Saturday, December 8, 2007

Shut It Down

George W. Bush is completely insane. After Dems compromise on a budget that would give Raisinbrain an initial $50-70 billion for the Iraq occupation with no strings attached, the White House came out with a statement threatening to veto the bill even though they haven't even seen the proposal.

White House Budget Director Jim Nussle said Saturday it's too much money for domestic programs - and not enough for the war.

"If Congress insists on sending the president a budget-busting bill they know he will veto and that will not become law, they should also pass a continuing resolution that keeps the government running and provides the troops in the field the funds they need," Nussle said.

Fuck you, Nussle.

I wish the Democrats in Congress had the balls to say, "Okay, President Dipshit. You want to veto a bill that would give you your blood money for your illegal occupation in exchange for some sorely needed spending at home? You want to screw border patrol, Homeland Security, hurricane and mortgage crisis relief? You want to give the middle finger to repairing our crumbling infrastructure? Fine, asshole. Then shut the whole goddamned thing down. It's either this bill, or no bill."

But of course, they won't do that even though 75% of Americans would support them. They'll posture and whine and hold news conferences and issue "strong statements," and then cave in to these neo-fascist thugs at the end of the day. January 20th, 2009 can't come fast enough. And don't be surprised when the day comes that we won't be trying to stop an illegal coup by these criminals before the changeover.

It's time to play chicken with President Chickenhawk. He doesn't like his $70 billion Christmas gift? Then SHUT IT DOWN.

Worst. President. Ever.

Romney's Pander to the Religious Right

Mitt Romney's pandering speech to the religious right shows once and for all how this man will say anything to get elected and how he's soooo not ready to lead this country, or anything else that needs an objective eye for that matter.

How can one speech contain "Let me assure you that no authorities of my church, or of any other church for that matter, will ever exert influence on presidential decisions. Their authority is theirs, within the province of church affairs, and it ends where the affairs of the nation begin," AND "Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom."?

And in fruitlessly trying to compare himself with John F. Kennedy, Romney says this:

"Almost 50 years ago, another candidate from Massachusetts explained that he was an American running for president, not a Catholic running for president. Like him, I am an American running for president. I do not define my candidacy by my religion."
...but then says this:

"...the notion of the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning. They seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgment of God. Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in public life. It is as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America - the religion of secularism. They are wrong."

..."Any believer in religious freedom, any person who has knelt in prayer to the Almighty, has a friend and ally in me."

So screw all the non-believers. They're all going to hell anyway. Talk about an A-1 panderer in full bullshit mode! Someone should remind Mitt that this country was founded on the belief of freedom of religion and freedom FROM religion if one so chose. He even tries to make it sound as if our forefathers had religion on the brain during the founding of our nation. And as everyone knows, that is just entirely wrong.

As Lee Papa at (graphic language) states:
Romney also cites a bit of writing by John Adams often used by right wingers hoping to shove religion up all our asses. In his letter to a brigade of the Massachusetts militia, yes, Adams did write, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

But in the rest of that letter, Adams says, "[S]hould the people of America once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another, and towards foreign nations, which assumes the language of justice and moderation while it is practising iniquity and extravagance, and displays in the most captivating manner the charming pictures of candor, frankness, and sincerity, while it is rioting in rapine and insolence, this country will be the most miserable habitation in the world; because we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net."

Adams warned us not to be fucking hypocrites. He was talking about religion in its truest sense. Not as a way of saying that one is superior because one has religion, but in the sense that religion ought to be humbling, not a reason to preen like a goddamn nit-filled peacock before the salivating hyenas of the media and the Republican base.

Amen, Brother Papa!

For Romney to suggests that atheists and agnostics have no place in America shows that his magic underwear is a bit too tight. Thanks for playing, Mitt. Leave your endorsement for the Joseph Smith/Brigham Young ticket at the door on your way out.

UPDATE: THE NATION: John Nichols - Defending his candidacy and his Mormon faith in Texas, Mitt Romney did little to assure those who expect their president to serve the national interest and resist pressure from religious groups.

UPDATE II: Mitt's No JFK: Maureen Dowd - The problem with Mitt is not his religion; it is his overeager policy shape-shifting. He did not give a brave speech, but a pandering one. Disguised as a courageous, Kennedyesque statement of principle, the talk was really just an attempt to compete with the evolution-disdaining, religion-baiting Huckabee and get Baptists to concede that Mormons are Christians.
...The world is globalizing, nuclear weapons are proliferating, the Middle East is seething, but Republicans are still arguing the Scopes trial.
Mitt was right when he said that “Americans do not respect believers of convenience.” Now if he would only admit he’s describing himself.

