Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Weekly Standard Has No Shame

Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard maintains the fiction that American soldier Scott Thomas Beauchamp is the creation of New Republic editors. Kristol's reasoning is that TNR hates America and the military. This op-ed is shameless in so many ways.

But what is revealing about this mistake is that the editors must have wanted to suspend their disbelief in tales of gross misconduct by American troops. How else could they have published such a farrago of dubious tales?

Spencer Ackerman is a noted TNR basher. He was fired from the magazine. Ackerman writes that Kristol's anti-soldier assertion doesn't pass the laugh test.

Whatever disagreements I've had with Frank (Foer), I know from experience that he does not assign, approve or edit stories to cast aspersions on the military. Even subconsciously, he would not express any eagerness to publish Thomas's story for anything remotely approaching that reason. Kristol is wrapping himself in the mantle of people much braver and nobler than himself (and myself) to disguise his enormous strategic misjudgment. He's crying a river of crocodile tears. And he knows that the motives he's ascribed to TNR's editors are complete bullshit.

Beauchamp is real. He is with the 1/18 Infantry, Second Brigade Combat Team, First Infantry Division. The Pentagon has taken away his laptop. He is also married to a TNR staffer. All of this can be easily confimed. Which makes this passage in Kristol's op-ed all the more vile.

Since the Nation has held this view of every American war (except when we were fighting side-by-side with Stalin's Soviet Union), and loves nothing more than accounts of American war crimes, its story is no surprise. At least they interviewed real soldiers on the record. The New Republic, in its July 23 issue, takes a different tack. Its slander of American soldiers appears to be fiction presented as fact, behind a convenient screen of anonymity.

Kristol then has the audacity to talk about journalism ethics.

We at THE WEEKLY STANDARD are well aware that editors make mistakes. We have made our share.

The Weekly Standard was so wrong on this story. They never bothered to fact-check the existence of Scott Thomas. They were only interested in discrediting the Thomas Scott articles because it hindered their neoconservative support of the Iraq war. That's all this was ever about.

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Feeney Building Legal Defense Fund

Tom Feeney has raised $33,500 for his legal defense fund. He is being investigated (although he denies it) by the FBI for his contacts and golfing trip paid for by convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

In other news: Democrats are polling Feeney's district to find out how vulnerabile his candidacy is in 2008. Democrat Frank Bruno is a potential challenger.

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Giuliani Vs Ferrets

Via Lindsay Beyerstein: Rudy Guiliani didn't just use his radio show to attack the mental state of people suffering from Parkinson disease. He also played Dr. Freud with ferret lovers. I couldn't make shit this stupid up if I tried.

A caller wanted to change the law so he could once again walk his ferret. To say that Guiliani's response was over-the-top would be putting it mildly.

"There is something deranged about you. ... The excessive concern you have for ferrets is something you should examine with a therapist. ... There is something really, really very sad about you. ... This excessive concern with little weasels is a sickness. ... You should go consult a psychologist. ... Your compulsion about—your excessive concern with it is a sign that there is something wrong in your personality. ... You have a sickness, and I know it's hard for you to accept that. ... You need help."

Questioning someone's mental health was nothing more than a talking point for Guiliani. He feels threatened by a caller. He lashes out so he doesn't look weak to his radio audience. He could try having a debate based on ideas, but that would be asking too much.



Pat Tillman

Now this is interesting. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has summoned Donald Rumsfeld to testify tomorrow. Rumfeld will speak under oath about his knowledge of the Pentagon investigation into Pat Tillman's death.

Here is a list of people who will testify.

The Honorable Donald Rumsfeld, former Secretary of Defense

Gen. John P. Abizaid (Retired), Former Commander, U.S. Central Command

Gen. Richard B. Myers (Retired), Former Chair, Joint Chiefs of Staff

Gen. Bryan Douglas Brown (Retired), Former Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command

Lt. Gen. Philip R. Kensinger, Jr. (Retired), Former Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command

The Pentagon originally stated that Tillman was killed by enemy fire. Tillman and his fellow Rangers never engaged enemy combatants. The firefight started because an unmanned explosive went off. Tillman was awarded a Silver Star was a fictitious battle.

What is baffling is how Tillman was killed with three well-placed bullits to his forehead. The shots were fired from within ten yards. An autopsy was buried until the Associated Press got the documents through the Freedom of Information Act.

"The medical evidence did not match up with the, with the scenario as described," a doctor who examined Tillman's body after he was killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2004 told investigators.

Soldiers in Tillman's untit burned Tillman's body armor and uniform. The White House invoked executive privilege to internal documents relating to Tillman.

In related news: you can donate to the Pat Tillman foundation. The foundation's mission is to educate high school students local, national, and global issues.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

When Stickheads Fight

It appears Rachel Moran finally realizes that Sticks of Fire is a editorially schizophrenic blog with a passive-aggressive blog master. Her comment is a rare glimpse into how Tommy Duncan communicates through email.

Frankly, if you’re really looking for feedback, I’ll tell ya I don’t know what the hell you’re doing anymore.

Are you just editorials and boilerplate e-columns? Are you trying to get as many local views in as possible?

I’m not sure - the voices aren’t particularly cohesive, but they do seem somewhat uniformly aligned on the political continuum.

For awhile, I thought you were trying to be neo-news, but when I wrote you something that all the newspapers actually took quite happily from me, you sent me this pissed-off email telling me I was presumptuous and then asking me if I was getting paid (not that that was presumptuous or anything).

I never figured out why you were so annoyed, because I considered SoF a viable source of information equal in audience and respectability to the papers (and, also, you wouldn’t pick up your phone!).

The point being how can anyone say anything definitive about Sticks of Fire? You’ve got a ton of readers because there’s at least one post every few days that someone can kill some time with and think about, but other than that, it’s this jumble that defies any criticism of the sort you’re asking about simply because, well, your intentions are a little unclear, so who’s to say you haven’t fulfilled them perfectly or not?

Either way, I don’t know that I’d sweat an angry developer who did not actually mention you.

The intentions are that Tommy and Bill Sharpe or trying to make money off a commercial blog. The problem is they don't have the skill or savvy to go big time. I have lefty blogger friends who receive more traffic a day than SoF. What amazes me is that local bloggers get suckered into writing for free on someone's else's for-profit blog.

Rachel's comment was followed by the usual hostile reaction by a Stickhead.

Brett Says:

July 30th, 2007 at 11:00 pm.

You communist bastard.

I have always been fascinated with the Stickheads giving Tommy this Jim Jones-level of loyality. The Stickheads were mostly silent (some even defended) Rachel's pro-assault on homeless post. Tommy left Rachel to be chewed up by the lefty blogosphere (which is I played a hand in) and never wrote a post amount the largest controversy in SoF history. Hardly transparency or a profile in courage.

Let me spell this out to the Stickheads. Tommy is a backup singer in a cover band. He makes snarky comments in blog posts because he doesn't know what he is writing about most of the time. I have taken pains to point out that he is an expert on nothing. That is all he is. He is not the blog messiah and being buddies with him isn't going to give you more notoriety.

I also had the same problems with email conversations that Rachel had. Tommy took pains to point out that are email exchanges or "offline." Short answer: not to be republished on blog posts. He then wrote this wonderful piece of punditry.

Offline, Hussey and I have discussed politics now and again. Admittedly, he’s much further to the left than I. Specifically because of that, I asked him contribute to the voices here at Sticks, so his viewpoint can get the attention it deserves. He declined.

Tommy is so ethically challenged that it's really sad.

As for who is right or wrong in the Tommy/Rachel feud - I couldn't tell you. I do think Rachel's comment about SoF are on the money.


Quote of the Day

"During the course of Defendant BILL O'REILLY's sexual rant, it became clear that he was using a vibrator upon himself, and that he ejaculated."

From the complaint filed by Andrea Mackris.

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Fred Thompson Underwhelms

Fred Thompson raised an underwhelming $3 million in the last quarter. His staff are trying to downplay the numbers by saying Thompson is "testing the waters." Thompson has also been changing staff. He is hardly giving the impression that he is running a well-oiled campaign machine.

Some are already saying a prospective Thompson run is a flop. “I just don’t see it anymore,” said a key Republican who had been extremely enthusiastic about a Thompson candidacy.

"That number is really underwhelming. There were indications it could be double that. They've been saying that people were waiting for Fred, and the money was going to pour in. He looks like he's already losing momentum."

Thompson's momentum was because he wasn't John McCain, Mitt Romney or Rudy Giuliani. It wasn't because of anything he did when he was in the Senate. Conservatives or projecting their desires into a guy better known as a character actor and lobbyist than a serious policymaker.


Like A Virgin (For the Second Time)

I have written several times before about the silliness of abstinence-only sex education. It came as no surprise to me that Florida is second to Texas in federal abstinence education money. Those tax dollars go to telling kids that they can be a "secondary virgin" if they already did the nasty.

Take back control. Secondary virginity means that you care enough about yourself and your future to save sex for the right person and the right time – marriage. Deciding to start over is the hardest part.

Your decision to choose abstinence shows to others that you value yourself. Ways to help keep this commitment may include:

communicating your standards to your friends,
avoiding compromising situations, or
finding nonphysical ways to show you care.

If someone decides he or she doesn't want to have sex again then that is the person's choice. However, one can not become a virgin for a second time. That is not a safe sex choice. That is denial. We should have teens living in reality. Not have them pretend to be something they are not.


Florida TaxWatch On Property Tax Cuts

Much to my shock, former Jeb Bush economic advisor J. Antonio Villamil wrote a scanting study against property tax reform. Villamil makes it clear that schools are not exempt from budget cuts.

School funding is not exempted from the likely local revenue reductions if the voters approve the proposals, with Tallahassee “promising” to somehow make up the decline in local school revenues.

Villamil states that the new reforms are so confusing that many economist have trouble understanding how they will work. The tax cut creates potential problems for funding esssential services such as police and fire rescue. This lends creedence to the Hank Fishkind report that there aren't huge amounts of fiscal fat in local budgets.

Renters and commercial property owners will feel no benefit from the property tax cuts. That was never the point. Jeb Bush ignored the cries of homeowners before he left office and Crist and the State legislature wanted to quickly appease angry constituents.

Homestead exemption will be tied to the Florida Personal Income Per Capita. The latter is an estimate of the average income per resident in a county or municipalities. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates PIPC at a slow rate and can not completely account for new residents moving into Florida. Villamil's concern is that Florida will not have enough tax revenue to meet growth demands or a Katrina-level disaster.

It's bad when one of Jeb Bush's fomer advisors is against a tax cut.

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Presidential Mason-Dixon Poll

Here is the latest Florida Mason-Dixon poll for presidential candidates. The poll has a plus or minus 5 point error margin.

Here is the latest Democrats

Clinton - 31%
Obama - 17%
Edwards - 12%

The other Democratic candidates barely have a pulse beat.


Giuliani - 21%
Thompson - 18%
McCain - 11%
Romney - 7%

Many Republican voters aren't happy with the field. That explains why Fred "Days of Thunder" Thompson is polling so well as an unofficial candidate. What is interesting is how soft Rudy Giuliani's numbers have been. The Thompson factor plays a part. The other thing is the guy has a serious asshole personality. It's going to come out more in the campaign. The Republican establishment won't care if they think he can win the White House. Giuliani making fun of a Parkinson disease on his radio show is a classic example.


Quote of the Day

"We had no takers."

Chris Wallance of Fox News explaining why there were no Republicans on his show to defend Alberto Gonzales.

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Just How Dumb Is Gonzo

The answer is the depths of Alberto Gonzales's stupidity can not be measured. Let's replay this exchange Gonzo had with Senator Chuck Schumer.

SCHUMER: I'll let you speak in a minute, but this is serious, because you're getting right close to the edge right here. You just said there was just one program -- just one. So the letter, which was, sort of, intended to deceive, but doesn't directly do so, because there are other intelligence activities, gets you off the hook, but you just put yourself right back on here.

GONZALES: I clarified my statement two days later with the reporter.

SCHUMER: What did you say to the reporter?

GONZALES: I did not speak directly to the reporter.

SCHUMER: Oh, wait a second -- you did not.


OK. What did your spokesperson say to the reporter?

GONZALES: I don't know. But I told the spokesperson to go back and clarify my statement...

SCHUMER: Well, wait a minute, sir. Sir, with all due respect -- and if I could have some order here, Mr. Chairman -- in all due respect, you're just saying, "Well, it was clarified with the reporter," and you don't even know what he said. You don't even know what the clarification is. Sir, how can you say that you should stay on as attorney general when we go through exercise like this, where you're bobbing and weaving and ducking to avoid admitting that you deceived the committee? And now you don't even know. I'll give you another chance: You're hanging your hat on the fact that you clarified the statement two days later. You're now telling us that is was a spokesperson who did it. What did that spokesperson say? Tell me now, how do you clarify this?

GONZALES: I don't know, but I'll find out and get back to you.

Gonzales had someone else clarify his statement. He then didn't know how the statement was clarified. Gonzales is risking perjury by making excuses that don't pass the laugh test. He is a lawyer. He should have the common sense not to put himself in legal jeopardy.

Another example of Gonzo's stupidity.

In the Justice Department's Great Hall (the very room where giant, blue drapes covered the underdressed statuary during John Ashcroft's tenure as attorney general), an array of prosecutors, securities regulators and FBI honchos gathered yesterday to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the President's Corporate Fraud Task Force.

Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who famously prosecuted former vice presidential aide Scooter Libby, was chatting with a pair of reporters about his upcoming appearance on the National Public Radio program "Wait Wait . . . Don't Tell Me!" when none other than Attorney General Alberto "Fredo" Gonzales appeared at his side.

"Good job," Gonzales said, extending his hand to Fitzgerald. Must have been thinking of Fitzgerald's office's successful prosecution last week of media mogul Conrad Black for fraud, obstruction, etc. Fitzgerald, taken aback, didn't say much in response, our colleague Carrie Johnson reports.

Loop Fans may recall that a former Gonzales aide had placed Fitzgerald's name on a list of prosecutors who had "not distinguished themselves" in March 2005, just after Fitzgerald had indicted former GOP Illinois governor George Ryan and as he was investigating the leak of the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame.

Gonzo trying to buddy up to a U.S. Attorney he attempted to fire. Calling him a fucking idiot would be an insult to people with that level of intelligence.

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Cheers For Rose Ferlita

It's rare that I give Republicans praise. Hillsborough County Commissioner Rose Ferlita certainly deserves it for asking Brian Blair and Richard Garrity to move the next public EPC meeting to a bigger forum and give each speaker 3 minutes. The reaction of citizens that attended the last meeting was strongly negative. The Commissioners voted to cut the EPC to save money in the budget. Protesters placed a collection jar and asked all to donate 60 cents. The cost a year for each county resident to maintain the EPC.

The EPC makes rulings on wetlands protection. Commissioners Blair, Norman, Kevin White and Ken Hagan are being accused of being in the pockets of developers. The media and public reaction have been strongly negative. These commissioners should explain who they feel best benefits from abolishing the EPC.

It was obvious how Blair, Norman and Hagan were going to vote. Democrat Kevin White vote was a serious disappointment.

Rose Ferlita has shown leadership ability through this mess. The environment isn't a partisan issue. I'm glad Ferlita understands that.

