Rush Limbaugh Celebrity Endorser

Celebrity Endorser

This is one of those cartoons that doesn't need any links or extra commentary. By now you have learned that Rush Limbaugh got caught with a prescription for Viagra in someone elses name as he returned from the Dominican Republic. Limbaugh might find himself in violation with an earlier plea agreement he made with Florida prosecutors for "doctor shopping." It is what it is. Hopefully those that take the time to enlarge the image will enjoy the graffiti.

Have a nice weekend.

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Bush's orders SWIFT and CHIPS


I did want to acknowledge the experts at CounterTerrorism Blog. It was after reading this article, and in particular this portion of text which reads
"The settlement of international transactions is usually handled through correspondent banking relationships or large-value message and payment systems, such as the SWIFT, Fedwire or CHIPS systems in the United States of America. Such international clearance centres are critical to processing international banking transactions and are rich with payment information. The United States has begun to apply new monitoring techniques to spot and verify suspicious transactions. The Group recommends the adoption of similar mechanisms by other countries."
After this paragraph I started thinking about SWIFT and CHIPS. As it turns out, the aforementioned paragraph came from the UN Al Qaeda and Taliban Monitoring Group report that can be found here (pdf). You will find a couple other article that pertain to this subject, here and here.

I also came across this article "Disgracefully" Attacking the Messenger over at Truthout.org. Seemed like an appropriate follow up to me.

UPDATE: The saga continues...the House of Representatives passed a meaningless resolution condemning the NY Times for reporting the news and doing the job of congress which is supposed to serve as a consitutional check to presidential power grabs. The most interesting turn of events would have to be the alternative reolution of Barney Frank who took his pen out and mad a few edits to the original resolution.

While I have no doubt that I could describe Barney Frank's edits, some things you just have to see for yourself (pdf).

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Score one for the US Constitution and International law

The Bush administration learned today that the US Supreme Court rejects 'war on terror' military tribunals.
The US Supreme Court has ruled President George W Bush overstepped his powers and breached the Geneva Conventions by setting up special war crime tribunals for "war on terror" suspects.
Major Michael Mori, the military lawyer appointed to defend Hicks before the tribunals says he is not surprised by the US Supreme Court decision. "It doesn't come as a shock to me. The military lawyers who have been defending the defendants at Guantanamo have been saying this all along. Any real lawyer who isn't part of the administration knows this violates the Geneva Conventions."

The Supreme Court today ruled that Bush isn't the Dictator-in-Chief. The Court ruled that Bush has overstepped his bounds as the president. I don't know the specific ruling from the SC, but I am aware of the powers of congress found in Article 1, Sec. 8; of the US Constitution include
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water (emphasis mine).

Of course it is important to know that the sycophants for Bush in the house and senate are fast at work looking for a way to run around the recent Court's ruling in order to reestablish the Dictator-in-Chief's supreme power. And to think, Bush said that the Supreme Court would be the final arbitor of what is to happen with the "detainees" of Guantanamo Bay. It was June 16th, when Bush was heard to say,
"Eventually these people will have trials, and they will have counsel, and they will be represented in the court of law...

"[M]y answer to them is, is that we are a nation of laws and rule of law. These people have been picked up off the battlefield and they're very dangerous. And so we have that balance between customary justice, the typical system, and one that will be done in the military courts. And that's what we're waiting for."

I'm waiting for the US legislature to once again abdicate their constitutional role.

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Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's 'cut and run' timetable

Nouri al-Maliki's timetable. (See the previous post on this subject.)

Iraqi Prime Minister advocates 'cutting and running'

Well, that isn't exactly how Newsweek is reporting the latest coming out of Iraq. In the article Maliki's Master Plan Newsweek article we learn that
A timetable for withdrawal of occupation troops from Iraq. Amnesty for all insurgents who attacked U.S. and Iraqi military targets. Release of all security detainees from U.S. and Iraqi prisons. Compensation for victims of coalition military operations.

I can't wait to see the same Republicans that accused the Democrats in the house and senate of supporting a policy that requires the US to "cut and run." Will the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki be accused of advocating a policy of "cutting and running" like the Democrats?

