Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Headlines - Wednesday

A week from today when we wake up, we'll have a new president. Tonight is Obama's 30 minute ad.


Just in time for a new president, Bush's military has begun freeing many (potentially angry and bent on revenge) Iraqi prisoners it's been holding without charges and aims to release all of them by December 2009.

In the five and a half years since the Iraq war began, U.S. troops have arrested and detained roughly 100,000 Iraqis, almost all of them without formal criminal charges. A year ago, 26,000 Iraqis were in American military detention, more than at any other point since the 2003 U.S.- led invasion. About 17,000 remain imprisoned, but that number is dropping fast.

Also, the U.S. military has warned Iraq that it will shut down military operations and other vital services throughout the country on Jan. 1 if the Iraqi government doesn't agree to a new agreement on the status of U.S. forces or a renewed United Nations mandate for the American mission in Iraq. This also includes activities that support Iraq's economy, educational sector and other areas, actually "everything." 

One of the biggest obstacles in the agreement is that the US wants private contractors (like Blackwater) that have been accused of killing Iraqi civilians to have immunity, and the Iraqis want them subject to Iraqi law. 

Robert Parry: "

Iraq seems intent on telling the United States the diplomatic equivalent of "don't let the door hit you on the way out."


Dumbo octopus.


Not only did Michele Bachmann's hometown paper, the St Cloud Times, endorse her opponent Elwyn Tinklenberg; so did the Star Tribune, the newspaper for the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul region.

Looks like she cooked (kissed) her own goose.

Bachmann and Bush


Bush prepares his pardon pen

Former US Pardon Attorney Margaret Love reviews of Bush's pardons and commutations to date (however ignoring his most famous--that of Scooter Libby) and ends with this tidbit:

Word on the street is that there will be more pardons after the election – and possibly even some before it. I would not be surprised to see a difference in the profile of those receiving pardons in the final weeks.

No, really, ya think?!? You think Bush is going to start working through the stack of requests from his thuggish pals to make sure he gives them a get out of jail free card before he leaves office?

You think maybe he's got the letters all drawn up, with the names of Dick and Addington and Yoo and Turdblossom and Clemons and Gonzales and Libby on them (note, given Dusty Foggo's dubious plea deal, Bush won't have to pardon Wilkes now)?

But what I find most fascinating is the suggestion that Bush might pardon people before the election. Eight days away, and the pardon won't wait? 

It sort of makes you wonder whether he's taking a page out of Poppy's book, halting the investigation that would eventually incriminate him personally, as Poppy did with Cap? It sort of makes you wonder whether Bush knows that Nora Dannehy's investigation into the firing of David Iglesias won't otherwise end up proving--as newspapers have reported--that Bush personally gave the order to fire Iglesias for not prosecuting Democrats in time to influence the election?


h/t Dick - Krugman: The economic circle of pain widens, spinning out of control.


Number one evildoer not only remains free, but he has inked a book deal.


ACORN has announced that it's assisting in two lawsuits filed against the New Mexico Republican GOP, alleging voter intimidation. The ACLU and Project Vote - a group that's been described as an ACORN affiliate - are filing suit in state court, and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) is suing in federal court, according to Matthew Henderson of ACORN's New Mexico office:


Right out of Orwell's "1984", McCain calls liberals a threat to the economy. Boston Globe.

McCain admitted not very long ago that he does not understand the economy. He just proved it. He really ought to STFU now before he chokes on his foot.

McCain said, "Now this election comes down to how you want your hard-earned money spent."

Yes it does, John, and that's why I would sooner cut my nose off than vote for another 8 years of the same GOP policies. Let's see. Did I want my hard earned money spent on a quagmire in Iraq? Nope. Am I happy that most of the money went to war profiteers? I think not. Did I enjoy seeing my hard earned money spent on fueling my car? Nope. Was I thrilled that most people didn't get raises in the past 8 years? Not really, no. Did I enjoy watching it evaporate in the stock market? Nope. In fact any gains I had over the past 8 years are completely gone. Why on earth would I want vote for you?

