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Rule Of Law,

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Senator Al Franken following the Rule Of Law, once a favorite topic of conservative Republicans.

Granted, they are parliamentary rules. Still, rules are rules.

Also of note; this is making the Legacy Media pages. Senator Franken is making a name for himself.
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Joe Lieberman grandstanding. This is his effort at appearing relevant. He is not. Someday Joe is going to rudely be made aware of just how insignificant he is to the American people. The Democratic Party seems more sorry for him than anything, hence the continued allowance of caucusing with them. The Republican Party probably does not trust him, what with his turncoat actions these last 8 years. Of coures, had he simply switched from Democrat to Republican, he would have more trust, but he would not have the appearance of importance. As an Independent caucusing with the Democrats, he gets to make all sorts of threats in an effort to lay claim to being important.

Yes, he does, in the end, have some power. But the cost to his political future is probably more than he realizes. I suspect his state is not as red as he believes, and that a solid candidate will take him out easily. Indeed, I suspect most independents will probably not come to his defense at the next election. Further, most Republicans, those that are left, will be so rabidly anti everything not WASP that they will not be willing to vote for him.

It really is a shame that his ego is getting in the way of his duty as a Senator to do what is best for the country. Instead, his behavior paints a man who fails to recognizes his best political days are behind him; an also ran who did not quite make the grade. I am not so much angry at his power play as I pity his pathetic, last grasp at relevancy.

Yet, despite my pity, I have no recourse except to announce him as Jack Ass of the Day.

Ladies And Gentlemen!

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In the tradition of Laural and Hardy, Burns and Allen, Lewis and Martin, Abbott and Costello, Rowan and Martin, and Cheech and Chong, I introduce to you today Cheney and Kristol!

Of course, it begs the question; who plays the straight man?

Let's Do The Time Warp!

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DougJ over at Balloon Juice hops into his wayback machine to discover the wise wisdom of Cookie Roberts as she espouses on about the Democratic Party kicking Joe Lieberman out in 2006.

.....I think, a disaster for the Democratic Party, and it's going to be very interesting to see what happens as a result of it.


Yes, I do because I think, first of all, that pushing the party to the left, which is what's likely to happen, is pushing the party to the position from which it traditionally loses, and In presidential elections but also it will send a signal to everybody in the Senate, watch out, the only smart thing to do here is play to your base, and then what that means is that your legislation becomes a mess, which it already is but even more of a mess, and you get.


Well, and it certainly - and Bill Clinton, it's also no accident that Bill Clinton is the only Democrat who has been elected president for two terms since Franklin Roosevelt, because he was a Democrat in the middle from the south with a very strong acquaintanceship with scripture. All of that and I think you start, you know, talking about the liberal blogs and all that taking over the party and it will be a disaster.

Is she not just one amazingly precise prognosticator? Since then, the Democratic Party picked up 15 senate seats, 55 house seats, and the Presidency. One seriously unmitigated disaster, I tell you.

Outrage Fatigue, Part II

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Honestly, have our conservative brethren deteriorated to a state of second childhood? This age old cry of "tattle tail" is right out of noon recess at the local grade school playground.

Smith: Some of the critics are really labeling this 'Abu Ghraib Part II.'

Herridge: Well, you remember that after Abu Ghraib there was worldwide condemnation for these images of humiliation. And I learned in my research today that there was also a military report in 2008 that concluded that there is a connection between these images and also suicide bombers. Forty-eight bombers, or potential bombers, were interviewed, and they said that these images were a big factor, a big motivating factor, in the decision to become a suicide bomber.

The suggestion by Herridge is that by releasing the photos, we are endangering the service members of our armed forces. However, I think

If anyone thought that photos from those centers would not eventually leak out to the public -- or at the bare minimum, be forced out eventually by the inevitable lawsuits, as was the case here -- they were fooling themselves. Or at least gambling that they'd be out of office by then and could lay the whole mess in the laps of whoever had the misfortune to succeed them.

Indeed, the Obama critics are now out in force shouting that the pending release of these photos will hurt soldiers in the field, including Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham. Bill Kristol is claiming that "this would be a gratuitous assault on the well-being and the reputation of our fighting men and women."