The Democrats might just have a chance to parlay these recent developments to the advantage in the larger content of the Iraq war debate, such as it is. It can't bode well for Bush and the Republicans to argue that the Democrats want to "cut and run" when they are proposing amendments that are supported in part by the Prime Minister of Iraq, whom Bush recently praised.

The Prime Minister's plan makes distinctions between the Iraqi insurgents and the al Qaeda terrorists (a distinction that the Republicna party has sought to obliterate).
Maliki has made reconciliation and control of party militias the main emphasis of his new government. This plan follows a series of secret negotiations over the past two months between seven insurgent groups, President Jalal Talabani and officials of the U.S. embassy. The insurgent groups involved are Sunnis but do not include foreign jihadis like al Qaeda and other terrorist factions who deliberately target civilians; those groups have always denounced any negotiations.
The idea of reconciliation is something that the Republicans won't find favor with. Apparently the Sunnis in the fledgling democracy in Iraq are pushing for reconcilation for the "national resistance"
The distinction between insurgents and terrorists is one of the key principles in the document, and is in response to Sunni politicians' demands that the "national resistance" should not be punished for what they see as legitimate self-defense in attacks against a foreign occupying power. Principle No. 19 calls for "Recognizing the legitimacy of the national resistance and differentiating or separating it from terrorism" while "encouraging the national resistance to enroll in the political process and recognizing the necessity of the participation of the national resistance in the national reconciliation dialogue."

Before we get the cart before the horse on this interesting bit of news we should look at the loophole(s) that will afford Bush and the Republican party some level of comfort should the Democrats find themselves aligning their position to something akin to the Iraqi Prime Minister.
The plan also calls for a withdrawal timetable for coalition forces from Iraq, but it doesn't specify an actual date (emphasis mine)—one of the Sunnis' key demands. It calls for "the necessity of agreeing on a timetable under conditions that take into account the formation of Iraqi armed forces so as to guarantee Iraq's security," and asks that a U.N. Security Council decree confirm the timetable. Mahmoud Othman, a National Assembly member who is close to President Talabani, said that no one disagrees with the concept of a broad, conditions-based timetable. The problem is specifying a date, which the United States has rejected as playing into the insurgents' hands.

There is certainly some similarities between the Levin Amendment and the Iraqi plan. Their isn't much of real time table to either. Both are essentially "conditions based" plans. Of course, you won't hear the Republicans making such comparisons between the two troop reduction plans. The Democrats want to "cut and run." The Iraqis, well I'll have to wait and see how they respond.

I will leave you with what I'd refer to as an interesting quote from an anonymous senior coalition military official,
"One of the advantages of a timetable—all of a sudden there is a date which is a much more explicit thing than an abstract condition. That's the sort of assurance that [the Sunnis] are looking for."

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Staying the Course

Staying the Course

The Senate Democrats offered up two seperate amendments for dealing with Iraq this week. The first was authored by John Kerry and Russ Feingold calling for the complete withdrawall of US troops by July of 2007. And the second was the Levin Amendment. As you know both amendments failed to muster the required 51 votes need for passage.

Of course, the really puzzling thing about these two amendments is not that they failed, but the response of the Republican Party and the role of the MSM to serve as the echo chamber. OK, so it isn't really a suprise. The Democrats are wholly inept when it comes to dealing with the media. If I were a paid Democratic Party strategist I'd be pushing back against the frivolous charge of the Republican Party that the party is divided with the simple and what I would consider an effect response.

The Democrats are united in holding the president accountable for his policy in Iraq. As it stands, the Democrats are the only party offering up ideas to alter the "stay the course" mentality of this administration. The American public believes that the war in Iraq was a mistake, they want the troops to come home and the Democratic Party is the only party in Washington DC working to ensure that this happens.

So the next time a member of the Republican Party, or the MSM wants to posit the notion that the Democratic party lacks ideas, remember the amendments offered by Democrats. Remember that "staying the course" in Iraq has proven to be costly and ineffective.

Democrats should be taking the fight to the Republicans with a greater sense of urgency. The Democrats need to be the hammer rather than continue to get hammered on the subject of Iraq and troop reductions and/or troop withdrawal. Just once I'd like to hear a Democrat make a statement that would surely cause consternation for the Bush administration and the Republicans in either the house of senate. What Democrat has the courage, the balls to say, "If congress had passed the amendment by Jack Murtha the deaths of Pfc. Menchaca and Pfc. Tucker could have been prevented. It is encumbent upon congress to do more protect the lives of those US troops serving in Iraq."

Yes, the question was rhetorical.

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The Hitler vs. Coulter Quiz

You'll laugh, you'll cry, so why not take The Hitler vs. Coulter Quiz. OK. I admit it, you won't be laughing or crying when you finish. You might be swearing and thinking vile things about Ms. Coulter.



Stay the Course

Stay the Course

The Democrats are walking into another serious defeat this November. As the war in Iraq rages on (Yep, that is "war in Iraq" and not the "war on terror.") with a do nothing congress that has abdicated it's constitutional role to serve as a check to an administration that acts with the contraint of an intoxicated female preforming for the Girl's Gone Wild cameras during Spring Break.

If the Democrats really want to take back control of either the house or senate this year they need to start politicizing the "war in Iraq" like Karl Rove standing before Bush's sycophant party base. Or Jack Abramoff buying and selling political influence within the Republican party. They need to start convincing the public as a whole that they are serious about changing what has become the status quo within congress.

My advice to the Democrats, take the recent deaths of Pfc. Kristian Menchaca and Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker as evidence of the failed "stay the course" policy of the Bush administration and the do nothing congress. Democrats should be arguing that the do-nothing Republican controlled congress failed to seriously debate the Resolution authored by Congressman Jack Murtha which would have saved the lives of Pfc. Menchaca and Pfc. Tucker.

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Bush's secret visit to Iraq

Veiled in Secrecy

I guess I should have posted this when Bush's visit to Iraq was the hot story. Of course, the subject is still worthy of mention. I can't help think that the veil of secrecy used to mark Bush's visit to Iraq only underscores the failures of this administration in its planning and subsequent implementation of it's Iraq policy.

Mission Accomplished.


H. RES. 861

A Stitch in time.

And just it time it is...the Republicans are pulling out all the stops in the run up to the November election by introducing H. RES 861. They have taken advantage of the US public with such frequency that they have come to rely upon the gullibility fears of the voters and a belief that the poll numbers on Iraq will eventually fall in their direction.

Let's review this blatant political ploy, titled H. RES. 861 - DECLARING THAT THE UNITED STATES WILL PREVAIL IN THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR, THE STRUGGLE TO PROTECT FREEDOM FROM THE TERRORIST ADVERSARY that rests before the House. Let us review the rules of debate shall we.
1. Closed rule.

2.Provides 10 hours of debate in the House equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on International Relations, the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on Armed Services, the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on the Judiciary, and the chairman and ranking minority member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

3. Waives all points of order against consideration of the resolution.

4. Provides one motion to recommit which may not contain instructions.

5. Provides that, notwithstanding the operation of the previous question, the Chair may postpone further consideration of the resolution to a time designated by the Speaker.

I have to admit that rules 1, 3 and 4 do put a damper on any serious debate on the issue. This is election year politics at its finest. The resolution lacks any substantive measures. It is election year mastubation. It is a partisan devise hoping to capitalize upon the fears of the US populace. Actually, it is designed to play upon the fears of those members of the Republican party that the leadership feels knows it can exploit this November.

OK, let us dispense with the meaningless "Where as" this and "Where as" that... and get to the Resolved, That the House of Representatives-- (Please note how a resolution of the "war for on terrorism" fails to include any mention of Osama bin Laden.)
(1) honors all those Americans who have taken an active part in the Global War on Terror, whether as first responders protecting the homeland, as servicemembers overseas, as diplomats and intelligence officers, or in other roles;

(2) honors the sacrifices of the United States Armed Forces and of partners in the Coalition, and of the Iraqis and Afghans who fight alongside them, especially those who have fallen or been wounded in the struggle, and honors as well the sacrifices of their families and of others who risk their lives to help defend freedom;

(3) declares that it is not in the national security interest of the United States to set an arbitrary date for the withdrawal or redeployment of United States Armed Forces from Iraq;

(4) declares that the United States is committed to the completion of the mission to create a sovereign, free, secure, and united Iraq;

(5) congratulates Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki and the Iraqi people on the courage they have shown by participating, in increasing millions, in the elections of 2005 and on the formation of the first government under Iraq's new constitution;

(6) calls upon the nations of the world to promote global peace and security by standing with the United States and other Coalition partners to support the efforts of the Iraqi and Afghan people to live in freedom; and

(7) declares that the United States will prevail in the Global War on Terror, the noble struggle to protect freedom from the terrorist adversary.

