Tuesday, May 31, 2005
the dems aren't stalling, awol. they are trying to do their their homework. you might not read things, but they do....and they want to read those bolton documents.
the information that the white house has refused to provide to congress for its review into the nomination of john r. bolton includes the names of american companies mentioned in intelligence reports on commerce with china and other countries covered by export restrictions, according to government officials who have been briefed on the matter.
the fact that the documents also included the names of american companies, and that the subject had to do with possible violations of american export restrictions,provides a new clue as to why the white house might be rebuffing the congressional requests.
the names of the americans and the companies remain highly classified, but they were provided to bolton by the national security agency in response to special requests he made as under secretary of state for arms control.
...as under secretary of state for arms control, mr. bolton's responsibilities included efforts to enforce sanctions intended to combat problems posed by weapons proliferation. - nytimes
wanna bet that some of those companies that awol and his merry band of 1600 crew thieves are protecting, probably broke u.s. export restrictions and contributed to bushco coffers....
in case you missed the daily show's mention of "skippy the hussein kangaroo," the dem bloggers have kindly captured the video for you.
hoping you get cookie monster on the show so you can convince him, as only you can, that that c is better standing for cookie instead of crossfire.
wait for it...
we were eating lunch somewhere in tulare last weekend when we realized that it shouldn't have been such a big deal for medicaid to pay for viagra for convicted sex offenders. after all, they'll just go blind, so what's the problem?
unfortunately, a topical joke isn't funny 7 days after the fact.
to the patriot daily.
let's open the ol' skippy mailbag...
the democracy cell project sends us their weekly newsletter;
the old fashioned patriot wonders if we realize the kind of person who is our designated leader;
congressman ryan talks about the chinese currency issue over at the agonist;
democracy for texas wants to remind us all abuot democracyfest 2005 on june 17-19;
snow moon worries about red state cult activity;
and think progress says awol's administratoin was for amnesty international before it was against it.
because american hajji has landed in the sandbox.
after decades of wondering why nixon saw "deep throat" 14 times, ex-fbi agent w. mark felt finally revealed the reason.
he wanted to get it down pat.
love him or hate him. agree with him or disagree with him. the fact is that colonel hackworth was among our most decorated heroes of all time. you would think that at his funeral this administration would send someone to honor this man. honor this american who served his country his entire life. but no. members of bushco didn't show up for duty back then...they didn't show up for duty at the colonel's funeral.
as an orphan shining shoes at a military base in santa monica, calif., he lied about his age to join up in the waning days of world war II. that started a career that led him to korea, where he survived a gunshot to the head, and a whopping four tours of duty in vietnam, where his daring and swagger became the inspiration for robert duvall's colonel kilgore character in the movie ''apocalypse now."
tomorrow, the us military will lay to rest colonel david h. hackworth -- among its most decorated heroes of all time -- at arlington national cemetery.
the top brass is not expected to attend. - the boston globe
if bushco keep saying they honor and respect the soldiers, they don't show it by diss'n the man who spent his life fighting for the little guy on on battlefield. bet they didn't even sign his "guestbook"
visit soldiers for the truth. keep the colonel's mission and fighting spirit alive.
scott norvell is london bureau chief for fox news, and on may 20 he let the mask slip in, of all places, the wall street journal...but no surprise...the european version.
even we at fox news manage to get some lefties on the air occasionally, and often let them finish their sentences before we club them to death and feed the scraps to karl rove and bill o'reilly. and those who hate us can take solace in the fact that they aren't subsidizing bill's bombast; we payers of the bbc license fee don't enjoy that peace of mind.
fox news is, after all, a private channel and our presenters are quite open about where they stand on particular stories. that's our appeal. people watch us because they know what they are getting. the beeb's institutionalized leftism would be easier to tolerate if the corporation was a little more honest about it. - slate
i'm shocked. shocked to hear that they are not balanced!
we go away for one holiday weekend and some anti-union waffler steals our identity.
dave johnson of seeing the forest wrote us a letter asking why skippy left an anti-labor comment on kevin drum's political animal blog. the comment, in whole, reads:
I've gotta think there's a lot of people who would be glad to support the Wal-mart/janitorial half of a union movement, even if they find themselves largely aggravated by the teacher/autoworker half.
here's the second to last paragraph that kevin wrote which "evil skippy" agrees with:
and it's signed skippy with an email address at yahoo.com.
aside from the wrong email, which is what tipped dave off, anyone reading the comment would know skippy didn't write it. not because skippy would rather see executives and ceo's get pay based on merit or give up their gold-plated health plans before we start harping on union members for the same (which is exactly how skippy feels).
of course we all know skippy is a proud member of three unions, and would respectfully disagree with kevin drum's second to last paragraph. and he doesn't capitalize.
so beware, somewhere out there in blogtopia (no! skippy's evil twin did not coin that phrase!) is an imposter...
deep throat coughs up his identity?
a former fbi official claims he was "deep throat," the long-anonymous source who leaked secrets about president nixon's watergate coverup to the washington post, vanity fair reported tuesday.
w. mark felt, 91, who was second-in-command at the fbi in the early 1970s, kept the secret even from his family until 2002, when he confided to a friend that he had been post reporter bob woodward's source, the magazine said.
"i'm the guy they used to call deep throat," he told lawyer john d o'connor, the author of the vanity fair article, the magazine said in a news release. - ap/yahoo
felt said he was "only doing his duty" and did not seek to bring down nixon over the cover-up of a break-in at democratic party offices in the watergate complex in washington, d.c. - msnbc
the big brass alliance is a federation of bloggers that have joined to support the efforts of afterdowningstreet.org, a coalition of veterans', peace, and activist groups pursuing a congressional investigation of possible impeachable offenses regarding the planning and implementation of the iraq war. according to constitutional lawyer john bonifaz,
the downing street memo provides new and compelling evidence that the president of the united states has been actively engaged in a conspiracy to deceive and mislead the united states congress and the american people about the basis for going to war against iraq. if true, such conduct constitutes a high crime under article II, section 4 of the united states constitution.’"there's more information at shakespeare's sister, which is leading the alliance, and in juan cole's salon article on the topic. our skippy cohort night light has joined the coalition (although we're not "joiners" by nature) and writes about it here.
cuz we're in for some bumpy rides along the ring of fire.
an explosion shook western mexico's volcano of fire early monday, sending a plume of ash and smoke 5 kilometers (3 miles) into the air and scattering hot rocks on the mountain's slopes.it was the largest eruption in at least 15 years at mexico's most active volcano, said carmen segura rangel, coordinator of civil defense for mexico's interior department. - cnn
oh...and y'all think tsunami's are bad news....volcanos can toss in more than a few troublesome things all wrapped up in one "gift bag of disaster."
i fell into a burning ring of fire
i went down, down, down
and the flames went higher
and it burns, burns, burns
the ring of fire
the ring of fire
the ring of fire
(remembering johnny cash)
Monday, May 30, 2005
just another day of winning friends and influencing people
us troops outraged iraq's new government yesterday by arresting one of the country's foremost sunni leaders only to release him later and call the whole episode a mistake.some folks might call that kidnapping.
firing stun grenades, american soldiers burst into the home of mohsen abdul-hamid, head of the largest sunni arab political party, shortly after dawn. they forced a hood over his head and dragged him away along with his three sons.
...a sunni kurd, he is widely considered a moderate and played a leading role in bringing sunni arabs who boycotted january's elections back into the political process.
he was freed 10 hours later, but the us military offered no explanation for his detention and stopped short of apologising.
...it appeared that the americans had not sought permission for the raid from the iraqi government, again raising questions about its supposed sovereignty. it also threatened the most serious rift between washington and baghdad since the administration was sworn in a month ago.
...mr abdul-hamid was certainly well known to the americans. he was selected to sit on the us-appointed iraqi governing council shortly after the fall of saddam hussein and briefly served as its president.
his wife, awatif, said that a translator with the us troops who arrested her husband shouted: "this is what happens to those who boycotted the elections." - the telegraph
and it's not the first time, either....spooks have whisked the "wrong" people away....
dr. nolte examined the case of khaled el-masri, a german citizen who american officials have confirmed was pulled from a bus on the serbia-macedonia border on dec. 31, 2003, and held for three weeks. then he was drugged and beaten, by his account, before being flown to afghanistan.
..mr. masri was later released by order of condoleezza rice, the national security adviser at the time, after his arrest was shown to be a case of mistaken identity. - nytimes
"the west won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. westerners often forget this fact, non-westerners never do." - samuel p. huntington
poor dick cheney's "offended" at amnesty international:
"for amnesty international to suggest that somehow the united states is a violator of human rights, i frankly just don't take them seriously," he said in an interview that aired monday night on cnn's larry king live.
a spokesperson for amnesty international replied:
"it doesn't matter whether he takes amnesty international seriously. he doesn't take torture seriously; he doesn't take the geneva convention seriously; he doesn't take due process rights seriously; and he doesn't take international law seriously. and that is more important than whether he takes amnesty international seriously."
hey, dick! on behalf of amnesty international supporters everywhere - thanks for the free publicity, numbskull.
me, i'm offended by foul language on the senate floor. i'm offended by letting utility company lobbyists make energy policy. i'm offended by some fat pantsload in the vp's office using the defense department as his personal atm. i'm offended by a government that 'loses' $8.9 billion in war appropriations while saying we don't have enough resources to up-armor every humvee..
i guess that's why i'm not a 'values' voter. and you know what offends me the most? that this draft dodger dares to show his face after putting our soldiers in harms' way without the right planning and the right resources to keep them safe. it's memorial day, cheney ... stay outta my face.
other than that, of course, i like the guy ...
"allow the president to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such a purpose - and you allow him to make war at pleasure."
(photo credit: wikipedia)
between the crosses, row on row,
that mark our place; and in the sky
the larks, still singing bravely, fly
scarce heard amid the guns below
we are the dead. short days ago
we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
loved and were loved, and now we lie
in flanders fields.
take up our quarrel with the foe:
to you from failing hands we throw
the torch; be yours to hold it high.
if ye break faith with us who die
we shall not sleep, though poppies grow
in flanders fields.
"tombstone: an ugly reminder of one who has been forgotten." (h. l. mencken)
Sunday, May 29, 2005
eu constitution voted down.
remember our post awhile ago about shaima rezayee , the afghanistani veejay who was murdered outsider her doorway? could a horrible murder become even more heartbreaking? yes.
suspicion fell initially on her fundamentalist foes, but last week kabul police
said they suspect that "family members may be involved in the murder," leading
to speculation that rezayee's death may have been an "honor killing." they said they will question rezayee's relatives when the mourning period ends.