Imagine my surprise when I see the names of Joe Lieberman, Lindsey Graham, and Bill Kristol leading the battle cry from the playground. For Christ's sake, they're supposedly grown men. Instead, we are subjected to hearing excuses I expect from a 4th grader.

President Bush allowed torture to occur under his watch. Torture of which the Great Republican/Conservative God Ronald Reagan himself strongly rejected, as proven by his signing the Geneva treaty banning torture. Now, we are reaping the benefits of torture. Well, actually, al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations are reaping the benefits of torture.

The Bush administration lied about the rational for invading Iraq, then tortured terrorists to acquire proof of a tie between al-Qaida and Iraq (which failed miserably) and now we are faced with this misbegotten horror of a news story.

Some days, I really don't like the human race.
The Hastings Star Gazette

About 50 Hastings-based soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard will soon be returning to Iraq for their second deployment in four years.

The soldiers are part of Charlie Company of the 834th Aviation Support Battalion of the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade. They’ll be leaving near the end of May for an approximately year-long tour, Shane Hudella, a spokesman for the National Guard said.
After 5 years this should not be happening. Putting aside the lies, the deception, and the manipulation that led us into this occupation, if the current administration had any competent leadership abilities, this type of extreme rotation would not be needed. Instead, there would already be an international coalition in Iraq, with the Iraqis themselves supply the bulk of security in their own country.

Instead, we are left as the major, if not sole, security force in the country that does not want us there, while a certain vice-president's company reaps a whirlwind profit. Meanwhile, the Iraqi Army was soundly rebuffed by local militias and shows no signs of being able to improve its standing.

CBS News

In the past, Katz has repeatedly insisted while the risk of suicide among veterans is serious, it's not outside the norm.

"There is no epidemic in suicide in VA," Katz told Keteyian in November.

But in this e-mail to his top media adviser, written two months ago, Katz appears to be saying something very different, stating: "Our suicide prevention coordinators are identifying about 1,000 suicide attempts per month among veterans we see in our medical facilities."

Katz's e-mail was written shortly after the VA provided CBS News data showing there were only 790 attempted suicides in all 2007 - a fraction of Katz's estimate.
What the hell do you say to this type of cover up?

Suicide is an extremely serious problem. Denial on the part of those responsible for helping the veteran's struggling with depression clearly means our military personnel are not getting the help they need. Katz is suppose to be focusing on the welfare of his patients, not the greater good of the military.

The man acted dishonorably, tarnishing the reputation of our military personnel, many who are now struggling to overcome the psychological damage caused by what was clearly an untenable situation.
New York Times

To the public, these men are members of a familiar fraternity, presented tens of thousands of times on television and radio as “military analysts” whose long service has equipped them to give authoritative and unfettered judgments about the most pressing issues of the post-Sept. 11 world.

Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance, an examination by The New York Times has found.

The effort, which began with the buildup to the Iraq war and continues to this day, has sought to exploit ideological and military allegiances, and also a powerful financial dynamic: Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air.

You mean they are not unbiased analysts with integrity and honor? <snark>Well, knock me over with a feather.</snark>

It is a long, and damaging article detailing propaganda at its worst.

Bark Bark Woof Woof

In other words, the Republicans, who can't run on their record or rely on the sharp memory of their candidate (Shia? Sunni? Iran? Al-qaeda?) or his plans for revitalizing the economy (ready for more cake?), will do precisely what they're best at: attack their opponent and try to scare the crap out of the electorate without offering anything more than platitudes, nostrums, and the firm assertion that John McCain is most assuredly not George W. Bush; he just plans to do the exact same things he did but without the fake Texas drawl.

There is no doubt whatsoever that the Republicans will do exactly what Mr. Kristol predicts; that's a given, since it's worked so well the last couple of times. But Mr. Kristol's record for predicting the future is also well-known. He's one of the bunch that said that we would be greeted as liberators in Iraq, that the war would last a couple of weeks or months, that it would pay for itself with the oil revenues that we'd get, and that our influence and model of democracy would turn Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia into the Iowas of the Middle East with freedom and McDonald's springing up on every street corner from Riyad to Damascus. With that kind of record, it really makes you wonder why anyone gives serious attention to anything he says other than to hold it up for mockery and derision.
When it comes to the success of Mr. Kristol's crystal ball, well,,,,, let's just say his is obviously cracked. However, I think there is one important point against Mr. Kristol's prognostication; Hillary attempted the Mighty Wurlitzer approach. She made several attempts at smearing Obama, with little success. Hell, even attempts by the Mighty Wurlitzer itself have failed to have an impact.

