Saturday, March 31, 2007


Well, it's a hard, cold rain falling in northern Wisco tonight, I'll need to go into the woods tomorrow & drag some wood back for the furnace, The Twins, plus Mom & Dad & CoCo, the dog, are coming up for what looks like a very chilly Easter. So, I thought I'd change the blog template & see if I & my four loyal readers like it. I've also done some redoing of the links list, I've deleted Atrios because he did this silly thing of eliminating a bunch of blogs from his blogroll, an exercise in bad power usage. I still read him everyday, but he gets so much traffic, he doesn't need my help anymore, or the help of skippy, the bush kangaroo. So now my big time link will have to be Morning Martini. She's real big because she's had multiple mentions on Crooks and Liars.

Saturday Baby Blogging

Heads Up Cat Owners

As well as cat feeders. High class (?) & high priced Science Diet dry cat food now on the recall list. It's the Prescription M/D food. Even if you don't feed this exact type, but do feed another Science Diet food, breathe a little easier, but do pay attention.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Spare Some Time?

Via Rising Hegemon, we get this. I heard Perino say this while listening to the CSpan in the local library. It didn't immediately register, but now it does. Why do those old dicks in the VFW & other vet's organizations continue to blindly support this douchebag? Maybe they did get their medications, if you know what I mean.

We worked hard to find time on the President's schedule where he could spend three hours up there, which he's going to do today, visiting not just the patients, but the workers who -- the medical workers and the staff up there that provide the support to the soldiers.

Oh, & Bu$hCo finished up his visit to the wounded troops & their families an hour early. It was probably too much for his beautiful mind.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Feeling Safer Yet?

For crying out loud, the double-dangerous terrorist David Hicks of Australia gets locked up in Guantanamo for four years & then gets a nine month sentence, but he had to promise not to accuse the Bu$hCo administration of torturing him. WTF? He'll be out by New Year's Eve. If this guy was such an awful, evil character, why is he being released to Australia to serve 9 months after confessing to a bunch of awful, evil crimes? This is another reason why I hate Bu$hCo.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Not So Rib Tickling

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

is why America is so off course. I'm glad the writer put in a few details that help put the situation into context.

He learned how costly this can be after fracturing a rib in a relatively minor motorcycle accident and subsequently being hit with a bill for more than $12,000 from San Francisco General Hospital.


"We are the only developed country that doesn't cover all its people," said Stan Dorn, a senior research associate at the nonpartisan Urban Institute. "We also spend a lot more than the rest of the developed world."


At the same time, life expectancy in the United States was lower than in each of these other countries and infant mortality was higher.

Emphasis added.

Powered by ScribeFire.


This is the face of the people ruling America. I have zero problem with young people doing important jobs, but Bu$hCo has gone over the edge. Remember all the young MBAs sent to Iraq? They were far more interested in promoting a market economy than in getting the lights & air conditioners running. Small wonder things are FUBAR over there.

Sara Taylor is one of Bu$hCo's top advisers, she currently, or not so currently, as the case may be, reports to Karl Rove. If you click on the link (her name), you will notice what an incredibly short Wikipedia entry she has. Again, not to be a reverse ageist, but WTF is going on here?

Hat tip to Shutterwi.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Religious Intolerance

& I thought we had moved beyond spaghetti hatred. What will Joe,The New Guy think? What will we tell the children?

Peace Gracie

What will we tell the other pastafarians of the world?

Flying Spaghetti Monster

What will we tell the ...

Whoops, this is what I think I meant...

Powered by ScribeFire.

Slow Hand


After a monster meteor crashed into Earth some 65 million years ago and wiped out the dinosaurs and the vast majority of all other life on the planet, it took millions of years for the pace of evolution to pick up and the ancestors of modern animal species to begin diversifying rapidly and radiating throughout the world.

The timing of species development after the crash has long been a mystery to scientists, with many believing that the Great Extinction allowed an immediate speedup in evolution's pace.

But an international research team, creating a "supertree" to chronicle the evolution of nearly all the 4,500 species of mammals alive today, has concluded that the meteor disaster was followed only by a brief interval of evolution and extinction. It took tens of millions of years after that for all the mammalian species -- and probably the birds, too -- to begin their full-paced evolutionary advance, they say.

Powered by ScribeFire.

A Bit Late

Sorry, I'm a bit late with this story. I'm glad Kerry got around to giving this guy his due. Glad Shumer did it as well. It would have been a lot better if they had done this in 2004, but better late than never.

Facing almost certain defeat in the Senate, the White House on Wednesday withdrew the ambassadorial nomination of Sam Fox, who contributed $50,000 to the Swift Boat veterans' controversial campaign against Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., in the 2004 presidential race.

President Bush had nominated Fox, a St. Louis businessman, to be the U.S. envoy to Belgium.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Good Kitty

Via WTF Is It Now?


Powered by ScribeFire.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Core Values

Monica Goodling, the Bu$hCo Justice Department employee, now on an extended leave of absence, graduated from Messiah College. Messiah College is affiliated to the Brethern In Christ Church. Here is one of the ten core principals of that faith:

Pursuing Peace
We value all human life and promote forgiveness,understanding, reconciliation, and non-violent resolution of conflict.

Siguiendo la Paz
Valoramos la vida humana y promovemos el perdón, el entendimiento, la reconciliación, y la resolución no violenta a los conflictos.

