Saturday, October 28, 2006
Dan Rutherford is running for SECRETARY OF STATE.
Here in Illinois, the Secretary of State oversees:
1) drivers' licenses
2) license plates and titles
3) state corporate filings; and oddly enough
4) the Illinois State Museum.
[editor's note: Unlike in many states, the Secretary of State in Illinois does not oversee elections. That is done by an independent agency.]
While I do not wish to speak for my fellow team members, I believe we are on record here as strongly backing a "pro-life" Secretary of State's office.
We do not believe that abortions should be performed either while waiting for a drivers' license or while at the Illinois State Museum. We also strongly believe that license plates should neither be made from nor issued to aborted fetuses. Finally, aborted fetuses should not be allowed to incorporate.
A Halliburton subsidiary that has been subjected to numerous investigations for billions of dollars of contracts it has received for work in Iraq has systematically misused federal rules to withhold basic information on its practices from U.S. officials, a federal oversight agency said Friday.The contracts awarded to the company, KBR, formerly known as Kellogg Brown & Root, are for housing, food, fuel and other necessities to U.S. troops and government officials in Iraq and for restoring that country's crucial oil infrastructure. The contracts total about $20 billion...."The arrogance is astounding on the part of KBR," said William Nash, a retired Army major general who is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and an expert on post conflict zones. "It's time for Congress to step in, because this has just gone too far."
You see, Doc, it's not torture. Like you said, it's just the dunk tank
Because of the length of his 292-month sentence [Enron scumbag Jeff] Skilling is almost certainly eligible for no less than a medium-security institution, typically surrounded by a double-fenced perimeter and armed guards. Only those with 10 years or less to serve get assigned to the minimum-security "camps" affording the least restrictions.There is a god.
In medium security, inmates generally share two-person or three-person cells rather than the dorms or cubicles more common in lower-security settings. Every movement is closely controlled by corrections officers. Work and treatment programs take a back seat to the goal of maintaining compliance in a noisy, crowded environment laced with violent offenders....
For federal inmates, structure rules the day. They generally wake at 6 a.m., eat cafeteria-style at 6:30, then start their seven-hour work days around 7:30. Duties range from groundskeeping and maintenance to food service, spokeswoman Billingsley said. Pay ranges from 12 to 40 cents an hour.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Hennen: ... And I've had people call and say, please, let the vice president know that if it takes dunking a terrorist in water, we're all for it, if it saves American lives. Again, this debate seems a little silly given the threat we face, would you agree?
Cheney: I do agree. And I think the terrorist threat, for example, with respect to our ability to interrogate high value detainees like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, that's been a very important tool that we've had to be able to secure the nation ...
Hennen: Would you agree a dunk in water is a no-brainer if it can save lives?
Cheney: It's a no-brainer for me, but for a while there, I was criticized as being the vice president "for torture." We don't torture. That's not what we're involved in ...
If W had said this, the phrase "no-brainer" would be an easy target, but we all know that Cheney's alien brain is quite sophisticated. It's his heart that doesn't work right.
It's nice to know that waterboarding is apparently just like the dunk tank at the county fair, where the high school principal gets splashed a few times for charity. Frankly, I don't even see why that would get a terrorist to spill secrets, if that's all it was, unless they were the Wicked Witch of the West. So for waterboarding to be a useful interrogation tool, it has to be more than a "dunk".
Here's a picture, from the Washington Post of US soldiers waterboarding a North Vietnamese soldier in 1968. In an article, about the passing of the Military Commissions Act, we learned that
[T]he practice was "fairly common" in part because "those who practice it say it combines the advantages of being unpleasant enough to make people talk while still not causing permanent injury."
The picture reportedly led to an Army investigation.
Twenty-one years earlier, in 1947, the United States charged a Japanese officer, Yukio Asano, with war crimes for carrying out another form of waterboarding on a U.S. civilian. The subject was strapped on a stretcher that was tilted so that his feet were in the air and head near the floor, and small amounts of water were poured over his face, leaving him gasping for air until he agreed to talk.
"Asano was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor," Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) told his colleagues last Thursday during the debate on military commissions legislation. "We punished people with 15 years of hard labor when waterboarding was used against Americans in World War II," he said.
