Friday, June 30, 2006

Justice John Paul Stevens, Supreme Court, Bush Still Wants Tribunals, Condi Recorded, V.A. Duh?, House Whores, Overseas Press Club and Bush Diverts.

Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, Republican appointed, decided with four other members of the Supreme Court, that America doesn't need a tyrant. His majority ruling rips the Administration's lame and convoluted reasoning that the President can do whatever he wants in a wartime situation, including his blowing off of the UCMJ and Geneva Conventions.

In particular, Justice Stevens' majority ruling deals a devasating blow to
tribunal rules which violate the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Geneva
Convenions. Indeed, the most signficiant news in Justice Steven's Hamdan
majority ruling is fierce insistence on the power of international law, and in
particular the Geneva Conventions, which the Administration has long dismissed
as irrelevant to non-state actors like Al Qaeda volunteers. Such dismissals are
nonsense, according to Justice Stevens' ruling: the Geneva Conventions' Common
Article 3 clearly prohibits "the passing of sentences...without previous a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial
guarantees ... recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples." For three
years, Administration lawyers have argued that the Geneva Conventions don't
apply to its "war on terror". That argument is finished.

Thanks, Justice Stevens, Justice Breyer, Justice Kennedy, Justice Souter and Justice Bader Ginsburg.

The four flies buzzing around Bush's ass were, Scalia, Thomas and Alito. Roberts had recused himself because he had earlier agreed to give Bush these powers while on an appeals court.

And a special thanks to those gutless Democrat Senators that rolled over for Bush and put Robert's and Alito on the Supreme Court.

Bush now plans to go to Congress to get the laws he needs to continue his un-American activities. Some in Congress are no doubt ready, but it would probably mean this country repudiating the Geneva Conventions.

Eugene Robinson at the WaPo puts it in terms that even the most thick-headed, anti-American, Bush supporter can understand. Well, probably not, but it sounded good when I typed it.

The administration's response was to design military tribunals in which the
detainees would not be able to adequately defend themselves. Yesterday the court
ruled 5 to 3 that show trials are the same as no trials. Predictably, the
majority opinion was written by 86-year-old Justice John Paul Stevens, who has
become the court's conscience. Predictably, the swing vote was Justice Anthony
M. Kennedy, who has assumed the old Sandra Day O'Connor role. And, predictably,
the court's hard-right faction -- Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and the newest
member of the club, Samuel A. Alito Jr. -- voted to let the Decider do whatever
the hell he wants. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. had to recuse himself,
since he had already ruled on the case (in favor of the president) when he was
on a lower court. Remarkably, even if he had been able to vote, the rule of law
would have been upheld.

Condi's having her own problems, after having a lunch with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, recorded. Condi was sticking to the Administration's policy of, it's what you say, not what you do that's important.

But a recording of the ministers' private lunch, made when an audio link into
the room was accidentally left on, showed that "Condi" and "Sergei" -- as they
called each other -- had several long and testy exchanges over Iraq. The
disputes concerned relatively minor wording changes in the five-page statement
issued after the meeting, but grew out of basic differences between the two
governments over how to proceed on Iraq.

The State Department's subsequent denial of tensions illustrates how
officials manage the information that flows to the public from such closed-door
meetings to create an image meant to advance foreign policy objectives.
Reporters often have no independent account of such discussions.

The V.A. has recovered their lost computer with the personal information of 26.5 million veterans and active duty personnel. The V.A. says the information wasn't accessed. The V.A. make no comment on the dumbasses that Bush appointed to run it.

Federal officials yesterday announced the recovery of computer equipment stolen
from an employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs. They said that sensitive
personal information of 26.5 million veterans and military personnel apparently
had not been accessed.
The laptop and external hard drive, stolen May 3 from
a VA data analyst's home in Aspen Hill, contained the names, birth dates and
Social Security numbers of millions of current and former service members. The
theft was the largest information security breach in government history and
raised fears of potential mass identity theft.

The whores in Congress passed a resolution yesterday condemning news organizations that leak any of Bush's illegal activities against the American people.

WASHINGTON The House on Thursday approved a Republican-crafted resolution
condemning news organizations for revealing a covert government program to track
terrorist financing, saying the disclosure had "placed the lives of Americans in

The resolution, passed 227-183 on a largely party-line vote, did not
specifically name the news organizations, but it was aimed at the New York Times
and other news media that last week reported on a secret CIA-Treasury program to
track millions of financial records in search of terrorists.

17 little Democrat Bush groupies gladly spread their cheeks for the president on this resolution. They are, and yes, once again my Congressman turned Bush whore, voted right along with them,

John Barrow, Melissa Bean, Dan Boren, Leonard Boswell, Henry Cuellar, Peter DeFazio, Chet Edwards, Bart Gordon, Brian Higgins, Jim Marshall, Jim Matheson, Charles Melancon, Collin Peterson, Mike Ross, John Salazar, Ike Skelton, Gene Taylor.

The Overseas Press Club of America told King George and his flunkies what effect that their words and actions may have on the American Press that may be too gutless to speak for it self.

NEW YORK, June 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Defending The New York Times's recent
disclosures of secret government programs to monitor Americans' overseas phone
calls and financial transactions, the Overseas Press Club of America today told
President George Bush that his administration's attacks on The Times could have
a "chilling influence" on editors around the country.

The OPC president said the need to withhold news that might hinder U.S.
military efforts "must be weighed against the damage to our society and its
institutions that can be done by secret, unfettered spying on our citizens."

The Boston Globe says the NYT blow-up by the White House was just to divert attention away from the fact that the American commander in Iraq has a plan that is about the same as the so-called "cut and run" Democrats in Congress.

The Casey strategy sounds suspiciously similar to the scenario Vice President
Dick Cheney denounced on CNN as ``the worst possible thing we could do . . .
packing it in, going home, persuading and convincing and validating the theory
that the Americans don't have the stomach for this fight." Of course, at the
time, the vice president was talking about the Democrats' call for withdrawal --
not the Pentagon's plan for withdrawal.

And then, the president deftly changed the subject to another New York Times
story, this one disclosing a secret program to investigate and track terrorists
through an international database that includes Americans' banking transactions.
Bush condemned the report as ``disgraceful," administration officials piled on,
and the political right joyously joined the chorus. Senator Jim Bunning,
Republican of Kentucky, accused the Times of ``treason." The Washington Post,
The Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times also reported on the
financial tracking program, but most of the vitriol is aimed at The New York
Times, whose parent company owns The Boston Globe.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

More GOP Crooks, $100,000 Buys Used Idiot, Mentally Unstable Liar, Perle Jam, King George, Christian Right Spyware and Demoted Goat.

It's starting to look like Christmas in June. The investigation of Jack Abramoff is reaping all kinds of goodies for those of us fighting the dark side.

A Who's Who of right wing scumbags and their phony tax-exempt organizations are being investigated for bribery, money laundering and influence peddling. Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform and Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, the name alone should have been throwing up red flags, Ralph Reed, former Christian Coalition executive director and Amy Moritz Ridenour, president of the National Center for Public Policy Research. There should be many more to come.

Let's get these folks in jail, get some election reform, so that our weak-willed politicians can't be tempted and make our country great again.

Newly released documents in the Jack Abramoff investigation shed light on how
the lobbyist secretly routed his clients' funds through tax-exempt organizations
with the acquiescence of those in charge, including prominent conservative
activist Grover Norquist.

The federal probe has brought a string of bribery-related charges and plea
deals. The possible misuse of tax-exempt groups is also receiving investigators'
attention, sources familiar with the matter said.

And just like any freak show, if you pay extra you get to see the special attraction. In this case, for an extra $100,000, you get to see and talk to The Incredible Monkey Boy.

WASHINGTON - Wanted: Face time with President Bush or top adviser Karl Rove.
Suggested donation: $100,000. The middleman: lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Blunt
e-mails that connect money and access in Washington show that prominent
Republican activist Grover Norquist facilitated some administration contacts for
Abramoff's clients while the lobbyist simultaneously solicited those clients for
large donations to Norquist's tax-exempt group.

