Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Real Trouble in the Gulf, Oil Platforms may be missing

From the Oil Drum

There is a credible rumor that a number (a high number) of production facilities in the Gulf have disappeared in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

If true it is, just another chilling aspect of this disaster.

Official Tempers are Growing Short in La.

I have been following the local coverage (TV Stream) of the disaster in New Orleans, and things in the Big Easy are getting real ugly.

The local government officials are starting to ask questions , and point fingers. They want to know where the food, water and other aid is. FEMA is already being blasted, and it is clear that communications are, 48+ hours after the hurricane, and 72+ hours after the declaration, still hopeless.

They need far more troops, many more boats, planes, helicopters etc. Now that a total evacuation is being called for, and the necessity to relocate half a million people is being faced, the existing shortfall in major disaster planning is now clear.

This will be a case study for years.

God Bless and Protect Those on our Gulf Coast

and help those stuck in New Orleans, they need it.

And, the stress inherent in disaster response is starting to show.

The Bush Economic Rebound Continues

Of course, like any project of the Republicans, that improvements only applies to the haves.

According to a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies and United for a Fair Economy, the ratio of average CEO pay compared to worker pay spiked to 431-to-one in 2004, up from 201-to-one last year.

The have not, on the other hand are not doing so well.

The percentage of the U.S. population living in poverty rose to 12.7 percent from 12.5 percent in 2003, as 1.1 million more people slipped into poverty last year, the Census Bureau said in its annual poverty report.

The ranks of the poor rose to 37.0 million, up from 35.9 million the previous year, the report said.

The is the 4th year ina row that the poverity rate has grown. You have to go back to the Late 80s and early 90s to find rates higher that the current one. One of the most interesting point in this study is the poverty growth occurred almost exclusively in non-hispanic whites.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Republican Culture of Corruption - Kentucky

Nixon would be proud of Fletcher, the Republican governor of Kentucky.

Fletcher grants amnesty to 9 charged in probe

Calling the investigation into personnel practices in his administration a wasteful game of political gotcha, Gov. Ernie Fletcher tonight pardoned nine current and former officials who have been indicted along with anyone who "might be charged."

It is one heck of a system these folks support. Break the law, get caught, pardon everyone, so you can continue to break the law.

Can the Guard Respond to Katrina?

There is concern that the Iraqi deployment may impact the ability to respond to this disaster. The government has said this is not the case, but a look at past history may be very telling.

The Red Cross has indicated its response will be the largest in its history. So how many National Guard and military troops will Bush send to help save these people? Well, in 1992 his father sent over 30,000 troops to Florida after Andrew, in addition to over 6,000 National Guard activated by the state. According to today's Chicago Tribune, Louisiana has activated 3,500 National Guardsmen.

This will be another detail to follow in the next couple of days. As time passes will see if the deployments have disaster affected response ability

One side note, one of the large La. Guard units in Iraq is coming home next week

The new Iraqi Constitution, a Pending Disaster?

The Sunni leadership doesn't like the news Constitution. They fear that the way it has been crafted Iraq will consist of a oil rich Kurdish enclave in the north, a oil rich Shia enclave in the south and east, and a poor and powerless sunni belt in the middle. The end result is, the Sunni's, who ignored that last elections, are now motivated to participate.

Sunni political leaders had already rejected it and vowed to rally support among their people to vote down the measure. "I will urge everybody to go and register for the referendum, and go and vote," said Salih Al-Mutlaq, a senior Sunni lawmaker.

In the long run, having the Sunni's succed and getting this version blocked, and going back into committee to get a new version may be the better option.

But even if Sunni voters do register and turn out, there's no guarantee they will be able to defeat a referendum. Talal al-Gaaod, a Sunni businessman in Jordan with close ties to Sunni tribes, doesn't believe there are enough votes to carry the necessary two-thirds "no" majority in three of Iraq's provinces. And if the current draft passes? "More chaos," he says. In fact, disturbing signs are already emerging of a violent uptick in the kinds of sectarian tensions many Iraqis fear could lead to civil war.

A lose, lose situation may now exist, with civil war in our path; and starting back at ground zero on the other.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Episcopal Squirrels

Three churches in a small town found that their church buildings had become over-run with squirrels.

The Presbyterian church decided that it was pre-destined that the squirrels would be there and therefore left the squirrels to their own devices.

The Unitarian church decided the best measure was to humanely trap the squirrels and take them to a nice place in the woods. Naturally the squirrels returned three days later.

The Episcopal church decided to have the squirrels baptized and confirmed. Now the squirrels only come to church on Christmas and Easter.

Stolen from Blog of the Grateful Bear

Push for Intelligent Design Comes to S.C.

In an effort to assure that S.C. remains on the bottom of most educational list, State Sen. Mike Fair has filed a bill to force intelligent Design into our classrooms.

In addition, the lobbying and spin has started.

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) - Some South Carolina politicians are pondering school treatment of Darwin's theory of evolution and the concepts of creationism and "intelligent design."

Republican State Sen. Mike Fair filed a bill in June to require that schools expose students to the "full range of scientific views that exist" on topics like evolution.

Fair was among 200 people attending a conference last week titled "Uncommon Dissent: Scientists Who Find Darwinism Unconvincing." Speakers at the event included U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint and U.S. Rep. Bob Inglis, both Republicans.

You have to wonder why Republicans hate our children.

For more information of the Not so intelligent Design movement, I recommend that you follow the discussions on Pandas Thumb and Pharyngula. Evolution is a highly complex subject. The experts in this have years of study on the topic. Most people in the US have at best 8 hours of college level science (I am 'well educated' in this area I had 12 hours, 3 in lab).

Evolution is a scientific theory, and should be taught in a science class. Intelligent Design is at best a philosophy, and if you care to waste time and money teaching it, it should be taught in a philosophy class.

Just another thing to worry about.

IF the War is so important,

Why are your kids not serving?

Mitt Romney, a big war cheerleader, was asked why his kids are not enlisting. His response was interesting. (emphasis added)

Gov. Mitt Romney, who has comforted the grieving loved ones of soldiers killed in Iraq and promoted National Guard recruitment, yesterday said he has not urged his own sons to enlist - and isn't sure whether they would.

Isn't sure, I guess his family isn't real big on communication on the big issues.

One other interesting point in this post is a look at notable Republicans, Democrats, and Talking Heads, and their past service.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Oil at $70.00 +

and it will go higher.

New Orleans process or handles about 1/3 to 1/2 of the gas etc for the US. The Gulf fields produce huge amounts of oil for the US.

New Orleans may be shut down for a while, and or 60% of the Gulf fields may be damaged.

Gas will not be getting cheaper any time soon.

In the words of Monty Python's King Arthur


More Bad Poll Numbers for Bush

Now even Gallup has Bush's approvial in a nose dive.

A new Gallup Poll reflects further erosion in President George W. Bush's job approval rating, continuing the slow but steady decline evident throughout the year so far. The poll -- conducted Aug. 22-25 -- puts Bush's job approval rating at 40% and his disapproval rating at 56%.

So now 4 polls have record lows for the president.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

More Republican corruption - Cunningham again

The hot water that our friend Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham has been sitting in, is getting much hotter.

Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham "demanded and received" a bribe from a Pentagon contractor who paid far above market value for the congressman's Del Mar-area home in 2003, according to court documents filed yesterday by federal prosecutors.

Without citing details, prosecutors said in the documents that Cunningham sold the house in return for his influence in Congress, where he serves on the House subcommittee that oversees Pentagon spending,

The allegation is the most specific and damaging that has been made public since a federal investigation was launched into the powerful Rancho Santa Fe Republican's dealings with defense contractors.

Demanded a bribe, I bet his friend and character witness, Tom DeLay will be very disappointed. I am sure that Tom tried to teach him better than this. You never demand a bribe, you just hint and hint, till the cash is delivered.

Usama Bin Ladin or Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson

A little test to see just how much (or little) they may have in common.

Your score: 17 out of 20

It is harder than you might think, but I suspect that is the point.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Unhindged, Obscene and Dogmatic

A Vacation with George Bush sounds like a real good time. This is from Capitol Hill Blue, so take it for what's it worth, but it is entertaining.

While President George W. Bush travels around the country in a last-ditch effort to sell his Iraq war, White House aides scramble frantically behind the scenes to hide the dark mood of an increasingly angry leader who unleashes obscenity-filled outbursts at anyone who dares disagree with him.

"I'm not meeting with that goddamned bitch" Bush screamed at aides who suggested he meet with Cindy Sheehan, the war-protesting mother whose son died in Iraq. "She can go to hell as far as I'm concerned!"