A CIA interrogation training manual declassified 12 years ago, "KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation -- July 1963," outlined a procedure similar to waterboarding. Subjects were suspended in tanks of water wearing blackout masks that allowed for breathing. Within hours, the subjects felt tension and so-called environmental anxiety. "Providing relief for growing discomfort, the questioner assumes a benevolent role," the manual states.
...Used to train new interrogators, the handbook presented "basic information about coercive techniques available for use in the interrogation situation." When it comes to torture, however, the handbook advised that "the threat to inflict pain . . . can trigger fears more damaging than the immediate sensation of pain."
In the post-Vietnam period, the Navy SEALs and some Army Special Forces used a form of waterboarding with trainees to prepare them to resist interrogation if captured. The waterboarding proved so successful in breaking their will, says one former Navy captain familiar with the practice, "they stopped using it because it hurt morale."
After the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, the interrogation world changed. Low-level Taliban and Arab fighters captured in Afghanistan provided little information, the former intelligence official said. When higher-level al-Qaeda operatives were captured, CIA interrogators sought authority to use more coercive methods.
These were cleared not only at the White House but also by the Justice Department and briefed to senior congressional officials, according to a statement released last month by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Waterboarding was one of the approved techniques.
Approved techniques, eh? In 1947, we prosecute the Japanese for doing it to us, now it's just a little dunk. Well, let's examine some other people who have used this "technique." Like the Khmer Rouge (and if ever there was a group of people one would want to emulate, it would be them).
From David Corn: The similarity between practices used by the Khymer Rouge and those currently being debated by Congress isn't a coincidence. As has been amply documented ("The New Yorker" had an excellent piece, and there have been others), many of the "enhanced techniques" came to the CIA and military interrogators via the SERE [Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape] schools, where US military personnel are trained to resist torture if they are captured by the enemy. The specific types of abuse they're taught to withstand are those that were used by our Cold War adversaries. Why is this relevant to the current debate? Because the torture techniques of North Korea, North Vietnam, the Soviet Union and its proxies--the states where US military personnel might have faced torture--were NOT designed to elicit truthful information. These techniques were designed to elicit CONFESSIONS. That's what the Khymer Rouge et al were after with their waterboarding, not truthful information.
That's an interesting conclusion – our government doesn't torture people (for that is what waterboarding is, not withstanding the delusional dunking theory) for information, it tortures them to get confessions.
Confessions lead to convictions.
Convictions lead to W and Darth and Rummy saying "We got the badguys, we'll keep you safe."
That leads to more Republican victories and more power for their small group of "elites". As with the Khmer Rouge and other dictatorships, power isn’t to be used to help the people, to protect the people, or any of the other standard functions of government. It’s used to keep those in power safe. It’s used to give those in power more power. And it will keep on doing that until stopped.
If we don’t stop it now, the mechanisms we have to prevent the torture and death of the many for the benefit of the few become more violent, more bloody, and more destructive to our world.
On November 7, vote. Vote not just to send a message, or to get rid of the corrupt or the evil (though those are necessary things). Vote to safe the weak. Vote to save our national soul. Vote to prevent the armed revolutions of the future, putting right much too late what we can put right now with our choices at the polls.
So the other day I was listening to Air America in the car. They were asking people why they were voting Republican. One person called up and said that they weren't, but they had asked friends who were that question. The response? "If the Democrats win, they'll raise my taxes by $25,000 a year." Now, those people must be making an awful lot of money for a tax hike to cost them that much, but it's clear what they're saying. The war, the death, the destruction, the removal of civil liberties, the disregard for the Constitution - all of it (not to mention the attacks on social programs, the growing disenfranchisement of the poor, the young, the old, and the sick) - is worth no more than $25,000 a year to them.
I wonder what price they would take. Twenty thousand? Heck, that's about $200 for every US soldier who's died in Iraq this month alone. That's pretty cheap, don't you think?
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Hint to "J"--if there was a market for your music, it would be on the air. Otherwise, try this newfangled invention called a "compact disc." They have them at the library where you go to talk too loudly by the magazines and to go to the men's room to make sure your pants are hiked up securely under your armpits. J., on your way--
Details here if you need..
DALLAS - Oil industry behemoth Exxon Mobil Corp. said Thursday its third-quarter earnings rose to $10.49 billion, the second-largest quarterly profit ever recorded by a publicly traded U.S. company.
