Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sen. Larry Craig arrested, pleads guilty to "lewd behavior" in a men’s public restroom

Following in the footsteps of Rep. Mark Foley, Rev. Ted Haggard, and Sen. David Vitter, another influential Republican is the subject of an embarrassing sexual scandal. However, this happened way back in June. Where was our news media? Anyway...

Think Progress reports...
Roll Call reports today that Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) was arrested in June at a Minnesota airport for “lewd conduct” in a men’s public restroom. On Aug. 8, he pleaded guilty to “misdemeanor disorderly conduct. He “paid more than $500 in fines and fees, and a 10-day jail sentence was stayed. He also was given one year of probation.” The arresting officer’s report explains:
My experience has shown that individuals engaging in lewd conduct use their bags to block the view from the front of their stall. From my seated position, I could observe the shoes and ankles of Craig seated to the left of me. […]

At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot. I recognized this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct. Craig tapped his toes several times and moves his foot closer to my foot. I moved my foot up and down slowly. While this was occurring, the male in the stall to my right was still present. I could hear several unknown persons in the restroom that appeared to use the restroom for its intended use. The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area.

UPDATE: Larry Craig called Bill Clinton “a bad boy, a naughty boy” in 1999.
LINK: Sen. Larry Craig arrested, pleads guilty.


LINK: Conservatives Begin Calling For Craig To Resign Over ‘Lewd Conduct’ And Guilty Plea

LINK: Brownback on Craig: It’s ‘not good,’ ‘very odd.’

LINK: Hannity Ignores Stories On Gonzales’ Resignation, Sen. Craig’s Arrest

LINK: Senate GOP leaders call for ethics review of Craig.

LINK: Craig: It’s the Idaho paper’s fault that I pleaded guilty.

LINK: MM: Fox News gave slim coverage to Sen. Craig story

LINK: C&L: News Anchors re-enact Craig’s Men’s Room incident

LINK: C&L: 1982 Larry Craig denial, 1982: Updated

"I am not gay!" -- Does anyone believe this?

-Mr. Joseph

UPDATE (9/1/07):
Senator Larry Craig resigned, effective Sept. 30th! ...Attorney General Alberto Gonzales also resigned. So did Tony Snow. And Senator John Warner. Three of the four are deeply involved in scandals. And the other has cancer.

UPDATE II (9/5/07):
Apparently, Sen. Craig is reconsidering his resignation. Can he do that?

UPDATE III (9/28/07):
Yes, he can: Sen. Craig will stay in office "for now."

UPDATE IV (10/5/07):
He's in it till the end... As Matt Drudge put it, "I'm here... get used to it!"

National Day of Action to End the War

So, yesterday was the "National Day of Action to End the War". invited me to a peace vigil at the courthouse in my hometown of Milwaukee.

So I went, and I took two of my friends. We started to take turns reading off a timeline of the deaths of American soldiers in Iraq. We mentioned no names, just how many died and where they were from. After awhile, someone politely interrupted and mentioed that although this was a great way to honor the fallen, we were really just preaching to the choir. A small forum then broke out of ideas of what we should do to be more effective. We had hoped for press coverage, but, of course, local news is impotent on such matters. My friend, Chris, then suggested we take our vigil onto the street and block traffic as we continued to read off the timeline. The idea went over well and the crowd (of about fifty) moved to the sidewalk and a brave few of about fifteen (including myself) walked into the street.

We read our timeline and blocked traffic -- cars had to slow down and go around us. Nothing was endangered, and no one really got upset -- not even the inconvenienced drivers. As one of us read the last page of our timeline, a lone sheriff pulled up and insisted we get off the street. Considering this was a simple peace vigil, we all complied.

Soon after, we left. However, we left very satisfied. The vigil, which started as near-silent homage to the fallen, soon turned into an energetic, enthusiastic rally against this corrupt war in Iraq. And part of that is owed to my friend, Chris.

I took four pictures at the vigil...

This is a shot of some of those that chose to stay on the sidewalk.
This is a picture of the brave few that went into the street. My friend Chris is the second from the right. I, also, stood in the street.
The police arrive mere minutes before we finished.
The sheriff insisted we move back onto the sidewalk. Some did not move right away, but since it was a just a peace vigil, we complied with the police.
Although the vigil only lasted an hour, it was nice to take part in something like this. It is important to remember why we must demand an end to this War and why we must protest the Bush Administration.

-Mr. Joseph

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

FOX News Democrat Debate Cancelled

Considering that only Dennis Kucinich, Joe Biden, and Mike Gravel agreed to show up, it makes sense to call it off.

From The Raw Story...
Fox News has canceled a debate of Democratic presidential candidates next month after several candidates dropped out because they said the cable news network would not provide a fair forum, the Associated Press reports. Organizers hope to reschedule the debate.

The top three Democrats seeking the nomination -- Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards -- already indicated they would not participate in the debate, which is being cosponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus.

A statement from the CBC cites scheduling conflicts and does not mention complaints that had been raised about Fox News serving as host.

“The overwhelming number of party presidential debates has created a scheduling challenge. Revising the CBC Institute’s debate schedule will allow the time necessary to complete all debate logistics in an effective manner,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson, who chairs the caucus.

Fox News President Roger Ailes said in a prepared statement that his network still planned to host the debate.

“We look forward to working with the CBC Institute and continuing a successful relationship that affords presidential candidates the ability to reach the largest possible audience in cable news,” he said.

The candidates said they did not believe Fox would provide a fair forum, and the Democratic National Committee refused to officially sanction the debate. And, earlier this year, the Nevada Democratic Party called off a Fox-sponsored debate after complaints from activists.

LINK: Fox-backe Democratic presidential debate called off

It's a good thing they cancelled it, otherwise FOX would have embarrassed itself.

-Mr. Joseph

Ted Nugent to Obama: "suck on my machine gun!"

Although I like "Cat Scratch Fever", this is disgusting...

From Rolling Stone...
Renegade right-winger Ted Nugent recently went on a vicious onstage rant in which he threatened the lives of Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Decked out in full-on camouflage hunting gear, Nugent wielded two machine guns while raging, “Obama, he’s a piece of shit. I told him to suck on my machine gun. Hey Hillary,” he continued. “You might want to ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless bitch.” Nugent summed up his eloquent speech by screaming “freedom!”

This isn’t the first time Nugent has been caught spewing hatred. Last January, the guitarist caused a scandal for Republican Texas governor Rick Perry when he wore a Confederate flag shirt and insulted immigrants at Perry’s inauguration event. In July, Nugent was quoted in a Wall Street Journal story blaming “stoned, dirty, stinky hippies” for “rising rates of divorce, high school drop-outs, drug use, abortion, sexual diseases and crime, not to mention the exponential expansion of government and taxes.
LINK: Ted Nugent Threatens to Kill Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton During Vicious Onstage Rant

Video from LiveLeak:

Link: Ted Nugent Goes Off On Obama And Hillary!

-Mr. Joseph

UPDATE (8/29/07):
LINK: C&L: Hannity Hearts Nugent

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Imus Comeback?


Don Imus has reached a settlement with CBS over his multimillion-dollar contract and is negotiating to resume his broadcasting career.

Imus and CBS Radio "have mutually agreed to settle claims that each had against the other regarding the Imus radio program on CBS," the network and Imus' attorney Martin Garbus said in a joint statement Tuesday.

The terms of the settlement will not be disclosed, according to the statement. CBS and Garbus confirmed only that the settlement had been reached.

The settlement pre-empts the dismissed radio personality's threatened $120 million breach-of-contract lawsuit.

Meantime, Imus is talking to WABC-AM and other stations about making a possible comeback, a person familiar with the talks told The Associated Press. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the details had not been announced, also said the deal with CBS calls for a "non-disparaging" agreement that forbids the parties from speaking negatively about each other.

The settlement and possible comeback come more than four months after Imus created an uproar over his racist and sexist comments about the Rutgers women's basketball team.


LINK: Imus Settles With CBS, May Make Comeback

Matt Drudge also chimed in this morning...


**EXCLUSIVE 10:19 AM ET ** Radio host Don Imus has agreed to settle his contract with CBS for $20 million, and a non disparaging clause, legal sources claim. The move opens the possibility Imus will soon return to the airwaves -- on WABC in New York! [Top radio executive strongly dismisses Imus will be offered WABC slot] Developing...

Link: The Drudge Report

And now the NewsMax poll is back up...

On a side note, Karl Rove resigned. Keith Olbermann and Jon Stewart say goodbye in the perfect way...

Speaking of Jon Stewart, John Gibson is an absolute bitch. And Jon Stewart made Bill Kristol into one as well.

-Mr. Joseph

PS This is ridiculous...

Monday, August 13, 2007

WI Gov. Tommy Thompson Drops Out

I guess I was right. The '08 field is starting to thin out a bit.

The New York Times reports...

After a sixth-place finish in Saturday’s Iowa Straw Poll, Tommy Thompson, the four-term governor of Wisconsin and former secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said he was ending his presidential bid.

Mr. Thompson’s campaign issued a statement tonight confirming his decision to drop out of the race:

“I want to thank the people of Iowa who were welcoming and supportive as well as my volunteers and contributors from around the country,” Mr. Thompson said in the statement. “I have no regrets about running. I felt my record as Governor of Wisconsin and Secretary of Health and Human Services gave me the experience I needed to serve as President, but I respect the decision of the voters. I am leaving the campaign trail today, but I will not leave the challenges of improving health care and welfare in America.”

Mr. Thompson focused his campaign on building support in Iowa, visiting all of the state’s 99 counties. But he had been saying for weeks that without a strong showing in the straw poll, he was likely to bow out.

Yesterday, he won about 7 percent of the vote, putting him behind five of his rivals, including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who won the straw poll handily with 32 percent of the vote, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, the runner-up.

Mr. Thompson indicated in the statement that he would return to work in the private and nonprofit sectors after “a brief time off.”

“I have very much enjoyed my years in public service and I am comforted by the fact that I think I made a difference for people during that time,” he said. “I hope to continue working to serve others over the next few years.”

LINK: Tommy Thompson Bows Out of Race

For what it is worth, Romney won the straw poll and Huckabee (my second favorite GOP candidate) came in 2nd.

So now it is even. Eight Republicans and eight Democrats...

-Mr. Joseph

Please note that I am glad he dropped out. I don't want Tommy Thompson to be the first President from Wisconsin -- that needs to be Senator Russ Feingold.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Link of the Day: Indecision 2008

Comedy Central's The Daily Show is doing a great job with their new InDecision2008 blog. It is absolutely hilarious and well worth a bookmark and a daily check.

Indecision 2008

The Indecision 2008 blog is the best part...

So props to the Daily Show and Comedy Central!


On a side note, I recently bought Matt Drudge's book, "The Drudge Manifesto". G. Beato of the Washington Post described it as...
"Indeed, while Drudge Manifesto runs 247 pages, it takes a lot of filler to reach that length: 40 blank pages; 31 pages of fan mail; 24 pages of Drudge Report reruns; 13 pages of a Q & A that Drudge did at the National Press Club three years ago; 10 pages of titles and other book boilerplate; six pages of quotes from Drudge's favorite philosophers (Monica, Madonna, etc.); four pages of a chat transcript; three pages that include nothing but a large zero; two pages that include nothing but a large numeral 1; one page that includes nothing but a tiny zero; and one page that includes Drudge's favorite Web sites. Which leaves, in the end, 112 pages of new material, including nine pages of poetry."
...So, I definetly looking forward to reading that. I should post a review somewhat soon. I also bought "Brainless: The Lies and Lunacy of Ann Coulter" by Joe Maguire. It looks to be quite entertaining...

God bless eBay!

-Mr. Joseph

Bigotry from the Religious Right Strikes Again...

It is appalling that even after Barack Obama reaches out to the Far-Right Evangelical community, Pat Robertson can still be so unmoving.

In an interesting twist of the '08 campaign, Barack Obama emailed responses to questions from something called "the Brody File", a creation of Pat Robertson's CBN. Amoung the questions was...
"There is the so-called "religious left" in this country that focuses primarily on social justice issues and there is the so-called "religious right" in this country that focuses more on personal salvation and the life and marriage issues. Some on the right believe that Evangelicals shouldn't be the only ones moving left. Rather, the left needs to move toward the middle as well and not just put the focus on their issues. What is your plan to bring these two sides together?"
To which, Barack responded (emphasis mine):
Well, these are difficult problems and there are no easy solutions. But I think that there are some lessons that both progressives and conservatives might learn. For progressives, I think we should recognize the role that values and culture play in addressing some of our most urgent social problems. As I've said many times before, the problems of poverty and racism, the uninsured and the unemployed aren't simply technical problems in search of a ten-point plan. They're rooted in both societal indifference and individual callousness - in the imperfections of man.

For example, I believe in keeping guns out of our inner cities, and that our leaders must say so in the face of the gun manufacturers' lobby. But I also believe that when a gang-banger shoots indiscriminately into a crowd because he feels somebody disrespected him, we've got a moral problem. There's a hole in that young man's heart - a hole that the government alone cannot fix. So solving these problems will require changes in government policy, but it will also require changes in hearts and a change in minds. I think progressives would do well to take this to heart.

For my friends on the right, I think it would be helpful to remember the critical role that the separation of church and state has played in preserving not only our democracy but also our religious practice. Folks tend to forget that during our founding, it wasn't the atheists or the civil libertarians who were the most effective champions of the First Amendment. It was the persecuted minorities, it was Baptists like John Leland who didn't want the established churches to impose their views on folks who were getting happy out in the fields and teaching the scripture to slaves. It was the forbearers of Evangelicals who were the most adamant about not mingling government with religious, because they didn't want state-sponsored religion hindering their ability to practice their faith as they understood it. Given this fact, I think that the right might worry a bit more about the dangers of sectarianism. Whatever we once were, we're no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of non-believers. We should acknowledge this and realize that when we're formulating policies from the state house to the Senate floor to the White House, we've got to work to translate our reasoning into values that are accessible to every one of our citizens, not just members of our own faith community.
LINK: Exclusive: Barack Obama E-mails The Brody File

The Rev. Marion Gordon "Pat" Robertson responded to this on his TV program, the 700 Club with...

“I think what he says is dangerous...I think that it has a veneer of sophistication and it has a veneer of moderation, a veneer of intelligence, but underneath it he basically is selling out, well, the origins of our nation...

...America wasn’t built on Hinduism. America wasn’t built on Islam. America wasn’t built on Buddhism. America and our democratic institutions were built on the Christian faith. There is no question about it… And I think to put Christianity on a par with Hinduism, Buddhism, etc., I believe this man is doing a grave disservice to our nation.”

LINK: TV preacher Robertson targets Obama


While this is all going on, some Congressman named Bill Sali said that...
"We have not only a Hindu prayer being offered in the Senate, we have a Muslim member of the House of Representatives now, Keith Ellison from Minnesota. Those are changes — and they are not what was envisioned by the Founding Fathers."
LINK: Rep. Bill Sali: Religious Diversity In Congress ‘Was Not Envisioned By The Founding Fathers’

Check the link -- Think Progress did a wonderful job rebuking the numbskull.

Mr. Joseph

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Again?! Right-Wing Radio Hosts Meet with President Bush

Media Matters picked up this odd story...

In a August 1 blog entry on, syndicated radio host Hugh Hewitt wrote that "President Bush invited ten talk show hosts into the Oval Office for an hour of conversation today -- Glenn Beck, Bill Bennett, Neal Boortz, Scott Hennon, Laura Ingraham, Lars Larson, Mark Levin, Michael Medved, Janet Parshall and me. This was an off-the-record conversation, and so I won't be quoting the president." Blogger (and Media Matters for America Web producer) Oliver Willis noted Hewitt's post, and Talkers Magazine's website published a photo of the group.

Several conservative talk radio show hosts reportedly met with President Bush in September 2006, as Media Matters for America documented.

LINK: White House soirée, part deux: Beck, Bennett, Ingraham, Medved, and others met with Bush

I reported on the September 2006 charade here...

-Mr. Joseph