Saturday, February 25, 2006

We Are All Liberals Now

I do not link to Free Republic, but if I did, I would direct your attention to the thread titled "It Didn’t Work (Buckley declares Iraq a failure)" about how even Wild Bill Buckley, the founder of modern conservatism, has finally been driven into exile. Reading the comments posted by the rank-and-file freeperians, you can't help but quake in awe at the display of mass cognitive dissonance.

O. M. G. I gotta say: the fall from grace of William F. Buckley is a watershed moment.

David Neiwert, Glenn Greenwald and a cast of thousands have been recently going on about how American "movement conservatives" aren't really conservative anymore, they're actually more like a "political religion" or Bush-worshipping cultists. I've been saying they have more in common with Leninists than anything else for quite a while now, and I'm glad that others in the blogosphere are finally starting to notice and saying out loud what I've grown tired of repeating. May they bring more eloquence to it than me.

Leninists. You laughed at me when I called them Leninists in 2002. You ignored me when I called them Leninists in 2004. You're going to argue with me when I call them Leninists now in 2006. But, and mark my words, in 2008, they will be Leninists.

Update 1.0: You can watch the spreading oil from the shipwreck alighting at Captain's Quarters (to whom I will link, though I'm sure Captain Ed doesn't read us).

Thursday, February 23, 2006

America: Land of Religious Freedom!

Via T. Rev, we find yet another fine example of religious persecution in America. Did you know that a judge can take custody of your child away from you for going to a church event?

Is your church on the list of state-approved religious organizations whose members are permitted to raise children?

Diebold machines

To follow up a bit on S9's post about Diebold in California, LA Time Business columnist Michael Hiltzik did a column on the front page of the business section about the Diebold recertification, check it out here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Kill Me Now— I Agree With George Bush

Kevin Drum explains the "PortGate" issue pretty well, and I think he's right. The President, for once, is being reasonable. Politically tone deaf, which is no surprise, but he has the right idea.

Update 1.0: I see the eminently reasonable Glenn Greenwald has gone on the record as not seeing what principle the President is violating by awarding this contract. He offers some pretty good rebuttals to the various arguments against the President's decision floating around.

I'll say this: the part of this that smells the worst to me is the cronyism.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Diebold Recertified In California

Via BradBlog and Seeing The Forest, we find the following press release. Yes, it's from the campaign office for a candidate for office. This one is serious. Here on S9 Station, our peak-load outrage generators are spinning up even as I write this...
February 17, 2006 (916) 651-4028/(916) 855-9176



SACRAMENTO – “How the Secretary can re-certify the Diebold machines when they don’t comply with California law, they violate the standards set by the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) that the Secretary said he intended to follow, and he still doesn’t have the report back from the ITAs that he said he was waiting for is beyond me.”

That’s how Senator Debra Bowen (D-Redondo Beach), the chairwoman of the Senate Elections, Reapportionment, & Constitutional Amendments Committee, reacted to today’s decision by the Secretary of State to re-certify Diebold’s electronic voting machines for the 2006 elections.

“Last December, the Secretary announced with great fanfare that he was sending the Diebold machines back for review by the Independent Testing Authorities (ITAs) because the memory cards those machines rely on hadn’t been reviewed,” continued Bowen. “Now, contrary to what he said two months ago, he’s approving the Diebold machines without waiting for the report from the ITAs. Instead, he’s basing his decision on a supposedly ‘independent state audit’ that no one has seen before today. There’s a March 1 public hearing for four other voting machine vendors before their machines can be certified for use in California, so what was the rush to certify Diebold and side-step a public hearing on this issue?”

Seventeen California counties rely on the Diebold optical scan machines and a number of other counties have bought or are planning to buy the Diebold TSx touch-screen machines to use in the 2006 elections in order to comply with the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA). The Secretary’s decision is only good for the 2006 elections and comes with a number of conditions.

