s skippy the bush kangaroo: October 2005

skippy the bush kangaroo

Monday, October 31, 2005

baptism by fire

or, rather, edison...

texas pastor electrocuted during baptism
posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:37 PM | 1 comments

well....there goes the top republican talking point

and there goes "the brain"
one of the reporters at the center of the investigation into the leak of the identity of an undercover cia officer, says he first learned the agent's name from president bush's top political advisor, karl rove.

time magazine reporter matt cooper also said today in an interview with "good morning america," that the vice president's chief of staff, i. lewis "scooter" libby, confirmed to him that ambassador joseph wilson's wife, valerie plame, was a covert cia operative.

...before I spoke to karl rove i didn't know mr. wilson had a wife and that she had been involved in sending him to africa." - abc
posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:58 PM | 0 comments

hope you can "bear" a "cool" halloween!
posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:50 PM | 0 comments

and you thought the outrage

couldn't get any worse....
hurricane katrina funding...for alaska

capitol report has learned about a provision tucked away in the senate budget reconciliation bill that would direct medicaid money intended for katrina affected states (mississippi, alabama, louisiana) to alaska.

the budget reconciliation package (pdf) contains $71.4 billion in new savings but it also spends $32.4 billion. Portions of that new spending were intended to be katrina relief funds, but it seems alaskan interests have once again succeeded in redirecting funds (pdf) to the state which has become famous for its "bridge to nowhere."

in addition to providing money for katrina states, the provision also changes the way alaska receives federal assistance for its medicaid services. by changing the federal funding matching percentage for medicaid in alaska, the provision will provide an additional $130 million in federal medicaid funding for alaska. this additional $130 million is a direct result of tampering with federal matching percentages that results in alaska being relieved of medicaid related fiscal burdens that all the other 50 states face.

so, even though dozens of other states will face the same fiscal pressures as alaska over the next few years, only alaska is set to receive additional money. - townhall.com

two months after hurricane katrina displaced more than 1 million people,
problems with federal housing aid threaten to spawn a new wave of

in texas, thousands of evacuees who found shelter in apartments face
eviction threats because rents are going unpaid.

in louisiana, some evacuees are beginning to show up in homeless
shelters because they haven't received federal aid or don't know how to get it.
- ustoady
posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:15 PM | 0 comments

why even have government?

since wal*freaking*mart and other big businesses can do what they want and ignore laws and write their own deals.

there were serious breakdowns in a government settlement with wal-mart stores inc. over child labor law violations -- including allowing attorneys for the world's largest retailer to write key parts of the deal, according to a labor department inspector general report monday.

the inspector general attributed the problems to inadequate management controls and guidelines.

as a result, wal-mart received "significant concessions" in the $135,540 settlement made public in february, the report said. among them: the labor department was required to notify the retail giant 15 days in advance of opening an audit or investigation, something that's inconsistent with guidelines for the department's wage and hour division.

"the bush labor department chose to do an unprecedented favor for wal-mart, despite the fact it is well known for violating labor laws, including child labor laws," said rep. george miller of california.

"the sweetheart deal put wal-mart employees at risk, undermined government effectiveness and further undermined public confidence that the government is acting on its behalf," miller said. - ap
you think it's a "coincidence" that the bush administration and the governator are working on the same "screw the workers" page....read skippy's post below, too....
posted by SantaBarbarian at 6:01 PM | 0 comments

gov. ah-nold loves rollbacks

usatoady reports that wal-mart and the wall family are big contributors to gov. ah-nold, and that the governator vetoed several bills aimed to force that company to be more fair to its workers. what a coincidence!

one union-backed bill, which schwarzenegger vetoed early in october, would have forced the state to disclose names of companies whose workers get government health services meant for poor residents.

a second bill, vetoed last year, would have stopped employers from locking workers inside workplaces — a policy wal-mart has when employees stock shelves and clean floors after closing hours.

the bills reflect issues creating a public relations nightmare for the usa's biggest private employer, with 1.3 million workers, as it expands in california, the usa's biggest market. critics including wake-up wal-mart accuse it of endangering workers by locking them in stores, and of reducing its health care costs at taxpayer expense.

"tens of thousands of wal-mart employees are on taxpayer-funded health care," says chris kofinis of union-led wake-up wal-mart.

the wal-mart and walton political gifts appear in new public campaign finance documents. they show that the same day schwarzenegger vetoed the health care disclosure bill — oct. 7 — his california recovery team logged a $250,000 gift from christy walton. she is the widow of john walton, a wal-mart director who died four months ago. in the next three weeks, the schwarzenegger-backed proposition 77 campaign got $250,000 from wal-mart chairman rob walton and $100,000 from wal-mart. those gifts and others followed $200,000 to the recovery team last year from john walton about two weeks after schwarzenegger vetoed the lock-in bill.
posted by skippy at 5:49 PM | 0 comments

back to work

the skippy's were in las vegas last weekend celebrating mrs. skippy's birthday.

did they miss anything?
posted by skippy at 5:43 PM | 0 comments

earth to wapo: iraq is a freakin' disaster

the washington post dismissed iraq war critics for "glibly" describing the war as a "catastrophe." what do you call it, oh clarions of truth? from the ap:

seven u.s. troops die in deadliest month for americans since january

baghdad, iraq (ap) - capping the bloodiest month for american troops since january, the u.s. military reported monday that seven more u.s. service members were killed - all victims of increasingly sophisticated bombs that have been become the deadliest weapon in the insurgents' arsenal.

oh, right - they call it a series of "achievements." you just can't see them for all those flag-draped coffins, the 40% of the population that's alienated from the political process, and all those iraqi civilian casualties.

neither can the iraqis, which is why 82% "strongly oppose" our continued presence there. but what do they know? they don't read the washington post.

posted by RJ Eskow at 5:15 PM | 0 comments

this is what i used to go trick or treating for when i was a wee one....

guess it's not so hip to do these days...but coinstar thinks it's still "a good thing"
over the past 55 years, trick-or-treat for unicef has evolved from a door-to-door collection drive on halloween night to a month-long nationwide program, which has now educated and inspired children to raise more than $127 million. equipped with the trademark orange collection boxes, and supported by educators and community leaders, trick-or-treaters are real-life world heroes who save and improve the lives of their peers in faraway places.

