Friday, December 28, 2007

Benazir Bhutto said Osama bin Laden was dead

Jazz From Hell Blog
Friday, December 28, 2007

And right on cue, shortly after former Pakistani premier Bhutto's own slaying, two key al-Qaeda news items appear. First, "senior US officials" are checking into an al-Qaeda claim of responsibility for the assassination, and—lo and behold—"Osama" himself will soon release a message regarding Iraq.

Bhutto asserted to David Frost less than two months ago that bin Laden had been murdered by Omar Sheikh, whom the Sunday Times once described as "no ordinary terrorist but a man who has connections that reach high into Pakistan's military and intelligence elite and into the innermost circles" of bin Laden and al-Qaeda. (Watch video starting at 5:33 for mentioned part.)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Ron Paul on Meet the Press

Republican presidential candidate and libertarian maverick Ron Paul was Tim Russert's guest on last sunday's Meet the Press. I must say that this interview looked like a sad attempt to make Ron Paul look bad. Unfortunately for Russert, this interview only made Tim look bad. Nice try though Timmy. Some of my favorite exchanges in this one were as follows:

MR. RUSSERT: So if Iran invaded Israel, what do we do?

REP. PAUL: Well, they're not going to. That is like saying "Iran is about
to invade Mars." I mean, they have nothing. They don't have an army or
navy or air force. And Israelis have 300 nuclear weapons. Nobody would
touch them.

Oh and then there's this beauty:

MR. RUSSERT: You say you're a strict constructionist of the Constitution,
and yet you want to amend the Constitution to say that children born here
should not automatically be U.S. citizens.

REP. PAUL: Well, amending the Constitution is constitutional. What's
a--what's the contradiction there?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Terrific Diary on the Dem field

I just saw this diary on the recommended list on Daily Kos, and after reading it I feel pretty humbled as a would-be blogger / diarist. This is the kind of personal reflection and honest, substantive discussion that is blogging at its best.

Among many highlights is this passage (emphasis mine):

But Hillary is not my first choice. Yes, she is competent and hardworking and tough. What turns me off most about Hillary is that whenever I hear her speak she is almost always speaking about herself, not about her vision for us. I hear her repeat: "I am the most experienced." "I am the most competent." "I have been tested and survived Republican attacks." "I am the one ready to lead from day one." It's a given that all politicians have to have strong egos and are in some fashion ego-driven, but I get the feeling that Hillary's campaign is mostly about her, and not enough about us. That turns me off. I want to know what her vision is for America, other than an America headed by the first woman prsident. What is she passionate about, besides being President? What course will she chart, and how will it be different from what has been done before?

Kudos to hummingbird4015

"Kiss" of Death

It's looking like McCain't is getting double his pleasure with fucked up endorsements this week, having already been endorsed by Joe "I'm all over the place here" Lieberman. According to the New York Sun,

"Making a rare foray into primary politics, Henry Kissinger, 84, who served as secretary of state under Presidents Ford and Nixon, is saying Senator McCain is the best person to serve as president at a dangerous time for America and the world".

Uh, yeah Henry. We'd like to thank you personally for helping make this world "a dangerous time for America".Why does anyone think that having Henry Kissinger endorse you as a candidate is a good thing? For the love of sanity, this man is a fucking war criminal. Remember Chile? Remember Cambodia? Remember fucking Vietman? I could go on and on.

I think this quote says it all from the "Kiss":

"Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy"
(Quoted from Woodward and Bernstein's The Final Days, Chapter 14)

Oh well, nothing new here from good ol' heartless John McCain. I mean what would you expect from a guy that kisses GW Bush's ass for 7 1/2 years after he criticized the ethnicity of his adopted children in the 2000 primaries.

There is no shame at all for these crooks.....

Giuliani Drops Out!

Well...not yet, but he's laying the groundwork. He was admitted to the hospital last night for flu-like symptoms. Given how well he's been doing in the polls, the questions being raised about his business dealings, security clients, law clients, pedophile friends, indicted buddies, expensing his affair to NY taxpayers, etc. I'm betting that this hospital stay is the first installment of a plan to withdraw from the race for "health reasons." Anyone remember his Senate race with Hillary when he withdrew for health reasons? Or maybe he'd made the calculation that he couldn't win, but he wanted a note from his doctor so he could drop out and save face.

