Picks Commentary

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Staying the course

Picks of the Week:

Special comment: Advertising terrorism by Keith Olbermann

"There is a cheap 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' quality to the whole thing, and it also serves to immediately call to mind the occasions when President Bush dismissed Osama bin Laden as somebody he didn’t think about—except, obviously, when elections were near."

Bush's absolute power grab

"Jonathan Turley, George Washington University Constitutional Law Professor, was Olbermann's guest. Olbermann asked him, 'Does this mean that under this law, ultimately the only thing keeping you, I, or the viewer out of Gitmo is the sanity and honesty of the president of the United States?'

"Turley responded, 'It does. And it's a huge sea change for our democracy. The framers created a system where we did not have to rely on the good graces or good mood of the president…People have no idea how significant this is. What, really a time of shame this is for the American system. What the Congress did and what the president signed today essentially revokes over 200 years of American principles and values.'"

Bush moves toward martial law

"In a stealth maneuver, President Bush has signed into law a provision which, according to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), will actually encourage the President to declare federal martial law (1). It does so by revising the Insurrection Act, a set of laws that limits the President's ability to deploy troops within the United States. The Insurrection Act (10 U.S.C.331 -335) has historically, along with the Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S.C.1385), helped to enforce strict prohibitions on military involvement in domestic law enforcement. With one cloaked swipe of his pen, Bush is seeking to undo those prohibitions."

Cheney's remarks fuel torture debate

"Vice President Cheney said this week that dunking terrorism suspects in water during questioning was a 'no-brainer,' prompting complaints from human rights advocates that he was endorsing the use of a controversial technique known as waterboarding on prisoners held by the United States."

Not only is it brainlesss, it's also heartless.

The CIA's travel agent

"Boeing does not mention, either on its Web site or in its annual report, that Jeppesen’s clients include the C.I.A., and that among the international trips that the company plans for the agency are secret 'extraordinary rendition' flights for terrorism suspects. Most of the planes used in rendition flights are owned and operated by tiny charter airlines that function as C.I.A. front companies, but it is not widely known that the agency has turned to a division of Boeing, the publicly traded blue-chip behemoth, to handle many of the logistical and navigational details for these trips, including flight plans, clearance to fly over other countries, hotel reservations, and ground-crew arrangements."

Gitmo interrogations spark battle over tactics: The inside story of criminal investigators who tried to stop abuse

"In extensive interviews with MSNBC.com, former leaders of the Defense Department’s Criminal Investigation Task Force said they repeatedly warned senior Pentagon officials beginning in early 2002 that the harsh interrogation techniques used by a separate intelligence team would not produce reliable information, could constitute war crimes, and would embarrass the nation when they became public knowledge."

"The president knows more than he lets on"

"Suskind: We know that almost everything from the tool kit was tried: extraordinary techniques that included hot and cold water-boarding and threats of various kinds. We tried virtually everything with Binalshibh. But he was resistant, and my understanding of that interrogation is that we got very, very little from it. At one point, there was some thinking that we should put out misinformation that Binalshihb had been cooperative, he had received money and he was living in luxury. So that would mean that his friends and family, who obviously are known to al-Qaida, might face retribuition, and we ended up not doing that."

Judge orders release of Abu Ghraib child rape photos

"A federal judge ruled today that graphic pictures of detainee abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison must be released over government claims that they could damage America's image. Last year a Republican senator conceded that they contained scenes of 'rape and murder' and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said they included acts that were 'blatantly sadistic.'"

Bush among friends

"If you've ever fantasized about what it would be like to eavesdrop on our president chatting with some of his strongest fans in the media, then your decidedly odd dream has come true. President Bush met with eight leading conservative columnists on Wednesday afternoon, and a transcript has just been released."

US in secret truce talks with insurgency chiefs

"They included members of the Islamic Army in Iraq, one of the main Sunni militias behind the insurgency, and American government representatives. The talks were described as “feeler” discussions. The US officials were exploring ways of persuading the Sunni groups to stop attacks on allied forces and to end a cycle of increasingly bloody sectarian clashes with members of the majority Shi’ite groups."

Negotiate and run?

15 police recruits killed in Iraq; US death toll for October hits 83

"The U.S. military on Sunday announced the deaths of four soldiers and a Marine, bringing the number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq this month to 83 -- the highest monthly toll since 84 U.S. troops were killed in November 2005. Attacks against U.S. and Iraqi forces in Baghdad have increased 43 percent since midsummer, U.S. military officials say."

'Not America's man in Iraq,' premier says

"Privately, however, Maliki criticized what he called the patronizing U.S. tone toward the Iraqi government and warned U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad to respect Iraq's sovereignty, two of the prime minister's advisors said."

He'll be couped asap.

The exodus: 1.6m Iraqis have fled their country since the war

"Out of the population of 26 million, 1.6 million Iraqis have fled the country and a further 1.5 million are displaced within Iraq, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. In Jordan alone there are 500,000 Iraqi refugees and a further 450,000 in Syria. In Syria alone they are arriving at the rate of 40,000 a month."

Freedom is on the lam.

Corrupt arms deals cost Iraq $800M

"The former minister Ali Allawi told CBS' "60 Minutes" that the arms fraud is 'one of the biggest thefts in history' and that corrupt former Iraqi officials are now 'running around the world hiding and scurrying around.'

"He did not name the officials who allegedly stole the money. But Iraqi investigators are probing several weapons and equipment deals engineered by former procurement officer Ziad Cattan and other defense officials."

The Iraqis ARE learning how to have a US form of government.

Report says Iraq contractor is hiding data

"A Halliburton subsidiary that has been subjected to numerous investigations for billions of dollars in contracts it received for work in Iraq has systematically misused federal rules to withhold basic information on its practices from American officials, a federal oversight agency said yesterday."

Offenders should be water boarded until the data is released.

Halliburton cited for Iraq overhead

"A report released yesterday by the inspector general's office overseeing Iraq spending found that at least 55 percent, or $163 million, of $296 million in total costs rung up by Halliburton unit KBR went to expenses such as back-office support, transportation and security. That percentage was significantly higher than it was on work by other firms in Iraq, and experts said it is far above what is typically found on a government contract."

Labour laws trampled at new US embassy ex-foreman says

"Some contractors, many working as subcontractors to Halliburton /KBR in Iraq, were found to be using deceptive, bait-and-switch hiring practices and charging recruiting fees that indebted low-paid migrant workers for many months or even years to their employers. Contractors were also accused of providing substandard, crowded sleeping quarters, serving poor food, and circumventing Iraqi immigration procedures."

How the Bush family makes a killing from George's presidency

"But Carlucci has another secret weapon - Bush Sr. Amid conflict-of-interest allegations, the elder Bush resigned from the Carlyle Group in 2003, but reportedly remains on retainer, opening doors to lucrative profits in the Middle East and elsewhere. Bush Sr.'s specialty is Saudi Arabia; in fact, he was at a Carlyle investment conference with Osama bin Laden's estranged brother, Shafiq bin Laden, when the 9/11 attacks took place.

"Carlyle specializes in military and security investments, and with Bush Jr. in office, the company's profits have soared; it received $677 million in contracts in 2002, then a whopping $2.1 billion in 2003. Carlyle's investors currently enjoy an equity capital pool of over 44 billion dollars."

I read an opinion piece recently that I meant to include in Picks and didn't. The point I liked was the idea that the war criminals responsible for the looting of the US treasury should be held financially accountable, paying back from their own personal fortunes.

Ex-CIA chief Tenet joins "James Bond" research firm

"QinetiQ is partly owned by U.S. private equity firm Carlyle Group, whose advisers have included former U.S. President George Bush and former British Prime Minister John Major."

Tony Blair will be similarly rewarded.

US 'cannot stay course' in Iraq

"The US is not winning in Iraq and will not be able to stay the course in the long-term, a US state department insider has said."

It was a clear moment in lying last Sunday when The Moron said he has never advocated staying the course in Iraq. On Monday morning, Al Franken played a montage of the Monkey insisting we must stay the course in Iraq.

New York Times "military analysis" foreshadows US bloodbath in Baghdad

"Calling the 'Baghdad security plan' the American military’s 'last hand,' Gordon writes: 'But military commanders here see no plausible alternative to their bedrock strategy to clear violence-ridden neighborhoods of militias, insurgents and arms caches, hold them with Iraqi and American security forces, and then try to win over the population with reconstruction projects.... There is no fallback plan that the generals are holding in their hip pocket. This is it.'"

Killing will continue until the violence stops.

Dying to save the GOP Congress

"IF you happened to be up around dawn on Tuesday, you could witness the death rattle of our adventure in Iraq live on CNN. Zalmay Khalilzad, the American ambassador, and Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the American commander, were making new promises from the bunker of the Green Zone, inspiring about as much confidence as Jackie Gleason and Art Carney hatching a get-rich-quick scheme to sell a kitchen gadget on 'The Honeymooners.'"

Iraqis were better off under Saddam, says former weapons inspector

"Former UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix on Wednesday described the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq as a 'pure failure' that had left the country worse off than under the dictatorial rule of Saddam Hussein."

Th-th-th-that's all, folks!

As violence grows, oil rich Kirkuk could oil key to Iraq's future: Tribal chiefs call for return of Saddam while Kurds eye a new federal state

"Accompanied by about 500 clansmen and a gaggle of local journalists, the 35 Sunni sheikhs - from Mosul, Tikrit, Samarra and Hawija - converged last week on Hindiya, on the scrappy western edges of Kirkuk, to swear their undying opposition to 'conspiracies' to partition Iraq and to pledge allegiance to their president, Saddam Hussein."

'US withdrawal from Iraq would be disastrous for Israel'

"'The influence of Iran in Iraq would have spillover effects in Lebanon and Syria. In addition, radical Sunnis in Iraq could spill over into Jordan,' Heller said.

"The result would be that 'the terror efforts currently directed against US forces in Iraq would be turned against Israel,' Heller said."

S**t happens.

US naval war games off the Iranian coastline: A provocation which could lead to war?

"There is a massive concentration of US naval power in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea. Three US naval strike groups off the Iranian coastline are deployed: USS Enterprise, USS Eisenhower and USS Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group.

"The naval strike groups have been assigned to fighting the 'global war on terrorism.'

"Tehran considers the US war games to be conducted in the Persian Gulf, off the Iranian coastline as a provocation, which is intended to trigger a potential crisis and a situation of direct confrontation between US and Iranian naval forces in the Persian Gulf:"

Iran sounds an awful lot like Iraq

"The new law got virtually no coverage in the congressional rush to adjourn and amid the controversy surrounding e-mails between Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) and teenage boys serving in the House page program. It has been overshadowed since by North Korea's explosion of a nuclear device and the world's debate about how to respond.

"But if the confrontation over Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program ends in war — initiated by this administration or the next — you can bet this law will be cited as proof that Congress was onboard all along."

Gulf arab states are giving up on America

"When US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited the region earlier this month as part of a new diplomatic initiative with the message of a new 'Middle East,' she received a cold response. Arab leaders agreed to meet her and listen to her statements and arguments because it was part of the diplomatic protocol. Moreover, Arab tradition demands that a visitor be treated with respect and kindness.

