Daily Archives: December 13, 2007

I was wrong; there IS a war on Christmas

and this is it.


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Filed under religion, Republican politicians: are any of them normal

Supposed terrorist acquitted; Bush DoJ flopping.

Several high profiles cases (two “terrorism” cases and two political prosecutions of Democratic officials) have been lost by Bush’s Department of Justice recently. Ideology just doesn’t do well when confronted with facts, an adversarial environment, rules of evidence and an impartial jury.  I would point out the recent verdicts in the Holy Land Foundation case in Texas, and the acquittals of Democratic state senators from Tennessee and Iowa.

The so-called Liberty City Seven case is a bogus terrorism trial in which some idiots without a plan or a dollar get entrapped into saying they wanna blow up this or that. Several similar cases have been brought over the past several years, with the objective being that the Guy Who Brought us 9/11 can pretend how great it is that he’s the presnint.


One of seven Miami men accused of plotting to join forces with al-Qaida to blow up Chicago’s Sears Tower was acquitted Thursday, and a mistrial was declared for the six others after the federal jury deadlocked.

The mistrial means prosecutors will have to decide whether to retry the six men.

The outcome was a setback for the Bush administration, which had seized on the case to illustrate the dangers of homegrown terrorism and trumpet the government’s post-Sept. 11 success in infiltrating and smashing terror plots in their earliest stages.

The group never actually made contact with al-Qaida. Instead, a paid FBI informant known as Brother Mohammed posed as an al-Qaida emissary.


* Government officials called their arrests an important victory in the war on terrorism and the indictment said they aspired to carry out attacks “just as good or greater than 9/11.” But Deputy FBI Director John Pistole said at the time their plans were “aspirational rather than operational.”

* Other government agents said the defendants posed no real threat because they had no actual al Qaeda contacts or means of carrying out attacks.

* Accused ringleader Narseal Batiste testified he never asked al Qaeda for money and made up stories of plotting to bring down the Sears Tower to con government informants who posed as Middle Eastern contacts out of $50,000. Batiste said he wanted the money to build a nonprofit religious organization and community outreach program in Liberty City.

* Other defendants were Patrick Abraham, Stanley Grant Phanor, Naudimar Herrera, Burson Augustin, Lyglenson Lemorin and Rotschild Augustine.

* The government’s main evidence was drawn from 15,000 audio and videotaped conversations made by paid FBI informants.

* The defendants met at the warehouse, which they called “the temple” or “the embassy,” to practice martial arts and study religious texts, but their lawyers scoffed at depictions of them as Islamist extremists.

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Filed under Bush blunders worldwide, FEMA/Homeland Security, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?

US military at Guantanamo vandalizes Wikipedia, sockpuppets themselves


These geniuses should be put out of business.


Filed under blogging, Bush blunders worldwide, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, Donald Rumsfeld:criminal or just incompetent?, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Mitt Romney: double guantanamo, Politics, public corruption, Torture: you're next, Wordpress Political Blogs

Gore: US is obstructing Bali action on climate change

“My own country, the United States is principally responsible for obstructing progress here in Bali. We all know that,” Gore said to loud applause. “But my country is not the only one that can take steps to ensure that we move forward from Bali with progress and with hope.”

“I think he is incorrect.”–WH spokeswoman Dana Perino

You’re pretty much alone in the world on that one, Dana.

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Filed under Al Gore, Bush blunders worldwide, Exxon: the Pope's in their pocket, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, global warming/environment, Outdoors, Politics, public corruption, Republican politicians: are any of them normal, science: not a very Republican thing to do, Wordpress Political Blogs

Clinton and Obama and the failing Democratic Congress

I could give you a lot of policy-related reasons why I think that John Edwards is a better Democrat and a more progressive candidate for president. But really, the ideas being put forward by Obama, Clinton and Edwards are not all that different. And if you look back at Edwards record, he doesn’t look as liberal as the other two.

But what has become clear over the past 6 months is the reason why senators other than JFK never get elected president: their records just don’t look very good. And in this congress, that is as true as it has ever been. The Democratic-controlled congress has had very little success in checking Bush’s egregious policies and passing legislation. Even the hearings and investigations have petered out when Bush stonewalled requests for documents and testimony. Bluster. Nothing.

Now, you can argue that isn’t Obama’s fault, nor Clinton’s.
Isn’t it? Isn’t some of it their fault? where has their leadership been? has the boogeyman rightwing media conspiracy somehow hidden their accomplishments? I don’t think so… How will Obama and Clinton defend the failures of their congress, and their failure to lead?

John Edwards has escaped the stigma of the Senate, and thus is able to preserve his image as an effective advocate for the hardpressed American voter. He is not capitulating to Bush on a weekly basis. That is why he consistently outpolls all the Republican candidates, while Clinton and Obama do not.

Unfortunately, it seems the only way that Edwards can win the nomination is if the other two leaders self-destruct, or destroy each other.

I kind of hope that happens, because I don’t think Clinton and Obama are showing the American people what it takes to get elected president.

Just an observation. Just my humble opinion.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Congress, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Hillary Clinton:what does she stand for?, John Edwards: has he reinvented himself?, Politics, Uncategorized, Wordpress Political Blogs

New study touted by CO2-warming deniers doesn’t pass muster

Technically, Singer is no longer a denier of warming. He gave that up finally, like he gave up denying that the ozone layer was being attacked by fluorocarbons and gave up denying that second-hand smoke is dangerous. But he is still desperately denying the contribution of man-made CO2 to warming.

Poor old Fred and his band of deniers have a new paper out, which tries to poke a hole in one aspect of the science of global warming. That he got it published at all seems to have been a miracle.


It turns out that the radiosonde data used in this paper (version 1.2 of the RAOBCORE data) does not have the full set of adjustments. Subsequent to that dataset being put together (Haimberger, 2007), two newer versions have been developed (v1.3 and v1.4) which do a better, but still not perfect, job, and additionally have much larger amplification with height.

The authors of Douglass et al were given this last version along with the one they used, yet they only decided to show the first (the one with the smallest tropical trend) without any additional comment even though they knew their results would be less clear.

But more egregious by far is the calculation of the model uncertainty itself…..

there is no clear model-data discrepancy in tropical tropospheric trends once you take the systematic uncertainties in data and models seriously. Funnily enough, this is exactly the conclusion reached by a much better paper by P. Thorne and colleagues. Douglass et al’s claim to the contrary is simply unsupportable.

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Filed under Al Gore, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, global warming/environment, science: not a very Republican thing to do

GOP dirty trickster at Dept. of Labor harasses unions

Washington Post:

Political operatives in the Department of Labor are using federal reporting requirements to undermine trade unions and conduct a “political misinformation campaign” against them, a report released yesterday charges.

While the Bush administration has generally relaxed federal regulations, the department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards has done the reverse, beefing up disclosure rules, staff and investigations of union leaders and members, the study by the left-leaning Center for American Progress said.

The study criticized the reporting requirements as designed to overwhelm unions with paperwork and trick them into noncompliance. It also accused the office of inflating the number of criminal cases involving union leaders and members.

the office’s latest requirement, new conflict-of-interest reports that, as of Jan. 1, would require a broad pool of union members to attest that even their car loans do not constitute a potential conflict.

The standards office has been led since 2005 by Don Todd, a former Republican National Committee strategist. Todd is credited with helping George H.W. Bush win the presidency in 1988 by convincing Lee Atwater to use a television ad featuring furloughed murderer Willie Horton and portraying Bush’s Democratic challenger as soft on crime.

Republican adviser Grover Norquist has said that “every dollar that is spent on disclosure and reporting is a dollar that can’t be spent on other labor union activities.”

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Filed under economics, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Politics, Republican politicians: are any of them normal