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Know Your Florida Media People: Lyssa Oberkreser

Lyssa Oberkreser writes the Tallahassee Democrat blog Calendar Girl. What her bio leaves out is more interesting than what is in it.

Lyssa Oberkreser is the Data Desk Editor in charge of online calendars. She is a Florida native who has worked as a children’s librarian, a news researcher, and a calendar editor for an alternative news weekly. She recently left the sizzle of South Beach and is looking forward to finding cool things to do in Tallahassee.

Oberkreser omitted that she worked for the Miami New Times when she lived in Florida. She was involved in a major cat fight that New Times staff members had on their personal blogs. Managing Editor Jean Carey wrote negative comments about staffers on her personal blog at www.italiangreyhounds.org. The posts are no longer up. I checked and the domain is still registered to Carey.

This is an example of how unprofessional Carey was on company time.

Carey responded by posting a series of derogatory remarks about the former reporter, whom she supervised. Carey expressed jealousy over the former reporter's possible romantic relationship with a former New Times staffer with whom she also had a relationship. Carey's most strident post about the woman was written during regular working hours on a weekday, which suggests that it was done in the office on a company computer.

In the post, Carey criticized the former reporter's appearance, professional skills, sexual conduct and mental stability. Carey's blog also referred by name to other current and former employees and outsiders -- including a Miami Herald reporter -- as "totally nasty, mean, classless girls." It also mentioned Mario Artecona, director of the Miami Business Forum, in a list of "constant negative anti-New Times forces."

This is where Oberkreser comes in.

In Oberkreser's blog -- which was subtitled "Sex and the Single Librarian" -- Oberkreser expressed relief that the reporter had departed and made nasty comments about her physical appearance, weight and sexual morals.

Carey and two other staffers ended up on unpaid suspension. Several staffers left the New Times. Someone explain to me why the Tallahassee Democrat thought it would be a good idea to have Oberkreser write a blog for the newspaper?

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One Tough Doggie

Send your best wishes to Litbrit and her dog Winston. Details are sketchy. It appears someone broke on Litbrit's property and shot her dog Winston 5 times. Winston survived and is making a recovery. The shooter's identity is unknown.

The nagging question that bothers me is why is someone bringing a firearm on the property? Fortunately, Litbrit and her family were not home at the time of the shooting. I'm just greatful all are alive and well. Winston included.

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Christine Jennings Interview

Interview with Christine Jennings on Flashpoint. She discusses her political differences Vern Buchanan and her challenges against the vote count.

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Ryan Adams at the La Maroquinerie in Paris, France

Excellent concert of a newly focused and drug-free Ryan Adams playing the best he has since his Whiskeytown days. Check out Halloweenhead and a slowed-down version of New York, New York.

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Quote of the Day

"There is no question in my mind that intolerance is a direct cause of one of our greatest and most threatening problems: the growing disparity between rich and poor, between haves and have nots, between working people and all those powerful forces who do not have their best interests in mind.

"Because guess what? The people that are usually the targets of intolerance and bigotry are too often the same people who suffer from lack of opportunity, the same people who are left behind. And as long as intolerance pervades our culture, it's far too easy for politicians in Washington to ignore the big changes we need to make in order to end poverty once and for all."

John Edwards


Romney & Giuliani Duck Youtube Debate

Mark Lane has a good round up of the blogosphere's reaction Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney dropping out of the Republican CNN/Youtube presidential debate. I'm only surprised that if didn't happen sooner. GOP politicians are so used to staying on script. The Youtube format destroys all that. If Romney and Giuliani can't handle Youtube then how the hell can they run the country?

The silliest post I read comes from Republican apologist Hugh Hewitt.

The YouTube debate was a silly, and at times absurd exercise in giving air time to many idiots separated by an occasional responsible speaker, and the question selection by CNN demonstrated a huge left-wing bias which will inevitably appear in any subsequent YouTube debate organized by the MSM which is overwhelmingly staffed by the left.

CNN selected questions from Youtube users for a Democratic presidential debate. The questions are skewed for Democrats running for their party's nomination. Did Hewitt expect Youtube users to ask Democrats who loves Ronald Reagan the most?

It has become a habit for conservatives such as Hugh Hewitt to accuse media services he dislikes of liberal bias. Hewitt would never admit that the Weekly Standard's attempts to discredit Scott Thomas Beauchamp was conservative bias. Especially, since Hewitt has written for the WS and did his part to slime Beauchamp.

Hewitt is hardly in a position to criticize the journalism ethics of CNN. What Hewitt really has a problem with is the majority of Youtube users being against the policies of the Bush administration. The fact that they can use technology to voice their opinions scares Republicans who live by staying on message. Listening to the concerns of citizens is an alien concept for the Grand Old Party. It's not liberal bias that scares Hewitt. It's free speech.

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Hat tip to Barb.

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Twilight Singers- Black is the Color/ Time of the Season Medley

Only Greg Dulli would do a medley of Nina Simone and Zombie songs. Check out the interesting cigarette Dulli is smoking. How he has gotten away with smoking weed on stage for so long is beyond me.

Someone told me that Dulli's singing voice sounds like a horror movie narrator. I think I permanently psychologically scared this person with the Blackberry Belle album. Tell me in the comments if you have the same reaction to Dulli's voice.

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Karen Thurman Q & A

Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Thurman answers the questions of Democratic activists.

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Sick Joke Part 2

An update on my previous post about Tim Fasano's candidacy. He has not filed to run for the district 11 seat. That means he is breaking the law by having a campaign website. Good work, Tim. Below is a list of candidates that have filed.

Hat tip to Gene Smith.

Representative District Candidate Status Primary General

001 Roberts, Joe (DEM) Active

002 Boyd, Allen (DEM) *Incumbent Active
Flowers, Mark (REP) Active
Ortiz, Robert (REP) Active

004 Crenshaw, Ander (REP) *Incumbent Active

005 Brown-Waite, Ginny (REP) *Incumbent Active

006 Stearns, Clifford (REP) *Incumbent Active

007 Tart, Louis Jack (CPF) Active

008 Kroehler, Corbett M. (DEM) Active
Van, Quoc (DEM) Active

009 Mitchell, Bill (DEM) Active

010 Simpson, Samm (DEM) Active

012 Putnam, Adam H. (REP) *Incumbent Active

013 LaFevers, Michael S. (DEM) Active

014 George, Jeff (NPA) Active

015 Blythe, Stephen Lee (DEM) Active
Rancatore, Paul (DEM) Active

016 Harrell, Gayle (REP) Active
Rooney, Thomas Joseph (REP) Active
Valeche, Hal R. (REP) Active

021 Diaz-Balard, Lincoln (REP) *Incumbent Active
Santoro, Dean (REP) Active

022 Flagg, Marc (REP) Active

023 Hastings, Alcee L. (DEM) *Incumbent Active
Sanchez, Ray Torres (DEM) Active
Thorpe Jr., Marion D. (REP) Active

024 Curtis, Clint (DEM) Active

025 Diaz-Balard, Mario (REP) *Incumbent Active

Update: Jim Johnson has an interesting comment about election laws.

Michael... Florida campaign finance law does not apply to federal offices. He can spend money without officially filing with the Federal Elections Commission, until he spends $5,000 at which time he has to file.

The interesting question would be how much Fasano has spent? Properly not much. Fasano will have to pay $5,000 to officially declare his candidacy.

Another question is does he really believe that he can raise more money than Kathy Castor. She raised $1,373,273 for the 2006 election. Much of it she gave to other Congressional candidates. She crushed her opponents in the primary and general election.

Fasano posts this rant on his campaign web site.

I will be running for Congress Of the 11th District in 2008. I am a Republican and unlike Jim Davis, the former Congress Person who Kathy had no political difference with, there are profound differences with Kathy Castor and myself. The differences are staggering and her positions are clearly a danger to the welfare, safety and security of our community, as well as, our nation. Her "Extreme" liberal agenda is unknown to most residents of Tampa. I will, however, expose her.

Good God. He sounds like Michael Savage.

If you want a good laugh, check out the campaign site guestbook.

Kyle Thursday, 7/26/07, 8:30 PM

Buddy, not only are you a lunatic, but you're a lunatic who will get worked by Kathy Castor on Election Day. Keep crazying around, but when all is said and done, you'll be back in the cab where you clearly belong.

This campaign comes across as a desperate cry for attention.

Update: Here is the text of the law.

If you are running for the U.S. House, Senate or the Presidency, you must register with the FEC once you (or persons acting on your behalf) receive contributions or make expenditures in excess of $5,000. Within 15 days of reaching that $5,000 threshold, you must file a Statement of Candidacy (FEC Form 2 [PDF]) authorizing a principal campaign committee to raise and spend funds on your behalf. Within 10 days of that filing, your principal campaign committee must submit a Statement of Organization (FEC Form 1 [PDF]). Your campaign will thereafter report its receipts and disbursements on a regular basis. Campaigns should download the Campaign Guide for Congressional Candidates [PDF] for more information on the laws that apply to them.

Hat tip to Jennifer.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Meet the TNR Iraq Blogger

It's amazing how much time the Right spent trying to scream that the soldier who wrote under the pseudonym Scott Thomas didn't exist. The Weekly Standard and the National Review lead the charge. It didn't matter that they had no actual evidence or did no responsible investigative reporting. Ideology and pro-Iraq war support came first.

Now Scott Thomas has come forward and revealed his real identity as Scott Thomas Beauchamp.

I am Private Scott Thomas Beauchamp, a member of Alpha Company, 1/18 Infantry, Second Brigade Combat Team, First Infantry Division.

My pieces were always intended to provide my discrete view of the war; they were never intended as a reflection of the entire U.S. Military. I wanted Americans to have one soldier's view of events in Iraq.

It's been maddening, to say the least, to see the plausibility of events that I witnessed questioned by people who have never served in Iraq. I was initially reluctant to take the time out of my already insane schedule fighting an actual war in order to play some role in an ideological battle that I never wanted to join. That being said, my character, my experiences, and those of my comrades in arms have been called into question, and I believe that it is important to stand by my writing under my real name.

Will the Weekly Standard and National Review stand by their writing or just pretend that the controversy they started never happened? I'm betting on the latter. Both publications should of had a major editorial review of how they wrote such factually inaccurate articles. Instead, they attack a soldier they claimed never existed here and here. Real classy.

Other lefty bloggers share their thoughts.

"That's just crazy. All these people need to stop," writes Matt Yglesias. "They need to apologize to the people at TNR who've wasted huge amounts of time dealing with their nonsense."

The Right bitches about the "liberal media." People would take their complaints more seriously if they didn't have tv and radio host throw on-air temper tamtrums and print journalists that posted corrections. Instead, they have a noise machine.

Shakes makes a great point.

Which is why I think we should hold Foer and TNR to some account. It was obvious how all this would play out. Any of us on the Left who share the stories of antiwar soldiers, or soldiers just telling the ugly truth of war, need to be prepared. Better prepared than that, anyway.

The rightwing noise machine will attack. It's not important if the Right makes a valid point. What they want to make of is that people don't hear the other side make valid points. They want you to believe it's a shiny happy people world.

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Private Toll Booth Considered Again

I wrote here and here about how nutty an idea it is to have private companies build toll roads to fund new road construction.

Faced with a funding shortfall, the Florida Department of Transportation wants a private firm to not only design and build the project, but finance it. Under one option being considered, the contractor would recoup its costs through tolls and be responsible for maintenance for up to 50 years.

You should wonder how Florida is going to recoup the tax money used for construction. Another question is will the company that wins the bid be around in 50 years to handle maintenance.

What I do know is that people avoid toll roads. The Florida Department of Transportation reprinted a Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel that reports the Veterans Expressway and Suncoast Parkway have not met toll revenue expectations.

Color me unimpressed.

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Marco Rubio Writes Op-eds

Via Kenneth Quinnell: Marco Rubio wrote two negative op-ed pieces in the Miami Herald and (good God) the Florida Baptist aimed at Charlie Crist. Rubio put himself in the position of going against a popular Governor. He balked in front of the press and then managed to attacked Democrats.

"There's no vast right wing conspiracy ... I think people want the drama. But that is not what this is about. I support 99 percent of the things the governor wants," he told the Times today. "The Republican Party is a big enough party for people of different viewpoints to fit in nicely. That's what makes us different from Democrats. The Democrats, in my opinion, are pretty monolithic. No Democrat could write the op-ed piece I wrote (on energy) because they would get excommunicated from the party."

Since when do Democrats agree on anything? To quote Will Rogers, "I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat." Russ Feingold and Joe Lieberman were running to every microphone to say that Bill Clinton should be investigated for the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Republicans backed George W. Bush lockstep until they lost the midterms. It wasn't until the President's unpopular policies were visibly hurting the GOP that members such as Chuck Hagel became outspoken.

Followers of politics understand that Republicans are better at staying on-message than Democrats. The GOP prides itself on message discipline. The Democratic Party is organized from bottom to top. The Republican Party can never have a rightwing version of Daily Kos. The Party doesn't want small activists to affect change within the workings of the party.

What Rubio is trying to please the big business and Christian base of the Republican Party with his op-eds. He is young and term-limited in the House. He wants to run for public office and be a major player in Florida politics. The way to do that is work the base. The only problem is he can't seem to do anything right.

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Economists Are Not Shiny Happy People

An important meeting will take place next month and most Floridians aren't even aware of it's significance. Economists will make a new annual revenue estimate. The current estimate will not meet expectations. Florida is facing a $318 million tax shortfall. None of this is surprising to me. Dennis Hastert and Mike Gravel may think that sales taxes are a swell idea. I view them as an unstable form of tax revenue.

Unsurprisingly, Charlie Crist has stated that he will not raise taxes. There is good reason he will keep this pledge. It goes against his populist instincts and the Republican base will turn on him. Conservatives believe that George H.W. Bush lost to Bill Clinton because he broke his no new taxes pledge. They refuse to take into account that he was a horrible candidate and only won the White House because he ran against the even more dreadful Michael Dukakis. Republicans have run the nation into a huge deficit in Washington. If Florida Republicans believe they can continue to win elections with an unbalanced budget they will do so. As unorganized as Florida Democrats have been there is no reason to think otherwise.

I'm interested in what will economists reccommend to increase tax revenue. The state has relied new citizens to increase tax revenue. That creates more growth management problems. Which creates the need for more revenue. It's been a recipe for disaster. Florida Republicans are hostile to reality-based economic reports. They attacked economist Hank Fishkind for going against their shiny happy people narrative.

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Here Comes the Subpoenas

Karl Rove and Scott Jennings have been subpoenaed by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Democrats sent a letter to Solicitor General Paul Clement. They have asked special counsel to investigate to investigative if Alberto Gonzales perjured himself to Congress.

Gonzales made claim that he visited John Ashcroft's hospital room. There have been news stories that Gonzales was seeking approval to continue a classified surveillance program. Gonzales wished to circumvent acting Attorney General James Comey. Ashcroft turned down Gonzales's request.

Gonzales testified that he visited the hospital on the behave of Democrats. Tom Daschle, Jay Rockefeller, Jane Harman and Nancy Pelosi stated that is false. Futhermore, an Office of the Director of National Intelligence document reveal that Democrats did not dicuss reauthorization of the domestic surveillance program during the March 10, 2004 meeting. Gonzales's cover story has been blown by eyewitnesses and documentation.

