Sunday, January 14, 2007

An Unplanned break

I took an unexpected break from Picks. An old friend passed away, and it seemed a good time to gift it a rest.

I watched a bit of The Moron being interviewed on 60 Minutes tonight. When he's not lying, he's banal. Usually he manages both at the same time.

I was particularly struck by his disturbance with the Iraqis for not showing enough gratitude to The Moron and the US for being invaded for their oil. They should, it appears, be thankful for the 600,000 or so killed, the untold number injured, the 2/3 reduction in children attending school since the invasion, the two million who have fled Iraq in fear, the destruction of the country's infrastructure, waking up every morning wondering if they will survive the day, and the takeover of their oil by BushCo.

Yes, Evil Moron, they are ingrates.

Below are two items that capture the essence of our plight as well as the plight of the Iraqis. The first is Olbermann's special comment from this week. The other is a year old article by John Craig Roberts explaining why, since 1999, I've been drawing Adolphian moustaches on every picture I see of The Moron and his cabal.

Bush legacy: The president who cried wolf by Keith Olbermannn

"Only this president, only in this time, only with this dangerous, even messianic certitude, could answer a country demanding an exit strategy from Iraq, by offering an entrance strategy for Iran.

"Only this president could look out over a vista of 3,008 dead and 22,834 wounded in Iraq, and finally say, 'Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me' — only to follow that by proposing to repeat the identical mistake ... in Iran."

Tyrant in the White House: Bush crosses the Rubicon

"In effect, Bush is asserting the powers that accrued to Hitler in 1933. His Federalist Society apologists and Department of Justice appointees claim that President Bush has the same power to interpret the Constitution as the Supreme Court. An Alito Court is likely to agree with this false claim.

"This is the great issue that is before the country. But it is pushed into the background by political battles over abortion and homosexual rights. Many people fighting to strengthen the executive think they are fighting against legitimizing sodomy and murder in the womb. They are unaware that the real issue is that America is on the verge of elevating its president above the law."


EU: Climate change will transform the face of the continent

"Europe, the richest and most fertile continent and the model for the modern world, will be devastated by climate change, the European Union predicts today.

"The ecosystems that have underpinned all European societies from Ancient Greece and Rome to present-day Britain and France, and which helped European civilisation gain global pre-eminence, will be disabled by remorselessly rising temperatures, EU scientists forecast in a remarkable report which is as ominous as it is detailed."

State of the state: Bold move on global warming

"California will create the world's first global warming pollution standard for transportation fuels, ratcheting down fuel carbon content 10 percent by 2020 under a plan put forward by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Tuesday in his State of the State address.

"The new standard could have implications for the auto industry and change the way gasoline is produced around the globe. Environmentalists hailed it as a way to reduce one of the state's chief sources of greenhouse gas emissions and kick-start fledgling alternative fuel technologies."

Does this mean Ahnold has a brain . . . and a heart?

Federal Way schools restrict Gore film

"This week in Federal Way schools, it got a lot more inconvenient to show one of the top-grossing documentaries in U.S. history, the global-warming alert 'An Inconvenient Truth.'

"After a parent who supports the teaching of creationism and opposes sex education complained about the film, the Federal Way School Board on Tuesday placed what it labeled a moratorium on showing the film. The movie consists largely of a PowerPoint presentation by former Vice President Al Gore recounting scientists' findings."

Bush lifts oil-drill ban in Alaska's Bristol Bay

"The Bush administration yesterday moved to boost U.S. oil and gas supplies by lifting a long-standing moratorium on drilling in Alaska's Bristol Bay, as OPEC accelerated plans to reduce supplies in order to prop up sagging crude prices.

"Days before the House is expected to roll back oil industry tax breaks, the Bush administration also decided to boost royalty rates by a third for ultra-deep-water oil and gas drilling. The action eliminates extra incentives that had been given to offset some of the high costs of operating in those offshore areas. The Interior Department said the change would generate an additional $4.5 billion over 20 years."

Scientists reject chemical rules

"When the Bush administration last year proposed a controversial revamping of the rules by which federal agencies decide whether chemicals and other products pose risks to human health, it offered to run the plan by the prestigious National Research Council.

"Yesterday the White House got its response: a 324-page report that says, in no uncertain terms, 'Throw it out and start all over.'"

BushCo, with it's cadre of born again Nazi Christians and Zionists hates creation . . . hates us . . . hates life.

Six senators back mandatory greenhouse gas cuts

"Six U.S. senators, including potential 2008 presidential contenders from both major parties, unveiled legislation on Friday that would force power plants and industry to curb heat-trapping greenhouse gases, seeking to cut emissions to one-third of 2000 levels by 2050."

UN official: Warming leadership needed

"The chief of the United Nations' effort against climate change said Monday there is widespread recognition of the seriousness of global warming but a lack of leadership has created a sense of helplessness.

"Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, said he will ask the new U.N. secretary-general to coordinate a worldwide response and organize a conference of world leaders."

Brooding prince's soliloquy

"To win, perchance to dream. Few Americans, a mere 17 percent, according to the latest Washington Post/ABC poll, think that sacrificing more Americans in patrols on the streets of Baghdad will reverse the slings and arrows of our outrageous Iraqi fortune, but giving a speech about it might provide our hapless Hamlet with some temporary political cover."

The US-Iran-Iraq-Israeli-Syrian war

"Not only have possibly hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died as a result, but U.S. forces killed Hussein’s two sons and turned the deposed dictator over to his enemies so he could hanged like a common criminal on Dec. 30.

"So there can be little incentive for Iranian or North Korean leaders to follow the Iraq model of disarmament and inspections. Further, the explosion of anti-Americanism in the Muslim world has increased risks to the pro-U.S. dictatorship in nuclear-armed Pakistan, where Islamic militants with close ties to al-Qaeda are reported to be gaining strength."

The Supreme Court's selection of The Moron was the gift that just keeps on giving.

War with Syria and Iran = peace with Iraq?

"If there's anything in the President Bush's remarks tonight that we didn't already know or didn't anticipate him saying militarily about Iraq, it is his evident willingness to go to war with Syria and Iran to seek peace."

Bush's rush to Armaggedon

"Most Washington observers have treated Bush’s shake-up as either routine or part of his desire for a new team to handle his planned 'surge' of U.S. troops in Iraq. But intelligence sources say the personnel changes also fit with a scenario for attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities and seeking violent regime change in Syria."

Revealed: Israel plans nuclear strike on Iran

"ISRAEL has drawn up secret plans to destroy Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons.

"Two Israeli air force squadrons are training to blow up an Iranian facility using low-yield nuclear 'bunker-busters', according to several Israeli military sources."

Israel plans nuclear strike on Iran over Turkey

"Citing what it said were several Israeli military sources, the paper said two Israeli air force squadrons had been training to blow up an enrichment plant in Natanz using low-yield nuclear 'bunker busters'. Two other sites, a heavy water plant at Arak and a uranium conversion plant at Isfahan, would be targeted with conventional bombs, the Sunday Times said."

Trying to create a new world war: Coalition of the lunatics vs. Iran, Iraq and everyone else

"According to the January 7, 2007 edition of London's Sunday Times, two Israeli Air Force squadrons are training for a nuclear attack on Iran. The article, which obtained its information from Israeli military and Mossad sources, briefly describes how the attacks would be carried out on Iran's nuclear facilities. According to one source, the end result would be ' one mission, one strike and the Iranian nuclear project will be demolished.' Of course, the fact that nuclear weapons destroy much more than their intended targets and kill many more people than those in the target zone is not even mentioned--dismissed without even a thought as if the potential deaths of thousands of Iranians should be irrelevant to Tel Aviv's pathological need to destroy any threats to its paranoid body politic."

Pro-Israel PAC contributions to 2006 congressional candidates

Wes Clark, are you ever in hot water with the Israel lobby!

"Shmuel Rosner, one of the U.S. Israel Lobby's best friends in the Israeli media, is on the warpath against Wes Clark. Why? Because he had the temerity to 'out' the Lobby (particularly Aipac) for beating the drums for war against Iran."

Distracting Congress from the real war plan: Iran

"Commentators have expressed puzzlement over President Bush’s appointment of a US Navy admiral as commander in charge of the ground wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The appointment makes sense only if the administration’s attention has shifted from the insurgencies to an attack on Iran.

"The Bush administration has recently doubled its aircraft carrier forces and air power in the Persian Gulf. According to credible news reports, the Israeli air force has been making practice runs in preparation for an attack on Iran."

US Iraq raid draws Iranian anger

"Iranian and Iraqi officials said the building was an Iranian consulate and the detainees its employees.

"The US military said it was still investigating, but that the building did not have diplomatic status."

If it was the Iranian consulate, that's an act of war.

