Sunday, January 29, 2006

Achtung! Where are your papers?

I saw this photo several years ago in a Scandinavian paper online. It embodies the quoted to death adage about a picture being worth a thousand words.

Europeans, having experienced the benefits of fascism first-hand were quick to grasp the significance of the neocon coup in 2000. In Disneyland, however, it takes too long to come to grips with reality.

Of all the anti-BushCo images I've seen so far, this one nails the import of events the best.

Picks of the Week:

No tomorrow

"As Benjamin Franklin left the final day of deliberation by the Constitutional Convention in 1787, a citizen supposedly asked him, 'Well, Doctor, what have we got--a Republic or a Monarchy?' Franklin replied, 'A Republic, if you can keep it.'

"If all goes as planned, in a week or so that Republic will finally escape our grip. When the Senate votes to affirm Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, the central tenet of our government - the separation of powers - will take a blow from which it will likely never recover. In its place a de facto monarchy will solidify and expand, and our Constitution will join the Geneva Convention as a quaint anachronism. And the Republic we have kept for two hundred years will join its Athenian and Roman predecessors as good ideas whose time has passed."

Bush is at war with Americanism

"Ridiculous? Unthinkable? The idea that an American president could epitomize anti-Americanism is certainly counterintuitive. But it's a lot less shocking if we consider just what defines this country's core values.

"And if that list includes such essentials as freedom, responsibility, justice, humanity, respect and fairness -- and doesn't it? -- if that's what it means to be American, then George Bush is indeed at war with Americanism."

ACLU releases government photos

"The ACLU of Georgia released copies of government files on Wednesday that illustrate the extent to which the FBI, the DeKalb County Division of Homeland Security and other government agencies have gone to compile information on Georgians suspected of being threats simply for expressing controversial opinions."

2003 draft legislation covered eavesdropping

"Legislation drafted by Justice Department lawyers in 2003 to strengthen the USA Patriot Act would have provided legal backing for several aspects of the administration's warrantless eavesdropping program. But officials said yesterday that was not the intent.

"Most lawmakers and the public were not aware at the time that President Bush had already issued a secret order allowing the National Security Agency to intercept international calls involving U.S. citizens and legal residents."

Are concentration camps coming to US?

"KBR, the engineering and construction subsidiary of Halliburton Co, (HAL), said Tuesday it has been awarded a contingency contract from the Department of Homeland Security to supports its Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities in the event of an emergency. The maximum total value of the contract is $385 million and consists of a 1-year base period with four 1-year options. KBR held the previous ICE contract from 2000 through 2005. The contract, which is effective immediately, provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to expand existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs, KBR said. The contract may also provide migrant detention support to other government organizations in the event of an immigration emergency, as well as the development of a plan to react to a national emergency, such as a natural disaster, the company said."

Documents show army seized wives as tactic

"In one case, a secretive task force locked up the young mother of a nursing baby, a U.S. intelligence officer reported. In the case of a second detainee, one American colonel suggested to another that they catch her husband by tacking a note to the family's door telling him 'to come get his wife.'"

It's plain why BushCo cancelled the Geneva Conventions. Soon, this tactic could be coming to a street near you.

Torture school protesters face six months in prison: Trials begin in Columbus, Georgia, on Monday, January 30; grandmother, priests, retirees, nun, students among those prosecuted.

"On Monday, January 30 thirty-two people ranging in age from 19 to 81 will begin federal trials for peacefully walking onto a military base in protest of a controversial Army training school. Each person faces up to six months in prison and a $5,000 fine for this act of nonviolent civil disobedience.

"The 34 were among 19,000 who gathered on November 18-20 outside the gates of Ft. Benning, Georgia to demand a dramatic shift in US foreign policy and the closure of the controversial US Army's School of the Americas, now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (SOA/WHINSEC). The group peacefully crossed onto Ft. Benning, site of the school, at the culmination of a symbolic funeral procession in memory of those killed by graduates of the institution."

EPA's latest human pesticide testing rule called illegal, immoral

"Three U.S. legislators are asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw a planned rule to permit pesticide experimentation on humans, including pregnant and nursing mothers and children."

Maybe they should wait until the camps are up and running. You know, a captive group of volunteers.

