Saturday, January 06, 2007

White House Magic Tricks: Now You See It...Now You Don't

The White House is very good at making things disappear if they aren't good for the White House. The Bush Adminstration is skilled in the practice of witchcraft and has many success (or so it thinks) under their belt. A few examples include putting a curse on Valerie Plame, Jose Padilla and other victims of senseless torture.

Well know that the Democratic Congress is starting to make the Legislative branch live up to its constitutional duties the White House is waving its magic wand again. Republicans are rife with corruption that goes all the way up the food chain. Dozens if not hundreds of lobbyists and similar ilk have visited the White House to promote their corporate masters' greed at the expense of the American public.

Democratic leaders want to see those records and should have no problem since the White House belongs to the people and all should be available to see...but Bush is having none of that accountability stuff. It's um, un-American or somethin like that. Yeah, only traitors want oversight, yup!

Well apparently a federal judge has a different view and is demanding the Adminstration turn over the documents. So in his authoritarian/dictatorial way, we find out that the Secret Service and Bush signed a memorandum early last year to prevent the public from seeing this information.

From the AP:

The memo last spring was signed by the White House and Secret Service the day after a Washington-based group asked a federal judge to impose sanctions on the Secret Service in a dispute over White House visitor logs for Abramoff.

The chief counsel to another Washington-based group suing to get Secret Service logs calls the creation of the memo "a political maneuver couched as a legal one."

"It appears the White House is actually manufacturing evidence to further its own agenda," Anne Weismann, a Justice Department lawyer for 19 years and now chief counsel to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said Friday.

The White House and the Secret Service declined to comment.

No comment you say? No comment means you are guilty, guilty of withholding information that belongs to the people among hundreds of other offenses. You sir are a criminal and this is one more example that you are trying to hide all of your egregious wrongs.

This is what hate sounds like

It is common knowledge that hate radio, also known as right-wing talk radio or conservative talk radio dominates the marketplace. Well as a proud progressive I can't stand the garbage that spews out onto every microphone in wingnut land. Some say I should just ignore it. Though that really isn't enough. Watch this A/V below and let me know what you think. Does that type of discourse belong in a civilized nation?

Disgusting isn't it? Well there is something better to do than just ignore it. The Rwandans did not ignore the hate that spewed out over their airwaves and as a result the hate boiled over into a terrible massacre that was the genocide of 1994.

We can do better, we can fight them and land punches where it hurts. They are called advertisers. When advertisers pull out program managers listen. We can affect change. Check this diary out by Mike Stark from DailyKos and get into action today!

Army Tells Dead Soldiers To Re-Enlist!

Talk about not keeping your records straight! The Army sent re-enlist letters to 275 soldiers who are already casualties of war, whether killed or injured. With all the sacrifice for a war that is being fought at the whim of a mad man, also known as George Bush, this just another outrage.

CNN is reporting that 5,100 letters sent to troops who left the force before Christmas. What a wonderful time for a family to get that letter by the way. Well 200 of those were injured troops, seventy-five had paid the ultimate price.

From CNN:
The Army did not say how or when the mistake was discovered. It said the database normally used for such correspondence with former officers had been "thoroughly reviewed" to remove the names of wounded or dead soldiers.

"But an earlier list was used inadvertently for the December mailings," the Army statement said, adding that the Army is apologizing to those officers and families affected and "regrets any confusion."
So much for a thorough review of the list. This ranks up there with Rumsfeld signing letters to fallen troops' families with an auto-sig machine. Rumsfeld didn't care about the troops then and the Pentagon doesn't seem to care to take the time to figuratively slap the families that lost a loved one in the face. At least the army is sending letters of apology....but still, if I were a family member mourning the loss of my father, mother, brother, sister, aunt, uncle or cousin I would be extremely pissed when I opened that letter.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Sansara Taylor is my hero

In my post yesterday covering the World Can't Wait's panel discussing impeachment of the President I mentioned Sansara Taylor at the end. There were no links sad to say because the one good one I found didn't do her justice. Well the search is at an end. Please lend your eyes and ears as she took on O'Lielly himself yesterday afternoon.

Here's the YouTube video:

He resorts to name calling, saying she's a lunatic. Typical of the garbage that spews from Bill's mouth. Yet Sansara prevails. Why? Because Sansara speaks truth to power and Bill is nothing but a right-wing shill.

Debate: Scarborough versus O'Reilly?

