Speaking of turning out the lights…

(The title is in reference to an earlier post…)

Crooks and Liars:

There’s probably a general impression among voters that the House of Representatives is a silly, dysfunctional institution, made up of a few too many people who love to hear themselves talk, but aren’t especially fond of governing.

Today is perhaps the single best example in recent history of lawmakers going out of their way to prove that caricature right. John Bresnahan has the story:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the Democrats adjourned the House and turned off the lights and killed the microphones, but Republicans are still on the floor talking gas prices.

Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other GOP leaders opposed the motion to adjourn the House, arguing that Pelosi’s refusal to schedule a vote allowing offshore drilling is hurting the American economy. They have refused to leave the floor after the adjournment motion passed at 11:23 a.m. and are busy bashing Pelosi and her fellow Democrats for leaving town for the August recess.

At one point, the lights went off in the House and the microphones were turned off in the chamber, meaning Republicans were talking in the dark. But as Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.) was speaking, the lights went back on, and the microphones have been turned on as well.

Before you rush to C-SPAN to watch the circus unfold, don’t bother — C-SPAN isn’t broadcasting this. In fact, no one is actually watching this unusually stupid display except the Republican House members, their staffers, some tourists in the gallery, and some reporters who happen to be around.

But the GOP seems quite excited to play this little game, whether anyone can see it or not.

Read on…

More on this from ThinkProgress.

Oh the ‘games people play’…

I will remember you..

Sarah McLachlan.. I love her voice.. I could listen to this every night to put me to sleep. Her voice is like sitting out on a warm sultry evening, the warm humid heat seeps into you and all cares slip away.. It’s like cutting through soft butter with a feather.

I Will Remember You

Angel

Takin’ My Country Back

Country music alert!! (I just liked the lyrics..)

TAKIN’ MY COUNTRY BACK

country music’s got mamas and daddys
we got bar rooms and old heartbreak songs
but i ‘m here today to stand up and say
how i feel about my home sweet home
what’s left, what’s right and what’s wrong… and

i’m takin’ my country back
son, you ain’t been doin’ her right
oh i been watchin’ you and i don’t like
how you’ve been treatin’ my stars and stripes
you took our jobs and sent ‘em overseas
now we owe billions to the red chinese
you blew the budget and you botched iraq
so i’m takin’ my country back

Continue reading

Some Cats are grey in the dark

I moved to Portland (the first time) in 1972 and the soundtrack for the next couple of years included an awful lot of Cat Stevens. For some obscure reason, the soundtrack memories include a good deal of, uh, well, sex. Even though his songs weren’t much about sex, they are inextricably intwined in my memory with lovers from those years. Listening to his music now, whether performed then or more recently, I was pleased to find that it held up very well–a lot better, in fact, than a ton of other music from the same period.

He’s so cute!

And this video made me cry. He’s taken a lot of crap over the years and I found it very moving to hear him sing one of his whole songs in a voice still rich and textured.

Mukasey Calls On Congress to Subvert Constitution

Why does this stuff always seem to come out on a Friday afternoon…

OpEdNews and ACLU:

Attorney General Wants New Declaration of War Allowing Indefinite Detention and Concealment of Torture

In an enormous executive branch power grab, Attorney General Michael Mukasey called on Congress today to authorize indefinite detention through a new declaration of armed conflict. Mukasey also proposed that Congress subvert the right of habeas corpus with a new scheme of procedures that will hide the Bush administration’s past wrongdoing – an action that would undermine the constitutional guarantee of due process and conceal systematic torture and abuse of detainees.

“Mukasey is asking Congress to expand and extend the war on terror forever. Anyone that this president or the next one declares to be a terrorist could then be held indefinitely without a trial,” said Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “This is clearly the last gasp of an administration desperate to rationalize what is a failed legal scheme that was correctly rejected four times by the Supreme Court. With as little as five work weeks left in this Congress, there are more important issues than helping the lame-duck president cook up an indefensible plan to lock people up forever and throw away the key with no due process rights and limited judicial review.”

