we just can't resist wallowing in sublime BDS-ecstasy - we just can't!!!


"It's a miracle!"

Evolutionists Flock To Darwin-Shaped Wall Stain

Darwinic pilgrims claim the image fills them with an overwhelming feeling of logic.

DAYTON, TN—A steady stream of devoted evolutionists continued to gather in this small Tennessee town today to witness what many believe is an image of Charles Darwin—author of The Origin Of Species and founder of the modern evolutionary movement—made manifest on a concrete wall in downtown Dayton.

"I brought my baby to touch the wall, so that the power of Darwin can purify her genetic makeup of undesirable inherited traits," said Darlene Freiberg, one among a growing crowd assembled here to see the mysterious stain, which appeared last Monday on one side of the Rhea County Courthouse. The building was also the location of the famed "Scopes Monkey Trial" and is widely considered one of Darwinism's holiest sites. "Forgive me, O Charles, for ever doubting your Divine Evolution. After seeing this miracle of limestone pigmentation with my own eyes, my faith in empirical reasoning will never again be tested."

Added Freiberg, "Behold the power and glory of the scientific method!"

Since witnesses first reported the unexplained marking—which appears to resemble a 19th-century male figure with a high forehead and large beard—this normally quiet town has become a hotbed of biological zealotry. Thousands of pilgrims from as far away as Berkeley's paleoanthropology department have flocked to the site to lay wreaths of flowers, light devotional candles, read aloud from Darwin's works, and otherwise pay homage to the mysterious blue-green stain.

Capitalizing on the influx of empirical believers, street vendors have sprung up across Dayton, selling evolutionary relics and artwork to the thousands of pilgrims waiting to catch a glimpse of the image. Available for sale are everything from small wooden shards alleged to be fragments of the "One True Beagle"—the research vessel on which Darwin made his legendary voyage to the Galapagos Islands—to lecture notes purportedly touched by English evolutionist Alfred Russel Wallace.

"I have never felt closer to Darwin's ideas," said zoologist Fred Granger, who waited in line for 16 hours to view the stain. "May his name be praised and his theories on natural selection echo in all the halls of naturalistic observation forever."

Despite the enthusiasm the so-called "Darwin Smudge" has generated among the evolutionary faithful, disagreement remains as to its origin. Some believe the image is actually closer to the visage of Stephen Jay Gould, longtime columnist for Natural History magazine and originator of the theory of punctuated equilibrium, and is therefore proof of rapid cladogenesis. A smaller minority contend it is the face of Carl Sagan, and should be viewed as a warning to those nonbelievers who have not yet seen his hit PBS series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage.

Still others have attempted to discredit the miracle entirely, claiming that there are several alternate explanations for the appearance of the unexplained discoloration.

"It's a stain on a wall, and nothing more," said the Rev. Clement McCoy, a professor at Oral Roberts University and prominent opponent of evolutionary theory. "Anything else is the delusional fantasy of a fanatical evolutionist mindset that sees only what it wishes to see in the hopes of validating a baseless, illogical belief system. I only hope these heretics see the error of their ways before our Most Powerful God smites them all in His vengeance."

But those who have made the long journey to Dayton remain steadfast in their belief that natural selection—a process by which certain genes are favored over others less conducive to survival—is the one and only creator of life as we know it. This stain, they claim, is the proof they have been waiting for.

"To those who would deny that genetic drift is responsible for a branching evolutionary tree of increasing biodiversity amid changing ecosystems, we say, 'Look upon the face of Darwin!'" said Jeanette Cosgrove, who, along with members of her microbiology class, has maintained a candlelight vigil at the site for the past 72 hours.

"Over millions of successive generations, a specific subvariant of one species of slime mold adapted to this particular concrete wall, in order to one day form this stain, and thus make manifest this vision of Darwin's glorious countenance," Cosgrove said, overcome with emotion.

"It's a miracle," she added.


Quiz from Maggie's Farm (courtesy of Villainous Company)

1. Which of the following countries had the highest economic growth since 2000?

a. France
b. Japan
c. Germany
d. U.S.A.

2. Which of the following countries has the highest GDP per capita?

a. U.K.
b. Germany
c. Japan
d. U.S.A.

3. Which of the following countries had the highest household consumption in 2005?

a. U.K.
b. Canada
c. France
d. U.S.A.

4. Which country spends the most per capita on health services?

a. U.K.
b. Germany
c. Canada
d. U.S.A.

5. What percentage of the U.S.A.’s population is covered by health insurance?

a. 55%
b. 65%
c. 75%
d. 85%

6. In which of the following countries does the richest 20% of households have the highest share of national income?

a. U.S.A.
b. U.K.
c. Israel
d. 65 other countries

7. Which of the following countries had the highest investment per capita in fixed assets in 2005?

a. Germany
b. U.K.
c. China
d. U.S.A.

8. Which period had the lowest unemployment rate?

a. Euro Zone (2000 – 2008)
b. Reagan Presidency
c. Clinton Presidency
d. Bush Presidency

9. Which period had the lowest debt interest payments as percentage of GDP?

a. Euro Zone (2001 – 2008)
b. Reagan Presidency
c. Clinton Presidency
d. Bush Presidency

Here are the answers and sources:

1. d. U.S.A (from the IMF)
2. d. U.S.A. (World Bank)
3. d. U.S.A. (World Bank)
4. d. U.S.A. (WSJ 9-3-08)
5. d. 85% (U.S. Census Bureau)
6. d. 65 other countries (World Bank)
7. d. U.S.A. (World Bank)
8. d. Bush Presidency (Department of Labor)
9. d. Bush Presidency (IMF)


And our own addition to the quiz:

10. Which period had the highest per capita debt and interest payments ?

1. Barak Obama presidency (2009 – 2016) - still paying off Bush's war debt for Operation Iraqi Liberation

2. Michelle Obama presidency (2017 – 2021) - still paying off Bush's war debt for Operation Iraqi Liberation

3. Chelsea Clinton Presidency (2022-2030) - still paying off Bush's war debt for Operation Iraqi Liberation

4. Sasha Obama Presidency (2031-2039) - still paying off Bush's war debt for Operation Iraqi Liberation

5. Robert F. Kennedy IV Presidency (2040-2048) - still paying off Bush's war debt for Operation Iraqi Liberation


Bush Administration Lobbyies For Corporate Socialism

Congress Not Swayed By Bush Administration Pleas Of Catastrophe on Big Bailout

Refusing to be pushed, Republicans and Democrats alike rebuffed dire warnings Tuesday from the government's top economic officials of recession, layoffs and foreclosed homes if Congress doesn't quickly approve the administration's emergency $700 billion financial bailout plan.

Congressional leaders still predicted passage — with significant changes — but Wall Street's nerves were hardly soothed. The Dow Jones industrials sank 161 points and now are off more than 500 this week after initially surging on the bailout announcement last week.

Deepening market trouble was just one piece of the economic havoc that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson told senators would ensue if Congress lags in acting on the administration's proposal to rescue tottering financial institutions.

