Tuesday, August 23, 2005

No Post For A Few Days

I'm taking a few days off due to some health problems.
Nothing serious

Friday, August 19, 2005

Friday Cat Blogging: Teddy's Nightly Ritual

Teddy insists on going through this ritual each night.
She howls at the door to go out.
But this is her idea of Out.

Clear that way

Almost clear this way


Ok I'm just about ready to.....

Come back in now.

It's just a few minutes of rolling around.
I think she likes the carpet in the hall.
And the Freedom to come and go as she pleases.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Madison WI Supports Cindy

These are photos from the Vigil in Madison WI
The crowd was between 300-400 strong.

This is just part of the crowd.
I couldn't even capture all of it in any photos.

This is Jean Jensen of Military Families for Peace speaking.

This is a woman from Share the Sacrifice.
This woman was fired from her teaching job when she said in her class that all avenues should be exhausted before going to war. A parent complained and she was fired. Her son who is in the Navy is now being deployed to Afghanistan to do a job he wasn't even trained to do. She ia asking Why?
Please consider donating to this group. (or her legal fund as she is suing the Indiana school that fired her)

After the vigil the crowd climbed the hill to line John Nolen Drive.
Eventually people were lined along 4 sides for 1/4 mile.

This is just part of the people on just one side of JN Drive.

People held their signs up to passing motorists.
So many cars that went by beeped continuously and waved the peace sign.
I can not convey how incredible this was.
It was car after car beeping.
It was very loud and all I thought was this country is
So Sick of This War!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Thompson Getting Chipped

So what do former Bush administration officials do to make a buck once they leave the administration. Well I would have thought get a good lobbying job. Tommy Thompson my former Governor and everyone's former Health and Human Services Secretaty has announced he will have a medical info chip implanted in his arm.

Now before you think Tommy is just doing this for science, guess again. The chip is made by Florida-based VeriChip, which recently added Thompson to its board of directors. And then there is this:
Another possible interest in VeriChip may stem from Thompson's other business activities since leaving government. He also serves as president of La Crosse-based Logistics Health Inc., which has ambitions of expanding business with the military and Homeland Security.

Among other things, Logistics Health provides "medical readiness solutions" for the U.S. military reserves, according to its Web site. It's homeland security unit "provides disaster response training services and vaccination scheduling, management and delivery, including the coordination and networking of critical disease information to thousands of healthcare providers across the country."

But only 5 hospitals in the DC and Boston areas are able to use the technology. Thompson is in the little town of Elroy WI which is really in the sticks. Doesn't seem practical medically speaking. But financially...oh yeah. And hey he's supporting the troops.

Finding Your Voice

NTodd of Dohiyi Mir is giving his voice to these Internets. He has a podcast interview with 2 of the St. Patricks Four up along with a whole bunch of other podcasts.

It Only Takes One

David (Austin TX) of Supreme Irony of Life raises what I fear may happen down in Crawford. Like he says it only takes one.

Greatscat On the Case with Kittens

Kittens are making alot of points in the blogosphere recently. I like this one from Greatscat!.

Al-Qaida's PNAC??

Spiegel Online reports on a new book entitled "al-Zarqawi - al-Qaida's Second Generation" by Jordanian journalist Fouad Hussein. Hussein has had contact with al-Qaida including having been in prison with Zarqawi. Spiegel says "Hussein is far from an hysterical alarmist -- in fact he is seen as a serious journalist and his Zarqawi book is better than most of the reports in Arabic on the subject."
Hussein outlines a 7 phase, 20 year plan of Al Qaida to establish a Islamic caliphate....

