Albert Hofmann, 102, a Swiss chemist and accidental father of LSD who came to view the much-vilified and abused hallucinogen he discovered in 1938 as his "problem child," died April 29 at his home in Burg, a village near Basel, Switzerland, after a heart attack.
Mike McConnel and the senior staff at the CIA mourns the loss of this pioneer in the use of psycho-tropic drugs to torture unsuspecting prisoners, people selected off the street at random, and staff alike.
Mr. Hofman's death has been confirmed, but it will not be until he comes down from his last high and returns to his corporeal self that he can actually be buried.
Jerry Garcia has promised to return from the dead to sing a special eulogy.
Note: Despite the joking I extend the condolences of me and my family to Mr. Hofman's family. R.I.P.
posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:49 AM Permalink
…sez the headline from HuffingtonPost, which, I guess means it's time to modify the old, "Greatest Lies of All Time List." So, in no particular order and without getting too risque, here's MY list:
Aw, c'mon, honey, I won't c*m in your mouth again like last time, I promise.
Of course I believe you're a 'good girl' and I'll still respect you in the morning.
Don't foreclose yet! The check's in the mail!
Give us another six months and we will win in Iraq!
The surge is working! We're really making progress now!
The rising death toll for American troops shows we're winning!
The rising numbers of Iraqi fatalities proves the surge is working!
The lack of political progress in Iraq is a sign that the surge is working!
We are not in a recession!
The fundamentals of our economy are sound!
The Iraqi Oil War has nothing to do with oil.
The coming Iranian Oil War has nothing to do with oil.
The coming Venezuela Oil War has nothing to do with oil.
Inflation is low!
Unemployment is down and jobs are up!
Children like going to bed hungry!
Seniors just hate taking medicine all the time.
Israel is in full compliance with U.N. Resolution 242!
And you can get all the truthful important news that counts from Fox News Channel.
ADDITION: "I'm resigning my post in the administration to spend more time with my family."
And remember, we Southerners may not always be right, but by golly we're never wrong. Besides which, I NEVER lie unless I am alone or with someone or under the influence of alcohol, sex, drugs, and rock & roll.
P.S.-UN Resolution 242: The Security Council, Expressing its continuing concern with the grave situation in the Middle East, Emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every State in the area can live in security, Emphasizing further that all Member States in their acceptance of the Charter of the United Nations have undertaken a commitment to act in accordance with Article 2 of the Charter, 1. Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles: (i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict; (ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force; 2. Affirms further the necessity (a) For guaranteeing freedom of navigation through international waterways in the area; (b) For achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem; (c) For guaranteeing the territorial inviolability and political independence of every State in the area, through measures including the establishment of demilitarized zones; 3. Requests the Secretary-General to designate a Special Representative to proceed to the Middle East to establish and maintain contacts with the States concerned in order to promote agreement and assist efforts to achieve a peaceful and accepted settlement in accordance with the provisions and principles in this resolution; 4. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council on the progress of the efforts of the Special Representative as soon as possible.
posted by The Vidiot @ 3:03 PM Permalink
I listened to Rev. Wright at the NAACP meeting. It was funny. While I didn't listen to the press club speech, I'm sure it was just as entertaining. So what he says these inflammatory things? None of it was entirely wrong. Maybe the rhetoric knob is turned up a bit too high, but he isn't wrong.
But what I don't get is why Obama feels the need to apologize about him, or rather, I should say, why does the media milk that dead cow and constantly associate Wright with Obama, thereby making Obama fee like he must distance himself from Rev. Wright, especially since the whole Press Club thing was set up by a Clinton supporter and as a sort of political gotch'a to Barack.
So, here is the point. If Barack Obama shares the guilt-by-association of a Pastor who says inflammatory things, then Hillary has to share the guilt-by-association with drug smugglers, pimps, and child molesters.
posted by The Vidiot @ 11:50 AM Permalink
Or perhaps, to quote another song: Money makes the world go around.
If you sat a Serb and a Croat, or an Indian and a Pakistani, or a Columbian and a Venezuelan down together at a table, over a beer, chances are they wouldn't pull guns out against each other. They'd just sit and chat and compare their lives and maybe the words would get a bit heated every now and then, but there would be no war. PEOPLE don't want war. People don't want to shoot other people. Generally speaking anyway.
More than a quarter of senators and congressmen have invested at least $196 million of their own money in companies doing business with the Department of Defense (DoD) that profit from the death and destruction in Iraq.
There can be no consumer confidence as long as the Republican Party is in charge as one of the stated aims of the party is to minimize government until they, "can drown it in a bathtub…" and thereby destroy America.
Looks to me like they are achieving their sick, twisted, perverted, cruel, and ugly dream.
New campaign slogan?:
Vote Republican and Help Finish Destroying America!
We don't need just peace movements, we need to restore our government and destroy the Republican Party. Put an end to it. Kill it, stake it through the heart, decapitate it, set it afire, and when only faint embers are left WE need to drown them and extinguish any hope of a Republican restarting the fire.
Unlike Republicans who are sworn to destroy our government I believe in a party that believes government will serve its citizens instead. The GOP has proven itself incapable of anything but destruction.
The cows have come home to roost and the shoe is on the other hand now…
posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:07 AM Permalink
…and the entire world has a perfect view of the perfect mess made by the worst policies of the worst U.S. president in history, policies that will continue under John 'Insane' McLame if he inherits the neocon mantle and somehow, against all reason and commonsense, gets elected to be our next president.
Skyrocketing fuel costs, food prices increasing rapidly as a result, employment down and new jobs almost nonexistent, the housing market crash, banks starting to fail, the dollar plummeting, more uninsured and underfed people than ever playing the juggling game - do I eat or take my meds today - businesses failing, more airlines than I can remember going bankrupt and merging than ever before, and now we even have food rationing due to dramatic climatic changes and the sheer cost of getting that food to market.
Gas prices have risen 1,900% since I started driving and have almost doubled under bush. I do not believe you could raise the price of ANY staple, or any commodity, by 1,900% and reasonably expect to NOT have serious problems.
These airline failures and mergers and still ever-higher costs associated with flying will eat away at the ability of small businesses to do business al all. Truckers are so desperate they are beginning to refuse to transport goods without substantial subsidies. Taxi drivers are taking it in the rear from the high prices as well since they buy their own gas. The cost of doing business grows exponentially and it has to stop or break the system eventually.
Bottom line, the reckless pursuit of aggressive preemptive illegal wars to try and steal the oil out from under Iraq and Iran, bush's Oil Wars, is driving a spike into the heart of America, an act that will be complete when bushco does finally attack Iran, killing hundreds of thousands more innocent people in an attempt to slake our thirst for oil, causing the price of oil to explode to ever new highs and continuing and hastening the demise of more and more businesses: More suffering, more businesses failing, more bankruptcies of businesses and individuals, runaway inflation, more food rationing and, eventually, food riots as the poor just can't bring in the income needed to feed their families.
Every one of these problems will be the direct, horrible result of Republican policies. And I can't be the only one that sees the imminent end of our democracy. The Republicans have been advocating 'drowning the government in the bath tub', the only political act of which they are capable: they destroy, blow everything up, attack without reason and to the detriment of the country, and they are absolutely pitiless as they continue their course to destroy our government. They have indeed changed the very nature of a nurturing America and have become war pigs by choice, not necessity.
These next elections are our last best chance to begin balancing the scale, restoring a government that actually functions in emergencies, and a government to restore some sanity to running this country.
And I believe we must do it now or we will not have a country to love left if the Republican Party does not hear its own death knell this November. And things still won't change until the Democratic party returns to its societal aims of caring for people, putting in place policies that uplift, feed, house, provide jobs, health coverage, and the education of our children so that maybe, just maybe, America can again become what it was.
I'm 55 years old and fear I will only live to see the end of our country and not its recovery to former greatness. We lost it, people, we lost it.
We lost it through a political party that deliberately finagled the greatest exchange in wealth, from the poor to the rich, ever seen in history and there are several months more for bush and the neocons to start so many wars that we will be forced to continue fighting right down to the last man, woman, and child if we don't wake up from this nightmare of eternal war for oil and U.S. hegemony.
Some conservative groups are urging parents to keep children home from school today if their fellow students will be taking part in the annual Day of Silence observation.
Thousands of middle- and high-school students across the nation, including some in the Triangle, plan to take a vow of silence today to bring attention to the bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered students. [...] But this year, a network of local and national conservative groups is calling for a boycott. They claim that allowing some students to be silent in class will not only promote homosexuality, it also will disrupt education.
“If you’re not going to be educated that day, why let them go to school?” said Bill Brooks, executive director of the N.C. Family Policy Council, one of the groups encouraging parents to consider taking their children out of school today. [...] Groups such as the American Family Association have developed forms for parents to use to argue that their children should get an excused absence if they boycott school today. [...] Matt Wight, principal of Apex High School, said he has heard from parents who have asked why the school is participating. He said he has explained to them that it’s a student-sponsored event.
“My sense is people are getting misinformation and it’s being manipulated into being a school-sponsored event,” Wight said.
But Creech said it doesn’t matter whether the event is student sponsored. He said a school is complicit if it allows students to remain silent. [...] This year’s Day of Silence is in remembrance of a 15-year-old California student who was killed by a classmate in February because of his sexual orientation. [...] Creech said such activities normalize homosexuality.
Isn't it just like these christofascists to reject Jesus' teachings to complain about students' silent protest regarding the bullying and murdering of their fellow students for being gay.
One would think silent students could make for a more positive educational experience, but nooooo, these morons insist that any school that actually allows students to be silent is advancing a homersexual agenda.
posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:26 PM Permalink
…sez the headline from this article in the NYT. Big Brother just got a big boost in the favored means to extract information from prisoners that may have knowledge of a future 'terrorist attack.'
The Justice Department has told Congress that American intelligence operatives attempting to thwart terrorist attacks can legally use interrogation methods that might otherwise be prohibited under international law.[…]
“The fact that an act is undertaken to prevent a threatened terrorist attack, rather than for the purpose of humiliation or abuse, would be relevant to a reasonable observer in measuring the outrageousness of the act,” said Brian A. Benczkowski, a deputy assistant attorney general, in the letter, which had not previously been made public.[…]
If the United States used subjective standards in applying its interrogation rules, he said, then potential enemies might adopt different standards of treatment for American detainees based on an officer’s rank or other factors.
“The cumulative effect in my interpretation is to put American troops at risk,” Mr. Wyden said.
Aw, c'mon people! Under these terms any one of us could be snatched off the street and tortured just because your next door neighbor is tired of your barking dog and calls in a report that you are engaged in 'terrorist activity.'
This is an open order allowing the torture of anyone as long as they are tortured in the name of national defense. Everyone 'may' be presumed to pose a threat and thus be subjected to torture. This means ALL of us are prospective torture victims.
Big Brother is not only here, he has unpacked his bags, taken residence in the home of the bush/cheney torture rooms, and awaits his first victim to apply state approved torture, secretly, without benefit of habeas corpus, no attorneys, and the whereabouts of the suspected terrorist unknown to the victim's family.
When will we bring back coliseums, sell tickets, and start feeding terrorists to the lions if they won't talk? Might as well have Roman-style entertainment to enjoy while Caesar bush cheers on the lions. Entertainment for the masses.
And soon, the end of empire.
Pity our poor troops that will face having to endure inhumane torture because of this policy for it is they who pay the price of bad leadership.
Why is Richard Cheney now spending an estimated $1,500,000 to construct a 12,765 square-foot "bungalow" with four bedrooms, nine baths and his and hers libraries with fireplaces on his long-vacant lot at 1126 Chain Bridge Road [in Fairfax County, Virginia, across the Potomac from Washington DC.]?
Does this have any implications as to when George Bush's term will come to an end, or Cheney's plans to continue to influence American policies? After eight long years of pain intentionally inflicted upon Americans and tens of millions of others worldwide, what further damage does Cheney have in store?
The nation's top military officer said yesterday that the Pentagon is planning for "potential military courses of action" as one of several options against Iran, criticizing what he called the Tehran government's "increasingly lethal and malign influence" in Iraq.
It's official, people.
Our itty-bitty ever more irrelevant Fearful Leader has his surrogates taking over the bellicose talk to prepare the nation for yet another war we cannot afford, and one that we may not be able to win.
With all the continuing investment in Iran by Russia and China can anyone reasonably believe they are going to sit on their hands and do nothing while billions and billions of their investments get blown to hell?
After the verdict, there were no riots. There was no unease. As a white woman, nobody said anything to me. I didn't feel threatened. I didn't see throngs of people crying, screaming, rending their clothing. Nothing. It was shocking.
I remember, way back when, in 1989 (yes, I've been here that long) when the whole Yusef Hawkins thing was going down. It was a racial attack. Rioting ensued all over the place. I was a young 20-something, riding the train late one night soon after the attack and a bunch of African-American kids were at one end of the car and I was at the other. When the doors closed, they started to look at me and point and say "Let's F--ck her for Yusef!" "Yeah!" I don't even know what I did, but I think I just sort of smiled at them, acknowledging their existence, but I didn't let them know I was terrified. I didn't even bother to get off the train at the next stop. I just sat there like I couldn't be bothered. Stupid? Probably, but nothing happened. Which was lucky because all sorts of that happened then. (Which, actually, fits Mr. Vidiot's theory that you don't have to fear the loud mouths. It's the quiet ones you should watch out for.)
Now, nearly 20 years later, nothing. It's like the whole population of NYC is on drugs or something. Nobody was particularly bothered by anything. What is going on?
Update: Sharpton is saying something about a protest. We shall see.
posted by Mr. Vidiot @ 11:35 AM Permalink
A few Novembers [corrected date] back, an unarmed black man was shot to death my three policeman. Yesterday, the judge said that the testimony of the policemen sounded more credible than that of the young black men and therefore, they were not convicted of any charges.
In announcing his verdict in the non-jury trial, the judge said that the inconsistent testimony, courtroom demeanor and rap sheets of the prosecution witnesses — mainly Bell's friends — "had the effect of eviscerating" their credibility.
But of course their testimony sounds more credible, because these cops are in courtrooms on a daily basis, they're trained on how to behave in court and coached by expensive lawyers. And the uniform, in itself, makes them appear more credible in the eyes or the so-called 'decent' of the American society as well as the courtroom. The courtroom is the police officers' backyard, their turf, where they have authority and are well respected. It is their home-field advantage.
For the black man, the courtroom is a place of fear, accusation, humiliation and dehumanization. It is a place where they are out of their comfort zone and in unknown and hostile territory, where they are looked upon with distrust and scorn. Of course they don't sound credible.
To justify its aims it is necessary to make ever more shrill claims…
posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:57 PM Permalink
…such as those now being made by the Israelis, backed up in full by America through the auspices of our itty-bitty ever more irrelevant Fearful Leader bush, both of which countries allege that Syria was building a nuclear plant with the assistance of the North Koreans.
I call B.S. on this entire affair as it is no longer above American or Israel to tell whatever lies that will best suit their aims.
It is more than a little suspicious that the ever-secretive Bush administration has suddenly decided to go public with what it knows about North Korea’s nuclear connection with Syria. After seven months of refusing to acknowledge Israel’s air strike last Sept. 6 on a suspected Syrian nuclear reactor, the intelligence community has now provided Congress with video images showing North Koreans inside the secret facility.