"But Arab leaders also know US policy is not made in the State Department. Rather, the real power resides in the White House in the form of the vice president's office and the National Security Council. Despite the portrayal of the Arab world as being backward and living in the past, its rulers and populations, in fact, have a keen awareness about the realities of the new international system and they can see right through the American pretensions."

America's middle class has become globalization's loser

"But there is a flip side to the coin. First, Americans are so optimistic that they often blur the line between optimism and naivete. Public, private and corporate debt far exceeds any previously known dimensions. Forever piously trusting in a future rosier than the present, millions of households are borrowing so much money that they end up endangering the very future they're looking forward to. The lower and middle classes have practically given up on putting aside any savings. They're going into the 21st century like a poverty-stricken, Third World family, living from hand to mouth without any financial reserves whatsoever."

The jackal's feast goes on by Chris Floyd

"In other words, as oft reported here (and here and here), much of that money has simply disappeared – into corporate coffers, into copious baksheesh for the Bush-backed Iraqi government, into kickbacks for Congressional vultures, and doubtless into slush funds both for covert ops (including perhaps the Bushists' deliberate fomenting of terrorism and arming of militias) and domestic politics. We are most likely seeing the fruits of some of this blood money wash up on American screens at this very moment, as the GOP's last-ditch "Smear and Fear" campaign goes into hyperdrive."

GAO chief warns economic disaster looms

"David M. Walker sure talks like he's running for office. 'This is about the future of our country, our kids and grandkids,' the comptroller general of the United States warns a packed hall at Austin's historic Driskill Hotel. 'We the people have to rise up to make sure things get changed.'"

Walker always makes sense to me. And when you realize that everything BushCo touches turns to merde, Walker is right.

Slumping and squeezing

"In the past few days, President Bush has tried to turn Americans' attention away from the growing chaos in Iraq and toward the 'good news' of the economy. Unemployment is at a 'historic low' and core inflation remains under three percent. The right wing is also pointing to record Dow Jones levels as evidence of the success of Bush's tax cuts. 'No question that a strong economy is going to help our candidates,' Bush said in a CNBC interview on Monday, 'primarily because they have got something to run on, they can say our economy's good because I voted for tax relief.' Nevertheless, the public refuses to buy the administration's talking points on the country's economic 'progress.' According to a new USA Today/Gallup poll, 54 percent of Americans believe the economy is getting worse. 'It comes down to the issue of credibility. And so many voters feel so pessimistic about the direction of the country,' said Amy Walter, a senior editor of the Cook Political Report. Job growth in September was the lowest since Oct. 2005, and the share of the population in poverty rose from 11.3 percent in 2000 to 12.6 percent in 2005. Most Americans -- including the middle class -- have been left behind by Bush's tax cuts and continue to see the costs of living rise, wages stagnate, and financial insecurity increase."

Russo film exposes criminal banking syndicate that rules America

"Aaron Russo expertly exposes the traitorous Federal Reserve Act and the fact that there is no law that stipulates American citizens have to pay income taxes. The ratification of the 16th amendment, also known as the 'Tax amendment', represents a fundamental undermining of Constitutional law in America. It is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated against the American people by the elite private banking institutions that have usurped government as an arm of their overall control mechanism."

A few weeks ago, I said I'd write something about the film, America: Freedom to Fascism. I didn't, but this is a good summary.

America Freedom to Fascism authorized version

Sales of existing homes fall

Sales of existing homes fell for a sixth straight month in September and the median sales price dropped on an annual basis by the largest amount on record, further documenting a lukewarm housing market.

Economic growth totters to 1.6 pct. pace

"The economy has slowed to a snail's pace, growing in the just-finished quarter at the slowest rate in more than three years and stirring fresh debate about the country's financial health heading into the elections."

The case of Curt Weldon: Republican congressman targeted after criticizing 9/11 cover-up

"Weldon’s revelations were confirmed by five military officers or Pentagon contractors formerly involved in Able Danger. Colonel Anthony Shaffer came forward as one of the sources of Weldon’s allegations, telling the press that the 9/11 Commission had been informed of the Able Danger project and had asked the Pentagon for documents on it, then said nothing about Able Danger in its final report."

Throwing one of their own under the bus. Good one to read through.

Bush's family profits from 'No Child' act

"A company headed by President Bush's brother and partly owned by his parents is benefiting from Republican connections and federal dollars targeted for economically disadvantaged students under the No Child Left Behind Act."With investments from his parents, George H.W. and Barbara Bush, and other backers, Neil Bush's company, Ignite! Learning, has placed its products in 40 U.S. school districts and now plans to market internationally."

It was reported about five years ago on the Internet that Silverado was hawking this product. The Bush Crime Family is relentless.

Poison pill: How Abramoff's cronies sold the Medicare drug bill

"It’s well known that in his crusade to pass the bill, DeLay drew on more than 800 pharmaceutical-industry lobbyists, millions of dollars in campaign contributions, and the efforts of numerous business and healthcare groups. But this grossly flawed legislation could never have passed without the help of the same players who were central to Abramoff’s lobbying operation: Tony Rudy and Ed Buckham. Using a nest of nonprofits flush with corporate cash, the discredited lobbyists played a vital, albeit hidden, role in whittling down congressional opposition to the bill for more than a year before the final vote. In particular, Alexander Strategy made use of three senior nonprofit groups—the United Seniors Association, the Seniors Coalition and 60 Plus—and a Christian evangelical group, America 21, which were all funded heavily by the pharmaceutical industry. This is the story of how this shadowy network helped saddle the American public with the Medicare drug bill—the biggest, most important piece of policy in which the dubious talents of Abramoff’s acolytes were brought to bear."

Investigators say Speaker's aide hindered inquiry of Hill security contracts

"The former Appropriations Committee investigators said Ted Van Der Meid, Hastert’s chief counsel, resisted from the start the inquiry, which began with concerns about mismanagement of a secret security office and later probed allegations of bid-rigging and kickbacks from contractors to a Defense Department employee."

Putin gets mugged in Finland

"Most people won’t pay any attention to this week’s energy summit in Lahti, Finland, but they should. It is particularly instructive for anyone who is interested in the latest developments in the global resource war."The purpose of the meeting was to work out the nettlesome issues of energy policy, but the hidden agenda was to pressure Russian President Putin into signing away the control of his country’s critical assets to the big-players in the world energy cartel. The proposed 'Energy Charter Treaty' is designed to tie up Russia’s resources through legal obligations which serve the overall interests of the energy giants. The treaty is no different than the EU Constitution which was voted down last year when the 'informed' European public realized that it was just another boondoggle set up by big business to override national sovereignty, environmental safety, and civil liberties. The Energy Charter Treaty and the EU Constitution focus on the very same objectives, that is, establishing the legal framework for placing the world and its dwindling resources in the hands of a small cadre of obscenely-wealthy western plutocrats."

How close to catastrophe? (Scroll down)

"This homeostasis is now being disrupted by our brief binge of fossil fuel consumption, which has released a huge amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Indeed, at one point Lovelock predicts -- more gloomily than any other competent observer I am aware of -- that we have already pushed the planet over the brink, and that we will soon see remarkably rapid rises in temperature, well beyond those envisioned in most of the computer models now in use – themselves quite dire."

Humans living far beyond planet's means

"Humans are stripping nature at an unprecedented rate and will need two planets' worth of natural resources every year by 2050 on current trends, the WWF conservation group said on Tuesday. "Populations of many species, from fish to mammals, had fallen by about a third from 1970 to 2003 largely because of human threats such as pollution, clearing of forests and overfishing, the group also said in a two-yearly report."

Paul Erlich was right.

Tackle climate change or face deep recession, world's leaders warned

"Sir Nicholas Stern, a former chief economist with the World Bank, will warn that governments need to tackle the problem head-on by cutting emissions or face economic ruin. The findings, due to be released on Monday, will turn economic argument about global warming on its head by insisting that fighting global warming will save industrial nations money. The US refused to join the Kyoto protocol, the international agreement on greenhouse gas emissions, because George Bush said it would harm the economy."

Bush must be listened to carefully in order to understand the truth is in opposition to his falsehoods.

We fiddle as the continent turns to dust: All attempts to turn Australia into a new Europe have failed miserably, writes Paul Sheehan

"I wonder what history will say about us when we are gone, off to that great absolute water frontage in the sky?

"That we fiddled while Rome burned? That we were the wealthiest society in our history, worth more than $350,000 for every man, woman and child, with the biggest homes, the most cars, the highest debt, the lowest savings, the highest rates of obesity and excess weight, and the greatest amount of consumerism, gambling and drug consumption, while the landscape, the lifeblood of the nation, died around us, a disaster drowned out by the clamour of consumerism."

Ozone layer

"'From September 21 to 30, the average area of the ozone hole was the largest ever observed, at 10.6 million square miles,' said Paul Newman, atmospheric scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. If the stratospheric weather conditions had been normal, the ozone hole would be expected to reach a size of about 8.9 to 9.3 million square miles, about the surface area of North America."

Quotes from www.bartcop.com

"I believe marriage is a sacred institution that is critical to the health of our society and the well being of families, and it must be defended." -- Dubya, threatening to leave Pickles if boys are allowed to play house, Link Yes, George - how can your marriage endure such an assault? Have you decided on a date to leave her? Who gets custody of the alkies?

"What's striking both in Bush's and Cheney's attitude towards water torture is that it never even occurs to them that there is a moral issue here. It's a 'no-brainer'. Here we are on the outside having impassioned debates about the rights and wrongs of abuse and torture of detainees and these two most powerful men simply assume it's fine. Their only concern is that they can find a legal euphemism in order to lie about it and pretend it isn't happening. And remember who their base is: Christians. Orwell could not have invented this." -- Andrew Sullivan, former (?) chief cheerleader for these torture-happy bastards, Link

"You ought to just back off, take a look at it, relax, understand that it's complicated, it's difficult," - Rumsfeld to war critics, Link

"I have the biggest audience around; they know what's going on. I have 20 million warriors with me." - Rush the vulgar Pigboy, lying about Michael J Fox

"It is downright mean to mislead people who suffer from horrible diseases that there is a [stem cell] cure around the corner -- if only Republicans could be defeated." -- Rush the Ann Coulter wannabe

"He is exaggerating the effects of the disease. He's moving all around and shaking and it's purely an act...This is really shameless of Michael J. Fox. Either he didn't take his medication or he's acting." -- Rush the vulgar Pigboy, also known as "Ann Coulter with a penis", probably...