  • The First Phase Known as "the awakening" -- this has already been carried out and was supposed to have lasted from 2000 to 2003, or more precisely from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in New York and Washington to the fall of Baghdad in 2003. The aim of the attacks of 9/11 was to provoke the US into declaring war on the Islamic world and thereby "awakening" Muslims. "The first phase was judged by the strategists and masterminds behind al-Qaida as very successful," writes Hussein. "The battle field was opened up and the Americans and their allies became a closer and easier target." The terrorist network is also reported as being satisfied that its message can now be heard "everywhere."
  • The Second Phase "Opening Eyes" is, according to Hussein's definition, the period we are now in and should last until 2006. Hussein says the terrorists hope to make the western conspiracy aware of the "Islamic community." Hussein believes this is a phase in which al-Qaida wants an organization to develop into a movement. The network is banking on recruiting young men during this period. Iraq should become the center for all global operations, with an "army" set up there and bases established in other Arabic states
  • The Third Phase This is described as "Arising and Standing Up" and should last from 2007 to 2010. "There will be a focus on Syria," prophesies Hussein, based on what his sources told him. The fighting cadres are supposedly already prepared and some are in Iraq. Attacks on Turkey and -- even more explosive -- in Israel are predicted. Al-Qaida's masterminds hope that attacks on Israel will help the terrorist group become a recognized organization. The author also believes that countries neighboring Iraq, such as Jordan, are also in danger.
  • The Fourth Phase Between 2010 and 2013, Hussein writes that al-Qaida will aim to bring about the collapse of the hated Arabic governments. The estimate is that "the creeping loss of the regimes' power will lead to a steady growth in strength within al-Qaida." At the same time attacks will be carried out against oil suppliers and the US economy will be targeted using cyber terrorism.
  • The Fifth Phase This will be the point at which an Islamic state, or caliphate, can be declared. The plan is that by this time, between 2013 and 2016, Western influence in the Islamic world will be so reduced and Israel weakened so much, that resistance will not be feared. Al-Qaida hopes that by then the Islamic state will be able to bring about a new world order.
  • The Sixth Phase Hussein believes that from 2016 onwards there will a period of "total confrontation." As soon as the caliphate has been declared the "Islamic army" it will instigate the "fight between the believers and the non-believers" which has so often been predicted by Osama bin Laden
  • The Seventh Phase This final stage is described as "definitive victory." Hussein writes that in the terrorists' eyes, because the rest of the world will be so beaten down by the "one-and-a-half billion Muslims," the caliphate will undoubtedly succeed. This phase should be completed by 2020, although the war shouldn't last longer than two years.

  • When I read the above my mind drifted to the neo-cons PNAC (Project for a New American Century) In their Statement of Principles they say....
    But conservatives have not confidently advanced a strategic vision of America's role in the world. They have not set forth guiding principles for American foreign policy. They have allowed differences over tactics to obscure potential agreement on strategic objectives. And they have not fought for a defense budget that would maintain American security and advance American interests in the new century.

    We aim to change this. We aim to make the case and rally support for American global leadership.

    Of course, the United States must be prudent in how it exercises its power. But we cannot safely avoid the responsibilities of global leadership or the costs that are associated with its exercise. America has a vital role in maintaining peace and security in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. If we shirk our responsibilities, we invite challenges to our fundamental interests. The history of the 20th century should have taught us that it is important to shape circumstances before crises emerge, and to meet threats before they become dire. The history of this century should have taught us to embrace the cause of American leadership.

    Our aim is to remind Americans of these lessons and to draw their consequences for today. Here are four consequences:
    • we need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global
    responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future;
    • we need to strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values;
    • we need to promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad;
    • we need to accept responsibility for America's unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.

    It certainly seems these 2 plans for the future are being fought out now in Iraq. Just how many Americans have signed up for this project? How many are even aware of it as it even now unfolds? Again and again we hear the West chastize moderate Muslims to reign in the radicals of Islam. But what about the neo-cons? This foreign policy ideology has not been discussed or scrutinized by Americans.
    Now before the wing nuts say I'm calling neo-cons terrorists, let me say the plans above represent 2 ideologies. The means to achieve their ends differ. I do not condone terrorism. I do not want to see an Islamic caliphate at any time in the future. The question is whether our present foreign policy is on the right path to avoid such or are we playing right into Al-Qaida's hand? As an American I certainly do have a say in my country's foreign policy. We all do. And all I am saying is it is time we have that say. If Americans actually study all of PNAC and decide that's the way to go then that is one thing. However that has not happened and it is time is does.

    Sunday, August 14, 2005

    Deja Vu All Over Again.

    This is sounding painfully familiar like a bad Ground Hog Day. Starting with Saturday....

    JERUSALEM (Reuters) - President Bush said on Israeli television he could consider using force as a last resort to press Iran to give up its nuclear programme.

    "All options are on the table," Bush, speaking at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, said in the interview broadcast on Saturday.

    On Sunday we have ...

    German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has warned the US to back away from the possibility of military action against Iran over its nuclear programme.
    "Let's take the military option off the table. We have seen it doesn't work," Mr Schroeder told Social Democrats at the rally in Hanover, to rapturous applause from the crowd.
    "The Europeans and the Americans are united in this goal," he said. "Up to now we were also united in the way to pursue this."

    Is it possible we will go down this Path to war again? Freedom Fries, Old Europe and all that?
    We don't have the military capacity for a war with Iran. With 61% of Americans not supporting the war in Iraq I doubt there is the will for another war with Iran. Yet this is the Bush administration so I worry.
    Bush should too...

    Iran's newly elected President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has nominated a string of known hardliners for key positions in his first cabinet.Conservative candidates were earmarked for the foreign, intelligence and interior ministries. The appointments come as concern mounts over Iran's resumption of uranium processing at its Isfahan nuclear site.

    Does Bush understand that Iran is no Iraq? The Iranian military will not melt away as the Iraqi Republican Guard did.

    Thursday, August 11, 2005

    Michelle fire up the flux-capacitor......

    I thought it was just a low down dirty shameless hit job when Michelle Malkin said John Kerry had actually shot himself on that swift boat in Vietnam. But now that Michelle has learned this...

    "I can't imagine Army Spc. Casey Sheehan would stand for a bunch of strangers glomming onto his mother's crusade and using him to undermine the war effort as they shouted "W killed her son" in front of countless TV cameras."

    NOW I realize she must be hiding away some sort of time machine that she can hop in to get the real inside scoop when poll numbers are looking bleak for her meal tick...err leader, Mr. Bush. When numbers showed Mr. Kerry in a dead heat with Her Leader, Malkin hopped into the Mr. Smear-A-Vet-Vitriol machine and transported herself to Vietnam. With the rockets red glare she was able to see there was no swarm of evil Asian enemy (Michelle: note to self...evil asian enemy....there's a book to be written there. Start on that when I get back)
    but just a young John Kerry messing around with a grenade contemplating how to become President one day.

    And when 61% of Americans said they disaprove of the Iraq war she traveled once again. (An aside. That great pic she had of her with the wind blown hair....captured from the web cam on the dash of the DeLorean during actual time travel.) Yup Malkin's machine can go to any dimension. She hopped in to find one Casey Sheehan and grab that exclusive. She saved her meal tick...err Leader once again.

    I have a request of our time travelling super hero. Could you please travel to the future and let us know just when this War in Iraq concludes???? Haliburton wants to know, the troops want to know, parents of eligible recruits want to know and the Yellow Elephants really need to know.

    *** No link to Malkin site is necessary as she she doesn't need your hit on her site meter. Knowing her racist smearing vitriol helps Bush and provides a comfortable living for her family is reward enough.

    Rumsfeld: Lying, Deluded or Both?

    This is from a transcript of yesterday's Dept. of Defense Press Briefing:

    Question: First of all, did those Marines ask for a thousand more troops? And can you explain to people who see the security situation as still serious in Iraq, who know that the Iraqi forces aren't ready to take over, why there aren't more troops needed?

    SEC. RUMSFELD: Well, I'll start. And I think Larry could well have said I don't doubt for a minute that there are people in the country at the colonel level or lieutenant colonel level who might not want more at one moment, who might not want less in another moment. And there's 137,500 U.S. forces and a good slug of coalition forces, and how they are parceled out and allocated within the country of Iraq is a matter for General Casey and General J.R. Vines to determine. They do it every day. And at any given moment, they're moving people from one place to another. That's their job.

    So the idea that someone in Washington -- or that because someone wishes they had more at a certain moment suggests that the total number is wrong, I think is a non-sequitur.

    Question: But are there enough troops --

    SEC. RUMSFELD: Obviously a non-sequitur.

    Question: But explain to people why more troops aren't needed. People look at the security situation, General Myers said --

    GEN. MYERS: More troops are needed. More troops are needed, and they're being provided by the Iraqis. And if you just think back, if you trace the number of Iraqi security forces that have come on line -- and to answer, partly, Bret's -- there's 178,000-plus of them, and every day when they wake up, they go out to defend their country, whether they're on the border or whether they're a brand new unit that's guarding a fixed site somewhere, they're at risk, they know they're at risk, they've lost a lot of their own members.


    OK so here are MY Questions (and real Rummy responses from yesterday)........

    Question: Operation Quick Strike recently conducted in the Anbar Province involved 800 U.S. Marines and 180 Iraqi soldiers. Since this was an important offensive involving several campaigns how come there were only 180 Iraqi forces involved if there are now 178,000 Iraqi forces available?

    SEC. RUMSFELD: I don't hint. .(laughter)

    Question: Uh? And this is funny to you guys? (looks at fellow members of press) Let me try another way. An Iraqi Army Division with about 8000 soldiers was stationed in Tal Afir region. How come there were only 180 Iraqis helping in Operation Quick Strike if there were thousands more available in North West Iraq?

    SEC. RUMSFELD: I think you're misstating what you hear from this podium --

    Question: Actually I don't understand what is said from the podium....But ....Mr. Secretary Joe Galloway a veteran war correspondent has said that "the new Iraqi force is heavily infiltrated by the very people that are the enemy, and it is so poorly trained and led that perhaps no more than 5,000 of them can be trusted to operate independently without constant American support and in company with American troops. That doesn't seem to support what has been said from this podium does it?

    SEC. RUMSFELD: There's always a risk when people grab into the middle of something, take the worst of what might be, and then wave it around as though it's reality.

    Question: Well don't you think you take best estimates and represent that as reality ?

    SEC. RUMSFELD: Obviously a non-sequitur.

    They Aren't Disappeared Now Are They

    From the BBC:
    Chile's ex-President Augusto Pinochet has called on court authorities to stop investigating his family after his wife and son were charged over tax fraud.In a signed statement, the 89-year-old said he accepted full responsibility for the matters under investigation.
    Lucia Pinochet and their youngest son, Marco Antonio Pinochet, are in detention after Judge Sergio Munoz charged them with being accomplices in tax fraud.
    Pinochet can protest all he wants. It's laughable considering all the people who "disappeared" under his regime. Now if only Henry Kissinger would be along with him in this NOW.