Let's watch!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Is Ralph Nader Supporting John Edwards?

raw story

Looks like Ralph Nader thinks John Edwards might be his choice "if he doesn't back off." Chris Matthews has Ralph on his show and it turned out to be a great exchange. Especially interesting are his comments on Obama, saying:

"he doesn't have the agenda"


"he's a lot smarter than his public statements, which are extremely conciliatory to concentrated power and big business".


This one is gonna get steamy.

John Edwards on Cover of Latest Newsweek: The Sleeper?

Well. Is he the sleeper candidate? Is he?
Damn right he is.
This is for a few of my fellow Crinchers here who are all up on the J-Eds tip. Well guys, here you go. I'm posting about John Edwards. I must admit though, and I've had this discussion within the circle of Crinch Pin bloggers, that there is something to this John Edwards thing lately. I have been noticing how little attention he has been getting and commenting on how this mudslinging between Obama and Hitlery has really been quietly working to Edwards' advantage. He seems to have taken on a new tone lately: a little more angry, and little more ballsy, and a lot less bullshit. Maybe he has been taken off of the establishment's list of "potential puppets" and is finally fighting back against those on the insider track. We know that at one point John Edwards was a darling for the establishment, being essentially chosen as the VP candidate by the Bilderberg Group at their 2004 meeting.
So it's still too early to tell what's really might be going on behind closed doors, but from a glance, it looks like Edwards is NOT being pushed by the machine any longer, and just maybe he's starting to fight back. Hey, he's not known for making great initial decisions (see Iraq War vote) but we can all agree that he has taken a knack for owning up to his mistakes later (see mistaken Iraq War vote admission).

Presidential Candidate Ron Paul Hints that Huckabee is a Fascist on Fox Morning Show

This is great. Presidential Candidate Ron Paul, appearing yesterday on Fox News morning show Fox and Friends, has an interesting take on the recent story revolving around Mike Huckabee's "cross ad". He evens drops one of my favorite quotes by Sinclair Lewis.

"When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross".

America Rising!

Here's a movie I'd like to see.

Moneymonk's Loyalty

But, maybe Moneymonk should consider voting Republican, since it seems that Huckabee, Giuliani and Romney all hate puppies, the natural enemy of the cuddly kitten.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Uncle Teddy on FISA

"The President has said that American lives will be sacrificed if Congress does not change FISA. But he has also said that he will veto any FISA bill that does not grant retro-active immunity. No immunity, no FISA bill. So if we take the President at his word, he's willing to let Americans die to protect the phone companies."

Well Duh!

Iowa's First Lady endorses Edwards

Although it might not make the national headlines that Joe Lieberman's endorsement of McMaverick have been garnering, John Edwards has just received the endorsement of Iowa's First Lady, Mari Culver.

And, although it's not an endorsement, Paul Krugman's Op-Ed in today's New York Times is about a close to an endorsement of Edwards as you can get without just coming out and saying it.

Of Obama, Krugman notes that "in an important sense, he has in effect become the anti-change candidate."

Krugman's piece, of course, comes in the wake of a number of articles on the shortcomings of Obama's healthcare plan, as well as his use of republican frames like "The Social Security Crisis." But this column seems to me to also be a response to yesterday's column by Frank Rich, who seesm enamored of Obama's Hope Campaign.

For the record, I do like a lot about Obama, but I prefer Edwards's plan for change to Obama's hope for change.

Joe Lieberman Endorses McMaverick

The Connecticut for Lieberman Party has just endorsed Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

Lying. Pandering. Sack. Of. Shit.

Joe thinks McCain is his ticket to the VP slot. Seems obvious, cynical and utterly Lieberman to me. Soon he will be totally irrelevent.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ron Paul's 2nd "Money Bomb" is Nothing Short of Amazing

So, throughout the day today I have been checking in on version 2.0 of the Ron Paul "Money Bomb". It was set for today, December 16th, in remembrance of the Boston Tea Party. As of last night, Paul's Q4 total was at about 11.5 million. When I checked it this morning at around 9:30am CST, the number was already up to 13 million. Mind you, the campaign's stated goal was to raise 12 million by December 31. As of right now, 9:30 pm, its 16.95 million. This is nothing short of astounding, Congressman Paul will have broken his record of 4.3 million back on November 5th by, at the very least, a million dollars. Its already amazing to have one successful fund-raising day, but to have two of these is well...something to really pay attention to. I'm guessing the mainstream media is wringing their hands right now knowing that they cannot deny the "emerging contender" status that they will have to adorn him with. I bet they are regretting pushing the "Mike Huckabee is a real dark horse" project. Here's Paul's website donation counter, its pretty fascinating.

