Saturday, September 30, 2006

St. Petersburg Times Blows It On Mark Foley

Scott Montgomery's response on the St. Petersburg Times blog The Buzz is rather hard to swallow. I will run through it and tell you what problems I have with it.

In November of last year, we were given copies of an email exchange Foley had with a former page from Louisiana. Other news organizations later got them,too. The conversation in those emails was friendly chit-chat. Foley asked the boy about how he had come through Hurricane Katrina and about the boy's upcoming birthday. In one of those emails, Foley casually asked the teen to send him a "pic" of himself. Also among those emails was the page's exchange with a congressional staffer in the office of Rep. Alexander, who had been the teen's sponsor in the page program. The teen shared his exchange he'd had with Foley and asked the staffer if she thought Foley was out of bounds.

That should have raised a red flag right away. The fact that the boy would even bring up the issue says much.

There was nothing overtly sexual in the emails, but we assigned two reporters to find out more.

Then why would Foley ask for a picture? Why is a busy member of Congress even taking the time out to play email tag?

Many other people have now read the emails and found them "overtly sexual." Obviously, the boy did. The Times simply blew off the story.

We found the Louisiana page and talked with him. He told us Foley's request for a photo made him uncomfortable so he never responded, but both he and his parents made clear we could not use his name if we wrote a story.

The boy stating that the email bothered him is another red flag. Saying that the Times could not use the boy's name doesn't wash. The names of minors are not published in potential sex crimes. Montgomery has been in journalism enough to know this. That didn't stop the Times constant Debra Lafave coverage.

The comments in The Buzz punches holes into Montgomery reasoning.

As we said in today's paper, our policy is that we don't make accusations against people using unnamed sources."


If he confirmed they were real, then you would have a named source: Mark Foley. Two reporters weren't able to figure this out?

Why, indeed. It was no secret that Foley has lied about his sexuality. Being gay is not a crime. Lying about being gay is a good reason to doubt the man's credibility. Foley voted against gay adoption in Washington DC and the anti-gay marriage amendment. That is unheard of in Florida Republican circles. I heard someone say to me yesterday that Foley is a sexual predator because he's gay. No, it's because he's a seriously fucked up human being.

Friday, September 29, 2006

St. Petersburg Times Sat On Mark Foley Story

This gets more interesting.

Efforts to reach the boy were unsuccessful, but he told the St. Petersburg Times last November, ''I thought it was very inappropriate. After the one about the picture, I decided to stop e-mailing him back.'' The Times didn't publish the comments until Friday.

The St. Petersburg Times knew about these allegation for almost a year and buried it. Time for me to play email tag with the Times.

Update: I got a response from the Times.

Adam sent me a copy of your email seeking comment. Here's what I can tell you. As a matter of policy, the St. Petersburg Times doesn't publish stories that make accusations based upon sources we can't name. At the time that we first looked into this, the information we had simply didn't meet our standard. But when Tim Mahoney went on the record on the matter, we felt we should tell readers what we knew.

Scott Montgomery
Government & Politics Editor
St. Petersburg Time

Write A Caption: Macaca Edition

George Allen For President

Mark Foley Resigns

Looks like the pressure from the email controversy got to be too much. Mark Foley announces his resignation from Congress.

Washington --Congressman Mark Foley (FL-16) this afternoon issued the following statement:

"Today I have delivered a letter to the Speaker of the House informing him of my decision to resign from the U.S. House of Representatives, effective today. I thank the people of Florida's 16th Congressional District for giving me the opportunity to serve them for the last twelve years; it has been an honor.

"I am deeply sorry and I apologize for letting down my family and the people of Florida I have had the privilege to represent."

I'm wondering if Foley is worried about problems with law enforcement. Resigning helps the Republican Party, but makes him look guilty. I hope it's not true. I would feel a lot better knowing that child predators aren't in Congress.

Update: From CNN.

According to GOP sources, Foley is concerned there may be other potential politically damaging e-mails or information out there and has concluded it's best not to run again for office.

What a mess.

Update: Joe Negron announced run in Foley's place.

12 Monkeys Vote For Torture

It seems Republican Lincoln Chafee has more political courage than 12 Democrat Senators who voted to give President Bush the right to torture.

Carper (Del.), Johnson (S.D.), Landrieu (La.), Lautenberg (N.J.), Lieberman (Conn.), Menendez (N.J), Nelson (Fla.), Nelson (Neb.), Pryor (Ark.), Rockefeller (W. Va.), Salazar (Co.), Stabenow (Mich.).

Rockafeller was against the bill and voted for it anyway. Florida Senator Bill Nelson is running against Katherine Harris and is still afraid to take a stand. These wonderful Democrat listen to highly paid consultants who tell them the best thing to do is follow the footsteps of a President with a 35 percent approval rating. It worked so well for Lieberman in the Democratic primary. Nelson was considered the Senator most likely to lose his seat. Until Harris entered the race.

This is why Democrats lose elections. They took a stand with Social Security and hammered Bush. The torture bill could have been defeated if 43 Democratic Senators (I'm not holding out hope for Lieberman) held the line. Jim Jeffords and Lincoln Chafee make 45. Dems could have pulled McCain, Graham and Warner. Now we have 48 votes. It's possible to pull three more.

Democrats are afraid of giving the national security advantage to Bush. So they in turn give him the national security advantage. Do they actually think that Bush and Rove won't call them cut and runners - no matter how they vote? If they do then they are delussional. Bush's policies are failing in Iraq and Afghanistan. The President is losing support with the public on terrorism. And these clowns are still afraid to take on a man with the worst approval ratings since Nixon? Are they waiting for Bush to score a zero percent approval rating? These Senators may not be in office that long.

I'm embarrassed that Bill Nelson is my Senator. He had a 49 percent approval rating before the Harris meltdown. His waffling on Terri Schiavo did nothing to help him. Russ Feingold has repeatedly pointed out that Republicans are fearful when Democrats take a stand. Feingold won his Wisconsin Senate race by 12 percent in 2004. Bush won the state by 2 percent. Defying Bush actually helps candidates get re-elected. That's a lesson that 12 very sorry Senators will never understand.

US Troops Abandon Ambushed Truck

Members Virginia National Guard were escorting a convey of trucks through insurgent territory. Four trucks were hit and were unable to move. The National Guard escort left the truckers. Two Halburton contractors were killed exucution-style. Driver Preston Wheeler was shot twice. He was later fired for his work-related injury.

He says when he was hired by Halliburton he was promised the trucks would be equipped with bullet proof glass and armed guards every third truck.

"That's a lie, it's a gimmick, a sales pitch," Wheeler said.

FDOT Buy Land From St. Joe

The St. Petersburg Times, the Palm Beach Post, Miami Herald and the Tallahassee Democrat have all come out with editorials denouncing the the Florida Department of Transportation buying $46 million worth of land from St. Joe. Armando Codina owns 50 percent of the company. He gave Jeb his first job in Florida and 40 percent of the profits. That's interesting. Considering, Jeb was known for a lack of success in the private sector.

The FDOT hasn't even appraised the land or figure out where they will put roads, yet. But Jeb's days in Tallahassee are numbered. Coincidence, ofcourse. Readers of this blog know I would never accuse a Republican of doing anything underhanded.

Pushing Rope: the Fair and Balanced Blog

Achieve Florida

Here is the Jim Davis Achieve Florida education plan in all of it's wonkish glory. Here is the part I like.

The testing companies that develop, administer and score the tests need to be held accountable. Yet, the politicians in Tallahassee have not held testing companies accountable. They have also refused to release information about the performance of the testing companies with state contracts. Florida currently spends more than $27 million a year on testing services with CTB/McGraw Hill, who in turn hired scores of unqualified FCAT graders. Florida's taxpayers have a right to know how their money is being spent and to hold these companies accountable too.

