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There seems to be some extreme discontent amongst the GOP faithful at the failure of the their leadership to push through the winger agenda, and feelings of abject humiliation that Harry Reid, even in the minority, has managed to run embarrassing rings around Herr Cat Killer Frist.  Thus there is a movement afoot, led by conservative blog The Captain's Quarters, to cut off the party from any future contributions until they see some results:

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Over at Clownhall, Ann Coulter is calling for Jeb Bush to send out the National Guard "to stop an innocent American from being starved to death in Florida."  Having already hipped a startled Canadian nation to the fact that they actually sent their troops to help the US in Vietnam, she now hopes to inspire Jeb to turn his back on the rule of law using as his role model another lesson from history:

President Andrew Jackson is supposed to have said of a Supreme Court ruling he opposed: "Well, John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it." The court's ruling was ignored. And yet, somehow, the republic survived.

Yes, the republic survived.  But the Cherokee nation didn't.  

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I've just about reached my limit when it comes to blogging on the Terry Schiavo episode, although each day seems to bring some new low you just didn't think possible.  Between the crazy distortions fueling the 24/7 news cycle (Media Matters really has its hands full) and the teetering heights of lunacy required to climb to the new pinnacle of the crap heap, you wonder where some people get the energy.

But the thing I can't get my head around is -- what exactly do they want, these people who are screaming about the "right to life?"  I mean, yes, we all know they want the feeding tube put back in and for Terri to remain hooked up to it for the rest of her life, however long that may be.  And I do understand that many people's concern is for this particular case.  But all this emotion, all this rage -- it's got to have a larger context, and so far the right-to-lifers have failed to define one.  How would they change existing law such that this never happens again?  What exactly is wrong with the law and the process, that this ever occurred in the first place?  

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When Ed Markay (D-MA) and Earl Blumenauer's (D-OR) amendment calling for and end to the funding of torture of detainees and extraordinary rendition came up for a vote on Wednesday, it passed the House 420 to 2 as part of the $82 million appropriation bill for the Iraq war.

So who the hell were the 2 who voted in favor of the use of government funds for torture?

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On Wednesday the House voted to ban use of federal money to transfer detainees to countries that are believed to torture prisoners,  420-2.  It was part of the $81.4 emergency spending package for the war in Iraq, and reaffirms the 1994 treaty barring torture of detainees in American custody.

CNEWS reports that the authors of the amendment, Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Ed Markey of Massachusetts, basically scoffed at the Preznit's reassurances that when prisoners are sent to countries like Egypt or Syria they will not be tortured.  

"Today, we moved one step closer to ending the U.S. practice of outsourcing torture. The passage of this amendment reaffirms our commitment to upholding the Convention Against Torture," Markey said.

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When the House voted yesterday to approve $82 billion more for the War in Iraq, two Democratic Reps -- Earl Blumenauer (OR) and Ed Markey (MA)  -- authored an amendment prohibiting the use of federal funds both for the torture of detainees in American custody, and for shipping them to countries that do allow torture (extraordinary rendition). The good news? The motion passed overwhelmingly, 420 to 2. The bad new?  Two crazy bastards actually voted to fund torture -- Republican Reps. Robin Hayes of North Carolina and Mark Souder of Indiana. If either of these men happen to be your Reps -- well, I'd tell you to write them, but if it was me I'd probably move first.

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  1. She's a woman.  As Maureen Dowd so eloquently states today in her column today, men don't like it when women tell them what to do.   She's acceptable in her place as GWB's handmaiden, unquestioningly repeating his talking points on her march around the world.  Finger on the bomb?  I don't think so.

  2. Right now, Hillary is the front runner for the Dems.  If Hillary does run, one of the strongest things the GOP could have going for any candidate is the fact that they are NOT a woman, for all the reasons listed in (1) above.  No matter how enlightened many Democrats may claim to be, deep down the idea of a woman president -- particularly Hillary -- is going to bug a lot of them.  The GOP can't pull those votes if they run one, too.
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Saturday, March 19th will be the second anniversary of the war in Iraq.  Two members of the Lincoln City Artist's collective Casbah, Sharon Maribona and Ken McCormack, are organizing a peace gathering to mark the event.  It will be held at Highway 101 at E. Devil's Lake by the Factory Outlet Mall in Lincoln City, from 11am to 1pm.

According to Sharon, the gathering has been okayed by the police and the city hall of Lincoln City.  If you live near the Lincoln County area, please come by and visit.  There will be speakers, and they are encouraging everyone to bring signs and prayers and make their own statements as well.  

If you need more info you can email me.  Any updates will be posted on my blog here:

http://firedoglake.blogspot.com/2005_03_06_firedoglake_archive.html#111068497166212290

Looking forward to seeing everyone there, and if you happen to know of any gatherings in your part of the country please feel free to post the details in the comments.

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You know that if a dictum comes down censoring David Kelley, one of the biggest franchises in network television, it had to come down from on high.

Nobody will talk about it -- not Kelley, who can't be happy.  Not any of the executives at ABC.  And not Roger Ailes, whose Fox News network ABC obviously wants to shield from criticism more than they want to honor David Kelley's first amendment rights.

The controversy stems from this Sunday's episode of Boston Legal, which contained criticism of Fox News and accused them of being a propaganda arm of the GOP.  Not any more.  Also nixed were references to everyone's favorite falafel flinger, Bill O'Reilly.  Kelley evidently had enough juice to maintain excerpts from the excellent Robert Greenwald documentary Outfoxed, but when Greenwald's distributor went to ABC wanting to purchase advertising for the doc during the program, ABC turned them down flat.

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When a Saudi paper reported yesterday on an ex-marine who claimed that the whole narrative regarding Saddam's capture in a "spider hole" was an elaborately staged event worthy of Stanley Motss, it was greeted with some skepticism.  After all, there were reports last December that the Kurds had actually captured Saddam and handed him over to the Americans.  Rumors and conspiracy theories  surrounding this event have consistently percolated in abundance.

The attached photo, via This Space For Rent, apparently shows some US marines looking into said spider hole after the capture of Saddam in Central Iraq.  If you look at the bunch of dates hanging from the date palm in the background, they appear to be golden yellow.  Now, I know fuck-all about date maturation in the Arab region,  but there is an interesting post over at ridingelectra that tells us that this golden color of the Phoenix dactylifera, according to Agronomy.UCDavis.edu, is the color of dates around late August -- by December they should have ripened to either deep brown or jet black.

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Poll

If I were writing the plot for Sadaam's capture, I would play him:

52%9 votes
0%0 votes
5%1 votes
41%7 votes

| 17 votes | Vote | Results

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There is no glee to be had in the passage of the odious bankruptcy bill, but there is some amusing fallout.

In response to Paul Krugman's NYT article, this is what came down in Freeperville:

-  I usually disagree with Krugman, and sometimes find him disingenuous and tendentious, but I agree with each and every word he wrote in this Op Ed piece.

Credit Card companies know the risks when they extend credit, and induce the spendtrift who don't read the fine print to get sucked into the quicksand. BK and a fresh start is not only something I think if fundamentally moral and right, but it also is the only real curb there is on credit card companies just going hog wild, and leading some folks into lifelong peonage as Krugman would put it.

I am a Republican, and if I were in the Senate, I would have been the sole Pubbie to vote no on cloture with respect to this turkey.

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Wed Mar 09, 2005 at 12:17 AM PST

What teacher changed your life?

by firedoglake

Today I learned that Ellen McComb Smith is dead.

You've probably never heard of her unless you went to Roosevelt High School in Seattle from the 50's through the 70's. She'd been in the back of my mind a lot lately, but I started Googling around for her after reading about the forward lurch that Florida is making toward restricting freedom of expression for state educators. Florida is but one of several states that have been inspired by  former liberal recreant turned neocon sorehead, David Horowitz, who thinks that poor captive conservative students are being bludgeoned by corrupt ideologies at the hands of liberal college professors, and he wants to put a stop to it.  

In other words, he wants to put the state in control of what can and can't be taught.

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