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I just loved MinistryofTruth's diary, Grayson EXPLODES on GOP: "America doesn't CARE about your feelings" Man On Fire! airing Rep. Alan Grayson's latest takedown of the Republicans. (And yes, I'm pimping that diary because it deserves to be watched!)

He had some rousing examples of how the Republicans would twist any accomplishment President Obama might achieve:

"American understands that there is one party in this country that is favor of health care reform and one party that is against it, and they know why."

   "They understand that if Barack Obama were somehow able to cure hunger in the world the Republicans would blame him for overpopulation"

   "They understand that if Barack Obama could somehow bring about world peace they would blame him for destroying the defense industry."

   "In fact, they understand that if Barack Obama has a BLT sandwhich tommorrow for lunch, they will try to ban bacon."

So I thought maybe we can come up with a list that Mr. Grayson can use in some more fiery speeches:

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Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:00 PM PDT

Progressives: Time to dump AOL

by blonde moment

I realize this is going to make me sound old and out of touch - like John McCain about the Internet - but I still use AOL for most of my personal email. It's not very good, but I've had the account for a number of years, and when they finally made it a free service I figured I'd keep it. It's easier than trying to figure out how to tell everyone a new email address.

AOL's home page runs news stories from lots of different places, and it frequently runs its own polls (kind of like CNN) on the topic of the day. There is always a caution that the poll is unscientific, because readers opt into participating.

Well, we all know today's topic is Sarah Palin.

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I have read more diaries here than I can count lamenting the failure of the (Democratic) Congress to take any meaningful steps to hold this administration accountable for any of its criminal acts and incompetencies.

Like everyone else, I have shaken my head in disgust and anger at the spinelessness of the leadership, their utter abdication of true responsibility - they'll vote to spend money, but not to confront this White House on issues that go to the very heart of what it means to be the United States of America. From constitutional issues (warrantless searches, eavesdropping, torture, corruption of the Justice Department, to name just a few), to health care, the environment, energy policy, war-mongering, defense contracting fraud - these people, our elected representatives and senators, have let us down.

Well, no more.

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Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 04:37 AM PST

WaPo finally gives JRE some ink!

by blonde moment

Those of us who back John Edwards have been angry and frustrated with the MSM over its inability to get past the "glamor" of the Hillary-Barack story line in the Democratic primaries, to take a look at actual positions. John just hasn't been able to get any space on the pages of newspapers or airtime in news programs across the country. (Except for Keith - thank you, Mr. Olbermann!)

And the hurdle is not just in our minds:

An ongoing study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism placed Edwards a distant sixth among Democratic and Republican candidates in volume of campaign coverage last week; the former senator from North Carolina was a main newsmaker or significant presence in just 6 percent of campaign stories. Obama and Clinton? Almost five times the amount of coverage.

This quote comes from the Washington Post, which today finally decided - sort of - to try to balance the accounts a little bit. Here's the article.

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I'm just as guilty of getting caught up in primaries stuff as everyone else. But the reason it's so important is because of all the damage the criminals in the White House have done over the past seven-plus years.

As one example, we have the U.S. Attorneys scandal still bubbling along.

The Hill has a lengthy article discussing

a sprawling inquiry launched by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).

And it's being taken seriously.

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Tue Jan 15, 2008 at 11:16 AM PST

Let's remember what's important!

by blonde moment

I'm as committed as anyone to taking back the White House, and I do have a preferred candidate. But I feel like we're losing sight of why this is so important:

Federal prosecutors are steering no-bid contracts to former government officials who earn millions of dollars by monitoring companies accused of cheating investors and other schemes.

A consulting firm led by former U.S. attorney general John D. Ashcroft recently won an assignment, valued at more than $25 million, to ensure that a medical equipment maker stops paying kickbacks to doctors who use its products. Other former government officials with ties to the Bush administration have secured similar deals, which are paid using corporate funds and entail few, if any, checks on spending.

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This hasn't been diaried yet - at least not that I can find - and it's an event about which I have deep ambivalence.

It seems that not enough career Foreign Service officials have volunteered to serve at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. So Condi Rice and her minions have decided to order about 50 diplomats to go; 250 "qualified" officers have received e-mail notifications they are being considered for the assignment.

Uneasy U.S. diplomats yesterday criticized senior State Department officials over a decision to order some of them to take assignments at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad or risk losing their jobs.

At a town hall meeting in the department's main auditorium attended by hundreds of diplomats, some of them challenged the new policy in unusually blunt terms. They also took issue with the size of the embassy -- the biggest in U.S. history -- and the lack of training they received before being sent to serve in a war zone. One woman said she returned from a tour in Basra, Iraq, with post-traumatic stress disorder only to find that the State Department would not authorize medical treatment.

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There are two active diaries at the moment - by skymutt and occams hatchet - about the odd suicide of Charles Riechers, the newly appointed principal deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Air Force for acquisition and management, over the weekend.

Riechers was the gentleman who acknowledged to the Washington Post two weeks ago that he had a "no-work" job with a nonprofit government contractor while he waited for confirmation of his appointment.

I'm not going to revisit all the ins and outs of the story; the other diaries do a great job of it.

But in addition to all the suspicions this fuels here, at a time when relations with Russia are extremely strained, it provides ammunition for Kremlin strongman Vladimir Putin.

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I have this really bad habit of surfing through news websites at least once an hour - I just have to know what's happening all the time. It's an illness; it's a compulsion; and sometimes it pays off.

The WaPo has a new story that got me excited: Waxman: State Dept. Official Thwarted Probes

It appears that Howard Krongard (nope, I never heard of him, either), the inspector general at the State Department, has been running interference for the White House on potentially embarrassing - dare I wonder, illegal - actions:

Howard J. Krongard, the State Department's inspector general, has repeatedly thwarted investigations and censored reports that might prove politically embarrassing to the Bush administration, the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform charged today in a 13-page letter.

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There have been hundreds - maybe thousands - of diaries lamenting the idiocies of the MSM in their approach to covering the shameful conduct of this administration and the Republicans in Congress who aided and abetted.

We have analyzed all their sins, from taking BushCo talking points and reprinting them to taking money under the table for writing propaganda and calling it news, from missing important stories until they were too big to ignore to attacking the netroots for calling their credibility into question.

And it doesn't get any more mainstream than the New York Times.

So I was pleasantly surprised when I went to the NYT site this morning, and found this:

WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 — It is not often that a local government tries to turn down $10 million in federal construction money.

But then it is not every day that an Alaska congressman surprises a Florida community with the gift of a highway interchange that just happens to abut the property of a major political fund-raiser.

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Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 07:27 AM PDT

Ah, the price of youth

by blonde moment

Yesterday the WaPo ran a story about Will Heaton, who served as chief of staff for convicted Rep. Bob Ney (Crook-Ohio).

The article is about the government joining Heaton's attorney in asking for leniency in his sentencing, because of the lengths to which he cooperated with the FBI as they built the case against Ney. He even wore a wire, to record conversations with his boss. The recordings of those conversations went a long way toward Ney's "decision to admit his involvement in the corrupt relationship with Abramoff," according to a Justice Department memo.

So if you didn't read the story, do - it's interesting stuff.

But what was really interesting was this:

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Once upon a time, many years ago, I had dinner with Craig Thomas (may he rest in peace) and his wife Susan. Normally that would be a big so-what - after this particular evening, I never talked to him again.

But this event has lingered in my memories all these years, because it was literally during his first couple of months in Washington, after he took over the House seat formerly held by Dick Cheney, who had resigned to take the SecDef position for George Bush the senior.

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