Thursday, July 31, 2008

Reality, of the military and petroleum-based variety, forced the administration to change course. Now Bush sounds like Obama.

By Juan Cole
Who Else Will The Stevens Indictment Touch?
By: Nicole Belle

While entities as disparate as Alaska Democrats and the National Review are calling for Ted Stevens to resign following his indictment yesterday, Marc Ambinder asks who else may be touched by this scandal.

“Senator Stevens’ campaign for re-election is continuing to move full steam ahead. Our office has been flooded today with calls and emails from supporters urging the Senator to press on. The message from them is clear: Alaska needs Ted Stevens in the U.S. Senate.”

Riiiigggghhhhttt. Meanwhile Rep Gordon Smith (R-OR) reported donated money to Stevens’ campaign even after the investigation became known, and got some from Stevens in return. Jeff Merkley challenged Smith to return the funds to Stevens, something Smith initially agreed to do.
But not so fast…It appears that Smith has decided to merely donate some ($10K) of the $39,000 he’s received from Stevens, unlike his fellow Republicans Elizabeth Dole and John Sununu.

Could we see some further tainting of the Republican brand during this election? Mark Begich is running for Stevens’ seat, he could sure use your support.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Let's give "Blue Dogs" the boot
Pushing conservative Democrats out of Congress could help the party stand up to the GOP
By Glenn Greenwald

Yes, let sleeping "Blue Dogs" lie
Activists are calling for the heads of conservative congressional Democrats. Wait till George Bush is history, and then decide
By Ed Kilgore

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Iraq: Poised To Explode
by Robert Dreyfuss

While everyone's looking at Iraq's effect on American politics -- and whether or not John McCain and Barack Obama are converging on a policy that combines a flexible timetable with a vague, and long-lasting, residual force -- let's take a look instead at Iraqi politics. The picture isn't pretty.
Frank Rich: How Obama Became Acting President

Slipped through the cracks
Stories we missed this week: McCain's anti-feminism, only girls being born in northern Greenland, and game heroines in metal thongs.

by Logan Scherer

For women, McCain makes all the wrong moves: Kate Sheppard's scathing analysis of McCain's anti-feminist politics isn't just revealing -- it's scary, including McCain's desire to reverse Roe v. Wade and his ignorance about pay equity. It's not that McCain doesn't want change. It's just that, for him, change is going back to the good old days when he was a fighter pilot dating an exotic dancer named "Flame of Florida."

They'll ask, but don't tell: It's a crime to be gay in Iraq, where homosexuals are subjected to horrific treatment. Armed Islamic groups and militias frequently target gay men and women who live under a constant fear: coming out is a death sentence. Two gay men speak about the brutal abuse they endured after being kidnapped. "I would rather commit suicide than allow my family to find out I am gay," said one.

Today, in totally bizarre news: Scientists are trying to explain reports from the U.S. Air Force base in Thule, Greenland, where only girls are being born. They believe organic chemicals like pesticides that enter the food chain through the blubber of marine animals and then spread to the human bloodstream are to blame. And it's not just northern Greenland that's seeing this baffling trend. According to recent studies, the gender ratio is unbalanced in other areas with indigenous people who depend heavily on marine animals for food.

Stripping down to the virtual essentials: Video game ladies need underwear, too; it just isn't always so functional. The Top 10 Most Ridiculous Undergarments Worn by Women in Video Games have been announced. A metal thong may have won, but surely it won't be long before Victoria's Secret rolls out its own gravity-defying tube top.

Putting the change in your changing room: It's about time dressing rooms stepped into the 21st century. Bloomingdale's New York is one of the first American stores to experiment with new fitting-room technology, which includes an interactive mirror and webcam, a touch screen that allows shoppers to invite friends, and a site that suggests recommendations. Privacy is so last year: You'll never have to be alone in the dressing room again.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Obama's political brilliance in Berlin
There are still risks to his big trip, but Obama has plenty of reason to be riding high on the adoring crowds greeting him abroad
By Joan Walsh

"This city knows the dream of freedom"
In Berlin, Barack Obama recounts the epic struggle of the Cold War and calls for Europe and America to join in tearing down the "new walls" dividing the world
VoteVets targets McCain with new ad
CBS helps McCain cross the street

CBS has done it's best to earn a merit badge this week.
After all, when John McCain doesn't know the difference between Sunni and Shia, thinks Social Security is a disgrace, thinks 100 years in Iraq is just dandy, gets his econmic advice from the architect of our mortgage meltdown, thinks the Iraq government is strong but not strong enough to oust an occupier, doesn't know how to use even email.... why shouldn't CBS edit an interview with him to keep him from looking like a fool?

