Friday, July 29, 2005

Suck It, Reporters!

As you see to your right, Bush is up to his old tricks. You can take the redneck out of Texas, but you can't take Texas out of the redneck. This time he gave a pack (pride? gaggle? murder?) of reporters his patented One-Fingered Victory Salute. Isn't he a peach?

Read more about it at Americablog. I guess after John wrote about it, the White House called to make sure that he understood that it's Bush's thumb, silly. Oh, and to threaten his family's lives. Obviously.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

We'll Miss You, Darren!

Sorry, folks, but I need to take another moment of self-indulgence. As a Red Wings fan, I feel the need to publicly express my deep sadness at the loss of fan favorite Darren McCarty. He's been a Red Wing his entire career. He's never been the big flashy star like Sergei Federov. He's never been the stoic leader like Steve Yzerman. But he's always been there. For the team, for Detroit, for the fans. He was the one who beat the living crap out of cheap-shot artist extraordinaire Claude Lemieux a full year after he slammed Kris Draper into the boards forcing Drapes to get reconstructive surgery on his face. He was the one who surprised everyone in that bar in Ferndale by randomly showing up with the Stanley Cup one night. He was the one with the natural hat trick against Patrick Roy and the Avalanche in the conference finals. He was the one who started a cancer foundation in Detroit to honor his father after he died. He was the one always working his ass off on the ice, no matter what the score happened to be.

But alas, with the new CBA, the Wings just don't have the money to spend on fan favorites anymore, no matter how much they bring to the locker room, if they're not putting up big numbers on the ice. It's hard to put a dollar amount on intangibles. The Wings were forced to buy him out of his contract and set him loose. It's going to be bittersweet to see Darren wearing another team's sweater. But it sounds like he has a good perspective on the situation. I've never heard of a player, especially a role player, writing an open letter to his fans saying goodbye. But he did. It's not exactly Lou Gehrig, but I get a little teary-eyed reading it:

Don't be sad it's over -- be happy it happened.

In the past few days, since the official word came of the buyout and as the status of my contract teetered, the reality that I'm not going to be a Red Wing anymore has set in, and I've taken some time to reflect.

I don't know if it's maturity ('cause if you know me, that's never been an issue) or the painstaking reality of the past 12 months without hockey. Either way, I'm saddened to leave an organization in a place where I've grown up, raised a family, been part of a first-class and first-rate team, won three Stanley Cups and achieved great personal success.

But looking back, what I really feel is gratitude -- thankful for the opportunity to realize a childhood dream to play for my childhood team. Grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Ilitch and their entire family for letting this boy become a man and always treating my family as one of their own. Grateful to the entire Red Wing organization from Ken Holland and his staff, to John Hahn and Anne Marie Krappmann in the PR department for their ever tireless effort. Grateful to Piet Van Zant and Paul Boyer for patching me up and getting me back out on the ice. Grateful for the support and memories from everyone at the Joe whom I will miss seeing daily, and thankful to the media for not only their endless support of myself but in the way they've always supported the McCarty Cancer Foundation and my band Grinder.

What will I miss most about playing hockey in Detroit? That's simple. The fans. From the day-to-day coffee stop or gas station conversation to the people who say hello on the street or ask for an autograph at the checkout, there are no greater fans than those in Detroit.

These are the great things about my time as a Red Wing that I will always remember no matter where I go. Thank you to all of you. But please don't shed a tear 'cause it's over -- crack a smile 'cause it happened, and no one can ever take that away. I'll always be a Red Wing at heart, and Detroit will always be my home.

Much love to you all,

Darren McCarty, Red Wings No. 25
Farewell, Darren. Keep in touch!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

How Not to Get Shot in the Head Five Times

I hope Gawker doesn't mind me blatantly stealing their picture and using it here at DoG. I suppose if they do, they can sue me for half the profits.

Here's a posting spotted recently in the London Underground. It's refreshing to see that the supposedly eminently civilized Brits can be just as Xenophobic as we are here in the colonies.

UPDATE: says it's fake.

Breaking News!

I hope you're sitting down. Although if you're reading this standing up, you must be the only person in the world with an apartment smaller than mine. You should think about getting a new place. Seriously, how can you live like this? And have you ever considered buying a vacuum? Wait… Where was I? Oh yes, the shocking news - Bush Unready for Postwar Planning. Gasp!!

Yes, it's true. An independent panel has studied the war and come to the astounding conclusion that BushCo didn't know what the hell they were doing in Iraq. Strange. You'd think Bush himself would have said something about that during the campaign. Or at least Kerry might have, that idiot.

Planning for reconstruction should match the serious planning that goes into making war, said the panel headed by Samuel Berger and Brent Scowcroft. Berger was national security adviser to Democratic President Clinton. Scowcroft held the same post under Republican Presidents Ford and George H.W. Bush but has been critical of the current president's Iraq and Mideast policies.

"A dramatic military victory has been overshadowed by chaos and bloodshed in the streets of Baghdad, difficulty in establishing security or providing essential services, and a deadly insurgency," the report said.

"The costs, human, military and economic, are high and continue to mount," said the report, which was sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, an independent foreign policy group.
If history is any guide, Bush will read the report (they'll act it out with puppets for him anyway) and they will snap into action with a huge new initiative to solve this problem. They'll secretly call it Operation Smear Scowcroft. I'll give them a little head start by making a few suggestions for the whisper campaign which is sure to follow:
  • Scowcroft is a pussy. He was NSA when they attacked Iraq last time and was too scaredy-cat to get rid of Saddam. Now we're just cleaning up his mess.

  • Scowcroft worked for Gerald Ford. Come on! Ford? The only unelected president in the history of the country? That guy was such a loser!

  • George H.W. Bush was in the administration who sold arms to Iran if you recall. You know Iran, right? Axis of Evil? Are you going to listen to a man who was national security advisor to a guy who played a part in arming terrorists?

  • One time, I saw Scowcroft eat falafel. You know who else eats falafel?

  • Brent Scowcroft has an old "friend" from childhood, and whenever they get together he hugs him. Get it? A man hugging a man?

  • Scowcroft once went to a WNBA game.
  • Those are just a few suggestions. I'm no Karl Rove and as such I still have a soul, assuming liberals ever had souls. I'm sure they'll be able to come up with a much darker Machiavellian scheme.

    Monday, July 25, 2005

    Remember Abu Ghraib?

    It's just not a very funny day today. I don't know why. I don't even have anything to add to this one either, just read the words of Salon's War Room:

    Last Friday was the deadline set by a federal judge for the Pentagon to release a stash of photographs and videotapes showing graphic proof of the abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The government ignored the deadline. Instead, in a secret brief filed with the court, it argued -- as it has done ever since the ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the photos last year -- that it shouldn't have to release the evidence.

    Nobody knows what the government's latest argument is, but it may have something to do with the hit President Bush's flowery rhetoric may take if pictures of "freedom on the march" are shown to the world. As Editor & Publisher points out in a nice compilation of public comments about the secret images, we haven't yet seen the worst of Abu Ghraib. Not by a long shot.

    Donald Rumsfeld said last year that the images in question are "hard to believe," and that what they show "can only be described as blatantly sadistic, cruel and inhumane." And here's what Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator from South Carolina, said of the pictures after they were screened for members of Congress last year: "The American public needs to understand we're talking about rape and murder here. We're not just talking about giving people a humiliating experience... We're talking about rape and murder -- and some very serious charges."

    Seymour Hersh, the New Yorker writer who was one of the first reporters to see the pictures, has offered even more graphic descriptions. At an ACLU convention last year, Hersh said: "Some of the worst things that happened you don't know about, okay? Videos, um, there are women there. Some of you may have read that they were passing letters out, communications out to their men. This is at Abu Ghraib... The women were passing messages out saying 'Please come and kill me, because of what's happened' and basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. And the worst above all of that is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror. It's going to come out."

    No senior Pentagon official has so far lost his or her job over what happened at Abu Ghraib. Is it any wonder, then, that they're so zealously hording every bit of evidence of the horrors that occurred there?

    Turn Your Key!

    High sources from deep within the DoG network sent me the following email. I have neither the inclination nor the wherewithal to verify this information. Take it as such.

