PicoSearch


BYTE BACK
KFNX1100AM Listen Live
Air America

BLOND AND HARMONIZED GETTING IT RIGHT AGAINST THE RIGHT sunraysix@excite.com

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?
Archives







November 15, 2003


LIKE, FILIBUSTERS TURN ME ON

Well, they've got Valley Girl (ake one38.org) excited in a salicious and satirical sort of way.

A little hot and bothered about it all. OK, she's just bothered.

And Then guess what happened.

Only a taste:
Texas judge Priscilla Owen. She, like, totally voted to restrict the size of buffer zones for Anti-Abortion protesters outside of abortion clinics in the Texas "Operation Rescue v. Planned Parenthood" case. Can she, like, be any hotter? Because god knows, when you're getting an abortion, seeing a bunch of people across the street screaming "Mommy Mommy Why Did You Kill Me?" just isn't good enough to bring down your buzz. They need to be right up in your face. It's their right.
Mississippi judge Charles Pickering. He like used to be like a total dweeb until like 1994 when a jury like convicted a guy of like burning a cross on a black families like, lawn. Ohmigawd! And he was totally like on the phone all night with the Department of Justice in Washington and asked them to totally refile the case so he like, wouldn't have to give the full sentence the law called for. GW Bush didn't let that stop him from nominating the guy to the second highest court in the country. But you might have made the same decision if you heard this guy rock an 18 minute long drum solo while covering Rush's "Working Man" like he did at the talent show at camp last summer. Dude!


Well, visit the site anyway, it like, refreshes eight or nine times, which seems to go with the top-of-the-page Aristotle quote.

This post brought to you because of these fantabulous guys and gals.





November 14, 2003



IT RIVALS NEWT'S BOOK

I'm sure too start me on the path of some type of enlightenement, I got an e-mail from an individual at the Ayn Clouter Web site - which if you want to look just type that in the engine we know as Google.

Her literary efforts rival Newt's great book of fiction,
1945.

Here is an excerpt from "The Blogfather." You're so vain, you probably thought ....

Well, I would post an exceprt if I didn't cototn on, late i might add, that this was some evil-underhanded way to get the other alliances at NZ Bear to get me to link to their showcase post.

Quite delicious, actually, but i only fell for it this far because I'm a newbie.

LOST? I have joined up with what appears to be a "let's all have a little fun" competition of blog popularity. Despite trepidation, I jumped in - to dip my toes deeper into blog culture (no doubt an oxymoron unless you're talking bacteria).

Shock and Awe is a member. So is Estimated Prophet. Both sites I already have links to. Mahablog is another admirable site. As is Democratic Veteran.



EMPTY PRINCIPLES - SLATE

Daniel Gross wrote a vacuous article titled Bobos in Purgatory where he said there seems to be a lot of Bush haters who have benefited mightily from "Bush's tax cuts."

And really, it is as empty an article as that - surprise that money doesn't rule everyonre's minds.

Slate article
here.
In fact this parapgraph seems to try and beak a record fo rthe most lies and disengenous thoughts packed into a parapgraph and I'm actually glad I didn't read it before sending off the e-mail below, otherwise I would have been less reasonable:
As an economic strategy, the tax cuts have plainly worked. People—particularly high-income people—are feeling wealthier and are buying more goods and services. But it's a questionable political strategy. Bush's tax cuts don't seem to have converted many Democrats, particularly the high-income Democrats who fuel his opponents' campaigns. Wealthy Democrats [ed: But not Republicans?] generally would prefer to pay less taxes rather than more, but they don't wake up each morning raging at the government's confiscation of their income. Their dander is far more easily aroused by attempts to stock the bench with right-wing ideologues, or by Dick Cheney's insistence on linking Saddam Hussein to 9/11, or by the general hash the president has made of trade and fiscal policy.



An e-mail I sent Mr. Gross, under the subject "Pretty Selective Nonsense." The Slate guys are actually pretty good about getting back, so if he replies I'll post - unless it's not worth it.
Daniel Gross,

I hope you do a Slate story on the thousands of Republicans who remain Republican and members of the working poor class, despite the tax cuts.

Your Slate article, made a point, but it was an empty one. It seemed to say, why have principles when you have more money? Especially if you're a Democrat.

Silly.



November 13, 2003

STAGING THE DEBATES

Senate debate on judicial nominees has fractious start
By Klaus Marre

The 30-hour debate on President Bush's judicial nominees began on a testy note Wednesday night.

After Republicans walked into the Senate chamber together to begin the extraordinary session, Democrats argued that their move was not a show of unity but rather a television stunt orchestrated for Fox News.

They pointed to a memo from Manuel Miranda, a staffer for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), which said:

"It is important to double efforts to get your boss to S-230 on time ... Fox News Channel is really excited about this marathon and Brit Hume at 6 would love to open with all our 51 senators walking onto the floor -- the producer wants to know will we walk in exactly at 6:02 when the show starts so they get it live to open Brit Hume's show? Or if not, can we give them an exact time for the walk-in start?"

Democrats had unsuccessfully attempted to delay the debate until 8 p.m. to allow the Senate to first complete its work on the VA/HUD appropriations bill.

But even after the debate began, Democrats kept the heat on their GOP counterparts. As Frist spoke on the floor, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) walked into the chamber with a sign that said: "I'll be home watching 'The Bachelor'," which elicited snickers from the press gallery.

Republicans also requested that Democrats remove a sign from the floor as Frist addressed the Senate. The sign indicated that Democrats have confirmed 168 of the president's judicial nominees since 2001 and have only blocked four. Democrats initially ignored the request, but later complied, as only the senator currently speaking on the floor is allowed to display any signs.

Republicans strongly criticized the Democrats' tactic to filibuster judicial nominees and hoped to highlight the issue in the marathon debate. Frist called the Democratic maneuver "dangerous new ground."

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) added that Democrats are treating Bush "in a ridiculous and unconstitutional" fashion. He noted that "hardly anything [on the Senate agenda] is more important" than the president's right to nominate judges.

See, you'd think this righteous and principled indignation that Democrats are being unfair - holding up four judicial nominees and letting a vote on 168 of them - was just about politics or someth ... Just a second, a call is coming in.

Well, that's a shocker, folks. I've just been told this IS all about politics and wasting time.

I've heard mixed reports on how this will look to the average American voter.

To my mind, i can't believe too many people give a rats ass about four judges, while it is very clear that the Republicans are holding things up to make a point about judges.

In other words, it will change a few Republicans minds who have a vested interest in the bills and business that are being delayed

BTW, is Orrin Hatch the stupidest fuck on the planet or what?




OPERATION IRON HAMMER - WHAT A BUNCH OF NAZIS

No really. As Jeremy over at Fantastic Planet
points out the Nazis had the exact same thing.

No the Rove administration is not a bunch of Nazis. Yes the coincidence is hilarious, in the way only screwed up military ideas can be.
The operation, known as Plan Iron Hammer, was the 1943 brainchild of Professor Steinmann of the German Aviation Ministry, who had pointed out the benefit of raiding selected points in the Soviet infrastructure in order to damage the whole.

Iron Hammer was meant to attack the Soviets' Achilles' heel--their electrical generation turbines. The Soviets relied on a haphazard system of electrical supply with no integrated grid, which revolved around a center near Moscow that supplied 75 percent of the power to the armament industry.

The Germans sought to destroy an entire factory system in one quick blow.





JUDGE MOORE NO MORE

He of the Top Ten Reasons the Ten Commandments should be on my court lawn" and the one wearing "I don't understand my job" T-shirt and cap, was kicked out on the unemployment line today by the Alabama court of Judiciary.

Just-the-facts ma'am AP REPORT:
URGENT
Alabama chief justice removed from office over refusal to remove Ten Commandments monument
Eds: UPDATES with background, detail from decision. Adds byline, photos.
AP Photos ALDM605,609,614

By KYLE WINGFIELD
Associated Press Writer
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore was removed from office Thursday for refusing to obey a federal court order to move his Ten Commandments monument from the rotunda of the state courthouse.
The state Court of the Judiciary unanimously imposed the harshest penalty possible after a one-day trial in which Moore said his refusal was a moral and lawful acknowledgment of God. Prosecutors said Moore’s defiance, left unchecked, would harm the judicial system.
Moore, a champion of religious conservatives, had been suspended since August but was allowed to collect his $170,000 annual salary. He was halfway through his six-year term.
Presiding Judge William Thompson said the nine-member court had no choice in its decision after Moore willfully and publicly ignored the federal court order. “The chief justice placed himself above the law,” Thompson said.
A federal judge had ruled the monument was an unconstitutional promotion of religion by the government. A federal appeals court upheld the ruling, and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Moore’s appeal. The monument eventually was rolled to a storage room on instructions from the eight associate justices.

This should actually be a day for all Americans to rejoice. But it won't be and Moore will be employed by some right-wing organization before the year is out.

But I feel happy that, if he broke the law, Moore should be penalized. After all it's clear he's beyond help and the likelihood fo recidivism is high. I'm sure, under different circumstances, ex-Judge Moore would feel the same way.




November 12, 2003

November 11, 2003


WHAT'S BUSH AFRAID OF?

Everything apparently.

Not happy with stiffling dessent in America (
free-speech zone, look it up), President Bush is a little scared that protestors in London might actually be heard. Under the guise of "could be a terror risk" Bush's advance people (who he could call off at any point so, yes, blame him) want to stop any and all protest in London during his visit.

London. A city of 8 million people who live in a country that is "WITH US" in the 2003-February 2005 Iraq war.

Read it and weep, ladies and gentleman.
Yard fury over Bush visit
By Patrick Sawer, Evening Standard | 10 November 2003
White House security demands covering President George Bush's controversial state visit to Britain have provoked a serious row with Scotland Yard.

American officials want a virtual three-day shutdown of central London in a bid to foil disruption of the visit by anti-war protestors. They are demanding that police ban all marches and seal off the city centre.

But senior Yard officers say the powers requested by US security chiefs would be unprecedented on British soil. While the Met wants to prevent violence, it is sensitive to accusations of trying to curtail legitimate protest.

Met officers came in for heavy criticism when banners were torn down and demonstrators prevented from coming within sight of Chinese President Jiang Zemin during his visit in 1999.

But with tens of thousands of protestors from around the UK set to join blockades and marches during the Bush trip, US officials are reportedly insisting on an "exclusion zone".

They say terrorists could use the crowds as cover to attack the President.

Secrecy surrounds his itinerary during the trip, which starts on 19 November. He will stay at Buckingham Palace and his staff want The Mall, Whitehall and part of the City closed. Besides provoking a civil liberties backlash, the Met fears such a move would cause traffic chaos and incur huge loss of business across the capital.

White House officials have already vetoed the traditional drive in an open carriage along the Mall. They fear it would make Mr Bush too vulnerable to attack or confrontations over British support for the US in Iraq.

Anti-war groups such as the Stop The War Coalition, and the Muslim Association of Britain, have made no secret of their wish to harass Mr Bush wherever he goes. But they insist they are only planning "non-violent direct action".

Met Commissioner Sir John Stevens said his force was facing "a very tough" time over the visit, which will see the biggest security operation ever mounted in Britain.

He told the Breakfast with Frost show a balance had to be struck between the President's safety and protestors' right to make their voices heard.

"We are on the highest alert that we have ever worked at," he said. "We are working two-and-a-half times harder than we did at the very height of the Irish terror campaign."

The Yard has cancelled all leave for the three-day visit and mobilised 3,800 officers for the £4 million security operation.

Civil rights campaigners say they expect draconian anti-terror rules to be deployed, although Sir John has assured them marches will be allowed and they will be able to use Trafalgar Square.

But the Met and the US Secret Service have reportedly agreed "rules of engagement" allowing Bush bodyguards to shoot anyone they believe is clearly threatening the life of the President.



With sidebar on Bush's posse (I can't spell entourage) and accoutrements:

• Up to 250 Secret Service agents.
• Up to 150 advisers from the National Security department and about 200 representatives of other US departments.
• About 50 White House political aides.
• A team of 15 sniffer dogs and their handlers.
• A personal chef and his team of four cooks.

Among the equipment they will bring will be:

• Two identical personal Boeing 747-200s and a third chartered jumbo.
• One personal US Marine Corps Sikorsky Sea King helicopter and a second A VH-60N, a VIP version of the Black Hawk helicopter.
• Two identical motorcades each made up of 20 mostly armoured vehicles, including the President's converted Cadillac Deville.
• The "football", a briefcase carried by a military aide which contains the launch codes for America's nuclear arsenal.


Plllllllllllllease tell me how I'm posting this only because I hate Bush and that somehow any true outrage I feel right now must be made up. Go ahead.





SHOSHANA JOHNSON - REMEMBER HER?

Jessica Lynch is a wonderful American.

I thought that after I heard about the rescue (go to the archives). I think that today as she is the toast of the town and receives the spotlight, awards, and the adulation and thanks of a nation -- except those rightwingers who really don't like her now and are being vocal about it. A work colleague - a reporter at a "liberal" newspaper - actually said, talking about Lynch: "It looks like James Carville was right about, if you drag $20 through a trailer park, who knows what kind of trash you'll pick up.)

The factually inaccurate movie? I didn't watch it. The book? I won't buy it, though if I see it in a thrift store in a few months I probably will.

The interview with Diane Sawyer? I'll record it and watch it.

But, through no fault of former (I think) Private Lynch, all eyes are trained on her and not also on Spc. Shoshana Johnson. You know, the dumpy black chick.

The woman who went through the same things, perhaps worse (who was also given 20 percent military medical benefits to Lynch's 80 percent, though I think that travesty was rectified).

There is no better way to illustrate this point then the shot I saw on CNN and elsewhere of Lynch, with crutches and full gown. The narrator was talking about how she looked fabulous.

And she did. A great smile. Happy and humble to be honored at the American Music Awards for .. something. What exactly I'm not sure.

But standing right next to her, unmentioned by all but CNN, was Johnson. Johnson was in regulation uniform, one that looked a little big on her. She did not look glamorous, but she did look like a soldier.

CNN mentioned that both had won the award. No one else - that I watched - did.

Let's take this two-part, three-question test:
Where is Pfc Lynch from? Where is Spc Johnson from?
Who has a TV movie? Who does not?
How old is Lynch? How old is Johnson?

I am the last person to cry racism (trust me on this one) but to me some type of subconscious or insitutional racism has to be part of the equation for this different treatment.

I am tremendously saddened by this. If I can find a way to send a letter to Johnson, I will and I'll let you know how, too. This country is better than that.

Shoshana Johnson is a wonderful American.




BUSH CAN BE INSULTING ...

And not just to your and the country's intelligence.

Turns out he can "dish out the insults." The press - or at least this dumbass writer - is so proud.
GREER, S.C.(AP) - President Bush is fond of doling out good-natured insults to people who share a stage with him. Monday, he proved he can dish it out and take it, too.

Bush headlined a town hall-style session Monday inside a BMW plant here, where his fellow speakers included Stephen Thies, president of a company that supplies steel to the automaker. Thies pointed out that his company, Spartanburg Steel Products, also makes beer kegs.

Bush said he suspected some people in his audience consumed alcohol - though he stopped drinking in 1986. Thies deadpanned: "Well, we did notice a dip in demand." The audience laughed, and Bush laughed along with them.

"Pretty observant fellow, aren't you?" Bush quipped.


Wow what an extraordinary wit. The set up, the timing. The delivery (I'm assuming as I didn't see). I'm flummoxed and bed-rocked. Little Johnny, bedtime story is over now. Sleep tight. What? Well, try.






November 10, 2003


SOLDIERS, WHITE HOUSE AND MEDIA AGREE

If only for a brief few hours and except for the dimbulb of one Gary Thatcher, communications chief for the U.S. occupation authority (which is???).

NBC was critized for filming an attack on a Baghdad hotel. When I read the first quote in newshole Howard Kurtz's WaPo column:
[S]ome U.S. officials in Iraq raised fierce objections and tried to block Miklaszewski and his cameraman from filming the scene. "The NBC journalists conducted themselves in a wholly inappropriate, uncaring and insensitive manner," says Gary Thatcher, communications chief for the U.S. occupation authority. "Instead of rendering or summoning aid, they focused on gathering video footage of people in agonizingly painful situations . . . in order to boost the ratings."


... I was going to chalk it up to another Rove administration flacky toeing the line. Turn outs, in this case, true, but others were more sane. The quotage goes on:

Says [NBC cameraman] Miklaszewski: "I realized they were very emotional, very upset, that they had been attacked. But frankly, we had a job to do -- cover the attack on the al-Rashid Hotel as best we could. We were being as unobtrusive as we possibly could. . . .

"Our impression was that this was an attempt to censor the news. This event shot holes in the administration's insistence that everything was going well in Baghdad."

Miklaszewski's defense of his actions is backed by White House spokesman Adam Levine and Pentagon adviser Kevin Kellems, who were present during the Oct. 26 attack. While Thatcher, in response to questions, says the wounded should not have had to "shield themselves from the probing eye of a television camera," Kellems says: "The NBC guys were under attack as much as we were. It's difficult to expect them to not turn on the camera and record history, as long as their bosses do the appropriate editing. Observing them from the eye of the crisis, I did not witness unprofessional conduct."


The defense gets stronger as it turns out NBC personnel did help out. The link
here.




IT'S ALWAYS GOOD TO BE REMINDED OF THE FACTS

A Manufactured Crisis on Judges - an editorial

Conservative activists have been demanding that Senate Republicans do more to push through the Bush administration's most extreme judicial nominees. So the Republican leadership is planning a 30-hour talk marathon later this week to protest the Democrats' blocking of a handful of candidates.

To up the public-relations quotient, there may be calls for votes on three controversial female nominees.

Lost amid the grandstanding about a "crisis" in judicial nominations are the facts: 168 Bush nominees have been confirmed and only four rejected, a far better percentage than for President Bill Clinton.

Bush administration nominees have been moving through the Senate at a rapid clip: in his first three years in office, President Bush has gotten more judges confirmed than President Ronald Reagan did in his first four. When Republicans controlled the Senate, more than 60 Clinton administration judicial candidates were blocked.

What conservative interest groups are unhappy about is that Senate Democrats are balking at a small number of nominees who lie well outside the mainstream.

How far outside? Janice Rogers Brown, a California Supreme Court justice nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, has publicly questioned incorporation, a well-settled legal doctrine holding that important parts of the Bill of Rights apply to the states. (At her confirmation hearing, she insisted that in fact she now accepts incorporation.) Alabama's attorney general, William Pryor, whose nomination to the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit has been kept unconfirmed through filibuster, called Roe v. Wade "the worst abomination" of constitutional law in our history.

The Republicans are expected to put the focus in this week's talk-marathon on three women: Justice Brown and Carolyn Kuhl, who have yet to be voted on by the full Senate, and Priscilla Owen, whose nomination has been filibustered.

Republicans will no doubt charge Democrats with sexism, as they have made accusations of anti-Hispanic and anti-Catholic bias in other cases. ... (there's two more paragraphs)


All this name calling? What would Ann Coulter say?

This brings out a point I've expressed here before. This time I'll do it a little differently. If either party wants their judges nominated why don't they try and pick people who aren't either 1) completely inexperienced or 2) Complete wackheads.

Someone with, oh I don't know, a good solid foundation in law and a history of decisions on which to base a federal judge nomination, without a history of letting their personal opinions be known to all and sundry.



WANT TO TAKE SCOTUS BETS ON DECISON?

Supreme Court to Hear Guantanamo Appeals

I really don't know and am not going to research this one now. However, this point below by (our allies in Gulf War II) seems to be compelling. In fact, it seems that the International Criminal Court (flawed and incomplete as it was/is) may have helped here if the US (and others) hadn't opted out.

Lower courts had found that the American civilian court system did not have authority to hear the men's complaints about their treatment.

"The United States has created a prison on Guantanamo Bay that operates entirely outside the law," lawyers for British and Australian detainees argued in asking the high court to take the case.

"Within the walls of this prison, foreign nationals may be held indefinitely, without charges or evidence of wrongdoing, without access to family, friends or legal counsel, and with no opportunity to establish their innocence," they maintained.

"The United States has created a prison on Guantanamo Bay that operates entirely outside the law," lawyers for British and Australian detainees argued in asking the high court to take the case.

"Within the walls of this prison, foreign nationals may be held indefinitely, without charges or evidence of wrongdoing, without access to family, friends or legal counsel, and with no opportunity to establish their innocence," they maintained.

Also Monday, the high court refused to hear another appeal dealing with the U.S. government anti-terrorism campaign. The court did not comment in rejecting an appeal from an Islamic charity whose assets were impounded three months after the terrorist attacks.

The Global Relief Foundation argued that the government put it out of business without proof that the Illinois-based charity was funneling money to terrorists. Since the attacks, the United States and other governments have frozen the assets of several groups they claim assist groups like al-Qaida.

Global Relief has not been charged with a terror-related crime. It has said that it provides humanitarian relief in about 20 different nations, mainly those with large Muslim populations. The case is Global Relief Foundation v. Snow.

Why one and not the other? I can't figure that out.





I WAS WONDERING ABOUT THE SUPERMARKET STRIKE

Afraid it had dropped off the map. Or hoping it had been settled.
Nope on both accounts.
For the cashiers and stockers on the picket lines, the fight to fend off large-scale concessions is a struggle to avoid being thrown into one of America's lowest castes, the working poor. But for the supermarkets, the confrontation, the biggest labor dispute in the nation in recent years, is a painful investment to ensure that they can survive against Wal-Mart and other low-cost rivals.

"The stakes are enormous," said Ruth Milkman, chairwoman of the University of California Institute for Labor and Employment. "If the employers succeed in their effort to extract large concessions, they will turn these into low-wage jobs, and other employers across the nation will see this as a green light to try to do the same thing."

The feuding sides appear to be dug in. On one side is the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, which for over 60 years has obtained such good wages and benefits that the region's supermarket workers can lay claim to being part of the middle class, or at least the lower rungs of the middle class. The workers' pay ranges from $7.40 an hour for baggers with 30 months on the job to a $17.90 maximum for cashiers.


My instinct is to protect people from being poor if they are making an attempt to live - which these people clearly are. There's nothing more demoralizing than being "theworking poor."

How does society benefit by turning these people out?

Also, the grocery chains in question may be making less money than before, but they are still turning profits.

I try and shop at Wal-Mart as little as possible, because of the way they treat their workers. I've done that for a few years. I do shop there occasionally - about four or five times a year. I also don't always find the best prices at Wal-Mart and I would never, under any circumstances, buy my food there. Or have my eyes checked. And I have never trusted them to touch my car or cut my hair. It's something about the quantity over quality ethos that gets to me.

There are some places where there are not many choices. But the supercenter's are always in places where there is competition. I'd think some people would chose to shop at places that had comparable, if a wee but higher, prices if they knew that there were people making a good living there. Those making the higher-range $17 an hour have been there many years.

Price is the No. 1 factor in the decision to buy and where to buy. But there are millions of people who have the slight luxury and/or the still-alive conscience to look elsewhere because the simple fact is, if you work for Wal-Mart you are not a happy person. At least every (yes every ) Wal-Mart employee I've ever encountered has been curt, dismissive toward those in the line in front of me - and me - and basically seemed unhappy to be alive.

You get that at other stores, but more often than not you have people who haven't forgotten how to smile. Call me an idealistic buffoon but that's worth something, right? It is to me.

update 12:31 Here's a much better way to save money than on the backs of workers - new radio tracking technology.