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Wednesday, November 30

Ok. So Maybe The Media Buys The Government Sometimes

You've got to read this long article at GQ: Not Necessarily the News. How Sinclair Broadcast Group bent the rules, bought politicians, and faked the news to become one of the largest independent owners of television stations in America. (And yes, we use the word “news” very, very loosely) By Wil S. Hyton about the Sinclair Broadcasting Company and how they control a lot more than you thought. Here's the last paragraph:

Whether minor or major, political or personal, the litany of deceptions at Sinclair do serve a common purpose. They may be designed to cut costs (like the weather forecasts), or to protect Republican allies by attacking Democratic rivals, or to promote a war and reap the profits, but what binds Sinclair’s business strategy together is the company’s commitment to the bottom line. Just as the company was willing to violate FCC regulations to exercise illegal control of TV stations, and just as the Smith brothers were willing to spend illegal amounts of money on their political patrons in exchange for political favors, they have also been willing to cast aside their own convictions in the interest of profit, championing moral values from the back rooms of topless bars and railing against political corruption while setting new standards for it—giving more than 95 percent of their political donations to the Republican Party, then basking in the rewards of loose oversight and unfettered access to elected officials. As a result, the story of Sinclair is not merely about the rise of bias in the news, because bias is a product of idealism. The story of Sinclair is also about the limits of that idealism, about what happens when bias succumbs to business interests and greed masquerades as principle.
Hat tip to Okieblonde for pointing out this story to us.
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Timeout

Tomorrow is the first of December and today is the last day of hurricane season. Friday night will be the day of our local Christmas parade. Three reasons to smile.

Our local Christmas parade is not your father’s Macy’s parade. It’s a small town and a small town parade. Probably as many of the locals are in the parade as are standing on the sidewalk watching it go by. There are dozens of kids in dozens of groups all decked out in their holiday finery and they are not marching in rhythm. They are skipping or walking along down the middle of the four lane “big” street. The high school bands are there too. Hopefully they’ll stop and play right in front of you. Sometimes they do. The Jeep club will drive by and all the Jeeps will be decorated with lights of all sorts. There are homemade floats and homemade costumes too.

Sounds hokey doesn’t it? It is, and it’s a must-see for Mr. Pop and me. It’s a part of the season, the kickoff of Christmas. It’s one of those times when you can easily be a kid again. You can yell to the “teacher of the year” as he or she rides by sitting on the back of a convertible. And you know what else? When the final float floats by you can wave at Santa Claus just like you did as a child, because for that few seconds, you are a child again.

I’m supposed to be writing about voter fraud today, but I’m not. I’m writing about wanting to be selfish, wanting to lay politics aside for a little while, letting it go. Because I hung my Christmas curtains in my kitchen this morning, and yes I did sew them myself, I want to let the holiday spirit swoop down and wrap all around me. I want to let go and decorate my kitchen and the rest of my house with things that make me smile. I want to fetch my grandmother’s doll from her storage place and sit her in a place of honor along with my Tony doll and second edition Barbie. This is the time of year when I remember the excitement I felt the first time I saw each of them.

This is the time of year when dropping money in the red kettle is the absolutely right thing to do. This is when you buy extra food and leave it in the donation box at the front of the local market. This is the time of year when memories come and go so fast that you sometimes laugh and cry at the same time.

All year long we make donations to different organizations but during the Christmas holidays it’s even better to share. We will be buying toys to donate to needy children. That is such fun because I can purchase the things that I always wanted from Santa when I was a kid. Oh, those dolls that come with different outfits and accessories. I remember staring at those and thinking they were the most beautiful things I had ever seen. They were too.

So please forgive me if for the next month I lapse into the Christmas spirit. Sometimes you just have to let go and sail away with the beauty, the love, the fun, and all things that make this the sweetest season of all.

Not everyone agrees with my attitude about this holiday season and I sure do understand and respect all opposing feelings and reasons and emotions. But you see, this is the season when I can be a kid just one more time, and I just can’t let that opportunity slip by. It’s too much fun to miss.

Bush: Same Old Tired Story

Bush gave another speech this morning to a typically happy audience of hawks. We won't cut and run.. blah blah blah. No politician is suggesting that Bush cut and run. Bush created a strawman:
MSNBC “Some are calling for a deadline for withdrawal. The many advocating an artificial timetable for withdrawing are sincere. But I believe they’re sincerely wrong. Pulling our troops out before they achieve their purpose is not a plan for victory...."

"To all who wear the uniform, I make you this pledge, America will not run in the face of car bombers and assassins so long as I am your commander in chief,” Bush declared.
Mahablog gives the John Kerry response. Check it out.

Bush: Who Is Leaking On Me?

I'll bet many people would like to take a leak on bush cause he's been taking a leak on us for 5 years...

From Hardball via Huffington Post:

DEFRANK: It`s hard to know who, if anybody, at the moment, Chris. One of the things in the story in the "Daily News" that you`re talking about here is that he`s begun calling the paper -- reports that he`s been calling outside friends and advisers saying...

MATTHEWS: Who to trust?

DEFRANK: ... who`s leaking on me? Who, in your opinion, should I trust on my staff? Who, in your opinion, should I not trust on my staff? That is never a good sign.

MATTHEWS: Does he consider Karl Rove to be dispensable at this point because he may face an indictment?

DEFRANK: I think so. I`m told that. But, again, the president is an extremely loyal guy.

H.R. 550 - Your chance to demand verified voting


Sign the Petition Now

Ten Common Electronic Election Problems
1) Electronic Voting Machines Lose Ballots
2) Electronic Election Equipment Inexplicably Adds Ballots
3) Tabulation Software Reaches 32,767 Votes and Counts Backwards
4) Votes Jump to the Opponent on the Screen
5) DREs Provide Incorrect Ballots
6) Election-Specific Programming Miscounts Votes
7) DREs Break Down During the Election
8) Electronic Voting Machines Fail to Start Up
9) Registration Data Transmission Fails
10) Memory Cards and Smart Card Encoders Fail

Other Electronic-Election Phenomena
1) Election Officials Provide a Default Presidential Candidate
2) Totals Dip into the Negative Numbers
3) Voters Cast Non-Existent Ballots
4) DREs Require Voters To Scroll Through The Ballot Backwards
5) Report Shows 300 Registered Voters For Every Precinct in One County

More shocking electronic voting information: read at Rep Rush Holt's website.


And why did Ohio's Republican Secretary of State, Blackwell, co-chair for the Bush/Cheney campaign, refuse to allow non-partisan observers access to monitor the Ohio vote?

Not only that, Blackwell rolled out the Diebold voting machines that were decertified in California's Secretary of State because they failed in the largest test ever.

How could the exit polls, which were previously so right on, be so off in Ohio?

Paul Krugman of the New York Times writes: "It's election night, and early returns suggest trouble for the incumbent. Then, mysteriously, the vote count stops and observers from the challenger's campaign see employees of a voting-machine company, one wearing a badge that identifies him as a county official, typing instructions at computers with access to the vote-tabulating software.

The 2005 election in Ohio once again was full of corruption and deceit despite the outcry of Ohio citizens. What gives? And why do voting machines that leave no paper trail allowed anywhere in this country, a supposed democracy. Read Has American Democracy Died An Electronic Death In Ohio 2005's Referenda Defeats?''


On February 3, 2005, Rep. Rush Holt reintroduced the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act (HR 550), a bill designed to restore confidence in the outcomes of elections and in our electoral process generally.

Paper Trail: The measure would require all voting machines to produce an actual paper record that voters can view to check the accuracy of their votes and that election officials can use to verify votes in the event of a computer malfunction, hacking, or other irregularity. Experts often refer to this paper record as a “voter-verified paper trail.”

Sign the Petition Now.

If you have a web log, please put this important information on your blog and keep it there. Tell your friends and neighbors. It doesn't matter what political party. This is democracy.

Thanks to the blogger formerly known as GD Frogsdong for instigating this blogswarm.

Tuesday, November 29

How Long Does Love Last?

According to Dr John Marsden of the UK's National Addiction Center, "Attraction and lust really is like a drug. It leaves you wanting more." Love gives you the buzz of taking drugs and there is withdrawal too. He also suggests that our animal instincts, our biology search for someone to mate with and there is a built in sex trap, a booby-trap if you will, because the more you have sex with a particular person, the more likely you are to fall in love with that person whether you want to or not.

Perhaps, I think, a regular sex buddy on the side may ruin a long term relation and you may inadvertantly fall in love with someone that really isn't good for you unless you want to have children. Ah... it's so complicated. Dr Marsden thinks that love lasts from 3-7 years. That's not good news if you've already had some children with your beloved.