Testifying before a Congressional committee is the same as testifying in court. The laws of perjury apply. Elliott Abrams pleaded guilty to Congress to two felonies for perjuring himself to Congress. Abrams said these word to John Kerry about Contra funding.

"I can say that while I have been assistant secretary, which is about 15 months, we have not received a dime from a foreign government, not a dime, from any foreign government."

Prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia funneled 32 million of his country's money to the Contras. The current President gave him the nickname Bandar Bush.

In other news: The House Judiciary Committee voted to file contempt charges against Joshua Bolton and Harriet Miers. Bolton accompanied Gonzales to visit Ashcroft. Miers was part of the email exchanges dealing with the U.S. Attorneys purging.

“In our system of government, no one is above the law,” Rep. John Conyers, the committee’s chairman, said in a letter to the White House.

Tony Snow responded by kicking out a Yiddish diss. I swear I'm not making this up.

“This is pathetic,” said White House spokesman Tony Snow. “We have hundreds of hearings that have produced bupkis.”

The literal definitions of bupkis is beans. Perhaps Snow is confusing the judiciary committees the House Committee on Agriculture.

If that was the case then Mr. Snow wouldn't be in full spin mode.

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Stay the Course (Or Maybe Not)

View this on LiveDigital

A classic example of how President Bush will deny saying things he is on-record saying. This case it is staying the course in Iraq. Bush told ABC News George Stephanopoulos the administration never had a stay the course policy with Iraq. The liberal media, also known as the official White House web site, website has this quote.

And my message today to those in Iraq is: We'll stay the course; we'll complete the job.

Bush prides himself with staying on-message. The problem is when the message is unpopular, the President feels he has to deny things he said to win support of the American people. He probably considers that good politics. It is the reason why his credibility on Iraq is in shambles.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Mel Sembler Stands Behind Lewis Libby

It's interesting to see who is a member of Lewis "Scooter" Libby's defense trust. The list contains a who's who of neoconservatives. Two members strike my interest.

The most shameless member is Martin Peretz. He is best known as the edotor of The New Republic. The speciality of TNR is being a pro-Democrat magazine that attacks Democrats. My favorite member is St. Petersburg resident Mel Sembler. He is known to longtime Pushing Rope readers for having his discarded penis pump put on sale on Ebay by Richard Bradbury. Bradbury did this in protest to the physical and mental avbuse he suffered in the teen program Save Our Society from Drugs. The program is run by Sembler's wife Betty. The Semblers sued Bradbury for putting the penis pump on Ebay.

Libby has some intertesting friends. That might explain why Scooter wrote his bizarre Japanese novel The Apprentice. Here is a choice paggage.

"The man called out to the others that the deer was still warm. He asked if they should fuck the deer"

That's not a question one gets asked everyday.

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Marco Rubio: In Search of A 100 Original Ideas

It's amazing how much Marco Rubio's Miami Herald op-ed mirrors an email sent out by the Dick Armey think tank Freedom Works.

Marco Rubio

Other estimates indicate that Kyoto-like carbon caps could result in electricity bills that rise from the current 8-cent per kilowatt average now seen in the United States to the 25-cent kilowatt average which burdens families in Europe. The United Kingdom alone saw a 14-percent increase between 2005 and 2006. Floridians already are paying too much in taxes and insurance. The last thing we need is higher utility bills.

Freedom Works

Armey accused Crist of ''pandering to radical enviromentalists'' and asked: ``What about hard-working Floridians whose family budgets are stretched to the limit because of high gasoline prices and skyrocketing home energy costs? For them, Crist's mandates will be the straw that breaks the camel's back.''

Rubio has also called Crist's proposal "European-style big government." When in doubt, Republicans mentions foreigners to scare the daylights out of voters.

I yawned when I heard Crist's climate change proposals. The details have been sketchy. Will these changes account for Florida's population growth? If the state's track record on growth management is any indication then the answer is no. The technology for alternative sources of fuel have been lagging. Partly because Republicans have been resistant to it. Energy companies are a powerful source of lobbying in Florida. Republicans were silent when Jeb Bush sign a bill to end emissions testing.

The Freedom Works argument about alternative sources of fuel becoming expensive is laughable and anti-capitalistic. Gas prices have skyrocketed while conservatives have repeated the same doomsday warming. The truth is they do not want other sources of fuel competing with gasoline. Competition would give consumers choices. Republicans aren't going to let that happen.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Cat Power on Austin City Limits

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Monday, July 23, 2007

A Savagely Bad Defense

A sure sign that Don Imus's career is over. Michael Savage comes to his defense. Although, if Savage really wanted to help Imus, he should have been more vocal before the firings.

On the July 20 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Michael Savage said Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson "lynched [radio host Don] Imus" over racially charged comments he made during his April 4 show. Savage, commenting on the subsequent firing of Imus, went on to say, "This is what was done in Nazi Germany to Jews."

Savage compares the deaths of blacks and Jews to the termination of a well-paid talk radio host. It takes serious wingnut talent to offend two ethnic groups. Even Ann Coulter would be impressed.

Savage lays out his reasons for why Jackson and Sharpton (he fails to mention the blogosphere) protested Imus's racist comments.

They didn't do so, so much for racial reasons, they did it for commercial reasons. They did it A, to shake down CBS, and number 2, they did it because Imus was a more successful talk-show host than they were. They have loser shows on the weekend that no one listens to. Now, how do you move up if you're a talentless demagogue? What you do is you attack talented white men, and you say that we need to have fairness in America, in the American media. So put us in their seats.

Another way for a talentless talk show host to "move up" is to change his name from Michael Alan Weiner to Michael Savage and spew racist banter to appeal to the lowest denominator. Savage and Imus have both done it for years. Until their MSNBC and CBS received to much heat. They hired and fired Savage and Imus because they create controversy. Not because they had something intelligent to say.

If Savage thinks Jackson and Sharpton got Imus fired then he is deluded. Both have slipped in the political landscape and ran failed predidential campaigns. Jackson's and Sharpton's political clout is near zero. Al Franken makes fun of Jackson.

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Christine Jennings Video

Here is the whole video of Christine Jennings announcing that she will run for Congress in 2008.


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Lewis Black On Bush & Kerry

Short answer: the choice between Bush and Kerry was choosing between two bowls of shit.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Sick Joke

This is too bizarre for words. Tim Fasano is running for Congress. Aiding him is Freeper poster Paul Meagher as his campaign manager. I almost wish that Fasano's campaign will get media exposure. He would have to explain the constant xenaphobic and misogynistic material on Tampa Taxi Shots.

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Ann Althouse Blogs About Breast (No Surprise There)

Good God. Ann Althouse is writing about breasts, again. This time a post about Hillary Clinton's cleavage.

Are you going to say that we ought to be giving attention to the content of that speech and not to the presentation of the woman who would be President?

Althouse then provides a link to images of Hillary's assets. How is that for consistency? I don't want to hear Althouse protest the next time someone brings up her mean-spirited attack on Jessica Valenti. I can't believe this woman is a law professor.

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State Farm to Drop 50,000 Homeowner Policies

I'm disappointed, but not surprised that State Farm is going to drop 50,000 homeowners policies. Governor Charlie Crist temporarily freezed property insurance. The industry responded by suing the state. Homeowner insurance companies view Florida as a financial loser. State Farm will drop the policies starting Jan. 1, 2008. Many coastal homeowners will have to search for new insurance. Other inland homeowners are also affected.

Florida government appears to be playing tough with State Farm.

"If State Farm reduces exposure in Florida through the non-renewal of property insurance policies, the Office of Insurance Regulation will revisit State Farm's rates to ensure they are not excessive," Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty said.

