Friday, October 06, 2006

More Foley, FBI Lies, Iraq, Education, Little Big Fence, Government Grows, Environment, Economy and Ignoring Al Queda.

Thank goodness, the Foley scandal is about over. The country's falling apart around our ears and one Republican with a craving for young, hard-bodies just doesn't merit all this national attention.

I know it's about over because the Republicans have basically announced victory and are ready to move forward with their plan to sell the country to the highest bidder.

Congress has decided to investigate the the whole thing, not Foley, but the events leading to the Foley lapse of judgment. The GOP has already thrown Foley to the sharks and with the investigation, will exonerate themselves.

The House ethics committee launched a wide-ranging investigation into Congress's
handling of information about a Florida lawmaker and teenage pages yesterday, as
Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) vowed to keep his job, saying, "I haven't
done anything wrong."

And House Republicans are rounding the wagons, a lot of them, around Hastert and backing him to the hilt. Because,

For now, they said, it would be politically disastrous for Republicans to oust
Hastert because it would be viewed as akin to a public admission of guilt in the
scandal, as well as a pre-election victory that would buoy Democrats and help
their turnout efforts.

And Hastert has an ace in the hole, with the two Republicans on the committee are both financially indebted to him.

WASHINGTON — Both Republicans on the House ethics subcommittee investigating the
Mark Foley scandal have financial ties to Speaker Dennis Hastert, whose handling
of the former congressman's lurid Internet messages to House pages is under

Never admitting guilt or taking resposibility is, like the first commandment of the Republican party. Especially when you already know who's fault this whole mess really is.

When asked about a groundswell of discontent among the GOP's conservative base
over his handling of the issue, Hastert said in the phone interview: "I think
the base has to realize after a while, who knew about it? Who knew what, when?
When the base finds out who's feeding this monster, they're not going to be
happy. The people who want to see this thing blow up are ABC News and a lot of
Democratic operatives, people funded by [liberal activist] George Soros."

And since facts are something the GOP avoids like the plague, everything should work out just fine.

The source who in July gave news media Rep. Mark Foley’s (R-Fla.) suspect
e-mails to a former House page says the documents came to him from a House GOP
That aide has been a registered Republican since becoming eligible to vote,
said the source, who showed The Hill public records supporting his claim.

The same source, who acted as an intermediary between the
aide-turned-whistleblower and several news outlets, says the person who shared
the documents is no longer employed in the
But the whistleblower was a paid GOP staffer when the documents were first
given to the media.

Plus, when you have the FBI running interference for you, how can you lose the PR game.

The watchdog group that first provided the FBI with suspicious e-mails from
then-Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) said yesterday that FBI and Justice
Department officials are attempting to cover up their inaction in the case by
making false claims about the group.
Law enforcement officials said the
allegations by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) are
without merit, and they stood by allegations that the group had refused to
provide some information to the FBI.

Unfortunately, CREW doesn't seem to be intimidated by the FBI. In fact, CREW says the FBI's lying. The FBI wouldn't lie, would it?

Washington, DC – Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
wrote to the Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General’s (I.G.) office today
to ask for an investigation into why the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
has fabricated and disseminated a cover-up story as to why it never investigated
the Foley emails sent to it by CREW.

CBS News has reported that according to the FBI when CREW gave the Bureau the
original set of emails from Rep. Mark Foley to a former House page, they were
“heavily redacted.” The FBI is also claiming that it came back to CREW and asked
for more information so that it could follow up, but that CREW refused to
provide anything further. Reporters from several other news organizations have
repeated this allegation. The FBI is lying.

On Monday, October 2, CREW sent a letter to the DOJ I.G.’s office, attaching
exact copies of the emails CREW had sent to the FBI on July 21, 2006. Both the
former page’s name and the person to whom the page forwarded Rep. Foley’s emails
were clearly visible. Moreover, after CREW sent the emails to the FBI, CREW’s
only subsequent contact with the Bureau was one telephone call from the special
agent to whom CREW had sent the material confirming that the emails were from
Rep. Foley. CREW had no further contact with the FBI.

Crooks and Liars shows us the problem of having all our attention directed towards the Foley Follies.

While All Eyes Are On Foley, Iraq Is Rapidly Deteriorating

Let's check out some of the other stuff that's not getting much attention.

My son's busting his butt trying to sell suckers to his Mom and me to raise money for his sophomore class. No problem with that, but it does make a somewhat lame segue to No Child Left Behind.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 5 /PRNewswire-US Newswire/ -- Today,
President Bush will
resurrect one of his most well-known policy failures, the No Child Left Behind
Act, during remarks at Woodridge Elementary and Middle School in Washington,
D.C. While the President likes to tout the Act as one his few legislative
successes, the reality is that the White House and Republicans in Congress have
under-funded the law by $40 billion since its passage in 2001. States have even
been forced to sue the Bush Administration to get the necessary funds to
implement the Act. At the same time, the President has made repeated attempts to
cut Even Start, bilingual education and after-school programs.

I believe that I've mentioned the sham that Congress is putting up over illegal immigration. They're certainly not going to attack the problem at it's source, the greedy scumbags that don't want to pay a decent wage. So they put on a show with their 700 mile fence. As long as you think that they're doing something, they're happy.

No sooner did Congress authorize construction of a 700-mile fence on the
U.S.-Mexico border last week than lawmakers rushed to approve separate
legislation that ensures it will never be built, at least not as advertised,
according to Republican lawmakers and immigration experts.

GOP leaders have singled out the
fence as one of the primary accomplishments of the recently completed session.
Many lawmakers plan to highlight their $1.2 billion down payment on its
construction as they campaign in the weeks before the midterm elections.

In this case, it also reflects political calculations by GOP strategists that
voters do not mind the details, and that key players -- including the
administration, local leaders and the Mexican government -- oppose a fence-only
approach, analysts said.

You know that the Republicans have always been the party of small government, unless it involves getting into people's private lives. Guess what?

Light calls the 10.5 million federal contractors and grantees the government's
"hidden workforce" because politicians tend not to mention them when discussing
the size of the federal bureaucracy. Yet such workers absorbed nearly $400
billion in federal contracting funds and $100 billion in federal grants in 2005.
They often performed vital work such as researching new vaccines, running
federal computer systems and making body armor, weapons and meals for the

How's our President doing on the environment? According to federal judges, he's on par with the rest of his accomplishments.

SEATTLE, Oct. 5 -- Using language that suggests they are fed up with the Bush
administration, federal judges across the West have issued a flurry of rulings
in recent weeks, chastising the government for repeated and sometimes willful
failure to enforce laws protecting fish, forests, wildlife and clean air.

The stock market's doing great. So the economy must be doing great, right? It is, in China. More's going out than is coming in. Thanks George.

There is fresh evidence, if any more were needed, that excessive borrowing
during the Bush years will make the nation
For most of the past five and a half years, interest rates have been low,
allowing the government to borrow more and more — to cut taxes while fighting
two expensive wars — without having to shoulder higher interest payments.

That’s over now. For the first time during President Bush’s tenure, the
government’s interest bill is expected to rise in 2006, from $184 billion in
2005 to $220 billion this year, up nearly 20 percent. That increase — $36
billion — makes interest the fastest-growing component of federal spending, and
continued brisk growth is likely. According to projections by Congress’s budget
office, the interest bill will grow to $249 billion in 2007, and $270 billion in
All of that is money the government won’t have available to spend on other
needs and priorities. And much of it won’t even be recycled back into the United
States economy. That’s because borrowing from foreign countries has exploded
during the Bush years. In 2005, the government paid about $77 billion in
interest to foreign creditors in China, Japan and elsewhere.

And just so it don't get lost in the fog of right wing propaganda, what did they know and when did they know it? Well, it turns out that they knew a lot and knew it in time, but chose to ignore it. Understandable, since we were in imminent danger of being wiped off the face of the earth by Iraq.

JIDDA, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 2 — A review of White House records has determined
that George
J. Tenet
, then the director of central intelligence, did brief Condoleezza
and other top officials on July 10, 2001, about the looming threat from Al
, a State Department spokesman said Monday.

Officials now agree that on July 10, 2001, Mr. Tenet and his counterterrorism
deputy, J. Cofer Black, were so alarmed about an impending Al Qaeda attack that
they demanded an emergency meeting at the White House with Ms. Rice and her National
Security Council

According to two former intelligence officials, Mr. Tenet told those
assembled at the White House about the growing body of intelligence the Central
Intelligence Agency
had collected pointing to an impending Al Qaeda attack.
But both current and former officials took issue with Mr. Woodward’s account
that Mr. Tenet and his aides left the meeting in frustration, feeling as if Ms.
Rice had ignored them.

The dispute that has played out in recent days gives further evidence of an
escalating battle between the White House and Mr. Tenet over who should take the
blame for such mistakes as the failure to stop the Sept. 11 attacks and
assertions by Bush administration officials that Saddam
was stockpiling chemical and biological weapons and cultivating ties
to Al
Mr. Tenet resigned as director of central intelligence in the summer of 2004
and was honored that December with a Presidential Medal of Freedom during a
White House ceremony. Since leaving the C.I.A., Mr. Tenet has stayed out of the
public eye, largely declining to defend his record at the C.I.A. even after
several government investigations have assailed the faulty intelligence that
helped build the case for the Iraq war.

It's Friday, put this crap out of you mind and enjoy your weekend. If you're not a member of Congress or the Bush Administration, you've earned it.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Foley, GOP SEX, Limbaugh, FoxNews, Clueless Bush, Killer Comma, Bush vs Constitution, Torture Boy, Workers Screwed and Condi.

It seems to be all Foley all the time. Since it's so much easier for the mainstream media to do sensationalism than substance, it's going to be the headlines for quite awhile. The upside is that the folks that really don't pay attention, will get to see what a bunch of lying, hypocritical, avaricious, lowlifes the Republicans actually are. And in the interest of fairness, there are too many Democrats that are right down there with them.

Not to lessen the gravity of the claims against Foley or the trauma he's caused his victims, the great news in all this is that we are starting to see just how serious that the party of the flag-wavers and Bible-thumpers really are in their convictions.

It's going to be hard to claim moral superiority, now that we're finding out that the Republican leadership has known about this for years.

A longtime chief of staff to disgraced former representative Mark Foley (R-Fla.)
approached House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert's office three years ago, repeatedly
imploring senior Republicans to help stop Foley's advances toward teenage male
pages, the staff member said yesterday.

account by Kirk Fordham, who resigned yesterday from his job with another senior
lawmaker, pushed back to 2003 or earlier the time when Hastert's staff
reportedly became aware of Foley's questionable behavior concerning teenagers
working on Capitol Hill.

If it was just Foley, you could just blow this off as an aberration, but it seems that there's something of a pattern here. Maybe it's the strain of having to live the illusion of a pristine, God-fearing lifestyle that's required by their religious right base.

Take the case of Pennsylvania Republican Congerssman Don Sherwood, married, father of three, respectable and no doubt a pillar of his church. He's 64.

last year, Cynthia Ore, 29, sued Sherwood
. It seems Sherwood had been
keeping her as his Washington mistress. Ms. Ore says that Sherwood "repeatedly
struck her in the face, neck, chest and back, ‘violently yanking’ her hair and
repeatedly tried to choke or strangle her. Afterward he would tell her he would
never beat her again, then beg her not to leave him."

"After news accounts of the incident and police report were published, Mr.
Sherwood issued a statement apologizing for the ‘pain and embarrassment’ he
caused his supporters and family. He has declined to talk in detail about his
relationship with Ms. Ore."

Eventually, Sherwood made a confidential financial settlement with Ms. Ore,
thus keeping the case from being aired in a courtroom. He admitted to the
adulterous affair with a woman half his age, but denied that he physically
abused her.

And guess who's busting their butts to keep Sherwood in office?

Now, he is behind in his race in a normally "safe Republican" seat, so Hastert,
Boehner, Bush and Cheney are going to bat for him
to try and keep the
district in the GOP column. They are all holding
for him and endorsing his "leadership."
Thanks BuzzFlash, be sure to check them out on the right side of this page. Real news, always up to date.

I never heard any satisfactory explainations of why male prositute, Jeff Gannon, was allowed unlimited access to the White House, but here's a little story of a big time Republican and Christian conservative activist.

Things have been looking up for accused child molester Jeffrey Ray Nielsen,
the 36-year-old Christian conservative activist and lawyer with close ties to
Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher and Scott Baugh, head of the Orange
County Republican Party. Police say Nielsen took a 14-year-old Westminster boy
as his sex partner in 2003 and maintained a huge cache of man-boy

“Jeff called it ‘our thing,’ and one time we were near Tyson’s Corner
[Virginia], he stopped at a gas station so we could have sex in the bathroom,”
the man said. “A guy walked in and caught me with my pants down and Jeff on his
knees. We made some excuse about an injured knee or something. The guy said,
‘Oh!’ and quickly left.”

And you know the Right is up in arms over the sexual exploits of it's members, because if you keep up with things, whatever happens is the fault of liberal Democrats.

From the number one blowhard in the right wing propaganda machine, the draft dodging, drug-addicted, can't keep a female, lying, sack of chickenshit, Rush Limbaugh. Being from Oklahoma, I get to hear a lot of Limbaugh quotes. Yeah, he's right up there with Bush and Jesus.

LIMBAUGH: I'm just thinking out loud here. What if somebody got to the page
and said, you know, we want you to set Foley up. We need to do a little
titillating thing here. Keep it and save it and so forth. How would you get a
kid to do that? Yeah, who knows? You threaten him or pay him. There's any number
of ways given the kind of people that we're dealing with and talking about here.

Now, folks, I don't want to be misunderstood here. I'm not trying to mount
any kind of a defense. That's a bad word. I'm not trying to get into a defense
of what Mark Foley did. Please don't misunderstand. I'm just telling you that
the -- the -- the orgy and the orgasm that has been taking place in the media
since Friday and with the Democrats is -- it's all coordinated, and it's all --
it's all oriented toward the election. There's no concern about the kid -- no
concern about the children.

There is -- there is -- there's not even any real problem with what Foley
did, as we've discussed. In their hearts and minds and their crotches, they
don't have any problem with what Foley did. They've defended it over the -- over
the years.

Now there are going to be people who really believe that liberals back pedophilia. Jerk. BTW, when was the last time you were able to see your crotch?

Speaking of jerks, Fox News led people to believe that Foley is a Democrat.

Never mind the content of either segment for now. Incredibly, during a total
of three different cutaways to video footage of Foley, he was labelled at the
bottom of the screen eachtime as "(D-FL)" !

Three different times. In two different segements. Each cutaway about 15
seconds or more. Showing Foley as a DEMOCRAT. Amazing.

The Progress Report has all the latest on the GOP's strange search for love right here.

Now that the obligatory Foley and Republican sexual hijinks stories are out of the way, we can get to the stuff that really effects you.

Bush is showing us why he imagines himself to be a "War President", it's because he's completely clueless about war. 24 dead Americans since Saturday and bombings, like the stock market, are at record levels.

BAGHDAD, Oct. 4 -- Thirteen U.S. soldiers have been killed in Baghdad since
Monday, the American military reported, registering the highest three-day death
toll for U.S. forces in the capital since the start of the war.

