Friday, February 03, 2006

This must be the bipartisanship that Bush was talking about

Senate Session on Security Erupts in Spying Debate

Senate Democrats on Thursday angrily accused the Bush administration of mounting a public relations campaign to defend the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program while withholding details of the secret eavesdropping from Congressional oversight committees.


But none of the Republicans on the panel joined the Democrats in their criticism.

Ah, bipartisanship. It's such a happy, cuddly place to be.

Please note the following hackery from a couple of leading lights:

"I am concerned that some of my Democrat colleagues used this unique public forum to make clear that they believe the gravest threat we face is not Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, but rather the president of the United States," Mr. Roberts said.

How does such an obvious hatchet guy get into such an important position? Never mind, I don't want to know.

"We assess that should the jihadists thwart the Iraqis' efforts to establish a stable political and security environment, they could secure an operational base in Iraq and inspire sympathizers elsewhere to move beyond rhetoric to attempt attacks against neighboring Middle Eastern nations, Europe, and even the United States," said Mr. Negroponte, a former ambassador to Iraq.

Emphasis added. Good boy, 'Ponte. Took that right from the speechifying of Bubble Boy, didn't ya?

A brand new, bipartisan day! Feel the shiny and the happy, won't you?
Wide Plot Seen in Guilty Plea in Iraq Project

In United States District Court in Washington, court papers indicate, Mr. Stein will plead guilty today to conspiracy, bribery, money laundering, possession of a machine gun and being a felon in possession of firearms, for essentially giving millions of that money to Mr. Bloom, and taking millions more for himself.

For the love of money
People will steal from their mother
For the love of money
People will rob their own brother
For the love of money
People can't even walk the street
Because they never know who in the world they're gonna beat
For that lean, mean, mean green
Almighty dollar, money

For the Love of Money, The OJays
New York GOP blasts Clinton and Spitzer

Shorter Stephen Minarik: Desperate? We are not desperate. We're not.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Dear Joint Chiefs of Staff,

A Reprehensible Cartoon

Those who visit wounded veterans in hospitals have found lives profoundly changed by pain and loss. They also have found brave men and women with a sense of purpose and selfless commitment that causes battle-hardened warriors to pause.

...these men and women and their families are owed the decency of not having a cartoon make light of their tremendous physical sacrifices.

Dear Joint Chiefs of Staff,

How in the world can you see this editorial cartoon as making light of anything?

This cartoon is as light as a heart attack. It depicts a wounded soldier, but the cartoon is clearly sympathetic to this symbolic soldier.

The cartoon is a criticism of Rumsfeld, not of any soldier, or even of the Army in general.

Is this why you have taken this action of sending a letter to the Post? Because it is critical of Rumsfeld?

You have embarrassed yourselves with this letter.

Thank you.

(Via AmericaBlog)

Dear Democratic Senators,

Senate Panel Rebuffed on Documents on U.S. Spying

The Bush administration is rebuffing requests from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee for its classified legal opinions on President Bush's domestic spying program, setting up a confrontation in advance of a hearing scheduled for next week, administration and Congressional officials said Wednesday.

Dear Democratic Senators,

Please go ahead and "screw things up" in the Senate if the Bush administration continues to stonewall on the domestic wiretapping program.

Please consider this to be the Constitutional crisis that it is.

Please act accordingly to this Constitutional crisis, without regard to any bogus and phantom fears of "being seen as obstructionist," or "being seen as weak on national security."

Please develop a simple, coherent, and honest message about why you are halting any other action in the Senate until there are full hearings about this domestic spying program.

Please represent those of us who feel that our system of government has been subverted by this administration. It is not within the power of the Executive branch to create a wholly new legal system, yet this is what has been happening over the last four years.

Represent your constituents. Represent your branch of the government. Represent the Democratic party's ideals. Represent the ideals on which this country was founded.

Thank you.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

ATT sued for conspiring with NSA to conduct illegal wiretaping on Americans

Hmm. It's a damn shame they couldn't get tort reform in place before this.

I love this. Hold 'em reponsible. Shake the trees, see what falls out.

Question: Who will be the first to call it a "frivolous lawsuit"?

The State of the Union which Exists in the Minds of Speechwriters and Wankers

The State of the Union seemed to be Bush's standard stuff - nothing really new, and what was new was pretty underwhelming. Bush, the former oil man and recipient of Big Oil's big campaign contributions, is going to lead the way on alternative energy? Uh, yeah.

I was weirded out by some of the whooping and cheering from the audience. I believe that someone (or some people) yelped when Bush went into his "I am the law" justification for wiretapping. Aren't those the people who are supposed to check the power of the Executive? You could almost hear the Founding Fathers collectively smacking their foreheads from the Other Side.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Cheerleader in Chief

Via Froomkin, a quote from "presidential counselor Dan Bartlett":

Here's Bartlett: "He'll look at these challenges. And sometimes people have a pessimistic outlook, but not this president. He is very optimistic about the future of our country. Because he's optimistic about the American people."


There's only one thing that I know how to do well
And I've often been told that you only can do
What you know how to do well
And that's be you,
Be what you're like,
Be like yourself,
And so I'm having a wonderful time
But I'd rather be whistling in the dark
Whistling in the dark...

Artist: They Might Be Giants
Album: Flood

Monday, January 30, 2006

Exxon Mobil Posts Largest Annual Profit for U.S. Company

Gas prices have been on the rise through the month of January, following steady prices in December and mid-to-late November, and after declining prices from October to mid-November.

A cynical person might think that there was some collusion going on. That maybe there was an appeal to the big boys to hold down prices for the holidays.

"Fellas, we need people to see that the price of gas is going down. That way, the Christmas spending will be gud, and then you can ring in the new year with some good old fashioned gouging. Whaddya say?"

A cynical person might think that.

But I'm sure that our fine elected representatives would never let that happen.