Subject to Change, version 2.0
Mostly found objects; at least until I find something I want to write about.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Going down to the wire. Here's Reuter's Carol Giacomo from one hour ago: A top aide to John Bolton, President Bush's embattled nominee as U.N. envoy, threatened to diminish the role of the State Department's intelligence bureau because of a dispute...

[War and Piece]
9:35:23 PM    

Reid to Bush: Bring it on

I'm just wild about Harry:

I still consider this confrontation entirely unnecessary and irresponsible. The White House manufactured this crisis. Since Bush took office, the Senate confirmed 208 of his judicial nominations and turned back only 10, a 95% confirmation rate. Instead of accepting that success and avoiding further divisiveness and partisanship in Washington, the President chose to pick fights instead of judges by resubmitting the names of the rejected nominees.

This fight is not about seven radical nominees; itís about clearing the way for a Supreme Court nominee who only needs 51 votes, instead of 60 votes. They want a Clarence Thomas, not a Sandra Day OíConnor or Anthony Kennedy or David Souter. George Bush wants to turn the Senate into a second House of Representatives, a rubberstamp for his right wing agenda and radical judges. Thatís not how America works.

Reid then gives two Frist two options:

First, allow up or down votes on additional nominees, as I addressed in my proposal to Frist two weeks ago. If this is about getting judges on the courts, letís get them on the courts.

Second, allow the Senate to consider changing the rules without breaking the rules. Every one of us knows that there is a right way and a wrong way to change the rules of the Senate; the nuclear option is the wrong way. Senator Dodd will go to the floor this afternoon to expand on the way the Senate changes its rules.

I suggest that Senator Frist introduce his proposal as a resolution. If he does, we commit to moving it through the Rules Committee expeditiously and allow for a vote on the floor. It takes 67 votes to change the rules. If Senator Frist canít achieve 67 votes, then clearly the nuclear option is not in the best interest of the Senate or the nation.

Either of these options offers a path away from the precipice of the nuclear option. But if neither of these options is acceptable to you, letís vote.
(via Raw Story)


Never forget the Democratic Senators represent an outright majority of the country's votersóand they are our only voice in Washington. Shouldn't we have a say in our country's future? - Lambert

9:33:54 PM    

Downing Street & King George

For five years now we have watched our nation slip away from us. In 2000, a selected leader was placed into the Office of the Presidency. With him, he brought a posse of thugs--from Rumsfeld, to Wolfowitz, to Rice--who have collectively dragged our nation into two wars.

For five years now, we have watched as clause by clause, our Constituion has been eroded by this man's actions. Equal protection, due process, freedom of speech, and freedom of association have been abridged. Our fellow citizens have been arrested for voicing dissent. Others are held in cages indefinitely, incommunicado.

In five years, we have seen the fall of the Wold Trade Center and the rise of fascism in our country.

For five years, we have stood by as our nation has been hijacked by religious extremists who have the President's ear and who threaten the very fabric of American life.

The Downing Street memo has led some to deliberate whether impeachment is called for. I myself initially thought it just substantiated what I already knew, that it would receive little attention, and that we would have to trust those historians decades from now to write the President's history as it deserves to be written.

But then, I re-read the Declaration of Independence. And it was this excerpt that stuck me:

Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. ...When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Our forefathers believed that when the Government became self-serving and when that Government ceased to fulfill the intent of its creation, that we have not only the right, but the duty to throw off such a Government. They fulfilled their duty through armed revolution. They gave us a tool that was unavilable to them: impeachment.

That duty to change the Government comes from natural law; it comes from the duty we have not only to each other, as citizens of the same soil, but also the duty we have to the rest of the souls on this earth. That duty exists for us, as well as for our brothers and sisters in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Iran, in North Korea, and those in every corner of the earth that are threatened by this corrupt regime.

Is what President Bush has wrought on this country any less severe than that of King George, that which made our forefathers realize that enough was enough?

The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] President of the United States, George Walker Bush, is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them. [...]

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. [...]

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, [...]

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, [...]

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, [...]

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For protecting (troops), by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders [or torture] which they should commit on ...:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting (others) beyond Seas to be (tortured):

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has (polluted) our seas, ravaged our Coasts, (plundered our collective wealth), and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies [...] to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

And he has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to serve the rich and the corporate, rather than the citizens of this nation.)

