Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Brilliant!

"America's military commander in Iraq ordered British troops to prepare a full-scale ground offensive against Iranian forces that had crossed the border and grabbed disputed territory, a senior officer has disclosed.

An attack would almost certainly have provoked open conflict with Iran. But the British chose instead to resolve the matter through diplomatic channels."


last i checked, the British idea worked.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

You're FREE IRAQ!!

You wanna do this all the way or half way?

Iyad Akmush Kanum, 23, learnt the limits of sovereignty on Monday when US prosecutors refused to uphold an Iraqi judges' order acquitting him of attempted murder of coalition troops.

US prosecutors said that he was being returned to the controversial Abu Ghraib prison because under the Geneva Conventions they were not bound by Iraqi law.

For My Teacher Friends

You ever have to do this?

A Japanese teacher forced a student to write an apology in his own blood after he was caught sleeping in class.

THIS IS IT!

This is the best commentary on the VP telling Senator Leahy (Vt.) to go "f--k" himself.

the point being, for someone with no ties to Haliburton at all (right VP, isn't that what you said?)...he SURE seems to be upset by anyone talking about the company. best part: "i thought they broke up"

HAW HAW HAW HAW (Read).

Monday, June 28, 2004

Sad News

Another beheading. this time in Iraq and this time a U.S. Soldier. we need leadership in times like these.

we don't have it.

Sad News

Another beheading. this time in Iraq and this time a U.S. Soldier. we need leadership in times like these.

we don't have it.

It Makes Me Angry

to know that when it appeared our nation was under attack, the president didn't let that interrupt his reading to children. as you may know, he was reading to elementary students and claimed to finish so as to not cause a panic.

I'm certain that if this nation is under attack, the priority should be to get the president in the air or to a safe location asap. i think the kids could have handled the president silently leaving the room ok.

i'm just guessing here.

Now, lets say you aren't bothered by that...well, consider this. if multiple targets are being hit on the morning of 9/11, why did the president spend nearly an hour at the school (after he finally left story time) while cooridinating the response and getting briefed on the situation?

In case you didn't know, when we are under attack, the president is a target. staying there put this children at risk for an attack and it just seems to have never crossed his damn mind.

Can you Tell there's a Republican in charge of the EPA?

DETROIT, June 24 - A new series of whimsical public service announcements from the Environmental Protection Agency are lampooning the notion that cars can be made more energy efficient while the ads encourage conservation at home.

Friday, June 25, 2004

MASTER of STRATEGERY

in a stroke of brilliance, bush has ignored North Korea on all diplomatic fronts for the last 3 years. see, this allows North Korea to develop Nukes. In the meantime bush just waits for that right moment...
wait...
wait...
Tied up in a war in Afganistan?
wait...
Start a war in Iraq...
wait...
resources getting thin?
unable to offer a legitimit military threat on a 3rd front?
OK! NOW!!

Negotiate!

this is the moment we've been waiting for!!! they are HELPLESS in our clutches.

that's how you'd have done this, right?

The New York Times > Opinion >Op-Ed Columnist: A Matter of Faith

While this is certainly not a full picture of why the race is tight, i have to agree that this is a part of the picture.

"Just as Republicans have to appeal to religious conservatives but move beyond them, Democrats have to appeal to the secular left but also build a bridge to religious moderates. Bill Clinton did this. John Kerry hasn't. If you want to know why Kerry is still roughly even with Bush in the polls, even though Bush has had the worst year of any president since Nixon in 1973 or L.B.J. in 1968, this is one big reason."

CNN.com - Cheney curses senator over Halliburton criticism

I say the pressure is getting to the Pres and the VP. how do i know? at the Senate 'class photo', Cheney got so mad at Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont that he yelled out "go f**k yourself". now that's what i call losing your cool. fine with me. i'm glad to see the pressure get to him.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

'Fahrenheit 9/11' ban? -- The Hill.com: "Michael Moore may be prevented from advertising his controversial new movie, 'Fahrenheit 9/11,' on television or radio after July 30 if the Federal Election Commission (FEC) today accepts the legal advice of its general counsel.

At the same time, a Republican-allied 527 soft-money group is preparing to file a complaint against Moore's film with the FEC for violating campaign-finance law."


Seems the documentary is so damaging they don't want anyone to hear about it. The President is in trouble.

Haley Barbour Rigs the Court?

This year the Governor tried to adjourn a special session of the legislature (isn't the legislature the one that's supposed to do that? you ask...well so did they). A few members of the house got a temporary restraining order (TRO) to stop the governor.

This was an issue because if they were out of session, the legislature couldn't stop Barbour's plan to toss 65,000 poor and elderly people off medicaid.

The TRO was overturned by Justice Smith of the supreme court 2 hours later. WELL, its turns out that Barbour met with the Chief Justice (Smith) within those 2 hours before he ruled in favor of the governor. But Barbour claims there was no talk about the ruling and the rest of us with a pulse aren't so sure.

Rep. Jamie Franks is trying to get to the bottom of this:

"The governor told the leadership of the House (at the time) that if we did get a lower court order (preventing Barbour from dissolving the special session,) he would have it overturned in 30 minutes,'' Franks said. "We want to investigate whether he (Smith) should have recused himself from the case.''

Governor Porkchop seems to be trying to put the fix in. read the article and see what you think. I think our Supreme Court is one of thes worst in the nation.

Oddly Enough

The nice little local college 2 blocks from my house is running ads on the Drudge Report.

A Letter to the Editor

Some mal-content friend of this site (or at least Mr. Mooch) got a letter to the editor in the paper today.

Bush Loses Advantage in War on Terrorism

One of the (amazing) big perks for Bush is that the public seems to like him no matter the shortcomings he may have. he's a good guy. they trust him.

this seems to show some chinks in the armour:

Who's more trustworthy? Bush 39% Kerry 52%.

Bush hasn't seen numbers that low on trust since he was trying to make sure the coke didn't stick to his whiskers.

Did Ashcroft brush off terror warnings?

currently there is so much out there about the administration allowing torture, hiding info, and lying to cover their tracks, that i'm somewhat overwhelmed. I honestly have given up on commenting on this day because there is too much out there. happily, much is being covered by the mainstream press.

This has to be the worst president since harding.

Bush sanctioned Geneva exception

You know it's bad enough that this August 2002 memo condones the torture of prisoners. Even worse is the fact that the author is Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee.

Bush was so dismayed at this guy's position on war crimes that he nominated Bybee as a new Justice on the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Democrats fought it and the Republican Senators approved him. THIS is the sort of lifetime appointments you get from Bush.

yay.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Newsweek - Kerry: Looking for a VP

"Kerry is engrossed in the final shortlist of veep picks. Kerry sources say the choice is narrowing to Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack and former House Democratic leader Dick Gephardt, and that the candidate remains personally uncomfortable with Sen. John Edwards."

god. please don't let him pick Gephardt. i'll take almost anyone else.

Are they Afraid to Call the VP a LIAR?

seems like it...

Transcript, CNBC’s “Capital Report,” June 17, 2004

Gloria Borger: “Well, let’s get to Mohammed Atta for a minute, because you mentioned him as well. You have said in the past that it was quote, “pretty well confirmed.”

Vice President Cheney: No, I never said that.

BORGER: OK.

Vice Pres. CHENEY: Never said that.

BORGER: I think that is...

Vice Pres. CHENEY: Absolutely not
.

oh, but wait Mr. Cheney, what about this...

Transcript, NBC’s “Meet the Press,” December 9, 2001.

Vice-President Cheney: “It’s been pretty well confirmed that he did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April.”

--so what does that sound like to you?

Mr. Mooch trains the LAPD

Lesson 1: if the suspect is under your control and is subdued...please quit beating him with your flashlight. it looks bad.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

TODAY SHOW: Fahrenheit 9/11

watch this important and somewhat volitile interview with Katie Couric. one of the most important things i've seen in the last month. watch it.

From the HOTLINE (compliments of Swirly):

"The California Department of Food and Agriculture found unhealthy amounts of rocket fuel in cow's milk" (AP). Exactly what amount would be considered "healthy"?

*ahem*

Here, i'll hold your hand

So you're asking "Polly, how come bush keeps talking about Iraq and Al Qaida being linked when everyone knows they aren't? are they crazy?"

No dear reader. let me show you the war (via the times over the weekend):

One outside adviser to the White House said the administration expected the debate over Iraq's ties to Al Qaeda to be "a regular feature" of the presidential campaign. "They feel it's important to their long-term credibility on the issue of the decision to go to war," the adviser said. "It's important because it's part of the overall view that Iraq is part of the war on terror. If you discount the relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda, then you discount the proposition that it's part of the war on terror. If it's not part of the war on terror, then what is it--some cockeyed adventure on the part of George W. Bush?"


truth be damned!

