A draft of sorts? The beginning?

via: GovernmentExecutive.com

Diplomats upset over forced postings to Iraq

Several hundred U.S. diplomats vented anger and frustration Wednesday about the State Department’s decision to force foreign service officers to take jobs in Iraq, with some likening it to a “potential death sentence.”

In a contentious hour-long “town hall meeting” called to explain the step, these workers peppered the official who signed the order with often hostile complaints about the largest diplomatic call-up since Vietnam. Announced last week, it will require some diplomats – under threat of dismissal – to serve at the embassy in Baghdad and in so-called Provincial Reconstruction Teams in outlying provinces.

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The Deafening Silence

via: The Christian Science Monitor

War protests: Why no coverage?

Newspapers have a duty to inform citizens about such democratic events.

Coordinated antiwar protests in at least 11 American cities this weekend raised anew an interesting question about the nature of news coverage: Are the media ignoring rallies against the Iraq war because of their low turnout or is the turnout dampened by the lack of news coverage?

I find it unsettling that I even have to consider the question.

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Raggedy Ann

Haven’t heard much from Ann Coulter lately (and it is Halloween, after all):

Responding to Alan Colmes’ questioning about her comment that Christians “just want Jews to be perfected,” Ann Coulter said that she “wear[s]” criticism from Jewish groups over the remark “as a badge of honor,” adding, “The point is: This is the same old fight we see all the time with the irreligious trying to stir up trouble with the religious.” Responding to Colmes’ assertion that Coulter “doesn’t want to own up to” her statement, Coulter said: “I gave a beautiful description of the Old Testament and the New Testament, but it’s very frightening to secularists.”

~ Egreggious

Rudy’s chronic dishonesty

via: TPM

Rudy’s chronic dishonesty — on everything from health care to taxes to his own 9/11 performance — just couldn’t be more blatant. He’s basically flaunting it in the face of the media at this point. He’s all but saying to the press, “bring it on.” So when will pundits start talking about Rudy in these terms?

There is so much in the MSM concerning this penchant for Ruy Giuliani to lie, not mis-speak or stretch the truth, with his lies becoming more and more outrageous and arrogant. Even when faced with the fact he is spreading disinformation, his response is to smile and say something even more astounding.

This latest lie: that the survival rate from prostate cancer is much higher in America than in Britain, something which allegedly proves what a disaster socialized medicine has been, has been completely debunked, though according to his campaign spokesperson it is not going to stop him from continuing to say it. He doesn’t CARE that it isn’t true. That makes him perfect for the job to carry the Torch of Untruths and Secrecy that GW and Dick will be leaving behind.

Does America REALLY want another chronic liar in the White House? Someone who has total contempt for the truth, and a total disregard for the people he is trying to sell his lies to? That is not a sign of integrity or character. Definitely not a tool of leadership. Haven’t we already had enough of this kind of destructive behavior?

Its time for the media to call Rudy Giuliani – forcefully – on his lies.

More on TheRealRudy.

More on Rudy Giuliani, liar extraordinaire.

Cheap shot of the debate

The real low moment of the debate last night came with a cheap shot by Tim Russert by using the 30-second lightening round, in the last three minutes of the debate, to put Dennis Kucinich on the spot and dismiss him by asking his a ridiculous question and then not giving him adequate time to respond. To Kucinich’s credit, I felt he handled it pretty well. It was totally shameful and unfair.

According to The Largest Minority:

First off, what the hell do UFOs have to do with anything? The Onion put out a video titled: “Bullshit Is Most Important Issue For 2008 Voters”. This issue is indeed bullshit. It’s a clear hit job which had nothing to do with American politics, and served the sole purpose of belittling a politician the corporate media does not want elected into office.

Secondly, ridiculing someone for seeing a UFO, then cutting them short when they try to answer the question honestly is outright shameful. Russert asked this question during a 30 second lightning round so he could get his laugh and move on. Dennis may have been able to properly clear up McClain’s colorful interpretation of the event, but was not allowed to elaborate. Russert’s intention to destroy Kucinich’s presidential aspirations was quite clear. There is a profound disdain towards underdogs amongst the network pundits. Is there any doubt that this bit of blood in the water will continue to feed an obsessive media frenzy whenever Kucinich is mentioned?

Third, UFOs are not spaceships. They would be categorized as identified flying objects if they were. Claiming you saw a UFO means by definition that you’re not completely sure what you saw. Therefor, UFOs undoubtedly do exist. They have been reported by pilots, astronauts, and cosmonauts for decades. Dennis tried to explain that distinction, but was talked-over by Russert.

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“A Noun, A Verb, And 9/11″

This was the best part of the debate last night as far as I’m concerned.. It was delivered by Senator Joe Biden.

via: The Huffington Post

Sen. Joe Biden nails Rudy Giuliani during Tuesday’s MSNBC debate: “And the irony is, Rudy Giuliani, probably the most underqualified man since George Bush to seek the presidency, is here talking about any of the people here. Rudy Giuliani… I mean, think about it! Rudy Giuliani. There’s only three things he mentions in a sentence — a noun, a verb, and 9/11. There’s nothing else! There’s nothing else! And I mean this sincerely. He’s genuinely not qualified to be president.”

Halloween Musical Nuggets

Every Halloween we watch the same movies to celebrate. “Hocus Pocus” with Bette Midler, Tim Burton’s “Nightmare Before Christmas”, and now we’ve added “The Corpse Bride”.

My favorite part of “The Corpse Bride”

“This is Halloween” from Nightmare Before Christmas:

And a small tidbit from “Hocus Pocus”:

Bush plans to bypass Congress..

via: Raw Story

White House says Bush plans administrative orders to govern, avoiding Congress

It’s not quite signing statements, where President George W. Bush used legal means to “interpret” laws, allowing him to avoid Congressional directives, but the White House is now planning to implement as much new policy “as it can” by administrative order “after concluding that President Bush cannot do much business with the Democratic leadership.”

Sounds to me like yet another “I’m the Decider” moment.. This follows Bush’s “Hissy Fit” press conference at the WH yesterday morning.
Here is the original article in The Washington Post.

The Failure of Karen Hughes

From Think Progress:

Karen Hughes, ball-washer and sycophant-in-chief for George W. Bush, has resigned from her position as Under Secretary of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.

Ms. Hughes had been tasked to “sell America’s ideas about democracy and the war on terror around the world.” Having failed miserably, she’s decided to retreat back to Texas having left her staff withthis great wisdom: “improving the world’s view of the United States is a ‘long-term challenge’ that will outlast her.”

Well, we knew that from the beginning, didn’t we?

Buh-bye, Karen.

Good Morning from Europe – Halloween Edition

 

(Castelluccio – Cemetary) 

It’s not as if there weren’t any reasons to scream in fear, anger and frustration on any other given day of the year. But today, it’s “trick or treat”.

Tricks:

The latest debate of Democratic Candidates was yesterday and Hillary took fire from all the others, it’s hard to decide whether to label this as “trick” or as “treat” - well she tries to have it both ways – so can we.

Now, the Blackwater immunity scandal is definitely one for the “trick” section. The reactions are ranging from anger to disbelief. A proper and much needed investigation will be hampered badly by this. If you have friends in high places you can get away with murder, q.e.d.

The Atlantic Hurricane Season is drawing to a close. No catastrophic hurricanes have made landfall in the US. But, we have seen unprecedented intensification and the landfall of two hurricanes as category 5 storms in the Caribian and the latest and not necessarily last trick of the season was tropical storm Noel, who inundated Hispaniola and Cuba and cost 50 lives so far.

Does Mother Earth want to shake us from her back ? An earthquake of 5,6 magnitude strength hit northern California this morning. 

And this is really scary. If the US Army Corps of Engineers say a dam is failing, you’d better listen closely.

Treats:

The latest debate of Democratic Candidates was yesterday and Hillary took fire from all the others, it’s hard to decide whether to label this as “trick” or as “treat” - well she tries to have it both ways – so can we.

Back to the democratic debates, this is definitely a treat:

Follow-up: asked if HRC would release her documents as first lady to the national archives? Clinton seems uncomfortable. Russert mentions the Bill Clinton letter banning release of letters between HRC and Bill. Hillary waffles in response. Trouble here.

Obama’s up next to respond: “This is an example of not turning the page … We have just gone through one of the most secretive administrations in our history, and not releasing, I think, these records at the same time, Hillary, as you’re making the claim that this is the basis for your experience, I think, is a problem.”

Corruption in France? Mais non. Just treats for some politicians and unionists.

And, finally, something that celebrities treat themselves to. A sober companion.

Speaking of debates…

From Play This Thing!

The contest between Kennedy and Nixon for the presidency in 1960 was a watershed moment in American history….

This election has been transformed into a board game by Jason Matthews and Christian Leonhard. 1960: The Making of the President is a game whose simple and straightforward mechanisms manage to recreate this struggle for the presidency in all of its gritty glory. It presents an battle between asymmetrical forces that is nonetheless so balanced that the result is often in question right up to the final election.

PBS News features insane guy

Norman, I mean, not Fareed.

And that other insane guy is beating the same drum:

Before his press conference today, President Bush met exclusively with a group of GOP congressional leaders. According to Fox News, which spoke with some of the members at that discussion, Bush unequivocally promised that he would attack Iran if Iran “were ever to attack Israel.” Bush told the lawmakers, “I know I would respond. … In order for diplomacy to be effective, all options have to be on the table.”

And, of course, the two insane men talk to each other.

How about some words from a sane fellow*?

“I adamantly reject any move towards a war with Iran. There is no justification for it whatsoever.” – Dennis Kucinich (Tonight’s Democratic Debate, thanks to TMM)

*sane fellow with UFO problem. :)

~ Egreggious

Scrambled Eggy

Democratic Presidential Debate

debate

The Democratic candidates go at it yet again tonight, this time at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Moderation will apparently be a tag-team affair between Tim Russert and Brian Williams.

Conspicuous by his absence will be Mike Gravel, who was excluded from the debate due to his alleged failure to meet some sort of ill-defined polling and fundraising standard. All they need do now is figure out a way to exclude Kucinich, and the entire Democratic contingent will become one big echo chamber.

The debate will be on from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm EDT on MSNBC, with the usual post-mortem by Chris Matthews immediately following.

UPDATE: The Critters are now live blogging the debate.

UPDATE II:  Live blogging has now concluded.  Great work TripMaster Monkey, witch 1, nwmuse, and willyloman!