When George met Jack

"In one shot that TIME saw, Bush appears with Abramoff, several unidentified people and Raul Garza Sr., a Texan Abramoff represented who was then chairman of the Kickapoo Indians, which owned a casino in southern Texas. Garza, who is wearing jeans and a bolo tie in the picture, told TIME that Bush greeted him as 'Jefe,' or 'chief' in Spanish. Another photo shows Bush shaking hands with Abramoff in front of a window and a blue drape. The shot bears Bush's signature, perhaps made by a machine. Three other photos are of Bush, Abramoff and, in each view, one of the lobbyist's sons (three of his five children are boys). A sixth picture shows several Abramoff children with Bush and House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who is now pushing to tighten lobbying laws after declining to do so last year when the scandal was in its early stages."

Maybe Smirk should be saying, "I did not have sex with that man; McClellan and Rove did, but not me."

Photograph shows Bush meeting now-governor of Marianas Islands, who helped Abramoff get millions

"The President appears in a snapshot with Beningo Repeki Fitial, then-Speaker of the House for the Northern Marianas Islands. Fitial is vice president of Tan Holdings – the family conglomerate which owns numerous clothing factories on the islands that were a routine stop for Abramoff-flown lawmakers. Tan Holdings was one of the firms which made up the Saipan Garment Manufacturers’ Association, an Abramoff client."

I was half listening to Franken and some fellow was reading a comment about an Abramoff/DeLay linked fellow saying that the defeat of the effort in 2001 to implement US labor laws in the Marianas Islands was a victory over the evils of labor. Wish I could find the text; it was chilling.

Screw the photos: Bush, Abramoff smoking gun is W removing prosecutor twice

"How can Bush remove Abramoff’s prosecutor twice and get away with it?

"I’m utterly speechless. Do I need to explain this… ? I mean, why isn’t this a major scandal that every politician and news network isn’t breaking. This is 24/7 headline news… but the corporate media buries it, while calling bloggers ‘irresponsible’."

Earle probes possible Cunningham-DeLay tie

"The Texas prosecutor targeting Rep. Tom DeLay has issued a second round of subpoenas to businessmen here seeking records surrounding donations to the former Republican leader and disgraced former Rep. Randy 'Duke' Cunningham."

Impeachment hearings: The White House prepares for the worst

"Administration sources said the charges are expected to include false reports to Congress as well as Mr. Bush's authorization of the National Security Agency to engage in electronic surveillance inside the United States without a court warrant. This included the monitoring of overseas telephone calls and e-mail traffic to and from people living in the United States without requisite permission from a secret court."

More Americans favor impeaching Bush, poll says

"But a poll released last week by Zogby International showed 52 percent of American adults thought Congress should consider impeaching Bush if he wiretapped U.S. citizens without court approval, including 59 percent of independents and 23 percent of Republicans. (The survey had a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.)"

Global Eye

"WASHINGTON, April 17, 2006 -- Heralding a 'bold new era of unity and reform' in Washington, President George W. Bush quelled a series of controversies over the limits of executive power today by signing a sweeping new measure, the Extending the Boundaries of Legality Act (EBOLA), in a gala ceremony at the White House."

Congress shut down surveillance program in 2003

"While the programs were different in scope, the goals were essentially the same: to quickly unmask terrorists operating inside the United States. But protests by civil liberty and privacy groups, as well as apprehension by Republican and Democratic lawmakers over what amounted to domestic spying, led Congress to shut down the surveillance program in 2003.

"It now appears that shortly after the federal government told the White House it was trampling on individual privacy rights with its 'suspicionless surveillance,' several current and former NSA officials said, President Bush signed an executive order authorizing the National Security Agency to secretly eavesdrop on American citizens' email and international phone calls, thereby continuing, in effect, a domestic spying program that Congress had objected to."

You've got jail

"In acquiescing to the unwarranted demand of the Justice Department to pore over the companies’ records, AOL, Yahoo and Microsoft are sliding down a slippery slope, unconvincingly claiming that the data dump to the feds has no implications for online privacy. Does anybody think they won’t cooperate if the government comes back and asks for IP addresses — your computer’s unique signature on the Web — for everybody who dared type in a questionable search like 'growing marijuana' or 'fertilizer bombs’?

The end of 'unalienable rights'

"Every American school child is taught that in the United States, people have 'unalienable rights,' heralded by the Declaration of Independence and enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Supposedly, these liberties can’t be taken away, but they are now gone.

"Today, Americans have rights only at George W. Bush’s forbearance. Under new legal theories – propounded by Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito and other right-wing jurists – Bush effectively holds all power over all Americans."

Election theft emergency: Mark Crispin Miller talks about how the right stole the 2004 presidential election -- and how they'll do it again unless we stop them.