this year, trick-or-treat for unicef will support both unicef's worldwide programs and its hurricane katrina relief efforts -- marking the first time ever that the campaign has raised funds to help provide emergency assistance for children in the united states. unicef believes that all children in crisis, wherever they are, deserve our help.

for the ninth consecutive year, coinstar is proud to support these efforts as the official processor of the coins collected on halloween for the u.s. fund for unicef. since 1997, coinstar has processed close to $6 million in donations to the children's fund.-coinstar

find a coinstar near you and give a little "treat" for unicef.
posted by SantaBarbarian at 1:40 PM | 0 comments

seems like cheney's giving fitzgerald a bronx cheer

and just plain "daring" him to do something...

the white house announced today that it is elevating two members of cheney’s staff (david addington and john hannah) who are named in the scooter libby indictment. -think progress

hannah is currently under investigation by u.s. authorities for his alleged activities in an intelligence program run by the controversial iraqi national congress (inc) and its leader, ahmed chalabi. - raw story

posted by SantaBarbarian at 1:06 PM | 0 comments

as one member of the alito family stood with one president....

three members of the alito family stood with another.

(thanks to alternet for finding this funny foto)
posted by SantaBarbarian at 12:21 PM | 0 comments

found a child left behind in english class

they work at the white house.
headline on white house press release...

"president weclomes italian prime minister to the white house"
posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:13 AM | 0 comments

how appropriate for halloween

scary scotus "scalito"

lawrence lustberg, a new jersey criminal defense lawyer who has known alito since 1981 and tried cases before him on the third circuit, describes him as "an activist conservatist judge" who is tough on crime and narrowly construes prisoners' and criminals' rights. "he's very prosecutorial from the bench. - usnews

and here's a little "boys club" interesting note...

he also brought over a rising federal prosecutor in manhattan,
michael chertoff, as his top aide. chertoff succeeded alito as u.s. attorney and is now the nation's secretary of homeland security. - ap

in doe v. groody, alito agued that police officers had not violated constitutional rights when they strip searched a mother and her ten-year-old daughter while carrying out a search warrant that authorized only the search of a man and his home. [doe v. groody, 2004]
posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:33 AM | 0 comments

surveys says, all right, so i missed a day -- sue me...

i'll still be taking people's votes for the 100 greatest americans of all time through 12 a.m. thursday, november 10 e.s.t. (9 p.m. wednesday the 9th pacific time). why have i stretched it out for so long? partly to drum up as many votes as possible, and partly just because i can. bad mimus.

quick reiteration of the voting: name your top three picks, ranked first through third, and up to three honoraries (optional). leave your picks in the comments section or e-mail them to me. happy halloween!

also, happy voting.

til further on...
posted by Jim Yeager at 2:39 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, October 30, 2005

the reason the bush crime family set after ambassador wilson in march of 2003?

matt cooper wrote about the bush administration's "war on wilson" in july of 2003 after wilson wrote his nytimes piece....but the bushco slime machine started months before then.

wilson had quite the interview with bill moyers on pbs' now in february 2003 and he posted online a scathing article at the nation that same month.

moyers: with war in iraq more imminent than ever, we're going to talk tonight to the last senior american diplomat to meet with saddam hussein. joseph wilson was the deputy chief of mission, the acting ambassador at the us embassy in iraq 12 years ago during desert shield, the lead-up to the first gulf war.

he was a member of the american foreign service for 23 years. our ambassador to two african countries. and served as the political advisor to the commander in chief of us forces in europe. he now heads his own international business firm and is an adjunct scholar at the middle east institute in washington. thank you for joining us.

...moyers: so this is not just about weapons of mass destruction.

wilson: oh, no, i think it's far more about re-growing the political map of the middle

...moyers: talk to me a moment about the notion of preemptive action and regime change. preemptive action means an attack.

wilson: that's right. that's right. we have historically reserved as part of our right of legitimate self-defense the authority to go in and take out an enemy before that enemy has an opportunity to take us out. now what i worry about most is that we've lose focus on the war on terrorism where we've actually gone after al qaeda and where we should continue to go after al qaeda both in militarily as well as with our intelligence and our police assets.

we've got lost focus on that. the game has shifted to iraq for reasons that are confused to everybody. the millions of people who are on the streets of our country and of europe, as i said the other day, it strikes me as -- it may prove that abraham lincoln is right. you cannot fool all the people all the time.

they have been sold. we have been sold a war on disarmament or terrorism or the nexus between terrorism and weapons of mass destruction or liberation. any one of the four. and now with the president's speeches, you clearly have the idea that we're going to go in and take this preemptive action to overthrow a regime, occupy its country for the purposes, the explicit purposes of fostering the blossoming of democracy in a part of the world where we really have very little ground, truth or experience. - from the transcript of the show
the neoconservatives with a stranglehold on the foreign policy of the republican party, a party that traditionally eschewed foreign military adventures, want to go beyond expanding us global influence to force revolutionary change on the region. american pre-eminence in the gulf is necessary but not sufficient for the hawks. nothing short of conquest, occupation and imposition of handpicked leaders on a vanquished population will suffice. iraq is the linchpin for this broader assault on the region. the new imperialists will not rest until governments that ape our worldview are implanted throughout the region, a breathtakingly ambitious undertaking, smacking of hubris in the extreme. arabs who complain about american-supported
antidemocratic regimes today will find us in even more direct control tomorrow. the leader of the future in the arab world will look a lot more like pakistan's pervez musharraf than thomas jefferson. - from the nation
(thanks to seedifferent's kos diary)
posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:56 PM | 0 comments

if you missed it....

crooks and liars' got it.

