The Liberal Patriot Blog
 The Liberal Patriot Blog is dedicated to collecting and sharing information about National and State [New Hampshire] Political Action, News, and Events.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Wal-Mart Watch

A Sour Note For Choir At Wal-Mart (Newsday)

A festive group of high school choir students from Central Islip singing at an Islandia shopping center discovered over the weekend that some people were not in the holiday spirit. After entering a Wal-Mart store, the choir was quickly asked to leave before even starting to sing its first song. The Central Islip High School concert choir had just finished a performance at the United Methodist Church off Veterans Memorial Highway, when the students proposed to go caroling in the shopping center across the street. Their director, John Anthony, approved the move and the group of about 30 students found warm welcomes at the Stop & Shop grocery store and other shops in the center. That is, until they entered Wal-Mart. Right away, a store manager approached the award-winning group, announcing that they did not have an appointment and that the sheer size of the group posed a fire hazard, Anthony said. The teens then sang one song - "Guide Me," a classic Welsh tune - to the delight of the customers. "Sing more!" Anthony said the shoppers were screaming. But Wal-Mart was adamant and even called police. The students left peacefully before police arrived and no arrests were made. The choir's merriment quickly disintegrated, the director said. "The kids were just 'Bah humbug!'" he added.

Report Rips China Factories Used By Wal-Mart (AP via Charlotte Observer)

Wal-Mart
uses Chinese factories that deny workers overtime pay and maternity leave and pay them less than the local minimum wage, according to three reports released Thursday from labor monitoring groups. Workers at the Guangzhou Huasheng crafts factory in southern China work 14 hours a day, seven days a week, during peak production season and can earn 22 percent less than the 41-cent per-hour minimum wage in Guandong Province, according to China Labor Watch and the National Labor Committee.

from Walmartwatch.com

Conservatives Journalists are Whores.

Two more conservative columnists on the take

As the Year of Fake News comes to a close, two more conservative columnists have snuck in under the wire to join Armstrong Williams, Maggie Gallagher, Michael McManus, Charles Chieppo, and much of the Iraqi press among the ranks of supposedly independent "news" figures who turned out to be on the take.

Doug Bandow, a senior fellow at the conservative/libertarian Cato Institute and a syndicated columnist for Copley News Service, has admitted taking thousands of dollars in payments from Jack Abramoff in exchange for writing about topics Abramoff's clients were interested in. BusinessWeek Online reported that Bandow admitted "that he had accepted money from Abramoff for writing between 12 and 24 articles over a period of years, beginning in the mid '90s."

Bandow explained, "It was a lapse of judgment on my part, and I take full responsibility for it."

It must have been quite a "lapse" to have lasted "a period of years." Suzette Martinez Standring, president of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, doesn't buy Bandow's explanation, saying what Bandow did "isn't a lapse in judgment, it's soul-selling."

from mediamatters.org


Bob No-Facts has found a home with Faux News

Match made in heaven? "Prince of Darkness" moves to Fox

Just over a week after Media Matters for America delivered nearly 5,000 letters to CNN asking that the cable news giant not renew anchor Robert Novak's contract, CNN announced that it will, indeed, part ways with Novak at the end of the year. Novak has not appeared on CNN since using vulgar language and storming off the set during a live discussion in August.

In the most predictable personnel move since Michael Brown "resigned" as FEMA director, Novak -- known variously as "Bob No Facts," and "the Prince of Darkness" -- was immediately hired by Fox News.

from mediamatters.org


ACTION ALERT!!

Cruel anti-immigrant bill is on House floor NOW. Take action!

We know we have been sending you a lot of emails this week and we apologize. This week is an exception and we will take care not to repeat this in coming weeks. However, we need your immediate help as H.R. 4437, the cruel anti-immigrant bill that we wrote you about earlier this week, is currently being debated on the House floor and can be voted on at any time.

This mean-spirited Republican-backed bill would make it a felony to be an undocumented worker and gut the due process rights of legal immigrants and U.S. citizens.

Your e-mails have already made a difference. The House Rules Committee, which determines allowable amendments, rejected the amendment denying citizenship to the children of undocumented immigrants born here.

H.R. 4437 subverts America's most deeply held values, including a day in court, checks and balances, and freedom from unjust and arbitrary detention. Instead of fixing our broken immigration system, this bill will make matters worse by turning millions of decent, hard-working people into criminals, driving them further underground and pushing more workers into the black market of smugglers and criminals.

What we need is a system allowing people already here to earn the right to stay by continuing to perform work crucial to the U.S. economy, reforms such as the bipartisan, broadly supported AgJobs bill, cosponsored by both Democrats and Republicans.

Your U.S. Representative needs to hear from you IMMEDIATELY about why this bad bill should not pass. Instead, he or she should support comprehensive immigration reform such as the AgJobs bill (H.R. 884). Please call and e-mail your U.S. Representative. Ask him or her to vote against this bill.

Please call and e-mail your U.S. Representative. Ask him or her to vote against this bill.

Please send your email today!


4th highest in the nation.... and climbing...

PSNH asks for residential rate hike

MANCHESTER, N.H. --Residential customers of the Public Service Company of New Hampshire could see their electric bills rise by about 12 percent if the company's request to raise rates is granted next year.

from boston.com


Friday, December 16, 2005



Apparently not everyone is buying into the right's phony war on Christmas. Representative John Dingell of Michegan penned a festive holiday jingle that he read on the House floor after a resolution to "protect the symbols of Christmas" was introduced:


‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the House

No bills were passed ‘bout which Fox News could grouse;

Tax cuts for the wealthy were passed with great cheer,

So vacations in St. Barts soon would be near;

Katrina kids were nestled all snug in motel beds,

While visions of school and home danced in their heads;

In Iraq our soldiers needed supplies and a plan,

Plus nuclear weapons were being built in Iran;

Gas prices shot up, consumer confidence fell;

Americans feared we were on a fast track to…well…

Wait--- we need a distraction--- something divisive and wily;

A fabrication straight from the mouth of O’Reilly

We can pretend that Christmas is under attack

Hold a vote to save it--- then pat ourselves on the back;

Silent Night, First Noel, Away in the Manger

Wake up Congress, they’re in no danger!

This time of year we see Christmas every where we go,

From churches, to homes, to schools, and yes…even Costco;

What we have is an attempt to divide and destroy,

When this is the season to unite us with joy

At Christmas time we’re taught to unite,

We don’t need a made-up reason to fight

So on O’Reilly, on Hannity, on Coulter, and those right wing blogs;

You should just sit back, relax…have a few egg nogs!

‘Tis the holiday season: enjoy it a pinch

With all our real problems, do we honestly need another Grinch?

So to my friends and my colleagues I say with delight,

A merry Christmas to all,

and to Bill O’Reilly…Happy Holidays.


Tin Foil Hate Watch

Bush Ordered N.S.A. to Spy on Americans

In 2002, President Bush issued an executive order that authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens. The New York Times reported that the N.S.A. has monitored the e-mail, telephone calls and other communications of thousands of people. The security agency was checking for people in the United States believed to have contact with suspected associates of al Qaed. These revelations come amid a fierce congressional debate over reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act.

from air america homepage

Bad News...

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraqi security forces caught the most wanted man in the country last year, but released him because they didn't know who he was, the Iraqi deputy minister of interior said Thursday.

Hussain Kamal confirmed that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi -- the al Qaeda in Iraq leader who has a $25 million bounty on his head -- was in custody at some point last year but he wouldn't provide further details.

A U.S. official couldn't confirm the report, but said he wouldn't dismiss it.

"It is plausible," he said.

full article @ daily kos


GOOD NEWS!!!

Associated Press Writer Laurie Kellman reports that it appears Senator Russ Feingold now has enough votes to stop renewal of the PATRIOT Act!

[...] the senior Democrat on the issue, Sen. Patrick Leahy (news, bio, voting record), D-Vt., told reporters that more than 40 votes exist to sustain a filibuster in a test vote Friday.

full article @ daily kos


Susan's New Column in Conway Daily Sun is out!!

Excerpt from Susan's Column:

Jerry Falwell is encouraging his flock to boycott businesses that greet customers with “happy holidays” as opposed to “Merry Christmas.” He is collecting money for a legal defense fund, the better to sue anyone who “tries to inhibit the liberties of our children and our families from worshipping and honoring the Lord, as we in America are constitutionally allowed to do.”

....

If Falwell and his ilk were at all what they claim to be, they’d be busily joining forces with Jim Wallis, and other religious leaders who, in this holiday season, are busy fighting the real war – the war on the American poor and middle class. This week, over 100 prayer vigils were held across the country, calling on Congress to soften their hearts, and not pass a budget that cuts programs like school lunch programs, food stamps, foster care, and low interest student loans. The Council of Churches is mobilizing clergy around the country to call attention to the fact that a budget is a moral document. No one will die if a store clerk says “happy holidays.” Children may very well die, without foster care funding, and without school lunches. The “war on Christmas” is a farce. The war being waged on the poor in this country is painfully real.

You can read the full article at Susan's blog:

http://susanthebruce.blogspot.com/

ACTION ALERT!!

EPA: Take action on link between pesticides and Parkinson's!

You've been there to help us with pesticide issues in the past. Now we need your help again. In a Nov. 27 story, "Hot on the Parkinson's Trail," the Los Angeles Times reported that "scientists have amassed evidence that long-term exposure to toxic compounds, especially pesticides, can trigger the neurological disease."

According to the Times article, "scientists are 'definitely there, beyond a doubt, in showing that environmental toxicants have to be involved' in some cases of Parkinson's disease, said Freya Kamel an epidemiologist with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences." The article also says "scientists have conducted hundreds of animal experiments, at least 40 studies of human patients, and three of human brain tissue. They have found 'a relatively consistent relationship between pesticide exposure and Parkinson's,' british researchers reported."

The article also discussed how "more than 1 billion pounds of herbicides, insecticides and other pest-killing chemicals are used on U.S. farms and gardens and in households. Nearly all adults and children tested have traces of multiple pesticides in their bodies."

It also pointed out that "compounds with little in common, such as a fungicide and an insecticide, apparently can team up to administer a one-two punch, decimating brain cells."

This is a problem we can't ignore. Immediately e-mail the director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Steve Johnson. Tell him instead of the current practice of evaluating each chemical in isolation, federal scientists should be looking at the real life scenarios of exposures for everyone--especially farm workers and farmers--which includes exposure to multiple chemicals that can produce cumulative impacts on the body and environment.

Please send your email today!

from United Farm Workers


ACTION ALERT!!

Clear Channel Censors the Truth about Wal-Mart!

clear channel walmart

Displaying clear political bias, Clear Channel has censored our progressive community's fact-based message about Wal-Mart. Censorship of facts cannot be tolerated in a free society. One man, Bob Sadler, has claimed the license to silence our voice. Please, send him an email and demand that he support freedom of speech and tell him not to censor facts about Wal-Mart. GO »

After allowing us to reserve a billboard less than a mile from Wal-Mart’s World HQ, Clear Channel has refused to accept our ad, censoring the message that you selected about Wal-Mart. Bob Sadler, Clear Channel’s Fort Smith, Ark., division president, unilaterally made the decision. To try to rationalize his censorship, he forwarded a copy of Clear Channel’s official content review policy which stated:

"I wish I could offer objective guidelines for reviewing copy, but I can’t. Frankly, I think these kinds of issues need to be viewed the way Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart approached a very controversial pornography case many years ago: "You know it when you see it."

This is outrageous. Our ad isn’t pornography. It is a clear statement of the truth about Wal-Mart. Mr. Sadler is suppressing free speech out of fear of offending Wal-Mart.

Clear Channel owns more billboards than any other company in America and over 1,200 radio stations nationwide. It is simply outrageous that they would use this power to suppress speech -- even a message that we are prepared to pay for. We have to let Clear Channel know that their censorship is unacceptable. Please send an email to Bob Sadler, the man who rejected your billboard, and demand that he not suppress speech to placate Wal-Mart.

CLICK HERE TO TAKE ACTION

from Campaign for America's Future


Thursday, December 15, 2005

We'll see how much it will cost the GOP to avoid justice

Tobin convicted on phone-jam charges
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Concord — A federal jury this afternoon returned a mixed verdict against a former national Republican Party official accused of orchestrating an election day phone-jamming plot against New Hampshire Democrats.

The jury acquitted James Tobin of the most important of three charges — violating voters' rights — and convicted him on two counts of telephone harassment.
Tobin, 45, of Bangor, Maine, was President Bush’s New England campaign chairman last year.
Tobin faces a maximum seven-year prison term and $500,000 in fines when he is sentenced in March.

Tobin’s lawyer had no comment after the the verdict was delivered in U.S. District Court.
For nearly two hours on Election Day 2002, hundreds of hang-up calls overwhelmed Democratic get-out-the-vote phone banks and a ride-to-the-polls line run by Manchester’s firefighters union.

