Sunday, October 29, 2006

‘Halliburton: Because Orphans Just Don’t Make Themselves’

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Hello all. I won't be posting for a while. Computer problems. That and BLOGGER IS BUGGY!!!
's up widdat?
I hope it's fixed soon.
Vote Nov. 7th in massive numbers; more than they can fudge without there being peasants in the streets with pitch forks &....whatever.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Computer problems. I'll be offline. Have fun & VOTE 11/7. Hopefully I'll be back before then.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

"Iraq. We haven’t had a, a serious war, really, since WWII.”

The punditocracy speaks, and it has no clue.

MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about the American voter out there. The numbers are shifting against the war, we all know that, for better or worse. They’re moving towards something like 60% who believe we should not have gone to war. What is your party, the Republicans, those who believe in this war, what can they say now between the election day to stop that slippage in support?

MORGAN: I have to say…they have to say, “Look, what’s the alternative? Are we just going to leave Iraq, pack up our guns, our Humvees, and our kids and come home and leave that to um, to the people of, of Iraq, the jihadists and the terrorists and the sectarian violence? I don’t think so. We need to honor the deaths already of almost 3,000 young men, because if, if we don’t, we’re going to have some serious problems in keeping our military forces motivated in the future, and we would be dishonoring their deaths if we did. We also need to think about what’s going to happen with Iran, Jordan and Syria…

In other words she has noticed that the stakes are serious. There is a good deal more, it's funny in a sick sort of way, and a great picture ...

Crooks and Liars
Take a good look at this psycho-bitch. And then hear the words. Is it any wonder there's so many gay Republican men?
I guess this is one of the nuts on the once great KSFO in San Francisco.
How does one get this way? I really just don't know.
MARK FOLEY ACTION FIGURE (pull the string & it says, "I'm always here, I'm always lonely, I'm always up for oral sex!")

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Florida Republican Rep. Mark Foley made friends with a wide circle of teenaged House of Representatives pages, then singled out "hot" boys to write to, The Washington Post reported on Sunday.

The newspaper said it had identified four more former pages who said they were sexually solicited by Foley, who has resigned since the scandal broke last month.

One former page, who was not identified, said Foley sent him e-mails when he was 16 asking about "my roommates, if I ever saw them naked." Later, the former page said Foley hinted about a job opportunity "because I was a hot boy," the newspaper quoted him as saying.

Two years later, the page, now 22, said, he wrote Foley to ask about hotels in Washington. "You could always stay at my place. I'm always here, I'm always lonely, and I'm always up for oral sex," he quoted the disgraced former member of Congress as saying...
On edit: a reader wrote to say that the Foley figure really looks good on the mantle next to the Denny Hastert Inaction Figure. ROTFLMAO...

“This whole thing about not kicking someone when they are down is BS – not only do you kick him – you kick him until he passes out – then beat him over the head with a baseball bat – then roll him up in an old rug – and throw him off a cliff into the pounding surf below!!!!”--Michael Scanlon

GOP losses could spark partisan warfare

WASHINGTON - The White House is bracing for guerrilla warfare on the homefront politically if Republicans lose control of the House, the Senate or both — and with it, the president's ability to shape and dominate the national agenda.

Republicans are battling to keep control of Congress. But polls and analysts in both parties increasingly suggest Democrats will capture the House and possibly the Senate on Election Day Nov. 7. ...

From Think Progress:

Bush: ‘We’ve Never Been Stay The Course’

During an interview on ABC’s This Week, President Bush today tried to distance himself from what has been his core strategy in Iraq for the last three years. George Stephanopoulos asked about James Baker’s plan to develop a strategy for Iraq that is “between ’stay the course’ and ‘cut and run.’”

Bush responded, ‘We’ve never been about stay the course, George!’

Video & Transcript:
Brief reminder course, in case you don't want to act like a brain-damaged dry-drunk (like the President):

BUSH: We will stay the course. <8/30/06>

BUSH: We will stay the course, we will complete the job in Iraq. <8/4/05>

BUSH: We will stay the course until the job is done, Steve. And the temptation is to try to get the President or somebody to put a timetable on the definition of getting the job done. We’re just going to stay the course. <12/15/03>

BUSH: And my message today to those in Iraq is: We’ll stay the course. <4/13/04>

BUSH: And that’s why we’re going to stay the course in Iraq. And that’s why when we say something in Iraq, we’re going to do it. <4/16/04>

BUSH: And so we’ve got tough action in Iraq. But we will stay the course. <4/5/04>

Why do so many people think George Bush is a liar?
I guess 'cause he is.
You know what's worse than a liar?
A mass murderer-liar.
You what's worse than a mass murderer-liar?
Oh, never mind...

NY Times: Editorial 10/22/06


The generals who told President Bush before the war that Donald Rumsfeld’s shock-and-awe fantasy would not work were not enough to persuade him to change his strategy in Iraq. The rise of the insurgency did not do the trick. Nor did month after month of mounting military and civilian casualties on all sides, the emergence of a near civil war, the collapse of reconstruction efforts or the seeming inability of either Iraqi or American forces to secure contested parts of Iraq, including Baghdad, for any significant period.

So what finally, after all this time, caused Mr. Bush to very publicly consult with his generals to consider a change in tactics in Iraq? The president, who says he never reads political polls, is worried that his party could lose some of its iron grip on power in the Congressional elections next month.

It is not necessarily a bad thing when a politician takes stock of his positions in the teeth of an election. Our elected leaders are expected to heed the will of the American people. And this page has been part of a chorus of pleas for Mr. Bush to come up with a more realistic approach to Iraq.

But the way this sudden change of heart has come about, after months in which Mr. Bush has brushed off all criticism of his policies as either misguided, politically motivated or downright disloyal to America, is maddening. For far too long, the White House has looked upon the war as a tactical puzzle for campaign strategists. The early notion of combining Iraq and the war on terror as an argument for re-electing Republicans robbed the nation of any serious chance for a bipartisan discussion of these life-and-death issues. More recently, the administration seems to have been working under the assumption that its only obligations were to hang on, talk tough and pass the problem on to the next president.

The Iraqi government, which has had a hard time adopting most aspects of American democracy, seems to have eagerly embraced this administration’s lessons on how to deny politically unpleasant realities. Just the other day, The Times reported that the Pentagon had decided there was nothing wrong with a program in which phony “positive news” was planted in Iraqi newspapers. And news reports said that the Iraqi government had decided to stop reporting civilian casualties to the United Nations so there would be no record of the war’s increasing toll on ordinary Iraqis.

The way the Bush team is stage-managing the president’s supposed change of heart about “staying the course” is unfair to the Americans who have taken him at his word that real progress is being made in Iraq — a dwindling but still significant number of people, some of whom have sons and daughters serving in the conflict. It is a disservice to the troops, who were never sent to Iraq in sufficient numbers to protect themselves or the Iraqi people. And it is a disservice to all Americans, who have waited so long for Mr. Bush to act that all that is left are a series of unpleasant choices.

And it is happening in the midst of a particularly ugly, and especially vacuous, election season. There is probably no worse time to begin a serious discussion about Iraq policy than two weeks before a close, bitter election. But now that the discussion has begun, it must continue, as honestly and openly as possible. It is time for the American people to confront all the things that the president never had the guts to tell them about for three and a half years...


Saturday, October 21, 2006

OK. Visual Aids.

DNC=New Direction.

RNC=Nude Erection.

These are the steaks, I mean stakes.