There is more to this romantic love thing. Now the University of Pavla has also done love research and they maintain that romantic love only lasts one year. They have discovered a brain chemical responsible for the 'first flush of love'. They discovered that it's raised levels of a protein which are linked to "feelings of euphoria and dependence experienced at the start of a relationship." Ah remember the days when you were stupid in love and married that person anyway? In the long run those levels go back to normal and the love actually becomes more stable if it lasts. The love turns deeper and more companionate after the thrill is gone. Now that comes in handy if you have kids because you can pay attention to them so they don't grow up ignored and end up on the Springer Show.

But even if the thrill of new love is gone and you are still in a close personal relationship with someone that you don't want to break up with or think you should break up with because you think that new love is better, even though new love won't push your wheelchair some day, there is something that may be on your shelves by 2007 if you can last that long. A sex spray? Indeed. A nasal inhaler may light up your dead errogenous zones by acting on your brain chemicals. And isn't that really where love and sex reside? This spray can help to make you horny again. It's more than a viagra type drug which only works on the vascular system. While testing a sunless tanning agent, Melanotan II, PT-141 was discovered. The columnist, Susan Cheever in Newsday, has a lot to say about the ups and downs of this discovery.

Speaking about viagra type drugs, Mick Jagger's ex-wife, Jerry Hall is now the spokesmodel for erectile dysfunction in Great Britain. She believes a healthy love and sex life shouldn't be just for the young. She doesn't say in the article whether or not she believes that a healthy love life depends soley on the man's boner but all this attention to erectile dysfunction seems to indicate that.

There's a lot to be said about giving and taking in a relationship. When one party is not into doing anything to maintain a happy, healthy relationship except maybe popping a viagra once a month, I'd say that the relationship has pretty much run its course. It's a good thing for couples to find mutual interests and hobbies they can share in the long run. That's the key to healthy love life. Companionship and trust are most important in older ages. Then comes the viagra.

But what the hell do I know?

So what WAS he doing?

“WASHINGTON (AP) - Former Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief of staff says President Bush was "too aloof, too distant from the details" of post-war planning, allowing underlings to exploit Bush's detachment and make bad decisions.”

The rest is here at Yahoo News.

Too aloof? Too distant from the details? The president of the US wasn't involved in taking the country to war? Could this be considered dereliction of duty? Why was he too distant from the details of post-war planning? What the hell was so important to him that he didn’t involve himself with the planning of a war that would result in thousands of deaths?

As he likes to remind us quite often, he is the Commander in Chief of the military. That makes him the big cheese of all of our soldiers and he was, “too aloof”, to be bothered with what he was about to send our soldiers to do? Who kept him distant from the details? Did he keep himself out of the mix, and if so, why?

In my opinion we are left to draw one of two conclusions. Either he is a stooge being used by the neocons, or he is a gutless, heartless, goon. Either way, just because he didn’t feel it necessary to do his job or was incapable of doing it, he cannot be excused from his responsibility for all that has resulted and is still resulting from this war.

Incompetence or dereliction of duty seem to me to be enough to draw serious attention to and questions about his ability to continue to serve as the leader of this country. Questions must be asked of a president of the US who will send our soldiers to die in a war when he is negligent and uninformed about the facts and the details. This is a serious breach of trust between the office and the people of the United States. Those who have lost family members in this war should raise a hue and cry because the person they trusted with that family member’s life was “too aloof, too distant from the details” but declared a war anyway.

Monday, November 28

America, America, The government shed disgrace on thee..

No Secret Prisons Allowed: If any European country is operating some of the US's secret prison and torture camps, the EU may revoke their voting rights because clandestine prisons are not in keeping with the EU's principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law. Hey our country stands for those things too, but that hasn't stopped anyone.

Randy Duke Cunningham resigned today from congress after pleading guilty to taking $2.4 million in bribes in exchange for help in securing Defense Department contracts. Bad congressman, bad, bad.

Today a chunk of the facade of the Supreme Court building in DC fell and shattered into pieces because the US still allows safe and legal abortions. Only if Alito is confirmed will the building cease to crumble into ruins.

Prosecutors in the department's public integrity and fraud divisions -- separate units that report to the assistant attorney general for the criminal division -- are looking into Mr. Abramoff's interactions with former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas, Rep. Bob Ney (R., Ohio), Rep. John Doolittle (R., Calif.) and Sen. Conrad Burns (R., Mont.), according to several people close to the investigation. heh.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
(CREW) today filed an Internal Revenue Services (IRS) complaint against James Dobson's Focus on the Family. The complaint asks for the IRS to investigate activities by the group which may violate IRS regulations and require a revocation of its tax-exempt status. Dobson has endorsed candidates for political office.

Who Served and Who Sends Others: Missouri Mule would like you to check out who in both parties served in the military. Verrrry Interesting indeed.

American Hiroshima – the next 9/11?

From Al-Jazeera (no wonder boygeorge wanted to blow the place up):

"David Dionisi, a former US army intelligence officer, is convinced that plans for a nuclear attack are under way.

(...)

"In his new book, American Hiroshima, Dionisi argues decades of unjust US foreign policies will be largely to blame...

(...)

(Dionisi quotes):
"The major media outlets are owned by a handful of corporations interested in promoting advertising and pro-government messages. Anything that challenges the existing power structure very often fails to receive airtime. I highlight Fox as an extreme example of the Republican propaganda machine.

"In 1962, the Joint Chiefs of Staff presented a plan called Operation Northwood, which is now declassified. It proposed conducting mass casualty attacks on American targets and blaming it on Cuba to rally public support forwar against Fidel Castro. President Kennedy rejected the plan. So we shouldn't just assume any future attack on our soil is the work of al-Qaida." (Emphasis edit.)

Read the entire article at Al-Jazeera.net.

Jesus and the Theater of the Absurd

Just flipped the channel on the TV and caught Falwell on Fox talking about his make believe war on Christmas. Seems according to the totally wigged out minister (?) Jesus has hired himself a lawyer. Falwell said they are ready to defend anyone who feels intimidated because they have used words like “Christmas”.

Bush, Cheney, et al, say they didn’t lie about the reasons for war. Well, yes they did. If nothing else they lied by omission. They omitted telling us they were lying from the get go. It doesn’t matter what the meaning of “lie” is, when you don’t tell the whole truth and it causes thousands of deaths, well, that is a lie and it’s a sin.

Bush’s new focus is on border security. No, not the border of Iraq - the border of the US. Does anyone with a functioning brain believe he gives a damn about border security here in the US? They are programming him to talk about this subject in hopes that it will drain American brains of any notice of the war in Iraq. Too late for that magical act, because the show is over. We are staying focused on the blood dripping out of Iraq.

So we are bringing democracy to the Iraqis. We are bringing hopes for a better future. Okay, by the time this disaster is over there won’t be nearly as many democratic Iraqis due to a three year spate of bombs and chemicals and other democracy delivering tools.

In some strange way all of these aforementioned events seem so absurd: Jesus and his lawyer, bush administration and their lies, bush giving a tinker’s damn about border security, and the Iraqis being murdered in the name of democracy American style. It’s all like something out of a frightening novel. The one thing all these things have in common is the bullshit factor. There is no war on Christmas or Christ. The bush administration did lie. The war is a disgrace.

The other thing these events have in common is that they are frightening as hell. The reason they are frightening is because someone somewhere believes they are true. There are a group of Americans who believe that we should actually give a damn about keeping Christ in Christmas no matter what. They are actually willing to fight for this when there’s a real war going on in Iraq, a war based on transgressions. Are they nuts? They seem to be clueless. When we bring all our real soldiers out of the real war, the real sin, then we’ll have the luxury of playing around with this other insanity.

I’m just guessing here, but maybe a real Christ wouldn’t want his name associated with anything our country is up to these days. Maybe he wouldn’t want to have any part in the Theater of the Absurd, because as I understood his story he’s not crazy about lies and murders. I don’t think he would give a damn about where his name was used but I do think he would care about what has been done in his name.

Seymour Hersh Gives Us More Info

"After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the former official said, he was told that Bush felt that “God put me here” to deal with the war on terror. The President’s belief was fortified by the Republican sweep in the 2002 congressional elections; Bush saw the victory as a purposeful message from God that “he’s the man,” the former official said. Publicly, Bush depicted his reëlection as a referendum on the war; privately, he spoke of it as another manifestation of divine purpose.”

And

"The President is more determined than ever to stay the course," the former defense official said. “He doesn’t feel any pain. Bush is a believer in the adage ‘People may suffer and die, but the Church advances.’” He said that the President had become more detached, leaving more issues to Karl Rove and Vice-President Cheney. “They keep him in the gray world of religious idealism, where he wants to be anyway,” the former defense official said.”

And

"Many of the military’s most senior generals are deeply frustrated, but they say nothing in public, because they don’t want to jeopardize their careers. The Administration has “so terrified the generals that they know they won’t go public,” a former defense official said.”

The New Yorker

This is a must read article. Hersh tells you the possible plans after a troop withdrawal. He also confirms what we’ve all been thinking. The President of the United States is freakin’ scary and possibly dangerous due to his inability to accept reality.

Maybe Someone Was Sending Him 'Smoke Signals'

"Plane Carrying Card Makes Emergency Stop"
(CNN/AP Link)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - "A small, twin-engine plane carrying White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card made an emergency landing in Nashville Saturday after smoke began pouring into the cockpit, officials said.

"Card and 12 others on board were not injured when the Gulfstream 4 plane bound for Washington landed at the Nashville International Airport around 4 p.m., said Lynne Lowrance, an airport spokeswoman."

Good thing the plane didn't crash, 'cause then the conspiracy theorists would have had a field day.

HUH?

Yeah; since Andrew Card is suspected of possibly being the new "Deep Throat" in the Plame/Rove/Libby investigation being conducted by Patrick Fitzgerald, if the plane had crashed then the cloak and dagger crowd would have surely started sniffing the wind. Not that plane crashes ever take the lives of prominent people and those doing investigative work...except for JFK jr., Paul Wellstone, Gary Caradori,...
UPDATE: (from Hannah in the "discussion thread") ...Ron Brown... Gov. Carnahan of MO...

"I don't care if it rains or freezes, long as I have my plastic Jesus. . ."

Alabama is considering putting "God Bless America" on their license plates. Whataburger, a Texas tradition and possibly the best chain restaurant hamburger, has "One Nation, Under God, Indivisible" on their windows.

If we keep evoking God on car tags and hamburgers, what is going to satisfy the hyper-religious when these prayers for blessings don't keep tornadoes from tipping their trailer houses?

Have you seen Alabama? "The State that God Forgot" should be on the plates.

If God is blessing America, why do our godly leaders keep lying to us and the world about the Iraqi war? Why do our godly leaders kill more Americans and Iraqis weekly than your average serial killer, but they are godly and serial killers make creepy boogie man stories and television series?

If God is blessing America, why does a 13 year old die when a neighbor was simply unloading his gun and the gun fired sending a bullet through the walls of their apartments? I mean, if this is blessing us, please, keep it to yourself, alright, All Mighty?

We have given Bush two terms, whether you voted for him or not, and given a Republican Congress free reign to cover up his ugly deeds, whether you voted for him or not, because we have done nothing to support real reportage, real criminal investigations of his ugly deeds. Nor have we simply walked off our jobs--ever one of us in a national moratorium--to protest Bush. We have enabled him. So we have given the country to the Religious Right. Since we "pour God over everything like ketchup", why aren't we blessed? You mean somehow things could be worse, like God could turn his back on us?

Can we take control over our own lives and stop evoking the sky-God whenever we refuse to understand or act for ourselves? Can I buy a hamburger without evoking God and Country?

While driving across the great state of Texas and God Bless her, we noted yet another unnecessary and irritating thing: The green reflective sign that says Welcome to Texas at the state line now says, Proud Home of President George W. Bush. I shit you not. I know it never said Proud Home of Lyndon B. Johnson. WTF? I am going to write the Texas Department of Highways and Transportation over that error. I mean if we are going to put famous Texans on road signs, why not have it say, Home of Charles Whitman?*

I am so tired of this type of God as ketchup thing I wrote Mr. Whataburger the following:

My husband and I love Whataburger. But we do not like the new window stickers evoking "One Nation, Under God, Indivisible" on your windows.


Using God to sell hamburgers, while not particularly un-American, is cheap. Using the Pledge of Allegiance to sell hamburgers is a whole different class of cheap. If we are supposed to start every school day and every sporting event with it, which certainly doesn't do anything but get everyone to stand up, some people consider it rather politically important.


The pledge debate has gotten way outta hand. Kids get expelled for not saying it and now you are using it to sell hamburgers.


Why not just say you are a communist if you don't love our hamburgers? Why not just say God will smite you if you don't get fries with it?


I don't care if you put a Texas or American flag there because ever lying car salesman in the country does it but let's leave questions of sovereignty, religion, and federalism out of my hamburger.

I think that I am going to start a new business writing smart-assed letters to corporations when needed. Have an issue with a corporation? Let me send them a well crafted letter to get your message across when you are simply angry beyond words.

*Whitman, a former Eagle Scout and Marine, shot his fellow classmates to death from the University of Texas Tower in 1966. To date no one has suggested having his infamous name meeting and greeting you at the state line or naming a elementary school for him, yet their are plans for George Bush - named schools everywhere. When we passed Arcadia, La. there was a sign for Bonnie and Clyde museum. A Texas Legislator, Tom Moore, D-Waco, did get his fellow legislators to honor Tony De Salvo for his efforts to control population growth. De Salvo, while not a Texan, was credited as being the Boston Strangler and Moore was making a point that legislators have no idea what they vote for or against at any given moment.

Sunday, November 27

This Week in God

Mother Jones magazine has devoted its whole issue to God and Country. It's been more than 200 years since the founding fathers established separation of church and state. Many seek to do away with that separation and will even try to establish God's kingdom right here in America.

~+~

In Alabama there is a bill proposed that would put "God Bless America" on most every license plate across the great state. If you don't want that, then you would order specialty plates. Alabama is a "Bible" state, you know.

~+~

In the UK, there is a film to be sent to 26,000 UK primary schools which teaches them the Christmas story including a lesson that "Jesus" is not a swear word. Not enough British children are attending church on Sunday.

~+~

The Blessed Virgin is crying blood at a church outside Sacramento, California. Red stains appeared, were wiped away and then they reappeared a week later.

When I was a child, the large icon of Mary periodically wept at the beautiful Greek Orthodox church near my house. We kids would line up to get a glimpse of it and wonder if someone had attached a garden hose to the back of the icon.
~+~

Today the Pope ushered in the Christmas season on this first day of Advent. He said, “We could say that Advent is the time when Christians should awaken in their hearts the hope that they can change the world, with the help of God.” Indeed.

~+~

Speaking of Christmas, upside down Christmas trees are all the rage and flying off the shelves. I considered getting one, but I opted for a green metallic Dr Suessian tree I found on eBay.

~+~

I just realized that I used the word Christmas a few times here. I am supposed to use the word "Holiday" instead so that I don't offend anyone. feh. It's typically ironic that in the effort to not offend anyone, so many people are offended. Those fringe liberals really piss me off. There are so many injustices in the world yet the debate about what to call a decorated tree should be the least of our problems. Take a prozak and call me in the morning, for gawd's sake. Christmas trees should be called just that.
.

"Coat giveaway makes its own fashion statement"

(Thanks to Morgen D'Arc of the Green Party of Maine for the following article.)

From the Providence Journal (register to read):

"Buy Nothing Day, held on one of the busiest holiday shopping days, puts the spotlight on area's needy."
November 26, 2005
BY BRANDIE JEFFERSON


"There were plenty of coats on sale at the Providence Place mall yesterday for 10 percent 25 percent, even 50 percent off. But across the street, on the State House lawn, hundreds of people were getting coats, sweaters, hats and books for an unbeatable price: Free.

"Yesterday was the ninth annual Buy Nothing Day in Rhode Island. People donated more than three thousand coats which were offered, for free, to whomever wanted them. Buy Nothing Day is about the nature of "stuff" in America, according to Greg Gerritt, the main organizer of the event.

"Lots of people have too much stuff. Lots of people don't have enough stuff," he said. Yesterday, the relationship between those two groups of people was highlighted on a day typically known for consumerism and excess--one of the biggest shopping days of the year.

"Buy Nothing Day is recognized by community and activist groups around the world. The Rhode Island Green Party, of which Gerritt is a member, sponsored the first observance in the state. Since then, more than 50 community groups have pitched in, donating supplies and clothes, and spreading the word.

"The word is getting around. This year's event was twice as large as last year's, Gerritt said, and it keeps growing. Organizers said about 3,000 coats were donated this year, and there were also similar events in Pawtucket and Newport.

