-propelled grenades and a powerful cylindrical bomb, capable of blasting through an armored Humvee, that they said were manufactured in Iran and supplied to Shiite militias in Iraq for attacks on U.S. and Iraqi troops.

    "Iran is a significant contributor to attacks on coalition forces, and also supports violence against the Iraqi security forces and the Iraqi people," said a senior defense official, who was joined by a defense analyst and an explosives expert, both also from the military.

    The Iranians are, of course, denying that they are supplying the insurgents

    An official at the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad called the U.S. accusations "fabricated" and "baseless."

    "We deny such charges. We ask those who are claiming such evidence: Show the documents in public," said the official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity. "We cannot compensate for the American failure and fiasco in Iraq. . . . It is not our policy to be involved in any hostile operations against coalition forces here."

    To which the 'anonymous sources' replied

    The U.S. officials said weapons were smuggled into the country by the Quds Force, an elite unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard that U.S. officials believe is under the control of Iran's supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The officials in Baghdad said that Iranians recently detained in Iraq by U.S. forces belong to the Quds Force.

    With so much official U.S. buildup about the purported evidence of Iranian influence in Iraq, the briefing was also notable for what was not said or shown. The officials offered no evidence to substantiate allegations that the "highest levels" of the Iranian government had sanctioned support for attacks against U.S. troops. Also, the military briefers were not joined by U.S. diplomats or representatives of the CIA or the office of the Director of National Intelligence.

    Hmmm. This certainly sounds familiar. So the Iranians are making arms that are ending up in the hands of insurgents? Quelle Surprise. I bet Russians, Chinese, Germans and even Americans also made some of the equipment being used by the insurgents. But at least these troops are alleged to be Iranians... until we find out they aren't. By then, Tehran should be in chaos and we'll be spending $25 bn/ month to rebuild the country.

    The Iraqi's are as skeptical as most Americans (at least the overwhelming majority of Americans who don't read Shelly).

    Iraq's deputy foreign minister, Labeed M. Abbawi, said in an interview Sunday that the Iraqi government remains in the dark about the full U.S. investigation into Iranian activities in Iraq. "It is difficult for us here in the diplomatic circles just to accept whatever the American forces say is evidence," he said.

    "If they have anything really conclusive, then they should come out and say it openly, then we will pick it up from there and use diplomatic channels" to discuss it with Iran, he said. "The method or the way it's being done should be changed, to have more cooperation with us."

    I want to see troops marching across the border. Then you have proof. Until then, you're between a rock and a hard place just like we were in Vietnam when the Soviets were supplying the Viet Cong. You can't attack everyone who made gear being used by the insurgents. It doesn't work that way.

    Give me real, solid proof and I'll back an invasion of Iran with the caveat that it not begin until there is a Democrat in the White House because we can't afford another Republican failure like Connecticut native George W. Bush. Build a coalition like the first Gulf War and then do it.

    Until then, STFU. I'm not the in mood for more BS about WMD's.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 12, 2007

    Protect nukes from airplane crashes? Oh, pish...

    Remember when the 9/11 Commission reco'd securing nuclear power plants against jet attacks, specifically like those seen on 9/11? Apparently, the NRC ignored that part of the 9/11 Commission Report

    Federal regulators plunged into an energy and national security controversy yesterday by ruling that the nation's 103 nuclear power plants do not need to protect themselves from potential attacks by terrorists using airplanes.

    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's 5-to-0 ruling was in response to a 2004 petition by the Committee to Bridge the Gap, a Los Angeles nonprofit group, that said nuclear plants should build shields made of steel I-beams and cabling or take other steps to prevent a release of radiation in case of an air attack. Eight state attorneys general backed the petition.

    But don't worry... the Democrats are, thank God, in the majority in Congress and they're having none of the NRC's bullshit.

    Some members of Congress said that the NRC's steps fell short of what was needed.

    "I am disappointed," said Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.). The NRC decision "reflects an inadequate, industry-influenced approach that sacrifices security in favor of corporate profits."

    On Friday, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, had written to the agency that "the communities that surround existing plants need to be confident that the NRC, as the regulator charged with nuclear safety, did all it could to ensure that plants defend against current security threats" -- including, she added, "large attacking forces and commercial aircraft."

    Yesterday, Boxer said that her "initial reaction" was that the NRC "did not follow the direction of Congress to ensure that our nuclear power plants are protected from air- or land-based terrorist threats."

    The NRC thinks it's the job of the military to protect plants from an attack. They are right. However, due to the sensitive nature of nuclear power plants and the environmental catastrophe that would result from a successful terrorist attack, the onus is on the plants to secure themselves. Maybe if the Bush Administration would stop pouting they'd get off their asses and tell NRC to get to work.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Protect nukes from airplane crashes? Oh, pish...

    Remember when the 9/11 Commission reco'd securing nuclear power plants against jet attacks, specifically like those seen on 9/11? Apparently, the NRC ignored that part of the 9/11 Commission Report

    Federal regulators plunged into an energy and national security controversy yesterday by ruling that the nation's 103 nuclear power plants do not need to protect themselves from potential attacks by terrorists using airplanes.

    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's 5-to-0 ruling was in response to a 2004 petition by the Committee to Bridge the Gap, a Los Angeles nonprofit group, that said nuclear plants should build shields made of steel I-beams and cabling or take other steps to prevent a release of radiation in case of an air attack. Eight state attorneys general backed the petition.

    But don't worry... the Democrats are, thank God, in the majority in Congress and they're having none of the NRC's bullshit.

    Some members of Congress said that the NRC's steps fell short of what was needed.

    "I am disappointed," said Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.). The NRC decision "reflects an inadequate, industry-influenced approach that sacrifices security in favor of corporate profits."

    On Friday, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, had written to the agency that "the communities that surround existing plants need to be confident that the NRC, as the regulator charged with nuclear safety, did all it could to ensure that plants defend against current security threats" -- including, she added, "large attacking forces and commercial aircraft."

    Yesterday, Boxer said that her "initial reaction" was that the NRC "did not follow the direction of Congress to ensure that our nuclear power plants are protected from air- or land-based terrorist threats."

    The NRC thinks it's the job of the military to protect plants from an attack. They are right. However, due to the sensitive nature of nuclear power plants and the environmental catastrophe that would result from a successful terrorist attack, the onus is on the plants to secure themselves. Maybe if the Bush Administration would stop pouting they'd get off their asses and tell NRC to get to work.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 08, 2007

    War on Terror spending to top to $745 Bn by EOY 2008

    I just don't know what else to say... three quarters of a trillion dollars?!?! Hell, you could have fixed transportation in this country with that money.

    If approved by Congress, the new war spending would bring the overall cost of fighting to about $745 billion since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States -- adjusting for inflation, more than was spent on the Vietnam War.

    What else could you have done? Well, you could have made a massive dent in the long term insolvency of entitlement programs. You could have also dumped federal money into improving schools. You could have had structurally 0% unemployment and massive economic growth through infrastructure improvements that would have led to a massive economic boom going into 2009 and beyond.

    All of it has, however, been wasted on a war we can't win.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 06, 2007

    Bush says there will be a surplus in 2012... if we find that big pot of gold

    Connecticut native George W. Bush released his budget estimates yesterday. It came as little surprise that the number differed substantially from the CBO's. Why the discrepency?

  • Bush anticipates no War on Terror spending after January, 2009 which coincides with his departure from the Presidency.

  • The CBO estimates show a realistic increase in spending. Connecticut native George W. Bush anticipates little spending growth. I'm going with CBO on this one since Connecticut native George W. Bush also said that the tax cuts he shoved through Congress wouldn't lead to massive deficits

  • Connecticut native George W. Bush anticipates finding the leprechaun's treasure and using it to supplement tax revenues. The CBO ignored that possibility (dumb CBO!)
  • Of course, no one really believes Connecticut native George W. Bush's numbers. Even the Republicans in Congress laughed at him (except for Boehner who can't laugh anymore because his skin is too taut).

    Portman said the White House proposal is a "tight budget, but a more realistic budget" that contains much to appeal to Democrats, such as a small increase in non-security domestic spending, the first in two years.

    But Democrats were skeptical.

    "With their track record, everything they present is going to be viewed skeptically. Because they've been deceptive year after year after year," said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.). "Every projection shows the cost of making all the tax cuts permanent explodes at the very time the baby boomers start to retire," driving "the deficit and the growth of the debt to the moon."

    Skeptically? If I were you I'd view it much as a doctor would the scribblings of a lunatic. Wait...

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Bush says there will be a surplus in 2012... if we find that big pot of gold

    Connecticut native George W. Bush released his budget estimates yesterday. It came as little surprise that the number differed substantially from the CBO's. Why the discrepency?

  • Bush anticipates no War on Terror spending after January, 2009 which coincides with his departure from the Presidency.

  • The CBO estimates show a realistic increase in spending. Connecticut native George W. Bush anticipates little spending growth. I'm going with CBO on this one since Connecticut native George W. Bush also said that the tax cuts he shoved through Congress wouldn't lead to massive deficits

  • Connecticut native George W. Bush anticipates finding the leprechaun's treasure and using it to supplement tax revenues. The CBO ignored that possibility (dumb CBO!)
  • Of course, no one really believes Connecticut native George W. Bush's numbers. Even the Republicans in Congress laughed at him (except for Boehner who can't laugh anymore because his skin is too taut).

    Portman said the White House proposal is a "tight budget, but a more realistic budget" that contains much to appeal to Democrats, such as a small increase in non-security domestic spending, the first in two years.

    But Democrats were skeptical.

    "With their track record, everything they present is going to be viewed skeptically. Because they've been deceptive year after year after year," said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.). "Every projection shows the cost of making all the tax cuts permanent explodes at the very time the baby boomers start to retire," driving "the deficit and the growth of the debt to the moon."

    Skeptically? If I were you I'd view it much as a doctor would the scribblings of a lunatic. Wait...

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 05, 2007

    Someone else noticed that Condi's kind of dumb

    via Brains and Eggs

    It is one of the great mysteries of modern geopolitics. How the hell has Condoleezza Rice got away with it for so long? There she is, Secretary of State of the United States and one of the most powerful people on the planet. It is Condi Rice who leads on behalf of you, me, the entire Western world, in waging this deepening Cold War with Iran. She is the girl who threatens Ahmedinejad with Armageddon, or whatever our policy is. And yet if you read State of Denial by Bob Woodward (as you must) it is clear that she was the most stupefyingly incompetent National Security Adviser in the history of that office. She was warned, in some detail, about 9/11. The CIA made a special trip to see her on 10 July 2001 to say that al-Qa'eda was planning something huge and imminent, and that a 'strategic' response was necessary. Uh-huh, said Condi, and did zip; and at every stage in the catastrophic 'War on Terror' her behaviour is characterised by this same weird zen-like passivity.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 01, 2007

    Where we screw up, Iran steps in

    Oh. Damn. Connecticut native George Bush is being outplayed by the Iranians in the Middle East. Like no one could see that coming...

    "It's very bleak and it's very dangerous," said Dakhil, the Saudi writer. "We have a sectarian civil war in Iraq now and this is drawing sectarian lines through the region. This is the most important, the most dangerous ramification of the American war in Iraq."

    It's not surprising that the heavy handed tactics of Americans (and, in Lebanon, the Israeli's) have had a deleterious effect. What is surprising is the extent to which Iran is stepping up their aid and support to those affected, creating goodwill from the Mediterranean to the Gulf.

    "The United States is the first to be blamed for the rise of Iranian influence in the Middle East," said Khaled al-Dakhil, a Saudi writer and academic. "There is one thing important about the ascendance of Iran here. It does not reflect a real change in Iranian capabilities, economic or political. It's more a reflection of the failures on the part of the U.S. and its Arab allies in the region."

    Added Eyal Zisser, head of the Middle Eastern and African Studies Department at Tel Aviv University in Israel: "After the whole investment in democracy in the region, the West is losing, and Iran is winning."

    Yeah, we've been thinking for a while that you gain more friends with honey than you do with bullets... but no one in Washington seems to be listening (they all think foreign aid is a waste of money)

    In Beirut's southern suburbs, a Hezbollah stronghold, a banner hangs near a bridge wrecked by Israeli strikes last summer: "The Zionist enemy destroys, the Islamic Republic of Iran builds." Even before the 33-day war ended, Iran had provided Hezbollah with $150 million to begin rebuilding, some of it going to victims in $10,000 bundles of crisp U.S. currency, according to a Shiite politician who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    "You want me to give you my opinion? Honestly?" asked Hajj Hassan Sbeiti, a 44-year-old merchant, his face breaking into a wry smile. "If you say hello to me, you probably like me. If you say hello to me and ask what I need, you're a friend. If you say hello to me, ask what I need and put money in my hand, then you're going to be my brother."

    Oh, sure... attacking Iran is a natural. We're guaranteed to make friends that way. Just look how well it's worked in Iraq. Quit with the bullshit about Iranian nukes and let's get down to winning the war of hearts and minds.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Where we screw up, Iran steps in

    Oh. Damn. Connecticut native George Bush is being outplayed by the Iranians in the Middle East. Like no one could see that coming...

    "It's very bleak and it's very dangerous," said Dakhil, the Saudi writer. "We have a sectarian civil war in Iraq now and this is drawing sectarian lines through the region. This is the most important, the most dangerous ramification of the American war in Iraq."

    It's not surprising that the heavy handed tactics of Americans (and, in Lebanon, the Israeli's) have had a deleterious effect. What is surprising is the extent to which Iran is stepping up their aid and support to those affected, creating goodwill from the Mediterranean to the Gulf.

    "The United States is the first to be blamed for the rise of Iranian influence in the Middle East," said Khaled al-Dakhil, a Saudi writer and academic. "There is one thing important about the ascendance of Iran here. It does not reflect a real change in Iranian capabilities, economic or political. It's more a reflection of the failures on the part of the U.S. and its Arab allies in the region."

    Added Eyal Zisser, head of the Middle Eastern and African Studies Department at Tel Aviv University in Israel: "After the whole investment in democracy in the region, the West is losing, and Iran is winning."

    Yeah, we've been thinking for a while that you gain more friends with honey than you do with bullets... but no one in Washington seems to be listening (they all think foreign aid is a waste of money)

    In Beirut's southern suburbs, a Hezbollah stronghold, a banner hangs near a bridge wrecked by Israeli strikes last summer: "The Zionist enemy destroys, the Islamic Republic of Iran builds." Even before the 33-day war ended, Iran had provided Hezbollah with $150 million to begin rebuilding, some of it going to victims in $10,000 bundles of crisp U.S. currency, according to a Shiite politician who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    "You want me to give you my opinion? Honestly?" asked Hajj Hassan Sbeiti, a 44-year-old merchant, his face breaking into a wry smile. "If you say hello to me, you probably like me. If you say hello to me and ask what I need, you're a friend. If you say hello to me, ask what I need and put money in my hand, then you're going to be my brother."

