Cliff Schecter's Blog

Bush Flunks Reading First Program

They should have tried the program out on the Dunce in Chief first. If it could teach him to read, it could teach anyone:

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McCain Is Heckled During MLK Speech

What a surprise. Who knew that would happen?

And why would such hostility be foisted upon such a swell gent? Could it be his vote against making MLK Day a holiday in 1983? His dalliance with the Confederate Flag on the presidential trail in 2000? His friends in low places, such as racial progressives Trent Lott and Terry Nelson of those wonderful Harold Ford ads in 2006? His wish to send more Americans to Iraq who joined the National Guard to get an education and defend their country from REAL threats, not die to undermine our security (at no fault of their own, but due to leaders like McCain)? His willing ignorance on issues such as health care and mortgage foreclosures?

Really, what does that crowd in Memphis have to dislike about McCain.? I don’t get it.

Via Think Progress:

Today, John McCain spoke to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Memphis to commemorate the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. As ThinkProgress has noted, as a congressman in 1983, McCain voted against legislation creating MLK Day.

Most Republicans (including then-Rep. Dick Cheney) supported the bill, later signed by President Reagan. McCain complained it "cost too much money, that other presidents were not recognized." He eventually came around to supporting the holiday in a 1990 Arizona referendum that failed.

In his speech today, McCain tried to explain his misguided vote by stating, “We can all be a little late sometimes in doing the right thing”:

Is Obama Ahead in Pennsylvania?

An outlier or ….?
Barack Obama 45
Hillary Clinton 43
Barack Obama has taken the lead in Pennsylvania, a remarkable turnaround after trailing Hillary Clinton by 26 points in a PPP poll in the state just two and a half weeks ago.
Obama’s steep rise could be a reflection of a growing sense among Democratic voters that a continued divisive nomination process will hurt the party’s chances of defeating John McCain this fall. An Obama upset in Pennsylvania would be virtually certain to force Clinton out of the race.
Obama has his customary large advantage with black voters (75-17) and is keeping it relatively competitive with white voters (49-38)
He leads across all age groups except senior citizens and balances Clinton’s 10 point lead with women with his own 15 point lead with men.

Pdf version here, with details.

Home page of PPP here.

H/t: Commenter David G.

Bill Clinton Stuns Superdelegates with Angry Tirade Behind Closed Doors

Take it with a grain of salt, since it's anonymous, but wow.

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80-Year-Old Church Deacon Arrested for Refusing to Remove His Anti-War T-Shirt

He's 80, but he was wearing the wrong tee shirt. One must never wear the wrong tee shirt. That's just unacceptable. Especially if one is at the mall:

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Don Siegelman to Be Released from Prison

Gather ’round, kiddies! It’s story time! Paddy, sit still! Bucky, stop pulling Kirsten’s hair! Clancy, L.A.Dave, put your wallets away, Eve is sneaking up behind you! Addington, do I have to take that Hillary bumper sticker away from you? You know how it annoys Fernando. Mainsailset, sit between them please. Settle down, everyone. Okay? Okay. Where was I? Oh yes… Once upon a time, there were …
...a series of cases in which it is alleged that the Justice Department brought charges to advance the political agenda of the Republican Party, and not for proper law enforcement purposes. The case surrounding Alabama Governor Don Siegelman is the centerpiece, and is still reckoned by most observers as the most overpowering case for prosecutorial abuse so far.

And guess what, kids! Karl Rove was involved! Yayyyy!

Now, boys and girls, there was a very, very important question that has never been answered:
Was the convicted charge a crime?

And what a question it was! Especially because there were partisan Republican political histories of both the prosecutors and the judge in the case! Can you say par-ti-san? I knew that you could. This is such a long story, I’ll let one of you give a Show and Tell Powerpoint about it next week, or just read this to us.

Gosharootie, what next? This!
Nearly two months after being ordered by an appellate court to explain his reasoning, a federal judge wrote Wednesday that he won’t allow former Gov. Don Siegelman out of prison while appealing his conviction because he doesn’t believe the conviction will be overturned.

Well guess what, children!
Former Gov. Don Siegelman will be released from prison, after the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals granted him an appeal bond, the lead prosecutor in the case said.

Libby Is Disbarred

I'm all verklempt today over the woes of these people. Will they never get a break? Tucker's dad is going to have to step up the fundraising, or Scooter might have to give up his country club membership!!!

