Monthly Archives: August 2006

Inform Babs….Houston not working so well for them

From Scout:

Oyster on Texas (Houston that is) hospitality.

And then there is this commentary on it as seen in the Lower 9th Ward of NOLA. (But perhaps they merely were not a fan of John’s The Unforgiven)

9th lakeview 82006 087

(Photo: scout prime 8/25/2006)

Blogger Ethics

The Internet is killing journalism:

That same month, McClatchy quickly pawned the Beacon off on Black Press for $165 million. The Canadian company’s owner, David Black, assured staffers that he cared about journalism, wouldn’t mess with their union, and wasn’t going to lay anyone off. Some breathed a sigh of relief. Others knew better. “We knew more layoffs were coming,” Wilson says.

A few weeks later, Black finally must have taken a good look at the books “and said, ‘Oh, shit!,'” Wilson believes.

On August 22, Black laid off 40 staffers — almost a quarter of the newsroom.

So the paper had to be losing money by the bucketful, right?

Despite the loss of its cash cow, Rita Kelly Madick, the paper’s spokeswoman, admits that the Beacon is still profitable. As Knight Ridder was closing, the paper was still boasting profit margins exceeding 20 percent, among the best performances in the chain.

“You almost forget that we’re actually profitable,” says a reporter who was laid off. “David Black makes it sound like all we’re doing is losing money.”

Maybe USA Today can get right on this, once they’re done castigating bloggers for not doing enough to promote “Snakes on a Plane.”

Via Romenesko.


Voices from the Heartland

From Holden:

The Republikkkans are in deep shit.

A crowd of thousands cheered Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson for calling President Bush a “dishonest, war-mongering, human-rights violating president” whose time in office would “rank as the worst presidency our nation has ever had to endure.”

The group – including children and elderly and some hailing from throughout Utah – then marched to the federal building Wednesday to deliver a copy of a symbolic indictment against the president and Congress for abuse of power and failure to uphold the U.S. Constitution.

With their signs labeling Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld the “axis of evil,” calling the Iraq war a “mission of lies” or comparing the invasion of Iraq after Sept. 11, 2001, to invading Mexico after Pearl Harbor, the estimated 1,500 to 4,000 protesters hoped their demonstration at the Salt Lake City-County Building sent a message about the reddest state in the country.

“If they [the Bush administration] lack support in Utah, my God they’re in trouble,” the Rev. Tom Goldsmith of the First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City told the lively gathering between protest songs and banner waving.

For those who didn’t get enough, organizers held a “Rock Against Rumsfeld” concert at Pioneer Park in the evening. Between songs, Salt Lake City singer Colin Robison challenged Rumsfeld’s Tuesday speech to the American Legion.

“Critics of the war were equated with Nazi sympathizers. How dare he?” Robison asked the crowd of over 300. “What about Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay? Who’s the Nazi?

A mother of an Iraqi war veteran on his second tour, Debbie Johnson, told the crowd they need not heed the “Orwellian double-speak” of the administration.

“This war is illegal. You don’t have to support the war to support our troops.”


“I love America as much as anybody else,” said Brenda Durant, 52, who traveled to the protest from Vernal. “I support the troops and I want to bring them home alive.”

Former Marine Capt. Eric Martineau was in his dress blues to protest the war in Iraq and the Bush administration policies. “I want to let Utah know that pre-emptive war is not LDS doctrine,” he said, noting he is Mormon. “We’ll look back at this [war] and see it as a turning point.” Big-headed papier-mach likenesses of Bush, Rumsfeld and Rice – dressed in jailbird shirts and led through the crowd in handcuffs – added to the carnival atmosphere. A band played the flower-power anthem “Get Together.”


At the federal building, protesters had to wait outside as organizers delivered the petition. The lingering pack, observed by five armed federal guards, chanted “No more war” and “We are the people.”

Looking around the spectacle, Ruth Dunn, of Tooele, summed up the day: “This is what democracy looks like.”

Tonight on American Justice Files

From Holden:


Ramadi, Aug 31, (VOI) – An Iraqi family of four people was killed by U.S. sniper fire on Thursday morning in Ramadi, Anbar province, eyewitnesses said.