BATMAN ON FILM!

Scroll down and see. This site has the first pics of the new Batman in costume.

MSNBC - Movies: Bat Out of Hell

Here's some new info and pics for the new BATMAN movie.

ToOT TOoT!

one last stop on the GOP values train:

"HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Gov. John G. Rowland announced his resignation Monday amid a months-long cascade of graft allegations, a federal investigation and a rapidly gathering drive to impeach him for accepting gifts from friends and businessmen."

7 of 9:

Continuing the family values tour of the GOP, this is your next stop. Jack Ryan was married to Jeri Ryan of Star Trek: Voyager and Boston Public fame.

"CHICAGO (AP) Republican Senate candidate Jack Ryan pressured his wife, actress Jeri Lynn Ryan, to have sex in clubs while others watched, she charged in custody documents related to their divorce that were released Monday."

Myrna Loy

I'm likely the only guy you know with a Myrna Loy mouse pad. go watch The Thin Man and you'll see why!

Monday, June 21, 2004

They don't "Hate Us Because of Our Freedom"

Those are Bush's words. He claims the root of the hatred people like Osama Bin Laden have is 'our freedom'. This has always sounded like some oblivious Junior High girl convinced her enemies hate her because she 'looks so good' (or 'don't hate me because i'm beautiful' commercials). Here a CIA Intelligence Officer (who is the anonymous author of the book discussed a few days ago on this site) gives the more realistic outline:

"The reason we've made these mistakes, he argues, is that we fail to understand that bin Laden doesn't hate us because of our freedom. Or, rather, while he does hate the licentiousness and modernity that the U.S. represents, it's not what compels him to declare war on us. Nor does an anti-modernist bent explain bin Laden's appeal across the Muslim world. Instead, it's what Anonymous identifies as six points bin Laden repeatedly cites in his communiques: '(1) U.S. support for Israel that keeps the Palestinians in the Israelis' thrall; (2) U.S. and other Western troops on the Arabian peninsula; (3) U.S. occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan; (4) U.S. support for Russia, India and China against their Muslim militants; (5) U.S. pressure on Arab energy producers to keep oil prices low; (6) U.S. support for apostate, corrupt and tyrannical Muslim governments.' "

While I don't always disagree with this nation's policies in all these places, these issues listed are the real meat of the matter. The bush approach (viewing Bin Laden and his ilk as 'hating freedom') shows a level of disregard for the seriousness of the issue or, at the very least, an intellectual laziness that is far from helpful. this does not create good foreign policy. if it is PR, then it is the sort of PR that keeps the public ill-informed and vulnerable.

While Being Somewhat of a Slob...

I also can be a bit ridiculous about how neat some things are. In my kitchen, i have no doors on the upper cabinets. I have created 'stadium seating' for all the different kinds of food we have and it is all 'fronted' and neatly arranged with labels forward, somewhat like a grocery store.

It amazes me how i can sit and stare and think about these things...and yet i could give a damn about making a bed or what not.

heh.

You do NOT Have the Right to Remain Silent

Just so everyone knows, The Supreme Court just ruled that you must reveal your name to a police officer if you are stopped by that officer. during a "Terry Stop" (Named after the 1968 case where the court decided police may briefly detain someone on "reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing" to get information. this does not need the stronger standard of "probable cause")

Something to keep in mind.

Republican Pedophile

Philip A. Giordano, the Man that ran against Joe Lieberman for his Senate seat in 2000 has been convicted of sex crimes involving children. Jesus.

Quality Control

I just don't think the Bush Nominees for the federal court have been very good. are they using any set of standards beyond the ideological lock-step?

Thomas B. Griffith, President Bush's nominee for the federal appeals court in Washington, has been practicing law in Utah without a state law license for the past four years, according to Utah state officials.

i hear they have a great vetting process.

Ba-dop, Tissh!

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Rumor Mill!

"Thomas B. Griffith, President Bush's nominee for the federal appeals court in Washington, has been practicing law in Utah without a state law license for the past four years... Developing... "

isn't that par for the course?

Eschaton

Atrios makes a good point. just when do we finally go ahead and call this administration "scandal plagued"?

What i'd give for the psuedo drama of "Travel Gate" where (GASP!) the president of the freakin' united states fired some people at the travel office. like he has that right!

i'll tell you what my dear readers. I'll vote Republican this go round if they run someone that doesn't lie about threats to the nation so that we can go to war.

Deal?

I vote GOP if they quit spilling our soldiers blood over made up BS.

see. my vote is EASY to get. i'm not asking for much. just no more wars trumped up for PR.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

The New York Times on Clinton's New Book

"The book, which weighs in at more than 950 pages, is sloppy, self-indulgent and often eye-crossingly dull � the sound of one man prattling away, not for the reader, but for himself and some distant recording angel of history."

I still plan to read it, but will likely get the audio version.

Bush told he is playing into Bin Laden's hands

This is interesting. it seems a CIA official is doing an expose on (how bad) Bush terrorism policy (is)...ANONOMOUSLY!

So I Think I Have It Figured

I've been wondering aloud why cheney (and to a lesser extent, bush) have been so willing to tie Iraq and al-Qaida when it has been universally disproven and even the 9/11 commission has refuted the claim.

well look at these numbers from the Harris poll on Americans' perceptions on WMD and the al-Qaida/Iraq connection:

*55%--Believe that what we were told by the U.S. government before the war about weapons of mass destruction and links to the al-Qaida terrorist organization was generally accurate.

*56% (vs. 37%) Reject the idea that the U.S. government deliberately exaggerated the reports of WMD in order to increase support for the war.


So why tell the truth. everyone knows this race will likely be won by a close popular vote. the Bush base plus a decent number of the rest of us fall in with the connection as a reason to go to war. most americans already believe it was a just war and it seems that they want SOMETHING to cling to. bush gives that with the big lie. it's all worth it if we believe the big lie. most americans DO believe it, so why fight it? you'd have to work harder to change their minds to believing the truth (ask every democratic candidate for Pres.). So why try? these americans already agree with the idea. who cares that it's made up. Who is the president to fight the voter and tell them they are wrong.

of course they are wrong. the question is: "is the truth enough to win"

so far? no.

I believe bush has nearly hit the bottom of what he can do to himself. i don't see what more could come out and shake his support anymore. we're now to the point where Kerry has to bring it home. I didn't support Kerry before because i didn't think he could pull that off. lets hope i was wrong. I'll help him however i can.

Friday, June 18, 2004

CNN.com - U.S. hostage Johnson apparently beheaded - Jun 18, 2004

(CNN) -- Three chilling photographs on an Islamist Web site appear to show the beheaded body of American hostage Paul Johnson, who was kidnapped a week ago by Islamic militants connected with al Qaeda.

I'd Love To Change The World

I've been listening to "I'd Love To Change The World" by 10 Years After.

Smoldering. (BTW, THIS is the song at the end of the F 9/11 trailer).

How the Holy Warriors Learned to Hate

A fine, short article on how Muslim Fundamentalism got its violent overtones.

House Approves $140 Billion in Tax Breaks

Currently 60% of US Corporations pay no federal taxes. SIXTY PERCENT. soooo, clearly, we need to do another $140 Billion in corporate tax breaks.

Anybody remember the national debt?

just wondering...

McSweeney's Quarterly Concern

This has to be one of the best magazines ever (with the worst website ever). even its name sounds sophisticated. It's a Quarterly Concern. This magazine is so big that its a HARDCOVER and each month talks about god knows what. This month's guest editor is Chris Ware and the subjects are Cartoons and Comics. Ware does some of the most complicated and fascinating art i've ever seen. his skill lies as much in his design sense as it does his storytelling. Usually his work includes elaborately designed paper art and objects that can be constructed by the reader out of the actual comic book itself. a discription hardly does it justice.

Well, McSweeney's Issue 13 jumps right out at you. The cover is an elaborately folded and rendered, 2 sided 'funny pages'. the stories are often not funny at all, but reflective and serious. some are funny. some are horrors. know why? they are stories, and stories are those things.

The cover itself has TWO mini-comics stuffed into it. the magazine is a collection of works told in essays, art, and photographic rendering. When i bought this thing i felt like a little kid. you know how you would carry around the toy you were about to buy? you'd be walking through the store and you would be on a cloud because you clutched that toy you wanted and it was all yours now. just happy. proud to have it in your hand. This thing is so cool, that is exactly how i felt.

I feel smarter for owning it.

CBS News | Enron Traders Caught On Tape

If you didn't hear it already, Enron folks were caught on tape talking about how they were ripping off the people of California with bogus price hikes. some choice quotes:

"He just f--ks California," says one Enron employee. "He steals money from California to the tune of about a million."
"Will you rephrase that?" asks a second employee.
"OK, he, um, he arbitrages the California market to the tune of a million bucks or two a day," replies the first.


or how about this gem...

