Friday, June 30, 2006

Irish wake

Bear with me kind friends and readers. I've been really shaken by Acidman's death, in ways I never would have expected but I'm getting past the obsession stage. I think I'm almost through the intense grief stage. I didn't get here yesterday, although I planned to, because I spent hours at an online Irish wake for Rob. It really helped me shake the blues. It was in chat format, something I've only done a couple of times in my life but it was immensely cathartic.

I don't have time now to go into the details, I'm on my way to work so I'll just say those folks really made me feel part of the Rumblers community in a way I didn't while Rob was alive and I feel so much better for having enjoyed their kind hospitality. I'll have more to say about that at LOS eventually.

Anyway, it could turn out to be a long day but I will be back. I'm ready to tackle politics again. Thanks for sticking around while I worked my way through this.
Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Patriots defy by definition

The NYT explains its side on the breaking of the story on the latest secret security scandal, the not so swift SWIFT program.

I'm astounded that anyone buys the White House whining that this story compromised their ability to track terrorists. As has been amply pointed out, terrorists are mean, not stupid. Secrecy is their life. They have figured out they're being tracked already. The White House boasted of it frequently since 9/11, just as they often tout their success in running down drug money transactions. The unwitting victims of surveillance are the innocent Americans who are being swept up in these extrajudicial dragnets.

The NYT was absolutely right to publish the story. That's their job. To inform the public when the pubic trust is being breached. In their own words:
From our side of the news-opinion wall, the Swift story looks like part of an alarming pattern. Ever since Sept. 11, the Bush administration has taken the necessity of heightened vigilance against terrorism and turned it into a rationale for an extraordinarily powerful executive branch, exempt from the normal checks and balances of our system of government. It has created powerful new tools of surveillance and refused, almost as a matter of principle, to use normal procedures that would acknowledge that either Congress or the courts have an oversight role.
There are many precedents in history for this story and it doesn't even begin to approach the gravity of say, the publication of the Pentagon Papers. Swift is just the outrage du jour and we should not only thank the NYT for publishing the story, but demand the rest of the media follow suit and start exposing programs that unneccessarily go outside of laws designed to protect the foundations of our form of government. As the Times said:
The United States will soon be marking the fifth anniversary of the war on terror. The country is in this for the long haul, and the fight has to be coupled with a commitment to individual liberties that define America's side in the battle. A half-century ago, the country endured a long period of amorphous, global vigilance against an enemy who was suspected of boring from within, and history suggests that under those conditions, it is easy to err on the side of security and secrecy. The free press has a central place in the Constitution because it can provide information the public needs to make things right again. Even if it runs the risk of being labeled unpatriotic in the process.
And taking that risk is the very definition of patriot. Our founding fathers were also branded as traitors by their oppressors as well when they fought to establish our freedom from exactly this sort of excessive government interference in the first place.
Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Both Sides Now

Ive looked at life from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
Its lifes illusions I recall
I really dont know life at all
Joni Mitchell

The turmoil raging in my spirit tonight spilled out into the sky

What few words and photos I have to explain it are here.
Bookmark and Share

Waiting on the rain....

The gloomy weather couldn't be more appropriate today. It's been a tough week folks. My health issues finally seem to be resolving but I lost a friend yesterday. For Rob Smith, the final resolution of his problems arrived in the wee hours of the morning.

I'm surprisingly devastated by the news and I have to work today, so bear with me for a little longer. I'll be back to my usual self in a couple more days. In the interim I'm working through my grief at Last One Speaks.
Bookmark and Share

Monday, June 26, 2006

Advertising whiz

This is hilarious but it does have a certain genius. I think whoever invented it will probably make a fortune.
Discover Wizmark, the interactive urinal communicator, its advertising you can't help but look at. An idea so original, it has everyone talking. Wizmark is based on one unwritten rule of men's room etiquette; when using a urinal, never stare at the person next to you. Every male knows that when he is using a urinal, he can look anyway he wants, except left or right.

As a one-of-a-kind, fully functional interactive device, Wizmark can talk, sing, or flash a string of lights around a promotional message when greeting a "visitor". The large anti-glare, water-proof viewing screen is strategically located just above the drain to ensure guaranteed viewing without interruptions. Using the elements of surprise and humor in a truly unique location will allow Wizmark, in
combination with your ad, to make a lasting impression on every male that sees it.
Talk about your captive audience....

[hat tip Jules Siegel]
Bookmark and Share

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Oh no, I have a new phone

It's been a really long day. I worked for nine hours on four hours sleep and you have no idea what a chore it is to add the relentless chugging of Gatorade to your day. I'm slowly feeling restored by the fluid intake and my appetite is coming back so I'm eating again but I have an earlier call in the morning so I need to call it a day.

I'm so tired, I'm nearly incoherent and I can hardly comprehend that I am now the proud owner of a cell phone. It has a camera and everything. It's very small. It feels very strange to own one. Of course since I'm on the family's plan, it sort of feel like it's borrowed instead. I have a cell phone number. That feels downright weird, but who knows, maybe I'll learn to love it.

I'm sure it will make more sense in the morning.
Bookmark and Share

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Reich is always right on

Robert Reich has an interesting post up on inflation. I love this guy, because he's so straightforward and his critics come as much if not more from his own side of the fence, as the other. Here's some excerpts.

The fact is, this economy is not at all like the economy of the 1970s. Labor unions don't have nearly the power they did then to demand wage increases. Big companies don't have nearly the power they did then to raise prices. Globalization and computer software have radically increased wage and price competition. So the inflation genie won't get out of the bottle. The price rises we're seeing now are due to energy and raw-material commodity price increases, which are NOT being driven by excessive demand by American consumers and NOT being driven by inflationary expectations. They're the result of soaring increases in demand for energy and raw materials by China and India, and by uncertainties over energy supplies from the Middle East, Nigeria, Russia, and Venezuela.

In addition, productivity has grown enormously in the US during the last five years. Wages have not. Wages comprise 70 percent of the costs of business. One last thing: There's still lots of unemployment in the US. The payroll survey shows only small increases in hiring. A smaller proportion of adults are employed now than in 2000. The ranks of people too discouraged to look for work are very large.

So forget the inflation genie. Worry more about the 1930s. I don't mean to suggest a full-fledged depression is on the horizon. But I do worry that the economy is slowing. Consumers are reaching the limit of their capacity to go deeper into debt. Their one cash cow -- the value of their homes -- is in poor shape. To make matters potentially worse, not only is the Federal Reserve Bank raising interest rates too high, so are central bankers all over the world. Take a look at long-term interest rates and you see how worried lenders are about the economy overall. If the Fed keeps raising short-term rates we're heading for a major downturn.