    August 10: One Day of Iraq

    A Day of Iraq in Pictures: (click on pic to enlarge)

    One Day In Iraq In Words:

    • Four soldiers operating with a New York-based Army National Guard division were killed Tuesday, and five soldiers and an American military contractor were wounded when insurgents attacked a patrol near Baiji, in northern Iraq, the American military said Wednesday.
    • A member of the Second Marine Division was killed Tuesday by small arms fire while on patrol near Habbaniya, a predominantly Sunni town west of Falluja, in Anbar Province, a redoubt for the insurgency.
    • A roadside bomb struck the American patrol in Baiji, an oil refining town, while it was investigating an earlier explosion in the area, said Sgt. First Class David Rhodes, a spokesman for the 42nd Infantry Division. The division has been overseeing security in four northern provinces since February.
    • As soldiers tended to the casualties, the patrol came under attack by small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades, the spokesman said. The contractor wounded in the attack was a dog handler, he said; dogs are often used by the military to detect explosives.
    • A high-ranking official in Iraq's Interior Ministry was kidnapped Wednesday in a predominantly Sunni Arab neighborhood of northern Baghdad, an Interior Ministry official said. Brig. Gen. Khudayer Abbas, who was also the security adviser to Ayad Allawi when he was prime minister, was kidnapped after leaving the offices of Mr. Allawi's political party in Adamiya.
    • In a village northwest of Kirkuk, gunmen opened fire on a surveying team that was delineating parcels of land to give to returning Kurds who had been deported from the area under Saddam Hussein's government, a Kirkuk police official said. The gunmen had killed a surveyor and wounded three others in a predominantly Arab village 22 miles from Kirkuk. Iraqi troops responded, and in an ensuing gun battle, one Iraqi soldier died and another was wounded. An American military unit encircled the village and began a door-to-door sweep, he said.
    • In the Baghdad suburb of Ghazaliya, a suicide car bomber blew himself up next to a patrol of Iraqi police officers, killing 2 officers and 4 civilians, and wounding 2 other officers and 14 civilians, an Interior Ministry official reported.
    • Insurgents also fired a mortar round into Antar Square in Adamiya, the same Baghdad neighborhood where the ministry official was kidnapped, killing a traffic policeman and wounding seven other people, the ministry aide said.

    • The Iraqi Ministry of Defense announced Wednesday that security forces had discovered and defused a car bomb in the upscale Mansur neighborhood of Baghdad.
    • The American command said it had concluded a weeklong offensive in the Euphrates River corridor in Anbar Province, where insurgents last week carried out a series of attacks against American forces, including two ambushes that killed 20 marines. But the results of the effort to choke off insurgent strongholds and supply corridors appeared modest, according to the final scorecard posted by the military: Soldiers discovered 9 vehicle bombs, 6 of them in a garage apparently used for rigging such weapons, and 28 improvised bombs planted on the side of roads or near buildings. The troops also detained 36 suspected insurgents for questioning, the military said.

    One Day. That is JUST one day. One day of WAR. Are Americans aware of how much violence occurs in this war each day? I don't think so. Does our media convey to us the daily violence and pain that is Iraq? No they most certainly do not.

    Wednesday, August 10, 2005

    Cindy Sheehan Support

    Rep. John Conyers say:

    I just spoke with Cindy (you can listen to a tape of the phone call here). While listening to the call is probably better than my recollection, I let her know how much I support her and that I think what she is doing is so enormously beneficial to the country. To me, what she is doing in Texas has the power to change Washington.

    I also told her that I am making a $500 donation today to the Gold Star Families organization. I want to urge you to donate at www.meetwithcindy.com if you can.

    Maureen Dowd is back and lays into Bush's handling of Cindy Sheehan:

    The Bush team tried to discredit "Mom" by pointing reporters to an old article in which she sounded kinder to W. If only her husband were an undercover C.I.A. operative, the Bushies could out him. But even if they send out a squad of Swift Boat Moms for Truth, there will be a countering Falluja Moms for Truth.

    It's amazing that the White House does not have the elementary shrewdness to have Mr. Bush simply walk down the driveway and hear the woman out, or invite her in for a cup of tea. But W., who has spent nearly 20 percent of his presidency at his ranch, is burrowed into his five-week vacation and two-hour daily workouts. He may be in great shape, but Iraq sure isn't.

    Let's Continue to Support Cindy.

    If you can Go to Crawford, do so.

