Open CRS

Open CRS locates and archives copies of reports from the Congressional Research Service, which are not available to the public. They aren't classified. They're just not published. It'd be better if these were openly published, but Open CRS is providing a great service by locating and indexing as many of these reports as possible.

For example, Treatment of 'Battlefield Detainees' in the War on Terrorism examines an issue near and dear to us here at the New Patriot.

Thanks to Kevin Drum for the link. He notes, "most of [the reports] run 5-10 pages, which makes them terrific introductions to complex issues....Highly recommended." Agreed.


Everywhere I go the last couple of days, people are dropping it in casual conversation: "Bush is going to be impeached." It must be the broadening disconnect between this administration's pep rallies and the reality of war in Iraq. It must be the broadening wingspan of troubling information.

1) The Downing Street Memo
  See also: downingstreetmemo.com and afterdowningstreet.org

2) The secret air war against Iraq in 2002

It's not terribly complicated. Evidence is mounting that Bush lied to the United States Congress and the American people about the basis for going to war, and indeed that he went to war 9 months early. Did Bush undermine or violate the War Powers Clause of the United States Constitution?

Sign the petition - demand hearings. Or what the heck, goall the way. Before going that route, consider (if you must) Christopher Hitchens' take.

Me? I don't necessarily think the Democrats should go off the deep end demanding impeachment. We need our government to be constructive and to serve us. We need priorities. One of those priorities should be investigating whether the fate of 1,741 men and women was sealed before we even had the debate. I demand accountability in our nation's leadership.

Spread the word. Email. Post. Talk. Debate. This is our democracy, after all.

Tag your posts! Technorati: impeach, Bush, accountability

Make art. Take pictures. Post your photos to Flickr and tag them.

Flip on your video camera right now and rant, or sigh, act or counteract. Post it on your blog. Or email me and I'll post it here. You have a voice - use it! Learn how to vlog or podcast. Come to Vloggercue Midwest and we'll do it hands-on style. Citizen media is powerful stuff folks - put some gas in the engine!



James Walcott:

Twas barely a few issues ago, and [NR editor Rich Lowry] was trumpeting loudly and unambiguously in a NR cover story on Iraq, "We're Winning."

The situation migrated south since then, and today he has an article on NRO hedging, "It's Winnable." So we were were definitely winning in Iraq a couple months ago, and now it's still possible to pull out a win, and presumably a month or two from now it'll be "There's Still an Outside Shot at Winning," and a few months after that it'll be "How We Could Have Won If All of My Previous Articles Had Panned Out."

Blogosphere Insider: Power Line

We don't spent much time on New Patriot saying nice things about our neighbors at Power Line. What with the gaping ideological divide. But they really are nice chaps. I thought I'd throw a couple trivia bits out there - and not because I'm sucking up to become a Live 8 backstage blogger. It's just for fun!

1) Both John Hinderaker and Scott Johnson love Curb Your Enthusiasm. Seriously. Love it. It's what diffused the pre-interview tension when I talked to them last year.

2) Mrs. Hinderaker likes checking Drudge first thing (no surprsise) - but she's also a HUGE fan of PBS Kids. Absolutely loves it, and their 3 lovely daughters have enjoyed plenty of family-safe PBS programming.

3) Their daughters? Totally have a sister blog. Pictures of horses and things. It's a big bowl of cute.

4) I figured they'd be all about PCs, but nope - Hinderaker has a cool iMac and burns home movie DVDs.

This has been Blogosphere Insider. Stay tuned next week for delightful tales of Joe Trippi's Pepsi and chewing tabacco habits.

Oh yeah -- I guess President Bush made a speech. I think it was a repeat, though.


Put out more flags Affix more magnetic ribbons

Also visit the new ribbonblog, groove upon some ribbon history, or gawk at the human ribbon.


Hey left-wing blogosphere...right-wing blogosphere... in-between-o-sphere and media-curious!

Join us July 9 for Vloggercue Midwest.

We'll play some selected videoblogs, show you how easy it is to set up your own, and announce a new Minnesota-themed daily videoblog. Oh yeah... we'll eat and drink and babble ot each other, too.

