Thursday, May 31, 2007

Wild-Eyed Chest-Thumping Bush



Columnist Georgie Anne Geyer of The Dallas Morning News reports on the alarming state of mind of the always alarming Madman in the Oval Office:

"The White House sees terrorists as born, not created by history, bearing the mark of Cain, not the mark of circumstance. There is a scarlet 'T' written on their foreheads at birth and the only answer is to destroy them. This kind of thinking, of course, relieves the thinker of any responsibility for the presence of the insurgent-terrorist-whatever in our innocent midst. . . "

"[B]y all reports, President Bush is more convinced than ever of his righteousness."

"Friends of his from Texas were shocked recently to find him nearly wild-eyed, thumping himself on the chest three times while he repeated 'I am the president!' He also made it clear he was setting Iraq up so his successor could not get out of "'our country's destiny.'" (emphasis added)

Hat tip to Digby

McCain & O'Reilly: Save the Patriarchy!


Poor Bill O'Reilly and John McCain are dripping with anxious masculinity. The white Christian men are fearful about the coming downfall of the "White, Christian, Male Power Structure."

Bill and John have discovered the feminist plot to bring down the patriarchy as they know it!

How long have they known?

I call it payback for welfare reform.

The forecast of a coming minority of white males has the conservative men so terrified that we think it may be time to introduce a little family support legislation in this dog-eat-dog nation. How about some generous paid maternity/family leave? You know, like all the other developed nations have. Want to save the white race? Universal childcare might help. Pay all families for the vital social contribution of reproductive work, and maybe white women will start having babies again. Or maybe not.

Sorry guys, putting a cap on immigration is Not going to save you. And neither will outlawing abortion or fabricating stories about semen as the cure for women's depression. Nice try, but your downfall is inevitable.

Senator McCain on the O'Reilly Factor [Video]:

Bill O'Reilly: But do you understand what the New York Times wants, and the far-left want? They want to break down the white, Christian, male power structure, which you're a part, and so am I, and they want to bring in millions of foreign nationals to basically break down the structure that we have. In that regard, Pat Buchanan is right. So I say you've got to cap with a number.

John McCain: In America today we've got a very strong economy and low unemployment, so we need addition farm workers, including by the way agriculture, but there may come a time where we have an economic downturn, and we don't need so many.

O'Reilly: But in this bill, you guys have got to cap it. Because estimation is 12 million, there may be 20 [million]. You don't know, I don't know. We've got to cap it.

McCain: We do, we do. I agree with you.

Laura Bush Sings: Liberal's Just Another Word for Gay

Laura Bush was never so honest, or funny:

If you don't speak for right wing, we'll sock you in the balls!

Bush Fights to Stop Testing for Mad Cow Disease



U.S. Government Fights to Keep Meatpackers from Testing Slaughtered Cattle for Mad Cow Disease

File this one under: If the news of the day sounds like it comes straight out of an old-time lunatic asylum, you know it must be true in America.

International Herald Tribune:

WASHINGTON: The Bush administration said Tuesday it will fight to keep meatpackers from testing all their animals for mad cow disease.

. . . A federal judge ruled in March that such tests must be allowed. The ruling was scheduled to take effect June 1, but the Agriculture Department said Tuesday it would appeal, effectively delaying the testing until the court challenge has played out.

. . . The Agriculture Department argued that widespread testing could lead to a false positive that would harm the meat industry. . .

Here are my best attempts to grasp what is going on in the carnivorous neocon mind:

1) Mad Cow Disease is a liberal myth like global warming.

2) Mad Cow Disease was sent here by God. We should honor it. It will bring on the Rapture.

Also see E. coli conservatism . .

Al Gore's New Book Debuts at #1


Al Gore's new book, The Assault on Reason, has been at the top of Amazon.com's best selling nonfiction book list since the day it was released, reports Jerome Armstrong at MyDD. The blogger adds that Gore's new book is expected "to debut on the NYT's non-fiction best-seller list at #1 this coming Sunday."

Don't forget that Al Gore will be here in Nashville this Friday to sign copies of The Assault on Reason. And you better be there early, or you won't get a book or get within a mile of the man who should be our president.

The Obama Health Plan


Health Reform
By ATUL GAWANDE

As a surgeon, I’ve worked with the veterans’ health system, Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance companies. I’ve seen health care in Canada, Britain, Switzerland and the Netherlands. And I was in the Clinton administration when our plan for universal coverage failed. So, with a new health reform debate under way, what I want to tell you in my last guest column is this:

First, there is not a place in this world that is not struggling to control health costs while providing high-quality, easily accessible care. No one — no one — has a great solution.