"This was the first winter that Richard Hart heard about the free coats. He walked down Francis Street, across from a new luxury condominium construction site, carrying two winter coats and two fleece sweaters for himself and a friend.

"Hart, who is in his 50s, is just starting to gray around his beard. Trained as a prep chef, he has been out of work and homeless for the past two years. He heard about the free coats at a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving Day.

"I basically froze last winter," he said, but because of Buy Nothing Day, "I'm going to be pretty warm this winter."

"This was the second year Joseph Alan Hamrick visited Buy Nothing Day. Hamrick, 54, walked with an animated spring in his step. He wore a Crossroads ID tag around his neck and carried just one coat for himself.

"This is God's work," he said, "I don't get greedy."

"Along with clothes, there were free children's books from Books Are Wings, a statewide organization founded by Rep. Elizabeth Dennigan, D-East Providence, and her daughters.

"Parents and their children always appreciate books", Dennigan said, "even though warmth is uppermost in their minds."

"Two hours into the day, Dennigan, who was surrounded by volunteers, said they had given away more than 400 books. And they have 15 more giveaway events scheduled before Christmas. By noon, nearly 200 people were gathered on the State House lawn, mingling, looking through clothes and talking about the weather.

"If you look," Gerritt asked, "can you tell who's working? Who's donating? Who's getting coats?

"Usually the volunteers are over here" he said, motioning to his left, "and everyone else is over there" he said, spreading his arms to the right.

"And never the twain shall meet," he said, quoting Rudyard Kipling's poem "The Ballad of East and West." But many of the volunteers at Buy Nothing Day were people who came for coats and stayed to help.

"The need is great," he said, adding, as he surveyed the scene, "the generosity is great."

Friday, November 25

U.S. INVADES SYRIA

DEBKAfile Exclusive:

"US Marines battled Syrian troops Thursday night after crossing the border from Iraq into Syria at a point west of al Qaim.
November 25, 2005, 5:14 PM (GMT+02:00)
Both sides suffered casualties. US soldiers crossed over after Damascus was given an ultimatum Thursday, Nov. 24, to hand over a group of senior commanders belonging to Abu Musab al Zarqawi’s al Qaeda force. According to US intelligence, the group had fled to Syria to escape an American attack in Mosul. Syrian border guards opened fire on the American force."

UPDATE:
"DEBKAfile Exclusive: Syria claims US forces suffered 11 casualties in a Syrian-US clash Thursday night, Nov.24 – without clarifying whether they meant dead or wounded
November 25, 2005, 5:14 PM (GMT+02:00)
Internal Syrian communications channels report Syrian “Desert Guards” border units fought US Marines who crossed into Syria at a point west of alQaim. They also claimed 30 Syrian casualties.

"DEBKAfile’s military sources report the battle took place at the Syrian-Iraqi border town of Abu Kemal. US forces were in hot pursuit of a group of al-Qaeda operatives who fled across to Syria in escape an American attack pinning them down in Mosul. The US military delivered Syria an ultimatum to hand the terrorists over. The American pursuit continued Friday when Syria failed to respond."

UPDATE (2)

I recommend readers check out The Dark Wraith's expansion on this situation in the "discussion thread" below.

Okay, It didn’t really happen but if it did...

"Schmidt calls Bush Coward after President Pardons Turkey"

11/22/2005

EWM- (November 22, 2005) "Freshman Representative “Mean” Jean Schmidt (R-OH) stood on the floor of the House of Representatives today and called President Bush a coward for pardoning the White House Thanksgiving turkey.

"A real man would choke that bird with his bare hands. Cowards pardon and run, real men never do," said Schmidt. Last week the Ohio Republican drew boos and hisses by calling decorated war veteran Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) a “coward” after he recommended withdrawing from Iraq.

"This time Schmidt’s words prompted a melee that resulted in several minor injuries. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) was treated for bite wounds after he was pushed into the Republican Cloakroom by four deputy whips and assaulted. He will undergo rabies shots as a precaution.

"Once order was restored, Schmidt began rambling about eating raw giblets and refused to relinquish the floor."

Read the rest at Eyewitness musings.

Defense hawk Dicks says he now sees war as a mistake

"In October 2002, (Rep. Norm) Dicks voted loudly and proudly to back President Bush in a future deployment of U.S. troops to Iraq — one of two Washington state Democratic House members to do so. Adam Smith, whose district includes Fort Lewis, was the other.

"Dicks now says it was all a mistake — his vote, the invasion, and the way the United States is waging the war."

Read the rest in the Seattle Times.

Thanks to "oddjob" over at the Dark Wraith Discussion Forums.

"Bush aides 'double-crossed' Blair"

Is Joe Wilson willing to cut Tailgunner Tony some slack?

"The ex-US diplomat at the heart of the political crisis in the White House says Tony Blair was "double-crossed" on the reasons for going to war with Iraq. Joseph Wilson said he believed the Mr. Blair had thought he was getting involved with a "disarmament campaign".

"But "he was double crossed by the regime change crowd in Washington" and ultimately had "no choice" but to go along with a regime change war. Mr Wilson told BBC Radio 4 the White House had "hyped the nuclear case".

Read the entire article at THE BBC.

REAL SIMPLE MAGAZINE: MEET MANWICH

Have you seen Real Simple magazine yet? It looks a lot like Martha Stewart Living with page after luscious page of lovely foods and happy, real simple people wearing expensive clothes and smiling at how simple their lives are.

"Tra-la-la," they seem to be saying as they clink simple, elegant glasses together while wearing simple, elegant monochromatic clothing.

The only problem is you can tell just by looking at them that life is Real Simple only because there's a Rosita somewhere taking care of the kids while they enjoy "soul-nurturing ritual times."

Whatever the hell that means.

Real Simple is supposed to be a classy antidote to magazines like Martha's that encourage us to spend our spare three and a half minutes a day sponge-painting terra-cotta pots with yogurt in order to cultivate a "distressed" look. (Look closer, toots. That's me, not the pot looking destressed.)

Words like actionable leave me feeling unsimple and even anxiously complicated. Much the same way I felt while reading the : "Pantry Dinners" section of the magazine and discovered that their idea of a simple recipe for Vegetable Chili with Polenta contained thirteen ingredients, not a danged one of them in my pantry.

What? You people never heard of Manwich?

Another issue printed a recipe for a tuna casserole that didn't even include cream of mushroom soup, proving that they've got a lot to learn about the simple life.

Real Simple is shameless in its quest to simplify everything. There's even a section called "Soul--In a Nutshell," apparently for people who are overcome by the rigorous demands of developing a soul via Oprah's three minute "Remembering Your Spirit" segments. Shouldn't some things take a little time?

Real Simple seeks to remind the frazzled working woman and mom that "It's about quality, not quantity." Less is more, they say.

No, it's not...More is more. Their idea of a lovely table is one white candle plunded down in the middle? I'm glad these freaks didn't plan my wedding reception, where every table had enough flowers for a casket spray.

It's quite trendy now to take decorating advice from "minimalists." Take idebana, for instance. This is a type of flower arranging where you essentially take a big stick from your yard, wire a single flower to it, and charge fifty bucks. I don't get it.

With this simplicity movement comes the new national obession: "nesting" at home. Whatever happened to going out on the town, spending too much money and staying out too late?

I'm sick of all those magazine articles about the importance of pot-roast-and-mashed-potato family dinners. I can't honestly believe that macaroni and cheese is the best way to soothe our national psyche. Nope I want to go out Friday night and have somebody serve me something sumptuous that isn't topped with Tater Tots. This is what it means to be an American, not sitting around weaving and discussing everybody's damn day. Don't we do that enough the rest of the week?

The whole return to the nest has led to a new design trend: the "hearth room." This is what we used to call the living room, that oversized, underfurnished, and always-cold-in-the-winter room where nobody ever went to unless it was Christmas or piano-lession time.

Later the living room morphed into the "family room"and finally, the "great room." We have a small one so I just call it the "okay room."

The new "hearth room" is a kitchen/great room combo that actually includes a firplace where you can tend those stewpots on Friday night instead of going out and getting sloppy on licorice margaritas like you used to do until "They" decided we should spend Fridays mixing cookie dough with the kids.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love cookie dough, but adults deserve some downtime, away from all the hearth and kith and kin. Or you can kith your sanity good-bye.

The hearth room is supposed to call to mind the home spun life so revered in shows like The Waltons. One big room with Grandma rolling out lard biscuits while John Boy scribbled obsessively on the settee.

Designers should remember that there was a reason everybody hung out in the hearth room back then. It was the Depression, the dark time in our nation's history when nobody ever had a date. Better to remember that those who don't learn from history are doomed to spend Friday nights at home. Or something like that.
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Thursday, November 24

:::groan:::


Annnnnnnnnnnnd, on that lovely note, me & my fat ass are going to bed.

Hope that all of y'all had a peaceful, stress-free day, and that the only major sins were overindulgence... Unless y'all managed to get video for me, of course... heh heh heh...

Turkeys got some weird ideas 'bout foreplay, huh...

I've seen worse.

Wednesday, November 23

Thanksgiving Wishes


Wishing you all a happy thanksgiving. I'm very thankful to be a part of this forum of good people from all over the earth. Awesome!

A sucker for punishment, I'll be heading to Maine in the morning, as if it's not cold enough already here on the lovely Isle of Long (29º) and we expect to travel through a snow storm. Oh goodie. How quaint and New England-ish. I don't care about the turkey and the food so much as it will be good to be with family that I hardly ever see.

Over the rivers and through the woods as they say...

Love to you all and especially you, my man in the moon
Liz

IT'S WORSE, BUT IT GOES BY A MORE ACCEPTABLE NAME

Remember THIS? (Scroll about halfway.)

I recently wrote to billydoom who has a background in metallury:
You're probably as aware as I am of the reports of the U.S. using "white phosphorus" here and there in Iraq.

My question is: Is this the same stuff as "napalm"? I'm trying to determine if the use of the term "white phosphorus" is another disinfo attempt by the media and the military--sorta like calling "hired killers" by the cleaned up name of "mercenaries" by the further cleaned up name of "civilian contractors".

I don't know if you've ever seen the photograph that splashed across the world's newspapers way back when, but when you see the word "napalm", a lot of people, like me, conjure up that image of the naked Vietnamese girl running down a road after having the clothes burnt off her body.


Here's the reply I received:

Honestly, is the SAME thing. In 1975, Napalm was banned internationally as a weapon.
White phosphorus is a slightly different formula ( napalm was phosphorus mixed with gasoline, White Pete is phosphorus mixed with jet fuel ). Under the new name, it can be used in battle mostly to illuminate the battlefield and against enemy combatants. Strictly prohibited against civilians. White Pete is deadlier than napalm. Jet fuel burns slower than gasoline, that's why it burns to the bone. It is a nasty weapon if used against troops. Napalm was deadly, but burned fast, unlike White Pete.

In principle, napalm and white pete are deadly because added phosphorus or magnesium will raise the temperature to about 3000 degrees F. You know gasoline and jet fuel burn at about 1500 degrees F ( that's why it could not melt steel in WTC fiasco, supposedly). White Pete is sprayed into the air like a brightly burning cloud; you cannot run away from it; it will stick to your skin and burn out together with your flesh. You die baby, you die!


My conclusion is: You can call it what you want, but if you're hit with it, chances are you will die a hideous, grotesque, and perhaps lingering death.

He's come a long way since he was a kid blowing up frogs with M-80s.

Thanksgiving Eve

It’s a crisp morning here in sunny Florida. It’s almost eleven in the morning and it’s only sixty degrees outside. We couldn’t have ordered more beautiful weather for tomorrow’s holiday. We will actually be able to open the windows in the kitchen and let the cool breeze mingle with the scent of the roasting turkey. There have been many Thanksgivings when we have had the air conditioning on to cool the kitchen while we cook in shorts and a tee shirt.

Like many of you, my life activities are about to go from zero to sixty in less than twenty four hours. Lots of things to do. So before they drop the green flag on this year’s Thanksgiving race to the table, I want to wish all the Little Turkeys who visit us here at Blondesense a very Happy Thanksgiving. A day filled with love and happiness and an opportunity to take some time out and remember how important the people we love are to our daily lives. Hug someone special for me and I’ll do the same for you.

Be safe and be sweet

Happy Thanksgiving

From Mr. Pop and me

Today's News

On The Battle Of Fallujah:
Before attacking the city, the marines stopped men "of fighting age" from leaving. Many women and children stayed: the Guardian's correspondent estimated that between 30,000 and 50,000 civilians were left. The marines treated Falluja as if its only inhabitants were fighters. They levelled thousands of buildings, illegally denied access to the Iraqi Red Crescent and, according to the UN's special rapporteur, used "hunger and deprivation of water as a weapon of war against the civilian population".
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Another soldier's story: Aunti Roo sent this along

My 23 Days in Iraq tells how 'Retreat From Hell', a blogger at Kos, was injured in Iraq in 2004. He was paralyzed. Then read his other diary, 'When It Rains, It Pours' about how fucked up his life is now.

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From Bloomberg, some juicy news:
Scanlon, 35, a former aide to Representative Tom DeLay, told a federal judge yesterday that he conspired to commit fraud against four Indian tribe clients and corrupt public officials. He agreed to pay back $19.7 million in profits from the tribal clients, his share of the $39.4 million he had split with Abramoff, 46.


Raw Story Also Reports: Ohio congressman Ney, others in Congress in bribery probe
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Mean Jean Schmidt was lampooned on Saturday Night Live by Rachel Dresch. Wish I had seen it.

Regarding what she said about Murtha: "There was no discussion of him personally being a coward or about any person being a coward," Bubp said. "My message to the folks in Washington, D.C., and to all the Congress people up there, is to stay the course. We cannot leave Iraq or cut and run - any terminology that you want to use."

Meanwhile Limbaugh and Carlson falsely claim that Bubp is serving in Iraq. The morons.
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Congress Didn't Get The Same Intelligence

The following is a short version of this fabulous article in the National Journal Key Bush Intelligence Briefing Kept From Hill Panel. This has some good stuff that will arm you with information in case there are any Faux Spews watchers at your Thanksgiving festivities:

Bush said that congress had the same intelligence before the war that he had and then he failed to disclose that he had more evidence to the contrary. Alas comes yet another PDB from Sept 21, 2001 that explained to an eager bush who so desperately wanted Hussein and al Qaida to be linked so that we could go to war with Iraq, that Hussein only wanted to monitor the terrorist group because they were a threat to his secular regime. uh oh.

The Senate Intelligence committee wants to see all the PDB's because they may prove that the war for Iraq based on misrepresented intelligence. That means that perhaps the bushistas lied their way into a war. The Bushistas refuse to turn over those documents because they will be found out.

"What the President was told on September 21," said one former high-level official, "was consistent with everything he has been told since-that the evidence was just not there."
The article then says that the 9/11 Commission determined that
"... the CIA and other agencies did indeed provide policy makers with accurate information regarding the lack of evidence of ties between Al Qaeda and Iraq."
But days before asking congress for authorization to go to war, Rumsfeld et al made up a story and professed"
"...to have been given information from U.S. intelligence assessments showing evidence of an Iraq-Al Qaeda link."
Then Bush and Rummy lied to theAmerican people some more:

"You can't distinguish between Al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror," President Bush said on September 25, 2002.

The next day, Rumsfeld said, "We have what we consider to be credible evidence that Al Qaeda leaders have sought contacts with Iraq who could help them acquire … weapons-of-mass-destruction capabilities."

Cheny went around spouting that Mohammed Atta went to the Czech Republic before 9/11 to meet with an Iraqi intelligence official. The story was not true but Cheney kept repeating it despite the CIA telling him it wasn't true. In fact Atta was in Virginia Beach at the time he was purported to be in the Czech Republic. The 9/11 Commission also said that the meeting didn't happen. Cheney continued to lie even when the Czechs disavowed the story.

There was a super secret little part of the Pentagon that met in the "cone of silence" which the Senate Intelligence Committee is looking into. Douglas Feith set up that intelligence group which contradicted the CIA intelligence which was given to congress. Maloof and Wurmser were the guys there who had their own intelligence in the super secret room in the Pentagon but these clowns had no experience in intelligence analysis. That is where Bush, Cheney, et al got their erroneous public statements! Rummy liked their intelligence better since it could be used to go to war. Cheney liked it because it would back up his case for war.

Wolfowitz was so happy with the super secret Pentagon group that he wanted them to prepare an erroneous and super secret 'Iraqi Intelligence Briefing' in order to show the difference between them and the bad, bad CIA. Not only that, they wanted more evidencee on the story about Atta meeting the Iraqi official in Prague despite CIA and FBI claims to the contrary!