It is another example of this administration insisting that information be withheld for national security reasons — until there is a political reason to release it.[…]
Israel’s attack has at least ensured that the Syrian reactor will not be a threat.…
This is so utterly asinine it's hard to know where to start, so I'll keep it to a single point.
After impugning bush's integrity and his known penchant for keeping information secret until its release will somehow facilitate one of his aims, the editorial staff blithely backs up and seems to actually vouchsafe the credibility of bush and the Israelis by plainly stating, without a shred of evidence to support the claim that, "…Israel’s attack has at least ensured that the Syrian reactor will not be a threat.…"
No where has there been published anything to support the outlandish claims of the parties involved, but to hold both mutually exclusive suppositions, i.e., "…It is more than a little suspicious that the ever-secretive Bush administration has suddenly decided to go public…" as opposed to the definitive, "…Israel’s attack has at least ensured that the Syrian reactor will not be a threat.…" strikes me as the same as saying, "He suspiciously admits he preemptively beats his wife, you know," followed by, "She deserved it to keep the country safe."
Besides, has anyone besides me noticed that there is not a sign of the gigantic cooling towers needed to help regulate the internal temperatures of the reactor? I'm not a nuclear scientist by any means, but I have always been led to believe that the hugh towers were an absolute necessity for the current nuclear plant design.
I strongly agree. With his sneaky, insidious, perfidious, secrecy, and outright lying it will be years before we discover just how badly bushco has damaged our economy. Only then will we be able to figure out how to try and recover.
Personally, I don't think America will ever again see the prosperity the country formerly enjoyed after WWII, which ended with greorge w bush, a small, ignorant man trading on fear, war-making, and American Empire.
R.I.P. America. It was a good run while it lasted.
posted by The Vidiot @ 1:57 PM PermalinkWith all the rampant development that's going on in NYC, thanks to Mayor Every-old-building-being-must-be-destroyed-so-a-new-ugly-one-can-be-built-in-its-place Bloomberg, there's ample opportunity to see Scabby the Rat. Unions pull him out and place him in front of construction sites that don't use union labor.
Here he is in front of NYU. And here's a whole blogpost about a recent sighting in Brooklyn. But the one thing I didn't know was that they there's a fancy rat version of Scabby. How awesome is that?
"…McCain is the rare exception who is not assumed to be willing to sacrifice personal credibility to prevail in any contest."…
posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:53 PM Permalink
So says David Broder in one of the funniest statements of all time, not just today. I know he believes people still take him as seriously as he does himself, but really, this statement has to be the funniest lie I ever heard about or read of John McCain.
posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:32 PM Permalink
…which alone should be enough to clue us in that we need to change our ways now that we are a third rate, third world banana republic with no bananas.
Isn't this just another sign on our highway to hell for being such war pigs?
And if the new war pig elected doesn't renounce war and start using all that additional money for the good of mankind instead of conducting genocide to steal oil resources, it will get worse to the point that the only two TRUE superpowers, Russia and China, will eventually either attack and defeat us militarily or break us completely by dropping the dollar as a stable currency upon which the world used to rely. The resultant run on the banks would wipe us out financially.
Maybe Russia or China will put into place better policies that would produce a better life for Americans. At least we could petition them for government aid.
People really don't see any parallels between Russia losing almost everything from over-the-top spending on defense and war-making during the Cold War and where America is now?
NOTE 4-27-08: When I wrote this I guess I 'assumed' that everyone would be aware that Costco and other warehouse stores were rationing rice, limiting customers to only two 20-lb. bags of rice per customer. I have since realized that this post might not make sense if you were not aware of that fact. I apologize for any confusion, but when one of the world's main staples in food runs short, it is time to start worrying.
When candidates lie with impunity no wonder there is no sense of community…
posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:46 PM Permalink
…and it is the consensus of the NYT Editorial Board that none of the presidential candidates are being the least bit honest when it comes to speaking of taxes.
Excerp of editorial titled, "Empty Talk on Taxes":
One of the toughest questions that will face the next president is what to do about taxes. There can be no real progress on health care, rebuilding the military or any other major issue without dealing with rising budget deficits and mounting debt from nearly eight years of profligate spending and tax breaks for the wealthy.
This is the reality:
To restore the health of the budget, let alone keep ambitious campaign pledges for spending more money, the next president, regardless of which party wins, will have to tax the American people more than any of the candidates has been willing to admit.
Senator John McCain’s tax talk is particularly divorced from reality
I absolutely agree and have known for some time now that this country is not long going to be able to maintain a viable government at the current rate of spending.
But it is also my opinion that the editorial board raises the answer within the first paragraph where they state: "…There can be no real progress on health care, rebuilding the military or any other major issue without dealing with rising budget deficits and mounting debt…." America has become so militaristic, aggressive, and war-like that unless we cease spending three quarters of our budget for 'future combat systems' that don't work, there is no way the U.S. can survive. So if you strike 'rebuilding the military' for future senseless wars, a solution for the rest of our financial problems becomes obvious: with the trillion dollars a year or more added back into our budget process the needs of the country could easily be cured, maybe without a tax increase at all.
I don't know where America went wrong, besides electing war pigs who would rather kill poor people instead of helping and enlightening them, but the America of old has died or is at least in a coma, and NONE of the presidential candidates offer any hope for a return to real values.
You remember: equal rights for all, habeas corpus, no draconian surveillance programs, no spy satellites aimed at Americans, no phone and internet eavesdropping operations, no compiling of unverified and therefore useless "Terrorist Lists", no torture, and a decent regard for the welfare of our fellow men.
Unless we stop our barbaric, but now accepted ways, and return to being Americans with a government that actively pursues peace and stop spending all OUR money being thrown into the black holes of bush's Iraqi Oil War and, soon, his Iranian Oil War, and the military in general, we are doomed as a society.
We are barreling down the road, downhill with the wind at our backs,and with virtually the entire world rooting for and awaiting our downfall (we are, after all, the most aggressive, cruel, war-like, and war-making nation on earth).
Unless we severely cap military spending, eliminate the 'future combat systems' that rely on horrifically expensive, unproven and, in many cases NOT YET INVENTED technologies, we are doomed to keep repeating the mistakes founded, funded, and perpetuated by the bush maladministration.
posted by The Vidiot @ 10:42 AM Permalink
I do know that the arguments made in the Boston Legal TV series, the way they argue the cases and such, is perfectly silly, legally speaking. Too bad. Somebody really should give the Supreme Court a good smack upside their heads.
In San Francisco federal court Monday, attorneys for veterans' rights groups accused the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs of nothing less than a cover-up - deliberately concealing the real risk of suicide among veterans. [...] The charges were backed by internal e-mails written by Dr. Ira Katz, the VA's head of Mental Health.
In the past, Katz has repeatedly insisted while the risk of suicide among veterans is serious, it's not outside the norm.
"There is no epidemic in suicide in VA," Katz told Keteyian in November.
But in this e-mail to his top media adviser, written two months ago, Katz appears to be saying something very different, stating: "Our suicide prevention coordinators are identifying about 1,000 suicide attempts per month among veterans we see in our medical facilities."
Katz's e-mail was written shortly after the VA provided CBS News data showing there were only 790 attempted suicides in all 2007 - a fraction of Katz's estimate. [...] And it appears that Katz went out of his way to conceal these numbers.
First, he titled his e-mail: "Not for the CBS News Interview Request."
He opened it with "Shh!" - as in keep it quiet - before ending with "Is this something we should (carefully) address … before someone stumbles on it?" [...] Last November when CBS News exposed an epidemic of more than 6,200 suicides in 2005 among those who had served in the military, Katz attacked our report.