Oh it's on now! Scarborough challenged Bill O'Lielly to a debate after Mr. Falafel said everyone at NBC hates Bush. Now that would be an interesting battle between a conservative ex-Congressman and a giant ass-kissing bully. Scarborough challenged him on his MSNBC show and called Bill a suckup to the Republican party.

From MSNBC (bottom of transcript):

Scarborough: And I challenge you to debate me anytime, anyplace, anywhere, and find one thing I have said on this program over the past year that is not consistent with the conservative congressman who was against military adventurism when I was in Congress, that was against exploding deficits, that was against reckless spending and against turning Congress into the type of swamp that we Republicans have turned it into over the past six years!

That doesn‘t make me liberal, that makes me conservative! That may make you, though, a suck-up, if you defend the Republicans that have done that to this country and to our party over the past six years! (full transcript below the fold)

I'll definitely watch that, seeing O'Reilly turn a bright shade of red is always a great sight!

Glenn Beck Has No Soul

We all know Glenn Beck is a despicable human being in so many different ways. Recently he displayed his bigotry towards Keith Ellison, the new Democratic Congressman from Minnesota who just so happens to be a Muslim. Big deal Glenn, get over it!

Yesterday's comment hit a little too close to home. As a New Yorker that loves his city very much, Glenn Beck went over the top with me and probably a great many fellow New Yorkers. In response to NOAA's Christopher Landsea comments that a large hurricane in a specific position could flood most of the city and result in a heavy loss of life, Beck said "Actually, that would clean the streets out. It might not be bad."

You sir are going to hell!

Why is that outrageous? Why shouldn't I just SMFPH? Couldn't Beck's bad jokes just refer to the city's litter problem? No, when it comes to Beck and his racist, bigoted gut says he means something far more insidious.

CNN has no right having this man on the air every night, poisoning the minds of hapless individuals that flip to CNN Headline News. For someone who never has seen him before he gives off this 'aw shucks, I'm just a regular guy' vibe at first and then attacks like a rabid animal.

Here are just a few examples:

Glenn beck told a seven year old that wrote a poem about Africa to go there and never return.

He called Cindy Sheehan a slut.

He called Katrina victims 'Scumbags'.

Threatened that Muslims will be looking through a razor wire fence at the West

And of course the comment that started all the commotion around Keith Ellison:

I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, 'Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.'

New York City is my home. A hurricane packing a 30 ft storm surge is no laughing matter. It can kill thousands and destroy the lives of millions. The geography surrounding New York can double the impact of a hurricane's force. LiveScience rates this catastrophe in their top 10.

From Live Science:

Because of the population density, a successful evacuation of vulnerable low-lying areas in and around New York City and metropolitan New Jersey would actually have to start sooner than what is typically ordered in Florida and elsewhere, officials have determined based on studies by the Army Corps of Engineers.
But hurricanes move more quickly and become very difficult to predict when they head north of the Carolinas. In a likely scenario, experts say, there might only be hours of warning.

History reveals that New York and the Northeast have been hit hard before, and with little warning. Scientists say the next major hurricane to strike the city is a question of when, not if.

'When' is the key word. In 1938 New York faced a similar situation:

In terms of fatalities and property damage - the 1938 hurricane stands as one of the worst disasters in American history. In a matter of hours, 600 people were killed, 3500 were injured, and more than 75,000 buildings were damaged. The states of New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, suffered their worst natural disaster in recorded history. The tidal wave like storm-surge that hit Long Island and Rhode Island was so severe, that earthquake instruments 3,000-miles away recorded it on seismographs. As a final cruelty - the residents of the northeast had little or no warning that this extreme meteorological event was unfolding before them.

The economics of the matter are also gigantic, from NY Magazine:

Were another Long Island Express to barrel in, AIR Worldwide Corporation, an insurance-industry analyst, estimates $11.6 billion in New York losses alone. On AIR’s list of “the top ten worst places for an extreme hurricane to strike,” New York City is No. 2, behind only Miami. New Orleans is ranked fifth.

Some of the damage wrought by the Hurricane

So you can see this is serious business. Michael Bowman has proposed building strategic barriers to keep the storm surge. Whether it would work or not is debatable yet it is essential that something must be done.

To make a joke about this is the farthest thing from funny. You think New Orleans is laughing about Katrina? You think the Indonesians and Sri Lankans and everyone affected by the Tsunami two years ago are laughing?