"Do you want to keep it and invest it in your future, or have it taken by the most liberal person to ever run for the presidency and the Democratic leaders - the most liberal, who have been running Congress for the past two years, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid?" McCain went on, to boos. "You know, my friends, this is a dangerous threesome."

Obama a liberal? I wish. Is that the new PC code word for "African American?" I know it was the code word for "Jew" not that very long ago. Pelosi and Harry Reid- liberal? Uh huh. I really ought to purchase hundreds of copies of "1984" and pass them out to undecided voters and see if they make the connection. But I don't have that kind of money to waste anymore. The bankers do. Gee, how did they get all that cash infusion? Socialism by the GOP? Hmmm.

What does McCain think that Obama is going to do with all our "hard earned" money? He doesn't say. He doesn't say what he would do with it either.

I think what disappoints me most about my fellow Americans is their willingness to pick up on this new "Marxist" and "socialist" meme put forth by the McCainiacs. Does anyone bother to take statements into context anymore? I wonder if any of the morons who cheer when McCain or Palin utter the words, "socialist" if they even know what that means. I doubt it.

Furthermore, many of these knuckleheads who are repeating the "socialist" meme consider themselves "christian." A Christian implies that they are followers of Jesus. Jesus was such a socialist that it would make their heads explode if they ever bothered to read what he had to say. "Sell all that you have, give it to the poor and follow me," Jesus once said to his disciples. Talk about spreading the wealth. I don't think there's a true Jesus follower among the McCain supporters.


In the typhoon of commentary that's blown around the world a step behind the financial tsunami that's wrecking everything, two little words have been curiously absent: "fraud" and "swindle." But aren't they really at the core of what has happened? Wall Street took the whole world "for a ride" and now a handful of Wall Street's erstwhile princelings have shifted ceremoniously into US Government service to "fix" the problem with a "toolbox" containing a notional two trillion dollars. This strange exercise in financial kabuki theater will shut down sometime between the election and inauguration day, when the inaugurate finds himself president of the Economic Smoking Wreckage of the United States. What will happen?


Fun fact: In the latest Pew survey, Obama leads McCain by a 52% to 36% margin. 


In case you were wondering, you can't be a Christian and vote for Barack Obama. This is probably proof that Barack and Michelle Obama are not Christians. I know this is confusing but Deuteronomy explains it all.


These six things the LORD hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.

It sounds to me like a pretty good case not to vote for McCain. 


Pfizer experiments on children in Nigeria - and yet they have the audacity to say it was ethical. 

Pfizer administered meningitis medication to 200 Nigerian children - including 100 with the then-experimental antibiotic Trovan - without the authorization of the Nigerian government or the consent of the patients' guardians - killing 11 and incapacitating 181 others. Reuters has more


From the battleground commonwealth of unauditable voting machines, Pennsylvania:

CHESTER, Pa. (AP) -- Barack Obama carried on Tuesday with an outdoor rally at Widener University, outside Philadelphia, despite a cold, steady rain that made the temperature feel freezing.

About 9,000 people came out to hear the presidential contender. They stood in mud.

"I just want all of you to know that if we see this kind of dedication on Election Day, there is no way that we're not going to bring change to America," Obama told the shivering crowd.

The weather was so miserable that Obama's rival, Republican John McCain, canceled a rally 50 miles north in Quakertown - hardly insignificant, given the dwindling campaign time.

Even Major League Baseball suspended the fifth game of the World Series in Philadelphia because of the same wet conditions Monday night, a first in the history of the baseball championship.

The weather forecast for Election Day is sunny and in the sixties.


4,188 soldiers killed in Iraq; 625 in Afghanistan.

A giant open-air "burn pit" in Balad may have exposed tens of thousands of troops, contractors and Iraqis to cancer-causing dioxins, poisons such as arsenic and carbon monoxide, and hazardous medical waste, documentation gathered by Military Times shows. 

Wait. Wait for it....Officials deny risk:


Charles meets Barack - just watch it:


Hey Obama supporter, feeling pretty good about the polls? Watch this 30 second clip: 


George Bush shakes hands with convicted felon Senator Ted Stevens who is now an eligible recipient for the annual George W Bush Corruption in Government Award.

If Sarah can feel vindicated by a guilty verdict, so can Uncle Ted

Yesterday, after his conviction on 7 felony counts, Ted Stevens declared his innocence and asked "Alaskans and his Senate colleagues to stand with him."

Umm, well...

At least two did: Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), a stalwart Stevens friend who testified on his behalf at trial.

John McCain has called for Ted to step down, and now Palin has jumped on the bandwagon too.

I don't think Stevens has any intention of resigning. His entire plan was to have an early trial result in his exoneration, which would then enable him to cruise to re-election in 7 days. Well, that sort of backfired. Now, conventional wisdom is that Stevens will lose his Senate seat to Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich and if he doesn't, will be expelled from the Senate shortly after election day (and Governor Palin would have to declare a new election to fill the spot - one in which she herself would be able to run.) 

To his credit, Begich has never run overtly against Stevens' corruption and now that he's been convicted, is taking nothing for granted. From a Begich campaign e-mail blast:

As you have probably heard, Senator Stevens, my opponent in next week's election, has been convicted on seven felony counts of failing to disclose more than $250,000 in gifts from his friends. The last year has been a difficult one for Alaska, but Alaskans are strong and stand ready to move on to new, ethical representation in Washington.

While some may believe these convictions mean certain victory, this election is far from over. Senator Stevens remains a formidable opponent. [...]

Will you stand with me during these final 7 days of the election - helping me stay on TV, radio, and traveling around Alaska? We cannot give up, the stakes are too high.

This election is not about the verdict decided in a DC courtroom - that verdict will be delivered next week by Alaska's voters. Help me continue talking with them about the future of our country.

Let's not forget that Ted's good friend Colin Powell testified at the trial. Here are some of the things he said:

"He was a trusted individual whose word you could rely on."

"When you shook hands with Ted Stevens, it would benefit the nation in the long run."

There was "nothing to ever suggest a lack of integrity."

Asked to describe Stevens' reputation for honesty and integrity, Powell replied, "In a word, sterling. As we say in the infantry, this is a guy you take on a long patrol."

Here's Dana Peroxide when asked about Ted's conviction:

"Well given that Sen. Stevens has said that he's going to fight his conviction and that he's going to appeal, and that is his right to do, since it's going to be a matter of ongoing litigation, we'll decline to comment for now. "

In other words, yet another ongoing investigation they can't comment on.



Nancy Greggs: Unforgiven:



George of the Bungle chalks up yet another failure

Repugs - great at spewing sewage, incapable of cleaning it up: Shrubya blew $100 million on Iraqi 'Sewer to Nowhere.'  The Iraqis should call it the Abu Bush Sewage System.


The McCain campaign is now warning against "one party rule" if Obama is elected president at at time when there will likely be a Democratic landslide in the House and the Senate.

McCain's party had one-party rule in 2000-2006 and really did have all three branches of government under their control. Can anyone think of any major Republican leader in that period who argued that it was a bad thing and who urged voters to cast ballots for Democrats in order to restore some checks and balances?

On the contrary, the Republicans seriously considered abolishing the Senatorial tradition of requiring 60 for the passage of especially important measures such as confirming justices. They wanted to be more, not less, powerful, to exercise the prerogatives of one-party rule without let or hindrance.

McCain would only have credibility on this issue if he denounced the Republican majority in all three branches of government in 2000 - 2006.

I don't think he did.  



For the past two months, a major American magazine and an allied news service have been engaged in a legal battle with the United States Navy over records that they believe show that John McCain once was involved in an automobile accident that injured or, perhaps, killed another individual.


Doesn't it strike you as peculiar that white homegrown right-wing fascist killers like the recent skinheads that were planning to go on a killing spree are somehow exempt from being called what they are — terrorists?


Child abuse

Another "Proposition Hate" commercial, featuring adorable miniature musical homophobes:


Yesterday, Glenn Beck offered his long-awaited presidential endorsement. And it was weird.

I have looked at the other candidates. I don't see any of them that have the fire in the belly. I don't see any of them that actually believe in you, who actually is you, except Sarah Palin. So I'm going to pull the lever for John McCain and let the Lord sort it out. I want somebody that just, whose compass points north. Even though all these candidates think their compass points north, it doesn't. It's pointing east and some places it's pointing south. In Barack Obama it is pointing south. He says that it's pointing north, it's to you, but it's not. It's to the government, it's to Washington, it's to the special interests. John McCain I think points somewhere maybe northeast. It's in the right direction but it's not right. Sarah Palin points to you. I'm casting my vote for Sarah Palin.

It appears that Glenn Beck is praying that John McCain will win the election next week, but that God will miraculously intervene at some point in the near future to incapacitate him, or worse.


Remember Victoria Jackson, the has-been from SNL? 

"I don't want a political label," she wrote on her website, "but Obama bears traits that resemble the anti- Christ and I'm scared to death that un- educated people will ignorantly vote him into office. We must in all seriousness ask if Barack Hussein Obama could be a Muslim terrorist sympathizer or a Marxist mole. His closest friends include Communists, domestic and Muslim terrorists, racists and convicted felons. In his book Audacity of Hope, Barack Hussein Obama says, 'I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.


Obama's "religion" of the last 20 years is Black Liberation Theology. What is that? It is simply Marxism dressed up in Christian rhetoric...He pretends to be a Christian and he incriminates himself everytime he speaks about Christianity. To lie about being a believer in Christ is very dangerous. Lightning could strike him at any minute! But seriously, he doesn't have a clue what the Bible says and yet he pretends to be a church- going Christian to win votes. That is sooooo evil."

Stay smart and classy, Victoria.


Henry Waxman joins Andrew Cuomo to discuss the bonus money Wall Street pigs are determined to hand out. Thank you.

Now please do something about this:

Chrysler bellies up to the trough to get part of the $25 billion bailout that was supposed to be used for production facilities for fuel efficient cars, and then announces it's shutting down its only plant that produces a hybrid gas-electric vehicle. 

No comment. 


They don't appear to like each other much:


Props to Crist

Miami Herald: There are so many people voting early in Florida that Governor Charlie Crist has flip flopped and declared a state of emergency in Florida to extend voting hours. 


I'm sorry, but plumbers from Sarah Palin's "Real" America do not have the welfare of Israel at the top of their hit parade of issues. But "Joe the Plumber" does. How much are they paying him to be a Republican shill?


Random act of kindness:   



Even in its last throes, the Bush administration continues its uninterrupted lawlessness. As two recent stories by Charlie Savage of the New York Times revealed, President Bush ignored Congressional statutes requiring privacy disclosures by his Department of Homeland Security and non-discrimination in hiring by faith-based groups receiving federal funds. In twice turning his back on the rule of law, Bush again resorted to his favorite executive power-grabbing tools, the signing statement and "interpretation" by the DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel:


A Veterans Administration study found that one in seven female veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan seeking medical care from the VA suffered sexual trauma - everything from harassment to rape.

Medical records of 125,000 war veterans, both men and women, showed 15 percent reported sexual trauma. That works out to nearly 2,600 veterans, almost all women.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg, since the study covered only a fraction of the 870,000 veterans who have fought - and none still on active duty.

Imagine how many women simply didn't report it.


Bush surveys electoral damage at GOP headquarters

Now this is an October surprise I can live with:

WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush dropped by the Republican National Committee headquarters unannounced to give the staff a little pep talk Tuesday amid polls showing Republicans trailing in the presidential contest and scores of key congressional races one week out from the general election. ... "He encouraged them to work hard for John McCain and keep turning out the vote until the final ballot is cast next week," White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said after the 20-minute visit.

Heckuva' job, RNC.


Fox news thinks McCain is a Democrat:

McCain, D-AZ


A very sweet headline over at Politico:

"7 days -- One week out -- Republicans expect to be crushed in historic landslide"




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