    If you can donate money, do so:
    Donate to Crawford Peace House (PayPal now working)
    Donate to Gold Star Families for Peace

    Contact your elected reps:
    Contact Your Representatives
    Contact the Media, National and Local

    Sign Cindy's Online Petition (Link is down)
    A list of supplies that Camp Casey needs donated can be found here

    If you are a blogger participate in the Blog Swarm

    And be sure to talk to everyone (family, friends, co-workers) you can about what Cindy is doing.

    Harris Formally Announces:
    Blogger Does Same

    *Editors Note: NO Touch Up was done to this photo

    Rep. Katharine Harris formally announced her campaign for the Florida Senate by ripping into "liberals". That should read Sen. Nelson but of course the under handed Harris certainly couldn't be straightforward and honest. I can see nothing has changed since 2000 that would cause Harris to lose her special place in that cold dark corner of my heart.

    So I would like to formally announce my campaign to rid the political scene of this painted, thinned- skinned blight. Today I kick off the Blogosphere Payback Tour. More will be upcoming.

    Tuesday, August 09, 2005

    Ohio Groups Sue & Petition for Election Reform

    The Ohio League of Women Voters is "filing a lawsuit in federal court in Toledo that seeks to force Ohio to reform voting procedures that have become sloppy and disorganized over the past three decades, denying numerous citizens their constitutional right to cast ballots in federal elections." The League contends...
    These deficiencies include, the league contends, "widespread problems with the voter registration system, the absentee and provisional ballot processes, the training of poll workers, the organization of polling places and precincts, and the allocation of voting machines."

    The Toledo Blade Editorial board has thrown their support behind the League...
    While no voting system can function perfectly all the time, many of the barriers to proper election administration that have cropped up in Ohio can be weeded out if the League of Women Voters' lawsuit gets its proper day in court.
    Yesterday a group called Reform Ohio Now filed over a half million signatures to place 3 issues on the ballot that would reform voting pracrices in Ohio including...
    • change the way congressional and legislative districts are drawn
    • create a state elections board
    • lower the individual limit on campaign contributions.
    Voting flaws in last years presidential election and recent Ohio Republican party scandals are driving many in Ohio to assess voting reform. As one activist said, "We, the citizens, are supposed to drive the system, not the politicians. Elected officials now choose the voters, rather than the other way around."

    I can't say it any better than that

    Rumsfeld Wouldn't Answer Question
    On Ohio Unit Troop Request

    Yesterday I posted on a USA Today story that said the Ohio Marine Unit that suffered recent heavy casualties had repeatedly requested 1000 more troops. ( See previous post) Today in a press conference just concluded Rumsfeld was asked if this were true and were more troops needed in Iraq .
    Rumsfeld and General Myers continued to say we were getting more Iraqi forces but it would take time. They did not specify numbers and when asked how much time was needed they could not say. Rumsfeld never answered the question about the Ohio Unit and moved along to the last question when the reporter attempted to have him answer it.

    This USA Today story and the Pentagon response to troop levels I think goes to the core of why 61% of Americans are now dissatisfied with the Administration's handling of the war. Why isn't the press covering this?

    CNN's Intrepid Internet Reporters:
    Groundbreaking or Grave Digging?

    CNN's The Situation Room premeired yesterday featuring a new catagory of correspondent entitled the "Internet Reporter." Now I'll be honest I would be excited if someday my lowly blog got a nod from the Internet Reporters. I mean it is CNN after all. BUT aside from the fact that it won't happen, I mean I'm not Atrios after all, what would be gained other than a day of bragging rights compared to what is lost in the long term for "NEWS". Is news reporting on the blogs a good thing? I have many reservations and I love blogs. I'm a believer. Hell I'm a blogger.

    However I do not see context to what the Internet Reporters are doing. Most people watching CNN probably do not even know what a blog is much less their utility. As Judy Woodruff said of the former "Inside Politics" blog reporting... " We could tell more about who they are and where they get their information. The only thing stopping us from doing that now is time.” Well they certainly have time now (3 merciless hours of the hi-tech Situation Room). Yet there is no more context than when Abbi Tatton and Jacki Schechner were lowly blog reporters on Inside Politics. When Jon Klein unveiled this brainchild he said, “We want to demystify blogging. We want to peel back all those layers and also do a reading of the blogs that our audience doesn't have the time to do.” Well that is just all wrong I'm afraid because blogging IS multi-layered and it does require putting in time to be informed. Now if all you want is to be able to spout off in a conversation that the bloggers are all over topic X to impress someone as to how in tune you are, then yes catching a segment of the Internet Reporters will meet that need. But if you are curious about an issue and eagerly want to follow it's developments then No the Internet Reports will not do. Blogging is all about linking. It's hopping all over the blogosphere to pull in information, of which some is integrated into your view of the issue yet much of it is discarded.

    And there is alot to discard. Face it there is alot of crap on these Internets. People are free to say just about anything. Someone writes a post. Someone links to it. One link leads to another and another and soon people think the content along the way is true. The Internet Reporters
    have already been burned by this circle jerk on the so-called Air America Scandal.......

    From Dkos:

    SCHECHNER: Hi, Joe.

    Well, many of the conservative bloggers are talking about a New York investigation into the possible diversion of funds from an inner city Boys and Girls Club to the liberal radio station Air America. This started with Brian Maloney over at TheRadioEqualizer.blogspot.com.

    He picked up a small mention as part of a larger article in the "New York Daily News." And as part of that article, it turns out that the former CEO of Air America was also on the board of that Boys and Girls Club. And that's where the investigation continues right now into what sort of diversion of funds may have taken place.

    TATTON: Working with Brian Maloney on the store is Michele Malkin at MicheleMalkin.com. She's been really pushing it. This is a blogger driven story that she feels is not getting enough coverage in the mainstream media.

    Michele has been linking to statements put out from Air America on this case. What they're essentially saying is the funds in question that are being investigated were to previous business owners of Air America, that they have nothing to do with those preview business owners and so they are not responsible for what's going on here.

    The debate carrying on at DailyKos.com, whether webmaster of Air America, that's Adam Mordecai, is posting the most recent statement saying that they have no obligation to the previous business owners, but their still working with the Boys and Girls Club. And very much the Boys and Girls Club very much has the support of Air America.

    SCHECHNER: That did not stop the conservative blogs from posting all sorts of headlines like "Al Franken Steals Money From Kids and Old Folks" or things like JackLewis.net, "Liberals Stealing From Poor Kids." They really, you could take your pick of blogs on this one. That sort of vein.

    But over at the larger blogs like WhizbangBlog.com, they're doing what Michele Malkin and what Brian are doing, and they're looking deeper into the statement from Air America saying whatever the answers are at this point, it's not enough for them. And they are going to continue to push the investigation.

    Joe, we will send it back to you.

    So it was Maloney linked by Horowitz, then Hewitt and Malkin picked up Maloney and ultimately Hewitt's "trump card" was his use of the Internet Reporters....

    CNN's Inside Politics blog sp[ecialists [sic] Abbi Tatton and Jacki Schechner spent the entire second segment of today's show on Air America's woes.
    That's quite a circle jerk of supposed investigating into nothing but allegations that have been ably dismissed by Air America, NOW.

    Yes now. Time is different in the blogosphere. Things can blow up and die out in hours. Is it responsible for the Internet Reporters to cite a blog phenomenom at 3:00 when it is blown out of the water by 5:00 after The Situation Room has closed for the day? Will our Intrepid Reporters come on air the next day to retract their previous reporting. "Sorry folks it was Bullshit. This is live you know , bear with us." (Though I doubt they'd say Bullshit if ya know what I mean) I don't trust that would happen. Even if they would the damage has been done when those casual consumers lacking time to actually read the blogs watched the erroneous report but not the retraction. And don't kid yourself. With the nature of the blogosphere this could happen alot more often than Judy Miller mistakes.

    Isn't one of the complaints now that the quality of the news has greatly diminished due to the pressure to be first and fill 24/7 air waves? Do we want to accelerate that speed further? And hasn't the Plame Leak brought into question the use of anonymous sources? Do we want reporting on blog posts with possibly NO sources at all? Perhaps The Intrepid Reporters can address these concerns but again I am doubtful.

    So as much as I'd love to get a shout out from the Internet Reporters on CNN someday..... I am willing to forego the chance to call everyone I've known to brag I was on CNN, for the sake of preserving an already sinking American press. Besides I'd much rather get a link from Atrios and actually I'd rather read the blogs. Wouldn't You?

    Monday, August 08, 2005

    Gov't To Arrest Sheehan????

    From Dkos:

    "Cindy Sheehan, mother of Casey, is rumored to be arrested in Crawford on Thursday for being a national security threat."

    Ah is that going to look something like this???

    Past Time To Admit:
    Pentagon's Incompetence Is Costing Lives

    I believe we are well past the time that Pentagon officials admit that they have totally screwed up the War in Iraq. They did not listen to Gen. Shinseki who said we would need hundreds of thousands of troops for Iraq. Those kind of numbers certainly would have sobered Americans in supporting the war. Certainly the civilian leadership in the Pentagon have demonstrated incompetence along with some but certainly not all military leaders in the Pentagon. (See Post war planning was non-existent.)
    The effects of this incompetence is made obvious by the situation on the ground in Iraq.

    And today we learn this:

    HADITHAH, Iraq — A Marine regiment that took heavy casualties last week in western Iraq — including 19 killed from a Reserve unit headquartered in Ohio — had repeatedly asked for about 1,000 more troops. Those requests were not granted.

    In the article "Lt. Col. Lionel Urquhart, commander of the Reserve battalion said, "Yes, we need more forces, but what we need is more Iraqi forces." Let's face Reality. The Iraqi Army is virtually non-existent and does not solve the problem in the short run. In the long run it may even be an administration pipedream.

    The consequences are extremely serious. More US troops will die and Iraq will continue to spiral into instability. To let this situation continue (to cover Pentagon asses) is immoral and illogical.

    Not that I'm Complaining Mind You

    The Rove leak has lead reporters to ridiculous sourcing as of late. I found this one humorous from NYT ....
    But for the staff members left behind, (at the White House this month) it was not entirely quiet. "It's always something," said one administration official who asked not to be named because he did not want to be seen as complaining about the job. "Somebody's dying or something blows up or somebody issues a tape. We never really cool off that much."
    I'm not sure which is funnier though...that the source doesn't want to be seen as complaining or the nature of the complaints. Given the above quote, I guess about now the source is saying .......

    "Shit that Jennings guy died. More damn work"......

    Not that the source would be complaining though.......

    Sheehan Vigil Continues

    Cindy Sheehan continues to camp outside Bush's Crawford ranch waiting for the President to speak with her. She has received much attention to her cause with interviews by CNN, ABC and CBS. It will be interesting to see what happens later this week.....
    It is not clear how the White House will handle Ms. Sheehan. Mr. Bush usually comes and goes from the ranch by helicopter, but he might have to drive by her on Friday, when he is scheduled to attend a Republican fund-raiser at a ranch just down the road from where Ms. Sheehan is camped out. She will no doubt get another wave of publicity on Thursday, when Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice join Mr. Bush at the ranch to discuss the war.

    Thank You Mr. Jennings

    Sunday, August 07, 2005

    Why Did You Kill My Son?

    That is the question Cindy Sheehan (whose son was killed Iraq) wants to ask Bush. She says she will remain outside Bush's Crawford ranch until Bush talks with her. Two WH aides met with her yesterday but she said......

    "They were very respectful. They were nice men. I told them Iraq was not a threat to the United States and that now people are dead for nothing. I told them I wouldn't leave until I talked to George Bush."

    So she remains outside Crawford. I can not see Bush ever facing Ms. Sheehan. It is not within his character to do so. I'd like to think Bush will be very uncomfortable knowing she is camped outside his vacation home. I wish he would have the capacity to feel regret as our last Texan president did....

    But I know neither will happen.

    More at DKos
    UTI has an interview with Cindy Sheehan.

    Liberals Aim to Level the Playing Field

    From WaPo:
    80 wealthy liberals have pledged to donate $1 million each to the Democracy Alliance. The goal is to fund liberal groups to compete " compete with the potent conservative infrastructure built up over the past three decades."
    The Democracy Alliance will act as a financial clearing house. Its staff members and board of directors will develop a lineup of established and proposed groups that they believe will develop and promote ideas on the left. To fulfill their million-dollar pledge, each partner must agree to give $200,000 or more a year for at least five years to alliance-endorsed groups
    As alliance officials see it, many liberal groups are designed to protect an agenda that was enacted by past Democratic majorities -- as opposed to generating new ideas and communication strategies to win support from voters who do not belong to labor or other traditionally Democratic constituencies.

    There has been a flourishing of new, pro-Democratic think tanks and advocacy groups in recent years. Clinton administration chief of staff John D. Podesta established the Center for American Progress; former Democratic congressional aide David Sirota recently set up the state-oriented Progressive Legislative Action Network; and author David Brock helped create Media Matters for America last year, among others. All these groups are potential recipients of money from alliance partners.
    In addition, the number of liberal bloggers on the Web has been growing at a fast pace, and their blogs have become both central forums for debate over party strategies and hugely successful vehicles for campaign fundraising, including raising through online contributions more than two thirds of the $750,000 used in the surprisingly competitive House campaign of Democrat Paul Hackett in Ohio. Rosenberg has created the New Politics Institute, an organization that works with bloggers.

    I think this is a good move. Certainly competition for funds will create problems. But that is far better than the extreme differential we face now in competing with the conservative agenda.

    The Terrible Toll of War in Ohio

    This NYT article tells the story of the Third Battalion, 25th Marines, Fourth Marine Division from Ohio.
    47 men from this unit have died since May. The pain from those deaths has cut a wide swath and left many people questioning while others remain commited to the war out of respect for the ones lost.
    Even some former marines have begun to question those policies. At a prayer vigil for the 3/25 in Cleveland on Friday, Frank Faragone, who was a marine in the 1950's and whose son is a Marine gunnery sergeant today, said the United States should hasten the transfer of power to Iraqis and bring American forces home soon. "Insurgency is tough, you'll never get rid of it," said Mr. Faragone, 67, a retired police officer from Cleveland. "The answer is let the Iraqis take care of themselves."

    "Are you going to tell that mother whose son is in a casket that you don't believe in what they are doing over there?" asked Karen Parker, 43, of Cleveland, whose son is with the 3/25 in Iraq. "Do you know how that would hurt them? We don't have that right."
    Iwouldn't say anything hurtful to those who have lost a loved one to the war in Iraq. But I do have the right to question our leaders on this war. That is where the questions and protests must be directed.