"Their number is not, in fact, an accurate reflection of the rate," he said last November.
But it turns out they were, as Katz admitted in this e-mail, just three days later.
He wrote: there "are about 18 suicides per day among America's 25 million veterans."
That works out to about 6,570 per year, which Katz admits in the same e-mail, "is supported by the CBS numbers."
Dr. Steve Rathbun is the acting head of the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department at the University of Georgia. CBS News asked him to run a detailed analysis of the raw numbers that we obtained from state authorities for 2004 and 2005.
It found that veterans were more than twice as likely to commit suicide in 2005 than non-vets. (Veterans committed suicide at the rate of between 18.7 to 20.8 per 100,000, compared to other Americans, who did so at the rate of 8.9 per 100,000.)
One age group stood out. Veterans aged 20 through 24, those who have served during the war on terror. They had the highest suicide rate among all veterans, estimated between two and four times higher than civilians the same age. (The suicide rate for non-veterans is 8.3 per 100,000, while the rate for veterans was found to be between 22.9 and 31.9 per 100,000.)
Obviously, aside from the song lyric at the top of the post, suicide isn't painless. For an individual to commit, or even attempt, suicide they have to be in overwhelming pain. And the individual doesn't care whether it's physical or mental. And the pain inflicted on their families is probably worse.
Even taking into account the difference between civilian and military, age 20-24, suicide rates are still more than double what the Pentagon currently reports as 'deaths from combat.'
"The proposed version, which you have sent over, has been shared with staff, and is now going through final technical stages. It is true that it caused a few titters among some staff when viewed on its side, but on consideration we concluded that the effect was generic to the particular combination of the letters 'OGC' - and is not inappropriate to an organisation that's looking to have a firm grip on government spend!"
Hillary was supposed to kick ass by like over 20 points and she didn't. She only won by 9.4 points. That would be spun as a loss if it were 2000 and it was Al Gore vs. GW Bush.
Once again, the election was unverifiable. And once again, the exit polls didn't line up with the results. Will the American public ever "get it"?
As Kos pointed out, Hillary had the weight of the Pennsylvania machine behind her. As annoying as that is, it does make a difference. (If anyone has the free time, it would be interesting to compare what state machines backed Obama and which ones backed Clinton and line them up with wins and losses.)
While I loathe Hillary (don't know why) and have no feelings whatsoever for Obama (don't know why not), watching the media trip over themselves on this one has been a real study.
posted by The Vidiot @ 7:31 PM Permalink
I always knew legalese was bullshit. In my gut, I just couldn't believe it was real and that anybody really understood what they were actually saying. I just never knew how much bullshit it really was... until now.
Sarah Medhurst (nee Black) shocked journalists and legal scholars at a press conference held at the Black family estate Monday when she revealed that Black's Law Dictionary, a highly regarded legal reference text, was originally written as a joke by her eccentric great grandfather Henry Campbell Black.
I'm guilty of only reading the article superficially, so I can't really judge its 'truthiness.' But honestly, if the article itself isn't satire, then the whole thing is like, totally AWESOME.
“Far from serving as a model for the world, contemporary America is viewed with horror,” …
posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:02 PM Permalink
…says James Q. Whitman, a specialist in comparative law at Yale, wrote last year in Social Research. “Certainly there are no European governments sending delegations to learn from us about how to manage prisons.” More from the article detailing America's eternal shame:
The United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population. But it has almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners.
Indeed, the United States leads the world in producing prisoners, a reflection of a relatively recent and now entirely distinctive American approach to crime and punishment. Americans are locked up for crimes — from writing bad checks to using drugs — that would rarely produce prison sentences in other countries. And in particular they are kept incarcerated far longer than prisoners in other nations.
Criminologists and legal scholars in other industrialized nations say they are mystified and appalled by the number and length of American prison sentences.
The United States has, for instance, 2.3 million criminals behind bars, more than any other nation, according to data maintained by the International Center for Prison Studies at King’s College London.
China, which is four times more populous than the United States, is a distant second, with 1.6 million people in prison. (That number excludes hundreds of thousands of people held in administrative detention, most of them in China’s extrajudicial system of re-education through labor, which often singles out political activists who have not committed crimes.)
No, sir, them thar communist countries and others who ain't even communist pale in comparison to America when it comes to jailing every citizen they can, for whatever reason they can imagine, while ignoring solutions to prison overcrowding since privatized prisons are now profit making ventures that depend on a steady stream of bodies to keep them profitable.
[PROPAGANDA ALERT!] There is little question that the high incarceration rate here has helped drive down crime, though there is debate about how much.[PROPAGANDA ALERT STAND DOWN! BILL][…]
It used to be that Europeans came to the United States to study its prison systems. They came away impressed.[…]
Prison sentences here have become “vastly harsher than in any other country to which the United States would ordinarily be compared,” Michael H. Tonry, a leading authority on crime policy, wrote in “The Handbook of Crime and Punishment.”
Indeed, said Vivien Stern, a research fellow at the prison studies center in London, the American incarceration rate has made the United States “a rogue state, a country that has made a decision not to follow what is a normal Western approach.”[…]
People who commit nonviolent crimes in the rest of the world are less likely to receive prison time and certainly less likely to receive long sentences. The United States is, for instance, the only advanced country that incarcerates people for minor property crimes like passing bad checks, Mr. Whitman wrote.
Efforts to combat illegal drugs play a major role in explaining long prison sentences in the United States as well. In 1980, there were about 40,000 people in American jails and prisons for drug crimes. These days, there are almost 500,000.
Those figures have drawn contempt from European critics. “The U.S. pursues the war on drugs with an ignorant fanaticism,” said Ms. Stern of King’s College.[…]
[PROPAGANDA ALERT!] Many American prosecutors, on the other hand, say that locking up people involved in the drug trade is imperative, as it helps thwart demand for illegal drugs and drives down other kinds of crime. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey, for instance, has fought hard to prevent the early release of people in federal prison on crack cocaine offenses, saying that many of them “are among the most serious and violent offenders.” [PROPAGANDA ALERT STAND DOWN! BILL]
[PROPAGANDA ALERT!] Whatever the reasons, there is little dispute that America’s exceptional incarceration rate has had an impact on crime.[PROPAGANDA ALERT STAND DOWN. BILL] […]
[PROPAGANDA ALERT!] Other commentators were more definitive. “The simple truth is that imprisonment works,” wrote Kent Scheidegger and Michael Rushford of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation in The Stanford Law and Policy Review. “Locking up criminals for longer periods reduces the level of crime. The benefits of doing so far offset the costs.” [PROPAGANDA ALERT STAND DOWN! BILL]
This is really a fairly well written article, but assumes facts not in evidence and draws conclusions only a government bean-counter with an agenda would love. Let's examine the propaganda:
1. Other commentators were more definitive. “The simple truth is that imprisonment works,” wrote Kent Scheidegger and Michael Rushford of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation in The Stanford Law and Policy Review. “Locking up criminals for longer periods reduces the level of crime. The benefits of doing so far offset the costs.” This statement has no basis in fact or imagination. Harsh drug sentences has not reduced the use of drugs in America, and has instead led to the highest recidivism rate in history. Too, placing these small-time crooks into drug treatment stops providing a "Criminal College" for offenders ill-served by being jailed with violent offenders.
2. “The simple truth is that imprisonment works…” remains the chief bogus claim. See: Violent Crime Rate Goes Up for First Time in 15 Years Following Massive GOP Cuts for Law Enforcement.
The rate of violent crime in America increased last year for the first time since 1991, according to a new FBI report. The increase coincides with dramatic cuts to state and local law enforcement funding by Republicans each year since President Bush took office. The $2.3 billion recently approved by the House amounts to nearly half of the $4.5 billion appropriated in 2001.
