Saturday, May 21, 2005

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On a Personal Note,
or maybe that should be personnel

I realize that the frequency of my blogging on Rain Storm has gone down significantly of late, especially since I became semi-homeless a couple of months ago.

No, I'm not sleeping on the streets, but I don't have internet access where I'm living, either. I'm sure some of you will say that's about the same as living on the streets. I do have a few local WiFi hot spots that keep me on line for an hour or so each day. But let's face it: that's not enough time to do good research and then blog about it. Compound that with the fact that I'm on the road more than I used to be (like today -- I'm in a cafe in California somewhere).

I could either continue as I've been doing, blogging a couple of times a week when I've got the time and the band width. But I've decided that maybe another solution might be better.

I'm considering adding a little diversity to Rain Storm by including one or more other bloggers to the masthead. Within the next few weeks you will be hearing from my friend Jesuit Witch (don't ask -- we all come up with our own weird nom de blogs, don't we?). She is a fierce and gifted writer with a sharp tongue, a bad attitude and a satchel full of blues. She'll fit right in.

Once we get the logistics of that transition worked out, other new faces may emerge, as well. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks for hanging in there through all the changes. I love you. As they say at the prayer meetings of the Church of the Higher Power, "Keep coming back."

Have a good weekend.


Thursday, May 19, 2005

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Rick Renzi's Little
anger management problem

Things turned ugly on the House floor (maybe that's a redundancy).

According to
Roll Call (subscription required -- I ain't got one), Representative Rick Renzi (R-AZ1) got pissed at a couple of moderate Republicans yesterday. Although Renzi's office denies that he perpetrated any acts of violence during the heated interchanges, it sounds like the former college football player nearly choked the shit out of one of his Republican colleagues.

By Mary Ann Akers,
Roll Call Staff

May 18, 2005

Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.) went haywire Monday night after finding out that some moderate GOP Members who favor embryonic stem-cell research did polling on the issue in his district without telling him.

Renzi, who opposes federal funding for stem-cell research, had some "choice words" for Rep. Mark Kirk (Ill.), the leader of moderate Republicans' Tuesday Group, when he spotted Kirk on the House floor, according to sources. After a few moments of tough talk, Renzi, who is a very big and strong man, got a wild look in his eye and appeared ready to shove or do other bodily harm to Kirk. Reps. J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.) and Mike Castle (R-Del.) intervened before Renzi had a chance to beat the daylights out of the more diminutive Kirk. Then somehow, sources say, Renzi got into it with Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-N.Y.). One source said they "looked like two bull seals going at each other."

At first, sources reported to HOH that Renzi had "choked" Kirk. But both Renzi's and Kirk's offices denied that assertion. Joe Brenckle, a spokesman for Renzi, described the incident as "a heated exchange between two Members after which Kirk apologized and my boss accepted his apology."

Matt Towson, a spokesman for Kirk, did not know anything about an apology. He described the argument as "a heated discussion." When pressed further about
whether Kirk felt assaulted, Towson said, "We're abiding by Ronald Reagan's Eleventh Commandment, 'Thou shall not speak ill of a fellow Republican.'"

The floor tussle wasn't the first sign that Renzi was riled up over the stem-cell polling being conducted behind his back by the moderate Republican Main Street
Partnership. According to sources, Renzi had called Castle on the phone earlier to complain about the polling, ending the conversation with, "You are ignorant and you can stick your poll up your [expletive]."

Castle's office did not return calls Tuesday seeking comment.

Seems like threatening moderate House Republicans ought to be a violation of the endangered species act, but the way BushCo has gutted the EPA, it probably doesn't matter any more.

Thanks to the amazing DL for the tip.


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

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Frist Flip Flops
says maybe one filibuster wasn't so bad

Think Progress via Josh Marshall, we see Bill Frist is stumbling all over himself, saying that his little vote to uphold the filibuster on a judicial nominee was okay because he only did it once.

I'll bet he didn't inhale, either.

Judd points out Frist's inherent hypocrisy:
So, Frist is arguing that one filibuster is OK. His problem is that several Bush nominees have been filibustered. This position completely undercuts Frist's argument that judicial filibusters are unconstitutional. (Which is, in turn, the justification for the nuclear option.) If judicial filibusters are unconstitutional there is no freebee.
If you're playing catch-up on the whole Senate Rules thing, Hunter at Daily Kos provides a good primer. Check out his Understanding the Republican "Nuclear Option."

And for my 2 or 3 regular readers (like the Federal guy in Alaska), I'll mention that I'm being a tad more productive today because I'm doing my laundry and I've found a laundromat that gets a signal bleed from the hot spot next door. Is this a great country or what?

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Who is Forcing the FBI
to divert resources from hunting al-Qaeda?

A radical wrong group funded by the food industry claims the FBI is being forced to divert scarse resources in order to track down domestic eco-tage groups such as the ALF and ELF.

According to a
May 17 press release by Consumer Freedom:
the FBI has been forced to pull precious resources away from the hunt for al-Qaeda to fund the crackdown on these groups' increasingly violent actions.

Writing in passive voice allows Consumer Freedom to get away with not saying exactly who it is that is holding a gun to the head of FBI decision makers and telling them to cut back on the hunt for al-Qaeda. One can only imagine.

And as though they felt the need to wave their wingnut credentials around, Consumer Freedom goes on to say:
Also alarming are the relationships these domestic terrorist groups have with tax-exempt organizations like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the Humane Society of the United States, and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
Ah, yes indeedy: fellow travelers. Beware of people being nice to animals. Makes me think of puppy love. Which makes me think of . . . Rick Santorum.

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National Corporate Media

The General sees the future of PBS, and he gives us a little preview.

And have I mentioned that I haven't listened to Morning Sedition since Jay Kernis kicked Bob Edwards off the show?

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One More Reason
to hate Wal-Mart

Corporate greed wins again.

After throwing hundreds of thousands of dollars in to a local referendum to overturn Flagstaff, Arizona's big box ordinance (see posts below), Wal-Mart eeked out a 51-49% victory yesterday.

The gross influx of out-of-town money made it the most expensive local election in Flagstaff's history.

If I ever buy anything at Wal-Mart again, please shoot me.


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

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Made Me Laugh

You can, too. Go read Top Ten Thoughts Going Through Vladimir Putin's Mind [when he let George W. Bush drive his car]... over at Daily Kos.

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The Coming War Crimes Trial

Billmon sees the future. Payback is a mo-fo. That's some C-Span I would watch.


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