Saturday, January 24, 2009

Saturday Stuff

Cenk Uygur comments on Keith Olbermann's interview with the NSA's Russell Tice from earlier this week about the extent of the NSA spying (yes, this is too important to be "swept under the rug")...

...Flight Of The Conchords ("Business Time"; I probably should have put this up on Wednesday - awww, yeah).

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Stuff

(A brief "meta" note - I was able to post more than I thought this week, but I don't think my luck will hold out next week; I'll keep you informed when I know anything.)

Rachel Maddow conducted a great interview tonight with Dem U.S. Rep. Pete DeFazio of Oregon about the stimulus bill; the whole thing is worth watching (I'll keep looking), but this excerpt is terrific (gee, ya' think DeFazio has a low opinion of Obama econ advisor Larry Summers?)...

...and even though Obama has ordered that GITMO be closed within a year, he is of course receiving the inevitable right-wing push back, as noted here; this is more background on the following video...K.O., in his "Bushed" scandals segment tonight, explained pretty well how we may have ended up radicalizing Said Ali al-Shihri - I'd embed the video if I could (heckuva job, MSNBC)...

...and I had to emded this if, for no other reason, because of the "Planet Blago" weirdness at the end (and the more I think about it - particularly after reading Clyde Haberman's Paterson take-down in the Times today - the more I think the "guv" "screwed the pooch" on the Gillibrand nod; Margaret Carlson, on "Countdown" tonight, more or less assured an Andrew Cuomo primary contest against Paterson when it's election time for "the big chair" in Albany)...

...Daughtry ("What About Now").

Where The Rubber Meets The Road (1/23/09)

As reported in last Sunday's Philadelphia Inquirer, here is how Philadelphia-area members of Congress were recorded on major roll-call votes last week (and I also posted over here).


Children's health insurance. Voting 289-139, the House sent the Senate a bill (HR 3963) expanding State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) coverage from 6.6 million children to about 11 million children.

A yes vote was to pass the bill.

Voting yes: John Adler (D., N.J.), Robert E. Andrews (D., N.J.), Robert A. Brady (D., Pa.), Michael N. Castle (R., Del.), Charles W. Dent (R., Pa.), Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.), Jim Gerlach (R., Pa.), Tim Holden (D., Pa.), Frank A. LoBiondo (R., N.J.), Patrick Murphy (D., Pa.), Allyson Y. Schwartz (D., Pa.), Joe Sestak (D., Pa.), and Christopher H. Smith (R., N.J.).

Voting no: Joseph R. Pitts (R., Pa.).
For those keeping score at home, by the way, this is the FIFTH time that Pancake Joe has voted against funding SCHIP (the other four times are noted here).


Bailout oversight. Voting 151-274, the House defeated a bid to block federal access to the boardrooms of firms receiving taxpayer bailouts under the $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP). This amendment, which was proposed to a bill (HR 384) tightening federal control of TARP expenditures, sought to delete a proposal giving the Treasury authority to send observers to the board meetings of certain companies. The bill remained in debate.

A yes vote backed the amendment.

Voting yes: Castle, LoBiondo, Pitts and Smith.

Voting no: Adler, Andrews, Brady, Dent, Fattah, Gerlach, Holden, Murphy and Schwartz.
So just remember that Castle, LoBiondo, Pitts and Chris Smith (and I promise not to treat Smith with kid gloves as I have in the past, as noted here) all oppose overseeing the actions of financial services companies benefitting from TARP funds, so that misconduct such as this would be utterly invisible if they had their way.

And speaking of TARP, I meant to note earlier that Patrick Murphy sponsored an amendment that seeks to “disclose more information about four firms that will administer a key portion of the government's bailout plan,” as noted here; the amendment passed unanimously.


$700 billion bailout. Voting 42-52, the Senate refused to block the release of $350 billion not yet disbursed from the $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program that Congress and President Bush enacted in October to rescue the economy. This vote on SJ Res 5 cleared the way for the Obama administration to spend the $350 billion for what it says will be purposes such as further shoring up financial institutions, averting home foreclosures, and aiding small businesses.

A yes vote opposed release of the $350 billion.

Voting yes: Arlen Specter (R., Pa.).