So it would seem that Clinton's program of putting 100,000 extra police on the streets reduced the crime rate. Take away that extra funding and whoosh!, back up goes the crime rates.
3. “Locking up criminals for longer periods reduces the level of crime. The benefits of doing so far offset the costs.” See: Testimony on Prisoner Reform and Older Prisoners before the House Judiciary Committee by noted scholar, lawyer, and law professor Jonathan Turley.:
To put this into concrete terms, the average cost of a prisoner remains generally between $20,000 and $30,000 per year in various systems. Again, consider California, which is facing a truly dangerous crisis of overcrowding and recidivism in its system. In that state, the annual cost of a prisoner is over $26,000. The cost of an older or geriatric inmate is likely between $40,000 to $70,000 per year. Obviously, due to serious illness and disability, it is not uncommon to find geriatric inmates who cost the system in excess of $100,000 per year.
I guess I could go on and on, but why is this article espousing incarceration of people for even minor crimes with low recidivism rate at this time?
I guess with the upcoming Iranian Oil War the MSM just wanted to remind us of the ease with which we may be sentenced to prison - just in case a declaration of martial law becomes necessary.
And besides, it strikes me as thoroughly repugnant that America's hideous record on incarceration is becoming our most recognizable trait.
“Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice mocked anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr as a coward on Sunday, hours after the radical leader threatened to declare war unless U.S. and Iraqi forces end a military crackdown on his followers.”[...] VetVoice’s Brandon Friedman notes that this echoes Bush’s “Bring ‘em on.”
The life of 20-year-old Emine, and her 24-year-old husband Ramazan Çalçoban was pretty much the normal life of any couple in a separation process. After deciding to split up, the two kept having bitter arguments over the cellphone, sending text messages to each other until one day Ramazan wrote "you change the topic every time you run out of arguments." That day, the lack of a single dot over a letter—product of a faulty localization of the cellphone's typing system—caused a chain of events that ended in a violent blood bath.
Additionally, it is very hard to communicate snark via email.
"Stocks Fall as Investors Analyze Earnings Reports" also from NYT
"Price Volatility Adds to Worry on U.S. Farms" NYT
"Re-examining Nafta in Hopes of Curing U.S. Manufacturing" NYT
And this is just the easy stuff to find from only two newspapers.
And the real kick-in-the-teeth-about-all-this? They held their summit in the only major U.S. city to suffer absolute catastrophe and yet the government gave all the money for repairs and help to organizations that did no repairs and offered no help: New Orleans.
Most Asinine Headline: "Richard Cohen: Is Hillary Clinton Honest?"
posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:08 PM Permalink
This comes from the NYT and prompts me to ask Cohen some questions:
Are you honest or do you just try and play honest for a newspaper? And when you do try honesty, does it still fail to get you the attention you seek? Did you appoint yourself supreme judge of all that is righteous and good, or are you just stupid enough to think others accept you at face value? And did you known that your face value is far less than zero? Do you seriously believe that anyone outside your immediate family believes anything you say, and that even they laugh at you behind your back?
Have you stopped beating your wife? Stopped hitting your kids? Stopped kicking the dog? Stopped coming in like a drunken sop every night?
Are you still smoking an ounce of crack everyday? Stopped snorting crank/pcp speedballs? Woken up in many alleys with strange men standing over you making odd requests?
So you're the self-arrogated questioner of another's honesty? Do you know Hillary? Lifelong friend are you? Smug enough in your arrogance that you don't know that there are thousands of people daily that ask if you are just an arrogant jerk or an ignorant and judgmental fool?
For even a single heartbeat you believe John McLame is more honest than Hillary? Have ya really sunk so low, bunky?
Are you tired of rhetorical questions that impugn your character without having to provide any proof whatever?
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Monday the Air Force is not doing enough to help in the Iraq and Afghanistan war effort, complaining that some military leaders are "stuck in old ways of doing business."
Gates said in a speech at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., that getting the Air Force to send more surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft to Iraq and Afghanistan has been "like pulling teeth."
Addressing officer students at the Air Force's Air University, the Pentagon chief praised the Air Force for its overall contributions but made a point of urging it to do more and to undertake new and creative ways of thinking about helping the war effort instead of focusing mainly on future threats.
"In my view we can do and we should do more to meet the needs of men and women fighting in the current conflicts while their outcome may still be in doubt," he said. "My concern is that our services are still not moving aggressively in wartime to provide resources needed now on the battlefield."[…]
He likened the urgency of the task force's work to that of a similar organization he created last year to push for faster production and deployment of mine-resistant, ambush-protected armored vehicles that have been credited with saving lives of troops facing attacks by roadside bombs in Iraq.
So in other words Gates is pleading for the equipment they should have had ready before the war commenced, just like body armor, and specially armored vehicles for the troops.
There was no mention of how many of our troops have died needlessly because the bush maladministration failed to properly plan and prepare for war.
And without a single combat-ready brigade available on our continent to defends us in the event of a sudden attack, maybe the Air Force, unlike Gates, bush, and cheney, realizes that some resources should be held back for a fight with a REAL enemy and not the mythical and useless war on terra which has no bounds, will never end, and that is depriving the citizens of America the just attention and monetary policies required of our leadership to actually provide a functioning government of, by, and for the people.
The desk jockey's need for ever greater speed eludes me…
posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:06 PM Permalink
…so when I see an article on the hottest, latest, bestest ever hard drive, in this case the new Western Digital VelociRaptor 300gb Hard Drive, it bothers me that I have lost that, "Gee whiz! Man that's impressive!" jaw-dropping awe at the cleverness of man.
Unlike many hard drives, which show strengths and weaknesses in our tests, the $300 VelociRaptor actually demonstrated its strength across the PC World Test Center's entire suite of hard drive tests. In one of its most impressive feats, the VelociRaptor required just 89 seconds to write 3.06GB of files and folders, besting the next-best drive in our chart, the Western Digital Caviar SE16 750GB, by 32 seconds--a 26 percent improvement.
I used to get excited about this stuff. Imagine! 32 seconds faster, a 26% speed increase! Wow!
Then one day it all lost its glitter and glamour when I realized a few things. Like:
It didn't allow me any more time with my family. It didn't increase my typing, reading, or comprehension speed. It didn't give me time for an extra smoke break (back when I smoked). It didn't allow me extra time for luxurious lunches at the Broiler Room in Sacramento (which I highly recommend). I still didn't have time to read a self-help book. Hell, I still wouldn't have gained enough time to walk to the corner store for a Coke and Lottery ticket. It didn't help me at all with losing weight, fighting cancer, or any other human, personal-type of endeavor to stay alive. And it would take a very long time indeed, at 32 seconds a shot, to make up even the time I would have to take to read the manual for the damn thing and get it hooked up and working on my computer.
Still, I guess there is someone somewhere jumping up and down clapping their hands and excited about this new hard drive.
posted by The Vidiot @ 10:12 AM Permalink
I'm telling you, the friggin' papal news coverage is ridiculous. It's everywhere. Why? It's just the freakin' pope. Not only that, I'm flipping around, trying to find something else to watch and one of the news stations is interviewing Harry Connick Jr. about, what else, THE POPE! How random is that?
If I hear the words 'solemn' and 'moving' in the same sentence one more time, I'll go nuts, NUTS, I tell you.
To the public, these men are members of a familiar fraternity, presented tens of thousands of times on television and radio as “military analysts” whose long service has equipped them to give authoritative and unfettered judgments about the most pressing issues of the post-Sept. 11 world.
Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance, an examination by The New York Times has found.
then you've got bigger problems with your higher brain function.
posted by Bill Arnett @ 2:34 PM Permalink
…speaking of the inanity and irrelevance of David Brooks, see the Huffington Post's article by Jason Linkins regarding Brooks' latest debacle of a column and then compare it to the posting I made here Friday.
