Wednesday, October 3, 2007

We Ask Again: Is Fred Thompson Chicken?

Two weeks ago, I asked if Fred Thompson is chicken, noting that he was only doing softball interviews with conservative media people, such as Bill Bennett and Sean Hannity (without Alan Colmes). Today, Thompson's campaign issued this press release:

McLEAN, VA - Fred & Jeri Thompson will appear as guests on The Fox News Channel's Hannity & Colmes tonight, Wednesday, October 3rd, at 9:00 pm EST.

What the campaign doesn't say is that tonight's interview is--once again--only with Hannity, the rightwinger. Colmes won't be part of this appearance. Now how much of a tough and gutsy Law & Order-sort of guy can Thompson be if he's afraid to mix it up with Colmes--or anyone else?

Posted by David Corn at October 3, 2007 04:00 PM


David B. Benson said...

David Corn --- I ask you once again: stop insulting chickens!

Gerald said...

Thompson will probably be nominated by the Nazis. They like puppets and chickenshit on their plate. To be president a person needs to be a leader. Avoiding the tough questions is a sign of chickenshit.

capt said...

A Little Visual Perspective on the $87 billion being spent on Iraq

Ever visualized $87 billion, the amount President Bush announced on national television that he was going to ask the Congress to grant him to continue the fight on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan. President Bush asked for this money on September 7th, 2003, for the fiscal year, beginning October 1, 2004. Since before then, to the end of September, 2007, the United States has dedicated approximately $315 billion dollars to the cause.

Have a visual representation of this huge amount of money after the jump

It is impossible for anyone to visualize such huge amounts of money. Lets have a look…..


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Good visual at the link - the commentary not so hot. Looked like some of the supporting text was missing or just jumbled.


capt said...

The Daily Show: Chris Matthew’s “Book about Sadness”

Download (WMV)

Download (MOV)

(h/t Bill)

Chris Matthews has always puzzled me as a talking head. There’s always been this strange disconnect between his embarrassingly slavish adulation of political figures (please, don’t make me repeat the glimmering GWB, the manly-smelling Fred Thompson, etc. We’ve groaned through them enough) and their actions.

But the always brilliant Jon Stewart–after reading Matthews’ new book “Life’s a Campaign“–calls it for me: for Tweety, it’s all strategy. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing right or good. It doesn’t matter if you are sincere…all that matters is that you play the game. As Stewart has said, that book has been written already. How unintentionally revealing of Chris Matthews.

MATTHEWS: I’m listening to you…

STEWART: No, you’re not…

MATTHEWS: Of course I am, you’re trashing my book.

STEWART: I’m not trashing your book, I’m trashing your philosophy of life.

Kudos for the best interview from The Daily Show in a long, long time.


capt said...

More than 3,000 stuck in SA mine

More than 3,000 workers are trapped deep underground in a South African gold mine, officials have said.
A pipe broke, severing power cables to the lift and trapping workers at the bottom of a 2.2km (1.4 mile) shaft.

Rescuers are planning to use an adjacent shaft to lift them out, a spokeswoman for the mine's owner, Harmony Gold Mining, said.

The accident happened at about 1000 (0800 GMT), some 80km (50 miles) west of Johannesburg.

The spokeswoman, Amelia Soares, said no-one was injured and that the bottom of the shaft where the miners are trapped is well ventilated.

She said rescuers were in contact with the miners, and planned to begin lifting them very soon.

However, only 75 miners could be lifted out at a time through the adjacent ventilation shaft, she added.


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OMG, I hope the number is a typo - 3,000?


David B. Benson said...

Capt --- The news report I saw stated 3,500.

At 75 per trip that is a lot of trips...

capt said...


capt said...

Blackwater to guard FBI team probing it

WASHINGTON - When a team of FBI agents lands in Baghdad this week to probe Blackwater security contractors for murder, it will be protected by bodyguards from the very same firm, the Daily News has learned.

Half a dozen FBI criminal investigators based in Washington are scheduled to travel to Iraq to gather evidence and interview witnesses about a Sept. 16 shooting spree that left at least 11 Iraqi civilians dead.

The agents plan to interview witnesses within the relative safety of the fortified Green Zone, but they will be transported outside the compound by Blackwater armored convoys, a source briefed on the FBI mission said.

"What happens when the FBI team decides to go visit the crime scene? Blackwater is going to have to take them there," the senior U.S. official told The News.

An FBI spokesman declined to comment on security measures taken by agents in Iraq.

"It makes absolutely no sense that the FBI will be protected by the very people they are investigating," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan). "But given how the administration runs this war, it's hardly surprising."

In the past, FBI SWAT or hostage rescue team members protected other agents in the war zone. But the hostage rescue team force has been shrinking under the strain of bodyguard duty, leaving the FBI to rely increasingly on Blackwater when military escorts aren't available, sources said.

Besides the potential conflict of interest, it's unclear whether the FBI or Justice Department even has legal jurisdiction over Blackwater activities in Iraq.

"It is a question being examined now," the State Department's Iraq coordinator, David Satterfield, told lawmakers yesterday.

Some prosecutors believe they could slap murder charges on Blackwater, hired by the State Department to protect U.S. officials, under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act.

Sources said the FBI team was dispatched after FBI Director Robert Mueller met with President Bush and Secretary of State Rice and will help Diplomatic Security Service agents already investigating the shootout, which Blackwater claims was a defensive action against an ambush.

The House Oversight Committee conducted a hearing yesterday to question Blackwater Chairman Erik Prince - but was asked by the Justice Department not to discuss the Sept. 16 killings in Baghdad.

Democrats were left to accuse Prince's men of being "reckless," which he calmly denied.

Asked about an operative who allegedly killed an Iraqi guard last year, Prince said he can only fire bad employees - "We can't flog him. We can't incarcerate him."


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From the sublime to the ridiculous is but a step.
~ Napoleon


capt said...

Bush veto strategy threatens Republicans

WASHINGTON — President Bush is putting his fellow Republicans on a collision course with the American people, forcing them to choose between guns and butter.

In this newest example of a historic clash over priorities, Bush is asking Congress for $190 billion to keep financing the unpopular war in Iraq for another year and vowing to veto as early as Wednesday a bipartisan plan to spend an additional $35 billion over five years on health insurance for children.

Polls suggest that Bush's budget battle could be a loser for his party. Two new polls — one nonpartisan and one sponsored by a labor union — showed that solid U.S. majorities want to cut the financing for the war and increase spending on children's health insurance.

Democrats and allied interest groups know it. They're launching ad campaigns to increase pressure on Republican lawmakers in vulnerable seats to support the increased spending — or face great risk in next year's elections.

"This is a fight that Democrats ought to welcome, that Republicans ought to fear," Democratic pollster Geoff Garin said.

"The battle over spending priorities is the most important fight since the showdown over privatizing Social Security," said Gerald McEntee, the president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. "I don't think we need to remind Bush who won that battle."

Bush's political motive is clear: He wants to restore his party's reputation as fiscally conservative after six years of letting domestic spending grow faster than it did under Democrat Bill Clinton.

Thus, a president who didn't veto a single spending bill in his first six years in office now vows to veto not only more spending for children's health insurance but nine other spending bills as well. Bush says Congress mustn't spend more on domestic programs than the $933 billion he requested for fiscal 2008. The Democratic-led Congress wants to spend $22 billion more than that — less than 1 percent of the federal budget. On this difference rests his nine-bill veto threat.

The American people seem to line up against Bush, particularly as he appears to link the two controversies by sending Congress his request to finance the Iraq war at the same time that he's vetoing the State Children's Health Insurance Program.

In a new ABC-Washington Post survey, 67 percent of the respondents said they wanted Congress to reduce the amount of money going to Iraq and Afghanistan, while 27 percent wanted lawmakers to approve Bush's spending request. At the same time, 72 percent said they wanted Congress to approve the additional spending on children's health insurance, while 25 percent opposed it.


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No matter how bad things get there is always that point on the horizon - that time in the future - that will vindicate Bush and prove he was right all along. Megalomaniacs always have the future and they are never wrong so . . .


capt said...

Sen. Leahy tells Mukasey that his nomination is tied to subpoenas

Acknowledging the White House’s resistance to complying with Democratic subpoenas, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) told attorney general nominee Michael Mukasey on Wednesday that the executive-privilege fight is now his to resolve.

Leahy had indicated that Mukasey’s confirmation hearings could not begin until the Bush administration met at least some Democratic demands for documents on the U.S. attorney firings and the president’s warrantless wiretapping program. But in a letter to Mukasey released Wednesday, Leahy suggested that he would shift his focus from negotiating with the White House to negotiating with the nominee.

“Regrettably the White House has chosen not to clear the decks of past concerns and not to produce the information and material it should have and could have about the ongoing scandals that have shaken the Department of Justice and led to the exodus of its former leadership,” Leahy wrote to Mukasey. “Those matters now encumber your nomination and, if confirmed, your tenure.”

Republicans have hammered Leahy since he renewed requests for the subpoenaed material, playing up Sen. Charles Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) support for Mukasey and Democrats’ frequent calls for immediate new leadership at DoJ. While Leahy made no mention of preconditions for scheduling a hearing, he outlined questions for Mukasey that presage a contentious confirmation.

On the administration’s warrantless wiretapping program, which Democrats plan to address in a new bill this fall, Leahy told Mukasey: “I want to know whether you will work with us and provide [subpoenaed] materials so that we can examine the legal justifications that have been utilized by this administration to excuse its conduct.”

Leahy also questioned Mukasey on where he stood on the prospect of a contempt-of-Congress citation. The administration has indicated it would block Democrats from pursuing contempt.

Leahy asked Mukasey: “If the House or Senate certified a contempt citation … would you permit the U.S. attorney to carry out the law and refer the matter to a grand jury?”

White House spokesman Tony Fratto cited the administration’s claim to executive privilege on the subpoenaed documents, contending that the standoff with Congress is separate from the Mukasey confirmation.

As for whether Mukasey would weigh in on Leahy’s questions, “I’m certain that Judge Mukasey has views on these issues,” Fratto said. “The best way for all of us to hear these views is to do it with an open hearing.”

By the time a hearing is set, likely later this month, Judiciary panel members of both parties undoubtedly will have pored over the 46-page questionnaire that Mukasey completed just after Leahy sent his letter. In that document, Mukasey refers to GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani as a good friend, prompting Leahy to seek assurances that “should he be the Republican nominee … you will not improperly use your position” to benefit the former New York City mayor.

Mukasey also lists his defense of a “dial-a-porn” company in 1987 as one of his top 10 most significant legal cases. Mukasey’s client in that case was charged with transporting explicit material across state lines, and the nominee successfully argued that a law referring to tangible obscene objects did not apply to pornographic phone calls.

The pornography case presents a potential red flag for conservative groups, which have expressed concerns about Mukasey’s lack of a strong record on abortion and other values issues. But several Republicans on the Judiciary panel, including Sens. Tom Coburn (Okla.) and Orrin Hatch (Utah), said they would not interpret Mukasey’s legal arguments as a statement on his personal views.

“Sometimes even unsavory clients deserve a defense,” Hatch said. “I suspect that’s where this comes from.”

However, Sen. Sam Brownback (Kan.), a rival of Giuliani’s for the Republican nomination, said he would raise the “dial-a-porn” case with Mukasey during the confirmation.

“I want to know what his attitude is toward prosecuting pornography,” said Brownback, who has sent the nominee a copy of last year’s book Pornified: How Pornography is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships and Our Families.
Brownback said he already has asked Mukasey about committing resources to the anti-pornography task force started up by former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who resigned under a cloud of internal investigation in August. The Kansan also plans to ask Mukasey about his views on the legal debate surrounding abortion.

Asked on Wednesday when he would schedule a hearing, Leahy said the FBI’s background check on Mukasey took longer than he expected, arriving over the weekend. Leahy added that he and Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) plan to follow up with more questions.

“It would probably be appropriate for me to discuss the date with the White House and the nominee and Sen. Specter than with the press,” Leahy said.

Leahy has asked Mukasey for a second meeting on Oct. 16, potentially dashing the White House’s push for a confirmation hearing that week. A second courtesy visit for a nominee is “a little bit unusual,” Fratto said. “I think Judge Mukasey would be willing to meet sooner.”

Manu Raju contributed to this report.


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Wow, I hope upon hope Leahy stands his ground.


capt said...

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