s skippy the bush kangaroo: December 2005

skippy the bush kangaroo

Saturday, December 31, 2005

jack (abram) off

the only way to keep the abramoff scandal straight is with
jack in the house.
posted by skippy at 11:11 PM | 0 comments

another ethical lapse from "mr. ethics"

looks like bill bennett's lack of ethics and moral relativism don't just apply to his little gambling problem. he's been editorializing in favor of the administration without revealing the fact that he's on their payroll. in what capacity? his for-profit company has been receiving funds intended for public school children, for a program whose beneficiaries are not public school children. instead, it benefits home-school kids, who weren't supposed to be targeted by "no child left behind" but whose parents & supporters represent a core constituency for the administgration.

the wall of separation has the story, and adds:

what's even more troubling is that bennett's firm apparently ended up with the tax-funded windfall despite contrary recommendations from peer reviewers at the u.s. department of education. department employees who oversee the public school choice program initially suggested funding for 10 programs, basing their decision on recommendations from peer reviewers. bennett's K12 arkansas project was not among them. education week reported that K12's proposal did not score high enough among the peer reviewers to win a funding recommendation.

but the department of education bypassed the peer reviewers and added bennett's program to the list. in doing so, the department dropped one program entirely and slashed funding for others.

millions of dollars have gone to bennett's company, K12. hmm ... and bennett blew millions of dollars gambling. i guess you could say, at least indirectly, that the school-kids of america are underwriting his losses. does cnn know who they're getting as their new analyst?

lecture me about ethics again, bill. i love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning.

(lid-flip to Crooks and Liars)

posted by RJ Eskow at 6:21 PM | 0 comments

a wild and crazy falafel

steve martin channels bill o'reilly at
the huffington post (via georgia10's dkos diary):

"this year's leap second is an assault on the american public," says commentator bill o'reilly. "the reason the leap second is even being proposed is because of america haters, because of iraqi hate mongers, and let's be honest, shiites. why would you add a second to the year unless you're an anti-american hate monger?..

"i am so so so so upset with these people, who actually believe their ideas, yet, i have no hate in my heart. i am a simple guy, who only has my own true beliefs and a few products that are my cornerstone to fight against the leap second poobah. let me say it aloud: leap second, leap second, leap second. doesn't it sound ugly?

"please, don't let these darwinian leap-seconders, who believe that the planets revolve around the sun, who believe that rocks are sedimentary, igneous and stalactites, who are innocent dim-wit believers in a faith bordering on hating everything religious like trees and fruitcake, yet, who don't believe in john 7:12:45:67:89, have their say.

go read it. it's a scream.
posted by skippy at 5:12 PM | 0 comments

arc d'triumphe

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no, the streets of paris are not unlevel...mrs. skippy just held the camera at an angle.
posted by skippy at 4:53 PM | 0 comments

alito: what the wapo doesn't get

the washington post's ongoing attempts to spin reality as a neutral thing - when actually, as steven colbert says, "the facts are biased" - now extends to their coverage of samuel alito. their piece on the post's own analysis of alito's past rulings was headed "alito: in and out of the mainstream," with the sub-heading "in analysis, nominee defies portrayals by left and right."

the problem? the study clearly shows three areas where alito is significantly outside the mainstream. while it suggests there are other areas where he is not, that's hardly the point. for an (admittedly extreme) example - john wayne gacy may have been a typical clown, but his social behavior with children was not. that does not place him "in and out of the mainstream."

it's also important to note that supreme court justices are not bound by precedent: they establish it. that means that any nominee's tendency to act outside the mainstream is likely to be amplified once on the court. is alito "in" or "outside" the mainstream? let's look at the wapo's own words:

... a closer look finds that he dissents most often in areas where his views are least typical of the average judge: cases in which he has favored religion and largely sided against immigrants and one group of convicted criminals: prisoners facing the death penalty.

so he's outside the mainstream of american judicial thought - including that of his fellow republican appointees - in three key areas: favoring religion, hostility toward immigrants, and the death penalty. and that's under the limitations of precedent that define his past rulings.

to look at how he would act on the supreme court, it's necessary to look at his past judicial behavior - which the wapo agrees is out of the norm in three major areas - and add to that his writings and extrajudicial actions. those, including his right-wing memo-writing in the reagan administration and his membership in an extremist princeton group, provide a fuller picture of his thought and probable actions on the court.

now, before howard kurtz flames me again, let me say that i understand that the subject of this piece is the new analysis, not alito's entire history. but the header's statement that his actions "defy portrayals by left and right" - and the statement that "neither characterization (by democrats or republicans) is completely accurate," are overly broad (in that they don't limit themselves to the study at hand). and, they are false. in fact, the analysis actually contradicts these wapo assertions.

it's another example of spinning objective data as 'neutral' when, in fact, it clearly points in an entirely non-neutral direction. it's the overthrow of objective reporting in order to appear objective. and isn't that what the msm's been doing for years?

posted by RJ Eskow at 1:37 PM | 0 comments

kids these days...

tawcan has a question:

...are these people fucking retarded or something?

i would say no. the mentally retarded are a lot smarter than these daffy duckies...
posted by Jim Yeager at 1:28 PM | 46 comments

the eiffel tower at night

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more from the skippy's parisian vacation.
posted by skippy at 11:46 AM | 0 comments

because it worked so well in iraq

german media: u.s. prepares iran strike - the bush administration is preparing its nato allies for a possible military strike against suspected nuclear sites in iran in the new year, according to german media reports, reinforcing similar earlier suggestions in the turkish media.

the berlin daily der tagesspiegel this week quoted "nato intelligence sources" who claimed that the nato allies had been informed that the united states is currently investigating all possibilities of bringing the mullah-led regime into line, including military options. this "all options are open" line has been president george w bush's publicly stated policy throughout the past 18 months.

but the respected german weekly der spiegel notes "what is new here is that washington appears to be dispatching high-level officials to prepare its allies for a possible attack rather than merely implying the possibility as it has repeatedly done during the past year."
the essence of insanity is the repetition of the same action hoping for different results.
posted by Pudentilla at 5:39 AM | 0 comments

we told you he’d get a recess appointment!

emboldened by our prognosticatory success, we venture to make two predictions about this story:

chalabi named iraq oil minister - fuel crisis spurs mandatory leave for incumbent - as a fuel crisis deepened in iraq, the government replaced its oil minister with controversial deputy prime minister ahmed chalabi, whose poor performance in the dec. 15 elections was a setback in his recent attempt at political rehabilitation.

