Saturday, February 11, 2006

It looks like this post from Sadly.No! is untitled. Let's call it, It can happen here

It can happen here.
Look. We have a President here who is making a claim of unlimited power, for the duration of a war that may never end. Oh, he says it's limited by the country's laws, but they've got a crack legal team that reliably interprets the laws to say that the President gets to do whatever he wants. It amounts to the same thing.

I am not exaggerating. I am really and truly not.

September 11 started the war. When will it end? Maybe never. Where is the battlefield? The entire world, including the United States. Who is an enemy combatant? Anyone the President says is an enemy combatant, including a U.S. citizen--no need for a charge, no need for a trial, no need for access to a lawyer. What if they're found not to be an enemy combatant? We can keep them in prison anyway, and we don't have to tell their families they're alive or their lawyers that they were cleared. What can you do to an enemy combatant? Anything you want. Detain him forever, for the rest of his life, because this is a war like any other and we have always been able to detain POWs for the duration of the war.

Reflections on the Wellstone Memorial and the King Funeral

Reflections on the Wellstone Memorial and the King Funeral
It was the Republicans that tried to cheapen Paul Wellstone's life by dishonoring his death. It was the right-wing media, not the friends and family who spoke at the memorial or the people who came to it, that seized an opportunity to use a tragedy for political gain.

Now to the King funeral, which I did not see in its entirety.

Coretta Scott King was 78 when she died. Her death followed a long illness and was not a big shock. Her family and friends had had time to prepare for her death and had not lost five other friends and/or family members in a tragic plane crash.

Four presidents spoke. One of them, Jimmy Carter, made a passing reference to the fact that Martin and Coretta King had been the victims of domestic wiretapping by the government. Was it a shot at President George W. Bush, who was sitting right behind Carter? Probably. Was that inappropriate? Maybe.

Would Coretta Scott King have enjoyed the moment? I don't know. You know who would have a better idea than me? Jimmy Carter. He knew Mrs. King. Those who are currently complaining - most of whom claim to be offended on her behalf - didn't know her at all.

Coretta Scott King was a political woman. Most of those complaining on her behalf are against everything she stood for.


Not Telling the Truth
The president was asked about roving wiretaps. He defended them and then turned to the more general question of electronic surveillance and assured his audience that no such surveillance took place without a warrant:

Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so.


Even if you believe it passes the "do not lie" injunction, you cannot possible argue that it passes the "do not deceive" test.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele the stealth wing-nut

Michael Steele Equates Stem Cell Research to Holocaust
Discussing his position on embryonic stem cell research with Baltimore Jewish leaders yesterday, Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele said he is "concerned about the destruction of human life" and made a comparison between the controversial science and experiments done on Jews during the Holocaust. "You of all folks know what happens when people decide they want to experiment on human beings, when they want to take your life and use it as a tool," said Steele, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, to a crowd of about 40 at a Baltimore Jewish Council board meeting. "I know that as well in my community, out of our experience with slavery, and so I'm very cautious when people say this is the best new thing, this is going to save lives."


Steele Apologizes for Holocaust Remarks
"Some people could think he's not moderate . . . but a hard-right Republican," said University of Maryland Prof. Ronald Walters, who has been closely following Steele's campaign.

In an important moment, allowed to express his views, Steele did. There's no putting the genie back in the bottle. He is a stealth right-wing nut job that is trying to pass himself off as a moderate. Better luck next time Mr. Steele.

Jack Abrmoff has more credibility then Dubya

ONLINE POLL: 68% Find Jack Abramoff More Credible Than George Bush

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Smearing Harry Reid

GOP + AP = BS
The real question about the AP story which tries to sully Harry Reid and tar him with Abramoff scandal, is not whether it's true, since the story is completely lacking in any quid pro quo, or even in any action by Reid that was favorable to Abramoff's firm's clients -- no, the real question is which Republican operative(s) fed the story to these two particular stenographers, John Solomon and Sharon Theimer?



Smearing Harry Reid
The kicker, of course, is that for all of their effort, Reid never supported the Abramoff position. The very definition of "quid pro quo" is "this for that." In politics, this means something valuable like money or gifts for a politician's votes or some other form of official support. In this case, though Reid or his staffers may have taken meetings on the subject, it never amounted to anything. In other words, there may have been quid, but there was no quo. So this convoluted story is just that -- a convoluted story. No climax, no punchline, and most importantly, no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Reid.


The stellar citizens of Wingnuttia have been trying to get Reid since GOP Angered by Closed Senate Session
Democrats forced the Senate into a rare closed-door session yesterday, infuriating Republicans but extracting from them a promise to speed up an inquiry into the Bush administration's handling of intelligence about Iraq's weapons in the run-up to the war.


AP left out key facts in report linking Reid, Abramoff
In a February 9 article by staff writers John Solomon and Sharon Theimer, the Associated Press left out important details of two incidents that purportedly link Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The AP noted that Reid opposed legislation to approve a Michigan casino for a Native American tribe that would have rivaled a casino owned by a tribe represented by Abramoff. But the article omitted the fact that Reid said at the time that he opposed the legislation because it would create a "very dangerous precedent" for the spread of off-reservation gambling -- something Reid had opposed for nearly a decade. The article also suggested that Reid coordinated with Abramoff to sabotage proposed legislation that would have raised the minimum wage in the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory represented by Abramoff, without noting that, in fact, Reid was a co-sponsor of that legislation and spoke on the Senate floor in favor of its passage.

Washinton Times abandons Bush

via Prairie Weather, some leashes must have broken, The Moonie Times is being mean to BushCo, Wash Times: 1) Bush is spying on American-American phone calls IN THE US; 2) Known Al Qaeda agents are running free inside US; 3) Spy program useless
The law enforcement sources said the intelligence community has identified several al Qaeda agents believed to be in the United States. But the sources said the agents have not been found because of insufficient intelligence and even poor analysis.

Don't blame me I voted for Kerry bumper stickers expected to start selling like hot cakes as people start to feel guilty about voting for an imbecile.

Dick said I could

I was only throwing rocks at those people because everyone else was doing it and Dick said I could anyway and that was Ollie North's defense and he got off so I'm using it too so there...Cheney 'Authorized' Libby to Leak Classified Information
Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, testified to a federal grand jury that he had been "authorized" by Cheney and other White House "superiors" in the summer of 2003 to disclose classified information to journalists to defend the Bush administration's use of prewar intelligence in making the case to go to war with Iraq, according to attorneys familiar with the matter, and to court records.

Reaction from wing-nut blogs: yea but this is not as important as cartoons and our hypocritical embrace of free expression.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Oh-no another post about cartoons

A Startling New Lesson in the Power of Imagery
But drawings are drawings, so a question arises. Have any modern works of art provoked as much chaos and violence as the Danish caricatures that first ran in September in the newspaper Jyllands-Posten?


On Monday, Afghan security forces killed several protesters who tried to storm the American air base at Bagram. Yesterday the leading Iranian daily announced a contest for the best cartoon about the Holocaust, and 200 members of Iran's 290-member Parliament condemned the Danish cartoons: "Apparently, they have not learned their lesson from the miserable author of 'The Satanic Verses,' " the members said in a statement, referring to the fatwah against Salman Rushdie. From Gaza to Auckland, imams have demanded execution or amputations for the cartoonists and their publishers.

Over art? These are made-up pictures. The photographs from Abu Ghraib were documents of real events, but they didn't provoke such widespread violence. What's going on?

Good point and why some people are starting to question how spontaneou these riots are.
And there is also the deepening cynicism and political hypocrisy now endemic in the culture wars. Last week a State Department spokesman, Sean McCormack, simultaneously condemned the cartoons as "unacceptable" and spoke up for free speech, while the Joint Chiefs of Staff were firing off a letter to The Washington Post about a cartoon it ran in which Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, in the guise of a doctor, says to a heavily bandaged soldier who has lost his arms and legs, "I'm listing your condition as 'battle hardened.' " The letter called the cartoon, by Tom Toles, "reprehensible" and offensive to soldiers.

The Post's editorial page editor, Fred Hiatt, replied that the newspaper would not censor its cartoonists, inspiring John Aravosis, who runs Americablog (americablog.blogspot.com), the Web site where the letter was first reported, to tell Editor & Publisher magazine: "Now that the Joint Chiefs have addressed the insidious threat cartoons pose to our troops, perhaps they can move on to the less pressing issues like getting them their damn body armor."

You wake up one day and find that Alice Through the Looking Glass isn't such a bizarre story after all.

Wing-nuts cling to NSA myth about Presidents Clinton and Carter

In clicking around various blogs today I noticed at least three blogs or commenters still propagating the myth that Presidents Clinton and Carter both violated FISA laws. This is a specious argument on two counts. One is the clear assertion that since other presidents supposedly broke the law, that entitles Bush to break the law. By that logic since others have robbed banks, everyone is entitled to rob banks. Doesn't seem like a road that Bush conservative should want to go down. Second, neither Carter or President Clinton violated FISA.... Clinton, Carter also authorized warrantless searches of U.S. citizens ?
What Clinton actually signed:

Section 1. Pursuant to section 302(a)(1) [50 U.S.C. 1822(a)] of the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance] Act, the Attorney General is authorized to approve physical searches, without a court order, to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year, if the Attorney General makes the certifications required by that section.

That section requires the Attorney General to certify is the search will not involve "the premises, information, material, or property of a United States person." That means U.S. citizens or anyone inside of the United States.

The entire controversy about Bush's program is that, for the first time ever, allows warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens and other people inside of the United States. Clinton's 1995 executive order did not authorize that.

Drudge pulls the same trick with Carter.

What Drudge says:

Jimmy Carter Signed Executive Order on May 23, 1979: "Attorney General is authorized to approve electronic surveillance to acquire foreign intelligence information without a court order."

What Carter's executive order actually says:

1-101. Pursuant to Section 102(a)(1) of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1802(a)), the Attorney General is authorized to approve electronic surveillance to acquire foreign intelligence information without a court order, but only if the Attorney General makes the certifications required by that Section.

What the Attorney General has to certify under that section is that the surveillance will not contain "the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party." So again, no U.S. persons are involved.

the wonderful world of right-wing spin

Thanks to The Slideshow for this report on how effective or ineffective Da War on Terrur has been, White House: Skyrocketing terrorism = “great progress”
Question to little Scotty McClellan:
According to data currently available at the Department of Homeland Security-funded Terrorism Knowledge Base, the incidence of terrorism increased markedly in 2005. Worldwide, attacks were up 51% from the year before, and the number of people killed in those attacks was up 36%. Since the year 2000, attacks are up 250% and deaths are up 550%.

How do you reconcile those numbers with your claim that you are winning the war on terrorism and putting terrorists out of business?

part of Scotty's reply:
.....officials here at home, who have worked together using vital tools like the Patriot Act, and other tools to help disrupt plots and disrupt attacks, and there’s great progress being made. The President made it clear after September 11th that this was going to be a long war, but he’s going to continue acting, and leading, doing everything in his power to win that war so long as he is in office.

Up is down, failure is progress; the wonderful world of right-wing spin.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Swiftboating King's Funeral - Here It Comes!


By way of Seeing The Forest, Swiftboating King's Funeral - Here It Comes!
The right is trying to repeat the damage they were able to do by manufacturing outrage over what they described as "politicization" of Paul Wellstone's funeral by those mean Democrats. They seem to have a coordinated effort going on, saying mostly the same things, many referring directly to the Wellstone funeral

Right-wing zealots started Swiftboating Wellstone's funeral early on and squeezed every last drop they could out of it to whip up some more false outrage from the Billy Joe Bob crowd, the Southern strategy has worked for years why stop milking it just because a big D Democrat died.. Al Franken described why NY Times shouldn't hire Christopher Caldwell to replace Safire
Now, I called up Caldwell and I told him, I said, "Hi Chris, it's Al Franken, and I like some of the stuff you've written" -- and I have. He said, "I liked some of your stuff," and I said, "OK, you wrote this thing, you called this thing pagan. Did you see the stage full of clergy from every faith tradition in Minnesota, the stage full doing an ecumenical prayer?" And he goes, "uh, no."

"OK, you say 20,000 people booed a succession of people. What are you talking about? Did you see 20,000 people boo anybody? Did you see the booing?" "No."

I go down the whole list. He said that the people, other people who died other than Wellstone weren't even treated, weren't even talked about, were barely treated at all. Most bizarrely, he writes: "The pilots and aides who died with him were barely treated at all." Which is just crazy. The first three hours of this thing were -- the pilots were not eulogized -- but the aides of Wellstone were. Will McLaughlin, the driver. Tom Lapic. And, I'm sorry...Mary McEvoy. ...They were eulogized by friends and family. By people family had chosen. It was three hours before Paul was even gotten to. I asked if he'd seen any of those. I asked if he'd seen David McLaughlin's unbelievably beautiful eulogy of his brother Will. No, he hadn't seen it.

I said, "Where did you see it? Did you see the thing?" He said, "Yes, I did." I said, "What, a tape of it?" And he goes, "No." "So you saw it on C-SPAN, like a repeat? Did you see it live?" "No. no. no." "Where did you see it?" "Well, I saw it on TV." "What does that mean?" "I saw it on TV." "What does that mean?" "I saw some clips of it." He saw, like, whatever Hannity & Colmes had pulled.

And these things are lies. They are lies. And I had him on the phone, and he said, "Listen, I'm on deadline, I gotta get off." And I said, "Oh yeah, I'm sorry, listen, if you're on deadline, let's talk as long as you can talk," and then he got off. And then I called him every business day for the next two weeks. He must have been on deadline for a book or something because he didn't ever get back to me and still hasn't.

Americablog writes, Get ready for the white men of the Republican party to lecture black leaders about not knowing their place
At the funeral of Coretta Scott King, the grande dame of America's civil rights and progressive activist community, the Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery, a revered elder of that same community, criticized President Bush, and the war, and the fact that America still has so many poor and needy. Kind of something you'd expect at the funeral of a woman who after her husband was assassinated, yet the day before he was buried, led a civil rights march of 50,000 people. A woman who spoke at an anti-war rally in NYC only 3 weeks after her husband was mattered. A woman who devoted her entire life to non-violence.

I say this because you know it's only a matter of hours before the Republican Swift Boating of Rev. Lowery and Coretta's funeral begins. How dare a black man not know his place at a funeral, they'll say. As if the Republican party and its surrogates have any right whatsoever to speak on behalf of Mrs. King, to tell black America what they can and cannot do to honor one of their most revered leaders.


That's exactly what Malkin and her rather spineless unthinking minions have already started. The only reason conservatives even show up for the defenders of democracy like Paul Wellstone or Coretta Scott King is so they can give the appearance of being moderate. People like Malkin, Bush, Drudge, Rightwingnews, Limbaugh, Stop the ACLU, Expose the Left, Blogs for Bush, GOP Bloggers ...........have never done anything for anyone that didn't involve some kind of payoff political or otherwise. GOP Bloggers healine reads "Another Corpse, Another Rally",
What is it about Democrats that they can't show up at a funeral without turning it into a political convention?

I would ask what is it about the GOP that doesn't understand honor and the fight for dignity.

Digby writes
Oh lawdy, lawdy, lawdy Miss Mellie, I do decleah these Democrats are so ungenteel! Why, they were talkin' politics and singin' and dancin' and actin' all Negro and everything!

I personally find it absolutely outrageous, OUTRAGEOUS! that Republicans are attacking Coretta Scott King and her family this way. Why, she is an American icon! How dare they! Do they really think that African Americans don't know how to behave at a funeral for one of their own? How very white of them.

If there is one thing Democrats should learn its that when they invite Republicans to a Democrats funeral, Republicans will still insist on behaving like plantation owers. We all know you just can't take a plantation owner anywhere.

Liberty Street picked up on Lowry's speech ( heck that must irk the rightie-christians, the reminder that there are some real Christians that pay more attention to Jesus then Jerry Falwell).
"We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there [standing ovation]... but Coretta knew and we know that there are weapons of misdirection right down here. Millions without health insurance. Poverty abounds. For war billions more but no more for the poor."


For once, George W. Bush was stuck, poor guy, at an event where he hadn't pre-scripted the speeches, where he could not handpick the audience, where he could not control the logistics and make sure no unfriendly voices would be heard. And the heirs of Dr. King's dream took full advantage of that unprecedented moment to speak truth to power.

No wonder the right-wing bloggers are racing to the Doctors office to get a rabies booster shot, doublespeak and issue avoidance is supposed to be strickly enforced around his majesty King Bush.


Legacy of Kings
If you haven't read about it elsewhere, President Bush apparently looked a bit sheepish at Coretta Scott King's funeral service today. Why? Because two speakers had the gall to talk about the values the Kings stood for: fighting poverty, fighting racial division, standing up for working Americans.

Mrs' Kings life and legacy was her progressive values, so when right-wing bloggers and pundits say that her funeral shouldn't have been about values, what they're really saying is that her life she shouldn't be honored.

Monday, February 06, 2006

As much as I'd like to think that Specter will stand up for principle I can't help but wonder if he'll crumble under pressure from the conservative political machine, Specter Questions Spy Program’s Legality and here
"I think that contention is very strained and unrealistic. The authorization for use of force never mentions electronic surveillance," Specter said. He added that he would consider subpoenas for administration documents detailing its legal rationale behind the spying program.


Three Questions Gonzales Must Answer
2. If you are so confident that this program is legal, why don’t you let the FISA court review it and make an independent legal judgement?


President 007 License to Kill, Sen. Jeff Sessions: U.S. Can Kill Enemy Without Miranda Warnings
, while he doesn't actually say that he does give a rationale for it. If Bush and his supporters had shown anything approaching good judgement in the last five years I might trust them to turn the country into one big shoot out at the OK Corral, but as it is The Crawford Brush Clearing Cowboy would probably hit every innocent town folk within a half mile and the bad guys would just fall down laughing.

Violence Spreads Over Muhammad Caricatures
Muslim clerics denounced the violence, with some wading into the mobs trying to stop them

Kind of interesting and generally overlooked.

Discussion Thread: Cartoon Outrage
But now Danish embassies are on fire in Syria and Lebanon? WTF? And the UK and the US are saying that the cartoon was wrong? Double WTF? Shouldn't we, of all people, we freedom-spreaders, we gifters of democracy at the end of a gun, shouldn't we be supporting freedom of speech? I mean, is endorsing such fanatical reactionism (by condemning a cartoon) really a good idea when, ostensibly, that's exactly the kind of bullshit that, you know, facilitates terrorism?


As repulsive as it may be to be speaking words similar to Mussolini-lite clones, but people that burn down embassies and kill people over cartoons are warped degenerate individuals. Those that have been offended and expressed that offense in a more reasonable way are to be commended. In my excursions across Rightieville, they actually don't seem to have visited any center-left blogs. Maybe because they'll have their strawman knocked over. The left in various degrees have condemned the violence. Perhaps pajamas media should dawn their camos, push their pot bellies away from that mighty keyboard and go show those crazies how to act. Oops that would mean they'd be out of arm's reach of a twinkie, cheap beer, and the next manufactured outrage..



We’re all batshit crazy crusaders now and the Cartooish War continues.
I’m not surprised a lot of liberal bloggers come off more bemused than anything. From our point of view, fundies both Christian and Muslim are playing for the same team, the one that wants the world to abandon modernity and roll back the clock to medievalist thinking, where truth was handed down on high and things like science and liberty aren’t permitted to bother them anymore. As far as I’m concerned, “Muslim” and “Christian” are just different factions of the fundie squad.

and a commenter writes:
Christians don’t think they should be protected from mockery, criticism or dissent? Tell that the American Family Association or the Parents Television Resource Council, organizations dedicated to stifling entertainment products that disagree with their worldview. Christians don’t use violence to enforce their beliefs on others?


Who's Taking Blame for Christian Violence?
When President George Bush insists that billions of dollars need to continue flowing to the war effort in Iraq which leads to more American body bags and Iraqi graves, why is there no outcry? Why don't the Christian leaders stand up and challenge those decisions, and passionately assert that Jesus would have sought another way of solving the problems?

In this time when Christianity is on the rise all over America, when there is a growing surge in extolling Christian values, why is it that when the born-again Bush says it's better to fight "them" over there than on American soil, no concerted group of leaders stands up and yells that he's got it wrong?

Like Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair is also born again.

Yet, their combined leadership has been responsible for excruciating death and injury to innocent civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq.

They both claim a righteousness in their policies of destruction. They were even counseled by their secular allies not to resort to the carnage. Where was the equal pressure from the Christian leadership?

Interesting, isn't it, that Muslim fanatics use the idea of holy jihad and rewards in paradise to recruit their dupes into terrible acts of destruction, and in Christian circles there is the solemn assembling for prayer and seeking of blessings for the troops and leaders in their mission of war.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

cartoons, free speech, the war on science and Republican Abramoff scandal widens

The center-left on The Big Cartoon Controversy the most important event in western history since some radical elitests drew up the Declaration of Independence.

Those cartoons: hypocrisy and inconsistency Crooker Timber
I’m puzzled by some of the reaction to the Jyllands-Posten affair. In free speech debates over the last few years I’ve often encountered so-called libertarians who argue that speech ought to be absolutely protected from state interference but that private individuals may legitimately do what they like when it comes to sacking people whose views they disagree with or boycotting products. That isn’t the way I see things, but it is hard to see how someone running that line can object to a private company sacking an editor for reprinting the cartoons or to Muslims boycotting Danish goods in protest. Of course, not everyone takes the view that the state should keep out of speech. Norman Geras, for example, recently linked (I can only assume approvingly) to a report of a court decision in France which condemned the publisher of Le Monde for “racist defamation” against the Jewish people, an article that goes on to condemn the Western media quite generally for anti-semitic representations of Israel, including in cartoons depicting Ariel Sharon and described the court decision as “a major landmark”.

Cartoon Karma from Mahablog
I am repelled by violence, and I admit I am repelled by Muslims’ violent reaction to the cartoons. But the way to respond is not to work oneself into a self-righteous hateful snit, as our home-grown righties are doing, and use the violence as an excuse to hurl hatespeech back. The way to respond is, first, to refuse to be baited. Refuse to hate back. This is, I believe, what Jesus was reaching to when he said “turn the other cheek.”

Muslim Protests Against Anti-Muhammad Caricatures from Informed Comment
Several readers have asked what I think about the protests among Muslims against the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad published by a Danish newspaper.

Of course people are upset when their sacred figures are attacked! But the hurt is magnified many times when the party doing the injuring is first-world, and the injured have a long history of being ruled, oppressed and marginalized. Moreover, most Muslims live in societies with strong traditions of state censorship, so they often assume that if something appears in the press, the government allowed it to do so and is therefore culpable.

Press freedom, without any "buts" from The Reality Based Community
In free societies, newspapers print what they want to print, short of libel or incitation. Sometimes they print stupid and offensive things. It is legitimate to try to damage them commercially for doing so, for example by asking for a boycott of the newspaper itself or of its advertisers. It is not legitimate to try to restrict what can be published by law, or to demand that other countries do so.

No, I don't expect Muslims who live in unfree societies to understand this point, or to sympathize with it if they do understand it. That may cause them to have less favorable opinions of places where press freedom is allowed, and some of those unfavorable opinions may find violent expression. That's regrettable, but not preventable except at an unacceptable cost.


That’s a tragedy. Can I finish my story please? I began my search for meaning. scroll down its part of a longer post,
I’ve noticed that there’s there seems to be a sudden and odd embrace of free speech rights and freedom of expression spreading across the nation. The Constitution is pretty straight forward about it, short of libel or slander we’re in theory able to say what we like and express ourselves likewise, including cartoons that redicule other people. Thus being offended sought of comes with freedom. Its kind of a package deal since freedom almost certainly will produce offence at some point.


Speaking of irrational, all that Big Bang stuff, that was just gossip. The War on science is continuing and they won't rest until our culture is pushed back to the good old days of bledding and leaches.

The Big Bang memo came from Mr. Deutsch, a 24-year-old presidential appointee in the press office at NASA headquarters whose résumé says he was an intern in the "war room" of the 2004 Bush-Cheney re-election campaign. A 2003 journalism graduate of Texas A&M, he was also the public-affairs officer who sought more control over Dr. Hansen's public statements.
In October 2005, Mr. Deutsch sent an e-mail message to Flint Wild, a NASA contractor working on a set of Web presentations about Einstein for middle-school students. The message said the word "theory" needed to be added after every mention of the Big Bang.

The Big Bang is "not proven fact; it is opinion," Mr. Deutsch wrote, adding, "It is not NASA's place, nor should it be to make a declaration such as this about the existence of the universe that discounts intelligent design by a creator."

It continued: "This is more than a science issue, it is a religious issue. And I would hate to think that young people would only be getting one-half of this debate from NASA. That would mean we had failed to properly educate the very people who rely on us for factual information the most."

We must protect young people from the facts and present the sugar fairie side of the creation of the universe or sugar fairie followers will be offended.

Abramoff and gaming Indians: Just the tip of the iceberg [Updated]
The story of Jack Abramoff's buying of influence goes well beyond a few Congressional players. While those relationships are key to the story, they're secondary to his cosy relationship with CREA director Italia Federici, her former boss, Sec. of the Interior, Gale Norton, and Deputy Sec. Steven Griles, and this seedy gang's take-over of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). This move, however, was not just to help a few gaming tribes expand their operations - remember, Abramoff dismissed his tribal clients as morons. He was using their money to screw not only tribes in direct competition for part of the gaming pie, but, probably unwittingly, to subvert justice for nearly half the Indians in the country.

The front-burner issue in the Interior Department during this Administration has been the foot-dragging, subverting and outright sabotaging of the largest class action case in US history, Cobell v. Norton. Norton was even slapped with a contempt charge by Judge Royce Lamberth for her part in the matter. Clinton Sec. Bruce Babbitt was also charged with contempt, but the plaintiffs in Cobell assert that while Clinton's people were just incompetent and trying to drag out the clock so they could hand off the problem, Norton has been downright hostile to settling the case, willing to use extreme measures to subvert the court ordered judgment.

Why? Colorado native Norton is of the James Watt school of pillage the environment (she entered the Reagan Administration to work for him) and her entire career has been to forward the interests of oil and gas, mining and forestry industries. And in the West, that means easy access to cheap federal land leases, hundreds of millions of acres of land rich with natural resources.