Monday, October 31, 2005

Deadliest Month Since January

6 US soldiers were killed today in Iraq.

The six deaths bring the number of U.S. troops to have died in Iraq this month to 90, the highest number of American deaths there since January, when 107 Americans were killed. November 2004 saw the highest number of U.S. deaths in a single month -- 137.

What is scary is this has been a month with little open combat. This has been done with IEDs and other ambush tactics, while we are at an all time high in troop deployment.

A Reminder Of V. Plame's Status At The CIA

She worked as a non-official cover agent.

Many CIA agents when working overseas have official covers with the US government. This gives them a great degree of protection. If they are caught, they have diplomatic immunity, and get shipped back to the US.

If you don't have diplomatic immunity, Like Mrs. Plame, they face another reality.

On a recent Sixty Minutes story Ed Bradley made this observation.

a NOC who was caught spying in Shanghai in 1951 and died after 19 years in a Chinese prison. To this day, the CIA denies he was an agent.

In addition, the decision by Libby, Rove, Cheney, Bush to expose Mrs. Plame also exposed any contacts she used as potential spies for the US. It also exposed a CIA front company. Any other CIA agents using that company as a front were also outed as spies, as were all their contacts.

We have no way of knowing if this act of political assault may have resulted in the arrest, imprisonment, or execution of people who had been trying to help the US control weapons of mass destruction, but to think that it could not have happened is naive.

A better review is avaliable at The Ostroy Report.

The Value Of 'Your Word'

With some people their word is their bond. Once they have made a promise, they will do all within their power to make sure it is kept.

With other people, their word is worthless. They make statements and promises that sound great, but are just words without any backing.

One such BS artist is our own President. Geroge Bush has no real desire to keep his word. Months ago Bush gave his words that those involved in leaking the name of a covert CIA agent would be fired. Now that it is clear that his top adviser was one of those involved, he refuses to take any action.

Now the DC democrats are demanding that Bush fire Rove, and explain Cheney's involvement. The right is busy spinning this as normal partisan politics (as it is), but we must remember that they are also just asking Bush to be a person who's word has value.

The reality is Bush is just a sad BS artist, and has no interest in keeping his word. He is far more interested in keeping his power, and he has to have Rove in place to do that.

Outside the Tent has noticed the same lie.

Not True, I Am A Quiet Drunk

You're A Crazy Drunk

When you drink, you get wrecked - and it ain't pretty.

New Nominee Selected

This one does have a paper trail, and it is ugly.

Legal experts consider the 55-year-old Alito so ideologically similar to Justice Antonin Scalia that he has earned the nickname "Scalito."

In 1991, in one of his more well-known decisions, he was the only dissenting voice in a 3rd Circuit ruling striking down a Pennsylvania law that required women to notify their husbands if they planned to get an abortion.

The religious right will love this selection, and that was the point. They have proven that they own this White House, and expect Bush to do their bidding.

and he has.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Amazing, People Actually Noticed

In today's Washington Post the story White House Ethics, Honesty Questioned.

What question, they have no ethics or honesty. There is no question.

But the current polls indicate that the broader American public are starting to notice.

A majority of Americans say the indictment of senior White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby signals broader ethical problems in the Bush administration, and nearly half say the overall level of honesty and ethics in the federal government has fallen since President Bush took office, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News survey.

The poll, conducted Friday night and yesterday, found that 55 percent of the public believes the Libby case indicates wider problems "with ethical wrongdoing" in the White House, while 41 percent believes it was an "isolated incident." And by a 3 to 1 ratio, 46 percent to 15 percent, Americans say the level of honesty and ethics in the government has declined rather than risen under Bush.

Lets see; We have one White House aid indicted, The investigation will continue focusing on another aid, and maybe the sitting Vice President. The Leaders of the Republicans in the house has been indicted, and the Leader of the republicans in the Senate is under investigation. Two Republican party workers are found guilty for election crimes, and the party has paid close to a million in legal fees defending another in the same case. The republican party in Ohio has cost the people of the state tens of hundreds of millions of dollars in poor investments with major election contributors. Some of those same contributors then gave hundreds of thousands of dollars of that money back to the Bush camp. The republican Kentucky governor has had to pardon over ten people in the party or his administration to keep them out of jail for partisan activity, and a California congressman took millions in bribes from a defense contractor in return for votes.

and that is just off the top of my head, I know I have missed quite a few more.

Corruption, Corruption everywhere, how could they not notice ?

My Dog Ate It, The Little Boy Fell Out

of bed and woke up, and I can't recall.

Three time proven ways to get out of the corner that you painted yourself into.

When you failed to finish (or even start) your homework, just blame it's nonexistence on some outside force. If you are writing a story, and there is no easy way to end it, just excuse it as a dream, and when you are caught lying, pretend you can't remember.

The case against Libby: He testified that he learned from NBC correspondent Tim Russert the identity of a covert CIA officer who is the wife of Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson. Russert says they never discussed it.

The facts, prosecutor Fitzgerald said, are that the month before the conversation with Russert, Libby learned about the CIA status of Valerie Plame from Cheney, from a senior CIA officer and from an undersecretary of state.

Of course, committing an act of treason is an act that I am sure Scooter would love to forget. Now he will have at least a couple more years to dwell on his decision to turn traitor, and maybe repent.

Still Young At Heart

You Are 32 Years Old

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Iraq: Something Old, Something New

There were more deaths in Iraq.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Insurgents used a land mine and a roadside bomb to kill three U.S. Army soldiers and wound four on Saturday in attacks that brought to eight the number of American service members who have died in the last three days.

But in an interesting new development, the man who can move millions of votes has said he will not endorse any party.

Ayatollah Sistani, one of Iraq's most senior Shia clerics, will not endorse any political groups for December's election, his spokesman has said.
The grand ayatollah wants Iraqis to vote according to their beliefs, Sheikh Abdul Mahdi al-Karbalai said in a sermon on Friday.

The ayatollah's statement may worry the ruling Shia-led coalition, the United Iraqi Alliance. His support before the January election helped them win over many Iraqi Shia.

This may present an opportunity for many shia to support a more secular government that may be more willing to work across religious lines. This also may lead to the more militant minded shia gaining support and add more fuel to the civil war. Or, lacking direction, the majority may just follow their last instructions, and vote UIA.

Time will tell.

Break Out The Check Book, Again

Beta is now a Hurricane and will soon hit Nicaragua. If the expected flooding and mudslides occur, there will be another urgent and necessary call for aid.

Is there anything left.

I Love Sailing

And if I had the opportunity, I would do it much more. I do often wish that I could do more than sail on the local lake, or just off shore.

Then I get slapped back into reality.

During the worst of the storm, with the engine dead, one sail shredded and the 70-mph wind off the Massachusetts coast shrieking in the rigging, the 33-foot ketch Sara Gamp rolled wearily onto its side and seemed ready to succumb, the skipper said.

Visibility was about 100 yards in cold rain and mountainous seas. The slender Virginia-based vessel had been pounded for hours by the nor'easter that enveloped it this week. And its 74-year-old captain, a veteran Washington mariner who already had been swept off the deck once, was cold, bruised and hallucinating.

It's Playoff Time Boys and Girls

Congratulations to Heathwood Hall on finishing the season at 10-0. Now it is on to the playoffs and the search for a second perfect season, and a state championship.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Libby Hit Hard, Five (5) Counts

perjury, obstruction, false statements.

Indictments in the case were the first in a nearly two-year investigation into the public unmasking of an undercover CIA operative. Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has scheduled a 2 p.m. ET news conference.

and the investigation continues. You have to wonder what kind of deal he will try to cut, and if it will bring down other members of the administration.

Some Online Stories Worth The Time

political terms, and the proper application will be discussed at The Green Knight.

Newsweek has a look at the divisions in the GOP exposed by the Miers nomination.

Over at Body and Soul the is confusion about the 'new' math.

The latest on the Dover, Intelligent Design trial is up at The Panda's Thumb. It appears that former school board member William Buckingham, and ID supporter, has been caught telling a lie, under oath.

and, MyDD has a round up of the evidence that the White House Withheld Iraq Intelligence From The Senate.

Maybe The Best Possible Result

Scooter is indicted, so a top aid forced to resign in disgrace. The media will have a more public investigation and trial to focus on.


Rove (and others) still under investigation at the grand jury level. This will keep the whisper machine going, and provide for months of additional juicy rumors for everyone to mull over.

The .speculation officially ends at 2pm, with the press conference, some of the documents may be released at noon.

Republican Culture Of Corruption - DeLay

While the focus is on DC and the various White House staffers who are under investigation, the DeLay investigation continues to chug along.

AUSTIN, Texas. A grand jury investigating an alleged campaign finance scheme asked Thursday for all e-mails sent and received in 2002 by three indicted associates of Rep. Tom DeLay.

The latest subpoenas request correspondence to and from e-mail addresses belonging to John Colyandro, Jim Ellis and Warren RoBold. The grand jury did not ask DeLay, a Texas Republican, to provide e-mails.

Colyandro was executive director of a political action committee founded by DeLay. Ellis runs DeLay's national fund-raising committee. RoBold is a Republican fund-raiser in Washington.

Since Watergate, have so many members of one political party been under investigation at the same time?

The Cost Of Responding To Disasters

has forced the Red Cross to borrow $340 million.

WASHINGTON -- The American Red Cross said Thursday that its response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita has depleted its Disaster Relief Fund, forcing it to borrow $340 million to cover costs - the first time in its 124-year history that the charity has sought a loan for disaster relief.

Of the $2 billion in donations the organization said it needs to handle relief efforts from the Gulf Coast hurricanes, it has received $1.3 billion and spent all of it.

In addition to Katrina and Rita, there is now Wilma and the damage done in Cancun, Cuba, and Florida. There is the flooding in Guatemala, and the Earthquake in Kashmir that still need aid, and now Beta is now staged to do massive damage in Nicaragua. We will soon be facing more calls for aid, and I am not sure what the response will be.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Bush “Pioneer” Tom Noe Indicted

The coingate case keep plugging along, this one appear to be for money laundering for the Bush Re-election.

The U.S. Attorney’s office announced in April that it was investigating Mr. Noe for possible violations of federal campaign finance laws. Sources have told The Blade that authorities believe Mr. Noe gave money to several people who then contributed to the Bush-Cheney campaign.

Something Obvious Pointed Out

The four most powerful political offices in the US are all involved in Legal Investigations; And all four offices are held by Republicans.

The Office of the President, where his 'brain' Karl Rove awaits the word from the Grand Jury.

The Office of the Vice President, where Dick Cheney's Dick Cheney is waiting to hear from the same jury.

Sen. Frist, the leader of the republicans in the Senate, is the target of the S.E.C. investigation for illegal stock sales.


Ever in the vanguard, Tom DeLay, the leader of the Republicans in the house, has already made his first court appearance.

Truly a culture of corruption exist within the Republican party.

Mires Withdraws

Anyone want to bet that part of the cover story for this withdraw will be the need to preserve executive privilege. The Senate, citing her lack of a record, has asked to view her White House work. Bush has already refused, and now Miers can use that to cover her departure.

This was well timed by the White House, a nice distraction from the current legal troubles that about everyone is facing.

Now the way is clear for Bush to nominate Pat Robertson (or another who thinks like him) for the court.


Miers letter (PFD Format)

She is citing executive privilege, the C.Y.A. is complete.

and Think Progress notes this points to a further weaked president.


Bush's Statement

It is clear that Senators would not be satisfied until they gained access to internal documents concerning advice provided during her tenure at the White House -- disclosures that would undermine a President's ability to receive candid counsel.

The final act in the little drama.

Bush Retreats On Wages

and Davis-Bacon is again the law of the land.

In response to working families and their unions, as well as community and religious groups and some members of Congress, President George W. Bush on Oct. 26 rescinded his executive order that allowed contractors to pay substandard wages to construction workers rebuilding Gulf Coast areas devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The order, which suspended the federal Davis-Bacon Act, now will expire Nov. 8.

Grassroots activists sent more than 350,000 e-mails and letters to their representatives demanding fair wages be reinstated for the Gulf Coast, where skilled, full-time workers average less than $20,000 a year in pay.

Grass roots activism worked in this case, and that is excellent news to those trying to make a living on the Gulf Coast.

Tex-Mex Please

You Are Chinese Food

Exotic yet ordinary.
People think they've had enough of you, but they're back for more in an hour.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Cheesy Movie Flashback (1984)

A cold war disaster story.

The US is overrun by forces from Russia and Latin America. The story follows the heroic life and death struggles of a small band of young men and women who resort to guerilla warfare to try to force the invading armies out.

A true Reagan Era Classic, with evil commies, brave Americans, and victory through sacrifice.

It makes one wonder.

If the story was in 2004, and battlefield was the not the mountains but the Tigris and Euphrates river? How well it would be received by the American viewing public, and how well in the Middle East. The change of perspective makes a B grade action flick morph into a continuing nightmare.

Unfortunately for our troops playing the roll of the invading army, the bombs being used now are much bigger than those used in 1984.

More Bird Flu, This Time Croatia

It is now confirmed in most of Europe, in the wild bird population.

The presence of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu was confirmed in Croatia


French authorities were today examining the bodies of 11 starlings found dead in the centre of the country. The birds were all found under the same tree in the city of Macon and initial lab tests were expected later today. Slovenia and Hungary were also testing birds found dead for signs of bird flu.

Yesterday, German authorities confirmed that dead wild geese in western Germany had tested positive for the disease.

There is no viable way to stop the spread of this in the wild bird population. We will face this in the US at some point very soon. Are we ready?

Not just ready to fight this flu if it jumps to the human population, but also to protect our industrial and wild birds.

A Much Need Reference Source

A list of the lies the Bush administration has been telling.

It's getting hard to keep track of all the lies we've been told. Here's a quick cheat sheet:

Are The Niger Uranium Papers Tied To The

White House?

Meanwhile, at the other end of the pipe, we have Cheney, constantly pushing for more evidence to show that Iraq is trying to build a bomb. And, lo and behold, each time Cheney pushes, a new report surfaces from an unnamed foreign intelligence service claiming Iraq is trying to buy uranium. And whenever the skeptics push back with evidence that casts doubt on that thesis, yet another report surfaces, with more detailed, albeit, false information.

Miers Words May Haunt Her

If her position has not changed since the 90s.

"The underlying theme in most of these cases is the insistence of more self-determination," she said. "And the more I think about these issues, the more self-determination makes sense."

This is just more fuel for the fire on the right.

A Great Painting

You Are Best Described By...

The Starry Night

by Vincent van Gogh

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Some Numbers That Should Be Considered

The war in Iraq is 2 and a half years old. We have declared mission accomplished, and have worked to get the Iraqi people in a position to take care of themselves. In doing that we have now lost 2,000 troops in Iraq.

2,000 troops in about 30 months. For perspective consider this;

In Vietnam, the first four years of the war (61-65) only 1,800 were killed, and in the last two years of Vietnam (71,72) only 1,600 US troops were killed.

To date, Iraq has been more bloody that Vietnam, and the medical advances have created a situation where far more battle casualties are surviving major injuries that would have been deadly 40 years ago.

Just another warning of where we are headed in Iraq.


There will be services or Vigils to honor those who have died. If you are so moved check with your local Quaker Meeting House, or the Move on vigil locator

The ACLU Will Have The Right All A-twitter,


They have been looking into how the US is treating POWs and various other detainees and have discovered that a number of these prisoners have died while being questioned.

The American Civil Liberties Union today made public an analysis of new and previously released autopsy and death reports of detainees held in U.S. facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan


The documents show that detainees were hooded, gagged, strangled, beaten with blunt objects, subjected to sleep deprivation and to hot and cold environmental conditions.

"There is no question that U.S. interrogations have resulted in deaths," said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. "High-ranking officials who knew about the torture and sat on their hands and those who created and endorsed these policies must be held accountable. America must stop putting its head in the sand and deal with the torture scandal that has rocked our military."


The documents show that detainees died during or after interrogations by Navy Seals, Military Intelligence and "OGA" (Other Governmental Agency) -- a term, according to the ACLU, that is commonly used to refer to the CIA.

There is quite a bit more.

There are a number of truly troubling issues with this report, but the one that I find most amazing is the kill the messenger mentality of the right. If we had not tortured people to death, the ACLU would not have anything to report.

Of course, our dear leaders have plans in place to address this criminal activity.

The Bush administration has proposed exempting employees of the Central Intelligence Agency from a legislative measure endorsed earlier this month by 90 members of the Senate that would bar cruel and degrading treatment of any prisoners in U.S. custody.

Charming group we have leading us right now, just charming.

A Few Notes On The Forgotten War

In Afghanistan, there appears to be little change.

The Taliban keep attacking.

Four civilians and one policeman have been killed in two attacks near the Afghan capital Kabul. In the first, which happened late on Monday evening around fifteen kilometres to the south of the city, a group of rebels fired missiles at a convoy of coalition military vehicles led by American troops.


Afghanistan has seen a steady escalation of violence this year, mostly blamed on supporters of the deposed Taliban regime

It is becoming clearer that some of our allies there lack a clear understanding of the rules of war.

It tells the story of thousands of prisoners who surrendered to the US military's Afghan allies after the siege of Kunduz. According to eyewitnesses, some three thousand of the prisoners were forced into sealed containers and loaded onto trucks for transport to Sheberghan prison. Eyewitnesses say when the prisoners began shouting for air, U.S.-allied Afghan soldiers fired directly into the truck, killing many of them. The rest suffered through an appalling road trip lasting up to four days, so thirsty they clawed at the skin of their fellow prisoners as they licked perspiration and even drank blood from open wounds.

Witnesses say that when the trucks arrived and soldiers opened the containers, most of the people inside were dead. They also say US Special Forces re-directed the containers carrying the living and dead into the desert and stood by as survivors were shot and buried. Now, up to three thousand bodies lie buried in a mass grave.

Drugs are still the economic life blood of the nation.

And the rumors of Bin Ladens death
still pop up.

Oh My, He Is A Uniter After All

It appears just about everyone wants the Miers nomination squashed.

Influential conservatives who oppose the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court are raising money to escalate their campaign to persuade her to withdraw from consideration.

The White House has sought to corral conservative support and has succeeded in forging alliances with prominent leaders such as Dr. James Dobson, chairman of Focus on the Family, and Leonard Leo, executive vice president of the Federalist Society.

But many conservative intellectuals and the rank and file remain adamantly opposed to President Bush's choice to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

I myself will withhold final judgment's until there is actually something to judge by, but she sure looks like a very weak pick.

All I Need Is A Little Peace And Quite

Dominant Personality: Solitude

Good Traits: You don't need people to hype
up your self-esteem. You take care of yourself,
and don't follow the crowd. You're unique.

Bad Traits: You don't have many (if any)
friends. People aren't going anywhere and you
have to learn to handle social situations.
There are people out there who understand you.

People see you as: Lonely, extremely quiet,
and unfriendly. You are never seen around other
people, and you don't talk that much. People
think you're too selfish in that you don't take
the time to make friends.

You're Most Like: Confusion. You wish you
had the answers to everything. The difference
is that you keep it to yourself, and express
yourself in a different way.

You Need More: Grace. You probably walk
around with your head down. You need to hold
your head high and face the world head on. Be
more assertive, but not to the point of

What's your dominant trait? (10 unique results)
brought to you by Quizilla

Rosa Parks Has Died, Age 92.

An icon of the civil rights movement, who simple action help forced a nation to rethink their view of what is right.

Monday, October 24, 2005

The Loop Hole For Miers Withdraw Is Set

Bush will not release Miers White House documents, and since they are about the only place where she has any written records dealing with constitutional issues, she now has no written record for the Senate to study.

In response to a reporter's question at the end of a cabinet meeting, Mr. Bush said he will not destroy the process of getting candid advice from top aides by disclosing those documents to the Senate. He said that will make it impossible for him and future presidents to make sound decisions, CBS News correspondent Mark Knoller reports.

Now moderate republicans have the cover they need, and the White House has the cover they need. Miers will be voted down or withdrawn due to a lack of available evidence of her positions and constitutional understanding. The White House is on firm ground with executive privilege, and the Senate is correct in demanding real information about her past work.

A perfect hide / hide (as opposed to win / win)

Getting Ready To Leave Florida

But Wilma has left her mark. She was only a weak Cat 3 and a Cat 2, but still able to do damage.

Again, The Washington Post Has Noticed

we are now doing body counts in Iraq.

The revival of body counts, a practice discredited during the Vietnam War, has apparently come without formal guidance from the Pentagon's leadership. Military spokesmen in Washington and Baghdad said they knew of no written directive detailing the circumstances under which such figures should be released or the steps that should be taken to ensure accuracy.

One little detail about this story. The Washington Post also noticed this little fact a month ago.

When Is A Blind Trust, Not A Blind Trust

When it is Sen Frist Blind Trust.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., was given considerable information about his stake in his family's hospital company, according to records that are at odds with his past statements that he did not know what was in his stock holdings.

Managers of the trusts that Frist once described as "totally blind," regularly informed him when they added shares of HCA Inc. -- his family's health care company -- or other assets to his holdings, according to letters from the trustees to Frist and the Senate which are required by the trust agreements.

This is the blind trust that he put all his assets into; Assuring us that this way he would not know what stocks he held and decisions he made on policy issues would not be tainted by his potential to personally make or lose money.

and yet, he knew precisely what he was holding.

In other words he lied.

And this man wants to be your president.


Another Senator, Sen. Jon Corzine, D-N.J., appears to have simmilar issues.

another liar

A Wild And Crazy Guy Does Good

Steve Martin, , has been awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor .

He has made a long and very funny trip, with amazing versatility.

He's won an Emmy as a comedy writer: as a stand-up he drew crowds of over 20,000: his comedy albums sold millions: he had a million-selling disco single: he's written best-selling books and successful plays: he's penned hit screenplays and starred in many of the most memorable comedies of the last twenty years.

Not to mention a Grammy for playing his banjo on the Foggy Mountain Breakdown video with Earl Scruggs.

One of a kind, and the award is well deserved.

Just Hold the Anchovies

Everything Pizza

Diverse and adaptable
You enjoy the full buffet of life
It's hard to you play favorites with friends... or flavors
There's very little that you dislike!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Terrifying Poll Result From Iraq

The telegraph is reporting that the British Ministry of Defense has results from a secreatly commissioned survay of the Iraqi population. The results are another indicator that our efforts there will fail.

Millions of Iraqis believe that suicide attacks against British troops are justified, a secret military poll commissioned by senior officers has revealed.

The poll, undertaken for the Ministry of Defence and seen by The Sunday Telegraph, shows that up to 65 per cent of Iraqi citizens support attacks and fewer than one per cent think Allied military involvement is helping to improve security in their country.

While this is focused on the British areas and concerns in the war, it must be remembered that in Iraq, the British are in the section of the country that are friendliest to the occupation.

Also of note

67 per cent of Iraqis feel less secure because of the occupation;

43 per cent of Iraqis believe conditions for peace and stability have worsened;

72 per cent do not have confidence in the multi-national forces.

The opinion poll, carried out in August, also debunks claims by both the US and British governments that the general well-being of the average Iraqi is improving in post-Saddam Iraq.

No wonder this was being kept secrete

Meanwhile in Iraq, the body count keep going up.


Can anyone explain why it took the US a month to announce these deaths?

BAGHDAD, Oct. 22 -- Four U.S. contractors were killed last month when their convoy took a wrong turn, drove into a town north of Baghdad and was attacked by an angry mob, a senior U.S. military official said Saturday.

It is interesting how this event, and the poll results broke in the public on the same day.

Cancun Hammered

and Wilma turns Northeast to Florida.

But she will be weaker and moving fast, Florida may avaid the major hit Mexico got.

Remember Bush's Recent Claims About Success

in his war on a battle tactic?

Well as many suspected it was a touch overblown.

Intelligence officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the White House overstated the gravity of the plots by saying that they had been foiled, when most were far from ready to be executed. Others noted that the nation's color-coded threat index was not raised from yellow, or "elevated" risk of attack, to orange, or "high" risk, for most of the time covered by the incidents on the list.


"It's safe to say that most of the [intelligence] community doesn't think it's worth very much."

As expected, this is less about facts and more about propaganda. The goal is to sell the war, and build up his approval numbers, not to tell the truth to the people of this nation.

In other words, another lie.

Others Have Given Me the Same Advice

You Should Get a JD (Juris Doctor)

You're logical, driven, and ruthless.
You'd make a mighty fine lawyer.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Why Foreign Aid Is Important

When there is a major disaster the support for aid is there, but without the images of dying children, there is little approvial for the aid. This is a mistake that the American public need to overcome.

Right now we do have the dying children, so there is not much complaining about the aid being sent. What people should notice is the impact that aid has on the battered image of the US.

Television news broadcasts have been filled in recent days with images of U.S. Navy cargo ships offloading relief supplies in Karachi, olive-drab Chinook helicopters disgorging bundles of tents and blankets in isolated mountain villages, and American soldiers -- some diverted from military operations in Afghanistan -- working with their Pakistani counterparts to evacuate the injured.

In Pakistan, a country where we are truly hated, there is gratefulness, and changing attitudes. Contrast this with the official US efforts at rebuilding our image in the Islamic world.

Hughes, who is undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, made her remarks at Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University, south of Jakarta, one of several stops during her three-day visit to the world's most populous Muslim country. The students at the prestigious institution confronted her with emotional objections about the U.S. rationale for war in Iraq, similar to those she faced last month in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

In addition Mrs. Hughes made a huge misstatement (lie) that will just serves to further lower how she is viewed by the very audience she is trying to sway.

Times Miller Love Affair May Be Over

The editor doesn't sound happy.

In a dramatic e-mail, Executive Editor Bill Keller wrote Times' employees he wished he'd more carefully interviewed Miller and had "missed what should have been significant alarm bells" that she had been the recipient of leaked information about the CIA officer at the heart of the case.

"Judy seems to have misled (Times Washington bureau chief) Phil Taubman about the extent of her involvement," Keller wrote in what he described as a lessons-learned e-mail. "This alone should have been enough to make me probe deeper."

More and more it looks like some of the theories about here being a 'member' of the White House Iraq Group may be more that a conspiracy theory. It sounds like she was the head of the propagada unit.

A Swing, and A Miss

You Are Likely an Only Child

At your darkest moments, you feel frustrated.
At work and school, you do best when you're organizing.
When you love someone, you tend to worry about them.

In friendship, you are emotional and sympathetic.
Your ideal careers are: radio announcer, finance, teaching, ministry, and management.
You will leave your mark on the world with organizational leadership, maybe as the author of self-help books.

My brother now questions his very existance.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Wilma Still Creeping Along

She has hit Cancun, and a turn to Florida is still expected.

Friday, And A Few Stories Of Interest

Click on over and give them a read

Seeing the Forest looks are the economy and sees an unhappy result in it's Demographic Math, greatscat! just sums it up as The middle class just died.

The work of the Natural Death Unit is covered in the Washington Post.

The bigger picture view of lower taxes is the focus of Bad Tux.

Outside the Tent watches religious right leader and Lt. Gov hopeful, Ralph Reed tap dance, as he tries to defend accepting money from gambling interest.

The Dover, intelligent Design trial's running recap is a must read at Panda's Thumb.

Pam, the newest voice at Pandagon, point out in interesting bit about a few pro bush editorials showing up in a papers around the US, they all seem to contain the same paragraph. Looks like the Bush propaganda machine is still working.

By now you could use a drink. Slip into the Whiskey Bar, and read more about the talk given by Larry Wilkerson at the New America Foundation.

The Mires Nomination Has Been Fun To Follow

The foolishness it exposed within the Bush administration has lead to hours of family fun.

First they are surprised by the reaction of everyone about him nominating a total unknown. This is compound by the fact that she is such on obvious cronie and brown nosed sycophant. That this should shock them, in light of the exposure of so many other Bush cronies he has hired, is astounding.

The secret teleconference, the on again off again capital hill visits, the constant re-re-re-clarification of her non positions, The incomplete and inadequate response to the Senate questionnaire, and the forgotten Bar Dues payments, have provided hours of fun, but it may be coming to an end.

The republicans are setting up a document fight that will allow Bush to save face and bench his pet lawyer.

That creates a classic conflict, not of personality, not of competence, not of ideology, but of simple constitutional prerogatives: The Senate cannot confirm her unless it has this information. And the White House cannot allow release of this information lest it jeopardize executive privilege.

The fun has to end eventually, I doubt the next nominee will be anywhere near as entertaining.

2000 This Weekend ?

Three U.S. Marines and a U.S. soldier died today in Iraq, making about 10 this week so far.

We will pass the 2000 death line in the new few days.

Have these deaths made us any safer? Have they reduced the threat of Terrorism? Have we, as a nation, gained anything at all?

Didn't think so.

A bad decision by a group of men, to afraid to go to war in their youth, has lead to the death of injury of thousands of citizens of this nation, and tens of thousands of Iraqis.

All based on a bunch of lies.


Iraqi Army Needs More Time

WASHINGTON (AP) - The commander of U.S. forces in Baghdad said Friday that it will take as long as two years before the Iraqi army can operate on its own, with the necessary military leadership and supplies.

They keep singing the same song, but the timeline gets longer

Another Blow To The Working Middle Class

Ford is calling for Job cuts and plant closures, citing a projected loss of about 300 Million in this quarter (a reminder Ford posted a PROFIT of 1.2 Billion in the 1st quarter).

Henry Ford was not a nice man, but he was wise in many ways. He knew to make a product for the masses, his workers would have to make enough money to actually one.

This, very soon, may not be the case in the US blue collar work force.

Rouge, Yes: Killer, not Premeditated

Which Colossal Death Robot Are You?
Brought to you by Rum and Monkey

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Republican Culture of Corruption - Kentucky

In the continuing case of illegal hiring practices of the Republican Governor, 2 more Republicans are indicted.

I think this makes 11 Republicans indicted in Kentucky, but that figure may included persons who the Governor has pardoned, prior to their actual indictment.

More FEMA testimony Damning Brown

FEMA regional director, Marty Bahamonde, is getting a chance to chat with the Congress and it isn't looking real good.

he gave regular updates to people in contact with then-FEMA Director Michael Brown as early as Aug. 28, one day before Katrina made landfall.

In most cases, he was met with silence. In an Aug. 29 phone call to Brown informing him that the first levee had broke, Bahamaonde said he received a polite thank you from Brown, who said he would check with the White House.
emphasis added

But, Mr. Brown, this is your job, not the White House's.

Of course Brown's staff did know how to respond to some issues. Concerned about the flood of communication he was getting they were able to get this message out.

Brown's press secretary wrote colleagues to complain that the FEMA director needed more time to eat dinner at a Baton Rouge restaurant that evening. "He needs much more that (sic) 20 or 30 minutes," wrote Brown aide Sharon Worthy.

"We now have traffic to encounter to go to and from a location of his choise (sic), followed by wait service from the restaurant staff, eating, etc. Thank you."

Of course, now we are getting great promises to fix FEMA, something that wasn't this broken until the Bush administration started to fix FEMA in response to our global war on a battle tactic.

Chertoff vowed to "re-engineer" U.S. preparedness after the storm that killed more than 1,200 people and devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. But he also blamed Brown and FEMA leaders, saying, "We certainly have to fill out the ranks of FEMA in terms of its senior level with experienced staff who can deal with all of the elements" of its mission.

The trouble is,, Mr. Chertoff, it was George Bush who appointed these leaders, and it was a Republican congress who approved them. Why do you expect a different result with the same fools in place?

Just remember Bush evaluation of Brown about week into this mess; "Brownie, You're Doin' A Heck of A Job"

Mires Angering Both SIdes of the Aisle

In providing "incomplete" and "inadequate" responses to the senate questionnaire, Mires has assured that her hearing will be very entertaining. Her nomination, her visits, the back room assurances, and the general confusion about her ability assure that Senators from both parties will be fully engaged in actually questioning her (as opposed to the fawning that is so common from the Republican Senators).

Some points that do stick out:

How can you give a one word answer to a two part question? I know that if I has tried that in High School I would have earned an F.

How can someone reputed to be obsessed by detail and meticulousness forget to pay her dues to the bar in both DC and Texas, and thus get suspended from practicing law, twice?

Does she even have a basic understanding of what constitutional issues are?

hearings start in 2 weeks, and with luck we may learn something

Some of These Fundamentalist 'Christians'

are just sick.

In Virginia, Bob McDonnell is running for Attorney General (as a Republican, of course). He is deep into Pat Robertson's camp, having received over $36,000 from him. In addition, he is a partner at Huff, Poole & Mahoney, Robertson's law firm, and a graduate of Robertson's law school at Regent University.

Now lets meet Robin W. Vanderwall; He was also a student at Regent, and had, prior to his arrest in 2004, served McDonnell as his campaign manager.

What was Vanderwall, arrested for?

Vanderwall was arrested after he contacted a Virginia Beach police officer who was posing as an underage boy in an Internet chat room, according to prosecutors. The officer agreed to meet with Vanderwall at a Virginia Beach park on the evening of Jan. 10. Vanderwall was arrested when he showed up at the park.

He was arrested for trying to have sex with a 13 year old boy.

This would just be a sad story about Vanderwall, except for one interesting piece of non denial from McDonnell. He couldn't remember whether or not he personally ever engaged in sodomy.

A very odd thing to not be sure if you had ever engaged in.

Wilma Update, Weakened, Slowing Down

and unpredictable. Florida now watches and waits.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A Tool To Correct The Lies, and Stop The Spin

When the right wing starts telling lies about the treasonous act of outing a covert CIA agent, Think Progress has list the lies and tells the truth.

More Evidence of US Flaunting Geneva

From the Australian media, another black eye for US troops.

The rules are very clear;
Under the Geneva conventions the burial of war dead "should be honorable, and, if possible, according to the rites of the religion to which the deceased belonged".

So, how did we respond?
US soldiers in Afghanistan burnt the bodies of dead Taliban and taunted their opponents about the corpses, in an act deeply offensive to Muslims and in breach of the Geneva conventions.

Our excuse is very weak, hygiene.

The truth is, a burial would take a little more time than a pyre, but not so much as to prevent it being done. We made this decision not of the basis of hygiene, but in the name of psychological operations.

And in that context it is just another violation of the Geneva conventions for the US military under Bush's leadership.

More Bad News

MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- A Spanish judge issued an international arrest warrant Wednesday, charging three U.S. soldiers with murder in the death of a Spanish television cameraman in Baghdad.

Jose Couso was killed as U.S. forces advanced to take control of the Iraqi capital in April 2003, a National Court spokeswoman said.

National Court investigating magistrate Santiago Pedraz issued the warrant for the arrests of the three soldiers and their eventual extradition to Spain. They are wanted on charges of murder and a crime against the international community, according to the warrant.

Just Shoot Him And End It

Saddams trial has been adjourned for 6 weeks so his defense can better prepare his case.

My question is, what case?

He is as guilty as any despot can be. We gave him to the Iraqis so they could kill him (an International Tribunal would not allow execution), so lets just get it done.

They Sure Do Grow Up Fast

Just yesterday Wilma was a little cat 1. Today she is a cat 5 with the lowest minimum pressure ever measured in a hurricane in Atlantic basin.


PS. This is the 3rd Cat five this year, unheard of.


Officials in south Florida ordered visitors out of the Florida Keys, the first U.S. evacuations caused by the storm, the Associated Press reported from Florida.

A Quick Question

Why would anyone expect a man, who consistently failed, and who has always been bailed out by his family, to be a successful President.

I am not saying it can't happen, just that there isn't any logic in expecting anything but more failure.

Iraq Results Raising Questions

In an effort to make sure that the results are seen as valid, the Independent Election Commission of Iraq is going to recheck, compare and audit some of the results. What is wrong with these results?

Iraqi election officials said they were investigating "unusually high" vote totals in 12 Shiite and Kurdish provinces, where as many 99 per cent of the voters were reported to have cast ballots in favour of Iraq's new constitution

But others have also raised questions about the results where the vote was closer.

Al-Hayat reports that 643,000 votes were cast in Ninevah Province (capital: Mosul). At the time it filed, 419,000 had been preliminarily counted, and the vote was running 75 percent in favor. Ninevah Province was the most likely place that Sunni Arabs opposing the constitution might be able to get a 2/3s "no" vote.

Several of my knowledgeable readers are convinced that the Ninevah voting results as reported so far look like fraud. One suspected that the Iraqi government so feared a defeat there that they over-did the ballot stuffing and ended up with an implausible result.

One of my Iraqi-American correspondents compared the turnout statistics from Ninevah and Diyala provinces last Jan. 30 to those coming out now, and found the current numbers completely unbelievable.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Playing With Numbers and the Bird Flu

The Bird Flu that had started in Asia has now moved to Europe. One of the places where the flu has been found is a large wetland that serves as a stopping point for birds making they fall migration. It will continue to spread.

That doesn't mean that we will face a widespread outbreak of this flu. Right now the flu is still not easily transmitted to people. It may never mutate into a threat, or it may have started to change last week. The reality is we have to plan for an event, with the understanding that it may never occur.

In planning we look back.

1918s Spanish Flu was the last major pandemic, and one that we see used to model the scale and scope of a modern pandemic. The event in 1918 killed about 600,000 in the US, with just over a quarter of the population coming down with the flu. This gives the us a mortality rate under 3%.

The vast majority of these illnesses and deaths occurred in a 6 week period in September, October and November, and did have a profound impact on the society and on health care delivery.

Even in areas where morbidity was low, those incapacitated by the illness were often so numerous as to bring much of everyday life to a stop. Some communities closed all stores or required customers not to enter the store but place their orders outside the store for filling. There were many reports of places with no health care workers to tend the sick because of their own ill health and no able bodied grave diggers to inter the dead. Mass graves were dug by steam shovel and bodies buried without coffins in many places.

What is the potential impact of this latest threat?

The current mortality of the virus is slightly over 50% the Hong Kong event a few years ago had a mortality rate of 33% (compared to under 3% in 1918).

Could the US hope to respond to 75,000,000 cases of the flu that killed 25,000,000 people in a period of 6 weeks?

We only have something like 800,000 hospital beds in the US, there is little doubt that the health care delivery system will fail. If we are hit, and the virus's mortality stays high, the quality of the governmental response will be very important.

Of course, homeland security, and FEMA will lead the response. That is why it is vital that we get competent leadership in place, so FEMA can return to it's past effectiveness.

This is also why every home should have some means to fend for themselves for a few days. Hurricane, Ice Storm, Flood, or Flu, every home need the supplies and a plan that will allow them to survive, if the government response fails again (and it wil).

The Second Stealth Nominee Exposed

at least her views on abortion are now out in the open.

Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers pledged support in 1989 for a constitutional amendment banning abortions except when necessary to save the life of the mother, according to material given to the Senate on Tuesday.

As a candidate for the Dallas city council, Miers also signaled support for the overall agenda of Texans United for Life agreeing she would support legislation restricting abortions if the Supreme Court ruled that states could ban abortions and would participate in pro-life rallies and special events.

Bush's people have worked very hard to try to keep this information hidden. It worked very well with Roberts, but in Mires case they have slipped. In the effort to keep the religious right in line Bush people hosted a conferencence call with several leaders of the religious right and a couple of Texas Judges who confirmed that Mires will vote to end Roe.

two members of the Texas judiciary who stated she'd move to overturn Roe v. Wade if confirmed. The participants included the Rev. Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association, Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family, Gary Bauer of American Values, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation and the Rev. Bill Owens, a black minister, and Justice Nathan Hecht of the Texas Supreme Court and Judge Ed Kinkeade, a Dallas-based federal trial judge.

So while Bush is busy lying, claiming he doesn't know about Mires stand on abortion, he is also trying to quietly assure his religious right wing activists that she will stay in lock step. What is truly amazing is the strong desire they have to hide this piece of information, that they claim they are proud of.


From Think Progress.

Harriet Miers May Oppose Right to Contraception

Faux News, Caught, Again

Think Progress points out who is using the latest republican talking point.

Conservative defenders of Karl Rove and Scooter Libby have settled on their No. 1 talking point: the grand jury investigation into the CIA leak scandal represents the "criminalization of politics."

But the investigation of adultery was all about law and order, right.

According to a database search, every single television reference to the CIA leak scandal as the "criminalization of politics" in the last 30 days has been on Fox. Even more stunning: on every occassion, the phrase was introduced into the segment by a Fox News anchor or correspondent, never by a guest.

Only on Fox, only by Fox's talking heads.

That speaks volumes about just how deeply Faux is tied to the Republican party.

Faux, we lie and spin, you are confused.

Energy Prices Starting to Impact

and prices at the wholesale level spike up.

Wholesale prices jumped 1.9 percent in September, the Labor Department reported today, the sharpest monthly surge in 15 years. The culprit was soaring energy prices.

Prices for energy-related goods advanced 7.1 percent, compared with a 3.7 percent increase in August. The price of natural gas led the way with a startling 9 percent rise.

These cost bumps should be in place just in time to assure a miserable Christmas for all.

Republican Culture of Corruption - Ohio

The water that Rep. Robert Ney (R-Oh) is stewing is may be getting hotter. His ties to Abramoff are being pushed into the public light, and they are quite disgusting.

Rep. Robert W. Ney, R-Ohio, placed comments in the Congressional Record favorable to Abramoff's 2000 purchase of the casino boat company, SunCruz Casinos. Two years later, Ney sponsored legislation to reopen a casino for a Texas Indian tribe that Abramoff represented.

Ney approved a 2002 license for an Israeli telecommunications company to install antennas for the House. The company later paid Abramoff $280,000 for lobbying. It also donated $50,000 to a charity that Abramoff sometimes used to secretly pay for some of his lobbying activities.

Meanwhile, Ney accepted many favors from Abramoff, among them campaign contributions, dinners at the lobbyist's downtown restaurant, skybox fundraisers, including one at his MCI Center box in Washington, and a golf trip to Scotland in August 2002.

When the Abramoff ties are fully exposed, and the channels of his money flow are completely understood, it will present a fascinating lession in overwhelming and highly effective corruption.

A Sect Test

Where do you fit into the religious world.

1. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (100%)
2. Reform Judaism (86%)
3. Liberal Quakers (83%)
4. Orthodox Quaker (79%)
5. Unitarian Universalism (76%)
6. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (65%)
7. Sikhism (65%)
8. Eastern Orthodox (64%)
9. Orthodox Judaism (64%)
10. Roman Catholic (64%)
11. Neo-Pagan (62%)
12. Bahá'í Faith (62%)
13. Seventh Day Adventist (58%)
14. New Age (57%)
15. Islam (55%)
16. Mahayana Buddhism (48%)
17. Theravada Buddhism (47%)
18. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (44%)
19. Secular Humanism (42%)
20. New Thought (41%)
21. Hinduism (37%)
22. Scientology (37%)
23. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (34%)
24. Taoism (34%)
25. Jehovah's Witness (30%)
26. Jainism (27%)
27. Nontheist (22%)

Also sometimes referred to as secular, modern, or humanistic. This is an umbrella term for Protestant denominations, or churches within denominations, that view the Bible as the witness of God rather than the word of God, to be interpreted in its historical context through critical analysis. Examples include some churches within Anglican/Episcopalian, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, and United Church of Christ.

Dead On result, the belief o matiec test worked in my case.

hat tip to the green knight

Monday, October 17, 2005

Root Cause, Proximate Cause, Condi Rice and

terrorism are the focus of the Green Knight. A great post, hop over an read it.

GOP Again Shows True Colors

Protect the rich, screw everyone else.

Facing huge deficits, enormous military spending, natural disasters of unprecedented scale, and unstable energy cost the Republicans have a choice; They could scrap their tax breaks for multi millionaires, or they can cut services to the sick and poor. Of course we know where the republican decided to focus.

Beginning this week, House GOP lawmakers will take steps to cut as much as $50 billion from the fiscal 2006 budget for health care for the poor, food stamps and farm supports

but what of the tax cuts?

Republicans intend to follow a budget drafted earlier this year that would extend tax cuts that were set to expire, he said. Those extensions would add $70 billion to the deficit.

That tax package was to have been developed and debated this month under a schedule laid out in spring. Instead, it will be delayed by several weeks or a month to make room for Hurricane Katrina legislation, the chairmen of the House and Senate tax-writing committees said.

Anyone notice that tax cuts will cost the nation more than the Katrina Response. If they just do not give the rich more tax breaks, the Katrina offsets are paid for, and we have a little left over to help balance a budget that is still over 300 billion out of balance.

OK, it's not all wrong

Your World View

You are a fairly broadminded romantic and reasonably content.
You value kindness and try to live by your ideals.
You have strong need for security, which may be either emotional or material.

You respect truth and are flexible.
You like people, and they can readily make friends with you.
You are not very adventurous, but this does not bother you.

Another Kick in the Teeth for Some

Another lesson learned to be learned for everyone else, buy flood insurance.

Just because the flood insurance isn't required, doesn't mean you will not need it.

NEW ORLEANS -- Many of the thousands of homeowners in the Lower Ninth Ward, one of the hardest-hit areas in the city, lacked flood insurance because the neighborhood in theory was supposed to be relatively safe, local insurance agents and residents said.

Most of the area sits outside the "high-risk" flood districts designated on federal maps used for insurance, and so, unlike homeowners elsewhere in this low-lying city, most in the Lower Ninth Ward were not legally required by lenders to buy flood coverage.

It does make one wonder who in their right mind would decide houses built near the coast, below sea level, protected by levees, didn't have to purchase the insurance.

#21 is Here. Hello Wilma

MIAMI, Florida (AP) -- Tropical Storm Wilma formed Monday in the northwestern Caribbean, tying the record for the most storms in an Atlantic season.

The storm is following a path that some forecasters believe could menace the Gulf Coast later this week as a hurricane.

Wilma is the 21st named storm of the season. The only other time that many storms formed since record keeping began 154 years ago was in 1933.

At 5 a.m. EDT, Wilma had top sustained winds near 40 mph, just above the threshold for tropical storms. It was centered about 175 miles southeast of Grand Cayman and drifting southwest near 3 mph.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Politics over Principal, Life in DC

Today's Washington Post has a story about how Jack Abramoff with help from aids from Tom DeLay's office killed an anti-gambling bill. There are some interesting points.

But on July 17, 2000, the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act went down to defeat, to the astonishment of supporters who included many anti-gambling groups and Christian conservatives.

The power of power politics. They are able to get anti gambling Christian groups to work against an anti-gambling law.

A senior aide to then-Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) helped scuttle the bill in the House. The aide, Tony C. Rudy, 39, e-mailed Abramoff internal congressional communications and advice, according to documents and the lobbyist's former associates.

Rudy received favors from Abramoff. He went on two luxury trips with the lobbyist that summer, including one partly paid for by Abramoff's client, eLottery Inc. Abramoff also arranged for eLottery to pay $25,000 to a Jewish foundation that hired Rudy's wife as a consultant, according to documents and interviews. Months later, Rudy himself was hired as a lobbyist by Abramoff.


Abramoff quietly arranged for eLottery to pay conservative, anti-gambling activists to help in the firm's $2 million pro-gambling campaign, including Ralph Reed, former head of the Christian Coalition, and the Rev. Louis P. Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition. Both kept in close contact with Abramoff about the arrangement, e-mails show. Abramoff also turned to prominent anti-tax conservative Grover Norquist, arranging to route some of eLottery's money for Reed through Norquist's group, Americans for Tax Reform.


DeLay, an outspoken opponent of gambling, was an instrument, witting or unwitting, in eLottery's campaign, documents and interviews show. Along with Rudy, he was a guest on a golfing trip to Scotland. As majority whip, he cast a rare vote against his party on the Internet gambling bill and for the rest of the year helped keep the measure off the floor. He told leadership colleagues that another vote could cost Republican seats in the hard-fought 2000 elections.

and so much more.

A long and very worthwhile read that shows the lure that money and access to power have on those who swim in the waters of DC.

Miller Speaks, and it is Disgusting

Editor an Publisher has some coverage of the Judith Miller coverage in the New York Times.

One part that is stunning is it's lack of honesty and contrition in her response to being a shill for the Bush administration's call to war.

For the first time this clearly, Miller, in Saturday's article, admits, "WMD--I got it totally wrong," but then goes on to say that "all" of the other journalists, and experts and analysts, also were wrong. "I did the best job I could," she said.

I just hope someone will point out to Judy the stories and reports from other more honest journalist who did question validity of the WMD claims. In truth Judith Miller was a cheerleader for war, not simply a reporter.

The article reveals, also for the first time, that Keller took her off Iraq and weapons issues after he became editor in July 2003. Nevertheless, he admits, "she kept drifting on her own back into the national security realm," making one wonder who was in charge of her.

And the actions of her editor, and how she responded to add further evidence of her strong desire to promote war.

Feared Donor fatigue is here

The US and the world responded with outstanding generosity after the tsunami, the hurricanes, and other world disasters, but the two latest events have not been able to generate the same response.

Three days after the quake struck, the American Red Cross reported contributions of only $45,000. By contrast, three days after quatrain hit the Gulf Coast, the relief agency said it had received $17 million in cash and pledges. It has now collected more than $1.1 billion.

Deborah Goldberg, spokeswoman for the Red Cross, added: "I think there's a feeling of what might be next. After all, the hurricane season is not finished. There are also wildfire out west and severe flooding in the east, and people don't know what to expect."

Expected but it will still create a burden for the relief agencies who will still make every effort to respond.

If you can please respond with a little more.

But Wierdness is Totally Subjective

You Are 40% Weird

Normal enough to know that you're weird...
But too damn weird to do anything about it!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Republican Culture of Corruption - Rove

It looks like maybe Perjury?

The grand jury investigating the CIA leak case pressed White House senior adviser Karl Rove yesterday to more fully explain his conversations with reporters about CIA operative Valerie Plame, including discrepancies between his testimony and the account provided by a key witness in the investigation, according to a source familiar with Rove's account.

Making his fourth appearance before the grand jury, Rove answered a broad range of questions for 4 1/2 hours, including why he did not initially tell federal agents about a July 2003 conversation about Plame with the witness, Time magazine's Matthew Cooper, the source said.

If that is the case, it will be fun to see how the right spins this.

As Expected H5N1 Virus is Resistant

A strain of the H5N1 flu virus that resists the antiviral drug Tamiflu has been analysed by scientists. Tamiflu, known generically as oseltamivir, is expected to be almost the only defense against the virus in the early stages of any H5N1 pandemic.

But New Scientist can reveal that this discovery does not mean the drug will become useless. The mutation that made the virus resistant is already well known in ordinary human flu, and it seems to make both ordinary flu - and now H5N1 - less able to cause further infections.

It's not all bad news but resistants in a virus is never good news.

The Staging of a Presidential Appearance

The media has finaly noticed that the Bush White House is far more about smoke and mirrors than truth and honesty

Voting Day in Iraq, and the Prelude Was

a bit messy.

Iraq's Sunni Arab minority made a violent reentry into politics Friday, bombing offices of a political party that urged support for a new U.S.-backed constitution while posting insurgents and tribal fighters at some polling places to ensure that Sunni voters could vote safely Saturday against the proposed charter.

With the Sunni vote split, the constitution will be approved, but you still have to wonder if it will make much difference. It is clear that no path to peace exist, we are just wandering around confused, praying that something, anything will work.

One piece of yesterday's news that further adds to the confusion is the validity of the letter that we intercepted and proudly announced as proof of progress.

There do appear to be a couple of valid questions.

Since this is not an area where I have any real depth of understanding, I will leave it tot he experts to fight among themselves. So we are left deeper in confusion, and the fighting continues, and the bleeding continues, and the spending continues, and there is no end in sight.

Republican Culture of Corruption - The Media

It appears that one of Bush paid Goebbels may be facing some trouble.

The hiring of Armtrong Williams by the Education Department is now being looked into by the U.S. attorney's office.

The Government Accountability Office has concluded that the Education Department engaged in illegal ``covert propaganda'' by hiring Williams to promote the No Child Left Behind Act without requiring him to disclose that he was being paid. The Education Department's inspector general has also reviewed the Williams deal, which was part of a broader contract that the education agency had with Ketchum, a public relations firm.

Now the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia is investigating whether Williams accepted public money without performing his required duties, said Dan Katz, chief counsel for Lautenberg. The attorney's office has a range of potential remedies, from suing to recover the money to possible criminal charges, Katz said.

Friday, October 14, 2005

I am an Animal?

Excuse me I am Animal.

You are like Animal

A Crazy, unpredictable, rambling fool who thrives on parties, perversions, caffine and sugar. A welcome guest at any party but not marriage material.

Which sorry excuse of a Muppet are you?

hat tip to the Green Knight

A Collection of Interesting Reading

At American Entrophy takes a look at a Bush Teleconference (propaganda Event) and the resulting tapdance poor ol scottie was forced to do. For those with Broad Band, crooks and liars has the video.

Army accounting is the focus of the Washington Post, and it is clear that the army if full of compassionate conservatives.

At Fr. Jake, a look at the homophobic nature of the church.

The Rev. Dobson's backtracking, and how it isn't applicable is noted at Outside the Tent.

Over at J.A.B.B.S, they point out the gross hypocrisy of some. Brilliant at Breakfast has a slightly different twist to the Same Topic

How do you judge success? Sisyphus Shrugged point to what may be a flaw in Gen. Abizaid system.

Republican Culture of Corruption - Tom DeLay

More worries for Tom, Travis County prosecutors have subpoened his and his daughters home and work phone records.

Travis County prosecutors want to know how U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, purchased a 2004 Toyota Sienna minivan, subpoenaing all records surrounding the transaction, as well as telephone records from DeLay, his campaign and his daughter.

Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle subpoenaed records from Toyota Motor Credit Corp., including purchase agreements, credit documents, receipts, copies of checks and any information on a possible trade-in and down payment.

It sounds like they may be looking at personal use of contributions.

UPDATE - More Corruption

Karl Rove makes his fourth trip to the grand jury.

Bird Flu Marches On

Heath officials are now confirming that nine people in Turkey have been tested for the Bird Flu.

it has bee reported that nine people in Turkey have been tested for the disease.

They had been in contact with pigeons which died. An official was quoted as saying the risk of a positive result was small

It comes a day after officials confirmed that an outbreak in Turkey was caused by the H5N1 virus which is potentially fatal to humans.

There is suspicion that Bird Flu may have also entered Romania and Bulgaria.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Sunnis are Fighting For Inclusion

While most of the Shiite are quite happy to peacefully await the creation of a new government, and the US departure.

Since sweeping to power 8 1/2 months ago in the first elections since Hussein's fall, Iraq's long-persecuted Shiite majority has proved all but unstoppable in its quest to remake the country its way. Few places have profited from the ascendancy as much as Najaf, a city of 500,000 awash in reconstruction projects and only intermittently plagued by insurgent attacks. When the country votes again Saturday, this time on whether to approve a draft constitution mostly written by Shiite leaders, Najafis are expected to endorse it overwhelmingly.

They appear to have learned some of the lessons of the past and are waiting for their ascendancy to be delivered. This doesn't mean that the Shiites will stand together forever.

Once the Sunni threat is removed, the divisions that exist in the Shiite block will manifest themselves.

Hakim and the Supreme Council continue to push for a separate Shiite-majority state, arguing that Iraq's national leadership has a long history of mistreating Shiites. "Shiites suffered and were insulted by the central government for many years, and this is a form of protection," said Anwar Shimirti, a top Supreme Council official in Najaf.

Sadr's more populist following, drawn mostly from Shiite slums in Iraq's largest cities, contends that such a proposal undermines national unity. Sahib Amiri, who heads a branch of Sadr's organization, said that even though his movement could benefit from the formation of a federal state, it rejected the notion on principle.

Some factions want an independent state, some want a religious state, some want close ties to Iraq, some want a whole Iraq. Once the concern about the sunni population passes, expect the various divisions in the shiite block to start to push themselves forward.

And most of these groups also have their own private armies.

At least by the time Iraq gets to this point, if it ever does, we should be out of Iraq.


Robert Fisk, Middle East correspondent for The Independent also gives his current impression of Iraq;

Most of Iraq is in a state of anarchy, with insurgents controlling parts of Baghdad just half a mile from the so-called Green Zone,

Bush Down in the Nixon and Carter Numbers

The latest NBC, Wall Street Journal poll is another nasty one for Bush.

For the first time in the poll, Bush's approval rating has sunk below 40 percent, while the percentage believing the country is heading in the right direction has dipped below 30 percent. In addition, a sizable plurality prefers a Democratic-controlled Congress, and just 29 percent think Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers is qualified to serve on the nation's highest court.

It makes the Gallop Poll numbers from a couple of weeks ago look very curiousus.

The SEC Wants a Little Chat With Bill

Senator Bill Frist has been ordered to turn over personal documents related to his very well times selling off of HCA stock.

People close to the inquiry said Mr. Frist, the Tennessee Republican who is Senate majority leader, was recently served with a commission subpoena for documents, which was believed to be the first such request of him. The sources, who asked to remain unidentified because of the confidential nature of the investigation, would not characterize the substantive nature of the documents being sought.

In a statement, Bob Stevenson, the spokesman for Mr. Frist, did not directly address the existence of the subpoena but said the senator had been "fully cooperating with the authorities conducting the inquiries and will continue to do so, including keeping our public comments to a minimum."

Of course you will be keeping our public comments to a minimum, who the heck wants to talk about their own criminal activity.

The Republican Culture of Corruption, alive and well in DC.

'Character' Vanishes From Public Discourse

This was a cornerstone of the republicans in 2000, returning 'character' to the White House. Robert Steinback would like to know why isn't character on the table this time?

Just a few bits from his op-ed.

Character, we were all so piously told seven years ago, was what elevated Bill Clinton's lie about an extramarital dalliance to an issue of national gravity and justified his impeachment.


isn't it curious how in the public discourse today one rarely hears references to character as a material issue with respect to political leadership? If an extramarital affair was proof of a vacant character, wouldn't questionable actions that actually affect people -- soldiers, covert agents, Congress, storm victims and the like -- be exponentially more serious?

Apparently not. The word from the character crowd today is that we mustn't involve ourselves in the ''blame game.'' We're told that we must wait until people are actually found guilty at trial before we dare venture an opinion on whether their actions were unseemly.


We're told not to question the character of the man who assured us that anyone found to be involved in the matter would no longer be part of the administration -- yet has fired no one.


We're told that intentional efforts to manipulate public opinion with undisclosed payments to talk show hosts, a White House-planted phony reporter (who ran a gay escort service on the side; what would the Clintonphobes have made of that seven years ago?) and actors posing as genuine TV news reporters in what amounted to taxpayer-supported propaganda pieces -- deeds the General Accountability Office has called out-and-out illegal -- was just a little enthusiastic advocacy.

We're told that hiring incompetent cronies to run an agency charged with preparing for and responding to disasters -- well, no one has tried to defend that one, though the usual suspects have tried mightily to shift the blame.

We're told that there's nothing odd about the president nominating yet another close crony -- his own counsel -- to the Supreme Court, and then calling her the most qualified candidate for the position.

We hear excuses for a top party figure who thinks black babies are criminally inclined at the moment of birth, and mostly silence regarding an influential party supporter who openly advocates assassinating a democratically elected foreign leader.

We're told that profoundly misleading statements by leaders we implicitly trust and that caused Congress and the nation to support the invasion of another country, shouldn't be considered lies because, well, they haven't admitted they were lies. We're told it's immaterial that but for those inaccurate statements, the public, and possibly even Congress, might not have supported the war campaign.


none of this has stirred the old ''character'' crowd to comment. Character, as I understood its usage seven years ago, referred to those qualities that went beyond minimum expectations


Evidently, character is only an issue when the other side's is in question. Is hypocrisy also an element of character?

My current theory is that we just misunderstood what the republicans were saying. They didn't want 'character' in the white house, they wanted to put 'a character' in the White House. On the other hand, Bark Bark Woof Woof this it is just that the IOKIYAR Rule applies.