It would now seem that one of the reasons we invaded Iraq was because of a mentally unstable liar. Well, two actually.

In late January 2003, as Secretary of State Colin Powell prepared to argue the
Bush administration's case against Iraq at the United Nations, veteran CIA
officer Tyler Drumheller sat down with a classified draft of Powell's speech to
look for errors. He found a whopper: a claim about mobile biological labs built
by Iraq for germ warfare.

Drumheller instantly recognized the source, an Iraqi defector suspected of
being mentally unstable and a liar. The CIA officer took his pen, he recounted
in an interview, and crossed out the whole paragraph.

Make that three mentally unstable liars and counting. The Washington Post is turning it's editorial pages over to people with less credibility than Ann Coulter. Richard Perle, well known neocon, liar, accused crook and accessory to the murder of over 2500 American service personnel is raving about Bush not attacking Iran. I won't post an excerpt, because it's just the rants of a lunatic. Trust me, you'd have to be an absolute dumbass to believe anything he says. George Bush is an excellent example.

Thanks to Perle and others like him, the U.S. military after a successful invasion, is still fumbling around Iraq without any mission or direction, other than "Stay the course".

BAGHDAD, June 24 -- U.S. troops in the Iraqi city of Tikrit raided the house of
a senior Sunni Muslim religious leader on Saturday and detained him for several
hours, outraging Sunnis and sparking a protest in front of the governor's office.

The unrest over the detention of Jamal Abdel Karim al-Dabaan came on a day
when the U.S. military announced that four of its soldiers had died in and
around Baghdad despite a security crackdown in the city.

Back at home it's no wonder that Bush can't spend much effort on what to do about his mess in Iraq, he's much too busy trying to take over this country.

WASHINGTON - A secret CIA-Treasury program
to track financial records of millions of Americans is the latest installment in
an expansion of executive authority in the name of fighting terrorism. The
administration doesn't apologize for President
's aggressive take on presidential powers. Vice President Dick Cheney
even boasts about it.

Bush has made broad use of his powers, authorizing
warrantless wiretaps, possibly collecting telephone records on millions of
Americans, holding suspected terrorists overseas without legal protections and
using up to 6,000 National Guard members to help patrol the border with
That's in addition to the vast anti-terrorism powers Congress granted him in
the recently extended Patriot Act.

It turns out that the terrorist group the FBI created in Miami aren't even Muslims.

MEDIA ASKED NOT TO CALL MIAMI TERROR SUSPECTS 'MUSLIMS' Sect trains 'through the bible,' worships in 'temple,' not mosque.

The new Right Wing Christian video game based on the Left Behind series is not only sick, but it's also loaded with spyware.

Watchers of right-wing Christian groups in the States say a new apocalyptic
videogame released by cultish Revelations-based fiction series Left Behind is
riddled with spyware.

Developers have incorporated software from an Israeli firm called Double
. It incorporates video advertising and product placement into the
game, and reportedly records players' behaviour, location, and other data to be
uploaded to Left Behind's Bible-powered marketing machine.

And just so you know it's not all politics, the 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh of the British Army demoted it's ceremonial pet goat from the rank of lance corporal to buck private after it misbehaved at a parade to celebrate the Queen's birthday.

I'm thinking the goat thought they were shipping out to Iraq and didn't want to go. Damn, a goat in the British Army is smarter than our President.

LONDON (AP) -- A British army regiment's ceremonial pet goat was demoted in
disgrace after it marched out of line before a host of dignitaries during a
parade to mark Queen Elizabeth II's birthday, a military spokesman said Saturday.

The military mascot, a 6-year-old male goat called Billy, was downgraded
from the rank of lance corporal to fusilier - the same status as a private -
after army chiefs ruled his poor display had ruined the ceremony earlier this
month at a British army base in Episkopi, western Cyprus.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

More Lost Data, Rummy Blames Data, Congress Showboats, Flag Burning, Baghdad's Rocking, Zarqawi Still a Tool, Bird Flu Blip and Funny FoxNews.

We all know that the Bush Administration has been blowing off the Fourth Amendment to spy on our banking records and any other personal information that they can get. Besides the fact that it's just down right un-American, here's another good reason not to like it. They can't keep up with it after they have it.

Now the Navy and the USDA have lost personal data on their personnel.

Not only do they lose data, they don't seem to be able to make proper use of it when they have it.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld relied on potentially faulty data when he
saved Lockheed Martin Corp.'s C-130J Hercules from cancellation last
year, the Pentagon inspector general said in a report yesterday that partly
blamed a poorly written contract for keeping the transport plane alive.

Face it, the Bush Bunch are just wankers in way over their heads.

Over in Congress, the Republicans are putting on a bunch of show votes in an attempt to rally their FoxNews watching base.

Coming up is the GOP's effort to chip away at the First Amendment, flag burning.

Our understandable outrage at flag burning shouldn’t turn our brains to mush. “I
feel the same sense of outrage, but I would not amend that great shield of
democracy [the Constitution] to hammer a few miscreants,” Colin Powell said when
the issue last came up (his position has not changed). “The flag will be flying
proudly long after they have slunk away.” Powell argues that a constitutional
ban on flag burning is a sign of weakness and fear. Note: The other countries
that have banned flag burning include Cuba, China, Iran and Saddam Hussein’s

Aside from street fighting all over the city, the security clamp down in Baghdad is doing great.

The fighting in the heart of Baghdad came despite a crackdown launched 10
days ago that put tens of thousands of U.S.-backed Iraqi troops on the streets
as the new prime minister sought to restore a modicum of safety for the
capital's more than 5 million people.

Iraqi and U.S. military forces clashed with heavily armed attackers
throughout the morning Friday within earshot of the Green Zone, which houses the
U.S. and British embassies and Iraqi government headquarters.

Poor Zarqawi, first he's an American propaganda tool, then he's dead, and now he's a recruitment tool for Al Queda. He might turn out to be more dangerous dead than alive.

CAIRO, June 23 -- Al-Qaeda's No. 2 leader paid tribute to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
in a video Friday, extolling him as "the prince of martyrs" despite the rocky
relationship between the terrorist leader in Iraq and the al-Qaeda command.

The first case of human to human transmission of avian flu has been documented. After infecting one family it came to a dead end, so this falls in the category of almost news.

JAKARTA, Indonesia, June 23 -- The World Health Organization has detailed
the first evidence that a person probably caught the bird flu virus from a
human, then passed a slightly mutated version to another person. But experts
said Friday that the genetic change does not increase the threat of a

Uyeki, who was part of the investigating team, stressed that viruses are
always slightly changing and that there was no reason for this mutation to raise
alarm because the virus has not developed the ability to spread easily among

The rumor is that FoxNews is going to do a knock-off of The Daily Show with Laura Ingraham playing the part of Jon Stewart. And that's funnier than anything that will ever be on the show.

TVNewser is reporting scuttlebutt that the Fox News Channel is prepping a
satiric news show to compete with Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show, with Jon
Stewart.” According to the TV
news blog
on the Media Bistro website, the host of the show is radio talk
show host and professional Clinton-hater, Laura Ingraham:

Clueless George, Following Your Money Trail, WMDs and Terrorists Oh My, Russia Redux, MadKane and mousemusings, Seriously.

Poor George Bush, arrogant and clueless, is forever seeing progress in Iraq. The leader of our country is dumber than dirt.

Let's take a look at what George Sr. and Barbara's idiot offspring is calling progress.

The Iraqi government declared a state of emergency in Baghdad and locks down the capitol. 12 American troops dead this week, at least 25 people were found executed in Mosul and 13 others around Iraq. These are just the deaths being reported today. And two Pennsylvania National Guardsmen are being investigated in the killing of another civilian.

I don't know how much more of Bush's progress we or the Iraqis can stand.

