I've always been interested in who visits this site...

Yesterday, we welcomed MZM, who were checking in on their misdeeds.

Today, we have some more wholesome visitors, including many who were ALSO checking in on MZM's misdeeds.

Welcome to:
-The US Navy
-A student in the Broward County, Florida school system, researching the PATRIOT ACT.
-The Democratic Party of Virginia

More on the Nats

Senator Kohl (D-WI) makes an interesting point about Republicans who threaten MLB because George Soros might purchase a team. Apparently House Republicans would prefer Nazi owners to Democratic owners...

"Marge Schott owned a team," said Senator Herb Kohl, the Wisconsin Democrat, recalling the former Cincinnati Reds owner, who collected Nazi memorabilia and was ultimately suspended from baseball for making racial slurs.

Sure, that might not be exactly fair, but then again, where was the Republican outrage when Schott was in the news?


Spain becomes the fourth country today to grant its citizens marriage equality.

Some of you may be wondering why I constantly refer to this issue as marriage equality, and not same-sex marriage, gay marriage, or any other nomenclature. The reason is simple. The movement is about the government granting the same rights to same-sex married couples as they do to any couple. So, that's the goal... marriage equality... equality in marriage. Furthermore, terms like gay marriage tend to make people afraid that the movement wants to force churches to change their beliefs. Of course, this is not true, and marriage equality is COMPLETELY compatible with the choices of any church. This is simply a matter of civil marriage... civil rights. Thus, the term marriage equality is the most accurate phrase for what gay couples and their allies are trying to achieve.

Publicity Flop

According to Zogby:

"President Bush's televised address to the nation produced no noticeable bounce in his approval numbers, with his job approval rating slipping a point from a week ago, to 43%, in the latest Zogby International poll. And, in a sign of continuing polarization, more than two-in-five voters (42%) say they would favor impeachment proceedings if it is found the President misled the nation about his reasons for going to war with Iraq."

And the most important part of the new survey: 42% now say they favor impeachment if Bush misled the nation about the reasons for the Iraq war (which, of course, he did).

As they say, when Clinton lied, nobody died.
"I don't mean to be discourteous, but I've heard enough of your smart answers. Get off your high horse when you come up here. I have to run for re-election and you don't. We represent the American people and they are asking questions. They haven't been told the truth. The administration says we're unpatriotic if we ask questions, but that's our job."
-Senator Robert Byrd, to Donald Rumsfeld.

Read the rest. This story is incredible.

What the PATRIOT ACT Hath Wrought

Welcome MZM!

I noticed the blog got a hit from "Mzm Inc."

Thanks for stopping by! Come back any time!

Most of this blog's hits lately are coming from people looking for info on MZM's misdeeds. Looks like this story is picking up steam!

Among other news, thanks to Kenton Ngo for the link!


Supreme Revenge

A California man intends to use the recent Kelo v. New London SCOTUS decision to turn Justice David Souter's house into a hotel (Souter voted in the majority).

Launch the Nukes

Vladimir Putin recently walked off with Bob Kraft's 2005 Super Bowl ring.

Awesome Site

Front page newspaper scans from newspapers across the world, every day. Check it out.

Schwarzenegger is Toast

A new Field poll looks at Arnold's re-election bid.

Two candidates have announced...

Phil Angelides 46%
Schwarzenegger 42%

Steve Westly 44%
Schwarzenegger 40%

And as of now, Westly's name ID is 71% and Angelides' is only 63%, which is a very good sign considering they are already leading a candidate who is known to everyone over the age of three.

Bolton is Toast

As this commentary by Robert Kuttner points out, George Bush is not going to get his way on John Bolton.

Bolton can't make it through the Senate, primarily because of the actions of Senators Biden (D-DE) and our own Senator Chris Dodd '66 (D-CT), who led Senate Dems in demanding the White House release documents, which were customarily provided but were withheld from the White House, before the nomination could proceed. After Bill Frist's impotent performance on this issue, it is clear that John Bolton's nomination will never clear the Senate.

So, Bush has two options. This first is to appoint Bolton to his post after the Senate session ends in a move known as a recess appointment. This would completely strip Bolton of any legitimacy he might have within the UN.

Second, Bush can withdraw the nomination.

This is how things should work. Compare two members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senators Biden and Boxer. These two have very disparate political views on a number of issues. But this is a case in which Senate Democrats had to come together to stop a very dangerous man... and they performed beautifully, while still keeping their different opinions in other areas of Senate business.

And props to Senator Voinovich (R-OH) for following his conscience throughout this matter.

In Gomes We Trust

So, the big news. Ryan Gomes was drafted by the Boston Celtics in the second round, 50th pick overall.


Historic Day for Marriage Equality

In a victory for the marriage equality movement, Canada's parliament voted yesterday to approve civil marriage equality, making it the third country to do so.

VA-Gov: OBAMA!!!

Hey Virginians (and anyone else in the area)! Come down to Arlington on July 20th and hang out with Tim Kaine and Senator Barack Obama! The cost is $35 (or more, naturally). Click here for more details.

Why, oh why, do I have to work!?!?!

Flip Flop #6

"I think it’s also important for the president to lay out a timetable as to how long they will be involved and when they will be withdrawn."
-George W. Bush, 1999

Full Text

For those of who can stomach the full text of Bush's speech, you can find it here.

Democratic Response

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid's response to Bush's speech:

"Tonight's address offered the President an excellent opportunity to level with the American people about the current situation in Iraq, put forth a path for success, and provide the means to assess our progress. Unfortunately he fell short on all counts.

"There is a growing feeling among the American people that the President's Iraq policy is adrift, disconnected from the reality on the ground and in need of major mid-course corrections. "Staying the course," as the President advocates, is neither sustainable nor likely to lead to the success we all seek.

"The President's numerous references to September 11th did not provide a way forward in Iraq, they only served to remind the American people that our most dangerous enemy, namely Osama bin Laden, is still on the loose and Al Qaeda remains capable of doing this nation great harm nearly four years after it attacked America.

"Democrats stand united and committed to seeing that we achieve success in Iraq and provide our troops, their families, and our veterans everything they need and deserve for their sacrifices for our nation. The stakes are too high, and failure in Iraq cannot be an option. Success is only possible if the President significantly alters his current course. That requires the President to work with Congress and finally begin to speak openly and honestly with our troops and the American people about the difficult road ahead.

"Our troops and their families deserve no less."

50 State Approval Rating

SUSA kicks ass. They just released Bush's approval ratings in all fifty states. And man, it ain't pretty.

Bush is at or above 50 percent in twelve states:
Utah (63)
Nebraska (60)
Wyoming (58)
Idaho (56)
Montana (56)
Alabama (54)
Alaska (53)
North Dakota (52)
Kansas (51)
Kentucky (50)
Mississippi (50)
Texas (50)

Bush is at 40 percent or lower in 14 states:
Vermont (32)
Rhode Island (33)
New York (33)
California (37)
Connecticut (37)
Illinois (37)
Delaware (38)
Nevada (38)
New Jersey (38)
Michigan (38)
Maine (39)
Massachusetts (39)
Ohio (40)
Wisconsin (40)

FYI, the total electoral votes for the states that support Bush = 89
Total electoral votes for states that overwhelmingly disapprove = 207

Red states not mentioned above in which more people disapprove of Bush: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

Obviously, the timing was a bit off for the Presidential election, but this bodes well for 2005 races as well as the upcoming midterm elections.

Fake Speech

We all knew tonight's speech at Fort Bragg was a simple PR stunt. But as it turns out, even the applause was fake.

"ABC's Terry Moran just reported that the only time Bush got applause was in the middle of his speech when a White House advance team member started clapping all on their own in order to cajole the soldiers into clapping, which they dutifully did.

So even the applause was fake."

Meanwhile, Think Progress is on the scene with the speech by the numbers:

References to “September 11″: 5
References to “weapons of mass destruction”: 0
References to “freedom”: 21
References to “exit strategy”: 0
References to “Saddam Hussein”: 2
References to “Osama Bin Laden”: 2
References to “a mistake”: 1 (setting a timetable for withdrawal)
References to “mission”: 11
References to “mission accomplished”: 0

Frankly, any mention of Osama is a surprise to me.

MZM Owns Virgil Goode

For the zero of you who care, forgive me. This is our nemesis, and one of the ultimate betrayers of the Democratic Party (voted to impeach Clinton while he was still a Democrat).

Waldo Jaquith has done some excellent analysis of contribution patterns that are extremely damaging for Mr. Goode, Congressman Cunningham and Congresswoman Harris (yeah, THAT Harris).

The bottom line is that allegations were made that MZM employees were forced to donate to Goode, or risk losing their jobs, and reportedly one of the recipients (Goode or Harris) was actually in the room while employees were coerced into making the donations. Well, donation patterns to Virgil's campaign look EXTREMELY suspicious. Basically, ALL donations from MZM employees tend to come in one day clumps, not over a period of time as they would if MZM employees were donation voluntarily. Furthermore, in the 2004 cycle, not one MZM employee made a donation to someone other than Goode, Cunningham or Harris. Lifetime, only two employees made a donation to someone other than those three (two donations to Elizabeth Dole in 2002).