"When you see someone with those movements, it's not because they have not taken medication but because they probably have taken medication for some time. If you don't take the medication, then you freeze." -- the National Parkinson Foundation, Link

"I believe Iraq will be able to defend, govern and sustain itself. Otherwise, I'd pull our troops out." -- Der Giggling Murderer, Link

"Things have become so dire for the GOP that Bush is cutting and running from Bush. A presidency built on message discipline ('Stay the course') is trying to salvage itself with un-messaging ('No more stay the course')" - Maureen Dowd, Link

"Democrats seek to exploit the war to gain electoral advantage." --Elizabeth Dole, Link

"The current support for Bush's impeachment is much, much higher than support for Clinton's impeachment ever was. Yet, the media refuses to talk about impeaching Bush... Clinton's 73% approval rating during impeachment is double that of Bush's - 35%." --flicknut, Link

"Yesterday, Bill O'Reilly said Afghanistan has been 'successful' and that 'there's no danger at all of the Taliban reclaiming that country. At the worst, he said, the Taliban will be 'annoying.'" --Think Progress, Link

"U.S. military officials say cross-border attacks by the Taliban are up '300 percent' since Musharraf declared a 'truce' with tribal leaders in the region that borders Afghanistan." --Gretchen Peters, Link

"One cannot win the Global War on Terror if one does not understand it." -- Dennis Hastert (R-Pedo), explaining why Bush is losing both wars, Link

"When you vote, you will determine the taxes you pay for years to come. You will feel the results every April 15." -- Dubya, on why we have to pay more - so the super-rich can pay less Link

"Iraq is not awash in sectarian violence." -- General Casey, (R-Liar) on CNN

"We've never been "stay the course." -- Bush, lying about Iraq again, Link

Have you ever seen a boy lie this much?

"We will stay the course." --Dubya, 08/30/06, Link

"We will stay the course, we will complete the job in Iraq." --Dubya, 08/4/05, Link

"We will stay the course until the job is done. We're just going to stay the course." --Dubya, 12/15/03, Link

"And my message today to those in Iraq is: We'll stay the course." --Dubya, 04/13/04, Link
"I will not withdraw, even if Laura and Barney are the only ones supporting me." --Dubya, able to convince Pickles Stepford and a dog that he's right, Link

"If we have some of these wild Democrats in charge of these congressional committees, it will be a ghastly thing for our country. I would hate to think . . . what my son's life would be like if their Republican Party lost its majorities." -- Poppy the enabler, calling accountability "ghastly." Link

"Let me get this straight. Osama is threatening to attack again, so we should vote for the people who haven't been able to catch him for the last five years?" -- Jimmy Kimmel

"I think I'd just commit suicide..." -- McCain, when asked what he'd do if Democrats took control Link John, we know you've committed a lot of sins, like lying and whoring, ...but suicide? It makes me wonder how deep you are into Bush's crooked ass.

"I think I'm the second most criticized person in the country. You're first by a large margin, but I'm second." -- Bill O'Reilly, a victim of self-importance, to Der Monkey, nationaljournal.com

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Back in the Saddle


Last week, I fell behind in my reading and was overwhelmed with other activities by midweek and decided to take a break.

www.bartcop has great graphics. Came across one this week that was a mock-up of a Diebold ad showing The Moron. The caption read, "Twit happens."

Picks of the Week:

Harper's Weekly Review

Bush signs law authorizing harsh interrogation [torture]

"President George W. Bush signed a law on Tuesday authorizing tough interrogation and prosecution of terrorism suspects and took an indirect, election-year swipe at Democrats who opposed the legislation."

Jonathan Turley was on Countdown Tuesday night and was shaken by the fact that the US is fundamentally changed. The Moron and his successors, should the law stand, now have the power of kings, dictators, and their ilk.

'Beginning of the end of America': Olbermann addresses the Military Commissions Act in a special comment

"And now—our rights and our freedoms in peril—we slowly awaken to learn that we have been afraid of the wrong thing."

BushCo has been burning the Constitution since 2001. Now, they're urinating on the ashes.

Sentimental education: Academia signs up to track down dissent by Chris Floyd

"As with so many of the Bush measures that have quietly stripped away America's liberties, this one too is beginning with a whimper, not a bang: a modest $2.4 Department of Homeland Security million grant to develop 'sentiment analysis' software that will allow the government's 'security organs' to sift millions of articles for 'negative opinions of the United States or its leaders in newspapers and other publications overseas,' as the New York Times reported earlier this month. Such negative opinions must be caught and catalogued because they could pose 'potential threats to the nation,' security apparatchiks told the Times."

The limits of liberty: We're all suspects now (UK)

"Identity cards. Number-plate surveillance. CCTV. Control orders. The list of ways in which the Government has sought to manipulate and define the limits of our liberty grows ever longer. Ten years ago, the novelist and polemicist Henry Porter would have felt silly speaking out about human rights in Britain. But that was before the most fundamental assault on personal freedom ever undertaken. Now, he argues, it's time we woke up to reality."

Part I: Bush's petro-cartel almost has Iraq's oil

"Both independent analysts and officials within Iraq's Oil Ministry anticipate that when all is said and done, the big winners in Iraq will be the Big Four -- the American firms Exxon-Mobile and Chevron, the British BP-Amoco and Royal Dutch-Shell -- that dominate the world oil market. Ibrahim Mohammed, an industry consultant with close contacts in the Iraqi Oil Ministry, told the Associated Press that there's a universal belief among ministry staff that the major U.S. companies will win the lion's share of contracts. 'The feeling is that the new government is going to be influenced by the United States,' he said."

So, big oil is only too happy to drop gas prices before the election for their made boy, George.

Part II: The US takeover of Iraq oil

"But Big Oil had its sights set on a specific arrangement -- the lucrative production sharing agreements that lock in multinationals' control for long terms and are virtually unheard of in countries as rich in easily accessible oil as Iraq.

"The occupation authorities would have to steer an ostensibly sovereign government to the outcome they desired, and they'd have to overcome any resistance that they encountered from the fiercely independent and understandably wary Iraqis along the way. Finally, they'd have to make sure that the Anglo-American firms were well-positioned to win the lion's share of the choicest contracts."

Much of Iraq still in ruin as US builders leave

"Close behind U.S. tanks and troops, America's big builders invaded Iraq three years ago. Now the reconstruction funds are drying up and they're pulling out, leaving completed projects and unfulfilled plans in the hands of an Iraqi government unprepared to manage either."
If the Nazis are driven from office, won't the headline read: Much of US in ruins as GOP loses control?

US military and Iraqi deaths soar amidst preparations for major offensive

"Most Iraqi deaths, however, go unreported and therefore would not be included in the AP figures. A report released earlier this month—published in the British medical journal Lancet and produced by a team at Johns Hopkins University—estimated that 600,000 Iraqis have been killed in war-related violence since March 2003, which would amount to about 500 every day. The Lancet report also found that the number of deaths has been steadily increasing, meaning that the current mortality rate is likely to be much higher than this number."

Indictable, one would think.

650,000 Iraqi civilian casualties: Two separate studies show Iraq's mortality rate has doubled and tripled since 2003

"The estimates were derived from a nationwide household survey of 1,849 households throughout Iraq conducted between May and July 2006. The results are consistent with the findings of an October 2004 study of Iraq mortality conducted by the Hopkins researchers. Also, the findings closely reflect the increased mortality trends reported by other organizations that utilized passive methods of counting mortality, such as counting bodies in morgues or deaths reported by the news media. The study is published in the October 14, 2006, edition of the peer-reviewed scientific journal, The Lancet."

Perhaps BushCo should be required to do some kind of penance. Even if they're 50% off.

Helping the hungry on base: Many military families rely on donated goods

"As the Iraq war marches toward its fourth anniversary, food lines operated by churches and other nonprofit groups are an increasingly valuable presence on military bases countywide. Leaders of the charitable groups say they're scrambling to fill a need not seen since World War II."

Must be gratifying for the needy to see an oinker like Hastert waddling about.

Troops in debt can't go overseas

"Thousands of U.S. troops are being barred from overseas duty because they are so deep in debt they are considered security risks, according to an Associated Press review of military records."

Militias battle for Iraqi City as Shiite rivalry escalates

"Hundreds of militiamen linked to the Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr battled local police and members of a rival Shiite militia in the southeastern city of Amara on Friday, destroying police stations, seizing control of entire neighborhoods and detonating bombs that sent thick pillars of black smoke into the sky."

Cheney: 'General overall situation' in Iraq is going 'remarkably well'

"Cheney acknowledged there is a 'natural level of concern out there' because fighting didn’t end 'instantaneously.' (Next month, the war will have lasted longer than U.S. fighting in World War II.) Cheney then pointed to various news items to paint a positive picture of conditions in Iraq and concluded, 'If you look at the general overall situation, they’re doing remarkably well.'"

Discounting the death, destruction, misery and mayhem, it's swell.

Iraq mayhem triggers hunt for exit strategy in US and UK

"Frantic efforts are under way in Washington and London to find an exit strategy for Iraq as a renewed surge in violence led George Bush to admit yesterday that tactics there might need to change.

"Diplomats and politicians in both capitals are desperately reviewing and debating options that were once regarded as unthinkable."

Cut and run? No, adapt to lose and redeploy . . . stateside.

General concedes failure in Baghdad: Bush acknowledges comparison to '68 Tet offensive in Vietnam

"In a confluence of grim official assessments of the war in Iraq, President Bush acknowledged that sectarian bloodletting in Baghdad could be compared to the Viet Cong's 1968 Tet offensive in Vietnam, and one of the top U.S. generals said the American military's two-month drive to crush the spiraling violence in the Iraqi capital had failed."

Bad things happen when The Dick fails to put his hand in The Moron's back to pull the strings.

Top US general says Rumsfeld is inspired by God

"The top US general defended the leadership of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, saying it is inspired by God.

"'He leads in a way that the good Lord tells him is best for our country,' said Marine General Peter Pace [toady], chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff."

Presumably, Rummy's main spiritual inspirations are Shiva, Baal and Ares.

A revolt of the generals? A top British commander speaks candidly about the grim outlook in Iraq. But will his more reticent American peers follow his lead?

"The straight-talking chief of the British Army, Gen. Richard Dannatt, gave interviews to the London Daily Mail and the BBC that had 10 Downing Street scrambling. Though he pointed out that British troops had made enough progress to turn over control of two southern provinces to Iraqi forces, he also noted that they weren't invited in at the outset and are widely unpopular."

The Iraq Study Group: a bipartisan conspiracy against the American and Iraqi people

"The ISG’s mission statement makes clear there will be no criticism of the Bush administration. The Iraq Study Group, it declared, will 'conduct a forward-looking, independent assessment of the current and prospective situation on the ground in Iraq, its impact on the surrounding region, and consequences for US interests'. That is, its purpose is not to hold anyone to account for the illegal invasion of a sovereign state; the lies told to the American people about “weapons of mass destruction” and Iraqi links to 9/11; the death and destruction that has resulted; or the tensions the war has created throughout the Middle East. As Baker told the US press, it was not going to 'dwell on the past'."

White House advisers ready to back Iraq withdrawal

"A panel of White House advisers, which includes a former US secretary of state, is ready to recommend large troop withdrawals from Iraq, it emerged today.

"In what would be a major shift in policy, the experts are said to be ready to suggest the “Redeploy and Contain” option which would mean withdrawing American troops to bases outside Iraq where they could be used against terrorist organisations anywhere in the region.

"The report is being prepared by a 10-member commission called the Iraq Study Group, headed by former US secretary of state James Baker, and is reportedly backed by President Bush."

Anything James Baker is associated with, including the 2000 election, is tainted. Spend too much time around BushCo and you'll get some on ya.

The more force you use, the less effective you are (Scroll down)

"Paradox 1: The more you protect your force, the secure you are. The military experts offer this explanation: '[The] counterinsurgent gains ultimate success by protecting the populace, not himself.' It may seem like a bland comment, but don't be fooled. It conceals a devastating criticism of the cardinal principle of the American military in Iraq: that above all else they must minimize the risk to American troops by setting rules of engagement that essentially boil down to 'shoot first, make excuses later.'"

