Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Our Man of Virtue

Indeed, in recent weeks word has circulated among Washington conservatives that [William Bennett's] wagering could be a real problem. They have reason for concern. The Washington Monthly and Newsweek have learned that over the last decade Bennett has made dozens of trips to casinos in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, where he is a "preferred customer" at several of them, and sources and documents provided to The Washington Monthly put his total losses at more than $8 million...

..."I don't play the 'milk money.'"

Bennett has been a high-roller since at least the early 1990s. A review of one 18-month stretch
of gambling showed him visiting casinos, often for two or three days at a time (and enjoying a line of credit of at least $200,000 at several of them). Bennett likes to be discreet. "He'll usually call a host and let us know when he's coming," says one source. "We can limo him in. He prefers the high-limit room, where he's less likely to be seen and where he can play the $500-a-pull slots. He usually plays very late at night or early in the morning--usually between midnight and 6 a.m." The documents show that in one two-month period, Bennett wired more than $1.4 million to cover losses.

...the [Washington Times] reported that Bennett had been spotted at the new Mirage Resorts Bellagio casino in Las Vegas, where he was reputed to have won a $200,000 jackpot. Bennett admitted to the Times that he had visited the casino, but denied winning $200,000. Documents show that, in fact, he won a $25,000 jackpot on that visit--but left the casino down $625,000.

Bennett--who gambled throughout Clinton's impeachment--has continued this pattern in subsequent years. On July 12 of last year, for instance, Bennett lost $340,000 at Caesar's Boardwalk Regency in Atlantic City. And just three weeks ago, on March 29 and 30*, he lost more than $500,000 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. "There's a term in the trade for this kind of gambler," says a casino source who has witnessed Bennett at the high-limit slots in the wee hours...

"We call them losers."

Saturday, April 15, 2006

It Always Come Back to Bite Us...We Should Know Better By Now.

"The CIA officers that Yousef worked with closely impressed upon him one rule: never use the terms sabotage or assassination when speaking with visiting congressmen."
-- Steve Coll, Ghost Wars

Gunboat diplomacy had been defeated by car bombs in Lebanon, but the Reagan administration and, above all, CIA Director William Casey were left thirsting for revenge against Hezbollah. "Finally in 1985," according to the Washington Post's Bob Woodward in Veil, his book on Casey's career, "he worked out with the Saudis a plan to use a car bomb to kill [Hezbollah leader] Sheikh Fadlallah who they determined was one of the people behind, not only the Marine barracks, but was involved in the taking of American hostages in Beirut… It was Casey on his own, saying, ‘I‘m going to solve the big problem by essentially getting tougher or as tough as the terrorists in using their weapon -- the car bomb.'"

The CIA's own operatives, however, proved incapable of carrying out the bombing, so Casey subcontracted the operation to Lebanese agents led by a former British SAS officer and financed by Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar. In March 1984, a large car bomb was detonated about 50 yards from Sheikh Fadlallah's house in Bir El-Abed, a crowded Shiite neighborhood in southern Beirut. The sheikh wasn't harmed, but 80 innocent neighbors and passersby were killed and 200 wounded. Fadlallah immediately had a huge "MADE IN USA" banner hung across the shattered street, while Hezbollah returned tit for tat in September when a suicide truck driver managed to break through the supposedly impregnable perimeter defenses of the new U.S. embassy in eastern (Christian) Beirut, killing 23 employees and visitors.

Despite the Fadlallah fiasco, Casey remained an enthusiast for using urban terrorism to advance American goals, especially against the Soviets and their allies in Afghanistan. A year after the Bir El-Abed massacre, Casey won President Reagan's approval for NSDD-166, a secret directive that, according to Steve Coll in Ghost Wars, inaugurated a "new era of direct infusions of advanced U.S. military technology into Afghanistan, intensified training of Islamist guerrillas in explosives and sabotage techniques, and targeted attacks on Soviet military officers."