"I share the outrage that people have," Paulson said. "It's embarrassing to look at this. I think it's embarrassing to the United States of America. There is a lot of blame to go around."

But without the bailout plan, Paulson and Bernanke sketched out a dire scenario for senators at a contentious daylong hearing: Neither businesses nor consumers would be able to borrow money, and the world's largest economy would grind to a virtual halt.

In public and in private meetings, both Democrats and Republicans said big changes are needed, presaging a difficult road ahead for the measure.

The legislation the administration is promoting would allow the government to buy bad mortgages and other rotten assets held by troubled banks and financial institutions. Getting those debts off their books should bolster those companies' balance sheets, making them more inclined to lend and easing one of the biggest choke points in the credit crisis. If the plan works, it should help lift a major weight off the national economy that is already sputtering.

Democrats were determined to wrest concessions from the administration on domestic spending and middle-class economic aid. And they said Republicans had to share in the politically tricky task of pushing through a financial bailout six weeks before the elections at a time when millions of everyday Americans are economically strapped.

"It's their problem. It's their bill. And they're going to have to figure out if they can support it," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said of Republicans.

"Nobody wants to have to do this," agreed Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, the Republican leader. He said he was hopeful of a quick agreement, despite withering criticism from conservative GOP lawmakers who recoiled at the prospect of federal intervention.

Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., said, "This massive bailout is not a solution. It is financial socialism and it's un-American."

Read the rest here.


Your Tax Dollars at Work

Ex-Official: $9 Billion in Iraq Reconstruction Funds Lost to Fraud

A former top Iraqi official told U.S. senators today that roughly $9 billion in American money meant for reconstruction projects was involved in waste, fraud and abuse.

Salom Adhoob, a former chief investigator at Iraq's Commission on Public Integrity -- which is considered the equivalent of the FBI in the United States -- said at a hearing of the Democratic Policy Committee today that he and his agency had done investigations showing the money was misused in fraud and abuse. In one case, he said the Iraqi Ministry of Defense helped create front companies to funnel the money.

So much for Republican fiscal management and responsibility. The $9 billion could be lost to bribes, embezzlement, theft, ... who knows. I doubt that the Bush administration or the Pentagon or any of those responsible for putting the USA into this war will lift a finger to explain this mismanagement.

Read the rest here.

Hypocrisy Alert

Over at "Villainous Company", the self-proclaimed "princess" has her panties in a bunch over Obama, AGAIN, lambasting him for one thing and another, doing her articulate best to portray him as a smearer of ... stuff you smear, a liar, a Führer of digital brownshirts, a ghost-producer and/or financier of YouTube videos.

In typical "princess" fashion, Cass remarks that "This is not to deny that McCain deserves much of the criticism he has received for his distortions about Obama. But not all of it." She is never one to direct her readers' attention to McCain's distortions, or the distortions worked by other Rethugs - Cass's term, mind you, not ours.

She is also not one to acknowledge the on-going Rethug hypocrisy of blasting Obama (and the Dems generally) on their positions on abortion (with which, BTW, HSD is in some disagreement), when it is an acknowledged fact that the Rethugs will NEVER do anything to reduce the availability of abortion in America (besides palaver and cast aspersions) because too many Republican voters think abortion should be a matter of choice between a woman and her doctor. The Rethugs long ago sold their souls to Satan on this issue, however, in exchange for his promise to deliver the Evangelical/Christian/Christianist vote ... . and they hypocritically (quelle surprise!) avoid discussion of practical means of helping women avoid pregnancy.

More on this once we have a chance to go back and rifle through Big Brother's, uh ... VC's ... dusty archives for past pronouncements of princess-ly poppycock.

FLASH: Rethugs Not the Only Prevaricators *

Closing the Whopper Gap

The symmetry of sin is suddenly looking more equal. Last week, I flayed John McCain for dishonesty -- flagrant and repeated dishonesty -- about Barack Obama's proposals. Obama was by no means blameless, I argued, but his lapses were nowhere near as egregious as his opponent's. I stand by everything I wrote.

But a series of new Obama attacks requires a rebalancing of the scales: Obama has descended to similarly scurrilous tactics on the stump and on the air. On immigration, Obama is running a Spanish-language ad that unfairly lumps McCain together with Rush Limbaugh -- and quotes Limbaugh out of context. On health care, Obama misleadingly accuses McCain of wanting to impose a $3.6 trillion tax hike on employer-provided insurance.

Obama has been furthest out of line, however, on Social Security, stooping to the kind of scare tactics he once derided.

Read it and weep, gentle readers ... here.

* Of course, the Rethugs have perfected the art of prevarication, and the Dems are still apprentices.


Bone-Headed American Attitude to Foreign Languages Results In Lack of Military Preparedness

For Military, Slow Progress in Foreign Language Push

WASHINGTON — Three years ago, the Defense Department set out to increase sharply the number of military personnel who speak strategically important languages. Progress has been slow, and the military has not determined how to reach its goal — or what exactly that goal is.

Figures from the department indicate that only 1.2 percent of the military receives a bonus paid to those who can speak languages judged to be of critical importance for the current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as other areas of strategic concern.

The military has struggled for years to develop a clear objective for language training.

In July, at a hearing of the House subcommittee charged with assessing the military’s progress in language training, the chairman, Representative Vic Snyder, Democrat of Arkansas, said: “I think the Pentagon has a sense that they’re moving in the right direction. I just don’t think they have a sense yet of what that endpoint is.”

John Nagl, a retired lieutenant colonel who is co-author of the Army’s new counterinsurgency field manual, said in an interview that the military had been moving too slowly, and he questioned the military’s assertion that language needs were difficult to assess since they were subject to changing global security conditions.

The military by now should “have a pretty good idea of what countries we’re fighting in,” he said.

Dr. Nagl, a fellow with the Center for a New American Security, said the Army understood the value of having more foreign language speakers in its ranks. But, he said, it had not “done the math on what it means” and had yet to “build the programs and provide the leader development to get there.”

Read the rest of this discouraging story here.


Time Mag says "McCain Plays the Race Card"

You decide.

When politicians interject race into a campaign, they seldom do it directly. Consider McCain's new ad, which the campaign says it will be airing nationally:

When politicians interject race into a campaign, they seldom do it directly. Consider McCain's new ad, which the campaign says it will be airing nationally:

This is hardly subtle: Sinister images of two black men, followed by one of a vulnerable-looking elderly white woman.

Let me stipulate: Obama's Fannie Mae connections are completely fair game. But this ad doesn't even mention a far more significant tie--that of Jim Johnson, the former Fannie Mae chairman who had to resign as head of Obama's vice presidential search team after it was revealed he got a sweetheart deal on a mortgage from Countrywide Financial. Instead, it relies on a fleeting and tenuous reference in a Washington Post Style section story to suggest that Obama's principal economic adviser is former Fannie Mae Chairman Frank Raines. Why? One reason might be that Johnson is white; Raines is black.

And the image of the victim doesn't seem accidental either, given the fact that older white women are a key swing constituency in this election.

After the McCain campaign introduced the ad, the Obama campaign responded with this statement:

Statement from Frank Raines on the ad: "I am not an advisor to Barack Obama, nor have I provided his campaign with advice on housing or economic matters."

"This is another flat-out lie from a dishonorable campaign that is increasingly incapable of telling the truth. Frank Raines has never advised Senator Obama about anything -- ever. And by the way, someone whose campaign manager and top advisor worked and lobbied for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shouldn't be throwing stones from his seven glass houses," said Obama-Biden campaign spokesman Bill Burton.

At Politico, Ben Smith reports:

McCain spokesman Brian Rogers notes that Obama didn't contradict the claim when it first appeared in the Post.

But that's not really the point of the ad, is it?

UPDATE: The McCain campaign has now put out an ad on Jim Johnson. Please see my post above.

Time's author says she has updated her post, but I couldn't find it. Maybe you can.

So ... what do YOU think?

WSJ Slams McCain for Conduct Unbecoming a President

McCain's Scapegoat

John McCain has made it clear this week he doesn't understand what's happening on Wall Street any better than Barack Obama does. But on Thursday, he took his populist riffing up a notch and found his scapegoat for financial panic -- Christopher Cox, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

To give readers a flavor of Mr. McCain untethered, we'll quote at length:

"Mismanagement and greed became the operating standard while regulators were asleep at the switch. The primary regulator of Wall Street, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) kept in place trading rules that let speculators and hedge funds turn our markets into a casino. They allowed naked short selling -- which simply means that you can sell stock without ever owning it. They eliminated last year the uptick rule that has protected investors for 70 years. Speculators pounded the shares of even good companies into the ground.

"The chairman of the SEC serves at the appointment of the President and has betrayed the public's trust. If I were President today, I would fire him."

Wow. "Betrayed the public's trust." Was Mr. Cox dishonest? No. He merely changed some minor rules, and didn't change others, on short-selling. String him up! Mr. McCain clearly wants to distance himself from the Bush Administration. But this assault on Mr. Cox is both false and deeply unfair. It's also un-Presidential.

Take "naked" shorting, in which an investor sells a stock short -- betting that it will fall in price -- without first borrowing the shares he is selling from an investor who owns them. The SEC has never condoned the practice, and since 2005 it has clamped down on short selling in any stock that shows evidence of naked shorting. The SEC further tightened its rules against naked shorting just hours before Mr. McCain excoriated Mr. Cox for doing nothing.

Read the original here.


NEWS FLASH!! Palin for President; McCain for Vice-President!

Gov. Sarah Palin is now talking about "a Palin and McCain administration."

We knew it would come to this: you just can't keep a food womyn down.

candidates flummoxed by meltdown - news at 11 - not

Financial crisis fails to get its just due with TV talking heads

It's hard to know where to start in dissecting the inane debate on the economic crisis that has dominated the presidential race in recent days.

Commentators, particularly of the cable television variety, have probed Sarah Palin's (suspect) chops for running a Fortune 500 company, recounted John McCain's (nonexistent) role in inventing the BlackBerry and repeated Barack Obama's (nebulous) bleatings about "change."

Armed with these scraps of near-news, horse-race junkies -- like the terminally hopped-up Chris Matthews of MSNBC -- then launched new rounds of soulless palavering.

Can Obama capture economically disadvantaged whites? Is the bloom off the Palin rose? Can Washington veteran McCain sell himself as a populist reformer? Can Jill Biden dance the samba?

OK, no one actually raised that last one. But they might as well have, given the substance-lite quality of the political coverage as the nation faces its most unsettling financial storm in memory.

Click title above to read the whole thing ... or here if it is too much trouble to scroll back up

The Lying Game

Time's Joe Klein says McCain is lying. Miss Dispepsia says he's not, but Obama is. Obama's said says McCain is lying. "Historians" are saying that McCain's campaign is not the sleaziest. Stoneman says McCain is lying. It looks like the National Review is splitting hairs.

Bristol-Levi Watch

A report from the Sarah Palin pep-rally at the Anchorage convention center on Saturday September 13, 2008:

... sitting three-quarters of the way up the bleacher was Bristol Palin and her eighteen-year-old impregnator, Levi Johnston. Once I noticed them, I kept my eye on Bristol and Levi. What I learned provoked an odd empathy for the awful pickle Wasilla High School's hockey stick wielding homeboy now finds himself in.

Bristol and Levi sat shoulder-to-shoulder. But not once did they look at each other, speak to each other, or in any way acknowledge each other's physical presence. Not once. For an entire hour. Instead, Bristol stared straight ahead and Levi had the glazed look of a trapped feral animal.

Then when Sarah wound up her autograph signing and the people sitting in front of him on the bleacher began climbing down, Levi stood up and, without looking at or speaking to his betrothed, turned in the opposite direction and walked away.

What I took away from that is that the People Magazine spin about how excited the happy couple is about their upcoming nuptials and Levi's "Bristol" finger tattoo is the Karl Rovian nonsense that anyone who thinks about it for a scintilla of a second intuitively knows that it is. If McCain-Palin lose, my easy bet is that there will be no nuptials. But if they win, the hand Levi dealt himself by having had the poor luck to knock up the daughter of the Vice President of the United States (at the time who could have known?) will have to be played out.

Pader Johnston has disconnected the Johnston family's land line. So I can't call him to ask what kind of deal he cut. But if Levi was my kid, the deal I would have cut would, at an absolute minimum, have been: $500,000 for from now to the November election. If McCain-Palin win, a $ 1 million signing bonus to take the trip down the aisle. Then, for the duration of the McCain-Palin administration, $100,000 a month for every month Mr. and Mrs. Johnston live under the same roof, and $50,000 a month for every month that they remain married but do not.

That's chump change for the RNC. And if, in the best case for the nation, it turns out to be only a $500,000 payday for sixty days of work, that's a life changing grubstake for an eighteen-year-old kid and more than enough to enable Levi to make his child support payments.

Read the original: From pep rallies to secret emails to Troopergate, a Sarah Palin primer

American legal influence is waning

U.S. Court Is Now Guiding Fewer Nations

WASHINGTON — Judges around the world have long looked to the decisions of the United States Supreme Court for guidance, citing and often following them in hundreds of their own rulings since the Second World War.

But now American legal influence is waning. Even as a debate continues in the court over whether its decisions should ever cite foreign law, a diminishing number of foreign courts seem to pay attention to the writings of American justices.

“One of our great exports used to be constitutional law,” said Anne-Marie Slaughter, the dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton. “We are losing one of the greatest bully pulpits we have ever had.”

Continue reading ...


from one of our correspondents ...

I'm a little confused...

* If you're a minority and you're selected for a job over more qualified candidates you're a "token hire."