(PS:ObL hearts GWB. 2gether 4ever)
Two weeks ago, Nancy Pelosi unveiled the Democratic agenda for their first 100 hours in power. Newsweek's latest poll shows strong, bi-partisan support for the Democratic plan:
Most worrisome for the president, should the Democrats retake one or both houses of Congress, the American public supports their proposed “First 100 Hours” agenda. An overwhelming majority says allowing the government to negotiate lower drug prices directly with pharmaceutical companies should be a top priority for a Democratic Congress (74 percent, including 70 percent of Republicans); 68 percent want increasing the minimum wage to be a top priority, including 53 percent of Republicans; 62 percent want investigating impropriety by members of Congress to be a top priority; and 58 percent want investigating government contracts in Iraq to be a top priority. Fifty-two percent say investigating why we went to war in Iraq should be a top priority (25 percent say it should a lower priority and 19 percent say it shouldn’t be done.)
When Pelosi announced the plan, she said she was going to "drain the swamp." It's looking more likely she'll get that chance. The Newsweek poll showed the generic numbers at 55% - 37% -- a commanding margin for the Democrats.

When the GOP loses, they will get even more ugly and more obstructionist. Clearly, the Democratic agenda resonates with the American people. They've had enough of the Republican agenda that has failed most Americans.

Bush on display

IN TWO WEEKS, Election Day will render George W. Bush a lame-duck president, and he can begin thinking about his presidential library. Imagine what an honest rendition of that library might look like.

Such libraries typically begin with the early career -- in this case The Foggy Years, the heroic service in the Air National Guard, and the falling upward economically. A gallery could commemorate all the Texas businessmen who helped young George turn business blunders into windfalls.

This would lead into an exhibit on Governor Bush, the Uniter not the Divider, his collaboration with Texas Democrats, and the unity theme in the 2000 presidential campaign. From there, you'd go directly into the Hammer Room, and observe Tom DeLay excluding Democrats from the legislative process in Congress.

The next salon would be the Rogues Gallery, featuring each of the several congressional scoundrels of the Bush era -- DeLay being forced to step down as Republican House leader, the hapless Representative Bob Ney pleading guilty but refusing to give up his seat, Representative Randy Cunningham devising convoluted scams that led to prison time, as well as an elaborate interactive diagram on the multiple connections with corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff. A nearby exhibit would commemorate corporate felons close to Bush, beginning with Enron officers.

One of the most surprising exhibits would be the Gay Closet, depicting the several senior Republican congressional staffers, congressmen, and leaders of the national Republican Party who turned out to be closeted gays. The exhibit would be paired with examples of Republican anti-gay ballot initiatives. The Museum of the Iraq War would open with the Mission Accomplished Room, a wax diorama of President Bush costumed in his flight jacket, emerging from a fighter jet on the USS Lincoln flight deck. The Mission Accomplished banner used in the original May 2003 stunt would adorn the wall. On a facing wall would be discrete portraits of each of the thousands of soldiers killed in Iraq after the mission was declared accomplished...


This is a definite must-read.


'NYT' Sunday Preview: Even If Democrats Win in November, They're Out of Luck

By E&P Staff

Published: October 20, 2006 1:00 PM ET

An article in this coming Sunday's edition of The New York Times Sunday Magazine advises Democrats not to get their hopes up: Even if they win a sweeping victory in the November elections it is doubtful that this "will significantly alter the Bush administration's way of thinking."

Thus, the headline for the story, by Noah Feldman, reads: "The Mere Midterms." The deck: "Even if voters send President Bush a strong message, he is not likely to listen."

Feldman notes that Bush is "a president who has been doggedly consistent in staying the course, come what may....the president is no flip-flopper. That means he is particularly unlikley to change his policies as a result of a midterm message that the American people aren't satisfied with the job he's doing."

In addition: "true-red conservatives have nowhere else to go." And: "Even if the Democrats win big, they will not be able to effect substantial changes in either Bush's war policy or his ability to govern better." So
troops will remain in Iraq for two years or more, and need to be financed.

"Nor," he points out, "can a Democratic Congress do much to make the Bush administration more competent," or block "hack" appointees to lower positions.

Finally: "What that leaves the Democrats is oversight--an idea that right now gets their hearts racing but whose limits will eventually become apparent....Government in the sunshine is a good thing--but a brightly lit Washington will still, mostly, be George W. Bush's Washington."
I guess the most outstanding thing ignored here is that there's a spectre haunting Capital Hill. His name is John Conyers and as chairman of the House Judiciary committee and fully armed with subpoena power might be able to deliver the two-fer: BUSH/CHENEY IMPEACHMENT & REMOVAL from office.

How's President Pelosi sound?

I doubt if she'll be hanging on to the current cabinet. Maybe the United States will be better off without the current array of Leftover multi-generational war criminals, double agents & death merchants, hmmm?
I just LOVE happy endings.
Beautiful. From TPM:

Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld were in the front seat.

They drove the Iraq car off a cliff.

Then they turned to the Dems in the back seat.

And said the Dems couldn’t complain unless they could come up with a plan of their own.

The tragedy is that there is no rational hope for a plan (any plan) that will work well. When you’ve driven the car off the cliff, your range of options is quite limited. We’re in the hands of gravity at this point.
Praying For A Terrorist Attack

by digby :

Fred Barnes is disappointed that the North Korean test wasn't bigger:

The problem here is that national security isn't the leading campaign issue. And saying it should be won't make it so. What's needed is an event--a big event--to crystallize the issue in a way that highlights Republican strength and Democratic weakness. It was two events--the foiled British terrorist plot and the need to comply with a Supreme Court decision on handling captured terrorists--that led to the Republican mini-rally in September.

Of course there's little time left for a major event to occur. The North Korean bomb test wasn't big enough to change the course of the campaign. So Republicans may have to rely on their two remaining assets: They have more money than the Democrats and a voter turnout operation second to none.

Is that really ok now? Republicans are now allowed to openly wish for some sort of national security "event" that would be big enough to change the course of an election? A dirty bomb in NFL stadium maybe? That would shake things up. How about an assassination? That'd get everybody's attention.

Heck, if they can't get themselves a crisis, I guess they';ll just have to depend on making an argument to the American people and letting them decide on the basis of the republican record. It hardly seems fair, does it?

They really have no boundries these days do they?

Link via Arthur Silber.
Every once in awhile you have to remind yourself just how batshit crazy these people are. This is how it works; the day-in & day-out insanity they spew makes them almost seem normal. But listen...they want something really bad to happen so they can politicise it. The horror is nothing; the politics is all. It really is just like Orwell's 1984.
Call me old school but this kind of totalitarianism is still repulsive to me.

Friday, October 20, 2006

From The Independent's Saturday edition: a special section called:

The week the war unravelled: Bush to 'refocus' Iraq strategy

In a new admission of the mounting crisis in Iraq, President George Bush is to have emergency consultations with his top generals today to see if any change of strategy is needed to cope with the escalating violence in a country seemingly spinning out of control.

Two days after he acknowledged possible similarities between today's Iraq and the Vietnam of a generation ago, Mr Bush said he would be discussing the worsening situation with General John Abizaid, overall US commander for the Middle East, and General George Casey, in command of the 145,000 American troops in Iraq.

"We are constantly adjusting tactics so we can achieve our objectives and right now, it's tough," Mr Bush said. "One of the reasons you're seeing more casualties is the enemy is active and so are our troops."

Mr Bush's words cap an especially disastrous week in the three- and-a-half year war, when the entire Allied strategy has, at times, appeared to be unravelling, amid relentless bloodshed in Iraq and growing political criticism at home, including from top members of his own Republican Party...


Editor’s note: Kevin Tillman joined the Army with his brother Pat in 2002, and they served together in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pat was killed in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. Kevin, who was discharged in 2005, has written a powerful, must-read document.