Unless you think the FCAT should be graded by janitors and cafeteria workers grading FCAT tests, you should support this plan.

Donate to Jim Davis.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Mark Foley's Emails To Former Teen Intern

Now I don't know if this is overblown or not. This has the potential to be a major controversy for Mark Foley.

In the exchange, Foley asked the boy about weathering Hurricane Katrina and wrote, “send me an email pic of you.” In another email, Foley told the boy he was on a break from Congress and was in Florida. He asked the boy “how old are you now?”

The boy forwarded excerpts from the emails to congressional staffers and said, “Maybe it is just me being paranoid, but seriously. This freaked me out.”

The boy, who is not being identified because of his age, told the St. Petersburg Times in an interview last November, when the Times first learned of the emails, that he cut off correspondence with Foley.

“I thought it was very inappropriate,” the boy told the Times. “After the one about the picture, I decided to stop emailing him back.”

Foley has had an email exchange with another teen office page. The page was surprised that the Congressman contacted him. Foley's people told ABC News that they often asked for photos of interns. That doesn't explain why Foley would need a photo of a former-intern. The St. Petersburg Times reports that thety asked Foley's office about intern hiring practices, a year ago, and photos were never mentioned.

Some excerpts from the email.

glad your home safe and sound...we dont go back into sessionuntil Sept 5,,,,si its a nice long break...I am back in Florida now...its nice here..been raining sounds like you will have some fun over the next few old are you now?...

I am in North Carolina..and its over 100 degrees in New that's really hot...well do you miss DC...Its raining here but 68 degrees so you can argue..did you have fun at your conference....what do you want for your birthday coming up...what stuff do you like to do

how are you weathering the hurricane...are you safe...send me an email pic of you as well....

The teen boy is 16 years-old.

Update: Journalist Bob Norman comes out and states Mark Foley is gay. I asked Norman, in the comments of his blog, what's his sourcing. I'm also concerned that gays will be bashed for Foley's actions. We don't see attractive blonds ridiculed because of Debra Lafave. And they shouldn't be. Whatever Foley's actions are do not represent the gay community.

Update: Here are other posts on the Mark Foley story.

Mark Foley Resigns
St. Petersburg Times Sat On Mark Foley Story
St. Petersburg Times Blows It On Mark Foley
The Tom Reynolds, Dennis Hastert & Mark Foley Connection
FBI Investigating Mark Foley
White House Opposes independent investigation into Foley
Mark Foley in Rehab
More Pages Talk About Foley Emails
Matt Drudge Blames Kids For Foley Troubles
Jeb Bush Letter to Dennis Hastert
Hastert Made Same Mistakes With Foley As He Did With Delay

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Trent Lott: 'They All Look the Same to Me'

Trent Lott must be annoyed that George Allen is getting all the attention for racially insensitive remarks. Lott once again puts his foot in his mouth.

"It's hard for Americans, all of us, including me, to understand what's wrong with these people," he said. "Why do they kill people of other religions because of religion? Why do they hate the Israeli's and despise their right to exist? Why do they hate each other? Why do Sunnis kill Shiites? How do they tell the difference? They all look the same to me."

This is the same Trent Lott who was against integration during his University of Mississippi days.

"Trent was one of the strongest leaders in resisting the integration of the national fraternity in any of the chapters," recalls former CNN President Tom Johnson, then a Sigma Nu member at the University of Georgia.

I don't doubt it.

This is the same Trent Lott who had many kind things to say about the white supremist group the Council of Conservative Citizens.

I'm looking forward to Lott getting another ass kicking from the blogosphere,

Wingnuts Are More Partisan Than Patriotic On 9-11

Pasco Conservative has the amazing ability to blockquote huge amounts of text and not fact-check. He cites a blog post by Cliff Kincaid that leans against Bill Clinton's military action to stop the genocide in Kosovo. Kincaid lays several accusations, but cites and links to no sources. He accuses the Clinton administration of having a pro-Kosovo Liberation Army agenda that helped Osama bin Laden. Wesley Clark testified at the International Criminal Tribunal against Slobodan Milošević.

"And I want to make that very clear for the record. NATO had no relationship with the KLA, period," Clark said. The Clinton administration even listed KLA as a terrorist organization.

Kincaid takes what anti-semite Michael Scheuer has too say too seriously. Classic Scheur quote.

SCHEUER: Well, the clandestine aspect is that, clearly, the ability to influence the Congress — that’s a clandestine activity, a covert activity. You know to some extent, the idea that the Holocaust Museum here in our country is another great ability to somehow make people feel guilty about being the people who did the most to try to end the Holocaust. I find — I just find the whole debate in the United States unbearably restricted with the inability to factually discuss what goes on between our two countries."

Isn't that Holocaust museum such a drag? Much like Pasco Conservative and Kincaid wondering why Clinton made such a big deal about the Kosovo genocide.

Republicans who were gung ho for Iraq were against Kosovo. I'm talking to you Tom Delay and Trent Lott. Governor George W. Bush even got into the act.

Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is.

Perhaps George W. Bush would like to explain what that exit strategy is to those cut and runners.

The 9-11 Commission Report details how Republicans put politics over Osama bin Laden.

The air strikes marked the climax of an intense 48-hour period in which Berger notified congressional leaders, the principals called their foreign counterparts,
and President Clinton flew back from his vacation on Martha’s Vine-yard to address the nation from the Oval Office. The President spoke to the congressional leadership from Air Force One,and he called British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak from the White House.47 House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott initially supported the President.The next month, Gingrich’s office dismissed the cruise missile attacks as “pinpricks.”

At the time, President Clinton was embroiled in the Lewinsky scandal,which continued to consume public attention for the rest of that year and the first months of 1999. As it happened, a popular 1997 movie, Wag the Dog, features a president who fakes a war to distract public attention from a domestic scandal. Some Republicans in Congress raised questions about the timing of the strikes. Berger was particularly rankled by an editorial in the Economist that said that only the future would tell whether the U.S. missile strikes had “created 10,000 new fanatics where there would have been none.”

The point is anyone can write silly posts detailing the faults of the other side on 9-11. I think both presidents could have done more. I'm willing to admit that. If conservatives actually think Bush did a good job, before or after 9-11, on national security matters, then they should ask themselves why are his approval ratings tanking. It's not because of some liberal media conspiracy. People find Bush dishonest (no mission accomplished) and wondering what the point of the Iraq war is now. The average citizen realizes Saddam Hussein is gone and there are no weapons of mass destruction. Americans are wondering why we are still there. Bush refuses to give an honest answer to that question. At least Clinton can admit he didn't do enough to stop Osama bin Laden. A good measure of a man is if he can admit his failures.

The Bush Economy Still Sucks

How about that economy?

The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 2.6% in the second quarter, below the preliminary estimate of 2.9% and down from 5.6% in the first quarter, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

A lagging housing market, indicative of a sluggish economy, suggests the economy will continue to slow the rest of the year. This probably means the Federal Reserve will hold interest rates steady at 5.25%.

The Commerce Department cited downturns in personal consumption expenditures, in equipment and software and in federal government spending, among others, for the deceleration in GDP growth.

Federal spending has increased by a massive 9 percent. The consumer price index for living expensives is up.. Housing sales are also lagging. The only good news is gas prices are taking a dip.

When Bill Clinton left office, the unemployment rate was 4.0 percent. That is a sharp contrast to President Bush's unemployment rate.