“In August, the Secretary said any machine approved in California would have to comply with all federal standards and regulations, yet the EAC bans machines that contain interpreted code and these Diebold machines rely on that type of code to operate, so he’s gone back on that commitment,” continued Bowen. “In December, he said he’d wait for a report from the ITAs before acting on the Diebold re-certification request, yet now he’s re-certified the Diebold machines without hearing from the ITAs. He says he’s acting based on the recommendations of an ‘independent state audit’ that came out on Tuesday, but the California State Auditor hasn’t issued any reports on this issue and hasn’t been asked to do a report. Asking a board appointed by the Secretary to make recommendations doesn’t constitute an ‘independent state audit’ in my book.

“The other thing that no one has mentioned is the fact that the Diebold machines don’t comply with the state’s paper trail law because they don’t provide blind or visually impaired voters with a ‘read-back’ of what the paper trail recorded, they only read back what the machine recorded electronically,” noted Bowen. “That’s not what the law requires, yet the Secretary has decided to go ahead and approve these machines for use anyway. If the Secretary wants to say he’s changing his mind and lowering the safeguards California voters are entitled to have to ensure their votes are accurately counted, that’s certainly his decision to make, but saying these Diebold machines comply with state law and with all federal regulations and requirements simply isn’t accurate.”

Under Elections Code Sections 19250 and 19251, all direct recording electronic (DRE) voting systems have to come with an accessible voter verified paper audit trail (AVVPAT). The AVVPAT must be “provided or conveyed to voters via both a visual and a nonvisual method, such as through an audio component.” The Diebold TSx doesn’t contain that feature, therefore making the AVVPAT that all DREs are required to have as of January 1, 2006, useless for blind or visually-impaired voters.


Once again, this news appeared late on a Friday.

Did we not tell you to watch these people like a hawk? They cannot be trusted.

I don't give a damn whether they are Republicans or Democrats— they can't be trusted. [Our Secretary of State, Bruce McPherson, is a Republican.] I recognize that Republicans are naturally contemptuous of the idea that fair elections produce good governments, whereas Democrats generally only embrace this position when they grow unnaturally demoralized, jaded and cynical after decades of Sisyphian struggle against the conservative noise machine. It's a distinction without a difference. You can't trust them.

How long have I been howling about the problems with digital voting systems?

How long have I specifically been complaining that Democrats are facing an existential threat in the form of these voting systems?

It would be funny if it weren't so sad. Democrats could turn the combination of the voting machine issue and the K Street Project scandals into the moral equivalent of the House Bank and Post Office debacle that allowed the Republicans to nationalize the 1994 Congressional elections. Instead, because they're Dumb As A Bag Of Hammers, they're letting the Mob run a blow-out operation on American democracy.

Mad props to Debra Bowen for standing up. [This press release came from her campaign.] She's running for Secretary of State against Bruce McPherson, and she— at least— seems to get it. More Democrats like her, please. Flow the Senator some love.

UPDATE 1.0: In the comments at BradBlog, Bev Harris (who is the whirling dervish behind BlackBoxVoting.Org) tells you what to do.
It's time to get busy boys and girls. [...] Forget injunctions. Forget calling the governor. Call the California Senate Rules Committee, who are all ears but need to log call volume to demonstrate political support. Ask them to subpoena the bastards. This will happen, so get your dialling fingers ready by Tuesday please.
Urge support for subpoenas of election industry and certification insiders who didn't testify on the 16th.

Contact list:

Senator Don Perata (Chair)
(916) 651-4009

Senator Jim Battin (Vice-Chair)
(916) 651-4037

Senator Roy Ashburn
(916) 651-4018

Senator Debra Bowen
(916) 651-4028 (Yes, call her too so she can log the support calls, it's important since it allows her to back her position from the grassroots.)

Senator Gilbert Cedillo
(916) 651-4022

Black Box Voting Inc. seldom puts out calls for grassroots pressure, as we feel this powerful tool can be diluted with over-use. But now is the time.

How to deliver your message

Be quick, be polite, be professional. Here's your message: ask for "Rules Committee support for subpoenas of election industry and certification insiders who won't otherwise inform the Elections Committee as to what's going on".

