11.30.2007

FOX Blows It... Big Time

FOX News blows coverage of Clinton campaign office hostage situation.

Here's Brave New Films' Exclusive:


As if being busted for being an entertainment channel masquerading as a news organization isn't humiliating enough. Now FOX has embarassed itself once again by breaking nearly every journalistic standard imaginable in covering the hostage situation at the Hillary Clinton campaign office in Rochester, NH. And in doing so, they may just have put the public safety and law enforcement lives in jeopardy.

To kick-start the journalistic disaster, while the situation was just breaking sometime after 1PM EST, FOX's Major Garrett made this unbelievably biased statement.

Everything is frozen and after things unfreeze, sympathies arise and those sympathies will undoubtedly move in Hillary Clinton's direction.

How utterly predictible isn't it that one of FOX's GOP spokespersons tried to politicize a potentially life and death situation while it was unfolding on live television.
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Team Rudy Prepaid $400K to AMEX for Mayor's Travel Kitty

In latest revelation, documents reveal that Giuliani's office prepaid $400,000 for future travel -- a practice a former budget official said appeared designed to obscure the nature of the spending.The unusually large prepayment, as yet unreported, adds weight to the theory that [Giuliani] was using accounting gimmicks to obscure his expenses.

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CNN: Corrupt News Network

From the L.A. Times comes what has to be one of the most scathing (and deservedly so) reviews of CNN's Presidential debate handling yet. Woah:

THE United States is at war in the Middle East and Central Asia, the economy is writhing like a snake with a broken back, oil prices are relentlessly climbing toward $100 a barrel and an increasing number of Americans just can't afford to be sick with anything that won't be treated with aspirin and bed rest.

So, when CNN brought the Republican presidential candidates together this week for what is loosely termed a "debate," what did the country get but a discussion of immigration, Biblical inerrancy and the propriety of flying the Confederate flag?

[snip]

So, why did CNN make immigration the keystone of this debate? What standard dictated the decision to give that much time to an issue so remote from the majority of voters' concerns? The answer is that CNN's most popular news-oriented personality, Lou Dobbs, has made opposition to illegal immigration and free trade the centerpiece of his neonativist/neopopulist platform. In fact, Dobbs led into Wednesday's debate with a good solid dose of immigrant bashing. His network is in a desperate ratings battle with Fox News and, in a critical prime-time slot, with MSNBC's Keith Olbermann. So, what's good for Dobbs is good for CNN.

In other words, CNN intentionally directed the Republicans' debate to advance its own interests. Make immigration a bigger issue and you've made a bigger audience for Dobbs.

That's corruption, and it's why the Republican candidates had to spend more than half an hour "debating" an issue on which their differences are essentially marginal -- and, more important, why GOP voters had to sit and wait, mostly in vain, for the issues that really concern them to be discussed. That's particularly true because that same Pew poll reported findings of particular relevance to Republican voters, the vast majority of whom continue to support the war in Iraq.

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Ouch.

Rice ‘Planted’ Question With Journalist To ‘Help Erase’ Pre-Iraq War Legacy

Rice is a pathological liar. I've never seen anyone who has been better able to look straight into a camera and say the sky is green and up is down with as a straight face as she displays, say perhaps Dick. But at least his smirk is his tell. She believes her own bullshit.

From Think Progress:

In an interview on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal today, Washington Post reporter Glenn Kessler, author of Confidante: Condoleezza Rice and the Creation of the Bush Legacy, revealed that after President Bush promoted her to Secretary of State, Rice mounted a “public relations” campaign to distance herself from the pre-war fiasco.

As part of this PR campaign, she directed an aide to “plant a question” asking if she would run for President, in order to help “negate American memories of her very direct role” in invading Iraq:

She had a very deliberative public relations strategy when she became Secretary of State to help erase the images of how ineffective she had been as National Security Adviser. And I describe how one of her aides even planted a question with a friendly journalist to ask whether she would be interested in running for president — to give her the aura of someone who might have presidential aspirations, make her seem more powerful than she was.

And that all helped negate American memories over her very direct role in the invasion of Iraq.

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Republicans Report They're Saner Than The Rest Of Us.

Insane people think they're the sanest people on the planet. Which Gallup has just proven only that don't see it from that angle, because I'm sure they think they're sane:

Republicans are significantly more likely than Democrats or independents to rate their mental health as excellent, according to data from the last four November Gallup Health and Healthcare polls. Fifty-eight percent of Republicans report having excellent mental health, compared to 43% of independents and 38% of Democrats. This relationship between party identification and reports of excellent mental health persists even within categories of income, age, gender, church attendance, and education.

The basic data -- based on an aggregated sample of more than 4,000 interviews conducted since 2004 -- are straightforward.

The differences are quite significant, as can be seen. While Democrats are slightly less likely to report excellent mental health than are independents, the big distinctions in these data are the differences between Republicans and everyone else.

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Disgraced Kerik vouches for Rudy’s character.

"I get by... with a little help... from my friends.".

From Think Progress:

Earlier this week, Politico reported that as New York City mayor, Giuliani “billed obscure city agencies for tens of thousands of dollars in security expenses amassed during the time when he was beginning an extramarital relationship with future wife Judith Nathan in the Hamptons.” In a New York Times article today, disgraced Bernie Kerik, formerly Giuliani’s police commissioner, defended his friend:

Bernard B. Kerik, who was Mr. Giuliani’s police commissioner when some of the charges were billed, said in an interview yesterday that the security detail’s travel expenses would normally come out of the Police Department’s budget.

“There would be no need for anyone to conceal his detail’s travel expenses,” said Mr. Kerik, who was indicted earlier this month on unrelated federal tax fraud and corruption charges. “And I think It’s ridiculous for anyone to suggest that the mayor or his staff attempted to do so.

Earlier this month, a federal grand jury indicted Kerik on 14 counts, including conspiracy, making false statements, “mail fraud and wire fraud in the theft of honest services,” and more.

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Giuliani's terrorist ties

From Joe Conason at Salon.com:

Forget Rudy's trysts. The real scandal crying out for investigation is his firm's business with Qatar, a haven for al-Qaida.

Nov. 30, 2007 | The familiar herd instinct of the mainstream media is powerful, unswerving and often plain wrong. While editors and producers are supposed to make judgments based on a combination of news value and public interest, their choices often seem to be based on nothing more elevated than an allergy to complexity or an affinity for smut. And occasionally, as in the case of Rudolph Giuliani during this past week, the sudden appearance of not one but two juicy investigations overwhelms the system's capacity to absorb and regurgitate.

But when the nation's news executives decided which of two highly embarrassing Giuliani stories to feature, nearly all of them made the wrong choice. While they lavished enormous attention upon a Politico story dealing with adultery and bureaucracy, they should be devoting at least as much time to yet another in the long series of Wayne Barrett scoops in the Village Voice, because this one involves business and terrorism.

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The NYT's Michael Cooper demonstrates what real reporting is

Time’s Joe Klein (FISA Debacle) and The Washington Post’s Jerry Bacon, Jr. (Obama Muslim lies) could take a lesson or twelve from the NY Time’s Michael Cooper. If you can't prove it, don't print it. .

From Glenn Greenwald:

In an online chat yesterday, The Washington Post's Lois Romano defended her newspaper's neutral stenographic coverage of the factually false right-wing smear campaign against Barack Obama, a whispering campaign alleging that Obama "is a Muslim, 'a 'Muslim plant' in a conspiracy against America, and that, if elected president, he would take the oath of office using a Koran".

[snip]

One can see most vividly just how corrupt this process is whenever there is a news report that exemplifies the proper function of journalism. An article in today's New York Times by Michael Cooper, regarding Rudy Giuliani's campaign claims about his own record, is an excellent such example of good, basic reporting. Headlined "Citing Statistics, Giuliani Misses Time and Again," the article reports:

In almost every appearance as he campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination, Rudolph W. Giuliani cites a fusillade of statistics and facts to make his arguments about his successes in running New York City and the merits of his views. . . . .
After identifying numerous standard Giuliani claims regarding his crime and spending accomplishments, Cooper wrote:
All of these statements are incomplete, exaggerated or just plain wrong . . . .An examination of many of his statements by The New York Times, other news organizations and independent groups have turned up a variety of misstatements, virtually all of which cast Mr. Giuliani or his arguments in a better light.
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TPM's The Horses Mouth has more in, Hallelujah! New York Times Does An Epic Fact-Check Of Rudy's Multiple Falsehoods:
As you regulars know, this blog has been obsessing endlessly about the fact that the big news orgs have yet to take a genuinely tough line on Rudy Giuliani's chronic mendacity, which at this point has taken on a soaring, almost operatic quality.

But today The New York Times has come through in a big way, delivering an epic, front-page fact-check of the multiple falsehoods that have been tumbling forth from Rudy since the beginning of Campaign 2008. The piece is just devastating, saying as clearly as one could expect from the Times that Rudy is, well, full of sh-t:

Discussing his crime-fighting success as mayor, Mr. Giuliani told a television interviewer that New York was "the only city in America that has reduced crime every single year since 1994." In New Hampshire this week, he told a public forum that when he became mayor in 1994, New York "had been averaging like 1,800, 1,900 murders for almost 30 years." When a recent Republican debate turned to the question of fiscal responsibility, he boasted that “under me, spending went down by 7 percent.”

Ahhhhh -- the sweet sound of real journalism.

Video: Bill O'Reilly To Debate Alf Tonight

Billo's forgotten to take his Lithium again.

From The Huffington Post:

No one ever said Bill O'Reilly wasn't crazy, but tonight he'll take his insanity to a new level when he debates 80's sitcom puppet Alf. They've been hyping the showdown for a few days on YouTube with this video:

What do you think O'Reilly and Alf will talk about? Who'll come out on top in the battle of bully versus puppet? Toss ideas around in the comments, and be sure to check back later tonight for video of the much-anticipated debate.


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11.29.2007

As Rudy Giuliani Cites Facts, He 'Stretches' Them Sometimes

What's a few percentage points or 20 here & there?

From The NY Times:

Both Mitt Romney and Democrats have accused Rudolph W. Giuliani of a pattern of misleading figures and have begun to use the issue to try to undercut his credibility.

Discussing his crime-fighting success as mayor, Mr. Giuliani told a television interviewer that New York was “the only city in America that has reduced crime every single year since 1994.” In New Hampshire this week, he told a public forum that when he became mayor in 1994, New York “had been averaging like 1,800, 1,900 murders for almost 30 years.” When a recent Republican debate turned to the question of fiscal responsibility, he boasted that “under me, spending went down by 7 percent.”

All of these statements are incomplete, exaggerated or just plain wrong.

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CNN's Brown called MoveOn.org "American insurgents"

Another Today Show hostess who thinks she's a journalist because she attends D.C. cocktail parties.

From Media Matters:

During the November 28 CNN special Campaign Killers: Why Do Negative Ads Work?, CNN anchor Campbell Brown said: "General David Petraeus made his reputation taking on insurgents in Iraq. But when he came to Capitol Hill in September, he was confronted by American insurgents, a liberal anti-war group called MoveOn.org."

Brown also asserted that a MoveOn.org advertisement headlined "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?" "became a huge news story because it questioned the loyalty of a wartime commander, implying he was a traitor." In asserting that the content of the advertisement generated news coverage, Brown did not point out the claim by many commentators that the ad "became a huge news story" because Republicans preferred to talk about it rather than Petraeus' testimony before Congress about the situation in Iraq:

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This "journalist" is married to Dan Senor. This is how Media Matters describes him:
"a former adviser for the now-defunct Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq who is now reportedly serving as an adviser to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney."
That's our damn liberal media for ya!

Glenn Greenwald: The Chicago Tribune v. Time Magazine

Like night & day. Will someone please take Time's shovel away from them?

From Glenn Greenwald:

As I noted yesterday, The Chicago Tribune reprinted factually false excerpts from Joe Klein's Time column. But unlike Time -- which disgracefully continues to stand behind Klein's falsehoods and actually bolster them -- the Tribune shows that it has basic journalistic integrity by posting this clear, unequivocal statement repudating Klein's false statements:

CORRECTIONS AND CLARIFICATIONS

A Time magazine essay by Joe Klein that was excerpted on the editorial page Wednesday incorrectly stated that the House Democratic version of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act would require a court approval of individual foreign surveillance targets. It does not.

The shameful conduct and total lack of integrity at Time Magazine becomes more evident every day.
Glenn just updated his article with this little tidbit:
"GOP Rep. Pete Hoekstra has been one of the most obedient and loyal Bush-following Congressmen over the last six years....went to National Review to defend his good friend, "liberal pundit" Joe Klein, in what Hoekstra called the "venomous debate [that] has raged between Time columnist Joe Klein and his far-Left critics." As always on the pro-Bush Right, those who believe in the radical instrument called "search warrants" are deemed to be "far leftists." Hoekstra pronounces Klein correct in everything he said, and then confesses that he was "one of Klein's sources for the complex technical and legal points that seem to be in contention."

