Thursday, March 23, 2006

How To Make "Clean" Fuel The Dirty Way

Carbon Cloud Over Green Fuel - CBS News:
Late last year in Goldfield, Iowa, a refinery began pumping out a stream of ethanol, which supporters call the clean, renewable fuel of the future.

There's just one twist: The plant is burning 300 tons of coal a day to turn corn into ethanol, the first US plant of its kind to use coal instead of cleaner natural gas.
Yep, they're real geniuses in the energy business. PR geniuses, anyway.


My Way News:
WASHINGTON (AP) - In the aftermath of the Dubai ports dispute, the Bush administration is hiring a Hong Kong conglomerate to help detect nuclear materials inside cargo passing through the Bahamas to the United States and elsewhere.

The administration acknowledges the no-bid contract with Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. represents the first time a foreign company will be involved in running a sophisticated U.S. radiation detector at an overseas port without American customs agents present.
This administration never learns! First of all, a no-bid contract? Why? Furthermore, a foreign company again given the responsibility of assuring U.S. port security?! Madness! Madness and incompetence!

Reid, Again!

My Way NewsWow! Maybe "Give 'em hell, Harry" has found the Wheaties box finally. You go, man!

Another Senator Evolves To Vertebrate

Reid: Bush 'Dangerously Incompetent' - CBS News:
(AP) Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid called President Bush 'dangerously incompetent' on Wednesday and said the administration ought to be doing more to prevent increasing sectarian violence in Iraq.

'Where is (Secretary of State) Condoleezza Rice? Why isn't she over in the Middle East, as the chief diplomat of this country should be, trying to get the political forces to form a government over there?' Reid told The Associated Press.

Rice is currently in the Bahamas to meet with 14 foreign ministers and the secretary-general of the Caribbean Community and Common Market, a regional trade bloc known as Caricom.
Now if we could just get Pelosi in The House to rise above the level of jellyfish, we might have a chance of regaining Congress. Time to fish or cut bait, people! Show us your backbone and stand up to the Repuglican machine or get lost and let somebody who will take over.

Edwards Still In The Game

My Way News

In the run-up to the 2004 primary, I came to believe that Edwards was the most sincere of the candidates, and had the closest platform to my own preferences and philosophy. He didn't get a fair shake from the press (who did?!) last time. I think his biggest problem was that people didn't know him, followed closely by the notion that he was too young and inexperienced. At the time I was wishing he was the one running for the top spot instead of number two.

This time around, he'd have to beat Hillary for the nomination, something not expected of anybody at this point. Maybe his message and socially progressive stance would provide a certain balance to Hillary's more moderate position. He plays to the liberal base much better, I would think, though he's still quite the dark horse so far, especially with Feingold kicking up some serious dust lately. We'll see.

General "Disses" Rummy On Propaganda Program

My Way News:
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - The top U.S. military officer called Thursday for a formal Pentagon review of the policies that led to defense officials paying the Iraqi media to place favorable stories in their newspapers.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said people need to know whether they are reading an article by an independent reporter or by someone paid by the U.S. government.
I'm starting to like Pete. He also contradicted Rummy about torture and taking responsibility. I'm surprised he's lasted this long. I just hope I don't find out this is all choreographed for the sake of appearance. I'd like to keep a sliver of hope that there are some people left in this world that have integrity. At least one or two would be nice to find.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Blowback For Delay

My Way News:
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Prosecutors will try to persuade a Texas appeals court Wednesday to reinstate some of the criminal charges against Rep. Tom DeLay, who is trying to win re-election to Congress while under indictment.

In December, a judge threw out some of the conspiracy and money laundering charges against the former House majority leader, saying the conspiracy law DeLay allegedly violated did not exist at the time.

Prosecutors say that it did. Both sides will argue their cases before the Texas 3rd Court of Appeals.

Blowback For Delay

My Way News:
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Prosecutors will try to persuade a Texas appeals court Wednesday to reinstate some of the criminal charges against Rep. Tom DeLay, who is trying to win re-election to Congress while under indictment.

In December, a judge threw out some of the conspiracy and money laundering charges against the former House majority leader, saying the conspiracy law DeLay allegedly violated did not exist at the time.

Prosecutors say that it did. Both sides will argue their cases before the Texas 3rd Court of Appeals.


Study Says U.S. Companies Lag on Global Warming - New York Times:
"European and Asian companies are paying more attention to global warming than their American counterparts. And chemical companies are more focused on the issue than oil companies."

Some New York FBI Agents Lack E-Mail - CBS News

Some New York FBI Agents Lack E-Mail - CBS News:
(CBS/AP) Budget constraints are forcing some local FBI agents to operate without e-mail accounts, according to the agency's top official in New York.

'As ridiculous as this might sound, we have real money issues right now, and the government is reluctant to give all agents and analysts dot-gov accounts,' Mark Mershon said when asked about the gap at a Daily News editorial board meeting.
And yet the tax cuts for the super-rich just keep on coming. Will somebody, please, stop the insanity? Oh, yeah, I guess that's us. See you in November.

Big Biz Trumps Ethics, Too

Lobbyist Reform as a Shell Game - New York Times:
The political gods had to guffaw when Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania was designated by the Republicans to be their headlined champion in the current reform effort to rein in lobbying abuses. In truth, Mr. Santorum had long been the G.O.P.'s eager point man in courting the lobbyists of K Street. But in January, as the Jack Abramoff scandal nipped at Congress, Senator Santorum swore off further inner-sanctum sessions with lobbyists, just in time for his tight re-election fight.

Enter Capitol reality: As Congress drifts through a lobbying debate that leans toward cosmetic evasions, Mr. Santorum has been as avid as ever in wooing power lobbyists. The Washington Post reported that the senator had maintained his elite meetings with special-interest brokers.
Is there anything Big Business doesn't rule over? Not with the Repugs in charge, apparently. We need change, and fast!

Big Biz Trumps States' Rights

My Way News:
The case required the court to consider a 1995 federal law, passed over a presidential veto after Republicans took control of Congress, and a follow-up law approved three years later intended to restrict investor class-action lawsuits.

The Merrill Lynch brokers filed a class-action suit under state law in Oklahoma, but the justices said in Tuesday's decision that Congress intended to prevent their claims and others like them.

'Public companies no longer have to fear the threat of securities class-actions in 50 different states under potentially 50 different sets of laws,' said Jay Kasner, a New York attorney who represented Merrill Lynch.

William Federman, the Oklahoma City attorney for the brokers, said Congress had already barred federal court lawsuits claiming that someone was duped into holding onto stocks. Now they can no longer be filed in state courts.

'It sends a signal to investors this court is seeking to continue what Congress started, to protect big business,' Federman said.

Nineteen states, led by New York, backed the brokers and urged the justices not to 'strip states of essential authority to protect their citizens from fraud in securities transactions.' The others were California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.
I thought Conservatives were all about states' rights. Oh, I guess that's only when it concerns a woman's uterus or an individual's sexuality. My mistake.

The Next Governor Of NY Loses One To The Supremes And Big Biz

My Way News

That's okay, Eliott. You keep trying and we appreciate it.

New York -- We're Number One!

My Way News:
LOS ANGELES (AP) - New Yorkers and Californians breathe the dirtiest air in the nation and face higher cancer risks than the rest of the nation, according to the latest data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

New Yorkers' risk of developing cancer from air toxins is estimated to be 68 residents per million. In California, the risk is 66 residents per million.
Not exactly something to celebrate, and it's not all our fault. This is what happens when the government, led by BushCo, guts the EPA in favor of Big Business. Makes me sick; literally!

Their First Taste Of American Justice

My Way News:
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Baghdad's new courthouse is held up by U.S. officials as a symbol of the independent legal system three years of U.S. occupation has brought, but defense lawyers are angry at what they say is summary American justice.

'During Saddam's time we couldn't say a word. Now we scream and scream and nobody listens,' defense attorney Thabit Zubeidi told Reuters as he waited on standby for officials to appoint him to defend those accused who had no other representation.
Kind of bitter, kind of salty wouldn't you say?

Nobody (At The Top) Listened

My Way News:
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - A manager at an Arizona flight school that trained one of the Sept. 11 pilot-hijackers testified at the Zacarias Moussaoui trial Wednesday that she called the Federal Aviation Administration with concerns over his qualifications for a pilot license, but her concerns were dismissed by an FAA official.

Margaret Chevrette, manager at the flight school, was testifying in the death-penalty trial of Moussaoui, who has confessed to being an al-Qaida terrorist.

It was the second time this week jurors heard witnesses testify that people in positions of authority in the federal government responded either slowly, negatively - or not at all - to warnings about a possible a possible terrorist attack.
I guess this is part of the testimony the Ms. Martin tried to sidetrack because, gee, it makes it sound like the authorities could have, you know, done something to, uh, prevent the tragedy of 9/11, sort of. Seems like some federal prosecutors will resort to anything, including the truth, when it comes to winning their case. Hey! That reminds me. What's going on with the Traitor Gate case? Come on, Fitz, throw us a bone now and then, will ya'?!

One For The Constitution

My Way News:
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that police cannot always search a home when one resident says to come in but another objects, and the court's new leader complained that the ruling could hamper investigations of domestic abuse.

Justices, in a 5-3 decision, said that police did not have the authority to enter and search the home of a small town Georgia lawyer even though the man's wife invited them in.

The officers, who did not have a search warrant, found evidence of illegal drugs.

The Supreme Court has never ruled on whether the Constitution's ban on unreasonable searches covers a scenario when one home occupant wants to allow a search and another occupant does not.
And I can remember thinking Souter was too conservative a choice when he was nominated to the court. He looks almost, you know - that "L" thing - compared to the newest entries. At least some of the judges (still a majority?) still think The Constitution means what it says! At least, most of the time.

Monday, March 20, 2006

The Anonymous Liberal: A Game Without Referees

The Anonymous Liberal: A Game Without Referees:
Journalists today are more like play-by-play announcers than referees. They no longer see it as their job to step in and call fouls, i.e., to call a lie a lie. As a result, modern politics operates more or less on the honor system, which, needless to say, only invites the dishonest and unscrupulous to make a mockery of our political discourse. When all that readers are presented with is dueling narratives, suddenly even the facts are up for grabs; the very concept of objective truth becomes increasingly elusive.


How did things come to be like this? Well, over the last two decades, the Republican political machine has engaged in a relentless and systematic assault on all of the institutions in our society that have traditionally served as checks on excessive partisanship. They have attacked the press, the judiciary, academia, even the very concepts of science and empiricism. Their goal has been to discredit and disable the referees, to politicize, marginalize, and co-opt any and all non-political institutions, and thereby eliminate any meaningful policing of political debate.
AL is one of the best writers on the blog scene, IMHO. Here he is reminding us of the under-handed battle for the hearts and minds of the nation engaged by the extreme Right for the past few decades. Not only has the press been duped and co-opted by them, they have successfully framed the word "liberal" as a denigration to be avoided at all costs. Being liberal used to be a good thing in this country, and you know what? It still is!

Trying to Deliver the Fatal Blow to FISA

The Anonymous Liberal: Tying to Deliver the Fatal Blow to FISA

Another step closer to fascism go we all if this bill passes. In fact, we may already be there.

Google Wins The Important Battle

My Way News: "In his 21-page ruling, U.S. District Judge James Ware told Google to provide the U.S. Justice Department with the addresses of 50,000 randomly selected Web sites indexed by its search engine by April 3.

The government plans to use the data for a study in another case in Pennsylvania, where the Bush administration is trying to revive a law meant to shield children from online pornography.

Ware, though, decided Google won't have to disclose what people have been looking for on its widely used search engine, handing a significant victory to the company and privacy rights advocates."


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