Random Things of Note Wednesday Blogging
Wandering around last night on the intertubes, I came across some pieces that aren't exactly connected, but are going to go into this post because I have a lot of work offline to do today. Hump day is a good day to take stock of the world, I suppose.
I guess he didn't shoot anyone in the face this time. But you've got to love this quote:
Farm-bred pheasants were released on the preserve 24 hours before Cheney arrived, making them easy targets for the hunting party.
"The way they hunt, I'm not fond of," said Linda Smith, 52, who runs a local preschool. "It's not what I would call a real sportsmanlike activity."
Fake hunting, and fake Confederates- two things our beloved Crashcart just can't get enough of. What is it with these types? There are days when I wonder just how much unreality they are surrounded by, that he and his would believe such things make him, what? More manly? More popular? His penis larger? Honestly, I don't get it.
Torture is American as apple pie. And it happens right here! To people who have actually helped us in the "war on terror." Yeah!
The irony here is not subtle: When Sayadi wasn't busy being accused of being a terrorist, he was out supporting the U.S. military and its invasion of Iraq. Even as the rest of the country began to lose faith in the war, this man being treated as a dangerous traitor held firm.
The worst had yet to come, he says. It was in spring of 2003 that President Bush had his famous "Mission Accomplished" moment aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, and Sayadi reports that NUMMI hosted its own celebration. He estimates that between 500 and 1,000 workers gathered in the plant's cafeteria for a rally over the seeming victory in Iraq — he himself had purchased a special American flag hat just for the occasion. A marching band played, various speakers gave remarks and in general "it was a very intense rally," he recalls. "But I didn't see more than five minutes of it."
Sayadi had just arrived when two security guards approached him. One put a finger on Sayadi's mouth, he remembers, the other held his hands behind his back; together they escorted him from the cafeteria.
"They took me to the boiler room just outside, and left me alone with this one big guy, big like a mountain. Very intimidating, very sadistic-looking with this toothpick in his mouth. I remember that look. It was like he'd eaten my meat and was now cleaning his teeth out."
The man ordered Sayadi to take his coveralls off. As Sayadi tells it, something finally snapped in him. He broke down and wept.
"I was crying like a woman. I was sitting on a chair, sobbing," he says. "They broke me down. I was done. I didn't have any defense besides my crying."
He proceeded to strip down to his underwear; he guesses now that somebody suspected he had a bomb. At some point a co-worker happened to open the door. Sayadi says the man's jaw fell open. Sayadi begged him to bring him his clothing from his locker.
I'm just so proud of my country. Not.
This is one of the Cutest things I've seen in a long time. Cats and ferrets can get along, why can't we?
There are just too many blogs out there to keep up. I swear, I don't know how some people get in any sleep, staying hip to all the new good ones.
WASHINGTON — Rep. Walter B. Jones of North Carolina has introduced a bill to prevent the use of U.S. military force in war without the consent of Congress.
The bipartisan legislation would amend the United States War Powers Resolution of 1973, which was passed in response to the extended Vietnam War.
Such a wonderful bi-partisan effort! So what does David Broder, Dean of the "We need more bipartisanship in Washington" School of Beltway Pundits have to say about this? Well, I'll let him speak for himself:
Indeed, the only other media outlets to cover this story were Voice of America and The Huffington Post. In light of the relentless push by Bush and his supporters for military action (i.e., aggressive war) against Iran, you'd think this mutual effort by lawmakers from both parties to reach across the aisle in support of our Constitution's system of checks and balances would have garnered more attention when it was announced by Representatives Jones, Delahunt, Paul and Gilchrist five (yes, 5) fricking days ago. But then we live in Bush's America, where the mainstream corporate media coverage of the Bush administration puts the old Soviet propaganda mouthpiece, Pravda, to shame.
I wish I could disagree.
Yet another closet case Republican in trouble with his boy-whore. Like I said earlier, it's just too easy with these losers.
Police interviewed several witnesses at the Hollywood Erotic Boutique, and according to the report, Curtis walked into a bathroom at the store early on the morning of Oct. 26 and a few minutes later left the bathroom wearing long red women's stockings and a black sequined lingerie top. A witness told police that shortly after that he saw a man with a cane performing a sexual act on Curtis in an upstairs room.
Police also interviewed Jalene Henneman, a Hollywood Exotic Boutique employee, who told them Curtis had been in the store three separate times in the past month, and called him "the cross dresser." Henneman said Curtis told her his wife knew he was gay, but that he only pursued sex with men when he was out of town, according to the report.
The police report said Curtis told the investigating detective by phone on the morning of Oct. 27 that he was in Cle Elum because he had wrecked his car on the drive home. Curtis also told the detective he "would have to tell his wife the truth and he would have to get a divorce attorney."
In 2005 and 2006, Curtis voted against a bill that granted civil rights protections to gays and lesbians.
In 2007, Curtis voted against a bill that created domestic partnerships for same-sex couples.
Are there any actually straight Republicans left in the party? Speaking of parties, I think I need to go to some Republican ones; sounds like that's where all the real queer action is.
MADRID, Spain - An Egyptian who allegedly bragged that he masterminded the 2004 Madrid terror bombings that killed 191 people was acquitted of all charges along with six other lesser suspects Wednesday.
Three other lead defendants were convicted of murder by the Spanish court, culminating a divisive trial over Europe's worst Islamic militant attack, which killed 191 people and wounded more than 1,800.
Four other accused masterminds — Youssef Belhadj, Hassan el Haski, Abdulmajid Bouchar and Rafa Zouhier — were acquitted of murder but convicted of lesser charges including belonging to a terrorist organization. They received sentences of between 12 and 18 years.
The "global war on terror" really seems to be about how bumbling idiots join organizations white people don't like. Or perhaps that's being too simple. I guess I'm glad to see the courts still work in Yurp, and the burden is still on the prosecution.
Leahy gets played, Again! Kabuki at it's finest.
Last week, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) pronounced himself pleased that the administration had handed over four "previously undisclosed documents" relating to the administration's interrogation policies. As he wrote to White House counsel Fred Fielding in a letter: "The release of these documents restarts the incremental process of providing necessary information to Congress and to the American people about the Administration’s legal justifications and policies with regard to torture and interrogation." After months of stonewalling, it was a new day!
Well, not so much. Apparently three of the four documents, called "previously undisclosed," in the committee's press release at the time, were already in the public domain.
For instance, Leahy could have gone to the ACLU's website to read the February 4, 2005 letter from Acting Assistant Attorney General Daniel Levin that the administration handed over. And the December 30, 2004, memo (pdf) from Levin that famously redefined torture? The Justice Department released that publicly itself at the time. The third document Leahy cites is private testimony (pdf) by a former Justice Department official back in July, 2004, to the House intelligence committee. That, too, is in the public record.
And the fourth? It remains classified, although it's general contents have already been widely reported.
Keep in mind that the administration has still not turned over any of the memos during Alberto Gonzales' tenure as attorney general, such as the ones reported by The New York Times earlier this month.
Don't worry, he's sent them another Strongly Worded Letter. I'm sure we'll get to the bottom of this any day now. Any day.
Wednesday's Award for Sheer Chuztpah goes to Nancy Nord, who ostensibly cares about your children's toys not being coated with poisons.
The top official for consumer product safety has asked Congress in recent days to reject legislation that would strengthen the agency that polices thousands of consumer goods, from toys to tools.
On the eve of an important Senate committee meeting to consider the legislation, Nancy A. Nord, the acting chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, has asked lawmakers in two letters not to approve the bulk of legislation that would increase the agency’s authority, double its budget and sharply increase its dwindling staff.
Ms. Nord opposes provisions that would increase the maximum penalties for safety violations and make it easier for the government to make public reports of faulty products, protect industry whistleblowers and prosecute executives of companies that willfully violate laws.
The measure is an effort to buttress an agency that has been under siege because of a raft of tainted and dangerous products manufactured both domestically and abroad. In the last two months alone, more than 13 million toys have been recalled after tests indicated lead levels of almost 200 times the safety ceiling.
Ms. Nord’s opposition to key elements of the legislation is consistent with the broadly deregulatory approach of the Bush administration.
I'll say it again: the Predatory State is here. And you are the prey.
Anyway, have a great Hump Day. If we needed open threads here I guess this is one. What nuggets of horror/humor/the demise of consitutional democracy have you unearthed?