“The attorney general’s proposal would hide the torture and abuse conducted since 9/11,” Fredrickson said. “This is one more effort to cover up the illegal activities authorized by the president and his administration. Attorney General Mukasey might be ok with helping in a cover-up, but there is no reason to think that Congress will assist him.”

“Congress won’t fall for this latest Bush administration plan to cover up its wrongdoing. At the same time that the House Judiciary Committee is investigating whether high-level Bush White House officials may have committed crimes of torture and abuse, Mukasey has the arrogance to ask Congress to give him the power to detain people without trial and hide torture and abuse from the courts,” said ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel Christopher Anders. He added, “He wants a new declaration of a worldwide armed conflict in order to hold people without trial, and then under the guise of protecting ‘sources and methods’ from judges who have decades of experience trying dangerous international terrorists, Mukasey asks Congress essentially to bury the evidence.”

“There is simply no need to invent yet another set of legal rules to govern the detention and trial of prisoners held on national security grounds, and the rules that the attorney general is proposing are fundamentally inconsistent with the Constitution. The prisoners at Guantanamo, some of whom have been held without charges for more than six years, should be allowed a meaningful opportunity to challenge their detention in court. The handful of prisoners that have actually been charged with crimes should be tried under rules that conform to the Constitution and that the rest of the world will recognize as fair,” said Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU National Security Project.

I don’t even know what to say.. Sounds to me like they are tying up loose ends before they all leave office. CATFA (Covering All Their F*cking Asses). That goes along with this earlier post of today. No accountability. Ever.

Shut all the windows, lock all the doors, turn off the lights, the party’s over.. And a stack of pardons sitting in a safe – ready to go as the lights get turned off..

When did we stop being “We The People..”?

Friday News, Views, and Blues

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Its Friday and I am getting ready for vacation. Yay!

On to the news and such…

Kucinich seeks to bar US oil firms from Iraq (Raw Story):

Rep. Dennis Kucinich has introduced a measure that would bar US oil companies from receiving contracts in Iraq.

The Ohio Democrat, who believes exploiting Iraq’s massive oil reserves was the primary reason we invaded, introduced a measure he says aims to keep Iraq’s oil wealth within the country.

“Iraq needs oil revenue now more than ever as they try to rebuild their country,” Kucinich said Thursday, unveiling the Oil for Iraq Liberation Act.

From Truthout, more on the ‘suicide’ of Bruce E. Ivins, scientist at the government’s biodefense labs at Fort Detrick, Md.

From The Huffington Post: Wal-Mart Warns Workers Of Democratic Win

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, denied a report Friday that it had pressured employees to vote against Democrats in November because of worries that a bill the party supports would make it easier for workers to unionize.

The measure, called the Employee Free Choice Act, would allow labor organizations to unionize workplaces without secret ballot elections. It was co-sponsored by Barack Obama, the presumed Democratic presidential candidate, and opposed by John McCain, the presumed Republican nominee.

From The Existentialist Cowboy: Rand Report Utterly Discredits Bush, Leaves McCain Without a Campaign

A new report by the conservative Rand Corporation calls the so-called ‘War on Terrorism’ fundamentally flawed, doomed to failure. The study pulls the rug from under John McCain who had promised not just more of the same old horse dung but perhaps another one hundred, another ’10,000 years’ of war against Iraq!

Saying that the US should ‘re-think’ the so-called ‘war on terrorism’, the report claims that Bush failed to meet his own stated objectives. It was, the report concludes, the wrong approach to begin with.

Rand stopped short of repeating my charge: the ‘war on terror’ was just a cover for Bush’s assumption of dictatorial powers which he accomplished with the Patriot Act and numerous ‘signing statements’, in effect, his de facto ‘rule by decree’.

From BradBlog: Federal Judge: WH Aides Must Testify; Pelosi: What Bush Crimes?

A Bush-appointed federal judge has found that White House aides, such as Josh Bolten and Harriet Miers (and even Karl Rove, though he wasn’t a part of this court case, and so not named) must show up when called by Congress to testify..

Juan Cole of Informed Comment looks at the linking of the Pakistan ISI to the Indian Embassy Bombing.

There’s another seriously down low and dirty ad out by the McCain count: “The One“. This is seriously one of the most insulting, condescending ads yet.. McCain is scraping the bottom of the barrel. I can’t believe he has nothing to talk about concerning his own plans for this country, instead of resorting to elementary school nastiness. Oh, and remember how the McCain camp was accusing Barack Obama of being an elitist?? Here is an interesting article (with video) on John McCain and his $520 Italian designer loafers..

From Think Progress: Judge on Rove’s citizen arrest: ‘It’s about time.’

Last Friday, police in Des Moines, Iowa arrested four people who attempted to make a citizens’ arrest of former top White House aide Karl Rove, who was in town to speak at a GOP fundraiser. A retired minister and three members of the Des Moines Catholic Workers community were cited for trespassing. However, according to a press release, the judge presiding over the case praised their efforts:

[Mona] Shaw was the first called before Polk County Fifth Judicial District Associate Judge William Price.

After entering her plea, the judge asked Shaw, “Mamn, what were you doing at the Wakonda Country Club?”

“I was attempting to make a citizen’s arrest of Karl Rove, your honor,” Shaw answered.

“Well,” the judge looked up and said, “it’s about time.”

And now for the blues…

Summertimes Blues – Springsteen Giants Stadium July 31, 2008

Remember those pesky Anthrax letters..?

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MORE ON THIS NEWS: Glenn Greenwald (excellent! A MUST-READ!!) and American Everyman (H/T:neoke17)

Raw Story - U.S. anthrax suspect commits suicide: report

A top U.S. biodefence researcher apparently committed suicide just as the Justice Department was about to file criminal charges against him in the anthrax mailings that traumatized the country in the weeks following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to a published report.

The scientist, Bruce E. Ivins, 62, who worked for the past 18 years at the government’s biodefense labs at Fort Detrick, Md., had been told about the impending prosecution, the Los Angeles Times reported for Friday editions. The laboratory has been at the centre of the FBI’s investigation of the anthrax attacks, which killed five people.

Mr. Ivins died Tuesday at Frederick (Md.) Memorial Hospital. The Times, quoting an unidentified colleague, said the scientist had taken a massive dose of a prescription Tylenol mixed with codeine.

Tom Ivins, a brother of the scientist, told The Associated Press that another of his brothers, Charles, told him Bruce had committed suicide. More…

From The Washington PostMd. Anthrax Scientist Dies in Apparent Suicide

Grand Jury Was Preparing to Indict Bioweapons Expert for Role in 2001 Anthrax Attacks

Prosecutors were considering whether to seek the death penalty against Bruce E. Ivins, 62, who worked at an elite U.S. Army bioweapons laboratory in Fort Detrick, the sources said.

Paul F. Kemp, a criminal defense lawyer in Bethesda who has represented Ivins for the past year, declined to comment today but issued a statement that confirmed the federal investigation. He also asserted Ivins’ innocence.

“For more than a year, we have been privileged to represent Dr. Bruce Ivins during the investigation of the anthrax deaths of September and October of 2001,” Kemp said. “We assert his innocence in these killings, and would have established that at trial.

Color me surprised! I didn’t know that anyone in the government still had any interest in those Anthrax mailings.. And here they had a new “person of interest”! And now he’s ‘committed suicide’ and can’t answer any questions.. (Why is always suicide or a plane crash..?)

For those of you who don’t remember those Anthrax mailings of 2001,
refresh yourself here.

Continue reading

Power to the People

Researchers at MIT discovered a method of separating oxygen and hydrogen from water using catalysts and electricity. What does this mean?

It means that Solar Power, combined with this method, will create clean renewable energy.

It means science has move a giant step forward towards the day when we will no longer have to burn polluting hydrocarbons or coal to power industry, homes and cars.

It means the day of nuclear power plants will soon be a thing of the past.