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"I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ" --Gandhi

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -Theodore Roosevelt

"A little revolution, now and then, is a good thing." -Thomas Jefferson-

"In my lifetime, we've gone from Eisenhower to George W. Bush. We've gone from John F. Kennedy to Al Gore. If this is evolution, I believe that in 12 years, we'll be voting for plants." -Lewis Black-

"When you're born in the world you're given a ticket to the freakshow; when you're born in America you're given a front-row seat. And some of us in the front row have notebooks and pencils." -George Carlin

Florida Police Dump Quadriplegic Man From His Wheelchair - Media on The Huffington Post
Topic: Current Events 4:56 pm EST, Feb 12, 2008

In Hillsborough County, Florida, police were caught, by their own surveillance cameras, dumping a quadriplegic man from his wheelchair and onto the ground.

Can you say "screwed?" And it'll be a good thing too.

Florida Police Dump Quadriplegic Man From His Wheelchair - Media on The Huffington Post

Slate V - Hillary's Inner Tracy Flick
Topic: Humor 11:44 pm EST, Feb 10, 2008

Don't you just hate when some upstart comes along and threatens your best-laid plans? We were struck by how well one of Reese Witherspoon's monologues from the film Election fits the narrative of Campaign 2008.nullnull

There's video with this one! Funny, with a large dose of OW!

Slate V - Hillary's Inner Tracy Flick

Crooks and Liars » Lou Dobbs Rails At White House Incompetence For Funding Nuclear Technology That May End Up In The Hands Of Iran
Topic: International Relations 6:59 pm EST, Feb  8, 2008

This administration, everyone keeps talking about the legacy of this administration, well their legacy is mind-boggling, unbelievable, breathtaking, incompetence and stupidity. That is going to be the legacy of the Bush administration. Thank god that Congressman Dingell and Stupak are leading the way on this issue. I mean my — how in the heck can a secretary of the Department of Energy, Samuel Bodman, even get up in the morning and think he has done anything but waste some of God’s protoplasm if he can’t run that department better than he is.

Complete with video! I do so love C&L.

Crooks and Liars » Lou Dobbs Rails At White House Incompetence For Funding Nuclear Technology That May End Up In The Hands Of Iran

Mukasey: No, I Will Not Investigate Waterboarding
Topic: Politics and Law 3:58 pm EST, Feb  7, 2008

CONYERS: Well, are you ready to start a criminal investigation into whether this confirmed use of waterboarding by United States agents was illegal?

MUKASEY: That's a direct question, and I will give a direct answer.

No, I am not, for this reason: Whatever was done as part of a CIA program at the time that it was done was the subject of a Department of Justice opinion through the Office of Legal Counsel and was found to be permissible under the law as it existed then.

For me to use the occasion of the disclosure that that technique was once part of the CIA program -- an authorized part of the CIA program, would be for me to tell anybody who relied, justifiably, on a Justice Department opinion that not only may they no longer rely on that Justice Department opinion, but that they
will now be subject to criminal investigation for having done so.

Fine. If that is the case, then you prosecute the people who authorized it at OLC. The idea that this could be legal, when the Cambodians have a display devoted to waterboarding at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, is sheer insanity.

Oh, and purely as an aside, "I was just following orders" is no more valid now than it was in 1945. Mr. Attorney General, you're supporting a position of the worst government of the past 100 years, and I don't mean the one you work for.

Mukasey: No, I Will Not Investigate Waterboarding

6 More Weeks!
Topic: Humor 1:19 pm EST, Feb  2, 2008

Phil's handlers, John Griffiths and Ben Hughes, removed him from his stump-shaped shelter on a stage in Punxsutawney at 7:27 a.m. local time and proclaimed he saw his shadow. The forecast elicited some boos from the crowd of about 30,000 gathered to await the 122nd annual weather prediction.

Damn you you overgrown gopher!

6 More Weeks!

The 2008 State of the Union, Dissected
Topic: Politics and Law 9:09 pm EST, Jan 30, 2008

The following is the full text of the address, with comments inserted in bold. The original can be found here just in case someone thinks I wrote my own. Audio can be found here for the one location I note a bad stumble.

An extended comment is about halfway down when I got tired of snarking.

THE PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, Vice President Cheney, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens: Seven years have passed since I first stood before you at this rostrum. In that time, our country has been tested in ways none of us could have imagined. You mean like 9/11 which Berger tried to warn Condi about? Or the August 6th memo saying the same thing? Or the levees failing in New Orleans which you were told was a serious danger? We faced hard decisions about peace and war, rising competition in the world economy, and the health and welfare of our citizens. In other words, we're in two wars, our money is flowing out like the 9th street levee, and we cut messed with the healthcare system to make the companies involved more money These issues call for vigorous debate, which you and your party stifled by branding anyone not in lockstep with you as unpatriotic or helping the terrorists and I think it's fair to say we've answered the call. Yet history will record that amid our differences, we acted with purpose. And together, we showed the world the power and resilience of American self-government. Try we showed the rest of the world we're a bunch of untrustworthy lunatics, or check out the articles or report.

All of us were sent to Washington to carry out the people's business. That is the purpose of this body. It is the meaning of our oath. It remains our charge to keep. Way to plug your book George.

The actions of the 110th Congress will affect the security and prosperity of our nation long after this session has ended. In this election year, let us show our fellow Americans that we recognize our responsibilities and are determined to meet them. Let us show them that Republicans and Democrats can compete for votes and cooperate for results at the same time. (Applause.) The Congress being addressed set a record last year for most bills filibustered in the history of the nation, and did so halfway through the term. If you call that "cooperation" I've got some oceanview property in Wyoming for you.

From expanding opportunity (worst job growth of any president since Hoover, yes I'd like to find a less partial source, but BLS doesn't want to help) to protecti... [ Read More (5.3k in body) ]

CIA Largely in the Dark on Interrogation Tactics - The Washington Independent
Topic: War on Terrorism 8:45 pm EST, Jan 29, 2008

To anyone who still says hard interrogation is good (or torture works):

"How do you separate the sheep from the wool? There’s no fingerprints, no DNA," said a former senior intelligence official who helped set up the CIA’s interrogation program, and who would not speak for attribution. "You don’t know if you have Osama bin Laden or Joe Shit the rag-man."

Yeah, we got all kinds of good intelligence, we didn't know who we were even talking to.

Bush has said those interrogations provided "vital information necessary to … protect the American people and our allies." But FBI agents familiar with the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah have claimed that the waterboarding was worthless—and that the only valuable information from Abu Zubaydah came from documents captured from him. "He was talking before they did that to him, but they didn’t believe him," FBI agent Dan Coleman told The Washington Post. "The problem is they didn’t realize he didn’t know all that much."

They didn't give us information, the stuff they had did.

Similarly, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed stated at a Guantanamo Bay hearing that he murdered the Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Karachi in 2002, though Pakistan has already convicted a terrorist named Omar Saeed Sheikh for the slaying, casting doubt on the information Mohammed gave his interrogators under torture. Perhaps most infamously, al-Libi told interrogators that al-Qaeda received training in weapons of mass destruction from Saddam Hussein, which never happened. al-Libi recanted his claim in 2004, about a year after Colin L. Powell cited al-Libi’s false, torture-derived information to the United Nations as he made the case for invading Iraq.

And the information that we did get proved to be worse than useless, people said what they thought we wanted to hear.

It was worse than useless.

Six years of breaking our laws, violating the Geneva conventions, and an echo of the Spanish Inquisition later, and what we have to show for it is a broken world image, a broken military, a broken government, two wars in the middle east where the only people who think we're doing better than break even in either are the White House and the viewers of Fox News, saber rattling to start a third war with Iran, 3900+ dead US soldiers, nearly 30,000 wounded, and 250,000 soldiers with brain damage. This is not a legacy, it's an indictment.

CIA Largely in the Dark on Interrogation Tactics - The Washington Independent

Citigroup CEO gets $26.7 million in stock, 3 million options -
Topic: Business 3:01 pm EST, Jan 25, 2008

Citigroup (C) awarded Chief Executive Vikram Pandit $26.7 million worth of shares and 3 million stock options six weeks after he took over the largest U.S. bank, and a week after the company reported a record $9.83 billion quarterly loss.

It's the new version of "heckuva job Brownie!" Lose $10 billion, get paid $25 million plus! How can I get that job?

Citigroup CEO gets $26.7 million in stock, 3 million options -

Hale "Bonddad" Stewart: The Illusion of the Bush Economy's Growth is Revealed
Topic: Business 2:59 pm EST, Jan 25, 2008

In effect, the entire economy is going through a process of reevaluating "the greatest story never told" and are discovering it wasn't that good a deal to begin with.

Stewart is really great for getting an understanding of what's going on. Lot's of charts to show you visually what's going on along with simple explanations for what they mean, and then a straightforward tying up of the whole thing. I don't have a degree in economics, but I know the subject well enough to identify bogus arguments, and this isn't that. His prior articles do a good job explaining many parts of the current problems in nice digestible chunks.

Hale "Bonddad" Stewart: The Illusion of the Bush Economy's Growth is Revealed

Justice Nomination Seen as Snub to Democrats - New York Times
Topic: Politics and Law 1:00 pm EST, Jan 24, 2008

Joe Shoemaker, a spokesman for Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, said that by putting Mr. Bradbury’s name forward again as a nominee, “the president has thumbed his nose at Congress and chosen an individual who has been involved in authorizing some of the most controversial policies of this administration.”

So over on the Democrats side of the aisle we have people saying they would like to work together with the Republicans to get things done. Compromise, that old story that doesn't always get good things done, but is designed to get passable results. From the other side, we get things like this.

It's time for the Democrats to wake up. The Republicans have already used cloture more times to kill things than any other senate in history, and we're just barely into the second year of the congress, and the White House keeps sending out crap like this. They have no interest in working with anyone. As far as anyone with eyes can see, their position is their way or the highway, and to hell with the nation.

Justice Nomination Seen as Snub to Democrats - New York Times

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