(remember...if you have some spare change...drop it in john's donation drive tip cup....)
posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:46 PM | 0 comments

waging war on working americans

by not raising wages. we're not living in america....we're living in a dickens novel
u.s. senators -- who draw salaries of $162,100 a year and enjoy a raft of perks -- have rejected a minimum wage hike from $5.15 an hour to $6.25 for blue-collar workers.

the proposed increase was sponsored by sen. edward kennedy, d-mass., and turned down in the senate by a vote of 51 against the boost and 49 in favor. under a senate agreement, it needed 60 votes to pass.

all the democrats voted for the wage boost. all the negative votes were cast by republicans.

four republicans voted for it. three of the four are running for reelection and were probably worried about how voters would react if they knew that their well-heeled senators had turned down a pittance of an increase in the salaries of the lowest paid workers in the country. the minimum wage was last increased in 1997.

kennedy called the vote "absolutely unconscionable."

the lawmakers are hardly hurting. they get health insurance, life insurance, pensions, office expenses, ranging from $2 million on up, depending on the population of a state. the taxpayers also pay for their travel, telecommunications, stationery and mass mailings.- helen thomas
how'd your senatorial snake vote?

(kangaroo kudos and cyber tips to jinky the cat)
posted by SantaBarbarian at 1:29 PM | 0 comments

the toledo blade

wields rapierlike investigative reports. two of them in today's paper.
they were executives, lobbyists, evangelical christians, political veterans and rookies, and a rare-coin dealer from maumee. they bankrolled a president.

thirty ohioans collected at least $4.1 million for george w. bush's re-election campaign last year - exceeding sen. john kerry's entire take from the state. they raised $2.4 million more for the republican national committee.

they are ohio's "pioneers" and "rangers," president bush's most prolific fund-raisers. most ohio voters have never heard of them, but the white house knows them well. - toledo blade

the ohio business leaders and lobbyists who steered at least $4.1 million to president bush's re-election campaign last year collected more than $1.2 billion in taxpayer dollars for their companies and clients, a blade investigation shows.

the fund-raisers who helped deliver the battleground state - and ultimately the 2004 presidential election - also received choice appointments from state and federal officials. the posts included an ambassadorship to germany and a seat on the ohio state university board of trustees.

others made millions from unbid contracts varying from supplying ball bearings to the military or office furniture for federal agencies. - toledo blade
(thanks to ttagaris' kos diary for bringing this to our attention...)
posted by SantaBarbarian at 12:27 PM | 0 comments

you want a movie with that?

hopefully coming to a movie theatre near you....probably not to the corporate multi-cineplexes, though....

"fast food nation is the kind of book that you hope young people read because it demonstrates far better than any social studies class the need for government regulation, the unchecked power of multinational corporations and the importance of our everyday decisions." - deirdre donahue, usa today
posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:33 AM | 0 comments

our military had some nerve...

a clam dredging operation off the coast of atlantic city, n.j., in 2004 pulled up an old artillery shell.

the long-submerged, world war i-era explosive was filled with a black, tar-like substance.

bomb disposal technicians from dover air force base in delaware were brought in to dismantle it. three of them were injured, one hospitalized with large, pus-filled blisters on his arm and hand. the shell was filled with mustard gas in solid form.

what was long-feared by the few military officials in the know had come to pass: chemical weapons that the army dumped at sea decades ago had finally ended up on shore in the united states.

while it has long been known that some chemical weapons went into the ocean, records obtained by the daily press of newport news, va., show that the previously classified weapons-dumping program was far more extensive than has ever been suspected.

the army now admits in reports never before released that it secretly dumped 64 million pounds of nerve and mustard gas agent into the sea, along with 400,000 chemical-filled bombs, land mines and rockets and more than 500 tons of radioactive waste either tossed overboard or packed into the holds of scuttled vessels.

a daily press investigation also found: these weapons of mass destruction virtually ring the country, concealed off the coasts of at least 11 states: six on the east coast, including new jersey and maryland, two on the gulf coast, and in california, hawaii and alaska. few, if any, state officials have been informed of their existence. - the morning call
posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:58 AM | 0 comments

i think i know where jesus

would tell these folks where to go....somewhere really toasty
hurricane victims who wanted water had some difficulty finding it at a relief station in clewiston friday. the volunteer group running a supply center doesn't like the company that donated the water, so they decided not to give it to those in line for help.

twenty-two pallets of the canned water, distributed free by beer company anheuser-busch, bears the company's label – and members of the southern baptist convention refused to hand it out to those in need.

resident lined up for miles to receive food and water at the distribution point. but the water was left on the sidelines by the alabama-based group - nbc-2.com
(thanks to onegoodmove)
posted by SantaBarbarian at 12:51 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, October 29, 2005

fingering the favorites

governator style

gov. arnold schwarzenegger's special-election campaign bought nearly $1 million in advertising time from univision, a spanish-language tv network whose chairman is his biggest single donor, a newspaper reported saturday. the campaign bought no time from rival network telemundo, which did not donate to the campaign, according to campaign finance reports cited by the los angeles times.

univision's a. jerrold perenchio has contributed $4.8 million to schwarzenegger campaign committees since 2002, including $1.5 million on oct. 4, according to the reports. -latimes
posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:55 PM | 0 comments

the twinkie defense

i. lewis libby and karl rove, one facing indictment, the other hoping to avoid one, are pursuing a similar strategy to prove their innocence in the cia leak case: showing they are guilty of memory lapses, not lies. - wapo
posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:42 PM | 0 comments

the next financial disaster

pensions. and the loss of them.

the p.b.g.c. is now $23 billion in the red - a deficit that is expected to grow, significantly, as more companies go under. the balance sheet for the end of september will very likely show a deficit of more than $30 billion. if nothing is done to fix the system, the congressional budget office forecasts, the deficit will mushroom to more than $100 billion within two decades. this liability will almost certainly fall back on the taxpayers, since the alternative to a bailout - letting the pension agency fail - would force aging former auto workers and other retirees onto the street.

...if the pension system continues to wither, it is not hard to envision a darker future in which - as was true until early in the 20th century, before the advent of pensions - many of the elderly would be forced to keep working to stave off poverty. - nytimes magazine

read another terrifying article about impending financial doom and congressional promise breaking at time magazine.

the future's not bright so you don't have to wear shades....

posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:14 PM | 0 comments

complicit in the starving of hundreds of thousands of americans

that's the republican party for you...
on a party-line vote, a republican-run u.s. house of representatives committee voted to cut food stamps by $844 million on friday, just hours after a new government report showed more americans are struggling to put food on the table.

about 300,000 americans would lose benefits due to tighter eligibility rules for food stamps, the major u.s. antihunger program, under the house plan. the cuts would be part of $3.7 billion pared from agriculture department programs over five years as part of government-wide spending reductions.