first, the oil patch friends of awol and the dark lord (who is the father of a lesbian) will gain financially from this appointment. second, the price of gas in the u.s. will not go down.

bonus prediction – the iraqi people will be even more screwed than they are now.
posted by Pudentilla at 5:30 AM | 0 comments

we write letters

dear senator collins,

we write in regard to media accounts that the department of justice has launched an inquiry into the identity of government employees who leaked the existence of an executive branch directive to the n.s.a. to monitor the electronic communications of u.s. citizens without a warrant. according to the the president, disclosure of the program’s existence has threatened our national security.

we applaud the newly forged republican desire to investigate leaks of national security information, but remain concerned that the doj’s probe is far too limited. the same news stories that report both the administration’s program to spy on citizens without a warrant and the doj inquiry into the leak about the program, note that the administration has known that the new york times had the story for over a year.

in other words, some official or officials in the white house and nsa knew about a leak which, in the president’s opinion, threatened the security of this country, but did nothing to investigate that very leak for over a year. surely such malfeasance has threatened our safety. as any fan of c.s.i. or law and order knows, leads grow stale with the passage of time. if it weren't for the president's assurances that disclosure of his program to spy on american citizens without a warrant threatened our security, we might be inclined to think that the doj probe was, in fact, an effort to harrass the media. but, thanks to the president's assurances, we know that the proper question is not "should the doj retaliate against the press for disclosure of efforts by the administration to spy on citizens without a warrant." instead, the proper question is, "why has the probe been delayed for so long?" which reckless (at best) official determined that america could rest safe while those who had the temerity to expose executive branch warrantless spying walked undetected and undeterred for more than a year?

we urge you, in your capacity as chair of the senate committee charged with overseeing homeland security and governmental affairs to immediately begin an investigation into this failure by the administration to protect us from the horror of knowing that our government spies on citizens without a warrant.

while you’re at it, you might want to look into that nsa program itself. we recall something in the bill of rights that ensures the security of citizens against warrantless government searches and seizures. it appears that the president has violated it.


posted by Pudentilla at 5:14 AM | 0 comments

what’s the word we’re looking for – bribery?

remember the clinton years? remember fred thompson’s investigation of chinese contributions to us presidential and congressional election campaigns. remember the outrage? even joe lieberman condemned it [we know, your shocked]. not to mention david horowitz. well guess what, tom delay’s been taking the red ruble since 1998 through a front group he set called the u.s family network.

the delay-abramoff money trail - nonprofit group linked to lawmaker was funded mostly by clients of lobbyist - the former president of the u.s. family network said buckham told him that russians contributed $1 million to the group in 1998 specifically to influence delay's vote on legislation the international monetary fund needed to finance a bailout of the collapsing russian economy.

as wapo points out, the contribution per se was not illegal (which is why the chinese contribution stories never went anywhere). but we think that paying a contribution to a fake advocacy group controlled by a politician in order to get that politician’s vote is. look under 18 u.s.c. 201.

(4) directly or indirectly, corruptly demands, seeks, receives,
accepts, or agrees to receive or accept anything of value
personally or for any other person or entity in return for being
influenced in testimony under oath or affirmation as a witness
upon any such trial, hearing, or other proceeding, or in return
for absenting himself therefrom;
shall be fined under this title or not more than three times
the monetary equivalent of the thing of value, whichever is
greater, or imprisoned for not more than fifteen years, or both,
and may be disqualified from holding any office of honor, trust,
or profit under the united states.

we can't wait to hear jo-mentum chime in.
posted by Pudentilla at 4:49 AM | 0 comments

Friday, December 30, 2005

happy holidays from the skippy gang

happy holidays from the skippy gang!

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forgive us for being so late in figuring out how to post our pictures from our parisian vacation. but we enjoyed seeing the galeries lafayette department store (kind of the french macy's) decked out in seasonal splendor.

here's wishing everyone a peaceful and prosperous 2006. and thanks from all of the skippy staff, for reading our humble blog.
posted by skippy at 5:39 PM | 0 comments

how come ntodd gets all the blogsex action?

jealous...of ntodd, not jake gyllenhal.
posted by skippy at 3:51 PM | 28 comments

friday random 10

i still spin the wheel of chance from time to time ... here's what i got today:

  1. "double crossing time," john mayall - that's a good way to start! john's a great musician, and a friend. i wrote about him when the queen gave him his well-deserved medal. that kid on guitar's pretty good, too.
  2. "peace begins within," bobby powell - outrageously funky new orleans tune. somebody should sample this bad boy for a hip-hop track. the great audioblog home of the groove is probably hip to the obscure mr. powell, since they specialize in all things n'awlins.
  3. "roll of the dice," fabulous thunderbirds - i think this track's post-jimmy vaughan. kim wilson's in fine form, though.
  4. "high on jesus," kinky friedman - make this man the next governor of texas.
  5. "indian war whoop," hoyt ming & his pep-steppers - via the anthology of american folk music. from the backwoods danceteria in the heart of the pineywood.
  6. "bongo man," count ossie & the mystic revelation of rastafari - oswald williams ("count ossie") added traditional african drumming to reggae, mixed it with horn-heavy instrumentation, and created a new way to meditate.
  7. "get on this train," chris kenner - new orleans r&b singer ("land of 1,000 dances") rocks it.
  8. "billy austin," steve earle - ok, so liking steve earle is just about a progessive cliche. doesn't matter. this anti-death-penalty song is mind-bogglingly powerful & moving.
  9. "you don't seem to miss me," george jones & patty loveless - the genius of the voicebox meets one of the best of the new breed singers. but he could sing the damned phone book and i'd slip into an ecstatic trance ...
  10. "the worst is yet to come," merle haggard - ditto for this guy's voice. and a great songwriter to boot (cowboy boot, that is). the dark poetic genius of country songs. i call him lord byron of bakersfield.

bonus track: "put the oak ridge boys in the slammer," austin lounge lizards - people have forgotten the oak ridge boys, but this white gospel group turned prefab country/pop band were all over the radio in the 70's and 80's. these texas wiseguy bluegrassers had a solution ...

posted by RJ Eskow at 12:57 PM | 0 comments

so, what's next for hurricanes, the russian cyrillic alphabet?

thank goodness the hurricane season is over. only, someone
forgot to tell mother nature:

tropical storm zeta formed in the eastern atlantic ocean on friday, a month after the official end of a record busy hurricane season but forecasters said the straggler storm did not threaten land.

zeta was the 27th named storm of the 2005 atlantic hurricane season, which officially ended on nov. 30.

