Saturday, December 02, 2006

American Fascists

The word "fascist" is thrown around quite a lot, but there's just no more appropriate term for this behavior. The terrorized, terrified enough to turn on their neighbors, are more common than you think:
When radio host Jerry Klein suggested that all Muslims in the United States should be identified with a crescent-shape tattoo or a distinctive arm band, the phone lines jammed instantly.

The first caller to the station in Washington said that Klein must be "off his rocker." The second congratulated him and added: "Not only do you tattoo them in the middle of their forehead but you ship them out of this country ... they are here to kill us."

Another said that tattoos, armbands and other identifying markers such as crescent marks on driver's licenses, passports and birth certificates did not go far enough. "What good is identifying them?" he asked. "You have to set up encampments like during World War Two with the Japanese and Germans."

At the end of the one-hour show, rich with arguments on why visual identification of "the threat in our midst" would alleviate the public's fears, Klein revealed that he had staged a hoax. It drew out reactions that are not uncommon in post-9/11 America.

"I can't believe any of you are sick enough to have agreed for one second with anything I said," he told his audience on the AM station 630 WMAL (, which covers Washington, Northern Virginia and Maryland

"For me to suggest to tattoo marks on people's bodies, have them wear armbands, put a crescent moon on their driver's license on their passport or birth certificate is disgusting. It's beyond disgusting.

"Because basically what you just did was show me how the German people allowed what happened to the Jews to happen ... We need to separate them, we need to tattoo their arms, we need to make them wear the yellow Star of David, we need to put them in concentration camps, we basically just need to kill them all because they are dangerous."


Indians to Assholes: Get Off the Rez

Gratifying, this:

BISMARCK, N.D. -- A church group that protests at military funerals around the country will be barred from services for an American Indian soldier on a reservation, tribal officials say.

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., planned to demonstrate at National Guard Cpl. Nathan Goodiron's funeral on Saturday at the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.

Church members say the deaths of soldiers are punishment from God for the country's tolerance of homosexuals.

Tribal leaders passed a resolution Friday that prohibits the group from protesting on the reservation, said Marcus Wells Jr., chairman of the Three Affiliated Tribes.


Goodiron, 25, of Mandaree, known on the reservation as Young Eagle, was killed Thanksgiving Day in Afghanistan when a grenade struck his vehicle while he was on patrol. He was a member of the 1st Battalion of the North Dakota National Guard's 188th Air Defense Artillery.

Tribal officials said he was the first member of the Three Affiliated Tribes to be killed in the war on terror.

American and tribal flags are being flown at half staff on the reservation to honor Goodiron.

"We recognize and respect the right to free speech and the public's right to assemble, but we want everyone to know that the Three Affiliated Tribes, as a sovereign tribal government, has the right to regulate any person or persons who harass and show disrespectful conduct towards our members, within our boundaries," Wells said in a statement.

Wells said tribal police would prevent the protesters from coming on the reservation.


Don't Worry, Go on the Nod

Fitting. US eradication efforts my ass:

Opium production in Afghanistan, which provides more than 90 percent of the world's heroin, broke all records in 2006, reaching a historic high despite ongoing U.S.-sponsored eradication efforts, the Bush administration reported yesterday.

In addition to a 26 percent production increase over past year -- for a total of 5,644 metric tons -- the amount of land under cultivation in opium poppies grew by 61 percent. Cultivation in the two main production provinces, Helmand in the southwest and Oruzgan in central Afghanistan, was up by 132 percent.


Peace. Freedom.

Love. Also bombs.

At least 50 people have been killed in three car bomb blasts in the centre of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, police say.

More than 80 were wounded when the three cars exploded in quick succession in a busy shopping area of the city.


Expletive, Expletive, Expletive

The rats are starting to leave the city that Bush has left to sink:

St. Paul Travelers Cos. Inc., Louisiana's largest commercial insurance provider, plans to cancel all its commercial property policies in the New Orleans area next year, sparking fears that other insurers will follow and slow the region's economic recovery.

While the St. Paul, Minn., company refused to say how many commercial policies will be affected or specify where the cuts will be in South Louisiana, two insurance brokers who were briefed by the company this week say Travelers will not renew any property insurance for businesses in Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. Bernard and eastern St. Tammany parishes. Cuts will also affect individual businesses in other parts of South Louisiana, including St. Charles and St. John the Baptist parishes.


State Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon, who was tipped off about Travelers' plans Wednesday night by the Business Council of New Orleans and the River Region, said he was stunned by the news. When he met with Travelers on Thursday, he was equally stunned by the stated reason for the company's retrenchment.

"They cited the state of the rebuilding of our levee system as the primary reason for their decision," Donelon said.


Lebanon, Locked Down

Well, not the country, but the government:
Hundreds of thousands of Muslims and Christians waving Lebanese flags poured into central Beirut yesterday as opposition leaders gave impassioned speeches calling for the resignation of the cabinet and the formation of a new, more inclusive government.

A tent city was set up for the thousands who vowed to stay outside the government offices where the prime minister, Fouad Siniora, and most of his ministers were holed up behind barbed wire and barriers until the cabinet stepped down.


It's Flu Season - Be Sure to Wash Your Hands

Or have someone wash them for you.

Gramsci would like you all to know that you may read Rorschach's blog, but he owns Rorschach.

Or at least his arm.


Friday, December 01, 2006


On this World AIDS Day, 25 years in, I just have to say:

I miss you, Bob. And I miss you, JJ. And I miss you, Goddess.



And whenever you aren't playing, work to further women's rights on a global scale. That's the only way we can beat this thing.

That's my message on World AIDS Day. Whatever you do, do it smart.

Unlike Bush, who fails this as so many other things:

The Bush administration and the Republican-controlled Congress for the third year in a row have received a failing grade from an LGBT civil rights organization in the government's response to the global HIV/AIDS pandemic.

The World AIDS Day report card was released by the Human Rights Campaign to coincide with today's AIDS Day observances. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the first reported case of AIDS.

HRC graded the administration and Congress in four key areas: prevention, care and treatment, research and global AIDS. This year the report card included a new category evaluating efforts to combat AIDS-related discrimination.

The 2006 report card gives the government and F for prevention, a D for care and treatment, F for research, C for its global response and an F for ending AIDS related discrimination.


Sporting Behavior

This has to be the most polite coup d'etat I've ever heard of:
Fiji's military has extended its deadline to Monday for the government to meet its demands or be toppled, embattled Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase said on Friday as he and his ministers went into hiding.

"The deadline has now passed. I have been informed that the new deadline is Monday middday," Qarase told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Fiji's military chief maintained his threat on Friday to stage a coup if the government failed to meet his demands, but added he would not act until after the annual military versus police rugby game in Suva later in the day.

Military Commander Frank Bainimarama gave Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase a 24-hour ultimatum on Thursday to clean up his government or face a coup, despite winning a series of concessions from the prime minister.

"I maintain my demands and the deadline still stands and I will make a commitment to my stand after the rugby match," Bainimarama told Fijian media.


Another GOPerv

SEATTLE - An arrest is sending shockwaves through the halls of local political power.

Larry Corrigan has worked on a number of Republican campaigns, but now he's in jail after he was caught in an Internet sting, accused of trying to solicit sex from young girls.

Corrigan's orange jail uniform he was wearing in court Thursday is a far cry from the business suit he wore at the King County Prosecutor's Office for 25 years.

Until last year, Corrigan was the Director of Operations and Budget. Now he's suspected of attempted child rape and communicating with a minor for sex.

"The suspect was communicating online with someone whom he believed was a 13 year old girl." said Debra Brown with the Seattle Police Department. "In fact, that person was a detective from our Internet Crimes Against Children unit."

Seattle police say Corrigan used the AOL screen name LCOR102 to chat with the fictitious 13-year-old girl. Court documents say he bragged he'd already "had sex with a 14-year-old girl from Kansas."


You Are What You Eat

So don't order the terror-misu for dessert!
Virtually every person entering and leaving the United States by air, sea or land is scored by the Homeland Security Department’s Automated Targeting System, or ATS. The scores are based on ATS’ analysis of their travel records and other data, including items such as where they are from, how they paid for tickets, their motor vehicle records, past one-way travel, seating preference and what kind of meal they ordered.


