Thursday, June 23, 2005

Sorry, Template trouble-- Scan down for posts 

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Turdblossom in full bloom 

Karl Rove explains the difference between conservatives and liberals:

Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers...

No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals.
Well.

First, let's gratuitously recall that this filthy, engorged dog's c-nt was once beat up by a girl. Second, let's gratuitously recall that this fatass makes me look like Lee Hainey. Third, and most importantly, let's observe that Karl Rove-- who never served or fought in a war-- is questioning the motives and the patriotism of men and women like MarineLiberal1775.

In fact go read MarineLiberal's impassioned response to Rove and Weepublican chickenhawks right now.

...

...

Ok. My take on Rove is that he's an over-achieving, doughy geek who has a permanent intellectual chip on his shoulder. If he has to prove himself by finding ways to unite half the country under a big tent of common hatred (ex: gays), then he's happy to do so.

I promise you: Karl Rove will never apologize for these statements, because that would mean he was wrong about something. And Rove can't admit to being wrong. So this is a great political moment, and Democrats should take full advantage.

Perhaps his quote was an expression of his frustration at Bush's lack of political capital. Or perhaps (dare I dream?) he's worried about the ongoing Plame investigation. I'll throw a 3-day block party the day he gets frogmarched...

Josh Marshall's reaction to this is absolutely on the money where he states: "The president and his partner are more concerned with going to war with half the country than they are with war against the country's enemies abroad."
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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The buck stops... where? 

New York Congresswoman Louise Slaughter is making the outrageous claim that the U.S. government should account for the hundreds of billions of tax dollars being spent in Iraq. She has the impertinence to suggest that it's unacceptable to have some $9+ billion go missing while we are fighting a war.

What does Rep. Slaughter think, that the local sheiks give receipts when we pay them off in crisp benjamins? Does she think that the assumed ten percent commission on every conceivable transaction is faithfully documented on military ledgers? Does she believe that KBR and all the other subcontractors don't deserve a little lagniappe for their troubles? Is she honestly suggesting that we aren't getting full value for the "Iraq Tax" we so cheerfully slough off on our grandchildren pay?

Does she really want to hamstring our troops and endanger the "mission" with this ludicrous bean-counting?!? Heck, there's no telling what you might find on such a fishing expedition. It's crazy, it won't work, and, besides, a thorough auditing of our defense expenditures is just not done!

I repeat: this is crazy! It's unprecedented! No patriotic, right-minded official would ever suggest that sort of...

You were saying, oyster?

On second thought *gulp* maybe Rep. Slaughter has a good point when she demands accountability and calls for an audit on Iraq. The Truman Commission serves as a useful precedent we can all agree upon, right? On second thought I think we should support her effort.


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H/T G.D. Frogsdong and Zac
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Houston is even better than Baghdad! 

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Take it from the Exterminator. Despite what you see on the news, the sprawling, toxic, concrete morass known as Houston boasts an "incredible quality of life".


As I noted last June, now's the perfect time to visit this wonderful, cultural oasis!
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"Are Americans smart enough to hang onto a democracy?" 

Bob Sommerby is a liberal with backbone. This morning he asks the title query, and goes on to tackle other light topics such as: human rights, torture, and being lied into war.

Do not miss today's Daily Howler.
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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

What would we do without EWE? 

Cool!

Over at No Bull, John is reminiscing about the Silver Fox in the 70's-- here's the first installment!
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What apologies can do 

Sid Salter is a native Philadelphian (MS) who claims in a column he wrote for the Clarion-Ledger that "times and hearts" have dramatically changed in Neshoba county since the triple civil rights murders in '64. Today, Salter's community is standing together like never before during the Killen trial, and this unity is an example of remarkable progress.

What brought this about? Salter isn't crystal clear on the answer, but he indicates that Mississippians who had the courage to apologize played a large role.

What happened in Neshoba County in 1964 -- the murder of three young men guilty of no crime save supporting civil rights for black people in America -- was wrong. No one in a position of authority in Mississippi did anything to stop it or punish it after it was revealed.

No one in a position of authority in Mississippi even offered an apology for it until then-secretary of state Dick Molpus apologized to the families of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner 25 years after their murders.

Molpus, a Neshoba County native, took part in early efforts at meaningful racial reconciliation in Neshoba County. They included that offering of a 1989 personal apology to the families of the three slain civil rights workers.

During the much-ballyhooed 1995 Neshoba County Fair debate between Molpus and then-incumbent Republican Gov. Kirk Fordice, Fordice upbraided Molpus for the apology. Fordice drew applause in his opponent's political back yard and ultimately carried Neshoba County in his re-election bid.

Yet, less than a decade later, the leadership of Neshoba County banded to not only offer with one voice that overdue apology that Molpus first uttered, but to stand together to call for final justice in the Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner case. That local leadership included city and county governments, the Choctaw tribal leadership, economic development groups, the local media and a number of citizens of all races.

Today is the sixteenth anniversary of Dick Molpus' historic 1989 speech. If you can find something in it that's worthy of criticism, please let me know. Molpus did indeed stand tall back then, and he paid a political price. However, he's still standing tall today, explaining why it is so important not to leave past mistakes unacknowledged. Last year he repeated his call from '89, saying:

I believe, however, until justice is done, we are all at least somewhat complicit in those deaths. I recognize that only a handful of hate-filled men actually committed the murders, but we are all, to some degree, implicated. Some will say, "How can that be? Why can't we just move on?" Most weren't members of the Klan, those of you under 40 weren't even born and many of the baby-boomers, myself included, were teenagers. Many of our older citizens would never have ridden the dirt roads to terrorize and they don't condone murder. But all us who are Neshoba Countians or Mississippians have to acknowledge and face our corporate responsibility in this tragedy and I'm not talking about some fruitless and useless intellectual effort to assign guilt or blame. The debate about who could have or should have done what in 1964 could go on forever. It's a discussion that carries us no where - there is no resolution. But that does not mean we can move on by ignoring where we are in 2004.

One fact is absolutely clear - hear this - for 40 years our state judicial system has allowed murderers to roam our land. Night riders, church burners, beaters and killers deserve no protection from sure justice.

What's wonderful is that Governor Hailey Barbour spoke during that same event last year, and fully agreed with Molpus' view. Barbour said: "We know that when evil is done it is a complicit sin to ignore it, to pretend it didn't happen even if it happened 40 years ago. You have to face up to your problems before you can solve them".

Amen, Hailey! Now if you could only convince Mississippi's Republican Senators, Cochran and Lott, to see the value in apologizing. Sid Salter believes it was acts like these that precipitated real change in his community-- one scarred by racism. Isn't it galling that Senators from the state with the most recorded lynchings and the highest percentage of African-Americans adamantly refuse to apologize? Will they not accept even the slightest bit of "corporate responsibility" for past wrongs that have festered for so many decades?

With their refusal to apologize, I think Cochran and Lott have disappointed many "New Southerners", and pleased many old racists. Our neighbors to the east deserve better representation.

Speaking of which,
Will Bardwell hears that Dick Molpus may run for Lieutenant Governor. YRHT salutes Dick Molpus, and also fervently hopes that he returns to politics.




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Update: I also improved some of the more ungrammatical passages in the above post.
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Update #2: A verdict has been reached in the Killen trial; guilty on 3 counts of manslaughter.
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Monday, June 20, 2005

I really hate to pile on... 

...but not in this case.

Oliver Willis clues us in to this titanic error over at the USS Neverdock.

Yes that's ultra-"fag hater" Fred Phelps and his crew, thanking god for IED's... at a military funeral! Phelps' dementia is not worth promoting except for the fact that it gives me an opportunity to link to one of my favorite posts of all time.
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Political Machines require grease 

Let me echo Yatpundit's contention that the current developments of the latest corruption probe into New Orleans politics spell "serious trouble" for former Mayor (and current Urban League prez) Marc Morial. The Feds will likely persuade his man "Pampy" to talk-- and there is much to talk about.

Visit Yatpundit for a fine digest of all the relevant details.

One last thing: for those who dislike Mayor Nagin and think some of his mistakes represent "more of the same" in terms of corrupt government-- y'all are dead wrong. In terms of pure graft and corrupt waste, there's simply no comparison between the Morial and Nagin administrations.

Indeed, credit the Nagin administration for alerting the Feds to this massive scandal. As the T-P notes:

With a total value of $81 million over its 20-year life, the city's contract with Johnson Controls Inc. of Milwaukee was the largest signed by the Morial administration, which ended in 2002. And the indictment suggests that Barré, DeCay and Terry Songy, Johnson Controls' project manager, seized upon the energy contract to line their pockets.

Acting U.S. Attorney Jim Letten called the indictment "important," saying it "is laying bare for the citizens, and is hopefully going to bring to justice, individuals who abused their positions of trust with the city and individuals who, I think, place at risk free enterprise."

Indeed, the breadth of the graft and greed alleged in the indictment is breathtaking, even by the standards of a city inured to public corruption....

The agreement was among the largest of thousands of energy contracts landed by the Milwaukee-based Fortune 100 company and far and away the largest signed contract of any kind by the Morial administration. But Morial, ordinarily eager to trumpet the major initiatives of his administration, never mentioned it in public. Likewise, he never briefed the City Council on the contract.
...
But while Johnson Controls officials have focused on the first-rate equipment and energy savings they say the company has delivered, Nagin aides claimed shortly after they took office that the taxpayers "got fleeced." Letten took up that theme on Thursday, saying the contract didn't deliver the promised savings.

One of the Nagin team's chief criticisms of the deal was that its structure made it impossible to verify whether a lot of the savings promised in the contract were being realized.

Also, Nagin aides noted that so-called performance contracts, though they resemble construction contracts, are exempted from public bid laws. As a result, they said, the deal was larded with noncompetitive subcontracts for Morial supporters -- including Barré, who was a partner of Nagin's in the New Orleans Brass minor-league hockey franchise at the time -- further driving up the contract's costs.

The Nagin administration also objected to the terms of the financing, which was arranged by Metairie financier Rafael "Ray" Valdes, a strong supporter of Morial, albeit one who avoided the limelight.

The financing arranged by Valdes won his firm "placement fees" of $2.1 million -- far higher than industry norms, according to others in the business. Moreover, Valdes was working two sides of the deal: At the same time he was arranging financing for the city, he was also working as a consultant to Johnson Controls, company officials have said.

Sure, there's always politics at work, but I credit the Nagin administration for helping to initiate a very important investigation that no doubt has a lot more to reveal. If this marks a symbolic end to the (excessively) corrupt practices of the old days... well, that would be a very good thing.

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No Bull has an article on the indictments by Adam Nossiter.
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"Generational commitment to Iraq" 

Big Dick says the insurgents are in the "throes" of death, while Condi says I should start training my daughter, PearlGirl (15 months old), for urban combat in Baghdad-- so which is it?

Do ya think the simplistic slogans supporting this costly misadventure in Iraq will start to wear thin in twenty years?

Bring it on!
Freedom isn't Free
Better there than over here


Can't wait 'till the Mission is Accomplished.... because, as George W. Bush has informed us: "I think war is a dangerous place."
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Brotherly Love 

Will Bardwell is following the trial of alleged murderer (and KKK leader) Edgar Killen over in Philadelphia MS. Bardwell believes this case is "the most historic moment in Mississippi's post-Civil War history". He's devoted a separate blog just to trial coverage.

Here's why: Forty-one years ago, Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman (both white) and James Chaney (black) travelled down to Philadelphia, MS to militate against the widespread and coordinated denial of voting rights to black Americans.

These young activists were promptly jailed and, upon release, shot and buried by Ku Klux Klansmen.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution summarized what happened next:
The murders during "Freedom Summer," the historic voter registration drive in the heart of Dixie, shocked the world and ultimately hastened the demise of Jim Crow segregation. A federal jury convicted seven men for civil rights crimes in 1967, dealing a mortal blow to the Misssissippi Klan but leaving no one convicted of murder.

History is again on the line as the state of Mississippi attempts -- for the first time -- to obtain a murder conviction in a case that has mocked justice for 41 years.

Edgar Ray Killen, 80, a sawmill operator, reputed Klan leader and the alleged mastermind of the crime, goes on trial Monday for the three slayings in what may be the final unsolved case prosecuted from the civil rights era.

Bardwell notes that the trial could go to the jury today and perhaps a verdict might be handed down tomorrow, the 41st anniversary of the murders.
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Sunday, June 19, 2005

Bow. Wow. Wow. (episode II) 

I still luv Candy.






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H/T Dead Pelican.
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