Republicans love big cars.

You really must see this. Someone submitted this as an entry in Chevy's "Apprentice" promotion. It's brilliant.

Thanks to The Liberal Avenger for pointing it out.

UPDATE: First: My first commercial. For some reason, it didn't save the soundtrack I added. If you do one, it's music 06. Imagine that music behind it.

Second: My second commercial. Not as good, but at least the music worked.

Freedom for Jill.

From appletree: Christian Science Monitor Reporter Jill Carroll is Freed.
Same story from MSNBC.

Here's the odd thing: her captors didn't treat her badly. They apparently let her walk around her room freely, didn't hurt her...

...it's a nice change.

Unofrtunately, the talking-heads are spinning this already. I've actually seen right-wing blowhards trying to say that this is some sort of terrorist PR move, trying to get the Iraq situation to look "worse than it actually is" (how the hell is that possible?!) when other journalists report it, then releasing the journalist who'll give stories of how well they're treated.

People are even trying to say that this may have been a hoax. What the hell? Are they that cynical about stories that won't end in "OMG KILL TEH BROWN PEOPLES!"?


Bush Blames Saddam for Iraq Instability

From ABC News: Bush Blames Saddam for Iraq Instability
WASHINGTON Mar 29, 2006 (AP)— President Bush said Wednesday that Saddam Hussein, not continued U.S. involvement in Iraq, is responsible for ongoing sectarian violence that is threatening the formation of a democratic government.

In his third speech this month to bolster public support for the war, Bush worked to counter critics who say the U.S. presence in the wartorn nation is fueling the insurgency. Bush said that Saddam was a tyrant and used violence to exacerbate sectarian divisions to keep himself in power, and that as a result, deep tensions persist to this day.

"The enemies of a free Iraq are employing the same tactics Saddam used, killing and terrorizing the Iraqi people in an effort to foment sectarian division," Bush said.

Well, we can add "Saddam" to the chant of Bushiemort and his Truth Eaters: "9/11 9/11 9/11 terror terror terror Saddam Saddam Saddam".

Gee, weren't they saying not too long ago that Iraqis hated Saddam and wanted him gone? Weren't they saying that getting rid of him would fix all the problems?

And they called Kerry a flip-flopper...


OOPS: Immigration memo intended for Rove ends up in Democratic congressman's fax!

From The Raw Story: Immigration memo intended for Rove arrives on Democrat's fax.

Thanks to The Liberal Avenger for alerting me to this one.

An immigration memo intended for embattled White House advisor Karl Rove arrived instead on the fax machine of a Democratic congressman, RAW STORY can reveal.

The congressman who received the fax opted not to comment, and asked that his name not be used.

The focus of Smith's memo, addressed to "Hon. Karl Rove," is on immigration politics.

"Immigration needs to be considered in the context of: (1). Media Bias, (2). Animosity toward the president and (3) the feelings of the Republican base," Smith's memo states.

Smith is a member of the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims as well as the Subcommittee on Economic Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Cybersecurity. No issues regarding the legislative jurisdiction of these committees are mentioned.

Smith goes on to suggest that "Liberals can easily and accurately be painted as opposing enforcement." His office did not return a call seeking comment.

The document, verified by RAW STORY and traced to Smith's fax machine telephone line, follows.

You've really gotta see this memo to believe it. Click on the link up there.

Love that "let's-blame-the-people-who-are-going-to-destroy-us" attitude. They're desperate, and they're showing it.


Oglala Sioux Tribal President Will Stand Up to Unconstitutional SD Abortion Ban

Link to original article.

Let nobody say that the people who had this country first don't give back despite what we've done to them. In light of South Dakota's unconstitutional ban on abortion, the Oglala Sioux Tribe's President, Cecelia Fire Thunder, is proposing that an abortion clinic be opened on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation if the ban goes into effect. Even better, nothing can be done about that, as the concept of tribal sovereignty states that reservations are considered separate nations wholly within the borders of the country.

According to Fire Thunder,

“We’re working on it(.) This is a free-choice issue. If I were in that situation, I’d want somewhere to go where I’d be taken care of.”
She is not alone, either, as she holds a position as one of the 15 co-leaders of the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families, which is forming a campaign to have the law overturned.

South Dakota's Attorney General, Larry Long, declined to comment on the proposal, but stated that major crimes committed on reservations come under state jurisdiction if they are committed by non-Indians against non-Indians. Yes, that's right, according to this man, abortions are a "major crime". And this guy's attorney general of the state. Sheesh.

Fortunately, Fire Thunder is optomistic about the need to even establish a clinic. Her prediction, and this is supported by precedent, is that the law would be struck down by federal courts. If not, she has stated that she would "personally establish a Planned Parenthood Clinic on my own land." In fact, according to Fire Thunder,

"We want to have a viable option closer to home(.) Of course, in our culture, children are sacred, but women are sacred too, and somebody who has been victimized by rape or incest should have options.”

I can't help but thank her. And I know there are thousand, perhaps millions, of others who will thank her as well.

Ohio: YOU DAMN QUEERS DON'T NEED PROTECTION! (And also, you don't if you're not married but not gay.)

From the Daytona Daily News: Domestic Violence Law Excludes Some
Domestic violence law excludes some
Appeals court rules law does not apply to people living together

County prosecutors cannot charge some unmarried people under Ohio's domestic violence law because it conflicts with the state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, this area's state appeals court ruled Friday.

The 2nd District Court of Appeals is the first of the state's 12 appellate courts to rule that the domestic violence law runs afoul of the Defense of Marriage amendment, passed by voters in 2004, and does not apply to "a person living as a spouse."

In short, the logic is "dem queer homos ain't married, so we can't charge 'em like dey is, or dey'd think dey was".

And I always wondered why my Ohio friends told me that the state was Hell on earth.

Until the high court decides, unmarried defendants, who would have faced felony domestic violence charges, will be charged with misdemeanor assault charges in Greene County, Schmidt said.

It's amazing how people will make huge stinks over getting laws meant to protect people from domestic abuse passed... and then people will turn right around and ignore that specific protection because the people involved are not exactly the kind of people they want protected.

The amendment says the state cannot "create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the ... effect of marriage."

But the appellate court said the state's domestic violence law, which includes protection for "a person living as a spouse," conflicts with the amendment.

"The state or any subdivision shall not recognize these unions," said Greene County Common Pleas Judge Stephen Wolaver, the trial judge who dismissed the charges against Ward.

So it's more important that you keep DEM EBIL QUEER GAY HOMOS from being anything close to married than to protect people?

Good attitude. Fucker.

Montgomery County assistant public defender Michael R. Pentecost predicted Saturday that the appeal's court decision also will limit the ability of unmarried people to get domestic violence protection orders. State lawmakers may have to amend the law, he said.

"The people who backed this amendment were not thinking about these types of unintended consequences," Pentecost said. "They got so overzealous."

You know what the worst part is? I think he might be wrong. Maybe some of them DID think about this.

"The Defense of Marriage amendment is ... a part of the fundamental, organic law of Ohio," Fain wrote.

Yes, a law meant to discriminate against a group of people is just nautral, isn't it?

Well, at least he used the word fundamental. That's about the most accurate word for it, though in a different sense...

"We make no observations concerning the wisdom of the electorate in having adopted the amendment."

He suggested that if the domestic violence law applied "to all persons sharing residential quarters, that would present no constitutional problem."

That's the anti-gay folks' solution: "Well, just fix that law, them it protects them and DEM EBIL GAY HOMOS can't get married!" It's about more than just that, but they don't care - anything to guard their special rights from the rest of the world.


SCOTUS: Fourth Amendment rights still important

Fron the Indianapolis Star: Court limits cops' right to search

I'm not going to even quote the article's main parts, as they're pretty much cut-and-dried reporting standard for SCOTUS decisions.

But the following is annoyingly bad:

• Women's shelter: Ann DeLaney, executive director of the Julian Center, a shelter in Indianapolis for battered women, said the decision will hurt prosecutors trying domestic violence cases. She said that because women are sometimes intimidated about testifying against their abusers, investigators try to gather as much evidence as possible to prove the allegations so a woman's testimony isn't needed.

"If an officer walks in the house, he can see it in disarray. He can see that the phones are pulled out of the wall," DeLaney said. "That's all important evidence to a case. This is a setback."

...well, here comes the right's spin tactic on this: "The unelected liberal black-robed activist judges of the Supreme Court hate women and want them to be abused." I'm not really surprised that this kind of red herring shows up in the article - it IS from the Indy Star, which is far-right garbage.

Maybe this woman could think for a few seconds before spewing this kind of reactionary garbage. If she thought, she'd realize that - get this, sports fans - the cops can get warrants pretty easily based on evidence. Judges, from what I've observed these past 22 years, have no love for domestic abusers. Besides, it's garbage anyhow. Justice Souter got it (and, naturally, Bush's butt-boy Roberts didn't):

Roberts said the decision "apparently forbids police from entering to assist with a domestic dispute if the abuser whose behavior prompted the request for police assistance objects." Although Roberts has disagreed with other rulings since joining the court in September, it was the first time he wrote his own dissent.

Souter called Roberts' concerns about domestic violence a "red herring."

"This case has no bearing on the capacity of the police to protect domestic victims," Souter wrote. "The question whether the police might lawfully enter over objection in order to provide any protection that might be reasonable is easily answered yes."



Ben Domenech: Filthy Goddamn Liar

The start of yellow-backed red-spewer Domenech's massive bullshit flood.

So the Washington Post's website has given over some of its space to lying hack Ben Domenech. As if that wasn't bad enough, his very first post is riddled with bullshit of the worst kind - the kind he's used to spewing without repercussion.

This is a blog for the majority of Americans.

Since the election of 1992, the extreme political left has fought a losing battle.

Wow, two sentences in and he's already lied twice. The right won't let you know it, but a majority of Americans support liberal stances on issues.

Democrats who have won major elections since 1992 have, with very few exceptions, been the ones who distanced themselves from the shrieking denizens of their increasingly extreme base, soft-pedaled their positions on divisive issues and adopted the rhetoric and positions of the right -- pro-free market, pro-business, pro-faith, tough on crime and strongly in favor of family values.

Oh, Ben Domenech, you nutty guy, can't you go without lying to us like that? Oh. wait, you're a wingnut, it's in your blue blood (there's an irony - blue-blooded red-state hacks) to lie about things like that. You got one thing right in that whole paragraph, and that's the fact that the right is pro-free-market. But everything else there? Lies, all of it. The Right is full of philandering cheats, so there's the "family values" bit out the window. Tough on crime? Maybe if those crimes are committed by brown people in the inner city, but not on larger crimes like, say, cooking the books of multi-billion-dollar corporations, or lying to the nation to get us into a war for no reason other than to line the pockets of the rich. So that's your "tough on crime" lie defenestrated. And as for being "pro-business", that's only if by "business", you mean "big corporations". Small businesses are regularly shafted by the Right because they can't afford to pump millions in contributions into corrupt campaigns. So there's another lie chucked unceremoniously. And "pro-faith"? Well, they're not big on most kinds of it - really, they're only tolerant of hateful, bigoted, hyper-end-times-Christian beliefs. Everyone else can apparently get hosded, if you ask them. So there's yet another of yout filthy lies given the heave-ho.

The fact that you got only one thing right in that whole paragraph is nothing short of amazing. Most journalists would be panhandling for booze money right now if they got the facts as wrong as you just did (Faux News' pseudo-journalistic talking heads excepted).

Yet even in a climate where Republicans hold command of every branch of government, and advocate views shared by a majority of voters, the mainstream media continues to treat red state Americans as pachyderms in the mist - an alien and off-kilter group of suburbanite churchgoers about which little is known, and whose natural habitat is a discomforting place for even the most hardened reporter from the New York Times.

And Ben Domenech lies again, this time invoking the old "liberal media" canard. Tell me, Ben Domenech, if the media's so goddamn liberal, why do you hear nothing but the bitching of liars like yourself, carping endlessly about how they can't get a word in edgewise? And stop thinking your extremist views are "shared by a majority of voters", Ben Domenech, as you know that's a filthy lie.

Any red-blooded American conservative, even those who hold a dim view of Patrick Swayze's acting "talent," knows a Red Dawn reference.

So does my girlfriend, and she's hardly a conservative. She'd probably punch you in the face if you were barking this bull at her, Ben Domenech.

While the mainstream media has been slow to recognize the growth in conservative America, smart Democrats have not. Former Virginia Governor Mark Warner and Hillary Clinton are not alone in recognizing that the unhinged elements of their base, motivated by partisan rage, Michael Moore conspiracies and a pronounced feeling of victimhood have dragged down the Democratic Party for far too long.
(...) Smart Democrats read this kind of rhetoric and recognize that if they continue to be the party of Howard Dean, the floor may be nonexistent.

You know, it's really amazing how wingnuts can't seem to go more than a day without another Michael Moore and/or Howard Dean bash. Of course, Ben Domenech doesn't care about that - after all, he's fulfilled his wingnut RDA of screeding by getting his daily dose of Vitamin M.

But remember, if we bring up all the failures who've popped up on their side of the political spectrum, we're told to "get over it".

Red America's citizens are the political majority. They're here to stay. It's time to start paying attention to what they believe and why.

I guess Ben Domenech subscribes to the Wingnut Rules of Truth - if you repeat a lie enough times, it becomes the truth.

EDITED TO ADD: DCDL makes a good point here: If the current Republican administration doesn't represent what true conservatives want, according to Ben Domenech, then how can he say America is full of conservatives like him? Obviously, it's not, or those guys wouldn't have been elected, now would they?


A few snippets from pResident Bunnypants' speech today.

From CNN.com: Transcript of President Bush's Ohio speech

The following bits and pieces are parts I thought needed some clarification.

"Let America, their families and the world be proud of their sacrifice for humanity and life."

Translation from Bushese: "Let's be proud of the fact that I got poor folks to help me make more oil money!"

The terrorists who are setting off bombs in mosques and markets in Iraq share the same hateful ideology as the terrorists who attacked us on September the 11, 2001, those who blew up the commuters in London and Madrid, and those who murdered tourists in Bali or workers in Riyadh or guests at a wedding in Amman.

GOD DAMN IT HE'S DOING IT AGAIN! How many times must he and the rest of the nutjobs be told this: THERE IS NO GODDAMN FUCKING LINK BETWEEN AL-QAEDA AND IRAQ! YES, THAT INCLUDES THE INSURGENTS! I wonder how long it'll be before the wingnut talking heads start repeating that garbage... again?

In the Middle East, freedom is once again contending with an ideology that seeks to sew anger and hatred and despair. And like fascism and communism before, the hateful ideologies that use terror will be defeated.

Freedom will prevail in Iraq. Freedom will prevail in the Middle East.

Y'hear that, folks? He says we're fucked!

There will be more days of sacrifice and tough fighting before the victory is achieved. Yet by helping the Iraqis defeat the terrorists in their land, we bring greater security to our own.

Which is why we're basically opening our ports and such to the folks who harbored the 9/11 conspirators. Thank Shigeru that fell through.

And about "more days of sacrifice and tough fighting": Whatever happened to "mission accomplished"? Didn't we see Bunnypants on that aircraft carrier telling us that the major fighting was over? Didn't we see him with his stuffed codpiece and the flightsuit he's only worn a couple times despite being in the Air National Guard (though he DID dodge his duty) saying that we had won?


As we make progress toward victory, Iraqis will continue to take more responsibility for their own security and fewer U.S. forces will be needed to complete the mission.

If that's the case, then why the fuck are we building permanent bases in Iraq? Oh, right, because he knows that's a goddamn lie!

More torture? Who's surprised by this?

From the New York Times: In Secret Unit's 'Black Room,' a Grim Portrait of U.S. Abuse
In Secret Unit's 'Black Room,' a Grim Portrait of U.S. Abuse

Published: March 19, 2006

As the Iraqi insurgency intensified in early 2004, an elite Special Operations forces unit converted one of Saddam Hussein's former military bases near Baghdad into a top-secret detention center. There, American soldiers made one of the former Iraqi government's torture chambers into their own interrogation cell. They named it the Black Room.

In June 2004, Stephen A. Cambone, a top Pentagon official, ordered his deputy, Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, to look into allegations of detainee abuse at Camp Nama.
In the windowless, jet-black garage-size room, some soldiers beat prisoners with rifle butts, yelled and spit in their faces and, in a nearby area, used detainees for target practice in a game of jailer paintball. Their intention was to extract information to help hunt down Iraq's most-wanted terrorist, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, according to Defense Department personnel who served with the unit or were briefed on its operations.

Yeah, real smart, guys, torture people to get info when you KNOW that it doesn't work and they'll give you a bunch of crap.

The Black Room was part of a temporary detention site at Camp Nama, the secret headquarters of a shadowy military unit known as Task Force 6-26. Located at Baghdad International Airport, the camp was the first stop for many insurgents on their way to the Abu Ghraib prison a few miles away.

Placards posted by soldiers at the detention area advised, "NO BLOOD, NO FOUL." The slogan, as one Defense Department official explained, reflected an adage adopted by Task Force 6-26: "If you don't make them bleed, they can't prosecute for it."
According to Pentagon specialists who worked with the unit, prisoners at Camp Nama often disappeared into a detention black hole, barred from access to lawyers or relatives, and confined for weeks without charges. "The reality is, there were no rules there," another Pentagon official said.

Oh, but we don't torture people! We shoot them with paintball guns, beat them, basically treat them like animals, but it's not torture! And we HAVE to so we can get information! Ticking time bomb! WHY DO YOU HATE FREEDOM?!

Seriously, you know that they're going to start trying to either cover this up or cover their own asses by calling these people "isolated cases" and "not under orders".

Sooner or later, you just know that all this torture stuff's gonna end up biting them on the ass somehow. The insurgents are going to get pissed off about this and more people are probably going to die, Iraqi and American alike. I hate that. I wish that wasn't the case. But it's going to happen, I'm sure of that.

If there was some magic wand I could wave over this war and make it end, if I could bring all the troops home and give Iraq whatever it wants and needs, if I could fix all the problems we have right now, oh, you KNOW I would...

...but I can't. That's why I do this - short of magic, all I have is this one voice. And I'm gonna use it.


Murtha: We're screwing ourselves by staying in Iraq

Iran and Qaeda benefit from US in Iraq: congressman
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. presence in
Iraq is hurting the worldwide war on terrorism and benefits only
Iran and al Qaeda, U.S. Rep. John Murtha said on Sunday.

"The only people who want us in Iraq are Iran and al-Qaeda," Murtha said on CBS's "Face the Nation" political talk show. "And I talked to a top-level commander the other day and he said China wants us there also. Why? Because we're depleting our resources ... our troop resources and our fiscal resources.

Hey, it's working out for the rich folks who are in bed with the Bush Crime Family. They get money, and those filthy poor people are dying so they don't come scrabbling for money. Everyone wins, right?

"... The war on terrorism is worldwide. In Iraq, it's a civil war," said Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat.

Murtha, who in November called for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, said it was useless for the United States to advise Iraqis.

"One of the problems I see and frustrating things is our ambassador keeps giving advice to the Iraqis," Murtha said. "Every time we give the Iraqis advice, they vote for someone else ... The Iraqis don't pay attention to our advice."

You'd figure that'd be a credit.

The U.S. role in fighting terrorism around the world is being subverted by Iraq, said Murtha, who characterized the sectarian strife between Iraq's Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims as a civil war that must be settled internally.

Murtha, a decorated Vietnam veteran who retired from the Marines Corps Reserve as a colonel in 1990, said Iraq would do a better job of rooting out terrorists once U.S. troops leave the country.

"But we HAVE to stay there and tell the dirty brown folk how to do things! They're... brown! They can't be that smart!" Weird part is, I'm pretty sure there are people out there who would actually SAY that...

"I'm convinced they know where they are, they know who they are," he said. "But they won't tell us because they've turned against us. We've lost the hearts and minds of the people."

The United Nations is scrutinizing Iran because of its nuclear research but Murtha said Tehran has become emboldened because of the U.S. focus in Iraq.

"We have a situation where our military is in such bad shape, it couldn't deploy to a second front," Murtha said. "And the Iranians know this. North Korea knows it. China knows it. We're depleting our resources in Iraq."

You'd think I'd dismiss this as utter paranoia... but he's right. Are they just waiting to come after us the moment we're out of troops? Highly unlikely - nobody's that stupid, and anything they could do would result in them getting bombed back to the last ice age. But they're waiting for us to run out of resources, then they're free to do what they want without the threat of our military stopping them.

That's the rub - so many conservatives are screaming about how China's just waiting to destroy us, adn I ask myself, "If you're so worried, why not get the military out of Iraq and get them back here so China can't DO anything?" Then, of course, I remember that they also believe that if we take even one troop out of Iraq, we're "cutting and running", and scrap asking my question out loud.

Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday and said the war in Iraq was going "very, very well" but Murtha was skeptical.

"Why would I believe him?" he said. "This administration, including the president, has mischaracterized this war for the last two years ... So why would I believe the chairman of the Joint Chiefs when he says things are going well?"

Remember, this was a guy who supported going in at first. He's come around to realize we're screwed.

So, how long before the right-wing shills are going to swift-boat him again, and start screaming about how he's OMG TEH EBIL TRAITOR HE HAS AN OPINION THAT'S NOT THE ONE WE WANT?! Took very little time last time. 'Course, last time the ignorant chest-thumper who bashed him got her filthy little hands slapped for it.

Maybe that'll teach 'em a lesson... but I doubt it.