    Oh, sure... attacking Iran is a natural. We're guaranteed to make friends that way. Just look how well it's worked in Iraq. Quit with the bullshit about Iranian nukes and let's get down to winning the war of hearts and minds.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 25, 2007

    Veto Me

    So the new majority in the House, the DEMOCRATIC Party, has completed it's 100 hour agenda (take that, Newt you giant loser). Bush has already said he'd veto much of it and so one has to wonder what's next. With polls consistently showing that people want the Congress in the driver's seat, is there a possibility that he'll be overridden?

    Sure, as long as the bills pass the Senate and Lieberman doesn't fuck us all over.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 24, 2007

    Finally, Methodists start acting like Methodists

    I gotta tell you, being a Methodist since Connecticut native George Bush became President has been a bit rough. I've had to remind myself that he's a Methodist just like he's a Texan. Trust me, Methodists are cool (get to know me!), they don't start wars, for instance, and they love a great drinks party.

    I'm all the time being asked "Would you like another drink?" but that's beside the point. Less frequently I'm asked "Are all Methodists like George Bush?" and my answer is always an emphatic "NO" followed quickly with a request for another Talisker and soda. Which, by the way, I would REALLY love right now.

    Annatopia at TexasKaos happened upon some information that there are other Methodists who, like me, are irritated that the Bush Lieburry is going to be put in at SMU...

    We the undersigned express our objection to the prospect of the George W. Bush library, museum, and think tank being established at Southern Methodist University. As United Methodists, we believe that the linking of his presidency with a university bearing the Methodist name is utterly inappropriate. We urge the Board of Trustees of Southern Methodist University and the South Central Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church to reject this project.

    Maybe now Bush will convert to something that is more reflective of his personality. Like one of those fundamentalist churches that are all over rural Texas. I think they have tent revivals but I've never been to one. They don't have bars. Maybe that's why Connecticut native George Bush hasn't been to one either.

    Posted by mcblogger at 05:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 16, 2007

    The White House discovers it has no teeth

    This is what happens when you treat people badly for years. When they turn, they fucking turn...

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
    WASHINGTON — The White House fired back Friday at Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer's verbal slap at Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, calling the California Democrat's caustic comments about Rice's family life "outrageous."

    Boxer lit into Rice on Thursday with bitter diatribe during a heated line of questioning before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee looking into Iraq policies. At one point, Boxer turned to the broad question of who pays the ultimate price for war. Rice has never married and has no children.

    "Who pays the price? I'm not going to pay a personal price. My kids are too old and my grandchild is too young," Boxer said. "You're not going to pay a particular price, as I understand it, with an immediate family. So who pays the price? The American military and their families."

    Boxer hasn't apologized, won't apologize and despite the best efforts of Fox, there is no one calling for her to do so. Fox, being populated exclusively with troglodytes, failed to mention that Condi's numbers are way down and this exchange hasn't helped. Further, the White House could have said they fully supported Boxer and it wouldn't matter as they are now, functionally, powerless. No one is listening to them and in fact the vast majority of this country has nothing but outright contempt for this President and his party.


    Posted by mcblogger at 04:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 24, 2006

    Fun, new weapons at DoD (and corruption, too!)

    Via The Somervell County Salon comes a tale of a new weapon in America's war on everyone else, euphemistically called Prompt Global Strike.

    When the order comes, the sub shoots a 65-ton Trident II ballistic missile into the sky. Within 2 minutes, the missile is traveling at more than 20,000 ft. per second. Up and over the oceans and out of the atmosphere it soars for thousands of miles. At the top of its parabola, hanging in space, the Trident's four warheads separate and begin their screaming descent down toward the planet. Traveling as fast as 13,000 mph, the warheads are filled with scored tungsten rods with twice the strength of steel. Just above the target, the warheads detonate, showering the area with thousands of rods-each one up to 12 times as destructive as a .50-caliber bullet. Anything within 3000 sq. ft. of this whirling, metallic storm is obliterated.

    From the time the order is given until the time the weapon reaches the target is no more than 60 minutes. Not bad, when you consider it takes me that long just to get through Costco most of the time.

    While I agree, in theory, the US needs such a capability, my problem with this idea stems from the fact that this is a massively destabilizing weapons system. The worst part is that no one will know until AFTER impact that the payload is not nuclear. I'm sure other countries will just 'trust us' when they see us launching SLBM's.

    Before we start thinking about spending money developing and deploying ANOTHER super expensive weapons system, can we please have an investigation of DoD CONTRACTORS?

    The investigation by the Government Accountability Office, which released the report Tuesday, found that the Defense Department's inability to manage contractors effectively has hurt military operations and unit morale and cost the Pentagon money.

    "With limited visibility over contractors, military commanders and other senior leaders cannot develop a complete picture of the extent to which they rely on contractors as an asset to support their operations," said the GAO, the investigative arm of Congress.

    Perhaps the new Senator from Missouri will take up that task, just as one of her predecessors did so long ago.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Fun, new weapons at DoD (and corruption, too!)

    Via The Somervell County Salon comes a tale of a new weapon in America's war on everyone else, euphemistically called Prompt Global Strike.

    When the order comes, the sub shoots a 65-ton Trident II ballistic missile into the sky. Within 2 minutes, the missile is traveling at more than 20,000 ft. per second. Up and over the oceans and out of the atmosphere it soars for thousands of miles. At the top of its parabola, hanging in space, the Trident's four warheads separate and begin their screaming descent down toward the planet. Traveling as fast as 13,000 mph, the warheads are filled with scored tungsten rods with twice the strength of steel. Just above the target, the warheads detonate, showering the area with thousands of rods-each one up to 12 times as destructive as a .50-caliber bullet. Anything within 3000 sq. ft. of this whirling, metallic storm is obliterated.

    From the time the order is given until the time the weapon reaches the target is no more than 60 minutes. Not bad, when you consider it takes me that long just to get through Costco most of the time.

    While I agree, in theory, the US needs such a capability, my problem with this idea stems from the fact that this is a massively destabilizing weapons system. The worst part is that no one will know until AFTER impact that the payload is not nuclear. I'm sure other countries will just 'trust us' when they see us launching SLBM's.

    Before we start thinking about spending money developing and deploying ANOTHER super expensive weapons system, can we please have an investigation of DoD CONTRACTORS?

    The investigation by the Government Accountability Office, which released the report Tuesday, found that the Defense Department's inability to manage contractors effectively has hurt military operations and unit morale and cost the Pentagon money.

    "With limited visibility over contractors, military commanders and other senior leaders cannot develop a complete picture of the extent to which they rely on contractors as an asset to support their operations," said the GAO, the investigative arm of Congress.

    Perhaps the new Senator from Missouri will take up that task, just as one of her predecessors did so long ago.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 20, 2006

    Cheney to testify?

    This would be the first time in history a sitting Vice-President has had to testify in the criminal proceeding...

    "We're calling the vice president," attorney Ted Wells said in court. Wells represents defendant I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who is charged with perjury and obstruction.
    From the outside, it's hard to know which scenario is closest to the truth. But should a courtroom appearance by Cheney come to pass, it will be yet another dramatic twist in the long-running saga of the Plame affair--and one that will probably not play well for the White House.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Cheney to testify?

    This would be the first time in history a sitting Vice-President has had to testify in the criminal proceeding...

    "We're calling the vice president," attorney Ted Wells said in court. Wells represents defendant I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who is charged with perjury and obstruction.
    From the outside, it's hard to know which scenario is closest to the truth. But should a courtroom appearance by Cheney come to pass, it will be yet another dramatic twist in the long-running saga of the Plame affair--and one that will probably not play well for the White House.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Bush : Mistaking the will of the people...

    I'm watching this asshat doing his little press conference. He's just been asked a question about how he feels in the context of the war and how LBJ physically aged (mostly because he wasn't sleeping) during Vietnam. "My heart breaks..." which follows up this article that David Corn posted in which the Connecticut native Bush said he sleeps better than you'd expect.

    Prior to that, he was asked if he'd go against the will of the American people in listening to Democrats. He said that the will of the American people was to have bipartisanship in Washington. He's now seeing the election as a slap on the hand instead of the very real bitch slap it in fact was. He's still talking like he wasn't castrated in November.

    Good to see bravado is alive and well at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 15, 2006

    No. No more money for nukes. No.

    Who's Playin' had a nice piece up on the next big stupid idea to come from the idiots in the White House and DoD... let's build more nukes!

    At a time when the United States is trying to convince Iran and North Korea to abandon their nuclear weapons program, we should not be expanding our own.

    But building more nuclear bombs is exactly what the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) plans to do!

    The NNSA has proposed an expensive, dangerous, and unnecessary overhaul of the current nuclear complex, called Complex 2030. This overhaul would give the U.S. the ability to produce up to 125 nuclear weapons per year - a level comparable to Cold War levels - and would cost an exorbitant $150 billion. Contrary to its stated aim of downsizing the nuclear weapons infrastructure, the plan is a Trojan horse that would give the U.S. the ability to produce nuclear bombs indefinitely.

    And yes, there is a petition to stop the trainwreck of a program. Seriously, it's time to put this technology behind us, not advance it with new, more lethal devices. Take a moment and join me opposing this retarded initiative.

    Come on, we can think of better used for $150 Bn. I need my house painted, for one thing. With gold based paint. That would honestly make more sense than building more nukes.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    November 29, 2006

    So what's up with President Bush FINALLY becoming a rancher?

    Has President Bush bought a ranch in Paraguay? Conspiracy theorists say yes and there are reasons why...

    * The Cuban news service reports that George W. Bush has purchased 98,840 acres in Paraguay, near the Bolivian/Brazilian border.

    * Jenna Bush paid a secret diplomatic visit to Paraguayan President Nicanor Duarte and U.S. Ambassador James Cason. There were no press conferences, no public sightings and no official confirmation of her 10-day trip which apparently ended this week.

    * The Paraguayan Senate voted last summer to “grant U.S. troops immunity from national and International Criminal Court (ICC) jurisdiction.”

    * Immediately afterwards, 500 heavily armed U.S. troops arrived with various planes, choppers and land vehicles at Mariscal Estigarribia air base, which happens to be at the northern tip of Paraguay near the Bolivian/Brazilian border. More have reportedly arrived since then.

    OK, so it's not the Boys from Brazil. Will it be the President from Paraguay? Will Connecticut native George W. Bush escape justice in Paraguay? Who the fuck knows. I'd just be glad if he actually did decamp for Paraguay... as long as he takes Cheney and Condi with them.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:15 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    November 16, 2006

    Taliban STILL resurgent in Afghanistan

    Just in case you forgot, the Taliban are still running the show in most of Afghanistan. Just thought you'd want to know how well Connecticut native George W. Bush's strategy of abandoning Afghanistant, leaving the job undone, to invade Iraq was going.

    Insurgent activity in Afghanistan has risen fourfold this year, and militants now launch more than 600 attacks a month, a rising wave of violence that has resulted in 3,700 deaths in 2006, a bleak new report found.

    Afghanistan saw about 130 insurgent attacks a month last year, said the report by the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board, which consists of representatives from Afghanistan and the international community, including the United Nations.

    The new report said insurgents were launching more than 600 attacks a month as of the end of September, up from 300 a month at the end of March this year. The violence has killed more than 3,700 people this year, it said.

    Oh, George. You can't even fight terrorism well, can you?

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Taliban STILL resurgent in Afghanistan

    Just in case you forgot, the Taliban are still running the show in most of Afghanistan. Just thought you'd want to know how well Connecticut native George W. Bush's strategy of abandoning Afghanistant, leaving the job undone, to invade Iraq was going.

    Insurgent activity in Afghanistan has risen fourfold this year, and militants now launch more than 600 attacks a month, a rising wave of violence that has resulted in 3,700 deaths in 2006, a bleak new report found.

    Afghanistan saw about 130 insurgent attacks a month last year, said the report by the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board, which consists of representatives from Afghanistan and the international community, including the United Nations.

    The new report said insurgents were launching more than 600 attacks a month as of the end of September, up from 300 a month at the end of March this year. The violence has killed more than 3,700 people this year, it said.

    Oh, George. You can't even fight terrorism well, can you?

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    November 03, 2006

    "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."

    Turns out that for once at least, Connecticut native George Bush wasn't lying.

    Reporteth the Paper of Record:

    Last March, the federal government set up a Web site to make public a vast archive of Iraqi documents captured during the war. The Bush administration did so under pressure from Congressional Republicans who had said they hoped to “leverage the Internet” to find new evidence of the prewar dangers posed by Saddam Hussein.

    But in recent weeks, the site has posted some documents that weapons experts say are a danger themselves: detailed accounts of Iraq’s secret nuclear research before the 1991 Persian Gulf war. The documents, the experts say, constitute a basic guide to building an atom bomb.

    The documents, roughly a dozen in number, contain charts, diagrams, equations and lengthy narratives about bomb building that nuclear experts who have viewed them say go beyond what is available elsewhere on the Internet and in other public forums. For instance, the papers give detailed information on how to build nuclear firing circuits and triggering explosives, as well as the radioactive cores of atom bombs.

    “For the U.S. to toss a match into this flammable area is very irresponsible,” said A. Bryan Siebert, a former director of classification at the federal Department of Energy, which runs the nation’s nuclear arms program. “There’s a lot of things about nuclear weapons that are secret and should remain so.”

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 06:09 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    October 31, 2006

    CT native George Bush : Even dumber than John Kerry

    John Kerry, while campaigning yesterday in CA, told a joke and flubbed it because he's, you know, a giant goob. The joke was (in the midst of ripping on CT native George Bush):

    "I can't overstress the importance of a great education. Do you know where you end up if you don't study, if you aren't smart, if you're intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq."

    Instead he said...

    "You know, education -- if you make the most of it, you study hard and you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well.

    "If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."

    In context, it's actually pretty funny. Of course, the White House, being filled with fucktards, took it completely out of context and instead of interpreting it as something that makes fun of Bush (which it did), thought that it was insult to American troops. Never mind that the Administration insults the troops every day by lying about Iraq. Not to mention that Administration officials (like the VP, SoS, SoD) lied to fucking everyone about the reason we had to invade Iraq in the first place.

    Don't even get me started on the fact that the White House created the intelligence that led us to war. It didn't exist, so they made it up out of a bunch of bullshit that every intelligence agency in the world (including the CIA) said was, in fact, bullshit.

    So the White House put their spin on the joke, lied about the meaning (it's a force of habit with them. Lying that is) and started whining about "John Kerry insulting the troops". Unfortunately, for CT native George Bush, no one's believing him (except the base and they're numbers are dwindling daily), the story is staying in the news and John Kerry isn't backing down.

    Yep. JOHN KERRY ISN'T BACKING DOWN. Where the fuck was this John Kerry in 2004? If his statement on this doesn't impress you, then you're irredeemably stupid. Just like our President and his staff.

    "If anyone thinks a veteran would criticize the more than 140,000 heroes serving in Iraq and not the president who got us stuck there, they're crazy. This is the classic G.O.P. playbook. I'm sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did.

    I'm not going to be lectured by a stuffed suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium, or doughy Rush Limbaugh, who no doubt today will take a break from belittling Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's disease to start lying about me just as they have lied about Iraq . It disgusts me that these Republican hacks, who have never worn the uniform of our country lie and distort so blatantly and carelessly about those who have.