Geeky? Of course. Fun? Hell yeah. Educational? I'm afraid so - but mostly fun.

July 9, 2-6 PM | Downtown Minneapolis

Bring a camera, bring some beer - all the details are over here. Spread the word. Mitch and NARNies -- come on down after the show and have a beer. I'd love to see Minnesota political bloggers posting some video rants. Even more, I'd like to see y'all square off in a 3-minute debate on an issue every week. Let's talk.


Discouraging Savings

Interesting point from Nathan Newman:

Why don't Americans save?

Because we punish people for having assets.

Take long term care for the elderly. Many families exhaust their savings paying for it, making all the hard work of saving during their lifetime a waste as Medicaid takes over those costs. Some elderly get around this problem by giving away their assets to children so that the savings do not all disappear.

But given expanding Medicaid costs, the government is likely to make that harder.

But the core problem is obvious. We don't extend long term care to all citizens regardless of income. By only extending long term care to the penniless, we de facto create a disincentive to save.

The irony is that an edministration that promotes eliminating the estate tax for the very wealthy is supporting policies that will strip working class families of their remaining assets as their families sicken in their old age.

But then what else is new? Conservatives talk a good game, but whether it's their failure to eliminate the marriage penalty for the working poor (via the EITC) or this attack on the assets of working families via "Medicaid reform", the lesson is simple. It's all about helping the wealthy. Nothing more.


Fast Trains


New Japanese train to go 360 kph (223mph).

Let's imagine that it could realistically average 160mph.

Philadelphia to Pittsburgh: <1.5 hours
Boston to Washington: <3 hours
Los Angeles to San Francisco: 3 hours
Los Angeles to Phoenix: <3.5 hours

Well, you get the idea...


Minneapolis to Chicago: <3 hours
Minneapolis to Des Moines: 1.5 hours


Friday Flashback!

It must be in the national interests, it must be in our vital interests whether we ever send troops. The mission must be clear. Soldiers must understand why we're going. The force must be strong enough so that the mission can be accomplished. The exit strategy needs to be well-defined. I'm concerned that we're overdeployed around the world. See, I think the mission has become somewhat fuzzy."

— George W. Bush

Bush in 2000 [Quicktime, 8.6 MB]

Homeland Security, Reframed

Friday Catblogging

Guest blogging at Power Liberal, Cleversponge has some unorthodox catblogging going on...

Hookers and blow

Rx not so good

What's Tim Pawlenty going to do now? His good buddy President Bush is pressuring the Canadians to shut off the flow of affordable prescription drugs to Americans.

Reason #4981 why we need national, universal health care.


Ten Things I Hate About You

Chris Bowers at MyDD has a good list of things that he hates about the progressive side of the blogosphere.

Wow, just wow

Right-wingers have an amazing ability to construct their own reality from the whole cloth. Once a blogger has pronouced "doubts" about something, the story snowballs until everyone in the flog-o-sphere takes these "doubts" as the Gospel truth. This has happened many times, most notably with the Swift Boat Veterans for "Truth"...who turned out to be huge liars. But the "doubt" they shed on Senator Kerry's military record remains, to this day, a matter of faith among the wing nuts.

Case in point: Mitch Berg on the Downing Street Memos.

Exactly no one of any relevence believes these memos are fake. Not even Power Line, those heros of Rathergate, thinks they are fake. But all it took for Mitch was for one of his blog buddies to initimate that there was something fishy about those memos! After a couple of days of this meme rattling around the flog-o-sphere, it has become firmly entrenched in Mitch's mind. (Read RawStory's article Confirming the Downing Street documents for the evidence that the forgery crowd is full of it.)

Today he wrote, "all the other 'surprise documents' the left has trotted out that have fallen flat - the TANG and now Downing Street memos jump immediately to mind".

Whatever, Mitch.

Quickly! To the FreedomBlog!

Freedom Fighter

FreedomBlogTM playset sold separately.


Forced to torture

A profound letter to the editor from a veteran in today's Star Tribune:

Forced to engage in torture

Being a member of the Minnesota Republican Party, this is hard to write, but being a combat veteran requires me to. I would like to thank Sen. Dick Durbin for having the courage to stand up and demand that we close our prison in Guantanamo Bay.

