Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Washington Post's Disappearing Act

Why is the Washington Post disappearing before our eyes?

More Trouble For Katherine Harris

Harris's latest polling numbers are terrible.

On Friday, the Quinnipiac Polling Institute put out a new poll showing Harris trails Democrat Bill Nelson by a whopping 22 percentage points. This despite polls still showing Nelson would be vulnerable against any generic Republican candidate. Nelson gets 53 percent of the vote compared to 31 percent against Harris.

Tampa Is Gay

I'm getting tired of the Tampa area gaining national attention for this kind of crap.

The group was formed by the County school district following a parental backlash when a Gay-Straight Alliance began at several area high schools.

The 30-member panel of parents, students and educators will present the guidelines next month to the superintendent and school board for approval.

Alice Wilkinson, a parent on task force who opposes GSAs said the responsibility must lie with parents.

I have no problem with parents wanting to know what school clubs they attend. I do have a problem with parents not giving a damn until the formation of the Gay-Straight Alliance. These parents now decide that they need to be notified. What about all the other activities these kids paticipated in after school. Is ignorance bliss?

I find it funny that parents think their son is going to turn queer attending this club. These parents don't notice things like their son listening to boy bands like NSync. Talking about being blind. People don't choose the sexual preference. I didn't wake up one day and decided I like vaginas. I just do.

That's still no excuse for kids listening to NSync. Whatever happened to songs with a melody.

U.S. Troops Want Iraq Pullout

The result of this poll will surprise many. Editor & Publisher reports that the majority of troops feel they have adeuqate armor. That is good news. The surprising news is that 72% of the troops urge withdrawal. The military leans to the right. These are the people who would "staying the couse". When they advocate a policy change then there's a problem.

Here are the Zogby poll results.

Le Moyne College/Zogby Poll shows just one in five troops want to heed Bush call to stay “as long as they are needed”

While 58% say mission is clear, 42% say U.S. role is hazy

Plurality believes Iraqi insurgents are mostly homegrown

Almost 90% think war is retaliation for Saddam’s role in 9/11, most don’t blame Iraqi public for insurgent attacks

Majority of troops oppose use of harsh prisoner interrogation

Plurality of troops pleased with their armor and equipment

An overwhelming majority of 72% of American troops serving in Iraq think the U.S. should exit the country within the next year, and nearly one in four say the troops should leave immediately, a new Le Moyne College/Zogby International survey shows.

Imagine how these troops would feel if they knew Saddam Hussein wasn't involved in 9/11.

Best First Paragraph of the Day

The LA Clippers and Power Line have one thing in common. Both never fail to fail miserably.

It must be very strange to be President Bush. A man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius, he can't get anyone to notice. He is like a great painter or musician who is ahead of his time, and who unveils one masterpiece after another to a reception that, when not bored, is hostile.

It must be strange to be Power Line. Bloggers of extraordinary hacksmanship and partisan-thinking approaching satire. Fortunately, many people have noticed. They are like great political pundits unveiling one masterpiece after another.


Who wants to go on a Hannidate?

Deregulation v. National Security

I have avoided the Dubai port deal. I certainly think there is some bigotry involved. Remember, conservatives are hostile towards immigration. If this was a lousy British company, I doubt we would hear a peep from the Right. If conservatives were really serious about national security then more of them would have voiced their disapproval over Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US.

My problem is that the Bush administration always puts ideology over security. The Bushies never met a regulation they liked.

In some instances, White House officials have gone straight to Capitol Hill to squelch regulatory efforts. In June 2003 Edward Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, introduced an amendment to mandate 100% inspection of airplane cargo. While airline passengers walk through metal detectors and have all their bags screened, the 6 billion pounds of cargo traveling beneath them each year is subject only to spot inspections by the feds. The government leaves it up to air carriers and the companies that forward freight to the carriers to screen their regular cargo customers.

Stories like this have become so routine that they aren't even newsworthy, anymore. Port security was an issue during the presidential election. Absolutely nothing has changed.

Added Bonus

Dumb quote of the day comes from Chris Matthews. Here is what he has to say about Bush's handling of the Dubai controversy.

MATTHEWS: Well, he looks like he's a wise man now and a man of restraint, almost Atticus Finch. You know, almost the guy against the mob outside this -- the police station.

Congress also deserves blame for using national security for pork.

O'Reilly v. O'Reilly

Bill O'Reilly latest crusade ... is against himself. Who will win? Who will care?

O'REILLY: These pinheads running around going, "Get out of Iraq now," don't know what they're talking about. These are the same people before Hitler invaded in World War II that were saying, "Ah, he's not such a bad guy." They don't get it.

November 30, 2005

Now, it's a small little thing, but I picked up on it, because here is the essential problem in Iraq. There are so many nuts in the country -- so many crazies -- that we can't control them. And I don't -- we're never gonna be able to control them. So the only solution to this is to hand over everything to the Iraqis as fast as humanly possible. Because we just can't control these crazy people.

February 20, 2006

Tampa Record Stores Closing Down

This Tampa Bay Business Journal points out that record stores across Tampa are closing down. This has less to do with downloading than stores like Sam Goody's providing crap music. Vinyl Fever and Sound Exchhange have both grown and expanded. If you gear your selection to music fans then they will come back. If you're banking on top 40 music, you can not count on repeat customers.

On a side note: rumors have been circulating about USF buying the University Mall. The rumors have been going on for over a year. Glimcher Realty Trust have tried to dispel the gossip. People would be more convinced if stores didn't keep closing.

Update: Joel leaves an interesting comment about the rumors.

The rumors are just as strong on campus.

Even if they're not true right now they need to be. The mall has been a revolving door of one-off stores, while the big names keep leaving. Meanwhile USF's only option for expansion is filling in holes within the Fowler/Fletcher and 50th/30th boundaries. That usually means taking away parking space already at a premium.

And anyone concerned about the distance should remember that USF already holds classes at the movie theatre. The school has a pretty efficient shuttle system that services the mall.

All in all the move would make perfect sense.

The flip side is many gutter punk kids won't be able to take those ten dollar surveys at the mall. Items like cough syrup and Natural Ice cost money.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

I believe the number is higher. Many soldiers do not want to admit they are suffering from PTS.

Nearly one in 10 American soldiers who served in Iraq were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, most after witnessing death or participating in combat, a study said on Tuesday.
Mental health screening of veterans showed 21,620 out of 222,620 returning from Iraq and assessed over the year ending April 30, 2004, suffered from post-traumatic stress -- a disorder that can lead to nightmares, flashbacks and delusional thinking.

Overall, 19.1 percent of soldiers and Marines who returned from Iraq met the military's "risk criteria for a mental health concern" such as post-traumatic stress or depression, compared to 11.3 percent among veterans who served in Afghanistan and 8.5 percent from deployments elsewhere, the report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association said.

Here is an article on Marine Christian Lopez dealing with PTS.

The good news is more soldiers and Marines are seeking help than the Vietnam era. Treatment is the first step. Veterans can contact the Readjustment Counseling Service.

Katherine Harris, Tom Feeney & the Duke

The truth is -- I broke the law, concealed my conduct, and disgraced my high office. I knowthatI will forfeit my freedom, my reputation, my worldly possessions, and most importantly, the trust of my friends and family.

Some time ago, I asked my lawyers to inform the U.S. Attorney Carol Lam that I would like to plead guilty and begin serving a prison term. Todayis the culmination of that process. I will continue to cooperate with the government’s ongoing investigationto the best of my ability.

Randy "Duke" Cunningham

"It's a joke...we now know what the price of buying a vote is."

