Black and White River City Lights wallpaper, Wheels Down Jetliner wallpaper

Black and White wallpaper

Black and White River City Light wallpaper

blue skies, jet, aviation

Wheels Down Jet wallpaper

Conservatives eat their own, Karl Rove launches initiative to keep tea party candidates out of elections

The organizers of American Crossroads hope to bring electoral victory to the Republican Party by defeating unelectable tea party candidates in GOP primary races. The new super PAC, called the Conservative Victory Project, will be run by American Crossroads president Steven Law and is supported by former Bush political adviser Karl Rove.

“There is a broad concern about having blown a significant number of races because the wrong candidates were selected,” Law told the New York Times on Saturday. “We don’t view ourselves as being in the incumbent protection business, but we want to pick the most conservative candidate who can win.”

The Victory Project plans to oppose candidates like Christine O’Donnell, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock. Though running in places where Republicans were favored, the tea party-backed candidates lost the general election after defeating moderate Republicans in the primary. Many tea party candidates who were victorious in 2010, such as Allen West and Joe Walsh, also ended up being defeated by Democratic challengers in 2012.

One way to see this is as a conservative implosion. The rabid conservatism of the Allen Wests, Ted Nugents and Ann Coulters. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has tenuous control of his caucus at best. This kind of conservative infighting has been going on since the days of Barry Goldwater versus the social conservatives of the religious Right. While they have some entertainment value, this is one aspect of politics that they have in common with most Democrats. I don’t especially like Joe Manchin (D-WV). Though if I lived in West Virginia I would easily vote for him over a deeply corrupt conservative radical like John Raese. In 2014 or 16, when a conservative voter has a choice between a generic Democrat and someone not as radical Right as they’d like, they’re going to hold their nose and vote for the less than ideal righty candidate. Will there be lots of fun infighting between Karl Rove establishment types and the even wackier wing of the Right. Sure, but it would be a huge tactical mistake for any Democratic opponent to think that infighting will win the election for them.

Speaking of fun to watch, Paul Krugman Destroys Republican Liar Carly Fiorina Talking Points on Government Jobs. There can be too many govmint employees, but we’re actually at an historic low in terms of both numbers and percentages. That is one of the things dragging down the economy. Teachers spend their paychecks on cars, refrigerators and groceries. Contrary to the Fiorina mentality, their pay does not disappear down a black hole, it has a multiplier effect, adding jobs to the private sector.

Republicans Blamed the CIA, Now They Hide Behind The CIA and Blame Democrats

To the consternation of Republicans and the media – including CBS News and The Politico among other who have gleefully ran what sounds like something directly written from an RNC PR release – Democrats claim CIA out to get them. Democrats, also continue drive the media and Conservatives crazy by refusing to play good little lap dog. Now Republicans like cry-me-a-river baby House minority leader Republican Rep. John Boehner are f reigning some outrage – how dare Democrats question the word of the CIA, Rep. Boehner: Now and Then

John Boehner Now

John Boehner: “I’ve dealt with our intelligence professionals for the last three-and-a-half years on an almost daily basis, and it’s hard for me to imagine that our intelligence area would ever mislead a member of Congress. [Boehner Press Availability via The Hill, 5/14/2009]

John Boehner Then:

December 9, 2007:

Wolf Blitzer: “Are you suggesting, as I think you are, that you don’t necessarily have confidence in this new NIE?” (NIE- the CIA’s national Intelligence Estimate)

Rep. John Boehner: “Either I don’t have confidence in what they told me several months ago or I don’t have confidence in what they’re telling me today.” [CNN, Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, 12/9/2007; emphasis added]

It was literally just a few months ago that Republicans were point blank accusing the CIA of being out to get them and Bush. The editors at the far right National Review, CIA Run Amok, May 8, 2006

The reasons for Porter Goss’s abrupt departure as CIA director are shrouded in mystery. But its effect is not. It gives the impression that there has been a coup by the CIA insiders who have waged a covert policy war against the Bush administration for five years. The White House must act quickly to correct the impression that the renegades have won.

[ ]..During the Bush presidency, however, the agency has not been content with subtly pushing its own agenda while underperforming its nominal mission. It has run amok. In fact, it worked assiduously—though unsuccessfully—to depose the administration in the 2004 election, and since then has continued brazenly undermining Bush’s foreign policy.

In a post  by a far right Conservative blog called the Strata-Sphere, Rogue CIA Fires Back? May2, 2006 that engaged in some wild speculation of the motivations by the CIA in the investigation in the Rep Randy Cunningham’s (R) bribery scandal and echoing the thoughts of Drudge and a rabid right blogger called Macsmind, wrote,

Mac Ranger predicted the roque CIA agents trying to destroy this country through leaks would create some bizarre news. Sometimes we need to spell things out for the liberal puppets on the left, so I must point out again that the tools available to the CIA to gather information illegally and use it against people can be used by more than the President.

