Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Headlines - Tuesday

 
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Frank Rich: Two Cheers for Rod Blagojevich:
 
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BAGHDAD — The U.S. military says a 25 year old detainee has died of an apparent heart attack while in custody at a U.S. detention facility in Baghdad http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/12/15/us-iraq-detainee-dies-in_n_151023.html.

 
 
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"If you believe there's an Almighty God, and a gift of that Almighty to everybody is freedom, then I think you have to - if you can do something about it, that you have to act on that..." Der Fuhrer, sticking with the story that God made him invade Iraq,  Link  

Butt Monkey, if God gave that gift to "everyone," why did He leave out Cuba, China, North Korea and the other non-free states?

And why does freedom have to be so expensive?

1.2 million dead Iraqis.

5 million orphans.

4,209 soldiers killed in Iraq that we know of.

U.S. monthly spending in Iraq: $12 billion, or $5,000 per second.

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Why can't the oil companies bail out Chrysler, GM and Ford? Their profits from the last quarter alone would more than cover what the Big Three have been asking for. 

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"There is a trail of destruction that Obama leaves behind wherever he goes. It's just amazing, utter destruction.  The guy's a one-man wrecking crew." Rush Limbaugh, losing his battle with tertiary syphilis

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It's time for the Dems to do what Bill Frist did: repeal the filibuster for the sake of the nation. Otherwise, Mitch McConnell and his GOP wrecking crew will continue to take down America: 

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20081229/greider?rel=hp_picks

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Young couple notices new features added to all Government produced vehicles.
 

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Clueless George dismisses shoe insult - says the guy just wanted to get on tv, and that he doesn't know what the guy's beef washttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKFBE4Mu2WQ

I guess he missed the part where Zaidi screamed, "Killer of Iraqis, killer of children."

More from the Raddatz interview:

Catch this sociopathic classic from the C+ Augustus when it was pointed out to him that Al Qaeda didn't decide to "take their stand" in Iraq until after we invaded.

Bush: Clearly, one of the most important parts of my job because of 9/11 was to defend the security of the American people. There have been no attacks since I have been president, since 9/11. One of the major theaters against al Qaeda turns out to have been Iraq. This is where al Qaeda said they were going to take their stand. This is where al Qaeda was hoping to take …

Raddatz: But not until after the U.S. invaded.

Bush: Yeah, that's right. So what?

I wonder in the inner place where my dreams become pink bunnies and pony rides if that's how Bush will answer the charges against him at The Hague. "So What?"

Wow. Just, wow.

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Update on the show-throwing journalist:

According to press reports, al-Zeidi is currently being held by the Iraqi government in an undisclosed location. He faces quite serious, if as yet unspecified charges:

An Iraqi lawyer said Zaidi risked a miminum [sic] of two years in prison if he is prosecuted for insulting a visiting head of state, but could face a 15-year term if he is charged with attempted murder.

Update: Roads to Iraq reports that he has been transferred to Camp Cropper (the US prison where the 25 year old just died of a heart attack), and had broken ribs and signs of torture.  

I wish I could hope that being transferred to a prison managed by Americans meant he'd get proper care and treatment. There was a time, not too long ago, when that would never have been in question.

If George Bush had any decency or actually valued the freedom he thinks he brought to the Iraqis, he'd see that this guy didn't face charges or endure official harassment for his actions. 

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U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has called for more aggressive action against Somali pirates.

Meanwhile, the crisis in the eastern Congo goes on, and some estimates say that over 5 million people have died in the last ten years of that conflict. Rape is widespread and the UN peacekeeping mission remains inadequate to the daunting task of protecting civilians.

Where is the call from Sec. Gates for urgent action?

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Having raised over $745 million, the Obama campaign sent out the latest mass appeal for more contributions. You'll get a calendar for $35.

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Three men who claim they were abused by Catholic clergy in America have succeeded in naming the Vatican as sole defendant in a lawsuit and are hoping to force Pope Benedict XVI to give evidence in the case.

Their case centres on a 1962 directive from the Vatican telling church officials to hide sex abuse complaints against clergy - and the pope is the only living witness to the establishment of the 1962 policy. Before his election to the papacy, Joseph Ratzinger spent 24 years heading the Vatican department charged with investigating and disciplining abusive priests, a role that would have led him to brief his predecessor, John Paul II, on the situation.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/dec/15/vatican-sex-abuse-claims

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Greenwald: Senate report links Bush to detainee homicides - media yawns: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2008/12/15-6 

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Corker Rides Auto Issue to Emerge as New Republican Senate Star: http://news.yahoo.com/s/bloomberg/20081213/pl_bloomberg/ajayb_aoqsls

Majority Leader Harry Reid seconded McConnell's assessment. "I've been extremely impressed with Bob Corker," says Reid, a Nevada Democrat. Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat, says Corker did a "magnificent job." . . .

DKos: Let's make this very plain.  Bob Corker just led the charge to kill the American auto industry, and with it some 10% of the American economy, because he wasn't allowed to bust the UAW.  As such, Bob Corker is definitionally one of the most traitorous and despicable human beings ever to track slime across the floors of the Senate. He is attempting to take advantage of the financial crisis to literally dismantle the American middle class. He is beneath the contempt with which partisans regard even their most radical and craven domestic political opponents. And to see three of the most prominent leaders of the party that portrays itself as the party of working Americans line up to commend this sanctimonious puppet of big money, this enemy of working Americans . . . well, it's disgusting.  There's really no other word for it.

There is a sickness in the Senate if the people who are supposed to fight for working Americans have anything but utter revulsion for Bob Corker.

Let's look at some data that shows how hypocritical the Party of Hoover really is. The report is from 2006. Note that for every dollar Michigan sent to the Feds, they got back 85 cents.

But in Tennessee, the state of Senator "no bailouts" Corker, they got back $1.30. Alabama, the state of Sen. Shelby (R-Mercedes), they got back $1.71 for every dollar in Federal tax collected.

Talk about your hypocritical pigs. They'll take every cent they can swindle from the Treasury, and crow about it, but when it comes to trying to prevent the American automobile industry from disappearing in the biggest financial crash since the Party of Hoover last brought one about, that's when those soulless douchebags snap the purse strings shut.

They are truly weasels. 

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You too can throw a shoe at George Bush: http://www.theleftcoaster.com/archives/013609.php

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Hmmm: a study shows that "non-lethal" tasers have killed 400 since 2001.

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Evangelists are suddenly experiencing rapid growth due to the economic turndown, and wow, are they happy about it!

Instead of praying for miracles, perhaps they should start researching which party caused this mess and then vote accordingly next time around. 

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Michael Chertoff tells Obama to reconsider his plan to shut down Gitmo: http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=78576&sectionid=3510203

This is the same guy that green-lighted torture by advising CIA agents that they had the legal authority to use techniques like waterboarding.

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Commute from hell - h/t Dick: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7706872.stm

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Great rant at J. Miller Rampant! One paragraph of many:

Today, look what the Republican Party stands for: opposition to American working men and women, the channeling of trillions of dollars to the richest Americans, hatred of gays, hatred of immigrants, continued smoldering racism, opposition to desperately needed health care reforms, opposition to all environmental protections, spitting hatred for science, hatred for public schools, hatred of all those who are not fundamentalist Christians, support for torture, support for rendition, and support for the fantastically corrupt Bush-Cheney regime. The conservative cancer is the perpetuation of all the worst features of American life--intolerance, fear, prejudice, and tribalism. It is this cancer that screams out that Barack Obama is "the AntiChrist", a "Muslim radical", "corrupt", "ally of Satan", and all the other filth we have seen hurled at our next president. The Radical Right is now going to try to destroy Obama and block every reform he tries to institute. We, the Progressive Netroots, must and will fight these dangerous radicals every step of the way. 

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Arlen Specter is once again showing that when push comes to shove, he's just another Republican more interested in creating scandals and obstructionism than in getting anything done, by complaining that the planned confirmation hearing for Eric Holder doesn't give them enough time to dig up the Marc Rich pardon and get their spin out to the media -- I mean, "review his record". So what does the indefatigable Patrick Leahy do? Shrug his shoulders and say, "OK, Arlen. Whatever you say."

Meanwhile, the delightfully dweeby Nate Silver, otherwise known as the Best Damn Pollster in America, lets Harry Reid, another ineffectual wuss, have it.

There are only two possible explanations for the level of gutlessness exemplified by Democrats in Congress. Either they really are this bad, or they and the Republicans secretly have the same agenda, and the Democrats are there just to create an illusion that we have any kind of opposition to a corporatist agenda. Or both.

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This map at mybudget360.com is interesting, and shows us just how the South has paid dearly for continuing to vote based on fear and religion-based issues, selecting Republican candidates who promise to ban abortion and gay marriage. There are of course other states throughout the nation dealing with high unemployment, but what jumps out in this map is how the states of the old Confederacy are the hardest hit, while the Godless heathen Jewish homosexual Commie liberal northeast has some of the lowest unemployment rates outside the grain states of the upper midwest.

You'd think they'd realize that when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

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Cheney: I approved waterboarding    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-cheney16-2008dec16,0,5456856.story

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Because the senate doesn't have enough corrupt Republicans

Former Arkansas U.S. attorney and Karl Rove-protege Tim Griffin hinted that he is considering a "senate run" in 2010 against Sen. Blanche Lincoln: 

"I am certainly thinking about it," Griffin said. "I'm going to spend some time going around the state and talking to folks and getting an idea of the interest level. … I'm going to try and hit all 75 counties as soon as possible and I know that's a tall order trying to hit all of those in the next few months.

In addition to his involvement in the firing of US Attorneys and the Siegelman case, he led a "caging" scheme to suppress the votes of likely Democratic voters, including African-American service members in Florida.

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During a press conference with Karzai in Kabul, Bush claimed emphatically, "I never said the Taliban was eliminated." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRuFYs2iuLA&eurl=http://thinkprogress.org/
 
September 2002: "The Taliban's ability to brutalize the Afghan people and to harbor and support terrorists has been virtually eliminated."
 
April 2002: "With the Taliban eliminated and al-Qaida badly damaged, we have moved into the second stage of our war on terror."

September 2004: "And as a result of the United States military, Taliban no longer is in existence. And the people of Afghanistan are now free."

December 2004: "In Afghanistan, America and our allies, with a historically small force and a brilliant strategy, defeated the Taliban in just a few short weeks."

October 2005: "Over the years these extremists have used a litany of excuses for violence — the Israeli presence on the West Bank, or the U.S. military presence in Saudi Arabia, or the defeat of the Taliban, or the Crusades of a thousand years ago."

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Judge signs order to protect duped Madoff investors

A federal judge on Monday threw a lifesaver to investors who may have been duped in one of Wall Street's biggest alleged frauds, saying they need the protection of a special government reserve fund set up to help investors at failed brokerage firms. 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081216/ap_on_bi_ge/wall_street_arrest_assets;_ylt=ApRifeQWlgXh__9hcNkqcx2s0NUE

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The Bush Administration, a legacy of malevolence with no real purpose other than being a jackass:

A high-ranking Interior Department official tainted nearly every decision made on the protection of endangered species over five years, a new inspector general report finds...Julie MacDonald, a former deputy assistant secretary overseeing the Fish and Wildlife Service, did pervasive harm to the department's morale and integrity and may have risked the well-being of species with her agenda, Interior Inspector General Earl Devaney said in his report out Monday.

And, like so many Bush appointees, she was incredibly qualified to make decisions in the position she was appointed to:

MacDonald, a civil engineer with no formal training in natural sciences

And here is my favorite example of her "skills" as an administrator in action:

In once instance, the report said, MacDonald sent information about a contentious endangered species issue to a friend she had met in an online role-playing game. She told investigators she took part in the Internet games to relieve stress created by her job.

That could have come in handy if she was dealing with orcs or a AEI meeting.