28 percenters

July 4, 2007 at 9:45 am (Politics, Republican incompetence)

It occurred to me that I should define that term, since I used it in my last post. Basically, it refers to the roughly quarter of the population that still thinks Bush is a good president. I believe Dave Barry once quipped that a major party could nominate a cabbage and still get 25% of the vote. Well ladies and gentlemen, we’re now in cabbage territory. Let’s take a look at some similar statistics:

  • 33% believe a wife should “submit herself graciously” to a husband
  • 30% say the Bible is the “actual word of God” to be taken literally
  • 29% think people will be “more likely” to afford college for their kids in 2020
  • 28% disapprove of labor unions on principle
  • 28% say the government should have the right to control news reports
  • 27% believe divorce is “morally wrong”
  • 26% thought various disasters in 1999 might “foreshadow the wrath of God”
  • 26% think grade-school teachers should be allowed to spank their kids
  • 24% describe themselves as interested in what celebrities think
  • 21% say justice was served in the O.J. Simpson case
  • 20% approve of the how the Catholic Church handles pedophilia
  • 20% believe that the killing of civilians in Vietnam was “relatively rare”

Yeah, that sounds about right. The question is, will Bush end his term above OJ?


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Quote of the day

November 30, 2006 at 9:20 pm (Quote of the day, Republican incompetence)

“Justice Clarence Thomas, who as usual asked no questions, is presumed to be in line with Scalia, Roberts and Alito.”

I’m not going to pretend to be a close follower of the Court, but doesn’t a statement like that make you really mad?  I don’t care where you sit politically…what we have here is a Justice of the Supreme Court acting as a rubber stamp.  He doesn’t even pretend to be engaged in the debate.  If I recall something I read a while back, he rarely writes his own opinions either.

Why bother asking questions when you already know the answer?  Why bother writing down your answer when it is simply “whatever the partisan conservative position is”?

I’ll go ahead and say it.  Couldn’t the Republican president who appointed Mr. Thomas have at least found a competent black man to replace Thurgood Marshall?  If Bush hadn’t been so hell-bent on using this appointment as a campaign issue in 1992, we might actually have 9 justices, instead of 8 justices and a freon-filled plastic bird.

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Democracy is on the march

November 8, 2006 at 6:32 am (Politics, Republican incompetence)

Former Senator Rick Santorum concedes defeat to Senator Robert Casey:


Don’t cry, FORMER SENATOR RICK SANTORUM. I’ve been waiting years to say that.

UPDATE: Well shit, there former Senator Rick Santorum had to go and give a classy concession speech.   Whatever, former Senator Rick Santorum still sucks, and I’m sure former Senator Rick Santorum’s compatriots will welcome former Senator Rick Santorum home in Virginia.

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Don’t mention the war

October 19, 2006 at 3:35 am (Politics, Republican incompetence, War)

I try to avoid politics on here, the same way I avoid talking about prostate cancer. But this is worth linking to.

Listen to Republican Senator Conrad Burns describe how we really do have a withdrawal strategy for Iraq, but that it’s a secret. (“we’re not going to tell you what our plan is”) Listen to the crowd laugh at him. This is in Montana, folks. People just aren’t buying this shit anymore.


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The Fuzzy Teddy Bear Amendment

October 12, 2006 at 11:27 pm (Politics, Republican incompetence)

It’s election time again, which means that Oregonians are once again being bombarded with a slew of initiatives. My personal favorite is Measure 48. My policy is to always vote no on an initiative that amends the Constitution, but in this case there is a very compelling case to vote no. (as an aside, I hate initiatives. Too much democracy is bad for deomcracy)

M48 will tie increases in biennial expenditures to the rate of inflation and population growth. (The Oregon Legislature only convenes every other year) This is the same policy that has so crippled Colorado that the Republican governor has suspended it. Recognizing this immense failure, the sponsors have abandoned the empty “taxpayer bill of rights” rhetoric, and are touting the Oregon version as a “rainy day amendment.” Read the text. It does not mention, even passively, a “rainy day fund.” Rather, it is presumed that any government revenues above the imposed spending limit will be held over to the next budget cycle, to be spent at the whim of the legislature. But that can only happen if revenues drop below the imposed spending limit, and in that case the legislature could only appropriate the difference. Dan Meek, in the Oregon Voter’s Pamphlet, sums it up nicely:

The surplus funds could be spent, above the cap, only after a 2/3 vote of both houses of the Oregon Legislature and a statewide majority vote in a November general election–which happens in the 17th month of the 24-month biennium. (emphasis his)

That restriction is right there in the text of the measure. That would of course require another ballot measure. The clear purpose of this measure is to, paraphrasing Grover Norquist, drown government in a bathtub. It would have to be a near depression for the economy to tank as badly as it would have to for this new “surplus” to function as any sort of rainy day fund.

Proponents of the measure, recognizing the public relations nightmare that this neocon wet dream has unleashed, have noted that while it doesn’t actually create a rainy day fund that can be used in a discretionary manner, neither does it specifically prohibit the legislature from creating one. I’m not kidding, I have heard people make this argument on Blue Oregon dot com.

Measure 48 does not specifically prohibit the legislature from doing a lot of things, including giving a free fuzzy teddy bear to all the orphans in the state foster care system. Despite that, in the interests of a sound fiscal policy, I am hereby urging all 8 of my readers to VOTE NO ON THE FUZZY TEDDY BEAR AMENDMENT!!

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Republicans like hookers

May 9, 2006 at 5:52 am (Politics, Republican incompetence)

I try to avoid non-local politics on here but I just can't let this one slide. Porter Goss, CIA Director, resigned recently. Old news. Today, the Executive Director (#3 man) at CIA also submitted his resignation. In case you hadn't heard, and god knows that lapdog MSM has been towing the party line on this one, Mr. Goss resigned because, as a U.S. Representative from Florida, he made common practice of exchanging influence for sexual favors from prostitutes, and the administration wanted him out before the scandal hit. Which if CNN had its way, it wouldn't ever hit (your liberal media, folks).

Well today, after Kyle "Dusty John" Foggo resigned, unnamed "intelligance officials"assuaged fears that this is in fact something other than a chicken wing:

Intelligence officials said Foggo's departure would be "pretty standard" because the executive director "tends to follow the CIA director's career trajectory."

CNN of course presents this as common knowledge, and does not question the veracity of this claim, by, for example, citing other times in American history when similarly abrupt resignations have occurred (perhaps someone with more time than me can do this).  This has to be the most ridiculous statement out of CIA since "slam dunk."  Are they telling me that if the director leaves to become a Fox News analyst, or to take up painting, or to spend more time with his grandchildren, or to become a circus freak, that the ED is soon to follow?  Do they actually think people believe this kind of stuff?  What do they teach communications majors about issuing press statements that are blatant, unabashed lies?  I really want to know.  

My goal here is not to provide any particular insight but only to note that people who don't regularly read non-conservative blogs probably haven't heard that top U.S. intelligence officials are sleeping with hookers. This isn't the president and an intern who is subject to rigorous background check, this is the CIA DIRECTOR and god-damn prostitutes.

What if one of the hookers was a foreign operative? Yeah, okay, bad Grisham/Clancy novel, but what if? What if a foreign agent got photographs of the agents in question and tried to blackmail them? Again, unlikely, but can anyone really say with a straight face that having high level members of the C-I-freaking-A compromising themselves in such a fashion isn’t serious news?

What he said. Tell a friend.

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The Ports Scandal

March 9, 2006 at 6:42 am (Politics, Republican incompetence)

Republicans actually fighting the President, Bush back against the wall, questions about security, yadda yadda yadda, you have probably heard about all that. In this article I was taken by the very last sentences:

New York Rep. Peter King, the Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, has floated a proposal under which DP World would subcontract operations at the terminals to U.S. companies. DP World still would get the profits, but would have access to no security information.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, chairwoman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, has put forth a similar proposal.

Let me make sure I am crystal clear on this one. We stay in charge of port security (which, if you have been listening to right-wing automatons lately, we were never in jeopardy of giving up), but we just farm out the profitability of port management? How is that more politically tenable than the previous deal? Can you imagine a Republican sock puppet going to his constituents and actually saying, “don’t worry folks, we will be doing all the work, the Sultan of Dubai will just get all the money.” Doesn’t that make us, like, Mexicans? Please Republicans, press this forward as a “compromise.” Please.

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Merry Christmas

December 25, 2005 at 3:27 pm (Politics, Republican incompetence)

I remember a few years ago, Kehr was prattling on about Project Echelon, which was supposed to be some huge NSA program to intercept and record every bit of electronic communication worldwide. I thought he was a nutbag. Turns out he was probably right.

In case you are averse to clicking on links, which may be a good idea, this article details how the Bush Domestic Spying Program has been intercepting all international phone calls originated in the United States. Let me repeat that: all international phone calls originating in the United States. I imagine that includes Rush Limbaugh’s doctor shopping calls to Tijuana. I wonder if the cheerleading squad will pause for a brief halftime break?

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Circular logic

December 22, 2005 at 7:58 pm (Politics, Republican incompetence)

Boy, this is making me dizzy.

“This is not a backdoor approach,” (Attorney General Alberto) Gonzales said at the White House. “We believe Congress has authorized this kind of surveillance.” He acknowledged that the administration discussed introducing legislation explicitly permitting such domestic spying but decided against it because it “would be difficult, if not impossible” to pass.

So, Congress has authorized legislation that, if introduced to Congress, “would be difficult, if not impossible” to pass. I’d make some kind of cynical or outraged comment about the utter inanity of such a statement, but I think Bert pretty much did my job for me.

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Byrd Hunting

December 22, 2005 at 7:32 pm (Politics, Republican incompetence)

No one makes me prouder to be from West Virginia than Senator Robert Byrd.

Americans have been stunned at the recent news of the abuses of power by an overzealous President. It has become apparent that this Administration has engaged in a consistent and unrelenting pattern of abuse against our Country’s law-abiding citizens, and against our Constitution.

We know that Vice President Dick Cheney has asked for exemptions for the CIA from the language contained in the McCain torture amendment banning cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment. Thank God his pleas have been rejected by this Congress.

Now comes the stomach-churning revelation through an executive order, that President Bush has circumvented both the Congress and the courts. He has usurped the Third Branch of government – the branch charged with protecting the civil liberties of our people – by directing the National Security Agency to intercept and eavesdrop on the phone conversations and e-mails of American citizens without a warrant, which is a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment. He has stiff-armed the People’s Branch of government. He has rationalized the use of domestic, civilian surveillance with a flimsy claim that he has such authority because we are at war. The executive order, which has been acknowledged by the President, is an end-run around the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which makes it unlawful for any official to monitor the communications of an individual on American soil without the approval of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

What is the President thinking? Congress has provided for the very situations which the President is blatantly exploiting. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, housed in the Department of Justice, reviews requests for warrants for domestic surveillance. The Court can review these requests expeditiously and in times of great emergency. In extreme cases, where time is of the essence and national security is at stake, surveillance can be conducted before the warrant is even applied for.

The American public is given vague and empty assurances by the President that amount to little more than “trust me.” But, we are a nation of laws and not of men. Where is the source of that authority he claims? I defy the Administration to show me where in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or the U.S. Constitution, they are allowed to steal into the lives of innocent America citizens and spy.

The President claims that these powers are within his role as Commander in Chief. Make no mistake, the powers granted to the Commander in Chief are specifically those as head of the Armed Forces. These warrantless searches are conducted not against a foreign power, but against unsuspecting and unknowing American citizens. They are conducted against individuals living on American soil, not in Iraq or Afghanistan. There is nothing within the powers granted in the Commander in Chief clause that grants the President the ability to conduct clandestine surveillance of American civilians. We must not allow such groundless, foolish claims to stand.

You should read the whole speech. Thanks to grundlemobile for the link.

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