Saturday, December 15, 2007

Bush's Latest Frank Booth Moment

Remember? From Blue Velvet?

Don't you f***ing look at me!

The Bush administration told a federal judge it was not obligated to preserve videotapes of CIA interrogations of suspected terrorists and urged the court not to look into the tapes' destruction.


Hurray Torture!

The Repubs are on the job:
Senate Republicans blocked a bill Friday that would restrict the interrogation methods the CIA can use against terrorism suspects.


Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday Catblogging


Lake Winnebago Blogging

Walking toward the lake, about five blocks from my house.

Standing on the lake, looking back at the land.

Standing on and looking out onto the lake.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

War on Christmas

For the love of Jeebus, do not watch this.


Our Democratic Majority

It's a grand thing:
Senate Republicans blocked a broad energy bill Thursday because it included billions of dollars in new taxes on the biggest oil companies.

Isn't it?
Democratic lawmakers and staffers privately say they're closing in on a broad budget deal that would give President Bush as much as $70 billion in new war funding.

The deal would lack a key provision Democrats had attached to previous funding bills calling for most U.S. troops to come home from Iraq by the end of 2008, which would be a significant legislative victory for Bush.

Why did I get out of bed this morning?


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Dubious Ideology?

My god, but this pope does lack a certain... self-awareness:
Pope Benedict XVI has launched a surprise attack on climate change prophets of doom, warning them that any solutions to global warming must be based on firm evidence and not on dubious ideology.
I just don't know where to begin on this one...

UPDATE: The whole thing could be a hoax.


Secret Destruction of Secret Evidence of Secret Torture Okay

Bush "logic" hurts:
The Bush administration was under court order not to discard evidence of detainee torture and abuse months before the CIA destroyed videotapes that revealed some of its harshest interrogation tactics.

Normally, that would force the government to defend itself against obstruction allegations. But the CIA may have an out: its clandestine network of overseas prisons.

While judges focused on the detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and tried to guarantee that any evidence of detainee abuse would be preserved, the CIA was performing its toughest questioning half a world away. And by the time President Bush publicly acknowledged the secret prison system, interrogation videotapes of two terrorism suspects had been destroyed.

The CIA destroyed the tapes in November 2005. That June, U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr. had ordered the Bush administration to safeguard "all evidence and information regarding the torture, mistreatment, and abuse of detainees now at the United States Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay."

U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler issued a nearly identical order that July.

At the time, that seemed to cover all detainees in U.S. custody. But Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the terrorism suspects whose interrogations were videotaped and then destroyed, weren't at Guantanamo Bay. They were prisoners that existed off the books — and apparently beyond the scope of the court's order.


Bush Passes over Libby

And pardons a bunch of petty criminals, many of whom never served time:
President Bush granted pardons Tuesday to carjackers, drug dealers, a moonshiner and a violator of election laws, but not to I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, his vice president's former top aide who was convicted in the case of the leaked identity of a CIA operative.

In all, Bush pardoned 29 convicts and reduced the prison sentence of one more in the end-of-the-year presidential tradition.


Nearly all of those to win pardons this year were small-time crooks who at most were imprisoned for five years. Many of them never served time at all, and instead were fined or put on probation.


Bush STILL Hates Children

His tenacity in this is truly remarkable:
President Bush on Wednesday was ready to veto legislation that passed with bipartisan support to dramatically expand government-provided health insurance for children.


Romney Gets It

It's only okay to bring up religion when attacking Democrats or atheists. Shape up, Huckabee!
Republican Mitt Romney, amid questions about his faith raised by rival Mike Huckabee, said Wednesday that comparing political records on the stump and through the airwaves is legitimate for presidential contenders, but "attacking someone's religion is really going too far."


More Good News

Swimming at the North Pole coming sooner than believed!
Scientists in the US have presented one of the most dramatic forecasts yet for the disappearance of Arctic sea ice.

Their latest modelling studies indicate northern polar waters could be ice-free in summers within just 5-6 years.

Professor Wieslaw Maslowski told an American Geophysical Union meeting that previous projections had underestimated the processes now driving ice loss.