Now that Colin Powell has left, there is no one in a leadership position in the Bush administration who has seen combat. If they had, they would realize the lifetime of psychological trauma that is inflicted on our troops when they are required to chain prisoners to the floor -- leaving them in that position so long that they urinate and defecate on themselves. FBI reports tell how some prisoners left in that way have pulled their own hair out.

Years from now, American Marines, who volunteered to defend our country, will still be going to counseling, trying to get rid of the guilt of knowing that they were forced to engage in torture.

James P. Glaser,
Northome, Minn.;
American Legion Post 499.

Mr. Glaser is correct: these people will be racked with guilt for what they've done if they have any soul at all. But it's worth remembering that not everyone has followed orders.

The unsung heros of Guantanamo Bay, Bagram, and Abu Gharib are the courageous whistle-blowers who report the abuse. The are true, patriotic Americans who see men chained to the ceiling, forced to defacate on themselves, urinated on, sexually abused, beaten...and know that it is not right. These brave men and women deserve our respect.



CallmemalcolmThis Friday, Minnesota Film Arts begins a two-week screening of Call Me Malcolm, the story of 27 year-old transgender seminary student Malcolm Himschoot's journey to find acceptance. Himschoot made news when he became America's first openly transgendered clergy at Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis. Now the hate-mongering wackos from Westboro Baptist Church are planning to picket this "satanic film" at this Saturday's 7PM and 9PM screenings, according to this flyer (PDF) from their website: www.godhatesfags.com. Adam from MN Film Arts says, "Please tell everyone you know about this screening.
Let's show support for an issue that shouldn't even really be one."


Torture is wrong

John Cole: "Are Durbin's remarks really that offensive? Do you honestly hear descriptions like that and think to yourself- 'Gee, American troops do that all the time.'"

Nope. Because like John Cole, I hold America to a higher standard than dictators, terrorists, or criminals.

Salon interviews Wes Clark

I'm still burned out from the last election, so it's way to early for me to start thinking about 2008. That said, I think it's pretty clear that Wes Clark is running. And I think he's a pretty attractive candidate (as I did in 2004, by the way). He's got an interview in Salon as part of their Life of the Party series that's worth a read.

And while you're over there, check out the redesigned Daou Report.

Sadly, No!

Sady, No! is one of the funniest blogs on the internet. It's a favorite of Atrios's, so I'd clicked through a few times here and there, but I wasn't a devoted fan until I read their review of Randian Amber Pawlik's recipe for veggie pizza (if this is how they eat in Galt's Gulch, count me out).

Brad R's recent post about Assrocket is too good not to copy wholesale:

Assrocket writes:

I called Senator Dick Durbin's office this morning at (202) 224-2152 and, after being on hold for a while, laid out the reasons why I think Durbin should resign from the Senate.

Well, I'm sure that was effective:

"Hi, yes, this is Mr. Hindrocket of Powerline Blog, Time Magazine's Blog of the Year. You may remember me as the guy who accused Jimmy Carter of treason and trashed Britain for not having the courage to face down Gandhi and his rabble back in the '40s. Oh, and I also think your entire party is engaged in an effort that really is a betrayal of America. At any rate, I'm calling to let you know that I think your boss is a traitor and should resign his post in the Senate. The reason is... ooop! Sorry, I just shit my pants! Ha, ha, ha! Mind giving me a coupla minutes to wipe up? Thanks."


Operation Yellow Elephant

Pissing Yellow ElephantIf you believe we are in a war between civilizations with our way of life at stake, don't you have a moral obligation to help fight in that war? And I don't mean in the 82nd Chairborne Division.

Jesus' General has a very patriotic campaign going to convince College Republicans to drop their studies in favor of the infantry our nation needs so badly in Iraq. It's called Operation Yellow Elephant.

The General is very patriotic (not French at all) and he know it's best to face weakness head-on. The overwhelming support of the College Republicans for the war is embarassing when compared to their unwillingness to fight.

You can help them save their dignity. Just add this to your blog template (via Goose The Blog):

<a href="http://patriotboy.blogspot.com/"><img src="http://home.comcast.net/%7Egoosetheblog/pics/yellophant.png" title="Operation Yellow Elephant" alt="Operation Yellow Elephant" /></a>

Operation Yellow Elephant


Just say no

I don't really know what it has to do with the story, but I liked the graphic for Salon's Just Say No article:

Power Line's America

I (heart) Torture

In Power Line's America this is acceptable treatment of prisoners:

On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food or water. Most times they urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for 18-24 hours or more. On one occasion, the air conditioning had been turned down so far and the temperature was so cold in the room, that the barefooted detainee was shaking with cold....On another occasion, the [air conditioner] had been turned off, making the temperature in the unventilated room well over 100 degrees. The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his hair out throughout the night. On another occasion, not only was the temperature unbearably hot, but extremely loud rap music was being played in the room, and had been since the day before, with the detainee chained hand and foot in the fetal position on the tile floor.

In my America, it's torture. Plain and simple.

Steve Gilliard asks Why does Power Line hate American soldiers?

We are better

Or, What the Right Doesn't Get.

Avedon Carol writes the most succinct refutation of the right's argument that criticism of the US is wrong because we're not as bad as the terrorists:

Calling people "terrorists" is already a criticism; it really isn't necessary to elaborate by saying that terrorists are engaging in activities that terrorize people.

The term "United States of America", however, is supposed to mean something else. If Mr. Hiatt prefers that we make direct comparisons between the two, we will have to start saying things like, "America's terrorists are not as bad as the Muslim terrorists." Then we can sit around and parse each terroristic act to see who is worse.


We are better than torture. Terrorists are scum; dictators are scum. We are better than them. We hold ourselves to a higher standard: NO TORTURE!

(Via Atrios)


The Christian Flag

Back in April, Chris noted the alarming "Christian pledge" recited at the Reclaiming America for Christ conference:

I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag, and to the Savior for whose kingdom it stands. One Savior, crucified, risen and coming again, with life and liberty for all who believe.

Scary stuff for those of us who believe, as the Constitution states, that this is a secular country that welcomes people of all faiths -- or none at all. Congress shall make no law establishing religion, and there shall be no religious tests for public office.

But I didn't realize that someone decided to make an actual Christian Flag.

Christian Flag

(Note: this is different than the universalist Christian flag, which stands for international Christianity and is used in many churches. The US Christian Flag is American-only.)

Marcia Thompson Eldreth says God told her to create this flag. Sadly, No! compares it to a certain other religious flag.

I thought the Dominionists at that conference were pledging allegiance to the US flag. If they were using this one, in a way, it is less freaky. Because Eldreth doesn't believe Old Glory is the Christian Flag.

White Guilt

Steve Gilliard on lynching: "Yes, my friend, this is 'white guilt' because, oddly enough, white people ARE FUCKING GUILTY. It was white people who dragged often innocent blacks, latinos and Asians to what they called a necktie party."

Nobody rants better than Steve.


I (heart) wind turbines

I'm trying to make a graphic that says "I (heart) wind turbines". Which one of these do you think is best?




Even Greenspan sees it

Rich-Poor Gap Gaining Attention

The Fed chief then added that the 80 percent of the workforce represented by nonsupervisory workers has recently seen little, if any, income growth at all. The top 20 percent of supervisory, salaried, and other workers has.

The result of this, said Greenspan, is that the US now has a significant divergence in the fortunes of different groups in its labor market. "As I've often said, this is not the type of thing which a democratic society - a capitalist democratic society - can really accept without addressing," Greenspan told the congressional hearing.

Note how he has to correct himself: not just a democratic society -- them's a dime a dozen, right? -- but a capitalist democratic society. Still if even that deeply partisan Ayn Rand disciple smells class warfare in the wind, we can safely say there's something horribly wrong with America's undemocratic state-sponsored capitalist economy (and, yeah, both the Democrats and Republicans can share the blame). Maybe it's time for me to finally scrounge up that $20 and join the Democratic Socialists of America.


What's my old senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) doing on this list of Senators who wouldn't appologize for lynching?

Shame on you, Senator Conrad.

He's the only Democrat who wouldn't co-sponsor. Guess which party the other senators are from?

Update: Conrad has now co-sponsored the resolution.

The Book of Hinderaker

In my last post, I wrote:

No amount of evidence (or lack of evidence) will ever convince [conservatives] they were wrong about Iraq. No civilian body count will ever convince them that it was wrong to overthrow a horrible, but stable, dictatorship that was not a threat to us. No level of abuse by US soldiers at Abu Ghraib, Bagran, or Guantanamo will ever convince them that we have lost the moral high ground. No recruiting failure will ever convince them that this war has lost its support. No terrorist attack anywhere in the world will be seen as a failure to combat Al Qaeda. No future civil war or theocratic regime in Iraq will ever be blamed on Bush's failed policy.

I owe this formulation to Legal Fiction's mind-blowingly hilarious parody, The Book of Hinderaker. A small sample:

And Bush said to Democratic Satan, “Have you seen my servant Hinderaker? There is none like him on earth – as Time Magazine astutely noted. He is a perfect and upright man, one that followeth Bush and escheweth Democratic evil.”

Democratic Satan answered Bush, “Of course he follows you. Why wouldn’t he? You just led a successful war in Iraq in name of fighting terrorism. He is merely supporting his country and his military – not you personally. I bet if the news got worse about Iraq, and if he thought you screwed things ups, he would curse you to your face.”

“No, no,” replied Bush, “he will stay with me through thick and thin. And I’ll prove it. I have so much confidence in my servant that I’ll grant you, Democratic Satan, the power to change any news about Iraq that you like. Whatever you want to do, you can do. And regardless of what you do, my good and loyal servant will remain faithful.”

Freedom Is $175B

Iraqi Freedom Isn't Free

My provocative post stirred up some mud among conservatives, with several calling me a racist.

They get off on feeling good about their foreign policy motives (apparently without checking the results). How strange that the liberals are the ones left arguing realpolitik these days. But, let's be honest here: Do you really think the American people would support a war solely to liberate an oppressed people?

If so, what's wrong with illustrating that with an Iraqi flag?

But we don't have to ask questions like that. We know the answer. Now that the Iraqi debacle has been washed of its pretenses, and all we are left with is American soldiers and Marines dying every day, and car bombs shattering the illusion of an emerging democracy, support for this war is dropping to Vietnam-esque levels.

The right wingers like to pretend that they're noble liberators, but that's not how this war was sold, and now that that's the only justification left, America wants a refund. As a nation, we're not so much into the nation building/empire thing. This frustrates the left and the right. I'd like to see real action on the genocide in Sudan, and Afghanistan needs much more help than it's getting. And then there's the issue of promoting democracy among our allies, like Pakistan and Uzbekistan. But it seems we're otherwise occupied.

Mitch Berg "fisks" me at his blog. Skipping over the boring preamble, let's get into the heart of the matter.

Dunno how old Luke Francl was in 1975. Me? I was 12, but paid lots of attention to the news. It didn't take a 12 year old rocket scientist to see what "peace" with "honor" led to; millions of dead, inconvenient yellow people. "Peace with honor" was a slogan, adopted because it played in Peoria better than "flight with genocide". It's a genocide - really several genocides, in Cambodia and the Central Highlands and Laos - that the left admits existed only in the most sterile, clinical possible terms to this very day.

"Peace with honor" was a myth, and I don't actually think we'll find it in Iraq. I just wish we could. We don't have any good options left in Iraq. In fact, I think the best case scenario at this point is a nice, stable quasi-democratic Islamic theocracy a la Iran, after an embarrassing US withdrawal, which conservatives like Berg will try to blame on folks like me who never wanted to kick the hornet's nest in the first place. The more likely scenario is a three-way civil war and a lawless haven for international terrorists.

"containment" is a meaningless concept when it comes to terror

But not for state actors, like Saddam.

the ties with Quaeda are murky (go figure - terrorists and all)

Murky? I can't believe the war hawks' standard of proof is "you can't prove a negative." Show me one solid --or, hell, "murky" -- piece of evidence for a Saddam/Al Qaeda connection that hasn't been totally discredited (this includes Laurie Mylroie conspiracy theories, impossible meetings in Prague, and Al Zarqarwi operating out of Kurdistan). Wait. Don't show me. FedEx this heretofore unknown evidence directly to George W. Bush. Evidence that he wasn't lying through his teeth about Iraq should help him shore up his poll numbers.

every significant government in the world believed he had WMD including the nations that supplied him with their precursors

Weapons inspectors (backed up with the threat of force and/or air strikes) would have sufficed to learn the truth. And as a matter of fact, Hans Blix did learn the truth.

Couldn't leave "well enough" alone - where "well enough" equalled mass murder, children's prisons, rape camps, plastic shredders, hands pounded with hammers, tongues cut out...

In case Mitch didn't notice, when Bush bumbled into Baghdad, we were in the middle of a war. A war against Al Qaeda. Bush did his damnedest to make Iraq seem like part of that war, but it wasn't. It was no different than all the other tin-pot dictatorships all around the world that we have not found it in our national interest to occupy. Like Uzbekistan, where the US and Russia just blocked an inquiry into the shooting of hundreds of protesters.

Conservatives combine a toxic mixture of historical blindness and unlimited faith in their leaders. Mitch and his pals at Power Line show this to a fault. No amount of evidence (or lack of evidence) will ever convince them they were wrong about Iraq. No civilian body count will ever convince them that it was wrong to overthrow a horrible, but stable, dictatorship that was not a threat to us. No level of abuse by US soldiers at Abu Ghraib, Bagran, or Guantanamo will ever convince them that we have lost the moral high ground. No recruiting failure will ever convince them that this war has lost its support. No terrorist attack anywhere in the world will be seen as a failure to combat Al Qaeda. No future civil war or theocratic regime in Iraq will ever be blamed on Bush's failed policy.

No, they'll blame liberals. Because we didn't clap hard enough.

P.S.: Mitch does say one thing I agree with: "Freedom isn't free. It's also not always convenient, clear-cut or painless." Trouble is, our leaders haven't made this clear. If we're going to win in Iraq, sacrifices will need to be made. But Bush has never asked for sacrifice. He asked us to go shopping. Now it's too late. God bless our troops who are over there risking their lives, but they aren't enough. Who's going to make the sacrifice for Iraqi freedom? That was my entire point.


Unfit to Save

Marshall Wittmann: "The ugly truth is that if Jesus of Nazareth himself returned and dared to run on the Democratic line the righteous right would tar him as a bleeding heart vagabond who couldn't hold a job and that he needed a shave. No doubt a Galilee Fishingboat Veterans for Truth outfit would call into question Jesus' miracle claims - financed with lavish funding from Rove's buddies in Texas and maximum exposure on Fox News. Just imagine the book - 'Unfit to Save'."

-- Mad Magazine

Freedom Isn't Free

On Saturday, a couple parked their pickup truck in front of my house. It had a prominent "Freedom Isn't Free" decal with an American flag on the back window. This is an interesting slogan, and it got me thinking. It exploits the dual meaning of "free" in English: free, as in liberty; and free, as in price. (This dual meaning has given the Free Software Foundation no end of trouble.) In this era of bumper-sticker politics, this one happens to have quite a bit of truth to it. As Thomas Jefferson said, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

However, the more immediate meaning of this bumper sticker is support for the war in Iraq. And that is where I part company with the people who display it. Now that we are bogged down there, I wish every day for a quick and graceful exit. "Peace with honor" is imbued with negative connotations of Vietnam, but that's what I hope for.

There is now little question that Iraq posed no threat to the United States. We had Saddam contained; he had no ties to Al Qaeda; and he had no weapons of mass destruction. Thousands of people who would today be alive have died because the Bush administration couldn't leave well enough alone; and that being so, still failed to plan adequately for the aftermath. We are suffering the consequences to this day, and we will continue to suffer them for many years to come.

If Saddam was no threat, there was no need to pay for our freedom from him. People are paying, though. But for whose freedom?

Maybe, I thought, this sticker would be more appropriate.

Iraqi Freedom Isn't Free

To get rich is glorious

Microsoft bans 'democracy' for China web users

Attempts to input words in Chinese such as "democracy" prompted an error message from the site: "This item contains forbidden speech. Please delete the forbidden speech from this item." Other phrases banned included the Chinese for "demonstration", "democratic movement" and "Taiwan independence".

It was possible to enter such words within blogs created using MSN Spaces, but the move to block them from the more visible section of the site highlights the willingness of some foreign internet companies to tailor their services to avoid upseting China's Communist government.

Note that this article is published on an MSN news site, so therefore its frankness is probably more valid than usual, even though the headline (reproduced above) is sub-Hearst in its yellow pisschrome. However, the newsflash is revealing in that it underscores how unfettered markets have no concern whatsoever with spreading democracy. A major American company will eagerly kowtow even to the most repressive crypto-communist nationalist regimes -- and broadcast its own humiliation in the blogosphere -- so long as there is profit to be extracted.

Well. Let's not forget that it was a septuagenarian Chinese communist, Deng Xiaoping, who uttered these most eternal of free-market maxims: "To get rich is glorious", and, more importantly, "Let some people become rich before others." Now what the hell does that have to do with 'democracy'?


Westboro Baptist Church "Love" Crusade Tonight!

"Reverend" Fred Phelps' merry band of nutballs are scheduled to picket the Eden Prairie High School graduation tonight at 7pm at Northrop Auditorium. In their words it's a "fag-infested" ceremony. Oh joy. You've just got to love how these losers spread God's love. Ugh.


Read me that quote again

Paul Wolfowitz been President of the World Bank for a week now, so what better way to celebrate our confidence in that venerable poverty-alleviating institution than to excerpt from this interview:

"You were one of those who was most emphatic prior to going into Iraq that Saddam had stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction."

"I don't think so."

"I can quote you."


I read him a line from an op-ed article under his byline in the British newspaper The Independent for January 30, 2003: "There is incontrovertible evidence that the Iraqi regime still possesses such weapons." Wolfowitz had spoken in the same terms on numerous occasions.

"'Incontrovertible evidence' is a pretty strong way of putting it," I said. "How did you feel when you found out they didn't have such weapons?"

"Well, I don't think they don't," he said. "You say it turned out they didn't. By the way, read me the quote again."

I did so. Wolfowitz said he needed to go back and review his prior statements.

"But clearly you believed they had stockpiles of such weapons?"

"You are putting the word 'stockpiles' in," he said.

He was right: "stockpiles" was my word.

Hard to say whether Wolfowitz is a liar, or a sinister believer bred in a world of lies. In either case I wouldn't hire him to replace urinal cakes at the World Bank lavatories. OK maybe I would. [via Catch and Hullabaloo ]


Bitter much?

DNC chair candidate Donnie Fowler blames the Swing State Project's Bob Brigham for ruining his run for chair by pointing out Fowler's post-and-run blogging habits. I guess he's still a little bitter, because when Brigham tried to introduce himself at an event in San Francisco, Fowler called him an "asshole" several times, then tried to punch him!


The bat is back

When Governor Dean took over the DNC, it was only a matter of time until his famous fundraising meter "the bat" made a comeback.

The bat is back.

50 state strategy bat

The Democratic Party's raising $500,000 to put grassroots organizers in 50 states, starting with the red ones. Throw in some scratch to help field organizers in Wyoming, Nevada, Nebraska, Mississippi, and Kansas.

If we want to govern the nation, we can't be an 18 state party.

State Senator Steve Kelley throws his hat in for governor

My State Senator, Steve Kelley has announced his candidacy for governor and has made it clear that education will be a big part of his campaign. And though he may be up against Mike Hatch and Dean Johnson, he says he won't run in the primary if he doesn't receive the DFL Party's endorsement. I've been fairly pleased with his voting record as my Senator, and it'll be interesting to see how this pans out.


Citizen Media/BBQ

A few don't-miss events on June 4:

  1. Citizen Media Fair at Hamine University. I'm looking forward to seeing PowerLine's Scott Johnson duke it out with the Strib and Rob Levine from Cursor.org. Oh, I'm on a panel too.
  2. Greater Midwest Podcaster Gathering
  3. Chuck's Birthday BBQ - patriots of all stripes welcome and encouraged! It'll be going late.