Wednesday, October 31, 2007

White House withholds documents regarding connection with convicted felon Abramoff

Will we see yet another claim of 'Executive Privilege' from Bush? Will he try to cover his administration's dealings with the convicted felon Jack Abramoff?

A picture of Bush with Abramoff. Abramoff had at least 345 in-person contacts with White House staff, including Karl Rove.

Bush says of Abramoff, "I don't know him."

From TP
Today, House Oversight Committee chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) wrote to White House Counsel Fred Fielding and requested that the administration hand over more than 600 pages of documents relating to the White House’s activities with fallen lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Waxman's letter and more...

Monday, October 29, 2007

William rejected by Music City Bloggers, but his post generates a record 355+ comments

I contacted Ivy at Music City Bloggers about doing a post that I thought would generate some discussion. I was voted down, as I surmised by the comments - likely by Kat Coble, Ginger, and Rachel. Nevertheless, Ivy was kind enough to post what I had intended to post and it generated a record-breaking number of comments (355+)!

I said to Ivy, before actually saying it in the comments,
"I doubt I could keep from being controversial and meeting everyone's approval. I often post things that bug me. Ginger has said some pretty negative things about my posts. Kat has bitched at me for attacking Bush by quoting him exactly. There is no way I would get their approval. Thanks anyway. I appreciate the interest but I don't feel my opinions are welcome at MCB (Mommy Christian Bloggers)"
The Mommy Christian Bloggers comment was meant in a spirit of cynicism and frustration, and Ivy says she "wasn't horribly offended by it." But the comment was met with shear hate, particularly by Kat and Ginger (hmmm):

"Because we all discussed it in email and let Ginger handle it. But believe me, we all took it for the snide, dismissive, petulant remark which you intended it to be. You asked to be a contributing author and were voted down and now you’re proud to wear that as a badge on your sleeve. In case you wondered, you were voted down not because you’re a liberal but precisely because you conduct yourself in this manner."

Well, I apologized and admit it was an offensive stereotype. However, when looking at the people who 'voted me down,' the suggested demographic wasn't too far afield from reality, (not intending to insult these people further). My comment was meant to expose a lack of diversity at MCB, but they apparently feel they're diverse enough. That begs the question ... how many single liberal agnostic male university professors do they have posting at MCB? Or let me put it this way, of those that vote on prospective posters, how many are single liberal non-Christian males? You see what I'm getting at.

I know what it is like to be the victim of stereotyping: "I don't date musicians" ... "Guitar players can't read" etc... Things like that don't really bother me. The problem with stereotypes is that they're often not true. (But some are!)

I admitted to being a jerk, but as Ivy, my favorite M.C.B. said:
"...we are all jerks sometimes, part of the human condition, I guess. ;)"
Thanks Ivy, what would we do without you?

The question of the original post was lost and never really answered! Well, at least it supplied some interesting discussion, and brought the community together. Isn't that what it's all about??

Back in the seventies when I was in Junior High School, all the kids had homed-based CB radios that we'd chat on. This blogging community sort of reminds me of those days.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Documents reveal what the White House deleted in the CDC Director's Senate testimony - The Republican War on Science continues

Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was asked to talk about the health effects of climate change before the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works, and did so on Tuesday. But the Bush Administration removed discussion in her testimony about the health effects of climate change.

Here is a brief introduction and outline of some of what the Bush Administration didn't want the Senate to hear:

Scientific evidence supports the view that the earth’s climate is changing. A broad array of organizations (federal, state, local, multilateral, faith-based, private and nongovernmental) is working to address climate change. Despite this extensive activity, the public health effects of climate change remain largely unaddressed. CDC considers climate change a serious public health concern.
Climate Change is a Public Health Concern 1
In the United States, climate change is likely to have a significant impact on health, through links with the following outcomes:
Direct effects of heat,

Health effects related to extreme weather events,

Air pollution-related health effects,

Allergic diseases,

Water- and food-borne infectious diseases,

Vector-borne and zoonotic diseases,

Food and water scarcity, at least for some populations,

Mental health problems, and

Long-term impacts of chronic diseases and other health effects

Musician defeats Republican Conservative PhD Chemist in Global Warming debate - Chemist cowardly deletes rebuttal comment

It's amazing how in lock step some Christian conservative Republicans are. It even transcends their critical thinking skills - in this case, this person's own area of expertise.

"Doc" at The Autopsy identity is revealed
"Doc" is: Michael , Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin- Platteville

Apologies to "Tony" who was misidentified as "Doc"

Follow the discussion thread here where he condescends to the less informed musician and cites bogus data and Republican talking points (like the so-called "NASA error"), and uses arguments and non-peer reviewed studies by global warming denialist organizations like the European Science and Environment Forum , the Exxon-funded George C. Marshall Institute, and the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine.

After a lengthy post on the laws of thermodynamics that he 'dumbed down' for me to understand, I posted a response that he cowardly deleted or refused to allow to post.


UPDATE: Thanks to a fellow blogger, my comment has been posted .
UPDATE II: comment finally posted 24 hrs after comments received
UPDATE III: Truce declared, Chemist blames akismet filter for post not going through (although identical post did get through from different IP)
New post and comment on the Global Warming debate at Doc's

This is the post that he didn't want his readers to see:

Thanks for dumbing down the science for me, I really appreciate it.
Welcome readers to this thread as well, I'm sure they will appreciate you dumbing the science down for them too.

Doc's essentially saying here that man-made CO2 production is too insignificant to alter global climate and that the CO2 greenhouse effect is a violation of the physical laws of thermodynamics.

Doc's science lesson is based almost verbatim on he non-peer reviewed report: "Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics,"- Gerhard Gerlich, principal investigator.

Before commenting on the science, let's examine the source. Gerhard Gerlich was quoted as saying in 1995, "the CO2-greenhouse effect of the earth atmosphere is pure fiction of people who like to use big computers, without physical fundamentals." An industry funded denialist from way back, Gerlich was a member of the European Science and Environment Forum. The agenda of this group was to discredit government safety regulations and reports on such things as genetically-engineered bovine growth hormone, pesticides, public smoking, and global warming. Gerlich's coalition fought to discredit the World Health Organisation, and attempted to rebuff the science used by the USA's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Gerlich also worked with the Weinberg Group which ran special conferences for the tobacco industry to fight regulations against second-hand smoke. Gerlich participated in the anti-global warming study co-produced by the Exxon-funded George C. Marshall Institute, "Climate Change and Policy: Making the Connection".

Gerlich's most recent article from July, again, non-peer reviewed, due to it's recent submission is just beginning to get debunked for it's misleading calculations by scientists on various blogs. Here's one:

Back to Doc's argument - man-made CO2 production is too insignificant to alter global climate .

The fact that CO2 levels have remained relatively steady, between 180 and 300 parts per million for the past half-a-million years, shows that natural emissions are usually balanced by natural absorptions. That is until very recently. Now slightly more CO2 must be entering the atmosphere than is being soaked up by carbon "sinks".

Human emissions of CO2 are now estimated to be 26.4 Gt per year, up from 23.5 Gt in the 1990s, according to an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report in February 2007. Disturbances to the land – through deforestation and agriculture, for instance – also contribute roughly 5.9 Gt per year.

About 40% of the extra CO2 entering the atmosphere due to human activity is being absorbed by natural carbon sinks, mostly by the oceans. The rest is boosting levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.

The smoking gun that shows the source of CO2 has resulted from fossil fuel burning and not the warming of the oceans and water vapor is found when determining the source of the increased carbon in the atmosphere. The studies are based on the ratio of the three different carbon isotopes in atmospheric CO2. Carbon has three possible isotopes: C-12, C-13 and C-14.

C-12, which has 6 neutrons, is by far the most prevalent carbon isotope and is a stable isotope. Carbon 13 is also a stable isotope, but plants prefer Carbon 12 and therefore photosynthetic CO2 (fossil fuel or wood fuels) is much lower in C-13 than CO2 that comes from other sources (ie.. animal respiration); and Carbon-14 is radioactive. Studies of carbon isotopes in CO2 has resulted in the following findings:

* There has been a decline in the 14C/12C ratio in CO2 that parallels the increase in CO2. In 1950 a scientist (Suess) discovered that fossils do not contain 14C because they are much older than 10 half lives of 14C.
* There has been a parallel decline in 13C/12C ratio of atmospheric CO2. This has been linked to the fact that fossil fuels, forests and soil carbon come from photosynthetic carbon which is low in 13C. If the increased CO2 was due to warming of the oceans, there should not be a reduction in the ratios of C-13 and C-14 to C-12.

There are other clues that suggest the source of increased CO2 is not related to the warming of the ocean and subsequent release of CO2 from the ocean.

* There has been a decline in the oxygen concentration of the atmosphere. If ocean warming was responsible for the CO2 increase, we should also observe an increase in atmospheric O2, because O2 is also released as the water is warmed.
* The ocean is a sink for atmospheric carbon, and the carbon content of the oceans has increased by 118±19 PgC in the last 200 years. If the atmospheric CO2 was the result of oceans releasing CO2 to the atmosphere, the CO2 in the ocean should not be rising as a result of ocean warming.

Shall I dumb this down for you doc? Oh... whoops, sorry, you're the Chemistry PhD, I'm the dumb musician. continuing....

Fossil fuels were formed millions of years ago. They therefore contain virtually no carbon-14, because this unstable carbon isotope, formed when cosmic rays hit the atmosphere, has a half-life of around 6000 years. So a dropping concentration of carbon-14 can be explained by the burning of fossil fuels. Studies of tree rings have shown that the proportion of carbon-14 in the atmosphere dropped by about 2% between 1850 and 1954. (After this time, atmospheric nuclear bomb tests altered these data sets by releasing large amounts of carbon-14.)