U.S. Special Forces experts would now provide high-tech explosives and teach state-of-the-art sabotage techniques, including the fabrication of ANFO (ammonium nitrate-fuel oil) car bombs, to Pakistani intelligence service (or ISI) officers under the command of Brigadier Mohammed Yousaf. These officers, in turn, would tutor thousands of Afghan and foreign mujahedin, including the future cadre of al-Qaeda, in scores of training camps financed by the Saudis. "Under ISI direction," Coll writes, "the mujahedin received training and malleable explosives to mount car-bomb and even camel-bomb attacks in Soviet-occupied cities, usually designed to kill Soviet soldiers and commanders. Casey endorsed these despite the qualms of some CIA career officers."

This is an excerpt from the fascinating account, History of the Car Bomb, by Mike Davis as a preliminary sketch for a book-length study.

Found at History News Network (I always find interesting stuff there.)

[italics mine]

Friday, April 14, 2006

This Day in History

April 14, 1955: First McDonald's opened by Ray Kroc. On this day in 1955, American fast-food pioneer Ray Kroc opened the first McDonald's franchise in Des Plaines, Illinois, launching an enterprise that would eventually become the world's largest fast-food chain.

The first McDonald's restaurant opened by Ray Kroc, now a museum in Des Plaines, Illinois, U.S.Sandy Felsenthal/Corbis

Comment: And we owe everything we are today to that lowly 15 cent hamburger...

Brought Back to the Truth...

Sometimes, we lose focus and must be forcibly be brought back to the truth of the War in Iraq. The invasion of Iraq was an act of aggression. Iraq posed no threat to the United States, there was no humanitarian crisis afoot in the country, and no international body like the UN or NATO sanctioned the invasion. In short, Bush's Doctrine of Preemption was and remains an excuse for military aggression. The invasion of Iraq was a war crime.

Unfortunately, imcompetence and corruption do not explain away the immorality and yes, the sinfulness adherent in the invasion and destruction of a nation, its people, its property and its treasure.

Evidently discussion and plans are now underway that could conceivably lead to the most extreme example of military aggression in the history of the world: A preemptive nuclear strike.

These folks are war criminals pure and simple no matter how their supporters try to otherwise frame their actions.

Posted by Mo (thank you. thank you, wherever you are.)

Read More of an Excellent Post on Glenn Greenwald's Unclaimed Territory

This day in history

John Wilkes Booth Shoots Lincoln (1865)

When John Wilkes Booth, an American actor and ardent Confederate sympathizer, learned that President Lincoln planned to attend a performance of Our American Cousin at Ford's Theater in Washington, he plotted to assassinate the President. Shortly after 10 PM, he entered the presidential box unobserved, shot Lincoln in the head, and vaulted to the stage (breaking his left leg in the process) shouting "Sic semper tyrannis! The South is avenged!" How did Booth gain access to the theater?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

If Thomas Jefferson had Worked in the Corporate World

10 October 1776

Mr. Thomas Jefferson
c/o The Continental Congress
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Dear Mr. Jefferson:

We have read your "Declaration of Independence" with great interest. Certainly, it represents a considerable undertaking, and many of your statements do merit serious consideration.

Unfortunately, the Declaration as a whole fails to meet recently adopted specifications for proposals to the Crown, so we must return the document to you for further refinement. The questions which follow might assist you in your process of revision:

1. In your opening paragraph you use the phrase "the Laws of Nature and Nature's God." What are these laws? In what way are they the criteria on which you base your central arguments? Please document with citations from the recent literature.

2. In the same paragraph you refer to the "opinions of mankind." Whose polling data are you using? Without specific evidence, it seems to us the "opinions of mankind" are a matter of opinion.

3. You hold certain truths to be "self-evident." Could you please elaborate. If they are as evident as you claim then it should not be difficult for you to locate the appropriate supporting statistics.

4. "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" seem to be the goals of your proposal. These are not measurable goals. If you were to say that "among these is the ability to sustain an average life expectancy in six of the 13 colonies of at last 55 years, and to enable newspapers in the colonies to print news without outside interference, and to raise the average income of the colonists by 10 percent in the next 10 years," these could be measurable goals. Please clarify.

