Saturday, March 11, 2006

Coming soon!

Upon the closing of the notorious Abu Ghraib prison, Halliburton Inc. will open a new theme park at the site, "Six Burning Flags."

The attraction, to be operated by Halliburton's wholly-owned subsidiary, the United States Government, will include state of the art torture facilities for visitors to see, with luxury skyboxes available. Imprisoned inbred guard Lyndie England will pose for photos

and for an extra fee, will drag naked guests around the complex on a leash

Six Burning Flags doesn't forget the kids though--they can play interactive games to build their own naked prisoner pyramid

and try their hand at tossing used women's underwear on the heads of Iraqi prisoners

And even more--Six Burning Flags has built an entire village where the kids can break down house doors, yell at real Iraqis in a language the Iraqis don't understand, and point rifles at them loaded with live rounds! Talk about family values fun!

Attraction tickets are available now, and a special combo discount includes Uncle Rummy's Triangle of Death Unarmored Humvee Party Tour!

Taking a cue from the administration

Apparently the administration has officially replaced the word "American" with "coalition." We know the two mean the same thing, so I figure, why the hell not?

I need to pay my Coalition Express bill, and I'm kind of hungry, maybe I'll just grab a slice or two of Coalition cheese. I may watch some spring training baseball this afternoon, I think the White Sox will repeat as champs of the Coalition League Central.

Friday, March 10, 2006

The rats are starting to leave the ship...

I just love how this AP article begins....

WASHINGTON - Interior Secretary Gale Norton resigned Friday after five years in
President Bush's Cabinet and at a time when her agency is part of a lobbying scandal over Indian gaming licenses.

Nice lead, but now here comes the need for deconstruction

In a letter to Bush, Norton said the resignation would be effective at the end of March.
"Now I feel it is time for me to leave this mountain you gave me to climb, catch my breath, then set my sights on new goals to achieve in the private sector," she said in the two-page resignation letter.
Norton, who turns 52 on Saturday, said she and her husband "hope to end up closer to the mountains we love in the West."

Translation: I put my time in scuttling regulations and eviscerating environmental policy. Now is a good time to get out and start calling in my IOUs. Let's start with a really good gig consulting for a mining, logging or drilling operation out west. And then after the anti-lobbying period ends, I'll go back to Washington and represent the very same people I was supposed to be regulating.

A former Colorado attorney general, Norton guided the Bush administration's initiative to open Western government lands to more oil and gas drilling.
As one of the architects of Bush's energy policy, she eased regulations to speed approval of drilling permits, particularly in New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming's Powder River Basin.
She also was the administration's biggest advocate for opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge on Alaska's North Slope to oil drilling

Now remember this is the energy policy that was drafted hand in hand with the very companies to be impacted -- without ANY public input.

The first woman ever to head the Interior Department, Norton was a protege of James Watt, the controversial interior secretary during President
Ronald Reagan's first term in office. Watt was forced to resign after characterizing a coal commission in terms that were viewed by some as a slur.

By the way, people forget that James Watt was also a famous christian wingnut who believed that the (then) coming millenium signaled the rapture, ameggedon, and the final judgement, and therefore it was actually OK to rape the environment and allow special business interests carte blanche to befoul public lands (at pennies on the dollar).

snip to....

In 1996 she sought the Republican Senate nomination in Colorado but was defeated by Wayne Allard, who now holds the seat. Later she co-founded the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, a group that has become embroiled in the Abramoff lobbying scandal.
Abramoff pleaded guilty in January to federal felony charges related to congressional influence peddling and defrauding Indian tribes in Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas of millions of dollars.
The tribes were either seeking casino licenses or trying to prevent other tribes from opening competing casinos, and Abramoff on occasion represented both sides on the same issue, charging each hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. The Interior Department oversees Indian affairs, including tribes' gaming activities.
In e-mail exchanges that have been made public since his plea, Abramoff mentioned having an inside track at the department, and his clients donated heavily to the Republican environmental advocacy group Norton helped establish.

Perhaps there is a fly in the ointment. Can we clone Patrick Fitzgerald and send him over to Interior?

