Thursday, December 28, 2006

As you know, former President and Warren Commission member Gerald Ford has passed away.

Despite once famously "forgetting" Poland's Communist Bloc status, Ford apparently recently confided to Bob Woodward that:

I just don't think we should go hellfire damnation around the globe freeing people, unless it is directly related to our own national security.

Fun fact: Gerald Ford's middle name was "Rudolph" which is an unusual middle name, until you consider JFK's.
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The video below was sent from a John Edwards supporter, who described it as a preview of what Edwards would be talking about today, as he announced from New Orleans that he is running for President in 2008.

One of my favorite things about Edwards is that back in '04 he scared the bejeezus out of my friend who is a top GOP strategist from the Deep South. I hadn't seen him get rattled very often by a Democratic candidate.

Here's an article about Edwards' announcement.
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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Polar Distress 

From Americablog we learn of this disturbing Wapo story

The Bush administration has decided to propose listing the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, putting the U.S. government on record as saying that global warming could drive one of the world's most recognizable animals out of existence.
Northern latitudes are warming twice as rapidly as the rest of the globe, according to a 2004 scientific assessment, and by the end of the century annual ocean temperatures in the Arctic may rise an additional 13 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result, researchers predict that summer sea ice, which polar bears use as a platform to hunt for ringed seals, will decline 50 to 100 percent. Just this month, researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research outlined a worst-case scenario in which summer sea ice could disappear by 2040.

By submitting the proposal today, the Interior Department is meeting a deadline under a legal settlement with three environmental advocacy groups -- the Center for Biological Diversity, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Greenpeace -- that argue the government has not responded quickly enough to the polar bear's plight. The department has been examining the status of polar bears for more than two years.

NRDC senior attorney Andrew Wetzler, one of the lawyers who filed suit against the administration, welcomed the proposal for listing.

"It's such a loud recognition that global warming is real," Wetzler said. "It is rapidly threatening the polar bear and, in fact, an entire ecosystem with utter destruction."

Polar bears can be noble. It would be a shame to lose them.
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"It may well be nefarious" 

AP reports:

The tally for Hurricane Katrina waste could top $2 billion next year because half of the lucrative government contracts valued at $500,000 or greater for cleanup work are being awarded without little competition.

Federal investigators have already determined the Bush administration squandered $1 billion on fraudulent disaster aid to individuals after the 2005 storm. Now they are shifting their attention to the multimillion dollar contracts to politically connected firms that critics have long said are a prime area for abuse.

In January, investigators will release the first of several audits examining more than $12 billion in Katrina contracts. The charges range from political favoritism to limited opportunities for small and minority-owned firms, which initially got only 1.5 percent of the total work.

"Based on their track record, it wouldn't surprise me if we saw another billion more in waste," said Clark Kent Ervin, the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general from 2003-2004. "I don't think sufficient progress has been made."

He called it inexcusable that the Bush administration would still have so many no-bid contracts. Under pressure last year, Federal Emergency Management Agency director David Paulison pledged to rebid many of the agreements, only to backtrack months later and reopen only a portion.

Investigators are now examining whether some of the agreements-- which in some cases were extended without warning rather than rebid-- are still unfairly benefiting large firms.

"It's a combination of laziness, ineptitude and it may well be nefarious," Ervin said.

Nefarious means "flagrantly wicked or impious; evil".

Again: the former Homeland Security Inspector General has asserted that the apparent cronyism involved in Katrina contracts "may well be" flagrantly wicked or evil.

Wasteful, Ineffective and Evil: This is Compassionate Conservative Governance.
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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Holidays! 

Jeffrey and Blake bring us two yuletide favorites that Lovely enjoys.

Of course, Lovely also likes this Christmas song, so beware.
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