Bush, administration aides confide, frequently explodes into tirades over those who protest the war, calling them "motherfucking traitors." He reportedly was so upset over Veterans of Foreign Wars members who wore 'bullshit protectors' over their ears during his speech to their annual convention that he told aides to "tell those VFW assholes that I'll never speak to them again is they can't keep their members under ontrol."

White House insiders say Bush is growing increasingly bitter over mounting opposition to his war in Iraq. Polls show a vast majority of Americans now believe the war was a mistake and most doubt the President's honesty.

"Who gives a flying fuck what the polls say," he screamed at a recent strategy meeting. "I'm the President and I'll do whatever I goddamned please. They don't know shit."


Even the more traditional media are getting a sense of the bunker mentality that may be griping the White House

Bush wasn't looking for laughs when he focused on Idaho as a travel destination. Idaho has sent more National Guardsmen to Iraq than any other state; it is also one of the most reliably red regions in the country. With his mountain bike safely aboard Air Force One, Bush could leave Texas and still feel secure. It's the nature of this brash and impetuous president that when it comes to words, he's a big shot, but he ducks any situation where he might have to face anyone hostile to him or his policies.

This piece is not as brutal as the Capital Hill Blue bit, but both point to a President who is unable to handle the preshure of the office any more.

Lust in my Heart

I hate to admit it, but I can be hard on 'stuff'. All kinds of things, from furniture, to small animals; From tools, to electronic equipment (Keyboards, Mice {mouses?}), you name it, I can destroy it simply by using it.

Now, I see that a notebook computer that I could love (and maybe not destroy) is starting to get mass acceptance.

It is nice to see military developments that find valuable civilian applications.

It's Friday, a Great Time to Visit a Few Other Blogs

So, click on over and check these post out.

The Marketing of ID (Intelligent Design) and it's real purpose is again exposed at Daily Kos.

The Big Fat Liberal has discovered some of the principals of the New New Testament.

J.A.B.B.S. has the transcript of John Stewart's review of Iraq talking points, Using Bush's Own Words.

The 'Christian Voter Gap' is the focus of I am A Christian Too. Guess what, it isn't that big.

Drop into the Whiskey Bar and discover the amazing two faced nature of the American Legion.

and from Blogenlust, a guide to the twisted logic of the right wing.

Enjoy them all.

Another US Success Stories in Iraq?

We here about the US forces moving in and destroying insurgent strongholds. Haditha is pone of those succeses battlefield success that the US media reports, without ever looking back. Well, the British media are a bit more currious, and do go check things out.

So, what is realy happening in Haditha?

A three-day visit by a reporter working for the Guardian last week established what neither the Iraqi government nor the US military has admitted: Haditha, a farming town of 90,000 people by the Euphrates river, is an insurgent citadel.

That Islamist guerrillas were active in the area was no secret but only now has the extent of their control been revealed. They are the sole authority, running the town's security, administration and communications.

A three-hour drive north from Baghdad, under the nose of an American base, it is a miniature Taliban-like state. Insurgents decide who lives and dies, which salaries get paid, what people wear, what they watch and listen to.

Haditha exposes the limitations of the Iraqi state and US power on the day when the political process is supposed to make a great leap - a draft constitution finalised and approved by midnight tonight.

For politicians and diplomats in Baghdad's fortified green zone the constitution is a means to stabilise Iraq and woo Sunni Arabs away from the rebellion. For Haditha, 140 miles north-west of the capital, whether a draft is agreed is irrelevant. Residents already have a set of laws and rules promulgated by insurgents.

Within minutes of driving into town the Guardian was stopped by a group of men and informed about rule number one: announce yourself. The mujahideen, as they are known locally, must know who comes and goes.

The Guardian reporter did not say he worked for a British newspaper. For their own protection interviewees cannot be named.

There is no fighting here because there is no one to challenge the Islamists. The police station and municipal offices were destroyed last year and US marines make only fleeting visits every few months.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Iraq is Iraq, Vietnam is Vietnam

The urge to try to define one by the other is understandable. I have done this in the past, and no doubt will do so again. Vietnam, it's mistakes and errors echo in the soul of our nation. At times events in Iraq touch upon those echoes and make the past and the present seem tied.

But, Iraq is now, and Vietnam is past.

The lesions of Vietnam can not be directly applied to Iraq, and some of the voices on the left are trying to leave the comparisons behind.

I dislike the comparisons to Vietnam because, like all allegory and historical analogy, they lack precision and rigor. An inexact analogy can go a long way toward obscuring important details about our current situation, which itself can lead to improper action.

We have to Learn from the past, but we also have to remember that new challenges require new answers and approaches. We must never forget the mistakes and lesions learned in Vietnam, but we must remind ourselves that four decades have passed and similar situations may demand slightly different answers.

Some things do seem to apply; Those calling out 'stay the course' in Vietnam were wrong. Those making that same call today are also wrong. Those shouting 'America, love it or leave it' were wrong, just as those who were chanting 'We don't care'. Changing the path we are on is required, but we must look beyond what was done in the 60s and 70s to find the proper course.

Iraq (Again) Now we Have Shia Fighting Shia

A excellent overview of yesterday's violence.

The Badr Organization -- the party militia of the Iranian-backed Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq -- moved against its enemies on several fronts today, possibly triggering the start of a full-scale civil war in Iraq.


The wires, as well as Chris Allbritton at Back to Iraq 3.0, are reporting that Badr units in the holy city of Najaf attacked the offices of archrival Moqtada Sadr, killing more than 20 of Sadr's supporters and burning the place to the ground.

Abu Ghraib General Speaks Out.

I had been hesitant to speak out before because this Administration is so vindictive. But now I will ... Anybody who confronts this Administration or Rumsfeld or the Pentagon with a true assessment, they find themselves either out of a job, out of their positions, fired, relieved or chastised. Their career comes to an end.
-- Janis Karpinski, interview with Marjorie Cohn, August 3, 2005

The most senior US Army officer to have been punished in the Abu Ghraib case is going public, and it isn't going to be pretty. She accuses Rumsfeld of approving torture, and going to over against the advise of the top officer in the military (Shinseki). She claims that General Sanchez actually observed some of the detainee abuse, and that she was railroaded.

I am sure the swiftboat brigade is warming up as we speak.

Two More Battalions Headed to Iraq

To provide troops to allow for extra defense in the comming elections.

Just last week the Army announced the movement of another battalion to assist in POW guard duty.

All of this while we still are pretending to talk about troop reductions, it now appears that those reductions will just be moving back to troop levels of early 2004.

Is a Theocracy what Bush Wanted in Iraq?

Well, that looks like what he is going to get.

About two years ago, Bush presented her to the world as an example of who we were attacking Iraq for (after the lies about WMD, Ties to terrorism, and threat to the US were exposed) Look at how she is responding to the proposed Iraqi Constitution.

"I am not going to stay here," said Dr. Kuzai, an obstetrician and women's leader who met President Bush in the White House in November 2003.

Now that we are down to the last few hours of discussion of this proposed version of the founding document, it is clear that the real losers will be the women.

"This is the future of the new Iraqi government - it will be in the hands of the clerics," said Dr. Raja Kuzai, a secular Shiite member of the Assembly. "I wanted Iraqi women to be free, to be able to talk freely and to able to move around."

In the hands of the clerics, just like Iran. Of course, this may have been his true goal, since here in the US, he has been working real hard to put Pat Robertson and his friends into a similar position.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Breaking News, Some in the Middle East Don't Like the US

and may be offering aid the Iraqi Resistance.

Isikoff and Hosenball look into the forces that may have been involved in helping the local forces to develop more effective bombs for IEDs. It could be Iran, or maybe Hizbullah, maybe both. It could be a sing of an alliance with greater goals, or just a quick handoff of aid against a common enemy. Heck, it could be nothing at all.

According to a counter-terrorism official, two different types of instructional Hizbullah-made videos have been recovered by U.S. forces from Iraqi insurgents. One explains in great detail how to manufacture home-made explosives that can be used in EFPs. Another explains how to shape the home-made explosive (or for that matter a factory-made or black-market explosive) into an EFP charge, and then how to build an improvised EFP launcher using a length of pipe and a metal projectile.

The Arabic-language videos are slickly produced and of 'studio quality,' complete with dramatic music and subtitles, said a U.S. official who has reviewed the material. The high-quality production values have led some analysts to speculate that they may well have been produced by an element of the Iranian government with access to professional television equipment. Other analysts note, however, that Hizbullah has its own television station and therefore access to high-quality video equipment and personnel.

My bet is it is just about having the opportunity to strike back at a foe they couldn't otherwise hit.

It is in Iran's interest to keep Iraq unstable and the US tied up in this mess for years. So there is some motivation on the part of Iran to stir the pot. The only sticking point is Iran is naturally aligned with the Shia who are working for stability. The forces trying to encourage instability are sunni, who are ,in normal circumstances, traditional foes of Iran.