So, in other words, it was Hoekstra -- one of Washington's most partisan GOP operatives -- who lied to Klein by claiming that the House Democrats' bill requires warrants for every foreign terrorist's call and that the bill thus gives the same rights to foreign Terrorists as American citizens. That's a real surprise. And Klein The Journalist then mindlessly wrote down Hoekstra's smears without bothering to check if they were true, and Time printed them as fact."

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Sen. Chuck Hagel on Bush WH: ‘most arrogant, incompetent’ ever.

I like Chuck more & more every day.

From Think Progress:

Yesterday in an address to the Council on Foreign Relations, Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) stepped up his rhetoric against the Bush administration, calling it one of the most “incompetent” in history:

Hagel, who considered running for the GOP presidential nomination as an antiwar candidate, told the foreign policy experts that he would give the Bush administration “the lowest grade of any I’ve known.”

“I have to say this is one of the most arrogant, incompetent administrations I’ve ever seen or ever read about,” Hagel said, according to our colleague Robert Kaiser, who attended the speech. In case his audience didn’t get the point, Hagel also said: “They have failed the country.”

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Rudy Giuliani's Ties to a Terror Sheikh. He's Done.

This news and the news NYC was billed for his trysts with the present wife, when she was the mistress? He's done.

From The Village Voice:

Three weeks after 9/11, when the roar of fighter jets still haunted the city's skyline, the emir of gas-rich Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifah al-Thani, toured Ground Zero. Although a member of the emir's own royal family had harbored the man who would later be identified as the mastermind of the attack—a man named Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, often referred to in intelligence circles by his initials, KSM—al-Thani rushed to New York in its aftermath, offering to make a $3 million donation, principally to the families of its victims. Rudy Giuliani, apparently unaware of what the FBI and CIA had long known about Qatari links to Al Qaeda, appeared on CNN with al-Thani that night and vouched for the emir when Larry King asked the mayor: "You are a friend of his, are you not?"

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Washington Post: The New Drudge?

Yo! WaPo. Everyone already knows these rumors were lie. CNN already proved it when they first came up in January and yet you make it a front page story? Well, a front page correction is now in order.

What the hell is wrong with you idiots? Did I miss something? Rupert Murdock took over the Wall Street Journal, not the WaPo, right?

Damn.

From BarbinMD:

Yesterday, Politico's Ben Smith nailed Rudy Giuliani for nailing his mistress on the taxpayer's dime. And in today's Washington Post, what kind of coverage does this major, investigative piece receive? Three sentences buried in the middle of their debate coverage. So, what is their big story of the day?
Foes Use Obama's Muslim Ties to Fuel Rumors About Him
Yes, a front page story about rumors.

Despite his denials, rumors and e-mails circulating on the Internet continue to allege that Obama (D-Ill.) is a Muslim, a "Muslim plant" in a conspiracy against America...

Actually, calling them rumors gives them too much credence. It would be more accurate to call them blatant lies, yet the Washington Post has decided to give them a national platform. The only thing missing from this story is the siren at the top of the page.

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The Truth is Out There: The Giuliani Files

From the Washington Post:

To many unfamiliar with Rudy Giuliani's record as New York's mayor, "The Giuliani Files" might be something akin to "The X-Files."

"The truth is out there," Giuliani's critics are saying.

Tonight the Empire State Pride Agenda, the influential gay rights organization in New York, unveiled "The Giuliani Files" on its Web site. It's a thorough examination -- with new videos and documents -- highlighting Guiliani's record on gay rights as New York's mayor from 1994 to 2001. Alan Van Capelle, head of the non-partisan group, charges that Giuliani has been running away from his pro-gay rights record as he courts Republican primary voters. But most media reports, Van Capelle added, has continually labeled Giuliani, who's leading the GOP field in national polls, as pro-gay rights.

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11.28.2007

Surprise! Major Gay Rights Group Releases "The Giuliani Files"

Tonight the Empire State Pride Agenda, the influential gay rights organization in New York, unveiled "The Giuliani Files" on its Web site. It's a thorough examination . . . highlighting Giuliani's record on gay rights . . . Alan Van Capelle, head of the non-partisan group, charges that Giuliani has been running away from his pro-gay record.

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Chevy Chase Rehired As An "SNL" Regular - At Scale

Before the writer's strike, Chevy Chase's return to "Saturday Night Live" segment "Weekend Update" was supposed to be a recurring role. "I met with Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers and they hired me," Chase told me on Tuesday. "I told them I'd love to come in and do occasional pieces about politics. They're paying me scale, which is more than I was maki

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State Department official Iraq update is really compilation of plagiarized

Oh, this is almost too much to believe. Almost. What does anyone expect from a C- administration? That they'd actually write the term paper themselves? Please!

America Blog has really broken it down nicely:

Kind of pathetic when the official report from the US State Department on what's "really" happening in Iraq is actually just a bunch of plagiarized paragraphs from the major media in the US. To wit, the following analysis an anonymous friend just sent me. I just checked it out and he's right. State outright plagiarized much of the major media in making its "report." And what's really funny, they even stole a number of paragraphs from a New York Times article when, as I recall, the NYT is the newspaper that George Bush refuses to read because it supposedly has such a "liberal bias." Here's my friend's report:
This is last week’s “Iraq Weekly Status Report” from the State Department.

It’s described thusly: “This comprehensive status report on Iraq provides weekly updates in the eight key areas identified as pillars of U.S. Government policy.”

Scroll through and it looks kind of impressive, lots of information -- good job keeping on top of the game State Department! But scroll to the bottom and it lists the sources for the information. Now it woulda been nice if they included some footnotes in the body of the document to indicate they were including outside information, but as it turns out the entire thing is basically plagiarized word for word from those news articles, with the slightest of adjustments so as to maybe give the impression it’s in their own words. Drop this code below in a post to see what I mean, pretty pathetic that the US State Department would send this out as their official “Status Report” on the preeminent foreign policy clusterfuck of our generation, and plays right into Dowd’s point about Condi being lost in the funhouse and learning everything from the news.
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"It Is Rather Clear That What The President Ordered Was A Federal Crime"

It's so obvious to the rest conscious society it boggles one's mind that Nancy Pelosi still insists impeachment is off the table.

Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

It will come back to haunt the country just like Pardoning Nixon did. Cheney/Rummy would have been rooted out then & there had Ford not cut of all possibility of ever investigating the truth about who was conspiring with Nixon, 'for the good of the nation'.

Our nightmare only got worse, Mr. Ford. Are you listening Nance?!

From Crooks & Liars:

The Bush administration has been using the “state secrets” defense in order to have federal law suits challenging their illegal eavesdropping programs thrown out of court. So far, they have been successful; thanks, in most cases, to lazy or partisan judges who have given little or no scrutiny of the validity of their claims which, according to Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley on Tuesday’s Countdown, are nothing more than unconstitutional attempts to cover up their own federal crimes.

Olbermann: “With or without this new law, suppose one of the anti-wiretapping civil lawsuits succeeds, what does that legal victory actually mean then in terms of stopping the government or punishing Alberto Gonzales or any other top officials who were responsible for this?”

Turley: “Well, it can mean a lot and that’s one of the reasons there’s a lot of people, both Democrats and Republicans, who don’t want to see it happen. They don’t want a court to say that the president did something that is a federal crime. That’s why they’re trying to get all these cases thrown out of court because it is rather clear that what the president ordered was a federal crime, clearly defined in federal law. But that causes a problem because many of the Democratic leaders and Republican leaders have promised each other that they would not start impeachment proceedings, but when a federal judge says the president committed a crime, it’s pretty darn hard to ignore that.”

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Glenn Greenwald: Bad stenographers

Glenn Greenwald has his teeth sunk into Time Magazine's (& Joe Kleins) rump and he ain't letting go:

Referring to our establishment press corps as "stenographers" has become somewhat of a cliche, though it still provokes righteous outrage from "journalists." ABC News' Martha Raddatz recently learned this when she used that term to describe what most White House correspondents actually are.

But in light of Time's "correction" to Joe Klein's factually false claims about the House Democrats' FISA bill, how can any rational person object? Here is one literal description of what a "stenographer" does, from an article entitled "How to be a Stenographer":

What Type of Job Duties Do Stenographers Have?

If you are considering a career as a stenographer, one of the most important things that you should consider is what type of job duties stenographers have. They transcribe, or type, material which they are dictated. This can include orders, memos, correspondence, reports and various other types of information.

Compare that to what Time says it does when its "journalists" do their job correctly:
Republicans believe the bill can be interpreted that way, but Democrats don't.
Other than typing it all down a little bit faster and more accurately, what would a stenographer do differently?

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Busted! New Evidence Mitt Romney Nixed Muslims In Cabinet

Oh, Mitt. You just can't seem to help yourself, can you?

From TPM:

As you know, Romney is in a bit of a spot because of an account in the Christian Science Monitor by an Islamic businessman who claims Romney said that he "cannot see that a cabinet position would be justified" for a Muslim. Today Romney denied this version of events, saying that he had actually been asked whether he thought he needed a Muslim in his Cabinet to effectively counter Jihad, not whether he opposed the idea of having a Muslim in his Cabinet.

But as we reported earlier today, we located two GOPers in Nevada who say that Romney had in fact been asked a similar question and given a similar answer at another event three months ago. George Harris, a state GOP official, told us that he asked Romney at a private fundraiser if he would have any Muslims in his Cabinet. According to Harris, Romney's reply was "most likely not."

We've now discovered that there's a contemporaneous account of this episode in something called Liberty Watch Magazine, which Harris publishes. In the September 2007 issue is this account by Editor Mike Zigler:

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Poll: Rudy Giuliani Dead Last in South Carolina

Rudy. Rudy. Rudy. There's more bad news for Rudy (and really good news for the rest of mankind).

From TPM:

On the heels of polls showing Rudy dropping fast in New Hampshire and out of contention in Iowa, a a new poll finds him sinking fast in a third key state: South Carolina. The Clemson University poll finds Mitt Romney now taking the lead with 17%, followed by Fred Thompson at 15%, Mike Huckabee with 13%, John McCain at 11% — and Rudy at only 9%.

It's definitely not a good result for Rudy, especially in light of recent polls showing him in third in both Iowa and New Hampshire. And it's great news for Romney, who apparently now leads in all three of the key early contests.

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11.27.2007

Better Wake Up Democrats

From Brave New Films comes this warning (which most of us have known for months):

Or you might be bitching about things from the snug confines of your cells in Guantanamo four years from now. Hyperbole intended.

A new Zogby Interactive survey shows Democrat Hillary Clinton of New York would lose to every one of the top five Republican presidential contenders. Hillary once led against all prospective GOP opponents earlier this year.

Meanwhile, fellow Democrats Barack Obama of Illinois and John Edwards of North Carolina would defeat or tie every one of the Republicans, this latest survey shows.

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Romney: Muslims need not apply in his government

The caliber of rethuglican vile running for President in 2008 leaves makes my heart ache. A Mormon has the audacity to say something like that. It's just boggles the mind.

From Chris in Paris over at t America Blog:

This is classic "Romney the hypocrite" in action. Religion for Mitt only matters when it's someone else's religion. He doesn't think it's important to include a Muslim in his administration because they just don't amount to any significant population in the US. While their population is admittedly small, how can any serious presidential candidate not find such inclusion a positive idea considering where we are today? [snip]

I asked Mr. Romney whether he would consider including qualified Americans of the Islamic faith in his cabinet as advisers on national security matters, given his position that "jihadism" is the principal foreign policy threat facing America today. He answered, "…based on the numbers of American Muslims [as a percentage] in our population, I cannot see that a cabinet position would be justified. But of course, I would imagine that Muslims could serve at lower levels of my administration."

Romney, whose Mormon faith has become the subject of heated debate in Republican caucuses, wants America to be blind to his religious beliefs and judge him on merit instead. Yet he seems to accept excluding Muslims because of their religion, claiming they're too much of a minority for a post in high-level policymaking. More ironic, that Islamic heritage is what qualifies them to best engage America's Arab and Muslim communities and to help deter Islamist threats.
Well, as long as they can carry Mitt's bags or perhaps sweep a floor or two. This is all quite interesting coming from a guy who belongs to a faith that barely represents 2% of the population, compared to the 1% in America who are Muslims...

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11.26.2007

Glenn Greenwald: Joe Klein digs Time's hole deeper still

More on Joe Klein & the FISA article disaster Time Magazine allowed to run in all it's factually incorrect form from Glenn Greenwald:

Joe Klein has just posted yet again about his FISA confusion, and it has now moved well beyond farce into an almost pity-inducing realm. If Time has any dignity at all, someone there will intervene and put a stop to this. It's actually difficult to watch.

In the last five days alone, Klein has now written five separate times about his FISA debacle, and is further away than ever from having any idea what he's even talking about -- first was the column itself; second was the Swampland post the same day in which he emphatically defended the accuracy of what he wrote in response to my post; third was the post yesterday in which Klein said he "may have made a mistake in [his] column this week about the FISA legislation" -- the understatement of the year; fourth was an Update he added to that post this morning claiming that he did speak to a Democrat but "may have misinterpreted a Democratic source's point" and "if [he] did, a correction will appear in the print magazine next week"; and now, his fifth effort in tonight's post, actually worse than all the others, in which he still professes confusion after "spen[ding] the past few days nosing around in the ongoing dispute about what the House FISA Reform bill actually says."

The result of all this "nosing around": "I've reached no conclusions." And he then unleashes this:

I have neither the time nor legal background to figure out who's right.
That's been the point all along (although one doesn't need "legal background" -- just basic reading skills and a molecule of critical thought).

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Video: Most Who Know Him Don't Heart Huckabee

It turns out that the Happy Theocrat, who seems like a likeable guy, ain't so likeable: Before we begin, though, a word of warning to any reporters who might want to repeat, on air or in print, any of the facts recounted below. Huckabee does not take kindly to journalists who practice journalism.

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FOX: The Most Powerful Name in Racist Republican Misinformation

For a long time, I've posited that the people at FOX must truly have contempt for their viewers because they lie to them so much. After all, you don't repeatedly lie to people you like or respect. But a recent incident also illustrates that FOX clearly thinks/hopes their viewers are not only fools but racists, & FOX is willing to lie to their faces

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Larry Flynt Forces Sen. Trent Lott to Resign?

Hustler’s Larry Flynt may have played a role in the sudden and unexpected resignation of Sen. Trent Lott this morning. Some are speculating that a sex scandal is involved, although the unofficial spin is that the exit of the Republican Senate Minority Whip may be linked to a new post-Senate career lobbying law that takes effect at year's end.

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Trent Lott's Resignation May Be Due to Possible Affair With a Male Escort

Did Lott and a male escort hook up on one of Lott's vacations?

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Winter of Our Discontent

From the NY Times' Paul Krugman:

“Americans’ Economic Pessimism Reaches Record High.” That’s the headline on a recent Gallup report, which shows a nation deeply unhappy with the state of the economy. Right now, “27% of Americans rate current economic conditions as either ‘excellent’ or ‘good,’ while 44% say they are ‘only fair’ and 28% say they are poor.” Moreover, “an extraordinary 78% of Americans now say the economy is getting worse, while a scant 13% say it is getting better.”

What’s really remarkable about this dismal outlook is that the economy isn’t (yet?) in recession, and consumers haven’t yet felt the full effects of $98 oil (wait until they see this winter’s heating bills) or the plunging dollar, which will raise the prices of imported goods.

The official unemployment rate is fairly low by historical standards. So why are people so unhappy? The unemployment rate in 1998 was only slightly lower than the rate today. But for working Americans, everything else was different. Wages were rising, yet inflation was low, so the purchasing power of workers’ take-home pay was steadily.

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Trent Lott To Resign From Senate To Skirt New Lobbying Rules

Lott's gone the Hastert way. He's following the $$. Well, Goodbye & good riddance.

From Politico:

Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) plans to resign his seat by the end of the year, a senior Republican official told Politico.

The announcement took Capitol Hill by surprise because Lott, the former majority leader, seemed to be relishing his job as minority whip, the second-ranking GOP leadership job.

[snip]

A Lott friend said part of the reason, and a factor in the timing, is a new lobbying regulation, signed by President Bush in September, extending the existing lobbying ban for former members of Congress from one to two years. The lobbying ban takes effect at the end of this year.

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What a piece of work.

11.25.2007

Memo To New York Post: The Bush Administration Was Warned About 9/11

From Think Progress:

New York Post reporter Andy Soltis writes of the latest Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll that finds a great majority of Americans believe the government failed to heed warnings about 9/11. Soltis writes that this poll shows increasing support for 9/11 “conspiracy theories”

[snip]

The NY Post’s headline blares: “‘Blame U.S. For 9/11′ Idiots In Majority.” As frequent readers of this site are well aware, ThinkProgress does not condone 9/11 conspiracy theories which allege the attacks were an inside job. But whether the Bush administration failed to heed warnings of a terrorist strike is not a conspiracy theory — it is a fact.

Here are some bits of information the NY Post may want to read up on:

1) Bush received intel briefing on Aug. 6, 2001 entitled “Bin Laden Determined To Strike In US.” The briefing specifically warned to “patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks,” particularly targeted at New York.

2) CIA Director George Tenet briefing Condoleezza Rice and other top administration officials on July 10, 2001 about a specific urgent and looming threat from al Qaeda.

3) An FBI agent in Phoenix sent a memo to FBI headquarters on July 10, 2001, which advised of the “possibility of a coordinated effort” by bin Laden to send students to the United States to attend civil aviation schools.

UPDATE II: Atrios pulls up this gem from the archives:



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In Iowa, Clinton Is Pressed on Murdoch

Hillary Clinton is bought and paid for by the telecoms & big media. (I say that as a Dem). It's why their so gung ho for her to be the nominee and are her biggest contributors. She is a corporatist. She isn't going to fix the system, she'll expand it.

This is a perfect example of speaking out of both sides of her mouth. The question is, which side does she mean more. My bet, she is more concerned that Murdock gets her going out of her way to generalize the problem instead of focusing it on him like the person asking the question did - and that's she'll be rewarded accordingly by him.

From The NY Times:

A woman in the audience rose to ask Mrs. Clinton about Mr. Murdoch’s ownership of multiple media outlets (Fox News, the New York Post, soon the Wall Street Journal, and various other organs), and also whether Americans would “lose out democracy” if one person is in control of the media.

And Mrs. Clinton played both sides in her answer, responding sympathetically to the woman’s concern about media consolidation, but also making clear that she wasn’t singling out “any company in particular” for condemnation.

[snip]

“There have been a lot of media consolidations in the last several years, and it is quite troubling,” Mrs. Clinton began her reply. “The fact is, most people still get their news from television, from radio, even from newspapers. If they’re all owned by a very small group of people — and particularly if they all have a very similar point of view – it really stifles free speech.”

Mrs. Clinton pledged that as president, she would appoint commissioners to the Federal Communications Commission who supported “competition in the media,” and she hailed Theodore Roosevelt as a model for his trust-busting approach to monopolistic corporate impulse.

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Homeland Security wants to use Firefighters to gather intelligence on citiz

Wow.