But second, whether as a doctor or as a citizen, I would take almost any system — from Medicare-for-all to a private insurance voucher system — over the one we now have. Job-based insurance is bleeding away the viability of American businesses — even doctors complain about the cost of insuring employees. And it has left large numbers of patients without adequate coverage when they need it. In the last two years, for example, 51 percent of Americans surveyed did not fill a prescription or visit a doctor for a known medical issue because of cost.

My worry is less about what happens if we change than what happens if we don’t.

This week, Barack Obama released his health reform plan. . . . It is not single-payer. . .

The ultimate measure of leadership, however, is not the plan. It is the capacity to take that plan and persuade people to find common ground in it. The politician who can is the one we want.

Read more. .

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Fred Thompson to Run - Headquarters to Be in Nashville


So Fred Thompson, the Hollywood actor from Tennessee, will soon be a presidential candidate -- because you just can't have too many old white guys vying for captain of the Republican Disastership.

And the McCain campaign dead pool was formed yesterday.

Rightwingers are enthralled. They have finally found another actor willing to play the role of neocon president. Already there are plans to pull out Fred's shiny red pick-up truck so the Law and Order guy can better play at being a regular downhome guy. If you live in Iowa or New Hampshire, expect phony Fred in a red pick-up truck to be waxing 'folksy' at photo-op near you.

I wish I was kidding.

An adviser to the Republican actor told The New York Sun to expect the announcment of "the formation of a presidential 'testing-the-waters' committee early next week — possibly as early as Sunday."

Apparently, the tentative plan is to announce the candidacy over the 4th of July weekend. Maybe Fred will have fireworks in the background.

The divorced Hollywood actor will have campaign headquarters in Washington and Nashville.

We here in Nashville are positively thrilled at the prospect of having the Washington insider in our midst. Bill Frist and Fred Thompson too!

I knew something was up this morning even before I saw the good news for desperate conservatives in my inbox. The thrill of Thompson's potential campaign has renewed the interest in Thompson's trophy wife -- everyone wants to see this Jeri Kehn flirting with Wolfowitz photo.

Here's one of several Thompson fun facts: Fred Thompson's high school yearbook caption: "The lazier a man is, the more he plans to do tomorrow."

But Thompson is known far and wide as a "lackadaisical campaigner." Maybe that's why he has such a small role in Law and Order. In the words of a savvy Tennessee political columnist, "During his eight years in the U.S. Senate, an insertion into the Congressional Record amounted to heavy lifting."

And the fun just never quits. The WSJ reports that the infamous Tim Griffin, Rove hatchet-man and Arkansas GonzoGate attorney, may soon have a job offer from the Thompson campaign.

[Graphic: Fred Thompson and trophy wife Jeri Kehn, twenty-five years his junior. Is Fred's head big or what?]

Hat tip to memeorandum.

Al Gore To Sign New Book in Nashville


Al Gore will sign copies of his new book -- The Assault on Reason -- in Nashville at Davis-Kidd in the Mall at Green Hills noon this Friday.

Take some Draft Gore flyers with you.

Update: Al Gore's new book is Number One!

VIDEO: New Orleans 20 Months After Katrina

The music is "Monday Night In New Orleans" by Kermit Ruffins (and The Barbeque Swingers):

Alan Breslauer: "A short compilation of video footage I took when visiting New Orleans earlier this month. While some parts of the city have made significant progress, the poorer and lower situated areas like the Lower 9th Ward remain devastated. Yet, the most difficult part for me was not viewing the destruction but witnessing the lack of activity, building, people, hope. All were conspicuously absent. . . "

"The music is "Monday Night In New Orleans" by Kermit Ruffins (and The Barbeque Swingers) who, for my money, is the best living musician in the city."

Read more at The Brad Blog

Liberal Links



VP Cheney snubs daughter Mary for baby photo-op - Page One Q
Tough, Strong, Rational. Just Don’t Mention Ferrets. - The Heretik
Online Chatter Grows for Gore -- The Left Coaster
Crying Over Spilled Semen -- Psychology Today
Is Carl Bernstein a Sexist? -- TalkLeft
Fitzgerald wants Libby to get three years -- The Sideshow
High Number of Moms Admit Pot Use -- Drug WarRant
We are all in it together, Clinton says -- Yahoo
Fitzgerald Confirms Plame Was ‘Covert’ at Time of Leak -- The Democratic Daily
Bush Calls Attacks on Immigration Bill ‘Empty Political Rhetoric’ -- NY Times
Reviews On Obama and Edwards' Health Care Plans -- TPM Cafe
US rejects all proposals on climate change -- The Guardian
‘Put Everything’ Behind Escalation So We Can Bomb Iran and Syria -- Think Progress
An open letter to Cindy Sheehan, from the administrator of Democratic Underground - DU
"Enhanced interrogation", the Bush administration's preferred newspeak for torture, appears to have been coined by the Nazi Party in the 1937. - Josh Marshall
Women’s inferiority – in fact, their malevolence — is as ingrained in American popular culture as it is anywhere they’re sporting burkhas. -- Whedonesque

Tennessee:
The Rude Pundit To Teach at Bonnaroo:
So, like, the Rude Pundit will be teaching activist theatre classes each morning of the big ass Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee, June 15-17. -- The Rude Pundit
Congressman Cohen Seeks Formal Apology for Slavery -- Memphis Commercial Appeal
Sen. Ophelia Ford Refuses to Go to Rehab -- Eyewitness News, ABC
Out-of-State White Supremacists Invade Knoxville, Tennessee -- Nashville is Talking
Neighbors dread Bible Park in Murfreesboro, Tennessee -- The Tennessean

How We’re Animalistic — in Good Ways and Bad


Animal Politics
by Maureen Dowd

The odd thing is that conservatives wear pinstriped suits, when they really should be walking around in togas. The main contribution of the Greeks to modern American politics may have been Michael Dukakis, who once climbed the Acropolis in wingtips.

But that doesn’t stop conservatives — especially the Straussians who pushed for going into Iraq — from being obsessed with ancient Greece, and from believing that they are the successors to Plato and Homer in terms of the lofty ideals and nobility and character in American politics — while Democrats merely muck about with policies for the needy.

Harvey Mansfield, a leading Straussian who teaches political science at Harvard and who wrote a book called “Manliness” (he’s for it), gave the Jefferson lecture recently at the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington.

It was an ode, as his book is, to “thumos,” the Greek word that means spiritedness, with flavors of ambition, pride and brute willfulness. Thumos, as Philip Kennicott wrote in The Washington Post, “is a word reinvented by conservative academics who need to put a fancy name on a political philosophy that boils down to ‘boys will be boys.’ ”

Mr. Mansfield did not mention the war, which is a downer at conclaves of neocons and thumos worshippers. But he explained that thumos is “the bristling reaction of an animal in face of a threat or a possible threat.” In thumos, he added, “we see the animality of man, for men (and especially males) often behave like dogs barking, snakes hissing, birds flapping. But precisely here we also see the humanity of the human animal” because it is reacting for “a reason, even for a principle, a cause. Only human beings get angry.”

Read more . . .

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

God Speaks to Tom Delay


Tom Delay reports that God has spoken to him. God wants Tom Delay to build the conservative equivalent of MoveOn.org.

We think we have the perfect name for the Hammer's new organization:

MoveBack.org.

No word yet on whether God wants the indicted former Congressman to build his angry white male movement from inside Leavenworth Penitentiary.

Via The New Yorker -- Party Unfaithful -- The Republican implosion:

Former Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who resigned under indictment on campaign finance-related charges in Texas, also has grown dissatisfied with the president's stewardship of the conservative movement. DeLay told Goldberg that in coming years, when he is not fighting the Texas indictment, he plans to build a conservative grass-roots movement to rival MoveOn.org, insisting that divine inspiration brought him to that quest.

"God has spoken to me," DeLay said. "I listen to God, and what I've heard is that I'm supposed to devote myself to rebuilding the conservative base of the Republican party, and I think we shouldn't be underestimated."


Fred Thompson is Stupid (Video)

Chickenhawk Fred Thompson -- Still Phony After All These Years:

"Even though Fred Thompson avoided serving our country in Viet Nam by taking an 'extended tour' in Grad school, he still feels he has the right to use the brave sacrifices of every American veteran for his own personal political ambitions. This is a response to 'Fred Thompson, Soldier'".

"You see, it's not enough for Fred to thank the soldiers, he just can't resist putting everyone else down while he does it." -- via Americans for Change

Hat tip to Enclave

Cindy Sheehan Resigns from Anti-War Movement


She did far more than her share of the hard work of awakening this country from the deep sleep of apathy.

She's a hero, and she deserves a break. I'll miss her.

"Good Riddance Attention Whore"


David Brooks Calls Al Gore "Strange"


Al Gore is a Vulcan, sayeth the man who termed kos a "Kingpin." In a column titled The Vulcan Utopia (full column link below), David Brooks disparages Al Gore's new book and attempts to resurrect all the old superficial media critiques of the former Vice President. He's stiff, he's chilly, he's "strange."

We're guessing Brooks gets his ideas by reading Maureen Dowd.

Once again, we have a perfect demonstration of Al Gore's point: the media consistently ignores the important issues of the day in order to focus on matters better left to high school popularity contests.

Is Al Gore a cold Vulcan? Is Hillary Clinton too ambitious? Is Barack Obama hen-pecked? Is John Edwards too pretty to be president?

