Tuesday, July 31, 2007

In keeping with the headline theme

posted by The Vidiot @ 4:07 PM Permalink

started by Bill below, these are some of the headlines right now on Raw Story:
Rumsfeld apparently refuses Pat Tillman hearing
Gonzales fails to reply to Senate on perjury
Cheney snubs House probe
Top advocate of US-India nuke deal livid, has yet to see text
Report: 2004 Ohio ballots destroyed
And what does all of that tell you?

That NONE of them give a rat's ass. And why should they? Nothing will happen to them if they don't comply. They know it. The Congress knows it. We know it. So why bother?


The Wall Street Journal Finally Able to Join Supermarket Tabloids After Deal Struck

posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:30 PM Permalink

I really can't speak for anyone else but I, for one, am delirious with joy that the WSJ will finally get the exposure it deserves: being displayed prominently on your favorite rack at supermarket check-out lanes all over America with the rest of the lesser tabloids. It no doubt will be displayed prominently front and center on the top rack with a small, but tasteful, banner announcing it will be the premiere paper for news of foreign and alien invasions from space, horrifically deformed babies, missing white women and the men who love them, as well as continuing its reports of the Dow Jones Index.

It was nip-and-tuck all the way as the Bancroft family dickered around with the selling price, completely ignoring pleas from the WSJ staff that they represented an honest, non-biased, purely beneficiary business publication that also doubles as a bush propaganda outlet. The WSJ staff asserted that under Rupert Murdoch the paper would lose credibility.

After the Board of Directors and the Bancroft family heard the WSJ employee's concerns everyone just laughed and laughed and laughed and, in fact, collapsed into gales of laughter at the assertion that the WSJ wasn't already a tabloid-class newspaper and had any integrity to lose.

It was only after Murdoch increased his offer by a dollar twenty-two ninety five ($1.2295) and promised to carry on in the finest tradition of tabloid-hood that the Board and the Bancroft family ok'd the deal.

After the sale was concluded, Murdoch's press release reported only a small number of resignations and suicides. Asked about the suicides a spokesman claimed that "those losers" had no place in a tabloid-controlled world anyway, and that it was a good thing to have reduced the numbers of people to be summarily executed for failing to perform adequately as sycophants.

"We are also considering a wallet-sized publication to be printed daily devoted strictly to whatever the bush maladministration needs us to devote it to," said Murdoch. "Every stenographer at the WSJ has been trained to call the White House daily to get their stories from bush/cheney and every single member of this maladministration, all of whom will corruptly declassify "top secret" material randomly to give the paper the propaganda scoops that the public has come to expect from the WSJ."

"I will ensure that every stenographer and so-called…what are they called?…oh, yeah, 'reporter' receives the vital and necessary training to enforce News Corp's policy that no employee on staff may ever lie unless they are alone or with somebody, under the influence of drugs, or when testifying to Congress," Murdoch stated.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Monday Sailboat Blogging

posted by The Sailor @ 7:12 PM Permalink

Alinghi wins the pennant! Alinghi wins the pennant! Alinghi wins the pennant!
Alinghi beat Emirates Team New Zealand – DELTA 0:01

Yet again it was a tense and aggressive pre-start between the teams, with Dean Barker refusing the traditional dial-up in favour of getting below Alinghi’s stern and chasing Ed Baird around the start box.
Barker always looked in control, but at start time both boats were at full speed off the line, Alinghi to the right of NZL 92. Baird managed to live there for some minutes, until he was forced to tack away over to the right.

The Kiwis claimed the lead for a brief moment up the beat, but towards the top of the course Alinghi managed to hold their opponent past the port layline. A luffing match ensued before Baird accelerated and took SUI 100 around the windward mark 7 seconds ahead.

Down the run, the Kiwi gybes and spinnaker handling looked more assured, and with the Alinghi spinnaker flailing momentarily, Barker surged past Baird into the lead. At the bottom gate, the Kiwis opted for the simpler spinnaker drop, taking the left-hand mark, Alinghi making a difficult gybe-drop look easy and rounding the right-hand mark 14 seconds behind.

The Kiwis tacked over to loose-cover Alinghi as both boats tracked out to the right-hand side. Brad Butterworth called for a tack over at the Kiwis and a tacking duel ensued. Alinghi appeared to be winning the battle, and eventually the Kiwis disengaged, still a boatlength ahead but to the left of their rivals.

When Barker reached the port layline, he tacked and immediately bore away into a dial-down against Baird. The Kiwis tried to get below the line of SUI 100, but it was close. The Swiss flew a Y flag in protest, and the Umpires flew a yellow penalty flag in response.

Now a penalty down, the Kiwis rounded the final mark 12 seconds behind. On the final run to the finish, the breeze was dropping, but the Kiwis could make no impact. Alinghi was on the final approach to the finish when their spinnaker pole flew off the mast, the spinnaker flailing. At the same time the breeze dropped and shifted massively.

Alinghi - dead in the water - was overtaken. Then the Kiwis almost reached the line and took their penalty with a double-tack. Struggling to accelerate, they bore away to cross but Alinghi made it across the finish by just 1 second.


Deadline Passed - Time to Overthrow Another Duly Elected Government

posted by Bill Arnett @ 3:13 PM Permalink

The headline, "Iraq Parliament Fails To Pass Bush Laws Before August Vacation," from the Huffington Post tells the tale. Remember, al-Maliki had until June 30 to get the draconian Profit Sharing Agreements (PSAs) signed.

He failed.

bush will now replace the Iraqi government with one inclined to give away 85-87% of Iraqi oil profits for the next 30 years.

It will most likely be composed of groups aligned with Saudi Arabia.

R.I.P. freely elected government in Iraq. It was nice as long as the purple ink lasted.

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One of Those "No Need for Clarification" Thangs When You Can Say it With a Song

posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:23 AM Permalink

Sometimes just the headline of a story can tell you everything you need to know without even reading the article. Here are some choices from the Huffington Post:
"Gonzales Given Week To Avoid Potential Perjury Probe" ["There's gonna be a showdown…" Electric Light Orchestra's It's Raining All Over the World]

"Republicans Expect 'Another Beating' In 2008" ["Oh, it's too late, baby, now it's too late…" Carole King's It's Too Late]

"Sex Lawsuit Could Complicate A Bloomberg Presidential Run" ["I'm too sexy for my cat too sexy for my cat…Poor pussy poor pussy cat…" Right Said Fred's I'm Too Sexy]

"Bancrofts Asked To Decide Today On Murdoch Bid" ["And what you say about his company…Is what you say about society.…Catch the mist, catch the myth…Catch the mystery, catch the drift.…" Rush's Tom Sawyer]

"Biden Blasts Rudy: "Tough Talk And Cheap Shots Won't Make America Any Safer" ["…But I shot a man in Reno…just to watch him die…" Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison Blues]

"Relationship Between Sumner, Shari Redstone "Shattered" "So don't go breaking my heart …I won't go breaking your heart…" Elton John's Don't Go Breaking My Heart]

"Bush On PM Brown: "I Kinda Had A Sense Of The Kind Of Person I Was Going To Be Dealing With” ["Don't talk don't talk don't talk don't talk…Baby don't talk…Body language…" Queen's Body Language]

"Bush Admin Subpoenas Michael Moore" ["I want you…I want you so bad…I want you…I want you so bad it's driving me mad…It's driving me mad…" The Beatles' I Want You (She's So Heavy)]

"Sen Specter Violates Informal Rule While Aboard Air Force One: Speaking With Reporters" ["Time can never mend…The careless whispers of a good friend …To the heart and mind…Ignorance is kind…There's no comfort in the truth…Pain is all you'll find…" Wham!'s Careless Whisper]

"Clinton Campaign Raises 'Cleavage' Cash" ["Hey, mister, have you got a dime?…Mister, do you want to spent some time? Oh, yeah…I got what you want, you got what I need…I'll be your baby, come and spend it on me…" Donna Summer's Bad Girl]

"White House Salaries Released: Rove, Senior Aides Get $2,800 Boost" ["Money, get back.…I'm all right Jack keep your hands off of my stack.…Money, it's a hit.…Don't give me that do goody good bullsh*t.…I'm in the high fidelity first-class travelling set…And I think I need a Lear jet…" Pink Floyd's Money]

"Gonzales Career Marked By 'Misstatements And Omissions' In Defense Of Bush Policies" ["Everybody's got something to hide except for me and my monkey…" The Beatles Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey]

"Bancrofts Close To Accepting Murdoch Bid" ["I live my life like there's no tomorrow…All I've got I had to steal…At least I don't have to beg or borrow…Yes I'm living at a pace that kills…Oh, running with the devil…" Van Halen's Running with the Devil]

"Flings Between Reporters, Sources Not Uncommon" ["I got to have a shot of what you got is oh so sweet.…You got to make it hot, like a boomerang I need a repeat, Gimme all your lovin', all your hugs and kisses too, Gimme all your lovin', don't let up until we're through" ZZ Top's Gimme All Your Lovin']

"Growing GOP Movement Rejects Bush Iraq Plan" ["Hit young {bushie} in the eye…{bushie} didn't like that…He said I'm gonna get {those boys}" paraphrasing The Beatles' Rocky Raccoon]
Some days the headlines make it just too damned easy.

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

American Gangstas Further Damaging Our Military

posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:15 PM Permalink

I think pretty much everyone knows of the military's recruitment problems. Those problems have lead to the enlistment of people with drug and violence convictions, no H.S. diploma, mental health problems, and a variety of traits that rarely make for a good soldier, but that are necessary because the parents of enlistment age kids are telling their kids [just as I did] that they will be damned before they will send their child off to die in a blazing desert for the purpose of stealing Iraqi oil in an illegal war started by bush..

Here are some of the consequences:
Evidence of gang culture and gang activity in the military is increasing so much an FBI report calls it "a threat to law enforcement and national security." The signs are chilling: Marines in gang attire on Parris Island; paratroopers flashing gang hand signs at a nightclub near Ft. Bragg; infantrymen showing-off gang tattoos at Ft. Hood.

"It's obvious that many of these people do not give up their gang affiliations," said Hunter Glass, a retired police detective in Fayetteville, North Carolina, the home of Ft. Bragg and the 82nd Airborne. He monitors gang activity at the base and across the military.

"If we weren't in the middle of fighting a war, yes, I think the military would have a lot more control over this issue," Glass said. "But with a war going on, I think it's very difficult to do."

Gang activity clues are appearing in Iraq and Afghanistan, too. Gang graffiti is sprayed on blast walls – even on Humvees. Kilroy – the doodle made famous by U.S. soldiers in World War II – is here, but so is the star emblem of the Gangster Disciples.
Yet again America faces another national security crisis in the making, all due to the actions and incompetence of the worst president in history.

When will it stop?

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The Changes of Today Ruin a GOP Narrative

posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:21 AM Permalink

A quote from the preceding post by the Vidiot himself: "Now they just said that the majority of people 18-29 under Reagan are republican now. (Uh, no.)," referring to a bare statement on George Stephanwhatever's show this morning, which immediately brought to mind this post from Crooks and Liars just two day ago that tells a totally different story about today's GOP:
This is about what you’d expect, but Democracy Corps has released yet another survey demonstrating that the Republican Party is losing young people in droves. Among 18-29 year olds, 50% have a favorable view of the Democratic Party compared to only 35% for the Republican Party. There are plenty of reasons for this, but basically they hate George Bush, they hate the Iraq war, and they hate religious conservatives.

The good news, of course, is that people are brand loyal. Once they make up their minds in their twenties which party they like better, they generally stick with it for the rest of their lives. So the Republican Party’s deal with the devil to embrace the Christian Right might have helped them out for a while, but in the long term it’s a disaster.
That group from the Reagan era would now be aged 44-55, and would be among the groups of older and especially independent voters that are also turned off on the GOP. They make up a large portion of the 70% or so of Americans opposing the war.

So when you wish to place a little smiley-face on a disaster in motion, cite meaningless stats from 26 years ago and hope no one looks at the current statistics.

And so ends another chapter of the ever-continuing story of Peyton Place…uh…I mean the ever-continuing propaganda, disinformation, half-truths, and outright lies of the GOP.

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The Sunday Talkshows

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:36 AM Permalink

The reason I hate the Sunday talk shows is because they are always telling us what to think... and it's always wrong. Right now, on George Steph, they're trying to tell us the Hillary always wins the debates.


Say it over and over again until you believe it.

Now they just said that the majority of people 18-29 under Reagan are republican now. (Uh, no.)

Oh, and a terrorist attack can happen at any moment. (If the government thinks we need one)

Bush is at 33%. (Way lower.)

The real legacy of GW Bush is his destruction of the 30-year lead that the republicans have had in foreign policy vs. the democrats. (Yeah, that's it. Not the destruction of the constitution, the destruction of an entire country and it's people. I could go on.)

Honestly, there was more truth in the Simpson's movie (which I thoroughly enjoyed BTW.)

Update: Oh my gawd. Just when you think they couldn't go any lower, George Steph starts to say "the biggest upcoming cleavage in the democratic party..." and Gergen started to snigger.




Update 2: It gets worse. On Meet the Whore, they actually DISCUSSED Hillary's cleavage.

We're so doomed.

Update 3: Tim Russert just called A.G. Gonzales a piñata.


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Insanity or Politics - With bush There is No Discernible Difference - I Vote for Insanity

posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:22 AM Permalink

Please see this article posted at the NYT just yesterday, titled, "Saudis’ Role in Iraq Frustrates U.S. Officials":
During a high-level meeting in Riyadh in January, Saudi officials confronted a top American envoy with documents that seemed to suggest that Iraq’s prime minister could not be trusted.[…]

Now, Bush administration officials are voicing increasing anger at what they say has been Saudi Arabia’s counterproductive role in the Iraq war. They say that beyond regarding Mr. Maliki as an Iranian agent, the Saudis have offered financial support to Sunni groups in Iraq. Of an estimated 60 to 80 foreign fighters who enter Iraq each month, American military and intelligence officials say that nearly half are coming from Saudi Arabia and that the Saudis have not done enough to stem the flow.

One senior administration official says he has seen evidence that Saudi Arabia is providing financial support to opponents of Mr. Maliki. He declined to say whether that support was going to Sunni insurgents because, he said, “That would get into disagreements over who is an insurgent and who is not.”

Senior Bush administration officials said the American concerns would be raised next week when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates make a rare joint visit to Jidda, Saudi Arabia.

Officials in Washington have long resisted blaming Saudi Arabia for the chaos and sectarian strife in Iraq, choosing instead to pin blame on Iran and Syria. Even now, military officials rarely talk publicly about the role of Saudi fighters among the insurgents in Iraq.

The accounts of American concerns came from interviews with several senior administration officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they believed that openly criticizing Saudi Arabia would further alienate the Saudi royal family at a time when the United States is still trying to enlist Saudi support for Mr. Maliki and the Iraqi government, and for other American foreign policy goals in the Middle East, including an Arab-Israeli peace plan.

The American officials said they had no doubt that the documents shown to Mr. Khalilzad were forgeries, though the Saudis said they had obtained them from sources in Iraq. “Maliki wouldn’t be stupid enough to put that on a piece of paper,” one senior Bush administration official said. He said Mr. Maliki later assured American officials that the documents were forgeries.

The Bush administration’s frustration with the Saudi government has increased in recent months because it appears that Saudi Arabia has stepped up efforts to undermine the Maliki government and to pursue a different course in Iraq from what the administration has charted. Saudi Arabia has also stymied a number of other American foreign policy initiatives, including a hoped-for Saudi embrace of Israel.

Of course, the Saudi government has hardly masked its intention to prop up Sunni groups in Iraq and has for the past two years explicitly told senior Bush administration officials of the need to counterbalance the influence Iran has there. Last fall, King Abdullah warned Vice President Dick Cheney that Saudi Arabia might provide financial backing to Iraqi Sunnis in any war against Iraq’s Shiites if the United States pulled its troops out of Iraq, American and Arab diplomats said.
bush must decide his foreign policy by flipping a coin, tossing rings onto bottles, reading Tarot cards, casting bones, a cut of the cards, voodoo, and that ole Black Magic, for just yesterday the bush maladministration was upset with the Saudis, claiming they were using forged documents as evidence against al-Maliki, and claiming that too many of the foreign "terrorists/insurgents" were crossing over into Iraq from Saudi Arabia.

So, what does bush do?

See the Huffington Post today, titled, "U.S. to sell advanced weapons to Saudi Arabia and others.":
The Bush administration has decided to supply billions of dollars in advanced new weapons to Saudi Arabia, other Arab allies of the United States and to Israel, senior State Department officials and congressional aides said Friday.

The arms and aid package, which the officials said is to be announced on Monday, is part of a U.S. initiative to reassure worried allies in the Middle East that despite its troubles in Iraq, the United States remains committed to the region. It also is meant to send a signal of resolve to Iran's increasingly confident leaders.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates leave for the Middle East on Monday on a rare joint mission to deliver those messages in person to the region's leaders.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the package has not yet been announced, said it would include selling Saudi Arabia advanced weapons known as Joint Direct Attack Munitions, or JDAMs. JDAMs convert simple gravity bombs into accurate "smart" weapons.

Israel protested the proposed sale when word of it first leaked in April.

The package also will include new weapons for the United Arab Emirates, another U.S. ally in the Persian Gulf, and both military and economic support to Egypt. Other details of the proposed arms sales weren't immediately available Friday.

Although it's likely to be controversial, the administration has decided to proceed with the sale and will compensate Israel — which seeks to maintain a "qualitative military edge" over its Arab neighbors — with military upgrades of its own, the officials said.

"All that has been sorted out," said a senior State Department official.

