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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Saturday To-Do List

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Note: Welcome Crooks & Liars readers, just to let you know my permalink is a bit screwy. You are not on the State of the Day home page. If want to see more, new stuff is up. Come join us. Hot chocolate is being served.

Friday, February 10, 2006

CNN/AP Strikeout

Ok, I know this is picky, but c'mon...
CNN is showing this image with the following caption:
This image from 5:30 a.m. ET shows heavy rain over Texas and Louisiana and ice over Kansas and Arkansas.
Look closely and find me the icy weather over Arkansas? I certainly can see it over Missouri, but not Arkansas. Dipshits...

Anywho, Creature and I are in for the Storm of the Century*. I don't know about him but I have stocked up on eggs, milk and bread and will be eating (apparently) french toast** all weekend. You may not hear from us again until Wednesday. Send St. Bernards with little rum caskets around their necks. Godspeed, creature!

* I grew up in NH, I laugh at your silly Philly snowstorms - ha ha ha!
** I meant Freedom Toast - sorry!

More Boo!

Glenn Greenwald:
The more frightened people are, they believe, the more likely they are to support the President and his party. And so fear-mongering becomes the first and really only political weapon they have. The orange alerts aren't really that effective any more. Orange is so un-scary. But tales of thwarted terrorist attacks on our cities always give rise to the same set of images and warnings which keeps the fear level nice and fresh and edgy. It's only February -- I have no doubt we will be treated to many, many more episodes like this. The question is, with 9/11 now more than 4 years away, is there some limit to the water in this well? [Emphasis Added]
Glenn brings up a point I've been thinking about for awhile. With the terror alert system trashed through overuse in political situations, not to mention the absurdity of the whole red-light green-light thing to begin with, what else can Karl Rove pull out of his hat to keep Americans on edge?

Well, we saw it yesterday with Bush's "I saved L.A." speech. However, I want to go a step further. Get ready folks, I'm puttin' on my cyncial blogger hat again. How long before: (1) Rove personally starts calling in bomb threats (hint: Capital building scare) or (2) he starts planting bombs throughout America. I know, I know, why would I say such a thing, but you know what I don't care. The outcome of the November elections is the difference between them going to jail or living a subpoena free life soaking up their ill-gotten gain. They will stop at nothing to keep power.

I speculate, you decide.

corrUPtDATE - Friday Lyric day

Good morning! For a while, Friday corrUPtDATEs will feature alternate lyrics to songs. No matter what you think, this is not a cross-promotion with BAGeL Radio. Do not read the BR blog. Do not listen to the totally live Friday show (noon-8p EST/9a-5p PST) on Live365 or iTunes. Do not contact him via IM for requests at bagelradio (Yahoo), bagelradiolive (AIM) or (MSN). Do not email him to enter the various contests where he gives away all kinds of cool shit!!

I'm serious - Ted hasn't approved this cross-promo, so this is my way of annoying him into doing it. Ain't I a peach?

Ok, here's what I think "Jack & Diane" by John Cougar would sound like today (original lyrics) :
Little ditty about Dick and McCain
Two American wonks talking 'bout limits of pain
Dickie got 5 student deferments
McCain spent 5 years in tortured internment

Debating methods to get prisoners to talk
Dickie wants to waterboard them
Like every other chickenkhawk
McCain say "Hey Dick-man, let's just not
You have no idea
You wussed out of Viet Nam
And damn, you're such a cock"
And Condi say uh

Oh yeah life goes on
Long after the pain of livin´ is gone
Oh yeah life goes on
Can't convince me that organ failure's wrong
they walk on

Dickie sits back and ponders methods of torture
Scratches his balls and notices some flow
"Well you know John, my little soldier's gonna salute"
McCain says "Cheney, you're sick and you gotta go"
And Rummy say uh

Oh yeah life goes on
Long after the pain of livin´ is gone
Oh yeah life goes on
Long after Abu Ghraib prison is gone
they walk on

[drum fill & solo - Kenny Aronoff's best work!]

Gonna make 'em talk
That's the goal
Flush their holy Koran down
And save their soul
Use the signing statement
Make these prisoners sing
Gonzales said it's OK
And we'll deny everything

Little ditty about Dick and McCain
Nevermind what they say, Bush gonna cause some pain

Don't forget - BAGeL Radio's live Friday show sucks - DON'T LISTEN!

corrUPtDATE will return Monday unless Ted kills me.

