Friday, December 30, 2005
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Holy Crap. Harpers.org gives you a rundown on the week:
It was Christmas. The Senate, with Dick Cheney casting the
deciding vote, cut $40 billion in funding for foster care,
child support, and student loans. U.S. Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice asked Congress for $50 million to support
African troops in Darfur, but her request was rejected.
Americans had spent $18.48 billion on gift cards this
holiday season. The House voted to extend the Patriot Act
by five weeks. President George W. Bush called nine
U.S. servicemen and servicewomen and wished them a Merry
Christmas, while British Prime Minister Tony Blair visited
Iraq. It was revealed that undercover police in New York
City had infiltrated anti-war protests, street vigils, and
pro-bicycling rallies. At one march, police provoked
protesters--some of whom they later arrested--by staging a
fake arrest. The FBI was spying on Greenpeace, Catholic
Worker, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee,
and PETA. It was reported that the United States had,
without warrants or court orders, been monitoring
radiation levels at over 100 Muslim mosques, homes,
businesses, and other sites in the Washington, D.C.,
area. It was also reported that the NSA had, with
Presidential approval but without warrants, spied on much
more Internet and phone traffic than was previously
acknowledged. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said
that there was "absolutely nothing wrong" with President
Bush authorizing the NSA to eavesdrop on Americans.
A judge in Pennsylvania ruled that teaching Intelligent
Design in schools violated the constitutional separation
of church and state, while an appeals panel in Kentucky
ruled that a courthouse there could continue to display
the ten commandments because they are of "historical"
significance. "The First Amendment," wrote Circuit Judge
Richard Suhrheinrich, "does not demand a wall of
separation between church and state." The Supreme Court of
Canada ruled that swingers clubs do not harm
society. Montgomery County, Maryland, bought the original
Uncle Tom's cabin. Workers for the New York City Mass
Transit Authority went on strike for three days, and 4,000
London Tube workers voted to hold a 24-hour walkout on
December 31. Investigators in New York City were trying to
find out who stole Alistair Cooke's bones. Authorities in
Vienna, Austria, determined that people dressed as devils
can legally smack the rear ends of strangers on Christmas,
and Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ordered that all
western music be banned from state-controlled radio and TV
stations. In South Africa a mugger running from security
guards fled into a tiger enclosure, where he was mauled to
death. The United States denied Saddam Hussein's claim
that he had been tortured while imprisoned. "I have been
beaten on every place of my body," said Hussein, "and the
signs are all over my body." It was discovered that bad
hay had led to the deaths of 900 goats in Saskatchewan.
A senior member of the International Olympic Committee
revealed that London probably only won the right to host
the Olympics in 2012 because of a voting error. Prebiotic
organic molecules--which are found in DNA--were discovered
in constellation Ophiuchus, 375 light-years from earth. The
Pope was worried that "intellectual and technical
achievements" were leading to "spiritual barrenness and
emptiness of heart." A study found that good dancers are
sexually attractive because they are more symmetrical. In
Hubbard, Ohio, a Santa clutched his chest and collapsed as
he appeared before 750 elementary schoolchildren, and in
Warren, Michigan, a 14-year-old boy raped a 12-year-old
girl in a church bathroom during a Christmas play. In
Lawrence, Kansas, three women quit their gym because there
was a Christmas tree decorated with plastic fetuses in its
lobby. A Missouri woman swallowed a cell phone to keep it
away from her boyfriend. New rings were found around
Uranus, and gay marriage became legal in the U.K. Elton
John married his partner David Furnish in Windsor, and two
gay druids who perform in amateur pantomime productions
were registered as legal partners in Wrexham. Scientists
in Switzerland found that taking didgeridoo lessons cuts
down on snoring, while scientists in Mauritius discovered
the bones of 20 dodos. In the Isle of Wight, England,
authorities were looking for Toga, a three-month-old
Jackass penguin that they believe was stolen so that it
could be given as a Christmas present. "Toga," said a zoo
manager, "is very, very vulnerable."
-- Paul Ford
Friday, December 23, 2005
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
I've been really scrambling here lately trying to wrap up a few cases. I promise a good update or two on the AMAZING events in the news this week. right now, i'm just too tired.
more ASAP...i promise.
I think Bush may have admitted to an impeachable offense this week. not just things i think sound bad and i want to complain, but actual high crimes.
Friday, December 16, 2005
You've heard the refrain from the President and other GOP supporters. democrats in congress had the SAME intelligence the President had in making their decision on WMD and invading iraq. If there was a mistake made, it was a shared mistake.
Unless, you know, Bush had access to more info than he was letting everyone else see...you know, trying to hide things that would undermine his rationale for war. GOSH! if only someone had done a report to see if that happened. If only....
CRS Report - Congress as a Consumer of Intelligence Information
WHY LOOK! IT JUST POPPED UP HERE ON MY BLOG! a report! sometimes dreams DO come true....and sometimes soldiers fight and die because the President couldn't be bothered with the truth.
It's late and i don't have time for the commentary this deserves. The Patriot Act, passed after 9/11 has been one of the most destructive laws concerning our civil liberties since the alien and sedition acts. the law was to expire and was up for renewal this month. It looks like it may be defeated and we might have just a little of our freedom back. Senator Russ Feingold has put together a bipartisan group of Senators to oppose passage of the actas it currently stands.
[...] the senior Democrat on the issue, Sen. Patrick Leahy (news, bio, voting record), D-Vt., told reporters that more than 40 votes exist to sustain a filibuster in a test vote Friday.Originally, when the act passed, Feingold was the only senator to vote against it.
Feingold finds himself with some unlikely allies, including the Christian Defense Coalition. Notably, the National Rifle Association has not endorsed the Patriot Act renewal that was personally negotiated by Vice President Dick Cheney. The NRA's non-position allows its Senate supporters to oppose renewing the law in its entirety.
"Folks, when we're dealing with civil liberties, you don't compromise them," said Sen. Larry Craig (news, bio, voting record), R-Idaho, an NRA board member.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Donald Rumsfeld was on PBS this weekend. he had this to say:
I was very careful. I never predicted any number of deaths or the cost or the length because I've looked at a lot of wars, and anyone who tries to do that is going to find themselves wrong, flat wrong ... I don't know anybody who had any reasonable expectations about the number or the length of the war or the cost of the war. I just don't - no one I know went out and said these are how those three metrics ought to be considered. And you can take it to the bank.
This is has always bothered me. not because i expect him to have a crystal ball, but because he's always claimed to have NO IDEA what the cost/time would be. really? NO IDEA? how did you get this job!? Well, i guess i over react. you know, above he said he's never even met anyone that'd hazard such a guess on the timeframe. Well, I bumped into a few. Hey Rummy, maybe you've met these guys:
Length of War:
Rumsfeld, 2/7/03: "It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months."
Cheney, 3/16/03: "I think it will go relatively quickly, . . . (in) weeks rather than months"
Daniels, 12/30/02: "The administration's top budget official [Mitch Daniels] estimated today that the cost of a war with Iraq could be in the range of $50 billion to $60 billion... Mr. Daniels declined to explain how budget officials had reached the $50 billion to $60 billion range for war costs..." [New York Times, 12/31/02]
Q: If your analysis is not correct, and we're not treated as liberators, but as conquerors, and the Iraqis begin to resist, particularly in Baghdad, do you think the American people are prepared for a long, costly, and bloody battle with significant American casualties?
Cheney: Well, I don't think it's likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators. [Meet the Press, 3/16/03]
He really ought to meet some of those people that work with him at the white house.
President Bush: The Vice President goes through I guess what all people in Washington go through at some time or another- there's massive speculation about whether he's running the government or not running the government....
Actually, no. All people in Washington do not go through that because most Presidents do their job in a manner that wouldn't lead the public to wonder "HEY! who's running the show anyway!?!"
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Monday, December 12, 2005
Friday, December 09, 2005
At 87, Wallace still tells it like it is - The Boston Globe: "At 87, Wallace still tells it like it is
By Suzanne C. Ryan, Globe Staff | December 8, 2005
Mike Wallace and his hard-hitting brand of journalism have been synonymous with ''60 Minutes' since CBS introduced the program in 1968. Now 87 years old, Wallace, who has interviewed everyone from Malcolm X to Johnny Carson, has written his second memoir. Wallace was in Brookline, his hometown, recently to talk about ''Between You and Me.' He managed to squeeze in trips to his old house on Osborne Road and to his elementary school, Edward Devotion, before answering a few questions.
Q: President George W. Bush has declined to be interviewed by you. What would you ask him if you had the chance?
A: What in the world prepared you to be the commander in chief of the largest superpower in the world? In your background, Mr. President, you apparently were incurious. You didn't want to travel. You knew very little about the military. . . . The governor of Texas doesn't have the kind of power that some governors have. . . . Why do you think they nominated you? . . . Do you think that has anything to do with the fact that the country is so [expletive] up?"
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Sunday, December 04, 2005
I read The Scribble everyday. It's probably the Best there is and what it does, often breaking NEW news into a wider read story. amazing feat for a cartoon. Friday's toon revealed a few tidbits. It seems that one screw up after another in Iraq and back home has left Bush more than a little shell shocked. He's been hurt that the war he thought was delivered to him wasn't the war he got, and he's paying the price for letting others do his homework for him. Evidently the relationship with Dick Cheney has gotten icy, with the VP taken out of t he loop on national security issues.
On top of that, His Mamma's mad that the people playing wet nurse to her boy did him wrong. the first mamma is eveidently on the warpath. it seems she's upset with the VP, Andy Card, and others over the public distaste for and mistrust of her son. She felt that many in the administration lead him astray. Of course this is par for the course with her son: no need for him to take responsiblity for his own actions, right?
Finally, this AMAZING little piece was evidently below the radar last week. Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announced in a press conference that U.S. soldiers were to report instances of Prisoner abuse by Iraqis, but Rummy emphasized that they weren't actually obligated to STOP the torture they saw. He was IMMEDIATELY contradicted by a US General who felt (evidently more than Rummy) that U.S. soldiers have a moral obligation to stop such business from happening in the first place.
GEN. PACE: It is absolutely the responsibility of every U.S. service member, if they see inhumane treatment being conducted, to intervene to stop it...And there is the difference between a dignified, moral soldier and a would be war planning schemer without the real character . I encourage you to read the links above. all are good and most are pretty short.
SEC. RUMSFELD: But I don't think you mean they have an obligation to physically stop it; it's to report it.
GEN. PACE: If they are physically present when inhumane treatment is taking place, sir, they have an obligation to try to stop it.
[The transcript does not indicate what kind of expression Sec. Rumsfeld wore upon learning that American soldiers witnessing abuse by Iraqis have to do more than file a report or dial 911 or send an alarmed email or make a mental note to do something later, or whatever it was that Rumsfeld had in mind. But the backtalk must have put the Secretary's knickers in a knot, because soon he went into a classic Rummy Rant.]
SEC. RUMSFELD: Oh, forget the press then. Anybody. We have an orientation that tends to make us think that everything is our responsibility and that we should be doing this. It is the Iraqis’ country, 28 million of them. They are perfectly capable of running that country. They're not going to run it the way you would or I would or the way we do here in this country, but they're going to run it. And to suggest that every single thing that needs to be done in this country -- "Oh, the infrastructure's imperfectly protected; the Americans should do that, you don't have enough people to do that." Nonsense. We shouldn't have enough people to do that. It's the Iraqis' infrastructure. They're the ones who are going to suffer if the infrastructure isn't protected. "The borders can't be protected." Well, we can't protect our own border.
Q: You make the point that --
SEC. RUMSFELD: Just a minute. Just a minute. Just a minute.
Our problem is that any time something needs to be done, we have a feeling we should rush in and fill the vacuum and do it ourselves. You know what happens when you do that? First of all, you can't do it, because it's not our country, it's their country. And the second thing that happens is they don't develop the skills and the ability and the equipment and the orientation and the habit patterns of doing it for themselves. They have to do it for themselves. There isn't an Iraqi that comes into this country and visits with me that doesn't say that. They know that. They know that they're the ones that are going to have to grab that country. And it's time.
Q: There's still a lot of training wheels on those bicycles.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Sure there are.
Q: And you always talk about that holding the bike. But, I mean, there -- it doesn't seem like the numbers --
SEC. RUMSFELD: Oh, I think we've been passing over bases, we've been passing over real estate, we've been turning over responsibilities. I mean, what else can you do? Nothing happens at the same time in one fell swoop. This is hard stuff for them! It isn't going to be perfect. But by golly, the people who have been denigrating the Iraqi security forces are flat wrong! They've been wrong from the beginning!
[We are pleased to report that Gen. Pace did not turn to him and say, "Sir, you're living in a dreamworld."]
Have you heard that the wingnuts, especially at FoxNews, are UP IN ARMS over the lack of references to "Chistmas" instead of simply "Happy Holidays" and the like? I never thought the day would come where religious leaders would be upset that the secular world wasn't properly exploiting the birth of our lord and saviour for retail profits!
Religious conservatives have a cause this holiday season: the commercialization of Christmas. They're for it.
The American Family Association is leading a boycott of Target for not using the words 'Merry Christmas' in its advertising. (Target denies it has an anti-Merry-Christmas policy.) The Catholic League boycotted Wal-Mart in part over the way its Web site treated searches for 'Christmas.' Bill O'Reilly, the Fox anchor who last year started a 'Christmas Under Siege' campaign, has a chart on his Web site of stores that use the phrase 'Happy Holidays,' along with a poll that asks, 'Will you shop at stores that do not say 'Merry Christmas'?'
And another thing...if you EVER hear someone bitch about the use of the word/contraction Xmas because it 'takes the Christ out of Chirstmas', you tell that person that "X" is one of the oldest known symbols representing Christ...and if they love the baby Jesus SO LITTLE that they can't be bothered to learn these things, then they should just be ashamed of themselves! ;)
This week, the Governor of Louisiana--Kathleen Blanco--submitted over 100,000 documents from the time just before and just after Hurricane Katrina hit. The most upsetting were the series of letters between Blanco and the President just before and after the storm hit:
"I have determined that this incident will be of such severity and magnitude that effective response will be beyond the capabilities of the state and the affected local governments and that supplementary federal assistance will be necessary," Blanco wrote.Kanye West got into a lot of heat for saying, after the storm, that President Bush doesn't care about black people. While that may not be true, I would like to know when 'can't be bothered' becomes 'doesn't care'.
Three days after the storm, Blanco wrote Bush asking that the 256th Louisiana National Guard Brigade be sent home from Iraq to help. The governor also asked for more generators, medicine, health care workers and mortuaries.
Five days later, Bush assistant Maggie Grant e-mailed Blanco aide Paine Gowen to say that the White House did not receive the letter.
"We found it on the governor's Web site but we need 'an original,' for our staff secretary to formally process the requests she is making," Grant wrote. "We are on the job but appreciate your help with a technical request. Tnx!"
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Click on this video. This is Representative John Murtha (D, PA) speaking after the President's big speech on 'how we're going to win in Iraq' this week. Its really worth watching. Murtha notes that Bush claims Iraq has 100,000 security forces ready for work. this is part of the "as they stand up, we'll stand down" mantra. The problem is that over 6 months ago, when the President spoke to the nation, he claimed that there were over 200,000 security forces.
The larger point is that much of the discussion we hear is not reality based. There is a big difference between Murtha's position and so many others that saying we should pull out of Iraq. Murtha was for the war. Now he's not, but the reason given is that if this administration refuses to conduct a war in a way that is: 1. honest with itself & 2. capable of success, then we have no reason to be there. This, is perhaps the ultimate stinging critique. you have a man, a soldier, that is FOR your war, but turned against it because he has utterly no faith in the administration's ability to run the war. THAT is about as bad as you can get in national security...When a hawk that ALSO wanted your war now seeks withdrawal because he thinks you are incapable of doing the job.