...in a phone interview, her brother jawad, who faces a police investigation, denied family involvement in his sister's death. "my sister was not murdered. she committed suicide," he said.sfgate
the past month has seen a half-dozen high-profile killings of women in afghanistan, including an execution for suspected adultery and the discovery of three corpses with notes warning women against working for western aid agencies - christian science moniter
the taliban mentality still lives. we seemed to have forgotten that women's rights are human rights, too.
i figured someone like trent reznor of nine inch nails wouldn't like awol too much, but now i have proof. from reuters via msnbc:
"we were set to perform 'the hand that feeds' with an unmolested, straightforward image of george w. bush as the backdrop. apparently, the image of our president is as offensive to mtv as it is to me," nine inch nails leader trent reznor said in a statement posted on the band's web site...
which makes me wonder: what does a straightforward image of the president look like?
i'm not even going to link to this group. their link should continue to be missing.
fossils at the smithsonian institution's national museum of natural history have been used to prove the theory of evolution. next month the museum will play host to a film intended to undercut evolution
the discovery institute, a group in seattle that supports an alternative theory, "intelligent design," is announcing on its web site that it and the director of the museum "are happy to announce the national premiere and private evening reception" on june 23 for the movie, "the privileged planet: the search for purpose in the universe." - nytimes
wow...only $16,000 to sell out science and the smithsonian reputation.
or are we going to have to place it in the michael jackson trial briefs?
the raf and us aircraft doubled the rate at which they were dropping bombs on iraq in 2002 in an attempt to provoke saddam hussein into giving the allies an excuse for war, new evidence has shown.
the attacks were intensified from may, six months before the united nations resolution that tony blair and lord goldsmith, the attorney-general, argued gave the coalition the legal basis for war. by the end of august the raids had become a full air offensive.
the details follow the leak to the sunday times of minutes of a key meeting in july 2002 at which blair and his war cabinet discussed how to make “regime change” in iraq legal.
...the new information, obtained by the liberal democrats, shows that the allies dropped twice as many bombs on Iraq in the second half of 2002 as they did during the whole of 2001, and that the raf increased their attacks even more quickly than the americans did.
...the briefing paper prepared for the july meeting — the same document that revealed the prime minister’s agreement during a summit with president george w bush in april 2002 to back military action to bring about regime change — laid out the american war plans.- the sunday times
mmmm...you think the corporate media might start reading this a little more carefully and actully start asking questions about it? maybe they should start thinking this is a little more news worthy than the 24/7 coverage of michael jackson or the american idol scandal.
(a big kangaroo hug to talk left for the most excellent find...and the very kind words for those of us roo's toiling under the big roo, skippy)
from a talented female? i have this feeling that danica is going to put back the geeee! in irl.
robby gordon accused danica patrick of having an unfair advantage in the indianapolis 500 and said saturday he will not compete in the race again unless the field is equalized.
gordon, a former open-wheel driver now in nascar, contends that patrick is at an advantage over the rest of the competitors because she only weighs 100 pounds. because all the cars weigh the same, patrick's is lighter on the race track.
.."i won't race against her until the irl does something to take that advantage away." - si.com
hey, robbie. stop your whining. (you could stand to lose a few pounds yourself.) shut the hell up and just try to out race her.
Saturday, May 28, 2005
whether they realize it or not, people in america's "mainstream media" are bought and paid for by the outfits they would naturally be reporting on. "media" concentration looked like this as of 2002. sure, we have a litany of channels and stations to pick from (just ask the heritage foundation), but we have a variety of cat litter brands to pick from, too -- no matter what you call it or how you package it, it's still cat litter. and often, when it comes to getting the news from tv and the radio (and, for that matter, the internets), we might as well be looking for the right brand of cat litter.
case in point: the downing street memo. the "media" just don't want to deal with it. can't say i blame them -- the memo suggests they were used by awol & co., and no one likes to feel used. plus, they would upset advertisers if they did give it the attention it deserved. but if they won't deal with it, who will?
well, there's afterdowningstreet.org, a newly launched group of veterans and peace and political activists determined to find out whether awol committed impeachable offenses (very likeliest answer: well, duh! -- but still...). and they're not alone: shakespeare's sister has started up the big brass alliance, a group of lefty bloggers who want to help the folks at a.d.s. get their message out.
if you're a lefty blogger and you'd like to join the alliance, simply drop in and leave her a comment. the "media" whores seem content to stay bought, thank you very much, so maybe it's best to just bypass them altogether...
yowling from the fencepost
we are not sheep
we have some serious problems in the state of housing in this county. most people simply can't afford housing and are choosing to gamble to get in the door with interest only mortgages.
more than a third of the mortgages written in the washington area this year are a risky new kind of loan that lets borrowers pay back only the interest, delaying for years repayment of any loan principal. economists warn that the new loans are essentially a gamble that home prices will continue to rise at a brisk pace, allowing the borrower to either sell the home at a profit or refinance before the principal payments come due.
many economists are beginning to worry that the loans could hurt consumers, lenders and the economy itself. buyers could be exposing themselves to increased risk if home values should fall and interest rates rise, and lenders could be liable if borrowers walk away from such loans. even the neighbors of people who have bought homes at inflated prices could face financial injury if they take home-equity loans that assume the new purchases reflect true and higher values for properties in their neighborhoods.- wapo
the last interest-only mortgage craze ended with a wave of foreclosures in the great depression. today's interest-only arms are even riskier. - msnmoney
they accounted for nearly 70 percent of home purchases in the first two months of the year in san francisco, marin and san mateo counties, up from 18 percent in 2002 and 59 percent in 2004, according to data compiled for the chronicle by san francisco mortgage research firm LoanPerformance, a unit of title giant first american corp.
in san jose, 61 percent of purchase loans in the first two months of 2005 were interest-only, up from 9 percent three years ago. and 78 percent of home buyers in the vallejo metropolitan area chose interest-only loans, up from 6 percent, according to loanperformance, whose research covers a large majority of so-called jumbo mortgages, a very common mortgage type in california. - sfgate
and don't forget the problems with fannie mae
and renters? to be able to afford a two bedroom house in these states, you would need on average:
massachusetts - $20.93/hr
new york - $18.18/hr
connecticut - $17.90/hr
hawaii - $17.60/hr
and to afford san francisco? $29.60/hr
let's see...you've been in your house for 30-40 years. the value has doubled or tripled since you've paid it off. you live alone, your husband died years ago. you have trouble getting around but you are pretty independent but you rely on your medicare and social security to get by. bushco says "so sorry" you won't be eligible for his prescription drug benefit plan, because you have "too much money" by having a house.
as many as 2.4 million low-income people will miss out on generous savings when the medicare prescription-drug benefit begins next year because they have too many personal assets.
even though their incomes are low enough to qualify for coverage that pays 85 to 98 percent of their drug costs, millions of retirees won't get the benefit because the size of their bank and retirement accounts and other assets makes them ineligible for it.
despite those assets, most of these people are far from wealthy.
a disproportionate share are older, widowed women with modest incomes who live alone, according to a study by the kaiser family foundation. nearly 60 percent of these women, and others who live alone, have life savings of no more than $51,500, the study found. for married couples, the figure is $63,000. - knight ridder
get your meds or keep your house. which would you decide.
this is so awol & co.-ish, it froths...
susan milligan, writing for the boston globe, says "shut bases could get nuclear waste":
the energy and water bill from the house appropriations committee includes $15.5 million for reprocessing of nuclear waste from power plants and construction of an interim nuclear waste dump. the legislation does not specify where that dump would be, but the appropriations committee report, which explains the bill, suggests that mothballed military bases be considered as potential sites for the waste.
lawmakers said the idea adds to the pain of a region that faces the loss of 14,500 jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars if the recommendations by the base realignment and closure commission are adopted...
okay, fine, let 'em be that way. if the states whose electoral votes went to awol are to be rewarded with more jobs at military bases while those whose electoral votes went to kerry are to experiences layoffs, shutdowns, and possible nuclear waste poisoning, then how about we start bringing home those reservists representing the kerry states and replace them with the new recruits representing the awol states? have the kerry states deal with the nuclear waste and the awol states deal with the insurgents, the lack of supplies, the stop-loss b.s., the condemnation of most of the rest of the world, the indifference of most of congress, the very real possibility of being told to f*%& off after they come home mutilated -- does that sound fair?
i didn't think so...
president bill clinton has cancelled part of his tour to tsuanmi-stricken areas due to exhaustion:
"he's plain pooped and he wants to slow the schedule down," hart said.that's okay, big dog, you do what you have to do. recent news reports and polls show that even the republicans are finally beginning to realize just how well we had it under your stewardship. of course, president awol could make a fella nostalgic for nixon.
clinton, recently appointed u.n. special envoy for tsunami recovery, will keep his scheduled appointments in the maldives but will not tour areas devastated by december's giant wave.
"today a new generation of americans is making its own sacrifice on behalf of peace and freedom, and some have given their lives" - george w. bush, radio address 28 may 2005
i would like to know what paris is sacrificing.
why else would they have the homeland security department after your sorry asses?
agents shut down a popular web site that allegedly had been distributing copyrighted music and movies, including versions of "star wars episode iii: revenge of the sith." homeland security agents from several divisions served search warrants on 10 people around the country suspected of being involved with the elite torrents site, and took over the group's main server.
the agency said it was the first criminal enforcement action aimed at copyright infringers who use the popular bittorrent file-swapping technology. - cnet
wait...i thought that homeland security was for combating terrorists. that's what their "official mission statement" says...
we will lead the unified national effort to secure america. we will prevent and deter terrorist attacks and protect against and respond to threats and hazards to the nation. we will ensure safe and secure borders, welcome lawful immigrants and visitors, and promote the free-flow of commerce.
was darth vader planning to attack? oh...i feel so much safer now. (not)
well...this time anyway, just the voting machines.
miami-dade county's elections chief has recommended ditching its atm-style voting machines, just three years after buying them for $24.5 million to avoid a repeat of the hanging and dimpled chads from the 2000 election.this coming on the heels of the reports of "yes, virginia. there were irregularities in the florida elections"
elections supervisor lester sola said in a memo friday that the county should switch to optical scanners that use paper ballots, based on declining voter confidence in the paperless touch-screen machines and quadrupled election day labor costs. - ap
miami-dade election reform coalition releases post-election report on problems at the polls in november 2004
the findings of the coalition, which are outlined in the following detailed 30-page report indicate that during the november election, miami-dade county experienced serious problems with policies and procedures that are supposed to protect the integrity of the ballot count.
the post-election analysis by martha r. mahoney, professor of law at the university of miami school of law, includes detailed statistics and summaries of problems that were uncovered during early voting and poll closing, including vote-counting problems, discrepancies between the number of voters and the number of ballots and touch-screen voting machines breakdowns. copies of the report will be made available for reporters and can be downloaded here: pdf's"get it right the first time" "appendices".
start looking up the political contributions of election systems & software of omaha, nebraska. check to see if their ceo has already proclaimed the winner of the 2008 presidential election.
Friday, May 27, 2005
so the bush administration is willing to pay $50 million to help an african fighting force try to prevent genocide in darfur, a job we don't consider important enough to help with ourselves.
here's what $50 million is worth in our country:
- richie sexson's contract with the seattle mariners.
- the settlement of abercrombie & fitch's discrimination lawsuit.
- amount the state of california failed to spend in funds allocated to review school district performance, according to a 1999 audit.
- amount of Texas state funds used to buy back 750 homes damaged in a houston flood.
- current amount of the mega millions jackpot.
ligaya lagman's ... 27-year-old son ... was killed last year in afghanistan when his unit came under fire during a mission to drive out remnants of taliban and al-qaida forces. But the largest organization of these women, the american gold star mothers inc., has rejected lagman, a filipino, for membership because -- though a permanent resident and a taxpayer -- she is not a u.s. citizen. "there's nothing we can do because that's what our organization says: you have to be an american citizen," national oresident ann herd said thursday. "we can't go changing the rules every time the wind blows."so it's just the "wind blowing" when a son dies, according to ann herd. she lost a son herself -- you think she'd know better. i'm betting the rules are about to change.
either way, here's hoping the winds die down soon.
chief warrant officer matthew lourey, son of democratic state senator becky lourey, was killed yesterday when his helicopter was shot down in central iraq. it was his 2nd tour of duty in iraq, where he flew helicopters with the 82nd airborne division. (more at mott street kos diary), minnesota public radio
our condolences to the lourey's, minnesota and our nation.
cards. letter. your thoughts.
75 rev. dr. martin luther king jr. blvd., room g-24 , st. paul, mn 55155-1606
capitol phone: 651.296.0293
capitol email: email@example.com
**sign the guest book at the star tribune**
just cats against bush.
tom delay, in an effort to divert attention from the recent ruling ruled that delay's pac treasurer broke the law, decided to complain because law&order used him in a joke. the asspress:
delay, in a letter to nbc universal television chief jeff zucker, called that reference a "slur."
"this manipulation of my name and trivialization of the sensitive issue of judicial security represents a reckless disregard for the suffering initiated by recent tragedies and a great disservice to public discourse," he said.
the fictional officer in question, det. eames (played by the wonderful kathryn erbe) was investigating the killing of judges. we can understand why mr. delay would be upset, because, after all, it's not like he ever encouraged violence against the judiciary or anything:
poor guy. it's a good thing he doesn't have anything worse to worry about.
we were quite happy to see our good friend bill scher of liberal oasis on the ron and monica cavalcade of wonders and traveling conundrum show on msnbc earlier today, debating scott johnson of powerline on the bolton nomination. bill did the lefty bloggers proud by not backing down and standing up to powerline's line of alarmist spin. good job, bill!
president george w. bush conducted a class on social security reform at greece athena high school tuesday, and kept the class laughing as he clowned around.
bush may have arrived on air force one and boarded a motorcade to go to school, but his demeanor was still friendly and folksy as he sat on the stage at the performing arts center at the rochester suburban high school. while talking about social security reform he cracked jokes about his mother, education, baseball and his own emphasis on the problem at hand. -wellsville daily reporter
mr. and mrs. skippy have hopped off to see the wonders of yosemite. lucky duckies. first it was that caribbean trip...now this. enough to make an associate editor strike for more money to follow suit? maybe. well......maybe not.
but they are in for a treat. it is truly "thawsome" up there now.
this is perhaps the best spring display for yosemite valley's waterfalls in more than a decade. that's because the snowpack on the merced river drainage is more than 180 percent of normal, and it's melting with a vengeance. - sfgate
well...thanks to the magic of cyberspace, we can take it a little yosemite magic ourselves. a little time lapse videos. live webcams. see some photos. send an e-card. learn about this wonderful national park. read john muir's writings on his visit to yosemite. appreciate ansel adams view on the natural wonder of the park.
and realize that all this beauty is jeopardized by one man. awol (commander cookoo bananas)
on wednesday evening, the house of representatives voted on an amendment to the defense authorization bill submitted by democrat lynn woolsey (ca-6th). it was short and to the point:
(1) develop a plan as soon as practicable after the date of the enactment of this act to provide for the withdrawl of united states armed forces from iraq; and
(2) transmit to the congressional defense committees a report that contains the plan described in paragraph (1).
this was the first house bill calling on awol to draw up plans for an exit strategy from iraq. it was defeated by a 300-128 vote, with five members (four republicans, one democrat) not voting.
fortunately, woolsey insisted on a roll call vote, so now we have a much, much clearer idea of where each member of the house stands on getting our troops the hell out of iraq. five republicans wisely voted for the amendment: howard coble (nc-6th), john duncan (tn-2nd), jim leach (ia-2nd), ron paul (tx-14th) and walter "freedom fries" jones (nc-3rd). out of 201 democrats, however, 79 voted against it. 79.
my creature of congress, republican eric cantor (va-7th), voted against it, naturally. that didn't surprise me. but some of the democrats on the "noe" list... well...
if you want to know how your representative voted, here's the list...
friedman writes. you read.
if you want to appreciate how corrosive guantánamo has become for america's standing abroad, don't read the arab press. don't read the pakistani press. don't read the afghan press. hop over here to london or go online and just read the british press! see what our closest allies are saying about gitmo. and when you get done with that, read the australian press and the canadian press and the german press.