Me thinks Bernanke wants to show Wall Street he's a tough guy. But tough guys often over-estimate the importance of acting tough.

In the end, the people who get clobbered when the Fed raises rates and the economy slows are those at the end of the job line -- people who need jobs, or are in low-paying ones. They're the first to be let go. At a time when the number of working poor in America are already ballooning, and the ranks of the impoverished are growing, it's not only economically wrong for the Fed to go on raising rates. It's ethically wrong.
I forget where the paragraph breaks are, but read the rest for yourself. It's short and the comments are always interesting. He has a lot of critics. He's a lot like me. He's way smarter but he goes against the conventional wisdom most of the time.

I'm especially glad to see someone of his caliber make the point that the low unemployment figures discount the large numbers of Americans who have simply stopped looking for work and dropped off the charts. Otherwise how would you explain, what was it 60,000 people or something that came out looking for a job at some Walmart a few months ago?
Bookmark and Share

Don't have to be rich to help the poor...

Well I am feeling much better but I'm still very spacey so time slipped away. I should be in bed since I have an early call but I don't think I can fall asleep just yet so here's a couple of odd items I meant to get to this morning. I was catching up on the comment section at DetNews and I thought this was one of the funniest ones I've ever read. I believe it's in response to one of George's posts on Bill Gates giving up his job for philanthropy. George often evokes Gates as proof positive that rich people can trusted to do what's right for society in general.

Anyway, this is by an infrequent but regular commenter, Rob L'Heureux of Canton, MI. The opening quote is from George's post.
"Wanna help mankind? ...Start a business, make money, give it away…He ( Bill Gates ) does it with his own loot, not money squeezed from taxpayers to create a government program."

George, I couldn't have said it better -- unless I said,"Wanna stop helping the poor, the elderly, the infirm, and veterans that fought for this country with money "squeezed" from taxpayers without having to become Bill Gates ( because that’s just too easy )? Run for office, get elected ( maybe by using smear campaigns, cheap wedge issues like gay adoption, wearing your ‘faith’ on your sleeve or promising to be a ‘uniter’ ), help your party take over all other branches of government ( maybe by employing tactics from unethical sleaze-bags like Karl Rove and Tom Delay ) and then propose tax cuts that only help millionaires.

Conservatives can be a funny lot:)
I thought it was clever. Wish I had thought of it. In fact I wish I was good at humor. I'm only funny when I don't intend to be.
Bookmark and Share

Still alive

I want to thank everybody for the kind comments and emails. It appears my number is not quite up yet and I'm going to live for while longer anyway. The doc told me last night that I wasn't going to feel really normal for a couple more days but I almost didn't believe him this morning because I woke up feeling pretty darn good. Of course I slept for 12 hours as well, and woke up of my own volition. I was having dreams about old friends, mostly from Noho and some Moroccan hash. I saw a lot of people I miss and I got to finsh the dream. Although I can't quite remember it, I woke up feeling kind of surrounded by people I love.

Anyway I got home, caught up on reading the DetNews, put up a hefty post and had a sandwich while I started reading some blogs. All of sudden I was hit with a dizzy spell that made the other ones look like fun. I had to lie down for a while. I've been moving pretty slow since then. But I've been pumping the Gatorade as instructed all day long and am beginning to feel more restored again.

I also managed spill a full glass of it all over the desk this morning. It could have been worse. There was so much paper piled up on it, that it sort of formed a damn and poured off the front and not into the surge protector. So the desk got a long overdue cleaning. Of course the wet paper is scattered around on the rug drying, so the mess merely moved but luckily the rug was newly vacuumed and now I have to organize the papers which was also badly needed. I know it's cliche but things really do happen for a reason. Getting that stuff organized will make me feel better.

Ironically, I took the cursed pills in the first place to solve the blood pressure problem. That was partly due to eating too much salt in all those frozen dinners and other processed food. Now since it worked so well, so fast, I'm forced to raise my salt intake again. Too bad because my blood pressure had dropped significantly. Not into a healthy zone but into readings I would have found comfortable to live with.

In any event, I'm moving slow but my brain is working better again so I'll be back with more later but at the moment I want to go out and corner the market on Gatorade at the local Food Lion -- it's on sale and I have a feeling I'm going to need to drink it for a while.
Bookmark and Share

Friday, June 23, 2006


It's tough being a hypochrondriac who responds to medications way outside the normal curve. For one thing you never really believe anything is really wrong with you yourself so you put off going to the doctor so you don't look stupid and then when you do get scared enough to go in, your symptoms don't fall into the pattern so everyone treats you like a panic case anyway.

I had to fight to get the doctor to see me a week early to take blood yesterday, meaning I brought the big gun, my daughter is who is not easily put off. I understand the doc's point, my regular doc is away, the one that's covering is about to leave on vacation and like I said my symptomology is way outside the norm.

So in a way, it's a good thing that there's something actually wrong with me. For one thing I'm glad it wasn't just an insurmontable panic attack and it will give me some credibility the next time I feel yucky. And apparently this can be easily treated without actually being admitted into the hospital which would really screw up my finances since I have something like a $2,500 deductible.

Of course I don't really understand what's wrong with me. Volume depletion which has something to do with sodium count that was a result of the new med. Best for me not to know too much anyway. It only feeds the hypochondria in the future. I'm lucky I've got such a smart daughter that takes care of the knowing part for me.
Bookmark and Share

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Out of commission

Sorry folks, I'm having a really bad reaction to the new medication. I don't know when I'll be back blogging. Hopefully soon.
Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Off night

I'm back on the rotation and I'm either having a bad reaction to the new meds or I'm coming down with something ugly so I'm going to bed and I expect to be back tomorrow.
Bookmark and Share

Monday, June 19, 2006

Net neutrality back on the table

Fire up the keyboards folks and start contacting your Senators. The committee is due to do something on Thursday that will impact the net as we know it for a long time to come. I don't think I need to tell any readers here why this is important but if you need convincing Save the Internet has a good post on recent hearings. Actually even if you don't need convincing, it's a good read. This is great explanation the mechanics of access.
"That’s not the way the Internet works. The Internet does not have all this content in there unless the user asks for it. When you hit return on your browzer it actually sends out a ‘get command’ to the server; it’s a very illustrative name for a command in computer code. It actually says ‘get’– that means now send me the file. That file never gets into the pipes owned by the network operators that Mike represents unless their customer who’s paid for that access asks for it. So we’re not clogging their pipes at all. We’re only providing the content that we hope our joint customers want to see."
Another really good point is the only reason the telecoms haven't already instituted the "tiered systems" is because it's illegal. So when they say they want the government to stay out of the internets, what they mean is they want to be able to filter content for a price. If that wasn't their intent, they wouldn't need to change the laws to allow it.

My DD also has a good post on what it would look like if the telecoms succeed, along with a list of contact info for the Senators sitting on the committee. Think Progress has a list of all Senators and where they currently stand on the issue. Call yours. It will only cost you about 50 cents to tell them you want them to vote for net neutrality and it really could save the internets.
Bookmark and Share

Smart people, really dumb remarks

There's a couple of really irritating columns out there today. Here's a real gem from Joe Klein at Time magazine.
But embracing defeat is a risky political strategy, especially for a party not known for its warrior ethic. In fact, the responsible path is the Democrats' only politically plausible choice: they will have to give yet another new Iraqi government one last shot to succeed. This time, U.S. military sources say, the measure of success is simple: Operation Forward Together, the massive joint military effort launched last week to finally try to secure Baghdad, has to work. If Baghdad isn't stabilized, the war is lost.
Now I would say something about that but Heretik has already dispatched the ertswhile "crack" reporter, or would that be reporter on crack, quite nicely.

Meanwhile John Fund at the WSJ had this to say, among other drivel.
If President Bush has staked the future of his administration on the outcome in Iraq, Democrats appear to have placed their political bets on the war continuing to go badly. Given the death of Zarqawi, the formation of a unity government in Baghdad, and possible developments in the search for WMD material, that is starting to look like a risky wager.

Right. Things are just going great. Zarqawi's death put the insurgents in disarray for a whole week. That new joint security operation is got started with a bang. Only 27 dead in a wave of bombings with scores wounded and two of our soldiers kidnapped. The AQ claims they have them. Hard to fight that kind of success story.

And of course it's not the American taxpayer being bled dry for this folly. Those Iraqi oil revenues are paying for it aren't they, just as the administration promised. Why they're dumping all that black oil directly on the ground instead of sending it to a refinery because they got so much of it.

Gaaah. The only thing more irritating than these two, is that the idiots running the Democratic Party are going to believe them.
Bookmark and Share

Quote of the day

He's in New Hampshire. He's making a political speech. He’s sitting in his air-conditioned office on his big, fat backside-saying stay the course. That’s not a plan! We've got to change direction. You can't sit there in the air-conditioned office and tell troops carrying seventy pounds on their backs, inside these armored vessels-hit with IED's every day-seeing their friends blown up-their buddies blown up-and he says stay the course? Easy to say that from Washington, DC.

John Murtha responding to Karl Rove's remarks on Iraq.
Bookmark and Share

Hastert profits personally from pork barrel spending

Who needs lobbyists and their bribes donations when you can make a killing on your own earmarks?
The complex structure of a real estate transaction in Kendall County last December left House Speaker Dennis Hastert with a seven-figure profit and in prime position to reap further benefits as the exurban region west of Chicago continues its prairie-fire growth boosted by a Hastert-backed federally funded proposed highway.

Instead of cash, Hastert (R-Ill.) took most of his share of the proceeds in land, some of it less than 2 miles from the parcels he and two partners in a land trust sold for nearly $5 million to a developer who plans to build more than 1,500 homes and commercial space on the property near Little Rock and Galena roads in Plano.

Hastert received five-eighths of the proceeds of the sale, which worked out to a profit of more than $1.5 million for him on property that he and his partners accumulated in a little more than three years.
He, of course, took the proceeds in land instead of cash to avoid paying capital gains taxes. No point in giving something back to the people, who he bilked by manipulating the system, and the land will only go up in value while they hold onto it for the required year's time.
The speaker has long been a staunch supporter of the proposed Prairie Parkway and helped secure more than $200million in federal funding through an earmark in federal transportation legislation last year.

Hastert press secretary Ron Bonjean said it is wrong to think that the speaker's backing of the parkway could positively affect his property investments because they are 5 miles from the proposed path of the highway. "It's too far away to have an effect," Bonjean said, adding, "The speaker has bought land like every American has a right to. . . . He is not benefiting from the parkway."
Right. Residential land abutting a noisy highway where all you hear is the semis driving by is much more attractive than a bucolic parcel where birds serenade you to sleep, yet is within easy driving distance to the access point.

Granted there is nothing illegal about this and if an ordinary citizen had done it, we might say he was a good businessman. But it strikes one as unethical to use your inside knowledge of government projects, that you engineer yourself, to profit in the private sector while you're still in office.
Bookmark and Share

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Bits and pieces

In today's must read on the corporotacracy, Eric Lipton takes us for a spin through the revolving doors of the government/lobbyist complex exposing the sham of Homeland Security for what it is -- one more pork barrel for the crony capitalists. Fully two thirds of the top brass have already rotated over into private industry. I posted High on the hog turnover at DHSabout this at the DetNews so you can read my take there.

I have a couple of other posts there I'm not going to rewrite for this blog, so check out my take on the empty resolution the House passed that so disrespects the troops. And I have some thoughts on how Zarqawi's death has already backfired. So much for these documents that will decimate the insurgents. He wasn't as big as the Bushites said he was but nonetheless, his death only fired up his supporters, who are still significant in numbers. It only took them a week to reorganize and take apart the "new" Baghdad security plan.

And last but not least, I suppose it's inevitable that Scooter Libby will be eventually be pardoned but I'm surprised to see the talk surfacing so soon. Chuck Schumer doesn't think he'll go through with it.
"I think it would be very wrong to pardon Scooter Libby, and I doubt the president would do it. It would cause him real damage."
Maybe so, but not as much damage as the testimony in the trial would, especially if they have to put Cheney on the stand.
Bookmark and Share

Happy Father's Day

Hope all the Dads and the families who love them have a great day. I'm sorry to say I won't be able to see mine today but I left him a post where he'll be sure to see it. That's one of the things I love about blogging. Somehow posting to the internets about how much I love my Dad feels even more special than a card because that way everybody knows what a rocking guy my Pop is.
Bookmark and Share

Taliban rising...

You don't hear much from the White House or its trained seals in the media about Afghanistan. It's unsurprising they don't want to talk about it. Last we we heard they were claiming victory and holding the country up as an fine example of "democracy on the march." Unfortunately, that darn war just won't stay won. The central government hasn't managed to exert power much beyond Kabul in the last four years and it's quickly becoming a whole new disaster.
As fighting in Afghanistan has intensified over the past three months, the U.S. military has conducted 340 airstrikes there, more than twice the 160 carried out in the much higher-profile war in Iraq, according to data from the Central Command, the U.S. military headquarters for the Middle East.
The Taliban and AQ own the south of the country and they've learned their lessons well from watching events unfold in Iraq. They have adapted their strategy to cause the most damage to our world status. By retreating to civilian populated areas during firefights, even if they get killed themselves, collateral civilian deaths that inevitably occur, serve to breed anger against our presence among the indigineous people and function as a recruiting tool for the terror organizations who offer protection and revenge. Furthermore, with the heroin trade on the rise, and the US sponsored eradication efforts causing great hardship for already impoverished peasants, the dealers, the people and the terrorists are banding together for their common defense.

If this is what winning looks like, I surely don't want to see what losing is. Tell me again, how Afghanistan was the one thing that Bush did right....
Bookmark and Share

Saturday, June 17, 2006

They're all friends on this street....

There is a haven of non-partisan bliss inside the beltway where Republicans and Democrats work amicably together in the best interests of their constituencies. It's called K Street and "their people" are corporate interests. Here is where the roots of governmental dysfunction lie and this is where the Democrats' new generation of the political consultants we love to hate are found. Russ Baker has a fascinating profile of a random 25 players in this brave new world where the main actors make their money on both sides of the fence. As Baker says:
Now that so many key party operatives earn their “real money” helping corporations exert influence in Washington, they face more and more conflicts when advising Democratic candidates who insist they are dedicated to reform and serving the public interest. Such conflicts speak for themselves. At the very least, it’s tricky to be the strategy adviser to a Democratic candidate who supports publicly-funded universal health insurance when one has spent years working for insurance interests that vehemently oppose any changes. But that is just the scenario playing out every day. The paradoxes are staggering. And, for the most part, they are invisible.
And here's just one example of how it works.
What Thomas Quinn (no relation to either Jack Quinn), says about the work of his firm, Venable LLC, applies to the whole politically-neutral K Street scene today: “Here we work very collegially, and I’ve gotten more collegial as there are more Republicans. We work closely with Republicans. All of us are in this together.”

Thomas Quinn has been active in Democratic politics from Sen. Edward Kennedy's (D-MA) presidential run in 1980 to Sen. John Kerry's (D-MA) in 2004. He’s a key player on financial services, taxation and homeland security issues. Venable’s clients have included: Wal-Mart, Tsakopoulos Investments (real estate developer which has worked with Wal-Mart; lobbying concerning the Endangered Species Act); Timmons Real Estate (Endangered Species Act); National Company for Mechanical & Electrical Works Ltd (Kuwaiti firm re contracts in Iraq); Allied Capital (US government ran a criminal investigation of the firm’s largest subsidiary, which makes government-backed loans to small businesses; Venable hired an SEC attorney who grilled a critic of Allied); McWane (Birmingham, AL-based cast iron pipe manufacturer; the company was heavily fined and executives convicted in federal court for environmental crimes).
It's not comfortable prose but it's worth reading in full to get a sense of just how deeply our politicians on both sides are lodged in the corporate pocket. At least scroll down to the final paragraph that offers one small hope that it's not too late to take our government back.

[hat tip Jules Siegel]
Bookmark and Share

Quote of the day

"If you interpret the constitution's saying that the president is commander in chief to mean that the president can do anything he wants and can ignore the laws, you don't have a constitution: you have a king."

Grover Norquist
Bookmark and Share

Friday, June 16, 2006

Odd lot

A few good short reads left over in the link collection today.

Josh Marshall had an interesting post on the limo company at the center of the Cunningham scandal receiving a $21 million contract to ferry DHS officials around. I'm not particularly shocked by that but I do wonder why the hell our DHS officials are being chauffeured around in limos in the first place. Shouldn't security people be a little more in touch with the public they're protecting?

Thehim at ReLoad never lets us down. Check out the daily dish there and don't forget to play a game of zonk while you're at his pad. He points us to a picture said to be worth much more than a thousand words. It's destined to become a classic.

Risingsons has a fascinating look inside the world of the CEO with Conservative thoughts on Corporate Welfare. Surprisingly they're against it. In fact they sound kind of like us these days. Even they are worried about the Bushenomic house of cards.

And last but not least, a huge thanks to Mike at Crooks and Liars for linking to The Impolitic in his blog roundup. Appreciate the encouragement.
Bookmark and Share

Colbert KO's unsuspecting Congressman

I don't watch much TV, so thank the universe for Crooks and Liars or I would miss all the good stuff. From the Colbert Report, an interview with Georgia Congressman Lynn Westmoreland. Westmoreland co-sponsored a bill requiring the Ten Commandments be displayed on Capitol Hill and could only name three of them. Priceless. And there's much more fun in the five minute video.

Trust me. Just click it.
Bookmark and Share

Join the GOP -- ethics not required

It may be more than a little showboating, but let it not be said that Democrats are unwilling to police their own. The Democratic caucus voted to oust Rep. William J. Jefferson (La.) from the Ways and Means committee in response to charges of corruption against him.

Innocent till proven guilty and all that, but the evidence made public so far has already indicted him in the eyes of the people and it would be difficult for the Democratic Party to make an issue of Congressional ethics if he is allowed to carry on as if nothing has happened. By rights, Jefferson should have stepped down voluntarily for the good of the party. His continued resistance to doing so does nothing for his court case or his public image.

Meanwhile, the caucus vote stands in sharp contrast to the GOP's typical response to corruption in their own ranks, which is to circle the wagons and protect their criminals. A strategy made clear beginning with the enormous efforts made to keep Tom DeLay in power to their nonchalance about the ethics of the dozen or so other Republicans currently implicated in the various lobbyist corruption cases. For instance, Josh Marshall runs down Chair of the House Appropriations Committee Jerry Lewis' various connections to the Cunningham case. Not only have his ethics remained unquestioned, our president praises his fine work in advancing the White House agenda.

But why should that be a surprise? Heck, in this White House, any display of ethics is a firing offense. Just ask John Riggs.
Bookmark and Share

PNAC dying a quiet death

I knew there was dissension among the Pax America crowd lately, but I didn't realize it was a terminal disagreement. Good riddance but unfortunately, like all souless walking dead, they're not buried for good. The main vampires just moved into a new crypt at American Enterprise Institute so keep those crucifixes and garlic handy folks, they're still looking to get fat off your blood.

[hat tip Cernig]
Bookmark and Share

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Facilitating fascism

Funny, it seems like just last month, the only thing standing between us and fascim was Arlen Spector. Oh wait, that was last month, before Cheney and his minions browbeat Arl into submission. You can forget about that now. Guess we're on our own. Arlen has his own little NSA bill in the works.
Mr. Specter says his bill would impose judicial review on domestic spying by giving the special court created by FISA power to rule on the constitutionality of the one program that Mr. Bush has acknowledged. But the review would be optional. Mr. Specter's bill would eliminate the vital principle that FISA's rules are the only legal way to eavesdrop on Americans' telephone calls and e-mail. It would give the president power to conduct surveillance under FISA "or under the constitutional authority of the executive." That merely reinforces Mr. Bush's claim that he is the sole judge of what powers he has, and how he exercises them.
What's really infuriating is that we're footing the bill for these guys to waste time fooling around with this political theater of the absurd. They should be investigating the alleged legality of the program, not trying to legalize unconstitutional conduct after the fact and pave the way for greater transgressions in the future.
Bookmark and Share

White House announces new AQ chief in Iraq

That didn't take long. The White House has named a new boogeyman to take over for Zarqawi. Meet Abu Ayyub al-Masri, an Egyptian with ties to Osama bin Laden's deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri. Of course, he says he's the new leader but nobody is really certain it's true. But why let a little thing like facts get in the way of a good press release? The administration will need someone to blame for the continued violence in Iraq and any name will do. They all start to sound alike after a while anyway.

Meanwhile, the GOP is busily following the Rove plan book and attempting to paint Iraq as proof positive they are the only party that can provide for national security. Maybe they don't read the news but they're clearly counting on the public not to do so either. The Senate went through the motions on the issue and after much impassioned debate, decided on a 93-6 vote to do nothing. But they're all on record as talking tough about terrorism. Pathetic.
Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I supported a soldier today

Actually, I supported 16 soldiers today. I didn't post this morning because I made these eight cards and wrote a personal note on eight additional generic cards. I would have sent more but that was all I could find in this little town and I looked everywhere.

I spent easily three hours searching for appropriate ready made cards and assembling the materials to make these few. Finding the blank cards was cool but the blue was the wrong shade so I had to cover it. I finally found the confetti tissue paper on the third try. You can't appreciate it in the photo because the teeny embedded stars don't show in the flash.

Anyway, it felt good to walk my talk on supporting the troops. It's not their fault the politicians have screwed this up so badly and I feel terrible about their having to be there. I hope it cheers some grunt up to get a handwritten note from a stranger that says thanks for your service to our country.

It's not too late to send a card or an email yourself.
Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

He arrives like a thief in the night....

So Bush pays a surprise visit to Baghdad. Am I the only one that finds it somehow embarrassing the so-called leader of the free world has to sneak into a country he allegedly liberated? How awful is that really? Not to mention how irritating it must be to the PM. It's like having your boss, or rather the CEO of your company that you've never met, drop in for breakfast, unannounced, on a Saturday after you were out partying on a Friday night.

I have more thoughts posted at the DetNews.
Bookmark and Share

Yahoo under attack

I've been hearing stories about yahoo accounts going kerflooey and it appears this may be the reason. There's some new worm that is activated by simply opening the email and reading it. It doesn't require you to click on an additional link in order to become infected. This is why I don't even open emails that come from someone I don't know, even when they slip through the spam filter.
Bookmark and Share

Rove walks damn it....

How depressing. That scumbag Rove is apparently going to get away with treason. Now granted, I never really expected the outcome to be different but I can't deny all the endless rumors of impending indictment did raise my hopes some that the thug would he held accountable for endangering the nation for political purposes.

Christy at Fire Dog Lake has the most tempered analysis and speculates that Rove cut a deal to cooperate in the Libby trial. That seems likely to me. You don't get called before the grand jury five times because you have nothing to contribute to the story. And it remains to be seen if Cheney is the bigger fish Fitz is after so he threw Rove back into the cesspool in order to hook Dick.

One can only hope. At the moment, the only thing that's clear is it's not over yet. Not but a long shot.
Bookmark and Share

Monday, June 12, 2006

Short takes

As we all knew would happen, John Bolten has been a disaster at the UN. I ended up posting at the DetNews on that one. Phony crony 'diplomacy'.

I've been working so I haven't really followed the big Kos Konvention but I did read a few posts and this Slate piece kind of sums up the sense I'm getting about it. It's a Natalie Holloway moment and it will pass. Dickerson at Slate gets the quote of the day.
We are probably just under five months away from a wave of coverage positing that bloggers weren't that powerful after all. After we build up the Markos regime, we will help to tear it down.
This editorial makes me feel guilty that I haven't blogged about Kennedy's article on voting fraud yet. In my defense, I'd say that I thought it too important to do a throw out post on and I've been working. I want to do a longer post on this but for the moment I'd say that it's interesting a Kennedy who gets drunk gets days of press attention, but a Kennedy making sense with sober and alarming allegations is virtually ignored.

Coulter conundrum? No, let me be perfectly clear. Coulter is an uncouth cunt whose trash mouth would be locked in a prison for the criminally insane if she wasn't rich and famous.
Bookmark and Share

Sunday, June 11, 2006

If we knew then...

I have a confession to make. I don't delete email. The worst part is, it's not because I'm lazy. It's because I either saved them for a reason or I still believe I'm actually going to answer two year old emails. But you know what, sometimes I do. I mean how funny is that to get an answer to a two year old email?

I have 5683 emails archived just on one account. Remarkably it doesn't use up that much bandwidth and once in while, like now, when I'm too fried to read news, I take a stroll down memory lane to see what was occupying our thoughts.

Two years ago the breadth of federal datamining was just emerging in the news. The author had this to say.
So, what exactly is data mining in this context? According to the GAO, data mining is "a technique for extracting knowledge from large volumes of data." More specifically, data mining is described as "the application of database technology and techniques — such as statistical analysis and modeling — to uncover hidden patterns and subtle relationships in data and to infer rules that allow for the prediction of future results." [...]

...Even the GAO agrees that "more work is needed to shed light on the privacy implications of [data mining] efforts." The public is entitled to know whether Big Brother has entered our lives, 20 years after Orwell's designated date of 1984.
No one listened, or at least not enough of us did and two years later, we have the NSA and some 500 datamining projects just for starters.
Bookmark and Share

Whoopee - Army meets reduced recruiting goal

Under the heading, who do they think they're fooling, the army announced it met its recruiting goal for the month of May. Heck those good ole boys exceeded their goal. What they don't mention is that they moved the goalposts four months ago, lowering their target until it could be reached. Too bad they couldn't do that with insurgents.