5. You state that, "Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it and to institute a new Government ..." Have you weighed this assertion against all the alternatives? What are the trade-off considerations?

6. Your description of the existing situation is quite extensive. Such a long list of grievances should precede the statement of goals, not allow it. Your problem statement needs improvement.

7. Your strategy for achieving your goal is not developed at all. You state that the colonies "ought to be Free and Independent States" and that they are "Absolved from All Allegiance to the British Crown." Who or what must change to achieve this objective? In what way must they change? What specific steps will you take to overcome the resistance? How long will it take? We have found that a little foresight in these areas helps to prevent careless errors later on. How cost-effective are your strategies?

8. Who among the list of signatories will be responsible for implementing your strategy? Who conceived it? Who provided the theoretical research? Who will constitute the advisory committee? Please submit an organization chart and vitas of the principal investigators.

9. You must include an evaluation design. We have been requiring this since Queen Anne's War.

10. What impact will your problem have? Your failure to include any assessment of this inspires little confidence in the long-range prospects of your undertaking.

11. Please submit a PERT diagram, an activity chart itemised budget and manpower utilization matrix.

We hope that these comments prove useful in revising your "Declaration of Independence." We welcome the submission of your revised proposal. Our due date for unsolicited proposals is November 30, 1776. Ten copies with original signatures will be required.

Management Analyst to the British Crown

[Author unknown; found in widely circulated email. If it's your copyright, tell me and I'll remove.] From Blogmanac

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

This George is No Washington

"George Washington was the Father of His Country. George W. Bush could be the Destroyer of His Country. To preserve our freedoms, America must return to the ideology upon which the United States was founded, and Americans must demand that our elected leaders adhere to those ideals."

"Each was elected president of the United States, but George the 43rd possesses none of the courage, intelligence, or wisdom of the first.

"George Washington was born into a respectable planting family in Virginia. His father died when he was 11, leaving a widow and seven children. The young Washington received a grade-school education; however, he was unable to attend college. He had to go to work at age 16 as a surveyor and ultimately conducted more than 190 surveys on the Virginia frontier. When Washington was 20 years old, he petitioned the governor for a military appointment, and began to lead a series of military expeditions into the Ohio Country, where he engaged in battles with the French and their Indian allies. He was ultimately appointed a colonel, and in 1755 he became an aide-de-camp to the British General Braddock, who was leading an invasion into the French-held Ohio region. Braddock was killed and his army defeated during an Indian ambush; however, Washington was able to rally the troops and saved the lives of many soldiers. Two horses were shot out from under him, and four bullets pierced his coat as he maneuvered in the thick of the battle.

"Only 23 years of age, Washington was appointed as Commander in Chief of the Virginia Regiment. He learned lessons from Braddock’s defeat and trained his troops in both the rigorous discipline of British troops and the “bushfighting” tactics of Indian warriors. For the next three and a half years, he led his thousand “Blues” in constant combat operations on the Virginia frontier in the war against France. He knew most of his soldiers personally and was viewed as a father figure, even though most of the soldiers were older than him. He resigned his commission in 1758 to get married and to attend to his family’s estate.

"George W. Bush was born to high privilege; his great-grandfathers helped establish and earned enormous profits from the military industrial complex and, his grandfather helped finance Hitler’s war machine. His parents were both raised in wealthy households attended by servants, and they spoiled George Jr., their first born. He was allowed to abuse his siblings, to torment and kill animals and to sustain mediocrity in his education. He required his father’s “legacy” to get into Yale, where he organized physical hazing described in newspaper reports as “degrading, sadistic and obscene.” He was arrested for theft, disorderly conduct, drunk driving and possession of cocaine.

"In 1968, 296,406 American boys were drafted into military service, and6,332 came home from Vietnam in body bags. Although he was 22 years old, a college graduate, and physically fit, Bush’s father pulled strings to jump him over 500 waiting applicants and into the Texas Air National Guard, even though he could only answer 25 of the 100 questions on the pilot aptitude test. Bush declined to volunteer for Vietnam service, choosing instead to patrol the skies over Houston, Texas on weekends, until he grew bored and went AWOL ...

"The war did not immediately go well for the Americans, and during the battle of Long Island, the siege of Fort Washington, and the Forage War, the British and Hessian troops often provided no 'quarter' in putting to death all rebels who fell into their hands. The wounded had their brains dashed out, were run through with bayonets and their bodies were mutilated. American prisoners were imprisoned under conditions of great misery, including the holds of prison ships in New York harbor, where large numbers died after great suffering. In spite of these war crimes, Washington never denied quarter to the enemy and ordered that all prisoners be treated as human beings with the same rights that the rebels were fighting for. He wrote, 'Treat them with humanity, and let them have no reason to Complain of our Copying the brutal example of the British army in their Treatment of our unfortunate brethren.' Washington particularly ordered that Hessian soldiers were 'innocent people in this war, and were not volunteers, but forced into this war.'

..."Bush presided over a failed presidency and his public approval ratings were barely above 50 percent when al Qaeda attacked on September 11,2001, much like lighting striking the well-insured building of a bankrupt company. As a 'war president,' Bush established an outdoor prison camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba where POW’s were confined in chain-link cages open to the elements and denied the rights guaranteed by the Geneva Convention; he illegally held hundreds of undocumented immigrants in prison without access to counsel; he denied all due process to American citizens imprisoned as an 'enemy combatants;' he established secret prisons in other countries; he ordered the kidnaping and 'extraordinary rendition' of individual into other countries where they were brutally tortured; and he authorized the illegal use of torture in the questioning of prisoners in places such as Abu Ghraib, as long as it didn’t produce organ failure or death, or was done in accordance with 'military necessity.' ...

"In January 2006, the Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $385 million contract to a Halliburton subsidiary to construct detention centers in the United States to cope with “an emergency influx of immigrants into the US, or to support the rapid development of new programs.” Each detention center is designed to hold up to 5,000 detainees, should Bush decide to declare martial law in the event of another terrorist attack or a natural disaster, such as another Katrina or an Asian Flu epidemic ...

"This George is no Washington. George Washington was the Father of His Country. George W. Bush could be the Destroyer of His Country. To preserve our freedoms, America must return to the ideology upon which the United States was founded, and Americans must demand that our elected leaders adhere to those ideals."

By William John Cox Media Monitors Network (MMN)
Tuesday April 11 2006

Full text at MediaMonitors; courtesy of South News

First Knights Templar are Discovered

The first bodies of the Knights Templar, the mysterious religious order...have been found by archaeologists near the River Jordan in northern Israel.

British historian Tom Asbridge yesterday hailed the find as the first provable example of actual Knights Templar.

The remains were found beneath the ruined walls of Jacob's Ford, an overthrown castle dating back to the Crusades, which had been lost for centuries.

They can be dated to the exact day -- August 29, 1179 -- that they were killed by Saladin, the feared Muslim leader who captured the fortress.''

Never before has it been possible to trace their remains to such an exact time in history,' Mr Asbridge said. ''This discovery is the equivalent of the Holy Grail to archaeologists and historians. It is unparalleled.''

Source: The Daily Telegraph (Australia) (4-11-06)
From: History News Network

Contributed by my wonderful hubby...

Billmon Gets It

I've been trying to picture what the world might look like the day after a U.S. nuclear strike on Iran, but I'm essentially drawing a blank. There simply isn't a precedent for the world's dominant superpower turning into a rogue state – much less a rogue state willing to wage nuclear war against potential, even hypothetical, security threats. At that point, we’d truly be through the looking glass.

One can assume (or at least hope) that first use of nuclear weapons would turn America into an international pariah, at least in the eyes of global public opinion. It would certainly mark the definitive end of the system of collective security – and the laws and institutions supporting that system – established in the wake of World War II. The UN Security Council would be rendered as pointless as the old League of Nations. The Nuremberg Principles would be as moot as the Geneva Conventions. (To the neocons, of course, these are all pluses.)Nuclear first use would also shatter (or at least, radically transform) the political alliances that defined America's leadership role in the old postwar order. To the extent any of these relationships survived, they’d be placed on roughly the same basis as the current U.S. protectorate over Saudi Arabia – or, even worse, brought down to the level of the old Warsaw Pact. They would be coalitions of the weak, the vulnerable and the easily intimidated.