"They're f--king taking all the money back from you guys?" complains an Enron employee on the tapes. "All the money you guys stole from those poor grandmothers in California?"
"Yeah, grandma Millie, man"
"Yeah, now she wants her f--king money back for all the power you've charged right up, jammed right up her asshole for f--king $250 a megawatt hour."


and finally this favorite...

"When this election comes Bush will f--king whack this s--t, man. He won't play this price-cap bulls--t."

Somehow Bush, being COMPLETELY oblivious to the whims and will of Ken Lay (*ahem*) said THIS in a speech during the energy crisis:

"We will not take any action that makes California's problems worse and that's why I oppose price caps."

YAY bush!

Death By Catalogue

recently i was on jury duty. our jury waiting room was very nice with lots of twists and turns so people could be in groups or to themselves. As i sat there waiting, i thought "thank god there's tons of magazines in here" when i spied pile after pile everywhere.

Upon closer inspection, i saw that these weren't magazines. they were catalogues. dozens upon dozens of catalogues. worst of all, they all sucked. they were all catalogues of crappy 'gifts' that kids get for fundraisers. the crappy trinkets that cost 2x what they should and ALWAYS look tacky. I wanted to donate some magazines just to spare some poor fool that came along after me.

DON'T PUT ME IN THE SPELLING BEE

I swear to god, there is no harder word than "fahrenheit" for me to remember how to spell.

La Federala and I saw the Fahrenheit 9/11 trailer tonite. I've seen it before and even linked it here, but it didn't have the same effect. Seeing it on the big screen, it made my face tighten and it made me feel about as serious as I've felt in the last 3 years about this whole issue. I was a bit surprised. I also want the song played at the end of the trailer. I have no idea what it is.

Big Gray? Gclark? Gorj? you got any ideas?

GO SEE SAVED

I really liked it. Not earth shattering, but still probably the best 'teen' movie to come out in years. La Federala has never been around fundamentalist Christians before and I think she believes some of that stuff was make believe.

heh.

On a side note, My brother was there at the same movie (a surprise) and my first ever girlfriend was there too, so it seems. Strange convergences.

Salon.com News | Diplomat: info may show Iran nuke cover-up:

"The U.N. nuclear watchdog agency has information Iran may be engaging in a new nuclear cover-up near a military facility outside Tehran, diplomats said Thursday as the agency's board prepared to rebuke Iran for hindering an international probe. "

WHOOPS! we got the wrong country!! i guess that's what happens when the Bush administration uses an Iraqi spy (their words) for intel.

Perjury Charges?

In light of this testimony (under oath) to the Senate:

"Any instructions that have been issued or anything that's been authorized by the department was checked by the lawyers . . . and deemed to be consistent with the Geneva Conventions."

should we be looking at a Perjury Charge? i mean, it was supposedly the REAL reason Clinton was impeached, right?

I'm practicing the lines i hear back in 1999 for my GOP pals: "you know, it isn't what he DID, its just that he LIED about it" i heard that so much it was like they were getting training to say it.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Cheney on CNBC's 'Capital Report

(Sorry for the long clip, but I find this of great importance and it should be read in its entirety. I may snip it down later. please skip ahead if you like)

OK, this level of denial is alarming. How can one man be so convinced of what was clearly his own fabrication? How many times do we have to hear the data on this was trumped up by Cheney's own intel-squad? This is pretty alarming to say the least. I have to not call into question the VP's candor but his stability. Cheney should step down.

(as snipped from Drudge):

Vice President Dick Cheney said that there were clearly ties between Saddam Hussein and the al-Qaeda terrorists, and he called the New York Times coverage of the story "outrageous."

The vice president was responding to a report from the 9-11 Commission saying it had found no evidence of "collaboration" between Iraq and Al Qaeda.

ALAN MURRAY, co-host:

Hello and welcome to CAPITAL REPORT. I'm Alan Murray. Our top story tonight, the 9-11 Commission ended its hearings today with some surprising news. Among other things, the panel says it's found no evidence that Saddam Hussein collaborated with al-Qaida terrorists, seeming to contradict the White House, which has emphasized links between the two. In a CNBC exclusive tonight, we get Vice President Dick Cheney's first reaction to today's news.

My partner, Gloria Borger, is with the vice president in the battleground state of Ohio, where he campaigned in Lewis City, just outside of Columbus, today. Gloria.

GLORIA BORGER, co-host:

That's right, Alan. We are at NexTech Materials, which is a high-tech manufacturer in Lewis Center, Ohio. Of course, as you know, the vice president just gave a speech here this afternoon. John Kerry has also been here this week and, as you mentioned, Ohio is, of course, a battleground state.

Thank you so much for being with us, Mr. Vice President. And we will get to talk about the economy in a few minutes.

Vice President DICK CHENEY: OK.

BORGER: But obviously first the news of the week is the 9-11 Commission report. And as you know, the report found, quote, "No credible evidence that al-Qaida collaborated with Iraq or Saddam Hussein. Do you disagree with its findings?

Vice Pres. CHENEY: I disagree with the way their findings have been portrayed. This has been enormous confusion over the Iraq-al-Qaida connection, Gloria. First of all, on the question of whether or not there was any kind of a relationship, there clearly was a relationship. It's been testified to. The evidence is overwhelming. It goes back to the early '90s.

It involves a whole series of contacts, high-level contacts between Osama bin Laden and Iraqi intelligence officials. It involves a senior official, a brigadier general in the Iraqi intelligence service going to the Sudan before bin Laden ever went to Afghanistan to train them in bomb-making, helping teach them how to forge documents. Mr. Zarqawi, who's in Baghdad today, is an al-Qaida associate who took refuge in Baghdad, found sanctuary and safe harbor there before we ever launched into Iraq. There's a Mr. Yasin, who was a World Trade Center bomber in '93, who fled to Iraq after that and we found since when we got into Baghdad, documents showing that he was put on the payroll and given housing by Saddam Hussein after the '93 attack; in other words, provided safe harbor and sanctuary. There's clearly been a relationship.

There's a separate question. The separate question is: Was Iraq involved with al-Qaida in the attack on 9/11?

BORGER: Was Iraq involved?

Vice Pres. CHENEY: We don't know. You know, what the commission says is that they can't find any evidence of that. We had one report which is a famous report on the Czech intelligence service and we've never been able to confirm or to knock it down.

BORGER: Well, let me just get to the bottom line here...

Vice Pres. CHENEY: But it's very important that people understand these two differences. What The New York Times did today was outrageous. They do a lot of outrageous things but the headline, Panel Find Qaida-Iraq Tie. The press wants to run out and say there's a fundamental split here now between what the president said and what the commission said. Jim Thompson is a member of the commission who's since been on the air. I saw him with my own eyes. And there's no conflict. What they were addressing was whether or not they were involved in 9/11. And there they found no evidence to support that proposition. They did not address the broader question of a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaida in other areas, in other ways.

BORGER: Well, my reading of the report is that it says that, yes, contacts were made between al-Qaida and Iraq, but they could find no evidence that any relationship, in fact, had been forged between al-Qaida and Iraq.

Vice Pres. CHENEY: And you're talking generally now, not just 9/11.

BORGER: Not just 9/11. And let's talk generally and then we'll get to 9/11.

Vice Pres. CHENEY: Talk generally.

BORGER: Generally.

Vice Pres. CHENEY: That's not true.

BORGER: So you disagree?

Vice Pres. CHENEY: Absolutely. Look at the Zarqawi case. Here's a man who's Jordanian by birth. He's described as an al-Qaida associate. He ran training camps in Afghanistan back before we went to war in Afghanistan. After we went in and hit his training camp, he fled to Baghdad. Found safe harbor and sanctuary in Baghdad in May of 2002. He arrived with about two dozen other supporters of his, members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, which was Zawahiri's organization. He's the number two to bin Laden, which was merged with al-Qaida interchangeably. Egyptian Islamic Jihad, al-Qaida, same-same. They're all now part of one organization. They merged some years ago. So Zarqawi living in Baghdad. We arranged for information to be passed on his presence in Baghdad to the Iraqis through a third-party intelligence service. They did that twice. There's no question but what Saddam Hussein really was there. He was allowed to operate out of Baghdad. He ran the poisons fact ory in northern Iraq out of Baghdad, which became a safe harbor for Ansar al-Islam??? as well as al-Qaida fleeing Afghanistan. There clearly was a relationship there that stretched back over that period of time to at least May of '02, a year before we launched into Iraq. He is the worst offender. He's probably killed more Iraqis than any other man in Iraq today. He is probably the leading terrorist still operating in Iraq today.

BORGER: Now some say that he corresponded with al-Qaida only after Saddam was deposed.

Vice Pres. CHENEY: That's not true. He had been involved working side by side, as described by the CIA, with al-Qaida over the years. This is an old established relationship. He's the man who killed our man Foley in Jordan, an AID official, during this period of time. To suggest that there's no connection between Zarqawi, no relationship if you will, and Iraq just simply is not true.

BORGER: Well, let's get to Mohammad Atta for a minute, because you mentioned him as well. You have said in the past that it was, quote, "pretty well confirmed."

Vice Pres. CHENEY: No, I never said that.

BORGER: OK.

Vice Pres. CHENEY: Never said that.

BORGER: I think that is...

Vice Pres. CHENEY: Absolutely not. What I said was the Czech intelligence service reported after 9/11 that Atta had been in Prague on April 9th of 2001, where he allegedly met with an Iraqi intelligence official. We have never been able to confirm that nor have we been able to knock it down.

BORGER: Well, now this report says it didn't happen.

Vice Pres. CHENEY: No. This report says they haven't found any evidence.

BORGER: That it happened.

Vice Pres. CHENEY: Right.

BORGER: But you haven't found the evidence that it happened either, have you?

Vice Pres. CHENEY: No. All we have is that one report from the Czechs. We just don't know.

BORGER: So does this put it to rest for you or not on Atta?

Vice Pres. CHENEY: It doesn't add anything from my perspective. I mean, I still am a skeptic. I can't refute the Czech plan. I can't prove the Czech plan. It's ...(unintelligible) the nature of the intelligence (unintelligible).

BORGER: OK, but let's...

Vice Pres. CHENEY: But that is a separate question from what the press has gotten all in a dither about, The New York Times especially, on this other question. What they've done is, I think, distorted what the commission actually reported, certainly according to Governor Thompson, who's a member of the commission.

BORGER: But you say you disagree with the commission...

Vice Pres. CHENEY: On this question of whether or not there was a general relationship.

BORGER: Yes.

Vice Pres. CHENEY: Yeah.

BORGER: And they say that there was not one forged and you were saying yes, that there was. Do you know things that the commission does not know?

Vice Pres. CHENEY: Probably.

BORGER: And do you think the commission needs to know them?

Vice Pres. CHENEY: I don't have any--I don't know what they know. I do know they didn't talk with any original sources on this subject that say that in their report.

BORGER: They did talk with people who had interrogated sources.

Vice Pres. CHENEY: Right.

BORGER: So they do have good sources.

Vice Pres. CHENEY: Gloria, the notion that there is no relationship between Iraq and al-Qaida just simply is not true. I'm going to read this material here. Your show isn't long enough for me to read all the pieces...

BORGER: Sure it is.

Vice Pres. CHENEY: ...but in the fall of '95 and again in the summer of '96, bin Laden met with Iraqi intelligence service representatives at his farm in Sudan. Bin Laden asked for terror training from Iraq. The Iraqi intelligence service responded. It deployed a bomb-making expert, a brigadier general in the Iraqi intelligence.

BORGER: OK, but now just let me stop you there, because what this report says is that he was not given the support that he had asked for from Iraq, that he had requested all of these things but, in fact, did not get them.

Vice Pres. CHENEY: He got this. We know for a fact. This is from George Tenet's testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee February 12th, 2003, etc. I mean, it's there. It's ...(unintelligible).

BORGER: So is the commission credible as far as you're concerned?

Vice Pres. CHENEY: I haven't read their entire report on everything. I think they're doing good work. I think it's a very tough job they've been doing and I don't mean to be overly critical of them. I think this is not an area they looked at. According to Governor Thompson again, they didn't spend a lot of time on the question of Iraq and al-Qaida except for the 9/11 proposition.

That's what they're asked to look at. They did not spend a lot of time on these other issues. They've got one paragraph in the report that talks about that. And so the notion that you can take one paragraph from the 9-11 Commission and say, `Ah, therefore that says there was never a connection between Iraq and al-Qaida.' It's just wrong. It's not true. I'd love to go on on all of this stuff, but the fact of the matter is there clearly was a relationship there. Now...

BORGER: Let me just ask you, bottom line, though, on 9/11...

Vice Pres. CHENEY: On 9/11...

BORGER: ...Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11?

Vice Pres. CHENEY: We have never been able to prove that there was a connection there on 9/11. The one thing we have is the Czech intelligence service report saying that Mohammad Atta had met with the senior Iraqi intelligence official at the embassy on April 9th, 2001. That's never been proven. It's never been refuted.

BORGER: OK. And let me ask you one more personal note. The commission also reported today that you gave the order to shoot down those airplanes that were commandeered by the terrorists but that your orders never reached the American pilots. Can you tell us how agonizing that was?

Vice Pres. CHENEY: Well, actually it went very fast. First of all, I discussed it with the president. The president made the decision. Then I was asked sometime after that--an officer came into the emergency operations center into the White House where I was located and wanted to know if they were authorized to shoot down the aircraft. And based on my earlier discussion with the president I said yes. I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about it. They needed a fast decision. There was a report of an airplane 80 miles out headed towards the White House and towards Washington.

So it was a quick decision. It had to be quick. Planes were flying 500 miles an hour at buildings. It turned out--we didn't know this at the timeƃ‘it turned out that by the time the order was given, the plane that was headed that way--United 93--had crashed. The passengers had obviously...

BORGER: Had your order gotten to the planes?

Vice Pres. CHENEY: No.

BORGER: Would that happen another time? I mean, is that fixed?

Vice Pres. CHENEY: Well, is it fixed? I think it is now, but at the time, nobody had ever trained for or planned on having American fighters shoot down American commercial airliners. That's not a drill that, you know, anybody's ever practiced before and it's not clear that day that if the pilot had received that order that he would have quickly and instantly followed it. It would have been a hard thing to do to fall in on a United Airlines flight and shoot it out of the sky if you're up there with--an American flying an F-15.

So again, what we know now based on the timelines and so forth that were established is that by the time that order was transmitted, United 93 had already gone down because of the action of the passengers.

BORGER: Let me ask you what your response is to the Democratic presidential candidate, John Kerry, who said upon looking at this 9/11 report that this administration, quote, "misled America."

Vice Pres. CHENEY: In what respect? I haven't seen that.

BORGER: In terms of the relationship between al-Qaida and Iraq.

Vice Pres. CHENEY: We never said that Iraq was responsible for 9/11. We never said that. You can't find any place where I said it, where the president said it. I was asked that, as a matter of fact, by Tim Russert on "Meet the Press" on the Sunday after the attack and said, `No, we don't have any evidence of it.' Later on we received this information from the Czechs, but again, as I say, we've never been able to prove that nor have we been able to knock it down.

BORGER: Now the report says, though, that there isn't any relationship, so...

Vice Pres. CHENEY: They've concluded, based on what they've done.

BORGER: And you're not there.

Vice Pres. CHENEY: They've concluded and I haven't had a chance to read all of their report. They've concluded based on the work they've done that there was no connection, that Iraq was not responsible for 9/11. And I can't say they were. I've never seen evidence that supports that, except this one report from the Czechs.

BORGER: Are we close to getting Osama bin Laden?

Vice Pres. CHENEY: I think we will get Osama bin Laden. I wouldn't want to put a time frame on it. We're actively in the hunt. We have been now for some considerable period of time and I think eventually we'll run him to ground.

BORGER: Now recently the Saudis have also been victims of al-Qaida. There was an attack that killed 22 people. Now an American is being held hostage there. The family of this hostage, Paul Johnson Jr., has asked for the release of al-Qaida detainees so he can be released. What's your response to their request?

Vice Pres. CHENEY: Well, we're working closely with the Saudis on this matter. We're--our officials have been in touch with the Johnson family, as it should be. We do not, as a general proposition, believe it makes any sense to negotiate with hostage takers. All you do when you do that is put a price on the head of every other American out there. If, in fact, the terrorists can come capture an American and trade him for 12 of their own who are in custody for their past murderous acts, then you will almost guarantee there will be further kidnappings. So as a general proposition, the policy of this administration and our predecessors has always been you don't negotiate with terrorists.

BORGER: In hindsight, Mr. Vice President, are you disappointed in the quality of the intelligence that you received before launching an attack against Iraq?

Vice Pres. CHENEY: I can't say that, Gloria. I think the decision we made was exactly the right one. Everything I know today, everything the president knows today, we would have done exactly the same thing. Saddam Hussein was an evil man. He'd launched two wars. He'd produced and used weapons of mass destruction in the past. He had provided safe harbor and sanctuary for terrorists. He was paying $25,000 a pop to the families of suicide bombers who'd kill Israelis. He hosted Abu Nidal in Baghdad, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, had established a relationship with al-Qaida. This was an evil man who had tried previously to expand his influence in the area and we did exactly the right thing.

Now could we have better intelligence? You always want better intelligence. If you had complete knowledge on these kinds of decisions and issues, you wouldn't need a president to make the decision; some robot could. The President has to make judgments. You go to the president of the United States and you lay down a very strong case that this guy is all the things I've said plus had reconstituted his weapons of mass destruction program, tell him it's a slam dunk case and you've got the ongoing evidence of a relationship with al-Qaida and we had 9/11. 9/11 changed a lot. Remember what happened after 9/11. We said henceforth we will no longer make a distinction between the terrorists and states that sponsor or have safe harbor sanctuary for terrorists. If you're going to host a terrorist, you're going to be held responsible for their actions just as much as the terrorists are, which is what we did in Afghanistan. And it's very important for us to remember that when 9/11 occurred, it forced us to look at the world a new way, that part of the world in particular, where in fact Saddam Hussein operated.

BORGER: Mr. Vice President, I don't think I've ever seen you, in all the years I've interviewed you, as exercised about something as you seem today.

Vice Pres. CHENEY: I was. I admit, Gloria, and you and I have known each other a long time. But I do believe that the press has been irresponsible, that there's this temptation to take...

BORGER: But the press is making a distinction between 9/11 and...

Vice Pres. CHENEY: No, they're not. They're not. The New York Times does not. The Panel Finds No Qaida-Iraq Ties. That's what it says. That's the vaunted New York Times. Numerous--I've watched a lot of the coverage on it and the fact of the matter is they don't make a distinction. They fuzz it up. Sometimes it's through ignorance. Sometimes it's malicious. But you'll take a statement that's geared specifically to say there's no connection in relation to the 9/11 attack and then say, `Well, obviously there's no case here.' And then jump over to challenge the president's credibility or my credibility and say ...(unintelligible).

BORGER: Do you feel it's your personal credibility on the line, because obviously you have been portrayed as...

Vice Pres. CHENEY: No, I'm grateful. I...

BORGER: ...the hard-liner in the administration...

Vice Pres. CHENEY: No.

BORGER: ...somebody who's...

Vice Pres. CHENEY: Gloria, I don't feel persecuted. I don't need to. The fact of the matter is, the evidence is overwhelming. The press is, with all due respect, and there are exceptions, oftentimes lazy, oftentimes simply reports what somebody else in the press said without doing their homework.

BORGER: But it's the commission that reached--I mean, I know. I don't want to go back over the old ground here, but...

Vice Pres. CHENEY: No, but you need to go back and look...

BORGER: OK.

Vice Pres. CHENEY: ...at what Governor Jim Thompson said today about his conclusion as a commissioner based on the work that's been done; that they focused on 9/11. Their conclusion based on what they've seen on 9/11 is there was no Iraqi involvement, but he said, we did not address the rest of it. That was not our mission. That wasn't our assignment, to look at the broader relationship between Iraq and al-Qaida.

BORGER: OK, Mr. Vice President, we are here in Ohio and I promised you that I would talk about the economy, so I will do that.

Vice Pres. CHENEY: It's very important.

BORGER: It is an important subject. State by state job numbers are coming out tomorrow. You're here in a must-win state for either party. Your administration says that 1.2 million jobs have been created this year. John Kerry says 1.2 million fewer people are employed since you took office. So what do you say to that and what do you say to the 200,000 or so people in Ohio who are still out of work?

Vice Pres. CHENEY: Well, the unemployment rate in Ohio has dropped from 6.2 percent to 5.8 percent. The Ohio economy is improving significantly just like the economy across the rest of the country. I said the economy is growing by 5 percent over the past year. That's the fastest rate of growth since the first Reagan term, nearly 20 years ago. I look at real personal disposable income and it's up 3.3 percent in the last year. In the last year of the Clinton administration it was only 1.4 percent, so it's almost three times as fast. If you look at inflation, if you look at interest rates, if you look at productivity, if you look at housing starts, if you look at manufacturing, everything's moving in the right direction. This is a very strong economy. It's getting stronger. I've heard John Kerry say this is the worst economy since the Great Depression. That's just wrong. And anybody who hears that says, `What the hell's he talking about?' He doesn't know what he's talking about obviously. And I think this notion that we're trying here to look at exactly the same situation and that you can't conclude this is a strong, healthy economy--you clearly can and I think he's clearly not credible when he tries to make the case that the economy's terrible.

BORGER: Well, he talked about--he's been talking about a middle-class squeeze this week, even in this state, saying job loss is rising, health-care costs, huge budget deficits that are going to result in cuts in social programs.

Vice Pres. CHENEY: If John Kerry had had his way, there would be no economic recovery today because he voted against the Bush tax cuts. He would not support the very policies we put in place, cutting tax rates, getting rid of the child tax credit, increasing their credit and reducing the marriage penalty, providing greater expensing for companies like this one right here, NexTech, and allow them to invest and go out and buy new equipment and hire more people. All of those policies flow directly out of the tax policies that we put in place in 2001, 2002 and 2003. John Kerry opposed it.

BORGER: Well, do we need more tax cuts now?

Vice Pres. CHENEY: There would be no economic recovery today if John Kerry had had his way. His problem is he's got to try and find some way to create a sense of disappointment and pessimism about the economy and that's exactly what he's doing.

BORGER: Do we need more tax cuts?

Vice Pres. CHENEY: We need to make the ones we've got permanent. That's the most important thing, because the way the Senate rules work, the ones that we put in place will expire over the next few years unless we make them permanent. And when those cuts expire, that'll result in a tax increase on the American people and that's exactly the wrong medicine.

BORGER: And, Mr. Vice President, what do you say to people who argue that the gap between the wealthy and the poor has grown?

Vice Pres. CHENEY: I look at numbers that point out the extent to which we have reduced the taxes on everybody in America who pays income taxes. That the average reduction for a family in the US has been $1,500 from those cuts and, as I say, things like real disposable personal income, which is probably the best measure of all of what people have in their pockets. It's the after tax income and it includes benefits they receive on the job. And that is growing by leaps and bounds because of the policies we put in place.

BORGER: Now just to go to a few more subjects sort of potpourri very quickly, there is obviously as you know an ongoing investigation into who within the Bush administration may have leaked the name of a covert CIA operative to Bob Novak, who is a columnist in The Washington Post. Can you say that no one in your office was involved in this?

Vice Pres. CHENEY: Gloria, you need--you get the same answer the president gives when he gets asked this question. This is a matter that is being looked at by the Justice Department. You need to go to the Justice Department if you have any questions about the matter.

BORGER: And that's all you'll say on that?

Vice Pres. CHENEY: That's all.

BORGER: Let me also ask you about the vice presidency. Obviously now John Kerry is in the process of trying to pick his vice president. If you were to wake up tomorrow and discover that, say, John Edwards was going to be the person who was going to debate you, what would come to mind?

Vice Pres. CHENEY: I'd first start out by thinking about the last debate against Joe Lieberman four years ago, which I enjoyed and I thought was a good debate between the two of us. Vice presidents only get to debate once during the course of the campaign. That's probably enough. I'm not sure the country could tolerate more than that. But I look forward to it, whoever it is. I don't know who John Kerry's going to pick. I don't have any idea. But whoever it is, I would expect we'll both do our parts and the debate's an important part of that.

BORGER: Any advice for John Kerry's running mate, whomever he may be--or she?

Vice Pres. CHENEY: Well, I offered to head up his search committee but he didn't accept the offer.

BORGER: Any other advice?

Vice Pres. CHENEY: No.

BORGER: No. Let me just ask you one final question, Mr. Vice President. And that is, for better or worse, your public image in this administration over these last few years has become that of the enforcer. You are an influential foreign policy hard-liner, some would say. You are the hawk in this administration. You are somebody the president listens to. You're the man who had to tell Secretary O'Neil it was time for him to go. So you are the enforcer. Is all of that you?

Vice Pres. CHENEY: Oh, I don't know if I would describe myself in quite those terms, but I can't quarrel with what you said basically. I'm hear to serve the president. I retired from public life in 1993, when I left the Defense Department. The only reason I came back is because he asked me to come back as his running mate. It's been a fascinating four years. I wouldn't have missed it for the world but I'm here to do what he needs to have done.

There's always a temptation on the part of people outside, especially in the press, trying to understand and explain what's happening, to try to attribute what happens in the administration to the subordinates. But the most accurate portrayal is the president of the United States makes the decision and this one especially is actively and aggressively engaged across the board. My job is to offer advice, which I do, to take on assignments which he gives me, which I do, but I say I'm there specifically to serve him any way I can and not worry a lot about what my public image might be. Am I warm and fuzzy or am I perceived as a tough guy? I really don't worry about that. This is probably my last fling in public life and I have no plans to run for anything else when I get through here and I've enjoyed immensely the privilege of serving and look forward to four more years.

BORGER: Mr. Vice President, thank you so much for being with us on CAPITAL REPORT.

Vice Pres. CHENEY: Thank you very much.

BORGER: And back to you, Alan.

MURRAY: Thank you, Gloria. Some very harsh words there for the press, The New York Times in particular, and Senator John Kerry. Gloria will join me after the break for more on this interview with Vice President Dick Cheney. Then later we're going to get reaction to the 9/11 hearings from former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in an exclusive interview. That and more when CAPITAL REPORT continues on CNBC. ##

Check the Newspapers

I know Bush says he doesn't read newspapers, but someone over there should be reading todays papers to avoid comments like this:

"June 17 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush said ``numerous contacts'' between Iraq and the al-Qaeda terrorist network justified the U.S.-led war on Saddam Hussein's regime."

The will to cling to the myth is borderline embarassing. i mean, we all know we were lied to, but this just keeps on going. OH, and i'm tired of the "he gassed his own people" crap. that was 20 years ago and subsequent to that both the Reagan AND Bush (daddy) administrations helped to further ARM him...so i'm tired of the presidnet acting like he suddenly found jesus over saddam and those gassed Kurds.

USA TODAY STATS

A SwirlyWand gave me this today. it shows just how divided this nation is on some issues. the next thing to watch is who tries to exploit these differences and who tries to work around or through them. after that, you have to ask 'is that healthy?' on to the numbers:

*Voters in red states and swing states oppose civil unions for gay couples by double-digit margins, but voters in blue states overwhelmingly support civil unions.
*Three-fourths of red-state voters and two-thirds of swing state voters oppose legalizing same-sex marriage, but only half of the blue-state voters oppose same-sex marriage.
*Red-state and swing-state voters support the goals of the National Rifle Association by double-digit margins, but blue-state voters oppose those goals by an equally large margin.
*Red-state voters support a ban on partial-birth abortion by a 14-point margin, and swing-state voters support a ban by 15 points, but blue-state voters support a ban by only 6 points.
*Three-fourths of red-state voters and two-thirds of swing-state voters say religion is 'very important' in their lives, but only half of blue-state voters agree. Indeed, this religious-vs.-secular dimension explains many differences on other cultural attitudes' (6/17).

Gephardt Auditions for the Kerry Ticket

Please god, don't let it be HIM! I have nothing against the man. he's probably a GREAT guy from all accounts. none-the-less, the only group he fires up is the REPUBLICAN hate-machine. they HATE this guy. we don't need any lightening rods. i'm sorry.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Salon.com give us The official Reagan Week media Scorecard

**Space saving done by Mr. Mooch. Now, on with the multiple Reagasms....

According to the Nexis electronic database, looking for stories, columns or TV transcripts that contained at least six mentions of the former president during the week (7 days) that followed his death on June 5, we found:

Boston Globe--33 items
Dallas Morning News--50
New York Times--59
St. Louis Post-Dispatch--62
Washington Times--65
Chicago Tribune--71
Los Angeles Times--72
USA Today--88 items (no weekend publication)
The Washington Post--108 items
(supposedly liberal) National Public Radio --105 segments
Fox News--105 (But researchers beware, Fox traditionally does not list all of its transcripts with Nexis, so its number was likely much higher.)
NBC, MSNBC, and CNBC --125 segments.
CNN--180(!)

Just imagine what the Reagan coverage would have looked like if the press didn’t have a liberal bias.


*Ahem* heh.

The Body Isn't Cold Yet

and we already get GOP ads with Reagan buried just days ago.

Group unveils ad featuring Reagan, criticizing Kerry

By LIZ SIDOTI
Associated Press
Published on: 06/16/04

WASHINGTON — Days after Ronald Reagan was laid to rest, a conservative interest group on Tuesday unveiled a campaign ad that aligns him with President Bush and criticizes Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.

The Club for Growth's ad, which is to begin airing Wednesday, portrays both Republican presidents as leaders — Reagan on communism and Bush on terrorism, while claiming Kerry was "wrong then, wrong now" on national security.

A thousand show up for Clinton film debut

"The Hunting of the President" premiered this week. i hope to at least get a copy of this film. Mississippian, Morgan Freeman is the film's narrates. watch the trailer!

9/11 panel says Iraq rebuffed bin Laden

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks reported Wednesday that Osama bin Laden met with a top Iraqi official in 1994 but found "no credible evidence" of a link between Iraq and al-Qaida in attacks against the United States.

Keep it up Dick Cheney!! Last week he was STILL connecting Iraq and al-Qaida, even after Powell and BUSH himself said there was no link. at some point he'll be the only one babbling on about this and it cannot help them.

Kerry raises $100 million in three months

I guess this is what happens when you lay low for the last few months:

"WASHINGTON (AP) -- John Kerry raised a Democratic record $100 million from March through May, lifting his presidential campaign to more than $140 million so far. Kerry raised roughly $25 million last month alone, figures provided Wednesday by his campaign show."

I've enjoyed watching bush spend roughly the same amount only to see his numbers fall.

The New York Times: Bloomsday, 1904

James Joyce's "Ulysses" is set on today's date in 1904 — Bloomsday, as it has come to be called — a literary Mardi Gras.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Reaganite by Association? His Family Won't Allow It

It seems that the Reagan family disapproves of bush's attempt to jump on Ronnie's coffin and to ride it into november.

Kerry Living on a Prayer

We're half way there - Livin' on a prayer
Take my hand and we'll make it
I swear - livin' on a prayer.


Seems Bon Jovi raised $1 Million for Kerry this week.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Just so You Know - Iraqis are Paying 5 Cents a Gallon for Gas

Yup. after we get through subsidizing it, Iraqi's are paying 5 cents a gallon for gasoline. remember how Iraqi Oil was to pay for itself?

Retired Officials Say Bush Must Go

I've commented before that I know no living US Military leader (generals, etc) that have spoken in favor of how the war has been run in Iraq. Now it seems some of these guys are getting more upset:

A group of 26 former senior diplomats and military officials, several appointed to key positions by Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, plans to issue a joint statement this week arguing that President George W. Bush has damaged America's national security and should be defeated in November.

It is unusual for so many former high-level military officials and career diplomats to issue such an overtly political message during a presidential campaign.


a favorite way to deal with this sort of news is for the Bush Administration to say the president prefers to rely on the advice of active military leaders. Of course, these are the people under his command...


Interrogation abuses were 'approved at highest levels'

Looks like some bombs are about to drop. Bush can't be happy here:

The Telegraph understands that four confidential Red Cross documents implicating senior Pentagon civilians in the Abu Ghraib scandal have been passed to an American television network, which is preparing to make them public shortly.

"According to lawyers familiar with the Red Cross reports, they will contradict previous testimony by senior Pentagon officials who have claimed that the abuse in the Abu Ghraib prison was an isolated incident."

"'There are some extremely damaging documents around, which link senior figures to the abuses,' said Scott Horton, the former chairman of the New York Bar Association, who has been advising Pentagon lawyers unhappy at the administration's approach. 'The biggest bombs in this case have yet to be dropped.'

A string of leaked government memos over the past few days has revealed that President George W Bush was advised by Justice Department officials and the White House lawyer, Alberto Gonzalez, that Geneva Conventions on torture did not apply to "unlawful combatants", captured during the war on terror.


It is interesting that they made up the term 'unlawful combatants' and then what rights this made up group should get.

Senior aides have acknowledged for the first time that the abuse of detainees can no longer be presented as the isolated acts of a handful of soldiers at the Abu Ghraib.

"It's now clear to everyone that there was a debate in the administration about how far interrogators could go," said a legal adviser to the Pentagon. "And the answer they came up with was 'pretty far'. Now that it's in the open, the administration is having to change that answer somewhat."

Smoke + Gun = Impeachment?

Of Course not. there's no sex. Here's a new report:

"WASHINGTON -- Pentagon officials have acknowledged that Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff and other Bush administration political appointees were involved in a controversial decision to pay Halliburton Inc. to plan for the postwar recovery of Iraq's oil sector, a Democratic lawmaker said yesterday."

...

Cheney repeatedly has denied that he had any influence over the decision to award the massive contract last March. "As vice president, I have absolutely no influence of, involvement of, knowledge of in any way, shape or form of contracts let by the Corps of Engineers or anybody else in the federal government," he said on NBC's "Meet The Press" last fall.

Cheney's staff stood by that statement yesterday.

- Trailers - Napoleon Dynamite

Oh, i'd see this movie.

