Sunday, May 31, 2009

Leaping lizards

Richard Clarke, writing in the WaPo, examines the way the former administration leaped to wild assumptions of what should be done while in a stunned state following 9/11 as they realized that the world does not work the way they expect.
Yet listening to Cheney and Rice, it seems that they want to be excused for the measures they authorized after the attacks on the grounds that 9/11 was traumatic. "If you were there in a position of authority and watched Americans drop out of eighty-story buildings because these murderous tyrants went after innocent people," Rice said in her recent comments, "then you were determined to do anything that you could that was legal to prevent that from happening again."

I have little sympathy for this argument. Yes, we went for days with little sleep, and we all assumed that more attacks were coming. But the decisions that Bush officials made in the following months and years -- on Iraq, on detentions, on interrogations, on wiretapping -- were not appropriate. Careful analysis could have replaced the impulse to break all the rules, even more so because the Sept. 11 attacks, though horrifying, should not have surprised senior officials. Cheney's admission that 9/11 caused him to reassess the threats to the nation only underscores how, for months, top officials had ignored warnings from the CIA and the NSC staff that urgent action was needed to preempt a major al-Qaeda attack.
So Dick "dick" and others proceeded to hand al-Qaeda a greater success against America than Osama and his buddies could ever have imagined.
"I'll freely admit that watching a coordinated, devastating attack on our country from an underground bunker at the White House can affect how you view your responsibilities," Cheney said in his recent speech. But this defense does not stand up. The Bush administration's response actually undermined the principles and values America has always stood for in the world, values that should have survived this traumatic event. The White House thought that 9/11 changed everything. It may have changed many things, but it did not change the Constitution, which the vice president, the national security adviser and all of us who were in the White House that tragic day had pledged to protect and preserve.
What is not clear is whether Clarke understands that Dick "dick" had always wanted to do this.

Back when God was cool.

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Nothing is sacred for the Right to Birth crowd

If they do not approve of you, after adequate consultation with their god, they will kill you wherever they can.
George Tiller, a Wichita doctor who was one of the few doctors in the nation to perform late-term abortions, was shot to death on Sunday as he attended church, city officials in Wichita said.
Because nothing says Right To Life like killing someone.

UPDATE: A suspect has been caught. Let's hope he is interrogated properly.

How does the Republican Party buy votes?

The Rush Limbaugh method is one of the favorites in Kentucky.
The indictment said Bishop, a Republican election officer in the Manchester precinct in 2002 and 2004, hosted meetings at his house where candidates for office pooled money to use in buying votes.

He also bought votes at the polling place, giving voters a mark or ticket so they could get paid later, the indictment says.

Bishop and [elections official William] Stivers also used OxyContin to buy votes at the direction of [School Superintendent Douglas] Adams in 2002, former Manchester assistant police Chief Todd Roberts told investigators, according to another court document.
I guess the School Super would know best which of his former students was doing "Limbaugh heroin".

Catch-22 catches 17 Uighurs

Everybody wants them freed after 7 years in the George W Bush Memorial Illegal Detention Center in Cuba, but nobody wants them in their neighborhood. They can't go home because they face jail, and worse, in China for political crimes. Thanks to Republican bungling and incompetence they are tarred with the Guantanamo brush and Democrats fear the Republican fear mongering that would come from their release in this country. So what do we do with them?

Most depressing headline

Starting tomorrow think of Canada as a foreign country
Buffalo News 5/31/09

No more quick trips over the border to enjoy the Canadian Ballet, sipping a few good beers and puffing on a Cuban cigar. Unless you remember to bring your passport. Gone are the days of treating Canada like the 51st state, which is really a shame because they speak better english than most of your "English as the official language" crowd.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Must be something in the water in Oregon

First up is a story of a 70 year old county Sheriff who has to go back to the academy as a police cadet, despite having spent 34 years on the force.

But what could possibly top the story of an Oregon man being promoted to Rear Admiral in the Polish Navy, at the tender age of 92.

Sometimes New Rules is just too nice.

Note at the end Old Fuzz Lip is none to happy at the comments about his beloved St Ronny.

Mike Lukovich & the Republican Big Tent

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Sen Ted Kennedy outlines his plan for Health Care Reform

Writing in the Boston Globe, the good Senator lays out his vision for remaking the health care system work for all of us. You can read it here.

On the other hand, if you think you are paying too little for lousy coverage and want to pay more you can watch a pack of lies put together by the notorious Swift Boat crew led by the greatest Medicare fraudster this country has yet produced. It will be on network TV but you can find it on your own.

Health care in Congress

The great debate in the Senate appears to be between Ted Kennedy, who wants real reform and an honest public option based on Medicare and Max Baucus, who is trying to earn his keep from the insurance companies.
One of the senators, Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, reasserting himself after months of treatment for brain cancer, made clear this week that he favored a robust public health care plan, a government-sponsored entity that would compete with private insurers.

As a starting point for his bill, Mr. Kennedy favors a public plan that looks like Medicare, the government-run program for older Americans created in 1965, when he was a young senator.

By contrast, Senator Max Baucus, the Montana Democrat who is chairman of the Finance Committee, has been working for months with the panel’s senior Republican, Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, in the hope of forging a bipartisan bill, which would probably play down the option of a public plan.

Mr. Grassley opposes creation of a new government insurance program and says “we cannot afford the public health plan we have already,” referring to Medicare.

President Obama has championed a public plan, saying it would help “keep the private sector honest,” though he has indicated he will be flexible on the details.

House Democratic leaders, including three committee chairmen drafting the House bill, are close to Senator Kennedy’s position.
So give Ted a message of support, wish him the health and strength to beat Max Baucus like a rented mule.

Is Larry Summers honest?

I don't know, any more than I know when he stopped beating his wife, but a look at his public record indicates a man not good at much beyond attracting a lot of money to himself and his friends. In AlterNet, Mark Ames posits a No in answer to that question.
Is Larry Summers taking kickbacks from the banks he’s bailing out?

Last month, a little-known company where Summers served on the board of directors received a $42 million investment from a group of investors, including three banks that Summers, Obama’s effective “economy czar,” has been doling out billions in bailout money to: Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley. The banks invested into the small startup company, Revolution Money, right at the time when Summers was administering the “stress test” to these same banks.

A month after they invested in Summers’ former company, all three banks came out of the stress test much better than anyone expected -- thanks to the fact that the banks themselves were allowed to help decide how bad their problems were (Citigroup “negotiated” down its financial hole from $35 billion to $5.5 billion.)
So a little old startup credit company, trying to provide credit when credit was disappearing faster than gangsters in a police raid, amazingly gets a little help from its friends.
In spite of all of this, on April 6, 2009, Revolution Money announced the happy news: it had just successfully raised $42 million dollars in the most difficult market since the 1930s. The investors? Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley -- bankrupt institutions that Larry Summers was transferring billions in bailout funds to.

At the very same time that these three megabanks were pouring millions into Summers’ former company, Obama’s economic team, starring Larry Summers, was subjecting these same banks to a “stress test” to decide how deep in shit these same banks really were. The banks wanted the government to fudge the results for obvious reasons -- who wants the world to know how deep of a hole you’ve dug for yourself?

When the stress test results were finally released, the banks all came out with glowing reports that beat expectations and caused plenty of skepticism.
A wiseass once said that "Nothing Propinques like Propinquity" but anytime you have Big Money involved, never trust in coincidences.

Ed on health care reform

Never forget that the opposition is being led by the man that oversaw the largest Medicare fraud, ever!

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Carl Levin calls Dick "dick" Cheney a Liar.

And Carl has seen the documents Dick "dick" says will prove him right and calls Bullshit on that.

Examining the depths of depravity

Talking Points Memo provides a plethora of links to the vile and bilious attacks on Sonia Sotomayor. She must be well qualified, she is scaring the shit out of the slime worms.

Senator Cornyn denies Boss Rush & his top Lieut. Newt

One of the top Republicans in the Senate, John Cornyn, is repudiating recent comments by Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich which claimed that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is a racist.

Cornyn, the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told NPR's "All Things Considered":

"I think it's terrible... This is not the kind of tone any of us want to set when it comes to performing our constitutional responsibilities of advise and consent."

Cornyn dismissed Limbaugh and Gingrich, adding: "Neither one of these men are elected Republican officials. I just don't think it's appropriate. I certainly don't endorse it. I think it's wrong."
All of which raises the question, who is putting words in John's mouth because that is a very complex thought for the poor old dear.

The Doctor says

Do not conflate inflation fear with inflation in a deflationary cycle. Paul will explain all here.

Big Pharma steals from the Poor Box

Because we all know their profit is way more important than any good their medicine may do.
Pharmaceutical giant Aventis must pay more than 95 million dollars in an out-of-court settlement, after overcharging US and local health agencies for medications destined for indigent patients, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

“We will continue to ensure that programs for the most vulnerable portions of our population do not pay any more for pharmaceutical products than they should under the law,” Tony West, an assistant attorney general at the US Justice Department said in a statement announcing the settlement.

Aventis Pharmaceutical Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sanofi-Aventis, acknowledged that it violated the False Claims Act by misreporting drug prices for patients in the Medicaid Drug Rebate program for poor patients.

Under the program, Aventis was required to report to Medicaid the lowest price that it charged commercial customers, and pay quarterly rebates to the states for their Medicaid patients, based on those reported prices.

But Aventis deliberately misquoted the prices, underpaying rebates to Medicaid and overcharging some public health agencies for the medications.
If only $95 Million was enough to make them blink.

KO interviews The Body

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It does look like Jesse is right about the lack of criminal prosecution.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

This guy is a real Cutie

You know, when the big league Catholics catch you indulging in a little hanky panky with your lady love, you have two choices. You can cast her out of your life as a manifestation of the devil, confess and pray for forgiveness from the Chief Wizened Old Man. Or you can do as "Father Oprah" did and step down to the Junior Varsity Catholics who let you partake of God's greatest gift to mankind.
Father Alberto Cutie, an internationally known Catholic priest who admitted having a romantic affair and breaking his vow of celibacy, is joining the Episcopal Church to be with the woman he loves, he said Thursday.

"I will always love the Catholic Church and all its members," he said at a news conference. "But I want to start today by going into a new family.

"Here before this community where I have chosen to serve and where I live, I am going to continue to proclaim the word of God and my love for God," Cutie said.
Methinks he loves his God too much and his Church too little.

How Republicans choose their leaders

A parable that teaches truth about the party of Boss Limbaugh.
AT the time of creation, the body parts were arguing. The problem could not be solved because each one wanted to be the boss of the whole body.

Said the brain, "I do the thinking. Without me, none of you would know what to do. Do you realize I am at the highest point symbolizing my superiority over all of you? So, logically, I should be the boss of the entire body.''

The eyes declared, "No. I do the seeing. Without me, you would not know where to go. Why, you could not even move. You cannot appreciate your surroundings. In darkness, all of you would be useless. I should be the boss of the whole body!''

Exclaimed the heart, "Where do you think you get the strength? From the blood I pump to each of you. Without me, you would all be dead. I am the center of all your abilities. No question, I should be the boss of the human form!''

The lungs shouted, "What use is the blood if it has not been aerated through my function? I breathe all day to purify the whole body. For this, I should be the boss of all body parts.''

Growled the intestines, "You talk about nourishment. Where do you think the nutrients come from? It is through my digestive prowess. I grind the food and transform them to basic elements for absorption. Then the body has the energy to function. No doubt I should be the boss.''

In succession, the feet, ears, mouth, liver, kidney and every other part spoke. Each claiming the right to be boss.

Finally, even the asshole spoke of being the boss.

All the other parts found it so funny for the asshole to demand the honor of being boss. They all laughed and laughed. The asshole was so humiliated and angered.

Out of sheer spite, the asshole blocked himself and refuse to function. The body began to be poisoned by the non-evacuation of all the body waste. The brain got dulled, the eyes got crossed, the heart skipped beats, the lungs could hardly heave, the intestines were feverish, the feet and arms ached and limped.

All the body parts relented and allowed the asshole to become the boss.

And so it came to pass. From that time on, all the other body parts did all the work. The asshole just bossed around and sat on its behind.

Moral of the story: "You don't have to be a brain to be boss, just an asshole.''
And if you have any doubts, check out the Republiban reactions to Judge Sotomayor at TPM.

Schwarz R Us

One of the worlds finest toy stores has finally succumbed to financial pressures and is now part of the worlds least imaginative toy store chain.

Quote of the Day

I know lots of stupid people who went to Ivy League schools.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Today is the monthly Beethoven Appreciation Day

What a perfect end for The Oxycontin Kid

From the pen of Walt Handelsman

Responsible health insurance has talking points, too!

And unlike those from Fat Frankie Luntz, they do not require you to lie to look sincere. Firedoglake has the story here and you can read Paul Begala's TPM here.

And after you read them, pass them on to your family and friends.

It had to happen

The political life of Michele "Mighty Mouth" Bachmann has been turned into a comic book. Not, mind you, a graphic novel, but an old time comic book. The format was probably chosen to be understandable to her supporters. TPM has the details here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Makeup Music Blogging

Lyrics in full here

Best endorsement ever!

John Yoo comes out against Judge Sonia Sotomayor. What better indicator that she will uphold the rule of law?

Fun fact to look for in her confirmation. These Republicans voted for her confirmation to the Appeals Court.
Bennett (Utah)
Specter (has since switched to the Democrats)
And last, The Oxycontin Kid is against her, will they cross the boss?

Dick Cheney will look good in orange with stainless steel bracelets.

OMG! OSHA smacks down Wal-Mart!

Levies huge fine! Wall St. trembles for Wal-marts future!
A federal agency has cited Wal-Mart Stores Inc. for inadequate crowd management in the death of a worker at a New York store.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued the citation Tuesday. It says Wal-Mart should have recognized the need for effective crowd management during its sales blitz the day after Thanksgiving.

The world's largest retailer faces a $7,000 fine but has 15 days to respond to the citation. A company spokesman did not immediately comment.

A crowd broke down the Valley Stream store's doors last year. Temporary worker Jdimytai Damour (jih-mee-TREE' dih-MOHR') was trapped in a vestibule and asphyxiated.

He had been on the job about a week with no training in security or crowd control.
Heh! The CEO of Wal-Mart farts more value than that, but they will still spend $thousands on lawyers to overturn it so they can continue to brag about how well they threat their minions.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Quote of the Day

France surpasses the U.S. on every measure of health care availability, provision, and outcomes, whether it's number of doctors, access to advanced medical treatments, or outcomes. They do this despite spending 5% less of GDP on healthcare than the United States spends. Single-payer health insurance, commonly referred to as "Medicare For All", works. We have proof it works. The only reason not to do it is ideology. There is a term to describe nations where ideology trumps pragmatic reality: "Has-beens." Just ask the USSR. Oh wait, you can't...
Badtux the Snarky Penguin, because any bird that hatches its young in Antartica and then flies up to Bahia for a little Carnival probably know a lot more about healthcare than your average Republican.

Having a picnic this weekend?

Did you buy any 10lb or 20lb boxes of frozen burger patties? If you did, you might want to check the USDA list of ground beef recalls. Read it here.

Another Bush terror plot goes awry.

Plans are underway to offshore the trial to India for safety reasons and to save money.

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Water Sports 101

The Mancow got waterboarded so he could laugh it off and say it was not torture. He lasted all of 6 seconds.
"The average person can take this for 14 seconds," Marine Sergeant Clay South told his audience before he was waterboarded on air. "He's going to wiggle, he's going to scream, he's going to wish he never did this."

Mancow was set on a 7-foot long table with his legs elevated and his feet tied.

"I wanted to prove it wasn't torture," Mancow said. "They cut off our heads, we put water on their face...I got voted to do this but I really thought 'I'm going to laugh this off.' "

The upshot? "It is way worse than I thought it would be, and that's no joke," Mancow told listeners. "It is such an odd feeling to have water poured down your nose with your head back...It was instantaneous...and I don't want to say this: absolutely torture."

"Absolutely. I mean that's drowning," he added later. "It is the feeling of drowning."

"If I knew it was gonna be this bad, I would not have done it," he said.
More balls than Hannity and now, maybe a little smarter, too.

The Eternal Wrongness of Dick Cheney

Rachel takes notes and notes the changes.

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Dick Cheney is a liar and a coward

And KO calls him on it with this Special Comment

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Krugman looks at health care insurance

And remarks on the almost immediate backing away from the glorious promises made by the insurance scammers. Coincidentally, the beginnings of this years Harry & Louise are starting to hit the airways.
The Post has the storyboards for the ads, and they read just like the infamous Harry and Louise ads that helped kill health care reform in 1993. Troubled Americans are shown being denied their choice of doctor, or forced to wait months for appointments, by faceless government bureaucrats. It’s a scary image that might make some sense if private health insurance — which these days comes primarily via HMOs — offered all of us free choice of doctors, with no wait for medical procedures. But my health plan isn’t like that. Is yours?

“We can do a lot better than a government-run health care system,” says a voice-over in one of the ads. To which the obvious response is, if that’s true, why don’t you? Why deny Americans the chance to reject government insurance if it’s really that bad?

For none of the reform proposals currently on the table would force people into a government-run insurance plan. At most they would offer Americans the choice of buying into such a plan.

And the goal of the insurers is to deny Americans that choice. They fear that many people would prefer a government plan to dealing with private insurance companies that, in the real world as opposed to the world of their ads, are more bureaucratic than any government agency, routinely deny clients their choice of doctor, and often refuse to pay for care.
And the Good Doctor asks the $64,000 Question, will Obama now get medieval on their evil asses? We certainly hope so.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pat Oliphant has the measure of the rat

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Thursday Toe Tapping Time

The band could play and she could dance, let's see Mick Jagger try this.

Is there a place for this?

Army ammunition officials hope to field a new, environmentally friendly 5.56mm bullet this summer.

“One of our big efforts right now is to develop green ammunition,” Lt. Col. Jeff Woods, product manager for Small Caliber Ammunition,
Is this like the Neutron Bomb, kill the people save the buildings?

Stormy Watch update

Louisiana's best hope for an honest hard working senator has just announced the formation of her Senate Exploratory Committee.
Today, I am excited to announce that I am taking the next step in exploring a possible run for United States Senate. Two weeks ago, I embarked on a listening tour where I had the pleasure of hearing the thoughts and concerns of my fellow Louisianans. These conversations were highly encouraging and convinced me to officially explore the possibility of running for the United States Senate. To this end, I have formed an exploratory committee to gauge Louisianans’ support for my potential candidacy. I do not take this step lightly. While I have been humbled by the overwhelmingly positive response my potential candidacy has generated thus far, my decision to run for United States Senate will only be made after I have had the opportunity to discuss this prospect with as many people across the state as possible. Too many in government ignore the voices of those whom they claim to represent. I promise you that I will not.Forming this committee will allow me to raise the funds necessary to explore a possible run and will provide Louisianans an opportunity to continue sharing with me their concerns and ideas. I invite you to visit and join me in taking this next important step. In the coming months I will continue my listening tour and am eager to visit western and northern Louisiana. I look forward to discussing further the vital priorities facing our state and nation—including reforming the tax code to a system that rewards, rather than penalizes, success, protecting our children and promoting personal responsibility as an alternative to government intrusion.
When you look at her biography, you soon realize that Stormy Daniels is more of a man than Diaper Dave Vitter will ever be and more of a woman than Diaper Dave will ever get.