Israel has asked for access to the Air Force's most advanced fighter jet, the F-22 Raptor, and its stealth technology, which makes the aircraft more difficult to see on radar.
When you can't trust an ally, when you know that ally is forging documents to justify their hostile intentions towards the leader of another country, when that ally supplied 14 or 15 of Osama's hijackers to bring down the WTC, when that ally is sponsoring "terrorist/insurgents" within Iraq that are killing Shia Iraqis and American military forces, and it's finally time to do something about it, well, it seems crystal clear that the thing to do is to sell them $20 Billion of advanced weaponry that is almost certainly going to be used against Iraqis and American soldiers.

Like the title says: Insanity or politics - with bush there is no discernible difference - but my money is on "insane".

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Friday, July 27, 2007

They're going to keep trying till they get it down Pat

posted by The Sailor @ 10:30 PM Permalink

UPDATE: Think Progress has a guest blogger that says it better that I did or can.

I apoligize for the headline, sometimes snark is the only way I can deal with the horrors this misAdminsitration has orchestrated:
AP: New Details on Tillman's Death

Army medical examiners were suspicious about the close proximity of the three bullet holes in Pat Tillman's forehead and tried without success to get authorities to investigate whether the former NFL player's death amounted to a crime, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

``The medical evidence did not match up with the, with the scenario as described,'' a doctor who examined Tillman's body after he was killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2004 told investigators.

The doctors - whose names were blacked out - said that the bullet holes were so close together that it appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away.

Ultimately, the Pentagon did conduct a criminal investigation, and asked Tillman's
comrades whether he was disliked by his men and whether they had any reason to believe he was deliberately killed.

The medical examiners' suspicions were outlined in 2,300 pages of testimony released to the AP this week by the Defense Department in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Among other information contained in the documents:
- Army attorneys sent each other congratulatory e-mails for keeping criminal
investigators at bay as the Army conducted an internal friendly-fire investigation that resulted in administrative, or non- criminal, punishments.

- The three-star general who kept the truth about Tillman's death from his family and the public told investigators some 70 times that he had a bad memory and couldn't recall details of his actions.

- No evidence at all of enemy fire was found at the scene - no one was hit by enemy
fire, nor was any government equipment struck.

Cross posted at SteveAudio

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More Fun With Numbers Bound to Change

posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:53 AM Permalink

I have commented in the past that whenever the bush maladministration releases any numbers of significance - here I refer to the GDP - the numbers always are revised, and revised downward at that.

From Raw Story:
The economy snapped out of a lethargic spell and grew at a 3.4 percent pace in the second quarter, the strongest showing in more than a year. A revival in business spending was a main force behind the energized performance.

The new reading on gross domestic product, released by the Commerce Department on Friday, marked a big improvement from the first three months of this year, when economic growth skidded to a near halt at just a 0.6 percent pace, the slowest in more than four years.
In the first quarter of 2007, GDP growth was 0.31% (revised downward from a reported 0.6% after projections of higher than a 3% growth in GDP).

The projection for the year 2007 by Intelligent Guess [linked to above. Bill] predicts an annual growth rate of 2.05%, an anemic showing when compared to bush's former speeches regarding Social Security where he predicted steady growth of more than 3.5%, enabling people to increase the value of their retirement funds by opening new accounts with SSA. What a disaster that would have been had he succeeded in destroying SS.

My point is that you can never trust bush and cohorts to ever tell you the truth about economic numbers, and even when they do release their numbers a person has to wait for at least two months for the real numbers to be released after revision.

Watch for the "happy, happy" numbers to be revised downward, and when they are, expect them to be much, much worse than these initial reports.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

The DeBunker Mentality

posted by The Sailor @ 6:50 PM Permalink

Bush seeks to debunk critics of Iraq claims

President Bush sought anew Tuesday to highlight connections between the Al-Qaida group in Iraq and the one responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks, and he sharply criticized those who contend that the groups are independent of one another.
"The facts are that Al-Qaida terrorists killed Americans on 9/11, they're fighting us in Iraq and across the world, and they are plotting to kill Americans here at home again," Bush told a contingent of troops. "Those who justify withdrawing our troops from Iraq by denying the threat of Al-Qaida in Iraq and its ties to Osama bin Laden ignore the clear consequences of such a retreat."
Bush referred throughout his speech to what he said was newly declassified intelligence in his effort to draw connections between the Al-Qaida group in Iraq and the central Al-Qaida leadership. But the White House and intelligence officials declined to provide any detail on the intelligence reports that Bush cited, including their titles, dates and origins.
Newly declassified documents that no one has ever heard of? WTF!?

BTW, the 'critics' Bush seeks to debunk are actual intelligence officials who produced the latest national intelligence estimate on threats to America.
Al Qaeda in South Asia called top threat
Undercutting Bush's stance, a U.S. official says most of the network's Iraq affiliate are homegrown.

Undercutting new assertions by President Bush, a top U.S. intelligence official testified Wednesday that Al Qaeda's organization in Iraq is overwhelmingly composed of fighters from that country, and that the terrorist network's ability to operate in Pakistan poses the greater danger to the United States.

The testimony came just one day after Bush forcefully argued that Al Qaeda in Iraq is substantially controlled by foreign operatives, and that most of them would be trying to kill Americans if not for the ongoing war there.

Gistaro, who was the principal author of a recent national intelligence study on threats to America, noted that Al Qaeda in Iraq — or "AQI" as the group is known in U.S. intelligence circles — has

"expressed an interest" in launching attacks against the United States.

But he said that 90% of its members are Iraqis who joined Al Qaeda's organization there following the U.S. invasion. He estimated the group's strength at "several thousand" members and said "the bulk of AQI's resources are focused on the battle inside of Iraq."
Need I mention that AQ did not exist in Iraq before Bush invaded? And that Bush's policies have made America less safe? And that the best friend AQ has ever had has been Bush?

Cross posted at SteveAudio

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An homage, if you will

posted by The Vidiot @ 2:17 PM Permalink

From the simsonizeme website, I present to you, The Vidiot and Mr. Vidiot.

Yes. I can't wait to see The Simpson's movie. I'm just that immature.

Update: Speaking of movies, here's the trailer for the new Coen brothers' movie "No Country for Old Men". Looks awesome.


Dave Shaves

posted by The Vidiot @ 2:07 PM Permalink

To refresh your memory, the last installment is here.

You have no idea how much better this is in booklet form. Just imagine flipping the pages, one by one.


It's beginning to feel a lot like Russia.

posted by The Vidiot @ 1:42 PM Permalink

You know it's bad when the Russians are complaining about censorship.

Excerpt: “As a result of the excruciating and sluggish exchanges with the Editors, the likes of which could only be found in diplomatic history, it was decided to give up trying to place Sergey Lavrov’s article in Foreign Affairs. This tough experience reminded of the worst features of the Soviet censorship past, which it appears some in the US would like to repeat.” - the Ministry reports.
It is a pity, indeed, that in parts of US media there exists a trend of “state protection”, which narrows intellectual resource of America. We are convinced the USA deserves better.

And it doesn't stop there. Now the Senate is barking about "internet censorship" for the "sake of the children".

Excerpt: In a meeting where civil liberties groups were not invited, Democrats and Republicans said that the web needed to be censored to protect children.

Yeah. That's why they want to censor the web. For the "sake of the children". Jeesh. Lie to me some more.

Next thing you know, the FBI will be creating the US version of the Stasi.

Oh. Wait. They are doing that.

Excerpt: The FBI is taking cues from the CIA to recruit thousands of covert informants in the United States as part of a sprawling effort to boost its intelligence capabilities.


A Word About Dog-fighting and Those Heartless Bastids Who Participate in It

posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:21 AM Permalink

Michael Vick is a sick, sick, cruel, heartless, I'm-too-rich-to-care bastid who cravenly tortures helpless animals that he has sought out for illegal purposes. Vick engaged in dog-fighting, the torture of dogs by hanging them up alive to be killed in target practice with guns, and starving and abusing dogs to make them mean enough and insane enough to fight to the death any other animal to which the dog is exposed.

Michael Vick should be kicked out of the National Football League and condemned roundly by every American athlete. There should NOT be any amnesty, plea bargain, or the use of any other device to hide the truth about this very sick man or allow him to return to his former team. It takes a particularly cruel person with a total lack of conscious control over his sadistic tendencies to engage in such cruelty, and such a person should be jailed and fined so heavily that they won't even be able to buy a can of dog food, much less own another dog.

He should be thrown out of football and fired by his team in shame, and permanently barred from ever participating in football or any other sport where he might come to be admired or cited as a "role model."

Any teammates found to have participated in this gross show of deliberate cruelty should be prosecuted right alongside Vick, and they, too, should lose their jobs and be forever barred from any professional sport after they have served a lengthy jail term.

Torturing animals and people is for people who are extremely sick, arrogant, asinine, and with a god-like, contemptuous attitude towards societal norms. It marks someone as mentally ill and unfit to be a "star athlete" or "President of the United States."

So here's hoping that Vick is fired in disgrace, banned from the sport of football, goes to jail for three or four years, has to pay millions in fines, has his assets seized after using them to conduct a criminal enterprise, goes broke paying lawyers, and that he dies an unnoticed and ignominious death as a pauper.