Voting no: Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D., Del.), Thomas Carper (D., Del.), Bob Casey (D., Pa.), Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.), and Robert Menendez (D., N.J.).
As always, screw you, Arlen – have fun playing games with the Eric Holder AG nomination.

Update 1/27/09: And by the way, don’t think this doesn’t have anything to do with this, which, after all, is just a part of this.

Pay-bias suits. Voting 72-23, senators opened debate on a bill (S 181) giving plaintiffs greater standing to file suits alleging pay discrimination. The bill would permit claims to be filed within 180 days of the latest infraction. This would nullify a 2007 Supreme Court ruling, in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., that requires pay-bias suits to be filed within 180 days of the first infraction.

A yes vote was to advance the bill.

Voting yes: Biden, Carper, Casey, Lautenberg, Menendez and Specter.
And for the record, as noted here, here are the 23 idiot Repugs (redundant?) who voted against bringing this to the Senate floor for debate (it eventually passed).

Barrasso, John [R]
Brownback, Samuel [R]
Chambliss, C. [R]
Coburn, Thomas [R]
Cochran, Thad [R]
Cornyn, John [R]
Crapo, Michael [R]
DeMint, Jim [R]
Ensign, John [R]
Enzi, Michael [R]
Graham, Lindsey [R]
Hatch, Orrin [R]
Inhofe, James [R]
Isakson, John [R]
Johanns, Mike [R]
Kyl, Jon [R]
Lugar, Richard [R] – he should know better
Risch, James [R]
Roberts, Pat [R]
Sessions, Jefferson [R]
Shelby, Richard [R]
Thune, John [R]
Vitter, David [R] - Spitzer, Edwards and Craig gone, but he remains
This week, the House considered tighter controls on the continuing $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program bailout. The Senate debated bills on children's health coverage and pay bias, and began confirmation voting on Obama administration appointees.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thursday Stuff

I give Caroline Kennedy credit for knowing when to "bow out" here; I just think she was trying to make it to "the show" without putting in her time building up her bio first (and no, I don't see any similarity between her situation and Hillary Clinton's - paging Andrew Cuomo)...

Watch CBS Videos Online

...though, apparently, the choice of New York Senator to replace HRC will be Kirsten Gillibrand based on this...

...and saying you're going to close GITMO during the presidential campaign is one thing, but kudos to Obama for following through here (this video is a follow-up to this post)...

...and as a tribute to David "Fathead" Newman, here's "One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)."

An Early "Values Voter" Obama-Rama Slam

(And by the way, I also posted over here about one of the more noxious offenders of the punditocracy.)

McClatchy tells us here that…

WASHINGTON — Republican lawmakers on Wednesday urged President Barack Obama to reconsider his support of legal abortions as anti-abortion activists arrived in Washington for a protest on the anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade ruling.

As many as 200,000 people were expected to join the "March for Life" to the Supreme Court building on Thursday on the 36th anniversary of the 1973 decision legalizing abortion.

Douglas Johnson, legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee, said abortion opponents were girding for a series of abortion-rights actions by Obama, possibly as soon as Thursday.

"We expect the Obama administration to push a sweeping pro-abortion agenda which, if successful, would greatly increase the number of abortions," Johnson said.

Bill Burton, an Obama spokesman, declined to comment.

"We're not making any announcements on that today," Burton said.
(God, let the guy take his coat off in the Oval Office at least before you start haranguing him, willya? And I know it’s going to be difficult for “the faithful” to comprehend the fact that, at long last, we now have a president who, by every appearance, is skilled in actual governance, as opposed to the prior life form that inhabited 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.)

In response to Johnson, please allow me to note the following from this link…

The Guttmacher Institute, whose figures are cited regularly by both sides in the abortion debate, say on their Web site, "In 2005, 1.21 million abortions were performed, down from 1.31 million abortions in 2000."

There's little to show the decline has come about because of anything President Bush did or didn't do. In fact, the number of abortions in the U.S. has been falling steadily since the 1980s regardless of whether the person in the White House favored a legal right to abortion or opposed it.
It should also be noted that Obama, as candidate, said that states should be allowed to regulate late term abortions (and by the way, please allow me to note once more that “partial-birth abortion” is a political term and not a medical one).