    The people who owe our troops an apology are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney who misled America into war and have given us a Katrina foreign policy that has betrayed our ideals, killed and maimed our soldiers, and widened the terrorist threat instead of defeating it. These Republicans are afraid to debate veterans who live and breathe the concerns of our troops, not the empty slogans of an Administration that sent our brave troops to war without body armor.

    Bottom line, these Republicans want to debate straw men because they're afraid to debate real men. And this time it won't work because we're going to stay in their face with the truth and deny them even a sliver of light for their distortions. No Democrat will be bullied by an administration that has a cut and run policy in Afghanistan and a stand still and lose strategy in Iraq ."

    Damn, John. Good job, hermano. I still don't want you to be our nominee in 2008 but hell of a job fighting these cocksuckers.

    Seriously, y'all... the only people freaking out about this are retard consultants in Washington who still don't get that 20-30% of Bush's 2004 voters WISH they'd voted for John Kerry. The more this stays in the news, it's going to get explained and people are already looking for a reason to beat up on CT native George Bush.

    It may be two years too late but John Kerry made George Bush his bitch today. It's about fucking time.

    UPDATE 9:06 - I'm watching CNN and Andrew Sullivan and David Gergen think this is damaging to the Democrats. They advise Kerry to get off TV and stop defending himself. Idiots. The one thing I've noticed is that everytime there has been a Democrat on TV, they've shifted the discussion from Kerry to Bush's failure. The only people dwelling on this are morons.

    Methinks that when Andrew Sullivan says you should do something, you should do the complete opposite. He seem sto think this has focused attention on John Kerry. What the comment really did was open up the door for everyone to beat the hell out of President Bush. Once one guy takes a shot at the big bully, everyone gets in line to get in their licks. That's what happens in a fight and Democrats are ready for it.

    Watch as this turns over the next few days, provided that Kerry doesn't back down and instead continues to articulate like he did with his statement this afternoon. Charlie Cook may get his Democratic pickup of 60 seats.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Yeah. Let's just leave it up to the fuckhead from Connecticut

    Connecticut Native George Bush recently signed into law the John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007 which amends some super fun parts of US law like

  • The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878

  • The Insurrection Act, a set of laws that limits the President's ability to deploy troops within the United States
  • That's right boys and girls, the Republican Congress, without too much fanfare, further enhanced Bush's dictatorial power and gave him the ability to federalize national guard troops without the authorization of the Governor of their state, gave him the ability to garrison NG units from one state in another state, and allows him to task military forces with police functions over the objections of State officials.

    For the current President, "enforcement of the laws to restore public order" means to commandeer guardsmen from any state, over the objections of local governmental, military and local police entities; ship them off to another state; conscript them in a law enforcement mode; and set them loose against "disorderly" citizenry - protesters, possibly, or those who object to forced vaccinations and quarantines in the event of a bio-terror event.

    The law also facilitates militarized police round-ups and detention of protesters, so called "illegal aliens," "potential terrorists" and other "undesirables" for detention in facilities already contracted for and under construction by Halliburton. That's right. Under the cover of a trumped-up "immigration emergency" and the frenzied militarization of the southern border, detention camps are being constructed right under our noses, camps designed for anyone who resists the foreign and domestic agenda of the Bush administration.

    No, this isn't a bunch of Alex Jonesian conspiracy crap. It's real. I wonder how many loyal Republicans realize that their President is working hard to gut the Constitution they claim to love?

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:32 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    October 26, 2006

    34296 results found

    Over the last few days, Busholini was on TV saying

    We were never about staying the course

    Ambushed by the reality-based world, his spokesman Tony Snowjob did have to concede that the Crawford Caligula had used the phrase a few times

    A few times?

    Here's a little game you can play: go to the White House website and run your own search on stay the course. How many is a few for you?

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 01:32 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

    October 17, 2006

    Character is good, m'kay

    National Character Counts Week sounds like the sort of lame exercise you were forced to write an essay about in the eighth grade. But it turns out to be the sort of thing the Crawford Caligula proclaims during those brief respites between vacations.

    Our changing world requires virtues that sustain our democracy, make self-government possible, and help build a more hopeful future. National Character Counts Week is an opportunity to recognize the depth of America's character and appreciate those who pass on our values to future generations.

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Anyone else's Irony Meter pegged?

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 06:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    October 11, 2006

    The President questions D's support of civil liberties

    The President, at a press conference this morning, said that 'The majority of Democrats voted against interrogating al Qaida suspects'. Of course, he missed on the fact that the reason they voted against it was that it handed unprecedented power to the executive branch, making it a de facto dictatorial position.

    Yeah, they voted against it. I wish more of them had as well. It was a bad bill and deserved to be voted down. Just like el Presidente needs to be impeached. The question isn't why the Democrats voted against this, it's 'Why did so many Republicans VOTE FOR IT? Why did so many Republicans vote to give blanket imprisonment powers to the Preident? Why did so many Republicans vote to destroy many of the protections in the US Constitution, abandoning their oath office and turning their backs on our founding fathers?'

    Oh, Mr. President... this isn't a debate you want to have. Watching him at a press conference is a bit like watching Denny Hastert. The more they open their mouths, the worse it gets for them.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:41 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    October 03, 2006

    This is what happens when you open the 9/11 can 'o worms

    Tenet drops Condi in the grease, says they had a meeting in July 2001 where he clearly stated that al Qaida was planning something and Condi brushed them off because 'The President doesn't want to swat at flies'. One has to wonder what really could have been done that late in the game to prevent the attacks on NYC and Washington, but the fact remains... when you have high level intelligence staff coming to you asking for you to pay attention, you DAMN WELL BETTER PAY ATTENTION. Yes, it could have saved lives... however, we'll never know because Condi, much like her boss, was incompetent.

    Condi's response to Tenet's statement recalling the meeting?

    "Oh I don't remember the meeting. It didn't happen. But if there was a meeting, and I'm not saying there was or wasn't, we didn't talk about that. In fact, the only thing I remember about that time was buying some new Ferragamo stilettos. Wait. That was during Katrina. When did this take place again? Oh. I think there was a meeting. Yeah, but we talked about Iraq, their WMD's and how much we love President Bush."

    I kid. That wasn't really what she said. However, it's accurate (the first part) in that she's saying she doesn't recall. As ELLN points out, this isn't the first case of Condi having a Reagan-esque memory...

    Over the years she has used this excuse a number of times.

    She claimed she didn't remember giving speeches saying Iraq was not a military threat during her first year.

    She claimed she didn't remember that there were briefings of a possible terrorist attack on the United States.

    She claimed she didn't remember the name of the report "Al Qaida determined to attack in the United States."

    She claimed that she didn't remember being told that terrorism would be the number one national security threat to the United States during the Bush transition.

    She claimed she didn't remember repeated requests to hold a high level hearing on terrorism threats.

    She claimed not to remember several messages from the CIA that Iraq was not seeking uranium from Africa.

    She claimed she didn't remember that terrorists flying planes into buildings was considered a top security threat and the subject of several exercises.

    She claimed that she didn't remember receiving a plan detailing the means for the United States to roll up terrorists in Afghanistan before 9/11 and urging immediate action and which ended up being the plan the United States followed.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:35 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Bush is a bigger pussy than I thought....

    Photobucket - Video and Image HostingApparently, the loser couldn't even find the time to ask for Colin Powell's resignation himself. Powell, as some of you will remember, was the only credible member of the Administration. That is, until he prostituted himself at the UN to 'make the case for invading Iraq'. The Washington Post has a nice piece up about what a douche the President was and how hard it was for Powell to compromise his integrity to make the speech at the UN.

    I still have a lot of respect for Powell. However, his time serving as SoS under Bush has tarnished that respect. While it may have been hard for him to present the case for invasion, he did it anyway which makes him puts him just a small step above Senator John McCain. Both were willing to make compromises for this disasterous President. Both will share in his horrible legacy.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 29, 2006

    Damn. Wish I'd thought of that...

    A Wisconsin businessman was detained when he tried to go through airport security with a message scrawled on his plastic bag of toiletries.

    The message, "Kip Hawley is an Idiot," was on the plastic bag carried by Ryan Bird, whose ire was aimed at the director of the Transportation Security Administration.

    Yeah, Mr. Bird. I know how you fucking feel.

    "Way too many of the TSA rules are knee-jerk reactions to noncredible threats," Bird said Thursday in a telephone interview while traveling. "Bottled water was never a threat, toothpaste was never a threat."

    The insane part? Sherrif deputies inteviewed him for 25 minutes after TSA called them in. A TSA supervisor told Bird he had no free speech rights in an airport security zone. Here's to the hope that Bird will sue the holy hell out of TSA and the supervisor individually. Oh, and KIP HAWLEY IS A FUCKING IDIOT.

    (hat tip to Somervell County Salon)

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Traitors

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting In the supersize I am posting all the Texas Delegation votes on the bill that seeks to gut the individual rights of Americans and destroy the Constitution of the United States of America. Make no mistake, that WAS what happened yesterday, 'detainee/torture bill' be damned. The Congress of the United States decided to unilaterally end the rule of law which has existed for 217 years in this country and opted to surrender an unprecedented amount of power (functionally, dictatorial power) to the Executive Branch and it's current occupant, George W. Bush.

    Every Republican and Democrat who voted for this is a traitor who violated their oath of office, betrayed their constituents and are now active participants in the effort to destroy the United States from within. While we can not vote against the supposed servants this year, we must NEVER FORGET THEIR BETRAYAL. That means we must re-elect the Democrats this year and we must eliminate them in the Primary. We simply can not trust Republicans, so it's essential that we re-elect these men and women. However, we must get rid of them in the next primary (for the members of the House of Representatives, in 2008 and for members of the senate in 2012).

    The Democrats who allowed this to happen are the scum of the earth. Instead of protecting the people of the United States they, out of fear, turned their backs on us and handed power to a madman.

    Mr. Bush attacked Democrats for voting against the legislation even before the vote began, signaling Republicans’ intention to use it as a hammer in their efforts to portray themselves as the party of strength on national security.

    We would have stood behind you. We would have shouted down ANY Republican with the guts to defend this bill. Now, if didn't need your miserable asses, we would abandon you en masse. Unfortunately, we need control of Congress restored to the people so we will support you against the Republicans. For now.

    This can not be forgiven. Not by a long shot. No excuse is good enough. There is no salve that will heal the wound inflicted on the citizens of the United States. My only hope now rests with the Supreme Court. May they strike down this wicked law and restore Constitutional rights to the citizens of the United States.

    In the House of Representatives of the United States of America:

    NAY Votes(TRUE AMERICANS):

    Lloyd Doggett, Charles Gonzalez, Al Green, Gene Green, Rubén Hinojosa, Eddie
    Johnson, Solomon Ortiz, Ron Paul, Silvestre Reyes

    NV:

    Sheila Jackson-Lee


    YEA votes (TRAITORS):

    Joe Barton, Henry Bonilla, Kevin Brady, Michael Burgess, John Carter,
    Michael Conaway, Henry Cuellar, John Culberson, Chet Edwards, Louie Gohmert,
    Kay Granger, Ralph Hall, Jeb Hensarling, Sam Johnson, Kenny Marchant,
    Michael McCaul, Randy Neugebauer, Ted Poe, Pete Sessions, Lamar Smith, Mac
    Thornberry

    In the Senate of the United States of America, both Senator Cornyn and Senator Hutchison voted FOR torture, FOR rape, AGAINST the Constitution and AGAINST their constituents, the people of Texas by voting YEA on this bill.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:08 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Cut-and-Paste Republicans

    There's nothing I hate more than political sloganeering, especially when it's boiled down so much it doesn't even make sense anymore. From a CNN headline today.

    President Bush counterpunched at Democrats on Thursday, saying their criticism of the war in Iraq has turned their party into one of "cut-and-run" obstructionists.

    Ok, that doesn't even make any sense. In order to obstruct something, you have to block it, keep it from moving, in short, you are very much staying still and not budging. On the other hand, to cut-and-run very much would give on the sense of movement, fleeing, or leaving the general vacinity of a situation.

    So how then, pray tell, does one be a "cut-and-run" obstructionist? Do you block policy by stealing it and holding on to it for dear life while you scamper away with it? Um, bullshit- now the President's just making up words again like a drunken 4 year old.

    And how does one 'counterpunch' a political party? Was it giving the Prez too much sass so he grabbed it by its frumpled trashy hair and whamed it good against the formica tabletop? Is that a counterpunch?

    Of course, nevermind the fact that 2 inches over from that impossible configuration of the English language was a story headline calling out

    Poll: Nearly two-thirds say Iraq in civil war

    Better be careful Bush. So much of the country is cutting and running that it's obstructing the bowels of democracy. Or some shit like that.

    Posted by spamburgler at 02:44 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

    September 26, 2006

    Bush and Karzai show... dumb and dumber

    Photobucket - Video and Image HostingThe President had a press conference with Hamid Karzai. Actually, calling it a press conference is extremely charitable... it's more like a 30 minutes of terror, Terror and more TERROR!

    Voice of America has a reporter at the White House? Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Voice of America a US GOVERNMENT AGENCY? She DID ask a decent question about all the great smack coming out of Afghanistan. Karzai is explaining how profitable it is for farmers to grow. That's a bit like someone explaining they use the phone because they need or want to talk to people who aren't in the immediate vicinity and left me wondering why reporters aren't a little more snarky with their subjects. Can you imagine me with a press pass? Of course, not... not only am I a mediocre writer (though, admittedly, better than Dick) but I'm also not a male prostitute. Prostitute's are paid for their services.

    So Bush gets the question about Clinton's statement that he was asleep at the wheel regarding Bin Laden during his first nine months in office. Prior to this, the President was combative, peevish and condescending. However, as soon as this question rolled out of "Jennifer's" mouth, it's all about 'not assigning blame', 'letting history decide' and 'look at these keys'. The answer to the question is No, he didn't have meetings and did, in fact, ignore terrorism until September 11, 2001. Some would argue that he's ignoring terrorism again today with his stupid ass invasion of Iraq. However, there was not direct answer to the question and NO ONE FOLLOWED UP ON IT.

    Basically, the President can be summarized as follows... yada, yada, yada, fight them over there, they attacked us, yada, yada, yada. In other words, the SAME HORSESHIT HE'S BEEN SHOVELING FOR A FUCKING YEAR.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 19, 2006

    Thus spoke The Idiot and more!

    The President addressed the UN. Here's a snapshot of the audience

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Look like some engaged people, no? Seriously, I saw people LAUGHING at him around the time he once again said 'NUKULAR'. Basically, he said

    "My country desires peace," Bush told world leaders in the cavernous main hall at the U.N. "Extremists in your midst spread propaganda claiming that the West is engaged in a war against Islam. This propaganda is false and its purpose is to confuse you and justify acts of terror. We respect Islam."

    Damn! So I guess he IS looking at the polling data which means we'll be leaving Iraq soon, no?

    Addressing Iraqis specifically, Bush said, "We will not abandon you in your struggle to build a free nation."