    Please read the rest.

    Saturday, August 06, 2005

    Right-Wing Nuthouse Indeed heh

    Well I was waiting to see if there would be a reaction to Mithras' Conservative Blog Taxonomy (see my related post). Indeed via Michelle Malkin one finds Rightwing Nuthouse's Moonbat Blog Taxonomy. Here's what Rick Moran has to say about Eschaton commentors...
    ....... his “community” is the most vulgar, most obscenely obnoxious group of party hacks around. Black has been known to sic his minions on bloggers who displease him. A real class act.

    Rick do you mean like this????
    "If they nuke us, I'll be joining you and we'll execute General Order 24 (Terrorize and exterminate all Muslims) We'll light up the night sky with the fires of their mosques (breeding grounds for Islamic hatred)and water the grass with their blood. There will be nobody to stop the public from exacting our revenge. I hate to say this or even make comparisons but we'll make Krystal Nacht look like a square dance."

    Wrong! Because that is a comment from one Darth Vader in response to a Free Republic post by Rick Moran. The point...... I'm sure one could find extreme comments on any blog so no need to get in a tit- for- tat. However at Free Republic and LGF one would find comments like Darth Vader's to be commonplace. I don't know about comments at Rightwing Nuthouse as I've never studied them. I'll admit that. It is obvious Moran has never studied Eschaton comments though.

    I am a reader of Eschaton and a regular commentor. I am not a "party hack" (hard to find those at Eschaton)
    Nor am I "minion" to any blogger. For example I did this post all by my lonesome self and of my own free will. And when I am done I'll be moseying over to Eschaton and I'll probably mention this in the comments. Undoubtably people will have a good laugh and get a couple of digs in at Mr. Moran's ignorance ( with real class) and that will be it. No call for all out nuclear war will be involved I am sure.

    4 Years Ago Today

    Bush was on vacation at the ranch in Crawford. Facing him was what was thought to be an agonizing decision regarding Stem Cell Research.
    "White House advisors say Bush is torn on the issue, which represents perhaps the toughest political and ethical question he has faced since taking office."

    He told the press he'd make a decision when he was ready.
    He deliberated with Karen Hughes.

    And on August 9 his struggle ended with a televised National Address.
    He faced the nation and told us of his decision.
    He ended that with this line:
    "I have made this decision with great care, and I pray it is the right one."

    Today it is painfully clear that it was not the right decision to even be contemplating. All that care, struggle and prayer should have been spent on the PDB he had been given on August 6. But as Bush struggled with how to please "his base", Bin Laden mobilized "The Base" to action. As Bush fiddled his thumbs over a purely political decision, he left the nation unguarded and we were attacked. This is nothing short of incompetence. That he hasn't paid the price for it is inexplicable.

    Taft Golfed with Noe

    Golf, Golf & Golf. Oh how the pols looove their golf. (See earlier post) It use to be that one pictured scenes of government corruption taking place behind closed doors of smoke filled rooms. Now it seems to be out in the clear sunny skies on neatly manicured greens.

    So I'm not surprised that the Toledo Blade is reporting that Ohio Gov. Taft did golf with Tom Noe. He had failed to report that. Oh he did fess up a month ago that he had forgotten to disclose a few things. Records released today show that was about 20 golf outings, one of which was with Noe. Unfortunately the records don't show who paid for the outings. Noe is at the center of Ohio's coingate scandal. And...
    The Ohio Ethics Commission is investigating whether the governor failed to report gifts on his financial disclosure statements, as required by state law.

    Friday, August 05, 2005

    Friday Cat Blogging:
    Novak Edition

    Just let...



    This is Bullshit.

    A Novak Salute to Bullshit Over the Years

    LBJ is Bullshit.

    Jimmy Carter is Bullshit

    Dukakis ha...that is a Bullshit idea.

    Iran-Contra is Bullshit. Never happened.

    Ted Turner is Bullshit. Cable news my ass.

    Tables are Bullshit. Where's a podium?

    Tim Russert is Bullshit. Give me Larry Spivak.

    Begalia is Bullshit. Hey get this dyke out of here.

    Press is really Bullshit.

    This is Bullshit. Hey you give me that drink.

    This crowd is bullshit. Where's the bar?

    Autograph? Get that paper way from me. Autographs are Bullshit. But you can get me a drink.

    Mingling is Bullshit. Now let me drink in peace.

    Black women getting awards is Bullshit. Mmm nice ass.

    This young man is OK. But smiling for cameras is Bullshit.

    I love this Ash Wednesday look. But Easter is Bullshit.

    Cooper is Bullshit....you panty waist. Tell Carville to sit the fuck down. He's blocking my shot.

    You just want me to say Bullshit.
    I won't do it Asshole.