Permanent Defense debuts major update
The restored Permanent Defense Journal has a thorough overview of what's included in the update. You can also just begin browsing the new site by heading to Permanent Defense's front page.
Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Official Blog.
Even before Saturday's memorial service for Norm Maleng, the Democratic and Republican parties have all but chosen candidates to succeed him as King County prosecutor.Ferguson is known for being a strong candidate. He successfully defeated two Democratic incumbents (Cynthia Sullivan and Carolyn Edmonds) in previous years. If Ferguson does run and wins the office, Democrats shouldn't have too much trouble identifying a successor to hold the blue 1st County Council District (including Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Seattle, Kenmore, Bothell, and northwest King County), which he currently represents.
County Councilman Bob Ferguson is running as a Democrat and interim prosecutor Dan Satterberg is running as a Republican, both with strong party backing, officials of both parties said Thursday.
Thompson appears to believe that the huge Democratic victory over the GOP in the 2006 midterm elections had nothing to do with Iraq.What's more, not only will Iraq be a huge issue this cycle, but Republican corruption isn't going away, either. The Bush administration remains plagued by scandal and GOP members of Congress, like Rick Renzi and John Doolittle, are under investigation. The Republicans will be haunted by Abramoff's ghost throughout the next eighteen months and beyond.
Check out this tidbit buried in the interview he gave today to USA Today confirming his plans to run for President:On Iraq, Thompson voted to authorize the invasion in 2002 and now opposes setting a timetable to withdraw U.S. troops. Still, his fortunes aren't as inextricably tied to the war as those of McCain, one of the war's leading defenders.I dunno, I kind of remember the history a bit differently here. You?
In any case, Thompson argues that Republicans lost control of the House and Senate in November not because of the war but because of out-of-control spending and unrestrained partisanship. What's surprising is that Democrats didn't gain more ground, he says.
"It's been kind of a pox on both your houses," he says.
Of course, Dems can only hope that Thompson really thinks this and continues to think it should he become the nominee, because not only were the 2006 elections all about the Iraq War, the 2008 Presidential election will be all about Iraq, too.
The Tembec and Uniscope products also reportedly contain a urea formaldehyde resin-type ingredient, a raw ingredient used to make the binding agent in these products. FDA is investigating this use of the urea formaldehyde resin-type ingredient in the Tembec and Uniscope products, and will take appropriate regulatory action if warranted.Yum! My grammy used to make formaldehyde-resin cookies for us when we came home from school.
In short, the plain and brutal truth is that if Iran is to be prevented from developing a nuclear arsenal, there is no alternative to the actual use of military force--any more than there was an alternative to force if Hitler was to be stopped in 1938.It's all so confusing. I thought Grenada was Hitler. Or maybe it was Nicaragua, no wait, it was Panama. Nope, it was Somalia. Serbia? Iraq?
Gonzales, 27, and Guzman, 26, who work at a nearby lumber mill, went to the park to drink beer and unwind after their shift ended. At one point, the attackers hurled grapefruit-size rocks at the men as they attempted to flee in Gonzales' car.Today The Oregonian weighs in with an editorial that puts the blame where it belongs -- on the nasty, hateful "debate" over immigration that is fueled by conservative propagandists. (My words, not The Oregonian's. They're a little more delicate:)
Law enforcement officials said the attack was an unusual event that resulted from a combination of alcohol, stupidity, immaturity and a pack mentality.
Others say the incident is an example of hostilities that some Oregon Latinos encounter.
"I think it's an ongoing thing and I think it's being exacerbated by this backlash about immigration," said Ramon Ramirez, president of Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers United, a Woodburn-based agricultural workers union.
The United States needs its current immigration debate, but too much of it clearly has become overheated. Hate crimes against Latinos soared by 23 percent between 2003 and 2005, according to the FBI.Anyone who has followed U.S. politics the last several years can see that the immigration "debate" is yet another conservative disaster. Desperate for traction on any kind of issue that will fire up their base, the GOP resorted to that old standby xenophobia with a soupçon of racism (or more) thrown in for good measure. Unfortunately for Republicans, most people saw through it and are revolted at the nasty tone. Just as Pete Wilson severely damaged the California GOP in the last decade with his anti-immigrant stance, so too the national GOP shall reap what it sows on the electoral front.
Last week's viciousness at Wagon Wheel Park was anything but "isolated."
On the May 16 edition of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, host and CBS Early Show special contributor Lou Dobbs accused two officials of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) of misrepresenting a claim made on the April 14, 2005, edition of Lou Dobbs Tonight concerning the number of leprosy cases in the United States. But the SPLC's assertion -- that CNN correspondent Christine Romans inaccurately reported there were 7,000 leprosy cases "in the past three years" -- is true, and, when confronted by CBS News correspondent corespondent Lesley Stahl in a May 6 profile of him on CBS' 60 Minutes, Dobbs insisted it was accurate, then again insisted on its accuracy on his own show the following night.Dobbs is an embarrassment to CNN. He has some populist opinions at times, but his endless propaganda about immigration is tiresome, and inaccurate. Of course, nobody ever holds these alleged journalists accountable for their inflammatory and misleading conduct.
Five days after the death of King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng, his long-time chief of staff, Dan Satterberg, won an expected interim appointment to succeed him Tuesday.Satterberg may actually be one of the three nominees submitted by the King County Republican Party, but we'll see.
Satterberg, 47, who became a deputy criminal prosecutor in 1985 and chief of staff in 1990, was named acting prosecutor by the County Council. He will serve until the council names someone to the position from a list of three nominees to be submitted by the King County Republican Central Committee, probably next month.
In many cases, grants were given to projects that provided no information about job creation. In other instances, local communities seeking aid listed the number of jobs expected, but state officials did not vet the information.The article is worth a full read. I spend a lot of time writing (complaining) about the press here, and when a reporter dives into a nitty-gritty policy issue and does a good job, he deserves kudos. The piece seemed well-researched and balanced to me.
In addition, the criteria used to select projects gave more weight to increasing tax collections than to adding family-wage jobs.
Joe Arterburn, a spokesman for Cabela's, said the company would not build in Lacey without state help.It's one of the great mysteries of American politics; corporations are always putting the squeeze on taxpayers, be they developers, agricultural interests, sports franchises or retailers, yet the Republican Party always gets to campaign against taxes. You'd think more people would catch on to the scam.
"We've never built a store anywhere without some kind of incentive," he said, noting that Cabela's will draw other stores, motels and restaurants to the area that would benefit from the road improvements.
"I would dedicate [my sixth day in office] to civil rights, restating my support for a woman's right to choose, restating my support for laws that ban discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation. That I would shut down Guantanamo. That I would restore habeas corpus. That I would stop eavesdropping on citizens without a court order. That I would rejoin the International Criminal Court. That I would abandon our policy of condoning torture. That I would respect the Geneva Conventions. That I would shut down Abu Ghraib."Contrast that answer with Republican Mitt Romney, who said in the last Republican debate that he wants to double the size of our Caribbean prison and continue the Bush policy of infringing upon civil rights.
Q: Would your administration grant a lot of money to metropolitan areas to build new and expand existing electric transit systems?Richardson also pledged to keep Amtrak going and concluded by saying that he would be "a President with a national transportation policy: focused on light rail, bullet trains, more efficient transportation."
A: Yes! There is a highway bill that a President has. It's the biggest pork in any bill. And it's billions of dollars. When I was in Congress, it was $120 billion. We did it every three years. It's gone up. And that's money that goes straight to states. I would be a partner. I would say to Seattle: we will have some joint bonding. We will put in a certain amount if you do this and you build smart growth communities, [implement] sensible land use policies, and you commit to light rail instead of just expanding existing highways.
Seems the "McGovernites with modems" are some kind of pissed that the Democratic Congress had to cave on Iraq war funding. While this latest twist in the Iraq debate gets a lot of headlines, it's hardly an isolated incident of netroots dreams not maturing into reality.If we're "McGovernites with modems" then what are the crew who blog under the yellow banner with a squashed picture of the Space Needle? They connect to the same Internet. But hopefully their understanding of the information superhighway is better than that of Ted Stevens:
Ten movies streaming across that, that Internet, and what happens to your own personal Internet? I just the other day got... an Internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday, I got it yesterday. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the Internet commercially.More importantly, though, Earling's contention that yesterday's development was "hardly an isolated incident of netroots dreams not maturing into reality" is completely bogus. We've never believed the occupation of Iraq could be ended overnight. That is why it was, and still is, such a colossal and strategic mistake.
[...] They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the Internet. And again, the Internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a big truck. It's a series of tubes. And if you don't understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it's going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material....
Some observers are again questioning whether the netroots are more bark than bite.Emphasis is mine. And who are these people?
King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng died Thursday night of a heart attack after collapsing at the University of Washington.Norm may not have been a Democrat or a progressive, but he was a good man, and we will miss him. Norm was the kind of politician who earned the respect of a wide swath of the community. Whether you agreed with him or not, it was not difficult to like him. He ran unopposed for reelection in 2005.
Maleng, 68, was attending an event in the UW Urban Horticulture Building when he collapsed.
He was rushed to the hospital after paramedics were called to the university at about 7:20 p.m. While doctors tried to revive him, a number of Seattle and King County officials, including Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske, Sheriff Sue Rahr and County Executive Ron Sims, arrived at the hospital.
Family members and personal friends also gathered at the hospital in tears, and a statement was issued just after 10:30 p.m., confirming Maleng's death.
I have news for you guys -- this won't be the last disappointment we'll ever suffer. Heck, politics is about perpetually fighting battles, and no one -- no one -- has an undefeated record.It's easy to take defeats too hard. None of us invaded Iraq and we have done what we can, in our limited power as regular citizens, to make our voices heard. That doesn't minimize the appalling features of the Iraq occupation, but sometimes you don't get what you want. That's life and that's politics.
Voting No: Jay Inslee, Adam Smith, Jim McDermott (Washington) Ron Wyden, David Wu, Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio, and Darlene Hooley (Oregon)All of the Pacific Northwest's Republicans dutifully voted yes except for Representative McMorris Rodgers, who did not vote.
Voting Yes: Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell, Norm Dicks, Brian Baird, Rick Larsen (Washington)
Baghdad, May 22, (VOI) – Iraqi Vice President Adel Abd al-Mahdi discussed on Tuesday, with a visiting U.S. Congress delegation, security developments and a timetable for withdrawal of the Multi-National Forces.Funny, I don't recall seeing this information in any state outlets. Weird.
"Abd al-Mahdi briefed the congressional delegation –- led by Republican Christopher Shays of Connecticut and Democrat Brian Baird of Washington –- on developments in the political process aimed at consolidating democracy in Iraq," according to an Iraqi presidency statement received by the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI).
The two U.S. congressmen stressed the need for the Iraqi government to shoulder its responsibilities in imposing security, order and stability, praising the Iraqi vice president's role in pushing forward the political process, VOI writes.
A U.S. appeals court declined Wednesday to reconsider its decision to make Exxon Mobil Corp. pay $2.5 billion in punitive damages for the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.Exxon executives just don't know when to call it a day. They already won a judgment limiting the damages. The company, which rivals Wal-Mart for the title of America's most greedy corporation (and is the sixth biggest air polluter in the country), now says it will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The punitive damages ruling against Exxon - originally $5 billion in 1994 - has been the subject of a long legal battle between the oil company and 32,000 fishermen, Alaska natives and property owners who were awarded the damages.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals based in San Francisco has already looked at the Exxon Valdez case on three occasions, taking into account new U.S. Supreme Court rulings in later examinations of the biggest oil spill in U.S. history.
The renamed [Exxon Valdez] tanker is legally owned by a small, allegedly under capitalized, stand-alone company, which would have minimal ability to pay out on claims in the event of a further accident.For more on ExxonMobil and its unethical business practices, see As the World Burns from Mother Jones. Joel Connelly also has a post on the Ninth Circuit's decision with background on the case at Strange Bedfellows.
YearlyKos Convention organizers announced today that Sen. John Edwards, Sen. Barack Obama, and Gov. Bill Richardson confirmed their participation in a Presidential Leadership Forum to be held August 4 in Chicago. Confirmations from other candidates are forthcoming.NPI will be represented at YearlyKos by at least two staff members (including myself!) and we'll host live coverage of the convention the first week in August as we did last year - though this year we'll probably have more multimedia to go along with the typed word.
Organizers say the event—the first ever collaborative presidential forum with both a respected blogger and a leading member of the traditional media as moderators—is an opportunity to use technology to empower citizens to engage and evaluate America’s potential leaders, both face-to-face and online. Many political candidates, including Edwards and Obama, already frequently use sites like Daily Kos to dialogue with the public.
Matt Bai, writer for The New York Times Magazine and author of a book on Democratic politics to be released in August, and Joan McCarter, contributing editor at Daily Kos, will moderate. Author and blogger Dr. Jeffrey Feldman will facilitate questions from convention attendees and those submitted in advance from tens of thousands of blog readers.
“This year we are honored to add the YearlyKos Presidential Leadership Forum to th slate of events scheduled at the YearlyKos Convention,” said YearlyKos Convention Executive Director Gina Cooper. "The forum is an opportunity to have a discussion about the issues that matter and hear detailed responses to the questions America needs answered.”
Organizers are asking candidates to spend time in intimate, unscripted citizen dialogue with attendees, encouraging substantive discussions that transcend the competitive nature of most joint appearances on the campaign trail.
"In the most liberal state in the country," a sinister-sounding narrator intones over the obligatory backdrop of photos of John Kerry and Mike Dukakis, "one Republican stood up, and cut spending instead of raising taxes. He enforced immigration laws, stood up for traditional marriage and the sanctity of human life."Of course, Romney was pro-choice, except when he wasn't. And as TPM points out, the absurdity of attacking the state you served as governor should be obvious.
Would Jesus be political if he came back to earth/Have his second home in Palm Springs.. yeah.. but try to hide his worth/Take money from those poor folks when He comes back again/And admit He's talked to all those preachers who said they'd been-a talking to HimHe was all you can stand, give him a hand, Jerry Falwell.
Former Lt. Gov. Steve Beshear rode a late campaign surge to capture the Democratic nomination for governor with just enough votes to avoid a runoff.Lunsford, the DLC candidate, conceded to Beshear earlier this evening and pledged his support to the Democratic nominee, a nice gesture.
The Lexington attorney won 41 percent of the vote in a crowded field of six Democrats. He needed 40 percent to avoid a June runoff election.
Louisville businessman Bruce Lunsford, who outspent all Democrats in the race by using $4.2million of his personal fortune, finished a distant second with 21 percent.
Nearly three dozen Vancouver businesses are jumping into the mass transit debate on the side of light rail.Obviously, these are downtown businesses, many of which could stand to benefit greatly from light rail. So what? Governments do tons of things that shape markets, from regulatory climates to tax policies to outright subsidies.
Vancouver Businesses for Smart Transportation, as the group calls itself, has signed up 35 businesses that favor light rail for the planned new bridge over the Columbia River. The group also supports Vancouver Mayor Royce Pollard's plan to cover Interstate 5 through downtown.
"It will make us more connected to downtown Portland, and connect Portland with downtown Vancouver," said Joanie Sather, a Wallis Engineering employee and the group's president. "But the big thing is not adding more traffic."
The student, 19-year-old Mark Ewell of Amissville, Va., reportedly told authorities that he was making the bombs to stop protesters from disrupting the funeral service.The initial ABC report does not indicate which protesters the student might have had in mind, but it has been widely reported that the Fred Phelps nuts were going to be there.
Three other suspects are being sought, one of whom is a soldier from Fort Benning, Ga., and another is a high school student. No information was available on the third person.
Q: Why are there Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon?Sixty years seems like kind of a long time to be camping.
A: Lebanon still has about 400,000 Palestinians -- mostly refugees who fled after Israel was created in 1948, and their descendants. Many are crowded into 12 impoverished and often violent camps, banned from all but menial jobs and mostly living off U.N. aid.
There's also a pretty good article in the Washington Post by Jose Antonio Vargas about how the GOP lags well behind the Dems when it comes to an online presence. There have been rumors for quite some time that members of the GOP speak privately about what a bunch of useless, embarrassing wankers Malkin, Instahack, the Power Tools, Red State etc. are, so it's amusing to see that they're coming out of the closet about it, so to speak.Ouch.
I don't know how much of the abject mediocrity of right wing blogosphere is attributable to the fact that, as the Post article notes, the authoritarian, top-down ethos of the modern GOP is antithetical to the "often chaotic, bottom-up, user-generated atmosphere of the Internet," and how much can be placed at the feet of a bunch of second-tier minds artificially sustained by wingnut welfare that causes the talent pool to be clogged by enormous, stinking turds floating on the surface and choking out any possibility of quality writing or original thought from rising to the top.
Ah, the great questions of the ages.
Imagine the National Rifle Association's Web site suddenly disappeared, along with all the data and reports the group had ever posted on gun issues. Imagine Planned Parenthood inexplicably closed its doors one day, without comment from its former leaders. The scenarios are unthinkable, given how established these organizations have become. But even if something did happen to the NRA or Planned Parenthood, no doubt other gun or abortion groups would quickly fill the vacuum and push the ideas they'd pushed for years.You know, sometimes you have to step back and look at the big picture. The only way the GOP could get away with voter suppression is to make it appear that "Democrats do it too." Thus the constant effort to claim things happened that didn't happen, and the assaults upon U.S. attorneys who wouldn't play ball.
Not so for the American Center for Voting Rights, a group that has literally just disappeared as an organization, and for which it seems no replacement group will rise up. With no notice and little comment, ACVR—the only prominent nongovernmental organization claiming that voter fraud is a major problem, a problem warranting strict rules such as voter-ID laws—simply stopped appearing at government panels and conferences. Its Web domain name has suddenly expired, its reports are all gone (except where they have been preserved by its opponents), and its general counsel, Mark "Thor" Hearne, has cleansed his résumé of affiliation with the group. Hearne won't speak to the press about ACVR's demise. No other group has taken up the "voter fraud" mantra.
He referred dismissively to "cybercowards," apparently meaning conservative bloggers who have criticized the lack of prosecution, and scorned the purported evidence of election fraud alleged by Tom McCabe, the aggressive, conservative executive vice president of the Building Association of Washington and a Rossi supporter.If you go read the whole article, you'll see that McKay also said the 2004 election "smelled bad." Which, you know, it did, on a whole number of levels.
McKay said he, four other federal prosecutors and a number of FBI agents conducted an exhaustive investigation of McCabe's complaint. He said McCabe's allegation that he, McKay, "failed to follow this up is utterly false and he knows it."
McKay said the evidence McCabe presented was "a joke from an evidentiary standpoint that a crime had been committed. ... Every FBI agent who looked at the evidence and every federal prosecutor who looked at the evidence that the BIAW sent in concluded that it was completely, utterly insufficient to move forward in an investigation."
The definitional confusion—capitalized on by the right wing through repetition—begins with trying to give meaning to secondary characteristics of freedom. All of the crucial parts of simple freedom are left unspecified," Lakoff points out, and then asks, "What is to count as free will, ability, and interference?" It is largely on the battleground of free will that what he calls "contested" freedom begins. If I’m denied access to a quality education through an accident of birth, am I really able to exercise "free will?" If not only desirable connections, but information itself is unavailable, how "free" am I to take action on my own behalf and exercise my rights?As our executive director, Andrew Villeneuve has discovered, perhaps to his chagrin or even irritation, I'm among the Lakoff-impaired amongst progressive bloggers. It's not that I don't welcome Lakoff's observations, or even at times find some of his points interesting, I just don't find Lakoff's work to be as important as some do.
At this point, one runs up, of course, against the legendary "pull yourself up by your own bootstraps" school of thinking, which has increasingly insisted that Americans who can’t make it in this grand land have only themselves to blame (a perception that would be alien and surprising to the Greatest Generation, which came home from World War II and made use of the GI Bill to go to college, buy homes and use VA medical facilities to solidify the middle class). The recent conservative redefinition of freedom (often code-worded as "liberty") has succeeded in shifting the debate from public obligation to ensuring access in a competitive system, to private selection of who precisely is captured in notion of the "worthy poor" – who should shoulder the responsibility for failure in a "free" society. Lakoff points out that the nature of competition itself requires a large class of "losers" (the uninsured, the unemployed) to define the winners against.
Wolfowitz, the cerebral neocon, and Falwell, the braying theocon, had nothing in common personally. Indeed, Falwell blamed “the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians” for provoking the 9/11 attacks, an explanation uncomfortably close to the views of the Taliban. But the unlikely alliance between their two movements provided the brains and the brawn behind Bush. Now the neocons have been ousted, one by one, from their positions of influence and trust while the Republican party base is desperately thrashing around for a successor to Bush that it can back in 2008.The article quotes Christopher Hitchens quite extensively, so make of that what you will. He's been somewhat lucid lately, so hey, whatever. The article has quite a bit of interesting detail about Wolfowitz and his girlfriend, who is quite an accomplished person in her own right.
The cleavage between the two marks the end of an era in which Bible Belt conservatives became the surprise champions of radical nation-building in the Middle East in the hope of crushing terrorism and halting the march of militant Islam. After Bush, such reforming zeal is unlikely to be repeated.
Falwell was among a handful of ambitious activists who saw the potential in marrying the Republican Party to ultraconservative Christianity, an alliance that magnified the influence of the South in national politics and boosted the fortunes of a born-again governor named George W. Bush.The GOP sold its soul for some narrow electoral victories. The country could actually stand to benefit from a future non-insane Republican Party, as despite how utterly it has failed there are doubtless individuals out there with good ideas. Personally I don't care who comes up with a workable plan to deliver health care to all Americans; if it turns out to be a quasi-private corporation model that could succeed, so be it.
Ascendant Christian conservatives forced traditional Republicans -- those who believed in a more circumspect government that stayed out of adults' bedrooms as well as their pockets -- to swallow their principles. The Grand Old Party is now hostage to a group of flat-earthers who deny evolution, mock gays, denounce stem cell research, suspect contraceptives and believe all Muslims are going to hell. Indeed, some of them actually want a conflagration in the Middle East because they believe it will hasten the Second Coming of Christ.
Filmmaker Michael Moore has come to the rescue of his harshest critic.Say what you will about Moore, and I certainly have mixed opinions of his work, but he certainly knows how to get press. As the diarist at Daily Kos noted, asking whether it was pure altruism or a calculated move by Moore may not become known, and it could very well have been a little of both.
For several years now, Jim Kenefick has been railing against the Oscar-winning director on Moorewatch.com. Recently, Kenefick wrote about the difficulty he was having paying his wife's medical bills. Fellow conservatives guided him toward a cheaper health insurer, but Kenefick said he still had trouble making payments.
"Someone e-mailed me and asked if an 'anonymous' benefactor could offer to pay my first year's premiums - $12,000," Kenefick wrote on his site.
He was skeptical when the check arrived. "I opened a whole new account at my bank, waited for it to clear, checked twice with bank personnel to make sure it wasn't a scam, and waited a full 60 days before spending the money. At that time, I started drawing on it and paying the monthly premiums until it was gone."
We can now confirm to Kenefick that his secret benefactor is none other than the dreaded, detestable, loathsome Michael Moore.
He’s leaking and using this in whatever way he can think of to promote his film. He paid $12,000 so that you, the press, would focus on what a “nice guy” he is and in the same breath, make me look like a jerk.Somehow, we think the Moorewatch guy is pretty capable of making himself look like a jerk all by himself.
The Zarellis set forth three goals for the conference:Daniel Pipes? They must mean this Daniel Pipes, who writes and works with such reputable outfits as FrontPageMag.com and that stellar truth-teller David Horowitz, according to a Wikipedia entry. You can read a recent New York Times article about Khalil Gibran school if you wish. Sounds like a bunch of parents acting stupid to me.
• Provide an honest depiction of the current state of the war in Israel, the threat of terrorism, and how they both affect the United States.
• Establish effective, direct relationships between Israeli and local community leaders.
• Empower local leaders to begin making impacts within their communities with ripple effects reaching to our federal government.
"People need to be educated," said Sen. Zarelli. "Then we'll have a greater impact in Congress."
Tani Zarelli believes very few Americans truly understand what is at stake in the Middle East.
"There is a real enemy out there," she said. "They intend to wipe the Jews off the earth and the United States that stands behind them."
The senator expressed alarm over the failure of Americans to understand how they may be playing into the hands of those he believes may not have America's best interests at heart.
"If you listen in the United States," he said, "there is such an effort to protect this one particular belief system (Islam) at the expense of Judaism and Christianity."
He pointed to the recent creation in New York City of a controversial public school focusing on Arab language and culture.
Although named for a renowned Christian-Lebanese poet and proclaimed by some as a center of tolerance and cultural bridge-building, New York's publicly funded Khalil Gibran International Academy has drawn fire from conservative critics and others, such as Jewish commentator Daniel Pipes, as a potential hotbed of militant Islam and a model for segregation at public expense.
The Convergence Northwest Conference 2007 that will take place in Vancouver, Wash., in June takes its name from a similar gathering in Savannah, Ga., last October.The article goes on to give something of a rebuttal from Convergence Northwest speaker and Jewish Review publisher Charles R. Schiffman, so credit where credit is due to the publication for discussing the matter, and if you're interested, go check out the full article. It's a fascinating discussion.
That event, dubbed "Convergence: Claims and Challenges of Israel's Future in the Middle East," was organized by an Israeli businesswoman, Orly Benny Davis, who lives in nearby South Carolina and reportedly dreams of building the Third Temple on Jerusalem's Temple Mount.
Although a variety of voices "converged" for the Savannah conference, including the Atlanta-based Consulate General of Israel for the southeast United States, not everyone was entirely happy with the event.
Besides those who characterized Davis' views as extreme, others were troubled by the significant involvement of conservative Christians.
In very broad terms, there are two perspectives in the Jewish community on working with Christians on behalf of Israel.
At a time when some mainstream Christian sects have distanced themselves from Israel and taken up the cause of the Palestinians, a number of evangelical or fundamentalist Christian sects not only have stood by Israel, but have stepped forward to take an active role in building grassroots support for the Jewish state while lobbying hard in Washington to help ensure continued U.S. support for Israel.
Savannah Reform Rabbi Arnold Mark Belzer is among those Jews who, at the very least, are skeptical of the Jewish alliance with Christians
He declined to take part in the Savannah Convergence conference or to promote the conference at his Congregation Mickve Israel because, according to a report by Rachel Pomerance in the Forward, he objected to Davis'politics.
But it was more than Davis' politics that rankled Belzer. He elaborated for the Jewish Review.
"I think it does matter who your friends are," he said, pointing to what he described as the Christian right's commitment to doing whatever is necessary to hasten the coming of Armageddon and the return of Christ, which, some on the Christian right believe must be preceded by the unification of greater Israel, the ingathering of the Jews in the Holy Land and their ultimate demise.
Foundation members were particularly dismayed that Gregoire did not veto the emergency clause in a controversial bill intended to help its longtime adversary, the Washington Education Association.EFFWA exists to attack the WEA. It has continually and repeatedly tried to de-fund it through initiatives and legal maneuvers.
The foundation and the union are battling in the U.S. Supreme Court over the way the union accounts for money paid to the union by people who object to its political activities.
The Legislature passed a bill this year rewording the law to clearly allow the union’s accounting methods. Gregoire signed it last week.
Pointing to an overlooked consequence of the change, state Republican Party Chairman Luke Esser accused the Democratic governor Wednesday of "exploiting a newly opened loophole in Washington's campaign finance laws to shake down donors for cash at the same time she is deciding whether to sign their bills into law."Of course they think that, because that's what they would do. It's like having bank robbers critique bank tellers -- "hey, if you let them touch that stuff they'll steal it!"
On last night’s late news, KATU (whose building I can see through my window right now) aired the most horrifyingly asinine segment I’ve ever seen on a television news show.KATU is owned, of course, by Fisher Communications, the same outfit that owns KVI (and KOMO, which airs an uncritical report on Tim Eyman every now and then). I certainly remember KATU being the worst of the Portland television stations during the recount in 2004-2005.
Called “Hummer Vs. Hybrid,” the piece profiled Art Spinella of Oregon-based CNW Marketing Research, who put out a report last year claiming that Hummers (as in the paramilitary SUVs) are better for the environment than hybrid cars. Spinella, who, BTW, makes a living doing market research for automobile companies, allegedly looked at the full cycle of development for both vehicles, including manufacturing, research & development, how far employees had to drive to get to the factory (!), etc. Only problem: CNW won’t divulge its research methodology, so it’s not peer-reviewed, or even verifiable.
I heard a clip of Ron Paul's rather scathing, yet well-informed analysis on how conservatism has been abducted by these, neo...theo...well, whatever-they-are-Republicans that happened to debate last Tuesday night (5/15/07) in South Carolina. He simply laid out the facts, beginning with Eisenhower, and brought the other nine gentlemen up to present day, and even included 9/11 for context.
This seemed to upset Rudy Giuliani, who, of course, has a monopoly on National Security and Patriotism because he was the mayor of New York when 9/11 happened, and he alone insisted that the command center be in the World Trade Center after it was bombed the first time.
Chris Wallace, the “moderator” (“batting tee”) then tried to corner Paul into rephrasing his assessment, trying to goad him into saying that the US “invited” the 9/11 attacks.
When Paul didn't immediately begin retracting and self-flagellating, Giuliani jumped in and demanded he take back what he said about inviting the attacks on America. I can understand Paul being a tad rattled. There they were, frothing and vibrating as if he had a well-marbled sirloin clinging to his rump, waiting for their chance to burst from behind their podia to call him an America-bashing traitor.
For his part, Paul didn't deny that he said the US invited the attacks (but he obviously didn't), he just gave the example of “blowback” as defined by the CIA in the '50s after we installed the Shah of Iran, and how it manifested itself in the '70s in the form of the Hostage Crisis.
But Giuliani: Wow! He was still operating on the 2002 RNC talking points that said quite clearly if you didn't agree with everything the president did, you were aiding the enemy, that if you weren't with us, you were with them, and that this was no time for understanding, this was a time for attacking anything that moved.
It's interesting spin, and the media still lets it play: “America's Mayor” is somehow not crazy and out of the mainstream when he insanely regurgitates five year old propaganda, but a guy who presents a clear, lucid argument based on verifiable historical facts is presented—with the help of Chris Wallace, Faux News, and a willing audience of True Believers—is clearly the deranged outsider.
How dare he lead people to believe there might be a Republican you could actually reason with? He obviously didn't get the Memo.
"We’re confident I-960 is unconstitutional. We're hoping the courts will block it before taxpayer money is wasted putting a legally invalid measure on the ballot," explained Keith Scully, Futurewise’s Legal Director. "For someone claiming to be worried about taxpayers, Eyman sure is wasting our money with this initiative."The suit does not simply challenge the constitutionality of Initiative 960 - normally a matter that courts would wait to rule on until after passage - but contends that the measure exceeds the scope of the initiative process altogether, which is a distinctly separate issue.
(b) Referendum. The second power reserved by the people is the referendum, and it may be ordered on any act, bill, law, or any part thereof passed by the legislature, except such laws as may be necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety, support of the state government and its existing public institutions, either by petition signed by the required percentage of the legal voters, or by the legislature as other bills are enactedThere is no provision in this section for the system of non-binding referenda that I-960 attempts to set up. Additionally, acts raising revenue for the State are exempted as emphasized above.
SECTION 22. PASSAGE OF BILLS. No bill shall become a law unless on its final passage the vote be taken by yeas and nays, the names of the members voting for and against the same be entered on the journal of each house, and a majority of the members elected to each house be recorded thereon as voting in its favor.Finally, Article XXIII concerns amendments to the Constitution:
SECTION 1 HOW MADE. Any amendment or amendments to this Constitution may be proposed in either branch of the legislature; and if the same shall be agreed to by two-thirds of the members elected to each of the two houses, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be entered on their journals, with the ayes and noes thereon, and be submitted to the qualified electors of the state for their approval, at the next general election; and if the people approve and ratify such amendment or amendments, by a majority of the electors voting thereon, the same shall become part of this Constitution, and proclamation thereof shall be made by the governor: Provided, That if more than one amendment be submitted, they shall be submitted in such a manner that the people may vote for or against such amendments separately [...]The remaining sections of Article XXIII describe the process for setting up conventions to amend the Constitution.
Clark County is nearing, ever so carefully, adoption of a new 20-year Comprehensive Growth Management Plan.Well, they're complying with the letter of GMA anyhow.
The latest plan, under construction for about three years, will be reviewed at two public open houses next week and in a public hearing June 5-6 before the Board of Clark County Commissioners and the county planning commission.
The county is complying with the state Growth Management Act and is preparing for a nearly 50 percent population growth over the next two decades: from 391,500 in 2005 to a projected 584,300 in 2024.
Recently I posted on these integrity-challenged gentlemen, and I thought an update might be in order:
They're still hanging on: Gonzales, Wolfowitz, Renzi, and Doolittle.
Gonzales, by three or four amnesiac episodes; Wolfowitz by a spit-soaked comb; and Renzi and Doolittle by dint of comparative obscurity.
Last week, Alberto Gonzales smarmed himself through more testimony as Congresswoman Maxine Waters and others verbally whacked the bejeezus out of him and left his threadbare credibility swinging from the mast of the sinking Justice Department.
I can't imagine this ending well for him or the Justice Department, but that doesn't seem to bother him, the President, Tony Snow, or anybody in the administration. Seemed to irritate this Comey fella, though. Huh. But Gonzales remains steadfast in his ability to avoid the truth and the President has his full support.
Same with Paul Wolfowitz, who, as of this afternoon, was said to be negotiating with officials at the World Bank the terms of his resignation in such a way that both parties can save face. In other words, he won't go willingly, so the Bank is offering to word his ouster in such a way that spreads blame to both sides. Whatever works.
For Renzi and Doolittle, there have been no real changes. I vaguely recall something about some indignance over the charges and a vow to fight from both of them. Time will tell there, too.
Strangely enough, Newsday.com ran a piece this afternoon insinuating that Wolfowitz and Gonzales were a sign that politics might be turning sour in the USA. Gee, ya think?
But we can hope that if Wolfowitz is gone by daybreak tomorrow or shortly thereafter, maybe the other three will follow suit, in a fit of conscience. Maybe. Stranger things have happened. But it can't happen fast enough.
Then it was Mitt Romney's turn. This is his exact quote:Hey, this Mormon thing may not be as loopy as some people claim. Well, you know, if people actually follow all of it, which is not a fault limited to Mormons.
"You said they're at Guantanamo? I'm glad they're at Guantanamo. I don't want them on our soil. I want them at Guantanamo where they don't get the access to lawyers that they'd get when they're on our soil. I don't want them in our prisons, I want them there. Some people say that we should close Guantanamo, my view is: We outta double Guantanamo."
The audience burst into thunderous applause.
In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, there is something called the Articles of Faith. It's sort of like a Mormon version of the Ten Commandments. The 12th article discusses the need to obey, honor and sustain the law (the Constitution). Advocating the denial of basic constitutional rights (which Americans deeply believe are unalienable and God-given) is in direct contradiction to this article. The 13th article also calls for members to be benevolent, virtuous and good to all men (emphasis added).
I fail to see where torture (whoops, sorry, we mean "enhanced interrogation techniques") fits into benevolence, virtuosity or being good to anyone.
In The Book Of Mormon, which is another book of scripture used by Mormons, it is claimed that Christ came to America following the crucifixion and subsequent resurrection and preached to the people here. According to the Book of Mormon, Jesus is said to have taught the following:
"And behold it is written also, that thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thy enemy, but I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you.
That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven."
And then in an alleged revelation to Joseph Smith, Christ said:
"And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me."
A bipartisan bill requiring paper trails for electronic voting machines just cleared a major hurdle and could be taken up by the House of Representatives next week. Defend your right to vote and support H.R. 811, the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2007.H.R. 811 isn't just about producing voter verified paper ballots. It also ensures random audits and availability of voting machine computer code for review by experts and litigants, besides many other critical reforms.
E-voting machines have wreaked havoc and undermined confidence in our election system. Despite demonstrated technical failures - including the loss of thousands of votes - nearly half of all states still do not require a voter verified paper ballot. Most of the voting machines in operation today haven't been sufficiently reviewed for security, and poll workers frequently do not receive adequate training to deal with machine problems.
Both the Federal Way and Snoqualmie Valley school districts need a 60 percent "yes" vote and minimum turnout to pass construction bonds.If you live in either school district, be sure to mail in your ballot today or go to the polls to cast your vote before 8 PM this evening.
Election officials predict a 30 percent turnout in the Federal Way School District and a 42 percent turnout in the Snoqualmie Valley School District based on historical trends.
"Early reports from the polls this morning indicate all polls opened on time and voters are trickling in to make their voices heard on these local school measures," said Sherril Huff, director designee for King County Records, Elections and Licensing Services Division. "By tonight we will have counted more than 16,000 mail ballots which represents all ballots received through yesterday’s mail."
In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning, former Deputy Attorney General James Comey detailed the desperate late night efforts by then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales and White House chief of staff Andrew Card to get the Justice Department to approve a secret program -- the warrantless wiretapping program."I Don't Recall" Gonzales is undoubtedly one of the worst goons in the Bush cabal. He has no respect for American democracy and no respect for the rule of law. No wonder Bush and Rove have such confidence in him. They know they can expect blind fealty every time.
According to Comey's testimony this morning, only when faced with resignations by a number of Justice Department officials including Comey, his chief of staff, Ashcroft's chief of staff, Ashcroft himself and possibly Robert Mueller, the director of the FBI, did the White House agree to make changes to the program that would satisfy the requirements of the Justice Department to sign off on it (Comey refused to name the program, but it's apparent from the context and prior reports that this was the warrantless wiretapping program).
Falwell was found without a pulse in his office at Liberty University and pronounced dead at a hospital an hour later. Dr. Carl Moore, Falwell's physician, said he had a heart condition and presumably died of a heart rhythm abnormality.As Atrios says, "Obviously sympathies to those who cared for him...One hopes he finds that his God is a more forgiving being than he believed."
WBC ["Westboro Baptist Church"] will preach at the memorial service of the corpulent false prophet Jerry Falwell, who spent his entire life prophesying lies and false doctrines like "God loves everyone".Hard to top that for outright hate and meanness.
There is little doubt that Falwell split Hell wide open the instant he died. The evidence is compelling, overwhelming, and irrefragable [sic].
Once again the journalistic elite are up in arms by the fact that they are getting criticism from the pseudonymous polloi. I'm sympathetic. It's quite annoying to have rude critics, as any blogger will tell you. Yes, we get them too, just like the big boys.Indeed. Not quite sure why 35 years or so of organized, well funded attacks on them didn't bother them so much, but a bunch of low and unpaid bloggers really upset them sometimes. Some things are a mystery.
We get them in the form of rheumy upper class contempt from the likes of multi-millionaire Brian Williams dismissing us as "some guy in an efficiency apartment" and we get them from loyal readers who dislike something we've written and we get them from our political enemies who will sometimes sic their most hate-filled neanderthals on our blogs or email addresses for one thing or another.
It's not as if we don't know what it's like to be dumped on by commenters. It's so common that years before the dead tree visionaries came up with the idea of moderated comment sections, many bloggers with high traffic were using them.
Netrooters want it both ways. The GOP is evil and intellectually bankrupt because it doesn't care about anything but winning. But it would be the greatest thing in the world if Democrats could be just like Republicans!First off, the GOP is evil and intellectually bankrupt because it embraced an ideology that is evil and intellectually bankrupt, an inconvenient truth that Goldberg tries to slide past earlier in his column by claiming it was all "Great Thinking" and look how those silly libruls think it was all PR, as if we are incapable of understanding the relationship between the two.
That doesn't sound like a winning strategy to me.
Rove, in particular, was preoccupied with pressing Gonzales and his aides about alleged voting problems in a handful of battleground states, according to testimony and documents.Oh my. Wonder what we'll ever find out about the Washington state stuff? If only we had a majority in Congress -- oh, yeah right. We do.
Last October, just weeks before the midterm elections, Rove's office sent a 26-page packet to Gonzales's office containing precinct-level voting data about Milwaukee. A Justice aide told congressional investigators that he quickly put the package aside, concerned that taking action would violate strict rules against investigations shortly before elections, according to statements disclosed this week.
Conservative pundit Ann Coulter has been cleared of allegations that she falsified her Palm Beach County voter's registration and voted illegally — this, after a high-level FBI agent made unsolicited phone calls to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office to vouch for Coulter.There's a word for deliberate errors of omission -- they're called lies. And no, I'm not willing to give the AP a break, because it happens far too often. They could have at least discussed Coulter's hair style.
The caller wasn't just any G-man. According to PBSO documents, he was Supervisory Special Agent Jim Fitzgerald, of the FBI Academy's Behavioral Analysis Unit in Quantico, Va. — the closest reality gets to the serial-killer catchers on CBS' Criminal Minds.
So why would an FBI profiler who went after the Unabomber take time from his busy day to even think about a municipal election snafu?
Fitzgerald is mum. But when the bureau heard about this from Page Two, it immediately launched an internal review of the agent's involvement.
"We're looking into it," bureau spokeswoman Ann Todd said.
But failure to comply with warnings doesn't always explain rollovers, The Oregonian found.Naturally, some folks won't appreciate what The Oregonian is doing by examining injuries and fatalities in a methodical fashion. The paper even hired an engineer.
Working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission's crash data, the newspaper examined 2,732 fatal accidents involving four-wheel ATVs since 2000 and separated the cases into two groups: the large group of riders who ignored at least one safety warning, and the much smaller group of riders who didn't.
The newspaper then looked to see how often overturns were the primary event in the crash.
The unexpected result: Riders who followed the warnings overturned in about two out of five cases, a rate comparable to the frequency of rollovers in the group that ignored one or more warnings.
The comparison doesn't suggest that riders should ignore safety warnings. The analysis also showed, for example, that overturns are more likely in crashes where an adult-sized ATV is driven by a child under 16.
A lawyer for the industry's trade group, the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America, called The Oregonian's analysis "fatally flawed," saying the industry's research over the years shows the benefits of following warnings.
The persistence of rollovers among riders who followed the basic precautions shows why engineers and safety advocates have long pointed to another factor: ATV design.
ATVs have a narrow track width and high ground clearance, necessary qualities that allow them to travel on rough territory and narrow trails. The same qualities make them far less stable than cars or SUVs.
Ms. Goodling, now 33, arrived at the department at the start of the Bush administration after working as an opposition researcher for the Republican National Committee during the 2000 presidential campaign.How many Monica Goodlings are still working for our government? How many of these arrogant, narrow-minded creatures, full of contempt for anything and anyone who dares to believe differently than them, are lurking in the halls of power, ready to sabotage our country?
Her legal experience was limited; she had graduated in 1999 from Regent University School of Law, which was founded by Pat Robertson. Deeply religious and politically conservative, Ms. Goodling seemed to believe that part of her job was to bring people with similar values into the Justice Department, several former colleagues said.
In one case, Ms. Goodling told a federal prosecutor in the District of Columbia that she was not signing off on an applicant who had graduated from Howard University Law School, and then worked at the Environmental Protection Agency.
“He appeared, based on his résumé, to be a liberal Democrat,” Ms. Goodling told Jeffrey A. Taylor, the acting United States attorney in Washington, according to two of the department employees who asked not to be named. “That wasn’t what she was looking for.”
Mr. Taylor ultimately found a way to go around Ms. Goodling in hiring the applicant.
She appeared to take similar concerns about political leanings into account when making decisions about promotions and special assignments for Justice Department lawyers.
Robert Nicholson, a career lawyer from the Southern District of Florida, was asked some unusual questions when he applied for a post at the Justice Department headquarters, according to two department lawyers, including Margaret M. Chiara, the former chief prosecutor Western Michigan.
“Which Supreme Court justice do you most admire and why? Which legislator do you most admire and why? And which president do you most admire and why?” Mr. Nicholson was asked by Ms. Goodling, according to Ms. Chiara and the other lawyer, who asked not to be named.
Mr. Nicholson, who did not get the job, did not dispute the account, but he declined to comment, citing the investigation of Ms. Goodling.
Rep. Brian Baird will introduce a sweeping health care reform bill in the U.S. House this year that aims to ensure universal private health insurance for every American.As Baird suggests, health care is killing businesses, large and small. And as he also points out, it won't be easy to reform, but we have to do it. Cue the insurance industry screams about "socialized medicine" in five, four, three, two...
The Healthy Americans Act, introduced in the Senate this year by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has bipartisan sponsorship in that chamber. And Baird, a Vancouver Democrat, said Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, a Missouri Republican, has agreed to co-sponsor the House version.
The media system has long included players other than The Journalist. Political hacks get their time on CNN and are (often anonymous) sources for print journalists. Rush Limbaugh does election night analysis for NBC and goes on Katie Couric's show to do commentary. Journalists regularly mix it up with hacks and ideologues (usually conservatives) on the various roundtable programs.I think it's really kind of hard to explain to most folks just how much the conservative claim that "the media is biased toward liberalism" has been accepted in this country, and it's been going on for a very long time.
Think tank "experts" with overt agendas fill the hours on NPR. Mark Halperin gets down on his needs to beg for Hugh Hewitt's approval. Pat Buchanan is on MSNBC constantly. And, of course, Matt Drudge Rules Their World. All of these players in tandem provide legitimacy to each other, and reinforce the notion to casual consumers that they are in effect all the same beast.
All of this was true before blogs, as was the existence 35 year conservative attack on mainstream media institutions. Still, there's something about blogs which really bothers them. There are various somewhat unrelated reasons for this I think.
One is general anxiety about their profession and a tendency to blame the Internet and blogs for those anxieties. Two is that it's perhaps easier to not listen to Rush Limbaugh than it is to ignore easily digested bits of text.
Three is that their existence degrades the value of punditry and the elite station of tenured pundits, which has long been the gold watch awarded at the end of a long career doing harder journalism.
Four is that they were used to hearing and internalizing the conservative critique of what they do, and they don't know how to react to a sustained critique from the left. Five is that since text is the medium it's more obviously similar to what they do so they feel the need to distinguish themselves somehow.
The only way to restore the public's faith in the Justice Department and boost the flagging morale of federal prosecutors nationwide is for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to step down, John McKay, former U.S. attorney for Western Washington, said Thursday.And just how badly have these firings been mishandled?
"The only solution I see coming is for a new attorney general who has the instant respect of the Senate Judiciary Committee," he said. "I think what people fear is another political battle and another Bushie coming in."
"The problem is that loyalty to the presidency was allowed to be the principal driver at the Justice Department," McKay said. "What I am seeing are the beginnings of a criminal investigation case."Gonzales isn't gone yet, but he has become a big liability for the administration. At some point, Bush will probably ask him to leave, just as he did with Donald Rumsfeld, who stayed at the Pentagon despite pressure to resign. He was ultimately canned after the 2006 midterm elections.
What people need to understand is that Sharpton has both a broad base of support and a great deal of respect. If people think his views are unrepresentative, they are delusional. While I make no excuse for his antics with the Dems or his hotel bills, there is a simple reason that he can still command respect among black New Yorkers.Now, one doesn't have to agree with Sharpton, and one doesn't have to agree with Gilliard, but most people can surely see the misguided game the conservative blogs and outlets are playing here. If they didn't have Sharpton they would have to invent him.
It's because when things get tight, he doesn't run.
He stood by the Central Park Jogger defendents long after the case was no longer news. And he was vindicated as DNA cleared them. This took ten years.
While most people see the Tawana Brawley case as an abuse of power, many black people think she was raped by the police and it was covered up. So when the badly conducted libel trial took place, Sharpton was given credit for sticking up for her. Yes, he libeled innocent men, but what black women took away from that was that he refused to toss her under the bus.
Given the history of black women in this country, it's not a small deal. So while people are still ouraged by it, more than a few black people still believe she was telling the truth. So when white people bring this up in outrage, it means nothing. The effect of whites saying that as an allegation against Sharpton makes them look racist in many eyes. It is not an argument which has any validity.
I personally thought her story was bulls*** and that the lawyers should have never thrown her on TV. I don't think they treated her very well. But politically, I think that whites think that it kills his credibility and for many blacks, she's a victim denied justice.
Set sometime in the not too distant future, Red Dawn is the story about teenagers who must defend their small Midwestern town against a WWIII communist invasion. Forgoing a nuclear attack, the Soviets and Cubans select U.S. targets and then launch a ground invasion.Look, if Patrick Swayze doesn't fight we're all speaking Sandinista right now.
Two former U.S. attorneys said today they believe ongoing investigations into the dismissals last year of eight federal prosecutors could result in criminal charges against senior Justice Department officials.Um, wow.
John McKay, the former U.S. attorney for Western Washington, and David Iglesias, the former U.S. attorney for New Mexico, also said they believe White House political operative Karl Rove and his aides instigated the dismissals and ultimately decided who among the nation's 93 U.S. attorneys should be fired.
Before they voted Monday night to formally oppose a tribal casino near La Center, Vancouver City Council members were told that they were doing the bidding of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.And further down:
To that, most council members replied with a collective "huh?"
Although the Oregon-based tribe apparently has not dealt directly with council members, it is a significant part of an opposition group, Citizens for a Healthy Clark County. And the tribe is providing the bulk of money to buy television advertisements that have been airing in recent weeks opposing the proposed casino.
Along with the Grand Ronde, Citizens for a Healthy Clark County includes North Clark Conservationists, No Ridgefield Casino and the Faith and Freedom Foundation.The web site No Clark Casino.com offers very little information, but if it's this Faith and Freedom Foundation, then it would be the one run by uber-wingnut Gary Randall, a retired co-founder of Pamplin Communications.
Coalition spokeswoman Ann Rivers declined to say how much the Grand Ronde had contributed to the coalition. Taylor said she didn't know.
...Yet Hispanics made up less than 2 percent of the guests on theseStatistically speaking, if you know the Hispanic population is growing by 14%, but you keep getting the same guy for the "Hispanic response" 50% of the time, that strikes me as, uh, lazy.
programs during these three weeks. In fact, this number represents a total of
only 13 guest appearances, six of which were by Geraldo Rivera.
Those funding provisions that the GOP is insinuating Pelosi included because they benefit her husband's real estate were actually initiated by a local agency in San Francisco, the agency says, and not by Pelosi herself. It took one phone call to nail that down -- and to show that this is a complete non-story.Look, this kind of thing bogs down arguments by good journalists that there's not an agenda at work. It's happened too many times, it's too transparent and it's more than "laziness." It's hackery of the worst sort, and it needs to stop.
But the AP went ahead and ran with this crap anyway. It was bad enough that the AP even ran some versions of the story with a headline that wasn't even supported by the story in the first place, as Media Matters noted. Now we find that the story doesn't hold up at all.
During an ongoing media teleconference call, USDA/FDA officials have revealed that melamine-tainted “protein concentrate,” imported from China, contaminated fish meal manufactured in Canada. The tainted fish meal was then distributed to an unknown number of fish farms in the US and Canada.As Goldy points out, this is stunning. We've been told it was wheat gluten and now there is a problem with wheat flour?
50,000 swine have been quarantined in Illinois due to suspect feed.
The tainted “wheat gluten” and “rice protein concentrate” at the center of the pet food recall, was actually misrepresented as such. Further tests have determined that it is wheat flour, adulterated with melamine.
evil dictator, mushroom smoking guns, WMD's, flower petals, pencils and schools, Pottery Barn flypaper, six months, six months, six months, six months, six months, six months, six months six months, cut 'n run, deafeatocrats, keep us safe, follow us hereThere's a strange, strange tendency in this country to keep selling right wing talking points, no matter how many times they have been wrong and no matter how many people suffer. "Objective" is such a loaded word these days that's it's difficult to use, but by any reasonably objective measure, the conservative movement is an utter failure, so it's difficult at times to understand the respect still afforded it in certain journalistic quarters.
The Vancouver City Council approved a resolution Monday night opposing a proposed tribal casino near La Center, Wash.There's plenty to consider, and frankly I've rather doggedly not made up my mind about the issue.
The council, following nearly two hours of public testimony and nearly an hour of its own public deliberation, voted 7-0 for the resolution.
In addition to formally stating its opposition to the project located 10 miles north of the city, the resolution says the city would sue if the U.S. Department of the Interior approves the casino project in its present form.
"It seems that Europe leads Americans in this way of thinking," Romney told the crowd of more than 5,000. "In France, for instance, I'm told that marriage is now frequently contracted in seven-year terms where either party may move on when their term is up. How shallow and how different from the Europe of the past."Cox writes she talked to an actual French person, who is mystified. Cox seems mystified how it got into The Washington Post in the first place.
*UPDATE: (Orson Scott) Card's book with the seven-year marriage contracts? It's called "The Memory of Earth," and it is a fictionalization of the Book of Mormon set in outer space. Of course, Romney could believe the French are aliens. And, yes, Romney laid down this thunderous helping of nuttitude at Regent's University, Monica Goodling's alma mater.Oh my. You don't suppose all those Romney donors in Clark County will hear about this, do you? It would be a shame if all that money turned out to be wasted on someone who is, well, not going very far. (And yes, Romney is a Mormon, and no, that's not why we would oppose him. We would oppose him because he may be slightly crazy and he's definitely a Republican. So hard to tell any more which is which.)
Jeers: To Democrats of Washington state, or at least to their supposed party leaders who voted last week to use the caucus system instead of the presidential primary to determine the state's national convention delegates. We agree with columnist Peter Callaghan of The News Tribune (Tacoma), who wrote that the state Democratic Central Committee "put its own interests ahead of the public interest. They acted to make sure only insiders get to help pick the party's nominee for president."What a complete crock, and double jeers back at The Columbian for this bit of fakery. The Columbian knows darn well we don't have party registration in this state, which is the heart of the issue, and funny thing - the national party, as well as Democrats here in the Evergreen State, don't want Republicans helping pick our nominee.
GREENSBURG, Kan.-- Four soldiers and a reserve police officer were arrested Sunday on suspicion of looting cigarettes and alcohol from a store in this tornado-ravaged town, state officials said.Well, you know how those people are. Bunch of dang criminals, deserve what they get. Good thing they didn't try to take bottled water, they probably would have been shot.
The soldiers from Fort Riley Army base and reserve police officer had come to assist on their own and were not part of any official detachment, said Maj. Gen. Tod Bunting, the state's adjutant general.
"These were people who weren't supposed to be there," Bunting said.
Sharon Watson, a spokeswoman for the adjutant general's office, said the five were arrested at a Dillon's supermarket and were being held at the Pratt County Jail without bond. They have not yet been charged.
Fifty-eight percent of Washington voters say taxes are somewhat or very high. That's bad news for Democrats who control the Legislature.So it's basically good news, good news for Democrats. Or something. Without knowing what the poll was about or whether people were asked about the potential benefits they might receive from say, a college education, it's really hard to judge.
The good news for Dems? The percentage of people who think the tax man's hand is too heavy has been going steadily down in recent years, according to the Elway Poll. Seventy-one percent of respondents said state taxes were too high '03. In '05 that number was 64 percent.
It is mysteriously quiet in the hours before the other “sensible heel” drops in the case of the D.C. madam. ABC News, which was handed her phone records, is airing a report tonight on 20/20.I'm some 3,000 miles away, but the sky is green and I saw a black SUV flying through the air. Then it set a piano down right here in the field, good as new. And the thing, whatever it is, sounds like a locomotive.
Since the last time we checked in, Deborah Jeane Palfrey was promising to shock Washington by exposing public figures that called her escort service and then call them to testify in her prostitution trial.
Prominent names that have emerged so far included Deputy Secretary of State Randall Tobias, who resigned last Friday, and Harlan Ullman, a military analyst who designed the “shock and awe” strategy.
A lawyer for Mr. Ullman said that he had no problems testifying, ABC’s investigative blog reported this afternoon in one of its many small updates on the story this week.
“Our decision at the end was not to name any names,” said Brian Ross, the news correspondent who presented the segment. Mr. Ross said that the network went with a “conservative approach,” and that “based on our reporting it turned out not to be as newsworthy as we thought in terms of the names.”So much for my happy ending. Can I at least have a burrito?
In addition to his long-time Reagan connections, Politico CEO Frederick Ryan was also (along with Jonathan Bush and Joseph Allbritton) himself a Board Member of Riggs Bank (h/t EJ). And Ryan, in addition to serving as Politico CEO, is also President of Allbritton Communications (a subsidiary of Allbritton Group, Inc., which in turn is a subsidiary of "Perpetual Corporation").So now it's entirely understandable why the outfit got off to such an "inauspicious" start, as Greenwald puts it. Perhaps the Edwards error was eh, not so much a mistake as wishful thinking? Oopsy-daisy!
When, in August 1981, Reagan signed his Recovery Act into law at Rancho del Cielo, his Santa Barbara ranch, he promised to find additional cuts to balance the budget, which had a projected deficit of $80 billion -- the largest, to that date, in U.S. history. That fall, the economy took a turn for the worse. To fight inflation, running at a rate of 14 percent per year, the Federal Reserve Board had increased interest rates. Recession was the inevitable result. Blue-collar workers who had largely supported Reagan were hard hit, as many lost their jobs.Obviously, the economy rebounded thanks to harsh Fed policies and cheap Middle East oil. (Who was it we were supporting at that time...oh yeah, that Saddam guy.) But somehow the rather disastrous first Reagan term is overlooked in media accounts, allowing Republicans to claim a greatness that simply did not exist.
The United States was experiencing its worst recession since the Depression, with conditions frighteningly reminiscent of those 50 years earlier. By November 1982, unemployment reached, nine million, the highest rate since the Depression; 17,000 businesses failed, the second highest number since 1933; farmers lost their land; and many sick, elderly, and poor became homeless.
The country lived through the recession for a full year before Reagan finally admitted publicly that the economy was in trouble. His budget cuts, which hurt the poor, and his tax cuts, which favored the rich, combined with the hardships of a recession, spawned the belief that Reagan was insensitive to his people's needs. (Although it was a 25% across-the-board tax cut, those people in the higher income brackets benefited the most.)
In what appear to be early-stage discussions, executives at Microsoft and Yahoo are taking a fresh look at a merger of the two companies or some kind of match-up that would pair their companies' respective strengths, say people familiar with the situation.A Microsoft-Yahoo deal would be a monster - one of the biggest combinations the technology industry has ever seen, easily overshadowing Google's recent acquisitions of YouTube and DoubleClick. Then there was its 2005 deal with AOL, and its 2006 deal with MySpace. Yahoo's market value is $38 billion and its fiscal 2006 revenue was $6.43 billion. It has almost 12,000 employees.
The renewed talks are a sign of the continued growth in Google's power and problems over the past year with in-house efforts at Yahoo and Microsoft to ride a boom in Internet advertising. Meanwhile, management changes at both companies could help pave the way for a pairing that a year ago couldn't happen.
Elder: What happens if a Democrat wins the 2008 election?Okay, lest someone misunderstand, I'm not against people having their say. But when they say things that equate Democrats with terrorists, an obnoxious and tired rhetorical trick of the right, then they deserve to be exposed, because if that's what they really think then they don't consider us political opposition, they consider us to be enemies. So much for civility.
Gabriel: We are doomed. Our enemies want the Democrats to win. This last election, jihadist Web sites were playing victory songs and declaring the Democrats are our allies in the war against America. … Whoever comes next is going to have to deal with the same things Bush is dealing with.
As the Justice Department struggled in January to suppress embarrassing stories about the firings of eight U.S. attorneys, John McKay received an unsolicited telephone call from a senior official named Michael Elston.Remember, Karl Rove is a political genius and he brought them to this wonderful place.
It was a strained conversation, according to a written account McKay provided to the House Judiciary Committee that was released Wednesday in advance of a hearing Thursday. According to McKay, Elston, who was chief of staff to the deputy attorney general, advised him in a "sinister" voice to simply repeat public statements from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales when asked about his firing or face serious consequences.
"I greatly resented what I felt Mr. Elston was trying to do: buy my silence by promising that the attorney general would not demean me in his Senate testimony," said McKay, who was fired as the chief federal prosecutor for Western Washington in December. He did not leave office, however, until Jan. 26.
And I don't know how many of you even noticed this or how many of you watched the Democratic presidential debate from South Carolina, but I suspect some of you did. But a question was asked whether you agree with the language - the Bush language, which is what it is - "Global War on Terror." And I did not. And I said, I took that position at the debate...The right repeatedly repeats the canard that Democrats don't understand that there are bad people in the world, which is both ridiculous and insulting. But it's typical of the comic-book view of the world that many conservatives seem to have, as if wishing things makes them so.
This is a political frame and political rhetoric. They use it to justify everything they do. They use that language to justify the war in Iraq. They use it to justify Guantanamo. They use it to justify torture. They use it to justify illegal spying on the American people.
It is time for us to quit kowtowing to these people. We have to say what we really believe. Now, are there really dangerous people in the world? Of course there are. We need to be smart and aggressive and intelligent, use intelligence - did I say dangerous people? - we have to use intelligence to fight them and stop them. Everybody recognizes that. But the one thing that's been proven beyond any doubt as a result of what's happened in the last six years is raw power alone will never make you a leader. You actually have to have the moral authority.
In this study, O'Reilly is a heavier and less-nuanced user of the propaganda devices than Coughlin.How very civil of Bill-o.
...According to Dinsmore, it was then-Commission President Edwards who in January brought up Dinsmore's retirement package and explained how Dinsmore, who retired of his own accord, would receive 40 weeks of salary based on an "HR 10" policy meant to compensate employees who had been fired or whose jobs had been eliminated.Edwards, however, says he doesn't remember having reached any agreement or even discussing the matter when the notes were taken at a June meeting - and Dinsmore isn't happy that Edwards hasn't backed him up:
"Bob, as outgoing president presented what we discussed and agreed upon," related the undated notes, which Dinsmore said in an interview with the Seattle P-I were taken after a closed-door commission meeting on Jan. 10.
Dinsmore, who received Edwards' unfailing support since he joined the commission in 1999, doesn't appreciate the sudden about-face.Our thirteenth podcast (released yesterday) includes an interview with a Gael Tarleton, who is leading the charge to change the way the Port of Seattle does business. (Jack Block, Jr. is also in the race, running on a similar platform). Gael's campaign has made accountability an important theme:
"I am not going to get into a debate with one, two, three, four or five commissioners about what took place in their memory," Dinsmore said [...]
"It's clear from the weekend's Seattle Times coverage of the ongoing Port Scandal that now Bob Edwards was involved in the packing of Mic Dinsmore's golden parachute. It's time for the Port Commission to call for a full investigation from an outside, independent group, not from an internally-appointed pool of potential friends and cronies. Only then will the trust of citizens be restored and will we be able to get back to the business of moving trucks, planes and ships."The severance flap, which has touched off a fresh round of media and blog coverage, is the latest chapter in an ongoing saga of scandals and controversies at the Port, each reinforcing the conclusion that the Port is desperately in need of fresh blood and new leadership.
At the Failure of Conservatism Conference -- May 3 in Washington, D.C. -- some of the progressive movement’s leading thinkers will show why conservatism cannot be made better by competent leadership; competent conservatism, in fact, would be an even worse deal for the American people. Advancing that argument effectively is essential to reshaping the political debate and taking advantage of the new opportunities for progressive change.I'm sure C-SPAN will abandon Holy Joe Lieberman and his civility in order to cover this conference.
Bush vetoed legislation to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq Tuesday night in a historic showdown with Congress over whether the unpopular and costly war should end or escalate.Speaker Nancy Pelosi had this to say in response:
The president wants a blank check. The Congress is not going to give it to him. The president said, in his comments, he did not believe in timelines, and he spoke out very forcefully against them.Emphasis is ours. We heard a lot about "flip flops" in 2004 - it was a Bush campaign theme - but it's never been more clear that the real hypocrites are Bush, Rove, Cheney, and their cronies. Remember - It's OK If You're A Republican. Congressional oversight and benchmarks are only appropriate if there's a Democrat in the White House.
Yet in 1999, on June 5th, then-Governor Bush said, about President Clinton, "I think it's important for the president to lay out a timetable as to how long they will be involved and when they would be withdrawn."
Despite his past statements, President Bush refuses to apply the same standard to his own activities. Standards — that's the issue.
If the president thinks that what is happening on the ground in Iraq now is progress, as he said in his comments tonight, then it’s clear to see why we have a disagreement on policy with him. I agree with Leader Reid.
We look forward to working with the president to find common ground, but there is great distance between us right now.
An Interior Department official accused of pressuring government scientists to make their research fit her policy goals has resigned.Laws, ethics, responsibility...all cast aside for power, ideology, and greed.
Julie MacDonald, deputy assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks, submitted her resignation letter to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, a department spokesman said Tuesday.
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said MacDonald had "betrayed the mission she swore to uphold," adding that her actions "undermined both the work and the integrity of the Fish and Wildlife Service and its many dedicated employees."
Participants include Brig. Gen. Elihu Ben-Onn; writer and lecturer Brigitte Gabriel; and Knesset members Limor Livnat, Arieh Eldad and Yuval Steinitz. Local leaders include Robert Horenstein, columnist for the Portland Jewish Review; and Charlie Schiffman, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Portland.The Columbian seems to have left out at least one name, strangely enough, who is mentioned both by Convergence Northwest and by Postman on April 18th.
Gabriel was born in Lebanon and raised as a Christian. After 9-11 she started ACT to help America "win the war against Islamofascism" and to battle the "political correctness" she thinks hurts that fight.Has anyone other than hardcore right-wingers even used the term "political correctness" since 1988? Talk about the straw man to end all straw men. And what about the Christo-fascists, who is fighting them? Oh, yeah, um, right. Never mind.
9:00am - 4:00pm: General SessionWow, that would be super! Wonder why The Columbian didn't mention such an awesome idea? I sure hope Lieberman shows up, because it would be a shame if people concluded the conference was mostly about building a stronger political alliance between American conservatives and Israeli conservatives.
Welcome: WA State Senator Joseph Zarelli (Senator Joseph Lieberman invited)
The ruling upholds a previous decision ordering McDermott to pay House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, more than $700,000 for leaking the taped conversation. The figure includes $60,000 in damages and more than $600,000 in legal costs.A detailed and informative history of the whole case is here. We urge Representative McDermott to respond to this ruling by appealing the decision. We'll gladly stand with him as he stands up for the First Amendment.
Boehner was among several GOP leaders heard on the December 1996 call, which involved ethics allegations against then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga. Gingrich, who was heard on the call telling Boehner and others how to react to allegations, was later fined $300,000 and reprimanded by the House.
McDermott, who was then serving on the ethics panel, leaked the tape to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The New York Times, which published stories on the case in January 1997.
In a sharp dissent, Judge David B. Sentelle said that under the majority's ruling, "no one in the United States could communicate on this topic of public interest because of the defect in the chain of title," that is, the fact that the tape was illegally obtained.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you, Bob Dornan, you were a congressman all those years. Here's a president who's really nonverbal. He's like Eisenhower. He looks great in a military uniform. He looks great in that cowboy costume he wears when he goes West. I remember him standing at that fence with Colin Powell. Was [that] the best picture in the 2000 campaign?See, the fact that Chris Mathews would compare Commander Codpiece with Dwight D. Eisenhower in any context shows what kind of media we were, and in many ways still are, dealing with. All Eisenhower did was hold together the greatest and most important military coalition in human history in order to defeat the worst threat to civilization in human history. The Chimperor in Chief, eh, not so much.
Logsdon drove to the shopping center, fatally shot two people in the parking lot and wounded seven others outside the Target where he used to work, then went inside the mall, where he was killed by police, authorities said.We could try to do something about guns, or we could try to do something about mental health care, or both, but this is the USA.
Logsdon's sister, Kathryn Cagg, said he was mentally ill and an alcoholic. She said the family had feared he would commit suicide in October 2005 and had taken him for treatment, but he was released from the treatment after six hours.
In an import alert buried deep on its website and just uncovered tonight, the FDA last Friday expanded its hold on imported foods from China - ingredients including Wheat Gluten, Rice Gluten, Rice Protein, Rice Protein Concentrate, Corn Gluten, Corn Gluten Meal, Corn By-Products, Soy Protein, Soy Gluten, Mung Bean Protein, Soy Bean Meal/Powder/Gluten/Protein Isolate, Soy Protein Powder, Wheat Gluten, Wheat Flour Gluten, Wheat Gluten, Rice Protein, Rice Gluten, Rice Protein, Corn Gluten, Milled Rice Products, Amino acids and protein hydrosylates.At long last, the FDA has seemingly done something. From USA Today:
They also, for the first time, published estimates of pet deaths closer to what other authoritative sources have been speculating for weeks now:
"As of April 26, 2007, FDA had received over 17,000 consumer complaints relating to this outbreak, and those complaints included reports of approximately 1950 deaths of cats and 2200 deaths of dogs."
These numbers are very much in line with what we've seen in our own database of self-reported cases at PetConnection:
- Total reports of illness or death: 14,228
- Total cats reported dead: 2,334 cats
- Total dogs reported dead: 2,249
The Food and Drug Administration is enforcing a new import alert that greatly expands its curtailment of some food ingredients imported from China, authorizing border inspectors to detain ingredients used in everything from noodles to breakfast bars.Yikes. Seeing as scientists don't seem to understand why melamine caused pet deaths, and have speculated that some as yet unknown chemical transformation may be responsible, that's profoundly disturbing.
The new restriction is likely to cause delays in the delivery of raw ingredients for the production of many commonly used products.
According to the alert notice posted on the FDA website Friday, the agency has so far taken 750 samples of wheat gluten and products made with wheat gluten and found 330 positive for melamine or melamine combined with another substance. It also found 27 positives out of 85 samples of rice protein concentrate and products made with rice protein concentrate.
For the vegetable proteins and finished products that have been found to be contaminated, it is unknown who the actual manufacturers are, how many manufacturers there are, or where in China they may be located.The FDA alert is going to require importers to provide evidence that their product is free from melamine using third party laboratory tests, which is a step in the right direction. It does nothing, of course, to bring back the dead pets nor does it provide anything approximating a solution. It's a stop-gap measure at best. I still don't understand why we would still import this stuff right now.
The samples of vegetable proteins that have tested positive for the presence of melamine and melamine analogs have, thus far, been traced to two Chinese firms, Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. Ltd. and Binzhou Futian Biology Technology Co. Ltd. Records relating to the importation of these products indicate that these two firms had manufactured the ingredients in question. There is strong evidence, however, that these firms are not the actual manufacturers. Moreover, despite many weeks of investigation, it is still unknown who the actual manufacturer or manufacturers of the contaminated products imported from China are.