Saturday, September 30, 2006

Laugh - A Little

Bob Geiger: The Saturday Cartoons

Grand Ol' Police Blotter: Who Else Goes Down With Foley?

Mark Foley (R-FL) was some piece of work. Check out his dirty email exchange, which was turned over to ABCNews after it published a story about these creepy emails Foley sent to a 16-year-old page. Members of Congress emerging from a closed-door meeting yesterday said there are 35 pages or 36 pages of this garbage.

It's clear that this page's complaints were made to Republican leadership several months ago. But they were brushed off, or worse, actively covered up.

Now the unraveling of the cover-up begins. The original, complaining page worked for Rodney Alexander (R-LA), who says he contacted Rep. Thomas Reynolds (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House Republican campaign organization, several months ago. Alexander says he didn't do anything more because the parents of the page didn't want to pursue the matter. Reynolds says Alexander told him the same thing so he didn't do anything more.

John Shimkus [R-Ill.], head of the Page Board, says he was told about the page's complaint by the Clerk of the House and did an 'immediate investigation', which seems to have consisted of asking Foley, "Hey, Mark, what's the deal here?" and accepting his denial of perversion without doing any real investigating or even reading the emails themselves.

This tale of Republican incompetence at dealing with a known threat (sound familiar?) comes from today's Page One article in the Washington Post Rep. Foley Quits In Page Scandal; Explicit Online Notes Sent to Boy, 16.

And boy, are the heads of the party wriggling on the spit:

House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) told The Washington Post last night that he had learned this spring of inappropriate "contact" between Foley and a 16-year-old page. Boehner said he then told House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.). Boehner later contacted The Post and said he could not remember whether he talked to Hastert.

Man, wouldn't you have wanted to hear that conversation between Hastert and Boehner? You told the Post WHAT?

Oh, and the Democratic member of the Page Board, who has served in that position for 20 years, wasn't told about the page's complaint about Foley. Which made it easier to cover up, n'est pas?

The only thing everyone can agree on here? Foley has $2.8 million in his campaign war chest; he should donate the entire amount to charity. Foley's House website has been taken down, so you can't contact him that way, but I bet his AOL email account is still active:

Drop him a line, why don't you? But you might want to use one of your alternative email addresses, or you never know what you might get back from him. Ewwwwww.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Foley Out

While I was writing my previous post, Congressman Mark Foley (R-FL) resigned his House seat. Apparently investigation revealed more instant messages, more sexually explicit, to more young pages. And get this: he was Co-chairman of the Missing and Exploited Children Caucus in the House. Ewwww.

Yahoo: Foley submits resignation to Congress

ABC: Foley To Resign Over Sexually Explicit Messages to Minors

Congressman Mark Foley (R-FL) planned to resign today, hours after ABC questioned him about sexually explicit internet messages with current and former Congressional pages under the age of 18.

GOP: Grand Ol' Police Blotter

Trout Lips Pirro, doomed candidate for New York State Attorney General, caught on tape trying to get Bernie Kerik to eavesdrop on her cheating hubby.

RNC Chair Ken Mehlman's been giving out federal money for political contributions; indictment to follow.

Ewwwwww, Congressman Mark Foley (R-FL) caught writing creepy emails to a 16-year-old boy who was formerly a Congressional page. Oh, and Foley is one of those: Republican by day, Democrat by night. Since he's been in the closet his whole life, he's probably a 16-year old inside, too.

The United States of....Torture

The Republican-controlled Congress voted to enshrine torture as a legal and approved US policy yesterday.

The law passed is unconstitutional on its face, since it abrogates the constitutional habeas corpus writ, and will be challenged within days.

George Bush is an experienced torturer.

Torture doesn't work anyway.

Joe Lieberman was against it, before he voted for it yesterday.

No time to get off the Democratic bus; this is the time to stand and fight.

Jesus' General said it best.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Selling Soap On The Ashes

Yesterday I was in Worcester getting my car serviced. I didn't feel like sitting in the waiting room, so I went for a walk. Across the street from the car dealership is a new grocery story, PriceRite. They just opened in the last two weeks. Every window has huge red, white and blue signs. I noticed that one of them said "September 11th, 2001 -- We Will Never Forget" with a painting of the Twin Towers below. As I got closer I could see the writing on the bottom of the sign: "Impossibly, Inconceivably, Incredibly Low Prices - Every Day!"

This is just appalling. How can you put up a picture of the deaths of thousands of human beings and use it to sell soap? I certainly won't set foot in a store that uses 9/11 in its advertising.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Forget Jim Rome - Keith Olbermann Is On Fire

YouTube: All The President's Lies

The Bushies, asleep at the wheel before 9/11.

I saw this on dailykos

Blogger is bloggered, so posting will be spotty until google fixes us.


(BBC Sport) Shortly after the break, Crouch has the Kop in raptures when his spectacular goal appears to have finished off the visitors

BBC Sport: Liverpool 3-2 Galatasaray

More fun with Crouchie: the unoffical fan site for peter crouch

Monday, September 25, 2006

Blogs Translate the News the Corporate Media Just Hears

Yesterday on CNN, Commander Codpiece was interviewed by Wolf Blitzer. Our Fearmonger Leader said Iraq will be a "comma" in history. Huh?

I just put it down to his cold callous nature until I read this in Steve Gilliard's News Blog today:

When Bush said Iraq was a comma, he was speaking in dog whistle to the fundies. It comes from a saying "Never put a period where God puts a comma".Which means things will get better. Which is, of course, insane.

Now I understand. It was a cold, callous message to fundamentalist Christians that Georgie is their guy. Ugh.

Editor & Publisher:
For Americans Killed in Iraq: A Period, Not a Comma

In an interview aired on CNN on Sunday, President Bush suggested that one day the conflict in Iraq will be looked back on as "just a comma." The dead, and their families, might propose different punctuation. Here are some alternatives.
(September 24, 2006) -- Amid the Sunday uproar over The New York Times' report on a secret intelligence report labeling the war in Iraq an answer to anti-U.S. terrorists' prayers, CNN aired a portion of an interview with President Bush conducted by Wolf Blitzer earlier in the week.

In a report here at E&P, we observed that in this exchange, Blitzer asked about the latest setbacks in Iraq and indications that civil war may be at hand. Bush, with a slight smile, replied, "Yes, you see — you see it on TV, and that’s the power of an enemy that is willing to kill innocent people. But there’s also an unbelievable will and resiliency by the Iraqi people…. I like to tell people when the final history is written on Iraq, it will look like just a comma because there is — my point is, there’s a strong will for democracy."

A Question I Wish I'd Asked

His own NIE [National Intelligence Estimate] says Bush is the Terrorists' Best Friend. When will the Democrats? (Huffington Post)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

My Hometown Hits The Front Page of the New York Times

James Estrin/The New York Times
In the Town of Colchester, in the Catskills, court is in the garage.

Broken Bench
In Tiny Courts of New York, Abuses of Law and Power

Some of the courtrooms are not even courtrooms: tiny offices or basement rooms without a judge’s bench or jury box. Sometimes the public is not admitted, witnesses are not sworn to tell the truth, and there is no word-for-word record of the proceedings.

A yearlong investigation by The New York Times of the life and history of New York State’s town and village courts found a long trail of judicial abuses and errors — and of governmental failure to curb them.

Nearly three-quarters of the judges are not lawyers, and many — truck drivers, sewer workers or laborers — have scant grasp of the most basic legal principles. Some never got through high school, and at least one went no further than grade school.

But serious things happen in these little rooms all over New York State. People have been sent to jail without a guilty plea or a trial, or tossed from their homes without a proper proceeding. In violation of the law, defendants have been refused lawyers, or sentenced to weeks in jail because they cannot pay a fine. Frightened women have been denied protection from abuse.

These are New York’s town and village courts, or justice courts, as the 1,250 of them are widely known. In the public imagination, they are quaint holdovers from a bygone era, handling nothing weightier than traffic tickets and small claims. They get a roll of the eyes from lawyers who amuse one another with tales of incompetent small-town justices.

In the 8-page article itself, there is no mention of the Town of Colchester. The audio slide show in the left column repeats this photo, but again no detail about Colchester. I wonder if we will be featured in Parts II or III of the series? Stay tuned.

UPDATE: I am informed by a reliable source (thanks Coach Mom) that the court pictured is in Cooks Falls, one of the hamlets located within the Town of Colchester. That tiny court hears traffic tickets. There is another, larger court facility where Town Justice Theodore Fonda, a former New York City police officer, hears cases.

Once A Racist, Always A Racist

I didn't believe Mel Gibson's apologies and protestations of tolerance after spewing hatred of Jews while drunk. I didn't believe Senator George Allen's claim that 'macaca' was just a made-up word he happened to apply to the only person of color in the room last month. I think if someone is being a racist when they are in their 40s or 50s, it's not the first time. It's a long-held belief that's finally made it into the searing light of day.

I was right about George Allen for sure.

Salon: Teammates: Allen used "N-word" in college
Three members of Sen. George Allen's college football team remember a man with racist attitudes at ease using racial slurs.

Sept. 24, 2006 | WASHINGTON -- Three [white] former college football teammates of Sen. George Allen say that the Virginia Republican repeatedly used an inflammatory racial epithet and demonstrated racist attitudes toward blacks during the early 1970s.

"Allen said he came to Virginia because he wanted to play football in a place where 'blacks knew their place,'" said Dr. Ken Shelton, a white radiologist in North Carolina who played tight end for the University of Virginia football team when Allen was quarterback. "He used the N-word on a regular basis back then."

A second white teammate, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he feared retribution from the Allen campaign, separately claimed that Allen used the word "nigger" to describe blacks. "It was so common with George when he was among his white friends. This is the terminology he used," the teammate said.

A third white teammate contacted separately, who also spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear of being attacked by the Virginia senator, said he too remembers Allen using the word "nigger," though he said he could not recall a specific conversation in which Allen used the term. "My impression of him was that he was a racist," the third teammate said.

Shelton also told Salon that the future senator gave him the nickname "Wizard," because he shared a last name with Robert Shelton, who served in the 1960s as the imperial wizard of the United Klans of America, a group affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan. The radiologist said he decided earlier this year that he would go public with his concerns about Allen if a reporter ever called. About four months ago, when he heard that Allen was a possible candidate for president in 2008, Shelton began to write down some of the negative memories of his former teammate. He provided Salon excerpts of those notes last week.

Maybe George can go back to playing Confederate generals in bad TV movies. He's going to need another job, because he's going to have a hard time winning back his Senate seat. It's 2006, not 1966. It's Virginia, not Mississippi. We don't like mean people, and we don't like liars.

Sliming Clinton -- Corporate Media Spins Out Fox Lies

In this handout photo provided by Fox News Sunday, former President Bill Clinton responds to host Chris Wallace during a taping of an interview for 'Fox News Sunday', on Friday, Sept. 22, 2006, in New York. (AP Photo/Fox News Sunday, Michael Simon)

Chris Wallace, the weaselly son of real newsman Mike Wallace, ambushed Bill Clinton on FoxNewsSunday today. [From here on in, he will be referred to as 'Wallace the Weasel'] Surprised? Of course not. Clinton was invited on the show to talk about the Clinton Global Initiative and all the money he raised to fix the world's problems last week. So of course the first question out of Wallace the Weasel's mouth was, essentially, don't you feel responsible for 9/11 'cause you didn't get Bin Laden. Good for Clinton, he defended himself with his best weapon -- the truth, and his enormous capacity to marshall the facts to support his case.

And the truth is, as he said, Clinton tried to stop Bin Laden, and Bush sat on his hands then went on vacation. And Clinton also pointed out the hypocrisy of FoxNewsSunday in pushing him on these issues when they have never asked the Bush Administration officials who appear regularly on their in-house propaganda channel the same questions. As ThinkProgress points out, Wallace the Weasel himself interviewed Condoleeza Rice days after she testified in front of the 9/11 Commission, and unbelievably didn't ask her about the August 6, 2001 PDB, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike Inside US". While Wallace the Weasel hammered Clinton about the USS Cole bombing, Fox had never before asked a Bush Administration official about their failure to act after the FBI and the CIA certified that Bin Laden was responsible for the Cole bombing early in 2001, despite FoxNewsSunday having interviewed Cheney 6 times, Rumsfield 9 times, Rice 23 times, and Hadley 4 times since then.

And Wallace the Weasel has interviewed those same 4 officials forty-two (42) times and never once asked the sensible question, Why did you demote Richard Clarke, the most experienced anti-terrorism official in government.

So all that is bad enough. And Clinton was mad, and he was wagging his finger as he responded point by point with the truth. Today as I drove home from the Craft Center after a nice Sunday afternoon of making pots, I had WBZ Radio on to see what the weather report is (the clouds were black). And the perky little Clear Channel announcer said, I kid you not, "Bill Clinton was angry and defensive while being interviewed about Bin Laden. Story in a few minutes." Can you say 'slant'? Clinton was being interviewed about the Clinton Global Initiative. He was being interviewed by Fox News. And the question was unfair and had never before been asked of any Bush Administration official on the same network. But all those facts are dropped so the corporate media can spin out the lies that Commander Codpiece needs to keep his sorry ass in office. It just makes me sick.

Crooks & Liars has the video.