If his base doesn't help McCain .. the terra-rists will win!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Obama is saying the wrong things about Afghanistan

He hit the right notes during his swing through Iraq, but his plans for that other war could mean trouble.

By Juan Cole

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Things that are younger than John McCain

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
GI Joes
Barbie dolls
Chocolate Chip cookies
The Air Force
Both of Barrack Obama's parents
Credit cards
The Area Code
String bikinis
Minute rice
The Cobb Salad
Pop Tarts
The Discovery of the DNA Double Helix
Ronald Reagan
Snow White and the 7 Dwarves
Hula hoops
Nike shoes
The Pentagon
Burger King
Disney World and Disneyland
CocaCola in a can
Sweet n' Low
Rubik's Cube
Breast Implants
The Atom Bomb
Pizza Hut
Frosted Flakes
Air bags
The UN
FM Radio
Rock and Roll
Birth control
Wizard of Oz
Golden Gate Bridge
Lincoln Tunnel
Color TV
Dick Cheney
Zip codes
Rocky and Bulwinkle
Bill O'Reilly
copy machines
six packs of soda/beer
The GI Bill of Rights
5 out of 9 of the Supreme Court Justices
satellite photography
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Newt Gingrich
Stress as a medical condition
Silvio Berlusconi - Italian Prime Minister
The discovery of oil in the desert
The words "acorn squash", "brownnose", "freelancer", "high beam", and "women's room"
Buddy Holly
American Express card
Mensa International
LP music records
The lubricated Condom
Automatic transmissions
Title LXII, Chapter 646-A of New Hampshire State Law - designates guidelines for all handling/displaying of the flag
Bob Dylan
Ralph Lauren
Woman's Day magazine
The Magic 8 Ball
Jack Nicholson
Duct Tape
Alcoholics Anonymous
TV commercials
Kraft Macaroni and Cheese
War of the Worlds
49 of our 50 Governors
Baskin Robbins
The TV dinner
Shopping Carts
Grapes of Wrath
The Marijuana Tax Act - before marijuana was illegal
The illegality of marijuana
Defibrillation on people (shocking people when their heart stops)
Bugs Bunny
The Polio vaccine
Mount Rogers
The Hindenburg disaster
Ballpoint pens
Frozen waffles
Getting a pizza delivered
The Czech Republic
York Peppermint Patties

Sunday, July 20, 2008

It's the Economic Stupidity, Stupid
THE best thing to happen to John McCain was for the three network anchors to leave him in the dust this week while they chase Barack Obama on his global Lollapalooza tour. Were voters forced to actually focus on Mr. McCain’s response to our spiraling economic crisis at home, the prospect of his ascension to the Oval Office could set off a panic that would make the IndyMac Bank bust in Pasadena look as merry as the Rose Bowl.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

by Joe Conason

Let's seize the potential of the nation's sugar-based ethanol -- before China beats us to it.

By E.J. Dionne —

On the issue of gasoline prices, Republicans think they have a winner in their call for new drilling and Democrats are playing defense. Democrats need—this is a technical term—a lot more oomph. Al Gore wants to help them.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Headlines - It's the Stupid Economy
President Bush is an optimist on the economy, but Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is an expert.
Pelosi On Bush: God Bless That "Total Failure"
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi got personal today in comments on President Bush. In an interview she called Bush a "total failure" on issues ranging from energy to the economy to the war. "God bless him, bless his heart," she said.
“A new strategy for a new world”: Obama lays out his foreign policy
By: SilentPatriot

During a speech Tuesday in Washington, D.C., Barack Obama laid out his vision for America’s role in the world, focusing specifically on Iraq and Afghanistan.

