Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Verizon: No Pro-Choice Messages

From the NYT:
Saying it had the right to block "controversial or unsavory" text messages, Verizon Wireless has rejected a request from Naral Pro-Choice America, the abortion rights group, to make Verizon’s mobile network available for a text-message program.

Update: Verizon has reversed its decision.

via tpm and atrios

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Saudi Girls Pepper Spray Religious Police

When two Saudi girls were approached by members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice for being "inappropriately-dressed", one of the girls pepper sprayed the men, while the other girl recorded the event on her cell phone. The girls were then "escorted" to the police station and released only after they apologized.

via BoingBoing

Rudy's Selling of 9/11

The latest? His supporters are holding "$9.11 house parties". The campaign is distancing itself from the fundraisers, but so far there is no indication they will return any money raised, as Senator Dodd has suggested.

Blackwater Ordered to Stonewall

It seems a State Department official has directed Blackwater to stonewall a request from Congress to turn over documents regarding the recent deaths of Iraqi citizens.

Ruben Salazar to Get Stamp

Ruben Salazar, who was killed by a tear gas canister fired by a sheriff's deputy in 1970, will be honored next year with a commemorative stamp issued by the U.S. Postal Service.
"He was a groundbreaker for Latinos in this country, but his work spoke to all Americans," Postmaster Gen. John E. Potter said Monday. "By giving voice to those who didn't have one, Ruben Salazar worked to improve life for everybody. His reporting of the Latino experience in this country set a standard that's rarely met even today."

via LAObserved

Saturday, September 22, 2007

O'Reilly Surprised by Black Civility

Bill O'Reilly went to Sylvia's restaurant with Al Sharpton, and was amazed that nobody was shouting expletives at the service staff.
"I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it's run by blacks, primarily black patronship." O'Reilly added: "There wasn't one person in Sylvia's who was screaming, 'M-Fer, I want more iced tea.' "

via tpm

Friday, September 21, 2007

Russian Bombers Along US/Canadian Coast

It was the first time since the Cold War.

via rawstory

Blackwater Investigated for Weapons Smuggling

From the AP:
Federal prosecutors are investigating whether employees of the private security firm Blackwater USA illegally smuggled into Iraq weapons that may have been sold on the black market and ended up in the hands of a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, officials said Friday.

via rawstory

Blackwater Accused in Prison Break

Last December, Iraq's Commission on Public Integrity said they believed former Electricity Minister Ahyam al-Samarrai, awaiting sentencing for embezzling $2.5 billion in reconstruction money, broke out of prison "with the help of members of a private security company". Hmmm, I wonder what company that might be.

Feds Limit Emergency Care for Immigrants

From the NYT:
The federal government has told New York State health officials that chemotherapy, which had been covered for illegal immigrants under a government-financed program for emergency medical care, does not qualify for coverage. The decision sets the stage for a battle between the state and federal governments over how medical emergencies are defined.

via HuffPost

Jenna Does DC

Jenna Jameson visited Capitol Hill today and got a VIP tour.
Even without the D-sized cups, Jenna seemed easily recognizable - at least by the Capitol Police officers who rushed to have their photos taken with her, according to sources. Jameson's spokeswoman, Susan Yannetti, explained to the Sleuth that Jenna, the daughter of a police officer, is "very law enforcement friendly." In fact, at Fashion Week in New York recently she had "lots of photos" taken with NYPD officers, Yannetti said.

10 Commandments Display Legal

A federal judge in Kentucky has ruled that a display of the Ten Commandments in the Rowan County Fiscal Court "does not have the effect of endorsing religion," and is therefore does not violate the U.S. Constitution.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

White House: Bomb? What Bomb?

Remember all the recent news stories about Russia's new bomb? You know, the largest non-nuclear bomb ever created? During yesterday's press briefing, Dana Perino indicated that the White House still isn't big on reading the news.

Q Thank you, Dana. Two questions. From Moscow, the London Telegraph reports the Russian televising of their new non-nuclear bomb, which is said to be four times more powerful than our Massive Ordinance Air Blast bomb, which is capable of destroying nine city blocks in one strike --

MS. PERINO: What's your question, Lester?

Q I'm right on the question.


Q What is the White House response to this report from Moscow?

MS. PERINO: It's the first I've heard of it, so I don't have a response. Quickly the next one.

via FishbowlDC

GOP Fillibuster Against Habeas Corpus

Republican members of the Senate have successfully defeated an effort to restore habeas corpus rights to those detained by the United States. Joe Biden points out that this is an anathema to our national ideals.
"Habeas corpus was conceived to prevent someone from being locked up illegally, with no chance to contest his/her imprisonment. It is not a get out of jail free card. And it will not result in the release of dangerous terrorists," said Senator Biden. "As I’ve said before, the terrorists win when we abandon our civil liberties. The way we win is to show them that we can fight this war without changing our character as a nation. I hope the Senate reconsiders this issue once again"

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Craig Shows Up for Work

Larry Craig is back in the Senate today, ready to work.

via HuffPost

Monday, September 17, 2007

Chemerinsky: 1, Chancellor: 0

It looks like Erwin Chemerinsky will indeed become the dean of UC Irvine's new Donald Bren School of Law.

Blackwater's Iraq License Being Revoked

The Iraqi government is revoking the license of Blackwater USA. This following a recent shootout in a Sunni neighborhood which left 8 civilians dead and 13 wounded.
"The security company contractors opened fire randomly on the civilians," he said. "We consider this act a crime."

via kos

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Emmy's Censor Anti War Comment

Sally Field won the Emmy tonight for her role in "Brothers & Sisters." Then, during her acceptance speech, they censored her comments against the war.
"If mothers ruled the world, there wouldn't be any god -" Emmy winner Sally Field said before the Emmycast cut her off her sound and pointed the camera away from the stage so viewers would be distracted. Cut off were the words "god-damned wars in the first place."

via HuffPost

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Greenspan States the Obvious

Yes, it really was about the oil.

Funny how he never mentioned that while Fed chair.

Friday, September 14, 2007

CIA Bans Waterboarding

The CIA is reportedly removing the practice of waterboarding from its list of approved interrogation techniques.
Today, in New Hampshire, Sen. McCain told ABC News, "I have sought that result for years. Water-boarding is a form of torture. And I'm convinced that this will not only help us in our interrogation techniques, but it will also be helpful for our image in the world."

via HuffPost

Neocons and Debat

...and curiouser

No Charges For Foley

It looks like creepy ex-Congressman Mark Foley will not be charged with any crimes because of Florida's three-year statute of limitations.

via tpm

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Le cas d'Alexis Debat

It keeps getting curiouser and curiouser and curiouser and...

Nuns Pay for Priests' Sins

The first non-administrative property the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles is selling as a result of the lawsuit involving its child-abusing priests is a convent in Santa Barbara.
The nuns have four months to move out, according to a letter from the archdiocese. The notice, which was dated June 28 but not received until the end of August, asked the women to vacate the property no later than Dec. 31 -- and noted that an earlier departure "would be acceptable as well." Signed by Msgr. Royale M. Vadakin, the archdiocese's vicar general, the letter offers the nuns no recourse but thanks them for their understanding and cooperation during a difficult time.

via rawstory

Which 36?

Tonight, President Bush said "We thank the 36 nations who have troops on the ground in Iraq." Some folks are wondering who he's talking about.

NJ Supremes Overturn Abortion Ruling

The New Jersey Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that doctors are not required to tell women considering abortion that the embryo is an "existing human being".
"On the profound issue of when life begins, this court cannot drive public policy in one particular direction by the engine of the common law when the opposing sides, which represent so many of our citizens, are arrayed along a deep societal and philosophical divide," New Jersey Justice Barry T. Albin wrote for the court.

Petraeus For President?

Maybe it's been on his mind.

via tpm

Are We Arming Sunnis?

General Petraeus said no, but maybe we are.

Or maybe it's just a matter of what the meaning of are is.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

DNI Withdraws Claim

Mike McConnell, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, has withdrawn the claim he made before a Senate committee on Monday that the Protect America Act had helped "facilitate" the recent arrests of three men in Germany.
After questions about his testimony were raised, McConnell called Lieberman to clarify his statements to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, an official said. (A spokeswoman for Lieberman confirmed that McConnell called the senator Tuesday but could not immediately confirm what they spoke about.) Late Wednesday afternoon, McConnell issued a statement acknowleding that "information contributing to the recent arrests [in Germany] was not collected under authorities provided by the 'Protect America Act'."

via HuffPost

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Who is Alexis Debat?

And why is he making stuff up?

Friday, September 07, 2007

The Southwest Airlines Fashion Police

A Southwest Airlines employee attempted to prevent Kyla Ebbert from flying because he thought her outfit was "offensive".
"Keith" asked her to go home, change and take a later flight. She refused, citing her appointment. The plane was ready to leave, so Keith relented. He had her pull up her tank top a bit, pull down her skirt a bit, and return to her seat.

via BoingBoing

No Written Petraeus Report

Since he's just gonna say everything is hunky dory, why write it down.

100,000 U.S. Troops for 20 Years!

Can this really be what we're facing?

via Atrios

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Report: Disband Iraqi Army

Remember that Surge? I wonder how's it working?
The report, prepared by a commission of retired senior U.S. military officers, describes the 25,000-member Iraqi national police force and the Interior Ministry, which controls it, as riddled with sectarianism and corruption. The ministry, it says, is "dysfunctional" and is "a ministry in name only." The commission recommended that the national police force be disbanded.

White House Sued Over Email

The National Security Archive is suing the White House over millions of lost email messages.

We're Kicking Ass

You bet we are.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Another Old White Dude

Oh, as if nobody expected it.
I can't wait for the Red Truck.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Bilin Wall Must Be Moved

The Israeli Supreme Court has ruled that the wall running through Bilin must be moved to allow Palestinian residents more access to their land.
"We were not convinced that it is necessary for security-military reasons to retain the current route that passes on Bilin's lands," Chief Justice Dorit Beinish wrote in the decision.

via TPM