Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Video: Olbermann on the TCPR's Attack on Al Gore

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann tells all about the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, the far right group that attacked Al Gore's energy use.

via Brittney at NIT.

Child Dies from No Healthcare in USA

It happens all the time in America, only this time the story made the Washington Post.

All the kid needed was "a routine, $80 tooth extraction."

Too bad Deamonte Driver wasn't lucky enough to be a Canadian, or even a Canadian immigrant. Hell, if Deamonte had lived in any developed nation other than America, the unavailability of healthcare would not have killed him.

Twelve-year-old Deamonte Driver died of a toothache Sunday.

A routine, $80 tooth extraction might have saved him.

f his mother had been insured.

If his family had not lost its Medicaid.

If Medicaid dentists weren't so hard to find.

If his mother hadn't been focused on getting a dentist for his brother, who had six rotted teeth.

By the time Deamonte's own aching tooth got any attention, the bacteria from the abscess had spread to his brain, doctors said. After two operations and more than six weeks of hospital care, the Prince George's County boy died.


What they're saying:

Dentist or Death
Dying For Want of Insurance
We Can Do Better Than This

Senator Wants State to Answer Creation Question

State Sen. Raymond Finney is jealous of all the attention Stacey X has been getting. Sen. Finney is plotting to get the state's already embarrassingly inadequate schools to teach creationism or intelligent design.

Finney (R-Maryville) is making it the state's business to determine the answers to such weighty questions as "Is there a creator?" and "If yes, why are we afraid to teach creationism?"

For the answers, Finney is looking to the Tennessee State Education Department. And if the Rabidly Republican Senate signs on to Finney's resolution, any answers forthcoming will be official State of Tennessee answers.

Since these are hard questions, Finny is willing to give the state a whole year to come up with some answers.

Finny is a retired physician and we are thanking the goddess for that.

I have questions too. Since state schools are forbidden to access blogs, are they also forbidden to access websites pertaining to the state's lawmakers from la-la-land? And if not, why not?

Dowd: Ozone Man Sequel

MoDo plays it safe today -- no hit jobs -- as she joins the conversation about Al Gore as "savior of the post-Bush era."

Ozone Man Sequel
by Maureen Dowd

Al Gore now has a movie with an Oscar and a grandson named Oscar. Who could ask for anything more?

Al Gore could.

The best ex-president who was never president could make one of the most interesting campaigns in American history even more interesting. Will he use his green moment on the red carpet in black tie to snag blue states and win the White House?

Only the Goracle knows the answer. . . .

With her own talent for checking the weathervane, Hillary co-opted Mr. Gore’s eco-speak right after the Oscars, talking environment throughout upstate New York. Given his past competition with Hillary, Mr. Gore must have delighted in seeing his star rise in Hollywood as hers dimmed.

If he waits long enough to get into the race, all the usual-suspect-consultants will be booked — which would be a boon for Mr. Gore, since his Hessian strategists in 2000 made him soft-pedal the environment, the very issue that makes him seem most passionate and authentic. The same slides about feedback loops and the interconnectedness of weather patterns that made his image-makers yawn just won his movie an Academy Award.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Tennessee Center For Policy Research: Rightwing Smear Machine

The Rightwing Fear that Al Gore Will Take Back the White House

Much of this post is buried in a post about Al Gore's response to attacks by Drudge and other rabid flat-earthers who are just so frothing-at-the-mouth outraged because the former Vice President uses electricity.

Clearly, Republicans are worried about the clamor for "America's Coolest Ex-Vice President Ever" to take back the White House.

The attack originates from the Tennessee Center For Policy Research. Thus, the rightwing non-think tank deserves a post all its own.

Seeing the Forest notes that TCPR claims "to be non-partisan but only link(s) to far-right and conservative groups so regardless of what their status is with the IRS, this is a conservative, strongly-leaning Republican organization."

And, yes, you can expect to hear more about that IRS status.

USA Today blogger, Mark Memmott observes that the "non-partisan" TCPR links to the Cato Institute, Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute. The TCPR's idea of non-partisan looks a lot like Dick Cheney's idea of "progress" in Iraq.

Dave Johnson and James Boyce over at Huffington Post report on The Tennessee Center For Policy Research.

And lo and behold we have not only an Exxon connection, but the Bush and Cheney 'mexed missages' manufacturer itself -- the radical right-wing American Enterprise Institute:

Tennessee Center's President Drew Johnson comes straight out of the right's network, coming from Exxon-funded American Enterprise Institute and the right-wing-funded National Taxpayers Foundation.

They are part of the right's State Policy Network. According to PFAW,

"SPN is a national network of state-based right-wing organizations in 37 states as well as prominent nationwide right-wing organizations. Through its network SPN advances the public policy ideas of the expansive right-wing political movement on the state and local level."

The Tennessee Dept. of Revenue has actually termed the TCPR as "not a legitimate organization."