    Damn. Guess he's decided to ignore the polling. Huh. Talk about mixed messages.

    He then went on to talk about Iran's nuclear program. And Sudan. Honeslty, I'm not sure what the rambling thing was about. However, that doesn't mean that the ambassadors weren't listening...

    He was wrong, but still forged ahead with war against Iraq without the support of many other nations. And he is still trying to rebuild credibility with the body, experts say.

    "The sense outside of the U.S. is that the United States is responsible for many of the failures in Iraq, first by going in mostly alone and then by incompetent administration," said Jon Alterman, a Mideast expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

    "The problem with the way he's talked about democracy in the Middle East is not that people see it as undesirable," Alterman said, "it's that people see it as naive. He needs to persuade cynical people that not only is he sincere, but it's achievable, and here's what they need to do to make it so."

    No worries, folks... we think he's an unrealistic nut as well.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    September 11, 2006

    But, Mr. President...

    I'm watching the President's address on MSNBC right now (oh yeah... I'll be posting Olbermann's final word as soon as it's up on YouTube) and can sum it up with the following:
    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    I screwed up. I made a mistake about Iraq and underfunding the efforts in Afghanistan. I have really dropped the entire country in the grease with the Iraqi Invasion. However, you're all kinda fucked so I need you all to unify behind me so I can make some more mistakes us victorious.

    Just kidding. Well, not about the unity part which begs the question, How can we unite behind you, Mr. President, when the overwhelming majority of us disagree with you? How can we unite behind you when you don't represent us?

    Saddam was a clear danger? We drove the Taliban from Afghanistan? Oh, Chimpy. You're so going down. Not one note of contrition for callously using the memory of September 11, 2001. Any Republican who uses these talking points needs to be beaten badly in November. This country has been through so much and for those hateful, horrible people to abuse the faith and trust of the entire country for their own political gain is unconscionable. Mr. President, you may love America but you most certainly hate Americans. The only person on this day that I hate more than Osama bin Laden is you, Mr. President.

    You may have voted for Bush in 2000. You made a mistake. You may have voted for him in 2004. You made another mistake. Please, do not make another one on November 7, 2006. Don't vote for a single Republican. America deserves better from it's leaders than Republicans can provide. At a time when most of use sprang into action, trying to get in touch with friends and loved ones in NYC, Bush sat like coward, listening to children read a book.

    You ARE a coward, Mr. President. Your father had more guts than you.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:41 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    August 21, 2006

    Theocracy in Iraq? Bush Admin is A-OK!

    “Senior administration officials have acknowledged to me that they are considering alternatives other than democracy,” said one military affairs expert who received an Iraq briefing at the White House last month and agreed to speak only on condition of anonymity.

    From the NYT

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Oh, Mr. President... don't go away mad, just go away.

    I'm sooo not blogging this statement by statement but he did say some funny stuff in his press conference today. Everytime he gets behind a microphone he looks more and more like a Central American dictator.

    On Terrorism... He talked about appealing the federal court's decision. Said that those that 'heralded the decision want government to lose the tools to fight terror'. Funny, the British have been the best at stopping terrorist plots and they didn't need the Patriot Act to do it.

    Bitch just called us out. The President actually said that 'there are people in the Democratic Party who think we should leave Iraq tomorrow and they're wrong' and 'they want to leave before the job is done'. Fucking 'tard STILL does not get it. He said that if we leave before the job is done, the enemy will follow us here. Since that was what happened with the VietCong and all. He also said that the US is NOT leaving Iraq while I'm President.

    Bush retreaded some of his old talking points on why we invaded though he DID admit that there are no WMD's in Iraq. Funny, many of us didn't have to invade Iraq to find that out. He also threw in 9/11...AND FINALLY A REPORTER ASKED THE RIGHT QUESTION...

    Reporter: Mr. President, what did Iraq have to do with the attack on the WTC?
    Bush: Nothing and no one in my administration has said that he (Saddam Hussein) ordered the attack.

    He also stated that while people may not have agreed with the decision to go, if they hate things now they'll hate it if we pull out. Ladies and gentlement, I give you the first multidecade occupying force fielded by the United States of America.

    'We're going to give the Iraqi's the tools to defend themselves'... I guess like we've given Katrina victims the tools to

    'I've been reminding people that tax cuts work and pro-growth works'... for making my base richer and bankrupting the country. Yes, Mr. President... trickle down economics work well, except when they don't. Like now.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:00 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    August 18, 2006

    Bush talks about his economic failure

    Bush is giving a press conference right now from Camp David where he is on holiday (AGAIN) with his economic team which is amusing as hell. The only thing they're good at is taking vacations. Here are the highlights:

  • Foundation of economy is strong - This has to be the funniest of the funny. Because of irresponsible spending, tax cuts and policy, the foundation has been eroded dramatically. Reid should get out there now to talk about it.
  • Credit tax cuts and economic expansion for the 'strong foundation' - Whatev. One more time, say it with me, TAX CUTS, UNLESS TAXES ARE SUPER HIGH AND GOVERNMENT ISN'T SPENDING, DO NOT CREATE ECONOMIC GROWTH. Laffer should STFU because retarded people like President Bush keep believing him.
    What's driven the economy has, to a large extent, been low interest rates, cheap energy and consumers willing to spend. That is now going away and with no wage growth, there isn't a thing to support it. This is the real difference between R's and D's... R's want a big business top-down economy. D's want a bottom-up, consumer driven economy that really maximizes capitalism's ability to spread the wealth completely to society. The last time we went with the R model, we ended it with the Great Depression. You wanna do that again?
  • Benefits to labor - 5.5 million new jobs - Economic growth helps American workers Not so much...and I haven't even mentioned negative wage growth. He did mention Nelson Gonzales, one of the founders of AlienWare (click the link... seriously)
  • Federal tax revenues up dramatically (still not equivalent to 2001 levels... your cuts didn't pay for themselves). Drops Congress in the grease on spending. Wants line item veto (It's a fucking laundry list for the expansion of executive power)
  • We (his stilted economic team) discussed ways to improve education - Did someone finally tell him NCLB is an underfunded failure? I feel so sorry for Paulson. He's the only competent person within the Administration. I can't imagine being surrounded by fools is fun.
  • We talked about the need of the Admin to work with Congress to restrain Social Security... I can't wait till all those sanctimonious boomers who voted for Bush get screwed! ROCK!
  • Will continue to invest in new energy technologies... like hydrogen.
  • Now taking questions and they all seem to be focused on Lebanon, Hezbollah, Israel, Bob and Carol.

    NSA wiretap decision - "I would say that those who herald the decision simply do not understand the world in which they live" That's like shit telling vomit it stinks. Mr. Bush has made clear time and time again that HE doesn't understand the world (anyone remember WMD's? That Iraq 'IS just a bunch of homogenous 'A-RABS'?'). This is his QAD way of saying those who want the program to go away are just helping the terrorists. Considering the Brit's can arrest and investigate suspects without these powers, I have to laugh.

    "If al Quada is calling in to America, I want to know why." I guess it never occured to the President Retardo that they MIGHT be dialing at random to get the NSA, FBI and CIA to waste time tracking down non-existent leads. This is intelligence by laziness.

    And with the best quote of the day...

    Reporter: "The Administration doesn't think it's getting the credit it deserves" Gee, 63% of the country dissaproves of Bush's handling of the economy. Sounds like they are EXACTLY getting the credit they deserve.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 14, 2006

    Here it comes again... Now it's Iran that was buying African uranium...

    From Arms Control Wonk (via ELLN), comes this bit of lovely... The Administration is retreading the story about African uranium. What's different this time? It's Congolese AND the Iranians were the buyers. It ran first in the Sunday Times but reading this post is like seeing a coming attraction before the movie... you just know it's going to show up in Parade in a another week or two.

    I know the last time I tried to purchase uranium it was a HUGE pain in the ass. I had to have a photo ID and the little asshole conducting the sale was having none of my excuses about not having my license with me. I've been through it, I know it isn't easy to buy nuclear material on the black market.

    It was oddly like trying to buy cigarettes at Walgreens.

    So, rather than bother with MAKING a bomb I just bought a complete one. What? Y'all didn't know I had a nuke? It's a Chinese knockoff of a W88 warhead. They are so good at copying things...

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


    Posted by mcblogger at 10:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 11, 2006

    Journalism 201: Beyond who, what, when, where, why and how

    Well do I remember the day that Professor Anderson introduced us to the catagory of feature writing called the "suck piece". Like obscenity, it's one of those things that's hard to define but easy to recognise, like this DMN love letter to Karen Hughes:

    There is little modest, though, about Ms. Hughes' agenda, or the way she approaches it.

    An energetic, enthusiastic advocate for the Bush administration, she can fill a room with just her hearty laugh. And her long tenure in the Bush inner circle enhances her stature as she travels the world.

    She is consumed by her job, she said, so much so that she says some of her staff has come to call her "the idea factory."

    Her latest idea, she said, is overseas summer camps to teach English.

    "The English language is something that we have to offer the world that the world wants," she explained. "Young people around the world realize that English gives them the opportunity for a better life. And parents want that for their children."

    Who knows, if we get all them furriners speakin' English, maybe some of ir will rub off on the numbnuts in the White House.

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 12:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Taliban resurgent : Didn't we kill these guys?

    Reuters (via Aljazeera) is reporting that Taliban fighters and Afghan police clashed near Kandahar on Wednesday.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't we 'free' Afghanistan from these assholes in 2001? Yeah, I thought so, too. So, just another case of the Bush Administration failing to do the job for which it was hired. Republicans are tough on terrorism? Like hell. They only thing they're tough on is our eyes

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
















    I hate buttertrolls.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    August 10, 2006

    Thus speaks the assclown

    Islamo-fascists are out to get us.

    Thanks Tony Blair (you know, for doing the hard work and all)

    We're all about cooperation and working with Britain.

    Country is safer now than prior to 9/11 but we're not completely safe and there are people who still want to harm us because of what we believe. There is a huge threat, we are not completely safe, blah blah blah.

    Goddamn, Yo! You get in front of cameras and a mike and go fuckall crazy? WE KNOW ALL THIS YOU SHITHEAL. Why, almost five years after 9/11 are we still even talking about al Qaida? That's what we don't know.

    Yeah, I know terrorism is a way of life for some and we are unlikely to ever get clear of this (it has been going on for thousands of years). However, al Qaida? All of them SHOULD be dead. Oh, and off the subject but I just remembered thinking it ealier... is it me or does Chertoff look like a cadaver?
    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:53 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    July 26, 2006

    Presidential signing statements and impeachment

    Both Nate over at Common Sense and Bradley at North Texas Liberal have posts up about the ABA's TASK FORCE ON PRESIDENTIAL SIGNING STATEMENTS AND THE SEPARATION OF POWERS DOCTRINE. And what did the task force vote to recommend? Among other things that they should...

    oppose, as contrary to the rule of law and our constitutional system of separation of powers, a President's issuance of signing statements to claim the authority or state the intention to disregard or decline to enforce all or part of a law he has signed, or to interpret such a law in a manner inconsistent with the clear intent of Congress

    Now Specter is readying a bill that would allow Congress to sue the President over the signing statements. It's a stop gap to avoid impeachment which is what would normally happen when the President breaks the law (even the ones he doesn't think he should have to follow). Or obstructs an investigation.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 25, 2006

    BUSH - MORE TROOPS TO IRAQ

    Photobucket - Video and Image HostingPresident Bush, at a press conference with Iraqi PM al-Maliki, said that he would be increasing the number of US troops in Iraq. He also reiterated his ridiculous belief that the one thing Islamic terrorists hate is Democracy.

    I don't even get the impression HE believes this bullshit anymore.

    Remind me again why all this started? Oh yeah, because Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove and Rice all talked up a threat from Iraqi WMDs. People said, at the time, Iraq didn't have WMDs but that didn't stop the people in the White House who ALWAYS know better than everyone else because they think they know better (see how that works? Cool, huh?). They doctored intel, sold the package to Congress and the US invaded a country that hadn't DONE A GODDAMN THING TO US.

    Worst President in history? Oh, that's not nearly damning enough. This motherfucker needs to spend the rest of his life in a very dank, dark cell in Leavenworth. With a very agressive and extremely lonely man named Willard who will make W his bitch.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:59 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    July 11, 2006

    Pete Hoekstra says the White House is hiding more

    Click through for the video at Crooks and Liars

    The New York Times published a letter from Republican Representative Pete Hoekstra to President Bush. Hoekstra, who is chairman of of the House Intelligence Committee, criticized Bush for hiding surveillance programs from Congressional oversight.

    On this morning’s Fox News Sunday, Hoekstra said that a whistleblower came to him with several more spying operations that were in danger of being abused without oversight.

    Hoekstra: …this is actually a case where the whistleblower process was working appropriately. Some people within the intelligence community brought to my attention some programs that they believed we had not been briefed on. They were right. We have now been briefed on those programs, but I wanted to reinforce to the President and to the executive branch in the intelligence community how important and by law–the requirement that they keep the legislative branch informed of what they are doing.


    Wallace: Chairman, the President always says in these cases that congressional leaders– including you, as the chairman of the House intelligence–are briefed. How do you explain this failure and how serious do you take it?

    Hoekstra: Well, I take it very, very seriously otherwise I would not have written the letter to the President.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    July 07, 2006

    Bush : I'm willing to abide the SC decision on enemy combatants

    Would somone let this maniacal dumbass know that he kinda has to abide by the rulings of the highest court in the land?

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 29, 2006

    Remember the Miami 7?

    I posted about this last week when the news came out and apparently I'm not the only one who thinks this is about the most ridiculous terrorist investigation and arrest the US has made since they took down that guy they claimed was 'al Qaida leadership' and who turned out to be nothing more than bin Laden's driver.

    Follow this link to a video of the Daily Show broadcast where they have some fun with AG Gonzales' press conference on the subject.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    June 23, 2006

    You've got to be kidding me...

    This is just pathetic...

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting These are terrorists. al Qaida? Oh, you wish Albert Gonzales. This motley crew was planning, with the aid of an FBI plant, the bombing of the Sears Tower in Chicago (Chicago is still there? I thought they tore it down to build Orange County, CA). Yeah. Right. Would like to have seen that from these guys.

    Apparently, the whole thing revolves around an out of work guy, down on his luck, who decided to 'form an Army' and 'wage jihad in the US'.

    Narseal Batiste, considered the recruiter of the group, according to the document, tried to reach out to al Qaeda by contacting someone who was an FBI operative posing as a member of the terrorist network. Batiste allegedly told the informant that he was organizing an Islamic army to wage a jihad in the United States.

    All this is alleged by the same FBI agent who posed as an al Qaida operative. His name? John Pistole... just REEKS of arabic, no? Exactly the person you'd go to if you were looking for al Qaida. What did the 'terrorists' ask for?

    The indictment says Batiste gave the informant a list of equipment he needed, including "boots, uniforms, machine guns, radios and vehicles" as well as bullet-proof vests and $50,000 in cash.

