Jun 29, 2008

Trying to force a regime change in Iran the old fashion way-through covert ops.

The old fashioned way is using clandestine and/or covert ops by various US governmental agencies. The usual agencies are the CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Seymour Hersh addresses these operations in his latest article for the New Yorker.

Mr. Hersh received the information on new covert ops against Iran from various military, intelligence, and congressional sources, per his article. The President received funding for these ops late last year from the Democratic-controlled Congress. The dollar amount Bush was seeking is in the ballpark of $400 million.

Christ, that is some ballpark isn’t it? If you think this is something new in Bush’s War on Terror, think again. From Hersh’s article in July’s New Yorker:

Clandestine operations against Iran are not new. United States Special Operations Forces have been conducting cross-border operations from southern Iraq, with Presidential authorization, since last year. These have included seizing members of Al Quds, the commando arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and taking them to Iraq for interrogation, and the pursuit of “high-value targets” in the President’s war on terror, who may be captured or killed. But the scale and the scope of the operations in Iran, which involve the Central Intelligence Agency and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), have now been significantly expanded, according to the current and former officials. Many of these activities are not specified in the new Finding, and some congressional leaders have had serious questions about their nature.

Serious questions? No…really? Who the hell wouldn’t have serious questions about such actions by our government? Well, the Gang of Eight has been briefed as well as the upper echelons of the Republican and Democratic Congressional leadership. When such covert ops are to begin, the President must issue what is known as a “Presidential Finding“. This is a highly classified executive directive from Bush and its similar to an Executive Order. for a peek into this PF, Hersh has this:

“The Finding was focused on undermining Iran’s nuclear ambitions and trying to undermine the government through regime change,” a person familiar with its contents said, and involved “working with opposition groups and passing money.” The Finding provided for a whole new range of activities in southern Iran and in the areas, in the east, where Baluchi political opposition is strong, he said.

Evidently the congress critter’s with questions about these tactics/operations were appeased since the funding for these operations did get approved by both the Senate and the House. This is all done in secret of course. Interestingly enough, this all came to pass right around the time the NIE came out which stated Iran had stopped work on their nuclear weapons program in 2003.

Can you smell the irony? I can..but I digress.

So BushCo is pushing all the buttons that need to be pushed for his attack on Iran. There are, however, substantial opinions, Robert Gates among them, that bombing Iran would be a huge clusterfuck that would see our children’s children fighting Jihadists, and not only abroad but here on US soil. Again, from Hersh’s article:

A Democratic senator told me that, late last year, in an off-the-record lunch meeting, Secretary of Defense Gates met with the Democratic caucus in the Senate. (Such meetings are held regularly.) Gates warned of the consequences if the Bush Administration staged a preĆ«mptive strike on Iran, saying, as the senator recalled, “We’ll create generations of jihadists, and our grandchildren will be battling our enemies here in America.” Gates’s comments stunned the Democrats at the lunch, and another senator asked whether Gates was speaking for Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney. Gates’s answer, the senator told me, was “Let’s just say that I’m here speaking for myself.”

Whoa, isn’t that some shit? The Joint Chiefs of Staff aren’t crazy about BushCo’s plan to bomb Iran. Neither are plenty of “the four-star officers who direct military operations around the world”. Before he was shit-canned, Admiral William Fallon, who until recently was the head of U.S. Central Command, was a very vocal advocate for NOT bombing the bejesus out of Iran. Admiral Fallon has quite a bit to say to Mr. Hersh on the subject of Iran and the covert ops:

“Did I bitch about some of the things that were being proposed? You bet. Some of them were very stupid.”

The Democratic leadership’s agreement to commit hundreds of millions of dollars for more secret operations in Iran was remarkable, given the general concerns of officials like Gates, Fallon, and many others. “The oversight process has not kept pace—it’s been coƶpted” by the Administration, the person familiar with the contents of the Finding said. “The process is broken, and this is dangerous stuff we’re authorizing.”

To continue reading this post, click here.

Holy Joe's fearmongering Sunday

From C&L a Face the Nation stump for Liebermann. Holy Joe is fearmongering his ass off.

Well thank God Iran isn't running Iraq as Holy Joe swears they would be if we had left Iraq a couple of years ago. And remember, the surge is working and soon, very soon, all of Al-Qaeda will be run out of Iraq on a fucking rail..and life will be simply wonderful for the remaining Iraqi's.

It's a two minute video..and thankfully that is about all I can take of this bag of batshit.

TomsDispatch has a realistic view of the war in Iraq. You can check it out here.

GOP hates Bob Barr..

And why wouldn’t they? He is a right of the center guy that seems to have more scruples than any Rethug on the ballot. Yes, I am looking at you John Weathervane McCain. According to the NYT writeup yesterday, Barr is trying to appeal to the vast majority of Ron Paul enthusiasts, of which there are many.

Third party candidates can fuck up a party’s wetdream. Nader has done it to the Dem’s and Ross Perot did it to the Rethugs. From the NYT writeup:

On the ballots in 30 states so far, Mr. Barr has the chance to be a spoiler for Mr. McCain, the presumed Republican nominee, in several states, among them Alaska, Colorado and Georgia. Mr. Barr’s campaign advisers also assert he has similar potential in other mountain states, New Hampshire, Ohio and other swing states.

The Republican Party and the McCain campaign have swatted away the Barr candidacy, but some Republicans are taking it seriously. If the early polls hold up, and Senator Barack Obama, the presumed Democratic nominee, pours heavy resources into Georgia, that state could be up for grabs, said Senator Johnny Isakson, Republican of Georgia.

Nader isn’t a new face on the general election front and I personally think any damage he will do to the Democratic nominee is marginal, but Barr could embarass the Rethugs. A point to make, and the NYT does, is that no Libertarian has ever gotten more than 1% of the vote. Money isn’t flowing into this campaign yet either. From the NYT writeup:

Yet Mr. Barr faces formidable obstacles. No Libertarian candidate has ever won more than 1 percent of the vote in a presidential election, and Mr. Barr is severely lacking in money, resources and name recognition. He has yet to lease a campaign headquarters, have a fund-raiser, tape a television advertisement or hold a campaign event.

There is also the fact that the convention which nominated him wasn't completely behind him either. It took six votes to hand Barr the nomination, and it was by a very thin margin. Before anyone gets excited about Barr, they should consider his record as a former Rethug member. His votes for the Patriot Act bill, the Iraq AUMF, impeaching Bill Clinton and sponsoring the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 shouldn’t endear him to anyone but the most right of the rightwing nutjobs.

Barr is attempting to distance himself from those votes now however, blaming them on the (R) after his name at the time. He now states he is “for a speedy and complete withdrawal of troops, with no permanent bases; on same-sex marriage, he believes that states should make their own laws; and on wiretaps without warrants, he is fiercely opposed, arguing that the bill that would legalize searches without warrants violates an individual’s constitutional rights”.

Barr is eyeballing the Ron Paulistas right now that consider themselves Libertarian. The Paul supporters aren’t flocking to Barr at this point however. Some are highly pissed off that Barr is pandering specifically to Ron Paul supporters. Ron Paul has refused to endorse Barr’s candidacy as well.

The long and short of it is how much support in November Barr and Nader will draw from the two main parties. Polls, which I hate with a passion, are showing both Nader and Barr garnering 3% of the vote in specific toss-up states. Obama’s bean counters are happy that Barr has joined the fray, saying he might make the difference in states which are important and still close between Obama and McCain.

