From the Rocky Mountain News: COLORADO SPRINGS – Gay rights supporters from around the country, angry at James Dobson’s stance against homosexuality, are expected to converge Sunday and Monday on his Focus on the Family headquarters. A second demonstration is also set for Sunday by a handful of extreme anti-gay activists from the Rev. Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan. Ironically, both groups will be protesting the stand taken by Dobson and his ministry on homosexuality. The gay rights advocacy group Soulforce accuses Dobson of “spreading lies about same-gender families.” Phelps’ group says Focus officials are headed to … Continue reading Dobson going “Straight to Hell” according to Phelps
From Holden: Another day, another Powell loyalist. A fourth senior member of Colin L. Powell’s team at the State Department expressed strong reservations on Friday about the nomination of John R. Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations. The official, A. Elizabeth Jones, is a veteran diplomat who stepped down in February as assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasia. Among those who have now voiced public concerns about Mr. Bolton, Ms. Jones joins Lawrence Wilkerson, Mr. Powell’s chief of staff; Carl W. Ford, Jr., who headed the department’s intelligence bureau; and John R. Wolf, who was assistant secretary … Continue reading Your Daily Bolton
On the road today. Sorry for the lack of ferrets yesterday – when I get home tomorrow and they forgive me for leaving them alone with Heather the Petsitter for three days, I’ll make them vogue for you. In the meantime, something I’m curious about. What’s the best meal you’ve ever eaten? Was it the food? The company? The location? Tell me all about it. A. Continue reading Weekend Open Thread
From Holden: Several readers have alerted me to this Reuters image of Rummy, to which Jason_in_Amishville provides the definitive caption: Rummy: “Hey, the Cap’s even making my *spidey sense* tingle!” Continue reading Friday Captioning
From Holden: Confused about the Social Security “plan” Chimpy introduced last night? So are the gagglers, and Little Scottie ain’t helpin’ much. Q Under the President’s new proposal unveiled last night, would average workers see a cut in their Social Security benefit? MR. McCLELLAN: Steve, right now under the current system, all Americans are facing significant benefit cuts. If we do nothing, all Americans will see significant cuts in their Social Security benefits. [snip] Q Under the Pozen plan, he has a specific formula on who gets what and how benefits are determined. Is the President signing on to all … Continue reading Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle
From Holden: Great questions from Helen Thomas and Les Kinsolving in today’s Gaggle. Here’s Helen: Q Why is it that the President, who considers himself a compassionate President, is giving the biggest tax cut to the richest people in this country and cutting Medicare — Medicaid, I mean, and programs for the poor? I mean, how can you justify that? MR. McCLELLAN: You actually asked me this question earlier today — Q I did. I didn’t get a satisfactory answer. MR. McCLELLAN: Well, only in Washington, D.C. is a 35-percent increase in funding for Medicaid considered — Q Who’s going … Continue reading Today on Holden’s Obsession with Helen and Les
From Holden: Yet another economic indicator fails to meet expectations. U.S. consumers’ attitude toward the economy softened in April, according to a report Friday. The University of Michigan’s full-month report on consumer sentiment moved to 87.7 in April, down from 92.6 in March, according to media reports. The preliminary April reading had been 88.7. The April reading was under the 89 predicted by economists. Continue reading No Bush Boom for Consumers
From Holden: Reuters put this together from today’s Baboon-a-palooza event in Virginia. Continue reading Monkey Montage
From Holden: Although the White House has not (as of this writing) marked it on the official Baboon-a-palooza Tour Map, Chimpy was in Virginia today pushing his plan to destroy Social Security. Once again, the lowlights: Still casting doubt on Treasury Bonds and whether they are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States of America, I see. Pay-as-you-go means, by the way, money comes in and it goes out; you pay, and we go ahead and spend. And we spend not only on retiree benefits, but we spend on every other program. And all that’s left … Continue reading Baboon-a-palooza In The Old Dominion
From Holden: No wonder Chimpy loves John Bolton so deeply. The Yale Daily News (via Live Journal) reveals that John Bolton was also a Chickenhawk who ducked combat in Vietnam by joining the National Guard. Though Bolton supported the Vietnam War, he declined to enter combat duty, instead enlisting in the National Guard and attending law school after his 1970 graduation. “I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy,” Bolton wrote of his decision in the 25th reunion book. “I considered the war in Vietnam already lost.” Continue reading Chickenhawks of a Feather
From Holden: Words: I believe we’re making really good progress in Iraq. Actions: 11 Bombs Across Iraq Kill at Least 24 and Wound Scores. Continue reading Words vs. Actions
from the Denver Post: Imagine two rape victims taken to the same hospital emergency room. Imagine them put in adjoining examination rooms. Let’s say they have identical injuries. Presume everything about them is the same except for where they are in their menstrual cycles. Do they deserve access to the same medical treatment? At most Catholic hospitals in Colorado, they can’t get it. The protocol of six Catholic hospitals run by Centura calls for rape victims to undergo an ovulation test. If they have not ovulated, said Centura corporate spokeswoman Dana Berry, doctors tell the victims about emergency contraception and … Continue reading AAaaaiiiiiii yeeeeeeeeeee!!!
From Holden: My favorite lines from what may have been the worst press conference ever, in terms of achieving it’s goals (gaining public support for Chimpy’s plans to destroy SOcial Security and calming public anxieties over high gas prices). Clip 1: What Iraq have got. But Iraq has — have got people there that are willing to kill, and they’re hard-nosed killers. AFP/Paul J. Richards Clip 2: Faith-based been berry berry good to me. Faith-based is an important part of my life, individually, but I don’t — I don’t ascribe a person’s opposing my nominations to an issue of faith. … Continue reading Your President Speaks
From Holden: With each day, another accusation. A former senior intelligence official, who was responsible for coordinating American intelligence assessments, directed his staff in 2003 to strongly resist assertions that John R. Bolton sought to make about Syria’s weapons programs in Congressional testimony, the official, Robert L. Hutchings, said in an interview on Wednesday. [snip] On Thursday, John C. Whitehead, who was deputy secretary of state under President Reagan, said in an interview that he had urged Republican senators to oppose Mr. Bolton’s nomination on the ground that Mr. Bolton was “a difficult person to work with” who would not … Continue reading Your Daily Bolton
He’s doing something nice. A. Continue reading Happy Democrat Photo: Go Leahy Yourself Edition
From Holden: Wiretaps in U.S. Jump 19 Percent in 2004 Continue reading Are We Safer Yet?
From Holden: From Tom Paine: Number of minutes President Bush spent in an underground bunker yesterday when a cloud was mistaken for a terrorist threat: 4 Continue reading Chimpin Little
From Holden: Dan Froomkin leads us to this report in the Rocky Mountain News indicating that the man who impersonated a federal agent and threw three citizens out of a taxpayer-funded town hall meeting in Denver may hvae been a White House staff member. [T]he head of the Denver office of the Secret Service is now saying he never described the man in question as a Republican party staffer. “Instead, he said the man was ‘a member of the Republican staff host committee.’. . . . “Rachael Sunbarger, spokeswoman for the Colorado Republican Party, said, ‘The White House is the … Continue reading Denver Three Update
From Holden: Quite often, when the White House fails to promptly post gaggle transcripts, I visit TalkRadioNews.com as they often post gaggle summaries written by their reporter in the briefing room. These summaries are sueful because they let me know that a gaggle did indeed occur, and what was generally discussed. Normally I don’t obsess on TalkRadioNews’ obsession with the gaggle, but today reporter Gregory Gorman’s summary included this juicy exchange between Little Scottie and Heavenly Helen. Press Secretary Scott McClellan suggested that this evening’s press conference will focus on two priorities, Social Security and energy. The White House believes … Continue reading Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle [Summary]
From Holden: “Newcular. Nooooo-cuelar. Newcular.” REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque Continue reading Lunch with the Captions
From Holden: The Pentagon is forced to release 360 photographs of Bush’s war dead returning to America or buried at sea. Just a short jet trail from the air force base where it all started, Ralph Begleiter announced Wednesday that the Department of Defense released to him and the National Security Archive 360 additional photographs of soldiers’ remains as they were returned to U.S. bases, from Dover to Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii. Begleiter, the 55-year-old former CNN reporter who is in his fifth year of teaching broadcast journalism at the University of Delaware, made the announcement while speaking … Continue reading Swept Under the Rug, Then Reclaimed
From Holden: Human Rights Watch The crimes at Abu Ghraib are part of a larger pattern of abuses against Muslim detainees around the world, Human Rights Watch said on the eve of the April 28 anniversary of the first pictures of U.S. soldiers brutalizing prisoners at the Iraqi jail. [snip] “Abu Ghraib was only the tip of the iceberg,” said Reed Brody, special counsel for Human Rights Watch. “It’s now clear that abuse of detainees has happened all over—from Afghanistan to Guantnamo Bay to a lot of third-country dungeons where the United States has sent prisoners. And probably quite a … Continue reading Abu Ghraib, One Year Later
From Holden: Chimpy’s job approval rating drops in the latest Fox News poll. Approve 47% (-2%) Disapprove 43% (-3%) Unsure 10% (+5%) Continue reading Gonna Leave a Welt
From Holden: New jobless claims increased by a whopping 21,000 Lucky Duckies last week. In the week ending April 23, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 320,000, an increase of 21,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 299,000. While our economy’s growth rate dropped a bit during the first quarter of the year. The economy lost momentum in the opening quarter of 2005, growing at an annual rate of 3.1 percent. The slowest pace of expansion in two years, amid soaring gasoline prices and rising interest rates, offered new evidence the economy has hit a soft … Continue reading How About, ”Monty Python and the Holy Bush Boom”?
From Holden: New jobless claims increased by a whopping 21,000 Lucky Duckies last week. In the week ending April 23, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 320,000, an increase of 21,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 299,000. While our economy’s growth rate dropped a bit during the first quarter of the year. The economy lost momentum in the opening quarter of 2005, growing at an annual rate of 3.1 percent. The slowest pace of expansion in two years, amid soaring gasoline prices and rising interest rates, offered new evidence the economy has hit a soft … Continue reading How About, “Monty Python and the Holy Bush Boom”?
Today’s Action Comes from Act for Change: Whether you have taken action once, twice or many times before, it’s crucial that you take action again TODAY to save the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling. The special interests that desperately want to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge have now included language in the Federal budget that would allow for drilling. Both versions of the budget are in conference committee to be reconciled, providing us with our last chance to get the drilling provision removed. Steps 1 & 2 Call each of your senators via the … Continue reading Action Alert – Alaskan Wilderness
From Holden: Nobody skewers David Brooks with more consistency than Attaturk. Continue reading Today on Attaturk’s Obsession with Bobo
From Holden: Military Intelligence is indeed an oxymoron. The U.S. Army has approved the purchase of more than $29 million worth of weapons for the new Iraqi army from a Chinese state-owned company [Poly Technologies] that’s under indictment in California in connection with the smuggling of 2,000 AK-47 automatic rifles into the United States in 1996. The haul remains the largest seizure of smuggled automatic weapons in U.S. history. [snip] It isn’t clear whether the deal, which comes as the Bush administration is pressing the European Union to maintain an embargo on high-tech arms sales to China, was discussed or … Continue reading The New Iraqi Army, Throwin’ Down Signs
From Holden: The Italians investigate the murder of Nicola Calipari at the hands of U.S. soldiers. Italian officials said Rome prosecutors were looking for evidence of homicide in the case of Nicola Calipari, who was transporting a rescued Italian hostage to the Baghdad airport when U.S. soldiers opened fire on their car. The bullet-scarred Toyota Corolla was brought to Rome on Tuesday. The prosecutors have demanded the names of the soldiers who were involved, but the Pentagon has denied the request, Italian officials said. The Italian move follows the release this week of partial findings from the joint American-Italian investigation. … Continue reading The Romance is Over