at noon edt (1700 gmt), zeta was centered about 1,070 miles (1,720 km) southwest of the portuguese islands of the azores and moving northwest near 8 mph (13 kph). it had top sustained winds of 50 mph (85 kph) and could strengthen briefly before fizzling during the weekend, forecasters at the u.s. national hurricane center in miami said.

tropical storms thrive when the seas are warm, so december storms are unusual though not unprecedented in the northern atlantic. six tropical storms have strengthened into hurricanes in december since record-keeping began in 1851, including epsilon earlier this month.

zeta closed out a record-setting year that forced forecasters to choose storm names from the greek alphabet after exhausting their annual list of 21 names.

before you write in, kids, we know zeta is not the last letter of the greek alphabet, we just thought the headline was an ironic joke. how many alphabets can the hurricane season go through?
posted by skippy at 12:10 PM | 0 comments

most overlooked science and technology stories of 2005

i've put up a piece on what i consider the most overlooked - or just fun - science and tech stories of the past year. the first one:

1. mutation that created “white people” 40,000 years ago identified.

the dancers whirled and jumped ever higher, their faces dripping with sweat as the drumbeat intensified. ecstasy seized dancers and musicians alike, only to be interrupted by a sudden wave of shock and surprise. a hush fell across the ancient savannah as the pale stranger emerged from the shadows. straightening his tie, he spoke to the hushed crowd:

“that tune’s gotta lot of pizzazz, fellas, but I can’t find the darned melody anywhere.”

the rest of it's here.

posted by RJ Eskow at 10:17 AM | 39 comments

shorter juan cole

awol’s foreign policy in the middle east, by any measure, including awol’s, is an utter disaster.
posted by Pudentilla at 7:08 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, December 29, 2005

another damn test...

Locus of Control Test Results
Internal Locus (41%)
Individual believes that thier life is defined more by their decisions and internal drive.
External Locus (59%)
Individual believes that thier life is defined more by genetics, environment, fate, or other external factors.
Take Free Locus of Control Test
personality tests by similarminds.com

close enough for me. i've never been much of a control freak anyway...
posted by Jim Yeager at 11:02 PM | 0 comments

if republicans are this concerned about children's safety, why don't they raise this much hell about child molesters?

...the u.s. senate will take up early in the new year a house-passed bill that, disguised as anti-child pornography legislation, poses a serious threat to both hollywood and to millions of american internet users. the legislation is called the children's safety act of 2005. already passed by the house, it has now been introduced by senate judiciary committee chairman orrin hatch, the utah republican, and fast-tracked for speedy passage... {doug ireland, via what really happened}

this is what's considered paramount among our republican officials: eradicating pornography and anything remotely associated with it. not trying to end the war in iraq. not providing american soldiers with the materiel that they need while this war slogs on. not mitigating the economic suffering of their families back in the states who are struggling on sharply reduced incomes because of the war in iraq. not assisting elderly people on fixed incomes, or doing anything to solve the problems with medicare or medicaid. not working to fix social security. not creating jobs. not stabilizing the economy. not doing anything to rebuild new orleans, or to help those new orlenians who remain displaced, or anyone from anywhere else who was displaced by hurricanes katrina, rita, and wilma. not addressing any of the problems with our public education system. not even addressing the physical and psychological problems of rape victims, be they adolescents or adults. and certainly not addressing the gross incompetence, negligence, and heavy-handedness of the best candidate their pathetic excuse for a political party could come up with for the 2004 presidential race, awol, or his administration. no, they want to eliminate boobies and dicks from our collective consciousness, and they want to do that yesterday.

of course, they say it's to "protect the children." but they never invoke the cliche "what about the children?" under any other circumstances, do they? interesting how, whenever the topic of human nudity pops up (snicker), the first thing these beautiful republican souls think of is children -- why is that?
posted by Jim Yeager at 6:23 PM | 19 comments

they're spinning as fast as they can

a new
gallup poll was released today, and even though the numbers are very unfavorable for awol, how does cnn report it? that the numbers are very favorable for laura bush:

far more americans think highly of first lady laura bush than they think of her husband, a poll released thursday said.

fewer than half of americans say they have a favorable opinion of president bush and his top aides, about the same number who said that last summer, the poll found.

but nearly three out of four (73 percent) said they have a favorable opinion of laura bush, the cnn/usa today/gallup poll said. thirteen percent described their opinion of her as unfavorable.

[ed. note: emphasis ours]

you have to read down to the sixth paragraph to find the meat of the matter:

in the latest survey, bush earned an unfavorable rating from 53 percent of respondents.

oh well, who wants to hear about how much people hate awol anyway? apparently not anyone at cnn!
posted by skippy at 5:25 PM | 0 comments

blogging around

tchris at
talkleft tells us about the woman who was arrested at the airport for carrying flour;

jane at
firedoglake informs us newsweek online has an article about markos (which, she assures us, is better than the washington monthly attempt) [ed. note: and, she correctly uses the term blogtopia, but fails to point out that yes! we coined that phrase!];

alternet's peek ponders a study that finds women are aroused by monkey sex (what, no bush kangaroo sex?);

echidne of the snakes keeps on top of the korean stem cell research fraud scandal;

liberal oasis is on vacation this week, why not just go read the old stuff from december?
posted by skippy at 4:41 PM | 0 comments

the term, we believe, is “wanker”

many liberals are taking the enemy of my enemy is my friend approach to bob barr’s recent lambasting of his awol-ness recently revealed grab for 1984 style tyrannical powers in an atlanta journal constitution op-ed. barr is right that his awol-ness is wrong but note the dirtly little slight of hand the old impeacher engages in:

first, in the best tradition of former president bill clinton's classic, "it-all-depends-on-what-the-meaning-of-is-is" defense, president bush responded to a question at a white house news conference about what now appears to be a clear violation of federal electronic monitoring laws by trying to argue that he had not ordered the national security agency to "monitor" phone and e-mail communications of american citizens without court order; he had merely ordered them to "detect" improper communications.

talk about your false equivalencies. when clinton did his little scramble he was accused of extra-marital sex (oh, yeah, and he was in the middle of a deposition, where lawyers parse words all the time – stupid, politically, but not unusual). his awol-ness stands accused of ordering government employees to break a federal law which prevents the government from violating the constitutional rights of citizens. and his little dances with wolves routine is in response to reporter, not a lawyer’s question. (surely the correct analogy is to clinton’s notorious denial, “i didn’t have sex with that woman.”) and sue me, but i can distinguish between the lies a middle-age guy tells about violating his marriage vows and the lies a president tells about violating his oath of office.