Short answer: if State Farm doesn't want state government looking into their rates then they better increase homeowner coverage. McCarty is not finished with State Farm.

"These actions are inconsistent with State Farm's previous statements outlining their underwriting intentions," McCarty said in a statement released by his office. "The office is in the process of reviewing these filings to ensure they are consistent with Florida law."

The South Florida Business Journal reports that McCarthy's comment might mean that he will not allow any of the policies to be cancelled.

CFO Alex Sink described State Farm as having "disregard for long-standing customer relationships."

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Quote of the Day 2

“I’m not going to talk about my campaign anymore. I’m finished with talking about it. I’ve talked about it for two weeks. I will not discuss it or any aspect of it. Thank you.”

John McCain

That is the most straight talk I have heard the Maverick give to reporters in quite some time. I'm just wondering how someone campaigning isn't going to talk about his campaign. It's like watching Glengarry Glen Ross without the profanity.


Quote of the Day

Kevin Drum on the rumor that the New York Times is going to end TimesSelect. Only paid subscribers have been able to read the columnists online.

Can this be true? It would sure be nice to once again be able to mock Tom Friedman.....

Amen, brother.

Personally, I miss the unintentional comedy writing of John Tierney.

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Wayne Garcia On Studio 10

Everyone's favorite Republican mistakened for a progressive, Wayne Garcia, discusses Barack Obama's candidacy on Studio 10.

Side note: what is up with the show's weird kitchen set? I was disappointed when Garcia didn't whip up a recipe.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Vern Buchanan Is In the Money

Republicans are pushing hard to make sure Vern Buchanan keeps his seat. Buchanan raised $365,000 from April to June of 2007. The organized push by the GOP has been staggering.

More than 70 other PACs, including those for the National Rifle Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Florida's sugar and citrus industries, have given Buchanan more than $162,000.

Also bolstering Buchanan's fundraising total: A $106,000 refund from his 2006 political media consultant and almost $78,100 in travel reimbursements for campaign stops by President Bush, First Lady Laura Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

There are two hysterical quotes from the article. The first is by Buchanan's campaign chairman Tim Clarke.

"Vern's agenda of lower taxes, less spending and more personal freedom is resonating with the people."

Actually, Christine Jennings is going to run against Buchanan in 2008. He barely beat her in a still contested election. Republicans do not want to lose more seats in the House.

The second is by the worst quote machine in Florida politics. Yes, I'm talking about about University of South Florida political science professor Susan MacManus.

"District 13 remains a very important district nationally, a symbol to both parties," MacManus said. "There's not an analyst out there who doesn't expect another slugfest."

Wow. That is some indepth analysis. This is what makes her a media quote machine.

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Mel Martinez Hearts Iraq War

Let us all remember that Mel Martinez voted to continue the Iraq war.

''The danger to our nation as a result of Iran's very, very aggressive tendencies, as well as al-Qaida's continued presence in Iraq, makes it essential that this mission not be terminated prematurely and certainly not until a time as we have had the generals on the ground give us their assessment of this latest strategy,'' Martinez said during a floor speech prior to the vote.

That has been the regurgatated talking point from Martinez's allies in the White House. The problem is that al-Qaida didn't have a presence in Iraq until after the invasion. THe National Intelligence Estimate states that al-Qaida has aqquired a safe haven in Pakistan. What this proves is that President Bush knows shit about reading people.

"When (Musharraf) looks me in the eye and says...there won't be a Taliban and won't be al-Qaeda, I believe him."

The short answer is that Martinez's justifications for contining the Iraq war are bogus. If he was serious about keeping America safer from al-Qaida then he would be more critical of the administration. He won't because he owes his Senate seat and RNC chairmanship to the Bushies.

Martinez is a horrible hack and Florida Republicans know it. Tom Gallagher is being pitched as a possible opponent.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Who's Bad? Celine Dion Is

I never thought any human being was capable of doing worst cover songs than William Shatner. Celine Dion proves me wrong. She prances around in an outlandish outfit while belting out the AC/DC song You Shook Me All Night Long. That doesn't compare to her Michael Jackson impersonation during Bad.

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Feel Good*

Truth (minus the -iness) set to music, and it comes to you via the Houston Chronicle. The Houston Chronicle. I liked Andrew Sullivan's remark:
"Is this the future of editorial cartooning?"

I'll be back with some actual writing later, barring any catastrophes of food or flesh. This bit of lovely cried out for sharing immediately, though.

*This videotoon is not about feeling good, not really. Also, I am English.

(H/T oddjob)

Also at litbrit.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Bob Allen Arrested

It always amazes me that conservatives are so repressed about their own sexuality. Especially when it comes to homosexuality. Bob Allen appears to be another Republican denying his true self.

TITUSVILLE - State Rep. Bob Allen was arrested Wednesday after offering to perform oral sex for $20 on an undercover male police officer, authorities said.

Veteran's Memorial Park was under surveillance when Allen, R-Merritt Island, was seen coming in and out of a restroom three times, Lt. Todd Hutchinson said. Allen, 48, then approached an undercover officer and was arrested, police said.

Allen is fighting the charge. He is going the Jimmy Swaggart route with the display of tears.

''I am filing a not guilty plea. I am vigorously going to fight this,'' State Rep. Bob Allen, a co-chair of Republican presidential candidate John McCain's campaign in Florida, said at a news conference. ``I am not resigning my office because the people elected me and want me to do a good job. I am going to do a good job for them in finishing this term.''

Allen will have to explain why he came in and out of the public restroom 3 times and approached the undercover officer. Perhaps that $20.00 bill Allen handed the officer was for the police pension fund.

The Veteran's Memorial Park restroom was under surveillance. It is unknown if Allen was caught on videotape.

Update: things get more interesting. Marco Rubio must decide if any disciplinary measures will be taken against Allen. I betting that Rubio waits to the courts reach a verdict on Allen's case. Both parties of the Florida legislature is bad at policing themselves. See Siplin, Gary.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Draft Zell Miller

I was wondering when someone was going to throw Zell Miller's name into the presidential campaign mix.

That candidate does not currently reside among the blah crowd of Republicans and Democrats now seeking the office of president. What you have are a group of politically correct talking heads who smile a lot and tell you what they think you want to hear, hoping you will be dumb enough to vote for them. There is more plastic in that bunch than in most folks' wallets.

Well, I have the answer. I am starting a "draft Zell Miller for president" campaign. Remember, you read it here first. The man is such a natural for the job, I am surprised that nobody thought of it before I did, but being smarter than the average bear is why I get the big bucks. Besides, just the mention of his name as a presidential candidate would make a couple of people I know apoplectic. That alone would be worth the effort.

I am not surprised no one mentioned Zell. He scares the shit out of people. Miller endorsed segregation. He called Lyndon Johnson, "...a southerner who has sold his birthright for a mess of dark porridge." Then there is Miller's fearmongering keynote speech at the Republican Convention.


Quote of the Day

Joe Lieberman is publicly stating there is no possible way America will lose in Iraq.

“You know, Harry Reid said a while ago that the war in Iraq is lost. It’s wrong. It’s not lost. In fact, I would say we’re beginning to win it. We’ve turned the tide with the new strategy. And in fact, I cannot conceive of a circumstance in which American forces would lose the war in Iraq, on the ground in Iraq. If we lose it, it’s gonna be lost here at home, in a different kind of war for public opinion and political support.”

Lieberman does the weasal by blaming dissenters (most of America.) If The United States lose in than it's the Left's fault. Blame it on the side that has had little political sway during the war.

Lieberman fails to note that violence has increased in Iraq. Twenty mortar rounds hit the once safe Green Zone. 130 people were killed by a suicide bomber in Norghern Iraq. 8 U.S. soldiers were recently killed in Baghdad. Lieberman has a bizarre idea of what victory is.