    Machine guns, boots, and uniforms to blow up a 110 story building that's withstood winds off Lake Michigan for more than 30 years? Oh, and 50k... yeah. Now it all makes sense, especially when you combine it with what a man interviewed by CNN (who was part of the group but not arrested) said. They were a group (Sea of David) looking to clean up their neighborhood. Most of them were not working. According to 'Brother Corey' they're Christians... not terrorists.

    So, let me connect the dots. A group needing money acted like they were interested in getting into bed with al Qaida for 50k. Oh, and some boots.

    That hasn't stopped the talking heads and Administration officials from bleating on about home grown terrorists. Gonzales and FBI Director Mueller are playing some serious ball with the press.

    Also at the conference, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales described the men as examples of "homegrown terrorists" who "may prove to be as dangerous as groups like al Qaeda" and who have come "to view their home country as the enemy."

    Can't you just imagine the testimony in front of Congress on why they need open ended wiretapping to protect us from groups like this one in Miami?

    FBI Director Robert Mueller warned about homegrown terrorists Friday during a speech in Cleveland, Ohio, that was scheduled before Thursday's arrests of the six suspects in Miami and another earlier in Atlanta, Georgia.

    No shit, way to pick up on that, Mueller... thought you had forgotten about folks like Ted Kaczynski and those two nuts who bombed Murrah in OKC in 1995. OF COURSE WE HAVE MALCONTENTS HERE. I'm sure these guys weren't real happy with the way things were going in the country as a whole or their personal lives specifically. It doesn't mean they had the intent, technical ability, let alone the wherewithal, to commit a terrorist act.

    This has all the earmarks of an election year put up job.

    Rove: Al, we need something terrorist related in the US. What do you have?
    AG Gonzales: Dude! There's nothing that we know of right now.
    Rove: Come on. There has to be something.
    AG Gonzales: Well, there is a group guys in FL but all they ask for is money. We think they're trying to lead the informant on.
    Rove: That'll have to do. Getting close to the midterms and I need something. When can you arrest them?
    AG Gonzales: How's Friday for you?
    Rove: Perfect, just make sure it's early in the day and make sure you leak it to the media.
    AG Gonzales: Of course.

    Can't you just imagine a conversation like this?

    I'll cut to the chase and fill you in on what's going to happen. These guys are going to get acquitted (seriously, read the CNN article linked at the top... all the evidence appears to be conversations between Pistole and Batiste who probably would have said his mother was involved for 50k...find me on the right day of the month and I'll give up the Mayor for 50 bucks and a pack of Marlboro's). You'll forget all about them but the damage will already be done as you might just be scared enough to believe that the guy next door is a terrorist.

    What a load of shit. Gonazales is the worst excuse for an AG since Meese.

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:35 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    June 20, 2006

    What one stupid old man can do

    I watched Frontline on PBS tonight. The Dark Side is the name of the episode and if you have a chance you should check it out. It's mostly a rehash of the missteps and mistakes made by the Bush Administration going into the WoT and the Iraqi Invasion. The second most interesting thing about it is just how deeply involved Cheney was in everything, from the doctoring and creation of questionable intelligence to the formulation of illconsidered policy.

    The most interesting thing about it? Just how stunningly stupid Dick Cheney really is. Everyone's harped on it for years... how the ridiculous, short-sighted, limp dicked (we've heard stories) little troll was deeply involved in every fuckup the Administation calls 'success'. However, the producers of this episode did an amazing job (at least to me) of really showing someone so intensely myopic he had problems seeing anything that wasn't immediately before his eyes. Even then, if it didn't agree with his worldview, he'd fight you tooth and nail on whether or not it was correct.

    Never before or since have the American people been served to incapably. I thought I'd seen enough about this subject and then something comes along to reignite the anger over just what a waste of space we have a heartbeat away from the Presidency.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:00 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    May 30, 2006

    Yay! Snow resigns, takes eyebrows with him.

    Treasury Secretary John Snow announced his resignation today. We here at McBlogger couldn't be happier and wish Snow all the best. Not really, but it does SOUND nice, doesn't it?

    Bush announced that Goldman Sachs Chairman Henry M. Paulson Jr. has agreed to take the job, which will consist primarily of being the whipping boy for the Bush Administration's economic failures. Hank follows the well worn path from Goldman Sachs to the Treasury Dept. last tread by Robert Rubin whose tenure as Treasury Secretary saw the US economy grow rapidly with excellent job growth AND real wage growth, not to mention actually retiring federal debt. Paulson takes over at a time when US growth is anemic, wage growth is decreasing and stagflation is a real possibility going forward. If anyone can fix the mess it's got to be someone from Goldman Sachs because it's pretty obvious at this point that Bush knows fuckall about the economy.

    On CNBC around 10:10, Randy Lert of Russell Investments andTony Dwyer FTN Midwest both agreed that the economy was basically good and that the biggest job for Paulson would be to get the message out about how good things were. Of course, what Randy and Tony don't understand is that for the vast majority of Americans things aren't great. Randy and Tony aren't particularly smart. That's why they don't work at Goldman Sachs.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:43 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    May 24, 2006

    ACLU starts national phone 'snooping' campaign

    Unlike it's ineffectual and frankly somewhat lame third cousin, the Democratic Party, the ACLU has decided to go after the Administration's illegal phone snooping/tapping/gossipmongering program at multiple levels. The strategy involves lawsuits against companies involved (AT&T, VERIZON, etc.) and filing complaints with Utility Commissions in several states, not to mention the FCC.

    “We cannot sit by while the government and the phone companies collude in this massive, illegal and fundamentally un-American invasion of our privacy,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. “And unfortunately, we cannot wait for Congress to act. The ACLU is mobilizing its members and supporters nationwide to demand investigations into this shocking breach of trust. And we are asking the FCC to use its authority to uncover the facts about how far the president's illegal spying has gone. The American people want answers.”

    Here's a sample of the PR campaign, not exactly colorful but it does catch your eye...

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


    You can sign the petition here... come on, it'll take two minutes out of your life and leave you feeling empowered even if you are pretty much powerless.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 23, 2006

    Bush's abuse shows ingenuity of the system he's trying to destroy

    Robyn Blumner has a wonderful op-ed up at the SacBee. Supersize for the full text but first, some highlights

    Bush represents the flag-wavers who are long on enthusiasm but don't have any real appreciation for the nobility of America. It isn't our big, expensive military or our big, expensive economy that bestows greatness. It is our modesty. America's magnificence lies in its grounding principle that power must be diffuse. We built a system based on the assessed fallibility of man, where a president is limited by Congress, the courts and the Constitution.
    Nothing better illuminates Bush's contempt for American checks and balances than his abuse of the presidential signing statement.

    According to a Boston Globe report, Bush has asserted the authority to disregard more than 750 laws by essentially writing provisos into them — a power he stole from Congress.

    The Republican leadership in Congress is standing by while its house is being pillaged. The power to write federal laws is Congress' alone. The president's duty, as expressly stated in the Constitution, is to faithfully execute the laws he signs, not to add asterisks on parts he intends to ignore.

    This is a great read for anyone interested in just how far the Republicans have gone in their effort to abdicate the responsibilities, under the Constitution, of the Congress of the United States. If only there were some Democratic members of Congress talking about this...instead of just an op/ed by Robyn Blumner.

    Robyn Blumner: Bush's abuse of power shows the genius of the system he's destroying
    By Robyn Blumner
    Published 12:01 am PDT Sunday, May 21, 2006
    It's only three more years. That is the coldly comforting phrase used by people who can't wait until our destructive, intellectually limited president has permanently gone fishing.

    But the changes that George W. Bush has made to our nation's constitutional firmament may not depart with the first family's bags.

    His disregard for the separation of powers has so dramatically distorted the office of the president that he may have engineered a turning point in American history.

    Bush represents the flag-wavers who are long on enthusiasm but don't have any real appreciation for the nobility of America. It isn't our big, expensive military or our big, expensive economy that bestows greatness. It is our modesty. America's magnificence lies in its grounding principle that power must be diffuse. We built a system based on the assessed fallibility of man, where a president is limited by Congress, the courts and the Constitution.

    But from the beginning, Bush has disregarded America's well-tested formula of calibrated and collaborative governing. His can't-think-of-any-mistakes presidency has stomped on comity and established a pattern of unilateralism that future presidents may well emulate.

    Bush has taught tomorrow's leaders that, if there are no consequences for ignoring legal constraints on power and if no one stops you from conducting the nation's business in secret, you don't have to be accountable. He is ruling through the tautological doctrine of Richard Nixon, who told interviewer David Frost that as long as the president's doing it, "that means it is not illegal."

    Nothing better illuminates Bush's contempt for American checks and balances than his abuse of the presidential signing statement.

    According to a Boston Globe report, Bush has asserted the authority to disregard more than 750 laws by essentially writing provisos into them — a power he stole from Congress.

    The Republican leadership in Congress is standing by while its house is being pillaged. The power to write federal laws is Congress' alone. The president's duty, as expressly stated in the Constitution, is to faithfully execute the laws he signs, not to add asterisks on parts he intends to ignore.

    Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and House Speaker Dennis Hastert are joining in their own emasculation when they utter not a peep during this bloodless coup. I don't know why Republicans have a reputation for strength. When blindly supporting a president from your own party takes precedence over guarding Congress' historic role, "Republican leadership" becomes an oxymoron.

    It is not just liberals who have recognized the danger. I challenge anyone to read an important new report by the libertarian Cato Institute (www.cato.org) and not be chilled. "Power Surge: The Constitutional Record of George W. Bush" is an unblinking 28-page analysis of our slow devolution into autocracy. Its message can be summed up with this quote: "Under (the president's) sweeping theory of executive power, the liberty of every American rests on nothing more than the grace of the White House."

    A meek and pliant Congress is allowing this new paradigm to take root.

    It wasn't until the White House started getting nervous about the confirmation prospects of Gen. Michael Hayden as CIA chief that it bothered to brief the full intelligence committees of the House and Senate on the domestic wiretapping and information-collection programs that had been operational for years. For the previous five months, the White House stonewalled lawmakers' questions on warrantless domestic wiretapping of Americans. Republican Sen. Arlen Specter was so frustrated that he threatened to cut off funding for the NSA's wiretapping program if the information he had requested was not forthcoming. But rather than rallying around Specter and standing firmly for the oversight role of Congress, his colleagues left him to flap in the wind, with an empty threat on his lips.

    Where is Congress? Why is it that the revelations surrounding a secret database of millions of Americans' phone records, warrantless wiretapping by the NSA, secret overseas CIA prisons, memos excusing torture and other horribles authorized by Bush had to come from the press? The same press that, according to ABC News, is having its calls checked so sources can be unearthed. The same press that administration shill William Bennett suggested should be prosecuted under a 1917 espionage law for telling the American people the truth about what their government is up to.

    Our lawmakers are MIA. They have handed the game board to Bush and he has taken it and gone home. He now controls his pieces and theirs.

    But it wasn't their game to give away. It was ours.

    Holding the Executive Branch to account for its actions, demanding that it respect the law and insisting that it fully report to Congress on its activities — these are nonnegotiable duties of Congress, because they are key part of our inheritance.

    Being answerable to another is humbling. It makes you more careful in your actions. It requires that you consider how you will defend your decisions. George Bush has freed himself of this constitutional imperative and is showing the next president, and the next, how it is done.

    About the writer:

    * Robyn Blumner writes for the St. Petersburg Times. Reach her at blumner@sptimes.com.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 19, 2006

    Something good from the war on terror... a better trip on the H Train

    I know the Bush Administration probably wasn't thinking about this when they left Afghanistan to it's own devices so that they could rush off to Iraq, but Afghanistan has always been a major poppy producer and you know what comes from poppies? No, not the black seeds on hamburgers.

    ... Jackson says, "kicked off a series of heroin seizures." It was also an early sign of a troubling, yet largely unnoticed, trend in the St. Louis area: the rise of a new source of heroin that is increasing the overall supply and expanding demand. Because the powdery white Asian heroin - flowing mostly from Afghanistan - can be smoked or snorted, users are able to avoid the health risks and stigmas associated with hypodermic needles.

    In addition to the loss of lives and treasure from the war itself, we now have to worry about John and Jane Suburb going all junky brewster because you 'don't need all those nasty needles and shit, dude!'.

    Unfortunately, there appears to be little on the agenda, as far as the Bush Administration is concerned, regarding giving the Afghani's something better than an opiate feedstock to grow as a cash crop. Apparently, they last tried something in 2004. Obviously worked well, no?

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    California Senator tells Bush to shove it on the border troop plan

    Though I know we'll see nothing like this coming from our retarded Legislature, it is good to see that people in other states are bit more on top of things.

    State Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata said Wednesday he will block state money from paying for President Bush's proposal to deploy California National Guard troops to the Mexican border. Perata, D-Oakland, scheduled hearings for next week, to be held by a committee he handpicked to probe how the president's plan to stem illegal immigration by sending National Guard troops to the 2,000-mile border would affect California's Guard units.

    "The president of the United States is putting California residents in high jeopardy for political purposes of his own," Perata said, noting that the border deployments would remove the state's National Guard troops from their traditional roles of responding to natural disasters and civil unrest. "This is a foreign policy matter, and he's doing it at the expense of California residents."

    Full text after the jump

    From the Sacramento Bee

    Perata rips Bush's border Guard plan
    The Senate leader vows to halt funds for deployment, sets hearings next week.
    By Andy Furillo -- Bee Capitol Bureau
    Published 12:01 am PDT Thursday, May 18, 2006
    State Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata said Wednesday he will block state money from paying for President Bush's proposal to deploy California National Guard troops to the Mexican border.

    Perata, D-Oakland, scheduled hearings for next week, to be held by a committee he handpicked to probe how the president's plan to stem illegal immigration by sending National Guard troops to the 2,000-mile border would affect California's Guard units.

    "The president of the United States is putting California residents in high jeopardy for political purposes of his own," Perata said, noting that the border deployments would remove the state's National Guard troops from their traditional roles of responding to natural disasters and civil unrest. "This is a foreign policy matter, and he's doing it at the expense of California residents."

    The Guard is funded by both state and federal money. While Bush has suggested the federal government would pick up the cost of the proposed border deployment, Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has asked for more assurances.

    White House spokeswoman Erin Healy said the Bush administration "did not do a tremendous amount of briefing" for state and local officials before the president's speech Monday in which he announced the border proposal.

    "Now, as we are going through and briefing the various officials that are impacted by this policy, we think that people will become more informed and more understanding of the president's proposals," Healy said.

    Schwarzenegger, meanwhile, talked on the phone for 40 minutes Wednesday with Bush's homeland security secretary, Michael Chertoff, about the plan. Schwarzenegger sent a blistering letter to Chertoff on Tuesday criticizing it as a "logistical nightmare."

    Gubernatorial spokesman Adam Mendelsohn said Schwarzenegger raised "a variety of issues" during the phone call, reiterating the concerns he raised in Tuesday's letter.

    "Following the 40-minute discussion, it was evident the administration didn't have the answers Governor Schwarzenegger was looking for, and there needs to be much further dialogue," Mendelsohn said.

    Schwarzenegger, after an address to the League of California Cities, repeated his concerns about the president's National Guard proposal.