Tom Feeney

Apparently, Feeney believes that gifts of a Rolls-Royce and a yacht and not too large for a Congressman.

Prosecutors said Cunningham, an eight-term House member, "demanded, sought and received" illicit payments in the form of cash, home payments, furnishings, cars and vacations from four co-conspirators, including two defense contractors, over the past five years.

Cunningham sold his house to defense contractor MZM Inc for $1,675,000. San Diego Realtors appraised the house for less than a million. Cunningham bought the property back for $975,000. That is some deal.

Feeney has received $5,000 from the Duke.

Katherine Harris has received donations from MZM, Inc. Harris in currently in the center of another controversy. She has received $32,000 in illegal contributions from Mitchell J. Wade. He was recently convicted for bribing Cunningham.

Take a guess who Wade worked for? If you said MZM Inc then are you are correct. Welcome to Florida politics.

Monday, February 27, 2006


Mark Lanegan's Myspace site has four songs from his brilliant album Bubblegum. See if you can catch the Johnny Cash reference at the end of Wedding Dress.

Martin Anderson Update: Dr. Siebert

Dr. Charles Siebert ruled that Martin Anderson did not die from a beating by nine guards at a juvenile boot camp. He ruled that Anderson died from a blood disorder.

Dr. Charles Siebert, who performed Anderson's autopsy, said blood tests support his findings and that Anderson's body didn't appear beaten. While standing by his determination, he said later the beating could have played a ''bit of a role'' in Anderson's death.

MSNBC has a video of the beating. Judge for yourself.

Shairi Turner, Siebert's boss was surprised by the findings. She is challenging Siebert's findings. The Sickle Cell Disease Association of America is even more surprised.

Doctor Willarda Edwards is president of the Baltimore-based association on sickle cell. She says her organization is emphatic that the death is unrelated to the sickle cell trait.

As she put it: "Attributing the death of this young man to sickle cell trait given the physical punishment he was put through does a disservice to the public and those in the sickle cell disease community."

A second autopsy will be performed on Anderson's body.

Dr Siebert's medical background is of great interest. He wrote in Donna Reed's autopsy report that she had "unremarkable" prostate gland and testicles.

"My daughter was a full-blooded woman," said Frances Terry. Apparently, the good doctor has a difference of opinion.

Reed and her husband James Terry were killed during Hurricane Ivan. The St. Petersburg Times reported that Siebert also made mistakes on James Terry's autospy. There are news reports (no link) that Siebert did not have a Florida medical licence.

Bay County has announced they are ending the boot camp program.

Related post: Florida Corrections Roundup

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Vietnam Spit Stories

I have a post at Loaded Mouth about the fact and fiction behind Vietnam spit tales. Mostly, it's an urban myth. There are isolated incidents. The stories have taken on a life of their own.

I hear there is a photo of Ron Kovic and other veterans being spat upon at the 1972 Republican Convention. Does anyone have a link to this. I know he was thrown out. Being spat on is another matter, entirely.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Where Does Justice Samuel Alito Stand?

Russ Feingold asked Samuel Alito during the confirmation hearings if the President of the United States is allowed to break the law.

SEN. FEINGOLD: But it is possible under your construct that an inherent constitutional power of the president could, under some analysis or in some case, override what people believe to be a constitutional criminal statute. Is that correct?

JUDGE ALITO: Well, I don't want to—I don't—I want to be very precise on this. What I have said—and I don't think I can go further than to say this—is that that situation seems to be exactly what is to fall exactly within that category that Justice Jackson outlined, where the president is claiming the authority to do something, and the thing that he is claiming the authority to do is explicitly—has been explicitly disapproved by Congress. So his own taxonomy contemplates the possibility that—he says that there—this—there is this category, and cases can fall in this category, and he seems to contemplate the possibility that that might be justified.

But I'm not—I don't want to even say that there could be such a case. I don't know. I would have to be presented with the facts of the particular case and consider it in a way I would consider any legal question. I don't think I can go beyond that.

This should of been a slam-duck answer for Alito. There is nothing in the Constitution stating the President's power can override the law.

Fox News New Talking Points

These people are beyond contempt.

Religion & Money

USA Today has an interesting article on religious organizations violating IRS laws. The law being violated is 501(c)(3).

In general, no organization may qualify for section 501(c)(3) status if a substantial part of its activities is attempting to influence legislation (commonly known as lobbying). A 501(c)(3) organization may engage in some lobbying, but too much lobbying activity risks loss of tax-exempt status.

The law spells out fairly clearly what is a violation. Mary Dalrymple's article is lacking in details. She reported that the IRS recommended revoking tax-exempt status in three cases. It's not clear if these were churches.

I have mixed feelings about this. I am someone who was against the McCain/Feingold bill. That legislation has not kept money out of pollitics (Like that was ever really the goal) and hurts freedom of speech. My feelings about the separation of church and state are Jeffersonian. The partisan in me would love to see GOP coffers dry up.

I hope there is more reporting on church and IRS laws. If not then I am going to have to endure pdf files. The joy.

Tampa Media Blogs

The Weekly Planet blog Blurbex is now up and running. I exchanged comments with Wayne Garcia in this humorous Charle Crist post. I wonder how long the Planet is going to leave open comments before they have to use troll repellent. I suggest an audio clip of Mr. Roboto every time someone tries to post a comment.

This is a good time to mention Eric Deggans's blog. His media criticism of Bill O'Reilly is hysterical. Deggan's and O'Reilly have a long-standing feud. Here is a piece of O'Reilly's punditry.

As we predicted, the first wave of attacks about my position that poverty was a central theme in the Katrina debacle have begun. Writing in the ultra-liberal St. Petersburg Times, Eric Deggans says, "The larger implications of O'Reilly's words also are obvious. These often poor, often black hurricane victims brought all this misery and death on themselves."

Of course no such implication exists, but Deggans is a dishonest, racially motivated correspondent writing for perhaps the worst newspaper in the country.

My pal Graceland wrote about O'Reilly's comments during Katrina.

Bill O'Reilly calls these people savages/animals. I'd like to see what Bill O'Reilly resorts to in hot, humid weather, forced to sit on top of a sizzling roof for a days as water rises all around you. Hungry. Thirsty. Desperate. Soaked in your urine and feces. Seeing your neighbors' dead bodies float by. Humans are the product of their environment. If they are acting like animals, it's because they are living in a predatory jungle.

Many of the Katrina horror stories turned out to be rumors. O'Reilly should stick to protecting America from Insane Clown Posse and holiday catalogue.

Pet peeves. The Planet needs to put their RSS feed on the site. Deggans blog posts are hard to link. Otherwise, good luck to both on their blog ventures.

Hat tip to Mike.

Update: You can use this feed for the Blurbex blog.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Kerry Falters

This bugs the shit out of me.

On Thursday, Sen. John Kerry sent out an appeal asking for Democratic campaign donations "if you want to prevent the next Samuel Alito from being confirmed to the Supreme Court." Next? It's beginning to look like the Democrats want to be paid to shut the barn door after the justices have mounted their horses for a well-planned, dangerous ride.

It is horribly exploitative and delusional for John Kerry to use an abortion crisis for fundraising. Exploitative because Kerry uses an issue, supporting people having medical control over their bodies, with the campassion of a used car salesman. Delusional because he actually thinks he has a shot at being President.

I'm certain that if conservatives turn over Roe v Wade the political backlash would be harsh.

If you've got a blacklist I want to be on it.

David Horowitz is making a list and he's checking it twice. He wants to find out which professors aren't wingnuts or not politically Right.

Hat tip to that hippie commie Blogenfreude. I wish I knew why he hates America so much.

Blog Buddies

You be surprised to know that these two hangout together.

