Saturday, August 18, 2007


On August 7th, I suggested that Giuliani's comments in support of McCain foreshadowed a possible ticket. (Here)

Once again, ABC News is late to the party. (Here)

Saddam is Not a Threat --NSA Brent Scowcroft, 1996

This 1996 interview with Bush Senior's National Security Adviser is a great follow up of the now famous Cheney 1994 interview (Here). Once again this clearly supports that fact that a mistake was made when Iraq was made a priority over Afghanistan.

Fox News on Fred Thompson

Last week they covered Michael Vick's alleged purchase of missiles from Iran with the proceeds from the sale of stolen pit bulls on eBay. Now the "esteemed" Fox News believes that choice of footwear at a country fair is newsworthy. Absurd.

A Great Big D'oh!

We have all suffered from embarrassing moments. This even tops the Howard Dean scream.
From Ananova

I Hate that this Makes Sense. But it Does.

Bullet proof back packs ready for back-to-school sales.
More from The Boston Channel

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mock Indignation over Gonzales Testimony

Either Gonzales has Alzheimer's disease or he needs to be impeached. I cannot believe that he, a young ostensibly competent attorney, can get away with repeating, "I don't recall." so many times. In a court of law the jury would be instructed to take his testimony, in its entirety, with a grain of salt. He knows he cannot be found guilty of purgery if he lies and says he cannot recall events. But he can be declared hostile, asked leading questions and have his credibility openly impugned. A special prosecutor could do this. But that is not going to happen. He could be sanctioned, but either he would have to do it to himself or Cheney would have to. No, the only appropriate move is to appoint a special prosecutor (ala Ken Starr) to look into possible criminal contempt.

This should be done with all due haste.

What brings on this renewed rant? The newly released notes from FBI chief Robert S. Mueller who was in the room with Ashcroft shortly before and soon after the meeting which Al cannot recall.

From Mueller's notes:
Saw AG, Janet Ashcroft in the room. AG is feeble, barely articulate, clearly stressed.
He goes on:
The AG then reviewed for them the legal concerns relating to the program. The AG also told them that he was barred from obtaining the advice he needed on the program by the strict compartmentalization rules of the WH.
Politicians are coming out of the woodwork with their mock indignation.

The committee chairman, Rep. John Conyers D-Mich:

Particularly disconcerting is the new revelation that the White House sought Mr. Ashcroft's authorization for the surveillance program, yet refused to let him seek the advice he needed on the program.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt:

...I ask that you look into whether the attorney general, in the course of his testimony, engaged in any misconduct, engaged in conduct inappropriate for a cabinet officer and the nation's chief law enforcement officer, or violated any duty.

Why do I say "mock" indignation? Because I am tired of the Democrats jumping up and down with outrage, then quietly voting for the status quo.

I will happily admit I am wrong, if I am. But, I am willing to bet a beer that the congress will, in the end, have the ability to go after forgetful Al and they will choose not too. Of course they will spin it as being good for America, or a time for healing. When they do that I want you to recall the indignation that they are expressing now: mock indignation.

Prove me wrong. Please.
More on Mueller's notes in the Associated Press

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Gay Marriage is a Legal Issue, Not a Sentimental One

After penning my little rant about Gay marriage last week (here) I was flooded with emails (well, 4 emails --which for this infant blog is a flood) calling me all sorts of names, but mostly saying that if you live together "which "those people" are allowed to do" --how gracious-- you are basically married. So, I was asked, what is the big deal with the status quo?

Let me make this perfectly clear. Marriage is not simply a living arrangement, it is a legal designation with far reaching implications.

For instance, according to the 2000 census, over 30% of female same-sex couples and 20% of male same-sex couples have at least one dependent under 18 living at home.

Here is a brief list of legal issues. In many states:

--Neither the parent or child has visitation rights if the parents separate.

--The child cannot claim inheritances or other household assets in case of death.

--If one parent dies, the second parent has no legal right to take custody or care for the child.

--A parent without legal right to a child cannot legally register him/her for school.

--Parents cannot put children on some health insurance plans.

--Parents cannot make medical decisions for the child.