While David Brooks is busy finding Al Gore "strange," the possible future president is showered with standing ovations across the globe, and the pleas for Gore to enter the presidential race show no signs of abating.

As many have noted, Bobo's columns can't even pass a fact-checking test.

Read The Vulcan Utopia.

Graphic via Tom Tomorrow


Herbert: On the N.Y.P.D.


Small Incidents Are Creating a Big Problem With the N.Y.P.D.
By BOB HERBERT

These are small incidents, but they are accumulating by the tens of thousands, and someday New Yorkers are going to be shocked by the power of the anger that these seemingly insignificant incidents have generated.

The principal of Bushwick Community High School in Brooklyn told me about a student who was gratuitously insulted by a police officer at a subway station the other day. The girl had lost her MetroCard and was carrying a note on the school’s letterhead asking that she be allowed to ride the train. This was fine with the token clerk, but the clerk told the girl to show the note to a cop on duty at the station.

The cop, in front of several onlookers, told the girl she was the oldest-looking high school student he had ever seen. He demanded that she tell him the square root of 12. He loudly declared that she was stupid and refused to let her board a train.

The girl left the station devastated and in tears. No big deal. Certainly not newsworthy. Just another case of cops being cops.

Read the whole thing . .

Monday, May 28, 2007

Hundreds Boo Former Bush Chief of Staff (Video)

I guess Bush and Cheney won't be speaking at the University of Massachusetts. But the hostile reception given to Andrew Card (see video below) is exactly the kind of reception which Paul Krugman argues should be given to all the loyal Bushies.

University of Massachusetts, Amherst Students and Faculty Say LOUDLY: No Honor for Andrew Card:


"Andrew Card, President George W. Bush's former Chief of Staff, was showered with a chorus of boos and catcalls from students and faculty of the University of Massachusetts while receiving an honorary degree Friday. Protesters, who caught the embarrassing scene on video, attached anti-Card signs to their robes and drowned out Provost Charlena Seymour's remarks about Card's "public service." Even faculty sitting on stage joined in on the action, screaming their disapproval while holding signs that read 'Card: No Honor, No Degree.'"

"Card, obviously shaken by the commotion, managed a slight grin while Seymour spoke."


Alabama State Website Names Gays as Potential Terrorists


Terming gays as potential terrorists sounds like what we've come to expect from the Red State Bible Belt region of the USA, but the Director of Alabama Homeland Security says he borrowed the idea from a Pennsylvania state sponsored site.

We knew stupidity wasn't confined to the southern region of the Empire, but it's always nice to have proof. Oh, I forgot, we already had proof because there are indeed Republicans in Pennsylvania too.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The Alabama Department of Homeland Security has taken down a Web site it operated that included gay rights and anti-war organizations in a list of groups that could include terrorists.

The Web site identified different types of terrorists, and included a list of groups it believed could spawn terrorists. The list also included environmentalists, animal rights advocates and abortion opponents.

If the state of Alabama thinks gays are terrorists, one can only presume the Red State must also view blacks as the perpetrators of racism aimed at the dwindling white majority.

But the Alabama web site didn't stop there. It also warned that domestic terrorists can be found in "anti-government groups that believe the 'current government is violating the basic principles laid out by the U.S. Constitution.'"

Um, in other words, if you are not a heterosexual loyal Bushie, you might be a terrorist.

Stephen P. Gordon, political director of the Libertarian National Committee, charges that "Alabama Homeland Security would incarcerate Madison, Washington and Jefferson at Guantanamo Bay, if they had that option."

Alabama Homeland Security Director Jim Walker defends the website and whines that he didn't hear any complaints until the wrath of the blogs was unleashed. Translation, there were no complaints about the bizarre website until people actually knew that the damn thing existed.

There's more at The Blend.

Radical Christians Attack Gay Demonstrators in Moscow


Gawd! Is there no place on the planet that has not been invaded by the radical Christianists?

Russian Police Suppress Gay Rights Rally:

MOSCOW, May 27 — Police officers and riot troops quashed a gay rights rally in Moscow today, detaining organizers as well as at least two European lawmakers, while members of Orthodox Christian and nationalist groups threw insults, eggs and fists at demonstrators.

. . Today’s protest was the second attempt by organizers to hold a gay pride demonstration in Moscow. A similar event last year ended in bloodshed when more than 100 ultranationalists and radical Orthodox Christians attacked gay rights demonstrators in Moscow.

. . In contrast with some Western European countries, there is little public acceptance of homosexuality in Russia, where even prominent public officials have made disparaging remarks about gay people.

Representatives from gay rights groups, however, seemed undaunted by the violence and vowed to continue organizing demonstrations.

Cool Graphic via Pink News UK

There's more at aTypical Joe

Trust and Betrayal


Betrayal
by PAUL KRUGMAN

“In this place where valor sleeps, we are reminded why America has always gone to war reluctantly, because we know the costs of war.” That’s what President Bush said last year, in a Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.

Those were fine words, spoken by a man with less right to say them than any president in our nation’s history. For Mr. Bush took us to war not with reluctance, but with unseemly eagerness.

Now that war has turned into an epic disaster, in part because the war’s architects, whom we now know were warned about the risks, didn’t want to hear about them. Yet Congress seems powerless to stop it. How did it all go so wrong?

Future historians will shake their heads over how easily America was misled into war. The warning signs, the indications that we had a rogue administration determined to use 9/11 as an excuse for war, were there, for those willing to see them, right from the beginning — even before Mr. Bush began explicitly pushing for war with Iraq.

In fact, the very first time Mr. Bush declared a war on terror that “will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated,” people should have realized that he was going to use the terrorist attack to justify anything and everything.

Read more at Free Democracy

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Michael Moore on Maher's Real Time & Moore


The discussion centered on Sicko and the health care crisis in the U.S. - see it at Youtube.

Michael Moore's appearance on Bill Maher's Real Time was the first live interview he's given in two and a half years.

Unless I blinked, there was no discussion of the Bush Administration's harassment/investigation of Michael Moore for taking 9/11 first responders to Cuba for the health care they couldn't get in the U.S.

But why should the Evil Doer Pursuer always get to steal the show? There was plenty to talk about without bringing the subject of the Oval Office Madman in. Also, Moore's lawyers may have advised him to stay mum on the subject.

Here's Moore's statement on the subject from earlier this month:

Filmmaker Michael Moore has accused the White House of having political reasons for investigating his trip to Cuba to get health care for U.S. workers.

Moore took a group of ailing Sept. 11 rescue workers to Cuba to seek medical treatment while making his documentary Sicko.

"For five and a half years, the Bush administration has ignored and neglected the heroes of the 9/11 community. . These heroic first responders have been left to fend for themselves without coverage and without care. I understand why the Bush administration is coming after me — I have tried to help the very people they refuse to help, but until George W. Bush outlaws helping your fellow man, I have broken no laws and I have nothing to hide."

Michael has another interview - the cover story - in Entertainment Weekly: Ready for Moore?

Cartoon via Progressive Daily Beacon

Sicko -- The Trailer
Sicko' Preview and Rave Reviews

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Bush’s Fleurs du Mal


W.’s Fleurs du Mal
By MAUREEN DOWD

For me, the saddest spot in Washington is the inverted V of the black granite Vietnam wall, jutting up with the names of young men dying in a war that their leaders already knew could not be won.

So many died because of ego and deceit — because L.B.J. and Robert McNamara wanted to save face or because Henry Kissinger wanted to protect Nixon’s re-election chances.

Now the Bush administration finds itself at that same hour of shame. It knows the surge is not working. Iraq is in a civil war, with a gruesome bonus of terrorists mixed in. April was the worst month this year for the American military, with 104 soldiers killed, and there have been about 90 killed thus far in May. The democracy’s not jelling, as Iraqi lawmakers get ready to slouch off for a two-month vacation, leaving our kids to be blown up.

The top-flight counterinsurgency team that President Bush sent in after long years of pretending that we’d “turned the corner” doesn’t believe there’s a military solution. General Petraeus is reduced to writing an open letter to the Iraqi public, pleading with them to reject sectarianism and violence, even as the Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr slinks back from four months in Iran, rallying his fans by crying: “No, no, no to Satan! No, no, no to America! No, no, no to occupation! No, no, no to Israel!”

W. thinks he can save face if he keeps taunting Democrats as the party of surrender — just as Nixon did — and dumps the Frankenstate he’s created on his successor.

“The enemy in Vietnam had neither the intent nor the capability to strike our homeland,” he told Coast Guard Academy graduates. “The enemy in Iraq does. Nine-eleven taught us that to protect the American people we must fight the terrorists where they live so that we don’t have to fight them where we live.”

The president said an intelligence report (which turned out to be two years old) showed that Osama had been trying to send Qaeda terrorists in Iraq to attack America. So clearly, Osama is capable of multitasking: Order the killers in Iraq to go after American soldiers there and American civilians here. There AND here. Get it, W.?

The president is on a continuous loop of sophistry: We have to push on in Iraq because Al Qaeda is there, even though Al Qaeda is there because we pushed into Iraq. Our troops have to keep dying there because our troops have been dying there. We have to stay so the enemy doesn’t know we’re leaving. Osama hasn’t been found because he’s hiding.

