••can ye pass the acid test?••

ye who enter here be afraid, but do what ye must -- to defeat your fear ye must defy it.

& defeat it ye must, for only then can we begin to realize liberty & justice for all.

time bomb tick tock? nervous tic talk? war on war?

or just a blog crying in the wilderness, trying to make sense of it all, terror-fried by hate radio and FOX, the number of whose name is 666??? (coincidence?)

Friday, August 31, 2007

The cultivation of opium poppies in Afghanistan is at a high, despite a push to eradicate them.

NPR.org, August 31, 2007 · The cultivation of opium poppies in Afghanistan is at an all time high. The United Nations says the country is expected to produce nearly 9,000 tons of opium this year — nearly all of the world's supply.

Officials say the multi-billion dollar trade is spurred by the Taliban and by corrupt members of the Afghan government. But US officials insist they can win this war — especially with the help of provincial governors like the one in Badakhshan, a province where opium cultivation has plummeted.

Planting season starts next month. And as Friday prayers wind down on a recent afternoon in one town, a US-funded poppy elimination team pressures farmers not to plant opium poppies.

Farmers in Jurm pour out of the mosque and walk to the police compound to meet with the anti-drug team.

"Don't grow poppy and you'll get development projects like roads," says Mohammed Akbar, a member of the task force. "Besides, when you grow poppy, you don't have room for other crops like wheat and grain. That drives up the cost of feeding your families and livestock. Then, when we destroy your poppies, how will you pay your landlords?"

It's a tough sell. Especially when the farmers say they've seen little in the way of development projects year after year. They complain that even the small hydroelectric plant being built nearby will light only one light bulb per household here.

Morning Edition, August 27, 2007 · A UN report says 95 percent of the world's opium comes from Afghan fields and poppy production there is expected to top all records this year. Mark Schneider, a senior vice president with the International Crisis Group, talks with Renee Montagne.
just buy up the crop, damnit!
happy labor day, y'all!

Joe Hill was executed by firing squad on November 19, 1915, and his last word was "Fire!". Just prior to his execution, he had written to Bill Haywood, an IWW leader, saying, "Don't waste any time in mourning. Organize."

His will, which was eventually set to music by Ethel Raim, read:

My will is easy to decide
For there is nothing to divide
My kin don't need to fuss and moan
"Moss does not cling to a rolling stone."
My body? - Oh. - If I could choose
I would to ashes it reduce
And let the merry breezes blow
My dust to where some flowers grow
Perhaps some fading flower then
Would come to life and bloom again
This is my Last and final Will
Good Luck to All of you
Joe Hill

Three years after the Supreme Court's Brown v Board of Education decision, which officially ended public-school segregation, a federal court ordered Little Rock to comply. On September 4, 1957, Governor Orval Faubus defied the court, calling in the Arkansas National Guard to prevent nine African American students--"The Little Rock Nine"--from entering the building. Ten days later in a meeting with President Eisenhower, Faubus agreed to use the National Guard to protect the African American teenagers, but on returning to Little Rock, he dismissed the troops, leaving the African American students exposed to an angry white mob. Within hours, the jeering, brick-throwing mob had beaten several reporters and smashed many of the school's windows and doors. By noon, local police were forced to evacuate the nine students.

When Faubus did not restore order, President Eisenhower dispatched 101st Airborne Division paratroopers to Little Rock and put the Arkansas National Guard under federal command. By 3am, soldiers surrounded the school, bayonets fixed.

Under federal protection, the "Little Rock Nine" finished out the school year. The following year, Faubus closed all the high schools, forcing the African American students to take correspondence courses or go to out-of-state schools. The school board reopened the schools in the fall of 1959, and despite more violence--for example, the bombing of one student's house--four of the nine students returned, this time protected by local police.

Quarterly GDP Rose 4%, But Consumers, Housing May Weigh on Economy

WASHINGTON -- The US economy grew at a much faster pace in the second quarter than previously estimated, but tepid consumer spending, weakening housing activity and credit-market turmoil suggest growth will slow significantly into next year.

The nation's gross domestic product, the value of all goods and services produced in the economy, expanded at a 4% annual rate in the second quarter, the Commerce Department said yesterday. That was up from a previous estimate of 3.4%, largely because exports and business investment during the period were stronger than previously thought.

The second-quarter improvement was expected, but has been overshadowed by August's volatility in credit markets. Analysts are forecasting that economic growth will be between 2% and 3% in the current quarter before softening further.

In his speech Tuesday to the American Legion President Bush proclaimed, "For all those who ask whether the fight in Iraq is worth it, imagine an Iraq where militia groups backed by Iran control large parts of the country." That doesn't take a vivid imagination, however - the reality on the ground is that Iran-backed militias and their political allies already control large parts of the country. And as this week's violence in Karbala demonstrates, those militias are fighting each other for supremacy as US and British influence wanes.

WASHINGTON - Tony Snow, the highly visible White House press secretary, will leave his job on Sept 14 and be replaced by his deputy, Dana Perino, an administration official said Friday.

President Bush was to announce the changes during an appearance in the White House briefing room.

Snow, ailing with cancer, had said recently he would leave before the end of Bush's presidency because he needs to make more money.

The 52-year-old Snow was a conservative pundit and syndicated talk-show host on Fox News Radio before he was named press secretary on April 26, 2006. He is the latest in a string of White House officials to head for the exits.

'bout time! he looks like a walking skeleton. i don't know how he's held on this long. probably on sheer spleen.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


this may be a hard concept to grasp: why not try a little common sense for a change?

states, candidates, and political parties share a common interest in resolving the primary election mess.

if states cooperate, iowa and new hampshire can continue to go first, then about a dozen states (including DC) can hold events each week, and the 11 biggest states can go last and decide the outcome.

big states that feel left out of nominee selection can regain a decisive voice, not by going so early they alienate folk by making smaller states irrelevant, but by acting together to delay (till the last day) the primaries in 11 states whose votes add up to a majority.

it may be too complex to schedule if based on delegate counts, which vary by party and don't always correspond to electoral votes, but most states have a single primary election and don't want to hold two, and nothing is perfect anyway, so we may have to rely on electoral vote counts for a reasonable approximation of a balanced schedule that preserves suspense till the end.

here's how the count breaks down, using six election/caucus dates, which, of course, can be altered to make the primary season longer or shorter (and will almost certainly change after the next census):

7/1: IA [7/1 does not mean july 1. see key below. you'll figure it out.]
4/1: NH
40/12: 3(8)+4(4)
80/13: 5(5)+6(3)+7(3)+8(2)
136/13: 9(3)+10(4)+11(4)+12(1)+13(1)
271/11: 15(3)+17(1)+20(1)+21(2)+27(1)+31(1)+34(1)+55(1)

40/12 = 12 states share a total of 40 electoral votes
3(8) = 8 states each have 3 electoral votes

oh, and btw, dems, when florida's legislature broke your rules by scheduling the primary too early, there's a real chance they did it to provoke the kind of internecine fight you're getting into now so voters will turn against you. better you should remind folk the gop majority is responsible for the trouble and should get thrown out of office for disfranchising voters (again!).

WASHINGTON - An independent assessment concluding that Iraq has made little political progress in recent months despite an influx of US troops drew fierce pushback from the White House on Thursday and provided fresh ammunition for Democrats who want to bring troops home.

WASHINGTON - The Justice Department said Thursday it is investigating whether Attorney General Alberto Gonzales lied or otherwise misled Congress last month in sworn testimony about the Bush administration's domestic terrorist spying program.

Will he resign?
WASHINGTON - The officer who arrested Sen. Larry Craig in a police undercover operation at an airport men's room accused the senator of lying to him during an interrogation afterward, according to an audiotape of the arrest.

'08 race
WASHINGTON - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's decision to return thousands of dollars from a top fundraiser wanted as a fugitive in California illustrates the perils of the pell-mell rush for political money — your friends can be your worst enemies.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Banks increased their borrowing from the Federal Reserve for a second straight week as the central bank worked to deal with a credit crunch that has roiled global financial markets.

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Women who were exposed to their parents' smoking as children may have a higher likelihood of suffering a miscarriage, new research suggests.

panned by rush limbo, so maybe i better check it out.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

NEW ORLEANS - Prayers, protests and a lingering disgust with the government's response to Hurricane Katrina marked the disaster's second anniversary Wednesday, with a presidential visit doing little to mollify those still displaced by the storm.

Clarence Russ, 64, took a dim view of politicians' promises as he tried to put the finishing touches on his repaired home in the city's devastated Lower 9th Ward.

"There was supposed to be all this money, but where'd it go? None of us got any," said Russ, whose house was the only restored home on an otherwise desolate block.

Not far away, President Bush visited a school. "We're still paying attention. We understand," he said before heading to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, also devastated by Katrina.

But Gina Martin, who is still living in Houston after Katrina destroyed her New Orleans home, was unconvinced. "Bush was down here again making more promises he isn't going to keep. The government has failed all of us. It's got to stop," she said.

Martin was among an estimated 1000 people taking part in a protest march that started in the Lower 9th Ward. It was a uniquely New Orleans-style protest: There were signs accusing the Bush administration of murder and angry chants about the failure of government. But marchers also danced in the street accompanied by two brass bands.

FAIRFIELD, Ohio (Reuters) - When 300 US immigration agents surrounded the chicken processing plant where Danny Alvarez-Reyes works, he did the only thing he could think of: he gave his coat to a scared friend determined to hide in the walk-in freezer.

Alvarez-Reyes, 27, works legally at the Koch Food plant near Cincinnati and could only watch as co-workers were rounded up during a raid on Tuesday that netted 160 illegal workers.

But after an exhausting day trying to help his friends' families, Alvarez-Reyes was still worried about the five co-workers he watched hide in the giant freezer.

"I don't know if they ever got out, that's all I want to know," he said, gathering with friends at a neighborhood taco restaurant to rehash the trauma of the day and trade rumors about who will be deported.

FLORENCE, Italy - Florence, Renaissance city of art and history, is trying to clean up its streets by cracking down on squeegee men, saying they were causing "great danger" to drivers and pedestrians alike.
jesu! is rudy mayor of florence now?

A recent op-ed about the war in Iraq charged that upbeat official reports amount to "misleading rhetoric." It said the "most important front in the counterinsurgency [had] failed most miserably." And it warned against pursuing "incompatible policies to absurd ends."

Five years into a controversial war, that harsh judgment in a New York Times opinion piece might not seem surprising, except for this: The authors were seven US soldiers, writing from Iraq at the end of a tough 15-month combat tour.

Monday, August 27, 2007

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - The Pentagon is asking National Guard troops and their families to make sacrifices like never before in Iraq and other hot spots, the Army's chief of staff told a conference bringing together citizen-soldiers from across the country.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

MANASSAS, Va. - Ines Olivia Martinez wonders if her family will be denied medical care. Even her mentally disabled 13-year-old son has been anxiously pointing out police cars amid fears of a local crackdown on illegal immigrants.

Resolutions to deny a potentially wide range of public services to illegal immigrants have thrust two northern Virginia counties into the nation's immigration debate. The measures passed in July in Prince William and Loudoun counties join a flurry of recent efforts by local governments nationwide that believe the federal government has not done enough to stop illegal immigration.

But while other jurisdictions have focused largely on landlords and employers who knowingly rent to and hire illegal immigrants, the Virginia resolutions take a more direct approach. The National Association of Counties says the two counties are the first it knows of to pass measures aimed at denying services.

WASHINGTON -- Sen. John Warner's suggestion that some troops leave Iraq by the end of the year has roiled the White House, with administration officials saying they've asked the influential Republican to clarify that he has not broken politically with President Bush.

WASHINGTON - House Democrats returning from the August recess plan to press ahead with legislation to end the war in Iraq, despite some evidence that the recent troop surge is succeeding.

More than a year after the Pentagon launched an ambitious effort to reopen Iraqi factories and persuade US firms to purchase their goods, defense officials acknowledge that the initiative has largely failed because American retailers have shown little interest in buying products made in Iraq.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The US Defense Department said Friday it was tentatively planning to sell Singapore up to 84 precision-guided bombs for its F-15 fighter fleet as part of a military package deal valued at up to $200 million.

Friday, August 24, 2007

ATLANTA - US women are dying from childbirth at the highest rate in decades, new government figures show. Though the risk of death is very small, experts believe increasing maternal obesity and a jump in Caesarean sections are partly to blame.
if there was ever a time to get in shape, ladies, it's when you get pregnant.

Aug 24 (Bloomberg) -- Senator John Warner, an influential Republican on defense matters, urged President George W Bush to announce by Sept 15 a plan to begin withdrawing US troops from Iraq, a suggestion the administration rejected.

NEW YORK - Armed with a soldering iron and a large supply of energy drinks, a slight, curly haired teenager has developed a way to make the iPhone, arguably the gadget of the year, available to a much wider audience.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

when ted kennedy called iraq "bush's vietnam," gops from bush to mccain (as well as right-wing pundits and bloggers) lined up to deny the analogy and continue to claim iraq is a central front in the war on terror (which is like no other war, of course, as you know).

but now that his partisans have been preparing the ground with the absurd delusion that we would've won the viet war if we'd stayed longer, mr bush—who got reelected in part by labeling his opponent "flip-flop"—says iraq's like a lot of past wars and another vietnam after all.

he's been wrong on just about everything else, but now he's taken both sides, so i'm confused: was kennedy right or wrong?

one difference i can point to, the generals: waste-more-land then, betray-us now.
didn't have time to post yesterday:

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The huge backlog in US immigration visas is leading to a "reverse brain-drain" that will force skilled workers to return to their home country, a report released Wednesday concludes.

BLACKSBURG, Va. - Virginia Tech's internal review of the campus massacre recommended Wednesday more monitoring of troubled students, classroom locks and other security measures.
Cho, a senior, had shown signs to professors and others of being mentally troubled before his rampage. He had been removed from an English class because of his violent writing and offensive behavior. He also was ordered to receive outpatient treatment after an overnight involuntary commitment at a mental health center in December 2005 after police received a report that he was suicidal.
in spite of the last paragraph, they made no recommendations to the state regarding gun buys.

NEW YORK - In the year since it was approved for over-the-counter sales, the morning-after pill has become a huge commercial success for its manufacturer, but its popularity and solid safety record haven't deterred critics from seeking to overturn the milestone ruling.
US Intelligence Report Cites "Measurable" Improvements in Iraq

US report cites deep concerns about Iraq's government

[no, it's not a subhead; believe it or not, c-span made up the first headline from the text, whose LA Times headline i've posted second.]

WASHINGTON -- The already fragile Iraqi government is likely to become even more precarious over the next six months, even though President Bush's decision to send more troops has delivered "measurable" improvements in security, US intelligence agencies concluded in a sweeping assessment of the situation in Iraq released today.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The federal deficit for 2007 will be lower than it was last year, but the budget outlook over the long term remains "daunting" because of growing health care costs, the Congressional Budget Office said Thursday.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

WASHINGTON - The CIA's top leaders failed to use their available powers, never developed a comprehensive plan to stop al-Qaida and missed crucial opportunities to thwart two hijackers in the run-up to Sept 11, the agency's own watchdog concluded in a bruising report released Tuesday.

Completed in June 2005 and kept classified until now, the 19-page executive summary finds extensive fault with the actions of senior CIA leaders and others beneath them. "The agency and its officers did not discharge their responsibilities in a satisfactory manner," the CIA inspector general found.

"They did not always work effectively and cooperatively," the report stated.

Yet the review team led by Inspector General John Helgerson found neither a "single point of failure nor a silver bullet" that would have stopped the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.

In a statement, CIA Director Michael Hayden said the decision to release the report was not his choice or preference, but that he was making the report available as required by Congress in a law President Bush signed earlier this month.

"I thought the release of this report would distract officers serving their country on the front lines of a global conflict," Hayden said. "It will, at a minimum, consume time and attention revisiting ground that is already well plowed."

couldn't've said it better myself. the ground they ought to plow is why they rushed to war before doing everything they could diplomatically to persuade afg to extradite bin laden and his henchmen.

this is not a defense of the taliban. i signed and forwarded an eml petition protesting their actions in the 1990s, before king georgie even heard of them. but war is supposed to be a last resort, not the first option.

WASHINGTON - There it sits on your night stand, that book you've meant to read for who knows how long but haven't yet cracked open. Tonight, as you feel its stare from beneath that teetering pile of magazines, know one thing—you are not alone.

but aren't you ashamed of yourself?

For a guy who hasn't officially joined the race for the White House, Republican Fred Thompson is sure making us say a lot about him today.

In a column at his I'm With Fred website this morning, the former senator from Tennessee went to considerable lengths to make clear one reason why he's always been glad to leave New York City—which just so happens to be the home of GOP frontrunner Rudy Giuliani.

Law enforcement authorities traced more than 10,000 guns recovered in Virginia, Maryland and the District last year—and nearly half came from Virginia, according to federal data released yesterday.

Virginia also was among the top sources of guns recovered by authorities in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and South Carolina, the data show. In New York, more recovered guns came from Virginia than from any other outside state—roughly one of 11 traced.

Monday, August 20, 2007

WASHINGTON - A top Senate Democrat on Monday threatened to hold members of the Bush administration in contempt for not producing subpoenaed information about the legal justification for President Bush's secretive eavesdropping program.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

from wikipedia:

IN THE NAME OF NATIONAL SECURITY: UNCHECKED PRESIDENTIAL POWER AND THE REYNOLDS CASE by Louis Fisher. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2006. 256pp. Cloth. $34.95. ISBN 0700614648

State Secrets and the Limits of National Security Litigation ROBERT CHESNEY, Wake Forest University - School of Law

The State Secrets Privilege and Separation of Powers AMANDA FROST, American University - Washington College of Law

^The State Secrets Privilege: Expanding Its Scope Through Government Misuse by Carrie Newton Lyons, the Lewis & Clark Law Review, published by Lewis & Clark Law School, Volume 11 / Number 1 / Spring 2007

^The State Secrets Privilege and Executive Misconduct by Shayana Kadidal, one of the lead attorneys on the Center for Constitutional Rights, JURIST, May 30, 2006

^Dangerous Discretion: State Secrets and the El-Masri Rendition Case by Aziz Huq, Director of the Liberty and National Security Project at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, JURIST, March 12, 2007

^The Suit Challenging the NSA's Warrantless Wiretapping Can Proceed, Despite the State Secrets Privilege
The Suit Challenging the NSA's Warrantless Wiretapping Can Proceed, Despite the State Secrets Privilege: Why The Judge Made the Right Call By JULIE HILDEN, FIndLaw, August 15, 2006

Examining Two Recent Rulings Allowing Suits Against the NSA's Warrantless Wiretapping To Proceed, Despite the State Secrets Privilege: Part Two in a Series By JULIE HILDEN, FindLaw, August 23, 2006

^Building the Secrecy Wall higher and higher by Glenn Greenwald, Unclaimed Territory, April 29, 2006

^Bush Wielding Secrecy Privilege to End Suits By Andrew Zajac, The Chicago Tribune, March 03, 2005

^ACLU v. National Security Agency: Why the "State Secrets Privilege" Shouldn't Stop the Lawsuit Challenging Warrantless Telephone Surveillance of Americans By JOHN W. DEAN, FindLaw, June 16, 2006

^Secret GuardingThe new secrecy doctrine so secret you don't even know about it By Henry Lanman, Slate, May 22, 2006

^Stephens, Hampton. Supreme Court Filing claims Air Force, government fraud in 1953 case: Case could affect 'state secrets' privilege Inside the Air Force March 14, 2003. Retrieved May 3, 2007.

^Tenet v. Doe (03-1395) Legal Information Institute (LII) Bulletin

^Rechecking the Balance of Powers The Bush administration has finally been rebuked for its repeated efforts to evade judicial review By Glenn Greenwald, In These Times, July 21, 2006

^Congress and Judges Gagged Arlen Specter and a CIA torture victim know - Only the Oval Office decides what the law is by Nat Hentoff, Village Voice, June 19th, 2006

^Closing Our Courts Crying 'state secrets,' the administration seals the courts to avoid scrutiny by Nat Hentoff, Village Voice, June 9th, 2006

^Cases without courts - The state secrets privilege keeps some claims from ever being heard By Susan Burgess, The News Media & The Law, Summer 2006 (Vol. 30, No. 3), Page 32

^House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2007 Testimony of William G. Weaver, J.D., Ph.D. Senior Advisor, National Security Whistleblowers Coalition and Associate Professor University of Texas at El Paso, Inst. for Policy and Econ. Development and Dept. of Political Science, February 13, 2007

^The state secrets privilege is too easy to abuse By Louis Fisher, Nieman Watchdog, November 17, 2006

^Secrecy and Foreign Policy by Robert Pallitto, Foreign Policy In Focus (FPIF), December 8, 2006

^Snapshots of the U.S. under the Bush administration by Glenn Greenwald, Unclaimed Territory, May 23, 2006

also see google

Thursday, August 16, 2007

WASHINGTON - The number of US troops in Iraq could jump to 171,000 this fall—a record high for the war—as military leaders expect stepped-up insurgent attacks timed to a progress report from American commanders in Baghdad.

WASHINGTON -- Sapped by nearly six years of war, the Army has nearly exhausted its fighting force and its options if the Bush administration decides to extend the Iraq buildup beyond next spring.

WASHINGTON - Repeated and ever-longer war-zone tours are putting increasing pressure on military families, the Army said Thursday, helping push soldier suicides to a record rate.

CRAWFORD, Texas - Master GOP strategist Karl Rove won't let up in his attacks on Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton, but the intriguing question is why.

ASPEN, Colo. - Republican presidential candidate John McCain said Wednesday that the issue of illegal immigration angered people unlike no other, including the unpopular war in Iraq, and sparked unprecedented death threats against him.

Republican Rudy Giuliani said Thursday that people should "leave my family alone" when asked by a New Hampshire woman why the presidential candidate should expect loyalty from voters when he doesn't get it from his children.

A convicted felon turns cameras on the cops, putting a balance of power, he says, back in the hands of the people.

WATERLOO, Iowa - Six Democratic presidential contenders, courting one of the party's most crucial interest groups, pledged Wednesday to work to reverse decades of decline in the nation's union movement.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) mocked congressional Democrats Wednesday, attacking the new leadership of the 110th Congress for attempting to ram through proposals that would turn the American government into “Old Europe.”

i recall “old europe.” don rumsfeld said it to put down countries that didn't help us invade iraq.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

S. 1927: A bill to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to provide additional...

before taking off for 2 weeks, 41 house dems and 16 senate dems (plus a so-called independent dem) crossed the aisle to vote unprecedented power to generalissimo el busho and general de abogado gonzo (but only for 6 months [so we get to see if they abuse it before we decide whether to make the same mistake again?]).

since only 2 house gops [Johnson (IL), Jones (NC)] and no senate gops voted 'nay,' the renegades' yeas decided the issue.

they let themselves get bulldozed as so many got bulldozed before to give king georgie authority to invade iraq. it's a sales tactic sometimes called 'putting hurry into it.' this time around the supposed threat was that terrorists might attack while congress vacations, so they better hurry up and enact something before they go. [i'd like to know why they couldn't just leave the old law in place till they get back. it's worked nearly 30 years.]

and apparently they're unfamiliar with the historical fact that safety is always the excuse for taking away rights.

when are they going to catch on that we didn't put them in the majority so they could sell our rights for a small, false sense of security? will they ever wake up?

as i look thru the list of their names, i see some i expected, but i'm saddened to see several i thought had more street smarts and guts.

folk who oughta know better:

41 house dems:

Altmire (PA)
Barrow (GA)
Bean (IL)
Boren (OK)
Boswell (IA)
Boyd (FL)
Carney (PA)
Chandler (KY)
Cooper (TN)
Costa (CA)
Cramer (AL)
Cuellar (TX)
Davis (AL)
Davis (TN)
Donnelly (IN)
Edwards (TX)
Ellsworth (IN)
Etheridge (NC)
Gordon (TN)
Herseth Sandlin (SD)
Higgins (NY)
Hill (IN)
Lampson (TX)
Lipinski (IL)
Marshall (GA)
Matheson (UT)
McIntyre (NC)
Melancon (LA)
Mitchell (AZ)
Peterson (MN)
Pomeroy (ND)
Rodriguez (TX)
Ross (AR)
Salazar (CO)
Shuler (NC)
Snyder (AR)
Space (OH)
Tanner (TN)
Taylor (MS)
Walz (MN)
Wilson (OH)

16 dem senators plus a loserman:

AR Lincoln, Blanche [D]
AR Pryor, Mark [D]
CA Feinstein, Dianne [D]
CO Salazar, Ken [D]
CT Lieberman, Joseph [I]
DE Carper, Thomas [D]
FL Nelson, Bill [D]
HI Inouye, Daniel [D]
IN Bayh, B. [D]
LA Landrieu, Mary [D]
MD Mikulski, Barbara [D]
MN Klobuchar, Amy [D]
MO McCaskill, Claire [D]
NE Nelson, Ben [D]
ND Conrad, Kent [D]
PA Casey, Robert [D]
VA Webb, Jim [D]

amazing! when i started calling cheney 'darth' i had no idea he'd said that 5 days after 9/11.

HIGHLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — The troop surge does not guarantee US success in Iraq, but announcing a pullout date is a recipe for mass killing and the eventual return of American forces, presidential hopeful John McCain told backers Tuesday.

"If we set a date for withdrawal, there will be chaos, there will be genocide, and the entire region will be engulfed, and we will be back," the Arizona Republican told listeners during an evening pig roast fundraiser at a farm about 30 miles northwest of Detroit.

and here's how the surge is "working," folks:

All Things Considered, August 6, 2007 · The US military says it believes that the Shia-led government in Baghdad is trying to cleanse the city of all Sunnis.

Sectarian violence has pushed most Sunnis into west Baghdad, and the Iraqi government is suspected of limiting basic services to the Sunnis in hopes of causing them to leave.

That would leave Sunnis even further unrepresented in the city, and it has cast a whole different light on the delay of provincial elections.

A government official claims, however, that Sunni politicians, fearful of losing to other Sunnis in the elections, are to blame.

some call it "sectarian cleansing." it includes sunni parts of town often getting no electricity as well as shi'a troops showing up at a sunni family's door, making them leave "temporarily" for their own "protection," then moving a shi'a family into the house.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

"There has been scientific evidence that sperm counts have been dropping worldwide over the past 50 years," said Cynthia Daniels, associate professor of political science at Rutgers University and author of "Exposing Men: the Science and Politics of Male Reproduction."

"This evidence has been met with two extremes—either profound skepticism or a reaction that verges on public panic."

LONDON (Reuters) - Forget the square jaw, rugged complexion and tough-guy macho attitude—what women really want is a man with full lips and feminine features, according to a British study published on Wednesday.

Monday, August 06, 2007

the above link goes to an opinion piece by "darlin' arlen," not a news item.

The Pentagon has lost track of about 190,000 AK-47 assault rifles and pistols given to Iraqi security forces in 2004 and 2005, according to a new government report, raising fears that some of those weapons have fallen into the hands of insurgents fighting US forces in Iraq.

i guess you could say the connection between these items is that we can't track 190k weapons—more than half of what we've given them—so how can we be expected to track millions of people?

The House ethics committee decided unanimously to suspend its investigation of Rep William Jefferson (D-LA), following a request by the Department of Justice (DoJ) to do so.

The panel announced on its website that it would refrain for now “from attempting to interview or depose witnesses linked to the criminal proceedings involving Representative Jefferson.”

WASHINGTON -- The government's bribery case against US Rep William Jefferson, D-New Orleans, suffered a setback Friday when a federal appellate court ruled that procedures used by the FBI to search the congressman's Capitol Hill office last year violated the Constitution.

A three-member panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said Jefferson should have been able to review documents before they were hauled away by FBI agents in May 2006, the first-ever search of a lawmaker's office.

so does the top story follow from the bottom one, or is it just a coincidence? and is the real story one about FBI competence?

Friday, August 03, 2007

Repairing all spans rated structurally deficient would take at least a generation and cost more than $188 billion—at least $9.4 billion a year over 20 years.

Those bridges carry an average of more than 300 million vehicles a day.

At least 73,533 of roughly 607,363 bridges in the nation, or about 12 percent, were classified as "structurally deficient," including some built as recently as the early 1990s, according to 2006 statistics from the Federal Highway Administration.
geez, to pay for fixing them we might have to cut the iraq war short by a year....

[if you wonder how there can be "more than 300 million vehicles a day" in a country of just over 300 million drivers and non-drivers combined, think of it this way: say you cross two bridges going to work and the same two going home; those four crossings get counted as four "vehicles a day."]

Thursday, August 02, 2007

will the real prince of darkness please stand up?

bob novak's book of that name came out a few weeks ago.

another about richard perle is scheduled for november release.

don't tell ozzy....