Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Finally Pushing Back

Despite the fact that Bush is forever telling the American people what his "job" is, he really doesn't seem to have a clue what his job is and what his limitations are.

A Senate Republican on Tuesday directly challenged President Bush's declaration that "I am the decision-maker" on issues of war.

"I would suggest respectfully to the president that he is not the sole decider," Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said during a hearing on Congress' war powers amid an increasingly harsh debate over Iraq war policy. "The decider is a shared and joint responsibility," Specter said.

The question of whether to use its power over the government's purse strings to force an end to the war in Iraq, and under what conditions, is among the issues faced by the newly empowered Democratic majority in Congress, and even some of the president's political allies as well.

No one challenges the notion that Congress can stop a war by canceling its funding. In fact, Vice President Dick Cheney challenged Congress to back up its objections to Bush's plan to put 21,500 more troops in Iraq by zeroing out the war budget.

Underlying Cheney's gambit is the consensus understanding that such a drastic move is doubtful because it would be fraught with political peril.

But there are other legislative options to force the war's end, say majority Democrats and some of Bush's traditional Republican allies.

The alternatives range from capping the number of troops permitted in Iraq to cutting off funding for troop deployments beyond a certain date or setting an end date for the war.

"The Constitution makes Congress a coequal branch of government. It's time we start acting like it," said Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis., who is chairing a hearing Tuesday on Congress' war powers and forwarding legislation to eventually prohibit funding for the deployment of troops to Iraq.



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At 6:29 PM, Blogger Darius T. Williams said...

We're counting down our time w/him...trust me, we're counting down.

 

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Friday, January 26, 2007

The New Sock Puppet of Defense

Are they paying these people with stolen gold on the sly? He's running the same lines as Rumsfeld.

Today, at his first Pentagon news conference since taking office in December, Defense Secretary Robert Gates declared that any Iraq resolution opposing President Bush’s escalation plan “certainly emboldens the enemy and our adversaries.” “It seems pretty straightforward that any indication of flagging will in the United States gives encouragement to those folks,” Gates clamed.

Watch.

He sounds just like Rumsfeld:
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Here’s Donald Rumsfeld from 11/20/05: “[W]e also have to understand that our words have effects. … Put yourself in the shoes of the enemy. The enemy hears a big debate in the United States, and they have to wonder, maybe all we have to do is wait, and we’ll win.”




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Double Shot of Wiccan

People hear someone is a Wiccan and go batshit crazy without having any clue what it is.

A former Starbucks barista in Hillsboro, Ore., has sued the coffee giant, saying it discriminated against her based on her Wiccan religion.

In a complaint filed Jan. 8 in U.S. District Court in Portland, Alicia Hedum said a manager at Starbucks' Hillsboro Landing cafe asked her to remove her Wiccan cross several times, even though other employees, including the manager, wore Christian crosses.

Hedum accused Starbucks of retaliating by refusing to promote or transfer her, reducing her hours and scrutinizing her "minor tardiness."

A Starbucks spokesman said she was unaware of the lawsuit.


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For The Love Of God!

You know something. I'm all for diversity but if I move to another country, I'll have to go along with most of the customs and cultural norms. In America, we face each other. You cannot go into court in a virtual mask and have people believe you are telling the truth.

A Muslim woman who lost her small-claims case after she refused to remove her veil in court has been granted a new hearing.

Ginnnah Muhammad, 42, of Detroit, plans to wear a niqab--a scarf and veil that covers her head and face, leaving only the eyes visible - at her Feb. 21 hearing.

Muhammad wants to contest a rental car company's $2,750 charge to repair a vehicle that she said had been broken into by thieves.

"I'm hoping that the judge ... listens to my case and judges the case on its merits, not on how I look," Muhammad said.

In October, District Judge Paul Paruk told her he needed to see her face to determine her truthfulness and gave her a choice: take off the veil while testifying or have the case dismissed. She kept it on.

Muhammad successfully appealed, arguing Paruk's ruling unfairly forced her to choose between her religious beliefs and her case.

The only people who came here against their will were African slaves. Everyone else came because they wanted to or because where they were was intolerable. Taking off a veil for a few minutes in a courtroom isn't going to send you to hell. If you think it will, pay the money and be quiet. That goes for these zealot cab drivers who won't pick up passengers who are carrying (not drinking) alcohol. Get a new job right along with the zealot American pharmacists who won't dispense contraceptives.

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Look Like Us. Talk Like Us. We Die.

Save killing everybody in the whole damned country, what on earth are 21,000 extra troops going to do? Add to that the fact that, because the soldiers have to eat and sleep, they will be working shifts. There will never be 21,000 troops on the mission at one time. Divide it by 3 or 4 shifts and you've got 5,000-7,000 extra troops to spread around Iraq. That's all but useless assistance.

Now these folks - the enemy - have mastered disguising themselves as American soldiers and are speaking English! If you think this isn't just an amuse bouche before one big fat smörgåsbord ... Man, this is a mess!
In perhaps the boldest and most sophisticated attack in four years of warfare, gunmen speaking English, wearing U.S. military uniforms and carrying American weapons abducted four U.S. soldiers last week at the provincial headquarters in the Shiite holy city of Karbala and then shot them to death.

The U.S. military confirmed a report earlier Friday by The Associated Press that three of the soldiers were dead and one was mortally wounded with a gunshot to the head when they were found in a neighboring province, about 25 miles from the compound where they were captured. A fifth soldier was killed in the initial attack on the compound.

The new account contradicted a U.S. military statement on Jan. 20, the day of the raid on an Iraqi governor's office, that five soldiers were killed "repelling" the attack.

The security breakdown and the dramatic kidnapping and murder of four soldiers leaked out just as President Bush faces stiffening congressional opposition over his plan to flood Baghdad and surrounding regions with 21,500 more American troops. Two of Congress's most vocal war critics, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. John Murtha, were in the Iraqi capital as the news broke.

I just hope Nancy and John get out alive. It is only a matter of time before one of our politicians or diplomats ends up being caught in the cross fire.

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If They Cannot Tell Sunnis From Shiites, How Are They Going To Pick Iranians?

Great! We are losing two wars and are looking to start another one.

President Bush has authorized U.S. forces in Iraq to take whatever actions are necessary to counter Iranian agents deemed a threat to American troops or the public at large, the White House said Friday. The aggressive new policy came in response to intelligence that Iran is supporting terrorists inside Iraq and is providing bombs - known as improvised explosive devices - and other equipment to anti-U.S. insurgents.

"The president and his national security team over the last several months have continued to receive information that Iranians were supplying IED equipment and or training that was being used to harm American soldiers," National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.

"As a result American forces, when they receive actionable information, may take the steps necessary to protect themselves as well as the population," Johndroe said.

Bush referred to the new policy in his Jan. 10 address to the nation in which he announced a buildup of 21,500 troops in Iraq. He said the United States would confront Iran and Syria more vigorously.

"These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq," he said in that address. "Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We'll interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq."

I guess Bush is going to wreak havoc on the entire Middle East no matter what the costs.

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Mad Men!

These fools wanted blanket authority to war against the entire Middle East?
The Bush administration has taken a series of steps in recent weeks that appear to be setting the stage for a military confrontation with Iran. Congressional leaders have been raising red flags. “I’d like to be clear,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said last week. “The president does not have the authority to launch military action in Iran without first seeking congressional authorization.” Recent comments made by Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) explain why Congress’s resistance is so vital.

In an interview in GQ Magazine, Hagel reveals that the Bush administration tried to get Congress to approve military action anywhere in the Middle East — not just in Iraq — in the fall of 2002. At the time, Hagel says, the Bush administration presented Congress with a resolution that would have authorized the use of force anywhere in the region:

HAGEL: [F]inally, begrudgingly, [the White House] sent over a resolution for Congress to approve. Well, it was astounding. It said they could go anywhere in the region.

GQ: It wasn’t specific to Iraq?

HAGEL: Oh no. It said the whole region! They could go into Greece or anywhere. Is central Asia in the region? I suppose! Sure as hell it was clear they meant the whole Middle East. It was anything. It was literally anything. No boundaries. No restrictions.

GQ: They expected Congress to let them start a war anywhere in the Middle East?

HAGEL: Yes. Yes. Wide open. We had to rewrite it. Joe Biden, Dick Lugar, and I stripped the language that the White House had set up and put our language in it.


They are absolutely out of their minds! Can you imagine?

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The Decider Again

He wouldn't know success if it hit him in the face.