In addition, fossil fuels also contain more carbon-12 than carbon-13, compared with the atmosphere, because the fuels derive from plants, which preferentially take up the more common carbon-12. The ratio of carbon-13 to carbon-12 in the atmosphere and ocean surface waters is steadily falling, showing that more carbon-12 is entering the atmosphere.

Carbon-12 atoms dominate the chemical structure of all fossil fuels, since carbon-14 naturally decays into it over time. So....where plant tissues are loaded with lots of carbon-12 but little carbon-14, there is more fossil fuel burning. Likewise, where plants have the expected levels of cosmic ray and nuclear-created carbon-14, there is less fossil fuel burning diluting that global signal.

A study by the University of Colorado and Europe's Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Science at Saclay, France has used these measurements in corn plants to map out fossil fuel burning hotspots in the US - actually measuring how much of the carbon dioxide in a given region comes from fossil fuels.

Any questions?

Where are the Christian values in people who support vetoing childrens' healthcare but support a $330 million per day war? What would Jesus do??'

I just got an email from a commenter who was banned by Mark Rose for simply asking this question (in regard to the Bush SCHIP veto):
Mark, do you think Jesus would veto health care for kids because it was too expensive while approving funding for killing kids in Iraq? Is that an example of your Christian values?
Mark's response:

I'm not sure why you are so hostile toward Christians, but it's really none of my concern.
Hostile toward Christians? I think it's a legitimate question for supporters of our Christian President who ran on a platform of moral values. Don't you?

Mark has banned several commenters and, unlike my blogs, he strictly moderates his comments. Mark Rose says he bans people that are vulgar. No, he bans people because he's a coward that won't entertain tough questions or evidence that negate his dogmatic belief systems.

Conservatives complain that the SCHIP bill would include older adult children, so I revise my question:

Would Jesus would veto a childrens' health care bill if it included a few adults?


Monday, October 22, 2007

Science deniers use Fox News and the WSJ to battle the world

Consider this news item reported on the Fox News website under the heading "Reality Check" from Professor Emeritus at the University of California at Santa Barbara, Daniel Botkin, global warming denialist:
Daniel Botkin writes on The Wall Street Journal's Web site ... while the United Nations suggests up to 30 percent of plant and animal life could become extinct because of climate change — the reality is that almost none of the millions of species have disappeared during the past 2.5 million years — with all of its various warming and cooling periods.
Now consider the following reports and you can see what I'm talking about. Thanks Brit Hume at Faux News for reporting "the truth." No wonder this country is living in an idiocracy. People actually believe this Faux News shit. Amazing. I guess they retired Botkin for a reason, but that doesn't stop Faux News and the WSJ from giving the old coot a platform - our so called 'Reality Check' from the front in the Republican War on Science. Ever notice that many of the big time global warming denialists are so elderly that they were educated before the advent of the personal computer?


American Museum of Natural History Official Statement on Current Mass Extinction

American Museum of Natural History Press Release on Current Mass Extinction

Fastest Mass Extinction in Earth's History (Worldwatch Report)

Earth Faces Catastrophic Loss of Species (U.K. Independent-- 2006)


Earth Faces Sixth Mass Extinction (New Scientist-- 2004)


The Sixth Extinction (National Geographic Magazine)

The Sixth Extinction (American Museum of Natural History)

Wake-Up Call on Extinction Wave (British Royal Society-- 2003)


Mass Extinction Pace Quickening: Red List 2000 Released (N.Y. Times)

Headlong Drive to Mass Extinction-- 2002 Red List Released (Toronto Globe and Mail)

12,000 Threatened Species: "Only Scratching the Surface"-- 2003 Red List Released (U.K. Guardian)

15,589 Threatened Species: "Greatly Underestimates True Number"-- 2004 Red List Released (MSNBC)

16,119 Threatened Species-- 40% of Evaluated Species Are Threatened-- 2006 Red List (IUCN-- 2006)

Life on Earth Disappearing-- Unprecedented Extinction Rate -- 2007 Red List (U.K. Telegraph-- 2007)

Global Warming Threatens Extinction of One Million Species (Nature-- 2004)

Huge Extinction Risks of Global Warming Confirmed (Reuters-- 2006)

By 2050 Global Warming Will Doom A Million Species (National Geographic-- 2004)


Two Thirds of World's Species May Be Threatened (EurekAlert/AAAS-- 2005)



“The Iraq war is now costing $330 million a day. That could pay for 1700 more border patrol agents, or provide health-care for an extra 45,000 military veterans, or the funds from just one day in Iraq would give 270,000 more kids coverage under SCHIP.”

Just last week Bush vetoed $35 billion for sick children, but now he needs $46 billion more for the occupation in Iraq.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Quote of the morning

"Listen, he had information that was firsthand information that was in stark contrast to the lie, the 16 words that appeared in the president's State of the Union address. He wasn't supposed to say anything?"
- Valerie Plame Wilson, on what her husband Joe Wilson, 'didn't find in Africa'.


The proof:

On January 12, 2003," the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) "expressed concerns to the CIA that the documents pertaining to the Iraq-Niger deal were forgeries."

Moreover, the memo says that the State Department's doubts about the veracity of the uranium claims may have been expressed to the intelligence community even earlier.

Those concerns, according to the memo, are the reason that former Secretary of State Colin Powell refused to cite the uranium claims when he appeared before the United Nations in February 5, 2003 - one week after Bush's State of the Union address - to try to win support for a possible strike against Iraq.

You've heard the wingnuts talk about British intelligence backing up the Niger-uranium claim? That bunch of bullshit has been exposed as another lie.

Quote of the night

Bill Maher discusses 'Values Voters'

"According to the US Census Bureau, the states with the most Christians, have the highest rates of divorce, the highest teen pregnancy rates, and the highest obesity levels. Yes, they're fat, knocked up and not talking to each other. At least they put homosexuality back where it belongs, in the airport men's room. ... If you can look at the war in Iraq, the melting environments and the descent of America into 'idiocracy,' and still think our biggest problems are boobies during the Super Bowl and the War on Christmas, then you don't have values, you have issues.

If you had values, you'd draw the line at torture, but a startling number of people who call themselves Christians, don't. And I'm pretty sure if you asked, 'what would Jesus veto?' It wouldn't be health care for sick kids."

Fox News Poll - Ron Paul wins another GOP debate

When are people like Huckabee and the consumers of GOP fear going to realize this "war against Islamofascists" isn't going to be won with the present strategy? When are they going to get it? The objective of our military is to protect America, not to deplete our armed forces in a bogus illegal and expensive war.

Ron Paul is for immediate withdrawal of the US from Iraq and gets more support and contributions from military personnel and their families than all other GOP candidates combined.

Ron Paul's message rings clear.

Who won the Florida GOP Debate?

Ron Paul - 34% - Winner
Mike Huckabee - 27%
Rudy Giuliani - 11%
Mitt Romney - 10%
Fred Thompson - 9%
John McCain - 5%

Whats really going to sink Huckabee is his preoccupation with abortion and being a strong anti-choice candidate. America is solidly pro-choice and he'll never never never be elected with that position. We've had too much religion in government with Bush, and America has had enough of it. Forget it Huckster, you'll never make it.

What the Global Warming Denialists Don't Understand

If Global Warming is a matter of science, ever ask yourself why almost all Global Warming Denialists are conservative Republicans? The reason - a general lack of knowledge and an ingrained propaganda driven agenda.

Take, for example this quote by the lunatic Ann Coulter:
“The temperature of the planet has increased about one degree Fahrenheit in the last century. So imagine a summer afternoon when it’s 63 degrees and the next thing you know it’s . . . 64 degrees. Ahhhh!!!! Run for your lives, everybody! Women and children first!”
To the average uninformed person, a global increase of 1 degree doesn't seem much like a big deal. But when you consider that such global temperature changes are much more exaggerated in the arctic, we see that one global degree increase IS very significant, as we see today in the arctic:
CNN : Ice cover in the Arctic Ocean, long held to be an early warning of a changing climate, has shattered the all-time low record this summer, according to scientists from the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder. Mark Serreze, senior research scientist at NSIDC, termed the decline "astounding." Most researchers had anticipated that the complete disappearance of the Arctic ice pack during summer months would happen after the year 2070, he said, but now, "losing summer sea ice cover by 2030 is not unreasonable."
Regarding the causes, it appears to the scientific community that there is a clear correlation between fossil fuel burning, atmospheric CO2 rise, and the increase in global temperatures as shown in the graphs in this previous post . Clearly, we are presently in the most drastic period of global climate change in human history.

Yes, there have been ice ages and climate changes in human history, but nothing like the warming event that occurred 55 million years ago that resulted in the melting of the arctic and mass impacts on species evolution. This event, called the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), was the result of a 5 to 8°C sea surface temperature rise over a few thousand years, likely caused by massive volcanic activity. The present trend would clearly indicate an event like the PETM is a likely possibility, and despite what ignorant pundits say, a one degree global temperature rise over 100 years IS a big deal. We are already seeing global climate change impacts far more quickly than the models have predicted.

If saw CBS 60 minutes tonight, you saw one of these impacts -
a new age of mega-fires in the western US -- the worst in recorded history. Climate change -- global warming -- has increased temperatures in the West about one degree and that has caused four times more fires. In the Southwest alone, nearly two million acres of forest are gone and won't come back for centuries. In 2006, the feds spent $2 billion on fire fighting, seven times more than just ten years ago.

The changes are coming fast and drastic. It may be too late to do anything about it. Look at the dramatic CO2 increase that exactly parallels the increase in human burning of fossil fuels (click to enlarge):

Want to see a true-to-life global warming denialist? Check out Mark Rose who is also a creationist who thinks much of science is 'a pack of lies.' Forget about commenting on his blog. He's too much of a coward to allow comments that contain evidence that refute his close-minded beliefs. His level of denial is astounding - a typical characteristic of religious authoritarian conservatives.

