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March 13, 2006

You have a defendant accused of planning and assisting in executing the 9-11 attacks.  You have international media scrutinizing your every move. You have argued that this monster should received the death penalty for intentionally misleading the government so as to help the attacks go forward. You're the government seeking retribution for the deaths of thousands, you have an unsympathetic defendant, an emotional jury case...and you possibly just blew it.

The federal judge presiding over the case of "20th highjacker" Zaccarias Moussaoui is deliberating right now whether to take the death penalty off the table.  Prosecutorial misconduct today possibly pulled the death penalty off the table--and jeopardized the entire case:

An angry federal judge unexpectedly recessed the death penalty trial of confessed al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui to consider whether government violations of her rules against coaching witnesses should remove the death penalty as an option.

The stunning development came at the opening of the fifth day of the trial as the government had informed the judge and the defense over the weekend that a lawyer for the Federal Aviation Administration had coached four government FAA witnesses in violation of the rule set by U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema. The rule was that no witness should hear trial testimony in advance.

The judge warned the government ahead of time that the four FAA witness, central to the government's case, could not coached by being exposed to trial testimony which already was given in the trial. The purpose of this rule is clear: the testimony given should be unadulterated and not biased by hearing what other government testified to.  The federal government was well aware of the rule, yet over the weekend, it revealed it had coached four critical witnesses by exposing them to that testimony.  The rules were also violated by giving these witnesses copies of the opening statements.  Defense counsel moved for a mistrial, or, in the alternative, to exclude the FAA witness testimony.  The violation of the rules was so egregious, the judge may take the death penalty off the table, exclude the witnesses and take away half the government's case, or dismiss the death penalty case.  It's unclear when or how the judge will rule on the motion.  This isn't the first time the government has jeopardized its case; earlier this week, the judge warned the government it was on shaky legal ground in its questioning.

(diary on the news by incertus)

Update [2006-3-13 12:47:20 by georgia10]:: Thanks to the comments below for pointing out that the judge will not dismiss the entire case, but may rule on whether to take the death penalty off the table. Would've posted an update sooner but the site is soooo slow.

Categories: Blogs
Five minutes is all it takes, really.  Less, if you're not that chatty. In five minutes, you can speak up for the rule of the law. In five minutes, you can put your own footprint in history, as one of the mass of millions who advocated for the censure of a President who broke the law.  Years from now, no matter what the outcome, you can look back and say you stood up when Congress stood down, you pushed your party forward no matter how much it wanted to cower back in the shadows.  Are you ready?

Today, I ask each of you to take a few minutes and contact your Senator and ask them to sign on as a co-sponsor to Senator Russ Feingold's censure resolution.  You can find your Democratic Senator's full contact info, including fax and local numbers, here.  If you don't have any Democratic Senators, please call Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid-- he's your leader too, and ask him to help hold the President accountable for his crimes.


Talking points:

  • The President admitted to conducting a domestic spying program outside the scope of FISA, despite knowing that FISA is the exclusive means of such surveillance inside the United States.  President Bush broke the law, and this is the only way this Republican Congess can hold him accountable.

  • President admitted he did not brief the full intelligence committees. This is against the law.

  • We don't have to wait for an investigation before censure.  President Bush admitted to his crimes publicly. An investigation is needed, but that should not preclude censure at this time.

  • Andrew Jackson was censured in 1834 for refusing to hand over papers to Congress and assuming power not granted by the Constitution.  With his stonewalling of the investigation and by ignoring FISA, this is exactly what President Bush has done, and he should also be censured accordingly.


Five minutes is all it takes. Now get on the phone and let's show this administration that some people still gave a damn about the Constitution.

Categories: Blogs
So you guys are seeing the new comments in action. ct and peeder are probably in a coma after a long, long day and night yesterday. Once they revive they'll probably work on squashing bugs, so please continue posting any you may find.

So what's next on the agenda? Jotter's comment search still needs to be finished, but that's a relatively minor upgrade. Peeder will carry forth the comment editing tools (buttons for blockquote, bold, etc) over to the story/diary submit page. Again, a relatively minor upgrade.

The next big change will be to reengineer who the recent diary works. We're going to add a filtering layer between the diaries page and the diaries list on the front page. We need to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of the front-page diaries listings and I think we've got a plan to do it (however controversial it might be). Jeremy (ct) has to assist in the bug-killing duties for the new comments and then do some other minor maintenance issues. Then it's on to the Diaries Project.

What else? I still want to build the polling engine, but that's a few months down the road. It's been a lean ad month, so I've got to save my cash until we ride out this advertising lull. Then I want to AJAXify more sections of the site (including the Hotlist, Recommended Diaries, and much of the front page).

Kick ass search, kick ass message boards, and more on the way. I'm serious when I say I intend for Daily Kos to remain on the technological cutting edge.

Categories: Blogs

From the diaries. This is a handy guide on how to use the supple new comments, from the guy who designed the ajax parts of it. -ct

The new Daily Kos comments system uses the state-of-the-art Ajax technology to make reading and contributing to Daily Kos discussions fast, easy, and fun. No longer do you have to suffer through waiting for entire pages to load just because you recommended the diary or gave a comment a rating. Virtually everything can now be done in-place right on the page you're viewing.

Read on for way more details and compatibility information!

Categories: Blogs

March 12, 2006

At some point this evening, the new comments will be coming online finally. I'll try to minimize the downtime, but the site will be unavoidably down for a bit, and there may be some periods of time where posting comments and diaries will be disabled so I can go through and make sure everything's working right. Bear with me.

Update [2006-3-13 1:10:20 by ct]: As you can see, it's not going very smoothly at all. I had to reload the db back in, and now I'm having to put stuff bit by bit. Sigh. Oh, and I'm turning comment and diary posting off for a bit.

Update II by kos: Guys, please be patient. What you see won't be the final product until we say it's the final product. It's got a ways to go.

Update [2006-3-13 2:24:16 by ct]: Comment posting's back on. We're not all the way there yet, but it's at the point where you can post now. There'll be some ups and downs, though.

Categories: Blogs
One of the political arguments constantly fowarded on abortion is that Democrats shouldn't fight to defend Roe v. Wade because the far right really doesn't want to see Roe overturned. The argument generally goes that they get too much traction from abortion to give it up--Roe is just too important as a rallying point for motivating volunteers, raising money, and ultimately bringing people to the polls. South Dakota puts the lie to that theory.

These people, including  Bill "Sodomized Religious Virgin" Napoli, aren't just a bunch of religious fantatics being used by cynical national politicians to get elected. No, they're the people actually getting elected at every level of government, from school boards and city councils all the way to the U.S. Senate. Their effort to end legalized abortion is played out in state level efforts to restrict abortion to its Constitutional limits. Consider these facts from a brand-new report by the Guttmacher Institute [pdf].

  • Refusal: 46 states allow individual health care providers to refuse to participate in an abortion. 43 states allow institutions to refuse to perform abortions, 16 of which limit refusal to private or religious institutions.

  • State-Mandated Counseling: 28 states mandate that women be given counseling before an abortion that includes information on at least one of the following: the purported link between abortion and breast cancer (3 states), the ability of a fetus to feel pain (4 states), long-term mental health consequences for the woman (3 states) or the availability of services and funding should the woman decide to carry the pregnancy to term (26 states).

  • Waiting Periods: 24 states require a woman seeking an abortion to wait a specified period of time, usually 24 hours, between when she receives counseling and the procedure is performed. 6 of these states have laws that effectively require the woman make two separate trips to the clinic to obtain the procedure.
  • That's just a handful of the restrictions currently in place in states throughout the nation, all intended to make abortion as difficult to obtain as possible. They are the result of the unceasing activism of the far-right. People like Martin Wishnatsky in North Dakota. He has been banned from going within 150 feet of Red River Women's Clinic, so he uses his zoom lens to take pictures of the women entering the clinic, and then posts them on the Internet. His defense? "I hope this might contribute to turning people's hearts back to life." And people like Bill Napoli.