This is about volume of calls logged.

Click through the link and read her whole comment for more details.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Let's Bomb Iran!

Or maybe not... if you believe The Oxford Research Group. (And why shouldn't you? They pretty much called it exactly right on the question of what would happen if the United States invaded Iraq.)

Would it be too much to ask of Americans that they consider the likely consequences before launching a military operation against Iran?

I especially liked this part from the "US Context" section of their paper:
Although major difficulties have arisen with US military operations in Iraq, there is still a dominant feeling in neo-conservative circles in Washington that Iran is, and always has been, a much greater threat to US regional and global interests than Iraq was. A common view before the start of the Iraq War in March 2003 was that “if we get Iraq right, we won’t have to worry about Iran”. In other words, if military force proved easily able to terminate the Saddam Hussein regime and replace it with a stable client government supported by permanent US bases, then Iran would bow to US policy in the region, causing little trouble. The fact that Iraq was not “got right” and that there is considerable potential for Iranian influence in Iraq is one consequence of the decision to terminate the Saddam Hussein regime.

That trick never works.

The New Meme -- or -- Would the Congressional Dems Please Sound Off Like They Have a Pair!

This morning watching the House International Relations Commitee, China/Internet hearings and listening to the bloviating of some of my favorite wingnut dingbats, such as Dana Rohrabacher and Dan Burton about the hideous evil of American capital going to help the hated CHICOMs supress political dissent by dropping the dime on some of their Chinese customers to the local authorities.

So... fine, I would like to see a little less cooperation between Yahoo and Google and the PRC.

However, some of the Democratic members made a few salient and, really, pretty moderate points about how the U.S. Congress trying to tell other nations how to conduct their internal affairs might be counter-productive, or the appearance of hypocrisy when the current junta entrenched on Pennsylvania Avenue is working to strong arm those very same companies to cooperate with their internal spying operations.

The response: "Well, I guess since this is an election year, this kind of talk is to be expected from the other side, so I guess we just have to tolerate it..." This is close to the exact quote from Burton. This was echoed a moment later by Tom Tancredo.

This is the new meme. It's an election year, therefore anything any Democrat says that is critical of the administration is disingenuous and and nothing more than electoral posturing.

My question... why didn't Tom Lantos, or Sherrod Brown or Grace Nepolitano or Bob Wexler or Diane Watson come up over the table, twist his fscking dome off his shoulders and gnaw on his skull!? This one is so simple, how is it that the Firey Pimp Hand of the Old Testament does not beat these bitches down?

Why are they laying down for this? More to the point, why are their constituents letting them lie down for this?

Look, I know this is old hat by now; we know the Congress has largely abdicated oversight of the executive, and the Dems are too busy just trying not to rock the boat to be but watching the hearings and seeing it live and direct, so to speak, just gets me pig-biting mad... so I guess its a good thing I have this blog to vent on...

mojo sends

P.S. Yeah, Tom Tancredo the guy who wants to build a 800-foot wall around the United States and mine the harbors to keep out the undesirables is on the International Relations Committee... doesn't that just tell you everything you need to know about the Republicans' take on foreign affairs.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

This is interesting

Raw Story has a piece regarding the Valerie Plame Story. Apparently, according to this report, Plame was not some inactive desk jockey whose work was an open secret. Apparently, she was deeply involved in U.S. efforts at tracking A.Q. Khans Nuclear blackmarket ring, and Iran's nuclear program:

Three intelligence officers confirmed that other CIA non-official cover officers were compromised, but did not indicate the number of people operating under non-official cover that were affected or the way in which these individuals were impaired. None of the sources would say whether there were American or foreign casualties as a result of the leak.

Several intelligence officials described the damage in terms of how long it would take for the agency to recover. According to their own assessment, the CIA would be impaired for up to "ten years" in its capacity to adequately monitor nuclear proliferation on the level of efficiency and accuracy it had prior to the White House leak of Plame Wilson's identity.

Outing a covert agent to settle a political score is venal enough, but placing lives at risk and imparing our ability to counter one of the most significant emergening threats is worthy of criminal prosecution. This is shocking, even for these people. And listen scrubs, don't even roll in here and pimp the usual crap about how they could not have known or Scooter was too busy or any other crap you picked up from the mighty Wurlitzer. They should have shut the fsck up.

This story is still developing. We might never know the truth here. But this is disturbing to say the least.

Re: It's all about the Freedom

I was posting a comment to Mojo's piece, when I realized it was running too long and I should just make it a post.

It will not be easy for Hamas to make up from Iran or Syria or anywhere else in the Middle East the money the Palestinan Authority has been recieving from the European Union and the United States. It's a fair amount, over a billion, and while everyone in that region is happy to exploit the Palestian/Israeli Conflict for their own purposes, supporting them with hard cash has not been a part of that. Cutting them off is not entirely an empty threat.

Of course, as you point out, running around pimping Democracy as the solution for all your issues in the region, and that trying to undermine what is univerally accepted as a legal election is absurd to say the least. Not to mention that it was the United States that insisted on not putting off the election. And for Condi Rice to act surprised at the outcome is bizarre. Abbas told her Hamas could come out on top if they did not put off the election. They need to find a way to deal with Hamas.

This is not without precendent. The British have dealt with a Sinn Fein run by Gerry Adams, formerly the lmilitary leader of the IRA and a former terrorist himself. There is little doubt he was personally responsible for the deaths of civilians and British soldiers, and gave orders for others to do the same. Did anyone think the IRA would disarm for anyone else than Adams, with McGuinnes by his side? Of course not, and neither will Hamas disarm for Abbas or anyone else other than their own leadership. Democracy forces all kinds of strange bedfellows and difficult choices. This is another example of that.

If the Palestinans are cutoff from US and European support, and Hamas can survive without it, what leverage is left other than force? Now we are into the ethnic cleansing fantasies of Pat Robertson and the Evangelical nuthouse he speaks for, who openly want "Gods land" purged of the infidels. If that sounds like the rhetoric of the Crusades, kudos to you, that is exactly what it is. And it is just as crazy, racist, ethnophobic and evil. And it will not bring about the democrnirvana Daniel Pipesm, Michael Ledeen and the rest of the NeoCon fantasy brigage keep pimping. It is yet another dangerous outcome that leads further into chaos. Even the Israeli's don't want that. Their intent seems to be to extricate themselves from the West Bank with most of the settlements behind the Security Wall.

Let me make this simple for our Red State readers. You cannot make headway on any positive changes in the political climate of the Middle East without resolving the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, period. Everyone from ememies like Bin Laden to alleged friends like the Saudi's exploit the conflict for their own purposes. The Palestinians are just a propaganda opportunity to them, they don't give a crap about improving their lives or resolving the conflict to help these people build a state.

Just to be clear, I have a very low opinion of Hamas. Hamas was instrumental in destroying the peace efforts that resulted from Oslo. The Palestinians have suffered from the renewal of the conflict that their bombing campaign began, not to mention the deaths of innocent civilians on both sides that resulted. I can understand the impulse to not want to reward them for this. But we insisted on Democracy and this is it. The Adminisration needs to be careful that the next outcome of their policy isn't worse.

Refuting Bushist Talking Points About The NSA Spying Scandal

eriposte at The Left Coaster has the canonical quick reference sheet for smacking back on GOP talking points about the NSA spying scandal. I'm thinking of formatting this as a flyer.

It's All About the Freedom, Isn't It? ... Isn't It?

So, Pravda on the Hudson reports this morning that Maximum Leader's desire to spread democracy throughout South Asia does indeed have its limits...

The United States and Israel are discussing ways to destabilize the Palestinian government so that newly elected Hamas officials will fail and elections will be called again, according to Israeli officials and Western diplomats.

The intention is to starve the Palestinian Authority of money and international connections to the point where, some months from now, its president, Mahmoud Abbas, is compelled to call a new election. The hope is that Palestinians will be so unhappy with life under Hamas that they will return to office a reformed and chastened Fatah movement.

Oh, yeah... "a reformed and chastened Fatah"... that'll happen... no really!

But beyond that bit of foreign relations vaporware, there is a real danger of attempting this for Israel that the author of the article hits pretty well...

The strategy has many risks, especially given that Hamas will try to secure needed support from the larger Islamic world, including its allies Syria and Iran, as well as from private donors.

There are more than enough screwheads in places like Tehran, Damascus, Riyadh, Cairo... even those bastions of liberal American-style democracy, Bagdad and Kabul who will be willing to pick up the tab for a Hamas dedicated to continue making trouble for Israel, and by extension the United States, and thereby securing their own political positions with iconic anti-Israeli demagougery.

I understand there is a little bit of a "chicken/egg" dichotomy here, but the basic problem is that we have nothing Hamas wants that they can't get elsewhere on better terms!

I think it would be a dire mistake to think that something like sanctions or international isolation will have the desired effect here. Seriously, Hamas has been an isolated organization internationally since its inception, except in those places where they want to be relevant. But now, I am supposed to believe that because "The West" won't take their phone calls, their leadership is going to shite themselves with woe?

And more importantly, what message does this send to the rest of a region that we are desperately trying to sell on the notion that "modern western democracy = good; medieval Islmaic theocracy = bad!" Sure, elections and freedom are all good, as long as you are doing the bidding of the United States. It reinforces every bad thing they think about U.S. intentions in South Asia.

Look, if it's about our hegemony in the region, then just say so, but please, Maximum Leader, Vice President Big Time, please stop the blathering about the spread of the freedom and democracy, when at the end of the day, you don't mean a fscking word of it!

mojo sends

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Richard "May We Call You Dead-Eyed Dick" Cheney

O. M. G. The Subcommander-in-chief, Dick Cheney accidentally shot a man. Accidentally. Or, so they're saying.

They're actually trying to tell us this was a hunting accident. Now let's be clear— Dick Cheney does not hunt. Dick Cheney goes to game farms and wanders around shooting animals that are raised in pens and released just for rich, white guys, like him, to get wood by killing helpless defenseless creatures.

Remember when Senator Kerry was running for President in 2004, he went hunting in Ohio and claimed to have bagged a goose? He looked pretty ridiculous coming back empty-handed, didn't he? It was carefully staged— complete with brand new, never before used camouflage and shotgun. Yeah, I thought it was pretty lame, too. He deserved every bit of mockery that conservatives heaped on him for that stunt.


Check out Bob Geiger's Top Ten Excuses for Dick Cheney's "accidentally" shooting an old geezer.

All kidding aside, how fscked up do you have to be to make a mistake like this? This ought to be the wake-up call for Cheney's physicians. The patient is clearly not managing his medications, and he needs to be isolated and put under observation for a while. At the very least, he needs to have his guns taken away from him until he can pass a basic firearms safety class.

p.s. While we're on the topic of the latest Something Awful to come out of the Cheney Administration, would somebody please explain to me why the so-called "liberal" media needed eighteen whole hours before news of this event could become public?

Update 1.0 (by vanmojo): "It's only a flesh wound..." Looks like Whittington has suffered a minor heart attack after some of the birdshot got lodged in his heart... Any bets on exactly how long this guy's actually been dead?

Friday, February 10, 2006

White House Declares Congress Irrelevant...

It looks like some folks inside the beltway have been logging into the Wire this week. Ohio Republican Mike DeWine was reported in the WaPo yesterday as saying something along the lines that it's high time for Congress to reassert a little oversight authority over the White House vis-a-vis the NSA domestic spying scandal.

To wit: "We can end this controversy about the constitutionality of this program very simply, and that is to deal with it by legislation." Well, Mike, the whole, "we'll just pass a law and make it legal..." is not what I had in mind in my previous post; go back and re-read it please...

However, more troubling to me was the response to even this modest proposal from the White House:

Question from cheese-eating, surrender-monkey stenographer: Scott, why did the President change his mind and decide to expand the briefings in Congress about the NSA surveillance program and include more members, rather than just limit it to the handful?

Scotty Goebbels: [...] the President indicated previously that he would resist any efforts that would compromise this vital program. But we want to continue listening to ideas that are out there. The way that I would describe it is that there is a high bar to overcome for such ideas. But we will continue working with members of Congress as we move forward.

Let me translate that: "Go ahead and pass any law you want... Maximum Leader will obviate any law he feels will impede his personal power."

The odd part is that he's not even answering the question that was asked; he just started riffing on the President's perogative to ignore any law he doesn't like, as long has he can sell it as some sort of National Security issue. Basically, they don't want Congress trying to "make things legal." Even that just gets in the way.

They are working to completely cut Congress out of the legislation loop... or as Maximum Leader once said: "If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier - just so long I'm the dictator." December 18, 2000

mojo sends

P.S. Here's another weird thing... reading through the gaggle transcript, certain words and phrases appear in bold type. What is that about? They're not links...

Monday, February 06, 2006

A Simple Solution...

Much is being made throughout the TDM this morning about the Senate Judiciary holding hearings into the NSA Domestic Spy Scandal.

Congress could resolve the issues involved here very easily, if they were truly interested.

On both the White House's intransigence on documents subpoenaed by the committee, and the spying in general; if Congress were serious about their concerns, they would pass a Joint Resolution to wit:

"It is the intent of the Congress of the United States of America that no funding will be used for the President's use of any national assets to conduct surveillance of any American person unless done under the auspices of the Foriegn Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978."

Or even easier: go back and reauthorize the AUMF with an explicit restriction or prohibition against this activity.

Is Congress doing that? No. And sure the President would ignore that law anyway, but at that point, there would be no legal choice for the Congress but impeachment. The issue would be clear for the Supremes at that point: Does the Article II, Sect. 2 Constitutional authority charging the President to be Commander in Chief allow the President to negate due-process authority as explicitly outlined by acts of Congress.

The answer to that will be "no." There is more than enough ample law on that particular question, from the Civil War up to this present. That is unless the court has finally become the witting accomplices to the President's attempted coup.

So I am glad they are having hearings, and Pat Leahy got into Al Gonzalez with both feet up to the neck this morning. What a choad that guy is, even with Chuck Grassley peeling grapes for him. But at the end of the day, there is not much these hearings are going to produce.

I can only hope the TDM will carry enough of the Gonzalez grilling and ask a few pointed questions of their own, to the point that Mr. and Mrs. Red State will finally get the picture that they voted for their own enslavement, and get the undecideds off the fence and get them excited about going to polls here in November and booting these cheap hustlers and thugs out of the temple.

mojo sends

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Sigh. Not This Again...

Digby asks the perennial question of Democratic losers everywhere. "Since the Republicans have been successful in winning elections on national security, how should Democrats deal with it?" I say this question is for losers, because the answer ought to be obvious to anyone with two neurons to rub together.

Here's what I wrote in the comments there:
Democrats have exactly two options.

Option One: Call out the Republicans as cowards and fools. Don't mince words, and aim for their throats. Impugn their patriotism. Call their sanity into question. Declare them unfit for public service. Promise the voters courage, foresight and a return to sensible American values. When Republicans try to fire back with some variation of their tired mantra, "What would you do instead?" Answer: fire all the incompetent Republican panty-wetters currently warming seats throughout Washington, D.C. and replace them with the professionals these people have forced to wander in the wilderness for the last six years.

Option Two: Bend over and kiss their sorry asses into political oblivion.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Analyzing The Danish Anti-Islamic Cartoon Controversy

Sisyphus Shrugged has the clear-eyed take you need to read. It's long and it's tedious, but this is the analysis we are endorsing, and I don't want to hear any whinging in the comments unless you've read it all the way through.

Quel coinkydink, she says. Yeah. I'd say more than that, but the NSA is tapping my keyboard.

Friday, February 03, 2006

More About The Capitol Police and Cindy Sheehan

Glenn Greenwald surveys Wingnut Blogistan for signs that anybody on the conservatarian side of the street understands what actually happened Tuesday night. The results are not a promising sign.

So much for the idea that the conservative blogosphere in the aggregate is self-correcting.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Why The Secret Service Needs A Uniformed Division

As I wrote here, the NewImproved™ USA PATRIOT Act (cooling its jets in Congress while it waits for the Illegal NSA Wiretapping story to be bricked into the wall like Fortunato) includes a provision to expand the U.S. Secret Service uniformed branch into a division and give it greatly extended police powers to quash demonstrations of dissent.

Wouldn't it be nice to believe that this police power is necessary to address the rampant outbreaks of lawlessness, rioting, looting and pillaging that occurs every time the President appears in public?

Here is the redoubtable Glenn Greenwald explaining in acutely painful detail how what the Capitol Police did to Cindy Sheehan last night was an outrage. He concludes:
I still find the whole episode rather disturbing and suspicious. It is crystal clear that the law does not and cannot prohibit the wearing of t-shirts with political messages in the Capitol because t-shirts do not constitute a "protest" or a "demonstration." The Capitol Police's own rules say that expressly and a federal district court has held that the First Amendment does not permit the law to be applied so as to bar non-disruptive conduct.

The Capitol Police officers who removed and arrested Sheehan had to have known that. An after-the-fact apology and admission of wrongdoing, while nice, does not really remedy the misconduct, which still seems vaguely intentional and motivated both by the identity of the person arrested and her message.

And it is still unclear, to put it generously, why Sheehan -- who apparently complied with the request to leave -- was arrested and detained for four hours, while Young, who argued bitterly with the Police and even called the officers "idiots," was simply asked to leave and not arrested. All of this is such a significant story primarily because there is a long line of events under the Bush Administration where people with dissenting opinions are thrown out of public events and divergent views are kept far away from the Commander-in-Chief. This incident grew out of that climate and is clearly a part of it.

Yes, as you can plainly see, there is a huge, compelling need for a uniformed division of Secret Service agents planted in major cities all over America. (Where else do you find concentrations of consular offices?) When you can't count on the local cops to shit on the First Amendment for you, it helps to have your own solemnly sword Prætorian Guard wherever you might go— you know, just to make sure the pomp is first class.

We're going to need overwhelming numbers, comrades. We're a long way away from that. A long way.

Rack that Guy!

Don't hesitate, follow this link over to watch Keith Oblerman drop an asssskicking on William O'Reilly....

The shoutout to Ted Baxter from the Mary Tyler Moore show was the perfect dismount.
That settles it. Olberman's show is going into my TiVo Season Pass Manager.

Props Mr. Olberman, you have earned the Wire's seal of approval...check your mail for your official Mojowire decoder ring, not available in stores....

Fist of the West Side!: Live Blogging Rummy

Right now, SecDef Rummy is briefing with his pet press corps, talking about how he is happy that "attacks have fallen off to a lower level."

That's fine until he follows with "we would hope that we can sustain that lower level for the future..."

Hey Secretary Shit-For-Brains! What happened to "Total Victory over the insurgents"? Are you now saying that low intensity warfare and a sustained level of anti-American terrorism killing both our troops and innocent Iraqi civilians is the best we can hope for, no matter how many elections the insurgents "fail to stop"?

Thanks, Rummy, thanks a lot...

This morning he seems to be doing a lot of Fist of the West Side, along with some Cobra Palm and Lion's Claw styles... Now bitching about the horrible media what insists on reporting the things that people on the ground in Iraq and in the Pentagon say.

Occasionally one of these tame stenographers will get completely off the hook and compare the things being said here and there... Damn you Monkey... damn you to hell!

But now he's talking about training up the Iraqi army, turning over the failure of their state to them and how long that might all take... And now, for your moment of the Existential Poetry of Donald Rumsfeld:
"And the rate at which we will be able to do that,
will be exactly
the rate at which will be able to do that
and anyone who tries to say differently ...

would be extremely ...

foolissshhhh ..."

No shit, that was his exact cadence and tone...

mojo sends