Thursday, November 29, 2007

"We are where we are with the black folks..."

As Oliver says: Another Republican bigot eruption. And this one's a doozy:

Altes, who is white, wrote in the e-mail that he was in favor of returning illegal aliens to their countries, but "we know that is impossible."

"We are where we were with the black folks after the Revolutionary War," Altes wrote. "We can't send them back and the more we (anger them) [ed. note: that said "piss them off," I'm guessing] the worse it will be in the future.... Sure we are being overrun but we are being outpopulated by the blacks als

Am I confused, or did this genius just equate African Americans, whose ancestors were brought here as slaves, with illegal immigrats? Holy freaking crap. "We can't send them back." Holy shit. "We can't send them negroids back to Africa. We're stuck with em." And we better not piss them negroids off or they'll go all savage on us.

Holy shit. There is no way he survives this.


Lott's In-Law Lawyer Indicted for Bribery

Updating this story, the Picayune Item has details in the case of just-retired Trent Lott's just-indicted brother-in-law Dickie Scruggs:

The indictment accuses Richard “Dickie” Scruggs of conspiring to pay the judge $50,000 to rule in his favor in a lawsuit brought by other attorneys who sought fees for work on Katrina insurance litigation.

Circuit Court Judge Henry Lackey reported the “bribery overture” to federal authorities and agreed to assist investigators in an “undercover capacity,” according to the indictment.

Pdf of the indictment, via the Insurance Coverage Blog, where they also have much more in depth reporting.

And just a thought: If a prominent member of the Senate - who happened to be a Democrat - had two close relatives indicted on federal charges, how big of a story do you think this would be?

Still more from Slate.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Kissinger: Screw Congress

More Nixon/Kissinger docs released:
It's December, 1973. Kissinger is meeting with Rui Manuel Patricio, the Foreign Minister of Portugal which was then a dictatorship fighting against guerrillas in its African colonies. American law forbade selling weapons to Portugal to fight the Africans.

The Portuguese F.M. said Soviet MIG planes would soon attack a Portuguese colony, Guinea.

K: The Congress has passed laws this year against our own U.S. interests. It will be nothing for them to pass laws against the interests of other countries. You saw what they did about Vietnam.

FM: But this concerns our survival.

K: Congress doesn't understand this. They are only interested when it is a question of the survival of Israel…You don't have to convince me. We will do what is humanly possible, EVEN IF I HAVE TO SHOOT A FEW OF MY COLLEAGUES IN THE STATE DEPARTMENT.

FM: This is a question of life or death for us.

K: I understand. There is a prohibition against sending arms to you in Africa. We could only send them to you for use in Portugal and there is a prohibition against a diversion. We must send them indirectly.

"It will be nothing for them to pass laws," indignant, bastard, Members of Congress! How dare they?


Bill Clinton: "That's why I supported the Iraq thing."

He says now he opposed the Iraq War from the start.

His own words in 2004:

"That's why I supported the Iraq thing. There was a lot of stuff unaccounted for"...



Tuesday, November 27, 2007

FBI Raids Trent Lott's In-Law's Office

Thursday Update: More here, including link to indictment of Scruggs and others. [end update]


Federal law-enforcement authorities on Tuesday searched the law office of a high-profile lawyer who represents hundreds of Gulf Coast homeowners with lawsuits against insurance companies in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath.

At least seven FBI agents and federal prosecutors were searching the Oxford law firm of Richard "Dickie" Scruggs for a document that could have an "ancillary" connection to Katrina insurance litigation, a lawyer representing the firm said.


Scruggs is the brother-in-law of Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., who announced Monday that he will resign from office by the end of the year after 35 years in Congress.

Interesting timing, huh?

And here's an odd, related story:

Every eligible federal judge in north Alabama has stepped aside from presiding in the criminal contempt case of Mississippi trial lawyer Richard Scruggs, who is accused of disobeying an order by failing to turn over Katrina-related insurance documents to a court.

The 16 district judges and magistrate judges agreed to recuse themselves from the case at the request of Scruggs.

His lawyers contend none of them should hear the case since they are colleagues of U.S. District Judge William Acker, who initiated the criminal contempt prosecution.

Every judge? Because they knew the judge who initiated the charge? Could be right-on, just sounds weird.

***And who could forget this about Trent Lott and Katrina:

"Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house -- he's lost his entire house -- there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch."

-- George W. Bush, Sept. 2


Larry Flynt Drops a Trent Lott Hint


HUSTLER Magazine has received numerous inquiries regarding the involvement of Larry Flynt
and HUSTLER in the resignation of Trent Lott.

Senator Lott has been the target of an ongoing HUSTLER investigation for some time now, due to confidential information that we have received.


More at Brad Blog.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Friday, November 23, 2007

Things That Are Unconstitutional for $600, Alex

Forced confessions:

Texas Youth Commission inmate Airick Browning finds himself in a no-win situation.

The McKinney youth insists he's innocent of the attempted rape charge that landed him in TYC, and his case is on appeal. But the only way he can go home soon is to confess to the crime as part of his TYC treatment.

Welcome to the U.S.'d to be of A.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Punished Rape Victim Won't Be Silenced

You want a hero? Here's one:

A SAUDI woman sentenced to six months in jail and 200 lashes despite [for] being gang raped has vowed to challenge the ruling in a case that has received wide publicity, embarrassing the Saudi Government.

Say it plainly: the Saudi leaders are in matters regarding women's rights backwards, brain-damaged thugs. This is not about religion or about the freedom to practice religion or about respecting the religions of others. This is about inhuman thuggery. The world has to say that plainly and condemn this.



Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Few, the Proud, the Totally Screwed

Bushian style Support the Troops!

To get people to sign up, the military gives enlistment bonuses up to $30,000 in some cases.

Now men and women who have lost arms, legs, eyesight, hearing and can no longer serve are being ordered to pay some of that money back.

Call it a stark and simple allegory representing the core beliefs of the Modern Republican Party.


Friday, November 16, 2007


Alaska senator Ted Stevens has Josh Marshall quaking in his sneakers.

Better go watch the Alaska mucktacular! before the TPM team is iced. (Get it? Iced...Alaska? Nevermind.)


Thursday, November 15, 2007

This is Murder

These officers murdered this man. There is no other way to see it.

They went into that room already having tasering this guy in mind, as shown in the video, and within seconds did taser him, in response to exactly nothing like violence from him. Then they shot him again. Then he died. Then the cops lied about it, saying that he fought them. He didn't. They lied.

They murdered him, and they should be treated as murderers.


What Instaputz Said

More winning, Hollis Brown style.

And a great big WTF?

"This is a truly ominous development. The U of MD overseas program follows the military around the world -- thus clearly the contingencies for an occupation of several Middle Eastern countries is not only being contemplated, but actually set up."


Hollis Brown is Winning in Iraq

He can't hear anybody crying anymore. That means he's winning.
There's seven breezes a-blowin'
All around the cabin door
There's seven breezes a-blowin'
All around the cabin door
Seven shots ring out
Like the ocean's pounding roar


Support the Bridge Players!

When in doubt, throw a We didn't vote for Bush sign! It's better than trump!

And if you are ever in the presence of someone who casually tosses the word "sedition" around, ask them if they've heard of the Sediton Project. They'll say No.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Gitmo Revealed

Another Bush whistleblower, story here, here, and here.

The document was signed by Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller. According to media reports, Miller introduced harsh interrogation methods to Guantánamo, such as shackling detainees into stress positions and using guard dogs to exploit what the former head commander in Iraq Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez referred to as "Arab fear of dogs."
Miller visited Iraq in 2003 to share the Guantánamo methods. Soon after that visit, the infamous Abu Ghraib photos were taken.

As my good friend Ocho says, "There are no such things as empty cans of worms." More to come.


Sunday, November 11, 2007


Via BBC, a UN-affiliated internet vocabulary test that feeds people.

The game, FreeRice, tests the vocabulary of participants. For each click on a correct answer, the website donates money to buy 10 grains of rice.

Companies advertising on the website provide the money to the WFP to buy and distribute the rice.

FreeRice went online in early October and has now raised 1bn grains of rice.

It goes on as long as you let it, apparently, and I got sucked in for quite a while. I got up to level 46 - and as low as 35 (not good) - and donated 4,780 grans of rice. To someone.


Come and Get Your Wounded Knee

You're probably familiar with the band Redbone and the 1974 song "Come and Get Your Love." Big, simple, fun song, and a big hit in the U.S. All the members of the band, built around brothers Pat and Lolly Vegas, had Native American heritage.

A year earlier, in 1973, they had another hit song - one that you probably don't remember: "We Were All Wounded at Wounded Knee.

In this 2004 interview Pat Vegas tells how the song was basically banned in the U.S., and how it became a #1 hit in Europe.


Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Smartest Man in America Tells You to Shut the F*** Up

Because George W. Bush has taken us to Utopia.

So shut up.


Massive Flooding Heading for English East Coast?

Updates here.

Daily Mail:

Tens of thousands of householders are today preparing for some of the worst coastal floods in decades.

Sea levels could rise up to 9ft this morning along part of the East Coast, putting lives at risk.

Sea defences in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft could be breached around 7am, sending a torrent of salt water into the towns.

Let's ask Avedon. [Update: She hasn't heard much about it.]

Reminiscent of the Great Flood of '53.



Yellowstone is Crowning

Got vacation plans? Hope they're not here. [Or I hope they are. Could be a great, low turnout year.] In fact, maybe you should switch them to somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere.

If you're not familiar with the ginormous once upon a volcano that is a large section of Yellwstone Park and why this "swelling" business is significant, here. Happy reading.


Sat: Pacific Northwest Labor Arts Festival

Go to Labor Arts! I wish I could, but ill be working a few hundred miles away.

Headling act is the one and only Anne Feeney: unionmaid, hellraiser and labor singer.

Oh yeah, Anne has a blog, too.


Saturday, November 10th

Pacific Northwest Labor Arts Festival: Workers Unite With Art!
Portland State University
Cramer Hall Room 053
Portland, OR
Price: free!!!


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

[Updated] Beginning of the ENDA

Stop the presses! Something good happened in Washington:

The House passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) passed this evening with a 235-184 vote. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), on the verge of tears, one of two openly gay members of the House, delivered an emotional speech denouncing the efforts of conservatives who attempted to sabotage the bill with parliamentary manuevers. Frank received resounding applause.

Another view.


George W.: Musharraf Can't Be Me

Possibly just a Bushian verbal screwup, but you have to wonder if Bush understands the concept of civilian leadership of the military. Or his own position at the moment, as it were.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

"Is this our silver - or COW - anniversary?"

Uh, I think it's cow.


WSJ: American WWII Vets Acted Like Nazis, Japanese

Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal, in what has to be one of the most far-reaching and morally twisted arguments supporting waterboarding ever witnessed, says, just for starters, this:

The death last week of Paul Tibbets Jr., the pilot of the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in August 1945, is an opportunity to revisit the debate about the strategic value and moral justification of the aerial bombardment of civilian targets in wartime. It also casts some light on the controversy surrounding Michael Mukasey's nomination to be the next attorney general of the United States.

You'll probably need time to let that sink in.

Got it? The pilot of the Hiroshima atomic bombing plane died last week, so - GO, ATTORNEY GENERALS FOR TORTURE! WE'RE IN A WORLD WAR JUST LIKE WORLD WAR TWO! GO TORTURE!

It declines in sense and decency from there. My reply, which might get posted there, who knows:

Let me see if I'm understanding Bret Stephens:

• The Allies bombed German cities in 1943

• We also bombed Japanese cities - two of them with nuclear weapons

• It is therefore right to for Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey to refuse to call waterboarding torture

Ow. Seriously - ow.

A quick something jumps out: By Stephens' argument, Mukasey should not call ANYTHING torture. Note this excerpt:

"...where opponents argue that the technique is unconscionable and inadmissible underany circumstances, even in hypothetical cases where the alternative to waterboarding is terrorist attacks resulting in mass casualties among innocent civilians."

Substitute "waterboarding" with any of the following: electrocution, stabbing in the eyes with ice picks, strangling suspect's family members, bamboo shoots up the fingernails, forced amputation, anal rape...

None of them do any damage to Mr. Stephens' "results" argument. Can he say whether this is how he feels about all these techniques? And if not, can he explain how waterboarding is different than the other techniques?

Also: Mr. Stephens might want to think twice about what he's saying about millions of American WWII veterans when he so casually asserts that they are guilty of "lowering oneself to the level of one's enemies." I'm quite sure the majority would disagree.


Christian Students Eat Jesus Fish

Mmmmm, irony.


Two students and one Campus Life volunteer swallowed...

Oh dear.


Future Top Cop in U.S.: Law Schmaw

And if he doesn't get the job, he can always apply for the position in Pakistan.

Because what Mukasey said publicly when asked if George Bush was required to obey the law was:

That would have to depend on whether what goes outside the statute nonetheless lies within the authority of the president to defend the country

The top cop (soon to be, anyway) says the president of the U.S. might not have to follow the law. Please tell the children.

Oh and that torture stuff is cool too.


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Nobody's Fault

Avedon Carol from Chicken Yogurt:

When something goes wrong, say for instance, an innocent man is shot in the head seven times and then smeared variously as a terrorist, drug dealer and rapist, how is it nobody's fault? How can you blame an organisation as if it suddenly gained sentience and moral agency? When people stand up and say ‘It wasn’t me, it was the organisation’, isn’t that a tacit admission that something is broken, radical changes must be made or that, in the face of logic and common sense, the organisation has broken free of control of its human masters?

Rest in peace, Jean Charles de Menezes.


"Twin Survives Several Abortion Attempts!"

In Matt Drudge's world, the truth is like Playdo - something malleable, meant to be stretched and flattened and mashed and molded, and, most of all, something to be treated with the same respect you'd give a 99 cent toy.

The story that Drudge deemed worthy of that headline:

When doctors found that Gabriel was weaker than his brother, with an enlarged heart, and believed he was going to die in the womb, his mother Rebecca Jones had to make a heartbreaking decision.

Doctors told her his death could cause his twin brother to die too before they were born, and that it would be better to end Gabriel's suffering sooner rather than later.

So, doctors recommend to an expectant mother a course of action to save one of her babies, one that requires a deeply difficult and deeply personal choice. The course of action recommended, and agreed to by the mother: an abortion. And Drudge decides this would be a good anti-abortion story.

And the "several" abortion attempts:

Mrs Jones decided to let doctors operate to terminate Gabriel's life.

Firstly they tried to sever his umbilical cord to cut off his blood supply, but the cord was too strong.

They then cut Mrs Jones's placenta in half so that when Gabriel died, it would not affect his twin brother.

But after the operation which was meant to end his life, tiny Gabriel had other ideas.

Two. That's "several" in Matt Drudge's basement universe.

- Best of health and happiness to mom and two baby boys. It is a hell of a story.


Friday, November 02, 2007

CDBaby Break

Buy the CD
LITTLE THOM: Bottomfeeders
click to order

If you don't want a CD, you can find lots of digital links for your iPod or similar device there as well. (They're on the top right of this page in "Vital Links" too).

Thank you. Now back to our irregularly scheduled postings.


The Most Batshit Crazy Person on the Internet

Behold, Miss Beth.

She makes Malkin seem civilized. Hell, she makes Malkin seem like the Queen.


"Send Wounded Soldiers to Baghdad" [Updtd]

If you're not already convinced that the Modern Republican party has been hijacked by a bunch of broken sociopaths who have lost even a trace of human decency and thoughtfulness, check this or this out.

"Let's replace these reluctant Nellies with America's finest citizens," he said in a statement. "Our wounded warriors will serve our country efficiently, effectively and with undying patriotism."

In an attempt to diss State Department employees for their wholly understandable resistance to being sent to Baghdad - against their will - Hunter suggests we send guys and gals already wounded in Iraq back to Iraq.

What a freaking genius.

It's not like they haven't done enough or anything. Or that State Department vets are resisting the postings because they've determined that there's not a damn thing they can do in the mess that is Baghdad except be wounded or killed, so sending already wounded soldiers there might just be freaking idiotic.

God. What is wrong with these people?

UPDATE: Juan Cole says: "Time to Close the US Embassy."


Thursday, November 01, 2007

War is Greed is Good

One billion dollars since 9/11. Between 34 CEOs. Defense industry CEOs.

That's in the neighborhood, if split equally, of $29,000,000 each.

We must not fail

to understand

its grave implications...

"...whether sought ot unsought..."

Such a chilling and mind-blowing speech.


Rumsfeld on Policy: Terrorize the American People

This article, actually this article, is about Donald Rumsfeld's "snowflakes," notes he wrote - dozens daily - outlining policy. A typical one:

Make the American people realize they are surrounded in the world by violent extremists.

"Make them afraid so we can make more war." Nothing new, of course, but it's something to know that he actually thought about that, and wrote it down. And that the target was me. And you.


RW Blogs: Gay Sex is Now Officially Cool

No, they're not saying that, but I'm predicting that at some point they will. They have to. When, yet again, news like this comes out, and more and more people begin to silently wonder, "Are all Republican men secretly gay?"—the RW "real men" bloggers and pundits of all stripes will have to find some way to rationalize it.

They'll do this, I'm predicting, by officially making gay sex - but not being gay - a cool and manly thing to do. Once in a while. They will publicly announce that teh gay is not as icky and perverted as they used to pretend it was.

Teddy Roosevelt probably did it after shooting some huge animal, they'll say. (Hell, he might have even done it to the animal!) Greek warriors, we'll hear, got it on with boys to get ready for the rape and carnage of war. How manly is that? Ronald Reagan - the Best President Ever - probably did it in the White House! With a young Donald Rumsfeld! It's okay! It's okay! It's cool to get on your gay! Now and then, anyway!

You just have to remember to keep doing whatever you can to make sure that gay people aren't allowed to get married and stuff like that. That's part of being a manly man too.