Playing with fire, aren't you, Colin?
From My Lai to Panama to two brutal attacks on Iraq, with Afghanistan and Haiti thrown in, Powell is one of the world's most experienced war criminals.
A senior leader of Al Qaeda who was captured in Pakistan several months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks was the main source for intelligence, since discredited, that Iraq had provided training in chemical and biological weapons to members of the organization, according to American intelligence officials."New" questions? Assuming Libi actually was an al Qaeda agent, wouldn't any intelligence officer take anything he said to be highly dubious? If his will hasn't been broken by torture or "abuse," what he says would likely still be calculated to further al Qaeda's causes. If he was broken, his statements would most likely be whatever he thought his interrogators wanted to hear. My guess would be that the proper assumption to make with statements made by such prisoners would be that everything they say is false, or at best worthless, until it has been corroborated by several other sources. Even then you would have to consider whether the sources may have agreed on a story. Of course, to use logic like this you can't be a bloodthirsty ghoul like Cheney or an idiot like Bush.
Intelligence officials say the detainee, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, a member of Osama bin Laden's inner circle, recanted the claims sometime last year, but not before they had become the basis of statements by President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and others about links between Iraq and Al Qaeda that involved poisons, gases and other illicit weapons.
Mr. Libi, who was captured in Pakistan in December 2001, is still being held by the Central Intelligence Agency at a secret interrogation center, and American officials say his now-recanted claims raise new questions about the value of the information obtained from such detainees.
Intelligence officials declined to say precisely when Mr. Libi changed his account, and they cautioned that they still did not know for sure which account was correct. They said they would not speculate as to whether he might have been seeking to deceive his interrogators or to please them by telling them what he thought they wanted to hear.Given aWol's public belligerence against Iraq, starting with the "axis of evil" speech in early 2002, Libi would have realized that there was no conflict between deceiving his interrogators (or at least their bosses) and telling them what they wanted to hear. Since both the US and Saddam were enemies of al Qaeda, deceiving the interrogators by telling them what they wanted to hear--that is, that Iraq had supported al Qaeda--was both the smartest and simplest thing Libi could have done. Not only did he possibly make things better for himself, at least temporarily, but he furthered al Qaeda's cause. Saddam is out of power, and the US is bogged down in a bloody and pointless occupation which has earned it the hatred of almost the entire Muslim world.
Bill Clinton got 43.9% of the vote in 1992, while Michael Dukakis - the victim of another myth as the purportedly worst possible sort of candidate - got 45%. True, Clinton was up against Ross Perot who got 19% as well as Bush, but Clinton might well have lost were it not for Perot, in which case he would have joined Michael Dukakis in the hall of shame.
Clinton won a majority in only two state-like entities: Arkansas and DC. In only 12 other states was he able to get ever 45%. Dukakis, meanwhile, got over 50% in 11 states and got over 45% in 12 others.
Here's what happened to the Democrats under Clinton, based on our latest figures:
GOP seats gained in House after Clinton became president: 48
GOP seats gained in Senate after Clinton became president: 8
GOP governorships gained after Clinton became president: 11
GOP state legislative seats gained since Clinton became president: 1,254 as of 1998
State legislatures taken over by GOP after Clinton became president: 9
Democrat officeholders who have become Republicans since Clinton became president: 439 as of 1998 Republican officeholders who became Democrats: 3
The White House projected Friday that this year's deficit will hit a record $445 billion, further fueling a campaign-season dispute over President Bush's handling of the economy.So they planned ahead and predicted the deficit would be even larger, and now the largest deficit in history is a "political plus." Of course, the $445 billion itself is just a projection, and probably a substantially fudged one at that.
The figure easily surpassed last year's $375 billion, making it the largest-ever in dollar terms. That gave ammunition to Democrats who say Bush's tax cuts and failure to prevent a loss of jobs during his term have worsened the outlook for the budget and the economy.
But in a political plus for Republicans, the new projection was also an improvement over forecasters' expectations of earlier this year. In February, the administration projected a $521 billion shortfall for 2004, while the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated a month earlier that the deficit would be $477 billion.
The protest, in which some 1,100 veterans participated, took place the week of April 20 in Washington. Kerry, as a representative of the group, testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 22, 1971.How depressing. Soldiers like Kerry did help in the turning. And politicians like Kerry have helped in the turning back.
There he reported on the findings of a recent VVAW conference on war atrocities. In one of the most oft-quoted sections of his remarks, Kerry told the Senate committee: "They [Vietnam veterans] told the stories of times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam, in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country."
Kerry continued: "We rationalized destroying villages in order to save them. We saw America lose her sense of morality as she accepted very coolly a My Lai and refused to give up the image of American soldiers who hand out chocolate bars and chewing gum. We learned the meaning of free fire zones, shooting anything that moves, and we watched while America placed a cheapness on the lives of Orientals."
In concluding his remarks, Kerry declared: "We wish that a merciful God could wipe away our own memories of that service as easily as this administration has wiped their memories of us. But all that they have done and all that they can do by this denial is to make more clear than ever our own determination to undertake one last mission, to search out and destroy the last vestige of this barbaric war, to pacify our own hearts, to conquer the hate and the fear that have driven this country these last 10 years and more, and so when, in 30 years from now, our brothers go down the street without a leg, without an arm, or a face, and small boys ask why, we will be able to say 'Vietnam' and not mean a desert, not a filthy obscene memory, but mean instead the place where America finally turned and where soldiers like us helped it in the turning."
More than 20 British tourists are now "safe and well" after being held hostage in a village in northern India, the Foreign Office said today.Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but could it be a hint that people around the world are starting to think that they can expect nothing from their governments, that direct action against imperial interests is their only way to make a statement?
They were among a group of 37 people travelling in two buses that were stopped last night near Santoshgarh, in Una district. Local people seized the group in protest at the kidnapping of three Indian truck drivers in Iraq.
P.S.: Another story you may not see on TV: Jeb Bush insists that electronic voting machines are perfectly reliable, but The St. Petersburg Times says the Republican Party of Florida has sent out a flier urging supporters to use absentee ballots because the machines lack a paper trail and cannot "verify your vote."
P.P.S.: Three weeks ago, The New Republic reported that the Bush administration was pressuring Pakistan to announce a major terrorist capture during the Democratic convention. Hours before Mr. Kerry's acceptance speech, Pakistan announced, several days after the fact, that it had apprehended an important Al Qaeda operative.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A campaign worker for President Bush (news - web sites) said on Thursday American workers unhappy with low-quality jobs should find new ones -- or pop a Prozac to make themselves feel better.Compassionate Conservatism at its finest.
"Why don't they get new jobs if they're unhappy -- or go on Prozac?" said Susan Sheybani, an assistant to Bush campaign spokesman Terry Holt.
Mischer's stage instructions were available to all major media -- for their guidance, not for broadcast. CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer apologized to the audience "if you heard a bad word."An old habit dating back to Gulf War I, I guess--when I want to watch a news event I turn on CNN. But jeez, they are awful!! They've got that stupid crawl going along the bottom all the time, and Wolf, Judy and Jeff seemed to be in serious competition as to who could make the most inane and trivial comments. Never a word about whether something a speaker said was accurate--only crap about how the message would play to certain voters, and even dumber stuff than that. And it's hard to imagine anything they could have done to pop Kerry's balloon, so to speak, than to put the Cheney-esque balloon guy on open mike for several minutes right after the speech.
I know what we have to do in Iraq. We need a president who has the credibility to bring our allies to our side and share the burden, reduce the cost to American taxpayers, and reduce the risk to American soldiers. That's the right way to get the job done and bring our troops home.No. Having kids from Leipzig and Marseilles and Cairo getting killed to save the lives of kids from Lansing and Memphis and Compton, using yen and euros instead of dollars, is not how you correct something that was both a terrible crime and a mistake. Expecting the French to go along just because you drink their wine instead of pouring it down the drain, and because you speak two languages instead of none, seems naive. Our "allies" knew that the war was a terrible idea, and neither Bush nor Kerry listened to them. Kerry mentioned several times about not sending troops to war unless it was absolutely necessary. I just can't see how that reconciles with his October 2002 vote to give an idiot clearly intent on starting a war the authorization to do so.
Yesterday, my buddy Michael Moore and I held a press conference in Boston. Some joker of a reporter asked Mr. Fahrenheit about Kerry's gung-ho keep'm-in-Baghdad position. Michael fudged and fidgeted. I felt bad for him as he faked the answer, "President Kerry would not have sent us to war." But as Senator, Kerry did.
I've got an easier job than Michael: as a journalist I don't have to defend any candidate. Nevertheless, I know that my Democratic Party friends will want to ship me to Guantanamo for asking, "You believe in Kerry, but does he believe in you?"
Remember, comrades, I'm only asking questions, here. I'm sorry if the answers make you uncomfortable about your favorite rich guy.
I know what you're going to say. "Isn't Bush worse?"
By a long shot. But asking if Kerry is as bad as Bush is like asking if a slap in the face is as painful as a brick to the skull.
But don't you get tired of being slapped around by privileged politicos on hypocrisy hyper-drive -- then having to applaud? It can't be pleasant, no matter how many pretty balloons they drop on your head.
A British parliamentary committee has warned that Afghanistan is likely to "implode, with terrible consequences" unless more troops and resources are sent to calm the country.Medecines Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) decided to pull out of Quagmiristan yesterday. I saw several blog comments suggesting that MSF is usually the first NGO in and the last one out; when they leave things are already several levels below sucking horribly.
The all-party Foreign Affairs Select Committee, in a report released Thursday, said warlord violence and the struggle between U.S.-led troops and insurgents continues to be a threat to security in Afghanistan.
The wide-ranging report on the war against terrorism also said raised concerns over the failure of the UK government and its allies to limit the production of opium in Afghanistan.
In his speech at the Democratic convention, Jimmy Carter noted how the Bush administration had willfully generated public panic over terrorism. Statistics show that, last year, acts of terrorism killed 300 to 400 people, ranking it so far down the list of dangers to livelihood that it is barely visible. The threat of terrorism certainly shouldn't be minimized; but it also shouldn't be exaggerated by a cowed media to fit the White House agenda. For anyone who looks at some of history's worst threats -- the German military machine that killed tens of millions, the Soviet Union with a nuclear arsenal that could have turned this continent into rubble -- the terrorism of today, though George Bush has seeded so much more of it in Iraq, isn't anywhere close.Of course, the Democrats have had plenty of free air time this week to bring some perspective to this issue, but did they? From their platform:
But how often does the media carry this context? The toll from weapons of mass destruction, which played no part in 9/11, has been trifling over the past decade, but the White House, playing the media as puppets, has made WMD a momentous issue of our times.
If it weren't so politically useful to Mr. Bush -- check the midterm elections -- and media buttons weren't so easy to push, it's safe a bet that the terrorism threat wouldn't get half the air time.
Today, we face three great challenges above all others – first, to win the global war against terror; second, to stop the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons; and third, to promote democracy and freedom around the world, starting with a peaceful and stable Iraq.Of course, John Edwards maintained perspective last night:
And we will have one clear unmistakable message for al Qaida and the rest of these terrorists. You cannot run. You cannot hide. And we will destroy you.More people die on our highways in an average month than have died in all terror attacks in the U.S. in the past 12 years? (Over 3400 on the highways each month, compared with slightly under 3000 on 9/11, 159? in Oklahoma City, 6 in the first WTC bombing, a few others here and there.) Way more American soldiers have been killed in the past year in Iraq than by terrorist attacks on Americans in any year except 2001.
Caracas, Venezuela, July 27 (Venezuelanalysis.com).- A new poll of Venezuelan voters finds that, if the election were held today, the recall referendum on President Hugo Chavez would fail.And even if a plurality or even a majority of voters vote to recall Chavez, they would still have to exceed the 3.76 million votes by which he was elected for him to actually be recalled, according to the Bolivarian Constitution of 1999.
The survey shows the referendum losing by eight percentage points, with forty one percent (41%) of all voters in favor of recalling President Chavez and forty nine percent (49%) opposed to recalling the President.
Among likely voters -- those who tell interviewers that they are certain to vote -- the prospects for recall proponents are even worse, with forty three percent (43%) favoring the recall and fifty one percent (51%) opposing it. Even if the pro-recall base turned out ten percent higher than the anti-recall base, the no vote would still prevail with fifty one percent (51%) of the vote.
hen he accepts the Democratic presidential nomination tonight, John Kerry needs to give the nation a clearer idea of how his choices would have differed from President Bush's - particularly when it comes to the war in Iraq. The nation deserves to be told whether Mr. Kerry would have voted to authorize the invasion if he had known that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction.Back in February, former weapons inspector Scott Ritter also demanded answers of Kerry:
Mr. Kerry, as the world already knows, is not a black-and-white kind of thinker, especially when it comes to foreign policy. That's good - it should give voters a real sense of choice this fall, given George Bush's tendency to view the world in absolutes. But it's not an excuse for fudging every issue. Mr. Kerry's history on the critical Iraq question has been impossibly opaque.
Bush still insists that he was right to invade. He says the war was justified because of Mr. Hussein's military ambitions and because Iraq is better off without him.
Voters need to know whether Mr. Kerry agrees.
Two years later, in the buildup toward war that took place in the summer of 2002, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on which Kerry sits, convened a hearing on Iraq. At that hearing a parade of witnesses appeared, testifying to the existence of WMD in Iraq. Featured prominently was Khidir Hamza, the self-proclaimed "bombmaker to Saddam," who gave stirring first-hand testimony to the existence of not only nuclear weapons capability, but also chemical and biological weapons as well. Every word of Hamza's testimony has since been proved false. Despite receiving thousands of phone calls, letters and e-mails demanding that dissenting expert opinion, including my own, be aired at the hearing, Sen. Kerry apparently did nothing, allowing a sham hearing to conclude with the finding that there was "no doubt" Saddam Hussein had WMD.He hasn't done so so far, in my opinion.
Sen. Kerry followed up this performance in October 2002 by voting for the war in Iraq. Today he justifies that vote by noting that he only approved the "threat of war," and that the blame for Iraq rests with President George W. Bush, who failed to assemble adequate international support for the war. But this explanation rings hollow in the face of David Kay's findings that there are no WMD in Iraq. With the stated casus belli shown to be false, John Kerry needs to better explain his role not only in propelling our nation into a war that is rapidly devolving into a quagmire, but more importantly, his perpetuation of the falsehoods that got us there to begin with.
President Bush should rightly be held accountable for what increasingly appears to be deliberately misleading statements made by him and members of his administration regarding the threat posed by Iraq's WMD. If such deception took place, then Bush no longer deserves the trust and confidence of the American people.
But John Kerry seems to share in this culpability, and if he wants to be the next president of the United States, he must first convince the American people that his actions somehow differ from those of the man he seeks to replace.
"Cheney said terrorists are as determined to destroy America as the 'Axis powers' of Germany, Italy and Japan during World War II."Juan goes on to point out how Cheney and Bush have been uniters, not dividers--Muslims in the Middle East now almost uniformly hate us. (Of course John Edwards' "We will destroy you" will be sure to calm their feelings.)
