Bible belt

Q&A with John McCain:

A recent poll found that 55 percent of Americans believe the U.S. Constitution establishes a Christian nation. What do you think?

I would probably have to say yes, that the Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation.

Saint McCain is being stalked by the ghost of Jerry Falwell. And, if elected, I’m sure John will see to it that the Bill of Rights is replaced with the Ten Commandments, as 55% of Americans believe our Founding Fathers actually intended (if it hadn’t been for that small clerical error).

Thanks again, Atrios.

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“The last Soldier killed”

A follow-up to this TPZoo story and this duplicate one on Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee).

Here’s a way for a Congressperson to bring even more attention to their callousness:

Staff for Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), who could not name the last soldier from her district killed in Iraq during an appearance on MSNBC, acknowledged they sought a retraction from the network after the incident occurred.

David Shuster challenged Blackburn to name the last soldier killed in the Iraq War from her district. After naming Private Jeremy S. Bohannon, many conservative media outlets slammed Shuster for broadcasting inaccurate information because Bohannon had actually been a constituent of Democratic Tennessee Rep. John Tanner.

Dan Abrams, general manager of MSNBC, demanded that Shuster apologize for something that apparently wasn’t an error after all.

But perhaps we should expect this type of behavior from Abrams.

HT: Atrios, twice.

~ Egreggious

Bush administration cuts FBI’s ability to investigate white collar crime

The link to this Seattle Post-Intelligencer article was buried in a comment by Krazny. I think it’s much too important to lose.

The Bush administration’s 2008 budget cuts deeply into the FBI’s crucial criminal program, further crippling the bureau’s ability to tackle white-collar fraud, police abuse, civil rights violations and many other crimes, a Seattle P-I analysis has found.

H/T: Krazny

Kucinich ‘seriously thinking’ about forcing vote to impeach Cheney

via: RawStory

Rep. Dennis Kucinich says he is so concerned about what he sees as the Bush administration’s push for a war with Iran that he is considering using a parliamentary measure to force the House of Representatives to vote on impeaching Vice President Dick Cheney.

“We’re preparing for another war, and they’re going to destroy America,” the Ohio Democrat said Thursday on the Ed Schultz show. “We have a government in place right now that has to be challenged. I’m seriously thinking about calling a privileged resolution on impeachment of the vice president and forcing a vote on the floor of the House.”
(Continue reading…)

This is different from the resolution Kucinich introduced this spring calling for Cheney’s impeachment. This may be a way around the “its off the table” blockade. An audio clip of the interview follows the article. I hope Kucinich is serious and actually follows through. Its about time someone tried something more drastic.

(Photo courtesy of seiu_international. Used with permission.)

Diplomacy, Bush Style…

Back in 2003, it seems that Bush was simply going through the motions of diplomacy while steamrolling this country into war with Iraq. While saying he [Bush] was working to use diplomatic means to avoid war, he was instead threatening people behind the scenes to get the UN to authorize the use of force. (None of this should come as a surprise to anyone – unless you’ve been in a coma for the last 6 years).
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Mr. President, Put Down the Veto Pen, Support Our Children!

by Tom Udall, Congressman from Northern New Mexico

Tom Udall, Congressman

In July, the House passed a bill to reauthorize the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) that would have done three things. It would have protected S-CHIP and covered 11 million low-income children. It would have saved doctors and seniors from a 10 percent cut in Medicare reimbursement rates, cuts which could have forced New Mexico doctors to stop taking Medicare patients. And it would have provided more resources to ensure that rural seniors have access to quality health care. The president threatened to veto the House bill, and Tuesday we decided to meet the president halfway, leaving critical action on Medicare for future legislation and changing other provisions in the House-passed legislation. Continue reading

Good Morning from Europe – The Myanmar Horror

 (Via Mala, Switzerland)

Today the news is dominated by the situation in Myanmar, more and more countries protest against the brutal crack down on the protests there, but to little avail.


There is only very little information obtainable from Burma, as the military junta has closed down all internet traffic, land and mobile phone lines are down as well. There seem to be demonstrations still. However, the monks, who were leading the uprising up to now, are mostly missing from the scene. They are allegedly held in internment camps, it may well be they simply aren’t around any more. Please do not forget to visit “The Guardian’s” blog on this and the latest developments. Showing we’re interested and that there is a large international audience, are probably the only means we have, to offer our support to the Burmese people.

Japan is reeling from the pictures of the willful shooting of Mr Nagai a video journalist. The scene was captured by another camera. (The event is very upsetting, so feel free to skip this.)

Blackwater is at least partly responsible for the surge in violence in the Fallujah region 2004, says the US House of Representatives.

After the murder of Blackwater employees in Fallujah, US troops launched an offensive, which ultimately cost the lives of 36 US soldiers, 200 Iraqi insurgents and 600 Iraqi civilians. It turns out, that Blackwater disregarded warnings about the dire security situation in Fallujah, before sending in their men. While Blackwater is rightly blamed for a variety of their actions, the blame for the disastrous planning of the war, which led to the reliance on private mercenary armies, lies elsewhere.

More details as to the shooting that triggered the Blackwater Affair have come to light as well, read more here.

Have a good day and take care everybody!

Seymour Hersh – Interview with “Der Spiegel”

Seymour Hersh is a habitual teller of the truth as he sees it, which happens, habitually too, to hit the nail on the head accurately.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Where does this feeling of urgency that the US has with Iran come from?

Hersh: Pressure from the White House. That’s just their game.

Read the complete interview, here.

Will Congress Condemn Limbaugh?

Via Think Progress:

On September 20, 72 Senators voted for the highly politicized, “bait and switch” resolution that condemned a newspaper ad by The amendment, offered by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), expressly stated that the Senate would condemn “any effort to attack the honor and integrity” of “all members of the United States Armed Forces.


On his radio show yesterday, right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh attacked the “honor and integrity” of some members of the Armed Forces. Limbaugh attacked troops who hold a different viewpoint than his own as “phony soldiers.”

Read the whole story here.

Congress, please do not waste anymore precious time on condemning this sort of crap, but do make a note of your potential double standard.

UPDATE: You can hear Limbaugh’s audio here.

Audio courtesy of Media Matters. [Egreggious]

How We Got Into the Blackwater Mess in the First Place

via: Taylor Marsh

P.W. Singer of the Brookings Institute has compiled a study (pdf), Can’t Win With ‘Em, Can’t Go To War Without ‘Em: Private Military Contractors and Counterinsurgency that unloads the problem. There are more than 160,000 guns for hire in Iraq right now. Bush obviously never understood what was happening right under his very nose. That’s why Republicans picked him as their vessel a long time ago.

Video by TPM
Is it any wonder we are where we are?? Is this guy the President? Or is he trying to do standup? (Midway, is he slurring..?)

The Narrow Stall at the Heart of Craig’s Widening Legal Fight

via: The Washington Post
by Paul Kane

..Using an Office Depot measuring tape, the stalls in that restroom are a little more than 32 inches wide. That happens to be more than 3 inches narrower than the stalls in Dulles International Airport, where wide stances are apparently more welcome. Even more coincidental, what did Capitol Briefing discover at 8:20 p.m. CDT last night in the stall where Craig’s career essentially ended two-and-a-half months ago? Toilet paper, three different shreds of toilet paper scattered around the stall just waiting for some neat freak to come along and scoop them up..

A local judge in the Hennepin County District Court in Edina, just south of Minneapolis, will try to sort this all out this afternoon [Wednesday Sept. 26], with Craig hoping for a decision by the end of this week. If the plea is upheld, he has said he will retire from the Senate, effective Sunday.

Update: ABC reports 4 hours ago that Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, who had previously pledged to resign by Sunday, amid allegations he cruised for gay sex in a public bathroom, he now says he will stay in office.

Sheesh! I wish this guy would make up his mind.. Is he delusional enough to believe that he still has ANY support anywhere?

Jena 6 update

via: CNN

Bail was being posted Thursday for Mychal Bell, a black teenager accused of beating a white classmate, after a district attorney’s announcement that he would not appeal a higher court’s decision moving Bell’s case to juvenile court, according to the Rev. Al Sharpton. Bell’s bail was set at $45,000, Sharpton said. The paperwork was being worked out, he said, and the bail bondsman was at the courthouse.

Earlier Thursday, Bell was moved from jail to a juvenile facility, according to his attorney, Lewis Scott.
(Read on..)

This Coup and The Next One

by Daniel Ellsberg

..I think nothing has higher priority than averting an attack on Iran, which I think will be accompanied by a further change in our way of governing here that in effect will convert us into what I would call a police state.

If there’s another 9/11 under this regime … it means that they switch on full extent all the apparatus of a police state that has been patiently constructed, largely secretly at first but eventually leaked out and known and accepted by the Democratic people in Congress, by the Republicans and so forth..

..Let me simplify this and not just to be rhetorical: A coup has occurred. I woke up the other day realizing, coming out of sleep, that a coup has occurred. It’s not just a question that a coup lies ahead with the next 9/11. That’s the next coup, that completes the first..

(Read entire article)

(Photo courtesy of jdlasica. Used by permission)

For those of you who missed it..

A series of YouTube videos (16 to be exact) on: The Minority Report by Manila Ryce that cover the New Hampshire Democratic Debate that took place last night. My favorite part of the debate was in video#3 when Mike Gravel chews out Hillary for her vote in support of the ‘bomb Iran’ vote yesterday (Lieberman/Kyle Bill). She of course follows his words with her fakey-phoney laugh meant to dismiss and belittle him. The following one (#4) was an uncomfortable segment where she “dances around her views on an Israeli attack against Iran, for fear that support or opposition for such an illegal action could cost her either AIPAC money or American votes”. She was frankly rude to Russert – talking over him and not letting him ask his question, then once he was able to ask the question she refused to answer the question.

Bloodshed in Burma

Andrew Sullivan of The Daily Dish has been following this fluid story of the crackdown in Burma.

The generals are trying to shut down the Internet.

“We had been getting information through mobile phones but these have been cut off. Then our reporters used cybercafes but the traffic has really slowed down in the last few hours. Some of the landlines we used have also been closed, so we cannot get in touch with our people.”

(Continue reading..)

Sullivan has a number of links and photos.
Here is a running blog from The Guardian keeping track of events in Burma with first-hand accounts.