** If you're a conservative and you're selected for a job over more qualified candidates you're a "game changer."

* Black teen pregnancies? A "crisis" in black America.

** White teen pregnancies? A "blessed event."

* If you grow up in Hawaii you're "exotic."

** Grow up in Alaska eating mooseburgers, you're the quintessential "American story."

* Similarly, if you name you kid Barack you're "unpatriotic."

** Name your kid Track, you're "colorful."

* If you're a Democrat and you make a VP pick without fully vetting the individual you're "reckless."

** A Republican who doesn't fully vet is a "maverick."

* If you spend 3 years as a community organizer growing your organization from a staff of 1 to 13 and your budget from $70,000 to $400,000, then become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new African American voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, then spend nearly 8 more years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, becoming chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, then spend nearly 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of nearly 13 million people, sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you are woefully inexperienced.

** If you spend 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, then spend 20 months as the governor of a state with 650,000 people, then you've got the most executive experience of anyone on either ticket, are the Commander in Chief of the Alaska military and are well qualified to lead the nation should you be called upon to do so because your state is the closest state to Russia.

* If you are a Democratic male candidate who is popular with millions of people you are an "arrogant celebrity" or "uppity".

** If you are a popular republican female candidate you are "energizing the base".

* If you are a younger male candidate who thinks for himself and makes his own decisions you are "presumptuous".

** If you are an older male candidate who makes last minute decisions you refuse to explain, you are a "shoot from the hip" maverick.

* If you are a candidate with a Harvard law degree you are "an elitist-out of touch" with the real America.

** If you are a legacy (dad and granddad were admirals) graduate 5th from the bottom ranking from Annapolis, with multiple disciplinary infractions you are a hero.

* If you manage a multi-million dollar nationwide campaign, you are an "empty suit".

** If you are a part time mayor of a town of 7000 people, you are an "experienced executive".

* If you go to a south side Chicago church, your beliefs are "extremist".

** If you believe in creationism and don't believe global warming is man made, you are "strongly principled".

* If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you're a Christian.

** If you have been married to the same woman with whom you've been wed to for 19 years and raising 2 beautiful daughters with, you're "risky".

* If you're a black single mother of 4 who waits for 22 hours after her water breaks to seek medical attention, you're an irresponsible parent, endangering the life of your unborn child.

** But if you're a white married mother who waits 22 hours, you're spunky.

* If you're a 13-year-old Chelsea Clinton, the right-wing press calls you "First dog."

** If you're a 17-year old pregnant unwed daughter of a Republican, the right-wing press calls you "beautiful" and "courageous."

* If you kill an endangered species, you're an excellent hunter.

** If you have an abortion you're not a Christian, you're a murderer (forget about it if it is the result of raped or incest.)

* If you teach abstinence only in sex education, you get teen parents.

** If you teach responsible age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.

a little simplistic, but you get the point!


Color us cynical ...

A team of British and American scientists has found, in the first large study of humans exposed to a chemical widely used in everyday plastics, that people with higher levels of bisphenol A, also known as BPA, had higher rates of heart disease, diabetes and liver abnormalities. The research, "Association of Urinary Bisphenol A Concentration With Medical Disorders and Laboratory Abnormalities in Adults" and "Bisphenol A and Risk of Metabolic Disorders" is being published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The North American Metal Packaging Alliance, which represents can manufacturers, has already dismissed the JAMA study article as an "unsubstantiated scientific leap" and called for additional research.

The Food and Drug Administration is holding a public hearing today in Rockville to discuss whether BPA is safe for continued use in food packaging and liquid containers. Despite more than 100 studies by government-funded scientists and university laboratories that have linked BPA exposure to health effects in animals, the FDA has deemed it safe, largely on the basis of two studies funded by the chemical industry.

Color us cynical, but we’re not holding our breath wondering whether the Bush Administration will provide a cheerleading section for the packaging industry’s certain rejection of the findings: we’re only wondering what color the cheerleaders’ outfits will be – probably grey pinstripe, white shirt, and red tie.

So-Called Conservatives Are Turning Away From Palin

David Brooks is doing it. Ross Douthat is doing it. Richard Cohen is doing it. Carly Fiorina is doing it.

If the birds and the bees can do it, I guess conservatives can do it too.


Are the Wingnuts onto something, or are they just working themselves into a new paranoid frenzy?

A new wingnut frenzy is rolling across the internets - Amir Taheri is accusing Barack Obama of having attempted, for political purposes, to meddle in American foreign policy during his recent trip to Iraq: chiming in with the same refrain are "Betsy Newmark", who styles herself "an AP history and government teacher in Raleigh, NC", and Cassandra over at Villainous Company, who describes herself as "a dyspeptic Marine wife/tech wench". Betsy links to Amir Taheri to support her accusation; Cass links to Betsy to support hers.

Amir Taheri does not have the greatest track record for truthfulness, however, so it remains to be seen whether this is legit, or just more so-called conservative foaming at the mouth. We'll leave our fuzzy-headed knee-jerk liberal inclinations to the side for the moment, and let this story develop over the next few days.

Oy gevalt! There is no rest for the weary blogger! Even John McCain is being accused of violating the Logan Act (18 U.S.C.A. § 953 [1948]). The Logan Act is a federal statute making it a crime for a citizen to confer with foreign governments against the interests of the United States. Specifically, it prohibits citizens from negotiating with other nations on behalf of the United States without authorization.

Click here for other info on Amir Taheri, and here and here.

Well, dear reader, it looks as though (if my sources check out) Obama did not violate the Logan Act. Here, in a discussion of the similar claim made against Nancy "She Needs To Grow a Pair" Pelosi:

The Logan Act, originally enacted in 1799 and amended in 1994, prohibits unauthorized U.S. citizens from interfering in relations between the United States and foreign governments. Despite numerous judicial references to the Act, the Congressional Research Service has discovered no prosecutions under the Logan Act in its more than 200 years of existence. It has, however, served as the basis for several political challenges, not unlike those now being launched against Speaker Pelosi.

In 1975, Senators John Sparkman and George McGovern were accused of violating the Logan Act when they traveled to Cuba and met with Cuban officials. In considering that case, the U.S. Department of State declared:

"The clear intent of this provision [Logan Act] is to prohibit unauthorized persons from intervening in disputes between the United States and foreign governments. Nothing in section 953 [Logan Act], however, would appear to restrict members of the Congress from engaging in discussions with foreign officials in pursuance of their legislative duties under the Constitution. In the case of Senators McGovern and Sparkman the executive branch, although it did not in any way encourage the Senators to go to Cuba , was fully informed of the nature and purpose of their visit, and had validated their passports for travel to that country."

The circumstances of Speaker Pelosi's trip to Syria were similar. The Bush administration was well aware of the "nature and purpose" of the proposed trip, and while President Bush discouraged it and is now harshly criticizing it, the executive branch took no action to prevent Pelosi from leaving the country. Indeed, the White House has not mentioned the Logan Act in relationship to Pelosi's trip.

