Thursday, March 30, 2006

Does anyone in this administration ever get fired? Ever? What do you have to do? Seriously.

I give you the following:
Karl Rove, President Bush's chief political adviser, cautioned other White House aides in the summer of 2003 that Bush's 2004 re-election prospects would be severely damaged if it was publicly disclosed that he had been personally warned that a key rationale for going to war had been challenged within the administration.
The White House was largely successful in defusing the Niger controversy because there was no evidence that Bush was aware that his claims about the uranium were based on faulty intelligence. Then-CIA Director George Tenet swiftly and publicly took the blame for the entire episode, saying that he and the CIA were at fault for not warning Bush and his aides that the information might be untrue.
"Presidential knowledge was the ball game," says a former senior government official outside the White House who was personally familiar with the damage-control effort. "The mission was to insulate the president. It was about making it appear that he wasn't in the know. You could do that on Niger. You couldn't do that with the tubes." A Republican political appointee involved in the process, who thought the Bush administration had a constitutional obligation to be more open with Congress, said: "This was about getting past the election."
Only two months before Wilson went public with his allegations, the Iraq war was being viewed as one of the greatest achievements of Bush's presidency. Rove, whom Bush would later call the "architect" of his re-election campaign, was determined to exploit the war for the president's electoral success. On May 1, 2003, Bush made a dramatic landing on the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln to announce to the nation the cessation of major combat operations in Iraq. Dressed in a military flight suit, the president emerged from a four-seat Navy S-3B Viking with the words "George W. Bush Commander-in-Chief" painted just below the cockpit window.

Because the Bush administration was able to control what information would remain classified, however, reporters did not know that Bush had received the President's Summary that informed him that both State's INR and the Energy Department doubted that the aluminum tubes were to be used for a nuclear-related purpose.

(Ironically, at one point, before he had reviewed the one-page summary, Hadley considered declassifying it because it said nothing about the Niger intelligence information being untrue. However, after reviewing the summary and realizing that it would have disclosed presidential knowledge that INR and DOE had doubts about the tubes, senior Bush administration officials became preoccupied with ensuring that the text of the document remained classified, according to an account provided by an administration official.)

I'm going to fix a strong drink. That's what modern life is doing to me.

Monday, March 27, 2006

The lights are on again.

I know it seems like I only deliver bad news, and hey, that's pretty much true. But I still feel obligated to pass on to you this most recent documentation of the fact that not only are we all headed to hell, but that the skids are apparently getting greased with the blood of innocents. As usual.

Read more here.

Also, Christine lost. Tammy Duckworth won. Congratulations, Rahm.


I'll still vote for Tammy, but my ability to get and bust my hump for her will depend quite largely on how she comes across in person to her own volunteers. I hope she inspires more confidence than she has thus far.

Archpundit has his rundown.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Donna's kids

Donna's kids.

You know, the ones who clean up dorm rooms, classes, facilities. Can you imagine cleaning up after the students at UM? Would you want to? I wouldn't.

Here's the latest on their walkout.

From one of their own.

It's hard to believe people this incompetent keep their jobs. Or: That Darn Librul Media Vol. XXXVIII

It must be their union, galldarn unions keep dead weight from gettin' fired, that's all they do.

Some choicest quotes from the wayback machine:
Now that the combat phase of the war in Iraq is officially over, what begins is a debate throughout the entire U.S. government over America's unrivaled power and how best to use it."
(CBS reporter Joie Chen, 5/4/03)

"Tommy Franks and the coalition forces have demonstrated the old axiom that boldness on the battlefield produces swift and relatively bloodless victory. The three-week swing through Iraq has utterly shattered skeptics' complaints."
(Fox News Channel's Tony Snow, 4/27/03)

We're all neo-cons now."
(MSNBC's Chris Matthews, 4/9/03)

"The war winds down, politics heats up.... Picture perfect. Part Spider-Man, part Tom Cruise, part Ronald Reagan. The president seizes the moment on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific."
(PBS's Gwen Ifill, 5/2/03, on George W. Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech)

We're proud of our president. Americans love having a guy as president, a guy who has a little swagger, who's physical, who's not a complicated guy like Clinton or even like Dukakis or Mondale, all those guys, McGovern. They want a guy who's president. Women like a guy who's president. Check it out. The women like this war. I think we like having a hero as our president. It's simple. We're not like the Brits."
(MSNBC's Chris Matthews, 5/1/03)

"He looked like an alternatively commander in chief, rock star, movie star, and one of the guys."
(CNN's Lou Dobbs, on Bush's 'Mission Accomplished' speech, 5/1/03)

"Well, the hot story of the week is victory.... The Tommy Franks-Don Rumsfeld battle plan, war plan, worked brilliantly, a three-week war with mercifully few American deaths or Iraqi civilian deaths.... There is a lot of work yet to do, but all the naysayers have been humiliated so far.... The final word on this is, hooray."
(Fox News Channel's Morton Kondracke, 4/12/03)

The final word is what again?

More here. Someone can surely easily explain to me why we keep these boobs on the air.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Jesus Christ. Please take me home, Lord.

I bring you the following. Read it and weep. Weep aloud if you voted for this clod because you were put off by John Kerry's effete frenchness, your dislike of his wife, or some other such piece of trivia that has nothing to do with anyone's ability to actually run a government. Read this, for it's your legacy as much as his.

President Bush has decided to stay out of the lion's share of decisions made by his administration.

Sources close to the administration said that over the last year, Mr. Bush has chosen to focus on two issues, leaving the rest to be decided by Cabinet members and senior aides. They said the issues are Iraq and the Republican congressional campaign in the 2006 elections.

"Lots of important issues that deal with national security are never brought to the president because he doesn't want to deal with them," a source familiar with the White House said. "In some cases, this has resulted in chaos."

Read the rest here.

Eric Boehlert is smarter than me

And he proves it here. I thought the port deal was a such a shitstorm because the karmic rubber band that is the collective sin and wrongdoing of these fucking people finally snapped.


Monday, March 13, 2006

I'm pro-censureship

Finally, someone in the Senate is doing something, anything about the President's warrantless spy program. You know, the one he admitted to, and said he'd keep up doing? Well, I called my Senators today, and urged both of them to sign on the articles of censure, and neither one of them has an official position.


Meanwhile, the White House is tired. I'm tired too.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

For more on the issue, let's go to Michael In Chicago

Michael has the real scoop on the fundraising numbers for Tammy vs. Christine, and what it all means. The short of it is that Tammy did outraise our candidate, but that her 'burn rate' was exceedingly high. 61% to 96% higher.

What's a burn rate? It kinda means the amount of dough a candidate blows through to keep their operations up and running. A candidate with a low burn rate raises good money and spends very little of it. A candidate with a high burn rate is spending like a drunken sailor.

Much had been made of Christine's 'high' burn rate earlier (as a sign of a weak campaign) by some prominent Illinois political blogs, so this is why I'm pointing it out.

The most telling figure is this one:

Itemized Contributions from District:
1.5% Duckworth
64% Cegelis

Duckworth: $4,350 from 8 residents
Cegelis: $25,704 from 85 residents

That pretty much says it all.

Nice coverage for Christine

Here in the Suburban Daily Herald. Yesterday while canvassing with Christine, a photographer from the paper tagged along and the paper version has a nice photo of Christine chatting it up with a local voter.

All in all, the best piece I've seen in a little while. It's also notable that Christine got the endorsement of Dick Simpson, a noted local journalist who's death on the Chicago Machine.

It was a good weekend. Yesterday canvassing, today working a coffee in Streamwood. I had no idea the district was this large. Tonight, dog behavior classes. Tomorrow, the world.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

The last one today, I swear to God.

I was at this thing Thursday and Friday, and I met some interesting people.

Members of the Boilermakers Local 484 from Meredosia, IL have been locked out of their place of employment by Celanese Corp., after the employer asked for 33% in wage cuts and the union asked for more time and information.

Members from Local 484 were at the IEA RA (hosted by us at a table with Jobs with Justice) to tell their story to individual members of my union, who are mostly teachers but also school support staff and college facutly.

The guys I met reminded me of nearly every one of the blue-collar workers I grew up with in North Carolina. They were polite, kind of rednecks, but (unlike the folks from my childhood) fiercely determined to win this thing with their employer. So far, only five of the union members have crossed the picket line to go back to work. One of them was a cousin of one of the guys at the RA.

I said that probably was going to make for an uncomfortable Thanksgiving dinner. He agreed.

A dear friend of mine from Urbana was trying to hook them up with Lisa Madigan, who is the Attorney General of Illinois. It seems the local Sheriff is harassing the strikers with his squad cars.

This is one in a long line of tragedies that represent the destruction of working class life. But it was a pleasure to meet those guys.

So, how did that Sikorsky rally go?

Pretty well, I'd say.

what I'm up to.

This weekend I'll be canvassing again for Christine. Thursday night I attended a coffee for Christine in Elmhurst and met the guy who was the head of Jimmy Carter's Presidential campaign in Illinois in 1976 and 1980.

No shit. He apparently ran for congress in this district in 1972 as well. He was a pretty nice guy.

Because I'm too lazy to do any original writing...

I bring you the hard work of others. It's a blog round-up!

Via the Huffpost, I bring you...

A Bush aide arrested for shoplifting. Okay, that's not entirely fair. He apparently resigned and then got arrested.

Via the Dailykos, I bring you...

Wrinkled Forehead Penis Man (Joe Scarborough) admitting his disgust at being a Republican! I'm with you Joe! I'd be disgusted too!

Via Jonathan Tasini, I bring you...

A well-written and thoughtful post about why card check has not a snowballs chance in hell of ever passing in the next two decades. But also about how unions are using it anyway.

Via The American Prospect Online, I bring you...

Yet another example of our President being resolute and determined until he isn't and pretends his change of mind was how he felt all along.

Via feministing I bring you...

