Wednesday, February 28, 2007

And (anti-)Smoking Makes Three.

Wow; talk about a triple play: first the death penalty, then assault rifles, and now a ban on smoking:

O'Malley's announcement came a day after the Baltimore City Council passed a bill imposing a smoking ban in public places in the state's largest city. Montgomery, Prince George's, Howard and Talbot counties have prohibitions, and once Baltimore's ban takes effect Jan. 1, nearly half of Maryland residents will live in jurisdictions that restrict lighting up.


If all three pieces pass, Maryland will definitely be on a progressive path.

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Bang-Bang

Maryland is going to debate a ban on assault rifles:

A federal ban on assault weapons went into effect in 1994 but expired 10 years later, Gordon reported.

Now, newly elected Maryland Sen. Mike Lenett is sponsoring a bill to ban assault weapons. The bill designates 45 kinds of firearms that would be banned, with a focus on rifles. Maryland already has a ban on assault pistols.

Lenett, a Montgomery County Democrat, said the weapons under the proposed ban are ill-suited to hunting or target-shooting and that they are "remarkably well-suited to killing a lot of people in a hurry."


My question is: other than killing people, what's the purpose of an assault rifle? There's no animal in Maryland that warrants having such weapons. Anyone who thinks they need an assault rifle to hunt...well, they're not really hunters.

And the whole "well, criminals won't obey the law, so why shouldn't we have assault rifles?" argument? Well, why can't we apply that logic to marijuana use? If people are going to break the law and smoke, than shouldn't we just make that legal too? You could use the same argument for abortions or gay rights or universal health care anything else that a cabal of people have deemed "destructive" for America.

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Break-In at New Hampshire

Just what we don't need:

Burglars have broken into Democratic Party headquarters. No, you're not having a flashback to 1972 and the infamous event that ultimately led to the greatest scandal in U.S. political history and the downfall of Richard Nixon's presidency...

...Office workers reported the break-in to police on Monday. Concord Police Sgt. Mike McGuire said some items were taken, but he declined to be more specific. The assessment was the same from Kathy Sullivan, the chairwoman of the state Democratic Party.


Hopefully, more information will come out in the next few weeks.

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Hey Buddy: You Gonna Pay For That?

If you've been spending the majority of your military life defending your country and trying to return home in one piece, the last thing you want is to be billed for gear lost or damaged during battles:


"I'm so proud to be in the military ... at the same time I just could not believe that when I got back after sacrificing so much that I owed the Army money," the soldier said.

This soldier got a bill for about $500 dollars for lost gear. Another soldier had to pay nearly $800 dollars for items such as trousers, a coat, a helmet which he lost during a year spent in some of Iraq's most dangerous towns.

"Maybe you were lying down with a coat behind your head and you come under fire. Your first reaction isn't to grab coat fold it neatly and make sure it's properly stowed when you're being shot at," another soldier said.

These two soldiers asked us to cover their faces because they're considering making a career of the military. They say the bills are a blow to morale.

"You've got the threat of people shooting at you, you're under intense stress and sometimes you have more important things to potentially think about than do I have everything with me," the soldier said.



The next time someone postulates what "hurts the morale of the troops," let them know about this story.

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Actors (and Actresses) Are People Too

From any other Goodwill Ambassador, this might have a huge impact:

It has become clear to me that there will be no enduring peace without justice. History shows that there will be another Darfur, another exodus, in a vicious cycle of bloodshed and retribution. But an international court finally exists. It will be as strong as the support we give it. This might be the moment we stop the cycle of violence and end our tolerance for crimes against humanity.


Alas, it comes from the passionate actress Angelina Jolie, and since mainstream media is more concerned with her personal life then her activism, chances are her words (and more importantly, her message) will be lost in The Shuffle. Of course, the same twisted logic doesn't seem to apply to celebrities like Chuck Norris (who, thankfully didn't endorse that horrid Path to 9/11 movie).

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Mother's Day Will Never Be The Same For Them

You can't make stuff like this up:

A woman admitted Monday that she coached her two children to fake retardation starting when they were 4 and 8 years old so she could collect Social Security benefits on their behalf.

Rosie Costello, 46, admitted in U.S. District Court that she collected more than $280,000 in benefits, beginning in the mid-1980s. Most was from Social Security, but the state social services agency paid $53,000.

It's stories like this that convince me that the ability to raise a child has less to do with one's race, religion or sexual orientation and more to do with whether or not they are a greedy, money-grubbing crook. Oh and the kids are grown now, BTW.

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Til Death Does It's Part?

MD Gov. O'Malley wants to have the death penalty repealed. As blue as the this state is, pulling this off will not be easy. For example:

Phyllis Bricker, a Maryland woman whose parents were killed by a man who was put on death row, said she wants him to stay there.

"It's the wrong thing to do to let people know that no matter what you do, no matter how bad it is, you will not have to die for it in Maryland," she said.

Those are the types of people O'Malley has to convince. He may even run up against ex-rival Bob Ehrlich (whose returning to to legal practice).

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"Because I'm overweight. I honestly cannot think of any other reason."

Apparently, 23 women from a DePauw University sorority were kicked out because of their race and/or weight.

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Monday, February 26, 2007

"These documents are all nonsense."

From the LA Times:

Although international concern is growing about Iran's nuclear program and its regional ambitions, diplomats here say most U.S. intelligence shared with the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency has proved inaccurate and none has led to significant discoveries inside Iran.

The officials said the CIA and other Western spy services had provided sensitive information to the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency at least since 2002, when Iran's long-secret nuclear program was exposed. But none of the tips about supposed secret weapons sites provided clear evidence that the Islamic Republic was developing illicit weapons.

"Since 2002, pretty much all the intelligence that's come to us has proved to be wrong," a senior diplomat at the IAEA said. Another official here described the agency's intelligence stream as "very cold now" because "so little panned out."

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You Make the Call

Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst: buddies bringing some inside joke out to the public during the Oscars, or secret enemies taking out their frustrations like David Robinson and Shaq in the paint during a playoff game?

You make the call!

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Stop The Presses

It's no secret that the media has been slacking a little during the Bush Era (I personally think they've just given up on getting good, solid answers from him and his people) but what the C&L crowd found just makes them (the media) look even worse.

Things would be different, I'm sure, if most of the media was independent and not owned or influenced by businesses more concerned with the bottom line.

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Please Take a Number

A preformance artist is in New York; and he's giving people a chance to kick the president in the butt. Seriously.

UPDATE: Looks like the show has been stopped.

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An Uneccesary War Can Do That

From the WashPost:

With Bush's approval ratings mired by the unpopular war, Americans trust Congressional Democrats over Bush to handle the situation in Iraq by a 54 percent to 34 percent margin. That is down from a 27-point gap before the President's address last month. The Democrats' lead has been tapered not by Bush gains, but because of a five-point increase in the number who trust neither the Democrats in Congress nor the President on the issue and an 8-point decline in their advantage among independents.

Maybe if Bush can show that he's actually willing to listen to Democrats and truly make changes in his policy, he might get back up to 40% approval rating. Maybe.

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They Like To Control, But Not Be Controlled

I was reading this little story and saw this blurb from Condoleezza Rice:

Rice said Sunday that proposals being drafted by Senate Democrats to limit the war amounted to "the worst of micromanagement of military affairs." She said military leaders such as Gen. David Petraeus, the new U.S. commander in Iraq, believe Bush's plan to send more troops is necessary.

"I can't imagine a circumstance in which it's a good thing that their flexibility is constrained by people sitting here in Washington, sitting in the Congress," Rice said. She was asked in a broadcast interview whether Bush would feel bound by legislation seeking to withdraw combat troops within 120 days.

"The president is going to, as commander in chief, need to do what the country needs done," she said.



This has nothing to do with hurting the military; we have generals threatening to resign if the saber-rattling with Iran goes too far, and the White House has said "all options are on the table." The policies in regards to Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and North Korea are all completely different, despite claims that three of these four were labeled "Axis of Evil" (Iraq, Iran, and N. Korea) and three of these four have been accused of helping support terrorism (Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran). So who's really doing the "micromanaging" here?

So it got me thinking: nobody in the Bush Administration likes being told what to do; they just want to boss everyone around. Every law or policy that gives them unchecked authority is praised as helping America, and every idea that they curb executive power is seen as harmful, or in Condi's words, a "micromanagement."

Which is why dissent, whether it's from a rival political party, or a liberal documentarian or a grieving mother (who doesn't want soldiers to face the same fate hers did) has been flamed by this administration. It's why they've hired a Press Secretary who obviously doesn't do his homework before he arrives. It's why the White House has to scrub their homepage so people won't be able to document all of the outrageously wrong statements that have been made in the last six years.

Doesn't anyone in the White House understand the concept of "checks and balances?" The whole "make laws/enforce laws/interpret laws" thing? The executive branch's job is the middle one, and for far too long the people in this branch have been overreaching.

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Class Reunion Will Be Thin This Year...

From the WashPost:

A suicide bomber killed at least 38 people and injured at least 44 more Sunday after detonating a belt packed with explosives at a college in northeastern Baghdad, according to wire service reports.

The bomber struck in front of the College of Administration and Economics in the Talibiya neighborhood shortly after noon, according to Col. Abdullah Salem, a spokesman for the Iraqi Ministry of Interior...

...The bombing is the second attack this year at a university campus in the capital, where officials in recent weeks have stepped up patrols and security measures as part of the Baghdad security plan.


"Second attack this year at a university in the capital?" And White House wonders why the media "doesn't cover the positives." How many "positives" can one find when schools are being blown up, houses are being raided and we still can't guarantee safe passage to the airport in downtown Baghdad?

We have to accept the reality of this situation: as long as we have a noticeable military presence in Iraq, the Iraqi people will never feel free, not matter how many times a White House official says otherwise. If we really want to achieve "victory," we need delegates, doctors, teachers and construction crews over there, not more tanks, bombs and bullets.

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

McConnell Hasn't Caught On

Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader, doesn't like the idea of redoing the Iraq War resolution that has America in it's current sitution...and he's prepared to do something to make sure the Democrats never get that chance.

He obviously didn't get the memo (aka, the 2006 Elections) that said the American people want a change in direction regarding Iraq.

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"If you can't get experts, it's really hard to do an expert job."

Or as the WashPost puts it: "Iraq Rebuilding Short on Qualified Civilians."

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Charley Rosen on the Cleveland Cavs

Rosen gives his thoughts on the 2006-2007 NBA team from Cleveland:

Here's another reason why the Cavs will not win a championship in the near future: During a game against the Clippers that was played on February 7, three of the Clipsters ran into each other and were sprawled on the floor when Sasha Pavlovic scooped up the ball and raced downcourt.

(It should be noted that Pavlovic has been playing terrific basketball lately, and has been a major factor in Cleveland's recent successes. There's no question that he's a hell of a player who's finally fulfilled his potential. But...)

Even though the Cavs had a 5-on-2 advantage, Pavlovic pulled up and launched a 3-ball that bounced off the rim.

That one play demonstrated the team's inclination to take short-cuts. That is, to take too many bad shots. To gamble too much on defense. To make too many risky passes. To blame losses on the refs, the coach's offense, the weather, and so on.

Winners always take responsibility whenever the ball doesn't seem to bounce the way they want it to. And winners always chose to take the hard road.

In other words: LeBron James won't be enough if players don't change their attitude.

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"I'm willing to manipulate the truth for these people."

"Deception and Desperation" is (still) the name of the game for some recruiters, at least the ones that were investigated in Philadelphia.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Tom Tomorrow Is "Da Man"

This is ridiculously funny.

Coexistence...or Collision?

In George W. Bush's World, change is only good of you don't change anything with his fingerprints on it.

We know ho he feel about challenges to his various nominees, no matter how it reeks of cronyism. It's a forgone conslusion that he'll have a hissy-fit if the Democrats undo his precious tax cut...even though having some extra money during wartime would be a really good thing.

So I can only imagine Bush's reaction when he hears that some Democrats plan to do a P. Diddy remix on his 2002 Iraq War resolution.

What are the odds that he'll say this move would help the terrorists? That it'll harm the morale of the troops? That it'll make America less safe?

If new version passes...would he abide by it, or pull out his "unitary executive" card, and put the nation in a constitutional crisis during wartime?

We have a Congress full of Democrats who aren't going to bend over to Bush's demands anymore; and we have a Republican President who, to date has only paid lip service to the concept of bipartisanship. Something's gonna have to give.

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Two More Years of This?


President Bush declared awhile ago that we're not leaving Iraq as long as he's in office. So assuming that the Demecratically-controlled Congress doesn't either impeach Bush or find a way to short circuit the war, we as a nation will have to deal with the physical and psychological wounds that soldiers endure due to extensive deployment. Wounds that in turn, will wound our nation's credibility around the world.

Wounds like those inflicted by Sgt Paul Cortez, who -along with three other soliders- participated in the rape of a 14-yr-old Iraqi girl and the murder of her and her family.

Wounds like those inflicted on Specialist Mark Wilkerson, who had enough of the war and deserted until he felt tired of running.

Two separate cases for sure, but two separate incidents linked by one thing: a war that didn't have to happen, and definitely didn't have to happen this way. A war that's weighing very heavily on the hearts and souls of our brave troops. But because Bush won't change his plans or even the tactics in his plan (adding more bodies is hardly a "plan" and barely a "tactic") we're going to have to deal with at least two more years of friendly fire, desertions, rapes and murders.

And at the same time, we're trying to convince a nation of people that we know the best way to help them create a safe and stable government.

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"Don't You...Forget About Me..."

Oliver Willis explains the importance of the black church demographic, in particular to the Democratic Party. If only the Democratic Party would listen.

Wearing Ties May Slow the Flow of Oxygen to Your Brain.

It seems like everytime Tucker Carlson wears a tie, he gets dumb. Apparently he thinks Barack Obama has just decided to speak about his religion in order to score political points. Of course, anyone who's read either of Obama's books would know differently.

Good thing Media Matters is around to clear things up.

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Jenny From the Block Gets Rocked

After so much political stuff, it's time to address some entertainment stuff: Jennifer Lopez gets booed. From Askmen.com:

According to reports, most of the audience voiced their disappointment by booing and jeering while others gave the movie a round of muted applause.

A source claims J.Lo fled the cinema in tears after hearing the cacophony of boos and is now said to be worried the movie will be panned by critics.

In 'Bordertown', the 37-year-old actress plays an American journalist investigating a series of murders near American-owned factories in Juarez and El Paso, in Mexico.


I know she's been in bad movies before, but to boo her out of the theater? That's pretty damn cold.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Not a "Surge;" More Like "Replacements"




Tell me something: what's the point of adding 21,500 more US troops when Britain's announcing that they will cut 1,600 in the next few months? Aren't these "extra" soldiers now just replacements-in-the-making? Even at a net gain of 19,900, you have to count the other countries who are considering a withdrawal, and the number of US troops who are dying on a daily -no wait- hourly basis.

Sure, you can argue that this may mean that Britain's forces have properly trained Iraqis to watch and guard their own provinces/towns, but that make the US look worse: Great Britain has been able to accomplish more then the US with less resources and the same amount of time.

Look for the White House to praise this move in public, but my money says inside they're calling Blair and Co. cowards.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Getting Lincoln Right


Democratic Underground explains how one conservative's comment (about anti-war supporters) suddenly became Congressional record and attributed to President Lincoln.

Well, DU mentions a true quote from Lincoln addressing presidents and war powers, and the full story can be found here.

As DU's EarlG puts it: "It turns out that the real quote by Lincoln expresses a completely opposite sentiment to the fake, pro-war quote dreamed up and bandied about by conservatives."

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Monday, February 19, 2007

It's Only a Little Consolidation...Right?

From the WashPost:

District-based XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. and New York-based Sirius Satellite Radio Inc., which together control the emerging satellite subscription radio market, today announced that they plan to merge in a $13 billion deal.

Mel Karmazin, the chief executive of Sirius, would become chief executive of the new company, and Gary Parsons, the chairman of XM, would become chairman, the companies said. They also said they would retain operations both in New York, where Sirius rents space, and in Washington, where XM owns a building.

Such a merger would face significant regulatory scrutiny and questions about whether a monopoly was being created and would take months to complete. The companies hope to complete the merger by the end of the year.

The companies were virtually identical, so this merger isn't far-fetched. On the other hand, I don't recall there being much competition in the satellite radio market.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

"We've done our duty. We fought the war. We came home wounded. Fine."

Conditions from "the Army's top medical facility" are not as good as some may think:

They suffer from brain injuries, severed arms and legs, organ and back damage, and various degrees of post-traumatic stress. Their legions have grown so exponentially -- they outnumber hospital patients at Walter Reed 17 to 1 -- that they take up every available bed on post and spill into dozens of nearby hotels and apartments leased by the Army. The average stay is 10 months, but some have been stuck there for as long as two years.

President Bush may want to consider the well-being of this soldier as well as the ones he plans on sending to Iraq for his "surge." As the story goes on to say:

On the worst days, soldiers say they feel like they are living a chapter of "Catch-22." The wounded manage other wounded. Soldiers dealing with psychological disorders of their own have been put in charge of others at risk of suicide.


It shouldn't have to be this way.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

What Will Bill O'Reilly Say?

Stephen Colbert gets his own ice cream; truthiness prevails!

Rush and O'Reilly have to be steamed, right?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Feith-Based Politics

Doug Feith tries to make his case, but DKos diarist litigatormom doesn't buy it (neither do I, to be honest).

Doesn't this guy know in the tech age people can debunk you 10X as fast? He'll be lucky to survive today's new cycle.

No Cameos


Dick Cheney and Scooter Libby changed their minds about testifying. I guess they realized they'd have to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

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Front and Center

Thomas Boswell doesn't do Wizard articles as much as he does the 'Skins and Nats, but when he does, Washington hoops fans should listen. This time he talks about the Haywood/Thomas wars:

How can these guys fight? They should hug before every practice and have a beer after every game. They're making each other wealthy by disguising each other's inadequacies. Thomas can set a pick and Haywood can shoot a hook. But neither man could survive playing 35 minutes a night at center. Both have high shooting percentages only because they seldom shoot beyond point-blank range. Neither even makes 58 percent of his free throws. When either touches the ball, the offense comes to a halt.

On defense, tall centers simply shoot over the wide-bodied Thomas while strong pivot men push Haywood around. Neither averages even one assist or one steal per game. Together, they constitute one competent shot-blocker. The reason the pair can combine for about a dozen points and rebounds on most nights is because, when they're in the game, they can expend all their energy and seldom pace themselves. Each provides the other with the rest he needs to stay fresh.

Thomas has the heart of a center while Haywood has the classic 7-foot, 263-pound physique. On some planet, there may be a machine that could meld the two men. But none is available in Washington. So these two ludicrous combatants should wake up every day and give thanks that they have each other as teammates. No two players in the NBA, if they saw things clearly, would appreciate the other man more. But they don't get it. Five-plus seasons of competing for minutes has blinded them. To evaluate their own games, they look at their paychecks instead of watching game films or confronting the facts on the stat sheet.

Amen. Anyone who's a fan of the NBA can tell you that if these guys don't try to get along, being a starter in the league will be the least of their worries.

Monday, February 12, 2007

"Would You Raise Your Right Hand..."

VP Dick Cheney may take the stand. Grab some popcorn.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

A Real Piece of Work


Crooks & Liars learns that President Bush's budget contains a request for almost $670 million for "US governement non-military propaganda."

Soooo...he's asking for federal money so he can spread propaganda to...us? Money that -since it's not for the military anyway- could go to more worthwhile programs?

What a piece of work.

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Not A Date They'd Want To Forget

Certainly not necessary for their calendar, but the Democrats included it nonetheless:

Included in the calendar is a Feb. 11 entry reminding House members of the anniversary of the day Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot fellow hunter Harry Whittington at the Armstrong Ranch.

I'd be careful; with the President being so unpopular, Republicans (both elected and not) are just aching for something to rally around. No matter how trivial it is.

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A Bad Seed? Maybe...

From Reuters:

If some children seem like they were born to be bad, new research suggests it may be true.

In a study of adult twins and their children, researchers found that genes, rather than parents' own argumentative behavior, seemed key in the children's odds of serious conduct problems — like bullying, skipping school and shoplifting.

The findings, published in the journal Child Development, touch on the classic nature-versus-nurture question.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

"Invade Iran. Then everyone will see how smart we are."

That comes from the President of Americans for Tax Reform, Grover Norquist, who quoted the thoughts of some neoconservatives at a recent meeting. ThinkProgress has the details.

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Now That's Committment

They're calling it the "eternal embrace":

Archaeologists in Italy have discovered a couple buried 5,000 to 6,000 years ago, hugging each other.

"It's an extraordinary case," said Elena Menotti, who led the team on their dig near the northern city of Mantova.

What a Difference a Year Makes

TPMmuckraker talks about how the Bush Administration's foreign policy has subtly shifted.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Teens and Sex

More parents may need to discuss both the pros and cons of sex with their teens, according to this story:

Researchers at the University of California San Francisco found that up to one-half of the sexually active teenagers in their study said they'd ever felt "used," guilty or regretful after having sex.

Though such feelings were less common among teens who'd only had oral sex, about one-third reported some type of negative consequence.

Tell Me: Who's the Enemy Again?

From CNN:

A man sentenced to death in Kuwait for the 1983 bombings of the U.S. and French embassies now sits in Iraq's parliament as a member of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's ruling coalition, according to U.S. military intelligence.

Jamal Jafaar Mohammed's seat in parliament gives him immunity from prosecution. Washington says he supports Shiite insurgents and acts as an Iranian agent in Iraq.

U.S. military intelligence in Iraq has approached al-Maliki's government with the allegations against Jamal Jafaar Mohammed, whom it says assists Iranian special forces in Iraq as "a conduit for weapons and political influence."

Monday, February 05, 2007

"Boom! Guessed Who Stepped in the Room?"

The Iraqis President Bush said we're helping are increasingly blaming the US for their misfortunes. I don't agree that America in general was responsible )polls certaintly show that a majority of Americans want US troops out) but when you hear some of their stories, you can understand their frustsration and anger:

I saw with my own eyes young children flying from the windows of the apartments on top of the shops when the explosion arrived,” said Haydar Abdul Jabbar, 28, a car mechanic who was standing near a barber shop when the bomb exploded. “One woman threw herself out of the window when the fire came close to her.”

Mr. Abdul Jabbar said he rushed to collapsed buildings trying to help the wounded but finding mainly hands, skulls and other body parts. At one point, he discovered the remains of a close friend, who was engaged to be married.