Interesting stuff that will hopefully send Virgil back to Rocky Mount for good!



Bush has a PR stunt at 8 PM tonight at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. It will be televised on cable, ABC and possibly NBC, CBS and Fox, who are still debating whether or not to air this completely un-newsworthy event.

Beware of old men in flight suits.

They Blog

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) chimes in on GOP efforts to successfully block VA funding for veteran's health care:

In response to this announcement, Texas Congressman Chet Edwards, the top Democratic Member on the House Subcommittee on Military Quality of Life and Veterans Affairs, offered an amendment to immediately address this shortfall, so no veteran would lose access to her or his needed health care. Invoking a special wartime budget wartime authority, Edwards proposed adding the money to H.R. 3057, the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill that we will be passing later this week.

Unfortunately, my Republican colleagues (Chairman Dreier & Reps. Hastings of Washington, Capito, Cole, Bishop, Gingrey) on the Rules Committee opposed giving Congressman Edwards the procedural waiver his amendment needed so that it could be debated and quickly passed. The Republicans I just mentioned voted along party lines to block the Edwards Amendment and effectively killed his attempt to immediately address the terrible budget shortfall the VA is facing.

I'm sure you'll agree with me that standing up for our veterans is not a Democratic or a Republican issue. It's about keeping the solemn promise we make to the men and women who go to war to defend our freedoms. We promise them we'll take care of them if they come home injured in their minds or bodies. It is unconscionable to me that we would go back on this promise while our country is at war.

More at the link above.


Frist In Trouble

The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has filed an FEC complaint against Bill "Kitten Killer" Frist (R-TN) failing to disclose a $1.4 million loan.

Iraq Update

The latest toll:
US: 1,741
UK: 89
Italy: 25
Ukraine: 18
Poland: 17
Bulgaria: 13
Spain: 11
Slovakia: 3
Estonia, Thailand, Netherlands: 2
Denmark, El Salvador, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Latvia: 1

That's at least 1,928 deaths, not counting civilian casualties, which are far greater.

And all for nothing.

$3 a Gallon

I'm going to resist the urge to lambast SUV owners here, but, due to a spike in oil demand, $3 per gallon prices at the pump are in the not-so-distant future.

The New Iraq

Freedom is flourishing, for sure...

"They arrested us because of our hair and because we were wearing jeans," said student Mohammed Jasim, adding that the arrests took place two weeks ago in the city, the spiritual heart of Iraq''s newly dominant Shi'ite majority.

"They beat us in front of the people. Then they took us to their headquarters, beat us again, shaved our heads and tore our clothes.

"When we asked what we had done, they said that we had no honor," he told Reuters this week.

Police in Najaf, a conservative city that some residents say has grown more so since
Saddam Hussein was overthrown two years ago and religious Shi'ites gained greater power in Iraq, disputed the students' version of events.


"The Nut-job From Arizona"

Grover Norquist sounds off on Republicans John McCain, "the nut-job from Arizona", Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, the "two girls from Maine" over their opposition to the filibuster.

Of course Norquist is no stranger to attacking fellow Republicans, as we know full well here in Virginia after he attacked 34 Republicans who (gasp!) dared to help Democrats balance the budget.

It's All Boston's Fault

Rick Santorum (R-PA/VA) writes the following about the priest abuse scandals:

"When the culture is sick, every element in it becomes infected. While it is no excuse for this scandal, it is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm."

Can't Catch a Break

Does ANY poll look good for the Bush administration?

ABC news released a poll today that showed, among other things, that 52% of the public believe that the administration "intentionally misled the American public" in making the case for the war in Iraq.

57% say the Bush administration intentionally exagerrated evidence.

51% say the war was a mistake.

In yet another poll released today by CNN/USA Today/Gallup, 53% of respondents disapproved of George Bush's job performance, compared to 45% who approve. This is Bush's highest CNN/USA Today/Gallup disapproval rating of his entire presidency.

Major League Baseball: No Democrats Allowed

George Soros wants to buy the Washington Nationals (which is enough to make at least one reader of this blog salivate). But, Soros is public enemy #1 amongst Republicans, and so they are trying to block Soros' bid.

While the Soros-Ledecky group is not seen as the frontrunner to win the bidding for the Nationals, who should be awarded to their new owner at the end of the 2005 season, the very prospect that Soros could have a stake in the team is enough to irritate Congressional Republicans.

"I think Major League Baseball understands the stakes," said Government Reform Chairman Tom Davis (R), the Northern Virginia lawmaker who recently convened high-profile steroid hearings. "I don't think they want to get involved in a political fight."

Davis, whose panel also oversees District of Columbia issues, said that if a Soros sale went through, "I don't think it's the Nats that get hurt. I think it's Major League Baseball that gets hurt. They enjoy all sorts of exemptions" from anti-trust laws.

Indeed, Hill Republicans could potentially make life difficult for MLB in a variety of ways. In addition to being exempt from anti-trust rules, baseball is still under scrutiny over the steroid issue. The Nats, meanwhile, hope to have a publicly-funded stadium built soon, though money for that venture is expected to come through the sale of bonds rather than a federal outlay.

Still, Rep. John Sweeney (R-N.Y.), vice chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee that covers the District of Columbia budget, said if Soros buys the team and seeks public funding for the new stadium or anything else, the GOP attitude would be, "Let him pay for it."

"We're not going to interfere with [the sale], but from a fan's perspective, who needs the politics?" Sweeney said.

Another senior Republican lawmaker who requested anonymity said that the league should be aware of the perception problem that might be associated with selling the Nats to Soros.
"Why would Major League Baseball want to get involved with George Soros?" said the lawmaker. "It's about more than just the sale price."

So the bottom line is... if a liberal wants to buy the Nats, Republicans will punish all of baseball.

This isn't about getting baseball and politics mixed up. After all, I seem to recall another partisan figure who used to be heavily involved with the Texas Rangers. And do Nats fans (besides political geeks like ourselves) really care about the political persuasion of one of their team's owners? Or do they care about seeing that owner put a quality team on the field? Furthermore, threatening to withhold funding for the Nats new stadium for political reasons is a direct affront to every Nats fan and resident of the DC area. This is an attempt to get revenge against Soros and the Democrats, pure and simple.

I am able to look past the fact that my favorite team is in a red state and that some of my favorite players (John Smoltz, et. al.) are Republicans. I'm sure most Sox fans overlook the fact that Curt Schilling is a Republican. Baseball is the national pasttime, shared by all of us, and it is something that should be far above politics.

How is this Making the World Safer?

The US plans to produce Uranium-238 since the first time since the Cold War.

And we still presume to lecture other countries about their nuclear ambitions?


Even more civil rights abuses by the Bush administration. This time involving improper use of material witness warrants.

"The report cites instances in which agents used what it calls "flimsy" evidence to make arrests. A 68-year-old Virginia doctor named Tajammul Bhatti was arrested by the FBI in June 2002 after neighbors found magazines about flying and a phone number of a Pakistani nuclear scientist in his apartment. It turned out he had served in the U.S. Air Force National Guard and the Pakistani scientist was a childhood friend."


Flip Flop #5

Dick Cheney, May 31st:
"The level of activity that we see today from a military standpoint, I think, will clearly decline. I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency."

Don Rumsfeld, June 26th:
"I would anticipate you're going to see an escalation of violence between now and the December elections... Insurgencies tend to go on five, six, eight, ten, twelve years... Coalition forces, foreign forces are not going to repress that insurgency."

Elite 8

The Supreme Court session ends very soon, and announcements about SC justices could be forthcoming. Obviously, with his medical concerns, the one to watch is Chief Justice Rehnquist.

Slate has in depth looks at the 8 most likely Supreme Court nominees.

As the next justice will likely replace Rehnquist, Roe v. Wade will not be overturned, even if the replacement justice is opposed.

Republican Infighting

VP Dick Cheney had the following to say about Chuck Hagel a few days ago:
"Since 9/11, we've had people like Chuck Hagel and other politicians and we've had people in the press corps and commentators who've said we can't do Afghanistan."

This is interesting as Chuck Hagel has NEVER said we couldn't win the war in Afghanistan. In fact, he said quite the contrary. In essence, this boils down to slander. Dissenting voices will not be tolerated within the Republican Party, and the Bush administration will go so far as to slander their own party leaders in an attempt to shut them up.

While we have a unified Democratic Party, the more fighting we see on their side, the better. The Bush regime is crumbling before our eyes.

More Cheney, from the same appearance. The ridiculousness of this quote speaks for itself:
"[Washington has] got a lot of people in it who were armchair quarterbacks or who like to comment on the passing scene. But those who have predicted the demise of our efforts since 9/11 -- as we have fought the war on terror, as we have liberated 50 million people in Iraq and Afghanistan -- did not know what they were talking about."

Far worse than Vietnam...

They'll surely vilify one of their own... in fact, it's already happened, but Chuck Hagel continues to speak out against the war he once supported.

Hagel spoke to a crowd of American Legion members today in Nebraska...

Sen. Chuck Hagel addresses more than 200 Nebraska American Legion members in Grand Island on Saturday.

It took 20 minutes, but it boiled down to this:

The Bush team sent in too few troops to fight the war leading to today's chaos and rising deaths of Americans and Iraqis. Terrorists are "pouring in" to Iraq.

Basic living standards are worse than a year ago in Iraq. Civil war is perilously close to erupting there. Allies aren't helping much. The American public is losing its trust in President Bush's handling of the conflict.

And Hagel's deep fear is that it will all plunge into another Vietnam debacle, prompting Congress to force another abrupt pullout as it did in 1975.

"What we don't want to happen is for this to end up another Vietnam," Hagel told the legionnaires, "because the consequences would be catastrophic."

It would be far worse than Vietnam, says Hagel, a twice-wounded veteran of that conflict, which killed 58,000 Americans.

One of the important points from the article, not quoted above, is that Hagel received a standing ovation from the crowd at the conclusion of his speech. Hagel is a veteran. The crowd was made up of veterans. They can see when the shit is hitting the fan.


One century ago next Tuesday, Moonlight Graham made his sole appearance in the major leagues.

If you know who that is, click here.

That famous line.


NYT Commentary

Today's Times has a great commentary.

To have the sober conversation about the war in Iraq that America badly needs, it is vital to acknowledge three facts:

The war has nothing to do with Sept. 11....

The war has not made the world, or this nation, safer from terrorism....

If the war is going according to plan, someone needs to rethink the plan....


Great site...

Soldiers, veterans and military families sound off on Karl Rove. Check it out.

An example:
I served in the Marines in the infantry from 1986 to 1991, and I saw combat in Panama and the Persian Gulf. And I'm a liberal. I'm a liberal precisely because of my service and because of my experience.

Karl Rove is too obtuse to understand the complexities of the issues of which he so cavalierly speaks. Yet he is all-too-willing to sacrifice the lives of American service men and women in the name of his simplistic merry-making with U.S. foreign policy and militaristic shenanigans.

I am most upset with Karl Rove's insipid declaration that anyone who didn't feel the need for blind revenge is somehow less than patriotic. I understood my service to my country to be based upon the belief that we would uphold the American ideal that we will always seek to set the standard for the rest of the world to follow--liberty, humanity, civility, forthrightness, and dignity. Mr. Rove's comments besmirch anyone who seeks to have those ideals upheld.

No Shit

In Case You Need An Ego Boost...

Check out why members of the Young Republicans aren't volunteering for their own war...

NEW YORK - Young Republicans gathered here for their party's national convention are united in applauding the war in Iraq, supporting the U.S. troops there and calling the U.S. mission a noble cause.

But there's no such unanimity when they're asked a more personal question: Would you be willing to put on the uniform and go to fight in Iraq?

In more than a dozen interviews, Republicans in their teens and 20s offered a range of answers. Some have friends in the military in Iraq and are considering enlisting; others said they can better support the war by working politically in the United States; and still others said they think the military doesn't need them because the U.S. presence in Iraq is sufficient.

"Frankly, I want to be a politician. I'd like to survive to see that," said Vivian Lee, 17, a war supporter visiting the convention from Los Angeles,

Lee said she supports the war but would volunteer only if the United States faced a dire troop shortage or "if there's another Sept. 11."

"As long as there's a steady stream of volunteers, I don't see why I necessarily should volunteer," said Lee, who has a cousin deployed in the Middle East.

In an election season overwhelmed by memories of the Vietnam War, the U.S. military's newest war ranks supreme among the worries confronting much of Generation Y'ers. Iraq is their war.

"If there was a need presented, I would go," said Chris Cusmano, a 21-year-old member of the College Republicans organization from Rocky Point, N.Y. But he said he hasn't really considered volunteering.

The army is experiencing a massive troop shortage. There's a need. Go, Chris Go.

These people were some of the most vigorous supporters of the war, and were all too willing to call us stupid and unpatriotic for not supporting it. Well, I think it's time they put their money where their mouth is.

DeLay's Losing It

Is he drunk? Or just insane?

You be the judge.

And ask yourself. What w0uld the media reaction be if that were Nancy Pelosi?

No Wonder Rove is Desperate

From the latest ARG Poll:
Approve Disapprove
Republicans 84 12
Independents 17 75
Democrats 18 77

That independent spread is phenomenal.

Slowly, the rest of the country is finding out that the Democrats are right on Iraq. Right on homeland security. Right on the war on terror. Right on the economy. Right on social security. Right on health care. Right on family values.

The bottom is falling out of the GOP machine. Enjoy the show!

Another Cheney Heart Attack?

A Litmus Test on Patrotism


Hey Sox Fans...

Crazy Commonwealth

Last week, it was Silvio Berlusconi's fat. Now, on eBay, you can purchase Virginia Governor Mark R. Warner's DNA! You could be buying the DNA of the next President of the United States!

And now, your moment of zen: "Look! See? There's that filmy-looking sticky stuff in the bottom of that lemonade cup. It may actually have been back-washed."

Broken Record

"Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
-Hermann Goering
Nurenburg Trials

April 18, 1946

Sound familiar?

Rove Supporters

The following people/groups have expressed their support for Karl Rove's statements. In essence, the following think that liberals are soft on the war on terror and want US soldiers to die.

RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman
The White House
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg
NY Governor George Pataki
NJ Gubernatorial Candidate Doug Forrester
Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

Now, which party is REALLY hurting the troops and the war on terror?

Oh, in case you're interested, here's Karl Rove's phone number: (202) 456-2369.

Extraordinary Rendition

It looks like the rest of the world is tired of being pushed around.

From the Times:
An Italian judge has ordered the arrest of 13 operatives of the Central Intelligence Agency accused of kidnapping an Egyptian cleric on a Milan street two years ago and sending him to a prison in Egypt for questioning, Italian prosecutors and investigators said today.

Judge Chiara Nobili of Milan signed the arrest warrants on Thursday for 13 people the documents identified as C.I.A. operatives suspected of seizing the radical imam Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, as he walked to his mosque here for noon prayers on Feb. 17, 2003.

His family says that he has been tortured by his Egyptian captors.

Investigators said the court documents, which remain under seal, identify the 13 operatives by their real names as well as their cover names. In the warrants, Judge Nobili said that all 13 suspects were linked to the C.I.A. and that several served as diplomats at the United States Consulate in Milan, investigators said. The judge's action represents the first time that American operatives face prosecution by a foreign criminal justice system for carrying out the C.I.A.'s policy of "extraordinary rendition," the legal term for the agency's practice of seizing terror suspects in one country and delivering them to be detained in another, including countries that routinely engage in torture. Since Sept. 11, 2001, more than 100 terrorism suspects have been transferred by the United States to Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and other countries, where some former captives have said they were tortured.

Roving Lunatic


Scary Stuff...

Some of the more frightening things to come up lately:

-Be thankful you're in College. The Pentagon is creating a database of high school students between 16 and 18 for military recruitment purposes. The database will include sensitive information such as birthdates, social security numbers, grade point averages and subjects studies.

-SCOTUS has ruled that governments can take private property against the owner's will for economic development projects. In other words, your local government can now take your house and land in order for someone else to put up a shopping mall.

-A study commissioned by Senator Lugar (R-IN) states "The world faces an estimated 50% chance of nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological attack over the next five years... Over ten years this risk expands to as much as 70%."

What He Said...

So Karl Rove wants to say that liberals want the troops to die?

I agree with Atrios: "For the record, my motives aren't to get more troops killed. If those were my motives I'd ship them off to a war on false pretenses without sufficient equipment to keep them safe."

Great NYT Column

From Bob Herbert of the New York Times...

Excellent article. Check out the rest.

Whatever term is used, the governor's continued pursuit of Mr. Schiavo in the absence of any evidence that he has done anything wrong is a clear example of government power being used as a club to punish someone for political reasons. The unwarranted harassment of an ordinary citizen by the most powerful political figure in his state is an affront to the very idea of freedom that Mr. Bush and his brother in the White House are so fond of preaching.

The political exploitation of this tragic case has been uniquely grotesque. Ms. Schiavo died March 31 following the court-ordered removal of her feeding tube. An autopsy supported Mr. Schiavo's contention that his wife had been in a persistent vegetative state. She was unaware of anything and incapable of recovering. At her death at age 41, Ms. Schiavo's withered brain was half the normal size for a woman her age.

Governor Bush was one of the leaders of the pack of politicians who vehemently opposed Mr. Schiavo's efforts to have his wife's feeding tube removed. Much of what was said was outrageous. Eleven days before she died, Tom DeLay declared: "Terri Schiavo is not brain dead. She talks and she laughs, and she expresses happiness and discomfort. Terri Schiavo is not on life support."

Senator Tom Coburn, a Republican and a physician from Oklahoma, said: "All you have to do is look at her on TV. Any doctor with any conscience can look at her and know that she does not have a terminal disease and know that she has some function."

All agree that Terri Schiavo is now dead, but Governor Bush insists on keeping the craziness going.

Too Long in an Undisclosed Location?

"Maybe his mother loved him, but I've never met anybody who does. He's never won anything, as best I can tell."
-Dick "Go Fuck Yourself" Cheney

Speaking of Gassing Your Own People...

Roger Ailes, head honcho at Fox News, has apparently subjected his employees to a highly toxic pesticide.


O'Reilly Versus Our Own

Everyone at Air America should be arrested as traitors, according to Bill O'Reilly. Including fellow Friar Janeane Garafalo.

"And any American that undermines that war, with our soldiers in the field, or undermines the war on terror, with 3,000 dead on 9/11, is a traitor.

Everybody got it? Dissent, fine; undermining, you're a traitor. Got it? So, all those clowns over at the liberal radio network, we could incarcerate them immediately. Will you have that done please? Send over the FBI and just put them in chains, because they, you know, they're undermining everything and they don't care, couldn't care less."


From today's press briefing:

Q Scott, how concerned is the administration about the potential for Iraq to become a sort of training ground for Islamic extremists who may go back to their home countries and use these techniques to destabilize their governments? There's a new report on that recently.

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, let me mention a couple things. As the President has said for some time now, Iraq is a central front in the war on terrorism. Wherever you stood before the decision to go into Iraq, I think we can all recognize that the terrorists have made it a central front in the war on terrorism. [snip]

Q Just following up on that question, you said at the outset of that, the terrorists have made it a central front in the war on terrorism. I thought it was a central front in the war on terrorism before we invaded.

MR. McCLELLAN: It is. It's part of the war on terrorism, yes.

Q It was.

MR. McCLELLAN: No, it is.

Q It is now --


Q Was it prior to --

MR. McCLELLAN: Both. It's part of the war on terrorism, David.

Flag Burning Amendment

Shame on Dianne Feinstein, Ben Nelson, Max Baucus and Blanche Lincoln for co-sponsoring the Flag Burning Amendment, which recently passed the House.

This amendment is idiotic for two reasons.

First, desecration of the flag is a form of political protest. While it is one I do not approve of personally and would never do (I think the country is greater than its current right-wing fetish), I do not want to see any form of political expression banned in the Constitution. Once that precedent is set, what would be next?

But the second reason comes down to simple common sense. When a flag has reached the end of its useful life, you're SUPPOSED to burn it. In fact, several organizations, such as the Elk's Club, the American Legion and the Boy Scouts actually provide this as a service. Obviously the American Legion and the Boy Scouts are unpatriotic.

But, this has 65 votes and needs 67, so it won't pass... this year.

Yeah, So, We Won Ohio Apparently

I wasn't one to pay much mind to voter irregularities in Ohio in the sense that is affected the outcome of the election. I didn't think the numbers were big enough. But the DNC has some interesting findings, and it looks like the Ohio results may be questionable after all.

The following is from the introduction. Get the full text here.

Why were there so many more provisional ballots cast in Ohio than in other states of comparable size? 2.8% of all ballots cast in Ohio were provisional ballots, as contrasted with only 0.9% in PA and 0.3% in FLA.(...)

Our report concludes that more than one-quarter of Ohio voters had problems at the polls. Far more troubling, twice as many African American voters reported problems at the polls than did white voters.

Ohio voters report experiencing a wide range of problems, the most common of which was long lines. African American voters reported waiting an average of 52 minutes before voting while white voters overall reported waiting 18 minutes.

Voters also reported confusion at the polls, incompetence and negligence on the part of polling officials, problems with registration status, problems locating the proper polling place, problems with absentee and provisional ballots and unlawful identification requirements at the polls.

African American voters were far more likely to have their registration status challenged and to report experiencing intimidation at the polls than other voters. 16% of African Americans reported experiencing intimidation at the polls as opposed to 5% of whites. African Americans and voters under age 30 were far more likely to have their identification checked at the polls, very often illegally. Under Ohio law, only voters voting in a Federal election for the first time who had not provided identification at the time they registered to vote may be required to show ID at the polls.

But while only 7% of Ohio voters were newly registered and only a fraction of those new voters failed to provide ID at the time they registered to vote, 37% of voters statewide were required to produce ID at the polls, meaning that many voters were illegally required to produce identification. Fully 67% of voters under age 30 were required to produce ID at the polls, and 67% of African American males were required to produce ID in order to vote.

Counties using touchscreen machines had far more problems than voters in
other counties. The quantity of touchscreen machines varied widely from county
to county. In Franklin County (Columbus and surrounding cities), where 74% of
voters reported waiting in line more than 20 minutes) there were proportionally
fewer machines in minority neighborhoods.

The study reveals a profound lack of confidence in the democratic process
in Ohio, divided sharply along racial lines. Nearly one-quarter of Ohio voters
report that their experience in 2004 has made them less confident about the
reliability of elections in Ohio. 71% of whites reported being very confident
their vote was counted as opposed to 19% of African Americans.

Blogging Team

Adam Roach, the current President of the PC Dems, will start posting here from time to time.

If anyone else from the group would like to do the same, post below or drop me an email. Within reason, what you want to post is up to you. News, analysis, commentary, humor, whatever. I'm wonderful and all, but it would be great to get some fresh blood in here.

History Repeats

From Rev. Bill Banuchi, executive director of the New York Christian Coalition:
"We put warning labels on cigarette packs because we know that smoking takes one to two years off the average life span, yet we ‘celebrate’ a lifestyle that we know spreads every kind of sexually transmitted disease and takes at least 20 years off the average life span according to the 2005 issue of the revered scientific journal Psychological Reports."

So, Rev. Banuchi, should we put warning labels on gays? Should they look something like this?...

Told You So...

To all those people who told me I was wrong when I said Arnold would be a horrible Governor, here's some crow.

Field Poll. 6/13-6/19 (February 2005)

Schwarzenegger's Approval Rating:
Approve 37 (53)
Disapprove 53 (35)

Those trend lines are phenomenal. And they want this guy to be President?

Cruella's Screwed

Mason-Dixon Poll, 6/14-6/16 (No Trend Lines)

Bill Nelson (D) 53
Katherine Harris (R) 36

"This is one of those rare cases where, going in, the challenger has higher negative ratings than the incumbent," said Brad Coker, managing director of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc., which conducted the poll for the Orlando Sentinel and WESH 2 News. "At this point, when you look at these numbers, I don't know how she's going to win this race."

"Too negative"

Check out this ad that Crooks and Liars tried to place in the Young Republican National Convention program.

Scott McClellan Is Still A Tool


Q Is the President concerned about the recruitment being down in his home country, he can't get -- you know, some day you may give a war and no one will come? And, also, the second part of the question, is there any member of the Bush clan who is in the military service now, that you know of?

MR. McCLELLAN: I'd have to go check; that's a pretty large clan, as you -- ]

Q Would you do that?

MR. McCLELLAN: -- as you referred to. In terms of -- and certainly there are members of the family that have served and served very admirably in the Armed Forces.

Q I'm not talking about the past, I'm talking about now.

MR. McCLELLAN: And in terms of your question on recruitment and the recruiting efforts, I think the Department of Defense has briefed on that recently and they've talked about their efforts to address some of the concerns that you bring up. I would refer you --

More on Virgil Goode/MZM

MZM employees were coerced into making political donations.

Waldo Jaquith has more.

Randy Cunningham is going down. Hopefully so is Virgil Goode.


Happy Solstice

It's officially summer. Enjoy!


Want to Annoy Mike Rubin?

Remember this?

Here's a reminder: "Jon [McGrath '05] claims that if homosexuality is genetic, and therefore 'occurs naturally' then it cannot be wrong (Nov. 4); of course, people have genetic predispositions to developing cancer, but that does not mean cancer is natural for humans to have, or that we should not try to help them conquer it."

Why bring this up now?

A little background. Mr Rubin is from Virginia (aren't I lucky). He lives about 30 minutes from my house. His delegate (same as a state rep) is a man named Bob Marshall. Let's just say that Mr. Marshall and Mike Rubin see eye to eye on a great many issues, and Mike loves the man (almost as much as his bizarre worship of Paul Gondreau).

So, want to piss off Rubin? Then donate a few bucks to this guy. Bruce Roemmelt is taking on Mr. Marshall in his re-election bid this year. This was supposed to be a cakewalk for Mr. Marshall, but Bruce Roemmelt has thoroughly kicked Marshall's ass in fundraising thus far, which is making things interesting. So donate. Bruce is a swell guy. College Professor. Firefighter. Veteran. What more could you want?

The benefits are two-fold. I have to live in this state too, so if Bruce wins, I get to deal with a slightly less idiotic general assembly. But what could be more important than making Mike Rubin have to deal with being represented by Democrats at home as well as in Rhode Island. Lincoln Chafee will be his last hope (until January 2007, of course)! You want to annoy Mike Rubin. You don't have any races in your own state in 2005 (except for you NJ people, of course). You have lucrative summer jobs and nothing to spend your money on. So donate! Trust me, it will make you feel all fuzzy inside!

While you're at it, through a few bucks to these guys:
Tim Kaine - Governor
Leslie Byrne - Lieutenant Governor
Creigh Deeds - Attorney General
David Toscano - House of Delegates, 57th District (my district)
Steve Koleszar - House of Delegates, 58th District

OK, enough with the shameless plugging of races in a state where approximately 0.32% of the group lives. But remember, if any one of these people loses on November 8th, it's all your fault!

NJ GOV: Action Alert!

From the Jon Corzine campaign:

Tomorrow, from 5pm - 7pm in Monmouth County, Doug Forrester is hosting a $1000/plate fundraising event headlined by special guest and Bush favorite Karl Rove. NJ Democrats are holding a protest. Please pass this information on to any forum, listservs, or blogs you’re a part of.


The New Jersey State Democratic Party is organizing a protest outside of the event to show that George W. Bush and Doug Forrester’s agenda. Forrester’s agenda is like a greatest hits of Bushism: tax cuts for the wealthy, wage cuts for the middle class, Social Security privatization, and massive deficits...

Protesters are meeting at 4:15pm at the home of Anne Beebe. The address is:

52 Navesink Ave
Rumson, NJ 07760
Monmouth CO

If you have any questions or if you’d like to attend, email Jonathan Murray (
jonathan.murray@njdems.org) so that he knows that you’re coming. The goal is to get 100+ people there, so please forward this message to your friends!

Flip Flop #4 (Springtime for Hitler Edition)

Right-wingers are all a-twitter after Senator Durbin's comments last week that compared Americans to Nazis (for purposes of this post, we'll ignore the fact that Durbin did NOT actually compare Americans to Nazis). These wingers are calling for anything from Durbin's censure to his totally resigning from the Senate.

MyDD is suggesting a resolution that would be great to see introduced (don't hold your breath)...

I think we should call them on this, and introduce a bi-partisan concurrent resolution to censure all elected officials who have made comparisons between Americans and Nazis. In addition to agreeing to conservative demands, this resolution would see both parties agree to all of the following:

-Ken Melhman must also resign as chairman of the Republican National Committee for defending a Republican ad that compared Democrats to Hitler.

-All Republican elected officials must refuse and return any money from organizations associated with Grover Norquist for directly comparing Democrats
to Nazis.

-Senator Rick Santorum must step down from his leadership position within the Senate for his comments comparing Democratic use of the filibuster to Nazis.

-Senator James Inhofe must step down as Chairman of the Committee on Environment and public works, for his likening of the Democratic supported Kyoto treaty to Nazism.

-Senator Jeff Sessions must be censured for his likening of a Democratic sponsored bill on stem cell research to Nazism.

-Representative Steve King must also be censured for comparing those who support abortion rights to Nazis.

-A sense of the Senate resolution rebuking former Senators Tim Cole and Phil Graham for their comparisons of Democrats to Nazis must also be passed.

"Am I Next?"

A day in the life of the Iowa National Guard...

I'd like to see Bush tell these guys to their face to "stay the course."

Hayes drops down and cradles Miller's head in his lap, while Dermer rips open a pressure dressing and places it on the neck wound. Each man grabs one of Miller's hands and feels for a pulse. They still haven't found one when medic Spec. Jaymie Holschlag pulls open the back door of the M-113 and rushes, breathless, to Miller's side.

"Doc," Hayes says, looking up at her. "He's gone."

Holschlag begins checking Miller's pulse herself, as if she hasn't heard.

"Doc," Hayes repeats, louder. "He's gone!"

It is 10:18 a.m. on April 12, and John Wayne Miller is no more.

In the frenzy to save Miller, no one was thinking about why the war had snatched away the gangly 21-year-old Wal-Mart stocker from West Burlington, Iowa. Only later, as darkness falls and details of the day's horrors ricochet through their camp, do that question and others begin to haunt Hayes and his tightknit Iowa platoon. With a fifth of its soldiers killed or wounded, the platoon is reeling from the trauma of repeated loss, facing a constant threat from bombs and gunfire on Ramadi's streets, or mortar strikes on their base. They are angry, anxious, wracked by guilt -- one soldier suffers from combat stress so acute that he is unable to go on missions, and stays behind camp walls.

Dermer asks bitterly why the crew had sat exposed so long, making them an easy target.

Hayes turns inward, tormented over why the sniper had set his cross hairs on Miller instead of him.

Others wonder what Miller -- who sought escape by playing video games underneath a blanket -- was doing here in the first place.

Ramadi is a grim destination for U.S. troops. No battalion stationed inside the city has so far escaped a tour without serious casualties. More than 120 troops have been killed and hundreds more wounded since the summer of 2003 -- proportionally more than in Baghdad. And not all the deaths are from combat: One homesick 19-year-old recently shot himself in the head.

Miller's platoon of the 224th Combat Engineer Battalion headed to Ramadi in late February with 31 soldiers. Six weeks later it was down to 25...

Miller's squad leader, Staff Sgt. Steve "Shaggy" Hagedorn, is more blunt. "We spent three days clearing a route and I guarantee it's worse now than when we started," he says. "So everyone's asking, 'What are we doing it for?' Everyone's asking, 'Am I next?' "


What a freaking selfish idiot...

What hasn't changed is the fact that the vast majority of the parents who support the war do not want their children to fight it. A woman in the affluent New York suburb of Ridgewood, N.J., who has a daughter in high school and a younger son, said: "I would not want my children to go. If there wasn't a war it would be different. I support the war and I think we need to be there. But it's not going well. It's becoming like Vietnam. It's a very bad situation. But we can't leave."

Fuzzy Science

Think Progress has a great report on the Bush administration's efforts to meddle with science in order to advance their agenda. Some pretty phenomenal stuff, covering topics like air quality at ground zero, the effectiveness of condoms (promoting abstinence instead), creating a fictional link between abortion and breast cancer, and much, much more. Check it out.

In addition, MyDD has an awesome post on the administration's efforts to alter reality.

STILL Not Supporting the Troops

Marines in Arizona preparing to ship out to Iraq are being asked to buy their own equipment.

John Tod of Mesa had been prepared to face Father's Day worrying about his son's pending date with the war in Iraq.

Then Uncle Sam stepped in with more disappointing developments.

Marine Pfc. Jeremy Tod called home with news that his superiors were urging him and fellow Marines to buy special military equipment, including flak jackets with armor plating, to enhance the prospects of their survival.

The message was that such purchases were to be made by Marines with their own money.

"He said they strongly suggested he get this equipment because when they get to Iraq they will wish they had," Tod said.

Total estimated cost: $600.

Tod said his son's call about two weeks ago from the Marine Corps Air Station-Yuma was a sobering reminder that the military is not prepared to equip Pfc. Tod and fellow Marines with the best equipment.

Besides the essential flak jacket with steel "trauma" plates, the shopping list for the young Marine included a Camelbak (water pouch) special ballistic goggles, knee and elbow pads, a "drop pouch" to hold ammunition magazines and a load-bearing vest.

Tod, 45, is picking up the tab for a son who blew most of his savings on a new pickup truck. And dad says he is tempted to forward the bill to the Pentagon. "Or maybe I can write it off in taxes," he said with a grin.

It's not the cost that concerns him, even though the self-employed home repairman will have to dig deep for the cash.

"We're supposed to have a professional army," he said, "the best in the world. And we're not providing them with the type of gear they need to protect themselves as they do their jobs."

What does the administration think is more important. This? Or actually making sure the soldiers who are being put in harm's way (for dubious reasons) have the best possible equipment?

Winger Nonsense

A truly horrific discovery was made today as Marines discovered a prison that had been run by insurgents.

But of course the right-wingers are abandoning all logic surrounding this story and spinning it to make Gitmo not look so bad.

They're right in the sense that what is taking place at Gitmo isn't as bad as what was discovered in Iraq recently, or the Stalin regime, or the Nazi regime, or the Khmer Rouge, etc. But what message are they really sending?

Are they saying it's OK to abuse prisoners, as long the abuse is not as bad as the other guys? Is that really the standard they hold for this country... somewhat better than the Nazis?

On the somewhat brighter side, some Republicans are speaking out against the policies at Guantanamo...

According to Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL), "[Guantanamo has] become an icon for bad stories, and at some point you wonder about the cost-benefit ratio."

Senator Hagel, "[The US is losing] the image war around the world."

Hagel and Martinez miss the point. Sure, the Gitmo policies have hurt our image around the world and as a result are hurting the war on terror. But they miss the most important point, which is that the United States should not condone torture, because that is beneath us.

And to suggest that torture at Gitmo is OK because torture elsewhere was worse is simply un-American. This country used to work to fix injustice in the world. No more. Now we settle for not quite as bad. This attitude is shameful, and does not belong in our country.

Flip Flop #3 (Covering Their Asses Edition)

"We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts, and those who harbor them."
-George W. Bush, September 11, 2001

"When you go to the question of dealing with sanctuaries in sovereign states, you're dealing with a problem of our sense of international obligation, fair play."
-CIA Director Porter "I'm Unqualified" Goss, in an interview for the June 27th edition of Time Magazine.

I agree with Atrios: "This should ignite a shitstorm. It won't."

Thanks MSM. Check out Atrios' post for more enlightening commentary.


Canvassing Blues

Two dog bites in four days.

This is starting to get ridiculous.

Last Throes

BushCo wants you to believe that the Iraqi insurgency is in its last throes. But what do the guys on the ground think?

According to General William Webster, the U.S. Commander in Baghdad, "Certainly saying anything about 'breaking the back' or 'about to reach the end of the line' or those kinds of things do not apply to the insurgency at this point."

Biden Running

I think he's the first one to do so, but today Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) confirmed the obvious: he's running for President in 2008.

Said Biden on Face the Nation, "My intention now is to seek the nomination... If in fact I think I have a clear shot at winning the nomination , by this November or December, then I'm going to seek the nomination."

Pentagon Sued

Remember Sean D. Baker, a US Soldier who was assaulted by MP's at Gitmo two years ago when he was mistaken for an unruly detainee in a training drill gone awry?

Well, he's suing the Pentagon.

A trial in this case, if it goes that far, could reveal some of Gitmo's dirty secrets.


The Brotherhood

If the TV show "Providence" was too squeaky clean for you, Showtime has you covered.

Coming in January, Showtime will air a show called "The Brotherhood," will feature "two Irish-American brothers on opposite sides of the law." The show takes place a couple of generations ago and will feature the political intrigue that we're all accustomed to, as well as ethnic tensions. Best of all, it takes place (among other places) in our beloved Smith Hill!

Prime Ministerial Adipose

In a disgustingly fascinating story, a bar of soap, made from fat removed during liposuction from Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi, just sold for $18,000.

Somehow I appreciate my Irish Spring just a little bit more.

Spinning Torture

I've already posted on GOP efforts to smear Dick Durbin as a terrorist. Meanwhile, they've been attempting to make light of the torture at Gitmo because, get this, it's not quite as bad as it was in the gulags or concentration camps.

You can see this at Powerline today. And from Fox News pundit, Chris Wallace:

"But what the FBI memo alleges, and it is an allegation, is, you know, would be considered a day at the beach in the Soviet gulag or Nazi...I mean, what was so horrific in the memo, and I'm not saying, you know, there aren't legitimate questions there, is that someone is chained to a floor and forced to defecate on themselves, and has loud rock music playing. Excuse me? I mean, you know, Auschwitz? Bergen Belsen? The Soviet gulag? I think they would have been very happy to be allowed to defecate on themselves."

And from Mitt Romney:

"To suggest, for instance, that the kinds of things that we're associated with as torture, is crazy. You hear that all the time. Oh, the Americans are torturing. Well, that's absurd. Torturing is breaking bones and pulling out people's fingernails and the like."

So, as long as the torture isn't as bad as a concentration camp, that means it's ok?

I thought we were better than that. And so did Dick Durbin.

Presenting, John McCain, 2008 Edition...

Sometimes maverick and likely Presidential hopeful Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) has this to say about the President's war efforts:

"Things aren't getting better; they're getting worse. The White House is completely disconnected from reality. It's like they're just making it up as they go along. The reality is that we're losing in Iraq."

Hey, he said it, not me.

Rush Supports Torture


Now we got Newt Gingrich (of all people) calling for a censure of Senator Durbin, implying he's a traitor in the process. Armando at Daily Kos has more.

Do you think Senator Durbin struck a nerve?

Almost 64

Paul McCartney is celebrating (hopefully) his 63rd birthday today.

It was twenty years ago today,
Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play.
They've been going in and out of style,
But they're guaranteed to raise a smile.
So may I introduce to you
The act you've known for all these years,
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

We're Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,
We hope you will enjoy the show.
We're Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,
Sit back and let the evening go.


"Some may disagree with my decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power, but all of us agree that the world's terrorists have now made Iraq a central front in the war on terror."
-George W. Bush

Bush is right. We do agree that he had no business in Iraq, and that the invasion has actually made terrorists much, much stronger.


The Louder They Squawk

Howard Dean. Dick Durbin.

The more you hear the right complaining about "reprehensible" comments or comments that "harm the troops" from Democrats, keep in mind that we're probably right.

Jeb Bush is an Asshole

The GOP bid to turn Terri Schiavo into votes already failed, but Jeb hasn't given up yet!

Now, Jeb wants to open a probe to see if Michael Schiavo somehow delayed in calling for paramedics when his wife collapsed, an assertion based on Schiavo testimony on the timeline from years after the fact, after Schiavo has already been cleared (repeatedly) of any wrongdoing.

Michael Schiavo has been dragged through the mud by many people. He has had his life threatened. He has been subjected to vicious rumors. And still, he stood by his wife through the end. What these people are doing to him are shameless.


Pretty much what a lot of us expected.

“He was thinking about invading Iraq in 1999,” said author and journalist Mickey Herskowitz. “It was on his mind. He said to me: ‘One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief.’ And he said, ‘My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it.’ He said, ‘If I have a chance to invade….if I had that much capital, I’m not going to waste it. I’m going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I’m going to have a successful presidency.”

Herskowitz said that Bush expressed frustration at a lifetime as an underachiever in the shadow of an accomplished father. In aggressive military action, he saw the opportunity to emerge from his father’s shadow. The moment, Herskowitz said, came in the wake of the September 11 attacks. “Suddenly, he’s at 91 percent in the polls, and he’d barely crawled out of the bunker....”

In 1999, Herskowitz struck a deal with the campaign of George W. Bush about a ghost-written autobiography, which was ultimately titled A Charge to Keep : My Journey to the White House, and he and Bush signed a contract in which the two would split the proceeds. The publisher was William Morrow. Herskowitz was given unimpeded access to Bush, and the two met approximately 20 times so Bush could share his thoughts. Herskowitz began working on the book in May, 1999, and says that within two months he had completed and submitted some 10 chapters, with a remaining 4-6 chapters still on his computer. Herskowitz was replaced as Bush’s ghostwriter after Bush’s handlers concluded that the candidate’s views and life experiences were not being cast in a sufficiently positive light.

5th District Shenanigans

My hometown, Charlottesville, is located in Virginia's 5th District. People in CD5 like to elect a moderate sort of Democrat, like the current Congressman, Virgil H. Goode Jr was once upon a time (he's switched parties and is now a very conservative Republican). Charlottesville is a liberal enclave in what is a much more conservative, and much more rural district (the 5th is larger than the entire state of New Jersey). Mr. Goode is the son of another Virgil Goode, who was a commonwealth's attorney (read DA) back in the day. Virgil Sr. was a good man, a good Democrat, and everybody loved him.

That's why they all vote for his son. It is extremely frustrating to campaign against this guy when everybody feels a loyalty to his family. It's extremely frustrating to be campaigning on the Virgil H. Goode Sr. Highway. It's extremely frustrating to be campaigning against someone with a warchest of over $5 million.

That's why it an eminently qualified candidate (especially for this district) like Al Weed was only able to muster 36.28% of the vote last November. This is why I am very glad to see this...

It turns out Mr. Goode (who once told me, a constituent, that he was glad I was going back to Rhode Island) has gotten himself tangled up in a little scandal.

Some of you may have heard about Congressman Randy Cunningham (D-CA) who may have gotten favors from a defense contractor, MZM, in return for political favors. Now, there is one Congressman in the entire nation that has gotten more campaign contributions from MZM and its employees. Who? That's right, Virgil Goode.

It turns out that in the past few years Virgil has gotten over 100,000 in donations from MZM and its employees. MZM, in turn, has gotten over 600,000 in defense contracts, possibly with the help of Goode, who sits on the House Appropriations Committee along with Randy Cunningham (and Patrick Kennedy '91, but that's beside the point).


For several days I have watched this scandal creep from a few local blogs, to a couple of national blogs (such as Talking Points Memo), and finally, today, to the Washington Post (see link above). This looks like a bonafide scandal in the making, and I can't wait to ask Virgil the tough questions on the campaign trail.

UPDATE: Thanks to James Cook for this info about the Goode/MZM connection (lifted from the comments).


Weird Hits

Anyone know why we would randomly start getting hits from all sorts of various Blogger sites that seem to have no correlation to each other or our blog?

More Gitmo

From an FBI Agent's Report:

On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food or water. Most times they urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for 18-24 hours or more. On one occasion, the air conditioning had been turned down so far and the temperature was so cold in the room, that the barefooted detainee was shaking with cold....On another occasion, the [air conditioner] had been turned off, making the temperature in the unventilated room well over 100 degrees. The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his hair out throughout the night. On another occasion, not only was the temperature unbearably hot, but extremely loud rap music was being played in the room, and had been since the day before, with the detainee chained hand and foot in the fetal position on the tile floor.
And somehow Dick Durbin (D-IL) is hurting the troops by wanting America to be better than the Nazis? Please.

Someone Call Jay Leno!

This is too funny not to share...

Remember this...?
"I'm proud of George. He's learned a lot about ranching since that first year when he tried to milk the horse. What's worse, it was a male horse."
-First Lady Laura Bush

Teresa Rules

I don't know about that John guy, but Teresa Heinz Kerry kicks ass. Teresa has a new vendetta, and that is against Rick Santorum (R-PA/VA). She is dedicating her wealth to getting Santorum out of office.

What makes this even better is that she once was a major backer of Santorum as he campaigned for her late husband's seat.

The sassy ketchup queen has made it a “real priority” to see challenger Robert P. Casey, Jr. unseat Santorum because “she believes Rick has ruined her late husband’s legacy,” says one highly-placed Democratic insider. Despite their differing agendas, Heinz Kerry has been hosting fundraisers and campaigning around the clock for Casey, the pro-life state treasurer, a solid she once did for Santorum.

DCCC Numbers

From my last post, the number that makes me the happiest is Americans' dissatisfaction with Congress. What does that mean? More people want to see a change in Congressional leadership, because, obviously, the current leadership isn't doing its job.

According to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, if Congressional elections were held today, seven Republican Congressmen would lose their seats.

The chairman of the DCCC declined to name the seven Reps, but they have spefically targeted Republicans David Dreier, Richard Pombo and Randy Cunningham, all of California.

"The national political climate has changed. There is a perception that Bush is an albatross instead of an asset for Republicans."
-Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL), DCCC Regional Recruitment Chair

Let's hope.

New Approval Ratings

Isn't this just beautiful?

CBS News/NYT 6/10-15 (May Results)

Bush approval
Approve 42 (46)
Disapprove 51 (48)

Action in Iraq
Right Thing 45 (47)
Should have Stayed out 51 (49)

Approve 52 (58)
Disapprove 40

Approve 39 (38)
Disapprove 56

Foreign Policy
Approve 39 (40)
Disapprove 51

Approve 37 (38)
Disapprove 59

Social Security
Approve 26 (26)
Disapprove 62 (62)

Bush shares your priorities for the country?
Yes 35 (34)
No 61 (61)

Congress shares your priorities for the country?
Yes 19 (20)
No 71 (68)

I know you GOPers are lurking around here. Anybody care to try spinning this one?


From Reuters/Yahoo:

At a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Republican Chairman Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania said Congress should help to define the legal rights of the inmates at the prison, which the panel's top Democrat called "an international embarrassment."

Delaware Democratic Sen. Joseph Biden (news, bio, voting record) asked Deputy Associate Attorney General J. Michael Wiggins whether the Justice Department had "defined when there is the end of conflict."

"No, sir," Wiggins responded.

"If there is no definition as to when the conflict ends, that means forever, forever, forever these folks get held at Guantanamo Bay," Biden said.

"It's our position that, legally, they can be held in perpetuity," Wiggins said [...]

Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions (news, bio, voting record) of Alabama said: "This country is not systematically abusing prisoners. We have no policy to do so. And it's wrong to suggest that. And it puts our soldiers at risk who are in this battle because we sent them there."

Referring to detainees, Sessions added, "Some of them need to be executed."


New Jersey Gov.

You Garden Staters have a race this year that's shaping up to be closer than expected.

US Sen Jon Corzine is taking on Doug Forrester for the Governor's seat.

Check out Corzine's blog!

Small Victory

A small victory against the PATRIOT ACT today. Doubtful this will actually make it into law, but it's good to see.

Maybe now I won't have to buy all my books with cash.

Rock Prophets


Virginia Primary

Well, out of a several dozen people, I got 6th place in predicting the Virginia primary results from yesterday. Yay.

Not that this means much to you New Englanders, but the Virginia 2005 race will be on the GOP side, Jerry Kilgore for Governor, Bill Bolling for Lieutenant Governor, and Bob McDonnell for Attorney General.

On the good guys' side, it will be Tim Kaine for Governor, Leslie Byrne for Lieutenant Governor, and my state Senator, Creigh Deeds, for Attorney General. Tim + Leslie + Creigh = TLC. Get it?

I promise you that we will fight hard, do our best, and deliver Virginia for the Democrats on November 8th.

Dictator Bush

Well, it's happened. A bill has been submitted to Congress that would repeal term limits (by repealing the 22nd amendment).

Proposed by Democrats Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Howard Berman (D-CA), Martin Sabo (D-MN), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), and Republican Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), here is the text of the bill.

Strange to see Democrats supporting this, but if you're in favor of term limits (I am not... even now), then don't worry. Even if this passes the Congress, which it won't, Dems control more state legislatures than the Repubs (Thanks Montana!), so 67% support for the amendment, especially while Bush is still in office, ain't happening.

And even if it does, Hillary Bill Clinton for President!

Schiavo Autopsy

Dr. Frist needs to go back to medical school.

From the Washington Post, March 19, 2005:

WASHINGTON - Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), a renowned heart surgeon before becoming Senate majority leader, went to the floor late Thursday night for the second time in 12 hours to argue that Florida doctors had erred in saying Terri Schiavo is in a "persistent vegetative state."

I question it based on a review of the video footage which I spent an hour or so looking at last night in my office," he said in a lengthy speech in which he quoted medical texts and standards. "She certainly seems to respond to visual stimuli."

His comments raised eyebrows in medical and political circles alike. It is not every day that a high-profile physician relies on family videotapes to challenge the diagnosis of doctors who examined a severely brain-damaged patient in person.

From the autopsy results, released today:

An autopsy on Terri Schiavo backed her husband's contention that she was in a persistent vegetative state, finding that she had massive and irreversible brain damage and was blind, the medical examiner's office said Wednesday. It also found no evidence that she was strangled or otherwise abused....

[Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner Jon Thogmartin] also said she was blind, because the "vision centers of her brain were dead..."

Thogmartin said that Schiavo's brain was about half of its expected size when she died 13 days after her feeding tube was removed.

"The brain weighed 615 grams, roughly half of the expected weight of a human brain," he said. "This damage was irreversible, and no amount of therapy or treatment would have regenerated the massive loss of neurons."

The involvement of Bill Frist, George Bush, Tom DeLay and others in this issue is nothing more than exploiting the personal tragedy of a family for political gain.

From the Post:
"I suspect that Senator Frist has his eye more on the Iowa caucus than the Hippocratic Oath," said Marshall Wittmann, a senior fellow at the Democratic Leadership Council and former GOP Senate staffer. "This is clearly the politics of the Republican base."



Bill Frist, though signing on to co-sponsor the lynching resolution, refused calls for a voice vote, thereby enabling racist Senators who did not want their opinions known to the public.

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) refused repeated requests for a roll call vote that would have put senators on the record on a resolution apologizing for past failures to pass anti-lynching laws, officials involved in the negotiations said Tuesday.

2006 Senate

The PC Democrats have a lot of opportunities to help Dems take back the US Senate next year.

The most obvious, of course, is Lincoln Chafee's seat. Some hard work and Brown/Whitehouse/Sheeler will be the next Senator from Rhode Island.

Also extremely vulnerable is Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania/Virginia. We have a few people from Pennsylvania... and can I see a road trip on the horizon? Santorum will be challenged by Bob Casey.

Ohioans have a great shot at taking a seat as well. People don't like Mike DeWine, and the GOP is looking very dirty in the midst of a bizarre scandal.

Other vulnerable seats include Conrad Burns (R-MT), Jim Talent (R-MO), John Ensign (R-NV), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), George Allen (R-VA) and the open seat in Tennessee.

There are a few vulnerable Senate seats in Washington, North Dakota, Nebraska, West Virginia, Florida, Maryland and Minnesota. Fortunately, the person in charge of recruiting candidates is a moron (Elizabeth Dole), and no Democrats really have serious challengers. Washington looked scary, but Dino Rossi, the only serious challenger, will not run. And state after state has the best looking Republican challengers looking elsewhere.

Watch Your Neck...


The following fifteen Senators, all Republicans, have failed to support the Senate's anti-lynching legislation.

Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Robert Bennett (R-UT)
Thad Cochran (R-MS)
John Cornyn (R-TX)
Michael Crapo (R-ID)
Michael Enzi (R-WY)
Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
Judd Gregg (R-NH)
Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)
Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
Trent Lott (R-MS)
Richard Shelby (R-AL)
John Sununu (R-NH)
Craig Thomas (R-WY)

Republicans will tell you this resolution passed unanimously via voice vote, which it did. What they're not telling you that only one Senator can pass a resolution via voice vote. In this case, it was six. All Democrats are supporting the Resolution. These twelve are not. Why was there not a roll-call vote? Because certain Senators do not want their names on the record as supporting lynching, there was no "up or down" vote.

