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Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Another GOP child molester
This time it's the First Selectman of Stonington, Connecticut, Republican Peter Dibble. Dibble was arrested this week for impairing the morals of a minor. The 13 year-old girl who filed the complaint against Dibble said the incidents occured when she was 10 years' old. Apparently Dibble "napped" with the girl 10-20 times, naps which included kissing and inappropriate touching. Read about it here, here, here and here. That is, if you can stomach it.
Fly Air America
Liberaldom's answer to buttplugs like Pigboy hit the airwaves in cities around the country this morning. Air America Radio is hoping to build a network of radio stations across the map that will carry progressive hosts and counteract nearly two decades of Republican bad faith. Don't fear if you don't live in one of the cities where Air America airs. You can listen online here. By the way, I'd love to know how the O'Franken Factor (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) is sounding.
What's the matter with Kansas?
This is one of those rare entries where I don't have a link to the story in question. The magazine in which it is published, Harper's, is completely phobic about offering any free content on the Internet. Normally, I wouldn't steer you toward such a customer-unfriendly rag, but Harper's latest issue is a must-read due to an essay by Thomas Frank. Frank has probably the clearest, most understandable grasp of why Republicans have made such electoral inroads into populations whose economic interests are most badly hurt by Republican economic policy. It's a bait-and-switch operation where Rethugs use culture war issues on the campaign trail when they have absolutely no intention of actually, say, ending abortion or affirmative action. It's hard to feel a whole lot of pity for working folks who pull the lever for Republicans, but I think Frank's analysis of how Republican economic policy is devastating the Midwest is brilliant. And if you don't buy the magazine, don't sweat. Frank has expanded the essay into a book that will be released sometime soon.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Washington lobbyist, Bugman crony screw Native Americans
Native Americans have had to put up with a lot of shit from whites for nearly five centuries, but when many of their tribes are on the brink of financial success, here come the palefaces eager to scalp their bank accounts. Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a real K Street mover and shaker, lost his job recently when the lobbying firm that employed him discovered that Abramoff and former Tom DeLay spokesman Michael S. Scanlon had duped four tribes into agreeing to pay them a total of $45 million for PR services. Abramoff's rake-off was $10 million. The tribes burned by these two bunco artists include the Saginaw Chippewas, the Coushattas of Louisiana and the Agua Calientes of southern California. Read about this disgusting scam here.
Speaking of black sheep
Here's a first for the Elephant -- a radio actuality. The subject is Prances on Aircraft Carriers and the interviews concern his behavior while working on a U.S. Senate campaign in Alabama in 1972 -- you know, when he was supposed to be fulfilling his service requirements in the Texas Air National Guard. You have to listen to it, folks. This is hysterical stuff. Hear all about our Supreme Commander's misbegotten youth here (scroll down to find the Bush story).
The quality of mercy bled dry
There's a corollary to the truism that the sons of the rich are protected from their mistakes and that is the sons of the poor will inevitably suffer when they trespass against the rich. Patrick Vorce of Kennebunk, Maine, can tell you all about the price he paid for setting fire in 2002 to a boatyard which contained a boat engine belonging to former President George Bush: incarceration in a juvenile prison in Pennsylvania, 13 hours away from his family. Patrick has been there since he was 14 years' old. His family is arguing that federal Judge George Singal broke federal sentencing guidelines by sending Patrick to a prison so far from home and that the reason for such severe punishment is that Patrick destroyed property belonging to a Bush. Former President Bush might want to remember how he looked out for his own boys when they were young. Patrick's family could sure use his intervention on their side. Read about it here. Thanks to the talented and lovely AW G for sending this one to me!

Monday, March 29, 2004

Schumer challenger faces questions about police force
Howard Mills is the Rethug who would dethrone U.S. Senator Charles Schumer from office this fall. But Mills may not be able to count on many votes coming out of his hometown of Wallkill. Towns people there blame Mills, who served as a town supervisor in the 90s, for hiring a police chief whose subsequent management of the department led to officers being accused of harassing female motorists. Wallkill got a PR black eye when New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer sued the police department for being a threat to public safety. Now, Wallkill residents say Mills bears the culpability for what happened because he supervised the hiring of Chief James Coscette. Decide for yourself here.
Rethug candidates run background checks on themselves
Three Citrus County, Florida, Republican pols want the electorate to know that they can be trusted in office. In fact, they've gone to the trouble of hiring private investigators to go back through their pasts and unearth any dirt. The bottom line for county commission candidates Dennis Damato and Paul Pilny and school board candidate John Kolley is that they're all as pure as the driven snow. But you have to wonder what the ethical standard is for Citrus County Republican office holders when candidates feel compelled to undertake such rigorous self-vetting. Well, the answer lies with Republican school board candidate Don Bates, who was forced out of the race two years ago when the local paper found he had been arrested on charges of indecent exposure. Master Bates...erm...Mr. Bates got caught in the parking lot of a local mall. At the time of his arrest, he was eagerly flogging the bishop and inviting passersby to watch. Read more here.
Where the CURE may be worse than the disease
Now, here's a hell of a name for a right-wing group: CURE -- Citizens United for Republican Ethics. Set aside the fact that "Republican Ethics" is an oxymoron (heavy on the "moron" part). Lancaster County, Ohio, Rethugs have launched their take-back-the-party group in order to oust the reformers who took control of the county party two years ago. Among other snafus, the whippersnappers backed a judicial candidate whose home mysteriously burned and who was subsequently indicted on charges of mail fraud, arson, money laundering and conspiracy. Thus comes CURE, which I guess is the penicillin to counteract the current venereal disease which is the party reformers. Anyway, read it for yourself here and enjoy.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Yowza! N.C. commissioner launches bigot t-shirts
I love North Carolina, but I have to admit that we have more than our fair share of wool-hat, white trash, trailer park-living mouthbreathers. One of them, is a guy named Billy Yow, a Republican member of the Guilford County Commission who has spent much of his time in office race-baiting the county's black population. Yow, however, tripped over his own dick when he came up with a t-shirt whose logo shows a redneck pissing on the letters "NAACP." Now, Guilford County's buergertum wants the t-shirts off the street pronto. Read about it here and here.
Meet the Buntings
He's served time in prison; she was a champion arm-wrestler; they have come to both symbolize the nutty, reactionary nature of the Florida Republican Party and serve as the party's biggest pains in the ass. Meet Bill and Ann Bunting -- gun nuts, no-tax advocates, Machiavellian schemers who like to play kingmakes in various party primary races. You can read this excellent bio from the Pasco County, Florida, bureau of the St. Petersburg Times.
When Republican mean-spiritedness backfires
The White House and Congressional Republican brain surgeons like Senator Bill Frist...whoa, make that Dennis Hastert...have spent the past week trying to convict Richard Clarke of everything except kidnapping the Lindbergh baby. They've hinted that Clarke perjured himself when testifying before the 911 Commission last week. By the way, does anyone find Frist's statements about Clarke apologizing to the 911 Families just this south of bizarre? Anyway, Clarke struck back today, asking that his testimony to Congress on 911 be declassified and made public. In turn, Clarke is calling for National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice to testify for the 911 Commission in public and under oath. He is also demanding that all currently classified documents, e-mail, correspondence, etc. be declassified immediately for the commission's use. Clarke is acting awfully like a man who firmly believes the record will bear out his arguments. Rice, in the meantime, has buzzards circling her. Read about how an honest Republican is making his entire corrupt party scream bloody murder here, here, here and here.
Bugman prepares his disciples for bug-out
All U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay needs now is for someone to sell him out for 30 pieces of silver which, knowing the company he keeps, shouldn't be that hard to arrange. You see, our Christ-like Bugman is about to take a dive on criminal charges of violating Texas campaign financing laws. He's telling his minions that he needs to raise legal defense funds and he may need to step aside temporarily from his leadership position in Congress. Will the Bugman face his own personal trial on his own personal Golgotha? Come on, people, we're talking about Texas here! The Bugman gets a summer of investigative scrutiny, then a pass. You read it here first. Find out more about DeLay's travails here, here (where Texas Rethug U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison makes a fool of herself) and here.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

And we're still not sure about Lichtenstein
At the Bush White House and in the U.S. Congress's Republican caucus, paranoia is Job One. That's the only way to explain the National Republican Congressional Committee's idiotic inclusion of Thailand and the Phillipines on a list of terrorist-sponsoring states in a survey it sent out recently. Needless to say, neither country harbors terrorists willingly and each is correspondingly put out by being associated with known terrorist-coddling states like Saudi Arabia and Texas. Read about it here.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Empire State Rethug developers get fat
Monroe County, New York, real estate developers with Republican ties received lucrative tax breaks from the state without meeting a job-creation standard mandated by the state program, a Democratic legislator says. Richard Brodsky made the claim in a 26-page report released Wednesday. Monroe County pols, naturally, aren't about to investigate their own pals. Brodsky, chair of the New York State Assembly's Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions, noted that all but nine of the 25 developers noted in the report made contributions to the Republican Party, all told $223,700. Dems, by way of contrast, got all of $12,000 in contributions from the same developers. Brodsky also criticized New York Republican Governor George Pataki for approving the tax breaks. Read about it here and here.
Coke and harassment: Rethug recipe for school board member
Fairfield County, Connecticut, voters might want to remember their local Republican Party's candidate recruiting standards next time they vote for school board members. Rethug commissioner Nicola Tarzia resigned earlier this month after the Stamford Advocate reported that he had been arrested on charges of possession of cocaine in Rhode Island in 2002 and had a restraining order served on him last month by a former girlfriend. Read about it here.
Has Prances on Aircraft Carriers jumped the National Security shark?
The Nation's First Idiot has been pretty blatant about his re-selection strategy -- "I'm a war-time President." Throw in a rigorous campaign to scare the hell out of voters and that's pretty much his entire game plan. But Richard Clarke, the former head of federal counterterrorism operations, may have thrown a monkey wrench into the Chimp's well-lubed machine. Clarke is the man who dared to point out that the current administration did next to nothing to deal with Al-Qaeda in the eight months between the time it took office and 9-11. Despite -- and, perhaps, because of -- the White House's scorched-earth attempts to stick an icepick into Clarke's reputation, some of the So-Called Liberal Media are now saying that the regime's hardball policy may have backfired. Clarke made a convincing witness, both in his book and under oath in front of the 9-11 Commission this week. Read about it here, here, here, here, here and here.
Republican campaign staffer stalks Dem couple
Who knows what was going through Scott Gillies' head when he decided it would be fun to harass an elderly Nicholasville, Kentucky, couple by phone. Gillies, a campaign staffer for Rethug Congressional candidate Alice Forgy Kerr, pled innocent yesterday in court to a misdemeanor charge of making harassing phone calls to Dorothy and Robert Duncan. The Duncans, who are Democrats, had complained repeatedly to Kerr's campaign staff about multiple calls from the campaign to their home. Gillies apparently decided to put some frosting on the cake the night Kerr lost her race against Democrat Ben Chandler Feb. 17. Read about it here.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Reform groups target Bugman's "charity"
The very presence of "Tom DeLay" and "charity" in close physical proximity on the computer screen is enough to induce nausea in even the most cynical among us. Keeping that in mind, DeLay does have a "charity." The only problem is that it appears to be charitable in the same sense that Heidi Fleiss was entrepreneurial in her salad days as madame to the stars. Common Cause and Democracy 21 are going after DeLay's Celebrations for Children organization, claiming that it is not properly registered in New York and that it is a front for DeLay to funnel money into fat cat entertainment during this summer's Republican convention in New York City. Check it out here.
USSC to Nevada Rethugs: Blow us!
Australian ballot initiatives (Ozzies, I'm not criticizing you. This is simply the term used in the U.S. for this particular kind of electoral instrument) seemed like a great idea earlier in the 20th Century, when an electorate that wanted educational and other reforms could trump legislatures that weren't interested in making those reforms themselves. They've metastasized since Californians decided in the late 1970s to cap property taxes and, in the process, begin bleeding out what was the finest public school system from Kindergarten through graduate school up to that time. Ballot initiatives are now used throughout the West to enshrine nutty right-wing concepts in states where legislators were too responsible to do it themselves. Nevada voters followed this trend in 1994 and 1996 when they voted to impose a new clause in the state's constitution which requires a "supermajority," a two-thirds' vote of the legislature to raise taxes. The Nevada Supreme Court voided the supermajority clause last year, a move which allowed the legislature to vote for revenue increases on simple majority votes in order to deal with severe budgetary problems caused by the Bush economic miracle. Twenty-four Nevada Rethugs filed suit against the Nevada Supreme Court ruling. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to calendar their case Monday, thus ensuring that the NSC ruling will stand -- and Nevada's schools will have the resources they need to provide kids with a good education. Read about it here.
Texas Bar will go after Tulia prosecutor
The Republican district attorney who presided over the now-discredited prosecutions of African-American and Latino citizens of Tulia, Texas, is in deep trouble. Terry McEachern has already lost his job after a Republican primary unseated him a few weeks back. McEachern used a pathological liar as an expert witness and undercover officer to pursue drug charges against minority residents of Tulia. All of the convictions he secured have since been vacated and the state has settled civil suits arising from McEachern's work. The Texas Bar has now concluded its own investigation into the Tulia prosecutions and has decided to file a lawsuit to sanction McEachern for his role in the scandal. He faces anything from a public reprimand to loss of his law license. McEachern remains unrepentant about Tulia. Thankfully, saner minds are going to make sure this man is never in a position again to ruin people's lives. Read about it here and here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Rethug complains about goons
Now, this is a man-bite-dog story if'n I ever seen one. Carl Jacobson, a Republican State House Representative in Minnesota, has accused the House Republican staff of conspiring to deny fellow Republican Arlon Lindner the party's nomination for his seat in the legislature. Jacobson called the offending staffers "goons." Truth be told, Lindner sounds like a homophobic wingnut (he has questioned the actual extent of persecution that gays and lesbians experienced under the Nazi regime, for instance). The important point is that Minnesota Republicans are at each other's throats and that can't be anything but good for the citizens of that fine state. Read about the goon squad here and here.
Drunk-driving Rethug won't run for re-election
New Mexico State Representative Joe Thompson's career has imploded in the wake of his arrest on DWI charges a few hours after he celebrated the passage of legislation that would toughen the state's enforcement of drunk driving laws. Thompson, a rising star in the New Mexico Republican Party prior to his arrest, has now announced that he will not run for re-election. Read about it here. Tequila shooters, anyone?
Assistant sheriff fired for obstruction of justice
The Orange County, California, Sheriff's Department is going through turmoil at the moment thanks to former assistant sheriff George Jaramillo. Jaramillo became former last week when Sheriff Michael Carona fired him. Jaramillo had served as Carona's campaign manager and was the number two law officer at the sheriff's department. Jaramillo is under investigation for conspiring to manipulate evidence against a fellow officer's son, who faces major drug and sex abuse charges. But Jaramillo's problems appear to be multiplying. County bail bondsmen say they've been shaken down by Jaramillo and they're ready to talk to prosecutors. Read about it here and here.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Republican spawn attack Latino workers
Why beating up innocent Hispanics is always worth a guffaw to the boys at the county Republican Men's dinner meetings, especially in Cherokee County, Georgia. That's where a gang of peckerwood rednecks has been abducting Latino day laborers, driving them to isolated locations and beating the shit out of them with pipes, fence posts and baseball bats. Local cops finally caught up with the five white teenagers and, lo and behold, one of them, Ben Cagle, turned out to be the son of the family that founded the Cherokee County Republican Party. Two county judges have already recused themselves from hearing the case against Cagle. Rethug Congressman Charlie Norwood has responded to the outrage by introducing legislation in Congress that would make it easier for local police to arrest Latino day laborers and stop their heinous temptation of God-fearin' white boys in Cherokee County. Read about this outrage here.
The Carpetbagger Report's scandal scoreboard
How shall I investigate thee? Let the Carpetbagger Report enumerate the various scandals currently nipping at the Bush Administration's heels. This is hilarious mainly because this White House's corruption permeates about every corner of the building. I am, of course, speaking metaphorically. You have to admit, though, it's a long list. And just imagine what would happen if the corporate-owned media actually reported on it.
Federal Housing Finance Czar canned for fundraising
John Korsmo appears to be the go-to guy if you're a Republican and you need someone to raise money for you. Korsmo, however, may have been a wee bit too "go-to" and is now facing a federal criminal investigation over his fundraising activities in the 2000 election cycle. His wife, a former Department of Labor official, is also under scrutiny. Read all about it here.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

A modest proposal
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Tanqueray) has a deal for the White House. In return for Senator John Kerry revealing the names of those foreign leaders who support his Presidential bid, the Bush Administration reveals the names of members of Unca Dick's energy goat-rope and the name of the scumbag who leaked Valerie Plame's name to uber-traitor Bob Novak. Let me state at this time and place...I love this idea! The Teddy we once knew appears to be back in the saddle. Read more about his modest proposal here.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Holy Shit! Austin American-Statesman outs Rick Perry!
Well, given all the smoke in the air, someone was bound to do it eventually. The Austin American-Statesman has outed Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry, albeit in a weaselly manner. Check out this summary in the Tyler, Texas, Morning Telegraph. Perry is blaming Dems for circulating "rumors" about his sexuality. There's more here, here and here.
Rethug-friendly radio station owner busted for child molestation
When Doug Lane, owner of WWDL Radio in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, gets out of prison, he might want to consider a move to South Carolina, which is shaping up as a haven for child molestors. Lane went down last week when investigators gathered evidence that allegedly proves that Lane conducted a four-year relationship with a boy, beginning when the lad was a mere 12 years' old. Read about it here. Now, thanks to our amazing correspondent, Stentor, here's the money shot -- scroll down the page to see a photo of Don Lane and U.S. Senator Rick "Man-Dog Love" Santorum, another Rethug with an unusual perspective on sexual matters. Stentor, you done good!
South Carolina Rethug moves to protect child molestors
He claims it's only a temporary delay, but South Carolina State Senator John Kuhn, a Republican, put a proposed bill to protect children from Internet sex predators on hold last week. Kuhn exercised his prerogative to vote that the Senate carry the bill over to next week in order, he claims, to read the text before voting on it. Kuhn could have done that this week if he had not been busy acting as a consultant and character witness for a Lancaster County man accused of using the Internet to, you guessed it, locate and rape a 15 year-old girl. Once again, we see Republican family values in action. Read about it here.
Dems demand answers on Medicare costs
Apparently someone found the House Dem's collective spine somewhere in a dark, dusty corner of the Capitol and re-inserted it into the party's superego this week. Yesterday, the Dems demanded to know just what the hell was going on when a Department of Health and Human Services employee was threatened with firing if he told House members the true cost of the Rethug Medicare "reform" (read as "rape") act passed late last year. Read about the Dems actually going on the offensive for a change here.
Former aide says Prances on Aircraft Carriers doing crappy job
Richard A. Clarke, former White House counter-terrorism coordinator, apparently didn't get the memo about the Kool-Aid and the necessity for him to quaff deeply of it. Anyhoo, Clarke previewed his testimony before a federal investigation board looking into the Bush Administration's actions leading up to 9-11 and since. Clarke, mincing no words in a CBS interview scheduled to run on "60 Minutes" tomorrow night, says Prances on Aircraft Carriers is doing "a terrible job on the war against terrorism." As most of us with IQs above 60 figured out long ago, the Bushies came into office basically prepared to pursue foreign policy a la 1992, including planning a war to take out Saddam Hussein. It goes downhill from there. Read for yourself here.
Political pressure mounts for House ethics committee to act
Well, we called it, didn't we? It's starting to look like the House Committee on Ethical Standards' completely hands-off approach to not enforcing the legislature's ethics standards and the law is no longer tenable. Eight good government groups in D.C. are demanding that the committee get off its collective ass and do its job (as are those of you who have e-mailed me copies of your messages to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi). Read the latest developments in this important story here.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Loudoun loudmouth has to eat his own words
Eugene Delgaudio, the Loudoun, Virginia, Republican supervisor who has friends in high places to quash embarrassing criminal charges, apparently isn't the most stable elected official in the Old Dominion. In addition to gay-bashing a Democratic challenger in an earlier election campaign (and amassing a 20-year record as an anti-gay and lesbian activist), Delgaudio publicly accused a fellow supervisor of threatening another man. Delgaudio had to turn right around and issue a complete retraction because, well, you see, the incident never happened. Read about it here.
Meanwhile, John Rowland twists in the wind
Connecticut Republican Governor John Rowland has been profiled here before, but it's been awhile since we've run anything about Rowland. Basically, Good Time John is screwed five ways from Sunday. The feds have launched a criminal investigation into Rowland's business dealings with certain companies doing work on state contracts. The Dems in the state legislature are slowly, but surely, closing in on Rowland with an impeachment drive. Now, Kurt C. Claywell, a buddy of Rowland's, has agreed to cooperate with the legislative investigators and federal law enforcement. Claywell reportedly showered Rowland with up to $10,000 in champagne and cigars in return for "goodwill." Rowland is lamely advising people not to believe what they read in the newspaper. Check it out for yourself here.
Senate Dems push for investigation on Medicare costs
House Dems, this is how it's done. Tom Daschle, of all people, is demanding an investigation into charges that a Bush Administration flunky in the Department of Health and Human Services pressured Medicare's chief actuary not to release the real cost figures of the administration's spurious Medicare "reform" legislation. Seventeen other Senate Dems have joined Daschle's demand for a formal investigation of the incident by the General Accounting Office. The administration claimed prior to passage of the bill that it would cost $395 billion over 10 years. The real figure was $534 billion over that same span of time. Read about it here, here and here, where we find out that someone on the Hill was trying to alert Dems to the real figures as early as January.
If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck...
Then it must be U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin "Fat Tony" Scalia issuing a 21-page memorandum explaining why he won't recuse himself from a case pending before the court which involves his duck-hunting buddy, Unca Dick Cheney. The CBS Evening News tonight had priceless footage of Scalia blowing his stack on a Washington street corner a few years back. Read more about Fat Tony's bitter recusal memo here.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Earth to House Dems: Get Tough on GOP Ethics Violations!
Goddamnit, this one just pisses me off completely. The Democrats in the U.S. House are once again behaving like a pack of cowering dogs. I think Rep. Nancy Pelosi has worked miracles as House Minority Leader in bringing some discipline to the ranks of House Democrats. Now, however, comes an important story in today's Washington Post, namely that Pelosi and crew are tip-toeing around major violations of the House canon of ethics and the law by Republican members. Even former GOP thug Dick Armey is complaining publicly about Dems not holding Rethugs to account on these violations! Please read the Post story, then go to the House Dem leadership's slack ass web site and let Pelosi know that you don't appreciate her and House Dems running cover for the likes of Tom DeLay.
Rethug speeder has an angel in Loudoun
Eugene Delgaudio, a Republican county supervisor in Loudoun, Virginia, has friends in high places. Delgaudio was charged in October, 2002, with speeding and driving with a suspended or revoked license. Delgaudio paid the $47 speeding ticket. The license charge, however, disappeared into thin air. Now, everyone involved is shrugging his shoulders. See how the system works for Republican officials here.
Liddy Dole campaign staffer pleads guilty to embezzlement
Well, Republicans are fond of the notion that the Lord helps them that help themselves. That seems to be the spirit in which Earl Allen Haywood, the former assistant campaign treasurer for groups trying to elect Elizabeth Dole (R-North Carolina) looted the coffers of the Dole campaign. Haywood pled guilty today to mail fraud today in connection with his embezzlement of $174,000 in campaign funds during Dole's successful 2002 U.S. Senate bid. Earl faces twenty years in the slammer for following where Republican immorality inevitably led him. Read about it here.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Alabama Rethug stands tall on his trash
Hilliard "Hilo" Middleton's trash is the talk of the town in Bay Minette, Alabama. Hilo, who is running for the Republican nomination for county commissioner, owes Baldwin County $12,852 in garbage collection fees, court costs and fines. For Hilo, not paying for a government service is a matter of principle. Baldwin County DA David Whetstone, embarrassed by revelations that his office had not forced Middleton to cough up the money, says he may send the would-be commish to jail. Read about it here and here.
Land use thief's cattle seized by feds
I'll say it again -- one of the most under-reported, hell, unreported scandals of the Bush Administration has been its willingness to turn public lands over to private interests to suck out minerals, cut timber and graze cattle without actually paying the public for the privilege. A New Mexico rancher found out the hard way last week that the rules are different for small fry like himself. Kit Laney was booked on charges of assaulting an officer, intimidation and obstructing a court order after he refused to remove several hundred head of his own cattle from federal lands, namely the Gila National Forest. Laney tried to justify his refusal to remove his animals from the people's property by claiming in court that his grazing rights on the land in question dated back before the creation of the Gila National Forest in 1964. The problem is that Laney didn't buy his ranch until 1985. "We take no pleasure in impounding the Laneys' livestock,'' Marcia Andre, supervisor of the Gila forest, told an AP reporter. "Unfortunately, the Laneys have forced us to take this action.'' Read about this brouhaha here, here, here and, especially, here. The Laneys have become the cause de jour for far-right "property rights" organizations.
Buy this book!
I want you to spend $16 at your local bookstore, the price of one copy of Take Them At Their Words: Shocking, Amusing and Baffling Quotations from the G.O.P. and Their Friends, 1994-2004, by Bruce J. Miller and Diana Maio. In fact, I think you'll want to buy copies for friends and families. This is the best Republican-debunking book since Al Franken's latest. You can have hours of family fun reading totally outlandish quotes from Rethugs to your asshole brother-in-law who worships Rush and asking him to defend the quotation. This is a great, great read!

Friday, March 12, 2004

Rumsfeld's perks include piece of Pentagon airplane
The Associated Press is reporting this evening that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has a piece of the airplane flown into the Pentagon on 9-11. Rumsfeld has the chunk on display as a souvenir. Top FBI officials also have mementoes from the worst tragedy in modern American history. If this doesn't show how absolutely evil the Bush Administration is, nothing does. Read it for yourself here.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

And we haven't forgotten about you, Texas Republican district attornies
If you read Bob Herbert's excellent series of op-ed columns in the New York Times over the past couple of years, you know all about Tulia, Texas, where corrupt cops and a racist court system sent innocent Tulia residents to prison on drug convictions. The main prosecution witness in those series of trials -- which involved African-American and latino defendents -- turned out to be a goddamned liar so untrustworthy that other law enforcement agencies in Texas wouldn't hire the bastard. Herbert's columns spurred the State of Texas to re-open the Tulia convictions and, eventually, to void all of them. The unjustly convicted Tulians settled a civil suit with their oppressors earlier this week, winning a multi-million dollar settlement.

The Tulia scandal appears to have ended, at least temporarily, the career of the Republican district attorney who prosecuted the cases in question. Voters in Hale and Swisher counties booted DA Terry McEachern from office in Tuesday's Rethug primary. McEachern won only 24.7% of the votes cast. McEachern had been DA for 18 years, originally as a Democrat. This past January, he switched his party affiliation to Republican. His actions during the Tulia prosecutions have drawn an investigation by the State Bar of Texas. McEachern is also a drunk driver, convicted of aggravated DWI in November, 2002, after being stopped by Ruidoso, New Mexico, police. Good freaking riddance to rubbish, Texas voters! Read about it here and here.
Texas sheriffs, please slow down
You guys are going gangrenous at light speed. The sheriffs of Denton and Dallas counties are the latest Texas Rethug lawmen to fall afoul of the law. Dallas County Sheriff Jim Bowles is facing second-degree felony charges of transferring $100,000 in campaign funds to personal bank accounts. Denton County Sheriff Weldon Lucas was slapped with two charges of perjury for lying to a grand jury investigating Sheriff Bowles' bidness dealings. The investigation has spread to four counties and more arrests are expected. Keep up the good job, boys! Read about this scandal here and here.
The Weeble's wobbling furiously
Who says Weebles wobble, but they don't fall down? Karl "The Weeble" Rove may be on the verge of breaking the careening tribe's code of stability. Seems Mr. Machiavelli pretty much threw himself on the mercy of the FBI agents interviewing him last fall as part of their investigation into who leaked the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame to a far-right Republican newspaper columnist. Rove reportedly admitted that he circulated damaging information about Plame both to people in the White House and selected political consultants and reporters. Why hasn't this hit the front pages of the national newspapers with screaming headlines? It's apparently too complex for the so-called liberal media to run with. Fortunately, the American Prospect's Murray S. Waas has an outstanding story about Rove's self-implication here. The death watch for Rove's career has already started in Washington media circles. Some of the less timid media whores are finally daring to say that Rove isn't as smart as he and a lot of other people thought he was. He's embarrassed the Bush family, so they'll throw him to the wolves in a heartbeat. Couldn't happen to a nicer rotund, wobbly dickhead.
Paging Mr. Carlin, Mr. George Carlin
The stock market is tanking, private sector employment is contracting, we lost three more soldiers in Iraq today and all the Republican-dominated U.S. Congress can think about is obscenities broadcast on the nation's airwaves. The U.S. House easily approved a broadcast nanny bill today listing the explicit words and phrases which will now cost broadcasters as much as $500,000 per incident -- up from the current fine limit of $27,500. It's nice to know that in times of national crisis, the Republican Party has its priorities straight. By the way, House Democrats stampeded to vote for the bill. Such profiles in courage. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) is delighted with the new anti-free speech legislation. It "makes great strides in our effort to clean up the broadcast airwaves and return them to the decent Americans of our country," says Barton. Bullshit! Read the rest of this embarrassing piece of crap pandering to right-wing prudes here.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

New Mexico Rethug arrested after DWI vote
There's stupid, really stupid and, now, a category of beyond stupid. This Ultima Thule of idiocy is currently populated by one Joe Thompson, House Minority Whip in the New Mexico Legislature. The 37 year-old Republican was stopped by Albuquerque police Wednesday night and charged with drunk driving after officers noticed that Thompson's car was drifting forward into an intersection against a red light. Hours earlier, Thompson had attended a gathering to celebrate the state's new crackdown on drunk drivers. Thompson blew a 0.12 and a 0.11 on the breathylizer. Thompson says he'll seek counseling and medical treatment and, oh, by the way, he won't be running for a seat on New Mexico's Public Regulation Commission this year after all. Read about Thompson's moronic behavior here. Thanks to Stentor for bringing this little gem to my attention. You have been missed, sir!
Leon learns to spin
Another pathetically underreported story about the Bush Administration is how it has allowed right-wing politics to corrupt the nation's science policy. The fox is definitely running the hen house on this one. Leon Kass, head of the President's Council on Bioethics, is playing patty-cake with some of the most fanatical anti-abortion zealots around. Do we really want people like Randall Terry having a seat at the table when it comes to determining policy on issues such as stem cell research and cloning? Reason's Ronald Bailey explains a little bit about what's going on here.
New Mexico GOP donor gets drilling rights
In one of the most underreported criminal phenomena associated with the Bush White House, federal land continues to be handed over to GOP fat cats so they can profit by pumping oil from wells on that land. The latest lucky ducky is George Yates, an associate of Vice-President Cheney's and a generous supporter of the Republican Party and its rape of America's public lands. George's latest score -- seven million acres of public lands in New Mexico which the White House has eased land use restrictions on in order to allow Yates to drill wells -- is detailed here.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Upstate New York Mayor charged for performing same-sex unions
Hoist your glass and toast New Paltz, New York, Mayor Jason West for having the balls to do the right thing and perform civil wedding ceremonies for 25 same-sex couples recently. Then, open your checkbook up and send a donation to West's legal defense fund. See, the Green Party mayor was charged with 19 criminal counts for performing the marriages for couples who had no "valid" marriage licenses (West was using licenses he had drawn up for the occasion). The bad guy in this instance is Ulster County District Attorney Donald Williams. This tight-assed punk apparently has nothing better to do than indulge in his homophobia. Mayor West makes for killer copy: "I'm incredibly disappointed. Apparently, it's a crime to uphold the constitution of New York state." Bwahahahahahaha!!! You go, Mr. Mayor. Meanwhile, New York Attorney General Elliott Spitzer -- a man among mere lads, politically-speaking -- has said his office will determine this week whether same-sex marriages are legal under New York law. Read about it here, here and here, where AG Spitzer pretty much says the unions are legal under current state law.
And Super Tuesday Coming Down
I think we may be screwed. I should admit up front that I have never been all that crazy about John Kerry. I was willing to give him a chance, though. So what do I see tonight? Ted Kennedy introduces Kerry as he makes his victory speech. Ted Kennedy. The absolute last man Kerry should have had on the dias with him. Hell, Kerry would have been better off having Gary Leon Ridgway introduce him. Then, Kerry manages to completely quiet his audience. That's not what you want when you're giving a victory speech. Then, idiots within the Kerry campaign are spending this evening telling reporters that John Edwards isn't close enough to Kerry's lofty status to be his Vice-President. The reporters, to their credit, scratch their heads on camera and use the "E" word to describe Kerry's staff -- "elitist." So, Kerry starts off his Presidential campaign by shooting himself multiple times in the foot in one night. Anyone remember Duane Bobick? We may have another Great White Dope on our hands. Man, I hate this!
Nubile teens are standing by for your call, Ted
One of the more worthless Republican goons currently infesting Washington is Ted Olson, U.S. Solicitor General. Ted represents the United States in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. Olson was a major dirty tricks man in the Get Clinton At All Costs Campaign and this high legal office, for which he is almost certainly morally unfit, is his pay-off for all of his evil deeds against the Clintons. Olson suffered a personal tragedy on 9-11 when his wife, Barbara, died on one of the hijacked planes. I won't joke about that because there's nothing funny about it. Ted, however, seems to be drifiting in some sort of weird sexual limbo recently. According to the AP, Olson recently typed "free porn" into an Internet search engine on his home computer (yeah, right!) and came up with six million hits. Ted was shocked, so shocked that he told the Supreme Court Tuesday that a federal law, the Child Online Protection Act (COPA), must be upheld. The law has been tossed out on constitutional grounds by a number of judges, so trust one of King Crisco's minions to take that as a sign that he must try and finagle the Supremes into making it the law of the land. Prediction: COPA gets a thumbs' down from a majority on the court (and, yes, how will Clarence Thomas vote on that little item?), Fat Tony makes another angry, rambling speech denouncing everyone but himself and, hopefully, Olson gets a girlfriend and finds something else to do in his spare time. Catch it here.

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