Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Pro-Boob Candidate

Hillary Clinton's campaign is now using last week's cleavage column by Robin Givhan to solicit campaign donations.
"Frankly, focusing on women's bodies instead of their ideas is insulting," Ann Lewis, a senior adviser to Clinton, wrote in the e-mail.

Slave Labor at the US Iraq Embassy?

State Department officials are strongly disputing charges that slave labor has been used to build the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. Rory Mayberry, a former subcontractor for First Kuwaiti testified during Thursday's Congressional Oversight Committee hearing on the US Embassy in Iraq. He claimed Filipino workers were taken to Iraq against their will, at gunpoint, and forced to work in unsafe conditions to build the U.S. Embassy.
Let me spell it out clearly: I believe these men were kidnapped by First Kuwaiti to work on the US Embassy. They had no passports because they were confiscated at the Kuwait airport. When the airplane touched down in Baghdad they were loaded onto buses and taken away. Later I found out that they were smuggled into the Green Zone. They had no ID, no passports, and were being smuggled past US security forces.

I had a trailer all to myself on the Green Zone, but they were packed twenty-five to thirty a trailer. And every day they went out to work on the construction of the Embassy without proper safety equipment. I went out on the construction site to watch. There were a lot of injuries out there because of the conditions these men were forced to work in. It was absurd. I'd been hired because of my experience with OSHA guidelines and compliance, and saw guys without shoes, without gloves, no safety harnesses, and on scaffolding thirty feet off of the ground, their toes wrapped around the rebar like a bunch of birds. One guy was up there, intoxicated on painkillers, and I had to yell and scream for ten minutes until they got him down....

h/t BoingBoing

Friday, July 20, 2007

OMG! Hillary Has Boobs!!

Robin Givhan at the Washington Post seems to have an unhealthy fascination with Hillary Clinton's breasts, and Rudy Giuliani's crotch.
The cleavage, however, is an exceptional kind of flourish. After all, it's not a matter of what she's wearing but rather what's being revealed. It's tempting to say that the cleavage stirs the same kind of discomfort that might be churned up after spotting Rudy Giuliani with his shirt unbuttoned just a smidge too far. No one wants to see that. But really, it was more like catching a man with his fly unzipped. Just look away!

JetBlue Caves in to O'Reilly

JetBlue Airlines has caved in to right-wing sex fiend Bill O'Reilly and pulled its support (10 donated tickets) for the YearlyKos convention. JetBlue is denying that this has anything to do with politics.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

It's Illegal to Undermine Iraq Efforts

President Bush has signed an order which allows property of U.S. citizens and others to be "blocked" for:
"undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people"

While the White House has told the press this power will be used against terrorists, the wording of the executive order leaves the possibility of much wider use against critics of U.S. efforts in Iraq.

via /.

LA Sheriff Blocks Union Website

Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca has blocked access from hundreds of sheriff department computers to the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs web site. Union President Steve Remige thinks the action is "petty". Undersheriff Larry Waldie told the L.A. Times the reason for the blockage was because the union newsletter had "unfairly" criticized the Sheriff and others.
"They were saying, quite frankly, in our opinion, untruths about many of our departmental members, and we didn't think it was appropriate to allow them access to that kind of bashing," Waldie said.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

45% of Militants are Saudi

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that, according to a senior U.S. military officer and Iraqi lawmakers, the largest number of foreign militants and suicide bombers come from Saudi Arabia, not Syria or Iran, as President Bush has been suggesting.
About 45% of all foreign militants targeting U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians and security forces are from Saudi Arabia; 15% are from Syria and Lebanon; and 10% are from North Africa, according to official U.S. military figures made available to The Times by the senior officer. Nearly half of the 135 foreigners in U.S. detention facilities in Iraq are Saudis, he said.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Threat Level: Chicago Dog

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has a "gut feeling that we are in a period of increased vulnerability" to terrorist attacks this summer. Ryan Singel thinks it's just a case of Rumbly in the Tumbly.

via BoingBoing

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

We Kill More Afghans Than the Taliban

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that, of the nearly 600 Afghan civilians killed during the first half of 2007, the majority were killed by NATO forces.

via Democracy Now

Yup, Alberto Gonzales Kinda Lied

Remember when the Attorney General said "There has not been one verified case of civil liberties abuse"? What he really meant to say was "I've been notified by the FBI on numerous occasions that administrative rules and laws have been violated".

The Lying, Adulterous Senator Vitter

After years of claiming, during an election no less, that rumors of his philandering were "politically motivated" and "absolutely and completely untrue", it seems Senator David Vitter, a person who argued that Bill Clinton should have been impeached on the basis of moral fitness, and who opposes same-sex marriage because it doesn't nurture "good behavior", loved to visit prostitutes. Not just through a certain madame in Washington DC, but in his home state as well. And they loved him too. Now, only after being caught, he asks forgiveness for a "very serious sin in my past".
"I'm not out to ruin a marriage, I'm out to save a man," Maier said. "I want his wife to know he's a good man, I want his children to know he's a good father. If he had sex out of wedlock, so what? At least he stayed with his children."

Politics and the Surgeon General

Three former Surgeons General testified to Congress today about the increasingly negative part politics is playing in the message being delivered by the leading government spokesperson on issues regarding public health.
"Anything that doesn't fit into the political appointees' ideological, theological or political agenda is ignored, marginalized or simply buried," Dr. Richard Carmona, who served as the nation's top doctor from 2002 until 2006, told a House of Representatives committee.

Bush: "We Just Started" in Iraq

The White House is now acting as if this war just began.
"And we just started. He got all the troops there a couple of weeks ago. He asked for 20,000-some troops, and I said, if that's what you need, Commander, that's what you got. And they just showed up. And they're now beginning operations in full."

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Arctic Ponds Drying Up

Global warming is being blamed for the drying of Arctic ponds in Northern Canada which have sustained wildlife for thousands of years.
"We were surprised," says Marianne Douglas, director of the Canadian Circumpolar Institute at the University of Alberta. "Some ponds had dried up completely. Some were just about to lose the last remaining centimetres of water."

Monday, July 02, 2007

Abusive Cops Still Protected

Van Jones has a post in today's Huffington Post about a stalled attempt in the California Senate to overturn a court decision which resulted in the closure of public hearings on citizen complaints of police misconduct.

They Brought It On

Today is the fourth anniversary of President Bush's "bring it on" taunt.

Lieberman: More Surveillance Cameras

Senator Joe Lieberman wants the government to use more surveillance cameras.
"The Brits have got something smart going in England, and it was part of why I believe they were able to so quickly apprehend suspects in the terrorist acts over the weekend, and that is they have cameras all over London and other of their major cities," Lieberman said.