it is all a variation on the theme of a may 8 article in the observer of london that begins, "an american soldier has revealed shocking new details of abuse and sexual torture of prisoners at guantánamo bay in the first high-profile whistle-blowing account to emerge from inside the top-secret base." google the words "guantánamo bay and australia" and what comes up is an australian abc radio report that begins: "new claims have emerged that prisoners at guantánamo bay are being tortured by their american captors, and the claims say that australians david hicks and mamdouh habib are among the victims." - nytimes
we're not the good guys anymore and the whole world knows.
war games. literally. oohh...let's make death and dying fun, fun, fun!
the army's flagging recruitment numbers are serious business. so army officials increasingly are turning to a game for help.
it is an online, multiplayer video game that they believe will lure teenagers into army culture, hoping both to educate them about the military and to spark interest in volunteering to serve.
the game, dubbed america's army, employs a realistic and team-oriented approach to give players a sense of what it is like to join the army, to train how to use weapons and then how to work together on missions. players progress through the game and its many updates in a variety of ways, learning how to jointly accomplish military tasks while using different skills, such as fighting as an infantryman or saving lives as a medic.
"we want kids to come into the army and feel like they've already been there," said col. casey wardynski, who as director of the army's office of economic and manpower analysis came up with the idea. "a game is like a team effort, and the army is very much a team effort. by playing an online, multiplayer game, you can get the feel of being in the army." - wapo
i don't think you can get the feel of being shellshocked from this though. or get the feel of having your family apply for foodstamps because you don't earn enough in the army to offer support. or get the feel of hearing a doctor tell you they can't see you for your medical problems because the va hospital is overbooked and underfunded.
see the phallic logo awards.
bid on a nude body advertisement opportunity
chow down on some anomalies or nibble on these.
Thursday, May 26, 2005
and in the video.
the foundation for taxpayer and consumer rights (ftcr) called on schwarzenegger to return the quarter-million dollars he received from companies featured in the ad, and for the corporations to pay the market value of the advertising to the state because it is improper for the governor to use public office to sell corporate products.
the tv ad, released in may, features schwarzenegger talking to people in a lunchroom, and places pepsi and arrowhead water in prominent spots next to the governor for one-third of the ad.
donors connected to pepsi co. and arrowhead water's parent company, nestle, gave the governor a total of $279,800 in campaign contributions. also recognizable on-screen are ruffles, sun chips, cheetos and a sobe beverage, all brands owned by pepsi. - consumeraffairs.com
'schwarzenegger has turned the governor's office into a vending machine. it is inconceivable that schwarzenegger didn't know that pepsi and arrowhead were in his commercial, or that the free air time and lucrative association with the governor of california would benefit them. - foundation for taxpayer and consumer rights
at the bodybuilding event named for him, gov. arnold schwarzenegger said sunday that he wants to ban all sales of junk food in california schools and fill vending machines with fresh fruits, vegetables and milk. - ap
ahr-nuld is known as a fresh vegetable in many circles.
from the associated press:
smoking among women in the united states has dropped below one in five for the first time in nearly 30 years, the government said thursday ... slightly more than 24 percent of men and 19.2 percent of women smoked in 2003, the cdc said.
What would myrna loy do with her hands if they were making the "thin man" movies today?
but we told you so.
surveyors recently got their first good look at the damage wrought by the recession that rocked ohio at the dawn of a new century. it's not a pretty sight.
in a six-year span ending in 2004, more than a half-million more ohioans tumbled into poverty, according to a state-sponsored survey of 40,000 ohio households.
the ohio family health survey shows that the state's poverty rate leapt five percentage points between 1998 and 2004 to ensnare nearly 2 million people, or 17 percent of the state. - cleveland plain dealer
they voted for this.
eliot spitzer files suit against aig, accuses insurance co. of using fraud to boost stock price
the suit filed in state supreme court in manhattan accused aig's former chief executive, maurice "hank" greenberg, and former chief financial officer, howard i. smith, of orchestrating an accounting scheme that made aig's financial picture appear brighter than it was, misleading both investors and state regulators.
"the irony of this case is that aig was a well-run and profitable company that didn't need to cheat," spitzer said. "and yet, the former top management routinely and persistently resorted to deception and fraud in an apparent effort to improve the company's financial results."
the suit also alleges that aig concealed losses from insurance underwriting through offshore shell companies; mischaracterized income from the purchase of life insurance policies; and repeatedly lied to state insurance regulators about its ties to offshore companies.
....The state officials also accuse the company of fraudulently reducing its tax liability. - ap finance.
we appear on the political blog list of the minneapolis star tribune, and are described all in capital letters.
somebody knows irony.
hoppy third birthblogday dear kos hoppy third birthblogday to you!
(and many more!)
the moderate voice wonders if the compromise was mccain's rebirth or last hurrah;
judd legum of think progress discuses new evidence of quran desecration;
the progressive democrats of america are calling for grassroots demands that we end the iraqi occupation;
and reader tinerkbell, a resident of durham, n.carolina, sends us a cnn report about a rash of cross-burnings in that city.
one republican putting country before party.
“in these dangerous times, we cannot afford to put at risk our nation's ability to successfully wage and win the war on terror with a controversial and ineffective ambassador to the united nations."