I’m not sure what Obama meant, though, when he said that “We've actually made progress over the last several years in reducing teen pregnancies, for example,” given that this tells us that teen pregnancy rates rose for the first time in 14 years in December 2007. We also learn from the “On The Issues” text that Obama’s “present” votes on “five horrendous (Illinois) anti-choice bills,” according to NOW, antagonized a group that overwhelmingly supported Hillary Clinton for president (Obama’s “present” votes indicated that he didn’t like the abortion-related legislation, but he wanted to keep it alive so it could be fixed for a later vote as opposed to scraping it altogether, primarily for the reason of ensuring that the mother is protected).

Also, Obama would expand access to contraception, and he has also said that he would extend “the same presumption of good faith” to abortion protesters that some have extended to him.

The McClatchy story also tells us that Obama supports the Freedom of Choice Act, which “would prohibit federal, state or local governments from denying or interfering with a woman's right to choose to have an abortion. It would (also) allow women to file retroactive lawsuits claiming harm from past denials.” And this tells us that the Prevention First Act, already endorsed by Obama, “would increase federal funding for family planning, promote comprehensive sex education, and expand women's access to contraceptives.”

The ABC News story also tells us that the Hyde Amendment, named after a philandering former Congressional Repug of sadly little worth, now deceased, is still very much in place, as it has been for 33 years, and likely will remain that way; the amendment bans all government funding of abortions – on this, I (a Catholic) want to point out that I recently heard someone from “Priests For Life” claim from the pulpit that Obama will ensure that government funds abortions again…even though the speaker wore a turned-around collar, that didn’t absolve that person from telling the truth, which is that Obama is not going to risk hard-won political capital trying to stir up the “culture wars” for real by trying to repeal Hyde when there are so many other weightier issues to be addressed.

And by the way, for the record, here is the statement from President Obama (ummm, that sounds nice after all these years) on the Roe v. Wade anniversary.

Also for the record, here is Media Matters debunking another lie from Flush Limbore on the so-called “Mexico City” policy that “prohibit(s) the federal government from providing funds to international family planning groups that promote abortion or provide information, counseling, or referrals about abortion services in other nations” (as MM tells us, it was first imposed by The Sainted Ronnie R, rescinded by Clinton, and revived by Dubya; I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before it’s rescinded again – if the “Priests For Life” person I noted above was referring to “Mexico City” and not “Hyde,” he should have said so).

But you just knew that the Repugs and their acolytes weren’t going to take all of this sanity from Obama lying down without responding somehow, didn’t you?

Well, the McClatchy story also tells us…

House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio sent Obama a letter signed by 80 GOP colleagues asking him to back off his campaign support for the Freedom of Choice Act, a bill that would repeal dozens of restrictions states have placed on abortions.

"Since the beginning of your presidential transition, Americans from all walks of life have been touched by your pledge to govern from the center, and by your vow to be a president for all Americans," Boehner wrote to Obama.

"We are writing to respectfully urge you to build on this foundation by withdrawing your pledge to sign the so-called Freedom of Choice Act, which would in one tragic act overturn virtually all pro-life laws nationwide," the letter said.

As an Illinois legislator and U.S. senator, Obama compiled a strong voting record in support of abortion rights.

"The first thing I'd do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act," Obama told a national gathering of Planned Parenthood members in July 2007.

Obama added: "On this fundamental issue, I will not yield."
Elections have consequences, Boehner (pronounced “bo-ner”).

And don’t you know that one of Boehner’s GOP colleagues that engaged in his publicity stunt (rightly called that by Nancy Keenan of NARAL) was our own Joe Pitts?

Oh yes, Pancake Joe is such a friend of families in this country that he voted against a renewal of Head Start, against raising the minimum wage at least twice, against a bill empowering the FDA to regulate cigarette content, requiring disclosure of product ingredients, banning cigarette marketing to children, and requiring more prominent health warnings, and against funding of SCHIP (four times!!), as noted here.

That’s the choice you make when living in the reality-based community, though. The Dems, by and large, are trying to govern for individuals in all phases of life, from conception to death. That’s a considerably more challenging proposition than that offered by the Repugs, who quite rightly look upon life within the womb as sacred, but somehow believe that, once that life is fully realized upon birth, all bets are off.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Winger Plan That’s Been Tried Before, Eh?

