Worst President Ever Snubs Greatest Living President

George W. Bush is not worthy to shine Jimmy Carter’s shoes. But because Carter has been critical of Bush’s disastrous foreign policy, the Bushies dis-invited him from attending the Pope’s funeral.

It’s important to remember in all this adulation of John Paul II’s social conservatism (read: internalized homophobia, etc.) that he also opposed the Bush foreign policies, especially the war in Iraq. In all the wall to wall coverage of the Pope’s funeral, you never hear that John Paul II was very harsh in his crticism of the Bush Administration over Iraq. This fact simpy doesn’t jive with the MSM’s script on the funeral.

Third DeLay Scandal of the Day

Now Tom DeLay is accused of taking a luxury trip to Saipan paid for by a DC sleazebag lobbying to stop a bill that would end sex slavery and sweatshops in the Mariana Islands, which is United States territory.

Three new potential scandals in one day? Remember in the 1990’s how the Gops kept saying about the Clintons – “if there’s smoke there’s fire?” Funny how you don’t hear them saying that now about the Bugman.

What will we tell the children?

A Washington lobbyist under federal investigation for his lobbying activities arranged a lavish overseas trip to the island of Saipan for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, over the New Year’s holiday in 1997.

DeLay, his wife and daughter, and several aides, stayed for free at a beachfront resort. The DeLay trip to the South Pacific island, originally reported by a “20/20” investigation, was part of an effort by former aide Jack Abramoff to stop legislation aimed at cracking down on sweatshops and sex shops in the American territory, which is known as the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

DeLay Twofer: Post & Times Report New Scandals

But don’t expect anything to come from these two new scandals – or anymore than has come from the umpteen past scandals related House Majority Leader Tom Delay (R-East Hades). In fact, the way the Bug Man has de-fanged and re-arranged the House Ethics Committee, he probably won’t even receive a rebuke.

Still, maybe there is lemonade to be made out of these new lemons. DeLay will continue to hang onto power, just like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich did after he took heat for closing down the government – and even after it became common knowledge on the Hill that he was boinking an aide at the very moment he and his minions were going after President Clinton for boinking his aide, Monica Lewinsky.

In 1996, the Democrats used Gingrich’s unpopularity with the public to run against him as a shadow candidate on the Dole-Kemp-Gingrich presidential ticket. If DeLay hangs on through next year, the Dems could deploy a similar tactic in the ’06 Congressionals – make the entire GOP House delegation defend not only their seats but their allegiance to their corrupt leader.

Well, we can dream, can’t we? For what’s worth, here are links to details about les Scandals DeLay dejour:

Washington Post:

A six-day trip to Moscow in 1997 by then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) was underwritten by business interests lobbying in support of the Russian government, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the trip arrangements.

DeLay reported that the trip was sponsored by a Washington-based nonprofit organization. But interviews with those involved in planning DeLay’s trip say the expenses were covered by a mysterious company registered in the Bahamas that also paid for an intensive $440,000 lobbying campaign.

New York Times:

The wife and daughter of Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, have been paid more than $500,000 since 2001 by Mr. DeLay’s political action and campaign committees, according to a detailed review of disclosure statements filed with the Federal Election Commission and separate fund-raising records in Mr. DeLay’s home state, Texas.

Most of the payments to his wife, Christine A. DeLay, and his only child, Dani DeLay Ferro, were described in the disclosure forms as “fund-raising fees,” “campaign management” or “payroll,” with no additional details about how they earned the money.

Dems Poke at Gops over Anti-Judiciary Remarks

Is this Round One in the fight that could lead the GOP to pull the trigger on the “nuclear option?” Democrats have threatened to shut the government down if the Republicans do the unthinkable and kill the fillibuster rule in the Senate, which is the Democrats’ only means of stopping President Bush’s relentless efforts to pack the federal judiciary with rightwing idealogues. Republicans are in bad odor with the public right now because of their blatant demogoguery in the Schiavo matter. If Democrats can connect the dots between GOP duplicity and politicization in the Schiavo case and the politics behind killing the fillibuster, we may just have a fight on our hands.

Congressional Democrats on Tuesday said Republican criticism of the federal courts following Terri Schiavo’s death showed an “arrogancy of power” that is leading to a Senate confrontation over filibusters of President Bush’s judicial nominees.

“If they don’t get what they want, they attack whoever’s around,” said Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada. “Now they’re after the courts, and I think it goes back to this arrogancy of power.”

Democrats are focusing on comments by two Texas Republicans, Sen. John Cornyn (news, bio, voting record) and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who gets no vote on judicial nominations since they are the purview of the Senate.

“The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior,” DeLay said after Schiavo died last week.

Cornyn, while criticizing a different judicial decision, wondered Monday if frustration against perceived political decisions by judges “builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in violence, certainly without any justification.”

” I think it’s an arrogancy of power,” Reid said.

He might add that the GOP histrionics over the Democrats’ stalling of judicial nominations is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. Bush nominated over 200 judges in his first term and all but 10 were confirmed by the Senate. That’s hardly a”obstructionism,” by any standard.

Gallup: Bush Is Most Unpopular Second Term President

You won’t see this reported in the MSM – via Editor & Publisher:

It’s not uncommon to hear or read pundits referring to President George W. Bush as a “popular” leader or even a “very popular” one. Even some of his critics in the press refer to him this way. Perhaps they need to check the latest polls.

President Bush’s approval rating has plunged to the lowest level of any president since World War II at this point in his second term, the Gallup Organization reported today….

Here are the approval ratings for presidents as recorded by Gallup in the March following their re-election:

Truman, 1949: 57%.

Eisenhower, 1957: 65%.

Johnson, 1965: 69%.

Nixon, 1973: 57%.

Reagan, 1985: 56%.

Clinton, 1997: 59% .

Bush, 2005: 45%

House Chair Suggests Jail for On-Air Indecency

I keep waiting for the Gops to go that extra step over the line – to take that final irresistable plunge into wingnuttery that proves once and for all to “normal” Americans that these folks are truly crazy. Jailing radio station managers or the likes of Howard Stern or, say, Bo Dietl, for off-color remarks might just do it.

Violators of federal broadcast decency standards should face criminal prosecution, U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner said on Monday.

“People who are in flagrant disregard should face a criminal process rather than a regulatory process,” the Wisconsin Republican said at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association annual convention.

“That way you aim the cannon specifically at the people who are committing the offenses,” and not at everyone, he said. “The people who are trying to do the right thing end up being penalized the same way the people who are doing the wrong thing.”

Rock on! Go for it, Rep. Sensenbrenner. After all, we’ve got plenty of jails. Let’s fill them with celebrities. That ought to help your party. (Btw, this is the same Rep. Sensenbrenner who served as on the House committee that prosecuted the Clinton impeachment.)

Sen. Cornyn (R-Taliban) Says Lack of ‘Accountability’ Engenders Violence Against Judges

Gee, I thought the judiciary’s “lack of accountability” – ie. that judges are appointed not elected – was set forth in the Constitution. Why do corrupt conservatives like Sen. Cornyn hate our Constitution?

At 5PM today on the Senate floor, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) gave an astounding account of the recent spate of violence against judges, suggesting that the crimes could be attributed to the fact that judges are “unaccountable” to the public. Sources on the Hill went and pulled the transcript of what Cornyn said, and it read:

SENATOR JOHN CORNYN: “I don’t know if there is a cause-and-effect connection but we have seen some recent episodes of courthouse violence in this country. Certainly nothing new, but we seem to have run through a spate of courthouse violence recently that’s been on the news and I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters on some occasions where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in – engage in violence.” [Senate Floor, 4/4/05]

We now have Republican Senators making excuses for terrorists. Explaining why terrorism is understandable. Why terrorists have legitimate concerns. Justifying why the victims of terrorism are really to blame for these heinous crimes. Wonder what Senator Cornyn thinks of rape victims?

This is utterly outrageous. Outrageous. The GOP is now embracing domestic terrorists who are trying to undermine our democracy. And they’re doing it so they can take down the judges who “killed” Terri Schiavo, and instead impose some Pat Robertson-like theocracy on our country. This is absolutely utterly beyond contempt. Tell Judge Lefkow in Chicago that her mother and husband are dead because she brought it on herself.

And the ultimate irony is that it is people like John Cornyn who now risk inciting violence against judges by giving aid and comfort to these homicidal maniacs. Cornyn should resign immediately.

Red State Farmers to Reap the Whirlwind

“They Sow the Wind, and Reap the Whirlwind” – Hosea 8:1-14

Last year, Bush, Cheney, DeLay & company used “cultural values” – ie., fear of gay marriage – to convince millions of folks in rural America to vote for them, even though it should have been obvious that voting for these tools of corporate excess was contrary to their own self-interests. Now thousands of these voters are waking up to realize they face financial ruin as a result.

[Owen] Olson [of North Dakota], who farms 1,400 acres near [Medina], is among the men and women who sow the seeds, harvest the crops and oppose this year’s attempt by President Bush and Congress to cut federal farm assistance. They speak of hardship and fairness while questioning the votes cast for a president who scored big in the Midwest, in part by promising to do well by farmers.

“If it wasn’t for the federal government here,” said Olson, 39, “nobody would be farming.”

No one is talking about eliminating federal subsidies, just reducing them. But in North Dakota, where more than three in four farmers receive payments — the highest percentage of any state — the proposals working their way through the hearing rooms on Capitol Hill are big news.

Bush proposed cuts of $5.7 billion from agricultural programs over the next 10 years as part of a deficit reduction package. The House Budget Committee set the figure at $5.3 billion, while its Senate counterpart said $2.8 billion should be trimmed…

“Across-the-board cuts always hurt the person at the bottom more than anybody else,” said [farmer Ellen] Linderman, who expects the cuts to come. “I think it’s going to happen. This president has put us so deeply in debt. We’re not his powerful friends, out here in the countryside.

There is one glimmer of good news for rural Red Staters who voted for Bush and the GOP: There won’t be gay marriages in their states anytime soon. That ought to provide a modicum of comfort while they file for bankruptcy.

Gov’t Site Serves Fundie Propaganda to ‘Embarrassed’ Parents

As if more proof were needed that fundamentalist Christianists have taken over our government, there comes the launch of a new government-funded website that discourages young people from using condoms, thereby endangering the health and even the lives of millions of kids whose parents are “embarrassed” to talk with them about sex.

Critics say the Web site, 4parents.gov, stresses the promotion of abstinence while branding LGBT youth as pursuing “alternative lifestyles.”

In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, 145 advocacy groups charged “4parents.gov presents biased and inaccurate information as fact and does not address the needs of many youth, including sexually active youth, youth who have been or are being sexually abused, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.”

The letter also criticized the way LGBT youth were described. “For example, in the section of the Web site where sexual orientation is mentioned, it repeatedly uses the terms ‘alternative lifestyle’ and ‘homosexuality.’ This language assumes that being lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) is a choice and also reduces LGB people to the mere equivalent of their sexual activity.”

The site also offers inaccurate information about condoms – focusing on their failure rates without providing how-to information on using them. “This is like discussing how seatbelts can kill when used improperly, without also discussing how to properly use seatbelts,” said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a leading national gay rights organization.

The site advises parents: “If you believe your adolescent may be gay, or is experiencing difficulties with gender identity or sexual orientation issues, consider seeing a family therapist who shares your values to clarify and work through these issues.”

“That’s really a loaded statement,” said Beth Beck, director of health programs for National Youth Advocacy Coalition. “There’s no discussion for parents to express love if their children come out to them. LGBT youth are being stigmatized. I think the Web site is presenting a very ideological way for parents to talk to their kids about sex and sexual health.”

Three guess who’s really behind this disinformation. Yup, the Neanderthal wing of the Taliban party, in the guise of the National Physicians Center for Family Resources, which has close ties to Focus on the Family.

But here’s the best part: “Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt defended the site to USA Today, saying it was designed to help parents who are ’embarrassed.'”

Pope-a-Thon, Day XXXVVVIIII

We went from the Terri Schiavo death watch – was it really only 15 years? – right into the Pope’s death watch. Now we’re on Day 1 of wall-to-wall coverage his funeral, which I hear continues for the next eight days. Maybe after the Pope’s funeral, the cable news will go right into death watch for Prince Ranier of Monaco.

Meanwhile, with the cameras trained on the corpse of the Pope, what are the Gops up to in DC? We probably won’t know until it’s too late.