2001 4.7
2002 5.8
2003 6.0
2004 5.5
2005 5.1

Here is a chart to show Bush's first-term record on private sector job creation. Compare that to other presidents.

Chart on Bush Administration Job Growth

Nancy Pelosi Calls Out Dennis "Desperate" Hastert

Nancy Pelosi was asked about Dennis Hastert's talking point comments aimed directly at her.

"the same terrorists who plan to harm innocent Americans and their freedom worldwide would be coddled, if we followed the Democrat plan."

This is about not torturing human beings. Not being touchy and feely with the terrorists. Pelosi responded, "I think the Speaker is a desperate man." Pelosi pointed out that her position is the same as Republican Colin Powell.

Republicans realize that Pelosi is likely to become the next Speaker and they are trying to demonize her. Their attacks have more to do with partisan politics than keeping America safe.

This is the same Hastert who changed ethic rules to favor Tom Delay. Hastert had so much compassion for Katrina victims that he was quoted as saying, "It looks like a lot of that place could be bulldozed." He later stated he really didn't mean what he said.

My comments about rebuilding the city were intended to reflect my sincere concern with how the city is rebuilt to ensure the future protection of its citizens and not to suggest that this great and historic city should not be rebuilt.

If that press release doesn't sound desperate then I don't know what does.

Inside Baseball

I have been curious about the inside baseball stuff going on in the Alex Sink/Tom Lee race for Chief Financial Officer. I asked Wayne Garcia in the Blurbex comments. He gave me his best estimation of what is going on.

Alex Sink is doing well and will be formidable for Lee, who some in his own party don't like for a variety of reasons, the most being that he is a maverick and doesn't kowtow to the way things were supposed to be done in Tallahassee. That may be the source of the problem with the homebuilders (don't know for a fact, haven't done any reporting on this).

Lee's problem is he made a lot of legislative enemies back home and they could do him some harm in the election.

Lee's anti-lobbyist bill probably isn't helping matters.

Go make a donation to Alex Sink's campaign and check out the blog. Sink backs expanding KidCare. It's a good idea. According to the American Medical Student Association, there are 10 million uninsured children in America. Leaving them uninsured means these kids will get sick and the medical expensives will cost more down the road. The compassionate conservatives will call it socialized medicine. I call it common sense not to let kids get sick and waste tax dollars on health matters that could have been treated sooner for less money.

Oh Brother Where Art Thou?

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Santorum's Gallows Poll at Pushing Rope

The Heretik at The American Street

Fester at Comments From Left Field

The Failed War at ISOU

Rummy Should Be Worried at Loaded Mouth

A look back at The Onion in January, 2001

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

One Lousy Greeting Card

I see the way to get women to abstain is to make them feel like shit.

Why Donald Rumsfeld Should Be Worried About the NIE

What the Bush administration doesn't want you to see in the National Intelligence Estimate.

The NIE, which is supposed to reflect the consensus judgment of the U.S. intelligence community, states that the global jihadist movement “is spreading and adapting to counter-terrorism efforts”; that the number of jihadists are “increasing in both number and geographic dispersion,” and that the war in Iraq had become “the cause celebre” for jihadis around the world, “breeding a deep resentment of U.S involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement.”

Things have gooten so bad in Iraq that six in ten Iraqis support attacks against U.S. troops. The University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes found that the majority of Sunnis and Shiites feel this way. The only other thing these ethnic factions agree on his attacking each other.

"We have to fix this militia issue. We can't have armed militias competing with Iraq's security forces. But I have to trust the prime minister to decide when it is that we do that," said Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the second-highest-ranking American military official in Baghdad.

There are questions if the Iraqi government is willing or capable of stopping the death squads. These groups were either trained by U.S. Special Forces for the Iraqi government or work for Moktada al-Sadr. The Iraqi government and Sadr have lost control of these militias. The U.S. military has had to crack down on a death squad operating within the Iraqi Interior Ministry. Sadr's followers are growing frustrated and seeking new sponsors.

The Pentagon sought the "Salvador Option" to skirt the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Translation: Donald Rumsfeld had a good idea this was illegal. There were also warnings that the death squads could not be controlled. Obviously, Rumsfeld did not pay attention.

History will show that Rumsfeld help increase the secretarian violence in Iraq.

History will show that Rumsfeld ignored to safety of the Iraq people during the looting.

"Stuff happens," Rumsfeld said.

History will show that Rumsfeld ignored the advise of generals in regard to troop levels.

History will show that Rumsfeld handpicked neoconservatives to cherry pick intelligence on Iraq. This group was known as the Office of Special Plans. Former OSP member Larry Franklin has been pleaded guilty to passing secrets to Israel.

Any screwup in the NIE can be traced to Rumsfeld.

Countdown on Bush Administration's Pre-9/11 Policy

Keith Olbermann takes a hard look at what the Bush administration did to deal with Al-Qaeda between the first 8 months in office. The answer is not much.



Special investigation: Leading up to 9/11

Sept. 27: “Countdown” rises to Bill Clinton’s challenge, and assesses the record of George Bush’s effort against al-Qaida in his first eight months in office.

Katherine Harris On Hardball

Katherine Harris explains to Chris Matthews how she is going to win. She ducks Matthews question of if she supports President Bush's Social Security privatization plan.

Harris doesn't support amnesty on immigration, but wants to manual labor. No hypocrisy there.

Matthews chews Harris out on Iraq. It's hysterical.



Why are Republicans snubbing Harris?

Sept. 27: “Hardball” host Chris Matthews asks Rep. Katherine Harris why she has been snubbed by prominent Republicans in her bid to unseat Democratic Senator Bill Nelson.

Now and Then

"Please do not be misled or [let] someone misconstrue that somehow my support for this campaign is anything less than 100 percent. I am 100 percent behind Jim Davis."

Rod Smith September 27, 2006

"I love Daryl, but Tom Petty was my theme song."

Rod Smith asked if he would attend an appearance of Smith running mate Daryl Jones. Smith went to the Tom Petty concert.

Elvis Costello and the Beastie Boys On SNL

Elvis Costello and the Beastie Boys parody Costello's controversial performance of Radio Radio on Saturday Nite Live.

Condi Rice

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Crooks And Liars with Jack Cafferty's take on Bush's comment about the violence in Iraq; "I like to tell people, when the final history is written on Iraq,it will look like just a comma."

Shakespeare's Sister on more of Condi's lies.

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Jim Defede Interviews Rod Smith

Jim Defede interviews Rod Smith for his radio show. Smith makes the important point that the best way to go after Charlie Crist is to make him answer questions about policy. Charlie is confused about the FCAT and waffles on abortion. Davis needs to point these things out. He needs to say more than Charlie wants to "stay the course." Portray Crist as a flip-flopping candidate that has no idea what it is that he backs.

Support NPR and PBS has a petition to stop Republicans from cutting funding to NPR and PBS.

Dick Cheney Comes to Sarasota

Dick Cheney Hunting

The Buzz reports that Dick Cheney is bringing his 18 percent approval rating (most recent I found) to Sarasota on October 6th. Cheney will be campaigning for Vern Buchanan. How much you want to bet the event will be closed to the media?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Fundraising Time For Jim Davis

Donate to Jim Davis

My Thoughts On Kenneth Quinnell's Idea

Kenneth Quinnell wants the Democratic Party to start paying interns. He doesn't want to hear any lip about it not being financially possible. (Even though that was my first thought.)

Here is the problem. Why should Democrats pay college kids to do something they already are for free? Kenneth's argument is that paying interns helps retain youth and makes them better worker bees in the party. I agree with that in theory. The establishment also has to train and commit time to these young people. That hasn't been something they wanted to do.

