Friday, August 25, 2006
In a lengthy interview with Florida Baptist Witness, struggling U.S. Senate candidate Katherine Harris asserts, among other things, that the separation of church and state is a fallacy.
"We have to have the faithful in government and over time," the Witness quotes Harris as saying, "that lie we have been told, the separation of church and state, people have internalized, thinking that they needed to avoid politics and that is so wrong because God is the one who chooses our rulers."
Posted by cuddlefish at 9:00 AM
Photo by Ryan McManus
"Ticking Away" - TV21
"Book of Rules" - The Young Lords
"Hold Me I" - Able Tasmans
"Sitting in Limbo" - Jimmy Cliff
"Street Song" - The 13th Floor Elevators
"Jet Boy" - New York Dolls
"Barry" - Faux Pas
"Song Of Our So-Called Friend" - Okkervil River
"Typical Girls" - The Slits
"Second Intermission" - Ani DiFranco
Video Bonus: Du Pacque - "Love In Every Bar"
Posted by cuddlefish at 6:45 AM
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Dean Plays Hardball
Jim Hightower - Where Bush's Arrogance Has Taken Us
Nine black children attending Red River Elementary School were directed last week to the back of the school bus by a white driver who designated the front seats for white children.
Hee-Hee. Pull my finger. Buy the Farting George Bush Doll (curtsy to Lambert over at Corrente Wire)
Posted by cuddlefish at 7:12 AM
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
The US-led "war on terror" has bolstered Iran's power and influence in the Middle East, especially over its neighbour and former enemy Iraq, a thinktank said today.
A report published by Chatham House said the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had removed Iran's main rival regimes in the region.
Israel's conflict with the Palestinians and its invasion of Lebanon had also put Iran "in a position of considerable strength" in the Middle East, said the thinktank.
Unless stability could be restored to the region, Iran's power will continue to grow, according to the report published by Chatham House
The study said Iran had been swift to fill the political vacuum created by the removal of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein in Iraq. The Islamic republic now has a level of influence in the region that could not be ignored.
In particular, Iran has now superseded the US as the most influential power in Iraq, regarding its former adversary as its "own backyard". It is also a "prominent presence" in its other war-torn neighbour, Afghanistan, according to Chatham House's analysts.
Full analysis by Chatham House here (pdf).
Posted by cuddlefish at 8:02 AM
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Monday, August 21, 2006
Glenn Greenwald takes a look at the mindset that enables a certain criminal.
The Justice Department lawyers who approved this illegal program, the political officials who ordered it, and the journalists who defended it (and have enabled this presidency) are all part of the same circle, and the very suggestion that any of this is actually criminal -- even though it is all being done in violation of the crystal clear criminal law -- is just too unpleasant, too unruly, too disruptive to admit. As Turley puts it: "The question of the president's possible criminal acts has long been the pig in the parlor that polite people in Congress refused to acknowledge."
But Judge Taylor's ruling -- with its very un-Beltway irreverence towards the President, and free of the fear of describing the President's lawbreaking as what it is -- is forcing that question out into the open, which is what explains so much of the hostility towards Judge Taylor. This judge, unknown to the Important People in academia and the political power centers, sitting in her little Detroit courtroom, has broken the rules. She used language which is uncouth (she pointed out the obvious -- that this President has pretenses to being a King) and refused to pay homage to the false orthodoxy that there are really difficult questions triggered by the President's refusal to abide by the criminal law. How irresponsible, unscholarly and unserious she is.
That is exactly what is driving the reaction to this court ruling as well. Notwithstanding all of the professorial angst-ridden deliberations, the NSA scandal is and always has been extremely simple. Congress, by an overwhelming bipartisan majority, passed a law 30 years ago making it a felony to eavesdrop on Americans without warrants and George Bush got caught violating that law -- a law nobody ever suggested was invalid until he got caught violating it. People who violate criminal laws are criminals, even if -- at least in the United States -- they hold high government positions. In decisive and unapologetic tones, Judge Taylor ruled -- consistent with the consensus of most legal experts -- that the President has been continuously breaking the law without any excuse, and that is something which our pundit and political classes simply want to ignore.
Posted by cuddlefish at 12:59 PM
A year after Hurricane Katrina, the reconstruction of the devastated Gulf coast is being severely hampered by waste and inefficiency overseen by "disaster profiteers" who are making million of dollars, according to a watchdog group. The group claims the inefficiency - along with the companies' political connections - follows a pattern similar to what happened in Afghanistan and Iraq.
With much of New Orleans still in ruins and its population half of what it was before the hurricane, a new report claims millions of dollars has been squandered by wasteful processes that have seen 90 per cent of the first wave of reconstruction contracts awarded to firms outside Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Local firms have been frozen out while immigrant workers have been exploited and often unpaid.
Posted by cuddlefish at 12:38 PM
Newsweek - Atheists In Foxholes
There are no atheists in foxholes," the old saw goes. The line, attributed to a WWII chaplain, has since been uttered countless times by grunts, chaplains and news anchors. But an increasingly vocal group of activists and soldiers—atheist soldiers—disagrees. "It's a denial of our contributions," says Master Sgt. Kathleen Johnson, who founded the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers and who will be deployed to Iraq this fall. "A lot of people manage to serve without having to call on a higher power."
Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers
Posted by cuddlefish at 6:32 AM
Sunday, August 20, 2006
LEWISTON [MAINE] - While the most recent allegations of questionable candidate recruitment involved politicians from southern Maine, Lewiston and its surrounding communities have not been immune to the practice.
On Monday, a former Green Independent candidate from Cape Elizabeth wrote to the state's ethics commission, saying that she had been manipulated into running for public office by two Republicans, themselves candidates for election at the time, and an activist for the Green Independent Party, who were all working together.
The accused denied the allegations quickly and without reservation.
And, while the potential practice of recruiting one's own opponent or "fragile" candidates in other races in order to attract more public funding for a campaign or to pull support from another campaign does not appear to violate state law, it does raise numerous ethical questions.
In January, the Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices handed down the biggest fines in the history of the Maine Clean Election Act to a quartet of political players who had misused public campaign financing in a way similar to what was alleged Monday.
The ethics commission found that two candidates and two political consultants had misused taxpayer money and failed to maintain proper campaign records.
Evidence was also uncovered that suggested a conspiracy to recruit unqualified and marginal candidates, including at least one man who was described as homeless and living under a bridge.
Posted by cuddlefish at 9:18 AM