Not Since Nixon

Not only did the C.I.A. destroy videotapes containing the interrogation of two suspected terrorists, but they did it despite warnings against it.

White House and Justice Department officials, along with senior members of Congress, advised the Central Intelligence Agency in 2003 against a plan to destroy hundreds of hours of videotapes showing the interrogations of two operatives of Al Qaeda, government officials said Friday.

The chief of the agency’s clandestine service nevertheless ordered their destruction in November 2005, taking the step without notifying even the C.I.A.’s own top lawyer, John A. Rizzo, who was angry at the decision, the officials said.
Democratic Senators are calling for an investigation.

Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts accused the C.I.A. of “a cover-up"... “We haven’t seen anything like this since the 18½ -minute gap on the tapes of Richard Nixon,” Mr. Kennedy said in a speech on the Senate floor, as reaction to the disclosure about the videotapes seemed to intensify minute by minute.

Mr. Durbin, the Democratic whip, said he had written Mr. Mukasey to ask for an inquiry into “whether C.I.A. officials who destroyed these videotapes and withheld information about their existence from official proceedings violated the law.”

Where are the Republicans on this issue?

Are Dems Giving In Again?

Talk about stuck between a rock and a hard place! Democrats are getting a half a trillion dollar package ready. Iraq war funding would be voted on separately.

NY TIMES: Congressional leaders are assembling a $500 billion package to try to resolve an impasse by providing President Bush with unfettered money for the Iraq war in exchange for new spending on popular domestic programs.

...Under this deal, the president would be given $70 billion out of a still pending request of nearly $200 billion for the war. The compromise is also likely to include provisions that address the mortgage crisis, as well as agricultural drought relief and other disaster financing.

Fair tradeoff? Who the hell knows? I'm just sick and tired of the whole goddamned thing.

The Senate would then add up to $40 billion for Iraq combat operations, with the expectation the final war spending total would produce enough Republican support to offset defections by House Democrats.

After the measure returns to the House for a final vote, Democrats opposed to the war are likely to vote against it but may not be able to stop it. The decision to free some money for the war without a deadline or goal for withdrawal would represent a major concession by Democrats. They had earlier said they would not send Mr. Bush any more war money this year unless he accepted a change in Iraq policy.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Operation Lucky Bag?

What the hell is the New York Police Department thinking? As a crime prevention initiative, undercover cops are planting wallets, iPods, cell phones or purses in public areas. If you pick it up, you are immediately swarmed upon by police, frisked and your background is checked for prior arrests. So unless the police determine that you are making an effort to immediately return the item to a lost and found or to the person you think lost the item, you are guilty until proven innocent.

While riding in the New York subway, Carlos Alayo found a wallet sitting on an empty bench. In a hurry to get to a meeting, Alayo picked up the wallet and said he was going to check it for ID later. Before he knew it he was being frisked by police.

It turns out the wallet was planted by New York City police as part of "Operation Lucky Bag," a decoy operation involving planted wallets and undercover officers watching how bystanders react.

I have three questions: 1-How the fuck are you supposed to figure out who the item belongs to within a minute or so? 2 - What genius thought up of the "Lucky Bag" name? and 3 - Isn't this entrapment?

The police don't think so.

...the NYPD defends the practice. "Entrapment is forcing you to commit a crime, putting you in a position of giving you no choice. And here you have choices all along the way," said New York Police Department Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne.

Not really, Brownie. The only choices you have are to pick it up or ignore it and walk away. You eliminate all other choices before they have a chance to be made. So in my estimation, the whole program is eroding what little community unity there is left in New York City and detering good samaritans from helping their fellow man for fear of it being a cheap sting operation.

This is completely different from the old stings where a "drunk" undercover cop would stagger around or pretend to be asleep on a bench with his wallet hanging out of his pocket, provoking unsuspecting would-be pickpockets to commit a crime.

Am I presumed a criminal for picking up a lost item?

A spokesperson for the New York Civil Liberties Union, Maggie Gram, said of the Lucky Bag operation: “It’s a sting that reeks of entrapment. There’s enough criminal activity without the cops inventing it.”

Granted, there are people who will take the item and keep it. But from personal experience, I can't tell you how many times I've found wallets or cell phones and found their owner after a little investigative work and returned the lost item. Now I'll have to think twice before doing a good deed.

I also can't help but wonder if the police would have been so quick to frisk Mr. Ayalo had his name been John Smith.

Hi, I'm George. Call Me...

...if I can remember my number...

Out of the kindness of li'l ol' Bushy's heart, he held a press conference today and gave out a number to call for help with mortgage relief from those predatory lenders called the "Hope Now Hotline". Those Republicans really know how to name things, don't they?

Only one problem. He gave out the wrong number.