All in all, it remains to be seen what Barr can do..money is his nemisis right now, and the same goes for Nader. This general election season looks to be all about the money and breaking records for how much you can raise and spend. Obama has the edge there and frankly I just want to get past the Democratic convention and head into the final stretch..I am so ready to get this shit over with, it ain’t even funny.

Jun 27, 2008

Tonight was hot but good music trumps hot and muggy

I saved up for this evenings festivities for three months..and since I haven't missed Smoking Joe Bonamassa's visits to Bako evah...I wasn't going to let being broke change that. I just couldn't buy the usual rock memorabilia..you know..t-shirt or baseball cap ( I have all his albums)..ah well..such is life.

I had an excellent seat, smack dab in the middle of the 12th row! He did two encores bless his heart and he did not disappoint.

Now of course, my back is killing me..bench seats aren't the best for three blown discs, but I would of gone regardless of the pain, believe me when I say that.

He took me away from all my problems for two hours. He took me away from politics too. He had me tapping my foot, clapping and hollering like a kid again. He made me smile, sing and feel good for two whole hours..

Thank you Joe..your a gem my man, and your good for whatever ails a soul too ;)

The video is Joe doing Burning Hell..appropriate since the temp at the start of the concert was a triple digit 100 even, with humidity off the friggin charts. With all the fires burning in NorCal..our air is poison right now too for an asthmatic like moi...but NOTHING was going to stop me from my appointed rounds tonight. NOTHING I tell ya!

I love this man's music..and I hope all six of my dear, sweet, wonderful readers enjoy him as well.

ps..I have no idea why Blogger adds that friggin picture at the bottom of the video.

Darren Manzella is discharged...

H/Tto Steve Benen at The Carpetbagger Report for this update.

If your not familiar with his name or the issue, let me give you the history of this wonderful man. In December Army Sgt. Darren Manzella was interviewed on 60 Minutes by Leslie Stahl. He is a gay man and he has been openly gay throughout his military service. He is a medic in Baghdad, or was…past tense is now in order. But I digress…

Sgt. Manzella has earned combat medals for his work under fire people.. for his service to America. He started getting threatening emails about his ‘gay-ness’. He felt he had no choice but to inform his commanding officer. From the 60-Minutes transcript:

He went for help to his commanding officer, and in the process, told him - as in don’t ask don’t tell - that he was gay. The officer in turn told Manzella he’d have to report him.

“He did report me, yes,” Manzella says. “I had to go see my battalion commander, who read me my rights.”

“So, what you did, in effect, by telling him, was trigger the investigation you feared was underway?” Stahl asks.

Amazingly nothing happened. He submitted physical evidence which included him kissing his boyfriend to the commanding officer. From the 60-Minutes transcript again:

Manzella didn’t hold anything back in the investigation, submitting photos of himself and A.J., and a video of a road trip, including passionate kissing. But when the investigation ended, Manzella says he was told to go back to work. “There was no evidence of homosexuality and go back to work,” he says.(emphasis mine)

Darren is in a critical job, the Army couldn’t afford to lose him. So they did nothing about his openly gay status until the 60-Minutes story went global. They then saw no choice but to discharge him. This travesty makes me physically ill. It makes me sick to my stomach people. Steve Benen’s take on this is my pov as well:

John McCain recently said gay people in the military represent an “intolerable risk” to unit morale, cohesion, and discipline.

I’m curious. Which poses the great risk, Manzella being deployed and serving honorably, or Manzella not being deployed? Which is better for the troops? Which does more to help those in uniform? Which leaves the military stronger, and which leaves it weaker?

McCain’s sorry ass better not get to sit in that Oval Office chair..not on my watch damn it. Darren Manzella is a good man, an asset to our military both in and out of war. He is a wonderful human being my dear reader.

Yet the bigots and the bastards can’t get past his being a gay man. A label that means nothing in the big picture of life. A label that can ruin a life and/or a career when the bigots and the bastards find out about your sexual orientation.

They all make me sick and tired of the bullshittery. This has to stop. This has to stop..this has to fucking stop!

Crossposted at Sirens Chronicles.

Jun 26, 2008

John 'Torture' Yoo and Conyers today..

Yoo dances around like the tool he is. This was today's hearing in front of the Judical Committee. H/T to John Amato at C&L for the heads up on this video. Also Addington's dumb ass is in this clip as well.

For a nice roundup of today's hearing..including videos check out TPM Muckraker's section here.

SCOTUS rules in favor of gun owners in DC

As a gun owner and a progressive, I have mixed feelings about the ruling today. While I do think the NRA is full of shit on most issues or the non-issues they turn into issues, I believe there is a fundamental right to bear arms. That said however, I do not believe that people need arsenals or automatic weapons.

Evidently there was a dust-up during the reading of the ruling today between Scalia the turd who read the majority opinion and Justice Stevens who read the dissenting opinion. From the BLT link:

"Do not accept the summary you have just heard," Stevens said at one point. Earlier, Scalia told spectators they had to slog through 154 pages of opinions to really understand the Court's position. And Scalia said it was "particularly wrongheaded" for dissenters to rely on United States v. Miller, the 1939 case that marked the last time the high court ruled on the Second Amendment.

When Scalia was reading his own opinion Stevens occasionally shook his head in disbelief. And Stevens jousted back. With emphasis on the word "genuine," Stevens said that "a genuine judicial conservative" would not have inserted the Court into the "political thicket" of the gun rights debate as Scalia had done.

What I gather is that this ruling is pretty complicated. The NRA has already stated this ruling sets precedence and they will now challenge other types of gun restriction laws in other cities and states. To be sure, the DC gun law was the strictest law on the books anywhere in the U.S. But the NRA's goal is to overturn any and all gun laws, including those which ban automatic and semiautomatic rifles.

Thats where the NRA and I part ways. Semi and automatic rifles were created for one reason; to kill humans a quickly as possible. You won't see hunters using either of those types of weapons when they are game hunting and even my father thinks no one needs to own semi or automatic guns. Good ol Dad and I finally agree on something..stop the presses!

From our Dept of WTF?

The RIAA has really, seriously lost their collective mind. H/T to Chet at the Vanity Press for this gem. From Wired:

The recording industry and U.S. radio companies have squared off for decades about whether AM and FM radio broadcasters should pay royalties to singers, musicians and their labels.

But now the debate is getting meaner; there's more at stake as the recording industry seeks new income avenues in the wake of wanton peer-to-peer piracy and declining CD sales in part due to the iPod and satellite radio. A U.S. House subcommittee could vote as early as Thursday on a royalty measure.

On Monday, the recording industry sent the National Association of Broadcasters -- the trade group representing the $16 billion a year AM-FM broadcasting business -- a can of herring to underscore that it believes its arguments against paying royalties are a red herring. The NAB says its members should not pay royalties because AM-FM radio "promotes" the music industry.

How in the blue hell would anyone know about new artists or new albums from our favorite artists if it wasn't for radio? The radio stations also promote the artists by running ads for their concerts which usually coincide with the release of a new album right? From the Wired writeup we get to the...cough..bottom line:

The argument boils down to this: Radio is making billions off the backs of recording artists and their labels; and the recording artists gain invaluable exposure because they're on the radio, so royalties should not have to be paid.

The recording industry needs the radio industry and vice versa. Each side in this money-grubbing argument needs the other in order to make any money. This is fucking extortion and it stinks to high heaven. The RIAA is looking for ways to make up for the losses in revenue due to the electronic music industry. People are not buying CD's near as much as they used to..and I for one pretty much buy all my music in the form of an electronic download. I only buy a CD when the artist's electronic album is exclusively on ITunes..because I hate ITunes.

In other money-grubbing news..the MPAA has the nads to use the following argument also in a court case of copyright infringement:

The Motion Picture Association of America said Friday intellectual-property holders should have the right to collect damages, perhaps as much as $150,000 per copyright violation, without having to prove infringement.(emphasis mine)

"Mandating such proof could thus have the pernicious effect of depriving copyright owners of a practical remedy against massive copyright infringement in many instances," MPAA attorney Marie L. van Uitert wrote Friday to the federal judge overseeing the Jammie Thomas trial.

"It is often very difficult, and in some cases, impossible, to provide such direct proof when confronting modern forms of copyright infringement, whether over P2P networks or otherwise; understandably, copyright infringers typically do not keep records of infringement," van Uitert wrote on behalf of the movie studios, a position shared with the Recording Industry Association of America, which sued Thomas, the single mother of two.

Well gents, if you can't prove anything, where in the hell is your infringement? By using your skewed ass logic, I could sue my husband for divorce because he has what it takes to cheat on me. I wouldn't have to prove he cheated on me, I would just have to show that because he has a penis, he has the ability to cheat on me. The proof must be on the individual that brought the lawsuit..it has been that way for-fucking-ever, its part and parcel of the Rule of Law for christs sake.

Fucking greedy bastards..

Jun 25, 2008

What the Exxon Valdez spill really cost humanity..

From an email I got this evening from Greg Palast on the ruling of SCOTUS regarding the Exxon Valdez oil nightmare. It is also online at his site. I very seldom reprint an entire piece of someone else's work, but this one deserves to be reprinted. Thank you Mr. Palast:

Court Rewards Exxon for Valdez Oil Spill

by Greg Palast

Chicago Tribune (revised)

[Thursday, June 26, 2008] Twenty years after Exxon Valdez slimed over one thousand miles of Alaskan beaches, the company has yet to pay the $5 billion in punitive damages awarded by the jury. And now they won't have to. The Supreme Court today cut Exxon's liability by 90% to half a billion. It's so cheap, it's like a permit to spill.

Exxon knew this would happen. Right after the spill, I was brought to Alaska by the Natives whose Prince William Sound islands, livelihoods, and their food source was contaminated by Exxon crude. My assignment: to investigate oil company frauds that led to to the disaster. There were plenty.

But before we brought charges, the Natives hoped to settle with the oil company, to receive just enough compensation to buy some boats and rebuild their island villages to withstand what would be a decade of trying to survive in a polluted ecological death zone.

In San Diego, I met with Exxon's US production chief, Otto Harrison, who said, "Admit it; the oil spill's the best thing to happen" to the Natives.

His company offered the Natives pennies on the dollar. The oil men added a cruel threat: take it or leave it and wait twenty years to get even the pennies. Exxon is immortal - but Natives die.

And they did. A third of the Native fishermen and seal hunters I worked with are dead. Now their families will collect one tenth of their award, two decades too late.

In today's ruling, Supreme Court Justice David Souter wrote that Exxon's recklessness was ''profitless'' - so the company shouldn't have to pay punitive damages. Profitless, Mr. Souter? Exxon and it's oil shipping partners saved billions - BILLIONS - by operating for sixteen years without the oil spill safety equipment they promised, in writing, under oath and by contract.

The official story is, "Drunken Skipper Hits Reef." But don't believe it, Mr. Souter. Alaska's Native lands and coastline were destroyed by a systematic fraud motivated by profit-crazed penny-pinching.

Here's the unreported story, the one you won't get tonight on the Petroleum Broadcast System:

It begins in 1969 when big shots from Humble Oil and ARCO (now known as Exxon and British Petroleum) met with the Chugach Natives, owners of the most valuable parcel of land on the planet: Valdez Port, the only conceivable terminus for a pipeline that would handle a trillion dollars in crude oil.

These Alaskan natives ultimately agreed to sell the Exxon consortium this astronomically valuable patch of land -- for a single dollar.

The Natives refused cash. Rather, in 1969, they asked only that the oil companies promise to protect their Prince William Sound fishing and seal hunting grounds from oil.

In 1971, Exxon and partners agreed to place the Natives' specific list of safeguards into federal law. These commitment to safety reassured enough Congressmen for the oil group to win, by one vote, the right to ship oil from Valdez.

The oil companies repeated their promises under oath to the US Congress.

The spill disaster was the result of Exxon and partners breaking every one of those promises - cynically, systematically, disastrously, in the fifteen years leading up to the spill.

Forget the drunken skipper fable. As to Captain Joe Hazelwood, he was below decks, sleeping off his bender. At the helm, the third mate would never have collided with Bligh Reef had he looked at his Raycas radar. But the radar was not turned on. In fact, the tanker's radar was left broken and disasbled for more than a year before the disaster, and Exxon management knew it. It was just too expensive to fix and operate.

For the Chugach, this discovery was poignantly ironic. On their list of safety demands in return for Valdez was "state-of-the-art" on-ship radar.

We discovered more, but because of the labyrinthine ways of litigation, little became public, especially about the reckless acts of the industry consortium, Alyeska, which controls the Alaska Pipeline.

  • Several smaller oil spills before the Exxon Valdez could have warned of a system breakdown. But a former Senior Lab Technician with Alyeska, Erlene Blake, told our investigators that management routinely ordered her to toss out test samples of water evidencing spilled oil. She was ordered to refill the test tubes with a bucket of clean sea water called, "The Miracle Barrel."
  • In a secret meeting in April 1988, Alyeska Vice-President T.L. Polasek confidentially warned the oil group executives that, because Alyeska had never purchased promised safety equipment, it was simply "not possible" to contain an oil spill past the Valdez Narrows -- exactly where the Exxon Valdez ran aground 10 months later.
  • The Natives demanded (and law requires) that the shippers maintain round- the-clock oil spill response teams. Alyeska hired the Natives, especiallly qualified by their generations-old knowledge of the Sound, for this emergency work. They trained to drop from helicopters into the water with special equipment to contain an oil slick at a moments notice. But in 1979, quietly, Alyeska fired them all. To deflect inquisitive state inspectors, the oil consortium created sham teams, listing names of oil terminal workers who had not the foggiest idea how to use spill equipment which, in any event, was missing, broken or existed only on paper.

In 1989, when the oil poured from the tanker, there was no Native response team, only chaos.

Today, twenty years after the oil washed over the Chugach beaches, you can kick over a rock and it will smell like an old gas station.

The cover story of the Drunken Captain serves the oil industry well. It falsely presents America's greatest environmental disaster as a tale of human frailty, a one-time accident. But broken radar, missing equipment, phantom spill teams, faked tests -- the profit-driven disregard of the law -- made the spill an inevitability, not an accident.

Yet Big Oil tells us, as they plead to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, as Senator John McCain calls for drilling off the shores of the Lower 48, it can't happen again.

They promise.

Greg Palast is a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow for Investigative Reporting at the Nation Institute, New York. Read and view his investigations for BBC Television at www.GregPalast.com. An earlier version of this report originally appeared in the Chicago Tribune. Photos by James Macalpine (1993).
It's such bullshit, what Exxon got away with. They ruined the lives of everyone that depended on the area for their livelihood, wiping out thousands of native species both in the water and those that depended on the fish to survive. They got away with murder as it were. That SCOTUS would rule that they shouldn't pay for what they did is tantamount to a free pass. Exxon makes 5 billion bucks in no time at all, virtually in less than two months time. They will now pay what comes down to equal about four days' worth of its profits based on last years earnings.

Many of the respondents in the original case are dead now. Roughly 8,000 of them are dead and their families will collect a whopping $15,000 bucks for their 'injury'. There is still oil in Prince William Sound..from this one fucking spill 19 years ago.

SCOTUS lowers Exxon's spill damages

Fuckers...It happened 19 years ago and the rat bastards haven't paid any of the damages, but they have taken it all the way through the courts. Now, SCOTUS has taken the case and lowered the $2.5 billion punitive damages award. Punitive damages are designed to punish a wrongdoer, while compensatory damages compensate a wronged party for the loss they suffered. From CNN:

The high court concluded that punitive damages should roughly match actual damages from the environmental disaster, which were about $507 million. Lower courts were asked to reassess the jury verdict, extending the years-long litigation in the case.

The 'liberals' on the court agreed with part of the ruling.Not only did the Valdez destroy thousands upon thousands of mammals, it also destroyed much of their habitat and the fishing that locals depended upon for their livelihood.

But its all about the bottom line for Exxon..not for owning up to anything..just spending millions in Lawyers Fees in order to lower the hit to their fucking bottom line.

Under the weather...

I am not feeling too well, so if you really crave something to read, please visit our group blog Sirens Chronicles. We have many a fine writer over there and they cover the world of politics pretty damn well if I do say so.

Have a good day folks..it has to be going better than mine.

Jun 23, 2008

Judge asks: Why doesn't Congress arrest Miers and Bolton?

Good question pal! Many of us have wondered the same damn thing. From TPM muckraker:

In a motion hearing in federal court today, U.S. District Judge John Bates questioned why Congress didn't simply arrest former White House counsel Harriet Miers and Chief of Staff Josh Bolten after both refused to respond to subpoenas issued by the House Judiciary Committee:

Congress has the authority to hold someone in contempt, U.S. District Judge John Bates said. Did it really need to go to court? House counsel Irvin Nathan said it did.

The Constitution gives Congress the ability to arrest and hold people that are in contempt of a congressional subpoena. It has been interpreted this way since SCOTUS ruled in the 1800's:

The Supreme Court upheld the practice in 1821, reasoning that without it, Congress "would be exposed to every indignity and interruption that rudeness, caprice or even conspiracy may mediate against it." The ruling gave Congress the right to imprison uncooperative witnesses for contempt, but for no longer than the duration of the Congress that passed the citation.

This is a no- brainer for me. It shows once again how spineless these Democrats really are. Perhaps BushCo would take them more seriously if they tried it. fuckers..

McCain in Fresno, backpeddaling his ass off..

Weathervane McCain was trying to furiously move away from Charlie Blacks recent remark that has all the news pundits foaming at the mouth lately. It didn't work too well for Johnny. If you have been under a rock for the past day or so, here is what dumbass had to say:

Asked if McCain would stand to benefit from a terrorist attack on the United States, Black answered: “Certainly it would be a big advantage to him.”

Oh yeah, McCain and his minions would get down-right giddy if we had another terrorist attack on American soil. Charlie himself is trying to disown his own words for the love of christ, but there is a slight problem with that scenario I believe;

The attack would happen on a Republican's watch. Specifically George Bush's watch. How that would help McCain is unclear to me since it would very obviously show that giving the Idiot-in-Chief everything he has been screaming for on his 'War on Terrah' didn't do a damn thing to keep America safer.

Perhaps Charlie Black, the lobbyist that works as a lobbyist for various thugs around the globe, feels the intelligence quotient of the average American is on par with that of a dandelion.

I of course pray it isn't. I hope that most of America hav by now figured out the Rethugs are nothing more than warmongering fuckwits who scream 9/11 every chance they get, hoping to line their pockets and those of their contractor cronies with more of the taxpayer largess.

Sadly, anyway you paint Black's comment is it ugly. It's narrow-minded and it reeks to high-fucking-heaven of opportunism and political bullshittery. Should we expect more from candidates and their advisors? Of course..but then we should also expect them to be truthful and upstanding citizens too..

And that ain't gonna happen any time soon..oh hell no.

Jun 22, 2008

George Carlin has died.

And I am brokenhearted. I saw George through three different decades of my life and up until the end when I saw him in Vegas two years ago, he was on his game, satire at its best and grumpy as hell. From MSNBC:

Comedian George Carlin, a counter-culture hero famed for his routines about drugs and dirty words, died of heart failure at a Los Angeles-area hospital Sunday, a spokesman said. He was was 71.

Carlin, who had a history of heart problems, died at St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica about 6 p.m. PT after being admitted earlier in the afternoon for chest pains, spokesman Jeff Abraham told Reuters.

Sigh...His routine on the seven words you couldn't say on the air was groundbreaking. From Wiki:

Carlin and his "Seven Dirty Words" comedy routine were central to the 1978 U.S. Supreme Court case F.C.C. v. Pacifica Foundation. The words are (with examples):

1. Shit - The bird shit on the statue.
2. Piss - I have to piss like a race horse.
3. Fuck - Fuck you.
4. Cunt - She has a nasty cunt.
5. Cocksucker - Go to hell, you cocksucker.
6. Motherfucker - You are a motherfucker.
7. Tits - Hey, nice tits.

He was a friend of Lenny Bruce and he continued the Bruce traditions of being a non-conformist. He is with Lenny now perhaps, one can hope anyway.

He was to be honored Nov 10th with the Mark Twain award for American Humor. It will be posthumously accepted now I presume. The infamous routine is below this post.

George Carlin-7 words you can not say on tv

Carlin was incredible and he spanned decades. The landmark Supreme Court case, the 1978 F.C.C. v. Pacifica Foundation, in which a narrow 5-4 decision by the justices affirmed the government's right to regulate Carlin's act on the public airwaves is legendary and set precedence.

Why is this ok? Its criminal for the love of christ.

This was sent to me by Betmo this afternoon. I damn near choked on my water whilst reading it and watching the accompanying video. I will put the video up on my own server later so as not to worry about YouTube taking it down again under pressure from Reagan and his goons. The syndicator Radio America states they have no intention of holding Micheal Reagan responsible for calling for his listeners to hunt down Mark Dice, shoot him and Mr. Reagan would personally pay for the bullets. The money quote from Michael Reagan's show is this:

"We ought to find the people who are doing this, take them out and shoot them. Really. You take them out, they are traitors to this country, and shoot them. You have a problem with that? Deal with it. You shoot them. You call them traitors, that’s what they are, and you shoot them dead. I’ll pay for the bullets.” - Michael Reagan, 6-10-08 on his radio show.

He says it more than once btw..It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that this behavior is pure terrorism in nature and criminal by our current legal standards. Profmarcus hits the nail on the violent head when he states:

death threats are death threats, right...? RIGHT...?

You might not believe the 9/11 conspiracy exists, but you have to believe this is criminal behavior by the son of a former President. He is truely one sick sumbitch.

Here is the video and transcript of Reagans show via a wmv file. It also includes, after the Reagan show, Alex Jones who is a wingnut in his own right and who doesn't endear himself to me either most of the time.

Eddie Vedder-No More

A song from the documentary "Body of War" about Tomas Young's journey after being paralyzed during his first week as a soldier in George Bush's Iraq War.

Tomas is now a staunch anti-war advocate. He speaks around the country. The documentary about his life is a must-see for anyone that wants to see someone horribly broken by Bush's war who comes out the other side after a long journey through the darkness. 

Jun 21, 2008

Big Pharma spent $3.6 Mil in lobbying the Federal Government..

In the FIRST QUARTER of the year..that’s only three freaking months People! From Forbes:

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, whose members include Pfizer, Amgen Inc. and Eli Lilly & Co., lobbied on how prices are set for seniors’ medications, rules governing drug imports and other issues.

Here are the issues that Big Pharma took ‘issue’ with and lobbied against:

_ A proposal that would have allowed the government - not private health insurers - to negotiate drug prices for seniors in Medicare. The measure, aimed at wringing lower prices from drug makers, has stalled in the House since President Bush threatened to veto it.

_ Legislation that would allow the U.S. to import cheaper prescription drugs from Canada and other foreign countries. Proponents said foreign competition would help drive down U.S. drug prices, but the pharmaceutical industry warned it could expose Americans to counterfeit medications.

_ Patent reform legislation that it argued could weaken legal protections on drug patents. High-tech companies supported the bill that passed the House last year aimed at improving the U.S. patent system, but the pharmaceutical lobby argued it could weaken protections by reducing infringement penalties. The bill has stalled in the Senate.

_ Various bills that would allow generic drug companies to sell cheaper copies of biotech drugs. Unlike traditional chemical drugs, biotech drugs have never faced generic competition because the Food and Drug Administration lacks authority to approve the cheaper copies.

Greed..it’s just amazing how deep into the depths of hell humans will go to get over on people or groups of people ain’t it? They make a decent bottom line yet they always want more. You don't screw with medications..they keep people alive mutha fuckas...but you know that and still do it anyway. If you extrapolate it out for the entire year..its a mind-numbing $14.4 Million.

Jun 20, 2008

The graphic says it all folks!

Click on it for the full size edition. Steny Hoyer is such a douche. Call and bitch at the bastard on Monday..you will feel better I promise. ;)

Filched from BigAssBelle.

McClellan and Republican Steve King discuss

Here you can listen or download the file.

During todays testimony, Republican Steve King took his shots at Scott McClellan during the Judicial committee's hearing.

The money line? King says the following to McClellan:

Couldnt you have taken this to the grave with you and done this country a favor?

I am appalled. H/T to Silent Patriot for catching it.

Article1 of Kucinichs 35 Articles of Impeachment

With todays passage of the FISA Capitulation Bill I thought, no time like the present. 

This is the first of 35 videos, each showing an article in Dennis Kucinich's Articles of Impeachment read on the House floor.

 All the 35 videos/articles of impeachment can we viewed here:


We have a real live racist commenting over at Sirens.

Big Fella wrote a post here about traffic in Hell-A and the changing of the surrounding areas over the years.

A wingnut has turned it into a rant about race. He hasn't gotten nasty towards the other commenters but still..a real life racist. Horace is a real piece of work.

Stop by and pay him a visit if your bored.

Jon Turley on the new FISA capitulation bill

The FISA bill passed the house today by a vote of 293-129. Steny Hoyer and Nancy Pelosi voted FOR it.

With Democrats such as these, who needs Republicans to screw us over? 

Olbermann interviews law professor Jon Turley on how the new and improved FISA bill serves the crooks and liars. 

Click here to either watch it or download it.

Jun 19, 2008

Why Tony Schwartz was important to the visual medium..

As I noted this week, Tony Schwartz passed on. His passing didn't mean much to anyone, except those that remember his most famous political ad-Lyndon Johnson's "Daisy" ad. The ad can be viewed either on this site or the link above. Wiki has a bit of info on it here as well. I remember the ad..yes, I am old enough to remember it, but I was quite young ;). I don't recall however if I saw it as a commercial or down the road as a discussion topic. Anyway you slice it..it was a powerful ad.

The following video is a homage to Mr. Schwartz and how he changed the political landscape. It even references Hillary's "3 AM" commercial and how it takes it's cue's from Mr. Schwartz.

What I find interesting about the Daisy ad is that its subtle yet powerful, the viewer isn't even sure until the end what is being pitched. It changed political ads forever..and..some might say..for the worse. The following video is short so please watch it if you can. I am a huge fan of the visual medium and it's power to affect humans so much more than the written word. Its ironic to me that someone who created ads for the Democrats was such a force in politics..we usually blame the Republicans for negative ads..

The Oil Giants poised to sign Iraq Oil contracts..

As if this is a surprise..

Iraq is preparing to allow four of the biggest western oil companies to renew exploitation of the country's vast reserves for the first time in almost four decades.

Iraq's oil ministry stepped up talks with BP, Exxon Mobil, Shell and Total after the US vice-president, Dick Cheney, visited Iraq in March, where he also pressed the government to revive efforts to pass the hydrocarbon law that nationalist MPs were blocking. The first contracts are expected to be signed this month. Some 90% of Iraq's budget comes from oil revenues.

Iraq's oil minister, Hussain al-Shahristani, told the Guardian this week that the deals did not amount to the privatisation of the country's oil. But the four companies are heirs to the consortium given the concession to control Iraq's oil by King Faisal, the foreign Sunni Arab whom the British imposed on Iraq's majority Shia population after occupying the country during the first world war. They lost their right to explore new fields in 1961 after the monarchy was overthrown, and nationalisation followed under the Ba'ath party.

This is also a ...cough..shocker..these contracts were not competitively bid. I do love how Mr. Halliburton dropped in for a visit in Iraq in March. The Big Dick Cheney can finally say his work is done there..fucker.

Artwork by The Worried Shrimp.

Some of the Dems are bitching..yes!

As expected, one of the more vocal and progressive Democrats has voiced outrage at the...cough..compromise coming to the floor tomorrow on the Telco immunity and fucking us all without kissing us first bill.

Russ Feingold had this to say via TPM:

"The proposed FISA deal is not a compromise; it is a capitulation. The House and Senate should not be taking up this bill, which effectively guarantees immunity for telecom companies alleged to have participated in the President's illegal program, and which fails to protect the privacy of law-abiding Americans at home. Allowing courts to review the question of immunity is meaningless when the same legislation essentially requires the court to grant immunity. And under this bill, the government can still sweep up and keep the international communications of innocent Americans in the U.S. with no connection to suspected terrorists, with very few safeguards to protect against abuse of this power. Instead of cutting bad deals on both FISA and funding for the war in Iraq, Democrats should be standing up to the flawed and dangerous policies of this administration."

No shit Russ. Speak it gringo! Patrick Leahy also sent out an email already about this happy horseshit compromise. In it he said:

I will oppose this new FISA bill when the Senate votes on it next week. We must do everything we can to protect Americans from the Bush-Cheney Administration's erosion of our civil liberties and callous disregard for the rule of law -- and this new FISA bill fails that test.

Fails? Patty, it does more than fail. It sets us back hundreds of facking years dude. Lip service..thats all we get. This bill will pass because the Rethugs are virtually certain to vote for it en mass along with all those worthless Blue Dogs..and Steny the fuckwit Hoyer too.

Is it HH yet?

Dems sell out the Constitution again..

The friggin' ratbastards have agreed to provide immunity to the Telco's and institute sweeping changes as to how our government can spy upon us. They are calling it..cough..choke..a compromise. From the WSJ via The Carpetbagger Report:

After more than a year of partisan acrimony over government surveillance powers, Democratic and Republican leaders have agreed to a bipartisan deal that would be the most sweeping rewrite of spy powers in three decades. The House is likely to vote on the measure Friday, House aides said. […]

The new agreement broadens the authority to spy on people in the U.S. and provides conditional legal immunity to companies that helped the government eavesdrop after the 2001 terrorist attacks, according to congressional aides in both parties.

The deal, if adopted, would bring the spy activities of a controversial National Security Agency surveillance program permanently under the law. That would allow the government, in certain circumstances, to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens without a specific warrant. It would also expand government spy powers to monitor communications between the U.S. and overseas to collect intelligence on topics beyond terrorism.

As Steve notes, Glen Greenwald's pov on this is spot on. The fucking Blue Dogs were the ones championing this bullshittery to enable our government a free rein on spying without a warrant and providing the fucking Telco's with retroactive immunity. They played the fear factor card just like the Rethugs do..and evidently it has worked..even Obama has jumped on this fucking bandwagon. From Greenwald:

So all the Attorney General has to do is recite those magic words -- the President requested this eavesdropping and did it in order to save us from the Terrorists -- and the minute he utters those words, the courts are required to dismiss the lawsuits against the telecoms, no matter how illegal their behavior was.

That's the "compromise" Steny Hoyer negotiated and which he is now -- according to very credible reports -- pressuring every member of the Democratic caucus to support. It's full-scale, unconditional amnesty with no inquiry into whether anyone broke the law. In the U.S. now, thanks to the Democratic Congress, we'll have a new law based on the premise that the President has the power to order private actors to break the law, and when he issues such an order, the private actors will be protected from liability of any kind on the ground that the Leader told them to do it -- the very theory that the Nuremberg Trial rejected.(emphasis Greenwalds)

With Democrats such as these in office..who is really our enemy? Seriously folks..who? The Rethugs only need to enlist the help of the fucking Blue Dogs and snap..it gets done.

Don't forget..tomorrow Scotty McClellan is on the Hill!

It starts bright and early here on the left coast..7am. CSPAN will be covering it live both on tv and their online site.

Look, I don't have much faith that he will give up any real juicy tidbits, but one can hope for such bounties and watching it will at least provide a break from the election bullshit that all the 24 hour news stations are giving us at this point.

Dipshit will be appearing in front of the House Judiciary committee, which is chaired by John Conyers. They also will most likely provide streaming video.

You can't bitch about it if you don't watch it! That's my story and I am sticking to it. ;p

Graphic by the multi-talented Dark Black.

Jun 18, 2008

McCain's Enron connection..and how much oil is really under the U.S.

John McCain and his..cough..adviser Phil Gramm heart the Enron Loophole. This loophole is why the price of energy is so fucking high..not because there is any shortage of oil on the market or that we need to drill in ANWAR or any other sensitive areas as Bush pushed this morning in his press conference speechifying. From Bill Scher's article on TomPaine today:

President Bush's push to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge -- where an estimated 10 billion barrels of oil lie -- would only reduce the price of crude oil per barrel by about 50 cents, 17 years from now, according to Bush's own Energy Department. My colleague Isaiah just pointed me to a new Department of Energy analysis, adjusting that estimate to 75 cents.

The price of crude oil per barrel has jumped 100 dollars in the Bush Era, leading prices at the pump to more than double. Shaving the crude oil price 75 cents by 2025 amounts to no savings at the gas station.

That's what we would get for ANWR's 10 billion barrels. What about the moratorium areas off continental America's coastlines?

McCain's speech today estimates that there 21 billion barrels in the moratorium areas. That seems a touch high. The Energy Department put it at 18 billion a few years ago. Popular Mechanics reports an estimate of 19 billion.

Regardless, it's about double of what's estimated in ANWR.

Just to put a fine point on it, lowering the price of crude oil per barrel by $1 is roughly equal to a reduction in price at the pump of 2.5 cents per gallon. So lifting all of the above moratoriums, lowering the price of crude by $2.25 per barrel, would lower the price at the pump by less than 6 cents by 2025.

Meaningless, after prices have skyrocketed more than $3 a gallon between Dec. 2001 and today.

Your Rethug corruption post for today

This jackass just never learns. Don Young, the smarmy, sneaky, on-the-take most likely representative for Alaska's voters actually had in writing which lobbyists and special interest groups got straight to him and his top advisors. From the link, at TPM muckraker:

Rep. Don Young (R-AK) has had his share of federal investigations, scandal and legal bills, but he may now have a new problem: "The A Team."

In a document obtained today by TPMmuckraker.com, entitled 'An Intern's Survival Guide,' new interns in Young's office are given various instructions on how to thrive and excel working in Young's office. The document was distributed to new interns by a paid member of Young's staff.

The..cough..document is quite precise in its intent. One of Young's "A Team" folks? Again from TPM:

Most notable on the list is Rick Alcade, the lobbyist at the center of the "Coconut Road" earmark scandal, which the Senate, in an unprecedented move, has formally asked the Justice Department to investigate.

I hope this fucker goes down soon..he really gets on my last friggin nerve.

This surely didn't sit well with Bush and the usual suspects.

Mukasey Recognizes Contribution of Gay Justice Department Employees at DOJ Pride Awards Ceremony. From the BLT:

About 150 people gathered at Main Justice’s Great Hall today for the annual awards ceremony of a Department of Justice group representing gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and trans-gendered employees. For the first time in six years, DOJ Pride was allowed to use the hall.

Under Attorneys General John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales, the group had not been permitted to meet in the Great Hall or to use government computers to communicate with its members.

Kudos to Mukasey on this issue. He said at the ceremony:

"Because all Justice Department employees have the right to be proud of who they are and the work that they do here."

Amen Mr. AG.

Jun 17, 2008

Bakersfield's first gay marriages!

The Reddest County in Cali had major events today. Even though that disgusting woman, who shall remain nameless, tried to keep the gays and lesbians from being married at Bakersfield's government center...it happened anyway ya fucking homophobes!!! Tell all those theocratic assholes to sit down and shut the fuck up...the world did not come to an end.

Several sweet religious folk came downtown this morning bright and early to make sure the happy couples were still married at City Hall..or in this case..County Hall..They also DID NOT charge for their services!! Bless them. :) One of our local tv stations was broadcasting the event live..I heart channel 7.

What follows are a few of the lucky couples that took the plunge. I hope they are happy and finally get what they have richly deserved for a hundred or more years..to be just as miserable as the rest of us 'married folks'. ;)

All pictures are filched from Bakersfield.com..the website for our local rag, the Bakersfield Californian.

First Couple to get their license: The lovely Lori Renee and Whitney Weddell. They are all smiles! Bless them for waiting so long.

Next up is Rev. Byrd Tetzlaff, as she officiates the first marriage ceremony between Kathi Gose and Karen Briefer.

next we have Amelia Cravens helping Shelby Himes with her wedding dress train..before they marry each other. :)

Whitney and Lori has they kiss each other for the first time as a married couple..ah the joy, the love, the all is right with the world feel of it!
so there you have it..Kern fucking County did not get swallowed up into the nether world because some gay folks got married on the steps of the County Administration Building. Fuck all you homophobic bastards..these folks now enjoy the same rights the rest of us have had for friggin evah!

Congrats to the happy couples..some of which have been together for decades and decades..which btw is longer than I have stuck it out with any male. ;p

tags: , ,

"the worst of the worst." my Ass..

Bagram, the prison most folks don't know about..and Gitmo, the one everyone knows about, have one disgusting thing in common:

Most of the men being held in these illegal prisons are not terrorists. I know, big friggin surprise, but there it is. From Jurist:

McClatchy reporters found that many of the 66 former terror detainees interviewed were ordinary civilians or petty criminals; only 34 had ties to militant groups or activities and of those only seven had connections to al Qaeda leadership. The report also alleges that many of the detainees held at both the Bagram Air Base and Guantanamo Bay prisons are civilians who were either caught up in large-scale sweeps by the Afghan and US armies or were arrested based on unreliable information obtained from relatives or neighbors.(emphasis mine)

The McClatchy report can be seen here. Warning: It will piss you off beyond words. It will piss you off for a plethora of reasons. If it doesn't piss you the fuck off you quite possibly have a mental disorder. Our Government holds the wrong people for friggin years...years! The 'real' insurgents know who is or isn't a terrorist..but our minions do not. Fuck me running..this is so fucked up beyond words. Take this guys story from the McClatchy writeup who got his brains beat in by the real terrorists whilst at Gitmo:

But Akhtiar was no terrorist. American troops had dragged him out of his Afghanistan home in 2003 and held him in Guantanamo for three years in the belief that he was an insurgent involved in rocket attacks on U.S. forces. The Islamic radicals in Guantanamo's Camp Four who hissed "infidel" and spat at Akhtiar, however, knew something his captors didn't: The U.S. government had the wrong guy.

These are the people BushCo doesn't want to have Due Process, or Habeaus Corpus. These are the people the rightwing nutjobs assume are guilty because some fuckwit says so. These are the people who will never be the same and if they live through their nightmare and make it home with their sanity intact, they can count themselves among the few that did. If you don't get righteously pissed, well mutha fucka, your not paying attention.

The McClatchy report is a must read. Sure, it will upset you to know the truth. But if you know the truth you are better off..believe me. That our government would imprison men for years and years and fucking years on the word of a friggin neighbor just blows my fucking mind.

Also, if you haven't a clue what goes on at Bagram, read my archived post about it linked in the first paragraph. A real treat that Bagram Internment Facility..fucking Disneyland.

Fun for everyone!!!!

This site will take any picture you upload and transform it into various images. Take the following picture of The Idiot-in-Chief:
To view the rest of the delightful graphics/post..click here jackass...

Tony Schwartz has died..

The only thing I know about Mr. Schwartz is that he created this ad:

He changed the face of politics..and you thought a Rethug did that first..lol.

Jun 16, 2008

Judge rules for White House in missing emails...

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has ruled that the Office of Administration doesn't have to jump through hoops to provide either the emails or an excuse of what happened to them. From Law.com:

The functions of the Office of Administration "are strictly administrative," Kollar-Kotelly ruled.

Kollar-Kotelly said the Office of Administration has no authority over others in the executive branch and that the office is exclusively dedicated to providing services to the Executive Office of the President.

Since its creation in 1978, the Office of Administration has responded to FOIA requests. But the Bush White House reversed that policy in August 2007 in the lawsuit filed by CREW.

Kollar-Kotelly's decision closes off one avenue of inquiry because while CREW is appealing, time is running out, with just seven months remaining in office for the Bush administration.

But CREW still has another case in front of the courts on this issue. So all is not dead-ended yet. Don't you just love that BushCo reversed an old policy after CREW filed it's first case on this issue? Fuckers...


He never really went away, but Rover is back in the middle of the Rethugs campaigning. He can deny it all he friggin wants to..but as this and this and this article show..TurdBlossom is alive and well and playing the smarmy bag of batshit once again. Just what Weathervane McCain needs..Krazy Karl. Steve Benen from the CarpetBagger Report via Alternet has this to say on the subject:

One, of course, is that McCain keeps trying to position himself as different from Still-President Bush, but that’s awfully difficult under the circumstances. Not only is McCain offering Bush’s foreign and domestic policies as his own, but he’s taking advice from the guy who shaped Bush’s campaigns.

Two, there is the small matter of journalistic ethics. For reasons that defy logic, Rove has been hired to play the role of professional “journalist” for a variety of outlets, including Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, and Newsweek. No one seriously expects credible, independent, bias-free reporting from Rove, but no serious news outlet should be comfortable paying someone to offer commentary and analysis on a presidential campaign while simultaneously advising one of the candidates in the presidential campaign.

And three, the National Journal article also noted that Rove, when he’s not pretending to be a journalist and/or advising the McCain campaign, is also consulting with far-right campaign outfits.

Freedom's Watch is the cream of the crop of the rightwing nutjobs. Rover is advising them as well as McCain. He is getting lots of facetime on Fox Noise lately too. At least ABC's George Stephanopulous had the nads to call it as he saw it recently when Rover was on his Sunday Morning show.

My only hope is that the American voters are tired of Rovers brand of divide and conquer. That bag of batshit is the last thing McCain's campaign needs..which is probably why they want him..they suck in the polls lately.

Jun 15, 2008

The disappearing Middle Class

Bill Moyers examines the plight of hard working Americans in Los Angeles who are still unable to provide for all their families needs without working a second and sometimes third job.Workers productivity increased 76% but wages have only increased less than 2% in the last 30 years.

You can either watch the video or download it here.

Dads Day

I wish I was in San Diego with my father and my sisters but I am not. The price of gas has made my trips to San Diego less and less frequent. But I will do this little post about him and call him in an hour or so to talk sports, music and listen to his wild stories that we kids never knew if they were true or not.

My father was in the Navy for twenty years. He was usually gone more than he was around in the late 50's early 60's. When he retired from the Navy, he went into the Federal Prison system for another 20 years. Evidently the man didn't mind working for 'the man'. He was a violent man when he drank, until he finally learned to control his temper and quit slapping my mother and we kids around. I didn't take his shit willingly, I would fight back and on one occasion take a brass lamp and knocked him upside the head with it. Of course I also dropped the lamp and ran like hell, hiding out for a couple of days until he calmed down.

When I was in my late teens and becoming more active in anti-war causes, civil rights and generally most liberal issues, we butted heads all the time. My father was a born Republican, his mom and dad both staunch Republicans.

My father and I would have huge political discussions that would turn into screaming matches. He would end up calling me a 'commie' or sometimes worse but I would stand my ground..never letting his nasty name-calling get the best of me, I could dish it out just as easy as he did. My mother would just roll her eyes and leave the room.

My father had the audacity to take my mothers ballot and mark who she was going to vote for each election. I was appalled at that..and would bug my mother and demand to know why she allowed him to do that. Finally one day my mother told me that my father thought he was telling her who to vote for, but the reality was that she would vote the opposite of what my father had marked. Made me smile like a cheshire cat that did.

When I started hitch-hiking to Santa Barbara to attend marches and protests my father would ground me. But the next weekend I would sneak out and attend another event, sometimes getting my ass beat when I got home. The few times I was arrested my father would drive down to Santa Barbara, get me out of jail and then scream and holler at me the whole way home..only to see me do the same thing the following weekend.

I eventually became an emancipated minor. I had a full time job and was going to the nearby Junior College. The car I had bought and paid for with my own money was kept by my father when I packed up my clothes and moved out of his home, waving the court order in his face and telling him to shut the fuck up...he couldn't tell me what to do any longer. It was his way of getting back at me for not being an obedient child I guess..never really asked him about that.

We did not see or speak to each other for a few years after that. I married my first husband at the age of 21 and suddenly wanted to reach out to my father. He accepted my invitation to come over and get to know my husband, an Air Force Sargent at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

We still argued about politics but this time I was his "little hippie-commie-pinko", said in a tone of voice that didn't reek of hatred.

As we both aged, we stopped trying to talk politics and went to subjects we both shared a deep love for..sports and music. We could talk for hours about baseball, football, recording artists and our voices would never rise in anger, instead there would be lots of laughter.

Within the last few years, my father has told me that he will never vote for another Republican, he hates them all now. I damn near choked on my lunch as we sat in a nice restaurant that afternoon. I jumped up and hugged him tightly around the neck and thanked him.

He told me to sit the hell down I was making a scene.

We still don't talk politics but I will never forget that moment when he finally admitted the Republican's had an agenda that didn't benefit the common man. What finally opened up his eyes was, in retirement, he was getting fucked over and the realization that it was Republicans doing it to him must of been hard for a life-long Republican like him to swallow.

It had to be even harder to admit it to his 'little hippie-commie-pinko"..but he did.

And for that I love him.

Jun 14, 2008

McCain's main man has ties to the Russian Mob?

Sweet Jesus..this looks like a bit of bad juju for Rick Davis and Johnny McCain. Hug and a h/t to Nicole over at Crooks and Liars for this:

Rick Davis’ lobbyists ties certainly extend far beyond the telecom industry. ABC News

John McCain’s presidential campaign is blasting a New York Times report suggesting that the candidate may have known since 2005 that his campaign manager’s firm worked for a Kremlin-backed politician

The McCain campaign is strongly denying the paper’s reporting that in 2005, a White House National Security Council staffer called John McCain’s Senate office to complain that Rick Davis’ lobbying firm was “undercutting American policy on Ukraine” by representing a Kremlin-backed politician

Salon has a tasty writeup as well. Oh Johnny this ain't good dude..it just ain't..and it warms the cockles of my lil black heart you batshit crazy sumbitch. 

Graphic filched from the wonderful DCup. ;) I will use it every chance I get..bet on it!

This is why the DMCA sucks ass.

Fair Use is akin to civil rights. I don’t give a tinkers damn who says otherwise. To have to prove your innocence instead of them proving your guilty goes against our Constitution. From the Alternet Link above:

Rogers Cadenhead, founder and publisher of The Drudge Retort, has been Cease and Desisted by AP News for publishing fragments of their syndicated news articles and reports.

Yes, fragments, not the whole articles. Go to Rogers’ site to read the reasons given by AP.

Its all about money in the final analysis. Greedy Corporate fucking bastards. Again, from the Alternet writeup:

The DMCA’s main purpose is to circumvent due process by saying that trade laws trump civil rights law. So a corporation’s right to make money from their “product” however way they want trumps the rights of individual citizens who would want to express themselves freely about said product through comment, parody, sample or quoting.

The DMCA throws the onus of proving Fair Use on the individual “speaking” the copyrighted materials and not on the owner of the copyright. It was an unprecedented move and one that many consider anti-constitutional since it basically allows for individuals to be considered guilty of copyright infringement until they prove themselves only in a court of law to be innocent.

At the end of the Alternet writeup, they have some nasty words for Hillary and her position who btw, now a blogger at HuffPo.

Crossposted at Sirens Chronicles.

Jun 13, 2008

Tim Russert has died..

Russert got on my last nerve many a time this silly election season, but he was at times an excellent interviewer He was also a journalist, news anchor and a host of Meet the Press plus other duties throughout his career at NBC and MSNBC. From MSNBC:

Russert was recording voiceovers for Sunday's "Meet the Press" program when he collapsed, the network said. No details were immediately available.

Russert, the recipient of 48 honorary doctorates, took over the helm of "Meet the Press" in December 1991. Now in its 60th year, "Meet the Press" is the longest-running program in the history of television.

In 2008, Time Magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Timothy John Russert Jr. was born in Buffalo, N.Y., on May 7, 1950. He was a graduate of Canisius High School, John Carroll University and the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. He was a member of the bar in New York and the District of Columbia.

Russert is survived by his wife, Maureen Orth, a writer for Vanity Fair magazine, and a son, Luke.He is also survived by his father whom he affectionally called..Big Russ. He also wrote a book entitled Big Russ and Me.

CA Rep Kevin McCarthy is a dick...and he doesn't support the troops.

He voted NO on the new GI Bill. Find out how your Rep or Senator voted by clicking the link. These friggin Rethugs, they are blowhards of the worst type.

Bet they got teeny weenies..what do you think?

Iraq doesn't like our offer..go figure.

The US and Iraq have been in ‘negotiations’ for awhile now over a permanent..cough..pact. A pact that will govern how and what we are allowed to do within Iraq’s borders. No matter what Bush says, Iraq is a soveriegn nation, right? Yes, we saved them from themselves and brought democracy to all the citizens of Iraq and yet, they have the audacity to bitch and piss and moan that we are pushing them around. The nerve! (snark) From Reuters:

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Friday talks with the United States on a long-term security pact were at a stalemate because of U.S. demands that encroached on Iraq’s sovereignty.

The United States and Iraq are negotiating a new security deal to provide a legal basis for U.S. troops to stay in Iraq after December 31, when their United Nations mandate expires, as well as a separate long-term agreement on political, economic and security ties between the two countries.

Some folks in the Iraqi government have gone so far as to say…wtf dudes? We don’t need your stinking bases and thousands of troops! The wingnut Al-Sadr hasn’t been quiet either on this issue. Flapping his gums so to speak, via a letter, to the great unwashed masses he said this, via CNN:

“the resistance will be exclusively conducted by only one group. This new group will be defined soon by me.”

Sigh…Al-Sadr didn’t stop there of course. He had to bring up the “M” word a few times as well:

“We will not stop resisting the occupation until liberation or martyrdom.”

One of the reasons the deaths in Iraq have dropped is because Al-Sadr’s army is in a ceasefire mode. Bush or Petraeus conveniently forget to mention this when they are bragging about how low the death count has been lately. Johnny McCain doesn’t either. Imagine that.

The Iraqi government is threatening to pull out of the talks and write their own ‘take it or leave it’ pact for the American occupiers. BushCo mouthpieces whine that Iraq is circumventing the whole process by taking their gripes public. Seems the Iraq government just doesn’t cotton to us as the ‘great liberators’. Could this be because we want to build roughly 50 permanent bases in their country, control their airspace and legal immunity for all American soldiers and contractors?

Nah, that can’t be whats pissing them off..cough. Oh Hell No!

Artwork by The Worried Shrimp. Crossposted at Bring It On!

Today's Photo..er..Graphic..ok, Picture.

It's moving day!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have purchased a domain name. I have been meticulously working on a new site,Leftwing Nutjob. Please change your bookmarks people..this puppy will no longer be updated as of July 1st 2011.