Friday, February 24, 2006


Over the weekend, the time this most secrete and incompetent administration announces things they want to slip under the rug of our attention, Justice Alito hired 37-year-old Adam Ciongoli to be one of his law clerks.

“It might raise some eyebrows,'' said Todd Peppers, author of a forthcoming book on Supreme Court clerks called “Courtiers of the Marble Palace” and an assistant professor of political science at Roanoke College in Virginia. “I can think of no other example in the modern history of the court of someone with this type of experience coming on and being a law clerk.”

It is unusual: The vast majority of Supreme Court Clerks are recent law school graduates. Ciongoli is 37, a senior VP at Time Warner Inc. He was a former clerk for Alito before going to Justice where he advised Ashcroft on terrorism issue following 9/11 and,among other issues, worked on the detention of thousands of suspects, torture guidelines and the use of military tribunals.

His responsibilities as Alito’s law clerk would include helping Alito draft opinions and prepare for oral arguments. So there is the possibility that there would be issues come to him that he had worked on as an Ashcroft aide in the Justice Department.

For example, the arrest of U.S. citizen Jose Padilla and his subsequent detention as an "enemy combatant" took place while Ciongoli was on Ashcroft's staff. The Supreme Court is currently considering whether to hear Padilla's appeal.

Of course there are ethical strictures concerning the recusal of law clerks. Clerks should not participate in cases that they worked on in a previous legal position. But considering the track record of this administration, few people would believe that ethics would ever be a consideration.

Two of the five Alito law clerks have been well ingrained in religious dogma. Hannah Smith and Jay Jorgensen worked for Justice Clarence Thomas and then-Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, respectively. Benjamin Horwich and Alexander Volokh came from retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

The Bush culture of corruption is firmly entrenched and now reaches its tentacles into the Supreme Court. A Court now poised to deny equality under the law to women. A Court poised to make its judgments in favor of the Bush administration, corporations and against the ordinary individual, forcing us to endure their religious intrusions into our government and even into our health and medical services.
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Friday, February 17, 2006


“How could you believe me when I said "I Love You
When you know I've been a liar all my life?
I've had that reputation since I was a youth --
You must have been insane to think I'd ever tell the truth.”
How Could You Believe Me -- Words & Music by Alan Jay Lerner & Burton Lane

Now Bush trots out a 5-year-old plot to blow up a West Coast bank building. He gets the name wrong, neglects to tell the state officials and expects us to swallow his story whole.

Well why not? Many Americans have been doing it since he first opened his mouth and spewed out Texas tough talk in place of intelligence. This kind of thing seems to delight a mentality that worshiped cowboy, John Wayne.

Yet time after time his words, despite his strong man swagger, have turned out to be PROVEN false. And time after time, with the help of a compliant media, the public forgets, forgives and becomes confused and frightened. Just watch them spin this fact with taxpayer money:

”The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) has discovered that the Bush Administration has spent more than $1.6 billion in tax payer dollars on PR and advertising in a two and a half year span.”.

The Lord of the Gun VP, on a hunt for defenseless little birds, shoots a lawyer full of birdshot without the proper permit for hunting either birds or lawyers and he acts as if nothing happened until his guys could clean up the crime scene.

Deception, lies, smoke and mirrors has been the hallmark of this administration since it began. Now that the wounds to the victim from the “friendly fire” have caused him to suffer a minor heart attack we’ll again see this administration’s weaseling at work.

But this time it may be a bit harder to force lies and deception onto a gullible public. This time, the media is really pissed off and when the media is hurt, they go after the ones who hurt them.

To the media, at this writing, the crime isn’t that a man was shot and has suffered a heart attack. It isn’t that Cheney did not have the proper hunting stamp to hunt quail. It isn’t that Cheney might have been drunk or was being entertained by a lobbyist.

What pissed off the media was that Cheney did not immediately notify THEM. He did not call and give kowtowing interviews to the press corps. The White House Press Corps especially is acting like a jilted lover and its Valentines Day to boot.

We can only hope it will drag its collective cranium out of its rectum and dig deeply into the very real travesties of justice perpetuated daily by the Bush administration. Its lies, its incompetence, its criminal acts and its secrecy have turned us from a nation of values to a nation of co-conspirators.

Co-conspirators turning a blind eye to the horrific deeds done in our name as time after time, the Bushies answer charges of their Constitutional destruction with a flip of the finger and the verbal metaphor, bite me.

And we huddle like babies in fear of an attack that was and is fabricated on and nourished by spin that our tax dollars paid for.

“How could you believe me when I said "I Love You"
When you know I've been a liar, a good for nothing liar,
All my good for noth - in' life?” ibid
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Friday, February 10, 2006


Oh, darn! The Republicans are unhappy, angry and terribly upset again. They just cannot get used to a funeral being a celebration of life. They want dirges and uncontrolled weeping but what Democrats give them is joy, laughter and some goddamn straight truth. And, if the celebrated person was political, there will be politics spoken there.

Not to long ago it was the Celebration of the Life of Senator Paul and Sheila Wellstone that upset them. As in all things the Republicans seem to think that they are the arbiters of what is right and proper. Well so be it, then Democrats should be the arbiters of what is left and truthful.

And that is what came through in spades at the Celebration of the Life of Coretta Scott King. The most glorious thing about it was that Bush was right there to hear it. It must have been a bit rough on him to hear unvarnished truth because he isn’t used to hearing it.

After all, he has spent most of his term in office listening only to sycophants in a controlled setting. Formerly, people who attended his speeches were thoroughly vetted to make sure that nothing might be said that would embarrass Bush or allude to the truth.

That wasn’t the case on Tuesday where the biggest applause was given to President Bill Clinton and Senator Hillary Clinton. This must have irked Bush at least as much as it irked Chris Matthews who tried mightily to get his panels to condemn the Clintons.

But all he got was the pure rage of the lesser evil twin of Ann Coulter, Kate O’Beirne, who was appalled at ALLthe goings on at a funeral and the lack of respect shown the president. [Actually plenty of respect was afforded all of the former Presidents!]

What Bush heard for the first time was the VOICE OF THE PEOPLE. For the first time he heard what ordinary people thought about his horrible war and his criminal mishandling of Katrina and the victims of that and other hurricanes.

One can only hope that now more people will speak up and lift up a cacophony of protest to a so far deaf, dumb and blind White House. Now is the time for the Democrat’s squeak to become a roar and the grass roots should lead the charge WITHOUT their usual hate slinging rhetoric toward members of their own Party.

And on the same day poor old McCain got his feelings hurt and was pissed off. Whining and crying like a grown up baby whose hormones had kicked in. Doing everything except stamping his feet, John Boy lashed out at Senator Barack Obama. Of course, Chris boy gave him a platform to do it with no rebuttal.

In one of his tirades, McCain noted that “an ethics reform plan he introduced with two Democrats, Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, was evidence of his commitment to including "members of both parties."

Now is the time to notice and make public the fact that Joe and Ben are not Democrats, they are Republiwhores. And now is the time to tell John that he no longer has the high ground on truth. He can no longer excuse his hormonal outbursts by saying that he was “straight talking”.

He was and is a bully, who backed down and became a lap dog to Bush even after Bush tore him several new ones and dissed his family when they were both candidates for president. If this country is sick enough to make John boy a candidate, we are doomed. Liberals have just got to stop kissing this guy’s ass.
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Friday, February 03, 2006


This is a true story of what happened between a Neurologist and his Patient on January 24th of this year. The Senate Judiciary Committee had just approved Alito’s nomination by a 10 to 8 vote and the Neurologist had kept his Patient waiting over a half an hour because he wanted to watch it on TV.

But the Patient knew none of this when she was told by the receptionist that the doctor would see her now. This was a follow up visit. On the initial visit, the Patient had presented with dizzy spells which persisted following a short ataxia* attack.

The Neurologist had given her a short examination and had appointments made for her to receive an MRI, EEG, EP’s and Ultrasound tests. He told her there was nothing seriously wrong as it was a labyrinth problem that could be treated and that she would be back to work in no time.

This second visit was to hear the results and the diagnosis and the 78 year-old Patient brought a Friend along for support. The Neurologist sat behind his desk and handed a sheet of paper across to the Patient. He directed her attention to two check marked sentences.
#1. Small vessel ischemic* disease and age related cerebral atrophy.
#2. No evidence of a CP* angle mass or IAC* mass.

Following a comment and question from the Patient’s Friend, the Neurologist demanded the paper back and circled a line, and then he handed the paper back to the Patient. She read, “There is moderate small vessel ischemic disease present.”

The Patient tried for more information including the meaning of some terms on the paper and this obviously irritated the Neurologist who responded grudgingly, telling her that the good news was that there were no masses or lesions and she was not in danger of death from the small vessel disease.

Questions about how she might go about managing the dizziness brought the answer that it might go away in time. He told her to take an aspirin, walk 15 minutes a day, cut down on animal fat - all things the Patient had already told him she did. Actually she stressed that she walked for nearly 2 hours every morning before the dizziness took over and now used a treadmill in her home.

Now the Neurologist, plainly out of patience, got up and told her she would be fine and to see him again in July as he moved her toward the door. Once there he apologized for being late and said it was because he was watching the Senate Committee confirming Alito.

The Patient turned toward him and responded, “Now, I really am sick. He’s a menace to the country.” Immediately, the Neurologist shut the door and began a tirade, haranguing the Patient with what a wonderful, perfect man and judge Alito was.

He would not hear any rebuttal or argument although the Patient got in a word or two on Alito’s judicial record of always finding against the disadvantage and human rights and for corporations. “How can you say that”, the Neurologist blustered, “you are not a lawyer!” Seemingly unmindful of the fact that he was not one either.

“Because Alito’s rulings on cases are posted on the WEB”, she responded. “Any person can read for herself how he has consistently found for corporations and against women, old people, worker’s …

Waving that away and loudly drowning out the Patient, the Neurologist continued nearly non-stop saying that when “his personal friend”, Justice Scalia, came to Vermont, he got a standing ovation. He insisted that “this was because Scalia was a GOOD man, just as Alito is a GOOD man”.

The Patient was unable to make him hear that a captive audience will do that, which is why Bush has screened his audiences.

The Neurologist bashed Senator Kennedy in the most damning terms along with others on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He said he should have talked with “Patrick” [Senator Leahy] for his stand on the vote. He said he knew him personally.

The Patient and her Friend had more than enough of this harassment and opened the door to get away from the non-stop bombast from a doctor that seemingly had no time to discuss the concerns of his patient but was determined to force his political views on her.

In the parking lot following this experience, the Patient asked her friend what she thought of it. Her Friend replied, “I heard and saw the absolute refusal by this man to consider for a fraction of a second that the opinion of a person who disagreed with him could possibly matter, could possible touch him in any way.

“Self-righteousness is the name of his game. He revealed himself to be a bully (he's gonna give Patrick - because of course they are on a first name basis- an earful). He's on cloud nine because his stars are aligned with people in positions of supreme power. And like those people he uses his power in an abusive way. This was amply demonstrated by the good doctor's treatment of you. The irony cannot be missed.”

Nor can the threat to everyone now that Alito is on the Supreme Court. The Patient will NOT go back to that doctor, not now, not in July and not ever, but which Doctor should she go to?

How can she know the breadth and depths of the Neurologist’s influence? Religion in politics is terrible but how does one confront religion in medicine? She experienced first hand a physician’s hatred of women, his distain for the elderly and those in the lower class.

* ataxia - failure of muscle coordination
* ischemic - A decrease in the blood supply to a bodily organ, tissue, or part caused by constriction or obstruction of the blood vessels.
* CP - cerebellopontine angle
* IAC - internal auditory canal
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