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Bomb attacks in Baghdad have hit an all-time high, the
U.S. military said on Wednesday, as one of the capital's frontline police units
was pulled off the streets on suspicion of involvement with sectarian death

But don't let any of this bother you, because according President Bush the whole Iraq thing will just be a comma in history. We all know that Bush knows Jack about history. It's just fantastic, the Iraq War has been downgraded from "Noble Cause" to "Comma".

As he heads out on the campaign trail, haunted by an unpopular war, President
Bush has begun reassuring audiences that this traumatic period in Iraq will be
seen as "just a comma" in the history books. By that, aides say, he means to
reinforce his message of resolve in the long struggle for Iraqi democracy.

And just so you'll know that I'm not the only one who thinks that Bush is a buttwipe when it comes to war, let's hear from an expert.

One of the highest-ranking generals in the U.S. military yesterday stood by
views attributed to him in a controversial new book about the Bush
administration's handling of the war in Iraq but said it was important to
understand the context in which those views were expressed.

Marine Gen. James L. Jones, the U.S. commander for Europe, is quoted in
"State of Denial," by The Washington Post's Bob Woodward, as believing that the
war in Iraq is a "debacle" and that "The Joint Chiefs have been systematically
emasculated by Rumsfeld." As Marine commandant, the post he held before moving
to Europe, Jones was a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

If Bush was anywhere near as good at war as he is at subverting the Constitution, Iraq would be clamoring for statehood right now. A court of appeals will continue to let the Bush Administration spy on you. And this is after a lame Congress let Bush do away with due process for us all. Are you an enemy combatant ? Only the Bush Administration knows.

CINCINNATI, Oct. 4 -- The Bush administration can continue its warrantless
surveillance program while it appeals a judge's ruling that the program is
unconstitutional, a federal appeals court panel ruled Wednesday.

The president has said the program is needed to fight terrorism. Opponents
argue that it oversteps constitutional boundaries on free speech, privacy and
executive powers.

And just what is the flaw in the evil little turd's psyche, that makes him get off at the thought of torturing another human being? Congress is trying to cover for him.

Key senators say Congress has outlawed one of the most notorious detainee
interrogation techniques -- "waterboarding," in which a prisoner feels near
drowning. But the White House will not go that far, saying it would be wrong to
tell terrorists which practices they might face.

Twenty-one years earlier, in 1947, the United States charged a Japanese
officer, Yukio Asano, with war crimes for carrying out another form of
waterboarding on a U.S. civilian. The subject was strapped on a stretcher that
was tilted so that his feet were in the air and head near the floor, and small
amounts of water were poured over his face, leaving him gasping for air until he
agreed to talk.

"Asano was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor," Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) told his colleagues last Thursday
during the debate on military commissions legislation. "We punished people with
15 years of hard labor when waterboarding was used against Americans in World
War II," he said.

I think a little hard labor would be a good thing for Bush. It would certainly be a first.

And while we're on hard labor, the Republicans love it, as long as they're not involved. So workers, here's a big FU from the GOP.

In a decision condemned by unions but praised by business, the National
Labor Relations Board
issued a ruling yesterday that will exempt registered
nurses — and many other workers — from union membership if they have certain
kinds of supervisory duties.

In the majority decision, the three Republicans
on the board adopted a broad definition of supervisor, saying it included
workers who assigned others to a location, shift or significant tasks, like a
nurse overseeing a shift who might assign another nurse to a particular patient.

If you don't like it, tough. American business no longer needs you. They have China, who understands the business/worker relationship. Wal-Mart's hiring.

America doesn't need to try harder. China needs to stop using slave labor. If
you see things any other way, you've probably got a factory in the Suzhou
industrial park. Or you're taking money from someone who does.

And finally, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is pretending that she has a human side by showing concern for the Palestinians.

RAMALLAH, West Bank, Oct. 4 -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pledged
Wednesday to "redouble" U.S. efforts to alleviate the economic plight of
Palestinians facing escalating tensions and the threat of a humanitarian crisis.
But U.S. officials cautioned not to expect any significant breakthroughs as
prospects for a renewed Arab-Israeli peace process seem further away than ever.

Too bad she didn't show any concern for the American people back in July of 2001.

WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and former Attorney General
John Ashcroft received the same CIA briefing about an imminent al-Qaida strike
on an American target that was given to the White House two months before the
Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The State Department's disclosure Monday that the pair was briefed within a
week after then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice was told about the
threat on July 10, 2001, raised new questions about what the Bush administration
did in response, and about why so many officials have claimed they never
received or don't remember the warning.

It's Thursday, we're screwed, so make the best of it.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Bush Thinks You're Stupid, 34 Democrats Do Too, $2 Billion a Week, Parsons Corp., $50 Billion War, Yankee Go Home and Nailing 'em to the Door.

How does it feel to know that your president thinks your stupid? Giving a speech to a group of like-minded cretins at a Republican fundraiser, he said that anyone who didn't agree with his position on the Iraq war, were "cut and run obstructionists". He also feels that anyone who agrees with the National Intelligence Estimate, that the Iraq War is a breeding ground for new terrorists, can have no other reason for thier conclusions, than political motivation.

To show just how disconnected from reality the President of the United States really is, he said,

"Saddam Hussein's regime was a serious threat," Bush said, adding that had he
not been removed from power, the former Iraqi leader would still be killing
innocent people, pursuing weapons of mass destruction and firing at U.S. pilots.

"Americans, Iraqis and the world are safer because Saddam is not in

He thinks that we are too dim-witted to realize that innocent people in Iraq are being killed everyday, that the intelligence he used on WMDs was cherry-picked and wrong and that no one is shooting at American Pilots since Mr. Bush lived out his fantasy and invaded Iraq.

And if you think that Americans, Iraqis and the world are now a safer now, trust me, you're living in right wing Fantasyland.

But Bush isn't alone in thinking that we're moronic. 34 Congressmen masquerading as Democrats, went along with the Republicans and voted to do away with due process for anyone that Bush wants to term as "enemy combatants". He's already calling us "cut and run obstructionists", how long will it be before he starts thinking we're "enemy combatants"?

The House approved an administration-backed system of questioning and
prosecuting terrorism suspects yesterday, setting clearer limits on CIA
interrogation techniques but denying access to courts for detainees seeking to
challenge their imprisonment at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and elsewhere.

253 to 168 vote was a victory for President Bush and fellow Republicans. Bush
had yielded some ground during weeks of negotiations, but he fully embraced the
language that the House approved with support from 34 Democrats and all but
seven Republicans.

Here are the 34 pitiful excuses for Democrat Congressmen:

Robert Andrews, John Barrow, Melissa Bean, Sanford Bishop, Dan Boren, Leonard Boswell, Allen Boyd, Sherrod Brown, Ben Chandler, Bud Cramer, Henry Cuellar, Lincoln Davis, Artur Davis, Chet Edwards, Bob Etheridge, Harold Ford, Bart Gordon, Stephanie Herseth, Brian Higgins, Tim Holden, Jim Marshall, Jim Matheson, Mike McIntyre, Charles Melancon, Michael Michaud, Dennis Moore, Collin Peterson, Earl Pomeroy, Mike Ross, John Salazar, David Scott, John Spratt, John Tanner, Gene Taylor

Remember them, they're not on the same side as those of us who believe in the Constitution.

Instead of the noble cause that President Bush like to call his mess, Iraq is actually more of a money pit for American taxpayers and a slush fund for government contractors. Just like Bush, you can be completely inept and still score big in government work.

The contractor that botched construction of a $75 million police academy in
Baghdad so badly that it was deemed a health risk has produced shoddy work on 13
out of 14 projects reviewed by federal auditors, the top official monitoring
Iraq's reconstruction told Congress today.

The projects managed by
California-based Parsons Corp. are at the heart of the $21 billion U.S.-led Iraq
reconstruction program, including fire stations, border forts and health care
facilities. The one project for which construction work met standards -- a
prison -- was cancelled by the government before it was completed because of
escalating costs.

But at $2 billion dollars a week, there's plenty for these parasites to feed on.

WASHINGTON -- A new congressional analysis shows the Iraq war is now costing
taxpayers almost $2 billion a week -- nearly twice as much as in the first year
of the conflict three years ago and 20 percent more than last year -- as the
Pentagon spends more on establishing regional bases to support the extended
deployment and scrambles to fix or replace equipment damaged in combat.

Do you remember the White House pre-war cost estimates of the Iraq War? It's just so hard to believe that there are still people in this country who'll believe anything that comes out of George Bush's mouth.

All this we know. Less well remembered nowadays, though -- in fact, almost never
discussed in the major media -- was another implicit prong of the argument: that
invading Iraq would be cheap and easy, leaving plenty of resources for other
purposes. When White House economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey stumbled off
message in September 2002 with his prediction that war could cost $100 billion
to $200 billion, the administration flew into crisis mode. Budget Director Mitch
Daniels was trotted out to label the estimate “very, very high.” Deputy Defense
Secretary Paul Wolfowitz opined -- in testimony to Congress, no less -- that
reconstruction would cost virtually nothing in light of Iraq’s promising oil
revenues. Daniels proffered an estimate in the $50 billion to $60 billion range,
substantially less than the $80 billion inflation-adjusted cost of the Persian
Gulf War. Lindsey, famously, was soon after fired -- for his troublesome cost
estimates and, reportedly, the President’s annoyance at his poor personal
fitness habits.

And all this, for what? A country that wants us to get the hell out of there. Iraq is apparently full of "cut and run obstructionists".

(CNN) -- Seventy-one percent of Iraqis responding to a new survey favor a
commitment by U.S.-led forces in Iraq to withdraw in a year.

majority of respondents to the University of Maryland poll said that "they would
like the Iraqi government to ask for U.S.-led forces to be withdrawn from Iraq
within a year or less," according to the survey's summary.

Check out the real reasons for Bush's and the Republican's facade of concern about your security. A NYT editorial that really nails them to the barn door. And don't forget about the pond scum Democrats that vote with them, please.

Here’s what happens when this irresponsible Congress railroads a profoundly
important bill to serve the mindless politics of a midterm election: The Bush
administration uses Republicans’ fear of losing their majority to push through
ghastly ideas about antiterrorism that will make American troops less safe and
do lasting damage to our 217-year-old nation of laws — while actually doing
nothing to protect the nation from terrorists. Democrats betray their principles
to avoid last-minute attack ads. Our democracy is the big loser.

Republicans say Congress must act right now to create procedures for
charging and trying terrorists — because the men accused of plotting the 9/11
attacks are available for trial. That’s pure propaganda. Those men could have
been tried and convicted long ago, but President Bush chose not to. He held them
in illegal detention, had them questioned in ways that will make real trials
very hard, and invented a transparently illegal system of kangaroo courts to
convict them.

These are some of the bill’s biggest flaws:

Combatants: A dangerously broad definition of “illegal enemy combatant” in the
bill could subject legal residents of the United States, as well as foreign
citizens living in their own countries, to summary arrest and indefinite
detention with no hope of appeal. The president could give the power to apply
this label to anyone he wanted.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

NIE, Bill Clinton Interview, Right Wing Propaganda Blitz, Condoleezza, Hillary, Hurricanes, PR Administartion, Spys R Us, Emily Perez and D.C. Greed.

The combination of the National Intelligence Estimate and Bill Clinton's interview on FoxNews has really stirred up the right wing anthill.

Hardly suprising, since both, pretty well blows away the BS that they've been spoon-feeding the American people for years.

On top of these two blows to right wing propaganda, the President decided to release parts of the NEI to prove that his little adventure into Iraq hasn't made the terrorist problem worse.

Here's what the President released, see for yourself if you think it helped or hurt his argument. And keep in mind that the White House would probably only release what they thought would make them look good. This should give you some idea of what the rest of the report looks like.

With these attacks on the right wing's fantasyland of lies, their propaganda department brought out the big guns. They trot out Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who promptly states that Clinton's statements were "flatly false." She went on to say, and this is the clincher,

"What we did in the eight months was at least as aggressive as what the Clinton
administration did in the preceding years."

"We were not left a
comprehensive strategy to fight al-Qaida,"

Let's check the veracity of Condi's statements.

The Bush Administration cancelled or cut back Operation CATCHERS MITT, the
highly classified ongoing CIA and FBI operation that tracked al-Qaeda operatives
known to be inside the U.S. during the summer of 2001. This was done without
notifying the existing counter-terrorism policy board in Washington, then headed
by Richard Clarke, a Clinton holdover.

This fatal decision by Bush's
national security staff was part of the planned revamping of the Clinton
counter-terrorism program, and ongoing operations were put on hold or cut off
entirely while Rice and Hadley worked with CIA Director Tenet on the
Administration's new al-Qaeda strategy.

NEW YORK, March 21 PRNewswire -- Newsweek has learned that in the months before
9/11, the U.S. Justice Department curtailed a highly classified program called
"Catcher's Mitt" to monitor Al Qaeda suspects in the United States, after a
federal judge severely chastised the FBI for improperly seeking permission to
wiretap terrorists. During the Bush administration's first few months in office,
Attorney General John Ashcroft downgraded terrorism as a priority, choosing to
place more emphasis on drug trafficking and gun violence, report Investigative
Correspondent Michael Isikoff and Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas in the
March 29 issue of Newsweek (on newsstands Monday, March 22).

Clarke, former counterterrorism chief of the national-security staff, tells
Newsweek that at an April 2001 top-level meeting to discuss terrorism, his
effort to focus on Al Qaeda was rebuffed by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul
Wolfowitz. According to Clarke, Wolfowitz said, "Who cares about a little
terrorist in Afghanistan?" The real threat, Wolfowitz insisted, was
state-sponsored terrorism orchestrated by Saddam Hussein.

And according to Richard Clarke, Bush's former top anti-terrorism adviser, the Bush Administration didn't take Al Queda seriously.

Clarke also tells CBS News Correspondent Lesley Stahl that White House officials
were tepid in their response when he urged them months before Sept. 11 to meet
to discuss what he saw as a severe threat from al Qaeda.

"Frankly," he
said, "I find it outrageous that the president is running for re-election on the
grounds that he's done such great things about terrorism. He ignored it. He
ignored terrorism for months, when maybe we could have done something to stop
9/11. Maybe. We'll never know."

Clarke went on to say, "I think he's
done a terrible job on the war against terrorism."

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton jumps in and turns it into a catfight. The question is why did the Democrats wait five years to call the right on their lies.

"I think my husband did a great job in demonstrating that Democrats are not
going to take these attacks," Hillary Clinton said. "I'm certain that if my
husband and his national security team had been shown a classified report
entitled 'Bin Laden Determined To Attack Inside the United States' he would have
taken it more seriously than history suggests it was taken by our current
president and his national security team."

Think Progress has more here.

I mean really, how can anyone with two functioning brain cells to rub together, believe
anything from an administration that blocked the release of a report that says
global warming is causing more and bigger hurricanes?

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration has blocked release of a report that
suggests global warming is contributing to the frequency and strength of
hurricanes, the journal Nature reported Tuesday.

The same administration that has to rely on public relation campaigns because they have no positive results to show.

BAGHDAD A public relations company known for its role in a controversial
U.S. military program that paid Iraqi newspapers for stories favorable to
coalition forces has been awarded another multimillion dollar media contract
with American forces in Iraq.

The idea is to use the information to
"build support" in Iraqi, Arabic,
international and U.S. audiences for what
the military describes as its goals in
Iraq, such as destroying the
insurgency and helping Iraqis build a democracy,
according to contract

"I wish that our problem in Iraq was that the military wasn't
getting good
PR," Andrews said. "The problem seems to be that the country is
sliding into
civil war."

The administration that is more concerned with being able to spy on the American people,
than do anything that might benefit the American people.

At administration insistence, Senate negotiators agreed to steer legal
rulings about the president's broad surveillance to the Court of Review, a
little-known appeals court created by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance
The three-judge court has rendered only one opinion in its 30-year
history, and
that opinion included its view that the president has inherent
authority to eavesdrop without warrants as part of the U.S.
effort against

And why would anyone believe an administration whose lies led to the death of the first minority female command sergeant in the history of the U.S. Military Academy. Emily Perez.

"For me, yeah, like, it's just an eye-opener," agreed Meghan Venable-Thomas, 21,
a senior who also ran track and sang in the choir with Perez, who graduated last
year. "She was like a little superwoman . . . so full of energy and life, and
she was just willing to do anything."

Finally, Washington D.C. remains oblivious to everything except, "What can I get out of it." My apologies to all those hard working government employees, who take their jobs seriously and actually care.

A Web site documenting the salaries of the roughly 20,000 Capitol Hill
employees went live last week -- and almost as soon came crashing down.

No, it didn't get shut down by a judge's order claiming that private
information had been leaked. By law, the salaries of Hill staffers have long
been available in thick books in the offices of the House and Senate clerks. The
site came down because of the rush of traffic from computers housed in Congress
-- and elsewhere.

"I've heard some people say they're gong to use this information as
leverage," said a House staffer who has worked on the Hill for six years.
"There's no uniformity to what people make."

Another House aide said he wished the site was available when he was
negotiating his job three years ago. "Negotiating a salary for a new job is
never a totally comfortable process, and this information would certainly give
you a leg up as a job candidate," the aide said.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Robert Kagen, NIE, BSs, Rumsfeld, Army Stretched Thin, Afghanistan, Lebanon, War at Home and Clinton vs FoxNews.

Since the release of the Naional Intelligence Estimate by the Natonal Intelligence Council, that stated that the war in Iraq is the primary recruitment vehicle for violent Islamic extremists, the right wing propaganda machine has gone into overdrive trying to denounce it.

For most of us the NIE just confirmed what we had already suspected and thought obvious.

For the right, however, these findings struck at the very core of their grand neocon,imperial, experiment to bring Iraq's oil fields under American control in the guise of bring democracy to the Middle East.

So, taking time off from their regular job of blaming Clinton for 9/11, they're repudiating the NIE report.

Neocon propagandist Robert Kagen has an editorial in the Washington Post today, in which he basically blows off the findings of the intelligence experts. As we've learned since Bush has become president, intelligence is just something to be ignored.

The biggest problem that Kagen finds is that, since the report hasn't been released, we should pay no attention to the statements made by the people who have seen it.

It's too bad we won't get to see the full National Intelligence Estimate on
"Trends in Global Terrorism" selectively leaked to The Post and the New York
Times last week. The Times headline read "Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens
Terrorism Threat." But there were no quotations from the NIE itself, so all we
have are journalists' characterizations of anonymous comments by government
officials, whose motives and reliability we can't judge, about intelligence
assessments whose logic and argument, as well as factual basis, we have no way
of knowing or gauging. Based on the press coverage alone, the NIE's judgment
seems both impressionistic and imprecise. On such an important topic, it would
be nice to have answers to a few questions.

He neglects to mention that the reason we won't be seeing it is because President Bush won't release it.

Well, is the threat now worse because of Bush's war in Iraq? Does the NIE say
the war has made the jihadist threat more dangerous? The White House could
resolve this very quickly by declassifying the NIE. If the report contains
nuances or success stories not conveyed by the Times report (and those of other
newspapers), releasing the report will clear things up.

Kagen goes on to say,

For instance, what specifically does it mean to say that the Iraq war has
worsened the "terrorism threat"? Presumably, the NIE's authors would admit that
this is speculation rather than a statement of fact, since the facts suggest

I don't know where neocons get their facts from, but the facts that I've found suggest that the NIE report is right on the money.

2003: The State Department's annual Patterns of Global Terrorism report now counts 208 terrorist attacks as having occurred in 2003, with 625 dead. When the report was released in April, it counted 307 deaths in a total of 190 terror attacks.

2004: There were 3,192 terrorist attacks in 2004, the center reported last July.

2005: The number of terrorist attacks worldwide increased nearly fourfold in 2005 to 11,111, with strikes in Iraq accounting for 30 percent of the total, according to statistics released by U.S. counterterrorism officials yesterday.

As proof of the rise in the numbers of terrorist attacks, the Bush Adminsitration has tried, unsuccessfully, to cover them up.

Washington - The State Department decided to stop publishing an annual report on
international terrorism after the government's top terrorism center concluded
that there were more terrorist attacks in 2004 than in any year since 1985, the
first year the publication covered.

If you like right wing misdirection, enjoy Kagen's column. If you prefer the truth, read what retired Army Maj. Gen. John Batiste has to say on the subject.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The conduct of the Iraq war fueled Islamic fundamentalism
across the globe and created more enemies for the United States, a retired U.S.
Army general who served in the conflict said on Monday.

The views of retired Army Maj. Gen. John Batiste appeared to buttress a grim
assessment by U.S. intelligence agencies, which concluded the war had inspired
Islamist extremists and made the growing militant movement more dangerous.

Nancy Gregg, at profiles the folks that will read Kagen's column and think it makes sense. GOP+WOT=WTF?!? It's good stuff.

These sheeple are unwavering in their belief that their president and his
administration are the smartest guys in the room, even though none of them
anticipated that planes could be used as missiles, or that there’d be an
insurgency in Iraq. As for the fact that if the levees broke in a hurricane,
water might actually find its way into New Orleans – come on, people, who could
possibly have seen that coming?

And now we have a president who still garners the worship of his do-gooder,
Jesus-loving, Bible-thumpin’ constituents when he says provisions prohibiting
torture are murky and vague, and need to be reassessed or completely done way

Of course, it never occurs to the BSers that if we were going to dispense
with every document the Idiot-in-Chief doesn’t understand, all we’d be left with
is The Pet Goat and a handful of Henry cartoons.

A Progressive Daily Beacon opinion piece explains why the right is so fired up over the NIE report.

Understanding then, that the Republican Party and administration are less
concerned with policy success and doing right by the American people, and more
with being able to maintain political power and, too, the political slights of
hand they employ as the means and methods of retaining that power; it is easier
to put into context their reaction to the National Intelligence Estimate. That
reaction, of course, was not one of concern about the security of the nation or
the safety of the American people, but rather frantic and calculated spin.

Now that a majority of Americans are starting to see the Iraq war in the cold, clear light of reality, instead of the warm, rosy glow of White House spin and with elections coming up, the NIE report couldn't have come at a worse time for the people whose lies led us into it.

Among the most visible critics of the administration's approach have been
generals, vets, parents with sons and daughters in the military, and foreign
policy realists who think of themselves as moderate or even conservative
opponents of what they see as the administration's radical direction.

That is why news over the weekend of a National Intelligence Estimate on
Iraq is especially troublesome for Republican electoral chances. By finding that
the war in Iraq has encouraged global terrorism and spawned a new generation of
Islamic radicals, the report by 16 government intelligence services undercuts
the administration's central argument that the Iraq war has made the United
States safer.