even as the old impeacher seeks a reputation as the scourge of executive branch evasion, the msm (olbermann excepted) intones fatuously that no one serious is talking about impeachment. why? in part, perhaps because, in brilliant anticipation of their control of the executive branch and the constitutional crisis that would inevitably follow, the republicans, under the leadership of the old impeacher, himself, turned the issue of what was a high crime into such a circus that the msm no longer has the stomach to demand one. besides, there might be a run-away bride to cover.

so the msm tells the citizens that we don’t have the stomach for an impeachment. and they don’t poll to see whether the citizens actually agrees with them (too truthy). and they don’t (olbermann excepted) say things like, “there won’t be an impeachment because no republican would vote to impeach bush, even if strangled laura in a live interview with katie couric – because republicans just don’t believe that constitutional restrictions apply to the executive when their party controls the executive.”

if our political system is incapable of impeaching a president who has admitted spying on american citizens without a warrant, which he could have gotten, after the fact, in a nano-second, it is in part because bob barr, the old impeacher, personally rendered the impeachment provisions of the constitution useless.
posted by Pudentilla at 5:15 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

playing tag -- and losing...
when i wasn't looking, my blogtopian big brother tagged me with one of those... taggy things, or whatever the hell they are, that make the rounds throughout these internets now and then. he tagged dbk, too. d., however, had the inner strength to ward off the tag; i, alas, did not. herein lies the proof of my shame. bad mimus! no holiday, no asylum, no hug!
posted by Jim Yeager at 7:34 PM | 0 comments

say hello

why are we back in iraq?
posted by skippy at 7:31 PM | 0 comments

nix on awol

jane at
firedoglake quotes john dean who says that americans understand wiretapping, and don't like it.
posted by skippy at 7:30 PM | 0 comments


chuck simmins is hosting the last carnival of hurricane relief for 2005.
posted by skippy at 6:47 PM | 17 comments

katrina: the latest casualty

from the associated press:

new orleans — filmmmaker stevenson j. palfi, best known for the award-winning documentary piano players rarely ever play together, is dead at the age of 53.

palfi shot himself dec. 14 at his home, his family told the times-picayune. relatives said hurricane katrina had destroyed or severely damaged almost all of his property and possessions, and he was severely depressed.

palfi shone a light on some of the greats of new orleans music, including professor longhair and r&b singer ernie k-doe. he had spent much of the last fifteen years working on a film about musical genius allen toussaint - pianist, songwriter, producer, singer.

casualties from katrina, like those from iraq, will continue to surface for many years. scars borne of neglect and trauma run deep, and can appear at unexpected times.

stevenson palfi remembered and honored many great talents who were at risk of being forgotten. today we remember and honor him.

posted by RJ Eskow at 3:09 PM | 0 comments

happy holidays from the bush economic team
u.s.stocks sharply lower as yield curve inverts

the yield curve, the spread between the yields of short-term and long-term bonds, inverted for the first time in five years.

that means short-term interest rates were higher than long-term interest rates. the yield on the 10-year treasury fell to 4.34 percent, while the two-year treasury note closed at 4.35 percent.

investors have been watching the yield curve closely because, in the past, inverted yield curves have preceded recessions.

read 'em and weep.
posted by skippy at 9:16 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

it's not timesharing anymore....

it's personal info sharing.
the timeshare unit of marriott international inc. is notifying more than 200,000 people that their personal data are missing after backup computer tapes went missing from a florida office.

the data relates to 206,000 employees, timeshare owners and timeshare customers of marriott vacation club international, the company said in a statement tuesday. the computer tapes were stored in orlando, where the unit is based.

the company did not say when the tapes disappeared. they contained social security numbers, bank and credit card numbers, according to letters the company began sending customers on saturday. - ap
posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:56 PM | 0 comments

foto funnies


from the
internetweekly, thanks to truth serum.
posted by skippy at 9:09 PM | 0 comments

the latest joke

we got this one from a friend of ours:

after numerous rounds of "we don't know if osama is still alive", osama himself decided to send george bush a letter in his own handwriting to let
him know he was still in the game.

bush opened the letter and it contained a single line of coded message:


bush was baffled, so he e-mailed it to condi rice. condi and her aides had
no clue either, so they sent it to the fbi.

no one could solve it at the fbi so it went to the cia, then to the nsa.

with no clue as to its meaning they eventually asked britain's mi-6 for
help. within a minute mi-6 cabled the white house with this reply:

"tell the president he's holding the message upside-down."
[ed. note: yes, we know there are capital letters in the joke. but our style sheet of no caps would ruin the punchline. sometimes you have to give up style for a laugh!]
posted by skippy at 5:29 PM | 0 comments

pensito review socks it to awol

1995: rep. dan burton (r-in), then chair of the house government reform and oversight committee, investigated whether taxpayers were footing the cost of stationery and postage for the fan club dedicated to president clinton’s cat, socks. (they were not - and it turns out barbara bush’s dog millie had a fan club too.)

2005: two weeks ago, president bush admitted he willfully flouted a law that requires him to get warrants before wiretapping u.s. citizens. his justification for ignoring the law appears to be nobless oblige. in reaction, republicans in charge of the senate judiciary committee announced on friday that they are planning “oversight” hearings into the matter. - pensito review
posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:25 AM | 0 comments

now we know why awol hates "activist" judges

they dare ask questions of him.
u.s. president george bush decided to skip seeking warrants for international wiretaps because the court was challenging him at an unprecedented rate. - upi
posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:08 AM | 0 comments

the banks wish you a merry christmas and and an unhappy new year.

banks are raising their minimum monthly payments in january, a change intended to protect consumers from piling up credit card debts that can last for decades. but the higher minimums, along with interest rates that can be raised for late payments, mean consumers could be facing bigger credit card bills next year. - npr

some cardholders could see their minimum payment double, to 4 percent of the balance from 2 percent. on a $10,000 balance, the payment could jump to $400 from $200. - beacon online

"one out of every four or five households is either over the limit or behind in one of their unsecured lines of credit like gas cards, credit cards, department store cards," says chris viale, president and chief operating officer of cambridge credit. "we've got a large group of consumers who are barely making it. it's hard to determine how large the group that's right behind them is."

the danger is, if you can't afford the increased monthly payment, you could be forced into bankruptcy, and a new bankruptcy law just made it tougher for consumers to wipe out their debts. - dallas morning news
posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:20 AM | 0 comments

the veep is a pod person

in more ways than one. but i don't think he has this catchy tune on his...
the vice president is an ipod fan, and keeping it charged is a priority for his staff.

