Sunday, February 05, 2006

A conspiracy of silence

This past week, I've been reading James Risen's State of War. On Thursday or Friday, NOW on PBS had an interview with Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin "Lawn Jockey" Powell's coach for the pack of lies speech to the UN building up to the illegal invasion of Iraq. If a person did no more than read Risen's book and watch Wilkerson, he would know without question that BushCo is guilty of treason for misleading the US into war at the cost of thousands of lives and billions (trillions) of dollars.

The century is still young, but BushCo has pulled off, and is getting away with, the crime of the century. And 'Mericans are, for the most part, going along with it. We are complicit to the extent we remain silent and accepting of war crimes.

The state of the union speech was unbearable. After 40 minutes in, I counted off 124 lies, misleasing statements, etc. At that point I switched from paying attention to Smirk to focussing upon maragaritas.

Picks of the week:

Harper's Weekly Review

By the time you get this, you'll find the Review in the left hand column "Weekly Review Most Recent".

Powell's former chief of staff Larence Wilkerson calls pre-war intelligence a 'hoax on the American people' tonight on PBS 'NOW'

"'I participated in a hoax on the American people, the international community, and the United Nations Security Council,' says Wilkerson, who helped prepare the address."

Blair-Bush deal before Iraq war revealed in secret memo

"A memo of a two-hour meeting between the two leaders at the White House on January 31 2003 - nearly two months before the invasion - reveals that Mr Bush made it clear the US intended to invade whether or not there was a second UN resolution and even if UN inspectors found no evidence of a banned Iraqi weapons programme."

Bush: 'Letat, c'est moi'

"We are now learning what President Bush considers to be the limits of his power -- nothing."

Can the president order a killing on US soil?

" . . . California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein asked Bradbury questions about the extent of presidential powers to fight Al Qaeda; could Bush, for instance, order the killing of a Qaeda suspect known to be on U.S. soil? Bradbury replied that he believed Bush could indeed do this, at least in certain circumstances."

Gonzales is challenged on wiretaps

"Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) charged yesterday that Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales misled the Senate during his confirmation hearing a year ago when he appeared to try to avoid answering a question about whether the president could authorize warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens."

Lying is a job requirement in BushCo.

Surveillance net yields few suspects

"Fewer than 10 U.S. citizens or residents a year, according to an authoritative account, have aroused enough suspicion during warrantless eavesdropping to justify interception of their domestic calls, as well. That step still requires a warrant from a federal judge, for which the government must supply evidence of probable cause."

Snooping docs during Ford's administration released

"Former president George Bush, current Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice-President Dick Cheney are cited in the documents. The roughly 200 pages of historic records reflect a remarkably similar dispute between the White House and Congress fully three decades before President George W. Bush's acknowledgment he authorized wiretaps without warrants of some Americans in terrorism investigations."

Alito filibuster and word games

"The so-called 'strategic vote' on Alito amounted to Democrats conceding defeat on his nomination but then having most Democrats vote against him. That supposedly would permit Democrats to say 'I told you so' when the negative consequences of Alito’s confirmation become apparent to the American people.

"But that sort of ineffectual opposition is less 'strategic' than it is 'symbolic.' It amounts to surrendering to George W. Bush and the Republicans, even when important constitutional issues are at stake, and then briefly showing the flag to appease an angry Democratic base. It’s 'strategic' like Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox was."

Bush tried to gag environmental expert

"The clamp-down followed a lecture he gave last month calling for emission reductions, a move the White House refuses to support. 'They feel their job is to be this censor of information going out to the public,' said Mr Hansen, who is ignoring the restrictions placed on him."

Two top papers ask: Is the earth heading for doom?

"One story raises a nightmare global warming scenario for the end of the world, at least as we know it, while the other suggests that the Bush administration doesn't want anyone to know about that."

Where's the budget outrage?

"But there is an uncomfortable bit of business left over from the Republican disaster year of 2005 that will test the seriousness of the party's supposed commitment to change. The cut-the-poor, help-the-big-interests federal budget passed last year needs final ratification in the House. The vote could take place as soon as tomorrow.

"Let's be clear: Anyone who votes for this fiscal mess will be standing for the bad old ways of doing business in Washington. Those who do so will have no claim to being 'reformers.'"

Budget to hurt people on Medicaid, report says

"Millions of low-income people would have to pay more for health care under a bill worked out by Congress, and some of them would forgo care or drop out of Medicaid because of the higher co-payments and premiums, the Congressional Budget Office says in a new report."

US savings rate sinks to lowest since Great Depression

"Americans spent $42bn (£24bn) more than they earned last year, turning the annual US savings ratio negative for the first time since the Great Depression."

Tax breaks for the wealthy

"On January 1, Congress allowed two tax breaks that benefit the wealthy to become effective. The cuts eliminated current provisions of the tax code that limits the amount of personal exemptions and itemized deductions that Americans with high incomes can take. Over the course of the next five years the tax cuts will cost approximately $27 billion, according to a study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Ironically, Republicans in Congress, only two weeks before the cuts took effect, voted to reduce domestic spending on programs affecting the poor and the middle class by $39 billion over the next five years."

Exxon Mobil posts largest annual report for US company

"Exxon Mobil, the nation's largest energy company, today reported a 27 percent surge in profits for the fourth quarter as elevated fuel prices gave rise to the most lucrative year ever for an American company, with profits in 2005 reaching $36.13 billion and revenue $371 billion."

Oil execs refuse to testify at Senate hearings

"Officials from six major oil companies have refused to testify this week at a Senate hearing looking into whether oil industry mergers in recent years have made gasoline more expensive at the pump."

Halliburton swings to $1.1 billion profit

"Oilfield services conglomerate Halliburton Co. swung to a profit in its fourth quarter on robust sales and increased rig activity, and called last year the best in its 86-year history."

Quotes from and others:

"I know the law, and I know about people's rights."
-- Saddam, the former Butcher of Baghdad, sounding like Bush, the current Butcher of Baghdad Link

"ABC News/WaHoPo poll shows Bush's pre-SOTU approval at 42%, down from 46% earlier in the month. Disapproval is currently at 56%."
-- Wake-Up Call, Link

Tonight, the lying bastard is going to tell us how great the economy is, how great the bloody quagmire is going, and how he's cleaned up Clinton's "peace and prosperity" mess, and the networks will all agree with him.

"He's a coward. He's supposed to be this macho guy. He'll take on Osama bin Laden, but he won't take me on."
-- Helen Thomas, on Dubya avoiding her Link

"We'll continue to work with the folks down there. But I want to remind the people in that part of the world, 85 billion dollars is a lot."
-- Der Monkey, talking about the Katrina-ravaged Gulf Coast, Link

Monkey, how much of that $85B will go in to your pocket?

"Hard to believe that in my life I've had four presidents stolen from me. John Kennedy, assassinated by bullet. Robert Kennedy, who would have won, assassinated by bullet. Gore, politically assassinated by the Supreme Court. Kerry, politically assassinated by Diebold."
--Straight Shooter, Link

"Kidnapping innocent women and children in order to put pressure on their husbands or relatives. In Rumsfeld's military, the United States now uses the tactic. Sure, it's against the Geneva Conventions. But King George doesn't have to obey the law; and his military can do anything they want."
-- Andrew Sullivan, losing faith in his uber hero Godly Bush, Link

"When opportunity knocks, the Democrats can't even find the door, let alone answer it."
-- CNN's Jack Cafferty, getting one right, Link

"While we say goodbye to Mrs. King today, we must honor her life by working toward the shared vision of an American society that values individual freedom, equality and content of character above all else."
-- Bill Frist, the racist bastard who refused to comdemn lynchings of black people Link

"Clinton tried to lie his way out of a blow job, failed, and you treat him as though he were the Second Coming of Lucifer. Meanwhile, Bush lies about the reasons for going to war, killing 2,240 US soldiers so far, destroying any ounce of credibility, respect, and most importantly, support that we had from our neighbors. So he's a hero? He's got backbone? Doubtful. But let history judge his hubris, and may God forgive him in ways that I cannot."
-- Mike Ely, Link

If only Democrats could remember that oral sex is not as bad as killing 2243 brave soldiers. But they can't muster the courage to speak the obvious - and they continue to lose.

"The lobbyists got their way on an energy bill that gave oil companies more subsidies while doing nothing about high gas prices and home heating; a prescription drug bill that helped the drug companies but gave seniors higher prices and confused plans; and in Iraq, no-bid contracts for Halliburton, fined millions for overcharging the military, costing billions in wasted spending. The Republicans are at the center of a lobbying scandal in Washington that has hurt average Americans."
-- talking points in a memo from James Carville that the Dems will ignore/forget, Link

"In a system of two parties, two chambers, and two elected branches, there will always be differences and debate. But even tough debates can be conducted in a civil tone, and our differences cannot be allowed to harden into anger. To confront the great issues before us, we must act in a spirit of good will and respect - and I will do my part. And if you don't agree with me, you can go f**k yourself."
-- Dubya, in the SOTU, Link

This puts a new spin on no child left behind!

On his trip to Great Britain, George Bush had a meeting with Queen Elizabeth. He asked her, "How does one manage to run a country so smoothly?"

"That`s easy," she replied, "You surround yourself with intelligent ministers and advisors."

"But how can I tell whether they are intelligent or not?" he inquired.

"You ask them a riddle," she replied, and with that she pressed a button and said, "Would you please send Tony Blair in."

When Blair arrived, the Queen said, "I have a riddle for you to answer for me. Your parents had a child and it was not your sister and it was not your brother. Who was this child ?"

Blair replied, "That`s easy. The child was me."

"Very good," said the Queen, "You may go, now."

So President Bush went back to Washington and called in his chief of staff, Karl Rove. He said to him, "I have a riddle for you, and the answer is very important. Your parents had a child and it was not your sister and it was not your brother. Who was this child ?"

Rove replied, "Yes, it is clearly very important that we determine the answer, as no child must be left behind. Can I deliberate on this for a while?"

"Yes," said Bush, "I'll give you four hours to come up with the answer."

So Rove went and called a meeting of the White House Staff, and asked them the riddle. But after much discussion and many suggestions, none of them had a satisfactory answer. So he was quite upset, not knowing what he would tell the President.As Rove was walking back to the Oval Office, he saw former Secretary of State Colin Powell approaching him. So he said, "Mr Secretary, can you answer this riddle for me. Your parents had a child and it was not your sister and it was not your brother. Who was the child?"

"That's easy," said Powell, "The child was me."

"Oh thank you," said Rove, "You may just have saved me my job!" So Rove went in to the Oval Office and said to President Bush, "I think I know the answer to your riddle. The child was Colin Powell!"

"No, you idiot!" shouted Bush, "The child was Tony Blair!"

Grounbdhog Day and SOTU:

Groundhog Day and the State of the Union Address this year are VERY close on the calendar. As Air America Radio pointed out, "It is an ironic juxtaposition: one involves a meaningless ritual in which we look to a creature of little intelligence for prognostication, and the other involves a groundhog."


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