President Bush, on a collision course with Congress over Iraq, said Friday "I'm the decision-maker" about sending more troops to the war. He challenged skeptical lawmakers not to prematurely condemn his buildup.

"I've picked the plan that I think is most likely to succeed," Bush said in an Oval Office meeting with senior military advisers.


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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Or What?

Let's see, we invaded Iraq and are occupying it because we want to solidify dominance in the Middle East but we don't want Iran to have dominance in the region.

A second U.S. aircraft carrier strike group now steaming toward the Middle East is Washington's way of warning Iran to back down in its attempts to dominate the region, a top U.S. diplomat said here Tuesday.

Nicholas Burns, U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs, ruled out direct negotiations with Iran and said a rapprochement between Washington and Tehran was "not possible" until Iran halts uranium enrichment.

"The Middle East isn't a region to be dominated by Iran. The Gulf isn't a body of water to be controlled by Iran. That's why we've seen the United States station two carrier battle groups in the region," Burns said in an address to the Dubai-based Gulf Research Center, an influential think-tank.

"Iran is going to have to understand that the United States will protect its interests if Iran seeks to confront us," Burns continued.

Iran is in a standoff with the West over its defiance of U.N. demands to halt uranium enrichment, which can produce fuel for both nuclear energy and nuclear weapons. Iran says its atomic program is aimed solely at generating energy, but the United States and some of its allies suspect it is geared toward making weapons. The U.N. imposed limited sanctions on Iran last month.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused the United States Tuesday of stirring up conflict between rival Muslim sects to maintain U.S. influence in the Middle East.

"The U.S. intends to cause insecurity and dispute and weaken independent governments in the region to continue with its dominance over the Middle East and achieve its arrogant goals," Ahmadinejad said during a meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem.

"The U.S. and Zionist regime have a conspiracy to stir up conflict between Shiite and Sunni Muslims in order to plunder the wealth of the regional nations," the president said, according to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency, or IRNA.

Iran wouldn't be half the nuisance that they are now had we not attacked Iraq. We are already in two failing wars and George Bush is acting like George of the Jungle pretending that he can whup somebody else! We're a joke at this point and everyone knows it.

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Oh Snap!



He said it, I didn't.

Fitzgerald set the tone for the trial in his opening statement today, arguing that Cheney was much more deeply involved in the leak than anyone previously thought, while, in their opening statements, Libby's defense argued that he was sacrificed to cover up Karl Rove's involvement.

The the pus come oozing on out.

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No Quarrel With The Viet Cong

Why on earth would the Kurds want to get into this hell hole?

As the Iraqi government attempts to secure a capital city ravaged by conflict between Sunni and Shiite Muslim Arabs, its decision to bring a third party into the mix may cause more problems than peace.

Kurdish soldiers from northern Iraq, who are mostly Sunnis but not Arabs, are deserting the army to avoid the civil war in Baghdad, a conflict they consider someone else's problem.

The Iraqi army brigades being sent to the capital are filled with former members of a Kurdish militia, the peshmerga, and most of the soldiers remain loyal to the militia.

Much as Shiite militias have infiltrated the Iraqi security forces across Arab Iraq, the peshmerga fill the ranks of the Iraqi army in the Kurdish region in the north, poised to secure a semi-independent Kurdistan and seize oil-rich Kirkuk and parts of Mosul if Iraq falls apart. One thing they didn't bank on, they said, was being sent into the "fire" of Baghdad.

"The soldiers don't know the Arabic language, the Arab tradition, and they don't have any experience fighting terror," said Anwar Dolani, a former peshmerga commander who leads the brigade that's being transferred to Baghdad from the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah.

Dolani called the desertions a "phenomenon" but refused to say how many soldiers have left the army.

"I can't deny that a number of soldiers have deserted the army, and it might increase due to the ferocious military operations in Baghdad," he said.

"This is the biggest performance through which we can test them," said Lt. Gen. Ali Ghaidan, the commander of land forces for the Iraqi Ministry of Defense. The Kurdish soldiers will be using translators, and they'll start off doing less dangerous tasks, such as manning checkpoints with Arab soldiers, he said.

In interviews, however, soldiers in Sulaimaniyah expressed loyalty to their Kurdish brethren, not to Iraq. Many said they'd already deserted, and those who are going to Baghdad said they'd flee if the situation there became too difficult.

"I joined the army to be a soldier in my homeland, among my people. Not to fight for others who I have nothing to do with," said Ameen Kareem, 38, who took a week's leave with other soldiers from his brigade in Irbil and never returned. "I used to fight in the mountains and valleys, not in the streets."

Kareem said he knew that deserting was risky, but he said he'd rather be behind bars in Kurdistan than a "soldier in Baghdad's fire." Without the language and with his Kurdish features, he was sure he would stand out, he said. He's a Kurd, he said, and he has no reason to become a target in an Arab war.

You have a sectarian war and you are going to add another sect? This is why things are going so poorly over there. We just don't get it!

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Monday, January 22, 2007

They Straight Up Lied

Many of the Fox News hosts were frothing at the mouth last week accusing Barack Obama of being some undercover Muslim because he went to a Muslim school when he was a little boy in Indonesia. CNN says it ain't so ...

But reporting by CNN in Jakarta, Indonesia and Washington, D.C., shows the allegations that Obama attended a madrassa to be false. CNN dispatched Senior International Correspondent John Vause to Jakarta to investigate.

He visited the Basuki school, which Obama attended from 1969 to 1971.

"This is a public school. We don't focus on religion," Hardi Priyono, deputy headmaster of the Basuki school, told Vause. "In our daily lives, we try to respect religion, but we don't give preferential treatment."

Vause reported he saw boys and girls dressed in neat school uniforms playing outside the school, while teachers were dressed in Western-style clothes.

"I came here to Barack Obama's elementary school in Jakarta looking for what some are calling an Islamic madrassa ... like the ones that teach hate and violence in Pakistan and Afghanistan," Vause said on the "Situation Room" Monday. "I've been to those madrassas in Pakistan ... this school is nothing like that."

Vause also interviewed one of Obama's Basuki classmates, Bandug Winadijanto, who claims that not a lot has changed at the school since the two men were pupils. Insight reported that Obama's political opponents believed the school promoted Wahhabism, a fundamentalist form of Islam, "and are seeking to prove it."

"It's not (an) Islamic school. It's general," Winadijanto said. "There is a lot of Christians, Buddhists, also Confucian. ... So that's a mixed school."



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Historic!

I'm no football fan but since I am a Chicago native, I do have Bear's pride and am glad that they are going to the Super Bowl. However, the Colts are also going and, for the first time, both teams are being coached by black men.

Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy advanced to the Super Bowl with their teams on Sunday and gave the NFL a historic moment that was 41 years in the making.

As the first black head coaches to make it to the nation's uber sporting event, they couldn't help mentioning how special it was to be there together.

"It means a lot," Dungy said after his Indianapolis Colts beat New England 38-34 in the AFC title game. "I'm very proud of being an African-American. I'm very proud of Lovie."

Smith got there first, when his Chicago Bears won the early game and the NFC title by rolling over the New Orleans Saints, 39-14.

Asked who he'd like to play on Feb. 4 in Miami, Smith didn't hesitate with his answer:

"We have to play someone and, in my perfect world, I would like to see the Colts be that team.

"Tony Dungy has done an awful lot for our game," Smith said. "He hasn't had a chance to coach in the Super Bowl. I would love to see it."

Four hours later, it was a done deal.

"I'm happy for both coaches," Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney said. "I hope we get to the point we don't have to hear about it."

Las Vegas oddsmakers made Indianapolis the early favorite by a touchdown.

"I'll feel even better to be the first black coach to hold up the world championship trophy," Smith said.

Either way, a black man will be holding up that trophy.

1 Comments:

At 12:28 PM, Blogger Darius T. Williams said...

Interesting post...nice spin though - a Black man. It's our time!

 

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Can They Sink Any Lower?

I know that they can but I guess the memo went out to go full frontal on Obama because the Fox News crew is really out doing themselves with the blatant racism and unmitigated ignorance. I cannot believe this vitriol is allowed on any major network. Can you fathom the outrage if they replaced the word Muslim with Jew?
This morning, Fox News featured a segment highlighting a right-wing report that Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) attended an Islamic “madrassa” school as a 6-year-old child.

Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy pointed out that madrassas are “financed by Saudis” and “teach this Wahhabism which pretty much hates us,” then declared, “The big question is: was that on the curriculum back then?” Later, a caller to the show questioned whether Obama’s schooling means that “maybe he doesn’t consider terrorists the enemy.” Fox anchor Brian Kilmeade responded, “Well, we’ll see about that.”

The Fox hosts failed to correct the false claim that Obama is Muslim. One caller, referring to Obama, said, “I think a Muslim would be fine in the presidency, better than Hillary. At least you know what the Muslims are up to.” Anchor Gretchen Carlson responded, “We want to be clear, too, that this isn’t all Muslims, of course, we would only be concerned about the kind that want to blow us up.” Obama is Christian, a member of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ since 1988. Watch it:

I want to be mad but I can't. I'm sad that so many Americans are still at this base level and that one of the highest rated networks survives by spewing this kind of sewage on a daily basis.

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

I'll Bet It's Something That Doesn't Require Viagra

It always comes down to this with these racist losers. Fear of a black penis.

On the January 18 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, discussing Sen. Barack Obama's (D-IL) smoking, Rush Limbaugh said: "If he's got fire in his hands, what has he got in his pants?"

... and I'm sure he doesn't have to take jaunts to the Dominican Republic to buy sex from little brown girls.

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Git 'Em!

I just heard this clip on NPR! Patric Leahy went off!

Senator Leahy blasted Alberto Gonzalez at todays briefing over the treatment of Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen who was detained and sent to Syria, where he was regularly tortured for almost a year before being released uncharged. (h/t Melissa)

Leahy: "We knew damn well if he went to Canada he wouldn't be tortured. He'd be held and he'd be investigated. We also knew damn well if he went to Syria, he'd be tortured. And it's beneath the dignity of this country, a country that has always been a beacon of human rights, to send somebody to another country to be tortured."

First Condi, now that troll Gonzales who still sat there looking stupid and smug!

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No Wee Wee For a Wii

I'm not a "toy" person and I don't have kids so have no clue what would drive someone to
do this:

A U.S. sheriff opened an investigation Wednesday into the death of a 28-year-old woman who died after taking part in a California radio contest in which contestants had to drink as much water as possible.

Sacramento station KDND-FM has fired 10 staff members over Friday's competition, called "Hold your wee for a Wii," in which about 20 people tried to out-drink each other without going to the toilet to win a Nintendo Wii games console.

Jennifer Strange, 28, a mother of three, died from suspected water intoxication after coming second. She was reported to have drunk about seven quarts of water in a bid to win the Wii for her children.

After the contest she called in sick at work and was found dead at her home about five hours later.

Water intoxication, also known as hyperhydration or water poisoning, is potentially fatal and can cause irregular heartbeat, fluid in the lungs and swelling of the brain.

A spokesman for the station's parent company, Entercom/Sacramento, said 10 staff members, including several on-air DJs, had been fired over the incident.

I know everyone isn't up on every danger but what would possess someone to initiate a contest like this? It's stupid! It's ignorant! It's dumb! I'm sorry this woman is dead and that her children no longer have a mommy ... but, come on! EVERYONE who participated in this bears responsibility. That includes the deceased. These video games are going to be the death of society! (Is this the thing that people are playing so hard that the remotes become projectiles that break TVs)?

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At 5:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't really understand why she did it - especially when there have been reports on the news that detail similar deaths in recent years.

No video game is worth dying over - and yes, these are the ones that people have been breaking their TVs playing!

 
At 11:28 PM, Blogger Andy Tatnall said...

It was a handful of TVs, not people all over the place. And the Wii is a lot of fun and is in high demand...it's very hard to find. I can understand why someone would be willing to try a stunt to win one...and she probably trusted that the radio station had done its homework on the safety issues.

 

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Obama A Smoking Mammy?

Okay, so you know I erased Fox News from my remote so that I cannot even accidentally surf to that channel. But I still end up seeing some of the madness that goes on there. No they didn't sit up and discuss whether Obama being a smoker would disqualify him from the Presidency.
GIBSON: Malia, I'm glad you brought it up. Let me put something up on the screen, "Obama Behind Closed Doors." You never see him smoke. You never see a pack of cigarettes in his pocket. The question is, would you vote for a smoker as president? John, is that kind of -- is that an impediment?

McWHORTER: I really don't think it is because it depends on the person. And Obama is seen as very, very cool. I think a lot of people find him sexy. And I think even in today's America, there's a sense that there's something vaguely sexy about cigarettes; you've got fire in your hand. So to tell you the truth, I think it will only help.

LAZU: I think Americans -- I think Americans will be happy that his vice doesn't lead him to pages or to choking his mistress. I mean, all humans have vice, and he has one. But what Americans want is they want a change and they want that hope that Obama sparks in people.

GIBSON: You know, the only problem I have with this, John, is if it were that easy a barrier for him to overcome, why is he so determined to make sure nobody ever sees him with a cigarette in his hand?

McWHORTER: Well, to tell you the truth, knowing that he does it and keeping it secret is even better. To actually see the so-called filthy habit would be different. But it's that little thing that he kind of does behind closed doors.

GIBSON: Let me put this up on the screen, Obama's formula for success. He has a moderate image, but he has one of the, if not the, most liberal voting record in the Senate. Malia, is that part of the secret of his success, is actually obscuring his liberal voting record?

LAZU: I don't think that Obama has obscured his liberal voting record. I think Obama has put out two books that lay out who he is and what he stands for. He has been very public about who he is and what he stands for, and the American people like that. And I think that we need to understand that Americans want to hear true talk, and that's what Obama does.

GIBSON: How liberal is he, John?

McWHORTER: Well, frankly, he is a standard-issue leftist that you would expect of somebody with his particular experience, and he doesn't exactly hide it. But it's true, and somehow we like to think that he represents some sort of hope of bringing us all together anyway. And that means that somehow he's going to bring together the Michael Moores and the Grover Norquists and everybody in between. And, again, I think the only reason that looks plausible is because we see something about his being brown that creates that. It's almost like he's mammy. And it kind of worries me.

John McWhorter wishes he could be Obama and I'm just stunned (then again, not really) that he would go on that network full of hacks and bigots and try to tear Barack Obama down and compare him to a mammy. He's just mad that Obama can walk in to a black community (in the US or in Africa) and be treated like a king. Mc Whorter, on the other hand, is reduced to playing circus clown to the white right.

This is a tale of two mulattos. I'm sure both have struggled with their identities. Barack Obama found his, married a black woman, has black children and - at least on the surface - is being courted by both sides. McWhorter, on the other hand, married a white woman and still seems searching for his - with a healthy thirst for the approval of whites and at the expense of blacks.

If Barack Obama is a mammy, what does that make McWhorter? An Uncle Tom personified (and I rarely use that term)! Now go 'head and get the rope for massa, boy, so the lynching of Obama can begin.

(Oh, and another thing: Barack probably would still be ascending even if he weren't black. He's got something called charm and charisma in addition to more than his share of intelligence).

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At 5:46 AM, Anonymous Temple3 said...

That's an excellent take on McWhorter. I'd seen pictures of him before - and read many of his writings. Seeing him on film, however, clarified everything. Folks can write whatever they choose, but his cultural alienation from black folks is so transparent. Much of this may not be his own doing...it may be his psychological defense for his youth. Who knows? But he ain't no real scholar - he'd best stick to them linguistics.

 

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Diplomacy Thrown Out The Window

We had a chance ...

An Iranian offer to help the United States stabilize Iraq and end its military support for Hezbollah and Hamas was turned down by U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney in 2003, a former top State Department official told the British Broadcasting Corp.

The U.S. State Department was open to the offer, which came in an unsigned letter sent shortly after the American invasion of Iraq, but Cheney nipped the deal in the bud, Lawrence Wilkerson, former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief of staff, told BBC's Newsnight in a program broadcast Wednesday night.

"We thought it was a very propitious moment to (strike the deal)," Wilkerson said, "But as soon as it got to the White House, and as soon as it got to the vice president's office, the old mantra of 'We don't talk to evil' ... reasserted itself."

In return for its cooperation, Tehran asked Washington to lift its sanctions on the country and to dismantle the Mujahedeen Khalq, an Iranian opposition group which has bases in Iraq. Iran also offered to increase the transparency of its nuclear program, according to Wilkerson.

Wilkerson has been a frequent critic of the Bush administration in general and Cheney in particular, holding the vice president responsible for the mistreatment of detainees and the failure of Iraq's postwar planning.


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Still Lying On Boxer

Why are these folks so intent on perpetuating this lie? I was watching the hearings on C-Span myself and, if anything, I felt an ouch because I remembered that both of Condi's parents were dead. Nancy was saying that Condi, along with herself, had no one in the family eligible to die in Iraq. Many conservatives are always quick to call a spade, a spade when it comes down to blacks and things like crime and education but speak the truth about their beloved Condi (who in fact is a single, parent-less, childless woman who would be branded a femininazi and probable lesbian if she were a Democrat) and they are connecting dots that aren't even there.

"The libertarian Republican commentator [Larry Elders], on Sen. Barbara Boxer's (D-Calif.) sexist comments vs. Secretary Condi Rice
President and Commander in Chief Abraham Lincoln had no child serving in the Civil War. President Harry Truman, who dropped bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, had a daughter, but she did not serve. President Bill Clinton sent troops to Somalia, Bosnia and Kosovo, but his daughter did not serve. President John Kennedy increased the number of advisers in Vietnam and supported that war, but had no children involved. Watching the liberal 'pro-women's rights' Boxer go after the single and childless Rice seemed almost surreal....But for Boxer, the sky remains out of reach if, like Rice, you are unmarried and without children. Yet a recent article in The New York Times practically celebrated the phenomenon of the growing number of women living without spouses. For the first time, the number of women living without a spouse exceeds the number of women living with one."

Mr. Elder continues his commentary: "Wasn't the 'women's movement' about choices -- the choice to have a family or not, the choice to have a career or not, the choice to have children or not? But, Boxer's Law says that Rice's choices effectively disqualify her from the position of secretary of state, given her support of the war. I thought we'd come a long way, baby. Guess not."

I think this is projection. They are fixated on Condoleezza Rice's single/childless status so they assume that everyone else is. I know Larry Elders is not that dense and intellectually stunted. Further, I think it is sexist to conclude that even if Boxer was criticizing her lack of children, it is somehow shrewish and "cat fight-ish" in nature. As I state before, where was all of this hoopla when Laura Bush said that Condoleezza probably wouldn't want to run for President because she had no family? That's a bigger stretch than implying that not having kids means you may not understand the sacrifice mother makes when she sees her child off to war.

I wish these folks would find a different windmill to battle and stop bashing Boxer for things they've thought but not said.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Santorum Is Idiotesque



Dude is on meth!

Today on Fox News, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) said President Bush’s approach to the war in Iraq, particularly his recent speech, was “Lincolnesque.”

Fox Host Martha MacCallum asked Santorum what he thought of the criticism that President Bush “is just going his own way, not listening to the people, not listening to Congress.” Santorum responded, “Good for him.” Santorum also added that Bush understands, but most people aren’t aware, that we are already at war with Iran.

He's a bigger idiot than Bush and didn't think that was possible.

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He Must Be High

Why on earth would Bush think the UN would want to expand their presence in the hell hole he created against the UN's wishes? Bush needs to strengthen his presence in Iraq by going to stay for a while.

President Bush asked the United Nations to increase its presence in Iraq but the world body is concerned about security, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Wednesday.

Ban, who just ended a two-day visit to Washington, the first since he took office on January 1, said however that the United Nations would take a more active role in the International Compact for Iraq, a U.N.-sponsored initiative to provide reconstruction aid in return for democratic reforms.

"President Bush wanted to see an increased presence and role of the United Nations in Iraq," Ban told reporters.

However, Ban said he told the president the United Nations "will continue, wherever and whenever we can, to increase our presence there, but that will largely be constrained by security concerns."

Former Secretary-General Kofi Annan withdrew the U.N's international staff from Iraq in 2003 following two attacks on U.N. offices in Baghdad. The first attack in August 2003 killed 22 people, including Brazilian Sergio Vieira de Mello, head of the mission.

I still remember how pissed Kofi Annan was when they were attacked. I knew that it was going to go down hill from there and, my God, it certainly did.

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War On The White House

Bush isn't going to back down but neither are his opponents.:
"The resolution stated in part that 'it is not in the national interest of the United States to deepen its military involvement in Iraq, particularly by escalating U.S. troop presence in Iraq.'

While the resolution would mainly have a political impact — and place Republican lawmakers in the awkward position of defying President George W. Bush or endorsing a troop increase that is unpopular with the public — other Democrats vowed Wednesday to push for even tougher measures.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, just back from Afghanistan and Iraq, called for a cap on the number of American troops in Iraq and for an increase in the number in Afghanistan. Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut said he would introduce legislation requiring the president to seek congressional authorization before any further troop increase in Iraq.

Dodd's proposal drew a sharp response from Snow, the spokesman, who said, 'To tie one's hand in a time of war is a pretty extreme move.'

Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, the Republican who sponsored the nonbinding resolution along with Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware and Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, said that he would 'do everything I can to stop the president's policy as he outlined it Wednesday night.' He called the plan 'dangerously irresponsible.'

Because Hagel has long been critical of the administration's handling of the war, his position was not entirely surprising. More worrisome for Bush was the reaction of a moderate Republican senator, Olympia Snowe of Maine, who said she was considering supporting the resolution.

The White House, working to avoid further defections, summoned several other Republicans to a meeting. It later declined to name them, although Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana, a foreign- policy expert, said that he was among those invited."

This is going to be good.

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My Peace of Mind

No, I sacrifice my peace of mind every time I make myself watch him!:
Last night on the PBS Newshour, Jim Lehrer asked President Bush why he hasn't called on Americans — besides those serving in the volunteer military — to sacrifice something to help our country in this time of struggle. Bush claimed Americans are sacrificing: "They sacrifice peace of mind when they see the terrible image of violence on TV every night." Bush explained that "the psychology of the country…is somewhat down because of this war. Video:

This man couldn't talk his way out of a paper bag. He said one ridiculous or nonsensical thing after another but Lehrer didn't let him get away with much monkey shining.

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Sure! Let's Send More Troops Into This Mess

I think they'll be glad to see us ...

One of Iraq’s most powerful Shia politicians has condemned the arrest of Iranians by US forces in Iraq as an attack on the country’s sovereignty.

The comments by Abdel Aziz al-Hakim, made in a BBC interview, are seen as the strongest expression yet of Iraq’s concern about the US approach to Iran.

They follow two recent US raids in which Iranians were arrested.


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Shawn Comes Home a Different Boy

This story boggles the mind.

More than four years ago when Shawn Hornbeck was snatched near his home, he was known as a spunky little boy who liked to ride his bike, play basketball, draw cartoons and spend time with his stepfather.

Last week when he surfaced in a stunning conclusion to a kidnapping case, Shawn was a 15-year-old who had grown more than a foot, had a pierced lip and shy smile. But the change went beyond his appearance.

As details trickled out, it appeared Shawn had settled into a domestic life with Michael Devlin, the man who allegedly abducted him and then on Jan. 8, snatched a 13-year-old boy and brought him to his suburban St. Louis apartment. Both boys were rescued last week by police after acting on a tip.

The early picture that emerged of Shawn's life in suburban Kirkwood was a teenager enjoying regular activities: skateboarding and bike riding with a friend. A neighbor saw Devlin teaching him to drive his pickup. Others in town assumed they were father and son. The boy also told police that Devlin was his last name.

What happened during this 51 months when he apparently lived with Devlin remains a mystery.

And while some may wonder why Shawn didn't escape over the years, experts say no one should rush to judgment about a boy stolen from his loved ones at age 11.

"Most 11-year-olds taken from their support systems are in a state of shock," said Dr. Sharon Cooper, a pediatrician on the faculty of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Medicine. "Their worry is who is going to provide their basic needs."

Shawn, she said, was "was totally displaced from his family and home. This offender had established a new life for that child and he accommodated that." The boy, she added, grew to accept Kirkwood as "his community." ...

I'm so glad this boy is back at home with his family. I'm not sure I want to know what went on during those four years when he was "away." But I do know that people like Bill O'Reilly need to stop talk like this:

O'REILLY: "Impact" segment tonight, the disturbing case of the two kidnapped boys in Missouri. As you know, police found 15-year-old Shawn Hornbeck in an apartment of 41-year-old Michael Devlin last week, along with 13-year-old Ben Ownby. Both boys allegedly had been kidnapped by Devlin, who ran a pizza place in the town of Kirkwood. Shawn had been missing for four years.

And the question is, why didn't he escape when he could have? There are all kinds of theories about that. Joining us now from Washington, Greta Van Susteren, who has been out to Missouri reporting on the case.

All right, you know, the Stockholm syndrome thing, I don't buy it. I've never bought it. I didn't think it happened in the Patty Hearst case. I don't think it happened here.

[...]

O'REILLY: I'm not buying this. If you're 11 years old or 12 years old, 13, and you have a strong bond with your family, OK, even if the guy threatens you, this and that, you're riding your bike around, you got friends. The kid didn't go to school. There's all kinds of stuff. If you can get away, you get away. All right? If you're 11.

[...]

O'REILLY: This is what I believe happened in the Hearst case and in this case. The situation that Hearst found herself in was exciting. She had a boring life. She was a child of privilege. All of a sudden, she's in with a bunch of charismatic thugs, and she enjoyed it. The situation here for this kid looks to me to be a lot more fun than what he had under his old parents. He didn't have to go to school. He could run around and do whatever he wanted.

VAN SUSTEREN: Some kids like school.

O'REILLY: What?

VAN SUSTEREN: Some kids like school.

O'REILLY: Well, I don't believe this kid did. And I think when it all comes down, what's going to happen is, there was an element here that this kid liked about his circumstances.

[...]

VAN SUSTEREN: So you're playing that same sort of thinking to this 11-year-old to 15-year-old. You're thinking logically. You think to yourself, "Why didn't he leave?" That's what most people think. Frankly, I had that thought as well.

But I think you've got to remember that this is a child. He doesn't -- you know, for whatever reason, he may have, you know, wanted to be with his kidnapper. Maybe his kidnapper turned out to be, quote, "a nice guy" or whatever. But this is a kid, Bill. And I think we've got to wait till we get all the facts.

Bill O'Reilly doesn't know that boy or that family from a hole in the wall. His accusations that this child was having fun with a known sex offender is revolting and irresponsible. I really, really hope that nothing tragic like this ever happens to his children. I am sick of his ilk having access to the airways!

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Too Many To Count

and we'll never know how many Iraqis have died since we liberated them.

The new UN estimate of 34,000 Iraqis killed in 2006 made headlines around the world, but it's almost certainly far too low. The number, as the New York Times reported, was "the first attempt at hand-counting individual deaths for an entire year," and was based on information from "morgues, hospitals and municipal authorities across Iraq."

The first problem with the UN count is that refers only to civilians -- and thus almost certainly omitted deaths of Iraqi policemen, soldiers, insurgent fighters, and members of private militias like the Badr brigade. News media failed to report how the UN separated "civilian" casualties from the total, and the UN notably failed to report the total including non-civilians.

The second problem is the UN's methodology, which relied mostly on tallying official death certificates. The UN, according to the Times, argues their methodology is reliable because "a vast majority of Iraqi deaths are registered" with officials because Iraqis want to "prove inheritance and receive government compensation." But many bodies found in mass graves or ditches are unidentified. And there's another problem: according to the L.A. Times, "Victims' families are all too often reluctant to claim the bodies ... for fear of reprisals." And of course chaotic wartime conditions in several provinces make it difficult for officials there to issue death certificates even when victim's families do not fear reprisals.

None of the reports in leading newspapers mentioned the other count of Iraqi deaths: the Johns Hopkins study reported last October in the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet. They estimated that 650,000 Iraqis had died as a result of the war -- 600,000 from violence and 50,000 from other war-related causes. President Bush rejected that figure -- "I don't consider it a credible report," he told a press conference last October -- and most of the media seem to have agreed.

But The Lancet study used state-of-the art demographic techniques, the same methodology employed to estimate war deaths in Kosovo, Congo, and Rwanda, and in natural disasters around the world. World leaders have cited those figures repeatedly without questioning their validity. It's the same methodology used in political polls in the US: the random sample.



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Backpedaling On Democracy

Think Progress » Rice’s Short-Lived Commitment To Middle East Democracy

Bush administration officials frequently claim they are committed to democracy and freedom in the Middle East, not mere “stability.” As Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice put it on 6/20/05:

For 60 years, my country, the United States, pursued stability at the expense of democracy in this region here in the Middle East– and we achieved neither. Now, we are taking a different course. We are supporting the democratic aspirations of all people.

President Bush reaffirmed this commitment more recently on the fifth anniversary of September 11. “Years of pursuing stability to promote peace had left us with neither. So we changed our policies, and committed America’s influence in the world to advancing freedom and democracy as the great alternatives to repression and radicalism.”

In reality, the Bush administration continues to overlook serious abuses of fundamental democratic rights. As the New York Times reports, Rice did not address Egypt’s poor human rights record while she was in the region meeting with government officials:

In the days before Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with officials in Egypt, the news media here were filled with stories detailing charges of corruption, cronyism, torture and political repression. …

Ms. Rice, who once lectured Egyptians on the need to respect the rule of law, did not address those domestic concerns. Instead, with Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit by her side, she talked about her appreciation for Egypt’s support in the region.

It was clear that the United States — facing chaos in Iraq, rising Iranian influence and the destabilizing Israeli-Palestinian conflict — had decided that stability, not democracy, was its priority, Egyptian political commentators, political aides and human rights advocates said.

According to the State Department’s latest report on human rights, in 2005, the Egyptian “government’s respect for human rights remained poor, and serious abuses continued in many areas.”



John Bolton was backpedaling on democracy too (he also said that Iraq was in a civil war).



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With Odds Like This

They thought the invasion of Iraq had a 100% chance of succeeding and you see where that got us. Do the American people deserve seeing our troops sent into this kind of gamble?

Army Chief of Staff General Pete Schoomaker has told a key House panel that the president's new plan for Iraq stands a "50/50 chance" of success, per one Republican and one Democratic source.

Schoomaker appeared at a closed-door meeting of the defense subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee to discuss military readiness. He is due to retire as soon as his replacement, General George Casey, is confirmed.


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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I Just Find This Creepy

Maybe it's because I'm a baby magnet and attract babies wherever I go that I cannot fathom why people don't get that having a baby (as in getting pregnant and pushing it out) isn't what makes you a mother. I understand that people want to see themselves in their babies' faces but I just couldn't see going through something like this. With all of those babies around the world who need moms ... I think this is a waste of good science.:
"First came kidney, liver and heart transplants. Then a few doctors started transplanting hands. French surgeons even did a face.

Now, doctors are planning the first womb transplant in the United States.

A team based in Manhattan has begun screening women left barren by cancer, injuries or other problems who want a chance to bear their own children.

'The desire to have a child is a tremendous driving force for many women,' said Giuseppe Del Priore of the New York Downtown Hospital, who is leading the team. 'We think we could help many women fulfill this very basic desire.'

But the planned operation, which Del Priore and his colleagues could attempt later this year, is stirring objections among some transplant experts, fertility specialists and medical ethicists. They question whether the procedure has been tested sufficiently on animals and whether the benefit of being able to carry a pregnancy outweighs the risks for the woman and fetus.

'This raises a set of very difficult medical and ethical questions,' said Thomas H. Murray, who heads the Hastings Center, a bioethics think tank in Garrison, N.Y. 'I think it's very questionable. This would be very hard to justify ..."

Lord knows what "cell memories" are in the transplanted womb. Something might pop out of you that you didn't bargain for.

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Another One Bites The Dust

... or kills the rabbit. Where are they getting these chicks?

Another Miss USA tiara is changing heads.



Ashley Harder, Miss New Jersey USA, has resigned because she is pregnant, The Philadelphia Daily News reported in Monday's editions.



Harder, 20, told the newspaper she voluntarily stepped down because it is against pageant rules to compete while pregnant. She could not be reached for comment by The Associated Press.



Both the pageant and the runner-up for 2007 Miss New Jersey USA confirmed Monday that the reins have changed hands. Erin Abrahamson, 23, said pageant officials called her Friday to let her know she would be assuming the title.



"Whatever made her resign, I wish her lots of luck and hope she's OK," Abrahamson said of Harder, adding that pageant officials did not tell her why she would be taking over.



Harder's resignation is the latest to hit the pageant.




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Ditto!


Political Wire: Quote of the Day
"He has 24 months left in his presidency. I don't think I'm being mean-spirited by saying [that in] the first six years of his presidency, there's been nothing accomplished except the biggest foreign policy fiasco in the history of our country."

-- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), quoted by Time magazine.


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Bush Better Duck

For I doubt Senator Webb's rebuttal to the SOTU address will be kind.

Freshman Sen. Jim Webb will deliver the Democrats' response next Tuesday to President Bush's State of the Union address.

The selection was made Tuesday by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said Webb spokeswoman Jessica Smith.

Webb's upset victory over Republican Sen. George Allen was the decisive race in giving the Democrats control of Congress in last year's midterm elections.

Webb will speak for about five minutes shortly after Bush's address to a joint session of Congress on Jan. 23.

I'm gonna have to leave work on time so I can either listen to it on NPR or catch it live on TV.

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Not Like I Used To

I used to think Matthew Mc Conaughey was a hottie. Then he got on Oprah (I think) saying something about his mama told him he didn't need to wear deodorant and I just started smelling funk through the TV (ain't nobody cute enough to stink for a living). He's looking downright

nasty now.
Next!

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Facinating!

I just plain had no clue that this kind of stuff went on there.


Called in from the fields of his forced labor camp without explanation, Roth Chheng had every reason to assume that the Khmer Rouge was going to execute him as indiscriminately as it had slaughtered his compatriots for walking with a limp, speaking out of turn, or stealing a potato.

But that 1977 day, when Roth Chheng entered the empty dining hall, an official from the ultra-Maoist regime ordered the bewildered 27-year-old to hold hands with a young woman he'd never laid eyes on before: They were married, then and there, in a five-minute ceremony.

Dressed in his soiled work clothes, Roth Chheng numbly assented – yes, they would live together and love each other forever; yes, they would be eternally faithful to the regime – barely registering the broad-faced 25-year-old woman holding his hand. The slightest sign of insubordination might lead to torture or worse – certain death if he'd refused.

In the weeks following, spies trailed them to ensure the matchmaking whim had succeeded.

Constant fear and strain defined the arrangement. Yet now, 30 years later, Roth Chheng still remembers the first spark of affection in the marriage: His wife sacrificed her food rations, bringing them to him at his labor camp.

"The portions we got were very small," he recalls, gently resting one hand on his wife's knee. "And she thought that a man would need more food than a woman."

Roth Chheng, now 56, and Sem Sat, 54, recently renewed their marital vows – this time by choice – with the Cambodian traditions that the genocidal regime had sought to obliterate. Showered with flower petals, laden with gifts, and surrounded by friends and family, they were among the 10 Khmer Rouge-arranged couples who participated in a ceremony last month in Takeo Province, about 20 miles south of Phnom Penh.

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Jennifer Hudson Won A Golden Globe

Everyone knows that I am not a movie person and may only go once or twice a year. Well, the day after Christmas, I went to see Dreamgirls with my mom and sis. I absolutely loved it and ended up seeing it again with friends when I returned from vacation. I cannot recall going to the movies to see the same movie twice since Cooley High/Sparkle days so you know I must have really liked it. While everyone, and I mean everyone, did a great job, Jennifer Hudson did a fantastic job and she got her just rewards!





Oh, and I am still listening to the soundtrack CD almost every day.

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Not Leaving Without That Oil!

Surprised?
Is an ugly chapter in American history about to repeat itself?

Last week, members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee grilled Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice about a hydrocarbon law being considered by Iraq's parliament. The bill, the contents of which have not been published, is expected to prescribe how Iraq's oil revenue will be shared among the major factions in that country. The measure also is supposed to spell out the degree to which foreign companies could invest — and profit — from Iraq's oil industry.

Despite Iraq's secrecy in drafting this law, Rice hinted to senators that she has knowledge of the bill's contents and assured them it would be a remarkable law.

Remarkable indeed. Four days before Rice went before the committee, The Independent, a British newspaper, reported that the Bush administration is heavily involved in writing Iraq's oil law, a draft of which the paper said it had obtained. The law would allow Western oil companies contracts of up to 30 years to pump oil out of Iraq, and the profits would be tax-free, the newspaper reported.

Many foreign and domestic critics of the war have charged that getting control of Iraq's oil — not getting rid of weapons of mass destruction — was the real motivation behind President Bush's decision to topple Saddam Hussein. And while the evidence to support this theory appears to be based more on conjecture than fact, at least so far, history is not on the side of those who bristle at such a claim ...

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Boo!

Why is it that I don't believe Iran is afraid?

The defence secretary, Robert Gates, told reporters that the decision to deploy a Patriot missile battalion and a second aircraft carrier to the Gulf in conjunction with a "surge" of troops in Iraq was designed to show Iran that the US was not "overcommitted" in Iraq.
...

The increasingly confrontational pose struck by the US is a repudiation of one of the key recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, which called for the start of a dialogue with Iran and Syria in an effort to extricate the US from Iraq.

Everyone on the globe knows we're over committed and if we weren't, we'd be able to send far more that 21,500. I can see this Secretary of Defense is right up there with the rocket scientists.

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Those Ingrates!

This is unbelievable! He thinks they should be on their knees thanking us for tearing up their country and unleashing thousands of extremists who, along with our military efforts, will soon have killed more folks than Saddam ever did. They are supposed to be grateful for that?
PELLEY: Do you think you owe the Iraqi people an apology for not doing a better job?

BUSH: That we didn't do a better job or they didn't do a better job?

PELLEY: Well, that the United States did not do a better job in providing security after the invasion.

BUSH: Not at all. I am proud of the efforts we did. We liberated that country from a tyrant. I think the Iraqi people owe the American people a huge debt of gratitude, and I believe most Iraqis express that. I mean, the people understand that we've endured great sacrifice to help them. That's the problem here in America. They wonder whether or not there is a gratitude level that's significant enough in Iraq.

PELLEY: Americans wonder whether . . .

BUSH: Yeah, they wonder whether or not the Iraqis are willing to do hard work necessary to get this democratic experience to survive. That's what they want.

Americans aren't wondering any such thing about the Iraqis. The American people are only concerned with getting their loved ones in the military home safe and out of harm's way. Bush is out of his dayum mind!

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

I Needed This



Too funny!

Glenn Beck, Saint McCain, Gretchen Carlson, FOX News.com, and General Kristol
take home this week's medals for worst persons in the world and
Klingons and handrail-lickers are thrown into the mix for a little
comedic effect.

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Oh My God!

We invaded these people's country and now we're about to kill them all! What possible good would it do to send the Kurds into a Sunni/Shiite civil war? This is an A-B conversation and the Kurds need to C their way out.
Already a dangerous battleground for an array of forces, Baghdad could soon be flooded with another volatile element: thousands of Kurds from northern Iraq.

As part of President Bush's new strategy for Iraq, between 8,000 and 10,000 Iraqi troops will deploy to Baghdad from elsewhere in the country in the coming weeks, according to American and Iraqi officials. As many as 3,600 of them could be Kurds. It would be the first time such a large number of Kurdish forces have been sent to the capital.

The impending deployment has raised fears among Kurds, most of whom live in a well-protected autonomous enclave, that they are being dragged more directly into into Iraq's bloody and complex civil war.

Most of the fighting in Iraq takes place between Sunnis and Shiites, but Kurds fear that could change if they're seen as players in the country's main struggle.

"I don't think it's wise," said Mahmoud Othman, a Kurdish lawmaker in Baghdad. "This is a Sunni-Shiite conflict."

Kurdish troops are not acquainted with Baghdad, many speak neither Arabic nor English, and their participation could create an even deeper conflict between Kurds and Arabs, he said.

While large numbers of Kurds mix with Arabs in the Kirkuk and Mosul areas of northern Iraq, and a small number live in the capital, Sunni and Shiite politicians also question the wisdom of bringing Kurdish soldiers into the conflict.


Why isn't anybody worried that more US troops and Kurdish troops aren't going to walk into the same kind of whup ass that the Israeli soldiers encountered when they crossed over into Lebanon. If Iran is arming the Shiites and Saudis the Sunnis, do you really think they are going to take this lightly? As bad as it is, they are really trying to SET IT OFF!

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They Went To Church Every Sunday

This is positively grisly! But why do folks always act as though going to church makes one incapable of doing something heinous?

A man suspected of decapitating his 4-year-old daughter and leaving the body for her mother to find in their suburban home was arrested in Washington, D.C., early Saturday, authorities said.



Investigators have not found any history of domestic or mental health problems at the home, and still have no leads as to a possible motive in the killing, said Clayton police Lt. Jon Gerrell.



Amber Violette told police Friday evening she had found her daughter, Katlin, with her head severed from her body, police said.



An "edged weapon" believe to have been used in the killing was found in the house, though Gerrell declined to give more details.



"This is devastating for the whole community as a whole, and it's the most horrific thing I've seen in 13 years of police work," said Sgt. S.P. Lapsley. "That a father could do this to his child, I just can't believe it."



John Patrick Violette's vehicle was found at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, and investigators learned he had taken a flight to Washington. Deputy U.S. marshals arrested the 37-year-old after police tracked his credit card to the hotel, Lapsley said.



Police said Violette, 37, would be held in Washington pending an extradition on a murder charge expected to be filed in Clayton, about 15 miles southeast of Raleigh. The U.S. Marshals Service said an extradition hearing is expected to be held Tuesday.



The mother is not a suspect in the investigation, and Lapsley said police don't expect to make any more arrests.



Police said John Violette quit his job at a home improvement store on Thursday, the News Observer of Raleigh reported.



Lori McCreary, who lives across the street from the Violette home in Clayton, a suburb about 15 miles southeast of Raleigh, described the family as "very private, but normal."



"They went to church every Sunday. They just seemed like a very happy, normal couple," McCreary said. "This is just so very, very shocking — and devastating."

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War Is His Crack

I swear! We are losing our handle or Afghanistan. We've never had a grip on Iraq. Now we are trying to stir things up with Iran? I guess his goal really is to set the world on fire!
A recent series of American raids against Iranians in Iraq was authorized under an order that President Bush decided to issue several months ago to undertake a broad military offensive against Iranian operatives in the country, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Friday.

“There has been a decision to go after these networks,” Ms. Rice said in an interview with The New York Times in her office on Friday afternoon, before leaving on a trip to the Middle East.

Ms. Rice said Mr. Bush had acted “after a period of time in which we saw increasing activity” among Iranians in Iraq, “and increasing lethality in what they were producing.” She was referring to what American military officials say is evidence that many of the most sophisticated improvised explosive devices, or I.E.D.’s, being used against American troops were made in Iran.

Ms. Rice was vague on the question of when Mr. Bush issued the order, but said his decision grew out of questions that the president and members of his National Security Council raised in the fall.

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Because He's The Decider

... and he doesn't give a crap what you think!

In an interview set to air on this Sunday's 60 Minutes, President George W. Bush vows to send an additional 21,500 troops to Iraq "no matter what" the Democratic-controlled Congress tries to do.

"Do you believe as Commander in Chief you have the authority to put the troops in there no matter what the Congress wants to do," 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley asks Bush in the short clip uploaded to the CBS News web site Friday night.

"I think I've got, in this situation, I do, yeah," Bush said.

"Now I fully understand they will," Bush continued, "they could try to stop me from doing it, but, uh, I've made my decision and we're going forward."

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Just As I Thought!

Can we get anything right?
When I read the headlines of the US air raid in Somalia that killed a top al Qaida leader on the morning of Bush's "new" plan for Iraq, my first thought was that we've been here before, but who knows, maybe they got it right this time. Taking out the top bad guys who have killed Americans is what the real war on terror is supposed to be about.

Sadly, the non-Pentagon-hype truth is out and once again our raid on terrorists with guns a blazin' turned out to be 70 nomads who were seeking water and villagers in a fishing village and not al Qaida leaders. Who gathers this intelligence and then makes these aggressive plans? Haven't we seen raids like this in Afghanistan and Iraq over and over and over? As bad as our reputation is, you would expect something better and not another adventure of the Keystone Cops with deadly force.

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Blood In The Water

Like I said in an earlier post, I saw some of these proceedings on C-Span and wanted to stand and clap. I cannot say IT'S ABOUT FRICKIN' TIME loud enough! I almost wanted to feel sorry for Rice and Gates but this kind of questioning has been long overdue.
Republican support for President Bush's Iraq policy shattered Thursday as top administration officials ran into a wall of skepticism and even damnation of his plan to send more troops to Iraq.

Hostility was especially intense toward Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. An architect of the Iraq war, Rice called the troop increase an augmentation, angering some senators. Senators of both parties clearly have wearied of her analyses, and, one after another, even normally quiescent backbench Republicans questioned her credibility.

Earlier skeptics of the proposal went on the attack.

"I have to say, Madam Secretary, that I think this speech given last night by this president represents the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam," Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., said of Bush's plan to add 21,500 troops to secure Baghdad in concert with Iraqi forces. "If it's carried out, I will resist it."

Hagel is a longtime critic of Bush's Iraq policy. More surprising was the grilling Rice took from Sen. John Sununu, a New Hampshire Republican facing re-election in 2008, and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who said she agreed with Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., that Great Britain's announcement of troop withdrawals leaves the United States isolated in Iraq.
[...]
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, now three weeks on the job after replacing Donald Rumsfeld, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Peter Pace met a slightly less chilly reception in the House Armed Services Committee. Gates arrived with less baggage than Rice and is seen as being more frank. Still, Chairman Ike Skelton, D-Mo., dismissed Bush's plan as a change of tactics, not strategy.

Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Walnut Creek, told Gates the plan is "just absolutely ridiculous after the colossal and catastrophic failures of your predecessor."

Even Obama got into the mix on this one and he's usually a calming voice in the Senate. All this heat she is taking for the dumbest, worst President ever ...

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Looking For A Few Old, Fat, Ritalin Needing, Tattooed Good Men

One would think that with all of the huffing, puffing and threatening Bush is still doing despite his failures in Iraq and Afghanistan, that we'd have some troops to back it up.:
"The Pentagon has unveiled proposals for a bigger army in the 'long war' against terror as President George W.Bush begins the hard sell for his new strategy of sending 21,500 more troops to Iraq.
Defence Secretary Robert Gates outlined the proposals for a permanent increase in the size of the army and Marine Corps at a likely cost of $US15billion ($19.2billion) a year.

He recommended adding 92,000 troops over five years, bringing the army to 547,000 soldiers and the Marine Corps to 202,000.

'We should recognise that while it may take some time for these troops to become available for deployment, it is important that our men and women in uniform know that additional manpower and resources are on the way,' he said.

After missing recruitment targets in 2005, the army lowered standards and doubled enlistment bonuses. Last year, it raised the maximum age for recruits from 35 to 40, and then to 42.

It also relaxed rules outlawing visible tattoos above the neck and ensured that candidates who are a little overweight or suffer from attention deficit disorder were no longer turned away."

No one in their right mind ... That's exactly what the Army will get too! No one in their right mind out there fighting for America in a post-9/11 world.

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Hate Gone Wild

Weeks ago when I was on a semi-hiatus, I read a blog post about the ridiculous way this radio host was referring to Barack Obama (like he decides who can call themselves black) and I just couldn't get around to posting about it.

I live in the Bay Area and don't listen to KSFO and now I see why I never will. These people have lost their minds and have taken hate speech to depths that every American should be ashamed of. Sadly, I know folks like this. I've attended college with them. I've driven through their neighborhoods. I've worked with them. They are horrible and have the audacity to claim that they aren't racist.

Finally, one blogger had enough and took action and had action taken against him.
Here's what KSFO commentators have been telling their listeners:

On Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, Brian Sussman says, "My opinion as your average white guy—he is not allowed to wear the African-American badge because his family are not the descendants of slaves." He called Obama a "Halfrican."

After discussing a black man in Lincoln, Neb., Lee Rodgers says, "Catch the person, tie 'em to a post and burn 'em," to which Melanie Morgan responds, "Hog tie 'em first. That would be good."

On Nancy Pelosi, the first woman speaker of the House, Morgan says, "We've got a bull's eye painted on her big wide laughing eyes."

To one self-identified non-Muslim listener, Sussman says "Say 'Allah is a whore' and 'I'll believe you.'

In October 2005, the liberal Spocko, who uses a pseudonym to protect his identity, began posting such vile transcripts on his blog, demanding KSFO change its act. Station management's inaction prompted him to start e-mailing audio clips to advertisers, asking them to hold the station accountable. It worked—and Disney tried to shut him down.

Disney/ABC lawyers sent a cease-and-desist letter to Spocko's Internet service provider demanding the clips be removed on account of copyright infringement, but this was only done after several major advertisers, including Mastercard and Bank of America, No. 25 in The 2006 Top 50 Companies for Diversity®, pulled their spots. Internet 1&1 shut down Spocko's site after receiving the letter. Read the letter.

On one hand, I want this kind of thing to stop. On the other I think these people all need to come out of the woodwork and spew their nastiness. You cannot expect equality in a society where people think, behave and talk like this. People need to wake up to how ignorant and hateful a good portion of Americans really are. I've always known.

See more at Media Matters here and here. Also check out C&L.

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The Life and Death of a 40-Year CIA Asset

I think the complete hypocrisy of this whole venture in Iraq and the Middle East is what bugs me the most. We were thick as thieves with Saddam Hussein when it suited us. His execution at the hands of his enemies, IMHO, was illegal and was not why we invaded that country. I think our country has lost its soul over this war and ultimately, we are going to have to
come to terms with it.

This quick, brutally ironic movie reminds us that America was for Saddam long before we were against him. What’s more, we were apparently for his invasion of Kuwait before we were against it.

Watch it



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Olberman Nails It Again

Believe it or not, I actually watched/listened to most of Bush's speech. The man looks horrible and seeing him stare straight ahead and reading from a teleprompter was almost eerie. He didn't even sound like a cartoon cowboy. What I heard was more of the same and some kind of bizarre threat to Iran. As usual, I was dumbfounded by his idiocy but I didn't get angry this time. I can find little left to say. Fortunately, Keith Olberman found the right words.

You knew Keith was going to comment after Bush's disastrous speech last night. Most of America, many in Congress and Bush's own military leaders are against this move. I guess only the neocons matter to Bush. Being a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute seems to be more important than over 60% of the country. Keith takes it apart—bit by bit. It is surprising to see him speak out in back to back shows, but the situation obviously warranted it.


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No Nickel In That Dime



While the NY Post is trying to spin this as a low blow, I totally agree with what Barabara Boxer said to Condi. Like Condi, I have neither chick nor child but I understand how many lives are being lost on a daily basis behind this failed foreign policy that Bush plans to continue.

Rice appeared before the Senate in defense of President Bush's tactical change in Iraq, and quickly encountered Boxer.

"Who pays the price? I'm not going to pay a personal price," Boxer said. "My kids are too old, and my grandchild is too young."

Then, to Rice: "You're not going to pay a particular price, as I understand it, with an immediate family."

I actually saw this on C-Span and was thoroughly amused. Bush is not going to be able to carry out this "surge" without a fight this time.


Update: Here's a link.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Retards!

More from the folks who are obsessed with sex.

In comments, Ken dropped the link to this article, which reports that the debate over the human papillomavirus vaccine is raging again now that various states legislatures are considering bills to make the vaccine mandatory.

Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is "the most common sexually transmitted infection in the country and the cause of nearly all cervical cancers," and a vaccine for it known as Gardasil was approved by the FDA in June of last year, but not before a protracted struggle with conservatives, who argued that inoculating girls against HPV would encourage promiscuity:

"I personally object to vaccinating children when they don't need vaccinations, particularly against a disease that is one hundred per cent preventable with proper sexual behavior. Premarital sex is dangerous, even deadly. Let's not encourage it by vaccinating ten-year-olds so they think they're safe."—Leslee J. Unruh, founder and president of the Abstinence Clearinghouse.

"Giving the HPV vaccine to young women could be potentially harmful, because they may see it as a license to engage in premarital sex."—Bridget Maher of the Family Research Council.


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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

What Grade Is He In?

I've found this feud between Donald, Rosie and Donald just beyond stupid. Rosie made a joke, he flipped out and continues to flip out. Now they are dragging Barbara into it and the whole thing is just getting more childish by the day. Even if Barbara did say something negative to Donald, why would he betray her confidence? This should have been over the day after it started but he just won't shut up!

Donald Trump says that Barbara Walters called Rosie O'Donnell a "pig" in a phone conversation and that "she won't be [at "The View"] for long."

Trump sent a letter to Rosie O'Donnell this morning alleging that he and Babwa had a conversation about the Trump-Rosie hostilities while Babwa was on vacation. Trump says that, according to Walters, "working with [Rosie] is like living in hell" and, "Don't worry, she won't be here for long." What's more, Trump says that Walters advised him, "Donald, never get into the mud with pigs."


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What's Going On?

My posts have been rather sparse lately. After being laid off late last summer by yet another Silicon Valley company that decided to close up shop, I finally started a new job after Thanksgiving and have been on the busy side. I guess it's a good thing because this company seems to be doing well and I probably won't have to worry about them packing up and closing the door in my face. Seeing as I was laid off for almost all of 2002 after the dot com crash, the 3-4 months it took for me to find something suitable wasn't as bad though I cannot say that my pocketbook was helped during that time.

I'm trying to get a better routine for blogging as I still read a lot but just don't have time to write my ideas down and post as much. I promise to do better, though.

2 Comments:

At 8:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to see you back! I wondered where you had been hiding! I'll email you soon, but don't hurry in your reply!

Myra

 
At 2:04 AM, Blogger Qusan said...

I also went home for Christmas and my mom's DSL conked out after a couple of days and I couldn't use my wireless network (I took my router home as usual). Additionally, I had my first car accident and STILL don't have my car fixed. It's just been a weird time.

 

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Monday, January 08, 2007

No, You Picked Her

I am, in no way, about to feel sorry for these white boys who went out of their way to hire some ghetto assed black strippers to come to their all white frat house. When your intentions are dirty, you are bound to get dirt. I don't know if someone at that house raped that girl or not but SOMETHING ignorant went on and this is the kind of thing that happens when you INTEND to do wrong in the first place. They were under aged and looking to make fun of some black chicks. Anything that happened after they decided to go BET is part of whatever game they played.

Last April, Duke lacrosse star Reade Seligmann huddled with his dad at a Durham, N.C., law firm. A stripper hired to perform at a team party on March 13 claimed several players raped her. In a lineup, she'd identified three of them as her alleged assailants. Seligmann now awaited a call from the prosecutor that would tell him if he was one of the players she'd singled out. He felt certain he would be cleared. The call came. Reade, 20, was being indicted for first-degree rape, kidnapping and sexual offense. He had a strong alibi—cell-phone records would show he was busy calling his girlfriend at the time the alleged crime was taking place—but the D.A. declined to hear it. As he heard the news, Reade looked at his dad. It was the first time he'd ever seen his father cry. Then it hit him: how was he going to tell his mom? Kathy Seligmann was home in New Jersey with her three other boys. He dialed her number. "Mom," he said, "she picked me."

I consider myself old but I know of girls who went to Duke and other schools in the South where white boys had to go through some "right of passage" where they HAD to find a black girl to sleep with. They were insulted and harassed. This is some Strom Thurmond shit and somebody got caught.

Hire some stank assed white girls next time!

2 Comments:

At 7:17 AM, Anonymous Roderick said...

While I usually agree with at Booker I am going to have to completely disagree that it's ok for these guys to have been falsely accused of rape just to make up for all of the nasty things that other white guys may have done in the past.

 
At 3:55 PM, Blogger Qusan said...

Here's the deal. There has been no trial or day in court for any of these people. We still don't know what happened that night and probably never will. But, I'm not ready to paint these guys as choir boys. No matter what way you slice it, their initial intentions were certainly no honorable and pure. My point is that sometimes the littlest bit of wrong mindedness or poor choices can snowball into a nightmare. My hope is that even if they are tried and acquitted of everything, more so than trying to play victim, they think about what got them into this situation in the first place and make better choices next time.

 

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Still Some Nasty Isht

Maybe it's because I've always looked young for my age and have been turned off by guys who thought they were substantially older than me hitting on me then looking crazy when they find out I am older than them, but this mess, in ADDITION from being incestuous, still grosses me out!
Even after 15 years, it still bothers me to see Woody Allen Soon-Yi together. It's hard to forget he took naked polaroids of her when she was only 17. In 1992, Allen was discovered to be having an affair with Previn, then 22, while he was dating Farrow.

Very disturbing disgusting to wed your step-daughter.


Look at that old, nasty thing with that 35 year old who still looks like a child!


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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A Gentleman and A Scholar

I just love it when intelligence triumphs over stupidity. It's just a hunch but I think Mr. Ellison is going to make quite a name for himself in Congress. He's been a perfect gentleman despite the ungentlemanly attacks on his faith and intentions. He's also showing himself to be quite brilliant.
Conservatives have repeatedly argued that Muslim Rep.-elect Keith Ellison’s (D-MN) decision to take an unofficial swearing-in photograph with his hand on the Koran was un-American.

Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA) warned last month that “if American citizens don’t wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran.” Talk show host Dennis Prager said Ellison’s act “undermines American civilization.”

In a symbolic decision showing how misguided this argument is, Ellison has chosen to take his photograph with a personal copy of the Koran once owned by Thomas Jefferson:

Jefferson’s copy is an English translation by George Sale published in the 1750s; it survived the 1851 fire that destroyed most of Jefferson’s collection and has his customary initialing on the pages. This isn’t the first historic book used for swearing-in ceremonies — the Library [of Congress] has allowed VIPs to use rare Bibles for inaugurations and other special occasions.

Jefferson was a champion of religious tolerance. His 1777 Draft of a Bill for Religious Freedom states…

…that our civil rights have no dependance on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry; that therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right.

In an ironic twist, the Washington Post reports that Virgil Goode “represents Jefferson’s birthplace” of Albemarle County, Virginia, but had no comment on Ellison’s book choice.


Though bigots like Goode and Prager certainly look like idiots, I'm sure they are too entrenched in their own ignorance to feel like fools.

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