    "We as a state try to be helpful with this situation," Schwarzenegger told reporters. "But at the same time I am very concerned that there are a lot of questions that are unanswered, and I think we have to now really make sure that we get the answers and we get the commitment from the White House."

    The governor said he wanted to make sure it was only a two-year plan, that troops coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan are not sent to the border, that the federal government reimburses the state for 100 percent of the cost and that Washington develops a permanent solution to secure the border.

    He was particularly critical of the Bush proposal to rotate troops into their proposed construction, surveillance and intelligence border missions on two-week stints, saying "that's like starting a heart surgery and having the doctors, the whole team of doctors and nurses, leave after every five minutes and switch."

    But with less than two weeks remaining to decide if he will agree to use California Guard troops in the border proposal, Schwarzenegger said he remains open to allowing the state's forces to participate in the federal plan "just temporarily, not permanently."

    Schwarzenegger has been joined in his skepticism about the Bush plan by New Mexico's Democratic governor, Bill Richardson, who issued a statement Monday saying the proposal is "a stopgap measure that will have little practical effect."

    Another Democrat, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, supported Bush's proposal. Arizona Guard units are already serving on the border, and Napolitano has been asking since last year for more federal funds for the effort.

    Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry said through a spokesman he would "welcome any effort by the federal government in meeting its responsibility to secure our border," according to the Houston Chronicle.

    Schwarzenegger's office declined to comment on Perata's demand that no state money be spent on the deployment.

    Perata said he is appointing Democratic Sens. Mike Machado of Linden and Joe Dunn of Santa Ana and Republican Sen. Bill Morrow of Oceanside to the committee. He said he expects them to call California National Guard Maj. Gen. William Wade II and Office of Emergency Services Director Henry Renteria to testify about how the deployment would affect the Guard's ability to do its traditional jobs.

    "I do not want to spend any money at all -- invest a dime -- into anything that is going to weaken our ability to respond to a state disaster when it comes," Perata said.

    About the writer:

    * The Bee's Andy Furillo can be reached at (916) 321-1141 or afurillo@sacbee.com.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 17, 2006

    The dumbest rationalization yet for the NSA phone record collection

    Sometimes you read something of such breathtaking stupidity you can't help but marvel at the lack of thought that went into it. Usually, you just sit back and call the author an idiot and give it no more thought than you would an ant you'd just stepped on.

    Not so much with this. From Richard A. Falkenrath, a Brookings Institution fellow, via the SacBee comes this defense of the NSA's phone call tracking...

    The potential value of such anonymized domestic telephone records is best understood through a hypothetical example. Suppose a telephone associated with Mohamed Atta had called a domestic telephone number A. And then suppose that A had called domestic telephone number B. And then suppose that B had called C. And then suppose that domestic telephone number C had called a telephone number associated with Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks.

    The most effective way to recognize such patterns is the computerized analysis of billions of phone records. The large-scale analysis of anonymized data can pinpoint individuals — at home or abroad — who warrant more intrusive investigative or intelligence techniques, subject to all safeguards normally associated with those techniques.

    Granted, it's a given he'd throw 9/11 into the mix. It's the natural defense for what would ordinarily be indefensible. However, the logic here is flawed as it assumes one thing... you know which telephone is associated with Mohamed Atta. If you knew that, then all you'd have to do (if you were the NSA) is go to a court and ask for warrants to obtain records on calls to and from that number and the progression from those numbers. In that way you could quickly get to good suspects with little chance of hitting dead ends. No 'large-scale analysis of billions of records' required, just a solid application of logic and VOILA!, a solid database of possible terrorist cells.

    Falkenrath praises Mike Hayden for thinking outside the box. For that, Falkenrath is a moron. Hayden skirted and possibly broke the law with the aid of companies clearly intimidated by the NSA. What's worse, he wasted resources on an effort that has yeilded NOTHING that couldn't have been obtained legally. He over thought the problem and like most in security apparatus of the US was too in love with technology, not common sense and innate logic.

    Rich... seriously. You're an idiot for thinking this way, to say nothing of your attacks on 'bureaucrats' who 'excel at finding reasons not to do something'

    They are most often guilty of sins of omission, not commission. A timid, ordinary executive might have concluded that it was too risky to ask U.S. telecommunications companies to provide anonymized call records voluntarily to an agency such as the NSA, dealing with foreign intelligence. If the USA Today story is correct, it appears that Mike Hayden is no timid, ordinary executive. Indeed, it appears that he is exactly the sort of man that we should have at the helm of the CIA while we are at war.

    What Rich fails to realize is that the best reason not to do something is because it's illegal. That was the problem Qwest's CEO had with the program and why Qwest did not participate. The USA Today article had this one interesting tidbit that affirms my thoughts on this

    The NSA's explanation did little to satisfy Qwest's lawyers. "They told (Qwest) they didn't want to do that because FISA might not agree with them," one person recalled. For similar reasons, this person said, NSA rejected Qwest's suggestion of getting a letter of authorization from the U.S. attorney general's office. A second person confirmed this version of events.

    If the NSA was so worried about the legality of the program, shouldn't that have given them pause? You'd think, if you were anyone other than Richard Falkenrath and Mike Hayden.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 16, 2006

    Bush announces plan to control border, boost Mexican border bar economy

    While Presidente Bush's decision to deploy National Guard troops to the border is raising questions and causing handwringing from Austin to Washington, some groups are exceedingly happy about it. Miguel de Leon, owner of Cantina Borrico Pegar, a popular Nuevo Laredo bar, said, "We're really excited about the plan!" He went on to say he expects a large increase in business from, "Guardsmen looking to blow off a little steam. We think our business will boom, especially with the married guys".

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Leo Villareal, a respected Ciudad Juarez pimp, was almost giddy when discussing the impact of an increased US border presence.

    "This is going to be a massive plus for my business! Not only will I stop losing my girls to better paying housekeeping jobs in el Norte, but I'll also have a new clientele that's going to be in need of my girls very soon. Honestly, I see nothing but upside."

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:50 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

    May 13, 2006

    Rove's indictment next week?

    PDiddie over at Come and Take It has the story.

    Rove is said to have told Bolten that he will be charged with perjury regarding when he was asked how and when he discovered that covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson worked for the agency, and whether he discussed her job with reporters. ... Sources close to the case said there is a strong chance Rove will also face an additional charge of obstruction of justice, adding that Fitzgerald has been working meticulously over the past few months to build an obstruction case against Rove because it "carries more weight" in a jury trial and is considered a more serious crime.

    UPDATE - PDiddie popped up in th comments to give credit where it's due..."Jason Leopold over at truthout deserves all the credit". So, please pop over to truthout and says thanks!

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:33 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    May 12, 2006

    Bush is at 29%

    You can read about it here, here and oh, yeah... here. I would write more but, while I'm extremely happy about this, I just don't feel a need to belabor the point.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 11, 2006

    ... In which the DNC asks ANOTHER member of the Bush Admin to Resign

    Remember Alphonso Jackson from yesterday? The HUD Secretary who made a tacky comment about not giving a government contract to a man who was critical of President Bush? Yeah, that guy.

    The DNC is already gearing up with an email campaign and online petition demanding his resignation.

    The Republican culture of corruption has infected our government that we aren't even surprised to hear a cabinet secretary talk about the "logic" of potentially illegally awarding federal contracts based on political affiliation. That's right -- if this story is true, it is probably illegal. Our taxpayer dollars are required by law to be spent based merit.

    Public pressure for Jackson to resign is already building, and Democrats in Congress are calling for an investigation. You can be a part of the groundswell of support for clean government by demanding for Jackson's resignation.

    OK, so petitions are stupid. I think so, too. With that said, QUIT BITCHING AND SIGN THE FUCKING THING. It takes all of 30 seconds and it's actually kind of cool the DNC is on top of things. Aside from Howard's shitty performance on the 700 Club.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:09 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    ANALYSIS - Bush's comments

    Oh WOW. In the annals of bad PR, this will be near the top of anyone's list. The terse statement, the lack of eye contact, the quick withdrawal while questions are being asked. All in all, it was a bad performance. The funniest thing was seeing Jeff Flake and Stephanie Tubbs Jones talk about this after the briefing. Jones SOOO upstaged Flake I forgot he was standing there. With the arm waving and gesturing, I really expected her to 'accidently' hit him in the face. That would have made me laugh.

    But, I digress... back to President Cooter. Basically, he's going to use 9/11 to defend himself from charges of illegality. Stupid? Sure. No one gives a shit anymore. People remember it, and they also remember what Bush did while it was happening. They aren't buying his shit anymore so he can't hide behind 9/11 and national security.

    Next up, this was only to 'target Al Qaida'... by tracking the calls of as many as 100 MILLION Americans? Doesn't make much sense to me either since Al Qaida couldn't possibly have that many operatives in the US. A friend brought up a great point... businesses are included in the tracking. How comfortable do you think Microsoft is going to be about the possibility their phone calls have been tracked?

    'The activities are lawful' - Really? Then why not a warrant from FISA or at least a letter from the AG. Afraid you'd get neither? OK, then that should make you take a step back. Bush HAD TO HAVE KNOWN this was illegal.

    'Congress has been briefed' - REALLY? I just saw Congressman Flake on CNBC (member of the House Judiciary Committee) saying he didn't know a thing about this. Who did you tell and what authority do they have to grant you a waiver to existing law?

    'Privacy protected... no mining or trolling' - UHM, THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT A TRACKING DB IS FOR YOU IDIOT. The stated purpose of this was to find patterns that would indicate terrorist activity (whatever in the hell THAT means). The NSA claimed they needed a lot of data and records to determine a pattern. Looking for something in a massive amount of data is called 'data mining'. When you lie to me, George, it REALLY makes me angry.

    'Everytime you guys find out about this stuff it hampers our ability to protect you'. - This may have been the only truthful thing that came from his mouth. As long as you substitute 'spy on' for 'protect' and 'our illegal activities' for 'this stuff'.

    There you have it folks, more illegal activity on the part of President Bush. Way2Go, shitheel! At the rate Bush is going he may be the first President to retire to Leavenworth.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:47 PM | Comments (26) | TrackBack

    Bush's comments on NSA

    CNBC just broke in with an announcement that el Presidente will be making some comments soon about the NSA wiretaps/call tracking.

    UPDATE:Bill Seidman is on right now talking about how good the $70Bn tax cut is going to be. Of course, he makes no mention of how high rates will have to go to compensate for all that debt. He also doesn't mention that the majority of people in this country make less than 75k, won't receive any real cut and will end up paying higher interest rates and (by exchange rate extension) fuel prices.

    UPDATE: He's starting
    Mentions 9/11 - as part of the effort to protect us , I authorized comm intercepts with one party on foreign soil.
    Intel activities strictly targets Al Qaida, are lawful and Congress has been briefed. Privacy is protected. We're not mining or 'trolling'. Focus on Al Qaida and known affiliates. Everytime you guys find out about this stuff it hurts our ability to protect us.

    Bitch totally just walked away from reporters screaming at him. Will have the analysis up shortly.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Comparing Bush to historical leaders

    Today we're trying something a little new. Bush is concerned about his place in history so we decided to measure him against some historical leaders who we feel he'll compare with well.

    Peter III (February 21, 1728 - July 17, 1762) (Russian Пётр III Федорович (Pyotr III Fyodorovitch)) was Emperor of Russia for six months in 1762. According to most historians, he was mentally immature and very pro-Prussian, which made him an unpopular leader. He was supposedly assassinated as a result of a conspiracy led by his wife, who succeeded him to the throne as Catherine II.

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    PHYSICAL APPEARANCE
    PETER III - Considered quite ugly by everyone, even his wife
    BUSH - Considered handsome by soccer moms and fat chicks.

    LEADERSHIP STYLE
    PETER III - Believed that the entire country was under his command because he 'owned it'. Removed competent leaders and replaced with somewhat more incompetent personnel. Considered weak.
    BUSH - Believe that the entire country is under his command because 'God Willed It'. Removed competent leaders and replaced them with much more imcompetent personnel. Is weak; can't control people within his own administration.

    INTELLIGENCE
    PETER III - Considered rather stupid and childish.
    BUSH - Rather stupid and childish.

    All in all, Bush is pretty much comparable to Peter the III who the Russian people loved so much they murdered and then replaced him with his wife. Of course, we couldn't do that here... even if we could, would you really want Pickles sitting in the oval?

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Remember that call you made on September 26, 2004? The NSA does.

    Just in time for the confirmation hearings on Bush's choice for Director of Central Intelligence, Gen. Hayden, comes the revelation that during his time at NSA he was tracking phone calls. Tens of millions of them. DOMESTIC CALLS.

    USA Today has the full story here.

    The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans — most of whom aren't suspected of any crime. This program does not involve the NSA listening to or recording conversations. But the spy agency is using the data to analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity, sources said in separate interviews.

    Clear? Yeah, me neither. Basically, they are tracking who you are calling in an effort to detect terrorist activity. Supposedly, they aren't collecting names or the conversations. OF COURSE, they wouldn't tell us even if they were... it's not like they were real open about this, no? How the calls of ordinary Americans can be used to track terrorists, without obtaining any 'real' intel, is beyond me.

    Oh, and no warrants were requested.

    Unable to get comfortable with what NSA was proposing, Qwest's lawyers asked NSA to take its proposal to the FISA court. According to the sources, the agency refused.

    The NSA's explanation did little to satisfy Qwest's lawyers. "They told (Qwest) they didn't want to do that because FISA might not agree with them," one person recalled. For similar reasons, this person said, NSA rejected Qwest's suggestion of getting a letter of authorization from the U.S. attorney general's office. A second person confirmed this version of events.

    Gee, if you're afraid the FISA court wouldn't approve shouldn't you have been concerned about whether or not what you were doing was ILLEGAL?

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:40 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    May 04, 2006

    Bush Interview Alert : Tomorrow!

    CNBC will be broadcasting a 'conversation' between President Bush and Larry Kudlow tomorrow at 4:00 CDT.

    Photobucket - Video and Image HostingY'all, if you have the time I highly recommend watching this. Kudlow's last Administration interview was with Cheney and it was HYSTERICAL. Kudlow runs an investment advisory firm that apparenlty doesn't do all that well because he's on CNBC more than he seems to be at work. Kudlow hates the EPA and the SEC... he's basically the last of the old school R apologists, too stupid and proud to admit he was wrong to support Bush.

    Just think of it as an opportunity to see what the Administration is going to be pimping next. Oh, and make sure you have some booze for KudlowSHOTS! Everytime Larry says TAX CUTS or RELIEF, we drink.

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Oh Good! They have a plan for the birdflu outbreak that's 'inevitable'

    You thought I was serious? Oh, not so much. The AP (via the KC Star) has the story up about how the federal government is playing hot potato with the possibility of flu outbreak and offloading responsibility for how an outbreak is handled on already overburdened state and local governments.


    The government's latest national response plan, obtained by The Associated Press, acknowledges the difficulty as it warns that states, cities and businesses shouldn't count on a federal rescue if a super-strain of influenza strikes - and that people may have to rely on creative if not scientifically proven ideas such as staying 3 feet away from co-workers and not shaking anyone's possibly contaminated hand.