Some other Americans accused of, but never prosecuted for violating the Logan Act include Ross Perot for his efforts to locate U.S. POWs in Southeast Asia and former Speaker of the House Jim Wright for his relations with the Sandinista government. In 1984, Reverend Jessie Jackson's trips to Syria, Cuba and Nicaragua drew accusations of Logan Act violations from President Reagan. And who can forget Jane Fonda's many controversial trips to Southeast Asia in protest of the Vietnam War? Yet, as far as the Congressional Research Service has been able to determine, no American has ever been prosecuted under the Logan Act.

It will be interesting to see what those accusing Obama of violating the Logan Act come up with to prove their accusations. I'm guessing that BHO received permission from the US Government to make his visit, and was probably briefed on the situation before he went. Having temporarily tranquilized my fuzzy-headed jerking knee, however, I welcome any information on this point.

Update: Wingnuts all over have just got their panties in such a bunch over this. If it weren't so infuriating watching them vent their mostly ignorant spleens, it would be enormously entertaining watching them work themselves into a state of unbridled hysteria. I suspect that their motive in this, apart from ODS, is to distract themselves and their readers from the fact that their candidates are doing so poorly overall.

RFK Jr. comments on Sarah Palin's book list

Fascist writer Westbrook Pegler, an avowed racist who Sarah Palin approvingly quoted in her acceptance speech for the moral superiority of small town values, expressed his fervent hope about my father, Robert F. Kennedy, as he contemplated his own run for the presidency in 1965, that "some white patriot of the Southern tier will spatter his spoonful of brains in pubic premises before the snow flies."

Following the Palin acceptance speech New York Times columnist Frank Rich provided an analysis of the political significance of quoting Pegler. Mr. Rich noted that "Pegler was a rabid Joe McCarthyite who loathed F.D.R. and Ike and tirelessly advanced the theory that American Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe (“geese,” he called them) were all likely Communists." He suggested that Palin's use of a quote from "once powerful right-wing Hearst columnist Westbrook Pegler" was intended to send a subtle but unmistakable signal to far right wing supporters.

We are not necessarily individually guilty of the crimes or offenses of the writers we admire. On the other hand, some people deserve NOT to be encouraged, and either to be shunned or to be mentioned or quoted only with qualifiers that point out that not everything the writer has said or done is worthy of admiration. Without knowing more about the depth of Palin's admiration for Pegler (and frankly, having heard other things about and from Palin causes me to wonder how much she's even read Pegler or whether some "handler" simply gave her a line to use) I have some trouble tarring her with the "Pegler-spattered brains brush".

On the other hand, running for presidential office is serious business and that warrants one being careful about what one says, especially with everybody hanging on every word, looking for slip-ups (slips-up?). I'm willing, on reflection to revise somewhat my previous comment that this Pegler business qualifies Sarah Palin as an f'ing crazy whacko. I still think she's a whacko though, for other substantive reasons.


more on "Sarah the Barracuda"

Andrys Basten's blog has a lot of links to internet info regarding Sarah the Barracuda you might want to check out.

Who Gets To Decide What's "Fair"?

One of the more articulate wingnuts out there is again dredging up that tired old meme about "Supreme Court justices [throwing] out what the Constitution has to say when formulating rulings and [substituting] their individual sense of 'fairness'", suggesting (yawn) that in doing so, they'd be "substituting their individual policy preferences for those of our duly elected leaders in the state and federal legislatures?"

What the self-proclaimed "blog princess" continues to ignore (it's got to be intentional, because otherwise she's a pretty sharp cookie) is that some of the greatest advances in freedom in this country have come from judicial decisions that acknowledged that there are fundamental values woven into the Constitution that are not necessarily spelled out in it (and that in the past have even been specifically denied in it) that rise above the four corners of the document and raise us up above most other countries in the world as better people and better citizens.

It's popular among certain commentators to suggest that so-called "activist judges" took constitutional power away from "the people" when they decided Brown v. the Board of Education, Griswold v. Connecticut, Roe v. Wade (admittedly a difficult case), Lawrence v. Texas. A number of other cases could also be cited (and when I get the time, maybe I will). Why does it seem, however, that the examples given by these same commentators usually have to do with protecting some political minority from the efforts of a political or religious majority to suppress the minority's "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness".

These are complex issues, for sure, but oversimplifying them does nobody any good. As a constitutional scholar one told me "for every problem there is a simple and erroneous solution". People on the left and the right are guilty of oversimplification. Some of us expect more, however, and we are entitled to more.


Lipstick on a Wing Nut

By Katha Pollitt

This article appeared in the September 29, 2008 edition of The Nation.

John McCain chose the supremely under-qualified Sarah Palin as his running mate partly because she is a woman. If you have a problem with that, you're a sexist. She talks incessantly about being a mother of five and uses her newborn, Trig, who has Down syndrome, as a campaign prop. If you wonder how she'll handle all those kids and the Veep job too, you're a super-sexist. "When do they ever ask a man that question?" charges that fiery feminist Rudy Giuliani. Indeed, Palin, who went back to work when Trig was three days old, gets nothing but praise from Phyllis Schlafly, James Dobson and the folks at National Review, who usually blame all the ills of modern America on those neurotic, harried, selfish, frustrated, child-neglecting, husband-castrating working mothers. Even stranger, her five-months-pregnant 17-year-old, Bristol, gets nothing but compassion and respect from Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and others who have spent their careers slut-shaming teens for having sex--and blaming their parents for letting it happen.

If there were an Olympics for hypocrisy, the Republican Party would have more gold medals than Michael Phelps. And Palin would be wearing quite a few of them. It takes chutzpah for a mother to thrust her pregnant teen into the world's harshest spotlight and then demand the world respect the girl's privacy. But then it takes chutzpah to support criminalizing abortion and then praise Bristol's "decision" to have the baby. The right to decide, and privacy, after all, are two of the things Palin wants to deny every other woman, and every other family, in America. Palin's even said she would "choose life" if her daughter was pregnant from rape. Can't you just hear Bristol groaning, "Mo-om...!"

The Republicans bashed Barack Obama as a "celebrity," but now they've got a star of their own, so naturally the rules have changed. Nothing would suit them better than for the media to spend the next two months spellbound by the wacky carnival on ice that is the Palin family: Todd, aka the First Dude, the kids, Levi the hunky bad-boy dad-to-be--well, maybe not him so much after his expletive-adorned MySpace page briefly came to light ("I'm a fuckin' redneck"; "I don't want kids"--whoops). The snowmobiles, the moose burgers, the guns, the hair, the glasses that are flying off America's shelves (starting at $375 a pair, and she has seven). Fretting over the work/family issue alone should take up enough column inches to employ all the female journalists in America from now to next Mother's Day. And don't forget that op-ed staple, What Does This Mean for Feminism?