“George Bush and John McCain don’t have a strategy for success in Iraq – they have a strategy for staying in Iraq. They said we couldn’t leave when violence was up, and they now say we can’t leave when violence is down. They refuse to press the Iraqis to make tough choices, and they label any timetable to redeploy our troops ’surrender,’ even though we would be turning Iraq over to a sovereign Iraqi government – not to a terrorist enemy.”

You can read the entire transcript here. You can also read Senator Obama’s New York Times op-ed here.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Real Legacy of the Reagan Revolution
By Robert Scheer —
McCain campaign co-chair Phil Gramm is right: We have “become a nation of whiners.” But who is whining more than the bankers that former Sen. Gramm’s financial deregulation legislation benefited? The very bankers who now expect a government bailout, such as those at UBS Investment Bank, where Gramm found lucrative employment.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Thom Hartmann speaks with Congressman Dennis Kucinich about his efforts to impeach Bush et al

ACTION: Demand an on-air apology from McLaughlin

On The McLaughlin Group, John McLaughlin said: "Question: Does it frost Jackson, Jesse Jackson, that someone like Obama, who fits the stereotype blacks once labeled as an Oreo -- a black on the outside, a white on the inside -- that an Oreo should be the beneficiary of the long civil rights struggle which Jesse Jackson spent his lifetime fighting for?" Read more
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By Louis Bayard

In "The Dark Side," Jane Mayer chronicles the terrible, destructive decisions the Bush administration made in the name of fighting terrorism.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bush's Banned Interview: An Insight Into Insanity
by Ben Cohen

While surfing the net on 'Stumble', I came across an interview with President Bush on Irish television that caused a bit of a storm in 2004. The interview conducted by the tenacious Carol Coleman of Radio Television Ireland was not aired on American television, and Bush's press officers apparently complained vociferously about the rigorous questioning.

The video shows Bush at the absolute peak of his arrogance -- convinced of his own rhetoric about Iraq, flooded with confidence from international subservience to American power, and high off a crushing military victory that reinforced his childish fantasies of American power and preeminence.

The problem was, Coleman was having none of it, and what transpired was a unique insight into the warped brain of the least respected and most hated president in the history of the United States.

"Mr. President," she asked the stone faced Coleman. "You're going to arrive in Ireland in about 24 hours' time, and no doubt you will be welcomed by our political leaders. Unfortunately, the majority of our public do not welcome your visit because they're angry over Iraq, they're angry over Abu Ghraib. Are you bothered by what Irish people think?"

Other than stutter, the president managed only to answer in vacant homilies about 'the great values of our country.'

"We are a compassionate country," he asserted. "We're a strong country, and we'll defend ourselves -- but we help people."

And that was about the depth of his explanation for the invasion of Iraq. Supremely satisfied with his own answers, Bush expected Coleman to be bowled over with his 'good ol' plain speakin' English', but Coleman, not infected with the American media's insatiable appetite to service power, had other ideas.

She continued to grill Bush about the rising violence in Iraq, increased world wide threat of terrorism, and failure to find the weapons of mass destruction. Flustered and unaccustomed to serious challenges to his power, Bush displayed flashes of anger, and an increased reliance on catch phrases to argue the unarguable.

"These people are willing to kill innocent people," he answered testily in response to questioning about the Iraqi death toll. "They're willing to slaughter innocent people to stop the advance of freedom. And so the free world has to make a choice: Do we cower in the face of terror, or do we lead in the face of terror?"

Coleman cut through the simplistic slogans about evil doers and freedom loving Americans and continued to ask Bush serious questions about the illegal war he had just launched. It fast became evident that this was a man who really had no idea what he was doing -- someone so removed from reality that he failed to even understand what he was being asked.

The world in Bush's mind exists of good and evil, right and wrong, and America and everyone else. He could not fathom anyone disagreeing with his nobility, and simply refused to acknowledge that a different account of reality existed.

The interview took place almost four years ago, but is the perfect illustration of a man elected purely on name recognition, dirty money, and no discernible talent. Four years ago, there were still enough Americans who believed Bush's infantile bluster was charming and direct. Now, even Republicans do not waste their time with him, quietly wishing he would disappear and stop embarrassing their party.

The interview with Coleman should go down on record as definitive proof of Bush's utter incompetence, a priceless picture of a madman who had no business occupying the highest office of the land.