Meanwhile, their yearly goal is obviously going to fall far short of the 80,000 they need to keep things running. Of course that bad news won't hit until after the November elections. Here's hoping the electorate's memory is better than they're being given credit for by these schmucks who are trying to pull the fancy dance on them.
Bookmark and Share

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Pay no attention to those missing billions....

I went to the doctor on my one day off this week to deal with my blood pressure. He told me to start taking tranqs in the morning. Great. I'm muy tranquilo but I'm still working 12 hour days so now I'm really sleepy. Thus, I'm posting this interesting piece that comes via Richard Kastelein and calling it a night.

You remember the $21 billion that went missing at the beginning of the occupation in Iraq, I'm sure. And you'll recall Congress authorized an investigation. What you might not know, since I didn't, Bush attached a signing statement to that bill that prevented the investigation from being undertaken.

It occurs to me it might be useful to find out what the rest of those 740 odd signing statements covered. Time was some enterprising journalist would have written a story on that by now.
Bookmark and Share

Friday, June 09, 2006

Government provocateurs

The Bush administration has gone to great lengths to conflate activists with terrorism. They invented narco-terrorists and like the concept so much, they have taken to calling the vandals that compromise such groups as ELF or Greenpeace as eco-terrorists. I don't know that they have a appelation for political dissidents yet, but certainly they investigate groups such as the anti-war Quakers under terrorism statutes.

This makes this news from Raw Story all the more troubling. Undercover CIA agents inflitrate anarchist organizations and actually provoke violence themselves when none might have occurred. Using the time honored methodology employed in drug stings, they send in an attractive young women who becomes emotionally involved with the "suspects" and then she goads them into violent acts in order to prove their worth to her. It's a good ploy for a setting up some starry eyed kid who fancys himself an revolutionary to take a hard fall but it hardly seems to be in the public interest to foster violence that is more than likely to hurt innocent Americans.

You have to ask yourself, who are the real criminals here? Young people experimenting with political ideology or trained government operatives who incite them into acts they likely would not have undertaken without having been put under the additional pressure of facing down a dare to do something extreme. When it's the agents who are teaching them to make the bombs, it seems to me it's the agents who should take the blame.
Bookmark and Share

Zarqawi, or someone just like him, is dead

I posted on Zarqawi 's death yesterday at the DetNews along with the rest of the world. I think one of the best posts on the subject I saw was by Chris Floyd, who put Zarqawi's life and death into historical context . It's a must read in full but here's a couple of quotes to get you interested.
Zarqawi, the notorious shape-shifter who, according to grainy video evidence, was able to regenerate lost limbs, speak in completely different accents, alter the contours of his bone structure and also suffered an unfortunate binge-and-purge weight problem which caused him to change sizes with almost every appearance, was head of an organization that quite fortuitously dubbed itself "Al Qaeda in Iraq" just around the time that the Bush Administration began changing its pretext for the conquest from "eliminating Iraq's [non-existent] weapons of mass destruction" to "fighting terrorists over there so we don't have to fight them over here." [...]

Despite its fortuitousness, the reputed death of the multi-legged brigand came as no real surprise. After all, approximately 376 of his "top lieutenants" had been killed or captured by Coalition forces in the past three years, according to press reports, and some 5,997 lower-ranking "al Qaeda terrorists" have been killed in innumerable operations during that same period, according to Pentagon press releases. With the widespread, on-going, much-publicized decimation of his group, Zarqawi had obviously been rendered isolated and ineffective – except of course for the relentless series of high-profile terrorist spectaculars he kept carrying out, according to other Pentagon press releases. [...]

At every turn, the Bush team had painted a picture of Saddam Hussein as a powerful dictator able to threaten the entire world. They had implied, insinuated and sometimes openly declared that he was in league with al Qaeda. But this wildly successful psy-ops campaign would have been undermined by a raid on Zarqawi, which would have exposed the truth: that Saddam was a crippled, toothless despot who had lost control of much of his own land and couldn't even threaten vast enemy armies within his own borders – much less his neighbors or the rest of the world. It would have also exposed the fact that the only Islamic terrorists operating on Iraqi soil were in areas controlled by America and its allies – which, now that Mr. Bush's invasion has opened the whole country to extremist terror, is still the case.
And the punch line is a killer. There was a $25 million bounty on Zarqawi's head which Bush vowed to pay.
So if Bush does decide to pay off the informants -- and it's his money, after all, not Maliki's; in fact, in today's Iraq, any money that Maliki's government might still have left after three years of occupation rapine is Bush's money too -- but if Zarqawi's rumblers are paid off, then it's likely that Bush will be forking over $25 million to Iraq's Sunni insurgents. That will certainly keep them flush with IEDs for a long time to come. It's FUBAR every which way you turn in Bush's Babylon.
And speaking of Zarqawi's head, how fortunate that they bombed the house he was in, into cinders and yet his head is intact and recognizable? For all we know he really has been dead for months or years and they made a really good dummy. Of course, I've been thinking that could be true about Bush for a long time too.
Bookmark and Share

Technical update

Blogger has been down and now I'm working today so I'll try to put up something early but if I'm not back, I'll be here this evening with some token post anyway.
Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Dia del Diablo

I'm the most superstitious person you'll ever meet and I'm big into omens. Usually, if I'm in a store and my tab is $6.66, I'd grab something off the counter -- anything -- to change the total. I don't need the devil around me, if you know what I mean. Yeah, I know it's silly, but why take chances?

Oddly, I was in the grocery store a few days ago and got the Beelzebub total and didn't bother to change it. Neither was I really thinking about today being THE DAY until the really eerie thunder storms rolled in. The first one was just one big, fat, really black cloud, hanging so low I could almost touch it. I never saw any lightning.

It carried on like that for a couple of hours, with random clouds rumbling through, half-heartedly spitting rain. Just before I left for home, the sun broke through and made the rainbow.

On the way home, the clouds were breaking up and wispy, little, pools of steam hugged the road, grabbing at the tires of the passing cars. The rainbow danced in and out of view several more times. And in the west, the sun set the remnants of the storm on fire. It was all quite glamorous. It felt like a good omen. Maybe mankind will survive after all.

More photos here.
Bookmark and Share

Bush makes major concessions to Iran

My initial reaction to this is here at the Detroit News.
Bookmark and Share

Working for a living

SoI'm working today and have no idea when I'll get sprung but I do expect to be back after dark.
Bookmark and Share

Monday, June 05, 2006

Kos is cooked

This is why I quit reading Kos a long, long time ago. I won't even link to him here anymore unless some other diarist has put up something really compelling, that's not available somewhere else. I can't link to him at the Detroit News at all because he has zero credibility with middle America. You've heard of Godin's law on the blogs? In the real world, Kos's law will immediately negate any debate.

