Saturday, April 21, 2007

Quote of the Weekend 

Mark Kleiman:
I know it's shrill and uncivil to call the Republican Party a collection of violence-intoxicated lunatics, but under these circumstances what's the alternative?

Second Place -- Lee Iacocca (okay, it's from his book):
Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, "Stay the course."

Stay the course? You've got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned Titanic. I'll give you a sound bite: Throw the bums out!
Third Place -- Josh Marshall
With apologies to my wife, I would not object if Sheryl Crow touched me. Yet another difference between me and Karl Rove.
Do follow the Rove link. It's a priceless example of what happens when Karl bumps into someone real who isn't buying his bully and brainwash bullshit.


Renzi's $4,000,000 Alfalfa Field 

Marcy at EmptyWheel sheads a little more light on the FBI investigation.

h/t to that dude in Hawaii.


Out there where the busses don't run 

I have frequently suggested here and elsewhere that Bush supporters and other wingnuts are in serious need of mental health services.

Glenn Greenwald brings it all home, with this tale of the Iraqi WMD that were moved to Syria, and how the whole thing was covered up by the Bush administration to avoid embarrassment.

Go read. It's hilarious and scary at the same time.

h/t Duncan.


WSJ has details on Renzi investigation 

Land deals. Land swaps. Campaign cash.

Thanks to Man Eegee for the tip off and Josh Marshall for the link.


Friday, April 20, 2007

If we just take our ball and go home, 

is that the same as losing?


Still a Dangerous Idiot 

Yeah, Bush.


Coat Hangers 

Given the batshit looney wingnut bent of far too many members of the Arizona legislature, I suspect coat hangers are in our future, as well as our dark past.

The wingers are going to jump on this bandwagon like flies on shit.


Liars and Fools 

Whether he is a liar, as some say, or a fool, as others contend, the consequence ought to be the same.
That really applies to the entire Bush administration, not just Abu Gonzo.


McCain can't sing . . . 

or raise cash.

Watch the video. Throw some coin.

UPDATE: Friday afternoon -- Now he's whining about it.


Abu Gonzo -- the day after 

"It is generous to say the attorney general's communications about this matter have been inconsistent,"
"There are some problems that he just hasn't handled well, and it might just be best if he came to a conclusion that the department is better served if he's not there."
"I urged you to put on the record the details as to all the U.S. attorneys you asked to resign so that we could evaluate. And you have not done that."
A truly stunning performance.


Wolfie -- Applies all his Iraq War Success 

to his leadership of the World Bank.
Wolfowitz is under fire for transferring and arranging a large raise for Shaha Ali Riza, his girlfriend, when he joined the bank in 2005.

Another report by the Pentagon's inspector general found that while he served as deputy secretary of defense, he personally recommended that Riza be awarded a contract for travel to Iraq in 2003 to advise on setting up a new government.
Just can't help wondering who hired him and why they still have a job.

UPDATE: Josh Marshall has more! Even Liz Cheney's in the mix.


Dancing in the Streets 

I had to do a bit of googling, but when I read about the Renzi raid, I wanted to find this gem from last fall:
I was going to stick my head into Slick Rick's Flagstaff office and advise his staffers that when the indictment does come down, they might have a little trouble getting to work, what with all the dancing in the streets of Flagstaff that day.
Prepare to Party.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Renzi Family Insurance Business raided by FBI 

Everybody broke this before I got it.

Think Progress has this. Kos has that.

Background on the two investigations we wrote in October here.


Time for Plan G 

(for Get the hell out of there).

Iraq war veteran Phil Carter explains it in terms even I can understand:
Gen. Petraeus and his brain trust have devised the best possible Plan F, given the resources available to the Pentagon and declining patience for the war at home. But the Achilles heel of this latest effort is the Maliki government. It is becoming increasingly clear to all in Baghdad that its interests—seeking power and treasure for its Shiite backers—diverge sharply from those of the U.S.-led coalition. Even if Gen. Petraeus' plan succeeds on the streets of the city, it will fail in the gilded palaces of the Green Zone. Maliki and his supporters desire no rapprochement with the Sunnis and no meaningful power-sharing arrangement with the Sunnis and the Kurds. Indeed, Maliki can barely hold his own governing coalition together, as evidenced by the Sadr bloc's resignation from the government this week and the fighting in Basra over oil and power.

Plan F will fail if (or when) the Maliki government fails, even if it improves security. At that point, we will have run out of options, having tried every conceivable strategy for Iraq. It will then be time for Plan G: Get out.
Meanwhile in Iraq: Suspected al Qaeda militants killed nearly 200 people in a wave of car bombings in Baghdad on Wednesday.


Counting the Dead 

Over at TPM Cafe, former CIA guy Larry Johnson compares the reaction to the Virginia Tech shootings with that of the daily death toll in Iraq, and asks some hard questions.


Huppenthal stalls Prop 203 Board 

Arizona Senate Republican Whip John Huppenthal is refusing to hold hearings on three of Governor Napolitano's nominees to the newly created Early Childhood Development Board. Those 3 nominees just happen to be from rural Arizona.

Huppenthal was quoted in the Capitol Times (subscription required, I don't have one. Maybe you do.) as saying:
. . .all nominees, while intelligent, are for him “of identical, like mind."
That is to say, none of them is a raving lunatic wingnut like Huppenthal.

Even some of Hupp's (pronounced: Hoop's) Republican colleagues in the senate were somewhat less than enthused by his leadership style. More from the Cap Times:
Sen. Carolyn Allen, R-8, called Huppenthal a dictator after the caucus.
“It is not fair for the whip to — because he has issues with certain people there — to pick and choose on his own, because down at our end of the table, we did not approve of that,” she said.

“And we did not elect him to be a dictator and we are going to readdress it … because it makes us look very small and petty and I’m not going to see it stand,” she added.

Huppenthal appeared taken aback by Allen’s description of his action as dictatorial.

“Well I don’t know. I’m going to have some discussions with the members. I don’t know about that. I let some of the ones out I knew had had extensive experience. And so that was a judgment call. And I’m very comfortable with the ones that I let go out,” he said.

“But it’s not a question really of which ones that are held. It’s a question of are we going to have a board that consists completely of people that are just so like minded that it looks like they are not taking viewpoints that are different than their own,” he said.
Hoop is apparently dismayed that none of the Governor's nominees to the Board, which was authorized as part of the First Things First initiative (Prop. 203) that was overwhelmingly approved by Arizona voters in November, was aware of some federal government study that challenged the "status quo" on childcare.

Hmmm. A study by the "fact-free" administration. Undoubtedly it was based on the sort of rigorous research and scientific analysis that we have come to expect from the Bush administration.

In the mean time, the Board's work of getting the tobacco tax money to local organizations for programs to benefit early childhood health and education of the children of Arizona will be delayed. While Hoop does his wingnut bully routine, children suffer.

Huppenthal's office number is 602-926-5261. Call him up. Tell him you'd like to see this resolved without anybody getting hurt.

Thanks to a.k. for the tip.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Religous Fanatics 

Why do they always want to rule the world?

via Avedon, Paperweight doesn't see a whole lot of difference between a governments dominated by Conservative Muslim Fundies and Conservative Christian Fundies. Oppression is oppression.

And then, there's Utah.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Austin takes on Sprawl-Mart 

They'd love your help. Here's the pitch:
From: Cindy Fisher
To: Cindy Fisher
Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2007 2:02 PM
Subject: A Friend with a Cause

Dear Friends,

As most of you know, I am working with an organization that is trying to stop Wal-Mart from coming into our neighborhood here in Austin . While our immediate battle is local, I believe that it is a part of a bigger fight against Wal-Mart trying to impose its big-boxes into communities all over the country. We have learned a lot by going to anti-Wal-Mart websites, emailing with people from other cities who have fought Wal-Mart (you wouldn’t believe how many there are!), and talking with folks who are fighting similar un-friendly developments. We now offer the same help to others through our website and email exchanges. We are hoping our experiences will help others just as others have helped ours. This is really the best way to win against these million-dollar corporations – connecting local actions on a national level – with local communities exchanging information and ideas, helping each other out against the selfish and immoral “takers” of the world, and each of us trying to bring our local injustices to the attention of the national media.

So with that said, I would like to ask for your help. For our particular battle, with our city government being so pro-development, we have no other choice but to sue the city. We have a very good case – there were several mistakes made during the site plan approval process, including the City Manager’s husband being a Wal-Mart employee and neighbors not being notified properly. Our biggest obstacle is not legal grounds but legal fees. We have tapped our community and they have been very responsive, getting us almost half-way there to afford the legal battle (estimated at $125K). So now we are trying to get support from outside the immediate community, from people who care about the big picture of how this pans out, who are tired of big boxes coming in and ruining communities, who are sympathetic to our cause and know that their neighborhood could very well be next.

Please check out my personal fundraising web page to learn more about this and to help if you can. The URL is: http://www.active.com/donate/rg4n/cfish.

Thanks for listening and considering,

Having done battle with Walmart in the past, I know first hand what lying scumsuckers they can be. Please do what you can to help out Austin. It might be the only city in Baja Oklahoma worth saving.

Hey Constance, are you still there? Are you down for this one?


Graphing the Email Gap 

drational at Daily Kos has done some yeoman traffic analysis, giving us a visual representation of the gaps in DOJ email traffic, based on a lengthy number crunch of the email data dump. Take a look.


Monday, April 16, 2007

A deadly combination for Gonzo 

mcjoan at Daily Kos:
I guess we now know for certain that Gonzales is a liar. By definition of how he's handled this entire situation, we also know he's incompetent. A deadly combination that's going to make Thursday's hearing a minefield for Bush's favorite lackey.
Should be fun to watch.


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