--The child has no claim to the social security or other insurance benefits of the parent.

--Gay couple parents without adoption rights do not benefit from the generous tax deductions granted to heterosexual parents.

Note: this is just a small list dealing only with children, I have not listed survivor rights, protection from discrimination, et cetera.

Please don't, again, try to tell me that these appalling issues are dictated by the Bible. The United States of America is NOT a theocracy. No lawmaker ever swears an oath to uphold the bible; they swear to uphold the constitution.

Let us not forget that the largest voices opposing the abolition of slavery as well as the suffragette movement came from those quoting the Bible.

Again, let me formally state that this should NOT be an issue. Basic rights (under the law) should be for everyone. Period.

Required Reading

I was recently incented to dig up and reread what is perhaps the greatest essay every written on the subject of modern liberal democracy. It was penned by Fareed Zackaria in 1997 and should be required reading by anyone getting into politics. Don't just take my word for it; do a quick search for it the following
"The Rise of Illiberal Democracy " Fareed Zakaria
11,700 results for an article written in 1997.

Read it here

I will not comment, or suppose to know more than Mister Zakaria --few do. I just urge you to read it.

I Can't wait to See This on Colbert

Am I the only one that cannot wait to see this? And what is with the story that the big virgin was not permitted to plug his new airline? Did he not know this before agreeing to appear? Is that not the reason for his making this journey around America?

Humans are crazy.

Hurricane Dean

No this is not a reference to the scream that ended a career.

Just a fingers crossed that this will turn into nothing.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Humans Are Crazy Vol. 2

Apparently Michael Vick stole a pair of pitbulls, sold them on ebay and used the proceeds to purchase missiles from the Iran government.

Actually the real question here is, "What the %#$# is Fox News doing covering this?"

Don't believe me? Click here.

Not my Fault: Bush

"I did say it should be a goal of the nation to shut down Guantanamo, I also made it clear that part of the delay was the reluctance of some nations to take back some of the people being held there."
That was the president late last week. What he is saying, if I read his words correctly is that because some of the detainees are not welcome in their originating countries, Guantanamo cannot be shut down.

I have written before on the danger of taking white-out to the constitution and I am not about to here. Other than to say that these individuals need to have their day in court. Some of them might belong where they are, but if only one of them is an innocent then this needs to be discovered and corrected immediately.
More on Reuters

Bush's Democratic Tendancies

Well, not exactly.

But he has raised more tax revenue than any other president in history. Details here.

Yes, Mr. No New Taxes has somehow managed to collect a record $2,120,000,000,000.00 in the first ten months of the year.

You would think with record revenues that he would be paying down the debt. You would think that with record revenues the government could afford to help some of the folks with prescriptions, or medicaid. You would, of course be wrong. In true Democrat fashion, bush has not only collected record taxes, he has built the largest government is history and he has spent the most ever. Everything that scares the Republican machine about the democrats. (Well, that and two men kissing).

Now to be fair, compared to the GDP these taxes are not the largest in history, but they are so close that W should have his Republican decoder ring confiscated immediately.

Position Wanted: Loyal, Unprincipled Kingmaker Looking For Work

Now his son has emerged from the period in his life where an at-home dad is most needed, Karl Rove is going to spend more time with his family. Now, there is a dedicated family man.

No, he is what he has always been: opportunistic. With "W" set to retire he will soon be redundant and it is my guess that he is not ready to retire. It is my guess that, despite his articulated reasons for leaving, he is not ready to spend more time with his family.

The big question is, "Whose campaign is going to capitalize on his political advice?" That is what he specializes in. He is not a policy adviser as many people think. He has never worn that hat under "W". He does not specialize in "policy". He is/was George W Bush's political adviser.

My guess? After every one involved signs a mutual nondisclosure agreement, he will sign on to Fred Thompson's campaign. A political adviser as savvy as Rove must know that his presence is a liability.

Equally, he is a proven kingmaker and someone will want him on their team --even if it means secret skype conference calls at midnight.

Rove in Today's Toles

If you haven't seen Tom Toles cartoon in today's Washington Post, Click Here

Gonzales Gets Power of Life & Death!

Last year in a controversial decision the Patriot Act was re-affirmed.

One of these days the bozos in Washington are going to have someone they truly trust read through these documents before they vote on them. (Yes, actually reading the documents IS too much to ask).

Did you know that in the new Patriot Act Roberto "I don't recall" Gonzales has the power to decide that a death-row appeals process is taking too long and to expedite the execution? Previously this power has resided in the hands of federal judges.

Now this might not sound like a big deal, but let me assure you that these amendments are not written casually. The mere fact that it is there implies that it will be used. Perhaps they expect at least one Guantanamo detainee to get a death sentence in a civilian court. This could keep the case out of the appeal courts.

But, to bring in any measure meant to "fast track" executions at a time when the number of past and planned executions have been dismissed due to DNA testing is accelerating boggles this bystanders mind.

Again, these things don't happen by accident. The question is, "Whom do they want to kill?" Rest assured it is someone.
More in the LA Times

Monday, August 13, 2007

Fairness for Vick?

NAACP Leaders Urge Fairness for Vick

I agree --sort of.

Mr. Vick should not lose what he has rightfully achieved until he is found culpable: this means guilty in criminal court and/or liable in civil court --two very different burdens of proof.

I am referring to his NFL contract only. This he achieved on his merits. Of course the NFL bigwigs don't want him in uniform, but that does not alter the fact that he is under contract and will be until a court decided otherwise.

His endorsement deals are a different story. They were built on reputation and reputation alone --the Michael Vick Brand. He lost his reputation; he lost his deals. I have no issue with this sequence of events.

Do I feel bad for Mr. Vick? No. I feel bad for the Atlanta Falcon's fans. This was their turn.

Halloween in August

I love this:
Scary Poppins
(link will transport you to

Cheney in 1994: a Different Bird.

Thanks to Andrew Sullivan's Dish for this must see tidbit.

Yes, that is Cheney detailing, very specifically all of the bad things that have happened since the US unilaterally went into Iraq. Thing is, it is from 1994. He was explaining the very good reasons that George Bush senior didn't overthrow Saddam after liberating Kuwait. The big question is, "What happened to him?" "Where did this guy go?"

It is my opinion that the Cheney in this interview was not speaking from the heart: he was following the party line. It was not until he could seize the reigns of power that the real Dick emerged. Now that he has his hands firmly on the puppet strings he is free to be, do and speak as he pleases. We are not the better for it.
Click here to see the video on

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Red Cross Brand Blunder

Did you know that the Red Cross Branding belonged to J&J for ten years before they generously allowed the Red Cross to use it, for free, forever? And that they had a proviso? Yes, apparently J&J did not want the logo to be used to sell canned ham and therefore stipulated that the logo must not be used for "reasons not directly related to their mission."

Seth has a great article on his blog

Well, apparently the wizards at the Red Cross have decided to capitalize on "their" branding and have come up with a few licensing deals. J&J is understandably upset, no doubt the corporation has been proud of it's huge donation to the cause. So J&J has taken steps to correct the situation.

And can you blame J&J? it turns out that one of the companies proudly sporting the J&J Red Cross is Curel, a J&J Competitor. Not sure if I am right to call it the J&J Red Cross? Check out the J&J Branding that dates back to the mid 1800s (here is a quick modern example)

Here is where I agree with Seth. You would think that the RC folks would say a quick mea culpa and life would go on (you know I bet J&J would even kick in a large donation for some recognition of their part in the branding of the Red Cross). But no, in this litigious culture that cannot happen.

So, the Red Cross has had free use of a J&J brand under non-commercialization conditions and chooses to license a it to a J&J competitor. J&J asked them to stop, they didn't, J&J sued and the bozos at the RC came out with this:
For a multibillion-dollar drug company to claim that the Red Cross violated a criminal statute, . . . simply so that J&J can make more money, is obscene.
Obscene indeed --did I mention that J&J is the third largest charitable contributor in the United States? (Forbes).

The Red Cross messed up. So what? That happens. This should never have seen the light of day. Apologies should have been made, accepted, contracts voided (not legal anyhoo), donations made, lawyers be damned.