My experience in grassroots efforts, as a young man, was I was treated as nothing more than free labor. I was never involved with the inner-circle decisions. That is a big part of why young people don't stick around. Pay increases is not enough. The whole party culture will have to shift to making advancement possible. If it's nothing more than about internship then it's doomed to failure.

Back to you, Kenneth.

Told You So

Remember Rick Santorum's people touting internel polling numbers - turns out the numbers are bogus. Santorum is going to lose big.

Democrat Bob Casey appears to have doubled his lead over Sen. Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania's Senate race, according to a poll released today.

Mr. Casey had a 14-point lead in the Quinnipiac University Poll, with 54 percent of likely voters saying they planned to vote for him compared to 40 percent for Santorum. One percent said they wouldn't vote and 6 percent said they didn't know. Casey had a seven-point lead among likely voters in a match up between the two in the same poll on Aug. 15.

Santorum's campaign is now saying they don't pay attention to polls. Next they will say is they don't care about election night results. Santorum will serve even if not elected!

Bye Bye Bolton

Steve Clemons has followed the John Bolton confirmation process with great zeal. He has several inside sources and has written about Bolton all over the internet. Clemons informs us that Bolton will never get confirmed. It's over.

John Bolton might agree to serve as the uncompensated Ambassador to the UN in a second recess appointment, or might agree to serve as a recess appointed political deputy at the UN and made "acting Ambassador and Chief of Mission" at a pay cut.

Bolton will likely become the first unconfirmed U.N. Ambassador in U.S. history. It might have something to do with Bolton's infamous quote.

"If the U.N. Secretariat building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference."

Bolton is not the least bit repetent about his rants against the United Nations.

Sen. Norm Coleman:

Ambassador Bolton, Now that you have been up at the UN for a while, gotten inside and seen how it works up close, have you come to think that some of your earlier views of the UN were misplaced, or think that some parts of the institution are better and other parts worse? What do you think now of the UN after being up there? Have your views changed at all?

Ambassador John Bolton:

Nope, not a bit (laughter)

That kind of rhetoric is normal for a third world despot. Not an American diplomat.

Write A Caption: Katherine Harris Clown Edition

Katherine Harris

Katherine Harris announces she is the new spokeswoman for Bozo the Clown makeup.

Come on lurkers! This one is too good not to caption.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Buddy Johnson Blues

Tampa Bay's 10 News recently reported that severall polling places were found in violation of Florida state statute. Voters were greeted with signs and flyers at the door. The law states political signs and activists must stay 100 feet from the door. Supervisor of Elections Buddy Johnson maintains issues a nondenial of screwups.

"I won't deny we don't make a mistake here and there, but our people do a pretty good job."

A tape measure isn't needed when activists are blocking the door.

Hillsborough County had a low turnout for the primary. Candidate Chloe Coney had to wait hours to find out the result.

"It was really strange to me; the votes were coming in so slow," Coney said. "It was a light turnout. It was only a primary. We really couldn't understand."

Buddy Johnson was best known for being one of the owners of the restaurant chain BuddyFreddys. Johnson has become more known for the controversy in his office. The hiring of the Republican-leaning law firm Broad & Cassel to look over the County Mayor petition was questionable. Hillsborough republicans were against the petition. Johnson has lawyers on staff. Instead, he used a private companies with ties to George and Jeb Bush. The bill came out to $69,322.

Assistant County Attorney Ken Tinkler wrote a memo detailing Johnson's distrust of county lawyers. Johnson burned through two assistants: Dan Nolan and Helene Marks. Tinkler wrote that Johnson and Nolan's relationship was so bad "ultimately led to a long, awkward period of time where I was forced to serve as intermediary between the two individuals." Marks spent her last months working at home.

Johnson feels differently about people he trusts. Jim Reed started out at $50,000 in 2003. He quit and came back in 2005. Reed now makes $118,000. Reed is a high school friend of Johnson.

There is also the question of why Steve Holub was paid $24,142 to discuss or sue the Hillsborough election office. What is not up for discussion is Johnson running a dysfunctional office that can't perform basic duties. The precincts were poorly run during a slow primary. One can only wonder what the 2008 presidential election will be like.

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Cat Blogging

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Media Chooses Fluff Over Substance

Gee, what is wrong with this picture.

Media Fluff Over Substance

Check out the sidebar at Newsweek. Hat tips to Attaturk.

Update: I crossposted this entry at Loaded Mouth. Taz posted this in the comments.

Looking at this graphic causes one question to pop into my mind: If Newsweek thought that the same cover they had selling for their international editions would sell better on the American market than the cover they opted to use instead, then wouldn't they have run with the Afghanistan cover on all their editions?

If anything, I think this speaks to the shallowness of American consumers.


Bill O'Reilly's Hulk Smash

Here are the people Bill O'Reilly rants against in his book Culture Warrior.

Air America host Al Franken
Michael Savage
The New York Times
Air America Radio
Boston Globe
Washington Post
Baltimore Sun
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Miami Herald
New Orleans Times-Picayune
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Kansas City Star
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Houston Chronicle
Denver Post
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
The Oregonian
San Francisco Chronicle
Sacramento Bee
Los Angeles Times
St. Petersburg Times
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman
New York Times columnist Bob Herbert
New York Times columnist Frank Rich
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA)
Roger Baldwin, founder of the ACLU
Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU
University of California-Berkeley professor George Lakoff
Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Harris Green
Howard Dean
Progressive financier George Soros
Progressive financier Peter Lewis
Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz
New York Daily News entertainment columnist Jack Matthews
Dallas Morning News columnist Macarena Hernandez
Denver Post columnist Cindy Rodriguez
Dan Rather
Tom Brokaw
Ted Koppel
ABC News producer Rick Kaplan
Walter Cronkite
Bill Moyers
Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
British Broadcasting Co.
Newsweek senior editor and columnist Jonathan Alter
Ann Coulter
New York Times Magazine columnist Randy Cohen
New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger III
New York Times executive editor Bill Keller
Sam Donaldson
Jon Stewart
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof
New York Times assistant editor Adam Cohen
Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Jeff Gelles
Philadelphia Inquirer editorial board
Associated Press television writer Frazier Moore
Atlanta Journal-Constitution editorial page editor Cynthia Tucker
Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson
Ted Turner
National Public Radio host Terry Gross
Jane Fonda
Jeremy Glick, author and son of 9-11 victim Barry Glick
Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan
Filmmaker Michael Moore
Barbra Streisand
Washington State Supreme Court
Associated Press
Ninth Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt
The "majority" of the Vermont press
Susan Sarandon
George Clooney
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA)
Alec Baldwin
Newsday columnist Jimmy Breslin
David Letterman

Michael Berube's version of the list is less accurate and more entertaining. I always knew Bullwinkle Moose couldn't be trusted.

For those you who don't think O'Reilly doesn't make enemy lists - you really need to pay more attention. O'Reilly has his Hall of Shame on his website.

The St. Petersburg Times


The New Yorker Magazine


US News & World Report

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Syracuse Post-Standard

O'Reilly has had long run-ins with the St. Petersburg Times. Times columnist Eric Deggans considered this an honor.

I once wrote -- in what must surely have been an unconscious appropriation of someone else's great thoughts -- that you judge a journalist by the enemies they make. Using that yardstick, the St. Petersburg Times joined the big leagues following Fox News Channel gasbag Bill O'Reilly's decision to place us in second place on his Nixonian media enemies list.