Liberadio: Always On: The Gore Power Switch
Nashville City Paper: Dept. of Revenue says conservative think tank ‘not a legitimate group’
Cup of Joe Powell: Smearing Al Gore The TCPR Way
August Pollack: Shocking report reveals Al Gore uses electricity, says popular idiot
Anonymous Liberal: Gore's Energy Use
Shakespeare's Sister: High Drudgeon
Oliver Willis: Swift Boating Al Gore
The Carpetbagger Report: Conservative smear machine targets Gore (again)
Crooks and Liars: Smearing Gore
INSTAPUTZ: Putz: For hypocrisy before he was against it!

Western States Bypass Bush on Global Warming

Following Gore, not Bush:

"Arizona is joining California and three other western states to bypass the Bush administration and begin their own regional pact aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions that result in smog and are linked to global warming."

"The governors of California, Arizona, Oregon, New Mexico and Washington announced Monday they were forming the Western Regional Climate Action Initiative."

Gore Smacks Down Drama-Queen Drudge

You know rightwingers are really scared of you when you win an Oscar one day, and they have a veritable rightwing smear orgy the next. Fed by a little-known local conservative non think tank -- with connections to Exxon (scroll down for the gory details) -- the wannabe swift-boaters charge that Gore's family residence uses 20 times as much power as the average family.

Al Gore responds more patiently than I would to the hysterical headlines on Drudge and other assorted rightwing screaming drama-queen blogs. And note that Gore's response was immediate and reached even Nashville's normally clueless major daily paper, immediately.

Hmmm, Gore has a rapid response team? Be still my hopeful heart.

Think Progress has Gore's rapid response:

1) Gore’s family has taken numerous steps to reduce the carbon footprint of their private residence, including signing up for 100 percent green power through Green Power Switch, installing solar panels, and using compact fluorescent bulbs and other energy saving technology.

2) Gore has had a consistent position of purchasing carbon offsets to offset the family’s carbon footprint — a concept the right-wing fails to understand. Gore’s office explains:

What Mr. Gore has asked is that every family calculate their carbon footprint and try to reduce it as much as possible. Once they have done so, he then advocates that they purchase offsets, as the Gore’s do, to bring their footprint down to zero.

The Tennessean elaborates, "Gore purchased 108 blocks of 'green power' for at least each of the last three months, according to a summary of bills from Nashville Electric Service. . . The green power purchased by Gore in those three months is equivalent to recycling 2.48 million aluminum cans, or recycling 286,092 pounds of newspaper, according to comparison figures on the utility's Web site."

See Think Progress for yet more examples of Drudge getting it all wrong.

About that local rightwing non-think tank . . .

Dave Johnson and James Boyce over at Huffington Post report on The Tennessee Center For Policy Research.

And lo and behold we have not only an Exxon connection, but the Bush and Cheney 'mexed missages' manufacturer itself -- the radical right-wing American Enterprise Institute:

Tennessee Center's President Drew Johnson comes straight out of the right's network, coming from Exxon-funded American Enterprise Institute and the right-wing-funded National Taxpayers Foundation.

They are part of the right's State Policy Network. According to PFAW,

"SPN is a national network of state-based right-wing organizations in 37 states as well as prominent nationwide right-wing organizations. Through its network SPN advances the public policy ideas of the expansive right-wing political movement on the state and local level."

As of Feb. 16, the Tennessee tax dept. considers them "not a legitimate organization" because of their misrepresenting themselves involving questions about the group's opposition to a state crackdown on drug dealers.

The Tennessee Center for Policy Research bills itself as, um, nonpartisan.

via memeorandum
Photo via Draft Gore 2008

The Conservapedia: A Racist Agenda

Jack and Jill Politics provides the nasty details on the Conservapedia:

"The Conservapedia was recently launched as a rival to the Wikipedia. The Eagle Forum sponsors this repugnant trash. You know the Eagle Forum -- it's Phyllis Schlafly the anti-feminist ultra-conservative. She's against Title IX, against "judicial activism" (code word = nigger loving dismantlers of segregation) and pro-Mexican border fence."

Continue reading . . .

via The Blog Report

Laura Bush, Iraq Expert

Iraq Expert, Laura Bush proclaims that Iraq is mostly stable. Now we can all breath a sigh of relief.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Paid Maternity Leave in the USA -- It's High Time

Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) is working to amend the Family and Medical Leave Act so that it will provide for at least six weeks of paid leave. Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) is signing on to Dodd's bill as a co-sponsor.

A recent study adds to the extensive documentation which finds that the United States is one of the worst nations in the world when it comes to providing essential support for the care of families. As is often the case, when it comes to such measures the standing of the U.S. is inferior to many so-called third world, or poor, countries.

Reuters reports on a study that points to the U.S. as one of five countries which fail to guarantee even a minimum level of paid maternity leave:

In a study from McGill University's Institute for Health and Social Policy, the United States, Lesotho, Liberia, Swaziland, and Papua New Guinea were the only countries out of 173 studied that didn't guarantee any paid leave for mothers. Among the 168 countries that do, 98 offer 14 or more weeks of paid leave.