Norton met Abramoff in her office at least once and attended a dinner at which he was present, but aides have described the meetings as nonsubstantive.
Much of Norton's work at Interior was satisfying demands from governors and local officials in the West to have more of a role in how the federal government's massive land holdings are used and preserved.
The Interior Department oversees the government's ownership of one-fifth of the nation's land. Norton led the Bush administration's push for "cooperative conservation" — shifting more of the responsibility for land management and recovery of endangered species to states and local communities.
Norton also presided over the nation's park system and oversaw offshore oil and gas leases.
"There never will be a perfect time to leave," Norton said in her resignation letter to Bush. "There is always more work to do.

And more money to be made while the gettin's good.

Good riddance.

As goes Indiana....

President Bush losing support among Hoosiers
Survey: Bush's approval rating has dropped 18 points in Indiana over the past year
By Mary Beth Schneider

Indiana voted twice to elect George W. Bush to the White House, but an Indianapolis Star poll indicates more than half of Hoosiers now disapprove of the job he's doing as president. Only 37 percent of those surveyed last week think Bush is doing a good job as president, while 56 percent disapprove.

The poll, conducted from Feb. 28 to March 2, is based on the responses of 501 Hoosiers statewide.

How bad are the results for Bush? For a Republican in a red state like Indiana, very bad. The president's approval rating has dropped 18 points in Indiana since March 2005. [For more, go here.]

For those of you unfamiliar with the Hoosier state, that is like the Pope seeing a precipitous decline in the most recent Vatican poll.

Perhaps we are seeing the beginning of the unraveling of one of the most curious marriages this side of Lisa Marie and Michael Jackson--that odd alliance between CEOs who want tax cuts, cheap offshoring, environmental deregulation and curbs on product liability actions and the dwellers of movable domiciles who said that "President W's gonna help Jesus to keep two fellers from kissin'!"

We can only hope.

More vintage port

I am very curious about this whole ports deal.

As I posted below, I believe that the focus of this whole controversy was misplaced, that the REAL issue, more Bushite corruption and cronyism, was lost amidst the handwringing over 'security" and racism.

I also found the company's statement upon stepping back to be very interesting. First of all, it is based on an understanding that DP World "will not suffer economic loss." The question becomes, what is economic loss? From first-year contracts, there are several measures of damages. One is being restored to the position DP would have been in had it not made the deal (reimbursement for expenses, etc.) while another is the "benefit of the bargain"--realizing the profits that the party would have received from the deal. What are the odds that after a couple of news cycles, when America is once again distracted by NCAA basketball and missing young white women, that a sizable check from the United States makes its way to the UAE?

And also, what is a "United States entity?" Now not even the Bushites would be so brazen (I would hope) to have a company called, oh, let's say "Burtonhalli" or an outfit owned by, say, the "Lylecarl Group," as examples, do it. That said, the deal can easily be structured through levels of interlocking corporate relationships and private equity funds to benefit the same cronies who would have profited nicely from the original deal.

And of course, being a conspiracy theorist, I think we've been had. Now the GOP congress can go home in the fall and try to avoid the stain of a 34% approval rating by saying they stood up against the president for "homeland security."

Another proud citizen of the Retarded States of America

Benefits of Bush

Letter writer Kevin McClure writes that voters who elected President Bush into office have "blood on their hands" in regard to the Iraq war. I would like to say to him that it is not a crime to avail oneself of the democratic process. As a result of voting for President Bush, Saddam Hussein is out of power, is currently being tried for his atrocities, billions of dollars in aid have been given to the Iraqi people, and a free democracy has been constructed in which women are finally recognized to serve in government. A lot of good has come from the U.S. electorate putting Bush in office. If McClure chooses only to see the negative because it advances his political agenda, he loses sight of what the election process means.

Bill McCabe
Arlington Heights

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Variations on a theme....

Fron "buff guy" to:

Down With Dildos!
Two state legislators say no to sex toys

by John Spragens

Thank God the state legislature is back in session. When they’re gone, political columnists are forced to take up serious topics like the deputy governor lobbying subordinates on local political issues, U.S. national vulnerability to cyber-attack and the police chief threatening to storm out of a neighborhood meeting. But now that America’s dumbest criminals have reconvened their lawmaking body, it’s easy street for journalistic bottom-feeders to meet deadlines.

To wit: Senate Bill 3794 (House Bill 3798), legislation that would make it illegal to sell, advertise, publish or exhibit to another person “any three-dimensional device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs….” For that matter, if you offer to show someone your dildo collection—or possess a vibrator with the intent to show it to someone—you’d be violating this proposed state law. And don’t even think about wholesaling those three-dimensional sex toys.

Of course, as with all good public policy, state Sen. Charlotte Burks and Rep. Eric Swafford have included a few exemptions for responsible dildo-users. College students and faculty are allowed to enter the sex-toy trade—as long as they are “teaching or pursuing a course of study related to such device,” like Auto-Erotic Stimulation 101. Your doctor or psychologist will similarly be authorized to prescribe the regular use of a sex toy “in the course of medical or psychological treatment or care.” And finally, employees of historical societies, museums, public libraries and—wait for it—school libraries are allowed to traffic in devices named Thruster, The Emperor and The Horny Hare, provided they’re doing their official duties. That means the Carnton Plantation would remain free to put up that “Dildos of the Antebellum” exhibit Robert Hicks has been pitching.

What are you benching, buff guy?

(CBS/AP) Convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff says President Bush knew him well enough to joke with him about weightlifting. "What are you benching, buff guy?" Abramoff said Mr. Bush asked him.

"What are you benching, buff guy?" ????????????

I don't even have a comeback for that one. Perhaps as the president is fond of saying.."Fabulous!"

Further proof of Retard America

The online version of the Chicago Tribune published the letter I wrote below in response to a rant from dim-witted wingnut Dennis Byrne. I wrote (and it is black-letter constitutional law):

In Dennis Byrne's recent rant on immigration he wrote, "I might sound like a squirrelly policy wonk for saying it, but if the citizens of the United States don't get to decide who qualifies for citizenship and who benefits from government programs, then citizenship is made meaningless by denying them control over their laws and their spending" ("When illegal means illegal," Commentary, March 6). No, Dennis, you don't sound like a wonk. You sound like someone who knows nothing about constitutional law.

You write, "an 'undocumented' immigrant has no claim to equal treatment." That is just patently wrong. I would suggest, Mr. Byrne, that you pick up a copy of the constitution. I know that conservatives have little use for that document, but a quick read would show you that the constitutional guarantees of due process and equal protection apply to persons. Not citizens, but persons. Now that said, a complex body of Supreme Court litigation has developed concerning circumstances in which governments may constitutionally treat persons differently. To suggest, however, that illegal aliens do not have civil rights is absolutely and fundamentally wrong.

That however, is not the conclusive proof of Retard America. THAT came in the "reader comments:"

Here we have yet another person who is defending criminals. What about law-abiding citizens? Why do you think that criminals deserve the same rights as us, Peter?

Oh my God.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

On Barry Bonds...

Cubs manager Dusty Baker reiterated Tuesday he did not know whether Barry Bonds was using steroids when Baker managed the slugger in San Francisco.....asked if he would have said something to Bonds had he known Bonds was using steroids, Baker replied: 'had I known, definitely I would've said something. but I didn't know. Everybody was speculating about a lot of people.'

Baker is shown below:

A simple reminder to every American...

Wherever you live, YOUR district's seat in the House of Representatives is up for election this November.

Think about that vote, and what you say by it--please,

Let's open up our dictionary, shall we?

Civil war (noun) A war between factions or regions of the same country; a war between opposing groups of citizens of the same country .

Damn am I glad THAT isn't happening!

Supreme Court Non-Events and a Fearless Prediction

Remember, I listen to right-wing radio so you don't have to...

And the wingnuts have had a good ol' time with two recent decisions by the Supremes--Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights and Scheidler v. NOW. In the first, the court ruled that a law school association could not restrict military recruiting on campus because they objected to the government's policy on homosexuals in the military, etc.

Ladies and gentlemen, both decisions are of little significance, and the Bard of Avon may well have been describing wingnut radio when his Macbeth stated that "it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

First of all, the FAIR decision was absolutely correct and the original complaint by the law profs was absurd. They claimed that the forced inclusion and equal treatment of military recruiters violated THEIR 1st Amendment freedoms of speech and association. As new Chief Justice Roberts described it, "according to FAIR, the [access requirement] was unconstitutional because it forced law schools to choose between exercising their First Amendment right to decide whether to disseminate or accommodate a military recruiter's message, and ensuring the availability of federal funding for their universities. "

That is patently absurd on its face. This is law school recruiting, after all, not compulsory presentations, etc. This means the placement office puts up sign-up sheets and students CHOOSE to go talk to the recruiters. I find it very difficult to imagine how any 1st Amendment rights are violated by conducting interviews with willing students [I would appreciate Doc's input on this, and in the interest of full disclosure, I was recruited by and offered a lieutenant's commission in the U.S. navy JAG corps as a 3rd-year law student.]

But beyond constitutional arguments, the question becomes very simple--the statute conditioned acceptance of certain federal funds on access. The courts have routinely held that the spending power may be used to "encourage" conduct (speed limits, drinking age, Title IX compliance, etc.). Don't like what they are asking? Don't take the money. Simple.

On Scheidler--while Joseph Scheidler is a disgusting human being, he is not an extortionist or a racketeer, and that notion was the basis for the holding. The court simply held that the "predicate act" for a RICO violation, a violation of the Hobbs Act, was not sufficient because "physical violence unrelated to robbery or extortion falls outside the scope of the Hobbs Act." That's it--period. Nothing about abortion, nothing about Roe. It just deals with what I would agree was a very tenuous interpretation of RICO and the underlying operative statute.

And the fearless prediction--South Dakota.

NOTHING will come of this on the South Dakota abortion "ban." If challenged in federal court, it will end up in the 8th Circuit, and they will void it. NO circuit court is going to directly overrule Supreme Court precedent. The state petitions for cert, and surprise (or not)--the Supremes decline to hear the case.

Why? Simple. The Supreme Court re-affirmed Roe in 1992 in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (505 U.S. 833). So whatever flaws (and there were MANY) were in Roe, the court concluded again that the basic principles were right. SO--the court VERY RARELY directly overrules precedent. There is a tremendous concern for institutional integrity, which is impugned if the court walks away from a precedent just because of a change of membership. There would be no easy way out on this one, and the Supremes won't touch it.

Monday, March 06, 2006

The real threat to national security...

No, it doesn't come from some cave-dwelling Bedouins that President Chimpy wants to scare us with.

It looks like the administration is going to ask Congress to raise the debt ceiling...AGAIN. This is the express train to disaster.

"Alex, may I have 'Systemic Economic Collapse' for a trillion?'

Sometimes it is just too easy

I don't even need to comment on this one. Good God, I am amazed some people can feed themselves.

Respect Bush

I am appalled at the negative coverage our president has received. The media should report and remind people about homeland security and his efforts to keep us safe from terrorism.

I believe that people forget their history from previous wars, or they did not pay attention in school to understand the need for preventive measures to keep us free and safe.

Also the president should receive credit for the positive things he has done and continues to do. Instead there is this need to find imperfections in this "Jerry Springer" society.

President Bush and his family portray good moral character for our country, something that is desperately lacking. We need to move in another direction for the future generation, not glamorize immoral character like that of our previous president.

Bush should receive that same respect, as our leader.

Carolyn Jarackas
Harwood Heights

Sunday, March 05, 2006

A Tale of Two Republican Idiots

Pictured below are two Republican idiots. Besides being Republicans and idiots, they have another thing in common-they are the children of disgusting privilege.

So why bring up a deservedly forgotten Dan Quayle? Well, for one thing, a note to the Republican party--STOP NOMINATING IDIOTS. I also would like to apologize for my undergraduate alma mater for producing him, but he was a SERIOUS legacy (my daughter does her college radio broadcasts from a building named for Quayle's grandfather)

The major point COULD APPEAR TO BE that both are/were grossly unqualified for their jobs. THAT is indisputable. However, the difference is, by all accounts, and I heard people who knew him--Dan Quayle was a nice guy. Your "gentleman's 'C' student" who should have done what many of us did--manage a shoe store, own an insurance agency, be your average Joe who coaches Little League.

And then there is Drinky McTreason. We know he is an idiot, but he is an idiot where we CANNOT ACCOUNT for large chunks of his life. Unlike J. Danforth Quayle above, he is NOT a nice guy--"A very pissed-off George W Bush storms over to Wall Street Journal executive Washington editor Al Hunt at a Dallas restaurant, where Hunt is eating with his wife and their 4-year-old son. Bush shouts: "You fucking son of a bitch. I saw what you wrote. We're not going to forget this."

And people voted for him.....