It's a shame, because at one time I thought he did have the answer. Unfortunately, he's not the first one to succumb to the temptations of power. Instead of building a political machine to take back the system, as soon as he gained some creds with the machine politicians, he built his own personal echo chamber. The sad part is he thinks he's such a winner. I don't think he realizes what a loser he's become. He's become Leftopia's LaShawn Barber with his forty three freaking rules for posting and all these banning sprees have not won any hearts and minds outside of his incestous fan club.

Worse, he's become a liar, or least delusional, if he thinks anyone outside of his ass kissing groupies believes he banned Chris Floyd on a technicality and not because Floyd was dissing the Democrats for being such wusses on Hayden's nomination.

Even more pathetic are the comments, which were at close to 200 when I just checked. Except for a few adults who addressed the substance of the diary, they were largely made by apparent pre-teens whose idea of intelligent discussion is self-absorbed snarky asides to each other about nothing. Oh and a guest appearance by the Mouth of Markos, the mighty Armando who weighs in with the astounding astute, "Chris who?" Like he didn't have time to check it out? Much too important a Koss insider for that I guess. I don't know how these guys fit their heads through a doorway.

Kos is no longer a community of activists. All too many of the people of value to the party have left in disgust over one incident or another, or an aggregation of all of them. What Kos has got right now is a glorified chat room, a kool klub for kids to play at being politirati. But what does Kos care? He's all about winning and he's making money on the raw numbers.

And I don't know what's more frightening, the Kossacks' firm belief that they are going to "save" the Democratic Party or that the DNC is buying the fiction. These kids chatting in the diaries, within their little social groups based on some bizarre pecking order, probably never make to the polls to vote. God knows, Kos has yet deliver a real win for his chosen candidates. I said it over a year ago and I've seen nothing to change my mind. If they continue to hitch their star to his wagon, the chaos that is now known as Kos, is going to destroy the Dems for good.

As far as I'm concerned, Kos is no longer part of the solution, it's part of the problem.
Bookmark and Share

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Quick hits

So many links, so little time....

Left of Center has got the groove with a nice video by some hip young group that I've never heard of but the song has a great bottom end.

Motherlode gets the quote of the day, from a must read longer post with some out of the mainstream coverage of Haditha. Graffiti found on a cemetary wall.
“Democracy assassinated the family that was here.”
I think that about says it all.

I'm glad to see the ABA is going to investigate the 750 presidential signing statements negating the laws enacted by Congress to test them for constitutionality. Not sure it will help, but it couldn't hurt.

This follow up on the Prez and the VP's tax returns is a little dry but it's interesting to see Cheney's investments are hedging on bad news for the economy and he has little money invested in the dollar. He is hedging big time with foreign currencies.

Love this one. The Smary Goddess of the Right, Ann Coulter is lawyering up with a high priced attorney -- and a Hispanic one at that -- to deal with charges of voter fraud to be brought against her. Not to mention possible tax evasion.

And this one has been making the rounds but in case you missed it, Republican family values at their best. This GOP candidate has so many family values to share with the voters, he had to keep up two families to spread it all around. But hey, the lapsed child support was only for the few months. Hell, those little rugrats eat too much anyway.
Bookmark and Share

Hostile makeover

Jeff Birnbaum "reviews" Sirotta's new book and pans it for being too partisan.
"Hostile Takeover" is a vicious and sometimes ugly apologia for pro-labor, pro-trial-lawyer Democrats, which its publisher obviously hopes will capitalize on the current lobbying scandals.[...]

I only wish that the world were so simple! My job as a reporter and a columnist would be a snap. Unfortunately, federal policy and politics is a complicated game.[...]

Sirota's black-and-white Washington allows no shade in between, a fact that deprives the reader of a much more interesting and credible story. Surely many people will be helped by Medicare's new prescription drug program. And low income-tax rates do have some positive impact on economic growth, which, in turn, assists people who need jobs. Yet those positions are hard to find in Sirota's rendition.
What a hoser. A book is supposed to have a POV and the reviewer isn't supposed to use the forum to espouse his own counterpoint without the bother of backing it up with any facts. If I want his opinions on the subject, I'll ask for them. I'd love to hear how people like him learn to take in oxygen while their nose is firmly buried in the administration's butt.
Maybe it's too much to wish away the public's desire for easy solutions to complicated problems. But it's not too much to expect books on federal policy to color their analyses with at least a little doubt.
Well, when he writes his own damn book, we'll see just how skeptical Birnbaum is of addled-brained lawmakers and the lobbyists who support them and his grade B excuse for journalism. The putz.
Bookmark and Share

Sweet Jesus

I love this guy. The General writes a fan letter to Michelle. It seems Ms. Malkin was an "anchor" baby just like the ones she's calling on to be stripped of citizenship. As JG points out, it would appear her sacred duty to the right to lead the illegals out of the country.
Bookmark and Share

I know you hate subtitles....

This wouldn't be as funny
without them. An old theme with a German twist. It's not that new but it's only recently translated and worth the two minutes it takes to watch it.
Bookmark and Share

May I have a blogroll please....

I'm trying to post something a little cheerier for a Sunday morning, well I guess it's afternoon for clock watchers, and being the soul of efficiency, I also took the opportunity for long overdue additions to the blogroll.

Morning Martini has a gorgeous post at the top with a cheery theme. You're going to love Pissed off Patricia.

The inimitable Rory Shock has a close encounter of the amazing kind at the top. I wonder why stuff like that never happens to me?

Blognonymous somehow always makes even the worst news palatable and often funny.

And just discovered in the referral log, Great White Snark is a new member of Blogtopia but I like it already. Give him a click and help out a new blogger.
Bookmark and Share

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Bush whacking

This is probably the must read post of the day, T Bogg, a blogger of some reknown, posts The Liar. I love his stuff and this is an especially good one I think.

Meanwhile, back on the Ranchero Norte, aka the White House, in a desperate attempt to placate at least the hard core base, Bush will be coming out for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. I have to say, WTF!?!?!

What are these people thinking? They can't possibly believe the religious right fanatics will save their ass in 06. Surely they know that all those 04 swing voters now care more about gas than gays. All I can think is they're hoping to sacrifice 06 and salvage the extremist base to build on for 08.

Remember when they at least pretended to run the government for the people instead just for the party? I do. I miss those days.
Bookmark and Share

Corruption chronicles

The NYT has an article on the latest in the Cunningham corruption investigation. A lovely young lobbyist and the all too customary bribery tactics are profiled but this particularly struck me as illustrative of the biggest problem with the system right now.
The Republican leadership had begun assigning chairmanships in part based on how much campaign money a member had raised for other members. Mr. Lewis and his rivals for the post, Representatives Ralph Regula of Ohio and Harold Rogers of Kentucky, each began a fund-raising blitz. And each concentrated on the industry that had benefited from spending appropriated by their subcommittee, which in Mr. Lewis's case was defense.
They pick the chairs based on fundraising rather than competence or even seniority. A rather powerful incentive for corruption, as if the money alone is not enough. You know if they simply made it illegal for anyone working in a government position to take a job as a lobbyist for at least ten years or more, they could cut the corruption significantly.

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for anyone to kill that cash cow though.
Bookmark and Share

This explains everything - what a jerk

I've been wondering since the day he arrived at the DetNews blog, how JD could post the incomprehensible drivel he does without embarrassment. I mean I know he has a fan club among some of my nearly brain dead, reading comprehension challenged critics, but still you would think anyone with more than two firing synapses would be mortified to put their name on the pap he basically plagarizes from Free Republic or Little Green Meatheads Footballs. But I had the ephiphany after reading this post.
In college I interviewed for "special agent" for the DEA, but was denied because of being legally blind without my corrective lenses.

I thought this was a good career choice since I speak Arabic fluently.
They suggested a division other than a "field agent."

I declined.


So go ---- yourself.
Maybe he should put on those corrective lenses before he hits the publish button on his incoherent strings of juvenile word play and lame ad hominem attacks. It so figures the sleazy little wimp's life dream was to be a narc.

And what a bloody idiot. You would think it may have occurred to him that if his comment didn't make it through the filters on the comment board that maybe he violated the rules of posting, but no. He goes ahead and posts that scurrilous personal attack on a reader in the blogs. If there's a God, our webmaster will see that one and he'll get kicked off. I think he really went over the line this time. This is new low, even for him.

I'm truly appalled. It's an embarrassment to the whole blog. I'm not going to go running to Felix with it but I'm toying with the idea of calling for an apology in the comment section. Think I'll wait until I cool off a little though.
Bookmark and Share

Bookmark this blog

I love the internets. I was just saying the other day that the best and most honest politician I've ever known is Robert Reich. Today I discovered he has started his own blog. Definitely one you'll want to keep your eye on. Here's a sample of his work.
This coming week, Senate Republicans are putting up for a vote repeal of the estate tax (which Republicans have renamed the "death" tax in order to fool Americans into thinking most have to pay it when they die). Right now, the tax only hits families with more than $4 million to give to their heirs. That's the richest one-half of one percent of American families -- only about 1,200 families altogether. Families can leave their children up to $4 million without any tax at all. But because this small group of families has so large a fortune, repeal would cost the U.S. Treasury $1 trillion in its first ten years. That's about equivalent to what's needed to save Social Security over the next 75 years. Put another way, the yearly loss to the Treasury is almost exactly equal to the amount the U.S. spends each year on homeland security. If the super-wealthy won't pay, the middle class will have to pay more taxes to make up the difference.
Reich is the former Labor Secretary under Clinton. He kind of screwed himself when he wrote a tell-all book that was critical of the administration and the MA Democratic Party machine went into overdrive to defeat his bid for the gubernatorial nomination. They managed to beat him back, but just barely and the citizens of MA are the poorer for it.

He would make a damn fine president. Too bad the idiot DLC would never let him run on their ticket.
Bookmark and Share

Friday, June 02, 2006

White House wants your internet records

Damn, this White House just never quits. Now they want the ISPs to retain all internet use data.
The Justice Department said Thursday that it was not seeking to have e-mail content archived, just information about the websites people visit and those with whom they correspond. [...]

"This is not simply limited to kiddie porn or terrorism. It's a real break with precedent," said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the nonprofit Electronic Privacy Information Center. "Data retention is open-ended. The government is saying, 'Keep everything about everyone and we'll sort it out later.' "
Big whoop. They don't want to read your emails. They just want to know every site you visit and every person who corresponds with you. And as if, they wouldn't read the mail too if they wanted to using the handy dandy all purpose surveillance tool -- the NSL.

What concerns me the most is they're building the police state in such tiny increments that most people aren't putting the pieces together enough to get alarmed by the bigger picture.
Bookmark and Share

Out of the referral logs

It's good news, bad news. The bad news is someone found me doing a search for Libby Spencer tsa. The good news is someone cited my work at DetNews in a draft working paper for some law school. It makes me feel -- I don't know -- so legitimate.
Bookmark and Share

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Get up, stand up...

Michael Hirsh has some good advice for the Democratic Party. Stop acting like a bunch of lily-livered cowards and start speaking up about what's wrong with the GOP agenda. Forget about the political ramifications of having to admit you were wrong to support their ill-conceived plans and just tell the truth and face the consequences like adults. They might find the electorate would forgive their sins in return for a little honesty.
Bookmark and Share

Mr. Bush. You are no Truman.

I've been meaning to post on the audacity of Bush comparing himself to Harry Truman but Peter Beinart at the WaPo does a good job of making the discomparisons for me.

I hear Bush evoked Truman no less than 17 times in his recent West Point speech. As Beinart notes, the only real comparison to be made is they both preside over unpopular wars. Truman believed in international consensus, not unilateral arrogance. Truman poured money into economic development, at the expense of military intimidation, not the other way around as this White House is doing. Truman believed in persuasion, not force to exact change.

History vindicated Truman. It's more likely to indict Bush and for the conservatives to now claim to be heir apparent to Truman's legacy that was so solidly built on liberal ideology, goes beyond hubris into the realm of farce.
Bookmark and Share

All Hail the King

Aw shucks. His royal highness, Simbaud, the King of Zembla has turned his imperial gaze in the direction of our humble blog and deems it to be worthy of reading. High praise indeed. Thanks for the encouragement sire, from your loyal subject.
Bookmark and Share

The Digital Repository

Well, I'm back in business. It appears my security clearance arrived from the DHS and Blogger gave me back my keys to the house so here's this interesting item. The Library of Congress has started a digital preservation program.
The subject areas in which the Library has been collecting Web sites include recent Supreme Court nominations; Hurricane Katrina; and the papal transition following the death of John Paul II. Current collecting projects include the crisis in Darfur, Sudan; the Iraq War; and the upcoming Election 2006. ...Some of the Web sites captured by the Library and its partners are currently available by accessing the "Projects" section of the site.
They get permission before they archive so you'll know if someday they decide to capture your work. Sounds like the kind of database I can get behind. A gigantic virtual library of public knowledge. Awesome.

[hat tip David D]
Bookmark and Share