District 11 Fundraising

Open Secrets has a list of corporate campaign donations for Florida's district 11. Unsurprisingly, Republicans Mike Massaro and James Greenwald are doing having fundraising problems. The district tilts left.

Kathy Castor is getting most of her money from EMILY's List. The group is a pro-choice PAC.

Les Miller is well-loved by eye doctors.

Scott Farrell leading contributer is the law firm Trenam Kemker. He also has a blog.

Wayne Garcia wrote a piece stating Farrell was "jockeying" for the 2011 race. Now that's a way to break a story six years ahead of schedule.

Update: Wayne Garcia caught a mistake I made in the post.

Michael, sorry to correct ya, but my article stated that Tom Scott was jockeying for Mayor in 2011, not Scott Farrell. Thanks for the shout out, though.

This is Tom Scott.

Best First Paragraph of the Day

I'm at a total loss at what to write. Just read this.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich said that he didn't realize it was all a big joke when Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" came to do a segment on him recently, a segment that, among other things, made fun of his last name and suggested he might be gay.

Lance Cpl. Andrew J. Aviles's Memorial

Lance Cpl. Andrew J. Aviles was a Marine killed in Iraq. A memorial his family placed on South Dale Mabry, near MacDill Airforce base, disappeared on Valentine's Day.

She said the visit by President Bush to MacDill Air Force Base on Friday had nothing to do with the crew picking it up. But Andy's father Oscar Aviles questions: Why now?

"It hasn't been a road hazard for three years," he said. "Why has it all the sudden become a road hazard?"

This may very well have been a big understanding. The problem is that President Bush avoids all signs of fallen troops. Bush hides military honor guard ceremonies. He refuses to attend the funerals on fallen military personal. Let's not forget the Orwellian-named Free Speech Zones. The President's credibility for supporting soldiers sucks. I don't blame Oscar Aviles for being skeptical.

When Talking Points Collide

Max asked a question, in the comments, of a previous post. I'm not sure if he is asking about the reporting of the linked article or if the Bush administration let Osama bin Laden get away. I thought I do a post to state my case. The question is too complicated for a short comment.

Dick Cheney

And on Nov 29, Vice President Dick Cheney told ABC's "Primetime Live" that, according to the reports that were coming in, bin Laden was in Tora Bora."I think he was equipped to go to ground there," Mr. Cheney said. "He's got what he believes to be a fairly secure facility. He's got caves underground; it's an area he's familiar with."

Tommy Franks

First, take Mr. Kerry's contention that we "had an opportunity to capture or kill Osama bin Laden" and that "we had him surrounded." We don't know to this day whether Mr. bin Laden was at Tora Bora in December 2001

I wonder how Franks explains that the Pentagon confirmed Osama bin Laden's voice from intercepted radio messages.

The very fact they've been able to confirm, the quote is with "reasonable certainty," that they've been hearing bin Laden in the Tora Bora area adds credence to reports that we've been hearing all week long that he's actually been leading his troops in fighting in that region, in eastern Afghanistan in the White Mountains.

Related entry : The Failure of Tommy Franks.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Osama Always Gets Away - Why?

Here is an article from 2004 that I haven't seen.

The Central Intelligence Agency did not target Al Qaeda chief Osama bin laden once as he had the royal family of the United Arab Emirates with him in Afghanistan, the agency's director, George Tenet, told the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States on Thursday.

Had the CIA targeted bin Laden, half the royal family would have been wiped out as well, he said.

The Bushies piss off the world all the time. Yet, they are afraid of angering the United Arab Emirates.

Hat tip to Mike.

South Dakota Abortion Ban Bill

Breaking news.

South Dakota's state senate voted on Wednesday for an abortion ban aimed at giving the conservative-tilting Supreme Court an opening to overturn rulings granting women the right to the procedure.

Only an unlikely veto by Republican Gov. Michael Rounds could prevent the legislation from becoming law, people on both sides of the issue said.

"We hope (Rounds) recognizes this for what it is: a political tool and not about the health and safety of the women of South Dakota," said Kate Looby of Planned Parenthood, which operates the sole clinic providing abortions in South Dakota.

"If he chooses to sign it, we will be filing a lawsuit in short order to block it," she said after attending the afternoon debate at the state capitol in Pierre.

This is political suicide for the Republican Party. I have never been worried about abortion being overturned because too many people would be against it. The average citizen, against abortion, does not want the government making laws on their bodies. The Terri Schiavo fiasco was a good example. The GOP needs people like James Dobson, Pat Robetson and Jerry Falwell. Most reasonable people think these men shamelessly beg for money and have silly obsessions with children's shows.

A CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll, taken last month, found that 66% did not favor overturning Roe v Wade. The NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll taken last year came with the same number of pro-choice. It's when the wording of the polls change that the numbers drop. A good example is partial-birth abortion. The term was invented by anti-abortionist. There is no such medical term.

But "partial-birth" is not a medical term. It's a political one, and a highly confusing one at that, with both sides disagreeing even on how many procedures take place, at what point in pregnancy, and exactly which procedures the law actually bans.

That's what we call truthiness. Most people use actual medical terms, like dilation and extraction, to get their point across.

Update: NPR reports, "The only exception is to save the life of the mother." There will be no exceptions for rape or the health of the mother.

The New York Times also has an article.

Torture Update

Human Rights First reports that 45 "War On Terror" prisoners were suspected or confirmed homocides. 98 detainees have died. The report notes that no CIA agent or high ranking officer has been charged.

Highlights from the report.

The cases also include that of Abed Hamed Mowhoush, a former Iraqi general beaten over days by U.S. Army, CIA and other non-military forces, stuffed into a sleeping bag, wrapped with electrical cord, and suffocated to death. In the recently concluded trial of a low-level military officer charged in Mowhoush's death, the officer received a written reprimand, a fine, and 60 days with his movements limited to his work, home, and church.

The officer sounds like a real Christian man. It's gets worse.

Of the close to 100 deaths in U.S. custody in the global war on terror, at least a third were victims of homicide at the hands of one or more of their captors. At least eight men, and as many as 12, were tortured to death. 4 The homicides also include deaths that the military initially classified as due to natural causes, and deaths that the military continues to classify as "justified." This chapter briefly reviews the facts of some of these worst cases, and the consequences or not for those involved.


So then the interrogator came that used to interrogate [me] in the Baghdadi jail. . . . He told me: "We are going to let you see your father." Of course this was a point of relief. [Mohammed was taken by U.S. forces to the facility where his father was held, the "Blacksmith Hotel."]. . . . They took me to my father's room. He was under very tight security. I looked in and I saw him. He looked completely drained and distraught and the impacts or signs of the torture were clear on him. His clothes were old and torn. He was really upset. When I first saw him I was overwhelmed and had a breakdown. I started crying and I embraced him and I told him: "Don't worry. I am brave. I am going to be able to handle these circumstances like you taught me." At this instant the interrogator stormed in. He grabbed me and I tried to remain seated . . . . So he threatened my father that if he didn't speak he would turn me over to the men who interrogated my father and do to me what they did to him or he would have me killed in an execution operation . . . . So they took me to him and they said: "This is your son, we are going to execute him if you don't confess." My father didn't confess. One of them pulled me to a place where my father couldn't see. He pulled his gun, he took it out of the place where it was kept and he shot a fire into the sky. And he hit me a hit so that I would cry out. So, this moment there was at the place where I was, blood, I mean drops of blood. They [then] took [me] to the side and they brought my father and said: "This is your son's blood. We killed him. So, it is better for you to confess lest this happen to the rest of your sons." My father, when he saw the blood, he must have thought that I had been killed. At this moment, he fell to the ground.

The CIA wants to cover their tracks.

Reports of internal efforts at the CIA to address detainee abuse by agents are less than encouraging. After completing a review in spring 2004 of CIA detention and interrogation procedures in Afghanistan and Iraq, the CIA Inspector General made 10 recommendations for changes, including more safeguards against abuse, to CIA Director Porter Goss. 82 Eight of the 10 have been “accepted,” 83 but the changes did not apparently prevent consideration of a proposal for handling deaths of detainees in CIA custody. According to the Washington Post: "One proposal circulating among mid-level officers calls for rushing in a CIA pathologist to perform an autopsy and then quickly burning the body."

Abdul Jameel was most likely choked to death with a baton.

Jameel's death was a homicide caused by "Blunt Force Injuries and Asphyxia" - a lack of oxygen.The autopsy found "[t]he severe blunt force injuries, the hanging position, and the obstruction of the oral cavity with a gag contributed to [his]death. The autopsy detailed evidence of additional abuse Jameel suffered: a fractured and bleeding throat, more than a dozen fractured ribs, internal bleeding, and numerous lacerations and contusions all over his

Iraqi Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said, "They are human beings, they violate the law, they make mistakes and they have to be held accountable."

Mistakes? Is this a mistake?

A Navy SEAL reported that the CIA interrogator leaned into al-Jamadi's chest with his forearm, and found a pressure point, causing al-Jamadi to moan in pain. A government report states that another CIA security guard "recalled al-Jamadi saying, 'I'm dying. I’m dying,' translated by the interpreter, to which the interrogator replied, 'I don't care,' and, 'You'll be wishing you were dying.'"

Read the report.

Neutral Milk Hotel

Knerd.com has put out a lot of great live indie rock music online. The latest is live and demo bootlegs of Neutral Milk Hotel.

Katrina Euthanasia

NPR has a harrowing piece on euthanasia during hurricane Katrina. LifeCare Hospitals could not evacuate critical patients. Gun shots were heard outside of the hospital. The flooding trapped staff and patients.

Angela McManus told NPR of her last moments with her mother.

Angela McManus says three New Orleans police officers approached her with guns drawn and told her she would have to leave. New Orleans police confirm that armed officers did evacuate non-essential staff from the hospital.

Confronted by police, McManus raced to her mother's bed. "I woke her up and I told her that I had to leave, and I told her that it was OK, to go on and be with Jesus, and she understood me because she cried," McManus recalled. "First she screamed, then she cried. And I said, 'Momma, do you understand?' And she said, 'Yes.' And she asked me, she asked me to sing to her one more time. And I did it, and everyone was crying, and then I left. I had to leave her there. The police escorted me seven floors down."

The flooding was so severe that the evacuations were done by boat. McManus states she saw one patient while being transported. The helicopters never arrived while McManus was in the hospital. This was part of the response problem during Katrina. The White House defense was Michael Brown didn't follow the chain of command.

It's hard for me to pass judgement on the doctors and nurses involved. The temperature was over a 100 degrees in the hospital. Living conditions were third world. An autopsy may not determine if the patients were euthanized. The bodies were severely decomposed.

In rated news:

Officials say New Orleans can't handle an influx of traumatized, homeless families, but that may be what it is about to get. Five months after Hurricane Katrina, many of the storm's victims are facing a second crisis. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is ending its hotel subsidy program despite the fact that thousands of Katrina victims have nowhere else to go. Thousands of evacuees will be cut off Feb. 7, and almost all will lose their hotel rooms by early March. Advocates for Katrina evacuees are terrified about what will happen next.

If FEMA deadlines aren't extended, "you're going to see folks homeless -- truly homeless and out on the street," says Mary Joseph, director of the Children's Defense Fund's Katrina Relief and Recovery for Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi. None of New Orleans' homeless shelters are in operation and so all the city can offer is a patch of expensive, rain-soaked parkland. "I am scared," says Tracie Washington, a local civil rights lawyer who has represented Katrina evacuees facing eviction from their hotels. "Every indication says to me that we are headed for a catastrophe if we don't do something quickly."

I don't care what political party you are. How can you not get angry about this? I don't want to hear administration officials say they couldn't do nothing because the chain of command wasn't followed. The Senate report said the problem was FEMA and Homeland Security never had a chain of command. How can these people follow something that doesn't exist?

Tampa Tribune Vs St Petersburg Times

I file this under frivolous.

The Tampa Tribune filed a lawsuit against the St. Petersburg Times over the over name of the weekly Tampa Bay Times. Which most people know as tbt. The lawsuit doesn't have much of a chance. Editor and Publisher reports the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ended the Trib's patent for Tampa Times because they haven't used the name in 3 years. The paper has never owned a patent for Tampa Bay Times.

Tribune publisher Gil Thelen said, "The Tampa Times has been ours for a long time. If someone puts out a publication that will confuse people, we act to protect our interest. I am confident we will prevail." This reminds of Fox News threatened to file a lawsuit against The Simpsons over a parody of the news network. Fox News contended a news crawl on a cartoon show would confuse people into thinking they were watching Fox News. Feel free to insert your own punchline.

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog & Global Warming

I haven't seen this before.

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog interviews Republicans about global warming. The Gopers are Jack Kingston, Dan Lundgren, Tom Feeney and Lee Terry.

Cue video

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Florida Corrections Roundup

I'm glad Sheriff Frank McKeithen had the sense to close down the boot camp after Martin Anderson was beaten to death.

Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen formally informed state juvenile justice officials Tuesday that he was shutting down the camp he operates under contract with the state.

In a short, three-paragraph letter to Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Anthony J. Schembri, McKeithen defended his youth camp, which has come under heavy fire since Jan. 6, when 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson died hours after a 20-minute altercation with about seven or eight officers.

McKeithen said in his letter to Schembri that the boot camp ``concept is a very good idea.''

See the video at CBS News and judge for yourself if the bootcamp was a good idea.

Jeb Bush has assigned Mark Ober to investigate the death.

The Hernando County jail experienced three suicides within 3 months. I blogged before, how guard were not properly making their rounds, at the time of the suicides. Corrections Corporation of America runs the facility. The company has a history of mismanagement. Warden Arvil Chapman has been transferred to Kentucky. My question is why does he still have a job.

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Willie Nelson's New iTunes Song

Willie Nelson continues to alienate himself from the country music mainstrean with Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other. The song was originally performed by Ned Sublette. The song was later recorded by the gay punk band Pansy Division. The only way you can hear the Nelson version of the song is on iTunes.

The Dixie Chicks will play a Bush fundraiser before country radio plays Willie's new song. Hell, country doesn't even play Willie's old songs. I don't think Willie cares. This is another way to give the Nashville establishment the finger.

The Pansy Division's version can be heard at their website.

Scott "No Comment" McClellan

The Daily Show has a quiz about what Scott McClellan is not commenting on.

Cue Video

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Best First Paragraph of the Day

You can't make this shit up.

The Energy Department said it has come up with $5 million to immediately restore jobs cut at a renewable energy laboratory President George W. Bush will visit on Tuesday, avoiding a potentially embarrassing moment as the president promotes his energy plan.

Let's not forget the Hurricane Katrina Photo Op?

Refugee Drive

This is a good story about helping needy refugees.

The giving spirit emphasized during the holiday season is over. So is the one-day celebration of love. However, this does not hinder the International Studies program from continuing to give to those in need.

Under the direction of program assistant Joan Newcomb, International Studies set aside two weeks – Feb. 6 to last Friday – for students to donate school, household and hygiene items that will aid the Tampa area refugee population.

Nearly 30 boxes and bags with items ranging from backpacks to zip-lock bags were donated as of Friday

On the page I linked, there is contact information if you wish to donate. I won't place it here because the phone number will get Googled.

Over A Barrel In Iraq

Cenk Uygur points out the latest corner the Bush administration have painted themselves into.

Now, the question of Iraq is far more difficult. Ambassador Khalilzad is threatening to take away funding from the Shiite led government because they are too sectarian. He’s right. They are committing atrocities against the Sunnis and deepening the sectarian conflict in Iraq. If the Iraqi government blindly supports one sect over another, it will inevitably lead to a civil war.

But he is also wrong. If we cut off funding to the Shiite government in Iraq, we will be in the preposterous situation of training an army we refuse to fund. We will have lost the support of the Shiites. We are already in a war against the Sunnis. We will be stuck in no man’s land.

I don’t like to just criticize. I prefer to at least attempt offering constructive suggestions (see above). But I have to admit the Bush administration has me stumped on this one. We have put ourselves into such an untenable situation, I am not sure there’s any effective answer.

How the neoconservatives thought Iraq was going to be different.

My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.

Dick Cheney

As I told the President on January 10th, I think they will be greeted with sweets and flowers in the first months and simply have very, very little doubts that that is the case.

Kanan Makiya

One of the brains behind the Iraq war was Richard Perle. He wanted to invade with only 40,000 troops. Perle also pushed (the hysterically codenamed) Curve Ball as a vital source of intelligance on the debunked mobile weapons labs. Curve Ball showed up for his only meeting with a U.S. official hungover. Perle was outraged that no one in the CIA would take his defectors seriously.

The hostility by the hard-liners against what they see as the CIA's myopia on Iraq at least matches any of those earlier fights. Perle, who said recently that the CIA's analysis of Iraq "isn't worth the paper it's written on," adds that the CIA is afraid of rocking the ark in the Middle East. "The CIA is status-quo oriented," he told me. "They don't want to take risks. They don't like the INC because they only like to work with people they can control."

Like any great singer, Perle could change his tune. A good example is his testimony to the House Committee on Armed Services in 2005.

The third lesson is, by now, generally accepted: our intelligence is sometimes, dangerously inadequate. That was certainly the case as we went into Iraq. The appalling incompetence at the CIA and elsewhere in the intelligence community left us largely ignorant of such basic information as the state of Iraq's infrastructure (and therefore the pace at which basic services could be established when the fighting ceased) and the size, organization and tactics of elements of Saddam's regime, which later emerged as the core of the insurgency. There is reason to believe that we were sucked into an ill conceived initial attack aimed at Saddam himself by double agents planted by the regime. And as we now know the estimates of Saddam's stockpile of weapons of mass destruction was substantially wrong.

The question is how is the administration going to stop a civil war between the Shiites and Sunnis? The National Intelligence Estimate stated the possibility of civil war, back in 2004. The administration downplayed the report. It might be because no one by the name of Curve Ball wrote it.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Go Fuck Yourself (Country Style)

Listen to this heartwarming performance of Dick Cheney at Folsom Prison.

Hat tip to Bitch Ph.D.

Swift Boat Funder For Tom Delay

Bob Perry is funding the pro-Tom Delay ad running in Houston. The ad states the billionaire George Soros is behind Delay attacks. Acoording to Factcheck.org, Soros gave money to Campaign For America’s Future CC-Fund and Public Campaign Action Fund in 2004. Both groups produced the anti-Delay ad this year.

What is interesting is who is paying for the pro-Delay ad.

However, as the Houston Chronicle was first to report over the weekend, we were able to confirm that the ad is being financed by a $200,000 donation from Houston homebuilder Bob Perry. As we reported in 2004, Perry was the main source of initial funding for Swift Boat Veterans for Truth at the time they launched their attack on the Vietnam War record of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.

Perry gave $100,000 of the first $158,750 received by the Swift Boat group, according to its first disclosure report. Perry is probably the biggest campaign donor in Texas. He and his wife Doylene gave more than $3 million to Texas Republicans during the 2002 elections and more than $2 million during the 2004 elections, according to a database maintained by the Institute on Money in StatePolitics.

Bob Perry has donated $1,764,250 to Texas Republicans and $239,500 to state Democrats.

Tom Feeney Spotlight

That's me in the corner
That's me in the spotlight
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you
And I don't know if I can do it
Oh no I've said too much
I haven't said enough

Loosing My Religion by REM

The spotlight shines brighter on Tom Feeney these day.

He indicated a $2,000 trip for him and his wife to West Palm Beach in 2003 was paid for by a lobbying firm - even though that is forbidden by House rules.

More than a year later, after being questioned by reporters, he filed updated records indicating that the conservative Center for the Study of Popular Culture paid for the trip.

He went on a trip to Asia in 2003 that was paid for by a charity registered as a foreign agent, which is against House rules. The Korea-U.S. Exchange Council has said its status may have been a mistake and that lawmakers had been told the trip was proper.

He received $5,000 from former Rep. "Duke" Cunningham's PAC before Cunningham resigned last year amid a bribery scandal.

"My concern about him is that he seems to view the rules are optional," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, a group that has primarily criticized Republicans. "Rules are there for a reason."

In September, Feeney was named one of "the 13 most corrupt members of Congress" by Sloan's group. The Congressional Accountability Project demanded that the House ethics panel investigate Feeney and others for their ties to Abramoff.

Freak Scene

Here is a blast from indie rock's past.

Dinosaur Jr - Freak Scene mp3

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Kathy Caster

I am trying to focus more on Florida and Tampa politics. My previous blog was mostly national politics. I plan to keep writing about those issues. Next year will be major political races across Florida. A candidate I'm excited about is
Kathy Castor. She has been the only person on the Hillsborough County Commission who hasn't behaved like a talk radio host. Mike at Florida News posts questions he asked during an online chat. I got the email, but read it after the chat took place.

Castor was the only candidate who stood up against the Commission's hateful ban against Gay Pride Month.

"I would hope this board would not use this dais to promote discrimination," Castor said. "I think it would be a terrible thing to put something like this on the agenda."

It was terrible and put on the aganda. Castor was the only Commissioner to vote against it. The Tampa City Council (different than the Commission) approved Gay Pride and no controversy happened.

Castor polling numbers look promising. Her people might be inflating the numbers to the St Petersburg Times.

WMNF has a transcript of candidates who are running for District 11. This is one of the few strong Democratic districts (thanks to rigging) in Florida. See for yourself

Hot In the Press Gaggle

Scott McClellan's boss may not believe in global warning. Scotty does know that White House gaggles are getting hotter. The press secretary wasn't able to keep the press filter at bay with his usual raw charisma and manly sex appeal. Let's see what happened.

MR. MCCLELLAN: What's your question?

Q There's a story --

MR. MCCLELLAN: I think what I can point to -- I'm not going to get into talking about private meetings he's had, but look at the initiatives we've outlined, look at the leadership the President is providing to address the challenges of climate change. It is an issue that we take seriously, and that's why we've been investing billions in research and development to better understand the science of climate change. That's why we've initiated partnerships, like the Asia Pacific Partnership, to address these issues, as well.

Q But Michael Crichton as an expert or a novelist the President enjoys reading?

MR. MCCLELLAN: The President read his book, and he was glad to have the opportunity to visit with him.

Q -- believes as expert opinion?

MR. MCCLELLAN: I think you should look at what we outlined, Jessica. If you want to ask the President about it, you are -- you're welcome to do that at some point. But I'm not going to get into talking about private meetings that he has.

Bush's meeting with the man who wrote Westworld is so important that McClellan can't share it with the American public. Conservatives will applaud Scotty's nonanswer. The fact is if the fourth estate can't get information from the White House press secretary then voters can not make informed opinions about policy. That is exactly what McClellan and his employers want. The sad fact is they don't realize (or care to) that they work for the people of the United States.

Jamal Kiyemba and Guantanamo Bay

Jamal "Tony" Kiyemba lived in Britain since he was a boy. He is not allowed to re-enter the country. The reason stated is that he is a risk to national security. If that truly was the case then why was he released from Guantanamo Bay?

Kiyemba states that he was repeated tortured. The recently released pictures of Abu Ghraib make Kiyemba's accusations easier to believe.

There, he claims, he was subjected to systematic torture. He told his lawyer that he would be "hung on the door for two hours and then allowed to sit for half an hour but never allowed to sleep. This would go on for 48 hours in a row".

After this, he claims, he would be taken for interrogation for two hours at a time. "I had to kneel on the cold concrete throughout the interrogations with my cuffed hands above my head," he said. "The only way out, I was told, was to confess. I heard and saw other torture - banging, screaming, cries, barking dogs and a dead guy who had tried to escape. One of the MPs [military police] said: 'Who's next?' So I confessed to be left alone."

That was all before he got to Guantanamo Bay.

In October 2002 Kiyemba was transferred to Guantanamo Bay. He recalls how on the journey he was forced to wear "the tightest cuffs to date, with chains, taped goggles, ear muffs, nose masks and taped gloves to prevent finger movement". He added: "Any movement meant you got hit by the nearest soldier."

Kiyemba also had pepper spray rubbed in his eyes. Sleep deprivation was also used. The technique had become so controversal that Lt. Gen. Ricardo "Dirty" Sanchez had to publicly say that the practice would no longer be used in Iraq. Donald Rumsfeld has repeatedly claimed that prisoners are treated according to the Geneva Convention. That is an interesting comment from a man who approved torture tactics. Rumsfeld also felt that prisoners should be made to stand more. "Howerver, I stand for 8-10 hours a day," Rumsfeld wrote on a memo. "Why is standing limited to 4 hours?"

Try standing without sleep for 48 hours, Mr. Secretary.

Drawn Blog

There is a really cool collaborative blog for artists called Drawn. Go check it out.

Hat tip to Zencomix


America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world.

George W. Bush

Perhaps this is what the President means.

Perhaps the Vice-President will now have to go cold turkey since the Washington Post obtained documents confirming meetings with Exxon Mobil Corp, Conoco, Shell Oil Co and BP America Inc. Cheney was so intent on keeping his addiction secret that he used executive privilege.

This site has some useful tips on how to spot signs of addiction.

Often, however, an addict will take great steps to hide their habit from others.

Even if you know someone has an addiction problem, you can't control their habit or stop them unless they want your help.

An addict has to recognise s/he has a problem before you can take steps to get them over it.

Until then, all you can do is make them aware that you're prepared to offer your support when they're ready.

The National Resource Defense Council offered a 7 step program for oil addicts

1. Raise fuel economy standards to 40 mpg by 2012 and 55 mpg by 2020.
Congress should raise fuel economy standards, starting with closing the sport utility vehicle loophole by holding SUVs and minivans to the same fuel economy standards as cars. Congress should then boost fuel economy standards for the combined car and light truck fleet in regular steps every few years, reaching 40 miles per gallon by 2012 and 55 mpg by 2020.

2. Require fuel-efficient replacement tires by 2002.
Congress should require tire manufacturers to sell replacement tires that are at least as fuel-efficient as original equipment tires by 2002.

3. Enact tax incentives for hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles.
Congress should enact tax incentives for advanced vehicle technologies, including alternative fuel vehicles, hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles -- technologies that would enable the nation's fleet to meet a 55-mpg standard in 2020.

4. Reinvest in public transit and inter-city railroads.
Congress should offer states and cities more help to meet the surging demand for public transportation. Funding backlogged bus and rail transit projects, and rebuilding inter-city rail systems, would reduce U.S. oil dependence, reduce traffic congestion, and clean the air.

5. Promote "smart growth."
Congress should reform federal transportation, housing, tax and land management policies to support, rather than undermine, state and local "smart growth" initiatives.

6. Make fuel from farm wastes.
Congress should fund accelerated construction of commercial-scale pilot plants for making ethanol motor fuel from agricultural wastes. Tapping agricultural wastes and other renewable feedstocks to produce fuel has tremendous potential to reduce U.S. oil dependence.

7. Launch an "Apollo Project" for fuel cells and hydrogen fuel.
Congress should set a goal of converting America's passenger transportation to fuel cell vehicles running on hydrogen, the ultimate "green" energy source whose only byproduct is water. Fuel cells would enable new vehicles to reach an average fuel economy equivalent of about 72 mpg by 2030 -- three times today's fleet average.

Make sure George W. Bush and Dick Cheney get help before it's too late.

Update: the President is trying to kick by using another drug. First it was coal. Now it's nuclear power. This is a man crying out for help. Someone give him a hug.

Russ points out that Bush's addiction has grown so bad that he needs France to help him get his fix.

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Republican kids don't have a place to hangout now that Jack Abramoff's restaurant Signatures closed.

“It doesn’t seem as if GOPers have latched on to a new hangout yet,” one Republican press secretary said. “Maybe we will have to try to take over traditional Dem stronghold Stetsons. I wonder how long it would take for them to notice that their crowd became clean-shaven and well-dressed. If that doesn’t work, Benihana’s in Georgetown is the likely backup.”

If the Abramoff scandal was really bipartisan then why do only Republicans frequent his restaurant? The Washington media won't cover that since the Inside Baseball facts would show how out of touch the Beltway is with the rest of America.

Hat tip to Jesse.

Thomas Jefferson on Science

"[I have] a conviction that science is important to the preservation of our republican government, and that it is also essential to its protection against foreign power."

Thomas Jefferson

Too bad the Bush administration feel differently.

A Time magazine cover story today shines a spotlight on Bush's relationship of convenience with science. Mark Thompson and Karen Tumulty write that "growing numbers of researchers, both in and out of government, say their findings -- on pollution, climate change, reproductive health, stem-cell research and other areas in which science often finds itself at odds with religious, ideological or corporate interests -- are being discounted, distorted or quashed by Bush Administration appointees.

Check out the Union of Concerned Scientists. Major players in the science community are speaking out against the Bush administration.

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Why Mommy Is A Democrat

Wingnuts from Wizbang to (surprise) Free Republic say the book Why Mommy Is A Democrat is hysterical. Why then do people who find something humorous say the cruelest things?


I notice the elephant is about to run down the homeless guy.
Wonder how many raging elephants are roaming the streets of our major cities.


Dhimmicrats make sure that all children have to go to school so that teachers can rape them and bullies can murder them, just like Mommy does.


And does anyone else find it interesting that Momma Squirrel is apparently a single mother?


Because mommy is a Democrat, her child probably doesn't even exist to read the book. She probably had him/her aborted.


Democrats hide their stash on the children, just like their crack-whore Mommy does. (So that big bad elephant cop won't haul her off to jail again?)


Democrat has become the religion of choice for these people. It's not just a political party, but a dogma.

I enjoy politically incorrect humor just ass much as the next guy. I even find Dennis Miller funny. What I quoted above is not humor. It is hate speech. These same people who post anonymously on the internet would not dare talk this way publicly amongst strangers.

"But just because Ann Coulter should be allowed, by law, to say whatever she wants to whichever audience chooses to invite her," wrote Wizbang blogger Jeff Harrell. "So also should she be held responsible for saying things that do more harm than good." Harrell should read the comments in Wizbang before he condems another conservative for an ethic slur he agrees with. Harrell is more concerned with Coulter hurting business than preaching hate.