The problem with using the old approach was it took for granted the independent and [cough] Reagan Democrats [cough]. Back then, there really was no track record for the rabid right wing Republicans. They had managed a good propaganda campaign that imposed a label of incompetence on the Democrats that stuck because there really was no counter argument at the time.

They do not have that option today. With BushCo™ having established the true meaning of incompetence, corruption, and bad government, playing to the base will not keep the independents and [cough] Reagan Democrats [cough] in the Republican camp.

I suspect the rabid right wing minority are replaying the glory days in their heads. But today's electorate map just does not include for them a solid majority of independents and [cough] Reagan Democrats [cough]. That close to 80% of the nation thinks we are heading in the wrong direction ought wake them up to the fact they've lost the swing votes.

In fact, I would be careful if I was a Republican strategist. There is the distinct possibility we will be talking about either Clinton or Obama Republicans.
Star Tribune

FORWARD OPERATING BASE FALCON, Iraq - Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Monday endorsed, for the first time, the idea of pausing the drawdown of U.S. forces from Iraq this summer.

"A brief period of consolidation and evaluation probably does make sense," Gates told reporters after meeting with Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq. Petraeus has indicated in recent weeks that he wants a "period of evaluation" this summer to assess the impact on Iraq security of reducing the U.S. military presence from 20 brigades to 15 brigades.

In other words, you bastards lied to us about the surge, its purpose, the goals, and its actual success. Had the surge produced positive change, made the political, ethnic and religious conditions more favorable for peaceful coexistence, would there even need to be a discussion of "consolidation and evaluation?" Of course not. We could bring our service personnel home without any type of waiting and evaluating. There would be clear, observable facts on the ground even as I type this post. But that is not the case, is it?

11 Killed in Baghdad

5 US soldier killed

Arming Iraq's Future Gangs

Iraqi Women Struggle

The wingnuts can scream all they want about schools being painted, etc., etc., etc. But in the end, there is still too much conflict, death, and destruction in Iraq to claim any kind of success.

I Think e's Got It.

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Canadian Cynic

It's bad to kill a blob of cells with little to no consciousness that even the Bible says has no worth until it's been outside it's mother for a month.

But it's good to let people like Michael J. Fox suffer from Parkinson's disease.

and it's good to keep people like Christopher Reeves confined to a wheelchair.
And that's before he gets good and warmed up.
New York Times

Some legal experts and defense lawyers said the judge’s order, issued on Oct. 15 without public disclosure, underscored the gap between military commission procedures and traditional American rules that the accused has a right to a public trial and to confront the witnesses against him.

Defense lawyers say the order would hamper their ability to build an adequate defense because they cannot ask their client or anyone else about prosecution witnesses, making it difficult to test the veracity of testimony.

The order, the documents show, followed a request by military prosecutors who said they feared terrorist retaliation against witnesses who appeared at Guantánamo proceedings.

“It is conceivable, if not likely, that Al Qaeda members or sympathizers could attempt to target witnesses,” a prosecutor, Maj. Jeffrey D. Groharing of the Marines, wrote to the judge, Col. Peter E. Brownback III of the Army.

The Armed Services are charged with the responsibility of defending the Constitution of the United States. I know this because I remember raising my right hand and swearing to defend the Constitution when I entered the Navy. It makes no sense that the pending commissions are not going to follow the rules of justice derived from the very constitution the military is charged with defending. It makes a mockery of all the values for which our country stands.

Not that I am surprised by this development. The fascist administration currently ensconced at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue have made no effort to hide their disdain for even the most basic of human rights, the very spirit of the Bill of Rights in our constitution. So, when foreign nationals are being held for trail, it goes without saying they are given even less consideration for their legal rights, let alone their human rights. But then, what do you expect from a cabal of arrogant neo-aristocrats whose legacy stretches as far back as the 1930's and the funding of the Nazi Party.

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Politics is the control of wealth and power. You are being conditioned to condemn politics as petty and boring, thus granting all the more control to the powers that be. You are either a part of the problem or a part of the solution. The choice is yours.


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