Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Dad's out of surgery and in ICU

We're back at the family house now after being able to see my dad for few minutes. He's groggy and in a lot of pain, but he knew we were there and was saying our names. He knew Mom was there and said her name before she even said a word, just touched his hand. That says a lot for love, doesn't it? He's out of his mind with pain, on a morphine drip and he knows his wife is there just by her touch.

We're not allowed back in the ICU until 10 a.m. tomorrow. He'll stay there until the afternoon, then should be moved to a regular room. The docs figure he'll be able to come home on Monday or Tuesday. We'll know if it spread then, but we're confident it hasn't.

The family house here is wonderful. They have internet and allowed me to log onto their network with my laptop. I was going into withdrawal by not logging on since Monday morning! Yeah, I'm addicted. :)

I'll update everyone tomorrow night after we get back to the room. Thank you for your continued prayers and thoughts. We all appreciate it!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Can't sleep

As usual, I can't sleep, so I thought I'd write a quick update.

We'll be leaving today about 3 p.m. for the hospital with my dad. That's probably a big part of the reason I can't sleep, too nervous and worried about the surgery. I'm all packed, so it's just a matter of taking the stuff out to the car. I have entirely too much junk I lug around, but can't seem to leave any of it out of the bags. Need the camera, C-Pap machine, laptop, pen pal stuff, a few clothes, PSP and my mp3 player.

Not sure how long he'll have to stay there. I'll come home Friday night, so I can be here for the kids' trick-or-treating on Saturday. If Dad has to stay longer into next week, I'll go back Sunday after the Steeler game or early Monday morning. It's a home game, so I'm sure the traffic will be a nightmare that whole day.

I hope to have internet access at the hotel, but won't count on it. I'm so use to checking on-line dozens of times a day, I'll be going into serious withdrawal if I can't do that for a week!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

DeLay booking photo

Lets be honest, would you look like this after being indicted for felonies? This man is incredibly insane. Of course, it doesn't look like your average mug shot. Guess that's the whole point. It looks like a publicity still.

Now I'm waiting for Rove, Libby and Frist to have their moment in front of the booking camera!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

PA-Gov, Sen: latest (R) poll

Just got back from hearing Piccola speak at a Republican banquet. Not impressive at all and from these numbers, it doesn't look like he's even going to get the chance to run.


PA-Gov, Sen: latest (R) poll
Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 10:14:40 AM PDT
Strategic Vision (R). 10/14-16. Likely voters. MoE 3% (9/12-14 results)

Republican gubernatorial primary

Swann (R) 38 (39)
Scranton (R) 31 (30)
Piccola (R) 15 (10)

Gubernatorial general election matchups

Rendell (D) 46 (48)
Swann (R) 41 (43)

Rendell (D) 47 (47)
Scranton (R) 43 (42)

Rendell (D) 48 (50)
Piccola (R) 37 (34)


Santorum (R) 36 (38)
Casey (D) 52 (52)

Do you approve or disapprove of President Bush's overall job performance?

Approve 36 (39)
Disapprove 57 (51)

Strategic Vision is a Republican polling outfit.

My 100th post!

This is a milestone for me, my 100th post! It's a good one. :)


Bush knew about Rove and Plame
by kos
Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 10:35:35 AM PDT
I assume many of you have already read this blockbuster NY Daily News story:

An angry President Bush rebuked chief political guru Karl Rove two years ago for his role in the Valerie Plame affair, sources told the Daily News.
"He made his displeasure known to Karl," a presidential counselor told The News. "He made his life miserable about this."

Bush has nevertheless remained doggedly loyal to Rove, who friends and even political adversaries acknowledge is the architect of the President's rise from baseball owner to leader of the free world.

So Bush knew? He knew when he said this in September 2003?

THE PRESIDENT: Listen, I know of nobody -- I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action.

He knew when he also said this?

"If there's a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is," Bush told reporters at an impromptu news conference during a fund-raising stop in Chicago, Illinois. "If the person has violated law, that person will be taken care of.

"I welcome the investigation. I am absolutely confident the Justice Department will do a good job.

"I want to know the truth," the president continued. "Leaks of classified information are bad things."

He added that he did not know of "anybody in my administration who leaked classified information."

If the NY Daily News story is correct, that's a hell of a lot of lying to the American people. Sure, it's not a lie about a blowjob, rather one about national security and compromising intelligence assets in the battle against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, but still....

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Dealing With Fitzmas

Dealing With Fitzmas
by georgia10
Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 12:46:48 PM PDT
(From the diaries -- kos)

Hey, did you hear how USNews is reporting on rumors that Cheney will be resigning?

And, did ya hear about John Hannah??? No, not that one.

And, hey, did you know RawStory is such a tease? And Judy is a whore?

And, did you know that we're just hours (all right,maybe a couple days) away from FITZMAS???? Doesn't it feel like the hap-happiest time of the year??

And...and...don't 'cha just feel like you're going to exploooooooooooode?


Put down the caffeine: For the next 48 hours, cleanse your body of java, aspartame, splenda, and whatever other shit you've been putting in your system. Your body will be producing more adrenaline during Fitzmas than it did when you were a hormone-crazed teenager, so don't fuel the fire.

"Refresh" is the AntiChrist: Resist the urge to press "refresh" every TWO SECONDS. Checking into Drudge every minute won't make any indictments come any'll just give him hits and make Drudge's head swell even more. Eww. I put "Drudge" and "swell" and "head" in the same sentence. I just grossed myself out.

Gossip Folks: Don't believe anything in the next 24-48 hours. Guess what!! I can report on my blog that Condi will be VP when Dick resigns...and because it's on a blog, it must be true! And my scoop will fly through the internets at twice the speed of sound and I'll be so convincing, Condi herself will hear my scoop and think "Shit. I need new shoes!" and next thing you know New York Daily News will be reporting that Condi was in NY shopping for Jimmy Choo shoes that look "Vice-Presidential" and Teresa Heinz passed her by and called her a "bitch." Get my point?

Turn off the TV: Why submit yourself to the torture of watching The Situation Room and listening to Wolf's "I'm-reading-a-script-but-I'm-trying-to-make-it-sound-live" voice in the hopes that some pundit will throw out something like "Rove will be indicted"? You all KNOW that the talking heads don't know shit, and that their dirty little secret is that they really get their info from the, gasp!, blogs, so why waste your time? So, Kristol says Rove and Libby will be indicted. Um...99% of the pajamajadeen have said the same thing for the last couple months. Give your blood pressure a break and turn off the TV.

Don't listen to Tip #7: Well, do turn off the TV, but turn it on for Scotty's press conferences. Nothing eases the nerves and apprehension of indictments than watching Puffy McMoonface squirm as he fends off a resuccitated press corps. With Scotty spinning so fast, you KNOW there's some serious shit going down.

Don't take off of work tomorrow: Yes, there are some of you who would actually skip work or school to stay home and catch the indictments breaking live. I've confessed to being a Plamegate junkie, but please. Those of you who view CSPAN as political porn need to put things into perspective. The indictments may not break tomorrow...and then what? You spent a whole day, one hand repeatedly refreshing dkos and drudge, the other hand holding a remote and flipping channels between CNN and MSNBC and, gulp, FOX, flipping and flipping and flipping and it'll all be for naught. So treat tomorrow just like any other day, use school and work as a distraction...and, um, did you hear blogging more than once a day can make you go blind?

Visit Freeperville: Watch the tension melt away as you read about how Wilson was the leaker, how Fitzgerald is really a closet Dem fucking Hillary at the Watergate hotel, and how Plame orchestrated all this just to get name recognition for 2008. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you might even throw up in your mouth a little bit. But it'll be a great distraction from the anticipation of Fitzmas.

Lower Your Expectations: Hey, it worked for Laura Bush. Don't expect too much from this. We don't know what was said in that grand jury room; about all we know definitively is that Karl Rove has a "typical" garage. Fantasies of Cheney being indicted and Bush as unindicted coconspirator are just that at this point--fantasies. Trust the Fitz to do what's right based on the evidence, and trust that the result will be as far as he was legally able to go.

Stockpile the Booze: Ok, you've lowered your expectations, but sheesh, don't be downer. No matter what comes down, these next couple of days will be explosive. So chill the Cristal (or the Guinness) and get ready. Also, compile a list of all the emails of your most die-hard GOP friends. Plan on sending them emails after the indictments, perferably after you've depleted your liquor reserves.

Enjoy the moment: Take a DEEP breath, and savor the fact that you're witnessing history being made. The outing of Plame was a vicious act, but nothing will be as sweet as watching justice being served.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The Criminalization of Politics

The Criminalization of Politics

John Aravosis at AMERICAblog, with a must read:

If a senior White House staffer had intentionally outed an American spy during World War II, he'd have been shot.

We're at war, George Bush keeps reminding us. We cannot continue with business as usual. A pre-9/11 mentality is deadly. Putting the lives of our troops at risk is treason.

Then why is the White House and the Republican party engaged in a concerted campaign to make treason acceptable during a time of war? That's exactly what they're doing. On numerous news shows today, Republican surrogates, their talking points ready, issued variations of the following concerning White House chief of staff Karl Rove's outing of a covert CIA agent as part of a political vendetta:

It's the criminalization of politics

Is this 'minor' leak really worth all this?

Political payback is common and should not be criminalized

Mis-speaking or mis-remembering is not a crime

Yes, the Republicans are now making light of an intentional effort to expose an undercover CIA agent, working on weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, no less, while we are at war in the Middle East on that very issue.

The GOP has become the party of treason.

It would be one thing for a senior adviser to the president to put the nation's security at risk during a time of war. That could be explained as an aberration - a quite serious one, no doubt - but a fluke nonetheless. But when the president himself refuses to keep his own word about firing that aberration, and when the entire Republican party rallies around that fluke and tries to minimize what is usually a capital offense during wartime, something is seriously wrong with that party and its leadership.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


This posts reads how I feel, so I wanted to "borrow" it for my Sunday morning post.



The mainstream media has finally acknowledged what has been obvious for quite some time; that the internet web logs, or "blogs", are here to stay. Far from being a passing fad, blogs like the present one existed before the word "blog" was coined to describe them. After nearly 12 years, and a readership that exceeds that of most city newspapers, the suggestion that blogs like this one are a passing fancy is at best wishful thinking.
The mainstream media has long attempted to dismiss blogs as somehow "unprofessional", usually because blogs are not vast centers of commerce. Occasionally there will be a gratuitous hit piece, attempting to portray the internet as a haven for child molesters second only to the clergy. Always there is the implication that blogs should not be taken seriously because the bloggers don't play the game by the same rules as the mainstream media.

With regard to that last one, it is true that the blogs don't play by the same rules as the mainstream media. We have neither governments, owners, nor advertisers imposing rules on us. Media entities with huge overheads can be bought. Reporters will trade their souls for a ride on Air Force One. Private Blogs (as opposed to blogs set up by public relations firms pretending to be private blogs) running on spare change are immune to that sort of thing.

Recently, the media proclaimed "let the battle begin" relative to mainstream media versus the blogs. As has become the norm, the mainstream media is behind the curve. The battle between the mainstream media and the blogs started a long time ago.

The mainstream media's recent focus has been on the blogs' role in the Jeff Gannon story. This is because the mainstream media does NOT want the focus going anywhere else, say, the fact that the mainstream media aided the Presidential lies about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, while the private blogs correctly exposed those lies as soon as they were uttered. In the battle for credibility between the mainstream media and the blogs, the blogs won that round, hands down. History may judge that the watershed moment, when the public trust in the mainstream media dipped below the level of trust of the blogs.

Another "debate" between the mainstream media and the blogs that the mainstream media hopes you will forget relates to the Anthrax Letters sent to various people immediately after 9-11. The mainstream media put the focus on Stephen Hatfill, a "person of interest", and kept that focus there despite a complete lack of any evidence connecting him to the crime. Meanwhile, a small town newspaper, the Hartford Courant, blew the lid off of the cover-up by revealing the name of a man actually caught on the security system entering the area where the particular strain of Anthrax used in the letters was kept, without proper authorization, and AFTER being fired from his job at the lab for a racially motivated attack on an Egyptian co-worker. The mainstream media ignored the story, but it was the blogs that made the name of Dr. Philip Zack, the man caught entering the Anthrax storage area, a household word. And it was the blogs, not the mainstream media, that asked why the FBI remained so totally focused on Hatfill, for whom no evidence existed, while going out of their way not to talk to Zack.

Then there is 9-11 itself. The mainstream media reported the official story that a "raging inferno" caused the collapse of the twin towers. That there had never been a case of a steel framed building collapsing from fire was never mentioned by the mainstream media, again it was up to the blogs to make that fact known. Likewise, when photos surfaced showing people looking out the holes of the towers and waving at the ground, proving that there could not have been any such raging inferno, the mainstream media again ignored the story, while the blogs got the word out.

Admittedly, Fox News did report one important story about 9-11, that of the arrested Israeli spies, but quickly pulled the story because of public pressure from AIPAC. I imagine their was egg on a few faces when AIPAC was named in the latest Israeli spy scandal, but if the mainstream media was pressured into reporting the Pentagon spies by the blogs, they still failed to note what was obvious to all, that the Pentagon office infiltrated by the spy operation was the very same office from which all those now discredited claims about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction flowed. The mainstream media can't (or won't) make the obvious connection between Israeli spies and lies about Iraq. Only the blogs have had the courage.

The mainstream media today beats its brest and wonders what it can do to regain its former credibility. Sadly, there is a great deal of history to overcome. Jeff Gannon is only the most recent fraud to surface. There was the New York Times' Jayson Blair, caught stealing stories or fabricating them outright. ABC has a rather nasty reputation for fakery. 20/20 broadcast a story claiming that lab tests proved that food bought at organic stores contained the same amounts of pesticides as food from major supermarket chains. A follow up investigation revealed that ABC had never even sent the samples to a lab for tests of any kind. John Stossel was forced to apologize on-air. ABC's Primetime Live was caught faking footage that showed bad meat being sold by the Food Lion Supermarket chain. An apology wasn't enough in that case, ABC was sued and lost, paying Food Lion $5.5 million in damages. ABC Producer Rick Kaplan was "punished" with a better job at CNN. Nor is ABC alone in their abuse of the public trust. NBC Dateline defamed a trucking company in a report which manufactured claims of unsafe driving. NBC had to pay a half million in damages. Stephen Glass - A reporter at the New Republic, Stephen wrote several award winning articles which reinforced the liberal's preconceived notions about conservatives and the nation at large. One example involved a story of a conservative conference that degenerated into drug use and group sex. The story passed editorial review and ran without basic fact checking. The story turned out to be a fabrication, along with almost 1/3 of the total work product of Glass's career at New Republic. Patricia Smith resigns her job at the Boston Globe after having to admit she fabricated characters for one of her stories. Later investigation shows that 52 of her articles for the newspaper cannot be verified as factual. Smith had been a finalist for a Pulitzer prize at the time of her disgrace. Mike Barnicle refused to resign his job at the Boston Globe after having been caught plagiarizing, and was fired. It was not the first time he had been investigated for fraud in his articles. Barnicle was suspended without pay for two months, which prompted an accusation of racial bias from the NAACP due to the difference in treatment between the white Barnicle and the black Pat Smith. Both CNN and Tom Brokaw settled out-of-court with Richard Jewell. The Wall Street Journal loses a record libel suit filed by a Texas company, paying $200-million in damages. And on and on and on and on and on...

The mainstream media's attitude is perhaps best typified by the story of Fox News and the Monsanto Growth Hormone. A team of reporters, Steve Wilson & Jane Akre, researched the effects of synthetic bovine growth hormone on cattle and discovered that a great deal of evidence exists that people who consume the meat or dairy products from treated cattle can suffer adverse health effects. Monsanto got wind of the story and together with dairy associations pressured Fox News to shut the story down. Fox News ordered the reporters to change the story, the reporters refused and Fox fired them. The reporters sued and LOST on appeal when the court ruled that since there is no law requiring the media to tell the truth about anything, the mainstream media is within their legal rights to fire reporters who refuse to lie! As a side note, that legal precedent is troubling when one realizes that our national elections are counted by a privately owned company, owned jointly by the TV networks (who are not bound by law to tell the truth) and not subject to either citizen or governmental oversight.

So, when it comes to regaining their credibility, the mainstream media has a huge mountain to climb. It should come as no surprise that the mainstream media, rather than start telling the truth, has decided that it is easier to try to discredit the bloggers. And so we get phony blogs operated by public relations firms and various intelligence agencies that put out total nonsense, such as pods on the 9-11 planes, so that the mainstream media can point to it on cue and say "See, we told you they were loons", as Popular Mechanics is doing in their March issue.

But in the end, such dirty tricks only work if the public doesn't know the tricks are there, and because of the blogs, the tired old cold-war-relic propaganda tricks are now widely known and easily spotted by the public at large. The numbers make it clear. Total viewership of the network news is in decline, while readership of the blogs is exploding. The public has become skeptical and now trusts only themselves to sort out what is true and what is false. That is a very healthy thing.

The battle between the mainstream media and the blogs isn't starting. It's already over. The blogs won.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Bush Teleconference With Soldiers Staged

Does this surprise anyone? He's not capable of any real feeling or emotion or even independent thought, so of course all his photo ops are carefully staged.


Bush Teleconference With Soldiers Staged By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press Writer
18 minutes ago

It was billed as a conversation with U.S. troops, but the questions President Bush asked on a teleconference call Thursday were choreographed to match his goals for the war in Iraq and Saturday's vote on a new Iraqi constitution.

"This is an important time," Allison Barber, deputy assistant defense secretary, said, coaching the soldiers before Bush arrived. "The president is looking forward to having just a conversation with you."

Barber said the president was interested in three topics: the overall security situation in Iraq, security preparations for the weekend vote and efforts to train Iraqi troops.

As she spoke in Washington, a live shot of 10 soldiers from the Army's 42nd Infantry Division and one Iraqi soldier was beamed into the Eisenhower Executive Office Building from Tikrit — the birthplace of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

"I'm going to ask somebody to grab those two water bottles against the wall and move them out of the camera shot for me," Barber said.

A brief rehearsal ensued.

"OK, so let's just walk through this," Barber said. "Captain Kennedy, you answer the first question and you hand the mike to whom?"

"Captain Smith," Kennedy said.

"Captain. Smith? You take the mike and you hand it to whom?" she asked.

"Captain Kennedy," the soldier replied.

And so it went.

"If the question comes up about partnering — how often do we train with the Iraqi military — who does he go to?" Barber asked.

"That's going to go to Captain Pratt," one of the soldiers said.

"And then if we're going to talk a little bit about the folks in Tikrit — the hometown — and how they're handling the political process, who are we going to give that to?" she asked.

Before he took questions, Bush thanked the soldiers for serving and reassured them that the U.S. would not pull out of Iraq until the mission was complete.

"So long as I'm the president, we're never going to back down, we're never going to give in, we'll never accept anything less than total victory," Bush said.

The president told them twice that the American people were behind them.

"You've got tremendous support here at home," Bush said.

Less than 40 percent in an AP-Ipsos poll taken in October said they approved of the way Bush was handling Iraq. Just over half of the public now say the Iraq war was a mistake.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Thursday's event was coordinated with the Defense Department but that the troops were expressing their own thoughts. With satellite feeds, coordination often is needed to overcome technological challenges, such as delays, he said.

"I think all they were doing was talking to the troops and letting them know what to expect," he said, adding that the president wanted to talk with troops on the ground who have firsthand knowledge about the situation.

The soldiers all gave Bush an upbeat view of the situation.

The president also got praise from the Iraqi soldier who was part of the chat.

"Thank you very much for everything," he gushed. "I like you."

On preparations for the vote, 1st Lt. Gregg Murphy of Tennessee said: "Sir, we are prepared to do whatever it takes to make this thing a success. ... Back in January, when we were preparing for that election, we had to lead the way. We set up the coordination, we made the plan. We're really happy to see, during the preparation for this one, sir, they're doing everything."

On the training of Iraqi security forces, Master Sgt. Corine Lombardo from Scotia, N.Y., said to Bush: "I can tell you over the past 10 months, we've seen a tremendous increase in the capabilities and the confidences of our Iraqi security force partners. ... Over the next month, we anticipate seeing at least one-third of those Iraqi forces conducting independent operations."

Lombardo told the president that she was in New York City on Nov. 11, 2001, when Bush attended an event recognizing soldiers for their recovery and rescue efforts at Ground Zero. She said the troops began the fight against terrorism in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and were proud to continue it in Iraq.

"I thought you looked familiar," Bush said, and then joked: "I probably look familiar to you, too."

Paul Rieckhoff, director of the New York-based Operation Truth, an advocacy group for U.S. veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, denounced the event as a "carefully scripted publicity stunt." Five of the 10 U.S. troops involved were officers, he said.

"If he wants the real opinions of the troops, he can't do it in a nationally televised teleconference," Rieckhoff said. "He needs to be talking to the boots on the ground and that's not a bunch of captains."

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

He should be the next James Bond!

Read a story on Yahoo that actors were being considered for the role of James Bond. I vote for the ever yummy Julian McMahon!

The betters around the world have fixed on a BLONDE Daniel Craig. Say it ain't so!

It's time for all fans to unite and let Julian get the role.

Shield Law Sponsor: Bloggers 'Probably Not' Considered Journos

This will really hurt in the long run if we can be prosecuted. Thoughts?


Shield Law Sponsor: Bloggers 'Probably Not' Considered Journos

By Mark Fitzgerald

Published: October 10, 2005 4:17 PM ET

INDIANAPOLIS Bloggers would "probably not" be considered journalists under the proposed federal shield law, the bill's co-sponsor, U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar (R.-Ind.), told the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) Monday afternoon.

Lugar emphasized, however, that debate is not yet closed on how to define a journalist under the proposed law.

"As to who is a reporter, this will be a subject of debate as this bill goes farther along," he said in response to a question from Washington Post Deputy Managing Editor Milton Coleman. "Are bloggers journalists or some of the commercial businesses that you here would probably not consider real journalists? Probably not, but how do you determine who will be included in this bill?"

According to the first draft of the Free Flow of Information Act of 2005, the "covered person" protected by the bill's terms includes "any entity that disseminates information by print, broadcast, cable, satellite, mechanical, photographic, electronic, or other means and that publishes a newspaper, book, magazine, or other periodical in print or electronic form; operates a radio or television station (or network of such stations), cable system, or satellite carrier, or channel or programming service for any such station, network, system, or carrier; or operates a news agency or wire service." The legislation also covers employees, contractors or other persons who "gathers, edits, photographs, records, prepares, or disseminates news or information for any such entity."

A key reason some journalists oppose the popular federal shield proposal is fear that giving Congress the power to define who is and isn't a journalist could lead effectively to the licensing of journalists.

In other remarks about the legislation at IAPA's 61st General Assembly, Lugar acknowledged that the legislation could amount to a "privilege" for reporters over other Americans.

"I think, very frankly, you can make a case that this is a special boon for reporters, and certainly for their role in freedom of the press," he said. "At the end of the day what we will come out with says there is something privileged about being a reporter, and being able to report on something without being thrown into jail."

Lugar said he was inspired to write the legislation by the jailing of New York Times reporter Judith Miller. "I've known Judy Miller for many years," he said, adding that they became close when she was reporting on his efforts to dismantle the former Soviet Union's nuclear arsenal.

The bill is necessary to help the United States regain its status as an "exemplar" of press freedom, Lugar told the IAPA. "Even as we are advocating for free press (abroad)... we'd better clean up our own act," Lugar said.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Naughty Minister Story

So much for my day to rest and relax.