Gee, reminds me of the original Resolution where congress abdicated its constitutional role to declare war or serve as a check to the Bush administrations unabashed power grab. That resolution too has many "Where as" this and that, that preceded the Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives.

Isn't it ironic that only a couple of weeks days ago Republicans referred to the "war in Iraq" when discussing Iraq. But the closer that November gets, the "war in Iraq" is being described as the war for on terrorism." Like then and now, Iraq had no connected to what occured on 9/11.

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Schwarzenegger's Duality

Schwarzenegger's Duality

It is a fine line that the governor from Calee-fornia walks as he seeks to win his re-election bid this November. Arnold supports civil unions, or domestic partnerships,
"I am proud California is a leader in recognizing and respecting domestic partnerships and the equal rights of domestic partners. I support current domestic partnership rights and will continue to vigorously defend and enforce these rights and as such will not support any rollback."
but doesn't support in gay marriage as demonstrated by his veto of AB 849.

As a supporter of gay rights it does appear that Arnold has a problem with a bill that would include the roles of gay Americans in classroom textbooks. According to the reports, the governor plans to veto this legislation as well, or at least that what the GOP governor's communications director Adam Mendelsohn said,
"The issue for the governor is he is not supportive of the Legislature micromanaging curriculum. California has an 18-member standards board that is a national model for looking at curriculum. The governor just believes it's not the Legislature's job to determine curriculum."

The communications director could have offered up a more consise answer, but is an election season now isn't it. We have so much to look forward to here is California.

And speaking of the election season...the first campaign commercial of the Schwarzenegger's reelection bid talked more about Phil Angelides than it did the governors record. Do you think that the governor is worried about losing to a very liberal Democrat this November? I will admit that I did see that the second commercial from Schwarzenegger's campaign was all about talking up his "accomplishments" as governor. To be honest, when I think of his accomplishments the first thing that comes to mind is the costly and unsuccessful special election.

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Bush's Loyal Servant

Loyal Servant

In the beginning the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter was angered by the domestic surveillance program authorized by President Bush. Back in May of 2006 Specter was reported to say,
There is some need for some oversight by Congress to assert its authority here. What's the point of having a statute if...the president can cherry-pick what he likes and what he doesn't like?"
In the beginning,
Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he would conduct hearings on the warrantless monitoring of international phone calls, faxes and emails of U.S. citizens or residents since 2002.

But as this paragraph started that was in the beginning. And since then, many things have changed...in the begining there was an aire of determination.

At the beginning of the end, as there really is no middle to this tale, the once determined Arlen Specter was and is no longer. As the end approaches we have learned that
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter reversed course Tuesday, announcing he will not call on phone company executives to testify on their cooperation with the government in a secret eavesdropping program run by the National Security Agency.

Reversed course? Sounds like Specter has lost his way...the determined senator became the broken senator. His concern has given way to cowardice? Or maybe apathy? Wait he did say,
"I categorically reject the idea I'm backing off."

Wait a minute, maybe Specter is still determined. Maybe he isn't a coward after he publicly criticized Vice President Dick Cheney and the administration in his three page letter(.pdf). Well he did, did he not...
"I'm not accusing anybody of anything. And I'm not saying the vice president acted in bad faith...

I don't think the president has acted in bad faith here. I think he is functioning on something which he thinks needs to be done to protect the country. But he doesn't have a blank check. He's not the final word. We have a Constitution. The Constitution says that the Congress has oversight. And, on a constitutional issue, that's the Judiciary Committee.

Now is that determination or what? I mean maybe I'm being a little rough on Arlen. Maybe he isn't the loyal servant and ripe for the derision represented in my cartoon.

Maybe he isn't...or maybe he is when one takes into consideration that Arlen Specter has decided to offer a sweeping compromise on proposed NSA legislation. According to this report,
[t]he new proposal specifies that it cannot "be construed to limit the constitutional authority of the President to gather foreign intelligence information or monitor the activities and communications of any person reasonably believed to be associated with a foreign enemy of the United States."
It goes on furhter to state,
[a]nother part of the Specter bill would grant blanket amnesty to anyone who authorized warrantless surveillance under presidential authority, a provision that seems to ensure that no one would be held criminally liable if the current program is found illegal under present law.

Reads to me like I was correct about Arlen, despite my waffling in the previous paragraph. It looks like Specter is a very undetermined coward and loyal servant of King George, the Decider-in-chief who clearly believes "the president can cherry-pick what he likes and what he doesn't like."

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My Ann Coulter Fantasy

Yep! This is my Ann Coulter Fantasy.

Not nearly as sexually provocative as you were expecting? I know there are many social conservative males that find Ann to be a very attractive woman. Of course there is something uniquely perverse knowing that a single white female who wears short skirts, flaunts her sexuality is widely viewed as a spokesperson for social conservatives (including the christian ones).

Okay, the cartoon was originally inspired by the story that Ms. Coulter is currently in the midst of a pending legal fight. According to the reports Ms. Coulter may be guilty of voter fraud. "Knowingly voting in the wrong precinct in Florida is a felony." It should be noted that she has hired the same legal firm that represented George Bush against Al Gore in 2000.

It should be noted that this is just a fantasy of mine. I know damn well that Ann Coulter has about a snowballs chance in hell of doing felony time in a Florida prison for violating the state's election law. Maybe they can get her on being a tax cheat. Oh who am I kidding, right-wing disinfotainers (Republicans) get sweetheart plea agreements and don't do jail time in Florida.

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Marking the death of al Zarqawi

Marking al Zarqawi

According to the reports, the leader(?) of al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al Zarqawi is dead. This is the second time that the media has reported his death. Back in November of 2005 al Zarqawi was reported to have been killed in Mosul. It is being reported that the are able to identify al Zarqawi's remains by scars and finger prints. You figure that al Zarqawi would be easy to identify as the guy with the surgically amputated leg. Of course, there is plenty of conflicting information about the actual role of al Zarqawi and his leadership role in Iraq. In April of this year the Telegraph of India ran the story Ruthless Zarqawi kicked out.
Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the most feared commander in the Iraqi insurgency, may have been forced to surrender his leadership by rival groups, angered by his tactics and the interference of foreign fighters in the Iraqi conflict.

Of course there is the story run by the Washington Times, Zarqawi replaced as al Qaeda chief in Iraq addressing the issue as to the role al Zarqawi plays.
Jordanian-born al Qaeda militant Abu Musab Zarqawi has been replaced as head of the terrorist organization in Iraq in a bid to put an Iraqi figure at the head of the group's struggle, said a leading Islamist.

And then there are the comments made by Michael Berg, the father of Nick Berg who was a victim of al Zarqawi.
"I'm sorry when any human being dies...and I feel bad for that. His death will reignite yet another wave of revenge. It's an endless cycle as long as people use violence to fight violence...When Nick was killed I felt that I had nothing left to lose...I was not a risk-taking person, but I've done things that have endangered me. I have beenshot at...Every time we kill an Iraqi...we are creating a large number of people who are going to want vengeance. When are we ever gonna learn that that doesn't work?

Does the death of al Zarqawi provide the Bush administration with an opportuntity to draw down the numbers of US soldiers serving in Iraq? Now that al Qaeda has been dealt "a severe blow" surely the Iraqi military would be able to fend itself from becoming a safe haven for terrorists. (Particularly when one considers the recent events in Somalia.) It is clear that the civil war, sectarian violence will continue in Iraq with or without the US military presence. Or the presence of al Zarqawi for that matter.

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I've entered a cartoon contest...

It is Science Idol: the Scientific Integrity Editorial Cartoon Contest. The contest was brought to my attention by Kate who blogs at Out in Left Field. The contest rules are pretty simple, don't be related to the judges or the sponsors, participants are allowed to enter five cartoons to be submitted no later than 11:59PM on July 31st, 2006. Sounds easy enough...

Well I dug through my stash and found five old cartoons and then I drew up a sixth and thought it would be fun to post them here and see which of the six I should include as part of my final submission. I'll post them the oldest to the newest. So without further ado...

#1. Un-bear-able

#2. Proven Theory

#3. The New T-Rex

#4. Square Peg, Round Hole

#5. De-evolution

#6. Elephantary Science

As long as I don't draw anymore, I have a pretty good idea which of the five I'll be submitting. Rather than mentioning the five I should submit, which one of the six do you think I should exclude. I could be swayed to change my mind...

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The Gore world in his hands

The Gore world in his hands

In this moment of national strife, the Republicans are firing up their Fags and Flag agenda (with an assist going to Hillary Clinton) for the 2006 mid-term elections. The Republicans want you to be afraid, very afraid of Fags who want to get married like heterosexual couples. Not to mention their desire to protect the US flag from those people that would burn it in protest. While the Republicans are opposed to burning the US flag, they would certainly be more amenable to burning a few fags in protest. But I digress.

Now with all this strife and hostility facing the US electorate, I thought that a happy song was in order to lessen the growing animous over these life and death challenges that we all face. Let us join together and sing a song that will bring us all together and make our country a the envy of all the world.

In your loudest voice I want you to sing along...ready...on 4...and a 1, 2, 3, 4

He's got the Gore world in his hands,
He's got the Gore world in his hands,
He's got the Gore world in his hands,
He's got the Gore world in his hands.

He's got my brothers and my sisters in his hands,
He's got my brothers and my sisters in his hands,
He's got my brothers and my sisters in his hands,
He's got the Gore world in his hands.

He's got the sun and the rain in his hands,
He's got the moon and the stars in his hands,
He's got the wind and the clouds in his hands,
He's got the Gore world in his hands.

He's got the rivers and the mountains in his hands,
He's got the oceans and the seas in his hands,
He's got you and he's got me in his hands,
He's got the Gore world in his hands.

He's got everybody here in his hands,
He's got everybody there in his hands,
He's got everybody everywhere in his hands,
He's got the Gore world in his hands.

See...you feel better now don't you...

You don't?

Well, I tried.

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Till the well runs dry.

Till the well runs dry

I didn't listen to Bush's latest radio address on the manufactured importance of a marriage amendment, but I did think that I should at least read what he said and explicate those portions of the address that I thought interesting. So let's stop wasting time and start having fun!

Alright then lets jump to the second paragraph, third sentence. There is something strangely familiar about reading,
Marriage cannot be cut off from its cultural, religious, and natural roots without weakening this good influence on society. Government, by recognizing and protecting marriage, serves the interests of all.

I not really sure why it is, but these words had me thinking about what Bush has said on prior occassions about freedom and democracy.
I believe, firmly believe -- and you've heard me say this a lot -- and I say it a lot because I truly believe it -- that freedom is the almighty God's gift to every person, every man and woman who lives in this world. That's what I believe.

Ok, moving along...Bush obviously doesn't have much faith in the role of judges in our democratic nation. Bush is mighty upset with the legal rulings in five different states, Washington, California, Maryland, New York and (say it aint so) Nebraska.
Unfortunately, activist judges and some local officials have made an aggressive attempt to redefine marriage in recent years. Since 2004, state courts in Washington, California, Maryland, and New York have overturned laws protecting marriage in those states. And in Nebraska, a federal judge overturned a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Did you catch how the first four states, blue states have "activist judges." While Nebraska, a red state doesn't have an "activist judge" so much as one that just "overturned" a constitutional amendment.

As I read through Bush's fear laden diatribe it became rather obvious that Bush just might be more worried about the acceptance of gay marriage in this country than another terrorist attack,
The Defense of Marriage Act declares that no state is required to accept another state's definition of marriage. If that act is overturned by activist courts, then marriages recognized in one city or state might have to be recognized as marriages everywhere else. That would mean that every state would have to recognize marriages redefined by judges in Massachusetts or local officials in San Francisco, no matter what their own laws or state constitutions say.

Are you scared yet? What will it take for you to be so afraid of gay people getting married? Worse still is knowing that Bush feels comfortable enough to play the "gay-card" in an effort to manipulate rally, his parties most loyal and faithful adherents. Remember,
[a]s this debate goes forward, we must remember that every American deserves to be treated with tolerance, respect, and dignity.

Of course, actually living up to the ideals of tolerance, respect and dignity is something that is remembered by Bush to be used as a wedge issue. Like the title of the cartoon and this post, Bush and the Republican party will use this issue till the well runs dry.


Allow me to take the time to mention that this my 400th post, on my 1 year anniversary. Of those 400 posts, roughly 320 of them contained cartoons. While my cartoons are predominately black and white, the first time I used color in one of my cartoons goes back to July of 2005. It is only recently that I have offered up something other than just black and white.

I'd like to thank all of you, the 10,000 or so visitors (particularly the half-dozen regulars) that have taken a moment, (literally a second in some cases) of their time to visit. (Truly the most depressing statistic provided by the hit counter is time visited.) Maybe next time others will leave a little more of themselves behind in the form of comments instead of just the tracking information of my hit counter. I am not adverse to you blogrolling me.

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Insights into the killings of Haditha

Have you ever watched Combat Diary: The Marines of Lima Company on A & E television? It is a most compelling documentary of soldiers lives in Iraq. After the death, or deaths of their fellow soldiers the marines of Lima Company wanted to exact retribution for their fallen comrades. If you are able to watch the program, you will be able to listen to them in their own words express such desires. As I watched and (just as importantly) listened to the program it became clear just how easy the killings, or "alleged killings" by US soldiers occured in Haditha.

While I do not condone the killings, I have decided to differ to the all to frequently ignored words spoken by Jack Murtha when he said,
And now I understand the investigation shows that in fact there was no firefight, there was no explosion that killed the civilians in a bus. There was no bus. There was no shrapnel. There was only bullet holes inside the house where the Marines had gone in.

So it's a very serious incident, unfortunately. It shows the tremendous pressure that these guys are under every day when they're out in combat.

He goes on to reinterate that the killings are part of a larger problem that stems from the poor planning and judgements that led to the current conditions in Iraq.
I feel that the tremendous pressure and the redeployment over and over again is a big part of this. These guys are under tremendous strain, more strain than I can conceive of. And this strain has caused them to crack in situations like this.

This is going to be a very bad thing for the United States. But the point is, it's not caused only by the troops, it's caused by the fact there's so few of them, and they go out every day, and 42 percent of them don't understand what the mission is.

I mean, I don't make excuses for them, I'm just understanding what their problem is.

Of course, in the sycophants for Bush universe, it is far better to pronounce the guilt of the accuser and innocence of alleged rapists from a well known university, than to cast a critical eye upon the actions of US soldiers in Iraq.

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The 'Negotiation Process'

Negotiation Process

Well, it looks like the Bush administration got an agreement in Vienna. Now comes the real fun, getting a resolution passed in the UN Security Council. Of course, attacking Iran, while stupid would take the focus of Iraq. In fact, attacking Iran would provide the Bush adminstration with a justification for the withdrawl of US troops from Iraq.

Yeah, I know, such wild speculation on my part. But just for the hell of it, why don't you check out the following exchange between Neil Cavuto of Fox News (gee what a suprise) and Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton. (Think Progress has the video.)

BOLTON: And I think when the President says it’s unacceptable, I think what he means by that is that it’s unacceptable. So it’s important…

CAVUTO: But unacceptable means that if it keeps going on you’re going to do something about it…

BOLTON: That no option is taken off the table. And Secretary…

CAVUTO: Military as well?

BOLTON: Exactly. Secretary Rice…

CAVUTO: Unilateral military action?

BOLTON: Secretary Rice made that point again today. But that’s why I think…

CAVUTO: That we would, I’m sorry Ambassador, that we would act alone if we had to?

BOLTON: That’s why he says no option is taken off the table. But it’s also why he has, the President, has reached out President Putin and other leaders in the past couple of days to say, “We’re making a significant step here,” that will be criticized by many of the president’s staunchest supporters here at home. But he’s taking this step to show strength and American leadership and to say he’s willing to do something that may be unpopular even with some of his supporters, to remove all excuses from Iran and its supporters to say, “We went the extra mile. We gave Iran really, this last chance to show that they are serious when they say they don’t want nuclear weapons.” This is put or shut up time for Iran.

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Between books and the movie, the secret of The DaVinci Code is that it made Dan Brown rich beyond his wildest dreams. As for all the "controversy," I'll never understand why people would get so upset by a work of fiction. I suppose Ron Howard (and Dan Brown) should thank all those overly concerned groups and individuals that sought disclaimers for making the most out of the movie.

What is the saying(?)...all press is good press...or words to that effect.

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