So how exactly are the knuckle-dragging, dead-ender, Bush-lovin’ faithful dealing with the happy event (this far) of an Obama presidency, I hear you ask (and by the way, I also posted here)?

Well, as this post tells us…

While most (World Nut Daily) columnists seem content to let Obama to shoot himself in the foot and destroy his own presidency, WND founder Joseph Farah has decided on a more pro-active response by praying that Obama will fail miserably...
I know I got into some of this yesterday with Flush Limbore, but I wanted to take note of the following in particular from some meat sack named Burt Prelutsky…

I know that armed insurrection is a notion that has occurred to quite a number of right-wingers, and while I admit that popping off a round or two in the general direction of Michael Moore, Rosie O'Donnell and any number of left-wing politicians is undeniably appealing, I really wouldn't want to promote a second war between the states. At least not so long as there was a viable option. And, fortunately, there is. There's Canada!
Putting aside for a moment still more casual references of violence towards people Prelutsky doesn’t like (which you will only find at this site directed towards bin Laden, by the way), I would just like to note the following about his highly unoriginal idea.

This ABC News post tells us that…

The number of U.S. citizens who moved to Canada (in 2006) hit a 30-year high, with a 20 percent increase over the previous year and almost double the number who moved in 2000.

In (’06), 10,942 Americans went to Canada, compared with 9,262 in 2005 and 5,828 in 2000, according to a survey by the Association for Canadian Studies.

Of course, those numbers are still outweighed by the number of Canadians going the other way. Yet, that imbalance is shrinking. Last year, 23,913 Canadians moved to the United States, a significant decrease from 29,930 in 2005.

"There has been a definite increase in the past five years — the number hasn't exceeded 10,000 since 1977," says Jack Jedwab, the association's executive director. "During the mid-70s, Canada admitted between 22,000 and 26,000 Americans a year, most of whom were draft dodgers from the Vietnam War."

The current increase appears to be fueled largely by social and political reasons, says Jedwab, based on anecdotal evidence.

"Those who are coming have the highest level of education — these aren't people who can't get a job in the states," he says. "They're coming because many of them don't like the politics, the Iraq War and the security situation in the U.S. By comparison, Canada is a tension-free place. People feel safer."
And Dahlia and Alex Lithwick of Slate provide an overview of sorts here for anyone contemplating a move north (it might behoove the “Obama haters,” if you will, to note the following – this is dated from 2004, and I haven’t been able to track down any more recent information, but you can still have fun with the snark)…

If you (like to shoot people), you should know that there is no Second Amendment or equivalent thereof in the Canadian constitution. Perhaps as a consequence only 22 percent of Canadians own guns as opposed to 49 percent of Americans, while handguns and assault rifles are verboten. Perhaps related to that statistic, the violent crime rate in Canada is 10 times lower than in the United States. This may have no connection to guns, though, and rather a strong correlation to general mellowness of the Canadian temperament.

The Canadian courts abolished capital punishment in the '70s, and Canada hasn't seen an execution since 1962. Texas hasn't seen one since about 11 seconds ago.

Judges in at least three provinces have now decriminalized marijuana possession and the federal government is considering decriminalizing it in small quantities. We are advised that the feds also grow great masses of it in large underground caverns and may soon expand the use of these caverns as shelters to which the entire country would retreat in the event of a terrorist attack or to spur mass-munchies in case of a national Doritos glut. And only in Canada would you find marijuana advocates genuinely arguing that people actually drive better stoned.

For some reason Canadians seem to live longer, be healthier, and pay less for these privileges. It has something to do with national health insurance, adequate primary care, particularly for children, and the availability of quality prescription drugs.

Six and possibly soon seven Canadian provinces currently permit gay marriage. Before leaving office last year, Prime Minister Jean Chretien referred the question of the constitutionality of same-sex marriage to the Supreme Court for an opinion. The court hasn't yet decided the question.

When Canadians talk about "multiculturalism," it doesn't only mean they're for blondes hanging out with redheads. Canadian TV shows actually teem with racially diverse characters, and the major national catalogs have been known to feature models in wheelchairs. Moreover, Canada has not one but two official languages, and no one seems to be suffering for it. Indeed, some believe it makes them sort of interesting.
So there you go, wingnuts; if any of this is to your liking, then don’t let the door hit you on the way outta here.

Of course, if you end up encountering the same people you sought to avoid in the first place who’ve already beaten you to it, don’t blame me.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tuesday Stuff

Just remember this the next time you hear Hangin’ Judge J.R. whining about how much money judges make here (and by the way, I thought Daily Kos diarist Brainwrap was charitable to a fault concerning the negative commenters; if a judge can’t live comfortably on $160 K a year – $217 in J.R.’s case – they should look for the source of the problem from their reflection in the mirror)…

From the ridiculous, though, we go to the sublime; President (no “Elect” any more) Barack Obama’s inauguration speech, with commentary by Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks (don’t know who the other commentator is – and by the way, if you have access to the New York Times, this column from Bob Herbert today is truly a must-read)…

…and here is the invocation by Rev. Joseph Lowery (this was great, and the fact that it gave that nitwit Dom Giordano of WPHT in these parts a case of the “vapors” is all the better – transcript is here)…

Update 1/12/09: Even better (tee hee)...

…oh, and “Deadeye Dick” was there too (appears at about :17)…

…and I think this is the perfect song for the occasion (“If You’re Out There,” by John Legend).

More From The Not-So-Greatest Show On Earth

In the category of “who cares…you idiots lost,” we have this from Flush Limbore (who I would ordinarily not bother with, but for the fact that this particular talking point will be turned into entire nonsensical columns by Kristol, Krauthammer, Gerson, Brooks, et al shortly I believe)…

I disagree fervently with the people on our side of the aisle who have caved and who say, "Well, I hope he succeeds. We've got to give him a chance." Why? They didn't give Bush a chance in 2000. Before he was inaugurated the search-and-destroy mission had begun.
(Oh, and Think Progress tells us the following here.)

In addition to the rather obvious point kos makes above (namely, that the Repugs haven’t legitimately won a presidential election in 20 years), I believe the following should be emphasized once more (noted here), and that is the fact that President George Walker Bush once owned an approval rating of 90 percent immediately after the 9/11 attacks.

I realize that arguing with an OxyContin-addicted, reality-impaired semi-wide like ol’ Flush is a fool’s errand, but I don’t think it has been emphasized enough (in what I would only call “Dubya nostalgia” because I truly cannot think of any other way to label such a delusional activity) that there was actually a time when Dubya was popular!

Of course, with the passage of time and the tragic events that followed, to say nothing of the truths that were revealed (and the realization that this individual was nothing but a presidential pretender, and a barely literate one at that), his popularity descended to numbers closer to single digits than all who came before him.

So prattle on, Flush, along with your ideological fellow travelers, even though the circus has left down; consider the canvas unhoisted, the slip knots removed from the center poles, and the wall supports torn down and packed up with everything else, ready to be loaded onto the freight trains, along with the livestock.

But even though you’re “a barker without a carnival,” you’ll always be able to find “the big top” no matter where it is. All you have to do is follow the trail of horse manure.

Update: Try following the lead of "Joe Scar" here, Flush (yeah, I know, pissing into the wind...).

Presidential Pundit Pabulum

As a matter of routine, I take on the silliness and misinformation of “the chattering class” in print, online and in other forms if I encounter it in my quest to provide something approximating the truth (yes, if you have any familiarity with this site at all, I know you know that already – and by the way, I also posted here).

I’m pointing out that extremely obvious fact as a setup to my comments on this opinion column from Ivan Eland (and I have to admit that Eland is one of the least likely individuals with whom I would take issue due to the fact that he seems to be more grounded in the reality-based community).

However, in his remarks timed for the inauguration today, he tells us…

Presidents cannot take credit or be blamed for what they inherit when they take office. If they at least try to move the country in the right direction – as Jimmy Carter did when he proposed a top-to-bottom review of federal programs and government spending, known as "zero-based budgeting "– they deserve more credit than presidents who go along with things that are wrong.

Indeed, Carter, who is underrated as president, reduced government spending as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) faster than any other modern president, began deregulation of many industries, and nominated Paul Volcker to serve as Federal Reserve chairman. He was the main architect of the "tight money" policies that helped trigger the Reagan and Clinton booms.
Eland, on balance, is a pretty bright guy, and that more or less supports what I’ve already read about Carter. The “stern medicine” from our 39th president hastened his political demise and contributed to some horrendous unemployment numbers early in Reagan’s first term, though happily for The Sainted Ronnie R, he managed to turn that around somewhat before the 1984 election.

However, I believe Eland gets into trouble here…

The late historian Stephen Ambrose, biographer of Dwight D. Eisenhower, argued in his book "Eisenhower: Soldier and President," that an author's partisanship distorts the attempt to rate the effects of presidential decisions. A "more fruitful" way to judge a president, Mr. Ambrose wrote, is to assess "how well he did in achieving the tasks and goals he set for himself at the time he took office."

Such valueless judgments are the opposite of how historians should judge our presidents. By Ambrose's standard, any president with the skill – or the favorable conditions – to get his programs enacted could be labeled a good or great chief executive, even if the programs hurt the country. Woodrow Wilson, Lyndon Johnson and George W. Bush would all rank high in such a system, because they were all reasonably effective in getting (misguided) policies implemented.

But consider the cost of that effectiveness: Wilson's policies arguably helped foment World War II, and they certainly led to bigger and more aggressive government. Johnson's policies helped create welfare dependency as an American way of life. And Bush's policies both dragged us into an unnecessary war in Iraq and, with the addition of Medicare's prescription drug benefit, provided for the greatest expansion of government in recent history. All three were effective; all three were wrong.
I should add that I’m not sure if I’m taking issue with Eland here or Ambrose, or both, but here I go anyway.

To begin, I’m also unsure how Woodrow Wilson, who was the driving force behind the League of Nations after World War I (a group to which the US never joined; Wilson earned the 1919 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts) can be blamed for World War II. The individuals primarily responsible for the punitive terms of the Treaty of Versailles were David Lloyd George of Great Britain and Georges Clemenceau of France (though Lloyd George was more concerned about the rise of communism than Nazism – all of this and much more is noted here).

And as far as Lyndon Johnson is concerned, if you’re going to dwell on the failures of his “Great Society” programs instead of his successes, then you’re really branding the entire ideological cast of this country as wrongheaded from, say, the New Deal programs until the early 1970s, since, as noted here, the “Great Society” built on the work begun by FDR, as well as the “New Frontier” of Johnson’s predecessor JFK (though I was too young at the time to directly experience what transpired while LBJ was president, I just get tired of all of this negative revisionism of those years, particularly when I read it from people who should know better).

And Eland continues…

Calvin Coolidge lacked charisma, generally avoided government intervention, and served during a time of peace. He is known today as Silent Cal and is all but ignored by historians. I consider him among America's best chief executives.
I thought that was interesting, given that writer David Greenberg compared Coolidge here to Reagan in the former’s use of what would come to later be called “photo ops.”

Greenberg also tells us…

Under Coolidge, the stock market swelled into an enormous bubble, inflated by borrowed money and a belief that the self-proclaimed "New Era" really was new. Coolidge managed to get out of office before the bursting, but that didn't prevent hard feelings. "Nero fiddled," (journalist H.L.) Mencken said, "but Coolidge only snored."

…another parallel springs as readily to mind (besides Coolidge to Reagan). Coolidge made a habit of bestowing nicknames on those around him; his tax cuts particularly benefited the rich; the hottest issue of his presidency was immigration (Coolidge in 1924 signed the most sweeping immigration reform in American history, drastically curtailing legal entry into the United States); flooding in Louisiana and elsewhere along the Mississippi required a major relief effort and prompted angry criticism of Washington's half-hearted response. But unlike George W. Bush, Coolidge left office after a single full term. "I do not choose to run," he said simply, and walked away. Considering how things have been going recently, Bush may wish he had followed Silent Cal's lead!
I honestly don’t see how Eland or anyone else could imagine putting Dubya in the same sentence as Woodrow Wilson (whose chief flaw was racism, as nearly as I can determine) and LBJ. However, since “Number 43” is now OFFICIALLY HISTORY (!), let us take comfort from the fact that the exercise of trying to reconcile such a comparison is now a matter for posterity.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Monday Stuff

Here's the Bank of America story, telling the tale of one of the more unscrupulous players benefiting from the bailout (more is here)...

...and there's still time to give him another shot, so here goes (contains a bad word repeated a few times though).

In Memory Of Dr. King

Here are here are prior posts honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and here is a link from to an excerpt from his speech at the Barratt Junior High School in South Philadelphia on October 26, 1967.

And here is the most memorable excerpt from his final speech.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Closing This Ugly Chapter

We made it, ladies and gentlemen.

As DHinMI of The Daily Kos tells us here, as of 5 PM EST last Friday (and considering that Monday is a federal holiday for MLK day), the foul, fetid Bushco reign is over.

Seriously (too relieved to feel like celebrating – yet).

So, with that in mind, I’d like to present my “The Case Against Dubya” links one final time before all of that HTML code ends up in the Recycle bin:

  • K.O., bless his heart, called for Dubya and Cheney to resign in 2007 here over the matter of the commutation of Scooter Libby’s sentence (wow, spank my butt and call me Charlie, but I though Libby would be pardoned by now).

  • This tells us of the impeachment resolution passed by the Vermont State Senate in April 2007 (showing more spine than anyone in the U.S. Congress).

  • Here is "The Best War Ever" also.

  • On the fifth anniversary, here’s K.O. telling us again that Bush owes us an apology for 9/11 (here's a bit of trivia for the record; Patrick McGoohan, who just left us, was born on March 19th, the day the Iraq war began in 2003).

  • This tells us the cost of "staying the course."

  • And I'm sure those "reformers" in Lebanon (Hezbollah) and Palestine (Hamas) were happy about this.

  • Here’s a more egregious example of the “Liar in Chief” at work in an exchange with Helen Thomas, one of the truly few Beltway journos with any guts, as recounted by georgia10 of The Daily Kos.

  • Oh, and remember all of those “Bush Bounce” stories that started popping up after Katrina when our political-media-industrial complex realized that Commander Codpiece’s approval ratings were tanking? So does Eric Boehlert here.

  • And here is Dubya being “worshipped” by the kids at “Jesus Camp” (ugh…).

  • Here are the “14 Points of Fascism” from the “Old American Century” web site (hits Dubya where he lives, intentionally so).

  • Here is how Dubya embraced “sacrifice” as nothing more than a buzzword after he rejected the findings of the Iraq Study Group and went full steam ahead with the “surge” (and once more, any success is due in part to the brave men and women of our military, but also due to the “Sunni Awakening” and the ethnic cleansing in that country which has been pretty much ignored by our corporate media.)

  • And as part of the “splurge,” this tells us how President Non-Stop Military Photo Ops put a gag order on troops at Fort Benning, GA who were getting ready to ship out to Mesopotamia.

  • Paul Krugman tells us here of how Dubya (and the Repugs in general) use a campaign of distraction and disenfranchisement to perpetuate income inequality.

  • This tells us how that worm Douglas Feith (working for Rummy at the Pentagon) browbeat our intelligence analysts to make them tell him what he wanted to hear, all for the goal of selling the Iraq war (and other stuff).

  • This presents a graph showing Dubya’s approval rating falling off the proverbial cliff.

  • This tells us how Dubya threatened to veto a pay raise for our military, as well as military widow benefits.

  • Among other things, this tells us more on Dubya’s pitiful record of job creation.

  • This tells us of those representing us and those in our military who covered for Dubya (including Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, who should know better).

  • This New York Times Op-Ed by Adam Cohen tells us that Dubya (or a ruler like him) was truly the worst nightmare of those brave men and women who founded our country.

  • This Op-Ed by Frank Rich tells us about some of the insidious media manipulation by Dubya and his ruling cabal.

  • This tells us that Dubya met with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar in February 2003 and told him that the U.S. would go to war with Iraq to disarm Saddam Hussein with or without a U.N. resolution (truly the act of a madman).

  • Paul Krugman makes the case here of how Dubya is a true “movement conservative.”

  • Here, Commander Codpiece criticizes Congress for taking a vacation, which is funny considering that he took more vaca days than any other president.

  • Dubya blames Congress again for the mess he largely created, with Turkey choosing to act based on the mess he created (note: we’re now talking about the Dem 110th, here, as opposed to the Repug 109th that game him everything he and “Deadeye Dick” wanted, so…).

  • Here, profmarcus tells us that George McGovern urged Dubya’s impeachment a year ago (h/t Atrios).

  • More economic woes from Dubya are noted here.

  • Kagro X of The Daily Kos tries to give us some idea of the damage wrought by Bushco here (a truly tall order).

  • This tells us about Dubya’s pitiful record of job creation.

  • Oh, and remember when the unemployment rate was only 4.9 percent here (and even THAT didn’t tell the whole story?)

  • This tells us that Dubya is officially the most unpopular president in Gallup Poll history (I wasn’t making that up all this time, in case anyone was wondering about that).

  • This shows how voters have trended towards the Dems and away from the Repugs (heckuva job, Dubya).

  • This tells us how our corporate media sugarcoated Dubya’s terrible approval numbers (calling them “extraordinary stable”…please).

  • This tells us how our “dear friends” the Israelis decided to engage in direct negotiations with Syria, in opposition to what Dubya wanted of course (as if Israel cared).

  • This tells us how Dubya (who never saw overseas combat, let’s not forget) urged our forces in Iraq to “kick ass” and “This Vietnam stuff, this is not even close. It is a mind-set. We can't send that message. It's an excuse to prepare us for withdrawal."

    Obnoxious, war mongering little shit…

  • Via Atrios, McClatchy tells us here that, in so many words, Dubya and Cheney are war criminals (and there you are).

  • Here’s a link to Vincent Bugliosi’s book "The Prosecution of George W. Bush For Murder."

  • This tells us that Dubya is the least popular president since polling began.

  • This tells us how Sarko actually “scored a point” on Putin by maligning Dubya.

  • This tells us of more Interior Department shenanigans and more “burrowing” of Bushco acolytes into federal jobs (by the way, I read a New York Times analysis in 2002 that reported GAO findings that the “W” letters were removed from some keyboards, but I tend to side with mcjoan here; that doesn’t mean it still wasn’t an “urban legend”).

  • I would call this pretty conclusive proof that Dubya was “off the wagon” for awhile (probably a hat tip to Atrios for this).

  • In this interview, Bob Woodward tells us just how lazy Dubya truly is.

  • This tells us how Dubya’s CPSC allowed toxic toys onto the shelves of our stores due to a technicality, in violation of a Congressional law.

  • This tells us of an executive order from Dubya that denies collective bargaining rights to about 8,600 federal employees who work in law enforcement, intelligence and other agencies responsible for national security.

  • You can just add this to the “legacy”; the highest number of jobless claims in a generation.

  • And here’s another Dubya lie: his claim that he never said the Taliban was eliminated (au contraire).

  • This tells us of Dubya’s damnable “conscience” rule whereby medical providers could decide not to provide treatment “that they believe violates their personal, moral or religious beliefs.”

  • Of all the words that could be associated with a president, somehow I don’t Dubya would prefer this one.

  • Joe Galloway of McClatchy gives Dubya the sendoff he deserves here.

  • This tells us of yet another pissy, agitated response in the face of the truth from this miscreant and his minions, this time when confronted with his role in the subprime mortgage debacle (and accuses the Times of “Cherry picking” information; as kos would say, “pot, meet kettle”).

  • Bob Herbert of the New York Times tells us here exactly how we should be acting now that Dubya is all but gone.

  • This tells us the sad tale of Bush’s last year, by the numbers.

  • The Daily Kos and Glenn Greenwald give us “An Eight-Year Case Study In Lying And Ignorance” here (and get ready for the neocon hosannas from Krauthammer and his foul ilk now that President Brainless is practically a memory).

  • And Paul Krugman tells us that “forgive and forget” is simply not an option here.
  • And here is Keith Olbermann on Dubya's "legacy" once more, for the record.

    And let's not forget "Deadeye Dick" also, people.

    And in song, what could be a more appropriate sendoff than this little number: "Goodbye Mr. President, It's Time For You To Go" by bluesman Mem Shannon.

    Update 1 1/19/09: And OF COURSE the Israelis stand by Dubya while everyone else in the reality-based community gives him one final shot here; after all, our proxy war for them in Iraq created another target for the Arabs besides themselves.

    So how do they pay us back? By bombing Gaza into the Stone Age, while they keep building those damn settlements in spite of everything.

    I hope Obama has enough of a spine to tell the "children of David" what they can do with themselves, but I'm not holding my breath.

    Update 2 1/19/09: "Fart jokes and war" indeed.