“at a time when the united states strives to fight terrorism globally, to build a stable and free iraq, to find a peaceful resolution to the nuclear ambitions of iran and north korea, to spread democracy in the place of oppressive regimes, and to enact needed reforms at the united nations, it is imperative that we have the support of our friends and allies internationally,"
"i know some of my friends say, 'let it go, george, it's going to work out.' i don't want to take the risk. i came back here [to the senate] and ran for a second term because i'm worried about my kids and my grandchildren. and i just hope my colleagues will take the time (pause) and before they get to this well, do some serious thinking about whether or not we should send john bolton to the united nations. i yield the floor."
i yield back to the honorable senator.
you might want to send the senator a little love. i'm sure he isn't hearing it from his party.
make the lying liar michele maglalang cry!
from amazon: strawberry days tells the vivid and moving tale of the creation and destruction of a japanese immigrant community. before world war ii, bellevue, the now-booming "edge city" on the outskirts of seattle, was a prosperous farm town renowned for its strawberries. many of its farmers were recent japanese immigrants who, despite being rejected by white society, were able to make a living cultivating the rich soil. yet the lives they created for themselves through years of hard work vanished almost instantly after the bombing of pearl harbor. david neiwert combines compelling story-telling with first-hand interviews and newly uncovered documents to weave together the history of this community and the racist schemes that prevented the immigrants from reclaiming their land after the war. ultimately, strawberry days represents more than one community’s story, reminding us that bigotry's roots are deeply entwined in the very fiber of american society.
david neiwert of orcinus is the author. support great bloggers. support great writing.
that mean old helen woman in the white house press corps picked on him again yesterday -- and i'm mean enough to reprint what she said:
mr. mcclellan: no, we are -- that's where we currently --
q: -- in view of your credibility is already mired? how can you say that?
mr. mcclellan: helen, i think everyone in the room knows that you're taking that comment out of context. there are two democratically-elected governments in iraq and --
q: were we invited to iraq?
mr. mcclellan: there are two democratically-elected governemtns now in iraq and afghanistan, and we are there at their invitation. they are sovereign governments, and we are there today --
q: you mean if they had asked us out, that we would have left?
mr. mcclellan: no, helen, i'm talking about today. we are there at their invitation. they are sovereign governemnts --
q: i'm talking about today, too.
mr. mcclellan: -- and we are doing all we can to train and equip their security forces so that they can provide for their own security as they move forward on a free and democratic future.
q: did we invade those countries?
mr. mcclellan: go ahead, steve...
one chip at a time... one chip at a time...
a judge in indiana has decreed that parents cannot teach their children "non-mainstream" religion. for details, try this article from eschaton and/or this one from masson's blog.
it looks like the judge is plumping for the next supreme court vacancy.
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
and it's all newsweeks fault.
17 states have already voted to ban mtbe. leaky underground fuel-storage tanks have made it so mtbe has found its way into the water supply of over 45 million americans. the cost to clean up public water supplies across the country has been estimated at $30 billion. but delay and his buddies don't want to spoil their mtbe producing buddies' days nor make them accountable for cleaning up their messes.
in late 2001, the california supreme court heard a case, south lake tahoe public utility district vs. atlantic richfield co., to determine whether twelve oil and gas companies—including arco, shell oil, and lyondell—knowingly distributed mtbe-laced gasoline that they knew would contaminate drinking water and pose health risks for millions of americans. during the trial, a slew of incriminating documents and depositions forced the oil companies to admit they had deliberately kept the dangers of mtbe secret, even as they were lobbying congress to draft laws that would increase production of fuel laden with the stuff. caught in the act, the twelve defendants finally agreed to pay $69 million in cleanup costs. in 2003, 18 companies were again brought to court by the city of santa monica, and eventually settled for what would ultimately amount to close to $300 million in cleanup costs. a precedent was being set.
after the santa monica case, washington finally took action: in late 2003, three house republicans, delay, billy tauzin, and joe barton, introduced a waiver in the house energy bill that would exempt mtbe producers and distributors from the liabilities they were being exposed to in the courts. not coincidentally, both delay and barton hail from a state, texas, with six of the nation's largest mtbe producers, which account for over 80 percent of all mtbe produced in the u.s. (most of the rest is produced in louisiana, tauzin's home state.) also not coincidentally, oil and gas has been a top industry contributor to both representatives for over 15 years, having raised $558,000 for delay and $931,000 for barton since 1989. in the 2004 election, lyondell and valero—two of the top mtbe producers—were among their biggest contributors. - mother jones
hmmmm....$30 billion in clean up costs. wonder if paris hilton and other untaxed heirs want to chip in...for america's sake.
i google it. say hello to google sightseeing.
some of my favorite places i've cyberly visited. the golden gate. diamond head state memorial. liberty island. the space needle. niagra falls. mount st. helens. washington monument. the mothball fleet near sf.
oh...and if you have any idea what this is....or that....let them know. fox mulder isn't available for comment.
let's see michelle malkin get cute with this:
nearly a dozen detainees at the guantanamo bay military prison in cuba told fbi interrogators that guards had mistreated copies of the koran, including one who said in 2002 that guards "flushed a koran in the toilet," according to new fbi documents released today.yes, they are "allegations," and unproven. the righties will argue that all these allegations are made up to discredit the u.s. question: if you were being held in a prison camp like guantanamo, and you wanted to discredit your enemy, would you do it by telling members of your enemy's secret service? while you were still in captivity?