It is also true that Goodling went to Pat Robertson's fake-a-roony Regent University Law School. One of the highlights of attending Regent is the prospect of licking ice cream with boneheaded, I'll-charge-anyone-with-terrorism-quit-&-let-others-clean-up-the-mess John Ashcroft. Ice cream with a guy that can't sing & who insisted on covering up the breasts of a female statue at the Justice Department. Now I don't know Ms. Goodling's faith of choice, but I find it hard to reconcile a core belief in non-violence, with a Justice Department's support of torture. So much for core beliefs. I guess it's not torture if Bu$hCo says it's not torture, however, I thought god was the final arbiter of that, I guess I'm wrong again, just as I was wrong about thinking that supporting a bill in Congress that allows Bu$hCo to continue to kill people for two years is actually a bill for peace, not a bill for dead people. My mistake.

More On Bu$hCo's Monicagate

Steven D has more on the woman with the really great,double-super law degree from Pat Robertson's wingnut law school. Steven D is from Booman Tribune. Go read some other good stuff from over there.
To answer my own question, no, I do not believe so, at least not for the reasons given by her attorney.

If Goodling is guilty of no crime, she has nothing to fear from her testimony. Certainly she cannot claim the privilege in order to prevent lying to Congress, thus perjuring herself and/or obstructing Justice.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Can't Get Me Enough Of This Froomkin

Here's some stuff on Bu$hCo's Monicagate.

In my column yesterday, I wrote that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is almost certainly still getting his marching orders directly from the West Wing. I speculated about which Justice and/or White House aides were charged with delivering those orders. It's widely known that the White House has in many cases turned over the micromanagement of Cabinet officials to untested youngsters whose paramount qualification is that they follow orders.

Now it looks like the 33-year-old Goodling's terrified, whining refusal to own up to what she did may end up exposing one of the weaknesses of relying on such people. When the going gets tough, they can't necessarily be trusted to either stand up to pressure -- or take the fall. Instead, they panic.


Charlie Gibson reported for ABC News last night that "her refusal to answer questions would raise questions in itself." Pierre Thomas then explained: "It's extremely rare, if not unheard of, for a senior Justice Department official to invoke the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination. Now Monica Goodling is a very senior official. She is the liaison to the White House, counsel to the Attorney General. And that puts her right in the center of this controversy over the firing of those U.S. Attorneys."


"Goodling, 33, is a 1995 graduate Messiah College in Grantham, Pa., an institution that describes itself as 'committed to embracing an evangelical spirit.'

"She received her law degree at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va. Regent, founded by Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson, says its mission is 'to produce Christian leaders who will make a difference, who will change the world.'
(Now there's a world class education, ed.)

Powered by ScribeFire.

Monday, March 26, 2007

More On Abu Al

Another Froomkin column that's plenty worth the read.

It's no secret in Washington that Gonzales is not an autonomous player. His entire career has been as an enabler of George Bush. He does what he's told.

When he was White House counsel, for instance, he was widely seen as being under the thrall of vice presidential counsel David S. Addington on such signature issues as torture and presidential power.


Josh Marshall, the liberal blogger who has driven this story from the beginning, explains: "This isn't about the AG's lies. It's not about the attempted cover-up. It's not about executive privilege and investigative process mumbojumbo.

"This is about using US Attorneys to damage Democrats and protect Republicans, using the Department of Justice as a partisan cudgel in the war for national political dominance. All the secrecy and lies, the blundering and covering-up stems from this one central fact."

Powered by ScribeFire.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

More On Abu Al

If the Attorney General's reputation and status were shaky before this latest revelation, surely this morning they are downright dissolved.

Why? Because now he is established in the court of public opinion if not yet in a court of law either to be a liar or a fool. Either he misled us all, via live television a la former President Clinton, when he told us two weeks ago that he wasn't involved in these sorts of conversations, Or he wasn't sharp enough to remember his presence and role at this meeting and comprehend the notion that,eventually, this information would tumble into the public realm. Either way, this latest embarrassing episode alone (never mind all the other reasons) disqualifies Gonzales to serve as the nation's top lawyer and its chief law enforcement official. Either way, it undercuts a core premise of the defense the Justice Department and the White House had tried so hard this past week to sell us: the Attorney General is a good guy who was shocked-- shocked!-- to find his subordinates playing fast and loose with well-established (if unwritten) rules about the political dismissal of U.S. Attorneys. It's no wonder that there are now two separate investigations underway at the Justice Department to determine the scope of the wrongdoing.

Andrew Cohen.

UPDATE: More from Crooks and Liars.
Here's the problem, though. As Marty Lederman points out, the relevant statute–28 U.S.C. 541(c)–vests the power to remove U.S. Attorneys with the president ("Each United States attorney is subject to removal by the President.") As we've repeatedly been told, U.S. Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the President–not the pleasure of the Attorney General (and certainly not the pleasure of the Attorney General's chief of staff). The decision to fire a U.S. Attorney–much less eight of them–is unquestionably one for the president to make, so if President Bush was truly out of the loop on this, that's a problem in and of itself.

Emphasis added.

powered by performancing firefox

Friday, March 23, 2007

Jesus Effing Christ

Via Crooks And Liars. This fits right into the ReThugs supporting the troops.

But instead of sending Town to a medical board and discharging him because of his injuries, doctors at Fort Carson, Colorado, did something strange: They claimed Town's wounds were actually caused by a "personality disorder." Town was then booted from the Army and told that under a personality disorder discharge, he would never receive disability or medical benefits.

Town is not alone. A six-month investigation has uncovered multiple cases in which soldiers wounded in Iraq are suspiciously diagnosed as having a personality disorder, then prevented from collecting benefits. The conditions of their discharge have infuriated many in the military community, including the injured soldiers and their families, veterans' rights groups, even military officials required to process these dismissals.

They say the military is purposely misdiagnosing soldiers like Town and that it's doing so for one reason: to cheat them out of a lifetime of disability and medical benefits, thereby saving billions in expenses.

Emphasis added.

powered by performancing firefox

Another Wake Up Call

The world's rivers are dying.

Great civilisations rise by rivers and die on their banks. The World Wildlife Fund has predicted that 10 of the largest rivers in the world are dying. Among them are the Ganga, Indus, Nile, Yangtze, Mekong and Danube, that are the lifelines of millions of people.

powered by performancing firefox

One More Bushie Goes To Jail

Another liar.

The former No. 2 official in the Interior Department today admitted lying to the Senate about his relationship with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who succeeded in gaining the official's intervention at the agency for his Indian tribal clients.

J. Steven Griles pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to a felony for making false statements in testimony before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee in November 2005 and in an earlier interview with panel investigators. He is the 10th person -- and the second high-level Bush administration official -- to face criminal charges in the continuing Justice Department investigation into Abramoff's lobbying activities.

Emphasis added.

powered by performancing firefox

More Free Market Bullshit

This is how it is working out for kids & adults. I will say that it is difficult to have much sympathy for the docs who make $182,186 a year. & I know that pediatrics & all of its permutations is the lowest paid of the specialties. Family medicine is even worse - $178,366 a year. Still, not a bad year's wage. Again, however, this is the result of the market. Why go into family medicine for its paltry wage when you can make $470,000 as a cardiac surgeon, or $424,992 as an interventionist radiologist (that's a bit of an oxymoron, eh?), or $417,106 as a sports medicine surgeon? This is another chapter in the Why I Hate Capitalism rant.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Why Are They So Afraid

Who's afraid of Virgina Grizzly Bear. It's disturbing to me that the right- wing is managing to delist the large predators in America. Why are they so afraid? I thought these guys were big tough outdoorsmen. Apparently not. Here is some info on wolf delisting out west. Here's more government bullshit on delisting in Wisconsin. The poor farmers, the poor bear hunters. Why are they afraid to go into the woods?

powered by performancing firefox

Something In The Air

I must ask the question: Are Canadians really smarter than Americans?

The survey conducted by Angus Reid Strategies released Thursday found that almost four in five Canadians — 77 per cent — are convinced global warming is real.

powered by performancing firefox

About Right

I'm thinking about gin tonics this summer. Warm nights, cool drinks watching all the Bushies being frog marched into a waiting squad car.

Quite a few people have speculated over whether Tony Snow really meant to say that Congress had no right or ability to conduct oversight of the executive branch. The claim is belied by the US constitution and all US history down to the present day. But I strongly suspect that it was no accident, slip of the tongue or loosely general statement the White House won't stand behind.

The simple truth, I think, is that there's too much criminality waiting to be uncovered.

powered by performancing firefox


WWOZ is a great radio station from New Orleans. It is a public station that has always kept the great music of New Orleans streaming to those of us either in exile or wanna-be exile. I'm in the latter camp, having my daughter & son-in-law living there for a couple of years. As I've said before, I haven't fallen for a place that hard before. Go click on the station's link & make a pledge. It really won't hurt you one bit & you'll feel cool, particularly if your donation is big enough to get a little of the lagniappe that NOLA offers.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Not Connecting The Dots

I suppose this could be considered a drowning victim*, but it is also a victim of unregulated capitalism. The folks in Greenville, South Carolina, probably won't or can't connect the dots. The article doesn't contain the strong, rough language that the situation deserves.

*“My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.” - Grover Norquist. Here's someone already drowned, Norquist must be happy.

powered by performancing firefox

This Is Right

Via Atrios. Senator Reid on Abu Al Gonzales the whole Bu$hCo cabal.

After telling a bunch of different stories about why they fired the U.S. Attorneys, the Bush Administration is not entitled to the benefit of the doubt. Congress and the American people deserve a straight answer. If Karl Rove plans to tell the truth, he has nothing to fear from being under oath like any other witness.

powered by performancing firefox

Jeez Louise

Via Holden over at First Draft, we get the head fool of America saying this:

It may sound far-fetched to some that one of these days we'll be making a product that can go into a Ford pickup truck out of wood chips, and you'll be able to drive just like it was full of gasoline, but those days are around the corner.

I'd say he has gone around the corner.

& we all wish he'd stop.

powered by performancing firefox

You thought they were all kiddin you

It's not "weird and screwed up," Eric, it's more like Bu$hCo not turning
"... around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns
When they all come down and did tricks for you
You never understood that it aint no good
You shouldnt let other people get your kicks for you"

So from the piece in Rolling Stone that I linked to above, we get some good stuff.
The war in Iraq isn't over yet, but -- surge or no surge -- the United States has already lost. That's the grim consensus of a panel of experts assembled by Rolling Stone to assess the future of Iraq. "Even if we had a million men to go in, it's too late now," says retired four-star Gen. Tony McPeak, who served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Gulf War. "Humpty Dumpty can't be put back together again."
Richard Clarke: All the things they say will happen are already happening. Iraq is already a base for terrorists; there is already a civil war. We've got 150,000 troops there now and we can't stop it.
McPeak: We're going to see a full-scale intercommunal war that may not burn out until one side is all dead, all gone. The Kurds would like to sit on the sidelines, but I don't see how they stay out, especially up in the Kirkuk area, where they sit on a lot of oil. This is going to be ethnic cleansing like we had in Kosovo or Bosnia -- but written big, in capital letters. And we can't stop it.
Graham: This administration seems to be getting ready to make -- at a much more significant, escalated level -- the same mistake we made in Iran that we made in Iraq. If Iraq has been a disaster, this would be multiple times Iraq. The extent to which this could be the horror of the twenty-first century is hard to exaggerate.
Scheuer: The Shiites in Iran will not tolerate the re-emergence of a Sunni government in Iraq. And the last thing the Saudis, Kuwaitis, Egyptians, Jordanians and the rest of the Sunni-dominated states will tolerate is letting the Shia control another oil-rich state in the Muslim heartland. So you're going to see those states running guns and money to Sunni fighters in Iraq. For Jordan and Egypt, this is a golden opportunity to send their young firebrands to fight in Iraq as they did in Afghanistan. It's kind of a pressure-release valve for Sunni dictatorships: People who would be out causing problems because their governments aren't Islamic enough will be out in Iraq fighting the ultimate heretics, the Shia.
McPeak: This is a dark chapter in our history. Whatever else happens, our country's international standing has been frittered away by people who don't have the foggiest understanding of how the hell the world works. America has been conducting an experiment for the past six years, trying to validate the proposition that it really doesn't make any difference who you elect president. Now we know the result of that experiment [laughs]. If a guy is stupid, it makes a big difference.

Great stuff to ponder, frankly, agree with, on a relatively warm March day in northern Wisco - when the sun is shining it's warm; when the clouds come, it's cold. Nova Scotia & bagpipes & salmon & brook trout & sea ducks & woodcock & Acadians, not quebecois; it continues to call.

powered by performancing firefox

Religion Makes (Oh, Sorry,Teaches) Us To Tell The Truth

Lousy teachers.

At least six months after Cardinal Roger M. Mahony told his superiors at the Vatican that a videotape provided proof of a priest's criminal misconduct with high school boys, the head of the Los Angeles Archdiocese told the public that the tape showed no sexual activity between Father Lynn Caffoe and the boys, according to court records.

powered by performancing firefox

Just Who Is The Coward

This is a tough letter. Bu$hCo is too much a coward to answer it. What will it take for Bu$hCo to do the human thing? It's too late, it was always too late with that crowd. Not one fucking Bush served in this war, not one. Bu$hCo . himself. went AWOL from the Air National Guard. I wonder how my bone doctor, actually in the Air Guard, feels about taking orders from a deserter? Oh, Bu$hCo, my doc is on his second deployment in Iraq, second deployment for a Guard member. I hope he's got a good partner, just in case my knee completely blows out.
The two-page letter is signed from the “proud father of a fallen soldier.”

A little more than six weeks ago, his soul a cauldron of grief and rage, Richard Landeck, 56, of Wheaton addressed and mailed it to President Bush.

And since he’s yet to receive an acknowledgment or reply, he asked me if I’d help get his message out.

Six weeks that bastard George W. Bu$hCo can't even answer a letter.

powered by performancing firefox

Monday, March 19, 2007

Growing Up

Go here for more. The peace onesies are from Joe, The New Guy, & his lovely, but medication-free, wife.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Socialism In The Jeans?

Well, no, but in a bee's genes.

...that a single gene controls multiple traits related to honeybee sociability.

Now, go read the rest.

powered by performancing firefox

I Hate Indiana

But since my best friend lives there, they got rid of that monster Bobby Knight, Notre Dame still sucks, & they've got this guy blogging away, I may have to reconsider my overheated dismay. While there is so much wrong with the subject matter, I laughed. & in my situation, that's a good thing.

And that matter actually gets funnier (both "ha-ha" funny and "gee this milk tastes" funny) after a quick page-long explanation of what disciplinary action will be taken, or at least considered, for the first five offenses. That's where we run into the outline of the procedure for a parent or guardian to request a waver of the "IPS Student Uniform Dress Policy" (the section was obviously prepared before the Task Force finalized its Resolution of Committee Thoughts on Nominalization). A waver may be requested on religious, philosophical, or medical grounds. Philosophical grounds. I love that. Who's excused, do you suppose? Sceptics? Nihilists, sophists, existentialists? Nudists? They are required--this really tells you all you need to know--to contact the school to request an Application for Exemption from Uniform Dress Policy form.

Emphasis added. "Nihilists" - go John Goodman & the rest of the crew in Lebowski.

powered by performancing firefox

For The SideKick & His Apples

The previous post, untitled is for The SideKick. For some reason, if I add any text to the YouTube embed, Blogger tells me that it can't comply with my request. It is very annoying.

Saturday, March 17, 2007


This is the proper way to display the Confederate flag.


powered by performancing firefox

Why Women Should Never Vote For A ReThug (That's A Republican For You Sensistive Types

Jesus Christ.

The Union Pacific Railroad Company did not discriminate against its female employees by excluding birth-control pills from its health insurance coverage, according to a federal appellate panel in St. Louis.


The two appellate judges who ruled in favor of Union Pacific, Raymond W. Gruender III and Pasco M. Bowman II, were both appointed by Republican presidents, Judge Gruender by President Bush, and Judge Bowman by President Ronald Reagan.

Looks like a purely partisan decision to me. Emphasis added.

powered by performancing firefox

Good Advice

From Dan Froomkin.

Keep your eye on Karl Rove, people.

Emphasis added.

powered by performancing firefox

Another Reason Why Capitalism Sucks

This is bad news. The same company makes high class (& quite expensive) dog food also make that worthless Ol' Roy crap. Who knew? Well, now you do. Here is a very partial list of dog food manufactured by Menu Foods:
Price Chopper
Nutro Max

Via The Raw Story.

I Know He Writes Some Stuff That Is Occassionally Funny

But things like this are why I pretty much hate Garrison Keillor.

powered by performancing firefox

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Molly, my lovely, thanks for the pale ale last night.

powered by performancing firefox

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Do Less Drugs

That's Two

A second ReThug calls for the firing of Abu Al Gonzales.

Abu Al Gonzales, An American Embarassment, No, Criminal

Holden over at First Draft, turns us on to the following blog posts in the Washington Post.

From the first entry:
Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales is the 80th attorney general of the United States and if recent events in the law and at the Justice Department are any indication, he is rapidly staking a claim to being among the worst.
Gonzales has been charged, over and over again and both before and during his current tenure, as being President's Bush's in-house and in-court "yes" man, a lawyer whose main role has been to try to justify legally, at least on its face, what his boss already has decided for political or moral reasons to do anyway. This indeed, sometimes anyway, is one of the roles of attorney general. But it is wholly at odds with the other role, that of hands-off protector of the Constitution against both internal and external threats to its viability.
But he believes that Gonzales "falls short of any ideal I can think of" and says that Gonzales has inappropriately balanced his "loyalties to the President" with his "responsibilities as a lawyer." Gonzales, says Katz, "doesn't seem to see past the relationship with his boss" and has been "a willing accessory" to some of what Katz sees as the "worst excesses" of the administration's policies.

& here we go with Part II.
The Attorney General's record at the Justice Department strongly suggests that he has still acted as a docile and dogged "facilitator" for White House initiatives rather than as a wise, high-minded legal counselor willing and able on occasion to exercise independent judgment and power.
...Gonzales' appallingly unprofessional work on death penalty cases when he was counsel for Gov. Bush. According to Berlow, Gonzales "repeatedly failed to apprise Bush of some of the most salient issues in the cases at hand: ineffective counsel, conflict of interest, mitigating evidence, even actual evidence of innocence" (emphasis in original) in a series of memoranda Gonzales prepared for the governor's review as part of the state's clemency process. Berlow believes that this was not mere negligence on the part of Gonzales -- that would have been bad enough -- but rather part of a concerted effort by both men to ensure for both political and ideological reasons that there would be no clemency petitions granted. The dice were loaded, you might say, by the man who now is the nation's top lawyer.
...he cited two examples wherein Gonzales legal advice to Gov. Bush ran afoul both of constitutional law and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. In one case, involving a Mexican national name Irineo Tristan Montoya, Berlow writes that Gonzales told Mexican officials that since Texas had not signed the Vienna Convention the state was not bound to determine whether local police had violated it when they arrested Montoya for murder. Problem is, as Berlow noted, Article 6 of the Constitution states that federal treaties are the "supreme law of the land" and cannot be trumped by state laws or policies. That's first-year law school stuff, by the way.
"His priority has always been to do his boss's bidding." Berlow also told me that Gonzales' pre-Justice record shows a cavalier pattern of carelessly justifying policy decisions.
"Sycophant" is just one of many uncomplimentary but pointed words used by my sources for this series to describe Gonzales' work and attitude toward his role as counselor.

I know this is hard to take, & that we've all known what an awful man Gonzales was & is, but we must proceed to Part III.
Brought into the President's cabinet amid oft-stated concerns that he was a mere crony and "facilitator" for the President, and with a controversial record as White House counsel and counsel to then-Texas Governor Bush, Alberto R. Gonzales' record since he took office as Attorney General is a dismal one. In fact, whether it is the legal war on terrorism or garden-variety issues of crime and punishment, it is hard to identify a single area of unchallenged success. And even where the current team at the Justice Department has enjoyed good news-- say, for example, in the area of increased sexual assault prosecutions or solid white-collar convictions-- the wheels for such victories already were in motion before Gonzales took on the job.
...we have on our hands an Attorney General who still shills for the President as if he were working out of the White House or the Governor's mansion in Austin.
Now, an Attorney General with this sort of a hapless record no doubt would like to be able to say to the American people: "in spite of all of this, I have helped make you safer where you live." But, here, too, Gonzales has failed. According to the National Association of Police Chiefs and Sheriffs, big-city murder rates have risen 10 percent over the last two years. The Federal Bureau of Investigation itself puts the violent crime increase at 3.7 percent for January-June 2006. Also, drug use apparently in increasing in the nation's heartland. What does the Justice Department intend to do about this disturbing trend? Here is what the press release said last December: "Attorney General Gonzales in October announced the Initiative for Safer Communities. Through this initiative, DOJ teams are visiting 18 cities around the country to meet with state and local law enforcement agencies to find out what is causing this increase and to determine which crime-fighting efforts are most effective." In other words, it intends to study the matter.

Emphasis added. Oh, & feeling any safer? Didn't think so.

Minnesota Needs To Purge This Dingbat

I don't mean that in an affectionate, Edith Bunker, sort of way. Bachman is an idiot she makes me ashamed that my mom, may she rest in peace, was born in MN. Good grief, could the moron voters of her district be stooopider than her? Apparently, so.

powered by performancing firefox

Chris Rock

I've been trying to post the video of Joe Biden giving Bu$hCo hell on Iraq, but for some reason Blogger won't let me blog it. Oh, well, here's Chris Rock. please, just think "cognitively disabled."

LIFE: In the first movie you directed, Head of State, you were president of the United States. Is this country ready for an African American president?

ROCK: It's ready for a retarded president, why wouldn't it be ready for an African-American president?

powered by performancing firefox

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Almost Fossil

OK, I said I was going to bed, but this caught my eye or head or something. Pretty cool, eh?

A rare and reclusive leopard that hunts among the dense island forests of Borneo and Sumatra in south-east Asia has been identified as an entirely new species of great cat.


Genetic tests and pelt examinations have revealed that the animal, now called the Bornean clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi), is as distinct from other clouded leopards that roam mainland Asia as lions are from panthers.


By testing DNA from clouded leopard populations across Asia and the islands, scientists at the US National Cancer Institute in Maryland identified 40 genetic differences between the island cats and those found elsewhere, confirming them as two distinct species whose evolutionary paths divided 1.4m years ago.

powered by performancing firefox


You are older than you think.

I tired & am going to bed. Later.


Not so much. When will we grow up?

powered by performancing firefox

Friends In High Places

Kill people on the streets. The NOLA pumps memo, via fixthepumps via Humid City v2.3. Now, anyone with a speck of gray cellular matter in the uppermost area of their body knows that there is more Bu$hCo involved than the complete failure to help the people of the New Orleans. & yes, here it is - his fucking brother Jeb!
MWI is owned by J. David Eller and his sons. Eller was once a business partner of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in a venture called Bush-El* that marketed MWI pumps. And Eller has donated about $128,000 to politicians, the vast majority of it to the Republican Party, since 1996, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

MWI has run into trouble before. The U.S. Justice Department sued the company in 2002, accusing it of fraudulently helping Nigeria obtain $74 million in taxpayer-backed loans for overpriced and unnecessary water-pump equipment. The case has yet to be resolved.

Taxpayer-backed loans, sounds like Hank Martinsen & Gary LaPean of Ashland, WI.

More on the faulty pumps here & here.
Let it not be said that Hurricane Katrina's lessons didn't sink in. For example, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers learned that it's good to look prepared, even if you aren't -- so it (apparently knowingly) installed 34 defective pumps in New Orleans before the 2006 hurricane season. The season was mild, so the Corps now has time to fix the gadgets' overheating engines, broken hoses, and blown gaskets for the 2007 season. (The pumps were made by a company run by a former business partner of Jeb Bush. We're just saying.) The Corps also learned that developing wetlands is bad, bad, bad. That's why it just issued controversial regulations allowing development on some flood plains to proceed without environmental reviews. Curiously, Corps officials say the rule -- which guides projects that fill less than half an acre of wetlands or less than 300 feet of a stream -- will deter building on bigger wetlands parcels by allowing it on small ones. It's a wonder their brains don't burst from all that logic.

Emphasis added. *Nice ring to the company name, eh? I bet the Bu$hCo handholding buddies in Saudi Arabia love it as well, probably helped with the name.

Check The Temperature In Hell

Alan K. Simpson, retired ReThug Senator from Darth Cheney's Wyoming, writes in today's Washington Post some important & intelligent words in an op/ed. Good for the Senator, I'm happy that he understands what most ReThugs cannot.

Emphasis added. The only caveat I have about Simpsons' piece is that this odious rule/practice ought not be deep-sixed because of this bogus war on terror. It ought to be dispensed with because it is a reprehensible idea.

Same Difference

On the drive up to work today, I was listening to a talk show from the east coast on my satellite radio. The discussion was about the crappy health care that veterans, particularly Iraq veterans were receiving at Walter Reed. All of the horror stories are true, of course, & they are true at many, if not all, of the veteran health clinics/hospitals across the country. The trouble is that the health care problems the vets are experiencing are the same problems most Americans are also finding. On just an anecdotal level, consider these problems: a near 60 year old's dentist retires & no dentist in his home town will take him on as a new patient. He has to travel 35 miles to an even smaller northern Wisco town to find dental care. Another 60/50 something has an acute tooth problem. No one in this city of 8000 will see him, even on an emergency basis. Their emergency protocols only provide for their existing patients. He had to travel four hours to Minneapolis to get care. In terms of mental health care, it's just as bad. Any psychiatrist is nothing more than a medication monitor. Their is no real talk therapy going on. & this goes double for kids. Non-medical therapists are so overwhelmed that a person needs weeks to get an appointment, if an appointment can even be made. While I feel the vet's pain, I also feel the pain of all Americans when it comes to health care. Unless you are really rich, don't get sick, don't get depressed, don't have marital problems. It will just be suck it up, bitch, be a man.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Abu Al Gonzales Must Go

Click here to sign a petition to that effect. Yes, it is activism night here at BillyCreek, but it's relatively light, since I've only asked you to sign two petitions. Go do it, you knuckleheads.*

Yes, I admit that I stole that from Michael Wilbon. He cohosts Pardon The Interruption, a sports show that airs in the late afternoon on ESPN. More on the show here. Here's a pic of the stunning Michael Wilbon, but before you get all in love with this guy from Chicago, go sign the goddamned petition. Thanks.

powered by performancing firefox


Look, the son-of-a-bitch hasn't made America a priority, why should anyone believe anything he says?

Mexican President Felipe Calderón gently chided President Bush on Tuesday for trying to build a wall between their two countries and lamented that the American leader never made Mexico the priority that he once promised it would be during his presidency.

what's odd is that Calderon apparently took copious notes on how to steal elections from Bu$hCo it worked.

powered by performancing firefox

That Bu$hCo

He's just so good for the economy.

powered by performancing firefox

Filibuster For Peace

Go here to sign a petition that asks our Senators to filibuster for peace. Go sign this petition. It's the least you can do. I am thanking you in advance.

powered by performancing firefox

Monday, March 12, 2007

I Guess I Missed This Trend

I was too busy trying to figure out why the ReThugs hated America & Americans,especially those with brown skin. Batting Left indeed. Here are some tidbits, mostly for laughs, but go read the whole thing. Please, my loyal four readers, please go read the whole thing. He's talking about that dick, David Brooks.

Then fame came calling with his pop sociology books, despite the fact that there's little enough need for real sociology,[*] and with the added bonus that it turned out the shit he made up was, somehow, more real than what the actual spade of research might have unearthed. And all was Golden. So like a bit-player baddie in an Indiana Jones flick, he imagines he can dazzle us with his scimitar display. But unlike Indy, we don't bother to shoot the man because he's so, well, laughable.


But Neoliberals are to the 70s and 80s what Grand Funk Railroad is to the 60s: talentless plonkers who jumped onto the first passing bandwagon in hopes of making a buck. Joe Klein is not the face of a failed, toothless liberalism. That's what we have Joe Biden for. Joe Klein is an ass.)


Pah. Neoliberalism was a cynical attempt by youngish moderate Democrats to improve their own electability as the party ran in terror of The Gipper That Wouldn't Die. (Compare the various permutations of "Creation Science" and its long-term effects on what the unlettered call Reality.) It drifted along with the currents until it smashed to bits on the shoals of the Bush administration. The survivors who refuse to swim towards the shore on the grounds that People Who Were Right All Along are not to be trusted can alight on whatever magazine they happen upon; that big bright light overhead is still gonna raise blisters. And had the Democrats stood up to the excesses of the Reagan administration as they should have it would have sunk without a bubble and spared everybody fifteen years of mal de mer.

Amen. I'm not religious. Emphasis added.

[*] -Don't repeat this to the former Dave Damrell, now, apparently known as Joseph Damrell.

powered by performancing firefox

Sunday, March 11, 2007

First Food

Well, the first solid food. Here are the pics, as promised. We also had a very successful audience at the Black Cat, a great coffeehouse without WiFi, owned by a demented, but quite hot woman, who was present today in order to be blessed by The Twins.

Marigny isn't quite sure about this.

Marigny likes this stuff.

This spoon thing is cool, too.

Lucy wants to know why her sister is getting 'nanas & she is stuck with her thumb.

Lucy says, "Thank you, Dad."

Lucy says,"I can hold my own spoon, thank you very much. Oh, & let me savor this new & strange flavor.

OK, what's next?

This Fits

Wonder if Cheney will move?

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The NYT's Editorial

For tomorrow brought to you tonight. The highlights:
During the hearing on his nomination as attorney general, Alberto Gonzales said he understood the difference between the job he held — President Bush’s in-house lawyer — and the job he wanted, which was to represent all Americans as their chief law enforcement officer and a key defender of the Constitution. Two years later, it is obvious Mr. Gonzales does not have a clue about the difference.

He has never stopped being consigliere to Mr. Bush’s imperial presidency. If anyone, outside Mr. Bush’s rapidly shrinking circle of enablers, still had doubts about that, the events of last week should have erased them.
Mr. Gonzales does not directly run the F.B.I., but it is part of his department and has clearly gotten the message that promises (and civil rights) are meant to be broken.
The attorney general helped formulate and later defended the policies that repudiated the Geneva Conventions in the war against terror, and that sanctioned the use of kidnapping, secret detentions, abuse and torture. He has been central to the administration’s assault on the courts, which he recently said had no right to judge national security policies, and on the constitutional separation of powers.
The Justice Department has been shamefully indifferent to complaints of voter suppression aimed at minority voters. But it has managed to find the time to sue a group of black political leaders in Mississippi for discriminating against white voters.
...Mr. Gonzales symbolizes Mr. Bush’s disdain for the separation of powers, civil liberties and the rule of law.

Emphasis added.

powered by performancing firefox


Enjoy. Then weep.

Well, That Went Pretty Well

The Twins are here here & in honor of being at G & G's house, they were introduced to their first solid food - organic 'nanas, not to be confused with Nana, the other wonderful & talented Grandmother. Pictures later.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.


Via Rising Hegemon, we get this opinion from the pin-headed & fascist Laurence Silberman. This is just beyond belief, a Federal judge uses the Dred Scott decision to justify the bogus right to bear arms crap coming out of the stupid NRA, an organization that does nothing, absolutely nothing, for the people that hunt in America. Nothing.

In March of 1857, Scott lost the decision as seven out of nine Justices on the Supreme Court declared no slave or descendant of a slave could be a U.S. citizen, or ever had been a U.S. citizen. As a non-citizen, the court stated, Scott had no rights and could not sue in a Federal Court and must remain a slave.

The NRA must be so proud.

powered by performancing firefox

Friday, March 09, 2007

Why I Hate Sports

Because of idiotic coaches.

powered by performancing firefox

Judicial Purge

Senators write a letter. Here are a couple of paragraphs from the letter:

While the President has the right to fire U.S. Attorneys, we do not believe the American people are best served if the President chooses to fire U.S. Attorneys for political reasons – whether to put in place young ideologues or because he is displeased with the cases the U.S. Attorney is pursuing.

We strongly believe that if a President chooses to fire U.S. Attorneys for any reason, but especially for political reasons, he should explain and justify his decision.

A ReThug Senator is even upset. On this issue, & it's a good thing. Another couple of paragraphs from his letter:

"What the Justice Department testified yesterday is inconsistent with what they told me," Ensign said. "I can't even tell you how upset I am at the Justice Department."

Asked whether he believed he was misled, Ensign said, "I was not told the same thing that I was at the hearing, let me put it that way."

Ensign said he pressed the topic at a meeting with White House officials Wednesday morning. He added he would be "making further inquiries."

"I am not pleased with the Justice Department at this point," he said. "I told the White House this morning if I could renominate (Bogden) I would."

This couldn't be a travesty of justice or of America without Karl Rove adding his own unique brand of fascism to the mix. Here is a response to an interview with that worthless skin bag.

Taking things sequentially in his statement, the notion that "U.S. Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president" is true, but irrelevant in this context. Congress is not investigation whether the President has the legal authority to fire these USAs -- it is investigating what factors the President permits to influence his judgment. It is one thing to say "I am legally entitled to do X;" it is quite another to expect that you can do X for nefarious reasons and expect to go unchallenged in the political arena by a coordinate branch of government. Given the supine nature of Congress over the past six years, though, I can understand why Rove believed "because the President says so" is a reasonable excuse.

Rove's reliance on "the president can do it" to try to shut down debate, is specious for another reason. The President, for example, has unfettered rights to pardon people. If President Bush started selling pardons, under Rove's logic, Congress would have no right or reason to investigate what the President had done. Many Republicans certainly took a different tack with respect to investigating President Clinton's perhaps-poorly-considered pardon of Marc Rich.

Second, Clinton's firing of 93 U.S. Attorneys was far less insidious than what happened here. Clinton's decision was generally applicable to all U.S. Attorneys -- you were hired by a different administration and I will replace you without regard to the status of any of your ongoing investigations. No one was spared, and thus no single U.S. Attorneys conduct was at issue. Here, however, Bush has not created a rule of general applicability (i.e., at the beginning of his second term seeking resignation of all U.S. Attorneys). Rather, his administration has apparently systematically chosen to replace U.S. Attorneys who were not malleable enough with respect to particular investigations of individuals or entities allied with the Republican party. There is simply no comparison between these two acts.

Another idiot from Bu$hCo's Injustice Department denies making any kind of threat, if you know what I mean. Much thanks for the hard work of the folks over at Talking Points Memo its companion site TPM Muckraker.

powered by performancing firefox

Thursday, March 08, 2007


The National Transportation Safety Board recently divulged they had "covertly" funded a project with the U.S. automakers for the past 5 years, whereby the automakers were installing black-box voice recorders in 4-wheel drive pickup trucks and SUV's in an effort to determine fatal accidents, the circumstances in the last 15 seconds before the crash.

They were surprised to find in 48 of the 50 states the recorded last words of drivers in 61.2 percent of fatal crashes were, "Oh Shit!"

Only Wisconsin and Minnesota were different, where 89.3 percent of the final words were: "Hold my beer, I'm gonna try something."

Thanks to my friend HW for this good joke.

I Mean, Really

There are days when I wish I didn't know how to read. I have no doubt that Bu$hCo is the stupidest fucking man in the world, with apologies to Douglas Feith. & all men who are fucking in the world right now. But his comment to the President of Brazil is just, just,... noise of head banging on arm of recliner.

During a conversation between the two presidents, George W. Bush, 55, (USA) and Fernando Henrique Cardoso, 71, (Brazil), Bush bewildered his colleague with the question "Do you have blacks, too?"

Makes a American really proud. How did this happen?

powered by performancing firefox

Oh Boy

I'm not sure how I feel about this.

Fired astronaut in love triangle will return to Navy

powered by performancing firefox

Just Stupid

Why is this even a story? What a waste of paper.

powered by performancing firefox

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Nineteen rare Asiatic lions have drowned in India after falling into wells over the past five years, further endangering an animal threatened by poachers and raising fresh concern about wildlife protection.


"Authorities have to wake up," said Gujarat-based environmentalist Ajay Rao. "India cannot afford to lose lions either by drowning or poaching."

No shit.

A thinking person can find more info on Asiatic lions right here. These are interesting cats. More here here here.

powered by performancing firefox

You Go Moose

The non-human world strikes back. I wonder if this is the beginning of something big?

A moose downed a helicopter in Alaska Wednesday after the moose had been shot with a tranquilizer gun. Instead of passing out, the moose charged the helicopter used by a wildlife biologist, damaging the aircraft's tail rotor and forcing it to the ground.

This is my favorite moose.

Oh, the squirrel's OK too.

powered by performancing firefox

Frivolous Lawsuit

As usual, it's only a frivolous lawsuit if a progressive files it. J.B. Van Hollen is a disgrace.

A judge has officially dismissed Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen's lawsuit accusing a Democratic-leaning group of defaming him during his campaign.

I appears it was just a campaign stunt. What a man! This post should not be taken as any sort of negative comment on Klinger, if you know what I mean.

powered by performancing firefox

The Time Has Come

Vermont steps up.

More than 30 Vermont towns passed resolutions on Tuesday seeking to impeach President Bush, while at least 16 towns in the tiny New England state called on Washington to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq.

powered by performancing firefox

Holy Crap

Tbogg has this exceptional musical post up. Take some time listen to all three versions. My personal favorite is The Clash. What's yours?

powered by performancing firefox

Why I'm A Socialist


Note the cool shirt: It says "Make Levees Not War".


Marigny is apparently the more, um, let's say she's less confrontational.

More of this cuteness at The Twins blog.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


In response to a comment below, a comment in which the the year 1913 appears to be the end of the world for the commenter because that's when the Federal Reserve System was created. I was also exhorted to study history. Well, here are a few tidbits from 1910-1913, a glorious time for Americans, according to the commenter.

-25 March. Fire breaks out at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, killing 146 workers, mostly women and girls; some jump to their deaths when inadequate equipment makes rescue impossible. [It served the workers right. For some reason. Oh, & no such thing as OSHA back then either.]
-15 April. The Titanic strikes an iceberg, and 1502 lives are lost because the ship did not carry enough lifeboats. [Again, free to die.]
-5 June. In what is now known as "Dollar Diplomacy," the U. S. sends marines to protect business interests in Cuba. [What can I say?]

Day Three

From The Times-Picayune, we get the third installment of the series on the loss, destruction, & ignoring of the wetlands of south Louisiana.
Right smack in the center of Louisiana's fragile, sinking coastline, a river gives birth to new wetlands every day.

The Atchafalaya River flows freely through the middle of Cajun country to the Gulf, depositing life-sustaining sediment into the interior wetlands along its path and the shallow bays at its mouth, creating a rich new delta.

The river's natural land-building ability contrasts sharply with the Mississippi River, which politicians and engineers long ago confined inside levees and jetties. That prevented the inundation of the cities, towns and industrial infrastructure along the river, but it also stifled the annual floods that had nourished the wetlands with fresh sediment.
"We can't go on for many years before we cross a threshold" beyond which the coast can't be saved, Groat said. "The scale of catastrophe and impact on the state and on the people -- on the entire country -- are all affected by the delta."

Emphais added.

The lesson of the the Atchafalaya River was/is lost on most of the commercial, i.e., business, interests. Their bottom line is not the resurrection of the delta, but maximizing shareholder value. & that's why we have this huge problem to begin with. Along with, of course, this whole notion of having dominion over the earth.