[   ]..The news that ex-CIA agents are talking to ABC News about an investigation into links between CIA contracts and Rep Randy Cunningham’s (R) bribery acts leads me to believe Cunningham may have been outed by some ex-CIA agents to send a message to the Reps and Bush.

John (AssRocket) at Powerline( once Time magazine’s blog of the year) wrote The CIA Comes Out of the Closet,September 7, 2004 Posted by John

Many people are unaware that the CIA is, and always has been, a liberal organization, its ranks dominated by Democrats.

[  ]..The CIA’s liberal orientation has been painfully evident over the last four years, as the agency has engaged in a virtual war with the Bush administration; its officials have been available 24/7 for anti-Bush leaks to the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Many of these Republican editorials are are fact free, never the less, the accusations that the CIA was a far left organization out to get Republicans and Bush in particular were a common theme as late as recently as last year.Stephen F. Hayes who was a political consultant to the Bush 43 administration in a column for neocon Bill Kristals Weeekly Standard, Paul Pillar Speaks, Again – The latest CIA attack on the Bush administration is nothing new (02/10/2006)(Linked to by multiple right-wing sites)

Think about that: A senior, unelected CIA official–Paul Pillar–was given agency approval to anonymously attack Bush administration policies less than two months before the November 2, 2004, presidential election. That Pillar was among the most strident of these frequent critics–usually in off-the-record speeches to gatherings of foreign policy experts and business leaders–was well known to his colleagues in the intelligence community and to Bush administration policymakers. His was not an isolated case; CIA officials routinely trashed Bush administration policy decisions, often with official approval, in the months leading up to the Iraq War and again before the election. Pillar, who had complained to a CIA spokesman that someone had violated the ground rules by providing his name to Novak, simply got caught.

Pretty much standard rhetoric from the Right when it became known that Bush and surrogates such as Hayes told lies repeatedly in defense of lies about Iraq intelligence, WMD and non-existent al-Queda connections. The anti-Bush CIA was out to get the neocons. Hayes was and as far as I know continues to defend the Bush administration’s occupation of Iraq in 2003 as a couldn’t-wait-considering-the-urgent threat cheerleaders. laughable now to most Americans in hindsight, but a commonly repeated bit of propaganda at the time.

Neocon and plagiarist of fascist writers, Michael Ledeen at The National Review,Sixteen Words, Again
The myth of a great sin lives on, April 10, 2006
( again, linked to with great approval by multiple right-wing outlets)

The consensus at CIA was highly critical of these reports (most CIA officials were against the war and didn’t want to be blamed for it), but the White House, understandably very suspicious of the quality of CIA’s information and analysis, had pushed hard to get more information.

The Bush administration was using torture to produce false links between Iraq and al-Queda, thus Leeden and the Right accused anyone up to and including the CIA of being pro-terrorist. Leeden also managed, in the same column, to mangle and lie about every known fact concerning Joseph Wilson and the Niger yelllow-cake claims in one of the Right’s lamest attempts to smear Wilson and the CIA. He even gives more credit to some iffy French intelligence service reports then the CIA.

John McCain(R-AZ), who was against water boarding before he was for it is often given credit from moderates or condemnation from the freeper crowd for the charade known as the Detainee Treatment Act ( which Bush promptly arranged a photo-op then ignored via yet another signing statement) also thought the CIA was out to undermine the neocon agenda,

“McCain would be an absolute disaster,” says a second recently retired senior US intelligence operations officer. “He is prejudiced against the CIA. The day after the 2004 election when Bush won, McCain came on TV and gave an interview in which he said something to the effect of, ‘The CIA tried to sabotage this election. They’ve made their bed and now they have to lay in it.‘ I used to like McCain, but he is inconsistent.” Columnist Robert Novak quoted McCain in November 2004 as saying, “With CIA leaks intended to harm the re-election campaign of the president of the United States, it is not only dysfunctional but a rogue organization.”

McCain is influenced by a circle of hardline Republican legislators and congressional staff as well as disgruntled former Agency officials “who all had these long-standing grudges against people in the Agency,” the former senior intelligence officer said. “They think the CIA is a hotbed of liberals. Right-wing, nutty paranoia stuff. They all love the military and hate the CIA. Because the CIA tells them stuff they don’t want to hear.”

Many in the media want to portray Democrats as paranoid. If they keep at and cross their fingers and hope that most American’s memory is as long and credible as John Boehner’s that tactic may work. On the other hand if  anyone in the media wants to use Lexus-Nexus or Google for fifteen minutes they’ll find that until recently as far as most Republicans were concerned the CIA were all radical leftists out to get them. This year’s fashions have changed. Now that the CIA has issued some memos gathered from from memories of some nameless faceless sources, it is Democrats who are allegedly paranoid. The CIA is in many ways like a large corporation that employs thousands of people whose personal politics vary as much as any work place. There are probably factions within department and the entire agency that differ in opinion about how things should be run. Now, one gets the impression that more then a political left-right agenda they’re probably just looking out for their own, much like large police departments are known to have tense relationships with their internal affairs departments. A Truth Commission in which the CIA, former Bush officials including Bush and Cheney, and even Speaker Pelosi and former Senator Bob Graham – all under oath. Then let the truth fall where it may, but that is exactly what the former Republican CIA haters do not want, thus the continuing battle of media sound bites and editorials rather then testimony,

