March 16, 2006


Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Source: Atrios Blog
Categories: Blogs
The difference between Republicans who still support Bush and the ones who no longer do is that the ones who still support Bush still imagine that they are in on the con.

Source: Atrios Blog
Categories: Blogs
The fiscal irresponsibility of the GOP strikes again:

March 16 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Congress approved a $781 billion increase in the federal government's debt limit, the fourth time lawmakers have raised the cap since President George W. Bush took office.

The Senate voted 52-48 to increase the legal limit on federal borrowing to $8.97 trillion, up from $8.18 trillion. The House approved the measure last year, meaning the legislation now goes to the president for his signature.

52-48.  Every single Democrat voted against imposing this financial burden on working Americans. Every. Single. One.

While Democrats are united in reigning in the  out-of-control and reckless spending of this President, the Republican Party couldn't care less about our financial security.  The rubber-stamp Republicans have increased the government's debt four times since President Bush took office , adding an additional $2.23 trillion cushion.   The debt limit now stands at a record $8.965 trillion.  TRILLION. The number boggles the mind.  Even Senate Budget Committee Chairman Judd Gregg confessed "It's hard to understand what a trillion is. I don't know what it is."  What isn't hard to understand is that if voters want a change, if they want adults controlling the nation's purse, the only party that can restore fiscal sanity is the Democratic Party.

Update: Only three Republicans voted with the Democrats. Burns (R-MT), Ensign (R-NV), and Coburn (R-OK). Hat tip to dannyinla for the link.

Source: Daily Kos Blog
Categories: Blogs
Source: Atrios Blog
Categories: Blogs
How have I managed to, until now, be utterly unaware that we had a senator named Crapo.
Source: Atrios Blog
Categories: Blogs

CBS News Poll, March 13th, 2006; Poll conducted March 9-12, 2006


Very likely

15% Now

21% 1/2006

21% 7/2005

Somewhat likely

36% Now

42% 1/2006

43% 7/2005

Not very/not at all likely

47% Now

35% 1/2006

35% 7/2005


Categories: Blogs

By American Progress Action Fund

In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), a landmark law that opened the government's records to public scrutiny and is being celebrated today -- National FOI Day. Ruth Rosen, former columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, called FOIA "one of our greatest democratic reforms...allow[ing] ordinary citizens to hold the government accountable by requesting and scrutinizing public documents and records." Yet now, approaching its 40th year, FOIA -- and open government in general -- is under attack. Since 9/11, the Bush administration has stalled or ignored an increased number of FOIA requests, classified a record number of documents, stepped up punishment for whistleblowers, and tightened secrecy in the name of national security. Meredith Fuchs, general counsel at the National Security Archive, explained that 9/11 has become "an excuse for secrecy, rather than a need for secrecy." Fifty-nine percent of the American public believe there is now "too much secrecy" in the federal government. From refusing to release information about detainees at Guantanamo Bay, to keeping lawmakers and the public in the dark about an illegal, warrantless, domestic wiretapping program, "the administration's preference for secrecy is less about winning the war on terrorism than simply avoiding public scrutiny."

Categories: Blogs

Dr. Rashad Zaydan of Baghdad, Iraq, Rev. Lennox Yearwood, President and CEO of the Hip Hop Caucus and Hurricane Katrina survivor Bilal Moran of Gretna, Louisiana clasp hands in prayer in Lafayette Square across from the White House March 14, 2006 in Washington, DC. Zaydan is a pharmacist that sold her business in Baghdad to found the Knowledge for Iraqi Women Society to assist widows and orphans of the war in her home country. During the rally, Rev. Yearwood drew parallels between the innocent civilians in Iraq and the homeless survivors of Hurricane Katrina. Earlier in the day, Yearwood, members of Congress, civil rights leaders, faith leaders and Hurricane Katrina survivors rallied on Capitol Hill to call on the Bush Administration and Congress to halt the March 15 eviction of some 10,000 hurricane survivors that are living in hotels across the country. They also demanded that the Voting Rights Act be enforced and call off the upcoming election in New Orleans, and to pass HR 4197.

Categories: Blogs

By Reuters

BAGHDAD --The U.S. military said on Thursday it had launched its
biggest air offensive in Iraq since the 2003 invasion.

A military statement said the operation involving more than 50
aircraft and 1,500 Iraqi and U.S. troops as well as 200 tactical
vehicles targeted suspected insurgents operating near the town of
Samarra, 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad.

The statement said "Operation Swarmer" was launched on Thursday

Categories: Blogs

Scalia decried his own court's recent overturning of a state anti-sodomy law, joking that he personally believes "sexual orgies eliminate tension and ought to be encouraged," but said a panel of judges is not inherently qualified to determine the morality of such behavior.

Source: Atrios Blog
Categories: Blogs

By Zaki Chehab,

Kidnappings, power cuts, sectarian hatred, medical shortages, petrol
queues, intimidation of women and a mass exodus of talent: all part
of life in the new Iraq.

In June last year, in al-Jadriyah, a wealthy suburb of Baghdad, the
wife of a veterinary surgeon received a call that people in the city
have come to dread. It was from an unknown group claiming respon-

Categories: Blogs
According to Republican talking points, Democratic leaders are "ecstatic" about censure. If only!

Categories: Blogs

By Alex Sabbeth,

The new Zogby poll gauging the opinions of American troops in Iraq has drawn attention mostly because it finds that 72 percent believe the United States should withdraw in a year or less and only 23 percent favor George W. Bush’s plan to “stay the course.”

But the poll also illustrates the power of propaganda.

Shockingly, 85 percent of the troops questioned believe they are fighting in Iraq “to retaliate for Saddam’s role in the 9-11 attacks” – one of the key Iraq War myths built by Bush’s frequent juxtaposition of references to Osama bin-Laden and Saddam Hussein.

Categories: Blogs
From MSNBC we get the breaking news:
50 aircraft, 1,500 soldiers attack targets north of Baghdad

BAGHDAD, Iraq - The U.S. military said on Thursday it had launched its biggest air offensive in Iraq since the 2003 invasion of the country.

A military statement said the operation involving more than 50 aircraft and 1,500 Iraqi and U.S. troops as well as 200 tactical vehicles targeted suspected insurgents operating in Salah ad din, located 60 miles north of Baghdad.

How many hearts and minds will this win? An in-depth Knight Ridder from a few days ago casts grave doubts on this strategy:

Osama Jadaan al Dulaimi, a tribal leader in the western town of Karabilah, a town near the Syrian border that was hit with bombs or missiles on at least 17 days between October 2005 and February 2006, said the bombings had created enemies.

"The people of Karabilah hate the foreigners who crossed the border and entered their areas and got into a fight with the Americans," al Dulaimi said. "The residents now also hate the American occupiers who demolished their houses with bombs and killed their families ... and now the people of Karabilah want to join the resistance against the Americans for what they did."

The Knight Ridder article is worth a full read as we await news from Iraq.

Shock. Awe. Death. And the amazing destruction and intimidation of aerial weaponry.

Source: Daily Kos Blog
Categories: Blogs

Thursday, March 16, 2006
NEW* BUSH in Washington, DC: POTUS participates in the signing of H.R.
32, the Stop Counterfeiting in Manufactured Goods Act at 3:00 PM. [White
House Press Release]

NEW* ROMNEY in Boston, MA: Governor Romney announces $516.5 million in
Commonwealth Capital funds to support smart growth across Massachusetts
at 10:30 AM. [The Note,, 03/16/06]

UPDATED* BUSH in Washington, DC: POTUS attends St. Patrick's Day

Categories: Blogs
Like Yglesias, I miss the good old days when it was all social security all the time. It's a largely unacknowledged success of the liberal blogosphere, but I'm fairly convinced that collectively we killed that sucker.

I also miss the Washington Post editorials telling us that the universe was going to implode if we didn't gut social security NOW.
Source: Atrios Blog
Categories: Blogs

By John Harwood, Wall Street Journal

Bush Approval Rating Hits A Low as War Pessimism Offers Edge for Democrats

WASHINGTON -- President Bush and fellow Republicans approach the fall midterm elections facing one political problem above all others: responding to rising public anxiety about Iraq.

The new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll charts the toll that Iraq has taken on the Bush presidency. The survey shows the president's approval rating falling to 37%, a low for Mr. Bush, with disapproval highest for his handling of the war. His party's advantage on handling Iraq has narrowed amid public pessimism about the conflict, helping Democrats open a double-digit edge in voter preferences for controlling Congress.

Categories: Blogs