US forces carry out provocative raid on Iran's consulate in northern Iraq

"In the early hours of yesterday morning, US forces raided the Iranian consulate in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil, detaining at least five employees. The arrests were clearly aimed at reinforcing the bellicose message contained in President Bush’s speech, just hours before, that the American military would 'interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria' and 'seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.'” . . . .

"While American officials denied that the liaison office had diplomatic protection, it functioned as a consulate issuing travel documents, carrying out other consular tasks and was awaiting official recognition. An Iranian flag flying over the building was hauled down during the raid.

"As for 'working with the government of Iraq', the US military did not bother to inform any Iraqi government officials or the regional Kurdish government of their plans. A cautious statement from Kurdish authorities pointed out that the consulate was protected by international agreement and warned the operation 'does not help the efforts to bring peace, stability and security to the rest of Iraq.' The statement added that it would be 'better to inform the Kurdistan government before taking actions against anybody.'”

It would seem the US can't protest the attack on its embassy in Greece this week. The Moron is inviting attacks on the US.

Bush surge policy and why the administration cannot admit defeat and failure

"Bush, or any other Republican who would withdraw in a situation as we have now in Iraq would deal a serious blow to the illusion conservatives like to maintain for themselves regarding such wars. The consequences of harming or destroying that illusion would be significant erosion in the support for the Republican Party among the farthest right of its base. It would not cause them to vote Democratic by any means, but it would cause some of them either not to vote or to vote for a third party. Bush is willing to do just about anything to maintain support of this group for him and for future GOP leaders. That is what the surge is about."

Soldiers doubt an influx of American troops will benefit Iraqi army

"But as the mayor and police chief approached the entrance to the Iraqi army base here last month, Iraqi troops seized their bodyguards and tossed them to the ground. Then the soldiers put their boots on the bodyguards' backs, a literal reminder that the Sunni officials were under the boot of the Shiite military.

"For the Americans assigned to train Iraqi troops here, the incident was another in a long string of problems that's persuaded many of them that it will be years before Iraq's army can stand on its own."

Governors lose in power struggle over National Guard

"Over objections from all 50 governors, Congress in October tweaked the 200-year-old Insurrection Act to empower the hand of the president in future stateside emergencies. In a letter to Congress, the governors called the change 'a dramatic expansion of federal authority during natural disasters that could cause confusion in the command-and-control of the National Guard and interfere with states' ability to respond to natural disasters within their borders.'"

Further empowerment of The Moron.

US military asks deceased officers to reenlist

"Just after Christmas, amid the preparations for an expansion of American troop numbers in Iraq, the US army sent a personalised appeal to some 5,100 retired officers asking them to re-enlist. Among those who received a letter were some 200 who had suffered serious injuries in the Iraq war, and, incredibly, the families of 75 officers who had lost their lives in Iraq."

Gone, but not forgotten.

Grim picture of Iraq from US government watchdog

"The report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) ran a critical rule over a previous failed US plan for victory, the malfunctioning Iraqi government government and security forces and fearsome insurgent and sectarian violence."

With Iraq speech, Bush to pull away from generals

"Bush talks frequently of his disdain for micromanaging the war effort and for second-guessing his commanders. 'It's important to trust the judgment of the military when they're making military plans,' he told The Washington Post in an interview last month. 'I'm a strict adherer to the command structure.'

"But over the past two months, as the security situation in Iraq has deteriorated and U.S. public support for the war has dropped, Bush has pushed back against his top military advisers and the commanders in Iraq: He has fashioned a plan to add up to 20,000 troops to the 132,000 U.S. service members already on the ground. As Bush plans it, the military will soon be 'surging' in Iraq two months after an election that many Democrats interpreted as a mandate to begin withdrawing troops."

'All the troops in the world won't make any difference'

"Most top U.S. military officials—even members of George W. Bush’s administration such as national-security adviser Stephen Hadley—did not recommend a 'surge' or escalation of U.S. troops into Iraq when they were interviewed by the Iraq Study Group last fall, says group member Leon Panetta, a former White House chief of staff under Bill Clinton. Instead of a surge—which the president plans to announce in a speech to the nation tomorrow—these officials recommended at the time that more U.S. advisers be embedded in Iraqi units, Panetta says. That later led the bipartisan commission co-chaired by James Baker and Lee Hamilton to come to the same conclusion, he says. Panetta also says that the officials interviewed knew that one of the Study Group’s central recommendations—that U.S. advisory teams in Iraq be quadrupled—was largely incompatible with a ramp-up of troops. The reason? In order to increase the number of U.S. advisory teams to that degree, American combat brigades must be withdrawn so the officers in those units can be turned into advisers. That is apparently not going to happen now, at least not quickly."

