Archive for August 11th, 2006

Creeps in Hell

So I did my own d*mn circle of h*ll, but instead of maligning random groups or hated blogs, I used my creeps. Follow the “creep” link to re-acquaint yourselves with who these people are, and see if I’ve got them stuck at the right level. (And I’m glad WordPress doesn’t carry the colors. Yuck.)

Ralph Nader
Circle I Limbo

Rick Schlecht, David L. Green
Circle II Whirling in a Dark & Stormy Wind

Jenny Erickson, Bruce King
Circle III Mud, Rain, Cold, Hail & Snow

Mike Dey, Ethel Fay Jordan
Circle IV Rolling Weights

DC Kidd, Jack Wells
Circle V Stuck in Mud, Mangled

River Styx

Kelly Wood, Nativist immigration foes
Circle VI Buried for Eternity

River Phlegyas

Martin Weinstein, Joel Olinghouse
Circle VII Burning Sands

Bill Napoli
Circle IIX Immersed in Excrement

bob t
Circle IX Frozen in Ice

Design your own hell

Thanks to the British intelligence and police agencies that have foiled a terrorist plot to blow up some 11 planes headed for the United States. The arrests of the plotters was a triumph of international police co-operation between Great Britain and Pakistan.

The plot was also a stinging indictment of the Bush administration’s policy for fighting terror. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, the best way to combat terrorism is through police actions like this and not by conventional warfare.

The operation involved no information coerced through torture. The operation was not at all related to our efforts in Iraq or Afghanistan. The operation operated successfully within the rule of law:

However, it’s worth pointing out one key difference between the British way and the new American way of surveillance: Barring some unforeseen and massively scandalous revelation, British investigators, in all cases, have to obtain and comply with court-issued warrants for any surveillance. This week’s counter-terrorism success should demonstrate how possible it is, and remains, for open-society to combat jihadism while preserving the rule of law.

This one operation has so far done more to harm to al Qaeda than the past three years of fighting in Iraq.

Not only does the operation repudiate Bush administration anti-terror tactics, it perhaps aptly represents how the Republican party has consistently used terrorism and fear as a political tool for maintaining power.

On Wednesday – the day before news of the plot broke – the GOP mounted a strong attack on Democrats, accusing them of being “weak on terror.” Only the administration and its allies knew in advance about the plot. They used the capture of the terrorists – largely due to British intelligence efforts – as an “I-told-you-so” moment just hours after they ramped up anti-terror rhetoric.

(It’s also interesting to note that Lieberman, in lock-step with Republicans and shortly after a meeting with Karl Rove, attacked Lamont in nearly identical language as used by Cheney and Snow to attack Democrats in general.)

If that weren’t bad enough, the GOP had drafted a fundraising letter during this time using terror as an issue to part voters with their cash.

If the Bush administration were really interested in preventing terrorist attacks and eliminating the groups and leaders that are responsible for them, they would have long abandoned their quixotic war in Iraq, wireless wiretapping, and authoritarian practices of torture, rendition, and suspension of habeus corpus.

Instead, even as the evidence mounts that police action is a more efficient deterrent for terror than war, they cling to their petty little machinations.

I’d avoid painting all Republican lawmakers as vile and spineless yes-men, but have any member of the GOP stood up to their leader to protect their Constitution and constituents from his warped worldview and failed foreign policies?


The latest Rasmussen poll shows Burns and Tester even. Momentum back to Burns.

Neal’s eloquent thoughts on Dawson’s execution.

Cory Doctrow doesn’t like the new security measures, either: “Until they handcuff us all nude to our seats and dart us with tranquilizers, there will always be the possibility that a passenger will do something naughty on a plane…”

Patrick thinks the security measures are to make you feel hopeless. Why would our leaders want that? (See below.)

A recent ruling prohibits that anybody passing on classified information – even if you don’t hold security clearances – is subject to prosecution. Sounds reasonable until you realize it would apply to journalists reporting on…say…illegal wiretapping.

Speaking of which, conservatives claim the foiled terror plot is evidence that we need warrantless wiretapping. Only the terrorists were caught by British officials operating within the law

It doesn’t take long before the GOP tries to make a buck off the terrorist plot…

…plus it turns out Republicans knew that the plot was about to come to light…and they planned their political rhetoric around the news…ugh…I feel dirty just living in the same country as these *ssholes…

EJ Dionne: “We’ll never achieve authentic bipartisanship until a crowd that has clung to power by dividing us into bitter camps gets the rebuke it deserves.”

MoveOn’s Eli Pariser on Lamont’s victory: “If the Democratic Party can emulate Lamont’s principled progressivism, a durable national electoral majority and a government that embraces real people’s concerns awaits.”

Does Lamont represent the leftward swing of the Democratic party? Nope.

Meanwhile, Lieberman says he can “now be himself.” Which apparently means calling dissent “un-American” and calling terrorists “more evil” than Nazis and “more dangerous” than Soviet Communism. Apparently his true self yearns to be a part of the Bush administration.

Comparing leaked GOP memos and objective polls…surprise! They differ vastly! Guess which one is probably more accurate?

This little bit of support probably won’t help Mel Gibson much.

Congratulations to Senator Conrad Burns for being on of the “Dirty Dozen.” No, not that “Dirty Dozen.” No, he’s made the League of Conservation Voters’ list of the twelve worst lawmakers (pdf) on conservation issues.

Burns made the list for a variety of reasons, including his votes against renewable energy, a heating assistance program for the elderly, and for big tax breaks to big oil companies. You may also remember this little nugget:

Despite expert opinion from physicians and ethicists, Sen. Conrad Burns led the charge against an amendment that would create a one-year moratorium on testing pesticides on humans by prohibiting the EPA from using its funds to consider or conduct this research.

Good one, Conrad. Looks like someone’s been ingesting too many pesticides…

For you folks who like to fish:

According to the EPA, every lake, river, and stream in Montana is under a fish consumption advisory due to mercury contamination. Despite this, Senator Burns voted to allow an EPA decision to stand which delays the meaningful reduction of mercury emissions for 20 years.

So…you can fish…but don’t eat anything you catch.

Burns record is near consistent on this issue – with the exception of his recent election-season turnabout on the Rocky Mountain Front – he always supports big business over the health of Montanans and our wild spaces.

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