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Why People Shoyuldn't Take Bill Kristol Seriously

Bill Kristol penned his latest opus stating that President Bush should ignore Congress and stay in Iraq.

The best strategy for the president is to hold firm. There is every reason to believe that he can survive the current calamity-Janes of the Republican party (does anyone really imagine that a veto-proof majority will form in the Senate this week or next?). This nonsense will pass, Congress will go on recess, and Petraeus will have a chance to continue to produce results--and the president and his allies will have a chance to gain political ground here at home. Why on earth pull the plug now? Why give in to an insane, irrational panic that will destroy the Bush administration and most likely sweep the Republican party to ruin? The president still has a chance to emerge from this as a visionary who could see what the left could not--but not if he gives in to them. There is no safety in the position some in the Bush administration are running towards.

Kristol is really desperate. To say that Republican defecting is "nonsense" is nonsense. If he really believes that Bush can regain political ground on Iraq than I love to see him bet his life savings on it. Otherwise, he is just full of shit. If Kristol would make that wager than he is as delussional as many thinks he is. I'm going with the former.

The bigger question is why should the President or anyone else take advise form the son of neoconservative founder Irving Kristol. He has been wrong on too many occasions to list. Here are a few classics.

"There's a fair amount of evidence that Iraq had very close associations with Osama bin Laden in the past."

"There's been a certain amount of pop sociology in America … that the Shia can't get along with the Sunni and the Shia in Iraq just want to establish some kind of Islamic fundamentalist regime. There's almost no evidence of that at all," he reassured NPR listeners in April 2003. "Iraq's always been very secular."

Kristol on Abu Ghraib.

"...it is insane for this country to be obsessed about a small prisoner-abuse scandal."

Kristol is such a horrible editor that the Weekly Standard has never been able to make a profit. The magazine stays a float because of Ruport Murdoch.

The Weekly Standards lean staff of twenty-- seven was having its editorial meeting around a conference table that owner Rupert Murdoch salvaged from Mirabella, his defunct fashion magazine. Six blocks east at The New Republic, owners Martin Peretz and the New York businessmen Roger Hertog and Michael Steinhardt shrunk; much of the staff voluntarily took a 10 percent salary cut.

I'm not sad to see the New Republic have the same financial problems. TNR also endorsed the Iraq war and demonized people who were against it.

Update: A reason to show why Kristol is dishonest. This is less about securing Iraq and more about securing Congressional seats for the GOP.

Why on earth pull the plug now? Why give in to an insane, irrational panic that will destroy the Bush administration and most likely sweep the Republican party to ruin?

Republicans wouldn't be in this position if they didn't listen to people like Bill Kristol and his neoconsefvative buddies. Kristol wants to continue the bloodshed to maintain power. The man plots with the viciousness of Michael Corleone.

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Blogger Running For Congress

Holy shit. Mixter is running for Congress. She plans on running against Republican Paul Ryan.

So, I'm going to issue this challenge to my readers and fellow bloggers: If you think this liberal Democrat should give Mr. Ryan a run for his money, I'd like you to spread the word. Political bloggers blog because they want to be catalysts for political change and spread their messages through the internets; so, let's use this medium for all it's worth! Link this post to every lefty blog you read. Link to this post in a bulletin with your MySpace accounts. E-mail a link to this post to all your friends, families and acquaintances who still believes there's some hope left for this country and for the way of life we once knew. If we, as bloggers, readers of blogs, and citizens of this nation can make a difference on the netroots level, then by golly, let's do it!

I pledge to you that I will run against Paul Ryan as a Democrat (no third party -- I have faith that we can win our party back as well as our country) if together we can drum up enough interest and commitment, because let's face it -- I haven't the bank account or the power to do it on my own.

Are we up to the challenge?


Michele (Micki) Watters
East Troy, Wisconsin

Mixter was inspired by Cindy Sheehan's plans to run against Nancy Pelosi. I do not support Sheehan's campaign. I wholeheartedly am behind the Mix Master. Go get them, tiger.

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Monday, July 09, 2007

Hillary Hires A Dick

I agree with Shakes. I am less than thrilled about Hillary Clinton hiring Dick Gephardt as an economic advisor. My feelings start with Gephardt being the worst Minority leader the Democrats ever had in Congress. This guy got snowballed by the Contract For America, Tom Delay, the K Street Project, and Newt Gingrinch. If lefty activists think that Nancy Pelosi is bad than they haven't lived through the days of the Geph. The most hysterical part is this guy thought he had the leadership and political savvy to become President. (He lost the 1988 Democratic nomination to Michael Dukakis.)

Shakes informs us that Gephardt has been spending his current days as a corporate servant for Goldman Sachs. Gephardt is also a lobbyist for Peabody Energy. The company is hostile to mandatory caps on emissions.

Gephardt is the worst of political opportunists. He is the Democratic version of Mitt Romney. He long held anti-abortion views and hostility towards Roe vs. Wade.

"Life is the division of human cells, a process that begins with conception. The (Supreme Court's abortion) ruling was unjust, and it is incumbent on the Congress to correct the injustice... I have always been supportive of pro-life legislation. I intend to remain steadfast on this issue.... I believe that the life of the unborn should be protected at all costs."

That all changed when he decided to run for President in 19888. He told the National Right to Life Committee, "I now do not support any Constitutional amendment pertaining to the legality of abortion."

What a guy.

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Write A Caption: Rudy Giuliani


Impeachment Matters

It is time for Congress to break ground on what will certainly be an extraordinarily difficult but necessary undertaking. They must begin right away; they must ignore the partisan cries of those who would downplay the very serious crimes about which a significant portion of the American people are, and have long been, justly outraged.

We don't put accused criminals on trial for the purpose of emotional satisfaction--we do it because it's part of due process under the law: their due process, and the state's due process. If during the course of the trial, evidence is presented that exonerates the accused, or if, at the conclusion of said trial, a jury finds the accused to be innocent, the defendant goes free, without punishment. And if the verdict is guilty, he or she receives punishment as prescribed by the law.

We do this for embezzlers and drug peddlers; bank robbers and con-men; child molesters and rapists and murderers. We do not stop in our tracks and say, "This will cost too much--let's not even ask the questions." No. We may enter into plea-bargains that lower the charges and thus reduce the punishment, but we don't pooh-pooh the alleged crime before even exploring its severity and the quality and quantity of the evidence available to prove that the accused is, indeed, guilty, saying it would be too expensive, too time-consuming, and too deleterious to the state's morale to even try.

Good God, people, America has not come to this, has She?

The law is the law. Isn't it? And crimes are crimes, aren't they? Because insofar as the law is concerned, there are plenty of crimes on the table before us.

- The Bush Administration lied the country into war with a sovereign nation that did us no harm and posed no imminent threat, which crime has resulted in the following:

- 3,600+ American soldiers are dead

- Tens of thousands of soldiers are wounded--suffering lost limbs, lost eyesight, broken souls, shattered lives, and broken marriages and families, and

- Scores of thousands--possibly into the six figures--of innocent Iraqi civilians are also dead--men, women, and children. Families no different from yours or mine, but who had the bad fortune to be situated above the oil and beneath the bombs.

Consider, further, the following:

- Private corporations, many if not most of which are friends and on-the-record benefactors of the President and Vice President (with one notable example being the VP's ex-employer) continue to profit from all this, to the tune of countless billions of our tax dollars, with vast portions of military work--duties once carried out by military personnel, from intelligence gathering to base-building to meal preparation to interrogation and on and on--now privatized and operating in the murky area some three nanometers on the other side of accountability, the FOIA, and open books. We'll never know how much of our money has evaporated courtesy of these gray clouds, and that's exactly the way the cronies and their obfuscating puppetry intended it.

- Those gentlemen who hold the two highest public offices in the land are, and have been, subverting the law and attempting to destroy the Constitution at every turn. Examples of this include torturing prisoners and denying them due process in violation of international law; hiding thousands and thousands of official records through illegal private communications (the famous "lost" emails); spying on Americans in America--ordinary Americans accused of nothing; holding secret meetings about energy policy (holding secret meetings about everything, in fact); demonizing, smearing, and/or firing critics, and so on, ad infinitum.

And beyond that, there is even more.

It doesn't matter how much it costs, or how long it takes, or how painful it might be to watch for some, or how inconveniently timed this is (as though that were not carefully planned, too).

If this is indeed a nation of laws, not men, we must demand that our representatives in Congress follow those laws and begin proceedings to impeach--and, if the evidence discovered and uncovered should call for it soon enough, remove from office--the President and Vice President of this great nation, that it may once again be a great nation.

Also at litbrit.

Lewis "Scooter" Libby Update

Scott Horton makes a compelling point about Dick Cheney's involvement in the Libby pardon.

If Cheney was behind the decision to pardon Libby, from any objective perspective that would be for one reason: to protect himself by preserving Libby’s silence. That would be issuing a pardon in furtherance of a cover-up, which is precisely the circumstance for which—in the famous exchange between George Mason and James Madison in the Constitutional Convention of 1787—impeachment was said to have been intended.

Moreover, we know from the recent Washington Post series on Cheney that there really aren’t any major decisions in the White House from which Cheney was divorced.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers will hold hearings to look into the pardon. As well as past Bush and Clinton pardons.

"What we have here ... is that the suspicion was that if Mr. Libby went to prison, he might further implicate other people in the White House, and that there was some kind of relationship here that does not exist in any of President Clinton's pardons, nor, according to those that we've talked to ... is that it's never existed before, ever, " Conyers said on ABC's This Week.

Libby will likely not testify. He has already been convicted and speaking is not in his best interest. Unless Conyers wants to hear Libby plead the fifth.

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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Rilo Kiley Moneymaker Video

The full version of the new Rilo Kiley video for the song Moneymaker contains 9 minutes of interviews with porn stars. The actual music video is the band and porn stars in a porn store.

Here is the partial video.

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Write A Caption: Dubya & Pete Domenici Edition

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Hip To Be Square

Mitt Romney won the Young Republicans National Convention in Hollywood, Florida. Fred Thompson came in second and Rudy Giuliani finished third.

Kids, this is the future of American politics. It's hip to be square and a young Republican.

Young Republicans

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Sheehan Vs Pelosi?

I mentioned before that I wished Cindy Sheehan would stop imploding and just get on with her life. Sheehan is now openly challenging Nancy Pelosi for her seat.

CRAWFORD, Texas - Cindy Sheehan, the soldier's mother who galvanized the anti-war movement, said Sunday that she plans to seek House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's congressional seat unless she introduces articles of impeachment against President Bush in the next two weeks.

Sheehan said she will run against the San Francisco Democrat in 2008 as an independent if Pelosi does not seek by July 23 to impeach Bush. That's when Sheehan and her supporters are to arrive in Washington, D.C., after a 13-day caravan and walking tour starting next week from the group's war protest site near Bush's Crawford ranch.

"Democrats and Americans feel betrayed by the Democratic leadership," Sheehan told The Associated Press. "We hired them to bring an end to the war. I'm not too far from San Francisco, so it wouldn't be too big of a move for me. I would give her a run for her money."

Sheehan will get killed running against Pelosi. Challenging the most powerful member of Congress without the backing of a major political party or fundraisers is foolhardy. It is typical Sheehan. She has turned political suicide into an art form. Who could have imagined the valiant mother would become Ralph Nader?

Another question: what happened to Sheehan resigning from the anti-war movement.

This is my resignation letter as the "face" of the American anti-war movement. This is not my "Checkers" moment, because I will never give up trying to help people in the world who are harmed by the empire of the good old US of A, but I am finished working in, or outside of this system. This system forcefully resists being helped and eats up the people who try to help it. I am getting out before it totally consumes me or anymore people that I love and the rest of my resources.

Good-bye America ...you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can’t make you be that country unless you want it.

It wasn't the "Checkers moment." It was another Nixon moment.

You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference.


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Crist's Nondenial

Charlie Crist offers the worst nodenial about his desire to become a Vice-Prresident prospect.

But then he acknowledged that he has had "indirect conversations through other people, through other campaigns" about the potential VP nod. Now that's straight-talk.

Question: how would Crist know there are "indirect conversations" if he is not involved in the conversations. Did a magical leprecon tell him other people were pimping him for the VP nomination?


I Agree With Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani is booed in Jacksonville. For not supporting abolishing the federal income tax.

Several dozen people wearing white fair tax T-shirts and hats and carrying signs briefly jeered when Giuliani, in response to a question, said he would not be in favor of the fair tax system.

"I have to study it some more," the former New York City mayor said. "I don't think a fair tax is realistic change for America. Our economy is dependent upon the way our tax system operates."

"Fair tax" proposals would abolish federal income taxes and other federal taxes and replace them with a national sales tax.

This national sales tax is a horrible idea supoported by conservatives and Democrat Mike Gravel. I have a hard time believing a national sales tax pitch will fly with voters after seeing how it crashed and burned in Florida. This maybe one of the few times when I actually agree with Giuliani. Mark the day on your calendar.

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Florida Progressive Radio

Florida Progressive Radio has it's first episode online. Kenneth Quinnell is the host.


Thursday, July 05, 2007

John Edwards Tampa Speech

John Edwards speaks about wife Elizabeth taking Ann Coulter to task. Meowmissy has photos of the event.

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Straight Talk Express Heads For A Ditch

More proof that the John McCain campaign is officially fucked. They are giving up on Florida. Considering that Florida's primary has been moved up - this is not by choice.

Two bold predictions given the news that onetime GOP frontrunner John McCain has just $2-million on hand for his presidential campaign. One: Charlie Crist won't be endorsing the Arizona Senator especially soon. Two: The McCain campaign won't be staffing up aggressively in Florida very soon.

What McCain campaign manager Terry Nelson told Buzz last month while trolling for dollars in Florida presumably is no longer operable: "Now that Florida's definitely moved, we'll move beyond building the beginning structure of a campaign."

This isn't about the primary schedule. McCain's fundraising woes is do to making laughable statements about the current state of Iraq.

"There are neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through those neighborhoods today."

That explains why McCain toured Baghdad with over 100 soldiers and two Apache gunships.

Things are so bad for McCain that he has laid off campaign staffers.

Department heads in Mr. McCain’s campaigns spent today calling into lower-level staff to inform them of their dismissals with two weeks notice. Mr. McCain’s advisers said they were cutting back on consultants, with those in the fund-raising area losing their guaranteed monthly retainers. The moves amounted to a drastic scaling back of what once had been a gold-plated campaign.

The New York Times reports there maybe over 80 dismissals. The Times emphasizes the McCain's failure to pass an immigration bill. What they fail to note is that the Christian Right has long had contempt for the Straight Talker. That whole business of McCain nearly leaving the Republican Party certainly doesn't help matters. The base hates McCain and the Left thinks he is delusional. Other than that, his campaign is going great.

Update: the Rasmussen poll shows McCain losing to Hillary Clinton 46% to 42%. Hillary scares me. I'm afraid she would lose in a general election. Plus, I can't stand her lack of political courage. So me saying, that I have complete confidence that she could kick McCain's ass in the general election, says much about the Straight Talk Express. When Peer Review and PR agree, you know there is a problem.

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