Waist deep in the Big Muddy

"There’s always a problem with giving a junkie another fix. It can only make things worse. Our maximum leader says that unless he gets to mainline another 21,000 troops, 'Iran would be emboldened in its pursuit of nuclear weapons,” and terrorists “would have a safe haven from which to plan and launch attacks on the American people.'

"Excuse me, but didn’t we hear that same promise in 2003? Nearly four years ago, on the eve of invasion, this same George Bush promised, 'The terrorist threat to America and the world will be diminished the moment that Saddam Hussein is disarmed.'”

Neocon family calls the shots

"FEW neoconservatives can claim to have had as much influence on the course of the Iraq war as the trio of scholars in the Kagan family, writes Sarah Baxter.

"Frederick Kagan, 36, is the author of Choosing Victory, a blueprint for the surge adopted by President George W Bush. Just as everybody had begun writing off the influence of the neocons at the White House, genial, chubby-faced Frederick gave the muscular intellectuals a lease of life."

I saw Fat Freddy make a presentation at a Biden hearing last week on C-Span. His views were not well accepted.

Escalating failure

"Last night, President Bush disregarded the opposition of U.S. military commanders, lawmakers of both parties, the Iraq Study Group (ISG), and the American public and announced to the nation that he plans to increase America's presence in Iraq by approximately 21,500 troops, with no timetable for when troop levels would be drawn back down. The right wing tried to present this 'surge' as the 'last chance for success' in Iraq. But as the Associated Press noted, Bush's escalation announcement is simply the 'latest repackaging of a program that's been wrapped and rewrapped many times.' When Bush sent increased U.S. forces into Baghdad in June 2006, the security situation actually deteriorated further and violence increased. One Bush administration official admitted that the escalation plan is 'more of a political decision than a military one' and military commanders have made clear to the President that U.S. forces are already overstretched. As Bush noted in June 28, 2005, sending more troops to Iraq will 'undermine our strategy of encouraging Iraqis to take the lead' and 'suggest that we intend to stay forever.' Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) has introduced legislation demanding accountability from the President, and the Center for American Progress has released a memo recommending 'an amendment on the supplemental funding bill that states that if the administration wants to increase the number of troops in Iraq above 150,000, it must provide a plan for their purpose and require an up or down vote on exceeding that number.' American Progress also has a strategic redeployment plan detailing 'a responsible exit from Iraq as part of a balanced global strategy to make Americans safer.'"

The real disaster

"President Bush told Americans last night that failure in Iraq would be a disaster. The disaster is Mr. Bush’s war, and he has already failed. Last night was his chance to stop offering more fog and be honest with the nation, and he did not take it."

UK to cut 3,000 troops from Iraq by May

"Within the next two weeks, Prime Minister Tony Blair would announce the reduction to Britain's 7,200-strong force based in the south of the war-ravaged country, it said
"The news came as U.S. President George W. Bush prepared to outline plans to send another 21,500 U.S. troops to Iraq."

The Poodle turns?

Bush's Iraq "surge" met with despair in Britain

"It was left to Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett to lend mealy-mouthed support to Bush’s speech, a mark of the gravity of the crisis that has been provoked. Prime Minister Tony Blair spoke only briefly to a local television station in southwest England, a platform so obscure that it was picked up by only a handful of media sources. He described Bush’s policy as 'sensible.'”

New oil law means victory in Iraq for Bush

"At any time within the next few days, the Iraqi Council of Ministers is expected to approve a new "hydrocarbon law" essentially drawn up by the Bush administration and its UK lackey, the Independent on Sunday reported. The new bill will 'radically redraw the Iraqi oil industry and throw open the doors to the third-largest oil reserves in the world,' says the paper, whose reporters have seen a draft of the new law. 'It would allow the first large-scale operation of foreign oil companies in the country since the industry was nationalized in 1972.' If the government's parliamentary majority prevails, the law should take effect in March."

Iraqi regime set to hand over oil reserves to US energy giants

"The terms granted under the new law will guarantee massive profits to ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP and other energy conglomerates. While recovering the costs of their initial investment to develop an oil field, foreign companies will be able to retain 60 to 70 percent of oil revenue. After recouping their initial outlay, the companies can take up to 20 percent of the profit.