There are those who tell you that lynching, i.e. "frontier justice," is a part of Western culture, and that the practice was not necessarily racist, because well over twenty percent of victims where white. But several Western Senators have signed onto the bill. Furthermore, how does their condoning lynching fit in with their "culture of life?" Do Cornyn, Hutchison, Hatch, Bennett and others really want to imply it's ok to break a suspect out of jail and hang them from a tree?

Someone might want to ask these Senators why they support lynching.

To Ten Ways George Bush Can Regain His Popularity

From the late show with David Letterman...

10. Dip into social security fund to give every American free HBO
9. Use diplomacy to bring peace to Brad, Jen and Angelina
8. Try fixing Iraq, creating some jobs, reducing the deficit and maybe capturing Osama
7. Figure out a way for the Yankees to win a game
6. Replace his "country simpleton" persona with more lovable "hillbilly idiot" image
5. Use weekly radio address to give Americans a Van Halen twofer
4. Get Saddam to switch to boxers
3. Ditch the librarian and make Eva Longoria First Lady
2. Resign
1. Jump on Oprah's couch while professing his love for Katie Holmes


Party of Family Values?

New Senate Candidate

A new Democrat has jumped into the Democratic Primary fray...

Carl Lloyd Sheeler, PhD.

His candidacy is in its infancy, so stay tuned for more details.


Have you forgotten yet?...
For the world's events have rumbled on since those gagged days,
Like traffic checked while at the crossing of city-ways:
And the haunted gap in your mind has filled with thoughts that flow
Like clouds in the lit heaven of life; and you're a man reprieved to go,
Taking your peaceful share of Time, with joy to spare.
But the past is just the same - and War's a bloody game...
Have you forgotten yet?...
Look down, a swear by the slain of the War that you'll never forget.

Do you remember the dark months you held the sector at Mametz -
The nights you watched and wired and dug and piled sandbags on parapets?
Do you remember the rats; and the stench
Of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench -
And dawn coming, dirty-white, and whill with a hopeless rain?
Do you ever stop and ask, 'Is it all going to happen again?'

Do you remember the hour of din before the attack-
And the anger, the blind compassion that siezed and shook you then
As you peered at the doomed and haggard faces of your men?
Do you remember the stretcher-cases lurching back
With dying eyes and lolling heads - those ashen-grey
Masks of the lads who once were keen and kind and gay?

Have you forgotten yet?...
Look up, and swear by the green of the spring that you'll never forget.

-Siegfried Sassoon
March 1919

US Senate Apology

The US Senate has apologized for its failure to act in regards to lynchings of African-Americans.

Chief Sponsor Mary Landrieu (D-LA) has an excellent website dedicated to the resolution (S. Res. 39).

Apologizing to the victims of lynching and the descendants of those victims for the failure of the Senate to enact anti-lynching legislation.

Whereas the crime of lynching succeeded slavery as the ultimate expression of racism in the United States following Reconstruction;

Whereas lynching was a widely acknowledged practice in the United States until the middle of the 20th century;

Whereas lynching was a crime that occured throughout the United States with documented incidents in all but 4 states;

Whereas at least 4,742 people, predominantly African-Americans, were reported lynched in the United States between 1882 and 1968.

Whereas 99 percent of all perpetrators of lynching escaped from punishment by State or local officials;


Whereas protection against lynching was the minimum and most basic of Federal responsibilities, and the Senate considered but failed to enact anti-lynching legislation despite repeated requests by civil rights groups, Presidents, and the House of Representatives to do so


Resolved, that the Senate

(1) apologizes to the victims of lynching for the failure of the Senate to enact anti-lynching legislation;

(2) expresses the deepest sympathies and most solemn regrets of the Senate to the descendants of victims of lynching, the ancestors of whom were deprived of life, human dignity and the constitutional protections accorded all citizens of the United States; and

(3) remembers the history of lynching, to ensure that these tragedies will be neither forgotten nor repeated.

Read the text of Barack Obama's Knox College commencement address that I posted a few days ago. He talks about this very type of thing.

That we can recognize the mistakes of the past, learn from them and do our best to rectify them is one of the greatest things about this country. That's also why the regression of the past four and a half years is particularly infuriating.

Reed (D-RI), Conrad (D-ND) and Bingaman (D-NM) did not co-sponsor the resolution. I hope they have good reasons, and I know that Jack Reed must.

The following Republicans have not supported the resolution:
Lamar Alexander, Tennessee
Bill Bennett, Utah
Thad Cochran, Mississippi
John Cornyn, Texas
Mike CRAPo, Idaho
Mike Enzi, Wyoming
Charles Grassley, Iowa
Judd Gregg, New Hampshire
Orrin Hatch, Utah
Kay Bailey Hutchison, Texas
Jon Kyl, Arizona
Trent Lott, Mississippi
Lisa Murkowski, Alaska
Richard Shelby, Alabama
Gordon Smith, Oregon
John Sununu, New Hampshire
Craig Thomas, Wyoming
Join Voinovich, Ohio

It's interesting that both Senators from Mississippi are not lending their support. Mississippi has the highest number of lynchings with 581. Neither Texas Senator supports the resolution. Texas ranks third with 493.

Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire are the four states without a documented case. Alaska and Hawaii as well, but I don't think those latecomers count in the stats. Maine and Vermont each have one lynching, white victim.

Statistics here.

War Approval Rating

Dead Tired

What a couple of days...

Worked from 10 to 10 yesterday, getting ready for Primary Day here in Virginia (both parties are holding primaries). Woke up at 4:30 today to get to a polling place by 5:30. Stayed there until 10:00. A few hours off, and back to the polls at 4:00. Then a Rich Collins victory party (a longshot, actually) at 7:30.



Dress Code Outrage

From Raia and my neck of the woods, some shameful actions on the part of a public high school in Pomfret, MD.

WASHINGTON -- Thomas Benya wore a braided bolo tie under his purple
graduation gown this week as a subtle tribute to his Native American

Administrators at his school in Charles County, Md., decided that the
string tie was too skinny. They denied him his diploma, at least temporarily, as

The bolo, common in contemporary American Indian culture, is not
considered a tie by his public school in Pomfret. If Benya wants the diploma, he
will have to schedule a conference with the administrators.

Almost As Cool As Our Commencement Speaker

Some remarks of Senator Barack Obama, who gave the commencement address at Knox College in Galesburg Illinois:

And then America happened.

A place where destiny was not a destination, but a journey to be shared and shaped and remade by people who had the gall, the temerity to believe that, against all odds, they could form 'a more perfect union' on this new frontier.

And as people around the world began to hear the tale of the lowly colonists who overthrew and empire for the sake of an idea, they started to come. Across oceans and the ages, they settled in Boston and Charleston, Boston and St. Louis, Kalamazoo and Galesburg, to try and build their own American Dream. This collective dream moved forward imperfectly - it was scarred by our treatment of native peoples, betrayed by slavery, clouded by the subjugation of women, shaken by war and depression. And yet, brick by brick, rail by rail, calloused hand by calloused hand, people kept dreaming, and building, and working, and marching, and petitioning their government, until they made America a land where the question of our place in history is not answered for us. It's answered by us.

Have we failed at times? Absolutely... But the test is not perfection.

The true test of the American ideal is whether we're able to recognize our failings and then rise together to meet the challenges of our time. Whether we allow ourselves to be shaped by events and history, or whether we act to shape them. Whether chance of birth or circumstance decides life's big winners and losers, or whether we build a community where, at the very least, everyone has a chance to work hard, get ahead, and reach their dreams...

America is a land of big dreamers and big hopes.

It is this hope that has sustained us through revolution and civil war, depression and world war, a struggle for civil and social rights and the brink of nuclear crisis. And it is because our dreamers dreamed that we have emerged from each challenge more united, more prosperous, and more admired than before.

So let's dream...


Happy Friday!

Bush still sucks. Apparently everyone else is finally catching on.

New approval ratings...

35% feel the country is headed in the right direction.
43% approve the job Bush is doing as President.
41% support Bush's handling of the Iraq war.
45% support Bush's foreign policy.
37% support Bush's handling of Social Security.
43% support Bush's handling of the economy.

This is just sad.

Senator Brownback removed his hold on the nomination of Julie Finley, which should now go to a floor vote.

Democratic Sniping...

It hasn't been just Republicans attacking Howard Dean for his recent remarks. Recently, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton have all chided Dean for calling the GOP the party of white Christians.

Perhaps Dean could choose his words better, and perhaps that is why he is not in the White House right now, but Dean is right. If a party is going to fight against affirmative action, reproductive choice, and support the USA PATRIOT Act and inherently biased faith-based initiatives, then how can they claim to be the party of minorities, women and non-Christians? They can't. The Democrats need to stop infighting on this one and tackle the real problem.