..."it is hard to imagine any congressional action that is more detached from reality," said james weill of the food research and action center.

..."cutting food stamps now is a scandal," said david beckman of bread for the world, pointing to losses from hurricanes.

...a new agriculture department report found 38.2 million americans "were food insecure" in 2004, an increase of nearly 2 million from the previous year. tufts university food economist parke wilde food insecurity "now equals the worst levels" since recordkeeping began a decade ago.- reuters
and isn't this ironic....

16% of state households have struggled to eat -
a higher percentage of texas households was at risk of going hungry than in any other state
, according to data released in austin by the u.s. agriculture department. - latimes

but this is just another way the republican party is proving it's "support for american troops"
military families on food stamps? it's not an urban myth. about 25,000 families of servicemen and women are eligible, and this may be an underestimate, since the most recent defense department report on the financial condition of the armed forces--from 1999--found that 40 percent of lower-ranking soldiers face "substantial financial difficulties." senator harry reid, democrat of nevada, reports hearing from constituents that the army now includes applications for food stamps in its orientation packet for new recruits. - the progressive via common dreams
posted by SantaBarbarian at 1:15 PM | 0 comments

say hello to

no blood for hubris

who highlights a little interesting tidbit in a nytimes article...
"mr. fitzgerald was spotted friday morning outside the office of james
sharp, mr. bush's personal lawyer.
mr. bush was interviewed about the case by mr. fitzgerald last year. it is not known what discussions, if any, were taking
place between the prosecutor and mr. sharp. "
posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:34 AM | 0 comments

Live-blogging Congressman

Congressman Rush Holt will be live-blogging at BlueJersey.net this Sunday afternoon around 3:00 PM. He will also be responding to questions through the website.

This isn't Holt's first forray into the blogosphere. He recently engaged in several days worth of dialog over at TPM Cafe .

Rush Holt has been a leader on the issue of verified voting. As a scientist, he's also been outspoken on the issues of stem cell research and the so-called debate over evolution. He has recently called for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.

Holt is one of several Congressmen vying for Jon Corzine's soon to be empty Senate seat .
On Sunday evening, Holt will appear on CBS's 60 Minutes to talk about the recent indictment of Libby and the outing of Valerie Plame. Holt was the first member of Congress to introduce a Resolution of Inquiry that would have required the Bush Administration to turn over relevant documents to Congress. His Resolutions of Inquiry have been voted down along party lines on eight separate occasions, in four different committees.

If you have questions for Rush Holt on these issues or any other topics, this is your chance to ask. Head over to BlueJersey Sunday afternoon around 3PM.
posted by DBK at 11:01 AM | 0 comments

it can happen here

what mrs. p said after hearing npr's story on the the death of an iraqi prisoner. by "it", she means the holocaust. by "here", she means the united states of america.

dear trolls - we'll accept the premise the prisoner in question was a very bad man. we'll also stick to our guns and assert that the torture and murder of a prisoner, even one who is a very bad man, and the subsequent cover-up of that torture and murder of a prisoner by navy seals and cia interrogators, does not speak well for the future of this country.
posted by Pudentilla at 6:33 AM | 0 comments

let's play consitutional q & a

q: what is the constitutional relationship of the vice president to the u.s. senate?
a: the vice president is the president of the u.s. senate, who may cast a vote to break a tie in senate.
q: what authority does the u.s. senate have to correct the misconduct of its members?
a: the senate may censure its members when a member's misconduct earns the formal disapproval of the body. the senate has also censured elected officials who were not members of their body, including the president.
q: has the vice-president of the united states done anything to earn the formal disapproval of the senate of the united states?
a: the vice president has lied to the american people regarding his knowledge of the campaign to discredit an administration critic through the dissemination of classified information.
1) on meet the press on Sept. 14, 2003, the vice president engaged in the following conversation:

mr. russert: now, ambassador joe wilson, a year before that, was sent over by the cia because you raised the question about uranium from africa. he says he came back from niger and said that, in fact, he could not find any documentation that, in fact, niger had sent uranium to iraq or engaged in that activity and reported it back to the proper channels. were you briefed on his findings in february, march of 2002?

vice pres. cheney: no. i don’t know joe wilson. i’ve never met joe wilson. a question had arisen. i’d heard a report that the iraqis had been trying to acquire uranium in africa, niger in particular. i get a daily brief on my own each day before i meet with the president to go through the intel. and i ask lots of question. one of the questions i asked at that particular time about this, i said, “what do we know about this?” they take the question. he came back within a day or two and said, “this is all we know. there’s a lot we don’t know,” end of statement. and joe wilson—i don’t who sent joe wilson. he never submitted a report that i ever saw when he came back.

2) the indictment of the vice president's chief of staff asserts the following:
5. On or about June 9, 2003, a number of classified documents from the CIA were faxed to the Office of the Vice President to the personal attention of LIBBY and another person in the Office of the Vice President. The faxed documents, which were marked as classified, discussed, among other things, Wilson and his trip to Niger, but did not mention Wilson by name. After receiving these documents, LIBBY and one or more other persons in the Office of the Vice President handwrote the names “Wilson” and “Joe Wilson” on the documents.
3) as at jbalazs at dkos observes, judith millar told us the same thing:

mr. libby then proceeded through a lengthy and sharp critique of mr. wilson and what mr. libby viewed as the c.i.a.'s backpedaling on the intelligence leading to war. according to my notes, he began with a chronology of what he described as credible evidence of iraq's efforts to procure uranium. as i told mr. fitzgerald and the grand jury, mr. libby alluded to the existence of two intelligence reports about iraq's uranium procurement efforts. one report dated from february 2002. the other indicated that iraq was seeking a broad trade relationship with niger in 1999, a relationship that he said niger officials had interpreted as an effort by iraq to obtain uranium.

my notes indicate that mr. libby told me the report on the 1999 delegation had been attributed to joe wilson.

mr. libby also told me that on the basis of these two reports and other intelligence, his office had asked the c.i.a. for more analysis and investigation of iraq's dealings with niger. according to my interview notes, mr. libby told me that the resulting cable - based on mr. wilson's fact-finding mission, as it turned out - barely made it out of the bowels of the c.i.a. he asserted that george j. tenet, then the director of central intelligence, had never even heard of mr. wilson.

