Recruitment

I’™m thinking of recruiting a writer or two to the web site, and I thought I’™d throw out my first idea.

I know a Minister in a fairly conservative church in Erie, PA. He’™s not progressive, but I’™d bet he feels feeding the hungry is more important than demonizing either liberals or gays. [...]

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

I’™m thinking of recruiting a writer or two to the web site, and I thought I’™d throw out my first idea.

I know a Minister in a fairly conservative church in Erie, PA. He’™s not progressive, but I’™d bet he feels feeding the hungry is more important than demonizing either liberals or gays. Not that he thinks being gay is anything but a sin, but he also sees it as one sin among many. (Forgive me, Erie, if I got that wrong.)

What I’™d like to hire him on for at ASZ is to talk about those cases where he and other Evangelical Christians are treated as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Party. Now my last conversation with him was a couple weeks ago, so i’™m not sure if he is still interested. But in our past here at ASZ we’™ve had highly religious writers who believed in the notion of social justice over the need for coopting religion for politics, so I see no conflict with our mission.

Let me know what you think, please. I should note, this guy will not come out as pro-choice or as pro-gay rights. But he doesn’™t see these as issues to preach about to any but his own congregation. Instead he will focus on the intersection of politics and religion in how he fears for his own gcongregation and the separation of church and state. Or, rather, the separation of church and Republican Party.

If you’™ve got strong feelings on this, please send me an email instead of a comment.

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006 by Richard Blair |
Category: Admin

In Search Of Memories Lost…

‘¦ Libby’™s defense team hires a hypnotist.

Scooter Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’™s former chief of staff, has hired a renowned memory-loss expert to assist him with his legal defense. Harvard psychology professor Daniel L. Schacter tells NBC News he has been retained by Libby as a consultant. An official familiar with the Libby defense [...]

Commentary By: sukabi

‘¦ Libby’™s defense team hires a hypnotist.

Scooter Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’™s former chief of staff, has hired a renowned memory-loss expert to assist him with his legal defense. Harvard psychology professor Daniel L. Schacter tells NBC News he has been retained by Libby as a consultant. An official familiar with the Libby defense team confirms the news.

Schacter, who has been at Harvard since 1991 and who has a 29-page resume, is the author of ‘œThe Seven Sins of Memory’ and ‘œSearching for Memory: The Brain, the Mind and the Past.’ His books offer explanations for the ‘œvulnerability of memory.’ Schacter writes that if we are distracted as an event unfolds, ‘œwe may later have great difficulty remembering the details of what happened.’ Time, of course, often weakens our memory. And, he writes, it is easy to ‘œunwittingly create mistaken ‘” though strongly held ‘” beliefs about the past.’

Libby’™s lawyers hinted in court filings last week that memory loss will be ‘œcentral themes’ of Libby’™s defense. Libby’™s lawyers write: ‘œ’¦any misstatements he made during his FBI interviews or grand jury testimony were not intentional, but rather the result of confusion, mistake or faulty memory.’

The CRS** defense.

**Can’™t Remember Shit

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006 by Richard Blair |

Personal Responsibility

NOT!

I stole this from Duncan, but it’™s the best thing I’™ve read all day. So go read it if you haven’™t yet.

I’™m off to my reunion with my Drinking Liberally pals’¦it’™s gonna be great to be back after 3 months. Join us if you’™re in the area.

Commentary By: somegirl

NOT!

I stole this from Duncan, but it’™s the best thing I’™ve read all day. So go read it if you haven’™t yet.

I’™m off to my reunion with my Drinking Liberally pals’¦it’™s gonna be great to be back after 3 months. Join us if you’™re in the area.

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006 by Richard Blair |
Category: Iraq

Talking To Ledeen

A conversation with Machiavelli’™s ghost: Controversial neoconservative Ledeen talks to Raw Story

Leedeen, who is best known for his involvement as a courier in the Iran-Contra scandal, describes himself as a democratic revolutionary. He believes that mankind is inclined toward war and has a dismal, Hobbesian view of history. Against that context, he says, ‘œI’™m not [...]

Commentary By: sukabi

A conversation with Machiavelli’™s ghost: Controversial neoconservative Ledeen talks to Raw Story

Leedeen, who is best known for his involvement as a courier in the Iran-Contra scandal, describes himself as a democratic revolutionary. He believes that mankind is inclined toward war and has a dismal, Hobbesian view of history. Against that context, he says, ‘œI’™m not sure Machiavelli was wrong when he said that ‘man is more inclined to do evil than to do good.’™’

This is part 1 of the series and Larisa Alexandrovna of RawStory does an excellent job of asking tough, relevant questions.

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006 by Richard Blair |
Category: Media

Heads I win, tails you lose

Supreme Commander Chucklehead Bush has deigned to offer the Iraqis an important choice. Maybe he should have offered them that choice before he invaded their country under false pretences.

Bush: Iraqis’™ choice is ‘chaos or unity’™

WASHINGTON – President Bush on Tuesday decried the latest surge in sectarian violence in Iraq and declared that for Iraqis [...]

Commentary By: Gloria

Supreme Commander Chucklehead Bush has deigned to offer the Iraqis an important choice. Maybe he should have offered them that choice before he invaded their country under false pretences.

Bush: Iraqis’™ choice is ‘chaos or unity’™

WASHINGTON – President Bush on Tuesday decried the latest surge in sectarian violence in Iraq and declared that for Iraqis ‘œthe choice is chaos or unity.’

Five attacks rocked Baghdad on Tuesday, killing more than 40 people, continuing a recent surge of violence.

Bush spoke after an Oval Office meeting with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, shortly before he was to leave for a five-day trip to India and Pakistan.

For his part, Berlusconi said that he would stand by plans to withdraw all of Italy’™s 3,000 troops from Iraq by the end of the year.

‘œThis plan has been agreed upon by our allies and the Iraqi government,’ said Berlusconi, one of the strongest U.S. allies on Iraq, who is facing a tough re-election campaign at home. He said that Italy’™s troops had helped train 10,000 Iraqi security officers.

So now if there’™s continued chaos in Iraq, it’™s because the people there chose it and not because Bush is a bumbling idiot and a war criminal. Saddam was given the false choice ‘œdisarm or be invaded’ but the media always seems to gloss over the fact that Bush’™s ‘œchoices’ are always false and serve only to blame the victims for his actions.

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006 by Richard Blair |
Category: Iraq

Falling Out Of Favor

Rightwing talk radio is competing in a race to the bottom, in the LA ratings wars.

The Arbitrends for Los Angeles came out today, and Richard Mellon Scaife will probably want his money back – his messengers have lost listeners by the boatload. These are month-to-month extrapolated ratings (not rolling three-month average) for listeners 12+.

Limbaugh drew [...]

Commentary By: sukabi

Rightwing talk radio is competing in a race to the bottom, in the LA ratings wars.

The Arbitrends for Los Angeles came out today, and Richard Mellon Scaife will probably want his money back – his messengers have lost listeners by the boatload. These are month-to-month extrapolated ratings (not rolling three-month average) for listeners 12+.

Limbaugh drew a 4.1 last month. This month he dropped to a 3.3.*

Sean Hannity was at a 2.7 last month. He’™s now at a 1.8.*

Laura Ingraham: 1.1 to 0.8.

Dennis Prager/Michael Medved: 1.2 to a 0.7.*

Hugh Hewitt: 1.3 to 0.7.

‘¦

Here are the L.A. numbers from ‘œthe money demographic’ – 25-54 year olds:

Limbaugh: 3.3 to 2.9.

Hannity: 1.8 to 0.5. (Ouch)

Ingraham: 0.9 to 0.6.

Prager/Medved: 1.4 to 0.3.

Hewitt: 1.4 to 0.9.

Other goodness – Air America, being heard in that area on a very tiny station is experiencing a growth in its listenership.

H/T Atrios.

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006 by Richard Blair |
Category: Media

Stay The Course In Iraq?

Zogby actually polled the troops on the ground in Iraq, the results are surprising’¦ if you believe all Bush’™s photo ops with the troops are the ‘œreal deal’.

But for those of us who can spot a stage-managed fantasy, and understand that this administration has utterly failed, and totally misused the military ‘” then the [...]

Commentary By: sukabi

Zogby actually polled the troops on the ground in Iraq, the results are surprising’¦ if you believe all Bush’™s photo ops with the troops are the ‘œreal deal’.

But for those of us who can spot a stage-managed fantasy, and understand that this administration has utterly failed, and totally misused the military ‘” then the results are what you’™d expect them to be.

The poll is the first of U.S. troops currently serving in Iraq, according to John Zogby, the pollster. Conducted by Zogby International and LeMoyne College, it asked 944 service members, ‘œHow long should U.S. troops stay in Iraq?’

Only 23 percent backed Bush’™s position that they should stay as long as necessary. In contrast, 72 percent said that U.S. troops should be pulled out within one year. Of those, 29 percent said they should withdraw ‘œimmediately’¦’

While the White House emphasizes the threat from non-Iraqi terrorists, only 26 percent of the U.S. troops say that the insurgency would end if those foreign fighters could be kept out. A plurality believes that the insurgency is made up overwhelmingly of discontented Iraqi Sunnis’¦

By a 2-1 ratio, the troops said that ‘œto control the insurgency we need to double the level of ground troops and bombing missions.’ And since there is zero chance of that happening, a majority of troops seemed to be saying that they believe this war to be unwinnable.

This first systematic look at the views of the U.S. troops on the ground suggests that our present strategy in Iraq is failing badly. The troops overwhelmingly don’™t want to ‘œstay the course,’ and they don’™t seem to think the American strategy can succeed.

The full Zogby poll is to be published Thursday, but RawStory has more excerpts posted.

There is another aspect to this poll that may get overlooked and we’™ll see if Zogby addresses it in the full poll’¦. and that is the effect that US sponsored propaganda is having on the military serving in Iraq. The military is after all a ‘œcaptive audience’ for the administrations propaganda effort.

Update: Zogby’™s posted the poll results.

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006 by Richard Blair |

Duke Cunningham’s List

How do you think his price schedule compares to that of Bill Frist, or Rick Santorum?

Feb. 27, 2006 ï–¿–½ Prosecutors call it a corruption case with no parallel in the long history of the U.S. Congress. And it keeps getting worse. Convicted Rep. Randall ‘œDuke’ Cunningham actually priced the illegal services he [...]

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

How do you think his price schedule compares to that of Bill Frist, or Rick Santorum?

Feb. 27, 2006 ï–¿–½ Prosecutors call it a corruption case with no parallel in the long history of the U.S. Congress. And it keeps getting worse. Convicted Rep. Randall ‘œDuke’ Cunningham actually priced the illegal services he provided.


Prices came in the form of a ‘œbribe menu’ that detailed how much it would cost contractors to essentially order multimillion-dollar government contracts, according to documents submitted by federal prosecutors for Cunningham’™s sentencing hearing this Friday.

. . .

The sentencing memorandum includes the California Republican’™s ‘œbribery menu’ on one of his congressional note cards, ‘œstarkly framed’ under the seal of the United States Congress.

The card shows an escalating scale for bribes, starting at $140,000 and a luxury yacht for a $16 million Defense Department contract. Each additional $1 million in contract value required a $50,000 bribe.

. . .

His lawyers say he has since cooperated fully with the widening government investigation of congressional bribery, and they will ask the judge to go outside the sentencing guidelines and impose a lighter sentence than 10 years.

Look, if they let him off easy, I want him taking down at least two other Republicans. In fact, I’™ll give him a year off for each Republican he takes down, two for each one in the leadership. Three years off if he takes down a Cabinet Officer.

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006 by Richard Blair |

How to Waste Money

Just panic when there’™s a big emergency,arrest people based on whether they have an Arabic last name, hold them without charges for a couple years, then deport. The wasting money part? Just wait for the lawsuit.

The federal government has agreed to pay $300,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by an Egyptian who was [...]

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Just panic when there’™s a big emergency,arrest people based on whether they have an Arabic last name, hold them without charges for a couple years, then deport. The wasting money part? Just wait for the lawsuit.

The federal government has agreed to pay $300,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by an Egyptian who was among dozens of Muslim men swept up in the New York area after 9/11, held for months in a federal detention center in Brooklyn and deported after being cleared of links to terrorism.


The settlement, filed in federal court late yesterday, is the first the government has made in a number of lawsuits charging that noncitizens were abused and their constitutional rights violated in detentions after the terror attacks.

The government had argued that the lawsuits should be dismissed without testimony because the extraordinary circumstances of the terror attacks justified extraordinary measures to confine noncitizens who fell under suspicion, and because top officials need governmental immunity to combat future threats to national security without fear of being sued.

And all they had to do was charge the guys with a crime and then get a friendly judge to make sure they don’™t get bail. After that, prove the crime and send the guys to jail. Sure, that’™s a bit corrupt, but the Republicans can’™t even follow those rules, which are flllowed all the time in Brooklyn, where these incidents occured. Instead, they declared a police state. And it is costing us big bucks for their total incompetence.

Oh, that last part in bold? I put it in bold because it made me lose my breakfast.

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006 by Richard Blair |

America’s Love Affair With Mr. Popularity….

‘¦seems to be OVER. But I guess that’™s what happens when you sell out your country for personal gain.

Mr. 34%’™s popularity is only eclipsed by his VP’™s 18% approval rating. I think Woodward needs to take some of the proceeds from his last book and buy a clue.

Other notable number’™s from the poll are:

Mr. [...]

Commentary By: sukabi

‘¦seems to be OVER. But I guess that’™s what happens when you sell out your country for personal gain.

Mr. 34%‘™s popularity is only eclipsed by his VP’™s 18% approval rating. I think Woodward needs to take some of the proceeds from his last book and buy a clue.

Other notable number’™s from the poll are:

Mr. Bush’™s overall job rating has fallen to 34 percent, down from 42 percent last month. Fifty-nine percent disapprove of the job the president is doing.

For the first time in this poll, most Americans say the president does not care much about people like themselves. Fifty-one percent now think he doesn’™t care, compared to 47 percent last fall.

Just 30 percent approve of how Mr. Bush is handling the Iraq war, another all-time low.

By two to one, the poll finds Americans think U.S. efforts to bring stability to Iraq are going badly ï–¿–½ the worst assessment yet of progress in Iraq.

Even on fighting terrorism, which has long been a strong suit for Mr. Bush, his ratings dropped lower than ever. Half of Americans say they disapprove of how he’™s handling the war on terror, while 43 percent approve.

On the upside, everyone’™s heard enough about Cheney’™s ‘œshooting accident’.

Ooooo, just went through the full poll, (pdf) and this jumped out at me:

And even aside from his low job performance rating, few Americans today ï–¿–½ just 29% – offer a positive view of George W. Bush. 53% have an unfavorable view of him, his highest unfavorable rating among all Americans since he took office.

CBS actually makes this latest poll seem better than it is, it’™s worth it to open up the pdf and see for yourself.

Monday, February 27th, 2006 by Richard Blair |