Friday, December 14, 2007

She Don't Lie, She Don't Lie, She Don't Lie

You know, back in the 90s when Bill was pulling his "I didn't inhale" bullshit (and c'mon...we all know it's bullshit), I was pissed he didn't just own up to smoking pot. I said at the time and I say it now: If someone who came of age in the 1960s didn't smoke pot, they're probably a republican and I don't trust them.

But what of Hillary's drug use? Has anyone asked her? It seems a legitimate question now that her campaign has opend up the issue. Has she ever tried cocaine? Has she ever smoked pot? I mean, she was hanging out with Bill, so maybe she just "didn't inhale" all that second hand pot smoke?

But seriously, people, Justice Stevens (who is 87) wrote this in one of his recent Supreme Court opinions:

“. . . The current dominant opinion supporting the war on drugs in general, and our anti-marijuana laws in particular, is reminiscent of the opinion that supported the nationwide ban on alcohol consumption when I was a student. While alcoholic beverages are now regarded as ordinary articles of commerce, their use was then condemned with the same moral fervor that now supports the war on drugs. The ensuing change in public opinion occurred much more slowly than the relatively rapid shift in Americans’ views on the Vietnam War, and progressed on a state-by-state basis over a period of many years. But just as prohibition in the 1920’s and early 1930’s was secretly questioned by thousands of otherwise law-abiding patrons of bootleggers and speakeasies, today the actions of literally millions of otherwise law-abiding users of marijuana, and of the majority of voters in each of the several States that tolerate medicinal uses of the product, lead me to wonder whether the fear of disapproval by those in the majority is silencing opponents of the war on drugs. Surely our national experience with alcohol should make us wary of dampening speech suggesting however inarticulately that it would be better to tax and regulate marijuana than to persevere in a futile effort to ban its use entirely."

And what of Cocaine? Well, there was time in Regan's 80s (back when a tipsy Nancy Regan would speak passionately about the war on drugs, with martini in hand) when cocaine was the drug of choice for those same 60s pot smokers (Bill? Hillary? George W?). It. Was. Everywhere.

If you had the money and were young enough in the 80s, you probably did a little blow. Cocaine was EVERYwhere. I'm glad Obama was honest about his drug use, and I hope honesty on the issue is what wins the day, not below-the-belt holier-than-thou attacks from hypocritical candidates, and not the moralizing judgment of Washington pundits.

And for the record, I don't want to hear a peep of judgment or high-minded fretting from "Cokie" Roberts.

Finally, Watch how Clinton's Rove, sleazebag schlub Mark Penn, ever-so-offhandedly introduces 'cocaine' into a discussion about generic 'drug' use, and watch how Joe Trippi calls him on it. Penn acts surprised (and he's a bad actor), but c'mon people. These are political advisors who scrutinize everything and are aware to a sickening degree of the impact of every word they speak. Penn knew exactly what he was doing, and Trippi called bullshit. Good for Trippi.

UPDATE: Todd Beeton now has a post up on MyDD about this. Check it out. The money quote:

The fire in the belly that Trippi exhibited on Hardball yesterday reflected perfectly Edwards's populist fighter persona, just as Axelrod's mellow above the fray style echoed Obama. What does Penn's slimy shiftiness say about his candidate?

NO!!! Not Lenny! I just can't believe it!

Lenny "Nails" Dykstra was fingered as part of the former Senator George Mitchell's report on steroid use in major league baseball. The report, which has been in progress for 21 months, called out 70 players for drug use and will serve as evidence for Commish Bud Selig that random drug testing is needed in the MLB. Detractors in the sports press and the Player's Association assert that Selig knew of the rampant drug use all along, but was pleased with the home runs, pitching duals, and all-around increased popularity of the game after the devastating player's strike of 1995. They claim Selig turned a blind eye to the problem and is as culpable as the players themselves.

All of this hubbub, of course, is a total waste of time. EVERYONE KNEW, guys! EVERYONE! Although it will be nice to see some action taken based on a long-anticipated report, the results of which were apparent to everyone involved before it was even commissioned, let alone released. As fucked as baseball is, at least something gets done.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

PBS NOW Preview: The Ron Paul Phenomenon

You Tube/PBS

NOW talks to Congressman Ron Paul and his supporters across the country about Paul's extraordinary presidential campaign and the political waves it's causing.

