Picks Commentary

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Christmas and Global Warming

Reflections on An Inconvenient Truth

On Tuesday evening, I rented and watched Al Gore's film. On Wednesday morning, I took Murray, the cairn terrier, for our morning constitutional. I left the house with a winter jacket on. Shortly, I removed the jacket and continued the walk in a t-shirt. I was perspiring. It was November 22.

On Thanksgiving morning, the paper came. I estimate it's weight to be around five pounds. The majority of its heft came from ads enticing one to begin shopping very early on Friday morning and to continue the consumptive spree until late December 24. It would be what Jesus would want. Certainly, Macy's, Penney's, Dillard's, Home Depot, etc, would be quite pleased.

Toward the end of August, I saw the first Christmas specific sales items at CostCo. A year ago, I was depressed to see them at that store in September. The year before, I think, it was disturbing to see them on display in October. CostCo seems to be the canary in the Christmas mineshaft. The trend suggests that by about 2010, give or take, Easter eggs and Christmas ornaments will be competing for CostCo floor space. The Easter Bunny in a Santa Claus suit? I guess it could work; we seem open to most forms of manipulation.

An Inconvenient Truth is full of gripping statistics and disturbing visuals, and it is based upon good science. I was struck by Gore's description of the depth of the earth's atmosphere that within which we live and move and have our being on the material plane. If one were to take a good sized globe and paint it with a coat of varnish, Gore said, the thickness of the varnish would compare relatively to the thickness of the earth's atmosphere. Without it, we're thinking Mars or the Moon.

While watching the film I recalled an article I read during my teaching days. It was about apparently healthy deer dying off on some island off the east coast of the US. The food supply was adequate, and the deer looked ok. However, autopsies showed a common characteristic. All of the deer examined had enlarged adrenal glands indicating their deaths came as a result stress caused by too much togetherness.

Gore cited some population figures that compared similarly to a link I provided in Picks a while back. Gore is around 60, I think. He said that when he was born, there were about 2B people on the planet. Now, there are over 6B. While compounding is a good thing for investment returns, it's a bitch when it comes to fruit flies and humans.

As I was separating the ads from the newspaper on Thursday, I was thinking about the planet and people and shopping and consuming. It may be inconvenient to reflect upon the way we live and the impact on our nest. But we need to start thinking and acting in accordance with reality.

In the 70s, I remember reading about some guy who was focused upon having no more than 200 possessions. If he added something, he felt obligated to rid himself of something else. He counted everything in his realm of possessions, silverware, pencils whatever. I realize that I would easily exceed that number before I got out of the bedroom. Silverware, by the way, didn't count as a single item. The fellow counted each knife, fork, spoon.

I remember when I was in elementary school, I would get a new pair of shoes once a year. With growing and usage, the allotment meant I was a one pair of shoes guy. Now, I'm no Imelda Marcos, but I'm well stocked in the footwear department.

I don't know how the fellow arrived at 200 objects as the target, but the concept of some kind of self imposed finitude on possessions intrigues me to this day. I've always felt the paring down process would be liberating and educational. Knowing what was of vital importance would tell me a lot about who I am and what I'm about. The detritus of a lifetime, in my case, resembles tailings from an abandoned mine. Something for me to ponder.

Yesterday, Rick Steves, the travel guy on PBS, had a retrospective on Christmas travels past. A common theme in the European countries he visited was restraint. Of France he said, it isn't the quantity of gifts but the quality. Maybe we'll never put Christ back in Christmas in the USA, but we should get him transferred out of the marketing department.

Picks of the Week:

Will forests adapt to a warmer world?

'We're like a two-year-old playing with fire... We're messing around with something dangerous and don't really understand what will happen,' says William Laurance, of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Balboa, Panama, in reference to climate change and the Amazon rainforest."

Hollywood environmentalist targets middle America

"'There is a window closing here,' said David, citing experts like NASA climatologist James Hansen who say the world has 10 years to take action against global warming or face widespread climate disaster."

Global warming said killing some species

"At least 70 species of frogs, mostly mountain-dwellers that had nowhere to go to escape the creeping heat, have gone extinct because of climate change, the analysis says. It also reports that between 100 and 200 other cold-dependent animal species, such as penguins and polar bears are in deep trouble."

World has under decade to act on climate crisis

"The world has less than a decade to take decisive action in the battle to beat global warming or risk irreversible change that will tip the planet towards catastrophe, a leading U.S. climate scientist said on Tuesday."And the United States, the world' biggest polluter but major climate laggard, has a vital role to play in leading that fight, James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told Reuters on a visit to London."

States will tell Supreme Court feds must act on warming

"The polar icecaps are melting, summers growing hotter and hurricanes becoming more powerful, but the Bush administration has insisted it cannot regulate the gases that many believe are responsible."On Wednesday, a coalition of 12 states, led by California and Massachusetts, will try to persuade the Supreme Court that the nation's environmental regulators have the legal authority and responsibility to control greenhouse gas emissions linked to global warming — which many scientists describe as the biggest environmental threat to the planet."

EPA's new air quality standards endanger public health

"Here’s something that will take your breath away. The EPA, charged with protecting our environment, has adopted new air quality standards that actually put our environment and health at greater risk."

How can we [Canada] restore our reputation and sovereignty?

"There is a new axis of evil in the world, an environmental axis of evil. Its members are Canada, the United States and Australia. One expects it from the United States, a country run in a moral void by and for the wealthy élite, but not from Canada.

"That Canada has fallen so low from a position once of being a respected leader in environmental reform speaks volumes about the poor quality of national government that it has fallen victim to."

That's because Canada embraced Harper, and, by default, The Moron and The Dick.

Aids pandemic gains renewed strength

"The spread of the HIV/Aids pandemic continues unabated, with the number of people infected rising once more in some countries which had been thought to be beating the disease, according to the UN."

Class Struggle

"The most important--and unfortunately the least debated--issue in politics today is our society's steady drift toward a class-based system, the likes of which we have not seen since the 19th century. America's top tier has grown infinitely richer and more removed over the past 25 years. It is not unfair to say that they are literally living in a different country. Few among them send their children to public schools; fewer still send their loved ones to fight our wars. They own most of our stocks, making the stock market an unreliable indicator of the economic health of working people. The top 1% now takes in an astounding 16% of national income, up from 8% in 1980. The tax codes protect them, just as they protect corporate America, through a vast system of loopholes."

Time to revolt? The founders would probably think so.

Fanfare for the common man

"Frustrated by stagnant wages and rising health costs and fearful that their jobs will be sent to China, anxious voters, particularly in the industrial heartland, sent a new brand of Democrat to Congress: one who may believe in God and guns but who is wary of big business and even more dubious about free trade. The rise of these “Lou Dobbs Democrats” (a reference to a globophobic blowhard on CNN) could spell significant changes in American economic policy."

America: What to do next?

"The question now is what to do next? How does the nation maneuver out of the dangerous predicament in the Middle East? And what will it take to ensure that the country is not so easily commandeered again and piloted back toward disaster?"

Washington's Iraq chimeras

"Three persistent illusions—which, intentionally or not, serve to cover up or minimize the mess President George W. Bush has created in Iraq—stand out:

"The Baker/Hamilton commission is our way out.

"Training Iraqis will save the day.

We will keep some kind of control no matter what."

In the shadow of Ho Chi Minh

"Bush seems not to have noticed that we succeeded in Vietnam precisely because we did quit the military occupation of that nation, permitting an ideology of freedom to overcome one of hate. Bush’s rhetoric is frighteningly reminiscent of Richard Nixon’s escalation and expansion of the Vietnam War in an attempt to buy an 'honorable' exit with the blood of millions of Southeast Asians and thousands of American soldiers. In the end, a decade of bitter fighting did not prevent an ignominious U.S. departure from Saigon."

The only real option: Leave Iraq now

"Good lord, if even Henry Kissinger now says that military victory in Iraq is impossible, pretty soon George W. Bush really will be left with just Laura and Barney on his side.

"The Decider Agonistes must be feeling betrayed and abused these days. British Prime Minister Tony Blair's admission that the war has been 'pretty much of a disaster' was just a slip of the tongue, but the president must have felt it as a cut most unkind."

US finds Iraq insurgency has funds to sustain itself

"The insurgency in Iraq is now self-sustaining financially, raising tens of millions of dollars a year from oil smuggling, kidnapping, counterfeiting, connivance by corrupt Islamic charities and other crimes that the Iraqi government and its American patrons have been largely unable to prevent, a classified United States government report has concluded."

Too bad the US doesn't have funds to sustain itself.

Ferocity of Iraq attacks leaves US troops helpless

"MORE than 3½ years after President George W Bush launched an invasion of Iraq, which his supporters proclaimed as a 'cakewalk', American troops were yesterday engulfed in a wave of sectarian bloodletting that threatens to destroy the Iraqi government and may jeopardise a crisis summit this week with Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister.

"US forces were reduced to near-impotent bystanders as the violence ignited by Thursday’s car bomb attacks on Shi’ite targets in Baghdad spawned a spiral of revenge."

In Saddam's time I never saw a friend killed in fron of my eyes. I never saw neighbours driven out of their homes just for their sect

"Saad’s dreams were dashed a long time ago. 'We always say, ‘Inshallah, there will be a solution’, but realistically we can’t see any hope.' Would he like Saddam back? 'Yes,' he says. 'For many reasons. During Saddam's time I never saw a friend killed in front of my eyes, I never saw neighbours driven out of their homes just for their sect, and I never saw entire families being slaughtered and killed.'”

It should've been The Moron and The Dick being tried in Baghdad for war crimes.

Olmert and the Baker boys

"In order to undermine the Baker Boys, Olmert will rally AIPAC. 'On his way home from Los Angeles, the prime minister 'calmed’ … reporters—and perhaps even himself—by saying there is no danger of U.S. President George W. Bush accepting the expected recommendations of the Baker-Hamilton panel, and attempting to move Syria out of the axis of evil and into a coalition to extricate America from Iraq. The prime minister hopes the Jewish lobby can rally a Democratic majority in the new Congress to counter any diversion from the status quo on the Palestinians,' reports Haartez."

Articles of impeachment against Bush and Cheney

" . . . here are the following 14 possible articles of impeachment against the President and Vice President."

Bush administration and US media blame Syria for Gemayel assassination

"The ferocity of this response should in and of itself raise eyebrows. Another agenda is at work. Or, worse, the clamor to blame Syria, without evidence or any attempt at substantiation, represents a premeditated course of action, prepared ahead of time, suggesting foreknowledge of the event."

US carried out madrasah bombing

"'We thought it would be less damaging if we said we did it rather than the US,' said a key aide to President Pervez Musharraf. 'But there was a lot of collateral damage and we’ve requested the Americans not to do it again.'