Back at home Bush is making progress in his efforts to make sure the American people no longer have any privacy from the federal government.

First it was our phone calls and internet use, now it's our banking records. Bush and his sycophants have such a low regard for us that they are even bragging about it.

WASHINGTON (AP) - A secret CIA-Treasury program to track
financial records of millions
of Americans is the latest installment in an
expansion of executive authority in the name of fighting terrorism. The
administration doesn't apologize for President Bush's aggressive take on
presidential powers. Vice President Dick Cheney even boasts about it.


Outgoing Treasury Secretary John W. Snow said that the program, in effect since
shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, is the thing "I'm proudest of" in his
tenure and insisted that strong safeguards protect the privacy of individual
Americans. "It's really government at its best," Snow said at a news conference.
"It's responsible government. It's effective government."

Are you feeling safer yet? Not everyone is happy with Bush's abuse of presidential powers and total disregard of the Bill of Rights.

"Maybe in the end, the public will be fine with it," said John D. ReVeal, a
lawyer who specializes in financial regulation at the Washington office of
Powell Goldstein LLP. "But it's always bothered me that the public has no idea
about a lot of this. People seem to care if their bank shares information with
an insurance company, for commercial purposes. But they don't seem to mind if
the bank shares information with a government that puts people into Guantanamo
without hearings and so forth."

"It's fair enough to say, we don't want to let the bad guys know that we're
spying on them, and disclose every detail of how that's being done," ReVeal
said. "But it's another thing to pull the wool over Americans' eyes and not
disclose what end runs around the Fourth Amendment we may be doing."

Karl Rove has been busy. His latest misinformation blitz includes WMDs and Miami Terrorists. A. Alexander at Progressive Daily Beacon lays it out for us.

Hmmm...let's see: Election year again and for Rove, Bush, and Republicans
what does that mean? It means that suddenly Iran is supposedly "planting
roadside bombs in Iraq", Rove wants Republicans to talk about Iraq, Iraq,
Iraq...oh, and Iraq. It means gay marriage amendments. It also means a sudden
rash of terrorists hiding in Miami. Most of all, however, it means Bush's
so-called National Intelligence Director, Negroponte, releasing a report
claiming to have found "WMD in Iraq".

That means Rumsfeld making asinine and outright dishonest statements like,
"They are weapons of mass destruction. They are harmful to human beings. And
they have been found."

That means other lying-liar Republicans like Santorum claiming, "We now
have found stockpiles."

About that Miami terrorist ring, it looks like the FBI found seven idiots, set them up and saved them for the Administration's propaganda purposes. It's good that they're off the street, but they were probably more danger to themselves than anyone else. BuzzFlash has it covered.

Earlier today, BuzzFlash suggested that the Bush Administration's claim of
foiling an attempt to destroy the Sears Tower was propaganda
exaggerated to distract and mislead us
. While we have not denied there were
indeed rumors and boasts of committing acts of terror, a careful examination of
the facts makes it clear that the Miami group was not as serious a threat as
portrayed in the media. They had no operational ability beyond their mouths.

All this is not to say thay there are no dangers facing this country, it's just that the Bush Administration wants to keep us focused on terrorism. But while we concentrate on the gnats buzzing around, the alligator might eat us.

Contrary to established opinion, the gravest threats to America's national
security are still in Russia. They derive from an unprecedented development that
most US policy-makers have recklessly disregarded, as evidenced by the
undeclared cold war Washington has waged, under both parties, against
post-Communist Russia during the past fifteen years.

While I've never been into poetry, MadKane is one cool site.

Dub's Shriveling Coalition
By Madeleine Begun Kane

George Dubya's Iraq coalition
Is suff'ring from major attrition.
Now Japan will withdraw
From this venture so flawed,
While Bush clings to his pricey, failed mission.

And I want to thank Cindy at mousemusings for noticing and mentioning Redneck Liberal.

Friday, June 23, 2006

My First Review From the Right.

You'd think that after almost three months I'd have more than one.

A comment by Anonymous that made my email, but not the blog.

Wow! The self-righteous hyperbole on this site is a forum for the insane. The
lack of rational thought in relation to historical events (facts) make this site
a fantasy lovers delight.

Gee, I have no problem with the "self-righteous hyperbole", I do get passionate when it comes to my country. However, I can't take credit for "forum for the insane", as I believe that FoxNews has that trademarked. Anytime you'd like to debate rational thought in relation to historical events, just let me know. And as a matter of fact I am a fantasy lover, Lord of the Rings, The Wheel of Time and Harry Potter.

Sure, overheated rhetoric will rally the rabid, unthinking radicals in your
movement. Those who are capable of taking in more than one thought at a time are
less likely to accept the "I'm right, the world is wrong!" idealism you have

Overheated rhetoric? I haven't even warmed up yet. I don't think I have a chance at taking the rabid, unthinking radicals away from your side. You're close, but "I'm right, the Right is wrong", would be more accurate.

I'm saddened that Americans like yourself are so partisan and devisive. It's
amzing to me that the least tolerant seem to be the ones who preach tolerance!
("progressives" - your characterization, not mine - "liberals" and "democrats".)

I learned the partisanship and devisiveness from those draft-dodging pussies like Limbaugh, Savage, Boortz and others too numerous to mention. I consider myself very tolerant of everyone, except those who lie in order to advance their particular position. And I have never called myself a "progressive". I'm a liberal and a Democrat, and I'm proud of it. Hence, the name of the blog. I'll be damned before I let the Right's propaganda make me afraid to call myself a liberal.

There is a reason folks like Ted Kennedy, Dennis Cassinich (spelling), Howard
Dean and other radicals have such narrow support and can't win national
elections. Their ideas haven't worked, don't work, and are just kooky.

Yes there is, the Right have the so-called "liberal media" in their pocket. Ideas that haven't worked, don't work and are just kooky?

So is this site.


--Posted by Anonymous to Redneck Liberal at
6/22/2006 01:31:26 PM

Anonymous, I appreciate you standing up for what you believe, even though we disagree, I hope you return. We kooky liberals believe in free speech.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Senate Cowers on Iraq, Americans Want Out, Iraq, Afghanistan, Homeland Insecurity and Head Dick.

According to the Senate it's better for troops to die than admit that Iraq is a major mistake.

"Stay the course!" That's not even a plan, it's an act of desperation. Senators desperate that the American people don't see them as a bunch of fools let into a war for no reason by the lies of an idiot.

So in order to preserve the facade of accomplishing something in Iraq, other than a rise in terrorist recruitment numbers, the Senate is willing to swap lives for image.

Six incredibly sorry excuses for Democrats voted right along with all the other Republicans, except one, Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee of Rhode Island. I'd gladly give those six crap for brains Democrats to the Republicans for Chafee.

Democratic senators were Mark Dayton (Minn.), Mary L. Landrieu (La.), Joseph I.
Lieberman (Conn.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Ben Nelson (Neb.) and Mark Pryor (Ark.).

Remember them, they obviously don't work for us or the good of the country. Lieberman must be feeling crowded with all those other Democrats crawling up Bush's backside with him.

The American people are getting fed up with Mr. Bush's experiment in American colonialism. All the polls are showing that we're thinking exit strategy, while all we're getting from the Republican Adminsitration and Congress is "Stay the course."

This conclusion, however, flies in the face of surveys by all major polling
firms, as E&P has chronicled over the past two years.

But here's the key finding. The pollsters stated a series of positions,
ranging from opposing gay marriage to repealing the estate tax, and asked if a
candidate running for congress who embraced such a position was more or less
likely to gain their vote. One position was: "Favors pulling all American troops
out of Iraq within the next 12 months.

"That couldn't be more simple and clear. The result? Some 54% said they would
be "more likely" to vote for such a candidate and only 32% said "less

While the Senate was showing us what a gutless bunch of followers they are, we lost four more Marines Tuesday and a soldier on Wednesday.

BAGHDAD, June 22--The military announced today that four Marines were killed
Tuesday in the Western province of Anbar, and said a U.S. soldier died in a
bombing south of Baghdad on Wednesday morning.

Three of the Marines died when their vehicle was blasted by a roadside bomb,
U.S. officials said. The other was killed when a patrol came under attack.

On Wednesday, the soldier was killed when the vehicle he was traveling in was
struck by a roadside bomb, the military said.

And for those who like to talk about the imaginary progress in Iraq, Iraqi police are reporting that American troops have killed 15 farm workers in Baquba.

Iraqi police have accused the US military of killing 15 farm workers during a
raid near Baquba, north of Baghdad.

But the US Army says the dead men were all insurgents who had opened fire on
soldiers during an operation in the area.

But Iraqi police and relatives of the dead men say the victims were poultry
farm workers who had been sleeping in the fields when US troops attacked.

In Afghanistan, they're trying to copy the American media. Fortunately, the Afghan press isn't putting up with it.

KABUL, Afghanistan, June 21 -- An unofficial attempt by Afghanistan's national
intelligence service to quash sensational and negative coverage by the Afghan
news media appears to have backfired badly this week, provoking both outrage and
ridicule among journalists and opinion makers, and swift repudiation by the
office of President Hamid Karzai.

We've just had four more KIA in Afghanistan. I understand why we went into Afghanistan and if we had a competent leader we might have actually accomplished what we went in for. But, we had Bush. He lost Osama, saw Saddam and left Afghanistan hanging in the wind. Once again, the troops pay for a politician's ignorance.

KABUL, Afghanistan, June 22 -- Al-Qaeda's second-in-command urged Afghans in a
new videotaped message to rise up against U.S troops stationed in their country,
a day after American officials warned that clashes with Taliban forces in remote
border areas could get
U.S. military officials said Thursday morning that four soldiers were killed
and a fifth was injured Wednesday in clashes with insurgents in the northeastern
part of the country, a region near the border with Pakistan where attacks
against foreign troops and Afghan security forces have been on the rise.

Do you think all this is keeping us safer at home? Hell, the Republicans don't even have any faith in Homeland Security. Just more failed crap from the folks that haven't had a good idea since they've been in power.

During a break in the proceedings at yesterday's House Homeland Security
Committee hearing, George Foresman, the Bush administration official in charge
of disaster preparedness, put down the "Read Ahead Book" his staff had prepared
for him and began to wring his hands.

For good reason: He was the guest of honor at a ritual sacrifice,
Washington-style. His Department of Homeland Security has slashed
counterterrorism funding for New York City and the Washington area by 40
percent, and Foresman, though armed with many excuses, lacked an explanation
that passed what Rep. Rob Simmons (Conn.) called "the common-sense test."

And just to show that some things never change, Dick Cheney's lack of acumen has provided the country with the same disastrous results that he achieved at Halliburton. I wonder if we can bring a class action lawsuit against Cheney and Bush.

Amid all his other troubles, Vice President Richard Cheney is now stalked by a
ghost from his past--the Richard Cheney who for five years was CEO of the
Halliburton Company. When he left Halliburton in 2000 to become George W. Bush's running mate, the Republican ticket was touted as two tough-minded business
executives running against wimpish politicians. "The American people should be
pleased they have a vice presidential nominee who has been successful in
business," Karen Hughes, Bush's then-communications director, enthused.

A rather different story is told by a class-action investor lawsuit against
Halliburton, recently revived after languishing for four years. It describes
Cheney as not much different from other corporate titans ensnared by accusations
of fraud. Brushing aside facts and subordinates' warnings, CEO Cheney made a
series of daring but wrong decisions that were disastrous for the company. The
managerial incompetence was compounded by fraudulent accounting gimmicks that
concealed the company's true condition. Cheney, however, relentlessly issued
bullish assurances, hiding the losses and pumping up the stock price.

A Republican dream come true. The middle class is rapidly disappearing, at this rate the U.S. will be made up of just Republicans and the rest of us, the peasants.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Middle-class neighborhoods, long regarded as incubators for
the American dream, are losing ground in cities across the country, shrinking at
more than twice the rate of the middle class itself.

In their place, poor and rich neighborhoods are both on the rise, as cities
and suburbs have become increasingly segregated by income, according to a
Brookings Institution study released Thursday. It found that as a share of all
urban and suburban neighborhoods, middle-income neighborhoods in the nation's
100 largest metro areas have declined from 58 percent in 1970 to 41 percent in

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Republicans are Social Darwinists and Democrats are Mostly Wimps.

The Democratic party is being seen as a party without a purpose, without principle and devoid of ideas, thanks to the so-called "Blue Democrats", the gutless geldings that suck up to the GOP, instead of fighting them. The Republican party is being very clear about what they stand for.

First, the Republicans are proudly pro-poverty. And they are justified in being so. Despite their flag waving and Bible thumping, the primary doctrine of the GOP is Social Darwinism.

Find that hard to believe? See if this sounds familiar.

Social Darwinism applied to a social context too, of course. It provided a
justification for the more exploitative forms of capitalism in which workers
were paid sometimes pennies a day for long hours of backbreaking labor. Social
Darwinism also justified big business' refusal to acknowledge labor unions and
similar organizations, and implied that the rich need not donate money to the
poor or less fortunate, since such people were less fit anyway.

And so the Republican led Senate vote down a raise in the minimum wage. Oh, they won't say they did it because of their Social Darwinist philosophy. They'll use the old canard of the minimum wage being a job killer and a destroyer of small business. But just like everything else the Republicans say, this is garbage.

The research
has found no correlation
between minimum-wage increases and a rise in
business failures, either in the year the increase occurred or in the following
year. The economy, especially small business, has done well in the years
following implementation of a minimum wage. In the wake of minimum-wage
increases in both 1990 and 1997, the U.S. economy had strong growth. Between
1998 and 2001, the number of small-business establishments grew twice as quickly
in states with higher minimum wages


A comparison of states with minimum wages above the federal level has shown that
increasing the minimum wage has not resulted in less hiring. Since the
minimum-wage increase in 1997, low-wage workers, particularly single mothers,
have found employment at increased rates. Those who will benefit most from a
higher minimum wage are concentrated among working women, many of whom are
single mothers. Among the workers to benefit from a minimum-wage increase, 60
percent are female and 72 percent are age 20 years and over.

Second the Republicans use their Social Darwinist beliefs to categorise individuals. Not exactly what's laid out by the Constitution, which may be why they are always trying to change it.

In its most extreme forms, Social Darwinism has been used to justify eugenics
programs aimed at weeding "undesirable" genes from the population; such programs were sometimes accompanied by sterilization laws directed against "unfit"
individuals. The American eugenics movement was relatively popular between about 1910-1930, during which 24 states passed sterilization laws and Congress passed
a law restricting immigration from certain areas deemed to be unfit. Social
Darwinist ideas, though in different forms, were also applied by the Nazi party
in Germany to justify their eugenics programs.

While the Republicans aren't endorsing eugenics, they are working to deny to some the basic rights laid out in the principles this country was founded on.

While saying that they are working on renewing the Voting Rights Act as soon as possible, they have postponed the vote so that they can "evaluate" it.

WASHINGTON -- House Republican leaders on Wednesday postponed a vote on
renewing the 1965 Voting Rights Act after GOP lawmakers complained it unfairly
singles out nine Southern states for federal oversight

"We have time to address their concerns," Republican leaders said in a joint
statement. "Therefore, the House Republican Leadership will offer members the
time needed to evaluate the legislation."

And third, well read this and then we'll do third.

Social Darwinism was used to justify numerous exploits which we classify as of
dubious moral value today. Colonialism was seen as natural and inevitable, and
given justification through Social Darwinian ethics - people saw natives as
being weaker and more unfit to survive, and therefore felt justified in seizing
land and resources. Social Darwinism applied to military action as well; the
argument went that the strongest military would win, and would therefore be the
most fit. Casualties on the losing side, of course, were written off as the
natural result of their unfit status. Finally, it gave the ethical nod to brutal
colonial governments who used oppressive tactics against their subjects.

