Saturday, March 31, 2007

Newsweek ~ God's Numbers Solid in Jesusland

Brian Braiker reports on a recent Newsweek poll of just over a thousand Americans. 91% believe in God but here is where I turned truly troubled:
... Nearly half (48 percent) of the public rejects the scientific theory of evolution; one-third (34 percent) of college graduates say they accept the Biblical account of creation as fact. Seventy-three percent of Evangelical Protestants say they believe that God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years; 39 percent of non-Evangelical Protestants and 41 percent of Catholics agree with that view. ...
I caught a NPR interview of Richard Dawkins this week as I labored about the place. I was so impressed by Dr. Dawkins' decency, compassion, intelligence, humor, ... I did not catch Francis Collins the next day in NPR's effort to balance the mix yet I certainly wish I had. Perhaps I can get time to listen to him off the internets? As far as Dr. Collins, the following is gleaned from the interview I linked to:
Q - Obviously, you're saying you should not read the Bible literally, especially the story of Genesis.
A - That also seems very threatening to many believers who have been led to believe that if you start watering down any part of the Bible, including a literal interpretation of Genesis One, then pretty soon you'll lose your faith and you won't believe that Christ died and was resurrected. But you cannot claim that the earth is less than 10,000 years old unless you're ready to reject all of the fundamental findings of geology, cosmology, physics, chemistry and biology. You really have to throw out all of the sciences in order to draw that conclusion.
Good grief America! Do you really want to act like folks from Alabama? The GOP (using such tools as Discovery Institute for instance) is seemingly winning this part of the "culture war" where science might matter. While I'm hardly a fan of "intelligent design", or Dr. Collins for that matter, at least there's some measure of reason that he provides. At least he attempts to work with reality instead of choosing to remain simply ignorant. Believing in a 10,000 year old earth is just plain bizarre and yet the numbers, which I've seen in essentially the same pattern in the past, are showing I'm truly in the minority here in Jesusland.
Maybe I need to move to Europe? The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Council on Foreign Relations has a nice effort on religious American being compared to secular Europe that I'll share as I close. I have a good book that I've put off tackling. Peace ... or War!

Back up 100 years ... New Wagon for New Century

The image above is from 1915 and was captured down in Ozark. It's essentially the local dealer trying some marketing to show how strong this Studebaker model is. It is surely toting a load. For that time I expect it might have been a top drawer tool. Reckon the fellow that bought it would still think it the best tool for the job, even if in 1915 it would have been? Who'd have thunk it would have wound up on the Internets? Guess there's been plenty of changes since then and in fact the Mobile Press-Register's take on the latest legislation to perhaps replace our dreadful 1901 Constitution makes that exact point. The editorial begins with

IF THE Alabama constitution were a truck, it would be a 1901 wooden wagon pulled by big mules, because no one made a pickup before 1902. The mules would be old and skinny, hardly capable of pulling the bloated constitution that has acquired so many amendments (more than 700) that it has become the longest constitution in the nation.

The wood slats and bottom of the 1901 wagon would be rotted, mildewed and broken. The wheels would be rusted and bent, the harness decayed and patched together.

It wouldn't serve the needs of 21st century Alabamians any better than the real constitution does.

And it ends with

But what a shame it would be for Alabama to remain burdened by a dysfunctional constitution that makes home rule for counties nearly impossible, contains racist language, works against economic development, and enforces an unfair and inadequate tax system.

The 1901 constitution doesn't serve the people of Alabama. Indeed, it was written to serve the interests of the 19th century planter class, which no longer exists.

Legislators can let Alabama progress and do the public's bidding by allowing a vote for a constitution convention. Opinion polls have shown that more than 50 percent of voters in both political parties favor rewriting the state constitution.

It's time to put the mules out to pasture and get a new motorized vehicle of a constitution that can drive Alabama into the 21st century.!

Also, the same paper gives us Mark Berte looking at the historical FACTS of the circumstances giving Alabama this document of repression, racism, ... Mr. Berte then provides several very clever arguments that I'd missed in the past. I wasn't aware of some of what he conveyed and now feel even more certain, and that's getting into the exponential areas given my prior position, of the need for immediate reform. The planters got exactly what they wanted then and for us today to continue governing under this Constitution is outrageous.

Highly recommended piece and I commend the Press-Register for their willingness to publish. Call Montgomery and demand that these bills move forward ASAP. Peace ... or War

Willingly Ignorant Regent Law/GOP Defenders?

With Monica Goodling and the pipeline from Regent Law into Bu$hCo, including the Machiavellian nature of Rove's Mormon Mafia and many of these young conservatives that had come up in the ranks when the GOP controlled the whole of government, being covered a fair amount, I'd like to look at the ignorance, seemingly celebrated, of the true believers. Yet first there's a tip of the tam due to J.C. Christian for the image.

I recently got into a comment thread with Max Blumenthal's post over at HuffPo where a Witherspoon and RAGGEDSTEP were throwing around some GOP/Right Wing talking points. I asked RAGGEDSTEP how Ivy League views were associated with the left yet the main questions went to Witherspoon.

With a robust Christian persecution narrative and a good dose of the faithful vs the Godless heathen it seemed, he/she seemed almost willfully ignorant of "dominionism" and the agenda of Pat Robertson, Regent, etc. Here's his/her comment:

Re: the post on "dominionism": I have attended conservative Christian churches all of my life, of varying denominations and in numerous parts of America and abroad, yet I have never met anyone who professes to be a member of a "dominionist" movement. What's more, I have never heard the school of thought discussed. I attended Regent, but did not encounter dominionism there. Whatever "dominionism" is, it must claim a miniscule following among evangelical Christians. Dominionism, it seems to me, acts as a great "straw man" for the anti-Christians on the Left.

Since I became curious, and Witherspoon never responded, the following post results. Searching takes some time yet I'm better for it so think I ought to share.

Beginning with the name Regent, Pat Robertson's switch from CBN was more than marketing 101. Straight from the Regent Robertson School of Gov't site ...
Growing to seven schools, the Board of Trustees voted to change the name to Regent University. A “regent” is one who represents a king in his absence. For us at Regent University, a regent is one who represents Christ, our Sovereign, in whatever sphere of life he or she may be called to serve Him.

If Witherspoon doesn't recognize "dominionism"is it because one can often hardly see what they are covered with which keeps that person in the dark? I surely do know "dominionism" from my own experiences yet Witherspoon doesn't? I can turn on the radio here in the sticks and find it on multiple stations! I can books ate slam up with it in the local semi-super center Wally Mart! Hell, it's on the damned church billboards here! Minuscule following my ass! It's the Reich Wing leaders across this nation that use this BS to keep their flocks flocked. And most importantly for me, and I'd suggest for all of us, is that "dominionism" is how the GOP gets these sheep to vote against their own economic interests so often. Then again, I figure "dominionism" has at least something to do with the failure of Iraq and perhaps even the attack of 9-11. I also think there's not much difference between Islamists and Christianists. Get enlightened Witherspoon. Use the Google. Get on the internets. Read some books. Ponder. Seek.

Here's what I located ... Backing up to this older 1994 work, Frederick Clarkson's examination of Reconstructionism buttresses my own scary interpretation of what Regent represents. Maureen Farrell's 2004 work is also good at introducing some of the "religious" personalities and groups involved with Bu$hCo's strange coalition. A marriage of neo and theo-cons? I also found Herb Titus (the initial Dean of Regent Law before he and Pat got crossways) working with Alabama's Favorite Theocrat Roy Moore, to craft the Constitution Restoration Act. Richard Shelby and Robert Adderholt partially legitimated these two jokers by pandering to their radicalism yet introducing this legislation would in a better state cost them.

I close most every post with "Peace ... or War!" as allegedly that was my clan's approach. Like many Higlander Scots, my kin figured if things were cool then we might as well be in a state of warfare. I don't in that I like the idea of settling differences. I also like "Live and let live." I think a person's faith is a deeply personal matter and therefore is seldom my concern. However, the idea that a faith is going to take over our gov't is hardly conducive to maintaining "peace". Thus the "War!"

Outlander of the Day ~ Georgia's Saxby Chambliss

"He jests at scars that never felt the wound." was some Shakespeare that Max Cleland quoted after Saxby went all dirty on him back in 2002. Going back some five years might seem odd to identify an Outlander yet he's due. There's some bedrock Karl Rove tactics here that are surely in the news lately plus Saxby's seat is up in 2008. I still have the utmost respect for Max Cleland, as my father* did before me, so here goes ...

Talk is Saxby's 2008 election bid may be a third tier Senate race in 2008 yet given the bleak numbers for the GOP and the right candidate anything could happen. And if there's any karma in play (do they let karma into the Deep South?) he's due for a race. Embracing the Bu$hCo "Fear and Smear" strategy helped him close a twenty point gap in 2002. He's seemingly a loyal "Bushie" as I've yet to locate anything he's said or written that is critical of the White House. A little dustup over Big Ag's subsidies yet Saxby took care of those what brung him to the dance. Bu$h was perhaps even happy to save money for his war of choice in Iraq by cutting food stamps plus conservation and other hippie stuff. Even in Georgia these times they are a changing. How much a changing is of course the issue.

Returning to how Saxby handled his campaign's attacks on a true patriot and defender of the Constitution, and I'm not just considering his time in Vietnam as his work in the VA and in office counts for much, Chambliss seem to be a typical "chickenhawk". Senator Chambliss is representative of the many, many Bu$hCo backers and operatives which had other priorities than serving in the military.

A "bad knee" from playing football in high school allegedly kept Mr. Chambliss out of Vietnam yet Max Cleland came back with no legs and but one arm from a non-combat accident. Operation Yellow Elephant reveals but the most recent example of Republicans frequently talking the talk of war yet not walking the walk yet I digress. I understand Saxby broke his arm after transferring to UGA in 1963-64 and making the baseball team. I guess that football injury was better. Plus, to "lead the charge at every party" required something I'd guess. Getting that business degree in 66 from UGA and a JD in 1968 out of Knoxville kept him out of Southwest Asia. Getting married in 1966 might have helped him avoid the draft as well. The knee is better I suppose as he's allegedly still a recreational runner.

If there's time and money, and I truly expect there will be, I'll be crossing the river to help any legitimate candidate that runs against Saxby Chambliss. I'll try to help retire Jeff Sessions here in the Promised Land. Run Ron Run! I'll want to help re-elect Jerry McNerney in CA-11 as I worked too hard in 2006 to not stay in that mix. Additionally, I have strong feelings for Jerry, his family, staff, and especially those amazing volunteers. I may also try to help Charlie Brown defeat that dreadful John Doolittle in California's 4th.

I will support the Democratic nominee for President absent some remarkable turn. I'm supporting John Edwards right now and truly think he has a shot. I'd look toward Al Gore as well should he enter the race. Yet and still, any candidate, even though the GOP frontrunners are hardly gems, will be an improvement on this current "President". Twenty something months left?

Accordingly, picking where you'll work and donate might be a big decision. If Saxby's seat gets hot I'd imagine a Deep South effort could prove so very helpful toward returning some balance toward the mess that we have now. Change could occur to develop a Progressive Farm Policy, environmental reforms, tax manipulation that is not just for the Big Mules, a wise course against the legitimate threats of extremists, rebuilding alliances ruined, assuring first-class Veterans care, Universal Health Care, crafting an educational policy rather than one built on BS, bolstering fair trade ... That bouncing Saxby and Jeffy is being discussed, plus simply the numbers in the Senate alone, has me optimistic. Maybe the House will be where the battle is fought yet if the trend continues, the GOP will never retake it in 2008. If the DLC Centrists and Cautious Consultants don't win the war inside the Democratic Party, Progressives have as good a chance as we've had in many, many years. The Big Mules have the Courts stacked for several years forward yet having the Executive and Legislative might finally give Progressives a decent shot at changing our nation.

Senator Chambliss, like Jeff Sessions, has been a reliable apologist for this failed administration plus is clearly more concerned about his Big Mule backers than the little man. However, what he did to Max Cleland has made it personal. Even if he claims to be a recovering frat boy, I never cared for the type and given this puff piece I'm not so sure he ever left life with the swells. So I guess this Scot is ready to get all Highlander on Saxby come this next election cycle. Back to lobbying for agribusiness he goes. Peace ... or War!

*My old Daddy was hardly a heavy reader yet he loved an early Cleland book and encouraged me to tackle. I recall enjoying talking with him about the book and wish there'd been more of that. Maybe with my boy?

Friday, March 30, 2007

Tuskegee Airmen Get Congressional Gold Medal

Long overdue! The above is a Library of Congress image of just a few of the roughly thousand men that trained just south of where I now live here in East Alabama. These courageous men would of course become known as Tuskegee Airmen. Peace ... or War!

Career Justice VIP Tells How Bu$hCo Treated DOJ

Joseph D. Rich shares an opinion piece in the LA Times yesterday that was labeled, presumably by the paper, "Bush's long history of tilting Justice : The administration began skewing federal law enforcement before the current U.S. attorney scandal, says a former Department of Justice lawyer". Segments of the writing of this former DOJ Civil Rights Division include:

THE SCANDAL unfolding around the firing of eight U.S. attorneys compels the conclusion that the Bush administration has rewarded loyalty over all else. ...

Regardless of the administration, the political appointees had respect for the experience and judgment of longtime civil servants. ...

Over the last six years, this Justice Department has ignored the advice of its staff and skewed aspects of law enforcement in ways that clearly were intended to influence the outcome of elections. ...

From 2001 to 2006, no voting discrimination cases were brought on behalf of African American or Native American voters. U.S. attorneys were told instead to give priority to voter fraud cases, which, when coupled with the strong support for voter ID laws, indicated an intent to depress voter turnout in minority and poor communities. ...

This pattern also extended to hiring. In March 2006, Bradley Schlozman was appointed interim U.S. attorney in Kansas City, Mo. Two weeks earlier, the administration was granted the authority to make such indefinite appointments without Senate confirmation. That was too bad: A Senate hearing might have uncovered Schlozman's central role in politicizing the civil rights division during his three-year tenure.

Schlozman, for instance, was part of the team of political appointees that approved then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's plan to redraw congressional districts in Texas, which in 2004 increased the number of Republicans elected to the House. Similarly, Schlozman was acting assistant attorney general in charge of the division when the Justice Department OKd a Georgia law requiring voters to show photo IDs at the polls. These decisions went against the recommendations of career staff, who asserted that such rulings discriminated against minority voters. The warnings were prescient: Both proposals were struck down by federal courts.

Schlozman continued to influence elections as an interim U.S. attorney. Missouri had one of the closest Senate races in the country last November, and a week before the election, Schlozman brought four voter fraud indictments against members of an organization representing poor and minority people. This blatantly contradicted the department's long-standing policy to wait until after an election to bring such indictments because a federal criminal investigation might affect the outcome of the vote. The timing of the Missouri indictments could not have made the administration's aims more transparent. ...

Outright hostility to career employees who disagreed with the political appointees was evident early on. Seven career managers were removed in the civil rights division. I personally was ordered to change performance evaluations of several attorneys under my supervision. I was told to include critical comments about those whose recommendations ran counter to the political will of the administration and to improve evaluations of those who were politically favored.

Morale plummeted, resulting in an alarming exodus of career attorneys. In the last two years, 55% to 60% of attorneys in the voting section have transferred to other departments or left the Justice Department entirely.

At the same time, career staff were nearly cut out of the process of hiring lawyers. Control of hiring went to political appointees, so an applicant's fidelity to GOP interests replaced civil rights experience as the most important factor in hiring decisions.

The lefty blogosphere seems generally convinced that "voter fraud" was the, or at least a primary, angle Rove was working in his effort to create a permanent majority GOP. Getting away with this effort required plenty of loyal Bushies at Justice. Even The Politico, hardly a bunch of smelly bloggers, with the reporting of Jeanne Cummings from back on the 27th, recognizes this seemingly undeniable motivation bringing us to the foundation of today's scandals. Then again, the simple "faith" of so many (like John Ashcroft as Dubyah's first AG) of the Bu$hCo "Christian Soldiers" could have had been a large reason for this disaster of a White House. Peace ... or War!

Outlander of the Day ~ Arkansas USA Tim Griffin

Pictured to the left is Grand Master Rove's protege Tim Griffin. He is the new United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, likely only since the end run provision slipped into the Patriot Act renewal in the dead of night by George Mason Professor and Arlen Specter counsel Michael O'Neill and/or Mormon Mafia Brett Tolman, now USA for Utah, let Abu Gonzales appoint him without the Senate having a role.

Greg Palast has pointed out that the Hon. Tim Griffin has potential criminal issues for his 2004 effort in building "caging lists" of African American and Hispanic voters in Democratic leaning districts. Josh Marshall posted a link to Joshua Green's The Atlantic Monthly work from way back in June of 2004 showing this RNC oppo operative was certainly part of "playing dirty". Reckon where he learned that? Tim Griffin was quoted as saying ""We think of ourselves as the creators of the ammunition in a war," he says. "We make the bullets."

Any doubt why the Rove bunch didn't want hearings on this fella? And reckon why I just saw Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) on CNN defending Abu? A spectacle indeed! Finally, the Green piece referenced above will likely be fodder for future work. Great insight into both Republican and Democratic Party efforts. It appears the one thing the GOP seems to excel in is "playing dirty". That taxpayers are paying Karl Rove's salary is yet another outrage yet considering how poorly Bu$hCo has treated taxpayers, beyond his "have mores" base of course, that should be no surprise. Peace ... or War!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Bu$hCo Limited DOJ Case Against Big Tobacco

I just watched Sharon Eubanks talking with Tweety yet I've yet to find a clip. I can send you to an interview she recently did with Bob Schieffer of CBS plus the recent WaPo reporting of Carol Leonnig.
Reading the most recent (Dr. Alterman reminds us that the story really first broke back in 2005 via Eric Lichtblau of the NYT) coverage will get you started but once you watch this I'll bet you'll find her side of the story persuasive. If not ... then no worries of course. Before you walk away, however, I'd like to remind you to look at just the Robert D. McCallum connection. This political appointee is a former Department of Justice Associate Attorney General yet is now the Ambassador to Australia. Dr. Alterman also tells you a little about his college experience at Yale and how things have gone for him since those early aristocratic days. He, with clear illustrations of "Bush Administration Attention Deficit Disorder" in the prior link as a bonus, writes

McCullum sought to reduce the fraud and racketeering penalties leveled against the tobacco industry from $130 billion to $10 billion. Mr. McCallum, No.3 at the department, is a close friend of President Bush from their days as Skull & Bones members at Yale, and he was also a partner at Alston & Bird, an Atlanta law firm that has done legal work for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, part of Reynolds American, a defendant in the case. Despite complaints from Congressional Democrats and journalists, an internal Department of Justice investigation found McCullum innocent of any wrongdoing or political motivation.
Note the INTERNAL portion of the above paragraph. Given how completely DOJ is tainted one can only hope Congress will now provide long overdue oversight. This allegation, if true, ought to be the nail in the coffin for this corrupt administration. Peace ... or War!

Regent Law Students Enjoy Ice Cream plus Praise & Worship with Professor Ashcroft

Since I knew you'd be jealous of the fifty plus Regent Law students lucky enough to spend an evening with one of the "great men of our age", I'll give you John Ashcroft's greatest hit "Let the Eagle Soar" in the above YouTube clip. Unfortunately, I can't send ice cream through the internets since the tubes melt the stuff. Nor could I find a clip of John pounding his piano. The kids got "Great is They Faithfulness" yet I'd think surely this bunch required the obligatory "Onward Christian Soldiers". If civil liberties (do they teach at least some of those at Regent?) came up that evening I can imagine the "distinguished professor" immediately breaking into "I Surrender All." Any other Gospel song they'd just have to sing? Also, you know this group had vanilla yet any other flavors that might apply? Given how it's going for Regent grads right now I think Rocky Road would be appropriate for the next event. Peace ... or War!

It's hard out here for a pimp!

Mercy if Karl Rove isn't the the whitest guy in DC. At least David Gregory could keep some rhythm. The Brits liked Benny Hill so I guess they'd find rather clever. What I'd like to know is why his Mormon Mafia posse wasn't included in the freestyle? Just think, when these guys wind up in prison they'll have more street cred so their album sales will then likely go off the chart. Kyle Sampson is a crack point guard so they've got the roundball angle already covered. This DOJ scandal is obviously just an elaborate hip-hop marketing scheme. Peace ... or War!

Update on B'ham Pastor Rick Ousley Affair(s)

I posted on "Pastor" Rick Ousley recently yet by clicking through a comment located a Birmingham Blues post that is a gem. This post presently has 403 comments on the Ousley outing(s). "What a tangled web" applies and also this provides a nice view into the way different folks and faith foundations tend to look at this situation. Also, there are some serious accusations that Mr. Ousley has been an especially naught boy. Please note that I don't vouch for any of what is being claimed. I think Mr. Ousley has admitted to some indiscretions yet the gist of the post is that there may in fact be a good bit more to the story. As I've previously said, I am surely in no position to cast stones. I'm somewhat of an apostate, at least a "recovering Southern Baptist", but do think it legit to examine the situation. In perhaps some limited way there's a little shadenfreude here but when you consider the hurt and harm to his family (presumably pictured above yet appropriately blurred if in fact that is the Ousley brood) and/or flock it tends to fade quickly. Looks like Reverend Rick has let a lot of folks down. Peace ... or War!
UPDATE - Hat tip is surely due to Fullcourt as I truly sinned by snatching his/her image. Guess it is the Ousley family indeed. I thought Fullcourt was fighting modernism but apparently he/she is pretty handy with the graphics tools. Blessed are the geek for they shall inherit the mirth?
UPDATE - April 4, 2007. Fullcourt tells us that something seems fishy about comments on Birmingham Blues from various folks come from the same IP address. Maybe it is an AOL related issue? Perhaps these people are sharing the same computer? It seems fair to this heathen that the additional allegations made against Pastor Ousley be at least carefully considered and better yet simply ignored. While I've always heard "Your sins will find you out!", having the finding done via one IP addy seems a bit much. Good lesson about not just straight out accepting without question what you read, this being true for some content on the intertubes especially. Then again, I might suggest the same thing about some portions of the Bible.

Run Ron Run ~ Sack Sessions Launched

Sack Sessions has been launched. Consider registering, helping, etc. Maybe once he's Senator our Ron can appear with Elmo and whatever that blue puppet is known as? At least he'd be the smartest of the three contrary to when they are around Jeffy B!

Swing State Project is picking up on the Ron Spark's scenario, even linking to yours truly, per a post by James L. James L. has also provided some neat clips of Commissioner Sparks that were posted by Kos. I'm pleased that the latest Kos 2.0 has kept cooking long enough to keep Kos posting recently in that he's following the netroots interest in Ron Sparks. Peace ... or War!

Outlander of the Day ~ James Dobson

Fred Thompson, who will get some attention soon, isn't "Christian" enough for James Dobson yet Newt Gingrich is. Fishy indeed. Peace ... or War!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Outlander of the Day ~ Rep. DuWayne Bridges

Having a bit of a boot fetish perhaps, I'll 'fess up to stopping by his Bridges/Perlis every once in while to look at kickers. I don't think I've ever bought anything there beyond maybe a bottled water. Truck stop, western wear, antiques ... DuWayne is an entrepreneur. In fact heading down to Auburn-Opelika through Cussetta has become a good alternative to dodging deer on the Gold Hill route. Some pretty land either way I'll argue.

Back to DuWayne, I've noted the loud gospel music in his shop. For the record, the ladies working in the western store are some of the nicest folks I've ever met. I knew DuWayne was a rather religious fellow yet the following statement shocked me. I'll give you some context as well, with his quote emphasized, from Bob Johnson's reporting.

Hinshaw received a warmer re­ception than he has in past years for similar legislation that would have forced nonprofit organizations to disclose the source of funding to influence votes on issues such as creating a lottery or tax increases. That bill elicited a negative re­sponse from some lawmakers, who said the bill was aimed at forcing the Alabama Christian Coalition to disclose the sources of its money.

Several lawmakers questioned Hinshaw at length Thursday about whether this bill would force churches to disclose the names of contributors.

"I want to make sure we are not restricting any religious freedom," said Rep. DuWayne Bridges, R-Val­ley. "I just want to make sure the Bible is not being trampled on by this bill or any other bill."

"All this bill addresses is if someone goes into your district and tries to influence your election, they have to disclose," Hinshaw said.

Good Lord DuWayne! I thought you were representing the folks around Valley yet I guess you are working for a higher power. Good GOP man that you are, protecting the Alabama Christian Coalition might be a bonus. I've often posted on the ACC. They are doing a fair amount of trampling of the Bible that I'm familar with yet it's nice to know where you stand. If you're defending the ACC you are likely more concerned with the Big Mules that have trampled on the little man in Alabama. If you really are this much of a fundamentalist so that you figure you are getting paid to protect the Bible from law and/or actually believe the ACC is legit then you need a boot on your behind. The 1901 Constitution that allows this to so easily be done here in Alabama will not so easily be preserved once Joe and Jill Sixpack know who's paying ACC's bills. Peace ... or War!

St. John McCain and the Lost Boys

Neverland indeed! The Straight Talk Express has taken the wrong turn for certain. WTF is John McCain talking about? He and the other Lost Boys are following this failed Presidency to the point of where I'm about to get my Scots up. Appearing on CNN's Situation Room just yesterday, here's McCain's latest blunder:

MCCAIN: You know, that's why you ought to catch up on things, Wolf.

General Petraeus goes out there almost every day in an unarmed Humvee. You want to -- I think you ought to catch up. You see, you are giving the old line of three months ago. I understand it. We certainly don't get it through the filter of some of the media.

But I know for a fact of much of the success we're experiencing, including the ability of Americans in many parts -- not all. We've got a long, long way to go. We've only got two of the five brigades there -- to go into some neighborhoods in Baghdad in a secure fashion.

Michael Ware in CNN was turned to for verification. He said

Well, I'd certainly like to bring Senator McCain up to speed, if he ever gives me the opportunity. And if I have any difficulty hearing you right now, Wolf, that's because of the helicopter circling overhead and the gun battle that is blazing just a few blocks down the road.

Is Baghdad any safer?

Sectarian violence -- one particular type of violence -- is down. But none of the American generals here on the ground have anything like Senator McCain's confidence.

I mean, Senator McCain's credibility now on Iraq, which has been so solid to this point, has now been left out hanging to dry.

To suggest that there's any neighborhood in this city where an American can walk freely is beyond ludicrous. I'd love Senator McCain to tell me where that neighborhood is and he and I can go for a stroll.

And to think that General David Petraeus travels this city in an unarmed Humvee. I mean in the hour since Senator McCain has said this, I've spoken to some military sources and there was laughter down the line. I mean, certainly, the general travels in a Humvee. There's multiple Humvees around it, heavily armed. There's attack helicopters, predator drones, sniper teams, all sorts of layers of protection.

So, no, Senator McCain is way off base on this one -- Wolf.

"Hung out to dry" is being kind. And I'm not so sure about McCain's credibility being solid on Iraq or anything else given these last few years. This guy might not get the GOP nod but if he does I'm sure Edwards and the other front runners will have this and plenty more to load onto St. John come 2008. In the meanwhile, the losses and damage mount. Glad those soldiers over there got a laugh out of Maverick McCain at least. Heck of a job Bu$hCo. Peace ... or War!

Extensive Examination of Bu$h NCLB Profiteers

Mandevilla's Kos Diary is providing an extensive series titled "Bush Profiteers collect billions from NCLB". He/she has done yeoman's work in assembling what appears to be a very solid critique of this disastrous legislation and the Bu$hCo cronyism, incompetency, malice, greed ... that so often makes bad law even worse. The caveat of "appears" is only offered since I've yet to find time to wade through the whole seven diaries. More to come I'm sure but I've got to get reading. Peace ... or War!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

B'ham Evangelist's Trysts Revealed

B'ham's Rick Ousley is pictured to the left. Naughty boy! I've always liked the idea of "he who is without sin ..." yet to have yet another Baptist reveal "moral and spiritual indiscretion with a woman not my wife" does give me some measure of pleasure. Allegedly the relationship began back when "the woman not my wife" was eighteen and the affair lasted into her early forties. Talk about some stones! Again, I've goofed up in many ways so I'd surely not be chunking rocks. Moulton Baptist Church just had Ousley lead their four day revival. Think they can get their money back? Peace ... or War!

New Blog Toy ~ News Clip Generator

Tip of the tam to Blue Gal for sharing this new toy. The talking tomato might need using as well. Backing away from blogging might still happen, perhaps even soon, yet all the new toys and techniques will make it all the more difficult. Peace ... or War!

Giggling, vapid, petty, pompous, shallow ...

Glenn Greenwald simply destroys Tweety and his four "journalists" from this past Sunday. The YouTube clip is offered with a warning. Noron has long been notorious yet Richard Stengel of Time, Gloria Borger of CBS/US News, and Patrick Healy of the NY Times are now noted. Glenn, in part, writes

Here are several of our media elites from our nation's most influential journalistic outlets -- including from Time, U.S. News & World Report, The New York Times, and NBC News -- all sitting around on the Chris Matthews Show giggling for three and a half minutes straight about the silly U.S. attorneys scandal. The whole thing is just a fun game for them, and it's absurd to them that anyone could take things like this seriously.

There are updates and a link to a new post that are also worth visiting. This is a huge post yet worth the work. Over at Kos and building off Glenn's work, Hunter gives these four (and pretty much the whole pundit set) unmitigated hell with Seeking A Grand Unified Theory of Wankery; The Rise of the Booboisie.

These are grand postings and a reminder of why good bloggers are often far superior than the DC pundits that claim superiority over the smelly bloggers. Peace ... or War!

Testing Burdens and Blunders

Megan Reichgott's reporting for the Associated Press is appearing in many places but I'll send you to The Boston Globe. Not much sympathy for Harcourt, Pearson, or any of these profiteers yet the fact these testing providers are slow in reporting, commit errors far too often, misplace results ... is illustrative of the folly of our current data-obsessed education policy. NCLB and today's high stakes testing emphasis will be our ruin unless there are some radical changes in the very near future. Peace ... or War!

Are we seeing an evolving of America?

What Digby says is enough for me. Makes me almost feel sorry for the GOP "intellegensia" as one reads them twisting around the evolution issues. Indeed, our nation's swing voters might have finally had enough of conservatism's hogwash and mouthpieces? Now if we can just get the centrist DLC and other DINOs to fully embrace Progressivism we might actually be able to get things headed in the right direction. Peace ... or War!

Run Ron Run!

Swing State Project is talking up Alabama Agriculture and Industry Commissioner Ron Sparks against Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III in 2008. Also, if Senator Shelby steps down in 2010, Mr. Sparks would perhaps be better situated than others from having run in 2008. I agree that Bob Riley will likely wind up running for Shelby's seat eventually. Kos picked up on the story as well.

Wonder if Ron would continue Jeffy's tradition of wanting hotties on his staff? I've posted on Sessions so many time that the effort to link to various atrocities would take forever yet the bottom line is that he's a Bu$hCo apologist with the personality and talent of a bucket of spit. How he continues to be elected is a mystery to me.

Ron Sparks can serve up some genuine populism that would give him a serious shot in Alabama. If the damned consultants don't Dino him to death I really expect he could take old Jeffy out. Run Ron Run! Peace ... or War!

Outlander of the Day ~ Monica Goodling

Ron Hutchenson's McLatchy reporting reveals Monica Goodling's undergraduate is from Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania and her JD is from Pat Robertson's Regent University so obviously she's perfectly qualified for the Bu$hCo team.. However, I'm not so sure she's able to take the 5th under these circumstances. Christy Hardin Smith's post at FireDogLake sums up the situation yet the best portion of her always outstanding work is the reasoning out of what all is going on here.

This DOJ White House liaison having such a solid evangelical foundation reminded me of an email from a niece all the way back at the start of the Bu$h administration. This was probably in 2001 yet I think it was before 9-11. Something about how blessed our nation was to have such a Godly man in the White House. After the Clenis I know many "decent people" were relying on Bu$h to restore dignity to the Presidency. Although I was only at the strong dislike stage of Dubyah way back then I recall nearly firing off a missive as a reply. Although it's a rare occurrence, discretion won out. Since I could now say "I told you so!" I rather wish I'd sent that reply. Peace ... or War!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Outlander of the Day ~ GSA's Lurita Doan

The WaPo's Scott Higham and Robert O'Harrow Jr. report today "GSA Chief Is Accused of Playing Politics : Doan Denies 'Improper' Use of Agency for GOP". A White House political staffer Scott Jennings is also referenced in the article. Scott Jennings is of course wrapped up in the latest DOJ scandal. I've long wondered about the use of RNC or simply personal email accounts to get around records and the like. Welcome to oversight Bu$hCo. Peace ... or War!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Zbigniew Brzezinski Writes in Today's WaPo

Today's WaPo has Zbigniew Brzezinski giving us "Terrorized by 'War on Terror" : How a Three-Word Mantra Has Undermined America" that is an absolute must read. This man is amazing! Leaders like this will ideally have a place in the next White House rather than what we have now with the Mayberry Machiavellis.

Not expecting Bu$hCo to go outside his own party, I also can't figure out why truly brilliant men and women have had essentially no place in the Bu$hCo administration. Colin Powell was the closest and yet that's still a stretch. While I was very much against Dubyah and for Al Gore in 2000, I never dreamed that the GOP would allow such a dreadful result as has occurred. Loyalty over competence has been the foundation hasn't it? Peace ... or War!

Outlander of the Day ~ Representative Ken Guin

I've previously noted the "Covenant for the Future" that Representative Ken Guin (D-Carbon Hill) helped create in his role as co-chair of the Alabama Legislative Democratic Leadership Council with a post I titled "Bama Democratic Leaders - Not Deep But Cheap". To learn now that Ken Guin, the House Majority Leader, is raking in the bucks through his two contracts with two Alabama JuCos has me even more chapped. That these serious fees are for apparently the same work makes it all the more outrageous. He gets tenure even!

The Brett Blackledge reporting in the B'ham News offers
Guin, a state House of Representatives member from Carbon Hill, receives $49,677 a year from Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa and $48,721 from Bevill State Community College in Sumiton.

As for the Covenant being so dreadfully published out on the Internets, it seems like Representative Guin could have just written the check! It appears the Covenant site has been moved about a touch yet it's still mighty limited. They've got a couple of images now yet I'm still shocked that this was the best these "leaders" could come up with. I've previously noted my problems with the Republican Lite portions of the effort. It now makes a little more sense in that the Mr. Guin is part of the DLC. While I'm generally a fan of the Progressive Policy Institute, the "Centrist weenies" of the DLC have hardly helped the Democratic Party in this state and beyond. This appearance of impropriety from the Democrats House Majority Leader hardly helps as well.

The Alabama JuCo mess continues to demonstrate much of what is wrong with this state. Ken Guin demonstrates that money follows power. Peace ... or War!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

72% of Alabama Citizens Trust Faux News

I've been thinking about Mark Mellman's take on Fox News that recently appeared in The Hill yet to see via David White's reporting in the Bham News offering that Alabama citizens have the Fox Noise Channel ranked as relatively "trustworthy" confirms much I fear about the average citizen here in the heart of Dixie. Baaahhhhhh? At least confidence in the Christian Coalition is falling. I found it ironic that national corporations have been backing up in these measures as well. So why do we keep electing corporatists? Could it be that we are distracted by the militarism? No surprise here as Alabama clearly remains a very martial state. Could it be all the Scots that settled here? Senator Jim Webb's Born to Fight makes a persuasive argument that we Scots lean toward being scrappers. Surely one large reason that Alabama keeps electing corporatist and so many ding dongs is the GOP garbage that is unashamedly shilled by Faux News (and other sources here in Alabama) and yet I suppose that we sheep can only blame ourselves. Peace ... or War!

Outlander of the Day ~ Stephen Griles

Stephen Griles seemingly likes his blondes. To the left he's hanging out out with Dolly Parton. At one point in the past he was sparking around with Italia Federici of the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy. Astroturfing I'm expecting applies to CREA. Italia was labeled as a "scandal blonde" of the year yet compared to Dolly she's barely a blonde.

Stephen Griles entered a plea yesterday for lying to Congress. He's the highest ranking Bu$hCo official convicted ... YET. Why would we imagine they'd lie? In that Stephen Griles was essentially an inside man from Big Energy, why Black Jack had to pay was simply that Stephen wasn't on the payroll of those clients the lobbyist was trying to help.

Here's hoping that DOJ isn't packing things in on Black Jack. I've been reading that his sentence might be reduced but I hope it is because he's served up the goods rather than agreed to keep his mouth shut. Surely politics couldn't influence the Bu$hCo controlled DOJ could it?

Finally, Carl Pope of The Sierra Club gives us something else to ponder about Bu$hCo's Interior gutting their inspectors segment. Worst administration ever! Peace ... or War!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Bu$hCo Defends with "It's Political not Criminal"

"It Wasn’t Just a Bad Idea. It May Have Been Against the Law." from Adam Cohen in the NYT is a recent find. He suggests that if this DOJ scandal were presented as a scenario for law students to spot potential crimes then anybody that couldn't locate several would likely get a big fat "F". I was seldom working with the U.S. Code but what he offers up makes plenty of sense. Seems like some good questions are here to at least ask The Snowman.

In a related thought, I mostly agree with the many that are figuring the reason Bu$hCo is fighting this is that the DOJ firing is only the tip of the iceberg. If Rove and his minions are involved then politics is. The Mayberry Machiavellis likely hope that if they can stall then perhaps they can run out the clock. Peace ... or War!

Outlander of the Day ~ Tony Snow

Harry Smith of CBS tied up with Tony "The Snowman" Snow just yesterday. It was refreshing to see somebody getting grilled like seemed to happen rather often way back in the day. Crooks and Liars serves up the clip and a summary plus gives us some links to others that are equally solid. After Tony worked for Faux News, before he officially got on the Bu$hCo payroll as Press Secretary, that he'd accuse Harry of being "partisan" is especially rich. E.J. Dionne writes on the irony of these flip floppers howling "executive privilege" now, plus reminds us of the requirement that this White House and DOJ do some 'splaining about the many legitimate concerns that we just know about now, with his I Was Against Presidential Privilege Before I Was For It work that I located at TruthDig. Peace ... or War!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Profiling at DOJ? I'm shocked, shocked!

Having witnessed some racial profiling from The Man here at the local level, I can only imagine Karl Rove trying to manipulate the Department of Justice so that they might disproportionately go after Democrats. Bob Geiger's "Study: White House Guilty Of "Political Profiling" has me even more imaginative. Peace ... or War!

Outlander of the Day ~ James Inhofe

To have Alabama's Jefferson Beauregard Sesssions III compare favorably with this rascal says much. I knew a little about James Mountain Inhofe before yet his behavior with Al Gore provided a reason to study up on the Senator.

The labeling of Inhofe as "petulant adolescent" for his recent performance is accurate. A proud heterosexual patriarch, this fundamentalist needed reminding by Barbara Boxer that he's no longer the Chair of this Senate Committee. Elections do have consequences! He's been a torture apologist yet no fan of the Red Cross and other "humanitarian do-gooders".

In Big Energy's pocket for years, his routine with Gore was perhaps a way to show the Fat Cats they were getting their money's worth. He surely gave them a good turn on his last day holding the gavel. Inhofe has described global warming as the second largest hoax, with the separation of church and state being number one, played on the American public. Since his insurance company failed, under some questionable circumstances according to some things I've read, he apparently no longer reads insurance industry warnings about the threats faced by global warming. The Prospect's Chris Mooney gives us a good look at Inhofe's standard routine of advocating for "sound science".

This guy has parallels with Jeff Sessions in that Oklahoma and Alabama ought to be able to find some better talent than either. Unfortunately, both states have a decent sized population of citizens that might very want this type of Senator in DC. It's a darned shame as both of these high poverty states need all the help they can get. Peace ... or War!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Bu$hCo's Executive Privilege Hogwash

Tip of the tam to Jeff Stahler of the Cincy Post for this image from 1998 but mostly to Glenn Greenwald for showing how this "Executive Privilege" dog likely won't hunt. The Congressional rather than criminal angle might matter as offered in Update III yet Update II trumps this as Congress simply must not cave if any semblance of oversight can finally return to DC. Let's also hope somebody will put Snowjob in a position to contrast his Clinton position while on the payroll of Faux News with how the issue applies now that Tony's officially employed by Bu$hCo. Also, what gives with the missing 18 days from the last email dump? Peace ... or War!

Outlander of the Day ~ "Pastor" Ted Haggard

I posted on Jesus Camp just the other evening yet watched one more time last night. Wow! I paid more attention to the cameo by Ted Haggard. A YouTube clip of this appears appears here. This former leader of the National Association of Evangelicals and pastor of a Colorado Springs megachurch (that has had to lay off 44 workers since the scandal broke) is likely known by many that are nearly as concerned about Christianist extremists as those from the fringes of Islamic radicalism. Here's some updated news from the Seattle Times of both Ted and Kids on Fire leader Becky Fischer. E-Bay is not allowing the table allegedly used to "massage" Ted to be sold via their site.

As a bonus, I was reminded of two of Mike Papantonio's books (on Atticus Finch and Clarence Darrow) on my bookshelves. They were acquired way back in the days when I was playing lawyer. I've followed his work somewhat but intend to once again crack these books. His Ring of Fire radio program is an effort I'll want to seek out as well. Counselor, here's a tip of the tam!

Good doc this Jesus Camp. Kudos for the effort. To reveal so clearly the hypocrisy of Ted Haggard is just gravy. Peace ... or War!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Outlander of the Day ~ Bobby Lowder

Although today's news of Houston's Jay Gogue perhaps being named as President of Auburn University seems grand one wonders if additional talent might have been available but for the dreadful micro-management from all too many of the AU Trustees. Colonial BancGroup Chief Executive Bobby Lowder earned total compensation of $2.62 million last year so surely he's doing just fine yet his record at AU is hardly stellar. Dr. Gogue is a horticulturalist so he's got to know a thing or two about weeds so perhaps he'll be fine.

Perhaps the only time I've linked to ESPN, this Mike Fish work from early 2006 is a great place to start understanding Bobby Lowder's power. This Selena Roberts article from early 2005 is likewise revealing, perhaps even more so in that it shows that politics and power are indeed often local. Things are surely better down on The Plains yet the loveliest village would I think be lovelier if Mr. Lowder were to just write the checks and build the buildings rather than serve on the Board.

War Eagle! Peace .. or War!

Alliance for Peace and Justice in Auburn, Alabama

Auburn's Peace Eagle is a new find. On April 4th Dr. C.T. Vivian will be in Auburn as a guest of the Alliance for Peace and Justice. Might be a fine reason to travel down to The Plains. Can I still close as usual? It's my blog so I say "Yes!" Peace ... or War!

Monkey Business?

Might not post much in next few days as back to the grind of Monster and Career Builder and ... Might I vent on a personal matter? It's my blog so I guess I can do what I wish. Scots up a touch yet mostly just sad and confused. A few days of work will make it better I'm sure but I dread having to get back on these job sites and start all that back again.

Trip to Orlando last week was for naught. I interviewed for an Outside Sales opportunity on Friday and was told they'd decide between two candidates (I was even told I was favored) yesterday. However, I got an email on Monday telling me that the position was not being filled. Since I offered to drive down (Southwest plane was broken on Wednesday and other flights were fully booked until middle of this week) to be told of the consolidation of territories after the fact has me rather bothered. Maybe there is more to the story yet seems like rather poor form based on what I know.

This morning I got another email from an HR Department telling me that a position had been withdrawn. That's happened several times (What gives here?) yet at least I didn't drive 1000 miles before learning that the offer was off the table.

So far my efforts to nail down meaningful work after the campaign has been very frustrating yet I know there are opportunities out there. If I were a ReThuglican there might be some Wing Nut Welfare gigs in the "think tanks" and "policy shops" and ... that would pay enough to live on. Lefty Progressive outfits generally don't shell out the dollars and even so those jobs are super competitive.

Some manual labor about the Ponderosa will perhaps clear my mind. Peace ... or War!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Anniston Star ~ It 'Aint Over Yet Big Mules!

Amen! The Anniston Star delivers once again with today's "Let the people vote — again" which will hopefully get some traction. Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform will I'm sure keep up the pressure yet this one will require much from the grassroots (and responsible media!) to just get a vote and then to accomplish reform.

The Star reminds us how the Big Mules handled last time with

Back in 2004, when the question was put to a popular vote, supporters of the status quo pulled out all stops (and spent a bundle of money) to convince voters that constitutional reform was nothing but a backdoor effort to raise taxes by a bunch of Godless infidels who would take references to the Lord out of the new document.

With nothing to support their insinuations but half-truths, rumors and even outright lies, the anti-reform forces created enough uncertainty in the electorate to get the convention voted down.

The sighs of relief could be heard in Big Mule board rooms, the offices of neo-conservative think tanks and parsonages of right-wing religious leaders throughout the state.

Sooner or later ... Alabama will get some relief. Peace ... or War!

Outlander of the DECADE ~ George Bu$h

Four years in today. Attacking Iraq was a mistake but the post-invasion execution was even more flawed. Thousands of ours and hundreds of thousands of theirs, most include innocents I'd argue, are dead and exponentially more are wounded, physically and/or emotionally-mentally. Half a trillion so far, most via incurring debt, yet most figure the final tab will be at least a trillion. Dubyah and his merry band of neo-cons wasted the good will of the world toward the United States after 9-11. Their Iraq blunder has allowed extremists to rise up again in Afghanistan and distracted our nation and allies from the true global threat that faces our world. More to say I expect as the day drags on. Peace ... or War!

Discomfort and Discourse via Jesus Camp?

I watched Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady's Jesus Camp last night. I'll need to view again to decide exactly how I feel yet can surely recommend. Chiefly examing folks that I'd describe as Charismatic or Pentecostal, the film seems to me to apply to my personal experiences of Evangelicalism more than not. The site also has a response to Ted Haggard's criticisms that is notable. If not familiar with this Christianist, and only should you seek a seriously spicy slice of schadenfreude, America's Best Christian Betty Bowers can bring you up to speed on Pastor Ted. Peace ... or War!

Media Matters Takes on Sunday Talk Shows

Media Matters serves up a nice report (plus gives one a chance to complain!) regarding the continued practice of stacking more conservatives for Sunday morning. The GOP is the minority party in Congress now and even many true believers know Bu$hCo is the lamest of lame ducks. However, it seems the shows must go on as they've done for many, many years in favoring the Conservatives/Republicans. I've long been frustrated with the so called Liberals and Democrats in Name Only that seem to routinely make the lineups yet even with that concern tabled the networks (and I'll give Faux News a pass) are not providing even the semblance of balance. Peace ... or War!

Sunday's Outlander of the Day ~ Tom DeLay

Tom Delay, who thankfully is not going to be a paid CNN commentator, and Richard Perle, an unreconstructed neo-con, faced off against Representative Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania's 7th and Win Without War director and former Maine Congressman (perhaps future Maine Senator?) Tom Andrews on this week's Meet the Press. On Think Progress Nico uses "dominates" to describe the "debate". There's a good video link provided to boot.

While The Admiral and Mr. Andrews could have been brutal with these two armchair warriors given their past statements and actions, they were simply reasoned and firm. Timmeh did let them go at it rather than step in and save the two neo-cons. I'd have preferred that he play a little gotcha with the two conservatives on their past statements yet just going over the many time Perle has been wrong would have taken up several shows. Watching MTP made me proud of Joe Sestak and I was surely impressed by Tom Andrews as well. I wonder what Senator Susan Collins thought?

Tom DeLay has a new book (titled "No Retreat. No Surrender.") coming out and the Carl Hulse of the NYT gives a nice overview of the same in the San Francisco Chronicle. The HuffPo reference above claims the book has positive blurbs from Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity so that ought to tell you plenty about the Hammer's literary talents. It seems infighting in the GOP continues with this book. I also find it odd that DeLay retreated and surrendered when his Congressional seat was on the line.

I appreciate the above image with The Hammer in front of The Gipper. I recall reading something about Reagan being labeled an "amiable dunce". My Old Daddy labeled him some other ways I'll confess. DeLay's mean streak is undeniable and he's hardly the sharpest as well. Who would have thunk I'd have missed Reagan and even considered him somewhat of a gem one day. At least Bu$hCo and the modern GOP have won one for The Gipper. Peace ... or War!