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 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, 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."


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