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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Cutting in Twain

“Aw, the heck with it. I’m taking the easy way out today and just quoting some oldies but goodies from one of America’s finest humorists (and no, that wasn’t a subtle dig at Dubya).”

“If Christ were here now, there is one thing he would not be - a Christian.”
-Mark Twain

“Suppose . . . burglars had made entry into this . . . [library]. Picture them seated here on this floor, pouring the light of their dark-lanterns over some books they found, and thus absorbing moral truths and getting moral uplift. The whole course of their lives would have been changed. As it was, they kept straight on in their immoral way and were sent to jail. For all I know, they may next be sent to Congress.”
-Mark Twain

“There is no distinctly American criminal class - except Congress.”
-Mark Twain

“Hain't we got all the fools in town on our side? And hain't that a big enough majority in any town?”
-Mark Twain

“I don't like to commit myself about heaven and hell - you see, I have friends in both places.”
-Mark Twain

“The trouble isn't that there are too many fools, but that the lightning isn't distributed right.”
-Mark Twain

“I refused to attend his funeral. But I wrote a very nice letter explaining that I approved of it.”
-Mark Twain

“She was not quite what you would call refined. She was not quite what you would call unrefined. She was the kind of person that keeps a parrot.”
-Mark Twain

“After all these years I see that I was mistaken about Eve in the beginning; it is better to live outside the Garden with her than inside it without her.”
-Mark Twain

“My first American ancestor, gentlemen, was an Indian-an early Indian. Your ancestors skinned him alive, and I am an orphan. All those Salem witches were ancestors of mine. Your people made it tropical for them. . . . The first slave brought into New England out of Africa was an ancestor of mine-for I am a mixed breed, an infinitely shaded and exquisite Mongrel.”
-Mark Twain

“My books are water; those of the great geniuses are wine. (Fortunately) Everybody drinks water.”
-Mark Twain

Monday, January 30, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Dick and Dubya

"When he says he's going to hurt the American people again, or try to, he means it. I take it seriously, and the people of NSA take it seriously."
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, January 25, 2006

“You know, if you’d taken it seriously back on August 6, 2001, back when you received the Presidential Daily Briefing that said ‘Bin Ladin determined to strike in US’ then this might not have been such a big deal. Odd that you didn’t care about him then, but started caring after 9/11. It didn’t last long though.”

“I truly am not that concerned about him [Bin Laden].”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, March 12, 2002

“The phrase ‘out of sight, out of mind’ comes to mind. If Osama isn’t in the news then Bush really doesn’t care. No, Bush is too busy trying to consolidate Presidential power to care much about ‘we the people’. At least our last President who truly abused presidential power was up front about it.”

“Well, when the president does it that means that it is not illegal.”
-Richard M. Nixon, interview with David Frost, May 19, 1977

“Actually Nixon sounds an awful lot like Dubya much of the time.”

“If the president, for example, approves something because of the national security, or in this case because of a threat to internal peace and order of significant magnitude, then the president's decision in that instance is one that enables those who carry it out, to carry it out without violating a law. Otherwise they're in an impossible position.”
-Richard M. Nixon, interview with David Frost, May 19, 1977

“There's nothing specific that the Constitution contemplates in that respect. I haven't read every word, every jot and every title, but I do know this: That it has been, however, argued that as far as a president is concerned, that in war time, a president does have certain extraordinary powers which would make acts that would otherwise be unlawful, lawful if undertaken for the purpose of preserving the nation and the Constitution, which is essential for the rights we're all talking about.”
-Richard M. Nixon, interview with David Frost, May 19, 1977

“And, as we know, that Presidency didn’t work out so well..”

“I have earned every cent. And in all of my years of public life I have never obstructed justice. People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook. I've earned everything I've got."
-Richard M. Nixon, November 18, 1973

“The public didn’t buy it then because the media actually followed the story. We can’t tell if they’ll follow it this time yet, but the conclusion, in a country operated under the rule of law, should be the same.”

“On Saturday, July 27, the House Judiciary Committee approved its first article of impeachment charging President Nixon with obstruction of justice. Six of the Committee's 17 Republicans joined all 21 Democrats in voting for the article. The following Monday the Committee approved its second article charging Nixon with abuse of power. The next day, the third and final article, contempt of Congress, was approved.”

Friday, January 27, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Slipping in Some More Santorum

“Ok, I know that I’ve focused recently on the President, but I don’t want you to think that he’s the only one in Washington that issues with the truth. Here’s a few doozies from Sen. Rick Santorum. First I just want to make sure that you all remember who Little Ricky is. He’s the guy who said these choice little tidbits..”

"If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual (gay) sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything,"
-Senator Rick Santorum, April 2003

"In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be."
-Senator Rick Santorum, April 2003

“He then followed that up by trying to say that he really didn’t mean what he said.”

“Again, my discussion with the Associated Press was about the Supreme Court privacy case, the constitutional right to privacy in general, and in context of the impact on the family. I am a firm believer that all are equal under the Constitution. My comments should not be misconstrued in any way as a statement on individual lifestyles.”
-Senator Rick Santorum, (R) Penn, April 22, 2003

“He went on to conflate the gay marriage issue with terrorism.”

"I would argue that the future of our country hangs in the balance because the future of marriage hangs in the balance. Isn't that the ultimate homeland security, standing up and defending marriage?"
-Senator Rick Santorum, July 14, 2004

“Then last year he was looking for ways to punish those who were forced to endure Hurricane Katrina.”

"You have people who don't heed those warnings and then put people at risk as a result of not heeding those warnings. There may be a need to look at tougher penalties on those who decide to ride it out and understand that there are consequences to not leaving."
-Senator Rick Santorum, September 5, 2005

“Meanwhile, back at the ranch..”

"The $10 million we have secured is critical to ensure that the people of northeastern Pennsylvania will never lose their homes again due to devastating floods. The floods in 1996 and Hurricane Agnes in 1972 have forced the people of the Wyoming Valley to rebuild their lives, homes and families not once but twice. The funding to build new levees and floodwalls, modify closure structures and relocate utilities offers reassurance to the people of the Wyoming Valley that they will never again have to endure the hardship of flood devastation."
-Senator Rick Santorum, Press Release, July 17, 2003

“Which finally brings us up to this week. It seems that Sen. Santorum has been one of the people running the ‘K-Street Project’ devised by Tom DeLay. The project is a way that the Republican leadership has been trying to exclusively tie lobbyists to the Republican party by refusing to grant them access if they hire Democrats. Little Ricky seems a bit.. tense.. over being associated with it now.”

“As Republican Conference chairman, Santorum was in position to orchestrate the GOP’s domination of K Street. At his side from the start, at least two reports state, was Abramoff, who attended the first meeting Santorum hosted.

Both The National Journal, in May 2001, and Roll Call, in March 2001, reported Abramoff was among a group of K Street power brokers invited to meet with Santorum and other lawmakers that March.
Both reports described it, and subsequent meetings, as an informational dialogue about policy and legislative initiatives that included talk about job placement for Republican loyalists. The National Journal report quotes one Santorum aide as saying the meetings are meant ‘to develop relationships with folks downtown who generally share our objectives legislatively and who can help us communicate our issues.’”
-Lebanon (PA) Daily News, January 14, 2006

“With Democrats comparing his ties to lobbyists with ‘organized crime,’ Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., yesterday swung back, saying the Democratic criticism amounted to libel and unequivocally denying that he helped shape the GOP's controversial ‘K Street Project.’
Since he became the Senate's third-ranking Republican in 2001, Mr. Santorum has held weekly meetings with top Republican lobbyists at which he discusses, among other matters, job openings at Washington lobbying firms.
But, in interviews with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, he has said those discussions -- which he previously referred to as ‘the K Street meetings’ -- are merely to ensure Republicans are putting forward good candidates for the jobs.
Mr. Santorum flatly denied yesterday that the meetings were an integral part of the ‘K Street Project.’
Though publications such as The Washington Post, Roll Call and Washington Monthly have all reported that Mr. Santorum's meetings were a central part of Mr. Norquist's ‘K Street Project’ strategy, Mr. Santorum said yesterday that his meetings were a separate initiative.
-Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 26, 2006

“Mr. Santorum, do you know Grover Norquist?”

