Truly insane and inane. (Them, not her!! Well, she’s a little kooky, too, but in a good way mostly, it seems!!) ‘Stop us before we snort again!!!’ Who knew the “War on Drugs” had Global Warming impacts?!!!
Pretty. I’m glad one of the (few) templates available included the colors red and blue, since they’re associated with Red Toryism, as well as with my final Blogger template. But since I was moving over an existing blog of over 600 posts, and WordPress’ Blogger import (i.e., copying) faculty slowed down to basically taking THREE POSTS AT A TIME, AT RANDOM FROM ANYWHERE ON THE BLOG, it was very tedious to do the moving AND double-check that it was successful. And even when it said it was done, it had left out 40-50 posts, which I had to copy and post by hand one at a time…I’ve basically been at this for over 12 hours (excluding meals and personal needs)!!! Then I found that unless I set the number of posts to display at any one time really high, like 150, a lower number limited displays from the monthly Archives of busy months…and WordPress.com’s server gets bogged down at that. But there’s nothing like an Archive that doesn’t show all the posts from that month…especially since we can’t archive them individually by title, like a book’s index or table of contents (it seems…or maybe I have yet to discern how). And I’d like to be able to arrange my links in my own preferred order, not necessarily alphabetically or anything. And you might notice most of my “Links” aren’t blogs, yet I can’t change the widget name “Blogroll” to something else, it seems.
UPDATE: Just discovered that it’s Snap that really slows WordPress.com down, even if you’re not using it at any given moment. PITA, actually!!! It’s usually faster if you just follow the link! Sorry, any Snap-lovers….
“IMPEACH BUSH. THROW HIM IN JAIL.”
I DON’T WANNA SOUND LIKE A SURVIVALIST HERE BUT…
It might be a good idea to train all people to survive a breakdown in civil society, what’s healthy to eat, what’s poisonous, how to de-escalate conflict with suburban and rural property-owners, etc. Between Global Warming, Peak Oil, and the other things coming our way in the foreseeable future, it might be useful to folks.
ELIZABETH EDWARDS’ CANCER
God bless, love, save, and have mercy on the de jure Second Lady of the United States.
GLOBAL WARMING ARRIVES IN THE NORTHEAST
Shorter, earlier Brook Trout season in Pennsylvania.
Maybe, once again, Iran is acting rationally…this time in picking-up UK sailors in or near its waters?
Did Washington and Downing Street intend this as a Tonkin Gulf-type incident, an excuse for war?!!! (‘Cause Iraq and Afghanistan are going so well for them!!!)
Interesting historical perspective on most “voter fraud” allegations. Apparently you don’t have to be Black or in the South anymore, to be subject to this sort of abuse, this “voter-fraud fraud [sic]”…just Democratic or “liberal.”
GIULIANI MOB TIES?
Funny thing: 20 years ago when NY’s Mario Cuomo, an excellent governor, a progressive leader, and quite possibly the greatest legal mind the American politics of his generation ever produced, was on the verge of the White House, malicious whispers of alleged Mafia relationships helped keep him down. Scalia? No. Alito? No. Giuliani? Apparently not. Ferraro? Oh yeah, she’s a Democrat, like Cuomo; the others are Republicans. And we know La Cosa Nostra is devoutly partisanly Democratic!!!
“A [PROSECUTOR] WHO IS UNSUCCESSFUL FROM A POLITICAL PERSPECTIVE IS UNSUCCESSFUL.”
So said Gonzales’ aide. This represents nothing less than the complete subornation of our legal system by Republican partisan politics. Punishing U.S. Attorneys for investigating Republicans, pressuring them to soil Democrats’ good names before Election Day, possibly neglecting to investigate GOP election theft (according to Krauthammer)…OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE IS A HIGH CRIME!!!!! Will this regime ever be punished in this world?!?!?!
IRAN SAYS UN LEAKS SECRETS
“GUNS DON’T KILL PEOPLE, PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE.”
But with guns, people can kill people alot more effectively, at greater distances, much more easily, even in larger numbers, especially if they’re automatic or semi-automatic. (The guns, not the people. Then again…)
How many do you need to buy each month?!!!
How much firepower does your hunting require?!!!
Are you a member of your State’s “well-regulated Militia“???:
U.S. Constitution Art. I, Sec. 8: “The Congress shall have power…To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia…reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress….” And don’t tell me the capital “T” negates these easily-understood words! Nor that “unorganized militia” theory has any Constitutional basis: Congress isn’t given the power to “UNorganize” the militia!!! In any case, can any weapon you can create or obtain resist the armed might of a modern First-World nation??? an air force? ICBMs? nukes? bio or chemical weapons? They’re more dangerous to the rest of us in your hands than in theirs!!! And how about the renowned discipline of your “unorganized militia,” members and officers!!! Maybe there’s a reason you’re “unorganized”!!!
(By the same token, I don’t think the federal government can more-or-less permanently federalize the actual [State] militias: the intent was clearly ad hoc, and to keep them distinct, militarily and fundamentally, from any federal forces properly so called – “armies” and “the navy.” [Hey, where’s the Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine, and ICBMs in the Constitution?!] The only reason Congress is mentioned in connection with non-federalized militias at all is to make sure they effectively exist, versus the sorry state many of them had sunken to, and to have some uniformity nationwide in case of nationwide need/federalization. Though according to the historical analysis offered at the separate U.S. article linked from the above link, it didn’t work! Have we instead allowed federal overreaching – with its apotheosis, of course, with the current regime, illegitimate even under [small-R] republican standards!)
MARTIAL LAW UNCONSTITUTIONAL
Recently alarm was raised about an alleged martial-law-type amendment to a law on the books. But according to Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution, the federal government may only invade (so to speak) a State to help put down “domestic violence” upon the request of that State’s Legislature, or if they cannot be convened, its Governor. (Truth be known, this is allegedly why it took so long for federal response to Hurricane Katrina. Or so they said.)
Which doesn’t mean Bush or others wouldn’t try it on their own initiative, the Constitution be damned, just like with everything else they’ve done….
Do two mass parties really represent anybody besides the rich and corporations? We should really have maybe five major national parties – narrowish center, narrowish right, narrowish left, harder right, and harder left, corresponding respectively to today’s Blue Dog Democrats and reasonable Republicans together, corporate Republicans, left-of-center (i.e., most) Democrats, Evangelical and fascist Republicans and their fellow-travelers on the far-right loony fringe (Constitution Party, Taxpayers’ Party, etc.) together, and “liberal”/progressive Democrats and their fellow-travelers (Greens, Democratic Socialists, [relatively-]moderate Socialists [like Bernie Sanders], etc.) together. The Libertarian Party ideally doesn’t fit on this spectrum, so they might remain/become a respectable second-tier party.
Of course, we can’t divide the current Presidency among more than one party, so this might lead to a more divided Congress, and greater presidential tyranny than we even have today (I mean since November!).
In any event, we won’t get real multipartisanship without Proportional Representation. I think the new New Zealand system is best: keep the single-member districts, and add at-large seats so that parties are represented according to their proportion of the national vote, with a reasonable “threshold” to gain any seats at all in the “lower” House. (Parties would be well-advised to assign their “extra” members regionally for better constituent service, so this wouldn’t be totally without local or regional contact.) This could even be done by States, since the Constitution doesn’t require that all Reps come from Districts, just that each State has so many Reps. I think if we adopted PR, you’d see the Greens rise on the left, and a “god, Flag, and [no] fags” party on the right, and we’d be well on our way…God help us.
But like I say, this makes most sense in a parliamentary government, or what’s called Responsible Government – the successor to Representative Government in most of the world’s democracies…what *we* might call an Accountable Executive.
Most multiparty democracies aren’t as relatively politically unstable as Italy and Israel. Come to think of it, for all their reputed instability, those two don’t do too badly either: Italy has social democracy no matter who’s in charge from week to week (As Bill Maher might say, “I *kid* Italy!”), and Israel has acquired an empire twice its proper size on land legally belonging to four other countries, not to mention millions of “cleansed” indigenous inhabitants! What usually happens in the event of one party not getting a majority is some kind of coalition government, where two or more parties agree a plan of policies and sharing of government offices/cabinet seats. Fr. Andrew Greeley argues that America’s mass parties *are* coalitions. Well, that may have been the case in the “good ole” days of the Chicago/Cook County Democratic “machine,” but today, nationally, they only pretend to be coalitions – more often than not it’s the rich and corporations in charge of both parties. Both parties have inflicted “free trade” on the world, both parties have ignored Global Warming for a generation, both parties spend more time raising funds than making law – wait, that can be a good thing…. Sure, each one when it gets the chance throws “red meat” to its “base” – a flag-burning amendment on the right, a minimum-wage raise on the left. But when push comes to shove, we all know who does the pushing and shoving, no matter whose names are over the doors.
Which is why, hand-in-hand with this, should go full, exclusive public campaign financing.
There’s a common rumor that American voters frequently prefer to split Congress and the White House between the two main parties. This is false. The only (virtual) national election we have is for President. Congress isn’t a national election like for the Israeli Knesset. We have 435 House districts and 50 Senate ones (the States), and people usually vote for the incumbent – usually irrespective of attempts by Party types to “nationalize” Congressional elections* – because usually there isn’t a seriously credible challenger, because of partisan gerrymandering of House districts by State politicians to favor incumbents. Therefore any alleged correspondence between party positions within or between the two elected Branches of the Federal Government is coincidence, nothing more. We don’t have Party Government, we don’t have party discipline (ask Joe Lieberman!), we don’t have Parliament, and we don’t have a Prime Minister.
(*-There was the time “She turned me into a” Newt Gingrich thought he was running for Prime Minister in 1994, with his European-style manifesto, that ‘Contract On America,’ and held himself an enthroning ceremony in the Capitol, pompous ass that he was and is. Ironically he was imitating the French model. Newt wanted to “cohabit” with Clinton!!!!! But Monica beat him to it!!!)
WE DON’T HATE BUSH
Well, most of us don’t. Most of us in the center and the left don’t care enough about Bush to hate him! We disdain him. We hate his 600 high crimes. (Any crime committed by someone high is a high crime, ISTM!!! And no, that’s not a reference to his college hobby!!!) You know, “Love the sinner, hate the sin,” right?!!! I keep hearing the Hard Right accuse us of being the mirror image of themselves in their hatred of anyone named Clinton. But we are not like them. Their true hatred of President Clinton, his wife and daughter, was irrational, or at best vastly disproportionate. It was vile personal animosity. Our opposition to “Bushies” (now we know it’s a word they themselves use!!!) is highly rational, based on 600 high crimes and misdemeanors, from 12/12/00 to today.
For that matter, I disdained Clinton too. As one comedian put it, Clinton was “the first time I ever voted for a Republican”!!! America has basically been in a Christofascist, corporatocratic Dark Age since 1980. That’s more than half my life, people!!!!! Let’s get with the program!
OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE…LYING TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE…LYING TO CONGRESS…ETC ETC.
Not over a dalliance with an intern, either! I quote a recent letter from Democratic chairman Howard Dean:
This could be George Bush’s Watergate.
Eight U.S. Attorneys, fired because they wouldn’t follow orders by the Bush Administration.
Fired because they refused to go on witch-hunts against Democrats, or ignored the Republicans’ blatant disregard for the law. Fired so that they could be replaced by talking heads and loyalists of the Bush Administration.
When Scooter Libby was convicted, I said that this administration reminded me of Richard Nixon’s administration — more obsessed with their critics than with the jobs the American people entrust them with. But this latest White House scandal takes that comparison to another level.
Just what did George Bush, Karl Rove, Alberto Gonzales and the rest of the Bush White House and Republican senior staff know about the Justice Department firings — and when did they know it?
Join us in our effort to use the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to try to cut through the White House’s nonsense — the finger-pointing, the lies, the cover-up. Americans have a right to access any and all records between the Republican National Committee, other Republican party committees, and the Department of Justice in order to get to the bottom of this investigation.
Sign our FOIA request:
“I can accept that mistakes were made.”
When Attorney General Alberto Gonzales uttered those words yesterday, he admitted what many had suspected: that eight U.S. prosecutors were improperly fired — and, because of a Patriot Act provision slipped in by Congressional Republicans, replaced with Bush Administration cronies. The fired attorneys included:
In January, Gonzales claimed that he would “never, ever make a change in a United States attorney for political reasons or if it would in any way jeopardize an ongoing serious investigation.” Justice Department officials claimed the firings were part of standard personnel turnover.
But when questioned by Congress, Gonzales’s deputy, Paul McNulty, claimed they were fired for poor performance — even though most of the fired attorneys had received excellent performance reviews.
Karl Rove, Harriet Miers and President Bush himself were in contact with Gonzales’s office about the attorneys. Just weeks after Bush spoke to Gonzales, they were fired.
Former Washington state GOP Chairman Chris Vance admitted to pressuring fired U.S. Attorney John McKay to investigate Democrats at the urging of the “White House’s political office.” And emails released yesterday show that White House deputy political director and former RNC opposition researcher J. Scott Jennings used an RNC email account to talk with Justice Department about the appointment of U.S. Attorney and former Karl Rove aide Tim Griffin.
These revelations raise even more questions — and it’s time for answers. Add your name to the FOIA Request, and demand accountability from the White House:
In an all-too-familiar scene, Gonzales’s chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, resigned over the scandal. But we won’t let Sampson be the fall guy for another Bush Administration cover-up.
Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, Scooter Libby, already took the fall for the Bush Administration’s orchestrated leak of a CIA agent’s identity. And incompetent FEMA Director and Bush buddy Michael Brown took the fall for our president’s disgraceful reaction to Hurricane Katrina — while the Gulf Coast remains in shambles.
Just like the Nixon Administration, cronyism and corruption has hollowed this White House from the inside-out.
It’s time for Republicans to stop spinning such a tangled web of deceit to get what they want. Some Democratic Senators have already called for Alberto Gonzales’s resignation. But this is part of a much bigger problem.
The purge of U.S. Attorneys wasn’t a “mistake,” as Alberto Gonzales claims. It was part of a long, calculated effort by the Bush Administration and the Republican Party to silence its critics and remain above the law.
Help us use this FOIA request to go beyond the lies and reveal the truth behind the White House, Justice Department, and Republican Party’s corruption. The American people deserve nothing less:
Governor Howard Dean, M.D.
JUSTICE SCANDAL: WHAT ARE THEY HIDING?!
Bush wants closed doors, no oaths, no transcripts. So they can lie to Congress some more? SUBPOENA HIM!!!
IMPEACH RUMSFELD, POWELL, ASHCROFT
In some States right after Independence, you could only impeach after someone left office. What’s the point?: To disqualify them from returning to public office (like so many Nixon/Reagan/Bush I flunkies have done during the Bush II malAdministration), maybe even inspire criminal prosecution. This was retained in the Constitution of 1787.
DISABILITY MADE EASY
Contrary to what you may have heard, it is generally incredibly difficult to obtain Disability benefits/assistance from the U.S. Social Security Administration (i.e., Social Security Disability Insurance [called “SSA,” SSD or SSDI] and/or Supplemental Security Income/Disability [SSI/Disability]). It’s rumored that the initial determining officials – many of them State and not Federal employees – have been instructed to routinely deny applicants no matter what. Another reason is that Congress, the SSA, and probably one or more Presidents/Administrations – and doubtless alot of lawyers – have invented an unnecessarily and wastefully-convoluted process that does nothing but keep the bureaucracy “substantially gainfully employed.” (See here for SSI; for SSD it’s mostly similar.)
Strangely, though, that process includes one very logical component – the Dictionary of Occupational Titles – listing a whole lot of jobs in the national economy. If you get this far in the convoluted process, you have to be pretty sick. But then they have to find that there aren’t three (3) of these jobs that you can do in your region of the country (more or less), “substantially gainfully.” It occurred to me a long time ago: WHY NOT START THE PROCESS HERE!!!!! IT’S A G.D. READY-MADE CHECKLIST!!!!!
Me, if I could make a living squeezing a hand-strength meter while sitting on the toilet all day (or night), babe, I’d be working! But as you might imagine, that’s not one of the Occupational Titles! Regardless, I had to get a lawyer to convince an Administrative Law Judge of that. HOW DUMB IS THAT! How much taxpayers’ money did it cost to resist and over-process my claim for SSI?!!! or to pay Legal Aid to press it before the ALJ?!!! WHAT A F-ING WASTE! But no, the SSA disability determination process is literally BASS ACKWARDS!
HILLARY’S STILL BIG ON QUESTIONABLE ‘CHILDREN’S RIGHTS’
When Hillary Rodham was in college (or maybe it was law school), a very long time ago, she wrote some weird things about children should have the right to sue their parents if they don’t let them wear makeup or jewelery, etc. [So much for the drab-feminist stereotype!!!] Back in the ’90s when Repugs were trying to use them against her and the President, I who have spent way too long in college and grad school(!), presumed she thought better of such things in her maturity, introduced nuance into the questions at least.
But I recently received a campaign fund-raising letter from her, where among many other things she touts her ‘children’s rights’ history, without qualification.
Funny, she’s shifted so far right on so many other things….
Also, apparently children’s rights only begin once they’re completely outside the birth canal. As for our most vulnerable and dependent and at-risk children, 40-50 million of whom have been killed by their own mothers under color of law in the last generation….
Fortunately, members of Congress may not Constitutionally be made to answer for anything said or done in speaking or voting while they were in office. Of course, these guys tore up the Constitution on 12/12/00…arguably a worse tragedy for America than 9/11/01.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE “AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE” AND THE “DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP COUNCIL”?
In many ways, not so much!
LEWINSKY FLASHBACK*: “THE MEANING OF ‘IS'”….
is sometimes different in a court proceeding, in the English/American legal system. Scroll down to item number 3 here. Just to set the record straight.
I’m no defender of adultery, OR of “presidential kneepads” or thong-flashing. But the adversarial legal system has its good points, and I won’t have it lied about, or its use. This is why some news organizations have legal consultants, or even correspondents who are lawyers: everything that happens in a courtroom is important, and a layperson as reporter or commentator might miss something, or even deliberately misrepresent it, as clearly happened in the case of President Clinton’s testimony. Most of us never heard, or had explained to us, the background to the questions he was asked under oath about “sexual relations”: each of us just used our own definitions, which may or may not have been legally relevant to the particular case as it developed.
Unnecessary legalese is a blight on our language and culture. But sometimes it is necessary, or at least is present and needs to be realized when it is. The law and court proceedings have their specialized uses of terminology, just like any other specialized field from trash collection to theology.
(*-No pun intended!)
FIRE A.G., FBI HEAD!
No surprise they abused (unconstitutional) “Patriot” Act. Republican administrations are power-hungry: Bush II, Bush I, Reagan, Nixon…. You can’t give them MORE power, constitutional or not. Talk about “government interference in our lives”!!! Who’s worse, Democrats or Republicans?!!! JFK, Johnson, Carter, Clinton…or Bush II, Bush I, Reagan, Nixon?!! NO CONTEST!!! Now we know why Bush opposed these Patriot Act audits!!! What Repugs say to criminal suspects (of color), we say to THEM: If you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about!!! IMPEACH THEIR ASSES!!!!! In any other country, they’d have already resigned.
PAPER BALLOTS, NOT PAPER TRAILS!!!!!
POSITIVE DRUG TEST FROM RECENT POPPY SEEDS, EVEN MANY HOURS LATER!
This urban myth “confirmed” by Mythbusters?!?!?! This is blowback from our “War on Drugs”…which is going about as well as the War on Iraq!
Hey, *I* could test positive as a result of the paregoric I take for my IBS-D!
But they say nobody’s listening. It’s lucrative to threaten and fire people for poppy seeds! You’d think science would be working DAMNED hard to fix this! But then we’d lessen the climate of fear in this country…and we can’t have that!
Another reason we need to de-politicize the highest office in the land: the (traditionally Royal) Prerogative of Mercy.
AND speed-up Bush’s Impeachment!!!
JUSTICE DEPT. CORRUPTION SCANDAL HITS HILL
Repugs in Congress and Executive Branch pressured prosecutors, intend to smear them now that they’ve fired them.
I read an article about it in a pop-science magazine a couple years ago. I don’t remember which one. A guy in Philly was actually doing it small-scale. This sounds alot like it, although it goes all the way back to 1978. And that’s about all I can find on the web about it nowadays! Sounds like the ultimate conspiracy theory, as expressed by some comedian a long time ago: “A car that runs on NO GAS. [Index finger drawn across throat.] A cure for cancer from COMMON HOUSEHOLD ITEMS. [Thumb over shoulder.]” 90-octane gasoline directly from trash, with little or no other environmental impacts, and cleans-out our landfills, idles our incinerators: Too good to be true? Deal with the devil? (The 1978 co-author’s name of course is Diebold!) Of course, it wouldn’t help too much with Global Warming…but a little bit!
This post was inspired by a comment from my brother that they should invent a car that runs on pollution!
IS PRINCE CHARLES ALREADY SECRETLY AN ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN?
His father, Prince Philip, was born into the Greek Orthodox Church, and I believe converted to the Churches of England and Scotland around the time he married then-Princess Elizabeth, the current Queen. If the monks of Mt. Athos, Greece, “hint” that His Royal Highness has partaken of the Orthodox Holy Mysteries (“sacraments”) – they who take Orthodoxy very strictly, and oppose even “false union” with the Oriental Churches (aka “Monophysite”) some say are so close to us Orthodox – it would almost have to be totally kopacetic vis a vis the Orthodox Church, Church laws and Holy Tradition. After all, this is the tradition that almost laid down its life to prevent a ‘mere’ fourth marriage for a fully Orthodox Byzantine Emperor! Orthodox DO NOT practice “open communion” with authorization, and these monks are normally the least likely to so authorize, short of an actual (deathbed or otherwise) conversion.
And if “direct inquiries” are met with loud silence…. (This link also discusses ‘So what.’)
UPDATE: This well-informed Orthodox priest in Britain points to the only Orthodox rite a ‘non-Orthodox’ could partake of: Enrollment as a Catechumen. OF COURSE! Although I’m not so sure even Mt. Athos would insist on rebaptizing an Anglican…though it’s possible if HRH met with a really-hard-core priest or abbot…OR if they turned to this as a way to ‘do something’ without requiring him to officially and completely leave the C of E. If my memory of Early Church History is right, someone who dies a catechumen is considered to be ‘in the Church,’ even short of Baptism or Chrismation (“confirmation”).