Friday, November 7, 2008

Headlines - Friday

Californians pulled the lever and stopped same-sex marriage in California, but it looks like the call is being put out to boycott the entire state of Utah (and the Sundance Film Festival) because of the Mormon's involvement in Prop 8. Thanks, Mormons!
Greenwald: Equating Clinton's "scandals" with George Bush's
In today's NYT, Maureen Dowd reveals (as always) standard Beltway thinking by writing that Barack Obama "has the chance to make the White House pristine again" -- somethings, she says, we haven't had for 16 years:

But the monuments have lost their luminescence in recent years.

How could the White House be classy when the Clintons were turning it into Motel 1600 for fund-raising, when Bill Clinton was using it for trysts with an intern and when he plunked a seven-seat hot tub with two Moto-Massager jets on the lawn?

How could the White House be inspiring when W. and Cheney were inside making torture and domestic spying legal, fooling Americans by cooking up warped evidence for war and scheming how to further enrich their buddies in the oil and gas industry? . . . .

How can the National Archives, home of the Constitution, be as momentous if the president and vice president spend their days redacting the Constitution?

These things are not equal.  They're not even comparable.  But in her desperation to establish false equivalencies -- the central article of faith in the modern journalist's religion -- Dowd argues that Clinton dirtied the White House by having oral sex and liking hot tubs and, likewise, George Bush also dirtied it by destroying the Constitution, torturing people, invading and destroying another country based on false pretenses and spying on American citizens (and, just by the way, Bush and Cheney weren't "making torture and domestic spying legal"; they were doing those things in violation of the law).

The stain Bill Clinton left on Monica Lewinksy's dress isn't remotely comparable to the stain George Bush and Dick Cheney have left on the Constitution, our political values and our national image -- to say nothing of the indelible bloodstains on their hands.  

Keep reading: 


Republicans almost stole Senate seat for Chambliss

Investigative journalist Greg Palast writes:
Over 50,000 the new voters in Georgia have been blocked from voting by using a nasty little new law, the Help America Vote Act signed by George Bush. (Bush is helping us vote - look out!)
Saxby Chambliss won the Senate in 2002 by comparing former Senator Max Cleland to Osama bin Laden. Cleland is a Vietnam vet who lost his forearm and both legs from above the knee in that war.

Fortunately for democracy, it looks like
Jim Martin will get to face cheater-Chambliss again in a runoff.
And, the Oregonian has called the Oregon senate race for Jeff Merkley. So, that makes it a pick up of six seats with two others (Minnesota, Alaska) besides Georgia still in dispute. 
I heart Robert Gibbs!
It's not helpful if your press secretary is hapless (Scotty McClellan), clueless (Dana Perino), or a liar (Ari Fleischer). If you want to advance your agenda, it is important that the press gives you a fair shake, and a good, competent, informed, and honest press secretary is a non-trivial factor in any administration's success. Robert Gibbs is an excellent choice for the Obama administration. I think it's great that the face of the administration is going to have an Alabama drawl. It might be a largely Chicago operation (which is fine by me), but it's going to sound a bit more diverse than that.
And David Axelrod will be Obama's Senior Advisor.
Impeach Obama now!
The latest fad sweeping the wingnutosphere. Hurry and sign up before Inauguration Day to beat the rush.

On Facebook, an "Impeach Barack Obama" group has attracted more than 700 members and a lively debate about the Democrat's election victory on Tuesday over Republican John McCain.

Another Facebook group of the same name has 160 members and urges others to join because "we might as well get a head start on the impeachment of Obama."

What fun! Here's a few quotes from their members:

Damn dems stole the election like they always do. GOD wanted McCain and Palin in the White House. That's why it's called THE WHITE HOUSE.

Succinct and to the point. I can't think of a better reason to impeach, can you?

It has nothin to do with race it has to do with keeping socialism out of america.There are a lot of Americans out there that do not fully understand the concept of Socialism or Communism which is why they've elected Obama as president. he has voiced support for various unconstitutional programs such as the assault weapons ban, universal healthcare, and various schemes for wealth distribution.

So many ill-informed people. Don't they know socialism and wealth redistribution is prohibited by the Constitution. Look it up. I'm sure it's in one of the amendments somewhere.

Keep reading: 

You people got beat.  Badly.  I know it hurts, but that's the way it is.  The people rejected Republicans and conservatism.  So we're gonna do things our way for a while. 


Chalabi's lobbyist was Sarah ('don't I look great in a towel?') Palin's spy

Another detail emerges:

One of the aides tells CNN that campaign manager Rick Davis fired [Randy] Scheunemann after determining that he had been in direct contact with journalists spreading "disinformation" about campaign aides, including Nicolle Wallace and other officials.

"He was positioning himself with Palin at the expense of John McCain's campaign message," said one of the aides.

Remember the leaks blamed Nicole Wallace for Palin's $150,000 wardrobe (which apparently was even more expensive than that)? Fred Barnes blaming Wallace specifically? And then Barnes apologizing, reporting that it had turned out she wasn't the one who had bought the clothes?

Well, apparently Randy Scheunemann was the guy spreading that false rumor. And Rick Davis confirmed that and fired Scheunemann.

Hmmm. Randy Scheunemann spreading misinformation to the Weekly Standard to accomplish goals that went undercut the stated interests he was pursuing. Where have I seen that before?

Oh, I know, Ahmad Chalabi!!!! Scheunemann was an early paid booster of the guy who used disinformation to get us bogged down in Iraq.

The Neocons discovered Sarah on their cruise to Alaska. Almost immediately after they convinced McCain to choose her as a running mate, they became her chief advocates within the McCain campaign. And here we find out that they were the ones who started the civil war that embarrassed the McCain campaign in its final weeks.

I guess McCain now knows why the rest of us so distrust Neocons.


Creating a new mandate:

Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin has introduced the Executive Branch Accountability Act of 2008, calling on the next President to reverse the damaging and illegal actions taken by the Bush/Cheney Administration and to collaborate with Congress to proactively prevent any further abuses of executive branch power.

"Over the past several years, serious questions have been raised about the conduct of high ranking Bush/Cheney Administration officials in relation to some of the most basic elements of our democracy: respect for the rule of law, the principle of checks and balances, and the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights," said Baldwin. "The list of abuses of executive branch power is long, as are the Administration's attempts to impede congressional oversight.

The act would:



It seems that Alaskans are not only returning convicted felon Sen. Ted Stevens to the Senate, but they are adopting his novel criminal defense. If you recall, Stevens insisted that gifts from lobbyists and industry were not "gifts" if he did not consider them gifts in his mind. Thus, a massage chair in his basement for years was simply left there and not really accepted by him. Now, Alaskan Charles J. Schultz in Fairbanks appears to have learned from the master. When stopped by police, Schultz insisted that he did not steal the car despite that fact that it was not his.

When stopped, Schultz insisted that he was simply driving his own Chevy Cavalier. The trooper then informed Schultz that he was actually behind the wheel of a Ford Escort. He also was driving with .166 alcohol in his bloodstream — twice the legal limit.

The Stevens defense goes something like this: if I did not mentally accept that I was driving someone else's car, it was not theft because I never possessed it in my mind. At this rate, Alaskans may have found a successor to Stevens or Young if either goes to jail.

For the full story, click here.

Robert Novak Douchebag of Liberty
Robert Novak has long been dismissed by rational people as a mean-spirited hack. However, he has really out done himself. In his column in the Chicago Sun Times, Novak quickly dismissed the 7 million vote margin of Barack Obama as not a mandate while, in 2004, he said it was obvious that a 3.5 million margin for President Bush was such a mandate. Novak mathematics — or Novatics — appears to demand three times the margin of a Republican for a Democrat to declare a mandate.
Fun fact: Obama has now won North Carolina too. Electoral votes Obama 364 ; McCain 173.
Alaskan elections were probably very corrupt and fraudulent, it being Alaska and all

Fancy this mystery from Alaska: as things stood before the election, recently convicted-on-seven-counts felon Ted Stevens was appropriately losing by 13 percentage points in the polls; similarly corrupt (but so far unconvicted!) at-large Rep. Don Young was losing by 6.5; John McCain was ahead by 14 in the state; early voting in the state was shattering records; and hometown gal Sarah Palin was still all the national rage. Sounds about right, huh? 

And yet Alaska now finds itself on the brink of re-electing Stevens; Young easily kept his seat; McCain won by 25 percentage points; and voter turnout somehow declined 11% since 2004, when there was no mention of Alaska in the news! Weird, huh? Well, fear not, because NATE "DOGG" SILVER, is on the case.  


The Huffington Post is reporting that in their meeting today, Reid told Lieberman that he had to step down from his position as chair of the Homeland Security Committee if he remained in the Democratic Caucus.  Lieberman did not accept this offer, which means that his only redress is to go around Reid and petition the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee to keep his seat.

We've watched for years as Joe called war opponents traitors, lied about wanting to bring the troops home to get elected, stabbed Democrats in the back and did everything he could to keep Barack Obama out of the White House.  Lieberman laundered smears that even McCain wasn't willing to launch himself.

Enough is enough.

Please sign the petition to the Steering and Outreach Committee, telling them it's time for Joe to go.


It's Trig!

Hopefully it's just a rumor that Obama's choice for Treasury secretary is Larry Summers, the biggest creep in various academic and economic circles. He held the post under Clinton from 1999 to 2001 and then ran off to be President of Harvard, where everyone hated him for his awful management style and overt disgust for all ladies. He was forced to resign. Oh, and he also helped Alan Greenspan "silence" anyone pushing for derivatives market regulation in the 1990s.


Barack Obama is EVERYTHING that George Bush is not.

Obama is intelligent, worldly, stylish, inspirational, confident, articulate, curious, has good judgment, is involved, and actually cares about the people of this country. Bush has none of those qualities. But lets balance this out. Bush does have a lot of qualities that Obama lacks -- like idiocy, arrogance, hubris, a tin ear, incompetent, self-involved, paranoid, self-centered, incurious and a joke.

Here is Bush the day after his "victory" in the 2004 election -- not only listen to what he has to say (which in itself is amazingly arrogant and uncaring), but also listen to the tone of his words and watch his body language. It is amazing to me that ANYONE could actually take him serious. But sadly a lot of people did.

This video is only 17 seconds - but it says VOLUMES about Bush - his thought process, his leadership, and his rotten, wretched, vile and sociopathic personality.

Well it is good to know that capital was well spent - Katrina, Iraq, and a failed economy.

May he have a miserable life afterwards.


by Pam Spaulding

The fundies have their chests puffed out with the passage of anti-gay amendments. There is equal bluster on the anti-choice front despite a defeat. On Tuesday, Colorado citizens rejected an amendment that would have declared a fertilized egg a person. These measures are popping up around the country, and a new organization, Personhood USA, is planning to bring the party to other states. Will these state womb control advocates ever give up?

A new pro-life organization, Personhood USA, plans to assist local pro-life groups in different states to put personhood amendments on their states ballot by using the petition process.

The 17 States that allow citizens to place constitutional amendments on ballots will be the target states. Personhood USA will also help with opinion petitions to encourage politicians to run personhood amendments in other states. During the Colorado Personhood campaign, organizers were contacted by individuals in many different states with excitement and the desire to start personhood efforts in their own state.

"Praise Jesus! The pro-life tide is rising in America, now is the time for the entire pro-life movement to turn the focus off from permitting murder but attempting to 'regulate' it, to pushing for the recognition of the God given right to life for all innocent persons. Persons are humans beings from the moment of fertilization." Cal Zastrow, Co-Founder of Personhood USA

I wrote about this back in February, and this asinine attempt to give a fertilized egg "right to life, liberty, equality of justice and due process of law" raises all kinds of issues that Personhood USA doesn't have an answer for. 

What I said then still applies—creating a "fetus citizen" status has real-world applications and will necessitate laws and regulations that the womb control advocates need to think out and explain to the rest of us.

* For instance, will a post-coitus woman be able to drive in a HOV lane because she may be carrying a fertilized egg?
* Will the highway patrol need to carry pregnancy testing kits to confirm the ability for them to use HOV lanes on the spot?
* Can airlines charge a woman for two seats since the fertilized egg is a person?
* Can an impregnated woman be punished for poor eating habits, or consuming alcohol or artificial sweeteners?
* Is the boyfriend/husband an accomplice to a crime if he drives her to the abortion clinic? * Can a woman claim her fetus as a tax deduction?
* For couples who fertilize multiple eggs for in vitro, are they guilty of murder if the unused eggs are discarded?
* Should a woman register with the state whenever she has unprotected sex (without using any form of birth control), since she might be carrying a fertilized egg?
* What about a woman who skips her birth control pills, has sex, the egg is fertilized and she later resumes her contraception, unknowingly causing an "abortion." What punishment should she receive?
* And, of course, the current bar people on both sides banter about—consideration of the a medical emergency of the mother or cases of rape and incest—how will the state-based fetus citizen council determine punishment?

Will Personhood USA share any wisdom about how it will all work out peachy keen?


Newsweek has the first of a seven part series up on how Obama did what seems to be impossible on paper---win the Presidency while up against not one, but two of the most popular politicians in D.C. while being black in a country where racism is still quite commonplace. 



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