    Philip Giraldi, in the new issue (not online) of the American Conservative:

    "The Pentagon, acting under instructions from Vice President Dick Cheney's office, has tasked the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) with drawing up a contingency plan to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States. The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons. Within Iran there are more than 450 major strategic targets, including numerous suspected nuclear-weapons-program development sites. Many of the targets are hardened or are deep underground and could not be taken out by conventional weapons, hence the nuclear option. As in the case of Iraq, the response is not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States. Several senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly appalled at the implications of what they are doing--that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack--but no one is prepared to damage his career by posing any objections."

    Giraldi is a former CIA counterterrorism specialist, according to his bio at American Conservative), so probably has contacts among the intelligence services and the military that few journalists in Washington can match. The leak of this information appears to be coming from the military officers in charge of drawing up the plan, or at least with someone familiar with their views.

    Friday, July 22, 2005

    I'm Rich, Beeotch!!!

    The oil industry has more money than it knows what to do with, apparently.

    When major oil companies report their quarterly profits next week, they're once again expected to post record numbers. With crude trading around $60 a barrel, the oil industry is enjoying one of the biggest windfalls in its history.

    I bet Bush could call any oil company executive and demand that he come to Washington and give him a back rub and the guy would be on a plane in like 30 seconds. He'd probably give Bush a "happy ending" too.
    But as the industry looks for places to put that cash, it's finding it harder and harder to put funds to work finding new deposits of oil and natural gas.

    Heaven forbid they should a) lower gas prices or b) reinvest that money into research and development for clean, alternative fuel that will keep their companies in business after they use up all the oil, oh, and also stop poisoning all of us. Or they could just give it all to whoever the Republicans run out there as their candidate in 2008...
    Many publicly traded oil companies have been busy buying back their own stock, which helps drive up the price of the rest of the shares left on the open market.

    Mo' money, mo' money, mo' money...
    All of this industry good fortune has not escaped the notice of consumers, whose anger at higher gasoline prices has been rising in lock step with the price of crude. The energy bill recently enacted by both houses of Congress provides little relief for U.S. energy consumers.

    It's almost as if there's SOME CONNECTION! Well, enjoy it while it lasts, boys. Because soon you'll either be forced to come up with alternative fuels, or you can hope that someone invents a car that runs on the piles of money you have lying around...

    Thursday, July 21, 2005

    Bush, You Got SERVED!

    I find this picture really funny. John Roberts kid apparently got a little jiggy during Bush's press conference to announce the nomination:

    Let's analyze, shall we? First of all, nice job controlling your kid, lady. He decides to bust a move on TV in front of the President, and you just stand there and pretend like it isn't happening? Brilliant. And I don't want to get all Rush Limbaugh here and make fun of this guy's kids, but don't they bear an uncanny resemblence to the kids in Village of the Damned? Also, who still makes these crazy short-pants, Little Lord Fauntleroy clothes? I guess if you dress your kid like Angus Young, you've gotta expect him to bust loose when he gets on stage. T.N.T., oy! Oy! Oy!

    Wednesday, July 20, 2005

    Predictions Results

    In a previous post, I made some predictions about Bush's nominee. Let's just check in and see how I did.

  • Obsequious to Bush
    Roberts was a member of "Lawyers for Bush-Cheney" and contributed $1,000 to the first Bush-Cheney election campaign in 2000. His professional ties to the Bush family go back a generation; he served under Kenneth Starr as the principal deputy solicitor general in the first Bush administration. He also campaigned for that administration's election, as a member of the executive committee of the DC Lawyers for Bush-Quayle '88. Before that, he was the deputy White House counsel for four years in the Reagan administration.
  • Corporate interests vs. poor people
    He successfully represented Toyota Motor Manufacturing in a case before the Supreme Court, where he argued that a worker with carpal tunnel syndrome was not protected under the Americans With Disabilities Act, even though she was fired for an injury acquired on the job.
  • Nutjob
    Roberts is also a member of the influential Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies,a group of conservatives and libertarians, which holds that the legal professional is currently dominated by "a form of orthodox liberal ideology."
  • Against Roe v. Wade
    In that brief, he wrote: "We continue to believe that Roe was wrongly decided and should be overruled ... The Court's conclusion in Roe that there is a fundamental right to an abortion ... finds no support in the text, structure, or history of the Constitution." The court upheld those regulations. In another case, involving the Operation Rescue, he coauthored the government's amicus brief supporting the group's right to target clinics, under the First Amendment, arguing that Operation Rescue was not engaged in a conspiracy to deny women equal protection.
  • Against human and civil rights
    Last Friday, the court on which Roberts now serves decided a case that supports the Bush administration's plans to use secretive military tribunals in the war on terror, which have provoked an international outcry from civil libertarians and human rights advocates. The three-judge panel, including Roberts, ruled unanimously that tribunals set up to try terrorism suspects for war crimes, in the case of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, were authorized under federal law. And it found that any rights accorded by the Geneva Convention to prisoners of war did not apply to suspected al-Qaida members or so-called enemy combatants. The two lawyers representing Hamdan in the case called the decision "contrary to 200 years of constitutional law." It was the first major opinion in which Roberts concurred -- and, ironically, could be tested in the Supreme Court during its next term.

    Another, much-noted accomplishment also has to do with civil liberties. In 2004, Roberts upheld the arrest of a 12-year-old girl who was handcuffed by transit police on the Washington Metro system for eating a single French fry. "No one is very happy about the events that led to this litigation," he wrote. Yet, he determined that the cops didn't violate the girl's rights under the Constitution's Fourth Amendment guarantee against unreasonable searches.
  • Anti-environment
    When Roberts was the government's lead counsel before the Supreme Court in Lujan v. National Wildlife Federation, he successfully argued that members of the environmental group did not have a right to file claims against 4,500 acres of public land being opened to mining. The court agreed, making it harder for plaintiffs to challenge government actions that hurt the environment.
  • Religious zealot
    Roberts has argued on behalf of his clients for the expansion of religion in public schools. In a coauthored brief to the Supreme Court in Lee v. Weisman, he argued that religious ceremonies should be allowed to be a part of graduation ceremonies. The Supreme Court rejected that position. But Roberts successfully argued to the court that religious groups should not be banned from meeting on school grounds in the case of Mergens v. Westside Community School District.
    So there you have it, folks. There's our new man in the high court. Are you ready for a rip-roaring good time? I'm ready. I already have my powdered wig down from the top shelf, and I've started looking into my family's history to see if we had any slaves we can reclaim. Now, you ladies out there, you're going to have bigger problems. Stock up on your contraception now, I think. Oh, and you can send your voter registration card in the mail directly to your nearest Secretary of State office. Might as well just throw your shoes in the garbage. While you're at it, it might be best to find a secret hiding place in the floorboard where you can hide books and other contraband. Just make sure it's someplace they won't be able to see it through the telescreen or it'll be off to the reeducation center for you!

    Hooray America!! Love it or leave it!!

  • A Little More About the New Supreme Court Nominee

    From the Washington Post:

    Abortion rights groups contend that during his days as a lawyer in the administration of President George H.W. Bush he tried to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision legalizing abortion. Roberts helped write a brief that stated, "We continue to believe that Roe was wrongly decided and should be overruled."


    Roberts generally voted with the government in the cases he has handled on the bench.

    He was part of the unanimous three-judge panel that last week put President Bush's military tribunals in the war on terror back on track, clearing the way for the Pentagon to resume trials for detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    He also joined in a decision last year to throw out a $959 million judgment for U.S. prisoners of war who say they were tortured by the Iraqi military during the 1991 Gulf War, ruling that Congress never authorized such lawsuits against foreign governments.

    Roberts issued a dissent in a case involving the constitutionality of the Endangered Species Act. The liberal group People for the American Way said Roberts' dissent indicated he may be ready to join the ranks of right-wing conservative judges who seek to limit severely congressional authority to protect the environment.

    Roberts also issued a dissent in a decision against the Bush administration's efforts to keep secret records of Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force. Roberts was in the minority when the court voted 5-3 to deny the Bush administration's request for a rehearing.