“A man, his wife and two children were walking home in al-Huz neighborhood when a U.S. sniper shot them dead at 11:00 a.m. in al-Ma’ared Street,” a witness told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI).

U.S. Marines have been stationed on the roof tops of high buildings in several neighborhoods of Ramadi for two days, he said.

Earlier on Thursday, witnesses reported that U.S. forces blew up many government buildings in the restive Iraqi town of Ramadi at dawn.

And then there’s this.

Two Marines have confessed to kidnapping and killing a 52-year-old Iraqi man in Hamandiya, west of Baghdad, a military prosecutor said Wednesday at a preliminary hearing.


Seven Marines and a Navy corpsman have been accused in the April 26 incident of dragging Hashim Ibrahim Awad from his home, shooting him and leaving an AK-47 and shovel near his body to suggest he was an insurgent burying a roadside bomb.

Leaving New Orleans…

From Scout:

Well I’m about to leave for the airport to fly home but I wanted to thank my wonderful hosts and friends lb, R. and S. for having me here. They have been so great words truly can not express.Thank you!

And I wanted to thank the wonderful, hard working NOLA bloggers who have made me feel so welcome. They put on a GREAT conference! I loved meeting everyone (bloggers and blog readers) and just want to say from my heart…Thank You.

I will be back and will keep on writing about NOLA. I have a few posts to do but will have to do so from WI.

Bless New Orleans and sinn fein too

Your Thursday Morning Republican Juggernaut Update

From Holden:

The Orlando Sentinel publishes its endorsements prior to next week’s Florida primary elections.

Republican U.S. Senate primary

Republicans cannot beat Bill Nelson regardless of who wins this race, but there remains a compelling reason to vote for Katherine Harris.


Deep Thoughts from Rich Lowry

From Holden:



…thankfully. People are in no mood to believe optimistic assurances about Iraq anymore, but I think they will still be receptive to a message of resoluteness grounded in a no-nonsense realism. This means Bush is taking the right tack in his new Iraq push, as reported in the Wall Street Journal this morning.

Yeah, this Rich Lowry.

Bush’s Fairy Tale Explanation

From Scout:

The talking point this past week to explain the miserable lack of progress down here appears to have skirted on Louisiana (Democrats) is Slow, just look at Mississippi (Republicans). Bush has stated things are slower in Louisiana….

“Money is beginning to go out the door so people can rebuild their lives,” Bush said Monday in Biloxi, Miss. “In Louisiana, it’s been a little slower.”

During his August 21st press conference Bush pointed out …”Mississippi has developed its own plan.” On August 24 in an interview with a local Biloxi reporter Bush again pointed to MS plan…

And I’ve got to applaud Mississippi because they have developed a plan, which was approved quickly, that will enable money to get out the door to helping individual homeowners rebuild.


And Haley set up a group, led by Jim Barksdale, it was a community group, very diverse and they went around and collected ideas and came forth with a plan. That’s all we asked for. And we’ll analyze it and fund it to the extent that the federal government is obligated. And Haley did a very good job of understanding our obligations. The CDBG money, he was very instrumental in helping get passed.

So, I do have a very good relationship with Haley, but I do believe the reason things are going as good as they are in Mississippi is that Haley took the lead in developing the plan, regardless of any personal relationship.

The inference is Babour delivered a plan (to Bush’s liking) while Louisiana put forth the Baker Bill which Bush did not support making MS ahead of the game. But what has Barbour’s friendship, influence and going Bush’s CDGB route early gotten the people of Mississippi? Next to nothing as reported on August 28 by WLOX….

As of Monday, the state had paid out 40 grants ranging from $6,000 to $140,000, said Scott Hamilton, spokesman for the Mississippi Development Authority, a state agency assisting in the housing grant program.


“In a state where 60,000 homes suffered severe damage, only around 30,000 households were eligible for the initial program, and now less than three dozen checks have gone out,” said Minor Sinclair, Oxfam America’s director of U.S. regional programs.(emphasis mine)

The federal money is not flowing in down here and that’s due to the Bush administration. Don’t believe the tortoise/hare fairy tale of 2 states as an explanation. While it serves as good talking points to make Republicans look good it isn’t reality.

(h/t to adaplant at Efficay blog and Read how his MS family has yet to receive a dime)


From Holden:

Following up on a couple of yesterday’s posts, the man of whom AssRocket said, “His intelligence, competence, judgment and reliability cannot be questioned.”, will be fined for his stupidity, incompetence, poor judgement, and unreliability.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist will probably be fined and have to make up for failing to do continuing medical education that Tennessee requires of doctors with active licenses.

We also learned yesterday that Rove’s pal Kenneth Tomlinson secretly gave a friend of his a $250k government job, ran his horse racing business from his government office, and double-billed the government for his time. Today the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has decided that his term as chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors will not be renewed, although Chimpy could give him one of his famous recess appointments.

A White House nominee may lose his job overseeing U.S.-backed international TV and radio services after a Senate committee said on Wednesday it would not vote this year on another term for Kenneth Tomlinson, following a government report that said he used the office for personal gain.

President George W. Bush in 2005 nominated Tomlinson to a second term as chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees government international programming like Voice of America as well as Radio and TV Marti, which air Spanish-language broadcasts to Cuba.

However, the Republican-controlled Senate Foreign Relations Committee will not take up his nomination this year, panel spokesman Andy Fisher told Reuters. Democrats in Congress have demanded Bush fire Tomlinson.

“We’re not going to schedule it for the remainder of the year, and at that point it (the nomination) expires,” he said. His term expired in 2004, but he is able to remain in office until Congress adjourns sometime later this year.

Give Him The Iron Cross Why Don’t You?

From Holden:

This is going to help our image in Iraq. The man who lead the Haditha Massacre was recommended for a medal for his actions that day.

The platoon commander for the squad of Marines who killed as many as two dozen Iraqi civilians during an attack in Haditha last year recommended later that the sergeant who led the attack receive a medal for his heroism that day, according to military documents.

Lt. William T. Kallop wrote in a praise-filled memo that the incident on Nov. 19, 2005, was part of a complex insurgent ambush that included a powerful roadside bomb followed by a high volume of automatic-weapons fire from several houses in the neighborhood. He lauded Sgt. Frank Wuterich for his leadership in the “counterattack” on three houses while the unit received sporadic enemy fire.


Representatives for Kallop, who was promoted to first lieutenant in May, could not be reached for comment yesterday. He is one of numerous Marines who are the subject of a Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigation into civilian deaths in the Haditha attack, which has alternately been characterized as a vengeful massacre and as the unfortunate collateral damage of war. None has been charged so far.


While residents in the Iraqi neighborhood have said the Marines went from house to house in a rage, killing civilians in cold blood, Kallop complimented Wuterich on his calm demeanor and suggested that the incident led the Marines to valuable intelligence. Kallop arrived on the scene after the initial explosion.

“Sgt. Wuterich ensured that he had 360 degree security and led a counterattack on the buildings to his south where his Marines were still receiving sporadic fire from,” Kallop wrote in support of a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with a combat distinguishing device for Wuterich. “That counterattack turned the tide of the ambush and killed a number of insurgents still attempting to fight or attempting to flee the area.”

In a summary of the incident, officials wrote that Wuterich’s decisiveness “doubtlessly prevented further injury or death to fellow Marines and innocent civilians.”

Puckett said Kallop approved the assault in the midst of battle: “This was a planned and orchestrated attack by insurgents, and the Marines were responding in accordance with their rules.”

Let’s review the actions of the brave Sgt. Wuterich.

Then one of the Marines took charge and began shouting, said Fahmi, who was watching from his roof. Fahmi said he saw the Marine direct other Marines into the house closest to the blast, about 50 yards away.

It was the home of 76-year-old Abdul Hamid Hassan Ali. Although he had used a wheelchair since diabetes forced a leg amputation years ago, Ali was always one of the first on his block to go out every morning, scattering scraps for his chickens and hosing the dust of the arid western town from his driveway, neighbors said.

In the house with Ali and his 66-year-old wife, Khamisa Tuma Ali, were three of the middle-aged male members of their family, at least one daughter-in-law and four children — 4-year-old Abdullah, 8-year-old Iman, 5-year-old Abdul Rahman and 2-month-old Asia.

Marines entered shooting, witnesses recalled. Most of the shots — in Ali’s house and two others — were fired at such close range that they went through the bodies of the family members and plowed into walls or the floor, physicians at Haditha’s hospital said.

A daughter-in-law, identified as Hibbah, escaped with Asia, survivors and neighbors said. Iman and Abdul Rahman were shot but survived. Four-year-old Abdullah, Ali and the rest died.

Ali took nine rounds in the chest and abdomen, leaving his intestines spilling out of the exit wounds in his back, according to his death certificate.

The Marines moved to the house next door, Fahmi said.

Inside were 43-year-old Khafif, 41-year-old Aeda Yasin Ahmed, an 8-year-old son, five young daughters and a 1-year-old girl staying with the family, according to death certificates and neighbors.

The Marines shot them at close range and hurled grenades into the kitchen and bathroom, survivors and neighbors said later. Khafif’s pleas could be heard across the neighborhood. Four of the girls died screaming.

Only 13-year-old Safa Younis lived — saved, she said, by her mother’s blood spilling onto her, making her look dead when she fell, limp, in a faint.


Moving to a third house in the row, Marines burst in on four brothers, Marwan, Qahtan, Chasib and Jamal Ahmed. Neighbors said the Marines killed them together.

Marine officials said later that one of the brothers had the only gun found among the three families, although there has been no known allegation that the weapon was fired.


The final victims of the day happened upon the scene inadvertently, witnesses said. Four male college students — Khalid Ayada al-Zawi, Wajdi Ayada al-Zawi, Mohammed Battal Mahmoud and Akram Hamid Flayeh — had left the Technical Institute in Saqlawiyah for the weekend to stay with one of their families on the street, said Fahmi, a friend of the young men.

A Haditha taxi driver, Ahmed Khidher, was bringing them home, Fahmi said.

According to Fahmi, the young men and their driver turned onto the street and saw the wrecked Humvee and the Marines. Khidher threw the car into reverse, trying to back away at full speed, Fahmi said, and the Marines opened fire from about 30 yards away, killing all the men inside the taxi.


From Holden:

Oh Christ, I spill tons of electronic ink following Katherine Harris’ many adventures but Margaret Spellings may just be the stupidest woman in American Politics.

Education Secretary Margaret Spellings said Wednesday the No Child Left Behind Act is close to perfect and needs little change as its first major update draws near.

“I talk about No Child Left Behind like Ivory soap: It’s 99.9 percent pure or something,” Spellings told reporters. “There’s not much needed in the way of change.”

Spellings’ comments signal what amounts to the Bush administration’s starting position as the law comes up for renewal. That is scheduled to happen as soon as next year.


Yet her view that the law needs little change is notable because it differs so sharply from others with a stake, including many teachers, school administrators and lawmakers.

Already, the House education committee is holding hearings on how to improve the law. So is a prominent bipartisan commission, which is touring the nation to gather opinions.

More than 80 organizations have signed a statement urging fundamental changes, in areas such as how student progress is measured and how schools are penalized when they fall short. And the National Conference of State Legislatures has given the law a scathing rebuke.

“You cannot ignore reality,” said Reg Weaver, president of the National Education Association, the largest teachers union in the country.

“The reality is that poll after poll speaks to the concerns that people have,” Weaver said. “They are not arguing with the goals. They are not arguing with accountability. But they say something needs to be done to fix this law.”

The Book Tour Continues – DC Edition

First Drafters in Our Nation’s Capital can come see me speak at this event on Sept. 16:

Beginning September 5th, we will launch a non-partisan camp for peace, democracy, and the restoration of the rule of law. Camp Casey will move from Crawford, Texas, to Washington, D.C., to create a larger camp focused not only on ending the war but also on righting injustices here at home and on holding accountable the Bush Administration and Congress.

I’ll be in the main tent from 1-1:30 p.m. talking about blogs and books and signing copies of the Feith book, for the six of you who don’t have one yet and want one.

Come on out and say hello. I would volunteer to bring a ferret with me, but I don’t think the new Homeland Security regulations will allow Stripe on an airplane. Plus ever since going to the movies last weekend, he’s scared of snakes.

Seriously, though, it looks like a good event and if you’re in the area, I’d love to meet you in person.


USA Today & Blogs

This piece has been all over the place today and its wankery and stunning dumbassery is not so very surprising when you realize that we’re talking about this newspaper:

Case in point. About halfway through this panel, Owen Ullman, deputy managing editor for news at USA Today, opined that the problem with blogs was that no one knew who was behind them. He described, with a sort of touching helplessness, a huge mass of “noise” on the Internet which it is impossible for journalists to sort through. I’m paraphrasing, of course, but his overall opinion of blogs was that we were irresponsible, wild and crazy, fly-by-night electronic graffiti artists who seem to think they have some right to the label of journalist. We have to pay attention to blogs, he sighed, because they’re “out there,” but he left no doubt he found the whole thing distasteful and harmful to journalism.


Following the panel, I asked Mr. Ullman, who was quite courteous and willing to chat, whether he was aware that most of the top-tier political bloggers on both sides of the spectrum are no longer anonymous, and some (like Kos, Glenn Reynolds and Ass Missile) never have been. He was not. I asked if he’d mind telling me which blogs he read regularly.

None really, he said, but he’s been meaning to get to it.


Bush ain’t shit…..and NOLA residents let him know it

From Scout:

Even shit has a purpose as Mark at Wet Bank Guide points out.

You came and gave us the same damned speech you gave last November in Jackson Sqaure. Perhaps most of America, lulled into catatonic fear by lurking child murderers and burning airplanes, is fooled. We know you for what you are, a sack of shit that comes complete with the full smell, but not a bit of the stuff of life, the things we need to rebuild.


Too bad you didn’t share some of your real world experience of civics and free enterprise with the students at Warren Easton High School. It’s good you picked a school for your little speech, somewhere where the students are required to sit respectfully and quietly while you shovel it up. I know you didn’t want to venture out where my daughter’s friend and her mother were caught in a traffic jam for your motorcade, an instant mob in which people of every race, creed, income and age stood out of their cars or leaned out their windows and unleased a torrent of insult and profanity and interesting gestures as you went by. If you had stopped there to shake hands, as your predecessor might have, I wonder if you could find one not balled into a fist.

I have a bit of advice for you, George. I believe its what the guys people in your line of business call “enforcers” say when bets aren’t covered or the protection money is overdue. Save us the sob speech and the bullshit, they say. Next time, don’t show up without the money. (emphasis mine)

Do read it all but I do wish I had seen that.

A Summary

From Scout:

Maitri from VatulBlog gave this excellent summary in concluding one of the Rising Tide Panels she moderated…

One year ago, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. As the natural and man-made disasters engulfed the region, the nation turned its attention to the storm’s immediate aftermath. However, a year later, the crisis continues.

Today, less than half of pre-Katrina New Orleans residents have been able to return home; over 70,000 of them are living in 240-square foot FEMA trailers (which are particularly vulnerable during the hurricane season) and many people are still waiting for trailers to be delivered; the state’s charity hospital system is in shambles and psychiatric care is non-existent; most of the Lower 9th Ward is still without potable water; 6,000 criminal defendants await trial, many of whom do not have attorneys; 60 percent of the businesses within the city limits have probably not reopened; federal officials have doled out only about 40 percent of the $110 billion promised to the Gulf Coast; not a single dollar of federal funds to rebuild houses has made it to Louisiana homeowners; and renters have been virtually left to fend for themselves.

But the numbers do not tell the whole story. The pain, the frustration, the anger, the desperation and the anguish are still as real today as they were in the days after the tragedy first unfolded. The Gulf Coast residents have not forgotten – they are still living the tragedy. And we cannot forget, either.

I request all of you to keep writing and spreading the word about our city. Continue to talk with everyone. Engage those in discussion who are of an opposing mindset and let them know that We Are Not Ok. Thank you.

And on a personal note it was great to meet the wonderful Maitri and all the other great NOLA bloggers

Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

From Holden:

Dana Peroxide opens with a stunning announcement.

Tomorrow the President will kick off a series of several speeches on the global war on terror, that will go through his speech at the United Nations General Assembly meeting on September 19th.

Huh-the-what now? How many “several speeches on the global war on terror” has Chimpy embarked upon, and have any of them ever worked?

Looks like I was not the only one taken aback by Dana’s announcement.

Q What is different about this particular push than the previous three over the past year, and even before that, dating all the way back? He’s always highlighted the high stakes involved. He’s always highlighted the fact that there needs to be an ability to adapt to the enemy and fight in different ways. What is different about this one?

MS. PERINO: Our nation is heading into the fifth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, and it is important that the President be talking to the American public about this war that we didn’t start [I take it he won’t mention Iraq then.], but one that he is committed to winning, that means being on the offense against the terrorists.

But you asked me what is different, so we’re heading into this anniversary, it’s 9/11; these speeches will be — not so much retrospective in nature, although there will be some of that. There will be a sharp focus on the future, important to remember what has occurred, put that in context because that helps everyone understand the nature of the enemy. It’s a bookend of speeches between now and September 19th at UNGA. There’s opportunities to remind people about the threat that we face and how we’re going to overcome it.

Sounds like someone told Chimpy to can the happy talk.

Q The Journal had reported it, though, that there would be less focus on progress on the ground, so much as the greater struggle. Is this an attempt to avoid talking about progress on the ground?

MS. PERINO: I would not say that that was entirely the context for what these speeches are. It will not be speeches only about Iraq; it will be about the global war on terror, including a discussion about the institutional reforms that have been put in place and how those have helped to protect us, for example, the intelligence community reforms, the proliferation security initiative, the Patriot Act, the transformation of the FBI. And so it’s a comprehensive look. I don’t know if that report this morning was entirely in context.

Pay no attention to the crazy man in the five-sided building.

Q Dana, do you think the President will be as pointed as Secretary Rumsfeld was yesterday in pointing out what he believes the shortcomings of the critics are in terms of understanding this global war on terror?

MS. PERINO: I saw this morning that DoD released a statement saying that comments from his speech yesterday might have been mischaracterized by reports. I’ll let DoD and the reporters who covered that sort that out. But what Rumsfeld was talking about was clearly making the case that we remain vigilant in fighting the war on terror and confronting the threats to free societies. That is what the President will be talking about.

Florida Gets It?

From Holden:

The latest Strategic Visions Poll (a Republikkkan firm, BTW) suggests they do.

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

Approve 37%

Disapprove 55%

Undecided 8%

Do you approve or disapprove of President Bush’s handling of Iraq?

Approve 40%

Disapprove 49%

Undecided 11%

Do you view President Bush as a conservative in the mode of Ronald Reagan? (Republicans only)

Yes 14%

No 64%

Undecided 22%

Would you like to see the United States Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade?

Yes 36%

No 57%

Undecided 7%

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Katherine Harris?

Favorable 17%

Unfavorable 61%

Undecided 22%

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Bill Nelson?

Favorable 49%

Unfavorable 11%

Undecided 40%

If the election were held today for United States Senate, whom would you support, Bill Nelson, the Democrat or Katherine Harris, the Republican?

Bill Nelson 63%

Katherine Harris 20%

Undecided 17%

Chimpy’s Vanity War A Huge Issue

From Holden:

Marginal candidates become winners when the voters are reminded of the War in Iraq.

The U.S. Senate race between Republican Tom Kean Jr. and Democrat Robert Menendez is virtually deadlocked, but if voters weren’t so concerned about the war in Iraq, Kean could hold a clear lead, according to a poll released Wednesday.

A portion of Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind Poll designed to test the impact of national issues on the race indicated that if the war were not a factor, Kean could be leading Menendez by 47-36 percent. As it stands, however, 43 percent of voters polled said they favor Kean to 39 percent for Menendez, a difference that matches the poll’s sampling error margin and makes the race a virtual tie.


Menendez, who now holds the Senate seat, voted as a House member against the 2002 resolution authorizing military action in Iraq. Kean, a state senator, has said he would have voted for the resolution, but added that significant mistakes have been made in the war.


“Based on voters’ generally favorable views of Tom Kean, he should be running away with this race,” said Dan Cassino, a political science professor at FDU and poll survey analyst. “The fact that he isn’t way ahead shows the importance of national issues in this election.”

The poll asked half of the respondents about President Bush and the war before asking them questions on the Senate race. The other half was asked about the Senate race first, then about Bush and the war.

Those asked about Bush and Iraq first gave Menendez a 41-39 percent edge. But respondents not asked to think about the war first gave favored [sic] Kean, 47-36 percent.

“At this point, it isn’t Menendez standing between Kean and the Senate _ it’s Bush,” Cassino said. “Worse, Kean’s attempts to distance himself from the president on Iraq don’t seem to be making a difference _ this month is just as bad as last month.”

Domestic Wiretapping Without A Warrant

From Holden:

Note that in in this case both ends of the telephone conversations (which were illegally eavesdropped upon without a warrant) were within the United States despite Bush Assministration claims that they only eavesdrop sans warrant on calls where one party is located abroad.

A federal judge suggested Tuesday that he would try to keep alive a suit that challenges President Bush’s domestic wiretapping program, despite claims by government lawyers that doing so would damage national security.

U.S. District Judge Garr King said he expected to render his decision next week in a case involving an Oregon-based Islamic charity that the government said had links to Osama bin Laden. The charity alleges that it was illegally wiretapped and says a document the government accidentally gave to its lawyers in 2004 bolsters its case.

The government said the document is a state secret and any further court action involving it would, even if accidentally, lead to security breaches. The government has asked King to dismiss the charity’s suit.

Continues, Read More…

Continue reading


From Holden:

AssRocket on Frist:

I spent part of the day today with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. He is, of course, a very impressive guy: a physician, a heart and lung transplant surgeon, an upstart politician, a hands-on doctor in places like Sudan and New Orleans, and one of the most powerful people in our government.


Based on my observations today, Senator Frist is a highly viable Presidential candidate. His intelligence, competence, judgment and reliability cannot be questioned.

Yeah, that Frist, no one can question his judgment or competence, right?

Ignore if you can Frist’s belief that HIV may be spread by tears and mosquitoes and his video diagnosis of Terri Schiavo which proved to be not only unethical but dead wrong, does AssRocket not keep up with the news of the day?

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist did not meet all the requirements needed to keep his medical license active, even though he gave paperwork to Tennessee officials indicating he had, his office acknowledged Tuesday.

Tennessee requires licensed doctors to complete 40 hours of continuing medical education every two years. Frist, a heart-lung surgeon considering a 2008 presidential run, submitted a license renewal form to the Tennessee Health Department stating he has fulfilled that requirement.


“Generally speaking, the question is, is this an oversight?” [George Eckles of the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners] said. “This is a new rule that has just gone into effect … however, if it turned out to be willful misrepresentation, that would be certainly something that implies dishonesty or lying about credentials. We would have a different attitude about that, and that would likely come before the board in a hearing.”


Dan Warlick, a Nashville lawyer who represents doctors before the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners, said a case like Frist’s probably would be taken seriously.

“They have been routinely revoking licenses for physicians who have misrepresented to the board what they have done. Medicine changes. If you’re telling them you’re keeping up, and you’re not, that would be a very significant problem for the board to have to deal with.”


Tennessee officials set the continuing medical education requirement in 2002. Starting with renewal applications filed in January 2005, doctors had to have completed 40 hours of education in the two years preceding their filing.

A renewal application Frist filed in February, signed on his behalf by his accountant, mentions the continuing education requirement, but Lehigh said Frist may have been unaware of the change.


Tennessee doctors are required to retain proof that they participated in such programs in case the Board of Medical Examiners audits them. Doctors do not have to submit such evidence when they renew their license every two years.


State law says that doctors who fail to do their continuing medical education “will be subject to disciplinary action.”