Just goes to show ya that we here at VidiotSpeak remain o.d. (out dere), ahead of our time, way past the curve, over the rainbow, and retain the prescience to call David Brooks as I see him, which is pretty much the way, apparently, a lot of people look upon him: as a slimy little worm so full of himself that there ain't room for a cogent thought to squeeze into his brain.
Seriously, go read Mr. Linkins' article and my post; any difference is in language used by the writers, as the quotations from the article parallel those in my post.
In a statement entitled "Bush's Neanderthal speech," German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said: "His speech showed not leadership but losership. We are glad that there are also other voices in the United States."
Quick! Someone call David Brooks and tell him what real people are saying for attribution about his Fearful Leader, on the record and not hiding behind some made up or anonymous clown from the right wing speaking anonymously.
Then he made an iron vow to get American troops out of Iraq within 16 months. Neither Obama nor anyone else has any clue what the conditions will be like when the next president takes office. He could have responsibly said that he aims to bring the troops home but will make a judgment at the time. Instead, he rigidly locked himself into a policy that will not be fully implemented for another three years.
If Obama is elected, he will either go back on this pledge — in which case he would destroy his credibility — or he will risk genocide in the region and a viciously polarizing political war at home.
This is from an opinion column from David Brooks of the NYT (I will not link to him and cause our readers unnecessary pain from his poison prose).
Anyway, it's his usual B.S. column purporting to know just what a democrat needs to say or do to get elected - and it is some serious B.S. And, of course nonsense like this is really going to fool a fool - not!
When Obama began this ride, he seemed like a transcendent figure who could understand a wide variety of life experiences. But over the past months, things have happened that make him seem more like my old neighbors in Hyde Park in Chicago.
Damn Obama with faint praise and then let the vitriol begin!
John Judis and Ruy Teixeira have estimated a Democrat has to win 45 percent of such voters to take the White House. I’ve asked several of the most skillful Democratic politicians over the past few weeks, and they all think that’s going to be hard.
"…several of the most skillful Democratic politicians…" My goodness, that rings as true as, "…an unidentified senior administration official," an, "unidentified White House source," a, "person who is not authorized to release this information," or, "someone in government who isn't authorized to reveal the contents of…" and all the other chickedsh*t mealy-mouthed, weasel-worded, utter nonsense spouted by opinion writers who absolutely must make themselves appear as if they are more knowledgeable, intelligent, insightful, and just as good as plain old-fashioned prognosticators able to accurately see the future.
Snake oil. And slimy. As if Brooks might actually vote for a democrat seeing as how he wants to tell us how we will win or lose. Since pretty much everyone is aware of Brook's political bent, this bit of garbage is doubly ignorant and offensive.
And besides, there is no mystery as to whom the "he" is within this context, "…he will risk genocide in the region and a viciously polarizing political war at home.
george w bush, worst American president and worst world leader extant today.
Even as he came on stage to give the keynote address at the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas, it was obvious that Tim Robbins' remarks had caused controversy backstage. The Academy Award-winning actor and critically acclaimed screenwriter, director and producer first indicated to the audience that he would not be giving his speech. Then, floor agents of the NAB organizers ordered journalists' video cameras turned off. An NAB spokesman later said Mr. Robbins contract had a "no filming" clause. Ultimately, Mr. Robbins changed his mind and started talking. Listen to the six best minutes of the speech.
Todays Headline: Gov't Report: US Lacks Pakistan Terror Plan, Terrorists Operating Freely On Border…
posted by Bill Arnett @ 2:19 PM Permalink
…ain't it amazing that you can't find someone you're not looking for, that by leaving the field of battle before it is won, by diverting so many military resources to fight an Iraqi Oil War, and taking into account the myriad of mistakes made by the most incompetent world leader ever known to exist means that our "war on terra" is not only lost, but likely to tear this country apart from the inside out?
Our Fearful leader knows no shame and would rather lose everything dear to this country before admitting a mistake.
Now, I'm all for the old, "The captain goes down with the ship," (sorry Sailor!) but to allow the captain, the Decider, break this country beyond repair is the ultimate foolishness.
You Don't Have to be Iranian to Obtain a Good Supply of Uranium…
posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:53 PM Permalink
…especially when our friends the Russians are aiding in building nuclear reactors in Iran and supplying the enriched uranium necessary for it to become operational.
The delivery by Russia of nuclear fuel to Iran probably says more about Russia's attitude towards Iran and the West than it does about Iran's nuclear intentions.
It appears that Russia is unconcerned about Western fears over Iran. The implication is that it will not easily agree to an increase in UN sanctions on Iran.
The fuel, enriched uranium, is to be used in the nuclear plant near Bushehr in southern Iran. This plant is quite separate from Iran's own uranium enrichment facility at Natanz. The Bushehr power station has been under construction for a long time and is under international inspection.[…]
Russia itself has enriched the uranium for Bushehr. The argument about Iran is that Iran should not do the enrichment, in case it one day uses the technology to make a nuclear bomb.
Nevertheless, Western governments had hoped that Russia would delay delivery, in order to increase the pressure on Iran over its enrichment policy.
"It appears that Russia has decided that there is no longer a political reason to hold up the provision of fuel," said Mark Fitzpatrick, nuclear expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.
"An important factor was probably the continuation of the International Atomic Energy Agency's work with Iran on questions about its past activities. The recent report from US intelligence in the National Intelligence Estimate [that Iran was not actively seeking a nuclear weapon] probably confirmed the Russian view.[…]
"Russia has probably concluded that Iran is not going to be dissuaded and that enrichment is a fait accompli. Others still believe Iran can be persuaded."[…]
Bushehr is on the verge of completion as a nuclear power plant.
Russia has agreed to supply it with the enriched uranium needed as fuel.[…]
Russia might feel that, since Iran is being offered such a deal, its own delivery of fuel is consistent with that policy.
Our ally and friend Russia is certainly not the only government to have made substantial investments in Iran and would probably look with disfavor upon any other country or countries that would start bombing the nuclear plant that no doubt costs several hundreds of millions of dollars to build, but also represents long-term contracts with Russia and others for the supplying of enriched uranium.
If bush once again starts another illegal war of aggression by bombing iran, wiping out the reactor that Russia built, it would be much as stated in the old Beatle's tuned: "Hit young Rocky in the eye, Rocky didn't like that; he said I'm gonna get that boy. So one day he walked into town and booked himself a room in the local saloon…" followed by an epic gun battle.
Just how long will so-called allies stand by us when we start blowing up their stuff, too, sold through normal commerce?And leaving them holding the bag of uncollected and unable to be collected debt from an Iran at war?
Lost in the Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign's aggressive attacks on Barack Obama in recent days is a deep and enduring problem that threatens to undercut any inroads Clinton has made in her struggle to overtake him in the Democratic presidential race: She has lost trust among voters, a majority of whom now view her as dishonest.
Her advisers' efforts to deal with the problem -- by having her acknowledge her mistakes and crack self-deprecating jokes -- do not seem to have succeeded. Privately, the aides admit that the recent controversy over her claim to have ducked sniper fire on a trip to Bosnia probably made things worse.
Clinton is viewed as "honest and trustworthy" by just 39 percent of Americans, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, compared with 52 percent in May 2006. Nearly six in 10 said in the new poll that she is not honest and trustworthy. And now, compared with Obama, Clinton has a deep trust deficit among Democrats, trailing him by 23 points as the more honest, an area on which she once led both Obama and John Edwards.
I know that no poll can ever give the definitive answer to any question as it is well known that a poll just represents,"…a snapshot in time," and only represents the current views, which are malleable, of the persons taking the poll. I do, however think that this poll reflects the self-inflicted damage of a candidate who will do or say anything to get elected and say the hell with her party and the fact that she is loading the Republicans up with plenty of ammunition to attack Obama.
So much so that she is sacrificing her integrity, honesty, and that, by implication, she is no better that the Republican candidate and that Obama is worse still.
Why the plummeting numbers? A few brief samples from this excellent article:
Among Democrats, 63 percent called her honest, down 18 points from 2006; among independents, her trust level has dropped 13 points, to 37 percent. Republicans held Clinton in low regard on this in the past (23 percent called her honest two years ago), but it is even lower now, at 16 percent. Majorities of men and women now say the phrase does not apply to Clinton[…]
Advisers argue that her positive ratings have dipped as she has been defined by her opponents… and that her honesty problem reflects the pounding she took from Republicans in the 1990s. But the Bosnia incident and the way the campaign handled it have left advisers divided over what a candidate can do after such a steep drop in trust.
Some of her aides believe that after Clinton told the Bosnia story -- of having run from her military aircraft into a hangar to avoid sniper fire -- when television images of the event showed otherwise, the campaign had no choice but to say she "misspoke."[…]
Other Clinton advisers thought that response did not come quickly enough -- and that when it did, without further explanation or talking points for surrogates to use, it only worsened the perception that she had lied.[…]
"Continuing to say it did happen when it didn't happen is not a strategy," one adviser said.[…]
Senior Clinton advisers argued that the Bosnia story would not have developed the way it did if it were not for a story line about Clinton that goes back to the 1990s, when scandals involving the first lady, including the firings in the White House travel office and her financial dealings, resulted in widespread doubts about her trustworthiness.[…]
The percentage calling Clinton honest has dropped steeply among whites with higher incomes and levels of education.[…]
The percentage of white Democrats without college degrees calling Clinton honest hardly budged in two years, while those with college degrees have dropped off significantly on the question (from 82 percent to 53 percent).[…]
Among whites, the percentage saying Clinton is honest and trustworthy has declined 10 points, compared with 26 points among nonwhites. That number has declined more sharply among liberals (down 30 points) than among moderates (down 13) or conservatives (down 4 points). Head to head with Obama on honesty among Democrats, Clinton faces a 23-point deficit overall, 17 points among whites and nearly 50 points among African Americans.
This drop in numbers for Hillary just reinforces my belief that if you lie simply to try and gain some nebulous advantage, even when the truth of the matter gives away the lie, people are naturally going to distrust the candidate.
When that candidate deliberately speaks out and ill of her follow party member candidates I believe she has made a fatal mistake: If we can't trust her to run a 'clean' campaign and instead have to watch clumsy errors and outright lies on an almost daily basis, it will cost that candidate dearly, and perhaps reflect even worse on her party.
Ronnie Raygun, with his eleventh commandment, "Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican," made sense then and continues to make sense now. It makes no sense for the losing candidate (Hillary) to seek to deliberately make Obama such "damaged goods" that John McLame may beat him in the actual election.
IMHO, it is time for Hillary to hang her head in shame, turn her rhetoric towards the real opposition, McLame, and do everything in her power to insure that Senator Obama wins in '08. This country will not survive four to eight more years of Republican borrowing and spending us all into bankruptcy, pursuing illegal wars of aggression to steal the worlds oil supply, implementing ever greater and more intrusive surveillance of innocent people with reckless plans to turn our satellites on our own country, and establish a new DNA database that will surely never benefit the people of America.
It is now so that the Democratic Party has become the 'party of freedom' while Republicans have become agents for government secrecy, cronyism, incompetence, a demonstrated propensity to pass laws favoring corporations over people, and the bane of freedom everywhere.
The Bush administration inadvertently exempted foreign contracts in Iraq from fraud oversight, a top administration official said Tuesday, resulting in a loophole that Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., said could have protected private firms that steal taxpayer money. [...] The administration removed the single paragraph exemption on Monday, hours before a House panel convened a hearing to question officials about its origin and to debate legislation introduced by Welch to close the loophole and punish fraudulent contractors. [...] The White House opposes the measure, saying proposed regulations would implement the same requirements as the legislation.
The Professional Services Council, a trade association that represents more than 300 contractors, like Blackwater Worldwide and KBR, for the former subsidiary of Halliburton, strongly opposes Welch’s legislation.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Bush administration has delayed delivering documents to Congress explaining how a multibillion-dollar loophole exempting overseas work from scrutiny was slipped into a rule intended to crack down on fraud in government contracts.
posted by The Sailor @ 6:13 PM Permalink If you're the winner you get a year's free supply of VidiotSpeak!
My humble offering:"Shovel faster Laura, it's getting deep in here!"
UPDATE:We have a wiener!: 'Poor Miss Beasley, shouldn't have gotten in front of drunk Dick on a duck hunt - I hope she had time to apologize to him' ;>) darkblack
"Um, where did we bury that 8-ball?" SteveAudio
Bush: "What? More casualties in Iraq? My arms are already tired from the first 4000. How many more of these things am I going to have to dig?" Dave
Laura: No, I DON'T find it funny you gave Barney a whole bottle of Ex-Lax! ellroon
Oh, $hit! Don't dig too deep! This is where we buried Jimmy Hoffa! ----- Uh, Laura, how tall did you say you were, uh I meant are, how tall ARE you?! ----- Are you sure we can dig this deep enough to bury all those missing e-mails? ----- You haven't told Barney his time is up have you? ----- Well, another "undisclosed location" for cheney, but let's try to keep him there this time. ----- I'll be damned! Is there really a head underneath that powdered wig? ----- Dig faster! Pelosi is coming for lunch and I promised I'd bury her ass! Bill Arnett
And the number one caption prize goes to Ramona!
Finally proving useful at something, Bush digs his own grave.
Thanks Ramona, you win a free supply of SteveAudio & VidiotSpeak for a year!
Second prize goes to Bill Arnett for multiple snarkalicious entries.
"This program is the hood ornament for incompetence,"
posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:03 PM Permalink
said Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.). Of course he was railing against the Republican Party penchant to "Privatize, privatize, privatize, everything in sight by way of government programs. Republican's have, since I've been alive, sought to privatize every government program they can under the now completely discredited theory that the private sector can handle the duties of a government program more efficiently, with lower costs, and therefore benefit all taxpayers by eliminating unnecessary costs.
It's what I call the Republican Six Trillion Dollar Man Theory (And yes, I know it's really the Six Million Dollar Man, but Rethugs screw up everything, spend more money, get less for the dollar, expect cost overruns, and there is that whole inflation thing, y'know): "We can rebuild it, we can make it faster, we can make it more powerful than ever before, screw America for a $hitload of money in world record time and before they even know it's happened."
The Internal Revenue Service expects to lose more than $37 million by using private debt collectors to pursue tax scofflaws through a program that has outraged consumers and led to charges on Capitol Hill that the agency is wasting money for work that IRS agents could do more effectively.
Since 2006, the agency has used three companies to go after a $1 billion slice of the nation's unpaid taxes. Despite aggressive collection tactics, the companies have rounded up only $49 million, little more than half of what it has cost the IRS to implement the program. The debt collectors have pocketed commissions of up to 24 percent.
Now, as Americans file their 2007 taxes, Democratic leaders want to end the effort.
"This program is the hood ornament for incompetence," said Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.), a leading critic who has introduced a bill to stop the program. The measure has 23 co-sponsors, all but one of them Democrats. "It makes no sense at all to be turning over these tax accounts to private tax collectors that end up costing the taxpayers money."
Not to be outdone or worst yet see only Democratic Party quotes, Republicans leapt to defend this wasteful program.