    Stand three feet away? Shit, this is the plan?!?!? What's next, a plan to give a $10 tax rebate for the purchase of Sudafed at preferred retailers like Walgreens or CVS?

    Seriously though, we never depend on the federal government for anything when Republican's are in charge. They let people die on roofs.

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    (Photo:Reuters)

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    May 03, 2006

    Bush : Begging for applause at ACEC

    I'm watching his speech now on CNBC. Some highlights

  • No shit, he's comparing the economy today to the state of the economy in 2001. He's mentioned several times that job and wage growth is "...the best it's been in 5 years." He can't compare himself to Clinton, so he's comparing himself to himself.
  • Wages are up 9%. What he fails to say is that ALL of that gain has been in higher income groups. NONE of it has been at the bottom where money is actually put into the economy by consumers
  • Now he's blaming his poor performance on 'natural disasters'. What a useless fuck. All he does is offer weak excuses for the horrible job he's done.
  • "My tax cuts are AWESOME". I think it's always entertaining when a politician fellates himself WHILE giving a speech.
  • This part that really bothered me... he threw in Laura. He's using her as a prop to generate good feeling and applause. Thanks, W! I really wanted to know what Pickles was up to since she's, you know, President and all.
  • He's pushing for the extension of the tax giveaway. Odd how he doesn't mention that the 75 year shortfall in Social Security and Medicare is almost identical to the 75 year cost of the Bush Tax giveaway. That's what Republican types call 'diversion (spinning) to strength' and what the rest of us call 'Bullshit'.

    His major point... don't listen to the Democrats because they're too pessimistic and wrong. Kerry said in 2004 we were heading for economic pain. Bush doesn't feel it, but we're finally seeing the real world impact of Bush's tax giveaway and it's not pretty. IF anything, the Democrats have been consistently right that Bush's economic policies do nothing to broadly grow the economy.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:30 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    May 02, 2006

    Does ANYONE like John Snow?

    Photobucket - Video and Image HostingSunday, The LA Times ran a fantastic piece by Jonathan Chait that really should be read by anyone who hates John Snow as much as I. don't get me wrong, I bet he's a nice guy. I bet he'd be a blast at a drinks party... or at least he'd be someone I could depend on to fetch me another drink at the aforementioned party. Given his work at Treasury, I bet he'd an amiable companion as well...

    Me: I think we should pick up some hookers
    JS: I think that's a great idea.
    Me: I think we should set your car on fire.
    JS: I think that's a great idea.
    Me: I think we should find another country and bankrupt it.
    JS: I think that's a great idea.

    See what I mean? He's always ready to agree with whatever whacko thing you want to do. Like running up a massive deficit and screwing over the millions of people who depend on the Social Security system. My problem with Snow isn't just that he's a 'yes' man for el Presidente, it's that he's such a horrendous Treasury Secretary when compared with Bob Rubin.

    Which brings us to the topic of the article by Chait. Apparently, Snow's dander is up because of a group called the Hamilton Project which includes none other than Bob Rubin. The group has rightly assumed the Hamiltonian mantle and Snow thinks that's stupid. That makes Snow retarded, not only because he's about as opposite Hamilton as one can get but also because it's not what he's really pissed about. What he's really got his panties in a twist over is that no one in the Administration wants him in the job... but no one else wants it. So, he remains, acquiescent as ever to whims of an idiot. Gotta be frustrating as hell.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:58 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    May 01, 2006

    Video of Colbert at the Correspondent's Dinner, Part Three

    Posted by mcblogger at 01:25 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Colbert at the Correspondent's Dinner, Part Two

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 30, 2006

    Cobert at the Correspondent's Dinner

    Loves it!

    There's more for later tonight... be patient!

    Posted by mcblogger at 05:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 29, 2006

    Rummy : Has to go, but no one wants to replace him

    Photobucket - Video and Image HostingI mean seriously, what the hell is ANYONE going to do with the miasma that DoD has become? Rummy and Bush have made such mess of things there that it's hard to find anyone who wants the job. The AP (via the SacBee) has a great article up on exactly this problem, chock full of people that have been 'mentioned' but without any acknowldgement that any of them would take the job if el Presidente were to call manana and ask them to step up to the plate. To wit

    Michael O'Hanlon, a defense analyst at the Brookings Institution, said he has little doubt that Rumsfeld will remain at the Pentagon for some time, despite the unpopularity of the Iraq war and criticism of his management style. He called Lieberman one of the few Democrats who would accept the job and who could get along with Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

    ROCK! Lieberman couldn't do any worse than Rummy AND it would create a nice, easy entry into the Senate for a real Democrat that even TNR likes, Ned Lamont.

    O'Hanlon also mentioned Nunn, a former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, as another possibility. "But I'm not sure even he would take it under these circumstances," O'Hanlon said.

    Well, then let's leave him off the list until we've had a chance to feel him out, OK Mikey?

    "America deserves a secretary of defense who has the vision to implement a policy in Iraq that is worthy of the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform," said Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., one of Rumsfeld's harshest critics.

    When asked for ideas about who he would like to see in job, Kennedy sputtered something about a previously scheduled event and scurried off.

    Personally, I think Rummy's going to be gone soon. When even your most ardent supporters, like Senator John 'WalkingDead' Cornyn are saying things like, ""not overly communicative" and "smelly, like gorgonzola", you pretty much have to know it's time to move on.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 28, 2006

    Did he learn nothing from the ports fiasco?

    Anger over President Bush's plan to allow Dubai Ports World to take over management of six US ports has barely subsided and now he's saying OK to a sale of Defense contractors to ANOTHER Dubai company?!?!

    Because the plants make turbine blades for tanks and aircraft, the deal was reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which sent it on to Mr. Bush himself for a decision, a step used only when the potential security risks or political considerations are particularly acute....

    ...Representative John Barrow, Democrat of Georgia, likened the Doncasters deal to "outsourcing" part of the nation's industrial-military complex.


    Oh sure... I think this is a great idea. One has to wonder when and if el Presidente will ever tire of shooting himself in the foot.


    Posted by mcblogger at 03:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Bush: I WANT control of CAFE (and a puppy)

    President Bush today asked Congress for control of the CAFE standards... and a puppy like the one he was photographed with yesterday. So what IS CAFE? It's the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard. Created in 1975, it establishes ridiculously easy targets for manufacturers to meet in determining fuel efficiency in automobiles produced in the US. It allows a manufacturer (let's say Ford) to make GIANT ASS TRUCKS (like the Expedition Sport Utility House) and smaller trucks (like the Escape Hybrid Sport Utility Box) and average the fuel economy to stay within the guides.

    Bush is asking for this because "we need to have more fuel efficiencies and I'd really like to play with that dog somemore".

    In Biloxi, Miss., Bush noted Congress was debating several energy-related concepts, "and one idea is to give me a capacity to raise CAFE standards on automobiles. "I encourage them to give me that authority. It's authority that I use for light trucks. And I intend to use it wisely if Congress would give me that authority," Bush said.

    Congress, asked to comment, picked it's head up from the bar and mumbled something about 'gin collins' and that they'd 'never heard such a stupid idea'.

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 26, 2006

    el Presidente : Learning to ride a big boy bike

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Ahhh... yes it's a photoshop. The funny thing is, you seriously had to look to make sure because it's pretty damn believable.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 21, 2006

    Up all night, Sleep all day

    Image hosting by PhotobucketVice-President Cheney took a nap during a press conference/briefing by el Presidente and PRoC President Hu Jintao. Cheney, 92, blamed his sleepiness today on a late night binge and bender consisting of manatee and baby seal (washed down with Everclear, natch) with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. After their late repast, the couple adjourned to the screening room in the White House for a viewing of Platoon followed by Patton.

    Photo:NY Post

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 20, 2006

    Oh, well... Good! I was worried about that!

    The SF Chron has a great piece up about how the staff shakeup at the White House will not change Bush's policies. I'm extremely relieved because I was worried the new people would persuade Bush to 'come back to reality' and adopt policies that might actually benefit the US.

    Knowing that they'll keep doing the same stupid stuff is very encouraging as it makes it that much easier for us to elect a Democratic majority in 2006.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 19, 2006

    Damn... this shit writes itself...

    Yes, I was watching CNBC yesterday when this happened. They broke live to reveal el Presidente once again proving that he, above all others, is the biggest dipshit in Estados Unidos de Norte Americanos...

    Image hosting by Photobucket

    Asked about Mr Rumsfeld at a news conference, Mr Bush said he had "strong confidence" in his defence secretary.

    "I hear the voices, and I read the front page, and I know the speculation," he said.

    "But I'm the decider and I decide what's best."

    Life is good when you finally realize that yes, indeed, you ARE smarter than the people in charge.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 18, 2006

    Now that the muslim world loves us...

    The mommy figure that Busholini never had is moving on to another theater of operations...

    Karen Hughes seeks better U.S. image in Latin America

    The State Department's under secretary for public diplomacy and public affairs, Hughes returned last month from her second trip to the region, which included stops in Brazil, Panama, El Salvador, Chile and Colombia.

    There, she underscored the central U.S. message to Latin Americans: We are friends, we are neighbors, and we can do more for our people working together.

    ''We recognize that we have problems in our own country and in many countries throughout Latin America that are similar,'' she told The Miami Herald in an interview. ``And we want . . . to deliver on democracy for our citizens.''

    Do you suppose that in the Bushco dictionary, "irony" is defined as synonymous with "metallic"?

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 01:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Commander in Thief

    El Presidente is apparently a music thief! According to Gizmodo, the President made a comment about enjoying The Beatles on his iPod. Two problems with that... Beatles tracks aren't available for purchase online. That means he ripped them off a CD which brings up the second problem which is that the RIAA calls that illegal.

    Yeah, ripping music from your own CD's and putting them on a portable device is illegal.

    As much as I'd LOVE to rip on the President about this, I honestly can't. Mostly because it would be really disingenous of me since the one group I hate more than the Republicans ... is the RIAA.

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:11 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 17, 2006

    Tax cuts SOOO rock for some

    The President and Vice-President paid quite a bit in taxes... of course, they still didn't pay (on a percentage basis) quite as much as we did but you can't expect them to actually contribute their fair share, can you?

    The Demon Cheney paid $529,636 (26.48%) in taxes on income of almost $2mn while Bush paid $187,768 on income of $735k (25.5%) . I paid close to 30% when all was said and done thanks for Medicare, SS, sales taxes, etc. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to do it... just wish the rich would pay their fair share as well!

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:37 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    April 16, 2006

    Richard Myers finds a new way to debase himself...

    ... no longer content to just shill for Republicans and their failed leadership, Richard Myers has issued forth a defense of none other than Donald Rumsfeld himself.

    Richard B. Myers, the Air Force general who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs from 2001 until last fall, dismissed criticism that military leaders failed to stand up to Rumsfeld and President Bush when they disagreed with those civilian officials.

    "We gave him our best military advice and I think that's what we're obligated to do," Myers said on "This Week" on ABC. "If we don't do that, we should be shot."

    Oh yeah, and it gets so much better...check it out at the Houston Chronicle.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:07 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    April 13, 2006

    Remember those mobile weapons labs in Iraq?

    OK, so it's not exactly news that Bush lied. It IS, however, news that he did it after he had the facts at his disposal. Apparently, when Bush was all about talking up the bioweapons labs in Iraq, our intel people were talking about how they weren't bioweapons labs.

    They made hydrogen for weather balloons.

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:17 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

    April 10, 2006

    Gangster Government

    Greg Palast makesa case that the latest wrinkle in Plamegate - Libby's testimony that W himself declassified information so that Cheney could use it to conduct a disinformation campaign - is far from being an excuse for a crime.
    Bush's public coverup of his knowledge of those events is a crime itself - a bigger one. Here's Palast's take:

    OK, let's accept the White House alibi that releasing Plame's identity was no crime. But if that's true, they've committed a BIGGER crime: Bush and Cheney knowingly withheld vital information from a grand jury investigation, a multimillion dollar inquiry the perps themselves authorized. That's akin to calling in a false fire alarm or calling the cops for a burglary that never happened -- but far, far worse. Let's not forget that in the hunt for the perpetrator of this non-crime, reporter Judith Miller went to jail.

    Read more at buzzflash.com

    Posted by Aerialist at 12:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 07, 2006

    Bush's poll numbers continue to sink faster than a lead boat

    Poll: Bush, GOP hit new lows with public

    Here's the meat

  • Just 36 percent of the public approves of Bush's job performance, lowest ever in an AP poll
  • 40 percent of the public approves of Bush's performance on foreign policy and the war on terror, another low-water mark for his presidency.
  • Just 35 percent of the public approves of Bush's handling of Iraq, his lowest in AP-Ipsos polling
  • Here's the part I LOVE...

    Just 30 percent of the public approves of the GOP-led Congress' job performance, and Republicans seem to be shouldering the blame.

    By a 49-33 margin, the public favors Democrats over Republicans when asked which party should control Congress.

    That 16-point Democratic advantage is the largest the party has enjoyed in AP-Ipsos polling.

    On an issue the GOP has dominated for decades, Republicans are now locked in a tie with Democrats — 41 percent each — on the question of which party people trust to protect the country. Democrats made their biggest national security gains among young men, according to the AP-Ipsos poll, which had a 3 percentage point margin of error.

    Nice to see folks finally waking up to the fact that R's hate Americans.

    By the way, you may have noticed the right wing nutter ad on the right. Click as often as you can... siphoning their money ROCKS!

    Posted by mcblogger at 02:42 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    April 06, 2006

    Libby rolls on Bush y Cheney

    The headline straight from the Houston Chronicle's front page...

    Image hosting by Photobucket

    Libby claims Bush authorized intelligence leak

    Is ANYONE suprised? Seriously, anyone? Libby's a bitch and it was only a matter of time. The only question remaining is what other bits of classified information did Bush see fit to 'disseminate' and to whom? When a President breaks the law bad things happen and we have to remove them from office.

    Time to go, Mr. Bush.

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    April 04, 2006

    Work the long, thick, black shaft, Mr. President

    Image hosting by Photobucket

    Oh, Mr. President. Thank you!

    Posted by mcblogger at 11:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    March 27, 2006

    This weekend... Chopstick environmentalism, Selling parks and Feingold

  • The NYT has an op/ed up about China's newfound love of the environment. Well, at least environmental regulation. I fully support the chopstick thing... just check my silverware drawer.
  • Who knew Yankees like to eat their own almost as much as Texans! Apparently, Alfonse D'Amato is causing all kinds of problems with Republicans in NY. Absolutely heartwarming!
  • Bush's new FDA nominee... what to do? Hummm let me see... maybe hold up his nomination until the morning after pill is approved? Yeah, that sounds like a marvelous idea especially since the R's seem hell bent on bringing back the coat hanger abortion.
  • Feingold ROCKS! And now we have post-Censure proposal numbers to prove it!
  • The Republican plan for balancing the budget? You know that Coldwell Banker sign in front of the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park... that should give you a clue.
  • Posted by mcblogger at 12:33 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    March 02, 2006

    A Note from the Chair and KatrinaGate...

    The Chair of the Texas GOP is a nutter... in her most recent email missive to the Republican faithful in Texas (and me... HAHAHAHA), Tina talks about the size of government continuing to grow. She makes no mention of the fact that in Texas:

  • The Republicans Control the Lege

  • The Republicans Control the Executive

  • The Republicans Control the Judiciary

  • Tina, seen here with hot, hot hubby Reginald 'Smiley' Bathwait
    Image hosting by Photobucket like to conveinently forget lots of things (like the fact that Rick Perry is an incompetent loser).

    The scene on the national level is mostly the same when it comes to control and Tina, again, forgets that (Tina, if you're looking for someone to blame my advice is to seek out a mirro)r. She then goes on to talk about the ballot initiatives that R primary voters (read: people who live in trailer parks and believe that Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson ACTUALLY converse with God) will decide on next Tuesday. Among them is 'Protecting the integrity of our elections'. The translation from republicanese to English is 'Keep the Blacks and Hispanics from Voting'. Tina's a real sweetheart; still fighting for a poll tax DECADES after the SC says you can't charge one. You read the whole letter after the jump.

    Next up, of course, is a link to the same damn AP/ LATimes story about Katrina that everyone else has. Just please click on it and watch the damn videos... so much for 'no one foresaw the collapse of the levee's'.


    You actually WANT to read it? I was kinda kidding, dipshit... OK, here you go... no fucking links though! I'm not driving traffic to the fucking TX GOP. Fuck them and feed them fishheads!

    Government Growth - An Olympic Sport
    By Tina J. Benkiser

    Watching the Winter Olympics, I am reminded of the pride that Americans take in cheering our athletes to victory then watching them stand on the top dais while Old Glory is raised and the world listens to the Star Spangled Banner. While this display of national symbols moves us, some to the point of tears, many fail to recognize that the substance behind the symbols - our very freedom - is being eroded in Olympic proportions as we allow government to grow like a cancer, eating away at our rights.
    (bitch is CRAZY, isn't she?)
    As Americans and Texans, we must understand that government is accountable to us - the people. We created our government, it did not create us. Government’s purpose is to help us live together in an ordered society, but it should do only what people can’t do for themselves. Otherwise, government becomes an avalanche of inefficient, ineffective bureaucracy that can’t be removed by voters as it rushes downhill to the lowest common denominator, entangling itself in issues that it has neither the capacity nor the right to address.
    (kinda like Teri Schiavo, no?)
    Every generation must learn to love, protect, and defend freedom; our time is now. In the upcoming Primary Election through four ballot initiatives, Republicans will have the opportunity to ask the Texas Legislature to protect the integrity of our elections, to protect our private property rights, and to protect us from oppressive growth in government. Texans should demand no less.

    The first ballot initiative is whether the Texas Legislature should enact legislation requiring that voters provide valid photo identification in order to cast a ballot in any and all elections conducted in the State of Texas. Since the vast majority of Americans support requiring a photo id to vote as did the bipartisan 2005 Commission on Federal Election Reform, it should be a no-brainer. If we fail to protect the integrity of our elections, freedom will fail. We must speak loudly on this issue, and then perhaps the Texas Legislature will pass reforms to better protect the ballot.
    (Gee... certainly smells like a poll tax)
    Another initiative is whether the Texas Legislature should place on the next Constitutional Amendment election ballot a proposition to protect private property from being taken for economic purposes. We were justly outraged when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that property can be taken from one and given to another who may make more money from using the property and thus pay more taxes. This direct assault on private property rights is indicative of increasing judicial activism in our country. While the Texas Legislature passed some protective measures, our Texas Constitution needs to reflect the importance of private property ownership, which is key to protecting our civil and religious liberties as well.
    (uhm... yeah. You might want to talk to dear old Rick Perry about this. ED is a BIG part of his TransTexas Corridor)
    The remaining two initiatives deal with controlling the growth of government and making it accountable to the people. The first asks whether every governmental body in Texas should be required to limit any annual increase in spending to the combined increase of population and inflation, except for additional spending authorized by a vote of the people or for official state of emergencies declared by the federal or state government. Simply put, the government should live within its means or explain why it can’t, then appeal to voters for an increase.

    In addition, voters are asked whether, in order to address the inequity of homeowner’s property taxes increasing at a rate far above the rate of inflation, the current 10% cap on the rate of increase of appraised value for all homesteads shall be reduced to 5% or less. These types of control on government growth will help Texans keep more of what they earn. After all, people generally make better decisions about their money than the government does.
    (schools and poor kids be damned!)
    If enacted, these measures will help reform government. These initiatives will allow “we the people” to speak with one voice - government must be accountable to us. As the party of Ronald Reagan, our Republican leadership can desire no less.

    With athletes giving their all to compete for the gold, it is clear that the Olympic spirit is alive and well as is patriotism. Let’s hope that patriotism is more than sport but is grounded in principles as well. As our national symbol - the mighty eagle - soars high above the ground, let us rise to be worthy of the lofty ideals on which we the people established our government.
    (Ugh... could she BE more tiresome?)
    Tina J. Benkiser
    Chairman
    Republican Party of Texas

    Posted by mcblogger at 03:42 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    February 08, 2006

    Bush shits on PBS

    Pink Dome has the story and some fab art!

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:47 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    February 01, 2006

    SOTU - What he really said

    Last night Excusemaker in Chief Bush announced that he's focused on the following:

  • Creation of a human-animal hybrid (this came outta Rove's asscrack... these guys have some SERIOUSLY fucked up fantasies)

  • Freeing us from our dependence on foreign oil all which had the Democrats screaming, in unison, WELCOME TO THE FUCKING PARTY, ASSHOLE.

  • Free Medical care. And kittens for the tots. And free ice cream at the creamery of your choice, once a month
  • Yes, it was a blockbuster of a speech (if by 'blockbuster' you mean not well received and by 'speech' you mean someone talking). The real star of the evening was VA Governor Kaine who, though his gestures and facial tics were distracting, managed to bring focus to a Democratic agenda and show D's as the party that actually wants to do something for people. Please, no comments about his halting, Shatner-esque delivery.
    Image hosting by Photobucket

    Runner up HAD to be the Congressional D's who took the opportunity to pat themselves on the back and heckle the President a little over Social Security and their success at derailing what even most R's called a 'mindnumbingly bad plan'.

    In last place, as usual, TN Senator Bill Frist whose cadaver like appearance next to Barack Obama on split screen was terrifying enough to make children scream.

    Image hosting by Photobucket

    See?


    Posted by mcblogger at 12:21 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    January 26, 2006

    Endless deficits and countless excuses

    Remember Bush's promise to cut the deficit? Well, not so much...

    CBO Projects $337 Billion Deficit in 2006

    That's the headline but the news is worse. Though as a percentage of GDP the number is low, taxation is extremely low, longer term spending on Social Security is about to increase dramatically and the global economic environment is very different than the 80's. There are better places for investors to put their money which leaves our Chinese creditors to pick between our spendthrift ass and hookers. I'm thinking they'll soon opt for the hookers.

    What's the deal? Well, Bush would have you believe it's Katrina and the Iraqi occupation which is total crap. It's the tax cuts and the fact that they haven't grown the economy much in five years. The other stuff is big, but completely digestable... if he'd left long term tax policy in place and allowed the Fed to pull the monetary trigger they were already starting to pull in 2001 by dropping rates.

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:20 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    January 24, 2006

    Fuck! I thought you were an auto mechanic!

    So President Bush was in Kansas. As with any speaking event, he said some boneheaded things. For him, it's much the same as breathing, purely a function of the autonomic nervous system. For some of the funnier bits check out INPT.

    For something a bit more serious, namely busting up Bush's argument defending his illegal wiretaps like a shitty pinata, check out David Corn. If anyone can slice and dice his way through the Excusemaker in Chief's bullshit, it's Corn. Here's a quote I thought was really amusing for purely personal reasons:

    I'm not a lawyer, but I can tell you what it means.

    Oh, DO go on, Mr. President. Please. I need the laugh which inevitably follows when someone starts a statement with 'I'm not a lawyer, but...'

    He does go on, unfortunately. He goes on to make it quite clear that he isn't an attorney and that he doesn't understand the very decision that may help remove him from office.


    Posted by mcblogger at 10:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    January 19, 2006

    Osama show cancelled, Kerry and we're heading for a recession, part 200

  • The ever tedious Osama was back in the news today. He threatened more attacks and offered a truce, but no terms and would say nothing about what he'd give up. Bitch sounds like one of my exes.

    The amusing thing about it... no one gave a fucking damn. No one. The stock market kept going up and people went about their lives. What could this possibly mean? No one's scared of him. Or al Qaida. Or willing to accept a bunch of shit from Bush for protection.

  • Kerry's panties are in a twist over an article in GQ... A) no one reads GQ. B) no cares about Kerry. Notice this is cross posted under poop tells vomit it stinks?
  • Bush fucked up by not letting all members of the intelligence committee updated about the illegal wiretaps. In both houses of the Congress. Oh, and the taps were illegal.
  • The TIC report came out yesterday and in a word, ugly. Foreign capital inflows to the US continue to prop us up (Federal debt plus Current (mixed in with Trade) account deficit requires us to borrow almost $1 Trillion/year). Disturbingly, an increasing amount of money is going to hedgies in the Caribbean. You remember them... the Asian Currency Crises of 1997-1998? And now they're loading into dollars. Hedgies like to pump and dumb. Look for $2 to the Euro.
  • Posted by mcblogger at 10:55 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Best Buddies Forever!

    Just in case you forgot
    Bush and Tom Delay are BFF's!
    bush and tom delay1.jpgbush and tom delay3.jpgbush and tom delay5.jpgbush_delay2.jpgbush_delay4.jpg

    Just didn't want anyone to forget!


    Posted by mcblogger at 12:51 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    January 18, 2006

    Fallout from Gore's speech : Scotty strikes, everyone laughs...

    Image hosted by Photobucket.com

    White House Spokespuppy Scotty McClellan responded to former VP Al Gore's statement that the President broke Federal law by authorizing illegal wiretaps in a not so funny way by yet again suggesting

    That's right, Scotty. The only person who understands the threat is the dry drunk in the Oval. Yeah.

    Scotty, being dumb even for a fucktard, doesn't realize that everyone understands the threat, they just aren't willing to give up their freedoms to make it a little easier for his boss to do his fucking job. The question I wanted to hear from the WHPC was

    If you're saying Bush can't do the job without breaking the law then shouldn't he resign now?

    Of course, Scotty was unwilling to leave well enough alone and suggested that President Clinton had violated the law in 1993. What Scotty was too soused to realize was that the LAW WAS AMENDED IN 1995 WITH CLINTON'S SUPPORT. Scotty was accusing Clinton of breaking a law two years BEFORE it existed. Cool, huh?

    In case you wanna see a really funny take on Scotty, check out welovescottmcclellan.com. Very nice!

    Posted by mcblogger at 12:43 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    December 19, 2005

    Why cain't ah git over yew?

    Image hosted by Photobucket.com

    Posted by mayor mcsleaze at 12:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 18, 2005

    Live from the White House... the shithead speaketh

    ABC says he's going to try to tie together the four random speeches given recently. I think he's going throw someone under the bus to save his ass:

    8:01 - The election rocked! but it's not the end of violence. It's also the beginning of constitional democracy (I think he means theocracy)

    8:03 - Iraq sponsored terrorism?!?! WHEN? Mass graves found... no WMD's but we 'found the ability to make them'; Saddam hid shit. Many nations believed he had WMD's which is bullshit.

    8:05 - It was RIGHT to remove Saddam... UGH! So what, asshole? You're a dick and no one's invaded us to get rid of you. Oh shit! He's going down the terrorist path!!!! FUCK YEAH, it's ON now bitch!

    8:06 - Empire of Fear... soon to rank right up there with Axis of Evil. 'they're trying to chase us off and the subtext here is that the D's are helping 'em'. Fuck, does this bitch do anything but make excuses??!?

    8:07 - We do not create terrorists by fighting them... but that's not so much what we were doing in 2003, was it Mr. P? Things are tough in Iraq.

    8:08 - Some look at the challenges and conclude all is lost. He doesn't believe that and of course, neither do the Democrats. He's just too stupid to get it. 'we're putting a strategy in place' SHIT! He really shouldn't use words he doesn't understand.

    8:09 - there are 125 Iraq combat battalions? Bullshit! We're helping them establish a lasting democracy... here again, he meant to say THEOCRACY

    8:10 - Iraqis are optomistic... polling says so as well. They're happy because they know we'll be leaving their country soon.

    8:11 - NOW we're defeatist? Bush, you're a cocksucker. You're the one who got us into this fucking mess and has screwed up the damn thing from the get go. FUCK YOU!

    8:12 - Leaving now would undermine our power in the world which is complete horseshit but he's gotta say it anyway. It's his only leg left.

    8:13 - I want to see the D's after this tear him a new fucking asshole.

    8:14 our forces in Iraq are on the way to victory. Yeah, despite your fuckups.

    8:15 now he's wrapping himself in the arms of the wounded. what a slime bag. He accepts the consequences which is good because one of them is going to jail:)

    8:17 always run to God!

    In other words, nothing much...

    Posted by mcblogger at 08:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    December 07, 2005

    I noticed Iraq flashed back to life about the same time I was done with my first bloody...

    From USA Today:

    The Washington Times, in a front page story focusing on Dean's latest remarks, briefly noting Bush's response. Bush said, "I know we're going to win, and our troops need to hear, not only are they supportive, but that we have got a strategy that will win."

    The obvious comeback to this, as far as I can see, is that THE FUCKING PRESIDENT DOESN'T HAVE ONE BECAUSE HE'S A RETARD WHO CAN BARELY MANAGE TO OPEN DOORS LET ALONE WIN A WAR.
    Dean is right, we're making the same mistakes in Iraq that were made in Vietnam and one of those is continuing to listen to the same idiots who fucked things up in the first place.

    Posted by mcblogger at 10:10 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    December 02, 2005

    DoJ finds 2003 redistricting in Texas violated VRA

    Oh, like no one saw this coming. First there were public revelations about the role of the DoJ in politically driven voting law in Georgia. Now comes the news EVERYONE already knew but just hadn't been confirmed with hard evidence. WaPo has it now in the form of a tidy memo.

    Welcome back to the days of Jim Crow!

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:25 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    November 30, 2005

    Real world? This is a faith based war, Bitch!

    In the real world (you know, where most of us live), things move in a logical fashion usually. From plan, to strategy to achieve the plan and then hopefully to accomplishment of the plan and it's goals. Things happen differently in bizarro land where faith based war is all the rage!

    May, 2003
    mission.jpg

    October, 2005
    strategy.jpg


    TODAY
    plan.jpg


    Oh, today's speech brought us another 'plan' that will 'not work' and end in 'abyssmal failure' much like everthing this ineffectual President does.

    (thanks to Wonkette.com who thinks that next month the President will announce he's 'brainstorming' about Iraq)

    Posted by mcblogger at 09:15 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack