Saturday, September 17, 2005

Prince Regent J. Dennis Hastert

This "news release" (par for the weaklings now propping up Hastert's horrible pronouncements) is short and sweet.

No need to mention that Democrats are refusing to appoint members to the panel, or that Hastert wields the sole power to determine who sits on the committee, who is allowed to issue subpeonas for the committee, and, well, what the outcome will be.

Anyone who thinks the Prince Regent will depose the King must be in a parallel universe.

How is this not government waste, pure and simple?

Friday, September 16, 2005

What is he running for?

Nice campaign speech in NOLA by King George. What's with the long walk to the mike? Did anyone maybe look at the shot before it was staged? He looked like a bigger lightweight than normal in front of the cameras this time. Like a boy.

Notice the understated message: We will do what it takes..."

Now that's deep.

It's been nice to see CNN acting like its old self again through all of this, and to hear the commentary (I caught the replay) afterward where no one ignored the fact that this is going to cost $200B, for starters.

That's a quarter of a trillion dollars, Mr. Speaker. Is that OK with you and the rest of your Conservative friends?

Buy Chinese Bank stocks, everyone. They're going to own our asses now!

Thank God George Bush is the president.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Why The Aurora Beacon Sucks

Superman is spinning in his grave. This guy is no Clark Kent.

The question they should be asking at the little editorial board coffees that they gleefully host for "Ol' Denny Boy" should be along the lines of "Why does Denny Hastert like dirty money?"

If anyone outside this district looking in doesn't see that Hastert's corruption is the biggest, almost laughable open secret ever, they're too damn stupid to breathe.

This news item from Ed Fanselow runs under the heading that frames the story for the reader: "Group which has ties to Democrats wants claims of impropriety examined." Both items ran last month. Not one fucking word since.

Look down. Look at both feet. Notice one shoe? Notice how it's never on the other foot?

Here Comes The Weekend...

This could have gone up yesterday, but I just ran out of time.

The new feature, Asshole of the Week, comes a day early. Sort of setting ground rules on the fly is fun. There's still time for some Holier Than Thou Republican to top this, but it'd be mighty hard.

And the lucky winner: Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), for his crying act on the floor of the Senate on Monday.

What smug, arrogant, hypocritical asshole.

Call Out The Instigators...

Well, this is a first in the many years I've lived the peasant's life in HastertWorld.

The USS Hastert has two challengers in the primary race.

Ruben Zamora, a highly qualified young man who ran against Hastert (largely unnoticed in Hastert's Gigantic Media Shadow*), and this fine young fellow, John Laesch, from Newark (IL -- not the Hellhole in NJ).

Where are the press operations, boys? Where are your press releases going?

Then again, Mike Madigan might want to think about sending some moo-lah this way and start making some noise.

Never Had It, Never Will®. Yep. It's sad how Dem candidates go begging in some districts.**

*This was supposed to be funny. If I could, I would make those cartoon letters because Hastert's "press operation" is a joke. The "Gigantic" you probably got.

**This is not funny.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Hastert's Tainted Stench Goes Unnoticed on Michigan Avenue

Friend and reader Alison over at Philosophe Forum sends a link to this piece, which appeared in The Hill on 9/12.

For those of you who don't have the energy to get past the part where Hastert's waterboy, Rep. Tom Reynolds (D-NY) carries water for "The Coach" by pissing on Rep. Rahm Emmanuel (D-IL), here's the most interesting part, also highlighted at SoapBlox Chicago:
    Prosecutors allege Levine used his position with the system to arrange kickbacks from companies seeking to invest in the fund. Cari is expected to plead guilty this week; Levine has pleaded not guilty.

    Cari donated $5,000 to Emanuel between 2001 and 2003 and $5,000 to the DCCC. Emanuel said he would return the money.

    But Levine donated to both parties. He gave $3,250 to the House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s (R-Ill.) campaign committee and $5,000 to his political action committee (PAC) in 2003. Levine gave a total of $2,000 to Hastert in 2001 and 2002. He has also helped Rep. Mark Green (R-Wis.) and Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.), who returned Levine’s $1,000 donation this year.

    “Hastert is exploring options to return the Levine money,” a top GOP aide said.
Funny. You'd think that with this scandal simmering while there's been at least some major media coverage of allegations that Hastert took small cash donations from foreign nationals-- the political moral equivalent of accepting large quantities of small, unmarked bills (from the Mob) under the table (in an Italian restaurant, while some cop's getting whacked out front) -- you might find a story somewhere in the voluminous pages of, um, The Chicago Tribune.


Write Public Editor, Don Wycliff and ask why not.


Planning and making business travel and catching the flu really stinks (no posts since, I dunno, two weeks ago?) . I felt this coming on over the weekend. As bad as I've felt the past few days, there's one thing I know for sure now.

Flying United sucks. Bad.

My luggage did not come on the plane with me today, because I was wait-listed on two flights before I got here (here). The baggage claim indicates it was supposed to come on the flight that I actually got on, not the late, late flight that on which I was ticketed.

It has not yet arrived.

Note to self: This does not happen (ever) on the low-cost carriers you've been using. Think you've learned a lesson from this?

Not to United: Oh, never mind. You're an employee-owned company at war with your employees. What part of United even makes sense?

Monday, September 12, 2005

Everybody Go Like... THIS!

Today wasn't a complete wash for the President, who got to ride in the back of a big truck!

And nobody made him sit down!

God Almighty

Dr. Phil hosts Larry King Live. As I write.

Note to CNN: Please cancel this show and return to news and qualified commentary during prime time.

Is This For Real??

Rita Cosby, worst TV personality of both the 20th and 21st centuries, is now interviewing Steven Seagal.

For real.

Incredibly, and to his credit, Seagal, one of the worst action film stars ever, is one hell of a guy. He's in NOLA to help an old friend and work with the Sheriff's teams to help patrol the streets and help people.

All righty.

Brown Out; Meet Duct Tape Man

Unbelievable. The experience, yes, but why is Chertoff still in charge if this is the best he can do?

I believe the problem was the equation of "Mike" x 2.

So we've gone from from an agency its former director said was used by the White House to carry its message of fear, to one where "Mike" Chertoff decided to turn it upside down and shake people out.

Starting to look like an expanded Porter Goss-CIA experience, if you asked me.

So, how many more generations before DHS has its collective shit together?

The Strategy

Digby nails it for you.

Watch it unfold in the coming days. Notice the lack of any concern for Democratic leaders as Bush passes through his latest photo-op. It started with him long before Katrina.

Democrats are the enemy, after all.

And our bright boy, Denny, falls right in line with the Congressional Inquiry.

While we'll undoubtedly view it as "Clusterfuck™ VII: Epilogue," it's only tasty frosting on the strategy these guys keep spinning.

Party above all!

I Wondered...

When someone would write about this.

Watch for the "folks" in TX to start getting split up, and some charitable, giant Republican Burg to start herding these families around. Even encourage them to stay.

No, wait, that's happening already. Grand Duchess Bar says they're all making out very well, too.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Four Long Years

I would be remiss for having the day pass without at least a word about 9/11. It has been quite cynically put forth that the terrorist attacks "changed everything." That's right. For the worse.

No doubt, I know more people at this point in my life who are depressed. Many can put their finger on 9/11 when they started staying up all night, watching CNN, waiting for, maybe the real story to break. Whatever that might be. Their lives changed in big ways. Many lost jobs, moved on. Many are making substantially less than they did in 2000-2001. Few had careers that were impacted by the dot-bomb, although some have changed careers entirely.

In spite of all the huffing and puffing Hastert and others did prior to the invasion of Afghanistan (you know, we didn't want to go in and shoot some camel in the butt), from the time we got the Taliban on the run, our leadership has consistently fucked up at every turn. I'm not proud of it. But I'm an American, free-born, and it's my divine right to criticize it freely without fear of retribution.

You know, I don't even buy that anymore.

For months into 2002 the stories would appear from time to time that would make me wonder, "Jesus... why aren't the ports (nuclear power plants, train stations, bus stations, fuel tankers, etc.) being guarded (closed, restricted, etc.).

Many of us thought the very worst; that it was part of some sick game to scare the living hell out of people, to politicize, to get people to accept that 9/11 "changed everything." But that was just too crazy to even consider.

Now comes Katrina (Karina, if you're an ignorant, chain-smoking, well-dressed white woman living in the White House), and we see that these misanthropes have spent hundreds of billions -- increasing the debt ceiling along the way -- cost thousands upon thousands of American familes the lives, limbs and senses of their loved ones. For Nothing.
Sadly, we're waking up to the fact that we're no better off, no more prepared. If Katrina, or, God help us, some act of terrorism had occurred in Chicago, there would be millions of body bags on the way to the gymnasiums.

It's grim. It's been a long four years.

Denny Hastert's America

This is now a "good" price for gas. Good thing we're going to get to the bottom of steroid use in Major League Baseball.

Good thing there's a solution at hand for average Americans who are now getting squeezed like never before for things like gasoline and natural gas (which is projected to spike 72% for the coming winter). Thank God-a-Mighty for the U.S. auto industry, which has ignored the notion that fuel efficiency can or even should go up over the past five years of Fristy Hastert Bush.

No, don't think for a minute that the Energy Bill that Hastert shamelessly promoted in front of a D.C. gas station a few months back is going to do anything to relieve the suffering of average Americans at the pump (mine totaled $105 on two cars today... it'll happen again Thursday).

The undeniable correlation between Hastert's rise to noteriety (his ability to act like a 300-lb. rubber stamp on anything George W. Bush wants) and the hike in gas prices can be noted by looking at simple, historical data.

Put simply for those who don't care to download the file: National average price of gasoline in January 1999 was $1.079/gal. It increased roughly 25% over the next two years, then dropped in 2002 and remained around $1/gal. until... we invaded Iraq. Since the Iraq invasion, gasoline has been on a steady climb.

Of course, I'm not dumb enough to think it's all Hastert's fault. I do lay the blame at his feet, however, because he has offered no oversight, no real consideration of anything but Tom DeLay's and George W. Bush's failed policies. The leadership meetings go like this (and this comes from Hastert himself): Hastert listens to the positions of his committee chairs, then makes the decision as to what goes.

What's the one thing that holds all of these great decisions together in Republican leadership circles?

Politics. Underneath it all, it doesn't matter that energy prices are killing families; that savings accounts are being drained to pay for day-to-day expenses; that the middle class -- the backbone of American society -- is shrinking because of these policies. These "Republicans" do things like stall fuel efficiency standards until it's the right time for them to save the day; the right time to spin it so as to make Democrats look bad and Republicans look like, well, the "grown-ups."

There's family values for you.

Americans can't afford any more of Denny Hastert's brand of "leadership."

Par For The Course

Just read a post from Cindy Sheehan after her stop in Batavia.

Cindy, love ya. I'm sorry I missed you during your visit. I was out of town for the day.

I was at a rally (mostly seniors) in front of Hastert's office two summers back. He closed the office and sent the staff home out of safety concerns. The seniors, who all fit on two charter buses, were pretty randy, don't you know.

The man has no shame. If you want another target, dear, there's a lot of flesh to hit on this one. His constituents can't even get a minute of his time.

Guess That Settles It

When this guy's the crew manager at the restaurant you stop at, you can bet that... er, you know your meal will arrive promptly and be fresh and delicious! Well, you'd hope, anyway.

One of the great signs seen over the weekend.

Another, which I wasn't able to shoot while speeding down I-88 to the Sandwich Fair, was proudly displayed by a member of the local Moron Contingent, acros the entire tailgate of his pickup truck.

Either a painted mural or gigantic printed magnet with the 9/11/01 skyline depicted in full color (you know, Twin Towers exploding in flames) with the now famous Darryl Worley caption, "Have You Forgotten?"

Incredible, but, now that's the way the Moron Contingent in Hastert Country sees it.

I (heart) Peoria

No, really, I do. I've always thought that many areas in and around the city of Peoria are some of the neatest, most overlooked places in the country.

So it goes without saying that those hopping over from Peoria Pundit are welcome here anytime!

Sorry there's not much going on at the moment, but with an all day affair at the great Sandwich Fair yesterday (we got roasted in the sun) and now getting ready for a long business trip, there's not much coming up until later today or tonight.

God knows, there's plenty more to dish up on the USS Hastert, so you all come on back!

And Who Made Much of This Possible?

Truer words have never been spoken.

Let's talk about Congressional oversight. Let's talk about why in the world the Congress of the United States (in the person of the Speaker) would abdicate its responsiblity and let the President take charge in all cases.

Who the Hell is running things here, anyway? Is it King George W. or is it the people?