OK, third, the comparisons should be leaping off the page at you.

Our colonies in Iraq and Afghanistan are obvious, but this might also explain Bush's reluctance to negotiate with anyone that he might not consider his equal. He refuses to talk with North Korea and with Iran, he thinks that his demands are tantamount to statesmanship.

What benefits have the GOP Social Darwinist vision produced? Well, we have eight American service members being charged with murder, 85 factory workers were kidnapped in the capitol of our colony Iraq and the rest of the world is seeing us more and more as the biggest threat to world stability. And that's not even a good start.

And like any good colonial power we are building a monument, so that the inferior natives may gaze upon our greatness and be thankful that George Bush brought Social Darwinism to them.

Can this be stopped? If it is, it will be up to us, because Hillary Clinton and the Blue Democrats have made dithering and acquiescence Democrat party policy.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Religious Right On, Buying Influence, War ADHD, Rummy Don't Know, Sayanora, Nam Vets, Soccer, Shocking Behavior, Pentagon and South Dakota Rebellion.

I just got through reading an excerpt from Randall Balmar's new book, Thy Kingdom Come: How the Religious Right Distorts the Faith and Threatens America: An Evangelical's Lament, and it's just fantastic.

As much as I enjoy raking the Religious Right over the coals, Balmar puts me in the shade.

As an evangelical, Randall Balmar really tears up the Religous Right, and rightly so, for basically disregarding Biblical teachings in their quest for political power.

Read it and you'll see that not all evangelicals are loony toons.

And what has the religious right done with its political influence? Judging by
the platform and the policies of the Republican Party — and I'm aware of no
way to disentangle the agenda of the Republican Party from the goals of the
religious right — the purpose of all this grasping for power looks
something like this: an expansion of tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, the
continued prosecution of a war in the Middle East that enraged our longtime
allies and would not meet even the barest of just-war criteria, and a
rejiggering of Social Security, the effect of which, most observers agree, would
be to fray the social-safety net for the poorest among us. Public education is
very much imperiled by Republican policies, to the evident satisfaction of the
religious right, and it seeks to replace science curricula with theology,
thereby transforming students into catechumens.

The Rev. Bush is doing the one thing he does well, raising money for the dark side. He walked off with $27 million, just for preaching to the choir. It's just amazing to think that these 5,000 people may be able to purchase the United States for $27 million. Unless we stop them.

President Bush suggested last night that Republicans must remain in control
of Congress for the country to effectively combat terrorism and keep the economy
healthy, speaking at a $27 million fundraiser meant to provide a needed boost to
the campaign war chest of congressional Republicans.

"The most important responsibility we have in Washington is to defend the
people of the United States," he said. "When this country sees a threat, we must
deal with it before it fully materializes."

He left out "real or imagined" before threat.

Richard Cohen explains Mr. Bush's Little War as a Culpability Deficit Disorder. I really think he's on to something here.

This drug for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is sorely
needed. ADHD explains why few seem to challenge the call to continue the mission
in Iraq, apparently forgetting that the mission has changed and no one is quite
sure what it is now. It explains why after just 100 hours the first President
Bush concluded the Persian Gulf War with Saddam Hussein still in power and his
helicopters slaughtering rebellious Shiites and Kurds. And it explains why the
Carter, Reagan and first Bush administrations so ardently supported Hussein and
then -- an administration later -- made it U.S. policy to topple him. We were
always forgetting the kind of guy he was

ADHD also explains why we are still fighting in Afghanistan almost five years
after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that launched the war against the
Taliban. It's because our attention got diverted from the Afghanistan-based
al-Qaeda, which had attacked us, to Iraq, which had not. Take two pills for this

I know I refer to Bush as an idiot an awfully lot. But after reading this, I think I'm being too easy on him.

Officials in US President George W. Bush's administration turned down a 2003
Iranian offer to begin talks with the US, recognize Israel, and end support of
Palestinian terror organizations, The Washington Post reported on Sunday.

The proposal, which arrived via fax along with a letter of authentication by
a Swiss ambassador, was ignored. Reports have circulated in the past that Iran
had extended its hand to the US, but the document itself was only recently
obtained by the Post - reportedly from Iranian sources - and confirmed as
genuine by both American and Iranian officials.

Bush's ability to hide the fact that he's not the brightest crayon in the box, may come from his tendency to surround himself with even bigger idiots who don't mind telling a few lies to make Bush appear that he has some idea of what he's doing.

It was a bumpy start to an odd interview, as Rumsfeld cited poor memory, loose
office procedures, and a general distraction with "the wars" in Iraq and
Afghanistan to explain why he was unsure how his department came to nearly
squander $30 billion leasing several hundred new tanker aircraft that its own
experts had decided were not needed.

It worked for Reagan and it worked for Rummy too.

Sayonara, Iraq. Japan has the good sense to get it self out of George Bush's mess. Henceforth, Japanese Beetles will be known as Freedom Beetles.

TOKYO, June 20 -- Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi announced today that he will
withdraw 550 troops from Iraq, ending a landmark mission that became Tokyo's
largest military-related operation since World War II.

They're saying that the images from Iraq are stirring up post-traumatic stress disorder in Viet Nam vets. I think it probably has more to do with the disbelief that their country would put another generation through this crap, once again for nothing. No one feels more empathy for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan than those who went through the same thing.

More than 30 years after their war ended, thousands of Vietnam veterans are
seeking help for post-traumatic stress disorder, and experts say one reason
appears to be harrowing images of combat in Iraq.

Figures from the Department of Veterans Affairs show that PTSD
disability-compensation cases have nearly doubled since 2000, to an all-time
high of more than 260,000. The biggest bulge has come since 2003, when war
started in Iraq.

It seems that some of our soccer players and fans equate the World Cup to war. We really go out of our way to make the rest of the world love us. Honestly, an Oklahoma/Oklahoma State football game would come closer to actual war.

"We're here for a war," Johnson said a few days before the game,
after visiting US troops at Ramstein Air Base. "Whenever you put your jersey on
and you look at your crest and the national anthem's going on, and you're
playing against a different country, it's like you do or die, it's survival of
the (fittest) over ninety minutes-plus. We're going to go out there and do
whatever we've got to do, make tackles, do the things when the referee's not get three points." Johnson concluded by saying, "It's do or die....
I don't want to go home early." Ironically, most of the American troops Johnson
thinks he's supporting would like nothing better than to "go home early" from
combat duty in Iraq.

Our society is getting sicker all the time. I don't mean that in the conservative Republican sense.

We are actually putting devices on school kids that deliver an electric shock at the whim of the staff members. I'll bet that Hitler and Stalin could have really done something with this idea. It would make a great little training aid for the Religious Right too.

New York education officials issued a scathing report yesterday on a
Massachusetts school that punishes troubled and disabled students with electric
shocks, finding that they can be shocked for simply nagging the teacher and that
some are forced to wear shock devices in the bathtub or shower, posing an
electrocution hazard.

The report, based in part on an inspection last month of the Judge Rotenberg
Educational Center in Canton, portrayed a school in which most staff lack
training to handle the students and seem more focused on punishing bad behavior
than encouraging good acts.

Let's see, the Commander-in-Chief is a complete idiot and the Pentagon lists homosexuality as a mental disorder. We're not getting our money's worth from these people.

WASHINGTON (AP) - A Pentagon document classifies homosexuality as a mental
disorder, decades after mental health experts abandoned that position.

The document outlines retirement or other discharge policies for service
members with physical disabilities, and in a section on defects lists
homosexuality alongside mental retardation and personality disorders.

And just so you'll know, there are people who are willing to go against the odds to stand up for what's right.

As you are aware, South Dakota passed a ban on all abortions, apparently in South Dakota, like a lot of Oklahoma, ignorance is considered a virtue. But even in a real red state there's folks that understand that freedom trumps Religious Right demagoguery.

Bitter jokes about Jesusland flew around the East and West coasts; some even
muttered about boycotting the state. (Take that, Mount Rushmore! And Fluffy, no
more Iams for you!) But then a funny thing happened. South Dakotans got busy.
Instead of challenging the ban in court, prochoicers decided to challenge it in
the voting booth. Relying entirely on volunteers, the bipartisan South Dakota
Campaign for Healthy Families got more than 38,000 signatures for its petition
to place a ban-repeal referendum on the November ballot--twice as many names as
required, from every county in the state, and a month ahead of the filing
deadline. You may have read of Cecilia Fire Thunder, president of the Pine Ridge
Reservation, who got quite a bit of media and blog attention after she said she
would consider putting a clinic on the reservation if the ban took effect. But
did you know that, spurred by the ban, an unprecedented number of Native
American women--Charon Asetoyer, Faith Spotted Eagle, Theresa Spry, Paula Long
Fox, Diane Kastner--ran for state and local offices in the June 6 primary? All
were progressive, all prochoice.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Thanks for the comments.

I just wanted to thank the folks that have been leaving comments. It makes it worthwhile to see that I'm being read by such above average, well informed people.

You and your comments are always appreciated.

Iraq FUBAR, Compliant Media, Missing Soldiers, Nothing for Something, Bush Gets Tough, Kappes of CIA and Big Pharma Big Greed.

The Green Zone in Baghdad is probably the safest place for U.S. personnel in all of Iraq. That's not suggesting in anyway that the Green Zone is actually safe. It is becoming a decidedly unsafe place for Iraqis to be associated with.

We hear so much about the progress that's being made in Iraq, but we see little evidence. That's most likely because there is very little evidence to show.

U.S. military occupation has done very little in the way of stablizing Iraq. Just about everyone that has the ways and means to leave Iraq has left Iraq. And just about everyone else is thinking about it.

Bush promised that Iraq would have the best infrastructure in the region. It don't and it won't. Most of the funds that were to be used for reconstruction were moved to other projects. Electricity and oil production are below pre-war levels.

Editor & Publisher has the details of a cable sent to the Secretary of State from the American Embassy in Baghdad about the risks to Iraqis that work in the Green Zone. If we can't protect our own employees, how are we going to make the whole country safe?

As a footnote in one of the 23 sections, the embassy relates, "An Arab newspaper
editor told us he is preparing an extensive survey of ethnic cleansing, which he
said is taking place in almost every Iraqi province, as political parties and
their militiast are seemingly engaged in tit-for-tat reprisals all over Iraq."

-- Embassy employees are held in such low esteem their work must remain a secret
and they live with constant fear that their cover will be blown. Of nine
staffers, only four have told their families where they work. They all plan for
their possible abductions. No one takes home their cell phones as this gives
them away. One employee said criticism of the U.S. had grown so severe that most
of her family believes the U.S. "is punishing populations as Saddam did."

-- Fuel lines have grown so long that one staffer spent 12 hours in line
on his day off. "Employees all confirm that by the last week of May, they were
getting one hour of power for every six hours without.....One staff member
reported that a friend lives in a building that houses a new minister; within 24
hours of his appointment, her building had city power 24 hours a day."

I'll bet this don't get very much play on American network or cable news, it seems that they don't have much interest in saying anything negative about Bush. It's not like the good old days when they would spend 90% of their time speculating on Clinton non-issues. Mark Crispin Miller of The Nation tells it like it is.

Contrary to the counterclaims in 1996, there was, as The Nation noted then,
copious hard evidence of corporate meddling with the news, and also, even more
important, lots of subtler evidence of reportorial self-censorship throughout
the media cartel. And yet what stood out as egregious back then seems pretty
tame today, now that the press consistently tunes out or plays down the biggest
news, while hyping trivialities, or, if it covers a disaster, does so only
fleetingly and without "pointing fingers." (New Orleans is now forgotten.) The
press that went hoarse over Monica Lewinsky's dress is largely silent on the
Bush regime's subversion of the Constitution; its open violation of the laws
here and abroad; its global use of torture; its vast surveillance program(s);
its covert propaganda foreign and domestic; its flagrant cronyism; its suicidal
military, economic and environmental policies; and its careful placement of the
federal establishment into the hands of Christianist extremists. Whether it's
such tawdry fare as Jeffrey Gannon's many overnights at Bush's house, or graver
matters like the Patriot Act, or the persistent questions about 9/11, or the
President's imperial "signing statements" or--most staggering of all--the
ever-growing evidence of coast-to-coast election fraud by Bush & Co., the
press has failed in its constitutional obligation to keep us well informed about
the doings of our government.

Yet, some how, even bogus news that may be beneficial to Administration policy manages to get a lot of coverage. And the folks on the right just eat it up and, true or not, it soon becomes part of their mythology. The latest right wing myth, brought to you by the PR firm Benador Associates. By way of Larry Cohler-Esses and The Nation.

The neoconservative campaign to equate Iran with Nazi Germany received a setback in May. Bloggers and a few journalists quickly exposed as wholly concocted a story about a new law that would require Iranian Jews to wear yellow insignia.
Within days the National Post of Canada--founded by disgraced neocon media mogul
Conrad Black and now owned by the no less hawkish Asper family--was forced to
apologize publicly for its "scoop." But by then the New York Post, Rush
Limbaugh, the Drudge Report, right-wing blogs and some wire services had picked
up the claim, bringing the phony news to millions
Nevertheless, the debunking exposed the moving parts of a media machine intent
on priming the public for war with Iran--as it did earlier with stories about
Iraq's nonexistent WMD. Ubiquitous in this campaign, as it was with Iraq, is the
PR firm Benador Associates. Its president, Eleana Benador, told me it was her
agency that placed the article with the National Post. Its stable of writers and
activists, a Who's Who of the neocon movement, includes Richard Perle, Michael
Ledeen, Frank Gaffney, Charles Krauthammer, Victor Davis Hanson and Iranian
exile journalist Amir Taheri--the author of the bogus piece. Even among a crowd
notable for wrongheaded analyses, Taheri stands out, with a rap sheet that
leaves one amazed that he continues to be published. It is here that the role of
Benador is key; the firm gives Taheri a political stamp of approval that
provides entree to hawkish media venues, where journalistic criteria are

The media has reported the apparent kidnapping of two American soldiers from a checkpoint south of Baghdad. But they fail to ask the obvious question, "Just how in the hell did two U.S. Army Airborne Infantry get kidnapped?" I mean this is not supposed to happen. There's some officers in the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division that have some explaining to do about how this could come about. You don't just leave a checkpoint in a hot zone that insecure.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- A farmer claiming to have witnessed an attack on a
U.S. military checkpoint said Sunday that insurgents swarmed the scene, killing
the driver of a Humvee before taking two of his comrades captive. The U.S.
military has only said the soldiers are missing.

U.S. troops, backed by helicopters and warplanes, fanned out across the
"Triangle of Death" south of Baghdad searching for the missing servicemen. At
least four raids had been carried out, but the captives were not found, the
military said.

Another local resident said the soldiers searched houses on Sunday and
promised a $100,000 reward for any information leading to the missing

Other progress in Iraq includes;

In Baghdad, gunmen kidnapped 10 bakery workers, and a mortar attack killed four
people. Police also found the bodies of 17 people around the capital, including
four women and a teenager who had been handcuffed and shot in the head, the
latest apparent victims of sectarian death squads.

Here's a small example of why the country is going broke. We pay military contractors for things the military don't want. We're crazy.

Over the past decade Vibration & Sound Solutions Ltd., a small
Alexandria defense contractor, has received a steady flow of federal contracts
to work on "Project M" -- $37 million in all from annual "earmarks" by
congressional supporters such as Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.).

All the applications have one thing in common: The Pentagon hasn't wanted

We heard all about it from the right wing propaganda machine the last election, "Kerry flip-flops". But will we hear it now that Bush is doing it, or at least says he's going to do it. I'll believe it when I see it.

The Bush administration, which is vowing to crack down on U.S. companies
that hire illegal workers, virtually abandoned such employer sanctions before it
began pushing to overhaul U.S. immigration laws last year, government statistics

Between 1999 and 2003, work-site enforcement operations were scaled
back 95 percent by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which
subsequently was merged into the Homeland Security Department. The number of
employers prosecuted for unlawfully employing immigrants dropped from 182 in
1999 to four in 2003, and fines collected declined from $3.6
million to $212,000, according to federal statistics.

We have a new number two man at the CIA, Stephen R. Kappes. I don't know much about him, but he's a real life CIA spook, he's not a Bush crony and some Republicans don't like him because he thinks for himself. Sounds good to me.

Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.), a ranking member of the House Armed Services
Committee, is one of Kappes's most vocal critics. Weldon criticizes what he
calls Kappes's failure to pursue the congressman's view that a colleague of
Manucher Ghorbanifar, one of the instigators of the Iran-contra affair, had
important information on Iran's nuclear program. "Kappes was the ringleader of
an internal CIA rebellion," Weldon wrote in his recent book, "Countdown to
Terror." "He was one of many in the CIA resistant to needed reforms."

Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.), who succeeded Goss as chairman of the
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told the Washington Times last month
that Kappes was guilty of "gross insubordination" for his behavior at the agency
under Goss.

And if you really want to get mad a someone, how about a drug company that has a drug that will prevent thousands of people from going blind and it's cheap, but they won't put it on the market for that use until they can mark the price up from about $10 a treatment to over $1,000 a treatment.

A major drug company is blocking access to a medicine that is cheaply and
effectively saving thousands of people from going blind because it wants to
launch a more expensive product on the market.

Ophthalmologists around the world, on their own initiative, are
injecting tiny quantities of a colon cancer drug called Avastin into the eyes of
patients with wet macular degeneration, a common condition of older age that can
lead to severely impaired eyesight and blindness. They report remarkable success
at very low cost because one phial can be split and used for dozens of

But Genentech, the company that invented Avastin, does not want it used in
this way. Instead it is applying to license a fragment of Avastin, called
Lucentis, which is packaged in the tiny quantities suitable for eyes at a higher
cost. Speculation in the US suggests it could cost £1,000 per dose instead of
less than £10. The company says Lucentis is specifically designed for eyes, with
modifications over Avastin, and has been through 10 years of testing to prove it
is safe.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Karl Rove, White House Make-up Artist, Torture Policy, Katrina Outcasts, Dems Do Something Right, GOP Sex, Rob Corddry and Stephen Colbert.

Between now and the elections expect nothing but lies and misdirection. The White House has turned Karl Rove over to the GOP to work his crooked magic in an effort to retain the House and the Senate.

The recent damned if you do and damned if you don't votes in both the House and Senate on troop withdrawal resolutions were designed by Rove to paint Democrats in a corner. And, of course, way too many of the weak sisters in the party walked right into his trap.

The record, they say, speaks for itself: Rove was the architect of a series of
victories for Bush -- the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004, as well as
the 2002 midterms -- that left Democrats demoralized and divided. While it might
be Washington myth that Rove is responsible for all of Bush's wins -- after all,
it was the president who executed the plans and earned the vote -- the balding
Texan with the mischievous grin gets much of the credit in the eyes of
Republicans and Democrats alike.

When the Republicans are desperate and feel that any means will justify the end, Karl Rove is their go-to guy. Expect much wedge issue politics, out and out lies and the insinuation that if you don't agree with the GOP, you are something less than a patriotic American.

It was enough to elevate the well-worn notion of political pandering to a whole
new level of sycophancy: Knowing full well that a constitutional amendment to
ban gay marriage had no chance of passing, Republicans--led by the
president--raised the issue in the Senate anyway. "I am proud to stand with
you," President Bush told supporters of the ban last week. In fact, he spoke
about it twice in three days. Never mind that a recent Washington Post-ABC News
poll shows that fewer than 1 percent of Americans consider the issue of gay
marriage as key or relevant to their voting choices. This is about something
much more important--throwing red meat to the GOP base.

New White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten pretty much just came out and admitted that his primary job will be to apply make-up to the pig. Trust me, despite what you hear, it will still be a pig.

Bolten's changes so far have been more about process than policy. He has not
tried to alter the broader direction of Bush's presidency, nor does he intend
to. His mission, as he sees it, is to find a better way to explain the same
agenda. "It's part of our job to help the American public see the president that
we see inside the White House and that doesn't always get reflected on the
outside," he said.

The Pentagon is saying that, yeah we tortured, but it was by accident, we just got the wrong information, everything's all right now, so forget about it. Incompetence, like crap, runs down hill.

A secretive military Special Operations group in Iraq used several unauthorized
interrogation tactics on detainees in early 2004 after it erroneously received
an outdated policy from commanders in Baghdad, according to a high-level
military investigative report released yesterday at the Pentagon.

As a result of the error, interrogators at temporary holding facilities
washed down detainees and questioned them in overly air-conditioned rooms, fed
them only bread and water when they were uncooperative, and made them kneel for
long periods of time as part of an approach using "stress positions." The
tactics also included giving detainees minimal amounts of sleep and using loud
music and yelling to keep them from sleeping or communicating.

I wonder how many terrorists this supposed mistake created?

I guess that Katrina recovery, like Mr. Bush's little war in Iraq, will have to wait on the next administration to be resolved.

She's not alone. Across the state, more than 200,000 people are living in
trailers or unfinished houses, many still in tents in the front yards of their
ravaged New Orleans homes, without insurance, health care, access to decent
public schools or, in many cases, jobs. In fact, so many people are desperate to
make their homes livable that FEMA is still delivering trailers to the New
Orleans area. To date there are some 70,000 FEMA trailers in some 60 villages in
Louisiana alone, with additional trailers parked in yards. And not a single one
of those trailers is strong enough to withstand hurricane-strength winds.

Things are looking up. The House Democrats finally do something right, most of them anyway.

Democrats got tough with Rep. William Jefferson last night, voting 99-58 to boot
the corrupt Congressman off the powerful Ways and Means Committee.

It seems that anti-gay Republican Strategists are willing to pay big money for a little hot girl on girl action. That's the difference between them and us, they have to pay for it.

It’s getting so that a couple nice young girls can’t drive up to DC for the
Pride parade without getting openly propositioned by Republican Strategists who
give them their real names and business cards these days.

Rob Corddry's leaving the Daily Show.

Overlooked in the barrage of nerd-bent one-liners and Prince-gawking at the Webby Awards Monday night was host Rob Corddry's admission he may not be able
continue on the Daily Show now that his pilot,
The Winner,
produced by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, has been picked up by Fox. "It's
not clear whether I'll have time," Corddry told the audience before setting up a
You Tube-quality clip.

And a video of Stephen Colbert asking Congressman Lynn Westmoreland (GA), who sponsored the bill to display the Ten Commandments in Congress, to name them. He couldn't.

Friday, June 16, 2006

42 Democrat Congressmen Sell Out Troops to Vote with GOP.

42 Democrats played right into the Republicans hands by voting with them on a worthless measure designed to make the Dems appear weak on terror.

Two days of wasted time culminated with 42 Democrats showing that principles mean nothing compared to their fear of the right.

The 42 Democratic Congressmen that are more concerned with how they appear to the radical right than they are with the troops, are,

John Barrow, Melissa Bean, Howard Berman, Marion Berry, Sanford Bishop, Dan Boren, Leonard Boswell, Rick Boucher, Dennis Cardoza, Ed Case, Ben Chandler, Jim Cooper, Jim Costa, Jerry Costello, Bud Cramer, Henry Cuellar, Lincoln Davis, Chet Edwards, Bob Etheridge, Bart Gordon, Gene Green, Stephanie Herseth, Brian Higgins, Tim Holden, Ron Kind, Rick Larsen, Daniel Lipinski, Stephen Lynch, Jim Marshall, Jim Matheson, Carolyn McCarthy, Mike McIntyre, Charles Melancon, Dennis Moore, Collin Peterson, Mike Ross, John Salazar, Adam Smith, Vic Snyder, John Spratt, Gene Taylor, Bennie Thompson
and yes my weak-kneed, republican voting Democrat Congressman Dan Boren is once again with them.

Over in the Senate, the Republicans are putting on the same show. We only had six senators that were smart enough or gutsy enough, not to go along with this White House produced farce.

Barbara Boxer of California.
Robert Byrd of West Virginia.
Russ Feingold of Wisconsin.
Tom Harkin of Iowa.
Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts.
John Kerry of Massachusetts.

Six senators that real Democrats can be proud of.

Meanwhile in Iraq, one soldier killed, two missing, 11 Iraqis dead, 25 wounded and that's just the ones they're letting us know about.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A U.S. soldier was killed and two were unaccounted
for Friday after they came under attack at a traffic checkpoint in Yusufiya.

search was under way for the two missing soldiers in the town, about 20
miles southwest of Baghdad.

If You Don't Agree With GOP in Congress You're a Terrorist Lover, GOP in Congress Brain Dead and Dem State Senator is Loony Toons.

The Republicans in both houses of Congress are attempting to rally their reality challenged voters for the Fall elections, by waging a campaign to smear anyone that doesn't show the proper support for Bush's wars as terrorist sympathizers.

Ignorant of, or ignoring what's really happening in Iraq and Afghanistan, the GOP is posturing for the appearance of a party that's not squeamish over a lot of someone elses bloodshed.

I can't wait to see how many clueless, gutless Democrats fall for this crap and vote with the Republicans.

House Republicans took the offensive, repeatedly asserting that Democrats have
adopted a "defeatist" policy of retreat that would embolden international
terrorists and imperil national security. Their position was bolstered by a
74-page document drafted by the White House and distributed by the Pentagon,
replete with talking points, quotations and timelines to back administration
policy. Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) called the document "an affront to the
American people."

"We're not making progress," said Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), a
Marine Corps veteran who has emerged as his party's leading opponent of the war.
He said Iraqis are fighting a low-grade civil war in which U.S. soldiers should
not be involved. "They're fighting each other, and our troops are caught in
between," he said.

"We make progress every day," countered Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), who
contended that the only people who want the U.S. military to leave Iraq are
terrorists and "some politicians." Looking at Murtha, he added: "Don't get
confused about every little problem that happens."

The Republicans think that everyone should be all for the President's bold plan of "Stay the course." To their way of thinking, something that hasn't worked for three years, should be continued. At least, Halliburton and the defense contractors are doing well and will contribute well. And 2500 American dead, plus tens of thousands of Iraqi dead shows we're doing something, even if it is self-defeating.

Fresh from his triumphal visit to Baghdad -- a place so dangerous he had to
sneak in without even telling the Iraqi prime minister -- George W. Bush is full
of new resolve to stay the course in his open-ended "global war on terror." That
leaves the rest of us to wonder, in sadness and frustration, just what that
course might be and where on earth it can possibly lead.

Iraq is just one theater in Bush's "war." Elsewhere, Afghanistan is once
again ablaze as the resurgent Taliban counterattacks. Somalia is coming under
the sway of an Islamic militia that may harbor al-Qaeda militants. America's
popularity in the world continues to fall. But George W. Bush forges ahead,
trying vainly to kill a poisonous, retrograde ideology with bullets and bombs.
His "war" is self-perpetuating, and no one even knows what victory would look
like. Long after he's gone, we'll still be looking for a way to end the mess he

The Republicans are making the major mistake of actually believing their own propaganda. They really think that things are going well and that we are in control of something other than the Green Zone.

In the south of Iraq, in the Basra region, the British who occupy that sector have
all but given up aggressive patrol. They are holed up in their encampments on the
. Some reports have it that it is now too dangerous for them to fly
helicopters by day. At the point when they must choose between being overrun or
withdrawing, the small contingent of British troops facing unknown numbers of
militia hidden in and among a hostile population should be able to evacuate the
port of Basra even under fire.

The situation for American troops may be even more precarious. While our
forces are still able to carry out aggressive patrolling, it nets little except
to increase popular hostility, which, of course, makes it yet easier for the
various insurgents and guerrilla groups to operate against us. It appears that
in many places our people may have simply hunkered down to stay out of trouble.
The vast construction projects of a few years ago are all but closed down, too,
as the American forces appear to be doing less and less of anything but holding
on and holding out.

You know the GOP is really out of the loop when Wall Street is souring on the war faster than the Republicans can promote it.

And Wall Street doesn't like to hear about "the long run." We mark to market
every day. It may be that in a few years, a securities position will be worth
five times what we paid today, but we are still obliged to carry it on our books
for what someone will really pay for it now. The Iraq War is now increasingly
seen as an ideologically based experiment, one that departed radically from
traditional US foreign policy. Leslie Gelb,
former head of the Council on Foreign Relations, has one plan for extrication, Hillary
another. But George W. Bush, who struggles to admit even the
smallest error, is promoting a stay-the-course program that draws on a reservoir
of trust, a pool of political capital that simply doesn't exist.

With our dollars piling up overseas and the world economy depending on
foreigners' confidence in our model, it is going to be hard for us to hold our
breath for two and a half years. The damage to our brand under this management
has been severe, and heretofore the cost has been neither paid nor calculated.
When the markets finally render their judgment for this war and this
Administration, there is likely to be a very hard landing.

As for turning the country over to the Iraqis, they can't even control their own jails yet, let alone the whole country. What have we been doing for the last three years? It sure seems that what's really happening has very little to do with all the good news that's been coming from the White House.

"We cannot control the prisons. It's as simple as that," said the deputy
minister, Pusho Ibrahim Ali Daza Yei, an ethnic Kurd. "Our jails are infiltrated
by the militias from top to bottom, from Basra to Baghdad."

As a result, Yei has asked U.S. authorities to suspend plans to transfer
prisons and detainees from American to Iraqi control. "Our ministry is
unprepared at this time to take over the facilities, especially those in areas
where Shiite militias exist," he said in a letter to U.S. Army Maj. Gen. John D.
Gardner, the official in charge of American detention facilities.

Finally, we all know that our country's future lies with the next generation. I'm guessing that this happened in Maryland. A high school newspaper endorsed a candidate for the state senate. I think that it's great that any students in any grade take an interest in politics. The newspaper contacted both primary candidates and they both agreed talk to them about arranging interviews. The challenger Jamin Raskin, an American University law professor, did. The incumbent Sen. Ida G. Ruben (D-Montgomery), blew them off.

Guess who they endorsed? Now this lame excuse for an incumbent Democrat politician is throwing a fit.

Lady, it's your own fault, you should have taken these students seriously. It's time to shut your mouth, because you're looking like a fool.

The suck-up school Principal Phillip Gainous has now decided that the paper should not endorse candidates.

Ruben should no longer be in politics, especially as a Democrat and Gainous needs to find a job where he won't stifle student's desire to participate in their Constitutional rights.

The May 25 edition of Silver Chips, the award-winning Montgomery Blair High
School newspaper, featured fairly standard fare:

A piece on Blair students fighting for immigrant rights. A profile of the new
student board representative.

But an editorial endorsing Jamin Raskin, an American University law professor
running for the Democratic nomination for state Senate in District 20, has
rankled the district's longtime incumbent, Sen. Ida G. Ruben (D-Montgomery).

"I support the newspaper as a whole," Gainous said. "I don't have a problem
with the students, but this is something the paper need not have done."

He added, "For the newspaper -- the school newspaper -- to endorse a
candidate, that's not appropriate." He was unaware that the paper had endorsed