Summer melting this year reduced the ice cover to 4.13 million sq km, the smallest ever extent in modern times.


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN-led body which assesses the state of the Earth's climate system, uses an averaged group of models to forecast ice loss in the Arctic.

But it is has become apparent in recent years that the real, observed rate of summer ice melting is now starting to run well ahead of the models.

The minimum ice extent reached in September 2007 shattered the previous record for ice withdrawal set in 2005, of 5.32 million square km.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Here's Huckabee

Bad enough about gay issues, he isn't so good when it comes to the a whole lotta straight folk either:
In August of 1998, Huckabee was one of 131 signatories to a full page USA Today Ad which declared: “I affirm the statement on the family issued by the 1998 Southern Baptist Convention.” What was in the family statement from the SBC? “A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ.”


What Could Possibly Be Wrong with This?

Giving public money to a homophobic private Baptist universit
y sounds just fine to me:
A lawsuit challenging a $11 million dollar state grant to a private Baptist university argues that giving the money violates the Kentucky state constitution.

The legality of the grant grew out of a 2006 incident in which the university expelled a student it found out is gay.

Jason Johnson, 20, was expelled after posting his sexual orientation on a Web site.

The dean's list student received all Fs on his transcript when he was expelled. (story)

Following public outrage the university agreed to allow Johnson to send in work to finish his courses and receive final grades but he was barred from the campus.'


Tis the Season

Yeah, this might just possibly be a hate crime:
Four Jewish subway riders who wished other people "Happy Hanukkah" were pelted with anti-Semitic remarks before being beaten, police and prosecutors said. The incident was being investigated as a possible hate crime.

The four were on a train in lower Manhattan on Friday night, during the eight-day Jewish Festival of Lights, when they were approached by a group of 10 people who offered holiday greetings. The victims responded, "Happy Hanukkah," and then were assaulted by the larger group, police said Tuesday.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Halliburton Gang-Rape Cover Up

A Houston, Texas woman says she was gang-raped by Halliburton/KBR coworkers in Baghdad, and the company and the U.S. government are covering up the incident.
Jamie Leigh Jones, now 22, says that after she was raped by multiple men at a KBR camp in the Green Zone, the company put her under guard in a shipping container with a bed and warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she'd be out of a job.

According to her lawsuit, Jones was raped by "several attackers who first drugged her, then repeatedly raped and injured her, both physically and emotionally."

Jones told that an examination by Army doctors showed she had been raped "both vaginally and anally," but that the rape kit disappeared after it was handed over to KBR security officers.


Sunday, December 09, 2007

Secret Prisons and Torture

That's our America
The first of the so-called high-value Guantánamo detainees to have seen a lawyer claims he was subjected to “state-sanctioned torture” while in secret C.I.A. prisons, and he has asked for a court order barring the government from destroying evidence of his treatment.

The request, in a filing by his lawyers, was made on Nov. 29, before officials from the Central Intelligence Agency acknowledged that the agency had destroyed videotapes of interrogations of two operatives of Al Qaeda that current and former officials said included the use of harsh techniques.

Lawyers for the detainee, Majid Khan, a former Baltimore resident, released documents in his case on Friday. They claim he “was subjected to an aggressive C.I.A. detention and interrogation program notable for its elaborate planning and ruthless application of torture” to numerous detainees.

The documents also suggest that Mr. Khan, 27, and other high-value detainees are now being held in a previously undisclosed area of the Guantánamo prison in Cuba he called Camp 7.

Those detainees include 14 men, some suspected of being former Qaeda officials, who President Bush acknowledged were held in a secret C.I.A. program. They were transferred to military custody at Guantánamo last year.


A Public Health Risk

I mean Huckabee is one:

Mike Huckabee once advocated isolating AIDS patients from the general public, opposed increased federal funding in the search for a cure and said homosexuality could "pose a dangerous public health risk."

As a candidate for a U.S. Senate seat in 1992, Huckabee answered 229 questions submitted to him by The Associated Press. Besides a quarantine, Huckabee suggested that Hollywood celebrities fund AIDS research from their own pockets, rather than federal health agencies.

(Thanks to d the b in l)