There are many reasons why Mommy could want to be a Democrat. It is strange that Republicans who love fetuses fail to adopt. John McCain adopted a girl from Bangladesh. The Senator was attacked for his act of kindness.

A lot of phone calls were made by people who said we should be very ashamed about her, about the color of her skin. Thousands and thousands of calls from people to voters saying "You know the McCains have a black baby" I believe that there is a special place in hell for people like those.

Journalist John Sugg adopted five siblings.

While going through the adoption process, I discovered an interesting fact. Rich folks don't often adopt poor kids. There are exceptions - we met a Tampa physician during our adoption process, and later I befriended a Florida politician who had to lie about sexual orientation in order to rescue a child from DCF's clutches.

In mandatory pre-adoption classes, my wife and I found ourselves in the sometimes awkward status of being the only would-be parents who were sorta upper middle class. As became clear, when the wealthy adopt, they seek out infants from private agencies - or the really trendy spend enough money to support a herd of foster children by going to places such as China in search of cute toddlers.

The Republican-controlled Congress cut 12.7 billion to student loans. Most mothers would tell you they want their tykes to get a college degree. Kansas State sophomore Tiffany Cooper asked the President about the cuts. Bush said, "We are not cutting money out of it." Think Progress has a video of Bush asking his aide for answers. That's not the kind of response that makes Mommy happy.

Mommy would tell you that Democrats aren't about dogma. Only one party pushes that the big bang is a theory. Only one party has leader who thinks intelligent design should be taught as science.

Best of all: Democrats won the female vote in 2000 and 2004. Mommy sure does like the Donkey Party. No matter what wingnuts say, women do vote Democrats.

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Going To Town

This is an oldie, but I have always loved this song.

Afghan Whigs: Going To Town mp3.


Saturday, February 18, 2006

Straight Shooters

Tennessee Guerilla Women has a Maureen Dowd op-ed and it's a killer.

By the way, the New York Times Select sucks ass.


Friday, February 17, 2006

He's Brown, Not Black

Hey, who knew that Sherrod Brown was black.


Senate Ducks Wiretap Controversy

The Senate Intelligence Committee will not investigate the warrantless NSA wiretaps. This just proves that Pat Roberts never fails to disappoint. Robert told the Washington Post, "The administration is now committed to legislation and has agreed to brief more intelligence committee members on the nature of the surveillance program. The details of this agreement will take some time to work out." Roberts fails to go into the details of what those details are.

I will give some details. The Huffington Post reports on rumors that Karl Rove threatened to black ball any Republican Senator who votes to curtail the President's power to illegally wiretap. Sen. John D. Rockefeller said, "It is more than apparent to me that the White House has applied heavy pressure in recent days, in recent weeks, to prevent the committee from doing its job." Rockefeller is speaking of Dick Cheney's behind closed door meetings with Republican Congress members.

A Zogby poll finds that 52% of Americans favor impeaching the President over the illegal wiretaps. An Ipso poll is 50% think the wiretaps are illegal to 48% believing they're just. 2% are undecided. Given time, the polls will creep towards the White House's disadvantage. This administration is fresh out of political capital.

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Tampa Police Department Sexual Harassment

There is a thirteen page report on why Officer Martha Gearity transferred out of a TPD anti-crime street unit.

The behavior according to the investigation includes constant flagellation, belching and excessive sexual joking by male officers. It says quote "officer Gearity said that they talked about anal sex, they watched pornographic movies at work, talked about their sex lives in the open, made reference to her menstruation, joked about having homosexual relations with one another in graphic detail and took pictures of a penis with a camera phone."

Those involved include Officer Gregory Cotner, Officer David Duncan, Officer Ryan Sigler, and their superiors Corporal David Watt and Sergeant Gene Strickland.

Laura McElroy, Tampa Police Department said, "We immediately disbanded the members of this squad and then launched our own investigation and then we learned about the sexually charged and offensive environment of the squad." The St. Petersburg Times reports that the investigation proved the allegation to be true.

Here is an example of how stupid these officers were.

They "consistently" passed gas, burped and made sexual jokes, frequently over the police radio system. Officer Peter Charbonneau said it sometimes prevented other officers from speaking to each other, and he worried for officer safety "because of all the fooling around."

The three officers frequently talked about their sex lives and joked about having homosexual relations with each other.

In front of employees at a Race Trac on 50th Street, the officers likened Gearity's bowel movements to an atom bomb. They nicknamed her "Hiroshima." On one occasion, they laughed at her as she went to the restroom and asked her if she was menstruating.

I also wonder about guys who make homophobic to each other and then share a picture of a penis. These are sexually confused boys.

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

New Abu Ghraib Photos

You know, if you look at -- if you, really, if you look at these pictures, I mean, I don't know if it's just me, but it looks just like anything you'd see Madonna, or Britney Spears do on stage. Maybe I'm -- yeah. And get an NEA grant for something like this. I mean, this is something that you can see on stage at Lincoln Center from an NEA grant, maybe on Sex in the City -- the movie. I mean, I don't -- it's just me.

Rush Limbaugh

Salon and SBS Dateline has posted new Abu Ghraib photos that can be seen here and here. Disgusting stuff.

Hat tip to David Scott Anderson.

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Dick Cheney Poll

MSNBC has a Dick Cheney poll running. Right now 78% care about the hunting accident.


Why Katherine Harris Is Not A Serious Candidate

Mike at Florida News writes:

Congresswoman Katherine Harris: Harris says Nelson (ignoring Martinez) has "come up with a worse solution that keeps Congress in charge."

Multiple newspapers have already acknowledged that the Nelson-Martinez plan, which would make a permanent ban, best protects Florida's coast. It's a shame Harris cares more about politics than she cares about doing something for Florida.

Jeb Bush lost the first time he ran for Governor. A big reason was his opponent was Lawton Chiles. The second major reason was his pro-offshore drilling platform. Jeb didn't win many voters from the left or middle because of that. Jeb changed his tuned when he ran against Buddy MacKay.

Harris has always struck me as politically tone deaf. Floridian voters don't want offshore drilling. Republicans holding state won't touch this. The woman is not even smart enough to lie about her support for oil expansion in the Gulf. She just handed Nelson a hot button issue to use against her.

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Necessary and Proper Clause

Here is the U. S. Department of Justice's letter about the President authorizing the NSA warrantless wiretaps to members of congress.

The President's constitutional authority to direct the NSA to conduct the activities he described is supplemented by statutory authority under the AUMF. The AUMF authorizes the President "to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, ... in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States." § 2(a). The AUMF clearly contemplates action within the United States, see also id. pmbl. (the attacks of September 11 "render it both necessary and appropriate that the United States exercise its rights to self-defense and to protect United States citizens both at home and abroad"). The AUMF cannot be read as limited to authorizing the use of force against Afghanistan, as some have argued. Indeed, those who directly "committed" the attacks of September 11 resided in the United States for months before those attacks. The reality of the September 11 plot demonstrates that the authorization of force covers activities both on foreign soil and in America.

Apparently, no member of DoJ has heard of the Necessary and Proper Clause.

To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

The President can not disobey the law the suit his whims. Cogress decides what the executive powers through legislation. George Will explains.

Besides, terrorism is not the only new danger of this era. Another is the administration's argument that because the president is commander in chief, he is the "sole organ for the nation in foreign affairs." That non sequitur is refuted by the Constitution's plain language, which empowers Congress to ratify treaties, declare war, fund and regulate military forces, and make laws "necessary and proper" for the execution of all presidential powers . Those powers do not include deciding that a law -- FISA, for example -- is somehow exempted from the presidential duty to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed."