Thursday, November 30, 2006

Clinton Still Better Than Bush

Bill's doing the work that W can't be bothered to do:
Former President Bill Clinton and two Indian pharmaceutical companies have struck an agreement to cut prices of HIV and AIDS treatment for children, making the lifesaving drugs far more accessible worldwide.

That's according to the Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative, a charity set up by Clinton, which says the companies will supply drugs for HIV-positive children at prices as low as 16 cents a day, which amounts to less than $60 a year.

The foundation says the deal will enable an additional 100,000 HIV-positive children in 62 countries to receive treatment in 2007 and was announced at the launch of a new national program by the Indian government to treat HIV-positive children. World AIDS Day is Friday.


South American Socialism

Leftist eyes, I think, should still focus largely on South America.

A curious story from Venezuela today:

CARACAS, Venezuela: Venezuelan intelligence agents have foiled a plot for a sniper attack on the opposition's leading presidential candidate ahead of this Sunday's election, President Hugo Chavez said Thursday.

Chavez said "fascist" militants had planned to use a rifle with a telescopic sight to shoot Manuel Rosales during a speech and then blame it on Chavez's government in hopes of derailing Sunday's vote.

"It was to say that Chavez sent them to kill him, and generate chaos," Chavez told reporters at the presidential palace.

Meanwhile, Morales is still doing the people's work in Bolivia:
Bolivia's leftist president won passage of an ambitious land redistribution bill and signed it into law to the cheers of impoverished Indian supporters, who stand to benefit from what eventually could be the confiscation of private holdings the size of Nebraska.

Evo Morales, Bolivia's first Indian president, is intent on reversing centuries of dominance by a European-descended minority and granting greater power to its poor indigenous majority.

Please note: This land is un-used land held by wealthy families doing nothing with it. If anyone can level an argument as to why this socialization of land is wrong, step forward.


A Sop for the Suckers

Memo to all pro-lifers: most of the GOP do NOT want to outlaw abortion. They want to keep it alive as an issue so they can keep on sucking in your votes:
While they still can, House Republicans are looking at scheduling a vote next week on a fetal pain abortion bill in a parting shot at incoming majority Democrats and a last bid for loyalty from the GOP's base of social conservatives.

The measure is tentatively on House GOP leaders' list of bills to be considered in a lame-duck session before Democrats assume control of Congress. It has no chance of passing the Senate during the waning days of Republican control. But, with Democrats ascending to agenda-setting roles, passage isn't the point, said one conservative leader.

Passing is never the point, except to a very few.


A Vilsack by Any Other Name

Pace Shakespeare, but I have to say that one of the faults of democracy is that a "Bush" or "Kennedy" will beat a "Kucinich" or a "Vilsack," regardless of the merits, every time.

Feeling cynical tonight, I reckon:

MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa (AP) -- Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday, positioning himself as a Washington outsider with heartland appeal.

Vilsack also emphasized the nexus between oil dependence, national security and the economy, saying he would give high priority to weaning the nation off foreign oil and promoting alternative energy.

"Energy security will revitalize rural America," Vilsack told more than 500 cheering backers in the small town where be began his political career as mayor. "Energy security will allow us once and for all to remove and reduce our dependency on foreign oil from foreign countries that do not like us."

Taking aim at President Bush, Vilsack said: "We have in the White House a president whose first impulse is to divide and to conquer, who preys on our insecurities and fears for partisan gain ... "


Our Carceral State

Hegemony ain't just about control of the media and other ideological state apparatuses; it requires a very real threat of force standing behind it. The US has plenty of that:

A record 7 million people - or one in every 32 American adults - were behind bars, on probation or on parole by the end of last year, according to the Justice Department. Of those, 2.2 million were in prison or jail, an increase of 2.7 percent over the previous year, according to a report released Wednesday.

More than 4.1 million people were on probation and 784,208 were on parole at the end of 2005. Prison releases are increasing, but admissions are increasing more.


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

New Hampshire Steps Up

Earlier today I was lamenting the US's lax approach to HPV in comparison with Australia; New Hampshire has proven me wrong in my blanket judgment:
New Hampshire announced plans Wednesday to become the first state to offer the new cervical-cancer vaccine free to all girls. Beginning in January, the vaccine against the human papilloma virus, or HPV, will be provided to girls ages 11 through 18 as part of a state program that offers various immunizations to children at no cost.


Another Victim of Our Victory in Afghanistan

This is what we've abandoned this nation to
, in order that we might prosecute a useless, stupid, evil war in Iraq:
GHAZNI - The gunmen came at night to drag Mohammed Halim away from his home, in front of his crying children and his wife begging for mercy.
The 46-year-old schoolteacher tried to reassure his family that he would return safely.
But his life was over.
He was partly disembowelled and then torn apart with his arms and legs tied to motorbikes. The remains were put on display as a warning to others against defying Taleban orders to stop educating girls.
Halim is one of four teachers killed in rapid succession by the Islamists at Ghazni, a strategic point on the routes from Kabul to the south and east which has become the scene of fierce clashes between the Taleban and United States and Afghan forces.
The day we arrived an Afghan policeman and eight insurgents died during an ambush in an outlying village. Rockets were found, primed to be fired into Ghazni city during a visit by the American ambassador a few days previously. But, as in the rest of Afghanistan, it is the civilians who are bearing the brunt of this murderous conflict.
At the village of Qara Bagh, Halim's family is distraught and terrified. His cousin, Ahmed Gul, shook his head. "They killed him like an animal. No, no. We do not kill animals like that. They took away a father and a husband, they had no pity. We are all very worried. Please go now, you see those men standing over there? They are watching. It is dangerous for you, and for us."


Good Luck with That

Being the US means never having to say you're sorry for torture:
A German who says he was kidnapped three years ago, held by the CIA and tortured for months in Afghanistan personally sought an apology on Wednesday and an explanation for his arrest.

"I want to know why this was done to me," said Khaled el-Masri, a 43-year-old German of Lebanese origin. "I would like an explanation and an apology."

"The claim that this was a case of mixed identity is absolutely absurd," he said at a news conference. "They didn't even accuse me of anything."


Take a Lesson, US

One more way in which another part of the world is better than America:

UP TO 2 million girls and young women will be eligible for free vaccinations against cervical cancer from April next year.

All girls aged 12 and 13 in their first year of high school will be offered the vaccine, which comes in three injections over seven months. The vaccine is most effective when given to girls in that age group, when their immune system is most responsive and before they become sexually active.

"Catch-up" vaccinations will also be given, mostly in school programs, to girls up to age 18 and be free to women up to age 26 through their doctors.


Bush Again Forced to Do the Right Thing

As always, under duress:

A federal judge ordered the Bush administration Wednesday to immediately resume making housing benefits available to thousands of victims of Hurricane Katrina.

U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon said the Federal Emergency Management Agency failed to adequately explain why it ended the 18-month housing assistance program for people who lost their homes in the 2005 storm.

Leon's ruling was issued as a temporary injunction requested by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, which filed suit in August saying FEMA had violated the rights of Katrina victims by abruptly stopping housing payments.

The judge ordered the federal agency to explain its reasoning and allow the displaced hurricane victims to appeal its decision. While that process goes forward, the judge said, FEMA must keep making payments and must pay storm victims for two months of housing since the decision to stop the program.



American soldiers taunting Iraqi kids with the promise of a bottle of water.

"This kid's runnin' forever. Hee hee! He's chasin' it, man!"


Still Greeting Us with Flowers

It's good to be loved:

Lawmakers and cabinet ministers loyal to anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr have suspended participation in parliament and the government to protest Prime minister Nouri al-Maliki's summit with U.S. President George W. Bush.

A statement issued Wednesday by the 30 lawmakers and five Cabinet ministers said their action was necessary because the meeting constituted a "provocation to the feelings of the Iraqi people and a violation of their constitutional rights."


Deport Them!

Overseas! Perhaps to Iraq...

They come from Mexico, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Colombia, Cambodia and a hundred other countries across the globe to find the promise of America. Increasingly they enlist to fight, and sometimes die, in America's wars.

About 69,300 foreign-born men and women serve in the U.S. armed forces, roughly 5 percent of the total active-duty force, according to the most recent data. Of those, 43 percent – 29,800 – are not U.S. citizens. The Pentagon says more than 100 immigrant soldiers have died in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, President Bush and Congress, citing long-established wartime powers, streamlined the process by which immigrants in the armed forces could become naturalized citizens.

Oh, wait. They're legal to die for the US. I forgot.




They told me they'd take about a week to figure it all out. It took 'em around 7 hours to call and offer me the job.

I'm just a tad pleased.


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Gender Does NOT Equal Sexuality

Nor vice versa. And raising either to an iconic status leads to... well, this:
A lesbian couple will spend the next 20 years behind bars for the killing of one of the women's four year old son after the toddler refused to call the partner in the relationship "daddy".


Big Fat Stupid on Two Slices of Bread

Give me a fucking break.

Look up the meaning of "etymology" (and its origins, if you want to get meta), you morons!
It has been the food of monarchs and commoners ever since John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, first pressed some meat between two slices of bread and took a bite. Billions of butties later, the fast-food giant McDonald's has set its sights on his invention. The company has filed patents in Europe and the US that claim the "method and apparatus for making a sandwich" as its intellectual property.

Patent application WO2006068865 relates to the "pre-assembly of sandwich components and simultaneous preparation of different parts of the same sandwich". It covers the "simultaneous toasting of a bread component" and heating a "meat and/or cheese filling". And it says the company has invented a way to add garnishes and condiments using a "sandwich assembly tool".

Meanwhile, let's give monetary rewards to all descendants of Jeremiah Dixon, based on the authentic scribblings of one Thomas Pynchon:

"'Pizza being a delicacy of Cheese, Bread, and Fish ubiquitous in the region 'round Mount Vesuvius.'"


More Power to 'em

The first crack at Bush as lame duck?

The supreme court in Washington will bring its ultimate authority to bear for the first time today on the issue of global warming - hearing legal arguments in a case that environmentalists believe could have far-reaching consequences.

Twelve US states, led by California and Massachusetts and backed by several cities and environmental groups, have brought the case to try to force the Bush administration to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from cars and factories.

They are challenging an appeal court ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - an arm of the administration - was not obliged to regulate CO2


Leave It to the French

Developers have selected a design by an award-winning American architect for a bold new building nearly as tall as the Eiffel Tower — and powered partly by the wind.

Dubbed the Lighthouse, the 984-foot-high skyscraper will be designed by Pritzker Prize winner Thom Mayne and erected at La Defense, a complex of office towers in a business district west of Paris where many of France’s major corporations are headquartered.

The Unibail development company announced Monday that Mayne, who works for Santa Monica, Calif.-based firm Morphosis, had bested nine other architects to win the bid. His design shows a building curving asymmetrically upward, topped by a crown of spiky antennae.

It’s being billed as a “green” building since the wind turbines on the roof will power the building’s heating and cooling system for a part of the year. A retractable outer layer will reduce the heat from sunlight through the windows in summer.


Care about Poverty? Care about Global Warming?

Then hit the bricks, buddy. Yer kind ain't welcome 'round here:
The president-elect of the Christian Coalition of America, which has long served as a model for activism for the religious right, has stepped down, saying the group resisted his efforts to broaden its agenda to include reducing poverty and fighting global warming.

The Rev. Joel C. Hunter, pastor of a Florida megachurch, was named the group’s president-elect in July. He was to have taken over the presidency in January from Roberta Combs, who is also the chairwoman of the Christian Coalition’s board. Mrs. Combs will continue in both positions now.

Over the last few years, Dr. Hunter, senior pastor of Northland Church in Longwood, Fla., has gained a reputation as an evangelical leader seeking to expand the agenda of conservative Christian activists from issues like abortion and same-sex marriage.

Damned heathen, caring for the poor and concerned with the stewardship of the earth.

Then again, all those hippies worries about carbon emissions are just overreacting, right?
The rise in humanity's emissions of carbon dioxide has accelerated sharply, according to a new analysis.

The Global Carbon Project says that emissions were rising by less than 1% annually up to the year 2000, but are now rising at 2.5% per year.

It says the acceleration comes mainly from a rise in charcoal consumption and a lack of new energy efficiency gains.


Plus c'est la meme chose, plus ça change

Seems as though Bush's recent Vietnam trip has brought back some not-so-pleasant memories:
Malachi Ritscher envisioned his death as one full of purpose. He carefully planned the details, mailed a copy of his apartment key to a friend, created to-do lists for his family. On his Web site, the 52-year-old experimental musician who'd fought with depression even penned his obituary.

At 6:30 a.m. on Nov. 3 -- four days before an election caused a seismic shift in Washington politics -- Ritscher, a frequent anti-war protester, stood by an offramp in downtown Chicago near a statue of a giant flame, set up a video camera, doused himself with gasoline and lit himself on fire.

Aglow for the crush of morning commuters, his flaming body was supposed to be a call to the nation, a symbol of his rage and discontent with the U.S. war in Iraq.

"Here is the statement I want to make: if I am required to pay for your barbaric war, I choose not to live in your world. I refuse to finance the mass murder of innocent civilians, who did nothing to threaten our country," he wrote in his suicide note. "If one death can atone for anything, in any small way, to say to the world: I apologize for what we have done to you, I am ashamed for the mayhem and turmoil caused by my country."

There was only one problem: No one was listening.

It took five days for the Cook County medical examiner to identify the charred-beyond-recognition corpse. Meanwhile, Ritscher's suicide went largely unnoticed. It wasn't until a reporter for an alternative weekly, the Chicago Reader, pieced the facts together that word began to spread.


Still Killing

More than ever, in fact:
Within the next 25 years, AIDS is expected to join heart disease and stroke as the top three causes of death worldwide according to a new study.

When global mortality projections were last calculated a decade ago, researchers assumed the number of AIDS cases would be declining. Instead, it's on the rise.

Currently ranked fourth behind heart disease, stroke, and respiratory infections, AIDS is expected to become No. 3, said researchers in a new report in the Public Library of Science's Medicine journal. It accounts for about 2.8 million deaths every year. But the researchers estimate a total of nearly 120 million people could die in the next 25 years.


The United States Needs to STFU

I mean, really. Every episode seems to become more pathetic:

CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) - The United States warned people to stockpile food, water and medicine in Venezuela in case a vote on Sunday sparks public disorder as anti-U.S. President Hugo Chavez seeks reelection.

In a warning to Americans living in Venezuela, which provides about 12 percent of U.S. oil imports, the U.S. Embassy said on Tuesday it had no information Venezuela would slip into lawlessness.


Commission or Omission

Helping or permitting the US in its "renditions" is, in a word, evil:
Many EU nations were aware that the CIA used their territory for the transfer or detention of terror suspects, a draft European parliament report says.

The report follows months of investigation by a special committee of MEPs led by an Italian, Claudio Fava.

"Many governments co-operated passively or actively (with the CIA)," said Mr Fava, quoted by AFP news agency.

He accused top EU officials including foreign policy chief Javier Solana of failing to give full details to MEPs.

The report echoed allegations made in June by the Council of Europe - Europe's leading human rights watchdog - that European states were complicit in illegal CIA operations as part of the US-led "war on terror".


Destroy the Constitution in Order to Save It

If this bastard ever gets anywhere near the presidency, we're in trouble:
A former Republican speaker of the house mulling a possible presidential run has said that America may need to reexamine freedom of speech in order to prevent future terrorist attacks.

According to a New England newspaper, Newt Gingrich "spoke to about 400 state and local power brokers last night at the annual Nackey S. Loeb First Amendment award dinner, which fetes people and organizations that stand up for freedom of speech."

Gingrich said that a "different set of rules" should be considered to reduce the ability of terrorists to use the Internet and abuse free speech to get out their message.


Monday, November 27, 2006

I Blame the Gay/Atheist/Islamofascist/Eco-Terrorist Cabal

Bu that's just me:
Malls were packed on the weekend with holiday shoppers and the nation's retailers report increased sales - all but Wal-Mart.

Poor Wal-Mart.


I'm Shocked, I Tells Ya!

Lieberman!? Hiring a Christian Coalition GOPer?

Where's my defibrillator?
Democratic aides are upset that Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, who won reelection as an independent, has hired a former GOP spokesman who has also worked for the Christian Coalition and other conservative organizations, according to a Capitol Hill newspaper.

"Senate Democratic aides are a tad nervous about Sen. Joe Lieberman (Whatever-Conn.) hiring a former GOP spokesman to be his new communications director," Mary Ann Akers writes for Roll Call. "Especially those working for potential 2008 Democratic presidential contenders."


Who Among You Didn't See This Coming A Mile Away?

After all, totalitarian rule demands totalitarian monuments, right?

Just can't wait to see the design of the new Bush library:

He may be a certified lame duck now, but President Bush and his truest believers are about to launch their final campaign - an eye-popping, half-billion-dollar drive for the Bush presidential library.

Eager to begin refurbishing his tattered legacy, the President hopes to raise $500 million to build his library and a think tank at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Bush lived in Dallas until he was elected governor of Texas in 1995.

Bush sources with direct knowledge of library plans told the Daily News that SMU and Bush fund-raisers hope to get half of the half billion from what they call "megadonations" of $10 million to $20 million a pop.

Bush loyalists have already identified wealthy heiresses, Arab nations and captains of industry as potential "mega" donors and are pressing for a formal site announcement - now expected early in the new year.


And There We Have It

Decades of animosity between Iraq and Iran come to an end, thanks to the benevolent intervention of the United States:

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani on Monday sought to enlist Iran's help in quelling the escalating violence that threatens to tear his country apart.

"The issue of establishing security in Iraq is the most important part of our talks. We are in dire need of Iran's help in establishing security and stability in Iraq," state-run television quoted Talabani as saying after he met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran.

The meeting between Talabani and Ahmadinejad, which was delayed for two days amid a security clampdown in Iraq, comes as Tehran is trying to assert its role as the top regional power broker to counter Washington's influence on Baghdad.

During their talks, Ahmadinejad pledged Tehran's support in helping to improve security in Iraq.

"Definitely, the Iranian government and nation will stand next to its brother Iraq and will do every help it can to strengthen security in Iraq," he was quoted as saying.

"We believe a stable, developed and powerful Iraq is in the interest of the Iraqi nation, Iran and the whole region," Ahmadinejad said, according to the television report.


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Every Advance a Vile One in the RCC

Note: Even this tentative acceptance that maybe we might could need us some condoms, given, y'know, all the death and disease goin' on... still accepts the right of a positive man to force sex on his wife.

Strong hints emerged yesterday that the Vatican is preparing to change its policy on the use of condoms in the fight against Aids.
A 200-page study on the question, commissioned by the Pope, is being passed to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for consideration. "This is something that worries the Pope a lot," said Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, head of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care which compiled the study.
The report's completion coincides with the news that 2.9 million people died of Aids-related illnesses this year and 4.3 million more became infected.
The Vatican u-turn was first hinted at in reports in May.
The study's contents are secret but it is believed that it urges a subtle but important change of tack. Condom use will be permitted if a man with HIV insists on having sex with his non-infected wife, as a "lesser evil".


Public Enemy Number One

Bush? Rumsfeld? Some religious leader whose been found shooting crank and doin' some nasty boylovin' on the side?

No, no.

It's that evil Maya Angelou, talking about dirty things!
Maya Angelou autobiography is causing concern at Fond du Lac High School, where some parents want the book banned.

Sophomores in advanced English classes read "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings." Some passages describe Angelou's rape and unwanted pregnancy.


We're Number Four!

Sadly, that's probably one statistic that actually does work its way into Bush's beady little brain and annoy him. He wants to be Number One, dammit!

The war in Iraq has now lasted longer than the U.S. involvement in the war that President Bush's father fought in, World War II.

As of Sunday, the conflict in Iraq has raged for three years and just over eight months.

Only the Vietnam War (eight years, five months), the Revolutionary War (six years, nine months), and the Civil War (four years), have engaged America longer.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi insurgents are more than happy to oblige ol' W:
A classified U.S. government report finds that the Iraq insurgency has enough funds to sustain itself, according to a front page article in Sunday's edition of The New York Times.

"The insurgency in Iraq is now self-sustaining financially, raising tens of millions of dollars a year from oil smuggling, kidnapping, counterfeiting, corrupt charities and other crimes that the Iraqi government and its American patrons have been largely unable to prevent, a classified United States government report has concluded ," John F. Burns reports for the Times.

"The report, obtained by The New York Times, estimates that armed groups responsible for many of the insurgent and terrorist attacks across Iraq are raising between $70 million and $200 million a year from illegal activities," the article continues.