From the AP:

Firefighters in major cities are being trained to take on a new role as lookouts for terrorism, raising concerns of eroding their standing as American icons and infringing on people's privacy.

Unlike police, firefighters and emergency medical personnel don't need warrants to access hundreds of thousands of homes and buildings each year, putting them in a position to spot behavior that could indicate terrorist activity or planning.

[snip]

The American Civil Liberties Union says using firefighters to gather intelligence is another step in that direction. Mike German, a former FBI agent who is now national security policy counsel to the ACLU, said the concept is dangerously close to the Bush administration's 2002 proposal to have workers with access to private homes — such as postal carriers and telephone repairmen — report suspicious behavior to the FBI.

"Americans universally abhorred that idea," German said.

The Homeland Security Department is testing a program with the New York City fire department to share intelligence information so firefighters are better prepared when they respond to emergency calls. Homeland Security also trains the New York City fire service in how to identify material or behavior that may indicate terrorist activities. If it's successful, the government intends to expand the program to other major metropolitan areas.

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Saudi Islamic School in Virginia Defends Self Against 'Terror High' Label

Its most virulent critics have dubbed it "Terror High," and 12 U.S. senators and a federal commission want to shut it down ... at the Islamic Saudi Academy in Fairfax County have heard the allegations for years — after the Sept. 11 attacks and then a few years later when a class valedictorian admitted he had joined al-Qaida.

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Bush Refuses to Condemn Saudi Court’s Punishment of Gang Rape Victim

Remember, Saudi Arabia is our ally (also the country from which a majority of hijackers who attacked us on 9/11 came from).

From Alternet:

In his second inaugural address, President Bush stridently declared that his administration would not compromise on its demand for basic human rights:

We will persistently clarify the choice before every ruler and every nation: The moral choice between oppression, which is always wrong, and freedom, which is eternally right. America will not pretend...that women welcome humiliation and servitude.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice referred to these goals as the "non-negotiable demands of human dignity." But a recent Saudi court decision has shown the administration very willing to fold when this rhetoric is tested.

A week ago, a Saudi appeals court increased the punishment for the female victim of a gang rape. The woman, who had been appealing her original sentence of 90 lashes, was sentenced to six months in prison and 200 lashes after her appeal.

The Saudi judges more than doubled the punishment for the victim because of "her attempt to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media." The Saudi Justice Ministry confirmed that the stiffer sentence handed out on appeal stemmed from the fact that the victim had gone to the media with her story. "Media may have adverse effects on the other parties involved in the case," a statement said.

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More from Think Progress:

Yesterday, McCormack was asked if the administration’s silence was “driven by a desire not to offend Saudi Arabia as a close ally.” “No, it’s — no, that’s not it at all,” he claimed, but then acknowledged the administration has yet to convey its “astonishment” directly to the Saudis. “I am not aware of any direct contact with the Saudis on this issue,” he said.

Apparently, there is some negotiability in Bush’s demands for human freedom.

UPDATE: The Muslim American Society Freedom called the court ruling “a clear violation of the compassion and mercy taught by the religion of Islam.”

UPDATE II: Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) states, “I urge President Bush to call on King Abdullah to cancel the ruling and drop all charges against this woman.” In a letter to Condoleezza Rice, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) wrote, “I strongly urge the Department of State to condemn this ruling.” Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) and John Edwards released statements expressing their outrage.

Time Magazine's Mark Halperin: As big an Idiot as Joe Klein is a Putz

Marcy Wheeler says:

Mark Halperin has a hysterical op-ed in the NYT today, designed to be a mea culpa for the failures of presidential campaign journalism. Halperin reveals the reason behind the press corps’ obsession with horse race politics–they all read Ben Cramer’s What It Takes–and then admits that success in a political horse race does not necessarily equip someone to run the country.

From The NY Times:

So if we for too long allowed ourselves to be beguiled by “What It Takes” — certainly not the author’s fault — what do those of us who cover politics do now? After all, Mr. Cramer’s style of campaign coverage is alluring in an election season that features so many candidates with heroic biographies and successful careers in and out of politics. (Not to mention two wide-open races.)

Well, we pause, take a deep breath and resist. At least sometimes. In the face of polls and horse-race maneuvering, we can try to keep from getting sucked in by it all. We should examine a candidate’s public record and full life as opposed to his or her campaign performance. But what might appear simple to a voter can, I know, seem hard for a journalist.

If past is prologue, the winners of the major-party nominations will be those who demonstrate they have what it takes to win. But in the short time remaining voters and journalists alike should be focused on a deeper question: Do the candidates have what it takes to fill the most difficult job in the world?

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He only been pushing the opposite for years. What a jackass. Now suddenly he sort of see the light? How these know-nothings get anywhere in the national press...oh wait, it's not like they have any standards since they've all be trying to lower themselves, err compete with Fixed News.

U.S. Notes Limited Progress in Afghan War: White House ‘pessimistic’

From The Washington Post:

A White House assessment of the war in Afghanistan has concluded that wide-ranging strategic goals that the Bush administration set for 2007 have not been met, even as U.S. and NATO forces have scored significant combat successes against resurgent Taliban fighters, according to U.S. officials.

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More from Think Progress:

Intelligence analysts acknowledge the battlefield victories, but they highlight the Taliban’s unchallenged expansion into new territory, an increase in opium poppy cultivation and the weakness of the government of President Hamid Karzai as signs that the war effort is deteriorating. […]

Overall, “there doesn’t seem to be a lot of progress being made. … I would think that from [the Taliban] standpoint, things are looking decent,” the intelligence official said.

Senior White House officials privately express pessimism about Afghanistan. There is anxiety over the current upheaval in neighboring Pakistan, where both the Taliban and al-Qaeda maintain headquarters, logistical support and training camps along the Afghan border.

A recent report from the Senlis Council found that the Taliban now controls 54 percent of Afghanistan. I'm sure they'll get around to blaming him because, God only know, everything that has gone on in the world since the idiot in chief was 'supremed' into office is ALL Bill Clinton's fault.

Time Magazine's FISA Fiasco shows how Beltway reporters mislead the country

The Joe Klein's of the world are worse than any left winger or a right winger could ever be. At least left or right wingers knows who they are and don't try to play both sides of an issue (while claiming they are above the fray) when in reality they mislead and lie in order to maintain their holier-than-thou stances in life. .

From Glenn Greenwald:

Joe Klein passed on outright GOP lies about the House Democratic FISA bill to 4 million Time readers and now obscures what happened.

On Wednesday, I documented that Joe Klein's column in this week's Time Magazine contained multiple false statements about the new FISA bill -- The RESTORE Act -- passed by House Democrats last week. The most obvious and harmful inaccuracy was his claim that that bill "would require the surveillance of every foreign-terrorist target's calls to be approved by the FISA court" and that it therefore "would give terrorists the same legal protections as Americans." Based on those outright falsehoods, Klein called the House Democrats' bill "well beyond stupid."

That day, Klein responded on his blog to what I wrote without acknowledging that he was doing so and without even telling his readers what the criticisms were. He insisted that everything he wrote was accurate ("as I reported, [the bill] obliquely gives foreign terrorists the same procedures as American citizens, if not the same rights"). He also said that the RESTORE Act was just "a partisan waste of time, fodder for lawyers and civil liberties extremists."

Yesterday -- Saturday night on Thanksgiving weekend -- Klein returned to the Time blog to write an extremely conditional, weaselly, self-justifying and partial "correction" to what he wrote in the print magazine. There's no indication whether any correction will appear in the print magazine, but the online version of Klein's article contains no such correction and still contains all of his grave misstatements.

[snip]

Yet look at Klein's first statement in his "correction":
I may have made a mistake in my column this week about the FISA legislation passed by the House, although it's difficult to tell for sure given the technical nature of the bill's language and fierce disagreements between even moderate Republicans and Democrats on the Committee about what the bill actually does contain.
One can debate whether Klein's original, inaccurate claims about the House FISA bill in his Time article can fairly be called "lies" (as opposed to inexcusably reckless inaccuracies). But this statement by Klein in his "correction" unquestionably is a lie.

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On Fox News Sunday, Thompson Accuses Fox Of "Constant Mantra" Of Attacks

The unintended consequence of no heir to THEIR thrown: Mutiny.

Fix news can't possibly begin to learn how to hide their contempt for anyone, even from their own party, they that do no want in the white house. It isn't in their DNA. And this might just be what makes politicians finally accept that Fixed isn't really a news network, it a political arm of the rethuglican party... and that that has got to change. Rethugs are calling them out on it like Thompson did today and Romney did regarding the video clips along with McCain.

From The Huffington Post:

In a heated exchange this morning on Fox News Sunday, former Sen. Fred Thompson took host Chris Wallace to task for what he claims is a "constant mantra" of attacks on Thompson from Fox News.

Thompson reacted to two clips from Fox News contributors Charles Krauthammer and Fred Barnes sharply criticizing Thompson's candidacy.

Wallace defended his network's coverage. "I don't know if Fox has been going after you."

Thompson insisted -- "From day one, they said I got in too late --" but Wallace interrupted. "Well, there are a lot of people besides Fox who said that."

Watch the full exchange:



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Think Progress has more:
Fox News has been accused of having a bias in favor of presidential contender Rudy Giuliani, particularly in the wake of allegations by former book publisher Judith Regan, who claimed NewsCorp wanted to protect Giuliani’s presidential aspirations.

11.24.2007

How Bush Screwed Our Thanksgiving

From Blake Fleetwood over at The Huffington Post:

America's powerhouse economy depends on global confidence in the stability of the dollar which has traditionally attracted the world's surplus savings. But with the rapid fall of the dollar, other nations are increasingly indicating that they will invest in other currencies. Confidence in the US greenback is waning among foreign businessmen, a finding that in itself may be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The U.S. exports 70 cents worth of goods for every dollar it imports. The U.S. has borrowed more than $3 trillion in the last six years. Money moves across markets with the push of a button.

If foreigners lose confidence in the U.S. economy, they will want their money back, the dollar will fall, and foreign investments will tumble, triggering an even weaker dollar. To an amazing extent, the U.S. economy has relied "on the kindness of strangers" to fuel its domestic and international investments and the recent real estate boom.

The consequences for our American Empire may be disastrous and swift, if the "kindness" and confidence of global investors is shaken. Will America succumb to the same imperial overstretch as the Roman, Dutch, Spanish, Soviet, and British? Hubris does not allow us to see much in the future. Every empire thinks that it is different, but....?

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MSNBC Hedges: Tucker's Days MIght Finally Be Numbered

From The NY Observer:

Rumors have been flying recently that Tucker Carlson could soon be on the way out at MSNBC. In a report that aired this morning on NPR, Phil Griffin, a senior vice president at the cable network, described Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews as part of the MSNBC "brand". Asked whether Mr. Carlson was also part of that brand, Mr. Griffin replied: "He is right now."

Not exactly a vote of confidence.

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Got GOP? Posterizing the Modern GOP

Award-winning ad exec Rich Silverstein was behind the famous "Got Milk?" ad campaign and the Budweiser frogs. Now these GOP posters can be added to his list of accomplishments.

From the Huffington Post:

"...I thought he might have some ideas on how to help the Democrats, who continue to struggle with framing an election where they are holding all the cards. He did. When I suggested that he blog about his ideas, he said that since he usually expresses himself best in visual terms, he wanted to see if he could "blog visually."

The result is three powerful posters that simply but graphically capture the lunacy of the modern GOP. "Here is my thinking," Silverstein told me, "What if we could TiVo the last six-plus years and play them back - without comment -- for the American people, and let them connect the dots? It's not a pretty picture." Silverstein's take away message is uncluttered and direct: "Haven't we had enough? Democrats '08."




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33 Ways Communism and Conservatism Are Similar

davefromqueens has an interesting comparison of Communism and Conservatism and how they are so similar:

"I've often defined economic conservatism as "communism through the corporation" (with a lot of help from big govt, corporate welfare, and unfair market rules) and use terms such as "socialism for the rich" and "bourgeoissie Marxism." The similarities between conservatives and communists on social images are obvious."
Here are some of dave's examples:

1. Anti-Environmentalism Radicalism. (Cons put the economic interests of the corporation first. Communists the economic interests of the govt bureaucracy first. The rest of us put the people first.)

2. Anti-Middle Class Tax policies (This is at the cornerstone of both philosophies. Sadly, conservatism is worse.)

3. Boy Scout/Pioneer type groups for children. Compare the right wing forces behind the Boy Scouts and the Communist programs of their Pioneers. They're mirror images of each other.

4. Bureaucrats Making Medical Decisions (HMO bureaucrats are basically the same thing as communist health care bureaucrats. The rest of us want doctors and patients making these decisions.)

5. Censorship

6. Civil Rights Opposition

7. Death Penalty Fanaticism - Granted there are many progressives, liberals, and moderates who support this but it is usually communists and conservatives who are most gung ho about the death penalty.