The article goes on to explain that the bushistas didn't really hate Wilson or Plame after Wilson's trip to Niger. The administration merely hates the CIA and believed that Wilson's message was set up by the CIA. Cheney loved the intelligence that was manufactured by the super secret Pentagon group so much that he lauded them and said it wasn't like "the crap we are all so used to getting out of the CIA."

So there you go. They are a bunch of liars.
But we already knew that..

Nominate Cindy Sheehan for Time Magazine Person of the Year

"There is no one in this country more emblematic of the change in Americans' attitudes toward the Iraq War than Cindy Sheehan. Let's make sure that Time Magazine at least considers her for 2005 Person of the Year."

Pass it on! CLICK HERE to vote.

Thanks to Mike Hersh and Carolyn Kay for the idea and the link.
Lots more really good stuff at makethemacountable.com

Tuesday, November 22

Thankfulness...

THINGS TO BE THANKFUL FOR ON YET ANOTHER FAKE AMERICAN HOLIDAY:

1. You're not an American NDN, and you don't live on The Rez, and you don't stare off into a yawning chasm of hopelessness where your country used to be.

2. You're not one of those bodies in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans that still haven't been "discovered" or "recovered."

3. You're not someone fleeing Katrina and/or Rita, being turned-away from shelter by racists and paranoiacs and crackers toting guns.

4. You're not a former public-housing resident of Orleans or St. Bernard or Jefferson Parish, left hanging in a trailer city without any future or promise for even returning to your previous low "standard of living."

5. You (ostensibly) have a home and a job and a future. For those who don't, holidays don't mean a fucking thing.

6. You don't live here, at Fucktard Acres, surrounded by lowlifes, convicted child-molesters & other felons (who, supposedly, aren't allowed into subsidized housing), fucktards, morons, loud-mouthed freaks, ignorant assholes who think that they have the RIGHT to shove THEIR cult participation down your fucking throat every day of the fucking WEEK, psychotics who play their TV and stereo at top volume, EVERY FUCKING NIGHT, as soon as you go to bed, and general creepy bastards who lurk around here like the short-bus angels of death.

And no, don't tell me to "reach out" to these freaks --- tried that. Not worth it. All I want is one fucking night of peace & quiet, and nobody can give me that.

What am I "thankful" for? For Fitzmas (if it ever really comes), for my remaining nieces & nephews, for cornbread dressing, for my boyfriend, and for great people online who keep me semi-sane on a regular basis. It just irks the shit out of me that there's still so much wrong with the world and that I haven't fixed it yet.

Enjoy your food orgies, my friends. But never forget those who won't get them.

Pre-Turkey Day Thoughts

It just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without ______________

Insane Parts of Cheney’s Speech

When Cheney spoke yesterday he said, "What is not legitimate--and I will again say is dishonest and reprehensible--is the suggestion by some U.S. senators that the president of the United States or any member of his administration purposely misled the American people on prewar intelligence."

No, it’s not. What is reprehensible is that neither he nor bush can deny they purposely misled the American people on prewar intelligence. Prove you were right; don’t just spit on anyone who says you are wrong. Show us where you messed up. Show us everything you did. Stop slapping us and come clean with us. We are fairly intelligent people, in spite of the sad fact that over half of us voted last year to keep george bush in the oval office. Explain it to us, maybe we’ll understand.

Why shouldn’t anyone question what the hell went wrong? Bottom line is what they told us was flat out wrong and they knew it when they said it. Now they have all this new bullshit they are saying and frankly, it doesn’t even make sense. For example, yesterday Cheney also stated, "Those who advocate a sudden withdrawal from Iraq should answer a few simple questions," Cheney said, such as whether the United States would be "better off or worse off" with terror leaders such as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Osama bin Laden or Ayman al-Zawahiri in control of Iraq."

What? Was Saddam the kind of fellow to allow this to happen? I think not. He sounds to me like a guy who would have mowed this stuff down in a heart beat.

So rather than tell us the truth, Cheney makes up this scary picture to plant into the empty heads that believe everything they hear coming from this contemptible administration.

Also yesterday Cheney said it was Saddam’s responsibility to prove he didn’t have weapons of mass destruction. Say what? So how do you go about proving a negative?

This past Sunday Rumsfeld was a guest on Chris Wallace’s program. Here’s a snippet from their conversation:

FOXNews.com:

WALLACE: Well, so it's not just Washington. But let me ask you one last thing. And I have to say, a lot of people wanted me to ask you about this. Able Danger, an intelligence unit in the Pentagon — did they or did they not identify Mohammed Atta and some of the other 9/11 hijackers in the year 2000?

RUMSFELD: There are people that said they did. The year 2000 or earlier? I don't remember when it was.

WALLACE: No, the year 2000.

RUMSFELD: Was it? I wasn't in government at the time, obviously.

WALLACE: Right.

RUMSFELD: But there are some people who say that that's the case. There are other people involved who say it isn't. And the people in the Pentagon, I'm told, have spent just enormous numbers of hours digging into everything they can find and giving it to the appropriate committees of the Congress, and they have not been able to validate it.

WALLACE: I don't understand why it's so complicated. I mean, people are — I mean, it's a fact. Why wouldn't you, as the secretary of defense, your people underneath you, be able to find out?

RUMSFELD: They've looked and they — you can't prove a negative. They've looked and looked and looked and looked and found everything they could find. Cannot find validation of that, which doesn't mean it didn't happen.


See? Even Mr. Rumsfeld knows you can’t prove a negative, maybe he should share his knowledge with Mr. Cheney.

And the Iraqi's Want US Troops Out of There Too

ABC News:
Reaching out to the Sunni Arab community, Iraqi leaders called for a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S.-led forces and said Iraq's opposition had a "legitimate right" of resistance.

The communique finalized by Shiite, Kurdish and Sunni leaders Monday condemned terrorism but was a clear acknowledgment of the Sunni position that insurgents should not be labeled as terrorists if their operations do not target innocent civilians or institutions designed to provide for the welfare of Iraqi citizens.

The leaders agreed on "calling for the withdrawal of foreign troops according to a timetable, through putting in place an immediate national program to rebuild the armed forces … control the borders and the security situation" and end terror attacks. (more here)
Well that's a fine thank you. The Iraqi leaders don't consider those who target out troops, terrorists as do the bushistas. What do you think is going to happen next?
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Katrina Victims Still Missing: Congress Still Missing

A reservist I know was recently deployed to New Orleans. He called one day, the week before last, to tell us that he was going into houses that were never even looked at by rescue workers. In one day, they recovered 76 bodies. I think we'll call him this week to find out more.

Today I read in the USA Today that 6,664 are still missing. The number may be inflated because of government record keeping problems. There are 1,300 unaccounted for people however in areas that were heavily damaged. They are still trying to find out what happened to 1,000 of the unaccounted for children. It is feared that some will be listed as dead.

Meanwhile in the NYTimes today, it's being reported that relief efforts seem to be fading in Louisiana. What really frosts me is this passage:

"Congressional leaders have been scrambling to rein in spending, and many in Washington have grumbled that Louisiana's leaders have asked for too much, while failing to guarantee that the money will be spent efficiently and honestly."
And this too:
"Few people in Congress are openly threatening to block money for reconstruction. More typical are sotto voce mumblings about whether federal money will be squandered through incompetence or graft by Louisiana officials. And some lawmakers have openly wondered whether each neighborhood in New Orleans needs to be rebuilt and protected with expensive floodwalls."
Puhlease. I think we have heard quite enough bullshit from "congressional leaders". Why aren't they finding out what happened to the 9billion missing in Iraq if they are so concerned about money. They are more interested in politics and their jobs in the 2006 elections. I think it's time for another protest in DC and this time against congress.

And this from that asshole in Alaska that I can't stand:

"Senator Ted Stevens, Republican of Alaska, raised concerns about Congressional commitment to New Orleans when he said during a tour of the city that Alaskan towns damaged by storms were often relocated. Mr. Stevens also warned that the spate of recent natural disasters meant that Louisiana might not receive money as swiftly as it would like."
Comparing New Orleans to an Alaskan town? Good one.

Now I Know Why The American Main Stream Media Has Been Gobbling The Neo-Conservative Gutwrench

Maybe the MSM figures they'll get their asses blasted if they don't toe the line.

How does the saying go?: "You're either with us, or we'll reduce you to rubble..." something like that anyway.

"Blair Talked Bush Out Of Bombing Al-Jazeera"

LONDON (AFP) - "US President George W. Bush planned to bomb pan-Arab television broadcaster al-Jazeera, British newspaper the Daily Mirror said, citing a Downing Street memo marked "Top Secret".

"The five-page transcript of a conversation between Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair reveals that Blair talked Bush out of launching a military strike on the station, unnamed sources told the daily which is against the war in Iraq.

"The transcript of the pair's talks during Blair's April 16, 2004 visit to Washington allegedly shows Bush wanted to attack the satellite channel's headquarters.

"Blair allegedly feared such a strike, in the business district of Doha, the capital of Qatar, a key western ally in the Persian Gulf, would spark revenge attacks."

Read the entire article at Yahoo.com.

Who Says The Government Isn't Here To Help People? Thanks, Geor...Er, Uh, Hugo.

Thousands in Mass. to get cheaper oil

A subsidiary of the Venezuelan national oil company will ship 12 million gallons of discounted home-heating oil to local charities and 45,000 low-income families in Massachusetts next month under a deal arranged by US Representative William D. Delahunt, a local nonprofit energy corporation, and Venezuela's president, White House critic Hugo Chávez.

The approximately $9 million deal will bring nine million gallons of oil to families and three million gallons to institutions that serve the poor, such as homeless shelters, said officials from Citizens Energy Corp., which is signing the contract. Families would pay about $276 for a 200-gallon shipment, a savings of about $184 and enough to last about three weeks.

Read it all at Boston.com

Monday, November 21

Who is Colonel Danny Bubp?

Remember when the wicked woman, Jean Schmidt, stood on the House floor and said she had received a phone call from Colonel Danny Bubp? Then she proceeded to repeat Col. Bubp’s words and that caused all hell to break loose. So who is the man who called her and why did he make the call? Max Blumenthal found out.

"A quick glance at Bubp's background reveals him to be a low-level right-wing operative who has spent more time in the past ten years engaged in symbolic Christian right crusades than he has battling terrorist evil-doers. And throughout his career, Bubp's destiny has been inextricably linked with Schmidt's. Bubp may be a Marine, but his view of Murtha as a "coward" is colored by naked political ambition. He is nothing more than cheap camouflage cover for the GOP's latest Swift-Boat campaign."

There’s lots more here at The Huffington Post.

Staying Sane? How?

Flame, a regular commenter here at Blondesense, asked a very good question today. It’s so good that I want to post it so each of you may respond.

Here’s the question: "What does everyone else do when they need a break? How do you keep your sanity?"

This question was asked in regard to my post “Losing it”. These days it seems a lot of us feel we’re on the brink, if not in the drink, when it comes to our sanity. The lies and the war and all things evil this administration is responsible for tend to make us want to tear out our hair in anger and frustration. When you feel you’re losing it, losing your grip, what do you do to keep your sanity?

Cheney Speaks and Says Nothing

Cheney spoke this morning, but if you didn’t hear him, don’t worry, you’ve already heard everything he said. He just recapped the reasons that they used to justify what they did. Old stuff, reheated and served as fresh and tasty. No one swallowed it except those who have already acquired a taste for it.

I can’t find transcripts yet but I think I understood him to say that before we invaded Iraq, the terrorists wanted to invade Iraq and make it their new headquarters. I don’t recall hearing that one before. And again, maybe I misunderstood what he said.

He did say we now allow debate in our country and there was no mention of torture. So that’s good. He said debate was good but he didn’t say it would stand a snowball’s chance in hell of having any effect on the way they would conduct their war.

Bottom line there will be no changes made and they will keep repeating the same old shit over and over again.

What they don’t realize is that we do not allow anyone to wash our brains. This repetition crap won’t work no matter how many times they try to flood our heads with lies.

Pissing on Firecrackers

Imagine if you will (said with my best Twilight Zone, Rod Serling, voice) a very long string of connected firecrackers. On either side of these firecrackers is a line of people composed of diehard Republicans for bush. There is Scooter and Karl and Cheney and all the gang of outlaws. Someone sneaked in and lit the first firecracker and now as the little explosions continue down the line, each person standing by tries to piss on them to try to stop the advancing explosions. Why are they trying to stop the advance? They know that someone has his wrists tied to the final firecracker and they know that person is george bush.

Mary Matalin was on Imus’ show this morning and she said that Scooter didn’t lie, he just “disremembered.” Maybe I’m just in the holiday spirit (no, not the adult beverage spirit), but I thought that was funny as hell. To hear Mary talk about Scooter you would think he was being considered for sainthood rather than being indicted for a felony. Mary threw her little cup of urine on the firecrackers.

Yesterday, Rumsfeld was all over the TV. His silly face kept popping up on every channel. I don’t know if he made it to QVC or not. He too was armed with a cup of urine and just like Mary, he missed his target and the fireworks continued to pop.

By the way, who was it that ignited the first firecracker? Was it Fitzgerald? Was it Rep Murtha? Maybe it was the American people. All we know for sure is something started the fire and it continues to burn and pop.

If this were a movie it might be great to watch and highly entertaining. You see in movies no one really dies. In our reality of this novel time, so so many people have died. What we are watching is the comedy of a tragedy.

While it is fun to watch the gang try to stop the fireworks, it’s so sad that no one is mentioning the deaths. They are so busy trying to convince us that they have done nothing wrong. I guess they think we “disremember” what they told us before they declared we must go to war. We don’t.

The only result we see of the urine tossing is that they are stinking up the place and it’s too late to stop the firecrackers. They are so busy pissing on the firecrackers and trying to cover their own asses because they know that no one can untie that final firecracker.

Losing It

After reading that piece about Rendon, (linked below in Liz’s post, War News) I feel like someone just slapped me in the face. Damn, what next? How dirty is this going to get and who the hell is going to be able to clean it up. We are going to clean it up, right? Where would one start?

Sometimes I feel like I'm losing my mind and that all this shit could not possibly be true. Am I the only one who has these feelings and thoughts? I’m telling you sincerely, sometimes I think I might be nuts because it just couldn’t be as bad as it looks. I try to back up, clear my head and then look at everything from a new objective point of view, but it still looks the same. I guess it’s possible that I’m losing it. I hope that’s the case, because that would mean things aren’t as bad as they seem.

The Ghastly Part: The Media Is Treating This Like "NEW" News:

"US army accidentally killed civilians"

"U.S. troops opened fire on a crowded minivan north of Baghdad on Monday, fearing a car bomb attack, and killed at least three members of the same family, including a child, the U.S. military and survivors said."

Read the article at Reuters.

War News

Leaving Iraq too soon would allow Iraq to be turned into a haven for terrorists, Rumsfeld said.

Rep. John Murtha, the Democrat whose call for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq set off a furor last week, on Sunday predicted U.S. forces would leave Iraq before next year's U.S. congressional elections.

Two months before al-Haideri took the lie-detector test, the Pentagon had secretly awarded him a $16 million contract to target Iraq and other adversaries with propaganda. One of the most powerful people in Washington, Rendon is a leader in the strategic field known as "perception management," manipulating information -- and, by extension, the news media -- to achieve the desired result.

Colin Powell's former Aid said that Vice President Dick Cheney provided the "philosophical guidance" and "flexibility" that led to the torture of detainees in U.S. facilities.

Didn't Murtha say that the US Military are the targets now? If you were a constant target, you'd be on the defensive and might accidentally kill the wrong people too.

No Escape, Indeed!

"President Bush tugged at both handles on the double doors before admitting: "I was trying to escape. Obviously, it didn't work."

I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmèd fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbèd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat -- and a voice beat
More instant than the Feet --
"All things betray thee, who betrayest Me."


Read the rest of "The Hound of Heaven" by Francis Thompson at
http://tinyurl.com/8ljsp

Sunday, November 20

Bush Changed His Tune

BEIJING- "People should feel comfortable about expressing their opinions about Iraq," Bush said, three days after agreeing with Vice President Dick Cheney that the critics were "reprehensible."

The president also praised Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., as "a fine man" and a strong supporter of the military despite the congressman's call for troop withdrawal as soon as possible.
Bush went on to say:

"I heard somebody say, `Well, maybe so-and-so is not patriotic because they disagree with my position.' I totally reject that thought," Bush said.

"This is not an issue of who's patriotic and who's not patriotic," he said. "It's an issue of an honest, open debate about the way forward in Iraq."

Hmmm. Even a blonde could figure out that the hawk's argument against the Democrats "You screwed up because you trusted us" was rather lame.

The article also said he was suffering from jetlag.

UPDATE: Speaking of jetlag, Missouri Mule sent me this link and there is a video of the Chimperor trying to escape from reporters. oh god.

Excerpt: President George W Bush tried to make a quick exit from a news conference in Beijing on Sunday - only to find himself thwarted by locked doors. The president strode away from reporters looking annoyed after one said he appeared "off his game". President Bush tugged at both handles on the double doors before admitting: "I was trying to escape. Obviously, it didn't work."

This Week In God

Jesus and Mary didn't appear on any nachos or stains this week.

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Uh oh, the Christian Right Wrong has been attacked by the Jews. Well it's about time and I was wondering when it would happen as the Wrong Wing Christians have completely bastardized the Old Testament. Bravo Rabbi Eric Yoffie!

HOUSTON - The leader of the largest branch of American Judaism blasted conservative religious activists in a speech Saturday, calling them "zealots" who claim a "monopoly on God" while promoting anti-gay policies akin to Adolf Hitler's.
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Michael Newdow, the famed atheist who gives a bad name to atheists, made the WW Christians so defensive in the first place by trying to ban the pledge of allegiance in schools, thus making everyone on the left be labeled as horrible people, now seeks to remove "In God, We Trust" from US money. It would be more worthwhile to try to get tax exemption status removed from outspoken so called "Christians" and "Churches" who shill for conservative politicians. That would make more of an impact. This other stuff just pisses everyone off. Including me.

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This week a Vatican astronomer, yes they have them now after the Copernicus debacle, joined the evolution debate to remind Catholics that they don't believe Genesis is a scientific account of the creation of the world. (AP- link to story) Learned biblical scholars do not take Genesis literally... probably because most scholars went to school and took science classes. When I studied theology and the bible in graduate school, the point of learning Old Testament was to learn what the author was trying to tell us and how. We ask, what is the point of a passage? No one is expected to take it literally.

There's a good op-ed by a professor of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University in the Baltimore Sun today explaining it better than I can. By the way, a new poll reveals that most Americans want evolution taught in schools. And the ones who don't are probably very left behind.

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This week bush embarrassed me again. No way. Yes way. He was in China, went to a Chinese Christian Church and said 'May God bless the Christians of China'. Oy vay. And what was that supposed to mean to the rest of the Chinese people? Fuck you? Bush said. "My hope is that the government of China will not fear Christians who gather to worship openly. A healthy society is a society that welcomes all faiths." There are so many things wrong with that statement that I just had to pick my brains up off the floor as they exploded.



"Viagra May Face Serious Challenge" From Where Else But...DONGA!

"Is the market for prescription erectile dysfunction drugs up for a major change?"

"The question is frequently asked nowadays ahead of the launch of a Korean drug, possibly early next month, in a market completely dominated by multinationals.

"According to industry sources, Donga Pharmaceutical, is planning to begin marketing Zydena, a drug it developed for erectile dysfunction, beginning next month.

"A Donga official declined to confirm the launch date.

"However, the industry sources said that as its marketing strategy, Donga will heavily accentuate the fact that Zydena has been developed with Koreans in mind in contrast with three other foreign drugs that dominate the Korean market."

Read the entire article at The Korea Times.
And BTW, The Dark Wraith, exercising once again his marvelous prescient ability, predicted correctly that I would post this item "within minutes" of reading about it on the news trailer at his Discussion Forum Site.
Once again, I bow in homage to The Wraith's precognitive abilities.

Never piss off your pro-war congress person

Saturday, November 19

Makin' groceries...

Prices that you can expect to rise exponentially, post-Katrina:

Sugar (3-4X), seed & feed corn, pecans, natural gas, coffee (Port of New Orleans is where 90% of this country's coffee passes in), soybeans & soy products, seafood, Cajun specialties (andouille, tasso, boudin, etc.), paper products (Georgia Pacific has more mills here than any state BUT Georgia), and anything that comes out of Exxon (Plastics, Chemical or Refineries) or Dow Chemical.

And by January, expect another ass-raping jump in gasoline prices, but, of course, there will be an excuse.

The sugar price hikes won't go into effect until the spring, probably, since they're still selling off this past year's harvest, but by Easter, WHAMMO!

Don't say that you weren't warned. Hoarding is impolite, but storing is a good idea.

Our Leader's Trip To Asia

Our leader plays dressup.
First pretending he is a military man, and then I don't know what.
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Then he poses with that stupid face of his that was made famous during the debates with John Kerry. What is Putin telling him?
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A Korean woman greets Bush with signs of warm affection. Another woman reads Korean children her husband's favorite bedtime story. Wow! What hard words in the book.


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Condi No!


I know. I know. There are so many things wrong with this picture, but what is most striking is the neck area on Condi.

But what was she thinking when she bought that shirt?

It appears that her wrinkly neck goes on ad infinitum. Condi must give that shirt to the Salvation Army and get the negatives back from the AP.

Republican Representatives, Not Housebroken

If you were watching C-span last night you witnessed the Republican House of Representatives taking a collective dump right in the middle of the Floor. They first played a few children’s games and then all gathered and cheered their own fecal matter production. Rep. Jean Schmidt of Ohio, was so gleeful that she followed the stinking stunt by running as fast as she could and then jumping headfirst into the middle of the pile of fetid matter. She smeared the stuff all over herself. Ohio voters who voted for her must be proud.

It was enough to make any American gag. Sadly it may be the first of many such ordeals, while American soldiers are dying.

How will the public react to what they saw last night? They should stick all the Republican Representatives’ noses in what they did and the next chance they get, they should take them out of the House.

Friday, November 18

WATCH THIS!!!

Now running on Showtime: The Comedians Of Comedy Tour

Who knew that Patton Oswalt was a fucking genius???

"Those of you who support Bush... who AREN'T billionaires... You're like the dumb girl at the county fair, giving away blowjobs (to mediocre soap-opera "singers" like Michael Damien) for nothing."


Pretty much.

Vatican Official Refutes Intelligent Design

Most Catholics know that the RCC doesn't take the creation story literally but this needed to be said officially:

VATICAN CITY - The Vatican's chief astronomer said Friday that "intelligent design" isn't science and doesn't belong in science classrooms, the latest high-ranking Roman Catholic official to enter the evolution debate in the United States.

The Rev. George Coyne, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, said placing intelligent design theory alongside that of evolution in school programs was "wrong" and was akin to mixing apples with oranges.

"Intelligent design isn't science even though it pretends to be," the ANSA news agency quoted Coyne as saying on the sidelines of a conference in Florence. "If you want to teach it in schools, intelligent design should be taught when religion or cultural history is taught, not science." (more)

Your Government at Work

Champions of the Rich, Enemies of the Poor and Middle Class

In this week's episode of fuck the poor, the mostly Republican House salvaged the $50 billion spending cut by a vote of 217 to 215 by not drastically cutting the programs for the poor, college students and farmers as much as they wanted to a week earlier. The Senate was a bit kinder to the poor avoiding direct cuts to the beneficiaries of antipoverty programs but allowing arctic drilling which the congress cut from it's spending cut bill. (WaPo)

In the meantime, big oil will continue to reap tremendous profits.

Democratic Senators which proposed a bill to make oil price gouging a federal crime and outlawing market manipulation by major oil companies was defeated by 3 votes. (link)

Earlier yesterday, the Senate rejected, 64-35, a proposal by Democratic Senators Byron Dorgan and Chris Dodd to impose a 50 percent excise tax on oil companies' profits when oil exceeds $40 a barrel, unless profit is reinvested in exploration activities or developing new refineries. An amendment by California Democrat Diane Feinstein and New Hampshire Republican John Sununu to eliminate some tax breaks for large energy companies also was defeated, 51-48. (Bloomberg)

The Senate this week also voted against a way to fix Bush's Folly in Iraq. How dare senators require a timely end to the war. (USA Today)

Today the Senate will debate privacy protections regarding the Patriot Act. Yes, your privacy is still being debated you scaredy cats who willingly gave up your rights after 9/11. (link)

In an effort to keep the rich as wealthy as possible, a Democratic amendment which sought to pay for $60 billion in tax cuts by closing tax loopholes failed in the Senate on Thursday.

The U.S. Senate approved a $60 billion tax-cut measure that spares about 14 million [wealthy] Americans from paying higher rates under the alternative minimum tax. (link) Lawmakers defied a demand by the White House to delete a $4.3 billion tax increase on oil companies in the measure, which passed on a vote of 64-33 shortly after midnight last night. (link)

The tax-cut package would more than wipe out the $35 million in spending cuts the Senate approved earlier this month.

Today's Newsday editorial: "Even for a body composed of professional politicians, the Senate has had quite a week. First it offhandedly punched a hole in the Constitution, and then it sought public accolades for patching up part of the damage it had just caused." Indeed. (read the rest)