Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Payola Pundit

Guess who's ass is still in a fairly serious crack?

That's right! It's Armstrong Williams, who collected almost a quarter of a million dollars from the Bushevik Departmentof Education to pimp for the "No Child Left Behind" in his columns and other media appearances. This paragon of conservative virtues--even an occasional stand-in host for Rush Limbaugh when the latter is disporting his cialis-enhanced self with poor Dominican youths--has been under investigation by the Inspector General of the Ed. Dept. since his contract was reported (by USA Today) in 2005.

As Diane Farseta suggested at the other day:

There are many reasons why federal investigations might take some time to conclude. Perhaps the issues are complex. Maybe the parties under investigation are less than forthcoming. The investigating agency may lack the resources needed to resolve the matter in a timely fashion.
On the other hand, a stalled investigation may be part of a
crisis management strategy. When an embarrassing ethical or legal transgression surfaces, launching an investigation sends the message that the matter is being taken seriously. Thanks to a rapid news cycle and a lack of follow-up reporting, public attention shifts elsewhere as the investigation continues. Closing the investigation can be seen as counter-productive, as it once again calls attention to the problem and creates the expectation that the findings will be acted upon.
John Dingell (D-Mich.) may well have been pondering such matters on March 14, when he pointedly asked Federal Communications Commission Chair Kevin Martin about the status of the agency's ongoing Armstrong Williams investigation. The questioning occurred during an FCC oversight hearing, held by a subcommittee of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce...

Dingell: Would you, Mr. Chairman, give us a full report, in writing, as to the status of the investigation of the Federal Communications Commission on this matter? And, I would like, in that matter, to have you inform us what further information you need, what your judgments might be with regard to Mr. Armstrong Williams' settlement with the Department of Education, and how close the FCC is to concluding four major payola investigations in the music industry. Seems like not just the music industry, but very frankly the government engages in a little payola. And we would like to also have a statement as to whether you have adequate resources to address this, and, again, we would like this report in the next 30 days, if you please.

If You've Got A Boss, You Need A Union

Possibly lost amid the furor over the accusations of mis- and malfeasance in the dismissal of the Elite Eight US Attorneys and allegations that AG Alberto ("Abu") Gonzalez might have lied to Congress, today is the day on which Sen. Ted Kennedy (D.MA) is supposed to introduce the Employee Free Choice Act, the single most important legislation in 70 years to ensure we have the freedom to bargain for better wages, benefits and working conditions. The Kennedy bill is similar to the one that was passed overwhelmingly by the U.S. House a few weeks ago.

Earlier this week, several experts appeared before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions to tell senators why the Employee Free Choice Act is so crucial. Watch video highlights from the hearing here.

Cynthia Estlund, a law professor at the New York University School of Law, points out that the bill would fix current labor law’s “wholly inadequate response to employers’ fiercely aggressive and often illegal response to union organizing drives.”
Lawrence Mishel of the Economic Policy Institute testified on the larger benefits for workers:
By reducing the opportunity for employers to intimidate and discourage workers from unionizing after they have reached a collective decision to do so, the Employee Free Choice Act can help restore and spread the benefits that unions bring to workers and the economy.
It's not just the experts who understand the importance of this bill. The stories of workers like Ivo Camilo and Bill Lawhorn show that some businesses will continue to intimidate workers who want to form unions unless the Employee Free Choice Act becomes law.

Let your senators know you support the Employee Free Choice Act. Click below to take action:

The Employee Free Choice Act will restore a level playing field for workers and employers. It will strengthen penalties against companies that block workers' freedom to choose for ourselves whether to form unions and bargain. It will bring in mediation and arbitration when employees and employers cannot reach a first contract. And it will allow working people to form unions when a majority signs authorization cards--without the conflict, disruption and intimidation employers routinely inflict on us now.

Already, right-wing front groups are trying to mislead the American public about the legislation with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of television ads. But with your help, the Senate can continue the work the House began. Tell your senators you support the Employee Free Choice Act. Click here.

(I copied the foregoing from an e-mail I received today from the Working Families Network of the AFL/CIO.)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Investigate! Bush'll Just Veto Any Legislation Anyway

The latest USA Today poll asked citizens about the appropriate response to the Busheviks' shenanigans surrounding the firing of the US Attorneys [see questions 14-16].

Seventy-two percent of the public believes Congress should investigate the involvement of White House officials.

When asked how the Bush Administration should respond to a Congressional probe, 68 percent of respondents want top officials to "answer all questions."

The same number believe White House aides should testify under oath.

Congress should make life miserable for the miserable, slimy, criminal, lying malefactors in the regime, and forget trying to pass any legislative initiatives, which the Simian-In-Chief will only veto, anyway.

Accountability, NOW, mo-fos...

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Brotha Cornell West Holds Forth On "The Future of the Left in the USofA"'

"If you are concerned about structural violence, if you're concerned about exploitation at the workplace, if you're concerned about institutionalized contempt against gay brothers and lesbian sisters, if you're concerned about organized hatred against peoples of color, if you're concerned about a subordination of women, that's not cheap PC chitchat; that is a calling that you're willing to fight against and try to understand the sources of that social misery at the structural and institutional level and at the existential and the personal level. That's what it means, in part, to be a leftist. "
Professor, culture critic, and social justice advocate Cornel West addressed a panel at the 2007 Left Forum in New York last weekend. West is a professor of religion and African-American studies at Princeton University and has been described as one of America's most vital and eloquent public intellectuals. He has written and co-authored numerous books on philosophy, race and sociology. His most recent book is "Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight Against Imperialism."
Video, HERE. Full transcript HERE.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Easy Credit: The ONLY Thing Keeping The Lower & Middle Classes From Taking Up Pitchforks & Torches And Eating The Rich

When the sub-prime mortgage market tanks, things could get dicey.

It all started a few weeks ago with HSBC (HBC) warning of higher
delinquencies in their mortgage business and was quickly followed by New Century (
NEW) announcing that they would not make a profit for the foreseeable future. All that now seems so far away. Making a profit is the least of New Century's worries as higher delinquencies and controversial lending has prompted an investigation into its business, not to mention that the company's almost $3 billion market cap has been wiped out.
Last week, Countrywide (
CFC) stopped offering 100% financing. H&R Block's (HRB) Option One and some others followed suit. If this tightening flows through to other areas of the finance spectrum, like auto makers and credit cards, it could spell the end of the fierce consumer spending seen in the US these last few years. However, what are the chances that credit cards will start tightening their lending guidelines too?
If the above does indeed happen, it will affect equity markets in a big way. We are a nation that operates on credit a little too freely and putting additional boundaries on credit cards for sub-prime audiences would result in a huge slowdown in the economy. Retailers would be impacted the worst in this

Thursday, March 22, 2007

"Please, Impeach Me, Let Me Go..."

A top video on YouTube, by my ol' "buddy" from Santa Fe/LasVegas, Jim Terr.
The link's in the headline.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Little Political PrOn: BOHICA!

From YouTube: Role-playing...

It's been around a while, but it's still funny...

Probably not safe for work (audio).

Monday, March 19, 2007

Maltreatment of Female Vets Is Pandemic

Sexual abuse, unwanted fraternization, verbal and disciplinary excesses are par for the course for female veterans in and out of the US military.

The Women's War
By Sara Corbett
The New York Times Magazine
Sunday 18 March 2007

...Many of the women I spoke with said they felt the burden of having to represent their sex - to defy stereotypes about women somehow being too weak for military duty in a war zone by displaying more resiliency and showing less emotion than they otherwise might. There appears to have been little, too, in the way of female bonding in the war zone: most reported that they avoided friendships with other women during the deployment, in part because of the fact that there were fewer women to choose from and in part because of the ridicule that came with having a close friend.

"You're one of three things in the military - a bitch, a whore or a dyke," says Abbie Pickett, who is 24 and a combat-support specialist with the Wisconsin Army National Guard. "As a female, you get classified pretty quickly."

Many women mentioned being the subject of crass jokes told by male soldiers. Some said that they used sarcasm to deflect the attention but that privately the ridicule wore them down. Others described warding off sexual advances again and again.

"They basically assume that because you're a girl in the Army, you're obligated to have sex with them," Suzanne Swift told me at one point.

There were women, it should be noted, who spoke of feeling at ease among the men in their platoons, who said their male peers treated them respectfully. Anecdotally, this seemed most common among reserve and medical units, where the sex ratios tended to be more even. Several women credited their commanders for establishing and enforcing a more egalitarian climate, where sexual remarks were not tolerated.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Abu Gonzales, May His Sperm Decrease

The following masterful bit of snark appeared over at the Eschaton CrackHouse just a little while ago.

Abu Gonzalez (may his tripe decrease!) /
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peeance,/
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,/
Making him bitchy, and like a coulter on a broom,/
A Leahy writing in a book of doom:-

Exceeding hubris had made Gonzalez bold,/
And to the Leahy in the room he said,/
'What writest thou?' The Leahy raised its head/
And with a look made of all sweet accord,/
Answered 'The names of those who love the Law.'
'And is mine one?' said Abu. 'Nay, not so,'/
Replied the Leahy. Abu spoke more low,/
But cheerly still; and said,'I pray thee, then,/
Write me as one that loves his Preznit instead.'

The Leahy wrote, and vanished. The next night/
It came again with a great wakening light,/
And showed the names whom love of Law had blest,/
And lo! Abu Gonzalez’s name was not on the list.

This small work of genius was the work of one who posts on Eschaton as (the brave and indomitable) "Shaw Kenawe," may her strength increase.

"Fermenting Revolution": Drink Beer and Save the World!!!

Hemp Beer Is the AnswerWait, what was the question?

Oh, yeah: What do paper, building products, Mercedes Benz car interiors, pancakes, shampoo, shoes, shower curtains, biodegradable plastic, fuel oil, animal bedding, rope, currency, and burgers all have in common? They can all be made from hemp.

Oh yeah, and beer too.

Hemp is one of the most useful and eco-friendly industrial crops grown. Thousands of products are made from it and it grows well without herbicides, fungicides, or pesticides.

Industrial hemp is the male cannabis sativa plant, bred specifically for its long, strong fibers, rather than for THC content, which is the stuff in the buds of the female plant that gets people high.

Hemp fiber is longer, stronger, more absorbent, more durable, and insulates better than cotton fiber. The bark of the hemp stalk contains what is called bast fibers which are among the Earth's longest natural soft fibers and are also rich in cellulose - the stuff that is used to make paper and thousands of other pulp products.

But American farmers are currently stuck in a legal gray zone that prohibits them from growing this useful, eco-friendly, and financially rewarding crop.

Meanwhile, cotton-growing chemicals continue to be dumped into the environment and farmers of all kinds struggle to make a living.

Furthermore, hemp seed is supremely nutritious. It contains more essential fatty acids than any other known source, is second only to soybeans in complete protein (but is more digestible by humans), is high in B-vitamins, and is 35% dietary fiber – the stuff that helps keep you ‘regular.’

Hemp is not psychoactive and cannot be used as a drug. Hemp seeds contain barely traceable amounts of THC, the drug that provides the high from marijuana. The U.S. hemp industry has voluntarily regulated itself in order to ensure that these levels are below that which is detected by drug tests, so as to avoid causing a false positive. These self-imposed standards ensure that the level of TCH in hemp food products is so low that even if a person smoked a hemp joint the size of a telephone pole, the only affect would be a massive headache. Visit for details.

Monday, March 12, 2007

New Mexico: Still Among The Most Corrupt States EVAH!

I am so proud, today.

New Mexico's GOPuke Party is working diligently to ensure that my State retain its long-time reputation as one of the most corrupt political systems in the country.

Word emerged--through the McClatchy papers--over the weekend that the State GOPuke Party Chair, some floppy-dicked fixer named Allan Weh, had importuned uber-Fascist, ShiteHouse operative Karl Rove to run off the US Atty for New Mexico, David Iglesias, because Iglesias was not willing enough to turn the powers of his office to the persecuting the Democratic Party of New Mexico.

If I should happen to meet Mr. Weh--it is not impossible, since NM is pretty large place with a pretty small population--I shall make absolutely certain to have a handful of phlegm on my palm when we shake hands, since I guess I can't cold-cock the motherfucker, or knee him in the groin without risking assault charges.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Vice Is Nice, But Incest Is Best

Harriet Grant, Scooter's spouse, is highly-placed in the Democratic party hierarchy. She was one of the Democrats who vetted Anita Hill. And apparently she still commands power and influence in the Party.

She is in every way, probably, the very epitomy of probity, a woman of thoroughly modest and moderate, matronly behaviour and demeanor; an admirable and honorable spouse.

Yet there would only be ONE thing that might inhibit me from entrusting to her important, sensitive information about the Democratic party, its workings, plans, and strategies: she is the wife of I.I.("Scooter") Libby.

It's a trifle, really; of no necessary weight or relevance, given Ms. Grant's stirling pedigree and her outstandiong qualities. I dishonor her, I'm sure, by the merest act of harboring a suspicion about any improperieties; and should any have occurred, surely they would n ever have been intentional betrayals of political trust.

Never happen. Never. Really. Of COURSE Not!!!

Why, even intimating that Ms. Grant could have been a "mole" in the Democratic Party--albeit unwittingly, perhaps--diminishes me, doesn't it? It certainly makes me appear paranoid, one of the tin-foil-clad madmen clamoring foolishly about conspiracy and collusion everywhere, as if there were some kind of malign design at work, aimed at ... who knows what, exactly...if i knew, they'd probably have to kill me.

I guess that's a risk one takes. The same way that the corpoRat boardrooms of the Stock Exchange and the biggest, richest, most powerful economic institutions are populated by people drawn from the same economic and social pool and are all incestuously linked through the (daisy) chain of interlocking directorships, so the (only) two political parties are also in an incestuous relation, though this one seems to be consumated in the bedrooms of DC and environs.

The Libbys are but one symptom of this interlocking sexual "congress." The Carville/Matalin thing is another and, if one added together all the cross-party, or even apolitical, unions there among those relatively small number in the 'leadership' culture of the country, analogies with the teevee pot-boiler "Rome" were difficult to miss...or dismiss--the more so the more familiar one is with, say, Graves' "Claudius" books.

It may be, at bottom, this incestuousness--which is seemingly either more common, or less concealed, than hitherto--that gives rise to the not-implausible allegations by Chomsky, Nader, Vidal, and other critics of the more-than-occasional difficulties they report in discerning any actual differences between the two Parties.

The Cat In The Hat Ages, Badly

(Courtesy of my Eschatonian--and probably
my only lifer-marine--Buddy, Barndog)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Myths of Daylight Savings Time

Not surprisingly, it turns out to be mainly a huge marketing gimmick getting sold as environmental sensitivity and energy conservation
From and exchange on the Eschaton CrackHouse today:
DST saves electricity.
Which is why they've extended them this year. Hell, in WWII they did Double DST.NTodd, Young One 5:21 pm #

'>There is considerable dispute about that claim, i gather...

This guy, Michael Downing, author of Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time, is not a fan.

DST increases shopping frequency, business at the dairy queen, the ball park etc...but Murkins don't walk there, or to the park, or to the lake. They drive, thereby increasing gasoline expenditures.

The golf industry told Congress recently that there is a $200 MILLION increase in sales for every additional month of DST...
The barbecue industry, $100MILLION...
The candy industry has always wanted Halloween covered by DST,'s worth more million$$$ in Hershey Kisses and candy corn.

The most enthusiastic champion of DST from the early part of the last century onward was the national Chamber of Commerce.

It's a scam! A HUGE spending gimmick, being sold as an environmental measure.

Ahead of the times, if it came to that.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Impeachable Offenses, If Not Outright Treason

We need, according to Dave Lindorf at Common Dreams dot org, to understand what the Libby trial was really about.

It was about the lies told by the various satraps and functionaries of the Bushevik regime, including the Dim Son himself, to propel the US into war in Iraq. The foremeost of those lies was the report in the Chimp's 2002 SOTU in which he claimed that Saddam Hussein had sought to acquire unrefined uranium in Africa.

You see there was a meeting:
The meeting occurred in December 2001 in Rome, and included Michael Ledeen, an
associate of Defense Department Undersecretary for Policy Douglas Feith and a key figure in the White House's war-propaganda program, Larry Franklin, a top Defense Intelligence Agency Middle East analyst who later pleaded guilty to passing classified information to two employees of the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), convicted Iraqi bank swindler Ahmed Chalabi, then head of the CIA-created Iraqi National Congress, and Harold Rhode of the sinister Defense Department Office of Special Plans, that office set up by the White House and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld under Feith's direction to manufacture "evidence" to justify a war on Iraq. Also at this peculiar meeting were the heads of the Italian Defense Department and of SISMI, the Italian intelligence agency.
According to La Repubblica, it was at that meeting that a plan was hatched to resurrect the forged Niger documents, and to give them credibility by recycling them through British intelligence.
And that is what Bush was referring to when, in his 2003 State of the Union address, he famously frightened a nation by declaring, "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."
Bush lyingly implied that this was new information, when in fact he knew--had to know--that the "evidence" in British hands was the same set of documents he had been offered by Berlusconi almost a year and a half earlier, which had been declared to be bogus.
The story of the Libby investigation, according to Tom Hartmann, is really a distraction to cover-up high crimes in the White House...

Monday, March 5, 2007

The Shape of Stupid

If you are a veteran and against this war, fuck your service -- you are
against tthe USA and freedom. Just like Vietnam, but this time you scum will not
weaken our resolve. Look how traitorism worked out for John Kerry.
Freedom Never Falters Homepage 03.05.07 - 8:35 pm #

Over on the big-guy blogs (e.g., Eschaton), there is a species of poster which appears in order, apparently, to stimulate new impeti toward outrage among the 'regulars.' They are customarily described as trolls/trools.

So it was with the post reproduced as it appeared tonight, except for the italics. No commentary of mine is needed to highlight the authoritarian, bloody-minded vacuity of the utterance as inscribed.