Glenn is a sick bastard, the man bastard needs to go now. Wake the **** up CNN!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Listen to Cindy Sheehan: Now With Pics and Video

Hey folks, just got back from an incredible event at the National Press Club here in Washington. It's been a crazy, crazy day but it ain't over yet. Tonight I had the honor to attend an event featuring an array of speakers. Not only did Cindy Sheehan talk to a packed audience, Gore Vidal taped a video for the audience, Mr. Pentagon Papers, Daniel Ellsberg himself gave an impassioned speech, John Nichols, Michael Rattner and recently battle-tested with Bill O'Falafel, Sansara Taylor wrapped up an incredible night.

As the audience swelled David Swanson of MC'd the event. First he introduced Gore Vidal's speech, then John Nichols, then Cindy Sheehan, followed by Daniel Ellsberg, Michael Rattner and finally Sansara Taylor. Besides the speakers, ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern and legendary 60's war protestor Dick Gregory were in attendance.

Gore had taped a segment just for the event. Swanson asked if he wanted to be introduced as a literary icon but he declined, rather to be noted as a literary iconclast. He mentioned that impeaching the President is a life or death matter, not something to be thrown by the wayside as we cheer on our new Democratic House and Senate. He said the real message from last November is that the people of this nation wanted a fundamental change in how our government does business.

So turn off the money and make the troops come home. Stand up for your principals and fight this regime. Bush's actions are high crimes and misdeanors. He also mentioned today's news about Bush going postal. What an amazing man and I'd like to say thank you for his dedicated work against Bush and throughout his entire life.

In brief, John Nichols told us that the founders of this country gave us the tools for impeachment and that this 'gone postal' President needs to be held accountable for his actions. We need to fight the increasing power of the Bush monarchy.

He told a story about a young lawyer in 1846 that challenged President Polk on his unjust war with Mexico. He stuck to his principles and fought vociferously against the Commander in Chief. His actions brought ex-President John Quincy Adams to take action against the President. That man was Abraham Lincoln.

I'll let Cindy talk for herself, see the video above.

Daniel Ellsberg followed Cindy, though he didn't fear going after her. He is well known for helping bring the Pentagon Papers to light and ultimately leading to the undoing of President Nixon. After John Dean turned on the President, Nixon was already ominously looking down the road to impeachment (Only to be saved by resigning and his friend Gerald Ford).

Ellsberg mentioned the honorable action of Lt. Watada, who refused to go back to Iraq based on the principle that an officer must not support an unjust and immoral war. He is now facing jail time because of his actions to uphold the constitution.

He gave a great speech, wrapping up with the advice that if we continue to fight, an active citizenry can change the environment in Washington and get Pelosi to put impeachment back on the table. Congress must not put the President above the law or else his power will be limitless.

Michael Rattner came up next, another man who is fighting vociferously against the Bush Administration. He recently ,a hef="">filed a lawsuit against Rumsfeld in Germany for the ex-DoD's crimes against humanity.

He compared Congress to Nero's fiddling while Rome burned. Well Rome is burning people and we need to put out these fires.

Finally Sansara Taylor got up and told of us about her spar with O'Lielly this afternoon. He kept up his usual personal attacks and called her a lunatic and that 90% of people are against her/our cause. She fired back, retorting that Bush is the one who is opposed by the majority of Americans.

After she left the studio FoxNews generously gave her a ride back. When she talked to the driver he asked what she was there for. When impeachment was mentioned he said that the President shouldn't be impeached, he should be put in jail!


Well thats my rundown of the event. On a personal note, I believe we need to impeach this President. Although I agree that Congress should investigate. Their investigations will show impeachment is necessary. The proof is written all over the wall.

The White House Sidewalk Is Closed

Many visitors and residents in Washington know that Pennsylvania Ave. was closed to traffic back in 1995 due to some unfortunate events. The people's house has become more and more closed off as time goes on. Back when it was built horse carriages would come up to 1600 Penn. to ask for directions in the fledgling city.

Now it is of course much different. Today it got worse than I have ever seen it. My friends were in town with their kids so one of our stops was the White House. Despite the filth that resides in it now, the building is very impressive. Anyway, as tourists we took pictures in front of the North Portico on the redesigned Pennsylvania Ave. We were having a good time, chatting up passer-bys and what not, minding our own business and then I got pissed.

A security guard came up to us and demanded that everyone leave the sidewalk immediately. Everyone was told to back up and not obstruct the sidewalk between the gates that open up for the driveway beyond. I was in shock, along with everyone else there. How could the people's house be so closed off that you can't even stand in front of it. Perhaps George didn't want to see a few dozen people standing outside. Perhaps he'll build a wall soon, perhaps he'll construct a forbidden city and completely shut himself off from reality since he is so out of touch with it.

World Can't Wait Protest in D.C.

Riling up the crowd

Go Cindy!

Cuz you know it is!

Still mad and you can't blame her

New Excuses To Not Pay Your Bills

Well Bush has gone and done it again. Invading our privacy and ruining what our country was founded on seems to be his mission while residing on 1600 Pennsylavania. Now he can open up our mail as he chooses, casting the judiciary branch aside yet again. As I write this from 700 Pennsylvania this morning I tried to come up with a silver lining for the latest travesty from the White House.

So here it is, have you ever gotten threatening letters from credit card companies and other such ilk? Well now you have an excuse to say you 'didn't get the mail'. The letter they wrote you after not paying for four months had to be threatening. Since it was threatening it might infringe on your security and being that you live here in the States you thereby live in the nation. Hence, national security is being violated. So when you see that envelope in the mail, it can be grounds for being snatched up by our bill o'rights breakin' President.

The Washington Post Finally Gets It on Blogs

Okay to be fair it isn't the paper as a whole. Though this is a good story about someone smelling the coffee about how blogs work and how they are trouncing print media.

So I'm in D.C. right now for the big celebration and all the wonderful events that surround the sea-change starting to occur within the beltway. My free hotel room happens to be in Maryland where my cousin lives. Over the last couple times I've stayed here I explained the essence of blogs (IMHO). Specifically how they generate participation rather than have an audience to shout at and hopefully shout to from the Sunday Talk Show circuit if they are considered at a high status, as in print media. Of course not everyone fits the ideal but you know what I am getting at.

Anyways, so she works for a great progressive organization inside the beltway and talks to a lot of print media, specifically in the science world. Her conversation yesterday with the Science editor of WaPo (doing a quick google I found to be Rob Stein brought the light shining on his face. With the WaPo cutting staff, who has written a lot of great articles) back being interjected into the conversation, my cousin mentioned how blogs are taking over where print media has given up. He countered that there is no peer review and blah blah blah. My cousin so vallantly retorted that the citizen participation by active and well-read bloggers and activists are actually the ultimate peer review, since the well written and credible bloggers stand out among the millions. And then by some magic of the universe he said, "I never thought of it in that way." Congratulations Ron, by the way, can you share that with Deborah Howell when you have a chance? Thanks!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Photo/VideoBlog of Jim Webb's Inaugural Party

First the videos of Jim. I apologize for the shaky picture, the crowd was stomping quite a bit on those wood floors.

Crowd estimates ranged from 1000 to 1200 people, the hall was packed to the brim and flowed out on to the streets.

Thankfully I got there early enough to get close to the stage to hear the action upclose and personal. The band was great and Webb came out fighting, heck he was born fighting!

After clapping with the crowd (those who were going along with the music) Jim came out and greeted the crowd.

The first video is his introduction. Fantastic speech to say the least. Part 2 is where he tells us how he will support the troops in regards to the GI bill, because you know Bush isn't going to.

And now to leave you with a few more shots, including Jim and his family, especially that cute new baby. I saw Mrs. Webb's older daughter kiss the baby's arm and it was oh-so-cute. What a great Senator we are going to have and a great family to back him up.

Family Pictures

The crowd from where I was standing around 6pm EST

Recognizing A Hero

This isn't political but this story is worth hearing about.

From the NY Times:

Mr. Autrey was waiting for the downtown local at 137th Street and Broadway in Manhattan around 12:45 p.m. He was taking his two daughters, Syshe, 4, and Shuqui, 6, home before work.

Nearby, a man collapsed, his body convulsing. Mr. Autrey and two women rushed to help, he said. The man, Cameron Hollopeter, 20, managed to get up, but then stumbled to the platform edge and fell to the tracks, between the two rails.

The headlights of the No. 1 train appeared. “I had to make a split decision,” Mr. Autrey said.

So he made one, and leapt.

Mr. Autrey lay on Mr. Hollopeter, his heart pounding, pressing him down in a space roughly a foot deep. The train’s brakes screeched, but it could not stop in time.

Five cars rolled overhead before the train stopped, the cars passing inches from his head, smudging his blue knit cap with grease. Mr. Autrey heard onlookers’ screams. “We’re O.K. down here,” he yelled, “but I’ve got two daughters up there. Let them know their father’s O.K.” He heard cries of wonder, and applause.

Congratulations and thank you Mr. Autrey, you are truly a hero. I can only hope that I would be as brave as he was if I ever found myself in a similar situation.

An Inconvenient Truth For Willard Scott

The Today Show's Willard Scott called global warming into question yesterday by mentioning the wintry weather Denver has been experiencing lately. Are you kidding me? The guy lives in New York right? The weather is supposed to be in mid to high 50s for the next two days!!! That isn't January weather ya #%&@#!* ass!

So apparently all the scientistsare wrong, Al Gore is wrong, the icebergs breaking off in northern Canada are wrong and the polar bears going extinct are wrong. Well excuse me Mr. Weatherman. Maybe if you woke up and paid attention to the world outside of your teleprompter you might notice a thing or two.

Yes that is Willard Scott.

Media Matters documents the incident in full, here are the details:

On the January 2 edition of NBC's Today, weather reporter Willard Scott introduced his weather report by asking co-host Meredith Vieira if she was "a global-warming fan" and whether she "believe[d] in global warming." Vieira responded that "something's going on, 'cause it's warm here" in New York City. Scott then suggested that recent temperatures cast doubt on the existence of global warming: "From Savannah all the way up to Boston, we're having unheard-of warm weather, but ask the folks out in Denver and Colorado. ... [They are having] the coldest winter they've had in years. So it all depends on which side of the Mississippi [River] you're hanging your hat."

Are you serious? It depends on which side of the Mississippi you are on? Maybe you didn't know but weather patterns are connected all over the globe. I guess Mr Scott skipped that class on climatology. Perhaps he didn't see An Inconvenient Truth. Perhaps he slept through 2006. Well it is time to get off your ass and get a clue. Speaking of getting a clue, maybe NBC could give him a little help by telling him to keep his big mouth out of the global warming debate (BTW there is no debate, Global Warming exists!).

Tell NBC what you think of that performance here.

Bush Declares War on Democrats

You want a war buddy? Well you got yourself one. It is on now! With your track record in battle the odds are stacked against you. You lost your oil company, Sammy Sosa, Afghanistan is a mess and we all know about Iraq.

Today Jerome a Paris on DailyKos wrote a brilliant article on Bush's speech. The highlighted portion below shows what Bush is really saying behind the rhetoric. Bush's thinking is in bold.

Shared responsibility

"Together, we have a chance to serve the American people by solving the complex problems that many don't expect us to tackle, let alone solve, in the partisan environment of today's Washington. To do that, however, we can't play politics as usual. Democrats will control the House and Senate, and therefore we share the responsibility for what we achieve."

Now that you won, you are responsible for everything I fucked up and will fuck up, but you should not be nasty like we were when we had all the power, because that would not be nice.

That mix of whiny contempt and breathless arrogance is quite typical of this administration.

I believe

"I believe that when America is willing to use her influence abroad, the American people are safer and the world is more secure."

When we bomb the shit out of furners, we scare the shit out of the rest of the world, and that's good.

"I believe that wealth does not come from government. It comes from the hard work of America's workers, entrepreneurs and small businesses."

Money comes from workers, and stays with companies and their shareholders, as it should be, because we destroyed the government's ability to have a sane economic policy.

There is plenty more in the article, go ahead and read it.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

This Is What A Democratic Governor Looks Like

It is only January 2nd and already things are looking up for New York. Our new Democratic Governor Eliot Spitzer wasted no time in getting to work. He was sworn in when the ball dropped and by the end of the day had enacted five executive orders that will help pave the way for reform in Albany.

Here are two of them via the Daily Gotham:

Executive Order Two forbids campaign contributions by any state employee covered by the order to any campaign for governor or lieutenant governor, and bars state employees from running for office, both state and Federal, unless granted a leave of absence or upon resignation. The order covers employees of state agencies and public authorities like the MTA.

Executive Order Three creates a requirement for all state agencies and public authorities to submit to the secretary of the governor, by March 1st, a schedule of all meetings subject to the Open Meetings law, and to ensure that all such meetings be broadcast via the internet. While the order provides for exemptions, in

circumstances in which such webcasting is either impractical or inappropriate [...]. creates the requirement of openness through broadcasting as the default.

That is what accountability looks like. That is what fighting corruption looks like. Who is this Pataki person again? Good riddance.

Never do this when running for the White House

As one who has been forgetful of things in the past and present, I have learned that the phrase above is something to keep in mind as I try to keep my things together. Important documents have to be kept close at bay. When I was little they were my school papers and now they are contracts, research documents and spreadsheets.

Well apparently a man with an important document forgot this old adage and left his 140 page Master Plan to win the White House in 2008 in a hotel room! Yes folks thats right, Rudy Guliani left his secret plan for all to see. The first paper to get their hands on it is the NY Daily News.

Oh man, this a juicy one. Imagine your faults laid out in bullet point for all to see and scrutinize. Sure everyone here knows about the ex-wife, the current wife, the businesses and such. Yet there is so much more. So let's give a big hand to Rudy G's aides for putting this masterpiece together.

The loss of the battle plan is a remarkable breach in the high-stakes game of presidential politics and a potentially disastrous blunder for Giuliani in the early stages of his campaign.

The document was obtained by the Daily News from a source sympathetic to one of Giuliani's rivals for the White House. The source said it was left behind in one of the cities Giuliani visited as he campaigned for dozens of Republican candidates in the weeks leading up to the November 2006 elections.

Hmmm, I wonder which campaign that could be? McCain? Huckabee? Brownback? Romney? PatakiRudy's shadow? All scumbags capable of an easy political manuever, especially one that Rudy allows to get out like that.

So what else is in there? Well the most important thing early on in a Presidential campaign is cash, cash and more cash. According to RWG as he is known in the master plan. The goal is $100...million...dollars. That includes a massive push for $25 million dollars in the next three months. Well I'll be darned, that's some good old-fashioned math. Of course you need fundraisers for that and well, Rudy is losing them one after the other.

Some of the leading figures in American business and finance appear as the "prospective leadership" of Giuliani's campaign, and their names appear elsewhere with instructions for Giuliani to call and seek their support. Two of the top figures on Giuliani's list, New Jersey mega-fund-raisers Lew Eisenberg and Larry Bathgate, have already signed on with McCain, as has another Giuliani target, FedEx CEO Fred Smith.

In a memo that appears in the dossier, Giuliani aides Dickerson and Roy Bailey urge him to court financier Henry Kravis particularly avidly.

"You need him to be a Wall Street industry leader," the memo says.

McCain announced Kravis' support last month.

The plan also anticipates his recruiting top GOP fund-raiser Cathy Blaney in New York on a retainer of $260,000 and her Florida counterpart, Ann Herberger, at $216,000. But between the plan's preparation in the fall and today, Blaney became the chief fund-raiser for the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, while Herberger reportedly has signed on to the presidential campaign of Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Ouch! Looks like some people want to invest in New York City and scum up in Massachusetts rather than work for our beloved ex-Mayor. Personally I think the guy never had a chance. The marital bliss mentioned in the papers from time to time are never good for those crazy primary-votin Republicans.

It also turns out that Rudy might just want to stay in the private sector which is a sure money-maker instead of taking a risk and trying to make a difference in Washington for the common American out there suffering under tutelage of George Bush. Oh wait, that sounds idealistic, sorry, that doesn't mesh with pure unadulterated greed that is so commonly associated with Republicans.

One final humorous note: If Rudy William Giuliani's bid does get off the ground, he will take this advice from the President. Rudy will be handing out cute baseball themed names to his top donors. Such names include "Sluggers" for 50K, "MVPs" for 200K and Team Captains that can raise one...million...dollars.

I hope to see a dossier like this on all of them, let them eat their own well before 2008.

Jib jab's Year in Review

Another great Jib Jab, thanks guys!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

Just got in from a night out in NYC. The closest I got to Times Square was 7th Av and Central Park South, heading for a party in Hell's Kitchen. The crowd was ridiculous to say the least. Anyways, before I head off to sleep, I wanted to leave you all with a great YouTube video of crooks that are no longer with us as we start 2007. To put it bluntly, they won't be missed.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Deadliest Year In Journalism

As we discuss the top stories of 2006, it is appropriate to remember those that brought us these stories. Especially the brave men and women in journalism that lost their lives for their passion.

With a few hours to go before the New Year, at least 155 journalists have been murdered or lost in the line of duty. The International Federation of Journalists which represents over 500,000 journalists, released their statistic earlier today.

The International Federation of Journalists report can be found here, below are a few selections from the article.

During the year the numbers began to accumulate with civil strife and resistance to military occupation in Iraq. The IFJ says media became prime targets of terror attacks or victims of poor soldiering. By the year’s end, 68 media staff had been killed, bringing to 170 the number killed in the country since the invasion in April 2003.

The first place that comes to mind is Iraq. The bloodshed is more and more terrifying as the days go on. The same can be said for those that cover the war. Particularly disheartening is how so many were killed by our own troops.

The focus once again is on Iraq, where the IFJ has been campaigning vigorously over impunity in the killing of journalists. For the last three years the IFJ has organised a day of protest on April 8 – the day in 2003 when three journalists died under US fire in Baghdad. There have been 19 such killings in Iraq and in all these cases media organisations and victims’ families are still waiting for independent and credible reports about what happened.

The fact that the families of the fallen can not get the truth out of the Pentagon is abhorrent. Where is the accountability? Where is the outrage? This is something the investigations of the upcoming Democratic Congress needs to focus on.

Other conflict zones such as Oaxaca, Venezuela and Columbia claimed 37 lives. The Philippines and Sri Lanka saw the loss of 34 journalists. Even if they hadn't lost their lives, it is still a dangerous place, as points out.

The hostility towards the press can be felt outside identified conflict zones. The tragedy that befell Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya:

Novaya Gazeta editor Dmitry Muratov said that on the day of her murder, Politkovskaya had planned to file a lengthy story on torture practices believed to be used by Chechen security detachments known as Kadyrovites which are loyal to pro-Moscow Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov. A day after Politkovskaya was found dead, police seized her computer hard disk and material she had assembled for an investigative article; the story may now never be published. Additionally, Muratov said, two photographs of the suspected torturers have disappeared.

Simply incredible, where do these stories disappear to?!?

With all this doom and gloom, what is there to do? Well the UN has started taking action. On December 23rd a resolution was passed unanimously to hold governments more accountable in protecting journalists. Will the resolution help? Time will only tell. Yet something needs to be done to stop all this killing.

I'll leave you with a few faces that the journalism community lost this year and a more complete list of the fallen here.

Paul Douglas (May 2006)

Mwamba Bapuwa (July 8, 2006)

layal najib (July 23, 2006)

Anna Politkovskaya (October 7, 2006)

A Day In The Life of Joe Republican

I love this story, it should be repeated often and wherever possible

Joe gets up at 6:00am to prepare his morning coffee. He fills his pot full of good clean drinking water because some liberal fought for minimum water quality standards. He takes his daily medication with his first swallow of coffee. His medications are safe to take because some liberal fought to insure their safety and work as advertised.

All but $10.00 of his medications are paid for by his employers medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance, now Joe gets it too. He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs this day. Joe’s bacon is safe to eat because some liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

Joe takes his morning shower reaching for his shampoo; His bottle is properly labeled with every ingredient and the amount of its contents because some liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained. Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some tree hugging liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air. He walks to the subway station for his government subsidized ride to work; it saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees. You see, some liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day; he has a good job with excellent pay, medicals benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe’s employer pays these standards because Joe’s employer doesn’t want his employees to call the union. If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed he’ll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some liberal didn’t think he should loose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

Its noon time, Joe needs to make a Bank Deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe’s deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some liberal wanted to protect Joe’s money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the depression.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae underwritten Mortgage and his below market federal student loan because some stupid liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his life-time.

Joe is home from work, he plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive to dads; his car is among the safest in the world because some liberal fought for car safety standards. He arrives at his boyhood home. He was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers Home Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans. The house didn’t have electric until some big government liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification. (Those rural Republican’s would still be sitting in the dark)

He is happy to see his dad who is now retired. His dad lives on Social Security and his union pension because some liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn’t have to. After his visit with dad he gets back in his car for the ride home.
He turns on a radio talk show, the host’s keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. (He doesn’t tell Joe that his beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day) Joe agrees, “We don’t need those big government liberals ruining our lives; after all, I’m a self made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have”.

By John Gray Cincinnati, Ohio - - Published July - 2004
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Its heartening to know the folks at NY1 got their stuff together over there. All these years I thought the Governor was located in Albany....silly me.

Hat tip to The Daily Gotham and Dan Jacoby for the find.