That is where we are at the end of 2005.
This article is about the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic. it bathes Europe with warm tropical waters and does much to control the cycle and stability of world (particularly western) climate. it seems that the temperature of the Gulf Stream has declined by nearly 1/3 over the last 12 years. As it turns out, the melting of the Polar Ice Caps introduces colder water into the worlds oceans, changing the temperature. This can/does lead to more extreme and erratic weather with can be a real danger.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Many of you know i'm a fan of this show. did any of you see GEORGE W. BUSH make a surprise cameo on the show!?! Here's a clip.
Brian: "Don't worry Lois, I'm good at finding people. I was the one who found Bush after Hurricane Katrina."
Brian: "Uh, Mr. President, are you up there?"
Bush: (face half hidden in treehouse window) "Go away!"
Brian: "Sir, there's a disaster in New Orleans."
Bush: "I'm readin' Superfudge!"
Brian: "You gotta come down and deal with this."
Bush: (lowers further in window) "Don't make me do stuff!"
Monday, November 28, 2005
This guy is so crooked, when he dies they'll have to screw him into the ground. It seems he was in tears as he anounced his resignation from congress. Good. the guy got Defense contractors to 'buy' his house for a jacked up price to mask the bribe he was getting. This man got a Rolls Royce, a Yacht, and a condo in DC--all on the backs of the servicemen he sent to war. A GREAT deal of the credit for exposing this war profiteering ass goes to Josh Marshall over at Talking Points Memo.
(CNN) -- Rep. Randy 'Duke' Cunningham said Monday he is resigning from Congress after pleading guilty to taking more than $2 million in bribes in a criminal conspiracy involving at least three defense contractors.
Asked by U.S. District Judge Larry Burns if he had accepted cash and gifts and then tried to influence the Defense Department on behalf of the donors, Cunningham said, 'Yes, your honor.'
Cunningham's plea agreement with federal prosecutors stemmed from an investigation of the 2003 sale of his California home to a defense contractor for an inflated price.
Under the agreement, Cunningham acknowledged a conspiracy to commit bribery, mail and wire fraud and tax evasion. He also pleaded guilty to a separate tax evasion violation for failing to disclose income in 2004.
UPDATE: Tom DeLay had this to say in reaction: "Duke Cunningham is a hero,” DeLay said during a press briefing Tuesday. “He is an honorable man of high integrity." Now keep in mind that he said this NOT about a man accused of a crime, but rather pleading GUILTY of a crime that in and of itself cuts to his honor and integrity.
You should read it. I'm not going into all the stuff in there, but you should click the link and read this interview snip-it. its all you need to know if you won't actually go and BUY the New Yorker. It deals with how the Bush plan to withdraw troops would work (not pretty).
There is also some talk with Wolf Blitzer about the President's more erratic behavior lately. (This portion is towards the bottom):
BLITZER: In this new article you have in The New Yorker, you also write this about the president: " 'The president is more determined than ever to stay the course,' the former defense official said. 'He doesn't feel any pain. Bush is a believer in the adage, "People may suffer and die, but the Church advances." ' He said that the president had become more detached, leaving more issues to Karl Rove and Vice President Cheney. 'They keep him in the gray world of religious idealism, where he wants to be anyway,' the former defense official said."
HERSH: Suffice to say this, that this president in private, at Camp David with his friends, the people that I'm sure call him George, is very serene about the war. He's upbeat. He thinks that he's going to be judged, maybe not in five years or ten years, maybe in 20 years. He's committed to the course. He believes in democracy.
HERSH: He believes that he's doing the right thing, and he's not going to stop until he gets -- either until he's out of office, or he falls apart, or he wins.
BLITZER: But this has become, your suggesting, a religious thing for him?
HERSH: Some people think it is. Other people think he's absolutely committed, as I say, to the idea of democracy. He's been sold on this notion.
He's a utopian, you could say, in a world where maybe he doesn't have all the facts and all the information he needs and isn't able to change. I'll tell you, the people that talk to me now are essentially frightened because they're not sure how you get to this guy.
We have generals that do not like -- anymore -- they're worried about speaking truth to power. You know that. I mean that's -- Murtha in fact, John Murtha, the congressman from Pennsylvania, which most people don't know, has tremendous contacts with the senior generals of the armies. He's a ranking old war horse in Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. The generals know him and like him. His message to the White House was much more worrisome than maybe to the average person in the public. They know that generals are privately telling him things that they're not saying to them.
And if you're a general and you have a disagreement with this war, you cannot get that message into the White House. And that gets people unnerved.
BLITZER: Here's what you write. You write, "Current and former military and intelligence officials have told me that the president remains convinced that it is his personal mission to bring democracy to Iraq, and that he is impervious to political pressure, even from fellow Republicans. They also say that he disparages any information that conflicts with his view of how the war is proceeding."
Those are incredibly strong words, that the president basically doesn't want to hear alternative analysis of what is going on.
HERSH: You know, Wolf, there is people I've been talking to -- I've been a critic of the war very early in the New Yorker, and there were people talking to me in the last few months that have talked to me for four years that are suddenly saying something much more alarming.
They're beginning to talk about some of the things the president said to him about his feelings about manifest destiny, about a higher calling that he was talking about three, four years ago.
I don't want to sound like I'm off the wall here. But the issue is, is this president going to be capable of responding to reality? Is he going to be able -- is he going to be capable if he going to get a bad assessment, is he going to accept it as a bad assessment or is he simply going to see it as something else that is just a little bit in the way as he marches on in his crusade that may not be judged for 10 or 20 years.
He talks about being judged in 20 years to his friends. And so it's a little alarming because that means that my and my colleagues in the press corps, we can't get to him maybe with our views. You and you can't get to him maybe with your interviews.
How do you get to a guy to convince him that perhaps he's not going the right way?
Jack Murtha certainly didn't do it. As I wrote, they were enraged at Murtha in the White House.
And so we have an election coming up -- Yes. I've had people talk to me about maybe Congress is going to have to cut off the budget for this war if it gets to that point. I don't think they're ready to do it now. But I'm talking about sort of a crisis of management. That you have a management that's seen by some of the people closely involved as not being able to function in terms of getting information it doesn't want to receive.
This seems to mesh with other reports we've heard about bush becoming more isolated and distant from the realities of this world, and it seem frightening.
It seems private, western security guards are doing their part to help with the unrest in Iraq. This Video, shot by the contractors, shows them driving down the road, just opening fire on citizens with automatic weapons. the video was a 'trophy' of what they've done that they set to music. It appears that the culprits may be British, and may have killed hundreds.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
I've quoted this in full with all the links from the TPM website. If you are hearing more about Jack Abramoff, the Lobbyist with HUGE GOP contacts and seemingly involved in a wealth of criminal activity that threatens to trouble a lot of GOP Congressman, you'll want to read these quick notes:
Now it turns out they also had the company pay the National Republican Congressional Committee (the House GOP election committee) $10,000 on behalf of Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH). That was in exchange for Ney's putting anti-Boulis remarks in the congressional record that helped Abramoff and Kidan pressure Boulis to sell them SunCruz.
The guy who helped arrange Ney's anti-Boulis-trash-talking and the later pay-off was none other than Mike Scanlon, who later did public relations work for SunCruz, in addition to going into the Indian gaming bilking biz with SunCruz owner Abramoff.
Scanlon is the guy who just agreed to testify against, well ... everybody in the Abramoff cases.
Complicated? Hey, don't blame us! We didn't tell them to go out and live an Elmore Leonard novel.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Friday, November 25, 2005
It has been reported in this latest downturn for President Bush, he has stopped talking to his father. It seems that more has come to light on this matter, as revealed by George McGovern. McGovern, through mutual friends, has revealed that Bush's father was against the Iraqi war. In fact, Bush's Secretary of State James Baker and National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft were against the war. Notably Scowcroft has been publicly critical of Little Bush's tenure as a war president. It has been speculated that this incident caused bush to stop speaking with his father.
LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Actor Pat Morita, whose portrayal of the wise and dry-witted Mr. Miyagi in "The Karate Kid" earned him an Oscar nomination, has died. He was 73.
Morita died Thursday at his home in Las Vegas of natural causes, said his wife of 12 years, Evelyn. She said in a statement that her husband, who first rose to fame with a role on "Happy Days," had "dedicated his entire life to acting and comedy."
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Last night Angela Cockerham was elected by 68.5% of the vote to replace retiring State House member David Green. This makes a 4 for 4 victory for Democrats in special elections here in Mississippi, even against Republicans with personal support from Trent Lott and Haley Barbour.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
For months, Bush claimed that in the march to war, he gave congress the very same information he had. turns out, if you happen to live under a rock, that this isn't true.
This article has everything you could possibly want to know about the evidence they used to sell the war, and more importantly, what they didn't tell us which would have kept us out.
"President Bush, is on his Asian tour now. He'll visit Japan, China, South Korea, Mongolia. Once again, he's skipping Vietnam."
"While the Democrats are focusing on how we were misled to war, Bush is focusing on how to mislead us out of it. ... If we were wrong about why we went in, we have to be wrong about why we're leaving. Otherwise it sends our enemies the message that America lacks the will to remain incorrect."
---Rob Corddry on The Daily Show
Its been revealed today that Blair talked Bush out of bombing our Middle East ally Qatar. Bush clearly needs help in figuring out what exactly is a wise thing to do in the middle east during a war. Bombing news outlets that aren't favorable to his foreign policy is not one of them. I wonder how he'd take it if someone bombed FoxNews?
PRESIDENT Bush planned to bomb Arab TV station al-Jazeera in friendly Qatar, a "Top Secret" No 10 memo reveals.
But he was talked out of it at a White House summit by Tony Blair, who said it would provoke a worldwide backlash.
A source said: "There's no doubt what Bush wanted, and no doubt Blair didn't want him to do it." Al-Jazeera is accused by the US of fuelling the Iraqi insurgency.
The attack would have led to a massacre of innocents on the territory of a key ally, enraged the Middle East and almost certainly have sparked bloody retaliation.
A source said last night: "The memo is explosive and hugely damaging to Bush.
"He made clear he wanted to bomb al-Jazeera in Qatar and elsewhere. Blair replied that would cause a big problem [...]
The No 10 memo now raises fresh doubts over US claims that previous attacks against al-Jazeera staff were military errors.
Scalia announced this week that "The election was dragged into the courts by the Gore people. We did not go looking for trouble."
Of course, that ignores the fact that Bush was the one that filed suit in federal court to stop the recount. Somehow that turns into GORE dragging it into court. yeah. great. I'm glad you were deciding that case Scalia.
Lots of News out of Iraq this week. Not much of it is good.
At least 162 people were killed in violence in Iraq, where
173 malnourished Sunni Arab prisoners, many of whom had
been severely tortured, were found in the basement of an
Iraqi Interior Ministry compound. "You know what happens
in prison," explained the Interior Ministry's
undersecretary for security. "Their skins," said one
witness, "got stuck to the floor." Two Iraqi businessmen
accused U.S. troops of caging them with lions in 2003. The
men were also severely beaten after they were not able to
tell Army interrogators where to find Saddam Hussein or
weapons of mass destruction. "I thought he was joking, so
I laughed," said one of the businessmen. "He just hit me."
In Basra two British-trained policemen had tortured at
least two civilians to death with electric drills. After
repeated denials, the Pentagon finally admitted to using
white phosphorus during the 2004 attack on Fallujah. "It
is an incendiary weapon," explained a spokesman.
Representative John Murtha (D., Pa.), called for the halt
of U.S. troop deployments to Iraq. Duncan Hunter (R.,
Calif.), seeking to cut off debate over Murtha's
statements, countered by proposing a measure that required
that U.S. troops be brought home immediately. Jean Schmidt
(R., Ohio) addressed Murtha, a decorated veteran and
former Marine colonel who previously supported the
invasion of Iraq, by quoting a Marine Corps reserve
officer who told her that "cowards cut and run." She was
booed by Democrats. "You guys," yelled Marty Meehan (D.,
Mass.), "are pathetic!" Harold Ford (D., Tenn.) ran
across the House chamber's center aisle to the Republican
side. "Say Murtha's name!" he shouted. Schmidt asked that
her comments be struck from the record, and Hunter's
resolution was rejected 403 to 3, with Murtha among those
voting against it. The House approved a $50 billion budget
cut that will increase Medicaid fees and reduce funding
for student loans and food stamps, and Congress voted
itself a $3,100 annual pay raise. The Pentagon revealed
that since September 11, 2001, it has detained more than
80,000 prisoners at facilities around the world, and UN
human rights experts decided not to visit Guantanamo Bay
because the United States refused to allow them full
access to detainees. A CIA official revealed that the
agency's annual budget, which is classified, is $44
billion. The Justice Department was considering an
investigation into how the Halliburton Company was
secretly awarded noncompetitive multibillion-dollar
contracts for oil-field repairs in Iraq.
A White House document showed that executives from large
oil firms met with Vice President Dick Cheney's energy
task force in 2001; the document was released a week after
representatives from those firms testified before a Senate
committee that they had not met with the task
force. Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward admitted
that a "senior administration official" had revealed the
identity of Valerie Wilson to him one month before
administration officials revealed Wilson's identity to
anyone else. The official is apparently neither I. Lewis
"Scooter" Libby Jr. nor Karl Rove. Condoleezza Rice denied
any involvement. Patrick Fitzgerald announced that he
would call a new grand jury to investigate the Valerie
Wilson case. Bill Clinton referred to the Iraq war as a
"big mistake." "We never sent enough troops," he
said. Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers to
the New York Times in 1971, said that history was
repeating itself. The German intelligence officials who
interrogated "Curveball," an Iraqi who provided
intelligence that the Bush Administration used to justify
the war in Iraq, said that they repeatedly warned the
United States that Curveball (who may have been lying in
order to obtain a German visa) could not be trusted. "Mein
Gott!" said an intelligence official. "We had always told
them it was not proven." Ahmad Chalabi met with Dick
Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in
Washington, D.C. In Australia a ten-year attempt to create
pest-resistant peas was canceled after it was found that
the peas cause lung damage in mice. A Swedish study linked
oral sex to mouth cancer. A Florida woman was run over by
ten different cars while attempting to walk across a
highway. Police marked parts of her body with traffic
cones. "It is crazy out here," said a trooper, "to try to
cross the median." The U.K. was building a database that
will track the movements of every vehicle on its
roads. Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito attempted to
distance himself from his statement, "the Constitution
does not protect a right to an abortion," which he wrote
in an application for a job in the Reagan
Administration. "It was a political job," he clarified,
"and that was 1985."
A Congressional investigation determined that the FDA
decided to bar over-the-counter sales of the "morning
after" pill before a scientific review of the pill was
completed. Eight possibly pregnant South African Boer
goats were missing in Lincoln, Nebraska. One Milwaukee,
Wisconsin, man was in trouble for drunken ice-cream-truck
driving, while another was in trouble for severely beating
his girlfriend with a cactus. Peter Drucker died, and
Prince Albert ascended to the throne of Monaco. The Night
Safari Zoo was preparing to open in Thailand; its buffet
will feature tiger, lion, elephant, and giraffe. In
Georgia a 37-year-old woman married a 15-year-old boy, and
the Kansas Board of Education had redefined "science" so
that it is "no longer limited to the search for natural
explanations of phenomena." The Vatican announced that
Intelligent Design was not science and did not belong in
classrooms. President George W. Bush visited China, where
he went to church. China announced that it will vaccinate
14 billion poultry against bird flu. Bodies were still
being found in New Orleans. An Oklahoma man confessed that
he killed two elderly women because he wanted to do
something exciting. The Senate refused to consider a
Democratic resolution to honor Bruce Springsteen. At a
convention center in Leeuwarden, Netherlands, a sparrow
flew in through an open window and knocked over 23,000
dominoes. The sparrow cowered in a corner until it was
shot and killed. Scientists found the gene that regulates
fear in mice and created mice that are not afraid. In
Chhattisgarh, India, a three-day-old baby died from an
infection when her parents were unable to afford
surgery. The baby had been born with her heart in her
-- Paul Ford
Monday, November 21, 2005
He's made much political hay about the democrats supporting a timetable/exit plan. rather than come up with one, he's tried to cast such people as undermining the war effort. Well, what does he say to these independent, free Iraqis who want to hear the same thing? weren't they the ones that were to finally be on their feet? if so, they want to know when bush will let them take off the training wheels.
