Saturday, February 07, 2004

This is scary... 

DesMoinesRegister.com | News
Lawyers worked Friday to derail a federal grand jury investigation into an anti-war conference held three months ago at Drake University.

Federal officials have refused to say why they want information about the conference, the legal group that hosted it and four Des Moines-area peace activists involved.

But officials with the National Lawyers Guild, host of the Nov. 15 conference, said they intend to move Monday to block the subpoena, one of five delivered this week by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force.
Four of the subpoenas went to Des Moines peace activists, who were told to appear Tuesday before a federal grand jury. One went to Drake University, asking for information about the anti-war conference and records of the National Lawyers Guild local chapter.

The U.S. attorney's office in Des Moines convinced a judge Thursday to issue an order under seal - described by peace-movement sources as a gag order - to prohibit Drake employees from talking about the document search.

The subpoena demanded records from campus security reflecting any observations of the Nov. 15 conference, including "any records of persons in charge or control of the meeting, and any records of attendees of the meeting." Drake University President David Maxwell declined to comment Friday on how the university would respond.
Michael Greenberger, director of the Center for Health and Homeland Security at the University of Maryland, tracks counter- terrorism efforts nationwide.

"Without knowing the details," Greenberger said, "these facts tend to evidence exactly the kinds of things that people are worried about with regard to the Patriot Act and other prosecutorial excesses. It seems like people are being challenged for their free-speech rights."
That's the Patriot Act in all its glory. How's that First Ammendment looking now?

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
- Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759


Happy Birthday You Old Bastard... 

USATODAY.com - Reagan birthday marked with dedication at presidential library
Ronald Reagan turned 93 in seclusion Friday in his Los Angeles home while schoolchildren serenaded his wife, Nancy, at his presidential library and she dedicated the cornerstone for a new pavilion to house the former Air Force One.
Let's all eat ketchup and call it a vegetable in honor of the Gipper's 93rd.

Fuck Ronald Reagan.


Read This... 

I know most of you are daily reader of Eschaton. For those of you who aren't, read this post. He effectively puts into word the frustration and anger many of us are feeling. The war, the media, the neocons, the revision of history...some days it's just too much.



Daily Kos || Iraq intel commission

Kos has the entire text of the presidential order that establishes the intelligence panel. The panel is not allowed to examine how the intelligence was used by the whitehouse. It was given no subpoena power.

The entire panel was apointed by Bush. The executive branch investigates itself. I wonder what they will determine. My guess:

It was Clinton's fault.


Thursday, February 05, 2004

Sunday Sunday Sunday... 

Gov. Flightsuit will be interviewed by Pumpkinhead on Meet the Press this Sunday. I predict it will go something like this:

Russert: Tell us why you are so great.

aWol: 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11

Russert: I agree. Democrats are silly, aren't they?

aWol: Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage Gay Marriage

Russert: You are correct, Mighty Leader. What are you going to do about the economy?

aWol: Blame Clinton Blame Clinton Blame Clinton Blame Clinton Blame Clinton Blame Clinton Blame Clinton Blame Clinton Blame Clinton Blame Clinton Blame Clinton Blame Clinton Blame Clinton Blame Clinton Blame Clinton Blame Clinton Blame Clinton Blame Clinton Blame Clinton Blame Clinton Blame Clinton Blame Clinton Blame Clinton Blame Clinton Blame Clinton

Russert: Thanks for your time. Congratulations on your upcoming re-election. Be sure to tune in next week. I'll be interviewing Mr. Tax and Spend Taxachussetts Liberal Senator John Kerry. Go Bills.


Science Break... 

The Kennewick Man case took another turn today. This site will give you some background if you are unfamiliar with the case.

Scientists Win Latest Ruling in Kennewick Man Case
The 9,000-year-old remains known as Kennewick Man should be made available for scientific study, according to a federal court ruling. On Wednesday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided in favor of researchers who sued to stop a group of Native American tribes from burying the skeleton, which they claim as their ancestor.
The bones, including a skull, were found on the bank of the Columbia River by two teenagers in 1996, near the town of Kennewick, Wash. After dating the remains to between 8,340 and 9,200 years ago, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the land where the discovery was made, initially turned them over to Native American tribes in the Northwest, who did not want any further testing performed on them. Eight anthropologists then sued to gain access to the remains, claiming that the decision did not follow federal law. Judge John Jelderks agreed, ruling that in order to be eligible under the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA)--which aims to return museum artifacts to Native American tribes--Kennewick Man must have "a relationship to a presently existing tribe, people, or culture." But because "Kennewick Man's culture is unknown and apparently unknowable," the tribes' request to repatriate the remains was denied. The four tribes--the Colvill, the Umatilla, the Yakam and the Nez Perce--appealed the August 2002 decision.
I have a BS in Anthropology. I wrote several papers on Kennewick Man while I was in college. The case cuts to the heart of the ever present conflict in modern archaeology. There is a delicate balance between the need for scientific research and the respect for the human remains of Native Americans. NAGPRA attempted to define that balance and helped rid the archaeology community of its grave robber image.

Kennick Man might change all of that. By law,any remains dated before 1492 are classified as Native American and are therefore subject to repatriation. Kennewick Man dates to around 7,000 BC. The problem lies in Kennewick Man's skeletal structure. He does not appear to share characteristics of modern Native Americans. His features share commonalities with modern South Asians and Caucasians. Is he an anomaly or do we need to restructure current theory in the peopling of North America?

This fight is far from over. It's going to get very nasty before it's done.


It's called extortion when the mob does it... 

CNN.com - Medicare bill bribery allegations probed - Feb. 5, 2004
The House Ethics Committee announced Wednesday it started an investigation almost two months ago into allegations Rep. Nick Smith was offered a bribe to vote for the Medicare prescription drug bill.

It was the first public acknowledgment the committee was looking into the matter, following public statements suggesting it was not.

On the night of the Medicare vote in November, Republican leaders worked hard to persuade Smith, a fiscally conservative Republican from Michigan who opposed the $400 billion price tag of the measure, to support the bill. In the end, he did not. (Full story)

Days later, however, he wrote in a column on his Web page that he was offered financial support for the campaign of his son, Brad, to succeed him when he retires at the end of this term.
Unfortunately, bribery is standard procedure for congressional Republicans. Yesterday's Lexington Herald-Leader can attest to that.
U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert pledged for the first time yesterday that he would push a tobacco buyout plan to the House floor -- but only if Republican Alice Forgy Kerr is elected to Congress.
Democrat Ben Chandler, who faces Kerr, said through a spokesman that he was disappointed that Hastert was "playing politics" with the buyout issue. Chandler, if elected, would continue to press for a buyout anyway, the spokesman said.
Asked if he would still push the bill if Chandler were elected, Hastert responded: "I made a commitment to Alice. I certainly hope that she would be there to see the fruition of it."

Later, speaking to about 200 people, Hastert said he and the Congressional leadership will work with Kerr but that he couldn't say the same thing about Chandler.

"I need Alice Forgy Kerr in Congress," he said. "So I'm willing to do what I have to to help. And I'm asking you to do what you have to do to make this happen."
Vote Republican or you can kiss your buyout goodbye. Thanks Mr. Soprano.


Happy Birthday Hammer... 

National Baseball Hall of Fame - Hank Aaron

He always played with quiet dignity.


Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Worst President Ever... 

President's Statement on Massachusetts' Court Ruling
February 4, 2004


Today's ruling of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is deeply troubling. Marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman. If activist judges insist on re-defining marriage by court order, the only alternative will be the constitutional process. We must do what is legally necessary to defend the sanctity of marriage.

I may be straight but I ain't narrow. Don't fuck with the Constitution. Read my earlier post on this topic if you would like a little less vitriol.



Roy Black, Rush Limbaugh's attorney, was just on CNN. He equated Rush's addiction to pain medication to a diabetic's addiction to insulin. I don't know many diabetics who force their housekeepers to illegally obtain insulin.

I'll update when the transcript becomes available.

Update: Transcript
BLITZER: How is he dealing with the addiction? How is Rush feeling?

BLACK: well, this was not an easy situation for Rush, as you can imagine.

For years, he suffered from chronic and intractable pain, particularly out of his spine and even had his coccyx bone removed, had shots in his spine. Nothing would work. Surgery didn't work. So, he had to use medication. And there are millions upon millions of people in this country who have the same thing. Pain is a disease like any other disease, and you ought to be treated for it.

And, by the way, we don't blame diabetics for using insulin and say they're addicts because they take insulin to survive.
That was a bullshit statement and Wolf let it slide. Typical.


Tell us what you really know, Chuckles... 

Sen. Charles (Chuck in election years) Grassley from the great state of Iowa says that Bin Laden will be caught before the election.

An election forecast: We'll get bin Laden
“Obviously, he’ll be caught between now and the election,” Grassley said Monday when asked if he’s disappointed that Osama bin Laden hasn’t been killed or captured.
Why is he so sure?


What a long strange trip it's been... 

Taking a cue from Mustang Bobby, I decided to make my own map. I've been to most of the states so I decided to make one showing where I've lived.

create your own visited states map
or write about it on the open travel guide

I should run for President. I could call several states my "home state." I could have 982 delegates and 111 electoral votes wrapped up without even trying.


Release Your Records, Mr. Bush... 

Phil Carter tells us which records Bush should release and why each is important.

Bush should have no problem releasing these documents unless he has something to hide. Isn't that the post 9/11 standard? Only criminals should fear the Patriot Act?


Tuesday, February 03, 2004

I'm sad to say that I think the time has come for Gen. Clark to throw in the towel. My support is now firmly in the Edwards camp. I believe he has the vision, charm and charisma to beat Karl Rove Gov. Flightsuit in November.

Stay focused on the big picture. Bush is the enemy.


You can't polish a turd... 

Yahoo! News - Tech's Knight Gets Into Public Spat with Chancellor
Texas Tech university confirmed on Tuesday that basketball coach Bobby Knight had got into a heated public argument with the university's chancellor.

Knight, who was fired from his job at Indiana in September 2000 for "unacceptable behavior," got into an argument with Tech chancellor David Smith on Monday in a local supermarket that continued into the parking lot, they said.
According to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Knight approached Smith and berated him for criticizing his attitude.

The paper, citing several witnesses, said that as Smith walked away, Knight followed and continued the argument in the parking lot.
The folks in Lubbock knew what they were getting when they hired this maniac. Don't tell me anyone is shocked by this latest story.


Censure Bush 

MoveOn.org: Censure Bush

Please take a moment to sign this petition. I know a censure will never happen but it will be fun to watch Frist squirm.



Yahoo! News - Powell Says Invasion Justified by Iraqi 'Intent'
Regardless of whether Iraq had stockpiles of banned weapons, Washington would probably have decided to invade Iraq anyway because of its "intent" and its weapons-making ability, Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Tuesday.
The war mongering chickenhawk asshats didn't need a real reason. They would have invaded anyway because Richard Perle planned it in 1998.


Don't let the facts fade away... 

From Slate in October 2002: The Rumsfeld Intelligence Agency - How the hawks plan to find a Saddam/al-Qaida connection. By Fred Kaplan
You've got to hand it to Donald Rumsfeld and his E-Ring crew at the Pentagon. They know all the stratagems of bureaucratic politics, and they play the game well. In their latest maneuver, reported on the front page of last Thursday's New York Times, the secretary of defense has formed his own "four- to five-man intelligence team" to sift through raw data coming out of Iraq in search of evidence linking Saddam Hussein to al-Qaida terrorists.

Rumsfeld has publicly continued to push this link as a prime—or at least the most easily sellable—rationale for going to war with Iraq, even after the CIA and the Pentagon's own Defense Intelligence Agency have dismissed the connection as tenuous at best. But Rumsfeld contends that the spy bureaucracies may have missed something. As his top team member, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul D. Wolfowitz, put it to the Times, there is "a phenomenon in intelligence work that people who are pursuing a certain hypothesis will see certain facts that others won't, and not see other facts that others will." Since Wolfowitz is one of Washington's most forceful advocates of a second Gulf War, we can safely predict that he will find the facts he needs to make his case.

It is an old story that bears the same lesson each time a new chapter unfolds: Intelligence analysis should be kept out of the hands of those who have a vested interest in the results.
The only intelligence failure was the intelligence of anyone who voted for Bush.


That wacky DNC... 

Kicking Ass lays out Bush's history of independent commissions: DNC: Kicking Ass - History repeats itself


Monday, February 02, 2004

The Breast...The Summary 

"A dirty dirty filthy titty. Filthy. You women should be ashamed of having those things! Fucking clothe those things put cloth on them lots of cloth and don't stop there man. Go get a burka and wear that thing too. Dirty filthy dirty dirty titty. Dirty dirty titty."
- David Cross mocking Ashcroft from the "Shut Up You Fucking Baby!" CD.


We're living in a post 2/1 world.. 

Yahoo! News - U.S. Watchdog Investigates Jackson Breast Incident
U.S. regulators on Monday vowed to investigate whether indecency rules were broken during the broadcast of the Super Bowl halftime show when pop diva Janet Jackson's bodice was ripped to expose her right breast.
U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell promised a "thorough and swift" investigation of the stunt aired during one of the year's most popular American television broadcasts, which draws a major worldwide audience.
It was a stupid publicity stunt for Jackson's new album and everyone involved should be embarrassed. That being said, a federal investigation is idiotic. Michael Powell has made the FCC into paper tiger and a corporate shill for Clear Channel. His outrage over this is misplaced and just plain silly.