From Scout: Here’s a little magic game for the evening. Can someone explain to me how this gopher does it? Continue reading A Game
Kevin Sites in Lebanon: I ask Abbas Kassab who he blames for the bombing and death in Qana, and the answer I receive is similar to what I have heard elsewhere on the streets of Lebanon: “America,” he says. “Only America.” “Why?” “America gave the green light for Israel to do this. Israel can’t shoot one bullet without America’s permission. America is responsible. There are not resistance fighters here. Only kids playing. Even if there were, why would they kill civilians? Let them fight in Bint Jbail where the resistance is. Let Israel go to Bint Jbail and see what … Continue reading The Monster We Built
From Holden: Via The Mucks, Poor, poor Tom DeLay. A federal appeals panel indicated today that the ability of Republicans to replace former U.S. Rep. Tom Delay on the ballot rests on whether there was “conclusive” evidence that he had moved to Virginia. The three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals did not indicate when it would rule. But questions from the panel seemed to favor the Democrats’ position that Republican officials could not declare DeLay ineligible for office based on residency prior to election day. Republican lawyer James Bopp Jr. told the panel that DeLay had given … Continue reading You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide From Running
From Holden: What’s worse, the fact that the president doesn’t know when hurricane season ends or the fact that FEMA Director David Paulison thinks that the month of November has 31 days? Q Can you explain then why the President didn’t seem to know today when the hurricane season was? DIRECTOR PAULISON: I didn’t get that. I’m sure he knows it’s from June to December. Q He said it ends in September when we were at the hurricane center, and he had to be corrected that it goes until mid-October, they said. DIRECTOR PAULISON: I think you may not have … Continue reading What’s Worse?
From Holden: To anyone who says lefty bloggers are avoiding discussion of Israel’s war against Lebanon, I say read Froomkin. And to any left blogger who says that he or she does not have the time to blog Israel’s war on Lebanon because the Iraq war is a bigger issue, and anyway they have far more influence over the conduct of the US in Iraq then they do the conduct of the US’s proxy in Lebanon, I say read Froomkin. Continue reading One Answer
From Holden: Via Kos, Republican Senator Chuck Hagel knows a quagmire when he sees it. Calling conditions in Iraq “an absolute replay of Vietnam,” Sen. Chuck Hagel said Friday that the Pentagon is making a mistake by beefing up American forces in Iraq. U.S. soldiers have become “easy targets” in a country that has descended into “absolute anarchy,” the Nebraska Republican and Vietnam combat veteran said in an interview with The World-Herald. He said that in the previous 48 hours, he had received three telephone calls from four-star generals who were “beside themselves” over the Pentagon’s reversal of plans to … Continue reading Hagel To The Left of Lieberman
From Holden: It’s hard work resolving the crisis in the Middle Eat: Last night Jeb and I had some crabs with members of the 1972 Miami Dolphins, Dan Marino and his really dynamic wife; TV stars — Andy Garcia, a movie star. We had a fantastic experience. Dubai Ports World much? One, it’s clear that the money we’ve been spending to help secure our ports is working. In other words, new technologies — there’s new ways to investigate cargo that gets here. Obviously, there’s more work to be done, but one of the most innovative projects we’ve done, by the … Continue reading Your President Speaks!
From Holden: Oh, my. The AP somehow* got their mitts on a letter sent to Rep. Kathering Harris way back in May by the Florida Republican Party begging Harris to give up her Senate race and stating that the party will not support her campaing. The state Republican Party bluntly told Rep. Katherine Harris (news, bio, voting record) that she couldn’t win this fall’s Senate election and that the party wouldn’t support her campaign, a letter obtained Monday by The Associated Press shows. Party Chairman Carole Jean Jordan made a last-ditch attempt in the confidential May 7 letter to force … Continue reading Your Monday Afternoon Republican Juggernaut Update
From Holden: I’d say this makes it official, wouldn’t you? In a statement released in Beirut Sunday, Human Rights Watch said Sunday’s air strike in the village of Qana was a product of an indiscriminate bombing campaign amounting to a war crime. The statement calls on the U.N. secretary-general to establish an International Commission of Inquiry to investigate violations of international humanitarian law during the conflict. Continue reading War Crime
From Holden: Via Juan Cole we learn more about the Israeli terror bombing of Qana. Even as the rescue team toiled to recover the dead, Israeli jets continued to roar overhead and the thump of air strikes and exploding artillery shells reverberated around the steep valley. Continue reading Terrorist State
From Holden: Follwoing in the hallowed footsteps of Pony Blow, Massachusets Governor Mitt Romney Klans-up the joint. Governor Mitt Romney yesterday apologized for using the expression “tar baby” — a phrase some consider a racial epithet — among comments he made at a political gathering in Iowa over the weekend. “The governor was describing a sticky situation,” said Eric Fehrnstrom, the governor’s spokesman. “He was unaware that some people find the term objectionable, and he’s sorry if anyone was offended.” In his first major political trip out of the state since a ceiling collapse in a Big Dig tunnel killed … Continue reading Scratch A Republican…
From Holden: Chimpy remains mired at a 36% approval job in the latest Pew poll, unchanged from June’s rating. Continue reading Still a Miserable Failure
From Holden: This is a first. I don’t recall ever seeing dead Iraqi children on the front page of my local rag, but the front page of the print edition of today’s Austin American-Statesman features a large color photograph (it takes up the entire area of the page abaove the fold) of a dead Lebanese todler pulled from the wreckage created by Israel’s latest terror-bombing of Qana, Beruit. Israel now says it will put it’s collective punishment campaign on hold for a while, but check this out: Israel last night bowed to international pressure and agreed to a 48-hour suspension … Continue reading Dead Lebanese Children In My Newspaper
From Scout: From Al Kamen at WaPo….. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), at the White House this spring for a meeting with other senators to discuss immigration with President Bush, was surprised when Bush approached him as the meeting broke up and observed: “Senator Martinez, you’ve been very quiet.” “That’s Martinez,” Menendez said, pointing to Mel Martinez — Florida’s junior senator and Bush’s former secretary of housing and urban development. “I’m Menendez.” Bush turned bright red, we’re told. Seor Mayor? The White House could not confirm the comment. Continue reading Bush faux pas speaks volumes
Off this, from Atrios: Basically there are people who imagine that there is a supermajority political consensus in this country which is shattered by nasty partisanship from politicians. There’s a belief that fundamental disagreements about how this country should be run come not from voters but from politicians. I ask you this. And I’m sincerely asking. If you give me numbers I’ll post them. But is there a substantial amount of polling data that actually SAYS Americans are “tired of partisan politics” or “tired of bickering among politicians?” And following up on that, is there any data that says in … Continue reading Partisan Politics
Here’s another idea for a topic next time you want to mouth off about how Democrats need to respect people with moral values: The program was designed to give all participants a certain level of insurance and to protect elderly and disabled recipients with chronic or catastrophic illnesses from huge prescription expenses. To afford those two goals, Part D’s designers built in an annual period during which individuals have to pay for medicines themselves. Under a standard plan this first year, Medicare handles 75 percent of drug costs after a deductible until the bill reaches $2,250. It does not kick … Continue reading Hey Barack
So for seven years, The West Wing was my one true TV love, where I’d get excited starting Monday night because it’d be on soon, where I found myself saying to friends, “I’ve never felt this way about TV before,” where we had parties just to watch it so we didn’t waste the next two days of work talking it over. The breakup was hard, and I’m still not over it completely, there’s still something about sweet Sam Seaborn that twists my heart every time I see him in re-runs. So it’s too soon, and I’m not on board the … Continue reading Rebound Show
From Holden: Rep. Katherine Harris’ fourth campaign manager sounds like a peach. As Ms. Harris is an ardent supporter of Chimpy’s Vanity War I wonder why he isn’t fighting in Iraq? Katherine Harris’ new campaign manager is an energetic young conservative best known for an anti-gay marriage initiative in Massachusetts and for bringing actor and National Rifle Association President Charlton Heston to speak at his liberal college. Bryan Rudnick, a member of the Palm Beach County Republican Executive Committee, was named her fourth campaign manager on Thursday. In a statement, Harris said she was “delighted” to have Rudnick on her … Continue reading Saturday with the Republican Juggernaut
Yesterday saw the return of the Friday Night Follies, as the Bush Assministration released poltically devastating information on a Friday Eevening.
Somebody will have to go to jail for the fraud and corruption at the Department of State described in today’s New York Times. Democrats need to pick up and campaign on the corruption and mismanagement in Iraq as well as war-profiteering by major US corporations. And this story has all of the ingredients — a sweet deal for Bechtel gets even sweeter when the demand nearly double their contracted payment. State agrees and hides the true cost from Congress. Then when Bechtel falls way behind schedule – inspite of the extra millions – State covers that up as well.
The State Department agency in charge of $1.4 billion in reconstruction money in Iraq used an accounting shell game to hide ballooning cost overruns on its projects there and knowingly withheld information on schedule delays from Congress, a federal audit released late Friday has found.
The agency hid construction overruns by listing them as overhead or administrative costs, according to the audit, written by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, an independent office that reports to Congress, the Pentagon and the State Department.
Called the United States Agency for International Development, or A.I.D., the agency administers foreign aid projects around the world. It has been working in Iraq on reconstruction since shortly after the 2003 invasion.
Can it get any sweeter? The one of the projects involved was Laura’s pet!
The findings appeared in an audit of a children’s hospital in Basra, but they referred to the wider reconstruction activities of the development agency in Iraq. American and Iraqi officials reported this week that the State Department planned to drop Bechtel, its contractor on that project, as signs of budget and scheduling problems began to surface.
The hospital’s construction budget was $50 million. By April of this year, Bechtel had told the aid agency that because of escalating costs for security and other problems, the project would actually cost $98 million to complete. But in an official report to Congress that month, the agency “was reporting the hospital project cost as $50 million,” the inspector general wrote in his report.
The rest was reclassified as overhead, or “indirect costs.” According to a contracting officer at the agency who was cited in the report, the agency “did not report these costs so it could stay within the $50 million authorization.”
The actor began swearing uncontrollably. Gibson repeatedly said, “My life is f****d.” Law enforcement sources say the deputy, worried that Gibson might become violent, told the actor that he was supposed to cuff him but would not, as long as Gibson cooperated. As the two stood next to the hood of the patrol car, the deputy asked Gibson to get inside. Deputy Mee then walked over to the passenger door and opened it. The report says Gibson then said, “I’m not going to get in your car,” and bolted to his car. The deputy quickly subdued Gibson, cuffed him and put him inside the patrol car.
Once inside the car, a source directly connected with the case says Gibson began banging himself against the seat. The report says Gibson told the deputy, “You mother f****r. I’m going to f*** you.” The report also says “Gibson almost continually [sic] threatened me saying he ‘owns Malibu’ and will spend all of his money to ‘get even’ with me.”
The report says Gibson then launched into a barrage of anti-Semitic statements: “F*****g Jews… The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.” Gibson then asked the deputy, “Are you a Jew?”
The deputy became alarmed as Gibson’s tirade escalated, and called ahead for a sergeant to meet them when they arrived at the station. When they arrived, a sergeant began videotaping Gibson, who noticed the camera and then said, “What the f*** do you think you’re doing?”
A law enforcement source says Gibson then noticed another female sergeant and yelled, “What do you think you’re looking at, sugar tits?”
Continues, Read More…
From Holden: A drunk Secret Service agent got his ass tasered by Waco police in a bar near Chimpy’s Crawford “ranch” last weekend. Not sure why it took a week to hit the papers. The U.S. Secret Service has started an investigation after one of its agents was arrested at a Waco bar. The incident happened early Friday morning at Cricket’s Grill & Draft House downtown, according to Waco police. It began when 30-year-old John Scott Lewis began arguing with a Cricket’s manager. He had been rude to other customers and was asked to leave, according to an affidavit filed … Continue reading Oh Shit, It’s Contagious
From Scout: I shouldn’t have read this first thing in the morning. I’ll be “fuming” all day. WASHINGTON, July 29 — The House approved an increase in the federal minimum wage on Saturday, but its future was clouded because Republicans tied the pay change to an estate tax cut that had been blocked in the Senate. In a prelude to a summer of campaigning in the battle for control of Congress, lawmakers clashed bitterly over the Republican decision to link the tax break for affluent Americans to a $2.10 increase in the minimum wage before the legislation was approved after … Continue reading Find the right tool for the job
I am not a music geek. I do not know who sang what the year before it became cool, nor do I know much about what I’m supposed to be liking now, what the early-30s supposed-hipster soundtrack actually is. I do like Leonard Cohen. A whole lot. The songs that everybody loves didn’t arrive until Cohen was in his early thirties. At McGill, he had played guitar in a country-western trio called the Buckskin Boys and gravitated to Montreal’s bohemian literary scene. Music first underscored poetry when Cohen gave readings backed by a jazz band, but it was books of … Continue reading Take This Waltz
Go read Steve’s post and especially the comments: Feeding the homeless now illegal in Vegas. Something I’ve noticed in the philanthropic world recently. Somewhere, sometime, charity became not about helping others because it was the right thing to do but about getting a return on your investment. Charity became about helping others only if they really, truly deserved it, only if they were really poor, only if they were really addicted, only if they were homeless because they didn’t “want” to be. As Fat Bastard says in Steve’s comments: Whatever I give to whoever is between me and The Creator … Continue reading ‘Roger Was Just Saying He’s Totally Against Charitable Giving’
From Scout: Man it’s Hot. How Hot is it? Continue reading HOT!
From Holden: I’m with Thers. Friggin’ NTodd has to go. Continue reading Burn Down the Tastee-Freeze!
From Holden: Today, on fighting the War on Strawmen: And one of the challenges, of course, is to convince people that Muslims would like to be free, that there’s other people other than people in Britain and America that would like to be free in the world. There’s this kind of almost — kind of a weird kind of elitism that says well maybe — maybe certain people in certain parts of the world shouldn’t be free; maybe it’s best just to let them sit in these tyrannical societies. And our foreign policy rejects that concept. And we don’t accept … Continue reading Your President Speaks!
From Holden: Shit. Another shrine is destroyed. A Shia shrine has been blown up and at least 17 people killed as a leading Shia politician called for Iraqis to be given full control of the security services in order to end the country’s violence. Attackers planted several bombs inside the shrine to Imam Askar between the towns of Balad Ruz and Mandalay on Friday morning. The resulting explosion destroyed the monument. The world’s largest cemetary. Shi’ites from all over the world aspire to be buried in Najaf’s sacred Valley of Peace cemetery, but the dozens of Iraqi corpses brought there … Continue reading Oh, Yeah… The War