Bill From Portland, Maine CHEERS John Edwards!


to John Edwards. A striking new CNN/Opinion Research poll shows that the populist candidate would pummel the Republicans hardest in 2008. Hey, I've got an idea for the traditional media. I know it's a little crazy, but hear me out. I think you guys should start covering his campaign again! Give it a whirl---it might lead to, like, journalism or something.

Bin Laden: The End Credits

you tube
23/6 Video News

I always knew they could put on a great production. I wonder if the Neo-cons will take their whole story to Broadway.

Merry Craigmas!

[To the tune of Jingle Bells]
Tap tap tap
Tap tap tap
Tap tap tap tap tap
Tap tap tap
Ta-tap tap tap
Ta-ta-tap tap tap tap tap. TAP!
Tap tap tap
Tap tap tap
Tap tap tap tap tap
Tap tap tap
Ta-tap tap tap
Ta-ta-tap tap tap tap tap.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

This Modern World

100 Million Pennies on Display in Rockefeller Center: Pretty Dumb

The display, called the Penny Harvest Field, includes an estimated 100 million pennies collected by children for charity.

Now, call me crazy, but don't you think it would have been smarter to tell these kids to collect quarters? or even dimes? I'm just saying... the strategy was pretty dumb.

The Unacceptable Status Quo

David Mizner (an Edwards booster) has an excellent post on MyDD this morning that eloquently articulates many of my reservations about Obama, as well as many reasons why I find Edwards to be the most credible candidate for change, despite the ironic fact that he's a white male.

In particular, Obama's insistence on compromise and unity has led him to some pretty terrible anti-progressive positions. Let me put it crassly and wildy overstate things for the sake of argument: if Jamie Leigh Jones was being raped 4 times a day, and some folks wanted it to stop, while others didn't have a problem with it, then Obama's compromise position would be to ratchet down the rapes to just 2 times a day. Compromise. Unity. Everybody's happy.


If you compromise with a corrupt and morally bankrupt system, you're not compromising, you're capitulating and abetting. End of story.

Or, to put it more tactfully, as Mizner does:

[Obama's] selling unity and hope, yet what he's proposing to do wouldn't create much of either. It's progressive policies, not good intentions or expressed desires, that create unity and hope. Obama wouldn't even roll back Bush's tax cuts for the rich; he'd keep them in place until they expire in 2011. Very unifying. The unacceptable status quo--in which the powerful are way too powerful--will only be strengthened if it is ratified by a black "liberal" president. That's my fear.
[Emphasis mine]

Jamie Leigh Jones Undermines the War Effort

As usual, Jon Swift is the voice of reason... well, sort of.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Krugman Responds to Obama's Attacks

Krugman responds via his blog.

I was prepared to leave it at that — Obama’s plan was weaker than his rivals’ because it wasn’t universal, but I hoped that he would fix that in practice.

But then Obama started attacking his rivals from the right, denouncing their proposals using exactly the same false claims that conservatives will use to try to derail reform in the future.

And now, having been caught out on the facts, the Obama people respond with a personal attack, lifting quotes out of context to pretend that I never had problems with the plan. Something is very wrong here.

Obama Disappoints

Jerome Armstrong at MyDD is not what you'd call an Obama booster, but he's got 2 pieces on MyDD right now which I endorse whole-heartedly.

Piece #1 on Oprah's politics:
Back during the end of September 2000, when Gore had Bush on the mat following the bounce from the LA convention and the RATS ad, it was Oprah that picked Bush up off the ground. "My pleasure," he purred when she thanked him for the kiss. The establishment media went gaga after Oprah embraced Bush.

That's what I know about Oprah and her politics.

But the more substantive piece is the one that resonates with me most. Obama is bashing Krugman. Paul Krugman, one of the only honest and courageous voices in the traditional media.

Let's review: Krugman took Obama to task for his healthcare plan. Obama's Healthcare plan does not provide universal coverage, and is deeply flawed in that it doesn't require enrollment, but neither can it deny anyone enrollment, thereby basically encouraging people to opt out when they're healthy, and then opt in when they're sick thus defeating the entire premise of a plan that bases cost savings on economies of scale. When everyone pays in, it's cheaper for everyone. Under Obama's plan, the chronically sick opt in immediately, and then because the pool is smaller, they pay more. Then a some healthy people get sick and opt in, and because they enlarge the pool, it all gets cheaper. Then, some people get better, and opt out again, without penalty, and the cost goes up again because the pool is smaller. Basically, you'd have the sickest people, those most in need of affordable health care subsidizing the healthy Johnny-Come-Latelys. Like I said. Deeply Flawed.