Well, I'm not playing. I don't care about Sarah Palin's family. I don't care if she's a good mother. I don't care if she's happily married, or who shops and who vacuums, or who takes care of the kids while both parents are at work. I don't want her recipe for caribou hot dogs, either. Life chez Sarah and Todd might make an adorable sitcom (Leave It to Jesus?) or a scathing tell-all a decade or so down the road (Governor Dearest?). Either way, so what? This is an election, not The View. As for feminism's meaning, what can you say after you've said that her career shows that even right-wing fundamentalist women have taken in feminism's message of empowerment and that's good, but that Palin's example suggests women can do it all without support from society and that's bad?

Count me as a feminist who never believed that being PTA president meant you could be, well, President. The more time we spend on dippy ruminations--how does she do it? Queen Bee on steroids or the hockey mom next door? how hot is Todd, anyway?--the less focus there will be on the kind of queries that should come first with any vice presidential candidate, and certainly would if Palin were a man. Questions like:

§ Suppose your 14-year-old daughter Willow is brutally raped in her bedroom by an intruder. She becomes pregnant and wants an abortion. Could you tell the parents of America why you think your child and their children should be forced by law to have their rapists' babies?

§ You say you don't believe global warming is man-made. Could you tell us what scientists you've spoken with or read who have led you to that conclusion? What do you think the 2,500 scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are getting wrong?

§ If you didn't try to fire Wasilla librarian Mary Ellen Baker over her refusal to consider censoring books, why did you try to fire her?

§ What is the European Union, and how does it function?

§ Forty-seven million Americans lack health insurance. John Goodman, who has advised McCain on healthcare, has proposed redefining them as covered because, he says, anyone can get care at an ER. Do you agree with him?

§ What is the function of the Federal Reserve?

§ Cindy and John McCain say you have experience in foreign affairs because Alaska is next to Russia. When did you last speak with Prime Minister Putin, and what did you talk about?

§ Approximately how old is the earth? Five thousand years? 10,000? 5 billion?

§ You are a big fan of President Bush, so why didn't you mention him even once in your convention speech?

§ McCain says cutting earmarks and waste will make up for revenues lost by making the tax cuts permanent. Experts say that won't wash. Balancing the Bush tax cuts plus new ones proposed by McCain would most likely mean cutting Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security. Which would you cut?

§ You're suing the federal government to have polar bears removed from the endangered species list, even as Alaska's northern coastal ice is melting and falling into the sea. Can you explain the science behind your decision?

§ You've suggested that God approves of the Iraq War and the Alaska pipeline. How do you know?

About Katha Pollitt

Pollitt's writing has appeared in many publications, including The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, Ms. and the New York Times. her most recent collection of Nation columns is "Virginity or Death!." Her volume of personal essays, Learning to Drive and Other Life Stories, has just come out from Random House. For more, visit her web site at www.kathapollitt.com. more...

She's fu*king crazy ...

EXCERPTS: Charlie Gibson Interviews Sarah Palin
Republican VP Candidate Speaks with ABC News' Charlie Gibson in Exclusive Interview

Sept. 11, 2008—

The following excerpts are from the ABC News exclusive interview with Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in Fairbanks, Alaska, conducted by "World News" anchor Charlie Gibson on September 11, 2008

Sarah Palin on Experience:

GIBSON: Governor, let me start by asking you a question that I asked John McCain about you, and it is really the central question. Can you look the country in the eye and say "I have the experience and I have the ability to be not just vice president, but perhaps president of the United States of America?"

PALIN: I do, Charlie, and on January 20, when John McCain and I are sworn in, if we are so privileged to be elected to serve this country, will be ready. I'm ready.

GIBSON: And you didn't say to yourself, "Am I experienced enough? Am I ready? Do I know enough about international affairs? Do I -- will I feel comfortable enough on the national stage to do this?"

PALIN: I didn't hesitate, no.

GIBSON: Didn't that take some hubris?

PALIN: I -- I answered him yes because I have the confidence in that readiness and knowing that you can't blink, you have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission, the mission that we're on, reform of this country and victory in the war, you can't blink.

So I didn't blink then even when asked to run as his running mate.

GIBSON: But this is not just reforming a government. This is also running a government on the huge international stage in a very dangerous world. When I asked John McCain about your national security credentials, he cited the fact that you have commanded the Alaskan National Guard and that Alaska is close to Russia. Are those sufficient credentials?

PALIN: But it is about reform of government and it's about putting government back on the side of the people, and that has much to do with foreign policy and national security issues Let me speak specifically about a credential that I do bring to this table, Charlie, and that's with the energy independence that I've been working on for these years as the governor of this state that produces nearly 20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of energy, that I worked on as chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, overseeing the oil and gas development in our state to produce more for the United States.

GIBSON: I know. I'm just saying that national security is a whole lot more than energy.

PALIN: It is, but I want you to not lose sight of the fact that energy is a foundation of national security. It's that important. It's that significant.

GIBSON: Did you ever travel outside the country prior to your trip to Kuwait and Germany last year?

PALIN: Canada, Mexico, and then, yes, that trip, that was the trip of a lifetime to visit our troops in Kuwait and stop and visit our injured soldiers in Germany. That was the trip of a lifetime and it changed my life.

GIBSON: Have you ever met a foreign head of state?

PALIN: There in the state of Alaska, our international trade activities bring in many leaders of other countries.

GIBSON: And all governors deal with trade delegations.

PALIN: Right.

GIBSON: Who act at the behest of their governments.

PALIN: Right, right.

GIBSON: I'm talking about somebody who's a head of state, who can negotiate for that country. Ever met one?

PALIN: I have not and I think if you go back in history and if you ask that question of many vice presidents, they may have the same answer that I just gave you. But, Charlie, again, we've got to remember what the desire is in this nation at this time. It is for no more politics as usual and somebody's big, fat resume maybe that shows decades and decades in that Washington establishment, where, yes, they've had opportunities to meet heads of state ... these last couple of weeks ... it has been overwhelming to me that confirmation of the message that Americans are getting sick and tired of that self-dealing and kind of that closed door, good old boy network that has been the Washington elite.

Sarah Palin on God:

GIBSON: You said recently, in your old church, "Our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God." Are we fighting a holy war?

PALIN: You know, I don't know if that was my exact quote.

GIBSON: Exact words.

PALIN: But the reference there is a repeat of Abraham Lincoln's words when he said -- first, he suggested never presume to know what God's will is, and I would never presume to know God's will or to speak God's words.

But what Abraham Lincoln had said, and that's a repeat in my comments, was let us not pray that God is on our side in a war or any other time, but let us pray that we are on God's side.

That's what that comment was all about, Charlie. And I do believe, though, that this war against extreme Islamic terrorists is the right thing. It's an unfortunate thing, because war is hell and I hate war, and, Charlie, today is the day that I send my first born, my son, my teenage son overseas with his Stryker brigade, 4,000 other wonderful American men and women, to fight for our country, for democracy, for our freedoms.

Charlie, those are freedoms that too many of us just take for granted. I hate war and I want to see war ended. We end war when we see victory, and we do see victory in sight in Iraq.

GIBSON: I take your point about Lincoln's words, but you went on and said, "There is a plan and it is God's plan."

PALIN: I believe that there is a plan for this world and that plan for this world is for good. I believe that there is great hope and great potential for every country to be able to live and be protected with inalienable rights that I believe are God-given, Charlie, and I believe that those are the rights to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

That, in my world view, is a grand -- the grand plan.

GIBSON: But then are you sending your son on a task that is from God?

PALIN: I don't know if the task is from God, Charlie. What I know is that my son has made a decision. I am so proud of his independent and strong decision he has made, what he decided to do and serving for the right reasons and serving something greater than himself and not choosing a real easy path where he could be more comfortable and certainly safer.

Sarah Palin on National Security:

GIBSON: Let me ask you about some specific national security situations.

PALIN: Sure.

GIBSON: Let's start, because we are near Russia, let's start with Russia and Georgia.

The administration has said we've got to maintain the territorial integrity of Georgia. Do you believe the United States should try to restore Georgian sovereignty over South Ossetia and Abkhazia?

PALIN: First off, we're going to continue good relations with Saakashvili there. I was able to speak with him the other day and giving him my commitment, as John McCain's running mate, that we will be committed to Georgia. And we've got to keep an eye on Russia. For Russia to have exerted such pressure in terms of invading a smaller democratic country, unprovoked, is unacceptable and we have to keep...

GIBSON: You believe unprovoked.

PALIN: I do believe unprovoked and we have got to keep our eyes on Russia, under the leadership there. I think it was unfortunate. That manifestation that we saw with that invasion of Georgia shows us some steps backwards that Russia has recently taken away from the race toward a more democratic nation with democratic ideals.That's why we have to keep an eye on Russia.

And, Charlie, you're in Alaska. We have that very narrow maritime border between the United States, and the 49th state, Alaska, and Russia. They are our next door neighbors.We need to have a good relationship with them. They're very, very important to us and they are our next door neighbor.

GIBSON: What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?

PALIN: They're our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.

GIBSON: What insight does that give you into what they're doing in Georgia?

PALIN: Well, I'm giving you that perspective of how small our world is and how important it is that we work with our allies to keep good relation with all of these countries, especially Russia. We will not repeat a Cold War. We must have good relationship with our allies, pressuring, also, helping us to remind Russia that it's in their benefit, also, a mutually beneficial relationship for us all to be getting along.

Sarah Palin on Russia:

We cannot repeat the Cold War. We are thankful that, under Reagan, we won the Cold War, without a shot fired, also. We've learned lessons from that in our relationship with Russia, previously the Soviet Union.

We will not repeat a Cold War. We must have good relationship with our allies, pressuring, also, helping us to remind Russia that it's in their benefit, also, a mutually beneficial relationship for us all to be getting along.

GIBSON: Would you favor putting Georgia and Ukraine in NATO?

PALIN: Ukraine, definitely, yes. Yes, and Georgia.

GIBSON: Because Putin has said he would not tolerate NATO incursion into the Caucasus.

PALIN: Well, you know, the Rose Revolution, the Orange Revolution, those actions have showed us that those democratic nations, I believe, deserve to be in NATO.

Putin thinks otherwise. Obviously, he thinks otherwise, but...

GIBSON: And under the NATO treaty, wouldn't we then have to go to war if Russia went into Georgia?

PALIN: Perhaps so. I mean, that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally, is if another country is attacked, you're going to be expected to be called upon and help.

But NATO, I think, should include Ukraine, definitely, at this point and I think that we need to -- especially with new leadership coming in on January 20, being sworn on, on either ticket, we have got to make sure that we strengthen our allies, our ties with each one of those NATO members.

We have got to make sure that that is the group that can be counted upon to defend one another in a very dangerous world today.

GIBSON: And you think it would be worth it to the United States, Georgia is worth it to the United States to go to war if Russia were to invade.

PALIN: What I think is that smaller democratic countries that are invaded by a larger power is something for us to be vigilant against. We have got to be cognizant of what the consequences are if a larger power is able to take over smaller democratic countries.

And we have got to be vigilant. We have got to show the support, in this case, for Georgia. The support that we can show is economic sanctions perhaps against Russia, if this is what it leads to.

It doesn't have to lead to war and it doesn't have to lead, as I said, to a Cold War, but economic sanctions, diplomatic pressure, again, counting on our allies to help us do that in this mission of keeping our eye on Russia and Putin and some of his desire to control and to control much more than smaller democratic countries.

His mission, if it is to control energy supplies, also, coming from and through Russia, that's a dangerous position for our world to be in, if we were to allow that to happen.

Sarah Palin on Iran and Israel:

GIBSON: Let me turn to Iran. Do you consider a nuclear Iran to be an existential threat to Israel?

PALIN: I believe that under the leadership of Ahmadinejad, nuclear weapons in the hands of his government are extremely dangerous to everyone on this globe, yes.

GIBSON: So what should we do about a nuclear Iran? John McCain said the only thing worse than a war with Iran would be a nuclear Iran. John Abizaid said we may have to live with a nuclear Iran. Who's right?

PALIN: No, no. I agree with John McCain that nuclear weapons in the hands of those who would seek to destroy our allies, in this case, we're talking about Israel, we're talking about Ahmadinejad's comment about Israel being the "stinking corpse, should be wiped off the face of the earth," that's atrocious. That's unacceptable.

GIBSON: So what do you do about a nuclear Iran?

PALIN: We have got to make sure that these weapons of mass destruction, that nuclear weapons are not given to those hands of Ahmadinejad, not that he would use them, but that he would allow terrorists to be able to use them. So we have got to put the pressure on Iran and we have got to count on our allies to help us, diplomatic pressure.

GIBSON: But, Governor, we've threatened greater sanctions against Iran for a long time. It hasn't done any good. It hasn't stemmed their nuclear program.

PALIN: We need to pursue those and we need to implement those. We cannot back off. We cannot just concede that, oh, gee, maybe they're going to have nuclear weapons, what can we do about it. No way, not Americans. We do not have to stand for that.

GIBSON: What if Israel decided it felt threatened and needed to take out the Iranian nuclear facilities?

PALIN: Well, first, we are friends with Israel and I don't think that we should second guess the measures that Israel has to take to defend themselves and for their security.

GIBSON: So if we wouldn't second guess it and they decided they needed to do it because Iran was an existential threat, we would cooperative or agree with that.

PALIN: I don't think we can second guess what Israel has to do to secure its nation.

GIBSON: So if it felt necessary, if it felt the need to defend itself by taking out Iranian nuclear facilities, that would be all right.

PALIN: We cannot second guess the steps that Israel has to take to defend itself.

Sarah Palin on 'the Bush Doctrine':

GIBSON: We talk on the anniversary of 9/11. Why do you think those hijackers attacked? Why did they want to hurt us?

PALIN: You know, there is a very small percentage of Islamic believers who are extreme and they are violent and they do not believe in American ideals, and they attacked us and now we are at a point here seven years later, on the anniversary, in this post-9/11 world, where we're able to commit to never again. They see that the only option for them is to become a suicide bomber, to get caught up in this evil, in this terror. They need to be provided the hope that all Americans have instilled in us, because we're a democratic, we are a free, and we are a free-thinking society.

GIBSON: Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?

PALIN: In what respect, Charlie?

GIBSON: The Bush -- well, what do you -- what do you interpret it to be?

PALIN: His world view.

GIBSON: No, the Bush doctrine, enunciated September 2002, before the Iraq war.

PALIN: I believe that what President Bush has attempted to do is rid this world of Islamic extremism, terrorists who are hell bent on destroying our nation. There have been blunders along the way, though. There have been mistakes made. And with new leadership, and that's the beauty of American elections, of course, and democracy, is with new leadership comes opportunity to do things better.

GIBSON: The Bush doctrine, as I understand it, is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense, that we have the right to a preemptive strike against any other country that we think is going to attack us. Do you agree with that?

PALIN: I agree that a president's job, when they swear in their oath to uphold our Constitution, their top priority is to defend the United States of America.

I know that John McCain will do that and I, as his vice president, families we are blessed with that vote of the American people and are elected to serve and are sworn in on January 20, that will be our top priority is to defend the American people.

GIBSON: Do we have a right to anticipatory self-defense? Do we have a right to make a preemptive strike again another country if we feel that country might strike us?

PALIN: Charlie, if there is legitimate and enough intelligence that tells us that a strike is imminent against American people, we have every right to defend our country. In fact, the president has the obligation, the duty to defend.

GIBSON: Do we have the right to be making cross-border attacks into Pakistan from Afghanistan, with or without the approval of the Pakistani government?

PALIN: Now, as for our right to invade, we're going to work with these countries, building new relationships, working with existing allies, but forging new, also, in order to, Charlie, get to a point in this world where war is not going to be a first option. In fact, war has got to be, a military strike, a last option.

GIBSON: But, Governor, I'm asking you: We have the right, in your mind, to go across the border with or without the approval of the Pakistani government.

PALIN: In order to stop Islamic extremists, those terrorists who would seek to destroy America and our allies, we must do whatever it takes and we must not blink, Charlie, in making those tough decisions of where we go and even who we target.

GIBSON: And let me finish with this. I got lost in a blizzard of words there. Is that a yes? That you think we have the right to go across the border with or without the approval of the Pakistani government, to go after terrorists who are in the Waziristan area?

PALIN: I believe that America has to exercise all options in order to stop the terrorists who are hell bent on destroying America and our allies. We have got to have all options out there on the table.

This woman is fu*king crazy - my 16 year-old son has more foreign policy experience than this whacko. Gibson tossed her a few softballs, and she flubbed every single one of them. Only a deluded lunatic can continue to think this person is a proper candidate for the Vice Presidency. Un-f*cking-believable.

Silly Website of the Day

'cuz we know you're in the mood for something like this ...

Silly Website of the Day

Remembrances of 9/11

Throughout the day, we intend to post links to other sites that demonstrate the best and the worst of the 9/11 remembrances we come across, and comments we post there, if any.


Islam in Britains 9/11 Hate Campaign from "Radarsite"

Radarsite's Roger Gardner apparently wants total US government control over the whole world. There is a word for that - fascism - and we can congratulate RG and others like him for bringing the word back into our vocabulary. Some remembrance of 9/11 - RG is letting the terrorists win, by talking like they do about world domination. I bet he won't post this, either.

A Newt One - by Snooper - This guy ought to be re-named "Stupor", he is such an unthinking idiot.


9/11 Tribute - Heartache Still Lingers from "PA Pundits The Relentless Pursuit of Common Sense"

And In This Way By Robert Bateman from WaPo

In Memoriam: September 11, 2001


War of Words from Villainous Company

seven years ago today ... and today


Oil - the new Republican sexual lubricant!

Report Says Oil Agency Ran Amok - Interior Dept. Inquiry Finds Sex, Corruption

Government officials in charge of collecting billions of dollars worth of royalties from oil and gas companies accepted gifts, steered contracts to favored clients and engaged in drug use and illicit sex with employees of the energy firms, federal investigators reported yesterday.

read the rest

pigs get fed; hogs get slaughtered

Iraq Cancels Six No-Bid Oil Contracts

An Iraqi plan to award six no-bid contracts to Western oil companies, which came under sharp criticism from several United States senators this summer, has been withdrawn, participants in the negotiations said on Wednesday.

Iraq’s oil minister, Hussain al-Shahristani, told reporters at an OPEC summit meeting in Vienna on Tuesday that talks with Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Shell, Total, BP and several smaller companies for one-year deals, which were announced in June and subsequently delayed, had dragged on for so long that the companies could not now fulfill the work within that time frame. The companies confirmed on Wednesday that the deals had been canceled.

While not particularly lucrative by industry standards, the contracts were valued for providing a foothold in Iraq at a time when oil companies are being shut out of energy-rich countries around the world. The companies will still be eligible to compete in open bidding in Iraq.

Read the rest

Smoking White-Hot Brilliance

Olbermann is my new hero.

This is Your Brain on Viagra

Click for larger Image


Fascinating Read over at WaPo today ...

".... By mid-2006, [Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the U.S. commander in Iraq], a stout four-star general with wire-rim glasses, had been the commander in Iraq for two years. As American military units rotated in and out, Casey remained the one constant.

"He had concluded that one big problem with the war was the president himself. Since the beginning, Casey felt, the president had viewed the war in conventional terms, repeatedly asking how many of the various enemies had been captured or killed. Casey later confided to a colleague that he had the impression that Bush reflected the 'radical wing of the Republican Party that kept saying, 'Kill the bastards! Kill the bastards! And you'll succeed.'

"Casey was troubled by the thought that the president didn't understand the nature of the fight they were in. The large, heavily armed Western force was on borrowed time, he believed. The president often paid lip service to winning over the Iraqi people, but then he would lean in with greater interest and ask about raids and military operations, grilling Casey about killings and captures."

Go to original


la marotte du jour

Parmi les Républicains, la grossesse c’est une tradition vénérée et non pas simplement la marotte du jour !

Among Republicans, pregnancy is a venerable tradition, and not just the fad of the week!

la marotte du jour


Palin Extra-Marital Affair? Perish the Thought!

Our friends on the "right" side of the aisle were bemoaning the fact that the "Main Stream Media" refused to pick up and run with the National Enquirer's lead about John Edward's extra-marital affaira few weeks ago.

Now, they're bemoaning the fact that the National Enquirer has picked up what it feels is the scent of a Sarah Palin extra-marital affair.

These people are NEVER happy. Sheesh!

tagging along with the Bristol Palin bandwagon

We've been tagging along with (rather than jumping on) the Bristol Palin bandwagon over at the WIZARD, fkap. Check it out.

Also here.