Families flee Iraqi river towns on the 4th day of sectarian warfare

"Families fled in search of safety Monday as open warfare raged for a fourth day between Shiite militias and armed Sunni men in Tigris River towns north of Baghdad. Militias allied with Iraq's Shiite-led government held sway in Balad city, forcing out Sunni families and leaving the bodies of slain Sunni men to rot in the streets, according to police, residents and hospital officials."

Iraq cancels peace talks after score more die

"The unremitting wave of sectarian violence that has greeted the Muslim holy month of Ramadan claimed scores more Iraqi lives at the weekend, as authorities in Baghdad announced the indefinite postponement of a conference of political leaders seen as crucial to quickly diminishing hopes for national reconciliation."

November surprise?

"The US-backed special tribunal in Baghdad signalled Monday that it will likely delay a verdict in the first trial of Saddam Hussein to November 5. Why hasn't the mainstream media connected the dots between the Saddam's judgment day and the midterm elections?"

If Hussein swings, shouldn't the same hold for elite BushCo decision makers? They are, after all, war criminals on a grander scale.

Afghanistan: Operation Backfire

"This military engagement will go down in Canadian history as one of the most shameful betrayals of Canadian soldiers in our history. Canadian troops are dying because neither their supreme commander nor their Prime Minister has the courage to acknowledge what is actually happening. They are dying so Stephen Harper can prove himself to George W. Bush. Hillier and Harper keep asking Canadians “support our troops.” But they insist our troops pursue a strategy ensuring more of them will die."

One of the comforting things about the leadership in Canada and the US? Anyone can lead either country. Moron? Corrupt? Egotistic? Inept? Greedy? Thoughtless? You're qualified.

An American journalists' view of Harper

"It was as if a virus that had long infected the people south of the border had overnight jumped containment and spread northward establishing itself in a new host population. But — as I began to study this new phenomenon — it became clear that this infection did not just accidentally break quarantine.

"Rather, it was willfully injected into the Canadian body politic by conservative strategists and right-wing media moguls who had studied the modern American model and were seeking to replicate it.

"Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper even brought in Republican advisers, such as political consultant Frank Luntz, to give pointers on how the ruling Conservative Party could become as dominant in Canada as the GOP is in the United States."

Troops will be in Afghanistan for next 20 years says commander

"The commander of the British forces returning from Helmand said that his forces were having to make up for the time lost by the decision of the US and UK to invade Iraq instead of concentrating on post-Taliban Afghanistan."

Remember when the Navy recruiting slogan was "Join the Navy and see the world"? Looks like the UK slogan should be, "Join the Army and see Afghanistan."

NATO continues slaughter of civilians in Afghanistan

"Twice in a matter of a few hours on Wednesday, the NATO-commanded International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) occupying Afghanistan fired missiles into civilian dwellings, killing as many as 26 men, women and children. The deaths underscore the fact that ISAF’s counter-insurgency operations are being conducted with murderous disregard for the local population, which is overwhelmingly hostile to foreign military forces."

Nuclear strike on Iran is still on the agenda

"The Bush administration has radically redefined America's nuclear use policy [1], [2]: U.S. nuclear weapons are no longer regarded as qualitatively different from conventional weapons. Many actions of the administration in recent years strongly suggest that an imminent U.S. nuclear use is being planned for, and this was confirmed by Bush's explicit refusal to rule out a U.S. nuclear strike against Iran. We have all been put on notice. The fact that North Korea is now a nuclear country does not change the agenda – quite the contrary."

US plan for new nuclear weapons advances

The United States took another step yesterday toward building a new stockpile of up to 2,200 deployed nuclear weapons that would last well into the 21st century, announcing the start of a multiyear process to repair and replace facilities where they would be developed and assembled and where older warheads could be more rapidly dismantled."

Isn't it a bit unseemly for the US to expand its nuclear capabilities while attacking and threatening other countries for doing the same? Especially, since the US is the only country to actually use nukes against others?

Poll: Forty percent of American voters believe the Israel lobby has been a key factor in going to war in Iraq and now confronting Iran

Canada supports Israel: PM

"Prime Minister Stephen Harper mounted a vigorous defence on Wednesday of his government's Middle East policy, saying support for Israel is 'fundamental to what this nation has always stood for.'"

I think I recall reading in Sir John D. MacDonald's memoirs (circa 1867), "Canada must stand for Israel."

Morally bankrupt

"Incomes are stagnant, health care and education costs are skyrocketing, and the middle class is struggling to make ends meet. One year ago today, after an 'eight-year campaign by banks, retailers and credit card companies,' Congress made a bad situation worse, passing a law that makes it more difficult for people who get laid off or face catastrophic illness to file for bankruptcy. Over the last year, 'personal-bankruptcy cases have plummeted' but only because 'hundreds of thousands rushed to file before the stricter law took effect.' (In 2005, 'a record 1.78 million filed bankruptcy.' See this chart.) Nevertheless, 'it's just a matter of time before the number of people filing bankruptcy gets back to a normal level.' Those who do file bankruptcy will find it significantly more costly and confusing under the new law. Lawrence Brooke, an attorney in Alexandria, sums up the legislation's impact: 'It's designed to make life miserable for anybody who owes money. "

The worst Congress ever: How our national legislature has become a stable of thieves and perverts -- in five easy steps

"Step One - Rule by cabal

"'I remember one incident very clearly -- I think it was 2001,' says Winslow Wheeler, who served for twenty-two years as a Republican staffer in the Senate. 'I was working for [New Mexico Republican] Pete Domenici at the time. We were in a Budget Committee hearing and the Democrats were debating what the final result would be. And my boss gets up and he says, 'Why are you saying this? You're not even going to be in the room when the decisions are made.' Just said it right out in the open.'"

Most of US spending monitors sacked

"Most private contractors keeping tabs on billions of dollars in governmental spending for the U.S. House Appropriations Committee have been let go.

"With about 60 investigators gone, the shakeup leaves only 16 full-time employees in the unit, USA Today reported."

Giving corruption even freer reign.

State by State GOP scandal scoreboard

Energy bill is a boon to oil companies

"Tucked into a massive energy bill that would open the outer continental shelf to oil drilling are provisions that would slash future royalties owed to the federal government by companies prospecting in Rocky Mountain oil shale deposits."Sponsored by Rep. Richard W. Pombo (R-Tracy) and passed by the House earlier this year, the bill would amend an existing requirement that the federal government receive a 'fair return' from oil companies that hold oil shale leases on public lands. Instead, Pombo's bill, modeled after a Canadian law, would reduce royalties from the customary 12.5% of annual revenue to 1%."

Displease a lobbyist, get fired

"For five years, Allen Stayman wondered who ordered his removal from a State Department job negotiating agreements with tiny Pacific island nations — even when his own bosses wanted him to stay.

"Now he knows.

"Newly disclosed e-mails suggest that the ax fell after intervention by one of the highest officials at the White House: Ken Mehlman, on behalf of one of the most influential lobbyists in town, Jack Abramoff."

And the winner is . . . me

"Voters in Ohio can be forgiven if they feel they have been beamed out of the Midwest and dropped into a third-world autocracy. The latest news from the state’s governor’s race is that the Republican nominee, Kenneth Blackwell, who is also the Ohio secretary of state, could rule that his opponent is ineligible to run because of a technicality. We’d like to think that his office would not ultimately do that, or that if it did, such a ruling would not be allowed to stand. But the mere fact that an elected official and political candidate has the authority to toss his opponent out of a race is further evidence of a serious flaw in our democracy."

Our rigged elections (Part II) The GOP playbook: How to rig the vote

"In short, Bush/Cheney was not swept to re-election by a national surge of theocratic zeal. And yet Bush's most fanatical supporters were essential to his 'victory,' which they enabled by providing a persuasive-sounding rationale for it. Because there was, and is, no reasonable explanation for that win, it was efficiently explained away as having been effected by the non-existent multitude of True Believers. Providentially, their votes came pouring forth late on Election Day, especially in Ohio—a propaganda line without a shred of evidence to back it up. (The late-day turnout in Ohio's rural districts was, in fact, quite light.) And yet that notion soon became gospel, as the media, and the Democrats, mechanically echoed the mere say-so of the Bush team and the Christianists themselves."

Officials probing possible theft of voting software in Md.

"The FBI is investigating the possible theft of software developed by the nation's leading maker of electronic voting equipment, said a former Maryland legislator who this week received three computer disks that apparently contain key portions of programs created by Diebold Election Systems."

First Bush-appointed chair of US election assistance commission says 'no standards' for e-voting devices, system 'ripe for stealing elections'!

"Soaries was appointed by George W. Bush as the first chair of the commission created by the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) in the wake of the 2000 Presidential Election Debacle. In the interview, available here for the first time, Soaries excoriates both Congress and the White House, referring to their dedication to reforming American election issues as 'a charade' and 'a travesty,' and says the system now in place is 'ripe for stealing elections and for fraud.'"

E-mails: Union lawsuit part of tactic (Colorado)

"Colorado Republican operatives who filed a lawsuit accusing a union of illegally taking campaign money from noncitizens were pursuing a strategy of using the issue of illegal immigration for political gain.

"Republicans hoped to use the lawsuit, filed this summer, to "paint all unions with a broad brush" and 'illustrate unions as facilitators of illegal immigration,' according to internal e-mails obtained by The Denver Post"

The party of perversity.

Wal-Mart plans voter drive, targets opponents

"The company plans to specifically target local, state and national leaders [Dems} who appeared last summer at a series of anti-Wal-Mart rallies organized by Wake Up Wal-Mart, a union-backed group that has called for better pay and benefits for Wal-Mart employees."

Boycott Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart workers walk out

"For months, politicians and activists have been saying that the low prices at the world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores, come at a tremendous cost to its low-paid employees. They point to lawsuits that contend the company discriminates against women and forces low-paid employees to work through lunch breaks and after their shifts, without extra compensation. Wal-Mart has also been boosting its political contributions to stop initiatives aimed at forcing the retailer to raise pay and benefits."

Boycott Wal-Mart.

Post-9/11 security standards not being met at uranium facility: Energy officials say they currently can't follow the guidelines but reject terrorism concerns.

"The Energy Department's National Nuclear Security Administration is building a secure facility, due to be completed in 2009, to warehouse the material. Until then, the Energy Department has given itself an 'extension,' or waiver, on meeting security requirements at the site."

King's X. Do kid's still say that? Probably not. My take, The right wing would sell bomb-grade material to al Qaeda for the right price. Rummy was part of such a deal with North Korea.

EPA budget reduction could expose more minorities, poor to pollution

"A federal program to safeguard poor and racially diverse communities from pollution and other environmental harm is at risk of being dissolved, activists say."

Bush names Stickler mine chief

"Bush waited until the Senate had recessed for next month’s election, and re-nominated West Virginia native Richard Stickler to be assistant secretary of labor in charge of the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

"Twice this year, the Senate sent Stickler’s nomination back to the White House without a vote, citing opposition from the United Mine Workers and other safety advocates, along with this year’s spike in coal-mining deaths."

A disregard for life and decency.

Water crisis demands attention (Kansas)

"Since the 1940s, farmers have ferociously pumped the aquifer to produce food for a hungry nation and world.

