Another One Bites the Dust

Another one down:

Federal authorities said today that they had uncovered a plot by Al Qaeda, working with a truck driver in Ohio, to bomb a bridge in New York City, trains in Washington and other targets.

The truck driver, Iyman Faris, a 34-year-old American citizen from Kashmir, was secretly taken into custody about three months ago by federal agents. Under a secret plea agreement unsealed today, Mr. Faris agreed in April to charges of providing material support to terrorists, and he faces up to 20 years in prison.

Rot in hell, traitor.








Blogger Exodus

The Blogger exodus continues, and the Yale Diva has moved to a swanky new pad, complete with the latest version of MT.








Unbelievable

These people are scum, and it is unbelievable the depths they will sink to:

Now that Sen. Hillary Clinton’s book has topped out at the 600,000 sales range, Clinton and her supporters seem to have found a way to keep the book sales coming. Clinton’s Senate staff and schedulers have made it clear to her Democratic Senate colleagues and groups interested in having her appear at fundraisers that she will only attend if copies of her books are either purchased in bulk for free distribution at the event or her books are made available for purchase while she is in attendance.

“They told me Mrs. Clinton will be more than happy to sign all the books and that she would spend plenty of time with those people who bought them,” says a publicity director for a Washington-based nonprofit who inquired about a possible appearance by Clinton early next fall. “It wasn’t like they were telling me we had to have the books, but the underlying message seemed to be, if we want a commitment, a promise of the book sales would help us get her.”

Further confirmation of Clinton’s people seeking a quid pro quo would be her planned appearances at fundraisers for Barbara Boxer, Patty Murray, and Blanche Lincoln, all up for re-election in 2004. All three will be selling copies of Clinton’s book and she will be appearing at all three events with the express purpose of signing them.

Also, the Democratic National Committee is negotiating not with the publisher Simon and Schuster, but with several local Washington, D.C. bookstores for purchases of Clinton’s book which would possibly be used as premiums for donors. “We haven’t worked it out yet, but we think by going through the bookstores the sales would be reflected not as bulk and would insure Senator Clinton would have a long stay at the top of the bestseller lists,” says a DNC staffer.
It’s expected that Clinton will emerge in the top slot of the New York Times latest bestseller lists. And Democrats have made keeping her on top a priority throughout the summer.

Scum. If this is 100% accurate, this has to be illegal.

(via Ipse Dixit)








Blogging Up A Storm

Henry Hanks is blogging up a storm. Go here and just read.








Comment Policy

Despite the fact that I am frequently (and IMHO erroneously) perceived as a right-wing, nazi, fascist, blind Bush-cabal, starve the poor, kill the elderly, bomb foreigners right-winger, I think I have a pretty liberal policy on comments. My policy, though unstated, is now on the record-

“Don’t be a total jerk.”

I actually believe that more speech is the cure for offensive speech. Having said that- be nice to the left wing commenters. If they disagree- that is called discussion. There is no reason to be overtly rude to people who have differences of opinion, on either side of the political spectrum. I absolutely do not want people to feel uncomfortable commenting, and if anyone is nothing but an unrepentant troll, I will deal with them. Other than that, argue with them- debate them. Show that you are right, and not just RIGHT, and engage them. But I don’t want people attacking people just because they do not adhere to the world view I have. If I did, I wouldn’t have comments. Plus- I am wrong a lot- and I don’t mind admitting it or acting on it. Neither should you.

In other words, be polite.








This Sounds Great

Thought your awkward teenage years were difficult? Imagine them naked:

On the third-to-last day of summer camp, the temperature has risen to 98 degrees, and even the troupers have begun to whine.

“I don’t want to play strip volleyball!” complained Jane Jeffries, 13, her sunburned shoulders sagging. “I want to play regular volleyball.”

Halie Nelson, 14, agreed, “Yeah, I’d rather get all the clothes off, and keep all the clothes off.”

Here at the Youth Leadership Camp run by the American Association for Nude Recreation, the dress code for regular volleyball and for the pudding toss, mini-golf and campfire sing-alongs is the same as it is for skinny dipping.

One more reason to love my parents- I never had to attend nude camp. Baseball must be terrifying, at least for the male batters.








Blogger Exodus

Reason of Voice has moved.








Good News

This is the best news I have heard in weeks:

The Sopranos,” the most successful series in the history of cable television, will not end with its fifth season but will instead have one more, lasting 10 episodes, Brad Grey, one of the show’s executive producers, said last night.

With the additional season, “The Sopranos” will end with 75 episodes on HBO, enough for a potential sale in syndication, which is likely to be among the most lucrative ever for a cable program.

“The big issue was the creative one that David had to make,” Mr. Grey said, referring to the show’s creator, David Chase. “He had to decide whether he had more stories to tell, and he decided that he did.”

As long as the last two seasons are as good as the first two, this is great news.








Scrappleface

Scott Ott is a genius:

The American Medical Association endorsed human cloning Tuesday morning, but later in the day reversed the decision upon discovering that malpractice attorneys could be cloned.

“At first, we thought it was strictly a scientific decision whether to allow lumps of protoplasm to be replicated,” said an unnamed AMA spokesman. “However, when one of our members suggested that the technique might be used to increase the number of malpractice attorneys, we realized that it was really an ethical issue. We stand on the side of good versus evil, and call on Congress to ban cloning now.”








If I Have to Say This Every Day, I Will

The current Prescription Drug Benefit/Medicare Giveaway/AARP Vote Buying Scheme, whatever you want to call it, the estimated $400 billion dollar (which will balloon to a trillion in no time) albatross Bush and the Legislature are about to hang around our neck, is not means tested.

That’s right- You and I are going to be paying for Donald Trump’s viagra and Ross Perot’s Ritalin. Happy Happy, Joy Joy!








Laurence Simon, Cyber Detective

Amish Tech Support has the goods on Orrin Hatch’s copyright abuse.

(via the Blogfather)








Racial Profiling

President Bush, in a move that has already sparked a great deal of debate, yesterday issued the following guidelines regarding racial profiling:

President Bush issued the first broad ban on racial profiling by federal law enforcement agencies yesterday, but included exceptions permitting use of race and ethnicity to combat potential terrorist attacks.

The new policy covers about 120,000 officers at 70 federal agencies with law enforcement powers. It prohibits the use of “generalized stereotypes” based on race or ethnicity, and allows officers to consider them only as part of a specific description or tip from an informant.

“Routine patrol duties must be carried out without consideration of race,” the Justice Department policy states. “Stereotyping certain races as having a greater propensity to commit crimes is absolutely prohibited.”

There are limited exceptions:

A summary said the policy will not take away any “tools needed to identify terrorist threats and stop potential catastrophic attacks.”

The document cites the hypothetical case of a report by intelligence sources “that Middle Eastern terrorists are planning to use commercial jetliners as weapons by hijacking them at an airport in California during the next week.”

“Before allowing men appearing to be of Middle Eastern origin to board commercial airplanes in California airports during the next week, Transportation Security Administration personnel, and other federal and state authorities, may subject them to heightened scrutiny,” the document states.

Sounds reasonable. What is the reaction of the left? Take a guess- uniformly negative:

ACLU The guidelines acknowledge racial profiling as a national concern, but do nothing to stop it, said Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLUs Washington Legislative Office. The new policy guidelines provide no rights or remedies. What is the use of a government document that by its own terms cannot be used to hold the government accountable for its actions?

Talk Left: One more thing. Why didn’t Bush issue an executive order banning racial profiling instead of just issuing “guidelines” (already being called “guidance”)?

Why the anger? Why the outrage? I am sorry it is not an executive order (which I despise- “Stroke of the pen. Law of the Land. Kinda cool.” – Paul Begala), but there is simply no way to spin this as anything but a step forward. Hell, we all remember what it was like in the Golden Age of Amercian Democracy (Jan 20th 1993- Jan 20th 2001):

The lead-off question, asked by activist Al Sharpton, pertained to police brutality and the very public case of Amadou Diallo, who was shot more than 20 times by New York police as he went to retrieve his wallet.

“Many in our community have to live in fear of both the cops and the robbers,” Sharpton said. “What concrete steps would you take to end police brutality and racial profiling?”

Saying he was outraged by the incident, Bradley vowed to issue an executive order prohibiting racial profiling — and as he has before, needled the vice president as to why he has not “walked down the hall” to President Bill Clinton’s office to urge the president to do the same thing.

Bush does something where the Democrats had before done nothing, yet he is criticized. The same thing is going to happen with this hideous Medicare prescription drug benefit/vote buying scheme. Bush and the legislature are going to give away 400 billion, and Bush will be attacked because it isn’t enough. Not because we can’t afford it, not because the damned thing won’t be means-tested, thus giving the rich free medical care (you would think Democrats would see that one, but nope), but because where the Democrats did nothing, Bush did something, and it just wasn’t good enough. No wonder they are out of power.








The Bastard Bush

How long before this is blamed on Bush and Cheney and the neo-fascist cabal in Washington:

More Americans Seeking Help for Depression By MARY DUENWALD

More than half of the Americans who suffer from depression now seek treatment, up from one-third 10 years ago, a new survey says. Yet nearly 60 percent of the people in treatment do not receive adequate care, the researchers found.

Just curious, you know.








Another One Bites the Dust

More good news in Iraq, as the de-Ba’athification continues in earnest:

American forces have captured Abid Hamid Mahmud al-Tikriti, Saddam Hussein’s presidential secretary and No. 4 on the U.S. most-wanted list of Iraqi leaders, the U.S. military said Wednesday.

U.S. forces captured Mahmud on Monday in Iraq, a statement from U.S. Central Command said. It did not say where in Iraq he was captured.

Third in power only to the former Iraqi president and his younger son, Qusai, Mahmud controlled access to Saddam and was one of the few people he is said to have trusted completely, a U.S. official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

For those keeping track, he was the Ace of Diamonds.








Medicare Malfeasance

Does anyone know if this 400 billion dollar vote-buying scheme known as the prescription drug benefit is going to be means tested?