Again, this is just another indicator of how our very presence feeds the instability of the region.

Another Poll Has New Lows For Bush

Harris is out with a new low for Bush. 40% now approve, and 58% have a negative view of his presidency.

Hey, American voters, you are only 10 months late in noticing this.

The Republican Culture of Corruption; Indiana

Joining Ohio and Kentucky, the Indiana Republican leadership appears to have been caught with their hands in the cookie jar. In what appears to be classic case of 'Pay to Play'.

In shorthand, here's what is happening: A political party's fundraising unit is coordinating with a governor's office to provide party donors access to a department head. This department head oversees hundreds of millions of dollars in road projects annually that the GOP's "friends" hope to cash in on.

At a time when INDOT is putting the finishing touches on a sweeping 10-year road construction plan, the e-mail promises meetings allowing the politically connected firms to "personally relay concerns you and your firm may be having."

Indiana Republican Party Executive Director Luke Messer said the e-mail was sent recently to about two dozen people at engineering companies -- most of them party contributors.


Robertson's Solicitation for Murder Noticed

Much of the media has actually notice and denounced Pat's latest grand pronouncement.

While great swaths of the right still have not condemned Robertson's call for terrorism, some have at least tried to distance themselves from it. It does appear that the majority of the right, while lacking the moral fiber to stand up to him, are at least ashamed enough to remain silent.

I had put Patti Davis response as part of an update of my original reaction, but it really belongs here.

Pat Robertson considers himself a man of God, a Christian, a preacher of the Gospel. To all of these aspects of his self-delusion, the only appropriate response is: Huh? His latest suggestion, as this self-proclaimed man of God, is that Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela, should be assassinated.


This is just side splitting funny. Rev. Pat is now claiming he was misunderstood.

"You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it," said Robertson, who founded the Christian Coalition. "It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war ... And I don't think any oil shipments will stop."

Ok, here are your words, how exactly have we misunderstood the intent of your statement?


What a ill-informed, unchristian clown this man is showing himself to be. His current defense of his statement:

"I didn't say 'assassination.' I said our special forces should 'take him out.' And 'take him out' can be a number of things, including kidnapping; there are a number of ways to take out a dictator from power besides killing him.

As you can see from his quote above he clearly did say 'Assassination', in addition whether you are talking about Murder or Kidnapping you are still talking about a crime. One last little tidbit for our own little evil reverend; While Hugo Chavez may be objectionable to you and members of the current administration, he is not a dictator. He was elected by the people of his nation, and that election was affirmed in a 2004 recall vote (with aggressive international supervision) with 58% of the vote.

But, I guess when you want to try to justify killing or abduction, making your target as loathsome as possible is to be expected,

Dishonest and sinful, but expected.

26 Months After Declaring "Mission Accomplished"

A pitched battle is being fought in Baghdad.

Insurgents struck Iraqi police checkpoints in western Baghdad on Wednesday, sparking pitched battles in the capital, police said. Three people were killed and 30 wounded, police sources said.

The insurgents attacked about 3:30 p.m. local time (7:30 a.m. EDT) with various weapons, including rocket-propelled grenade launchers, AK-47s, and Kalashnikovs, police said.

What a freaking failure Bush has created of Iraq.

An Amazing Crystal Ball, Iraqi Calamity Outlined in 03

2 years ago today Eric Margolis published a little story in the Toronto Sun. It has proven to be a road-map to the failed position we now hold in Iraq.

First, President George W. Bush, VP Dick Cheney and a coterie of neo-conservatives led by Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle misled Americans into an unprovoked, unnecessary war by claiming Iraq was about to attack the U.S. with nuclear and biowarfare weapons. This was a grotesque lie that anyone with knowledge of strategic weapons knew was arrant nonsense, but few had the courage or honesty to refute.

Next, the White House gravely misread the strategic situation by swallowing neo-con assurances the "liberation" of Iraq would be a cakewalk and oil bonanza. Last week, Iraqis responded to Bush's foolish challenge, "Bring 'em on," by blowing up UN headquarters in Baghdad and inflicting serious sabotage on Iraq's oil infrastructure.

These attacks show the U.S. has got itself into a truly awesome mess in Iraq. Far from easily plundering Iraq's oil wealth, U.S. occupation troops - almost half the U.S. Army's combat forces - are now under siege, at a cost of $1 billion US weekly.

Except the cost are now over a Billion a week.

This writer, who covered the Afghan struggle against Soviet occupation in the 1980s, sees many of the same elements developing in Iraq: tribal and ethnic divisions, a foreign-supported puppet regime with a useless army, an intractable guerrilla war and a great power with overreaching imperial ambition.

Worse for the U.S., Iraq may be emerging - like Afghanistan - as a new, pan-national cause for the Muslim world. Thousands of jihadi volunteers are reportedly slipping into Iraq to battle U.S. troops. They range from youthful idealists to battle-hardened jihadis from other wars and a handful of suicide bombers. Just as the Afghan jihad electrified the Muslim world and helped assuage its feelings of weakness and inferiority, for a new generation Iraq may come to be a passionate struggle against another foreign invader.

And Bush still likes to talk about making us safer. The reality is we have created a decade long hot spot that is far more dangerous now that in was in 2001.

The U.S. finds itself in a disturbing analogue of the long Lebanese civil war, with confused American troops, like Israeli soldiers in Lebanon, not knowing why they are there or who is the enemy and venting their frustration on civilians. Protracted guerrilla warfare eventually turns even the best-disciplined troops into brutes, and corrupts entire armies.

And it most definitely is. Low number of recruits mean we allow those who we may have kicked out of the Army to stay in. We accept persons into the Army that in the past we would have refused. Criminal behavior is seen in commands world wide, and punishment, when it is delivered, is weak.

Another I told you so moment.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Meet Our New Man in Baghdad

Zal Khalilzad has been pulled out of Afghanistan and moved to Iraq to try hold off a disaster. At least he appears to know just how at risk Iraq is.

Failure, or even undue delay in reaching national consensus among Iraqis, could mean disaster not just for Iraq, but for the United States. "There is a danger that if we don't [build Iraq] we're going to have a civil war," Khalilzad told NEWSWEEK at his house inside the American-run Green Zone. "Iraq's success is our success, and Iraq's failure is our failure."

He does appear to have a mix of unique skill sets that should help things along. In addition, he appears to have been involved in a number of the past decisions that have placed us where we are right now.

By the mid-'80s, he was a policy planner in Reagan's State Department, where he urged that America arm the mujahedin resistance in Afghanistan with Stinger antiaircraft missiles; the war-winning weapon, it turned out. During the first gulf war, he served in the Pentagon, and when Bush 41 was contemplating a ceasefire, he was a key voice in arguing that Defense should agree. It was Khalilzad who, at an important meeting, pushed the consensus view that Iraq would fragment if Baghdad fell. Now that Bush 43 has orchestrated such a strike, Khalilzad is tasked with picking up the pieces.

One final bit of irony in this saga is the fact that until this appointment, he had been working in Afghanistan. Again Bush strips assets away from the war against the people who attacked us, and moved them to combat a foe who, until our assault, was not a threat.

Pat Robertson Spewing Hate Again

Conservative Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson has called for the United States to assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, calling him "a terrific danger" bent on exporting Communism and Islamic extremism across the Americas.

"If he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it," Robertson told viewers on his "The 700 Club" show Monday. "It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war."

I am not sure how encouraging murder became acceptable in what is promoted as a 'Christian' TV show, but Pat again makes it clear he needs to spend a little more time studying Jesus.

Stageleft has this to say on Pat, and the media's notice of his action.

Christian extremist Pat Robertson recently called for the assassination of a foreign leader from the pulpit - you can bet your hindmost parts that if it had been a Muslim cleric advocating that sort of policy the media would be all over it… as it is, the sheeple shrug because (wait for it) “it’s not the same thing”.

I Love Editorial Cartoons

and this collection has some very powerfull ones. This was collected and put up by left i on the news.

In the slide show, My choices for the best of show are Babin, Breen, Nick, and Parker.

Who do you think are the most powerful?

Monday, August 22, 2005

Bush is Busy Trying to Defend his Crime

Taking a break from his busy week of bike ridding, brush clearing, and hiding from bereaved parents, George is on the road this week to defend his illegal war of choice.

He again parrots his lie that this war will keep this nation safe from terrorism. Aside from the obvious issue that you can not defeat a tactic of conflict, he also makes this absurd statement.

The only way to defend to our citizens where we live is to go after the terrorists where they live

Small trouble here, and I will keep repeating it as long as he keeps telling this lie, there were no ties between Saddam and any terrorist who attacked us on Sept. 11th. They did have ties to Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt and other lands, but no ties to the Iraq.

So please quit telling that lie Mr. President.

One interesting point is the fact that Bush is now trying to use the length of the conflict as some form of excuse or rallying call;

Senior aides say Bush will attempt to portray the Iraq conflict in the context of long wars like World War II, which U.S. forces fought from 1941 to 1945.

If they do take this tack in this week of defending the war speeches, they are making a huge mistake. On December 7th, a nation of millions attacked the US. Japan's act of war was followed within days by their allies also declaring war upon the US. It took almost 4 years, but the US and it's Allies were able to totally overrun and destroy armies of millions on men and capture of kill all the leaders who attacked us.

On September 11th a small band of members of the Islamic Religious Right attacked the US. Since then the leaders of this band have been able to avoid capture, continue to attack the US and even expand their base of support.

in the span of 1,338 days between 1941-45 we were able to defeat three nations of hundreds of millions of people, and bring peace to the US. Bush has already used 1,442 days in this war of his choice. In that time he has not captured the ring leaders of those who attacked us. He has attacked another nation that had nothing to do with attacking us, and he has put us into a quagmire where our options become more limited as every day passes.

The Iraq Factor, and Local Races.

This one issue that (if the war is unresolved) will echo through almost every election. As a Democrat, how do you formulate a viable position on the war, that will 'support the troops' but show a clear separation from the current Bush administration policy that keeps us bleeding with no end in sight.

Bob Casey Jr. is running against Rick Santorum for the Senate seat in Pennsylvania, and watching his behavior is very telling.

Seeking votes in his campaign to oust Rick Santorum, perhaps the Senate's most vulnerable Republican, Casey mentioned Iraq once, and then only to laud "the valor of those young men and women who are dying for us"

When in a race, it is very dangerous to take a position that can be attacked, even using a false attack. The left so far has done a good job fighting off the lies from the right about being un-American and not supporting the troops. The The Pensacola News Journal notes the troops know, it is the policy, not the troops who the left are protesting.

I have run into people who don't support the president's views on Iraq or our objectives, but I haven't run into a single person who said (he or she) doesn't support the troops," said Jason Crawford, a Purple Heart recipient

This is the key, demand accountability for disastrous decisions made by the President, and his supporters in congress, but make sure those who are the tool of policy are still respected.

In the end, Casey should take this seat. Rick Santorum is weak. A man who has become a well deserved a punch line of jokes. Only the most blindly loyal of the right will still vote for him. His cheating his school out of thousands of dollars, his drive to again make contraception against the law, his stone-age outlook on the would will doom him.

Bush's approval Rating Down Again

This is another record low for Bush, 36% approval.

Now 58% disapprove of the job he is doing. Last month the numbers were 42% approve, and 52% disapprove. I suspect the gas prices are starting to impact the polls. How about his job performance in the economic arena? Well, it stinks, 62% hate the job he is doing, and only 33% approve.

Ahhhh, Faux - Your Bias is Showing


The good folks at News Hounds have noticed a slander most foul on the part of Faux News.

Laurie Dhue introduced a story about, and using her words here, the "so-called Peace Mom," , clearly setting the stage for more attacks by Faux News.

Then she handed to story to Molly Henneberg, and Molly, not to be outdone by Laurie's bias, decided to make up statements the she attributed to Cindy Sheehan. Molly claims that Mrs. Sheehan has stated that "America is not worth dying for." .

Well, if you actually look at what she said, she said IRAQ is not a country worth dying for;

I'm going all over the country telling moms: "This country is not worth dying for. If we're attacked, we would all go out. We'd all take whatever we had. I'd take my rolling pin and I'd beat the attackers over the head with it. But we were not attacked by Iraq.

Of course, at Faux News, the don't lets facts stop a good attack, so, the lies flowing from the right continue.

If this disgust you Contact FOX News and demand a retraction:

Call FOX News

Email FOX News

Molly Henneberg

Laurie Dhue

Sunday, August 21, 2005

More Talk of the Pending Iraqi Civil War

this time it is Mowaffaq al-Rubaie the Iraqi national security adviser.

"Without federalism it means that no community interest has been addressed or fulfilled and therefore different communities will try to find and defend and fight for their rights," Mowaffaq al-Rubaie told Reuters in an interview.

"I am worried about that. Yes. Absolutely. With a civil war you can't say 'today we don't have a civil war, tomorrow a civil war erupted'. Civil war creeps into the country very gradually."

But underscoring deep divisions in Iraqi politics, several thousand supporters of a Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr marched through a district of the capital Baghdad denouncing federalism, saying it would rip Iraq apart.

Like the current Proto-Civil War isn't already doing it own share of ripping he nation to little bits. Some form of constitution will be created, it has a reasonable chance of being approved by the people, but it will not last.

The factions each want to control the nation and it's oil, and each it ready to go to war to get that control.

And we are sitting right there in the middle of the whole mess.

Another story cast additional light on the ethnic and sectarian divisions, the further rise of local millitias.

BASRA, Iraq - Shiite and Kurdish militias, often operating as part of Iraqi government security forces, have carried out a wave of abductions, assassinations and other acts of intimidation, consolidating their control over territory across northern and southern Iraq and deepening the country's divide along ethnic and sectarian lines, according to political leaders, families of the victims, human rights activists and Iraqi officials.

While Iraqi representatives wrangle over the drafting of a constitution in Baghdad, forces represented by the militias and the Shiite and Kurdish parties that control them are creating their own institutions of authority

Where Do You Stand on Faith?

A NewsWeek Online Poll looks at a recent Beliefnet poll about American faith.

You can vote, and see the results for both the Belifenet and web poll.

One Interesting note, in both the Web and Belifnet poll, of those indicating a political party choice, both Independents and Democrats were well represented, and indicates a strong degree of religious faith that extends beyond the Republican party. Those who follow the Religious Right, and the Just-Us Sunday crowd may be surprised by that.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Iraqi Constitution Deadline is Monday

At least the new extended Deadline is Monday, the previous deadline was last Monday.

Odd are that, since the Kurds appear to be backing away from a few demands, they will be able to get the document out soon. The trouble is, will this really make a difference.

A Tale of Two Nations, a Newsweek bit, points out that even in the 'peaceful' sectors in Iraq violence is common.

In Diyala, the people who plant IEDs aren't Islamic zealots but rather impoverished locals trying to feed their families, the military says. Insurgent leaders across the country pay them to do their dirty work.

If the trouble was simply economic, as this little bit implies, then the US should be able to come up with a combination of economic improvements and incentives that would make cooperation with the US the key to financial success. In fact I am sure that the Army has already done just this. The fact that the locals make the choice to take the money from the Insurgents and not the US is key detail that the Army failed to mention, and the reporter evidently failed to consider.

Black helicopters, Gullibility and Grand conspiracies

I am not a huge subscriber to grand conspiracies. I don't consider myself to be gullible or easily sucked in. I don't think that national elections can be stolen, but at times I wonder if I am a sucker for thinking this.

For the whole picture look to Dennis Loo, Ph.D. at Cal Poly Pomona, but just consider these points.

In order to believe that George Bush won the November 2, 2004 presidential election, you must also believe all of the following extremely improbable or outright impossible things.(1)

1) A big turnout and a highly energized and motivated electorate favored the GOP instead of the Democrats for the first time in history.(2)

2) Even though first-time voters, lapsed voters (those who didn't vote in 2000), and undecideds went for John Kerry by big margins, and Bush lost people who voted for him in the cliffhanger 2000 election, Bush still received a 3.5 million vote surplus nationally.(3)

3) The fact that Bush far exceeded the 85% of registered Florida Republicans' votes that he got in 2000, receiving in 2004 more than 100% of the registered Republican votes in 47 out of 67 Florida counties, 200% of registered Republicans in 15 counties, and over 300% of registered Republicans in 4 counties, merely shows Floridians' enthusiasm for Bush. He managed to do this despite the fact that his share of the crossover votes by registered Democrats in Florida did not increase over 2000 and he lost ground among registered Independents, dropping 15 points.(4)

4) Florida's reporting of more presidential votes (7.59 million) than actual number of people who voted (7.35 million), a surplus of 237,522 votes, does not indicate fraud.

5) The fact that Bush got more votes than registered voters, and the fact that by stark contrast participation rates in many Democratic strongholds in Ohio and Florida fell to as low as 8%, do not indicate a rigged election.(5)

6) Bush won re-election despite approval ratings below 50% - the first time in history this has happened. Truman has been cited as having also done this, but Truman's polling numbers were trailing so much behind his challenger, Thomas Dewey, pollsters stopped surveying two months before the 1948 elections, thus missing the late surge of support for Truman. Unlike Truman, Bush's support was clearly eroding on the eve of the election.(6)

7) Harris' last-minute polling indicating a Kerry victory was wrong (even though Harris was exactly on the mark in their 2000 election final poll).(7)

8) The 'challenger rule' - an incumbent's final results won't be better than his final polling - was wrong;(8)

9) On election day the early-day voters picked up by early exit polls (showing Kerry with a wide lead) were heavily Democratic instead of the traditional pattern of early voters being mainly Republican.

10) The fact that Bush 'won' Ohio by 51-48%, but this was not matched by the court-supervised hand count of the 147,400 absentee and provisional ballots in which Kerry received 54.46% of the vote doesn't cast any suspicion upon the official tally.(9)

11) Florida computer programmer Clinton Curtis (a life-long registered Republican) must be lying when he said in a sworn affidavit that his employers at Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI) and Tom Feeney (general counsel and lobbyist for YEI, GOP state legislator and Jeb Bush's 1994 running mate for Florida Lt. Governor) asked him in 2000 to create a computer program to undetectably alter vote totals. Curtis, under the initial impression that he was creating this software in order to forestall possible fraud, handed over the program to his employer Mrs. Li Woan Yang, and was told: "You don't understand, in order to get the contract we have to hide the manipulation in the source code. This program is needed to control the vote in south Florida." (Boldface in original).(10)

12) Diebold CEO Walden O'Dell's declaration in a August 14, 2003 letter to GOP fundraisers that he was "committed to helping Ohio to deliver its electoral votes to the president next year" and the fact that Diebold is one of the three major suppliers of the electronic voting machines in Ohio and nationally, didn't result in any fraud by Diebold.

13) There was no fraud in Cuyahoga County, Ohio where the number of recorded votes was more than 93,000 larger than the number of registered voters and where they admitted counting the votes in secret before bringing them out in public to count. [See appendix attached herein]

14) CNN reported at 9 p.m. EST on election evening that Kerry was leading by 3 points in the national exit polls based on well over 13,000 respondents. Several hours later at 1:36 a.m. CNN reported that the exit polls, now based on a few hundred more - 13,531 respondents - were showing Bush leading by 2 points, a 5-point swing. In other words, a swing of 5 percentage points from a tiny increase in the number of respondents somehow occurred despite it being mathematically impossible.(11)

15) Exit polls in the November 2004 Ukrainian presidential elections, paid for in part by the Bush administration, were right, but exit polls in the U.S., where exit polling was invented, were very wrong.(12)

16) The National Election Pool's exit polls (13) were so far off that since their inception twenty years ago, they have never been this wrong, more wrong than statistical probability indicates is possible.

17) In every single instance where exit polls were wrong the discrepancy favored Bush, even though statistical probability tells us that any survey errors should show up in both directions. Half a century of polling and centuries of mathematics must be wrong.

18) It must be merely a stunning coincidence that exit polls were wrong only in precincts where there was no paper ballot to check against the electronic totals and right everywhere there was a paper trail.

A Hat tip to Brilliant at Breakfast.

Friday, August 19, 2005

The Situation in Iraq, by any Rational Standard

is hopeless.

Two stories in Newsweek/MSNBC point to two major issues.

First in one story from a month ago. It is clear that the situation is getting worse, not better.

July 16 - I've always been something of an optimist, but everyone has a breaking point. Mine came on Saturday as I toured the infamous 'Green Zone' in central Baghdad.


The security situation has deteriorated so badly that journalists rarely venture out unless they're embedded with U.S. soldiers. That wasn't the case early last year, when foreigners could walk the streets

The second is far more sinister. In a story three weeks old, a bombing at the HQ of the Wolf brigade displays one of the big holes in creating a viable Iraqi defense force.

The problem goes far beyond the seemingly limitless pool of suicide bombers. In the long run, the insurgents' most powerful weapon may be one that is practically silent: a vast network of infiltrators, spies and recruiters.

According to intelligence officials in Baghdad, whose clearances bar them from speaking publicly, Iraq's security services have hundreds of "ghost soldiers"; members who vanish, sometimes for months on end, but continue to draw their pay. The fear is that they are working for the insurgency while keeping up their ties in uniform.

We are in a downward spiral, and there is little hope of anything close to a successful solution. Bush has already started to try to lower the expectations, that he so eagerly promoted just months ago. I wonder when he will start to hint about the abject failure this shaping up to be.

Republicans face Court; Bob Taft and DeLay's aids

Yesterday Ohio's Republican Governor Bob Taft plead out in the 4 charges that have been brought against him in one part of the many investigations into corruption in the Republican controlled State Government.

He admitted to getting over $6,000.00 in unreported goodies from people who did business with the state. He was fined $4,000.00 and told to tell everyone he was sorry.

Of course, these crime were just petty change compared to the hundreds of millions of Dollars that the Republicans in Ohio allowed their political boosters to steal or misplace.

What is most interesting is the total lack of reaction by the Republican controlled congress in Ohio. This is the first time, ever, that an Ohio Governor has been found guilty of a crime while and office, and there is no real prospect of impeachment.

Now, down in Texas, where some of Tom DeLay's top aids and supporters are facing trials for their illegal use of corporate donations to influence Texas election is 2002, fund raising is going on.

AUSTIN - A Washington lobbyist is organizing a golf fundraiser for the secretive fund that is paying for the legal defense for two of U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's political associates who have been indicted

DeLay working with lobbyist to suck up more money, what a shock. But it gets more entertaining.

Since last year's indictments, Ellis and Colyandro have had their legal bills paid for by a trust that does not disclose the names of donors.

So, I guess we will not know who has bought some influence in this case, but we do get to see who is still beholding to DeLay, and can be 'encouraged' to pitch in.

The Hill reported that public records collected by show 13 U.S. House members had contributed $41,000 to Ellis' defense fund as of the latest filing period.

Friday's Roundup of Interesting Posts

Click over and check them out.

The fact that Iraq is starting to look a lot like Vietnam is noted by Badtux the Snarky Penguin.

The Poorman notes and documents the river of hate that flows out of the Right Ring of our land.

America's worse law student is the target of Outside the Tent, and his (and other young rightwingers) chickenhawk and hypocritical nature is the focue of majikthise

A very powerful and wonderful work is up at Sacraments Wholesale, When God Walks Away.

More Troops Headed to Iraq

While the administration still hints at a drawdown in time for the election (an expected, but poor reason), we will be sending almost 1,000 more over right now.

The extra troops will come from the 82nd Airborne Division.

"The battalion is being deployed to Iraq. They are going to assist in detention operations," said the spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Barry Venable.

The Washington Post said the number of prisoners in US-run detention centres in Iraq has doubled in the past 11 months from 5,400 to 10,800.

Of couse, we will also have to send more over for the elections (if they ever get a constitution finised) so, it may be that our 2006 drawdown is just the troop numbers comming back in line with the summer of 2005 count.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

A Letter for the un-American Mr. Northern

Mr. Northern:

I am a Veteran of the Iraq war, having served with the 4th Infantry Division on the initial invasion with Force Package One.

While I was in Iraq,a very good friend of mine, Christopher Cutchall,was killed in an unarmoredHMMWV outside of Baghdad. He was a cavalry scout serving with the 3d ID.Once he had declined the award of a medal because Soldiers assigned to him did not receive similar awards that he had recommended. He left two sons and awonderful wife. On Monday night, August 16, you ran down the memorial cross erected for him by Arlington West.

One of my Soldiers in Iraq was Roger Turner. We gave him a hard time because he always wore all of his protective equipment, including three pairs of glasses or goggles. He did this because he wanted to make sure that he returned home to his family. He rode a bicycle to work every day to make sure that he was able to save enough money on his Army salary to send his son to college. At Camp Anaconda, where the squadron briefly stayed, a rocket landed inside a tent, sending a piece of debris or fragment into him and killed him. On Monday night, August 16, you ran down the memorial cross erected for him by Arlington West.

One of my Soldiers was Henry Bacon. He was one of the finest men I ever met. He was in perfect shape for a man over forty, working hard at night. He told me that he did that because he didn't have much money to buy nice things for his wife, who he loved so much, so he had to be in good shape for her.

The full letter is in Daily Kos

Taft (Kansas), Cunningham, Taft (Ohio), Ney

Thursday's Republican corruption on parade.

Taft, This one is from Kansas, has been indicted for converting political campaign contributions for personal use and wire fraud.

The Duke's various money making schemes are being documented at Talking Point Memo.

Of course the Ohio Taft, the states leader, has now been charged with four crimes.

This leads to Ney, where we are reminded how cheaply a politician can be bought.

The American Dream is Dead

according to the Centre for Economic Performance in London.

I had come to Seattle because of a recent survey by the Centre for Economic Performance in London, on how easy or difficult it was to get rich in different parts of the world - or if not rich, at least move out of poverty.

"If you are born into poverty in the US," said one of its authors, "you are actually more likely to remain in poverty than in other countries in Europe, the Nordic countries, even Canada, which you would think would not be that different."

Files Missing After Bush Staff Visit

It appears that the only copies of some paperwork about work done by SCOTUS nominee John Roberts disappeared after being reviewed by a couple of unnamed members of the Bush Administration.

I am sure, just as in the Plame case, George will demand accountability for all persons who may be involved.

But, one has to wonder exactly what the administration is trying to cover-up. It has to be something interesting to justify what may be criminal activity.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The new Iraq, do They get Weapons of Mass Destruction?

A new debate is brewing, and it has two entertaining aspects.

The first is should the new improved Iraq be subject to increased supervision in their weapons development programs now that Saddam is gone. The reality is Iraq still possesses the know how to produce all kinds of nasty stuff, and can they be trusted to no dabble in the black arts of war once they are independent.

France and Russia both indicated that they thought Iraq would need to accept continued special inspections. The United States did not comment because Iraqi politicians are reportedly adamant that the new, sovereign Iraq will accept no special constraints or monitoring. "They are demanding the same treatment as any other nation," says a U.N. official who spoke anonymously because of the sensitivity of his position.

Administration experts privately agree that Saddam's legacy will necessitate closer monitoring of Iraq for some years: Saddam's top weapons scientists 'held in a CIA jail in Baghdad as prisoners of war' will have to be released sometime.

The second question is will an Iraq, even one friendly to Iran, not insist on having some form of a WMD program if there is the potential that Iran may have a nuclear program.

Just another fun issue to consider as time goes by.

The Legality of the Iraq War may get Review

The families of some the of UK forces killed in Iraq are working on getting a legal review of the war.

The families of 17 soldiers killed during the Iraq war and one who took his own life after returning to Britain are launching a legal bid to secure an independent inquiry into the legality of the conflict.

Their lawyers will lodge papers at the High Court in London seeking a judicial review of the Government's refusal in May to order an inquiry.

Iraq, What it's New Constitution Won't Be

A humor bit on MSNBC / Newsweek presents the Idea of the Iraqis buying their constitution on E-Bay.

The announcement of the National Assembly's decision to turn to eBay for its new constitution came at a press conference held by Iraq's Planning Minister, Barham Saleh.

"After much discussion, we have decided to seek a new national charter on eBay," Saleh said, adding, "I got a wonderful set of mixing bowls there just last week."

This also points out the difficultly that this approach presented.

But in the first day of surfing for constitutions on the eBay site, there were signs that old rivalries were rearing their ugly heads, as Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds fought for control of the computer's mouse.

This little paragraph brings up to a truth that Bush doesn't want to face. The document that the Iraqis are working to craft, if they actually do create something, will not have the ability to last.

The forces within the land do not have much interest in creating a new Iraq, but are very interested in making sure that their group (Kurds, Shiites, and Sunnis) gets as much as possible, at the expense of the other factions. This is a recipe for civil war, and that is exactly what is happening.

Iraq must have a Constitution, but this needed to be created in an environment where trust and cooperation were paramount, not in an environment where all factions are involved in planning for their own defenses against the other members of their own greater society. They needed stability, security and relative peace, something we have failed to give them. Trying to design a new nation, while a war is raging, while the people who will live there are working to find a way to separate from the whole with the nations assets is just a exercise in futility.

And remember, we are already into a 7 day extension past the original deadline.

17% with Mental Disorders, Divorce Rate Triples

These are just a couple of the hidden issues that we face due to this war of choice.

A study at the US Army's Walter Reed hospital in Washington, DC, found that up to 17% of Iraq veterans - about one in six - suffered depression, anxiety or PTSD.

About 425,000 US troops have served in Iraq since the invasion in March 2003, meaning some 70,000 could be experiencing psychological trauma.

Of course, the Bush administrations way of addressing this was to attempt to cut the funding to the VA.

The divorce rate among US army officers has tripled in the past three years.

The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans says that in 2004 its affiliates helped 67 veterans of Iraq or Afghanistan - only a year or two into those conflicts.

That set off alarm bells at the charity, since experts say it took traumatised Vietnam veterans an average 12-15 years to end up in shelters.

All of this because of a calculated program of deception and lie to stoke the flames of war.

Is President Bush Loosing it?

File this under 'for what it's worth'

Buy beleaguered, overworked White House aides enough drinks and they tell a sordid tale of an administration under siege, beset by bitter staff infighting and led by a man whose mood swings suggest paranoia bordering on schizophrenia.

They describe a President whose public persona masks an angry, obscenity-spouting man who berates staff, unleashes tirades against those who disagree with him and ends meetings in the Oval Office with “get out of here!”

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Michelle Malkin, Come on Down

Uncle Sam Needs You!!!

More Evidence of the Weakness of the US Army

is the necessary use of mercenaries troops to shore up operations in Iraq.

Throughout his time as head of the C.P.A., L. Paul Bremer III, whom the insurgency may well have viewed as its highest-value target, was protected by a Triple Canopy competitor, Blackwater USA. Private gunmen, according to Lawrence Peter, are now guarding four U.S. generals. Triple Canopy protects a large military base. And throughout Iraq, the defense of essential military sites like depots of captured munitions has been informally shared by private soldiers and U.S. troops. If the 25,000 figure is accurate, the businesses add about 16 percent to the coalition's total forces.

Mercenaries guarding senior US officers, My God, what a freaking cluster.

Can't Reach to Goal? Just move the Goal Line

I have to say it again (or maybe 'get to say it again'); I told you so.

The Bush administration is significantly lowering expectations of what can be achieved in Iraq, recognizing that the United States will have to settle for far less progress than originally envisioned during the transition due to end in four months, according to U.S. officials in Washington and Baghdad.

The United States no longer expects to see a model new democracy, a self-supporting oil industry or a society in which the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges, U.S. officials say.

A war that would only cost a couple of Billion, is now into the 300 Billion range. Being greeted with flowers, means greeted with IEDs. The capturing of Weapons of Mass destruction instead revealed a mass deception, and now we admit that we will not be able to leave the people of Iraq with a workable nation in the end.

Great job George.

TheRight Wing Echo Chamber in the 50s and 60s

If it had existed

Funny, sad and unfortunately true

That made me think of how it would have been in the Civil Rights era if Fox News Channel, Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge and the rest of the gang were around back then.

O'Reilly: "Rosa Parks claims she speaks for all of the African-Americans in the South, but in fact, we have found two African-Americans who say they disagree with her. They say she's just trying to gain publicity and doesn't speak for anyone in her race. They would know, they are black."

Hannity: "Could Rosa Parks be angling for a Senate run? What does she have to gain from her public stand? Coming up next, the incredible story of how this woman might be deceiving the whole country!"

Drudge: "We have found three members of the Parks family who say that Rosa doesnÂ’t speak for them. That, in fact, they are very happy with the government of the state of Alabama. The uncle, step-brother-in-law and niece three-times removed all agree that the better route is a dignified, respectful silent deference to authority. Developing ""

Annother hat tip to the Green Knight

Roberts said - "so-called 'right to privacy.' "

Since the right to privacy underpins much of the reproductive legal decisions, and since Roberts will soon be sitting on the Supreme Court, it is time to say bye bye Rove, and so long contraception.

In 1981, while working at the Justice Department, Roberts had referred to the legal underpinnings of a woman's right to an abortion as the "so-called 'right to privacy.' " Later, as a deputy solicitor general in President George H.W. Bush's administration, Roberts would co-author an administration Supreme Court brief arguing that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and should be overturned.

Monday, August 15, 2005

I Guess the Check Bounced

Armstrong Williams, remembered as the man who could be bought, is calling for the withdraw from Iraq.

You cannot lead in a global democracy, if people do not trust you. It is undeniable that we went about this in a very flawed manner. We need to admit that. We cannot solve the problem of terrorism by asserting our will on the world. Meanwhile, the deterioration of Iraq continues, serving as a sad reminder of the failed promise of this mission, and the need to pull out.

Of course we do need to watch for a revised position from Mr. Williams, you never know when a bad check may be made good.

Walk Loudly, and Carry a Broken Stick

The Bush administration is again making threatening statements toward Iraq, and their nuclear project.

Fareed Zakaria points out the danger of following this path, and points out that we need Iran to cooperate in the stabilization of Iraq. He points out that money is power, and with oil nearing $70.00 a barrel, they are gaining power every day, and he most importantly notes that what Iran wants is something close to normal relations and comes to this conclusion;

There are lots of reasons to be suspicious of Iran. But the real question is, Do we want to try to stop it from going nuclear? If so, why not explore this path? Washington could authorize the European negotiators to make certain conditional offers, and see how Tehran responds. What's the worst that can happen? It doesn't work, the deal doesn't happen and Tehran resumes its nuclear activities. That's where we are today.

I suspect the Bush administration will again refuse to consider a change of direction, and will continue to call names and threaten. This path will lead to nuclear escalation, but I doubt the White House has the courage to try a new tack.

Ret. Army Col. Calls it as He Sees it.

We will withdrawal in 12 months, for obvious reasons.

A Republican-dominated Congress will force the president to end the war as a demonstration of their power, or they will lose their ascendancy as the Democrats use the war and its costs and lack of tangible success as a rallying cry in the 2006 elections. The Democrats would be foolish not to.

So, my guess is you can mark your calendar for our troop withdrawal by fall 2006.

A Civil war will fully erupt.

Probably even before the U.S. withdraws, the "democratically elected" Shiite government in Iraq will be aligned rapidly with Iran and will receive open and massive support. The Saudi Arabian government will continue to support the Sunni insurgency, as it does today, but the support will become open.

The Sunni insurgency eventually will lose as the full weight of a Shiite Iraq and a Shiite Iran overwhelms it. Numbers alone

Iran controls Iraq, and The Saudi Monarchy falls.

The remnants of the Sunni insurgency will flee to Saudi Arabia. There they will foment discord because the Saudi royal family did not do enough and allowed the Sunnis to be defeated in Iraq. The royal family will be overthrown in a violent revolution in Saudi Arabia led by Sunni clerics who long have chafed under the pro-Western rule of the House of Saud. The Sunni clerics will emerge as the dominant power in Saudi Arabia.

And, Bin Laden gets what he wants.

he will have fulfilled his fatwa. The only thing bin Laden ever said he was after was to remove the Westerners from Saudi Arabia, the Land of the Holy Places. This will be done when the clerics assume control of Saudi Arabia. Bin Laden will win the war on terrorism by achieving his goals with our unwitting help.

A Seldom Noted Cost of War

Those who go fight for out land, come home, and can not fit back into the life they once had.

Here is the story of a the Marine Corps Times Marine of the Year who is now faces attempted murder charges.

A veteran recently named "Marine of the Year" for his service in Iraq was charged with attempted murder in Lawrence, Ma., after he fired a shotgun from his apartment window at a group of revelers outside a nightclub, police said. Two people, age 15 and 20, were hit by bullet fragments and suffered minor injuries.

Just another reason why Bush's war of choice in Iraq was a monumental mistake.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

2 Views of Bush, Iraq, and how he Operates

On MSNBC, in Newsweek we get a puff piece looking at how he make an effort to comfort the families of the dead of our wars.

Bush likes to play the resolute War Leader, and he has never been known for admitting mistakes or regret. But that does not mean that he is free of doubt. For the past three years, Bush has been living in two worlds; unwavering and confident in public, but sometimes stricken in private.

In the New York Times a plea for someone to awake and notice that the war is, in fact, over.

A president can't stay the course when his own citizens (let alone his own allies) won't stay with him. The approval rate for Mr. Bush's handling of Iraq plunged to 34 percent in last weekend's Newsweek poll - a match for the 32 percent that approved L.B.J.'s handling of Vietnam in early March 1968. (The two presidents' overall approval ratings have also converged: 41 percent for Johnson then, 42 percent for Bush now.)

In these pieces, I am reminded of a line from the Early 70's.

How Do You Ask a Man to Be the Last Man to Die in Vietnam?

I think this now applies to Iraq, and I wonder how Bush will comfort the family of that last man or woman when it happens.

Thanks to Lynne at Big Fat Liberal for posting the NYT editorial

Lou Reed? I Guess it Works

lou reed
You're Lou Reed.
God, you are cool, can I touch you so the magic
will rub off?
You are perceptive, witty, and badass. You wear
cool shades, even at night, and probably wear
black more than most people. You don't give a
fuck what other people think, but you are also
very sensitive in the way that you pick up on
things that others don't. Sometimes you come
off as an asshole, but that's what makes you
cool. You are a poet, and you embody New York
City. You will still be hip when you are old,
and artists love you.

Which rad old school 70's glam icon are you? (with pics)
brought to you by Quizilla

another Hat Tip to the
Green Knight

Saturday, August 13, 2005

21 Liars and Traitors Identified

by Think Progress.

Maybe the ultimate players program on the Plame outing. The list is frightening,and well documented.

Friday, August 12, 2005

What you Learn Listening to Talk Radio (Right Wing)

From Stage Left

[1] George W. Bush is the greatest war president to ever grace the planet - anyone who thinks differently is a terrorist loving, despot supporting, anti-American, communist, hoping for the down-fall of the greatest nation to ever grace the face of the planet.

[2] Everything in Iraq is going fine - anyone who thinks differently is a terrorist loving, despot supporting, anti-American, communist, hoping for the down-fall of the greatest nation to ever grace the face of the planet.

[3] Afghanistan is now a true democracy and everything is going fine there - anyone who thinks differently is a terrorist loving, despot supporting, anti-American, communist, hoping for the down-fall of the greatest nation to ever grace the face of the planet.

[4] Ann Coulter is so righteous that were she still a virgin the world would probably be treated to another divine conception.

[5] The United States of America found the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq - anyone who thinks differently is a terrorist loving, despot supporting, anti-American, communist, hoping for the down-fall of the greatest nation to ever grace the face of the planet.

[6] Al Franken, Randi Rhodes, Jerry Springer, Jon Stewart, Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, and Hillary Clinton are the 7 headed dragon discussed in the book of Revelations.

[7] Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Neil Boortz, and Mark Levin are always right - anyone who thinks differently is a terrorist loving, despot supporting, anti-American, communist, hoping for the down-fall of the greatest nation to ever grace the face of the planet.

[8] No prisoner captured by any branch of the US military, or interrogated by any branch of any US intelligence agency has ever been tortured or killed while in their custody - anyone who thinks differently is a terrorist loving, despot supporting, anti-American, communist, hoping for the down-fall of the greatest nation to ever grace the face of the planet.

[9] The United Nations has never done, or been responsible for, anything right or good - anyone who thinks differently is a terrorist loving, despot supporting, anti-American, communist, hoping for the down-fall of the greatest nation to ever grace the face of the planet.

[10] There is only one god, the christian god, and in the divine “War on Terror” he is on the side of the United States of America aiding in the fulfillment of their manifest destiny - anyone who thinks differently is a terrorist loving, despot supporting, anti-American, communist, hoping for the down-fall of the greatest nation to ever grace the face of the planet.

[11] Americans who entertain any doubt what so ever that their president might have lied or misrepresented anything at all about Iraq or the circumstances leading up to the invasion and occupation of Iraq is a terrorist loving, despot supporting, anti-American, communist, hoping for the down-fall of the greatest nation to ever grace the face of the planet.

[12] Anyone who is not an American who entertains any doubt what so ever that the president of the United States of America might have lied or misrepresented anything at all about Iraq or the circumstances leading up to the invasion and occupation of Iraq is a terrorist loving, despot supporting, anti-American, communist, hoping for the down-fall of the greatest nation to ever grace the face of the planet.

How a Republican Lie Grows

Media Matters, an important resource for finding the truth, looks at how the Republican lie machine. works.

Cindy Sheehan, mother of a soldier killed in Iraq, has drawn significant media attention for staging an anti-war protest outside President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, where she is demanding to meet with the president. On August 8, Internet gossip Matt Drudge posted an item on his website, the Drudge Report, in which he falsely claimed that Sheehan "dramatically changed her account" of a meeting she had with Bush in June 2004; Drudge attempted to back up his false assertion by reproducing Sheehan quotes from a 2004 newspaper article without providing their context.

A must read example of how a partisan lie get moved into the public arena as fact.

Friday's Places to Visit

Ms. Julien in Miami has a Beautiful poem by Carly Sheehan over at the Big Brass Blog

Pandas Thumb point out that the Kansas Board of Education wants to lie to students

Who needs soldiers when you have a Constitution? asks Badtux.

Majikhise points out the disgusting nature of the right wing media, as evidenced by Tucker Carlson praise of terrorism


In Alternet a look at the Weird Science on the Religious Right

We Know Where They are

Do you remember this statement by Donald Rumsfeld

We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.

Well, Donnie is again showing the world his strength may not be in the area of military intelligence. In the last couple of days he had been beating his chest about Iran sending support to the resistance in Iraq.

Rumsfeld said on Wednesday that US intelligence believed a shipment of explosives discovered some two weeks ago in Iraq came from Iran's Revolutionary Guard.

Well, it appears that he has forgotten to tell his puppets in Baghdad.

Interior Minister Bayan Jabr told reporters that Iraqi security forces recently opened fire on a group of men carrying boxes near the Iranian border. The men dropped the boxes and fled back into Iranian territory. Inside the boxes were dynamite sticks with some wires.

"This is all that happened at the border and was very much exaggerated," Jabr said.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Do as I Say, don't do as I do.

Pam found another one, a hypocrite who preaches chastidy and fidelity while doing the mattress Mambo.

This time it is conservative stalwart, modern culture denouncing, liberal attacking, Monseingor. Eugene V. Clark, rector of St. Patrick's Cathedral.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York confirmed it is investigating the claim of a sexual relationship between Clark, 79, and his longtime secretary, Laura DeFilippo, 46, of Eastchester, made in court papers recently filed by DeFilippo's husband, Philip, in Westchester County Family Court.

Republicans Again Display their Love of Corruption

Back in 2002, republicans conspired to prevent Democrats from voting in the New Hampshire elections. A couple of those involved have already been adjudicated, and are now assisting with additional prosecutions.

And now we know the name one of these additional targets, He is James Tobin, and he served as Bush's New England Campaign chairman in 2004 (two years after this criminal activity).

What is most interesting, and displays just how much the Republicans approve of criminal activity on their behalf, the Republican Party has paid over $700,000.00 of his legal fees.

Impressive, and another indicator of just how corrupt the Republican leadership has become.

Skippy has a great roundup on this.

Ohio Republicans Appear Unable to Tell the Truth

We all know about coingate, and the various corrupt deals that the Republican leadership in Ohio has been caught up in. We should also know about Bob Ney and his ties to ultra corrupt Tom DeLay's close friend and pet lobbyist Jack Abramoff. There have been ties to the Bush Presidential run, and even the California governors race that have been exposed in this mess.

Well, another Ohio Republican is exposed as an outright liar.

Rep. Steve LaTourette holds a seat in Congress for the people on North east Ohio. He was an avowed foe of CAFTA, and was going to vote against it.

However, when the vote went down, he fliped sides and helped to pass the measure by 2 votes. One has to ask, what could inspire such a switch. Lets let Talking Points Memo pick up the story from here.

on the day before the vote, Rep. LaTourette received a call from Tom Chieffe, the president of a furniture manufacturer from the district. Chieffe told the congressman that his company was getting socked hard by tariffs on Central American plywood. And the Ohio jobs at his company were on the line.

Rising to the challenge LaTourette got on the phone to US Trade Rep. Rob Portman, who himself just retired from his seat representing Ohio's 2nd District (the one the Hackett race was in). Portman sent over some papers outlining the rough tariffs on Central American plywood. And as a result, says LaTourette, he reluctantly agreed to change his vote to 'Yes' on CAFTA.

The only problem, according to this article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer is that there aren't any tariffs on Central American plywood.

Someone is a sucker, and it think it may be the people of the 14th district in Ohio.

Breastfeeding at the Ballpark

Pam's House Blend takes a look at the topic, and the opinions of the Right wingers.

Some funny stuff here folks.

Tie Found between Bin Laden and the Iraqi Government

Unfortunately for the Bush Administration, this is the Current Iraqi Government, not Saddam.

A former Washington-area man accused in court papers of being the 'American contact' for an Osama bin Laden 'front organization' is now believed to be working for the new Iraqi government's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, two U.S. law-enforcement officials and a longtime associate of the man tell NEWSWEEK.

More outstanding work from the Bush Administration. He has created a failed state right in the middle of the Middle East oil fields. In the end we may see a whole region aflame because of the lies he and his people told to start this war.

An American Death

"I just want to get it done, come home, and continue my life."

For anyone who's worried about the return of a military draft, Pellegrini was living proof that we already have one in George W. Bush's America. He desperately did not want to serve in the Persian Gulf.

He was just two weeks away from finishing up his six-year stint in the Guard when he was told that his tour of duty was being extended and that he would serve in Iraq for at least a year, maybe longer. The news could not have come at a worse time for Pellegrini. He was training for his first pro fight, newly engaged to be married, and settling into his job as a Philadelphia police officer, just like his dad.

Instead, he was ordered by his government to fight a war that he did not believe in. He told us that the conflict in Iraq was "a so-called war" and that he saw U.S. troops as caught in an impossible situation.

In the end, Pellegrini's stay in Iraq lasted little more than eight months. This morning, his parents were notified that he had been killed in action.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

If you have Children,

and want them to get a decent Education, Don't move to Kansas.

The Kansas Board of Education voted 6-4 Tuesday to include greater criticism of evolution in its school science standards, but it decided to send the standards to an outside academic for review before taking a final vote.

At least they will get at one additional review on this foolishness, maybe they can avoid their mistake of 1999, but I wouldn't bet that way.

Army Hits Recruiting Goal

For the second month in a row.

The initial AP report doesn't Indicate what the actual count was, but based on the numbers that were reported, it is clear that the count is still far below what is needed. I suspect that the biggest reason the Army hit it's target was the target was lowered.

After 10 months of recruiting the Army has brought in 55,000 new warm bodies, short of the target of 62,000 for the first 10 months of the cycle. The current numbers project into a final count for the year of about 66,000, 14,000 short of the stated annual goal of 80,000.

As for the Guard and reserve.

The Army National Guard, meanwhile, missed its recruiting goal again, recruiting only 4,712, about 80 percent of its July goal of 5,920 new Guard members, spokesman Bryan Whitman said. The Guard has hit its target only once in the last 19 months.

The U.S. Army Reserve also fell short of its target, recruiting 2,131 new reservists, 82 percent of its goal of 2,585, Whitman said.

The Republicans are killing our armed forces.

Katherine Harris, out of the Gate, and Already Lying

Yellow Dog noticed that;

In a startling display of political athleticism, Republican Katherine Harris shattered the record for campaign "speed lying" by telling a lie about her opponent just minutes into her announcement for U.S. Senate.


Stophernow may have Backfired

and has clearly stalled.

From MSNBC / Newsweek a short bit explaining how the effort to block a Clinton run for the White House has resulted in over 6 million for her, and less that a thousand for the effort to stop her.

Those behind Stophernow must have lost interest, since with only a little effort the would have raised hundreds of thousands.

The Stones are Speaking out

The Stones new album, A Bigger Bang has a song attacking Bush. The lyrics of Sweet Neo-Con include this;

You call yourself a Christian, I call you a hypocrite
You call yourself a patriot, well I think you're full of shit.

OK, folks on the right, let the attacks begin.

Iraqi Anthrax came from the UK and US

Of course, when we gave Saddam the Anthrax he was a peaceful, democracy loving, highly caring person.

A BRITISH cow that died in an Oxfordshire field in 1937 has emerged as the source of Saddam Hussain's 'weapons of mass destruction' programme that led to the Iraq war.

An ear from the cow was sent to an English laboratory, where scientists discovered anthrax spores that were later used in secret biological warfare tests by Winston Churchill.

The culture was sent to the United States, which exported samples to Iraq during Saddam's war against Iran in the 1980s. Inspectors have found that this batch of anthrax was the dictator's choice in his attempts to create biological weapons.

And, again I have to wonder, will this story even be noticed by the U.S. Media?


All Things Bright And Beautiful
All Creatures Great And Small
All Spores Vile and Botulus
Ron Reagan Sold Them All

or Drop by Organic Warfare for more on this unfortunate reality.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Bush is Proud of his Economic Efforts

and claims everything is just peachie.

But the truth is far more troubling, and sadly he appears to be clue-less.

Oil prices just hit a new high

We produced only 205,000 new jobs last month.

Bush's own Treasury Secretary admits that the poor and uneducated are being left behind by this administration.

As an example of how Bush's claims are overblown, and duplicitious; On today's Al Frankin Show it was noted that the President has started to crow about how 'more Americans are working now' than ever before. Of course, due to population growth about every president since Hoover could make this claim. In fact, when you break down the numbers, Bush can make this claim for only about 16% of the months of his term in office. For comparison, Clinton's numbers for his term, 91.7%.

Sad, isn't it

Forced into Faith?

or just a Faith Based success story?

Residents of a Westmont public housing complex for seniors said in a federal lawsuit filed Monday that they were coerced and harassed by management into practicing Christianity and pressured to attend Bible study classes.


Elderly non-Christian residents of the 60-unit complex said they live in a "religiously hostile and intimidating environment," where they are barred from using common rooms for anything non-Christian, including card playing, according to the lawsuit.

Plaintiffs Shen Tong Bea Tu, 87, and Yue Ru Lee, 86, who are non-Christian, say they hid in their apartment bathrooms with the lights off every Wednesday so they wouldn't be forced to attend Bible classes.