It is Pat’s birthday on November 6, and elections are the day after. It gets me thinking about a conversation I had with Pat before we joined the military. He spoke about the risks with signing the papers. How once we committed, we were at the mercy of the American leadership and the American people. How we could be thrown in a direction not of our volition. How fighting as a soldier would leave us without a voice… until we get out.

Much has happened since we handed over our voice:

Somehow we were sent to invade a nation because it was a direct threat to the American people, or to the world, or harbored terrorists, or was involved in the September 11 attacks, or received weapons-grade uranium from Niger, or had mobile weapons labs, or WMD, or had a need to be liberated, or we needed to establish a democracy, or stop an insurgency, or stop a civil war we created that can’t be called a civil war even though it is. Something like that.

Somehow our elected leaders were subverting international law and humanity by setting up secret prisons around the world, secretly kidnapping people, secretly holding them indefinitely, secretly not charging them with anything, secretly torturing them. Somehow that overt policy of torture became the fault of a few “bad apples” in the military.

Somehow back at home, support for the soldiers meant having a five-year-old kindergartener scribble a picture with crayons and send it overseas, or slapping stickers on cars, or lobbying Congress for an extra pad in a helmet. It’s interesting that a soldier on his third or fourth tour should care about a drawing from a five-year-old; or a faded sticker on a car as his friends die around him; or an extra pad in a helmet, as if it will protect him when an IED throws his vehicle 50 feet into the air as his body comes apart and his skin melts to the seat.

Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes.

Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on the ground.

Somehow those afraid to fight an illegal invasion decades ago are allowed to send soldiers to die for an illegal invasion they started.

Somehow faking character, virtue and strength is tolerated.

Somehow profiting from tragedy and horror is tolerated.

Somehow the death of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people is tolerated.

Somehow subversion of the Bill of Rights and The Constitution is tolerated.

Somehow suspension of Habeas Corpus is supposed to keep this country safe.

Somehow torture is tolerated.

Somehow lying is tolerated.

Somehow reason is being discarded for faith, dogma, and nonsense.

Somehow American leadership managed to create a more dangerous world.

Somehow a narrative is more important than reality.

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Somehow the most reasonable, trusted and respected country in the world has become one of the most irrational, belligerent, feared, and distrusted countries in the world.

Somehow being politically informed, diligent, and skeptical has been replaced by apathy through active ignorance.

Somehow the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless, vacuous, malicious criminals are still in charge of this country.

Somehow this is tolerated.

Somehow nobody is accountable for this.

In a democracy, the policy of the leaders is the policy of the people. So don’t be shocked when our grandkids bury much of this generation as traitors to the nation, to the world and to humanity. Most likely, they will come to know that “somehow” was nurtured by fear, insecurity and indifference, leaving the country vulnerable to unchecked, unchallenged parasites.

Luckily this country is still a democracy. People still have a voice. People still can take action. It can start after Pat’s birthday.

Brother and Friend of Pat Tillman,

Kevin Tillman


Mike Rogers, my favorite gay blogger, continues to get'em OUT. I don't know if he pitches or catches but he does get'em OUT.

Here's What Senator Tom Coburn says about gay people:
The gay community has infiltrated the very centers of power in every area across this country, and they wield extreme power. ... That agenda is the greatest threat to our freedom that we face today. Why do you think we see the rationalization for abortion and multiple sexual partners? That's a gay agenda.
Well, Tom, gay men do wield a LOT of power. In fact, your legislative director, Roland Foster is gay. I'm not sure which is more ridiculous, a gay legislative director for Coburn or a gay communications director for Santorum.
If I'm not mistaken Coburn once wanted a law forbidding two elementary school girls from being in the restroom at the same time in order to prevent lesbianism.

Ok gang, how 'bout a rousing medley from my favorite Musical: OKLAHOMA...
Let's wear our chaps shall we?...

How wrong & ass-backwards can you get it? The Bushishtas have been the greatest gift to ObL he could have wished for. Rush must be high. But what's his audiences excuse?

On the October 19 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh declared that the recent surge in insurgent violence in Iraq indicates that "terrorists around the world, particularly those in Iraq, are voting Democrat today." Limbaugh maintained that "the terrorists, the Islamofascists, the jihadists" are the "key voters in this year's election," and that "[t]hey are trying to create as much havoc as possible; raise the level of violence in order to affect the midterm elections." He added: "What could be the best outcome for them [the terrorists]? Cut and run, right? Whose strategy -- whose policy amounts to cut and run? Democrats."

As Media Matters for America has extensively documented, Limbaugh has previously asserted that terrorists "sound like" Democrats, accused Democrats of sympathizing with Al Qaeda, and stated before the 2004 presidential election that if Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) won, it would "give Osama bin Laden bragging rights all across the Middle East," and that "militant Islamists" would conclude that "they had the ability to affect the election of this country without firing a shot." According to Talkers magazine, The Rush Limbaugh Show reaches more than 13.5 million listeners each week, the largest talk radio audience in the nation...


Bush's National 'Character Counts Week' Caravan of Sleaze Rolls On...

Bush campaigns for Pennsylvania congressman enmeshed in sex scandal

McClatchy Newspapers

LA PLUME, Pa. - He said she was "a casual acquaintance." She said they were extra-marital lovers, but told police that he tried to choke her. His wife says she forgives him. So does President Bush.

In fact, Bush traveled to northeastern Pennsylvania Thursday to help the wayward husband, Republican Rep. Don Sherwood, keep his seat in Congress. Perhaps it's a measure of the Republicans' plight that the president would throw his prestige behind a candidate whose marital misbehavior conjures memories of Bill Clinton.

Sherwood's five-year fling with a woman half his age has all the elements of a bad soap opera, but voter reaction to his performance could help decide whether Republicans keep control of the House of Representatives. Polls show Sherwood trailing Democratic challenger Chris Carney in a district that had been considered a lock for the GOP.

"It looks like he's in pretty serious trouble," said Jonathan Williamson, chairman of the political science department at Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pa. "If they didn't need the seat so much, the national Republicans would cut Sherwood loose. This may be one of the firewalls - they have to have this one, even though they're not all that thrilled with their guy."

Bush gave Sherwood his wholehearted endorsement as he helped the candidate raise more than $300,000 at a fundraiser at Keystone College. The president addressed Sherwood's adultery head-on by praising the candidate's wife, Carol, for standing by him...


Great article!:

Carol V. Hamilton

Contemporary Christians easily ignore contradictions.... From St. Augustine to the medieval Scholastics to C.S. Lewis and Reinhold Niebuhr, Christianity is rich in interpretations and commentaries on the Bible. Among devout American Christians, who reads these thinkers now?


In the early days of this nation, Calvinism was the predominant form of Christianity. Its deity was remote, incomprehensible, and beyond human appeal. It would have been blasphemous to claim that you had any understanding of his intentions or acts.... Christianity has changed in America. The remote, inscrutable, and mysterious deity of the Puritans has become hands-on, accessible, transparent, and distinctly pro-American. The commentaries and interpretations of past centuries are read only in highbrow theological seminaries, which most prominent American preachers do not attend. Americans read best-sellers like The Purpose-Driven Life, which assures them that God takes a personal interest in the most trivial aspects of their lives, even choosing the color of their eyes and hair (while neglecting, apparently, birth defects).

I call this phenomenon "Pop Christianity." Like pop music and pop psychology, it is purged of complexities, nuance, and darkness. Pop Christianity looks relentlessly on the bright side of life. In its heaven, there are no clouds, only silver linings....It turns a blind eye to suffering, like the mass death of the 34 people in St. Rita's Nursing Home in New Orleans--those elderly people who may well have cried out like Job, or like Christ himself, as the waters relentlessly rose around their wheel-chairs.

Like the United States, Pop Christianity claims to have a monopoly on morals and ethics. Those who do not share their beliefs are devoid of good qualities. This obliges them to ignore the misdeeds of their own flock. David Ludwig, the 18-year-old accused of killing his girlfriend's parents in the presence of their young children, was home-schooled in a Christian group. Kansas' s horrific BTK killer was active in his church.

Pop Christianity lacks poetry and emotional breadth. It reduces complex forms of causality like weather systems to what psychologists have dubbed "ideas of reference" and "magical thinking." It is ignorant of both randomicity and statistical probabilities.It is full of sentimental concern for human embryos, but seemingly indifferent to the fate of actual children living in poverty. It wages a mindless war upon science and medicine....Yet guests on "Larry King Live" and "Meet the Press" propound Pop Christianity with evangelical zeal. No one challenges them when they use circular logic or assert beliefs scarcely different from secular or pagan superstitions....To paraphrase Jon Stewart, Pop Christianity is bad for America. Anti-intellectual, anti-traditional, and ahistorical, it is the religious equivalent of Cliff's Notes. If it were a beverage, it would be not communion wine but diet soda. Worst of all, with the cooperation of politicians and television, it is imposing its superficial worldview on everyone in the United States. No one in the American public sphere would dare write the sort of sustained, blasphemous satires that Mark Twain published a century ago. ...

By Michael Abramowitz and Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, October 20, 2006; Page A0

The growing doubts among GOP lawmakers about the administration's Iraq strategy, coupled with the prospect of Democratic wins in next month's midterm elections, will soon force the Bush administration to abandon its open-ended commitment to the war, according to lawmakers in both parties, foreign policy experts and others involved in policymaking.

Senior figures in both parties are coming to the conclusion that the Bush administration will be unable to achieve its goal of a stable, democratic Iraq within a politically feasible time frame. Agitation is growing in Congress for alternatives to the administration's strategy of keeping Iraq in one piece and getting its security forces up and running while 140,000 U.S. troops try to keep a lid on rapidly spreading sectarian violence...


Many senior Republicans with close ties to the administration also believe that essential to a successful strategy in Iraq are an aggressive new diplomatic initiative to secure a Middle East peace settlement and a new effort to engage Iraq's neighbors, such as Syria and Iran, in helping stabilize the country -- perhaps through an international conference...


Is this lame or what? This is what Kerry would have been doing 2 years & 200,000+ deaths ago.

Gore would have never got us into this mess.

There's absolutely nothing good or right about the Bush administration.

There's absolutely no reason not to impeach him.

Bush & Co. have been been the biggest piece of shit administration ever. There's no mistaking or ignoring the stink of failure on these people.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

From Truth Dig:


The International Committee of the Red Cross will contact the White House to address concerns over U.S. torture policy’s compliance with the Geneva Conventions, including: “The very broad definition of who is an ‘unlawful enemy combatant’ and the fact that there is not an explicit prohibition on the admission of evidence attained by coercion....”


ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger said the law raised “questions” about its compliance with the Geneva Conventions on the conduct of war.

He said some points had been ommitted, such as the right to a fair trial and the ban on humiliating and degrading treatment of prisoners.

President Bush signed the law on Tuesday, saying it would save US lives.


Will dope addled gasbag Rush Limbaugh or sexual harrasser Bill O'Reilly condemn the Red Cross tomorrow? Say they're on the side of the terrorists? It's likely. We live in that kind of country. And there'll be mental midgets who parrot them. I hear them sometimes when they call in to C-SPAN's Washington Journal in the mornings.
I heard one guy on WJ say that, "Democrats don't understand trickle down morality."
Trickle down morality sounds like something Ken Mehlman might engage in at some little out-of-the-way bar or bath house. The GOP is very, very ill these days. Maybe it's quarantine time.
The Times October 20, 2006

Bush tries to impose new terms of victory
From James Hider in Baghdad

A FRESH attempt by President Bush to redefine success in Iraq was undermined within hours by the American military and Iraqi officials.

Mr Bush surprised America by admitting yesterday to growing similarities between the wars in Iraq and Vietnam. But he also emphasised that success should not be measured by the body count, but in terms of the ability of Iraqis to defend themselves, their access to healthcare and education.

“I define success or failure as whether or not the Iraqis will be able to defend themselves. I define success or failure as whether schools are being built or hospitals are being opened. I define success or failure as whether we’re seeing a democracy grow in the heart of the Middle East,” he told ABC News.

Only hours after his statement Major-General William Caldwell, spokesman for the US forces in Iraq, said that the results of a vast security operation to secure Baghdad — the key to this war — had been “disheartening”.

And there is little more heartening news from the results of the $30 billion (£16 billion) to $40 billion American reconstruction effort. Since the invasion not a single Iraqi hospital has been built, according to Amar al-Saffar, in charge of construction at the Health Ministry...


Another senior Health Ministry official was surprised that Mr Bush had latched on to healthcare as proof of progress in Iraq. “It is the worst situation that the Ministry of Health has been in in its entire history,” he said. Healthcare had become so dire that half of those who died of injuries from terrorist attacks might have been saved, according to Bassim al-Sheibani, of the Diwaniyah College of Medicine, writing in the British Medical Journal...

What will the great decider-er do?

October 20, 2006
News Analysis
Bush Faces a Battery of Ugly Choices on War


WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 — The acknowledgment by the United States Army spokesman in Iraq that the latest plan to secure Baghdad has faltered leaves President Bush with some of the ugliest choices he has yet faced in the war.

He can once again order a rearrangement of American forces inside the country, as he did in August, when American commanders declared that newly trained Iraqi forces would “clear and hold” neighborhoods with backup support from redeployed American forces. That strategy collapsed within a month, frequently forcing the Americans to take the lead, making them prime targets.

There is no assurance, though, that another redeployment of those forces will reduce the casualty rate, which has been unusually high in recent weeks, senior military and administration officials say. The toll comes just before midterm elections, in which even many of his own party have given up arguing that progress is being made or that the killing will soon slow.

Or Mr. Bush can reassess the strategy itself, perhaps listening to those advisers — including some members of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, the advisory commission charged with coming up with new strategies for Iraq — who say that he needs to redefine the “victory” that he again on Thursday declared was his goal...


Every day, administration and Pentagon officials fume — privately, to avoid the ire of the White House — about frustrations with Iraq’s prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, for not confronting the country’s Shiite militias, meaning that there is no end to the daily cycle of attack and reprisals. Mr. Bush finds himself increasingly unable to make a convincing argument that, behind the daily toll in American lives, the Maliki government is making measurable progress, or even that the problems in Iraq are subject to a military solution...


FEEL THE FEAR!!! (& then vote for the idiots who increase the threat. Makes sense to me. Kinda like anti-gay gay Republicans make sense. And Kissinger advising Bush/Cheney on how to win. And etc etc...)

GOP to air ad warning of terror attacks

The Republican Party will begin airing a hard-hitting ad this weekend that warns of more cataclysmic terror attacks against the U.S. homeland.

The ad portrays Osama bin Laden and quotes his threats against America dating to February 1998. "These are the stakes," the ad concludes. "Vote November 7."

Brian Jones, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, said the ad would run on national cable beginning Sunday, but he declined to discuss specifics of the buy.

The commercial tracks with Republican Party strategy to make the war on terrorism a central theme of this election. It will air as recent polls show Republicans losing ground as the party best able to combat terrorism. ...
Eric Alterman writes at HuffPo:

According to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, George Bush's lies have killed not 30,000 innocent Iraqis, as the president not long ago estimated, but nearly 22 times that amount, or 655,000. Neither the Pentagon, nor much of the mainstream media have made much attempt to make their own counts -- it's just not that important to anyone.

So how has the U.S. media reported on these shocking-albeit-necessarily-imprecise findings, based on door-to-door surveys in 18 provinces, by the experts trained in this kind of thing? The actual methods included obtaining data by eight Iraqi physicians during a survey of 1,849 Iraqi families -- 12,801 people -- in 47 neighborhoods of 18 regions across the country. The researchers based the selection of geographical areas on population size, not on the level of violence. How strict were their standards? They asked for death certificates to prove claims -- and got them in 92 percent of the cases. Even so, the authors say that the number could be anywhere from 426,000 to 800,000....


I recall seeing on The Daily Show that when Bush got done playing around with Suzanne Malveaux and her fashion statement that day, she asked him about the study. He replied that "their methodology has been pretty well discredited." This is a bald-faced lie, of course. But here's my question. Were there any follow-ups? Or was the purpose of the question merely to get the president on the record without holding him responsible for anything at all, even the unnecessary murder of hundreds of thousands of people? What the hell kind of society kills all these people and cannot be bothered to care? Cannot be bothered to count them and when someone does, risking their lives in the process, lies to discredit them -- and no one cares about that either?
Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers is the story of what happens to everyday Americans when corporations go to war.

Acclaimed director Robert Greenwald (Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, Outfoxed and Uncovered) takes you inside the lives of soldiers, truck drivers, widows and children who have been changed forever as a result of profiteering in the reconstruction of Iraq. Iraq for Sale uncovers the connections between private corporations making a killing in Iraq and the decision makers who allow them to do so.

Brave New Films are both funded and distributed completely outside corporate America. Over 3000 people donated to make Iraq for Sale, and it is up to you to distribute it. Give copies to co-workers and organize a screening in your neighborhood. Get involved

The film is 75 minutes long.

Arianna Huffington: "A growing number of Democratic leaders are using Iraq for Sale to call attention to the GOP's failure to reign in the contractor abuse and fraud that have been the hallmark of the Iraq war privatization fiasco. It's also allowed them to go on the offensive and reframe the national security debate -- showing how the Republicans sacrificed the well-being of our troops and the Iraqi people on the altar of rewarding their corporate backers. I can't help but picture these newly emboldened Dems as campaign ninjas, but instead of throwing deadly pointed stars, they are flinging Iraq for Sale DVDs -- carving up the idea that the GOP is more patriotic, more concerned about America's soldiers, and more able to keep us safe."

NY TIMES: Tables Turn For GOP Over Iraq Issue

Four months ago, the White House offered a set of clear political directions to Republicans heading into the midterm elections: embrace the war in Iraq as critical to the antiterrorism fight and belittle Democrats as advocates of a “cut and run” policy of weakness.

With three weeks until Election Day, Republican candidates are barely mentioning Iraq on the campaign trail and in their television advertisements.

Even President Bush, continuing to attack Democrats for opposing the war, has largely dropped his call of “stay the course” and replaced it with a more nuanced promise of flexibility, one that aides said reflected increasing opposition to the conflict.

It is the Democrats who have seized on Iraq as a central issue. In debates and in speeches, candidates are pummeling Republicans with accusations of a failed war...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Under Bush II, the percentage of Americans 18 to 24 years old who describe themselves as Democrats has risen to its highest point in generations, according to Pew poll data.

The chart provides graphical evidence of the slow rolling realignment that is always at work as new young voters gradually replace their elders. Political scientists generally agree that young people tend to acquire political beliefs, including their partisan attachments, in their 20s. As Kirkpatrick writes, “voters typically develop a party preference based on the political atmosphere at the time they come of age and grow more attached to that party over the course of their lives.” Once acquired, a true sense of party changes rarely changes, although some voters are less attached to political parties than others (as I speculated on Friday, some will shift back and forth on surveys depending on the politics of the moment or the wording or context of the survey question). Link
For the most part GEN X or as I like to call them Reagan/Bush era youth are a write-off. They're either apolitical whiners or little Rushbot conservatives. Their kids will hate them and rebel against their tight-assed conservatism and narrowness.
The future doesn't look so bad if we can survive to get there. It's the left-over cold warriors that may trigger a nuclear war; the Cheneys and Rumsfelds and Kissingers. They really should be hauled before the ICC for the war crimes in Viet Nam and Iraq. And we really should stop supporting that zit on the ass of the world: Israel.
Analysis by Charlie Cook:

WASHINGTON - Election Day is three weeks from now, and unless something happens fast, this will be one of those once- or twice-in-a-generation elections when a party enjoys unbelievable gains or endures horrendous losses that prove to be the exceptions to Tip O'Neill's adage that "all politics is local." In midterm elections, Democrats last suffered such a defeat in 1994; for Republicans, it was 20 years before that in the Watergate election of 1974.

The direction, barring some unforeseen event, is clear. What is less clear is which specific seats will fall and how far inland this wave will go...


While many attribute the Republican freefall to the scandal involving former Rep. Mark Foley and his e-mails to congressional pages, it really was no more than the straw that broke the camel's back. The seeds of Republicans' problems were planted long before publication of the congressman's e-mails to pages. The war in Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, other congressional scandals, federal budget spending and deficits, stem-cell research, Terri Schiavo and a multitude of other factors had been feeding the creation of an undertow for the GOP that goes back over a year. The "time for a change" dynamic that worked against Democrats in 1994 gradually came into place, fueled by all those factors mentioned above, and now it would probably take some huge event to alter its course...


For Rahm Emanuel and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, it's time to swing for the fences. On a conference call last week, Carville noted that if he were directing the Democrats he would go to the bank and borrow $5 million and put that into the second- and third-tier races -- races 20 through 50 -- that have received little if any support up until now, because they looked like long shots (or in some cases, no-shots) until this environment changed. My only disagreement with Carville is that I would borrow $10 million, up against future receipts, and put $500,000 in each of 20 races, and shift resources from the first 20 to the next 10, effectively going after 50 GOP-held districts. My guess is that the top 20 targets for Democrats will somehow find money from Washington and a PAC community...

Charlie Cook is a contributing editor, weekly columnist for National Journal magazine and the founder and publisher of the Cook Political Report. This column also runs in CongressDailyAM when Congress is in session...

During the October 16 broadcast of his Focus on the Family radio show, Focus on the Family founder and chairman James C. Dobson claimed that "here at Focus on the Family, we're not political." Yet only minutes earlier, Dobson remarked to his guest, conservative radio host William Bennett, that "the liberal community" and the media "despise this country and its freedoms, and they're doing everything they can do to undermine it." Later in the broadcast, Bennett suggested that Democratic congressional candidates advocate "the course of action that Osama bin Laden wants us to take." In response, Dobson declared that "I fear that some of our leaders will follow that same pattern" of former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who "appeased the Nazis and [Adolf] Hitler."

During his interview with Bennett, Dobson asked: "[I]sn't it amazing that there is such a sizable number of people in the media and in the liberal community that despise this country and its freedoms and they're doing everything they can to undermine it?" Bennett replied, "It's never been this bad in terms of the media."...


It's time to yank these yahoos tax exemptions. They're PACs not churches. And Dobson should shut up about the 'media'. He IS the media. The hyper strange-oid far right media.
Get thee back into the shadows you cranks & pay your fuckin' taxes...get out of public life.
Leave people alone & stop telling them what to do. Who says you know what people should do? The US is a traditionally secular nation so go fuck yourself, Dobson. You're marginal.


Heard on the Stephanie Miller Show. Voice guy Jim Ward doing O'Reilly:
"I've seen combat. And Rat Patrol. And Twelve O'Clock High."
From Juan Cole:

Year One of the Empire
Bush: Resistance is Illogical

Bush and a supine, cowardly Congress shredded the US Constitution on Tuesday, abolishing the right of a court review (habeas corpus) for some classes of suspect. Suspect, mind you, not proven criminal.

In other words, we have to be confident that George W. Bush is so competent, all-knowing, and inherently just that we can just trust him. If he says someone is an enemy combatant, then he or she is. No need to check with a judge about why he or she is being held. And then Bush can have the suspect tortured to make him confess, and can convict him on the basis of the coerced confession, all in secret.

This law creates two classes of persons inside the United States, citizens with rights and non-citizens (12 million persons? Equivalent to the entire state of Michigan!) without rights.

Basically, Bush can issue them what the French kings used to call lettres de cachet.:

' In French history, lettres de cachet were letters signed by the king of France, countersigned by one of his ministers, and closed with the royal seal, or cachet. They contained orders directly from the king, often to enforce arbitrary actions and judgements that could not be appealed. . .'

We Americans made a revolution against such arbitrary practices of the French and other Empires.

Article 1, Section 9 of the US Constitution says, "The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it."

I look out my window. I don't see a general Rebellion or an invasion by a foreign power. The conditions, under which the right of the imprisoned to demand that a court establish whether there are genuine grounds to hold him is suspended, are absent.

The law is unconstitutional.

Moreover, our founding documents did not admit of a distinction among human beings with regard to rights. The Declaration of Independence says:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."

All men here means all human beings. It says they are all created equal and endowed with certain inalienable rights. All of them. Not some of them.

Of course we have had these periods of neo-Monarchy and temporary insanity before in our history. There was the Alien and Sedition Act, and the Red Scare after World War I, etc.

King George came on O'Reilly and said that it is "illogical" to disagree with his policies in Iraq and branded arguments that he is drifting along without a plan "propaganda."

Bush sounds more and more like the Borg every day. I swear to God, next we are going to get up in the morning and hear him proclaim, "Resistance is futile!"

So of course eventually Bush-think will lead to attempts to cure those of us who are critical of him of our illogicality, and to suppress our "propaganda." We'll all be right-thinking non-propagandists after a little water-boarding. You say we don't have to worry about that because we are citizens? But what is to stop Bush from declaring you an enemy combatant and stripping you of your citizenship? And then keeping you away from any civil court where those letters of cachet can be challenged?

The Republic is Dead, Long Live the Republic.

You want a resurrection of the Republic?

Join the American Civil Liberties Union and send it lots of money.


Report Spells Out Abuses by Former Congressman

WASHINGTON, Oct. 17 — Former Representative Randy Cunningham pressured and intimidated staff members of the House Intelligence Committee to help steer more than $70 million in classified federal business to favored military contractors, according to a Congressional investigation made public on Tuesday.

The investigation found that Mr. Cunningham, a California Republican who is serving an eight-year prison sentence for bribery, repeatedly abused his position on the committee to authorize money for military projects, often over the objections of staff members who criticized some of the spending as wasteful.

The inquiry also found that despite numerous “red flags” about the propriety of a particular contract for work on a controversial Pentagon counterintelligence program, committee staff members for three years “continued to accept and support Mr. Cunningham’s growing requests for this project.”

Mr. Cunningham resigned from Congress in November after pleading guilty to accepting more than $2 million in bribes from military contractors. His plea was mainly related to his activities as a member of the House Appropriations Committee.

The investigation’s report lays out for the first time how Mr. Cunningham maneuvered within the classified world of the Intelligence Committee to win secret contracts for two friends, Brent R. Wilkes and Mitchell J. Wade, both contractors...


Still trying to sell the BS to ignorant Americans. Let's take the money out of politics. Completely publicly funded elections make sense. No more shadowy groups funded by mysterious gazillionaires having undue influence. Fewer Republican lapdogs to the wealthy in government. Make things equal. What a concept! Eguality. Sounds American to me...

Pro-Republican ads stretch the truth on Iraq to influence elections

McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON - It's an easy claim to make, calling yourself a "political truth squad." But when a shadowy group pouring untraceable millions into this fall's campaign makes that claim, that bears a little truth-checking itself.

Television ads from the group, Progress for America, manage to grab the heart, but also stretch or twist the truth as they work to boost support for the Iraq war.

They feature David Beamer, whose son led a counterattack against the terrorists who hijacked United Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001. Todd Beamer was the one who said, "Let's roll," as he and others courageously stormed the cockpit. The plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania, well short of either the Capitol or White House, its presumed target.

"Todd was one of the passengers and crew who fought back on 9/11 and saved our capital from being destroyed," the elder Beamer says in one ad, looking squarely into the camera as a picture of his smiling son flashes beside him.

"Al-Qaida killed 3,000 Americans on 9/11 and will do anything to destroy us and our way of life. Todd and United 93 fought back. We continue this fight in Iraq today. This enemy must be destroyed in Iraq and wherever we find them."

That makes it sound as though the war in Iraq is retaliation against al-Qaida.

It's not. Iraq had nothing to do with al-Qaida's attack on us. In fact, a recent Senate Intelligence Committee report showed that not only did Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein not have anything to do with Sept. 11, he also wanted nothing to do with al-Qaida and shunned pleas for help from Osama bin Laden.

"Saddam Hussein was distrustful of al-Qaida and viewed Islamic extremists as a threat to his regime, refusing all requests from al-Qaida to provide material or operational support," the report said.

Asked to back up its ad, the group pointed to news articles about al-Qaida in Iraq now. But we didn't "find" al-Qaida in Iraq. They came in to fight us after we invaded.

Misleading assertions like those made by Progress for America feed a lingering misunderstanding of the Iraq war. As recently as March, 39 percent of Americans believed that Saddam was personally involved in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, according to the Gallup poll. That's down from 53 percent in 2002, but still surprisingly high.

Progress for America presumably hopes the ads will rebuild that false connection between Sept. 11 and Iraq - and thus make the Iraq war more justifiable to an increasingly skeptical public. The ads are being aired in Missouri and Ohio, two states where Republican senators are in danger of losing their seats, and on national cable TV.

Progress for America is a mysterious conservative group. It has aired ads supporting President Bush and his Supreme Court nominees, as well as the war in Iraq and the war on terrorism...


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

TV Review: The Lost Year in Iraq

After the fall of a dictator, the rise of confusion

By Anita Gates--NY Times

Dissolving the Iraqi Army in 2003 might not have been such a great idea.

“Now you have a couple hundred thousand people who are armed — because they took their weapons home with them — who know how to use the weapons, who have no future, who have a reason to be angry at you,” Col. Thomas X. Hammes of the United States Marine Corps says in tonight’s PBS “Frontline” documentary, “The Lost Year in Iraq.”

Very few punches are pulled during this disturbing, eye-opening hour, written, produced and directed by Michael Kirk. And clearly Mr. Kirk and Jim Gilmore, who is credited with the reporting for the film, found no shortage of highly placed people who were willing, even eager, to talk about the disaster that many perceive American-occupied Iraq to have become since the spring of 2003, when President Bush declared victory there.

The film begins with the toppling of the statue of Saddam Hussein, a scene shown over and over on American television, and the portentous observation that “the Iraqis couldn’t pull it down themselves” because it was so heavy. So the American military helped.

“The Lost Year in Iraq” doesn’t bother going into a discussion about whether the war was a good idea to begin with. It moves right to Baghdad’s fall in April 2003 and the looting that began hours later and soon “verged on chaos,” as the narrator says.

“We were totally unprepared to secure the city,” says Anthony H. Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Jay Garner, the Army general (now retired) who was named director of the Iraq Reconstruction Group, adds, “There was no plan and no staff.”

Certainly some of the staff members seemed a bit underqualified. Colonel Hammes recalls that the person given the job of planning for prisons and police was 25 and that this was his first job after college. He didn’t worry about having a staff of only four, the young appointee said, because they were all his fraternity brothers. Colonel Hammes describes the overall effort as “heroic amateurism.”

That description is one of the nicer things anyone in this film has to say.

Aside from members of the Bush administration, the person who comes off worst in this report is L. Paul Bremer III, the managing director of Henry Kissinger Associates, who was quickly named presidential envoy. According to Rajiv Chandrasekaran, author of “Imperial Life in the Emerald City,” about the American plans for rebuilding Iraq, Mr. Kissinger had described Mr. Bremer as “a control freak.”

Mr. Bremer’s first decision was to give soldiers the authority to shoot looters. That was quickly countermanded. Next he ordered the “de-Baathification of Iraqi society.” Unfortunately, as others point out, this meant taking away jobs from thousands of people who had joined the ruling Baath party under Mr. Hussein simply because party members earned more money at the same jobs than nonparty members did.

Attacks on American forces increased. The Jordanian embassy was blown up. The United Nations office was blown up. The administration denied there was an insurgency. Four American contractors were murdered. Horrifying photographs of the treatment of prisoners in Abu Ghraib were released. Mr. Bremer sneaked out of Iraq, using a decoy plane. In the film he chuckles at the memory.

Generals, authors, ambassadors, former officials with the Coalition Provisional Authority (there was a joke that C.P.A. stood for Can’t Provide Anything), a counter-terrorism official with the National Security Council and a counter-insurgency adviser for the Department of Defense all share their opinions of the handling of the postwar period. None of it is pretty, but it is gratifyingly clear.

The still photographs in “The Lost Year in Iraq” are particularly well chosen. One shot of Condoleezza Rice, then the national security adviser, and Donald H. Rumsfeld, the secretary of defense, is a portrait of a power play told solely in facial expressions....


Some of us knew all along. We were called names. Really horrible names and threatened by the usual crew of right wing ghouls and fools.
I'm looking for payback.

“This whole thing about not kicking someone when they are down is BS – not only do you kick him – you kick him until he passes out – then beat him over the head with a baseball bat – then roll him up in an old rug – and throw him off a cliff into the pounding surf below!!!!”

Michael Scanlon, Jack Abramoff's partner and Tom Delay employee wrote this in an email during the 'attack Clinton' years. Sounds about right to me.



FRONTLINE presents
Tuesday, October 17, 2006, at 9 P.M. ET on PBS /

In the first weeks after the statue of Saddam Hussein fell, a group of young American bureaucrats led by Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III set off to establish democracy in Iraq. "We had an ambitious goal," Bremer tells FRONTLINE, "to try to bring better government to Iraq and help them rebuild their economy their country." One year later, as Bremer made a secret exit to evade insurgent attacks, the group left behind a thriving insurgency, economic collapse and much of its idealism. "Our grand initiative there to bring democracy to Iraq," says Rajiv Chandrasekaran, former Baghdad bureau chief for The Washington Post. Instead, says Chandrasekaran, "we were leaving with our tail between our legs."

Today, as America looks for an exit strategy, FRONTLINE examines the initial, critical decisions of the U.S.-led regime in Baghdad in The Lost Year in Iraq, airing Oct. 17, 2006, at 9 P.M. on PBS (check local listings). From the same team that produced Rumsfeld's War, The Torture Question and The Dark Side, the film is based on more than 30 interviews, most of them with the officials charged with building a new and democratic Iraq.

The Lost Year in Iraq begins on April 9, 2003, as American troops help a crowd of Iraqis topple a statue of Saddam Hussein. In Washington there was celebration, but in Baghdad the looting was beginning. Jay Garner, the retired general picked by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to lead reconstruction, was forced to wait in Kuwait for authorization to enter Iraq. He and his team had arrived from Washington without computers, telephones or a plan. "Everybody was focused on the war; they were focused on regime change," Garner tells FRONTLINE. "That took all of their energy. I wasn't the central focus." On the day Garner finally arrived in Baghdad, he received a phone call from Rumsfeld: He was being replaced by L. Paul Bremer.

Bremer, who arrived with sweeping plans to remake the country, had a young and inexperienced team, but his staff had passed a political litmus test in Washington. "It's a children's crusade ... of former Republican campaign workers, White House interns Heritage Foundation people," says Tom Ricks of The Washington Post. Col. T.X. Hammes, a counterinsurgency expert and adviser to Iraq's Interior Ministry, felt Bremer's staff could have been better trained. "We had so many of these very, very young people that are dedicated Americans, brave enough to take a chance and go into Iraq to try to do something right for their country," he tells FRONTLINE. "But didn't get any training; they have no background. ... And yet we put them in charge of planning at national level."

As an example, Hammes recalls meeting the Coalition Provisional Authority's head of planning for the Ministry of the Interior. He was 25 years old and in his first job out of college. The young staffer told Hammes his team consisted of four fraternity brothers. "I never in my life thought I would encounter 'frat brothers' and 'strategic planners' in the same sentence," Hammes says.
Yep. I don't know if it will happen in any significant way but it would be a great victory for historical truth to KNOW EVERYTHING about 'Bush's War'. From the manipulation of the pre-invasion intel to the occupational looting.
A Democratic majority in congress is a first step. After should follow painstaking investigations; a complete unpacking of the box of snakes that is the Bush administration.
The revelations should be on the front-page of every newspaper & newsmagazine in the country. And on the 24/7 cable news channels 24/7.
This should be the hope of all citizens of the US.
Like I say this coming election is a first step. After I'll take whatever I can get. Almost anything will be an improvement.

Today's tour around the mind of the Bush follower

(updated below)

(1) Newt Gingrich argued yesterday that Republicans should remind the electorate that "Republicans are right to favor traditional American conservative social values, and the left is completely wrong to put San Francisco left-wing values third in line to be President by electing Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) to speaker of the House."

Nancy Pelosi's "San Francisco left-wing values":

"Upon graduation in 1962, she married Georgetown University graduate Paul Pelosi." "Pelosi and her husband, Paul Pelosi, a native of San Francisco, have five children: Nancy Corinne, Christine, Jacqueline, Paul and Alexandra, and five grandchildren."

Newt Gingrich's "traditional American conservative social values":

In 1981, Newt dumped his first wife, Jackie Battley, for Marianne, wife number 2, while Jackie was in the hospital undergoing cancer treatment. Marianne and Newt divorced in December, 1999 after Marianne found out about Newt's long-running affair with Callista Bisek, his one-time congressional aide. Gingrich asked Marianne for the divorce by phoning her on Mother's Day, 1999. [Source: New York Post, July 18, 2000, Newt's Ex Wife Aiming to Pen Book by Bill Sanderson, available on lexis].
Newt (57) and Callista (34) were married in a private ceremony in a hotel courtyard in Alexandria, Va. in August, 2000. . . .

"He famously visited Jackie in the hospital where she was recovering from surgery for uterine cancer to discuss details of the divorce. He later resisted paying alimony and child support for his two daughters, causing a church to take up a collection. For all of his talk of religious faith and the importance of God, Gingrich left his congregation over the pastor's criticism of his divorce."

The consistency in reasoning is at least impressive. Those who evaded military service during wars they cheered on are brave, courageous, resolute warriors. Those who fought for their country in combat are cowards and appeasers.

Those who repeatedly dump their wives for new and better versions, and run around engaging in the sleaziest and most unrestrained sexual behavior, are stalwart defenders of traditional American and Christian values. Those who stay married to their original spouse for their entire lives and raise a family together are godless, radical heathens who represent "San Francisco values" and seek to undermine the country's moral fiber and Christian traditions...
GOP Rep. Weldon: Corruption Probe Intensifies...Fmr. FDA Chief: Charged With Lying About Stocks...

Scandals linked to the Republican Party continued to stack up yesterday.

A federal investigation into Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) intensified, with agents raiding the home of the congressman's daughter as well as several other locations near Philadelphia and Jacksonville, FL. Weldon is under investigation for corruption, facing accusations that he used political influence to gain lucrative lobbying contracts for his daughter.

News of another scandal broke yesterday. Former FDA Chief and Bush appointee Lester M. Crawford was charged with lying about the fact that he and his wife own stock in companies regulated by the FDA, a clear conflict of interest. These companies primarily deal in pharmaceutical and medical concerns, but the Weldon's stock options also include the food company Pepsico. Crawford served on the board of the FDA Obesity Working Group while in possession of at least $62,000 in Pepsico stock. ...

Monday, October 16, 2006

From today's DEMOCRACY NOW:

AMY GOODMAN: Something the media says is that Iran doesn’t need nuclear power -- it has plenty of oil -- that nuclear power is just its way of getting nuclear weapons.

SCOTT RITTER: Well, there can be no doubt that Iran has plenty of oil, but that oil is the only thing Iran has going for it, in terms of a viable world-class economy. In 1976, the Shah of Iran came to the United States, sent his representatives to intercede and say, “Look, we’ve done an analysis, and we’ve got a finite amount of oil. And right now we need to export it. And if we don't export it, we don't make money, etc. We don't have enough oil to sustain this. We need to come up with an indigenous energy policy that frees up our oil for exportation. We want to use nuclear energy.” And the U.S. government went, “Good idea, Shah. We're all for it.” That was Gerald Ford.

The chief of staff of the White House at the time was Dick Cheney. The Secretary of Defense was Donald Rumsfeld. So, this argument that both Cheney and Rumsfeld put out today that Iran is a nation awash in a sea of oil, there is no need for a nuclear energy program, they both supported Iran's goals of achieving nuclear energy in 1976. Not only nuclear energy, but they also supported the Shah when he said, “We cannot allow a nuclear energy program’s fuel to be held hostage by the vagaries of sanctions and war. We need an indigenous fuel-manufacturing capability inclusive of the full uranium enrichment process.” And guess what the U.S. government said in 1976. “No problem, Shah. Good deal.” Of course, in 1979, the Islamists come in and suddenly we change our opinion. The bottom line is, Iran has every right legally to a nuclear energy program, and economically, we’ve already deemed it a responsible way to go...



Coalition death toll in Iraq reaches 3,000
October 16, 2006

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The death toll for coalition military forces in Iraq hit 3,000 Monday, according to a CNN tally.

The combined death toll includes 2,759 U.S. troops and seven American civilian contractors of the military.

Other coalition deaths include 119 British, 32 Italians, 18 Ukrainians, 17 Poles, 13 Bulgarians, and 11 Spaniards, as well as service members from Australia, Denmark, Estonia, Fiji, Holland, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Romania, Salvador, Slovakia, and Thailand.

The milestone was reached after U.S. military officials announced the deaths of five U.S. soldiers and Marines over the weekend.

Two U.S. soldiers were killed Sunday and two were wounded during fighting in Kirkuk, the U.S. military said Monday. The soldiers were assigned to 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division....
We're paying for this (G)rand (O)ld (P)erverts rehab!?! This guy's really a 'welfare queen' ain't he?

Foley's rehab paid for by taxpayers

The U.S. House of Representatives clerk's office says ex-Rep. Mark Foley's alcohol rehabilitation program is being paid for by a taxpayer funded medical plan.

Salley Collins, a spokeswoman for the clerk's office, said the Florida Republican is covered by a "temporary continuation of coverage" program that is available to federal employees who leave or resign their positions, Capitol Hill Blue reported Monday.

"Most, if not all (lawmakers), have some coverage as far as rehabilitation for drug and alcohol," Collins said.

Collins said she could not release specific details of Foley's medical plan, but Pete Sepp, vice president of communications for the National Taxpayers Union, said Foley's healthcare benefits will be available for 18 months under the plan.
You know, the House Ethics Committee is going to be a different entity soon and the Justice Dept. won't have to be called in. The Republican cronyism, pedophilia, rotten-ass weasalism in general can be rooted out early and definitively.
Then the focus can be aimed at the executive branch. Get those insane cranks out of office and to the Hague Criminal Courts...I can dream, can't I? Who knows? Not Bushistas, that's for sure. They don't seem like 'knowing' is their strong suit. Ask the dead about that...

Lawmaker denies helping daughter win contracts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon denied helping his lobbyist daughter win lucrative contracts on Monday, just hours after federal agents searched her home and that of a party activist.

"My daughter doesn't need my help now and she never has," Weldon told a news conference in Springfield, Pennsylvania.
Weldon said in a statement: "I have received confirmation that the Justice Department has opened a preliminary inquiry into items previously reported on by the L.A. (Los Angeles) Times in 2004."

He said he would provide investigators all documents and information they sought.

"I am confident that investigators will reach the same conclusions as the House Ethics Committee, which looked into these allegations in 2004 at my request, and found that I had engaged in no wrongdoing," Weldon said.

Weldon accused Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a public advocacy group that requested a Justice Department review of the matter two years ago, of engaging in "the politics of personal destruction."
Weldon said the group is closely tied to his Democratic challenger, "and now, just weeks before my re-election word that the inquiry is occurring has mysteriously trickled out."...

A U.S. law enforcement official said the government investigation went beyond the 2004 allegations. He said the Justice Department had received additional information that "has renewed interest in this issue."...
FOX NEWS is not a news venue, it's a propaganda bureau for the current iilegimate administration which is made up of cold war leftovers, Iran/Contra criminals and LIKUDNIK double agents.
Here's a perfect illustration.

Chris Wallace Ignores 20,000 Emails Demanding He Ask Rice About The U.S.S. Cole

More than 20,000 people emailed Chris Wallace and demanded he ask Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice this question today:

Prior to 9/11, you had eight months to respond to the al-Qaeda attack on the U.S.S. Cole. Why didn’t the Bush administration take action and put al-Qaeda out of business?

Wallace didn’t ask the question or any question on the topic. It’s the twenty-fourth time Rice has been on Fox News Sunday since 9/11 without being asked about the U.S.S. Cole.

Last month, Fox’s Chris Wallace asked President Clinton why he didn’t respond to the Oct. 12, 2000 bombing of the U.S.S. Cole. He asked the question even though the “CIA and the FBI refused to certify that Bin Laden was responsible” until early 2001, which foreclosed the possibility of a full response during the Clinton administration.

Wallace claimed he asked the question of Clinton because “I got a lot of e-mail from viewers.”

Sunday, October 15, 2006

What is there to say?:

National Character Counts Week, 2006

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

America's strength is found in the spirit and character of our people. During National Character Counts Week, we renew our commitment to instilling values in our young people and to encouraging all Americans to remember the importance of good character.

As the primary teachers and examples of character, parents help create a more compassionate and decent society. And as individuals, we all have an obligation to help our children become responsible citizens and realize their full potential. By demonstrating values such as integrity, courage, honesty, and patriotism, all Americans can help our children develop strength and character.

Countless individuals throughout our country demonstrate character by volunteering their time and energy to help neighbors in need. The men and women of our Armed Forces set an example of character by bravely putting the security of our Nation before their own lives. We also see character in the family members, teachers, coaches, and other dedicated individuals whose hearts are invested in the future of our children.

Our changing world requires virtues that sustain our democracy, make self-government possible, and help build a more hopeful future. National Character Counts Week is an opportunity to recognize the depth of America's character and appreciate those who pass on our values to future generations.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 15 through October 21, 2006, as National Character Counts Week. I call upon public officials, educators, librarians, parents, students, and all Americans to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-first.