‘I didn't even know what Grover Norquist was up to,’ Mr. Santorum said last night. ‘Why would I object to something that I thought was a description of our coalition's outreach, which we do to a whole variety of different groups.’"
-Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 26, 2006

''I had absolutely nothing to do — never met, never talked, never coordinated, never did anything — with Grover Norquist and the quote K Street Project,''
-Senator Rick Santorum, January 25, 2006

“Really? Remember, you will deny Grover Norquist one more time before the cock crows..”

“AMERICAblog's spies on the Hill tell us that at 4:34pm Eastern today (gotta love their precision) Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) ‘totally blew his top, totally lost control’ while getting off the underground train that connects the US Capitol building and the Dirksen Senate Office Builing.

It seems a reporter approached Santorum just as he got off the train and asked Santorum something to the effect of: ‘Can you tell me about the 'K Street Project?’
Santorum's response?
He started screaming, according to our source. ‘It's just a meeting!’, Santorum reportedly yelled (again, in public, right near the Senate cafeteria where lots of folks are gathered). ‘What Harry Reid said Wednesday [when he announed the Democrats' ethics reform package] is a total lie!’"
-AMERICAblog, January 25, 2006

“Odd.. It certainly seems like you had something to do with it.. I don’t recall you denying it when these news reports came out.”

“Grover Norquist, a conservative activist, has appeared before the group and sought help with an effort to push lobbying firms and trade associations to hire more Republicans.
The so-called K-Street Project got the attention of the Senate Ethics Committee, which is concerned that the project could be used to deny access to Democrats.
‘He [Santorum] has gotten me in to talk to all those guys,’ Norquist said.”
-Philadelphia Enquirer, August 12, 2002

“Come on Ricky.. Give us a Quote to go out on..”

“One of my political heroes, the eighteenth-century British statesman William Wilberforce, argued that hypocrisy can often be a social good.”
-Rick Santorum, It Takes a Family

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: American Justice (tm)

“Expressing doubt that incarceration would make the defendant reform or repent, a federal judge nevertheless sentenced an antiwar campaigner on Monday to serve six months in prison for his role in damaging a military recruiting center during a protest in 2003.
‘You have obvious contempt for the laws of the U.S., and it bothers me,’ the judge, Thomas McAvoy of United States District Court, told the protester, Daniel J. Burns.”
-New York Times, January 24, 2006

“A military jury ordered a reprimand but no jail time Monday for an Army interrogator convicted of negligent homicide in the death of an Iraqi general who died after he stuffed him headfirst into a sleeping bag and sat on his chest.”
-Associated Press, January 24, 2006

“But enough of that. We know by now that protesters are held to a higher standard than those actually armed with guns. Let’s talk a little about the wiretapping again.”

“..to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to modify the standard of proof for issuance of orders regarding non-United States persons from probable cause to reasonable suspicion..”
-Bill S.2659, Submitted by Senator Mike DeWine, June 2002

“You see, the bill wanted to lower the standard of proof, and what was the response from the Executive branch of the government (you know, the one that Dubya runs)?”

“The Department of Justice has been studying Sen. DeWine's proposed legislation. Because the proposed change raises both significant legal and practical issues, the Administration at this time is not prepared to support it.”
-James A. Baker, Justice Department lawyer overseeing the DoJ's Office of Intelligence Policy and Review, July 31, 2002

“See? The administration said that they didn’t want Senate permission to do exactly the thing that Dubya was already doing because of the significant legal and practical issues. I guess forbidden fruit just tastes better. Not only did they say that they didn’t want it, they also said that they didn’t need it, due to the PATRIOT Act and its increased 72 hour wiretap request window that it had made for FISA warrants. “

“The reforms in those measures (the PATRIOT Act) have affected every single application made by the Department for electronic surveillance or physical search of suspected terrorists and have enabled the government to become quicker, more flexible, and more focused in going ‘up’ on those suspected terrorists in the United States.

One simple but important change that Congress made was to lengthen the time period for us to bring to court applications in support of Attorney General-authorized emergency FISAs. This modification has allowed us to make full and effective use of FISA's pre-existing emergency provisions to ensure that the government acts swiftly to respond to terrorist threats. Again, we are grateful for the tools Congress provided us last fall for the fight against terrorism. Thank you.”
-James A. Baker, Justice Department lawyer overseeing the DoJ's Office of Intelligence Policy and Review, July 31, 2002

“Why does this matter? Because the reason that General Hayden gave the other day for why they had to circumvent FISA was that the level of standard of proof was too high.”

“Gen. Michael V. Hayden, who led the National Security Agency when it began a program of warrantless wiretaps, vigorously defended the program today, but acknowledged that it depends on a lower standard of evidence than required by courts.
‘The trigger is quicker and a bit softer,’ said General Hayden, an Air Force officer who is now the principal deputy director of the new national intelligence agency.
The standard laid out by General Hayden - a ‘reasonable basis to believe’ - is lower than ‘probably cause,’ the standard used by the special court created by Congress to handle surveillance involving foreign intelligence.
Mr. Hayden said that warrantless searches were conducted when one of a ‘handful’ of senior officers at the security agency determined that there was a ‘reasonable belief’ that one party to a call between someone in America and someone overseas had a link to Al Qaeda.”
-New York Times, January 23, 2006

“Many thanks go out to Glenn Greenwald, the blogger who first broke the S.2659 story.”

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Paris in the Wintertime

“Oh I know that these are old, but I just found them and they are hilarious. It is a shame that Laura Bush is around, because I think in Paris Dubya might have found an intellectual equal.”

"I meet so many people. I don't even know some of my friends' names."
-Paris Hilton, November 9, 2005

"I would never say stalking. I'm not a dude. Like, I think a girl can only stalk a guy. She can't really stalk another girl."
-Paris Hilton, November 9, 2005

"I was in Europe for the whole summer, and all there is is, like, French - I didn't see anything because I wasn't in America."
-Paris Hilton, November 9, 2005

"Whatever I write in e-mail, it doesn't mean anything. It is just words I write."
-Paris Hilton, November 9, 2005

“How very zen of you.”

"[I told her (Zeta Graff)] she is old and should stay at home with her child instead of being at nightclubs with young people. And just that - I just . . . What else did I say? Just that she is not cute at all."
-Paris Hilton, November 9, 2005

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Quotes of the Morning Supplimental: Still Hayden It

“Dang, I hate it when I send out the Quotes before I see a really good one. Apparently General Hayden has seen the Constitution. He just hasn’t read it yet.”

