Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bhutto said she'd blame Musharraf if killed

I read it as "not directly, but through crimes of intentional negligence which are still utterly shameful."

I know, too early - but perspectives from Kucinich and Ron Paul on Bhutto's assassination (they're right on the money)


U.S. Troops to Head to Pakistan

Bringing new meaning to "walking a tightrope"...

Re: Cheney Impeachment – Mainstream Media Wakes Up

On Dec 27, 2007 8:10 AM, Congressman Robert Wexler <> wrote:

Dear Chris,

As we prepare to celebrate the New Year, my resolution is to hold George Bush and Dick Cheney accountable for their abuses of power.

In the last days, we have made real progress:

The mainstream media has awakened to this movement and to the extraordinary support you have given it. Your calls, letters, and emails have clearly made a difference. Already 140,000 people have joined us in demanding impeachment hearings for Vice President Dick Cheney by signing up at

The power of these combined voices are already shaking up the established order on Capitol Hill and throughout the mainstream media:

This week, the Miami Herald printed an article on our efforts that was syndicated in papers across the country, including the Detroit Free Press, Philadelphia Inquirer, Fort Worth Telegram, Contra Costa Times, Sacramento Bee, Houston Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, NC News & Observer, and others. (Click HERE to read the article.)

In addition, CBS4 in Miami became the first station we know of to run a television segment about the call for hearings. Video of that can be found HERE.)

Perhaps most importantly, just this morning the Philadelphia Inquirer courageously ran the full editorial I drafted along with my fellow Judiciary Committee members Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and Rep. Tammy Baldwin (R-WI). (View it HERE .) Congratulations to the Inquirer for their willingness to publish a viewpoint that is so widely held by Americans yet one that other leading national newspapers refused to publish.

We have come so far in just a few weeks. No longer can the mainstream media ignore our efforts and dismiss this cause as only part of the fringe left.

Already we are seeing tangible results from our combined effort. As you already know, Congress is well behind the American people on this issue. This is an uphill battle, but it's one that has to be fought. It should not be the whole agenda, but it needs be *on* the agenda.

When Congress reconvenes in January, I plan to present a list to my Judiciary Committee colleagues of every single person that signed up at I will go to more of my colleagues and ask them to join a letter in support of hearings. We will build on the momentum you have given us.

Last week, I spent an hour on Blog Talk Radio outlining thoughts and answering questions in regards to this work. So many people hit their site that their servers temporarily went down. If you'd like to hear the archived audio, please click HERE.

Let's do our best to further spread the message so that list will be up to a quarter million. Please continue to blog, email friends, and insist that your family and friends sign up!

Thanks for your commitment.

Congressman Robert Wexler

P.S. I have been running online ads to make more people aware of our impeachment campaign. If you are interested in making a contribution to this effort you can click here.

Benazir Bhutto killed in attack

Wow - wish I hadn't woken up to read this news.  This wasn't something I had thought would actually happen, despite the forces working toward it.  Sad day, and not good news to have Pakistan's best chance for a legitimate democracy slain.  It's not a sunny prospect to have a currently-nuclear-armed Pakistan (unlike Iran), led by a corrupt Musharraf who is likely harboring key Al-Qaeda players, and now to have his key resistance silenced. 
The elections just became a little less meaningful due to this news that I guess everyone should have seen coming, and acted to prevent.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Re: Schwarzenegger: California will sue federal government

God - how predictable.  I should have guessed it was Cheney.
Cheney accused of blocking Californian bid to cut car fumes

You gotta be kidding me

It feels like I'm saying that too much these days.
U.S. Seeks Silence on CIA Prisons: Court Is Asked to Bar Detainees From Talking About Interrogations
The path to tyranny...

Welcome to 1984

FBI planning world's largest biometric database
Moving forward, the FBI expects to make this comprehensive biometric database available to a wide variety of federal, state, and local agencies, all in the name of keeping American safe from terrorists (and illegal immigration). The FBI also intends to retain (upon employer request) the fingerprints of any employee who has undergone a criminal background check, and will inform the employer if the employee is ever arrested or charged with a crime.
The biometric database the FBI envisions will rely heavily on realtime (or very nearly realtime) comparisons. According to the Washington Post, this could include general face recognition, specific feature comparison (notable scars, shape of the earlobe, etc), walking stride, speech patterns, and iris comparisons.