First Reagan, Now His Stunt Double. (A final Reagan Tidbit)

Ron Reagan Jr. on George W. Bush:

'What is his accomplishment? That he's no longer an obnoxious drunk?'

Some leftover hype from the Reagasm:

*Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wants to replace Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill with Reagan
*Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) wants Reagan on the $20.
*Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) sants to replace John F. Kennedy on the 50-cent piece.
*Sen Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) has suggested renaming the Pentagon to "the Ronald Reagan National Defense Building."
*There is also an attempt to remove the 25-year waiting period so a Reagan Memorial can place a memorial on the National Mall.
*Finally, there's talk of adding Reagan's head to Mt. Rushmore.

I say we just replace the statue of liberty's head with his head.
But why stop at the National Mall? Grover Norquist and the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project want to put a monument to the Gipper in every county in the United States (there's more than 3000 of them). I hope they're paying for it. And let's not forget putting Ronnie's head on Mount Rushmore, of course, which is a very popular suggestion. Tell

Powell: terrorism report a 'big mistake'

It's an election year and Bush needs to be strong on terrorism. it would be good to show that his fight on terrorism has had a big effect. in 2003 world terrorism rose instead of dropped. the bush administration released a report saying just the opposite was true. you can see how easy it would be to mix the two up: "Stop terrorism"... "Increase terrorism"...I mean they practically sound the same, right? Colin Powell says he's getting to the bottom of it (see the article). I was wondering if he even has a desk at the state department anymore.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Motorcycle Shopping

We went motorcycle shopping today for La Federala. just window shopping for now. I found myself staring at this one bike.

Now i'm feeling a strong pull towards a bike of my own. I'd like to wait until i can afford something i really want.

The Honda VTX 1300.

Soldier Described White House Interest in Abu Ghraib Info

Seems some of the soldiers in Iraq are connecting the Abu Ghraib Prisoner abuse with the White House itself! From the Washington Post:

The head of the interrogation center at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq told an Army investigator in February that he understood some of the information being collected from prisoners there had been requested by "White House staff," according to an account of his statement obtained by The Washington Post.

for my GOP pals...

Its time to start asking the Nixon questions. "exactly what did you know, mr. president?" on about a half dozen different issues.

Rich Parents Upset Their Kids Aren't Getting Into College so Easily

Oh man, i love this kind of stuff:

"Seven years ago, after a federal court outlawed the use of race in the admissions policies of the state's (texas) public universities, the Legislature came up with an answer: It passed a law guaranteeing admission to the top 10 percent of the graduating class from any public or private high school. After a few years of hard work, diversity was restored and other states, including California and Florida, adopted similar approaches. The law looked like a success."

So what's the problem? with so many poor, low income families getting into school now, the rich kids are having a harder time.

excuse me...i'm gonna have to stop typing now. my tears are making the keyboard slippery...

HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW!

of course there are nay sayers:

The president of the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Larry R. Faulkner, says the law — which has pulled students from rural areas and from battered urban schools onto his campus — may need adjustment. The rule, he says, takes away discretion from the university's admissions office, making it harder to shape a class and ensure that certain kinds of students, like musicians, are included.

Yeah.

do that.

god knows we can't have the wrong kinds of kids getting a top notch education.

WMD's HAVE BEEN FOUND!!

They were just in North Korea and Iran. oops!

Friday, June 11, 2004

Bush Quotes

Here's the back and fourth about the Memo Bush had saying he could authorize torture. the memo prepared for bush by his staff stated that it would be lawful:

"BUSH: So when you say that you want the U.S. to adhere to international and U.S. laws, that's not very comforting. This is a moral question: Is torture ever justified?

"BUSH: Look, I'm going to say it one more time. Maybe I can be more clear. The instructions went out to our people to adhere to law. That ought to comfort you...We're a nation of law. We adhere to laws. We have laws on the books. You might look at these laws. And that might provide comfort for you. And those were the instructions from me to the government." (what a wordsmith!)

"Q: Mr. President, the Justice Department issued and [sic] advisory opinion last year declaring that, as commander in chief, you have the authority to order any kind of interrogation techniques that are necessary to pursue the war on terror. Were you aware of this advisory opinion? Do you agree with it? And did you issue any such authorization at any time?

"BUSH: The authorization I issued was that anything we did would conform to U.S. law and would be consistent with international treaty obligations. That's the message I gave our people.

"Q: Have you seen the memos?

"BUSH: I can't remember if I've seen the memo or not, but I gave those instructions."

"Q: Returning to the question of torture, if you knew a person was in U.S. custody and had specific information about an imminent terrorist attack that could kill hundreds or even thousands of Americans, would you authorize the use of any means necessary to get that information and to save those lives?

"BUSH: What I've authorized is that we stay within U.S. law."

(emphasis is mine)

So is this another non-denial or an admission?

I KNEW IT!!

Bush hasn't had a good news week this year. I KNEW they'd put out some unsavory releases this week and hope for cover from the ongoing Reagasm. aaaaaaaand, here's one from yesterday!

The State Department warned the White House two years ago that rejecting international standards against torture when dealing with detainees could put U.S. troops at risk.

The memo followed recommendations from the Justice Department advising the president he could suspend international treaties prohibiting torture.

"A decision that the conventions do not apply to the conflict in Afghanistan in which our armed forces are engaged deprives our troops there of any claim to the protection of the convention in the event they are captured,'' State Department legal adviser William H. Taft IV wrote in the 2002 memo to presidential counsel.

Furthermore, refusing Geneva standards to detainees ``weakens protections afforded by the conventions to our troops in future conflicts,'' Taft wrote. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the memo.

The Justice Department also told the White House that U.S. laws against torture do not apply to the fight against terrorism. The department memos say torture "may be justified'' against al-Qaida detainees in U.S. custody abroad and laws and treaties barring torture could be trumped by the president's supreme authority to act as necessary in wartime.

Five days after the State Department memo was written, Bush decided the Geneva Conventions apply to Taliban prisoners but not to captured al-Qaida terrorists.


Remember the State Department? With Colin Powell, they were the 'voice of reason' in this administration.

I've tried to write a last sentence here but i can't. there is so much that is obviously wrong here that you can figure it out for yourself. you don't need me to write out that which one sentence can't even hold.

Checkin' the FACTS!

From Salon (i get you the snippets!):

"We used to do a fact-checking exercise after his press conferences at AP," says Parry, referring to Reagan's tendency to manufacture or wildly misstate facts and figures. "And we got such hostility from David Gergen at the White House, and publishers who didn't like it, that AP backed off and dropped it." (In that worshipful 1986 Time cover story, Morrow wrote, "Reagan committed so many press-conference fluffs that eventually no one paid that much attention anymore, assuming that that was just the way Reagan was. Who cared? The results seemed to come out all right.") When covering early developments in the Iran-Contra affair for AP, Parry experienced that timidity firsthand. When he went to Newsweek in 1987, "it soon became clear they didn't want to pursue the Iran-Contra story much at all. They didn't want another Watergate -- that's the way it was put. The magazine was owned by the Washington Post, and although people look back on Watergate as a crowning achievement, it was a very unpleasant experience to live through, and [publisher] Katharine Graham didn't want to go through it again. So the feeling at Newsweek was, Let's just take what the White House is telling us, the 'mistakes were made' explanation."

When the Iran-Contra scandal broke (exposed by a Lebanese newspaper, not an American one), newspaper editors and TV anchors around the country -- including CBS's Rather -- cautioned their staffs not to repeat the "excesses" and "mistakes" of the Watergate era, according to a Dec. 5, 1986, article in the New York Times. It was almost as if news executives were demanding passive and restrained reporting. Respected, centrist "NBC Nightly News" commentator John Chancellor seemed to speak for many in the national press corps in early 1987 when, breathing a sigh of relief when it appeared the worst had passed for Reagan on Iran-Contra, he said, "Nobody wants [Reagan] to fail. Nobody wants another Nixon." Although severely damaged by Iran-Contra -- he suffered the most precipitous drop in presidential job approval ratings on record -- Reagan was able to rebound to the point where his reputation, among the press at least, now borders on sainthood.

The iconic conservative may ultimately be remembered as one of the two or three most important U.S. presidents of the 20th century. And, Hertsgaard notes, "he could have accomplished none of this without the help of the American media."

OFFICIALLY SICK OF THE REAGASM.

This is going on a bit too long. everybody has gone to see THIS site (look at the content, then look at what site it is). Again, i'm not one those that got out my noise maker and party favors when Reagan died, but i'm also a little tired of hearing how Reagan singlehandedly solved all world problems. Atrios puts together some of the list i've had floating around my head, so when you read this, you can see into my head as i'm watching the news. the thoughts tend to go like this:

ACTUALLY, NO...
...The House and Senate did not both come under Republican rule during Reagan's time. (you hear that Tim Russertt?)
...The Berlin Wall did not come down when Reagan was in office.
...Reagan is not the president who left office with the highest approval rating in modern times.
...Reagan was not "the most popular president ever."
...Reagan did not preside over the longest economic expansion in history.
...Reagan did not shrink the size of government.
...Reagan did preside over what was at the time the "biggest tax cut in history" but it was almost instantly followed up by the "biggest tax increase in history." (in BOTH terms of his Presidency)
...Reagan was not "beloved by all." He was loved by some, liked by some, and hated by some with good reason.


Honorable mention:

Remember when he said he wouldn't negotiate with terrorists and then authorized the sale of weapons to terrorists in exchange for hostages...i guess he just gave them what they wanted. SEE! no negotiations!

Non-Denial of Torture Orders from the President


Recall how Bush pulled us out of the international warcrimes tribunal? remember the report his attorneys did for him saying he and the intelligence community could be free to set aside U.S. laws during war? Particularly the laws forbidding terrorism? Well, with that in mind, read this quote from the President at the G-8 Summit:

"What I've authorized is that we stay within U.S. law,"
Asked if torture is ever justified, Bush replied, "Look, I'm going to say it one more time. ... The instructions went out to our people to adhere to law. That ought to comfort you."


Do you follow me? His administration's position is that setting aside our rules against torture is a perogative of the President. I know he doesn't read newspapers, but he should know that WE know this. i doubt that 'comforts' anyone.

Non-Denial of Torture Orders from the President


Recall how Bush pulled us out of the international warcrimes tribunal? remember the report his attorneys did for him saying he and the intelligence community could be free to set aside U.S. laws during war? Particularly the laws forbidding terrorism? Well, with that in mind, read this quote from the President at the G-8 Summit:

"What I've authorized is that we stay within U.S. law,"
Asked if torture is ever justified, Bush replied, "Look, I'm going to say it one more time. ... The instructions went out to our people to adhere to law. That ought to comfort you."


Do you follow me? His administration's position is that setting aside our rules against torture is a perogative of the President. I know he doesn't read newspapers, but he should know that WE know this. i doubt that 'comforts' anyone.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

GO HERE NOW!

This is GeorgeWBush.com ...now GO THERE NOW. you need to see this. tell me if you think bush is trying to ride Reagan's corpse into the white house. pretty much a no-holds barred pander here.

It won't take a second. you just need to go see that site and think to yourself "is this the BUSH website?"

kinda funny.

State Dept. Concedes twisting of facts on Terrorism

Making the world safe for a re-election campaign, and not much else:

"Two months ago, the Bush administration released its annual report card on counterterrorism and gave itself an A. The number of terrorist attacks around the globe, according to the State Department report called 'Patterns of Global Terrorism,' was at the lowest ebb in the past 34 years."

" ... Not long afterward, however, the report was pilloried by academics, a lawmaker and others. They said its math defied the reality of a steady growth in the number and significance of terrorist attacks in 2003, as well as the worst type of attacks spreading from just a few countries to at least 10 ... Yesterday, after reviewing the matter more carefully, the department formally conceded it made a few mistakes."

Jury finds teen innocent in drug-deal killing - The Clarion-Ledger

This was the case where i ALMOST served on the jury. It seems this man threatened to kill a drug dealing 14 year old mother and she shot him. read the short article for the scoop!

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Even the Bush Campaign says 'Anybody but Bush!'

Did you know that 75% of Bush's ads aren't about him, but rather about attacking Kerry? Clearly Bush is not relying on his record or even a message (other than 'Kerry is bad'...my, that's inspiring). His negatives are high and his only real hope (and it's a good one) for election is to drive Kerry's numbers down while lighting a burning hate inside his supporters. Well it seems that the Reagasm has given the Bush campaign another way to talk about anything but their guy.

From The Talking Points Memo:

"A few days ago I noted a divergence between the websites of the two presidential candidates. John Kerry's website showed lots of pictures of John Kerry in all the expected poses of authority, empathy and so forth. Meanwhile, President Bush's website
also showed lots of pictures of John Kerry caught, as you might imagine, in poses suggesting buffoonery, arrogance, indecision and the like. What the GWB website didn't have any of was pictures of George W. Bush.
Now, earlier today I noted how the Bush campaign has replaced the front page of their website with a Reagan tribute, with a huge picture of the late president backgrounded with flags, accompanied by links to a Reagan tribute video, links to President Reagan's most famous speeches and statement of his praise for President Reagan by President Bush. "


one word him: lame.

Army Now Says G.I. Was Beaten

Seems the Army is now agreeing up with Discharged soldier, Sean Baker about his injuries. So i suppose we now have a little evidence that the previously mentioned torture techniques weren't just in Rumsfelds memo and they weren't just soldiers getting out of hand...there was training for this stuff that actually hurt american soldiers. from the article:

Mr. Baker, 37, a former member of the 438th Military Police Company, said he played the role of an uncooperative prisoner and was beaten so badly by four American soldiers that he suffered a traumatic brain injury and seizures. He said the soldiers only stopped beating him when they realized he might be American.

Scary Stuff!

on a side note...Can I have my Impeachment now? the GOP got theirs back in 1999. i want mine now. if you are wondering why, we can have a little conversation on exactly what "high crimes" are. the double standard here is profound.

Bush's Kiss of Death

Molly Ivins lays it on ya:

"Just before Memorial Day, Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi said, 'Our active military respond better to Republicans' because of 'the tremendous support that President Bush has provided for our military and our veterans.' The same day, the White House announced plans for massive cuts in veterans' health care for 2006."

"Last January, Bush praised veterans during a visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The same day, 164,000 veterans were told the White House was 'immediately cutting off their access to the VA health care system.'"

"My favorite in this category was the short-lived plan to charge soldiers wounded in Iraq for their meals when they got to American military hospitals. The plan mercifully died aborning after it hit the newspapers."

"In January 2003, just before the war, Bush said, 'I want to make sure that our soldiers have the best possible pay.' A few months later, the White House announced it would roll back increases in 'imminent danger' pay (from $225 to $150) and family separation allowance (from $250 to $100)."


NO WONDER military folks vote republican.

The New York Times > Washington >Lawyers Decided Bush Could Ignore Bans on Torture



*Remember how the Iraqi Prison abuse was just the work of a few bad eggs?
*Remember the administration testifying before the Supreme Court that the US refrains from "torture and that kind of thing." because "The last thing you want to do is torture somebody or try to do something along those lines" (this mere hours before the photos hit the air).
*Remember the memos suggesting high-level approval sanctioning torture?
*Remember the Berkeley law professor who, in 2002, worked to find loopholes in international law regarding the treatment of prisoners? (HEY! wasn't that about the time bush was backing us out of international courts and war crimes treaties? HMMMMM...)

WELL, there's MORE!

See, the Wall Street Journal saw a copy of a classified memo to Rumsfeld describing how the President is somehow NOT BOUND by U.S. and International laws that forbid torture! From the Article:

The draft report, which exceeds 100 pages, deals with a range of legal issues related to interrogations, offering definitions of the degree of pain or psychological manipulation that could be considered lawful. But at its core is an exceptional argument that because nothing is more important than 'obtaining intelligence vital to the protection of untold thousands of American citizens,' normal strictures on torture might not apply. The president, despite domestic and international laws constraining the use of torture, has the authority as commander in chief to approve almost any physical or psychological actions during interrogation, up to and including torture, the report argued. Civilian or military personnel accused of torture or other war crimes have several potential defenses, including the 'necessity' of using such methods to extract information to head off an attack, or 'superior orders,' sometimes known as the Nuremberg defense: namely that the accused was acting pursuant to an order and, as the Nuremberg tribunal put it, no 'moral choice was in fact possible.'

it continues...

"A military lawyer who helped prepare the report said that political appointees heading the working group sought to assign to the president virtually unlimited authority on matters of torture -- to assert 'presidential power at its absolute apex,' the lawyer said. Although career military lawyers were uncomfortable with that conclusion, the military lawyer said they focused their efforts on reining in the more extreme interrogation methods, rather than challenging the constitutional powers that administration lawyers were saying President Bush could claim."

Great. So bush could set aside our LAWS when it suits his needs. you know, someone should take

The Legislative probe looking into the abuses demanded Ashcroft hand over this memo. He refused, arguing that this is protected info. When asked if the president was evoking "Executive Priviledge," he said no. When ask to give one law or constitutional provision that allows this position he had none.

DON'T WORRY DEAR READERS...POLLY & THE MOOCH HAVE IT RIGHT HERE! See how YOU TOO can commit torture and slither your way out of responsibility!

novel word. responsibility....

of course, today the Reagasm continues, so who knows if this story has legs...?