“QUESTION: Jonathan Landay with Knight Ridder. I'd like to stay on the same issue, and that had to do with the standard by which you use to target your wiretaps. I'm no lawyer, but my understanding is that the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution specifies that you must have probable cause to be able to do a search that does not violate an American's right against unlawful searches and seizures. Do you use --

GEN. HAYDEN: No, actually -- the Fourth Amendment actually protects all of us against unreasonable search and seizure.
QUESTION: But the --
GEN. HAYDEN: That's what it says.
QUESTION: But the measure is probable cause, I believe.
GEN. HAYDEN: The amendment says unreasonable search and seizure.
QUESTION: But does it not say probable --
GEN. HAYDEN: No. The amendment says --
QUESTION: The court standard, the legal standard --
GEN. HAYDEN: -- unreasonable search and seizure.
QUESTION: The legal standard is probable cause, General. You used the terms just a few minutes ago, ‘We reasonably believe.’ And a FISA court, my understanding is, would not give you a warrant if you went before them and say ‘we reasonably believe’; you have to go to the FISA court, or the attorney general has to go to the FISA court and say, ‘we have probable cause.’
And so what many people believe -- and I'd like you to respond to this -- is that what you've actually done is crafted a detour around the FISA court by creating a new standard of ‘reasonably believe’ in place of probable cause because the FISA court will not give you a warrant based on reasonable belief, you have to show probable cause. Could you respond to that, please?
GEN. HAYDEN: Sure. I didn't craft the authorization. I am responding to a lawful order. All right? The attorney general has averred to the lawfulness of the order.
Just to be very clear -- and believe me, if there's any amendment to the Constitution that employees of the National Security Agency are familiar with, it's the Fourth. And it is a reasonableness standard in the Fourth Amendment. And so what you've raised to me -- and I'm not a lawyer, and don't want to become one -- what you've raised to me is, in terms of quoting the Fourth Amendment, is an issue of the Constitution. The constitutional standard is ‘reasonable.’ And we believe -- I am convinced that we are lawful because what it is we're doing is reasonable.”
-Press Conference with General Michael Hayden, January 23, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Hayden It

"’This isn't a drift net out there where we're soaking up everyone's communications,’ said Hayden, who is now principal deputy to U.S. intelligence chief John Negroponte.
‘This is hot pursuit of communications entering or leaving America involving someone we believe is associated with al-Qaida,’ he said in remarks delivered at the National Press Club.”
-MSNBC, January 23, 2005

“But if this is a limited program, not a drift net, then why couldn’t we have gone to all the trouble of getting the warrants? I mean, the government is allowed to spy on citizens. They just need to get a warrant from the FISA court for that. Heck, they could even do it a few days after they started spying. Why wouldn’t they go through the courts?”

“Gen. Michael V. Hayden, who led the National Security Agency when it began a program of warrantless wiretaps, vigorously defended the program today, but acknowledged that it depends on a lower standard of evidence than required by courts.
‘The trigger is quicker and a bit softer,’ said General Hayden, an Air Force officer who is now the principal deputy director of the new national intelligence agency.
The standard laid out by General Hayden - a ‘reasonable basis to believe’ - is lower than ‘probably cause,’ the standard used by the special court created by Congress to handle surveillance involving foreign intelligence.
Mr. Hayden said that warrantless searches were conducted when one of a ‘handful’ of senior officers at the security agency determined that there was a ‘reasonable belief’ that one party to a call between someone in America and someone overseas had a link to Al Qaeda.”
-New York Times, January 23, 2006

“You know, I’d feel a bit safer if the General realized that the standard for the special court (FISA) was ‘probable cause’ rather than ‘probably cause’ because then he might recall why the standard was set at ‘probable cause’. Here’s a hint: It has to do with one of those 200+ year old legal documents that we’re always going on about..”

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
-United States Constitution, Fourth Amendment

“Had this program been in effect prior to 9/11, it is my professional judgment that we would have detected some of the al-Qaida operatives in the United States.”
-General Michael Hayden, former NSA head, January 23, 2005

“Hmm.. Two things. One: How? What exactly could we have done differently that would have detected them? I mean above and beyond what a FISA warrant would have allowed had they actually tried to get one? Two: Is he honestly saying that we could have protected ourselves by ignoring the Constitution? Didn’t he have to give some kind of oath sometime (being a military man and such) to uphold the freaking Constitution? Shouldn’t that matter somewhere? Good Lord, the arrogance of these people.”

Monday, January 23, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: The Disease of Conceit

“Troops and civilians at a U.S. military base in Iraq were exposed to contaminated water last year and employees for the responsible contractor, Halliburton, couldn’t get their company to inform camp residents, according to interviews and internal company documents.
Halliburton, the company formerly headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, disputes the allegations about water problems at Camp Junction City, in Ramadi, even though they were made by its own employees and documented in company e-mails.”
-Associated Press, January 22, 2005

“Um.. ew. I’m sure though that, even though a little contaminated, the water was probably safer than making the troops use other available sources. I mean, according to health organizations the rivers are disgusting. When you think of the fact that plumbing isn’t working in large swaths of the country, well, the rivers (which many Iraqi’s are being forced to use water from for both drinking and sewage removal) are tending to get a little nasty.”

“The first memo on the problem — written by Carter to Halliburton officials on March 24, 2005 — was an ‘incident report’ from tests Carter performed the previous day.
‘It is my opinion that the water source is without question contaminated with numerous micro-organisms, including Coliform bacteria,’ Carter wrote. ‘There is little doubt that raw sewage is routinely dumped upstream of intake much less than the required 2 mile distance.
‘Therefore, it is my conclusion that chlorination of our water tanks while certainly beneficial is not sufficient protection from parasitic exposure.’”
-Associated Press, January 22, 2005

“’The level of contamination was roughly 2x the normal contamination of untreated water from the Euphrates River,’ Granger wrote in one of several documents. The Associated Press obtained the documents from Senate Democrats who are holding a public inquiry into the allegations Monday.”
-Associated Press, January 22, 2005

“I would like to restate for the record… ew. Apparently a number of soldier received some pretty bad diarrhea from the contaminates. One quick question though. Why is it that only Senate Democrats holding an inquiry? The company was allowing our troops to use water with poo in it. Shouldn’t the support-our-troops Republicans be outraged over this? I mean, even if it is Halliburton?”

“There's a whole lot of people suffering tonight from the disease of conceit

Whole lot of people struggling tonight from the disease of conceit
Comes right down the highway straight down the line
Rips into your senses through your body and your mind
Nothing about it that's sweet
The disease of conceit.”
-Bob Dylan, “Disease of Conceit”

Friday, January 20, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Things are Tough All Over

“Q: He [Osama bin Ladin] seemed to be offering a conditional truce under fair conditions, and seemed to be tying it to a U.S. pullout from Iraq.
McCLELLAN: And as I indicated, clearly, the al Qaeda leaders and the terrorists are on the run. They're under a lot of pressure. We do not negotiate with terrorists. We put them out of business.”
-Press Gaggle with White House Spokesman Scott McClellan, January 19, 2006

“Though Osama still seems to be open for business five years after the most devastating attack on U.S. soil since Sherman marched on Atlanta. We don’t seem to be very good at catching him. We really need to get our best minds on this one. Put Fearless Leader on the case.”

“One of the reasons why the uninsured is going up because the cost is going up.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, January 19, 2006

“Its that kind of incisive deduction that will help us bring peace to the Middle East and win the War on Terra.”

“See, one of the problems we've had that shows - what we found out in New Orleans there's not - there wasn't a lot of - we take - some things we take for granted like the generations passing assets from one generation to the next just didn't happen in the African American community, and should.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, January 19, 2006

“Some of them didn’t even get an oil well for their birthday and Daddy never bought them a governorship or a baseball team. Tragic really. Small businesses are the lifeblood of America, and Dubya’s business experience has given him a keen understanding of the hardworking business owner..”

“If you're a restaurant owner in here Loudoun County and a restaurant owner in Crawford - I think there are a couple of restaurants here. If not, there will be. No, there is a good one, The Coffee Shop - I mean, Coffee Station, excuse me.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, January 19, 2006

“Things are tough all over though. Even in Washington, thanks to the Abramoff scandal, things are getting tight for people. They are looking at revising the ethics rules to keep lobbyists from buying politicians gifts. It is really hurting some hard-working people.”