There he is--our King George--who has along with the radical Republicans, curtailed our liberties, our freedoms, and the very essence of Americn identity.

This memo is a small piece, but a critical one. While President Bush admitted prior to 2002 that his intent was regime change, this memo unequivocally proves that the President lied to the American public when he said, up until the last days before Shock & Awe, that he was holding out for a peaceful resolution:

America tried to work with the United Nations to address this threat because we wanted to resolve the issue peacefully.

Should Saddam Hussein choose confrontation, the American people can know that every measure has been taken to avoid war, and every measure will be taken to win it. link

We now know, from the Downing Street memo, that it was not only Saddam, but the President of the United States who "chose confrontation." We now know, from the memo, that the President lied that day, on March 17, 2003, when he addressed our Nation and told us that "every measure has taken been taken to avoid war."

Every measure, my friends, was taken to engage in war.

It is because of that lie that over 1,500 of our brothers and sisters have given their lives. It is because of that lie that over 12,000 more of them have returned to us maimed and scarred. And it is because of that lie that over 100,000 innocent Iraqis have been killed in our name.

Some say that with a Republican-controlled Congress, pursuing impeachment is futile. Did our founding fathers cower under the foreboding force of King George? Did the fact that King George had fleets of armies and oceans of power give them pause? Did they fear failure, knowing that failure would brand them traitors and take them to their death?

We have a choice. We can either let courage fill our hearts and pursue what we know is our duty, or we can let this evidence be filed away in the mountain of evidence that proves that this man, this liar, should not lead our nation any longer.

I thought I could live with accept the media's failure to report this; I thought I could live with telling myself that all would be vindicated in 2006 and 2008--but I cannot live like that. I can't live knowing that I am a coward in the face of far less danger than our forefathers faced.

I, for one, support the impeachment of President Bush. Who among you will join me?

- Georgia

[akou: a blog by georgia]
6:20:17 PM    

Can't recruit? Hire private soldiers.

 Job Posting

Government contractor seeking applicants for overseas assignment in KUWAIT. Excellent pay & benefits up to $60,000+.
The FPO performs duties under the direct supervision of the Shift Sergeant and the Shift Supervisor. The FPO is responsible for providing security, force protection and support for the U.S. Army's ARS (Area Support Group) assets at various U.S. Army Compounds in the country of Kuwait. FPOs serve as team members performing individual basic combat tactics and techniques unique to military service. They adhere to post orders unique to individual posts that range in function from static posts to roving patrols to escorting VIPs or military asset convoys and other missions as assigned. They must be able to perform as a fire team member to provide defense against attacks and terrorist operations. The duties of the FPO are similar to those of an Army MP.

Army 2005 pay scale.

Private: $13,711
Private E-2: $14,822
Private First Class: $17,475
Specialist/Corporal: $19,352
Sergeant: $21,108
Staff Sergeant: $23,040
Sergeant First Class: $26,640
What is wrong with this picture? [Daily Kos]
6:19:22 PM    

Republicans are (not) good for the markets.

Update: Look at those gas prices rise.

Oil prices leapt to more than $53 a barrel on Tuesday after news of a big refinery outage in the United States added to fears about a shortage of refined products and offset the impact of swelling crude supplies. U.S. light crude was trading $1.02 higher at $53 a barrel. Brent crude oil in London gained $1.07 to $52.36 [...] Analysts said concerns went beyond immediate problems. They said refinery capacity was generally inadequate and that stocks might not build enough to meet peak demand later in the year. "Seasonally firm demand, especially from the U.S., is expected in the fourth quarter in winter. Demand levels are expected to grow and the question remains whether the high OPEC output can meet the increase," said Tony Nunan of Mitsubishi Corp in Tokyo.
Rising gas prices. Rising interest rates. That's an ugly combination.

 [Daily Kos]
12:17:09 PM    

Frist apparently makes his choice.

Bill Frist wants everyone to know that he's decided which judge to use in order to prompt the nuclear option fight: Priscilla Owen.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist plans for Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen to be the judicial nomination on which he uses the "nuclear option" against Democratic filibusters later this month, according to [...]

[The Carpetbagger Report]
12:15:37 PM    

DeLay's Worst: A Dirty Drama of Bondage.

Marie Cocco | May 10

Newsday - Nothing has had the sex appeal of the St. Andrews junket. The story that DeLay, his wife and a retinue of aides were treated to a 10-day, $120,000 trip to London and the fabled St. Andrews course in Scotland - with many expenses charged to lobbyists' credit cards - turned an insiders' furor over congressional ethics into a media frenzy. But the question arises: Is the pond hop to historic links the worst thing the Texas Republican has ever done? Hardly. There are many qualified candidates, but one stands out for its squalor. That's DeLay's personal campaign to ensure that garment industry sweatshop workers and sex slaves in the Northern Mariana Islands - a U.S. territory - were exploited in a system that resembled indentured servitude.

 [The Agonist]
11:15:52 AM    

Giving Knowledge To Children In Schools Highly Overrated, Say Kansans.

Educating Children Possibly Big Mistake, Uneducated Kansans Say Members of the Kansas State Board of Education started a "debate" last week exploring whether or not it was proper to pass knowledge on to children in schools. "Perhaps passing on everything...

[Opinions You Should Have]
11:14:42 AM    

What if they had a hate rally....

...and nobody came? Nice to have some good news for a change.

[South Knox Bubba]
11:10:02 AM    

Don't show the car bombs
I see nothing

Bombs Bursting on Air

Published: May 10, 2005

If a man-bites-dog story is news and dog-bites-man isn't, why are journalists still so interested in man-blows-up-self stories?

I realize that we have a duty to report suicide bombings in the Middle East, especially when there's a spate as bad as in recent weeks. And I know the old rule of television news: if it bleeds, it leads. But I'm still puzzled by our zeal in frantically competing to get gruesome pictures and details for broadcasts and front pages.


Correspondents complained that they'd essentially become cop reporters, and that the suicide bombings took so much of their time that they couldn't report on the rest of the country. They were more interested in other stories, but as long as the rest of the press corps kept covering the bombing du jour, that was where their editors and producers expected them to be, too.

You could argue that their bosses were simply responding to their audiences' visceral urges. Everyone rubbernecks at car accidents; cable news ratings soar when there's a natural disaster or a heinous murder. But how much shock value or mystery is there anymore to suicide bombings?


Mr. Giuliani told the police to stop giving out details of daily crime in time for reporters' deadlines, a policy that prompted outrage from the press but not many complaints from the public. With the lessening of the daily media barrage, New Yorkers began to be less scared and more realistic about the risks on their streets.

I'm not advocating official censorship, but there's no reason the news media can't reconsider their own fondness for covering suicide bombings. A little restraint would give the public a more realistic view of the world's dangers.

They compared this to Bobo on Atrios, but they're wrong. This is much stupider.

Mr. Giuliani was an accomplished liar, who also released Patrick Dorismond's juvenile criminal record, defends the Diallo murderers and humiliated his wife in public on Mother's Day. I think I wouldn't use Giuliani as a template of honesty myself. But, what Tierney doesn't say, it was all good as long as he kept the niggers down.

Car bombs matter to two groups of people: the resistance and the Coalition. Hiding them from the public, like our gunning down people at traffic stops, fluxuating morale, desertions, bad medical care and unreliable Iraqi forces does no good. The fact is that car bombs reflect a lack of security. The media can't really cover Iraq because they might get kidnapped and have their heads cut off.

Do you think the Americans will be any less dead if we ignore the car bombs? Maybe we can run stories on the ineffectual and factionalized Iraq government? But it doesn't matter, Iraq is a mess and remains a mess. Whether we cover the car bombs or not. [Steve Gilliard's News Blog]
9:46:09 AM    

And only wealth will buy you justice .

This is from WorldNutDaily, but they at least know what their nuts are up to. Bill to take profit out of anti-religion suits:
An Indiana congressman plans to curb the ACLU's appetite for filing suits targeting religion in the public square by introducing a bill that denies plaintiff attorneys the right to collect attorneys fees in such cases.

Rep. John Hostettler, R-Ind., is expected to file his measure next week to amend the Civil Rights Attorney's Fees Act of 1976, 42 U.S.C. Section 1988, to prohibit prevailing parties from being awarded attorneys fee in religious establishment cases, but not in other civil rights filings.

In other words, they want to make it impossible for anyone who isn't rich to even think about defending the establishment clause in court.

Which means, don't forget, that you lose your right to protect religion from the government.

[The Sideshow]

5:28:25 AM    

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