The reason the White House doesn't want to go through the FISA warrant process is because they have been spying on political opponents.

Rich Lowry of the National Review wrote a comedy masterpiece on the NSA wiretaps.

The president has the authority under Article II of the Constitution to defend the United States. If he can bomb the nation's enemies overseas without a court's approval, he certainly can listen to their conversations.

Rich, Congress has to make both acts legal. There are public defenders who barely got through law school who have better legal minds. Has this man ever heard of the War Powers Resolution?

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Mister Roberts

Here is some good news.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal judge ordered the Bush administration Thursday to release documents about its warrantless surveillance program or spell out what it is withholding, a setback to efforts to keep the program under wraps.

The bad news is it looks like Senator Pat Roberts is going to provide cover for the anministration. I give some examples.

Roberts on the Valerie Plame leak.

ROBERTS: There's a five-year period, OK? And whether or not that five-year period had been reached or not is still questionable. And I must say from a common sense standpoint, driving back and forth to work to the CIA headquarters, I don't know if that really qualifies as being, you know, covert.

That is quite a statement from the Senate Intelligence Chairman. Is Roberts saying that people who work undercover for the CIA should never report to the CIA offices? Using an automobile to go "back and forth" from the same office disqualifies an operative of covert status. How?

Raw Story has a long list of instances where Roberts carried water for the administration.

Roberts statements about a Senate investigation on warrantless wiretaps.

"I believe that such an investigation at this point ... would be detrimental to this highly classified program and efforts to reach some accommodation with the administration," Roberts said.

I can't say I'm surprised.

Update: Spokewoman Sarah Little on Pat Roberts views of the legality of the NSA program.

The Bush administration found a key ally on Capitol Hill Monday as it broadened its aggressive defense of a recently revealed domestic spying program that used warrantless surveillance.

Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, “believes the program is consistent with U.S. law and the Constitution,” Sarah Little, Roberts’ spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement.

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Rummy Has A Gmail Account

Wonkette and Donkey Rising have reported someone is pretending to be Donald Rumsfeld and is sending out email with a Gmail account. So I shot off an email.

I am a blogger who has discovered that you have a following of college girls who think you are a love stud. How do you feel about being a hunk of burning Rummy? Check out this site if you don't believe me.

The email address is rumsfeldenator@gmail.com. I bet this guy's box is slammed.

Related post I wrote awhile ago at Rox Populi.


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Dick Cheney Is All Heart

The Vice-President's lack of empathy for the man he just shot is astounding.

Question: And what did you do then? Did you get up and did you go with him, or did you go to the hospital?

Cheney: No, I had -- I told my physician's assistant to go with him, but the ambulance is crowded and they didn't need another body in there. And so we loaded up and went back to ranch headquarters, basically. By then, it's about 7:00 p.m. at night. And Harry

Jesus. Cheney shot the man and didn't even go to the hospital with him.

Bloggers are jumping on Cheney's "I had a beer at lunch" comment. My friend Ben and I were thinking that this hunting party was probably lit. Katherine Armstrong caved in and admitted, "the vice president fixed himself a cocktail back at the house."

Jane Hamsher links to this quote by police officer Michael Embley.

One lie I can always spot is "two beers." When I hear that from a driver that I've stopped for erratic driving, then I know that I've hit the jackpot. I don't know why 90% of drunk drivers say they've had two beers. It's like there is some sort of genetic code that dictates this answer. They could say they've had two glasses of wine or one martini but they rarely do. I don't mind though because it just makes my job easier.


Let's Get It On


SPOTSYLVANIA, Va. -- Undercover sex is getting the OK from a Virginia sheriff.

Spotsylvania County Sheriff Howard Smith said he stands by the practice of allowing detectives to receive sexual services in the course of their investigations so they can catch suspects in the act.

Court documents show that four times last month, county detectives allowed women at a massage parlor to perform sex acts on them. In one case, a lawman left a $350 tip. Smith acknowledged the practice is not new.

A "$350 tip" is standard practice. Wow. I imagine that STDs are also a part of standard practice.

Dean On Hackett

I'm not sure I buy this.

Dean told a student audience in Miami that "some skulduggery in Washington" improperly led to Hackett's decision to end his bid. And he said Democrats will have a tough time winning if similar things happen to others.

Hackett was vying with Ohio congressman Sherrod Brown for the Democratic nomination. He said that Hackett was a "great candidate," and that a primary in Ohio wouldn't have hurt the party. Hackett says he's ending his eleven-month political career.

Howard Dean is the Chairman for the Democratic National Committee. He either has no say in his party or was unsupportive of Hackett's Senate bid. It's a little late to be in Hackett's corner.

Dan Drezner makes the point that "this is a pretty big slap in the face to the argument that the Democratic Party is being held hostage by its netroots base."

Kos explains what went on behind the scenes.

To make something clear, Hackett is complaining about betrayal. Yet Rahm was trying to get him to become one of his candidates. In other words, Rahm was recruiting him. That's not a bad thing. That's a flattering thing.

To be clear -- Hackett didn't stand a chance. He had a tenth of Brown's money, and that was before party people allegedly tried to stop Hackett's donors from giving. His field operation in the special election was literally put together and implemented by Dan Lucas. Who is Dan Lucas? Sherrod Brown's campaign manager. Hackett's netroots effort in the special election was put together by Tim Tagaris. And while Tim is now at the DNC, he helped put together Brown's netroots operation.

So it was Brown's people who helped put together the nuts and bolts of Hackett's special election campaign, and they were now working for their boss -- Sherrod Brown.

I sense that Republicans could use Hackett's dropping out against Brown. I can already hear the chants of Democratics backstabbing an Iraq war vet. My advice is that once Hackett cools down the Dems should have Hackett stump for Brown. In return, the Dems will throw lots of money to Hackett for his next campaign. I know that sounds good in theory. The problem is will Hackett go along with the game plan.

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FUBAR is putting it knidly.


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

But Doggone It, the New York Times Columnist Love Paint Thinner

Greg Mitchell has an op-ed ripping into New York Times columnist John Tierney. He pulls a piece of Tierney's punditry that is truly priceless.

“When something finally comes along that's cheaper and more reliable than oil, no national energy plan will be necessary. Capitalists will be ready to sell it to eager American drivers. For now, the best strategy is to buy gasoline and stop worrying that it's sinful or dangerous.

“When you hear politicians calling you an addict and warning that you'll be cut off, try my plan for energy independence…. After you fill up your tank, twist the rear-view mirror so you can gaze at yourself. Repeat these words: ‘I'm good enough, I'm rich enough, and doggone it, people in the Middle East like my money.’"

When conservatives resort to quoting Stuart Smalley then you know we have an energy crisis.

The obvious problem is that Tierney refuses to criticize Republicans. For all of George Will's and Andrew Sullivan's faults, they can drop the hammer on a Trent Lott. Tierney is incapable of such a task.

In Tierney's defense, he still hasn't written anything as nutty as Thomas Friedman's brain fart idea for Osama bin Laden scholarships.

Maybe we could even call them the "Bin Laden Scholars." I sort of like the idea of bin Laden sitting in a dark cave somewhere, composing his latest nutty video message, and suddenly learning that all the reward money we were devoting to killing him will go instead to killing his ideas - and to bringing young Arabs and Muslims closer to America rather than pushing them farther away.

There isn't one politician in this country who would advocate for "Bin Laden Scholarship."

The funniest thing is people are paying $50 dollars a year for this punditry.

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