ebonlock: (Monarch)
Via No More Mister Nice Blog:

Where's the goddamn outrage about this?

After three days of turbulent meetings, the Texas Board of Education on Friday approved a social studies curriculum that will put a conservative stamp on history and economics textbooks, stressing the superiority of American capitalism, questioning the Founding Fathers' commitment to a purely secular government and presenting Republican political philosophies in a more positive light....

The board, whose members are elected, has influence beyond Texas because the state is one of the largest buyers of textbooks....

There were no historians, sociologists or economists consulted at the meetings, though some members of the conservative bloc held themselves out as experts on certain topics.

And better yet:

[s]truck the word "democratic" in references to the form of U.S. government and replaced it with "constitutional republic."

The GOP isn't going to be content until they've completely rewritten not only history but reality itself to suit them. The sad part is it looks like the rest of us are probably going to sit around and let them get away with it.
ebonlock: (Tinkerbell)
So apparently there was a Republican YouTube debate last night and the wingnuts are all worked up 'cause it was somehow totally not fair to the candidates...or something. Sadly, No! summarizes it thusly:

Oh my God, the CNN YouTube debate showed the entire country what malignant, bonk-headed wackos we are represents a shockingly outrageous conspiracy by CNN and YouTube not to screen questioners for party loyalty — thus totally unfairly showing the entire country what malignant, bonk-headed wackos we are.

So pretty much the norm really. One of the questions apparently pertained to the Bible and a commentor at S,N! came up with the perfect summary of it:


I interpret the debate thusly:

MODERATOR: What part of the Bible is your favorite?
RUDY: The parts about the smiting. Definately the smiting. You know, we were ALL smote on 9/11, but no more! Now I WILL DO the smiting! Smite!
MCCAIN: The smiting. And the parts about honoring your elders. I like those parts a lot now.
PAUL: The weird parts that don’t make sense. That’s my favorite. Weirder the better. The parts Ayn Rand wrote are particularly good.
HUCKABEE: Well, I like the words of peace and love from our Lord and Savior.
ROMNEY: The parts of the Bible written on the Tablets made of Silver by the Silver Surfer himself are my favorite. What? C’mon, I’m not the only one! The Epistles of Galactus are deeply moving! What! Why are you staring at me, Mayor McSleaze? Is one of your mistresses standing behind me?
RUDY:F**k you, you f**k!

Now that I would've paid money to watch!
ebonlock: (Tinkerbell)
The Poorman figures it out:

This morning it hit me: the one thing Karl Rove cares about, when it comes his buddy Dubya, is influence. When he runs the poll numbers he wants them to be important, maybe the single most important factor in the President’s decision making. The Iraq War? Immigration? Social Security? Sure, these were major policy disasters, but you could at least make a plausible case that they’d help Bush and the GOP win over somebody or other. But what if Bush, on the advice of other, creepier members of his inner circle, was about to do something that was not only cataclysmically stupid, but wildly unpopular? What if Bush was about to completely torpedo the GOP for the next fifty years in pursuit of a frankly loopy goal, and Karl Rove not only knew it, but had been loudly complaining about it for months? What if Gee Dub simply wouldn’t listen to Karl, his most trusted advisor (armed, as ever, with copious polls), warning his old friend that he held a noose, not a lifeline, begging him not to cinch it quite so snugly about the frail, tubercular neck of their once proud, once shared dream of permanent Republican majority? Maybe then Turd Blossom would pack it in. So what could Bush be planning to do? What’s so much dumber than all the dumb things these dumbshits have done? Who in his administration could be giving Bush even worse advice on how to run the country than Rove was? Oh, right:

"If you’re wondering what the administration is up to in declaring a large part of Iran’s military a terrorist organization, there’s some pretty convincing analysis here that it’s a way to make an attack on Iran seem authorized by the Authorizations to Use Military Force passed by congress in ‘01 and ‘02 for attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq. The linked post also argues that this is a sign that the war-mongering Cheney faction is once again ascendant."
ebonlock: (Tinkerbell)
This is the greatest summary of the past 6 years of foreign policy I have ever read:

Putting aside the theatrics, of course, Bush’s plan, such as it was, consisted pretty much of chest thumping and poop flinging... What’s really fucked up is that every Republican candidate for President has for all intents and purposes tied themselves to the Chest Thump & Poop school of foreign policy. Even as Bush implodes across the board, the Republican need for hierarchy and control (not to mention rigid authoritarianism in the face of perceived threat, (however ludicrously overblown that threat may be) asserts itself. This phenomenon is the greatest threat to American democracy in my lifetime, if not ever.
ebonlock: (Tinkerbell)
If you haven't been reading all about the James Comey revelations on the NSA wiretapping you're missing a helluva show. I mean seriously, he's even made me kind of admire Ashcroft for being not quite so completely fucking evil as the rest of the Bush administration. Never thought that would happen!

How's this for a summer action-thriller plot:

In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning, former Deputy Attorney General James Comey detailed the desperate late night efforts by then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales and White House chief of staff Andrew Card to get the Justice Department to approve a secret program -- the warrantless wiretapping program.

According to Comey's testimony this morning, only when faced with resignations by a number of Justice Department officials including Comey, his chief of staff, Ashcroft's chief of staff, Ashcroft himself and possibly Robert Mueller, the director of the FBI, did the White House agree to make changes to the program that would satisfy the requirements of the Justice Department to sign off on it. . .

The events took place in March of 2004, when the program was in need of renewal by the Justice Department. When then-Attorney General John Ashcroft fell ill and was hospitalized, Comey became the acting-Attorney General.

The deadline for the Justice Department's providing its sign-off of the program was March 11th (the program required reauthorization every 45 days). On that day, Comey, then the acting AG, informed the White House that he "would not certify the legality" of the program.

But wait, it gets better:

The transcript of part of Comey's testimony is here. In particular, Comey detailed the attempt by Andy Card and Gonzales to manipulate Ashcroft's approval while Ashcroft was in the hospital so sick from a gall bladder condition that he named Comey Acting Attorney General pending his recovery. Comey's recollection is that the hospital visit by Gonzales and Card was arranged as a result of a telephone call from the President himself to Ashcroft's wife.

Comey testified that upon learning of this intended visit, he literally ran up the stairs to Ashcroft's hospital room, and his reason for the rush tells you all you need to know about this administration: "I was worried about him, frankly. I was concerned that this was an effort to do an end-run around the acting attorney general and to get a very sick man to approve something that the Department of Justice had already concluded -- the department as a whole -- was unable to be certified as to its legality." According to Comey, once he arrived in Ashcroft's hospital room, this is what occurred:

"And it was only a matter of minutes that the door opened and in walked Mr. Gonzales, carrying an envelope, and Mr. Card. They came over and stood by the bed. They greeted the attorney general very briefly. And then Mr. Gonzales began to discuss why they were there -- to seek his approval for a matter, and explained what the matter was -- which I will not do.

And Attorney General Ashcroft then stunned me. He lifted his head off the pillow and in very strong terms expressed his view of the matter, rich in both substance and fact, which stunned me -- drawn from the hour-long meeting we'd had a week earlier -- and in very strong terms expressed himself, and then laid his head back down on the pillow, seemed spent, and said to them, But that doesn't matter, because I'm not the attorney general.

SCHUMER: But he expressed his reluctance or he would not sign the statement that they -- give the authorization that they had asked, is that right?

COMEY: Yes."

Hey, let's read the latest reviews on this particular action-thriller: "an account of Bush administration lawlessness so shocking it would have been unbelievable coming from a less reputable source."


Why is it only now that the disturbing story of the Bush administration's willingness to override the legal advice of its own Justice Department is emerging? The chief reason is that the administration, in the person of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, stonewalled congressional inquiries and did its best to ensure that the shameful episode never came to light.

Juicy stuff!
ebonlock: (Monarch)
Brad at Sadly, No! points us to this coverage of Al Gore's presentation to the Congress:

The reviews only grew more savage when Gore crossed over to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in the afternoon for a second hearing. “You’ve been so extreme in some of your expressions that you’re losing some of your own people,” announced Sen. James Inhofe (Okla.), the committee’s ranking Republican and the man who has called man-made global warming “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.”

Inhofe informed Gore that scientists are “radically at odds with your claims.” Displaying a photograph of icicles in Buffalo, Inhofe demanded: “How come you guys never seem to notice it when it gets cold? . . . Where is global warming when you really need it?”

No, really, an elected official actually said this. Brad adds:

And that’s about it, folks. Because it’s cold in Buffalo during the winter, global warming can’t be real.

There are times when I think we just deserve to die off. This is one of them.

However, just when you start to lose all hope you read the rest of the story:

Barton informed Gore that some of his ideas “are just flawed.” Under Gore’s plan, Barton said, “we can have no new industry, no new cars and trucks on the streets, and apparently no new people.”

But this was no match for Gore. “The planet has a fever,” he lectured Barton. “If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor. If the doctor says you need to intervene here, you don’t say, ‘Well, I read a science fiction novel that tells me it’s not a problem.’ If the crib’s on fire, you don’t speculate that the baby is flame-retardant. You take action.” [Editor's note: Day-um! Can I just once again say how very much I heart Al Gore?]

The audience laughed. Barton started reading the newspaper, then discovered he wasn’t getting much support even from his own side. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) admitted he paid to see “An Inconvenient Truth.” Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.), implicitly rebuking flat-Earth colleagues, said: “It’s possible to be a conservative without appearing to be an idiot.” Barton flashed a grin of annoyance.

I'd like to think Mr. Bartlett is correct about this, I really would, but I can't really find any significant factual basis for his argument. Although I have to say that I admire the hell out of anyone who can make it as far as Congress while sharing the first name of the mildly evil and mentally challenged sheriff on "Dukes of Hazard".

Over on the Senate side, Inhofe was determined to avoid a fate like Barton’s. Given just 12 minutes to question Gore, Inhofe warned him that “I want the same ad-lib time that you have.” When Gore didn’t answer his questions succinctly enough, Inhofe ordered: “I’m going to ask you to respond for the record in writing.”

“Well,” said Gore, “if I choose to respond to you verbally here, I hope that’ll be okay, too.”

“If it’s a very brief response,” Inhofe directed, then declared that Gore could not answer any questions until Inhofe had finished his allotted time.

Boxer broke in. “You’re not making the rules,” she said, raising the gavel. “You used to when you had this.” The hall filled with applause.

If she'd added "bitches" to that final statement I'd seriously start worshipping at that woman's feet.

Game on

Mar. 22nd, 2007 12:20 pm
ebonlock: (Monarch)
via The Poorman:

Today, a House Judiciary subcommittee voted to subpoena Rove, Miers, and “other top White House aides”.
ebonlock: (Bollocks!)
Clearly I need a Claude Raines icon from Casablanca that simply reads, "I'm shocked, shocked!" for stories like these:

U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald was ranked among prosecutors who had "not distinguished themselves" on a Justice Department chart sent to the White House in March 2005, when he was in the midst of leading the CIA leak investigation that resulted in the perjury conviction of a vice presidential aide, administration officials said yesterday.

The ranking placed Fitzgerald below "strong U.S. Attorneys . . . who exhibited loyalty" to the administration but above "weak U.S. Attorneys who . . . chafed against Administration initiatives, etc.," according to Justice documents.
Mary Jo White, who supervised Fitzgerald when she served as the U.S. attorney in Manhattan and who has criticized the firings, said ranking him as a middling prosecutor "lacks total credibility across the board."

"He is probably the best prosecutor in the nation -- certainly one of them," said White, who worked in the Clinton and Bush administrations. "It casts total doubt on the whole process. It's kind of the icing on the cake."


Mar. 12th, 2007 10:58 am
ebonlock: (Monarch)

WASHINGTON - Presidential advisor Karl Rove and at least one other member of the White House political team were urged by the New Mexico Republican party chairman to fire the state’s U.S. attorney because of dissatisfaction with his job performance including his failure to indict Democrats in a voter fraud investigation in the battleground election state.


By all accounts, that’s what happened to Washington D.C. attorney Wendell Belew in August 2004. And it happened at a time when no one outside a small group of high-ranking officials and workaday spooks knew the National Security Agency was listening in on Americans’ phone calls without warrants. Belew didn’t know what to make of the episode. But now, thanks to that government gaffe, he and a colleague have the distinction of being the only Americans who can prove they were specifically eavesdropped upon by the NSA’s surveillance program.


An increasing number of U.S. citizens and residents have been targeted during that three-year period. About 39 percent of national security letters related to U.S. citizens and residents in 2003; two years later it had climbed to about 53 percent of requests.

Oh to hell with it, isn't this the very fucking definition of impeachment?:

Sources told Newsweek that the list of prosecutors to be fired was drawn up by Mr. Gonzales’s chief of staff, “with input from the White House.” And Allen Weh, the chairman of the New Mexico Republican Party, told McClatchy News that he twice sought Karl Rove’s help — the first time via a liaison, the second time in person — in getting David Iglesias, the state’s U.S. attorney, fired for failing to indict Democrats. “He’s gone,” he claims Mr. Rove said. […]

The bigger scandal, however, almost surely involves prosecutors still in office. The Gonzales Eight were fired because they wouldn’t go along with the Bush administration’s politicization of justice. But statistical evidence suggests that many other prosecutors decided to protect their jobs or further their careers by doing what the administration wanted them to do: harass Democrats while turning a blind eye to Republican malfeasance.

Donald Shields and John Cragan, two professors of communication, have compiled a database of investigations and/or indictments of candidates and elected officials by U.S. attorneys since the Bush administration came to power. Of the 375 cases they identified, 10 involved independents, 67 involved Republicans, and 298 involved Democrats. The main source of this partisan tilt was a huge disparity in investigations of local politicians, in which Democrats were seven times as likely as Republicans to face Justice Department scrutiny.

via The Poorman

Update: Found some more...

The White House acknowledged on Sunday that presidential adviser Karl Rove served as a conduit for complaints to the Justice Department about federal prosecutors who were later fired for what critics charge were partisan political reasons.

House investigators on Sunday declared their intention to question Rove about any role he may have played in the firings.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Rove had relayed complaints from Republican officials and others to the Justice Department and the White House counsel's office. She said Rove, the chief White House political operative, specifically recalled passing along complaints about former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias and may have mentioned the grumblings about Iglesias to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Iglesias says he believes he lost his job as the top federal prosecutor in New Mexico after rebuffing Republican pressure to speed his investigation of a Democratic state official.

Perino said Rove might have mentioned the complaints about Iglesias "in passing" to Gonzales.

"He doesn't exactly recall, but he may have had a casual conversation with the A.G. to say he had passed those complaints to Harriet Miers," Perino said, relaying Rove's hazy recollection.

Perino said such a conversation would be fairly routine at the White House.

"Lots of people at the White House gets lots of complaints about lots of different people on a multitude of subjects," she said. "The procedure is to listen and take the appropriate action to notify the relevant agency."

Digby adds:

Right. And it's perfectly normal for people to call up the political director of the White House to complain about Republican US Attorneys failing to prosecute Democrats and for the political director to casually chat back and forth with the Attorney general of the United States about it.

The minute I read that the Arkansas replacement was one of Rove's little minions and that Iglesias had been pressured before the election to indict a Democrat, it was clear that this was Rove deal all around.

The Dems want to question Rove ao I suspect we are going to see some executive privilege claims start flying. Rove seems to have developed a bad case of SMS (Scooter Memory Syndrome) in which he can't remember a damned thing whenever it becomes clear that he was playing politics in the lowest most obvious way possible. In his case, once the investigations start, the disease will render him braindead so he probably won't be much use to anyone from this point forward.

And have I menioned in the last few hours that we are paying this asshat's salary?
ebonlock: (Monarch)
Via Hullabaloo:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was having an extramarital affair even as he led the charge against President Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky affair, he acknowledged in an interview with a conservative Christian group.

"The honest answer is yes," Gingrich, a potential 2008 Republican presidential candidate, said in an interview with Focus on the Family founder James Dobson to be aired Friday, according to a transcript provided to The Associated Press.

"There are times that I have fallen short of my own standards. There's certainly times when I've fallen short of God's standards."

Gingrich argued in the interview, however, that he should not be viewed as a hypocrite for pursuing Clinton's infidelity.

"The president of the United States got in trouble for committing a felony in front of a sitting federal judge," the former Georgia congressman said of Clinton's 1998 House impeachment on perjury and obstruction of justice charges.

"I drew a line in my mind that said, 'Even though I run the risk of being deeply embarrassed, and even though at a purely personal level I am not rendering judgment on another human being, as a leader of the government trying to uphold the rule of law, I have no choice except to move forward and say that you cannot accept ... perjury in your highest officials."

Poputonian adds-

A new word for the lexicon:

typocrite ('tip-uh-krit noun): A typical Republican hypocrite.

1 : a typical Republican who fakes good by putting on a false appearance of virtue or religion
2 : a typical Republican who fakes good but acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings
3 : a typical Republican whose need for self-gratificaton extends to the public sphere
ebonlock: (Monarch)
Giuliani To Run For President Of 9/11

NEW YORK—At a well-attended rally in front of his new Ground Zero headquarters Monday, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani officially announced his plan to run for president of 9/11.

"My fellow citizens of 9/11, today I will make you a promise," said Giuliani during his 18-minute announcement speech in front of a charred and torn American flag. "As president of 9/11, I will usher in a bold new 9/11 for all."

If elected, Giuliani would inherit the duties of current 9/11 President George W. Bush, including making grim facial expressions, seeing the world's conflicts in terms of good and evil, and carrying a bullhorn at all state functions.
ebonlock: (Monarch)
I really hope the people of Indiana are lining up to kick this guy in the balls:

U.S. Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN) this morning apologized for missing 19 votes to play in a golf tournament in January.

Burton, who has not responded to requests for comment, made his apology during an appearance on a conservative radio talk show in Indianapolis.

Burton told talk show host Greg Garrison that he made reservations to play in the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic when Republicans were still in control of the House.

When Democrats took control, he did not expect them to schedule votes so early in the month. "I probably made a mistake," he said.
[Editor's note: Yeah, I mean Jesus Christ they expect us to work right off the bat? What the hell is wrong with these people?]

He said, however, he hasn't yet met the perfect person who hasn't made any mistakes.

Burton missed votes to reduce college costs and cut oil industry tax breaks so he could play in the Palm Springs, Calif. golf tournament in January.

Burton also missed hearings on Iraq and North Korea to play in the event, which pairs top golfers with politicians and celebrities such as actor and director Clint Eastwood.

A review of House votes for the past decade shows the Indianapolis Republican has been absent every year votes coincided with the tournament: 2007, 2005, 2004, 2003 and 2001. This year in January, he missed a total of 20 out of 73 votes.

Also for those who still remember the Libby case, you might want to check out FireDogLake's coverage of Novakula's testimony, which makes me wish I had an icon from The Colbert Report showing Novak in bat form flying away from prison because no bars can hold him...


Nov. 16th, 2006 03:41 pm
ebonlock: (Tinkerbell)
Doghouse Riley on McCain's plan to send 20,000 more troops to Iraq:

So who got us there, if not John McCain? Who thought nothing about the consequences of failure beforehand?

Let's ask the question the Timesmen are too proper to ask, namely: Th' fuck? Are we supposed to believe that the Republican leadership, its most senior and respected military affairs experts, never even considered the possibility things might go other than perfectly? It's one thing to claim, however accurately, that you and the whole world believed Saddam Hussein possessed a powerful Note Somewhere on Weapons of Mass Destruction Program Event Planning Occurance. It's another to suggest that justified losing your fucking mind. How could it have not occurred to you that Americans would still be in harm's way four years later, no matter how well things went? How could it escape your field of vision that the population, and the troops, would begin to tire of losing people for longer than it took to win World War II?

Talk about humiliating.

Y'know, Senator, it's not like we just stepped off the path for one second and found ourselves in a morass. There were signs all along the way, beginning with the screw-up with Turkey before the war--avoidable, reversible, and the product of hubris alone. There was the week or more the Brits took to secure Basra, the supposed center of anti-Baathist sentiment. They were supposed to be fighting off truckloads of flowers, not an ad hoc militia, remember? Then the looting and chaos. It didn't take a genius to figure out what was going on, and it shouldn't have taken the five or six months before we started losing two or three soldiers a day before the straight-shootin' experts called for correction, certainly not until after the 2004 election was over. All you had to do was stand up on one of your weekly co-hosting gigs on Meet the Press and explained that we needed more troops, and things would have changed. But then, so too would have public perception changed. This is part of the problem, and the chaos, and the humiliation: that so many public people did nothing except look out for their own sinecures, that we dove into this thing with no debate, led by a man with no discernable abilities, cheered by a Free Press which abandoned its responsibilities as ratings anathema. We don't need a rerun of your military acumen, Senator, thanks for asking. But you are in a unique position to help explain why.

You picked the wrong horse, Johnny boy. You hopped into that beaker of warm bathwater, and now you're a boiled frog. (The irony, Mr. Maverick, is that if there's anything left that'll get you that Presidential nomination it's your ability to raise money.) Now, for godssakes, for the sake of what's left of decency and honesty and the young men and women who serve their country, give this bullshit, calculating "program" of yours up before it screws up more lives, reclaim your manhood and whatever you can find of your integrity, and get th' fuck outta the way.
ebonlock: (Monarch)
Keith Olbermann is the Edward R. Murrow of our age:

Why has the ferocity of your venom against the Democrats, now exceeded the ferocity of your venom against the terrorists?

Why have you chosen to go down in history as the President who made things up?

In less than one month you have gone from a flawed call to unity, to this clarion call to hatred of Americans, by Americans.

If this is not simply the most shameless example of the rhetoric of political hackery, then it would have to be the cry of a leader crumbling under the weight of his own lies.

I'm watching the whole thing now and it is a fucking thing of beauty, he tears apart Bush, the administration and every brutal, ugly, shitty lie.

"You want to preserve one party's power, and you will sell out this country to do it."
ebonlock: (Tinkerbell)
The Frito Pundito realizes why Iraq's Civil War is so much less glamorous than ours was, a lack of stirring war songs!

I-I wish I wuz in the land of petrol
Where the damage is co-lateral
Fire away, fire away, fire away
There's IRE's and SAMs abounding
Oh to see a Blackhawk grounding
Fire away, fire away fire away

And for those who haven't seen V: for Vendetta yet, our government gives you a preview of what a dystopian fascist nation would look like played out here in the good old US of A:

A draft Bush administration plan for special military courts seeks to expand the reach and authority of such "commissions" to include trials, for the first time, of people who are not members of al-Qaeda or the Taliban and are not directly involved in acts of international terrorism, according to officials familiar with the proposal.

The plan, which would replace a military trial system ruled illegal by the Supreme Court in June, would also allow the secretary of defense to add crimes at will to those under the military court's jurisdiction. The two provisions would be likely to put more individuals than previously expected before military juries, officials and independent experts said.
Detainees would also not be guaranteed the right to be present at their own trials, if their absence is deemed necessary to protect national security or individuals.

Honestly, why don't they just start weighing the defendents against a duck and have done with it? If they weigh the same they've obviously made of wood and therefore wi- er terrorists. There. Done.
ebonlock: (Monarch)
Lots more to go, but gosh this just brightened my day like nobody's business:

So Ralph Reed, the darling prince of the Christian Right, top Bush administration advisor,ratfucker extraordinaire, coveted election night analyst and infamous college Republican couldn't win the Republican primary for Lt Governor of Georgia. Wow. How the mighty have fallen. This was supposed to be his first step toward the presidency.
ebonlock: (Monarch)
These are the stories that warm the cold, dark, dank cockels of John Stossel's circulatory pumping mechanism:

The pharmaceutical industry is beginning to reap a windfall from a surprisingly lucrative niche market: drugs for poor people....

The windfall, which by some estimates could be $2 billion or more this year, is a result of the transfer of millions of low-income people into the new Medicare Part D drug program that went into effect in January. Under that program, as it turns out, the prices paid by insurers, and eventually the taxpayer, for the medications given to those transferred are likely to be higher than what was paid under the federal-state Medicaid programs for the poor.

...state Medicaid programs ... closely monitor drug prices, and drug makers often typically end up paying rebates to the states.

... But in creating the federal Part D program, Congress -- in what critics saw as a sop to the drug industry -- barred the government from having a negotiating role....

Since Part D went into effect, the pharmaceutical industry has raised the wholesale prices of its brand-name drugs an average of 3.6 percent.

... when it comes time for the insurers to settle accounts with the government, the costs of the 6.5 million drugs for the transferees will end up being passed along to federal taxpayers....

But wait, it gets better...

Federal drug officials on Thursday announced the approval of a vaccine against cervical cancer....

Merck, Gardasil's maker, said a full, three-shot course would cost $360, making Gardasil among the most expensive vaccines ever made.

...A federal program is expected to provide the vaccine to 45 percent of the children in the United States for whom it is recommended. But state programs that cover other children are having trouble buying other expensive vaccines.

North Carolina, for instance, spends $11 million annually to provide every child with seven vaccines. Gardasil alone would probably cost at least another $10 million.

"Increasingly, states are asked to make a Sophie's choice about which diseases they will allow children to be hospitalized or killed by," said Dr. Paul Offit, director of infectious diseases at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia....

But hey, it's only a girls' disease anyway, and we all know only sluts will have to worry about it anyway, so who cares, right? And speaking of those our government has decided don't really need to live if it means eating into the pharmaceutical companies' profits:

The federal government on Wednesday approved the first HIV treatment that packs a triple-drug cocktail into a one-a-day pill.

... The wholesale price of a 30-day supply of the pill will be $1,150.88....

There now, let's all offer up a sweet hosanna to the Free Market.
ebonlock: (Monarch)
Wow, I hadn't heard a thing about this:

The Supreme Court today, by a 5-3 decision (.pdf) in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, held that the Bush administration's military commissions at Guantanamo (a) exceed the president's legal authorization given by Congress and (b) violate the law of war, including CommonArticle 3 of the Geneva Conventions which, the Court held, apply to all detainees in any armed conflict, including Al Qaeda members.
(1) The Supreme Court held [Sec. VI(D)(ii) of the court's opinion] that Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions applies to all detainees captured in military conflicts, including Al Qaeda members or other "enemy combatants," and not merely (as the Administration asserted) to soldiers who fight for established countries which are signatories to the Conventions.

Article 3 requires that detainees be tried by a "regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples," and the Court ruled [Sec. VI(D)(iii)] that the military commissions established at Guantanamo violate that requirement because they are not regularly constituted tribunals but instead are specially constituted courts in the absence of any emergency. Thus, under the Geneva Conventions, any and all detainees captured in armed conflict can be tried only by "a "regularly constiuted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensible by civilized peoples."
(3) The Court dealt several substantial blows to the administration's theories of executive power beyond the military commission context. And, at the very least, the Court severely weakened, if not outright precluded, the administration's legal defenses with regard to its violations of FISA. Specifically, the Court:

(a) rejected the administration's argument [Sec. IV] that Congress, when it enacted the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force in Afghanistan and against Al Qaeda ("AUMF"), implicitly authorized military commissions in violation of the UCMJ. In other words, the Supreme Court held that because the AUMF was silent on the question as to whether the Administration was exempt from the pre-existing requirements of the UCMJ, there was no basis for concluding that the AUMF was intended to implicitly amend the UCMJ, since the AUMF was silent on that question.

This is a clearly fatal blow to one of the two primary arguments invoked by the administration to justify its violations of FISA. The administration has argued that this same AUMF "implicitly" authorized it to eavesdrop in violation of the mandates of FISA, even though the AUMF said absolutely nothing about FISA or eavesdropping. If -- as the Supreme Court today held -- the AUMF cannot be construed to have provided implicit authorization for the administration to create military commissions in violation of the UCMJ, then it is necessarily the case that it cannot be read to have provided implicit authorization for the administration to eavesdrop in violation of FISA.
Nonetheless, opponents of monarchical power should celebrate this decision. It has been some time since real limits were placed on the Bush administration in the area of national security. The rejection of the President's claims to unlimited authority with regard to how Al Qaeda prisoners are treated is extraordinary and encouraging by any measure. The decision is an important step towards re-establishing the principle that there are three co-equal branches of government and that the threat of terrorism does not justify radical departures from the principles of government on which our country was founded.

I must admit I feel a little tingly after reading this. I think, in a way, this is better than Fitzmas ever could've been.
ebonlock: (Colbert Report)
Digby on Rush's airport run-in:

Rush should be urged to share his story with America. Here's he is, an impotent, thrice divorced, ex-drug addict, conservative, parolee who went on a sex tour in the Caribbean and found himself rudely embarrassed for carrying recreational prescription drugs in his doctor's name. Who can't relate to that? This is a man who has been run through the mud and I think we would benefit from a thorough national conversation to try to understand Rush's urgent need for sex in one of the most poverty stricken countries in the world. Wouldn't he feel unburdened if he could share his thoughts with some of his staunch allies like James Dobson or Pat Robertson? Surely they'd be willing to hear his testimony.

And Wolcott can't help thrust-...er...chiming in:

As a shocked and grieved nation now knows, Rush Limbaugh was detained at the Palm Beach airport upon returning from a trip to the Dominican Republic. His offense: trying to smuggle potential erections through customs and security. A search of his luggage turned up a quantity of Viagra, or as those pills are known to those who gratefully pop them, "boner boosters."

Now there is no shame in requiring wood enhancement. Men have needs, and if Viagra enables the little fella to jut proudly from the folds of the dragon kimono bequeathed to Rush by the late Allan Bloom, it is not for us to cast judgement. Some of my rude blog bretheren have rudely speculated as to why Rush needed to be toting a bottle of shock-and-awe erectile launchers around the sultry Caribbean isle. Some wonder what he was doing in the Dominican Republic in the first place.

To which S.Z. adds:

If Scott is right, and Rusty did go to the Dominican Republic for a sex tour, how sad is it that he came home with 29 pills left unused?

via TBogg


Jun. 21st, 2006 04:52 pm
ebonlock: (Monarch)
Via Shakespeare's Sister:

Political consultant Carey Lee Cramer (R), credited with an anti-Al Gore ad in 2000 that showed a young girl picking daisy petals and ends with a nuclear blast, is charged with molesting two girls, including the one in the ad, according to McAllen Monitor.

Frankly I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry...


ebonlock: (Default)

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