Thursday, May 31, 2007
From Keloland TV...
Ted Klaudt, 49, a Republican rancher from Walker, faces a long list of charges: eight counts of rape, two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, two counts of witness tampering, sexual contact with a person under 16, and stalking.
Woof - this clip is pretty freightening for all of us. Does it seem to you like, maybe, the government should be doing something about it?
From the USA Today...
The federal government recorded a $1.3 trillion loss last year — far more than the official $248 billion deficit — when corporate-style accounting standards are used, a USA TODAY analysis shows.
The loss reflects a continued deterioration in the finances of Social Security and government retirement programs for civil servants and military personnel. The loss — equal to $11,434 per household — is more than Americans paid in income taxes in 2006.
"We're on an unsustainable path and doing a great disservice to future generations," says Chris Chocola, a former Republican member of Congress from Indiana and corporate chief executive who is pushing for more accurate federal accounting.
Modern accounting requires that corporations, state governments and local governments count expenses immediately when a transaction occurs, even if the payment will be made later.
The federal government does not follow the rule, so promises for Social Security and Medicare don't show up when the government reports its financial condition.
Bottom line: Taxpayers are now on the hook for a record $59.1 trillion in liabilities, a 2.3% increase from 2006. That amount is equal to $516,348 for every U.S. household. By comparison, U.S. households owe an average of $112,043 for mortgages, car loans, credit cards and all other debt combined.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
From the LA Times.
The search of Max Rettele and his girlfriend, Judy Sadler, in their bedroom may have been an error, and it was certainly embarrassing to them, the justices said. But it did not violate their rights under the 4th Amendment, which protects against "unreasonable searches and seizures," they added.
Police obtain search warrants based on probable evidence, not "absolute certainty," the court said in an unsigned opinion. "Valid warrants will issue to search the innocent, and people like Rettele and Sadler unfortunately bear the cost."
See, Dick Cheney isn't stupid - he's just an idiot.
The United States is in a tight spot in Iraq. Vice President Dick Cheney, upon his recent return from visiting troops there, conceded, "I can't predict precisely what will happen."
He and President Bush are choosing their words more carefully, lowering expectations.
Today's thinking is beginning to echo 1991 when Cheney was secretary of defense. He explained then why an invasion would be risky: "Once we cross over the line and start intervening in a civil war inside Iraq, it's a whole different proposition. There is no question that if we wanted to commit U.S. forces, we could go in and clean up the Iraqi Army or take Baghdad or intervene and defend the Kurds or the Shiites against the onslaught of the Iraqi Army … It would without doubt cost a lot of American lives, and it raises the very real specter of getting us involved in a quagmire trying to figure out who the hell is going to govern Iraq."
They love big business - until they're the one's who get burned.
``Are you kidding me?'' says Senator Trent Lott, a Mississippi Republican, when asked why he's so critical of insurance companies.
Lott, 65, launches into a critique of the industry, peppering it with words such as ``arrogant'' and ``mean- spirited,'' statistics about company profits and executive pay and angry questions about why its lobbyists are fighting a clutch of bills he is pushing -- including one that would strip companies such as State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. and Allstate Corp. of their 62-year-old exemption from federal antitrust laws.
The Senate's No. 2 Republican has become the industry's No. 1 critic in Congress ever since he lost a house to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. While Lott recently settled with his insurer, State Farm, after a year-long court battle, he is continuing the fight in the Senate. His experience, the senator says, has convinced him that an industry he defended his entire career is in need of reform.
It ain't perfect, but the Democrats pass some reforms to the Congressional Ethics Rules.
From ABC News.
"This is good legislation," agreed Craig Holman of Public Citizen, a nonprofit watchdog group. "But more needs to be done."
On overwhelming and bipartisan votes, the House passed a pair of bills to bolster disclosure requirements on campaign contributions by lobbyists.
Other major features include requiring members to notify the House ethics committee when they are negotiating for a job in the private sector, and recuse themselves from consideration of legislation related to those potential employers.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
From Federal Times.com...
An Office of Special Counsel report has found that General Services Administration chief Lurita Doan violated the Hatch Act, which bars federal officials from partisan political activity while on the job, sources say.
The report addresses a Jan. 26 lunch meeting at GSA headquarters attended by Doan and about 40 political appointees, some of whom participated by videoconference. During the meeting, Scott Jennings, the White House deputy director of political affairs, gave a PowerPoint presentation that included slides listing Democratic and Republican seats the White House viewed as vulnerable in 2008, a map of contested Senate seats and other information on 2008 election strategy.
According to meeting participants, Doan asked after the call how GSA could help “our candidates.”
Doan has until June 1 to respond to the OSC report, which was delivered to her May 18, according to officials. The officials asked to remain anonymous because the report has not been made public.
From the Los Angeles Times...
From Seattle PI...
The Bush administration is quietly on track to nearly double the number of combat troops in Iraq this year, an analysis of Pentagon deployment orders showed Monday.
This "second surge" of troops in Iraq, which is being executed by extending tours for brigades already there and by deploying more units, could boost the number of combat troops to as many as 98,000 by the end of this year. When support troops are included, the total number of U.S. troops in Iraq could increase from 162,000 now to more than 200,000 -- the most ever -- by the end of the year.
The efforts to reinforce U.S. troops in Iraq are being carried out without the fanfare that accompanied President Bush's initial troop surge in January.
Friday, May 25, 2007
From the blog, Crooks and Liars...
For several weeks, we have been featuring the postings of McClatchy's Iraqi staffers and correspondents in its Baghdad bureau, from the blog Inside Iraq. The writers' full names are not given for security reasons.
Here is the latest from one of the regular posters, "Dulaimy." It is a message to Americans titled simply "Leave." It concludes: "We had enough, let our country go free. By staying, you are forcing people to join Al Qaeda and militias."
We are happy that we got rid of Saddam but we will never be happy to give away our country in return. Sorry if our flesh harmed your knives… is that what they want us to say? Is this what they came for?
The failure of this invasion is a victory for FREEDOM and a defeat for radicals in U.S. and later in Iraq.
Order the troops to leave Mr. President. Afraid for the safety and the future of this place? Leave 20 thousands of your soldiers on both Iranian and Syrian borders and let us take over our own country. THIS COUNTRY WILL BE FREE… whether you take your troops out now or by the efforts of the good people of Iraq and America. Sooner or later they will leave, and Al Qaeda will be defeated by the efforts of the good sons of Iraq….
HONG KONG (Reuters) - More than 800 Hong Kong residents have called on authorities to reclassify the Bible as "indecent" due to its sexual and violent content, following an uproar over a sex column in a university student journal.
A spokesperson for Hong Kong's Television and Entertainment Licensing authority (TELA) said it had received 838 complaints about the Bible by noon Wednesday.
The complaints follow the launch of an anonymous Web site -- www.truthbible.net -- which said the holy book "made one tremble" given its sexual and violent content, including rape and incest.
Those Republican leaders are such nice guys. From Sex Offender Issues...
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Here are a few articles regarding the state of the nation that I've found and don't seem to be getting wide coverage in the MSM.
From ABC News
House Democrats are suddenly balking at the tough lobbying reforms they touted to voters last fall as a reason for putting them in charge of Congress.
Now that they are running things, many Democrats want to keep the big campaign donations and lavish parties that lobbyists put together for them. They're also having second thoughts about having to wait an extra year before they can become high-paid lobbyists themselves should they retire or be defeated at the polls.
The growing resistance to several proposed reforms now threatens passage of a bill that once seemed on track to fulfill Democrats' campaign promise of cleaner fundraising and lobbying practices.
Howard David “Bubba” Ludwig of Southtown was so happy to get his gunowner’s ID that he pooped on himself again.
From the Boston Globe...
From Air America...
Representative Patrick McHenry (NC-10) is in deep trouble again. This time it doesn’t have much to do with his McHenry-Lay Voter Fraud Scandal, but it still revolves around McHenry and his love for his young buddies.
A photo has surfaced of McHenry at a party he threw for his college/Young Republican supporters. McHenry, a large lollipop, underage college students and alcohol. Not a good mix.
Paul Wolfowitz announced his resignation, effective June 30, as president of the World Bank Thursday evening after the bank’s board accepted his claim that his mistakes at the bank were made in good faith, rather than a gross ethical violation, as previously determined by the bank’s investigating committee. A White House spokesman said that President Bush will soon announce a candidate to succeed Wolfowitz, quashing speculation that the United States would end the custom, in effect since the 1940s, of the American president picking the bank president.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Monday, May 21, 2007
From Boing Boing...
From the "Freedom From Religion Foundation"...
“Christ, according to the faith, is the second person in the Trinity, the Father being the first and the Holy Ghost the third. Each of these persons is God. Christ is his own father and his own son. The Holy Ghost is neither father nor son, but both. The son was begotten by the father, but existed before he was begotten--just the same before as after. . . .
“So, it is declared that the Father is God, and the Son God, and the Holy Ghost God, and that these three Gods make one God.“
According to the celestial multiplication table, once one is three, and three times one is one, and according to heavenly subtraction, if we take two from three, three are left. The addition is equally peculiar, if we add two to one, we have but one. . . .“Nothing ever was, nothing ever can be more perfectly idiotic and absurd than the dogma of the Trinity.”