Just got done interviewing a woman who claims a minister who was counseling her started an affair with her and now the church is trying to cover it up. Real juicy stuff here. The minister won't take my calls. No real surprise there, but it does look bad that he's ducking me. The woman and her brother organized a protest about it. Now the church officials are threatening the brother that they will take away his minister's credentials for talking to me about this. I worked hard on the article, hopefully, it'll be good enough to go over the wire and other papers will pick up the story.

Don't ya just love organized religion? This "man of God" has destroyed a woman's life and faith. He's married and his wife is sticking by him and the church is covering for him.

There should be a lot of fall out from this story when it hits the paper in the morning. I'll have yet another church wanting to burn me at the stake. Ah well, if they don't do anything wrong, there's no need for me to write these stories. I always get the assignments to expose this sort of thing. Guess there's just something about me that says "I'll take on anyone."

OK, so I guess I enjoy exposing the dark underbelly of religion. Can't help myself. I use to work as a church secretary and the minister was the worst creature ever. Totally in love with money and refused to take responsiblity for anything he did wrong. Always blamed it on someone else, generally me. Turned me off church completely. Now I go only for special occassions. My daughter is starting confirmation this month. It's at a different church and she loves going, so I have no problem with it. I allow her to make up her own mind. Same with my son. He doesn't like church and I won't force him to go.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Why is Bush's jaw suddenly spasming, and/or teeth grinding uncontrollably?

Why is Bush's jaw suddenly spasming, and/or teeth grinding uncontrollably?
by John in DC - 10/06/2005 04:43:00 PM

A source in the media, who has the opportunity to see the president in person regularly, has pointed out to me that Bush appears to be uncontrollably grinding his teeth, or having a jaw spasm, when he speaks.

Reader Eric sent me a link to a video on the Huffington Post (the video is here, their post on an unrelated topic is here) that clearly shows this problem at the end of Bush's sentences, his lower jaw twitches or grinds. Eric and his friends noticed it too.

I'm told by folks who know that this is something that happens when people do too much cocaine. I've also heard that alcohol abuse can do the same.

Any experts out there want to weigh in? The man is our commander in chief during war time, we have the right to know that he's well.

By the way, I did some research on the other effects of cocaine use:

* Central nervous system and psychiatric effects: Users who have pleasurable experiences report varying degrees of euphoria; increased energy, excitement, and sociability; less hunger and fatigue; a marked feeling of increased physical and mental strength; and decreased sensation of pain. Some will feel a great sense of power and competence that may be associated with the delusion or false sense of grandeur, known as cocainomania. There can be talkativeness, good humor, and laughing. Dilated pupils, nausea, vomiting, headache, or vertigo (the sensation of your surroundings or yourself moving or spinning). With or even without increased amounts of coke, these can progress to excitement, flightiness, emotional instability, restlessness, irritability, apprehension, inability to sit still, teeth grinding, cold sweats, tremors, twitching of small muscles (especially of face, fingers, feet), muscle jerks, hallucinations (cocaine bugs, snow lights, voices and sounds, smells), and cocaine psychosis. Cocaine psychosis resembles paranoid schizophrenia and can bring on paranoia, mania, and psychosis.
Sound like anybody we know?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Bill O'Reilly will be attacking Bloggers tonight/FOX Transcripts

O'Reilly will take his persecution complex to another level tonight. This is only a prediction, but the theme probably will be the evil lefties/Nice righties. It should be a hoot. Michelle Malkin will not be on who I initially thought would talk about the blogs. Try to guess who he'll have on to prove his point. By the way, reader Jackson found that the FOX on-line transcript of O'Reilly's debate with Clark goes like this:

Fox News Trancript
O'REILLY: General, you need to look at the Malmady (ph) massacre in World War II and the 82nd Airborne.

Crooks and Liar's Transcript

Clark: And let me explain something. You go all the way up the chain of command --

O'Reilly: General! You need to look at the Malmedy massacre in World War Two, and the 82nd Airborne who did it!

Was this an attempt to remove O'Reilly's assertion that US troops were at fault?

(Update): Think Progress has more on O'Reilly " How Blogs Are Destroying America"tonight: "We're sure it will be an informed, reasoned discussion, especially considering O’Reilly doesn’t even read on"

A smelly start to my day

For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of meeting up with a skunk at 4:30 in the morning, let me assure you, they stink!

We were walking the dogs when hubby got home from work and I saw a skunk. Of course, we called the dogs to keep them away from the business end of the critter. Got Aphrodite ok, but Adonis ... well .... he's sitting the on the porch until the stores open and I can get some tomatoe juice. He saw the skunk walking and went sniffing. Got more than he expected and now the smell is enough to gag a maggot! Sure hope the ole tomatoe juice trick works. I can't let him in the house and he's miserable.

It's not looking to be a good day so far. :(

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Like video games?

I found a neat site where you can learn about video games and earn them for free :

My kids are really into these types of games, so I joined up just so I can understand what they're talking about!

Click here to become a member of Capcom City!

Influenza pandemic? Let the military take care of it, says Bush.

Influenza pandemic? Let the military take care of it, says Bush.
by Plutonium Page
Tue Oct 4th, 2005 at 16:08:11 PDT
I am not joking.

The headline says it all:

Bush Wants Right to Use Military if Bird Flu Hits

President George W. Bush asked Congress on Tuesday to consider giving him powers to use the military to enforce quarantines in case of an avian influenza epidemic.

He said the military, and perhaps the National Guard, might be needed to take such a role if the feared H5N1 bird flu virus changes enough to cause widespread human infection.

``If we had an outbreak somewhere in the United States, do we not then quarantine that part of the country? And how do you, then, enforce a quarantine?'' Bush asked at a news conference.

``It's one thing to shut down airplanes. It's another thing to prevent people from coming in to get exposed to the avian flu. And who best to be able to effect a quarantine?'' Bush added.

``One option is the use of a military that's able to plan and move. So that's why I put it on the table. I think it's an important debate for Congress to have.''


He noted that some governors may object to the federal government commandeering the National Guard, which is under state command in most circumstances.

So commandeering the National Guard during the Katrina disaster was a nice practice exercise, I suppose, right?

Even more disturbing, and ominous, is this (namely the part I've highlighted in bold):

The active duty military is currently forbidden from undertaking law enforcement duties by the federal Posse Comitatus Act.

That law, passed in 1878 after the U.S. Civil War, does not prohibit National Guard troops under state control from doing police work. But, unless the law is changed, it would keep them from doing so if he [sic] Gulf region, Bush had asked Congress to consider giving the military control over initial response in dealing with major natural or other domestic disasters.

Jesus. Would he really do this? Would Congress actually consider it?

9/11 meant that the DOJ could use the USA PATRIOT Act to do whatever they wanted. And a flu pandemic might just give Bush the chance to put the country under military control.

Using disasters to further your agenda, George. We wouldn't expect anything less.

[editor's note, by Plutonium Page] Don't forget, it's Pandemic Flu Awareness Week. Visit the Flu Wiki often, and bloggers, use their resources to blog about bird flu. The more accurate information people have, the better off we'll be.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Grand Jury Indicts DeLay on New Charge

It is not a good time to be part of this crew! A whole new grand jury has added another charge to DeLay's indictments. He'll be spending a bit of time in the Texas legal system soon.


Grand Jury Indicts DeLay on New Charge
AP - 22 minutes ago

AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas grand jury indicted Rep. Tom DeLay on a new charge of money laundering Monday, less than a week after another grand jury leveled a conspiracy charge that forced DeLay to temporarily step down as House majority leader. Both indictments accuse DeLay and two political associates of conspiring to get around a state ban on corporate campaign contributions by funneling the money through a political action committee to the Republican National Committee in Washington.

Initial Reaction to Miers

The one pervasive comment among commentators was that she pulled a Cheney. Miers was in charge of the search process, and like Dick, ended up getting picked herself. Not a lot of feedback yet, (too early on Monday, I guess) but there was an AP comment from Schumer:

"We know even less about Harriet Miers than we did about John Roberts and because this is the critical swing seat on the court, Americans will need to know a lot more about Mier's judicial philosophy and legal background before any vote for confirmation," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., a member of the Judiciary Committee.

Looks like I'm a Social Liberal

You are a

Social Liberal
(80% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(60% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Saturday, October 01, 2005

FBI admits to wiretapping wrong numbers

Time to wake up AmeriKa! Is this what you really want to live under? You'll have to make some hard choices soon or just roll over and take it up the tailpipe over and over when the jack booted storm troopers come knocking down your door.


FBI admits to wiretapping wrong numbers

Patriot Act critics irked by mistakes made during terrorism investigations

Updated: 7:35 p.m. ET Sept. 30, 2005

WASHINGTON - The FBI says it sometimes gets the wrong number when it intercepts conversations in terrorism investigations, an admission critics say underscores a need to revise wiretap provisions in the Patriot Act.

The FBI would not say how often these mistakes happen. And, though any incriminating evidence mistakenly collected is not legally admissible in a criminal case, there is no way of knowing whether it is used to begin an investigation.

Parts of the Patriot Act, including a section on “roving wiretaps,” expire in December. Such wiretaps allow the FBI to get permission from a secret federal court to listen in on any phone line or monitor any Internet account that a terrorism suspect may be using, whether or not others who are not suspects also regularly use it.

The bureau’s acknowledgment that it makes mistakes in some wiretaps — although not specifically roving wiretaps — came in a recent Justice Department inspector general’s report on the FBI’s backlog of intercepted but unreviewed foreign-language conversations.

‘Technical problems’ blamed
The 38,514 untranslated hours included an undetermined number from what the FBI called “collections of materials from the wrong sources due to technical problems.”

Spokesman Ed Cogswell said that language describes instances in which the tap was placed on a telephone number other than the one authorized by a court.

“That’s mainly an instance in which the telephone company hooked us up to the wrong number or a clerical error here gives us the wrong number,” Cogswell said.

Flaws found in Interior Department's online network

He had no estimate of how often that happens but said that when it does the FBI is required to inform the secret court that approved the intercept.

The FBI could not say Friday whether people are notified that their conversations were mistakenly intercepted or whether wrongly tapped telephone numbers were deleted from bureau records.

Privacy activists said the FBI’s explanation of the mistaken wiretaps was unacceptably vague, and that in an era of cell phones and computers it is easier than ever for the government to access communications from innocent third parties.

“What do you mean you are intercepting the wrong subject? How often does it occur? How long does it go on for?” said James Dempsey, executive director of the Center for Democracy and Technology.

Digital advances complicate wiretapping
David Sobel, general counsel of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said technological advances have made it harder, not easier, to “conduct wiretapping in a surgical way” because digital communications often carry many conversations. “It’s not like the old days when there was one dedicated line between me and you,” Sobel said.

The FBI has acknowledged errors in the past. An FBI memo from 2000, made public two years later, described similar problems in the use of warrants issued by a court that operates in secret under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. In 2002, an FBI official said the bureau averaged 10 mistakes a year in such cases.

These warrants are among the most powerful tools in the U.S. anti-terrorism arsenal, permitting secret searches and wiretaps for up to one year without ever notifying the target of the investigation.

The court approved 1,754 such warrants in 2004.

The Patriot Act, passed 45 days after the Sept. 11 attacks, gave the government sweeping powers in terrorism investigations, including allowing the use of roving wiretaps. The authority also applies to espionage and other foreign intelligence cases.

Lawmakers want more
The FBI is not supposed to use material it collects either by mistake or from people who happen to use phones that are tapped legitimately, but that requirement doesn’t satisfy some lawmakers.

“They have recorded the information, but they’re saying, ‘Trust us, we won’t listen to what we recorded,”’ said Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va. “People ought to be concerned.”

Versions of the Patriot Act renewal that passed the House and Senate during the summer both contain the roving wiretap. It would expire in 10 years under the House-passed bill and four years in the Senate version. Congressional negotiators are expected to hammer out final details of the legislation starting in late October.

The Justice Department fought congressional efforts to require investigators to determine that the target of surveillance actually was using the tapped phone or computer before they listened in. Some lawmakers said such a requirement would reduce the chance that other conversations would be intercepted.

Administration officials argued that safeguards in the law already require the government to discard those conversations. “Such a restriction would make it harder to use multipoint wiretaps in terrorism and espionage investigations than in drug trafficking and other ordinary criminal investigations,” assistant Attorney General William Moschella wrote Scott.

Our soldiers in Iraq are STILL being forced to buy THEIR OWN body armor

Our soldiers in Iraq are STILL being forced to buy THEIR OWN body armor
by John in DC - 9/30/2005 10:15:00 AM

Any US military out there reading this, or their friends and families? Once again, you're hearing of this outrage from a liberal blog. Not from Republicans, who are the ones you keep thinking care more about our troops, but from Democrats. This is absolutely outrageous. I may be upset about the snuff-porn scandal we've been reporting on all week, but that doesn't mean I want our troops to die in battle because we haven't given them the equipment they need. Yes, I think this war has become a very sad joke, but leaving our men and women as sitting ducks is hardly the answer.

Where is your president? Where is YOUR Secretary of Defense? Where is your Republican congress?


Ask yourself how many times this issue has come up over the past several years, and how many times Bush and Rumsfeld lied to you about the problem being fixed in a couple of months.

Operation Iraqi Freedom? Try, Operation Iraqi Katrina.

Nearly a year after Congress demanded action, the Pentagon still hasn't figured out a way to reimburse U.S. troops for body armor and equipment they purchased to better protect themselves while serving in Iraq.

For Marine Sgt. Todd Bowers that extra equipment — a high-tech rifle scope bought by his father for $600 and a $100 pair of goggles — turned out to be a life-or-death purchase. And he has never been reimbursed.

Bowers, who is from Arizona but going to school in Washington, D.C., was shot by a sniper during his second tour in Iraq, but the round lodged in his scope, and his goggles protected his eyes from the shrapnel that struck his face.

"We weren't provided those going to Iraq," he said yesterday. "But they literally saved my life."

He and other soldiers and their parents are still spending hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars for armor they say the military won't provide. One U.S. senator said yesterday he will try again to force the Pentagon to obey the reimbursement law it opposed from the outset and has so far not implemented.