    The article says some nice things about old Ferret Face, er, Roberts, and makes him out to be a guy who isn't a total whack-job. But the actual opinions he's written seem like more of the same old pro-corporate, pro-do-whatever-the-government-says-and-shut-the-hell-up-about-it bullcrap we've come to expect from these clowns.

    Tuesday, July 19, 2005

    A White Guy!

    What a shocker. A fifty-something white Christian male who has argued against civil rights, against the environment, against Roe v. Wade, and for corporate interests. Who could have predicted that?

    Ladies and gentlemen, meet your new Supreme Court justice, (like he's not going to be confirmed?), John G. Roberts Jr..

    God, even his name is total white bread.

    UPDATE: Just looking at his picture, don't you kinda want to slap him? No? Come on, not even a little bit? Maybe you haven't looked into his beady soulless eyes for long enough.

    UPDATE II: His picture is too telling. I see a man whose children absolutely hate him. Like that character played by Will Ferrell on SNL, where he would be eating dinner with his wife and their kids who despised them and treated them with disrespect. Will Ferrell would stand up and shout, "I am a division manager! I drive a Dodge Stratus!" That's what I see. But I guess I can wait for the hearings to find out. "I am a Supreme Court justice and you will not go to that rave tonight!"

    UPDATE III: (from emeryroolz) I think he looks like Frank Burns from MASH...

    Modest Bush Underestimates Greatest Talent

    Bush had a press conference yesterday and he made a statement that caught my eye. When asked about the upcoming Supreme Court nomination, he said:

    "I'm comfortable with where we are in the process," Bush said. "I have thought about a variety of people from different walks of life, some of whom I've known before, some of whom I'd never met before. I'm trying to figure out what else I can say that I hadn't said yesterday that sounds profound to you without actually answering your questions."
    Trying to figure out?! You have made a science out of saying new things that say nothing and don't answer the question. Good lord, it's your life's fucking calling!

    Bush is Responsible for 7/7

    Forget this Karl Rove endangering our national security interests for his own political gain crap. Let's go right to the top. Remember how Bush and Ridge kept raising the terror alert level whenever Kerry ticked up a point in the polls in 2004? Yeah, and remember how they would then come out and say, "so-and-so is a high level operative in al Qaeda and he's giving us hella-intel on future terror attacks."? Yeah, and then remember when other countries started complaining about it saying how they were pursuing other leads from that operative and now every lead has gone into hiding?

    One of those leads was one of the bombers in the London attacks. Read it for yourself.

    And from now on, if you ever have any doubt whether Bush is in this for the good of the country or in it for his own political power and the profits of his cronies, reread it.

    Don't Fear the Reaper

    Well, things are going for shit for Bush the last week or so. They are reverting to crouch mode (that's an evil crouch, if you're scoring at home), and doing the two things they do best -- Lie with the most brazen, ridiculous lies possible, and change the subject.

    Ken Mehlman started with task one on Meet the Press on Sunday.

    Democrat partisans on the Hill have engaged in a smear campaign where they have attacked Karl Rove on the basis of information which actually vindicates and exonerates him, not implicates him.
    And task two - Bush is going to move the Supreme Court nomination process forward by choosing his nominee this week. I suspect that he might choose an even crazier nutjob than he might otherwise have. All the better for distracting the media and Democrats. And that is, of course, the most honorable and forthright way to choose a person to fill a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. Anyway, in order to prepare for the post I will write after the nomination comes out, I'm going to do a dry run today, where I can just circle the appropriate words after the name is released. In place of the nominee's name, I will use a randomly chosen place-filler – "Religofascist Creepshow."

    Unbelievable! I can't believe… well actually I can believe that Bush chose Religofascist Creepshow as his Supreme Court nominee. RC has a long history of being obsequious to (his/her) (donors/supporters/bible-thumping friends). When (evil corporation) was in trouble for (poisoning children/raping the environment/scamming money from the government/scamming money from grandma), RC voted on the side of (evil corporation), and in fact wrote the minority opinion. RC's colleagues wrote for the majority:
    Judge Creepshow's opinion demonstrates (his/her) true intentions and that is to (undermine our legal protections/further enrich massive global corporations/kill off the weak and the lame).
    Early on in (his/her) career, while a local judge, RC sentenced four (black/latino) teens to death for (smoking marijuana/yelling at a cop/riding their bikes on the wrong side of the street). The sentence was later overturned on appeal. Religofascist Creepshow has a known pattern of corruption. In one case, a (mobster/klansman/republican) appeared before (him/her) on a murder trial. The defendant had shot a local priest dead pointblank in front of the entire congregation and in view of three security cameras. Judge Creepshow found the defendant not guilty. When (he/she) was up for reelection the following fall it was discovered that the defendant had given RC over $50,000 for (his/her) election campaign.

    Religofascist Creepshow and George W. Bush go way back. Back when W was a "businessman," he appeared before Judge Creepshow to explore (new oil drilling/relaxing pollution laws/ripping off old people). Their plan involved forcibly removing thousands of people from their homes, stealing whatever cash was lying around, bulldozing the homes, and beating the living crap out of anyone who tried to stay behind. RC was in full support of the plan, and in fact signed arrest warrants for any trouble-makers or rabble-rousers. They became fast friends. Since then, RC has stayed in lockstep with every Bush policy all the way up to the governor's office. RC became known in local circles as Judge Rubber Stamp for (his/her) penchant for signing anything Bush asked for without reading it. Judge Creepshow is widely considered directly responsible for the massive increase in (asthma in children/diabetes/forest fires/corporate corruption/birth defects) in Texas over the last fifteen years.

    That Bush would choose for the Supreme Court someone so beholden to corporate interests, so obsequious to Bush's demands, and so blatantly opposed to human and civil rights should come as no surprise to any of us. But it should make us hang our heads in shame at how far down this partisan road he has taken us. Welcome to Bush's America.

    Monday, July 18, 2005

    Right to Life in Jail

    The vengeful sword of God, Eric Rudolph was sentenced to like a zillion years in prison for bombing the Olympics and some abortion clinics. Oh, but this little setback ain't gonna keep his message down.

    "What they did was participate in the murder and dismemberment of upward of 50 children a week," Mr. Rudolph said. "I will be vindicated - my actions in Birmingham that overcast day in January 1998 will be vindicated. As I go to a prison cell for a lifetime I know that I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith."
    Murdering is wrong, you see. And the only way to fight murder is with murder. Keepin' it real, yo! I's protectin' the innocent terrorist style, biatch!! That's how I roll!

    How Low Can You Go?

    That's right, ladies and gentleman. It's time for another rousing game of Political Limbo, mon… Let's watch and enjoy as Bush sets the standards bar lower and lower - low enough for Bush's Machiavelli, Karl Rove to keep his job:

    President Bush said Monday that if anyone in his administration committed a crime in connection with the public leak of the identity of an undercover CIA operative, that person will "no longer work in my administration." At the same time, Bush again sidestepped a question on the role of his top political adviser, Karl Rove, in the matter.
    If you recall, Bush and McClellan both were previously quoted as saying that anyone having anything to do with the leak would be fired. But once it became clear that it wasn't a few bad apples in the lower ranks, the bar for dismissal has become significantly higher, hasn't it. Now the man has to have committed a crime. Welcome to Bush's world, folks. A world where the more entitled and higher up in the chain of command you go, the bigger you have to fuck up to get canned.

    The man committed treason, essentially. Outing not only Valerie Plame, but the CIA front company that she started and worked at overseas and which currently provides cover (at least it used to) for countless other agents and foreign sources of intel related to WMD. But hey, if we can't get Karl's circumstances to fit the narrow letter of the law in this case, all the better! Let him live to undermine our national security another day. This whole national security thing is so less important than Bush's best friend and political attack dog keeping his job.

    Thursday, July 14, 2005

    Dare We Dream?

    This Karl Rove thing... I can't stop thinking about it. True story - last night around 4am I awoke in a cold sweat from a terrifying nightmare. A nightmare about Karl Rove. My dark subconscious tasked me with the responsibility of finding Karl Rove's replacement in the White House. I had to interview the dregs of humanity whose resumes contained stories of devouring puppies and slaughtering innocents. It was horrible.

    Anyway, firedoglake brought to my attention that this Plamegate deal might be a way bigger deal than we are hoping for in our wildest fantasies. I mean, getting Rove indicted would be brilliant, right? But there's some wild speculation that the extent to which Fitzgerald is going to get information implies that it has to be bigger than just outing a covert operative which most people agree is a tricky law to get convictions on. Plus, Fitzgerald has said a number of times that Rove isn't even the target. So what is going on?

    At Daily Kos, they wonder if it might be espionage.

    This case isn't about identifying a covert agent, and hasn't been for a long, long time.  It's about disclosure of classified information which is a violation of the Espionage Act and a more serious crime.  It happens that the classified material (primarilly an "INR"  Report by State Dept intelligence officials regarding the possibillity that Saddam was attempting to obtain urainium yellowcake and Joe Wilson's trip to Niger) was used by the administration to discredit Wilson by pointing out what they say was his wife's role.  But that identification is NOT what Fitzgerald is after.  Someone leaked the contents of that classified file all over town trying to get ahead of Wilson's story.
    Obviously, I have no idea. But they make a compelling argument. It does seem to be bigger than we'd think. And unlike fucknut Ken Starr, this investigation doesn't seem to have a leak problem. No one really knows what's going on in there. But it stands to reason that Bush wouldn't want to talk about it too much when you view it in these terms. It could be someone really high up in his administration who gets indicted for treason. Just imagine. Watergate times ten.

    Wednesday, July 13, 2005

    Play uh... Puck!

    I can't speak for everyone. Or for that matter, most likely any of you. But I, for one, am thrilled to find out that hockey is back, baby!

    Now it's time to move forward. Here is my self-indulgent list of next steps that need to be made:

    1) Fire Goodenow and Bettman. These two guys self-servingly turned the NHL into a laughingstock. If anybody is still reading this now, you're most likely scoffing at the idea of the NHL even mattering to anyone anymore. And for that these two men are to blame.

    2) Zero-tolerance interference rules. The sport of hockey is, without question, the fastest, most exciting sport on the planet. But over the last few years we've seen it turn into boring neutral zone slogs that punish any team who doesn't play the dullest style of defense known to man. Meanwhile future superstars like Datsyuk, St. Louis, and Iginla are struggling to blossom. If the league is to succeed, we need to show the world how dazzling these men, and dozens like them, can be.

    3) Eliminate the red line. Making two-line passes illegal stifles offense and breakaways. And a breakaway goal is one of the most exciting plays you'll ever see. Take the ankle weights off - let 'em play!

    4) Shootouts in the regular season. Who wants to go home to a tie? What is this English Premiere League? Jolly good show, chaps. Might we contest this once more in a fortnight's time mayhap? Bullshit. How about a five minute overtime of 4 on 4. A five minute overtime of (ooh!) 3 on 3. And if that doesn't work. Shootout! Breakaways, best of five. Who doesn't want to see that? And then the record book is Ws and Ls. Nothing that looks like: 25-12-15-6. Even cricket isn't as weird as all that!

    5) No-touch icing. This isn't so much about excitement as it is about safety. These 200 pound guys are racing down the ice to go after the puck. 95% of the time it ends up being icing anyway, but after getting up to 40 mph, they slam into the boards, and people get hurt. It's unnecessary and a waste of time in the first place.

    6) Reduce the goalie pads. Have you ever seen old games on ESPN or something? It doesn't even have to be from the 60s. Like, Grant Fuhr and those guys in the 80s. They're so freaking tiny in goal. Plus, they don't even really seem to know what they're doing. They're stumbling around trying to stop pucks and failing I might add, (Fuhr, the best goalie from my childhood was hovering just under 4 goals against per game back when he was winning the Cup every year. Nowadays, if they're not under 2, they suck.). They looked silly. Today, they're armored like tanks and have been training since birth to stop the puck. Let's get those pads down to 80s size and get the goals against up.

    7) Referee consistency in the playoffs. There's nothing worse than the refs cracking down on penalties during the regular season, but once the playoffs start - anything goes. This ends up favoring the worst teams in the league. Teams that couldn't win on skill during the regular season can go all the way in the playoffs because they revert to the boring trapping, grabbing, interference-based defenses that we eliminated in point #2. I will NOT lose to crappy no-talent (except for Iginla) Calgary again this year.

    8) Make it fun again. I don't know exactly what to do here. Free ticket games, party stuff, who knows? Marketing people can jump in. But they had damn well better think of us as they move forward.
    And let's play some hockey!

    The Ballad of Turd Blossom

    The AP has a list of important dates in the life of Karl Rove. Their list, however, is woefully incomplete. We at DoG believe in nothing if not thoroughness and thoroughity and thoroughitude, so please enjoy our updated list of Important Dates in the Life of Karl Rove.

    --Dec. 25, 1950: Karl “Christian” Rove born in Denver to a woman named Rosemary Woodhouse and a guy named Satan.

    --Elementary school: While browsing the “Political Strategy” section of his local library, a young Karl Rove comes across a badly mis-shelved copy of George Orwell’s 1984 and checks it out. The book has yet to be returned.

    --High school years: Due to Denver’s severe under-abundance of creepy religious nuts, family moves to Salt Lake City, where Rove volunteers for a Republican senator's re-election campaign. Unpopular with the ladies, Karl does have one sexual experience, when he has a premature orgasm, 3 seconds after initiating a conversation with a girl in the lunch line. Also at this time, his hairline begins to recede and he starts to develop a second chin.

    --1969-71: Attends the University of Utah and joins College Republicans after someone tells him it’s a “great way to meet chicks.” Rove later referred to College Republican events as “total sausage-fests.” Also, third chin discovered, hairline now in full retreat.

    --1971-1977: Executive director and then chairman of College Republican National Committee. CRNC still a “total sausage-fest,” Rove says, with a wistful smile and gleam in his eye. Hairline now only visible with the use of two mirrors.

    --1974-1975: Republican National Committee Chairman George H.W. Bush hires Rove to be his “special” assistant. Bush later learns that Rove is not really retarded, “he just looks like that.” Around this time, Rove meets Bush's son, George W. Bush at a bar in Houston. A drunken Bush alternately refers to Rove as “an alright kinda guy” and a “fat fucking homo” before passing out face down in a pool of puke (not his own).

    --1977: Moves to Texas and becomes aide to George H.W. Bush's Saudi money laundering committee, a.k.a. his political action committee. Rove leaves the job to work in the gubernatorial campaign of Bill Clements, who in 1978 becomes Texas' first Republican governor in more than a century. Rove celebrates by taking a hooker to a local hotel, where she refuses his advances despite having been paid $3000. He later dismembers and eats her.

    --1980: When George H.W. Bush announces his decision to run for the Republican presidential nomination, Rove is the first person the campaign hires. Rove pioneers the disastrous “name-tag” campaign, whereby all Americans would wear name tags so we would all know who everyone else is. Thus was the idea for the Patriot Act born.

    --1984: Rove helps Phil Gramm win election to Senate from Texas. Gramm had recently left the Democratic Party because there were too many colored folks and not enough corporate payoffs. Gramm’s wife later worked to repeal environmental regulations and sat on Enron’s board. Good folks, those Gramms.

    --1986: Rove's client, former Texas Gov. Bill Clements, and Democratic Gov. Mark White were running neck and neck in their race for governor when Rove announced he'd found an electronic listening device in his office. The controversy helped deliver the election to Clements. A federal prosecutor later clears both sides. Many Texas Democrats believe Rove concocted the story, especially since the only tapes ever produced from the alleged device featured Rove talking loudly about “what a giant cock” he had to nobody in particular.

    --1994: Political adviser in George W. Bush's first run for Texas governor, an upset victory over Democratic incumbent Ann Richards. Rove is believed to have been behind several anti-Richards campaigns, such as pointing out that Richards “looks kinda dykey, like a gym teacher” and “probably hates the Cowboys,” and personally taking a shit in Richard’s flowerbeds every night. This earns him the nickname “Turd Blossom.” Bush wins a landslide re-election in 1998. Electric chair manufacturers nationwide rejoice.

    --2000: Orchestrates Bush's presidential campaign, which ends in victory after Supreme Court intervenes. Highlights include Operation: McCain is a Kook With a Black Baby, Operation: Al Gore Invented the Internets, and Operation: Black People Not Allowed to Vote Any More. Third chin now in full bloom, hair a distant memory.

    --Sept 29, 2003: The White House dismisses as "ridiculous" the suggestion Rove was involved in disclosing the identity of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame. Also dismisses global warming as “poppycock,” evolution as “hogwash,” and the system of checks and balances as a “total crock of shit, man. By the way, doesn’t John Kerry look French?”

    --June 10, 2004: Bush pledges to fire anyone in his administration found to have been a leaker in the Plame case. Bush later claims that while it might have SOUNDED like he said “fire,” he really said “fellate.”

    --Oct. 16, 2004: Rove testifies before grand jury investigating the leak. Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, says prosecutors have assured Rove he is not a target of the criminal probe. Although while on a rafting trip with some friends in Georgia a few weeks late, Rove is the target of another kind of “probe” at the hands of two of the Republican Party’s core voters. Rove thanks them for their support by squealing like a piggy.

    --Nov. 3, 2004: Bush wins re-election with Rove as his chief political adviser. Operation: Black People Not Allowed to Vote Any More again works to perfection, in conjunction with Operation: Mention 9/11 Ten Trillion Times, Operation: It’s Hard! It’s Hard Work! He Forgot Poland!, and Operation: These Unbiased Veterans Say Kerry Totally Shot Himself, and Also, Doesn’t He Look French?

    --July 10, 2005: Newsweek reports that in 2003 Rove talked to Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper about Plame, but did not identify her by name, although he did say her name rhymed with "Balerie Blame." After weeks spent unraveling this complicated code with the help of Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu, Cooper later writes a story in which he uses Plame's name.

    --July 11: Under intense questioning from reporters for the first time EVER, White House spokesman Scott McClellan refuses to repeat claims that Rove had nothing to do with the leak. McClellan is later found by a housekeeper in a White House coat closet, curled in a fetal position, rocking back and forth and sobbing softly.

    --July 12: Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., say Rove should be fired. McClellan says Bush still has confidence in Rove, challenges them to a tag-team match. McClellen and Rove to be known as The Brothers Bald, say they will be managed by Dick “The Brain” Cheney.

    Hear No Evil, See No Evil - Learn Nothing

    There's a story in the June 27th issue of the New Yorker that is so positively horrifying, so deadly frightening, I hesitate to trouble you with it. But as poor Linda Loman said, "attention must be paid."

    You see, there's this "school" called Patrick Henry College. It's a school populated by 85% homeschooled kids, all evangelical Christian, 99.9% white, and oh yeah, it's a training ground for a career in the Republican party. I'm going to cut to some excerpts, but it's going to be lacking in a proper narrative thread. Just read them, or perhaps skip that and just read the damn article, Mr. Lazybones. Then we'll see if we can find some time for scathing commentary at the end of class.

    Patrick Henry is a Christian college, though it is not affiliated with any denomination, and it gives students guidelines on “glorifying God with their appearance.”

    Patrick Henry’s president, Michael Farris, is a lawyer and minister who has worked for Christian causes for decades. He founded the school after getting requests from two constituencies: homeschooling parents and conservative congressmen. The parents would ask him where they could find a Christian college with a “courtship” atmosphere, meaning one where dating is regulated and subject to parental approval. The congressmen asked him where they could find homeschoolers as interns and staffers, “which I took to be shorthand for ‘someone who shares my values,’ ” Farris said. “And I knew they didn’t want a fourteen-year-old kid.” So he set out to build what he calls the Evangelical Ivy League, and what the students call Harvard for Homeschoolers.

    [Students du Mée and Ross] won four of the six national tournaments they competed in. Some of the younger Patrick Henry teams make a point of taking explicitly Christian positions, such as arguing for teaching alternatives to evolution, but du Mée and Ross tend to be more subtle; they focus, instead, on issues like merit pay for teachers. They met during freshman orientation, and before they began spending “exclusive time” together, in junior year, du Mée called Ross’s father to tell him. Last year, du Mée asked if he could court her by writing her father an eighteen-page single-spaced letter that began “My name is Matthew du Mée and I was a good kid.”

    Over Christmas break, du Mée drove to Ross’s house, in Evansville, Indiana, to propose in front of her parents and six siblings. She accepted, and gave him a hug—they wanted their first kiss to be at their wedding. They decided to get married right after graduation and move to Phoenix. Ross would look for a job, but only to pay back loans. Eventually, they want to adjust to living on one salary so that she can homeschool their kids.

    Then [Professor] Stacey moved on to Machiavelli’s principle that politics is governed by conspiracies and lies. “Come on, we know politicians lie,” he began. “This is a bit sensitive. How about our beloved George W. Bush? Does he deceive us with what he says in public? Does he lie?”

    The students, who had been fully engaged on the subject of Machiavelli and Waco, were silent. Bush has been President since they were teen-agers, and the school newspaper’s editorials never deviate from the White House position. Finally, one student said, “No, I don’t think so.”

    Stacey, who has a Ph.D. in government from the University of Virginia, told me that he loved Patrick Henry, because the students “really want to be here, which is very satisfying for a professor.” He is an evangelical Christian, but he worries that his students sometimes revert to jargon they picked up from their parents, “that the nation’s founders just fell out of Heaven, that America is a Christian Nation, capital ‘C’ capital ‘N.’

    when students enroll at Patrick Henry, they sign a ten-part statement of faith, agreeing that, among other things, Hell is a place where “all who die outside of Christ shall be confined in conscious torment for eternity.”

    Ben Adams, who sent out a nine-page e-mail to the entire student body before the spring formal reminding the girls to dress modestly. “Lust is sin,” it said. “It is sin for you to tempt us. It is . . . unloving. Unsisterly. Un-Christlike.”

    The new careerist code of the Joshua Generation can become a problem for the girls, however. Even the most ambitious ones, those who wake up at 3 a.m. to study, told me without reservation that as soon as they had children they would quit their jobs to raise them.
    Aside – why go to school in the first place? Why not just place an ad in your church newspaper, "Available: one uterus. Immediate occupancy. No kiss before marriage. Sex for procreation only. Will stay home while you work. Free-thinkers need not apply."
    the expectation of most of the guys she knows at Patrick Henry - that wives should just “fade out,” that she should instantly take on the identity of a wife and mother “and consider it a blessing”

    Patrick Henry is trying a complicated experiment: taking young evangelicals who have been raised in rarefied, controlled atmospheres and training them to become political leaders without somehow being corrupted by the secular world’s demands.
    And that last line. That's the key right there. Rarefied, controlled atmosphere without being "corrupted" by REALITY. These kids have been homeschooled their whole lives, and when they go to this college, it's essentially the same thing. But instead of your mom cramming her dogma down your throat, it's a so-called university doing it with 300 of your fellow automatons. I've gone into this in great detail before, so there's no need to go nuts here, but the only way conservativism thrives is in ignorance. Universities are supposed to be institutions of learning, of knowledge. If kids go to school, they learn about other things, other ideas. If they want to grow up and be full-fledged adults, it's vital that they are exposed to ideas they had never heard before. If it's a stupid idea, they will use their ability to think critically and dismiss it. If it's a good idea, maybe they'll expand on it. That is the true purpose of higher education – to hone your ability to think critically. If they go to a "university" that only caters to a specific narrow worldview, how will they ever be able to live in a society? What happens when confronted with a dirty faggot for the first time? Or, god forbid, a minority! Whatever will they do?

    And by the way the secondary, but I would argue almost as important, purpose of college is developing social skills. Did you ever run into a homeschooled kid in high school or something? They're total freaks. I mean, I'm no social mastermind myself, but these kooks make Howard Hughes look like Cary Grant. And here we have an entire college of freaks running around together building their own self-contained freak society. And a society where they think they shouldn't kiss until their wedding night? Is this how we want our future senators to be? I sure as hell don't.

    In any case, you see the problem here. The only way conservatives can maintain their hold on power is to bring up a group of clones who have never been exposed to outside ideas, never been challenged in any meaningful way, let's face it – have never lived a real life. If you love somebody, set them free, right? That is unless you want them to mimic your ideas and behavior like a trained monkey, in which case lock them in a cage and program them like robots until they're 22 years old. And maybe, just maybe, we can bring up a generation of Republicans willing to go that extra mile and burn books, outlaw Hollywood entertainment, and crucify the godless sodomites.

    It should be considered criminal child abuse to raise a boy or girl so sheltered, so closed off that they are unable to survive in the real world. This "university" should be shut down on the premise of protecting our children from future harm.

    Tuesday, July 12, 2005

    No, Mr. Bond. I Expect You to Die.

    Josh Micah Marshall at TPM has the scoop on Karl Rove's lawyer Robert D. Luskin. Yeah, and it's pretty funny.

    One case that jumps out at you is his representation of Stephen A. Saccoccia.

    Saccoccia and his wife Donna were eventually convicted of laundering more than a hundred million dollars for various Colombian drug kingpins. Stephen is currently serving a 660 year sentence. Their racket was laundering drug money through companies which traded in precious metals.

    Saccoccia was convicted in 1993. And Luskin took up his case on appeal.

    Eventually the Feds got the idea that the money Saccoccia had paid Luskin and his other attorneys for their services was itself part of the $137 million in drug money he was ordered to forfeit. Now, on the face of it this seems a bit unfair since under our system everyone is entitled to good representation and how was Luskin to know it was tainted money.

    Well, the prosecutors thought he should have gotten some inkling when Saccoccia started paying Luskin's attorney's fees in gold bars.

    Yep, you heard that right. Luskin got paid more than $500,000 of his attorney's fees in gold bars from his client who was trying to appeal his conviction on charges that he laundered drug money through precious metals dealers. Who woulda thought that was drug money?

    Luskin insisted that he "never have, and never would, knowingly accept a fee that was the proceeds of illegal activities."

    But when federal prosecutors finally got a chance to depose Luskin and Saccoccia's other lawyers, they found that their lawyers' fees had come in forms "such as gold bars, cash that was dropped off at hotels and trunks of cars, and money transfers from Swiss bank accounts."
    Now, see I spoke with the HR department at my job; we have a direct deposit option. And it's great. I get a pay stub every week, but the money is already in my bank. It eliminates the hassle of meeting in a back alley with my supervisor, getting frisked by his goons, and heaving my pay out of the trunk of his car. I mean, have you ever tried to carry one of those things? They're not light, let me tell you. And you can forget about cabbies making change on your bullion. "Yeah, uh... can I get $48,790 back?"

    Seriously, show me a man who gets paid in gold and I'll show you a man who's shot craps with Sean Connery.

    Really Stepped in it This Time

    This Karl Rove thing is outta control. Are you enjoying it as much as I am? A front page story in the Times, a silent Republican party, a quaking Scott McClellan. I know the most likely outcome in today’s corrupt government is nothing. But it’s still fun to watch the White House press corps finally grow a pair and ask some actual questions.

    When I was a kid, I had this toy called 2XL. It was essentially an 8 track player shaped to look like a robot. It would ask you questions, and while it was singing or playing robot music, you would answer by pressing a button. This would change the track on the tape and you would find out if you were right or wrong. For you younglings out there, it was the 70s version of Leap Frog, except better because 70s kids are way cooler than 90s kids. Anyway. My point – Scott McClellan is 2XL. Check it:

    Terry, I appreciate your question. I think your question is being asked relating to some reports that are in reference to an ongoing criminal investigation. The criminal investigation that you reference is something that continues at this point. And as I've previously stated, while that investigation is ongoing, the White House is not going to comment on it.
    Please press the question... button... NOW.
    ...we're not going to get into commenting on an ongoing criminal investigation from this podium. The prosecutors overseeing the investigation had expressed a preference to us that one way to help the investigation is not to be commenting on it from this podium. And so that's why we are not going to get into commenting on it while it is an ongoing investigation, or questions related to it.
    The answer you have chosen is 99% CORR-ect.
    No one wants to get to the bottom of it more than the President of the United States. And I think the way to be most helpful is to not get into commenting on it while it is an ongoing investigation.
    Your brain must be SO big, it is aMAZing that you can hold up your head.

    You get the point. Scott has a few answers hardwired into his circuitry, and depending on the question, he presses the corresponding button in his belly. Thank you, Scott. Thank you for giving me this short moment to reminisce. And in a final nostalgic twist, not only does his behavior remind me of my childhood, his answers treat us like children. Nice.

    Monday, July 11, 2005

    And I Hope He Burns in Hell!!

    Well, it’s all startin’ to ooze out, my toasty cheese sandwiches. The truth, that is. And as we all knew the moment it happened, the Valerie Plame leak came directly from the mouth of everybody’s favorite evil college dropout, Turd Blossom himself, Karl Rove.


    And it’s getting weirder and weirder. First Cooper said his source said he could testify. Now it’s like maybe not. Or something. I kinda don’t understand it really. The key in my opinion is this bit:

    A report on Newsweek's Web site on Sunday, that the magazine said was based on a document Time produced to the special prosecutor, added other elements to the puzzle. While Mr. Rove did identify the operative in a conversation with Mr. Cooper, Mr. Rove did not use her name - Valerie Plame, as she has been called in news accounts, or Valerie Wilson, as she prefers - or refer to her covert status, Newsweek said. Lawyers involved in the negotiations did not dispute the accuracy of the document Newsweek cited.
    In other words, Rove’s lawyer is running around saying things like, “Mr. Rove did not name a covert CIA operative,” and ignoring that he identified her as Joe Wilson’s wife, yeah that chick you met at that party last Friday; she had that green dress and those open toe pumps your wife was admiring. Which is the legal equivalent of chanting, “I’m not touching you! I’m not touching you!” while holding your finger an inch away from your little sister’s face.

    So maybe Rove gets away with it legally, or maybe he doesn’t. But what about getting in trouble with his boss?
    GEORGE W. BUSH: “This is a very serious matter. And our administration takes it seriously… this is a serious charge, by the way. We’re talking about a criminal action.” [10/6/03]

    ED GILLESPIE: “I think if the allegation is true, to reveal the identity of an undercover CIA operative — it’s abhorrent, and it should be a crime, and it is a crime.” [MSNBC Hardball, 9/30/03]

    KAREN HUGHES: “President Bush has said — and I agree — there are too many leaks in Washington. We didn’t experience that kind of situation when we were here in Texas. I think it’s very disruptive to democracy… Whoever did this leak obviously was not serving President Bush very well.” [Houston Chronicle, 10/2/03]

    JOHN ASHCROFT: “Let me just indicate that this is a matter of great concern to me, that I have not ruled out any options. Leaks are a serious matter. When information is classified, it’s classified for a reason, and classified because it is in the national interest of the United States of America that the information not be shared. And anyone who purposefully leaks information that has been classified is, for some reason — it’s incomprehensible to me, but for some reason — subordinating a national security — if they purposefully leak information — suborting the national security in the interests of the United States to some interests of their own.” [News conference, 10/16/03]

    GEORGE H.W. BUSH: “I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious, of traitors.” [Speech at CIA, 4/26/99]

    COLIN POWELL: “Not only do you put her at risk, or any undercover agent at risk, by letting it be known that they are an agent, but you also put the sources they have worked with over the years at considerable risk.” [9/30/03]
    The most insidious of traitors. I couldn’t have said it better myself, H-W. And a question for the current president – what is the penalty for treason? I’ll give you a hint. Doing it gives you a bigger rush than that time you and Smitty freebased an 8-ball in his basement on spring break.

    Thursday, July 07, 2005

    Panic on the Streets of London

    Explosions rock the London Underground this morning. Crap. But that’s not what I’m writing about. What I find interesting is our Homeland Security Department’s response:

    "The Department of Homeland Security does not have any intelligence indicating this type of attack is planned in the United States.”
    Wait, so either you guys had intelligence that this was going to happen in London and didn’t do anything about it, or you didn’t know about the London thing and your lack of intelligence regarding U.S. attacks is completely meaningless. Either way, I don’t feel too safe. But I took the subway this morning nevertheless.

    Wednesday, July 06, 2005

    What Parallel Universe Did I Fall Into?

    You know how everybody is always bitching about how the mainstream media won't talk about anything that matters?

    Strangely enough, we have a period of focus this week. Without discussing the nature of their irresponsible coverage, it is heartening to see that the lead story tonight is Valerie Plame, a strong runner-up in the upcoming SCOTUS battle, and Bush/G-8/Africa bringing up the rear. No sign of missing or child molesting white chicks in sight.

    Of course, there's a dirty side to this. Finally the news outlets are checking in on the Valerie Plame story which deserved their attention, I don't know two years ago? But they only jumped in because one of theirs is going to jail. Prison is good copy, you know? And they're kind of taking it personally too. How DARE these fucked up judges do this to one of our own! (Of course as we all know, I'd love to see Judy rot in prison, but this whole thing is admittedly pretty weird.) They're hypocritically bending over backwards trying to explain to us that without confidential sources the republic is all but lost, completely ignoring the fact that the only confidential sources they ever quote work in the White House. When is the last time you remember hearing about a whistleblower? Oh, I know they're out there - Paul O'Neill, Richard Clarke, Joseph Wilson before Judy went to jail, the guy who told the truth about the Medicare drug costs, the other guy who brought to light that Bush removed global warming evidence from environmental reports, to name a tiny percentage of the whole - but the only ones who get front page coverage are the unnamed sources defending the policies of the administration. Newspeople, read very closely - that's not whistleblowing! That's what they call PR. So get over yourselves and your defense of the fucking republic. After you actually DO something to actually, like, defend the republic, then you can get all high and mighty about keeping secret your goddamned sources.

    In this one case, unfortunately for Judy, naming the source protects the republic. Hiding the source only protects her job.

    PS - Did you read about what's going on with this source naming dealie? Matt Cooper got permission from his source to name names so he's going to testify. Judith Miller apparently didn't and she's going to jail. Why would the source a) give anyone permission to implicate him/her in a crime? And b) give Cooper permission and not give it to Judy? Are there two separate sources? Does the source hate Miller's coverage in the lead-up to Iraq? And where does our favorite Douschebag of Liberty, Bobby Novak fit in to all this? It is intriguing, no? Stay tuned...

    Ride the Lightning. And Hurry Up About It!

    California State Rep. Dolph Lundgren and Arizona Sen. Jonesinto Kill... er, make that Dan Lungren (R) and Jon Kyl (R), have introduced a bill in the House and Senate called the "Streamlined Procedures Act of 2005," aka the "Would You Hurry Up and FRY Them Already?! Act of 1478." This piece of... legislation "would limit the ability of defendants facing the death sentence to have their cases reviewed by federal courts in what are known as habeas corpus appeals." According to these two jag-offs:

    You see delays in death penalty cases where they are allowed to drag on for 15 or even 25 years. Defense attorneys have come to believe the longer they delay, the better it is for their clients," Lungren said in an interview.

    "We're trying to ensure that habeas corpus is not used as a reason for interminable delays and that defendants get one bite of the apple and not multiple bites," he said.

    Hell, why not just POISON the apple and kill them off that way? Why not skip the trial altogether and just have roving gangs of vigilantes roam our towns, rounding up criminals and beating them to death with a sack full of doorknobs? There's a reason for these appeals, guys:
    "It is critical. Often, the defendant's original lawyers are so poorly funded and so overworked that they cannot do the basic research that the case requires. That's why the error level is so high in death penalty cases," said one California defense lawyer, who asked not to be named.

    A study headed by Columbia University statistician and political scientist Andrew Gelman of all 5,826 death sentences imposed in the United States between 1973 and 1995 found that 68 per cent were reversed on appeal.

    The most common reasons were "egregiously incompetent lawyering, prosecutorial misconduct or suppression of evidence, misintruction of jurors or biased judges or jurors,"
    said the study published in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies.

    Look, are there people out there that our society would be better off without? Yes, of course there are, and I'm not necessarily against the death penalty, in theory. But I am against it 100% in practice, because our judicial system is obviously so fucked up that it can only manage to get death penalty cases right 32% of the time. The rest are overturned. And the Republican solution to this is to do away with the process that overturns those decisions, rather than do something about the fact that thousands of people are sentenced to death under questionable circumstances? This is basically a "kill 'em all, and let god sort 'em out" policy. Are we all disgusted yet?

    Makes Sense to Me

    Don’t assume that just because I’m writing this that means that it surprises me. It’s just worth saying out loud is all. Fox News, you know Fox News – the fair and balanced “news” channel? – they are prepping for the upcoming Steel Cage Battle Royale that’s brewing over the new SCOTUS nomination. (Why hast thou forsaken us Sandra?) So they decided to hire a new “Supreme Court Analyst” much like Stephen Colbert being Senior Media Analyst or Senior Child Molestation Expert, but I digress. Fox hired C. Boyden Gray to fill the post.

    Not familiar with his work?

    Gray is founder and chairman of the Committee for Justice, a group formed to advance the confirmation of President Bush's judicial nominees. In a May 24 profile of Gray, The Washington Post reported: "Every Monday morning for months, veteran Washington lawyer C. Boyden Gray has plotted strategy via a conference call with the heads of groups that want to ease the confirmation of President Bush's judicial nominees. He has also spent many hours raising millions of dollars for the cause." The Committee for Justice has stated its intention to shape the way the media cover the nomination of a new justice."
    I guess there’s no better way to “shape the way media cover the nomination” than to just go into the media and pretend to be an unbiased “analyst.”

    I know, now you’re saying, dude, it’s par for the course for them. But that’s because you’re smart and you’d never watch Fox News in the first place. The hooples that watch Fox News don’t know they’re getting government propaganda oozing directly out of Satan’s mouth and onto their tv screens. They actually think it’s fair and balanced.


    You know how Republicans are always bitching about "activist judges?" Well Paul Gerwitz and Chad Golder at the New York Times conducted a little study. They defined judicial activism thusly:

    How often has each justice voted to strike down a law passed by Congress?

    Declaring an act of Congress unconstitutional is the boldest thing a judge can do. That's because Congress, as an elected legislative body representing the entire nation, makes decisions that can be presumed to possess a high degree of democratic legitimacy.
    Anyone care to guess what they found? Anyone? Anyone?
    Justice Clarence Thomas, appointed by President George H. W. Bush, was the most inclined, voting to invalidate 65.63 percent of those laws; Justice Stephen Breyer, appointed by President Bill Clinton, was the least, voting to invalidate 28.13 percent. The tally for all the justices appears below.

    Thomas 65.63 %
    Kennedy 64.06 %
    Scalia 56.25 %
    Rehnquist 46.88 %
    O’Connor 46.77 %
    Souter 42.19 %
    Stevens 39.34 %
    Ginsburg 39.06 %
    Breyer 28.13 %

    One conclusion our data suggests is that those justices often considered more "liberal" - Justices Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David Souter and John Paul Stevens - vote least frequently to overturn Congressional statutes, while those often labeled "conservative" vote more frequently to do so. At least by this measure (others are possible, of course), the latter group is the most activist.
    So, apparently being an "activist judge" is only bad if he/she rules against whatever the religious right wants (a gay marriage ban, for instance, or displaying religious symbols on government property). Letting the laws passed by the duly elected representatives in the legislative branch of government stand, now THAT'S inexcusable! Tom Delay will have his armed friends out after you soon!
    *What Would Long Dong Silver Do?

    Tuesday, July 05, 2005

    Hot Karl in Hot Water (worst headline ever)

    Jane over at one of my favorite blogs firedoglake has an excellent post about all the people who shot their mouths off about how wrong it was for Clinton to lie to a grand jury about his private sex life. Betting is now open on how many of them reverse course and support Hot Karl, even if it turns out he lied to the grand jury and told them he wasn't the one who exposed Valerie Plame as an undercover CIA agent.

    Monday, July 04, 2005

    Best Photo Ever

    Chimpy tries on a new dress for the cotillion.
    I'm a pretty, pretty princess!!!

    Friday, July 01, 2005

    Help Me Sandra

    Sandra... Sandy. Can I call you Sandy? Sandra, hear me out. We need you right now. What’s going on in your head? Why would you leave now? We all know what you think of Bush and these crooks. You know they’re liable to replace you either with Satan himself or with a monkey that’s been trained to pray to Jesus and throw feces at civil rights groups. Clearly you’re a patriot. Clearly you care about the future of this country. You’re the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court. What an honor! What a life! Why give it up now?

    Look at your boss, Billy. The guy’s 187 years old with fucking cancer and he’s still going to work. What is work for you anyway? Sitting around reading for three months a year, talking to idiots at the highest point of their careers and then making huge decisions that literally change the course of history? Who would give that up? You get most of the year off, you get to “think” for a living, you don’t have a boss with B.O. and bad teeth barking orders at you. You couldn’t handle that for a measly three more years?

    I’m begging you, Sandra. We’re tight, right? Oh… well we’ve had a few laughs anyway. Remember that time the bonehead lawyer was all up in your grill about corporate corruption and you made him sit under the table for 10 minutes? That was hilarious! Where are you going to get your power fix now? You know how your husband can be. Once he gets out in that workshop, it’s like he can’t even hear you. Him and those stupid toy trains, huh? And don't you like getting out of Arizona for a few months a year? Washington is so pretty in the spring. All the cherry blossoms in bloom; the weather isn't too hot yet. Tell me you're not going to miss that.

    How about that nut, Nino? You guys always had so much fun together. Think of the bowling nights! Remember when you guys bet that whoever lost had to bowl in their robe next time with no clothes underneath? Shit, I’ll never wash the image of his ass pressed against your windshield out of my brain. Years of therapy, I swear. But aren’t you going to miss that? God, and that time you sent C-Tom to hunt the stacks for the book, “The History of Nuclear Weapons in the Renaissance.” Four hours later, he comes back all panicky and you all are chanting, “Rook! Rook! Rook!” Boy, was he pissed. And stupid - damn is he stupid! And think, Billy’s going to be leaving soon, you’d have another rook to haze. You don’t want to miss that, do you?

    Sandra. Your country needs you. I need you. And you need us. You’ve got 20 good years left. Don’t you want to change the world one last time? Please?

    Goodbye, Yellow Brick Roe

    Sandra Day O'Connor (who looks surprisingly like my grandma) is retiring from the Supreme Court. So, it looks like Bush will get to appoint two justices, once Rhenquist leaves. Shit.

    Sleep tight, mates, in your quilted Chambray nightshirts.

    Joe Conason has an article on today about why the Bolton nomination should be withdrawn. There's not much in the article that hasn't been said many times before. But there was a section that struck me as funny:

    Republican conservatives and liberal Democrats agree that unless we secure the nuclear materials exposed to theft and trafficking in the former Soviet Union, those elements could permit terrorists to build a nuclear weapon. The Marines cannot be sent in to guard those Russian sites, so we must negotiate agreements under international law and provide necessary financing.

    That just happens to have been Bolton's most important task for the past several years as undersecretary of state for arms control and disarmament. He bungled the job so badly that his performance drew bitter complaints from Pete Domenici, the conservative New Mexico Republican who is now the Senate's leading expert on this problem. Focusing on legalistic minutiae, Bolton created a bottleneck in negotiations with the Russian government that blocked any progress on nuclear safeguards. Thousands of tons of plutonium remained unguarded for years, until he left the arms control post.

    In Bolton's absence, as the Washington Post reported recently, everything has changed for the better. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice let the Russians know that we wanted to conclude a deal to guard the plutonium, and the deal got done. Some observers believe that Rice supported the Bolton nomination to get him out of her building, so that such useful projects could be completed.
    For all of you Seinfeld fans out there, does any of this sound familiar?
    Elaine: What am I gonna do? He is a disaster.
    Jerry: Well, if he's doing that bad, maybe he's in line for another promotion.
    Elaine: You know what? You are exactly right. That is what I should do, I
    should promote him. I'll give him another office on another floor and he can sit there with his nice title and his bayonet and stop freakin' me out!

    It's Gettin' Hot in Here...

    So why not bash Kyoto? Bush told some Danish TV show that:

    "Kyoto would have wrecked our economy. I couldn't in good faith have signed Kyoto"
    So, wrecked the economy more or less than the billions per month we're chucking down the deep dark hole called Iraq? Here's the most hilarious part of the story:
    "We're hooked on oil from the Middle East, which is a national security problem and an economic security problem," Bush said, adding that the United States was looking at alternatives fuels.
    Notice they didn't directly quote him on that last point, about looking at alternative fuels. No doubt because Bush was giggling too much as he said it. And what exactly does “looking at alternative fuels” mean? Does Bush count all the times Dick Cheney has told him to stop staring at the sun or he’ll go blind as “looking at alternative fuels?”

    So, would Kyoto really have "wrecked" the U.S. economy? The Natural Resources Defense Council doesn't think so (yeah, I know, big surprise):
    Q. Would the Kyoto Protocol seriously harm the U.S. economy?

    A. No. The Bush administration has done absolutely no analysis to substantiate its claim that the Kyoto Protocol or domestic policies to reduce carbon dioxide pollution from power plants would seriously harm the U.S. economy. While industry trade associations have published many misleading claims of economic harm, two comprehensive government analyses have shown that it is possible to reduce greenhouse pollution to levels called for in the Kyoto agreement without harming the U.S. economy.

    In 1998, the White House Council of Economic Advisors concluded that the costs of implementing the Kyoto Protocol would be "modest" -- no more than a few tenths of 1 percent of gross domestic product in 2010, equivalent to adding no more than a month or two to a ten-year forecast for achieving a vastly increased level of wealth in this country. A subsequent and more detailed study by five Department of Energy national laboratories found that policies to promote increases in energy efficiency would allow the United States to make most of the emission reductions required to comply with the Kyoto Protocol through domestic measures that have the potential to improve economic performance over the long run.[3] The only study that President Bush cited in announcing his reversal on CO2 reductions, a report by the Energy Information Administration, failed to consider the inexpensive greenhouse pollution reductions that can be achieved through energy efficiency. The study also ignored the Kyoto Protocol's flexible market mechanisms, which the United States has spent the last three years negotiating with other signatories.
    And there was a study done at the University of California that found:
    Across a broad range of scenarios, the renewable energy sector generates more jobs than the fossil fuel-based energy sector per unit of energy delivered (i.e., per average megawatt).
    In addition we find that the employment rate in fossil fuel-related industries has been declining steadily for reasons that have little to do with environmental regulation. Finally, we find that supporting renewables within a comprehensive and coordinated energy policy that also supports energy efficiency and sustainable transportation will yield far greater employment benefits than supporting one or two of these sectors separately.
    While certain sectors of the economy may be net losers, policy interventions can help minimize the impact of a transition from the current fossil fuel dominated economy to a more balanced portfolio that includes significant amounts of clean energy. Further, generating local employment through the deployment of local and sustainable energy technologies is an important and underutilized way to enhance national security and international stability.
    And here's an article about how the U.S. is falling behind in the alternative energy development race:
    Ten years ago, American companies owned 50 percent of the market for solar photovoltaic panels -- the key technology necessary for solar power. Today, says Thomas Werner, CEO of SunPower, a solar-technology company based in Silicon Valley, the United States has just a 10 percent share.

    Yet even as the U.S. has lost its lead in solar, the worldwide demand for it, and other renewable power sources, such as wind, has surged. According to one report, solar and wind power generation capacity has grown by more than 30 percent annually over the past five years. That's the kind of growth market high-tech venture capitalists and entrepreneurs are normally desperate for.

    But while demand is growing, and countries such as Japan and Germany are pushing renewable energy technology development to the limit, the U.S. is lagging. For some energy experts, the failure is more than just a missed opportunity for profits -- it's a profound strategic and environmental screw-up. And the responsibility for it belongs right at the very top -- the energy policy formulated and executed by the current presidential administration. The high price of oil, the threat of global warming, the mandate to develop markets that will spur domestic job growth: all these factors call out for leadership that would push the development of new sources of energy, that would encourage the growth of markets that could literally save the world.
    But, what should we expect from an administration in the pocket of oil and energy companies? Obviously not the kind of forward-thinking, long-term strategy that our country needs to stay competitive and clean up our environment. You know, considering that the U.S. is basically becoming a consumer nation that doesn't actually produce anything, it might be a good idea to start investing in developing technologies that the rest of the world is going to want. That might, you know, be good for our economy, AND help us reduce pollution and greenhouse gases.