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2007 July — Why Now?
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Posts from — July 2007

Because They Are Scorpions

If being committed O’Reilly advertisers wasn’t enough: Home Depot Rocked By Kickback Scandal

(CBS) In an exclusive, CBS News has learned of a corruption scandal involving The Home Depot.

In recent weeks, four Home Depot purchasing managers were fired at a meeting at an Atlanta hotel for their role in the scandal, reports CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian.

The managers were allegedly paid enormous sums — totaling millions of dollars — to insure that certain flooring products made their way onto the company’s shelves, which is among the most competitive retail real estate in the world.

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July 31, 2007   4 Comments

The New Arms Race


Putin warned about an arms race, and the Hedgemony missed the clues, again. Ellroon of Rants from the Rookery has the gory details about the arms sales. Iran with 250 fourth generation fighters is not a good thing. No one in the region needs any more weaponry. They are quite capable of killing each other with their hands and rocks.

Putin has learned to love money, but a 250 aircraft order doesn’t happen overnight. He has been sitting on this, and the Saudi arms deal gave him cover. Needless to say this will not promote peace in the region, nor get us out of Iraq.

July 31, 2007   14 Comments

I Know You Won’t Believe This But

The economy isn’t quite as rosy as they have been telling us.

Fallenmonk, reporting from the ever bustling metropolis of Indianapolis, tells all in Written on an EtchaSketch.

I was shocked to learn they had to adjust the GDP downward for 11 of the last 13 quarters, and they need to raise the debt limit again. I guess we’ll be waiting a little longer for the tax cuts to work their “voodoo” [not to be confused with the religion, unless Reagan is one of your saints].

“Borrow and Spend” – it doesn’t work, has never worked, can never work – so let’s try it one more time for the Gipper.

July 31, 2007   4 Comments

Bush League

In his Saturday liar-side chat, the Shrubbery complained that the surveillance law needs to keep up with technology. What he was probably looking for was cover for some of the illegal activities that the cheney-bots have been up to for years.

He apparently thought that Congress was going to rubber-stamp a law to help him, but what he got was a response from a veteran of political battles, John Conyers: Committee demanding details of NSA data-mining

In a Monday letter, Rep. John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, asked Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to hand over “all opinions, memoranda and background materials, as well as any dissenting views, materials, and opinions” about the data-mining program.

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July 31, 2007   2 Comments

Tropical Storm Chantal

Early this morning L98 got its act together and became Tropical Storm Chantal in the Atlantic, east of the Carolinas. On its current track it will brush the Canadian maritime provinces later this week, but without significant strengthening.

L99, a wave that formed off of Africa, is headed this way and could be our first storm of significance.

New to the blogroll is Max Mayfield’s Hurricane Blog. Max is the former director of the National Hurricane Center and is now working for a South Florida television station.

July 31, 2007   2 Comments

Just Helping With Inquiries

From the Associated Press: FBI raids U.S. senator’s home

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Federal agents searched the home of U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens on Monday, focusing on records related to his relationship with an oil field services contractor jailed in a public corruption investigation, a law enforcement official said.

Stevens, 83, has been under a federal investigation for a 2000 renovation project more than doubling the size of his home in Girdwood that was overseen by Bill Allen, a contractor who has pleaded guilty to bribing Alaska state legislators.

Allen is founder of VECO Corp., an Alaska-based oil field services and engineering company that has reaped tens of millions of dollars in federal contracts.

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July 30, 2007   Comments Off on Just Helping With Inquiries


Anna Quindlen of Newsweek has an interesting piece that will be published in the next issue: How Much Jail Time?

The piece starts with a look at an individual who goes to anti-abortion protests and asks the people what kind of punishment the women who have abortions should be subjected to as a result. It is a logical question – if abortion is illegal, there has to be a penalty for breaking the law.

Worth reading, but the people who really need to read and discuss it won’t.

July 30, 2007   12 Comments

This Is Troubling

CNN reports: Chief Justice tumbles at Maine summer home

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Chief Justice John Roberts has been taken to a hospital as a precaution after falling at his summer home, the Supreme Court said Monday.

Roberts was conscious after the fall, which happened at his vacation home near Port Clyde, Maine, Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg told CNN.

A witness said Roberts fell on a dock, and his injuries did not appear serious.

Roberts was taken by private boat from Hupper Island to the mainland. An ambulance then transferred him to the Penobscot Bay Medical Center in nearby Rockport, St. George Fire Chief Tim Polky told CNN.

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July 30, 2007   2 Comments

Minimum Requirements

All kinds of people complain about immigrants not making an effort to learn English or learn about the United States. I think before we complain about newcomers we need to make it a rule that you have to read and understand the Constitution before you can run for Federal office.

I can’t remember the first place I saw this today but Josh Marshall covers the situation in Dog Ate My Constitution: a member of Congress apparently unaware that in addition to the President and Vice President every Federal office holder subject to Senate confirmation is also subject to impeachment.

The congresscritter in question is Ellen Tauscher [DLC-CA10], the chairperson of the New Democrat Coalition, the DLC cell in Congress. I don’t know which would be worse: she didn’t know, or she’s looking for an excuse not to act.

Congress has never had to impeach a member of the Cabinet before, because they usually had the sense to resign, or the President had the sense to fire them. The Hedgemony has no sense, so impeachment has to be rolled out.

Update: Michael of Musing’s musings notes that, in fact, even after he resigned, Congress went forward with the impeachment of U.S. Grant’s Secretary of War, William Belknap, in 1876 but none of the five counts received the two-thirds votes of the Senate necessary.

July 30, 2007   2 Comments

Still No Kitty Litter In Sight

More information on the TIA post below from an unnamed source talking to CNN: Former U.S. official: Gonzales ‘splitting hairs’ in testimony

WASHINGTON (CNN) — A dispute within the Bush administration in 2004 over a secret surveillance program centered on data mining, not eavesdropping, a former government official told CNN Sunday.

The distinction, first reported by the New York Times Sunday, is critical because it will likely be at the heart of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ defense against allegations by Democrats that he committed perjury in sworn Senate testimony about the controversy.

Gonzales testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week there was no domestic surveillance — something President Bush reiterated to the nation in late 2005.

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July 30, 2007   2 Comments

Visual Satire

Jack Cluth at People’s Republic of Seabrook presents You know it’s true – what if the Shrubbery was running against Jesus?

Sam of Dohiyi Mir asks Nancy Pelosi an important question.

July 29, 2007   Comments Off on Visual Satire

What Were They Up To?

It’s fairly obvious that AG the AG has been working harder than a cat on a tile floor to cover up something, but what. We already know about the TSP [Terrorist Surveillance Program], even the Shrubbery has blabbed about that, so what is the point?

The attempt would seem to indicate that there is more than one program involved, and he is attempting to hide that fact.

Steve Bates at Yellow Doggerel Democrat looks at the New York Times reporting in the issue, and Ellroon at Rants from the Rookery covers what Josh Marshall is thinking.

I’m beginning to think they did what I suspected they might do long ago, and Noah Shachtman at Danger Room comes to the same conclusion: Total Information Awareness.

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July 29, 2007   6 Comments

Passing the Plate

Florida License Plates

Florida Plate Blogging


Standard Florida Plate

A weekend feature of Why Now.

July 29, 2007   Comments Off on Passing the Plate

The Economy

Badtux, the economics penguin, thinks a nest egg of gold is a bad idea. He points out that gold is only worth what some else is willing to give you in exchange for it.

The same can be said for stocks. If no one is interested in buying the stocks you own, they are worth nothing.

In an article on the drop in the stock market someone said, well, yeah, it tanked, but since 1985 it had gone up 8.4 %. True, but most of that increase occurred during the Clinton years, because since the summer of 2001 until this year, you would have made more money in a savings account paying 4% APR compounded monthly, and you wouldn’t have lost $500 bucks this week.

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July 28, 2007   2 Comments