"This is a civic story of the utmost importance. It has to do with the dire need for election reform in the United States. But it's also a story about the colossal failure of the American press to do precisely the kind of job that the framers had in mind when they wrote the First Amendment. What they had in mind was that the press would function as a reliable check on executive power. It would keep the people informed about what their government was up to, and it would keep them politically engaged in national debate."

Diebold blocks Alaska voters from viewing election 2004 results, data!

"In just one more story which illustrates the many undemocratic dangers of allowing private companies to 'own' our public elections, Diebold, Inc., one of America's largest Voting Machine Companies is currently blocking citizens in Alaska from viewing election data from the 2004 general election!

"'All Alaska races from 2004' are now being questioned, said a Democratic party official in a written letter to the state Elections Director."

Corporations must be controlled by the public, not vice versa.

Beating around the Bush by the bourse

"The Neocon global domination agenda is engendered by the denomination of global oil transactions in greenbacks. America prints out the bucks that are required for the purchase of oil, and the world has to produce stuff they can sell to get the bucks they need to buy oil. Printing Monopoly 'fiat' money only costs America the paper and green ink, so the USA dollar has been fattened on oil-enriched chicken feed since Tricky Dick delinked the buck from the bullion. The oil bourse scheme could so seriously setback US suzerainty that Saddam got stomped to smithereens. Krassimir Petrov, who teaches international finance in Bulgaria's American University, warns 'should the Iranian Oil Bourse gain momentum, it will be eagerly embraced by major economic powers and will precipitate the demise of the dollar.' Saddam was just the first wavelet in the coming tsunami. On March 20, 2006, Iran will start selling oil in euros."

Big oil keeps chugging with Chevron's record quarter

"Chevron Corp.'s fourth-quarter profit climbed 20 percent to $4.14 billion, a company record that continued the most prosperous stretch in its 126-year history as the oil company capitalizes on high fuel prices that are squeezing consumers and ruffling politicians."

National foreclosures increase more than 13 percent in December according to Realtytrac US foreclosure market report

"RealtyTrac™ (, the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its December 2005 Monthly U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which shows 81,290 properties nationwide entered some stage of foreclosure in December, a 13.5 percent increase from the previous month. The report shows a December national foreclosure rate of one new foreclosure for every 1,422 U.S. households, the highest foreclosure rate reported in 2005."

Blair and Bush 'conspired to go to war regardless of United Nations'

"According to reports in The Mail on Sunday, the Prime Minister and the US President decided to go to war regardless of whether they obtained UN backing. The allegations will undermine claims that the final decision to go to war was not made until MPs voted in the Commons a day before military action. It will also bolster claims that the President and Mr Blair decided to go to war months before military action began."

Quotes from and others:

From Ian back in Canada:

"You have probably noted the results of the Canadian election last night. It was almost a perfect recognition of the Canadian way of being. Yes the Conservatives won 124 seats but they are a long way from a majority (155). To everyone's surprise the Liberals got 103, the Bloc Quebecois got 51 and the NDP 29 [New Democratic Party, the type of party the US desperately needs as a counterpoint to the two right wing parties in the US] (doubling their seats from 2004). The Liberals deserved to be sent to the woodshed...after 12 years they were stale, plagued by charges of corruption and arrogance. However with 103 members they are still players. Paul Martin did the right thing immediately after the election in announcing he would stay in parliament but would no longer lead the party.

"Canadians in the majority are nervous about the Conservative party....particularly their social conservatism and interest in playing nice with the Bush administration. Harper will be the Prime Minister but the only way he will be able to survive is to work with the other parties. He needs support from other parties on every issue. It is a result that most people can live with.

"Of of the six seats on Vancouver Island, three went to the NDP (three women), one to the Liberals and two to the Conservatives. Alberta, to no one's surprise, elected 23 Conservatives out of 23 seats.......however, almost 40% of Albertans did not support them......a vagary of the first past the post parliamentary system.

"In my opinion the results were a very accurate reflection that this country has a number of constituencies.

"My travels in South America gave me a pleasant realization that there is another world out there. Yes globalization is a reality but cultural mores vary dramatically from North America and the US in particular.

"I have one ugly American story. We were on the crowded ferry that goes from Buenos Aires to Montevideo....and seated in front of me was an American in his thrities with his female partner. He was overtly attempting to nap. Complaining about how exhausted he was Behind us was an Argentine couple with a three month baby who was doing a little crying. They were trying to calm the baby. The American said in a very loud voice to his partner.....'can't they shut that f***ing kid up ...can't they see I am f***ing trying to f***ing sleep'. This went one for several minutes. I had to move. I was afraid I was going to get into it with the SOB.

"A nice feature of Argentina and the other countries we were in was that men kiss each other on each cheek when they meet. There is a real sense of warmth and caring.

"Having said the above, we saw Brokeback Mountain on the weekend. Great film....we had read Annie Proulx's short story several months ago. I hope you see it. However it made me reconsider sleeping with you in a tent in the Kootenays. As you may know it was filmed in Alberta....beautiful cinematography."

From another reader:

The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing of one letter, and supply a new definition.

Here are this year's winners

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

2. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

3. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

6. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

7. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

8. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

9. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

10. Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.

11. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

12. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

13. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

14. Glibido: All talk and no action.

15. Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

16. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walkedthrough a spider web.

17. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three inthe morning and cannot be cast out.

18. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.


"I am watching Bush repeat his patented mantra for the 514,346th time. It's filled with lies, mischaracterizations and simple-minded gibberish, as always, and I'm watching it go out unfiltered, in its entirety, unchallenged by the media, no Democrats in sight, on every cable channel. The day I no longer have to listen to one more word from this immoral, dishonest, delusional prick will be the best day of my life."
-- digby, Link

"It's amazing that people say to me, 'Well, he's just breaking the law.' If I wanted to break the law, why was I briefing Congress?"
-- Dubya, Link

Butt Monkey, you didn't tell congress you were going to spy on everyone. Plus, you didn't tell "congress," you told the Senate Intelligence Committee and it's illegal for members of that committtee to disclose the crimes you were committing.

"Just a wild Russertland all negroes know one another, think alike, have secret signals, are democrats, can be condescended to, and like to wear baseball caps backwards. I wonder if Senator Obama has even met Mr Belafonte. Russert is an example of the worst type of bigot, homophobe, sexist, xenophobe, insecure white, allegedly heterosexual male....he believes he is innocent and well meaning. Wrong. The man suffers from far too much cranium/anus insertion."
-- outloud, on Tim Russert asking Barack Obama about Harry Belafonte calling Dubya a terrorist, Link

"People objecting to Russert's question are apparently not aware that all prominent black people get together at a meeting in Secaucus, New Jersey, every Wednesday afternoon to share fried chicken and watermelon and decide what all black people think that week. Russert knows about these meetings. That is why he asked the question."
-- Newsguy, Link

"One of the interesting moments will come here this year when the tyrant's trial is brought forth for the world to see, to see the butcher, the person who brutalized many people or ordered the brutality of many people here at this table, get his due justice under rule of law."
-- Dubya, or maybe it's someone talking about Dubya Link

"Jack Abramoff's partner Mike Scanlon admitted to digging up former Congressman Robert Livingston's private life with a New Orleans dominatrix. Set to become speaker, Livingston then got sidelined for Tom DeLay's man Denis Hastert. Prosecutors now checking if Abramoff and Scanlon took Livingston down at DeLay's behest."
-- Cindy Adams, in the NY Whore Post Link

"I went to this Hollywood party and I ran into Sylvester Stallone. And he said, 'I hear you went over on a USO tour.' And I said 'Yeah, yeah, I did.'"

"He said, 'Yeah, I was gonna go, but I didn't.' And I asked him why and he said 'Well, I heard it might be dangerous.' And I said to him, 'Weren't you friggin Rambo?'
-- Al Franken, veteran of 6 USO tours, including two to Iraq, Link

"We have seen this movie before. The history of the congressional Republican leadership since it took power in January 1995 is one of coups, scandals, and early retirements. Every time a Gingrich, Livingston, or DeLay gets knocked off his perch, a Hastert, Blunt, Wamp, or similarly unremarkable and unknown pol instantly emerges from the shadows of obscurity to replace him. Republicans in the House are like an army of the undead. No matter how many get picked off, more are always on the way."
-- Ryan Lizza, Link

"I frankly don't even remember having my picture taken with the guy. I don't know him."
-- The Giggling Murderer, refusing to release pictures of him and Jack Abramoff in the Oval Office Link

Remember how he denied knowing 'Kennyboy' Lay? His single largest financial contributor? Is it possible to get to the White House without knowing who your biggest contributor is? [And Jack was on Smirk's 2000 stolen election transition team.]

"At a press conference Bush said he had not seen 'Brokeback Mountain.' However, he did express an interest in drilling for oil there"
-- David Letterman

“I'm getting a delightful picture here of Wal-Mart surrounding Chicago. I'd love to see Wal-Mart surrounding Maryland at the same time."
-- Rush Limbaugh, rambling in his syphilitic fever,


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