The Mexican government's attempts to battle sexism in the workplace by creating ads that use blow-up dolls. Why would I make that up?

So there. I hope this satisfies your unnatural cravings for what I think are interesting and important stories and issues.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Oh crap.

Things are bad for workers right now. People are hurting all over. Some of them seek professional counseling to deal with the issues that can seem honestly overwhelming. Professional counseling is a good thing. We should encourage people to seek it out when they feel it is necessary.

One group who has dealt with more than its share of woe are pilots--and the FAA puts them on some kind of list if they do seek counseling.

So here they are, reeling from givebacks, raids on their pensions, their industry is in crisis--and they aren't seeking counseling for fear of reprisal.

I'm flying somewhere soon for vacation. I'm worried.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

More on the Sikorsky strike

Apparently the largest labor rally in New England history is being planned to aid the folks on strike against Sikorsky, the company that makes Black Hawk helicopters.

A development to keep your eye on.

It looks like things are moving toward a national strike in the hotel industry. Possibly as soon as this summer.

Update: This Bloomberg piece lays out much more detail on this looming story.

My favorite quote comes from the Hilton spokesman who says that the union's real goal is membership growth, and how that's unfair to the employees. I agree. It's totally unfair to the employees to have a voice at the table. Why, without one, they can take it or they can leave it. Now that's fair!

The Problem with 'Rebellion'

The NYT has an article up today about how the vote yesterday in the House to nix the Dubai Port deal (over a threatened Bush veto) constitutes out and out rebellion.

They also cite Senatorial squeamishness with the warrantless wiretapping program as further proof of a Republican revolt over Bush's signature issue--security.

Here's the problem with this analysis: it's full of shite.

There is no proof that any congressional Republican anguish over any Bush-led anything has resulted in any actual oversight or control.

Remember the Medicare Drug Coverage debacle? Did you hear about any penalties for the open bribery held on the floor, or the three-hour vote that it took to pass the damn thing? Surely you jest.

The absolutely horrid response to Katrina. Get real.

What about the several billion dollars missing in Iraq. Yeah right.

Even the 'outrage' over the wiretapping issue has completely and utterly melted away.

I mean, you could go on and on and on and on and on and, well you get the point. Nothing ever comes out of Republican outrage. Except for more cover for the white house. And there are some Democrats who absolutely aid and abet this, but if there were solid majorities in one or the other house, we'd be looking at impeachment articles by now.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

She sounds like quite a lady.

Anne Braden led an exemplary life. Read about her and honor her work.

Blogging officially sucks.

This just in. Wal-mart caught blogging about itself while conspicuously trying to make it look like some random dude was saying nice things about the company.

Jeesus Cheesus.

Christine happenings

I went to church (don't laugh, I know I can't come across as the religious type) on Sunday and had an interesting experience. The Boy Scouts were holding a table in the back of the church for a pancake dinner or some such, and one of their troop leaders asked me if I had any more Christine Cegelis buttons. I gave him mine, and told him if he were interested I had some yard signs in my car. He was excited to get one, and went on to tell me how hard he was pulling for Christine to win.

It's nice when things like this happen to you. I don't imagine they happen that often to Tammy Duckworth's folks. I could be wrong.

One of my fellow precinct activists went to the Duckworth rally which was held at the same time on Saturday as Christine's. I'd post a link to her website's coverage of the event if there were any mention of it there. She reported that even with two sitting senators as a draw that at the most there were ninety or so people there.

She was also told to quit distributing Christine's literature there. I love my fellow activists.

We had around 150 at our rally at the Machinists' hall in Des Plaines on Saturday. Not to compare or anything. And not that we had any prominent rock star politicians shouting or praises. We still managed to pull almost twice as many people in.


Monday, March 06, 2006

Take a gander

At this.

Let's hope she's right. Although Jesus would have bolted long ago.

From the "You Can't Make This Shit Up." Dept...

From the "You Can't Make This Shit Up." Department here at "I Get Tired of Reposting These Goddamn Farces and Tragedies Intl., LLC".

When you come to think about it, LLC is a perfect acronym for the Bush administration. Limited. Liability. Corporation.

Kinda fits, no?

All apologies to Jonathan Schwartz for maiming his joke.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Remember Donna Shalala?

She's dealing with a growing strike over the custodial pay issue. Hey lady, dont' say I didn't tell ya so.

Nathan Newman has Donna's office number up. I called it, and politely told a nice young lady that Donna should do the right thing.

You should too.

(305) 284-5155

Cook Co. Nurses Set to Strike

I think this is the first time they're bargaining since they switched from the Illinois Nurses Association to the National Nurses Organizing Committee.

I know it sounds weird to hear that nurses would strike over something like staffing levels (as opposed to just pay and benefits), but these kinds of issue that affect the public that the strikers serve as well as the strikers themselves are quite common. Nurses are affected as workers by not having enough coverage on their floors, having to run around to increasing numbers of patients, and a general feeling that they're being overwhelmed. I don't probably need to tell you how this affects the people using the hospital's services.