"The Americans are believed to have attacked after a tip-off that Ayman al-Zawahiri, the deputy leader of Al-Qaeda, was present. Local people claimed the victims included boys as young as 12 and that the tribal area had been negotiating with the Pakistan government for a peace deal."

Gates pushed for bombing of Sandinistas

"Robert M. Gates, President Bush's nominee to lead the Pentagon, advocated a bombing campaign against Nicaragua in 1984 in order to 'bring down' the leftist government, according to a declassified memo released by a nonprofit research group.

"The memo from Gates to his then-boss, CIA Director William J. Casey, was among a selection of declassified documents from the 1980s Iran-Contra scandal posted Friday on the website of the National Security Archive."

Guess it wouldn't be too great a leap for Bob to rubberstamp nuking Iran.

Dems want to see citizen-monitoring database

"But a previously secret Pentagon intelligence report labeled that same event a 'threat to military installations.' The report lists the group's upcoming events and warns that while it's a 'peaceful organization,' there is potential that 'future protest could become violent.'"

I'm no politically savvy politico making a 6 figure salary, but wouldn't it be a good idea to ask Bob Gates if he thinks spying on citizens is constitutional?

A strategy for seeking a national single-payer healthcare system

"'The Time is Now.' said Congressman John Conyers to the Healthcare-NOW national strategy meeting, November 12, 2006, in Chicago. Conyers and 60 Healthcare-NOW organizers from 16 states joined in thinking about how to push forward for a single-payer national healthcare system in the United States in a marathon 10-hour strategy session. Healthcare-NOW is a bottom up movement organization, so the strategies evolved throughout the day came from very few speeches and a lot of discussion. Conyers's bill H.R. 676 will provide healthcare for everyone in the United States by eliminating the profits of the insurance companies and negotiating drug and other treatment costs. It will be paid for on a sliding scale by all of us together. We will have no bills, co-payments, deductibles, denials, or bankruptcies. And we will be paying less than we are now."

California legislature votes to kill the health insurance industry

"The US system, according to the World Health Organization, is rated 72nd in quality, but number one in cost, worldwide. The 'Death by Medicine" study shows that the system itself is the number one killer of Americans. The number two and three killers of Americans are heart disease and cancer, diseases which those of us outside of the 'status quo' know are curable, and preventable - but those cures and preventive treatments are being suppressed by agents of the 'status quo.'"

Ivan Illich's 70's book, Medical Nemesis, portrayed iatrogenic disease (doctor caused illness) as the number one killer of Americans.

Firms crimping oil supplies

"Whatever the truth in Bakersfield, an Associated Press analysis suggests that big oil companies have been crimping supplies in subtler ways across the country for years. And tighter supplies tend to drive up prices.

"The analysis, based on data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, indicates that the industry slacked off supplying oil and gasoline during the prolonged price boom between early 1999 and last summer, when prices began to fall."

Democrats' victory is felt on K street

"Labor and environmental representatives, once also-rans in congressional influence, are meeting frequently with Capitol Hill's incoming Democratic leaders. Corporations that once boasted about their Republican ties are busily hiring Democratic lobbyists. And industries worried about reprisals from the new Democrats-in-charge, especially the pharmaceutical industry, are sending out woe-is-me memos and hoping their GOP connections will protect them in the crunch."

We'll see.

Reno files challenge to terror law

"Former Attorney General Janet Reno and seven other former Justice Department officials filed court papers Monday arguing that the Bush administration is setting a dangerous precedent by trying a suspected terrorist outside the court system.

"It was the first time that Reno, attorney general in the Clinton administration, has spoken out against the administration's policies on terrorism detainees, underscoring how contentious the court fight over the nation's new military commissions law has become. Former attorneys general rarely file court papers challenging administration policy."

Missing presumed tortured

"More than 7,000 prisoners have been captured in America's war on terror. Just 700 ended up in Guantanamo Bay. Between extraordinary rendition to foreign jails and disappearance into the CIA's 'black sites', what happened to the rest?"

Gates is the wrong man to follow Rummy.

Bush's mysterious new programs

“'I stand by this President’s ability, inherent to being Commander in Chief, to find out about Fifth Column movements, and I don’t think you need a warrant to do that,' Graham added, volunteering to work with the administration to draft guidelines for how best to neutralize this alleged threat.

'Senator,' a smiling Gonzales responded, 'the President already said we’d be happy to listen to your ideas.'”

Dreaming of gulags in 'Merica.

Rumsfeld okayes abuses says former US general

"Outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld authorized the mistreatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, the prison's former U.S. commander said in an interview on Saturday.

"Former U.S. Army Brigadier General Janis Karpinski told Spain's El Pais newspaper she had seen a letter apparently signed by Rumsfeld which allowed civilian contractors to use techniques such as sleep deprivation during interrogation."

Judge orders FBI to correct disclosures

"Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that U.S. District Court Judge Richard W. Roberts of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has ordered the Federal Bureau of Investigation to submit "proper disclosures" to the Court and Judicial Watch by December 15, 2006 concerning the U.S. government's evacuation of Saudi royals and members of the bin Laden family from the United States immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks."

Maybe some light will be shed upon bin Laden connections with BushCo.

CIA role claim in [Robert] Kennedy killing

"It reveals that the operatives and four unidentified associates were at the Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles in the moments before and after the shooting on 5 June, 1968.

"The CIA had no domestic jurisdiction and some of the officers were based in South-East Asia at the time, with no reason to be in Los Angeles." . . . .

"David Morales was Chief of Operations and once told friends:

"'I was in Dallas when we got the son of a bitch and I was in Los Angeles when we got the little bastard.'"

I can't remember, was George H.W. Bush head of the CIA in 1968?

The coming collapse of housing

"I arranged for good friend Gary Shilling to condense his 40 page letter on the housing market for you. While this letter will print long (for those of you who print the letter out), it is mostly charts, which Gary excels in. Gary argues that housing prices are not in for just a small decline but a material drop. I have argued that it is housing that will be one of the main causes of the next recession sometime next year. So without adding too much more copy, let's jump right into Gary's analysis."

US dollar will keep falling

"The US dollar has reached a 'tipping point' as foreign exchange markets wake up to the threat that the Federal Reserve will have to slash interest rates in the new year to stave off recession, analysts say. After a sharp sell-off on Friday took the greenback to 18-month lows against the euro, and pushed the pound to $1.93, economists warned that there was worse to come for the US currency."

Markets rocked by sharp slide in dollar

"A sharpening slide in the US dollar unnerved global markets on Friday as investors sought to protect themselves from the possibility of sustained dollar weakness."

Quotes from www.bartcop.com and others:

"John Kerry said he's thinking about running for president in 2008. In other words, Kerry is still telling bad jokes." -- Conan O'Brien

"Finally a guy who says what people who aren't thinking are thinking. Just like as a conservative white guy, the burden is on me to prove to you I've neither blown up a federal building with a fertilizer bomb nor blown a gay hooker in the men's room at Denny's." --Jon Stewart, on Glenn Beck insulting the first Muslim elected to Congress, Link

"The president has been doing a lot of waving and getting a lot of waving and smiles. I think he's gotten a real sense of the warmth of the Vietnamese people." -- BFEE spokeswhore Stephen J. Hadley, saying that although Dubya had not come into direct contact with ordinary Vietnamese, they connected anyway, Link

"In 2000, tens of thousands of Hanoi's residents poured into the streets to witness the visit of American President Bill Clinton. Clinton toured the thousand-year-old Temple of Literature, grabbed lunch at a noodle shop, argued with Communist Party leaders about American imperialism." --David E. Sanger, on the difference between love and hate, Link

"I applaud a society where people are free to express their opinion. It's to Indonesia's credit that it's a society where people are able to protest and say what they think. That's what happens when you make hard decisions." -- Dubya, flattering himself as "The Decider" as the hate oozed into the street upon his arrival, Link

"It was a great win for what I call the new Democratic Party. This is the new Democratic Party. The old Democratic Party is back there in Washington, sometimes they still complain a little bit. The people who complain always get the headlines. But the fact is that this strategy not only works, it works in states Democrats have given up on for 30 years. We cannot give up on anybody." -- Howard Dean, smacking Carville, Link

"I think that's weird and it's nuts. To suggest that everything we do is because we're hungry for money, I think that's crazy. I think you need to go back to school." -- The Senior Bush Criminal, responding to a college student in Abu Dhabi, who said he believed that Dim Son was raping the world so he could steal its wealth, Link

"The cost of giving Americans universal health care is about $300 billion. That's less than a quarter of what Bush's Iraq fiasco is going to cost. But bring that up during a 'national security' debate, and they'll call you a wimp and you'll be disbarred from further participation." -- Eric Alterman, Link

How many members of the Bush Administration are needed to change a light bulb?

Answer: TEN. Let me break that down for you.....

1. One to deny that a light bulb needs to be changed;

2. One to attack the patriotism of anyone who says the light bulb needs to be changed;

3. One to blame Clinton for burning out the light bulb.

4. One to tell the nations of the world that they are either for changing the light bulb or for eternal darkness;

5. One to give a billion dollar no-bid contract to Halliburton for a new light bulb;

6. One to arrange a photograph of Bush, dressed as a janitor and standing on a step ladder under the banner "Bulb Accomplished";

7. One administration insider to resign and in detail reveal how Bush was literally "in the dark" the whole time;

8. Another one to viciously smear #7;

9. One surrogate to campaign on TV and at rallies on how George Bush has had a strong light bulb-changing policy all along;

10. And finally, one to confuse Americans about the difference between screwing in a light bulb and screwing the country.

And after all is said and done, no one will notice that they never actually managed to change the light bulb.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Time to break with Israel?

Picks of the Week:

Clear evidence 2006 congressional elections hacked: Results skewed nationwide in favor of Republicans by 4 percent, 3 million votes

"'The numbers tell us there absolutely was hacking going on, just not enough to overcome the size of the actual turnout. The tide turned so much in the last few weeks before the eleciton. It looks for all the world that they'd already figured out the percentage they needed to rig, when the programming of the vote rigging software was distributed weeks before the election, and it wasn't enough,' Castleman commented."

This is a big story. It means three things: 1. the Dems would've won more seats, 2. the Nazis will rig the machines more carefully in 2008, and 3. Bush did lose in 2000 and 2004. All the misery for the past 6 years has been based upon vote fraud.

Embittered insiders turn against Bush

"Forty-three months later, the cakewalk looks more like a death march, and Adelman has broken with the Bush team. He had an angry falling-out with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld this fall. He and Cheney are no longer on speaking terms. And he believes that 'the president is ultimately responsible' for what Adelman now calls 'the debacle that was Iraq.'"

But, if you listen to the right wing media, i.e., 90% of what passes for news, you'd be led to believe the Dems are mortally wounded because they don't act in lock step.

Republicans plot to bring down Pelosi and Clinton with her

"Republican strategists plotting their party's comeback after it lost control of Congress have identified the 'first lady' of Democrat politics as a key target in the 2008 White House campaign — even though she will not be running."

And the press has already started to help the cause.

The truth hurts

"As violence rages in Iraq -- 159 people, including 35 members of Iraq's police force and three U.S. troops, were killed Sunday -- President Bush meets with the Iraq Study Group (ISG) today, an independent panel reexamining the administration's Iraq policy. The Washington Post reports that James Baker, former secretary of state and co-chairman of the ISG, has been testing the waters for some time to 'determine how much change in Iraq policy will be tolerated by the White House.' Hopefully, that report is in error. For too long President Bush and the White House have been listening only to people who tell them what they want to hear. Baker and the rest of the ISG have an obligation to tell the administration and the public what, in their view, is the best course of action for the country. Early reports indicate that the ISG may recommend "withdrawing American troops in phases."

Baker's job is to put lipstick on the Iraq pig and call it "Victory".

Anti-corruption official in Iraq accused of fraud: The head of the Commission on Public Integrity says he is the target of an intimidation campaign.

"Iraq's top anticorruption watchdog, a high-profile judge whose efforts have been hailed by Americans as one of the few bright spots in the country, is himself the target of a corruption probe, officials said Saturday."Judge Radhi Radhi, head of Iraq's Commission on Public Integrity, is under investigation by court authorities, accused of turning his 1,700-employee agency into a personal fiefdom and padding his salary with an extra $50,000 a year."

It appears Judge Radhi has modeled his administration after BushCo.

Baghdad's morgues so full, bodies being turned away

"With no space to store bodies, some victims of the sectarian slaughter are not being kept for relatives to claim, but photographed, numbered and quickly interred in government cemeteries.
"Men fearful of an anonymous burial are tattooing their thighs with names and phone numbers."
Does Halliburton have the tattooing concession?

Pentagon lacks independent watchdog

"The Pentagon has been without its chief watchdog for more than a year, even as the military spends billions of dollars a month in Iraq and controversy simmers over warrantless surveillance, missing weapons and friendly fire deaths."

Bechtel bails on Iraq

"Last month, the Bechtel Corp. became the first major U.S. contractor to announce that it was pulling out of Iraq. Bechtel's departure marks yet another significant failure for Bush's economic invasion of Iraq. It does not mark, however, the end of Bechtel's adventures in the Middle East as the company looks to take advantage of the Bush administration's expanding U.S.-Middle East Free Trade Area."

Democrats push for troop cuts within months

"Democratic leaders in the Senate vowed on Sunday to use their new Congressional majority to press for troop reductions in Iraq within a matter of months, stepping up pressure on the administration just as President Bush is to be interviewed by a bipartisan panel examining future strategy for the war."

Why speculating on what "we" can do to fix Iraq is meaningless

"So whether the ISG [Iraq Study Group] says we should increase troops one more time (by, say, 20 or 30 thousand) or start to draw down forces over the course of a year or two, or even if they recommend actual changes in policy, like moving to superbases to reduce U.S. casualties or moving into cities for classical counterinsurgency, the fact is that our presence (and impact) has largely been overtaken by domestic influences. And none of these strategies will 1) definitely work or 2) even be implemented just because a blue-ribbon panel suggested them. Aside from the danger that the ISG will be used to deflect blame away from those who deserve it, which is highly possible, there is no magic solution, though I hope the ISG endorses modest but helpful things that the administration has thus far dismissed, like talking to Iran and Syria."

European reaction to Bush's election defeat: increasing militarism

"In view of the weakening of the America’s world position, which has been visible for some time in Iraq, European powers now feel compelled to jump into the breach. They regard this as both an opportunity and a burden. As opportunity insofar as they can intensify the pursuit of their own interests in the Middle East and on the world stage, as burden because they lack both the armies and the political support on the part of their own peoples to compete with the American military apparatus."

Tony Blair's post election panic attack

"In a season already notable for the official demonization of British Muslims (see 'Long Black Veil,"'Truthout.org, October 23), the new assault twisted the screws even tighter. It is obvious that Blair has been badly stung by his American partner's rejection at the polls, which makes his own fanatical devotion to Bush and the bloodsoaked folly in Iraq look even more absurd. His frenzied waving of the terror flag is, in part, Blair's panicked response to the political diminishment of the Washington regime that has been a mainstay of his own power.

"That power is now at its lowest ebb. His party is politically bankrupt, with its worst poll numbers in more than 20 years - largely due to the cynicism, distrust and revulsion bred by the Iraq War. Blair himself is now under criminal investigation for allegedly selling peerages in exchange for campaign donations and huge private loans to Labour which party leaders then hid from auditors. He is to be questioned 'under caution' - i.e., as a target of the probe - by police in the coming weeks."

Iraq is a 'disaster' admits Blair (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=417121&in_page_id=1766&ito=1490)

"The Prime Minister stopped short of accepting the blame for plunging Iraq to the brink of civil war - blaming instead the insurgent uprising that has killed 125 British troops."

Blair wants shunned nations to help solve Iraq fiasco

"Tony Blair has urged George Bush to make a dramatic U-turn by drawing Iran and Syria into efforts to bring stability to Iraq and forge a long-term peace in the wider Middle East.

"The Prime Minister joined a clamour in Washington for the US President to drop his hardline approach towards what he regards as two rogue states. In his annual foreign affairs speech to the Lord Mayor's Banquet last night, Mr Blair offered Iran a 'clear strategic choice' - a partnership if it stops supporting terrorism in Lebanon and Iraq and accepts its international obligations, or isolation if it did not. His advisers said the same choice applied to Syria."

If Blair keeps this up, he won't be allowed by BushCo to transition to the Carlyle Group.

The Carlyle White House

"Gates's nomination to the post of secretary of defense was field-generaled behind the scenes by James Baker III, who has suddenly taken on a muscular role within the Bush White House since the spectacular Republican wipeout during the midterm elections last Tuesday. Baker's return, along with the new prominence of Bush Sr., has been hailed in the mainstream press as a healthy step toward stability and sanity.

"One is forced to wonder, however, which masters Mr. Baker is actually serving. Baker's Carlyle Group has profited wildly from the conflict in Iraq, which begs the question: will the bottom line, augmented by Carlyle's defense contracts, trump any attempts to establish a just and lasting peace? It must also be noted that Baker's law firm, Baker Botts, is currently serving as defense counsel for Saudi Arabia against a suit brought by the families of 9/11 victims. The connections between the Bush family and the Saudi royals have been discussed ad nauseam, and Mr. Baker is so closely entwined with the Bush clan that he might as well be a blood relative."

After the US elections: Renewed pro-war consensus emerges in Washington

"The ensuing seven days have been dominated by intense behind-the-scenes political debate and maneuvering within the Washington elite, all of it devoted to shoring up the strategic interests of American imperialism in the Middle East, ensuring the continuation for the foreseeable future of military operations in Iraq, and frustrating popular anti-war sentiment within the US."

Neocons to "forget about the democracy crap" in Iraq: Bush cabal More Dangerous Than Ever - Realization that their days in power are numbered spells trouble for America

"An anonymous US official added: 'Bush has said 'no' to withdrawal, so what else do you have? The Baker report will be a set of ideas, more realistic than in the past, that can be used as political tools. What they're going to say is: lower the goals, forget about the democracy crap, put more resources in, do it.'"

The neocons' last stand

"Then the electoral catastrophe intervened, giving Baker leeway (and sidelining Rice). Baker even summoned Tony Blair to testify on Tuesday in order to support a restart of the Middle East peace process. If Baker were to propose that, he knows - although he will not explicitly say so - that its enactment would require the firing of neocons on the national security council and Cheney's staff, in particular Elliott Abrams, the NSC's near-east affairs director.

"If Baker actually advocates what he thinks, Bush will have to either admit the errors of his ways and the wisdom of his father and his father's men - or cast them and caution aside once again."

The new media offensive against withdrawal

"The present situation is grimly instructive for anyone who might wonder how the Vietnam War could continue for years while opinion polls showed that most Americans were against it. Now, in the wake of midterm elections widely seen as a rebuke to the Iraq war, powerful media institutions are feverishly spinning against a pullout of U.S. troops."

Bush urges patience on winning Iraq war

"Asked if the experience in Vietnam offered lessons for Iraq, Bush said, 'We tend to want there to be instant success in the world, and the task in Iraq is going to take awhile.'

"He said 'it's just going to take a long period of time' for "an ideology of freedom to overcome an ideology of hate. Yet, the world that we live in today is one where they want things to happen immediately."

"'We'll succeed unless we quit,' the president said."

We'll win unless we lose.

Military may ask $127B for wars

"The Bush administration is preparing its largest spending request yet for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a proposal that could make the conflict the most expensive since World War II.

"The Pentagon is considering $127 billion to $160 billion in requests from the armed services for the 2007 fiscal year, which began last month, several lawmakers and congressional staff members said. That's on top of $70 billion already approved for 2007."

US troops in Iraq: 72% say end war in 2006 Zogby poll

"An overwhelming majority of 72% of American troops serving in Iraq think the U.S. should exit the country within the next year, and more than one in four say the troops should leave immediately, a new Le Moyne College/Zogby International survey shows."

The quagmire deepens in Afghanistan

"The international media has focussed attention on the crisis confronting the US in Iraq, but Afghanistan is no less of a quagmire. Five years after toppling the Taliban regime in Kabul, none of the Bush administration’s promises has been kept. A profound social crisis compounded by anger over repeated US attacks and abuse of civilians has fuelled an anti-occupation insurgency that has dramatically expanded this year."

The next act: Is a damaged Administration less likely to attack Iran, or more?

"If the Democrats won on November 7th, the Vice-President said, that victory would not stop the Administration from pursuing a military option with Iran. The White House would put 'shorteners' on any legislative restrictions, Cheney said, and thus stop Congress from getting in its way.

"The White House’s concern was not that the Democrats would cut off funds for the war in Iraq but that future legislation would prohibit it from financing operations targeted at overthrowing or destabilizing the Iranian government, to keep it from getting the bomb. 'They’re afraid that Congress is going to vote a binding resolution to stop a hit on Iran, à la Nicaragua in the Contra war,' a former senior intelligence official told me."

CIA analysis finds no Iranian nuclear weapons drive

"A classifed draft CIA assessment has found no firm evidence of a secret drive by Iran to develop nuclear weapons, as alleged by the White House, a top US investigative reporter has said."

