be careful tonight, though...
1. a New Year's Toast...
come on. it's funny...
2. don't eat too much...
3. don't drink too much...
4. start the New Year right...
no matter what... do it safe...
CRAWFORD, Tex. — For months President Bush harangued Democrats in Congress for not moving quickly enough to support the troops and for bogging down military bills with unrelated issues.
And then on Friday, with no warning, a vacationing Mr. Bush announced that he was vetoing a sweeping military policy bill because of an obscure provision that could expose Iraq’s new government to billions of dollars in legal claims dating to Saddam Hussein’s rule.New York Times, December 29, 2007
It would expand the ability of Americans to seek financial compensation from countries that supported or sponsored terrorist acts, including Libya, Iran and Iraq under Saddam Hussein.
Did you know there's a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms?
Only in America would we combine these three hobbies into one government agency.
So I called them up. Some guy answered, "Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms," and I asked,
"What kind of bourbon goes best with an M-16 and a good cigar?"
13 And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.
15 And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.
16 And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
17 And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.
Let us try to think the unthinkable: let us try to imagine a Man of a sort willing to invent the fly; that is to say, a man destitute of feeling; a man willing to wantonly torture and harass and persecute myriads of creatures who had never done him any harm and could not if they wanted to, and -- the majority of them -- poor dumb things not even aware of his existence. In a word, let us try to imagine a man with so singular and so lumbering a code of morals as this: that it is fair and right to send afflictions upon the just -- upon unoffending as well as upon the offending, without discrimination.
According to the Washington Post, “the Bush administration eliminated about $700 million a year in Medicaid reimbursements to schools, sidestepping an attempt by Congress to block such a move.”
A wide variety of medical services, like speech and physical therapy, are provided to students in schools.
When such an overwhelming portion of the economic benefits are skewed toward a tiny portion of the population — as has happened in the U.S. over the past few decades — it’s impossible for the society as a whole not to suffer.
One sort have been they, that have nourished, and ordered them, according to their own invention. The other have done it, by God's commandment, and directon: but both sorts have done it, with a purpose to make those men that relied on them, the more apt to obedience, laws, peace, charity and civil society. So that the religion of the former sort, is a part of human politics; and teacheth part of the duty which earthly kings require their subjects. And the religion of the latter sort is divine politics; and containeth precepts to those that have yielded themselves subjects to the kingdom of God. Of the former sort, were all the founders of commonwealths, and the lawgivers of the Gentiles: of the latter sort, were Abraham, Moses and our blessed Saviour; by whom have been derived unto us the laws of the kingdom of God.
In the phrase "We, the people... " our Constitution expressed the revolutionary idea that "the people" could set up "governments of their own, under their own authority." John GardnerGeorge Washington, Thomas Paine, and the others fought a revolution to destroy the notion that any one person or group of people had sway over the lives of others.
...and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. The Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863
Record numbers of nervous investors cashed in their stock market investments last month giving evidence that the credit crunch is beginning to cause panic.
The UK's current account deficit leapt by almost 50 per cent in the third quarter, hitting a record £20bn and raising fresh concerns about the stability of the country's economy.
This year the number of first-time buyers fell to the lowest level since 1980, according to figures out today from Halifax. They reveal that an affordability crisis is now affecting every part of Britain.
La Banque centrale européenne (BCE) a annoncé, mardi 18 décembre, avoir alloué 348,6 milliards d'euros aux banques, un montant massif de liquidités visant toujours à rétablir la confiance sur le marché monétaire, secoué par la crise du crédit aux Etats-Unis.
trans. The European central Bank (ECB) announced, Tuesday December 18, an allocation of €348,6 billion to banks, a massive amount of liquidity, aiming at restoring confidence in the money markets, shaken by the crisis in the United States.
n 1999, Barack Obama was faced with a difficult vote in the Illinois legislature — to support a bill that would let some juveniles be tried as adults, a position that risked drawing fire from African-Americans, or to oppose it, possibly undermining his image as a tough-on-crime moderate.
Barack Obama being sworn in as a Democratic state senator in Illinois in 1997. He was first elected in 1996 and left in 2004.
In the end, Mr. Obama chose neither to vote for nor against the bill. He voted “present,” effectively sidestepping the issue, an option he invoked nearly 130 times as a state senator.
Sometimes the “present’ votes were in line with instructions from Democratic leaders or because he objected to provisions in bills that he might otherwise support. At other times, Mr. Obama voted present on questions that had overwhelming bipartisan support. In at least a few cases, the issue was politically sensitive.
In Illinois, political experts say voting present is a relatively common way for lawmakers to express disapproval of a measure. It can at times help avoid running the risks of voting no, they add.
“If you are worried about your next election, the present vote gives you political cover,” said Kent D. Redfield, a professor of political studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield. “This is an option that does not exist in every state and reflects Illinois political culture.”
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
To suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy which at once destroys all religious liberty, because he being of course judge of that tendency will make his opinions the rule of judgment and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own.
A federal judge ruled Monday that White House visitor logs were public records and ordered the Bush administration to stop withholding them from scrutiny by outside groups.
Spokesmen for the White House and the Justice Department withheld comment on Judge Lamberth’s ruling and whether it would be appealed.
“As these issues remain in litigation, we will not comment further at this time,” said a White House spokesman, Tony Fratto.
Administration officials signaled, however, that the White House was almost certain to appeal. It has repeatedly tangled with Judge Lamberth, who has issued decisions in several cases that challenged the administration’s theories of executive power.
U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey on Friday rejected a congressional request for information about a Justice Department probe into the CIA's destruction of videotapes of harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists.
In refusing to release information that federal investigators have dug up so far, Mukasey wrote: "The department has a long-standing policy of declining to provide non-public information about pending matters."
"This policy is based in part on our interest in avoiding any perception that our law enforcement decisions are subject to political influence," Mukasey added in a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, and Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the panel's ranking Republican.
Harry Reid just announced on the floor that he intends to table debate on the FISA overhaul legislation until January.
This is an important development and will hopefully allow the opposition to telco amnesty to convince enough Senators that providing blanket immunity to these companies who broke the law really doesn't do much to keep us safe.
FISA Bill Tabled Until After The New Year from Paddy over at Cliff Schecter's Bravenewfilms.org.
So what was all that talk about "inevitability" really about?
Maybe it reflected the impression the Clinton campaign itself was trying to create; political reporters and pundits have long ascribed that strategy to the campaign even as candidate and staff insisted they weren't taking anything for granted.
But maybe it was something else. Take a look at how some of the nation's most influential journalists have described their profession in the past:Gloria Borger: "We take people to the top of the mountain and then once we get them to the top of the mountain, it's our job to knock them down." [9/10/06]
Brian Williams: "[I]t does seem true over the years that the news media almost reserve the right to build up and tear down and change their minds and like an underdog." [9/21/00]
Howard Fineman: "We want a race, I suppose. If we have a bias of any kind, it's that we like to see a contest, and we like to see it down the end if we can. And I think that's partly the psychology at play here." [9/21/00]
Many in the media certainly seemed to be building Clinton up prior to the Philadelphia debate -- though it should be noted that they were doing so strictly in a horse-race context. Clinton wasn't getting the kind of fawning media coverage that George W. Bush, John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, and Mike Huckabee have enjoyed at various points in recent years. The storyline wasn't that Clinton is a "straight-talker" or someone you'd "want to have a beer with" or an apolitical "maverick" with "folksy charm."
Instead, media built her up as "inevitable."
Were they doing so simply so they could knock her down? Here's The Washington Post's Anne Kornblut, only moments after Tucker Carlson called Clinton "inevitable" on the October 26 edition of MSNBC's Tucker:KORNBLUT: I have to say we in the media are spoiling for a fight. Usually we are biased in favor of a good tussle at about this point. ... I wouldn't be surprised if somewhere between now and January 3, now that we know that's when the Iowa caucuses are going to be, to see some kind of reverse, some kind of Obama surge or an Edwards surge. Something that is going to knock Hillary down a few pegs. Whether it's a media creation, or something that actually happens on the ground. I would be shocked if there were nothing like that.
Three senior ladies named Patsy, Betty, and Nellie were sitting on a park bench having a quiet conversation, when a flasher approached from across the park.
The flasher came up to the ladies, stood right in front of them and opened his trench coat.
Both Betty and Nellie had a stroke.
But Patsy, being older and more feeble, couldn't reach that far.
Bless her heart.
During a visit to the mental health facility, a visitor asked the Director: "How do you determine whether or not a patient should be institutionalized?"
"Well," said the Director, "we fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the patient and ask him or her to empty the bathtub."
"Oh, I understand," said the visitor. "A normal person would use the bucket because it's bigger than the spoon or the teacup."
"No." said the Director, "A normal person would pull the plug. Do you want a bed near the window?"
Here is a riddle for the true intellectual.
Try to come up with the answer on your own.
The answer is at the end for those who are unable to think this one through.
At the exact same time, there are two 35 year old men on opposite sides of the earth:
One is walking a tight rope between two skyscrapers.
The other is getting "oral pleasure" from an 85 year old toothless woman.
They are both thinking the exact same thing.
What are they both thinking?
Don't look down.
Don't look down.
Don't look down.
1. Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act - H.R. 4, and the Medicare Fair Prescription Drug Price Act - S. 3
2. Employee Free Choice Act - H.R. 800
3. Improving America's Security Act - S. 4
4. Water Quality Financing Act - H.R. 720
5. Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2007 - H.R. 985
6. Presidential Records Act Amendments of 2007 - H.R. 1255
7. United States Policy in Iraq Resolution - S.J.Res. 9
8. U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Health, and Iraq Accountability Act - H.R. 1591, S. 965, H.R. 2206
9. D.C. Voting Rights Act – H.R. 1433, S. 1257
10. Rail and Public Transportation Security Act - H.R. 1401
11. Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act - S. 5
12. Intelligence Authorization Act - S. 372, H.R. 2082
13. Food and Drug Administration Revitalization Act - S. 1082
14. Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act – H.R. 1592
15. Redeployment of United States Armed Forces and defense contractors from Iraq - H.R. 2237
16. Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act - H.R. 1684
17. Agricultural Disaster Assistance and Western States Emergency Unfinished Business Appropriations Act - H.R. 2207
18. National Defense Authorization Act - H.R. 1585, S. 1547
19. No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels (NOPEC) Act - H.R. 2264
20. Federal Price Gouging Prevention Act – H.R. 1252
21. Human Cloning Prohibition Act - H.R. 2560
22. Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act - H.R. 2638, S. 1644
23. Creating Long-term Energy Alternatives for the Nation (CLEAN) Act/Energy 25. Independence and Security Act - H.R. 6
24. State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act - H.R. 2764
25. Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Act - H.R. 2643
26, Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act - H.R. 2829
27. College Cost Reduction Act - H.R. 2669
28. Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act - H.R. 2956
29. Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act - H.R. 3074, S. 1789
30. Departments of Commerce and Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act - H.R. 3093, S. 1745
31. Farm, Nutrition and Bioengery Act/Food and Energy Security Act - H.R. 2419
32. Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act - H.R. 2831
33. Children's Health Insurance Reauthorization Act(SCHIP)- S. 1893, H.R. 3162, H.R. 976, H.R. 3963
34. Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act - H.R. 3161
35. Ensuring Military Readiness Through Stability and Predictability Deployment Policy Act - H.R. 3159
36. Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act - H.R. 2776
37. New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security, and Consumer Protection Act - H.R. 3221
38. Terrorism Risk Insurance Revision and Extension Act - H.R. 2761
39. FAA Reauthorization Act - H.R. 2881
40. Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act - H.R. 3121
41. Improving Government Accountability Act - H.R. 928
42. Regional Economic and Infrastructure Development Act - H.R. 3246
43. National Affordable Housing Trust Fund Act - H.R. 2895
44. Tax Collection Responsibility Act - H.R. 3056
45. Free Flow of Information Act - H.R. 2102
46. Responsible Electronic Surveillance that is Overseen, Reviewed, and Effective (RESTORE) Act - H.R. 3773
47. Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act - H.R. 505
48. Employment Non-Discrimination Act - H.R. 3685
49. Trade and Globalization Assistance Act - H.R. 3920
50. Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act - H.R. 2262
51. Homeowner's Defense Act - H.R. 3355
52. Temporary Tax Relief Act (AMT) - H.R. 3996
53. Orderly and Responsible Iraq Redeployment Appropriations Act - H.R. 4156
Every Congress has to deal with the realities of the check against the legislature represented by the veto power. But recalling the president's, let's say "unconventional," use of his powers in the August FISA debate, there is a very real and very troubling prospect looming. A president willing to veto nearly everything the Congress produces and even to threaten to hold them in extended session until they produce what he dictates threatens the legislative branch's very reason for being.
Last night we went to a party at our local senior center. The last Saturday of every month they have an evening potluck supper. We usually eat, play bingo, reminisce, and drink a little wine and talk about the good ole days.
We heard Selma Martin's grandson is staying with her for a few weeks. It's rumored he got in a scrap over some marijuana with the law out in Phoenix and he came to Denton to avoid the heat. Anyway, Selma is known for her delicious Brownies and she always bakes up a quadruple batch for each get-together. She makes enough for everyone and some for folks to take one home for later. For some reason they were extra good this week and every last one of them was eaten. Not a one left over. We later found out that Selma's grandson, Butch, laced the brownies with some of his marijuana.
Knowing this, I guess it offers a logical reason for everyone feeling good that night. By the time Zeke put on the bunny hop record, everyone was in a real good mood and it was the first time the whole place got up and danced.
That is until the cops came to check all the noise complaints.
Well -- that's another story!
Americans aren't above resorting to torture to gain intelligence from suspected terrorists -- and it would be a mistake if they were, according to Fox News military analyst Col. David Hunt....
"There are instances where it works. I've had it done to me in training," said Hunt. "It's torture. It is an extremely dangerous thing. Your system shuts down."
...former CIA officer who participated in the capture and questioning of the first al-Qaeda terrorist suspect to be waterboarded said yesterday that the harsh technique provided an intelligence breakthrough that “probably saved lives,” but that he now regards the tactic as torture.
Earlier in the segment, the colonel described the CIA's elimination of the interrogation tapes as a a mistake.
"Stupid. Idiotic," he said of the decision. "How about number one, we don't tape stuff? I thought we learned that lesson a long time ago. I think its a reaction to Abu Ghraib, but it's wrong, they shouldn't have done it."
"The Divine Right of Kings is a political and religious doctrine of political absolutism."
Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
(1) recognizes the Christian faith as one of the great religions of the world;
(2) expresses continued support for Christians in the United States and worldwide;
(3) acknowledges the international religious and historical importance of Christmas and the Christian faith;
(4) acknowledges and supports the role played by Christians and Christianity in the founding of the United States and in the formation of the western civilization;
(5) rejects bigotry and persecution directed against Christians, both in the United States and worldwide; and
(6) expresses its deepest respect to American Christians and Christians throughout the world.
Shortly after Giuliani left office, he filed for divorce, accusing Hanover of "cruel and inhuman treatment." In her response, Hanover blamed the ex-mayor's "open and notorious adultery."
An atheist was walking through the woods. "What majestic trees, what powerful rivers, what beautiful animals!" he said to himself.
As he was walking alongside the river, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. He turned to look, and saw a 7-foot bear charging towards him.
He ran as fast as he could up the path. He looked over his shoulder & saw that the bear was closing in on him. He looked over his shoulder again, & the bear was even closer. He tripped & fell on the ground. He rolled over to pick himself up but saw that the bear was right on top of him, reaching for him with his left paw & raising his right paw to strike him.
At that instant the atheist cried out, "Oh my God!"
The bear froze.
The forest was silent.
As a bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of the sky. "You deny my existence for all these years, teach others I don't exist and even credit creation to cosmic accident. Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a believer?"
The atheist looked directly into the light, 'It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as a Christian now, but perhaps you could make the BEAR a Christian?"
"Very well," said the voice.
The light went out. The sounds of the forest resumed. And the bear dropped his right paw, brought both paws together, bowed his head & spoke:
TAKE A LOOK AT THIS PICTURE:WHAT DO YOU SEE?
You see a couple in an intimate pose, right?
Interestingly, research has shown that young children cannot identify the intimate couple because they do not have prior memory associated with such a scenario.
What they will see, however, are the nine dolphins in the picture!(very clever)
So, I guess we've already proven you're not a young innocent child.
Now, if it's hard for you to find the dolphins within 6 seconds, your mind is SO corrupted that Y O U probably need help!
OK, here's help: Look at the space between her right arm and her head, the tail is on her neck, follow it up. Look at her left hip, follow the shaded part down, it's another one, and on his shoulder...
OH, S U R E, you see them NOW!
Researchers have discovered a gene involved in homosexual behavior in the tiny flies. They also found a way to turn homosexuality on and off with drugs.
UIC researchers were using fruit flies to study muscular dystrophy when they discovered a gene they call "gender blind," or GB.
Flies with a mutated form of the GB gene are bisexual. It appears they're unable to distinguish chemical smells, called pheromones, that tell whether other flies are male or female.
"The GB mutant males treated other males exactly the same way normal male flies would treat a female," Featherstone said. "They even attempted copulation."
Researchers tested this idea by adding a drug to the flies' apple juice. The drug weakened the synapses. So within a few hours, flies with the GB mutation stopped engaging in homosexual behavior.
Conversely, researchers gave heterosexual male flies a drug that strengthened their synapses. Sure enough, these male flies soon were courting males as well as females.
"It was amazing," Featherstone said. "I never thought we'd be able to do that sort of thing, because sexual orientation is supposed to be hard-wired. This fundamentally changes how we think about this behavior."
Better living through chemistry...
1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy
2. Create a gulag
3. Develop a thug caste
4. Set up an internal surveillance system
5. Harass citizens' groups
6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release
7. Target key individuals
8. Control the press
9. Dissent equals treason
10. Suspend the rule of law
Any social or economic reform is fair game. Have a march of 100 or 100,000 people to demand a reform - amnesty for illegal immigrants or overturning Roe v. Wade - and someone can perceive that to be a use of force to intimidate the people, courts or government.
The bill defines "violent radicalization" as promoting an "extremist belief system." But American governments, state and national, have a long history of interpreting radical "belief systems" as inevitably leading to violence to facilitate change.
The proposed commission is a menace through its power to hold hearings, take testimony and administer oaths, an authority granted to even individual members of the commission - little Joe McCarthys - who will tour the country to hold their own private hearings. An aura of authority will automatically accompany this congressionally authorized mandate to expose native terrorism.
With overwhelming bipartisan support, Rep. Jane Harman's "Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act" passed the House 404-6 late last month and now rests in Sen. Joe Lieberman's Homeland Security Committee. Swift Senate passage appears certain.