    Just because they've stopped bombing clinics and assassinating doctors doesn't mean that they aren't as committed to ending abortion as they've always been. They've just become smarter in selecting their targets. Instead of blowing them up, they legislate them out of existence by getting their people elected. They're the people who've made sure that health care providers can even refuse to provide contraception in 12 states.

    Digby had an excellent post on this last week that's been rattling around in my head since I read it.

    They really mean it. This is no bullshit. There is no downside to overturning Roe for them --- and if there is, they don't care. If they want to overturn Griswald, they'll do that too.... Conservative absolutists don't give up just because liberals get up-in-arms. They certainly don't care if we think they are shrill....

    This is not an issue for tweaking.... State mandated forced childbirth and denial of access to birth control cannot be negotiated or finessed. This one's going to have to be fought out head to head, day to day to a final reckoning. That's what they are going to do and if we don't recognise that and act accordingly, we will lose.

Categories: Blogs
From Knight Ridder:

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Senior Iraqi officials Sunday confirmed for the first time that death squads composed of government employees had operated illegally from inside two government ministries.

"The deaths squads that we have captured are in the defense and interior ministries," Minister of Interior Bayan Jabr said during a joint news conference with the Minister of Defense. "There are people who have infiltrated the army and the interior."

Rumors about the Shiite death squads targeting Sunnis have been floating around for more than a year, according to the article. Twenty-two people have been arrested, 18 were released and four have been sent to trial - indicating a smaller barrel of "bad apples" than critics have been alleging.

The Knight Ridder account also has a round-up of the past few deadly days in Iraq, focusing on the Sadr City bombings earlier today that are causing fears of a backlash.

Perhaps Rumsfeld is right and this is not civil war. Perhaps it's anarchy, chaos and outright carnage. While our political spinmeisters churn, splitting hairs over political terms and definitions, it becomes more clear with each passing day that American forces, even with the best intentions, are utterly clueless as to who exactly we're training and supplying with weaponry, and who will be the next targets.

Expect no reference in the coming days from our leaders to the now infamous (and erroneously attributed) Pottery Barn rule. It's going to be up to anti-war critics to remind the American public - unrelentingly in this election year - who "owns" the Iraqi nightmare now.

Categories: Blogs
It's midday where I am, anyway.
  • Man, these Dem politicians can be frustrating. Read Greenwald's post at Crooks and Liars: With very few exceptions, national Democrats in Washington see the blogosphere as composed of uninformed, ranting, dirty masses who need to be kept as far away as possible. While they are willing to take your money, many of the Beltway Democrats see the vibrant activism in the blogosphere as some sort of an embarrassment, while others see it as a threat to their feifdoms.

    Armando has his own take here.

  • What is going on with these conservative men and the obsession with polygamy? Do they really think HBO has that much influence on American life? And what in the hell is polyamory? I'm with Atrios:
    Consider what motivates someone to write "polyamory has much greater potential appeal, and poses a much deeper danger to the American family." I have no idea if "polyamory has much greater potential appeal" or, if it does, why it "poses a much deeper danger to the American family" than does polygamy.

  • Lieberman is sounding eerily like Rove these days. LamontBlog has the goods, with C&L providing the video.

  • According to a UN official at the Hague, Milosevic died from a heart attack. True to form, however, Milosevic is raising hell from beyond the grave. He left letters asserting he was being poisoned by his captors.

  • The Democratic National Committee's Rules and Bylaws Committee has endorsed "adding as many as four state primaries and caucuses to the early presidential nominating season, now dominated by Iowa and New Hampshire." Iowa and New Hamshire would still be the first caucus and primary, respectively. But two states could hold their caucuses after Iowa and before New Hampshire, and two states could hold primaries after New Hampshire and before February 5, the formal start of the primary/caucus season. Conventional wisdom is that this would shift focus to Western states.

  • And speaking of Presidental politics, Daschle is contemplating a run. Huh.

  • Read DCCC Executive Director John Lapp's take on bloggers and the Democratic establishment in this diary from TPaine. Good stuff.

  • The Sopranos begins Season 6 tonight. (Armando)

Categories: Blogs
This weekend's Southern Republican Leadership Conference revealed two things: Adam Nagourney can be a reporter (!), and confirmation that John McCain has no soul. The presumed Republican 2008 presidential hopeful spent his time at the conference assuming the mantle of the heir of Bush by expressing his undying devotion and support to the man who slipped a shiv in his back and twisted it unmercifully six years ago in South Carolina. Nagourney provides the details:

Senator John McCain of Arizona offered a full embrace of a president he has quarreled with over the years--Mr. Bush defeated him for the presidential nomination in an acrid campaign in 2000--as he urged Republicans to rally around Mr. Bush in a difficult time and to focus on the midterm elections ahead....

The session culminated with a straw poll of delegates.... McCain [requested] that his supporters cast write-in votes for President Bush, as a show of support for the president....

The extent of McCain's embrace of Mr. Bush was striking.... McCain went so far as to condemn the collapse of the port deal, saying that Congress had served Mr. Bush poorly by not permitting a 45-day review of security concerns, though he did not mention that the deal was sunk by fellow Republicans.

"The president deserved better," Mr. McCain said. [Emphasis mine]

The President deserved better? Excuse me, Senator, the American people deserve better. It is, after all, our national security you're talking about here. And that goes for the domestic front as well, where McCain is also doing his best to prove himself "Bushier than thou," as you'll see on the flip.

Categories: Blogs
In response to Senator Feingold's announcement that he will seek to censure President Bush, Senator Frist launched into a bumbling speech about 9/11, terrorism, Iran, and quashing dissent:

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you're against it. Are you going to allow it to come up for a vote?

FRIST: Well, George, this is the first I've heard about it. I really am surprised about it because Russ is just wrong. He is flat wrong. He is dead wrong. And as I was listening to it, I was hoping deep inside that that the leadership in Iran and other people who have the U.S. not in their best interest are not listening because of the terrible signal it sends.

What a terrible signal it sends to those who seek to destroy our freedoms when Congress exercises its right to censure to the President. How dare we remind the terrorists that we're a democratic society, with rules and accountability.  What a terrible signal, indeed. Let's move on.

More below...

Categories: Blogs

March 10, 2006


Whoever wrote that headline should get fired. No Democrat is being indicted. Republicans have a current monopoly in that department.

And will CNN give Dean that much play when he gives a speech about real indictments?

As for the substance of Mehlman's charges, okay, fine. Dems can't "find a slogan" (this is news?). But Republicans can't govern.

After some carefull weighing, I think I like our side's problems better.

(Via Josh Marshall. Screenshot from this page, which will likely get changed soon as they swap out news stories.)

Categories: Blogs
From Cook's March 11th subscription-only column, reprinted with permission:

The Cook Report - This Time, Dean's Right
Charlie Cook

No one would mistake me for the president of the Howard Dean fan club. I can't even count the number of times that the chairman of the Democratic National Committee has said things that I considered a bit over the top and that I thought contributed to the caricature that the Democratic Party has become in the minds of many Americans. In his most recent dustup, though, Dean is absolutely right.

Last Sunday, Dan Balz and Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post reported that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada met with their party chairman and "complained about Dean's priorities -- funding organizers for state parties in strongly Republican states, such as Mississippi, rather than targeting states with crucial races this fall."

While Pelosi and Reid are right that control of the Senate will be decided by races in just eight or nine states and that, likewise, a small fraction of House districts will truly be in play, they ignored one set of facts. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee exists solely to win House races. On the Senate side, there's the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. For the party's governors, there is the Democratic Governors' Association. The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee was created to boost candidates for state legislatures. And the GOP, of course, has comparable committees for all of its candidates.

The primary responsibility of the DNC is not to win House, Senate, gubernatorial, or state legislative races, but to build and sustain a national party and to oversee the presidential conventions and nomination process. The same is true of the Republican National Committee. No other entities within the two major parties are charged with those missions.

In January, while giving a speech at Mississippi State University, I happened to meet a DNC staffer, a former executive director of the Oklahoma Democratic Party, who was assigned full-time to party-building in Mississippi. In the 33 years that I have been involved in politics, I have never heard of the national Democratic Party assigning a full-time staff member to organizational efforts in Mississippi.

Although organizing in Mississippi might not seem important to Pelosi and Reid -- after all, the state won't have competitive House or Senate races this year -- at some point, conservative Democratic Rep. Gene Taylor will retire, and then the House Democratic leadership may see the wisdom of their party already having a presence in southern Mississippi. When Republican Sens. Thad Cochran and Trent Lott retire, the Senate Democratic leadership just might have a similar revelation. Keep in mind that if Lott had opted to retire at the end of this year, as many had expected, Democrats would have had a pretty fair shot at winning that seat by running former state Attorney General Mike Moore.

The Democratic congressional leaders' shortsighted, penny-wise/pound-foolish complaints show why their party has become bicoastal. Congressional Democrats have trouble winning in many interior states, in part because leaders like Reid and Pelosi have failed to appreciate the importance of maintaining a strong national party apparatus. The Democrats' inability to consistently win elections in places where gun shops outnumber Starbucks is a big reason the party controls neither the House nor the Senate.

Right now, one of the biggest obstacles to Democrats' taking the House back is their failure to recruit strong candidates in many Republican-held districts that ought to be in play. Party building means lining up a solid team -- organizing and winning lower-level offices that give the party a talented bench from which to draw for higher contests.

Dean's view -- that Pelosi, Reid, and their party committees have their jobs and he has his -- is the one that he ought to stick to. He should also resist pressure from interest groups, such as the Congressional Black Caucus, whose members raise very little money for the DCCC even though a Democratic takeover of the House would elevate many black lawmakers to chairmanships.

Howard, stick to your guns.

Categories: Blogs
Tens of thousands of Americans are in the streets today in Chicago to rally against H.R. 4437.  They are marching from Chicago's Union Park to the Federal Plaza, where Senator Dick Durbin and Congressman Luis Gutierrez, and Governor Blagojevich will speak.  Estimated head counts for the rally range from 40,000 to 100,000.

H.R. 4437, "The Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005," is a Sensenbrenner bill that creats a new federal crime of "unlawful presence" which would apply to undocumented immigrants. It's also sponsored by Peter King of New York.  The bill's scope is so broad, even technical or minor violations in immigration status would be a federal crime.  Additionally, the bill expands the definition "alien smuggling" to include any organization or person that knows an individual is in the United States unlawfully. This would include churches, non-profits, and other organizations that help undocumented individuals to get the care and services they need.  Giving aid or providing health care to an illegal immigrant would be a felony.  For more on the Sensenbrenner bill, click here.  It's clear that this bill has the potential to destroy families across the nation.

It is against that fate that tens of thousands of people took to the streets today in Chicago.  Latino, Irish, and Polish immigrants joined with thousands of other Chicagoans to voice their outrage.  I have yet to see major coverage of this massive protest in the national media, but the local media is covering the situation.  As the cameras sweep over the mass of humanity flooding the streets, I see American flags waved by faces pleading for a chance at the American dream.  I see signs, so many signs, reading "I AM NOT A CRIMINAL".  I see children marching alongside their parents, holding their mommy's hand tightly as if they know that she can be taken away from them at any moment.  I see old immigrants who have sweat and bled on American soil for decades, now branded "criminals" by Sensenbrenner's bill.  I see priests and other religious leaders marching, declaring that they're willing to go to jail to help another human in need.

For an aerial video of the tens of thousands of protesters at Union Park, click here.  More videos of the protest can be seen here and here.  

Categories: Blogs
  • Check out the cool animation on Mark Warner's website. Expect other campaigns to start doing similar stuff. The next one or two campaigns that do it should be okay. After that, it'll get really annoying, really fast.

  • Gale Norton is resigning. Is it because of this? (Hint: Jack Abramoff)

  • People still read Slate? Why?

  • Things that make me want to pull my hair out for a thousand dollars, Alex. Pelosi pulled Slaughter's corruption report from her site because the GOP threw a hissy fit.

  • Ahh, the wingers are infesting the CTG page on Amazon, trying to push Tacitus/Trevino's review up higher. Funny how Amazon has become a new partisan battleground.

  • Street Prophets targets Specter today as part of the Roots Project.

  • Another racist Republican, State Rep. Jim Welker of Colorado. He sent out a racist email to the entire House caucus. In his defense, he trotted out the "some of my best friends are black" line and pointed to a black Republican in the Colorado state senate. That black Republican responded with "he's not one of my best friends". Welker has previously said that gay marriage would lead to animal marriage.

  • DemFromCT looks at Bush's recent stumbles and how they've led to his dismal poll numbers.

  • Ned Lamont will be on Air America at 5:30 ET to make some sort of announcement (hmmm, I wonder what that might be?). It'll be on Randi's show, with substitute host Sam Seder. Of course, your local time for the announcement may vary depending on your AAR affiliate's scheduling.

Categories: Blogs
In an effort to deflect attention away from one of the most unpopular Presidents in American history, GOP attack puppy Ken Melhman today will claim that the Democrats lack an agenda and a slogan. Melhman's speech will also cite "a list of achievements in the war on terror." It is expected to be a very, very short speech.

It's no surprise that the Republican party is obsessed with slogans.  There's no doubt that the GOP is great at churning out catch-phrase and soundbites. For example, here are some Republican slogans:

  • "The world changed on September the 11th."
  • "We fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here."
  • "Freedom is on the march."
  • "Up or down vote, up or down vote, up or down vote (deep breath...) up or down vote, up or down vote, up or down vote."

I'll be the first to admit, the GOP is one lean, mean, marketing machine.  But like the soft drink OK Soda that had spiffy packaging but tasted like liquified crap, beneath the marketing, the GOP is a party devoid of any substance.  Besides stripping every American citizen of her rights, can anyone recite the Republican agenda? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

More below...

Categories: Blogs

It's pretty much a given that Ben Chandler probably wouldn't have won without support from bloggers. It's also the case that Stephanie Herseth got a tremendous boost from bloggers, though I won't say I can claim that blogger support was necessary. Neither of those members of Congress are my favorites, but the fact that they were supported despite being rather right wing undercuts the usual media narrative that lefty bloggers only support candidates that are crrrraazy lefties who are otherwise unelectable. Herseth and Chandler won against Republicans in conservative districts [...]

There are lots of reasons to support underdogs, and for better or for worse most of the candidates directly support by Kos and me in the last election cycle were not especially ideologically liberal. They were generally underdogs running against incumbents (most people running against incumbents are underdogs), and in many cases the small amount of funds provided to them helped force their opponents to spend huge amounts of money in return, diverting money from other places.

If my goal in life was to support people who were "winners" I'd be writing checks to Joe Biden, Hilllary Clinton, and Ted Kennedy. All 3 of those candidates will win their next election. All 3 of those candidates have far more money than they need to win their next election. All 3 of those candidates still have no problem getting people to line up to give them even more money for their campaigns. If there's wasted money in campaigns that's where it is [...]

It's odd that people who throw $50 at Ciro Rodriguez get mocked while people who throw down $2000 to the Clinton campaign aren't. This is not a slap against Clinton, it's just that the "big money" in campaigns is accepted as the way things are done while the little money is scorned.

The netroots could have a perfect record if we rallied behind incumbents. But that's not how you win when in the minority. You rally around the underdogs, spread the playing field, force them to play defense where they least expect it, and after chipping away, we'll have breakthroughs.

So let people laugh. Fact is, not a single Republican or Democrat wants to face a netroots-backed candidate. Lieberman isn't laughing at how ineffective the netroots is. He's scrambling to beat back the challenge of Ned Lamont, a no-name, obscure businessman with no little political experience.

Categories: Blogs
Dumb AND stupid.

Yesterday, Senate candidate Amy Klobuchar was again advertising on the extremist blog Daily Kos. The ad on Daily Kos lead directly to her campaign website where visitors were then asked to sign-up. Today, that ad has mysteriously disappeared.

Yup, the mystery of a one-week ad buy expiring.

Man, they've really got to stretch to figure out reasons to attack Democrats, and they're obviously, desperately, hoping they can get traction out of demonizing this joint. And blah blah blah "hate filled" blah blah blah "extremists" blah blah blah "liberal fringe" blah blah blah.

You want to talk extremist? How about the NRSC's subtly racist Fancy Ford site where they portray Harold Ford as a pimp? Steve Gilliard, Jesse Berney, and Matt Stoller have more.

More extremism? How about a president that is support by only 37 percent of the American public (in yet another poll -- this one the AP/Ipsos poll). (Sounds pretty fringe to me.)

Want "out of the mainstream"? How about that Ipsos poll showing that only 31 percent of Americans approve of the job the Republican Congress is doing?

Or what about the 70 percent who don't approve of George Bush's, Bill Frist's, and Joe Lieberman's plans to let the anti-Israeli and terrorist supporting UAE take over management of a slew of U.S. ports?

Or how about the tiny number of Americans who support a South Dakota-style anti-abortion law? Republicans again on the side of extremism.

It must really burn the GOP that on issues of homeland security, social security, choice, the Iraq War, fiscal responsibility, and every single domestic issue, this site is smack dab in the mainstream.

And no amount of lame and sensationalistic rhetoric can change that fact.


Update: Mike S in the comments asks:

What else do they have to run on?

Culture of corruption? GOP.
National Security? UAE.
Cover up Congress? GOP.
Rubber stamp Congress? GOP.
Iraq? heh.
Social Security? heh.
Lobby reform? heh.
Terry Schiavo? heh.

Categories: Blogs
Bush: Dubai ports storm hurts war on terror

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - President Bush said Friday he was troubled by the political storm that forced the reversal of a deal allowing a company in the United Arab Emirates to take over take over operations of six American ports, saying it sent a bad message to U.S. allies in the Middle East.

Bush said the United States needs moderate allies in the Arab world, like the United Arab Emirates, to win the global war on terrorism.

Yet from ABC we learn:

White House Asked Dubai Ports to Pull Out

March 10, 2006 -- - The White House asked Dubai Ports World, a company owned by the United Arab Emirates, to give up its management stake in U.S. ports, to save President Bush from the politically difficult position of vetoing a key piece of legislation to protect America's ports, ABC News has learned.

Color me officially confused. By their own misguided logic then, doesn't that mean Bush just made the call to expose us to more risk in the war on terror? I thought he was the "stay the course" guy, determined to protect as at any political cost, no matter what the polls say.

Wait ... hold it. It wasn't Bush after all, CBS tells us:

CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante reports the announcement came about after the company's consultations with White House political strategist Karl Rove.

I'm so relieved that we've finally openly acknowledged that the national security apparatus is being run in this country by an unelected political strategist who faces indictment on possible espionage charges.

Aren't you?

Categories: Blogs
Or maybe another blame shifting exercise? Possibly both. We already know it's the media's fault that the Iraq war hasn't gone so well. That effort by Rummy to shift the blame hasn't gone over particularly well, so now they're going back to an old target, the Iraqis themselves. Here's the set-up.

"The plan is to prevent a civil war, and to the extent one were to occur, to have the . . . Iraqi security forces deal with it to the extent they're able to," Rumsfeld told the Senate Appropriations Committee when pressed to explain how the United States intended to respond should Iraq descend wholesale into internecine strife.

It will just be their problem! Brilliant! Not everybody at the Senate hearing where Rumsfeld floated the idea was buying it, however.

Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) repeatedly asked Rumsfeld whether 2006 will be a year of transition to Iraqi security forces, allowing the withdrawal of significant numbers of U.S. troops by the end of the year. Rumsfeld declined to discuss troop levels, saying it would be "ill-advised for me to make a prediction," but he said that Iraqi security forces are "doing a good job" and that Iraqi leaders are taking responsibility for conflict in the country.

"Proof positive the Iraqi security forces are as good as you say is when American troops can come home," Durbin responded. "That's proof positive. Every year we hear about growing numbers and growing capabilities, and yet . . . our best and bravest are still there in danger today."

Meanwhile, in this non-civil war, at least 17 people died today in the ongoing violence.

Categories: Blogs


If you have plans Sunday---like eating, sleeping, working, watching TV, shopping, raising children, going to church or just chewin' yer cud---you'll want to change them.  We got ourselves some celebratin' to do.  As of March 12, we've spent...

Four years under the color-coded Terror Alert System


I hope I didn't spring that on you too quickly.  Need a warm compress for your forehead?

As regular readers of C&J know, every Friday I update the color-coded terror alert status in my "By the Numbers" section.  But the only thing I ever change is the number of days the system has been in place (1,459 as of today).  I never have to change the color itself.

It's always yellow.  Sunshine yellow.  Blinding sundress yellow.  Canary yellow.  Yellow Elephant yellow.  Or as I like to call it...pee-your-pants yellow.

Did you know that there are colors besides yellow?  It's true.  There's "Blue," which is GUARDED (general risk of terror attacks).  And there's "Green," which is LOW (low risk of terror attacks).  But right now we're at "Yellow," which is ELEVATED (significant risk of terror attacks).  And, except for a brief moment when we stuck our collective toe into "Orange," which is HIGH (high risk of terrorist attacks with a 30% chance of showers), we've been at yellow every day since the system was put in place.

Now, if we were at terror alert level "Red," which is SEVERE risk, oh my goodness we'd be in a whompin' world of trouble.  Why, the Department of Homeland Security suggests you'd have to "Stay tuned to TV or radio for current information," "Expect traffic delays," and "Contact your school/business to determine [the] status of [your] work day."  That's right, folks---it's a good idea to call ahead first to find out if your co-workers' faces are turning into a green goo at the office.  It'll help you avoid those awkward moments at the water cooler.

But yellow's the color for me.  I like it.  It fits and accessorizes well.  And all I have to do to be a good American citizen at level Yellow is "Continue to be alert for suspicious activity and report it to authorities."  Believe me, there's nothing like the feeling of patriotism that washes over you after calling the police at 3am and watching your 80 year-old neighbor lady get extraordinarily-renditioned to Syria for baking suspicious-looking pies.

So today I lift my rum and Coke to the geniuses at the Department of Homeland Security.  And instead of a wimpy green lime, I'll garnish it with a plump, juicy yellow lemon straight from the private dungeon of Alberto Gonzales.

God Bless America.  Cheers and Jeers starts in There's Moreville... [Swoosh!!]  RIGHTNOW!  [Gong!!]

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