Overall, the study's other major findings indicate that workplace policies in the United States for families -- such as paid sick days and support for breast-feeding -- are weaker than those in all high-income countries as well as many middle and low-income countries. . .

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, U.S. workers are allowed to take up to 12 weeks leave for to tend to family or medical needs, but their absence is unpaid. States are beginning to take more of an initiative on this front, human-resources experts say. For example, California has passed legislation for paid family leave -- called the State Disability Insurance Program, which entitles employees a maximum of six weeks of partial pay per year to care for a newborn or other family matters. . .

The United States also lags behind in protecting working women's right to breastfeed. At least 107 countries grant women the right to breastfeed, and in 73 of those countries, the breaks are paid, the study found. The United States does not have any protections in place for women who want to breastfeed.

Al Gore is a Winner!

All I really wanted in return for watching the Oscars last night was for Al Gore to win. An Inconvenient Truth -- arguably the most important film ever made -- won for Best Documentary and Best Original Song!

Mr. Gore's acceptance speech was short and to the point:

“My fellow Americans, people all over the world — we need to solve the climate crisis. It’s not a political issue. It’s a moral issue. We have everything we need to get started with the possible exception of the will to act. That’s a renewable resource. Let’s renew it.”

We sure don't have many leaders who actually lead us toward sanity and peace. Al Gore is one.

Too bad for Tennessee. It appears that this state will always be known as the state that shamefully let the nation down by failing to give this great man a thumbs up in 2000.

I continue to hope that we are presented with an opportunity to redeem ourselves, but why would Mr. Gore give up being an esteemed elder statesman, rock star, and saviour of the planet in exchange for the ordeal of politics?

Well, he might do it if the Dems perform so badly that the swiftboaters mop the floor with them.

Gee, do you think that could ever happen?

Obviously Al Gore has a thing for saving people. Obviously an Al Gore campaign for 2008 is still possible. I'm not at all sure that this country deserves him, but I am certain that we need him.

Crooks and Liars has the Al Gore at the Oscars video.

Think Progress has two Al Gore at the Oscars videos.

Melissa Ethridge was fantastic. I've always been a big fan. Ms. Ethridge held up her Oscar and said that he would be “the only naked man who will ever be in my bedroom.” Heh. See her perform the song here.

The Washington Post positively gushes over Al Gore, Rock Star

About Gore in 2008

Politico has a nice long piece on Al Gore. Once again, we are reminded that Al Gore is the one person who can come into the presidential race late and walk away with the prize.

If you are an Al Gore fan, you'll want to read this one. If you are hoping for Al Gore to move into the White House in 2009, as I am, here's the essence of the piece:

Friends who talk regularly with Gore say that he believes what he tells the press – that he’s not planning to run for president. Backstage on Sunday night, he repeated his mantra: "I do not have plans to become a candidate for office again." No draft movement is being authorized or encouraged, and there are no internal discussions of a campaign, the friends insist. But they say he has deliberately not closed the door. It just doesn’t feel right to him and he’s only 58.

So the crescendo will rise. Brazile, now the founder and managing director of Brazile and Associates, is neutral in the race but says she would work for Gore if he declared. She acknowledges that after the near miss of 2000, she was among those who said “hell, no” about a 2004 bid. But she feels very differently now.

“He could come in at the end of the day as a candidate who can truly unite his party as well as his country,” Brazile said. “He can help repair our country’s image abroad. He’s someone who can go toe-to-toe with world leaders and doesn’t need a crash course in diplomacy.” She remembers back in the ’80s when Gore was in Congress and used to often cite a quote from Gandhi, ““Be the change you want to see in the world.” Brazile said: “I believe he has become that quote.”

Krugman On: Substance Over Image

The title says it all. Can we please have one election that is not straight out of high school? Probably not.

by Paul Krugman

Six years ago a man unsuited both by intellect and by temperament for high office somehow ended up running the country.

How did that happen? First, he got the Republican nomination by locking up the big money early.

Then, he got within chad-and-butterfly range of the White House because the public, enthusiastically encouraged by many in the news media, treated the presidential election like a high school popularity contest. The successful candidate received kid-gloves treatment — and a free pass on the fuzzy math of his policy proposals — because he seemed like a fun guy to hang out with, while the unsuccessful candidate was subjected to sniggering mockery over his clothing and his mannerisms.

Read more . . .

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Video: Oscar Night with Michael Moore

"Shame on you, Mr. Bush. Shame on you."

via Michael Moore

Rep. Campfield (R) Announces Discovery of WMD!

Republican State Rep. Reports that Obscure Rightwing Blogger Found WMD!!!

Rep. Stacey Campfield (Idiot) -- of death certificates for abortions fame -- continues to keep us amused. The Republican State Representative (seriously) recently wrote on his blog:

"You want WMDs, You got WMDs"

"Will the press pick up on this? I wonder. This TOTALLY changes the arguments against the war. It could rock the democrat arguments and talking points in this nation and world wide."


Stay with me folks. This is a serious post. I am not making this stuff up.

The State Rep. (seriously) linked to the following post from an obscure rightwing blogger:


"In the first national report from the heart of one of the world’s premier energy capitals, Frankly Speaking has obtained unclassified documents showing that at just one site alone, Saddam Hussein possessed and stored over 1 million pounds of uranium. (emphasis mine)"

"Unclassified inventory documents in my possession show that over 1 million pounds of yellowcake uranium are stored at one site alone in Iraq."

"[W]hy have no major media outlets, Congress, the Republican Party, or even the President, given the American public the information to make their own decisions regarding the intentions of Saddam Hussein and his storage of over 1 million pounds of uranium? Providing the information on what Saddam did possess is a necessary step in allowing the American public the ability to make their own determination of what Saddam Hussein’s intentions were or were not."

Well, it wasn't long before Brittney -- of the reality-based side of the planet -- over at Nashville Is Talking zeroed in on the nut of the story:

Move Over Judith Miller:

"So, why is Terry Frank the only one smart and wily enough to discover the truth of this matter?"

And before you could say, rightwingers are flat-out insane, the locals descended on the blog of Rep. Campfield's friend with outrageous and bizarre demands for said friend to put up some evidence or shut up. To which Campfield's friend, Terry Frank responded that the blogosphere is just so damn rude! And Brittney Gilbert of Nashville is Talking is just such a "stain."

But Stacey's friend, Terry Frank carries on valiantly, she is a hero, says she:

"Whether my story is believed, appreciated, or even carried forward is irrelevant to me. I had the guts to put it out there and suffer the pathetic commentaries of do-nothings like you."

Meanwhile, rumors are flying among the state's pathetic do-nothings about found documents which prove that Campfield and Frank are in fact auditioning for a spot on the new Fox Daily Show ripoff, The 1/2 Hour News Hour.

And in keeping with the high blogging standards of Rep. Campfield and his friend, Terry Frank, the TGW blog hereby announces that the Tennessee Republican Party plans to offer full funding to Stacey Campfield's friend if she will only run for office on the WMD FOUND!!!! platform.

And if you want proof of our claim, you are so obviously a pathetic do-nothing that we don't even want to talk to you.

Rep. Stacey Campfield (R) is a Joke
How Many Cops Does it Take to Handcuff Rep. Campfield?

Video: Melissa Ethridge -- I Need to Wake Up

Oscar Winner! From Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth: "I Need to Wake Up"

Nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song.

Update: Al Gore is a Winner!

Al Gore -- The Goracle at Oscars Ceremony

An Inconvenient Truth is favored to win an Oscar for Best Documentary, and it's in the running for Best Original Song with Melissa Ethridge's I Need to Wake Up. [Music video here.]

This year's Oscars will be green and the Award Ceremony is expected to wow everyone with its eco-friendliness, reports the Washington Times.

Global celebrity Al Gore will be at the ceremony tonight. Gore gets mobbed everywhere he goes; I wonder if they'll mob him in Hollywood?

Take the Cannes Film Festival: Al Gore was mobbed. By French people. He was a presenter at the Grammy Awards, alongside Queen Latifah, where he got one of the biggest welcomes of the night. "Wow. . . . I think they love you, man. You hear that?" the current Queen asked the former veep. Earlier this month, the ticket Web site at the University of Toronto crashed when 23,000 people signed on in three minutes to get a seat to hear Gore do his thing on the oceanic carbon cycle. At Boise State, Gore and his slide show sold out 10,000 seats at the Taco Bell Arena, reportedly "faster than Elton John."

"The Goracle" -- "Totally carbon neutral" -- and "geek-chic cool" are some of the things people call Al Gore these days. And, of course -- "Rock Star."
"An Inconvenient Truth," the 100-minute movie that is essentially Gore giving a slide show about global warming, is the third-highest-grossing documentary ever, with a worldwide box office of $45 million, right behind blockbusters "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "March of the Penguins."

In countries like Spain, Scotland and Norway, Gore's film is shown in public schools. We know that couldn't happen here.

The Tennessean will have a story about Al Gore in the Sunday paper. I wonder how it will compare with the Al Gore, Rock Star story in the Washington Post.

Rich: Terror’s Comeback

If you were planning on having a happy carefree day, don't read Frank Rich's column today. Here's a taste of the column that could ruin your day:

Where Were You That Summer of 2001?

Michael Scheuer, the former head of the C.I.A. bin Laden unit, told MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann last week that the Taliban and Al Qaeda, having regrouped in Afghanistan and Pakistan, “are going to detonate a nuclear device inside the United States” (the real United States, that is, not the fictional stand-in where this same scenario can be found on “24”). Al Qaeda is “on the march” rather than on the run, the Georgetown University and West Point terrorism expert Bruce Hoffman told Congress. Tony Blair is pulling troops out of Iraq not because Basra is calm enough to be entrusted to Iraqi forces — it’s “not ready for transition,” according to the Pentagon’s last report — but to shift some British resources to the losing battle against the resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan.

