Political blog from the radical left, because the Invisible Hand is giving you the finger. rorschach782003 at yahoo dot com
"rorschach, have I told you how good your blog is? You find stories nobody else does." --Echidne of the snakes
Friday, November 03, 2006
The Useful Dead
The Republicans continue to disgust:
Question: When is it okay to run a political ad with images of the flag-draped coffins of soldiers? Answer: When you're a Republican. Back in July, the National Republican Congressional Committee held a press conference to denounce its Dem counterpart, the DCCC, for running a web ad showing such coffin imagery. Many other senior Republicans, including House majority leader John Boehner, condemned the ad, and it was a raging controversy for days until the DCCC pulled it. But guess what: Now there are not one, but two Republican ads which show an image of flag-draped coffins -- and one of them has been paid for by, yep, the NRCC.
Bizarre little story, this:
Some of the letters are comical (a man asking God to let him win the lottery, twice), others are heartbreaking (a distraught teen asking forgiveness for an abortion, an unwed mother pleading with God to make the baby's father marry her). The letters - about 300 in all, sent to a New Jersey minister - ended up dumped in the ocean, most of them unopened.
The minister died two years ago at 79. How the letters, some dating to 1973, wound up bobbing in the surf is a mystery.
"There are hundreds of lives here, a lot of struggle, washed up on the beach," said Bill Lacovara, a Ventnor insurance adjuster who was fishing last month with his son when he spotted a flowered plastic shopping bag and waded out to retrieve it. "This is just a hint of what really happens. How many letters like this all over the world aren't being opened or answered?"
Libby's Pathetic Defense Is Out
A "memory expert"? Isn't this just the sort of thing conservative tend to get all riled up about lawyers doing in court?
Former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby will not be allowed to use a memory expert at his perjury and obstruction trial, a federal judge ruled Thursday, blocking a key tactic in Libby's defense strategy.
"Gay Panic" Still Nonsense
The Wisconsin Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of Gary Hirte for the "thrill killing" of a man in 2003.
Hirte was sentenced to life in prison last year for the killing of Glen Kopitske following a sensational trial in which the defense tried to use the so-called 'gay panic' defense.
During the trial Hirte's attorney said he was so overcome with guilt and shame after having gay sex that he became enraged and then killed the man.
Lawyer Gerald Boyle told the court that Hirte was tormented about his sexuality and confused about what was going on inside of him.
According to Boyle, Hirte had "homosexual urges" that intensified after he drank alcohol, as he did the night of the murder.
He said Hirte had been drinking at home and went to a boat landing and sat on the hood of his car. Kopitske approached and invited Hirte to his house.
The men had oral sex and Hirte left and returned to his car. A few hours later he drove off in what Boyle described as an "unbelievable rage", got a shotgun and knife, returned to the house and killed Kopitske.
Kopitske was found slain execution-style in his rural home in July, 2003.
Boyle said that Hirte was legally insane at the time of the murder and should not be held accountable.
The prosecution had a different version of the events leading up to Kopitske's murder. They said that Gary Hirte planned the murder and did it to see how it would feel.
The jury discounted the "gay rage" claim and found Hirte, who was 19 at the time, legally sane.
Oh, for F***'s Sake
Subtlety truly is a dead art:
FOX News Channel has announced that it will air "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West,""(a) frightening new documentary by filmmaker Wayne Kopping ....
What he found, is something FOX News believes every American should know."
The film, which is actually a year old, will be shown four (4) times this weekend to help Republicans scare their base to the polls. Along with plenty of footage accusing Democrats of not getting it (an O'Reilly favorite) and Dick Morris' sickening new anti-Democrat smear commercial, FOX is pulling out all the stops to support their party.
Another article at FOXNews.com says that"We often hear that 9/11 was a wake-up call for Americans. But have Americans really woken up to the truth of how much radical Islamists want us dead, and the lengths to which they are willing to go to fulfill their mission?
According to a shocking new (sic) documentary called “Obsession,” the free world is still unprepared to face the unwavering commitment of those who have pledged their lives to our destruction. The film states that we suffer not so much from complacency, but from the naïve disbelief that we remain targets of thousands, perhaps millions of radical Muslims around the world."
In other words, we're not scared enough (yet) to turn over ALL our rights to the executive branch. Maybe this'll do it - it's worth a shot, right?
Thursday, November 02, 2006
The First Step
Our first socialist Senator. Thank you, Vermont!
Amid the furious debate over Iraq and the speculation that George Bush may be a lame duck after next Tuesday's mid-term elections, an extraordinary political milestone is approaching: a cantankerous 65-year-old called Bernie looks set to become the first socialist senator in US history.
Bernie Sanders is so far ahead in the contest for Vermont's vacant seat for the US Senate that it seems only sudden illness or accident could derail his rendezvous with destiny, after eight terms as the state's only congressman. His success flies in the face of all the conventional wisdom about American politics.He is an unapologetic socialist and proud of it. Even his admirers admit that he lacks social skills, and he tends to speak in tirades. Yet that has not stopped him winning eight consecutive elections to the US House of Representatives.
Bush Administration Actively Misinforming Pregnant Women
Good for CREW for holding onto this story like a pit bull. If these bastards are funding misinformation centers, they should hang:
A Washington watchdog is looking into connections between federal funding and organizations that aim to discourage abortions by giving women misleading advice.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is going to court to force the US government to disclose its funding policy toward "pregnancy resource centers."
Backed by the White House and religious groups, pregnancy resource centers are local organizations that purport to provide women with family-planning advice. Evidence has emerged that some of the centers have been giving false and misleading information about the health risks of abortions. The White House and the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) fund many of the centers.
CREW filed the complaint with the Washington, DC federal district court last week after the HHS failed to respond to an August Freedom of Information Act request for a range of government documents on the centers. The group seeks disclosure of the criteria for funding the centers, information on efforts to separate religion from other activity, and communications by the HHS concerning the accuracy of the advice that the centers provided.
Welcome to the New Gilded Age
But gold-plated crap is still crap:
Over the past quarter-century, and especially in the last 10 years, America's very rich have grown much richer. No one else fared as well.
In 2004, the richest 1 percent of households - 719,910 of them, with an average annual income of $326,720 - had 19.8 percent of the entire nation's pretax income. That's up from 17.8 percent a year earlier, according to a study by University of California-Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez.
The study, titled "The Evolution of Top Incomes," also found that the richest one-tenth of 1 percent of Americans - 129,584 households in 2004 - reported income equal to 9.5 percent of national pretax income.
However, median, or midpoint, family income rose only 1.6 percent between 2001 and 2004, when adjusted for inflation, according to the Federal Reserve. Median family real net worth - a family's gross assets minus liabilities - rose only 1.5 percent during those four years.
Nice Word Choice
But then, no one ever accused Bush of tact:
President Bush says he has not received any request to send more American forces to Iraq and that commanders have told him the 144,000 troops already deployed are "what they can live with."
Just Say No
For once, a boycott might work:
Reykjavik- Iceland may reconsider its decision to resume commercial whaling if the whale meat cannot be exported, an official said Thursday. Whaling commissioner Stefan Asmundsson said in a telephone interview that whaling was a commercial activity, comparing it to the car industry. "When you don't have buyers for your cars, you halt production," he said.
Warning: Reading This Might Incur Injury from Excessive Laughter
DeLay. "Moral clarity." What more need be said?
Tom DeLay, the former Republican congressman from Texas and House majority leader who resigned in June under an ethical cloud, came to Long Island yesterday to promote his vision of "moral clarity" that he said should guide Americans' discussion about how to best combat terrorism.
DeLay left Congress under fire after he was indicted in Texas in a campaign finance case, which he dismissed as a "witchhunt."
A Whole Lotta Stupid
As if the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal weren't bad enough for America's image in the Middle East, now it may appear to much of the world that one of the men implicated in the scandal is returning to the scene of the crime.
The U.S. military tells TIME that one of the soldiers convicted for his role in Abu Ghraib, having served his sentence, has just been sent back to serve in Iraq.
Sgt. Santos Cardona, 32, a military policeman from Fullerton, Calif., served in 2003 and 2004 at Abu Ghraib as a military dog handler. After pictures of Cardona using the animal to threaten Iraqis were made public, he was convicted in May of dereliction of duty and aggravated assault, the equivalent of a felony in the U.S. civilian justice system. The prosecution demanded prison time, but a military judge instead imposed a fine and reduction in rank. Though Cardona was not put behind bars, he was also required to serve 90 days of hard labor at Ft. Bragg, N.C.
And It's Not Just the Southern Baptists
Wal-Mart can write off the Haredi Jew market too, it would seem.
Three nights of rioting over a parade? These guys need to get some new hobbies.
Police were pelted with stones and bottles Thursday night as members of the Haredi ultra Orthodox Jewish sect engaged in a third night of rioting over next week's planned gay pride march in Jerusalem.
More than two thousand members of the sect jammed into streets in an Orthodox neighborhood in a show of force aimed at pressuring authorities into canceling the parade.
As in the past two nights the protestors rolled garbage cans into intersections to block mounted police from getting to the demonstrators. The garbage was set on fire and some protestors engaged in fist to fist combat with police.
Gay-Mart Faces Serious Threat
Yeah, I'm still here. Not dead just yet. Anyway:
If the Southern Baptists stop shopping there, it could mean trouble:
The Missouri Baptist Convention has issued a stern warning to Wal-Mart - drop your ties with an LGBT business group for face a boycott.
The message was approved this week at the the group's annual convention after a heated debate in which many delegates demanded an immediate boycott.
There are 600,000 Southern Baptists in Missouri. Leaders of the national Southern Baptist Convention said the Missouri Baptists were the first to threaten Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart earlier this year expanded its LGBT diversity program in a deal with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
The GOP Likes Porn Stars
Well, they like porn stars' money, anyway:
You'll recall that late last night Josh Marshall reported that the national Republican party has repeatedly accepted donations from one of the top gay porn producers in the country. This story is relevant since the Republicans have been hitting Democrat Harold Ford in Tennessee with ads claiming he took donations from a Hollywood porn producer.
Now, as you might imagine, the Republicans will probably say they had no idea they were taking money from a man whose living is making films such as "Fire in the Hole", "Flesh and Boners", even a "Velvet Mafia" series.
But that excuse rings hollow when you consider that the GOP had no problem tarring Harold Ford with the same charge. But far more damning is the fact that the Republican party has a history of accepting money from the porn industry. It hasn't just happened before - the GOP openly welcomed porn money.
Case in point, my girl Mary Carey, who just last year gave $5,000 to the GOP, the GOP knew who she was, and they gladly accepted her money made from screwing guys on film. (Visit Mary Carey's Web site, but be warned, this link is not work-friendly, though Lynne Cheney might disagree.)
Maybe that's why porn has been doing so well with Bush in the White House:
When George Bush entered the Oval Office in 2001 he accused his predecessor Bill Clinton of being “soft on porn” and vowed to crack down on an industry that was generating $9.8 billion (£5.2 billion) a year. But anti-porn campaigners in Bush’s own party say that since then the president has been distracted by the war on terror and has done little.
Thanks in part to a new generation of “crossover” stars such as Jenna Jameson, who appears in both sex videos and the book charts with her bestseller How to Make Love Like a Porn Star, industry earnings have risen to more than $12 billion a year. Top producers such as the Private Media Group are even listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange.
With an average 40% profit margin on DVD sales, explicit porn is twice as profitable as the music business. Porn revenues in the US are higher than all money generated by the combined professional American football, baseball and basketball franchises.
Production is booming too. According to Adult Video News, 13,500 titles were released last year, compared with 8,000 in 1998 and 1,250 in 1988.
Really, a little more care ought to be taken, dontcha think?
Nearly one of every 25 weapons the military bought for Iraqi security forces is missing, a government audit said Sunday.Especially given that these missing weapons likely wind up the wrong hands, like these:
Gunmen killed 17 Iraqi police instructors and two translators as they travelled home from work at a British-run training school near the southern Iraqi city of Basra, a senior Iraqi officer told AFP.
The brutal killings in the south came as US troops fought off an insurgent ambush in northern Iraq, killing 17 rebels, and as Iraq's government urged Washington to grant it more control over its own armed forces.
"There were 17 officers and two translators on their way back home after they finished work when gunmen stopped them in an area called al-Kibla," the Iraqi officer said. "They work as instructors at the police academy in Shuaiba.
"They were killed and their bodies were taken back to Shuaiba and scattered around the town. The two translators work with the instructors and the British army and police," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.