Anyone who dialed 1-800-995-HOPE did not reach the mortgage hotline but instead contacted the Freedom Christian Academy — a Texas-based group that provides Christian education home schooling material.

And all that time, presidential advisors were keeping their fingers crossed backstage praying he'd spell "HOPE" correctly.

Local One Boycotts Joe Allen

The most traffic I've gotten on my blog was the post I wrote about Joe Allen and his disgraceful remarks about Local One members during the Broadway Stagehands strike. Some of the comments I received ranged from support of our union to upset Joe Allen employees ridiculing me for my stance.

Apparently, Joe Allen had written a letter of apology to Local One claiming he was taken out of context. I thought to myself, "How can some of those comments be taken out of context? They stand on their own without explanation."

Well I guess his letter didn't do much because this notice went out to all Local One members:

In the November 17, 2007 edition of the New York Times, Mr. Joe Allen is quoted as saying, “I saw them picketing the other day on 44th Street and thought to myself, 'That’s the hardest they’ve worked in years.'"

Mr. Joe Allen said that about YOU. The account Local One had for many years with Joe Allen was immediately terminated.

We are asking that all Local One members, their family members, friends and all other Union members BOYCOTT the Joe Allen Restaurant located at 326 West 46th Street.

His other restaurants include Orso, 322 West 46th Street and Bar Centrale, located above Orso. Also, Joe Allen Restaurants are located in Miami, London and Paris.


His degrading and disrespectful remarks about YOU should not go without retribution. Please do not spend your hard earned money in any of his businesses.

After receiving the comments previously mentioned, I thought I might have overreacted. Now I know I was right. Why would Joe Allen apologize if he claims he was misquoted and taken out of context? Answer: Because he wasn't misquoted.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Which Came First: The Chicken or JESUS?!

What is wrong with The View? Or I suppose I should ask, what is wrong with the women on The View? ... Wait, let me be even more specific: What the hell is wrong with the stupid women on The View and who the hell is interviewing them for these high paying co-host jobs? Surely, it can't be Barbara Walters, can it?

First we had to deal with Elisabeth Hasselbeck's ridiculousness, and now we have the talented Sherri Shepherd. Ms. Shepherd apparently slept through history classes... for her entire school career. It's bad enough the evolution denier didn't know if the world was flat, but now comes this gem:

Discussing whether Christians were around during Epicurus' time (Epicurus lived from 341-270 B.C.), Sherri chimed in, "[The Greeks] had Christians 'cause they threw them to the lions."

When Whoopi tried to cautiously navigate her through the timeline of basic world events, saying, "I think this might predate that," Sherri responded, "I don't think anything predated Christians." Joy's attempt to explain the Greek-Roman-Christian chronology was futile, as Sherri insisted, "Jesus came first before them." Sherri's argument was all the more powerful due to her convincing "use your finger to write on the table" trick, but she can't fight the facts.

I suppose "B.C." only registers to Shepherd as a Hasselbeck nickname: "Bitch! Chill!"

Did Sherri never hear the term "Before Christ"? Even a religious wingnut knows Adam and Eve were before Christ. Could you imagine the short circuiting in her head if you show her comparisons between Christianity and the Pagan religions that pre-date it? Her teeny, little brain would probably fizzle and pop like a Christmas light.

Holy Huckabee!

How is it possible that EVERYONE, including us plebians and groundlings, knew what the latest National Intelligence Estimate... that thing we call the NIE (see how that works?; cute little acronyms for long ass phrases), said regarding Iran's nuclear capability - or lack of it - and a Republican presidential candidate didn't know about it?

Kuhn: I don’t know to what extent you have been briefed or been able to take a look at the NIE report that came out yesterday ...

Huckabee: I’m sorry?

Kuhn: The NIE report, the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran. Have you been briefed or been able to take a look at it —

Huckabee: No.

Kuhn: Have you heard of the finding?

Huckabee: No.

What the hell?!... It boggles the mind. Thanks for playing, Mike. Please leave your resumé and your endorsement at the door.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Here Comes The Spin

NY TIMES: President Bush said today that a new intelligence finding that Iran halted its nuclear weapons work in 2003 had not altered his sense that Iran remained a danger.

...“I have said Iran is dangerous,” Bush said a day after the release of the National Intelligence Estimate, representing the consensus of all 16 American spy agencies, “and the N.I.E. doesn’t do anything to change my opinion about the danger Iran poses to the world — quite the contrary.”

So just disregard that 16 separate intelligence agencies report that Iran has not constituted nukes and had actually stopped its program in 2003. Asshole. Sometimes the Decider really makes me go nuke-u-lur!