BAGHDAD, Iraq - The number of American troops killed in Iraq in October reached the highest monthly total in a year Thursday after four Marines and a sailor died of wounds suffered while fighting in the same Sunni insurgent stronghold.
Perhaps he misspoke (what are the odds of that??) but if he really said what he meant to say, the [p]resident dramatically redefined the "mission" in Iraq. According to the commander-in-chief, "the ultimate victory in Iraq, which is a government that can sustain itself, govern itself, and defend itself..."
Democracy? Nah, not happening. Stability and self-defense is now the goal. Stability and self-defense, like......
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
HELD: Denying committed same-sex couples the financial and social benefits and privileges given to their married heterosexual counterparts bears no substantial relationship to a legitimate governmental purpose. The Court holds that under the equal protection guarantee of Article I, Paragraph 1 of the New Jersey Constitution, committed samesex couples must be afforded on equal terms the same rights and benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex couples under the civil marriage statutes. The name to be given to the statutory scheme that provides full rights and benefits to samesex couples, whether marriage or some other term, is a matter left to the democratic process.
Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
Oh, and Kurt Warner? Shut the hell up. Stem cell research might not have benefits for 15 years, so we shouldn't invest in it? Why don't you talk about something you understand - not science, obviously - like what it feels like to hold a clipboard?
MIAMI (AFP) - The top US general defended the leadership of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, saying it is inspired by God. "He leads in a way that the good Lord tells him is best for our country," said Marine General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
THE PRESIDENT: First of all, this is a different kind of war than a war against the fascists in World War II. We were facing a nation state -- two nation states -- three nation states [Editor's note: Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our three weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.... Our four...no... Amongst our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise....see below ] in World War II. We were able to find an enemy by locating its ships, or aircraft, or soldiers on the ground. This is a war against extremists and radicals who kill innocent people to achieve political objectives. It has a multiple of fronts.
As Rousing Rabble has pointed out, we have no definition of "winning" and no clear concept of either a workable goal or a strategy to obtain the same. We have a ghoulish, deadly game of--Calvinball.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
- AZ-Sen: Jon Kyl
- AZ-01: Rick Renzi
- AZ-05: J.D. Hayworth
- CA-04: John Doolittle
- CA-11: Richard Pombo
- CA-50: Brian Bilbray
- CO-04: Marilyn Musgrave
- CO-05: Doug Lamborn
- CO-07: Rick O'Donnell
- CT-04: Christopher Shays
- FL-13: Vernon Buchanan
- FL-16: Joe Negron
- FL-22: Clay Shaw
- ID-01: Bill Sali
- IL-06: Peter Roskam
- IL-10: Mark Kirk
- IL-14: Dennis Hastert
- IN-02: Chris Chocola
- IN-08: John Hostettler
- IA-01: Mike Whalen
- KS-02: Jim Ryun
- KY-03: Anne Northup
- KY-04: Geoff Davis
- MD-Sen: Michael Steele
- MN-01: Gil Gutknecht
- MN-06: Michele Bachmann
- MO-Sen: Jim Talent
- MT-Sen: Conrad Burns
- NV-03: Jon Porter
- NH-02: Charlie Bass
- NJ-07: Mike Ferguson
- NM-01: Heather Wilson
- NY-03: Peter King
- NY-20: John Sweeney
- NY-26: Tom Reynolds
- NY-29: Randy Kuhl
- NC-08: Robin Hayes
- NC-11: Charles Taylor
- OH-01: Steve Chabot
- OH-02: Jean Schmidt
- OH-15: Deborah Pryce
- OH-18: Joy Padgett
- PA-04: Melissa Hart
- PA-07: Curt Weldon
- PA-08: Mike Fitzpatrick
- PA-10: Don Sherwood
- RI-Sen: Lincoln Chafee
- TN-Sen: Bob Corker
- VA-Sen: George Allen
- VA-10: Frank Wolf
- WA-Sen: Mike McGavick
- WA-08: Dave Reichert
Illinois Governor - Rich Whitney/Julie Samuels (Green). When it came down to it, I just couldn't fill in the oval for Blagoyevich. After watching him and Topinka debate live, I'm still cleaning the mud off my clothes. He'll win, since the hangover from George Ryan is still very real, but I just couldn't in good conscience vote for him. Whitney's polling at 14%, and maybe the third party will make enough noise that the state parties will have to wake up some. I doubt it - they're as mentally active as John Stroger.