60 Minutes Reveals Tonight - It was more important for the Bush Administration to punish a war critic than to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons

Bush approved the leaking of sensitive information on Iraq, according to court filings by I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby (ex-aid of Cheney), who was convicted for perjury.

Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald described a "concerted action" by "multiple people in the White House" -- using classified information -- to "discredit, punish or seek revenge against" a critic of President Bush's war in Iraq. The critic was Joseph Wilson, husband of Valerie Plame, who publicly refuted the administration claim that Iraq sought to buy yellowcake uranium from Niger.

CBS News has confirmed, in advance of a 60 Minutes interview with outed CIA agent Valerie Plame to be run tonight 10/21/07 , that Plame "was involved in operations to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons."

Intelligence sources indicated that Plame's outing resulted in "severe" damage to her team and significantly hampered the CIA's ability to monitor nuclear proliferation. CBS states further that Plame "was involved in one highly classified mission to deliver fake nuclear weapons blueprints to Tehran. It was called Operation Merlin"

What does this tell you about the ethics of this administration? They would rather try to discredit and punish war critic Wilson by outing his CIA agent wife than protect the US against nuclear proliferation.

(H/T - Raw)


Great interview. Plame said point blank that Bush lied.
"Bad President, no banana!"

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bush denies 10 million kids health care, spends billions killing kids in Iraq

Rep. Pete Stark tells it like it is:
The Republicans are worried that we can't pay to insure an additional 10 million children, they sure don't care about finding $200 billion dollars to fight the illegal war in Iraq. Where you going to get that money? You going to tell us lies, like you're telling us today? Is that how you're going to fund the war? You don't have money to fund the war or children, but you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people ... if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the President's amusement. ... The President's statements about children's health shouldn't be taken anymore seriously than his lies about the war in Iraq.

Take the CNN Poll

Congressman Pete Stark accused Republicans of sending troops to Iraq to "get their heads blown off for the president's amusement." Should he apologize?
Yes 7%
No 93%
Total Votes: 11293

Bush's Attorney General nominee compares the Bush Administration torture policy to that of the Nazi's

Bush says: "We don't torture."

Bullshit. The recent PBS Frontline documentary shows how the Bush Administration neutered the McCain Amendment outlawing torture with a David Addington "signing statement."

The standards for 'torture' were rewritten by Bush Dept of Justice 'yes man' Jon Yoo who wrote the controversial Bybee memo in which he advocated the legality of torture and that enemy combatants could be denied protection under the Geneva Conventions

Not only did Michael Mukasey repudiate the so-called 2002 "torture memo" signed by Office of Legal Counsel chief Jay Bybee -- which appears to have survived in spirit, if not in letter -- but he compared U.S. torture to the Holocaust.

Anti-war Ron Paul receives more military support than all other GOP candidates combined

Ron Paul is for immediate withdrawal of the US from Iraq but gets more support from military personnel and their families than all other GOP candidates combined. What does that tell us about the opinions of this war by our military? He also reminds the neocons of that nagging thing that seems to be an impediment to their authoritarian rule - the US Constitution.

Ron Paul on Fox News:

"We take the traditional position that you should only go to war under a declaration and win and get out ... Some people say that's weak for the troops but it really isn't, it's protecting the troops ... and the fact that we get the money from the military more than all the other Republicans put together is a pretty darn good endorsement. I've been in the military.. i believe in a strong national defense"

FOXNEWS QUESTION: You like to bring issues to people that sometimes are surprised when they hear your answers and your stance, is that your trademark?

Ron Paul: Well, I think that's sort of of sad because I come from the Constitution and when they're surprised, it means that they're not quite aware of what Article I section 8 says. That's sort of a shame.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

CNN op/ed: "This president has diminished a great nation and may diminish it further"

Some quotes from today's op/ed by CNN's Lou Dobbs: Beware: the lame duck

  • Our elected officials in both political parties and the national media should worry less about the legacy of this lame-duck president and far more about the future of a great nation and people debilitated by his ruinous leadership.
  • I spend more time worrying about whether or not the United States can survive the remaining 15 months of his ebbing presidency.
  • Historians are certain to describe the first presidential administration of the 21st century with terms such as dissipation and perversion.
  • Although many conservatives refuse to accept the reality, George W. Bush is a one-world neo-liberal who drove budget and trade deficits to record heights while embracing faith-based economic policies that perversely require only blind allegiance to free markets and free trade, without regard for consequence.
  • This president pursues a war without demanding of his generals either success or victory and accepts the sacrifice of our brave young men and women in uniform while asking nothing of our people or the nation at a time of war.
  • This administration has permitted American businesses to hire illegal aliens, encouraged the invasion of 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens and has given Mexico and corporate America dominion over our borders and our immigration policy.
  • Were it not for an outraged public, the Bush administration would have been happy to cede control of our ports to a Dubai government-owned company.

Brand Republican - Not Selling

GOP donations are down. Through Sept. 30, the Democratic field had taken in $223 million in contributions, compared with $150 million for Republicans.


More than a third of the top fundraisers who helped elect George W. Bush president remain on the sidelines in 2008, contributing to a gaping financial disparity between the GOP candidates and their Democratic counterparts.

Scores of Bush Pioneers and Rangers are not working for any Republican candidate, citing discontent with the war in Iraq, anger at the performance of Republicans in Congress and a general lack of enthusiasm. More than two dozen have actually made contributions to Democrats.

Support for Fred Thompson fades

Where's Fred Thompson going?



WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Fred Thompson got into the Republican race with great expectations. And sure enough, just after he got in last month, polling showed Thompson and Rudy Giuliani were just about tied for front-runner.

Fred Thompson's support in the polls has slipped.

But since then, Thompson's taken a lot of flak for a lackluster campaign from party activists in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Support for his campaign has also wavered. The new CNN poll by the Opinion Research Corporation released Tuesday shows Thompson's support dropping -- now at 19 percent, down from 27 percent in September.

PBS Documentary: Cheney's Law - how the Bush Administration manipulated law to abuse power

Spectacular PBS Frontline Documentary tells how through the White House Office of legal council, and David Addington's signing statements, the Bush Administration subverts democracy and is allowed the power to detain, interrogate, torture, wiretap and spy -- without congressional approval or judicial review.

PBS Frontline
After Sept. 11, Cheney and Addington were determined to implement their vision -- in secret. The vice president and his counsel found an ally in John Yoo, a lawyer at the Justice Department's extraordinarily powerful Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). In concert with Addington, Yoo wrote memoranda authorizing the president to act with unparalleled authority.

"Through interviews with key administration figures, Cheney's Law documents the bruising bureaucratic battles between a group of conservative Justice Department lawyers and the Office of the Vice President over the legal foundation for the most closely guarded programs in the war on terror," says FRONTLINE producer Michael Kirk. This is Kirk's 10th documentary about the Bush administration's policies since 9/11.

In his most extensive television interview since leaving the Justice Department, former Assistant Attorney General Jack L. Goldsmith describes his initial days at the OLC in the fall of 2003 as he learned about the government's most secret and controversial covert operations. Goldsmith was shocked by the administration's secret assertion of unlimited power.

"There were extravagant and unnecessary claims of presidential power that were wildly overbroad to the tasks at hand," Goldsmith says. "I had a whole flurry of emotions. My first one was disbelief that programs of this importance could be supported by legal opinions that were this flawed. My second was the realization that I would have a very, very hard time standing by these opinions if pressed. My third was the sinking feeling, what was I going to do if I was pressed about reaffirming these opinions?"

As Goldsmith began to question his colleagues' claims that the administration could ignore domestic laws and international treaties, he began to clash with Cheney's office. According to Goldsmith, Addington warned him, "If you rule that way, the blood of the 100,000 people who die in the next attack will be on your hands."

Goldsmith's battles with Cheney culminated in a now-famous hospital-room confrontation at Attorney General John Ashcroft's bedside. Goldsmith watched as White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and Chief of Staff Andy Card pleaded with Ashcroft to overrule the department's finding that a domestic surveillance program was illegal. Ashcroft rebuffed the White House, and as many as 30 department lawyers threatened to resign. The president relented.

But Goldsmith's victory was temporary, and Cheney's Law continues the story after the hospital-room standoff. At the Justice Department, White House Counsel Gonzales was named attorney general and tasked with reasserting White House control. On Capitol Hill, Cheney lobbied Congress for broad authorizations for the eavesdropping program and for approval of the administration's system for trying suspected terrorists by military tribunals.

As the White House and Congress continue to face off over executive privilege, the terrorist surveillance program, and the firing of U.S. attorneys, FRONTLINE tells the story of what's formed the views of the man behind what some view as the most ambitious project to reshape the power of the president in American history.
Watch it on-line

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Another lying Republican - Mitch McConnell

Watch the Republican Senator from Kentucky, Mitch McConnell lie:

This is what Republicans do, they smear (swiftboat) their opposition, then lie about it.

More from Think Progress

I Hate Guns

But it's fun to target shoot once in a while.

The thing I don't understand about gun owners 'feeling safe' about having guns around is that if someone wants to shoot you, they are going to do it. They will not wait until you go get your gun to defend yourself.

Considering this target shoot with a 30 caliber KAL w/ scope at 50+ yards, it seems apparent that there would be little to do in terms of defense if the shooter made the first move. Perhaps someone with a gun could kill the shooter after he has already killed you, so how's that making you safer?

OK, so you like to "kill it and grill it." Since I'm not a meat eater, I don't relate but OK, use your rifles to feed yourself... but handguns? What are they good for?

In the words of Lynyrd Skynyrd:
Hand guns are made for killin'
Aint no good for nothin else
Less guns will make the world better, safer. America agrees:

ABC News Poll. April 22, 2007.
“Do you favor or oppose stricter gun control laws in this country?”
61% - favor
36% - oppose

Friday, October 12, 2007

Former US Commander in Iraq: Bush incompetent, desperate, a catastrophic failure

Today, former commander of US forces in Iraq, General Ricardo Sanchez said:

"There has been a glaring, unfortunate display of incompetent strategic leadership within our national leaders. America continues its desperate struggle in Iraq without any concerted effort to devise a strategy that will achieve 'victory' in that war-torn country or in the greater conflict against extremism."

He called the president's troop-escalation "surge" strategy a "desperate attempt by an administration that has not accepted the political and economic realities of this war."

He also also assailed government officials of being guilty of a “lust for power" and that they would have "faced court martials for dereliction of duty had they been in the military."

"There is no question America is living a nightmare with no end in sight," he said.

Sanchez commanded the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq from June 2003 until July 2004 as the anti-U.S. insurgency took hold.

He aimed his sharpest attacks at the White House National Security Council, headed during his Iraq tenure by now-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. "Our National Security Council has been a catastrophic failure."

Abortion declines most where it is safe and legal

Want to increase the incidence of abortion? Make it illegal.

This is according to: “Induced Abortion: Rates and Trends Worldwide,” a new report by the Guttmacher Institute and the World Health Organization (WHO) published in the 13 October 2007 issue of The Lancet.
On the whole, the abortion rate decreased more in developed countries, where abortion is generally safe and legal on broad grounds (from 39 to 26), than in developing countries, where the procedure is largely illegal and unsafe (from 34 to 29).
So, anti-choice people - this is what you're campaigning for:
"Each year, about 70,000 women die due to unsafe abortion and an additional five million suffer permanent or temporary disability," notes Dr. Paul F.A. Van Look, director of WHO’s Department of Reproductive Health and Research.

(H/T: SoBeale)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Faux News promotes "Liberal War on God"

Picking up where they left off with their 'War on Christmas,' the Faux News Channel cited Air America's Free Thought Radio show as an atheist "shocking show."

Pitting believers against non-believers, Faux News again attempts to demonize the minority of people who don't subscribe to religious beliefs.

They also note that atheism is growing in America and those that are atheist are generally more highly educated than those that are religious. Hmmm... do you suppose dogmatism and lack of education could be connected?

Clearly, there is a mountain of research that shows the correlation:
Religious conviction diminishes as education level increases

A letter published in Nature in 1998 reported a survey suggesting that belief in a personal god or afterlife was at an all-time low among the members of the U.S. National Academy of Science, only 7.0% of whom believed in a personal god as compared to more than 85% of the general U.S. population. In the same year Frank Sulloway of MIT and Michael Shermer of California State University conducted a study which found in their polling sample of "credentialed" U.S. adults (12% had Ph.Ds and 62% were college graduates) 64% believed in God, and there was a correlation indicating that religious conviction diminished with education level. Such an inverse correlation between religiosity and intelligence has been found by 39 studies carried out between 1927 and 2002, according to an article in Mensa Magazine. These findings broadly concur with a 1958 statistical meta-analysis from Professor Michael Argyle of Oxford University. He analyzed seven research studies that had investigated correlation between attitude to religion and measured intelligence among school and college students from the U.S. Although a clear negative correlation was found, the analysis did not identify causality but noted that factors such as authoritarian family background and social class may also have played a part.

Please remind the Christian right wing 'moral majority' - morality starts with the truth.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Are we safer since invading Iraq? Army Chief Casey says Iraq war depleting our military

The answer is no. We have experienced unprecedented fraud, waste, incompetence, corruption, and expense in the Iraq war while the war profiteers continue to reap benefits often from substandard work. This is the biggest and most expensive scandal of our lifetime.

If anyone still thinks the Iraq war has made us safer, they should listen to what the US Army Chief has to say about what the war has done to our military.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Casey:
Boston Globe:
In his first appearance as Army chief of staff, Casey told the House Armed Services Committee that the Army is "out of balance" and "the current demand for our forces exceeds the sustainable supply. We are consumed with meeting the demands of the current fight and are unable to provide ready forces as rapidly as necessary for other potential contingencies." ... Casey predicted, it would take at least three to four years to restore the Army to full strength, including replacing damaged or destroyed equipment, adding tens of thousands more soldiers, and increasing health and other benefits for Army families coping with frequent deployments of loved ones.

If the neocons don't believe their own 4-star General, then WTF?

Ron Paul reminds the neocons about this thing called 'The Constitution"

Ron Paul says:
"Why don't we just open up the constitution and read it? You're not allowed to go to war without a declaration of war."
"The thought that the Iranians could pose an imminent attack on the United States is preposterous, there's no way, this is just war propaganda, continued war propaganda preparing this nation to go war and spread this war, not only in Iraq but into Iran, unconstitutionally. It is a road to disaster for us as a nation, it's a road to our financial disaster if we don't read the constitution."
- Ron Paul [10/09/07]

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Ron Paul wins another GOP Debate - CNBC poll is pulled
CNBC has taken down their poll, which had Ron Paul winning with 75% in all categories...

Governor Lowell Weicker of Connecticut on the debate:
"Ron Paul is by far the best Republican running. He did great! He is what the Republican Party used to be!"

Ron Paul makes too much sense for Republicans. He reminds us continuously of the thing that the Bush Administration has fought against - the US Constitution.

Ron Paul slam dunks the field in the MSNBC debate poll
Ron Paul is once again the clear winner, beating all candidates 10 to 1 in some categories in the MSNBC poll, it wasn't even close.

Who stood out from the pack? * 10843 responses
Sam Brownback
Rudy Giuliani
Mike Huckabee
Duncan Hunter
John McCain
Ron Paul
Mitt Romney
Tom Tancredo
Fred Thompson
Who showed the most leadership qualities? * 10758 responses
Sam Brownback
Rudy Giuliani
Mike Huckabee
Duncan Hunter
John McCain
Ron Paul
Mitt Romney
Tom Tancredo
Fred Thompson

Nixon: Fred Thompson is "dumb as hell"


When Nixon's aide H.R. Haldeman told Nixon of Thompson's appointment, Nixon was less than impressed.

"Baker has appointed Fred Thompson as minority counsel," Haldeman is heard saying on one tape.

"Oh shit, that kid," Nixon responds.

Nixon worried that Thompson's Democratic counterpart, Sam Dash, would outsmart Thompson.

"Well, Dash is too smart for that kid," Nixon says
In another Nixon tape:
"Oh shit, he's dumb as hell. Fred Thompson," Nixon says.

In another conversation some weeks later, Nixon and his advisers were still describing Thompson as not very smart but at least beginning to play ball.

"He isn't very smart, is he?" Nixon asks.

"Not extremely so, but --," Buzhardt says, interrupted by the president.

"But he's friendly," Nixon says.

War profiteers profit, American taxpayers get screwed

From T/P:

State Department Hired Corrupt Contractor To Build U.S. Embassy In Iraq

Did you know that we need a lavish $592-million embassy in Iraq. The embassy complex will have a staff of 1,000 people and operating costs will total $1.2 billion a year. We need this so it should be well built, right?

"Today, House Oversight Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) wrote to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and raised concerns about the “substandard work” done by the prime contractor, First Kuwaiti General Trading & Contracting Company.Waxman’s investigation has uncovered not only poor workmanship — widespread defects in fire detection systems and electrical wiring"

Incompetence, corruption and war profiteering... the legacy of the Bush Administration.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Religious conservative authoritarians discuss the "right to life"

One of the religious conservative authoritarians interviewed said:
"I feel like whatever President Bush is going to do, he's praying over it and that's a good thing"
Watch the video. Watch the hypocrisy where religious principles of 'right to life' can be twisted by authoritarianism - where they surrender to a higher authority that commits all manner of atrocities under the guise of Christianity.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

#9 removed from NiT for strawman attack on Sobeal?

#9 is dumped

While I've been away from the computer, it seems as if #9's tenure at NiT has expired. I'm sorry but I must have missed the controversy. I've been slow to get back to the blogosphere.

Tell me folks, is this take correct? It appears #9 tried to tell SoBeale 'what she thinks' by this comment:
"Beale believes the radical Islamic fanatics don’t stone people to death. "

This does appear to be a problem because #9 knows this statement is false but used it anyway to smear Beale. It's a classic authoritarian tactic, exaggerate your opponents position then refute it, obstruficate the issue.

To me, the false use of a picture to support the war is reprehensible but fairly routine for the fear mongers. It seems fairly trivial in comparison with muti-billion dollar fraud and waste. . . not to mention death, destruction and incompetent leadership that lies all the time, particularly worrisome now with all the sabre-rattling over Iran.

#9 crowns me king of TN

#9 - I have to thank you for the great compliments you left me on your post refering to my 'you can't handle the truth' style at NiT. Amusingly over the top. Really good 'for us or against us' bullshit as usual -
"A string of guest bloggers who were unpaid came through NiT. None could find the magic formula until William took control of NiT. For months posts of extremist leftist yellow blogism spewed forth. These were reruns from the Daily Kos, Media Matters, Democrat Underground,, Pandagon, and of course Jesus General. It was the worst kind of Hate America First tripe available in Tennessee, which is no small accomplishment. It was as if George Soros had a telepathic link to William."
What do you think Egalia? Not bad aye?

War profiteers - No Rules!!

Is it a joke that $Billions are unaccounted for in Iraq?
Listen to GW, he thinks it's a joke that there are no rules for military contractors.
There is no bigger scandal.


Monday, October 1, 2007

The White Christian Party strikes again - Blacks benefited from slavery

Townhall, a conservative online magazine had an op/ed last week by Michael Medved that inferred slavery wasn't such a bad thing after all and that blacks benefited from their enslavement.

"Unfortunately, to bring American blacks in line with their cousins who the slave-traders left behind in Africa would require a drastic reduction in their wealth, living standards, and economic and political opportunities. ... it’s also obvious that Americans of African descent enjoy vastly greater wealth and human rights of every variety than the citizens of any nation of the Mother Continent."
-- M. Medved,
No wonder so many blacks hate the GOP. Looks like Kanya West was right.