Is there anything Rudy won’t do in the name of 9/11?

Rudy’s having a party! It is a fundraiser where all participants are encouraged to donate $9.11. Is there ANYTHING he won’t do to milk being the mayor of New York City during the 9/11 attack?

According to the BBC News:

The Giuliani campaign says it did not plan the event, which is due to take place on Wednesday evening in California at the home of a supporter.

Nevertheless, the firefighters association said the stated theme of the fundraiser – “$9.11 for Rudy” was in poor taste.

“It is nothing short of disrespectful to the legacy of the thousands of civilians and 343 brave firefighters who died at Ground Zero,” said Harold Schaitberger, IAFF president.

Democratic presidential candidate Chris Dodd described the fundraiser’s theme as “unconscionable, shameless and sickening.”

Magna Carta To Be Auctioned

By Sarah Boxer, CNN:

NEW YORK (CNN) — Just blocks from where U.N. diplomats debate their interpretations of tyranny and democracy, what may be the first document to articulate the difference is going up for sale.

Sotheby’s will auction off one of the earliest versions of the Magna Carta later this year, the auction house announced Tuesday.

This will be the first time any version of the Magna Carta has ever gone up for auction, according David Redden, vice chairman of Sotheby’s.

The Magna Carta is expected to fetch at least $20 million to $30 million, Redden said.

Read the rest of the story here.

Next, the Constitution God-damned piece of paper!

Cell phones used during air traffic radar failure

Yup. That’s what the headline says on the lead CNN.Com article. Sure sounds like the use of cell phones on 9/11 was not impossible after all. I mean, here it looks like the airtraffic controllers were able to route the planes successfully using their cell phones.

But wait, there’s more!

Follow the link and you get this:

Radar fails in Memphis; hundreds of flights affected

“At the time of the outage, controllers “were thrust into an immensely chaotic situation in which they had to use personal cell phones to talk to other air traffic control facilities about specific flights that they could not communicate with themselves,” he said.”

They weren’t talking to the planes after all.

Another Ad for the Senate to Condemn

From CNSNews.com:

Organizers of San Francisco’s Folsom Street Fair — sponsored by Miller Brewing Co. — have portrayed Christ and his disciples as half-naked homosexual sadomasochists in the event’s promotional advertisement, and the conservative group Concerned Women for America is complaining about the hypocrisy of it.

Mormon extremist convicted of rape

ST. GEORGE, Utah, Sept. 25 — The polygamist Warren S. Jeffs, hailed by his followers as a prophet of God but denounced by critics as the tyrannical cult leader, was convicted today of being an accomplice to the rape of a 14-year-old girl in his church.Mr. Jeffs, 51, faces up to life in prison….. The girl who was at the center of the case, now 21 and identified as Jane Doe by the court, testified that in 2001 she had been pressed by Mr. Jeffs into a marriage with a 19-year-old cousin she didn’t want. Prosecutors said Mr. Jeffs had known that the marriage would lead to nonconsensual sex but pushed the union anyway.

Full story here.

In the body of the story it reports that the “husband” claimed that his bride was initially “reluctant” but that the sex, “about two weeks after the ceremony” was consensual. The entire point of statutory rape, of course, is that a 14-year-old is incapable of consenting. Hence the whole “age of consent” thing.

Rock The Casbah

From Agence-France-Presse:

With cinemas closed, the theatre dead and an entertainment-killing curfew in force every night, Iraqis are returning to one of their more ancient traditions — making music in the home.

Music teachers and instrument shop owners say that young Iraqis, bored with television and with little else to do, are investing both time and money in learning to play musical instruments.

With little or no electricity supplies in Baghdad, however, they are limited mainly to string instruments — especially guitars.

Munir & Omar Bashir

“Maqam Rast”

Olbermann: Bush Used Bogus Terror Threat to Scare Votes for FISA Bill

Crooks and Liars
(with video)

By Logan Murphy
Tuesday 25 September 2007

Keith Olbermann has been tracking the Bush Administration’s use of trumped up terror alerts to manipulate the American people for the past two years, but in this latest Nexus of Politics & Terror report on Countdown, it appears the president stooped to a new low by using a bogus terror threat that specifically targeted Capitol Hill to manipulate members of Congress just hours before a crucial vote on the FISA bill last August.

According to Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Terrorism Risk Assessment, the Bush administration knowingly used bogus intelligence to make lawmakers believe there was the chance of an imminent attack on the U.S. Capitol, thus frightening them into passing the temporary expansion of his powers to spy on Americans under the FISA act. Keith talks with former Reagan administration official and chairman of the American Freedom Agenda Bruce Fein, who has called for the impeachment of both Dick Cheney and George Bush about Bush’s unconstitutional power grabs and how the Democrats can exert their powers as a co-equal branch of government by refusing to fund any spending mandated in future FISA bills.

Out goes the Poodle, in comes the French Bulldog!

President Bush’s pose as statesman this morning in his speech at the UN general assembly was, what could be called a nice try. He stressed liberties as the main focus and showed concern for the oppressed in Myanmar and elsewhere. No mention of Iran, or God forbid, war with Iran.

Shortly thereafter, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said what the Bush Administration really had in mind. He lambasted Iran and categorically made clear that Iran faces war, if they continued to push for nuclear weapons.

Add today’s Lieberman/Kyl amendment to the equation.

Drums beating.

Little Rock, 50 Years Later

There is a long, but fascinating piece at Vanity Fair, following the life of Elizabeth Eckford, the 15-year-old black girl in the iconic photograph taken in Little Rock in 1957. A long piece but one that is definitely worth the time.

During the historic 1957 desegregation of Little Rock Central High School, 26-year-old journalist Will Counts took a photograph that gave an iconic face to the passions at the center of the civil-rights movement—two faces, actually: those of 15-year-old Elizabeth Eckford on her first day of school, and her most recognizable tormentor, Hazel Bryan. The story of how these two women struggled to reconcile and move on from the event is a remarkable journey through the last half-century of race relations in America.

H/T: Washington Monthly

Lieberman & Kyl Play at Sword Rattling

From Think Progress:

Today, the Senate is expected to vote on an “extremely threatening” amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill introduced by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ). The “sense of the Senate” amendment could “lead to a tit-for-tat escalation resulting in military confrontation between the US and Iran.”

The legislation accuses Iran of fighting “a proxy war against the Iraqi state and coalition forces in Iraq” and threatens to “combat, contain and [stop]” Iran. The right wing has quickly circulated around the amendment, claiming it “unflinchingly…calls on America to win” against Iran.

[snip]

As Jonathan Schwarz noted, the amendment is a “Sense of the Senate” resolution, “which means it has no legal force, but as the Congressional Research Service will tell you, ‘foreign governments pay close attention to [such resolutions] as evidence of shifts in U.S. foreign policy priorities.’”

Read the rest of the article here.

European Newsletter – Lunch Time rerun

Myanmar. As the protesters are getting more numerous, 100’000 took to the streets yesterday, the Burmese military is starting to return the pressure. Military and riot police seem to have started to enter Rangun. The situation for the military junta is getting more precarious by the day, as the number of ordinary citizens joining the monks in their protest against the regime is rising to numbers unseen since the 1988 unrest. With the military getting more anxious to quell this uprising, the danger of violent measures by the regime is rising, too. UPDATE: UK’s Guardian has put up a blog where you can track the developments in Myanmar, as they unfold, here. In his speech before the UN general assembly President Bush has announced the US would step up sanctions as the Myanmar government continually oppressed their people for the last 19 years. For the protesters, international support and media coverage is key to their safety from a violent crack down by the junta.

Iran‘s president Ahmadinejad will also speak to the general assembly. He has received a hefty dose of democracy and free speech yesterday, when speaking at the Columbia University, so his speech at the United Nations, also later today, will be quite a relief for him – no crtitical questions from the floor are expected there.

As both, President Bush and President Ahmadinejad are speaking at the UN today, the tension between the two countries continue to be reported and commented on by European newspapers here and here, to name only two of many. And while calling for increased sanctions is the flavour of the day, business goes on as usual.

In Italy there is a heated debate going on about the new campaign by star photographer Oliviero Toscani, highlighting the devastating effects of anorexia nervosa.

And if you still have the time, read up this and rejoice, if your kids have passed the toddler age.

‘Beltway Establishment’ vs. ‘Cuckoo Land’

Glenn Greenwald sums up David Brooks’ latest fact-free diatribe:

Thus, this is what we hear: The Democratic controlled Congress has reached new depths of unpopularity, but what they are doing is politically smart. Most Americans really want us to stay in Iraq. Bloggers are espousing views that most Americans hate. Views held by most Americans are the province of the “radical angry Left.” Democrats can only win elections by supporting the popular President’s policies, avoiding any real differences, and scorning their own base. The only hope Democrats have is to adhere to prevailing Beltway orthodoxy.

A List of Wankers

The more I think about Senate Amendment 2934, which condemned MoveOn.org for their ad critical of General Petraeus, the more I think that this amendment symbolizes a lot of what is wrong with our Congress.

In short, those who think this is where our government’s priorities lie, that is, in condemning those who are opposed to the Iraqi occupation, just don’t get it!

Congress should be focused on how to get us out of the quagmire that is the Iraqi occupation. Anything else is mere theatrics – made while our Soldiers are dying and the Iraqi people are continuing to suffer.

Continue reading

Jena Backlash

From Howard Witt at chicagotribune.com:

No sooner did tens of thousands of African-American demonstrators depart the racially tense town of Jena, La., last week after protesting perceived injustices than white supremacists flooded in behind them.

First a neo-Nazi Web site posted the names, addresses and phone numbers of some of the six black teenagers and their families at the center of the Jena 6 case and urged followers to find them and “drag them out of the house,” prompting an investigation by the FBI.

Then the leader of a white supremacist group in Mississippi published interviews that he conducted with the mayor of Jena and the white teenager who was attacked and beaten, allegedly by the six black youths. In those interviews, the mayor, Murphy McMillin, praised efforts by pro-white groups to organize counterdemonstrations; the teenager, Justin Barker, urged white readers to “realize what is going on, speak up and speak their mind.”

The hardcore redneck conservatives have enjoyed seven years of pushing their values down our throats.  Now that they see their dynasty crumbling, they are getting desperate.  These are dangerous times.

Thanks to Atrios.

[Photo courtesy of Laundry Broad.  Used by permission.]

Good Morning from Europe – The Monks of Myanmar

Myanmar. As the protesters are getting more numerous, 100’000 took to the streets yesterday, the Burmese military is issueing threats about non-specified actions. The situation for the military junta is getting more precarious by the day, as the number of ordinary citizens joining the monks in their protest against the regime is rising to numbers unseen since the 1988 unrest. With the military getting more anxious to quell this uprising, the danger of violent measures by the regime is rising, too. US President Bush is planning to focus on the Myanmar crisis in his speech to the United Nations general assembly later today. For the protesters, international support and media coverage is key to their safety from a violent crack down by the junta.

Iran‘s president Ahmadinejad will also speak to the general assembly. He has received a hefty dose of democracy and free speech yesterday, when speaking at the Columbia University, so his speech at the United Nations, also later today, will be quite a relief for him – no crtitical questions from the floor are expected there.

As both, President Bush and President Ahmadinejad will be speaking at the UN today, the tension between the two countries continue to be reported and commented on by European newspapers here and here, to name only two of many. And while calling for increased sanctions is the flavour of the day, business goes on as usual.

In Italy there is a heated debate going on about the new campaign by star photographer Oliviero Toscani, highlighting the devastating effects of anorexia nervosa.

And if you still have the time, read up this and rejoice, if your kids have passed the toddler age.