"Now we're going to say you can't have a meal for more than 20 bucks. Where are you going, to McDonald's?"
-Trent Lott, reported in the New York Times, January 19, 2005

“No, actually Trent you can eat anywhere you want to. You’ll still be allowed to have your lobster and steak while dining with lobbyists. It’s just that now you’ll be forced to pay for it.”

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Dude, I Lost Syria

“Q: There are allegations that we sent people to Syria to be tortured…
McCLELLAN: To Syria?
Q: Yes. You’ve never heard of any allegations like that?
McCLELLAN: No, I’ve never heard that one. That’s a new one.
Q: Syria? You haven’t heard that?
McCLELLAN: That’s a new one.
Q: Well, I can assure you it’s been well publicized. My question is…
McCLELLAN: By what, bloggers?”
-Press Gaggle with Scott McClellan, January 18, 2006

“Well, yes. The bloggers have been talking about it. So has the Washington Post.”

“A Canadian citizen who was detained last year at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York as a suspected terrorist said Tuesday he was secretly deported to Syria and endured 10 months of torture in a Syrian prison.”
-Washington Post (front page), November 5, 2003

“And the Associated Press…”

“Arar, 35, holds dual Syrian-Canadian citizenship and was traveling on a Canadian passport when he was stopped in New York during a stopover while returning to Canada from Tunisia. He was held for 12 days before being sent to Syria on suspicion of being a member of al-Qaida, an allegation he denies.

Arar maintains that once imprisoned in Damascus, he was tortured into making false confessions of terrorist activity. Arar said he was held for more than a year in a dark, damp cell, then was released without ever being charged.
The U.S. Justice Department has insisted that it had information linking Arar to al-Qaida, that Syria promised he would be treated humanely and that shipping him there was ‘in the best interest of the security of the United States.’ Syria has denied he was tortured.”
-Associated Press, June 19, 2005

“And there were little groups like the New York Times and New Yorker Magazine that got in on the action too.. Kind of remarkable that Scotty didn’t remember that happening, especially when he’s been asked this kind of question before..”

“Q Has the President ever issued an order against torture of prisoners? And do we still send prisoners to Syria to be tortured?
McCLELLAN: The President has stated publicly that we do not condone torture and that he would never authorize the use of torture. He has made that –
Q But has he issued an order?
MR. McCLELLAN: — statement very publicly, and he’s made it clear to everybody in the government that we do not torture.
Q Well, why do we still hear these stories then?
MR. McCLELLAN: If there are allegations of wrongdoing, then the President expects those allegations to be fully investigated and if there is actual wrongdoing that occurs, then people need to be held to account. The President has made that very clear.”
-Press Gaggle with Scott McClellan, February 28, 2005

“I know that the President doesn’t drink, but he and the other staff in the White House sure seem to have some short-term memory issues. They can’t seem to remember anything anymore. They can’t remember the issues, who Jack Abramoff is, or how we got into this mess in Iraq. Maybe its time for them to turn off the old Cheech and Chong movies and think about governing the country. Thanks to
Think Progress for today’s Quotes.”

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Laugh, Clown, Laugh!

“A decision not to send more troops in Afghanistan would be damaging for Dutch interests in the US, former American diplomat Paul Bremer III warned on Monday.
Acknowledging Dutch politicians must weigh all the considerations, he said question marks would be raised on the US side about Nato if the mission doesn't go ahead. ‘What is Nato all about if our allies are not prepared to stand should-to-shoulder with us?’

Consequences would be unavoidable if the Dutch does not send the troops. ‘Time and time again decisions must be taken by the US government, by Congress, that influence Dutch economic interests. It is not difficult to imagine decisions could be taken that would not be in the interests of the Netherlands,’ Bremer said.”
-Expatica Magazine, January 9, 2006

“Translation: That’s a nice country you’ve got there. It’d be a shame if something happened to it. You see, in Iraq we theoretically have the ‘Coalition of the Willing’. In Afghanistan we have the ‘Coalition of the Coerced’. The neighbors there aren’t too fond of us either.”

“Some 10,000 people rallied in Karachi, Pakistan's biggest city, chanting ‘Death to America’ and ‘Stop bombing against innocent people.’ Hundreds of police carrying batons and shields were deployed, but the rally ended after an hour with no violence reported.
Hundreds more rallied in the capital, Islamabad, and in Lahore, Multan, Peshawar and elsewhere, burning American flags and demanding the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
In Pakistan's strongest reaction, Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Saturday called the attack ‘highly condemnable’ and said the government wanted ‘to assure the people we will not allow such incidents to reoccur.’"
-Associated Press, January 16, 2006

“Please remember that Pakistan is one of our biggest and best allies in the War on Terra. You should see how they feel about us in places we consider dangerous..”

“Seeking to quell the insurgency and sectarian violence, leaders of Iraq's sharply divided Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish political factions ended three days of contentious talks Monday with a call for a pullout of foreign troops from the country but no agreement on a timetable.
In Egypt, the communiqué's attempt to define terrorism omitted any reference to attacks against U.S. or Iraqi forces. Delegates from across the political and religious spectrum said the omission was intentional.
‘Though resistance is a legitimate right for all people, terrorism does not represent resistance. Therefore, we condemn terrorism and acts of violence, killing and kidnapping targeting Iraqi citizens and humanitarian, civil, government institutions, national resources and houses of worships,’ the document said.”
-Associated Press, November 22, 2005

“But remember in these times of travail and woe that the Pentagon is there for you, and they can help you deal with the life-changing stress and fear that comes from having loved ones fighting in our great Victory Overseas.”

“When the stress of the war in Iraq becomes too severe, the Pentagon has a suggestion for military families: Learn how to laugh.
With help from the Pentagon's chief laughter instructor, families of National Guard members are learning to walk like a penguin, laugh like a lion and blurt ‘ha, ha, hee, hee and ho, ho.’
No joke.”
-USA Today, January 13, 2006

“Even though you're only make believing
Laugh, Clown, laugh!
Even though something inside is grieving
Laugh, Clown, laugh!
Don't let your heart grow too mellow
Just be a real Punchinello, fellow

You're supposed to brighten up a place
And laugh, Clown, laugh!
Paint a lot of smiles around your face
And laugh, Clown, don't frown
Dressed in your best coloured humour
Be a pallietto and laugh, Clown, laugh!”
- Ted Lewis & His Band, “Laugh, Clown, Laugh!”, 1928

“And you’ll get plenty of practice laughing.”

“Colin Powell yesterday warned that Iran was heading down the same path as Iraq had done before the 2003 invasion and could not be trusted to tell the truth about its nuclear programme.
The former United States secretary of state said he believed Iran posed a serious threat to the rest of the world in the same way that Iraq had done, and he refused to apologise for the action the US took against Saddam Hussein's regime.”
-The Scotsman, January 18, 2006

“Hmm.. Another song comes to mind.”

“Stop me, oh, stop me

Stop me if you think that you’ve
Heard this one before
Stop me, oh, stop me
Stop me if you think that you’ve heard this one before
Nothing’s changed
I still love you, oh, I still love you
...only slightly, only slightly less than I used to, my love

I was delayed, I was way-laid
An emergency stop
I smelt the last ten seconds of life
I crashed down on the crossbar
And the pain was enough to make
A shy, bald, buddhist reflect
And plan a mass murder
Who said lied I’d to her ?
Oh, who said I’d lied because I never ? I never !
Who said I’d lied because I never ?

I was detained, I was restrained
And broke my spleen
And broke my knee
(and then he really laced into me)
Friday night in out-patients
Who said I’d lied to her ?
Oh, who said I’d lied ? - because I never, I never
Who said I’d lied ? - because I never
Oh, so I drank one
It became four
And when I fell on the floor ...
...I drank more”
-The Smiths, “Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before”

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Essential Liberty

“Fear drives out reason. Fear suppresses the politics of discourse and opens the door to the politics of destruction. Justice Brandeis once wrote: ‘Men feared witches and burnt women.’
The founders of our country faced dire threats. If they failed in their endeavors, they would have been hung as traitors. The very existence of our country was at risk.
Yet, in the teeth of those dangers, they insisted on establishing the Bill of Rights.
Is our Congress today in more danger than were their predecessors when the British army was marching on the Capitol? Is the world more dangerous than when we faced an ideological enemy with tens of thousands of missiles poised to be launched against us and annihilate our country at a moment's notice? Is America in more danger now than when we faced worldwide fascism on the march-when our fathers fought and won two World Wars simultaneously?
It is simply an insult to those who came before us and sacrificed so much on our behalf to imply that we have more to be fearful of than they. Yet they faithfully protected our freedoms and now it is up to us to do the same.”
-Al Gore, prepared speech, January 16, 2006

“You know, I think that Al is right, but that isn’t even the biggest problem. If this were a case of security vs. freedom there might, in a way, be a case. I wouldn’t agree with it (being a large believer in the essential freedoms that the founders of the country fought for), but the case would at least be there. Unfortunately this spying seems to have not only been illegal, but it also seems to have HURT national security rather than helped it.”

“In the anxious months after the Sept. 11 attacks, the National Security Agency began sending a steady stream of telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and names to the F.B.I. in search of terrorists. The stream soon became a flood, requiring hundreds of agents to check out thousands of tips a month.

But virtually all of them, current and former officials say, led to dead ends or innocent Americans.
F.B.I. officials repeatedly complained to the spy agency, which was collecting much of the data by eavesdropping on some Americans' international communications and conducting computer searches of foreign-related phone and Internet traffic, that the unfiltered information was swamping investigators. Some F.B.I. officials and prosecutors also thought the checks, which sometimes involved interviews by agents, were pointless intrusions on Americans' privacy.”
-New York Times, January 17, 2006

“You see, when the NSA overloaded the FBI it actually reduced their ability to do their jobs. That is a bad thing.”

"’We'd chase a number, find it's a school teacher with no indication they've ever been involved in international terrorism - case closed,’ said one former FBI official, who was aware of the program and the data it generated for the bureau. ‘After you get a thousand numbers and not one is turning up anything, you get some frustration.’"
-New York Times, January 17, 2006

“I would imagine. This put the FBI, the group responsible for domestic spying, in the position of having too much information, and, even worse, too much bad information. This hurts national security as well as being illegal.”

“F.B.I. field agents, who were not told of the domestic surveillance programs, complained they often were given no information about why names or numbers had come under suspicion. A former senior prosecutor, who was familiar with the eavesdropping programs, said intelligence officials turning over the tips ‘would always say that we had information whose source we can't share, but it indicates that this person has been communicating with a suspected Al Qaeda operative.‘ He said, ‘I would always wonder, what does 'suspected' mean?’"
-New York Times, January 17, 2006

“So you see it was a team effort. The NSA would illegally get the names and numbers of suspects. They would then pass them on to the FBI, who would try to legally pursue them. I think that the theory was that an FBI conviction might stand up where secret NSA information would not. If this were about money they would use the term ‘laundering’.”

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
-Benjamin Franklin

Monday, January 16, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: MLK is AOK

“Ok, so I’m feeling lazy. Here’s a reprint of some Quotes that I first sent out three years ago. Enjoy.”

“Increasingly, by choice or by accident, this is the role our nation has taken - the role of those who make peaceful revolution impossible by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investment.
I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a ‘thing-oriented’ society to a ‘person-oriented’ society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered. ...
The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war: ‘This way of settling differences is not just.’ This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into veins of people normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr., April 4, 1967 (emphasis added)

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
-Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

“Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.”
-Martin Luther King Jr., Strength to Love, 1963

“And a few from last year too..”

“Now, I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.' “
-Martin Luther King Jr., Speech at Civil Rights March on Washington, August 28, 1963

“I am convinced that love is the most durable power in the world. It is not an expression of impractical idealism, but of practical realism. Far from being the pious injunction of a Utopian dreamer, love is an absolute necessity for the survival of our civilization. To return hate for hate does nothing but intensify the existence of evil in the universe. Someone must have sense enough and religion enough to cut off the chain of hate and evil, and this can only be done through love.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr., 1957

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”
-Martin Luther King Jr., Accepting Nobel Peace Prize, December 10, 1964

“Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”
-Martin Luther King Jr., December 11, 1964

“Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. It is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding; it seeks to annihilate rather than to convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love.”
-Martin Luther King Jr.

“We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr., "Letter from Birmingham Jail," April 16, 1963

“The time is always right to do what is right.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of nuclear annihilation... I believe that even amid today's mortar bursts and whining bullets, there is still hope for a brighter tomorrow... I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr., Address in Acceptance of Nobel Peace Prize, December 10, 1964

“It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important.”
-Martin Luther King Jr.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Heck of a Good Set of Quotes

“There is an old saying that goes, ‘How could you tell he was lying? His lips were moving.’ Our current President, I think, is at least more honest that that. I would recommend though that if you hear that someone or something is a ‘heck of a’ something that you run for high ground (or simply away) as quickly as possible..”

“Brownie, you're doin' a heck of a job.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, September 2, 2005

“Sure, we all remember the classic from when New Orleans was drowning, but how about these?”

“I'm proud to be traveling with the Speaker, Denny Hastert. He's a good, solid American. And he's doing a heck of a job as the Speaker of the House of Representatives.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, January 6, 2006

“Former FBI translator turned whistleblower, Sibel Edmonds is now appealing her case to the U.S. Supreme Court. In March 2002, she was fired and she has been fighting now for nearly 3 years to blow the whistle on US government failures prior to 9-11. She has faced fierce opposition from the Bush administration, the FBI and some in Congress. This week, she grabbed headlines again after Vanity Fair published a major story about her. What is making news from that piece are allegations surrounding Illinois congressman and Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert.
Vanity Fair alleges that Hastert may have been the recipient of tens of thousands of dollars of secret payments from Turkish officials in exchange for political favors and information. In the article, titled ‘An Inconvenient Patriot,’ Edmonds says that she gave confidential testimony about the payments to congressional staffers, the Inspector General and members of the 9/11 Commission. Edmonds says that she heard of the payments while listening to FBI wiretaps of Turkish officials who were under surveillance by the FBI.”
-Democracy Now!, August 10, 2005

“They call that ‘fund raising’ in the House these days. Just ask Tom DeLay.”

“Ambassador Randy Tobias, who is the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, and has done a heck of a job.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, December 1, 2005

“Concerned Women for America (CWA), the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization, praised the Bush administration for its swift efforts to begin staffing the Global AIDS Initiative, beginning with a highly qualified manager, Randy Tobias, former Eli Lilly CEO, as the first director.
‘The American people have quickly joined in support of the President’s initiative to bring hope and healing to the people of Africa,’ said Michael Schwartz, CWA’s Vice President for Government Relations. ‘The President articulated a clear, bold vision in his State of the Union address to completely overhaul the U.S. approach to the AIDS epidemic in Africa. The plan has garnered broad support because it rejects the failed, condom-based methods of the past.
‘The ‘San Francisco’ model hasn’t worked here, and our President refuses to send a proven failure to the people of Africa and the Caribbean. His compassion requires real solutions for this crisis, and he is offering true hope through the ‘Uganda model’ known by the abbreviation ‘ABC’ – A, remaining abstinent, B, being faithful to one uninfected person, and C, condoms for high-risk populations such as prostitutes. Uganda is the only country in the world to significantly lower HIV/AIDS rates, from 21 percent to 6 percent since 1991.
‘CWA applauds the Mr. Tobias for sharing the philosophies of this President and accepting the nomination to carry out this historic initiative to implement the Ugandan model. Mr. Tobias has an impressive background in business. This new position presents a new challenge in a new field of endeavor in a new location. We are confident that, sharing the President’s vision, he will bring his talents to bear in addressing the AIDS crisis in Africa. CWA looks forward to working with Mr. Tobias, as it has with the administration in passing the AIDS initiative, and to sharing the knowledge and experience of our experts on abstinence, AIDS and other significant family issues.”
-Concerned Women of America, July 7, 2003

“Yes, that would be the Concerned Women of America who recently said this..”

“The iconic Barbie Doll has become another tool for promoting gender confusion among children. On the Barbie Web site, www.Barbie.com, there is a poll that asks children their age and sex. The age choices are 4-8, but as Bob Knight, Director of CWA’s Culture & Family Institute, notes children are given three options for their choice of gender.”
-Concerned Women for America, December 30, 2005

“If they like Randy Tobias (who still sounds like a character on Arrested Development), then I know I don’t.. Just saying.”

“I want to thank Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton. Speaking about Nortons, Gale Norton is doing a heck of a good job in my Cabinet.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, September 14, 2005

“Norton's nomination has drawn heavy fire from environmental groups, including Greenpeace and the Sierra Club. In television, radio and newspaper advertisements, the groups have derided Norton as an ‘anti-environmental extremist’ who would favor logging, grazing and mining interests over land conservation.
In the early 1980s, Norton served in the Interior Department under the controversial then-Secretary James Watt, with whom she had worked earlier at the conservative Mountain States Legal Foundation.
Even some Republican groups have raised their eyebrows over Bush's choice to make Norton responsible for managing nearly half a million acres of federal lands, and enforcing laws that protect threatened and endangered species.
Through her earlier confirmation hearings, Norton called herself a ‘conservative and conservationist.’ She criticized former President Bill Clinton and former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt for issuing executive proclamations protecting millions of acres of public land, saying Western lawmakers and local residents were left out of the decision-making process.
Norton, a constitutional lawyer, is a strong backer of the concept of states' rights, and has often questioned the constitutional role of the federal government in enforcing a number of environmental and other laws, including statutes governing land use, species conservation and surface mining.”
-CNN, January 29, 2001

“Yes, that sounds like someone that Dubya would appreciate. The type who think that he has no power to protect the environment, but total power (read: dictatorial) to protect the nation.”

“It's good to be in old Tom Ridge's home town. He's a good friend, he's a good man, and he's doing a heck of a good job in reorganizing the Department of Homeland Security.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, September 4, 2005

Nearly three years after it was formed, the immense Department of Homeland Security remains hampered by severe management and financial problems that contributed to the flawed response to Hurricane Katrina, according to an independent audit released yesterday.
-Washington Post, December 29, 2005

“Another rousing success.”

“I appreciate so much Secretary Rod Paige for joining us. I like to remind people that he actually knows what he's talking about when it comes to public schools because he was a Superintendent for Public Schools in Houston, Texas. It's a pretty tough assignment, I want you to know. It's not an easy school district to govern. But he did a heck of a good job.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, September 9, 2003

“Education Secretary Rod Paige called the National Education Association a ‘terrorist organization’ Monday as he argued that the country's largest teachers union often acts at odds with the wishes of rank-and-file teachers regarding school standards and accountability.”
-CNN, February 23, 2004


"Vice President Cheney is a great Vice President. He's done a heck of a good job for our country."
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, February 26, 2004

‘’Nuff said.”
-Stan ‘the Man’ Lee

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: War on Terra: Election 2006

"Q: How can people help on the war on terror?
Dubya: It's one thing to have a philosophical difference — and I can understand people being abhorrent about war. War is terrible, but one way people can help as we're coming down the pike in the 2006 elections is remember the effect that rhetoric can have on our troops in harm's way, and the effect that rhetoric can have in emboldening or weakening an enemy."
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, answering question from 7-year old child, January 11, 2006

“When asked about the War on Terra the first thing that Bush comes up with is the 2006 elections.. Does the media not get this? Do they not see that, for Bush, the War is all about politics? Just asking..”

“Bush said the war's critics should stop questioning the motives that led him to launch the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.
‘The American people know the difference between responsible and irresponsible debate when they see it…. And they know the difference between a loyal opposition that points out what is wrong, and defeatists who refuse to see that anything is right,’ Bush said.
‘I ask all Americans to hold their elected leaders to account and demand a debate that brings credit to our democracy — not comfort to our adversaries,’ Bush said.”
-LA Times, January 11, 2005

“Once again.. He wants people to ‘hold elected leaders to account’ (sounds good doesn’t it?) except when it comes to things that He screwed up like going to war in Iraq. Holding officials responsible for things like that is giving comfort to our adversaries. Amazing how everything that hurts the Republican administration helps our enemies.”

“The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders . . . All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism."
-Hermann Goering

“When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing more to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.”

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."

-Joseph Goebbels

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Seeming Orderly

“Let me say a few words about important values we must demonstrate while all of us serve in government. First, we must always maintain the highest ethical standards. We must always ask ourselves not only what is legal, but what is right. There is no goal of government worth accomplishing if it cannot be accomplished with integrity.
Second, I want us to set an example of humility. As you work for the federal government there is no excuse for arrogance, and there’s never a reason to show disrespect for others. A new tone in Washington must begin with decency and fairness. I want everyone who represents our government to be known for these values.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, October 15, 2001

“Amen sir, and that is why I was so happy to see Tom Delay step down as head of the House. There are just too many scandals involving him to keep him in that position. I’m sure that the Republicans have another qualified individual to step up and lead the new moral revolution that Newt spoke of in the House.”

“Blunt, R-Mo., wrote at least three letters helpful to Abramoff clients while collecting money from them. He swapped donations between his and DeLay's political groups, ultimately enriching the Missouri political campaign of his son Matt.

And Blunt's wife and another son, Andrew, lobby for many of the same companies that donate to the lawmaker's political efforts.
Blunt's main competitor for the House majority leader's post is Rep. John Boehner R-Ohio, chairman of the House committee that oversees education and labor.
Boehner in 1996 admitted he distributed a tobacco political action committee's campaign checks on the House floor, but said at the time he would never do it again.”
-Associated Press, January 11, 2006

“Hey, in Boehner’s defense (heh.. I said Boehner) that was, like, 10 years ago. He’s changed, just like Alito did from 15 years ago when he said that Roe v. Wade should be overturned. Long time ago. No need to think about it. We should focus on current events, not ancient history”

“A judge on Tuesday ordered two British men to stand trial on charges of leaking a government memo in which President Bush reportedly suggested to British Prime Minister Tony Blair bombing the headquarters of the Arab satellite news channel Al-Jazeera.”
-Associated Press, January 10, 2006

“And in our current events are a couple of people in England who are being accused of leaking a British memo stating that Dubya wanted to bomb an Arabic news channel.”