This is why the entire debate about the Iraq “surge” is as much a sideshow as Britney’s scalp. More troops in Baghdad are irrelevant to what’s going down in Afghanistan and Pakistan. . . .

Yet Mr. Bush still denies reality. Ten days ago he told the American Enterprise Institute that “the Taliban have been driven from power” and proposed that America help stabilize the Pakistan border by setting up “Reconstruction Opportunity Zones” (remember that “Gulf Opportunity Zone” he promised after Katrina?) to “give residents the chance to export locally made products to the United States, duty-free.” In other words, let’s fight terrorism not by shifting America’s focus from Iraq to the central front, but by shopping for Taliban souvenirs!

Five years after 9/11, the terrorists would seem to have us just where they want us — asleep — even as the system is blinking red once again.

Read the full column

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Congressman Steve Cohen at Firedoglake

Tennessee's progressive Congressman Steve Cohen was over at firedoglake for a live Blue America chat today. Damn, I wish I'd been there.

I know folks in Memphis think Congressman Cohen belongs to them, but just like progressives all over the nation once adopted Paul Wellstone as their Congressman, Steve Cohen belongs to progressives all across the state of Tennessee.

Go check out Tennessee's liberal Congressman Cohen at firedoglake.

If you're proud to finally have a progressive Congressman from the state of Tennessee, donate to Steve's re-election fund at Blue America.

And don't forget to watch for Cohen on an upcoming Colbert Report show (date still unknown).

What they're saying:


Crooks and Liars: "A RESPONSIVE representative? Be still my heart." "He’s the type of politician I hope I would be, were I ever to be a politician."


Teens Found Guilty of Potential Sex Crime

Speaking of sex crimes, or future crimes, two Florida teens exchanged digital photos which captured the two teens 'engaged in sexual activity.'

The sex was not a crime, it was legal in the state of Florida. But exchanging photos of the legal activity, that was a different matter.

The teens were prosecuted and convicted under child porn laws (but tried as adults!), cause one day . . . who knows? . . . maybe . . . "Amber and Jeremy could have eventually sold the photos to child pornographers or shown them to friends," said wacko Judge James R. Wolf.

The judge also speculated that one day someone might hack into the teens' computers, and the hacker might find the photos, and the hacker might be into child porn and if the hacker was into child porn, well, that might lead to the birth of a child porn distribution center.

Yeah, and someone with a camera might have seen them having sex, or maybe someone with a camera will see YOU having sex.

This is why we have laws, folks. To nip the crimes in the bud before we ever get around to committing them.

Be careful.

via Avedon at The Sideshow and Diane at The Dees Diversion

NARAL Rises Up Against Campfield

Stacey X's death certificates for abortions bill has been the subject of a veritable onslaught of outraged emails.

Some of them are from NARAL:

"Women who live in Tennessee already face an uphill battle when it comes to their reproductive rights. . . It's not enough that women who seek to access reproductive health face significant hurdles; Rep. Campfield believes that their privacy shouldn't matter at all."

"[A]s Rep. Campfield surely knows, death certificates include personal and identifying information- including full name and mailing address - that would become public record."

"Women in Tennessee deserve their constitutionally protected right to privacy when they make their personal reproductive decisions. Please help us defeat this dangerous bill by telling your legislators to oppose HB 982."

NARAL has a page devoted to the lunatic Stacey X where you can quickly contact your legislators and tell them to oppose HB 982.

While you're there, you can learn why NARAL gives Tennessee a grade of D+ on women's reproductive rights.

The Nashville Women's Political Caucus is also rising up against the lunatic's bill.

More bills of misogyny and classism from Stacey X:
Stacey X in the House: No lottery for the needy
Campfield Is Being Watched
Fathers' Rights Bills
Stacey X in the House: Wife beater protection act?

Recent TGW posts:
Rep. Stacey Campfield (R) is a Joke
How Many Cops Does it Take to Handcuff Rep.Campfield?
TN Lawmaker Wants State to Call a Fetus a Person

On John McCain: A Cat Without Whiskers

After Dowd's devastating hit piece on Obama and the Clintons earlier this week, she has, thankfully, moved on to John McCain. A better title for this one: John McCain, The Sucking-Up Candidate.

by Maureen Dowd

SEATTLE: So some guy stands up after John McCain’s luncheon speech here yesterday to a group of business types and asks him a question.

“I’ve seen in the press where in your run for the presidency, you’ve been sucking up to the religious right,” the man said, adding: “I was just wondering how soon do you predict a Republican candidate for president will start sucking up to the old Rockefeller wing of the Republican Party?”

