Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Maybe I'll get into this Later...

...but i found this funny. the Jackson, MS Mayor's office was asked why the Jackson Free Press is excluded from many normal public information requests:

Redd told Adam and Casey the city would not fill the JFP’s requests because we took information the city provided, did further research on it and then “twisted it.” She said that other media, such as The Clarion-Ledger, did right by the mayor, implying that we were not loyal enough because, as she put it, we do “research and stuff.”
way to go Clarion Ledger! print anything you're fed! how embarassing!

'Chicks' Build a Nest at No. 1

Despite lingering radio bans in a few spots and a crazy amount of negative protest, the Dixie Chicks' new album is number 1 on the Pop AND Country charts. i guess being right sometimes helps smooth things over.

Start Off on the Good Foot

(Video) - Well, it seems Family members of the New Iraqi ambassador to the US were killed by US Marines. The claim is that it was intentional. no word on whether this is tied to the recent revelation (from a military investigation) that US troops killed a few dozen unarmed civillians in 2005.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Yes, you shall clean my pool...

Why DO a Good Job when you can FAKE IT!?!

Interesting how much this is covered in the UK press. in America where the news organization could be exposed? not so much:

Federal authorities are actively investigating dozens of American television stations for broadcasting items produced by the Bush administration and major corporations, and passing them off as normal news. Some of the fake news segments talked up success in the war in Iraq, or promoted the companies' products.
"Who watches the watchmen?"
--A. Moore

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Click Here Because I Can't Do a Better Job!

Seems Dick Cheney may be called to testify in court on the scooter libby, valerie plame matter! holy crap. Salon has the quick breakdown. Hmm...i say cheney pulls out all the stops to avoid talking to ANYONE about this under oath.

Quote of the Week

Bill O'Reilly of Fox News warned that "many far-left thinkers believe the white power structure that controls America is bad."

Monday, May 22, 2006

Only Because the President Loves You....

The NY Times has an interesting article: Despite Pledge, Taxes Increase for Teenagers Seems the kids not only have to pay for Bush's tax cuts when they get in the workforce, they get to do a little now while they're in school.

Nice to see he's LITERALLY putting our teens future on the credit card while millionares will average $46,000 in extra tax cuts next year. brilliant.

James Dobson Hearts Son of Sam

Religious fundamentalist powerbroker James Dobson wants you to hear about how great of a guy David "Son of Sam" Berkowitz is. He also wants you to know just how slimey the gays are too. See this facinating article called An Ounce of Prevention that shows you how to keep your kid from getting gay-i-fied. These guys are so helpful.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Its a Done Deal Now

You may want to keep an eye on the letters column over at The Clarion-Ledger. The told me they're running a thing by me on the Pennies/Abortion display i mentioned a couple of posts down. what i wrote was a reworking of that item, actually.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

TOTALLY IN LOVE with Dahlia Lithwick.

My pal Gorj. is "TOTALLY in love with Dahlia Lithwick" I thin she's a great writer. I just don't quite want to marry her. Sorry, it's late and i feel like Mocking. As you can see in the Column on the right, I like Dahlia a lot too. she's my favorite writer about the law.

Monday, May 15, 2006

First Baptist Church of Jackson--or--Let me tell you where you can find $500,000 just sitting on a street corner.

The Link above goes to the First Baptist Church of Jackson. Clicking on that link will take you to the website with an informative link called "The DaVinci Code. Fact or Fiction?"

Oddly enough, I can help you out on that score here. it's fiction. know how i know? when i got my copy from the Jackson Library, it was in the Fiction section. The Author calls it a work of fiction too (for the uninitiated, that means 'made up' or 'not true'). Why is it that the people REALLY upset about this book/film are so ADAMANT about letting us know this is a work of fiction? Seriously, do they feel our tie to reality is so weak that we might confuse fictional stories at the movies with reality? Do they live in fear that someone will try to get their hands on a lightsaber and start fights?

...ah, but i digress.

The First Baptist Church is about 2 blocks from my office. I sometimes walk by it if i have business anywhere near our capitol. A week ago i noticed they constructed a small glass building on the sidewalk on a back corner of the Church's lot. Today i saw what the building was for. its to house 50,000,000 pennies. this is to symbolize the (claimed) 50 million abortions that have happened since Roe v. Wade in 1973.

This sort of thing is an exquisitely perfect metaphor for the church and the misguided emphasis of so many social conservatives. Instead of dealing with any of the societal pains that exist within walking distance, they build a monument of money on their very sidewalk. Think about what 50,000,000 pennies mean. it means that this Church, nestled in the middle of downtown, walking distance from some of the most crushing poverty in this city, is more interested in the issue of abortion than the living souls within eyesight of its own walls. This is a church willing to put a half a million dollars in a box on the sidewalk before they'd spend a dime of that money on the lives on the other side of that glass.

The saddest point to me is that this church is erecting a giant, clear piggy bank who's whole goal is to hold HALF A MILLION DOLLARS in plain sight of the homeless of this city. everyday on this very street homeless people walk along with nothing but their own pains and needs. This church, the church who's website devotes not one paragraph to the poor...denotes not one charitable activity that enriches the least among us...would prefer to stack a half million dollars on the street than use it. They are erecting a box of money to memorialize a political issue.

Could Mammon have designed a better honorary himself? This church would rather sit a half million dollars on the streets of Jackson than spend the money on the streets of Jackson. I am somewhat taken aback by the vigor with which this church turns its back on the lord.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

"Do your duty. Make more babies,"

This really offends me. It offends me that this guy is still on the air. Fox News wingnut John Gibson (you'll recall he even went beyond Bill O'Reilly by writing a BOOK about the 'war on christmas'!) is really concerned about America being taken over by non-whites. i don't mean this in the sense of an invasion. he's worried that the majority of people here won't be white (Norh American having spent most of the last 500 years having a non-white majority).

He ranted at length about the risks of our society not being white enough. "[d]o your duty. Make more babies," concerned that there are not enough white people in America, he added: "You know what that means? Twenty-five years and the majority of the population is Hispanic....To put it bluntly, we need more babies."

When is it ok to say we don't need anymore of YOUR race. we need more of MY race. MY race is better than yours. with John Gibson and FoxNews i'm offended...just not shocked. not at all. i guess they're playing to their viewership. i hope not. there shouldn't be a receptive ear to this crap.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Former Congressman Sonny Montgomery dies - The Clarion-Ledger

The Clarion-Ledger Reports today: "MERIDIAN — Gillespie V. “Sonny” Montgomery, who during 30 years in Congress representing east central Mississippi earned the reputation on Capitol Hill as “Mr. Veteran,” died at 4:15 a.m. today at Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center in Meridian of complications from a prior abdominal surgery. He was 85."
GV Sonny Montgomery was my congressman from my childhood into my college life. He was the creator of the "GI Bill" and, in many ways, an architect of the modern US military. His campaign in 1994 was the first i was actively involved in (i'd worked nominally in 1992 on the Clinton campaign). You may recall 1994 was the year the Congress went to the Republicans. despite that day, we won our race. Sonny was also a Mississippi State Alumni as well. I really liked him a lot.

Stan "the balloon man" Lee

This is pretty neat. a balloon version of Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee.


Bush's Poll numbers dipped into the 20's (29% to be exact) in the newest poll out. I've said before that I don't believe he will dip below 28%.

Maybe I should clarify.

I believe it may be difficult, mathematically, to dip below 28%. There is SOME minimum possible popularity for major political figures. there's often millions that have devoted too much time and energy into loving their president that NOTHING he can do will change that. I believe that number lies in the 20s. If he falls to 25% he will certainly become a lame duck. any real fall below that, and he'll be impeached if the Democrats hold the House. I'm not saying what I want, I'm saying how I see it.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Are They Even Capable of Following the Rules?

Seems another GOP'er, this time the governor of Kentucky, is indicted:

FRANKFORT - The special grand jury that’s been investigating state government hiring practices today indicted Gov. Ernie Fletcher on three misdemeanor charges of conspiracy, official misconduct and political discrimination.

The jury also indicted former transportation Cabinet official Sam Beverage with perjury, which is a felony. And the jury also submitted to Franklin Circuit Judge William Graham 14 more indictments that are under seal.

Those indictments cover crimes that may have occurred before Aug. 29, 2005 when Fletcher pardoned all administration officials except himself.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


CBS/NY Times has Bush at 31%. i say the bottom is at 28%. here's a further breakdown:

Do you approve of the way George W. Bush is handling...

...the campaign against terrorism = 46%
...his job as president = 31%
...the situation in Iraq = 29%
...the economy = 28%
...foreign policy = 27%
...the issue of immigration = 26%
...the issue of gas prices = 13%

LESS Popular Than 'Nam!

Holy crap! this article shows that 57% or Americans call the Iraq war a Mistake. this is NINE PERCENT WORSE(48%) than Vietnam's popularity in 1968!

That's pretty damn bad.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Former Aide to Rep. Ney Pleads Guilty - Yahoo! News

The noose gets tighter. Ohio Republian Bob Ney's indictment is coming from the indictment fairy, I hear.

Bush Quote of the Day

In a recent interview, Bush nails down the most interesting thing about our First President:

That's George Washington, the first President, of course. The interesting thing about him is that I read three -- three or four books about him last year. Isn't that interesting?
Exactly! Brilliant!

It's Getting Closer..or What's Next in Hooker-gate?

I told you before to watch how Porter Goss' sudden resignation from leading the CIA had more to do with ties to bribes and hookers than anything else. Now it seems the Number Three man at the CIA (Kyle 'Dusty' Foggo) is stepping down amid the FBI investigation into HIS involvement.

Followers of the story will recall that Goss resigned without even the obligatory "i want to spend more time with my family" explaination. I was wondering about some of the Weekend News Shows discussing this matter as being part of the 'Turf War' afoot in the Intelligence sector. If the reporters for the networks are so out of the loop that an attorney in Jackson, MS has a better handle on what's going on than they do... its a problem. - Bush approval rating hits new low

Keeping up that trip to the ratings-toilet: - Bush approval rating hits new low: "WASHINGTON — President Bush's approval rating has slumped to 31% in a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, the lowest of his presidency and a warning sign for Republicans in the November elections."
I say he hits 28 at some point. I say that's the bottom (pre-impeachment).

Friday, May 05, 2006

CIA Director Porter Goss Resigns - Yahoo! News

Goss is stepping down. this is the man who just a couple years ago (2002) said himself he wasn't qualified for the job. some are citing turmoil at the CIA and the extensive demands he wasn't ready for handling. I say its something else to boot. watch the unfolding hooker scandal with the GOP in congress. He was a member of the House when that was going down and it seems he's tied up with it.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

VIDEO: Rumsfeld Called Out in Atlanta

Here's how a Red State (Georgia) is treating the administration. Rumsfeld was getting the sort of Q & A that's shockingly absent when he visits the Sunday Talk Shows on network TV. Click the video. some excerpts here:

Question: So I would like to ask you to be upfront with the American people: Why did you lie to get us into a war that was not necessary, that has caused these kinds of casualties? Why?

Rumsfeld: Well, first of all, I haven't lied ... I'm not in the intelligence business. They gave the world their honest opinion. It appears that there were not weapons of mass destruction there.

Question: You said you knew where they were.

Rumsfeld: I did not. I said I knew where suspect sites were and --

Question: You said you knew where they were: Tikrit, Baghdad, northeast, south, west of there. Those are your words.

[Confronted with his own words -- McGovern was quoting from Rumsfeld's March 2003 appearance on ABC's "This Week," during which he said unequivocally that the United States knew where Saddam's WMD were -- Rumsfeld appeared flummoxed. He stammered, "My words -- my words were that --," and then it's unclear what happened next. CNN's camera remained focused on Rumsfeld rather than McGovern, but it appears from Rumsfeld's words that somebody tried to take away McGovern's microphone or remove him from the room. To his credit, Rumsfeld stopped whatever it was from happening.]

Rumsfeld: No, no, wait a minute, wait a minute. Let him stay one second. Just a second.

Question: This is America.

Rumsfeld: You're getting plenty of play, sir.

Question: I'd just like an honest answer.

Rumsfeld: I'm giving it to you.

Question: Well we're talking about lies and your allegation there was bulletproof evidence of ties between al-Qaida and Iraq.

Rumsfeld: Zarqawi was in Baghdad during the prewar period. That is a fact.

Question: Zarqawi? He was in the north of Iraq in a place where Saddam Hussein had no rule. That's also --

Rumsfeld: He was also in Baghdad.

Question: Yes, when he needed to go to the hospital. Come on, these people aren't idiots. They know the story.

Rumsfeld: Let me give you an example. It's easy for you to make a charge, but why do you think that the men and women in uniform every day, when they came out of Kuwait and went into Iraq, put on chemical-weapon-protective suits? Because they liked the style? They honestly believed that there were chemical weapons. Saddam Hussein had used chemical weapons on his own people previously. He'd used them on his neighbor ... and they believed he had those weapons. We believed he had those weapons.

Question: That's what we call a non sequitur. It doesn't matter what the troops believe; it matters what you believe.
At that point, the moderator cut it off to go to another audience member. i swear to god, a second rate debator from my high school would buzz this guy better than our press does.

New Iraqi Army

You may have heard that the troop strength of the Iraqi national security force is growing. That is somewhat true. The particular part that you don't hear is that nearly all the battalions and regiments are made up of nearly exclusively one group (Shiite or Sunni), but not both.

The minor problem here is that you don't have an integrated government, which is the goal. This leads to the worse problem of potential strife with one religious/ethnic group controlling the the security of another...or more to the point, NOT providing security (on purpose). To make matters worse still, we may be creating specially trained soldiers that are PRE GROUPED together for easy organization in the event of a full fledged civil war between the Sunni's and the Shia.

Driving this point home was a clip i saw last night on the daily show. It was a comencement ceremony for new Sunni recruits trained to handle Iraqi security. all was nice as they marched in step around the parade grounds. That is, until they were told they were told they'd be working in a Shia section of Iraq. Then they all promptly began to scream at the announcement, rip their uniforms off, toss them in the dirt, stomp on them, and quit.

I don't know what's worse. the fact that its happening, or the fact that The Daily Show was the only 'news' outlet that even COVERED it!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Holy Jamolie!

We're about to see what happens when you actually legalize drug use:

Los Angeles Times: Mexico to Allow Use of Drugs: MEXICO CITY — Mexican President Vicente Fox will sign a bill that would legalize the use of nearly every drug and narcotic sold by the same Mexican cartels he's vowed to fight during his five years in office, a spokesman said Tuesday.

The list of illegal drugs approved for personal consumption by Mexico's Congress last week is enough to make one dizzy — or worse.

Cocaine. Heroin. LSD. Marijuana. PCP. Opium. Synthetic opiates. Mescaline. Peyote. Psilocybin mushrooms. Amphetamines. Methamphetamines.
This is basically what the US government did to the gangsers of the prohibition era. while they dealt with other sorts of vice, the main enterprise was illegal liquor. With that legalized, they had to find new angles to earn money or get out of the business. I, for one, am anxious to see the effects of the new law.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

UPDATED!!--Spanish Version of the Star Spangled Banner Causes Controversy

Some people have gotten REALLY upset to hear that our national anthem is being re-done in Spanish. I am sure their rage has reached its limit, considering the US Goverment commissioned this to be done 87 years ago (see above).

The State Department has a few VERSIONS as well.

I guess the song is so sacred that it could never be sung in any other language. I mean, for real! i once TOTALLY saw this deaf guy doing the national anthem in his goddamned 'sign' language! look, you come to america, you speak american...not that 'sign' crap real americans can't understand! ...and lay off our national anthem! if you can't sing it in our language, you can't sing it in yours!



If you go HERE you can see for yourself how meaningful the president's "hardline" against a Spanish language version of the Star Spangled banner really is! He hates the idea so much that he had Jon Secada sing it in spanish back in his 2001 inaugural!

He's 'all over' this issue...from every side, it seems.

The More I Think About It....

The more the complaints about Stephen Colbert's performance at the White House Correspondents' Asociation Dinner, the more I like it. We weren't looking at a blood under the nails attack, but we also weren't looking at that ha ha gumming of a Jay Leno joke (topical but not too edgy--we want you to come back here and watch tomorrow night!).

Dan Froomkin of the Washington Post hits it on the head:

Colbert was merciless, reserving his most potent zingers for the people in spitting distance: The president who took the nation to war on false pretenses and the press corps that let him do it.
This event is usually a gentle poke-fun fest where people can be 'sent up' and then say 'aww! you got me!' complete with a 'peyow!' finger-gunshot.

Maybe we don't deserve that sorta hee haw when our President lies to get us into the war he wants, ignoring the wars we may need to fight. Maybe the press (particularly FOXNews with its damn the facts, rah rah) needs to be 'reported-to' themselves. Colbert makes the point:
Listen, let's review the rules. Here's how it works: the president makes decisions. He's the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Put them through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know -- fiction.

Limbaugh Cuts Deal in Prescription Case - Yahoo! News

Dr. Wagner Chastised me for ignoring the Rush arrest story. I was really worked up about this at first because i thought he'd done it again. actually it was a formality that he had to be arrested (he turned himself in) to trigger the plea deal that was made on the charges we all know (doctor shoping and fraudulently procuring Rx's for his habit as an addict). I read this from the article:

Under the deal filed Monday, Limbaugh cannot own a gun, must submit to random drug tests and has to continue treatment for his acknowledged addiction to painkillers. But he didn't have to admit guilt and he continued to proclaim his innocence on his radio show.

Exactly what is he innocent of doing? did he innocently get 2000 oxycotin Rx's? yeah right. "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time"

Crooks and Liars: Valerie Plame worked on Iran: Cover blown when she was outed!

You know, i have found it somewhat amusing to hear Conservative Pundits claim that outing Valerie Plame wasn't a big deal since she wasn't doing covert work for the CIA anyway. As if, even after her cover was blown, the CIA would let them/us know "SURE she was an agent! doing all SORTS of secret stuff!"

Well, some details HAVE come along. she was working on a covert project dealing with REAL WMDs in Iran. The problem comes when the White House sees this as LESS important than the fake WMDs they were really after!

Is it just me, or is it that they were doing everything they can to fight someone they thought they could beat, as opposed to someone that was a real threat? Chicken Hawks to the bone. (click above for Video).

Qatar Grants Millions in Aid to New Orleans - New York Times

The Nation of Qatar is granting nearly $100 Million in aid to New Orleans, with $17.5 million going to Xavier University. Beloved Tulane University will also be getting a hand as well.


For all the Iron and Wine fans out there!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Threats of Death in Alabama?

A 15 Year old girl named Ava Lowery has had her life threatened. What did she do? She made a film called "WWJD?" [What Would Jesus Do?]. It's set to the tune of "Jesus Loves Me".

Everyone should watch it and you'll know what it REALLY means to be 'under attack' for being a Christian. Certainly one of the clearest examples to occur in this country. Watch it. her various other videos are here.

$3 a Gallon is as Good as it Gets

The Energy Sec. says we have 3 more years to come of this sort of fuel expense. Exxon and its Ilk are saying this is just the START of a great year for them (and bad for us!). OH, and the Wall St. Journal expects Oil Prices to top $100 a barrel soon.

We have 3 real choices here: get higher mileage out of our cars, begin using some alternatives to Oil (that actually cost less), or grin and bear it. It doesn't matter what anyone thinks about the environment or global warming. If you aren't sure about the facts there, I can't help you. none-the-less, there are no other alternatives than these, whatever your political persuasion.

Bodman sees up to three years of fuel pain - The Energy Equation - "Gasoline prices have soared an average of 60 cents a gallon in less than a month because suppliers are unable to keep up with demand, a situation that could persist up to three more years, Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said Sunday.

Bodman said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the shortfall was a sign of a stronger economy under President Bush, but he acknowledged that, at least for now, “the suppliers have lost control of the market.”"

Colbert Puts a Fork in 'Em!

Steven Colbert (of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report) hosted the White House Correspondents' Dinner. usually there's some pretty good ribbing of the President and of the Press at these things. of course, a few years ago there was that completely tasteless video the President made of himself trying to find those darn ole WMD's (looking in closets, etc around the white house)....which would have been funny were people not dying that very day for his joke.

Anyway, Colbert Hosted and had some pretty funny jokes:

[Colbert complained that he was] surrounded by the liberal media who are destroying this country, except for Fox News. Fox believes in presenting both sides-the president's side and the vice president's side.


Let's review the rules. Here's how it works. The president makes decisions, he’s the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Put them through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know--fiction.
About the retired generals:
[Saying they shouldn't be allowed to retire] "If you're strong enough to go on those TV pundit shows, your strong enough to stand on a bank of computers and send other people into battle"

But what hasn't gotten too much press is that his jokes, while at the expense of the White House Press Corps and the President himself, they were REALLY relentless. he really didn't pull his punches in a way that--i think--these folks rarely see/hear. I hear the Prez was none-too-pleased and took off after Colbert left the podium. Actually it seems, from what i've read, that he's just pouty that he had to hear how people really his face. click above and see for yourself.