Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Fight Goes On

South Dakota women barely have access to abortion services as it is, and yet the anti-choice faction keeps pressing the issue:
Two years after South Dakotans rejected a nearly total ban on abortion, voters on Nov. 4 will decide another sweeping but less restrictive ballot measure that would probably send a legal challenge of Roe v. Wade to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The initiative would outlaw abortions but includes exceptions for rape, incest and pregnancies that threaten the life or health of the woman. Some voters said they wanted those exceptions when they rejected the tougher 2006 measure 56 percent to 44 percent.

Opponents say the new measure would jeopardize the patient-doctor relationship because physicians could be criminally charged for exceeding its bounds. They also argue that its exceptions are too narrowly defined and that it would force some women to carry an unhealthy fetus.


Veterans Trampled


WHILE BARACK Obama and John McCain were getting makeup touchups for their Wednesday night debate at Hofstra University, in Hempstead, N.Y., police outside made sure that the voices of antiwar veterans wouldn't be heard.

Officers of the Nassau County Police Department reacted with reckless violence to a protest organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) outside the debate site. Among several people injured in the assault, former Army Sgt. Nick Morgan was knocked unconscious and his cheekbone broken when he was trampled by a police horse.

"We were there to force the issue that the leaders of this nation are not listening to or are not caring about veterans," said IVAW member Matthis Chiroux, who was among several veterans and activists arrested. "And they couldn't have done a better job of proving us right. They stomped my friend Nick's face into Jell-o. I put this on both candidates, on the major press and on the Nassau County police."

The IVAW had sent a request to the debate moderator that they be allowed to ask their own questions of the candidates at the Hofstra event, but this was ignored--and so the third and final presidential debate passed without an antiwar voice being represented.


Iraqi Justice

I'm sure this will go well, with no problems arising at all:
All rise as three judges, cloaked in black robes with a white fringe, take their seats behind a wooden bench facing prosecutors, defense lawyers and the accused, standing unshackled in a metal cage.

It's a scene that some American soldiers and contractors may someday face under a draft new security agreement, which gives Iraqis first crack at prosecuting them for "premeditated and gross felonies" committed off base and off duty.

Americans charged with such offenses would face proceedings where there's no jury, rules of evidence are a work in progress and the judges often render verdicts and impose sentences in the same session.

Critics complain the system is overwhelmed by thousands of cases, inexperienced judges and corruption — much of it petty payoffs to clerks to make sure the defendants get a speedy court date.


More Chicanery

They just don't stop:
Dozens of newly minted Republican voters say they were duped into joining the party by a GOP contractor with a trail of fraud complaints stretching across the country.

Voters contacted by The Times said they were tricked into switching parties while signing what they believed were petitions for tougher penalties against child molesters. Some said they were told that they had to become Republicans to sign the petition, contrary to California initiative law. Others had no idea their registration was being changed.


Friday, October 17, 2008



Classic Catblogging


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Another New Low

The GOP never ceases to amaze and appall:

The latest newsletter by an Inland Republican women's group depicts Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama surrounded by a watermelon, ribs and a bucket of fried chicken, prompting outrage in political circles.

The October newsletter by the Chaffey Community Republican Women, Federated says if Obama is elected his image will appear on food stamps -- instead of dollar bills like other presidents. The statement is followed by an illustration of "Obama Bucks" -- a phony $10 bill featuring Obama's face on a donkey's body, labeled "United States Food Stamps."

The GOP newsletter, which was sent to about 200 members and associates of the group by e-mail and regular mail last week, is drawing harsh criticism from members of the political group, elected leaders, party officials and others as racist.

The group's president, Diane Fedele, said she plans to send an apology letter to her members and to apologize at the club's meeting next week. She said she simply wanted to deride a comment Obama made over the summer about how as an African-American he "doesn't look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills."


The Debate

This sums it up rather well. (And no, it isn't photoshopped.)


Tax This Church

Partisan endorsements from the pulpit should be immediate cause for revoking tax-exempt status:
(Little Rock, Arkansas) In a predominantly black church in a city known for its past racial strife, Bishop Robert Smith is taking sides. His targets: Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama and federal restrictions barring Smith’s endorsement of Republican John McCain.