Illinois Treasurer, Comptroller, Attorney General, and Secretary of State - Alexander Giannoulias, Daniel Hynes, Lisa Madigan, and Jesse White (Democrat). They're all going to win, anyway.
US Representative, IL 15th - David Gill (Democrat). It's unlikely that he'll beat the incumbent, Tim Johnson, but I have to try. In 2004, it was 61-39, Johnson over Gill. If we make it closer, maybe the national party will get involved.
Proposition that the United States Withdraw Military Personnel and Bases From Iraq - In order to halt the continuing loss of human life and resources necessary to meet human needs at home, shall the United States commence a humane, orderly, rapid, and comprehensive withdrawal of United States military personnel and bases from Iraq? - YES. For crying out loud, yes, yes, yes, and one more time yes.
Proposition to request the House of Representatives to Impeach George W. Bush - Shall our representative to the U.S. House of Representatives be asked to support the impeachment of George W. Bush and Richard Cheney from office for misleading our nation to war in Iraq, for permitting the illegal use of torture, and for conducting domestic spying on U.S. citizens in violation of the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act? - YES. And then send them to the Hague, where they'll stand for war crimes, and then send them to Fallujah, stripped naked, covered in white phosphorus, holding a big sign that says "We hate Arabs."
Republican Representative Barbara Cubin (R-Wyoming) threatened to slap her libertarian challenger after a debate. That candidate, Thomas Rankin, has multiple sclerosis and uses a wheelchair. "My aide and I were packing up to leave the debate, and Barbara walked over to me and said, 'If you weren't sitting in that chair, I'd slap you across the face.' That's quote-unquote," Rankin said.
Limbaugh sinks to a new low
By Melissa McEwan
Michael J. Fox, who is suffering from Parkinson's Disease, made an ad for Missouri Senate candidate Claire McCaskill, a Democrat challenging Republican incumbent Jim Talent who does not support stem cell research. In the ad (below), Fox is seen exhibiting what is likely chorea, a movement disorder caused by the chronic use of dopamine agonists in relation of Parkinson's.
After seeing the ad, Rush Limbaugh, ever the despicable heap of shit, accused Fox of either deliberately going off his meds to exaggerate symptoms of his disease for dramatic effect or of simply "acting." I stated when I saw the ad, I was commenting to you about it, that he was either off the medication or he was acting. He is an actor, after all.
Wow. That's almost unbearably heinous.And maybe Christopher Reeve, another stem cell research advocate, isn't dead, either. He's just a really good actor. I wonder if it ever occured to Limbaugh that, even if Fox had gone off his meds, that Fox would simply have looked like the many Americans with Parkinson's who can't afford, or don't have healthcare to cover, the best meds (or any) to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's, so they look just like he does and worse. That's what the disease looks like. Not that Limbaugh cares while he's taking his loathsome cheap shots.
The White House has announced that it has cancelled its previous announcement concerning the use of "Stay the Course." From now on, the White House and all executive departments will use the phrase, "Keep on Suckin'!"
The announcement was made by Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki (below left) and Gen. George Casey (right)
Eric Alterman had this on Media Matters, but didn't know the source. Doc should appreciate it:
New Element on Periodic Table
A major research institution has just announced the discovery of the densest element yet known to science. The new element has been named "Bushcronium." Bushcronium has one neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 224 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 311. These particles are held together by dark forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. The symbol for Bushcronium is "W". Bushcronium's mass actually increases over time, as morons randomly interact with various elements in the atmosphere and become assistant deputy neutrons in a Bushcronium molecule, forming isodopes. This characteristic of moron-promotion leads some scientists to believe that Bushcronium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as "Critical Morass". When catalyzed with money, Bushcronium activates Foxnewsium, an element that radiates orders of magnitude more energy, albeit as incoherent noise, since it has 1/2 as many peons but twice as many morons.
Monday, October 23, 2006
From now on, the White House and all executive departments will no longer use "stay the course" to refer to our disastrous Iraq policy. Henceforth, when asked about our murderous quagmire with no possible exit strategy, we will respond:
Ooo eee,ooo ah ah ting tang
Walla walla, bing bang
Ooo eee ooo ah ah ting tang
Walla walla bing bang...