q: why don't democrats in the u.s. senate call for the censure of the vice president, the president of the senate, on the grounds that he lied to the nation in a matter of national security?

a: because they're feckless fools, worthless omadhauns and right idjits.
posted by Pudentilla at 5:30 AM | 0 comments

survey says, okay, what's it going to take?

i'll be frank: one reason i haven't given a closing date on votes for the 100 greatest americans of all time is that the results i have so far are much skewed to the left. i don't mind this. but another reason i've left the booth open is that i've been waiting for that stream of votes from across the aisle to come in. i've been hoping for a mixed bag; this bag has not materialized. right-leaning people are definitely reading skippy's blog because i've received votes from some of them. and i've specifically called for votes from right-leaning folks on a few occasions. i even worked up the nerve to send glenn reynolds an e-mail explaining what i was up to this week; nothing came of it.


what do i have to do to secure that infuriatingly elusive mixed bag? maybe i could say that ronald reagan had absolutely nothing to do with the collapse of the soviet union -- that'll get their attention! or how about i explain why abortion is god's way of saying, "this is why i invented condoms"? oh, they'll be furious! perhaps i could write a pithy slogan that only the extreme left could appreciate -- like, "police state bad, nanny state good." whoa, horsie, whoa!!! easy, boy, i'm just kidding!

seriously, tho...

i can't keep this thing going forever, so here's the deadline: the voting booth will remain open until 12 a.m. thursday, november 10 (9 p.m. wednesday the 9th pacific time). i will be flogging this damn survey every day each day through the 9th to drum up more votes. the voting works like this. knock yourselves out.

til further on...
posted by Jim Yeager at 2:33 AM | 27 comments

sounds like libby knew

exactly what he was doing was, well.........wrong....

paragraph 13 of the indictment.
shortly after the publication of the article in the new republic, libby spoke by telephone with his then principal deputy and discussed the article. that official asked libby whether information about wilson's trip could be shared with the press to rebut the allegations that the vice president had sent wilson. libby responded that there would be complications at the cia in disclosing that information publicly and that he could not discuss the matter on a non-secure telephone line.

(page 6)

but that didn't stop him....

paragraph 14 - on june 23, 2003, libby met with new york times reporter judith miller. during this meeting . . . libby informed her that [joe] wilson's wife might work at the cia.

paragraph 17 - libby telling miller again that plame was a cia agent on july 8, 2003.

paragraph 21 - describes official a (rove?) as confirming to robert novak that plame was a cia agent during the week prior to July 11, 2003 (presumably after July 6.)

paragraph 23 - describes libby telling matt cooper that plame was a cia agent on july 12, 2003.

paragraph 24 - describes libby telling judith miller again on july 12, 2003 that plame was a cia agent.

but guess he's going to say he "conveniently" forgot....
the lawyer for vice president dick cheney's former top aide is outlining a possible criminal defense that is a time-honored tradition in washington scandals: a busy official immersed in important duties cannot reasonably be expected to remember details of long-ago conversations. - ap
posted by SantaBarbarian at 12:58 AM | 0 comments

Friday, October 28, 2005

i feel like singing...

this next song goes out to the gentleman with the crutches, a fifty-something dude who still answers to "scooter" -- hey, man, that's all right with me. deep down, we're all toys-r-us kids, you know what i'm sayin'? ol' scoot's been goin' through a rough patch lately, ladies and germs, so, uh... let's all keep him, aaahh, in our thoughts and wish him the best, shall we? of course we shall. and if you can't sing along, feel free to clap and/or dance -- i ain't too finicky. ready?

(da, da, da, da, da-da-da-da-da-da-da)

i got a case, ain't got no alibi,
i got a boss who holds a grudge,
i got a deeply-seated need to lie,
and i gotta speak before a judge.
will i go 'round in circles?
will i sing out like a pigeon on a stool?
will i go 'round in circles?
will i sing out like a pigeon on a stool?

i got a view, ain't got no morals,
and there ain't no reason in my rhyme.
i got some blood upon my laurels
'cause i help the bad guys win each time.
will i go 'round in circles?
will i sing out like a pigeon on a stool?
will i go 'round in circles?
will i sing out like a pigeon on a stool?

i got a song and dance i count upon,
and i really hope they don't let me down.
i done some things most people frown upon,
and they just might land me in the pound.
will i go 'round in circles?
will i sing out like a pigeon on a stool?
will i go 'round in circles?
will i sing out like a pigeon on a stool?

(i cannot tell a lie: the heretik made me do it...)
posted by Jim Yeager at 8:09 PM | 0 comments

on learning that "active senior" sylvester stallone is making another rambo movie, despite whatever geriatric ailments currently plague him

this is exciting news, and might i say it shows a very game spirit, mr. stallone. i would like to propose the following line of dialog as rambo's new "tag" quote:
sir, do we get to wear a better hairweave this time?
what do you think, mr. s?
posted by RJ Eskow at 6:03 PM | 0 comments

a couple points to ponder

from talking points memo

from the beginning of the administration, a key root of libby's power at the white house is that he works both for the vice president (as chief of staff and national security affairs advisor) and the president of the united states (as assistant to the president).

...go to page 5 of the indictment. top of the page, item #9.

on or about june 12, 2003, libby was advised by the vice president of the united states that wilson's wife worked at the central intelligence agency in the counterproliferation divison. libby understood that the vice president had learned this information from the cia.

this is a crucial piece of information. the vounterproliferation division (cpd) is part of the cia's directorate of operations, i.e., not directorate of intelligence, the branch of
the cia where 'analysts' come from, but where the spies come from.

libby's a long time national security hand. he knows exactly what cpd is and where it is. so does cheney. they both knew. it's right there in the indictment.

from washington note

which under secretary of state trafficked in valerie plame wilson info? here is the current roster of senior state department officials.

robert joseph now holds the portfolio previously held by john bolton.
and, although i wish it would go further, i don't think that fitzgerald is going to go further up the line of "why" did they do this attacking on those who opposed their plans to go to war. i think he is very limited in his scope of prosecution, but his investigation has opened doors wide enough that congress should now start some serious investigations. but...of course...it might go differently if libby provides testimony implicating someone else.....

hmmmmm.....it's still not "closed"...yet.
posted by SantaBarbarian at 12:55 PM | 0 comments

scooted out of office....in disgrace

i. lewis libby was indicted (link to indictment) on five felony counts. the charges include obstruction of justice, perjury, and making false statements. more to come?

“these are very serious charges. they suggest that a senior white house aide put politics ahead of our national security and the rule of law.

“this case is bigger than the leak of highly classified information. it is about how the bush white house manufactured and manipulated intelligence in order to bolster its case for the war in iraq and to discredit anyone who dared to challenge the president.

“it's now time for president bush to lead and answer the very serious questions raised by this investigation. the american people have already paid too steep a price as a result of misconduct at the white house, and they deserve better.” - harry reid (d-nv)

and a thought.....
if anyone tries to convince you that these are "indictments based on technicalities" or in any way tengential to the main issue of outing an undercover operative, remind them that alger hiss was convicted of perjury for lying to congress about whether he knew whittaker chambers and gave him government documents hiss was not convicted of treason, nor could he have even been indicted for it. there was a statute of limitations on treason committed during peacetime in those days. if that doesn't shut them up, ask them if they think hiss should be granted a posthumous pardon for having been convicted of what they admit is an unimportant crime based on a technicality.
posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:07 AM | 0 comments

it's not nice to rape mother nature...

she doesn't get mad about it, she just gets even. reuters via msnbc:

oslo, norway -- better protection for the diversity of the planet's creatures and plants could help shield humans from diseases like aids, ebola or bird flu and save billions of dollars in health care costs, researchers said on tuesday.

they said human disruptions to biodiversity -- from roads through the amazon jungle to deforestation in remote parts of africa -- had made people more exposed to new diseases that originate in wildlife.

"biodiversity not only stores the promise of nw medical treatments and cures, it buffers humans from organisms and agents that cause disease," scientists from the international group diversitas said in a statement.

"preventing diseases through biodiversity conservation is far more cost effective than developing vaccines to combat them later," they added...

good thing the grown-ups have been in charge for the last five years, huh? otherwise we might have to worry about a possible bird flu epide.......

oh god.
posted by Jim Yeager at 7:27 AM | 0 comments

is karl king of the canaries?

jeryln has an interesting hypothesis about the flurry of news reports that rove will not be indicted but will remain in trouble: he’s already worked out a plea deal with fitz. under the deal he squeals to a new grand jury earning sentence reduction points. if this is right, then fitz is going after the dark lord (who is the father of a lesbian), bigtime. from your mouth to god’s ears, jeryln.
posted by Pudentilla at 6:39 AM | 0 comments

sucks being a callous, smarmy, money-grubbing @$$#o!e compassionate conservative, doesn't it?

a little bit of good news for the gulf coast:

bowing to pressure from a united democratic front, a small group of members of his own party, the religious community, and the labor movement, president bush announced today he would reverse the decision he made in september to remove wage protections for construction workers in the areas affected by hurricane katrina.

after katrina, the president suspended the 1931 davis-bacon act, which requires federal contractors to pay at least the prevailing wage to construction workers in a local area. the president's action, which was widely denounced, followed requests from right-wing activists and republican members of congress who exploited katrina to achieve a long-sought ideological agenda item

rep. george miller (d-ca), the senior democrat on the house education and the workforce committee, led the effort in the house to force bush to rescind his gulf coast wage cut.


"the president's wage cut was just another example of his incompetence as a leader in a time of crisis and of his constant need to reward the private agendas of his special-interest friends rather than attend to the needs of all the people affected by this storm"... [american chronicle]

hear, hear.
posted by Jim Yeager at 6:11 AM | 19 comments

Thursday, October 27, 2005

why can't awol be like trump...

"you're all fired...go home...go home..."

boardroom massacre!
posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:57 PM | 0 comments

when it says libby libby libby on the liable liable liable

you might like it like it like it 'til tomorrow morrow morrow....
associates of i. lewis libby jr., vice president dick cheney's chief of staff, expected an indictment on friday charging him with making false statements to the grand jury in the c.i.a. leak inquiry, lawyers in the case said thursday.

karl rove, president bush's senior adviser and deputy chief of staff, will not be charged on friday, but will remain under investigation, people briefed officially about the case said. as a result, they said, the special counsel in the case, patrick j.fitzgerald, was likely to extend the term of the federal grand jury beyond its scheduled expiration on friday. - nytimes
"these will be very, very dark days for the white house," the consultant quoted card as saying. - wapo
people close to the investigation said that, as of late thursday afternoon, rove had received no notice that he was going to be indicted. some observers took that as a sign that the longtime bush strategist might emerge from the investigation without being charged.

but others said that fitzgerald might be waiting until friday to alert those being charged to reduce the chances of last-minute leaks about his intentions.
- latimes

well...we shall see what fitzgerald really has to say tomorrow. the times and wapo have conflicting parts of the story, so we shall have to wait and hear it from the big guy himself.
posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:55 PM | 0 comments

posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:58 PM | 0 comments

virginia repubbb: gays are made by abuse, blacks are jes' plain horny

john avarosis at americablog links us to a local virginia paper syndicate which reports on an informal meeting between a repubbb candidate for state legislature, and some pretty shocked students:

at the center of a firestorm this week is chris craddock, the republican candidate running for state delegate in the 67th district, after comments made last week to a westfield high ap government class about both gays and sex in africa.

some students were so incensed by what they heard that they contacted centre view because, although they're too young to vote, they wanted the general public to know how they felt...

"when we asked him about gay marriage, he said he believes nobody's born gay — they turn gay," said senior natalie mclarty, 17. "he said, in his experience, from the gay males he's known, there are three ways to become gay: you don't have a father figure in your life, you have an abusive father figure or you have no loving support in your family."

