spook of the ozarks

unapologetic liberal

Friday, March 31, 2006

Iraq: Jihad University

Feel safer?

WASHINGTON - Islamic militants in Iraq are providing military training and other assistance to Taliban and al Qaida fighters from eastern and southern Afghanistan and Pakistan's tribal areas, U.S. intelligence officials told Knight Ridder.
A small number of Pakistani and Afghan militants are receiving military training in Iraq; Iraqi fighters have met with Afghan and Pakistani extremists in Pakistan; and militants in Afghanistan increasingly are using homemade bombs, suicide attacks and other tactics honed in Iraq, said U.S. intelligence officials and others who track the issue.
Several Afghan and Pakistani "exchange students" volunteered to join the fight against American and Iraqi forces in Iraq, but were told to return to Afghanistan and Pakistan to train other militants there, two U.S. intelligence officials said. They and other officials spoke only on condition of anonymity because the intelligence is highly classified.
The intelligence suggests that if the trend continues, American forces, already contending with escalating violence in Iraq, could face the same thing in Afghanistan in the coming months, further complicating the Bush administration's plans to withdraw some troops.

All here. It really is like flypaper, except without the stickum.

Why we quit reading Richard Cohen

Greg Mitchell explains.

How it all went down

The Wall Street Journal has the scoop on how a jilted fiancée torpedoed the whole Abramoff operation, including this guy.
via Altercation.
UPDATE: Jason Leopold had the scoop first in January, or much of it, for The Raw Story.
via Kevin Drum.

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Ignore him, eventually he'll go away:

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- A letter from President Bush to Iraq's supreme Shiite spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, was hand-delivered earlier this week but sits unread and untranslated in the top religious figure's office, a key al-Sistani aide told The Associated Press on Thursday.

After he wrecked their country, W's even less popular in Iraq than he is here. Why would Sistani care what he has to say about anything?

Bush knew

This Murray Waas story in National Journal says W knew, when he cited in his 2003 SOTU those aluminum tubes Iraq had tried to buy, that whether they were intended for nuclear arms centrifuges was disputed. Apparently the news hook is that Karl Rove tried to cover up the fact that W knew until after the election. But we recall watching that speech and thinking, that's bullshit!, when he mentioned the tubes. So it had been reported at least somewhere that they were more likely conventional rocket bodies.


He's been a crappy majority leader. He thinks that qualifies him to be president? He should forget it. We hope he wins the nomination.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Dissing the blogosphere

What would the wingnuts do ...

... if this happened in their world?

Five years, 10 months

For Abramoff, Kidan in SunCruz fraud. Also, $21 million in restitution.

'War on Christians'

As members of the reality-based community living in a wingnut-controlled nation, we are continually mystified how Christians -- despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary -- can always manage to reassure themselves that they're an endangered species. This persecution complex must be a throwback to biblical times, we suppose.


Charles Taylor in U.N. custody in Sierra Leone to face war-crimes charges.

Lyons, Conason

Gene writes about one of W's latest lies, the media and Iraq. Uncharacteristically, his column has two minor factual errors: Mohamed ElBaradei is Egyptian, not Moroccan, and the Alterman piece wasn't in The American Prospect, but on the Center for American Progress site.
Joe recaps Nino Scalia's latest gaffes.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Joseph Wilson

Shared some thoughts with a crowd at Florida State University. A Kossack was there.

Did ABC News hire Ben Domenech?

Beer health spa?

Read this

An open letter to the media re: immigration. The GOP thinks this will be a good wedge issue for the midterms, and while it might fire up their xenophobic base, it's going to create a backlash. These bigots apparently think all Hispanic/Latin Americans are here illegally.
via Atrios.
UPDATE: Reuters elaborates.

Monday, March 27, 2006

They're stealing his material


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush warned the U.S. Congress against fearmongering on Monday as the Senate tackled immigration reform, an issue that has split his Republican party and spurred huge protests.

Fearmongering is an exclusive executive branch function.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Good news, bad news


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Echoing military commanders, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Sunday the U.S. could withdraw a significant number of troops from Iraq this year if Iraqi forces are able to assume greater control of the country's security.


BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- The Iraqi army said Sunday it had dispatched troops to investigate a report of 30 beheaded corpses in a village north of Baghdad, but the soldiers turned back before reaching the site, apparently fearing an insurgent ambush.


This is a terrible idea -- the last two minute part, anyway. Some of the TV timeouts do seem like they last about five minutes, though.

Cooler heads prevail

Good for them:

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- An Afghan court on Sunday dismissed a case against a man who converted from Islam to Christianity because of a lack of evidence and he will be released soon, officials said.

He probably will be the target of a fatwa; he should think about emigrating.

The difference between Shiites, Sunnis in Iraq

Jeffrey Gettelman writes a primer in the NYTimes.
via Professor Cole.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The march of folly

Robert Fisk:

It is the march of folly. In 1914, the British, French, and Germans thought they would be home by Christmas. On the 9th of April 2003, corporal David Breeze of the 3rd Battalion, 4th US Marine Regiment - the very first American to enter Baghdad - borrowed my satellite phone to call his home in Michigan. "Hi you guys, I'm in Baghdad," he told his mother. "I'm ringing to say 'Hi, I love you. I'm doing fine. I love you guys.' The war will be over in a few days. I'll see you all soon."
They were tough, those marines, big-boned men with muck on their faces and ferocity in their eyes - they had been fighting for days without sleep - but they too were on the same lonely journey of despair that the Old Contemptables and the Frenchpoilus and the Bavarian infantry embarked upon almost a century ago.

We never learn.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Blaming the media for losing the war

W, Bigtime, Rummy and their acolytes have already started. Knight Ridder slaps 'em down.

That didn't take long

Thursday, March 23, 2006

No respect

For Campbell Brown anymore (scroll down).
via Josh.


Will washingtonpost.com tolerate this, and this, and this? Just to clarify: The lifted material did not appear on the post site, but in The Flat Hat, the William and Mary student paper.


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Ben Domenech

So washingtonpost.com, apparently to "balance" the perceived leftiness of Dan Froomkin, has hired this home-schooled 24-year-old wingnut to blog on their site. We don't have time for right-wing bloggers, but many others on the left get loads of material to ridicule from the right, and Ben has stepped up to the plate. Atrios has the links. We can't remember the left side of the blogosphere having this much fun since Talk Like Bill O'Reilly Day.

'American Idol'

Saw this, but didn't get a close enough look to verify it. Some very good performances last night, including Kellie Pickler, who couldn't handle Stevie last week, but redeemed herself with Patsy Cline. But it will be a miscarriage of justice if Bucky survives; he botched a Buddy Holly tune. Chis Daughtry's "I Walk the Line" was great.

A true wingnut

We know the type:

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- An Afghan man facing a possible death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity may be mentally unfit to stand trial, a state prosecutor said Wednesday.
Abdul Rahman, 41, has been charged with rejecting Islam, a crime under this country's Islamic laws. His trial started last week and he confessed to becoming a Christian 16 years ago. If convicted, he could be executed.
But prosecutor Sarinwal Zamari said questions have been raised about his mental fitness.
"We think he could be mad. He is not a normal person. He doesn't talk like a normal person," he told The Associated Press.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Conservatives: constantly victimized


Remember the whiny, insecure kid in nursery school, the one who always thought everyone was out to get him, and was always running to the teacher with complaints? Chances are he grew up to be a conservative.
At least, he did if he was one of 95 kids from the Berkeley area that social scientists have been tracking for the last 20 years. The confident, resilient, self-reliant kids mostly grew up to be liberals. The study from the Journal of Research Into Personality isn't going to make the UC Berkeley professor who published it any friends on the right. Similar conclusions a few years ago from another academic saw him excoriated on right-wing blogs, and even led to a Congressional investigation into his research funding.
But the new results are worth a look.

Here they are.

Sorry we asked

Of course, it was a rhetorical question:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush held out the possibility on Tuesday of a U.S. troop presence in Iraq for many years, saying a full withdrawal would depend on decisions by future U.S. presidents and Iraqi governments.
Bush, struggling to rebound from low job approval ratings that he blamed largely on the war, was asked at a news conference if there would come a time when no U.S. troops are in Iraq.
"That, of course, is an objective. And that will be decided by future presidents and future governments of Iraq," said Bush, who will be president until January 2009.

These pressers get weirder every time.

Monday, March 20, 2006

When will we leave Iraq?

Here we go

This could be interesting:

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The 2006 hurricane season will be more active than normal and could bring a devastating storm to the U.S. Northeast, private forecaster AccuWeather said on Monday.
... "The Northeast is staring down the barrel of a gun," said Joe Bastardi, AccuWeather.com's chief hurricane forecaster.
The current storm cycle and above-normal water temperatures in the Atlantic are reminiscent of the pattern that produced the 1938 hurricane that struck Providence, Rhode Island, killing 600 people, Bastardi said.

Hurricane season officially starts June 1.


Josh sure has been starting a lot of posts that way lately.

Warrantless physical searches?

Right here. Let's see. Does the Fifth Amendment become the new Fourth Amendment or do we just skip from the Third to the Fifth?

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Over at Kos' place, georgia10 catches our governor consorting with his fellow wingnuts at their confab in Florida. Would the GOP really nominate a Baptist preacher for president to turn out "the base?" Or will the unscrupulous, corporate-greed power brokers in the party swiftboat him? Is there any difference? These people are an enigma. Many Republican politicians, we're convinced, are hypocrites who pretend to be religious just to sucker "the base" into voting for them. Do Americans want to live in a theocracy? Because that's where we're headed.


They're here. These folks seem like the traditional, anti-tax, anti-immigration types. But given the authoritarian nature of the Cheney junta, it might have been worthwhile asking them about what ideology they share -- pro-school prayer, anti-gun control -- and where they differ. Wonder how they feel about warrantless wiretapping?

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Ideology keeps them from governing effectively


With a strong directive from the Bush administration, Congress set out more than a year ago to fashion legislation that would protect America's private pension system, tightening the rules to make sure companies set aside enough money to make good on their promises to employees.
Then the political horse-trading began, with lawmakers, companies and lobbyists, representing everything from big Wall Street firms to tiny rural electric cooperatives, weighing in on the particulars of the Bush administration's blueprint.
In the end, lawmakers modified many of the proposed rules, allowing companies more time to cover pension shortfalls, to make more forgiving estimates about how much they will owe workers in the future, and even sometimes to assume that their workers will die younger than the rest of the population.
On top of those changes, companies also persuaded lawmakers to add dozens of specific measures, including a multibillion-dollar escape clause for the nation's airlines and a special exemption for the makers of Smithfield Farms hams.
As a result, the bill now being completed in a House-Senate conference committee, rather than strengthening the pension system, would actually weaken it, according to a little-noticed analysis by the government's pension agency. The agency's report projects that the House and Senate bills would lower corporate contributions to the already underfinanced pension system by $140 billion to $160 billion in the next three years.

It never ends, as long as the lunatics rule us.

Straw man

After five years, AP figures it out.

Shorter Arianna

Friday, March 17, 2006

A tangled web

Let's hope the new McClatchy Washington bureau keeps this up:

WASHINGTON - A Pentagon intelligence agency that kept files on American anti-war activists hired one of the contractors who bribed former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Calif., to help it collect data on houses of worship, schools, power plants and other locations in the United States.
MZM Inc., headed by Mitchell Wade, also received three contracts totaling more than $250,000 to provide unspecified "intelligence services" to the White House, according to documents obtained by Knight Ridder. The White House didn't respond to an inquiry about what those intelligence services entailed.

Josh is the vanguard on this subject.

A vortex of unintended consequences

The Washington bureau formerly known as Knight Ridder:

WASHINGTON - Three years after the United States invaded Iraq in pursuit of a freer, more stable Middle East, the country's deepening ethnic conflict is spreading tension across Iraq's borders, fueling terrorism and nurturing gloom about the future.
President Bush cited Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and ties to international terrorism - neither of which turned out to exist - when he ordered a pre-emptive war that began March 19, 2003. He predicted payoffs for the wider Middle East: spreading democracy, deterred enemies, more secure oil flows, a less hostile environment for Israel.
None of that has happened, at least not yet.
Instead, said officials and analysts in the United States, Arab countries, Israel and Europe, the invasion has produced a vortex of unintended consequences.

Read it all. Speaking of Knight Ridder, this is encouraging.


The Hogs who lost all those close games during the regular season -- before finally winning some good ones at the end -- showed up in Dallas. No second-round game for us. Go Bison.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


"A television news anchor with remarkable depth of experience" finally learns:

MATTHEWS: I always thought Bush was more popular than his policies. I keep saying it, and I keep being wrong on this. Bush is not popular. I'm amazed when 50 percent of the people don't like him -- just don't like this guy.

Clooney vs. Huffington

Imagine that

Dog smells dogs:

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A San Diego arena was evacuated for about two hours on Thursday, delaying a first-round game in the hugely popular national college basketball championship, after a hot dog cart attracted the attention of a bomb-sniffing dog.

Guess they can't take any chances.


Welcome to her world:

MIAMI, March 15 — Representative Katherine Harris announced late Wednesday that she would not end her flagging campaign for the Senate, saying she would instead invest her $10 million fortune in the race.

She's feeling that Joementum.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A walk down memory lane

Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting revisits the Iraq-war cheerleaders. Example:

"I will bet you the best dinner in the gaslight district of San Diego that military action will not last more than a week. Are you willing to take that wager?" (Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly, 1/29/03)

This guy wants to be president?

Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee:

"When you have one party in power exclusively, it is not a good thing, and what it led to in this state was wholesale corruption," Huckabee said after remarks at the fundraiser held at the Peabody Hotel.

He's absolutely correct. He must think Democrats will retake the U.S. House and Senate by 2008 (we hope). Otherwise, if he gets the GOP nomination (he won't), expect to see this statement in the Democratic nominee's ads.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

'Jimmy Kimmel Live'

Unintended (but, we'd hope, not unrecognized) irony:

Juvenile performs ...

We'd characterize it more generously as sophomoric.

No political agenda?

Pace didn't get the RNC talking points:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top U.S. military officer said on Tuesday the United States does not have proof that Iran's government is responsible for Iranians smuggling weapons and military personnel into Iraq.
President George W. Bush said on Monday components from Iran were being used in powerful roadside bombs used in Iraq, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said last week that Iranian Revolutionary Guard personnel had been inside Iraq.
Asked whether the United States has proof that Iran's government was behind these developments, Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Pentagon briefing, "I do not, sir."

Doesn't he know that the Iranians are the new Saddam?

We get e-mail, comments

On the Razorbacks:

Congratulations to Stan Heath for coaching the only men's basketball team representing the SEC in the tournament that meets the minimal academic requirements defined by the NCAA.

Hat tip, Ken.

And a belated congrats to John McDonnell for coaching Arkansas' track team to its 42nd NCAA championship and 19th indoor title Saturday night. We barely notice these anymore.

Hat tip, rb.

Monday, March 13, 2006


Josh, Kevin & Co., Kos' crew and Atrios have been busy blogging. We're drunk.

What he said

Mad cow in Alabama

Uranium from Africa redux


"Coalition forces have seized IEDs and components that were clearly produced in Iran."

Sound familiar? This is their strategy for the midterms: Iran, the new Iraq.

RIP Knight Ridder

McClatchy's the winning bidder. They will sell off a dozen KR dailies, including the Merc-News, the Inky and the Pi-Press, apparently keeping Miami and Charlotte. Unclear what fate will befall the Washington bureau and foreign reporting.

Sunday, March 12, 2006


A big-ass storm ripped across Benton County tonight from about 9:30 to 11:00 -- huge hail, big, persistent tornado(es), homes destroyed. About 10:20 KNWA Channel 51's broadcast signal vanished. At 11:00 it was still AWOL.
11:15: They're back.

Tourney time

Tough draw, eighth-seed. We should be able to handle Bucknell, but that means a second game against, presumably, top-seeded Memphis. That will be tough.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Bettie Page

Lengthy feature in the LATimes. She's 82. Official site.

Slobo dead

Good riddance:

Slobodan Milosevic, the former Serbian leader indicted for war crimes for orchestrating the Balkan wars of the 1990s, was found dead in his prison cell near The Hague today, the UN tribunal said. Milosevic, 64, was found dead in his bed at a UN prison near The Hague, the tribunal said in a statement. He appeared to have died of natural causes, a tribunal press officer said. A full autopsy and toxicological examination have been ordered.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Bottomless void

Of corruption:

When Claude Allen, President Bush's longtime domestic-policy adviser, resigned suddenly on Feb. 9, it baffled administration critics and fans. The White House claimed that Allen was leaving to spend more time with his family, while the Washington Times speculated that the 45-year-old aide, a noted social conservative, might have quit to protest a new Pentagon policy about military chaplains. Allen himself never publicly explained the reason for his departure.
News today may shed light on the mystery of Allen's resignation. According to the Montgomery County Police Department, Allen was arrested yesterday and charged in a felony theft and a felony theft scheme. According to a department press release, Allen conducted approximately 25 fraudulent "refunds" in Target and Hecht's stores in Maryland. On Jan. 2, a Target employee apprehended Allen after observing him receive a refund for merchandise he had not purchased. Target then contacted the Montgomery County Police. According to a source familiar with the case, Target and the police had been observing Allen since October 2005.
Allen is charged with practicing a form of shoplifting called "refund fraud."

Yet another corrupt GOP piece of work.

Nice spin

Take this story:

NEW YORK, March 10 (Reuters) - The Washington Post Co. plans to cut 80 positions from The Washington Post's editorial staff as it grapples with a steady decline in circulation, a union representative said on Friday.
The cuts, which are expected to occur within a year, would come through buyouts and attrition, said Rick Weiss, co-chairman of the Washington Post unit of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild.

And on washingtonpost.com you get this headline:

Washington Post Co. Offers Early Retirement Plan

Bill Wyman

Interviewed in the Guardian.

Is this a non sequitur?

Don showcases the writing skills of Pat Lynch:

Four Walton family members are on the list of Forbes billionaires inside the Top 25 wealthiest people on earth. This does not include Alice Walton, who lives in Texas.

So either Alice is not among the wealthiest, or Texas is not on earth. You make the call.
(Snark edited slightly for clarity; caveat blogor or something)

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Graydon Carter, editor, Vanity Fair, on W:

"He speaks to the audience as if they're idiots. I think the reason he does that is because that's the way these issues were explained to him."

There's a debate about whether he's really an idiot or just plays one on TV.


LOL. William Henderson and Marg Helgenberger arrive at a crime scene and are greeted by a TV crew from a reality crime show, "Hard Crime," who will be covering their investigation.
The reporter asks if they've ever seen the show as they enter the elevator: "It's got a lot of forensics."
Grissom, as the elevator door closes: "There's too many forensics shows on TV."

U.S. to close Abu Ghraib

Reuters says. Actually just they're going to transfer the prisoners to other jails and turn Abu Ghraib over to the Iraqis. It should be bulldozed.

Eavesdropping enabler

With a straight face, no doubt:

[Sen. Pat] Roberts said on Wednesday that he resented being portrayed as what he called a "lap dog of the administration."

This after Senate Republicans made a deal to legalize the NSA's illegal monitoring of Americans' phone conversations and e-mail.

Canada 8, U.S. 6

We got beat in the World Baseball Classic by Canada?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Trooper killed retarded kid

Yeah, he was 21, but still. This deserves a thorough investigation. The State Police seem to be stonewalling the media.


Dick Cheney:

"Ladies and gentlemen, one of the basic truths of the world we live in today is that George W. Bush is a man of his word."

via Froomkin.

Abramoff calls bullshit

He vents(pdf) to David Margolick in Vanity Fair about all these Republicans who have developed amnesia about their relations. Good reading.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Catch us if you can


A cop killed the wrong guy. A Michigan fugitive from a boot camp-type program led cops on a chase the other night. They thought they had found him this morning, and a state trooper shot the guy dead. Later today, they found, shot and captured the Michigan guy. They don't know whom the trooper killed. More here

March Madness on Demand

This looks promising:

CBS wants to inject a little madness into online media.
The TV network plans to make all early-round games from the NCAA basketball tournament, known as March Madness, available for free on the Internet. When the tournament tips off March 16, it will mark the first time a major broadcaster has shifted such an important programming franchise onto the Internet without charging a subscription fee.
The March Madness on Demand service will black out local games — plus the final three rounds of the tournament, when only one game is played at a time — to avoid direct competition with CBS affiliates.
Broadband capacity will limit the web audience to a few hundred thousand viewers at a time.

That last part may turn out to be the rub. In any case, we're signed up, and it seems to work well. Register here. It seems like there's always a close game somewhere and the local affiliate won't cut away from a blowout featuring, say, Oklahoma State.


The Beeb reports on a Turkish family, some of whose members cannot walk upright.

'Rock Star: The Series'

KFSM, the local CBS affiliate, will host tryouts in Fort Smith. They're running ads soliciting singers who aspire to front "a world-class band" and telling viewers to go their Web site to apply and for "answers to all your questions." Don't bother. There's nothing on said site about it. Here's a question: What band? The CBS application site offers not a hint. Maybe they can get INXS to replace their lead singer every year. That would be a ratings killer. There's always Creed -- even worse. Do they even have a band lined up?

Monday, March 06, 2006


Can't do anything right

Dallas Morning News:

President Bush added a side trip to his Texas ranch to vote in Tuesday's Republican primary after aides apparently forgot to order an absentee ballot.

Must be nice to have Air Force One at your beck and call.

Prosthetic legs returned; police stumped

Reuters headline on this story:

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Two prosthetic legs stolen from a 16-year-old California girl have mysteriously turned up in her mother's van, the second time in three months that an artificial limb belonging to the teen has been taken and then returned, police said on Friday.
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Sgt. David Austin said investigators dusted the slightly damaged limbs for fingerprints and had interviewed a "laundry list" of people but were baffled by the thefts.

This one is treading on the line of insensitivity.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

This is pretty funny

Thomas Kinkade, wingnut "painter":

In sworn testimony and interviews, they recount incidents in which an allegedly drunken Kinkade heckled illusionists Siegfried & Roy in Las Vegas, cursed a former employee's wife who came to his aid when he fell off a barstool, and palmed a startled woman's breasts at a signing party in South Bend, Ind.
And then there is Kinkade's proclivity for "ritual territory marking," as he called it, which allegedly manifested itself in the late 1990s outside the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim.
"This one's for you, Walt," the artist quipped late one night as he urinated on a Winnie the Pooh figure, said Terry Sheppard, a former vice president for Kinkade's company, in an interview.

This guy's a real piece of work.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Better late than never

They should have fired him six months ago:

In the aftermath of the public revelation of the presidential "teleconference" and mounting criticism of the performance of Michael Chertoff, Administration sources told HUMAN EVENTS today that the secretary of Homeland Security has "only a few days left" in the Bush Cabinet.

It's a wingnut magazine, so maybe they've got reliable sources.
via HuffPo.

Friday, March 03, 2006

'Duke-Stir,' indeed

See ya:

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who collected $2.4 million in homes, yachts, antique furnishings and other bribes on a scale unparalleled in the history of Congress, was sentenced Friday to eight years and four months in prison, the longest term ever meted out to a congressman.

He actually changed the name of his yacht from Buoy Toy to Duke-Stir.

'Brownie' vindicated?

Not exactly, but in light of the latest evidence, the experts Knight Ridder talked to for this piece and this sidebar mostly think the administration made him the Katrina scapegoat. Imagine that.


Truthout hasn't posted him yet, but this blog has.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Antarctic melting, too

As long as today is climate alarmism day here, there's this:

A new space-based study of Antarctica shows its ice sheet is shrinking.
Researchers used satellites to plot changes in the Earth's gravity in the Antarctic during the period 2002-2005.
Writing in the journal Science, they conclude that the continent is losing 152 cubic km of ice each year, with most loss in the west.

Nothing to worry about, Jim Inhofe will assure us: "Global warming is a hoax."

John Tyson, Humanitarian of the Year


FEMA shorthanded

This doesn't bode well:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- FEMA is struggling to fill hundreds of vacant jobs before the June 1 start of the annual hurricane season, the agency's chief said Thursday.
R. David Paulison, acting director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said "a couple hundred" staff positions are open, forcing many remaining employees to work "pretty much seven days a week."
Additionally, FEMA is under order to create 795 new jobs -- so-called surge teams specializing in immediate disaster response coordination -- by June 1.

And neither does this:

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - This year's hurricane season could match the record breaking destruction caused by storms in 2005, the United Nations warned.
In 2005, an unprecedented 27 tropical storms, 15 of which became full-blown hurricanes, battered Central America and the U.S. Gulf coast, killing more than 3,000 people and causing tens of billions of dollars in damage.
"We have reason to fear that 2006 could be as bad as 2005," Jan Egeland, the undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs who coordinates U.N. emergency relief, told Reuters on Wednesday.

Glad we're on high ground.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The hits keep coming

They knew:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- In dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms, federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees, risk lives in New Orleans' Superdome and overwhelm rescuers, according to confidential video footage of the briefings.
Bush didn't ask a single question during the final government-wide briefing the day before Katrina struck on Aug. 29 but assured soon-to-be-battered state officials: "We are fully prepared."

That, of course, was a lie.

DeLay's in trouble

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy:

SUGAR LAND, Texas (Reuters) - He has been indicted, rebuked and dethroned from his Republican leadership perch, but Tom DeLay's fight for re-election to Congress could be the biggest challenge in a long political career.
DeLay, nicknamed "the Hammer" for the blunt way he wielded power during 22 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, has been swamped by ethics allegations that have made him a prime Democratic target in November's elections and a national symbol for charges of Republican corruption.
Once one of Washington's most powerful politicians, DeLay is scrambling to fight a Texas legal indictment and hold off challengers from both parties in his House race in the suburbs of Houston.

The GOP primary is Tuesday. Unfortunately, he has three challengers, so they'll probably split the anti-DeLay vote. But it'll be worth keeping an eye on. Then there's this:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Texas Republicans were guilty of a naked political power grab when they redrew congressional boundaries, the Supreme Court was told Wednesday in a case that could have a major impact on elections.
Justices are considering whether the Republican-friendly map promoted by former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is unconstitutional.

Well said

Lewis Lapham, editor, in Harper's:

We have before us in the White House a thief who steals the country's good name and reputation for his private interest and personal use; a liar who seeks to instill in the American people a state of fear; a televangelist who engages the United States in a never-ending crusade against all the world's evil; a wastrel who squanders a vast sum of the nation's wealth on what turns out to be a recruiting drive certain to multiply the host of our enemies. In a word, a criminal -- known to be armed and shown to be dangerous.

Can't add much to that.

Doesn't happen often

See Gene Lyons quote William F. Buckley approvingly.
See Joe Conason disparage allegedly liberal pundits.