He's coming right at us!

A cry soon to be heard ringing throughout our national parks as the NRA encourages its members to start slinging lead in defense of their campsites.
Thanks to a 279-147 vote Wednesday in the House of Representatives, visitors to the nation's parks and wildlife refuges will be able to carry weapons there if they abide by state weapons laws.

The bill is on its way to President Barack Obama, who faces a dilemma: Gun rights advocates attached the provision to a sweeping overhaul of the credit card industry, an initiative Obama strongly supports, so he has little choice but to let the gun section become law.
The good news is that it is now open season on congresscritters. If you see one in a national park you may blast away with whatever you have at hand.

A small town, unafraid and in need of stimulus.

Why do the Republicans hate rural America?

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First, we kill all the witnesses

Shakespeare didn't like lawyers, but according to indictments revealed yesterday, one lawyer didn't like any witnesses against his clients.
But federal authorities charged Wednesday that the success their former colleague, Paul Bergrin, had in defending drug dealers and gang leaders was based on a brutal calculus that he had boiled down to a phrase he repeated like a slogan: No witnesses, no case.

In an indictment unsealed on Wednesday in United States District Court in Newark, prosecutors accused Mr. Bergrin, 53, of orchestrating the murder of a confidential witness by leaking his name to drug dealers who shot him in broad daylight on a Newark street corner; of traveling to Chicago to hire a murderer to kill a witness in another case; of coaching some eyewitnesses to lie; and of paying others to change their stories or leave town on the day they were to testify.
Brutally effective.

The little bastard approved torture

Long before he marshaled his legal stooges to give legal blessing to illegal torture, Abu Gonzalez was signing off on similar techniques as if he were back in Texas signing death warrants.
Months before the first “torture memo” was issued by Bush administration lawyers in 2002, Alberto Gonzales – then White House counsel – personally approved “borderline torture” techniques used on Abu Zubaydah, according to a new report.

An anonymous source told NPR that in April and May of 2002 CIA contractor James Mitchell sought approval on a daily basis for so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” via top-secret cables to the CIA’s counterterrorism center. The CIA forwarded those cables to the White House, according to National Public Radio, and Gonzales would approve the technique, thus granting a legal basis for Mitchell’s actions – in theory at least.
At the time he was only the presidents lawyer, with no standing in the official chain of command beyond the president's ear. Curious.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It must be a rhetorical question

Why else would McClatchy run a headline like this over a story on said speculators?
Are Wall Street speculators driving up gasoline prices?
And if you don't know the answer to that question, it is time to pull your head out of whatever ass you stuck it in.

And to add insult to injury.
This time, Wall Street speculators — some of them recipients of billions of dollars in taxpayers' bailout money — may be to blame.

Big Wall Street banks such as Goldman Sachs & Co., Morgan Stanley and others are able to sidestep the regulations that limit investments in commodities such as oil, and they're investing on behalf of pension funds, endowments, hedge funds and other big institutional investors, in part as a hedge against rising inflation.

These investors now far outnumber big fuel consumers such as airlines and trucking companies, which try to protect themselves against price swings, and they're betting that the economy eventually will rebound, that the Obama administration's spending policies and Federal Reserve actions will trigger inflation — or both — and that oil prices will rise.
Isn't that special, you're getting fucked with your own tax dollars.

Vanity Fair has an interview with Alan Grayson

He is the freshman Congressman from the 8th district in Florida and he is refreshingly liberal at a time when the country is turning more and more toward a liberal reality. You will enjoy reading the thoughts and feelings of this up and coming Democrat. Speaking on the Bush Wars:
Have you been pleased at all with the Obama administration’s policies in Iraq and what they’ve done there so far?

I think that we have to get out. I think that we should have left both these countries a long time ago. In the case of Iraq, the reasons that we were given at the time the war began were all lies, and we all know it, and as a country we should have been willing to learn from that mistake a long time ago. We have conducted wars without paying for them for the past seven years, and the result of that is that we have come close to destroying our national economy.

At this point I’m really not terribly concerned about the well-being of the Shiites, the Sunnis, or the Kurds. What I care about is our surviving these difficult economic times, and when I’m asked to vote for $100 billion to extend occupations that fundamentally served no purpose that could not be accomplished any other way—in lieu of spending for the things that human beings need, at a time when we have schools closing in Orlando, at a time when we are laying off firefighters and police officers—I have to say, “No, there’s a better use for that money.”

Is this something you’re continuing to hear voiced from your constituents?

Well, those who feel that way. There’s obviously a great difference of opinion about this issue in the country, but you can’t get around the fact that there is no possible way that endless war could possibly be good for this country. That’s something that people really understand. In the novel 1984 Orwell wrote that endless war is one of the vices that a dictatorship uses to keep control of its people. I don’t think we need to head down that road any further.

What do you propose we do? What would you like to see done—

Get out! Get out.
So absolutely right.

Lying sack of dog mess

The ladies of The View have their way with Glen Beck. It is recommended highly for people who prefer reality.

A lot of yellow legs in DC lately

Jon Stewart gives them their due

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I suspect even the Blue Dogs would oppose this nominee

Hey Pat Robertson

And all the rest of you hate filled trash spewing Christianists, take a good look at what this man did. This is what a real christian does.
When Jody Richards saw a homeless man begging outside a downtown McDonald's recently, he bought the man a cheeseburger. There's nothing unusual about that, except that Richards is homeless, too, and the 99-cent cheeseburger was an outsized chunk of the $9.50 he'd earned that day from panhandling.
And every one of you SOB's would have passed Jody Richards by without even tossing him a dime, if you had noticed him and others like him, at all.

Dead peasants rise again

Not a bunch of zombies, but corporate insurance on employees with employers as the beneficiaries, commonly referred to as "dead peasant" policies.
Banks are using a little-known tactic to help pay bonuses, deferred pay and pensions they owe executives: They're holding life-insurance policies on hundreds of thousands of their workers, with themselves as the beneficiaries.

Banks took out much of this life insurance during the mortgage bubble, when executives' pay -- and the IOUs for their deferred compensation -- surged, and banking regulators affirmed the use of life insurance as a way to finance executive pay and benefits.

Bank of America Corp. has the most life insurance on employees: $17.3 billion at the end of the first quarter, according to bank filings. Wachovia Corp. has $12 billion, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. has $11.1 billion and Wells Fargo & Co. has $5.7 billion. (Wells Fargo acquired Wachovia at the end of last year.)

The insurance policies essentially are informal pension funds for executives: Companies deposit money into the contracts, which are like big, nondeductible IRAs, and allocate the cash among investments that grow tax-free. Over time, employers receive tax-free death benefits when employees, former employees and retirees die.
Corporate America, dedicated to taking every possible benefit it can from the worker.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Don't get in the cage with Jesse

Unless you are a dumb Fux talking head, 'cause then we love to watch Jesse have a snack.

A handy dandy guide to real health insurance

Cut it out, stick it up, pass it around to your friends.

1. Choice, choice, choice. If the public health insurance option passes, Americans will be able to choose between their current insurance and a high-quality, government-run plan similar to Medicare. If you like your current care, you can keep it. If you don't—or don't have any—you can get the public insurance plan.

2. It will be high-quality coverage with a choice of doctors. Government-run plans have a track record of innovating to improve quality, because they're not just focused on short-term profits. And if you choose the public plan, you'll still get to choose your doctor and hospital.

3. We'll all save a bunch of money. The public health insurance option won't have to spend money on things like CEO bonuses, shareholder dividends, or excessive advertising, so it'll cost a lot less. Plus, the private plans will have to lower their rates and provide better value to compete, so people who keep their current insurance will save, too.

4. It will always be there for you and your family. A for-profit insurer can close, move out of the area, or just kick you off their insurance rolls. The public health insurance option will always be available to provide you with the health security you need.

5. And it's a key part of universal health care. No longer will sick people or folks in rural communities, or low-income Americans be forced to go without coverage. The public health insurance plan will be available and accessible to everyone. And for those struggling to make ends meet, the premiums will be subsidized by the government.
Passing this around is a good way to work for yourself and not against yourself.

KO rings the bell again

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Monday, May 18, 2009

From the pen of David Horsey

By way of Froomkin.

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A journey of a thousand prosecutions

Begins with a dozen complaints to the relevant bar associations.
Complaints were filed against 12 individuals, including former attorneys general John Ashcroft, Alberto Gonzales and Michael Mukasey and former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, said a member of the groups. The complaints filed with bar associations in the District of Columbia and four states — New York, California, Texas and Pennsylvania — say their licenses should be revoked for "moral turpitude."

"These lawyers misused their license to practice law to provide legal cover for the war crime of torture," said Kevin Zeese, executive director of VotersForPeace.US and a board member with VelvetRevolution.US, the two groups leading the effort.
In addition to the Foul Four listed above, the complaints also cover the following
John Yoo, Jay Bybee and Stephen Bradbury, who worked in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel

_ Ex-Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith

_ Former Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, David Addington

_ Pentagon lawyer William Haynes

_ Former deputy White House counsel Timothy Flanigan

_ and Alice Fisher, former director of the Justice Department's Criminal Division.
Not exactly stripping them and striping them with a Cat O' Nine Tails, but a good start.

Liz Cheney finally tells the truth

Waterboarding was not used to produce intelligence that linked Iraq to al Qaeda in the run-up to the war in Iraq, former Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter said Sunday.
Of course not, the old Spanish Water Torture proved to be a total failure at producing anything, except misery and moral degradation. She could also have said they attempted to produce intelligence using torture and been telling the truth, as well.

MoDo 'fesses up

Maureen Dowd, erstwhile brilliant columnist for the NY Times has confessed to plagiarizing a paragraph in her Sunday column.
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd has admitted to using a paragraph virtually word-for-word from a prominent liberal blogger without attribution.

Dowd acknowledged the error in an e-mail to The Huffington Post on Sunday, the Web site reported. The Times corrected her column online to give proper credit for the material to Talking Points Memo editor Josh Marshall.

The newspaper issued a formal correction Monday saying Dowd "failed to attribute a paragraph about the timeline for prisoner abuse" to Marshall's blog.
Damned liberal, always apologizing and correcting their mistakes,

You can never be too rich or too nuclear

For reasons not explained, the Pakis are ramping up their production of bomb grade plutonium to build more and "better" bombs for their nuclear arsenal. The really bright spot is that US military aid is allowing them to do so.
None of the proposed military assistance is directed at the nuclear program. So far, America’s aid to Pakistan’s nuclear infrastructure has been limited to a $100 million classified program to help Pakistan secure its weapons and materials from seizure by Al Qaeda, the Taliban or “insiders” with insurgent loyalties.

But the billions in new proposed American aid, officials acknowledge, could free other money for Pakistan’s nuclear infrastructure, at a time when Pakistani officials have expressed concern that their nuclear program is facing a budget crunch for the first time, worsened by the global economic downturn. The program employs tens of thousands of Pakistanis, including about 2,000 believed to possess “critical knowledge” about how to produce a weapon.

The dimensions of the Pakistani buildup are not fully understood. “We see them scaling up their centrifuge facilities,” said David Albright, the president of the Institute for Science and International Security, which has been monitoring Pakistan’s continued efforts to buy materials on the black market, and analyzing satellite photographs of two new plutonium reactors less than 100 miles from where Pakistani forces are currently fighting the Taliban.

“The Bush administration turned a blind eye to how this is being ramped up,” he said. “And of course, with enough pressure, all this could be preventable.”

As a matter of diplomacy, however, the buildup presents Mr. Obama with a potential conflict between two national security priorities, some aides concede. One is to win passage of a global agreement to stop the production of fissile material — the uranium or plutonium used to produce weapons. Pakistan has never agreed to any limits and is one of three countries, along with India and Israel, that never signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

Yet the other imperative is a huge infusion of financial assistance into Afghanistan and Pakistan, money considered crucial to helping stabilize governments with tenuous holds on power in the face of terrorist and insurgent violence.
The age old question of diplomacy, how do we get them to stop doing what they want and start doing what we want?

UPDATE: Pakistan denies that it is building more nukes. Phew! That is a relief.

Monday Music Blogging

A wonderful band from Boston that sadly no longer has the mad cellist.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Republicans just *love* dead bodies.

BadTux the Single Payer Penguin makes the case for universal single payer health care insurance for all. My mother always told me to eat my fish because fish was "brain food" and she must have been right because all those herrings did a lot of good for Mr Tux, he makes an eloquent and excellent case for what is right.

Stupidity and cupidity

Mix them together and you have a market for your real estate fraud. The Raleigh News and Observer describes one such scheme in North Carolina and damned if Bank of America isn't involved in it.

Another proud brick in W's wall of legacy

Once upon a time the health care system in Iraq was the wonder of the Arabic world, with the best that modern medicine could provide available to all. And now
Stories of missing drugs, of desperately ill-equipped doctors and of patients left to suffer the consequences are everywhere in Iraq's public health care system. Some hospitals are filthy and infested with bugs. Others are practically falling down. More and more, the blame is being placed on Iraq's U.S.-backed government, which by many accounts is infested with corruption and incompetence.

There's no doubt that years of economic sanctions, followed by years of war, have taken a heavy toll on all public services in Iraq. However, with violence down and some tentative sense of normalcy returning, improvements in health care should be coming far faster than they are, according to doctors, patients, aid organizations and some public officials.

They fault widespread problems at all levels of Iraq's government, and the examples they cite are troubling. Health ministry workers routinely siphon drugs from hospital orders to make extra cash on the black market. Bribery is rampant. Millions of dollars meant for clinics and equipment have gone missing. Millions more have been wasted on government contracts to buy expired medicines.

The health ministry's inspector general openly admits the problems. Even so, the culprits are rarely punished.

Corruption and ineptitude aren't limited to health care, of course; they're endemic in most Iraqi public institutions. When it comes to public health, however, the repercussions are devastating, and they bring into sharp focus the failures that are threatening Iraq's American-financed effort to rebuild itself as a democracy at peace with itself and with its neighbors.
But on the good side, the American Enterprise Institute has a fine example of how government health care doesn't work.

Does anybody trust them?

David Lazarus asks this question about the thieving health insurance cabal and no, he is not working on his stand up comedy routine. He is asking the question we all should ask before calling or writing or e-mailing our congress critters and demand that they not screw us again.
"Everything's different this time," answered Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for America's Health Insurance Plans, a leading industry group. "Everybody learned valuable lessons from 15 years ago."

So now we're looking at kinder, gentler insurance companies?

"Unlike last time around, our industry has made a commitment to come to the table with workable solutions," Zirkelbach said. "We're taking a dramatically different approach to reform than we did 15 years ago. Back then, we opposed reform. Now we support it."

I feel better already.

But when I asked Zirkelbach about the $2 trillion in cost reductions that the healthcare industry says it can come up with over 10 years, he said the details were still being hammered out.

As for Obama's proposal for a public plan to compete with private ones and keep costs down, Zirkelbach said, "We have significant concerns about that, absolutely."

And he wasn't very committed to the insurers' recent claim that they'll stop denying coverage to sick people or those with preexisting conditions. Zirkelbach said this would be contingent on lawmakers approving a national mandate for health insurance -- in other words, a requirement that everyone has to buy the industry's products.

Are those changes still possible without a mandate?

"Probably not," Zirkelbach replied.
The only way to get these changes is a public option plan similar to Medicare that will force the insurance industry to give up their scams and frauds if they want to compete. Using the example of a couple in their late 50's who have lost their employment coverage and are paying open market prices, he reminds us what is so important about this push for health care insurance reform,
"It's wiped out all our savings," Monica told me. "But we're at an age where if anything happened to us, we'd be paying far more.

"We can't afford health insurance," she said. "But we can't afford not to have it."

The same goes for the rest of us. That's what Obama and members of Congress need to remember as healthcare executives start haggling over terms -- or if, yet again, they get up and leave the table.

This isn't about their needs. It's about ours.
So what will it be, are you for yourself or against yourself?

Tom Toles on Dangerous Derivatives

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..on TV more than that ShamWow guy

Saturday, May 16, 2009

MoDo and Frank Rich agree

We need a thorough and complete investigation of Bushovik torture. MoDo wanders through her column before finally saying,
I used to agree with President Obama, that it was better to keep moving and focus on our myriad problems than wallow in the darkness of the past. But now I want a full accounting. I want to know every awful act committed in the name of self-defense and patriotism. Even if it only makes one ambitious congresswoman pay more attention in some future briefing about some future secret technique that is “uniquely” designed to protect us, it will be worth it.
Frank Rich, while taking longer, does follow a more direct and coherent way until he finally says,
I’m not a fan of Washington’s blue-ribbon commissions, where political compromises can trump the truth. But the 9/11 investigation did illuminate how, a month after Bush received an intelligence brief titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.,” 3,000 Americans were slaughtered on his and Cheney’s watch. If the Obama administration really wants to move on from the dark Bush era, it will need a new commission, backed up by serious law enforcement, to shed light on where every body is buried.
Neither calls for the necessary prosecutions. We expect they will turn that stone later as more evidence reaches the light of day.

A poster from WWII

A remnant of lost American values; stolen from Digby

President Obama as commencement speaker

As a commencement speaker, the President is the top "get". So why did one school huff N puff and refuse an honorary degree? Why is he the object of foaming fury from a Catholic minority that long ago denied the teachings of Jesus? If you can answer yes to the following question then I guess we will never know.

Would a white president with Obama's beliefs experience the same reaction to his coming to speak?

Torture to support a lie

David Waldman asks the right question on CNN

Insanity in the Senate

And they all seem so normal when they run for office. Gail Collins deftly explains how these old dears lose all restraint from common sense when they are seated.
Nothing is simple if you’re Harry Reid. This week the Senate was working on a consumer rights bill for credit card holders when Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican, suddenly proposed an amendment to allow people to carry loaded guns in national parks.

This would seem relevant only if consumers are worried that they will not be able to use their American Express at a souvenir stand in Yellowstone, and will need to hold up the cashier in order to bring home a much-anticipated geyser refrigerator magnet.

Coburn said it was not a “gotcha” aimed at forcing the opposition into a corner on a hot-button issue, although when you say you’re offering an amendment “to protect innocent Americans from violent crime in national parks and refuges” I think you are kind of stacking the deck.

But one way or another, the Democrats clearly did feel trapped into placating the gun lobby. Twenty-seven of them wound up voting yes on an amendment that would arm the tourists and make final passage of the credit card bill more complicated. Including Reid.
Or maybe she is just pointing out what a fucking incompetent Old Harry Reid is. You be the judge.

In the words of the Immortal Bard

A crime by any other name is still a fucking crime! Jesus Christ, what part of illegal still eludes you?

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Rachel sums it up neatly here.

And Marcy brings up an added element, Valerie Plame.

Happy National Sea Monkey Day

Don't forget to take your sea monkeys out to dinner tonight.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Doesn't anybody even try to think anymore?

In another of those "Holy Shit, what was going through their heads?" moments, we get the following from the Great State of Florida.
A total of 43 children were directly and indirectly shocked by electric stun guns during simultaneous ''Take Your Sons and Daughters to Work Day'' events gone wrong at three state prisons, according to new information provided Friday by the Florida Department of Corrections.

Also, a group of kids was exposed to tear gas during a demonstration at another lockup.

Three prison guards have been fired, two have resigned and 16 more employees -- from corrections officers to a warden -- will be disciplined due to the incidents that unfolded April 23, said DOC Secretary Walt McNeil. An investigation is ongoing.

None of the children in any of the incidents required medical attention or was notably harmed, McNeil said. He said the children, who ranged in age from 5 to 17, were all children of prison officials.
More like "Get Your Dumbass Daddy Fired So He Can Whup Your Ass Good When He Gets Back To The Trailer" Day

Sure he did it, but did he tell Georgie?

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From the pen of Mike Lukovich

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The next load on the shitpile

All the other big insurers who, while not as criminally reckless as AIG, did manage to get their piece of the action. Now they are getting their share of the evil government plot to recapitalize Wall St at taxpayer expense.
Six major insurance companies have received preliminary approval to get billions of dollars in fresh capital as part of the government’s financial rescue program, a Treasury Department spokesman confirmed on Thursday.

The department said the Hartford Financial Services Group, Prudential Financial, Lincoln National, Allstate, Ameriprise and Principal Financial Group have all received approval for capital infusions, subject to terms still to be negotiated...

...several insurance companies took extraordinary steps to qualify for taxpayer money, which has become even more attractive as the economic environment has worsened.

For example, Lincoln National and the Hartford both bought up smaller banks to qualify as savings banks, which made them eligible for government support.

The insurers followed investment banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, which received emergency waivers from the Federal Reserve to become bank holding companies last fall.

GMAC, the auto lender, and American Express, the credit card company, also have transformed themselves into banks to qualify for government support.

“You want the regulatory program to be as broad as possible,” said Scott E. Talbott, a lobbyist for the Financial Roundtable, a group of the nation’s biggest financial services companies. “If all it took was regulatory gymnastics, that expands the program.”
It all sounds so nice and easy.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Larry Wilkerson is mad as hell

And he doesn't want to take anymore of Dick "dick" Cheney and his lies about the Bushovik crimes. And he was and still is in a position to know or discover what has happened.
Likewise, what I have learned is that as the administration authorized harsh interrogation in April and May of 2002--well before the Justice Department had rendered any legal opinion--its principal priority for intelligence was not aimed at pre-empting another terrorist attack on the U.S. but discovering a smoking gun linking Iraq and al-Qa'ida.

So furious was this effort that on one particular detainee, even when the interrogation team had reported to Cheney's office that their detainee "was compliant" (meaning the team recommended no more torture), the VP's office ordered them to continue the enhanced methods. The detainee had not revealed any al-Qa'ida-Baghdad contacts yet. This ceased only after Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, under waterboarding in Egypt, "revealed" such contacts. Of course later we learned that al-Libi revealed these contacts only to get the torture to stop.

There in fact were no such contacts. (Incidentally, al-Libi just "committed suicide" in Libya. Interestingly, several U.S. lawyers working with tortured detainees were attempting to get the Libyan government to allow them to interview al-Libi....)
Mind you, most of us in the Left of Blogistan knew this, But Larry was one of them back in the day.

You can watch Larry make some of these points here.

Thursday toon

Get that man a single payer public option and he would have all the answers right quick thanks to real competition.

This does not make me feel safe

The Explorers have begun a new program.
The Explorers program, a coeducational affiliate of the Boy Scouts of America that began 60 years ago, is training thousands of young people in skills used to confront terrorism, illegal immigration and escalating border violence — an intense ratcheting up of one of the group’s longtime missions to prepare youths for more traditional jobs as police officers and firefighters.

“This is about being a true-blooded American guy and girl,” said A. J. Lowenthal, a sheriff’s deputy here in Imperial County, whose life clock, he says, is set around the Explorers events he helps run. “It fits right in with the honor and bravery of the Boy Scouts.”

The training, which leaders say is not intended to be applied outside the simulated Explorer setting, can involve chasing down illegal border crossers as well as more dangerous situations that include facing down terrorists and taking out “active shooters,” like those who bring gunfire and death to college campuses. In a simulation here of a raid on a marijuana field, several Explorers were instructed on how to quiet an obstreperous lookout.

“Put him on his face and put a knee in his back,” a Border Patrol agent explained. “I guarantee that he’ll shut up.”
And how many Police Explorers have grown up to ruin many a good police department? The future bodes ill.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ed on healthcare

Call Congress, e-mail Congress, snail mail Congress day after day.

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MoDo unloads on Dick "dick" Cheney

And it all comes pouring out in a wonderful waterfall of sarcasm upon the head of the man once code named "Back Seat".
Cheney has replaced Sarah Palin as Rogue Diva. Just as Jeb Bush and other Republicans are trying to get kinder and gentler, Cheney has popped out of his dungeon, scary organ music blaring, to carry on his nasty campaign of fear and loathing.

The man who never talked is now the man who won’t shut up. The man who wouldn’t list his office in the federal jobs directory, who had the vice president’s residence blocked on Google Earth, who went to the Supreme Court to keep from revealing which energy executives helped him write the nation’s energy policy, is now endlessly yelping about how President Obama is holding back documents that should be made public.

Cheney, who had five deferments himself to get out of going to Vietnam, would rather follow a blowhard entertainer who has had three divorces and a drug problem (who also avoided Vietnam) than a four-star general who spent his life serving his country.
She doesn't say anything about his kidneys, butthe rest is right on.

Quote of the Day

It is torture...It's drowning. It gives you the complete sensation that you are drowning. It is no good, because you -- I'll put it to you this way, you give me a water board, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I'll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders.
Jesse Ventura, describing his SERE training and what waterboarding is actually good for, false confessions.

Watch the interview here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Jerry Lee Lewis having some fun

On his piano, of course.

Liz "Little Dick" Cheney defends daddy Dick "dick" Cheney

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Describes how she and daddy tried waterboarding on Mary to see if it was torture and how they enjoyed it so much it became a weekly family event.

Cheney fingers Bush?

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What Dick "dick" Cheney really wants.

Pat Oliphant

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Will Wells Fargo make Obama wear foreign suits?

A very real possibility as Wells pushes for liquidation to recover monies owed.
Hartmarx, known for its Hart Schaffner & Marx and Hickey Freeman suits, and for making President Obama’s inauguration tuxedo and topcoat, has long been America’s leading clothier for men. Now its workers want to make the company, which is in bankruptcy, a leader in a different way.

Hoping to save their jobs and start a national movement, Hartmarx workers are pressuring Wells Fargo, the company’s main creditor, to approve the sale of Hartmarx to a buyer that would keep it alive instead of liquidating it, and most likely putting its celebrated labels on suits made overseas.

Seeing a political and public relations opening, the workers and their union are arguing that Wells Fargo, having received $25 billion in the bank bailout, should keep a 122-year-old American company like Hartmarx in business and preserve some 3,600 jobs.
Layoffs and liquidation are so much sexier on Wall St.

I guess the Tennessee gene pool needs cleaning

It certainly would improve the state if they scrubbed at least one state senator.
The Tennessee House has passed a bill that would allow guns to be carried in bars where alcohol is served. Law abiding citizens should be allowed to carry guns in bars, Tennessee State Senator Doug Jackson told Fox’s Brian Kilmeade on Monday, calling armed drunks in bars a “dreamy scenario.”
What is curious about this is the Fox meat puppet thinking it may be a very bad idea.
“Senator, you ever seen a bar fight?” asked Kilmeade.

“Yes,” he said.

“You ever been in one?” the host pressed.

“Oh, no, I’ve never been in one but I …” the senator trailed.

“Then you know they’ll go to extremes,” said Kilmeade. “They’ll break a bottle and use that bottle as a weapon. Now you’re arming people who are extremely angry. So, you ready for that scenario? That’s not a dreamy scenario. You agree with that? We watch bar fights every day. Every three minutes there’s a bar fight. Right now.”
"We watch bar fights every day." Sounds like Fox has a really tough lunchroom, a regular "bucket of blood".

Monday, May 11, 2009

The weapon of choice

For the Rangers:
SOCom chose the SCAR system — which consists of the 5.56mm MK16 and the 7.62mm MK17 — to replace weapons including the 5.56mm M4A1 carbine, made by Colt Defense LLC.

The command selected FN Herstal to develop SCAR in 2004 after holding a competition to find a reliable, modular weapon system for its elite forces.

The SCAR has a short-stroke, gas-piston operating system. The upper receiver is aluminum and houses a free-floating barrel for improved accuracy. The lower receiver is polymer to help reduce weight. Both versions can be equipped with different barrel lengths to suit missions ranging from close-quarter fights to long-range shooting.

Operators can chose a 10-inch, 14-inch or 18-inch barrel for the MK16 and a 13-inch, 16-inch or 20-inch barrel for the heavier MK17. Each of these can be changed out by the shooter in minutes, FN officials say. The MK16 uses a 30-round magazine; the MK17 uses a 20-rounder. Eighty percent of the parts are common to both the light and heavy versions to reduce long-term maintenance costs, FN officials say.

The SCAR also includes the MK13 40mm grenade launcher, designed to fit on both the MK16 and MK17 or fire in the stand-alone mode.

Like the M4A1, both versions of the SCAR can fire on full automatic. The conventional Army’s M4 carbine uses a three-round burst instead of full auto

How long can Dick "dick" Cheney keep saying "Bring it on"

Before the Obama administration says, yes let's enforce the law?

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Quote of the Day

The point is that there’s every reason to be cynical about these players’ motives. Remember that what the rest of us call health care costs, they call income.
Paul Krugman, who, while talking about a seemingly positive move from the thieving health insurance companies, cuts to the core of what motivates all of them.

Monday Music Blogging

A little boogie woogie to get you mind humming and your toe tapping at the beginning of another week.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

God Bless Wanda Sykes

From the Correspondants Dinner last night, watch her skewer Fat Boy Rushbo.

Tiny Tim tells the Truth

Via Saturday Night Live

Dick Cheney admits he authorized Torture

And spreads the lie that a technique designed from the beginning to elicit the confession the torturer wanted, actually produced actionable intelligence. You can see part of his confession at The Huffington Post.

Remember when the Republican Party was the one always huffing and puffing about Lawnorder? How come they put out so much effort to cover up their crimes? Why don't they stand up and take their punishment like the brave heros they pretend to be.

If face time counted

Newt Gingrich would be considered an important element in the Republican party. If you consider the soundness and validity of his ideas, he is just the janitor, bitching on his coffee break.
In an interview that was fiery even by his standards, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich accused the Obama administration of coddling terrorists, tarred the idea of investigating the Bush administration as modern day "McCarthyism," and falsely charged that the Democratic-controlled Congress never tried to outlaw torture.

It was, if nothing else, an unrestrained tour de force in oppositional politics. Sitting down with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, Gingrich claimed that the former firm of Attorney General Eric Holder had represented 17 alleged terrorists on a pro-bono basis. "For no fee," he added, for good measure. "It is the largest single thing they were doing for free, defending Yemenis."
This was all said on Fox, where he was assured of a credulous and accepting audience, not that he would have gotten any significant push back anywhere else. The sad fact is that the only way to stop the tsunami of bullshit from the Republicans is to start putting their lying criminal asses in the docket.

As California goes, so goes Vermont

At least with State Democratic parties calling for prosecution of Bushoviks for torture and illegal wiretapping.
Vermont Democrats say President Barack Obama is being soft on prosecuting former Bush administration officials over torture, electronic spying and other matters.

A resolution by the state Democratic committee "calls upon the current administration and Justice Department to cease attempts to block investigations and prosecution" of Bush officials.

It criticizes the Justice Department for agreeing with Bush officials that they should be protected by sovereign immunity, a legal doctrine that shields people in government from liability for official actions.
Two states standing up for American values, 48 more to go.

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