US Senate stays in session to block Bush

Whoa - evidence of brain activity, look out!  (though I'm not surprised it's from Jim Webb, he's one of the best in there)  Nice use of a loophole to block another loophole from being taken advantage of.  I wish I could believe this would be the beginning of forward momentum of intelligent thought by our elected representatives.

The most convincing argument for Hillary (and against Obama) I've yet seen


Sunday, December 23, 2007

As Primaries Begin, the FEC Will Shut Down

Man, between these two, it seems like the deck is so stacked...
...A variety of matters that fall to the commissioners will be placed on hold indefinitely. Chief among them are deciding whether to launch investigations into possible campaign finance violations and determining the penalties.
The FEC is composed of three appointees from each party, all nominated by the president.

Paid in dollars, expats struggle to make a living

President is happy to govern by veto

Helen Thomas (born August 4, 1920) is a noted news service reporter, a Hearst Newspapers columnist, and member of the White House Press Corps. She has served for 57 years as a correspondent and White House bureau chief for United Press International (UPI). Thomas has covered every president since John F. Kennedy, was the first woman officer of the National Press Club, was the first woman member and president of the White House Correspondents Association, and the first woman member of the Gridiron Club. She has written four books. Her latest book is called Watchdogs of Democracy?: The Waning Washington Press Corps and How It Has Failed the Public.
(from Wikipedia)

The déjà vu of no accountability,0,7657655.story

The torture tape fingering Bush as a war criminal

30 minutes with CNN Headline News

I waterboard!

I figure I would be a good test subject. I am incredibly fit and training for a 100 mile endurance run. The main thing about such an event is ability to tolerate pain. I am good at this. I am trained.

I also have experience with free-diving from my college days. I once held my breath for 4 minutes and two seconds. Once, while training as a lifeguard I swam laps without breathing until I passed out, so that I could know my limits.

To determine whether waterboarding is an acceptable interrogation technique or torture I must research it an then undergo it myself.

Dickheads of the Year: My picks for the biggest assholes of 2007 by Bill Maher
This might be my favorite list this year, as a matter of fact, so right on so many of them.  Stuff like this the whole way through:
A phenomenon I still don't understand. Rudy says if a Democrat is elected in 2008, we'll be at risk of another 9/11, because . . . he was mayor of New York when they attacked the World Trade Center the first time? His slogan should be "Not on my watch . . . again."
Caveats: I wish Cheney had made the list, I don't think #1 deserved its spot as it has no impact on my future unlike most of the others, and on #9 there are two particular individuals who take the lion's share (and Kucinich is doing one hell of a job in my opinion).

The dark side of Mike Huckabee

Hoover Planned Mass Jailing in 1950

A newly declassified document shows that J. Edgar Hoover, the longtime director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, had a plan to suspend habeas corpus and imprison some 12,000 Americans he suspected of disloyalty.
Hoover wanted President Harry S. Truman to proclaim the mass arrests necessary to "protect the country against treason, espionage and sabotage." The F.B.I would "apprehend all individuals potentially dangerous" to national security, Hoover's proposal said.
In September 2006, Congress passed a law suspending habeas corpus for anyone deemed an "unlawful enemy combatant."  But the Supreme Court has reaffirmed the right of American citizens to seek a writ of habeas corpus.
The only modern precedent for Hoover's plan was the Palmer Raids of 1920, named after the attorney general at the time. The raids, executed in large part by Hoover's intelligence division, swept up thousands of people suspected of being communists and radicals.
Note that this in no way excuses the current criminal insanity. Amazing that he founded the agency in its present form in 1924, and was there all the way until 1972 - who knows how much of our current mess is because of this one batshit crazy individual.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

CIA Tapes Were Kept From 9/11 Panel, Report Says

DHS finalizing plans for domestic spy satellite program

Chris Dodd Does It - Reid pulls Telecom Immunity bill

Whoa - first time in quite a while I've seen something in the long-term interests of the American people be successful.  No retroactive immunity here, thank you very much!  Next step: ...
I'd also love to see Dodd take over the Majority Leader position from incompetent (or bought-and-paid-for) Harry Reid.  Outstanding speech largely incorporating Frank Church's FISA outline and Ben Franklin's quote in that video, too.