O'Reilly called the St. Petersburg Times "perhaps the worst newspaper in the country." That's an odd statement against a newspaper that has won it's fair share of Pultizer Prizes. This is also a bold statement from a man who hosted Inside Edition and unsuccessfuly hit on Jenna Jameson. Perhaps O'Reilly can explain the jounalistic ethics behind asking a panelist for free porn tapes and other unsaid goodies.

Write A Caption: Jeb Bush Edition

Jeb Bush

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Don't Joke Or You'll Get Blogrolled

I made a joke at BitchLab's site. She asked if anyone noticed Michael Berube's blogroll. I made this silly comment.

I have looked at Bérubé’s blogroll and I noticed you’re on it and I’m not. ;(

In the comments, Bérubé responded, "Well, that’s easily remedied. Especially for blogs drawn with a very fine camelhair brush."

I'm now in Bérubé’s blogroll. That's very nice of Michael. I was only kidding and just teasing Miss B. Now I have to add Michael to my blogroll. Which was a long time oversite on my part. So many blogs out there and so little time.

Bill Clinton's Interview on Fox News

Click here to comment!

WALLACE: Mr. President, welcome to Fox News Sunday.

CLINTON: Thanks.

WALLACE: In a recent issue of The New Yorker you say, quote,

I’m 60 years old and I damn near died, and I’m worried about how many lives I can save before I do die.

Is that what drives you in your effort to help in these developing countries?

CLINTON: Yes, I really — but I don’t mean — that sounds sort of morbid when you say it like that. I mean, I actually…

WALLACE: That’s how you said it.

CLINTON: Yes, but the way I said it, the tone in which I said it was actually almost whimsical and humorous. That is, this is what I love to do. It is what I think I should do.

That is, I have had a wonderful life. I got to be president. I got to live the life of my dreams. I dodged a bullet with that heart problem. And I really think I should — I think I owe it to my fellow countrymen and people throughout the world to spend time saving lives, solving problems, helping people see the future.

But as it happens, I love it. I mean, I feel it’s a great gift. So, it’s a rewarding way to spend my life.

WALLACE: Someone asked you — and I don’t want to, again, be too morbid, but this is what you said. He asked you if you could wind up doing more good as a former president than as a president, and you said, Only if I live a long time.

CLINTON: Yes, that’s true.

WALLACE: How do you rate, compare the powers of being in office as president and what you can do out of office as a former president?

CLINTON: Well, when you are president, you can operate on a much broader scope. So, for example, you can simultaneously be trying to stop a genocide in Kosovo and, you know, make peace in the Middle East, pass a budget that gives millions of kids a chance to have afterschool programs and has a huge increase in college aid at home. In other words, you’ve got a lot of different moving parts, and you can move them all at once.

But you’re also more at the mercy of events. That is, President Bush did not run for president to deal with 9/11, but once it happened it wasn’t as if he had an option.

Once I looked at the economic — I’ll give you a much more mundane example. Once I looked at the economic data, the new data after I won the election, I realized that I would have to work much harder to reduce the deficit, and therefore I would have less money in my first year to invest in things I wanted to invest in.

WALLACE: So what is it that you can do as a former president?

CLINTON: So what you can do as a former president is — you don’t have the wide range of power, so you have to concentrate on fewer things. But you are less at the mercy of unfolding events.

So if I say, look, we’re going to work on the economic empowerment of poor people, on fighting AIDS and other diseases, on trying to bridge the religious and political differences between people, and on trying to, you know, avoid the worst calamities of climate change and help to revitalize the economy in the process, I can actually do that.

I mean, because tomorrow when I get up, if there’s a bad headline in the paper, it’s President Bush’s responsibility, not mine. That’s the joy of being a former president. And it is true that if you live long enough and you really have great discipline in the way you do this, like this CGI, you might be able to affect as many lives, or more, for the good as you did as president.

WALLACE: When we announced that you were going to be on Fox News Sunday, I got a lot of e-mail from viewers. And I’ve got to say, I was surprised. Most of them wanted me to ask you this question: Why didn’t you do more to put bin Laden and Al Qaida out of business when you were president?

There’s a new book out, I suspect you’ve already read, called

The Looming Tower. And it talks about how the fact that when you pulled troops out of Somalia in 1993, bin Laden said, I have seen the frailty and the weakness and the cowardice of U.S. troops. Then there was the bombing of the embassies in Africa and the attack on the Cole.

CLINTON: OK, let’s just go through that.

WALLACE: Let me — let me — may I just finish the question, sir?

And after the attack, the book says that bin Laden separated his leaders, spread them around, because he expected an attack, and there was no response.

I understand that hindsight is always 20/20…

CLINTON: No, let’s talk about it.

WALLACE: … but the question is, why didn’t you do more, connect the dots and put them out of business?

CLINTON: OK, let’s talk about it. Now, I will answer all those things on the merits, but first I want to talk about the context in which this arises.

I’m being asked this on the Fox network. ABC just had a right-wing conservative run in their little Pathway to 9/11, falsely claiming it was based on the 9/11 Commission report, with three things asserted against me directly contradicted by the 9/11 Commission report.

And I think it’s very interesting that all the conservative Republicans, who now say I didn’t do enough, claimed that I was too obsessed with bin Laden. All of President Bush’s neo-cons thought I was too obsessed with bin Laden. They had no meetings on bin Laden for nine months after I left office. All the right-wingers who now say I didn’t do enough said I did too much — same people.

They were all trying to get me to withdraw from Somalia in 1993 the next day after we were involved in Black Hawk down, and I refused to do it and stayed six months and had an orderly transfer to the United Nations.

OK, now let’s look at all the criticisms: Black Hawk down, Somalia. There is not a living soul in the world who thought that Osama bin Laden had anything to do with Black Hawk down or was paying any attention to it or even knew Al Qaida was a growing concern in October of ‘93.

WALLACE: I understand, and I…

CLINTON: No, wait. No, wait. Don’t tell me this — you asked me why didn’t I do more to bin Laden. There was not a living soul. All the people who now criticize me wanted to leave the next day.

You brought this up, so you’ll get an answer, but you can’t…

WALLACE: I’m perfectly happy to.

CLINTON: All right, secondly…

WALLACE: Bin Laden says…

CLINTON: Bin Laden may have said…

WALLACE: … bin Laden says that it showed the weakness of the United States.

CLINTON: But it would’ve shown the weakness if we’d left right away, but he wasn’t involved in that. That’s just a bunch of bull. That was about Mohammed Adid, a Muslim warlord, murdering 22 Pakistani Muslim troops. We were all there on a humanitarian mission. We had no mission, none, to establish a certain kind of Somali government or to keep anybody out.

He was not a religious fanatic…

WALLACE: But, Mr. President…

CLINTON: … there was no Al Qaida…

WALLACE: … with respect, if I may, instead of going through ‘93 and…

CLINTON: No, no. You asked it. You brought it up. You brought it up.

WALLACE: May I ask a general question and then you can answer?


WALLACE: The 9/11 Commission, which you’ve talk about — and this is what they did say, not what ABC pretended they said…

CLINTON: Yes, what did they say?

WALLACE: … they said about you and President Bush, and I quote, The U.S. government took the threat seriously, but not in the sense of mustering anything like the kind of effort that would be gathered to confront an enemy of the first, second or even third rank.

CLINTON: First of all, that’s not true with us and bin Laden.

WALLACE: Well, I’m telling you that’s what the 9/11 Commission says.

CLINTON: All right. Let’s look at what Richard Clarke said. Do you think Richard Clarke has a vigorous attitude about bin Laden?

WALLACE: Yes, I do.

CLINTON: You do, don’t you?