The summaries of fbi interviews ... also include allegations that the koran was kicked, thrown to the floor and withheld as punishment and that guards mocked muslim prisoners during prayers.
anyway, all newsweek mentioned was "allegations," too. the fbi: why do they hate america?
amnesty international makes it official - we are now among the world's torture bad guys. from newsday:
amnesty international thursday called the u.s. military's anti-terror prison at guantanamo bay the "gulag of our times" and warned that american leaders may face international prosecution for mistreating prisoners.
"when the most powerful country in the world thumbs its nose at the rule of law and human rights, it grants a license to others to commit abuse with impunity and audacity," said amnesty secretary general irene khan at a london news conference releasing the group's annual report on global human rights, a blistering, 308-page survey.
gee, you say it like it's a bad thing ... and amnesty's u.s. director names names:
if u.s. officials don't act, other countries will, warned amnesty's u.s. director, william schultz. "the apparent high-level architects of torture should think twice before planning their next vacation to places like acapulco or the rrench riviera, because they may find themselves under arrest," he said.
sorry, guys. and i hear the hague is beautiful this time of year, too.
hey, rumsfeld and gonzalez! eat your heart out!
if awol (commander cookoo bananas) and his "let them eat cake crew" think that the destruction of a fertilized egg is murder....
are they going to start filing murder charges against women who use the iud?
are they going to start filing murder charges against women who undergo invitro fertilization? are they going to start filing murder charges against doctors and companies that specialize in invitro fertilization?
from the roots points out santorum's flip-flop on stem cell research;
kevin of catch.com sends us his new music meme (though correctly points out the mis-use of the word "meme" in this case..."quiz" or "survey" are more apt terms);
cookie jill sent us a fridge magnet message;
rep. pete stark voted for the stem cell research act, and here's his speech about it;
and dick cheney just invited joe gandelman of the moderate voice to dinner!
right now, 40 percent of all the force in iraq and afghanistan are guardsmen or reservists. unlike their regular counterparts that they serve next to every day, they are not afforded an opportunity to buy into our nation's health care system.
gene taylor (d-ms), and coast guard reservist, last week in the house committee on armed services offered an amendment, along with seven republican colleagues and a number of democrats, to see to it that the opportunity to enroll in the nation's healthcare system was extended to every guardsman and reservist.
but, taylor was taken to a back room by mr. hunter and told that the amendment would cost too much. there were "budgetary concerns". taylor, understandibly didn't take kindly to this. he went "galloway" on some asses.
i would like to remind my colleagues that on 21 occasions already this year, 21 major pieces of legislation came to this floor where they waived every budgetary restraint. sometimes it was so people like paris hilton could inherit tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars without paying any taxes on it. sometimes it was for things like the prescription drug benefit for seniors, that we were told at the time would cost our nation $435 billion, but it turns out it is really going to cost $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years. but they waived budgetary rules for that.
the one time they selectively chose to enforce the budgetary rules was over $5 million for a very narrow bracket of national guardsmen who happen to be federal employees who are already on fehbp and who might want to enroll in tricare. so the same folks who in the past 4 years have added over $2 trillion to the national debt, giving the wealthiest americans, the political contributor class of america, enormous tax breaks, decided that these folks who are serving in iraq and afghanistan, that they do not deserve the opportunity to buy their health care coverage. i think that is wrong.
thanks to catch for catching this. more at gov.exec.
contact the honorable gene taylor. ask him what you can do.
contact the dishonorable duncan hunter. ask him why he hates america.
thanks to cityrag.com for the fanciful thinking.
ok..thanks to a reader...this photo has in fact been doctored. but, i still think it a funny photo. so..... spin doctor a caption for this doctored photo....
now it is true that i believe this country is following a dangerous trend when it permits too great a degree of centralization of governmental functions. i oppose this--in some instances the fight is a rather desperate one. but to attain any success it is quite clear that the federal government cannot avoid or escape responsibilities which the mass of the people firmly believe should be undertaken by it. the political processes of our country are such that if a rule of reason is not applied in this effort, we will lose everything--even to a possible and drastic change in the constitution. this is what i mean by my constant insistence upon "moderation" in government. should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. there is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. among them are h.l. hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. their number is negligible and they are stupid. - president eisenhower letter to his brother, edgar newton eisenhower, on 8 november 1954.
you know...i kinda like ike.
(the "nuge" sez, "why trip out on drugs when you can be a drug trip?")
hell if i can name more than three songs he's ever written, but i gotta hand it to ted nugent -- damn yankees aren't famous for thriving in texas. the asspress, courtesy of the houston chronicle, says, "rocker/rancher who refuses to compromise is amused by his new acceptance" (5/22), and dang if he ain't havin' a mess o' fun:
the arrow pierces the faux animal "right in the vitals" for a clean, quick kill, he says. then he darts to the gun range on another part of his sprawling ranch, where he sets up bowling pins to be blasted by a hail of bullets -- another daily ritual.
at 56, nugent is ever the "motor city madman" -- the hyper rock star, avid hunter and outspoken national rifle association board member. but the newly relocated texan can't help but be amused by his newfound acceptance among more and more americans.
"isn't it fascinating that without compromising a spit, that now those who traditionally despised me and all my nra, bambi-slaughtering lifestyle, now realize that my connection to the huge segment of america is something to instead of condemn and run away from, they might want to upgrade their level of that awareness and tap into it," he said...
if only i had enough uncoagulated blood in my diet, why i too could become a wild and crazy agitating reactionary. ted is definitely not to be trifled with, folks -- he went to insane lengths to get that deferment, and it enabled him to become the cold-eyed sharpshooter he is today...