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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 05/15/2005 - 05/22/2005
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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Saturday, May 21, 2005

United Airlines - sorry-ass bunch at the top, poor bastards at the bottom (IN PROGRESS)

yes, i have been screwed by united, repeatedly, and with great vigor...

following my 9/11 layoff, after watching my $40K of "employee-owner" stock vanish without a trace upon the declaration of bankruptcy (AFTER it had already been reduced to near-worthlessness by the clowns running the company at that time), after applauding the new ceo only to find out that he was merely another clown masquerading as a manager, after filing to receive my paltry pension and managing to collect two years out of the ten due me, united defaults on its pension programs which essentially means i can kiss the remaining eight years goodbye...

while i've never been a big fan of the pilots (their work slow-down in the summer of 2000, fueled by naked greed, was at least partly instrumental in the company's deep dive after 9/11), they have an enviable ability to express outrage like no other group i know... read the following letter to the end... i doubt anyone could express it better... also, be sure to read his FOOTNOTE at the end... retribution is alive and well... (bold mine...)

May 12, 2005

You have made it painfully clear how unimportant ALL United's employees are to you at the top management level.


After enduring your antics for the past several years, I shouldn't be surprised by your pathetic and disgusting behavior. However, I had hoped maybe you might find some decency in yourselves by now.

You are nothing less than thieving, lying, marauding corporate Pirates, pretending to be astute businessmen dressed in suits. You hang around for a few years, destroy our futures, degrade and abuse all who work for the good of the company, collect your bonuses and disappear with your golden parachutes. What is amazing is the fact YOU are never accountable nor is it ever YOUR fault when your own decisions are disastrous.

The Pilot group which has given you all they hold dear is rapidly becoming aware of the deception and utter lack of integrity from UAL management! I am disappointed in our weak ALPA [Airline Pilots Association] leadership and how you have exploited our lack of strength and unity to fight for our very existence. However, this apathy on our part may change in light of your most recent abhorrent behavior. Many of us are ready for war!

I doubt you have a clue just how distressed most of us are. Pilots have spent years training and educating themselves for what has become an inconsequential temporary JOB that is not worth the stress and hardship on ourselves and families! Many are now actively seeking to escape UAL or even the airline industry all together from what was formerly a respected career.

The presumption there is little you can do to get back on tract [sic] is absurd. You have bankrupt [sic] UAL, stolen our stock, destroyed our pensions, reduced our salaries to ridiculous levels, degraded and abused us all, and yet you are not accountable!?!? I suspect all of this has been a grand plan, but many of my peers just think you're idiots! The truth is most likely a mix of these reasons amongst you.

There are just no words to describe the disgust and contempt I hold for all of you. I will forever be unwilling to trust or even listen to the drivel you unscrupulous nitwits infect this company with! Ironic you keep your pensions while you continue to slash and burn your most important asset; All the people who once made United great!



I still have a job SO FAR, but I was removed from flight status and sent home while in London UK as per [the] LAX flight manager. He and I don't like each other and have had problems in the past. I'm told a flight was cancelled because of this mess, but I can't confirm it. My ALPA rep is handling it now and it looks like a psyche [sic] evaluation is coming this week. More will probably happen Monday when all the suits get back into the office. I will update as things unfold. I am in the middle of this shit storm, but you can help by informing your contacts. If they fire me, I will try to go to the media as this pension crap is being watched closely.

Thank you for your support

if this sounds suspiciously like he's talking about the bush administration, stop and think about how the repub theoligarchy is blessing this kind of corporate abuse...

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Discontent in Argentina


A chaotic week of protests and strikes downtown [Buenos Aires] was crowned yesterday by thousands of disgruntled teachers marching on Plaza de Mayo amid a nationwide strike. ... [T]hey were joined by bank clerks (pushing for a 30 percent increase), car workers (demanding 2,000 pesos as a pay floor — their industrial action is disrupting exports), SENASA animal health service, Colón Theatre employees and Puerto Madryn fishermen among others. Not to mention two more levels of educational discontent — university lecturers (on strike for the last three days of the week to press for a pay floor of 800 pesos) and a wave of high school pupils occupying their buildings to protest safety hazards and push for a larger education budget.

argentina's been struggling with a inflationary jump in prices this year that has affected basic commodities like eggs, poultry, meat, and dairy products... the unemployment level isn't helping matters either...

The government yesterday said that unemployment stood at 13 percent in the first quarter versus 14.4 in the same period year ago and 12.1 in the immediately preceding quarter.

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Don't give an inch, Howard...

how sweet it would be to have howard in a wh press briefing, asking tough questions...

Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean, who famously refused to prejudge Osama bin Laden's guilt, is standing by his judgment that House Majority Leader Tom DeLay may deserve jail time for allegations of corruption.

"Tom DeLay is corrupt. No question about it," Dean said Friday. "This is a guy who shouldn't be in Congress and maybe ought to be serving in jail."

awww, howard... you and i both know they almost never put guys in jail who have a lot of money and are well-connected... besides, rove may have something for him yet to do...

(oh, and btw, mr. RON FOURNIER, AP Political Writer, the osama bin laden reference was a really cheap shot...)

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Time once again for - - - KARL...! [with POSTSCRIPT]


yeah, there are some pretty dangerous characters running around these days - frist, delay, cheney, dobson, perkins, santorum, cornyn, bolton, to name a few - but none of them scares me quite like karl rove...


rove is a double-whammy guy, a pathological genius, and he's been honing his take-no-prisoners, chop-the-bodies-into -little-pieces and shave-the-ground-with-a-razor- so-there's-nothing-left brand of political "success" since his high-school debate team days in the late 60's... he's one mean son-of-a-bitch and his genius is being able to put the pieces together and keep them together... there'd be plenty of shit coming down WITHOUT rove, to be sure, but WITH him, it's a juggernaut, flattening everything in its path...

i've beaten this same drum over and over and i will continue to do so because that's how serious a threat i believe rove to be... let's turn to some sources, including rove himself... (bold and italics are mine...)

Karl Rove, a solitary citizen, unelected, now has the kind of power in government and politics never before granted to a private citizen.

the above quote comes from the book, "bush's brain," authored by james moore and wayne slater in 2003... they're highly credible journalists who have made a study of rove over many years and their portrait is grim but very enlightening... quite frankly, the book should be required reading for every citizen of voting age in this country... the authors, without making direct accusation (the book takes great pains to focus on facts rather than speculation and diatribe), make a fairly convincing case that rove's strategy during bush's first term was to use saddam hussein and the war on iraq as a very opportune distraction from the worsening economy, corporate corruption (bound to rub off on the r's), and the fact that the "war on terror" was not going well... even today with the widespread belief that the american people were lied to about the reasons for going to war in iraq, the real motives behind iraq are virtually unexplored... the authors quote jason stanford, a national democratic consultant...
"They picked a war they could win. [...] We can't invade al Qaeda. We can't occupy it. We can't even find it. Okay. Fine. But we do know where Baghdad is. We've got a map. We can find it on a map. And they've got oil and an evil guy. So let's go there. They never stop and say that. But they know it's what they are doing. It has to be the most evil political calculation in American history."

that's the word... "evil..." i believe rove is evil... i believe there is nothing he wouldn't do or say to advance the agenda of the far-right wing of the republican party but, even more than that, to win... when the man can utter incredible things like the following, we all need to be afraid, very afraid...
Rove was talking to an aide about some political stratagem in some state that had gone awry and a political operative who had displeased him. I paid it no mind and reviewed a jotted list of questions I hoped to ask. But after a moment, it was like ignoring a tornado flinging parked cars. "We will fuck him. Do you hear me? We will fuck him. We will ruin him. Like no one has ever fucked him!" As a reporter, you get around—curse words, anger, passionate intensity are not notable events—but the ferocity, the bellicosity, the violent imputations were, well, shocking. This went on without a break for a minute or two. Then the aide slipped out looking a bit ashen, and Rove, his face ruddy from the exertions of the past few moments, looked at me and smiled a gentle, Clarence-the-Angel smile. "Come on in." And I did. And we had the most amiable chat for a half hour.

that may well qualify as one of the most pathological accounts i have ever read... well, ok, this one from sidney blumenthal is right up there too... he was describing bush and rove at the inaugural of the clinton library in arkansas last november...
Offstage, beforehand, Rove and Bush had had their library tours. According to two eyewitnesses, Rove had shown keen interest in everything he saw, and asked questions, including about costs, obviously thinking about a future George W Bush library and legacy. "You're not such a scary guy," joked his guide. "Yes, I am," Rove replied. Walking away, he muttered deliberately and loudly: "I change constitutions, I put churches in schools ..." Thus he identified himself as more than the ruthless campaign tactician; he was also the invisible hand of power, pervasive and expansive, designing to alter the fundamental American compact.


i have neither expectation nor any hope that rove or the rest of the gang will have their day of accountability... when mcnamara, kissinger, and ollie north are still walking around, pontificating, and negroponte, alive, well, and arrogant, now heads national intelligence, what are the chances rove, bush, cheney, rumsfeld, wolfowitz, perle, feith, et al, will have their feet held to the fire...?

our national precedent IS war crimes... it IS brutal, covert action... it IS deception... from the backing of the sadistic contras, to the support of the brutal pinochet regime, to the bombing of cambodia, all the way back to the still festering native american genocide, accountability for our country's actions and its leaders has never attracted a particularly strong following in this country...

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We've ALWAYS got a GOOD REASON, why would anyone THINK OTHERWISE...?

if the GOVERNMENT decides to do something, it's OK... if SOMEONE ELSE decides to do something, it's NEVER OK...

The United States did release pictures of Mr. Hussein in his cell immediately after his capture in December 2003. In those pictures he looked disheveled and was shown being examined by a doctor. In a statement issued Friday evening, the White House said those pictures were of a different nature. "Those photos were released for overriding needs of security - to demonstrate to the Iraqi people and the insurgents that Saddam Hussein was in fact in custody, which we believed was important to help quell the insurgency," the statement said. "The recent release of photos had no such justification."

Example Example

yeah... well, you coulda cleaned him up and allowed him some basic human dignity...

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National registry - soon to be plural...?

The Justice Department announced plans yesterday for a national registry of sex offenders that would allow Internet users to check all the state databases in a single search.

uhhhh... gee... lemme see... who's the attorney general again...? oh, yeah... i remember... alberto "let's-waive-geneva" gonzales...

Justice officials said the new Web site would avoid privacy problems by merely tapping into databases maintained by the states, which would maintain control of their own data.

phew... ok... i feel MUCH BETTER now...

hey...! i wonder how this is gonna fit in with the REAL ID program...? when do ya think dobson's gonna start pushing for a GAY registry...?

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A snapshot of "extraordinary rendition"

tom clancy, eat your heart out... this is FOR REAL...(bold is mine...)

STOCKHOLM -- The CIA Gulfstream V jet touched down at a small airport west of here just before 9 p.m. on a subfreezing night in December 2001. A half-dozen agents wearing hoods that covered their faces stepped down from the aircraft and hurried across the tarmac to take custody of two prisoners, suspected Islamic radicals from Egypt.


Inside an airport police station, Swedish officers watched as the CIA operatives pulled out scissors and rapidly sliced off the prisoners' clothes, including their underwear, according to newly released Swedish government documents and eyewitness statements. They probed inside the men's mouths and ears and examined their hair before dressing the pair in sweat suits and draping hoods over their heads. The suspects were then marched in chains to the plane, where they were strapped to mattresses on the floor in the back of the cabin.

CIA officials have testified that they have used rendition for years after tracking down suspected terrorists around the world. They say the U.S. government receives assurances of humane treatment from the countries where the suspects are taken.

"assurances," huh... IF humane treatment is the goal, what's the point of rendition...?

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Friday, May 20, 2005

Just in case we get lost in the contemplation of our own navels...

many of us, especially those who, like myself, consider ourselves progressives and liberals, tend to take pride in being broader of vision and scope and insuring that we include the rest of the world in our thinking... well, i'm here to tell ya, we're not as hot at it as we might like to think we are... speaking for myself, after spending the bulk of today wallowing in the woes of the u.s. and poring over horror story after horror story, i came up for air long enough to grab this off the npr site...

Last weekend, Ethiopians voted for only the third time in 3,000 years. The turnout for the election was reportedly more than 90 percent. The European Union's chief observer called it "a genuine demonstration of democracy." But there have been problems, and both the ruling party and the opposition have claimed victory.

ok, there are problems... all god's chillun got problems... but still... 3,000 years...! DAMN...! it's a story to close the evening with and from a country that, please note, has NEVER been subjugated to another power...

sleep tight all...

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Quote of the week

after all the simpering, pandering wh press briefings where the pall of fear and public chastisement hangs in the air like cigarette smoke in a blue-highways bar and correspondents would rather pee themselves than draw the spotlight by asking a tough question, the newsweek affair seems to have struck a chord... case in point: terry moran of abc news who lobbed this hand grenade at the podium and stepped back and watched scott mcclellan scramble...

"With respect, who made you the editor of Newsweek? Do you think it's appropriate for you, at that podium, speaking with the authority of the President of the United States, to tell an American magazine what they should print?"

"with respect..." ya gotta love it... and where does it go from there...? why downhill, of course... (full transcript here...)

MR. McCLELLAN: I'm not telling them. I'm saying that we would encourage them to help --

Q You're pressuring them.

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I'm saying that we would encourage them --

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Each day, a new height for hypocrisy [UPDATE][UPDATE2]

yes, the u.s. is angry, ANGRY, over photos that "appeared to breach Geneva Convention rules on the humane treatment of prisoners of war."


it's almost beyond belief what these people will say... after declaring geneva invalid, after declaring that detainees were not prisoners of war, after authoring interrogation techniques that led directly to prisoner abuse, after photos documented the abuse, after steadfastly refusing to accept any accountability for prisoner torture, to now claim that a picture of saddam in his tidy whiteys violates geneva takes bizarre and unbelievable to a whole new level... a statement from the the u.s. military in iraq said, "This lapse is being aggressively investigated."


"I don't think a photo inspires murders. I think they (insurgents) are inspired by an ideology that is so barbaric and backwards that it's hard for many in the western world to comprehend how they think," Bush told reporters at the White House when asked about the impact of the photos on the Iraqi insurgency.

oh... so let me see if i understand this correctly... a PHOTO doesn't inspire murders but a MAGAZINE ARTICLE does...? and calling them "barbaric and backwards" probably doesn't have any effect at all...


we've passed from the bizarre and hypocritical to the positively ridiculous...

Lawyers representing Saddam Hussein plan to sue the British tabloid that published intimate photos of the deposed Iraqi dictator, it was reported, quoting the head of the defence team.

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Well, ain't THIS an interestin' development...!

paul craig roberts isn't exactly my favorite conservative (is that an oxymoron?) but i certainly never thought i would hear something like THIS coming out of his mouth (or emerging in bits and bytes from his computer keyboard)... to say i'm startled would be a gross understatement...

George W. Bush and his gang of neocon warmongers have destroyed America’s reputation. It is likely to stay destroyed, because at this point the only way to restore America’s reputation would be to impeach and convict President Bush for intentionally deceiving Congress and the American people in order to start a war of aggression against a country that posed no threat to the United States.

America can redeem itself only by holding Bush accountable.

uhhhhh... ummmmmm... WOW...! or as they say in buenos aires - FUA...!

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This is tough... The Roma seem to be universally despised...

The German government has begun sending refugees back to Kosovo this week. The majority of the 50,000 people eventually expected to return are Albanian-speaking Gypsies known as Roma. Their deportation is controversial because human rights groups say they won't be safe in Kosovo.

while working in macedonia, i made a few friends among the roma... i was shocked and surprised to experience the depth of discrimination and outright hatred directed toward the roma in that part of the world... like any marginalized ethnic group anywhere, the roma certainly have their own problems, not the least of which is a strong and very deep disdain for what we would term "normal" lifestyles and accepted ways of earning a living, often preferring to beg...

however, my friend's description of watching his mother shot dead while attempting to cross the border from kosovo to macedonia while he took a bullet in his shoulder chilled me to the bone...

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Boo-hoo-hoo...Why isn't it working...?

maybe because you're a lousy presenter...? maybe because people think you don't really have their interests at heart...? maybe because people don't believe you...? or maybe because it's just a really bad idea...?

On the 78th day of a 60-day roadshow, the president's nationwide Social Security tour, even to some of his own aides, has the feel of a past-its-prime Broadway production that has been held over while other, newer shows steal the spotlight.

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Is is too late to stop the coup d'etat?

sometimes, it's really very depressing to run across someone who shares your views...

But I fear it's too late to stop George W. Bush and his band of right-wing revolutionaries. We have let them get too far along now to stop them. We have let them neutralize too many constitutional checks and balances. And once they deep-six the filibuster it truly will be game over.

Yes, the Democrats have begun to fight, but too little and now too late. The only recourse soon will be public demonstrations of the kind and size not seen here since the 1970s.

The only question is, are there still enough of us out here who give a damn.

if people really, REALLY understood what was happening in this country, they would give a damn but the strategy of keeping everyone so busy working for peanuts and watching runaway brides and american idols seems to be providing all the necessary distraction...

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Thursday, May 19, 2005

Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) - unexpectedly, heroically eloquent

huge thanks to nico at think progress for posting the full text of sen. max baucus' speech delivered this afternoon on the senate floor... i have been and continue to be deeply afraid of the incremental coup d'etat in our country that now seems to be headed toward a critical mass... i am heartened, however, to see at least some of our leaders rising to the occasion... this is definitely one for the historical archives... read it... ALL of it...

Mr. President, last week, on Wednesday, we evacuated the Capitol. At the instruction of the Capitol Police, more than a few Senators and staff actually ran from this building and the surrounding offices in the very real fear that a plane was carrying a bomb to attack this building, the center of our democracy.

Sadly, Wednesday was not the first time. And Wednesday will likely not be the last time, that we guard against threats to our democracy by plane and bomb.

But there are other threats to our democracy and our freedoms, just as menacing, equally as dangerous.


Abraham Lincoln said: “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter, and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

Former Librarian of Congress Daniel Boorstin said: “It is not slogans or bullets, but only institutions, that can make, and keep, people free.”

And Baron Montesquieu wrote in The Spirit of the Laws: “There is no liberty, if the judiciary power be not separated from the legislative and the executive.”

Mr. President, in ancient Rome, when the Senate lost its power, and the emperor became a tyrant, it was not because the emperor abolished the Senate. In ancient Rome, when the Senate lost its power, it continued to exist, at least in name. But in ancient Rome, when the Senate lost its power, in the words of the Senate’s historian, Senator Robert Byrd, the Senate became “little more than a name.”

In ancient Rome, when the Senate lost its power, the Roman Senate was complicit in the transfer. The emperor did not have to seize all the honors and powers. The Roman Senate, one after another, conferred greater powers on Caesar.

It was not the abolition of the Senate that made the emperor powerful. It was the Senate’s complete deference.

Like the Roman Senate before us, we risk bringing our diminution upon ourselves. We risk bringing upon ourselves a hollow Senate, a mere shadow of its past self. And we risk bringing upon ourselves a loss of the checks and balances that ensure our American democracy. …

Mr. President:

This is the way democracy ends;
This is the way democracy ends;
This is the way democracy ends;
Not with a bomb, but a gavel.

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Armando at kos on stem cell research and fanaticism

armando at kos, always an articulate observer of current affairs, offers these comments about bushco's resistance to stem cell research in the u.s. and some dramatic advances in such research in south korea that have just been announced...

Yep, let's ban evolution, science, thinking. Oh by the way, let's let all the jobs from this new technology go overseas. We are really at a crossroads in this country - Science vs. Extreme Fanaticism.

it's funny... when i was growing up and all through my adult life up to about 10 years ago, there was never any discussion whatsoever of the united states being a country that should be run on principles derived from a literal interpretation of the bible... moral principles, yes... ethical principles, yes... humanistic principles, yes... and, yes, christian principles... but fundamentalist christian principles...? literal interpretation of the bible...? no way...

in fact, if you read the bible with an eye toward the various authorial styles and how they link to historical and cultural contexts, it's a vastly more enriching experience and, interestingly enough, a much deeper spiritual one as well...

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A quote (and a story) to savor...

no doubt about it... truth is stranger than fiction... i hope 10 million people are emailing james dobson right now...

Porn star and former gubernatorial candidate Mary Carey will be joining her boss, Kick Ass Pictures president Mark Kulkis, in attending a dinner with President Bush in Washington, D.C. on June 14.

“I’m honored to be invited to this event,” Kulkis said. “Republicans bill themselves as the pro-business party. Well, you won’t find a group of people more pro-business than pornographers. We contributed over $10 billion to the national economy last year.”

i'm certainly glad to hear about small businesses doing well...

(thanks to john at americablog)

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Whoaaaa... Not so fast...

the icrc (international committee of the red cross), pledged to keep the findings of its human-rights investigations secret, evidently decided, after watching the public execution of newsweek, that enough was enough...

Red Cross backs claims of Koran abuse in US prison camp


The Pentagon was made aware three years ago that US personnel might have been desecrating or mishandling Korans at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba, the International Committee of the Red Cross says.


Asked about the Red Cross's confidential reports, Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman, confirmed their existence but said they had been forwarded "on rare occasions" and called them "detainee allegations which they [the Red Cross] could not corroborate".

But that is not how Mr Schorno portrayed them.

"All information we received were corroborated allegations,"
he said. "We certainly corroborated mentions of the events by detainees themselves."

bushco has said from the very beginning that the media does not speak for the american people and has gone out of its way to withhold information and create huge obstacles in the path of serious news-gathering...

imho, rove has just been waiting for the chance to deliver a knock-out punch and newsweek presented an excellent opportunity... the media has certainly taken more umbrage over the attack than anything in quite some time so maybe it's a wake-up call for aggressive reporting...

with the icrc speaking publicly, maybe folks will see how nakedly power-mad our coup d'etat leaders really are...

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What...? Does he think we just fell off the turnip truck?


"One of the concerns is that some media organizations have used anonymous sources that are hiding behind that anonymity in order to generate negative attacks," presidential spokesman Scott McClellan said Tuesday.

But he said the administration's own use of anonymous sources was not a major problem.

The administration frequently conducts news briefings and insists that its briefers be identified only as administration officials rather than by name. McClellan said the administration was trying to move away from such briefings, but he rejected suggestions that they contribute to credibility problems.

i may have been born at night but it wasn't LAST NIGHT...

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Polls and the Economy - not exactly free-fall but gettin' there...

the american research group, in a poll released today, says:

Among all Americans, 43% say they approve of the way Bush is handling his job and 51% disapprove. When it comes to Bush's handling of the economy, 37% of Americans say they approve and 57% say they disapprove. [...] A total of 19% of Americans say that the national economy is getting better, 20% say it is staying the same, and 59% say the national economy is getting worse.

it seems there's good reason to think the economy is getting worse... when you have the conservative right and the liberal left coming together to present joint concerns, it's definitely time to start paying attention...

Stuart Butler, head of domestic policy at the conservative Heritage Foundation, and Isabel Sawhill, director of the left-leaning Brookings Institution's economic studies program, sat down with Comptroller General David M. Walker to bemoan what they jointly called the budget "nightmare." [...] With startling unanimity, they agreed that without some combination of big tax increases and major cuts in Medicare, Social Security and most other spending, the country will fall victim to the huge debt and soaring interest rates that collapsed Argentina's economy and caused riots in its streets a few years ago.

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Harry Reid isn't mincing words

this so needs to be said and i am so glad he's saying it...


Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said Thursday that President Bush and Republican senators are trying to "rewrite the Constitution and reinvent reality" in their push to confirm controversial judicial nominees. "The Senate is not a rubber stamp for the executive branch," Reid said. "Rather, we're the one institution where the minority has a voice and the ability to check the power of the majority. Today, in the face of President Bush's power grab, that's more important than ever."

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Is eliminating the negative now passé?

the modus operandi of bushco has been "speak nothing negative, see nothing negative, hear nothing negative" and woe betide those that do... i suppose that's why these quotes can only be attributed to a "senior officer..."

In Baghdad, a senior officer said Wednesday in a background briefing that the 21 car bombings in Baghdad so far this month almost matched the total of 25 in all of last year. [...] "I think that this could still fail," the officer said at the briefing, referring to the American enterprise in Iraq. "It's much more likely to succeed, but it could still fail." [...] But he emphasized the need for caution [...] "I think it's going to succeed in the long run, even if it takes years, many years."

and then, to make matters even more interesting...

President Bush called Wednesday for patience in assessing the progress of Iraq and other nations toward democracy. [...] Mr. Bush said the American Revolution had been followed by "years of chaos."

from "mission accomplished" to "years of chaos..." maybe it was a really stupid idea in the first place... can you spell "v-i-e-t-n-a-m...?" i also can't wait until bush starts blaming thomas jefferson for screwing things up way back then...

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(pronounced VEE-yah-ray-GO-suh)

esteemed bro suggests i post on the la mayoral election...

"¡Que significance! First Latino mayor in 130+ years, no second term for an incumbent, end to a political machine of the incumbent..."

(from the nyt)

Mr. [Antonio] Villaraigosa won every demographic group except Asian-Americans; they remained loyal to [Mayor James K.] Hahn. . . . Both men are Democrats.

what i particularly like is how ah-nold may have to reconsider his steroid-induced rhetoric about closing the border and supporting the minutemen...

"I'm an American of Mexican descent, and I'm proud of that," said Mr. Villaraigosa, who grew up the son of a single mother in the barrio of East Los Angeles. "But I intend to be the mayor of all of Los Angeles. As the mayor of the most diverse city in the world, that's the only way it can work."

bite me, arnold...

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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Clear-eyed Krugman

trust paul krugman to lay it out in no uncertain terms... he's on my short list of heroes along with bill moyers, frank rich, and a few others i can't recall at the moment... :)

In effect, America has been taken hostage [in Iraq]. Nobody wants to take responsibility for the terrible scenes that will surely unfold if we leave. Nobody wants to tell the grieving parents of American soldiers that their children died in vain. And nobody wants to be accused - by an administration always ready to impugn other people's patriotism - of stabbing the troops in the back.

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Oh, swell... Just swell...

The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee is working on a bill that would renew the Patriot Act and expand government powers in the name of fighting terrorism, letting the FBI subpoena records without permission from a judge or grand jury.

these days, there is not one single moment that passes where vigilance can be relaxed... as soon as you do, look out because you'd better B.O.H.I.C.A. (bend over, here it comes again)...

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Good news for Argentina

the imf seems to be cutting [argentina president nestor] kirchner and [economic minister roberto] lavagna some slack... this will buy some time to get a better handle on the inflation that's threatening the economy and also to see what's going to happen with economic growth over the coming year...

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today approved a one-year extension of Argentina's repayment expectations to the IMF arising between May 20, 2005 and April 28, 2006 in a total amount equivalent to SDR 1.68 billion (about US$2.50 billion). The repayments will fall due on an obligations basis exactly one year after the dates on which these repayment expectations arise.1

The IMF policy on repayment expectations allows for extensions where the member's external position is not sufficiently strong for it to repay early without undue hardship or risk.

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Liberalism is a Mental Disorder

i was picking my way down the aisle of the airplane yesterday after a restroom break when a book with the above title, lying prominently in a gentleman's lap, caught my eye... i almost stopped and asked him what he thought of it and if it was any good but then decided i would be better advised to hang on to some sense of balance and serenity... watching the snow-capped rockies slowly drift by under the wing turned out to be a much better choice... so, here i am, one day later and simmering on a slow boil so i thought i'd look up the book and see what the publisher and readers had to say...


[R]adio 'sensation' Michael Savage chronicles the continued assault on the sacred pillars of American life (the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Ten Commandments, the Sanctity of Marriage) by the High Priests of Ultra-Liberalism and provides the remedy for 'freedom-loving Americans' to effectively medicate the mental disease of modern liberalism and restore America's 'former brilliance.' [quotes mine]

and that's just the comments from the PUBLISHER...!

soooo, a) what fucking "assault?", b) "freedom" for WHO?, and c) things ain't been exactly "brilliant" in the good ol' us of a since we totally dedicated ourselves to money sometime way back in the late 1800's... ok, let's hear from a reader...

Liberals are people who have lost their basic instinct for survival and who are overly impressed with their own 'goodness,' and they are undermining our country by wholeheartedly participating in the degradation of its borders, language, and culture. They have a mental disorder and have become the enemy within. Savage has their number and he has the solution. Patriotic Americans have to rise up and stop them before they completely undermine the foundations of this society.

yep, i made the right choice yesterday, all right... now, where's the rockies when you need 'em...? fortunately, all is not gloom... at least one reader still has two brain cells to rub together...

Poorly written, unintelligent, and a BAD message to boot! There's not much to say besides, there are already enough divisions between Americans with out some half-wit trying to deepen these divisions. This book tries to explain why liberals are different from conservatives. Savage clearly does not know why, and resorts to childish name calling instead. A must read for those who a) have sleeping disorders or b) have a general hatred for fellow Americans!

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Harry Reid is one hell of a guy and I'm proud he's MY Senator

sen. reid spoke on the capitol steps this morning, a unity speech for the democrats and a call to higher principles for the republicans... i got cold chills just reading it... he's drawn a clear line in the sand and rightly so... we are at a major turning point in this country - and god help us all...


The hour of decision has come for our nation's Senate. In the debate that has begun, the Republican majority that holds the reins of power will have to make a choice.

They will have to choose between their partisan interests or the people's interests.

(the full text of Sen. Reid's speech here thanks to kos)

Between upholding our liberties and rights or overturning 200 year old protections.

Between continuing to abuse the power the American people have lent them or using that power on behalf of everyday Americans who are looking for a fair break.

When Americans think of a scary person in a black robe, they should be thinking of Darth Vader, not Republican choices for judges. But what the Republican leadership is attempting to do is to pack the courts with judges far out of the mainstream of American values.

To do so they want to scrap rules that have been in place since our nation's beginning that give every Senator the right to speak their mind and say their piece. They are demanding a power no president has ever had: the ability to all-but personally hand out lifetime jobs to judges without giving the other party any say.

That's too much power for one person. That's too much power for one President. That's too much power for one political party.

Our Constitution says the Senate should give "advice and consent." Not advice as long as we agree with everything President Bush wants. Not consent as long as we rubber-stamp the most extreme elements of the Republican agenda.

These checks and balances were put in place by our founding fathers. And they are there for a reason: to prevent any political party from abusing its power.

Look at the facts: more than 60 of President Clinton's nominees to be judges never were allowed an up-or-down vote. In contrast, we have approved 208 out of President Bush's 218 nominees. That's the best record any president has had in a quarter of a century. But its not enough for George Bush and the Republican leaders.

We've approved 95 percent of their picks. But that's not enough for them. They want 100 percent. They want it all. All the say. All the control. All the power. It's their way or the highway. But that's not the American way.

The Washington Republicans are on a quest for absolute power...and we all know what that brings. Their corruption and abuse of power is already here for all Americans to see. House Republican leader Tom Delay is a walking symbol of what's wrong with Washington DC.

At a time when gas prices are going through the roof and families are cutting back on summer vacations, George Bush and Dick Cheney are trying to line the pockets of big oil and walking hand-in-hand with the Saudi princes.

And while health care costs are rising, pensions are sinking, and our economy is stuck in place, Washington Republicans are wasting our time by trying to pay off the far right.

We are a nation at war. And the American people want their leaders to be focused on achieving progress, not playing partisan games.

Fifty years ago this Spring, a US Senator in the majority party wrote that "Fanatics and extremists are always disappointed at the failure of their government to rush to implement all their principles." But that the job of leaders is to follow the "course of their conscience."

Those were the words of John F. Kennedy in "Profiles in Courage." Now comes a time of testing for our own time. In the coming days, we will see who our nation's leaders of courage are today. I ask Republicans who believe in liberty and limited government to join us in taking a stand against this abuse of power.

Its time that the Republican leaders in Congress stopped silencing people's voices and began hearing the voices of Americans who are calling on us to live up to our nation's promise.

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Theoligarchy Watch - Limbaugh the doofus

Nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh claimed that to the mainstream media, "the real threat to America is Christianity," not that of "militant Islamists."

ya know, he may actually be on to something... speaking strictly for myself, i find ANY prospect of a fundamentalist religious state to be particularly frightening...

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Are we seeing a spine growing in the msm...?

wow... nothing like trying to totally destroy the credibility of a national news magazine to get the msm to sit up and take notice... i guess some folks just have to be whacked upside the head with a 2x4 to get 'em to pay attention... here's msnbc's keith olbermann commenting on newsweek and the public flogging it's been taking at the hands of the white house...

Ultimately, though, the administration may have effected its biggest mistake over this saga, in making the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs look like a liar or naïf, just to draw a little blood out of Newsweek’s hide. Either way — and also for that tasteless, soul-less conclusion that deaths in Afghanistan should be lain at the magazine’s doorstep — Scott McClellan should resign.

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A voice from Minneapolis

The White House response fits a pattern of trying to intimidate the press from exploring issues the administration doesn't want explored. Compare it, for example, to the Dan Rather report on President Bush's military service. To this day, we don't know if what Rather reported was accurate or not, or to what degree it may have been accurate. Nor do we know whether the documents he cited were genuine. All we know is that CBS can't verify that they were genuine.

Yet the hullabaloo caused by that incident appears to have intimidated other journalists from trying to pin down the full truth about Bush's military service. And now there will probably be less enterprise reporting on prisoner abuse or anything else that might embarrass this administration.

and don't think for a nanosecond that intimidation isn't precisely the plan... in fact, if you look really, really close, you can see karl laughing his pathological ass off...

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A short editorial from the management

having had to rely on the msm for my news over the past few days due to travel and limited internet access, i find that i am deeply insulted at the groveling media coverage of the white house's attack on newsweek and the massive amount of time that has been devoted to it... i am equally insulted at the time given to vicente fox's faux pas...

both are news stories, to be sure, but with all of the really critical news going on in the world - the filibuster, iraq's near civil war, delay's corruption, the "smoking gun" memo, etc. - it is truly pathetic what makes its way onto the airwaves and into print... we have been heading toward bottom for a long time but i think i just heard the thud...

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Terrorism does not conflate with religion

robert a. pape, a professor of political science at the university of chicago drew this rather eye-opening conclusion from a database he painstakingly built of every suicide bombing and attack around the globe from 1980 through 2003 - 315 in all...

What nearly all suicide terrorist attacks actually have in common is a specific secular and strategic goal: to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from territory that the terrorists consider to be their homeland. Religion is often used as a tool by terrorist organizations in recruiting and in seeking aid from abroad, but is rarely the root cause.

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No shit...

no further comment required...

[I]t is offensive to see the Bush administration use this case [Newsweek] for political purposes, and ludicrous for spokesmen for this White House and Defense Department to offer pious declarations about accountability, openness and concern for America's image abroad.

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Moyers gets specific

one of my heroes makes it very clear who we are up against...

Who are they? I mean the people obsessed with control, using the government to threaten and intimidate. I mean the people who are hollowing out middle-class security even as they enlist the sons and daughters of the working class in a war to make sure Ahmed Chalabi winds up controlling Iraq's oil. I mean the people who turn faith-based initiatives into a slush fund and who encourage the pious to look heavenward and pray so as not to see the long arm of privilege and power picking their pockets. I mean the people who squelch free speech in an effort to obliterate dissent and consolidate their orthodoxy into the official view of reality from which any deviation becomes unpatriotic heresy.

and i doubt if i've heard as crisp and spot-on a description of the msm as this...

One reason I'm in hot water is because my colleagues and I at NOW didn't play by the conventional rules of Beltway journalism. Those rules divide the world into Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, and allow journalists to pretend they have done their job if, instead of reporting the truth behind the news, they merely give each side an opportunity to spin the news.

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NYT on the Senate showdown

We hope President Bush will step in to help find a solution. Otherwise, warns his fellow Republican Arlen Specter, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the result will be the harmful crimping of minority rights in a proud deliberative body and "a dark, protracted era of divisive partisanship."

i'm sorry but, now that the bomb is armed, ticking, and strategically placed on the dais where herr cheney can set it off with a mere touch, is W-A-A-A-AY past the time when this kind of editorial should have been written... as long as media accountability is in the air, how about owning up to how a lack of journalistic cojones might have contributed to the ushering in of a "dark, protracted era of divisive partisanship..."

p.s. "bush step in to help find a solution...???" "BUSH STEP IN TO HELP FIND A SOLUTION...???" uhhhhh... 'scuse ME...??? after going on five years of watching this administration in action, the fact that you can put such a vain hope in print kicks your honesty right into the crapper...

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Galloway trashes Coleman

norm coleman is one of the biggest weenies in the senate, a 200% stooge for bushco and a lightweight in every sense of the word... as my minnesota friend says, "and, gee, he used to be such a nice jewish boy..." what a pleasure to see someone with real heft kick his ass around the block, rhetorically speaking, of course...

British lawmaker George Galloway denounced U.S. senators on their home turf Tuesday, denying accusations that he profited from the U.N. oil-for-food program and accusing them of unfairly tarnishing his name.

"Now, I know that standards have slipped over the last few years in Washington, but for a lawyer, you're remarkably cavalier with any idea of justice," Galloway told Coleman, chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs investigation subcommittee.

He then accused Coleman of maligning his name before giving him a chance to defend himself and of using the oil-for-food investigation to hide the failures of U.S. policies in Iraq.

"Senator, this is the mother of all smoke screens," he said.

ooooo... it's well worth watching the video too...

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Seymour Hersh - another truth-teller

it's a pretty risky proposition these days to stand up in front of an audience in the u.s. and tell the truth... my hat is off...

Journalist Seymour Hersh described U.S. soldiers in Iraq as "victims," eliciting jeers and cheers from an audience of about 6,000 people at a college commencement on Monday.

Hersh, speaking to graduates of Fairleigh Dickinson University and their families, said American soldiers are "doing an admirable job under terrible conditions" but don't know much about the war they are fighting.

"They are as much victims as the people they are sometimes forced to kill," Hersh said.

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As usual, the perspective from OUTSIDE the U.S. is clearer

every single time i set foot outside the borders of the u.s., i never fail to be startled at how folks in other countries not only get much better and more complete news coverage than we do but also how their perspective on what is going on in the u.s. tends to be significantly clearer than ours... the same is true of people i talk to... as soon as they realize that i'm american, the questions start, and they're NOT naive, uninformed questions either... taxi drivers and the average man-on-the-street seems to be more plugged in to world events that most anybody here... so sad...

here's a terrific example from the financial times, tip courtesy of the always-excellent steve clemons and the washington note... this is only a snippet from a long, insightful, and articulate piece of analysis that should be read in its entirety...


There is more at stake than sheer lawlessness. The filibuster permits the Senate to play a moderating role within the constitutional system of checks and balances. Except when there is a decisive landslide, it requires the majority party to moderate its initiatives to gain the support of at least a few minority Senators. Mr Cheney's role in destroying the moderating role of the Senate is particularly problematic. For two centuries, the Senate president has been the pre-eminent guardian of the rules. Thomas Jefferson first put them in writing when he served as vice-president. His aim was to prevent political manipulation by the presiding officer, and Senate presidents have consistently served as impartial arbiters. In breaking with this tradition, Mr Cheney has a clear conflict of interests. As president of the Senate, he owes the institution fidelity to its rules, but as vice-president to Mr Bush, he wants to see his boss's judicial nominations confirmed. By allowing his executive interest to trump his duty to the Senate, Mr Cheney is undercutting the separation of powers.

it's so simple, so clear, so critically important and yet, the separation of powers aspect is virtually ignored in the msm here while we sit back and let this rogue administration set the terms of the public discourse...

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Monday, May 16, 2005

Khodorkovsky follow-up

i've been waiting... the shoe has finally dropped for mikhail...

Judges Monday found Russian oil magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky guilty of four charges in his fraud trial at the end of a 22-month case in which his YUKOS oil firm has been torn apart. [...] Judges still had to announce their verdicts on three remaining charges. Sentence was due to be passed later. The 11-month trial has scared investors and soured President Vladimir Putin's image abroad.

yeah, it'll be interesting to see how much weeping and gnashing of teeth there's gonna be outta the financial community... never mind that mikhail's one of all-time greats in the robber-baron, oligarch dept... the focus will all be on putin and how he's turning back the clock in russia... while that may well be true, it'd be nice to see mikhail get some press on how he's robbed his countrymen while taking advantage of the chaos of the economic transition to the new state religion, capitalism...

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It's everywhere (Theoligarchy Watch cont'd)

Three million employees of the federal government rely on one fairly obscure office for protection against job discrimination, retaliation for whistle-blowing, political hackery, secrecy, and partisanship. Tragically, the man who runs that agency, the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), is a gay-hating, secretive, partisan, political hack.

well, it's not like we're SURPRISED or anything, is it...? you gotta believe that, under bush, all sorts of posts that oversee or pass on ethical, moral, or values-based matters of any type have been systematically filled with party-loyal ideologues who also toe the line of the extreme religious right... what i didn't realize is that rep. henry waxman, through the house committee on government reform minority office, has already issued a report on how the appointment of inspectors general, those within the government charged with investigating evidence of waste, fraud, and abuse in the executive branch, has been politicized under bushco...

I[nspector]G[eneral] appointments have become increasingly politicized during the administration of President Bush. Whereas President Clinton typically appointed nonpartisan career public servants as IGs, President Bush has repeatedly chosen individuals with Republican political backgrounds. Over 60% of the IGs appointed by President Bush had prior political experience, such as service in a Republican White House or on a Republican congressional staff, while fewer than 20% had prior audit experience. In contrast, over 60% of the IGs appointed by President Clinton had prior audit experience, while fewer than 25% had prior political experience.

as more and more of this stuff comes out, it looks more and more like we're in the final stages of the coup d'etat...

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Sunday, May 15, 2005

Bill Moyers - a voice of sanity in the media

there are damn few people in the public eye that i take my hat off to these days and bill moyers is one of them... he speaks truth and there are a lot of folks who would just as soon he would go away...

"An unconscious people, an indoctrinated people, a people fed only partisan information and opinion that confirm their own bias, a people made morbidly obese in mind and spirit by the junk food of propaganda is less inclined to put up a fight - ask questions and be skeptical."

heavy stuff, heavy with the weight of wisdom and truth... moyers was responding to charges from kenneth tomlinson, chairman of the corp. for public broadcasting that both moyers and pbs have become too liberal... the final dig is the best...

"I always knew Nixon would be back," Moyers said. "I just didn't know that this time he would ask to be chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting."

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Nun Denied Communion (Theoligarchy Watch, Faith-Based Dept., Local Div., May 15)

why, i just posted this story last week and now, guess what...? it's b-a-a-a-a-ck...

A Roman Catholic priest denied communion to more than 100 people Sunday, saying they could not receive the sacrament because they wore rainbow-colored sashes to church to show support for gay Catholics.

so, what's poor rev. michael sklucazek to do...? his boss, archbishop harry flynn wrote a letter warning everybody that if they wore a rainbow sash to church, they couldn't receive communion and the uppity s-o-b's went ahead and did it anyway...

Sister Gabriel Herbers said she wore a sash to show sympathy for the gay and lesbian community. Their sexual orientation ''is a gift from God just as much as my gift of being a female is,'' she said.

so, a NUN was denied communion... that all-male catholic patriarchy has some cojones, now doesn't it...?

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The Buenos Aires Herald reads between Condi's lines

not that we couldn't see it coming... after all, given developments in venezuela, chile, uruguay, ecuador, argentina, and mexico, the self-obsessed crowd at bushco were bound to eventually take notice... our southern neighbors, however, often have much better-tuned antennae than we do here, ensconced between sea and shining sea...

Washington seems to be putting out the message that (for the first time in living memory) it considers populism to be a greater threat to the American continent than socialism. [...] Concern for the health of democracy . . . should lead to efforts to ensure the quality of both left and right if there is to be a democratic alternative.

what...? WHAT...? "ensure the quality of BOTH LEFT AND RIGHT...?" they obviously need a month or two heavy indoctrination on what's going on in the u.s...

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Theoligarchy Watch, Faith-Based Dept, Sun. May 15

the bible is not for the sole use of the extremist religious right...

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) were having one of their many colloquies about judicial nominations when Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.), a Bible and a copy of the Constitution in hand, suddenly intervened. [...] Byrd . . . invoked the Book of Esther from the Bible to warn Frist that, like Haman, he and the Republicans could end up being hanged on their own gallows if they pursue the nuclear option. "Don't 'Hamanize' the Senate of the United States."

more fears of the coming inquisition...


[L]iberal theologians said they feared the enforcement of a requirement, urged by Pope John Paul II and approved in 1999 by the American bishops but never fully put into practice, that professors of Catholic theology at Catholic universities obtain a certificate of doctrinal purity from the local bishop.

along the front range of the rockies, on the slopes of the rampart range, amid the ponderosa pines...

Capt. MeLinda Morton, said she had disagreed with her boss, the academy's chief chaplain, Col. Michael Whittington, after a critical report by a team from the Yale Divinity School was released to the news media in April. The report, dated July 2004 and which she helped write, found that some academy chaplains were insensitive to the religious diversity of the cadets.

Captain Morton said her boss asked her to denounce the report and defend the academy, but she told him she agreed with it. She said that about two weeks later, on May 4, she received an e-mail message from Colonel Whittington dismissing her from her position as his administrative assistant, or "executive officer." "That is pretty plainly, in my mind, retribution," Captain Morton said.

and when will religious litmus tests start coming into force for the rest of us...? and possible for "some" of us sooner than for others...

It's a virulent animosity toward gay people that really unites the leaders of the anti-"activist" judiciary crusade. . . . [I]t uses gay people as cannon fodder on the way to its greater goal of taking down a branch of government that is crucial to the constitutional checks and balances. [...] Roy S. Moore, best known for his activism in displaying the Ten Commandments [deems] homosexuality "abhorrent, immoral, detestable, a crime against nature" and suggested that the state had the power to prohibit homosexual "conduct" with penalties including "confinement and even execution."

this is precisely the kind of rhetoric that makes me wonder just how long things can progress in this vein without some sort of violence breaking out...

and then, under the hateful rhetoric, there's the unbelievable hypocrisy...

[T]he most arresting recent case is James E. West, the powerful Republican mayor of Spokane, Wash., whose . . . long, successful political career has been distinguished by his attempts to ban gay men and lesbians from schools and day care centers, to fire gay state employees, to deny City Hall benefits to domestic partners and to stifle AIDS-prevention education. The Spokesman-Review caught him trolling gay Web sites for young men and trying to lure them with gifts and favors.

once again, my hat is off to frank rich of the nyt whose penetrating insight and willingness to speak truth is such a rare commodity in the msm these days...

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Theoligarchy Watch, Rich & Poor Dept - Sunday, May 15

lots going on, none of it in favor of working men and women...

"I see how my grandparents were able to get by, but my husband and I just struggle from paycheck to paycheck," she said. "I don't have a pension and I'm not expecting Social Security to hold up long enough for me. Where is all the government's money going? Who is it benefiting? Nothing is benefiting me."

and the rich keep getting richer...


Who was the highest-paid executive at a major domestic airline last year, taking home $1.1 million in salary and bonus? [-] Glenn F. Tilton, the chief executive of United Airlines, which has been operating in bankruptcy since December 2002. [...] And he is still not sure when United will get out of bankruptcy.

the amount of attention united has gotten in the msm recently, most of it negative, has infuriated me beyond words... where was the interest in united when the self-centered assholes were running it into the ground in 1999-2000...? now that the roof is about to fall in on the poor bastards that are still trying to earn their living working there (and working damn hard too, i might add), here comes the msm with oh-so-much interest and compassion... like i said the other day, you sanctimonious pricks can go fuck yourselves (or words to that effect)... (my thoughts on glenn tilton aren't printable here...)

and, for those with ambition to be a robber baron, oops, i mean a glenn tilton someday, it's not looking good...

[N]ew research on mobility, the movement of families up and down the economic ladder, shows there is far less of it than economists once thought and less than most people believe. [...] Mobility is the promise that lies at the heart of the American dream. It is supposed to take the sting out of the widening gulf between the have-mores and the have-nots.

and the money quote...

"Being born in the elite in the U.S. gives you a constellation of privileges that very few people in the world have ever experienced," Professor Levine said. "Being born poor in the U.S. gives you disadvantages unlike anything in Western Europe and Japan and Canada."

followed by the money stats...

The after-tax income of the top 1 percent of American households jumped 139 percent, to more than $700,000, from 1979 to 2001, according to the Congressional Budget Office, which adjusted its numbers to account for inflation. The income of the middle fifth rose by just 17 percent, to $43,700, and the income of the poorest fifth rose only 9 percent.

meanwhile, it doesn't look like we will ever know who all met with uncle dick to chart our energy future (and conspired to get richer in the process?)...

[H]aving now achieved his legal victory, nothing stops Mr. Cheney from voluntarily coming clean about the secret deliberations of his task force. [The secretive workings of the energy task force Cheney headed early in President Bush's first term]. Just don't hold your breath.

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