Iraqi leaders, meeting at a reconciliation conference in Cairo, urged an end to violence in the country and demanded a timetable for the withdrawal of coalition troops from Iraq.one of the most frustrating things about this is that there isn't really a debate going on. it's bush saying we cannot even talk about an exit strategy, let alone implement one we've hashed out. He keeps referring, rather opaquely to leaving "when the job is done" while never bothering to say what that means. I'm tired of it from Rummy and I'm tired of it from Bush. We are adults and deserve more than a 'Because i said so' answer.
In a final statement, read by Arab League chief Amre Moussa, host of the three-day summit, they called for "the withdrawal of foreign troops according to a timetable, through putting in place an immediate national program to rebuild the armed forces." No date was specified.
So what's the answer? I think they just don't have one.
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Over at Huffington Post, they're referring to this as possibly the largest congressional scandal in over a century. That may be hyperbole, but the scandal itself may boil beyond what would be its normal scope if it occured without the atmosphere of all the other GOP woes. This scandal is complicated, in a way. Most articles i've read either give very little detail into exactly what's going on, usually just referring to the scandal itself as if we all know what it is already. the other type goes into mind bending detail that is hard to understand in bite-sized portions which can be shared over the water cooler. THAT is the key to public outrage. something they can get their minds around. I may try to do a "Cliff's Notes" version of the story here soon. we'll see if i have it in me. In the meantime, just know that it involves Lobbyist Jack Abramoff got alot done for various business interests by giving lots of expensive stuff to congressmen and their staffs. Its also important to note that he was also involved with the Mob, casinos, and perhaps murder.
WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 - The Justice Department has signaled for the first time in recent weeks that prominent members of Congress could be swept up in the corruption investigation of Jack Abramoff, the former Republican superlobbyist who diverted some of his tens of millions of dollars in fees to provide lavish travel, meals and campaign contributions to the lawmakers whose help he needed most.
The investigation by a federal grand jury, which began more than a year ago, has created alarm on Capitol Hill, especially with the announcement Friday of criminal charges against Michael Scanlon, Mr. Abramoff's former lobbying partner and a former top House aide to Representative Tom DeLay.
The charges against Mr. Scanlon identified no lawmakers by name, but a summary of the case released by the Justice Department accused him of being part of a broad conspiracy to provide "things of value, including money, meals, trips and entertainment to federal public officials in return for agreements to perform official acts" - an attempt at bribery, in other words, or something close to it.">Corruption Inquiry Threatens to Ensnare Lawmakers - New York Times: "WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 - The Justice Department has signaled for the first time in recent weeks that prominent members of Congress could be swept up in the corruption investigation of Jack Abramoff, the former Republican superlobbyist who diverted some of his tens of millions of dollars in fees to provide lavish travel, meals and campaign contributions to the lawmakers whose help he needed most.
The investigation by a federal grand jury, which began more than a year ago, has created alarm on Capitol Hill, especially with the announcement Friday of criminal charges against Michael Scanlon, Mr. Abramoff's former lobbying partner and a former top House aide to Representative Tom DeLay.
The charges against Mr. Scanlon identified no lawmakers by name, but a summary of the case released by the Justice Department accused him of being part of a broad conspiracy to provide 'things of value, including money, meals, trips and entertainment to federal public officials in return for agreements to perform official acts' - an attempt at bribery, in other words, or something close to it.
Friday, November 18, 2005
Admiral Stansfield Turner was the former director of the CIA. He has just gone on record to say that the Bush White House has condoned and approved torture of prisoners.
You know, like a lot of people my age, i grew up in a decade captivated by war but without one of our own to fight. The 80s was the first decade since the 1930s which saw us participating in no major war. Having no wars to fight we turned war loving. we had the soviet threat, a real enemy, but we only had to fight him via Rambo or Braddock (Missing in Action). we began to feel guilty about the way we treated Vietnam vets in the years before, and helped shape our view of how we would treat our fighting men in the future.
I saw this in grade school. I grew up loving the military. I LOVED war movies. I loved playing war. I loved my GI Joe toys. I liked to get the encyclopedia out and read about the different branches of service. I knew all the words to a certain Lee Greenwood song of that era. One of the things that I learned...One of the things that made me patriotic and proud to be American was the fact that we didn't DO things that those crummy Commie Nations did.
We didn't jail people without charges.
We didn't deny people their right to an attorney.
We didn't deny people their right to a trial.
Finally, we didn't torture people.
That's what the villans did. That's what rambo fought against. Chuck Norris rescued POWs from those sorts of people. That sort of government. My GI Joes fought to keep people like that from controlling our lives. I remember VERY clearly being taught by TV, Movies, School, and my parents that THAT was what America is against and those are the SPECIFIC things I'd been told were wrong. evil. A couple of years ago I was told that THAT was the sort of thing Saddam Hussein did to his people.
Now that is what we do to people. My president is making us do the very things I had been taught were evil. Things that were worth fighting and killing and dying to stop. I always believed that. I'm not confused by any of this. I don't feel uneasy.
I am deeply, wholly, and utterly angry.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
The two Mississippi Senators, Trent Lott and Thad Cochran, have taken $65k and $77k respectively from Indicted Lobbyist jack Abramoff. The particularly damaging part is that the money seems to have been timed with their votes in a Indian Casino gambling scheme set up by Abramoff. This scheme has been the nexus of quite a bit of criminal activity. more to come, but read the link above in the meantime...
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Remember a few weeks ago when the Oil Companies were called to the Senate Hearing to answer for their outrageous profits and soaring gas prices? the GOP leadership hotly contested the idea that these executives should be sworn in before they gave testimony. Well, THANK GOODNESS for that! how else could they lie so freely?
A White House document shows that executives from big oil companies met with Vice President Cheney's energy task force in 2001 -- something long suspected by environmentalists but denied as recently as last week by industry officials testifying before Congress.As you may recall, Dick Cheney held meetings with his "Energy Taskforce" who's job was to come up with Gas/Energy Policy for the administration. When this taskforce was accused of being nothing more than Oil Companies developing ways to maximize profits off the government's back, the VP went it LOCK DOWN mode, refusing to discuss just who was on his taskforce. Curiously, when the energy policy was revealed, it contained everything on the Oil Company's wish list. Much of this legislation has been enacted, and the result has been soaring profits matched with soaring gas prices. This leaves little wonder to the question: Is our national energy programs made for the good of the people or the good of the corporation. presently, these goods seem mutually exclusive.
In a joint hearing last week of the Senate Energy and Commerce committees, the chief executives of Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips said their firms did not participate in the 2001 task force. The president of Shell Oil said his company did not participate "to my knowledge," and the chief of BP America Inc. said he did not know.
Chevron was not named in the White House document, but the Government Accountability Office has found that Chevron was one of several companies that "gave detailed energy policy recommendations" to the task force. In addition, Cheney had a separate meeting with John Browne, BP's chief executive, according to a person familiar with the task force's work; that meeting is not noted in the document.
OK, now wait a minute. This could all be out of context. let's roll the tape and see what these guys REALLY said:
Toward the end of the hearing, Lautenberg asked the five executives: "Did your company or any representatives of your companies participate in Vice President Cheney's energy task force in 2001?" When there was no response, Lautenberg added: "The meeting . . . "
"No," said Raymond [Exxon].
"No," said Chevron Chairman David J. O'Reilly.
"We did not, no," Mulva said [Conoco].
"To be honest, I don't know," said BP America chief executive Ross Pillari, who came to the job in August 2001. "I wasn't here then."
"But your company was here," Lautenberg replied.
"Yes," Pillari said.
Shell Oil president John Hofmeister, who has held his job since earlier this year, answered last. "Not to my knowledge," he said.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Well, it seems that the Mississippi Gulf Coast isn't the only place where VP Dick Cheney can get heckled. Some folks at the University of Tenn. weren't too happy to see him either. Some poeple don't agree with this sort of behaviour because of respect held for that office. I have mixed feelings about that notion. I don't hold the same respect for someone i think should be impeached.
Bush has been known to be insular to a fault. now it seems that a sense of betrayal and disappointment are intensifying. Sources tell the Washington Times that Bush has basically cut off day to day contact with everyone but Condi, the First Lady, under secretary of state Karen Hughes, and his mommy. Evidently he's only speaking to his father at family occasions.
For the president, what triggered the break with his father was the interview given to the New Yorker magazine in October by Brent Scowcroft, who served as national security advisor in the first Bush presidency. In the interview, Mr. Scowcroft criticized the administration's handling of Iraq. The sources said the president is convinced that Mr. Scowcroft consulted with Mr. Bush's father prior to delivering the devastating critique of the president's Iraq policy. [...]ouch!
Relations between Mr. Bush and his chief political adviser, Karl Rove, had also become tense in the build-up to the indictment of Mr. Libby. This is due to the fact the president believed his chief aide when Mr. Rove said that he had nothing to do with the leak of Mrs. Plame's identity. The prospect that Mr. Libby will turn state evidence in the Plame case is even more alarming for the White House.
Time to grow up. Being President isn't playing dress-up.
Monday, November 14, 2005
One of my clients has a back injury. it'll likely be with him for life. He's seen a bogus doctor and that doctor said he was 100% "back to normal".
He's so 'not' that he had to be taken to the ER. They took him off work for another week until he could see a specialist.
By law, my client's insurnace should pay for that. they aren't. know why? because they don't give a damn and it isn't their back that's hurt. because I'm working on documents for an emergency hearing, i've got no time to type any commentary tonite.
None-The Less, you should read this page. its short and sweet and tells you everything you need to know about how someone lied to you.
Its quick and even numbered for your convenience. memorize one adn you'll sound brilliant if you just drop that tid bit around the water cooler at work.
A 53% majority say they trust what Bush says less than they trusted previous presidents while they were in office. In a specific comparison with President Clinton, those surveyed by 48%-36% say they trust Bush less.Know why? when Clinton lied, 18 year old kids didn't get killed. Gallup adds this nugget:
Fewer than one in 10 adults say they would prefer a congressional candidate who is a Republican and who agrees with Bush on most major issues, according to a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday. Even among Republicans, seven of 10 are most likely to back a candidate who has at least some disagreements with the president.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
And with that Defiant, definate statement, bush let us know that the US doesn't torture people...except, you know, sometimes.
In an important clarification of President George W. Bush's earlier statement, a top White House official refused to unequivocally rule out the use of torture, arguing the US administration was duty-bound to protect Americans from terrorist attack.
The comment, by US national security adviser Stephen Hadley, came amid heated national debate about whether the CIA and other US intelligence agencies should be authorized to use what is being referred to as "enhanced interrogation techniques" to extract from terror suspects information that may help prevent future assaults.
The US Senate voted 90-9 early last month to attach an amendment authored by Republican Senator John McCain to a defense spending bill that would prohibit "cruel, inhuman or degrading" treatment of detainees in US custody. But the White House has threatened to veto the measure and has lobbied senators to have the language removed or modified to allow an exemption for the Central Intelligence Agency.
Friday, November 11, 2005
that's 61 dead in 2 weeks.
Bush today:WAIT A MINUTE!!! were we going to war to disarm him or remove him from power? if the problem was his weapons, and we were going to disarm him....and there were no weapons....um...
- ``It is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how the war began,'' Bush said in a Veterans Day speech today to military families at Tobyhanna Army Depot near Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. ``More than 100 Democrats in the House and Senate who had access to the same intelligence voted to remove Saddam Hussein from power,'' the president said.
Bush, two days after the Iraq War Resolution:
- Of course, I haven't made up my mind we're going to war with Iraq.
- But I am very firm in my desire to make sure that Saddam is disarmed. Hopefully, we can do this peacefully. The use of the military is my last choice, is my last desire.
- This is about disarmament and this is a final opportunity for Saddam Hussein to disarm. If he chooses not to do so peacefully, then the United States is prepared to act, with our friends, to do so by force. And we will do so forcefully and swiftly and decisively, as the President has outlined. But the President continues to seek a peaceful resolution. War is a last resort.
But some people won't like it if he ends with a nuclear weapon and uses it. We have an obligation to lead. And I intend to assume that obligation to make the world more peaceful.
Terry, listen, there's risk in all action we take. But the risk of inaction is not a choice, as far as I'm concerned. The inaction creates more risk than doing our duty to make the world more peaceful. And obviously, I weighed all the consequences about all the differences. Hopefully, we can do this peacefully -- don't get me wrong. And if the world were to collectively come together to do so, and to put pressure on Saddam Hussein and convince him to disarm, there's a chance he may decide to do that.
And war is not my first choice, don't -- it's my last choice. But nevertheless, it is a -- it is an option in order to make the world a more peaceful place.
what is this speech about again?
...at borrowing money:
According to the Treasury Department, from 1776-2000, the first 224 years of U.S. history, 42 U.S. presidents borrowed a combined $1.01 trillion from foreign governments and financial institutions, but in the past four years alone, the Bush administration borrowed $1.05 trillion.
i know how to fix THIS problem...ANOTHER TAX CUT! YAY! they fix EVERYTHING!
Bush's speech is to try to, again, shore up support for this war. the problem is that he's not saying anything new. his speech writers have been stuck on the same talking points and they've become nearly non-sensical now a few years later.
For the life of me, i cannont understand how bush thinks saying the SAME THING over again will somehow 'explain' it to people or calm them down over this. he already speaks to us like we are 5 year olds, i don't think another round will suddenly make us go "Oh YEAH! NOW i get it!"
the speeches are like the policies: unflinchingly the same after reapeated failures.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
You may have heard about a Documentary that goes into the "Wal-Mart" work culture and exposes some nasty, dark little corners. click the link above and see if there's a screening near you. there are 2 in Jackson, MS. many others around every state, and most are FREE!
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
57% of americans think bush lied to get us into Iraq DELIBERATELY.
Indeed, Iraq — which has emerged as the public’s top priority in the poll — has become a particularly thorny issue for Bush. Fifty-seven percent believe he deliberately misled people to make the case for war, compared with 35 percent who say he gave the most accurate information he had. In addition, 58 percent are less confident the war will come to a successful conclusion, and 57 percent say the United States should reduce the number of U.S. troops there.
I see this stuff in the press every year or so but it just never happens. something trumpets that FINALLY people will see comics for what they are (great) instead of some kids dime novel--a thing it has not been in decades. i wish for the sucess of so many deserving, talented people. the comic industry deserves its over-due public adoration
Whatever. go all of Marjane Satrapi's books. they're damn good for anyone with working eyeballs and 2 brain cells working together. (Unless you're my pal gorj. who is scared to read them for some reason).
Scott McClellan all but breaks into Meatloaf's "Paradise by the Dashboardlights" in answering Helen Thomas' questions. ("let me sleep on it").
click the link and read. He says the US government doesn't torture. she asks if cheney was asking for an exception on torture for the CIA. she just wants a YES or NO and he's NOT going to answer that one. Read from that link and tell me how much value you put in the President's pledge that "we don't torture".