“What struck me(former Senator Graham)…was the fact that in that briefing, there were also two staff members,” he said. “As you know, the general rule is that the executive is to brief the full committees of the House and Senate Intelligence committees about any ongoing or proposed action. The exception to that is what is called “covert action,” where the president…only briefs the Gang of Eight, which is the four congressional leaders and the four intelligence committee leaders. Those sessions are generally conducted at an executive site, primarily at the White House itself. And they are conducted with just the authorized personnel, not with any staff or any other member of the committee…. Which leads me to conclude that this was not considered by the CIA to be a Gang of Eight briefing. Otherwise they would not have had staff in the room. And that leads me to then believe that they didn’t brief us on any of the sensitive programs such as the waterboarding or other forms of excessive interrogation.”

The remarks made by Graham bolster the comments offered by Pelosi on Thursday. The Speaker told reporters that during her briefing session in the fall of 2002 she was not just kept in the dark about the issue of waterboarding, she was assured that it had not been used.

“Yes, I am saying that the CIA was misleading the Congress,” she said.

The decider clown



McCain’s Vision for America: An old washed-up terrorist

McCain’s lack of honor shows in attack ads and robocalls

I’m still thinking about Mccain’s statement the other night about trying to connect Senator Obama to Bill Ayers and saying, “I don’t care about an old washed-up terrorist” especially in light of Mccain in partnership with the RNC has now automated the smear campaign by using robocalls, GOP launches calls attacking Obama on Ayers, national security

In Wednesday night’s presidential debate, McCain said he did not care about “an old washed-up terrorist” like Ayers.

Obama condemned Ayers’ actions of 40 years ago and said the former radical was not involved in his campaign and would not advise him as president.

Here is the text of the call referring to Ayers:

“Hello. I’m calling for John McCain and the RNC [Republican National Committee] because you need to know that Barack Obama has worked closely with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, whose organization bombed the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon, a judge’s home and killed Americans. And Democrats will enact an extreme leftist agenda if they take control of Washington. Barack Obama and his Democratic allies lack the judgment to lead our country. This call was paid for by McCain-Palin 2008 and the Republican National Committee at 202-863-8500.”

Some bloggers have called it the new McCarthyism. That would an understatement. Even CNN, where this story is from repats a common error about Obama and the Annenberg Challenge. CNN says Ayers served on the board of the Annenberg challenge, but he never did. He came to meetings that were open to the general public. The economy, education, Medicare, Social Security, the environment, restoring the rule of law are all losing issues for McCain. Every time he and palin bring up Iraq the public is reminded that Mccain was one of the Senate’s and Bush’s most vocal echoes for those WMD that didn’t exist. He sounds like a complete fool when he tals about reform and has 107 lobbyists on his campaign staff, one of whom lobbyied for Saddam, one for Russia, one for Georgia and one for Fannie May. Its political slight of hand. Look at the imginary connection between Obama and what’s his name, don’t look at McCain the man and his utter lack of vision and character. McCain’s strategy, his vision for America’s future can be summed up in two words: Bill Ayers. Many Americans just got their shocking 401k statements, some have lost their homes or jobs, their health-care expenses out of control and they look at the TV set where McCain’s solution is an obsessesion with a guy that committed some crimes when Barack Obama was in third grade.

Sarah Palin has another soul mate, Lurita ‘Cookies On The Table’ Doan Challenges Waxman To A Duel: ‘I Can’t Wait’

Yesterday, the House Oversight Committee released a report concluding that the White House “used the political affairs office to orchestrate an aggressive strategy to use taxpayer-funded trips to help elect Republican candidates for public office.” One of the appointees aiding in this effort, according to the report, was then-General Services Administration (GSA) chief Lurita Doan.

Doan first gained notoriety for using a January 2007 government teleconference to “ask senior GSA officials to help ‘our candidates’ in the next elections.”

She’s completely innocent in the same way that when found to have violated the “Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act”, Palin stated in two different speeches after that finding by a panel with a Republican majority, she’s “very very pleased to be cleared of any legal wrongdoing, any hint of any kind of unethical activity there.” In a tag team event its the delusional Doan handing off to the narcissistic reality denier Palin. Doan went so far as to accuse Inspector General Brian D. Miller and his staff of the U.S. General Services Administration being terrorists, “There are two kinds of terrorism in the US: the external kind; and, internally, the IGs have terrorized the Regional Administrators.” If America is engaged in some kind of cultural war, war of ideas or war of values, McCain, Doan and Palin have stated their case. Disagree with anything they say and you’re a terrorist or at least hang out with them. In the war of ideas, substituting smears is the same as surrending.