Mr. McCain listened with his eyes downcast, then looked the man in the eye, smiled and replied: “I’m probably going to get in trouble, but what’s wrong with sucking up to everybody?” It was a flash of the old McCain, and the audience laughed.

Certainly, the senator has tried to worm his way into the affections of W. and the religious right: the Discovery Institute, a group that tries to derail Darwinism and promote the teaching of Intelligent Design, helped present the lunch, dismaying liberal bloggers who have tracked Mr. McCain’s devolution on evolution.

A reporter asked the senator if his pandering on Roe v. Wade had made him “the darling and candidate of the ultra right wing?”

Read more

Video: Eurythmics - Sex Crime 1984

Eurythmics, Live, 1987

via Chris Clarke at Pandagon

Friday, February 23, 2007


The Bush pResidency in a Flow Chart:

Thanks to Wellington Grey via Boing Boing

Deep Poverty Reaches 32 Year High

While the economy continues to go wonderfully well for those who benefit from the Bush Tax Cuts for Wealthy Buddies program, severe poverty in America is now at a 32 year high.

Forty-three percent of America's 37 million poor people are living in severe poverty.

Nearly two out of three of the severely poor are female.

"A McClatchy Newspapers analysis of 2005 census figures, the latest available, found that nearly 16 million Americans are living in deep or severe poverty. A family of four with two children and an annual income of less than $9,903 - half the federal poverty line - was considered severely poor in 2005. So were individuals who made less than $5,080 a year."

"The McClatchy analysis found that the number of severely poor Americans grew by 26 percent from 2000 to 2005. That's 56 percent faster than the overall poverty population grew in the same period. McClatchy's review also found statistically significant increases in the percentage of the population in severe poverty in 65 of 215 large U.S. counties, and similar increases in 28 states. The review also suggested that the rise in severely poor residents isn't confined to large urban counties but extends to suburban and rural areas."

Iraq War Leads to Divorce Surge

The NY Times reports that many families have been utterly devastated by the demands of the long and repeated tours of duty in Iraq.

A marriage therapist at Fort Campbell observes that 15-20 year old marriages, with family members accustomed to the demands of the military, are now falling apart.

New York Times:

Hundreds of thousands of soldiers and loved ones have endured long, sometimes repeated separations that test the fragility of their relationships in unforeseen ways. . .

Some therapists say they are bracing for this year’s divorces. Mary Coe, a marriage and family therapist working near Fort Campbell, an Army base on the border of Kentucky and Tennessee, said she was seeing “many, many divorces” right now. The 101st Airborne Division recently returned from its second deployment with an astonishing level of rage, she said. “Now we are seeing 15- to 20-year marriages not making it, and these are families that survived 20 years of deployments,” Dr. Coe said.

Lei Steivers, whose husband is a senior noncommissioned officer at Fort Campbell, has been a military wife for 25 years. But it took her husband’s second yearlong deployment to Iraq to cripple their marriage. They are now in counseling. A family leader on the base, Ms. Steivers, 46, also has two sons in the military. She said a number of men she knows came home last year for rest and relaxation and demanded a divorce.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Tell Democrats to Freeze Out Fox News

Join the campaign to stop Fox News from hosting a presidential debate with all the Democratic Party candidates. At BlogPac you can quickly send an email to the leading Democrats who can pull the plug on the Fox News debate.

Any channel other than the Republican attack machine will be fine. [via MyDD]

Fox News Attacks Obama:

via The General

NY Times to Congress: Stop Bush

I'm still waiting for the New York Times editorial that urges Congress to impeach Bush and Cheney. In the meantime, Congress and the Supreme Court should heed the Times' advice on a few other matters.

American Liberty at the Precipice

"In another low moment for American justice, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that detainees held at the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, do not have the right to be heard in court. The ruling relied on a shameful law that President Bush stampeded through Congress last fall that gives dangerously short shrift to the Constitution. . . "

"Congress and the Supreme Court should act quickly and forcefully to undo the grievous damage . . . "

Read more..

Fitzgerald: 'Cloud Over the White House'

"There is a cloud over the vice president . . . And that cloud remains because this defendant obstructed justice. . . There is a cloud over the White House. Don't you think the FBI and the grand jury and the American people are entitled to straight answers?" – Patrick Fitzgerald

via Raw Story

About that Bush Protest in Chattanooga

I borrowed this photo from Hamdems where you can see lots more photos of the Bush protest in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

And over at 10,000 Monkeys and a Camera, Alice has a great and quick video clip of the protest, as well as a photo.

Did you see the article in The Southern Baptist Times? The boastful headline screams that there were more Bush supporters than Bush protesters. (I must have missed the Gannett paper story about Dems outnumbering Republicans in this state.)

But buried way down deep in the SBT story we discover that among the supporters were students from Chattanooga State Technical Community College who showed up in order to get credit for a government class.

This comes as no surprise. I've talked to enough students at the local colleges to know that they get nauseating right-wing red-state political-propaganda lectures from conservative instructors on a regular basis.

As we know, Bush will get his show of supporters any way he can. With Tennessee giving Bush an approval score of 29 percent on Iraq and a score of 34 percent overall, it's still possible to bribe some people into showing up to cheer the fool on.

Big freakin' deal.

Oh, and Governor Bredesen (DINO) showed up for the Bush health care farce. Bush paid Bredesen what the Bubble Boy obviously thought to be a compliment. The Decider said, "[I'd] rather you be making these [health care] decisions than some of our brothers and sisters in Washington."

By 'some of our brothers and sisters,' Bubble Boy obviously meant what they like to call moderate Republicans. Cause ripping access to health care away from some 200,000 poor, elderly, and sick people -- like Bredesen did -- is what Bush's Radical Republicanism is all about.

Dowd's Obama/Clinton Hit Piece Provokes Firestorm

Maureen Dowd's Mission: Bringing Down all the Democrats

MoDo's latest blistering hit piece on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton has caused a ruckus. The attack column was featured on the Drudge Report, and it portrays a remarkably different, or inferior, Obama at a campaign event than do actual news stories such as this one.

Among her many slights, the "Queen of Mean" calls Barack Obama: Obambi.

Dowd's column features former Bill Clinton supporter David Geffen taking pot shots at the Clintons. According to Geffen, "Everybody in politics lies," but the Clintons do it with "ease."

Eric Boehlert over at Media Matters dissects the attack column and observes that Dowd's nasty gossip columns about Democratic candidates have in the past "been embraced by the mainstream press and tripped up Democrats such as Hillary Rodham Clinton, Al Gore, and John Kerry."

Kos has an excellent summary (and gets attacked in the comments for being sexist):

"She was no different when she started the narrative of Gore being boring, or Kerry being elitist, or Hillary raking in illegal gifts. Have any of us forgotten her oft-quoted story in 2004 accusing Kerry of saying, at a NASCAR rally, ""Who among us doesn't like NASCAR?" It was a complete fabrication. Tapes of the event proved Kerry never said such a thing. Not that Dowd cared."

"So it's no surprise that it's Obama's turn."

There's more...

And people are talking about Dowd's earlier hit piece on Obama.

Oh, yeah, Hillary's also very unhappy, or pissed about the column. And Hillary's going after Obama. And Obama's going after Hillary.

Way to go, Maureen! Support the insanely incompetent Republicans by attacking Democrats, and make that war last forever by bringing down all the Dems! Sheesh!

via Cursor and memeorandum

Impeach Bush and Cheney

Send your Congressperson a letter calling for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney. It's easy. It's quick. It will annoy some of them and give ammo to others. It will make you feel better.

Do it at

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Mom Gets Two Years for Tossing Cup of Ice

Jessica Hall, mother of three -- wife of a man currently serving his third tour in Iraq -- gets two years in prison for throwing a cup of ice into a car?

Somebody needs to make a list of some of these cases with insanely harsh punishments that do NOT fit the small insignificant crimes.

Do they all involve black people?

Virginia law defines a cup of ice as a missile. (!)

Ms. Hall threw a cup of ice into a car. No one was hurt by her act of road rage.

Two years?

Somebody remind me. What obscenely authoritarian police state am I living in? Or why don't we just wait a few years and ask Ms. Hall's children, ages 4, 6 and 8?

It may be too much to hope for in Bush country, but the Virginia judge still has a chance to undo this criminally insane punishment.

Stupid Bush Quote of the Day

"I will screw him in the ass!" -- pResident George W. Bush

The leader of the Dark Side was expressing his thoughts on what he would do to Osama bin Laden if Osama bin Laden was ever actually, um, caught.

The quotation from the Big Bad Decider of the USA, or the vulgar pResident, was reluctantly recounted by Ariel Sharon to biographer Uri Dan in Ariel Sharon: An Intimate Portrait.

via Taegan Goddard

Tennessee: Democrats Outnumber Republicans

The newly released MTSU Poll has more bad news for Republicans. Just like the Gallup Poll we wrote about earlier this month, this poll finds that Republicans are vanishing. Democrats in this, once solidly mostly red, state now outnumber Republicans.

"Tennessee – once solidly Republican – may be shifting toward the “blue” end of the spectrum. Also, in the fall of 2004 – when President Bush won handily – some 35% of Tennesseans identified themselves as Republicans, 29% as Democrats, and 23% as independents. This spring the results are 31% Republican, 33% Democrat, and 22% independent."

Republicans have lost 4 percentage points. Democrats have gained 4 percentage points. And we still have lots of time to see yet more Republicans vanish before the Democratic sweep of 2008.

Republicans have made such a mess of everything, they'll be lucky if the coming new progressive era doesn't sweep them all away. Seriously, the regressives may have to come up with a whole new platform, a whole new name.

Oh, I know, they can call themselves the Boring Old White Men Party.

Since Republicans have nothing to offer for the 2008 presidential race other than a slate of incredibly boring old white men, it comes as no surprise to discover that Democratic candidates are more popular than Republican candidates.

"Clinton and Gore receive favorable approval by 42% of Tennesseans, followed by Rudy Giuliani at 39% and John McCain at 34%."

Tennessee likes pro choice, pro gay rights, Giuliani? Heh. It may soon be time for a new state slogan. Here's one: Tennessee, sounds liberal to me!

The Decider's overall approval rating in Tennessee is at 34 percent, that's down from 42 percent one year ago. And on Iraq? Tennessee gives the worst pResident ever a 29 percent approval rating.

Tennessee has a tradition of voting for the winning presidential candidate. Obviously, the state is moving left in preparation for the Democratic landslide of 2008.

Hat tip to C.E. Petro

Obama’s Big Screen Test

Obama’s Test
by Maureen Dowd

Hillary is not David Geffen’s dreamgirl.

“Whoever is the nominee is going to win, so the stakes are very high,” says Mr. Geffen, the Hollywood mogul and sultan of “Dreamgirls,” as he sits by a crackling fire beneath a Jasper Johns flag and a matched pair of de Koonings in the house that Jack Warner built (which old-time Hollywood stars joked was the house that God would have built). “Not since the Vietnam War has there been this level of disappointment in the behavior of America throughout the world, and I don’t think that another incredibly polarizing figure, no matter how smart she is and no matter how ambitious she is — and God knows, is there anybody more ambitious than Hillary Clinton? — can bring the country together.

“Obama is inspirational, and he’s not from the Bush royal family or the Clinton royal family. Americans are dying every day in Iraq. And I’m tired of hearing James Carville on television.”

Barack Obama has made an entrance in Hollywood unmatched since Scarlett O’Hara swept into the Twelve Oaks barbecue. Instead of the Tarleton twins, the Illinois senator is flirting with the Dreamworks trio: Mr. Geffen, Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg, who gave him a party last night that raised $1.3 million and Hillary’s hackles.

She didn’t stand outside the gates to the Geffen mansion, where glitterati wolfed down Wolfgang Puck savories, singing the Jennifer Hudson protest anthem “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.” But she’s not exactly Little Miss Sunshine, either. Hillary loyalists have hissed at defecting donors to remember the good old days of jumping on the Lincoln Bedroom bed.

“Hillary is livid that Obama’s getting the first big fund-raiser here,” one friend of hers said.

Who can pay attention to the Oscar battle between “The Queen” and “Dreamgirls” when you’ve got a political battle between a Queen and a Dreamboy?

Read the full column

Update: Hillary Campaign Blasts Obama Over Maureen Dowd Column -- "If Senator Obama is indeed sincere about his repeated claims to change the tone of our politics, he should immediately denounce these remarks, remove Mr. Geffen from his campaign and return his money. . . While Democrats should engage in a vigorous debate on the issues, there is no place in our party or our politics for the kind of personal insults made by Senator Obama's principal fundraiser."

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Court-Martial at Ft. Campbell for Rape & Murder of Iraqi Child

Fort Campbell Soldier Charged with Rape and Murder of 14-year-old Iraqi Girl and her Family

The Women's Media Center has people here in Tennessee to cover this week's court-martial at Fort Campbell. Sergeant Paul Cortez of Barstow is "expected to plead guilty today to rape and murder charges."

Abeer Qassim Hamza Al-Janabi was gang-raped and murdered. The child's mother, father and younger sister were shot to death.

"Cortez was charged along with four other current and former Fort Campbell soldiers in one of the worst atrocities allegedly committed by U.S. military personnel in Iraq. One soldier has already pleaded guilty to rape and murder in the case and was sentenced to 90 years in military prison. Two others await courts-martial in the case. A former soldier, Steven Green of Midland, Texas, is accused of leading the attack. Green was discharged from the military before the allegations surfaced in June."

Today's New York Times editorializes about the horrifically low standards adopted by U.S. Military recruiters under the Bush regime. In the last three years, the military has granted more than 125,000 moral waivers.

One of those moral waivers was given to Steven Green of Midland, Texas.

Green was subsequently diagnosed by the Army Combat Stress Team as a "homicidal threat." The soldier was given a drug for "acute mania associated with bipolar disorder" one day, and on the very next day he was sent back to the war.

The "homicidal threat" is now charged with leading the gang of soldiers who gang-raped and murdered a 14-year-old girl and her family.

For more on this horror story, see the Women's Media Center.

For more on moral waivers, see the Gun Toting Liberal and Steve Clemons who both note that "the Pentagon is discharging more than 700 people a year" who are guilty of no crime -- other than being gay. [via]

"'We're looking for high school graduates with no more than one felony on their record,' one recruiter said."

Photo: "A citizenship identification card issued by the Iraqi government in 1993 shows Abeer Qasim Hamza al-Janabi with a date of birth of August 19, 1991, as translated from the identity card in this handout photo from her relatives in Baghdad July 9, 2006."