Iran does have the Wherewithal for Mobility Determination (WMD). . . 0il.

Where the bombs are

"A new review published in the November/December issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists shows that the United States stores its nearly 10,000 nuclear warheads at 18 locations in 12 states and six European countries."

IAEA asks Tehran to explain traces found at nuke plant

"Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency have found unexplained plutonium and enriched uranium traces in a nuclear waste facility in Iran and have asked Tehran for an explanation, an IAEA report said Tuesday."

Traces in Iran versus thousands of ready to go nukes in US and abroad, including Israel. Could it be that all countries should be free of nuclear weapons? A nucular free world. . . what a concept.

Israel detonated a radioactive bunker in Lebanon

"The special report was triggered by the radioactivity measurements reported on a crater probably created by an Israeli Bunker Buster bomb in the village of Khiam, in southern Lebanon. The measurements were carried out by two Lebanese professors of physics - Mohammad Ali Kubaissi and Ibrahim Rachidi. The data - 700 nanosieverts per hour – showed remarkably higher radiocativity then the average in the area (Beirut = 35 nSv/hr )."

And probably purchased from, or donated by, the US.

Netanyahu: It's 1938 and Iran is Germany; Ahmadinejad is preparing another holocaust

"'It's 1938 and Iran is Germany. And Iran is racing to arm itself with atomic bombs,' Netanyahu told delegates to the annual United Jewish Communities General Assembly, repeating the line several times, like a chorus, during his address. 'Believe him and stop him,' the opposition leader said of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. 'This is what we must do. Everything else pales before this.'"

Who is the "we" he refers to? The mouse in his pocket, aka, the USA?

Bush assures Israel Iran seen as threat

"With Olmert at his side following a White House meeting Monday, Bush told reporters that a nuclear-armed Iran not only would threaten Israel but loom as an 'incredibly destabilizing' threat to the region and the world.

'I recognize the threat to world peace that the Iranians pose, as does the prime minister,' Bush said."

Bush to Olmert: No international peace convention

"The Olmert-Bush summit which took place in the White House Monday failed to provide any real news. The prime minister said that his stance against an international peace convention was backed by the American president.

"'There will be no international convention on the Palestinian issue which will replace direct negotiations,' Olmert said, quoting Bush.

"'If a situation can be created in which moderate countries will encourage the Palestinians to enter negotiations with Israel, I will view it positively and will be very pleased,' he added."

Which US state does Olmert represent? Was he on the ballot?

Fury in US over Olmerts' comments on Iraq

"Speaking after his talks with U.S. President George W. Bush at the White House, Olmert said the American operation in Iraq brought stability to the Middle East.

"Politicians from the Democratic Party said they wanted to speak to Olmert about his comments on Iraq before responding publicly, but expressed disapproval over the remarks."

Do they disapprove enough to stop taking money from AIPAC?

US vetoes UN resolution condemning Israel

"The United States vetoed a U.N. Security Council draft resolution Saturday that sought to condemn an Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip and demand Israeli troops pull out of the territory."

CNN editors pull Palestinian quotes, replace with US

"CNN editors replaced all Palestinian quotations with quotes from the US and Israel in its story 'U.S. vetoes U.N. condemnation of Israel's Gaza strikes'. The new, more prominent article begins with the exact same wording as the original, but all Palestinian remarks are gone."

Use of the veto on United Nations resolutions by the USA

"This is a list of resolutions vetoed by the USA. The USA used its veto over 70 times during the 20th century. On the majority of occasions, the USA vetoed resolutions that were favoured by the majority of the world's nations."

It's interesting to go through the list to see how often the US has gone to bat for Israel by using the veto.

Canada takes pro-Israel stance at UN

"Canada under the Conservatives demonstrated a marked shift in favour of Israel in votes at the United Nations Thursday, registering its third change in a row on more than 20 Arab- and Muslim-sponsored resolutions that are annually critical of Israeli policy, but light on Arab responsibilities."

Harper and Bush, joined at the hip.

Olmert warns US on 'premature pullout' from Iraq

"Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has warned the United States, in an interview published on Sunday (local time), against a 'premature pullout' from Iraq as US officials ponder a new strategy following a sweeping Democratic win in the mid-term elections."

The Butcher of Lebanon has spoken.

To Israel with love: Why America gives Israel its unconditional support.

“'Thank God we have AIPAC, the greatest supporter and friend we have in the whole world,' says Ehud Olmert, Israel's prime minister. The lobby, which is the centrepiece of a co-ordinated body that includes pressure groups, think-tanks and fund-raising operations, produces voting statistics on congressmen that are carefully scrutinised by political donors. It also organises regular trips to Israel for congressmen and their staffs. (The Washington Post reports that Roy Blunt, the House majority whip, has been on four.)"

Ayalon: We'll build Bush institute in Iraq

"Because of your contribution to the security of Israel , the Jewish people and the world in general, you deserve to have your name memorialized in Israel, said Ayalon, adding that it will be a show of gratitude from the Israeli public.

"In the 1930's there was Churchill and now there is you, added Ayalon. Bush was moved by the gesture and told Ayalon that he always was and will always be a friend of Israel."

Bush gives go-ahead for building 'Bush center" in Israel

"Bush told Ayalon that 'freedom' would be a worthy subject for the center to focus on."

Since we're in an Orwellian time warp, I'm thinking The Ministry of Truth has a nice ring to it.

Bush will not hesitate to use force in Iran: Israeli ambassador

"'US President George W. Bush will not hesitate to use force against Iran in order to halt its nuclear program,' Ayalon told the Maariv daily.

"'I have been privileged to know him well, he will not hesitate to go all the way if there is no choice,' said Ayalon, due to return to the Jewish state next week after serving as ambassador in Washington for more than four years."

Well, put an eye patch on and call Bush Moshe Dayan.

America's pro-Israel policy is wrong on all counts by Paul Findley, former US Congressman

"The massive aid we keep sending has long helped Israel to inflict lethal degradation on mostly-Muslim Palestinians. We are silent when Israel makes Gaza a vast, miserable and bloody concentration camp where l.4 million human beings are denied electricity, clean water, housing, food, and medical care. We look the other way when Israel arrests officials of Palestine’s freely-elected government.

"Our Congress approves when Israel herds the rest of the Palestinians like cattle behind high walls and fences. Every U.S. president beginning with Lyndon B. Johnson could have stopped Israel’s major crimes, simply by suspending all U.S. aid until Israel behaved. Every Congress could have done the same. But none did. The only U.S. President to stand resolutely against Israel’s criminal behavior was Dwight D. Eisenhower. Israel’s influence has led America into one awful mess after another."

Bolton in extraordinary outburst against United Nations

"Bolton was furious over the adoption by the General Assembly of a resolution which said the assembly regretted the deaths of 19 civilians in an attack by the Israeli military in the town of Beit Hanoun last week. "Despite the resolution being significantly watered down at the behest of the United States, and being passing by 156 votes to seven, Bolton launched a blistering attack on the UN, and many of its members."

Bolton, bought and paid for.

Gillerman calls Bolton 'Israel's secret weapon'

"After a staunch defence of Israel on Friday night in the UN General Assembly, John Bolton, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, has been described by his Israeli counterpart as, 'Israel's secret weapon.'"

Beit Hanoun broke my heart

"United Arab List-Ta'al leader MK Ahmad Tibi and a number of his colleagues on Thursday visited Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip where 18 Palestinians were killed a day earlier by shells fired by the Israeli army." . . . .

"Tibi, as well as MK Ibrahim Sarsur and Attorney Osama Saadi, saw blood stains in the house of the family. 'When we walked out with the accompaniers a woman shouted at me from the roof: 'Dr Ahmad, can you return to us?' I returned with MK Sarsur and it was a heart breaking sight. She described as she cried how every member of her family slept. She lost six of them – three brothers, a sister and two cousins.'"

There is so much bloodshed in the Gaza strip you probably didn't hear of this massacre. I didn't. Maybe it was off the radar, because it happened during election week. The butcher, Olmert, said it was a mistake. You know . . . oops.

Human shield deters Israel strike

"A Hamas commander at the scene said people had gathered to show that the demolition strategy of the Israelis could be defeated.

"An Israeli military spokesman confirmed to Reuters news agency that the raid had been called off because of the Palestinian action."

The root of terror is clear: Only a resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict will stop al-Qaida recruitment

"We pretend that withdrawing from Afghanistan or Iraq will do the hearts-and-minds trick. We pretend (with America's triumphant Democrats as the worst offenders, alas) that Israel can somehow be set to one side while the al-Qaida terror debate rages. We kid ourselves that a Middle East solution - permanent, guaranteed and enforced - is separate and optional. It isn't."

Nancy Pelosi to the white courtesy phone (Scroll down)

"You must address the influence of Israel on American policy. AIPAC must register as the agent of a foreign power. There should be a detailed investigation into Israeli spying in the US and the results should be made public. The people have a right to know. The people have a right to know how much impact Israeli interests had on causing the Iraq invasion. Unless the truth has been made against the law it should be okay to reveal it. Either one and one is two or it is not. Just look at the evidence and add it together and let’s see what we have."

Looking at the middle east situation dispassionately, is it in the best interest of the US and world peace for the US to focus solely upon good relations with Israel, or good relations with the Muslim world? After all, Israel doesn't have any oil, if you want to be practical.

Hoyer wins leadership

"Hoyer has made a point of promoting bipartisan support of Israel, has urged freshmen lawmakers to join the numerous congressional delegations to Israel he has led, and has isolated Democrats who have been strongly critical of the Jewish state."

Israel links to Iraq I.E.Ds? (You may need to scroll down by the time you get this. Item starts with "Zapata Engineering")

"It can now be reported that Zapata Engineering has hired these Israeli Mossad-types into Iraq for the purposes of alleged counter-insurgency.

"However, the alleged Israeli engineers have now been fingered for sniping at U.S. Soldiers and the murder of two female American Marines who had their throats slit and then placed in garbage dumps.

"These female Marines had been investigating the origins of the I.E.D. (Improvised Explosives Devices). And of course it gets worse. It can now be reported that the origin of the I.E.D.’s, come not from Iran, but come from Zapata Engineering of North Carolina, Hawaii and Tel Aviv."

If you watched last Sunday's Meet The Press, Russert showed Lieberman a video clip of an Iraq minister saying that Israel had operatives in Iraq doing a little killing. Lieberman blew the comment off as being insane hokum.

Israel snipers killing US troops in Iraq?

"Proof: At the very beginning of this video clip, you see a rifle with a video camera attached to it. This weapon is made by the Rafael company, an Israeli arms manufacturer, that also makes IEDs. If you watch the video all the way through, it explains how this rifle works. CNN stated that the camera used to film these shootings was not a mounted rifle camera. But as you watch the video, you see that with each shot fired, the camera recoils. That would only happen if it were mounted on the rifle. Why is this significant? Because this kind of rifle-camera is extremely sophisticated and not available to your average Iraqi insurgent. I mean, it’s not exactly an easily obtainable Saturday night special! Something this sophisticated points to Mossad."

Israel lobby says Pentagon 'infiltrated'

"A leading voice of the pro-Israel lobby is pushing for an old-style 'witchhunt'—under the guise of 'homeland security'—to identify (and expel) individuals in the U.S. government and our military who are suspected of being hostile to Israel."The call for a witch-hunt is based on the outlandish thesis that 'Islamo-fascists' and Muslim 'jihadist' operatives and, perhaps more particularly, their 'sympathizers'—however loosely defined—have infested America’s defense, national security and federal law enforcement community."

Lieberman refuses to close door on switching parties

"'I'm not ruling it out but I hope I don't get to that point,' he said. 'And I must say -- and with all respect to the Republicans who supported me in Connecticut -- nobody ever said, 'We're doing this because we want you to switch over. We want you to do what you think is right and good for our state and country,' and I appreciate that.'"

Translated: If the Democrats kiss his ass for the next six years, he'll occasionally cooperate with them on minor issues. Lieberman is Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, nasty and vindictive. Did the Dems bail on supporting Lamont because of their AIPAC ties?

Lieberman stands firm on Iraq war

"Connecticut voters who worried that Sen. Joe Lieberman might embrace calls by Democrats to withdraw from Iraq can rest easy — that option doesn't appear to be on his plate."

Didn't 70% of the Nazi party vote for him?

Democrats will revisit military habeus debate

"An effort to restore habeas corpus rights for enemy combatants could be the first test of the Democrats' resolve to change course in the Senate Judiciary Committee."Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, who is expected to become chairman, confirmed Thursday that he is drafting a bill to undo portions of a recently passed law that prevent terrorism detainees from going to federal court to challenge the government's right to hold them indefinitely."

Top 25 censored stories of 2007

US: Immigrants may be held indefinitely

"Immigrants arrested in the United States may be held indefinitely on suspicion of terrorism and may not challenge their imprisonment in civilian courts, the Bush administration said Monday, opening a new legal front in the fight over the rights of detainees.

"In court documents filed with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., the Justice Department said a new anti-terrorism law being used to hold detainees in Guantanamo Bay also applies to foreigners captured and held in the United States."

AP gets shocking new reports on Gitmo

"The U.S. military called no witnesses, withheld evidence from detainees and usually reached a decision within a day as it determined that hundreds of men detained at Guantanamo Bay were 'enemy combatants,' according to a new report."The analysis of transcripts and records by two lawyers for Guantanamo detainees, aided by more than two dozen law students, found that hearings that determined whether a prisoner should remain in custody gave the accused little opportunity to contest allegations against him."

I'm shocked. Does this mean freedom and justice have not been on the march in the US for the past six years?

Pentagon wants to build mini-city for terror trials

"The Pentagon plans to build a military commissions compound at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, costing up to $125 million, a major undertaking meant to accommodate up to 1,200 people for the first U.S. war crimes trials since World War II, The Miami Herald learned Thursday."

Boys with toys.

Cracked it! Three million Britons have been issued with the new hi-tech passport, designed to frustrate terrorists and fraudsters. So why did Steve Boggan and a friendly computer expert find it so easy to break the security codes?

"Today, some three million such passports have been issued, and they don't look so secure. I am sitting with my scary computer man and we have just sucked out all the supposedly secure data and biometric information from three new passports and displayed it all on a laptop computer.

"The UK Identity and Passport Service website says the new documents are protected by 'an advanced digital encryption technique'. So how come we have the information? What could criminals or terrorists do with it? And what could it mean for the passports and the ID cards that are meant to follow?"

Senate to investigate rendition abuses

"The new chairman of the Senate armed services committee, the Democratic senator Carl Levin, revealed that he was 'not comfortable' with the rendition system and said it was making the US less secure."

That's good, because the people being illegally tortured at secret sites aren't comfortable either.

CIA acknowledges 2 interrogation memos

"After years of denials, the CIA has formally acknowledged the existence of two classified documents governing aggressive interrogation and detention policies for terrorism suspects, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

"But CIA lawyers say the documents -- memos from President Bush and the Justice Department -- are still so sensitive that no portion can be released to the public."

Bush and Gonzales . . . war criminals.

Past sins might keep Rumsfeld from roaming world

"Is it likely a longtime ally would arrest a former U.S. defense secretary? Nah. Is it possible under the law? Absolutely.

"Of that, Rumsfeld is well aware. Less than two years ago, he told reporters he might miss an important NATO security meeting in Munich in part because a similar complaint was pending before German authorities."

Warrantless wiretaps unlikely to be OK'd

"Senate Democrats, emboldened by Election Day wins that put them in control of Congress as of January, say they would rather wait until next year to look at the issue. 'I can't say that we won't do it, but there's no guarantee that we're going spend a lot of time on controversial measures,' Democratic Whip Richard Durbin of Illinois said Thursday.

"In Senate parlance, that means no."

NSA case becomes lawyer junket

"The libertarian-leaning, Republican-appointed Walker refused to dismiss that case in a landmark ruling in July, saying that the program was no longer secret since the government had admitted it existed and 'public disclosures by the government and AT&T indicate that AT&T is assisting the government to implement some kind of surveillance program.'

"In Friday's hearing, the government asked the court to freeze all work on the 48 cases until an appeals court can review Walker's ruling. Instead, Walker scheduled further hearings in December and February. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has not yet scheduled a hearing on the appeal, though all briefs are due by early April."

Gonzales blasts surveillance critics

"Attorney General Alberto Gonzales contended Saturday that some critics of the Bush administration's warrantless surveillance program were defining freedom in a way that poses a 'grave threat' to U.S. security."

The Torquemada administration is a grave threat to America.

Administration opposes Democrats' plan for negotiating Medicare drug prices

"The Bush administration said on Sunday that it would strenuously oppose one of the Democrats’ top priorities for the new Congress: legislation authorizing the government to negotiate with drug companies to secure lower drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries."

But BushCo will resist in a bipartisan way. I wonder if Bush vetoes will match his signing statements in numbers.

Kennedy will push for overhaul of FDA

"Senator Edward M. Kennedy today will criticize the Food and Drug Administration during a Senate hearing for allowing 'prevailing political winds' to trump science.

"The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions session will give Democrats their first post election opportunity to say how they will strengthen the FDA when they become the majority party in Congress."

I subscribe to Worst Pill, Best Pills, a watchdog publication. The FDA has become such a water carrier for the drug industry that the publication's rule of thumb is avoid any pill until it's been on the market for seven years. One has to love the benefits of deregulation.

Let the market work

"Health care was a key issue in last week's election. Voters cited rising health care costs as their top economic concern when they supported candidates who made health care reform a priority. The 'changes in the composition of the House and Senate will have a profound impact on national health policymaking in 2007 and 2008,' the health advocacy group Families USA argues. Months before the election, the House minority leadership promised to tackle reform of the prescription drug program within the first 100 hours of the new Congress. During the first days of the 110th Congress, the House likely will vote to 'lift the legislative prohibition that prevents Medicare from bargaining with the drug companies to secure lower prices.' The change 'would allow an important test of the hypothesis that government negotiators can wring lower prices from the manufacturers than those obtained by the private drug plans and pharmaceutical benefit managers that currently negotiate on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries.' Already, the administration has said it 'does not, under any circumstances, want the federal government negotiating lower drug costs.' The drug lobby, for which the drug benefit has proved to be 'a financial windfall larger than even the most optimistic Wall Street analysts had predicted,' also opposes to the plan. But taxpayers could stand to 'save as much as $190 billion over the next 10 years' if Medicare negotiated prices with drug makers. It is time to let the market forces of supply and demand make drugs cheaper for seniors."

Dems take aim at oil industry tax breaks

"House Democrats are targeting billions of dollars in oil company tax breaks for quick repeal next year. A broader energy proposal that would boost alternative energy sources and conservation is expected to be put off until later."

Bush to renominate blocked judicial candidates

"President Bush's reported decision, which comes on the heels of his calls for bipartisan cooperation, suggests that President Bush will continue to promote a hard right agenda rather than seeking to move the nation forward through consensus."

The Moron will stay the course.

Democrats warned not to block judges

"The Senate's next Republican leader issued a veiled threat to block action on legislation if Democrats refu
se to allow confirmation votes on President Bush's troubled judicial nominations."

I love the smell of partisonship in the morning.

Impeaching Bush to preserve the Constitution

"The framers of the constitution knew that someday there was going to be a Richard Nixon who was president of the United States and someday there was going to be a George Bush who was going to be president of the United States, and they gave us the power of impeachment to revoke them. "They put in the impeachment clause because they said that we know that there will be presidents who will commit grave and dangerous offenses that would subvert the constitution. They knew that subverting that constitution was the greatest danger that could befall our country. So all of us here have to be soldiers in that cause."

Mother tells all about White House sex slave ring and son's kidnapping

"Gosch's story has been documented on her site, Noreen even claiming her son may actually be Jeff Gannon, but she has been unable to get a court order for DNA testing in light of possible White House involvement.

"Further, the Gosch story gets even stranger since some investigators relate it to the suspicious death of writer, Hunter Thompson, who was said to commit suicide the day after Gosch and Gannon were connected publicly."

The GOP closet is vast.

US is top purveyor on weapons sales list: Shipments grow to unstable areas

"The United States last year provided nearly half of the weapons sold to militaries in the developing world, as major arms sales to the most unstable regions -- many already engaged in conflict -- grew to the highest level in eight years, new US government figures show."

Turning plowshares into swords.

Global growth in carbon emissions is 'out of control'

The growth in global emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels over the past five years was four times greater than for the preceding 10 years, according to a study that exposes critical flaws in the attempts to avert damaging climate change.

Boxer to focus on global warming

"Sen. Barbara Boxer on Thursday promised major policy shifts on global warming, air quality and toxic-waste cleanup as she prepares to lead the U.S. Senate's environmental committee.

"'Time is running out, and we need to move forward on this,' Boxer said of global warming during a conference call with reporters. 'The states are beginning to take steps, and we need to take steps as well.'"

Annan criticizes US over global warming

"In another comment that appeared aimed firmly at the US president, George Bush, whose Republican party fared badly in last week's mid-term elections, Mr Annan called on leaders to stop being 'economically defensive'. '[They] must show courage and know that if they do, the people and the voters will be with them.'"

The corporate end run

"It seems almost unbelievable, then, that corporate America would pick this moment to beg for relaxed regulation and enforcement, as well as more protection from investors’ lawsuits. But as Stephen Labaton reported recently in The Times, industry groups are seeking broad new protections for corporations and accounting firms, not through legislation but from the Bush administration through agency rule changes."

The biggest bubble of all - derivatives trading soars to $370 trillion - it will be the root cause for global depression

"The kind of euphoria in derivative trading has never been seen before. The amount of outstanding credit-default swaps contracts jumped by 60% at the end of last year. This year the rise is even faster. It is a typical pyramiding technique. Money is creating false concept of money and that in turn is creating ever lager conceptual money. When the tide blow[s] off and [the] balloon bursts, the catastrophe will be unimaginable. The 1929 debacle and resulting depression will be miniscule to what is coming.

Ford, GM down - banks move in for the kill

"While the nation is busy grappling with constant insults from endless war on every front, one ruthless knife in the backbone of our economy has gone largely unnoticed.

"For the first time in history, two of the nation's Big Three car manufacturers are in such dire straits that they have to take out loans secured by their most essential assets, yet no one, neither in our government nor in our media has raised an eyebrow at the stakes."

Quotes from www.Bartcop.com:

"Ken Mehlman (R-Gay) did a whale of a job as the chairman of the RNC." -- Der Phony Fuhrer, Link Is "whale" of a job better or worse than "heckuva" job? If it's better, why'd you fire him?

"Bush not only lied but compounded the lie by lying about why he lied in the first place. He had his excuses ready. He lied for the sake of the troops...In this way, Bush lied about the lie and then, as has become customary, draped an American flag over it. How dare these people lie to you and me and send Americans to die in Iraq for reasons that turned out to be wholly nonexistent? One way to return to the truth is to find the liars -- for the troops." --Richard Cohen, WaHoPo

"I can't stand the thought of my party having as its three front-runners three open adulterers, Newt Gingrich, Giuliani, and McCain. I'm coming to New Hampshire to tell the truth, and tell the Republicans you better find yourself a fresh face and not Rudy Giuliani who took his mistress around with him and then divorces Donna who learned she was divorced sitting at home watching TV with her children." --Bob Dornan, B-1 Bob back?

"Bush is in Southeast Asia this week and because of the metric system his approval rating over there is actually 62 percent." -- David Letterman

"In an ironic turnaround, Iraq brought regime change to the United States." -- Amy Poehler, SNL

"When DeLay and his bunch first ran, they campaigned against the cesspool in Washington. After a while they looked around and said, 'Hey, this isn't a cesspool, it's a hot tub." -- Richard Viguerie, talkingpointsmemo

"We cannot heal America if we continue with policies that are based on lies. We'll never be able to bring closure to this Iraq matter unless we tell the truth about what happened. So America needs a new approach of truth and reconciliation. This relates to the conscience of this country. [We need] a sober reflection about the events that have transpired since 9/11, with respect to Iraq. And until we do this, we will be trapped not only physically in Iraq, we'll be trapped emotionally and spiritually in Iraq. We may never get out of Iraq if we don't tell the truth." -- Dennis Kucinich, Link

"No one - not the cable news nets, not Karl Rove, and certainly not Bush himself seem to be able to internalize the notion that people basically can't stand the president." -- Atrios

"Let me put it to you this way: I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it. It is my style." -- Der Fuhrer, 11/04/04, on what elections mean, Link

"You don't hear much about Afghanistan. We certainly won that war." -- Orrin Hatch, praising Rumsfeld, lying like a Republican, Link

"A U.S. government-funded report released late last month says that Afghanistan is now at a "tipping point" as security conditions there decline rapidly." --Tim Grieve
"Rumsfeld, revisited", Link Hatch the liar needs to be retired. He seems to think 2848 dead soldiers in the war we're losing in Iraq is OK because we have fewer than 2848 dead in the war we're losing in Afghanistan.

"Bob Sherwood's House seat would have been overwhelmingly ours, if his mistress hadn't whined about being throttled." -- Grover Norquist, Master of Great Quotes, Link I agree. If those bitches would just keep quiet and accept being strangled by a congressman the House might've retained another soldier to do the heavy lifting for God and Dubya.

"Republicans were oddly oblivious to the fact that they had turned into an unappetizing tableau of bloated, corrupt, dissembling, feckless white hacks who were leaving kids unprotected. DeLay and Bob Ney sneaking out of Congress with dollar bills flying out of their pockets. Hastert playing Cardinal Bernard Law, shielding Mark Foley. Rummy, cocky and obtuse as he presided over an imploding Iraq, while failing to give soldiers the armor, support and strategy they needed to come home safely. Cheney, vowing bullheadedly to move full speed ahead on Iraq no matter what the voters decided. W. frantically yelling about how Democrats would let the terrorists win, when his lame-brained policies had spawned more terrorists." --Maureen Dowd Link

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Mission Accomplished?

There's no questioning my euphoria that began Tuesday night and peaked when Macaca ceded the race to Webb. Reality, however, sunk in. The battle has just begun.

BushCo operatives are everywhere in full mode damage control. James Baker, the BushCo enforcer for Poppy Bush during the 2000 Florida recount, certainly got rid of von Rumsfeld. Getting rid of The Dick will be more difficult. He could be Wellstoned by Poppy for the sake of the familia. The Dick's flawed ticker offers many discreet opportunities.

Will the victorious Democrats listen to the will of the voters or the will of their corporate backers. The first path will distinguish them from the fascists. The alternative will forever mark them as pale imitations of the right wing extremists.

Post election, the media is massaging the news to the right. Meet The Press is an unpleasant example, having two Republicans, Lieberman and McCain to lead off the post mortem on the week's events.

I am hopeful, optimistic and guarded.

Harper's Weekly Review

GOP must go from The American Conservative

"It should surprise few readers that we think a vote that is seen—in America and the world at large—as a decisive “No” vote on the Bush presidency is the best outcome. We need not dwell on George W. Bush’s failed effort to jam a poorly disguised amnesty for illegal aliens through Congress or the assaults on the Constitution carried out under the pretext of fighting terrorism or his administration’s endorsement of torture. Faced on Sept. 11, 2001 with a great challenge, President Bush made little effort to understand who had attacked us and why—thus ignoring the prerequisite for crafting an effective response. He seemingly did not want to find out, and he had staffed his national-security team with people who either did not want to know or were committed to a prefabricated answer."

I saw this link on Monday night. The voters complied on Tuesday.

Election 2006: A progressive analysis

"Some have argued that the election results were actually an endorsement of conservatism. Columnist George Will predicted, 'We could be seeing the creation of a more conservative House of Representatives than the one we just had.' CNBC anchor Larry Kudlow claimed the 'changeover in the House may well be a conservative victory, not a liberal one.' Even the Washington Post, in a front page analysis, declared that the election showed that the nation 'leans slightly the right of center.' This analysis is seriously flawed. The election results were notably mixed: some progressives won (Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)) and others lost (Ned Lamont (D-CT)); some centrist or center-right candidates won (Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT)) and others lost (Rep. Harold Ford (D-TN), Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-RI)). But according to a Media Matters analysis of the 27 candidates who (as of the morning of Nov. 8) had unseated majority Republicans or won open seats previously held by the majority party, all support a core progressive agenda. All 27 candidates back raising the minimum wage, advocate changing course in Iraq, and oppose efforts to privatize Social Security. Only two of the 27 oppose embryonic stem cell research, and only five describe themselves as 'pro-life.' In fact, the significant shift on Tuesday was the collapse of the 'Reagan Coalition' voting bloc that had been nurtured by the conservative movement for 20 years. Majorities of every income category under $100,000; six in 10 of both moderates and independents; all non-college educated voters; and the majority of Catholics, all voted for change. In other words, the so-called Reagan Democrats -- economic-minded, working class voters concentrated heavily in the Rust Belt -- returned home to the progressive movement."

Colbert tribute to 12 years of Republican majority - Video

The Iraq mandate

"For the first time in American history, Americans have gone to the polls in wartime and rejected that war. Not only that, but they’ve done so overwhelmingly. Just as the election of 1932 was a seismic repudiation of the failed economic policies of the Hoover Republicans, the election of 2006 was a landslide against the Bush Republicans and their criminally misguided war against Iraq.

"Amid pre-election polls showing that voters oppose 'staying the course' by margins of as much as three to one, the American people have issued a sweeping mandate to the U.S. government: Get out of Iraq."

Ballot losses jolt the religious right

"From the country's heartland, voters sent messages that altered America's culture wars and dismayed the religious right - defending abortion rights in South Dakota, endorsing stem cell research in Missouri, and, in a national first, rejecting a same-sex marriage ban in Arizona.
"Conservative leaders were jolted by the setbacks and looked for an explanation Wednesday. Gay-rights and abortion-rights activists celebrated."

The religious and political right is wrong for America.

Pombo foe says Bush visit clinched his win

"The visit fired up Pombo's opponents, chief among them environmental activists who made the San Joaquin County Republican their No. 1 target and spent more than $1 million in their battle."

This was a sweet win for the planet. Pombo is a cretin destroying the environment and environmental protection legislation.

Youth turnout in election biggest in 20 years

"About 24 percent of Americans under the age of 30, or at least 10 million young voters, cast ballots in Tuesday's elections that saw Democrats make big gains in Congress. That was up 4 percentage points from the last mid-term elections in 2002."

An ideology of lying

"It is not news to anybody that Bush followers lie repeatedly and aggressively. But what does continues to amaze is that there is literally no limit on their willingness to do so even when — especially when — it requires them to ignore and contradict even the most glaring facts which everyone can see, as clear as day, right in front of our faces."

Bush will say anything

"In campaign stops across the country, George W. Bush is delivering a medley of his favorite lies, half-truths and non sequiturs about Iraq and the 'war on terror.' Yet the President’s listeners seem to revel in the distortions, celebrating with shouts of “USA! USA!” and responding on cue when Bush has them mock the Democrats."

The Evil Moron is a person of the lie, and his supporters are, well, morons.

International poll ranks Bush a threat to world peace

"A majority of people in three countries with close ties to the U.S. — Britain, Canada and Mexico — consider President George W. Bush a threat to world peace, ranking the U.S. president right up there with the leaders of two countries he has labeled part of the 'axis of evil'— North Korea's Kim Jong Il and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad."

The war on terror is a propaganda slogan, but it would have legs if it included a war on BushCo.

Iraq disaster warning

"An attack on Iran will not be an invasion with ground troops. We don't have enough of those left to invade Ruritania. It will be a "package" of air and missile strikes, by U.S. forces or Israel. "That this would constitute folly piled on top of folly is no deterrent to the Bush administration. Like the French Bourbons, it forgets nothing and it learns nothing. It takes pride in not adapting. Or did you somehow miss President George W. Bush's declaration of Presidential Infallibility? It followed shortly after his May 1, 2003 visit to the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln with the 'Mission Accomplished' sign."

Hard to imagine.

The voice of the White House for November 10, 2006

"I was told that Israel is desolated by the neutering of Bush’s ability to support this attack [against Iran]. "Congress is now seen as a block to Bush’s militant plans and so the decision is being formulated not only in Tel Aviv but also in Washington to 'materially assist' an Israeli attack with satellite intelligence, very sophisticated weaponry and high level intelligence sharing. "American troops are not to be involved but Bush and Cheney are planning to do everything possible to “actively support” this action."

We know Joe Lieberman (R-Israel) would be high fiving this action.

AIPAC eats new Congress critters for lunch

"Lest we forget who runs Congress, consider the following 'briefing' posted on the AIPAC website yesterday: . . . .

Translation: Nearly every lawmaker, except the few stragglers hiding out in bathroom stalls or the cloakroom, was told he or she best tow the AIPAC-Israel line, or suffer short tenure in Congress. Part of this process is obviously the forced submission of a 'position paper summarizing his or her views on U.S. Middle East policy,' that is to say the targeted politico must state in writing that he or she will enthusiastically support Israel killing Palestinians, stealing their land, and running those able to run off, in short a nod and a wink in the direction of ethnic cleansing. Finally, AIPAC let us know they are 'non-partisan,' that is to say they have both Democrats and Republicans in their pocket.

"Meet the new Congress, same as the old Congress."

We'll know as events unfold.

Cheney in a box

"Either he steps down or he collects his wits, gets his team together; Addington, Abrams, Chertoff, Gonzales etc; all the guys who are 'one step ahead of the hangman'; and slaps together one 'last-ditch' effort to establish absolute-dictatorial power that will put him forever beyond the reach of the law or of any future accountability for his war crimes."It’s a tough task. Bush is teetering and he’s probably left the Cheney-Rumsfeld orbit already. Robert Gates’ job is to influence Bush, to win him over with reason and, thus, move the country away from the brink of disaster. Cheney has been removed from the policy-making apparatus and he knows it."So, what’ll he do next?"

Unleash the Death Star?

The mother of all lies

"Of all the lies that have been told by George W. Bush, including the multitude of lies that led to the aggressive invasion of Iraq that has become a full blown, out of control, civil war; nothing can compare with the one he told when he said recently, 'We are winning the war in Iraq.' To say this in the face of the huge number of casualties suffered by the US Military this month is beyond incredible."

The seven deadly sins

"Few people will miss the 109th Congress. Rolling Stone called it the 'worst Congress ever.' Just 16 percent of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing, the legislative body's lowest approval rating in 14 years. "The 109th Congress is so bad that it makes you wonder if democracy is a failed experiment," notes constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley. Congress's conservative leadership has systematically committed each of the seven deadly sins (gluttony, lust, avarice, anger, sloth, envy, and hubris) through its legislative inaction, culture of corruption, and pay-to-play system. But most importantly, this Congress has put the protection of its own power over the best interests of the American public. If 'this band of brigands in the 109th represented a major corporation, that company would be bankrupt, the shareholders would be left to clean up the mess a la Enron and WorldCom, and the executives would be facing prison. But instead of an endless parade of deserved perp walks, many of these opportunists and enablers will be re-elected,' writes Michael McCord of the Portsmouth Herald. Be sure to vote on Tuesday and help wipe away Congress's sins."

Olbermann: Where are the checks, balances?

"Those vaunted Founding Fathers of ours have been so quoted up, that they appear as marble statues: like the chiseled guards of China, or the faces on Mount Rushmore. But in fact they were practical people and the thing they obviously feared most was a government of men and not laws.

"They provided the checks and balances for a reason."

Outlaw empire meets the wave

"The wave -- and make no mistake, it's a global one -- has just crashed on our shores, soaking our imperial masters. It's a sight for sore eyes.

"It's been a long time since we've seen an election like midterm 2006. After all, it's a truism of our politics that Americans are almost never driven to the polls by foreign-policy issues, no less by a single one that dominates everything else, no less by a catastrophic war (and the presidential approval ratings that go with it). This strange phenomenon has been building since the moment, in May 2003, that George W. Bush stood under that White-House-prepared 'Mission Accomplished' banner on the USS Abraham Lincoln and declared 'major combat operations have ended.'"

The anti-war movement sourced the Democrats' victory

"The Democratic Party, read “The War Lite” Party, is basking in the glow of victory today. It has regained control of the House of Representatives, and the U.S. Senate for the first time in 12-years. The two issues that it won on-The Iraqi War and the whacky persona of President George W. Bush-had little or nothing to do with the Democratic Party. Those two matters were actually sourced by activists in the Anti-Iraqi War Movement!"

This is going to be a test for the Dems. Do they want to make money off the blood of others or do they want peace in the Middle East and prosperity in America?

OK, playtime is over. Nothing has changed. Same president, same policies, same corruption, same continuing embarrassments.

"First, a lot of those losing Republican incumbents will immediately move down K Street and become lobbyists. They will make substantially more money, and they will get to do essentially the same job: They will write the laws that govern our nation.

"The Bush administration has long ago committed itself to an imperial presidency, in which the most important official document is the signing statement. The president will continue to do whatever he wants to do, or whatever he is told to do, depending on your current organizational theory of the White Bunker. If Congress passes something he doesn't like, he will veto it."

Lawyers fight for habeus rights

"Though Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez insists that 'the new law should not be understood to ‘suspend’ the writ of habeas corpus for enemy combatants,' there is no other way to interpret it. 'This new law is a clear suspension and we are mounting a substantial court challenge,' says Bill Goodman, legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)."

Europe calls for [Saddam[ death penalty to be commuted

"European governments and human rights organisations reacted with deep unease to the death penalty handed down to Saddam Hussein yesterday, amid doubts about the fairness of the trial and fears that the sentence could trigger further sectarian bloodshed in Iraq."

Fat chance. Evil Moron and his moronic supporters are salivating for another Iraqi death.

Mubarak warns against hanging Saddam

'''Carrying out this verdict will explode violence like waterfalls in Iraq,''Mubarak was quoted as saying by state-run Egyptian newspapers. Hanging Saddam ''will transform (Iraq) into blood pools and lead to a deepening of the sectarian and ethnic conflicts.''

I imagine the BushCo response will be, "bring it on."'

As Hussein sentenced to death, US pushes to rehabilitate his functionaries

"Twenty-four hours after Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death for crimes committed against the Iraqi people during his rule, the US-created De-Baathification Commission proposed that over 28,000 mid-level functionaries of Hussein’s regime be permitted to return to positions in the Iraqi state apparatus. The head of the commission, Shiite politician Ali al-Lami, told the media: 'We are going to deliver these proposals to parliament in the next few days.'”

War simulation in 1999 pointed out Iraq invasion problems

"A series of secret U.S. war games in 1999 showed that an invasion and post-war administration of Iraq would require 400,000 troops, nearly three times the number there now.
"And even then, the games showed, the country still had a chance of dissolving into chaos."

Charges sought against Rumsfeld over prison abuse

"Just days after his resignation, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is about to face more repercussions for his involvement in the troubled wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. New legal documents, to be filed next week with Germany's top prosecutor, will seek a criminal investigation and prosecution of Rumsfeld, along with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former CIA director George Tenet and other senior U.S. civilian and military officers, for their alleged roles in abuses committed at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison and at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."

I trust the "other civilian and military officers" includes Bush, Cheney, and Kindasleezy. Criminal punishment would be much more just than impeachment.

Donald Rumsfeld: The war crimes case

"Prosecuting a war of aggression isn't Rumsfeld's only crime. He also participated in the highest levels of decision-making that allowed the extrajudicial execution of several people. Willful killing is a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions, which constitutes a war crime. In his book, Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib, Seymour Hersh described the 'unacknowledged' special-access program (SAP) established by a top-secret order Bush signed in late 2001 or early 2002. It authorized the Defense Department to set up a clandestine team of Special Forces operatives to defy international law and snatch, or assassinate, anyone considered a 'high-value' Al Qaeda operative, anywhere in the world. Rumsfeld expanded SAP into Iraq in August 2003."

Everything Rummy did was under the direction, support and approval of BushCo.

Powell aide: Torture 'guidance' from VP

"'There's no question in my mind that we did [torture]. There's no question in my mind that we may be still doing it,' Wilkerson said on CNN's 'Late Edition.'

"'There's no question in my mind where the philosophical guidance and the flexibility in order to do so originated -- in the vice president of the United States' office,' he said. 'His implementer in this case was [Defense Secretary] Donald Rumsfeld and the Defense Department.'"

And Cheney's boss is . . . tad da, The Evil Moron!

Iraqi official: 150,00 civilians dead

"Health Minister Ali al-Shemari gave his new estimate of 150,000 to reporters during a visit to Vienna, Austria. He later told The Associated Press that he based the figure on an estimate of 100 bodies per day brought to morgues and hospitals — though such a calculation would come out closer to 130,000 in total."

40,000, 130,000, 150,00, 650,000 . . . whatever the number, it spells war crimes.

A time for accounting

"Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld is gone, but there's little time for celebration, even for those of us who long ago began calling for his removal. The damage that men do lives after them, and it's time at last for an accounting. The nation’s voters have spoken, and it's reasonable to expect that the Congress finally will begin to exercise some oversight of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan after five years of serving as rubber stamp and doormats.

"Can you spell 'subpoena?'"

I can, but will the new majority?

Waxman set to probe areas of Bush gov't

"The Democratic congressman who will investigate the Bush administration's running of the government says there are so many areas of possible wrongdoing, his biggest problem will be deciding which ones to pursue."

Typical of the Bush Crime Family -- so much crime, so little time.

A staggering new bill for Iraq?

"The U.S. armed services have requested a $160 billion supplemental appropriation to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the remainder of fiscal year 2007--a staggering amount that, if approved by the Defense Department, may hasten the showdown between resurgent congressional Democrats and the Bush administration over the budget-busting War on Terror."

I guess Halliburton, the Carlyle Group and the rest of the Bush Crime Family haven't made enough off this war yet.

Judicial Watch obtains documents from Army related to Halliburton subsidiary's no bid Iraq contract

"Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that the Department of the Army, per order of U.S. District Court Judge Ricardo M. Urbina, has released to Judicial Watch approximately 100 pages of documents which detail the multi-billion dollar, no-bid contract awarded in 2003 by the Army to Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR), a subsidiary of Halliburton Co. One document uncovered by Judicial Watch suggests a contradiction within the United States Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) with respect to the involvement of the Vice President’s office in awarding the contract."

Democrats aim to save inquiry on work in Iraq

"The bills, the first of what are likely to be dozens of Democratic efforts to resurrect investigations of war profiteering and financial fraud in government contracting, could be introduced as early as Monday morning.

"The move would nullify a Republican-backed provision, slipped into a huge military authorization bill, that set a termination date for the agency, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. The agency’s findings have consistently undermined Bush administration claims of widespread success in the reconstruction of Iraq."

Do you believe President Bush's actions justify impeachment?

"Yes, between the secret spying, the deceptions leading to war and more, there is plenty to justify putting him on trial. 87%"

Impeachment would be a slap on the wrist. Prison, at least, is in order.

Conyers toes party line: No impeachment

"The latest Democrat 'saviour' to flip flop 180 degrees in light of their victory is Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich. Presumed to become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee in January, Conyers today said that impeachment of President Bush 'is off the table.'"

How about a little water boarding? Are Dems still awaiting their spine grafts? Crimes have been committed. There must be a legal response.

Rice: Democrats won't end Iraq mission

"Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the Democratic wave that won the party control of Congress did nothing to deter the Bush administration from continuing its Iraq mission until 'the goal that took us to Iraq' is reached."

And which goal might that be? Finding weapons of mass destruction? Bringing democracy and stability to Iraq? Unseating Hussein? Sucking Iraq's oil dry.

In letter, radical cleric details CIA abduction, Egyptian torture

"In an account smuggled out of prison, a radical Muslim cleric has detailed how he was kidnapped by the CIA from this northern Italian city and flown to Cairo, where he was tortured for months with electric shocks and shackled to an iron rack known as 'the Bride.'"

The secret world of Robert Gates

"In 1991, despite doubts about Gates’s honesty over Iran-Contra and other scandals, the career intelligence officer brushed aside accusations that he played secret roles in arming both sides of the Iran-Iraq War. Since then, however, documents have surfaced that raise new questions about Gates’s sweeping denials.

"For instance, the Russian government sent an intelligence report to a House investigative task force in early 1993 stating that Gates participated in secret contacts with Iranian officials in 1980 to delay release of 52 U.S. hostages then held in Iran, a move to benefit the presidential campaign of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush."

This will be an integrity test for the Dems. While the Dems will be practicing bipartisanship, the Nazis will be Nazis. You can't dance with the devil without getting burned.

Rumsfeld replacement (Robert Gates)

"Gates was on the board of directors of VoteHere, a strange little company that was the biggest elections industry lobbyist for the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). VoteHere spent more money than ES&S, Diebold, and Sequoia combined to help ram HAVA through. And HAVA, of course, was a bill sponsored by by convicted Abramoff pal Bob Ney and K-street lobbyist buddy Steny Hoyer. HAVA put electronic voting on steroids."

Here's an idea - anyone with ties to the Bush Crime Family should not be allowed to hold office in state or federal government.

Gates' CIA past could haunt him in confirmation hearings

"President Bush’s pick to replace Donald H. Rumsfeld with former CIA Director Robert Gates is an odd one, considering it’s almost certain to revive festering questions about the Bush administration’s handling of pre-war intelligence on Iraq."

Can't you just see Joe Biden doing his suck up bipartisan schtick?

Democrats to target oil majors in new US Congress

"Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who is poised to be the next Speaker of the House when the new Congress convenes in January, says oil companies have unfairly earned record profits by gouging consumers at the gasoline pump.

"Pelosi says taking away the financial relief given to Big Oil in last year's Republican-written energy law will be among the six major tasks Democrats plan to tackle in the first 100 hours after she slams the gavel to convene the new House."

Harper focuses on pleasing core supporters

"Harper's 'Republican' Conservatives replicate their U.S. soulmates. Many of the issues that mobilized Republicans for Bush are now front and centre in Canada."

Time for Canadians to stop drinking the fascist Kool Aid.

Investors regroup as swaps panic hits

"This heavy selling has driven the cost of insuring debt against default in the market for credit default swaps to record low levels - signalling either that investors are extraordinarily optimistic about the outlook for corporate debt, or that prices are so distorted that they are no longer being paid for the risks they are taking on."

Report: Foreclosures up 17 percent nationwide

"The Irvine, Calif.-based firm said that 318,355 properties in the United States entered some stage of foreclosure in the third quarter, a 17 percent increase over the prior quarter."

China forces dollar into limelight

"China made its presence felt in the currency markets this week as the prospect of the country diversifying its massive foreign exchange stockpiles sent the dollar reeling to a ten-week low against the euro and to its weakest level in eighteen months against sterling.

"On Monday, China’s state television network reported that China’s foreign currency reserves, the world’s largest, had exceeded $1,000bn for the first time."

$1,000bn? The size of the US deficit, perhaps?

Climate change threatens heritage sites

"From archaeological ruins in Scotland to 13th century mosques in the Sahara, the effects of climate change could destroy some of the world's most important natural and cultural heritage sites, a report has revealed."

As climate changes, can we?

"The scientific consensus, already clear and incontrovertible, is moving toward the more alarmed end of the spectrum. Many scientists long known for their caution are now saying that warming has reached dire levels, generating feedback loops that will take us perilously close to a point of no return. A similar shift may be taking place among economists, with some formerly circumspect analysts saying it would cost far less to cut emissions now than to adapt to the consequences later. Insurers, meanwhile, have been paying out more and more each year to compensate for extreme weather events. And growing numbers of corporate and industry leaders have been voicing concern about climate change as a business risk. The few skeptics who continue to try to sow doubt should be seen for what they are: out of step, out of arguments and just about out of time."

Quotes from www.bartcop.com:

"Oh, my God, it was a bloodbath for us. We paid for the president's agenda." -- Sarah Reddick, Link They knew it was coming, yet they stuck with him. Loyalty is one thing, suicide is another. I said the first major Republican to stand up to Bush would be their front runner for 2008. McCain (R-Torture) went 100% total suck-ass.

"A sex scandal made Hastert speaker and a sex scandal unmade him." --Mike Dorning and Christi Parsons, "'Accidental Speaker' calls it quits"

"And don't think you're off the hook, voters, you're the ones who made this bed. Now you're the ones who are going to have to move over so a gay couple can sleep in it. Tomorrow you're all going to wake up in a brave new world, a world where the Constitution gets trampled by an army of terrorist clones, created in a stem-cell research lab run by homosexual doctors who sterilize their instruments over burning American flags. Where tax-and-spend Democrats take all your hard-earned money and use it to buy electric cars for National Public Radio, and teach evolution to illegal immigrants. Oh, and everybody's high! You know what, I've had it! You people don't deserve a Republican majority. I quit." -- Stephen Colbert

"Whatever they do, it can't get any worse." --Dr. Sami Ismael, 58, on how the Dems takeover of Congress will effect Iraq.

"Mr. Cheney enjoys an office on the second floor of the House of Representatives that historically has been designated for the Ways and Means Committee chairman... I talked to Nancy Pelosi about it this morning... I'm trying to find some way to be gentle as I restore the dignity of that office." -- Charlie Rangel, the incoming chairman of Ways and Means, on kicking that "son of a bitch" out of his office Link

"Rumsfeld's resignation shows the scale of the mess the U.S. has made in Iraq. The efforts by American politicians to hide their failure are no longer working." -- Ibrahim Ali, 44, who works at the Iraqi Oil Ministry, Link

"We Republicans set aside our principles to try to stay in power. And at the end of the day, the voters said, 'Enough is enough.'" -- John Weaver, aide to McCain (R-Torture) WaHoPo Wait, didn't Tortureboy McCain promise to commit suicide if we won?

"Now that the Repedophiles are out of power, it's almost like living in a Democracy again." -- my friend Jay in Fayetteville

"Rummy can quit in the middle of a war with no repercussions, but the men and women who are actually out there getting shot at can't. If they did, they'd be sent to a military prison. I hope he never has a good night of sleep for the rest of his life." -- Steve, as seen on foxnews.com

"Nancy Pelosi is a liberal with a capital L." -- Solenoid O'Brien, CNN's totally brainless tool.

"At next year's State of the Union address, you'll have Dick Cheney sitting there with that very distinguished snarl of his, and then this incredibly interesting person next, a woman, first time ever sitting behind the President, sharing power with them. It's going to be an amazing moment." -- Chris Matthews, right-wing scumbag and whore, Link

"Haggard was exposed by a male escort named Mike Jones. You know you're in trouble when you've ceded the moral high ground to a drug-dealing prostitute." -- Jon Stewart

"Soon you'll start seeing glowing stories on the economy, and it's going to coincide with Democrats being in power..." -- Rush, telling the truth, not sure why

"After lashing out at Democrats as the party of weakness and Al Qaeda coddling, Bush is now talking about how he knows Democrats care as deeply about America's national security as Republicans. Is the Bush bubble officially popped?" -- Tim Dickinson, rollingstone.com

"Rick Santorum has been raptured to a better place." -- Jon Stewart

"The system is broken." -- Diebold Republicans everywhere

"If you've got a relative in the military, I wouldn't have your loved one in the theater if I didn't think we'd win..." -- Bush, lying again, Link Every time his generals tell him we're losing, Bush makes a speech saying, "We're winning."

"They could make the Diebold machines work if they wanted to. Proof - have you ever had an ATM machine give you too much money? No, that doesn't happen because the banks are careful with their money." -- some guy on CNN

"Imagine a world in which these extremists and radicals got control of energy resources." -- America's self-styled Fuhrer, Link Yeah, George, that happened in 1974, remember? And your family crawled into bed with those extremists. Your dad is a registered lobbyist for those extremists.

"Imagine the radicals and extremists taking over a country, and they were able to manipulate the market, driving the price of oil, and saying, okay, we'll reduce the price, all you've got to do is surrender. -- Der Monkey, describing his six disastrous years in office Link

"You can hang Saddam, but it's not changing the situation on the ground, except to make two million Sunnis more angry with Americans and Shiites." -- Max Cleland, victim of the Diebold bastards 2002, Link

"It's been difficult to govern, really, since 2000. The country has been split down the middle and the Congress has been split down the middle." -- Cokie Roberts, still the stupidest whore in DC, Link Sorry, Wolf, you're still Number Two.

"Over the past five years, we have done more than just philosophize." -- Der Fuhrer, telling the truth, Link He's right. They have invaded, tortured, murdered, raped, looted, bungled, lied, concealed, raped (They like rape)...

"I had been promised that my remarks would not be published before the election." -- Richard Perle, on his anti-Bush remarks in Vanity Fair, Link