"By contrast, the French oil company Total signed a deal with Saddam Hussein before the second Iraq war to develop a huge field that would have allowed the company to retain only 40 percent of the profits while it was recovering its costs and 10 percent afterwards, according to Dr. Muhammed-Ali Zainy, a senior economist at the Centre for Global Energy Studies."

Of course, the BushCo buddies will reimburse the US taxpayers for the bloated costs of the war for oil. The new cannon fodder being shipped over will likely be there to ensure the contract is signed, sealed and delivered to BushCo.

The "surge" to screw Iraq out of its oil
"It took an article from the distant New Zealand Herald (via a reader) to tell me Oil giants to profit from law change. That is, the third largest reserves in the world are about to be fed to the Western oil lions under another sell-out law that the Iraqi Parliament will vote on in days. Of course, the US government had a grease-stained hand in drawing up the law, a draft of which the NZ Herald got to see early on. God forbid the New York Times or Washington Post should know . . .

"But Big Oil’s Boyz, BP, Shell and Exxon will get 30-year contracts to suck up the crude and permit the first large-scale operation of foreign oil hands on Iraq since the industry was nationalized in 1972. And you were wondering if they really were bombing Iraq into the Stone Age for oil. This should put an end to your suspicions."

Surging toward the holy oil grail

"The basic fact remains that Bush's escalation is designed to smash Muqtada's Mehdi Army. That can only mean, in practice, a mini-genocide of vast masses of unruly, extremely dispossessed Shi'ites: the coming battle of Sadr City, which the Pentagon has been itching to launch since the spring of 2004. The Pentagon is actually declaring war on no fewer than 2.2 million (poor) people. A sinister symmetry still applies: the Pentagon will attack dispossessed Shi'ite masses - just as the Israeli Defense Forces attacked dispossessed Shi'ite masses in southern Lebanon in the summer of 2006. "There's more. Bush's escalation, according to his own speech, will ensure there will actually be two major battles on two different fronts: the battle of Sadr City, against Shi'ites, and the Great Battle of Baghdad, as the Sunni Arab muqawama (resistance) has been dubbing it. A tangential taste of this second front was provided this week by the day-long fight in Haifa Street between coalition and Iraqi forces against militants."

Shock and oil: Iraq's billions & the White House connection

"BearingPoint is fighting to restore its reputation in the US after falling more than a year behind in reporting its own financial results, prompting legal actions from its creditors and shareholders.

"According to the Center for Responsive Politics, BearingPoint employees gave $117,000 (£60,000) to the 2000 and 2004 Bush election campaigns, more than any other Iraq contractor. Other recipients include three prominent Congressmen on the House of Representatives' defence sub-committee, which oversees defence department contracts."

The imperial presidency 2.0

"Observing President Bush in action lately, we have to wonder if he actually watched the election returns in November, or if he was just rerunning the 2002 vote on his TiVo."

Managing escalation: Negroponte and Bush's new Iraq team

"Second and more immediate, the transfer of Negroponte into the State Department comes conveniently just as the announcement of the escalation of troops in Iraq is planned. Bush needs someone with experience in managing escalations and he needs look no further than this man. It is Negroponte who oversaw the implementation of the 'Salvador Option' in Iraq, as it was referred to in Newsweek in January 2005.

"Under the 'Salvador Option,' Negroponte had assistance from his colleague from his days in Central America during the 1980's, Ret. Col James Steele. Steele, whose title in Baghdad was Counselor for Iraqi Security Forces supervised the selection and training of members of the Badr Organization and Mehdi Army, the two largest Shi'ite militias in Iraq, in order to target the leadership and support networks of a primarily Sunni resistance."

The Devil is in the details . . . and in BushCo.

Air strikes on Somalia: a new stage in Washington's illegal "terror" war

"US air strikes against targets in the south of Somalia have claimed a substantial number of civilian lives. The bombing campaign, begun Sunday night and continued on Monday, mark a major escalation in the Bush administration’s lawless use of violence to achieve Washington’s strategic aims under the auspices of its 'global war on terrorism.'”

American passports found on bodies of al Qaeda fighters in Somalia

"According to the same source, most of the foreign passports were Sudanese, Pakistani and Yemeni, but several American, British and Australian passports were also recovered."

Later reports say that no al Qaeda were killed, but 100 innocent civilians were granted an early exit from existence.

Pentagon sees move in Somalia as blueprint

"Military operations in Somalia by American commandos, and the use of the Ethiopian Army as a surrogate force to root out operatives for Al Qaeda in the country, are a blueprint that Pentagon strategists say they hope to use more frequently in counterterrorism missions around the globe. "

That is, the US Special Ops groups will terrorize the planet.