normally that isn't an issue, even when he's flying around the world. air force ii is equipped with outlets in each row of seats.

but when dick cheney was traveling home overnight wednesday from his diplomatic mission, most of the outlets went on the fritz.

working passengers began lining up their laptops to share the power from a couple of working outlets — particularly the reporters who urgently needed to prepare their articles to transmit during a quick refueling stop in england.

but when cheney said his ipod needed to be recharged, it took precedent above all else and dominated one precious outlet for several hours. the vice president's press staff intervened so a reporter could use the outlet for 15 minutes to charge a dead laptop, but then the digital music device was plugged back in.

that way, cheney got his press coverage and his music, too. - ap
you would think that keeping their boss abreast of the facts would be a priority, but noooooooo.....

mcsweeney's has an idea of his playlist....

classified light
classified driving music
classified smooth jazz
ashcroft, seals and croft
rock and roll, probably
prehomosexual elton john
now that’s what i call music! (vols. 1-10)
republican party music
none of your fucking business
posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:55 AM | 24 comments

happy new parody!

madkane brings us the
auld lang impeachment song.
posted by skippy at 8:51 AM | 0 comments

washpost finally wakes up

julia of
sisyphus shrugged sends us links to the washpost which questions the administration's stand on greenhouse emissions, and takes maryland gov. robert erlich to task to for firing state employees for having partisan views.
posted by skippy at 8:44 AM | 0 comments

gunga din laden

"forget those "stupid" french...we'll make our own foreign legion in the desert. the king of france created that legion, why can't i create my own" - king george w.

the u.s. government will spend $500 million over five years on an expanded program to secure a vast new front in its global war on terrorism -- the sahara desert.

..the u.s.. military and the state department, which officially leads the program, are counting on an annual budget of at least $100 million for the trans-sahara initiative from 2007 until 2011.

this represents a big increase from the pan-sahel initiative, a $7 million forerunner that was initiated in 2002 in what theresa whelan, u.s. deputy assistant secretary of defense for african affairs, called "just a drop in the bucket" compared with the region's needs.

some observers say terrorism in the sahara is little more than a mirage and that a higher-profile u.s. involvement could destabilize the region.

"if anything, the (initiative) ... will generate terrorism, by which I mean resistance to the overall U.S. presence and strategy," said jeremy keenan, a sahara specialist at the university of east anglia in britain.

a report by the international crisis group, a brussels-based think tank, said that although the sahara is "not a terrorist hotbed," repressive governments in the region are taking advantage of the bush administration's "war on terror" to tap u.s. largesse and deny civil freedoms. - sfgate
hey, those tax cuts for the rich are certainly helping pay for all this, too.
posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:00 AM | 0 comments

another opportunity for a recess appointment?

chalabi lacks votes needed to win spot in iraqi assembly - baghdad, dec. 26 -- unexpectedly low support from overseas voters has left ahmed chalabi -- the returned iraqi exile once backed by the united states to lead iraq -- facing a shutout from power in this month's vote for the country's first full-term parliament since the 2003 invasion.

it’s not like his awol-ness would be overly pre-occupied with the fact that the iraqi constitution doesn’t actually grant him the power to appoint chalabi to the iraqi parliament. surely it’s within his awol-ness’s inherent constitutional authority.

on the otherhand, it's nice to see that the iraqi electorate is uninterested in frauds like chalabi. maybe we could borrow a page from their book?
posted by Pudentilla at 7:20 AM | 0 comments

Monday, December 26, 2005

keep spreadin' the meme

kargo x tells you how.
posted by skippy at 8:44 PM | 0 comments

if it's the jews, it was only a "story"

the skippy's are a mixed marriage. skippy comes from a protestant background, mrs. skippy from the jewish heritage.

the result is a strange mixing of traditions this time a year. for instance, every night for 8 nights, they set a christmas tree on fire.

it is with this in mind, that we were taken aback watching the
headline news network last night, which was not only christmas, but the also first night of hanukkah (the first time that's happened since 1997).

hnn reported on homeland security chief michael chertoff's participation in the
lighting of the national menorah in washington, dc.

we thought that was nice of headline news, to recognize the traditions of jewish americans during this time of year. but we were taken aback by the wording of the story.

the reporter said that the menorah was lit to celebrate a biblical "story" in which one day's worth of oil "appeared" to last for eight days.

we would have no quarrel with the equivocations, if the top-down media would only do the same for christian traditions as well.

but when was the last time you heard anyone on the news describe christmas as a celebration of the "biblical story" about the birth of a child who "appeared" to be the son of god?

just wondering. pass the candy cane latkes, please.
posted by skippy at 8:11 PM | 0 comments

don't forget the gulf coast

our buddy chuck simmins is hosting the
carnival of hurricane relief for the end of the year.

be sure to stop by and give what you can.
posted by skippy at 2:51 PM | 0 comments

and now for something totally different

because laughter is a good thing. and picking on states can generate a guffaw or two.

new state slogans:

alabama - at least we're not mississippi
arkansas - litterasy ain't everthing
california - as seen on tv
delaware - delaware, inc.
hawai'i - haka tiki mou sha'ami leeki toru (death to mainland scum, but leave your money)
kentucky - five million people; fifteen last names
maine - lobsterpolooza
michigan - first line of defense from the canadians
minnesota - 10,000 lakes and 1,000,000 mosquitos
mississippi - come feel better about your own state
new hampshire - live, freeze and die
new mexico - lizards make excellent pets
new york - you have the right to remain silent, you have the right to an attorney
north carolina - tobacco is a vegetable
oklahoma - like the play, only no singing
rhode island - we're not really an island
vermont - yep
virginia - who says government stiffs and slackjaw yokels don't mix?
washington - help! we're overrun by nerds and slackers!
washington, d.c. - wanna be mayor?
west virginia - we're one big happy family. really.
wisconsin - come cut our cheese
wyoming - wynot?
posted by SantaBarbarian at 12:33 PM | 0 comments

spade work

rummy sleight of hand:

no date is set for troop withdrawal from iraq - general says insurgency affects timing; powell calls current levels unsustainable - as american troops marked their third christmas in iraq since the war began in march 2003, the highest-ranking u.s. military officer said their number could decline in 2006 but that there is no specific target for withdrawals. he cautioned that more troops could be needed to cope with insurgent activity. [snip]

secretary of defense donald h. rumsfeld said last week that the number could drop to 130,000 by march. president bush and other u.s. officials have also indicated that u.s. forces will increasingly shift to training iraqi troops. [snip]

separately, former secretary of state colin l. powell warned that u.s. force levels are unsustainable, and he predicted that this would cause withdrawals to occur.

speaking on abc's "this week," powell said: "i don't think we can sustain this level of presence with the size force that we have. . . . so i think the numbers will come down for that reason."

rummy’s “promise” will be the base of much red propaganda as we approach the 2006 elections, unless the civil war in iraq explodes in an untimely fashion from the republican point of view. if it does, then rummy will point to pace’s statement and say, "well we never actually promised to withdraw the troops." by the by, it looks like civil war is about to explode in iraq.

what powell’s statement suggests is that rummy’s gambit can’t work – we should fear not simply an explosion of civil war in iraq, but an implosion of military capability in the u.s. it would be nice if wapo actually explored the tensions between these various statements, but it does not appear that work or thought were topics covered in the stenography school their reporter and his editor attended.
posted by Pudentilla at 6:38 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, December 25, 2005

christmas in the market place


u.s. retailers faced slower-than-expected traffic in stores on the last shopping day before christmas as extended hours and steep discounts failed to draw a big crowd of shoppers.

"i don't think the day is the kind of day that retailers thought it would be," said britt beemer, head of america's research group, which surveys consumer spending habits. "christmas eve is seldom the big day because of the fact that so many consumers ... want to be home."

u.s. retailers were counting on strong demand on saturday to make up for solid but unspectacular sales so far this holiday season. the saturday before christmas has become the busiest shopping day of the year as consumers hold out for last-minute discounts.

merry christmas!
posted by skippy at 3:11 PM | 0 comments

christmas in iraq


at least five iraqis and a u.s. soldier were killed in violence in iraq on sunday as fresh street protests over election results kept up tension that has soured the mood after a peaceful ballot 10 days ago.

in the turbulent northern city of mosul, the killing of a sunni arab student leader abducted after heading a demonstration against the election results prompted accusations by mourners at his funeral against militias loyal to the victorious shi'ite islamists and their kurdish allies in the interim government.

merry christmas.
posted by skippy at 3:08 PM | 0 comments

you know it's a california christmas

when kcal-tv and kost-fm get together and show nothing on channel 9 but a fireplace with christmas music playing in the background for hours....and hours....and hours.....
posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:40 AM | 0 comments

have an absolutely fabu xmas, everyone!
posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:00 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, December 24, 2005

merry xmas

haven't been posting anything new lately, just redoing older pieces (something from my daughter, too, and an older piece i'd pre-written for the holiday.) see, i've been fighting off pneumonia for 10 days, with both bronchitis and a sinus infection. my wife has the bronchial infection too, now, so we're two shut-ins. we're the "sid and nancy" of the viral set.

not much of a holiday, but then it's what you make it, they say --

.... remember that jew, that palestinian, that rabble-rouser and enemy of moneylenders whose birthday's being celebrated. you don't need to believe what jerry falwell tells you to do that.

so, "merry christmas to all, and to all a good night" ... thanks to skippy and the gang for making me welcome here, and mad love to everyone else on this, christmas eve in the 21st century u.s.a.
posted by RJ Eskow at 10:03 PM | 0 comments

nsa web site says it's a violation of the 4th amendment to spy on americans

americablog visited the nsa website. too bad king awol and his groveling minnions didn't bother to look online.

and, geez....now norad is even tracking santa.
posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:02 PM | 0 comments

blue xanax

to the tune of "
blue christmas"

i'll have a blue xanax
to make it
i'll need a green prosac
to fake it
holidays are the worst
'cuz my family i hate.
i'll be alright, dear,
if i just self-medicate;
and when those red zyrtecs
start workin'
i'll pop an orange zoloft
for smirkin'
you'll be doing all right
with your wine, red or white
but i'll have a blue, blue blue blue xanax.
posted by skippy at 4:50 PM | 0 comments

say hello

posted by skippy at 3:59 PM | 0 comments

santa might not want to touch down on this house

electricution may be possible.
a video clip (viewable here or here) shows home christmas lights synchronized to flash in time to a musical score, in this case trans-siberian orchestra's "wizard in winter" (from the lost christmas eve album).

this display was the work of carson williams, a mason, ohio, electrical engineer who spent about three hours sequencing the 88 light-o-rama channels that controlled the 16,000 christmas lights in his annual holiday lighting spectacular (from christmas 2004). his 2005 display includes over 25,000 lights that he spent nearly two months and $10,000 to hook up. so that the williams' neighbors aren't disturbed by constant noise, viewers driving by the house are informed by signs to tune in to a signal broadcast over a low-power fm radio station to hear the musical accompaniment. - snopes
posted by SantaBarbarian at 1:13 PM | 0 comments

no wonder awol and his buddies hate the french

while buscho is cutting funding for education, the french are putting money into schools...in nawhlins!
as part of a program to help louisiana recover from hurricane katrina, the french government soon will allocate $431,000 to the state's schools, the local french consulate said this week. about $500,000 more will be held in reserve by a foundation acting on behalf of the government.

about $151,000 will go to three new orleans schools with special french-language
programs that have reopened or will reopen in the next few weeks. the three are audubon charter school, the international school of louisiana and ecole bilingue de la nouvelle-orleans.

another $280,000 will go to other louisiana schools, on the basis of $100 per enrolled student. - the times picayune via gulf sails
posted by SantaBarbarian at 12:58 PM | 0 comments

war on christmas is hell

fafnir at
the fafblog (via tena at first draft):

"i hear they got rudolph today," says me.

"no!" says giblets. "not rudolph! with his unmatched dogfighting skills and his nose so bright he was invincible!"

"it's true," says me. "zombie judah maccabee shot im down over the island of misfit toys with his dreidel of doom."

"damn you hannukah!" says giblets. "will your eight days of madness never end!"
"do you think santa really has a secret plan to take the kwanzaan capital an win the war?" says me.

"of course he does!" says giblets. "and once christmas spreads to kwanzaa it will inspire hannukhan dissidents to rise up and overthrow their oppressive anti-christmanian leadership, and from there christmas will spread to eid and new years and halloween and arbor day until every day is christmas!"

"work will become obsolete in the new christmas-based economy," says me. "all resources will be directly mined from wells of infinite jollity."

"secularists do not believe in jollity," says giblets. "they believe in a series of random chemical processes which over millions of years have created the appearance of jollity."

go read the rest.
posted by skippy at 12:47 PM | 0 comments

fun with data mining or...

reason #52 not to have your social security monies in the stock market
the chairman and chief executive officer of palm beach technology company applied
digital solutions
said news of the arrests of individuals who may have manipulated applied shares is long overdue.

on wednesday, reuters reported an fbi special agent and former agent were among five people indicted for using confidential law-enforcement information to operate an insider stock market trading and extortion ring.

...the government accused the suspects of improperly short-selling publicly traded stocks, which involves an investor putting out false rumors about stock and then profiting when that stock price falls. - south florida business journal
posted by SantaBarbarian at 12:38 PM | 0 comments

barrons...that "liberal rag" ***

is calling for awol's impeachment. what a christmas present that would be!
"as the year was drawing to a close, we picked up our new york times and learned that the bush administration has been fighting terrorism by intercepting communications in america without warrants. it was worrisome on its face, but in justifying their actions, officials have made a bad situation much worse: administration lawyers and the president himself have tortured the constitution and extracted a suspension of the separation of powers . . .

certainly, there was an emergency need after the sept. 11 attacks to sweep up as much information as possible about the chances of another terrorist attack. but a 72-hour emergency or a 15-day emergency doesn't last four years . . .

willful disregard of a law is potentially an impeachable offense. it is at least as impeachable as having a sexual escapade under the oval office desk and lying about it later. the members of the house judiciary committee who staged the impeachment of president clinton ought to be as outraged at this situation. they ought to investigate it, consider it carefully and report either a bill that would change the wiretap laws to suit the president or a bill of impeachment.

it is important to be clear that an impeachment case, if it comes to that, would not be about wiretapping, or about a possible constitutional right not to be wiretapped. it would be about the power of congress to set wiretapping rules by law, and it is about the obligation of the president to follow the rules in the acts that he and his predecessors signed into law. - matt stoller's posting over at mydd and the big picture and glic's daily kos posting and mcjoan's daily kos posting.

*** kidding. very much so. it's published by that other "bastion of liberalism rags", the wall street journal.
posted by SantaBarbarian at 12:17 PM | 22 comments

the oakland tribune is looking for a few good books...

well, actually a few good copies of one good book. 1984.
it took 21 years longer than expected, but the future has finally arrived.

and we don't like it. not one bit.

we are fighting a war with no end to create a peace with no defined victory.

we occupy a foreign land that doesn't want us, while at home our civil liberties are discounted. we are told that it's better not to know what our government is doing in our name, for security purposes. meanwhile, our government is becoming omnipresent, spying on us whenever it deems it necessary.

war is peace. freedom is slavery. ignorance is strength.

george orwell was right after all.

....we think it's time for congress to heed the warning of george orwell.

to that end, we're asking for your help: mail us or drop off your tattered copies of "1984." when we get 537 of them, we'll send them to every member of the house of representatives and senate and to president bush and vice president dick cheney.

feel free to inscribe the book with a note, reminding these fine people that we americans take the threat to our liberties seriously. remind congress that it makes no sense to fight a war for democracy in a foreign land while allowing our democratic principles to erode at home.

remind president bush that ours is a country of checks and balances, not unbridled power. perhaps our nation's leaders can find some truth in this fiction and more carefully ponder the road we're traveling.

bring or mail your books to the oakland tribune, 401 13th St., oakland ca 94612.
posted by SantaBarbarian at 12:15 PM | 0 comments

there is always time for...

another christmas song

(lyrics by ian anderson)

hope everybody's ringing on their own bell this fine morning,
hope everyone's connected to that long-distance phone.
old man, he's a mountain.
old man, he's an island.
old man, he's a-waking, says, "i'm going to call, call all my children home"...

hope everybody's dancing to their own drum this fine morning --
the beat of distant africa, or a polish factory town.
old man, he's calling for his supper.
he's calling for his whiskey,
calling for his sons and daughters -- calling, calling all his children 'round...

sharp ears are tuned in to the drones and chanters warming,
mist blowing 'round some headland somewhere in your memory.
everyone is from somewhere --
even if you've never been there.
so take a minute to remember the part of you that might be the old man calling me...

how many wars you fighting out there this winter's morning?
maybe it's always time for another christmas song.
old man is asleep now --
he's got appointments to keep now,
dreaming of his sons and his daughters, proving... proving that the blood, is, strong...

..."but i heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"happy christmas to all, and to all a good night"...
posted by Jim Yeager at 11:48 AM | 0 comments

what is xmas

without david sedaris and the santaland diaries?
stories about the intersection of christmas and retail, including david sedaris's story santaland diaries, which was first broadcast on npr's morning edition several years ago in a much shorter version. the diaries are about david's two christmas seasons working as an elf in macy's department store on new york's herald square. when it was first broadcast, it generated more requests for tapes than any story in morning edition's history except the death of red barber. - this american life and npr
posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:07 AM | 0 comments

happy holidays!

dear nsa lackey who might be reading my emails rather than searching for osama, we hope in this season of hope and joy, you discover your conscience and tell everyone from congress to judy millar about his awol-ness' decision to exploit you in order to exercise tyrannical powers within the united states. depending on e the nature of your holiday celebrations we wish you, and everyone, a

merry christmas
happy hannukah
sunny solstice
sassy sacaea
io saturnalia
cool kwanza
fevered festivus
festive fitzmas and a
yummy yule,

and to heck with bill o'reilly.
posted by Pudentilla at 5:02 AM | 0 comments

do the words “samson and delilah” spring to mind?

damon starts short-haired portion of his career
- with a shave and a haircut, johnny damon approached a lectern at yankee stadium yesterday and rubbed his naked chin for the cameras. if there were any remnants from his years with the boston red sox, including his once-flowing locks, they were hard to find.

damon wore a wedding ring, but not his 2004 world series ring. he wore a no. 18 jersey, but now it had pinstripes.

what profit it a man to give his soul for the whole world? but for the yankees, johnny? for the yankees?
posted by Pudentilla at 4:55 AM | 0 comments

because, for republicans, the right to torture is too precious to sacrifice

a lone g.o.p. senator, unknown, holds up an intelligence bill - an unidentified republican senator has blocked the authorization bill that sets guidance for all intelligence spending, and the measure must now wait for congress to return next month from recess, congressional officials said friday. [snip]

the parliamentary "hold" was put on the intelligence authorization bill under senate rules that allow a single senator acting anonymously to delay action on legislation. it appeared to be intended to block amendments dealing with the detention and treatment of captured terror suspects and with intelligence on iraq. [snip]

the hold on the intelligence authorization bill was first reported in the washington post on friday. the hold scuttled a compromise negotiated with senator pat roberts of kansas, the senior republican on the senate intelligence committee, who agreed to include the amendments in a measure that was to be presented to the senate for unanimous consent.

even for the sake of national security.
posted by Pudentilla at 4:50 AM | 10 comments

bombing brown people into democracy

military confirms surge in airstrikes - u.s. airstrikes in iraq have surged this fall, jumping to nearly five times the average monthly rate earlier in the year, according to u.s. military figures.

until the end of august, u.s. warplanes were conducting about 25 strikes a month. the number rose to 62 in september, then to 122 in october and 120 in november. [snip]

but air force maj. gen. allen g. peck, deputy commander of the u.s. air operations center in the region, said the higher strike numbers also reflected more aggressive military operations in other parts of iraq that were undertaken to improve security for last week's national elections.

"i'm hard-pressed to provide a single definitive explanation for the increase," peck said in a telephone interview.

too bad all those civilians had to die, though. payback’s going to be a bitch.
posted by Pudentilla at 4:44 AM | 0 comments

warrants, we don’t need no stinking warrants

u.s. monitored muslim sites across nation for radiation
- according to a report yesterday by u.s. news & world report, government teams were sent to more than 100 muslim sites in the washington area, including mosques, homes, businesses and warehouses, plus similar sites in chicago, detroit, las vegas, new york and seattle.

the magazine, citing unnamed sources who knew about the secret program, said investigators sometimes went onto property under surveillance without a warrant, and some participants were threatened with firing after questioning the legality of the activity.

at its peak, three vehicles monitored 120 sites a day in and around washington, nearly all of them muslim targets identified by the fbi, the report said. the magazine said checks were made daily for about 10 months starting in 2002 and resumed during high threat periods.

his awol-ness’s national security policy, if you can’t catch a certain 7 foot tall terrorist named osama abroad, act like a tyrant at home.
posted by Pudentilla at 4:40 AM | 0 comments

awol’s deal: their blood for their oil

u.s. airstrikes take toll on civilians
- eyewitnesses cite scores killed in marine offensive in western iraq

u.s. marine airstrikes targeting insurgents sheltering in iraqi residential neighborhoods are killing civilians as well as guerrillas along the euphrates river in far western iraq, according to iraqi townspeople and officials and the u.s. military.

just how many civilians have been killed is strongly disputed by the marines and, some critics say, too little investigated. but townspeople, tribal leaders, medical workers and accounts from witnesses at the sites of clashes, at hospitals and at graveyards indicated that scores of noncombatants were killed last month in fighting, including airstrikes, in the opening stages of a 17-day u.s.-iraqi offensive in anbar province.

"these people died silently, complaining to god of a guilt they did not commit," zahid mohammed rawi, a physician, said in the town of husaybah. rawi said that roughly one week into operation steel curtain, which began on nov. 5, medical workers had recorded 97 civilians killed. at least 38 insurgents were also killed in the offensive's early days, rawi said.

blowback’s gonna be a bitch, though.
posted by Pudentilla at 4:30 AM | 0 comments

sam, sam, the wiretap man

alito urged wiretap immunity - memo offers look at nominee on privacy - supreme court nominee samuel a. alito jr. once argued that the nation's top law enforcement official deserves blanket protection from lawsuits when acting in the name of national security, even when those actions involve the illegal wiretapping of american citizens, documents released yesterday show.

the reds have been thinking about this coup for quite awhile now, haven’t they? and when republicans plot coups, they always remember to buy liability insurance.
posted by Pudentilla at 4:21 AM | 52 comments

Friday, December 23, 2005

the vast right wing "wiretapping" conspiracy

just keeps getting bigger...and bigger....

the volume of information harvested from telecommunication data and voice networks, without court-approved warrants, is much larger than the white house has acknowledged, the officials said. it was collected by tapping directly into some of the american telecommunication system's main arteries, they said.

as part of the program approved by president bush for domestic surveillance without warrants, the n.s.a. has gained the cooperation of american telecommunications companies to obtain backdoor access to streams of domestic and international communications, the officials said.

....phil karn, a computer engineer and technology expert at a major west coast telecommunications company, said access to such switches would be significant. "if the government is gaining access to the switches like this, what you're really talking about is the capability of an enormous vacuum operation to sweep up data," he said- nytimes

posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:38 PM | 0 comments

more texas "injustice"
a man was jailed for more than a year without ever seeing a lawyer as he waited for a repeatedly postponed court hearing, gaining release only after a cellmate told an attorney about the case.

walter mann sr., 69, was released dec. 16 after a year and three months — more than twice the time he would have served if he had been convicted in his contempt-of-court case.

...."he wasn't lost in the system," said sheriff's department spokesman sgt. don peritz. "we knew he was here ... we hold them until the judge says to hold him no longer." - ap
posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:19 PM | 0 comments

more wal-mart messy news

if wal-mart doesn't think that it has a legal responsibility to be upfront about encouraging their employees to go on federal assistance because they pay so low, why should a former exec have the legal responsibility to tell the company he had embezzled money from them.
wal-mart argued in a court filing thursday that former executive tom coughlin had a legal responsibility to tell the company that he had embezzled money.

coughlin has denied wrongdoing. the 28-year wal-mart veteran retired earlier this year and gave up his seat on the retail giant's board of directors in march.

the company claims coughlin funneled company funds into everything from alcoholic beverages to personal vehicles and gifts for his family.

wal-mart sued to end coughlin's retirement agreement, which coughlin's lawyers have said is worth from $12 million to $15 million. wal-mart is also trying to get back $262,497 that coughlin is accused of misusing, and is seeking $400,492 that the retailer claims it mistakenly paid to coughlin. - ap
wal-mart claims coughlin’s failure to disclose that he had engaged in a
systematic yet well-hidden wrongdoing and his affirmative misstatements were
material to the company’s decision to enter into the retirement agreement.
according to wal-mart’s motion, no company should have to assume that one of its
highest ranking executives — especially one who had championed the cause of corporate probity and proclaimed that "anyone who is taking money from associates and shareholders ought to be shot," — was committing fraud. - nwanews.com
good thing wal-mart sells shotguns. time to line him up and hold him to his word.
posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:31 PM | 0 comments

start spreadin' the meme

we won't reprint the entirety of
kargo x's dkos diary here, but he gives some great ideas for helping to spread the "i" word around the country. our favorite (which we have done) is to print out avery labels with the simple word "impeach" on them, and stick them everywhere you can (but don't be a vandal...no cars or windows, just posts and signs and papers and the like).

personally, we like to include the url "
www.impeachbush.org" at the bottom, just to get folks pointed in the right direction on the internets.

addendum: it seems to be working. editor&publisher has a listing of msm outlets that are using the "i" word.

posted by skippy at 5:10 PM | 1 comments