In other words, the current hegemony of American influence and ideas (backed by overwhelming military force) would be replaced by an overt dictatorship based – more or less explicitly – on fear of nuclear annihilation. U.S. foreign policy would become nothing more than a variation on the ancient Roman warning: For every one of our dead; 100 of yours. Never again would American rulers (or their foreign counterparts) be able to hide behind the comfortable fiction that the United States is just primus inter pares – first among equals. A country that nukes other countries merely on the suspicion that they may pose a future security threat isn't the equal of anybody. America would stand completely alone: hated by many, feared by all, admired only by the world’s other tyrants. To call that a watershed event seems a ridiculous understatement.

Read the rest here:

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Dispatch From South Dakota:

Tribal President Cecelia Fire Thunder Speaks

Filmmakers Chris Hume and L. Wild Horse travel to South Dakota, the state that has passed a law banning all abortions, even in cases of rape and incest.

But on the Pine Ridge Reservation, tribal president Cecelia Fire Thunder is taking a stand. She is invoking the Oglala Lakota tribe's status as a sovereign nation to surpass state law, by building a family planning clinic on the reservation. President Fire Thunder speaks with t r u t h o u t in this video exclusive.
Thank you, Cecilia!

Monday, April 10, 2006

National Wildlife's 35th annual photo contest winners

Nick J. Dunlop, Sebastopol, California

Dunlop photographed this belted kingfisher near his home. The real estate appraiser used a 600mm lens and 1.4x teleconverter.

National Wildlife's 35th annual photo contest winners

Christopher C. Barry, Huntington, West Virginia

Perched on a bright yellow lily, a Scudderia katydid nymph caught Barry's eye as he strolled through a Huntington public park. Using a digital camera with a 38-76mm zoom lens, Barry captured a close-up of the insect looking like it climbed the flower just to enjoy the view.

Victim of Tradition in Kyrgyzstan

When I studied at school I had a classmate. She studied excellently. She planned to be a doctor in the future...She studied very well at the university. Then one day her countryman kidnapped her and abducted her for marriage. She was shocked and didn’t expect such an outcome. She wanted to run away and threatened suicide. She even argued that she had a boyfriend, but all in vain.

The role of the relatives is big too in the life of a Kyrgyz person. Her relatives made her stay. They said your father blessed you. If you refuse our family would be shamed. She eventually gave in. Gradually their marriage was crashing. Several times she tried to kill herself. Eventually he set her free.

This is just one example. According to some estimates, upwards of 30 percent of the country’s married women have been snatched from the street by their husbands in a custom known as "ala kachuu" which translates roughly as "grab and run."According to some estimates in the Naryn region alone an estimated 55 percent of all women were abducted against their will and forced into marriage. Only 10 percent of abducted women dared to stand for their rights and leave their abductors.

A majority of men kidnapping girls kidnap them whether she knows him or not. Sometimes it happens that she has never seen him or never heard about him. Such abductions exist particularly in rural areas.

By Nurilya
excerpt from Kyrgyzstan Student Blog

Sunday, April 09, 2006

1973 - Who Woulda Thunk?

In his new book, 1973 Nervous Breakdown: Watergate, Warhol, and the Birth of Post-Sixties America, the historian Andreas Killen christens 1973 “Year one of the culture wars.” By which he means that it marked the end of the idealism and political transformation of the sixties and the start of a new conservatism and political malaise. Was the year really that pivotal?