The plumber guy that McCain decided to use in the debate is getting way too much attention. He is under a little too much scrutiny and his fifteen minutes of fame can’t end soon enough. That said the Right is trying to tie, through the usual twisted logic, Obama to the media’s inquires. That’s just more nut roots garbage. McCain is the one who didn’t bother to look into the guy’s background, Joe is the bald Sarah Palin.

More here, “Barack Obama’s involvement can be pared down to him answering a question from a citizen, which is what he’s supposed to do, and when John McCain used Joe as a prop in the debate”

1940s Mystery Thrillers wallpaper – wide

Rain Drops on Autumn Leaves wallpaper

Palin-McCain and The Experience Wars

He’s Lying Again

McBush:
“If they want to go down that route, in all candor, she has far, far more experience than Senator Obama does.”

If we’re in the middle of the Experience Wars then Republicans are hoping to win by shear volume of bluster. Sarah Palin has been the governor of a state with a population of about 680,000 people for less then two years. Before hat she was the mayor of a town, population of 9 thousand. Then the pathetic claim that since Alaska is just across the way from Russia  by some twist of geographic magic shrouds her in foreign policy experience. Oh as as governor she headed that state’s National Guard. Thin gruel even for the RNC noise machine. When Barack Obama was a state senator in Illinois his district had a population of approximately 782 thousand thus representing a hundred thousand more people then Palin. If the Right is sincere about Palin’s “executive” experience then she would also have more such experience then Senator McCain. So why isn’t she at the top of the ticket. As a U.S. Senator of Illinois Senator Obama represents about 13 million constituents.  Palin has been touted as having more management experience for running a snow mobile and commercial fishing business.  Senator Obama besides his expertise in Constitutional law, has run one of, if not the best grass roots organizations in American political history – his volunteers alone number in the hundreds of thousands. Obama has learned from Howard Dean’s 2004 campaign that you can’t be all internet. he has combined the net and hundreds of thousands of on the ground volunteers into a large and effective organization. One that would rival any modern large private sector business. The Machinery of Hope

Over the past year, the Obama campaign has quietly worked to integrate the online technologies that fueled the rise of Howard Dean —as well as social-networking and video tools that didn’t even exist in 2004 — with the kind of neighbor-to-neighbor movement-building that Obama learned as a young organizer on the streets of Chicago. “That’s the magic of what they’ve done,” says Simon Rosenberg, president of the Democratic think tank NDN. “They’ve married the incredibly powerful online community they built with real on-the-ground field operations. We’ve never seen anything like this before in American political history.”

Remember that Obama has already faced a huge political contest and won. Months before the Democratic national Convention Obama was drawing crowds of 20 thousand plus. The entire time mocked – their envy was clearly showing – by right-wing pundits. Organizational and leadership skills? Palin has a long long way to go to catch up with the Senator from the Land of Lincoln. Obama didn’t win every primary. He and his organization didn’t let some short term set backs throw them into panic or despair, Obama team remains unshaken

The GOP has decided to keep to sound bites. The usal stuff, short of facts, long on exaggerations that favor them, sprinkled with the egotistical snide that is the soul mate of Republican politics of living and dying by the smear. GOP cites Palin’s skill, but how relevant is it?

The GOP has also implied that Democratic reactions to Palin’s selection are sexist, particularly since, they contend, her time as Alaska’s governor gives her the edge over Barack Obama in executive experience. Obama, 47, has spent almost 12 years in office, all of it as a lawmaker — eight years as an Illinois state senator and nearly four as a U.S. senator. Palin’s total is 12 — she spent 10 as a city council member and mayor, and nearly two as governor.

The real numbers just don’t add up in Palin’s favor. The only way Palin’s experience is greater then Obama’s is if its selectively strained through the Right’s spin machine. The Democrats have been sexist?,

“The hostess with the moosest” written at the flag-ship Rightie The National Review magazine by Mark Steyn 08/30 03:53 AM

Sixth (see Kathleen’s link to Craig Ferguson below), I kinda like the whole naughty librarian vibe.

I’ve read some Democratic blog comments that were sexists, but by and large the Democrats and Democratic blogs are calling Palin out on the issues. Even if the pregnancy gossip was true, its not worth pursuing. She probably is ready to shot a moose or fix a PB&J, but is she ready to be president in the way that a foreign policy expert like Senator Biden is, A War-Time Vice-President?

I thought you might like to know that under the heading of “Sarah Palin on Foreign Policy” at the On The Issue site for her, this is what’s listed:

“No issue stance yet recorded by OnTheIssues.org.”

“Not Ready ’08”, eh?

McCain has shown that he has used foreign policy experience as a campaign issue in the most cynical way. Out of so many other candidates for the VP slot, the proverbial heart beat away from CIC, he chose the least qualified. Does she really represent women or was she a pandering nod to the shrill Right, Palin’s run raises ghost of Ferraro 24 years on

“This is just sheer political pandering. I don’t think women are going to buy it,” she said.

Ellen Malcolm, the president of Emily’s List, which supports women candidates, summarised the reasons for that anger: Palin’s positions on the issues traditionally pressed by women’s groups.

“Governor Palin and John McCain are a good match because they both want to overturn Roe v. Wade, they both want to continue the failed economic policies of the Bush administration and they both offer more of the same that has led this country down the wrong path,” she said. “McCain clearly sees the power of women voters in this election but has just as clearly failed to support any of the issues that they care about.”

Palin like the vast majority of Republican women in politics and business are more then happy to take advantage of the legal and cultural victories of feminists, while failing to give them at least a nod of acknowledgment. Sarah Palin’s mother-in-law hasn’t decided who she will vote for in November

Faye Palin admitted she enjoys hearing Barack Obama speak, and still hasn’t decided which way she’ll vote. “We don’t agree on everything. But I respect her passion,” she said. “Being pro-life is who Sarah is.”

Faye Palin said the entire family was shocked by the news on Friday. “I’m not sure what she brings to the ticket other than she’s a woman and a conservative.

She hasn’t convinced her mother-in-law yet, but Sarah has about sixty days to convince America.

Palin touts stance on ‘Bridge to Nowhere,’ doesn’t note flip-flop

But it is the federally funded Bridge to Nowhere in Ketchikan that seems destined to make or break Palin’s national reputation as a cost-cutting conservative.

The bridge was intended to provide access to Ketchikan’s airport on lightly populated Gravina Island, opening up new territory for expansion at the same time. Alaska’s congressional delegation endured withering criticism for earmarking $223 million for Ketchikan and a similar amount for a crossing of Knik Arm at Anchorage.

Congress eventually removed the earmark language but the money still went to Alaska, leaving it up to the administration of then-Gov. Frank Murkowski to decide whether to go ahead with the bridges or spend the money on something else.

In September, 2006, Palin showed up in Ketchikan on her gubernatorial campaign and said the bridge was essential for the town’s prosperity.

She said she could feel the town’s pain at being derided as a “nowhere” by prominent politicians, noting that her home town, Wasilla, had recently been insulted by the state Senate president, Ben Stevens.

“OK, you’ve got Valley trash standing here in the middle of nowhere,” Palin said, according to an account in the Ketchikan Daily News. “I think we’re going to make a good team as we progress that bridge project.”

One year later, Ketchikan’s Republican leaders said they were blindsided by Palin’s decision to pull the plug

If she’s pro entrepreneuship then its difficult to explain why she thinks the state run bsuinesses that are losing money should be propped up by taxpayers, Sarah Palin: Just How Pro-Small Business Is She?

But maybe that makes it all the more distressing for people who like pro-entrepreneur policies that one of Palin’s most significant acts as governor seems to have been propping up a failing state-owned enterprise that had lost over $700,000 in two years.

Sounds like the Ted Stevens school of politics.

Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle

Remember Scott Beauchamp, The New Republic and the Right (including The National Review) insistence that Beauchamp’s stories written from the point of view of someone actually serving on the front lines in Iraq were bunk. Scott’s stories were never proven untrue or accurate to every detail. To me and many others the story simply died because of lack of proof, the military shut down Scott, The New Republic printed something like a partial retraction and a Sgt. John E. Hatley wrote a right-leaning blogger swearing that the episodes Beauchamp described could not have possibly happened. After reading this story in the NYT, U.S. Soldiers Executed Iraqis, Statements Say, blogger Moon of Alabama noticed Hatley’s name was mentioned,

The accounts of and confessions to the killings, by Sgt. First Class Joseph P. Mayo, the platoon sergeant, and Sgt. Michael P. Leahy Jr., Company D’s senior medic and an acting squad leader, were made in January in signed statements to Army investigators in Schweinfurt, Germany.

In their statements, Sergeants Mayo and Leahy each described killing at least one of the Iraqi detainees on instructions from First Sgt. John E. Hatley, who the soldiers said killed two of the detainees with pistol shots to the back of their heads. Sergeant Hatley’s civilian lawyer in Germany, David Court, did not respond to phone calls and e-mail messages Tuesday.

Moon of Alabama writes, First Sgt. Hatley and the Beauchamp TNR Affair

A few month after Hatley ordered and took part in the murdering of prisoners he denied some relative harmless though brutal behavior Beauchamp described, “this by no means reflects the truth of what is happening here.” Indeed, what was really happening was much worse.

Beauchamp/Hatley’s Brigade was renamed, which M.A. accounts for and it does appear to he the same Hatley that wrote the original denial of illegal behavior. Now the question is, has The New Republic been so intimidated by the Right will they be afraid to revisit Scott’s story.

Rove Versus Lieberman: Rove Tried To Kill Lieberman As VP Pick

Republican strategist Karl Rove called Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) late last week and urged him to contact Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to withdraw his name from vice presidential consideration, according to three sources familiar with the conversation.

Lieberman dismissed the request, these sources agreed.

That would be such a great ticket. Think of the ink they could save on bumper stickers running as the Armageddon Twins.

McCain campaign notes part 2

Rep. Schakowsky On McCain’s Women’s Rights Record: ‘He’s Not With Us’

Schakowsky told ThinkProgress that McCain would “absolutely” continue the “anti-women” policies of President Bush:

He’s always been against reproductive rights for women. He’s not for equal pay, he did not support Lilly Ledbetter and the work that we’re trying to do to get equal pay. He never supported the Family and Medical Leave Act in Congress. So there’s no evidence. … He’s not with us.

McCain actually skipped the vote on the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in April, which would have made it easier for “women and other workers to pursue pay discrimination claims.” He said that if he had been there, he would have voted against it because he believes women simply need more “education and training.”

McCain knows that women just need more “education and training” because a guy that hooked up with a millionaire heiress, can’t keep track of all his houses and thinks $250 grand a year is the average for the middle-class is so in touch with reality.

Obama makes history as Democratic nominee

On a historic night for America, Barack Obama secured the Democratic Party’s nomination for president and emerged for the first time on stage in Denver with running mate Sen. Joe Biden.

Obama on Wednesday officially became the first African American to lead a major party ticket.

Despite some  differences on I’ve had with the Senator on one piece of legislation in particular, for right now I’m just trying to kind of catch my breath. A truly amazing moment in our history.

Black and White raindrops II another one here.

Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

As long as I have any choice, I will stay only in a country where political liberty, toleration, and equality of all citizens before the law are the rule

Andrew Grotto is an arms control expert who occscaionallt contributes to Arms Control WonkTalking tough to Iran

Iran’s missile tests on Wednesday predictably grabbed headlines around the world and provoked the usual condemnations. A Bush administration spokesman, for example, said that Iran’s government “only furthers the isolation of the Iranian people from the international community when it engages in this sort of activity.”

I wish that were true. There is no love lost between Iran and most of its neighbours, but this hasn’t stopped Iran from emerging as the main benefactor of the Bush administration’s lamentable Middle East policy.

Andrew is being diplomatic. Bush and the neoconservatives have handed Iraq and a huge helping of influence it would not have otherwise had if not for the occupation of Iraq. Bush’s Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki has in fact established close ties to Tehran.

As Barack Obama correctly observed in his statement condemning Iran’s missile tests: “Iran now poses the greatest strategic challenge to the United States in the region in a generation.” The Bush administration’s response to this challenge – feign diplomacy but tap the war drum and foment regime change in Iran – has obviously failed to change Iran’s behaviour, let alone the regime.

McCain’s response was the usual canned sound bite. What could he say that we don’t already know that McCain like Bush doesn’t have a policy toward Iran, Republicans simply throw a little temper tantrum. Temper tantrums only pass for foriegn policy among Conservatives.

Senate Joins House to Expand Wiretapping Law (FISA)

Three proposed amendments were rejected. The first, which would have removed immunity for telephone companies, failed 66-32. A second, which would have required a court to assess the legality of the warrantless wiretaps before granting immunity, failed 61-37. A third, to postpone the granting of immunity for a year pending an investigation, failed 56-42.

Both the ACLU and Electronic Frontier Foundation said they will challenge the law in court.

Some consolation for those that think this battle is over. The ACLU states,

The FISA Amendments Act nearly eviscerates oversight of government surveillance by allowing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to review only general procedures for spying rather than individual warrants. The FISC will not be told any specifics about who will actually be wiretapped, thereby undercutting any meaningful role for the court and violating the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable search and seizure.

One of the reasons Bush’s abuse of executive power combined with retroactive immunity for the telecoms is so repugnant is that FISA and the creation of secret courts (the FISC court) were in themselves a tremendous compromise of the Forth Amendment. Is it legal for Congress to retroactively offer up immunity for civil libility. It has never been done before at least not without compensating the victims of the wrong doing, Is It Constitutional for the Senate to Retroactively Immunize From Civil Liability the Telecoms

So why has no one pointed out that perhaps the victims of the illegal NSA spying have a right to their vested claims, just as much as the victims of 9/11 or of black lung disease or asbestos, or their families, do?

One reason may be that the Senate does not think that the claims under FISA have really “vested” or “accrued” as the law requires. Yet it is hard for me to see how these terms do not apply to the plaintiffs in the suits that have already been filed, assuming that they can prove their cases. They had a private right to privacy that was established by a federal statute that was in force between 2001 and 2006. Allegedly, during that time, that private right was violated. It would seem to me that at the moment the violation occurred, their right to compensation vested and was accrued.

It doesn’t look like this is going away anytime soon. The irony may be that a president Obama might be in a position to file a brief with the SCOTUS that sides with the current interpretation of Congress’s retroactive release of liability for the telecoms. Those that are mad at him now for compromising will have real reason to be steamed should that happen.

Absolute consistency might not be the best rait in the world. Things do change andone should want to respond appropriately, but sometimes there are principles involved and those in turn can have life or death consequnces. In other words someone tell John McBush to stop playing games with our soldier’s lives, NPR’s Kelemen reported McCain’s response to Maliki’s call for withdrawal timetable, but not McCain’s 2004 assertion that “it’s obvious” the U.S. “would have to leave” if Iraq requested it

NPR’s Michele Kelemen reported that Sen. John McCain “suggested in an interview with MSNBC that the Iraqi calls for a troop withdrawal date may be driven by politics in Baghdad,” and quoted McCain as saying, “The Iraqis have made it very clear, including the meetings I had with the president and foreign minister of Iraq, that it’s based on conditions on the ground. […] I’ve always said we will come home with honor and with victory and not through a set timetable.” But Kelemen did not note that in 2004, when asked what the United States would do if the “Iraqi government asks us to leave,” McCain responded, “I think it’s obvious that we would have to leave.”

Well Iraq wants a timetable for the departure of American troops. So what is 100 Years in Iraq McCain to say.

“As long as I have any choice, I will stay only in a country where political liberty, toleration, and equality of all citizens before the law are the rule.” ~ Albert Einstein

Just because nobody complains doesn’t mean all parachutes are perfect

Federal Wildlife Report Censored Highly Redacted Inspector General Report Posted on Official Website

A large portion of an Inspector General evaluation of federal wildlife programs has been blacked out prior to publication, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Even data tables have been excised from a report on Endangered Species Act implementation, with cutouts so extensive that the core section of the report is virtually unreadable.

[  ]…By contrast, the same IG website displays reports on seemingly far more sensitive subjects, such as an assessment of security on the National Mall and criminal wildlife enforcement, without a single redaction.

Well it is a fact that if terrorists find out about our bald eagle population we’re doomed. George has been in the habit of lying, distorting and exaggerating for so long he probably does it because it is an ingrained part of his character. When he was running for Congress in 1978 he didn’t tell the public he was in the Air National Guard he told them he was an Air Force veteran. He lied about gving up golf out of respect for those who died in Iraq. No one has been able to find those missing Department of Justice e-mails yet. He lied to a German reporter about soccer of all things. Deceive and distort about everything from WMD to silly questions about soccer – he seems to some some kind of bad programming, some kind of neural misfire when it comes to intergity.

Conyers issues subpoena to DOJ for Bush-Cheney interviews on Plame leak

House Judiciary Committee John Conyers has issed a subpoena to the Justice Dept. for the unredacted interviews with President Bush and Vice President Cheney on former CIA operative Valerie Plame, as well as numerous other documents sought unsuccessfully by Democrats for years.

Bush told the public that he would get to the bottom of the Plame scandal and fire those involved then gave Libby a de facto pardon.

Paging Monica Crowley You Forgot to Take Your Meds

On The Laura Ingraham Show, Monica Crowley claimed that Sen. Barack Obama “lifted his campaign line ‘Yes, we can’ from the recent presidential campaign of the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.” Crowley claimed that Ahmadinejad used the slogan “We can.” In fact, Obama reportedly used the phrase “Yes, we can” during his 2004 Senate campaign — a full year before Ahmadinejad was elected in 2005.

Besides some suspected mental problems Crowley is just plain lazy. Rather then do some research on the issues and facts then make her arguments accordingly she seems to prefer babbling nonsense. This is Crowley’s second attempt in the last two weeks to try and link Senator Obama and Iran in the public’s mind.

Flaming Embers wall

Flaming Embers wallpaper

There probably are some women that are so mad that Senator Clinton didn’t win the primaries that they’ll vote for McBush. First there is Cynthia Ruccia and three or four others. The reason that McBush isn’t going to win over Clintonites is because his record doesn’t appeal to the majority of American women regardless of party affiliation, John McCain’s unique blend of adolescent gutter humor and periodic eruptions of misogyny

“Just because nobody complains doesn’t mean all parachutes are perfect.” – Benny Hill

A day in the secret life of John McCain

McCain spending ‘unlawfully’. McCain signs pledge on state election document swearing he’s going to take public financing. Then turns around with one his multiple faces and attacks Obama for opting out. No body cares that yet another layer of McCain’s supposed integrity has been stripped away so just move along.

McCain Now Supports GI Bill, War Funding Bill

When the Senate had considered its version of the war supplemental, McCain had argued, along with the White House and the Pentagon, that the new GI Bill, which got support from a veto-proof majority of Senators, would encourage service members to leave the military. He had offered a less generous counterproposal that would have given service members a much smaller credit for college and given better benefits to people who served longer.

McCain’s strategy in rgerads to public financing, the GI Bill and pretty much every other issue is to stake out every possible position. By proxy those Republicans that think McCain will be Conservatism’s savior are also taking a ir depends on which way the political winds are blowing stance on all issues. Conservatives seem to be switching from rigidly enforced party orodoxy to riifidly enforced pandering.

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge wallpaper

Why wasn’t McCain’s meeting with an organization of gay conservatives called the Log Cabin Republicans on his public calendar. Vapid explanations from McCain’s spokespeople don’t count. It appears to be typically McCainish. LCR has money and John wants some, but doesn’t want the James Dobsons of the Right to slap him around in public for meeting with them.

One can imagine that being a gay or Black Republican requires a  some measure of constant denial, Limbaugh: ‘Democrats Will Bend Over, Grab The Ankles, Say Have Your Way With Me’ To Blacks And Gays. Limbaugh might know what he’s talking about on some crude level since he’s become a multi-millionaire giving America the shaft.

A McCain adviser recently claimed that another terror attack would give their campaign a boost. Not a shocker this is the level of public discourse that Bush/Cheney/Rove established as a winning strategy – vote for us or you’ll die. The problem with the McCain’s camp trying to play those recent statements as just a gaffe is that McCain has playing the national security daddy card before, McCain In 2004: “Bin Laden May Have Just Given Us A Little Boost”. It has become holy writ in the Conservative movement that terrorism is a good thing for Republicans. The mere possibility of terror attacks has become like communism used to be Republicans. Sometime that could whip up some unproductive derisive vitriol about, but at the same time love so they could use it as a political nine iron to beat their way to office.

The U.S. might achieve energy independence one day, but is the guy with lobbyist for Saudi Arabia on the payroll is not the one to listen to when he suddenly starts being a professor of energy policy,

McCain used today’s speech to call for energy independence “from Middle Eastern governments who support, or foment by their own inattention and inequities, the rise of terrorists.” What McCain won’t say is that his recently appointed campaign “consigliere” and general co-chairman in charge of fundraising is not only a lobbyist for Saudi Arabia, but has earned millions of dollars setting up meetings between the Bush White House and the Saudi government. [New York Times, 04/23/07; Washington Post, 4/3/07; Washington Post, 3/7/07; National Journal, 1/15/05]

What operated 19 hours a day, 286 days a year, used 23 miles of 2 foot gauge track and did not carry passengers.

A vote is like a rifle; its usefulness depends upon the character of the user

Tribute to the capitulaters

Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) is the kind of Democrat, the kind of American we need more of, Statement of U.S. Senator Russ Feingold On the FISA Deal

“The proposed FISA deal is not a compromise; it is a capitulation. The House and Senate should not be taking up this bill, which effectively guarantees immunity for telecom companies alleged to have participated in the President’s illegal program, and which fails to protect the privacy of law-abiding Americans at home. Allowing courts to review the question of immunity is meaningless when the same legislation essentially requires the court to grant immunity. And under this bill, the government can still sweep up and keep the international communications of innocent Americans in the U.S. with no connection to suspected terrorists, with very few safeguards to protect against abuse of this power. Instead of cutting bad deals on both FISA and funding for the war in Iraq, Democrats should be standing up to the flawed and dangerous policies of this administration.”

Los Angeles at Night wallpaper

A recent Los Angeles poll about alternative energy is encouraging amid all the talk about new drilling off the Florida coast, Many think solar has most immediate potential as alternative energy

In the poll, 35 percent of voters chose solar, while 21 percent said nuclear power. Biofuel and wind power both got 16 percent of the vote, while other got nine percent of the vote.

John Nichols over at The Nation noticed that Scott McClellan tried to have it both ways in his Congressional testimony. Keeping Bush somewhat out of the loop and yet saying that it probably wasn’t possible that Bush didn’t know about the campaign to smear Joe Wilson and out CIA operative Valerie Plame, The Beat McClellan: Administration ‘Has Chosen to Conceal’ Truth

Speaking of Libby, who in 2007 was convicted of perjury, lying to federal investigators and obstruction of justice with regard to his involvement with the plot to out Plame Wilson, McClellan said: “He assured me in unequivocal terms that he was not (involved), meaning the leaking of Valerie Plame’s identity to any reporters, and then I contacted reporters to let them know about that information.”

“But,” the former spokesman continued, “it was Andy Card that had directed me to do that, at the request of the president and vice president.”

If that sounds like a contradiction — McClellan first suggests Bush had no knowledge of the initiative and then says that he peddled false information at the behest of the President — it may be. Then again, it is possible that Bush was lied to, as well.

Shades of Iran-Contra. Bush, like Reagan has always been portrayed by the Right as smart, in charge. Except when he isn’t and when Bush isn’t smart and knows every little detail at times when it is awfully convenient.

Continents of Africa and North America

If the pundits at Fox handed in their work to a professor in freshman English they’d have an “F” average, but since they’re just the fair and balanced cable news program they get away with sloppy reporting and the most blatant lies and make millions, Monica Crowley falsely claimed Obama’s half brother “went on the record to The Jerusalem Post” and said “Obama’s got a really solid Muslim background”

On The Laura Ingraham Show, Monica Crowley falsely asserted that Malik Obama, Sen. Barack Obama’s half brother, “went on the record to The Jerusalem Post, of all places, and said, ‘Oh yeah, Obama’s got a really solid Muslim background.’ ” Crowley also aired a clip of Brit Hume asserting that Malik Obama “tells The Jerusalem Post that ‘if elected his brother will be a good president for the Jewish people, despite his Muslim background.’ ” But as ABC News’ Jake Tapper noted, “Malik did not say that or come close to saying that.”

A vote is like a rifle; its usefulness depends upon the character of the user. ~ Theodore Roosevelt