We got three retired military officers testifying on the Hill today that Rumfeld ought to resign. While I agree that Rumsfeld is about as useful as dog vomit, I see no reason for him to resign. Mainly because Bush will just replace him with another usless fool who will be just as detrimental to our military as Rumfeld is.

Three retired military officers who served in Iraq called today for the
resignation of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, telling a Democratic
"oversight hearing" on Capitol Hill that the Pentagon chief bungled planning for
the U.S. invasion, dismissed the prospect of an insurgency and sent American
troops into the fray with inadequate equipment.

Rumsfeld's grasp of strategy can be plainly seen in the latest Army announcement. For the Bush Administration that used to brag that our military had the capability to win two wars at the same time, reality has just trumped fantasy. It's the soldiers who pay for right wing incompetence.

WASHINGTON -- The Army is stretched so thin by the war in Iraq that it is again
extending the combat tours of thousands of soldiers beyond the promised 12
months _ the second such move since August


Gary Brecher has the best explanation of the war in Afghanistan that I've run across. It's also funnier than hell.

Except the new wars just don't work that way. The tough part was really just
beginning. The biggest problem once we took Kabul was tribal. Reporters are
always calling the Taliban "Islamic extremists," but it's way simpler than that:
the Talibs are Pushtun, and our allies in the Northern Alliance were their old
tribal enemies the Tajiks, Uzbeks and a few free-agent Hazaras.

The Pushtun are the biggest tribe in the country, if you can call it that,
by far. Afghanistan is 42% Pushtun, and the second-biggest group, the Tajiks,
are only 27%. Pushtuns are -- now how can I say this nicely? -- insane. The
craziest Taliban rules, like demanding every man have a beard that was at least
ZZ Top length, aren't Mohammed's rules; they're just Pushtun tribal ways.

The fighting may be over in Lebanon, but the killing goes on. Thanks to modern weapons southern Lebanon will remain lethal for quite a while.

The scourge of munitions from the cluster bombs now littering southern Lebanon,
mostly American-made but some manufactured in Israel, will be a "lasting
legacy," the United Nations has said. U.N. officials estimate that the Israeli
military fired 90 percent of the bombs during the last 72 hours of the conflict,
which began on July 12 after Hezbollah fighters seized two Israeli soldiers in a
cross-border raid and ended with a cease-fire on Aug. 14. As many as 1 million
of the bomblets are unexploded, they say, wounding or killing three people a
day. The threat of stumbling across a bomblet has paralyzed life in parts of the
south that depend on the harvest of tobacco and now-abandoned groves of bananas,
olives and citrus.

Meanwhile the war at home goes on unabated. Bush Administration and Republicans are unrelenting in their attempts to undermine the Constitution and the Geneva Conventions. It's just amazing to me how they can do this and wave the flag and thump the Bible at the same time.

But civil libertarians and surveillance experts say the changes are less
significant than the senators believe. Kate Martin, director of the Center for
National Security Studies, said the legislation still amounts to a sweeping
rewrite of federal law to allow the president to conduct "massive warrantless
surveillance of Americans" with no court oversight

It's looks like they want to start calling American citizens "unlawful combatants".

The definition applies to foreigners living inside or outside the United States
and does not rule out the possibility of designating a U.S. citizen as an
unlawful combatant. It is broader than that in last week's version of the bill,
which resulted from lengthy, closed-door negotiations between senior
administration officials and dissident Republican senators. That version
incorporated a definition backed by the Senate dissidents: those "engaged in
hostilities against the United States."

Daily Kos describes these attempts to do away with your Constitional rights like this,

McCain says Bush gets to decide, and with habeus corpus now out the window, you
don't get to go to court to challenge it. This
is the compromise
those principled, independent Republican Senators reached
with Bush on who is an unlawful combatant:

The definition applies to foreigners living inside or outside the United
States and does not rule out the possibility of designating a U.S. citizen as an
unlawful combatant. It is broader than that in last week's version of the bill,
which resulted from lengthy, closed-door negotiations between senior
administration officials and dissident Republican senators. That version
incorporated a definition backed by the Senate dissidents: those "engaged in
hostilities against the United States."...

Spokesmen for John W. Warner (R-Va.), John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey O.
Graham (R-S.C.) -- the senators leading negotiations with the Bush
administration -- did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the new
language, but others on Capitol Hill said the three had accepted it.

Under a separate provision, those held by the CIA or the U.S. military as an
unlawful enemy combatant would be barred from challenging their detention or the
conditions of their treatment in U.S. courts unless they were first tried,
convicted and appealed their conviction.

And finally Keith Olbermann's comments on the Fox News interview with Bill Clinton. You can find a complete transcript of the interview here.

And finally tonight, a Special Comment about President Clinton’s interview. The
headlines about them are, of course, entirely wrong. It is not essential that a
past President, bullied and sandbagged by a monkey posing as a newscaster,
finally lashed back.

It is not important that the current President’s "portable public chorus"
has described his predecessor’s tone as "crazed."

Our tone should be crazed. The nation’s freedoms are under assault by an
administration whose policies can do us as much damage as Al-Qaeda; the nation’s
"marketplace of ideas" is being poisoned, by a propaganda company so blatant
that Tokyo Rose would’ve quit. Nonetheless.

The headline is this: Bill Clinton did what almost none of us have done, in five
years. He has spoken the truth about 9/11, and the current presidential

Monday, September 25, 2006

Iraq Successes?, Bush Anguishes, Iraq United, Talibani, Hastert Won't Budge, Gullible McCain, Lost Democrats, Bernie Ebbers and Abstinence Only lesson

I saw the headline, Negroponte Highlights U.S. Successes, and I thought "Wow! This ought to be good".

I was really looking forward to reading about what the Bush Administration considers successes in Iraq.

Now I know how to take absolutely nothing and write a whole article about it.

I read the article, and this is what I get.

"What we have said, time and again, is that while there is much that remains to
be done in the war on terror, we have achieved some notable successes against
the global jihadist threat," Negroponte said in a statement. "The conclusions of
the intelligence community are designed to be comprehensive, and viewing them
through the narrow prism of a fraction of judgments distorts the broad framework
they create."

Not one example of any kind of success was given. The reason is obvious. The headline is White House BS.

The latest White House PR campaign seems to be showing President Bush as a man who feels anguish over all the deaths that he's responsible for in Iraq.

Call me cynical, but I find this a tad disingenuous, considering his mad dash to get this war started.

Bush deals with stress through vigorous exercise, working out six days a week.
When he goes for long bicycle rides, he often invites others to join him, but he
asks them not to ride in front of him so he can have the illusion of solitude.
"Riding helps clear my head, helps me deal with the stresses of the job," he
told reporters last month after an 80-minute ride.

To those angry over the war, that can seem cavalier. "It's important for me
to be thoughtful and sensitive to those who have got something to say," Bush
said last year when Sheehan began her protest. "But it's also important for me
to go on with my life, to keep a balanced life. . . . I'm mindful of what goes
on around me. On the other hand, I'm also mindful that I've got a life to live
and will do so."

In less than two and a half years, Bush living his own life will no longer have disasterous results for the rest of us.

In Iraq, the different political parties have reached an agreement to postpone the inevitable.

BAGHDAD, Sept. 24 -- Iraq's fractious political parties reached a deal Sunday
meant to prevent the country from splintering into a federation of three
autonomous zones until at least 2008.
The agreement forestalled concerns that the debate over federalism, a vague
concept enshrined in the constitution but defined differently by various
political groups, could cause the country's fragile multi-sect government to

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani gave an interview in which he did an excellent job of expressing the White House talking points, as evidenced by this statement:

Iraq is not in chaos. There are many provinces that are calm -- where people
live in prosperity. . . . I want to assure the American people that Iraqis are
now enjoying democracy and human rights and are struggling to secure the

Iraq's in chaos and so is the U.S. Congress. There's a defense bill that House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Abramoff crony and shady real estate investor-IL) insists won't be brought up unless, an indefinite detention of some illegal immigrants who are protected from deportation by political asylum laws bill, is added to it. Most Democrats and sane Republicans are balking.

"The speaker is not going to let the bill move until these critical security
items get in," said Ron Bonjean, Hastert's spokesman.

House GOP aides are urging Durbin to bring Senate Democrats into line on the
issue. But Durbin spokesman Joe Shoemaker said the Senate minority whip is
feeling no real pressure. The addition of the concealed-weapons provision has
soured Durbin on the court security bill, and the immigration bill is garnering
strong Democratic opposition, he said.

John McCain is either very naive or he thinks the rest of us are just stupid. He says he believes that the compromise bill will put a stop to some of the most extreme torture techniques that this country is using. Bush just has to issue a Presidential signing statement, and things will get right back to normal.

A Republican senator who played a leading role in drafting new rules for U.S.
interrogations of terrorism suspects said yesterday that he believes a
compromise bill embraced by party leaders and the White House will bar some of
the most extreme techniques said to have been used by the
Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) named three measures that he said would no longer
be allowed under a provision barring techniques that cause serious mental or
physical suffering by U.S. detainees: extreme sleep deprivation, forced
hypothermia and "waterboarding," which simulates drowning. He also said other
"extreme measures" would be banned.

And just where were the Democrats while this attempt to dismantle the Constitution and Geneva Conventions was being rammed down our throats? Instead of taking a stand for what's right, they were keeping quiet and covering their worthless butts.

And the Democratic Party was nowhere in this debate. It contributed nothing. On
the question of whether or not the United States will reconfigure itself as a
nation which tortures its purported enemies and then grants itself absolution
through adjectives -- "Aggressive interrogation techniques" -- the Democratic
Party had…no opinion. On the issue of allowing a demonstrably incompetent
president as many of the de facto powers of a despot that you could wedge into a
bill without having the Constitution spontaneously combust in the Archives,
well, the Democratic Party was more pissed off at Hugo Chavez.

Yeah, that's right, the principles-challenged, gutless, weenie Democrats were having some kind of weird Twilight Zone moment in which they disregarded our freedom of speech values to rag on Hugo Chavez for calling the idiot "the devil".

It's no wonder that more than half the country don't vote. With all the problems facing this country today, the Democrats waste their time and ours trying to score brownie points with people who will never vote any other way than Republican.

The media's response isn't surprising. What surprises me, however, is that
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi felt compelled to go on record denouncing Chavez's
words. Pelosi-- someone I usually respect because I think she's been an
effective leader (and has effectively handled ridiculous and tasteless GOP
attacks)--said that "Chavez fancies himself a modern-day Simon Bolivar, but all
he is is an everyday thug."

Are we finally getting serious with white-collar crime or is Bernie Ebbers just a scapegoat to keep our attention while business goes on as usual?

Tomorrow, the man who once swaggered through the halls of his telecommunications
company as a cowboy-booted billionaire is scheduled to surrender to authorities
and begin a 25-year sentence. Federal prison policies virtually ensure that
Ebbers, who has a heart ailment, will spend the rest of his life in prison for
his role in an $11 billion accounting fraud.

And finally, Abstinence-Only Programs. Are they good? Or just good for a laugh?

"Females need to be careful with what they wear, because males are looking!
The girl might be thinking fashion, while the boy is thinking sex. For this
reason girls have an added responsibility to wear modest clothing that doesn’t
invite lustful thoughts.”- Heritage Keepers

"If men want to play basketball, they call their male friends. If women want
to ‘enjoy’ a shopping or a sports activity, they call their female friends.
There are important issues and activities which are enjoyed most when shared
with friends of the same sex.”- FACTS and Reasons (Senior High School

"Could condoms be just another stupid idea?”- Why kNOw’s Public School

"Sex makes you feel good, but it can kill you.”- Free Sex – NOT!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

W: Terrorist Poster Boy, Baghdad, America Feels the Love, Principles are un-American, Let's Bomb Iran, Homeland Insecurity and Americans Don't Know.

Guess who the number one recruiter of America hating terrorists is? Why, it's George W. Bush. It just goes to show, that even the intellectually-challeged can excel in this country, if given the right opportunities.

If this comes as a shock to you, I'd suggest that you spend less time watching Fox News and spend a little more time on the internet.

Now this little bombshell doesn't come from the left-wing blogosphere, it comes from the National Intelligence Council, a U.S. government agency that provides the President and senior policymakers with analyses of foreign policy issues that have been reviewed and coordinated throughout the Intelligence Community.

The war in Iraq has become a primary recruitment vehicle for violent Islamic
extremists, motivating a new generation of potential terrorists around the world
whose numbers may be increasing faster than the United States and its allies can
reduce the threat, U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded.

A 30-page
National Intelligence Estimate completed in April cites the "centrality" of the
U.S. invasion of Iraq, and the insurgency that has followed, as the leading
inspiration for new Islamic extremist networks and cells that are united by
little more than an anti-Western agenda. It concludes that, rather than
contributing to eventual victory in the global counterterrorism struggle, the
situation in Iraq has worsened the U.S. position, according to officials
familiar with the classified document.

If you listen to the President you'd think that things were going so well in Iraq that, instead of terrorists, all it would be producing is free market, young Republicans. This must be the fault of the hostile media that refuses to report on all the neat stuff that's been happening in Iraq since the Bush Revolution.

BAGHDAD, Sept. 23 -- A fiery explosion tore through a line of people waiting to
buy fuel on Saturday and killed at least 38 people, most of them women and
children, continuing the wave of tit-for-tat sectarian killings.

horrific blast sent women engulfed in flames screaming through the streets. Two
preteen girls embraced each other as they burned to death, witnesses said.
Later, wailing mourners thronged the scene of the blast, which was strewn with
the shoes of victims and a woman's bloodied cloak, and voiced doubt that the
reprisal violence would ever end.

It's starting to look like the work of a vast left wing conspiracy whose purpose is to disrupt President Bush's visionary crusade against the evil doers. It's so vast that it even reaches into the UN.

UNITED NATIONS -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad grabbed headlines last week by blasting U.S. policies from the dais
of the U.N. General Assembly. But while their words were harsh, in many ways
they merely expressed in bolder terms what a number of other world leaders and
foreign diplomats believe.

Anti-Americanism never really left the United Nations, but this year's
gathering of world leaders demonstrated an unusually strident disrespect for the
United States. The United States is perceived as weakened by a draining war in
Iraq, while many of its adversaries feel emboldened with newfound oil

Resentment of American power has also been exacerbated by the United
States' close association with Israel during the recent war in Lebanon and even
the administration's campaign for greater democracy throughout the Middle East.
A theme running through a number of the speeches delivered here is that
democracy cannot be imposed through force.

Just think of the world we could have, if only George Bush could put his dream for America into effect. We would no longer have to live under the constraints of the antiquated institutions like the Constitution or the Geneva Conventions. We're Americans and we can do whatever we damned well please. And if someone disagrees, we could just torture them or lock them up until they do agree with us.

Can't the United States see that when we allow someone to be tortured by
our agents, it is not only the victim and the perpetrator who are corrupted, not
only the "intelligence" that is contaminated, but also everyone who looked away
and said they did not know, everyone who consented tacitly to that outrage so
they could sleep a little safer at night, all the citizens who did not march in
the streets by the millions to demand the resignation of whoever suggested, even
whispered, that torture is inevitable in our day and age, that we must embrace
its darkness?

Are we so morally sick, so deaf and dumb and blind, that we do not
understand this? Are we so fearful, so in love with our own security and steeped
in our own pain, that we are really willing to let people be tortured in the
name of America? Have we so lost our bearings that we do not realize that each
of us could be that hapless Argentine who sat under the Santiago sun, so
possessed by the evil done to him that he could not stop shivering?

We all know and believe that God talks to President Bush on a regular basis, so torture and unlawful imprisonment must be OK.

The scriptures of many traditions offer a version of the "golden rule": "Do
unto others as you would have them do unto you." This principle is the guide for
the lives of both individuals and nations. The moral basis is clear. Yet there
is also a simple utilitarian reason to observe this principle: abandon the rule
of law and you yourself will be subject to the consequences.

As religious leaders, we call upon our Congressional delegation and all
who would lead or represent us to stand firmly against this attempt to amend the
law of the land, to set the United States apart from international law. The
moral character and the security of our nation and its people are at

Now if Congress will just pass the laws to make the Bush dream legal, no one will have to worry about prosecution.

The United States is following the lead of “dirty war” nations, such as
Argentina and Chile, in enacting what amounts to an amnesty law protecting U.S.
government operatives, apparently up to and including President George W. Bush,
who have committed or are responsible for human rights crimes.

While the focus of the current congressional debate has been on Bush’s
demands to redefine torture and to reinterpret the Geneva Conventions, the
compromise legislation also would block prosecutions for violations already
committed during the five-year-old “war on terror.”

We don't know for sure, but if it's true that Osama bin Laden is dead, it means that we won't be seeing "Osama's, Help the GOP Get Out the Vote Before the Mid-Term Elections, Terrorist Threat" video tape this year.

Washington - US intelligence agencies "can't confirm" a French newspaper
report that al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden died in August in his hideout in
Pakistan, a US official said on Saturday.

"I can't confirm that account," said the government official, who spoke
to AFP on the condition that neither his name nor his affiliation would be

If Osama really is dead, it looks like Bush and the Republicans will have to resort to Plan B for their October surprise.

As reports circulate of a sharp debate within the White House over possible US
military action against Iran and its nuclear enrichment facilities, The Nation
has learned that the Bush Administration and the Pentagon have moved up the
deployment of a major "strike group" of ships, including the nuclear aircraft
carrier Eisenhower as well as a cruiser, destroyer, frigate, submarine escort
and supply ship, to head for the Persian Gulf, just off Iran's western coast.
This information follows a report
in the current issue of Time magazine, both online and in print, that a group of
ships capable of mining harbors has received orders to be ready to sail for the
Persian Gulf by October 1.

Bush and the Republicans figure that if they use the same pre-war strategy that they used for Iraq, that they would probably achieve much better results. You know, if you keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result, it means you're a neocon.

Here we go again. The clichés come frighteningly easy when one ponders the
recent efforts of the hawks to gin up the case for military confrontation with
Iran. The playbook is familiar: Pump up the threat, use the media as a conveyor
and watch public opinion swing toward war.

A campaign of this sort has been under way for weeks. In late August the
staff of the GOP-led House Intelligence Committee released a report on Iran that
depicted it as a pressing strategic danger. Iran "probably" has a biological
weapons program and "likely" has a chemical weapons research and development
program, it said. More alarming, the report stated that Iran was definitely
"seeking" nuclear weapons and enriching weapons-grade uranium. It conceded that
US intelligence lacked crucial information on Iran's WMDs, but it warned
intelligence analysts not to be wimps in reaching assessments about Iran's WMD
capabilities and not to "shy away from provocative conclusions." That is, don't
wait for hard-and-fast evidence before pronouncing Iran a nuclear threat.

The Bush Administration is so disconnected from reality, that they are planning a twofer this time around. Since the U.S. military ground forces are stretched beyond the breaking point, we'll have to contract Halliburton to conduct the ground war.

Confirmed by official statements and military documents, the US in close
coordination with Britain (and in consultation with its NATO
partners), is planning to launch a war directed against Iran and
Syria. US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton has already initiated the draft
of a UN Security Council resolution with a view to imposing sanctions on Tehran
for its alleged (nonexistent) nuclear weapons program. Whether this resolution
is adopted is not the main issue. The US may decide to proceed in defiance of
the Security Council, following a veto by Russia and/or China. The vote of
France and Britain, among the permanent members has already been secured.

For those of you out there who think that the Bush Administration doesn't take homeland security seriously, I'll have you know, that you are absolutely right.

Eager to showcase fresh votes on national security before the fall
elections, Congress has loaded a $34 billion homeland security spending bill
with measures to beef up defenses at the nation's borders, ports and chemical
plants and to revamp its disaster management.

With few exceptions, however, the measures are less sweeping than they
appear, analysts said. Watered down to avoid controversy or budget-breaking
costs, several of the measures also run counter to the wishes of Homeland
Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, reflecting how politics trumps policy come
election time, they said.

But Democrats and environmental groups said the pact is filled with
loopholes sought by industry, such as barring DHS from requiring companies to
switch to safer chemicals, failing to explicitly allow tougher state regulations
and exempting facilities such as drinking-water and wastewater plants.

In fact, the Bush Administration takes national security at least as seriously as it's education reforms.

WASHINGTON -- A scorching internal review of the Bush administration's
billion-dollar-a-year reading program says the Education Department ignored the
law and ethical standards to steer money how it wanted.

The government audit is unsparing in its view that the Reading First
program has been beset by conflicts of interest and willful mismanagement. It
suggests the department broke the law by trying to dictate which curriculum
schools must use.

Here's proof that the propaganda machine is probably the only thing on the right that actually works.

One of the more amazing results, though much in line with other surveys, is
that almost one in three still say that Saddam Hussein "was personally involved"
in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S.

Two other national polls in recent weeks found much the same, or even a
higher number, with upwards of two in three Republicans holding this view.

Have a good day, it'll be Monday before you know it.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

French Newspaper Reports that Osama bin Laden is Dead.

It hasn't been confirmed, but French newspaper L'Est Republicain is reporting that Osama bin Laden died of typhoid in late August.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government is unable to confirm a French
newspaper report that al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is believed to have died
last month in Pakistan, a U.S. counterterrorism official said on Saturday.
"We cannot confirm the account," said the official, who declined to be
identified because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the issue.
"It's quite possible (that) there was some talk of this, but in terms of being
able to confirm this, that I can't do."

The French regional daily L'Est Republicain reported that, according to a
French secret service report, Saudi Arabia was convinced that bin Laden died of
typhoid in Pakistan in late August. The French government has said it could not
confirm the report and would investigate the intelligence leak.

If this report on the death of the mastermind of 9/11 proves to be true, it means that Bush and the GOP have lost one of their major allies in the campaign of fear that they are currently waging against the American people.

The al Qaeda leader, bin Laden, is a lot things but stupid isn't one of them.
During the 2004 Presidential campaign, bin Laden displayed a skillful knack for
releasing tapes just when the Bush campaign appeared to need them most. He is
well aware of his dark prince-like rock star status here in the United States.
Bin Laden knows the press will never pass up an opportunity to garner market
share by exploiting anything he says or in which he plays the lead role. If he
releases an audio or video tape, he gets airtime just like the President.

The President has been in a world of political hurt throughout 2006. In a
fruitless attempt to try and push up his slumping approval ratings, George W.
Bush has embarked upon a number of campaign-like tours across the country.
Somewhere in the midst of each of these campaigns, bin Laden has been certain to
release either an audio or video tape.

The French government is opening an investigation into the leak of the secret service memo. President Jacques Chirac would not comment.

President Jacques Chirac has ordered an inquiry into the leak of a French
secret service memo claiming that Osama Bin Laden had died.

Mr Chirac told reporters he was surprised the memo had been leaked, and
refused to comment on the claim itself.