Never Forget

Fixer's gonna remember.
I'm gonna remember how you spread the lies, how you enabled these criminals to turn a nation to be proud of into a paraiah. I'm gonna remember how you called for war in Iraq, supported it in some childish, Rambo-esque sexual fantasy that somehow makes you a man. I'm gonna remember how you advocated genocide - "nuke all them ragheads", "nuke Mecca" - how you give a shit for the lives of anyone who isn't white and 'christian', or who wears the uniform of this country. I'm gonna remember how you tried to curtail my free speech by calling me a traitor because I stand up for what is right and I'm gonna remember how you advocated giving an incompetent President the power of a monarch.
Go to Alternate Brain, read this post, get ready to cheer. Nice job Fixer.

Horn Tooting

It's happy dancing time here at State of the Day. Get this, we got mentioned in Slate magazine! Now I know this is no big deal for the big blogs on the block, but State of the Day is still an up-start craving some recognition, so needless to say we are thrilled.

Good work, Jeff. Thanks for writing something worthy of linkage. And a big thanks to Melonyce McAfee over at Slate for picking us up.

Now go to Slate and be prepared to come back with a pat on the back in hand. Go us!

More Lies

More Bush bull. More cover-ups. Incompetent bastards, all of them. From today's NYT:
WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 -- In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Bush administration officials said they had been caught by surprise when they were told on Tuesday, Aug. 30, that a levee had broken, allowing floodwaters to engulf New Orleans.

But Congressional investigators have now learned that an eyewitness account of the flooding from a federal emergency official reached the Homeland Security Department's headquarters starting at 9:27 p.m. the day before, and the White House itself at midnight.
So while the administration was telling us how New Orleans dodged a Katrina bullet, the devastation had already begun. They knew this and nothing was done. Fucking incredible.
The federal government let out a sigh of relief when in fact it should have been sounding an "all hands on deck" alarm, the investigators have found.
This is negligence people. They were too busy on their vacations. They were too busy planning their next political smear. They were just too busy and self absorbed to do a damn thing. The incompetence is beyond reasonable, these people must be held accountable at the highest level.

Honestly, I think I want to cry.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

More Leaking

I would not be doing my blogging duty if I did not at least mention the big news of the day. Dick Cheney is a leaking bastard. I know, it's not stop the presses news since the Dickster's been lying since the day he was born, but today brought us confirmation regarding the extent of Cheney's yapping jowls. Here is the money quote from Murray Waas' article in today's National Journal:
According to sources with firsthand knowledge, Cheney authorized Libby to release additional classified information, including details of the NIE [National Intelligence Estimate], to defend the administration's use of prewar intelligence in making the case for war.
Forget about the whole outing of a CIA agent thing. Valerie Plame may or may not have been part of the classified information Cheney green-lighted to be spilled. I have no doubt the entire Plame outing was personally orchestrated by President Cheney, but that is an outrage for another post. Here we have Cheney giving the go ahead to leak classified information. This from the "national security" administration. What a bunch of bull. And what are the consequences for Cheney's treason? Not a damn thing.

Read more, this is not extra credit, and yes, it will be on the final exam.

Things My Father Forwards

"This is pure speculation, but I think somebody came home early"

Thanks dad!

Note: The caption above came with the photo. I take no responsibilty for the content of my dad's emails. Thank you and have a nice day.

Action: Support Full Congressional Inquiry into Illegal Wiretapping

On Tuesday Congresswoman Heather Wilson, Republican of New Mexico, refused to give in to Karl Rove's intimidation and called for a full congressional inquiry into the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program. Because Representative Wilson chairs the House Intelligence Subcommittee with oversight responsibility for the National Security Agency, this call carries special weight.
Quickly and easily tell your Representative you agree by taking action.

Action: Bad Bush Budget

Here's my Letter to the Editor about the Bad Bush Budget:
Referring to President Bush's proposed 2007 budget, Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) called the cuts to health care and education "scandalous," and Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) said she was "disappointed and even surprised" at the Medicare and Medicaid cuts.

Congress must reject these cuts for the sake of the millions of Americans they would adversely affect. Any representative that votes in favor of the Bad Bush Budget should be pilloried* by their local media and hounded out of office in November.

If you agree that it's unconscionable to cut social services (and leave Katrina refugees out entirely) while lavishing even more tax cuts on the rich, please write your own letter to the editor. has details about the budget, links to more budget information, and even a handy tool that facilitates sending letters here.

* I mean 'pillory' as a means to expose someone to public ridicule or scorn. According to Wikipedia, the pillory was a device used in punishment by public humiliation and often additional, sometimes physically painful, abuse. The pillory consisted of hinged wooden boards that formed holes through which the head and/or various limbs were inserted; then the boards were locked together to secure the captive. Pillories were set up in marketplaces and crossroads to hold petty criminals. Often a placard detailing the crime was placed nearby.

Find Wedge, Insert Axe

Most progressives probably cheered when they read in today’s paper that an influential group of evangelical leaders have decided to back an initiative to combat global warming. What they should really be celebrating isn’t just the arrival of people like Rick Warren to the environmental cause, but the split this issue has revealed within the evangelical community.
- - -
It’s one thing for progressives to make an argument to evangelicals that a “Christian” agenda does not begin and end with abortion and gay marriage....But progressives can say something perhaps even more compelling to evangelicals: the Republican Party is playing you for a fool. Every campaign season they come around and tell you all the things that will happen if you only get out and work your tail off for Republican candidates, then come Wednesday morning they pretend you don’t exist. And even some who claim to be evangelical leaders are selling you down the river. Forced to choose between God and the GOP, they put down their bibles and do whatever Karl Rove tells them. You think coastal liberals look down on you? That’s nothing compared to what a bunch of rubes the Republican Party thinks you are. No wonder Jack Abramoff’s partner Michael Scanlon bragged to one of their Indian tribe clients that they could “bring out the wackos” who “get their information through the Christian right, Christian radio, mail, the internet and telephone trees” to work on behalf of one casino against another one, without the “wackos” ever knowing whose interests they were serving.
Read more.

Naval Tactical Maneuvers

CNN is really tooting my horn this morning... From this article I learned that a flotilla of international warships under the command of the U.S. Navy have moved offshore of Yemen to help aid in the search for 23 convicts who escaped last week.

Ok, they're 14 miles offshore. Are they hoping to catch these 23 clowns if they happen to swim by? If these guys are spotted in town somewhere (the slightly more likely scenario to me) what are these ships going to do to assist? I saw a large ship crash through a pier once and get almost to the center of town, but that was on The Simpsons!

I think I have it figured out. One of the escapees was Gamal Ahmed Badawi, considered the mastermind of the U.S.S. Cole bombing. See, it's genius - they're sitting out there as BAIT!! Everytime a small boat comes close, all the sailors turn the other direction and whistle and act very unsuspecting, but keep looking out the corners of their eyes, and they're hoping to catch him that way.

Brilliant! Next I suggest we paint a fake tunnel on the side of a mountain in Afghanistan and hope we catch ObL that way! Or maybe paint a U.S. warplane in U.N. colors and fly low over Baghdad to try to lure Saddam into a war.

Torture Invisible to US, Disturbing to Europe

A couple of weeks ago I posted about how, even though "Extraordinary Rendition" and the torturing of those disappeared through this 'tactic' were no longer subjects of interest to the US mainstream media, it was again getting much attention in Europe. Tom Englehardt does an far better job in his prologue to Alfred W. McCoy's: Why The McCain Torture Ban Won't Work: The Bush Legacy of Legalized Torture:
The Council of Europe has deputized Swiss prosecutor Dick Marty to conduct an extensive investigation of both alleged CIA "black" sites and Agency rendition flights. His preliminary report to the Council on January 22 concluded, albeit tentatively, that six Agency aircraft had, since 2001, made 800 rendition flights -- a level of covert activity far beyond anything reported in the U.S. press. Marty is under significant pressure to get to the bottom of this scandal, which may end up producing more torture headlines on both sides of the Atlantic. Moreover, various American media outlets continue to investigate the torture story, insuring occasional bombshells like ABC TV's sensational November 18 story detailing CIA "waterboarding" techniques and its December 5 exposé of the locations of secret CIA prisons in Poland and Romania.
While I was aware of the story of the brutal torture and murder of Iraqi Major General Abed Hamed Mowhoush while in US custody...
After Iraqi Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush voluntarily surrendered in November 2003, he was tortured with rubber hoses by "Iraqi nationals, reportedly in the employ of the CIA," while Chief Warrant Officer Lewis E. Welshofer Jr., 43, of the U.S. Army looked on. Mowhoush then suffered other mistreatment before he fell into Welshofer's waiting hands. Welshofer has since used the Nuremberg defense -- that he was just following orders in coming up with "creative interrogation techniques" to make Mowhoush talk –- to explain his subsequent actions. He forced Mowhoush, face-first, into a sleeping bag, wrapped him in electrical wire, and sat on the 57-year old prisoner's chest. After twenty minutes, Mowhoush was dead.
...I was not aware that his murderer got off with a slap on the wrists:
Welshofer faced American military justice for his crimes. While tried on murder charges, he was convicted only of the lesser counts of negligent homicide and dereliction of duty. These still carried a maximum three-year prison sentence and dismissal from the service (which would have denied him his pension). In the end, however, a military jury sentenced Welshofer to no prison time and only a formal reprimand. He was given 60 days restriction to his home, office, and church; and a forfeiture of $6,000 -- apparently the going rate for an Iraqi life. No one in our self-professed "no-torture" administration thought this worth a comment.
Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore when US officials feel the need to use the Nuremburg defense...and it works.

Read more.

Breaking News!

Ken and Barbie are back together!!!

Also, according to CNN: "President Bush says in mid-2002, U.S. disrupted al Qaeda plot to use shoe bombs to hijack plane for attack on L.A.’s Liberty Tower."

Here's my official reaction to King George:
Schyeah! As if!
Party on Wayne!
Party on Garth!
I really wanna see some proof of this one...

Update: I had never heard of this list of "10 serious plots by Al Qaeda", that Bush referred to this morning. So while I'm waiting for the specifics of today's lies and misdirections, here's a link to the document "detailing" the plots. Honestly, it looks to me like it was created by a random word generator or mad libs or something. "Give me the name of a foreign airport... Heathrow! Good! Now I need a shipping channel..."

"It would be a shame if something bad were to happen to your email, ya know?"

From CNN:
Former disaster agency chief Michael Brown is indicating he is ready to reveal his correspondence with President Bush and other officials during Hurricane Katrina unless the White House forbids it and offers legal support.
So, is this the first ex-Bushco official willing to spill the beans about his/her respective scandal? I don't count Richard Clarke, as he was a carry-over. Please tell me in the comments if I've forgotten someone.

The first word that came to mind was "blackmail." Then I thought, "This is the way government should be--transparent to begin with. There should be no need to ask for the King's permission." Then I thought, "blackmail" again. Then I thought, "Good!"

Meanwhile in Iraq

Insurgent attacks are on the rise:
Sweeping statistics on insurgent violence in Iraq that were declassified for a Senate hearing on Wednesday appear to portray a rebellion whose ability to mount attacks has steadily grown in the nearly three years since the invasion. [Read More]
While utility services are on the decline:
Virtually every measure of the performance of Iraq's oil, electricity, water and sewerage sectors has fallen below preinvasion values even though $16 billion of American taxpayer money has already been disbursed in the Iraq reconstruction program, several government witnesses said at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Wednesday. [Read More]
Mr. President you're doing a heck of a job.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Chris Grows Hardballs

Let me start by saying Chris Matthews is still an ass, however, on Wednesday's Hardball Chris managed to string together a whole bunch of sentences that, for once, had nothing to do with kissing the president's ass. The guest is Torie Clarke, former Pentagon spokeswoman and current White House hack, the topic is the Iraq war. Go to Crooks & Liars and watch Chris Mattews storm through the liberal arguments against the war in 30 mighty seconds. Chris simply would not accept Clarke's spin. He was pissed and it showed.

Between us, the buzz on Capital Hill is that Ms. Clarke rebuffed Chris at the Tuesday night "Top of the Hill" cocktail party. Hell hath no fury like a Tweety scorned.

Go to Crooks & Liars now!

Luntz Can't Get Boehner

We all know Frank Luntz as the partisan Republican hack pollster who would show up on MSNBC to tell the American people what they were "really" thinking (based on questionable scientific methodology, mind you). But for the GOP Luntz has been their polling go-to guy. So what's changed? It seems the new majority leader in the House, John Boehner, has a problem with Luntz. Roll Call has the story:
The ascent last week of Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) to the Majority Leader post has put the agenda for the upcoming House GOP retreat somewhat in flux, but one thing is certain: Frank Luntz won’t be there.

The omnipresent Republican pollster was uninvited from the retreat — scheduled for this Thursday through Saturday in Cambridge, Md. — after Boehner adamantly told his colleagues at his first leadership meeting last Friday that he didn’t want Luntz there.

“Boehner said he wasn’t going if Luntz was going,” said a leadership source.
The story does not explain why Luntz is on the outs with Boehner and personally I don't give a crap. If Luntz can't get Boehner love, I say leave the media out of it. This issue is better left in the bedroom where it belongs.

* * *
Note: All that way for a few Boehner jokes, you see what the GOP has done to me.

Truth in Comics

Bad eyes? That's okay, click toon to see larger. Though I'm not sure you'll be happy seeing the truth.

Morning Ass

It's too early in the A.M. for me to be feeling angry, but you know what, I need to rip someone a new one. Adam Nagourney, NYT reporter, you are a fucking ass. In an article in today's NYT Mr. GOP Hack Nagourney talked to Democrats about a possible let-down leading up to the November mid-term elections. Sure Democrats are concerned to some degree, but here is my issue, Mr. Nagourney, who the fuck are you to be drawing this conclusion:
Their concern was aggravated by the image of high-profile Democrats, including Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, challenging the legality of Mr. Bush's secret surveillance program this week at a time when the White House has sought to portray Democrats as weak on security.
"Their concern." Who's concern? Quote me a Democrat who is not for challenging the legality of Mr. Bush's illegal program. Quote someone you ass. And not just some vague quote in the next paragraph. I want names.
But among more establishment Democrats, there is concern that many of the party's most visible leaders -- among them, Howard Dean, the Democratic chairman; Senator John Kerry, the party's 2004 presidential candidate; Mr. Kennedy; Representative Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader; and Al Gore, who has assumed a higher profile as the party heads toward the 2008 presidential primaries -- may be flawed messengers.
"But among more establishment Democrats." Who are these democrats? And do they really speak for the party. You, Mr. Nagourney, are the flawed messenger. You and your cohorts in the corporate media are responsible for perpetuating the image of the waffling democrat. If we question Bush we lose. If we don't question Bush we lose. That's your spin and not the sentiment of the American people.

Mr. Nagourney you are an ass.

Don't read the NYT story. Instead read this Nagourney hack rundown. Oh, and, good morning everyone!

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Update: First, thanks for all your concern. I am feeling a bit better now. I have finally had my coffee and I'm thinking a bit clearer. While I still hold to my Nagourney = Ass theory. Theory as in big bang. Theory as in evolution. I think I am also mad at Democrats for playing right into the GOP's hands. Stand firm, don't talk weaknesses behind each others back. Even if you are not unified, please look like you are.

corrUPtDATE - Lingual Wednesday

This here's a series of limericks I wrote just for you. Really. I was thinking of you specifically when I wrote them.
There once was a Texan named Scott
Who had skills that others did not
He'd deliver the news
With the Bushco views
And not give the truth that was sought

So the foil of this guy McLellan
Was an old doubting Thomas named Helen
She said with a snarl
'Bout a fellow named Karl
"He leaked and he's surely a felon"

These accusations enraged poor Scotty
He countered her sources were shoddy
With a series of lies
He tried to disguise
The truth in a voice that was haughty

He promised that his boss would fire
Anyone who tried to conspire
To ruin the name
Of Mrs. V. Plame
But we all know that Dubya's a liar

When the truth is finally revealed
After being so thoroughly concealed
Rove'll be convicted
His freedom restricted
Then the case will be quickly appealed

Alas, nothing will change for dear Scott
He won't tell the truth like he ought
He'll refuse to budge
But someone will judge
And hopefully he'll reap what he's wrought
corrUPtDATE will be back tomorrow with all new content just for you. It's my way of showing I care.

Go Russ!!

Read this speech by Sen. Russ Feingold and then, if your heart doesn't skip a beat and your chest doesn't swell with pride, I'll send you 50 bucks. Send me your name, address, home and cell phone number. Contact me.

Thank you Senator Feingold. Thank you.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

He Works in Mysterious Ways

Continuing a theme of religious leaders redefining "Christianity", Rev. Vincent Kohn of The Annointed Church of God allegedly tossed a bunch of puppies from the back of a moving pickup truck into the woods and then pleaded with a bystander not to call the police. Does it go without saying that the animals were malnourished and mistreated before he tossed them?

I'm going to try to do Chris Matthews one better here, and I'm going to do it in the voice of Subliminal Man.
Last week, Chris fucking psycho Matthews douchebag surmised that perhaps the Gays and the Liberals were responsible motherfucker for burning down the churches in Central Alabama what a godammed total fucking prick. I say that perhaps the churches are being burned down by the parishioners who are embarrassed totally and thoroughly by the continued unbelievable lack of Christianity Pat Fucking Robertson shown by their leaders. I further surmise that the parishioners are ashamed completely by the portrayal in the media looking at you fat assholes on Fox, CNN, & MSNBC of their values as being superior and arrogant certainly not Christian values over the "non-saved" and they want to start over without these clouds of scandals hanging over their heads somebody needs to put rat poison in Chris Matthew's cheetos.
The weekly message in front of Kohn's church? "Knowing God is not only seeing his works but also learning his ways". Damn, Kohn, your ass is cooked!

My deepest sympathies to the peoples whose churches have been destroyed. I honestly cringed when I heard that story. May you find peace.

Bush Is Forced to Take Medicine

So King George went to a funeral and ended up schooled instead.

This makes up for ass-wipe using Coretta Scott King's name during the State of the Union address. Somewhere the Kings are smiling too. I love the truth. Take it away Rev. Lowery:
We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there. * * * Standing Ovation * * * But Coretta knew and we know that there are weapons of misdirection right down here. Millions without health insurance. Poverty abounds. For war billions more but no more for the poor.
Now go to Think Progress, remove all breakable items from the vicinity, watch this video, get ready to cheer, jump up and down, repeat.

Why haven't you left yet?

(Hat Tip Shakes Sis)

One Grouch Left Behind

Well, King George has started to make good on his promise to slash and burn his way through social programs in the next few months. Among the first casualties in the War on Hugs is a large yellow bird, a count who really lives up to his name, and an elephant-like thing that I only ever see when I'm tripping my face off or at home sick in bed.

The new budget will slash the funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting by over US$100M over the next two years. Unfortunately we'd have to do this 27 more times to buy a single F-22A Stealth Fighter. The Pentagon plans to build 183 of them.... You do the math, but it appears many of us will be living in trash cans before King George starts to feel secure against a guy who lives in a cave and has liver failure.

Hopefully he won't forget to cancel the funding on the human-animal hybrid programs!

Ve haff vays of makink you talk!

The Director of the CIA, Porter Goss has released an internal memo to all CIA employees warning them of a serious investigation into media leaks regarding confidential CIA activities, which in his words "do damage to the credibility of the agency." CIA staffers suspected of leaking classified information could be subjected to random polygraph tests. The Justice Department will also be called in to investigate suspected leaks.

This brings two thoughts to mind for me:
  1. Will the Justice Department do a better job on CIA staffers than White House Senior Advisers? (Something less than a gross lack of competence would actually be a better job, btw)
  2. Who has balls big enough to leak this memo to the press and can I buy this person a drink or a car or something?
Read more.

Budget Woes

While the Bush Administration is slashing funding for alternative fuels (and stepping up pressure to drill in the ANWR) and more than 140 domestic programs that have been "performing poorly" (i.e., not putting money in his friends' pockets), he is funding a defense budget that is astounding.

This Slate article by Fred Kaplan describes how much of what we're attempting to achieve in the coming year(s) defensively, but this one's a kicker to me. Describing our efforts to build another aircraft carrier, Mr. Kaplan puts it in perspective:
The United States has twice as many carriers, with five times the deck space, as the rest of the world's navies combined.

Lost World

Things that make me happy:
An astonishing mist-shrouded "lost world" of previously unknown and rare animals and plants high in the mountain rainforests of New Guinea has been uncovered by an international team of scientists.

Among the new species of birds, frogs, butterflies and palms discovered in the expedition through this pristine environment, untouched by man, was the spectacular Berlepsch's six-wired bird of paradise. The scientists are the first outsiders to see it. They could only reach the remote mountainous area by helicopter, which they described it as akin to finding a "Garden of Eden".
Why does this make me happy? Because at least there is one place on this Earth that man hasn't completely fucked up. Go nature!

Eden more.

Will the Republicans Fold?

Karl Rove is an ass.
The White House has been twisting arms to ensure that no Republican member votes against President Bush in the Senate Judiciary Committee's investigation of the administration's unauthorized wiretapping.

The sources said the administration has been alarmed over the damage that could result from the Senate hearings, which began on Monday, Feb. 6. They said the defection of even a handful of Republican committee members could result in a determination that the president violated the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Such a determination could lead to impeachment proceedings. [Read More]
I wish there was more I could say. I'm not stunned. I'm not surprised. I'm not even angry. I'm just tired of this crap. Karl Rove is a despicable human being. The Republicans in congress are letting the Bushes make them irrelevant. If that's what they want, so be it. The only revenge will be winning back congress, subpoena the fuck out of the Bushes, then send them all to fucking jail.

Okay, I guess I am a little angry.

corrUPtDATE - Tuesday is Photoshop Day!

Last week we asked the question "What would members of our current administration be doing had they not gone into politics?" We now bring you the shocking conclusion!

First up is our vaunted Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. We all know that Donnybrook has a problem with reality, but did you know he has a serious deficiency of heart, brains and courage?

Now that I think about it, Saddam was a lot like the man behind the curtain...

Next is W's main man, Senior White House Adviser Karl Rove. This is the guy that invented Bush as a political candidate, so it's just in his nature:

It doesn't take an evil genius to see that!

Finally, our Dear Leader, President George W. Bush. Had he not followed his dad into politics (and Iraq), he would have accounted for several lost years as the little-mentioned eighth castaway on Gilligan's Island:

His role was to make Gilligan look smart. Unfortunately the test audiences found it to be too far-fetched - nobody's that much of a moron in real life...

But Georgy was also an oil man:

Sadly that phase of his life went to shit, too.

Regardless of all the other failures, he'll always be the father of two darling young ladies:

C'mon, you tell me he doesn't secretly want to keep abortion legal, just in case!

Don't forget, tomorrow is Lingual Wednesday here on corrUPtDATE! I smell McLellan limericks a-brewin'...

Monday, February 06, 2006

GOP: Sad Little Creatures

As always, Digby nails it:
I've been digesting this morning's hearings and I am dumbstruck by the totality of the Republicans' abdication of their duty. These men who spent years running on Madisonian principles ("The essence of government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse") now argue without any sense of irony or embarrassment that Republican Senators are nothing more than eunuchs in President Bush's political harem. They have voluntarily rendered the congress of the United States impotent to his power.
- - -
We are looking at fifty-five of the most powerful people in the country. Collectively the Republican Senators represent almost a hundred and fifty million citizens. And they have allowed a callow little boy like George W. Bush along with his grey eminineces Karl Rove and Dick Cheney to strip them of their consciences, their principles and their constitutional obligations. What sad little creatures, cowardly and subservient, unctuously bowing and scraping before Karl Rove the man who holds their (purse) strings and dances them around the halls of congress singing tributes to their own irrelevance at the top of their lungs. How pathetic they are.
Plus Digby puts me in my place with respect to my surprise that Senator Graham broke from the GOP party line:
Oh, and don't get excited about Huckleberry Graham's "tough" questions. This is his schtick. Going all the way back to the impeachment hearings, he has done this. He hems and haws in his cornpone way how he's "troubled" by one thing or another until he finally "decides" after much "deliberation" that the Republican line is correct after all and he has no choice but to endorse it.
Digby more.

I Can't Believe I Listened to the Whole Thing

First, my apologies for a slow blogging day. I have been listening to the NSA domestic wiretapping hearings at work today on a crappy A.M. radio and if I wanted to hear anything through the static I had to pay full attention. So the blogging suffered and my work suffered, but these hearing are important.

I'm curious to see what the spin will be following the hearings, but my first impression is that the democrats did a real good job of making Gonzales squirm. Of course the Republicans were right there to rehabilitate him at every turn. I will say, however, that Lindsey Graham surprised me a bit. He started off by reading from the GOP script, kissing the president's ass, but soon wandered off and questioned Gonzales hard on checks and balances. And I'll also give small props to Senator Specter, he talked a good game, let's see what comes of it. Overall there were some really great quotes from the democratic side. Snarks that would make even the most cynical blogger proud. I'll try to gather some of them and post them later.

The biggest ass to show his stripes during the hearing was Senator Sessions. He had the nerve to invite and showcase 9/11 families during the hearing. Talk about playing politics with 9/11. It was disgraceful.

The sad fact is that nothing will actual change because of these hearings, unless of course the American people are paying attention, but I fear they are not. The president will not be held accountable for breaking the law. They are above the law, Gonzales made that clear today.

More hearing stuff to follow.

* * *
Update: You can find the entire transcript here.

Pat Robertson's Foot & Mouth Disease

Pat again calls for the assassination of Hugo Chavez. These are your Christian leaders, folks.

Who Would Jesus Kill?

Osama and Karl Sitting in a Tree

Hey kids, can you name the looney, lefty, liberal blogger who said this?
Obviously he [Bush] needed a little PR boost before the State of the Union Message, and bin Laden was there for him with his skillful backspin.

Bin Laden denounces him, and Bush once again can rally his troops, shout "stay the course" and denounce the Democratic peaceniks. Most of all he can again echo bin Laden's threat to attack us on our homeland and reassure us all that only he can keep us safe and secure.

Bin Laden's re-emergence was so perfect it might as well have been staged by Bush strategist Karl Rove. [Emphasis Added]

No, you've got it all wrong. The insightful quote above was by Don Rose, and can be found in a major metropolitan newspaper, The Chicago Tribune. I never would have guessed. It's one thing when a blogger suggests Osama and the Bushes are in bed together, but the Tribune is mainstream. Wow.

I big thanks to Gordon at Alternate Brain for finding this.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Prominent Law Professors (Left & Right) Reject Bush's Wiretapping Arguments

From the Boston Globe:
Bush's assertion that his program was legal prompted a group of 14 prominent law professors, including both liberals and conservatives, to pen a joint letter objecting to his arguments. An expanded version of their letter rebutting Bush's assertions will be released today, the professors said.

Richard Epstein, a University of Chicago law professor and a member of the group, said he believes the Supreme Court would reject Bush's assertions that his wartime powers authorized him to override the law.

''I find every bit of this legal argument disingenuous," Epstein said. ''The president's position is essentially that [Congress] is not doing the right thing, so I'm going to act on my own."
Which, if you think about it, has been Bush's MO since stealing office. After the crimes committed on 9-11, Dubyah wagged his crooked index finger at a sympathetic world and said, "You're either with us or against us!" The world thought, "Odd, what's he doing threatening us when we're being all sympathetic and offering our assitance...oh, well, it's probably just the trauma of the event, he didn't really mean it." Since then the world has learned that he did really mean it, that he really is that myopic, foolish, innappropriate, and downright childlike.

The world said no to his illegal Iraq invasion, with ten million people pouring out into the streets on a single day to show their opposition, and the UN security council did not approve of the invasion (in fact most legal authorities regard it as a violation of the UN Charter), but the invasion was launched anyway.

Congress said no to torture by approving the McCain Anti-Torture legislation, Bush attached a disclaimer to the law rendering it "quaint" like he did the Geneva Conventions.

FISA requires the US gov't to obtain warrants before acting all Big Brother by spying on Americans, but the fascists Cheney, Alberto "The Torturer" Gonzalez, and the rest of the White House 'legal' team decided, nah, we're going to ignore that law and illegally spy on Americans without warrants and have Junior lie about it:
"Any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order," Bush said on April 20, 2004 in Buffalo, New York.
Read more. Dream of impeachment. Work towards impeachment.

Are You Ready for Some Hearings?

Screw Super Bowl Sunday. Yes I said it. I'm un-American. But my Giants aren't in the game, so forget about the whole over-hyped spectacle and keep the nachos warm for Super Spying Monday.

In case you've had your head in a cave for the past few months here are the basics for tomorrow's hearing. The president, under the guise of fighting terrorism, took it upon himself to circumvent the law and ILLEGALLY spied on the American people. The president broke the law and tomorrow he sends his consigliere, Alberto Gonzales, before the Senate judiciary committee to justify his illegal actions. Sure the Bushes claim they have the legal authority. Whether it be derived from the Constitution as commander-in-chief (we are at "war," you know) or under the congressional resolution which authorized military force against those responsible for 9/11. Either way the president is on thin legal ground.

TIME magazine has the exclusive lowdown on how Gonzales plans to defend the illegal eavesdropping program. Get ready for the same old, same old from Gonzales. The spin is already making me queasy.
Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales plans to use a Congressional hearing on Monday to lash out at "misinformed, confused" news accounts about President George W. Bush's warrantless eavesdropping program, and to declare it "is not a dragnet," according to administration documents provided to TIME. "I cannot and will not address operational aspects of the program or other purported activities described in press reports," he plans to say in testimony prepared for the Senate Judiciary Committee. "These press accounts are in almost every case, in one way or another, misinformed, confused, or wrong."

According to the documents, Gonzales plans to assert in his opening statement that seeking approval for the wiretaps from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court could result in delays that "may make the difference between success and failure in preventing the next attack." He will compare the program to telegraph wiretapping during the Civil War. [Read More]
See here's the thing, leaving aside the whole Civil War argument, which is a doozy in and of itself, and even putting aside the legality of the program, the program doesn't even work. Today's Washington Post has the details.
Intelligence officers who eavesdropped on thousands of Americans in overseas calls under authority from President Bush have dismissed nearly all of them as potential suspects after hearing nothing pertinent to a terrorist threat, according to accounts from current and former government officials and private-sector sources with knowledge of the technologies in use. [Read More]
Jill, who is always Brilliant at Breakfast, sums it up like this:
But when it's this clear that the plan is both unconstitutional AND ineffective, it becomes impossible to justify on national security grounds.
All right, there you have it. On all grounds the president's so-called "Terrorist Surveillance Program" is unjustifiable. Read TIME and get a bit Gonzales queasy. Then read the Washington Post and get a bit Gonzales angry. Then put on your favorite Bill of Rights t-shirt on and get ready for some hearings.

Fun with Super Bowl Sunday

See, if you try hard enough you can combine Chimpie with anything.

Happy Sunday!