It was the year of Roe v. Wade, the OPEC oil embargo, the cease-fire in Vietnam, the Watergate trials, the Patty Hearst kidnapping, and the first reality television (An American Family). President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society began to be dismantled, as punitive measures like New York’s stringent Rockefeller drug laws were introduced. The economy faltered with the oil embargo, and “stagflation” set in. Cities crumbled, and white flight made the suburbs a “force to be reckoned with both politically and culturally.” A conservative backlash against Roe v. Wade, gay rights, and women’s liberation began to gain force.

excerpt from
American Heritage

This Day in History

Confederate General Robert E. Lee
surrendering to Union General Ulysses S. Grant
at Appomattox
The Granger Collection, New York
The American Civil War ended on this day in 1865, General Robert E. Lee, commander of the Army of Northern Virginia of the Confederate States of America, signed a treaty of surrender at Appomattox Court House, ending the American Civil War.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

"There is but one thing of real value -
to cultivate truth and justice,
and to live without anger
in the midst of lying and unjust men"
- Marcus Aurelius


Where, Oh, Where is My Senator?????

Subtitled: Registered Voter in a Bigger Snit

Dear Senator Feinstein,

I received a reply from you dated April 8. I wrote about my deep distress finding that you were not in attendance at the Motion to Censure hearing to stand with senators Feingold and Leahy.

In your email response you did not answer the question I put forward: Where were you this morning during the Motion to Censure hearing? Could Anything Have Been More Important???

In your response, you said instead:

"Once the facts are clear, we can decide on appropriate corrective action."

In light of your conclusion, other statements made by you from that very same letter certainly do indicate that the time for fact finding and decisions on action have come and gone. Here, Senator Feinstein, is what you said:

1) ...the electronic surveillance program was not conducted in accordance with U.S. law.
2) The program...violates the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
3) The Administration has never asked for the authority to conduct this program...
4) ...the Administration also violated the National Security Act, which requires all members of the Intelligence Committee to be fully and currently informed...

and that you are, if fact,

5) ...a member of the Intelligence Committee, and yet [were] not told about this program until it was made public.

Please join senators Feingold, Leahy and now, Senator Kerry in holding this administration accountable. Because, Ms. Feinstein, history will hold you accountable as someone who either lingered indecisively or did the job you were entrusted to do.

Unrepresented Voter in a Snit

PS I will sign up for your newsletter expecting direct answers. Otherwise, it's a worthless gesture.


I include the full message received from Ms. Feinstein below:

April 8, 2006

Dear Ms. "Voter in a Snit":

Thank you for writing to me about recent revelations that the United States Government has engaged in domestic electronic eavesdropping without appropriate legal authority. I welcome the opportunity to respond.

On February 6th, the Senate Judiciary Committee held the first of a series of hearings into this matter, at which Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testified about the legality of the program. He provided none of the documents the Committee required for proper oversight, and his assurances alone did not allay my concerns. Instead, he propounded a radical legal theory of presidential power largely unrestrained by either Congress or the courts.

I have carefully reviewed the Constitution and the laws relating to this domestic intelligence activity, along with the President's statements and those of the Attorney General and other Administration officials. I believe that the electronic surveillance program was not conducted in accordance with U.S. law. The program, as described, violates the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which requires a court order for surveillance of Americans. Congress has updated FISA many times since 9/11 in order to provide our nation with all the necessary tools to fight terrorism. The Administration has never asked for the authority to conduct this program.

I believe the Administration also violated the National Security Act, which requires all members of the Intelligence Committee to be fully and currently informed of all significant intelligence activities other than covert actions. I am a member of the Intelligence Committee, and yet I was not told about this program until it was made public.

There will be further hearings in the Senate Judiciary and Intelligence Committees. Once the facts are clear, we can decide on appropriate corrective action.

Again, thank you for writing. I hope that you will continue to write to me on issues of importance to you. Best regards.

Sincerely yours,
Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

Further information about my position on issues of concern to California and the Nation are available at my website You can also receive electronic e-mail updates by subscribing to my e-mail list at


My last comment is: blah. blah. blah blah blahhhhh...

Quote of the Day

Experience is never limited, and it is never complete; it is an immense sensibility, a kind of huge spider-web of the finest silken threads suspended in the chamber of consciousness, and catching every air-borne particle in its tissue.

Henry James (1843-1916)

Friday, April 07, 2006

Under the Clouds of War...

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.

US general and president Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Our ten favorite quotes from Tom DeLay

In His Own Words

1. “Nothing is more important in the face of a war than cutting taxes.” –
Those famous DeLay priorities. (And here we thought it would be “providing armor” or “having an exit strategy.”)

2. “I AM the federal government.” – Smokin’ Tom to a staffer, after being told he wasn’t allowed to puff on his cigar in a federal building.

3. “You know, you’re never a prophet in your own hometown.” – DeLay, explaining his unpopularity with some of his constituents. (Houston Chronicle, 8/23/98)

4. “We march forward with a biblical worldview, a worldview that says God is our Creator, that man is a sinner, and that we will save this country by changing the hearts and minds of Americans.” – DeLay’s view of his role in government.

5. “When faced with the truth, the truth hurts. It is human nature not to face that… People hate the messenger. That’s why they killed Christ.” – DeLay, explaining why some Americans weren’t delighted with that “biblical worldview.”

6. “Now tell me the truth boys, is this kind of fun?”— DeLay to children living in the Astrodome during Hurricane Katrina

7. “So many minority youths had volunteered for the well-paying military positions to escape poverty and the ghetto that there was literally no room for patriotic folks like himself.” – Houston Chronicle, repeating DeLay’s rationale for not serving in Vietnam. [quote from article paraphrasing DeLay]

8. They’re the “Gestapo of government:” – DeLay, proving it’s not easy being green, talking about the Environmental Protection Agency.

9. “Our school systems teach the children that they are nothing but glorified apes who are evolutionized [sic] out of some primordial soup.” – DeLay, blaming the shootings at Columbine on, obviously, teaching evolution in schools.

10. “This whole thing about not kicking someone when they are down is BS – not only do you kick him – you kick him until he passes out – then beat him over the head with a baseball bat – then roll him up in an old rug – and throw him off a cliff into the pounding surf below!!!!” – DeLay right-hand Michael Scanlon (yes, that Michael Scanlon, the Jack Abramoff buddy who used to work for The Hammer) in an email during the Clinton impeachment trial.

Special Bonus Countdown: Five Things You Wish You Knew About Tom DeLay

1. DeLay Gone Wild. DeLay was kicked out of Baylor University for…oh, how did his spokesman put it… “too vigorous a social life.”

2. Smoke �Em If You Got �Em. DeLay reportedly started smoking at age 6, becoming the first kid in 2nd grade to suffer from nic fits.

3. Magnum P.I. He Ain’t. DeLay shaved his moustache in 1984 after a study found Republicans wouldn’t elect a guy with facial hair. (Houston Chronicle, 6/22/06)

4. Wasn’t Indiana Jones Taller? DeLay “keeps two large leather bullwhips on display in his Capitol office, occasionally demonstrating his prowess in whipcracking.” Oooh, Tom!

5. The Nicknames That Aren’t Fit to Print. The Hammer. The Exterminator. The Meanest Man In Congress. Hot Tub Tom.

By Christy Harvey, American ProgressTuesday April 4, 2006
Hat tip to Campus Progress.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Bush's Unprecedented Arrogance

Never in history has a president asserted claims to such unchecked power.
By John Dean, Posted April 5, 2006.


This is by far the best overview of Bush's dream of kinghood. Damning.
Next November matters.

(Great graphic by Matt T.)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Can't Argue with That, Unfortunately.

"Here is my [Johnson's] email letter to congressman Kingston's

"Your retortical view that you can speak for 20,000 soldiers is stupid at best and severely over reaching. Not all of the soldiers are republicans or democrats but they do serve just like I did in Iraq in 2003 to 2004. I like Cindy am apalled that our leaders continue to blindly follow a President who consistently lied to the American People and to the soldiers who have risked their life for freedom. Your personal attack is a continuing Policy severely flawed in the Republican Party and you really should be ashamed. What would this country be if we never disented when we know our leaders have failed. My prayers are with you and again thanks for the apology.

"Thank you Cindy Sheehan for the courage you have shown all Americans.

SFC Avery M. Johnson US Army MP Retired
Served Operatons Iraqi Freedom Baghdad Warrior Palace.
135th MP CO, 709th MP BN, 18th MP BDE. 2003 to 2004"

by MarcusGarvey on Mon Apr 3rd, 2006 at 04:06:59 PM EDT


"Speaking of Nutcases...

"First..thank you Cindy.We can never say it enough. But, this whole issue of "nutcases" has been on my mind now for many months. is nothing short of amazing to me, that george has not been declared mentally incompetent and removed from office. I just don't understand this. But then...I don't understand how there is still such a huge portion of the U.S. population that is so totally oblivious to the danger that we live in under the rule of king cheney and prince george. One need not be a licensed medical doctor to realize, by now, that we have a leader who is... for whatever the reason, mentally unfit, and I don't mean just intellectually challenged, because that's a given. I'm talking about some serious stuff here, because that's what mental illness is serious, and it is so very difficult to treat, because the primary SYMPTOM of mental illness is that the person doesn't KNOW that they are mentally ill.

"So, not only have we been seriously a nation,(and destroyed a couple of other nations in the process)by this demented monarchy,but we continue to be destroyed by a congress that will not act to SAVE us."

cyrena ( on Mon Apr 3rd, 2006 at 04:37:02 PM EDT

both from Truthout.

Monday, April 03, 2006


Wallace & Feingold

Maher & the Christian Right

Two great .wmv's:

Feingold on Fox News

Bill Maher on the Paranoid Christian Right

Courtesy of Crooks and Liars and Truth Dig. Great moments. Great truths. Thanks.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Truants on Judiciary Committee Need a wake up call!

The full Judiciary Committee was called by Chairman Spector for a hearing on Censure on friday. Not much coverage in the MSM ,OK thats to be expected. It does piss me off to no end that Senator Fiengold and Leahy were not supported by thier Democratic colleagues on the committee.

Lets all give them a call and ask them why they didn't stand shoulder to shoulder in support of Censuring this Occupant.

Biden 202-224-5042
Durbin 202-224-2152
Feinstein 202-224-3841
Kennedy 202-224-4543
Kohl 202-224-5653
Schumer 202-224-2152
Toll free Senate and Capitol Switchboards800-828-0498

Truth out
Sat Apr 1st, 2006 at 05:15:59 PM EDT

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The President's "good faith" defense

...perhaps Bush did have a good faith believe that his actions would help prevent terrorism, even if he knew they were probably illegal. Isn't this a mitigating factor? Sure, if it's true. And for all I know it is. But there are two points we must not lose sight of.

First, because this surveillance is taking place in secret and without judicial review, we have no way of knowing who is actually being spied upon and why. We must simply take the administration's word. But history has shown that a president's word isn't worth a whole lot in this area. Surveillance authority was abused not only by the Nixon administration, but by his Democratic predecessors. The whole point of FISA was so we wouldn't have to take the president's word anymore. Even if you trust Bush to use this power only on terrorists and never on anyone else, can you really say the same about all future presidents?

Second, even if Bush's motives are as pure as the driven snow, it doesn't justify knowingly violating the law, at least outside of very extreme and short-term emergency scenarios. The viability of our system of constitutional government depends on the willingness of our leaders, particularly the president, to take seriously the concepts of separation of powers and checks and balances embodied in our Constitution. Subverting these concepts is dangerous. As John Dean said at Friday's hearing:

I must add that never before have I felt the slightest reason to fear our government. Nor do I frighten easily. But I do fear the Bush/Cheney government (and the precedents they are creating) because this administration is caught up in the rectitude of its own self-righteousness, and for all practical purposes this presidency has remained largely unchecked by its constitutional coequals.

Amen to that.
Saturday, April 01, 2006
Anonymous Liberal
excerpted from Unclaimed Territory

Giving medicine to the dead

Stephen McArthur said...
William Lloyd Garrison, the great abolitionist, said this:"With reasonable men I will reason, with humane men I will plead, but with tryants I will give no quarter, nor waste argument, for surely they shall be lost." We need to find all the reasonable and humane Americans, and enlist them in our struggle against the tryants.

Hume's Ghost said...
"To argue with a man who has renounced his reason is like giving medicine to the dead. - Thomas Paine, The American Crisis