WALLACE: I think he has a variety of opinions and loyalties, but yes, he has a vigorous…

CLINTON: He has a variety of opinion and loyalties now, but let’s look at the facts: He worked for Ronald Reagan; he was loyal to him. He worked for George H. W. Bush; he was loyal to him. He worked for me, and he was loyal to me. He worked for President Bush; he was loyal to him.

They downgraded him and the terrorist operation.

Now, look what he said, read his book and read his factual assertions — not opinions — assertions. He said we took vigorous action after the African embassies. We probably nearly got bin Laden.


CLINTON: No, wait a minute.


WALLACE: … cruise missiles.

CLINTON: No, no. I authorized the CIA to get groups together to try to kill him.

The CIA, which was run by George Tenet, that President Bush gave the Medal of Freedom to, he said, He did a good job setting up all these counterterrorism things.

The country never had a comprehensive anti-terror operation until I came there.

Now, if you want to criticize me for one thing, you can criticize me for this: After the Cole, I had battle plans drawn to go into Afghanistan, overthrow the Taliban, and launch a full-scale attack search for bin Laden.

But we needed basing rights in Uzbekistan, which we got after 9/11.

The CIA and the FBI refused to certify that bin Laden was responsible while I was there. They refused to certify. So that meant I would’ve had to send a few hundred Special Forces in in helicopters and refuel at night.

Even the 9/11 Commission didn’t do that. Now, the 9/11 Commission was a political document, too. All I’m asking is, anybody who wants to say I didn’t do enough, you read Richard Clarke’s book.

WALLACE: Do you think you did enough, sir?

CLINTON: No, because I didn’t get him.


CLINTON: But at least I tried. That’s the difference in me and some, including all the right-wingers who are attacking me now. They ridiculed me for trying. They had eight months to try. They did not try. I tried.

So I tried and failed. When I failed, I left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy and the best guy in the country, Dick Clarke, who got demoted.

So you did Fox’s bidding on this show. You did your nice little conservative hit job on me. What I want to know is…

WALLACE: Well, wait a minute, sir.

CLINTON: No, wait. No, no…

WALLACE: I want to ask a question. You don’t think that’s a legitimate question?

CLINTON: It was a perfectly legitimate question, but I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked this question of.

I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked, Why didn’t you do anything about the Cole?

I want to know how many you asked, Why did you fire Dick Clarke?

I want to know how many people you asked…

WALLACE: We asked — we asked…

CLINTON: I don’t…

WALLACE: Do you ever watch Fox News Sunday, sir?

CLINTON: I don’t believe you asked them that.

WALLACE: We ask plenty of questions of…

CLINTON: You didn’t ask that, did you? Tell the truth, Chris.

WALLACE: About the USS Cole?

CLINTON: Tell the truth, Chris.

WALLACE: With Iraq and Afghanistan, there’s plenty of stuff to ask.

CLINTON: Did you ever ask that?

You set this meeting up because you were going to get a lot of criticism from your viewers because Rupert Murdoch’s supporting my work on climate change.

And you came here under false pretenses and said that you’d spend half the time talking about — you said you’d spend half the time talking about what we did out there to raise $7-billion-plus in three days from 215 different commitments. And you don’t care.

WALLACE: But, President Clinton, if you look at the questions here, you’ll see half the questions are about that. I didn’t think this was going to set you off on such a tear.

CLINTON: You launched it — it set me off on a tear because you didn’t formulate it in an honest way and because you people ask me questions you don’t ask the other side.

WALLACE: That’s not true. Sir, that is not true.

CLINTON: And Richard Clarke made it clear in his testimony…

WALLACE: Would you like to talk about the Clinton Global Initiative?

CLINTON: No, I want to finish this now.

WALLACE: All right. Well, after you.

CLINTON: All I’m saying is, you falsely accused me of giving aid and comfort to bin Laden because of what happened in Somalia. No one knew Al Qaida existed then. And…

WALLACE: But did they know in 1996 when he declared war on the U.S.? Did they know in 1998…

CLINTON: Absolutely, they did.

WALLACE: … when he bombed the two embassies?

CLINTON: And who talked about…

WALLACE: Did they know in 2000 when he hit the Cole?

CLINTON: What did I do? What did I do? I worked hard to try to kill him. I authorized a finding for the CIA to kill him. We contracted with people to kill him. I got closer to killing him than anybody has gotten since. And if I were still president, we’d have more than 20,000 troops there trying to kill him.

Now, I’ve never criticized President Bush, and I don’t think this is useful. But you know we do have a government that thinks Afghanistan is only one-seventh as important as Iraq.

And you ask me about terror and Al Qaida with that sort of dismissive thing? When all you have to do is read Richard Clarke’s book to look at what we did in a comprehensive, systematic way to try to protect the country against terror.

And you’ve got that little smirk on your face and you think you’re so clever. But I had responsibility for trying to protect this country. I tried and I failed to get bin Laden. I regret it. But I did try. And I did everything I thought I responsibly could.

The entire military was against sending Special Forces in to Afghanistan and refueling by helicopter. And no one thought we could do it otherwise, because we could not get the CIA and the FBI to certify that Al Qaida was responsible while I was president.

And so, I left office. And yet, I get asked about this all the time. They had three times as much time to deal with it, and nobody ever asks them about it. I think that’s strange.

WALLACE: Can I ask you about the Clinton Global Initiative?

CLINTON: You can.

WALLACE: I always intended to, sir.

CLINTON: No, you intended, though, to move your bones by doing this first, which is perfectly fine. But I don’t mind people asking me — I actually talked to the 9/11 Commission for four hours, Chris, and I told them the mistakes I thought I made. And I urged them to make those mistakes public, because I thought none of us had been perfect.

But instead of anybody talking about those things, I always get these clever little political yields (ph), where they ask me one-sided questions. And the other guys notice that. And it always comes from one source. And so…


CLINTON: And so…

WALLACE: I just want to ask you about the Clinton Global Initiative, but what’s the source? I mean, you seem upset, and I…

CLINTON: I am upset because…

WALLACE: And all I can say is, I’m asking you this in good faith because it’s on people’s minds, sir. And I wasn’t…

CLINTON: Well, there’s a reason it’s on people’s minds. That’s the point I’m trying to make. There’s a reason it’s on people’s minds: Because there’s been a serious disinformation campaign to create that impression.

This country only has one person who’s worked on this terror. From the terrorist incidents under Reagan to the terrorist incidents from 9/11, only one: Richard Clarke.

And all I can say to anybody is, you want to know what we did wrong or right, or anybody else did? Read his book.

The people on my political right who say I didn’t do enough spent the whole time I was president saying, Why is he so obsessed with bin Laden? That was wag the dog when he tried to kill him.

My Republican secretary of defense — and I think I’m the only president since World War II to have a secretary of defense of the opposite party — Richard Clarke and all the intelligence people said that I ordered a vigorous attempt to get bin Laden and came closer, apparently, than anybody has since.

WALLACE: All right.

CLINTON: And you guys try to create the opposite impression, when all you have to do is read Richard Clarke’s findings and you know it’s not true. It’s just not true.

And all this business about Somalia — the same people who criticized me about Somalia were demanding I leave the next day. The same exact crowd.

WALLACE: One of the…

CLINTON: And so, if you’re going to do this, for God’s sake, follow the same standards for everybody…

WALLACE: I think we do, sir.

CLINTON: … and be flat — and fair.

WALLACE: I think we do.

Powder Burns

The Twilight Singers album Powder Burns is one of my favorite albums of the year. I encourage you to go out and buy the record. Here are some songs from the record.

Forty Dollars
Dead to Rights
Underneath the Waves
Candy Cane Crawl
Bonnie Brae

Jim "Waterfront" Norman

Hillsborough County Commissioner Jim Norman really supports waterfront homes.

Ruskin residents who oppose a developer's rezoning request to build 360 waterfront homes are dismayed to learn that the developer and his associates have combined to give Hillsborough County Commissioner Jim Norman $6,000 for his re-election campaign.

Norman insists that the legal contributions, all at or under the $500 limit, won't affect his decision on the matter next month. Perhaps not, but something feels wrong when a company, its employees and affiliated businesses all suddenly focus their generosity on the same public official. It doesn't look right or smell right, one resident told Tribune reporter Liz Bleau.

Raise your hand if you believe that $6,000 in campaign contribution won't affect Norman's decision.

Alex Sink Update

Good news for Alex Sink.

Alex Sink, the Democratic candidate for chief financial officer, just had another impressive fund-raising spurt. In the first full week after the Sept. 5 primary, she raised $187,896, scoring $500 checks from 225 contributors. Sink donors include former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, assorted labor unions, and the Hamilton Forman-Austin Forman real estate empire in Fort Lauderdale.

Sink's opponent, Tom Lee, only raised $13,985 during the same period. That is surprising. Considering, Lee has more name recognition in a Republican-leaning state. I like to know what the inside baseball stuff going on here is. Apparently, interest groups decided Sink was the horse to back. Lee isn't completely out of the race. $3,054,183 can buy ad plenty of ad time. Sink has raised a total of $2,420,651.

Lee's supporter may have already given all they could under the campaign finance law. Individual contributions are limited to $500 per-canidate during an election cycle. There are people who find interesting ways to get around the law.

Update: In The Buzz comments, Campaign Manager is wondering what is wrong with Lee's fundraising.

That is a very sad result for Lee. He has about $150,000 cash on hand and Sink has about the same. Which is good for Lee - sort of. It also means that Lee had a chance to take a solid lead in the cash on hand race and blew it with his anemic numbers.

Does anyone know why his numbers were so bad or what is going wrong with his campaign (and let's be honest - only 13k raised means there is something wrong, same as with Davis).

It would be nice if someone from the Lee campaign would leak something as an amonymous source It would also be nice if that leak happened to get emailed to me.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Florida Department of Children & Families Still Sucks

More evidence on how poorly run the Department of Children & Families truly is.

The head of Florida's family safety program, in a letter to administrators statewide, acknowledged this week that caseworkers have been failing to keep track of foster kids who are taking anti-depressants, anti-psychotics and other drugs designed to combat mental illness.

Advocates have claimed for years that such drugs -- most of which have never been tested on children -- routinely are used as ''chemical restraints'' to control the behavior of unruly children.

''It is critical that the [computer] database be accurate and up to date to assure that we are able to monitor all children taking these medications,'' wrote Patricia Badland, who heads up the Department of Children & Families' family safety program.

This is the same Department of Children & Families that had 532 children missing from their rolls during the past decade.

Friday, September 22, 2006

King Only - Twilight Singers

Early Twilight Singers song off of the first album.

Media & Moral Values

I haven't read the actual study by Anthony D'Amato. I found the findings interesting. I'l write more after I read the paper.

In "Porn Up Rape Down," D'Amato compiled data from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. In 2001, the four states with the lowest per capita access to the Internet were Arkansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, and West Virginia. The four with the highest per capita Internet access were Alaska, Colorado, New Jersey, and Washington.

When compared to Disaster Center's figures for forcible rape for the years 1980 and 2000, the four states with the lowest Internet access showed a 53% aggregate per capita increase in rape, while the four states with the highest Internet access showed a 27% decrease in incidence of rape.

I don't know how true the findings are. I do have a problem with people like David Caton saying rape is caused by nude dancing. Caton successfuly got WFTS Channel 28 not to air Saving Private Ryan. Caton contends the film is historically inaccurate.

I never heard my dad use the “f” word. I neverheard his World War II buddies use the “f” word.DECEMBER2004Therefore, Spielberg’s prolific use of the “f”word in Saving Private Ryan does not accurately represent the service of many men who I personally know.

I couldn't create someone like David Caton if I tried.

George Allen

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George Allen making aspersions. Start your spin cycle, Georgie!

Scrutiny Hooligans and the need for protest music.

Pushing Rope on the Geneva/Torture deal between The White House and Republicans.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Geneva Conventions Deal

Here is the deal McCain, Warner and Graham struck with the White House. It appears they caved. Here is the language. I outlined parts that are of concern to me.

This legislation gives only the President the power to interpret the Geneva Conventions. Congress and the courts can't overrule him. (Welcome to the Bush kinddom.) There is also a loophole that can let's current administration official not be procecuted with Torture. The Genava Conventions can not be invoked in American courts. If the President deems an act of torture lawful. He has the final say. Welcome to the Bush World Order.



(a) IN GENERAL. No person may invoke the Geneva Conventions or
any protocols thereto in any habeas or civil action or proceeding to
which the United States, or a current or former officer, employee,
member of the Armed Forces, or other agent of the United States, is a
partyas a source of rights, in any court of the United States or its
States or territories.

(b) GENEVA CONVENTIONS DEFINED. In this section, the term "Geneva
Conventions" means

(1) the Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the
Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, done at Geneva August 12,
1949 (6 UST 3217);

(2) the Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the
Wounded, Sick, and Shipwrecked Members of the Armed Forces at Sea, done
at Geneva August 12, 1949 (6 UST 3217);

(3) the Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War,
done at Geneva August 12, 1949 (6 UST 3316); and

(4) the Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons
in Time of War, done at Geneva August 12, 1949 (6 UST 3516).


(a)(1) IN GENERAL. The acts enumerated in subsection 2441(d) of
title 18, United States Code, as amended by subsection (b) of this
section, and in subsection (c) of this section, constitute violations of
Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions prohibited by United States

(2) PROHIBITION ON GRAVE BREACHES. The provisions in section 2441
of title 18, United States Code, as amended by this section, fully
satisfy the obligation under Article 129 of the Third Geneva Convention
for the United States to provide effective penal sanctions for grave
breaches which are encompassed in Common Article 3 in the context of an
armed conflict not of an international character. No foreign or
international sources of law shall supply a basis for a rule of decision
in the courts of the United States in interpreting the prohibitions
enumerated in subsection 2441(d).

Constitution and by this section, the President has the authority for the
United States to interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva
Conventions and to promulgatehigher standards and administrative
regulations for violations of treaty obligations which are not grave
breaches of the Geneva Conventions

(B) The President shall issue such interpretations by Executive
Order published in the Federal Register, and such orders shall be
authoritative (as to non-grave breach provisions) as a matter of United
States law, in the same manner as other administrative regulations.

(C) Nothing in this section shall affect the constitutional
functions and responsibilities of Congress and the judicial branch of
the United States.

Section 2441 of title 18, United States Code, is amended

(A) in subsection (c), by striking paragraph (3) and
inserting the following new paragraph (3):

(3) which constitutes a grave breach of Common Article 3 as
defined in subsection (d) when committed in the context of and in
association with an armed conflict not of an international
character; or;

(B) by adding at the end the following new subsection:


(1) PROHIBITED CONDUCT.—In subsection (c)(3), the term
˜grave breach of Common Article 3" means any conduct (such conduct
constituting a grave breach of common Article 3 of the
international conventions does at Geneva August 12, 1949), as

(A) TORTURE. The act of a person who commits, or
conspires or attempts to commit, an act specifically
intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or
suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful
upon another person within his custody or
physical control for the purpose of obtaining information or
a confession, punishment, intimidation, coercion, or any
reason based on discrimination of any kind.

(B) CRUEL OR INHUMAN TREATMENT. The act of a person
who commits, or conspires or attempts to commit, an act
intended to inflict severe or serious physical or mental
pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental
to lawful sanctions)
, including seriousphysical abuse, upon
another within his custody or control.

person who subjects, or conspires or attempts to subject,
one or more persons within his custody or physical control
to biological experiments without a legitimate medical or
dental purpose and in so doing endangers the body or health
of such person or persons.

(D) MURDER. The act of a person who intentionally
kills, or conspires or attempts to kill, or kills whether
intentionally or unintentionally in the course of committing
any other offense under this section, one or more persons
taking no active part in the hostilities, including those
placed out of combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any
other cause.

(E) MUTILATION OR MAIMING. The act of a person who
intentionally injures, or conspires or attempts to injure,
or injures whether intentionally or unintentionally in the
course of committing any other offense under this section,
one or more persons taking no active part in the
hostilities, including those placed out of combat by
sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, by
disfiguring the person or persons by any mutilation thereof
or by permanently disabling any member, limb, or organ of
his body, without any legitimate medical or dental purpose.

act of a person who intentionally causes, or conspires or
attempts to cause, serious bodily injury to one or more
persons, including lawful combatants, in violation of the
law of war.

(G) RAPE. The act of a person who forcibly or with
coercion or threat of force wrongfully invades, or conspires
or attempts to invade, the body of a person by penetrating,
however slightly, the anal or genital opening of the victim
with any part of the body of the accused, or with any
foreign object.

(H) SEXUAL ASSAULT OR ABUSE. The act of a person who
forcibly or with coercion or threat of force engages, or
conspires or attempts to engage, in sexual contact with one
or more persons, or causes, or conspires or attempts to
cause, one or more persons to engage in sexual contact.

(I) TAKING HOSTAGES. The act of a person who, having
knowingly seized or detained one or more persons, threatens
to kill, injure, or continue to detain such person or
persons with the intent of compelling any nation, person
other than the hostage, or group of persons to act or
refrain from acting as an explicit or implicit condition for
the safety or release of such person or persons.

(2) DEFINITIONS. In the case of an offense under subsection
(a) by reason of subsection (c)(3)

(A) the term ˜severe mental pain or suffering" shall
be applied for purposes of paragraphs (1)(A) and (1)(B) in
accordance with the meaning given that term in section
2340(2) of this title.

(B) the term ˜serious bodily injury" shall be applied
for purposes of paragraph (1)(F) in accordance with the
meaning given that term in section 113(b)(2) of this title.

(C) the term ˜sexual contact" shall be applied for
purposes of paragraph (1)(G) in accordance with the meaning
given that term in section 2246(3) of this title.

(D) the term ˜serious physical pain or suffering
means bodily injuryt that involves

(1) a substantial risk of death;

(2) extreme physical pain;

(3) a burn or physical disfigurement of a serious
nature, not to include cuts, abrasions, or bruises; or

(4) significant loss or impairment of the function
of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty.

(E) the term ˜serious mental pain or suffering" shall have the same meaning as ˜severe mental pain or suffering" as such term is defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2340(2), except that the term "serious" shall replace the term "severe" where it appears in such definition, and except that, as to conduct occurring following the date of enactment of the Military Commission Act of 2006, the term "serious and non-transitory mental harm (which need not be prolonged)" shall replace the term "prolonged mental harm" in such definition.

specified for the conduct stated in subparagraphs (D), (E), and
(F) or paragraph (1) precludes the applicability of those
subparagraphs to an offense under subsection (a) by reasons of
subsection (c)(3) with respect to

(A) collateral damage; or

(B) death, damage, or injury incident to a lawful

EXCHANGE. Paragraph (1)(I) does not apply to an offense under
subsection (a) by reason of subsection (c)(3) in the case of a
prisoner exchange during wartime.

(2) RETROACTIVE APPLICABILITY. The amendments made by this
section, except as specified in paragraph 2441(d)(2)(E) of title 10,
United States Code, shall take effect as of November 26, 1997, as if
enacted immediately after the amendments made by section 583 of Public
Law 105-118 (as amended by section 4002 of Public Law 107-273).


(1) IN GENERAL. No individual in the custody or under the physical
control of the United States Government, regardless of nationality or
physical location, shall be subject to cruel, inhuman, or degrading
treatment or punishment.

. The term "cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment" in
this subsection shall mean the cruel, unusual, and inhumane treatment or punishment prohibited by the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, as defined in the United States Reservations, Declarations and Understandings to the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment done at New York, December 10, 1984.

(3) The President shall take action to ensure compliance with this
subsection, including through the establishment of administrative rules
and procedures.

Note: Shakes corrected me on "Geneva Convention."

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Totally Awesome Bush Trip to Florida

"The president has a lot to do. For him to show up here with the SWAT team on the roof and the Secret Service guys, that’s awesome."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden

The Decider tossed a football with Chris Simms. He also gave the team a pep talk.

"Never give up," Bush told reporters of what is pep talk was about. That is almost as inspirational as his speech at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. America was in shock by 9-11. The Decider needed to provide his unique eloquence.

Go down to Disney World in Florida, take your families and enjoy life the way we want it to be enjoyed."

Bush also had time to have a silly picture moment with Michael Pittman.

Bush Meets Pittman

Can't. stop. staring. at. muscle.

Bush then gave a speech on behave of Gus Bilirakis. Bush talked about protecting the Florida coast from offshore drilling, keeping prescription medicine prices down and getting off of oil. If Bush was competing in Last Comic Standing, he would have slayed them. Instead, he was speaking to loyalists. The few people who take him seriously. Where else could he not utter this line and not generate laughs.

I'm proud to be here with Congresswoman Katherine Harris, running for the United States Senate.

Next was a fundraiser for Charlie Crist. Bush told the crowd that the war in Iraq "is hard work." The President compares WWII with the war on terrorism. The Decider notes that we once were at war with Japan. Things changed because "Japan adopted a Japanese-style democracy." And that would be a feudal systems of samurai controlling regions? Unknown to the Decider, Japan's government is based on Britain's parliamentary system.

More Stupid Anti-Drug PSA

I said before that anti-drug public service announcements don't work. They become the subject of ridicule years later. Thanks to Youtube the Pee Wee Herman crack cocaine PSA lives on.

As for the search message, I live in Suitcase City in Tampa, Florida. There are people who smoke crack, but not because they want to be cool. It's smoked because people like the high or they're lives are fucked up. Drugs are desirable and an escape from reality. The problem with these messages is they don't address why people do drugs.

Which do you think would convince a 16 year-old caught with weed to stop? Pee Wee Herman or a half hour with a crack whore? The adult porn site Crack Whore Confessions is a sick example crack does to you. These women don't smoke it to be cool.

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The Decider Works His Magic

Dubya Magic

Don't believe that comic? Then you need to remember the kiss.

The Kiss

The Katherine Harris Question

The White House press corp asked deputy press secretary Dana Perino about Katherine Harris. You may remember (or not care) that there was a dust up about Harris not attending the President Bush events in Florida.

Q:" Katherine Harris says that she's going to be at the GOP's meeting at 4 p.m., at the Ritz Carlton. Does the President plan to meet with her as the Republican nominee for the Senate race?"

MS. PERINO: "I don't know if there is any specific separate meeting, but I believe she is going to be there as part of the event."

Q: "Does he have any plans to raise money for her?"

MS. PERINO: "I don't know of anything that's scheduled."

Short answer: She is was only invited for appearance sake. Please stop asking us this. It's embarrassing. We already know she's going to lose. You don't have to rub this in our face. If you like her so much, why don't you invite her to your next party.