At the end of a recent sermon, Smith told about 50 worshippers at his Word of Outreach Christian Center: “I will be voting for John McCain and Sarah Palin.”


Where's the Outrage?

If a Democrat had done this, FoxNews would be screaming to high heaven:
A new report from the House Oversight Committee alleges that President Bush and his White House political team engaged in a systematic effort to send government officials on taxpayer-funded trips to help Republican candidates in the 2006 midterm elections.

The 27-page report (.pdf) documents 425 trips arranged by the White House Office of Political Affairs for various agency heads, cabinet secretaries and other prominent administration officials. More than 300 of those trips took the officials outside of Washington for events with members of Congress in tough races. Most of the pseudo-campaign stops were paid for with taxpayer money, in violation of the Hatch Act, which prohibits political activity as a part of the official duties of executive branch personnel, according to the report.

The committee's reports recommends amending the law governing executive branch political activity and eliminating the White House Office of Political Affairs.


Things to Do in Nebraska

Well, one thing to do anyway:
A judge has thrown out a Nebraska legislator's lawsuit against God, saying the Almighty wasn't properly served due to his unlisted home address. State Sen. Ernie Chambers filed the lawsuit last year seeking a permanent injunction against God.

He said God has made terroristic threats against the senator and his constituents in Omaha, inspired fear and caused "widespread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth's inhabitants."


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Life in the Heartland

This man needs to be kept away from all children, forever:
(Bourbonnais, Illinois) An elementary school bus driver has been charged with leading a homophobic attack on a 10-year old student passenger.

The Kankakee Sheriff’s Police Department said that the boy was taunted by the driver who then encouraged other students to chase and beat the child.

Chief Deputy Ken McCabe said the incident occurred on a Bourbonnais Elementary School District bus which was returning students to their homes last Friday.

McCabe said the driver repeatedly called the boy “gay.”

”When the boy got off the bus, the driver encouraged several other students to go after him and tackle him. Our investigation shows that occurred,” McCabe told The Daily Journal.

He also said the driver is under investigation for joining the students in chasing the boy and grabbing him.


The Lies Go On

Palin doesn't miss a beat:

A report released last Friday by the bipartisan Alaska Legislative Council found that Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) “abused her power” and violated a statute of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act — an act, the report stressed, that “is not optional.”

Since the report’s release, the McCain-Palin campaign has been in full spin mode. Campaign manager Rick Davis falsely claimed “there was absolutely no wrongdoing found in the report.” And when asked by a reporter if she abused her power, Palin dodged, saying “there’s nothing unlawful or unethical about replacing a cabinet member” — referring to her dismissal of Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan.

But yesterday, during an interview with the local CBS affiliate in Pittsburgh, Palin stooped a little lower, stating flat out that the Legislative Council’s report had found that she did not abuse her power.


Whee Again!

Is everybody having fun yet?

Hopes that stocks would hold on to Monday's massive gains faded quickly today as the Dow Jones industrial average dived more than 700 points, the second-largest point decline on record.

"Today, it just seems like there's no catalyst for anyone to buy any stocks. ...I think investors don't know what they want to do," said Todd Leone, a managing director at New York-based Cowen and Co.

The Dow closed down 733 points, or 7.9 percent, at 8,577.91, after a major sell-off during the last half hour of trading. The plunge followed Monday's historic, 936-point rally.


More GOP Hypocrisy

Congressman Virgil Goode (R-VA) arranged a $150,000 Congressional earmark for a non-profit theater with close personal ties to his press secretary and the producer of a movie featuring gay sex scenes and heavy drug use, PageOneQ has learned.

On assignment for, PageOneQ and Accountability Moments, Mike Stark uncovered Goode's hypocrisy by reviewing his voting record as scored by the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay and lesbian civil rights organization. Goode is consistent. Since the 107th Congress, back to 2001, he has scored a zero every year on HRC's Legislative Scorecard.


Child Abuse

You just can't trust a Republican, can you?

A father secretly registered his new baby as Sarah McCain Palin - ignoring another name he and his wife had picked together.

Mark Ciptak, of Elizabethton, Tennessee, submitted the name - which combines those of John McCain and Sarah Palin, the Republican presidential and vice-presidential candidates - despite earlier agreeing with his wife Layla that their daughter should be called Ava Grace.

He said that after their return from the hospital, he confessed that he had written the name on the baby's birth certificate, but that Mrs Ciptak thought he was joking.

"I don't think she believes me yet," he told the Kingsport Times-News newspaper. "It's going to take some more convincing."

Mr Ciptak, who works at a bloodbank for the American Red Cross, said he chose the name in an attempt to "to get the word out" about the Republican campaign.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My Heart

It bleeds. Sorry, but if you're "ex-gay," doesn't that mean you're straight? And if so, you're pretty well protected in this country:
A national organization that claims homosexuality is a matter of choice and that gays can be “cured” has filed a lawsuit against the Washington DC Office of Human Rights, accusing it of failing to protect “ex-gays.”


Lies and the Lying Liars

The man behind all the lies about Obama is quite a charmer:

The most persistent falsehood about Senator Barack Obama’s background first hit in 2004 just two weeks after the Democratic convention speech that helped set him on the path to his presidential candidacy: “Obama is a Muslim who has concealed his religion.”

That statement, contained in a press release, spun a complex tale about the ancestry of Mr. Obama, who is Christian.
Until this month, the man who is widely credited with starting the cyberwhisper campaign that still dogs Mr. Obama was a secondary character in news reports, with deep explorations of his background largely confined to liberal blogs.

But an appearance in a documentary-style program on the Fox News Channel watched by three million people last week thrust the man, Andy Martin, and his past into the foreground. The program allowed Mr. Martin to assert falsely and without challenge that Mr. Obama had once trained to overthrow the government.

An examination of legal documents and election filings, along with interviews with his acquaintances, revealed Mr. Martin, 62, to be a man with a history of scintillating if not always factual claims. He has left a trail of animosity — some of it provoked by anti-Jewish comments — among political leaders, lawyers and judges in three states over more than 30 years.

He is a law school graduate, but his admission to the Illinois bar was blocked in the 1970s after a psychiatric finding of “moderately severe character defect manifested by well-documented ideation with a paranoid flavor and a grandiose character.”



That "hot governor from the cold state" is rather breathtakingly ugly in her words:
John McCain tends to be moderate with his words, but is Sarah Palin even aware of the fact that she is citing racists and agitators in her speeches? People who lead campaigns like that put human lives in danger.
Worse, a newspaper columnist and self-proclaimed bigot, Westbrook Pegler, had expressed the wish that "some white patriot ... will spatter (Kennedy's) spoonful of brains in public premises before the snow flies" -- an outright incitement to murder. In the end, of course, it was a disaffected Palestinian who killed Kennedy.

Sarah Palin has suggested no such thing as murder. She would no doubt be horrified at the thought. Yet it is a measure of her blithe ignorance -- and of the tin ear of her speech writers -- that her acceptance address at the Republican National Convention quoted Westbrook Pegler's famous line: "We grow good people in our small towns, with honesty and sincerity and dignity." The sentence sounds harmless until you consider that, in the context of a nearly all-white Republican convention, the words will be understood, even if subliminally, as an attack on America's cities, many of them dominated by black political leaders.


The Unbearable Lightness

Was Kundera a snitch?

He is one of the world's leading authors and political dissidents, whose books have been credited with shining a light on the darkest days of communist rule in Europe. But last night Milan Kundera was embroiled in a scandal involving espionage and the secret police after being accused of denouncing a western intelligence agent to communist authorities in the 1950s, a move which saw the man narrowly escape the death sentence.

Kundera, 79, allegedly reported the whereabouts of his fellow countryman to police, according to Czech academic Adam Hradilek; Hradilek is related to a woman who for years stood accused of turning the spy over to police.

The Czech magazine Respekt has published an alleged police report from March 14 1950, stating: "Today, at around 1600 hours, a student, Milan Kundera, born 1.4. 1929 in Brno ... presented himself at this department and reported that Iva Militka ... had met ... Miroslav Dvoracek ... who had apparently deserted from military service."



Obama continues to leave McCain trailing behind:

Barack Obama widened his lead considerably over John McCain in four key battleground states during the past three weeks, providing further evidence that the economic crisis has greatly enhanced the Democrat's advantage with just 21 days left before Election Day.

Obama holds double-digit margins over McCain in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin and carries a nine-point advantage over his Republican rival in Colorado, according to polling conducted by Quinnipiac University for and the Wall Street Journal.


Monday, October 13, 2008


Palin is already starting to lose her cool:
Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin mistook some of her own fans for hecklers Monday as a rally that drew thousands.

A massive crowd of at least 20,000 spread across the parking lot of Richmond International Raceway, and scores of people on the outer periphery more than 100 yards from the stage could not hear.

"Louder! Louder!" they began chanting, and the cry spread across the crowd to Palin's left. Some pointed skyward, urging that the volume be increased.

Palin stopped her remarks briefly and looked toward the commotion.

"I hope those protesters have the courage and honor to give veterans thanks for their right to protest," she said.


And the Prize Goes to...

Paul Krugman!
Paul Krugman, whose relentless criticism of the Bush administration includes opposition to the $700 billion financial bailout, won the Nobel prize in economics Monday for his work on international trade patterns.



After all, who doesn't love a roller coaster?
Wall Street has stormed back from last week's devastating losses, sending the Dow Jones industrials soaring a nearly inconceivable 938 points after major governments' plans to support the global banking system reassured distraught investors.

The Dow by far outstripped its previous record for a one-day point gain, 499, reached during the waning days of the dot-com boom in 2000.


Worse Than Nixon

But we all knew that:
A tornado of economic discontent is buffeting the nation, sending satisfaction with the country's direction to a 35-year low, George W. Bush's approval rating below Richard Nixon's worst – and Barack Obama, boosted by economic empathy, to his best-yet advantage in the presidential race.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Nobody Ever Lost a Buck

Underestimating the intelligence of the American people:
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The museum exhibits are taken from the Old Testament, but the special effects are pure Hollywood: a state-of-the-art planetarium, animatronics and a massive model of Noah's Ark, all intended to explain the origins of the universe from a biblical viewpoint.

The Creation Museum, which teaches life's beginnings through a literal interpretation of the Bible, is claiming attendance figures that would make it an unexpectedly strong draw less than a year and a half after it debuted. More than a half-million people have toured the Kentucky attraction since its May 2007 opening, museum officials said.


Palin's Bigotry

She would indeed be a disaster:
Rev. Bess has recently enjoyed some time in the spotlight thanks to vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s attempt to ban his book, Pastor, I Am Gay, from the Wasilla Public Library.

The book, published in 1995, was received somewhat coldly in Alaska’s Mat-Su Valley, home to Rev. Bess and the soon to be Mayor of Wasilla Palin.

In fact, for a long time, the only places you could buy the book in Mat-Su were a barber shop and beauty salon. The book was also available at the Wasilla Public Library, a “problem” Palin infamously sought to solve. Wasilla’s librarian stood up to Mayor Palin’s rash and uninformed demands. The librarian was then fired by Palin only to be reinstated after the community objected loudly to the dismissal.

Rev. Bess’ book was just one of at least three books that then-Mayor Palin tried to yank off the shelf.


Bess summarized his feelings towards Sarah Palin while talking to, “this person’s election would be a disaster for the country and the world.”


Victory in Connecticut!

3 down, 47 to go:
Connecticut’s Supreme Court ruled Friday that gay couples have the right to marry, making the state the third behind Massachusetts and California to legalize such unions through the courts.


Secret Budget

The Pentagon is pointedly ignoring the fact that the economy is tanking:
The Pentagon has been struggling with what to spend money on in light of the coming financial squeeze, and now they have made their choice...everything!

As my CQ colleague Josh Rogin reports today, Pentagon officials have prepared a secret budget estimate that they plan to spring on the next president right before they leave town.

It's only $450 billion more than the apparently disingenuous number they put out last February.


GOP Logic

ACORN equals the KKK:
The organized assault from the Republican party on an organization dedicated to registering low-income and minority voters continued in full force Friday, with a prominent Republican lawmaker comparing the community organizers at Acorn with the Ku Klux Klan.