The left assumes nothing can be done because the left assumes the projection of American power cannot work because, in the left's view, America has failed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Hugh. Hugh, ol buddy ol pal. Hugh. H. You're not that bright, so let me cue you into a little something that we here on the left consider kind of useful: Reality. See, what we do (and see if you can follow me on this one) is "pay attention" to "what's happening", and then we "draw conclusions" based on "the facts."
For example, I might find out about something like that Afghanistan is producing their largest opium crops ever. Or that the Taliban is growing in power. And I might hypothesize that since we went into Afghanistan to get rid of the Taliban and cut off their access to opium, which funds their terrorist activities, and have apparently not done either of those things, that we have, indeed, failed. See, for me, success has something to do with meeting one's objectives. Not, as it seems to be with you and your hero, Drinky McCokefiend, defining one's objectives to mean "whatever's going on today." See, it seems from over here (you know, in the real world), that you might have intended for your blog to show off how smart you are. Instead, you're demonstrating how far up your own ass you can shove your head. Saying today that you have the blog to learn about how your small intestine tastes from the inside would be, well, idiotic. On the other hand, it would be consistent.
See, it's pretty simple. Once you can accept reality, and learn that the US has indeed failed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and sacrificed billions of dollars, hundreds of thousands of lives, and the freedom of hundreds of millions to do it, maybe you can breathe clean air again. Until then, take your arrogant fucking lies and go the hell away. Far, far, away. Take the treasonous murdering bastard masquerading as a human who lives in the White House with you. Stay there until you evolve into a life form with more brain power than you have. Something, like, say, a maggot.
Joshua 5:13 Now when Joshua was near Jericho, lifting up his eyes he saw a man in front of him, with his sword uncovered in his hand: and Joshua went up to him and said, Are you for us or against us?
Why we need a Republican Congress
With the election now weeks away, people in Illinois and throughout the country have to make an important choice. The choices are very clear as long as you are able to see through the fog of media madness of congressional pages and the anti-Bush news stories that fill the pages of newspapers and lead newscasts of TV and radio.
Every person who votes must think about a handful of very important issues. National security is No. 1 because nothing else matters if we and our families are not safe. With nukes in North Korea, perhaps Iran, and the war on terror, President Bush and Republicans have shown they have a plan and have executed the plan. We have been able to keep terrorist attacks overseas and not in our country. We have attacked terrorist leaders where they are.
The aggressive attack on terror and fighting them in Iraq as opposed to in New York or here in Chicago has been a success by any critical standard. It was Democrats who wanted to prevent the National Security Agency from monitoring overseas phones calls despite the success of the program in preventing attacks in the U.S.It was Democrats who wanted to kill the Patriot Act, which has given law-enforcement officers the powers they need to protect us from those who want to kill us.
It was Democrats who wanted an immediate withdrawal from Iraq, which would embolden terrorists to continue their attacks against us all over the world and bring it back home to us. Americans have to realize the consequences of paralyzing a presidency by sending to Washington a Congress that will go to war with the president instead of our enemies. It would be at the peril of our national security to do so.
The fact is we have an outstanding economic recovery since the recession that started in the last year of Bill Clinton and the downturn after Sept. 11, 2001. The stock market is now at record highs. Unemployment is low. Budget deficits are shrinking with the outstanding economic recovery that has been brought about by Bush's pro-growth economic policies. If you vote for a Democrat, you are voting for high taxes on everyone, not just the rich.
But even more important than that, by voting for a Democrat, you are voting to make our nation less safe. We live in a dangerous world. President Bush and his supporters in Congress are best able to continue to keep us safe.
And Matt, save a stool and a hat for Rick Pickren of River Forest, Illinois. Rick complains that the Tribune has not adequately covered Congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth's "total lack of support for the 2nd Amendment." Psst, Rick, ya think maybe she understands WELL-SETTLED LAW here in the 7th Circuit? That the 2nd conveys no individual right of ownership and is not a "fundamental right" for purposes of 14th Amendment incorporation? (I can explain that if anyone cares).
Rick. say hi to Matt and
2) PLEASE lose "God Bless America." Beyond the fact that it is grossly out of place at a baseball game, raise your hand if you think America is being guided by the light from above? Murderous wars for sport, torture--I think we're in line for "smiting" before "blessing."
Sunday, October 22, 2006
"Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man."
"Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons."