Marsha, Marsha, Marsha

Via Logan Murphy at Crooks and Liars:

Guest host David Shuster makes a fool out of critic Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee).

As Logan writes, “MSNBC, get that man his own show!”

UPDATE:  TBogg helps put the brouhaha into perspective.

Putting it on the line for democracy — in Myanmar

At least 10,000 monks, cheered on by thousands of onlookers, marched in Yangon on Monday in what appeared to be growing into the biggest demonstration yet against the ruling generals.The maroon-robed monks began a sixth day of protests, the most serious against the generals in two decades, with prayers at the Shwedagon Pagoda, the former Burma’s holiest shrine, then marched through the city.

The march stretched for one kilometre as the monks entered the city centre to cheers and applause from thousands of onlookers who joined them.”

People locked arms around the monks. They were clapping and chearing. They are asking for democracy,” one witness said.

Read the rest of the article here.

Tapped Out….


From Yahoo News:

MINNEAPOLIS – Sen. Larry Craig is only trying to get out of his guilty plea in an airport sex sting because he doesn’t like the political consequences, a prosecutor wrote in court papers filed Monday.

Craig, R-Idaho, has asked to withdraw his guilty plea, saying he was panicked into admitting to a crime he did not commit. A judge is set to hear the matter on Wednesday.

Read the rest of the story here.

All cartoons are posted with the artists’ express permission to TPZoo.
Jack Ohman, Portland Oregonian

Renewable Energy

The first wave farm is going to be built off the Cornish coast. Look what they do in Australia, and all over the world.

There are scores of succesful projects, that are bringing forward research and development of new energy saving and CO -neutral energy producing technologies. And it’s accomplished with only meagre funds as compared to the US “War for Oil Initiative”. (And the costs for step 2 – Iran – have not even been budgeted yet!)

Here they Go Again, Social Security must be Cut!

Story off the AP wire via MSNBC:
The Bush administration said Monday the only way to permanently fix Social Security is through some combination of benefit cuts and tax increases.

That was one of the key findings in a new paper on Social Security released by the Treasury Department in an effort to achieve common ground on the politically explosive issue.

“Social Security can be made permanently solvent only by reducing the present value of scheduled benefits and/or increasing the present value of scheduled tax increases,” the paper said. The Treasury paper said that while other changes to the giant benefit program might be desirable “only these changes can restore solvency permanently.”
Unfortunately, these clowns completely forget to mention that uncapping the SS contribution or raising the interest rate for raiding the surplus would fix the problem permanently…

Civil liberties under threat

The Economist has launched a series of articles to analyze the impact the “War on Terror” has on the civil liberties of all of us. All articles of this series, that are available without subscription, will continue to be linked to on this blog as they are published on the Economist’s website. 

As WW I and II have been not infinite conflicts, the suspension of civil rights ended generally with the respective war. The long lasting tensions of the cold war didn’t lead to the kind of pressure on civil rights that we see today. Civil liberties were, in the long run, an asset, that discerned the western democracies from the totalitarianism in the eastern block.

Modern day terrorism is a foe, who will most probably be around for some decades, as the cold war did. However, protecting our civil liberties, even if at the risk of more terrorist attacks, is paramount to the functioning of our democracies.

The Economist’s introducing article can be found here. The first article of the series focuses on “Saying no to Torture” and can be found here.

Ahmadinejad in New York

N.Y. site transcends boundaries

SO MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD is forbidden by the United States to visit Ground Zero. Iran’s president is to address the United Nations tomorrow, and while in New York, he had hoped to go to the World Trade Center site, as so many visitors do. New York authorities, together with the US State Department, said no. The prohibition was seconded by Hillary Clinton – she called the idea “unacceptable” – and by Rudy Giuliani, who blasted Ahmadinejad for his “threats against America and Israel.”

What else might have happened here? Ahmadinejad is notorious for having denied the Holocaust, threatened Israel, and demonized America. He is also the elected president of a nation that stands, together with the United States, on the edge of an abyss. Does this action move us back from that edge, or closer to it?

No one can visit the World Trade Center site, even as construction daily transforms it, without a vivid sense of the staggering tragedy that took place there. Indeed, the event transcends mundane boundaries, even including old conflicts. In the days after Sep. 11, 2001, one of the first nations to express compassion for American pain was Iran. Then-President Mohammed Khatami, in an interview with CNN, sent, as he said, “deepest condolences to the nation of America and . . . sorrow for the tragic event of September 11. What occurred was a disaster . . . the ugliest form of terrorism ever seen.”

Read the rest of James Carroll’s column from the Boston Globe here.

U.S. Aims To Lure Insurgents With ‘Bait’

This was a very disturbing article today in the Washington Post.

U.S. Aims To Lure Insurgents With ‘Bait’

Snipers Describe Classified Program

by Josh White and Joshua Partlow
Washington Post Staff Writers

A Pentagon group has encouraged some U.S. military snipers in Iraq to target suspected insurgents by scattering pieces of “bait,” such as detonation cords, plastic explosives and ammunition, and then killing Iraqis who pick up the items, according to military court documents.

“Baiting is putting an object out there that we know they will use, with the intention of destroying the enemy,” Capt. Matthew P. Didier, the leader of an elite sniper scout platoon attached to the 1st Battalion of the 501st Infantry Regiment, said in a sworn statement. “Basically, we would put an item out there and watch it. If someone found the item, picked it up and attempted to leave with the item, we would engage the individual as I saw this as a sign they would use the item against U.S. Forces.”

“In a country that is awash in armaments and magazines and implements of war, if every time somebody picked up something that was potentially useful as a weapon, you might as well ask every Iraqi to walk around with a target on his back,” Fidell said.
(Continue reading…)

(Photo used with permission – by uberculture)

Democrats Court Evangelicals

Newsweek, via MSNBC:

By Eve Conant, Newsweek

Oct. 1, 2007 issue – Richard Land had never met one-on-one with a chairman of the Democratic National Committee. The Tennessee evangelist, an influential force in the Southern Baptist Convention, generally views such people as adversaries, if not enemies. So consider his surprise when, at a nonpartisan leadership conference over the New Year’s holiday, Howard Dean leaned in and said he’d love to get together for a private chat. Land agreed to meet for coffee at a downtown Washington hotel. He was wary: “I brought a witness,” he jokes now. Dean was there to chip away at Land’s loyalty to the GOP, and strangely, Land found himself warming to the liberal Democrat. Among other things, he admired Dean’s frugality. “He hauled his own suitcase around, and the Capitol Hill Suites isn’t exactly fancy,” Land tells NEWSWEEK. “I was impressed.” More important, the two men had something to talk about, and did so cordially. “Dean told me how the Democrats were pro-life in that they wanted a country in which abortion was rare. I said, ‘I agree, but we disagree how to get there.’ Still, it was certainly a change in tone.”

For the Democrats, it’s a change in tactics as well—an audacious, if not quixotic, effort to win over a constituency that has been solidly Republican for a quarter century. Dean and other Democratic strategists hope to take advantage of deepening discontent with the GOP among some evangelicals.

Read the rest of the article. 

Silenced Rather Sues CBS

September 19th 2007- Dan Rather has filed a lawsuit against CBS claiming violation of his contract- read the real story behind Bush’s guard service and the necklace-ing of the media from Palast’s Armed Madhouse.

The power and the pay-off
By Greg Palast

June, 2006- They finally put Dan Rather out of his misery. Today, CBS finally terminated him and sent him to the electronic glue factory — all for reporting the truth. But not all of it.

Rather’s “unsubstantiated story of Bush’s military service” (says USA Today) got him canned. Yet, all the poor man did was repeat a story we put on BBC Television a year earlier — that Poppy Bush put in the fix to get his son out of ‘Nam and into the Texas Air Guard, spending his war years guarding Houston from Viet Cong attack.
(Continue reading..)

Wow.. I learned some things in this article that even Dan Rather had not reported on. All of this is contained in Palast’s book “Armed Madhouse“, you know, the book that the university student from Florida was holding up when he was tasered last week.. I just got my copy of the audio book and I will be starting it this week when I am in my car playing taxi driver.

After you read this article by Palast, you might want to read this article next. It is a continuation of the saga and Palast’s investigations for the BBC Television and the Guardian. It is about Harriet Miers and the article is called “Bush Hit-Woman Behind Prosecutor Firings Has Long History of Purges to Protect Bush – Harriet Miers fired investigator in 1997 to cover Bush draft-dodge“.

(Photo used with permission – by nofear0089)