The state GOP’s former executive director, Chuck McGee, who admitted hatching the plot, has completed a seven-month sentence for conspiracy.

Allen Raymond, former president of Viginia-based GOP Marketplace LLC, pleaded guilty to organizing the jamming. He hopes a five-month sentence will be reduced in exchange for his cooperation with prosecutors.

Can we PLEASE get a judge to make an example of one of these corrupt party hacks from both sides!!!

RISE UP!!! I guess.

Caption Contest


Liberal Patriot Podcast is READY!!!

Liberal Patriot Podcast for Dec 14th is Now ONLINE!

http://joneaston.podomatic.com/ - Political Commentary, News, and Discussion with Jon Easton and Will Cowie.

You can listen to the podcast online, even with only a dial up internet connection. You can also download it and listen to it on your computer or in an mp3 player.


ACTION ALERT!!



ACTION ALERT: Oppose the Reauthorization of the Patriot Act!

Urgent action is still needed to oppose the conference report on H.R. 3199, the reauthorization of the USA PATRIOT Act! The key vote on the reauthorization bill reported by the House and Senate conference committee is expected in the Senate soon. We must stop the reauthorization in the Senate! The bill provides for more government secrecy in the name of homeland security and anti-terrorism without the checks and balances needed to protect civil liberties. Medical, banking or library records of Americans can still be obtained by law enforcement without necessary safeguards.

Take action now to oppose the reauthorization of the USA PATRIOT Act!

This bill makes most provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act permanent and then extends three of the most controversial provisions. It does not sufficiently protect civil liberties. It fails to restore checks and balances that were taken away by the USA PATRIOT Act.

Tell your Senators to vote for civil liberties and to vote NO on this expansion of the PATRIOT Act!

from League of Women Voters of the United States

ACTION ALERT!!

Tell Congress to OPPOSE STEALTH VOUCHER BILL;
Enzi-Kennedy Plan May Be Added to Defense Bill

In a backdoor parliamentary maneuver to create what would be the nation’s first-ever voucher program for private and religious schools, Senators Enzi (WY) and Kennedy (MA) are working to include their voucher proposal in the must-pass Defense appropriations (spending) bill (H.R. 2863). Congress is likely to vote on the bill as early as tomorrow and no later than this weekend.

Enzi, Kennedy and supporters of vouchers have gone out of their way to steer clear of the word “vouchers” in describing the proposal. They’ve instead couched it as the best way to help students and schools affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. But vouchers are exactly what they are: the proposal would result in direct cash payments to private and religious schools.

Action Needed

Write and call your Senators and Representative TODAY at 1-202-224-3121. Tell them to keep the Enzi-Kennedy voucher proposal out of the Defense appropriations bill (H.R. 2863) or any other bill.

from National Education Association


ACTION ALERT!!

USA PATRIOT Act!
Over 40,000 messages burst into Senate inboxes within just 24 hours after PFAW set up its petition urging members to stop the bill to renew the Act any way possible - including a filibuster.

The vote on the compromise language you petitioned against will come as early as today. Get a call in to your senators now.
The switchboard number is:
202-224-3121


Alito Credibility In Question
As more documents are released illuminating Samuel Alitos record, a disturbing lack of credibility has begun to emerge across a range of key issues.

Read our latest memo.

If you haven't signed the petition to the Senate, do it now . If you have - tell your friends to sign.

from People for the American Way


ACTION ALERT!!

Care2.com logoStop Congress' Attack on Your Health Care

Imagine if your health insurance plan could raise your rates at any time and deny coverage of the most basic care -- like birth control, well-child check-ups and mammograms -- even though your state requires such coverage. Well, the House of Representatives has already passed a bill that would allow a new type of insurance to do just that -- and we need your voice today to stop this anti-consumer legislation in the Senate.

Click here to take action.

from actforchange

Stupid Idea Watch

N.H. uses $5 million Tyco settlement for corporate ethics program

Years before Dennis Kozlowski was sent to prison for huge frauds at Tyco, the company had agreed to pay New Hampshire, its former home, $5 million to settle allegations of financial misconduct.

Now the state is using that money to start an investor education program, with the help of former CNN financial editor Myron Kandel. The money will be used as an endowment to pay for the project.

Gov. John Lynch, Secretary of State William Gardner, Kandel and other officials released an outline of the program Wednesday.

....

Gardner said he hoped New Hampshire's effort to teach future corporate leaders ethics and to educate investors will serve as a model for the nation.

....

Kandel said he hopes to start next spring with a blitz of forums and seminars at the state's colleges featuring national government and business leaders and the media. The discussions will look at how corporate scandals can be avoided in the future, he said.


from boston.com

Idiots. Scandals only happen because investors and business people are "uneducated" about the consequences of their actions. WHAT A WASTE OF MONEY!! Teaching corporations NOT to steal.


Another idiotic presidential candidate.....

Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts has decided not to seek re-election in 2006, a source told The Associated Press on Wednesday, fueling speculation he will seek the 2008 Republican presidential nomination

from boston.com


Why else would he say ANYTHING about it....

Democrats are wrong to try to tinker with New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation presidential primary, New York Gov. George Pataki said Wednesday. But he wouldn't say whether he will be a candidate in the contest.

from boston.com

They tell the truth about ANY war, they WANT to fight....

On Friday, Bill O’Reilly took to the airwaves to share the latest “War on Christmas” outrage:

In Dodgeville, Wisconsin, the Ridgewood Elementary School has changed the song Silent Night to Cold in the Night and forced the kids to sing the lyrics, “Cold in the night, No one in sight, Winter winds whirl and bite,” to the tune of the original Silent Night.

O’Reilly was by no means the only conservative to repeat this story. During a Dec. 10 appearance on Fox News, Mathew Staver of the Liberty Counsel said the presentation at Ridgewood Elementary had “no balance here. They have no Christian Christmas carols.” He even threatened to sue the school:

People are outraged. We sent a demand letter asking them to immediately change the song and allow the actual lyrics of “Silent Night,” and if they do not, if they insist on this ridiculous course of action, we’ll file a federal lawsuit.

As it turns out, the entire story is a fraud.

Ridgeway Elementary didn’t change the lyrics to “Silent Night.” What they did was perform a 1988 copyrighted play called “The Little Tree’s Christmas Gift.”

That play actually contains numerous songs about Christmas, including the grand finale, an audience-led group singing of “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.” The play’s creator, Dwight Elrich, happens to lead the New Covenant Singers of Bel Air Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles.

In fact, “The Little Tree’s Christmas Gift” has been performed in several churches, including the Oakwood Forest Christian Church in Kingsport, Tennessee, the St. Anthony Parish School in Des Moines, Iowa, and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church of Abeline, Texas.

So why are the Silent Night lyrics changed in “Little Tree’s Christmas”? Because the play is about a small, lonely Christmas tree that is told it is “too scraggly, it will never sell.” That character sings the revised lyrics — “Cold in the night, No one in sight, Winter winds whirl and bite” — in a scene lamenting his sad state. The rewording has absolutely nothing to do with “secularizing” the song.

Sorry, Virginia, there is no “War on Christmas.”

from thinkprogress


DLC deathwatch...

Less than two weeks ago, the Democratic Leadership Council said that people like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Vietnam War Hero Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA) were "offering surrender" by supporting an exit strategy from Iraq. This followed on the DLC's long record of slamming anyone who it disagrees with (for more, just see the DLC's treatment of Howard Dean in the 2004 presidential primary). Now, the DLC is desperately attacking those like Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) who have been critical of Sen. Joe Lieberman's (D-CT) support for the Iraq War, and in the process, actually claiming the DLC has always been for "inclusion" in the Democratic Party and against "polarized politics."

This is how pathetic and corrupt it has gotten in Washington. The nation's capital has become a place where corporate-funded institutions like the DLC can one day viciously stab courageous progressives, and then the next day turn around and claim they are actually for "inclusion" - all without batting an eye, or thinking twice about how dishonest and hypocritical such behavior really is.

Apparently to the DLC, "inclusion" is defined as being in lockstep with their far-out-of-the-mainstream views, and the only thing important to them is preserving their status on the D.C. cocktail party circuit by issuing press releases touting their "friendship" with those who undermine the Democratic Party.

from sirotablog

Wal-Mart Watch

What Wal-Mart Wants from the WTO http://www.alternet.org/walmart/29464/

Beating them at their own game.....

The Iraqi border police seized a tanker filled with thousands of forged ballots. The Iraqi Interior Ministry says the truck was coming from Iran. One official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity told the police under interrogation that at least three other trucks filled with ballots had crossed from Iran. American ambassador in Baghdad, Zalmay Khalilzad said Iran is trying to influence events in Iraq because "there are states that fear success of democracy here - that it might be infectious and spread."

from air america homepage

I am not worried about this. I am completely confident that the Bush Administration is able to get the election results they require.

Global Warming Watch

Polar bears are drowning.

from thinkprogress

Well, polar bears are white.... so unlike the people left behind in New Orleans Bush might actually care about them.


UPDATE: Underneath their white fur coats polar bears have BLACK skin. Sorry bears you are SOL.


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Being black is hazardous to your health.....

An analysis of “a little-known government research project shows that black Americans are 79 percent more likely than whites to live in neighborhoods where industrial pollution is suspected of posing the greatest health danger.”

from think progress

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Dead Soldiers return home with the luggage....

Dead heroes are supposed to come home with their coffins draped with the American flag -- greeted by a color guard.

But in reality, many are arriving as freight on commercial airliners -- stuffed in the belly of a plane with suitcases and other cargo. John Holley and his wife, Stacey, were stunned when they found out the body of their only child, Matthew, who died in last month, would be arriving at Lindbergh Field as freight.

.....

John and Stacey Holley, who were both in the Army, made some calls, and with the help of U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, Matthew was greeted with honor and respect.

"Our familiarity with military protocol and things of that sort allowed us to kind of put our foot down -- we're not sure other parents have that same knowledge," said Stacey Holley.

.....

Reporters from 10News called the Defense Department for an explanation. A representative said she did not know why this is happening.

form yahoo news

Use 'em up and forget them...... Bastards!


1000 Days of War...... or

$204.4 billion: The cost to the U.S of the war so far.

2,339: Allied troops killed

15,955: US troops wounded in action

98: U.K troops killed

30,000 : Estimated Iraqi civilian deaths

0: Number of WMDs found

66: Journalists killed in Iraq.

63: Journalists killed during Vietnam war

8: per cent of Iraqi children suffering acute malnutrition

53,470: Iraqi insurgents killed

67: per cent Iraqis who feel less secure because of occupation

$343: Average monthly salary for an Iraqi soldier. Average monthly salary for an American soldier in Iraq: $4,160.75

5: foreign civilians kidnapped per month

47: per cent Iraqis who never have enough electricity

20: casualties per month from unexploded mines

25-40: per cent Estimated unemployment rate, Nov 2005

251: Foreigners kidnapped

70: per cent of Iraqi's whose sewage system rarely works

183,000: British and American troops are still in action in Iraq.

13,000: from other nations

90: Daily attacks by insurgents in Nov '05. In Jun '03: 8

60-80: per cent Iraqis who are "strongly opposed" to presence of coalition troops

From editor and publisher


What's going to be the biggest selling christmas gift this year?


Barack who?

It took less than a year in office for Barack Obama to become an apologist for George Bush. According to an article in the Chicago Tribune Obama was asked at a town hall meeting whether Bush should be impeached for lying us into the Iraq debacle, to which our junior senator reportedly replied "Well, FDR, JFK, LBJ -- we have a pretty long list of presidents who maybe were not entirely forthcoming with intelligence information before they went to war, so I'd be cautious against making legal cases against the administration."

All together now, "What the f---?!!"

If "everybody does it" is Obama's idea of legal defense then obviously the trial of former Illinois governor George Ryan should be stopped at once since the list of corrupt Illinois governors is even longer than that of "not entirely forthcoming" presidents. If "everybody does it" trumps investigation and prosecution we should just lay off the torture trial of former Chicago police captain John Burge since beating and abusing helpless prisoners is ubiquitous across human history. If the commonality of an offense is its own justification then no driver should ever be ticked for speeding, no student should be punished for cheating, nor any football player ever called for a foul. I doubt even Obama has become that complacent, yet.

Maybe there's something in the Washington DC water that suppresses people's (or at least politician's) senses of outrage. Maybe power is the opiate of the elite. Obama’s impeachment defense combined with his earlier attempt to excuse the administration of responsibility for torture at Abu Ghraib prison look like another in his endless attempts to become the Will Smith of American politics, "a black guy everybody can agree on."

I know Obama has a lot of fans around the country but it benefits no one to let him get away with insulting our intelligences and spinning the crime of war.

Let's hope Senator Obama's cynical sophistry is not the beginning of what Brits call "reverse metamorphosis," the transformation of a butterfly back into a slug.

from huffington post

It seems to me like Obama has been getting his advice from the business as usual DC insiders. Good luck, trying to float another "Great Speech" now that you have a track record.


Wish we had a forward thinking governor like this.

Cuba's state-run food agency, Alimport has cut a deal with Maine's Governor, John Baldacci. Maine will begin to export 20 million dollars worth of seed, potatoes, fish and dairy cattle to Cuba in 2007. Mr Baldacci is the third state governor to travel to the island this year for trade talks. Despite the 40-year trade embargo, food sales to Cuba on a cash basis were approved by Congress in 2000.

Fox News.... who do they REALLY serve...

During last month’s street riots in France, Fox News ran a banner during a news segment, reading: “Muslim riots.” Billionaire Saudi Prince al-Walid bin Talal, who owns 5.5% of Fox News, was unhappy with the tagline:

I picked up the phone and called Murdoch… (and told him) these are not Muslim riots, these are riots out of poverty. Within 30 minutes, the title was changed from Muslim riots to civil riots.

Talal gained notoriety after 9/11 when he blamed U.S. policies for the terrorist attacks.

from thinkprogress


The War of Christmas

AirAmerica’s Sam Seder appeared today on CNN to debate the “war on Christmas” with Bob Knight, director of the Culture and Family Institute. (Seder is pictured below holding up an ad for the “holiday party” thrown by Fox News parent company, News Corp.).

It was quite a performance. Watch the video:

(Quicktime)

Transcript:

SEDER: Listen, as far as the war on Christmas goes, I feel like we should be waging a war on Christmas. I mean, I believe that Christmas, it’s almost proven that Christmas has nuclear weapons, can be an imminent threat to this country, that they have operative ties with terrorists and I believe that we should sacrifice thousands of American lives in pursuit of this war on Christmas. And hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money.

PHILLIPS: Is it a war on Christmas, a war on Christians, a war on over-political correctness or just a lot of people with way too much time on their hands?

SEDER: I would say probably, if I was to be serious about it, too much time on their hands, but I’d like to get back to the operational ties between Santa Claus and al Qaeda.

PHILLIPS: I don’t think that exists. Bob? Help me out here.

SEDER: We have intelligence, we have intelligence.

PHILLIPS: You have intel. Where exactly does your intel come from?

SEDER: Well, we have tortured an elf and it’s actually how we got the same information from Al Libbi. It’s exactly the same way the Bush administration got this info about the operational ties between al Qaeda and Saddam.

Full version at Eschaton.

from thinkprogress

This whole "War on Christmas" is AMAZING.... Christians pushing for MORE commericialization of Christmas..... BACK WHEN I WAS A KID... Christians would push for LESS COMMERCIALIZATION and more of a return to the original meaning of the holiday...

The advertizers must be LOVING this....


Another Bush poll....

“The president’s series of speeches on Iraq over the past two weeks hasn’t convinced Americans that he has a plan for victory: 38% say he has one, 58% say he doesn’t.”

Monday, December 12, 2005

US warned Saudis about plane attacks

A DECLASSIFIED US cable made public overnight shows that US officials warned Saudi counterparts more than three years before the September 11, 2001 attacks that Osama bin Laden might target civilian aircraft.

from the australian via dependable Renegade


ugh... I am depressed. It must be Xmas..

it's something in the donuts and ice cream....

WaPo:"The Carlyle Group is among the final bidders for the Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins restaurant chains, in what would be the first U.S. consumer retail investment for a company built around its expertise in defense, aerospace and telecommunications."

from talking points memo

oi..... the plot sickens...

New York Magazine ...

Bush-administration officials privately threatened organizers of the U.N. Climate Change Conference, telling them that any chance there might’ve been for the United States to sign on to the Kyoto global-warming protocol would be scuttled if they allowed Bill Clinton to speak at the gathering today in Montreal, according to a source involved with the negotiations who spoke to New York Magazine on condition of anonymity.

Bush officials informed organizers of their intention to pull out of the new Kyoto deal late Thursday afternoon, soon after news leaked that Clinton was scheduled to speak, the source said.

