Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs and Tucker Carlson. Put them all in a locked room together and they'll come up with separate conspiracy theories about liberals, islamofascists and illegal immigrants. Hey, as a bonus, these stories involve Ron Paul TWICE!
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BUZZFLASH EDITOR'S BLOG
Mark Karlin, Editor and Publisher, BuzzFlash.com
This is my fifth entry on David Sentelle, the Zelig of partisan GOP judges on the federal court. But as promised, I am going to spend one entry in this series introducing you to a partisan right wing sidekick of Sentelle's, Senior U.S. District Appellate Court Judge Laurence Silberman.Bookmark/Search this post with: buzzflash | delicious | digg | technorati Technorati Tags: EditorBlog Sentelle GOP Court Packing Silberman
Why do they hate our troops?
Here's what just happened on the Senate floor. As you know, the House passed its version of the Iraq funding bill a few days ago, providing Bush $50 billion for the war but with serious strings attached. The bill then moved over to the Senate side and before it could come up for a vote, GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell tried to bring up his version of the Iraq funding bill, which contained $70 billion for the war, no strings attached. McConnell didn't even consult with Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid about this, which is considered rather rude in the Senate. Democrats objected to McConnell's bill. Anyway, Reid responded by trying to bring up his Iraq bill for a vote, basically the same bill that passed the House. Republicans objected to Reid's bill. The objections meant that each bill would need 60 votes (out of 100 total senators) in order to even be brought up for debate. Both votes failed to get 60 votes. McConnell's vote was 45 to 53. Reid's vote was 53 to 45.
So in a nutshell, the Democrats were ready to give George Bush $50 billion for Iraq today and the Republicans killed it because they don't want to provide any oversight whatsoever. The Republicans think the war in Iraq is going great, and to prove it they just took $50 billion away from our troops.
The Republicans own this war. Remember that in one year when we're still in Iraq, we still haven't won, and the Republicans are still telling us that we need yet another six months to finally show progress.
"9/11 was a terrible tragedy and of course it goes without saying
that I grieve along with every American for everyone who suffered
and everyone who died in the catastrophe. But for those of us who
were spared, it was also an occasion to be brave enough to ask
some serious questions about America's role in the world."
Born November 16, 1977
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I didn't watch the debate. I gave up after about the third one because I saw where the format was going. Matt sums it up nicely this morning. It's all about the questions. These aren't debates, they're circus sideshows designed solely to entertain the moderators and provide meaningless, gotcha soundbites for the next news cycle. The voters learn virtually nothing about the candidates' postions on issues of importance.
On early review, this would seem to be the most meaningful moment of the night.
At tonight?s CNN Democratic debate, the candidates heard a strong warning against U.S. military action against Iran from Christopher Jackson, a Marine who served three tours of duty in Iraq:
I feel that if we continue on the path we?re at, that?s where we?re going to end up ? in Iran. And that?s not what our troops need. Our troops need to come home now.
Good news: Smithsonian acting boss Cristian Samper doesn't seem
to be a crook. Bad news: he does seem to be a political hack.
I am so steamed, I can barely think straight, let alone write. In this spluttering state, about the best I can hope is to make sure everyone at least is aware of the story.
Back in June I called attention to the hideous scandal in which the Smithsonian Institution, perhaps the country's most important public repository of knowledge and inquiry, had been enmeshed by the sleazeball ethics of the Bush regime's Old Right-Wing Boy network.
They found themselves a pip for the post of Smithsonian secretary--the institution's director. This piece of work, one Lawrence M. Small, negotiated himself a contract that should by itself have landed everyone involved in prison, a contract whose grotesque overgenerosity the slimeball defended as merely what his august services, in particular his fund-raising genius, were worth. But of course it was all a lie. He spent a fortune on his alleged fund-raising, and brought in orders of magnitude less than his predecessor had on a tiny fraction of the budget (including his own salary).
Even if the guy hadn't been stealing--oh, I guess I haven't mentioned that yet, but yes, he was stealing--his appointment and tenure at the Smithsonian should have been a crime of a magnitude not just to justify but to require impeachment of the whole frigging regime, every last scumbag and toadying hanger-on infesting the executive branch of the federal government.
But the fact is, he was stealing, every dollar he could lay his grubby paws on, and he unleashed an equally incompetent and dishonest second-in-command, Sheila P. Burke, to loot the premises of every dollar she could extract as well. It's amazing that with all the time the two of them spent bleeding the Smithsonian, they also found time to centralize all decision-making unto themselves, and to make sure that all institutional decisions satisfied the most benighted and delusional right-wing crackpots.
Unfortunately for them, they got caught up in the Republican Culture of Corruption's wee miscalculation: that you could simply lie, cheat, and steal to your heart's content, and there would be no price to pay. Not quite. The RCOC bred such greedy, sloppy, downright clumsy crooks that even investigators with the hunting skills of Vice President Cheney had to land some of them. And sure enough, just as investigators were closing in on the Smithsonian Two, the pair vanished into the woodwork.
You'd think they'd be rotting away for the next 10 or 20 years in some cushy federal penitentiary, in addition to making restitution for all the money they stole, but as far as I know, neither has been the subject of any further legal inquiry. I guess that's the Cronies' Blood Oath:
We take care of our own--er, up to a point.
Oh, naturally, there were some red faces among the regents of the Smithsonian, who were supposed to be overseeing its operation, and I guess they sort of were diubg so, to their way of thinking. They oversaw its politicizing and systematic looting by One of Their Own.
Well, the Smithsonian is back in the headlines. No, there's no indication that Lawrence Small's successor, Acting Secretary Cristian Samper, has been stealing. But internal rumblings about his stalwart politicizing of museum activities have now exploded publicly, as James V. Grimaldi and Jacqueline Trescott report in today's Washington Post: "Scientists Fault Climate Exhibit Changes." Their report begins:
Some government scientists have complained that officials at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History took steps to downplay global warming in a 2006 exhibit on the Arctic to avoid a political backlash, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.
The museum's director, Cristián Samper, ordered last-minute changes to the exhibit's script to add "scientific uncertainty" about climate change, according to internal documents and correspondence.
Scientists at other agencies collaborating on the project expressed in e-mails their belief that Smithsonian officials acted to avoid criticism from congressional appropriators and global-warming skeptics in the Bush administration. But Samper said in an interview last week that "there was no political pressure -- not from me, not from anyone."
Samper put the project on hold for six months in the fall of 2005 and ordered that the exhibition undergo further review by higher-level officials in other government agencies. Samper also asked for changes in the script and the sequence of the exhibit's panels to move the discussion of recent climate change further back in the presentation, records also show. The exhibit opened in April 2006 and closed in November of that year.
Before Samper's review, the exhibit's introduction panel stated, "Over the past 50 years, the average temperatures across the Arctic have risen by nearly twice as much as the global average." After Samper asked for changes, the entrance panel read, "The Earth's climate is changing -- and it always has."
On the fourth panel of the exhibit, this phrase was deleted: "If you want to see what the rest of the planet is going to see in the next generation, watch out for the Arctic in the next five to 10 years." That sentence was replaced with, "A warming Arctic may spur dramatic changes at the top of our planet."
Samper, a candidate to become the 12th secretary of the Smithsonian following the ouster of Lawrence Small earlier this year, is scheduled to meet with the Board of Regents on Monday as they prepare to discuss another controversy: a $5 million donation from the American Petroleum Institute to fund the Natural History Museum's Ocean Initiative exhibit hall and Web site. Samper approved the gift offer and sent it to the regents, where final approval rests. Two leading regents have raised questions about the appearance of oil companies donating to a major marine exhibition.
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We're going to pay a serious price some day for supporting these despots. Then again, the world does nothing about the villains running China because China is too big to push around. Saudi Arabia falls in the same category because of their oil. Still, it grows tiring reading about Saudi Arabia's role in September 11, their continued support for extremism, and now this. And it's not just Saudi - Dubai is just as backward, blaming a 15 year old boy for his own rape. I'm a nice multicultural guy who gets that each country has its own ways, but there are serious problems in a number of countries out there that can't be overlooked simply because tolerance is a virtue.
(Note: Due to technical difficulties in Lebanon, US Papers was delayed this morning.) Roadside bombs and American box offices are the big news of the day.
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nabbed from the Hubritic Anomoly
In a raft of cases where elected GOP closet queens have been caught trying to accost men in public toilets, Florida Republican Rep. Bob Allen, who was found guilty last week, was sentenced yesterday. The Associated Press reports that Allen "was sentenced Thursday to six months of probation for agreeing to pay for oral sex with an undercover officer in a men?s park restroom." He could have gotten 2 months in jail. "Besides probation, the Republican from Merritt Island also was ordered to pay a $250 fine, undergo sexually transmitted disease testing and is not allowed to return to Space View Park," where he offered to perform oral sex on a stranger-- who turned out to be a policeman-- and to pay him $20. Allen claimed he made the offer because he was afraid of Afican-American men.
There are several ironies here. The most obvious is that Allen, who like many Republican closet queens seeking to overcompensate for their self-loathing, acted out a virulent and hateful anti-gay routine in public and even sponsored anti-gay legislation. In most cases when you hear a politician screaming the loudest anti-gay slurs, you will find a demented closet case. (Current examples waiting to be outed and in desperate need of psychiatric case: Mitch McConnell, Patrick McHenry, Lindsey Graham.)
Also ironic is that Allen has been banned from the Titusville park he helped create. Allen's appeal for leniency was based on the indignity of the "national mocking" he has had to endure since trying to blow the cop.
"Over the last 120 days, you have been aware of the degree of public humiliation this charge has brought," the seven-year Republican lawmaker told Brevard County Court Judge Oscar Hotusing. "As I stand before you, I can say the totality of it all has been tremendous."