How would you feel if you were in this position?” he said Sunday. “The government is supposed to protect us, but they are not doing their job. I watch the TV and see the announcements on the imminent implementation of the security plan. Where is it for God’s sake?


I wish they would attack us with a nuclear bomb and kill us all,” he added, “so we will rest and anybody who wants the oil — which is the core of the problem — can come and get it. We can not live this way anymore; we are dying slowly every day.”


The truck exploded around dusk on Saturday at a market flush with crowded food stands. The crater from the blast was large enough to hold a sedan; the blast threw the truck’s gnarled engine block than 100 yards away.


Something tells me that when President Bush talks to Iraqis, he doesn't use the "we gotta fight 'em over here" speech.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Viacom Asks For A Recall

From the WashPost:

Viacom said that YouTube and Google had failed to deliver on several "filtering tools" to control unauthorized video from appearing on the hugely popular site.

The company was now asking YouTube to take the clips down, but stopped short of filing a lawsuit.

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The "A" Word

Again, Eugene Robinson says it so I won't have to:

Yes, I'm ranting a bit. But before you accuse me of being hypersensitive, try to think of the last time you heard a white public figure described as articulate. Acclaimed white orators such as Bill Clinton and John Edwards are more often described as eloquent.

What's intriguing is that Jackson and Sharpton are praised as eloquent, too -- both men are captivating speakers who calibrate their words with great precision. But neither is often described as, quote, articulate. Apparently, something disqualifies them.

That "something" it their blackness; these are men who grew up in the heart of the Civil Rights Movement: not just watching it on TV from the safety of suburban America, or debating it on the Sunday political program, but in it. The marches, the dogs, the hoses. Obama doesn't come from this, but he does have a cultural background that connects him to the African-American community. It's (one reason) why white politicians thought calling Obama -and also Condi Rice- "articulate" was...safe. But they don't get the connotation. Robinson goes on:

The word articulate is being used to encompass not just speech but a whole range of cultural cues -- dress, bearing, education, golf handicap. It's being used to describe a black person around whom white people can be comfortable, a black person who not only speaks white America's language but is fluent in its body language as well...

...Articulate is really a shorthand way of describing a black person who isn't too black -- or, rather, who comports with white America's notion of how a black person should come across.


Or in other words, "S/he's black how I like it." As long as Biden doesn't do anything stupid, like say, hold a press conference to announce he hired a black person for some random position (thereby "proving" that he's "down") he should be fine.

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I'm So Touched...

New York Times:

"Gov. Charlie Crist announced plans on Thursday to abandon the touch-screen voting machines that many of Florida’s counties installed after the disputed 2000 presidential election. The state will instead adopt a system of casting paper ballots counted by scanning machines in time for the 2008 presidential election.

Voting experts said Florida’s move, coupled with new federal voting legislation expected to pass this year, could be the death knell for the paperless electronic touch-screen machines. If as expected the Florida Legislature approves the $32.5 million cost of the change, it would be the nation’s biggest repudiation yet of touch-screen voting, which was widely embraced after the 2000 recount as a state-of-the-art means of restoring confidence that every vote would count."

Thursday, February 01, 2007

A Thing About the GOP

Republicans like two things: blind loyalty and critics who don't criticize. It's the absence of these two things that make Pollster Frank Luntz, who's worked for Republicans, a frequent visitor to the GOP doghouse of late. As Robert Novak notes:

Like those of Cassandra of ancient Troy, Luntz's prophecies of impending disaster have been both accurate and disregarded. Republicans have never been very comfortable hearing critics in closed conferences. He is not invited to such meetings today. "They do not want to hear the truth," Luntz told me. While truth-telling is celebrated by Republican reformers such as presidential front-runner John McCain, it is a decidedly minority view in the GOP.

Since this is such a good point, I'll let the fact that Novak himself said that the 2006 elections wasn't anything to fret about go.