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
The Democrats won the governors race in both New Jersey AND Virginia tonite. Additionally, a democrat won the race for state representative in the last of the MS special elections. She will face a run off in 2 weeks, but i'm VERY confident of a win. that means 4 State House seats claimed by Democrats!
This would be humorous were thousands of people not dead. it is the story of the entire iraq war, told entirely through bush administration quotes that were proven false.
It seems that they've been uncoverd. the real problem we have now is that WE were the ones using them in Fallujah in 2004. We were striking insurgents as well as civillians. with this sort of weapon, its is really impossible not to do that unless your target is all military and well away from ANYONE else. I suppose the Pentagon and the Bush Administration is hoping that this only gets coverage in the UK.
Powerful new evidence emerged yesterday that the United States dropped massive quantities of white phosphorus on the Iraqi city of Fallujah during the attack on the city in November 2004, killing insurgents and civilians with the appalling burns that are the signature of this weapon.
Ever since the assault, which went unreported by any Western journalists, rumours have swirled that the Americans used chemical weapons on the city [...]
"Phosphorus burns bodies, in fact it melts the flesh all the way down to the bone ... I saw the burned bodies of women and children. Phosphorus explodes and forms a cloud. Anyone within a radius of 150 metres is done for."
Photographs on the website of RaiTG24, the broadcaster's 24-hours news channel, www.rainews24.it, show exactly what the former soldier means. Provided by the Studies Centre of Human Rights in Fallujah, dozens of high-quality, colour close-ups show bodies of Fallujah residents, some still in their beds, whose clothes remain largely intact but whose skin has been dissolved or caramelised or turned the consistency of leather by the shells.
Monday, November 07, 2005
IRS Threatened To Revoke Church's Tax-Exempt Status After Minister Delivered 2004 Anti-War Sermon... | The Huffington Post
You see this!?!
The Internal Revenue Service has warned one of Southern California's largest and most liberal churches that it is at risk of losing its tax-exempt status because of an antiwar sermon two days before the 2004 presidential election.
GOSH, as much as the GOP and the President used Evangelical Churches as campaign tools, i bet those guys are shaking in their BOOTS! I mean, you know, its the IRS! They wouldn't JUST go after churches that were against Bush's made up war (with real life death!).
I mean...this president wouldn't use the government to stiffle and threaten dissent? ruin people's careers?
Nope. Not in a million years. (DAMN! sarcastic font isn't working!!)
LOOK AT THIS CRAP!!! The GOP is splicing various clips of the Democratic Nominee's voice together so that it sounds like he's for conservative stuff. pretty lame...so, in other words, par for the course!
From the Daily Kos:
Here's is an MP3 of the robocall from an answering machine. The quality is a bit ugh, so the transcript is included.
So here's the deal -- the Republicans took statements Kaine has made and spliced them together to put together this out-of-context call. The horrible music in the background is there to mask the splicing.
- [Voice of Tim Kaine] I am running for Governor and I am not afraid to tell you where I stand.
- I am conservative on issues of personal responsibility. As a former Christian missionary, faith is central to my life. I oppose gay marriage. I support restrictions on abortion: No public funding and parental consent. And I've worked to pass a state law banning partial birth abortion.
- Paid for and authorized by Honest Leadership for Virginia PAC.
- Registration number 05-034.
This call is being played in liberal areas. A different spliced version of the call, talking about how liberal he is on choice and all those other hot-button social issues, is being played in conservative areas.
And it's all being funded by the Republican Governor's Association, as Bob at the Swing State Project has noted.
As you may know, there was a gift from Tony Blair to Bush a while back. it was a bust of former UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Upon reading this Churchill quote, i started to think of it as a Dickensian apparition bugging the President at night.
The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgement of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
For all of Bill Frist's anger at the closed session of the Senate, he sure seemed agreeable to Sen. Harry Reid's terms after it was all over. I think, as do others, that he was confronted with what may be the smoking gun in Bush's manufactured run-up to war.
The NYTimes is reporting that there is documented proof that the Bush administration knew that its rationale for war was constructed on intelligence it KNEW was bogus. This article outlines the offense. if this were a democratic president and we still had a GOP legislature, he'd be impeached. Bush wanted a war, since he sat it out last go 'round. I'm tired of this president governing by his whims to play dress-up soldier.
Saturday, November 05, 2005
Thursday, November 03, 2005
The President's approval rating has fallen to 33%. Dick Cheney is at 19%.
ASSESSING THE PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT
Favorable views of George W. Bush are down eleven points since the beginning of the year. Much of this drop has come among Independents: in January at the start of his second term, 41 percent of Independents gave President Bush a favorable rating; today 28 percent do.
The events of this year have also taken a toll on opinions about Vice President Dick Cheney. Today the Vice-President receives only a 19 percent favorable rating from Americans; in January it was 28 percent.
VIEWS OF GEORGE W. BUSH AND DICK CHENEY
George W. Bush
The President's job approval rating is now 35 percent, his lowest rating since taking office in 2001. More than half the public disapproves of the job he is doing as president.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Last month I took part in a special election where we won out of a field of six and then 2 weeks later we won the run-off. Despite some nasty campaign antics by the other side, we still won. Tuesday, Mrs. Sherra Hillman Lane was sworn in as the new State Representative from Wayne county. Her county, like many others here was devistated by the hurricane. the secnod picture is the campaign HQ/Law Office that the Representative has been working with.
Monday, October 31, 2005
In his record we find that he belives, argues for, or has ruled in favor of:
- denying the US government has the ability to restrict the sale of machine guns
- forcing women choosing to have an abortion to first get the consent of the biological father, even in cases of abusive relationships.
- denying that the US government can create a law protecting workers' right to medical/family leave.
- the strip search of a 10 year old girl who was not named in any search warrant.
- doing away with the americans with disabilities act.
- allowing employers to legally fire AIDS victims because of a 'fear of contagion whether reasonable or not'.
The battle cry from the right is that they don't want Judicial activism. they don't want judges to legislate from the bench. in other words, they don't want judges to meddle with what congress has done. often they cite Scalia and Thomas as the two ideals when it comes to a 'restrained judiciary'. interestingly enough, you can look here and see how often our most recent supreme court justices become activists and strike down laws:
Thomas 65.63 %Now THAT is conservatism.
Kennedy 64.06 %
Scalia 56.25 %
Rehnquist 46.88 %
O’Connor 46.77 %
Souter 42.19 %
Stevens 39.34 %
Ginsburg 39.06 %
Breyer 28.13 %
I will reserve comment on this guy's judicial record for a later post, but i'll tell you exactly what this nomination of Samuel Alito is about: appeasing the religious right with a political diversion. This wouldn't have been done, i don't think, if Karl Rove was indicted Friday. it is utterly a Rove move to take on a heated fight in order to galvanize the base and when you can control the fight. Rove knows he can do this with the democrats if he has his base together, and this isn't about getting 100% of the vote. its about getting a winning margin.
This also stands on another Bush (Rove) tenent: if you get some really bad press, take a remarkably tough stand on another attention gathering issue. Think how long it took to come up with the other 2 nominees, even when one cam unexpectedly. now look at the speed here. this has EVERYTHING to do with healing the riff between Bush and the right AND with getting the topic off treason in the white house. I think this is a much more dangerous gamble than it usually is/would be now because I believe only Karl Rove could manage this sort of fight and if he's out of the picture, this train could shoot off the rails quite easily. Another factor is the Press. Finally grumbling awake after 5 years, they are less likely to let the Plame matter slide off the plate. ALSO it is worth mentioning that bush, after the Miers nomination, likely felt he'd done enough to make an attempt at placing a Woman on the Court. it didn't work, thus he's free to do as he sees fit in order to get a decent nominee. the subtext is present if not certain.
My accessment: I'd rather have Miers.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
You know? like Kerry? MAN, that guy waffles! Bush? no WAY! i mean just a while back he said:
"...anyone involved in leaking the name of the covert CIA operative would be fired."
and look at Karl Rove! BAM! FIRED! no nonsense. no BS. no ducking responsibility!
*ahem*...sorry guys. i just made all that up.
Friday, October 28, 2005
After today's Indictment, the senator from West Virginia has this to say:
“It is a terrible day for all Americans when a top White House official is accused of lying and obstructing justice, made all the worse when it’s about a national security matter.
“Revealing the identity of a covert agent is the type of leak that gets people killed. Not only does it end the person’s career, and whatever assignments they may have been working on, it puts that person in grave personal danger as well as their colleagues and all the people they have had contact with over the years.
“These very serious charges go to the heart of whether administration officials misused intelligence by disclosing an undercover CIA agent. They also heighten concerns that the administration engaged in a pattern of misusing intelligence to make the case for going to war with Iraq.
“To date, Congress has completely failed to answer these critical questions. The fact is that at any time the Senate Intelligence Committee pursued a line of questioning that brought us close to the White House, our efforts were thwarted. If my Republican colleagues are not prepared to undertake a full and serious congressional investigation into the potential misuse of intelligence, then I regretfully conclude that we have no choice but to pursue an outside independent investigation. The American people deserve answers and they want the truth.”
“We must send a strong message to all the patriotic Americans in our intelligence agencies who continue to serve their country at great personal risk. Our government and our judicial system will not tolerate those who leak classified information and put the lives of others at risk.”
Americans are tired of investigations and scandal, and the best way to get rid of them is to elect a new president who will bring a new administration, who will restore honor and dignity to the White House.Thanks to my pal madcapadam for the reminder! as a warning of indictments to come, he adds another quote:
"Always two there are, a master and an apprentice."
OK, so Scooter Libby is indicted on 5 counts, but they all relate to the cover-up, not to the actual crime of outing the CIA agent. Karl Rove goes un indicted. So, what does that mean?
I'll tell you.
The GOP spinmasters will poo poo this because it doesn't go after the leak itself but rather just 'mis-statements' made by Libby. of course, this ignores the seriousness of the matter, which the GOP saw 7 years ago when Clinton was impeached on fewer, smaller charges. i think they'll have a hard time with that argument, but they'll push it. they started last weekend. The other problem with that argument is that it may be hard to keep it up when this thing is far from over.
The grand jury is extended and thus Karl Rove isn't out of the crosshairs yet. I would wager that any indictments that deal with the outing of the agent will come later as that case is developed. over the last few weeks Fitzgerald has widened the prosecution's search into new areas and it appears to be a ways from being over. If there are indictments on these matters, which seems pretty simple considering all we know that Libby has done, i believe they will all come at once. Libby's indictment on the outing will come at the same time as the others.
So why did they get him on this stuff now? why not get him on all the charges later? The answer to that is that Fitzgerald is sending a message. he wants others that may be under the mircosope to know that they better play it straight with him or they'll be going to jail too.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
ANOTHER indictment just came up, but not related to the Bush administration giving out the names of our spies. this time its money laundering with teh Bush '04 campaign. I'd say i was "outraged" but that implies i'd be shocked in some way. i'm not.
The U.S. Attorney’s office has indicted Tom Noe, the former Maumee coin dealer suspected of laundering money into President Bush’s reelection campaign, Mr. Noe’s attorney told The Blade today.
Jon Richardson said he was called this afternoon and informed of the indictment. The details of the indictment are being withheld until a press conference at 4:30 p.m.
She's gone, and who can blame her? The very people that are her party's base have attacked her and humiliated her in a way I have not seen. So angry and venal they were that this choice would not and could not even be heard. The VERY thing the GOP feared and pre-emptively argued against in the John Roberts Nomination is the very thing they did to their own. All the talk of due deference to the President's appointee, the idea that they should at LEAST have an up or down vote, you see...that wasn't real. that was in case the Democrats didn't like the nominee. all such principles went out the window.
this is really the first time the part has turned, not on itself, but on the president. He is most certainly becoming a lame duck. he isn't yet, because i'm convinced it will become worse. I am convinced that bush had no intention of withdrawing her nomination, but rather that it was she who in fact withdrew herself (in reality). Who would withstand such withering public scorn? why would you? there was no appeasing her detractors and they were ruthless...more ruthless than any Democrat.
I'm not happy with this. I wanted Miers. I am certain, from my vantage point, that whomever we get will be much worse.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Seems that the White House is tired of being the butt of so many jokes. Well, maybe if they did a better job, they wouldn't give comedians so much material. i hope the Onion tells them to go to hell.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The White House is not amused by The Onion, a newspaper that often spoofs the Bush administration, and has asked it to stop using the presidential seal on its Web site.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Al Franken is SICK of the US taking it easy on terrorists!
George W. Bush wants to amend our Constitution to make it illegal for gays to marry. But evidently, he has no problem with terrorists getting married. America can't afford a president who is soft on terrorist marriage. Because unlike gays, terrorists can breed.Thanks swirly.
Sen. Frist (R, TN) had a blind trust to hold some of his investments. the idea being that if he doesn't know what is in them, he can't have a conflict of interest between his financial portfolio and his work as a senator that might affect the investments.
The problem comes when Frist acts in ways that benefits his company in that 'blind trust'. well, that's the start of the problem. the rest comes in when, in 2003, Sen. Frist was
told (in writing) that a significant amount of (his family healthcare company) HCA, Inc., stock had been added to his blind trust. As you can imagine, Blind trusts do NOT come with such seeing eye dogs. Two weeks after that event, he goes on record to state that he did not believe that he owned any stock in HCA. "I have no control," said Frist.
That is called 'lying' if you were wondering.
Ok, you read this:
When George W. Bush was asked this morning about a report that the White House is thinking through contingency plans for the withdrawal of Harriet Miers' nomination, he responded with what we thought was a non sequitur: Rather than confirming or denying the report, the president said that he will refuse to release documents reflecting the advice Miers has given him as a member of his White House staff.
and then you scratch your head and say "wha?". I think this means that there is an idea floating around about how to get Miers out of the picture. the plan? proclaim that these documents will NOT be released, as they are priviledged, then have the Senate demand that they cannot POSSIBLY approve said attorney without the documents. she THEN steps down because she cannot give them what they want.
they need a facade, and that's the one i'm betting they use.
GOOD GOD. is there simply no honor in the white house? have they simply decided our international reputation is a roll of toilet paper? the Bush administration, lead by Dick Cheney, is now proposing that the CIA be exempted from a bar on torture on prisoners held by the US. Did 9/11 mean that they felt this nation no longer had to bother with its own dignity?
Monday, October 24, 2005
The geeks have taken over the asylum...i mean, the chicken strip place:
MONDAY EVENTS...The Star Trek Fan Association meets at 6:30 p.m. at the Chick-Fil-A on Lakeland Drive. The group is a fellowship with all things science fiction and does community service projects throughout the year.
There has been a bit of pre-damage control going on in anticipation of High Level White House indictments related to treason and an extended cover up concerning the March to war. Sen. Kay Baily Hutchinson (R, TX) said that she hoped:
that if there is going to be an indictment that says something happened, that it is an indictment on a crime and not some perjury technicality where they couldn't indict on the crime and so they go to something just to show that their two years of investigation was not a waste of time and taxpayer dollars.
Now, this is a bit curious, since in Feb. 17, 1999 the Congressional Record shows her saying:
I do not hold the view of our Constitution that there must be an actual, indictable crime in order for an act of a public officer to be impeachable. It is clear to this Senator that there are, indeed, circumstances, short of a felony criminal offense, that would justify the removal of a public officer from office, including the President of the United States. Manifest injury to the Office of the President, to our Nation and to the American people and gross abuse of trust and of public office clearly can reach the level of intensity that would justify the impeachment and removal of a leader.
What integrity she brings to the Senate.