Instead of "al-Qaeda," US kills nomads in Somalia

“'Oxfam yesterday confirmed at least 70 nomads in the Afmadow district near the border with Kenya had been killed. The nomads were bombed at night and during the day while searching for water sources. Meanwhile, the US ambassador to Kenya has acknowledged that the onslaught on Islamist fighters failed to kill any of the three prime targets,' described as 'backfir[ing] spectacularly' by the British newspaper."

Just a few raghead mooslums . . . no problemo, says The Moron.

George Bush should come under the same scrutiny as Saddam Hussein

"My question is this, since there are no weapons of mass destruction and more than 600,000 Iraqi civilian deaths post the U.S. invasion, when will George W. Bush face the same scrutiny? Will he walk the 13 steps?

"Do not expect equal justice. The United States is the same country that does not support the International Criminal Court, yet appeals to it when it suits its purpose. The travesty in Iraq proves that those with the military might rule with their false reasoning, fronting vested interests, and are not subject to the same morality and standards which they espouse."

Raptors, robots, and rods from God: The nightmare weaponry of our future (Scroll down)

"We are not winning the war on terrorism (and would not be even if we knew what victory looked like) or the war in Iraq. Our track record in Afghanistan, as well as in the allied "war" on drugs, is hardly better. Yet the Pentagon is hard at work, spending your money, planning and preparing for future conflicts of every imaginable sort. From wars in space to sci-fi battlescapes without soldiers, scenarios are being scripted and weaponry prepared, largely out of public view, which ensures not future victories, but limitless spending that Americans can ill-afford now or twenty years from now."

NSA and Microsoft worked together on Windows Vista security

"By getting involved early in the process, the NSA helped Microsoft ensure that it was delivering a product that was both secure and compatible with existing government software, he said."

This kind of government/corporate partnering undermining the Constitution shows that fascism is alive and well in 'Merica.

Military is expanding its intelligence [an oxymoron]

"The Pentagon has been using a little-known power to obtain banking and credit records of hundreds of Americans and others suspected of terrorism or espionage inside the United States, part of an aggressive expansion by the military into domestic intelligence gathering.

"The C.I.A. has also been issuing what are known as national security letters to gain access to financial records from American companies, though it has done so only rarely, intelligence officials say.

"Banks, credit card companies and other financial institutions receiving the letters usually have turned over documents voluntarily, allowing investigators to examine the financial assets and transactions of American military personnel and civilians, officials say."

Cheney: Credit checks aren't illegal.

"'The Department of Defense has legitimate authority in this area. This is an authority that goes back three or four decades. It was reaffirmed in the Patriot Act,'' he said. 'It's perfectly legitimate activity. There's nothing wrong with it or illegal. It doesn't violate people's civil rights.'''

Says the war criminal making untold millions from the Iraq war.

Fed pushing for internet records

"For more than a year, the U.S. Justice Department has been in discussions with Internet companies and privacy rights advocates, trying to come up with a plan that would make it easier for investigators to check records of Web traffic.

"The idea is to help law enforcement track down child pornographers. But some see it as another step toward total surveillance of citizens, joining warrantless wiretapping, secret scrutiny of library records and unfettered access to e-mail as another power that could be abused."

Newly released FBI files document widespread torture at Guantanamo

"Reading these documents, one gets the sense not only that torture is sadistically and widely practiced at Guantánamo, but that a whole culture has developed around its employment."

A voice from Gitmo's darkness

"At Guantanamo, soldiers have assaulted me, placed me in solitary confinement, threatened to kill me, threatened to kill my daughter and told me I will stay in Cuba for the rest of my life. They have deprived me of sleep, forced me to listen to extremely loud music and shined intense lights in my face. They have placed me in cold rooms for hours without food, drink or the ability to go to the bathroom or wash for prayers. They have wrapped me in the Israeli flag and told me there is a holy war between the Cross and the Star of David on one hand and the Crescent on the other. They have beaten me unconscious."

David Hicks enters his sixth year of detention at Guantanamo Bay

"Calls for the immediate release of Australian citizen David Hicks from Guantánamo Bay intensified over the Christmas period with concerns increasing about the 31-year-old’s deteriorating psychological health."

This is a US torture camp

"It would be the ideal spot for a beachside birthday party. Surrounded by a turquoise sea, palm trees and white sand, the US detention camp at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba was five years old yesterday. Tony Blair calls it an 'anomaly', but the evidence is overwhelming. Camp Delta, which still houses 470 men never convicted of any crime, is a torture camp. That should be the starting point of any debate about what is acceptable in the west's fight with Islamist extremists. More than 750 men have passed through the camp, with nearly half being released. Many prisoners, past and present, have given consistent and repeated testimony of serious abuses and ill treatment. There is also significant evidence from US officials and government documents of widespread abuse at the camp."

I wonder, will the Iranians abducted illegally from their consulate wind up in Gitmo to be tortured?

Official attacks top law firms over detainees

"The senior Pentagon official in charge of military detainees suspected of terrorism said in an interview this week that he was dismayed that lawyers at many of the nation’s top firms were representing prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and that the firms’ corporate clients should consider ending their business ties.

"The comments by Charles D. Stimson, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, produced an instant torrent of anger from lawyers, legal ethics specialists and bar association officials, who said Friday that his comments were repellent and displayed an ignorance of the duties of lawyers to represent people in legal trouble."

It is well past the time to divest corporations of their rights and autonomy. They are the cancer destroying the planet. Corporations have no soul and no concern for people assigned to a scrap heap.

George W. Bush: A symptom of disease

"Our imperial leader, an impish little man with clear sociopathic symptoms, is incapable of empathy for the struggles of the common people, as those born into wealth and privilege often are. The man with his finger on the nuclear detonator is mentally ill, incapable of remorse—a fact that should terrify every world citizen. I do not say this out of malice or to demean the president; it is simply a statement of fact based upon quantifiable evidence that any student of psychology would easily recognize."

Officials believe White House chose new intelligence chief in effort to darken Iran intelligence estimate, broaden domestic surveillance

"The nomination of retired Vice Admiral John Michael 'Mike' McConnell to be Director of National Intelligence is part of an effort by the Vice President to tighten the Administration’s grip on domestic intelligence and grease the wheels for a more aggressive stance towards Iran, current and former intelligence officials believe."

The next two years are likely to be the darkest of the BushCo occcupation.

Bleak reaction to plan on streets of Iraq

"Baghdad's streets were much quieter than usual, many shopkeepers slamming down their metal shutters, nervous of impending battles between US and Iraqi forces against Sunni and Shia gunmen.

"Sunni insurgents vowed to kill the new troops, Shia militia fighters to guard their territory and ordinary Iraqis saw little prospect of President Bush's plan restoring order and prosperity to their lives."

In Baghdad. Bush policy is met with resentment

"Iraq’s Shiite-led government offered only a grudging endorsement on Thursday of President Bush’s proposal to deploy more than 20,000 additional troops in an effort to curb sectarian violence and regain control of Baghdad. The tepid response immediately raised questions about whether the government would make a good-faith effort to prosecute the new war plan.

"The Iraqi leader, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, failed to appear at a news conference and avoided any public comment. He left the government’s response to an official spokesman, Ali al-Dabbagh, who gave what amounted to a backhanded approval of the troop increase and emphasized that Iraqis, not Americans, would set the future course in the war."

Iraq wants no part of more US soldiers

"Haidar al-Abadi, a member of Parliament who is a close associate of Maliki's, said: 'The government believes there is no need for extra troops from the American side. The existing troops can do the job.'

"That opinion is broadly held throughout the ranks of the Shiite political elite, which after two years in power is stretching its wings and trying to stamp its authority on a chaotic capital. A long-oppressed majority, they are acting out of a deep-seated fear that power could be taken away at any moment."

California plan for health care would cover all

"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday proposed extending health care coverage to all of California’s 36 million residents as part of a sweeping package of changes to the state’s huge, troubled health care system.

"A total of 6.5 million people, one-fifth of the state’s population, do not have health insurance, far more than in any other state. At least one million of the uninsured are illegal immigrants, state officials say."

Tax cuts offer most for very rich, study says

"Families earning more than $1 million a year saw their federal tax rates drop more sharply than any group in the country as a result of President Bush’s tax cuts, according to a new Congressional study.

"The study, by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, also shows that tax rates for middle-income earners edged up in 2004, the most recent year for which data was available, while rates for people at the very top continued to decline."

Ousted Home Depot CEO hauls off $210 million severance package

"Notably, the total amount of Nardelli’s 'golden parachute' is worth seven times the $30 million earmarked for those among the retail chain’s 355,000 employees who demonstrated good customer service. Home Depot is the second-largest US retailer behind Wal-Mart."

New York City's new transit boss gets $40,000 raise: As takeaway contract is imposed

"The pay boost for the new MTA boss was announced just weeks after a state arbitration board imposed a takeaway contract on New York City’s 34,000 bus and subway workers."

Quotes from and others:

"I'm no expert on Iraq." -- Bush's Secretary of Defense Robert "Brownie" Gates Link Why should Gates be any different than Bush's other appointments? Shame on the Democrats for confirming this unqualified crony.

"We are stuck in a hopeless war led by a clueless man who enjoys only a passing relationship with reality. Rather than admit his many, many errors, he prefers to kill many, many people. And he will continue to do so until someone finds a way to stop him. Our political system has broken down, and our soldiers, the Iraqis, quite possibly the Iranians, and many others must pay for our refusal to admit that with their lives." -- Eric Alterman, Altercation

"President should be given a chance to carry this out, rather than condemn it before it even starts. It would be appropriate to give it a chance to succeed." --Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Delusional Link

"We go forward with trust that the Author of Liberty will guide us through these trying hours." -- Dubya, apparently listening to the Statue of Liberty for advice,

"We've always needed more forces. We thought that those forces would be provided by the Iraqis. They are not quite ready yet to the task that they have to try to bring order to their capital." -- Kinda Sleazy. lying again,

"If we increase our support at this crucial moment, and help the Iraqis break the current cycle of violence, we can hasten the day our troops begin coming home." --Dubya, America's greatest military strategerist,

"These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on our troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. -- Oil for brains

"Virginia Republican Virgil Goode sounded the alarm. Goode's letter: 'If American citizens don't wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding use of the Koran'. For those of you unfamiliar with the Virgil Goode position, in the Kama Sutra it's where a man masturbates while his head is up his own ass." -- Jon Stewart

"A much larger regional conflict that pits Sunnis against Shiites is increasingly on the minds of both Arab leaders and U.S. military planners. Some are calling such a possible outcome the 'nightmare scenario.' A wider conflict appears more plausible now..." -- The Whore Street Journal, where they love Bush more than air, Link

"Success or failure in Iraq is not a matter of partisan politics but a matter of national Security. In that spirit, I support the president's increase in troops. -- Rudy I-don't-want-to-be-president Giuliani,

"The lynching of Saddam has made the situation there very clear. There is no government in Iraq. There is only a very dangerous collection of gangs and death squads running rough-shod over the Iraqi people. Bush, with his fantasy of a huge American escalation to aid and abet these anti-Western thugs, doesn't get this." -- Faithful Progressive, a Christian blogger, Link

"Colin Powell is caustic in private about Bush's proposed ''surge." Powell noted that McCain just heard from combat officers that they wanted more troops. Said Powell, 'The colonels will always say they need more troops. That's why we have generals.''' -- Robert Novakula, Prince of Darkness, Link

"Geraldo says that from now on, instead of being called a 'douchebag,' he'll go by 'bag of douche'" --Conan O'Brien, on FOX cancelling "Geraldo at Large" in favor of "At Large with Geraldo Rivera"
"The one thing I know about Tom Delay, is that if I were to have a knife in me,it would be in my belly and not my back. He's always been up-front with me." -- Rep. Chris Shays (R-CT), describing how DeLay stabs his friends, Link

DORMITORY: When you rearrange the letters: DIRTY ROOM

PRESBYTERIAN: When you rearrange the letters: BEST IN PRAYER
ASTRONOMER: When you rearrange the letters: MOON STARER

DESPERATION: When you rearrange the letters: A ROPE ENDS IT

THE EYES: When you rearrange the letters: THEY SEE

MOTHER-IN-LAW: When you rearrange the letters: WOMAN HITLER

THE MORSE CODE: When you rearrange the letters: HERE COME DOTS

SLOT MACHINES: When you rearrange the Letters: CASH LOST IN ME

ANIMOSITY: When you rearrange the letters: IS NO AMITY

ELECTION RESULTS: When you rearrange the letters: LIES LETS RECOUNT

SNOOZE ALARMS: When you rearrange the letters: ALAS NO MORE ZS

A DECIMAL POINT: When you rearrange the letters: IM A DOT IN PLACE

THE EARTHQUAKES: When you rearrange the letters: THAT QUEER SHAKE

ELEVEN PLUS TWO: When you rearrange the letters: TWELVE PLUS ONE


GEORGE BUSH!: When you rearrange the letters: O! HE BUGGERS


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