The threat set in motion a flurry of frantic back-channel negotiations between conference organizers and aides to Bush and Clinton that lasted into the night on Thursday, and at one point Clinton flatly told his advisers that he was going to pull out and not deliver the speech, the source said.

from talking points memo


Glad we made that deal with them....


So much for Honoring thy Father and Mother........

Apparently conservative family values no longer include respecting your parents. Sad.

From the uber-conservative tabloid Newsmax:
"Fox News Sunday" anchorman Chris Wallace says father Mike Wallace has "lost it" - after the legendary CBS newsman told the Boston Globe last week that the fact George Bush had been elected president shows America is "[expletive]-up."

"He's lost it. The man has lost it. What can I say," the younger Wallace lamented to WRKO Boston radio host Howie Carr on Friday.

"He's 87-years old and things have set in," the Fox anchor continued. "I mean, we're going to have a competence hearing pretty soon."

Wallace Jr. quickly dispelled any notion that he was joking. When Carr suggested that his comments were likely to be covered by NewsMax, he responded: "You know what? Fine. Go ahead. Call them. That's fine. I'll stand by that."

Returning to the topic of his father's competence, Wallace Jr. explained: "He's checked out. I don't understand it," beyond the fact that Wallace Sr. has "problems with the war."

"I don't know why he said what he said," he added.

On Thursday, the elder Wallace told the Boston Globe that if he had the chance to interview President Bush, he'd ask:

"What in the world prepared you to be the commander in chief of the largest superpower in the world? In your background, Mr. President, you apparently were incurious. You didn't want to travel. You knew very little about the military. . . . The governor of Texas doesn't have the kind of power that some governors have. . . . Why do you think they nominated you? . . . Do you think that has anything to do with the fact that the country is so [expletive] up?"

Still, despite his criticism, Wallace Jr. seems to have inherited some of his father's shoot-from-the-lip-style.

Asked about DNC chair Howard Dean's recent prediction that the U.S. would lose the war in Iraq, Wallace told Carr:

"We are in a war. We do have 150,000-plus American soldiers over there. I mean, it's Tokyo Rose, for God sakes, going on radio saying we can't win the war."
No Chris, Tokyo Rose is a Republican who throws our troops' lives away like a dirty old kleenex for a war that's a lie and a disaster, rather than volunteering to go over and fight themselves.

from America Blog

(some).... Washington Post Reporters are Pussys

A little while ago, Washingtonpost.com started linking to blogs. The modest effort alerts readers to blogs that have commented on a specific article, and appear on the same page as the article. They look like this:

blogs

According to the Post’s ombudsman, Deborah Howell, some reporters aren’t happy:

Some Post reporters don’t appreciate that links are put on the Web site to what bloggers are saying about this or that story — especially when the bloggers are highly negative.

This underscores a fundamental tension about blogs in the mainstream media. Many of those involved in traditional outlets view blogs as a way to expand their audience and deepen the discourse about their content. The L.A. Times, CNN and other mainstream players actively push their content to ThinkProgress and other blogs via email.

But others, including some reporters at the Post, view blogs as a threat. Ms. Howell indicates they are motivated, at least in part, by a desire to insulate their work for criticism.

from thinkprogress


Jesus makes people want to spend money!

Over the weekend, Pope Benedict warned that “rampant materialism” was “polluting the spirit of Christmas.”

Apparently, the conservatives in charge of the federal government don’t agree. This morning on CNN, Time reporter Mike Allen reported that President Bush and his allies will be “doing all kinds of things…reminding people the economy is good.” (For what it’s worth, the people don’t agree. Sixty-three percent of Americans view the economy as either “bad,” “very bad,” or “terrible.”) The Speaker of the House will be joining in the charade:

The Speaker of the House — Dennis Hastert of Illinois — will be out Christmas shopping on camera, so you’ll see [conservatives] reminding people of the good news — if there was inflation, things like that.

Of course, perhaps the Pope is wrong. According to Florida Rev. Tim Bumgardner, during his Dec. 1 appearance on the O’Reilly Factor, shopping is the reason for the season.

Rev. Tim Bumgardner: Be American. Celebrate Christmas. People spend more money. Jesus makes people want to spend money!

O’Reilly: I agree. I’m with you.

What does the Pope know about Christmas anyway?

from thinkprogress

If Jesus makes people want to spend money then that horrible bankrupcy bill is a violation of freedom of religion!!!Or is this just the beginnning of pinning the national debt on Jesus?


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