Obama Says He'd Consider Arnold For His Cabinet

This is great for both the leadership possibilities and the pure entertainment value - but the main thing is, a strong Democrat putting a Republican like Arnold in would be a great indicator that Bush's way of doing things are over.  Some funny snippets:
As Surgeon General: It's not a tumor!
The Terminator as Secretary of Defense
Stop whining.  RELAX!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Colorado voting machines tossed out;_ylt=AsvajgsUzL3m6TGOYKF2sFQDW7oF

US Senate approves 70 billion dollars in war funds

In a boost to President George W. Bush, the Senate voted late Tuesday to approve the catch-all 555 billion dollar budget bill, adding extra war funds without any of the restrictions that Democrats hoped to pin on their release, such as linking them to a withdrawal date for US troops.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pure Torture
North Vietnamese policy was that POWs were war criminals, a policy that supposedly justified brutal treatment and total control.
Then they got serious. I was introduced to a bowl of water, some filthy rags and a steel rod. The guards stuffed a rag in my mouth with the rod, then, after putting another rag over my face, they slowly poured the water on it until all I was breathing was water vapor. I could feel my lungs going tight with fluid and felt like I was drowning. I thrashed in panic as darkness took over. As I passed out, thinking I was dying, I remember thanking God that we had made a stand against this kind of society.

House Judiciary Trio Calls for Impeach Cheney Hearings

Good news - but it still misses the most important long-term reason for impeachment of Cheney in my opinion. 
From my pol-sci classes in college, I remember how much of law and judicial decision was based on precedent - and while it's not really setting much of a concerning precedent if impeachment occurs (they covered to potential necessity of such actions, even after Clinton, in the article), it sets a very concerning one if impeachment DOESN'T occur.  From now on, future presidents will be able to point back to this unpunished presidency and use it as support for any unethical or unjust acts they've done (all in the name of "leadership," "democracy," "patriotism," "anti-terrorism," or whatever other buzzword helps them reach their personal goal, whatever that may be).

Monday, December 17, 2007

Ron Paul Supporters Make History with $6 Million Online Haul

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul made history Sunday by raising $6 million in online contributions in 24 hours, breaking the record for the most money raised by a national candidate in a single day, and potentially putting Paul on track to surpass the fourth quarter fund raising of all of his competitors in both parties. 
Of those 58,000 people, almost 25,000 were first-time donors, the campaign says. The 58,000 makes up a base of individuals of 118,000 people who contributed to the Paul campaign in the fourth quarter. 
That's the first time in a while that reading an opening paragraph of a news article has made me laugh out loud.  Ron Paul and his accomplishment (thanks to his message) isn't on the front page of CNN, though... Huckabee is. 
If Huckabee or McCain had pulled off something like this, the big 3 news networks would be slathering all over it.  Not only that, but while this is an UNDENIABLY impressive accomplishment, what still gets focused is the amount of $$$$$$$ he raised, instead of the broad number of individuals he's clearly affecting on a grassroots level.
Anyway, despite the fact that in an ideal world I would hope for him to end up losing against Obama or Kucinich in the general election, good on Ron Paul and his message of adhering to the Constitution and everything that comes with it (avoiding ridiculous and dubious wars, fighting for civil liberties, etc).

Israel visits US to convince to bomb Iran, despite evidence

Re: You gotta be kidding me

Text of the bill:

You gotta be kidding me

H. Res. 847: Recognizing the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith
It's days like this that I feel like we're debating which tires are better on a Chevy Impala - even if we could get better individual components in place, it's still like trying to fix a crappy overall product.

Boston Globe Endorses Barack Obama

THE FIRST American president of the 21st century has not appreciated the intricate realities of our age. The next president must. The most sobering challenges that face this country - terrorism, climate change, disease pandemics - are global. America needs a president with an intuitive sense of the wider world, with all its perils and opportunities.
Good article.

Rep. Wexler Wants Cheney Impeachment Hearings

Ugh, I'm so torn - I want to support him for this, but he's also a big fan of encouraging our ongoing and entangling alliance with Israel...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

California Town Goes Solar, Collectively

Nice - go Clovis!

Clinton rolls a sizable pork barrel

Since taking office in 2001, Clinton has delivered $500 million worth of earmarks that have specifically benefited 59 corporations. About 64% of those corporations provided funds to her campaigns through donations made by employees, executives, board members or lobbyists, a review by the Los Angeles Times shows.

Lieberman's New Kiss of Death

Dr. Paul’s Writings › Your Taxes Subsidize China

From August of last year, but the first time I've read it.  I actually came to it from another site discussing how at least political donations go to causes of your choice, instead of the government taking tax money from you and spending it to support causes you may not agree with.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Central banks pumping billions into world financial system

U.S. Is not Considered to be a "Safe Country" - Canada

CIA Destroyed Tapes Despite Court Order

Federal courts had prohibited the Bush administration from discarding evidence of detainee torture and abuse months before the CIA destroyed videotapes that revealed some of its harshest interrogation tactics.

Potrero Rejects Blackwater, Fires Council Members Who Endorsed Them

Beautiful action by Potrero, who'd have thought.  Anything that limits the reach of these mercenaries (sorry, "private contractors") is a great move in my opinion.

Kucinich Getting Some Pwnage Too

Sure that headline isn't going to make sense to anyone over 35, but on we go!

Pelosi buys $16K worth of flowers... with tax-payer money

The ludicrous spending of our money is only part of the more general problem I read in the change in positioning of her office - which, regardless of political strategy, means that we are paying more of our money in order to allow government entities to have bigger power plays against each other (and of course, having more flowers).  Not something I want my tax money to be funding - in fact, exactly the opposite.
Which, while ultimately flawed even clearly in this article (in my opinion of his FAA analysis and assumption that everything would have been fine had it been private enterprise), would explain the popularity this guy has...
And I think it was failure of government on 9/11, not the fact that we didn't have the Department of Homeland Security and a national ID card, and this constant surveillance and loss of our privacy.
And to carry the thought one step further, I would posit (and I think Paul would agree) that it was not just a failure of government ON 9/11, but in the days, weeks, and years BEFORE 9/11 - our foreign policy was a significant contributor to the event, and we're continuing down the slippery slope that will make it worse. (Only one thing unites Iraq: hatred of the US)
How was that for a topic-jumping - from Nancy Pelosi, to Ron Paul, to privacy issues, to our foreign policy failure...

Thursday, December 06, 2007

CIA admits destroying tapes of interrogations

Court Divided After Day One of Guantanamo Case

Democrats Drift Toward Kucinich

This Democratic field has essentially moved to the Kucinich position on trade, on Iraq, on a whole range of things where people thought he was a real outlier," he says. "They're all pretty much in agreement now, when it comes to some of these big issues like trade, like diplomacy and war. And they are where Dennis Kucinich is."

GQ interview with Mike Huckabee
My favorite part of the article (for its ludicrosity):
I don't think the issue's about being against gay marriage. It's about being for traditional marriage and articulating the reason that's important. You have to have a basic family structure. There's never been a civilization that has rewritten what marriage and family means and survived. So there is a sense in which, you know, it's one thing to say if people want to live a different way, that's their business. But when you want to redefine what family means or what marriage means, then that's an issue that should require some serious and significant debate in the public square.

Engadget hops on the Ron Paul bandwagon, which Congress keeps passing idiotic laws

With the only good news that it will now be semi-enforceable to jail such serious offenders for their drawings of our great prophet Muhammad here in the U.S., or for watching a South Park clip while at Starbucks...

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Ludicrous - the most inane topic I have read about today (Clinton attack tactics)

The ad Fox won't run

Why the world hates The United States

Israel vows to resist Iran nuclear drive despite US report

So creepy - you know when you have one of those moments you sort of step outside yourself because you realize something bad is happening that you should have expected?  This was one of them...

Tim Meadows Marijuana Warning

Flushing whole generations worth of cash into the bottomless pit of a failed and endless war.

Seriously. How long do we want this madness to last?

They Just Can’t Be Trusted: Why does the media still take what Bush or Cheney says as fact?

The Iran Report - Bush and Kucinich

"I view this report as a warning signal."  The exact opposite of what the report means. 
Reminds me of the Daily Show (or Colbert Report) where they say something like "Whatever Bush believes on Monday, he will believe on Wednesday, no matter what happens on Tuesday."
Whether he gets traction or not, it's impossible to say that Kucinich is not going to bat for the American people.

Kucinich - great performance again

Even if I disagree with him on this issue, you can't help but admire the guy.  I'm glad he's in the mix and hope he does better than the less-deserving media darlings.  It's miserable to see the time/attention distortion away from him in coverage, but he uses what he gets well every time and I was glad to see at least the "push him to the side" tactics weren't in play this time.

The US dollar is now worth more than the Canadian dollar again (for the moment)

Sure, the dollar has lost almost half its value since Bush took office, but any good news counts.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

US says it has right to kidnap British citizens

New Hampshire: Clinton Lead Falls To Single Digits

One thing I don't get - I know cell phones have really only become a potential primary line only in the last 5 years or so, but isn't telephone polling now significantly outdated?
On the opposite end of the spectrum, I'd use something like this for the Internet demographic:
Both are flawed, because they are only partial pictures of particular demographics - but I think a majority of Americans see only the side of the story from the top link, when the second tells another compelling angle that needs to be taken into consideration.

Kucinich: Biden's Warning of Bush Impeachment in Case of Iran War "a bit late"

Referring to the aggressive and heightened rhetoric from the Administration towards Iran, Kucinich said, "This is essentially a war crime in motion." And, he told attendees at the winter meeting of the Democratic National Committee, that he is preparing Articles of Impeachment against the President similar to those he introduced against Cheney earlier this year for deceiving Congress and the American people about the justification for authorizing military action against Iraq.

Bush and Cheney "have committed impeachable offences," Kucinich said. And, although fellow Presidential candidate and Senator Joe Biden said yesterday he would join Kucinich's call for impeachment if the Administration actually launched a war against Iran, "That would be a little bit late," Kucinich said.

I love Kucinich more every day, and Biden deserved getting called out on his ineffectiveness on this issue for so many reasons.  (1: He's in the Senate, and impeachment has to start in the House, so this seems mostly just so much more hot air and makes me wonder if this is a political play by Biden rather than something he's truly looked into. 2: Biden's might be prepared to use strong words - strong words!! - while Kucinich has already taken action several times.  3: Biden helped vote the Patriot Act through.  4: It would be too late!  Just wanted to reiterate that.  5: ...)
I actually like Biden overall (on a bell curve I'd put him at the 65th percentile), and it's good to see another player at least paying attention to the issue - but action is already long overdue on this topic.

CNN: Corrupt News Network

Huh - wouldn't have expected that from a mainstream source.  Good journalism not dead yet...

The 6 Most Important Experiments in the World

Foot soldiers for the Ron Paul revolution

Paulites tend to be tech-savvy, tired of traditional politics and suspicious of their government and the mainstream media.
True, but with good reason.  From a forum post:
Does anyone, especially anti-Paulers, think that the media's treatment of him has been fair? That they've treated him how the candidate with more volunteers and donations from active-duty personnel than any other in the race, Republican or Democrat, should be treated in the media?

Please respond if you think Paul has been treated fairly as candidate, and why you think that the media, not the people, should decide who is and isn't a viable candidate.

Anyway, other highlights from the article:
He formed the Pasadena group for Ron Paul 2008 in March and put a link on Paul's website to help others start meetup groups. "It was quickly just bombarded," said Dumas, 51. "People began starting their own meetups all over the country."
Yoga teacher Steven Vincent, 42, finished a brisk series of announcements about his many initiatives for Paul (including video webcasts he delivers each weekday from his Studio City living room at with the coup de grace: a march on Dec. 16, the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party.
Vincent beamed as he envisioned a procession through Santa Monica, with participants toting mock tea crates, labeled "welfare state," "IRS" and such. (The event will coincide with another Paul money bomb, which volunteers hope will raise $10 million online in a single day.)
(I've been watching the momentum, and I actually think he'll fall significantly short of $10 million on that day.  I would consider it a pleasant surprise if I were wrong, though)
Zephyr Teachout, director of online organizing for Howard Dean
Unlike Dean, who had five organizers shepherd meetup groups with agendas and regular conference calls, the Paul chapters are "completely decentralized," according to Kerri Price, a Paul spokeswoman.
Paul volunteers take pride in making their own rules. "Authority," said one young man at the start of the Pasadena meetup, "will never be true."
"What's happening right now is a paradigm shift in American politics. These divisions -- Democrat-Republican, conservative-liberal -- are breaking down . . . because there is really no distinction any more between the parties."
I would disagree with this too - I would say the problem is that the distinctions that do exist are ones that aren't as important to the greatness of our country as the distinctions that should be there.