Reporters pressed the president to explain why as recently as October, he was saying that a nuclear-armed Iran could pose a risk of a “World War III.” But Bush said he had learned of the new intelligence findings on Iran, which have been in the works for months, only last week. When a reporter asked whether anyone in the intelligence community had urged him to step back from his tough warnings about Iran, he said, “No.”

UPDATE: Norman Podhoretz, who is Rudy Giuliani's national security advisor by the way, thinks the latest NIE is a plot against Bush. This is the same cadaverous son of a bitch that "prayed" the US would bomb the crap out of Iran a couple of months ago. Great pick, Rudy.

UPDATE II: Bob Cesca in his new Huffington Post article:

Knowledge has been the president's enemy ever since his skull failed to completely fuse, leaving him with a spongy head and a brain that's susceptible to bruising. His other lifelong enemy, by the way, is a fork without a protective wine cork pressed onto its dangerous, eye-poking tines. I'm joking about the skull thing.

...Why else would President Bush cite knowledge as the qualifier? Knowledge is also the simplest justification to lie about due to the fact that it's so insanely difficult disprove. Oh, and it's a perfect fit for rallying the president's dingus base --they hate anything that has to do with knownin' shit.

Monday, December 3, 2007

What About World War III?

Just a little over six weeks ago, our illustrious President Bush stated that he "told people that if you're interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them (Iran) from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon."

Now comes word from US Intelligence Agencies that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the program remains frozen. Yet Bush and his gang of warmongers were pushing for pre-emptively striking at Iran even though the intelligence clearly showed no nuclear threat.

...the new estimate declares with “high confidence” that a military-run Iranian program intended to transform that raw material into a nuclear weapon has been shut down since 2003, and also says with high confidence that the halt “was directed primarily in response to increasing international scrutiny and pressure.”

...Yet at the same time [US] officials were airing these dire warnings about the Iranian threat, analysts at the Central Intelligence Agency were secretly concluding that Iran’s nuclear weapons work halted years ago and that international pressure on the Islamic regime in Tehran was working.

How soon will Karl Rove spin this one and blame Democrats for pushing to strike Iran? What does Holy Joe Lieberman have to say about the report? What about William "The Bloody" Kristol? Watch for the weasel words from these morons any time now.

UPDATE: Does Stephen Hadley actually expect anyone to believe that since the official report of Iran's frozen nuclear capabilities was completed last Tuesday, that Bush didn't know about it til Wednesday?! It was halted in 2003 - four FUCKING years ago!

Fuck off, Hadley.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Revisionist Rove

By now we've all heard Turdblossom's spin in trying to blame not just Congress in pushing Bush into war with Iraq prematurely, but having the gall to say it was the Democrats in a Republican controlled Congress that were hankerin' for a fight.

Well, I hope Rove understands that he is no longer under the White House's umbrella of protection and will be taken to task when bullshit spews from his mouth. He can no longer hide under the Oval Office desk and... do whatever it is he does under there, without fear of repercussion hitting him in the face.

This morning on Fox News Sunday, Rep. Chris Van Hollen called out Karl Rove for his false claim that Congress, not President Bush, had pushed for a speedy vote on the 2002 Iraq war resolution.
"Clearly things have not gone right in Iraq and you've tried to revise history," Van Hollen told Rove, demanding he "retract the outrageous statements you made."

If you have a Newsweek subscription, I suggest you cancel it immediately and let them know why. It's bad enough the mainstream media carries water for these criminals, but do we really need the privilege of paying for it as well? I don't think so, Newsweek.

All I Want For Christmas... the New Senator Larry Craig Action Figure!

The perfect stocking stuffer!

It's bad enough Craig reneged on his resignation, but to make matters worse for poor ol' "Wide Stance"...

Four gay men, willing to put their names in print and whose allegations can't be disproved, have come forward since news of U.S. Sen. Larry Craig's guilty plea. They say they had sex with Craig or that he made a sexual advance or that he paid them unusual attention.

They are telling their stories now because they are offended by Craig's denials, including his famous statement, "I am not gay, I never have been gay." Those words, spoken on live national TV on Aug. 28, are now memorialized on a
just-released-for-Christmas Talking Senator Larry Craig Action Figure.

Tough On Terror Republicans Strike Again

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer blasted the Bush administration's plan to eliminate some port and rail security programs and cut Homeland Security grants for states and cities from $3.4 billion in the fiscal year 2007 to $1.4 billion in 2009.

"To say, no port security, no transit security, when we know that our ports and transit lines are targets for terrorists makes no sense if you want to protect America," said Schumer, D-N.Y.

Another bang up job by our tough on terror, "wanted dead or alive" Republicans in the White House. How could I be so blind as to think that we're worse off than we were six years ago?