THAT is what children who would admire someone like Vick should be taught - that evil will be punished - and cruelty to sick and helpless or even vicious dogs cannot be tolerated.

All your manholes are belong to us!

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:04 AM Permalink

(Totally stole that headline BTW. It was too funny not to)

I'm not the only one who thinks all the manhole blow holes are, well, odd.
Excerpt: I am beginning to think we are being prepared for some bigger event on the not too distant horizon, it feels as though the pump is being primed, I guess the only question remains is who will be blamed.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

More Dishonest Poll Intrepretation from the WaPo, Just for Fun and Propaganda

posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:53 AM Permalink

From that bastion of dishonesty, half-truths, and stenographic quality reading, the WaPo, comes this gem:
President Bush is a competitive guy. But this is one contest he would rather lose. With 18 months left in office, he is in the running for most unpopular president in the history of modern polling.

The latest Washington Post-ABC News survey shows that 65 percent of Americans disapprove of Bush's job performance, matching his all-time low. In polls conducted by The Post or Gallup going back to 1938, only once has a president exceeded that level of public animosity -- and that was Richard M. Nixon, who hit 66 percent four days before he resigned.

The historic depth of Bush's public standing has whipsawed his White House, sapped his clout, drained his advisers, encouraged his enemies and jeopardized his legacy.[…]

And the president's team takes solace in the fact that the public holds Congress in low esteem, too. More than half disapproved of Congress generally, and Democrats in particular, in the latest Post-ABC survey, though their ratings were still better than Bush's.
This last paragraph in bold is a perfect demonstration of how a half-truth and an outright lie can be and are used to dishonestly attempt to discredit congress with bush/cheney propaganda.

Here are the true facts regarding this last paragraph and the standing of the Republicans and Democrats in Congress.

A blanket statement is made, "…More than half disapproved of Congress generally, and Democrats in particular…" which is disproved by the newspapers own statistics, which are these:
a. the Republicans in Congress
Approve: 34 Disapprove: 64 No opinion: 2
b. the Democrats in Congress
Approve: 46 Disapprove 51 No Opinion: 2
So here the misleading is exposed for what it is, a gross misinterpretation of their own polling data, as is rather clearly obvious.

The half truth? "…More than half disapproved of Congress generally," while in reality 64% disapproves of the Republicans in Congress, almost a super-majority of those polled. But that wasn't reported.

Instead of: "…More than half disapproved of Congress generally, and Democrats in particular…," the truth here, according to their own numbers is that a bare majority of only 51% disapproves of the Democrats in Congress.

It is therefore crystal clear that the GOP in Congress has much less support than the Democrats in Congress, making the statement highlighted here false. To represent this issue honestly the statement should have read something similar to: "A 64% super-majority of those polled disapproves of the Republicans in Congress, while the Democrats polled only a bare majority disapproval rate of 51%, they have a much greater approval rate of 46% compared to a dismal 34% approval rate of the Republicans in Congress."

But that would have involved truth in reporting wouldn't it? And by now almost everyone who examines statements made and compares them to the polling data knows that stats are probably some of the most easily and deliberately misrepresented facts, just as they are clearly misrepresented here by the WaPo.

Clearly, using their own numbers, the public mildly disapproves of Democrats in Congress, generally, but the public really disapproves of Republicans in Congress by a wide margin. 100% diametrically opposed from the WaPo propaganda report made in behalf of the maladministration.

Really, these people should be embarrassed by their half-truths, outright lies. and misrepresentations of facts.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Things that make you go hmmmmmmm....

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:56 PM Permalink

4 'explosions' in one week.

First one in Manhattan.
Second one in Detroit.
Third one in Canada.
And now one in San Francisco.

Can you say "crumbling infrastructure?"

I knew that you could.


The TSA Goes All the Way ... or ... Sex Cells

posted by The Sailor @ 6:06 PM Permalink

(via skippy)
Alarm at US right to highly personal data

Highly sensitive information about the religious beliefs, political opinions and even the sex life of Britons travelling to the United States is to be made available to US authorities when the European Commission agrees to a new system of checking passengers.
In a strongly worded document drawn up in response to the plan that will affect the 4 million-plus Britons who travel to the US every year, the EU parliament said it 'notes with concern that sensitive data (ie personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, and data concerning the health or sex life of individuals) will be made available to the DHS and that these data may be used by the DHS in exceptional cases'.

Under the new agreement, which goes live at the end of this month, the US will be able to hold the records of European passengers for 15 years compared with the current three year limit.
The new agreement will see US authorities gain access to detailed passenger information, from credit card details to home addresses and even what sort of food may have been ordered before a flight. In addition, US authorities will be free to add other information they have obtained about a passenger, leading to concerns about how the information will be shared.
Well thank you for sharing ... people's most personal info with folks who've proved they can't tell a toddler from a terrorist!

Cross posted at SteveAudio

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Shame, Come Back, Shame

posted by The Sailor @ 6:39 PM Permalink

For these folks, shame left the building a long time ago

One of the high-priced lawyers who have sucked $47 million out of the $1 billion World Trade Center insurance fund is infamous for defending companies that manufactured Agent Orange, a pregnancy drug linked to cancer, and defective breast implants. James Tyrrell, a partner in the law firm Patton Boggs, is hailed in legal circles as the "master of disaster" and the "devil's advocate."

Another lawyer, Thomas Jones, serves simultaneously as secretary of the WTC Captive Insurance Co., which manages the $1 billion FEMA fund, and as partner in theChicago-based McDermott Will & Emery, the fund's legal counsel.

In a lawsuit filed in Manhattan last week, 9/11 responders blasted the Captive's mounting expenses - $75 million so far, including $47 million on law firms - and Jones' alleged "conflict of interest."

They charged the city-run WTC Captive is a cash cow for its employees, consultants and lawyers, and has "squandered" money that should go to 10,000 cops, firefighters and other workers with illnesses blamed on toxic exposure at Ground Zero. It has paid just $45,000 to a carpenter who fell off a ladder.
Documents obtained by The Post show that eight senior partners at McDermott, Will & Emery, including Thomas, can each bill the insurance fund $618 an hour. The partners first billed a "discounted" $550 an hour, but that fee was raised 6 percent in 2005, and 6 percent again last year.

Under the same agreement, junior partners in the firm can bill $389 to $484 an hour; associates $223 to $242 an hour, and paralegals $150 to $200 an hour.
Nice work if you can get it.

Mayor Bloomberg in another article stated:
"The truth of the matter is, Congress didn't set up a victims' compensation fund," the mayor said. "We'd like them to do that, we've asked for that; they set up a captive insurance company. And the insurance company can only pay out monies if somebody sues us in court and wins a judgment against us."

If that was true then why has $47 million gone to lawyers to defend the contractors and $45 thousand gone to payments?

And it sure seems a long way from what Mayor Bloomberg said previously:
In a joint press release on March 21, 2003 with Governor Pataki, announcing the legislation that allowed for the formation of the WTC Captive, Mayor Bloomberg is quoted as saying that "This legislation is necessary for the City to expedite the payment of claims relating to this effort."
Yet 6 years later only lawyers have been paid, and paid not to expedite but to impede payments to first responders and others who responded to search for survivors/recover bodies and clean up the debris from the 9/11 disaster.

It's bad enough that the EPA, (via a Bush political hack who overruled scientists at the request of Bush ), said the air was safe for these workers. Now the money alloted to them is being spent fighting their claims.

Cross posted at SteveAudio

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posted by The Vidiot @ 9:16 AM Permalink

As you may or may not know, lately, Zimbabwe has been crashing and burning. They money is tanking about a bazillion times worse than ours. People are starving, fleeing, you name it. The stores ended up selling their goods at a loss. The country's economy has shrunk by 50% over the last 8 years, it has 80% unemployment, and an inflation rate of over 3000%. In an effort to cool the runaway inflation, Mugabe ordered that prices be halved. Really not a good place to be right now. Some say the problems were triggered when Mugabe seized the white-owned farms. Now, the agricultural sector is in huge trouble and nearly 4 million (out of nearly 12 million) people well need food aid. Meanwhile, millions are fleeing in to South Africa. And what does the wife of their illustrious leader do? She goes shopping, natch. OK. So that's bad. She's buying food and bring it back home, even though it's illegal to do that for regular folk there. Their own Marie Antoinette.

In summary, the people are starving and miserable.

So when I see stuff like this, I just have to bury my head.
Excerpt: Hillbilly Hotdogs of Huntington made history Friday, July 20, 2007 about 6 p.m. when it brought out their first ten pound hamburger on a bun with pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, onions and cheese for the hearty hamburger appetite.


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Can You Guess My Name?

posted by The Sailor @ 11:17 PM Permalink

(via Crooks & Liars)
Mention the President, Lose a Case?
Defense motion to ban George W. Bush's name at trial defeated

Apparently President George W. Bush is now so unpopular that some lawyers believe the mere mention of his name in front of a jury could tip the scales against them.

Attorneys Michael P. Laffey and Robert P. DiDomenicis of Holsten & Associates in Media, Pa., are defending Upper Darby Township, Pa., in a civil rights suit brought by Harold Lischner, an 82-year-old doctor who claims he was falsely arrested for displaying an anti-war sign at a Bush campaign event in September 2003.

With the case set to go to trial on July 23, the defense lawyers recently filed a flurry of motions, including one that asked Eastern District of Pennsylvania Judge Gene E.K. Pratter to prohibit the plaintiff from mentioning Bush's name.

The motion in Lischner v. Upper Darby Township said that according to the latest Newsweek poll, Bush has "the worst approval rating of an American president in a generation," and that 62 percent of Americans believe that Bush's handling of the war in Iraq shows that he is "stubborn and unwilling to admit his mistakes."
In separate motions, the defense team urged Pratter to prohibit any mention of the First Amendment -- since Lischner's suit is premised only on the Fourth Amendment -- and to bar any testimony about the message on Lischner's protest sign.
Pratter found that the message on Lischner's sign and Bush's identity, as well as the circumstances surrounding his visit -- including the war in Iraq and Bush's bid for re-election -- are "relevant to the determination of probable cause and to the adequacy of Upper Darby's training and policies."

All relevant evidence is "generally admissible," Pratter said, and "the president's identity and Dr. Lischner's opposition to the war in Iraq -- presumably as evidenced by the text on his sign -- are relevant because they are part of the circumstances weighing on the probable cause analysis conducted by Officer [Michael] Kehrle."
In a previous ruling, Pratter refused to dismiss the suit, finding that the conditions imposed by Drexelbrook were illegal and that a jury must decide "whether Upper Darby had a policy, practice or custom of enforcing the landowner's unlawful condition."

Also to be decided by the jury, Pratter said, is "whether Upper Darby failed to adequately train its police officers and such failure to train caused Dr. Lischner's constitutional injury."

Now Pratter has ruled that, at trial, Bush's identity has legal significance because it bears directly on the legality of Upper Darby's policies.

"The facts that the political candidate was not only a candidate for arguably the most important office in our government, but also the current president participating in a campaign for re-election, were important to the court's determination that the condition imposed by Drexelbrook was illegal and, thus, relevant to the probable cause determination."

The text of Lischner's sign is also legally significant, Pratter found, because "the fact that Dr. Lischner's sign was not blatantly offensive or disrespectful, and certainly not aimed at inciting violence or some other physical disruption, is relevant to whether probable cause existed."

As a result, Pratter rejected Upper Darby's argument that the "probative value" of Bush's identity and the text of Lischner's sign is outweighed by the danger of "unfair prejudice."

Cross posted at SteveAudio

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Renaming and Restoring Credibility by Renaming and Restoring Credibly.

posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:44 AM Permalink

As noted by The Vidiot below, the bush/cheney maladministration has finally decided that the way for victory and a departure from Iraqi lands is renaming, reframing, and redefining the war, without a great deal of concern about that which has gone before. Or the truth.

I contacted my inside source of information from this maladministration, Bob Roberts at the CIA, and he requested anonymity as he is not authorized to speak for attribution. After careful consideration, as we do not believe in granting anonymity without a darn good reason, anonymity was granted and the following interview ensued.

ME: I am here at an undisclosed location to interview a confidential informant who, for the purposes of this interview, will be known and referred to only as "Bob," a totally made up and fictitious name with no connection to reality. So, Bob, what is the latest effort to recast the Iraqi War in a favorably light, and how does the maladministration contemplate effectuating it?

BOB: Well, there are several new plans in the works, but I think for your purposes here we really only need to recount the basics and allow your readers to decide as to their efficacy.

ME: And what new plans do you see coming down the pike?

BOB: The first program is called the Security Capable Renewable Energy Weapon to Effectuate Death, also know as S.C.R.E.W.E.D., and it calls for the development of hitherto unknown technologies to create a "nuclear smart bomb" that will only kill people we don't like and leave the infrastructure of the country intact. It is self-renewable and will keep going off over and over until all enemy leaders are killed.

ME: Damn, that sounds great! When will it be ready to go?

BOB: It's scheduled for completion right after they perfect the Bodily Loss of Urea and Excrement Drone, or B.L.U.E.D., which will cause enemy soldiers to compulsively wet their pants and soil themselves, destroying an enemy's capability of responding to raids by U.S. troops while they remain stuck in the latrine.

ME: Again, this sounds like an awesome weapon, but will it work?

BOB: As with all government programs under bush, unless this plan is ruled illegal by the courts and condemned by negative international opinion, he won't use it without claiming Executive privilege to screw the enemy anyway he can.

ME: So, what else is in the pipeline?

BOB: The last new system of which I am aware is the Total Armageddon To Own the Oil Everywhere Dammit, or T.A.T.O.O.E.D., which they consider to be the ultimate weapon within the administration.

ME: Just what do they expect to be the result of implementing all these new weapons systems?

BOB: Well, it's really pretty clear isn't it? No country can long withstand being S.C.R.E.W.E.D., B.L.U.E.D., and T.A.T.O.O.E.D. without succumbing to our superior forces.

ME: Thank you for your time today, Bob, I am sure much of the country will be greatly comforted by these new plans.

BOB: Good god I hope not!

ME: Thanks again.

Interview ended.


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Iraq is just a marketing failure, not a military one.

posted by The Vidiot @ 1:05 PM Permalink

If they just rebrand the war, then all will begin to go well.
Excerpt: The key to boosting the image and effectiveness of U.S. military operations around the world involves "shaping" both the product and the marketplace, and then establishing a brand identity that places what you are selling in a positive light,...
Because the only reason why the war is so FUBAR is because the Iraqi people are not understanding that the bombs and bullets are there to HELP them, not hurt them.

Think I'm making a joke?
Excerpt: Helmus and his co-authors concluded that the "force" brand, which the United States peddled for the first few years of the occupation, was doomed from the start and lost ground to enemies' competing brands. While not abandoning the more aggressive elements of warfare, the report suggested, a more attractive brand for the Iraqi people might have been "We will help you." That is what President Bush's new Iraq strategy is striving for as it focuses on establishing a protective U.S. troop presence in Baghdad neighborhoods, training Iraq's security forces, and encouraging the central and local governments to take the lead in making things better.
That "force" brand is soooooo 2003. Now, we're all about the "we will help you". That's current, hip and hot for today's repressed peoples.


What a week we've had.

posted by The Vidiot @ 1:01 PM Permalink

From Buzzflash (and keep in mind, this is all in one week):
Excerpt: Bush and Cheney Make the Novel and Totalitarian Assertion that the Department of Justice is Prohibited from Investigating a Congressional Contempt Citation Over Anyone (Even if They are No Longer Working for the Government) Asserting Executive Privilege

Bush’s PR Operation Claims to Issue a New Document Forbidding Torture, When the Details Actually Just Reconfirm the Right of the CIA to Continue Renditions and Torture

A Bushevik Partisan Hack Judge Throws Out the Plame Civil Suit Against the Bush Administration, Just as the Same Bush-Appointed Judge Has Made Partisan Decisions Before that Favor Bush

A Pentagon Official Who is a Former Cheney Aide Accuses a Sitting U.S. Senator (Hillary Clinton) of Being a Traitor for Exercising Her Rights to Receive Military Readiness Information

Bush Accuses the Dems of Holding Up Funds and Safety Equipment for Our Troops When the White House Told the GOP to Sink a Bill Last Week That Would Have Mandated Proper Preparedness, Proper Training, Adequate Rest, and Adequate Protective Gear. The Republicans, Under White House Orders, Defeated the Bill to Support Our Troops.


Couldn't have said it better

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:57 PM Permalink

Really. I couldn't have. Here's a dKos blog entry on the administration's most recent foray into totalitarianism.
Excerpt: Given that the Pretzelnit has announced that he's: 1) Basically pardoning spy-outing turncoat Scooter Libby, and; 2) revoking the right of Congress to enforce its subpoena power, it seems this is now a matter for serious consideration. I've speculated on it a bit before, but why not let a law professor tell you?


Friday, July 20, 2007

I'm in the room without a light, The room without a view

posted by The Sailor @ 8:23 PM Permalink

Bush alters rules for interrogations

President Bush signed an executive order Friday prohibiting cruel and inhuman treatment,
including humiliation or denigration of religious beliefs, in the detention and
interrogation of terrorism suspects.
The executive order was the result of legislation Bush signed in October that authorized
military trials of terrorism suspects. The court system was designed to protect
classified information and eliminated some of the rights defendants are guaranteed in
civilian and military courts.

It also gave Bush wide latitude in interrogating and detaining captured enemy
combatants. While it outlines specific war crimes such as rape, the legislation said the
president can "interpret the meaning and application" of international standards set by
the Geneva Conventions when authorizing less severe interrogation procedures.

The executive order has been months in the making, with some in the CIA increasingly
eager to get the rules of the road laid out. Asked if one of the agency's most extreme
techniques — waterboarding — would be allowed, a senior intelligence official declined
to provide any specifics. But, the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity about
the order, said: "It would be wrong to assume the program of the past transfers to the
In a call with reporters, senior administration officials repeatedly refused to say what
specific kinds of interrogation techniques would be barred, arguing that doing so could
tip off al-Qaida members training to withstand hostile questioning. But sleep is not
among the basic necessities outlined in the order, one official said, opening the
possibility that sleep deprivation is among the approved interrogation methods.

The order also does not permit detainees to contact their family members or have access
to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Explaining why, one official said those
provisions are not part of the part of the Geneva Conventions that apply to these kinds
of detainees.
So Fearful Leader once again authorized torture by his, and his alone, interpretation of what constitutes torture.
Bush has said many times that the US doesn't torture and does follow the GenCons.

Gee, I guess that's easy when he alleges he can redefine those terms.

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They just don't get it.

posted by The Vidiot @ 4:08 PM Permalink

As you know, there was a steam pipe that went kaboom here in NYC yesterday. Many of the articles talked about how people reacted with regards to the post 9/11 environment. Some actually bothered to mention that our infrastructure is crumbling.
Excerpt: The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that it will take $1.6 trillion over the next five years to get the nation's roads, bridges, dams, water systems, and airports into good condition.
NONE, however, made the connection between money being sucked up by the military industrial complex and our crumbling infrastructure.

Just for the sake of comparison, what is the estimated price tag for the war?
Excerpt: The Congressional Research Service report warns that costs could reach between $980 billion and $1.4 trillion by 2017 depending on troop levels.
Wow. We could almost pay for the repair of the ENTIRE nation's infrastructure.

Imagine my surprise.


No shocker here

posted by The Vidiot @ 3:39 PM Permalink

Defazio, who is on the Homeland Security committee and has the appropriate clearance, was denied access to the top secret papers that describe how the government will operate after a terrorist attack.
Excerpt: Homeland Security Committee staffers told his office that the White House initially approved his request, but it was later quashed. DeFazio doesn't know who did it or why.
I'll give you a hint: The name starts with a C and ends with HENEY.

And what might they be hiding? I betchya it's a document called "Bush Administration determined to never relinquish power within the United States."

Just a guess.

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Too many jokes for this story.

posted by The Vidiot @ 2:29 PM Permalink

The one about Bush undergoing a colonoscopy tomorrow and leaving Cheney in charge.
How about just "oh crap."

Or "I wonder if they'll need a special instrument to get around George's head"

Or "Maybe they'll finally find those WMDs"

Feel free to expound in the comments.


Thursday, July 19, 2007


posted by The Vidiot @ 5:08 PM Permalink

Update: Just so you're not stuck reading my pathetic spin on this story below, Josh Marshall has done a decent job of summing it all up.


Just read the latest Executive Order. I’m no legal genius. Honestly. So don’t take my word as gold. But there a few key phrases that just, well, rub me the wrong way. Like, for instance, the Order defines the threat to national security as:
…acts of violence threatening the peace and stability of Iraq…
OK. Acts of violence. I can wrap my head around that. But then, the same sentence goes and says:
…and undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq and to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people…
You have to really read it. If you do, it’s the acts of violence that cause the undermining. Not undermining in and of itself. But when I first read it, I thought "Undermining?? Define undermining. Undermining as in speaking out against the war? Undermining as encouraging your representative to pull out troops out of Iraq NOW? Or how about a Congress that votes to withdraw troops against the president’s wishes? Will all those who voted “yea” fall under this “undermining” thang?" So, if I had left it at that, that’s where the conservatives would’ve said that the left leaning blogosphere just goes crazy and can’t think.

But I can and I didn't. Fine.

But THEN, I read further down and the Order says:
to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence…
Significant risk? What might a "significant risk" be? Who decides of the risk is significant?

And then the kicker is here:
…because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to this order would render these measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 and expanded in Executive Order 13315, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to section 1(a) of this order.
Which means they can do it unilaterally with no warning and it’s only the president and The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, who makes the decision of what a "significant risk" might be. Throw in a dash of "no habeas corpus" and you have yourself a fine tasting gulag.

More hay is being made of this than probably should, or maybe not enough hay. Like I said, I'm no legal eagle. But I can see that this Order rests on a mighty slippery slope and this government needs to be put in check and fast.

Click your heels and say "there's nothing like tar and feathers, there's nothing like tar and feathers."

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Welcome to my world

posted by The Vidiot @ 2:11 PM Permalink

A semi-typical email trail between me and Mr. Vidiot:

> From: Mr. Vidiot
> To: The Vidiot
> Subject: Another
> of my insights, you will like this:
> Voluntary associations (occupational associations to Durkheim) such as
> religion unite men to a common public opinion influencing their
> worldview (again, to Durkheim, a collective consciousness). To
> Tocqueville, religion heavily influences ideas that in turn form public
> opinion that results in the creation of laws, mores, and, in short,
> "habits of the heart." This notion of public opinion is central in a
> democratic society. People are placed in a position to make societal
> decisions, important decisions once made by authoritarian rule. Public
> opinion, influenced by religion, takes the place of authoritarian force
> preventing democracy from despotism. Public opinion rules man and
> religion informs public opinion.

> From: The Vidiot
> To: Mr. Vidiot
> Subject: RE: Another

But then isn't the authoritarian force, by proxy, still making the
societal decisions?

> From: Mr. Vidiot
> To: The Vidiot
> Subject: RE: RE: Another

No authoritarian force is replaced with public opinion. Public opinion
is a new authoritarian force. In other words, societies with both
authoritarian rule and public opinion are totalitarian. Both authority
and public opinion have power over and above the individual. The
individual must conform to both or be crushed by its weight. Public
opinion as a form of democracy is a common misconception. Instead of men
obeying authoritarian rule, they obey majority opinion. The moment they
go against majority rule they are crushed just as in authoritarian rule.

This is not Tocqueville talking, it is me. Post this. Have a comment.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Moat in king george's eye

posted by The Sailor @ 6:39 PM Permalink

The US is just beaming [sic] about this plan:
Trench proposed around Kirkuk
U.S. and Iraqi officials Tuesday announced a ban on truck traffic into Kirkuk and proposed digging a trench around the northern city, where a series of bombs killed at least 76 people a day earlier.
Whaaa!? This is the New Way Forward?

They build a freakin' moat! And a dry moat at that!?

Gee, it's not like the first time they tried to resort to 14th century tactics.

Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye!

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11,322nd Top al-Qaede Leader In Iraq Captured

posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:36 AM Permalink

From The Huffington Post:
The U.S. command said Wednesday the highest-ranking Iraqi in the leadership of al-Qaida in Iraq has been arrested, adding that information from him indicates the group's foreign-based leadership wields considerable influence over the Iraqi chapter.

Khaled Abdul-Fattah Dawoud Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, also known as Abu Shahid, was captured in Mosul on July 4, said Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner, a military spokesman.

"Al-Mashhadani is believed to be the most senior Iraqi in the al-Qaida in Iraq network," Bergner said. He said al-Mashhadani was a close associate of Abu Ayub al-Masri, the Egyptian-born head of al-Qaida in Iraq.

Bergner said al-Mashhadani served as an intermediary between al-Masri and Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri.
So, yet another top al-Qaida [sic] leader has been arrested.

What isn't reported is that Abu Sahid gave himself up out of sheer boredom after watching a presidential press briefing by bush. He had also exhausted himself playing solitaire, poker, pinochle, and checkers, the hobbies he had taken up while playing hide-and-seek with American Forces, knowing that sooner or later someone would look up "al-Qaede in Iraq" in the Farsi version of the AT&T Real Yellow Pages and obtain his address and phone number.

"By Allah, I cannot explain the reason it took so long to find me," he said, "Besides being listed in the phone directory, all of us al-Qaede leaders sponsor a parade every Sunday, with a picnic afterwards on the other side of the fifteen foot wall surrounding the Green Zone. There we sit and laugh and laugh and laugh at all the foreign devils who cannot find us. Then we throw our trash over the wall and skip away laughing like little children. Thank Allah as well that the Americans finally saw the 50' x 30' al-Qaede flag we hoist up on the roof of our headquarters everyday or I might still be on the run."

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Every time I thought I'd got it made, It seemed the taste was not so sweet

posted by The Sailor @ 10:22 PM Permalink

On Pace with the ch-ch-changes in Iraq:
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs says he's seen a major change in security in Iraq in recent months, and says that will influence his recommendation to President Bush on how long to continue the current strategy.

General Peter Pace says a "sea change" has been taking place in many places in Iraq, which he says should help give local police and the military "a chance to get on their feet."

Pace has conferred with several commanders in Ramadi, west of Baghdad, and says he's gathered a positive picture of the security environment there and in Baghdad.
Is he high? Did he mistake the title 'Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ' in a hand rolled sort of way? I mean WTF is he smoking!?

The civilian and US casualties are higher than before the surge escalation began.

There are mortar rounds impacting the Green Zone daily.

Visiting US congresscritters have to wear armor in the most protected area of Baghdad, can't leave the Green zone during the day and can't spend the night, (and that's what you might call a downward trend from their visit to a market in Baghdad, “like a normal outdoor market in Indiana in the summertime” a couple of months ago.)

If we gather any more positive pictures like that we can claim a Pyrrhic victory ... and get out!

Cross posted at SteveAudio

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None of the Above Winning in GOP, Senator Do Nothing Files FEC Complaint

posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:55 AM Permalink

From an AP poll reported in The Huffington Post:
And the leading Republican presidential candidate is ... none of the above.

The latest Associated Press-Ipsos poll found that nearly a quarter of Republicans are unwilling to back top-tier hopefuls Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, John McCain or Mitt Romney, and no one candidate has emerged as the clear front-runner among Christian evangelicals. Such dissatisfaction underscores the volatility of the 2008 GOP nomination fight.
As with most polls the true story is what is happening "behind the scenes of exciting GOP Politics and Polling."

The news prompted a strenuous objection to the polling method used. Senator Do Nothing (I honestly can't remember what state he's from or what he looks like), filed a complaint with the FEC, claiming that conducting polls by actually asking questions on the issues is just not fair and prejudices the chances of anyone claiming to be running for president.

"They just can't conduct polls in this reckless manner of speaking to uninformed, disassociated voters who just aren't smart enough to understand the importance of the issues or the office of president. If they keep this up it might well make it impossible for a president to accept bad advice, use focus-group tested slogans, or otherwise be dishonest with and condescending to the numbskulls who vote for Republican leadership," the Senator said before stamping his foot in disgust, shouting, "Hiyo, Silver!", donning his cowboy hat, boots, spurs and riding off on his mule to find the nearest cathouse.

Mr. None of the Above immediately issued a press release touting not only his prowess in obtaining high poll numbers, but stating as well a strategy of campaigning while actually high, claiming it helps him remain focused on a single issue at a time when he can remember what the issue is being discussed.

"I'm very pleased to find myself in the lead this morning and I am, in fact capable of finding myself on most days, a very important trait for President of the United States and one sadly lacking in President bush. I plan on running a clean campaign with none of that, 'bush is a liar,' stuff. Hell, everybody knows that."

The news of the new poll numbers came as a shock to Daniel Lionsmeat, spokesman for the GOP and the RNC. "I confess that we really didn't see this coming, as we all felt all along that John McCain would achieve greater popularity than Mr. None of the Above, especially since the Senator is clearly as capable of doing nothing as his opponent, and furthermore has the experience doing nothing that Mr. None of the Above lacks."

I made contact with the campaigns of all 137 candidates for the Republican nomination, most of whom had no comment, although when speaking "not-for-attribution and off-the-record," many campaign managers and spokesman admired the fact that an unknown newcomer could enter the race at this late date and immediately take the lead.

"You really have to admire that kind of devil-may-care campaigning, that can't-do spirit of the Republican party, that screw-the-people savoir faire that is the hallmark of the GOP, and obviously popular with the bottom-feeding mouth-breathers that make up our voting base. It's going to be a tough fight," one spokesman said, "Especially since Mr. None of the Above embodies all the characteristics of the party, you know, corruption, shady investments, a hugh block of Exxon-Mobil stock, Big Pharmaceutical holdings, and he owns the controlling interest of USA Inc., which is charged with selling off national monuments to Chinese collectors. With a portfolio that comprehensive he's already bought or paid off virtually every election official in all fifty states and still has his connections with Jack Myarmoff to pull in lobbyist money. And he cheats on his 14th wife with choirboys, what an unstoppable combination!"

"Mr. None of the Above will win as the quintessential, prototypical Republican neocon GOP Compassionate Conservative who not only supports the president's Iraq and Iran War Plans, but also insists that America should invade and conquer Great Britain as well. I don't really understand the Great Britain thing, but just saying we'll do it has made None of the Above the frontrunner and candidate to beat," said another.

I attempted to contact this new, dynamic candidate and request further comment based upon these remarks, but his spokesman, Sony Stow, advised me that Mr. None of the Above was in prayer with some of his constituents, doing "bonghits 4 Jesus" to prove their fidelity to both religion and to the party platform.


Monday, July 16, 2007

I can't believe I'm saying this

posted by The Vidiot @ 4:15 PM Permalink

But I like how these republicans think.
Excerpt: But in doing so, some members of these communities are going so far as to say their local laws ought to supersede federal authority, defying the Supreme Court's long-standing view that corporate entities are legal persons entitled to due process, equal protection, free speech, and other rights. Their aim is to use one or more of the anti-corporate ordinances they have passed to establish a Supreme Court test case disputing corporate personhood.

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A Real Man Slams Senator for Lying About How the Troops Support bush's Illegal War

posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:58 AM Permalink

One of the best exchanges on any of the Sunday shows yesterday happened between Senator James Webb (D-Real Man) and that pusillanimous putz and maladministration toady, Lindsay Graham (R-Lies About Troops). I won't go into a great deal of of their conversation on Meet the Press, but there is a gem of a quote from Senator Webb that is all over the web today, so I'm sure you can find it (The Huffington Post has the video).

He quite forcefully interrupted Graham and said, "I really object to that, politicians putting words into the mouths of the troops." (This may not be exact, but close enough.)

There is, IMO, no slimier, sleazier, miscreant in the entire Senate than Graham, and I have for years yelled at my TV in frustration every time a punk like this or bush/cheney or any other fear-mongering coward claims to be "speaking for the troops" and the even more specious claim that they are reenlisting in record numbers.

On the reenlistments, what would you do if you were in Iraq for the third time, a stop-loss order preventing you from getting out of the service, with tours being made longer and longer, which guarantees all sorts of marital and family problem that might be resolved by taking that reenlistment for the money. They're stuck anyway so they might as well get extra cash to send home.

As to putting words into the mouths of the troops, Graham asked Senator Webb if he had been to Iraq and the good Senator pointed out that Graham has never been in Iraq - he's only gone there for the dog-and-pony shows the military uses to put a pretty face on things - and further Senator Webb showed Graham the latest poll in which more than half of our forces no longer believe in this mission in Iraq, which is a rate not much different than the public-at-large.

Moreover, the military is not some monolithic block whose member's views always coincide, and it's BS to claim otherwise. Of course, lying and BS is all the Republican Party knows how to do; they sure as hell can't run a country or govern effectively.

Way to go Senator Webb! Please keep publicly and noisily debunking the lies of any/all Republicans claiming to speak for the troops.

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Brits Say Afghanistan Almost as Big a Failure as Iraq

posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:54 AM Permalink

From RawStory via the Guardian Online:
Britain's most senior generals have issued a blunt warning to Downing Street that the military campaign in Afghanistan is facing a catastrophic failure, a development that could lead to an Islamist government seizing power in neighbouring Pakistan.

Amid fears that London and Washington are taking their eye off Afghanistan as they grapple with Iraq, the generals have told Number 10 that the collapse of the government in Afghanistan, headed by Hamid Karzai, would present a grave threat to the security of Britain.

Lord Inge, the former chief of the defence staff, highlighted their fears in public last week when he warned of a 'strategic failure' in Afghanistan. The Observer understands that Inge was speaking with the direct authority of the general staff when he made an intervention in a House of Lords debate.

'The situation in Afghanistan is much worse than many people recognise,' Inge told peers. 'We need to face up to that issue, the consequence of strategic failure in Afghanistan and what that would mean for Nato... We need to recognise that the situation - in my view, and I have recently been in Afghanistan - is much, much more serious than people want to recognise.'[…]

Inge made a point in the Lords of endorsing a speech by Lord Ashdown, the former Liberal Democrat leader, who painted a bleak picture during the debate. Ashdown told The Observer that Afghanistan presented a graver threat than Iraq.

'The consequences of failure in Afghanistan are far greater than in Iraq,' he said. 'If we fail in Afghanistan then Pakistan goes down. The security problems for Britain would be massively multiplied. I think you could not then stop a widening regional war that would start off in warlordism but it would become essentially a war in the end between Sunni and Shia right across the Middle East.'

'Mao Zedong used to refer to the First and Second World Wars as the European civil wars. You can have a regional civil war. That is what you might begin to see. It will be catastrophic for Nato. The damage done to Nato in Afghanistan would be as great as the damage done to the UN in Bosnia. That could have a severe impact on the Atlantic relationship and maybe even damage the American security guarantee for Europe.'
I have long maintained that bush will be the first president in American History to lose two wars simultaneously, three if he's insane enough to attack Iran.

It's sad that I appear to have been totally correct and I take no joy from saying this, but America is not any longer the best nor most powerful country on earth. bush is steadily weakening our forces to the point of being inconsequential.

Were Russia or China either one to decide to attack us they could beat our depleted and demoralized military with relative ease (they could field an army of over a billion men in very short order), unless we immediately resorted to a catastrophic nuclear strike which would cause both countries to immediately respond (remember M.A.D. - Mutually Assured Destruction?) Given the sheer size of the two countries I believe it would not be possible to stop an invasion of foreign forces after a nuclear war and that we couldn't possibly destroy both countries before retaliation.