"i was extremely offended because one of my relatives is gay, so that's an assumption he's making about my family," she said. "i don't know where he's getting his statistics, but i know a ton of people who are gay, and they have father figures and love and support in their family. he's young, and i don't know where he's getting these old-fashioned concepts."

regarding sex education, mclarty said craddock said schools should teach that abstinence is the right choice until marriage, rather than providing information about condoms. "so i asked him, 'if we don't teach sex ed in school or give information about birth control, where are kids going to get this [knowledge]?'" she said. "because, even if you do wait 'til marriage, you still need to know about birth control and protecting yourself against stds and aids."

mclarty said she added that, if people aren't educated about this, then "like in africa, we'll end up with a huge number more of stds and aids cases."

she said craddock told the class he had a friend who'd studied in africa and told him the reason there's an aids epidemic there is because "africans will have sex with anything that has a pulse."

added senior erin peterson: "he said, in some tribes, part of becoming a woman was having sex." she, too, said she heard the "pulse" comment and was surprised that he'd say such a thing: "i'm african-american, so i was a little shocked."

planning to major in international relations in college, peterson said she's researched this issue, too, and "a lot of studies say one of the reasons hiv turns into aids [in africa] is because they're so poor and malnourished and can't afford medicines."

ah, we love the smell of family values in the morning!

bonus gags from americablog: schwarzenegger street!
posted by skippy at 6:26 PM | 0 comments

remembering jimmy garrison

john at crooks and liars just made my day, by linking to this cnn story - john coltrane has two of this week's three top jazz albums, 38 years after he passed away. i took lessons from his bass player, jimmy garrison, many years ago. it was an honor and privilege i didn't fully grasp at the time.

my rememberance of jimmy is here, and this is an excerpt:
i took him up on his offer (of free lessons) for a while, but the fact is i didn't have the self-control to woodshed as much as would be appropriate and respectful to him as my teacher. i was seventeen years old and not at my best. i couldn't keep up with his lessons and pursue my bad habits, too. i was ashamed to tell him that, so I lied and said I couldn't make the bus fare to his apartment either. when he offered to give free lessons and pay my way, I just disappeared.
he was a beautiful guy, so read the rest. you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll feel the full sweep of human emotions. (or, if not, at least i'll get some more blog hits.)

posted by RJ Eskow at 4:29 PM | 0 comments


the washington note says he was wrong in reporting the office expansion of mr. fitzgerald.

posted by SantaBarbarian at 4:13 PM | 0 comments

we are bloggers hear us roar

in numbers to big to ignore...
their clout rising, blogs are courted by washington's elite

well...some of us apparently are being "ignored" hey...house dems...where's our bloggy get together?
last week, house republicans convened the first ever "capitol hill blog row." in a small committee room in the capitol, a dozen bloggers, selected by an informal poll of gop staff, were provided soft drinks, a high-speed net connection, and access to top republican figures for half a day. issues discussed ranged from how to cut government spending to the future of the gop. - csm

we might not want to wish the newest blogger in blogtopia (y!sctp) a warm welcome.
posted by SantaBarbarian at 4:01 PM | 0 comments

scotus? they don't even know us!

the only thing sadder than someone withdrawing her nomination for the supreme court, is
reading her blog...
posted by skippy at 3:35 PM | 0 comments

quote of the day


note to assrocket: 1st quarter economic data are like so first quarter.
posted by skippy at 3:31 PM | 0 comments

no soap armed forces radio

rep. louise slaughter has taken up the gauntlet, demanding to know why ed schultz's radio show was cancelled at the very last minute from armed forced radio. she
writes to the dod inspector general thomas gimble:

last month, an e-mail received by jones radio, the distributor of "the ed schultz show," from the chief of the radio division for afn, stated, "afn radio has squared away everything on our end to begin carrying the first hour of 'the ed schultz show' each day, beginning monday, october 17, 2005." however, at 7:00 a.m. on october 17, the producer of mr. schultz's program received a phone call from the pentagon's deputy assistant secretary for internal communications, allison barber, informing him that the program had been pulled from afn radio's schedule without offering any explanation.

to date, the department of defense has denied allegations that the debut of mr. schultz's show was cancelled due to political motivations or in retribution for comments the host made in the days prior to the scheduled launch of "the ed schultz show." in those comments, mr. schultz criticized the department of defense and ms. barber for staging a video conference press event between the president and us troops. instead, the department has since claimed that it is continuing to review a number of programs in an attempt to provide more diversity to afn radio. we are concerned that the length of the program review process is unnecessarily impeding our troops' access to balanced, diverse programming. in addition, we are worried that the review process utilized for the selection of progressive programming is more stringent than that used for conservative programming.

go read her entire dkos diary; then sign the petition from stephanie miller's site, and use general wes clark's email site to send letters to your congressjerks.
posted by skippy at 3:04 PM | 0 comments

say hello

king of zembla.
posted by skippy at 2:41 PM | 0 comments

the perfect supreme court nominee

i'm your puppet

from japan, good news for conservatives: they've built a remote control device for people. thanks to newly-developed technology, a person's movements can now be controlled from a distance through a headset.

no need to wonder if that nominee's going to vote to overturn roe v. wade. just give the remote to rev. dobson and modern science will do the rest.

posted by RJ Eskow at 1:16 PM | 0 comments

noe..noe...oh, oh...you gotta go now....

waaa waaaa waaaa waaaaa....

a federal grand jury has indicted tom noe, the former maumee coin dealer suspected of laundering money into president bush’s reelection campaign, mr. noe’s attorney told the blade today. - toledo blade
a federal grand jury has indicted a prominent gop contributor in an investigation into contributions to president bush's re-election campaign, his defense attorney said thursday. - abc toledo

noe is also under investigation over an ill-fated $50 million investment in rare coins he managed for the state workers' compensation fund. noe has acknowledged that up to $13 million is missing, and ohio's attorney general has accused him of stealing as much as $6 million. - ap

and remember this isn't the only scandal this republican is involved with...

the ohio bureau of workers' compensation's rare coins investments has all the makings of a major scandal: $10 million to $12 million in assets are missing, five government agencies have launched investigations, and tom noe, the coin fund investment manager, has resigned and surrendered his passport to authorities.

..but the bombshell came thursday when noe's lawyers told authorities that $10 million to $12 million of the fund's $55.3 million assets were missing. - dayton daily news

i'm sure that injured workers in ohio are not going to be voting republican again now that the fund that was supposed to aid them is no longer there due to someone's greed and avarice.
posted by SantaBarbarian at 12:21 PM | 0 comments

survey says, the voting booth is still open...

votes for the 100 greatest americans of all time are still being taken. there is still no set voting deadline. i'll announce one before sunday. once again, if you haven't voted, the voting works like this:

name your top three picks for greatest americans of all time, ranked first through third. first pick gets four points, second pick 2, and third pick 1. you may also name up to three honorary greatest americans; these will receive no points, but will count as one vote each. the top 100 will be determined based on the total points each nominee accrues. there will also be an honoraries list of nominees who garner enough votes to warrant inclusion into the top 100, but not the required points -- similar to winning the popular vote but losing the electoral college.

the post that started it all, for those of you who want to know what's wrong with me, is here. there have been several reminder posts since then, but i am too lazy to link to them right now. leave your picks in the comments section or e-mail them to me. happy voting!

til further on...
posted by Jim Yeager at 10:59 AM | 0 comments

the slime machines are said to be starting up

and aiming at brent scowcroft. i don't think that 41 is going to be pleased.
i have just heard that the white house revenge-team is out to get brent scowcroft for the revelations he provided in this week's new yorker.

apparently, a roster of talking points was issued in an email to cheney fellow travelers via a "michael neece." - the washington note

yeah...sliming....this is certainly showing respect for a veteran who served his country in many capacities and was awarded the presidential medal of freedom, back when it still meant something.

you may disagree with scowcrofts political ideas, but you don't go sliming and dragging his name and reputation through the mud for petty political agendas.

posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:41 AM | 0 comments

sox sock astros in seriously short series

headline on chicago tribune's landing page "believe it"

from now on, the official name of the 10th month of the year..."soxtober"

(bumped up because we're still celebrating....)

hey...but could this be a sign?

chicago team over houston team...
chicago prosecutor over houston "oil man" who somehow sneaked into the white house?
posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:00 AM | 35 comments

diversionary humor

while you're waiting for the holiday formerly known as fitzmas to arrive, hop on over to inflatable dartboard, the folks who offered blogtopia (y!sctp!) this bon mot:

well, fitzmas is on hold. early this morning, several aclu lawyers wandered around the washington mall, trying to deliver a cease and desist order in reference to the term 'fitzmas'. the order apparently is demanding, in terms of fairness, that the terms 'fwanzaa', 'fanukkah' and 'framadan' be included when fitzmas is mentioned.
to the monk we say, "thank you, and may you never have to wait as long for your team to win the world series as pudentilla did!"
posted by Pudentilla at 9:38 AM | 0 comments

when the republicans get caught doing something wrong....

they hire democrat lawyers to represent them. go figure.

rush limbaugh's attorney - roy black (d)

karl rove's attorney - robert luskin (d)

tom delay's attorney - dick deguerin (d)
(hmmmm....wait a minute...delay wanted a new judge because he claimed the judge was a democrat...wouldn't he need a new lawyer, too?)
posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:36 AM | 0 comments

anticipaaaaaaation is making me late....

is still keeping me waiaiaiaiaiaiaiaiting......

a spokesman for the prosecutor said there would be no public announcements thursday. the term of the grand jury that could bring indictments expires friday. - ap
posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:47 AM | 0 comments

feedback requested

we're trying out some 2006 campaign slogans for the democrats and wondered what y'all think of this one:

Loose Lips Sink Ships - Vote For the Democrat

maybe just a tee-shirt slogan.
posted by Pudentilla at 8:45 AM | 28 comments

yeah, but big oil’s profits are way up

durable goods orders below expectations - washington (reuters) - new orders for u.s.-made durable goods sank an unexpectedly deep 2.1 percent last month as aircraft orders plunged, but even non-transportation orders dropped 1 percent, a government report showed on thursday.

we suppose that those who don’t vote against scandal may choose to vote their pocketbooks.
posted by Pudentilla at 8:42 AM | 0 comments

lie down with criminal thugs,

name of rove's aide appears in two washington inquiries - washington, oct. 26 - at the nexus of two high-profile investigations roiling the nation's capital is an unlikely - and largely anonymous - figure known for fiercely safeguarding her bosses.

susan b. ralston, 38, has worked as an assistant and side-by-side adviser to karl rove since 2001, helping manage his e-mail, meetings and phone calls from her perch near his office in the west wing. that has made her an important witness in the c.i.a. leak investigation, as the special prosecutor has sought to determine whether mr. rove misled investigators about his contacts with reporters about valerie wilson, the undercover operative whose identity was made public in 2003.

ms. ralston is also entangled in another political scandal: the case of jack abramoff, the republican lobbyist, who employed her in the same frontline capacity during a stretch of time that is now under criminal investigation.

ms. ralston is not considered a suspect in either case, and several close colleagues say it is by sheer accident that she has been swept up in both investigations. lawyers involved with the two cases say no other person besides ms. ralston has played a pivotal role in each one. she has appeared at critical junctures in both: it was ms. ralston who patched through a phone call from matt cooper, the reporter for time magazine, to mr. rove on the day in july 2003 that they discussed mrs. wilson, then known by her maiden name, valerie plame. and ms. ralston, while in mr. abramoff's employ, drafted a memorandum about his suites at local arenas, which he used to entertain clients and public officials who have since gotten in trouble for accepting his favors.

get up with subpoenas, ms. ralston. didn't your mother ever warn you that people might judge you by the company you keep? to be fair to your mother, we doubt that she would ever have imagined you would have consorted with the likes of both Rove and Abramoff.
posted by Pudentilla at 8:27 AM | 0 comments


federal spending splits gop, threatens political base - washington - the country's governing party has spent itself into a political mess. since republicans took control of the government five years ago spending has soared - driven by mounting costs for the iraq war, homeland security, rebuilding after hurricane katrina, and a pricey new prescription-drug benefit under medicare, the biggest expansion of an entitlement program since the 1960s.

it's all ballooning the cost and size of the federal government. at the same time, federal revenues have failed to keep up with the runaway costs, saddling the country with steep deficits and rising debt, alarming fiscal conservatives and wall street, and making america dangerously dependent upon loans from abroad, especially from japan and china.

the result is a government harder pressed to afford things it might want, whether it's more tax cuts or shoring up social security or programs for the needy. and the pressures are straining the republican coalition as it heads into a pivotal mid-term election year.

from your mouth to god’s ears.
posted by Pudentilla at 8:22 AM | 0 comments