The terrorists moved into George Bush’s Iraq, not Saddam Hussein’s. W.’s ranting about Al Qaeda there is like planting fleurs du mal and then complaining your garden is toxic.

The president looked as if he wanted to smack David Gregory when the NBC reporter asked him at the news conference Thursday if he could still be “a credible messenger on the war” given all the mistakes and all the disillusioned Republicans.

“I’m credible because I read the intelligence, David,” he replied sharply.

But he isn’t and he doesn’t. Otherwise he might have read “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” in August 2001, and might have read the prewar intelligence reports the Senate just released that presciently forecast the horrors in store for na├»ve presidents who race to war because they want to be seen as hard, not soft.

Intelligence analysts may have muffed the W.M.D. issue, but they accurately predicted that implanting democracy in Iraq would be an “alien” idea that could lead to turbulence and violence; that Al Qaeda would hook up with Saddam loyalists and “angry young recruits” to militant Islam to “wage guerrilla warfare” on American forces, and that Iran and Al Qaeda would be the winners if the Bushies botched the occupation.

W. repeated last week that he would never retreat, but his advisers are working on ways to retreat. After the surge, in lieu of strategy, come the “concepts.”

Condi Rice, Bob Gates and generals at the Pentagon are talking about long-range “concepts” for reducing forces in Iraq, The Times reported yesterday, as a way to tamp down criticism, including from Republicans; it is also an acknowledgment that they can’t sustain the current force level there much longer. The article said that officials were starting to think about how to halve the 20 American combat brigades in Iraq, sometime in the second half of 2008.

As the Hollywood screenwriter said in “Annie Hall”: “Right now it’s only a notion, but I think I can get money to make it into a concept and later turn it into an idea.”

Hat tip to Donkey O.D.

Al Gore Late Night with David Letterman

Brilliant, witty, beloved, that's Al Gore. David Letterman and AL GORE discuss the climate crisis, the Iraq War, and Gore's new book The Assault On Reason.

Al Gore on Letterman Part 2

Ask Al Gore to run for President! Send your letter to: The Office of the Honorable Al Gore, 2100 West End Avenue, Suite 620, Nashville, Tennessee 37203. (Send me a copy of your letter and I'll post it - egalia-at-earthlink-dot-net.)

Al Gore on Nightline

This one is more personal -- about Al Gore the man and, maybe, future President.


Ask Al Gore to run for President! Send your letter to: The Office of the Honorable Al Gore, 2100 West End Avenue, Suite 620, Nashville, Tennessee 37203. (Send me a copy of your letter and I'll post it - egalia-at-earthlink-dot-net.)

Arrested While Grieving


Unfair Arrests
By BOB HERBERT

No one is paying much attention, but parts of New York City are like a police state for young men, women and children who happen to be black or Hispanic. They are routinely stopped, searched, harassed, intimidated, humiliated and, in many cases, arrested for no good reason.

Most black elected officials have joined their white colleagues and the media in turning a blind eye to this continuing outrage. And many black cops have joined their white colleagues in the systematic mistreatment.

Last Monday in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, about three dozen grieving young people on their way to a wake for a teenage friend who had been murdered were surrounded by the police, cursed at, handcuffed and ordered into paddy wagons. They were taken to the 83rd precinct stationhouse, where several were thrown into jail.

Leana Matia, an 18-year-old student at John Jay College, was one of those taken into custody. “We were walking toward the train station to take the L train when all these cops just swooped in on us,” she said. “They cursed us out and pushed the guys. And then they handcuffed us. We kept asking, ‘What are you doing?’ ”

Children as young as 13 were among those swept up by the cops. Two of them, including 16-year-old Lamel Carter, were the children of police officers. Some of the youngsters were carrying notes from school saying that they were allowed to be absent to attend the wake. There is no evidence that I’ve been able to find — other than uncorroborated statements by the police — that the teenagers were misbehaving in any way.

Everyone was searched, but nothing unlawful was found — no weapons, no marijuana or other drugs. Some of the kids were told at the scene that they were being seized because they had assembled unlawfully. “I didn’t know what unlawful assembly was,” said Kumar Singh, 18, who was among those arrested.

. . .

New York City cops stopped and, in many cases, searched individuals more than a half million times last year. Those stops are not happening on Park Avenue or Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Thousands upon thousands of them amount to simple harassment of young black and Hispanic males and females who have done absolutely nothing wrong, but feel helpless to object.


Read more . . .


Friday, May 25, 2007

Islam vs. The West: Smash the Otherness (Video)

Stop the Clash of Civilizations -- Global Public Opinion, the New Superpower


Now if we could only get material like this into the schools.

Stop the Clash of Civilizations -- Avaaz.org


Bush Sh*t in the Rose Garden


Just as Bush heaped absurd praise onto his failure of an Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, a bird flew overhead and dropped her weighty thoughts on the matter onto the Commander Guy's left sleeve.

Bush tried to get it off, but it was like the blood on his hands. It just wouldn't come off.


Sen. Ford Carried Out of Wildhorse Saloon


Here we go again. State Sen. Ophelia Ford keeps saying she's not falling off bar stools because she's drunk, she's only falling off bar stools because she's anemic. Last week, the Senator fell off a bar stool and was video-taped in the throes of a bizarre and drunken anemic rant.

This week anemia caused Ophelia Ford to be carried out of the Wildhorse Saloon in downtown Nashville. Heh. She said that. The cabbie who picked her up must not be familar with anemia. But what do cabbies know?

The cab driver who whisked Senator Ford away from the Wildhorse Saloon says he plans to "pursue criminal charges" because the drunken Senator was choking him during one of her anemic rants:

Ford, Hashi said, was intoxicated and brought out to the cab under a blanket to keep the public from seeing her.

She said 'Take me to my (expletive) hotel, (expletive),'" Hashi said, during an interview Thursday. "She kept saying, 'I will fire a lot of people tomorrow.' I didn't know who she was talking about."

During the ride, Hashi said, Ford grabbed the collar of his shirt from behind and pulled it back, tearing a button off. . . The driver said he took Ford to the Holiday Inn Select on West End, where he and her friend helped Ford to her room. He realized afterward that Ford left her shoes in the cab.


Update: Apparently, the Senator slapped her cab driver. You can view the police report here. Thankfully, Ophelia Ford's family plans to intervene. It can't be too soon. Eventually someone is going to slap her back.

Americans Want Iraq War Deadline, Bush Doesn't


The Dems' capitulation to the Commander Guy comes just when a new CBS/New York Times poll finds that six in ten Americans want a timetable for troop withdrawal.

The Iraq War Funding Bill -- minus a troop withdrawal deadline -- passed the Democratic controlled House by a vote of 280-142.

The Senate succumbed to the Commander Guy with a vote of 80 to 14.

Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and Chris Dodd all voted against the bill. Sen. Joe Biden voted for it.

In the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi was one of the 140 Democrats who voted against the measure. Two Republicans joined the 140 opposing Democrats -- Republican Reps. John Duncan of Tennessee and Ron Paul of Texas voted against the bill.

But back to that poll - the number of Americans who say the war is going "badly" has risen by 10 percentage points this month to a new high of 76 percent!

HOW IS THE WAR GOING?

Well
23%
Badly
76%

And when it comes to feeling pessimistic about the path Bush is taking this country down, the poll records "the highest number since the CBS/NYT poll started asking the question in 1983."

DIRECTION OF THE COUNTRY

Wrong track
72%
Right direction
24%

Meanwhile, the combative Commander Guy who rules us warns that we can expect a "bloody" summer in Iraq.

Immigrants and Politics


Immigrants
by Paul Krugman

A piece of advice for progressives trying to figure out where they stand on immigration reform: it’s the political economy, stupid. Analyzing the direct economic gains and losses from proposed reform isn’t enough. You also have to think about how the reform would affect the future political environment.

To see what I mean — and why the proposed immigration bill, despite good intentions, could well make things worse — let’s take a look back at America’s last era of mass immigration.

My own grandparents came to this country during that era, which ended with the imposition of severe immigration restrictions in the 1920s. Needless to say, I’m very glad they made it in before Congress slammed the door. And today’s would-be immigrants are just as deserving as Emma Lazarus’s “huddled masses, yearning to breathe free.”

Moreover, as supporters of immigrant rights rightly remind us, everything today’s immigrant-bashers say — that immigrants are insufficiently skilled, that they’re too culturally alien, and, implied though rarely stated explicitly, that they’re not white enough — was said a century ago about Italians, Poles and Jews.

Yet then as now there were some good reasons to be concerned about the effects of immigration.

There’s a highly technical controversy going on among economists about the effects of recent immigration on wages. However that dispute turns out, it’s clear that the earlier wave of immigration increased inequality and depressed the wages of the less skilled. For example, a recent study by Jeffrey Williamson, a Harvard economic historian, suggests that in 1913 the real wages of unskilled U.S. workers were around 10 percent lower than they would have been without mass immigration. But the straight economics was the least of it. Much more important was the way immigration diluted democracy.

In 1910, almost 14 percent of voting-age males in the United States were non-naturalized immigrants. (Women didn’t get the vote until 1920.) Add in the disenfranchised blacks of the Jim Crow South, and what you had in America was a sort of minor-key apartheid system, with about a quarter of the population — in general, the poorest and most in need of help — denied any political voice. . .

[A]s before, one of the things making antiworker, unequalizing policies politically possible is the fact that millions of the worst-paid workers in this country can’t vote. What progressives should care about, above all, is that immigration reform stop our drift into a new system of de facto apartheid.

Read more . .


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Abortion: The Fetal Consent Bill

Wonder why Tennessee lawmakers haven't introduced this bill? Somebody tell Stacey Campfield, this one is 'better' than death certificates for abortions!


New Abortion Bill To Require Fetal Consent


via Feministing

Tell Congress - No Blank Check For Iraq


Tell Congress To Grow a Spine and Stop the Endless Bush War

Via MoveOn.org:

Tell your Member of Congress to vote NO on the Iraq supplemental this week. The American people voted to end the war - no more blank checks for Bush.


Cursor:

"Democrats 'Back Down' and 'Capitulate' on troop withdrawal deadlines, "abandoning their top goal of bringing U.S. troops home," and handing President Bush a 'blank check,' while taking "another step toward endless war.'"

Edwards and Dodd urge Congress to Stand up to Bush:

Edwards told the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City today that the current war-funding bill is a "capitulation" to President Bush, since it does not include a timetable to begin a troop withdrawal.

"Congress should send the president the same bill he vetoed again and again until he realizes he has no choice but to start bringing our troops home," Edwards said. "We need to get out of Iraq on our own timetable, not when we are forced to do so by events."

On Wednesday Dodd announced that he will vote against the measure, calling it another "blank check" for the president. "Half measures and equivocations are not going to change our course in Iraq," said Dodd. "If we are serious about ending the war, Congress must stand up to this president's failed policy now -- with clarity and conviction."


Rep. Campfield, the TN Black Panthers, & Angry Rep. Rowland


Tennessean columnist Dwight Lewis asked Rep. Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville) why he voted against the Tennessee Rosa Parks Act.

The Rosa Parks Act would pardon people like Rosa Parks for crimes like sitting in front of the bus.

Rep. Campfield, aka Stacey X, replied that he was against pardoning members of groups that advocate violence, such as "the Black Panthers."

Lewis replied, "In Tennessee?"

Lewis also asked Rep. Donna Rowland (R-Murfreesboro) why she voted against the Rosa Parks Act:

When I contacted her at her Middle Tennessee home Friday morning, Rowland wanted to know whether I had read the bill. After replying that I had not but had read a story about it and the vote in The Tennessean earlier that day, she angrily said:

"Go read it, and get educated about it. Then, call me back."

Voting Against the TN Rosa Parks Act


Who would vote against a bill that would expunge the record of people like Rosa Parks for crimes like sitting in front of the bus?
Every single one of the six legislators who voted against the Tennessee Rosa Parks Act is a Republican.

The Rosa Parks Act "would allow people charged with a misdemeanor or felony while challenging old segregation laws to have their records expunged."

The bill passed unanimously in the Senate. In the House, it passed by a vote of 88-6.

Here are the six guilty Republicans:

• Rep. Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland (rep.Kevin.brooks@legislature.state.tn.us)
• Rep. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville (rep.Stacey.campfield@legislature.state.tn.us)
• Rep. Chris Crider, R-Milan (rep.chris.crider@legislature.state.tn.us)
• Rep. Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville (rep.bill.dunn@legislature.state.tn.us)
• Rep. Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald (rep.joey.Hensley@legislature.state.tn.us)
• Rep. Donna Rowland, R-Murfreesboro (rep.donna.Rowland@legislature.state.tn.us)

Also see: Rep. Campfield, the TN Black Panthers, & Angry Rep. Rowland

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sicko - The Trailer

The official trailer of Michael Moore's -- goddess love him -- Sicko.


Damn, this looks good! (This is not the sneak preview posted earlier.)

Mary Cheney Gives Birth to Son


Mary Cheney's baby has much to overcome. It may well take more than two mothers to trump the venomous genes of Dick.

Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter, Mary Cheney has given birth to her first child.

Samuel David Cheney was born at 9:46 a.m., weighing 8 lbs., 6 oz. The baby is Dick Cheney's sixth grandchild.

"Under Virginia law, Mary’s partner of 15 years, Heather Poe, 'will have no legal relationship with her child. She can’t adopt as a second parent. She won’t have her name on the birth certificate.' President Bush will still not say whether or not he supports gay adoption." [via Think Progress]

Cheney Does Not NOT Use Prostitutes


"Vice President Cheney isn’t not on the phone records of the alleged D.C. Madam, who is accused of running a high-price call-girl ring in Washington, the accused madam’s lawyer said on Tuesday," reports Emily Heil at Roll Call.

The DC Madam's lawyer added that phone numbers from a Virginia neighborhood that Cheney once called home are under investigation.