Moreover, if Pakistan, the "new safe haven and protector" of Osama Bin Laden falls to a terrorist group they will instantly possess nuclear weapons to use against America and American interests. Great, through malfeasance bush may give al-Qaede exactly what bush wanted to prevent - possession of WMDs.

bush and clan have relegated America to the status of a third-world banana republic - one that doesn't grow bananas at that. Our allies see it. The world sees it. Our enemies see it. Apparently everyone on Earth sees it, except for our delusional, lying president.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Oh no it di'int.

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:02 PM Permalink

Oh. It did. Gold closed at a price of $666 on Friday the 13th.

(click on image to see larger)
Who writes this stuff??.


Friday the 13th - A Wonderful Day

posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:07 AM Permalink

This post has nothing to do with politics, but when I saw that this was Friday the 13th I wanted to just say something personal. I'll keep it brief.

A lot of people superstitiously fear Friday the 13th. I celebrate each one for a very good reason:
The very first time my wife, Mila, and I went out for a date was on Friday the 13th, September, 1974, and we have been together ever since. I'm just crazy about my gal and she couldn't beat me away with a stick (and I have the bruises to prove it!).

I would have died from Agent Orange-caused cancers back in the early 90s but for one thing. When I was first told I would be dead by the end of the year the very first thing Mila did was to stand facing me, she gently took my face in both of her hands, looked me square in the eye, and told me, "You can't die yet - I'm not done with you!"
A lady ya dare not disappoint, as I did not with her constant encouragement and love seeing me through the most difficult time of my life.

So this one's for you, Babe, I always have been, still am, and always will be madly in love with you, and I am reminded of it every Friday the 13th.

St. John McCain Spends $23m to Find Out What I Would Have Told Him For Free

posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:36 AM Permalink

Here's yet another reason people are rightfully losing faith in anything Republican/GOP.

As reported by the CNN.com, St. John is broke - at least in political terms - with only $250k of his former treasury of $23m dollars:
CNN has learned the already-dire situation for Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign has actually gotten even worse, with two sources close to the candidate saying the campaign only has a paltry $250,000 left.

The sources tell CNN that next week the McCain campaign will reveal it has about $1.75 million in unpaid debts, wiping out the $2 million in cash-on-hand the campaign currently has in the bank.[…]

A McCain spokesman had no comment on the latest financial troubles, which will spark a new round of speculation about the candidate’s viability. Campaign officials are expected to release details about campaign’s financial situation early next week.
St John has exhausted a total of $23m, and I fervently pray that he winds up so broke that he will have to dig into his personal wallet to pay for his debts.

But, at least he won't have to pay for a lot of fancy advice from fancy advisors that charge hugh sums of money to lose elections. I will give him the advice he needs right now, right here:
John, what you have to remember is that people hate losers, they hate losers even more when they flip-flop on every single important issue facing the country, as you have, and most of all the public hates a loser who makes it plain they they intend to continue to lead the country off a cliff by following the failed policies of the bush/cheney maladministration.
So, there ya have it, John. You are losing your ass because you are a loser candidate still espousing the losing ways of the GOP and playing rah-rah cheerleader for them while the country sinks deeper and deeper into debt and disgrace.

And that didn't cost ya a penny.

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Think outside the box

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:49 AM Permalink

It’s so hard to blog when so much is appalling. The Sailor and Bill Arnett are always able to write something worth reading. I have no idea how they pick just one thing. I find one thing to write about and BAM!, I find ten others that really twist my knickers and I just throw up my arms in frustration and start reading about UFOs or something.

Too little is right these days. Or rather, I should say, nothing is settling me.

I had a microglimmer of hope with the whole Michael Moore on CNN thing. He was angry and I loved it. But then I watched him on Larry King and he just rolled over and let Gupta scratch his belly. Gupta came away from it smelling like roses and Moore just looked like Family Guy’s Peter Griffin. Honestly, if Mr. Moore wants to really start winning arguments, he has to stop dealing with the other side’s arguments altogether. Basically, all Gupta had to do was question one number and he was able to marginalize everything else Moore said. That’s not discourse. I don’t know what it is, but it’s not discourse. Moore should be trying to raise the level of discourse. Now is his chance.
Dream sequence:

GUPTA: Your number was wrong here.

MOORE: That’s not the point and you know it. The point is that our healthcare system is immoral. It is immoral to have profit in healthcare. Nobody should make money off cancer. Corporations should not have this much control over our lives.
And so on. You get my point. Don’t address their stupid talking points because they are only a diversion. Don’t give them credibility by arguing with them.

Meanwhile, we have a president who basically admits that yeah, someone in his administration leaked Valerie Plame’s name, and well, that’s that, let’s move on. There were no follow-up questions about his pledge to punish the leaker. None. He doesn’t give a rat’s ass about what the public thinks. He never has. He continues to link Iraq with 9/11, even if indirectly. No matter how you do it, it’s a lie. He’s still lying. And he will continue to lie. He knows he’s all-powerful. He’s the ruling elite and the rest of us are bugs. Of course they don’t care.

They don’t care how many get killed in Iraq, Iran, or for that matter how many will get killed here. They don’t care. It’s not them. It’s not their families or friends. I’m not even sure it’s about money. But it’s definitely about power. They are perfect examples of what creates our system and how our system is created. And most see nothing wrong with that.

Again, by dealing with them on their terms, by addressing their issues using their rules, NOTHING will change. NOTHING.

What has this world become by following THEIR rules?

A 9-year old girl put on her flip-flop sandals. She goes to the airport because she’s getting on a plane. The security people insist she must put her flip flops in the X-ray machine and they want her to walk through the metal detector in her bare feet. Her father starts yelling “My 9-year-old daughter IS NOT going to walk on this filthy floor in her bare feet. She’s 9-years-old for Christ’s sake!” Which, at that point, the big security guys come over to MAKE the little girl walk through the detector in her bare feet while her father accuses the security people of being the real terrorist. (He’s lucky he wasn’t the one getting on the plane or else he would’ve DEFINITELY had a cavity search and a missed flight.)


Going broke from medical bills? Unable to afford medical care to begin with?


“Representatives” in Congress refusing to arrest and impeach those that have so obviously broken the law?


Home going into foreclosure? Home lost to eminent domain abuse? Rent bumped up again?


Wars, torture, greed, marginalization, oppression, police-state tactics, death, destruction?


Do we really want to stick to following their rules?

Is anyone else sick and tired of this nonsense?

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posted by Mr. Vidiot @ 8:49 AM Permalink

Mitt Romney called Hillary a Marxist. She's no Marxist. She's a stark raving conservative and he's never read a word of Marx
Excerpt: Look at how the Democrats like Hillary Clinton think about our economy. She said the other day some very interesting things. You probably saw them. She said that it is quote "time to reject the idea of an on-your-own society and replace it with shared responsibility." She says she prefers a quote "we're all-in-it-together society." I see -- out with Adam Smith, in with Karl Marx.
People are allowed to say anything these days, even unintelligible things. So here goes: The orange sky sings to purple orangutans, people smell like green aliens and dammit, stop the gay elephants from dancing in my backyard.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

There goes my hero

posted by The Sailor @ 8:05 PM Permalink

Truth or consequence, say it aloud, Use that evidence, race it around. (via skippy):
Firing by Bush rejected by boundary official

A dispute over a backyard wall in Whatcom County has reached all the way to the White
House, with President Bush firing International Boundary Commissioner Dennis Schornack
over his handling of the matter.

In a strongly worded letter to Bush, Schornack said the International Boundary
Commission (IBC) is an independent, international organization outside the U.S.
government's jurisdiction. Schornack wrote that according to the 1908 treaty that
created the IBC, a vacancy can only be created by "the death, resignation or other
disability" of a commissioner.

"I am unable to recognize the authority of this communication because I don't believe
that you would knowingly act beyond your authority, outside the law or to otherwise
jeopardize the national security of the United States," Schornack wrote.

A dejected Schornack said Wednesday: "I am ashamed of my government." Bush nominated him
to the IBC in 2001.
Schornack sought assistance from the State Department, but was told the agency could not
help with the lawsuit because the IBC is an independent entity, Feldman said.

The Justice Department advised Schornack to hire outside counsel to assist the IBC, so
Schornack enlisted Feldman's services.
So what's the problem? The State Department and the DoJ both opined that his department is not part of the US government an advised him to hire outside council. He hired outside council, including Feldman and Mike McKay, a former US Attorney.

Well, as usual, the problem is Bushco:
lawyers at Justice Department headquarters in Washington, D.C., and acting Assistant Attorney General Ronald Tenpas particularly wanted to settle the suit
Late Tuesday, Schornack received a faxed letter from Liza Wright, assistant to the
president for personnel, informing him Bush had terminated his appointment "effective

The White House referred calls about the firing to the Department of Justice, but
officials there declined to comment, saying it was a personnel matter.
How can it be a 'personnel matter' if Schornack doesn't work for the DoJ and isn't part of the US government?

But best of all Schornack, a Bush nominee who isn't employed at the 'pleasure of the President', stood up and did the right thing.

We can be heroes.

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