8. Excessive and Unwarranted Use of Military Force. War is profitable, peace is not. Both philosophies also tend to distrust people.

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‘Wave Of Violence’ Against Women In Iraq Undercuts W.H. Claims Of Success

Ah. Freedom & democracy at its finest.

From Think Progress:

In recent weeks, the Bush administration has cited declining violence in Iraq as evidence of the success. Earlier this month, President Bush said that Iraqis are slowly “taking back their country.”

But last night, NBC Nightly News aired a segment about a “wave of violence that’s gone largely unreported lately against women in Iraq.” The report noted that Iraqi women, once “the most emancipated in the Arab world,” are increasingly unable to walk around without a hijab, wear cosmetics, or work. Watch the report:

Bush has largely ignored the deteriorating plight of Iraqi women, choosing instead to cite signs of “progress.” Yet earlier in the war, he and other administration officials repeatedly claimed that the rights of Iraqi women were “inseparable” to success:

The advance of women’s rights and the advance of liberty are ultimately inseparable.” [President Bush, 3/14/04]

“President Bush has made the advance of women’s human rights a global policy priority. … We all have an obligation to speak for women who are denied their rights to learn, to vote or to live in freedom.” [Laura Bush, 3/8/05]

The commitment of this administration to women’s rights in Iraq is unshakable.” [Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, 3/9/04]

“There can be no compromise on the principle that Iraqis can each have an equal role in the building of their country’s future without regard to their ethnic or religious background or gender.” [Former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad, 8/8/05]

Many Iraqi women who have fled to Syria are increasingly forced to turn to prostitution, as they struggle to support their children after their husbands were killed in Iraq’s violence.

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Good riddance to John Howard: Bush's BFF Neocon Prime Minister Loses Big

The Bush-supporting, neocon-revering Australian Prime Minister suffers a humiliating defeat. Howard mocked the "infantile" objections of war opponents & "all of the[ir] doomsday predictions," which -- he boasted -- were "not realized." After all, Howard roared: "there were not millions of refugees" & "there was no long-drawn-out, bloody, Stalingrad

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11.23.2007

What Do Conservatives Spend Their Time Thinking About?

Who thinks about things like this? The Agnostic, that's who:

One answer is provided by Conservapedia's most viewed list:

1. Main Page‎ [1,897,388]
2. Homosexuality‎ [1,488,013]
3. Homosexuality and Hepatitis‎ [516,193]
4. Homosexuality and Promiscuity‎ [416,767]
5. Homosexuality and Parasites‎ [387,438]
6. Homosexuality and Gonorrhea‎ [328,045]
7. Homosexuality and Domestic Violence‎ [325,547]
8. Gay Bowel Syndrome‎ [314,076]
9. Homosexuality and Syphilis‎ [262,015]
10. Homosexuality and Mental Health‎ [249,14]

I'd like to add something witty, but really, what is there to say after that? Especially since I can barely stop laughing.

I took a screen shot of the page just in case:


Digg it

Couple Wearing IMPEACH BUSH T-Shirts First Through The Door On Black Friday

Great catch from Crooks & Liars:





I was watching MSNBC this morning and during a segment on the Black Friday shopping frenzy and the throngs of people waiting in line to get into a New Jersey mall, when something caught my eye. I rewound the video and sure enough, the first two people through the door were wearing protest shirts — “Impeach Bush” and “Out Of Iraq”. Also on CNN.

I don’t know who these brave souls are, but I thought I’d thank them for waiting in line to get the chance to make their statement and give them props for getting the holidays off to a great start and trying to spread some good will. We can only hope security didn’t tackle, tase or beat them…

*Update: They made it on CNN later in the morning!

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Publicity-Shy Giuliani Backer: The Money Behind California's Ballot Scam

This is the fuckers behind the California Ballot Scam, err Initiative.

From The NY Times:

Paul E. Singer has became one of the biggest supporters of Rudolph W. Giuliani’s presidential campaign, making his jet available to Mr. Giuliani, while Mr. Singer and workers at his companies have donated $200,000 to the campaign. And he became the largest individual backer of a California ballot initiative that many Democrats believe could sink their chances of winning the presidency.

Suddenly, the normally low-profile Mr. Singer, a New Yorker, found himself singled out by Democrats intent on beating back the California effort before it gained any steam.

Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic Party, questioned “Paul Singer’s involvement in this dirty trick aimed at stealing the White House.” A group of Democrats filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission charging that Mr. Singer had been acting on behalf of Mr. Giuliani in his efforts to change the California law — which Mr. Singer and the campaign deny. And the Democratic National Committee drew attention to the part of Mr. Singer’s business that involves buying the debt of poor countries at a discount and then seeking repayment in full — prompting an article in The Times of London labeling his firm, Elliott Associates, a “vulture fund.”

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Bush Administration: What You Don't Know Can't Hurt Us (2008 Edition)

TPM has update their annual list to add this years doozies. Here's a taste:

Last year, we launched the insanely ambitious project of recording every significant instance of this administration stifling government information. As we said then, "they've discontinued annual reports, classified normally public data, de-funded studies, quieted underlings, and generally done whatever was necessary to keep bad information under wraps." To be sure, the list will continue to grow through January, 2008.

[snip]

So, without further ado, the list! Some notable additions:

* Does the intelligence community disagree with the administration's take on Iraq, Iran, or al Qaeda? Don't expect to hear about it. In October 2007, National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell reversed the practice of declassifying and releasing summaries of national intelligence estimates.

* In July 2007, Richard Carmona, President Bush’s first Surgeon General from 2002-2006, testified to Congress that when he attempted to speak publicly about stem cell research, he was “blocked at every turn, told a decision had already been made, stand down, don’t talk about it.” He also testified that political appointees vetted his speeches “in such a way that would be preferable to a political or ideologically pre-conceived notion that had nothing to do with science.” Carmona was precluded from speaking openly with reporters.

* On June 2007, the New York Times reported that Dick Cheney's resistance to "routine oversight of his office’s handling of classified information" is so intense that he has "suggested abolishing" the National Archives unit that monitors classification in the executive branch. Because Cheney has repeatedly refused "to comply with a routine annual request from the archives for data on his staff’s classification," "the Information Security Oversight Office, a unit of the National Archives, [has] appealed the issue to the Justice Department, which has not yet ruled on the matter." In a related effort to prevent the release of information about his office, Cheney has also instructed the Secret Service to destroy copies of visitor logs.

Global warming:

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