"An estimated 15 million acre-feet of water per year are withdrawn for irrigation. One acre-foot of water is 325,851 gallons, or the amount it would take to cover an acre of land with one foot of water.

"Now, in some areas of western Kansas, the aquifer has been sucked dry or is close to it, and farmers are shutting down wells."

Turn the problem over to Homeland Security . . . problem solved.

Curb cheap flights, urge climate researchers

"Carbon dioxide emissions from air travel could account for two-thirds of the UK's emissions targets by 2050 unless the government takes action to restrict demand for flights, academics said today.

"The government's policies on aviation, which support an expansion in airports that will more than double passenger numbers from 200 million in 2003 to 470 million in 2030, will prevent it reaching its targets on emissions, a report by researchers from Oxford University said."

The journey's no longer the thing.

UN: Ocean 'dead zones' increasing fast

"The number of 'dead zones' in the world’s oceans may have increased by a third in just two years, threatening fish stocks and the people who depend on them, the U.N. Environment Program said on Thursday."

Quotes from www.bartcop.com and others:

"al Qaeda is still very active in Iraq. They are dangerous. They are lethal." -- Pres Bush, ...telling ...the truth? Link After three years of constant pounding by the world's most formidable military machine, doesn't their stepped up violence prove we're losing? Stay the quagmire, George - for your legacy.

"He could be right. There's certainly a stepped up level of violence, and we're heading into an election." -- President Violent Extremist, on Tom Friedman writing that have another 1968 Veitnamese-type Tet offensive on our hands Link Wait, why is Bush starting to admit the truth 19 days before an election? I'm suspiciouser than I was before.

Bill O'Reilly: The Democrats don't like you because you're a man of faith. Dubya: I'm sad for people who don't like me because I happen to believe in the Almighty. -- from O'Reilly's pity party with Der Fuhrer, Link

"We've got a situation where it's not possible to lose militarily." -- Rummy the bloody optimist Link

"I plan to continue this [bloody, unnecessary quagmire] for two more years, but I need a Republican majority in Congress to continue..." -- Der Monkey, offering the Democrats a campaign slogan Link

"On October 19th, Bush will raise awareness of domestic violence by headlining an event for the most renowned abuser in the Congress: Don Sherwood." --Joe Sudbay, "Bush honors Domestic Violence month with Congressman Choker"

"America's corporate media act like juiced-up circus barkers. Bush just signed The Torture Act. That event will be in history books someday along with a question or two about our collective citizen silence. Historians will pose a challenge to our national apathy, which we deserve. Let`s hope that challenge also includes a paragraph or two aimed toward the media. With parts of our Constitution ripped to shreds and the president given almost unlimited powers, why in hell is the media yakking about Madonna adopting a baby? Why is Larry King interviewing John Mark Karr? Why the clock watching over the population turning to 300,000,000? It sure eliminates the super out of 'Super Power.'" -- democrank, Link

"The Terri Shiavo case was the last straw for me. That that was the abandonment of basic Republican principles dealing with decisions made at the local level, and certainly not expanding the jurisdiction of federal courts in order to appeal to a particular religious group that wanted to keep her hooked up. And I think a lot of people thought that was kind of scary." -- John Danforth, the last decent Republican? Link

"If you look at the general overall situation, the Iraq war is doing remarkably well." -- Dick Cheney (R-Insane liar), Link

"You cannot blame the entire Republican party for this reason. The entire government of the United States, the Congress, the White House and increasingly the courts for the last six years has been in the total control not of the Republican party but of the most ideological, the most right wing, the most extreme sliver of the Republican Party." -- Big Dog, identifying the worst of them, the pedo-neo-con 'Christians', Link

"These are the results for the fiscal year that ended February the 30th." -- Too Stupid to be President, October 11, 2006 Link

"John Doolittle has made a mockery of the public trust - using his office to launch a relentless pursuit of personal riches and extra perks, and disgracing his office as the only member of Congress involved in both the Jack Abramoff and Duke Cunningham bribery scandals." -- Charlie Brown campaign Link

"If North Korea believes that people are going to give them a pass on this, they're going to find out that they're wrong." -- Kinda Sleazy, bluffing and Pyongyang knows it Link

"The GOP has played a trick on itself. The party brought so-called gay Republicans into positions of power in Congress only to realize that the confidential information they held about a secret gay network was political dynamite that could backfire.We may be looking at emerging evidence of a homosexual recruitment ring that operated on Capitol Hill." -- Cliff Kinkaid, aim.org If only the Democrats could smell a whiff of opportunity here...

"If she loved them so much, how come she voted against a lot of tax cuts?'' --Dubya, mocking Nancy Pelosi, whom he called "Leader of the House,'' Link

"Bush can't seem to grasp that Democrats fight for middle-income tax cuts. This is in stark contrast to the Republican tax breaks for the super rich...." --Nancy Pelosi, responding to Der Monkey's taunts, Link Either my eyes are lying to me or Nancy Pelosi just fought back a little. Go, Speaker Pelosi!

"We've got a big responsibility. Forget about 2008. Forget about the politics. Just go out and find somebody and look them dead in the eye and say 'You know, this is not right'...This is America. We can do better..." -- Big Dog, attacking the thugs that ruined America's reputation, Link

"Nukes in North Korea, war in Iraq, earthquake in Japan... Bush keeps asking, 'Where is Superman?'" --Dave Letterman

"One has a stronger hand when there's more people playing your same cards." --Dubya, who can't grasp Texas Hold 'em Link

"Sources close to John Kerry say they think he's running for president again. Apparently Kerry's serious, 'cause he's already practicing his concession speech." --Conan O'Brien

"This election isn't about Republicans vs. Democrats. It's about Reality vs. Denial. We can either vote to accept reality and change course or we can vote for denial and stay on the wrong path for another 2 years. The thing about reality is that reality doesn't go away. How bad do things have to get before we vote to drain the swamp? -- Marc Perkel, from his home in San Bruno, CA

"History will show that a vacuum was created and into the vacuum malign elements moved. The hope that we might get out of Iraq in 12, 18, 24 months has proved fallacious. I don't say that the difficulties we are experiencing around the world are caused by our presence in Iraq, but undoubtedly our presence in Iraq exacerbates them." -- The new head of the British Army, General Richard Dannatt, Link

"There was widespread backing across the Army yesterday as soldiers of every rank praised General Dannatt for standing up to the Government." -- Colin Brown, The Independent UK newspaper, Link

The Shooter and the Three Kick Rule

Dick Cheney went duck hunting in rural Missouri. He shot and dropped a bird, but it fell into a farmer's field on the other side of a fence. As Dick climbed over the fence, an elderly farmer drove up on his tractor and asked him what he was doing.

Dick responded, "I shot a duck. It fell in this field, and now I'm going to retrieve it."

The old farmer replied, "This is my property, and you are not coming over here."

Dick indignantly said, "I am Dick Cheney, Vice-President the United States and, if you don't let me get that duck, I'll have the CIA down here and they will take everything you own."

The old farmer smiled and said, "Apparently, you don't know how we settle disputes in Missouri. We settle small disagreements like this with the 'Three Kick Rule.'"

Dick asked, "What is the Three Kick Rule?"

The Farmer replied, "Well, because the dispute occurs on my land, first I kick you three times and then you kick me three times and so on back and forth until someone gives up."

Dick quickly thought about the proposed contest and decided that he could easily take the old codger. He agreed to abide by the local custom.

The old farmer slowly climbed down from the tractor and walked up to Dick. His first kick planted the toe of his heavy steel toed work boot into Dick's groin and dropped him to his knees. His second kick to the midriff sent Dick's last meal gushing from his mouth. Dick was on all ours when the farmer's third kick to his rear end sent him face-first into a fresh cow pie.

Dick summoned every bit of his will and managed to get to his feet. Wiping his face with the arm of his jacket, he said, "Okay, you old fart. Now it's my turn."

The old farmer smiled and said, "Naw, I give up. You can have the duck."

Sunday, October 08, 2006


The Party of Perversion

"Perverse - Contrary to what is good or right: corrupt"

Early in the BushCo takeover, there were people trying to log the lies of the Moron. More than five years later, focus upon his lies has waned, because it is assumed he always lies. It is assumed that everyone in BushCo lies as a matter of course. It is assumed that anyone supporting BushCo for a salary and/or kickbacks lies.

Being lied to, drowning in the lies, corrupts our being.

Mark Foley's perversion is but a pimple on the ass of the Republican party and the nation. Compared to the array of countless other transgressions, he is very small potatoes. However, his misdeeds highlight the hypocrisy of the well fed roaches as they skitter, bibles at the ready, from the light of day.

As I write this, the Moron is going to stay the course with the roach Hastert, as he did with the roach DeLay, as he does with the roach Rumsfeld. As he does with the charnel house Iraq. He is perverse. His vice president is perverse. His secretary of state is perverse. His secretary of defense is perverse. His leader of the senate is perverse. His press secretary is perverse. The vile media enablers are perverse. They are all perverse.

What Mark Foley does to scratch his itch is ugly, but it is not as ugly as the perversions of those above him. For years Foley got away with the seduction of boys, because he saw that he could. It was what he wanted to do. For years, those above him have committed far more heinous crimes, and the light has not yet caused them to scurry for cover. They don't need to. They can get away with it, continuing to do what they want to do. Trillions are unaccounted for in the Pentagon. Billions are pilfered in Iraq. Blood is shed with a wink and a nod. Torture is legalized. Health care, such as it is, is available to fewer and fewer people. The environment is attacked by venal policies. The Moron has gutted the Constitution, and his signing statements have neutered Congress. The well being of life on the planet is attacked by venal policies. The rich get richer and everyone else slides. Through all of this, the right wing righteous bow their heads, praise Jesus, continuing their hubris without shame.

Tonight, Wednesday, I watched the Bill Moyers 90 minute special about the life and crimes of Jack Abramoff et al. It was chilling. Tom DeLay smiled benignly in his mug shot so that people could see Jesus emanating from him. Ewe! The perversion is so pervasive as to be insufferable. Jungles thrive on the rot below, but we will perish from the rot spreading around us.

Who would Jesus bomb? The same people we bomb.

Who would Jesus torture? The same people we torture.

Who would Jesus cheat and defraud? The same people we cheat and defraud

Who would Jesus molest? The same people we molest.

Who would Jesus lie to? The same people we lie to.

Who would Jesus make disappear? The same people we make disappear.

And so on.

It's good to be a Republican, to be on the side of Jesus. Thank God Jesus speaks through George W. Bush, Tom DeLay and the Republican Party.


Picks of the Week

A special comment about lying: Keith Olbermann on the difference between terrorists and critics

"The president of the United States — unbowed, undeterred and unconnected to reality — has continued his extraordinary trek through our country rooting out the enemies of freedom: the Democrats."

Six Flags over neo-Nuremberg:Bush, Oprah, the San Diego Chicken and a proto-fascist panopticon of the mind

"In temperament, Bush is as vain and brutish as any tin-plated dictator. Worse, Bush more closely resembles an abusive pimp – tragically -- Lady Liberty’s. Habitually slapping her around, accusing her of holding out on him, and paranoid of betrayal, Bush, a preening caricature of Macho Narcissism, like any run-of-the-dark-alley pimp claims to be her protector, as, all the while, he abuses, exploits, and degrades her. Apropos, Bush’s vast collection of outfits for every occasion should include a plum purple pimp suit; accordingly, the presidential limo should be tricked out to sport 1970’s style Cadillac El Dorado opera windows, a two tone paint job, and be accessorized with plush, white fur-lined upholstery."

This essay is worth reading through. It tickled my fancy after a night of too much wine and too little sleep. It reminds me of Hugh Romney, a comedian I saw in a small venue in Denver, circa 1962. Romney went on to become known as Wavy Gravy and may have been the person who put LSD into the Kool Aid in The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test.

Impeachment anyone? The case for taking the tape off our mouths

"Never before has the system of government established by the U.S. Constitution been as seriously threatened; never before has the built-in remedy for the sort of threat we face been as badly needed; never before have we had as good an opportunity to use that remedy exactly as it was intended."

Fatal vision: The deeper evil behind the detainee bill

"All of this is bad enough - a sickening and cowardly surrender of liberty not seen in a major Western democracy since the Enabling Act passed by the German Reichstag in March 1933. But it is by no means the full extent of our degradation. In reality, the darkness is deeper, and more foul, than most people imagine. For in addition to the dictatorial powers of seizure and torment given by Congress on Thursday to George W. Bush - powers he had already seized and exercised for five years anyway, even without this fig leaf of sham legality - there is a far more sinister imperial right that Bush has claimed - and used - openly, without any demur or debate from Congress at all: ordering the 'extrajudicial killing' of anyone on earth that he and his deputies decide - arbitrarily, without charges, court hearing, formal evidence, or appeal - is an 'enemy combatant.'"

The new enabling act

"At the time, perhaps, it was difficult to recognize the exact moment when the die was cast – when the malignancy gained sufficient momentum to make what followed inevitable. But in hindsight, the Enabling Act, passed by the German legislature in 1933, might well have been the point of no return.

"Hitler was elected Chancellor (a point conveniently forgotten by many) in January 1933 on a platform of anti-communist propaganda. In February, the Reichstag, the equivalent of our Capitol, was destroyed by arsonists, who may or may not have been affiliated with the Nazis. Appropriately cowed by these and other intimidations, the German parliament passed the Enabling Act that March."

Human rights groups condemn US law on military commissions

"Civil liberties and human rights have denounced the Military Commissions Act adopted by Congress last week, calling it a fundamental break by the US government with democratic principles. The bill passed the Senate Thursday and the House of Representatives Friday, and will be signed into law by President Bush within days."

Decimating the Constitution with military tribunals

"Given all the glorification being bestowed on three U.S. senators for displaying 'principle' in standing against President Bush’s plan to amend the Geneva Convention to permit torture of detainees, followed by their quick compromise abandoning any semblance of principle, it is easy to lose sight of something much bigger: The military tribunals that the president and the Congress are set to approve will constitute the most radical, dangerous, and disgraceful transformation in the U.S. criminal-justice system since our nation’s inception."

Pentagon to probe Gitmo beatings claim

"The Pentagon said Friday that it will investigate a Marine's sworn statement that guards at Guantanamo Bay bragged about beating detainees and that they described it as common practice."

The fascists are creating quite a hell for the defenseless.

Reporter was 'shot by US military on way to hospital

"Terry Lloyd, the ITN journalist, was shot dead by American troops as he was taken to hospital after being injured in crossfire during the Iraq war, an inquest heard today."

A lot of reporters have been offed in Iraq.

Attorneys for 25 men being held in Afghanistan launched a preemptive strike Monday against President Bush's plan to prosecute and interrogate terrorism suspects.

"Court documents filed Monday demand that the men be released or charged and allowed to meet with attorneys. Such a filing, known as a habeas corpus petition, is prohibited under the legislation approved by Congress last week."

Kissinger's bad advice on Iraq

"The real surprise in Woodward’s book has received less attention: The Bush administration’s main advisor during the war has been Henry Kissinger.

"Kissinger, according to Woodward’s book, apparently has convinced the Bush White House that any troop withdrawals from Iraq will start a wave of public pressure to pull out all U.S. forces from Iraq. He is probably right in this analysis."

Return of the war criminal

"Come to think of it, Talleyrand looks pretty good compared to Kissinger, who always aspired to be Metternich (a 19th century Austrian diplomat). Just count the number of Americans and Vietnamese who died between 1969 and 1973, and see if you can find any indication he ever gave a damn."

How al Qaeda views a long Iraq war: A letter from Al Qaeda leaders found in Iraq shows that the group sees the war as a boon for its cause.

"But a letter that has been translated and released by the US military indicates that Al Qaeda itself sees the continued American presence in Iraq as a boon for the terror network, which has recently shown signs of expanding into the Palestinian territories and North Africa."

Attacks in Baghdad kill 13 US soldiers in 3 days

"Thirteen U.S. soldiers have been killed in Baghdad since Monday, the American military reported, registering the highest three-day death toll for U.S. forces in the capital since the start of the war."

Iraq's universities and schools near collapse as teachers and pupils flee

"Iraq's school and university system is in danger of collapse in large areas of the country as pupils and teachers take flight in the face of threats of violence.

"Professors and parents have told the Guardian they no longer feel safe to attend their educational institutions. In some schools and colleges, up to half the staff have fled abroad, resigned or applied to go on prolonged vacation, and class sizes have also dropped by up to half in the areas that are the worst affected."

Troops polled say armed forces stretched too thin overseas

"A solid majority of American soldiers returning from the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan say that U.S. armed forces are stretched too thin, according to a poll released yesterday by a veterans group."

Bush's failed policy to kill, kill, kill

"On March 30, 2003 – 3 ½ years ago and only 10 days after the U.S. invasion of Iraq – I solicited assessments from a few trusted military analysts and wrote that “whatever happens in the weeks ahead, George W. Bush has ‘lost’ the war in Iraq. The only question now is how big a price America will pay, both in terms of battlefield casualties and political hatred swelling around the world.

"The article, entitled 'Bay of Pigs Meets Black Hawk Down,' argued that one of Bush’s most egregious miscalculations was his assumption that the Iraqis wouldn’t fight a foreign invader. Like the wishful thinking in the Bay of Pigs disaster (Cuba, 1961), U.S. policymakers assumed an invasion would be welcomed, not opposed."

Death squads in Iraqi hospitals

"The takeover began after the last election in December when Sadr's political faction was given control of the Ministry of Health. The U.S. military has documented how Sadr's Mahdi Army has turned morgues and hospitals into places where death squads operate freely."

US building Sunni militias?

"Dahr Jamail, an independent journalist in Iraq writing for Antiwar.com, reports on a new development in Iraq, namely, that the U.S. armed forces are arming and training Sunni militias. If true, it's a stunning new error, compounding past ones (disbanding the army, banning the Baath, empowering the religious Shiites, etc.)."In bill's fine print, millions to celebrate victory

"Tucked away in fine print in the military spending bill for this past year was a lump sum of $20 million to pay for a celebration in the nation’s capital 'for commemoration of success' in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Great wall to seal off Iraq

"'The feeling in Saudi is that Iraq is way out of control with no possibility of stability,' said Nawaf Obaid, director of Saudi Arabia's National Security Assessment Project. 'The urgency now is to get that border sealed - physically sealed,' Outwardly the great desert wall will appear mundane, with two metal barriers running 100 metres apart, lined with barbed wire at the base and top."

US general says thousands of Iraqi police wounded, killed

"About 4,000 Iraqi police have been killed and more than 8,000 injured over the past two years, the U.S. commander in charge of the police training said Friday."

US may accept Iranian nuclear bomb

"AMERICA is going to have to learn to live with a nuclear Iran, US intelligence analysts have concluded at a secret meeting near Washington.

"Senior operatives and outside experts from the intelligence community were almost unanimous in their view that little could be done to stop Iran acquiring the components for a nuclear bomb, The Sunday Times has learnt."

US eases demand for Iran sanctions

"Acting on EU advice, the United States has postponed its call for immediate U.N. sanctions against Iran over nuclear policy."

US uranium deadline for Iran

"The US is giving European negotiators until the end of the week to convince Iran to suspend its uranium-enrichment program and will then pursue sanctions if Tehran fails to comply, a senior US official said yesterday."

I'm so confused.

October surprise? A scary but plausible scenario

"To maintain his macho image, however, the president will also announce that the U.S. will bomb Iran's nuclear facilities if that country refuses to stop enriching uranium within a week. He is currently laying the political groundwork for this by asserting that the Democrats would be unwilling to militarily preempt an aggressive state. The Democrats, he says, will 'wait until we're attacked again,' implying that he will strike before we are assailed. Bombing Iran will be couched in terms of eliminating that country's ability to attack us with nuclear weapons."

From a former member of the Reagan administration.

The March to war: Naval build-up in the Persian Gulf and the eastern Mediterranean

"The militarization of the Eastern Mediterranean is broadly under the jurisdiction of NATO in liaison with Israel. Directed against Syria, it is conducted under the façade of a UN peace-keeping mission pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1701. In this context, the war on Lebanon must be viewed as a stage of a the broader US sponsored military road-map."

Russia slams US "unilateral" move on Iran

“'We believe the community of action must be continued but the United States has already taken a unilateral decision affecting all parties, which limits activities in Iran not only of American companies but of all companies,' Lavrov said during a visit to Poland."

something wicked this way comes

"There are some evil plans in the works for October."

Interesting item . . . make of it what you will.

Maher Arar's ordeal, the Harper government and the assault on democratic rights

"The report of the public inquiry into the official kidnapping, incarceration, and torture of Maher Arar and the reaction to it of Canada’s national-security forces, political establishment, and corporate media demonstrates the incompatibility between the agenda of the ruling elite and Canadians’ basic democratic rights."

Harper, like the Moron, takes his cues from corporate North America

Adding insult to injury? Wounded soldiers have pay cut

"The government must stop docking danger pay from soldiers who are injured while fighting for Canada in places like Afghanistan, a Liberal MP said yesterday.

"Wounded members of the Canadian Forces 'are no longer given the benefit of the danger pay nor the tax-exempt status, which I think is extraordinarily harsh and shows a broken faith with our troops,' said Dan McTeague, an MP from Scarborough."

Harper and Bush share the same compassionate conservative philosophy - i.e., f**k the troops.

How the West destroyed Afghanistan

"In order to sell Canadians on our war-fighting mission in Afghanistan, the Harper government resorts to using language that reduces the debate to an adolescent level. By constantly repeating phrases like “we can't cut and run” and we won't leave 'until the job is done,' or 'we have to support our troops' or we 'can't let the terrorists win' Harper hopes to frame the debate so that nothing substantive ever gets discussed.

"These are the kind of arguments you find amongst adolescent boys fighting in schoolyards: too immature and too driven by their testosterone to actually think straight about the consequences of their actions."

Canada must remove the their neocons from power before it's too late.

Taliban back, using Iraq-style violence

"'One Iraq is bad enough,' said Bruce Hoffman, a counterinsurgency expert at Georgetown University. 'Given that our two main theaters of operations aren't going well, one has to question how well the U.S. understands counterinsurgency.'"

Inadequate equipment, health problems face Iraq, Afganistan

"US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan lack proper equipment, are overstretched and face serious health problems upon their return home, according to a poll released by an advocacy group.

"The poll by VoteVets.org, a political action committee made up of veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, showed that nearly half (42 percent) of all veterans who served in either country felt that their equipment did not meet military standards."

US set to cut deal with Taliban

"Alarm bells are going off in the US political and strategic community over the Bush administration's weighing the option of bringing Taliban back into the power equation in Afghanistan.

"First signs of impending overtures to Taliban from Washington came last month when Bush and his aides gingerly supported Pakistan’s agreement with Taliban in the Waziristan province, a deal which was panned in strategic circles as a sell-out to extremists at the expense of US and NATO ground troops in Afghanistan."

Contractors in Afghanistan are making big money for bad work

"A highway that begins crumbling before it is finished. A school with a collapsed roof. A clinic with faulty plumbing. A farmers' cooperative that farmers can't use. Afghan police and military that, after training, are incapable of providing the most basic security. And contractors walking away with millions of dollars in aid money for the work. The Bush Administration touts the reconstruction effort in Afghanistan as a success story. Perhaps, in comparison to the violence-plagued efforts in Iraq and the incompetence-riddled efforts on the American Gulf Coast, everything is relative. A new report 'Afghanistan, Inc.,' issued by the non-profit organization CorpWatch, details the bungled reconstruction effort in Afghanistan."

9/11 panel members weren't told of [Tenet - Rice] meeting

"Members of the Sept. 11 commission said today that they were alarmed that they were told nothing about a White House meeting in July 2001 at which George J. Tenet, then the director of central intelligence, is reported to have warned Condoleezza Rice, then the national security adviser, about an imminent Al Qaeda attack and failed to persuade her to take action."

I guess we can drop the "Kinda" in Kinda Sleazy.

Rice more sordid than Foley

"Call me old school, but I am still more concerned with the Republicans molesting Lady Liberty while pretending to be guarding the nation's security, an assignment which they have totally botched. The news about the Foley coverup, while important as yet another example of extreme hypocrisy on the part of the Republican virtues police, should not be allowed to obscure the latest evidence of administration deceit as to its egregious ineptness in protecting the nation."

Stay home, Ms. Rice

"Or is this just a public relations exercise aimed at improving America's deplorable image in the Arab and Muslim world? Has she merely come on a mission to 'explore' the situation and spread around a little of her dubious charm?"

Maybe it's best to get the outted liar out of Dodge and out of sight.

Is Condi Rice being drug tested?

"The most despised woman in the Middle East returned to the scene of the crime this week. Condi showed up in Cairo with a pitch to sell the latest neo-con plot -- a 'moderate' Arab coalition aligned with Israel against the 'radicals’ in Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine. She got no takers from the ranks of the assembled audience of seven autocratic absolute monarchs and one Egyptian dictator -- all fine examples of democratic progress in the Middle East."

Rumsfeld, Ashcroft received warning of al Qaida attack before 9/11

"The State Department's disclosure Monday that the pair was briefed within a week after then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice was told about the threat on July 10, 2001, raised new questions about what the Bush administration did in response, and about why so many officials have claimed they never received or don't remember the warning."

Unlikely terrorists on no-fly list

"(CBS) 60 Minutes, in collaboration with the National Security News Service, has obtained the secret list used to screen airline passengers for terrorists and discovered it includes names of people not likely to cause terror, including the president of Bolivia, people who are dead and names so common, they are shared by thousands of innocent fliers."

Bush says he can edit security reports

"In the law Bush signed Wednesday, Congress stated no one but the privacy officer could alter, delay or prohibit the mandatory annual report on Homeland Security department activities that affect privacy, including complaints.

"But Bush, in a signing statement attached to the agency's 2007 spending bill, said he will interpret that section 'in a manner consistent with the President's constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch.'"

On Friday night, I watched a History Channel presentation, Hitler Speaks. It was about how his physician treated him with a variety of drug cocktails. One vignette leapt out at me. Because of some condition Hitler suffered from, the doctor needed a special drug. But because of strict German laws regarding drugs, the good doctor had to jump through some hoops to obtain it. I immediately realized the Moron would have no such trouble. If he wanted an arcane cocaine, opium, amphetamine, meth, margarita pick-me-up, it would be a done deal. Jeb would FedEx it to him.

"Capitol crimes" Moyers on America

"'It's a dizzying scope of perfidy and politics that boggles the imagination, and although Jack Abramoff and Tom DeLay have been brought down, the system remains as vulnerable as ever,' says Bill Moyers. 'The scale of corruption still coming to light dwarfs anything since Watergate. In one sense it's the age-old tale of greed, but greed encouraged now by the way our system works. Deep in the plea agreements of Jack Abramoff and his cronies is the admission that they conspired to use campaign contributions to bribe politicians; campaign finance is at the core of the corruption. They took great pains to cover their tracks, and they might have pulled it off except for a handful of honest people, and the work of some enterprising print reporters, Senate investigators, and the ethics team at the department of justice. Following the money in this story leads through a bizarre maze of cocktail parties, golf courses, private jets, four-star restaurants, sweatshops - and the aura of chandeliered rooms frequented by the high and mighty of Washington.'"

Judge may have stymied Abramoff probe

"The bribery investigation involving influence-peddler Jack Abramoff may have been stymied by a federal judge in Florida just as prosecutors began asking questions about the lobbyist's ties to the White House.

"U.S. District Judge Paul Huck refused to delay Abramoff's prison sentence for fraud charges Thursday, rejecting a plea by the Justice Department's top corruption prosecutor, who said Abramoff was providing information about officials whose names hadn't yet surfaced in the case."

Abramoff knew about war on Iraq a year before it happened

"Isn't it just super how slime like Jack Abramoff knew there would be a war in Iraq ONE FULL YEAR before it started! When it comes to incriminating documents for impeachment, this is as good as it gets."

White House Aide to Rove resigns

"Critics have pointed to Ralston as evidence that Rove - and thus Bush - are possibly closer to Abramoff than the White House has acknowledged. Ralston was Abramoff's administrative assistant at his lobbying firm and, after Bush took office, assumed the same post with Rove."

Wouldn't it be better to chop off the head of the serpent? Speaking metaphorically, of course.

Lincoln weeps by Bill Moyers

"If democracy can be said to have temples, the Lincoln Memorial is our most sacred. You stand there silently contemplating the words that gave voice to Lincoln's fierce determination to save the union—his resolve that 'government of, by, and for the people shall not perish from the earth.' On this latest visit, I was overcome by a sense of melancholy. Lincoln looks out now on a city where those words are daily mocked. This is no longer his city. And those people from all walks of life making their way up the steps to pay their respect to the martyred president—it's not their city, either. Or their government. This is an occupied city, a company town, and government is a subservient subsidiary of richly endowed patrons."

Yesterday, the Evil Moron came to town, seeking to bolster the sagging campaign of "Both ways Bob" Beauprez. The Moron raised $300,000 from 300 attendees. In appreciation, Both Ways said, "In a time of great trial, great leaders emerge. Washington, Lincoln, Churchill and Bush. We ask God to continue to grant us great leaders." God granted us Bush? Good God!! Hurry, we must atone to prevent further wrath.

I was just thinking about Bush as Washington, "I cannot tell a truth."

Dutch blackbox voting

"In a just-published report (PDF, in English, cached here), the Dutch we-don't-trust-voting-computers foundation (Dutch and English) details how it converted a Nedap voting machine, of a type used in Holland and France, to steal a pre-determined percentage of votes and reassign them to another party. The paper describes in great detail how 'anyone, when given brief access to the devices at any time before the election, can gain complete and virtually undetectable control over the election results.' As a funny bonus, responding to an earlier challenge by the manufacturer, the researchers reflashed a voting machine to play chess. The news was on national television (Dutch) last night and is growing into a major scandal. 90% of the votes in the Netherlands are cast on these machines and national elections will be held in a month."

Voter registrations faked in GOP drive

"At least five apparently bogus voter registration forms were submitted to the Metro Nashville election commission by a worker with ties to the Republican National Committee, and up to 150 other registrations have been called into question, The Tennessean has learned."

George W. Bush "failed to tell the truth?" What the hell does that mean?

"But with all the euphemisms for lying, 'failed to tell the truth' takes the cake! This is the new buzz phrase surrounding the new Bob Woodward book about George W. Bush. With all the lying exposed by this book the best this so-called journalist can do when it comes to finally telling the public that they are being led by the most dishonest American administration in history- is to express the apologist notion that George W. Bush was really trying to tell the truth, but he simply failed. That sounds as if he fought to tell the truth and just did not know how! (By the way, if Bob Woodward was a real journalist he would have been reporting his discoveries AS HE DISCOVERED THEM…not after the irreversible damage has occurred!)"

Of all the egregious things BushCo does and is, the worst for me is being lied to all of the time.

FBI begins looking at Foley's contact with teens

"The FBI is looking at whether former Florida Rep. Mark Foley's computer exchanges with underage House pages broke any laws, an FBI spokesman said late Sunday."

The Mel Gibson defense. If he does have an alcohol problem, then he is best characterized as an alcoholic pervert. And like most Republicans, he is a hypocrite.

Politics over children

"Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) resigned Friday after it became public that he had repeatedly sent predatory, sexually explicit emails and text messages to underage congressional pages. ABC News reported last night, 'Foley's obsession with 16- and 17-year-old male pages has been known to Republicans on Capitol Hill for at least five years, but, other than issue a warning, little else seems to have been done about the congressman.' At least 11 House members and staff, all Republicans, knew of the inappropriate emails sent by Foley to a page in 2005. The boy told House officials that Foley's messages 'freaked him out' and were 'sick, sick, sick, sick, sick.'"

The gay problem in the GOP

"If this has a familiar ring, look in the Catholic Church for the bell. Republican leadership was acting like the Catholic hierarchy, which played shell games with men accused of sexually abusing children. And there's a good reason for the similarity. The inability to deal straightforwardly with gay people leads to other kinds of truth-avoidance when things go south. But that's what comes from not wanting to know something, and going out of your way to remain ignorant."

I like what Stephen Covey had to say, "Unexpressed feelings never die; they merely buried alive only to come forth later in uglier ways." The Repugs are aquiver with repressed longings. That's why when something happens, it's usually inappropriate.

Closeted gay Republicans and a party in free fall

"Today's NY Times has a chart that outlines the 'key communications' in the House of Representatives about Mark Foley's inappropriate contact with pages. More than one of the names in the chart, which includes Kirk Fordham, are rumored to be closeted gay Republicans who have been working at the highest levels of the Republican leadership. They have been looking at their names in print for the last couple of days and no doubt fearing for their futures in a Party that is in political free-fall.

The child care crisis

"And, it keeps getting worse. According to a new 50-state report on child care policies just released by the National Women’s Law Center, the Bush administration has successful dismantled government services for children. State funds for child care assistance have fallen for the fifth year in a row. The problem will soon become catastrophic when large numbers of single mothers bump up against their five-year life limit on welfare."

Leave the children behind, and molest them.

Why capitol parents fear retaliation

"It now appears that one of the chief reasons why Foley’s e-mails remained secret for so long – and why some former pages still won’t speak publicly – is that they recognize that divulging what Foley did to them could kill their hopes for future careers in politics.

"This fear of retaliation from today’s take-no-prisoners Republican power structure in Washington has been a little-noted subtext to the stories about Foley’s sudden resignation on Sept. 29 over his e-mails to pages since 2003."

Congress sees through part-colored glasses

"Republicans were aghast at Clinton's behavior, with many saying it showed he had lied and abused his power.

"'It's vile,' said Rep. Mark Foley, R-West Palm Beach. 'It's more sad than anything else, to see someone with such potential throw it all down the drain because of a sexual addiction.'"

Consensual sex between adults turns off Senator Foley. Going after the young? Way to go!

The Franklin coverup scandal: The child sex ring that reached Bush/Reagan Whitehouse

"Former republican Senator John Decamp was involved in the production a documentary called 'Conspiracy of Silence' it was to air May 3, 1994 on the Discovery Channel. This documentary exposed a network of religious leaders and Washington politicians who flew children to Washington D.C. for sex orgies. At the last minute before airing, unknown congressmen threatened the TV Cable industry with restrictive legislation if this documentary was aired."


"It’s rare when a scandal hits Washington that’s actually enjoyable to follow, but Mark Foley has really put the punch back in politics. Who would have guessed that after 6 years of slaughtering and torturing people in their own countries, the American people could be so incensed by one rogue congressman bumping boys in his off-hours. It just shows what trivial people we’ve become."Congress is a moral cesspool. It didn’t take Foley to prove that. It is the epicenter of American corruption, the very heart of the beast. If we had any sense we’d send in the fire-trucks and hose out the whole place and then take a wrecking ball to the rotunda. The system is so far gone and so polluted with corporate money it’s no longer salvageable. Just bring in the dozers and we’ll start fresh."

Busted!: The Family Research Council knew about Foley

"Here's an excerpt from an October 3 interview Tony Perkins, president of the FRC, did with Chris Matthews of Hardball:

MATTHEWS: Do you think the leadership of the House should have acted when they saw that Mark Foley was spending an inordinate amount of time hanging around pages, just seemingly too interested in them? Is that enough for action?

PERKINS: Yes, I think there is, because in talking to some pages, you know--I`ve had people now on staff that used to be pages, and it was widely known to watch out for him, that he liked boys. And the question--and this question I asked ..."

Who is Scott Palmer? (Hastert's chief of staff)

"If Fordham did warn Palmer about Foley a long time ago, what are the odds that Palmer did not tell Hastert? As close to zero as you can get. Many chiefs of staff are close, very close, to their bosses on Capitol Hill. But none are closer than Scott Palmer is to Denny Hastert. They don't just work together all day, they live together."

US: Millions of Medicare beneficiaries to be left without drug coverage

"Many older Americans reliant on Medicare prescription drug coverage are now being confronted with the so-called 'doughnut-hole' written into Part D, the drug benefit plan legislated in 2003. Some 3 million beneficiaries are expected see an end to federal payments for their medicines as they reach an annual spending cap, and will then be forced to choose between paying thousands of dollars for their prescriptions and going without."

Given the FDA's rubber stamping of pharmas' bidding for quick passage of unproven drugs, it may not be all that dire to do without.

Working Americans under attack

"Workers' rights have been severely crippled. On Tuesday, President Bush's National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) -- 'easily the most anti-worker labor board in history' -- issued a decision that will deny the right to organize to as many as 8 million workers in 200 occupations. Under the Taft-Hartley Act, 'supervisors" in an organization are prohibited from joining unions. In a party-line vote of the five-member NLRB, the three Bush appointees voted to broadly interpret who can be called a supervisor, extending to someone who "spends as little as 10 percent to 15 percent of his or her time overseeing the work of others.' AFL-CIO President John Sweeney noted, 'The rights of anyone who spends 7 hours and 10 minutes a day on routine duties and 50 minutes on 'supervisory functions' are at risk.' Working Americans' right to organize has suffered under the Bush administration. Currently, 32 million workers -- 25 percent of the workforce -- have no right to form a union under federal, state, or local law. Even though productivity has steadily risen, the restriction on workers' rights has contributed to lower wages and a 'middle class in turmoil.' Tuesday's NLRB decision is a defeat for workers everywhere. In a blistering dissent, the two board members appointed by former President Clinton warned that the ruling 'threatens to create a new class of workers under Federal labor law: workers who have neither the genuine prerogatives of management, nor the statutory rights of ordinary employees.'"

Dobbs: Are you a casualty of the class war?

"More Americans than ever are living in poverty, living without health care, paying more for housing and for the costs of our public education. And real wages are falling."

The billionaires club

"A nine-figure fortune won't get you much mention these days, at least not in these pages. This year, for the first time, everyone on The Forbes 400 has at least $1 billion. The collective net worth of the nation's wealthiest climbed $120 billion, to $1.25 trillion."

Banks' $7 billion tax-exempt bond ruse yields nothing for needy

"The 300-apartment complex was on a list of developments that were eligible to benefit from $220 million in bonds issued by a public agency in 1999 to promote affordable housing in Florida. None of the money went to Oakwood Terrace. Not a penny of the $220 million bond issue -- which was underwritten by JPMorgan Chase & Co., the third-largest bank in the U.S., and insured by a unit of American International Group Inc., the world's largest insurance company -- was ever spent on low- income residences."

Deeper and deeper

"There is fresh evidence, if any more were needed, that excessive borrowing during the Bush years will make the nation poorer.

"For most of the past five and a half years, interest rates have been low, allowing the government to borrow more and more — to cut taxes while fighting two expensive wars — without having to shoulder higher interest payments.

"That’s over now."

Wal-Mart to add wage caps and part-timers

"Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest private employer [and major BushCo supporter], is pushing to create a cheaper, more flexible work force by capping wages, using more part-time workers and scheduling more workers on nights and weekends."

Boycott Wal-Mart.

US Fed issues inflation warning

"Figures released earlier on Wednesday highlighted a slowdown in the services sector, a driver behind the economy."

Bernanke warns of boomer effect

"The burden from retiring baby boomers will strain the nation's budget and economy, unless Social Security and Medicare are revamped, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday.

"It was his strongest warning yet about the potential perils and tough decisions that will confront the United States with the looming retirement of 78 million baby boomers."

Destroying the crown jewel in Roosevelt's legacy will indicate final victory for BushCo. Did they save that "Mission Accomplished banner?

No Bush left behind:The President's brother Neil is making hay from school reform

"Now, after five years of development and backing by investors like Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal and onetime junk-bond king Michael R. Milken, Neil Bush aims to roll his high-tech teacher's helpers into classrooms nationwide. He calls them 'curriculum on wheels,' or COWs. The $3,800 purple plug-and-play computer/projectors display lively videos and cartoons: the XYZ Affair of the late 1790s as operetta, the 1828 Tariff of Abominations as horror flick. The device plays songs that are supposed to aid the memorization of the 22 rivers of Texas or other facts that might crop up in state tests of 'essential knowledge.'"

Neil "Silverado" Bush, the low profile member of the Bush Crime Family.

Job cuts soar in September

"Job cuts soared last month, topping the 100,000 mark for the first time since last January."

National Park Service to allow commercial bioprospecting

"'This is, sadly, another step along the path of turning our national treasures into corporate booty,' said Beth Burrows, Director of the Edmonds Institute (EI), one of the plaintiffs in the original lawsuit over this matter. 'We support scientific research in the parks, but we are against commercializing the parks and their wildlife.'"

The century of drought: One third of the planet will be desert by the year 2100, say climate experts in the most dire warning yet of the effects of global warming

"Drought threatening the lives of millions will spread across half the land surface of the Earth in the coming century because of global warming, according to new predictions from Britain's leading climate scientists."

Does this mean we shouldn't foul our nest?

World Bank's dirty power plan

"The World Bank promotes these and other technologies to the detriment of renewable energy, such as wind, a fast-growing, competitive and clean source of energy—and despite the fact that even the G8 recognized the potential of renewables: Its Renewable Energy Task Force developed a plan in 2001 that would have provided renewable energy to 1 billion people by 2010. (The U.S. killed that initiative.)"

Retired forest planner blasts secret forest service project

"'Something very tragic is happening to our public land,' Artley proclaims. 'This policy (RSFMP) was cooked up in secret by the Forest Service in 2002 with absolutely no public involvement or congressional review. By law, every RSFMP project must go through the National Environmental Policy Act process and have a public input period, but the Forest Service has chosen to ignore NEPA.'"

Can I say it? These perverse pricks hate life with the same passion they love money.

Quotes from www.bartcop.com:

"Senator Macaca's father was a football coach -- coach of the Rams and the Redskins. In fact, George Allen right now is coaching the white team on 'Survivor.'." -- Jay Leno

"If Karl Rove wants a piece of me he knows where he can find me." ... General Clark, our VP candidate in '08?

"Bush released portions of the classified report that stated the war in Iraq is adding to terrorism. Suspiciously, in parts of the report, someone had crossed out 'Iraq' and written in, 'Gay dudes'." -- Amy Poehler

"There's only one way to get this information. Send Foley, Hastert, Boehner, and the rest of them to Gitmo and torture the information out of them." -- Tom D'Antoni Link

"We need to look at the idea of bringing 15- and 16-year-old children to Washington D.C., exposing them to adults power-crazy Fascists who they look up to and admire and these people Republicans turn out to be flawed people with flawed personalities sexual criminals," -- Congressman Ray LaHood, blaming the children, Link

"The consensual age for sex in Washington, D.C., is 16 years old, and one of the reasons the age of consent has been reduced is the gay rights movement, which is holy inside the Democratic Party." - Pat Buchanan, blaming gays and Democrats for Foley's actions Link

"Nobody could have predicted..." -- Sleazy Rice, after giving Tenet the brush-off

"They have taken these e-mails out of context." --Jason Kello, spokesman for Foley the Republican Pervert, Link

"Instead of a plan or a strategy, we get 'mission accomplished' and 'stay the course'. Those slogans (might) win an election, but they won't help our mission in Iraq." -- Former Army Capt. Tammy Duckworth, Link

"Sex offenders are not petty criminals. They prey on our children like animals and will continue to do it unless stopped. We have a moral responsibility to do everything in our power to protect our kids from these animals." -- Foley the Animal, in 2005, given a green light to prey on kids by the GOP, Link

"We'll let history judge -- I've got to do my job." -- Dubya, Link

"You get an 'F', a**hole." -- History

"The party of FDR and Harry Truman has become the party of cut and run." -- Der Furher in Alabama, Link

"The party of Nixon and Reagan has become the party of legal rape and legal torture." -- Bartcop in Knuckledrag, OK

"We have thrown away the most valuable asset we had -- the right to oppose both flag and country when he believed them to be in the wrong." -- Howard Zinn, Link

"The Arctic is NOT getting warmer. It is actually gaining ice. It's getting thicker." -- Jim Inhofe (R-Pissquik) on CNN

"And before you accuse me of writing about news in your favorite entertainment magazine, let me assure you Nancy Grace is entertainment...if, that is, you're the sort who watches NASCAR for the crashes and Survivor hoping no one will. In the increasingly weird world of infotainment, she is the belle of the Freakers Ball...[Grace] conveys by body language alone the idea that we're all guilty of something...and she knows it." -- Stephen King in Entertainment Weekly, Link