"The real choice is whether we use private collection agencies or let these tax debts go uncollected," said Rep. Jim Ramstad (Minn.), [one of the most bogus straw man arguments I ever heard. We had effective collectors on the gov't payroll that did a better job. Bill] the ranking Republican on the Ways and Means oversight subcommittee. "I hope we don't take an enormous step backward in our efforts to close the tax gap by eliminating a program that's working."[Working? Working? Millions and millions of dollars being lost. Only a Republican could term that a success - unless s/he were receiving hugh donations to keep the program in place. Bill]
After years of lobbying by the private collection industry, the Republican-controlled Congress created the program in 2004. The goal was to use collection agencies to close the relatively easy cases the IRS said it did not have the staff to handle: instances in which the taxpayer is not disputing the debt and in which the amount owed is relatively modest. Supporters hoped that the program would eventually be expanded to take over more of the agency's debt-collection duties, and the IRS predicts that the program will break even by 2010.
And to whom are the Republican referring that are making money at taxpayer expense?
Three firms were awarded contracts: Pioneer Credit Recovery, based in the western New York district represented by Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds (R), who supported the program and recently announced his retirement; the CBE Group of Waterloo, Iowa, the home state of Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R), who helped create the program; and Linebarger Goggan Blair and Sampson, a law firm based in Texas, home to President Bush. [No cronyism here! Bill]
Pioneer Credit employees have given congressional candidates and political action committees $117,450 since 1995, including $16,250 to Reynolds. CBE Group employees have given $9,372 during that period, including $2,500 to Grassley.
Linebarger Goggan, one of the nation's largest collection agencies, has extensive government ties. The firm, its employees and their spouses have given PACs and federal candidates in both parties $423,260 since 1995.
The Rethugs get hugh donations from these private contractors, reduce the effectiveness of IRS Collections, and give our taxmoney to low performing entities.
Why hasn't every single Republican idea regarding the economy, privatization, and trickle down economics been totally discredited for what they are: failed public policy, excuses for runaway spending, running up incredibly stupid deficit increases, reducing tax collecting ability, vastly increased foreign borrowing, and all the other garbage they spew?
posted by The Vidiot @ 1:19 PM Permalink
But here I am. Just finished watching the first season and LOVED it. No sooner had I discovered it than I hear CBS canceled it. Out of curiosity though, I blogsurfed to find out what folks were saying about it. By far, this is the stupidest comment I found:
In short, who wants to watch a show that denigrates their country, denigrates their military, and seems to blame the possible evils of the world on corporations? Wouldn't a show about how we pulled together and united against an external threat been a little more palatable?
A ridiculous comment made by a brainwashed individual. Corporations, along with nation states (and the military which does the nation state's dirty work) rest at the very crux of the world's problems. Show me a person who can't see that and I'll show you a person who frets over who wins American Idol.
posted by The Vidiot @ 7:36 AM Permalink
Those of you who know me know that I occasionally go off on Brooklyn's stroller mafia. I'm surrounded by breeders here. And most of them possess these hummer strollers that hog up the entire sidewalk, block store entryways and just generally piss me off. Beyond the sense of entitlement these affluent parents have, many of them also SERIOUSLY believe their kid is an indigo child.
Others disagree that "indigo" has anything to do with the color of an aura. Instead, it is the result of “scientific” observations by a woman who has the brain disorder synesthesia. Either way, so-called Indigos go by different names—e.g., Star Kids (alleged offspring of a human with an alien—no joke) or Crystalline Children. Some integrate competing theories by claiming categorizations, as these, speak to different stages of the upward mobility evolutionary process en route to godhood.
Accordingly, it’s become all the rage to record auras of small children in order to pinpoint purported prodigies who purportedly make up an astonishing 90 percent of the population less than ten years of age.
But culturally and financially, Americans loom super-sized. For those reasons and others, Benedict experts say he views the United States as an essential battleground in what he considers the war of today's era: proving that modernity doesn't have to stamp out religious faith.
This opens yet another front of war that the U.S. can ill-afford.
I contacted one of my super secret sources, Susie Willbegood, a stenographer in the White House stenographers pool at CNN, who requested anonymity because she was busy posing nude for the now famous cheney "Nude Woman Reflected in Cheney's Sunglasses" photo shoot, and not able to reveal her identity for obvious reasons. A reasonable stance with which I agreed, so she hereafter will be referred to as, "…a senior administration source."
Anyway, a senior administration source reports that this is the war that bush/cheney feared the most. "Our military forces are already stretched to the breaking point, and it is well known that the Pope has vast resources already on hand to fight this war," she said. She continued, "Even bush and cheney are envious of the Pope having an entire 'Vatican City' and the fact that the Pope wears gold brocaded robes, dines off golden plates, drinks from silver chalices, and has an art collection of unknown value, but suspected to be worth trillions of dollars. Both leaders are really envious of the Pope's pointy hats. Additionally, it appears that this war has been under way for almost two hundred years as Americans, totally unaware of past Pope's true intent, naively allowed the purchase of valuable forward operating bases called 'church's' and further allowed the staffing of them with hundreds of thousands of field generals with the code name 'priest' that have been propagandizing their efforts in what they disingenuously refer to as 'sermons.'
The cleverness of this surreptitious entry into America, unsuspectingly allowing the priests to recruit disgruntled Americans at Sunday 'sermons' where they have financed their efforts with 'tithes,' and the genius of requiring their 'followers,' or 'parishioners' whom we now recognize as potential recruits for the Pope, to 'confess their sins' and admit wrongdoing has provided so much blackmail material even the experts at the Pentagon and NSA wish they had thought of it first."
In our currently weakened state, the 'Vatican's' extreme wealth, and the oh-so-clever invasion of America leaves the outcome of this new war in severe doubt. It is well known that the 'Catholics,' as they refer to themselves, have penetrated our military from top to bottom, and there is significant doubt that our troops will open fire on the religious zealots pursuing this engagement of forces, and the thought of the Pope triumphantly riding down Fifth Avenue in his armored 'Popemobile' is an image that strikes terror in the hearts of mortal men.
"Although they are overjoyed to be engaging in another 'Holy War' the administration is not at all confident that we will have the soldiers, needed equipment, a sufficient number of trained and loyal troops, and the will to take on such a formidable foe," reports my source.
Thank you for the info Susie…uh, senior administration source.
1.(sometimes capital letters 'V' and 'S' with no space) a style of writing or saying something using emotion and/or logic and snark, esp. in order to elucidate the obvious while pretending to be objective.
2. anything written by The Vidiot, The Sailor, Mr. Vidiot and anyone else they allow to post on the blog “vidiotspeak”
[Origin: loosely based on new + speak, coined by George Orwell in his novel, 1984 (1949)]
And for godsakes, stay away from FOX, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC.
It's ALL CRAP!!!
Watch the BBC news or ITN news instead.
"POSSE COMITATUS ACT" (18 USC 1385)
A Reconstruction Era criminal law proscribing use of Army (later, Air Force) to "execute the laws" except where expressly authorized by Constitution or Congress. Limit on use of military for civilian law enforcement also applies to Navy by regulation. Dec '81 additional laws were enacted (codified 10 USC 371-78) clarifying permissible military assistance to civilian law enforcement agencies--including the Coast Guard--especially in combating drug smuggling into the United States. Posse Comitatus clarifications emphasize supportive and technical assistance (e.g., use of facilities, vessels, aircraft, intelligence, tech aid, surveillance, etc.) while generally prohibiting direct participation of DoD personnel in law enforcement (e.g., search, seizure, and arrests). For example, Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachments (LEDETS) serve aboard Navy vessels and perform the actual boardings of interdicted suspect drug smuggling vessels and, if needed, arrest their crews). Positive results have been realized especially from Navy ship/aircraft involvement.