Watch below:

****************President Bush takes a moment to give the troops a pep talk.



In a secret report last year, the Red Cross found evidence of the CIA using torture on prisoners that would make the Bush administration guilty of war crimes, The New York Times reported Friday.

Lieberman Must GO

Murcer a good guy bigger than his baseball skills

He was a nice man, seemed like a loyal and devoted husband, father and friend. If you left out the other part, about how he was a very good baseball player in his day, Bobby Murcer probably wouldn't have minded much.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

FOX Attacks: Michelle Obama
By: SilentPatriot

Robert Greenwald strikes again, this time with a clear message to FOX News regarding their despicable treatment of Michelle Obama.

Feeling No Pain

Phil Gramm will have none of your complaints: Get over it! Stop whining and eat your gruel. This recession’s all in your head.
No one (not even John McCain, who tended toward the rapturous when describing Mr. Gramm’s economic bona fides) could mistake this sour-visaged investment banker for a populist.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Death of Reaganomics
By E.J. Dionne —
The biggest political story of 2008 is getting little coverage. It involves the collapse of assumptions that have dominated our economic debate for three decades.

Americans Deliver Negative Verdict on Bush Economic Policies
The American public overwhelmingly disagrees with the way Bush has handled the economy, especially when it comes to oil and gas prices.

With negotiation starting to work, Bush administration hawks promote an atmosphere of crisis -- and the risk of actual conflict grows.

By Joe Conason
Anti-Gay Alabama A.G. Caught Being Gay

This may come as a shock, but a prominent anti-homosexual Republican attorney general has apparently been caught having homosexual sexual intercourse with his homosexual gay male assistant. Bonus: The dude’s wife caught him, in their bed. This is the rumor that the AG’s office has officially denied, so now of course everybody is spilling the sordid details.

AG in question is Troy King, who, of course, is only interested in outlawing homosexuality and sex toys. His gay lover is either a college “buddy,” or a very young youngster and “Homecoming King” from Troy University. What are the odds of a dude named Troy King getting caught in bed with a Homecoming King from Troy University? This seems like a wacky sitcom plot, on a gay porn channel. (Is this what that Will & Grace was about?)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Obama and ‘Merci beaucoup’ - the conservative outrage of the day
By: Steve Benen

After some very encouraging comments on bankruptcy law in Georgia the other day, Barack Obama opened the floor to some questions. Someone asked about preventing high-school dropouts and added that she believes “there should be a push more for our citizens to become bilingual here in America.”

These comments on bilingualism seem to have caused quite a stir in conservative circles.

Obama added, “You know, no, I’m serious about this. We should understand that our young people, if you have a foreign language, that is a powerful tool to get a job. You are so much more employable. You can be part of international business. So we should be emphasizing foreign languages in our schools from an early age, because children will actually learn a foreign language easier when they’re 5, or 6, or 7 than when they’re 46, like me.”

All of this sounds pretty sensible to me. Not surprisingly, a lot of conservatives don’t quite see it that way.

Commenting on Obama’s response, Andrew Leonard said, “There’s nothing particularly exceptional about Obama’s position, unless you are an English-only partisan cowering in fear of your cultural identity being swamped by funny-looking people from strange lands. Or one of the similarly insecure patriots who believe any criticism of the U.S. is a sign of ‘blame-America-first’ treachery.”

One might be surprised at just how many folks fall into these camps. Alex Knapp notes some of the high-profile conservative bloggers who are none too pleased with Obama’s comments:
Glenn Reynolds: “Barack Obama: Europeans are cooler than Americans.”

Tom Maguire: “Whoa. Reporting live from the United Kingdom, I have been assured that the typical Brit does not speak many (i.e., any) languages other than English and a smattering of American. Apparently Obama is aware that culturally, Britain is not part of Europe, and he assumes we know it as well.”

Gateway Pundit: “Obama is quite embarrassed that Americans are so boorish and refuse to speak French while traveling abroad. It’s so uncouth.”

The Weekly Standard went so far as to argue that Obama’s desire to see more American kids taught a foreign language is an example of “snobbery.”

Snobbery? Obama talked about this in the context of American competitiveness in a global economy. To care about these issues is to be a snob?

Alex Knapp, who as a conservative disagrees with Obama on most policy issues, concluded, “Frankly, all this seems to be is a pathetic attempt to feed the ‘Barack Obama is Unamerican’ narrative. A narrative that, I might add, has the result of making Americans sound like ignorant hillbillies. ‘He’s got a funny name!’ ‘He likes food that tastes good instead of crap that’s fried in lard!’ ‘He likes foreigners!’ ‘He wants to speak other languages!’ ‘He’s educated!’ ‘He played basketball instead of football!’ Embarrassing, really.”

Quite right. There’s an old joke you’ve probably heard — what do you call someone who speaks two languages? Bilingual. What do you call someone who speaks three languages? Trilingual. And what do you call someone who speaks one language? An American.

Obama thinks we’d be better off if that joke wasn’t funny anymore. I think he’s right.

Some conservatives sure do pick strange things to get excited about.

Now they can spy on you legally as the Democrats fold, yet again.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

With gas prices surging, ExxonMobil chief Rex Tillerson made $21.7 million last year; Chevron's David O'Reilly made $15.7 million. But the companies claim they're not to blame for high prices. So why the big payouts?

He voted against Bush's tax cuts, but now, despite a ballooning deficit, he wants to slash taxes even further -- with most of the benefits going to the rich.

By Justin Jouvenal

Monday, July 07, 2008

It's Not The Man, It's The Movement
By Amy Goodman
I was on a panel at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado this week when Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter asked me, “Is Obama a sellout?” The question isn’t whether he is a sellout or not—it’s about what demands are made by grass-roots social movements of those who would represent them. The question is, who are these candidates responding to, answering to?
Maliki Wants US Pullout Timetable
Robert Dreyfuss: Both Iran and nationalists in Iraq are squeezing the Baghdad regime to get America out.

Iraq Reconstruction Corruption
Katrina Vanden Heuvel: The Commission on Wartime Contracting should be a critical curb to the systemic waste, fraud and abuse associated with the wartime-support and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Bin Laden and the $144 Barrel of Oil

If you didn't spot this Think Progress post over the weekend — explaining how Osama bin Laden demanded $144 barrels of oil ten years ago — it is worth a read. The price for a barrel of oil this past holiday weekend was exactly what bin Laden wanted.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

The Truth Commission

When a distinguished American military commander accuses the United States of committing war crimes in its handling of detainees, you know that we need a new way forward.

Wall-E for President

The fierce urgency of now that drives the family movie “Wall-E” and its yearning for change is absent in both the Barack Obama and John McCain campaigns these days.

Judging the Torture Presidency of George W. Bush

Building a case for a prosecution that likely won't happen.

by Nat Hentoff

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Dropping the Helmsman
by Hendrik Hertzberg

Far too late for it to do anybody any good, Jesse Helms has died. He has done so on Independence Day, which, since he was born too late to own slaves and in too liberal an age to allow him to outlaw sedition, will forever be his only resemblance to Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.

It is rude to speak ill of the dead. Luckily, I did so ahead of time.

Helms, McCain & the White Hands
John Nichols: The people who helped the late North Carolina senator run race-baiting campaigns are now helping John McCain.

Friday, July 04, 2008

by John Soltz

I've been running for a couple of years now. In 2006 and in 2008, we've endorsed a number of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans for Congress. It's still a story that the press is largely interested in, and when they call me to talk about it, I always -- always -- get the same first question:

What is it about their honorable service in Iraq and/or Afghanistan that qualifies them to go to Congress?

Thursday, July 03, 2008

In spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the former POW insists we could have won. No wonder he talks of occupying Iraq for a century.

By Joe Conason

by Paul Waldman

For all John McCain's supposed experience, he has the same absurdly simplistic and factually ignorant understanding of the problem as President Bush.
TPMtv: Wes Clark Hyperventorama!
By Josh Marshall

In today's episode of TPMtv, the very best of MSM hyperventilation about Wes Clark's non-demeaning comments about John McCain ...

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Happy Oil Independence Day
By Robert Scheer —

As we head into the Fourth of July weekend of patriotic bluster and beer swilling—but before we are too besotted with ourselves—might we also for once consider our imperfections? Why not take a moment to heed the cautions of our founding father, George Washington, whose true legacy will most likely be ignored during the flag-waving weekend?

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