“White House spokesman Scott McClellan called the newspaper's claims ‘outlandish and inconceivable.’ Blair has said he had no information about any proposed U.S. action against Al-Jazeera.”
-Associated Press, January 10, 2006

“Luckily the story is ‘outlandish and inconceivable’, so it can’t possibly be true. I guess that the trial isn’t really happening after all, since you can’t leak a memo that doesn’t really exist. I wonder why then it still seems to be happening?”

“Dictatorships seem orderly -- when one man makes all the decisions, there is no need for negotiation or compromise.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, January 10, 2006

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Eye of Newt, Wing of Nut

“You know that things are bad in Washington when the old hard-core Republicans are saying that there is a scandal.”

“Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich suggested a New Year's resolution of sorts for members of Congress yesterday: Stop holding fund-raisers in Washington, D.C., with big-money lobbyists.
Gingrich, appearing on CBS's ‘Face the Nation,’ said members should start by banning all political action committee fundraisers while Congress was in session.
‘This whole system has grown frankly a little sick,’ he said.”
-New York Post, January 2, 2006

“The Abramoff scandal has to be seen as part of a much larger and deeper problem. It's not about lobbyist corruption. You can't have a corrupt lobbyist without a corrupt member or corrupt staff. This was a team effort.''
-Newt Gingrich, January 4, 2006

“One of the biggest issues is the growing power of incumbents and their dependence on contributions from lobbyists, Gingrich said. He proposed changes including a ban on fund raising in Washington and allowing citizens to make unlimited donations to politicians in their own districts. Gingrich also would make lobbyists and U.S. officials disclose their meetings each week.
‘There are a series of behaviors, a series of attitudes, a series of crony-like activities that are not defensible, and no Republican should try to defend them,’ he said. ‘The danger for Republicans is to pretend this isn't fundamental or to pretend that they can get by passively without undertaking real reform.’''
-Bloomberg News, January 4, 2006

“Yes, reform is important. And we should probably look seriously at allowing rich citizens (aka: those who benefit the most from the Republican tax breaks) to donate as much money into the election process as they want, because that’s only fair and won’t unbalance things at all. Mr. Gingrich is just looking out for the integrity of the House, because no one knows the damage that an ethics charge can cause more than the good Mr. Gingrich.”

“The House ethics committee recommended last night that House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) face an unprecedented reprimand from his colleagues and pay $300,000 in additional sanctions after concluding that his use of tax-deductible money for political purposes and inaccurate information supplied to investigators represented ‘intentional or . . . reckless’ disregard of House rules.
The committee's 7 to 1 vote came after 5 1/2 hours of televised hearings and the release of a toughly worded report on the investigation by special counsel James M. Cole. The recommendation, which followed a week of partisan conflict that has split the House into warring camps, sets the stage for a resolution of this investigation into Gingrich's actions.
Gingrich earlier admitted he had violated House rules and was prepared to accept the committee's recommendation for punishment. If the full House votes as expected on Tuesday, Gingrich would become the first speaker to be reprimanded for his conduct and would begin his second term politically weakened and personally diminished.
Cole said he had concluded that Gingrich had violated federal tax law and had lied to the ethics panel in an effort to force the committee to dismiss the complaint against him. He said the committee members were reluctant to go that far in their conclusions, but said they agreed Gingrich was either ‘reckless’ or ‘intentional’ in the way he conducted himself. [...] Cole made clear he had concluded that Gingrich's activities were not random acts but part of a pattern of questionable behavior. ‘Over a number of years and in a number of situations, Mr. Gingrich showed a disregard and lack of respect for the standards of conduct that applied to his activities,’ he said.”
-Washington Post, January 18, 1997

“You see, ethics charges are something that the Republican party has been fighting for years. Mainly due to the mis-use of funds and lying to ethics panels and investigators. Thankfully, none of their scandals revolved around anything truly important to the nation like extramarital sex with an intern.”

“In August 1999, Gingrich revealed that he had been carrying on an extramarital affair for the past six years with a House clerk twenty-three years his junior, Callista Bisek. Critics noted that Gingrich's adultery had taken place while he was leading moral attacks against Bill Clinton during the Lewinsky scandal. Because of the similarity of the situations, critics charged Gingrich's attacks on Clinton had been grossly hypocritical.”
-Wikipedia, Newt Gingrich

“Well, except for that. Many thanks to Digby at Hullabaloo for the older Quotes today.”

Monday, January 09, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Scalito

“Today the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court candidate Samuel ‘Scalito’ Alito begin. It will be interesting to see the Administration attempt to gain control over the third branch of the government.”

“Republicans say there is no reason to delay or filibuster Alito. Senators who have met privately with Alito say he told them that his 1985 written comments maintaining there was no constitutional right to abortion were part of a job application for the Reagan administration, which opposed abortion.
At the same time, he wrote in a separate legal memo while at the Justice Department that the department should try to chip away at abortion rights rather than mount an all-out assault.”
-CBS/AP, January 9, 2006

“Well heck, if it was just part of a job application I’m not worried. I mean, we can trust someone who lies on his job application to take a seat in the highest court in the land.”

“In it, Alito, then working in the Solicitor General’s office preparing cases for argument for the Supreme Court, said, ‘I am particularly proud of my contributions in recent cases in which the government has argued in the Supreme Court that racial and ethnic quotas should not allowed and that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion.’
These positions, he said, are ones ‘in which I personally believe very strongly.’”
-MSNBC, January 9, 2006

“I mean sure, he may have said that he believed in that strongly at the time, but I believe him when he says now that he was lying. He has an honest face, and I’m sure that Fearless Leader would only nominate someone of unassailable credentials.”

“One of Alito's Democratic critics, Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy, said he saw tendencies by Alito to defer to the executive branch.
‘In an era when the White House is abusing power, has authorized torture and is spying on American citizens, I find your support for an all-powerful executive branch and almost unlimited power for government agents to be deeply troubling,’ Kennedy said in a pre-released excerpt from his opening statement.”
-CBS/AP, January 9, 2006

“Oh yeah, there is that little thing where he said that the President can do whatever he wants whenever he wants. The executive branch has been invoked. Summon the flying monkeys!”

“Insisting that God ‘certainly needs to be involved’ in the Supreme Court confirmation process, three Christian ministers today blessed the doors of the hearing room where Senate Judiciary Committee members will begin considering the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito on Monday.
Capitol Hill police barred them from entering the room to continue what they called a consecration service. But in a bit of one-upsmanship, the three announced that they had let themselves in a day earlier, touching holy oil to the seats where Judge Alito, the senators, witnesses, Senate staffers and the press will sit, and praying for each of the 13 committee members by name.
‘We did adequately apply oil to all the seats,’ said the Rev. Rob Schenck, who identified himself as an evangelical Christian and as president of the National Clergy Council in Washington.”
-Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2006

“These guys crack me up. It’s like the circus comes to town. They always send out the clowns first. And then the punch line… They’re going to try to overthrow Roe v. Wade. Wait.. that isn’t funny.”

Friday, January 06, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: God's Enforcer

“I have said last year that Israel was entering into the most dangerous period of its entire existence as a nation. That is intensifying this year with the loss of Sharon. Sharon was personally a very likeable person. I am sad to see him in this condition. But I think we need to look at the Bible and the Book of Joel. The prophet Joel makes it very clear that God has enmity against those who, quote, ‘divide my land.’ God considers this land to be his. You read the Bible, he says, ‘This is my land.’ And for any prime minister of Israel who decides he going carve it up and give it away, God says, ‘No. This is mine.’ And the same thing -- I had a wonderful meeting with Yitzhak Rabin in 1974. He was tragically assassinated, and it was terrible thing that happened, but nevertheless, he was dead. And now Ariel Sharon, who was again a very likeable person, a delightful person to be with. I prayed with him personally. But here he is at the point of death. He was dividing God's land, and I would say woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the EU, the United Nations or United States of America. God said, ‘This land belongs to me, you better leave it alone.’"
-Pat Robertson, The 700 Club, January 5, 2006

“Yep. Pat is back at it again. This time he’s saying that Ariel Sharon is dying because he tried to negotiate a settlement on the West Bank. You know, I’ve read my New Testament. I believe that Christ was a nice, compassionate, loving kind of guy. Apparently Pat’s version is closer to Don Corleone.”

"Would you join with me and many others in crying out to our Lord to change the court?.. One justice is 83 years old, another has cancer, and another has a heart condition. Would it not be possible for God to put it in the minds of these three judges that the time has come to retire?"
-Pat Robertson, July 2003

“Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson called on Monday for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, calling him a ‘terrific danger’ to the United States.
Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition of America and a former presidential candidate, said on ‘The 700 Club’ it was the United States’ duty to stop Chavez from making Venezuela a ‘launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism.’”
-Associated Press, August 23, 2005

“I’d like to say to the good citizens of Dover. If there is a disaster in your area, don’t turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city. And don’t wonder why He hasn’t helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I’m not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that’s the case, don’t ask for His help because he might not be there.”
-Pat Robertson, November 10, 2005

“Now you will notice that what upset Pat the other day was that Mr. Sharon was dividing the Holy Land. From that you might believe that Pat is a big fan of the Jewish people, and that doesn’t want them to lose land or need to give in to their neighbors. You would be wrong. You see, Pat believes that the End Times are coming, when the Earth will be destroyed as part of the Second Coming (kind of like Terminator III, but without the cool robots and stuff). Part of the deal is that the end of the world can’t come unless Israel is united and the Temple is rebuilt. When that happens the End Times can come and God can send most of the Jews to Hell (except those that spontaneously convert to Christianity). As the old saying goes, ‘With friends like these, who needs enemies?’ He does have a few good, solid friends though.”

"I think George Bush is going to win in a walk. I really believe that I'm hearing from the Lord it's going to be like a blowout election of 2004. It's shaping up that way. The Lord has just blessed him. [...] I mean, he could make terrible mistakes and comes out of it. It doesn't make any difference what he does, good or bad. God picks him up because he's a man of prayer and God's blessing him."
-Pat Robertson, January 2, 2004

"I emphatically stated that I believe 'the blessing of heaven is upon him,' and I am persuaded that he will win this election and prevail on the war against terror in order to keep America safe from her avowed enemies."
-Pat Robertson, October 20, 2004

“Actually, maybe it’s Pat who should be saying the who ‘friends like these’ thing.. Maybe Pat just wasn’t paying attention to who he was rooting for. I mean, he has a lot on his mind.”

"How can there be peace when drunkards, drug dealers, communists, atheists, New Age worshipers of Satan, secular humanists, oppressive dictators, greedy money changers, revolutionary assassins, adulterers, and homosexuals are on top?"
-Pat Robertson, The New World Order, p.227

“Actually Pat, some of the homosexuals are ‘bottoms’. Just fyi..”

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Prove My Love

“Third verse, same as the first..”
-Violent Femmes, Prove My Love

“[British] Government officials now acknowledge that there is no evidence, or even reliable intelligence, connecting the Iranian government to the infra-red triggered bombs which have killed 10 British soldiers in the past eight months.
The twist comes three months after British officials first made strong assertions, widely reported in the media, of an Iranian hand in killing British soldiers. The highly publicised allegations emerged as America was locked in tense confrontation with Iran over its nuclear policy. It led to a major row and the US Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, warned Tehran of the consequences of continuing interference in Iraq.
Pte Hewett's [one of the UK soldiers who was killed in Iraq] mother, Sue Smith, 44, said: ‘They don't like Iran and they are using this for sympathy towards their attitudes, claiming that they were involved in the murder of our sons. I had the impression from the moment they made that statement that it was purely bully-boy tactics against Iran. It makes me really angry. They should be dealing with the people who killed our sons and not using it as a weapon. The way I look at it, it was just an excuse for another invasion. They have a foothold in the Middle East and they want to go further.’"
-The Independent, January 5, 2006

“Just last night I was reminded of
Just how bad it had gotten”
-Violent Femmes, Prove My Love

“First, we're going to work with the Iraqi government to increase the training Iraqi police recruits receive in human rights and the rule of law, so they understand the role of the police in a democratic society.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, January 4, 2006

“And just how sick I had become”
-Violent Femmes, Prove My Love

“When President Bush last week signed the bill outlawing the torture of detainees, he quietly reserved the right to bypass the law under his powers as commander in chief.
After approving the bill last Friday, Bush issued a 'signing statement’ -- an official document in which a president lays out his interpretation of a new law -- declaring that he will view the interrogation limits in the context of his broader powers to protect national security. This means Bush believes he can waive the restrictions, the White House and legal specialists said.
‘The executive branch shall construe [the law] in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President . . . as Commander in Chief,’ Bush wrote, adding that this approach ''will assist in achieving the shared objective of the Congress and the President . . . of protecting the American people from further terrorist attacks."
Some legal specialists said yesterday that the president's signing statement, which was posted on the White House website but had gone unnoticed over the New Year's weekend, raises serious questions about whether he intends to follow the law.
A senior administration official, who spoke to a Globe reporter about the statement on condition of anonymity because he is not an official spokesman, said the president intended to reserve the right to use harsher methods in special situations involving national security....
‘Of course the president has the obligation to follow this law, [but] he also has the obligation to defend and protect the country as the commander in chief, and he will have to square those two responsibilities in each case,’ the official added. ‘We are not expecting that those two responsibilities will come into conflict, but it's possible that they will.’"
-Boston Globe, January 4, 2006

“But it could change with this relationship
De-derange, we've all been through some shit”
-Violent Femmes, Prove My Love

“President Bush, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and his successor Roy Blunt on Wednesday joined the list of officials shedding political donations from Jack Abramoff, the once- powerful lobbyist who has agreed to testify in a political corruption investigation.
Bush's re-election campaign is giving up $6,000 in campaign contributions connected to Abramoff, who pleaded guilty Tuesday to fraud, corruption and tax evasion in Washington. On Wednesday in Florida, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud charges stemming from his 2000 purchase of a gambling boat fleet called SunCruz.
Abramoff has agreed to tell the FBI about alleged bribes to lawmakers and their aides on issues ranging from Internet gambling to wireless phone service in the House.
The full extent of the investigation is not yet known, but Justice Department officials said they intended to make use of the trove of e-mails and other material in Abramoff's possession as part of a probe that is believed to be focusing on as many as 20 members of Congress and aides.”
-Associated Press, January 4, 2006

“And if we're a thing I think this thing's begun”
-Violent Femmes, Prove My Love

“The biggest corruption scandal to infect Congress in a generation took down one of the best-connected lobbyists in Washington yesterday. The questions echoing around the capital were what other careers -- and what other familiar ways of doing business -- are endangered.
Jack Abramoff represented the most flamboyant and extreme example of a brand of influence trading that flourished after the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives 11 years ago. Now, some GOP strategists fear that the fallout from his case could affect the party's efforts to keep control in the November midterm elections.
Abramoff was among the lobbyists most closely associated with the K Street Project, which was initiated by his friend Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), now the former House majority leader, once the GOP vaulted to power. It was an aggressive program designed to force corporations and trade associations to hire more GOP-connected lobbyists in what at times became an almost seamless relationship between Capitol Hill lawmakers and some firms that sought to influence them.”
-Washington Post, January 4, 2006

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