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KBR Supplied Water Makes US Troops Sick

If they supported the troops any better, they'd be killing them.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Dozens of U.S. troops in Iraq fell sick at bases using "unmonitored and potentially unsafe" water supplied by the military and a contractor once owned by Vice President Dick Cheney's former company, the Pentagon's internal watchdog says.

A report obtained by The Associated Press said soldiers experienced skin abscesses, cellulitis, skin infections, diarrhea and other illnesses after using discolored, smelly water for personal hygiene and laundry at five U.S. military sites in Iraq.

The Pentagon's inspector general found water quality problems between March 2004 and February 2006 at three sites run by contractor KBR Inc., and between January 2004 and December 2006 at two military-operated locations.

It was impossible to link the dirty water definitively to all the illnesses, according to the report. But it said KBR's water quality "was not maintained in accordance with field water sanitary standards" and the military-run sites "were not performing all required quality control tests."

Mukasey Lets Bolten and Miers Off the Hook

We expected nothing less from the guy who can't figure out if waterboarding is torture or just a minor annoyance... unless it's done to him:

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Canadian Embassy Says Obama/NAFTA Rumours are False

Of course it is. When will we ever learn? Here's the backstory. Here's the correction:

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Secret Service Orders End to Gun Checks at Obama Rally in Dallas

I heard rumblings about this yesterday, but this boils it down the best.

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Obama Secretly Meets With John Edwards

The plot thickens....
Sen. Barack Obama "paid a secret visit to his former rival, John Edwards, in quest of his endorsement on Sunday," The Politico reports.
"The meeting in Chapel Hill, N.C., where Edwards lives, is the latest effort by Obama and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) to win 'the Edwards primary' -- the heatedly sought endorsement of the third-place finisher in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination."
Like Clinton's visit earlier this month, Obama managed to pull off his without the notice of the national press corps. However. WTVD-TV claims to have video of the visit which it will air later today.
Mark Halperin explains why Edwards' endorsement matters.


Obama has said not to expect much out of the meeting:
"I don't think there's any imminent news," Obama told CBS affiliate WISC-TV this afternoon. "We were exchanging views, he was giving me some thoughts, and obviosuly he's gonna be a big force in the Democratic party for many years to come."
Campaign officials would not specify whether the meeting included a promise of an Edwards endorsement.
Also, AP reports tonight that Clinton has been wooing the Edwardses more effectively:
People close to the Edwardses, speaking privately, say they have been torn about whom to support. The former North Carolina senator is concerned that Obama may not be ready for the presidency and that his health care plan is inferior. But Edwards was highly critical of Clinton - her policies, her ties to special interests and her character - during his campaign, making it more difficult to support her now.

Hillary Behaves Like a Sore Loser for the Second Time in a Row

I noticed that the other day, but now that it's twice in a row, it's worth a post:

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Army Buried Study Faulting Iraq Planning

Can we impeach now, please?

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Edwards Drops Out of Presidential Race

Chuck Todd is on MSNBC saying that the scheduled speech that Edwards was going to give in New Orleans today is abruptly turning around and will be a concession speech.

Todd also saying that it is very unlikely that Edwards would throw his endorsement to Clinton.

More as I get it. (I took the question mark off the headline. Looks to be firm)

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Why the Kennedy Endorsement Matters

This election holds special meaning for so many:

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Disgraced Warmonger Wolfowitz to Chair US Panel on Arms Control

Paul "Spit On My Comb" Wolfowitz has a brand new job!
Paul Wolfowitz, an architect of the Iraq war who was forced to resign from the World Bank because of an ethics scandal, will chair a U.S. advisory panel on arms control, the State Department said on Thursday.
How wise, hiring WolfaHalfWitz for a position that he will no doubt use to bungle and/or further endanger the U.S. Well, at least he'll be able to afford a new comb.
The former deputy secretary of defense and advocate of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq will head the State Department's International Security Advisory Board, which gives the department independent advice on arms control, disarmament, international security and other matters.
Wolfowitz was forced to resign as president of the World Bank last year after a bank panel found he broke several of its rules by involving himself in the promotion of his companion Shaha Riza, a Middle East expert at the bank.

Nonpartisan Study Confirms Bush Admin Told 935 Lies About Iraq in March to War

Between the L.A. Times and the always-alert OhDave linking me to this, I've got some interesting information for you about BushCo and its web of lies:

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Kucinich Kept Off Texas Ballot

How can this be called a democracy when someone running for president isn't even on the ballot?

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Kucinich Wins Lawsuit Against NBC to Be Included in Debate

Damn good for Dennis-

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Six Years Since An American Gulag Was Created 90 miles Off Our Shore

Yesterday, we got to "celebrate" the ill-advised surge in Iraq, or as they called it back in the Vietnam days, escalation.

While a couple of pipe-heads like new NY Times golden boy Bill Kristol and his BFFs McCain and Lieberman prattle on about how this was a success--because now only fewer American troops are getting killed for there to be no political solution as opposed to say, NONE--the truth is that this war has been a disaster for U.S. foreign policy any way you slice it.

Which brings me to Guantanomo. Today marks the 6th Anniversary of when our democracy was officially put in shackles under cover of the night. Six years since an American gulag was created 90 miles off our shore. No, not hyperbole, or the plot to the next sci-fi thriller, but our present reality.

How ironic, don't you think, that our justification all those years for trying to take out Castro was that we were attempting to bring freedom to Cuba. Instead, we brought a "black site.":

Blackwater Gassed US Soldiers

Just yesterday, Think Progress reported-

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Giuliani Abandons 9/11 Heroes

Sadly, you already know much of the real story about The Real Rudy. That he chose to put his anti-terrorist command center in the only spot in New York City that had been hit by terrorists before, against the advice of every professional and his own people, because The World Trade Center was more convenient for him.

Furthermore, you're aware that his inaction in updating the radios used by firefighters who perished that day borders on the criminal. He knew the radios didn't work at least 8 years before that day, and when he finally chose to replace them, did so in grand Bushian style with a no-bid contract for radios that didn't work.

Yet, these were not even the worst aspects of Giuliani's 9/11 record. He completed this triumvirate of tragically inept behavior by ignoring the health of the very heroes who toiled day and night at Ground Zero after the attack. Nothing I could tell you here could prepare you for what you're about to watch--once healthy human beings now suffering from a range of illnesses that are a direct result of a toxic brew they inhaled in downtown Manhattan, while Rudy was telling them everything was safe and sound from his perch at Yankee Stadium and they were spending sleepless nights trying to save lives (often not wearing respirators because The Giuliani Adminstration ignored that federal requirement).

Iraqis Forced to Sell Their Children

How bad does it have to get? This story is making the rounds today:

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CIA to Cooperate with Congress on Torture Tapes

A step in the right direction:
The Central Intelligence Agency has agreed to make documents related to the destruction of interrogation videotapes available to the House Intelligence Committee and to allow the agency's top lawyer, John A. Rizzo, to testify about the matter, Congressional and intelligence officials said Wednesday.
But it remained unclear whether Jose A. Rodriguez, who as chief of the agency's clandestine service ordered the tapes destroyed in 2005, would testify. Officials said Mr. Rodriguez's appearance before the committee might involve complex negotiations over legal immunity at a time when the Justice Department and the intelligence agency were reviewing whether the destruction of the tapes broke any laws.
Did I hear the "I" word again? "Immunity"?
This week, the administration has sought a compromise. Justice officials said they still had misgivings about the House committee's plans, but they did not advise the C.I.A. to disregard the committee's requests.

One in Five Americans Must Borrow to Heat Homes This Winter

If you're elderly or have no credit? Bundle up baby!!!

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Bush White House Ordered to Reveal Visitor Logs

Or even, on a less salacious note, Jack Abramoff? Looks like we might find out....

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Lawmakers Vote to Hold Rove and Bolten in Contempt

This post, written by Paddy, originally appeared on Cliff Schecter's Brave New Films Blog

Click for larger version

I won't believe it until I see the perp walk.
(WASHINGTON) - The Senate Judiciary Committee voted for a contempt citation against Karl Rove and Josh Bolten on Thursday, the latest move in an inquiry into possibly politically motivated firings of federal prosecutors.
Even if the citations receive floor votes, the issue likely would land in federal courts in a drawn-out constitutional showdown over what White House information should be made available for congressional oversight.
Any court proceedings would almost certainly survive the Bush administration. "They should be fully aware of the futility of pressing ahead on this," White House spokesman Tony Fratto said. "It has long been understood that, in circumstances like these, that the constitutional prerogatives of the president would make it a futile and purely political act for Congress to refer contempt citations to U.S. attorneys."
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