April 24, 2007

No Limbo? Where Did All Those Unbaptized Babies Go?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Volt @ 11:22 am

Michelle Tsai, Explainer, Slate, April 24, 2007

The Vatican announced on Friday the results of a papal investigation of the concept of limbo. Church doctrine now states that unbaptized babies can go to heaven instead of getting stuck somewhere between heaven and hell. If limbo doesn’t exist, what happened to everyone who was supposed to have been there already?

They’ve probably been in heaven all this time, but no one knows for sure. Until the recent announcement, the limbo crowd was thought to include anyone who hadn’t been baptized but would otherwise deserve to go to heaven – like infants (including aborted fetuses), virtuous pagans, and pre-Christian Jews. Those who had been baptized, on the other hand, either joined God in heaven, made up for their sins in purgatory, or suffered forever in hell.

If limbo never existed in the first place, you might assume that these souls passed straight through St. Peter’s gates. But the carefully worded document from the Vatican’s International Theological Commission stops short of certainty in this regard, arguing only that there are “serious theological and liturgical grounds for hope,” rather than “sure knowledge.”

The fate of unbaptized babies has confounded Catholic scholars for centuries. According to church catechisms, or teachings, babies that haven’t been splashed with holy water bear the original sin, which makes them ineligible for joining God in heaven. At the same time, as innocent beings, they surely don’t deserve eternal torment. St. Augustine concluded in the fourth century that the babies must be punished in the fire of hell, but only with the “mildest condemnation.” Eight centuries later, Thomas Aquinas thought infant souls wouldn’t go to heaven, but they wouldn’t suffer in the afterlife, either (and they wouldn’t even know what they were missing). Theologians eventually settled on limbo as a hypothetical compromise – a state of natural, though incomplete, happiness.

Dante depicted limbo in his Divine Comedy as a pastoral setting of forests with green meadows, flowing streams, and tall castles. Biblical figures like Noah and Moses live in Dante’s limbo, as do Ovid, Homer, Aristotle, a parade of characters from Greco-Roman mythology, and even some Muslims, like Saladin, who managed to fight the crusaders and gain their respect at the same time.

Read More Here

Special Counsel to Probe Karl Rove’s Political Activities

Filed under: Uncategorized — Volt @ 9:55 am

Tom Hamburger, The Los Angeles Times, April 24, 2007

Washington – Most of the time, an obscure federal investigative unit known as the Office of Special Counsel confines itself to monitoring the activities of relatively low-level government employees, stepping in with reprimands and other routine administrative actions for such offenses as discriminating against military personnel or engaging in prohibited political activities.

But the Office of Special Counsel is preparing to jump into one of the most sensitive and potentially explosive issues in Washington, launching a broad investigation into key elements of the White House political operations that for more than six years have been headed by chief strategist Karl Rove.

The new investigation, which will examine the firing of at least one U.S. attorney, missing White House e-mails, and White House efforts to keep presidential appointees attuned to Republican political priorities, could create a substantial new problem for the Bush White House.

First, the inquiry comes from inside the administration, not from Democrats in Congress. Second, unlike the splintered inquiries being pressed on Capitol Hill, it is expected to be a unified investigation covering many facets of the political operation in which Rove played a leading part.

“We will take the evidence where it leads us,” Scott J. Bloch, head of the Office of Special Counsel and a presidential appointee, said in an interview Monday. “We will not leave any stone unturned.”

Bloch declined to comment on who his investigators would interview, but he said the probe would be independent and uncoordinated with any other agency or government entity.

The decision by Bloch’s office is the latest evidence that Rove’s once-vaunted operations inside the government, which helped the GOP hold the White House and Congress for six years, now threaten to mire the administration in investigations.

The question of improper political influence over government decision-making is at the heart of the controversy over the firing of U.S. attorneys and the ongoing congressional investigation of the special e-mail system installed in the White House and other government offices by the Republican National Committee.

Read More Here

April 23, 2007

Paul Krugman: A Hostage Situation

Filed under: Uncategorized — Volt @ 7:48 am

Paul Krugman, The New York Times, April 23, 2007

There are two ways to describe the confrontation between Congress and the Bush administration over funding for the Iraq surge. You can pretend that it’s a normal political dispute. Or you can see it for what it really is: a hostage situation, in which a beleaguered President Bush, barricaded in the White House, is threatening dire consequences for innocent bystanders — the troops — if his demands aren’t met.

If this were a normal political dispute, Democrats in Congress would clearly hold the upper hand: by a huge margin, Americans say they want a timetable for withdrawal, and by a large margin they also say they trust Congress, not Mr. Bush, to do a better job handling the situation in Iraq.

But this isn’t a normal political dispute. Mr. Bush isn’t really trying to win the argument on the merits. He’s just betting that the people outside the barricade care more than he does about the fate of those innocent bystanders.

What’s at stake right now is the latest Iraq “supplemental.” Since the beginning, the administration has refused to put funding for the war in its regular budgets. Instead, it keeps saying, in effect: “Whoops! Whaddya know, we’re running out of money. Give us another $87 billion.”

At one level, this is like the behavior of an irresponsible adolescent who repeatedly runs through his allowance, each time calling his parents to tell them he’s broke and needs extra cash.

Read More Here

April 22, 2007

Newt Blames “elite liberals” for Virginia Tech Killings

Filed under: Uncategorized — Volt @ 6:48 pm

Vyan, Democracy Underground, April 22, 2007

Yes, that’s right – following in the dark path of Laura Ingraham’s ex-boy toy Dinesh D’Souza (who this past January began his his whirl-wind tour of blaming the left for 9/11) disgraced former House Speaker Newt Gingrich appeared on This Week with George Stephanapolous and proceeded to blame elite liberals for the massacre at Virginia Tech.

Almost ten years ago Gingrich originally laid the blame for Columbine at the feet of liberals.

July 20, 1999

“I want to say to the elite of this country – the elite news media,the liberal academic elite, the liberal political elite: I accuse you in Littleton, and I accuse you in Kosovo of being afraid to talk about the mess you have made, and being afraid to take responsibility for things you have done, and instead foisting upon the rest of us pathetic banalities because you don’t have the courage to look at the world you have created.”

Today Stephanoplous quoted those words back to him, and asked them if he would apply them to Virginia Tech. He said…


I think the the fact is, when you look at the amount of violence we have in games that young people play at 7, 8 , 10, 12, 15 years of age, if you look at the dehumanization, if you look at the fact that we refuse to say that we are infact endowed with (sic) our creator, that our rights come from God – if you kill somebody you’re committing and act of evil.

Read More Here

Democracy is Still on the March in Iraq

Filed under: Uncategorized — Volt @ 6:31 pm

Karin Brulliard, The Washington Post, April 22, 2007

BAGHDAD, April 22 — The bad blood began to rise a few months ago in northern Iraq with the kind of interfaith love so reviled by Iraq’s religious extremists: A Muslim woman eloped with a member of a tiny religious sect called Yazidi.

It erupted in a massacre Sunday, police said, when Sunni gunmen in Mosul hijacked a busload of mostly Yazidi workers from a nearby town and shot and killed 23 of them, one by one.

The mass murder was the latest attack on religious minorities in Iraq, where human rights groups say Christians, Jews and members of small sects are often killed, persecuted or forced to convert by Muslim extremists. Last month in Kirkuk, two elderly Chaldean Catholic nuns were killed by armed men who stormed into their house as they slept.

But police said Sunday that the Mosul killings appeared to be rooted not just in religious differences, but also in revenge.

Four months ago, the Muslim woman eloped with the Yazidi man, who was from Shikhan, a Yazidi-majority village outside Mosul, said Mohammed Abdul Aziz al-Jabouri, the Mosul deputy police chief. Muslims responded by torching some Yazidi homes in Shikhan, he said.

A few days ago, a Yazidi woman from Beshiqa, another nearby village populated mostly by Yazidis, eloped with a Muslim man and converted to Islam. To punish her, Jabouri said, the woman’s family stoned her to death.

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Joe Conason: A Selective Definition of Voter Fraud

Filed under: Uncategorized — Volt @ 3:20 pm

Joe Conason, Yahoo News, April 19, 2007

Even as Alberto Gonzales rehearses his excuses for the strange dismissal of eight U.S. attorneys, which he will perform in public at a Senate hearing this week, he is looking like a marginal player in this scandal. In keeping with his presidential nickname “Fredo,” the attorney general probably never understood the broader plan originating in the Bush White House.

Developed by political chief Karl Rove, that scheme was evidently designed to advance his objective of discouraging minority and other voters with the bad habit of supporting Democrats. In Republican parlance such attempts to hamper registration, intimidate citizens and reduce turnout in targeted communities are lauded as “combating voter fraud.” Several of the fired U.S. attorneys had angered party operatives, including Rove, because they had shown so little enthusiasm for trumping up fraud cases against Democrats.

Following the 2004 election, David Iglesias, then serving as the U.S. attorney in New Mexico, set up a task force to investigate Republican allegations of fraud. Those accusations boiled down to a single case of a woman who had created a few phony registrations for financial gain. When Iglesias declined prosecution, local Republicans sought a more pliable and partisan replacement — a demand eventually fulfilled by Rove and President Bush.

In Wisconsin, by contrast, U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic prosecuted voter-fraud allegations regardless of merit, winning big headlines when he indicted 14 black Milwaukee residents for casting ballots illegally. Nine of those cases were either tossed out or lost in court — an awful result compared with the normal conviction rate of over 90 percent. But at least the mediocre Biskupic managed to remain in the good graces of the White House.

The Republican cry of “voter fraud” is a specious complaint, especially when the most sustained efforts to interfere with orderly elections and voting rights in recent years can be traced to the Republican National Committee.

Harassing minority voters with bogus claims of fraud is a venerable GOP tradition, as anyone familiar with the career of the late Supreme Court Chief Justice
William Rehnquist must know. Back in the early ’60s, when Rehnquist was just another ambitious lawyer in Arizona, he ran a partisan campaign to confront black and Hispanic voters over their “qualifications.” Along with many of today’s generation of Republican leaders, he was a stalwart of the 1964 Goldwater campaign, which garnered its handful of Southern electoral votes by opposing the Voting Rights Act.

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Frank Rich: Iraq Is the Ultimate Aphrodisiac

Filed under: Uncategorized — Volt @ 9:07 am

Frank Rich, The New York Times, April 22, 2007

President Bush has skipped the funerals of the troops he sent to Iraq. He took his sweet time to get to Katrina-devastated New Orleans. But last week he raced to Virginia Tech with an alacrity not seen since he hustled from Crawford to Washington to sign a bill interfering in Terri Schiavo’s end-of-life medical care. Mr. Bush assumes the role of mourner in chief on a selective basis, and, as usual with the decider, the decisive factor is politics. Let Walter Reed erupt in scandal, and he’ll take six weeks to show his face – and on a Friday at that, to hide the story in the Saturday papers. The heinous slaughter in Blacksburg, Va., by contrast, was a rare opportunity for him to ostentatiously feel the pain of families whose suffering cannot be blamed on the administration.

But he couldn’t inspire the kind of public acclaim that followed his post-9/11 visit to ground zero or the political comeback that buoyed his predecessor after Oklahoma City. The cancer on the Bush White House, Iraq, is now spreading too fast. The president had barely returned to Washington when the empty hope of the “surge” was hideously mocked by a one-day Baghdad civilian death toll more than five times that of Blacksburg’s. McClatchy Newspapers reported that the death rate for American troops over the past six months was at its all-time high for this war.

At home, the president is also hobbled by the Iraq cancer’s metastasis – the twin implosions of Alberto Gonzales and Paul Wolfowitz. Technically, both men have been pilloried for sins unrelated to the war. The attorney general has repeatedly been caught changing his story about the extent of his involvement in purging eight federal prosecutors. The Financial Times caught the former deputy secretary of defense turned World Bank president privately dictating the extravagant terms of a State Department sinecure for a crony (a k a romantic partner) that showers her with more take-home pay than Condoleezza Rice.

Yet each man’s latest infractions, however serious, are mere misdemeanors next to their roles in the Iraq war. What’s being lost in the Beltway uproar is the extent to which the lying, cronyism and arrogance showcased by the current scandals are of a piece with the lying, cronyism and arrogance that led to all the military funerals that Mr. Bush dares not attend. Having slept through the fraudulent selling of the war, Washington is still having trouble confronting the big picture of the Bush White House. Its dense web of deceit is the deliberate product of its amoral culture, not a haphazard potpourri of individual blunders.

Read More Here

April 20, 2007

What Gonzales Really Told Us

Filed under: Uncategorized — Volt @ 7:02 pm

William Rivers Pitt, t r u t h o u t, April 20, 2007

The testimony given Thursday by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales before the Senate Judiciary Committee during a hearing to investigate the firing of eight Unites States attorneys, deserves a place of high honor in the Gibberish Hall of Fame. It was astonishing in its vapidity, almost to a point beyond description. The emptiness of Gonzales’s answers, after several hours, became the political version of a Zen koan. They simply stopped my mind.

It was, in the main, an unspeakably gruesome performance. The aspect most commentators immediately seized on was the amazing number of questions Mr. Gonzales answered with either “I don’t recall,” or some permutation thereof. Estimates put the final count somewhere between 74 and 100 “dunno” replies, an amount truly Reaganesqe in stature.

There was no bristling give-and-take during this hearing, no fiery debate, no “Have you no sense of decency” moment when the rogue official is brought snarling to bay. Indeed, the only time tempers flared was when exasperated senators became fed up with Gonzales’s inability to answer virtually any of the questions put to him. The annoyed senators, Republican and Democratic alike, at several points rained condescendingly rhetorical questions upon him in extremis, expecting no answers because they knew none were ever going to come.

Judiciary Committee member Tom Coburn, a conservative Republican senator from Oklahoma, dropped one of the more devastating bricks of the day after slogging through Gonzales’s feeble display. “It was handled incompetently,” said Coburn of the firings that inspired this hearing, if not of the testimony he’d just endured. “The communication was atrocious, it was inconsistent. It’s generous to say that there were misstatements; that’s a generous statement. And I believe you ought to suffer the consequences that these others have suffered. And I believe the best way to put this behind us is your resignation.”

The sentiment was repeated in the waning moments of the hearing by Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, who said: “Mr. Attorney General, at the beginning of the hearing, we laid out the burden of proof for you to meet, to answer questions directly and fully, to show that you were truly in charge of the Justice Department, and most of all, to convincingly explain who, when and why the eight US attorneys were fired. You’ve answered ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I can’t recall’ to close to a hundred questions.”

“You’re not familiar with much of the workings of your own department,” continued Schumer. “And we still don’t have convincing explanations of the who, when and why in regard to the firing of the majority of the eight US attorneys. Thus, you haven’t met any of these three tests. I don’t see any point in another round of questions. And I urge you to re-examine your performance and, for the good of the department and the good of the country, step down.”

Read More Here

April 19, 2007

Heck of a Job, Wolfie

Filed under: Uncategorized — Volt @ 9:50 pm

Robert Scheer, Truthdig, April 17, 2007

At least they can’t blame Paul Wolfowitz on the Jews anymore. That’s the good news in the scandal; his lover and neocon political soul mate, Shaha Ali Riza, the World Bank official who received a lucrative transfer to the State Department at Wolfowitz’s direction, is an Arab Muslim. She is one in a group of Arab exiles, the most prominent being Ahmed Chalabi, who clearly had as much of a role as the oft-mentioned Israel lobby in driving the U.S. to war. Throw in the Christian right’s fierce support for the invasion and responsibility for this debacle is now proved to be quite ecumenical.

The bad news is that the decadent cronyism and malignant imperial stance of the Bush administration have been extended to one of the world’s leading international institutions, where Wolfowitz may hang on as president because of Bush’s continued strong support.

The Riza-Wolfowitz affair was an open secret in Washington for years, even before the couple became officially involved in the run-up to the Iraq war, during which she seems to have played a major role in influencing former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s top deputy. Back in the spring of 2003, a division of the Defense Department headed by Wolfowitz’s neocon crony Douglas Feith ordered defense contractor SAIC to pay Riza to figure out how Iraq should be governed after the invasion. When Wolfowitz followed her to the bank two years later, there was an obvious conflict of interest. So Wolfowitz got his lover reassigned, with a $60,000 pay increase, to the State Department.

As opposed to the scores of allegedly gay Arabic-speaking translators forced out of public service because of the threat that their private life might be used to blackmail them, Wolfowitz was an acceptable heterosexual philanderer. It is not clear whether the Bush administration’s security checks defined the lovers appointed to high position as adulterers or merely unmarried fornicators for there is no available evidence as to Wolfowitz’s marital status. We do know that Wolfowitz and his wife of more than 30 years separated abruptly amid rumors of his extramarital affairs, just prior to his being appointed to the second-highest position in the Pentagon. Surely this marital instability, a potential security risk, would have shown up in his background check.

Read More Here

Right Wing “Blame the Victims” Campaign Continues

Filed under: Uncategorized — Volt @ 11:11 am

Michelle Malkin, April 18, 2007

There’s no polite way or time to say it: American college and universities have become coddle industries. Big Nanny administrators oversee speech codes, segregrated dorms, politically correct academic departments, and designated “safe spaces” to protect students selectively from hurtful (conservative) opinions—while allowing mob rule for approved leftist positions (textbook case: Columbia University’s anti-Minuteman Project protesters).

Instead of teaching students to defend their beliefs, American educators shield them from vigorous intellectual debate. Instead of encouraging autonomy, our higher institutions of learning stoke passivity and conflict-avoidance.

And as the erosion of intellectual self-defense goes, so goes the erosion of physical self-defense.

As news was breaking about the carnage at Virginia Tech, a reader e-mailed me a news story from last January. State legislators in Virginia had attempted to pass a bill that would have eased handgun restrictions on college campuses. Opposed by outspoken, anti-gun activists and Virginia Tech administrators, that bill failed.

Is it too early to ask: “What if?” What if that bill had passed? What if just one student in one of those classrooms had been in lawful possession of a concealed weapon for the purpose of self-defense?

Read More Here

April 17, 2007

NRA Shill Bush Rushes to Virginia Tech to Milk the Tragedy He Helped Create

Filed under: Uncategorized — Volt @ 11:17 am

Deb Reichmann, The Associated Press, April 17, 2007

WASHINGTON – Expressing the nation’s sorrow, President Bush ordered flags flown at half staff in honor of those killed in the nation’s deadliest shooting spree.

Bush also planned to travel Tuesday to speak at Virginia Tech, where 33 people were gunned down in two separate attacks. He and first lady Laura Bush will attend a campus convocation “as representatives of the entire nation,” said spokeswoman Dana Perino.

“They will be there as the national representatives on a day that is full of sorrow for every American,” she said. “He will remark about the amazing strength of the community, and I’m not just talking about the city limits of Blacksburg, but as you seen that’s there’s been an outpouring of support.”

Bush directed flags to remain in the lowered position through sunset Sunday, Perino said.

The president and the first lady hope to help the university begin healing following the tragedy. He will speak for roughly five minutes.

“They are going to be there to express the sympathies, the support and the prayers of the country,” Perino said Tuesday morning.

Bush plans to give three television interviews on campus before returning to the White House, Perino said.

Read More Here

April 16, 2007

Gore Vidal… Hail and Farewell: the End of the American Empire

Filed under: Uncategorized — Volt @ 11:56 pm

TruthDig, April 16, 2007

Whenever The New York Times finally gets the point to what is going on in our native land a celestial choir can be heard in Times Square, shouting hosannas. This happened recently, on April 14th, when they realized that there could be a dark explanation for what W. is doing when he sends a Mr. Bolton, a U.N. hater, to be ambassador to that body or a Mr. Wolfowitz to the World Bank, a man as ignorant of history and finance as the president himself. Maureen Dowd in the Times was allowed to set the pitch for the latest revelations with her “More Con Than Neo” headline. Meanwhile, hundreds, perhaps thousands, of incompetents are now cluttering the Justice Department while known incompetents are in place to wreck from within regulatory systems and even mighty Walter Reed Hospital itself.

And then such investigations that W. has cut back-particularly at the height of the pet food investigation, a matter of such passionate interest to our countrymen.

Needless to say, the Times, instinctively pro-Bush, as it too is an inept creature of our leviathan master: corporate America. But though the Times now notes a mysterious problem with Bush’s general relations to the outside world, the Times, as usual, cannot grasp what so many of us fans of the American Republic can see so clearly: In the name of Manichaean religious cults he is eager to destroy every last trace of the New Deal (privatize Social Security) by destroying both the state and its global imperium.

W.’s love of torture and the death penalty suggests this that is Caligula Redux, but actually he is a home-grown Romulus Augustulus, the last Roman emperor as viewed by the Swiss playwright Friedrich Dürrenmatt and refashioned by me in an English version that played on Broadway in the 1960s. As the play opens, the northern barbarians are closing in on Rome, while the emperor dawdles, neglecting to appoint a “war tsar” to defend the city itself. What is wrong with him? Well, he does have a plan. When Odoaker, the king of the Teutons, arrives, Romulus expects to be executed, but Odoaker also has a plan: The two rulers will unite in a realm of peace. Romulus then admits that all his actions and non-actions had a single end: the destruction of the bloody empire he had inherited.

Read More Here

Virgina Tech – Call me a racist

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bart @ 6:25 pm

The shooter started the day by fighting with his girlfriend in her dorm room. The Resident Assistant showed up to see what the commotion was and the gunman shot them both.

THEN he goes to the Engineering Building and opens up on another 60 people, then shoots himself in the face when he thinks he might be captured. His fingerprints aren’t on file, he had no ID and his face was effectively gone, so…

They said the shooter was Asain, and if he shot up the Engineering Dept, can we assume he was an engineering student?

Plus, if he shot his girlfriend first, someone should know his name.




Ye Olde Scribe Presents: “Why are You So ANGRY????”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ye Olde Scribe @ 5:40 pm

Things We Learn On Our Way to Something Else
“Yes, Virginia, education CAN be creepy, gross, but also fun!”

YOS used a term (regurgitators) in this edition of Ye Olde and, checking his spelling, discovered THIS.

Ain’t education FUN? SSSSHHH!!! Don’t tell Junior, he would NEVER understand.

This is a “professional” occupation? All Scribe can say is… Spaceballs! No, wait, that wasn’t it… John’s Candy? No wait, that’s the name Jeff Gannon goes by in his homemade porn movies. Oh, yeah… BARF!

Now, on to the main attraction…

Why Are You So ANGRY?

Not too long ago the mindless hordes of Neo-Con regurgitators spoke in unison on one specific talking point more than many others. “Liberals” were “angry.” They would spout…

Why are you so ANGRY?

…whether those who spoke did so softly, loudly, or were actually liberals; or not…

This vomit was bountiful and tiresome; and a little like the movie Anger Management where Sandler supposedly gets tagged as having problems managing his anger instead of his REAL problem: not letting go of his anger and expressing it. Of course the movie had an elaborate, and quite the improbable plot twist: it was all a hoax set up by his wife.


Don’t we all wish the past 6 centuries… UM, years, eventually will have the same improbable plot twist?

But it won’t. So Scribe is here to say: BE ANGRY. BE VERY ANGRY.

Scribe had veered away from his more serious columns the past few years and taken up residence in Snickerville; or at least attempted to live in Snickerville because things have been so bad, screwy and unreal, laughter is probably the sanest approach. Otherwise we’d all be standing on chairs using a stick to try and reach the triggers on the double barrel.        

But the latest news calls for a fury that cannot be tempered by weak comedy. Hell, Robin Williams might fail addressing this topic…

Virginia Tech.

First, what are we doing to ourselves? Since Columbine, school shootings of all kinds have increased. But much like the missing pictures of coffins from Iraq, we seem to accept this as the status quo. Just another list of nameless victims.

Second, and another reason to be very, VERY angry. Where are the “Liberals” claiming this is all Junior’s fault? Where are the hordes of Lefties claiming that this was caused by the climate, the example, set by el Knucklehead and Company?

Scribe will tell you where.


And that is as it should be. Oh, there may be an occasional off comment, a snivel, or a sarcastic suggestion. But unlike all the garbage puking out of the Right in the 90s, and even now, the Left knows that Junior’s not to blame. Certainly he has done little to set a good example when it comes to respecting those we disagree with, or find disagreeable, instead of killing them, using a form of Napalm conveniently called something else on them… well, the list is endless, isn’t it? But to blame for V-Tech?


Just like Rummy wasn’t to blame for all the looting and rioting, although his “that’s what free people do” comment should have earned him the boot. But, hell, maybe that’s what they wanted.

Was Junior to blame for 9/11? Maybe not, but if we were allowed to have an honest and open investigation of it we might actually find out. Just like the Anthrax murders or so much more.

Here is what Junior and Company IS to blame for…

They are to blame for setting the rules, which are:

1. If a Democrat is in office anything, no matter how bogus, can be pursued. No slander or libel is not worth saying, and then used to tie up the presidency through endless investigation. Doesn’t matter if some terrorist is plotting to murder thousands of Americans. Bringing down a Democrat is more important than American lives, just like bringing down Democrats with false accusations is the most important pursuit. And if a US attorney won’t do that? He’s fired by a man who claimed he’d NEVER use his position for partisan purposes. If two idiot kids slaughter students in a school? It’s the DEMOCRAT’S fault because of the “example” he is setting. If a leader who is a Democrat is asked a question in the present tense it counts as a lie if he doesn’t answer it correctly for the PAST tense.

2. ONLY when a Republican is in office, this Republican has an imaginary, magical, fairyland found, right to “unitary authority.” Translation? He is GOD. Everyone else should only be able to debate issues the way he and his party say they can: essentially; NOT AT ALL. Sending too few troops, and the same troops, back into the same conflict over and over again: some with brain damaged and many ill-equipped? That’s his hinneynesses perogative. After all, the King knows more than you do. You want better conditions for the troops, give them a vague idea of when “mission;” whatever the HELL that actually is, MIGHT be accomplished so they can TRY to look forward to going home minus the body bag? WELL… YOU don’t support the troops. If school after school is shot up by students, if a hurricane hits New Orleans and nothing is done, if a president orders an attack on a country that hasn’t attacked us on any significant scale (occasional stupid pot shots at fly-overs really don’t count) because of invisible WMD well, who could have known? They did it to themselves, just like any playground bully victim and, besides, they didn’t let the inspectors in… which they did, but a Republican saying that doesn’t count as a lie.

This, in just two, absolutely incomplete, snippets, is what Junior and Company are to blame for: setting up these rules. As complex, whacked and lengthy as these two rules are, the complete answer would fill thousands of pages. The media are to blame for, mostly, enforcing theses rules; or cowering the few times they dare to even slightly challenge them because they fear the Reich Wing blowhard machine.

This, amongst many reasons, is why those who don’t worship the very ground the traitors: Junior and Company, walk upon, should be very, very, very, VERY, VERY ANGRY. Indeed the castle should have been stormed a LONG time ago. The masses should have had their heads faster than the drop of the blade after the French got somewhat revolting.

And if after 08 they haven’t, by either legal means or…?

We only have ourselves to blame.

Is Rush Limbaugh Next in Line for the Imus Treatment?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Volt @ 11:00 am

Alex Koppelman, Salon, April 16, 2007

First they came for Don Imus. And now they’ll come for Rush.

At least, that was the fear at the Free Congress Foundation on April 13, where a panel discussion of an ancient broadcasting regulation quickly turned into a discussion of Don Imus and how his firing might portend a similar fate for some of the right’s best-known media personalities. In the absence of any compelling evidence, participants in the latest of the conservative think tank’s occasional Next Conservatism Forum series managed to convince themselves that the Fairness Doctrine, a rule that was scrapped by the Federal Communications Commission 20 years ago, was poised for a comeback, and was about to become a weapon in a liberal jihad against the right wing’s freedom of speech.

In fact, the prominent conservatives, addressing a crowd of 30 on the ground floor of a Washington row house, described what sounded like a conspiracy. Panelist Ken Blackwell, formerly Ohio’s secretary of state and the Republican candidate for governor last fall, said Imus was “not a conservative” and that “the left has sacrificed one of their own to give them a platform to go after true conservative talk show hosts.” Cliff Kincaid, of the conservative media watchdog Accuracy in Media, said the Imus firing had been a revelation. “It wasn’t exactly clear to me how [liberals] intended to bring back the Fairness Doctrine, but I think now with the Imus affair, we know … [And it's a] short leap from firing Imus to going after Rush Limbaugh.”

Established in 1949, the Fairness Doctrine was an FCC regulation that required broadcasters to give balance to opposing viewpoints in any opinion programming. Its abolition by the FCC during the Reagan administration is widely credited with making the explosion of conservative talk radio possible.

With the return of the Democrats to power in Congress, conservatives have become concerned that the Fairness Doctrine might be on its way back. William S. Lind, director of the Free Congress Foundation’s Center for Cultural Conservatism and moderator of the April 13 panel discussion, said the choice of topics had been occasioned by an “emergency” — the Fairness Doctrine’s seemingly imminent return.

But fear of its return isn’t restricted to the Free Congress Foundation. Since Imus’ firing, conservative pundits have been painting a picture of an entire ideological community under siege.

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Paul Krugman: Way Off Base

Filed under: Uncategorized — Volt @ 9:18 am

The New York Times, April 16, 2007

Normally, politicians face a difficult tradeoff between taking positions that satisfy their party’s base and appealing to the broader public. You can see that happening right now to the Republicans: to have a chance of winning the party’s nomination, Republican presidential hopefuls have to take far-right positions on Iraq and social issues that will cost them a lot of votes in the general election.

But a funny thing has happened on the Democratic side: the party’s base seems to be more in touch with the mood of the country than many of the party’s leaders. And the result is peculiar: on key issues, reluctant Democratic politicians are being dragged by their base into taking highly popular positions.

Iraq is the most dramatic example. Strange as it may seem, Democratic strategists were initially reluctant to make Iraq a central issue in the midterm election. Even after their stunning victory, which demonstrated that the G.O.P.’s smear-and-fear tactics have stopped working, they were afraid that any attempt to rein in the Bush administration’s expansion of the war would be successfully portrayed as a betrayal of the troops and/or a treasonous undermining of the commander in chief.

Beltway insiders, who still don’t seem to realize how overwhelmingly the public has turned against President Bush, fed that fear. For example, as Democrats began, nervously, to confront the administration over Iraq war funding, David Broder declared that Mr. Bush was “poised for a political comeback.”

It took an angry base to push the Democrats into taking a tough line in the midterm election. And it took further prodding from that base — which was infuriated when Barack Obama seemed to say that he would support a funding bill without a timeline — to push them into confronting Mr. Bush over war funding. (Mr. Obama says that he didn’t mean to suggest that the president be given “carte blanche.”)

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