Although it may be true that al-Qaeda is as determined to destroy the US as the Axis Powers were in World War II, this observation is a Himalayan exaggeration if it is meant to suggest a parallel. Al-Qaeda is a few thousand fanatics mainly distributed in a handful of countries. If Zacharias Moussaoui and Richard Reid are any indication, a lot of them are one step away from from collecting old soda cans on the street in their grocery carts while mumbling about the radios the government implanted in their asses.
So while their determination may be impressive (or just creepy), they are not comparable to the might of three industrialized dictatorships with populations in the tens of millions. Some 13 million men served in the German army (Heer) alone between 1935 and 1945. (And WW II killed 55 million persons, not 3 thousand).
Cheney is lying again. Iraq is obviously a much greater priority for him than is fighting al-Qaeda. All the country's military resources are being sunk into Iraq. Silly decisions are made on macho grounds like deciding to besiege Fallujah or arrest Muqtada al-Sadr (from both endeavors Cheney had to slink away with his tail between his legs, because political considerations got in the way of mere application of massive force).
Why is Iraq a bigger priority for Cheney than is fighting al-Qaeda? Because there are corporate profits to be made in Iraq. There are virtually none in Afghanistan or the Pakistani tribal regions. Cheney wants to crucify the Bill of Rights on the cross of "national security," but has avoided doing the one thing that would make us both free and safe. That is developing a serious counter-insurgency plan for the Middle East that wins hearts and minds and deals effectively with asymmetrical threats. All his emphasis has been on dealing with governments, like that of Iraq, which can be defeated militarily, and the defeat of which unlocks national resources for American companies to exploit. The problem is that those governments do not pose a threat to the US mainland. To the extent that there is a threat, it comes from a shadowy network of radical Islamist guerrillas. Cheney is doing virtually nothing about them.
On Flashpoints tonight, ubiquitous activist Medea Benjamin recounts the story of how she pulled out an antiwar banner while Teresa Heinz Kerry was on the podium saying:Isn't it awful that the Repugs actually have candidates that are WORSE than Kerry and Edwards?
"And that is why as president my husband will not fear disagreement or dissent. He believes that our voices -- yours and mine -- must be the voices of freedom. And if we do not speak, neither does she.
"In America the true patriots are those who dare speak truth through power."
To which Benjamin called out, "When will he bring the troops home?" and was then immediately surrounded by police (police! not security guards employed by the Democrats, police!), pulled off the floor of the convention (for which she had a valid pass), and was interrogated by police and Secret Service agents for a half an hour.
Analysts said the proposal has little chance of success given that Arab and Muslim leaders, facing public opposition over pro-U.S. policies, have declined so far fearing unrest and that their troops would be dragged into Iraq's quagmire.Reuters, while not mentioning any unmentionable motives for last year's invasion (oil, imperialism), no longer gives credence to any good motives (eliminate WMD's, humanitarian concerns), and blandly points out the lack of planning on the part of the Bushies. From the article:
The United States invaded Iraq last year to topple former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and it now has about 140,000 troops battling a deadly insurgency it did not anticipate.On a brighter note, postal service in Iraq is apparently improving. Good thing there wasn't any anthrax there, huh?
Conservatives, believers in a world of danger and weakness, must have experienced first hand, through their senses and bodies, violence, the threat of violence, abuse, neglect, repression, deprivation, uncertainty, morally atrocity, and/or moral 'failure'. We learn from what we see and what we are shown, not what we're told, which would explain why children of conservatives who live very comfortable lives tend to be more liberal, why children who are abused tend to be both conservative and abusive, and why liberals, as they get older and experience more violence, tend to get more conservative. It would also explain why liberalism peaked in the late 1960s, a time of unprecedented comfort and peace (so that, unlike the Iraq War, most saw the Vietnam War for what it was -- ideological aggression -- not for what the conservative government portrayed it as -- protection). By contrast, conservatism has peaked in depression, wartime and post-war times, when there is more physical evidence of violence, deprivation, danger and the other factors that promote a conservative worldview.I say it reminds me of what the Democrats were saying because they all seemed to mention something about the triumph of hope over fear, while at the same time trying to out-Bush Bush in scaring us about terrorism. Pollard goes on to explain that the "war on terrorism" is really a war between conservatives:
What is particularly surprising to me is that the conservatives who are trying to make the world 'safe from terrorism' don't realize that terrorism is, in most forms, an innately (if extreme) conservative act. Bush can bluster about terrorists "hating freedom" and "being evil" but the truth is that most terrorists are not anarchists who blow things up for a lark out of self-indulgence, but rather devout, conservative fanatics who are acting out of moral outrage against what they see as evil, and who kill others as acts of retribution that they see as profoundly moral. Very much as the American neocons saw their hysterical and immensely-costly destruction of two Arab nations as profoundly moral acts of retribution for 9/11. In this sense, conservatism is self-perpetuating and self-reinforcing, and what we have seen in the last three years is different sects of aggrieved conservatives attacking each other with increasing savagery and calling each other 'evil', while we liberals sit on the sidelines saying 'huh?'Pollard concludes:
But my view of all this is, of course, a liberal one. Both the American neocons and the Arab fundamentalists would be outraged by the above paragraph, because their bodies and their personal experiences have taught them to know who is moral and who is evil, and to them, liberals just don't get it and are therefore morally weak and 'evil' as well. If you're not on the side of America/Allah/God/Whoever, you're on the side of terrorism/our enemy/Satan/evil. If you aren't part of the solution, you're part of the problem.
I could be a pessimist and confess that the conservatives are bound to win, because as the world gets more crowded and hence more violent, dangerous and filled with catastrophe this will breed more conservatives (and because conservatives are now breeding, on average, much larger families than liberals). But as a liberal, I can't be too pessimistic. As a liberal I believe that all humans are born and remain inherently 'good', or at least start out undamaged. We are all born liberals. We have to be trained to be conservatives.
The great rule of this convention is that nobody should say anything to upset the swing voters. The environmentalists have refrained from complaining that their party platform contains an ode to Americans' God-given right to own S.U.V.'s. Discussions of foreign affairs are so heavy on talk about working with people of other lands that you expect the Fleet Center to burst into "It's a Small World After All.'' More unpleasant topics, like Americans torturing Iraqi prisoners or nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, get shorter shrift. The Kerry people have spread the word that negativism is out.That's MY congressman, readers! Read it and be jealous. On the other hand, doesn't that make ME pretty irrelevant? On most things I don't even want to change Dingell's positions--he voted against the Patriot Act and the Iraq war. On the things I disagree with--his undying support for the auto companies, especially--I have no chance of swaying him. Dingell has been in Congress WAY longer than Bush has been sober, and the Big Three have had a lot to do with that.
It would have been interesting to report on a convention in which a party preparing to run against an incumbent administration actually limited itself to positive comments. The prime-time speakers would have wound up doing charades. The organizers have had enormous success in emptying out Boston's normal population. Take away the Democrats' right to talk trash about the Bush-Cheney ticket and the place would resemble the silent morning-after scene in one of those zombie movies.
Fortunately, not everybody is paying attention. "This is America versus the panderers. This is America versus the rascals," said Representative John Dingell at the environment rally. Mr. Dingell even failed to say that this was the most important election in his lifetime, settling for an announcement that "I've had three and a half years of these scoundrels and it's all of them I can take."
We are stuck with a federal election system designed by people who did not want to leave the future of slavery to majority rule, and the modern technology of polling allows candidates to pinpoint the swing voters in the swing states - star pupils in the Electoral College.
To make things still weirder, the parties organize their primaries so that the nominees are chosen by only a few lucky states. Democratic voters in early primary states selected John Kerry as the presidential nominee because they thought he would appeal to people in places like Florida. But something happened in the long months between the Iowa caucus and the Boston convention. Despite the fact that Mr. Kerry's great selling point was being a winner, the Democrats now regard him as, at best, a non-loser who can, with great effort, possibly be dragged across the finish line ahead of the other guy. If everybody is very careful not to tick off the six people in Ohio and Pennsylvania [who Dems seem to believe will decide the election].
They have a saying in Baghdad these days about their new American-delivered freedom: the terrorists are free to kill us, and we are free to stay in our homes.
A car bomb exploded in a town north of Baghdad today, killing at least 51 people, according to the health ministry, in the worst such attack in Iraq since the United States-led coalition handed over formal sovereignty to the Iraqi government.Lives continue to be lost in service of a lie. The lie is no longer the one about Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction; that one was totally exposed about a year ago. If that was why we went, then we should have pulled out immediately, leaving huge apologies and billions of dollars in reparation money behind, and the killing would have subsided. The lie that people are dying for now is the one that the invasion was about democracy. US troops continue to battle "insurgents" in the streets, bomb "safe houses" in Fallujah (an oxymoron if ever there was one), and try to recruit Iraqis as soldiers and cops in service to Allawi's corrupt puppet regime.
The Iraqi health ministry also said that 40 people were wounded and the death toll could rise. A statement from the United States military said the attack took place at a commercial district in the town of Baquba.
The attacker drove a car packed with explosives up to a crowd of people who had gathered outside of a police recruiting center and detonated it, said Gen Walid al-Azawi, chief of police in Diyala Province, according to The Associated Press.
Also in Iraq, 35 fighters, described by the military as "anti-Iraqi" fighters, were killed in a battle with American-led troops and Iraqi government forces. Seven Iraqi Force members were killed and 10 were injured during the operation in Suwayrah, the American military said in a statement.
HAVANA (Reuters) - Drilling of an exploratory well in Cuba's virgin Gulf of Mexico waters that could make the Communist nation an oil exporter and undermine the U.S. embargo has been completed, a senior official said.Expect the anti-Castro rhetoric to go into overdrive now--from both Bush and Kerry.
We head back to the Fleet Center and as we are getting out of the Town Car, Bill O'Reilly is across the street getting out of his limo. "Hey Moore, when ya gonna come on my show?" he shouts. Michael responds, "When you see the rest of my movie." (O'Reilly walked out of the premiere halfway through.) He claims to have gone back and seen the whole thing, but when pressed for specifics, hems and haws. Nonetheless, Michael takes him at his word and they stand there out on the street negotiating the terms of the appearance as various Guardsmen and law enforcement types gawk and snap photos. They finally settle on a format: they will take turns asking each other questions. O'Reilly agrees not to edit the segment, and to explain in the intro that Michael has only been boycotting him because he walked out of the premiere. (It should air tonight. We'll see if he keeps the last part of that promise.)
I hate to make jokes about this, because Kurds have had, to put it mildly, a hard time of it. But...
HOW MANY TIMES DO WE HAVE TO BETRAY THE KURDS BEFORE THEY GET IT?
By my count, we're now working on our sixth betrayal of the Kurds since World War I. Yet they keep coming back for more. The Kurds have really become the Charlie Brown of international relations, always believing that Lucy, in the form of the US, is finally going to let them kick the football.
"Our dominant international challenge is to restore the greatness of America -- based on telling the truth, a commitment to peace, and respect for civil liberties at home and basic human rights around the world," Carter said.Before the Clintons spoke, CNN reminded me why I almost never watch CNN. Wolf Blitzer, Judy Woodruff and Jeff Greenfield (?) had a ridiculous discussion about whether Kerry being photographed in a clean-room outfit at Cape Canaveral was his Dukakis moment. The level of stupidity was just astounding.
Carter said the primary issue in November is whether "America will provide global leadership that springs from unity and integrity" at home, "or whether extremist doctrines and manipulation of the truth will define America's role in the world."
Carter said at stake in the election "is nothing less than our nation's soul."
Venezuelan opposition leader, and two time president Carlos Andres Perez (CAP), made a series of statements calling for violence and hinting at an eventual dictatorial period that the Venezuelan opposition must implement if current President Hugo Chavez is to be removed from office.--Venezuelanalysis
"I am working to remove Chavez [from power]. Violence will allow us to remove him. That's the only way we have," said CAP in an interview published Sunday in El Nacional, one of Venezuela's main daily newspapers.
CAP, who was speaking from Miami, denied being involved in a plot to assassinate Chávez, but said Chavez "must die like a dog, because he deserves it."
An attention-craving vulgarian and a sensitive institution have given the amusingly notorious F-word remarkable attention locally. My position on the F-word is tolerantly neutral while favoring the view that real pain comes from sticks and stones, not words. I can respect the little obscenity's fight over centuries to get in dictionaries and out of public speech. In the Navy, I had a wartime captain who used a version of the F-word to modify practically every noun he spoke. He was a terrific skipper. My personal stand is that the word is harmless and also that it is adolescently boorish, bullying and exhibitionist to use it publicly where it isn't wanted.
This brouhaha has reminded me of two F-words that do great harm and matter much more than the tiny outlawed verb. Fascism as a description of anti-democratic, totalitarian brutality is the F-word that still merits maximum opprobrium and relentless resistance.
The other F-word, fool, which snugly fits so many who can't question authority or face the truth, may do even more damage at voting booths and elsewhere.
These F-words I fear fit many contemporary Americans. Fascist or fool will apply to those in the coming election who vote to let an illegal president installed by a right-wing cabal continue in office to abuse power and insult good sense. Let's avoid those F-words, restore the nation's sanity with a regime change, and reconnoiter again with a nice little F-word, fun.
Roy E. Meador, Ann Arbor
The Democratic National Convention, which opened Monday in Boston, is the culmination of a drive by the most powerful forces in the Democratic Party, the media and the US ruling elite as whole to banish from the November presidential election any debate on the most critical issue facing the American people—the war in Iraq.
The impending coronation of Massachusetts Senator John Kerry as the Democratic presidential candidate is the result of a concerted effort during the Democratic primaries to undermine the campaign of then-front-runner Howard Dean, whose bid to win the nomination became a rallying point for mass antiwar sentiment among Democratic voters and in the population at large. The aim was to silence and suppress that sentiment.
This process of political disenfranchisement is to be completed with the official endorsement of Kerry and his running mate, North Carolina Senator John Edwards. Both are multimillionaire representatives of the US ruling elite. Both voted in October of 2002 for the congressional resolution authorizing Bush to attack Iraq, and both voted in favor of the Patriot Act. That measure, under the guise of fighting the so-called “war on terror,” gives the CIA, FBI and other police agencies unprecedented powers to spy on the American people and override constitutionally protected civil liberties.
The contempt of the party hierarchy for the sentiments of Democratic voters and the squelching of any democratic discussion were underscored by a New York Times/CBS News poll released on Sunday showing that nine out of ten of the convention delegates thought the United States should not have gone to war in Iraq.
In the run-up to the convention, Kerry has gone out of his way to stress his support for the occupation of Iraq and the crushing of the anti-US insurgency, mainly criticizing Bush for not deploying more troops and, in general, botching the colonial enterprise. He has repeatedly proclaimed his support for the “war on terror” and the doctrine of preemptive war, which is the centerpiece of the Bush administration’s policy of using military force to topple unwanted governments and seize the land and resources of foreign peoples.
The further turn to the right represented by the convention is underscored by cautions from Kerry and other Democratic officials against any outright political attacks on the Bush administration. “This is not going to be about attacking George Bush,” Terry McAuliffe, the national Democratic chairman, declared over the weekend.
What is planned is an orgy of flag-waving patriotism, in which Kerry’s Vietnam War record will take center stage. An unnamed “senior Democrat” told the New York Times, “You’re going to see more veterans, more patriotism, more talk about protecting our country. You’re going to think you’re looking at a Republican convention.”
The New York Times, in its convention-eve editorial, felt obliged to pose the question: what is the point of the whole affair? Acknowledging that the convention was a political coronation, that the Democratic platform refused to even take a position on the invasion of Iraq, and that no real debate would be permitted, the newspaper said it could not argue with the decision of the broadcast networks to limit prime-time coverage to one hour a night.
There is no longer any room within a capitalist system awash in insoluble contradictions for a party of social reform. Instead, the people are confronted with two right-wing parties which, no matter how sharp and even explosive the partisan conflicts, are united in their commitment to a strategy of US global hegemony abroad and social reaction at home.
State of siege
Perhaps the starkest manifestation of the underlying social and political crisis is the extraordinary and unprecedented security surrounding the Democratic convention. This event, supposedly a showcase of American democracy in action, is being held under conditions of a virtual state of siege. Entire sections of Boston have been closed down. Steel barriers have been erected. Ordinary people are being excluded from the convention’s environs. Thousands of police, security personnel and plainclothes federal agents have descended on the city. Police are randomly searching the belongings of people riding the subways.
Demonstrators are prohibited from assembling anywhere near the convention site. They are being herded into fenced-off, isolated “free speech zones”—an Orwellian term if ever there was one—where no one can hear what they have to say.
Meanwhile, behind the barricades and phalanxes of armed police, the politicians and corporate fat cats are indulging themselves in corporate-sponsored bashes.
The report found that there were 691,301 people in local and county jails and 1,387,269 in state and federal prisons last year, for a total of 2,078,570. That was an increase of 3.9 percent in the jail population and 2.3 percent in the prison population.That's 6.9 million, or 3.2 percent of the population. This is the system the Bushies thinks should be exported. Not only is it controlling these 6.9 million, but it serves as a reminder to the rest of us how easy it is for the cops to plant drugs in your car. Meanwhile, the real criminals like Bush and Cheney, responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands, not only go unpunished but are actually rewarded.
At the same time, the report said, there were 4,073,987 Americans on probation at the end of last year, an increase of 1.2 percent from the end of 2002, and 774,588 on parole, up 3.1 percent.
Regardless of the number of troops the United States puts on the ground or how long they stay there, Allawi's government is doomed to fail. The more it fails, the more it will have to rely on the United States to prop it up. The more the United States props up Allawi, the more discredited he will become in the eyes of the Iraqi people - all of which creates yet more opportunities for the Iraqi resistance to exploit.You know Bush won't listen to Ritter--by why won't Kerry? Not only would it be the right thing to do, it would be popular! Aren't there a lot of 18 to 20 year olds out there who might actually decide to vote if there was a candidate who might keep them from getting drafted?
We will suffer a decade-long nightmare that will lead to the deaths of thousands more Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqis. We will witness the creation of a viable and dangerous anti-American movement in Iraq that will one day watch as American troops unilaterally withdraw from Iraq every bit as ignominiously as Israel did from Lebanon.
The calculus is quite simple: the sooner we bring our forces home, the weaker this movement will be. And, of course, the obverse is true: the longer we stay, the stronger and more enduring this byproduct of Bush's elective war on Iraq will be.
There is no elegant solution to our Iraqi debacle. It is no longer a question of winning but rather of mitigating defeat.
If there are unanswered questions, Mr. Kean said, it is mostly because "the people who were at the heart of the plot are dead."--NY Times
Mr. Chávez's public pronouncements have done little to assuage industry concerns. He has railed against the Bush administration, accusing it of coveting Venezuela's resources, and in March he even threatened to withhold oil if the Bush administration tried an invasion.The gall of that man, suggesting that he might not sell oil to the country that's invading his! And the Times apparently considers an embargo to be a threat, while an invasion is just part of the natural order. And what could possibly be more important than assuaging industry concerns?
On July 12, 1979, while music was blaring at the legendary Studio 54 in New York City and “Saturday Night Fever” records were being played in homes across the country, another movement was taking place; thousands of people gathered on the South Side of Chicago chanting “Disco Sucks.” The night was orchestrated by then 24-year-old DJ Steve Dahl, and became known forever after as the Disco Demolition.Click here and you'll know--the REST of the story! (Actually, I kind of like disco, especially since I learned to dance the hustle a few years ago.)
What began as an effort to sell seats at a White Sox/Detroit Tigers double-header turned into a mass anti-disco movement that would later be credited as the official “day that disco died.” Fans were encouraged to show up with an admission of $0.98 and a disco record that would be blown up at center field between the games; chaos ensued when an estimated 90,000 baseball fans and listeners crammed the ballpark, the surrounding neighborhood streets and the Dan Ryan expressway, creating traffic jams for miles.
The U.S. government was ill-prepared to detect mistakes by al-Qaida plotters and stop the worst terror attacks in American history, the Sept. 11 commission said Wednesday in a final report that recommends sweeping overhaul of the nation's intelligence services to disrupt future attacks.Ummm--how about resigning?
Bush thanked them for a "really good job" and said the panel makes "very solid, sound recommendations about how to move forward."
"I assured them that where the government needs to act we will," Bush said.
Less than four months before the presidential election, the commission's work already has ignited partisan debate over whether Bush took sufficient steps to deal with terrorism in the first year of his administration. Republicans have argued that Bush had just eight months to deal with the terror threat while Clinton's administration had eight years.Have they argued that Clinton tried to deal with it, with some success, in those eight years, while the Bushies used their eight months to ignore the issue, cut the funding, and when the threat got really serious go on vacation?
Richard Clarke, former counterterrorism czar in the Clinton and Bush administrations and now an ABC consultant, said on the network's "Good Morning America" the commission avoided controversy. "To get unanimity they didn't talk about a number of things, like what effect is the war in Iraq having on our battle against terrorism. Did the president pay any attention to terrorism during the first nine months of his administration? The controversial things, the controversial criticisms of the Clinton administration as well as the Bush administration just aren't there."
"What they didn't do is say that the country is actually not safer now than it was then because of the rise in terrorism after our invasion in Iraq."
Let's see what we learned from Viet Nam. You fly a helicopter over a population that you abuse daily, you blow up their homes, you torture their fathers, violate their women, and destroy their economy. Guess what - they will shoot at you and try to kill you before you kill them.
Any questions? This post dedicated to CW2 Anthony DeSantis, helicopter pilot KIA 9/12/1969, Binh Dinh, RVN. Tony's dead - WHAT DID HE DIE FOR? Panel 18w, row 74. People who support this war are INSANE!
Despite the flimsiness of the charges against Berger and the obviously concocted character of the Republican-manufactured scandal, the Kerry campaign responded within hours with capitulation. Kerry campaign spokesman Phil Singer rejected Republican charges that Berger had provided the campaign with unauthorized classified information, calling this "a partisan attempt to divert attention away from the 9/11 commission report." But in less than a day, Berger resigned "voluntarily" as the campaign’s principal national security consultant, and Kerry issued a perfunctory statement accepting his resignation "until this matter is resolved objectively and fairly."
This speedy surrender to a right-wing provocation underscores a central political fact about the Kerry campaign. The Democrats fight ferociously to suppress any challenge from the left—witness their shamelessly antidemocratic attacks on the Ralph Nader presidential campaign, on Socialist Equality Party candidate Tom Mackaman in Illinois, and on Green Party candidates in many states. But they are prostrate in the face of attacks from the Republican right, just as they were throughout the Clinton impeachment fiasco and the stolen 2000 election in Florida.
David Kay, the former head of the Iraq Survey Group, said the reports of the Butler Inquiry and the Senate Intelligence Committee in America, together painted a picture of a "broken" system for intelligence gathering and assessment.I remember last year, in a press conference or something, Bush told the press that we'd learn the truth about WMD's when Kay had finished his investigation. But I searched the White House web site and my own archives for the quote, and couldn't find it. If you have a link, please e-mail it to me.
"I think they are a scathing indictment," he said in an interview for ITV1’s Jonathan Dimbleby programme.
"I think they are a picture of a broken system on both sides of the Atlantic, for collecting intelligence, for analysing it and finally for sending it forward to policy makers and to the public.
Mr Kay, who was hand-picked by the CIA to head the Iraq Survey Group, said that because US and UK policy on Iraq was based on WMD, analysts had been too ready to accept evidence that Iraq had banned weapons while being over-critical of evidence which suggested that they did not.
"What really happened for the analysts is they had two levels of evidence," he said.
"Anything that would confirm WMD in Iraq – very little scrutiny. Anything that showed Iraq didn’t have weapons of mass destruction, had a much higher gate to pass because if it were true, all of US policy towards Iraq would have fallen asunder.
"I think what you have in both the Senate Report and in the Butler Commission Report is a disturbing merger of the lines between intelligence, whose real role was to speak truth to power, and power whose real role is to influence the public to do the course of action that they’ve decided upon.
"That line blurred and blurred on both sides of the Atlantic with regard to Iraq."
He said that Mr Blair and Mr Bush should both have realised that the intelligence they were being presented with did not support the claims that Iraq actually had weapons.
"I think the Prime Minister as I would say the US President should have been able to tell before the war that the evidence did not exit for drawing the conclusion that Iraq presented a clear, present and imminent threat on the basis of existing weapons of mass destruction," he said.
"That was not something that required a war and inspectors like myself going in if you’d fairly interpreted the evidence that existed."
He said that the two leaders may not have been sufficiently critical of the intelligence because they had a “multitude” of other reasons for going to war.
"WMD was only one and I think in their mind, not really the most important one. And so the doubts about the evidence on weapons of mass destruction was not as serious to them as it seemed to be to the rest of the world," he said.
Moscow and Washington conduct negotiation to dispatch up to 40,000 Russian military men to Iraq in return to economic concessions. The Bush's administration addressed to the Russian government with a proposal to dispatch Russian military men to Iraq or Afghanistan, the US analytical information agency Stratfor reported with reference to Russian sources. It reportedly goes about 40,000 military men, including three infantry divisions and an airborne brigade."Give Americans more liberties to solve strategic goals in the region." Hmmm...with Pooty's 40,000 and Kerry's 40,000, they'll have "liberties" to invade another country or two.
The agency's sources close to the Russian Security Council said, President Putin "theoretically agreed" to meet the White House's wishes. It was said Putin ordered the General Headquarters to develop the plan of the operation by the end of July. Supposedly, Russian military units will be deployed on the entire territory of the country.
However, Washington would prefer to concentrate Russian troops in the area of the so-called 'Sunnite triangle,' where anti-American sentiments are exercised most. Russian soldiers will have to restrain the Iraqi resistance to give Americans more liberties to solve strategic goals in the region.
Moscow counts for certain concessions in return. Putin ordered the Ministry for Industry and Energy to prepare the list of counterclaims. The list will particularly include Washington's agreement for Russian companies to return to Iraq. In addition, Moscow would like Washington to turn down objections against Russia's membership in the WTO.
"We have to stick together," she said. "I just think we can't take this lying down. It's like the Weimar Republic… these [neo-conservative] people are taking over the government. People are sound asleep and I don't think this is the time to back down."Unlike most of the media, the LA Times gave Linda plenty of column-inches to say her peace (as it were).
What the singer said just before the final encore in Las Vegas was the same stage line she has been using to introduce the song "Desperado" around the country since she saw the Moore documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11": "I'll say, I think there's this guy who is a great patriot and I think he loves his country deeply and that he's trying to get the truth out . . . then I say his name is Michael Moore and I've just been to see his fine movie, "Fahrenheit 9/11."A uniter, not a divider.
"At first there's just silence, then there's "Yeah!" and then there's 'Boo!" and then the audience starts fighting with each other," she recalled. "You know how they say we are just polarized down the middle? I've done this all across the country and I'm telling you, it's like my independent poll. I have never seen a reaction like this, in all my years of touring."
A friendly Kerry supporter named Mr. Shenk let us use his front yard to display our banners. Now comes the good part. After waiting around for about 45 minutes, the motorcade passed by us again. A few police cars, followed by a van or two, drove by. Then, a Bush/Cheney bus passed, followed by a second one going slower. At the front of this second bus was The W himself, waving cheerily at his supporters on the other side of the highway. Adam, Brendan, and I rose our banner (the More Trees, Less Bush one) and he turned to wave to our side of the road. His smile faded, and he raised his left arm in our direction. And then, George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States of America, extended his middle finger.If anyone out there is really good with PhotoShop, or if you happen to be a pissed-off photo analyst at the CIA, the picture below reportedly shows the President of the United States giving the finger to two fine Americans. It would be nice to get that cleared up. I've cropped it to keep the size down, but not changed the sampling. Jiveturky's original is here.
Read that last sentence again.
I got flipped off by George W. Bush.
A ponytailed man standing next to us confirmed the event, saying, "I do believe the President of the U.S. just gave you boys the finger." We laughed probably for the next half hour, and promptly told everyone we knew. Brendan actually snapped a picture of Bushy in action, but the glare and the tint of the bus windows make it difficult to see him at all. Nonetheless, it was the best possible reaction.
We pissed George W. Bush off. We are true patriots.
Venezuelan President Chavez rejected Bush's remarks saying the U.S. President's lacks the moral authority to lecture Venezuela with regard to elections. "They said they will continue to pressure to guarantee that the recall process be transparent, can you tell me which transparent process allowed Mr. Bush to win the U.S. presidential elections?... With what moral authority is he trying to lecture us?," Chavez asked during a speech.-- Venezuelanalysis
There is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than for 55m years, enough to melt all the ice on the planet and submerge cities like London, New York and New Orleans, Sir David King, the government's chief scientific adviser has warned.
He said that the realisation of the scale of the crisis was what prompted him to say in January that climate change was a bigger threat than global terrorism. "We are moving from a warm period into the first hot period that man has ever experienced since he walked on the planet."
He said the heatwave of last summer in which 25,000 Europeans died had killed more people than terrorism, yet had not been given anything like the same level of attention.
The prime minister had charged him with talking to governments ahead of the G8 summit to convince them of the urgency of action on climate change, of research and development of renewables. He warned of the slow response of the climate system and said we were already doomed to 30 or 40 years of climate heating because of the carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere, hence the need to multiply effective flood defences such as the Thames barrier.
It's a sad day when one of the best-known liberals in America shills for a billionaire war hawk. It's sadder still when she writes a well-regarded book on poverty then turns around to skewer a man fighting for the living wage and universal healthcare on behalf of a man who voted for No Child Left Behind and welfare "reform."
Republicans were in an uproar over news of the investigation. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay called it "absolutely shocking," while one leading GOP senator, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, demanded that the Kerry campaign divulge whether Berger had provided it with classified information.Wouldn't, SHOULDN'T, a U.S. Senator already have access to that information? And is it Chambliss' goal to accuse every Vietnam veteran of treason? If you've read my blog for more than a few nanoseconds, you know that I'm no fan of Kerry's, to put it mildly. But the Repugs seem to think that there could be no worse crime than giving classified information to a man who already has access to it, and should, since he may well be our next president. And Tom DeLay's very existence on the planet is "absolutely shocking" as far as I'm concerned.
What’s important is, when [Michael Moore] stood in the kitchen with a mother from Flint, Mich., whose son had just been sent to Iraq and he agreed with her that America is a great country, I believed him. I think a lot of people did. I think my friend would too, if she ever sees the movie. That’s what I mean about his love for America—it comes through even if you don’t like his style.Of course, son Michael Reagan is a right-wing blowhard who probably thinks Dad was a wimp, and the late daughter Maureen was also an ardent Repug, although who knows what she might have had to say about Bush now.
President Bush, on the other hand, says that he loves this country and, giving him the benefit of the doubt, I assume he does love his conceptualized idea of America. But I don’t think he loves us—the people who make up this land. The huddled masses. The millions of citizens who just want a peaceful, safe life. Those who want to put their kids through school and see them grow up; who want to take vacations to other countries without fearing for their lives because so much of the world hates us.
I don’t think you lie to people you love. I don’t think you send them off into dangerous situations on the basis of murky, cobbled-together information that isn’t really information at all. I don’t think you keep them scared all the time. I don’t think you respond to horrors like public beheadings with cowboy slogans that sound like they came from old John Wayne movies [or Ronald Reagan movies? - ed; sorry Patti]. And I think if someone masterminds an attack on people you love and murders thousands of them, you go after that person until you find him.
I know. Just one more thing to be depressed about. If you read Kucinich's interview with Amy Goodman, you'd see that he's depressed about it, too. But Dennis is officially a Democrat; I'm not. For details of my reacton to Dennis' capitulation, see my blog entry here.
I wonder if Kerry might support Nader being in the debates if Nader dropped his candidacy. Given Nader's chances, I would support that. Kerry could point out that since Republicans have been so excited about getting Nader on the ballot, they certainly should have no objections to him being in the debates! Maybe let him moderate one or more of the debates.
To the Editor:I was hoping to post my letter here with a link showing it in the Times, but that didn't happen. So, for the record, here's the letter I sent:
Re "Moved by Homeland's Political Strife, Venezuelans Sign Up to Vote" (news article, July 12):
The Aug. 15 presidential referendum should be understood as a vote on whether to go back to the past — when Venezuela's oil wealth benefited a small number of well-connected individuals — or whether it should be invested in health care and education for everyone.
President Hugo Chávez has twice been elected president of Venezuela by large majorities in multiparty elections. Both elections were judged free and fair by international observers. Mr. Chávez's opposition has been determined to overthrow him by whatever means necessary.
Mr. Chávez survived a military coup in 2002 and an illegal, management-led work stoppage at our state oil company in 2003.
Despite all of this, both government and opposition polls show the president well positioned to win the August recall vote.
Ambassador of Venezuela
Washington, July 13, 2004
Editor, NY Times:Here's the original Times article that Alvarez and I were referencing.
The harsh anti-Chavez tone of Mary Spicuzza’s July 12 article on Venezuelans voting in New York would suggest that the Times hasn’t learned from the Ahmed Chalabi-Judith Miller fiasco: embittered exiles aren’t always the most trustworthy sources. I have been to Venezuela. President Chavez was democratically elected by large majorities in 1998 and 2000. While he has done some things that are questionable, the charge of “dictator” is laughable. The opposition controls most of the media and stages large rallies regularly, and actively works to undermine the Venezuelan economy in order to discredit Chavez. Chavez is and will remain president only because he has the support of the majority of Venezuelans. It is scary watching the power structure in this country—Bush, Kerry, the Washington Post, and now the Times—line up so readily against Chavez and the people who elected him.
The new law, sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Frank Watson (R-Greenville) and House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego), goes into effect immediately. Without the legislation, President Bush would be prohibited from appearing on the ballot in Illinois.Jeez, Gov, there's no one in the world who has been more thoroughly proven to be unfit for the job than the "sitting pResident;" even his daddy and that Clinton chap don't come close. Thanks to Eli for catching that. Maybe the Illinois Democrats will be kind enough to delay the vote for senator long enough so the Repugs can find a viable candidate.
With the Republican nominating convention being held this year in September, without the bill, Illinois state law would not allow for his nomination to be certified within the statutorily required 67-day period before the general election.
"Illinois citizens should be able to vote for the sitting President if they choose, and this technical change will make sure that they have that option in November," said Governor Blagojevich. "I appreciate the nearly unanimous consent of the General Assembly on this matter."
President Bush isn't actually an Al Qaeda mole, with Dick Cheney his controller. Mr. Bush's "war on terror" has, however, played with eerie perfection into Osama bin Laden's hands - while Mr. Bush's supporters, impressed by his tough talk, see him as America's champion against the evildoers.Given that the wars on terror and Iraq are lining Republican pockets across the nation, and that Kerry won't change much about either one, I'd suggest that a more honest bumper sticker for Kentucky Repugs would say: "Bush and Kerry are bin Laden's men/And mine."
Last week, Republican officials in Kentucky applauded bumper stickers distributed at G.O.P. offices that read, "Kerry is bin Laden's man/Bush is mine." Administration officials haven't gone that far, but when Tom Ridge offered a specifics-free warning about a terrorist attack timed to "disrupt our democratic process," many people thought he was implying that Al Qaeda wants George Bush to lose. In reality, all infidels probably look alike to the terrorists, but if they do have a preference, nothing in Mr. Bush's record would make them unhappy at the prospect of four more years.
Much of the concern has focused on wildfires, which have started to destroy vast sections of forests in several Western states. The governor of Oregon, Ted Kulongoski, a Democrat, said in an interview after meetings here Monday that the troop deployment had left his National Guard with half the usual number of firefighters because about 400 of them were overseas while a hot, dry summer was already producing significant fires in his state.
"We're praying a lot that a major fire does not break out," he said. "It has been dry out here, the snow pack's gone because of an extremely warm May and June and the fire season came earlier."
He added, "You're just going to have fires and if you do not have the personnel to put them out, they can grow very quickly into ultimately catastrophic fires.''
Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, a Republican of Idaho and departing chairman of the National Governors Association, also said through a spokesman that he was worried about the deployment of 2,000 members, or 62 percent of his National Guard, who are now training in Texas for a mission in Iraq.
"In the past we've been able to call on the National Guard," said Mark Snider, a spokesman for the governor. "We may not be able to call on these soldiers for firefighting capabilities."
Singer Linda Ronstadt was thrown out of the Aladdin casino in Las Vegas on the weekend after dedicating a song to liberal film maker Michael Moore and his movie "Fahrenheit 9/11," a casino spokeswoman said Monday.Exactly the type of crowd I'd expect in Vegas. I've never been there, but I despise the total wastefulness of the place. No water, a hellish climate fought by untold gigawatts to chill the flashy, noisy casinos down to 68 degrees. The NBC Nightly News had a segment on Vegas' water shortage a couple of weeks ago; it will probably be the first of many western cities to become a ghost town in the next 30-50 years, followed quickly by Phoenix and LA. Still, people who've just moved there (and there are thousands of those) continue to waste precious water on their stupid grass lawns.
Ronstadt, who had been hired for a one-show engagement Saturday night at the Las Vegas Strip casino, dedicated a performance of "Desperado" to Moore and his controversial documentary, which criticizes President Bush and the U.S.-led war in Iraq.
That dedication angered some Aladdin guests who spilled drinks, tore down posters and demanded their money back, said casino spokeswoman Sara Gorgon.
"We had quite a scene at the box office," she said.
Before her concert, Ronstadt had laughingly told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that she hoped that the casino performance would be her last.I used to be Ronstadt fan; I think I am again!
"I keep hoping that if I'm annoying enough to them, they won't hire me back," she was quoted as telling the newspaper.
Principal Skinner: Your child's behavior appalls me, not just as a principal, but as a veteran of America's only losing war.Any comments, Bill O'Reilly?
Homer: To date! (with a smile and raising a finger)
Elton John has said stars are scared to speak out against war in Iraq because of "bullying tactics" used by the US government to hinder free speech.
"There's an atmosphere of fear in America right now that is deadly. Everyone is too career-conscious," he told New York magazine, Interview.
Sir Elton said performers could be "frightened by the current administration's bullying tactics".
The singer likened the current "fear factor" to McCarthyism in the 1950s.
"There was a moment about a year ago when you couldn't say a word about anything in this country for fear of your career being shot down by people saying you are un-American," he told the magazine.
The singer said things were different in the 1960s.
"People like Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, The Beatles and Pete Seeger were constantly writing and talking about what was going on.
"That's not happening now. As of this spring, there have been virtually no anti-war concerts - or anti-war songs that catch on, for that matter," he said.
A team led by General Dynamics Corp. (GD.N) has won a big contract to design and develop new hand-held radios for U.S. troops, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday.Do you know how many politicians you could buy with $10 billion? All of them.
U.S. Army officials in Washington gave no details, but said they briefed lawmakers on the contract on Friday and planned a news release later on Monday.
The sources told Reuters the contract to supply the new software-programmable radios to the U.S. military could be worth $5 billion to $10 billion in the longer-term.
Downing Street has admitted to The Observer that repeated claims by Tony Blair that '400,000 bodies had been found in Iraqi mass graves' is untrue, and only about 5,000 corpses have so far been uncovered.Eli at Left I explains what this means.
The claims by Blair in November and December of last year, were given widespread credence, quoted by MPs and widely published, including in the introduction to a US government pamphlet on Iraq's mass graves.
In that publication - Iraq's Legacy of Terror: Mass Graves produced by USAID, the US government aid distribution agency, Blair is quoted from 20 November last year: 'We've already discovered, just so far, the remains of 400,000 people in mass graves.'
On 14 December Blair repeated the claim in a statement issued by Downing Street in response to the arrest of Saddam Hussein and posted on the Labour party website that: 'The remains of 400,000 human beings [have] already [been] found in mass graves.'
The admission that the figure has been hugely inflated follows a week in which Blair accepted responsibility for charges in the Butler report over the way in which Downing Street pushed intelligence reports 'to the outer limits' in the case for the threat posed by Iraq.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry declared that, if he were elected, US troops would remain in Iraq throughout his first term in office—to the end of 2008. The Democratic candidate also suggested that the Bush administration was more likely to withdraw troops quickly than a Kerry administration.Sounds like they're ready to take over. Edwards sounds exactly like Donald Rumsfeld and Kerry sounds very much like Bush in those quotes. The Bushies made a huge error and won't admit it. The Johns made the same huge error and won't admit it.
Both the content of the interview and the choice of publication—the Journal has been the most vehement media advocate of the war in Iraq and is one of the chief editorial voices of the extreme right within the American political establishment—are politically calculated to send a message. Kerry is reassuring the US ruling elite, including the far-right elements who now back Bush, that he can be trusted to carry forward the US conquest and occupation of Iraq.
Kerry represents that section of the US ruling elite that wants to set aside Bush’s doubletalk about democratization. This was necessary for gulling the American people during the run-up to the war, they concede, but now it is time to get on with their real business, by establishing the security conditions in which American capital can extract profits from Iraq’s huge oil reserves and from lucrative contracts with the US-controlled puppet regime in Baghdad.
As the Journal summed up the interview, "Mr. Kerry is determined to present himself as a leader of strength, one who would more effectively pursue the same goals Mr. Bush has established for progress in Iraq and the broader anti-terror war."
Kerry and his running mate Edwards took a similarly noncommittal position on the decision to invade Iraq in joint interviews last week with several newspapers and on the CBS News program “60 Minutes.” Both were asked whether they regretted their votes to authorize the war, in light of the Senate Intelligence Committee report that the Bush administration's grounds for war with Iraq—possession of weapons of mass destruction and ties to terrorists—were false.
The Democrats refused to give a straight answer on whether they would have voted for the war, knowing what they know now. Edwards summed up the position by declaring: "trying to go back and reevaluate what we would have done, had we had, hypothetically, had this information or that information, is not useful to us now."
Adding arrogance to evasion, Kerry told the New York Times, "Look, the vote is not today and that's it. I agree completely with Senator Edwards. It's a waste of time. It's not what this is about. We voted the way we voted based on the information in front of us, based on that moment in time. And it was the right vote at that time based on that information. Period."
Soon after the June 28 handover of sovereignty to his regime, Allawi's government assumed martial-law powers -- though it has yet to use them. The government also agreed to reinstate capital punishment. "We need sanctions that are up to the scale of the crimes," Allawi says. Yet no one has been executed so far. "He was so clear to us about his commitment to democracy," says a former U.S. Coalition official. "I don't think anybody thought he was going to be a strongman."Of course not. America would never back someone like that.
Kerry's at it again. He's not satisfied with calling for an increase of 40,000 in the number of U.S. troops (presumably some of the extras to be sent to Iraq). Now he wants to double the number of spooks we send abroad as well.How can you ask someone to be the last person to die for a totally corrupt political system?
Although he does a bit of caviling about reconstruction contracts, entertaining the bizarre illusion that opening up bidding to the French and Germans will induce them to send their soldiers to die in Iraq, almost the entirety of Kerry's criticism of what's going on in Iraq is of the "I'm tougher than Bush" variety.
Rumsfeld authorizes an increase of 30,000 troops -- Kerry wants 40,000. The CIA says they need a 30 to 35% increase in the number of operatives abroad, and Kerry wants it to be over 100%.
It's hard to judge Kerry's political intelligence. If he thinks this kind of dick-waving is going to make people think he's tougher, more manly, and more warlike than Bush, he's a fool. If he's just trying to cover his ass while events in Iraq continue to torpedo Bush's popularity and while Bush seems unable to come up with a decent campaign ad, he's a political coward, but the results aren't in on whether it's foolish or not.
Personally, I think if Bush has a strategy left, it's crucifying Kerry in their foreign policy debate. In the second debate last time, Gore, so worried about not appearing too cerebral, managed the remarkable feat of appearing dumber than Bush. This time, Kerry, terrified of saying anything meaningful about foreign policy, could well manage the feat of appearing less substantive than Bush.
As far as policy, rather than politics, I wouldn't read too much into these statements. I don't think Kerry is actually more of a warmonger than Bush, nor that he's more gung-ho about the occupation. It's just that there's virtually nothing to choose between the two.
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The U.S. launched airstrikes on the city of Fallujah Sunday, according to a military spokesman, which an Iraqi official said left 14 people dead and three wounded.The "insurgents," who with different people writing the news would be called "patriots" or even "freedom fighters," are only a threat to the Americans who are illegally occupying the "sovereign" nation. And with every bomb dropped on Fallujah, that threat grows. I've said it before, I'll say it again: Get the Cheney out of Iraq--NOW!
After the U.S. killed hundreds of thousands of Filipinos a hundred years ago in a brutal colonial war, then suported the brutal Marcos for thirty years, you think they owe us the "loyalty" of supporting our illegal and incompetent occupation of Iraq. And don't forget when it was that MacArthur said "I shall return." It was when he was departing.
One thing about you Bush supporters--you never let the facts get in the way.
The Associated Press asked a federal judge Friday to order the Pentagon to quickly turn over a full copy of President Bush's military service record.Well, good for them.
AP first sought the Texas records in March, and sued the Pentagon in April over the allegedly slow response.The Pentagon should definitely get its five sides moving on this one, for sure. But how about AP and the rest of the media? George H. W. Bush was head of the CIA back in the '70's, became Vice President in 1981 and President in 1989. George W. Bush worked for some of his campaigns, and even being the son or daughter of a candidate has often led to press investigations (I remember some questions about whether Gerald Ford's son had used marijuana, for example). W ran and was elected governor of Texas in 1994 and 1998, and ran for and was appointed president in 2000. So the AP finally asks the Pentagon for his military records in March 2004, and tells the Pentagon to step on it, finally deciding, as the article says, that "The public has an intense and legitimate interest in knowing the facts concerning the president's military service. Reviewing the microfilm copy of the personnel file at the Texas Records center could well answer the questions that have been raised?"
Iraqi Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi killed six suspected insurgents just days before he was handed power, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.According to Holden over at Atrios' blog, the Washington (aka Moonie) Times was the first US news source to pick up on this story, which as it states was first reported in the Sydney Morning Herald. Just a couple of days ago Allawi was promising to annihilate the insurgents, and a few weeks ago we found out that he's a terrorist himself. When the CIA and US imperialists are involved, don't ever think that "regime change" means "regime improvement."
The report cites two witnesses to the killing who say Allawi fatally shot the prisoners, who were handcuffed, blindfolded and lined up against a wall in a courtyard near the maximum-security facility at al-Amariyah security centre near Baghdad. They quoted Allawi as saying the men "deserved worse than death" because each had killed some 50 Iraqis.
The newspaper added the killings were seen by about a dozen Iraqi police and four Americans from Allawi's security team. Interior Minister Falah al-Naqib, another alleged witness, is said to have congratulated Allawi.
Massachusetts Republican Gov. Mitt Romney criticized the Bush administration on Wednesday, saying the government engages in wasteful spending and often gives money to ensure Republican votes.
The government doles out money "based on who will vote for us or for our party: in effect, we buy votes," Romney said in remarks prepared for delivery. "We fund programs that don't work. We tolerate abuse and cheating in the multiples of billions of dollars."
Romney also criticized Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, arguing that his ties to trial lawyers and labor unions make the Democratic candidate "too conflicted to be president."
The GOP governor said it is difficult for the four-term Massachusetts senator to take clear positions on issues such as health care and education based on his connections to unions.
"He wants a leaner government, but he can't face down the public employee unions. He is quick to point out the obvious flaws in the Iraq military campaign, but slow to tell us what he would do from here, for he wishes to appease as long as possible both those in his party who want to walk away and those who want to finish the job," Romney said.
Lawmakers cheered as the House of Representatives voted on Thursday to strip financial assistance for Saudi Arabia from a foreign aid bill because of criticism that the country has not been sufficiently cooperative in the U.S. war on terror.I'm surprised Tom DeLay didn't hold the vote open until his goons had a chance to kill Berkley and 26 others so Bandar Bush could win.
The vote was a stinging defeat for the Bush Administration which had strongly opposed the measure saying it would "severely undermine" counterterrorism cooperation with Saudi Arabia and U.S. efforts for peace in the Middle East.
The House voted 217-191 to remove $25,000 in the $19.4 billion 2005 foreign aid bill earmarked for Saudi Arabia.
The funds were designated for military training but approval would have triggered millions of dollars in discounts on hardware and other military training, lawmakers said.
"I don't want my taxpayer dollars going to the Saudis and I don't want anyone else's to," said Nevada Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley.
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives censured Congresswoman Corrine Brown (D-Jacksonville) after a shouting match on the House floor Thursday evening.source
The argument started during a debate over HR-4818. The bill would provide international monitoring of the November presidential election. Congress has been considering an outside monitor due to all the confusion over the last election, and the "hanging chads" in Florida.
Representative Brown said, "I come from Florida, where you and others participated in what I call the United States coup d'etat. We need to make sure that it doesn't happen again. Over and over again after the election when you stole the election, you came back here and said get over it. No we're not going to get over it and we want verification from the world."
Those comments drew an immediate objection from Republican members of the House. Leaders moved to strike her comments from the record. The House also censured Brown which kept her from talking on the House floor for the rest of the day.
Congresswoman Brown responded to the matter in a statement late Thursday night. Congresswoman Brown wrote, "Striking my words from the House floor is just one more example of the Republican Party's attempt to try and cover up what happened during the 2000 election."
Brown also wrote, "When the words of Corrine Brown are stricken from the floor, so is the voice of her 600,000 constituents in Florida's 3rd Congressional District."
Riggs Bank courted business from former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and helped him hide millions of dollars in assets from international prosecutors while he was under house arrest in Britain, according to a report by Senate investigators.Go Carl! And way down, in the last paragraph of the article, is this:
The report also says the top federal bank examiner in charge of supervising the District's largest bank kept details about Riggs's relationship with Pinochet out of the Riggs case file. That happened a few months before the examiner retired from the government and joined Riggs as a senior executive. The examiner, R. Ashley Lee, denied the allegations to Senate investigators.
The Senate report also said Lee recommended, while still working for the government, that the bank not be punished for failing to take steps designed to prevent money laundering.
In addition to its account of Riggs's relationship with Pinochet, who was held in Britain after an indictment in Spain on charges of "crimes against humanity," the Senate report provides new details about Riggs's dealings with Teodoro Obiang Nguema, the dictator of Equatorial Guinea.
"It's a sordid story of a bank with a prestigious name that blatantly ignored its obligations under anti-money-laundering laws," said Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.), the ranking minority member of the subcommittee whose staff oversaw the investigation. "And it took our regulators five years to act in any substantive way. . . . They tolerated Riggs failures and tolerated their dysfunctional AML [anti-money-laundering] program."
In addition to the Pinochet and Equatorial Guinea accounts, the subcommittee found others "equally troubling," including more than 150 Saudia Arabian accounts. The full Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, as part of a larger look into terrorist funding, is probing those accounts and has subpoenaed records from both the OCC and from Riggs.So Riggs hid money for Pinochet and Nguema, and may have been laundering Saudi terrorist money as well. Meanwhile, the Post hides one important little detail: Uncle John Bush is an executive for Riggs. And don't forget, like the Post did, that aWol tried to appoint Henry Kissinger, the man who put Pinochet in power and condemned Chile to 17 years of horrible dictatorship, to head the 9/11 commission. Not to mention that Kissinger STILL ISN'T IN JAIL! The rest of the world must just laugh with contempt when Bush (or Clinton or Kerry for that matter) talk about the US spreading justice and democracy.
To track commitments, the Bush administration keeps a color-coded chart of coalition members: red for countries withdrawing, yellow for nations considering a pullout and green for countries staying.Is this just to confuse us? We want the US to be red on this chart, but not red in November.
But by now you really have to wonder: How long Jeb Bush would be able to stay off the Florida felon list himself if he wasn't the brother of the president and a member of one of the most powerful political dynasties the country has ever seen. I mean, when your kid tells you the dog ate his homework once, you might not believe it, but you might give him/her the benefit of the doubt. But twice?
How many times does the Bush family have to steal a Florida election before they finally get it right?
"What we're doing in Vietnam is using the black man to kill the yellow man so the white man can keep the land he took from the red man."--Dick GregoryIn the introduction, Blum explains the goals of American foreign policy:
The slippery slope began with the US siding with the French, the former colonists, and with collaborators with the Japanese, against Ho Chi Minh and his followers, who had worked closely with the Allied war effort and admired all things American. Ho Chi Minh was, after all, some kind of "communist" (one of those bad-for-you label warnings). He had written numerous letters to President Truman and the State Department asking for America's help in winning Vietnamese independence from the French and finding a peaceful solution for his country. All his entreaties were ignored. For he was some kind of communist. Ho Chi Minh modeled the new Vietnamese declaration of independence on the American, beginning it with "All men are created equal. They are endowed by their Creator with..." But this would count for nothing in Washington. Ho Chi Minh was some kind of communist.
More than twenty years and more than a million dead later, the United States withdrew its military forces from Vietnam. Most people believe that the US lost the war. But by destroying Vietnam to its core, by poisoning the earth, the water and the gene pool for generations, Washington had in fact achieved its primary purpose: preventing what might have been the rise of a good development option for Asia. Ho Chi Minh was, after all, some kind of communist.
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: Well, I still consider the withdrawal from Iraq as being central not only to America's security, but to peace in the world. However, we didn't have the votes to be successful in a platform fight. You know, we barely had enough to start the discussion. I've carried this campaign in challenging the war for two and a half years. But there comes a point where we have to realize, whether we have the votes or not, to be able to prevail in insisting on our point of view, or if we're going to create a rupture that would make it impossible for a Democrat to be elected president. You know, I think what we were able to do was get some recognition from the Party, of the urgency of not maintaining a long-term commitment to Iraq, and it's a step in the right direction. It is not everything we wanted by any means. But it manages to do two things.
AMY GOODMAN: We just saw a posting at antiwar.com, that's headlined "Democrats Drop Anti-war Pretensions." It's by Caleb Ewing, and he describes what happened at the platform debate discussion and he said, "so it went, amendment after amendment, all unseen, none debated. Forgotten for now is justice in Palestine, department of peace, a scaled back military, the prescription of pre-emptive war, the legitimacy and primacy of international law, etc., etc. We are die-hard Democrats and even though some of us felt stretched to the breaking point by the sustained cold shoulder of the Democratic Party power elite, our progressive caucus leadership quickly scrambled to put a positive spin on the process, to wit, 'even though we were all but marginalized and ignored in the platform, and even though we got practically nothing in the end, the fact that we took part in the process and formally accepted nothing is evidence of a working relationship with the Kerry camp that will bode well for us once Kerry is elected.'" He ends by saying, "I don't know if I believe that. If the upcoming election proves to be a referendum on the war, and I think it might be, then Democrats have not sufficiently differentiated themselves from Republicans for Kerry to win."
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: Well you know, the same article in the New York Times that talked about the Platform Committee, on the front page of that newspaper, was a story that showed Senator Kerry and Edwards beginning to challenge the Bush administration on the war in Iraq. I think that we-- I think that they are going to continue to come a distance and it may not be exactly what I want, which is a withdrawal, and I'm going to keep continuing to speak for withdrawal. But Amy, the people who are in the Platform Committee were people who were elected, the overwhelming majority, Kerry delegates. And, you know, what does that -- so the platform does reflect the choice of Democrats from around the country. Now it may have been the choice that was made months ago, and it may not be where many Democrats are right now who are going to be voting in November. And that's why, you know, I think that I still maintain a legitimacy within the party by continuing to insist on a new direction while recognizing that we didn't have the votes to be able to put an end to a party platform. You know, I still have every intention of continuing this effort to challenge the war. You know, I started that effort and continue to do it, and to challenge the kind of policies that took us into war. So, you know it was disappointing.
Shortly before 2 p.m. on Monday, a handful of President Bush's campaign aides huddled around two small speakers in a room that, with its shades drawn, was lit by the glow of 15 television monitors. They were listening to the voice of Senator John Kerry.-- NY Times
None of the networks were carrying Mr. Kerry's entire speech to a group of financial donors, mostly women, in Boston that day. But Mr. Bush's operatives had somehow arranged for their own audio feed, they refused to say how, and were listening intently, ready to pounce on any opening for attack.
After sitting impatiently through what seemed to be a typical stump speech, they found one: Mr. Kerry said he was "proud" of votes by him and his running mate, Senator John Edwards, last fall against the president's requested $87 billion appropriation for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is a vote that Republicans have used to make a case that Mr. Kerry has been failing to support the troops after voting to authorize the war.
The central tenet of Mr. Bush's communications operation is on a sign on the office door of Nicolle Devenish, Mr. Bush's campaign communications director, which says: "It's the Hypocrisy, Stupid," a play on the famous sign in Mr. Clinton's 1992 war room, "It's the Economy, Stupid."Q: So Mr. Bush--how do you feel about Senator Lieberman's proposal for a Department of Homeland Security? Should the UN get involved in Iraq? And what was that war all about, anyway?
There are several reasons Houston is not enjoying a return to the days of the 1970's, when it was the nation's fastest-growing metropolitan area, flush with oil money and a backdrop for stories about roughnecks in the big city. A leading reason is the evolution in the oil business in Texas and around the world that has concentrated deal making and specialized research in Houston while large, labor-intensive exploration projects moved elsewhere.The same thing is happening or will soon happen in oil wells around the world, even as SUV's from Boise to Beijing are ready to kill for their next fix. If we're not there already, it will happen very soon, the dreaded event that politicians dare not mention: peak oil, the year when the earth is drained of more petroleum than it ever has been before, or ever will be again. Peak oil in the U.S. was reached in 1970, and no amount of despoiling of the ANWR or even the entire American West will change that fact. Doing so might actually use more energy than it finds, in any case.
The prolific oil wells of Texas, especially the East Texas gushers that were the basis for Houston's emergence as an oil center a century ago, have been steadily depleted over the last 25 years. Daily production statewide is now about 360,000 barrels a day, or nearly a third of what it was in 1978, the last year output surpassed a million barrels a day, according to the Texas Railroad Commission, which oversees the oil and gas industry in the state.
"Citizens for a Sound Economy, a national organization led by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R., Texas), is widening its efforts to help presidential candidate Ralph Nader get on the ballot in pivotal states. A recent news release from the corporate-backed group says it plans to pursue those efforts 'in key battleground states like Wisconsin, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and elsewhere.' John Stauber, founder and executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, said today: 'The Republican machine is mobilizing for Nader. Major Republican funders are sending checks to Nader, and a far-right industry-funded front group, Citizens for a Sound Economy, is organizing to get Ralph on the November ballot in a number of swing states. Nader, the sworn enemy of corporate power and influence, has become its not-so-secret weapon for the November election.'"Of course Armey's effort is a cynical abuse of the campaign financing system, but so is EVERY political contribution. Our elections should not be for sale, and few people have ever made that case longer or stronger than Ralph Nader. But even more infuriating, to me anyway, than the Republican support for Nader is the liberal opposition to him. Stauber, rather than pointing the finger at the totally corrupt political system, blames Nader. Why not blame Kerry, who most definitely is NOT the sworn enemy of corporate power and influence, and in fact has benefited greatly from it? The name-calling and other anti-Ralph activities being perpetrated by the Kerry supporters are every bit as cynical and undemocratic as the Republican support for Ralph. Neither has the slightest interest in advancing democracy. They just want their guy (their corporate elitist skull-and-bones pro-war pro-patriot-act pro-NAFTA guy) to win, principles be damned. The Democrats want to woo progressives by aggressively denying them a choice. Very democratic.
This is a tale of two countries.Here's how it ends.
The first is Saudi Arabia, a fundamentalist theocracy that, according to the U.S. State Department, whips and beheads political dissidents; doesn't allow women to vote; squashes political protest; amputates the hands of thieves; regularly censors the press; and has been linked by numerous reports to the Al Qaeda terrorist network that was behind the 9/11 attacks.
The second is Venezuela, a republican democracy where elections are hotly contested and closely scrutinized by international observers; political rallies regularly draw hundreds of thousands of partisans into the street; an independent press routinely criticizes top government officials; and a presidential recall referendum will take place on August 15.
Both are major oil exporters to the United States. One is being singled out for criticism and the other is being shielded from it by the Bush administration. Can you guess which is which?
In the nearly three years since the 9/11, attacks the Bush administration has been criticized for failing to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for the support provided by wealthy Saudi families to Al Qaeda and madrassas -- the schools that train Saudi youth to hate America.
During that same period, the Bush administration stepped up its verbal attacks on Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Moreover, the Bush administration's involvement in removing democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Haiti earlier this year heightened fears in Venezuela that President Bush will try to intervene in Venezuela -- after all, the Bush administration was the only government in the hemisphere that approved of the 2002 coup.
10. He's making me root for John Kerry. I haven't voted for a major party's presidential candidate since 1988, and I have no plans to revert to the habit this year. The Democrats have nominated a senator who—just sticking to the points listed above—voted for the war in Iraq, the Patriot Act, McCain-Feingold, and the TSA; who endorses the assault on "indecency"; who thinks the government should be spending even more than it is now. I didn't have room in my top ten for the terrible No Child Left Behind Act, which further centralized control of the country's public schools—but for the record, Kerry voted for that one too. It's far from clear that he'd be any less protectionist than Bush is, and he's also got problems that Bush doesn't have, like his support for stricter gun controls. True, Kerry doesn't owe anything to the religious right, and you can't blame him for the torture at Abu Ghraib. Other than that, he's not much of an improvement.
Yet I find myself hoping the guy wins. Not because I'm sure he'll be better than the current executive, but because the incumbent so richly deserves to be punished at the polls. Making me root for a sanctimonious statist blowhard like Kerry isn't the worst thing Bush has done to the country. But it's the offense that I take most personally.
Q: But, Senator, if you went to the Senate in October of 2002 and said: "We're not sure about weapons of mass destruction and the relationship between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda operation is murky, but he is a bad guy and there are mass graves, we have to go to war."The question came from Tim Russert on Meet the Press. The answer came from Republican Senator Pat Roberts. Anyone know if Senators Kerry and Edwards have been asked that question, and how they answered it if so? I still think their votes were pathetic, if not criminal, and raise serious questions as to whether they could or should be trusted to lead the nation. Obviously Bush can't, but it's hard to see how the Johns can be trusted not to get us into stupid, illegal wars when they voted for one.
Would you have voted for war?
A: I don't know if I would have or not.
The abuses took place, the files show, in a chaotic and dangerous environment made even more so by the constant pressure from Washington to squeeze intelligence from detainees. Riots, prisoner escapes, shootings, corrupt Iraqi guards, unsanitary conditions, rampant sexual misbehavior, bug-infested food, prisoner beatings and humiliations, and almost-daily mortar shellings from Iraqi insurgents--according to the annex to General Taguba's report, that pretty much sums up life at Abu Ghraib.That's from U.S. News and World Report, which I believe has generally been considered well to the right of its more successful competitors, Time and Newsweek. A friend in high school always referred to it as "Useless News and World Distort." So while the source is probably less likely to be trustworthy than, say, Michael Moore, it is a lot easier to deflect criticism from the right when quoting sources like these. Besides, the article is based mostly on 106 annexes to General Taguba's report, so the information basically comes from the Pentagon. Anyway, more from the article:
It was an environment for which not just Reese's reservists but many regular Army troops were singularly unprepared. Col. Henry Nelson, an Air Force psychiatrist who prepared a report for Taguba on Abu Ghraib, described it as a "new psychological battlefield" and detailed the nature of the challenge faced by the Americans working in the overcrowded prison. "These detainees are male and female, young and old," Nelson wrote; "they may be innocent, may have high intelligence value, or may be terrorists or criminals. No matter who they are, if they are at Abu Ghraib, they are remanded in deplorable, dangerous living conditions, as are the soldiers."
Weak leadership in the prison meant soldiers couldn't accomplish basic tasks, like feeding their detainees. Without a clear chain of command, especially after Sanchez informed Karpinski that military intelligence authorities would assume responsibility for running a key area of Abu Ghraib where Iraqis were detained for interrogation, some soldiers just ran wild. "One of the tower guards was shooting prisoners with lead balls and a slingshot," a company commander testified. Karpinski, in her interview with Taguba, said some soldiers likened the place to "the wild, wild West." Soldiers ran around in civilian clothes and covered latrines with so much graffiti a commander had them painted black. An Army captain photographed female subordinates showering in outside stalls while private contractors smuggled beer into the prison.
Abu Ghraib wasn't the only prison where abuses took place. The problems there, the newly available documents show, had their roots months earlier at another U.S.-run detention center in southern Iraq called Camp Bucca. Evidence showed that MP s viciously attacked prisoners there, including one who had his nose smashed in. Four soldiers were given less than honorable discharges but were not prosecuted. "I'm convinced that what happened [at Abu Ghraib] would never have happened if" the Camp Bucca cases had been prosecuted, Maj. Michael Sheridan, who worked at Abu Ghraib, told General Taguba.
But at the same time, soldiers complained in testimony, there seemed little interest from the top brass in providing the prison facility with what it needed to get the job done. None of the top commanders wanted to hear about the lack of prison guards, lack of guns for MP s or floodlights to bathe the compounds at night and prevent escapes, almost a constant threat at Abu Ghraib. Soldiers complained that there weren't enough of them to properly man guard towers or patrol perimeters. The detainees were often separated from freedom by little more than a few strands of wire and were always on edge because of the dismal living conditions and the shortage of edible food.
Another classified annex reported that the prison complex was seriously overcrowded, with detainees often held for months without ever being interrogated. Detainees walked around in knee-deep mud, "defecating and urinating all over the compounds," said Capt. James Jones, commander of the 229th MP Company. "I don't know how there's not rioting every day," he testified.
Among the more shocking exchanges revealed in the Taguba classified annexes are a series of E-mails sent by Maj. David Dinenna of the 320th MP Battalion. The E-mails, sent in October and November to Maj. William Green of the 800th MP Brigade and copied to the higher chain of command, show a frantic attempt to simply get the detainees at Abu Ghraib edible food. Dinenna pressed repeatedly for food that wouldn't make prisoners vomit. He criticized the private food contractor for shorting the facility on hundreds of meals a day and for providing food containing bugs, rats, and dirt. "As each day goes by, tension within the prison population increases," Dinenna wrote. " . . . Simple fixes, food, would help tremendously." Instead of getting help, Major Green scolded him. "Who is making the charges that there is dirt, bugs, or whatever in the food?" Major Green replied in an E-mail. "If it is the prisoners, I would take that with a grain of salt." Dinenna shot back: "Our MP s, medics, and field surgeon can easily identify bugs, rats, and dirt, and they did." Ultimately, the food contract was not renewed, an Army spokeswoman says, although the company holds other contracts with the military.
Whatever battles there were between the top generals, many soldiers felt abandoned by their chain of command. In testimony, they complained about the lack of toilet facilities, unsanitary conditions, and their unnecessary vulnerability to frequent mortar attacks when they slept out in the compounds. "If you are talking about soldier life support, it's been horrible," Capt. Mark Hale, an MP at Abu Ghraib, told Taguba's staff last February. He added: "The only guidance my guys got was the guidance I gave them. . . . When you tried to go up, you basically got blown off."
For nearly 12 years, Staff Sgt. Jimmy Massey was a hard-core, some say gung-ho, Marine. For three years he trained fellow Marines in one of the most grueling indoctrination rituals in military life - Marine boot camp.Read the rest. It's compelling, maddening and sad.
The Iraq war changed Massey. The brutality, the sheer carnage of the U.S. invasion, touched his conscience and transformed him forever. He was honorably discharged with full severance last Dec. 31 and is now back in his hometown, Waynsville, N.C.
When I talked with Massey last week, he expressed his remorse at the civilian loss of life in incidents in which he himself was involved.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was appearing on NBC's Meet the Press, when host Tim Russert told him that the Iraqis had announced the capture and would soon show their American POWs. Secretary Rumsfeld responded without missing a beat.Why do they hate us? Because we make the rules and then break them at will.
"You know," he said, "under the Geneva Convention, it's illegal to do things with prisoners of war that are humiliating to those individuals."
All that week, Pentagon officials continued to cite the Geneva Conventions, and Rumsfeld drove them home again with an explicit message to Iraqi government officials.
"The coalition POWs that you are holding must be treated according to the Geneva Conventions," he warned. "And any Iraqi officials involved in their mistreatment, humiliation or execution will pay a severe price."
Some were excited, others nervous. All were rushing to fill out their voter registration forms at the Consulate General of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on East 51st Street in Manhattan before it was too late. Venezuelans who had not registered by Saturday afternoon will have lost their chance to participate in one of their country's most heated votes, the Aug. 15 referendum that will decide whether President Hugo Chávez, a radical left-wing politician who has been accused of corruption and electoral fraud, will be ousted.(For comparison's sake, here's how the Times starts another article in today's paper: "President Bush vigorously defended his strategy against terrorism today..." Note that it is not "President Bush, a radical right-wing politician who has been accused of corruption and electoral fraud and illegally taking his nation to war and various other crimes, vigorously defended his strategy against terrorism today..." Going out on a limb here, but I'd guess that every president of any country since George Washington, and probably even him, has been accused of corruption and/or electoral fraud at some point.) The Times really has no shame:
President Chávez has for years inspired a mixture of fanatical support and hatred. Mr. Chávez, who helped stage an unsuccessful coup in 1992, has earned many enemies with his radical politics and policies, which some call dictatorial. After campaigning on an anticorruption platform, he took office in 1999, but was later charged with electoral fraud stemming from a 2000 election.Oooh! "Some call dictatorial." "Some say the true number is much higher." Solid reporting there. It sounds like the order has come down from on high (Bush-Kerry headquarters) that the NY Times had better start catching up with the Washington Post in its Chavez bashing or there would be serious consequences (listening to Ann Coulter's suggestion*, maybe?). More likely, the Times' reporters, like most of the mainstream media, are just a bunch of imperial fascists, and this crap comes naturally to them.
Venezuelans have since witnessed a faltering economy, strikes, demonstrations and violence. Unemployment rose to about 20 percent in 2003, according to official statistics, but some say the true number is much higher.
Four U.S. Marines were killed while conducting security operations in an area of western Iraq that has been a hotbed of anti-American resistance, the U.S. command said Sunday.--">Washington Post.
The Marines were killed Saturday in Anbar, a Sunni-dominated area west of the Iraqi capital that includes the cities of Fallujah, Ramadi and Qaim on the Syrian border.
Bush said the United States was "right to go into Iraq. America is safer today because we did," he told a cheering crowd of supporters in Pennsylvania.All this after the Senate Intelligence Committee issued a report saying that basically all of the prewar "intelligence" was wrong. And most of what Bush says here is at best 51% correct, and at worst 99% meaningless. The Security Council approved sending inspectors back into Iraq; that's true. But based on what they were learning from those inspectors, they weren't about to approve the invasion, even though the Bushies used bribes, threats and espionage to try and get them to do so. In other words, they thought they saw a threat, but were willing to their eyes open. Bush saw a war, and wasn't going to let any facts get in his way.
"We removed a declared enemy of America, who had the capability of producing weapons of mass destruction, and could have passed that capability to terrorists bent on acquiring them."
"My administration looked at the intelligence, and we saw a threat. Members of Congress looked at the intelligence, and they saw a threat.
The United Nations Security Council looked at the intelligence, and it saw a threat. The previous administration and Congress looked at the intelligence -- and made regime change in Iraq the policy of our country," the president said.
When Saddam Hussein refused to heed U.N. resolutions, the United States had no choice but to make good on its promise of action, Bush said.
"We had a choice to make: Either take the word of a madman, or take action to defend America. Faced with that choice, I will defend America every time."
"Because we acted, its dictator is now in a prison cell, and will receive the justice he denied so many for so long," Bush added.
Regarding Secretary of State Colin Powell's February 5, 2003, speech to the United Nations -- in which he presented the U.S. case for war -- the report said that "much of the information" included in the speech from the CIA "was overstated, misleading or incorrect."Colin, I think, deserves his own very special corner of hell. Not only is he smart enough to have known better, he actually did know better, stating in 2001 that Saddam was not a threat to the U.S. or his neighbors and didn't have WMD's (see my post here or "Fahrenheit 911"). Time for Colin to be the nightclub act at Gitmo:
Preparing for a morning patrol, Sgt. Adam Brantley surveyed his perch in the gunner's nest of an armored Humvee. In front of him was a machine gun mounted on a swivel. His M-4 rifle lay on the roof next to it.Get a clue, people. The Iraqis don't want you there. We don't want you there. Only a few numbskulls in Washington and the flag-waving putriots want you to stay there getting blown up, shot at, and thrown at.
Brantley stepped down and stooped in the dust, searching for rocks the size of baseballs. He collected a few handfuls and piled them next to his rifle. His convoy pulled into the smoky streets of Sadr City.
"I don't throw unless thrown upon," said Brantley, 24, who would have cause to do so in the next few hours as rocks thrown from side streets banged against the Humvee.
Venezuela will restore friendly ties with its main oil client, the United States, and scale back relations with Cuba if opponents of President Hugo Chavez win a referendum on his rule and elections, an opposition leader said Thursday.The Bushies backed the 2002 coup against Chavez and were quick to recognize the "legitimacy" of the fascist coup leaders (they had to be quick, since a popular uprising put Chavez back in power two days later). The US just overthrew the government of a country which had never attacked it, or even threatened to attack it, but that's not absurd because it's the U.S.? But for Chavez to call the U.S. imperialist and Bush "a jerk" just because they tried to overthrow his democratically-elected government--now that's absurd!
Alejandro Armas said the opposition, if elected to govern following a defeat for left-winger Chavez in the August 15 recall vote, would reshape his foreign policy, which has distanced Venezuela from the United States.
"Our political relations with the United States cannot be at odds with our economic relations," Armas told Reuters.
The opposition's blueprint for a post-Chavez government will be formally presented Friday. It calls for a foreign policy that "helps to restore confidence in Venezuela as a democratic nation and as a political and commercial partner."
Armas said the contradiction between Chavez's "absurd confrontation" with Washington and Venezuela's role as a strategic U.S. energy supplier should be resolved.
"We're not at the forefront of a jihadist war here," said a U.S. military official in Baghdad, speaking on condition of anonymity.Hmmm. Engagement, the last option. Still, it's surprising that a U.S. military official would say he likes a lot of the insurgents. Not surprising that he spoke on condition of anonymity.
The military official, who has logged thousands of miles driving around Iraq to meet with insurgents or their representatives, said a skillful Iraqi government could co-opt some of the guerrillas and reconcile with the leaders instead of fighting them.
"I generally like a lot of these guys," he said. "We know who the key people are in all the different cities, and generally how they operate. The problem is getting actionable information so you can either attack them, arrest them or engage them."
in April alone, U.S. forces killed as many as 4,000 people, the military official said, including Sunni insurgents and Shiite militiamen fighting under the banner of a radical cleric.That makes my conjecture of 50,000 Iraqis killed in the war seem believable, especially counting the practically defenseless soldiers killed by bombing at the start of the war. Has anybody dug up those mass graves yet?
Most of the insurgents are fighting for a bigger role in a secular society, not a Taliban-like Islamic state, the military official said. Almost all the guerrillas are Iraqis, even those launching some of the devastating car bombings normally blamed on foreigners -- usually al-Zarqawi.It has been suspected by many lefty bloggers (Michelle in particular) that Zarqawi, having lost a leg in Afghanistan and quite possibly being dead, is just being used as a distraction--a way to fire up the freepers, someone to blame the failures on, an excuse for continuing to bomb the crap out of Fallujah. Even though the probably-late Zarqawi's ties to Osama and especially Saddam are shaky, it doesn't matter to Cheney and the freepers. They were told that Zarqawi beheaded Nick Berg, and they're willing to okay any number of atrocities as retribution for that allegation.
The official said many car bombings bore the "tradecraft" of Saddam's former secret police and were aimed at intimidating Iraq's new security services.
Many in the U.S. intelligence community have been making similar points, but have encountered political opposition from the Bush administration, a State Department official in Washington said, also speaking on condition of anonymity.
Civilian analysts generally agreed, saying U.S. and Iraqi officials have long overemphasized the roles of foreign fighters and Muslim extremists.
Such positions support the Bush administration's view that the insurgency is linked to the war on terror. A closer examination paints most insurgents as secular Iraqis angry at the presence of U.S. and other foreign troops.
"Too much U.S. analysis is fixated on terms like 'jihadist,' just as it almost mindlessly tries to tie everything to (Osama) bin Laden," Cordesman said. "Every public opinion poll in Iraq ... supports the nationalist character of what is happening."
Italian school food laws passed in 2002 are now coming into effect. Before 2005, 100% of foods served in schools to children age 3-10 must be organic. For students in advanced schools, 35% of cafeteria foods must be organic. Eventually 100% of the nation's school fare will beHere in this country, school lunches not only aren't organic, they're not feces-free. Mmm-mmm.
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry and running mate John Edwards sought to rally voters in Florida on Thursday by recalling the recount dispute in 2000 that tipped the election to George W. Bush.-- NY Times
"I got news for you. In 2004, not only does every vote in Florida count, but every vote is going to be counted," Kerry said during a sweltering rally inside an airport hanger. "They fix those machines, we'll fix America."
At a joint session of the US Congress January 6  to count the Electoral College vote in the 2000 election, Democratic leaders of the House and Senate officially submitted to the hijacking of the presidency by the Republican Party and the US Supreme Court and the installation of George W. Bush in the White House.So if only half of the 2004 Democratic ticket (or half of the 2000 ticket, for that matter, since Lieberman was a senator) had offered to support the Congressional Black Caucus, we could at the very least have highlighted the illegitimacy of the Bushies. Of course, counting the black vote may be more important to the Johns now that they are the ones likely to benefit.
Although 20 Democratic congressmen, mainly members of the Congressional Black Caucus, formally objected to the awarding of Florida's 25 electoral votes to Bush, not one of the 50 Democratic senators would join in the objection, as required by an 1887 law governing the counting of the electoral vote.
If even a single Democratic senator had signed an objection, the joint session would have adjourned and the House and Senate would have convened separately to vote, with a majority of both Houses required to sustain the objection. The Democrats control the Senate temporarily, since it is divided 50-50 with Vice President Al Gore holding the tie-breaking vote until January 20, but the Republicans hold a narrow majority in the House.
Such a procedure would have been politically damaging to the incoming Bush administration, underscoring the fragility and illegitimacy of the Republican victory. But Senate Democrats refused to back any objection, insisting that the presidential election contest had been ended by the US Supreme Court decision of December 12 halting hand recounts in Florida, and Gore's concession the next day.
A blind Quebec student, who was denied entry to English classes at a Canadian university because his guide dog responds only to French commands, will be allowed to attend class, the school said on Wednesday.When asked by reporters Pavot said "I understand English very well. But I only respond to French. Excuse moi, s'il vous plait! Oueff!"
Yvan Tessier was turned away from an English immersion course at the University of New Brunswick because he would be forced to give his dog, Pavot, instructions in French.
A worker with the Federal Emergency Management Agency who wore an anti-Bush T-shirt at the president’s July Fourth rally in Charleston has been sent home to Texas.Since Bush doesn't read the papers and probably has never seen a protester because of crap like this, I wonder if he actually believes that he is a popular president?
Nicole Rank, who was working for FEMA in West Virginia, and her husband, Jeff, were removed from the Capitol grounds in handcuffs shortly before Bush’s speech. The pair wore T-shirts with the message “Love America, Hate Bush.”
The Ranks were ticketed for trespassing and released. They have been given summonses to appear in court, Charleston Police Lt. C.A. Vincent said Wednesday.
The White House coordinated the president’s visit to the state Capitol. Organizers described it as a presidential visit, not a political rally. State and federal funds were used to pay for the presidential visit.
Dozens of people who attended Sunday’s event wore pro-Bush T-shirts and Bush-Cheney campaign buttons, some of which were sold on the Capitol grounds outside the security screening stations.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A couple from Texas was taken out of a speech given by President Bush in West Virginia Sunday.The previous article wasn't clear about where they had tickets (they did) and whether they were inside or out of the area where tickets were required (inside). This makes it clear that they were arrested SOLELY because of their T-shirts. Friggin' Fascist Bushies!
Police placed Nicole and Jeffery Rank of Corpus Christi in restraints after they entered the event with a ticket and then removed their clothes to reveal anti-Bush T-shirts, according to the acting director of the Capitol police in Charleston.
He said the two were asked to go out to the designated protest area, but refused.
Bush came to West Virginia on the nation's 228th birthday to honor the country's veterans and garner support for invading Iraq.
About 6,500 people packed into the Capitol's north courtyard to hear him.
As police rushed her out, Nicole Rank shouted that they were told they couldn't be there because they were wearing anti-Bush shirts.
Police say the two were issued citations for trespassing and released.
hasan, from boulder writes:But earlier, Gonzales answered this question:
why is the nomination of these judges so contraversal?
A great majority of the President's nominees are not controversial. To date, the Senate has confirmed 88% of the President's nominees. Even the few judges who are being filibustered have the support of a majority of Senators and would be confirmed if given an up-or-down vote. It is important to note that 99 percent of the President's nominees have been rated "well-qualified" or "qualified" by the American Bar Association, and based on a recent non-partisan study, this President's nominees are considered, based on a review of ABA ratings, the the most qualified of any recent Administration.
Neil, from Pennsylvania writes:So, Alberto, since the Senate has shown that it is willing to approve 88% of the boy-king's nominations, why not just nominate a few more like them to address these "emergencies" rather than picking right-wing idiotlogues and then complaining when the Democratic senators do their job?
Are present federal judges having to do more because the federal government cannot agree on who to appoint and confirm for the many judicial vacancies across the country?
Right now, more than one-third (11) of the President's pending nominees (25) are waiting to fill vacancies that the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has designated as "judicial emergencies." These "judicial emergencies" generally indicate that the vacancies are placing additional burdens on judges who are already carrying full case loads. The fact that these vacancies remain open can mean that cases are not resolved in a timely manner. A continuing judicial vacancy is a disservice to the American public.
Thomas, from Charlotte, North Carolina writes:So what is "unprecedented" is the use of the filibuster, which is about the only thing protecting us from a total Republican trampling of the Constitution. They had the nerve to suggest that Max Cleland was buddies with Osama because he wasn't patriotic enough to lose a FOURTH limb in Vietnam, and then rigged the election in Georgia just to be sure that they gained control of the Senate. Now they want to make sure that they control every last court in America so that no one can successfully appeal the next stolen election, coming this November.
Judge Gonzales, How many names has President Bush submitted in nomination for a seat on the federal bench, (all courts) since taking office and, of those, how many have been confirmed and how many are still pending?
Thank you, sir.
The President has nominated 225 men and women to the federal bench; 198 have been confirmed, and 25 remain pending.
Ron, from Columbus, Ohio writes:
I watched President Bush speak in North Carolina today during my lunch hour. He complained that the Senator Edwards (NC) was unfairly obstructing the President's placement of a Federal Judge from North Carlina. Why is this it considered "obstructing" when Senator Edwards does but isn't when Senator Helms did the same to Clinton nominees to Judgeships? Or, was Senator Helms also obstructing progress as well? I need to be educated on how this process works.Thank you,
President Bush has said that the judicial confirmation is broken and has been so for some time. It is unfair for any Senator to block a judicial nominee -- all deserve timely up-or-down votes. To fix the broken confirmation process, the President has proposed a plan for timely consideration of judicial nominees that would apply no matter who is President or which party controls Congress.
Chaz, from Tacoma WA writes:
Can you explain why President Bush continues to state that the democrats in the Senate are using "obstructionist tactics" to block judicial nominees when in fact only three nominees have been blocked, and Clinton by comparison had 20 nominees blocked?
Please note that the Senate has confirmed 198 judges... a rate of confirmation higher than Clinton experienced (with 377 judges confirmed during his 8 years in office).
As I noted, six qualifed appeals court nominees who have the support of a majority of Senators and would be confirmed if given a vote, have been filibustered. This is unprecedented in the history of the Senate. In this Presidency, more appeals court nominees have had to wait longer than a year for a hearing than in the last fifty years combined.
Israeli tanks and helicopters in the northern Gaza Strip opened fire on Palestinian snipers in an intense early morning battle Thursday that killed at least eight Palestinians, including a 35-year-old woman, and injured one Israeli soldier, according to an Israeli military spokeswoman and Palestinian security officials.At Least 3 U.S. Soldiers, 1 Iraqi Guardsman Killed
Insurgents fired mortar rounds at a headquarters used by U.S. troops and Iraqi forces in the city of Samarra on Thursday, destroying the building and killing at least three U.S. soldiers, the U.S. military said.(emphasis added)
An Iraqi guardsman was also killed and a fourth U.S. soldier was unaccounted for. Twenty other U.S. soldiers were wounded in the 10:30 a.m. attack, said Maj. Neal O'Brien, the spokesman for the 1st Infantry Division. U.S. troops secured the area around the collapsed building.
American soldiers responded to the attack 25 minutes later, after radar determined where the mortar rounds were fired from. Soldiers counter-fired four 120 mm mortars in response.
There's so many things going on in the worldI'm afraid it got Bushwhacked and Kerry'd away, Willie.
How much oil is one human life worth
And what ever happened to peace on earth
Hell they won't lie to me
Not on my own damn TV
But how much is a liar's word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth
So I guess it's just
Do unto others before they do it to you
Let's just kill em' all and let God sort em' out
Is this what God wants us to do
And the bewildered herd is still believing
Everything we've been told from our birth
Hell they won't lie to me
Not on my own damn TV
But how much is a liar's word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth
Now you probably won't hear this on your radio
Probably not on your local TV
But if there's a time, and if you're ever so inclined
You can always hear it from me
How much is one picker's word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth
But don't confuse caring for weakness
You can't put that label on me
The truth is my weapon of mass protection
And I believe truth sets you free
And the bewildered herd is still believing
Everything we've been told from our birth
Hell they won't lie to me
Not on my own damn TV
But how much is a liar's word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth
When a questioner in Raleigh noted that Mr. Edwards had been described as charming and a "nimble campaigner" and asked Mr. Bush to compare the one-term senator to Vice President Dick Cheney, Mr. Bush snapped back: "Dick Cheney can be president. Next?"-- NY Times
Former Enron Chairman and CEO Kenneth Lay has been indicted by a grand jury in Houston, a person close to the investigation told CNNfn Wednesday.Now we just need those indictments for Bush and Cheney, and we'll be on our way to taking the country back.
But the person said that the indictment remains under seal. An announcement could come Thursday. The Justice Department declined to comment.
But perhaps there's more to it than ennui and insecurity. George Marshall, of the climate change network Rising Tide, suggests that the people who buy these cars in the face of both a developing global climate crisis and an impending global oil crisis are engaging in "reactive denial". By showing that it's possible to consume vast quantities of fossil fuel without an immediately discernable adverse effect, 4x4 drivers prove to themselves that there cannot be a problem.(With apologies to my one (small) SUV-driving reader who actually needs the thing for her work.)
If this is the case, then the only sensible response is to demonstrate that there are immediately discernable adverse effects, by stinging these people with a vast tax bill, or simply by banning their anti-social behavior. It isn't hard to do: the government could set a minimum average mpg for all new cars: say 30 to begin with, rising by a couple every year. This would shut the big 4x4s out of the market immediately (there could be a temporary exemption for farmers).
The alternative is to do as the government is doing now: leave the world to be destroyed, in the name of that marvelous excuse for an absence of leadership: freedom of choice. There's a simple and cost-effective means for Tony Blair to prove that he's serious about climate change: drive these dangerous baubles off the road.
U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said Tuesday that the Energy and Defense departments have removed from Iraq radiological and nuclear materials that could potentially be used in weapons. In the operation, Department of Energy teams packaged 1.77 metric tons of low-enriched uranium and roughly 1,000 highly radioactive sources from a former Iraq nuclear research facility.Now they're in the hands of the only nation ever to use nuclear weapons against human targets. The world is a safer place?
Carlson ruled that Schmidt "flagrantly" disregarded a direct order to hold his fire, displayed a lack of flight discipline and ignored the rules of engagement.So, according to the commander of the Eighth Air Force (Carlson), Major Schmidt waged his own war, killing four Canadians and wounding eight. His punishment? A fine of $5,672, or $1418 per Canadian life. Or maybe it was $1000 per life, with $209 for each of the wounded? No jail time. Is it any wonder that Bush had trouble getting participants for his "coalition of the willing" when our own military is allowed to kill allied soldiers basically with impugnity?
"Your actions indicate that you used your self-defense declaration as a pretext to strike a target, which you rashly decided was an enemy firing position, and about which you had exhausted your patience in waiting for clearance from the Combined Air Operations Center to engage," Carlson wrote. "You used the inherent right of self-defense as an excuse to wage your own war."
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry is sharpening his criticism of Hugo Chavez, suggesting the Venezuelan president risks becoming an "outlaw" if he doesn't ensure that next month's recall referendum on his presidency is conducted fairly.It's pretty clear by now that the only way that Chavez can prove his commitment to democracy to the likes of Kerry and Bush is by losing the August referendum, which he is currently favored to win. And don't forget that Kerry was one of the 100 non-black senators who refused to support a challenge to the disenfranchisement of thousands of black voters in Florida in 2000 (as shown in F-911). He's the one who voted for giving the usurper the power to go to war, a power which the Constitution says should remain in the hands of Congress, and he did so against the wishes of a majority of his constituents. He's the one who shamelessly accepted the manipulations of the media which made him the Democratic nominee--ignore Kucinich, belittle Edwards, lynch Dean ("Yeah!!!!"). Chavez has empowered millions who felt powerless just ten years ago. Kerry is doing the exact opposite, yet he has the chutzpah to accuse Chavez of being undemocratic.
The comments come as Kerry attempts to portray himself as "deeply involved" with Latin America, at the same time accusing the White House of failing to promote democratic reform in Venezuela and elsewhere.
Strategists have suggested the Chavez critique can help Kerry curry support among Cuban-American voters in Florida, who view Chavez as an ally of Fidel Castro. Democrats believe they have an opportunity this year to peel off some reliably Republican Cuban-American voters incensed by the president's recent crackdown on travel and aid to Cuba.
In a televised interview that will air Wednesday in 19 Latin America countries, Kerry called the upcoming referendum in Venezuela "a real challenge to the entire hemisphere" and said that "as president," he would "work with the international community to bring pressure in the interest of democracy.
"Global transparency, accountability of government, democracy, I think is critical everywhere, but particularly to our hemisphere," Kerry said in the interview with Herald columnist Andres Oppenheimer for the TV program Oppenheimer Presenta. "If Chavez does not respect that process, then he makes himself an outlaw with respect to those values and those interests."
The Army and Air Force Exchange Service, which books films to be shown on military bases around the world, has contacted Fahrenheit's distributor to book the film.
U.S.-led coalition forces, who have been targeting al-Zarqawi, launched an air strike in the restive city of Fallujah on a suspected safe house used by his followers. The attack reportedly killed 15 people, a dozen of them children, witnesses said.GET. OUT. NOW.
Yasser Abed, 17, said 15 members of his family, including 12 children, were killed in the air strike. Abed, his father and a brother were out of the house at the time of the attack, he said. Hospital officials said at least 10 people were killed. Previous U.S. air strikes in Fallujah have killed dozens.
By an American empire I mean 725 military bases in 138 foreign countries circling the globe from Greenland to Asia, from Japan to Latin America. This is a sort of base world — a secret, enclosed, separate world where our half-million troops, contractors and spies live quite comfortably around the world. I think that’s an empire. Granted, the unit of European imperialism was the colony. The unit of American imperialism is the military base.
These American bases are an outgrowth of U.S. containment policy from the Cold War. What’s their role now? Are they just pork? Or are they there to defend U.S. investment?
What they don’t do is defend U.S. security. They just grew, whether or not they had or have strategic value. We have 101 bases today in Korea even though the war has been over for 50 years. Once created, the military is endlessly creative in finding new functions for them, long after their real value has evaporated. This base world becomes part of the vested interest we associate not with security but with militarism, the danger of the military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned against.
The [retired and independent] petroleum geologists have nothing but contempt for economists who, by reducing all resources to dollar prices, effectively obscure real and important physical distinctions. According to the petroleum geologists, this is arrant and dangerous nonsense. Petroleum will run out. Moreover, it will do so much sooner than the economists assume--and substitutes will not be easy to find. The environmentalists, who for the most part accept economists' estimates of petroleum reserves, are, according to the geologists, both right and wrong: we should indeed be switching to renewable alternatives, but because the renewables cannot fully replicate the energy characteristics of fossil fuels and because decades will be required for their full development, a Golden Age of plentiful energy from renewable sources is simply not in the cards. Society must engage in a crash program of truly radical conservation if we are to avoid economic and humanitarian catastrophe as industrialism comes to its inevitable end.Quoting some quotes from later in the book:
Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist. -- Kenneth Boulding (ca. 1980)The gist of Heinberg's book (and talk) is that the world is very near, or possibly already at, the limit of its ability to produce oil. The easy oil is gone, and what is left will be harder to find and more expensive to drill. The average amount of energy needed to extract a barrel of oil from the ground has been steadily increasing for a century, and will eventually exceed the amount of energy contained in that barrel. As Heinberg points out, oil ceases to be an energy source at that point. Another major point that Heinberg makes is that oil is about as close to a perfect fuel as we'll ever have--high energy density, easy to transport, relatively safe and clean (compared to coal and nuclear, for example). And while coal helped to get the industrial revolution started, the massive networks of industry and transportation that circle the globe today were only possible because of the cheap and easy availability of oil. Once oil has peaked, those networks will inevitably have to slow down or shut down. How this is done should be the key question of our time, not some "war on terror" or how to "jump-start" our economy.
If we continue...to consume the world until there's no more to consume, then there's going to come a day, sure as hell, when our children or their children or their children's children are going to look back on us--on you and me--and say to themselves, "My God, what kind of monsters were these people?" -- Daniel Quinn (2000)
We need an energy bill that encourages consumption. -- George W. Bush (2002)
Today, we face three great challenges above all others — first, to win the global war against terror; second, to stop the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons; and third, to promote democracy and freedom around the world, starting with a peaceful and stable Iraq.Draft of the Democratic Party platform.
No, the "great challenges" we face above all others are to create a world where people, including Americans, have health care, water, food, housing, jobs, and peace.Also,
the platform emphasizes that Democrats will not abandon Baghdad.WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. You don't fix a mistake (or a crime, to be more accurate) by continuing to make it. You apologize and get the Cheney out of Dodge as fast as you can. Every indication is that we are failing miserably at peace, because we are continuing to fight a war. Continuing to fight that war is what we cannot afford.
Having "gone to war, we cannot afford to fail at peace," it says. "We cannot allow a failed state in Iraq that inevitably would become a haven for terrorists and a destabilizing force in the Middle East."
Q: How can we convince conservative Christians not to vote for Bush?It's something I've wondered about for a while.
Lila: Tell them to read their bible.
The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies
In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. (Kyoto global warming protocols, International Criminal Court)
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only. (Welcome to the District of Columbia!)
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. (Voting on the Medicare Bill started at 3 AM and continued until 6 AM)
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within. (Elections in Afghanistan and Iraq have been postponed, and who knows what may happen here in November)
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.(Ladies and Gentlemen! The Department of Homeland Security! And TIPS! And CAPPS II! And all the ones we won't hear about until they arrest us!)
(I think that the people of Afghanistan and Iraq could relate to the following nine paragraphs)
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States: (If they are tried at all. George II has extended this protection to contractors as well.)
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:(Sanctions, followed by no-bid contracts.)
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:(Welcome to Guantanamo Bay. Checkout time is never.)
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever. (That's what regime change is all about.)
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation. (Let's get NATO involved!)
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands. (The new Iraqi army!)
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions. (Bring 'em on!)
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
Wendy, from Riverside, CA writes:
Mr. Richard Armitage,After all your international experiences - are you able to justify the blatant disregard of U.S. foreign policy for the majority world's right to self-determination? Do you not detect that "terrorism" is the new "communism" - euphemisms to excuse the growing overtly imperialistic tendancies of the U.S. government?
And if you are on the side of justice - what can you do to change it?
Thank you for your comment. No nation in the world ever gives up their right of self defense. This President was not going to wait while a storm gathered and attacked us considering the horror our citizens felt after 9/11.
Terrorism is not the new communism, it is worse.
Regarding imperialism, it is interesting to note -- as far as I know -- in all of the military activities that the United States has taken part in, in over a century, we never asked for more land of any country than the six feet necessary to bury our dead. Period.
Mark, from Santa Fe writes:Does he actually believe that? Or did he time his crack just for that question? At least it's evident that the natives are starting to get restless. Here are two more questions:
So many current and former BushReaganCheney adminstration staff profit from war. What do you think of that? Isn't it in their interest to promote war instead of peace?
I don't know how they can profit from war. If you are speaking about investments, stock ownings in previous companies when they were in the private sector, most of us have to give up our stocks before we enter government. We have to sell them, so there is no way we can profit
No one profits from war except those who are free from subjugation.
Bruce, from Connecticut writes:
Why do the people of Iraq have so much hate for the Americans and nothing is said about Saddam Hussain? Are we wrong about how terrible he treated them?
I think the people of Iraq had no patience for occupiers. And although initially we were greeted as liberators, we rapidly became seen as occupiers. That situation changed three days ago when the government of the new Iraq took sovereign control of their country.
It is very difficult to imagine that the Iraqi people will ever again in large numbers express an affection for Saddam Hussein. He treated them terribly, at least those who were not in a favored ethnic group.
Don, from Denver writes:
Why did you, and the rest of the administration, lie to the American people about the reasons for the war with Iraq? Do you, or any of your close friends, have children serving in Iraq or Afghanistan?
I have children, not serving in the military. Many of my friends do. I have served in Vietnam for six years. We went to war with Iraq, first of all, as a matter of self defense. Second of all to make a region safer and more stable. Third of all, to make sure that a man who had a WMD program, who had the expertise to develop them, and who had money would not own those weapons. Not now or not ever.
We asked him whether it was wise to continue growing cotton, given the way it soaks up all the water that used to flow into the Aral Sea and the new evidence of health risks from the chemicals sprayed on the crops.
His response was defiant: cotton is Uzbekistan's biggest export earner.
Mr Hamraev said that stopping the growing of cotton would make public health worse and leave stomachs empty. "There's no alternative," he said.
So the cotton fields are busy, the sea shrinks and the hospitals struggle to cope.
A state court judge in Florida ordered Thursday that the board of elections immediately release a list of nearly 50,000 suspected felons to CNN and other news organizations that last month sued the state for access to copies of the list.So if we now go ask all of those people who were on the list "in error" (voting while black) who they would have voted for in 2000, and more than 537 more say Gore than Bush, can we get our remedial inauguration on Sunday? Now THAT would be a way to celebrate the Fourth of July!
The list is used to determine who will be eligible to vote in November's presidential election in the state.
The government needs to establish guidelines for canceling or rescheduling elections if terrorists strike the United States again, says the chairman of a new federal voting commission.Given what happened in 2000, concerns that Bush and the Repugs might use a terrorist attack as an excuse to cancel the election are well founded, and the lefties I noted before saw this story as a scary step in that direction. But I would suggest that Mr. Soaries is doing us a great service by bringing it up now, forcing the Bushies to publicly address the issue. This part of the article I hadn't seen quoted much:
Such guidelines do not currently exist, said DeForest B. Soaries, head of the voting panel.
Soaries was appointed to the federal Election Assistance Commission last year by President Bush. Soaries said he wrote to National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge in April to raise the concerns.I'd say he's exactly right. By bringing up the possibility now, I think that not only has he lessened the possibility of a terrorist attack being used to steal the election, he may even have lowered the probability of the attack itself. Let's have our "Fahrenheit 9/11" on the stolen election of 2004 BEFORE it happens.
"I am still awaiting their response," he said. "Thus far we have not begun any meaningful discussion." Spokesmen for Rice and Ridge did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Soaries noted that Sept. 11, 2001, fell on Election Day in New York City -- and he said officials there had no rules to follow in making the decision to cancel the election and hold it later.
Events in Spain, where a terrorist attack shortly before the March election possibly influenced its outcome, show the need for a process to deal with terrorists threatening or interrupting the Nov. 2 presidential election in America, he said.
"Look at the possibilities. If the federal government were to cancel an election or suspend an election, it has tremendous political implications. If the federal government chose not to suspend an election it has political implications," said Soaries, a Republican and former secretary of state of New Jersey.
"Who makes the call, under what circumstances is the call made, what are the constitutional implications?" he said. "I think we have to err on the side of transparency to protect the voting rights of the country."
I remember after the attacks of September 11, as mayor of the city, I was very, very worried about al-Qaida and still am. But I'm even more worried about the actions and inactions of the Bush administration.-- Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, Monday. The right-wing attack machine is of course after O'Malley:
Franklin's appearance on Fox's The O'Reilly Factor resulted in about three minutes of O'Malley bashing with host Bill O'Reilly.For the record, Bill, there was an Iraqi child beheaded in the attack on a wedding party back in May. Of the probably tens of thousands of Iraqis killed in Bush's illegal invasion, that girl was probably not the only one beheaded. And Bush deserves at least some of the blame for the beheadings of Nicholas Berg and the Korean translator, since they probably would not have been there without the invasion, and might have been better protected if Bush hadn't botched the occupation. But then, O'Reilly misses a lot.
"So he is more worried about Bush than al-Qaida. I haven't seen Bush behead anybody lately, but maybe I missed that. Is this guy [O'Malley] just insane or what?" O'Reilly said on the show.
"He's a bit nutty. This is our mayor," Franklin replied.
Labels: Quote du jour
Q Is it your policy to ask for questions in advance?I wish they'd list the names of the reporters, instead of just "Q," so we'd have an easier time explaining the bodies found floating in the Potomac.
MR. McCLELLAN: No, it is not my policy. In fact, if reporters would give me their questions, this press briefing would be a whole lot easier, I'm sure. But that's not my policy.
Q Sometimes you might answer them. (Laughter.)
Mr. Bremer put the best foot forward. Noting that the ex-proconsul was standing on the White House lawn still in the boots he wore with suits in Iraq, Charlie Gibson of ABC asked the escapee how he felt.
"Well, it's like having a rather large weight lifted off my shoulders," he said. "I'm delighted to be back."
If only our soldiers could say the same.
He has lied about his time in the National Guard, and lied about his criminal history. He lied about his relationship with Ken Lay, he lied about who would benefit from his tax cuts, and he lied about stem cells. He lied about his visit to Bob Jones University, he lied about why he wouldn't meet with Log Cabin Republicans, and he lied about reading the EPA report on global warming. He lied about blaming the Clinton administration for the second intifada, he lies constantly about how he pays no attention to polls, he lied about how he loves New York, and he lied about moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. He lied about finding WMD in Iraq, he lied about making his decision to go to war, he lied about the CIA's dismissal of the yellowcake rumors, and he lied about the IAEA's assessment of Iraq's nuclear program. He lied about funding the fight against AIDS in Africa, he lied about when the recession started, and he lied about seeing the first plane hit the WTC. He lied about supporting the Patient Protection Act, and he lied about his deficit spending, and now my wrist hurts.
jon, from huntington beach, ca writes:And, as we know, the little blue notebook of sovereignty was handed over on June 28 in a secret ceremony, removing the significance of June 30 (as if there were any significance to begin with). Condoloser Rice was scheduled to be on Ask the White House yesterday, but apparently June 30 lost all of its significance and they haven't posted the transcript of that session.
I realize that Iraq is in control of a great deal of the government but why dont you catch the insurgents off-guard and turn full control over to Iraq now. What difference does a few days make? I have the feeling that they are planning some big attack on the 30th. Remove the significance of June 30th.
Let the Iraq deel with the insurgents starting right now.
That’s an interesting idea. The terrorists work by surprising us and we need to think about what we can do to throw them off balance.
From December 1987 through June 2004:B'Tselem has the statistics broken down many ways. These numbers would probably come as a complete surprise to most Americans, since the suicide bombings always make big headlines on the front pages, while the shootings and missile strikes against Palestinians are hidden in the back pages, if they make the papers at all.
--Israelis have killed 3,429 Palestinian adults and 819 Palestinian children; "more than fifty percent of the Palestinians killed" by Israelis through 2003 were unarmed.
--Palestinians have killed 1,203 Israeli adults and 112 Israeli children.
--88.0% of all children killed have been Palestinians; 12.0% have been Israelis.
--In 2002, the worst year for the killing of children on both sides, Israelis killed 153 Palestinian children; Palestinians killed 37 Israeli children.
Source: Data from the Israeli human rights group, B'Tselem