Krugman's also taken Obama to task (rightly so) for embracing the Norquist dog-whistle "Social Security Crisis" meme.

Well, now it seems that Obama is going after Krugman's credibility. Bad move. Krugman's one of the most credible columnists we've got. It's worth going to the NYT's archive of his columns to check out exactly how prescient he's been. Here's a piece published just 3 months after the Iraq invasion, at a time when most of the rest of the media were celebrating "Mission Accomplished."

So now, because Krugman spoke a little truth about Obama's shortcomings, Obama is attacking Krugman. Mr. Obama, maybe you should hire him as a policy advisor instead.

Armstrong notes what's troubling about Obama's statements and raises some worthy questions:

Is Obama is just plain ignorant of the fight we've faced this decade in going after Krugman? Why is he going after the Clinton and Edwards plans to push forward the idea of universal coverage? Does he really have no clue that using the term 'crisis' to describe Social Security is Rovian?

It's mistakes like these that make me think that if Obama gets the nomination, it's going to be disgusting to watch as he turns against progressives in his bid for the middle, and as he says, that's the way he'd govern too.

Amen to that.

Obama has great potential, but it sure looks like he's mistaking 'compromise' for leadership, and capitulation for 'bipartisanship.'

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Young Pakistanis: Bin Laden Is A CIA Creation

Good Morning America gets more than it bargained for in a feature on young people in Pakistan

Steve Watson
day, Dec 4, 2007

An ABC news piece that ran yesterday morning attracted attention after four Pakistanis who were being interviewed about the attitudes and life of young people in Pakistan declared Osama Bin Laden to be a creation of western intelligence and stressed that Islamic extremist attitudes towards the west were virtually non existent in their country before 9/11.

ABC have since pulled the video footage from their website, but an industrious prisonplanet forum member grabbed the footage and uploaded it to youtube.

"Who is Osama Bin Laden?" One girl asked Chris Cuomo, "He's just a character created by America" she concluded.

Another of the young people, all in their twenties picked up the conversation stating "I would say that 98% of Pakistanis would follow along the same lines, they believe that Osama is basically a CIA agent who is working under cover to put over a bad image of Islam."

Here is the footage interspersed with other evidence to back up the claims of the four young Pakistanis:

Latest Intelligence Estimate Says Iran Halted Nuclear Weapons Program in 2003

The latest National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report suggests that Iran has halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 due to international pressure. You can view the pdf of the report here. This is in stark contrast to Bush, Cheney, other administration officials, and most of the GOP presidential candidates, all of which have been banging their fists screaming about stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons.
Raw Story has a great article about Joseph Cirincione, the director of nuclear policy at the Center for American Progress, and his recent appearance on BBC World News. Cirincione basically says that military and intelligence agencies are finally standing up to the president and his propagandizing of the Iranian threat.

"And they of course are now dealing with a lame-duck president...and you're seeing first the military reassert the integrity of its institutions, and now the intelligence agencies," he continued. "So both are now saying 'go slow on Iran, there is no good military option here.' And now, there isn't really an imminent threat. We have time to let diplomacy work."

"It definitely undercuts the case for military action," said Cirincione. "It strengthens the case for direct diplomatic engagement."

Monday, December 3, 2007

Sex on the City!

I'm loving the Rudy Giuliani "Sex on the City" scandal. It's got all kinds of juicy bits, like the possibility that the reason he wanted his Emergency Command Center within walking distance of the Mayor's office (instead of out in Brooklyn where all the security experts suggested it be placed) was that he wanted to use it as a convenient love nest! Fucking hilarious. The Emergency response on 9-11 was a disaster in and of itself because the Emergency Command Center was useless. How many people died so Rudy could get some tail? What's most hilarious about the deaths of all those fire-fighters and police officers is that after his prostate cancer, I don't even think he can get it up anymore. Hah hah. Rudy's impotent. No SuperTube action for him anymore.

Oh, and look! Here's Rudy's Holiday dance with his former prostate.

Super-Tuber pt. 2

The Headline from the Idaho Statesman? "More Gay Men Describe Sexual Encounters with U.S. Sen. Larry Craig."

Here's a quote:

"First he washed and dried my cock. Then he rubbed it with shortening or butter. Finally, he dipped it in his favorite cock condiment (mustard is his favorite)."

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Evel Knievel: 1938-2007

Its a sad day for America today. Evel Knievel, our country's most famous daredevil, has passed away at age 69. Evel, dude, you will be missed. We'll never forget that you gave us this: