NIGHTLINE may be Pre-empted
Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. ordered its ABC affiliates to preempt tomorrow's broadcast of ``Nightline,'' which will air the names and photos of U.S. military personnel who have died in combat in Iraq, saying the move is politically motivated.
so ignoring the dead is a better way of honoring them? should we just pretend they didn't REALLY die? try to tell the families that's a good way to pay tribute to the ultimate sacrifice.
There is a real Irony here. This very same week, the World War 2 Memorial opens this week after nearly 50 years of ignoring our dead from THAT war. the juxtaposition is striking.
Thursday, April 29, 2004
NIGHTLINE may be Pre-empted
Tuesday, April 27, 2004
Your Cliff Notes on the Cheney Secrecy Case
Alright. as you may know, the VP is before the Supreme Court today over whether he has to reveal just who was on his energy commission. I'm gonna give you a quick breakdown of how we got here:
*Judicial Watch (conservative) and the Sierra Club (liberal) wanted to know what was going on in these meetings and who was involved.
*Judicial Watch successfully sued to see who was on the Hillary Clinton Medical Panel and used the same logic here.
*Cheney claimed that this was different because all involved in THIS committee was completely made up of government employees, thus they should not have to make any disclosures about Committee business.
*The Judge said, 'ok, turn over a list of everyone involved' (paraphrased) so we can see that they are Federal Employees.
*Cheney not only says NO WAY, but defies the court order and appeals to the supreme court to keep from following the Judge's order.
So here we are.
So, Mr. Mooch, what's the big deal? If the list comes out and there's Oil Industry execs on it, it will show that Cheney/Bush were lying about who was on the board and letting the industry write the policy. More to the point, it is likely that these very same people (ken lay, enron, etc) were CREATING a fake power shortage in California, and then advising the Pres/VP on ways to "fix" the problem by providing these companies new avenues for profit.
Weekly Review (Harpers.org)
*Seems that the June 30th Turnover of Sovereignty won't include the ability to make new laws or command armed forces. so, does this mean we're turning over the sovereign ability to do what exactly?
*Troops were playing AC/DC's "Hell's Bells" to annoy Fallujah gunmen. I'd have played AC/DC's "Highway to Hell" or "Hair of the Dog" by Nazareth (which sounds JUST LIKE AC/DC to me).
*Unicef released a report that claims Slavery is practiced in every country on the continent of Africa.
*NASA has been ordered not to talk to the Press about the film "The Day After Tomorrow" which deals with global warming related disasters. its feared that bad press would be generated for the President.
Bush's flight from the Guard - the long version made short for you!
In Light of the recent attacks on Kerry, this article in Salon is a fun read. i've trimmed it down for you
Bush in the Guard -- or how i learned to avoid telling the full story.
We got part of this. Bush goes to serve in the guard in Alabama. no one sees him show up, including the Comanding Officer. this is all on the record. Bush can find NO ONE that even recalls seeing him on duty (the best he's got is an old girlfriend that says he told her he had guard duty, but she never saw him go). Everyone under the sun asks for his records and he refuses. you know, this would put it all to rest.
Its a no-brainer. release the records and we see just where he was, right?
well, no. See, somehow his records didn't show his duty being done there. it shows him going to the dentist once, but that's far from the big questions:
Why was he abruptly grounded from flying?
How could he leave the Texas Guard 18 months early?
Where was he?
When asked about this, his default answer is always to point at his Honorable Discharge and state that if he'd done something wrong, he wouldn't have gotten one of those. the problem is, that doesn't answer the question "were you able to skip out on your guard duty in a time of war?"
from the Salon.com article:
The president and his staff are doing a very good job of convincing the public he has released all of his National Guard records and that they prove he was responsible during his time in Alabama and Texas. But the critical documents have still not been seen. The mandatory written report about Bush's grounding is mysteriously not in the released file, nor is any other disciplinary evidence. A document showing a "roll-up," or the accumulation of his total retirement points, is also absent, and so are his actual pay stubs. If the president truly wanted to end the conjecture about his time in the Guard, he would allow an examination of his pay stubs and any IRS W-2 forms from his Guard years. These can be pieced together to determine when he was paid and whether he earned enough to have met his sworn obligations. (you can bet he'll be dead before you see that).
Unlike lawyers, journalists pay little attention to concepts like chain of custody for evidence. In the case of the president's Guard records, whoever possessed them and had the motive and opportunity to clean them up is a critical question. When Bush left the Guard about a half year early to attend Harvard Business School, his hard-copy record was retained in a military personnel records jacket at the Austin offices of the Texas Guard. Eventually, those documents were committed to microfiche. A copy of the microfiche was then sent to the Air Reserve Personnel Center in Denver and the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. Those records are considered private, and they cannot be released to anyone without the signature of the serviceman or woman. The White House has never indicated that Bush has signed the authorization form. And this is what prompts unending suspicion.
The documents given to Washington reporters were printed from one of those two microfiches. According to two separate sources within the Guard who saw the printout and spoke with me, the microfiche was shipped to the office of Maj. Gen. Danny James, commander of the Air National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Va. James' staff printed out all of the documents on the film and then, according to those same sources, James vetted the material. Subsequent to being scrutinized by James (who commanded the Texas Guard and was promoted to Washington by Bush,) the records were then sent to the White House for further scrutiny prior to release to the news media.
This is a considerably different process from what was practiced by Sen. John McCain during the 2000 presidential campaign ... McCain signed a release form, and his entire record, a stack of papers more than a foot tall, was made available to reporters without being vetted by the campaign.
when the most common records in his millitary file are missing AFTER the President and a (soon promoted) surrogate sift through them, it doesn't take much of a nose to tell something stinks.
Everybody Else is Doing it, Why Can't I?
Everyone's written about Kerry getting tired of the attacks on his record and he's starting to fight back a little. ABC has been running a headline that ponders if Kerry LIED about which/who's medals/ribbons/etc. he publicly tossed away. you know, i don't think any major news outlet has called the president a LIAR on anything yet. Guard service...WMD...etc. god knows i'm glad Kerry's getting some scrutiny on important stuff like "DID he really throw away ALL of his medals?" that's right up there with "DID the President lie to get us into a war where THESE boys are getting killed?" those questions seem about even when it comes to importance, right? yeah.
from the wire:
Conservative critics have questioned whether Kerry deserved all three of his Purple Hearts for battle wounds, an issue the Democratic presidential candidate sought to put to rest last week by releasing his military records. On Sunday, a top Bush adviser criticized Kerry for leading anti-war protests after he returned from the battlefield.
"This comes from a president who can't even show or prove that he showed up for duty in the National Guard," Kerry said Monday during an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America.""And I'm not going to stand for it."
Saw another bush ad today on foxnews. The President is spending another $10million on these ads and they're 100% negative against Kerry. doesn't that guy have ANYTHING to say that's positive about his own last 4 years as president? 3 guesses on the answer to that. Keep it up Bush. i'll take this ALL DAY.
Monday, April 26, 2004
Cheney Blasts Kerry on Security
That (above) is the headline i saw all day. Cheney went after Kerry, attacking his record in the Senate, piece by piece. Well, it seems that the VP was asked to speak at Westminster College (where Churchill's "Iron Curtain" speech was delivered) and this sort of political attack/campaigning was not to be on the bill. Seems that the VP was invited for a more non-partisan purpose, but you know...I guess he just couldn't hold back. the President of the University had this to say (in part):
I would like to thank each and every one of you who were so courteous and respectful to Mr. Cheney during his visit and speech. Frankly, I must admit that I was surprised and disappointed that Mr. Cheney chose to step off the high ground and resort to Kerry-bashing for a large portion of his speech. The content and tone of his speech was not provided to us prior to the event -- we had only been told the speech would be about foreign policy, including issues in Iraq. Nevertheless, I was extremely proud of the students, staff, and faculty who represented the College so well during the organization of the visit and during the speech itself -- inside and outside of the gym.
Seems the College doesn't like being used for political purposes.
(thanks to TPM)
Below, someone asked why I haven't weighed in on the 100s of Thousands in DC protesting the Bush Administration over Aboriton. While i do have my opinion on abortion, its not my big issue. As a matter of fact, it's my least favorite issue. I do believe that many of the President's policies are often very short sided and for their looks rather than their effectiveness. Despite this, i really only gave the protests a cursory glance.
I'll give you a quick observation on the anti-abortion movement:
I've often thought the Pro Choice movement puts a lot of effort in the 'blue states' and none in the 'red states'. they just have no presence and i think this gives them the VAST amounts of trouble they see nationally. they tend to preach to the converted and that won't gain them new grown. The Pro Choice movement is not as tight a community as their counterparts on the other side. if they hope to have success on their chose issue, they have to have a presence in the states where they are weak. there seems no willingness to do this, and the Pro Choice movement is weak because of it.
Cheney criticizes Kerry on security issue
this is rich. so under Bush/Cheney we get the worst Terror attack in US History...oh wait, AND Cheney was head of the commission looking into possible Terror attacks which had its first meeting put off until the WEEK OF 9/11 (see Clarke's book). Then responded by helping divert funds from Afganistan ($700,000,000) to the war in Iraq for the made up WMDs...ok...Now this is the guy saying Kerry's got some bad ideas. Thanks but no thanks. i'm already too familiar with the source.
Missing the Point & Catching a Trend.
There's been WAY too much controversy over whether or not John Kerry threw away his medals, his ribbons, or both on a day back in 1971. this non-controversy fanned by the right has one purpose. it says "PLEASE LOOK ANYWHERE ELSE BUT BUSH'S OWN SERVICE RECORD". I'm firmly of the opinion that a soldier that fought for his country with such valor that he was awarded an accomodation...well that soldier is well within his rights to do what he will with those medals. The implication is that Kerry was somehow unpatriotic by questioning his contry's actions in Vietnam.
The fact that Bush has his surrogates trashing a vet shouldn't suprise anyone. Since 1999, Bush has repeatedly faced Vietnam vets with questions about their patriotism and war related matters. McCain, Gore, and Kerry had vastly different service records, yet all were in-country. All avoided the Bush string pulling to avoid risk. Let us not forget that this is the very period where our president was an (admitted) drunk. the fact that the GOP would question what Kerry did with his medals for VALOR while the president was spending his time getting drunk and using cocaine shows the complete disregard for any 'moral standard' they profess to bear.
The President wants a free pass.
He wants you to forget about his insider trading.
He wants you to forget about him being an alcoholic.
He wants you to never ask if he used cocaine.
He wants you to forget he's spent 40% of the his term on vacation.
He wants you to forget we have the worst debt and deficit in the history of our nation.
He just wants you to wonder what Kerry did with his medals.
Bush. GOP. I'll tell you all what he did for those medals...he earned them. that's more than the President could say.
The Delta Business Journal Online
Wyatt Emerich owns a few papers in our state. this lets him get his editorials out on a pretty regular basis. His articles contain a few Hallmarks:
Obvious Mis-statements of Fact.
bah...i can't even continue this list.
Basically, we still have TORT issues on the legislative agenda BECAUSE of the extraordinary efforts of some Democrats in the House of Representatives. Emerich's details on the 'how and why' of this issue are so dis-connected from reality, it makes one wonder if his own articles are the only source he uses for news.
I've never met Wyatt. i can't wait to meet this guy. we'll have a few words.
U.S. Supreme Court Won't Reinstate Prayer at School:
Justice Antonin Scalia blasted his colleagues for refusing to hear the case, arguing that it raised important church-state and other questions. Leaving those issues unresolved is unfair to Virginia Military Institute, Scalia wrote in a dissent joined by fellow conservative Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist.
ok, so just what's unresolved here? State entities cannot force religious rites on citizens. end of story. You know, this issue has burned me as a Christian for a long time.
For one, you CAN pray in school. its called PRAYING. you can't force other people to pray along with you in some kind of 'show prayer' that is as much about making the room silently listen to the 'vocal prayer' as anything else. Jesus said that we should NOT be like those that pray out in the open just so everyone can see, but rather go put yourself away, out of sight (Jesus mentioned a closet) and pray there. I suppose this is neatly forgotten.
And another thing...I really dislike the idea that whatever spiritual guidence a parent may think their child needs is tossed (at least in k-12) off to the school. ANY parent that is relying on the public school system to do the job of teaching religion FOR THEM is lazy. I have little regard for a parent that makes a big show for how important prayer is to them, but then wants to shove the spiritual teaching off on state workers.
I'm sorry Justice Scalia doesn't get it, but this has been decided and the law is clear. you can pray anytime you want. you just cannot force it on others.
Tuesday, April 20, 2004
Senator says US may need compulsory service to boost Iraq force
Republican Chuck Hagel says the draft may be inevitable now to fill the need in Iraq. no more commentary than that is needed...read the story.
Monday, April 19, 2004
WHAT AN OUTRAGE! Saudi Arabia Strikes deal with the White House to Lower Oil Prices as Election Approaches
Seems that there's news of a political deal between the President and the Saudi's to lower fuel prices between now and november. It seems a Saudi Envoy slipped up and made a comment which prompted a swift follow-up from the Saudi's claiming that they wouldn't REALLY be tampering with our election like that. all this prompted the following exchange with the White House Press Secretary:
QUESTION: To follow up on that then, I would gather that the White House view is one of expectation that the Saudis would increase oil production between now and November.
MR. McCLELLAN: Our views are very well-known to Saudi Arabia. Prince Bandar made a commitment at the stakeout that I will let speak for itself. You all should look back to those remarks.
QUESTION: We’re missing the allegation here, which is that Prince Bandar and the Saudis have made a commitment to lower oil prices to help the President politically. Is that your --
MR. McCLELLAN: I’m not going to speak for Prince Bandar. You can direct those comments to him. I can tell you that what our views are and what he said at the stakeout is what we know his views are, as well.
QUESTION: Does the White House have any knowledge of such a commitment?
MR. McCLELLAN: I’m sorry?
QUESTION: Does the White House have any knowledge of such a commitment?
MR. McCLELLAN: Again, I’m not going to speak for Prince Bandar. You can direct those questions --
QUESTION: Is there a deal?
MR. McCLELLAN: -- I wouldn’t speculate one way or the other. You can direct those questions to him, but I’m telling you --
QUESTION: I’m not asking you to speculate either. Do you have knowledge of such a commitment?
MR. McCLELLAN: I’m telling you what our views are and what we've stated, and I'm telling you what I do know, which is that our position is very clear when it comes to oil prices and what our views are. And Prince Bandar spoke to you all just a few weeks ago out at the stakeout after meeting with some White House officials and expressed --
QUESTION: So you have no knowledge of such a commitment?
MR. McCLELLAN: -- and expressed their view. I'm not going to try to speak for Prince Bandar. You can direct those questions to him.
QUESTION: The President is confident that the American elections are not being manipulated by the world's largest oil producer?
MR. McCLELLAN: Our view is that the markets should determine --
QUESTION: The market doesn't. It's a cartel.
MR. McCLELLAN: But our view is that that's what -- that the markets should determine prices. And that's the view we make very clear to producers around the world, including our friends in OPEC.
You know what? if you can't lie better than that, you may as well come out and say it. Bush wants it rigged for the election. there. i said it...was it that hard? It is clear that a deal was struck and Scott McClellan has done everything he can to avoid talking about it. do you realize what this means? Bush not only is trying to manipulate oil markets to his political advantage, he may have a hand in the current record oil prices we have now. Ladies and Gentlemen we've just gone beyone conspiracy theory to corrupt bargain.
DISCLAIMER: If I'm wrong here, McClellan needs to be fired.
9/11 Commissioner Receives Death Threats
if you didn't know...During his testimony Attorney. General John Ashcroft brought up a 1995 memo by 9/11 Commissioner Jamie Gorelick in an attempt to discredit her or, in the least show a conflict of interest. the line is tenuous at best (decide for yourself). Well, evidently a few people weren't to thrilled that Gorelick is still on the Commission. it seems that subsequent to the testimony from Ashcroft. Ms. Gorelick has recieved threats on her life. how suspicious is THIS? how about when i tell you that they de-classified the 1995 memo just for this hearing. GOP thugs. from the article linked above:
Jamie Gorelick, a member of the commission investigating the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, said Saturday that she received death threats this week after a number of conservatives alleged that her former work in the Justice Department may have contributed to failures leading to the attacks.
THE 9/11 COMMISSION - my short take:
It's not Bush's fault that 9/11 happened. That, however does not remove the fact that such terrorism was a low priority for the president and that MANY less important issues were given higher status in his first year in office.
Not the least of which is vacation. Bush spent 40% of his time, pre-9/11, on VACATION either at his ranch or at Camp David. Now you can be sure that that garbage ended after 9/11. we're at war and this is serious business...right? of course not. he's sticking to that 40% vacation time average.
Gorj. pointed out the fact that this should make a Kerry campaign ad pretty easy:
Bush: the 60-percenter. you want a President that's there for you 60% of the time? Is 60% good enough when we're fighting TWO wars? Can America afford a part time president in a time of war?
--I say 600+ dead soldiers say no.
--19 Americans died this weekend in Iraq.
oh, btw, Monday has been declared "day of the Jihad" when the war will be brought to Bagdad and foreigners will be targeted. lets hope this is just a boast and a threat....and nothing more.
Too Much Sun.
Went out to the reservoir today for some sun. I read a few collections of Comics I bought a long time ago but lost. My back is now RED but surprisingly it doesn’t hurt. I’m not looking that gift horse in the mouth....Speaking of hurt...I like to call this little ditty
THE HERALD OF MAMMON
I believe i recieved a warning that i'm doing too well at the capitol. twice, on days where i was successful at work (at the capitol) i was attacked by a bird. I'd be walking up to the capitol and this bird would start swooping directly at my head. each time this went on for 100's of feet as i walked. I'm pretty certain that this was a familiar or herald of Mammon...the Demon/Devil associated with Greed. I think he's pissed that some of these insurance companies aren't gonna get to fleece Mississippians like they'd hoped.
Woodward on 60 Minutes
So we go to war and the Colin Powell was the last to know. How disjointed is it when Saudi Arabia knows we're going to war before the U.S. Secretary of State. from the show:
But, it turns out, two days before the president told Powell, Cheney and Rumsfeld had already briefed Prince Bandar, the Saudi ambassador.
"Saturday, Jan. 11, with the president's permission, Cheney and Rumsfeld call Bandar to Cheney's West Wing office, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Myers, is there with a top-secret map of the war plan. And it says, 'Top secret. No foreign.' No foreign means no foreigners are supposed to see this," says Woodward.
"They describe in detail the war plan for Bandar. And so Bandar, who's skeptical because he knows in the first Gulf War we didn't get Saddam out, so he says to Cheney and Rumsfeld, 'So Saddam this time is gonna be out, period?'" And Cheney who has said nothing says the following: "Prince Bandar, once we start, Saddam is toast."
After Bandar left, according to Woodward, Cheney said, "I wanted him to know that this is for real. We're really doing it."
But this wasn't enough for Prince Bandar, who Woodward says wanted confirmation from the president. "Then, two days later, Bandar is called to meet with the president and the president says, 'Their message is my message'" says Woodward.
Prince Bandar enjoys easy access to the Oval Office. His family and the Bush family are close. And Woodward told 60 Minutes that Bandar has promised the president that Saudi Arabia will lower oil prices in the months before the election -- to ensure the U.S. economy is strong on election day.
Now lets review. the President shares TOP SECRET information with the leaders of Saudi Arabia (you know, where the bulk of the 9/11 terrorists were born), and he does this BEFORE our Secretary of State knows? ok, now lets think back. Clinton was impeached for WHAT?
Another little tidbit that Condi had trouble explaining today: Diverted Funds seems that some of the Money directed by congress to go to Afganistan was diverted to Iraq early on. know what's bad about this? Of course, i mean other than removing funds from the real war on terror for the make believe war on terror...well, you see...IT'S ILLEGAL! you can't take funds allocated for a military action in one theatre and direct them elsewhere because Congress hasn't given you the funding you wanted. my questions to any GOP'er out there...when do you say "enough"? seriously. i'm not saying you can't LIKE the guy, but when has he done too much? does he just get a free pass?
Saturday, April 17, 2004
Kerry Hits Back at White House, Defends Patriotism
Finally, it seems Kerry is on the move and saying what a lot of us have been thinking. for too long these guys have gotten away with attacking others concerning matters where they've had far more guilt. i sometimes think its done as a pre-emptive distraction when they know they're weak in a certain area. sadly, the press has been content to let them do this sort of thing unchecked. I believe lying in Iraq has been the last straw for the press. while not perfect, they've been much more zealous with this president and the white house is having a hard time coping. they're used to the press taking their stories and running with them. its not working quite like that now and the white house is struggling to deal with it (see the 'mission accomplished' item below).
"I'm tired of Karl Rove and Dick Cheney and a bunch of people who went out of their way to avoid their chance to serve when they had the chance," the Massachusetts senator said. "I'm not going to listen to them talk to me about patriotism."
"I've seen how these people in the White House today, in their twisted sense of ethics and morality, don't think twice about challenging John McCain and what happened to him as a prisoner of war," he said in reference to attacks by President Bush in 2000 on his Republican primary rival McCain, an Arizona senator.
Friday, April 16, 2004
KEEP ON SPENDING!!!
Bush has raised an amazing amount of money for his campaign, but he's also blowing right through it. Seems he's spending about $9 Million a week since March. (24 weeks left = $216 Million). he'll spend more as time goes on, and he's not getting much for his money so far. His ratings keep falling and he seems to take one hit after another in the press. so what does his ads do? they're almost entirely Negative against Kerry. He's not saying one positive thing about himself or his own vision when current events seem to show him having no direction on important world events.
83 Americans have died in Iraq in the last 12 days.
A Mississippi man is now a hostage or dead.
Bush cannot even say to whom he'll turn over Iraq on June 30th, but he's dead set on that date.
I just don't know how anyone makes the case for that sort of leadership.
Keep it up bush...we've got an election to win over here on my side...
Wednesday, April 14, 2004
You See, I work in Politics...
well, that's the title i've had here lately. In that job, my main responsibility is to make sure tort reform doesn't pass. Today we beat 'tort reform'. its not for good (nothing is), and you know what?
we didn't really beat it. luck and hubris beat it...and this day, like almost everything else in my life made me stare down the dark feeling of defeat until victory came in the last few moments...literally in the last 9 minutes it could possibly come, 'tort reform' lost out. it was deathly close and the bill was bad all around for Mississippians.
it seems like i have no victories in my life without falling to a hair's width of utter defeat. as much as i'm used to this. as much as its a pattern of my life that re-affirms my faith...its still very hard.
i am utterly exhausted.
oh...and i haven't done my taxes.
Bush TELLS THE TRUTH
From yesterday's press conference:
“A country that hides something is a country that is afraid of getting caught”
i like that one.
Another was his response to just who the Hell are we turning Iraq over to on June 30? his answer:
"We'll find that out soon." ....um...you better know NOW.
the whole thing was pretty rich. he was asked 4 times if he's mad ANY policy mistakes so far. 3 guesses on what he thinks of the job he's doing. after being asked the 4th time, he got creative:
The fourth time, the president took a deep breath, blew it out, looked at the ground, looked at the ceiling, stalled for time, then said: "You know, I just -- I'm sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with an answer, but it hadn't yet."
Do you realize he's given 12 press conferences during his ENTIRE presidency? He won't go to the 9/11 hearing unless it is not public AND he can bring his VP along. know why? he can't HACK it alone.
Oh, before i forget, he called Donald Rumsfeld his Secretary of State. (he's not)
yeah. that's my president...i'm gonna sleep better tonite.
This was on prime time TV on all the networks. it couldn't have helped him.
on a sad note...and possibly related to the posts below, Salon reports:
Eighty-three U.S. troops have died in Iraq in the first 12 days of April, more than were killed in the same number of days at the start of the war. Iraqi insurgents are holding more than 40 hostages, and the mutilated remains of four bodies -- likely those of missing American contractors -- were discovered in Iraq Tuesday.
THE PRESIDENT SHOULD SUPPORT OUR TROOPS.
...But he doesn't!
from yesterday's Press Conference:
(about our troops) “some performed well, and i’m proud of them. others didn’t perform so well and i want to know why.”
you ingrate! they're fighting your war for you.
Weekly Review (Harpers.org)
Rice acknowledged that President Bush had received a classified CIA briefing on August 6, 2001, entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States," though she characterized the report as "historical information based on old reporting." She also acknowledged that the report mentioned the existence of Al Qaeda sleeper cells in the United States but "there was no recommendation that we do something about this." Rice also admitted that Richard Clarke, whose book on the Bush Administration's antiterrorism failures prompted her public testimony, sent her a memo in January 2001 in which he mentioned sleeper cells. Again, Rice said, "there was no mention or recommendation of anything that needs to be done about them."
OK, let me get this straight. You WOULD have done something if they'd given you a plan of action...i guess because that's not your job...you know, coming up with plans...? gotcha.
OK, next please. i think we're done here.
Scalia apologizes for recording erasure...But I don't Accept!
OK, get this...US Supreme Court Justice Scalia speaks at a Hattiesburg, MS High School--about the constitution and free speech of all things.
Well, the press is there and he gets a U.S. Marshall to grab 2 reporter's equipment and ERASE their recordings of his PUBLIC SPEECH!! all because he wanted no recorded version of his speech.
This is EXACTLY what the 1st amendment was designed to protect against. this is the FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT of the free press under the 1st amendment. The only more basic right we have is voting!
think bout it. a judge gives a public speech here anyone could hear--not a private conversation--and finds out a recording is made. He then gets a Fed. law enforcement officer to seize the reporter's recording/work product and destrotys/erases it. He was BREAKING the most fundamental right we have next to voting.
This is the FIRST amendment...the FIRST rule protecting us...and our Own Supreme Court Justice does not hesistate to violate it himself in the VERY basic method it was to fight. For me, this shocks the conscience.
Know what pisses me off most of all. the local paper, the Hattiesburg American had NO COMPLAINTS about them taking the tapes and erasing them. It was OTHER media outside of Mississippi carrying this story. The Jackson Paper, the Clarion Ledger, wasn't even there to cover the event, let alone the controversy. they didn't even report that he was here. when they finally did cover it, they did so as an AP WIRE STORY!!!
Not their own reporter. Right here, a major 1st Amendment issue and they pull it from the AP like they were 1000 miles away. i mean JESUS. this is BIG. its in your back yard and you're pulling it off the WIRE?
"Former acting FBI Director Thomas Pickard said Ashcroft dismissed warnings of terrorist threats that summer and rejected appeals for additional counterterrorism funds.
Pickard said that 'in late June and through July, he met with Attorney General Ashcroft once a week,' the report says. 'He told us that though he initially briefed the attorney general regarding these threats, after two such briefings the attorney general told him he did not want to hear this information anymore.'"
Tuesday, April 13, 2004
Deadline Passes for Kidnapped American Contractor in Iraq
More on Mr. Hamill. Seems the deadline has passed.
This Speaks for Itself.
April 13, 2004 | WASHINGTON (AP) -- For American forces in Iraq, these are the deadliest days of the war. At least 83 U.S. troops were killed in action in the first 12 days of April, with the most recent death on Tuesday. Also this month, more than 560 were wounded and two soldiers were declared missing. At least four American civilians were killed, one contractor was captured by gunmen and six others are missing and feared abducted.
The number wounded so far in April exceeds the total for any other full month of the war by more than 220.
Among the captured civilians is Tommy Hamill of Macon, MS. he was a farmer in East Mississippi who lost everything in the current economy. in order to avoid bankrupcy, he decided to drive a Truck in Iraq for a much larger wage than he could get in the states. His family has been told he'll be dismembered and killed if the US does not leave. Let's hope that whatever happens on June 30th is enough for them.
Saturday, April 10, 2004
Report from Iraq
This site links to the Talking Points Memo, which i highly recommend to anyone it seems the guy who runs the site has a friend in iraq working a security detail. he used to be in military intelligence. see this report:
The fighting two nights ago was loud and widespread throughout the northern and northwestern parts of Baghdad ... areas such as Yarmouk, Sadr City had almost continuous gunfights and rocket attacks. When we heard US forces using the main gun on M-1 tanks at 1 AM we knew it was serious insurgency at hand. The night is no longer the refuge and domain of the Americans. I have to tell you although the wide open areas of Iraq give a false sense of security. Even though much of this is unseen to most people the situation has gone from bad to really bad to unbelievably bad! Westerners are getting hit everywhere. Security companies escorting CPA, themselves and other Westerners are now on the menu for all the armed resistance groups. There was a report of a massive ambush by one security firm that tried to drive in from Amman. Reports have 25-40 gunmen opening up on them. They lost all of their vehicles and had to be given a mercy lift by a passing Iraqi minivan. Several other firms lost western security personnel killed this week in drive-by ambushes and even a seige by the Sadr Militia. Several NGOs, security firms and military bases were literally under siege for days in Kut, Nasiriyah and Baghdad. The boldness and sophistication of the attacks is staggering and it is clear that every one of the resistance fighters and Islamic militiamen have taken heart at the ease of inflicting damage on the Westerners. The abductions of the Japanese hostages is a sign that we have entered a new phase of bad as abduction requires a permissive environment for the hostage taker.
I refer to this entire mess as the second Intifada of Iraq. The first Intifida was last August in Fallujah when US soldiers killed 15-17 Iraqis and Fallujah fell into revolt. Vehicles are being hit where they are easiest to find and the security firms who are here to protect the Westerners are taking casualties because the US Army and Marines are literally stretched thin throughout the country and quite over their own capacity to stop the violence. The resistance's combat operational center of mass is and will continue moving from known mass resistance organizations (such as uniformed Badr Brigade) to small leaderless or autonomous teams or supporters who are now deciding to do what they please to the first target available. Those targets are easy ... Westerners. Any and all. This burst of energy won't last long though ...
I suspect we will have a cool down period in the next few days or within a week but it will be simply to "re-arm and re-fuel for re-strike and re-venge." A true sustained explosion of violence has yet to be coordinated by the myriad of resistance teams but as the independent or semi-centralized resistance groups form, choose leadership and communicate at the internet cafes, you can be pretty sure the second wave of violence is going to come and it will be equally, if not more, dramatic. This time it won't be men in black uniforms, they have learned that lesson in Najaf ... They will shift to urban terrorism and un-uniformed attacks. God forbid if Sadr is killed or captured ... then we have an entire second front that won't give up until we leave.
General Kimmet is wrong if he thinks that he will destroy the Badr brigade or Sadr Army as a military organization because there isn't really one ... he will disperse them into small, highly armed teams of friends and ... voila! Al Qaeda-Iraq or Hezbollah-Iraq will be borne in numbers we will not be able to control. Since the ICDC [the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps] seem to have run off and joined the opposition in Nasiriyah it may reflect the true loyalties of the new Iraqi army and Police. No one is going to cross their family, tribe or religious community for the Americans.
The correct answer is to back off, leave Sadr alone and start to throw lots of money into jobs projects and utilities for the south before this summer's electricity and gas shortages ... will that work? Probably not. But we have just antagonized the core of the Shiite resistance and putting them to work is better than letting them fight us 24/7. General Sanchez is right about one thing ... this is not Vietnam ... Oh no, its not that easy. I refer you to Israel humiliating defeat in Southern Lebanon by Hezbollah's armed resistance for a reference to our potential future.
Friday, April 09, 2004
Can't sleep, and i'm about to hop on a plane
so i steal this from the Post:
This is Bush's 33rd visit to his ranch since becoming president. He has spent all or part of 233 days on his Texas ranch since taking office, according to a tally by CBS News. Adding his 78 visits to Camp David and his five visits to Kennebunkport, Maine, Bush has spent all or part of 500 days in office at one of his three retreats, or more than 40 percent of his presidency.
Tuesday, April 06, 2004
just saw a bush ad on the History Channel. it was all attack on Kerry. cool with me. i like him having nothing to say about himself, his own policies, and why HE should be president. i guess its clear to the Prez what is an easier sell. this is a theme in all the ads i've seen. i have to wonder if Bush has now gone to an all negative ad policy.
Monday, April 05, 2004
Well, i've been missing for the longest stretch in a while. My wife left me at home with Mr. Mooch while she went to chilly California. luckily, the weather here has been amazing. This weekend i went to a Film Festival, and felt good about supporting local film buffs and film makers. My job is approaching a "drop dead" day and i was pretty excited.
note i used the word 'was'. it WAS going to be a good day. the day would pass and all good things would come. WOULD being the operative word. well, it seems the wheels have shot off the car. all the smooth sailing may just be over. I'm going to end this here, because i'm not at liberty to be frank about my work, what's going wrong (or right), or what i think about it....thus...i'm annoying myself reading this. i can only imagine i'm annoying you. i hope to fill in the blanks soon.
Mr. Mooch says i'll feel better in about 3 years and 7 months. the first tuesday in November to be exact.