No Religious Test Shall Ever Be Required

Cancel the speech, Gov Romney. You don’t need to do it. You have the constitutional right to tell anyone who questions your religion to go to Hell, if you want. Assuming you believe in Hell. I don’t, but that’s neither here nor there. You see, Gov Romney, there’s an often-overlooked clause in the constitution. Article VI, Clause 3, ends with, “…but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” The Republican Party especially has been putting out the idea that if you are not a person of faith, then you are unfit to hold high public office. This is wrong, and it is unconstitutional.

(You can see the rest here.)

Olbermann Reads Tom Tomorrow: Bill O’Reilly’s Advice to Kids

This “reading” by Keith Olbermann is absolutely hilarious!

“Our number one story on the Countdown: when the Village Voice printed two pages worth of “Bill O’Reilly’s very useful advice for young people, as channeled by vile left-wing smear merchant Tom Tomorrow.” We thought you kiddies at home might enjoy it if Billo himself read you about half of it.”

Kidnapping Legal – No kidding

The United States of America have, for the first time in a court of law, confirmed that kidnapping foreign nationals and bringing them to the US is in fact legal. The practice, thought to be reserved for terrorists, is applicable to everybody prosecuted by US courts, as unexpectedly experienced by Gavin Tollman a member of a family of investors, wanted for bank fraud and tax evasion in the US. Gavin Tollman escaped an attempted abduction in Canada in 2005. During a hearing on the extradition request last month Alun Jones QC clarified the view of the United States:

“(Alun Jones).. said that if a person was kidnapped by the US authorities in another country and was brought back to face charges in America, no US court could rule that the abduction was illegal and free him: “If you kidnap a person outside the United States and you bring him there, the court has no jurisdiction to refuse — it goes back to bounty hunting days in the 1860s.”

If US citizens are threatened by criminal prosecution by, let’s say the International Criminal Court in The Hague, see how the US reacts:

By May 2002, the Bush Administration “unsigned” the Rome Satute.

The U.S. threatened to use military force if U.S. nationals were held at the Hague

The U.S. continues to pressure many countries to sign agreements not to surrender U.S. citizens to the ICC.

Operation Iraqi Freedom Exposed: Bush Negotiates Permanent Presence in Iraq

by Marjorie Cohn

The revelation that Bush will sign an agreement for a permanent U.S. military presence in Iraq before his term is up confirms the real reason he invaded Iraq and changed its regime.

It was never about weapons of mass destruction. It was never about ties between Saddam and al Qaeda. And it was never about bringing democracy to the Iraqi people. These claims were lies to cover up the real motive for Operation Iraqi Freedom: to create a permanent American presence in Iraq. With Bush’s November 26, 2007 announcement that the United States and Iraq were negotiating a permanent “security relationship,” his lies have been exposed.

Continue reading

Muse’s Monday Menagerie

The White House is blocking Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald from cooperating with the House Oversight Committee and Rep. Henry Waxman regarding the leak of Valerie Plame’s CIA identity. Rep. Waxman sent a letter to the new AG Mukasey. This should be interesting (or not).

The National Debt grows $1,000,000 per minute.

Sen. Larry “I Am Not Gay” Craig is going to have a bit more difficulty explaining these 5 stories… How much longer can he keep up this charade? It seems that Senator Craig will be dodging this last bit of bad press with a trip to Bali for or the U.N.-led climate change conference as the “Republican representative from the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee,” which is led by chief global warming denier Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK).

The Pakistani opposition leader Nawaz Sharif has been banned from taking part in January’s elections.

Out today from the newly release NIE Report, Iran hasn’t had a nuke program for years. (What’s Cheney going to do now..?)

from ABC News:

In a stunning reversal of Bush administration conventional wisdom, a new assessment by U.S. intelligence agencies concludes Iran shelved it’s nuclear weapons program over four years ago.

“We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program,” reads a declassified version of the National Intelligence Estimate key findings.

“We judge with moderate confidence that the earliest possible date Iran would be technically capable of producing enough highly enriched uranium (HEU) for a weapon is late 2009.”

BradBlog has more on Bush re-hiring Paul Wolfowitz.

BILL MOYERS JOURNAL reports on the politically powerful group Christians United for Israel, whose leader, Pastor John Hagee, advocates for a preemptive strike against Iran. This aired last Friday night on PBS.

Another ex-official weighs in on Rudy’s ‘bucks for boinking’ cover-up.

And, apparently it wasn’t 5 MILLION EMAILS that were missing from the WH, it appears now it is more likely that 10 MILLION EMAILS are missing..

And then this from The Largest Minority (with a VERY interesting video clip):

Early on, Dennis Kucinich stated that the Iowa caucus was rigged, and the Brown & Black Democratic Presidential forum on Saturday night proved just that. Rather than pretend this authoritarian process was truly democratic, Kucinich made a strong symbolic statement by asking himself a question to even out the format.

Photo by habi. Used with permission. Scene in Berne, Switzerland.

Question for the Day

Where’s the fire?

Rodney King is doing his thing.  Again.  Is this the new Southern California Clean-up Program announced by Governor Arnie:  Just burn it down and start over every 15 years?

Who stole the TP?

The other TP has beaten my TP (the men’s room kind) and Senator La(La)rry Craig into the ground.

When’s the recount?

BnF beat me to Chavez and the despondent DUHbya.

Latest news on the Taser front: Police taser handcuffed woman in police station

The shocking (pardon the pun) abuse of taser weapons by our law enforcement personnel continues unabated.  Nearly 200 deaths have occurred after  the use of these allegedly “nonlethal” devices, and the trend of police electrocuting  “suspects” for the slightest perceived infraction seems only to be snowballing.

To wit, please view the below linked video, in which a woman arrested for drunk driving is tasered at the police station, while in handcuffs.  The officer who fired the Taser has reportedly resigned, and charges were dropped against the woman in exchange for her promise not to sue.

While the Taser may be a godsend in regards to subduing dangerous criminals with minimal danger to the suspect, arresting officers, and innocent bystanders, it’s pretty clear at this point that the device is systematically being abused by sadistic people who are only too happy to brutalize people who fail to “respect their authoritah”.  Again, the problem does not lie in the device, but in the people who use (or misuse) it.

When one considers the imminent deployment of this technology in other applications, such as the wireless taser shotgun round, the taser-armed sentry turret,  the taser-armed robot, and the  taser-armed flying drone (no, I’m not kidding),  despite the ongoing and well-documented abuse of this technology by those who we ostensibly pay tax money to protect us, as well as the literally hundreds of deaths associated with this technology to date, the implication is clear: get comfortable with that boot on your throat, because if you try to shift it, it will only get worse.

Recently, the U.N. has ruled that Tasers can be considered a form of torture.  Unfortunately, telling this to a nation that has already managed to rationalize waterboarding and extraordinary rendition isn’t terribly effective.

Need more recruits? Just offer them more money!

via: Raw Story

For enterprising young people hoping to pay down their mortgages or start up a business, they can talk to their bank — or they can try their local Army recruiter.

Starting in January, five US cities will serve as test markets for the Army Advantage Program, a new recruitment incentive package which will dole out $40,000 to enlistees willing to fulfill a five-year commitment in the service, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer‘s Patrick O’Donnell. The money must be applied to mortgages or used to benefit a registered business. Lower-dollar amounts will be offered for shorter stints. Read on…

Only… Don’t get hurt, become disabled, and have to come home before your tour is over. Check the FINE PRINT! And, maybe you shouldn’t spend that enlistment fee until you finish your tour of duty to make sure you don’t lose it or have to end up giving it back..

And.. Check your orders to make sure they don’t bring you home a day early so they don’t have to pay you your benefits. Again, check the fine print..

Huckabee Chooses Jesus as Running Mate

via: The Borowitz Report

Move to Shore Up Evangelical Base

In a bold move that could dramatically alter the playing field of the 2008 G.O.P. presidential race, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee today named Jesus Christ as his vice-presidential running mate.

Governor Huckabee has made an increasing number of comments about his relationship with Jesus in recent debates, but few Republican insiders expected him to announce that he was anointing Christ as his vice-presidential pick.

“This could be huge for Huckabee,” said Stenson Partridge, a veteran G.O.P. consultant. “Among Republican voters, Jesus Christ is even more popular than Ronald Reagan.”

The Reverend Pat Robertson, a supporter of former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, said he was “blindsided” by the news of Huckabee’s decision: “I talked to Jesus last night and He didn’t mention anything about it.”

At a raucous Huckabee rally in Davenport, Iowa today, supporters of the former Arkansas governor could be seen holding signs reading “HUCKABEE/CHRIST ’08.”

It is “highly unorthodox” for a presidential candidate to select a vice presidential running mate who is a prominent figure in the Holy Bible, says Davis Logsdon, dean of the School of Divinity at the University of Minnesota.

But according to Mr. Logsdon, if the Huckabee-Christ ticket makes it all the way to the White House, it could be historic in more ways than one: “If Huckabee is elected and then something happens to him while in office, we would be looking at our first Jewish president.”

Elsewhere, a madman attempted to take hostages at former Sen. Fred Thompson’s campaign headquarters in Rochester, New Hampshire, but found that everyone had been given the week off.


Hugo Chavez loses Constitutional Referendum

It looks, for now, like he will relinquish power peacefully. I hope so. He has done much good for his people, but he was asking for dictatorial powers. Even a benevolent dictator is still a dictator.

I pray Venezuela continues its progressive movement and enjoys a peaceful transition from one elected leader to the next.

From Yahoo news:

Voters defeated the sweeping measures Sunday by a vote of 51 percent to 49 percent, said Tibisay Lucena, chief of the National Electoral Council, with voter turnout at just 56 percent.
The changes would have created new forms of communal property, let Chavez handpick local leaders under a redrawn political map, permit civil liberties to be suspended under extended states of emergency and allow Chavez to seek re-election indefinitely. Now, Chavez will be barred from running again in 2012.

Other changes would have shortened the workday from eight hours to six, created a social security fund for millions of informal laborers and promoted communal councils where residents decide how to spend government funds. The reforms also would have granted Chavez control over the Central Bank and extended presidential terms from six to seven years.

“To those who voted against my proposal, I thank them and congratulate them,” Chavez said.

More here.