Thursday, March 22, 2007

Don't Believe Anything You Hear -- and only Half What You See

There it was in big, honking font: "Edwards to Suspend Campaign."

Ben Smith over at the Politico got it wrong -- and the Internet took over from there. It was a banner headline at the Drudge Report, other news sites were linking to it.

John Edwards will stay in the White House race -- even though his wife has incurable cancer.

There is no worse feeling for a journalist to suddenly find out he got a story wrong.

Mr Smith has an apology up now. He relied on a single source and, with less than an hour to go before the speech, wanted like all journalists to be first with a story.

It's a good apology, a better explanation than most reporters give when they get a story wrong, and he doesn't make excuses. (ThePolitico)

Elections have Consequences

During Wednesday's Senate hearing with Al Gore, Sen James Inhofe (R-OK) apparently forgot who was in the majority. Chairwoman Sen Barbara Boxer (D-CA) had to remind him of the rules of the hearing.

Sen Inhofe had made a big deal on his blog of the Committee voting to change the rules to allow Mr Gore to speak. So it had to be a bit embarassing getting caught trying to change the rules himself -- without the benefit of a vote.

The Senator is a critic the idea humans can influence global climate change. He once compared Al Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth" to Adolph Hitler's Mein Kampf.

Indecent Proposal

The Daily Show has a reasonable critique of President Bush's "reasonable proposal."

Big Sister is Watching YouTube

The creator of the Hillary 1984 viral video has come forward -- and been fired.

Phillip de Vellis worked for bluestatedigital -- which handles IT business for the Sen Barak Obama (D-IL) campaign. He admitted to creating the video. The company issued a statement saying in part:

"Pursuant to company policy regarding outside political work or commentary on behalf of our clients or otherwise, Mr. de Vellis has been terminated from Blue State Digital effective immediately. "
With more than three million views on YouTube, it's the most watched ad of the campaign so far.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Romney's Poor Choice of Words

Former Gov Mitt Romney (R-MA) bungled a speech before Cuban Americans as he was campaigning for President in Miami.

The audience chuckled when he mangled the Spanish names of local politicians -- but he was greeted with groans as he declared: "Patria o muerte, venceremos!"

That's Fidel Castro's battle cry. He's been ending his speeches with that line for decades. In English, it means: "Fatherland or death, we shall overcome."

First, we find out Rudy Giuliani's law firm lobbied for Hugo Chavez. Now we have Mitt Romney quoting Fidel Castro on the campaign trail.

Remember the 1980s -- when conservatives hated communists? (MiamiHerald)


Senator Barak Obama's (D-IL) campaign says they had nothing to do with it. An ad -- ripping off the "1984" Apple commercial and painting Sen Hillary Clinton as "Big Brother" has been viewed more than four million times on YouTube:

With 4 million views, it shows how a campaign's message can be hijacked by someone with a computer and a clever message of his own. (YouTube)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

A Cunning Plan

Staying one step ahead of scandal -- by having to deal with a new scandal every day

See this Video at YouTube -- embed it or email it

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CYA at the FBI

It was pretty obvious to top people at both the Justice Department and the FBI something was wrong back in 2004. They warned about investigators breaking the Patriot Act to go after information they weren't entitled to.

So when the FBI bowed to pressure from Justice Department lawyers they might be overstepping their authority, the Bureau sought to cover their butts. The Washington Post reports:
"Under pressure to provide a stronger legal footing, counterterrorism agents last year wrote new letters to phone companies demanding the information the bureau already possessed. At least one senior FBI headquarters official -- whom the bureau declined to name -- signed these 'national security letters' without including the required proof that the letters were linked to FBI counterterrorism or espionage investigations, an FBI official said."
DoJ Inspector General Glenn Fine filed a March 9 report declaring the FBI's use of the letters "circumvented" the law.

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Rove Didn't Birth that Baby

White House political honcho Karl Rove over the weekend declared he had no part in the 2000 rumor that Sen John McCain had a black child.

The rumors came after Sen McCain had won New Hampshire and the Bush camp was in a "must-win" situation in South Carolina.

Mr Rove claims the rumor actually helped Mr McCain and hurt Mr Bush's campaigns. (The Swamp/YouTube)

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

White House Caught in Lawyer Lies

The email trail is a tough road for the Bush White House.

ABC News has gotten hold of White House emails showing Karl Rove was more involved in the US Attorney purge than the Administration has let on.

The White House has flat out denied that Mr Rove had anything to do with the firings. But sources told ABC that an email from January 2005 show Mr Rove first raising the idea of firing all 93 US Attorneys.

The official White House line has been that Harriet Miers alone had suggested the firings. The emails show that Karl Rove and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales were both involved in the discussions. (ABC)

The emails are scheduled for release Friday.


MadTV this week looked at how the Iraq War would be run by Apple:

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Congress Goes to War -- For Pork

Congress is set to do a little war profiteering. The bill to pay for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq includes $20 billion in pork. Among the pet projects for Congress members' home districts:
  • $74 million for peanut storage in Georia
  • $25 million for California spinach growers
  • $100 million for citrus growers
There's another $16 million set aside for Congress members themselves. It'll help remodel the old FDA building into new office space. (

I'm Chiquita Banana and I'm Here to Pay, For Dealings with Terrorists Down Columbia Way

Cincy-based Chiquita Brands International faces a $25 million fine for being in cahoots with terrorists.

The banana company slipped up, slipping $1.7 million to the United Self-Defense Forces of Columbia over seven years.

The outfit goes by it's Spanish language initials -- AUC. The banana brokers entered into a plea agreement. They unloaded their Columbian operation in 2004. (AP)

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

"Mistakes Were Made"

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales refuses to resign, but does admit "mistakes were made" in the US Attorney purge.

"Mistakes were made." Wasn't that a line from the Watergate scandal?

Listen to people long enough, sit in on enough trials, talk to enough accused criminals - and you'll find that people who talk in the passive voice are usually guilty of something. (CNN)

Calling Rove to Testify

Both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees now want White House political advisor Karl Rove to testify about his role in the purge of US Attorneys.

Emails circulated between members of the Bush administration and released by the House Judiciary Committee suggest Mr Rove was deeply involved in the firings of US Attorneys involved in the prosecution of Republican's accused of criminal activity. (WaPo)

Where's the "Unsend Button" on this Computer Thingy?

Can't keep up with all the implosions in the US Attorney Purge? Those darn Democrats over at the House Judiciary Committee have been grinding axes since 1994.

They're more than happy to air the Bush administration's dirty laundry -- and damning emails -- on their website.

You gotta wonder -- after the whole Rep Mark Foley (R-FL) scandal -- why Republicans haven't had a memo on not putting damaging evidence in an email. (House of Representatives)

Friday, March 09, 2007

The Picture of Poor Health

A plan to clear up the red tape of military and veteran's health care died two years ago -- just as President Bush's nominee for Secretary of Veterans Affairs took office.

The VA employee working on the "Congingency Tracking System" told ABC News it'd been approved already. But was shelved when Jim Nicholson became Secretary.

ABC reports that as a result, seriously wounded troops, released from the military due to the severity of their wounds -- were released into the VA's sea of red tape.

The program only cost $1 million dollars to set up. But Sec Nicholson reportedly nixed it as being too expensive.

Sec Nicholson told ABC, he can't even remember the program.

But then, he had other things on his mind at the time.

The VA was dealing with a flood of wounded veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, had run up a $1 billion shortfall, and -- as the Washington Post reported at the time -- they had a different priority.

A memo at the time stressed that pictures of Sec Nicholson had to be hung immediately in all VA offices and hospitals. Amid the crises the VA faced at the time -- the memo called the pictures "highest priority" and demanded daily updates on the status of hanging pictures.

It's not a pretty picture emerging of Sec Nicholson.

And this is the man President Bush tapped to head up immediate reforms to problems at Walter Reed.

Heckuva job. (ABCNews/WaPo)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Because it Worked so Well at Walter Reed

Global climate change is melting the ice from underneath polar bears -- causing the critters to drown. And when anything warm and fuzzy dies potentially due to government policies -- voters and taxpayers demand action!

The honchos at the Federal Fish and Wildlife have a cunning plan to solve the problem of drowning polar bears.

Don't talk about it.

The bigwigs ordered biologists and other scientists who work for the Service not to even mention global climate change, polar bears or sea ice.

Someone on staff at Fish & Wildlife was kind enough to email a copy of the memo to the New York Times.

Kinda like ordering Soldiers hospitalized at Walter Reed last week not to talk to the media. And how did that work out? Ask the guys with lots of stars on their shoulders who've been fired after that story broke. (NYT)

Oh, Forgot to tell You about the Radiation, Hope that Isn't a Problem

The folks at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory wanted to test some bombs near Tracy, California.

No problem. There are a lot of big empty spaces out there off Interstate 580. So the San Joaquin Air Pollution Control District granted a permit.

Oh. Just one thing. The scientists didn't bother to mention the bombs would disperse radioactive material -- depleted uranium.

That a problem?

Dang straight!

The air pollution authorities didn't find out what the scientists were actually planning until folks living in the area brought it to their attention.

The scientists say it's only a little radiation. You know, like being a little pregnant, or a little glowing in the dark at your onocologist's.

The smog control bureaucrats went nuclear on Lawrence Livermore for trying to slip that by them. They yanked the permit for the blasts. (News10 Sacremento)

C-SPAN Widens Public Access

C-SPAN is surrendering to YouTube. The driest network on television is letting bloggers and Internet video junkies have public access to many of it's video feeds.

The video of the floor of the House and Senate have always been in the public domain. But other coverage -- hearings, speeches, special events -- have been copyrighted material of the outfit put together by the cable TV industry.

It makes good sense. C-SPAN probably gets a bigger audience though short video clips of the one nugget in a five-hour snoozefest. You have to look at that as free advertising for the chanel.

Their new policy now applies to Congressional hearings, agency briefings, and White House events. (Beltway Blogroll/

Y'all's Government, Up on Blocks Out in Front of the FEMA Trailers

FEMA's trying to unload thouands of trailers -- bought with your money in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. At least 8,000 were never used. From the Washington Post:

“The Federal Emergency Management Agency hurriedly bought 145,000 trailers and mobile homes just before and after Katrina hit, spending $2.7 billion largely through no-bid contracts. Now, it is selling off as many as 41,000 of the homes, netting, so far, about 40 cents on each dollar spent by taxpayers.”

That would sound like a bargin to people in Arkansas who lost their homes to recent tornadoes.

Rep Mike Ross (D-AR) is trying to get FEMA to sell some of the trailers to people in his district left homeless by the storms.

But lobbyists for the house trailer industry have made it harder for FEMA to sell the trailers. The lobbyists don't want competition -- preferring the homeless pay full price for new trailers. (WaPo/HT:

Obama's Run In With the Law

When Presidential candidate Sen Barak Obama (D-IL) graduated from Harvard Law School in 1991, he skipped town owing $140 in parking tickets.

Over the years, he racked up another $240 in interest and penalties on those tickets.

But, just to throw the opposition research guys a curve, he paid them all off just two weeks before he announced his candidacy.

Oh, and the Boston Globe also found out Sen Obama paid the $117 in parking tickets he owed in Somerville, Massachusetts. (WBZ-TV)

Pig Book News Conference

Citizens Against Government Waste released their 2007 Pig Book highlighting pork barrel spending. Listen here to their news conference. About 34 minutes long.

The Year of the Pig

From a telescope that searches for space aliens to improving the shelf-life of vegetables -- the 109th Congress racked up $13.2 billion in pork barrel spending for this year -- the Chinese Year of the Pig.

Those numbers come from Citizens Against Government Waste in their annual "Pig Book" detailing pork projects. Those are special interest items slipped into the budget without debate.

Among the things CAGW found you're paying for:

  • $1.35 million to study obesity in soldiers

  • $1.65 million to research ways of extending vegetables' shelf lives

  • $5.5 million to the Ernest Gallo Clinic & Research Center to study the effects of drugs and alcohol

Could've been worse than the $13.2 billion. Last year, CAGW found $29 billion in pork.

But the GOP controlled Congress only passed two of the 11 budget bills they were supposed to before their term ended in January. When Democrats took control, they slashed the remaining earmarks to get spending down. (Reuters)

Aide Misbehavin'

The Daily Show takes up the Scooter Libby verdict and shows us the President's Tivo:

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Quality Control at the Mint a Coin Collector's Best Friend

The Associated Press reports an unknown number of new George Washington dollar coins were struck without their edge inscriptions, including 'In God We Trust,' and made it past inspectors and into circulation. That should make them prized by collectors.

Finally, a dollar coin actually worth something! (AP via Yahoo!)

Thatsa Niceeeeee!

The US State Department lists Borat -- yep, that Borat -- among victims of human rights abuse by the nation of Kazakhstan.

The government was so upset with comedian Sasha Baron Cohen's character, they killed his website in their country:

The country also threatened to sue Mr Cohen. When asked about the suit, Mr Cohen, who is Jewish, replied in character, "I...fully support my government's position to sue this Jew."

The folks at State list the closing of the website as one of several instances of censorship in the former Soviet republic. (Reuters)

The Bush Administration Playing Politics? That'd be a First!

Could the Bush administration be using the Department of Homeland Security to silence criticism of President Bush?

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln thinks so. And they're suing over it.

The University hired Waskar Ari of Bolivia to teach Latin American History. But the DHS won't let him in the country.

Seems Professor Ari was mistakenly identified as a supporter of Bolivian president Evo Morales -- a harsh critic of President Bush. Professor Ari was hired two years ago -- but has been kept out of the country all this time.

UNL filed a lawsuit last week demanding DHS consider Professor Ari's appeal. The feds have 60 days to file a response. (Lincoln Journal Star)

Pet Protection Bill Could Freeze Out Maine

Around 10,000 pets die every year from drinking anti-freeze. It tastes sweet -- and shuts down animals' kidneys.

Maine state Rep Emily Cain (D-Orono) has a bill requiring anti-freeze sold in her state to include a bitter tasting substance to discourage animals from drinking it.

The lobby for the 260 companies that make anti-freeze say they'd go along with federal action. But they warn that Maine could become "an island" if they're the only state to make the requirement. (Portland Press Herald)

Hate Crime Protection for the Homeless

With reports of violent attacks on the homeless increasing, Maryland's state legislature's passed new protections -- making attacks on the homeless part of the state's hate crimes law.

The Maryland Senate approved the plan by state Sen Alex Mooney (R-Frederick) 38-9. (BaltSun)

Bush Timber Plan falls on Rural Schools

California's rural schools face a crisis because of a fight over President Bush's plan to sell $800 million worth of national forest. And the administration's holding up money to the California schools until it gets the sales.

NPR reports many rural schools get a huge portion of their budget from the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act. It expired last year. And President Bush proposed selling 300,000 acres of national forests as a way of funding and renewing the Rural Schools Act.

The plan went down in defeat, but it's back in the President's latest budget. And the White House is holding up the money until Congress gives the administration what it wants.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

"The Katrina of 2007"

Sen Charles Schumer (D-NY) sees parallels between the Bush administration's Hurricane Katrina response and the way it's handling the Walter Reed mess.
"Make no mistake about it, this is the Katrina of 2007. Now some of you will say, 'well they responded more quickly than Katrina,' yes, but the chickens have come home to roost just like they did in Katrina."
An interesting connection: The Defense Department outsourced many of the jobs at Walter Reed to a company called IAP Worldwide. That's the same company with the contract to deliver water and ice during the Katrina response -- and we remember how bad that went.

There are also connections between IAP and Vice President Dick Cheney. The company's run by Al Neffgen, who headed up Halliburton subsidiary KBR (Kellogg, Brown and Root) at the time they were charged with overcharging the military by $100 million for fuel in Iraq. (CNN/Crooks & Liars/Main St USA)


The Daily Show takes on the Walter Reed M*E*S*S:

Top Ten Reasons People Quit the McCain Campaign

Sen John McCain (R-AZ) apparently had some pretty hard core Jay Leno fans on his Presidential campaign staff. Announcing on the "Late Show with David Letterman" upset some staffers so much they quit.

Radar magazine reports they didn't know Sen McCain was going to make the announcement and were blindsided. By the sudden announcement. (Radar)

Royal Pains in the....

Princes William and Henry reportedly punked Queen Elizabeth -- by offering to help her with her phone answering machine. Baffled by the technology, Her Majesty asked her grandsons for help. They recorded the outgoing message for her:

"Hey wassup! This is Liz. Sorry I'm away from the throne. For a hotline to Philip, press one. For Charles, press two, and for the corgis, press three."

That sort of thing would have gotten you locked up in the Tower of London under even more uptight rulers.

Technology, huh. Now, if someone can simply handle Sen Ted Stevens (R-AK) e-mail. (FoxNews)


Jurors in the CIA leak case have found Scooter Libby guilty on four of the five counts against him. (CNN)

Here's a round up of video news reports on the verdict:

Walter Reed Round Up

Video news roundup of the Walter Reed scandal:

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Ban on Smoking in Cars with Kids

No one thought it'd go anywhere when Arkansas state Rep Bob Mathis (D) introduced a bill last year that would ban smoking in cars with kids.

It passed. And then Gov Mike Huckabee (R-AR) signed it into law.

Louisiana became the second state to adopt the ban.

Now, counts at least 14 more states following the lead. (

Another Prosecutor and Political Pressure

The former federal prosecutor in Maryland now says he was fired for his corruption investigations into associates of Maryland's Republican Governor.

Thomas DiBiagio is one of about eight federal prosecutors who were fired -- many on the same day -- by the Bush administration. Congress begins investigations into the firings this week.

Those fired include one prosecutor who sent a Republican Congressman to prison and another who refused to file criminal charges against a Democrat in the days before the 2006 election.

Mr DiBiagio says his office was investigating associates of then Gov Roberth Ehrlich (R-MD) who wanted legalized slot machines in the Free State. Maryland Republicans were pressuring the US Attorney to back off the case. (NYT)

New York Joins the Primary Rush

In what could be a boon to the candidacies of Sen Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and fmr Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R), New York is joining the rush to move up it's 2008 primary.

Lawmakers in Albany are expected to take up a bill to move the Neyw York primary from March 4, to February 5. That would join a by a dozen or so other states to create a super primary day. (NYT)

Mitt's Macaca Moment?

Not hardly, but this will come back to haunt him.

Former Governor Mitt Romney's (R-MA) got a new embarassing video on YouTube. Previously, someone posted outtakes from a 1994 Senate debate in which Gov Romney touted his liberal viewpoints.

Now this video surfaces, with Gov Romney clowning around backstage at CPAC with Ann Coulter, shortly before her slur against fmr Sen John Edwards (D-NC). (YouTube, HT: Hotline)

Pay No Attention to My Messed Up Family Life

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is asking for "privacy" when it comes to his estranged son.

Not surprising if you're trying to win the nomination of the "family values" party.

"In other words, the more privacy I can have for my family, the better we're going to be able to deal with all these difficulties." -- Rudy Giuliani, News Conference, 3/5/2007

Andrew Giuliani, a 21-year-old sophomore at Duke University, commented on the estrangement over the weekend and mentioned that he got his values from his mother.
In 2001, Time magazine named Mr Giuliani "Person of the Year." Don't expect any "Father of the Year" honors until this little flap blows over. (CNN)

Cheney NOT Checking in to Walter Reed

Vice President Dick Cheney is being treated for a blood clot in his leg. The condition can allow the clot to break loose and cause a heart attack. It's often associated with extensive travel, where people don't get to stretch their legs. The Vice President just returned from a 25,000 mile trip.

In case you're wondering, Mr Cheney is being treated by a doctor at George Washington University. He won't be checking into Walter Reed. (SFGate)

Monday, March 05, 2007

Cashing in on Coulter

Ann Coulter's sexual slur against former Senator John Edwards (D-NC) has found new life on the web -- on Sen Edwards' website. He's using it to raise campaign contributions.

Speaking at a convention of conservatives last week, Ms Coulter used the word "faggot" to describe the Democratic Presidential canidate.

The remarks outraged Democrats and Republicans alike. And knowing that outrage motivates the politically inclined, Sen Edwards is cashing in. You can see the page here. (CNN)

Can the GOP Handle the Truth?

The US Attorney who, as a Navy lawyer served as the model for Tom Cruise's character in "A Few Good Men," is among those in a wave of firings at the Justice Department. But David Igleasias isn't going down without a fight. From Michael Isikoff in Newsweek:

David Iglesias, the former U.S. attorney in New Mexico, went public with a dramatic charge: that he had gotten phone calls from two unidentified GOP lawmakers in D.C. last October, pressing him to bring indictments in a high-profile corruption case involving a prominent local Democrat before the November election. Iglesias—a former Navy prosecutor who was the model for Tom Cruise's character in "A Few Good Men"—said he refused to answer. Six weeks later, a Justice official ordered him to resign.
Now, he's naming names. Newsweek reports Mr Ilesias will tell Congress that it was Sen Pete Domenici (R-NM) and Rep Heather Wilson (R-NM) who demanded he bring charges against a prominent Democrat right before last year's election. (Newsweek)

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Thomas Eagleton 1929-2007

Former US Senator Thomas Eagleton (D-MO) has died.

Sen George McGovern tapped Sen Eagleton as his running mate on the Democratic Presidential ticket in 1972. He dropped out of the race shortly afterwards when it came to light he'd been hospitalized for depression and had undergone electroshock therapy.

Sen Eagleton was 77.

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SBA Disaster

The SBA has ignored disaster possibilities for years -- and it could cost disaster survivors

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2000 Days

Today, Sunday, March 4, 2007, marks 2000 days since 9/11.

That's 2,000 days Osama bin Laden -- perhaps the worst mass murderer in American history -- has been free. Earlier this weeek, White House spokesman Tony Snow said he didn't know if OBL is even al Qaeda's leader.

But National Intelligence Director Admiral Mike McConnell testified before Congress last week that Osama bin Laden was alive and well and rebuilding al Qaeda in Pakistan.

Adm McConnell suggested al Qaeda may already be back to it's pre-9/11 strength, protected by the US and NATOs inability to cross the border into Pakistan to stike at them. He warned that the training camps had been rebuilt and a new generation of al Qaeda were learning the ropes -- and likely the infamous monkey bars.

Firings in the Department of Injustice

When you fire a US Attorney, you should expect them to get to the bottom of things. After all, that's what they do for a living.

Take Daniel Bogden. The Bush administration fired him after he rose through the ranks to become the top ranked federal prosecutor in Nevada in 2001. When he got his walking papers, he ran down the reason -- finding out it was purely political -- to replace him with someone the administration wanted to appoint.

Congress takes up Mr Bogden's firing, and the firing of seven other US Attorney's this week.

Among those fired -- Carol Lam. She prosecuted Rep Duke Cunningham (R-CA), landing the former Congressman a prison sentence. (NYT)

Republicans Distance Themselves from Coulter

Right wing screaming head Ann Coulter is drawing flak from conservatives for her remarks at the CPAC gathering outside Washington this week. Ms Coulter referred to Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards as a "faggot":

Presidential candidates Senator John McCain, Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani denounced the comment.

Sen McCain (through a spokesman): “The comments were wildly inappropriate.”

Mr Giuliani: “The comments were completely inappropriate and there should be no place for such name-calling in political debate.”

Mr Romney (through a spokesman) “It was an offensive remark. Governor Romney believes all people should be treated with dignity and respect.” (NYT)

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Friday, March 02, 2007

Guard Comes up Short

Blizzards from the Great Lakes to upstate New York. Tornadoes ripping through the south. The National Guard is supposed to be there to help states deal with natural disasters.

But a Congressional commission reports that 88% of America's National Guard units are rated "not ready."

The big problem -- billions of dollars worth of shorfalls in equipment.

The Commission found Gulf States have only a fraction of the equipment they'd need to respond to another disaster like Hurricane Katrina.

They need trucks and Humvees that can operate in deep water after floods.

Louisianna reports not enough trucks.

Mississippi has to rely on contractors to supply them with trucks and heavy equipment.

What's happened to all their equipment? We've been telling you for months how National Guard units leave their equipment behind in Afghanistan and Iraq when they come home. The outfits that replace them need the equipment.

Back home, Washington's been slow to replace equipment for the National Guard.

The problem is catching up with them.

Lousianna's National Guard reports it could only handle the demands of a tropical storm or a Category 1 Hurricane. But beyond that, it'd be Katrina all over again. (WaPo)

My, How Time Flies!

Tired of long waits at the Post Office? The braniacs at the US Postal Service have come to your rescue -- they've removed the clocks!

It won't speed up your service, but it will make it harder for you to realize how long you've been waiting in line for that poor service. The Postal Service has removed clocks from 37,000 of its Post Offices. They call it a "retail standardization program."
We told you back in August, 2005 how Indiana bureaucrats came up with the same idea to keep people's minds off the wait at their DMV offices.

A USPS spokesman tells the Fort Worth Star Telegram they want customers to focus on the service -- not the clock. Wonder how long before they make you surrender your watch before you enter a Post Office.

At least you can still use your perpetual calendars to time how long it takes for your letter to get where it's going. (AP)

Katrina Claim at $77 Billion

The city of New Orleans has filed a $77 billion damage claim against the Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps was responsible for the levees that failed after Hurricane Katrina swept through -- leading to flooding that caused most of the damage in the city.

The city's claim came through the Federal Tort Act.

The Corps has six months to accept, settle or reject claims. After that, claimants can sue the federal government.

FEMA has provided $6.3 billion in recovery funds, $13.2 billion in flood insurance claims. (CNN)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

McCain Ready to Launch

Sen John McCain (R-AZ) proved to be a traditionalist when he announced his Presidential candidacy Wednesday night. Rather than racing to slap his announcement on the Internet with an on line video, he opted for the old fashioned method of declaring his candidacy on a late night comedy show.

Wanna see it on YouTube. You can.

Wanna embed it in your blog? You can't.

Track it down on YouTube, and you find this message from the folks at CBS:
"Embedding disabled by request"
You can find it at the Senator's website -- on a page asking for money.

So, I won't be doing the Senator or CBS any favors by linking to their versions of it.

The announcement was marred by Sen McCain saying the lives of American troops killed in Iraq had been "wasted:"

Sen McCain has since apologized for his choice of words.

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Ted "The Tubes" Stevens Makes You LOL Out Loud!

Take too long trying to log on to Sen Ted Steven's (R-AK) campaign web site and you'll get a message accusing you of being a space alien with an orange tabby cat tapping on your keyboard.

Mary Ann Akers at grabbed the screen capture at right off her computin' machine before the Senator was able to take it off "the Tubes."

You may remember the Senate's greatest computer geek for his speech last year trying to explain the Internet as a "series of tubes:"

Let's Hope She Didnt't Teach Arithmetic

First Lady and former teacher Laura Bush flunked math during an interview on CNN's Larry King Live:

“And many parts of Iraq are stable now. But, of course, what we see on television is the one bombing a day that discourages everybody.”
America Blog cites a Stars and Stripes article pointing out it's closer to 180 attacks against US troops, another 50 a day against civilians -- totalling 230 attacks a day.

Ms Bush was only off by 229.

Enough to get her a dishonorable mention on Comedy Central's The Daily Show: