I'm going to be incommunicado until at least Wednesday,
It's just as well, I was having a serious case of Springitis, anyway.
(updated time, since my vacation got pushed back a day due to technical difficulties.)
I'm going to be incommunicado until at least Wednesday,
This article in the WP shows Bush actually acting like a grownup and a leader. (Of course, it wouldn't be the first time WH insiders have lied about what Bush has said and done in private).
The desire to do something before the Memorial Day recess also created an "artificial deadline" that Bush considered counterproductive. "As the week moved on," [a senior administration] official said, "there's no question emotions were running high on both sides. . . . People had a gun to their head, and it was really making people not more flexible but more intense. It was his view to say let's get more time."But more importantly than Bush acting like a leader, it shows that the White House knows for a fact that the power of the Executive, even in a "time of war," is actually Constitutionally limited.
Bush decided to head off the situation. He summoned Cheney, Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten, Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, counselor Dan Bartlett, legislative director Candida Wolff, White House Counsel Harriet Miers, Deputy White House Counsel William K. Kelley and some other staff members to the Oval Office on Thursday morning and announced that he had decided to seal the Jefferson documents.
"I'm going to put an end to the escalation," one official quoted Bush as saying. "We've got to calm this down."
Bush aides were also worried about a war with the Republican House if the president did not act.
"If you tell the House to stick it where the sun don't shine, you're talking about a fundamentally corrosive relationship between two branches of government," the senior administration official said. "They could zero out funding; they could say, 'Okay, you can do subpoenas, so can we.' "
Fundies say they revere life, but only life they deem "worthy." The Nation (via Fark), has a story about how the Family Research Council opposes an vaccination against cervical cancer because it might tempt young women to engage in pre-marital sex.
Just as it's better for gays to get AIDS than use condoms, it's better for a woman to get cancer than have sex before marriage. It's honor killing on the installment plan.
TalkLeft excerpts a NYTimes article that confirms what Murtha said: some Marines murdered, in cold blood, a bunch of innocent, unarmed Iraqi men, women and children.
My husband will be very happy to learn that New Belgium is doing so well it's expanding its operation. (Via SoapBlox Colorado)
ColoradoLib has polls on the CD6 race which show even voters in this red stronghold of Tom Tancredo don't care as much about a "red meat" Republican issue as about "red meat" Democratic issues. Plus he has an assessment of Bill Winter's chances.
The other day my mom said Iraq is going well.
Hastert is under investigation in the Abramoff corruption case. (via AmericaBlog).
It took a violation of one of their own to get Congress up-in-arms about this Administration's contempt for precedent and separation of power.
"Nothing I have learned in the last 48 hours leads me to believe that there was any necessity to change the precedent established over those 219 years," Hastert, an Illinois Republican, said in a statement Monday.
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California said congressional independence from the executive branch protects Americans from abuses of power.
"Justice Department investigations must be conducted in accordance with Constitutional protections and historical precedent," she said.
[House Speaker Dennis] Hastert said those protections may not be enough.The White House response: FU.
"It is not at all clear to me that it would even be possible to create special procedures that would overcome the Constitutional problems that the execution of this warrant has created," he said.
"Obviously we are taking note of Speaker Hastert's statements," said White House press secretary Tony Snow after the Illinois Republican spoke with Bush at the White House.
Sadly, No! is justifiably ridiculing Kaye Grogan, a freelance (I don't think "freelance" means what she think it means - and am I to infer that someone actually paid for this?) writer.
We all knew they existed. And it looks pretty straight-forward, rather than the wink-wink-nudge-nudge-you-scratch-my-back-I'll-scratch-yours-or-how-about-a-gay-male-hooker-or-underage-child-let's-fix-the-books kind that undermines our entire democracy perpetrated by Republicans. Though sometimes the Republicans do the straightforward kind, too.
John McCain caused quite a stir at (note the use of the anarthrous premodifier, FU Mark Steyn) liberal New School University in New York giving the same speech he compromised his "principles" to give at Rev. Falwell's Liberty University.
McCain's top political adviser, John Weaver, said the protests were "not unexpected."
"It's not uncommon on a liberal campus that free speech is a theory in the classroom only," Weaver said.
More importantly, I feel obligated to respond to one thing that McCain told the New York Times. "I feel sorry for people living in a dull world where they can't listen to the views of others," he said. This is just preposterous. Yes, McCain was undoubtedly shouted-out and heckled by people who were not politely absorbing his words so as to consider them fully from every angle. But what did he expect? We could've all printed out his speech and chanted it with him in chorus. Did he think that no one knew exactly what he was about to say? And it was precisely because we listen to the views of others, and because, as I said in my speech, we don't fear them, that we as a school were able to mount such a thorough and intelligent opposition to his presence. Ignorant, closed-minded people would not have been able to do what we did. We chose to be in New York for our years of higher education for the very reason that we would be challenged to listen to opposing viewpoints each and every day and to deal with that challenge in a nonviolent manner. We've gotten very good at listening to the views of others and learning how to also make our views heard, even when we don't have the power of national political office and the media on our side.
Good for men with integrity, like Russ Feingold, who storms out in outrage at the sanctimoniousness of morally bankrupt men like Arlen Specter. Specter's response, "Good riddance."
Outgoing CIA Director Porter Goss announced his retirement earlier this month after disputes with Hayden and Negroponte about the CIA’s direction.If Michael Hayden agrees with John "Death Squad" Negroponte, then I don't think I can get behind his nomination.
We are not going to get any kind of government accountability or oversight as long as the Republicans control all branches of government.
Truthout.org is spreading rumors on the internets, and the press doesn't care.
Lately a lot of people have been talking about "saving the internet:
For the first time, the companies that own the equipment that delivers the Internet to your office, cubicle, den and dorm room could, for a price, give one company priority on their networks over another.These big corporations and the "save the internet" campaign want the government to take control of the internet.
This represents a break with the commercial meritocracy that has ruled the Internet until now. We've come to expect that the people who own the phone and cable lines remain "neutral," doing nothing to influence the content on your computer screen. And may the best Web site win.
My husband knows his history. As soon as he heard the following exchange:
Mrs. Bartlett - "Who in his right mind decided that January would be the best time of the year to hold an outdoor ceremony north of the equator?"
President Bartlett - "Jefferson, Adams and Franklin."
Matt Stoller at MyDD got a link to an anti-net neutrality ad, which he deconstructs. (via Atrios)
I missed this last night, as I was busy maintaining a six hour vodka buzz and listening to my husband's crazy-fun aunts tell hilarious family stories. (My sister-in-law got three days of celebrations for her graduation. No, she's not spoiled ::rolleyes)
Many fans are claiming their votes for Daughtry were misdirected to Katharine McPhee.
Today my sister-in-law graduates from CU Business School, followed by drinks and food at the restaurant she works at, so no more blogging today. Unless I hear something good. Or if I feel like it later tonight.
Remember how mAnn Coulter may have committed voter fraud by using a false address to register to vote? There are developments, as reported by Brad Blog (via HuffPost).
He's all over the president's ass about not enforcing border security, and all over Congress' ass for failing in its oversight ... on this one issue ... but not about NSA spying or the President declaring, in essence, "L'etat, c'est moi," and nulling the 4th Amendment.
I heard on the Ed Schultz show about Mary Cheney's comments about John Kerry and John Edwards -- the former is a "son of a bitch," the latter "slime" -- because they dared mention her name in the course of defending the rights of homosexuals, something they wouldn't have had to do if her dad hadn't been working on the side of oppressing people like his own daughter -- though not individually by name, so it's okay.
Kerry spokesman David Wade: "Seems like a suspicious lecture from a political operative who flacked for the most anti-gay administration in history and allowed Karl Rove to divide America for political gain," Wade said. "She'd be more credible if she pushed dad's administration to support hate crimes legislation and equal rights for gay Americans."
Ahmadinejad positions himself as the reasonable one, reaching out for common ground and peace in a letter to Bush. And the Bush Administration continues the tough talk, further alienating more people.
Video from the Today show. Simon Cowell predicts the top two American Idol contestants, and I think he's right.
Women can tell which men like children, and so which men they'd more like to have a long-term relationship with. Men who don't much care about kids only get short, torrid love affairs, apparently.
Remember the complaints about the mass arrests from the 2004 RNC demonstrations in New York? The complaints were justified.
The board's letter to Mr. Kelly on Tuesday echoed complaints voiced by demonstrators in the aftermath of the convention, Mr. Dunn said. "From the start, the mass arrests of protesters at the convention have been tainted by complaints that people were not given clear orders to disperse, were trying to cooperate with the police and were acting lawfully," he said. "This report from the C.C.R.B. [ed: Civilian Complaint Review Board], which is an official city agency, now shows that those complaints were entirely valid."
"And the implication that the N.Y.P.D. failed during the R.N.C.," he said Tuesday, "turns truth on its head."
"The policing of the R.N.C. was one of the Police Department's finest hours," Mr. Kelly continued.
The expansion of World of Warcraft will take players to a new world called Draenor, where they can play characters that are closely related to the demons of WoW.
Today is Dogpile on Richard Cohen day. I said in a previous post that Cohen was personally offended by something Colbert joked about, so then refused to acknowledge that anything Colbert said was humorous.
As more power and influence accrues to the netroots, entrenched political forces will resist mightily, ceding no turf without a bitter fight.
For Republicans, that is.
You know the Republicans are in trouble when the Democrats get a better reception in places like Fremont County than the Republicans.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of staying here in Canon City for the annual “Blossom Festival” parade ... Democrats were right in the middle of the parade, leaving the Republicans several entries behind.
Then, folks started showing up — and kept showing up! We had a HUGE entry — literally three blocks long! ...
The best note, though, was when we reached the end of the parade route. Walking through the crowds of several tens of thousands of parade-watchers, we had gotten several cheers — even more than usual. When we got to the end, all of our candidates received cheers from the many folks at the end — the crowd was particularly loud. I stuck around to see what the Republican entry looked like on the route. What energized me most was the crowd’s response to the Republicans — complete and utter silence. Not a cheer to be heard. Keep in mind, now, that Fremont County rivals El Paso County for how Republican its voters are.
The delicate Mr. Cohen's prissy sensibilities have been offended by a barrage of email from vitriolic people attacking him for his attack on Colbert's WHACD routine. (Via Atrios)
Fine. I said the man wasn't funny and not funny has a bullying quality to it ...
She like flowers and letting her hair down. But don't cross her, or you'll get an eyeful.
Ouch! Being a Rookie Really Hurts MUD
•Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma
Gardner followed his heart instead of partisan politics Feb. 9 when he voted againt a fellow Republican's bill on divorce that critics said was horribly flawed. The sponsor, Rep. Lauri Clapp, R-Centennial, was livid, and she and Rep. Lynn Hefley, R-Colorado Springs, gave Gardner nasty looks the rest of the committee meeting. A trip to the woodshed and noogies followed.
He fell and broke his wrist, and we need him back on the keyboard leading the 101st Keyboard Commandos ASAP.
From a Fark photoshop contest
Crap Filter has the link to trailer number two.
The numbers for United 93 are only slightly better than Serenity's the first week, worse the second, and I doubt United 93 -- which had a lot more press -- already had a built-in fan base chomping at the bit to see it.
O'Reilly says kids in small town America don't swear. (via Pharyngula)
I increasingly hear a call for a solution from the Left on immigration. And it's markedly different from the other side's rallying cry of "Let Mexico fix its own crappy financial problems." Molly Ivins column, which ran in the Denver Post today,
It does not take great economic acumen to realize that Mexico was damaged by NAFTA, that the surge in immigration has been caused by our own selfish and stupid trade policies, which benefit few of us, also.
According to the CIA WorldFactBook online, ongoing concerns in Mexico include "low real wages, underemployment for a large segment of the population, inequitable income distribution, and few advancement opportunities for the largely Amerindian population in the impoverished southern states."
What would happen if the U.S. focused on reducing immigration from Mexico by helping Mexico become a place where relatively few would want to leave? With the amount of money that would be needed to forcefully keep Mexicans from coming to the U.S. illegally, a great deal could be done. Wouldn't everyone be better off if we cooperated with Mexico to improve opportunities for education and employment?
I know I just posted something from News Hounds, but my mom often goes on about "reconquista," so I just want to document this atrocity for her future edification. When we argue about it some time in the future, I'll know exactly where to find it.
At least that's what I'm assuming, since some producer at Fox totally got scooped by not only CNN, but by News Hounds by more than 25 minutes (how's that for a sensational headline: made you look ;-p).
But the Colorado Rep. doesn't like having contact with her constituents (no email, voicemail always full, constituents unable to get appointments). Thankfully, because of term limits, she'll have more time to both garden more and have less contact with her constituents.
He's not giving up at HuffingtonPost, and like a tenacious pitbull, he's going to be put down.
But you Clintonistas sold us down the river with the Telecommunications Act of 1996. You DLC-types have aided in the wholesale selling off of our airwaves, and it has not served the people well. You and the Republicans have deregulated the airlines and it has not served the people well. You and the Republicans have deregulated the energy companies and it has not served the people well. Enron? Ask California! You and the Republicans have deregulated the Savings and Loan industry; it did not serve the people well. You and the Republicans have deregulated the telephone companies. Think you have better phone service now? I don't. You and the Republicans have allowed the entire American media to be owned by five huge companies. Now THEY regulate what we hear and see and read and the music we hear and the TV shows we see. Thus cameth the blogosphere.
The Clintonista-DLC-Republican model of conglomerate ownership of the infrastructure has been a fucking disaster.
Net neutrality, which is the de facto "law of the internet" and has been for its entire history, is the single most important factor in determining its success. There have been many attempts to create just the sort of balkanized system you advocate, and for the very same reasons. Remember GEnie? Remember CompuServe? Remember Prodigy? Do you know why they all failed, and the Internet ate their lunch?
The internet thrived because it eschews the Producer/Consumer model for a symmetrical Participant-based model. That is what people are paying your clients for--a chance to participate, on equal footing, with everybody from the kid down the street to the president of the United States. Even big-bucks lobbeists blogging for their corporate masters get their packets routed based on the same protocols as grandma streaming video of the baby birds outside her kitchen window. That's what this is all about. That's what people are paying for. Break it, and you will be killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.
Atrios documents many claims that Bush speaks fluent Spanish, and Scott McClellan today claiming Bush doesn't speak Spanish fluently.
With a wink and a nod and a scaled-back lobbying bill, Congress lets lobbyists know they'd better be more clever with their bribes.
Much of the legislation is aimed at increasing public disclosure by lobbyists. It would require them to file reports on their activities quarterly instead of twice a year and to provide more information on their political contributions.
House GOP leaders scaled back the reach of the ethics legislation in the face of objections from many rank-and-file Republicans. These lawmakers defended the usefulness of many "fact-finding trips" [ed: added quotes] financed by private groups and noted that existing rules limit the value of gifts or meals they can accept from lobbyists to less than $50.
Penalties for violating the rules would include, for the first time, the possibility of jail time [for lobbyists].
It would also deny congressional pensions to lawmakers convicted of abusing the public trust and require a public accounting of projects tucked into spending bills, often at the behest of lobbyists.
Government watchdog groups denounced the legislation as a sham.
"A vote for this bill is a vote to spray air freshener to mask the stench of corruption instead of cleaning up the underlying problems," said Anna Aurilio, legislative director of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.
Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, called the bill "an outright deceit that does not change the way lobbyists and House members take care of each others' interests at the expense of the American people."
Sen. Salazar is considering filibustering Terrence Boyle, protege of Jesse Helms, who has so frequently, blatantly disregarded laws and precedent in Civil Rights cases that he has been overruled twice as much as the average trial judge in the 4th Circuit.
Appellate courts have reversed Judge Boyle for subverting basic procedural rules, not fully and fairly considering the cases before him, ignoring binding precedent and clear statutory mandates, and repeating the same errors more than once.
He's going to spend his life in a maximum security federal prison.
Richard Cohen is Atrios's Nobel Prize in Wankery, for very good reason:
In Washington [Colbert] was playing to a different crowd, and he failed dismally in the funny person's most solemn obligation: to use absurdity or contrast or hyperbole to elucidate -- to make people see things a little bit differently. He had a chance to tell the president and much of important (and self-important) Washington things it would have been good for them to hear.
I just installed a 512 MB RAM on my computer all by myself. For those of you who think, "So, big whoop," this was the first time I've ever seen the inside of a computer.
Because Rush is in full hallucination mode about his criminal charges (via the good Roger Ailes).
"From my point of view, the end result will be as if I had gone to court and won, but the matter is concluded much sooner," the 55-year-old conservative commentator told his listeners.
Square in the Nuts spots an article in the British Times Online. In America, the focus is on interest rates and inflation, without considering the overall strength of the dollar. But what happens overseas is just as important as what the Fed does.
THE dollar has embarked on a big decline that will see it fall against all leading currencies, according to analysts.
The plunge is being prompted by America’s $800 billion (£438 billion) current-account deficit, they say.
Analysts say that without interest-rate support, the dollar will be weighed down heavily by America’s imbalances.
“I think this is it,” said Tony Norfield, global head of currency strategy at ABN Amro. “The dollar has been supported by high yields but markets are saying that is no longer enough. The question for policymakers is going to be how to manage the dollar’s decline. It won’t be a one-way street but the fall is likely to be biggest against Asian currencies.”
I don't fool myself that I have any particular impact or import on the internet (although I think I changed a few minds over the Jay Bennish affair).
...during the Clinton years, the FCC actively enforced net neutrality — the Internet’s First Amendment – against his telecom clients. Common carrier statutes have in fact been a bedrock principle of telecommunications law since 1934, and in 1996 Congress ratified that with a commitment to network neutrality. Yet less than a year ago, in August, 2005, the Clinton -Gingrich policy of enforced network neutrality was radically upended by the FCC ...
Not only is [McCurry] serving as the mouthpiece for AT&T and other corporations who self-servingly want to end the free and open Internet as we know it, but he is committing the cardinal sin of any spokesperson: He is outright lying.
The Internet has worked absent regulation and now you want to introduce it for a solution to what? What content is being denied? What service is being degraded? What is not right with the Internet that you are trying to cure?
This is not an issue where there is a progressive, pro-little guy, pro-Dem stand versus the big bad companies that pay big bad lobbyists (what a joke you think I am one of them).
And the little guy with the next big idea would be muscled out of the marketplace, relegated to the "slow lane" of the information superhighway.
This isn't just speculation -- it's already happened in places without Net Neutrality. Heck, AT&T's CEO blatantly announced, "The Internet can't be free."
It doesn't appear Monday's boycott had much impact, financially, in Colorado. Many businesses were able to work around it. But it was only one day. Businesses know (and have known) that they would be in big trouble if there was no pool of undocumented workers.
If all the undocumented workers left and the unemployed took their jobs, another 34,400 to 66,400 workers would be needed in Colorado, if the Pew estimates are correct.
Colorado likely would attract workers from other states to replace those born in other countries, said Joseph Winter, a senior labor economist with the state.
Discouraged workers who have stopped looking for work, retirees, college students and other groups not counted in the state's unemployment tally also could rejoin the workforce.
Higher wages likely would be needed to attract workers to fill the gap, causing employers to eliminate some jobs.
Whether measured by the explosive rural crisis caused by NAFTA; the government data showing horrifying levels of poverty, increased economic inequality and NAFTA-related environmental damage; or by the diversity of Mexican workers and farmers united in their outrage about NAFTA, it is obvious that NAFTA was harmful to Mexico.
Displaced rural workers have migrated to Mexico’s overcrowded cities where underemployment and unemployment have kept wages for scarce jobs low or made the perilous journey to the U.S. to seek work, with such migration more than doubling under NAFTA as Mexico’s economy failed to create nearly enough jobs for its workers.1 Despite this, NAFTA defenders often point to Mexico’s increased exports to the U.S. and inflow of foreign investment as evidence of success. Yet, NAFTA rules forbade Mexico from adopting the policies that could have harnessed these inflows to create permanent gains for the Mexico’s economy. And while exports increased, the average wage paid Mexico’s manufacturing workers declined from $5 per day (which was not a living wage) to only $4.