Friday, November 30, 2007

Andrew Card Throws Karl Rove Under The Bus On Morning Joe

Republican Joe Scarborough is quickly turning Morning Joe into Fox & Friends Lite, (minus Mika, of course) but his interview with former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card this morning was worth a look and will be sure to raise a few eyebrows.

Joe asks Card about Karl Rove’s ridiculous claim that the Democrats pushed the White House into voting on the resolution to use force in Iraq during a recent interview with Charlie Rose, and his answer took everyone by surprise, bringing big laughs from the MJ crew…and me. Even Card couldn’t keep a straight face.

Scarborough: “We have to start with something that we all were talking about a couple days ago where Karl Rove went on Charlie Rose and he blamed the Democrats for pushing him and the president into war. Is that how it worked?”

Card: ” Uh… [laughter] that is not the way it worked. [snip]

Karl is very smart, sometimes his brain gets ahead of his mouth - and sometimes his mouth gets ahead of his brain.”

Biden: Impeachment if Bush bombs Iran; Is meeting with Constitutional law experts

By Adam Leech
November 29, 2007

PORTSMOUTH — Presidential hopeful Delaware Sen. Joe Biden stated unequivocally that he will move to impeach President Bush if he bombs Iran without first gaining congressional approval.

Biden spoke in front of a crowd of approximately 100 at a candidate forum held Thursday at Seacoast Media Group. The forum focused on the Iraq war and foreign policy. When an audience member expressed fear of a war with Iran, Biden said he does not typically engage in threats, but had no qualms about issuing a direct warning to the Oval Office.

"The president has no authority to unilaterally attack Iran, and if he does, as Foreign Relations Committee chairman, I will move to impeach," said Biden, whose words were followed by a raucous applause from the local audience. Biden said he is in the process of meeting with constitutional law experts to prepare a legal memorandum saying as much and intends to send it to the president.

When local resident Joel Carp asked Biden why not impeach now, given what has already been done, Biden said it was a valid point, but might not be constitutionally valid and potentially counterproductive. A case for impeachment must have clear evidence, Biden said, and blame should be directed at the right parties. "If you're going to impeach George Bush, you better impeach (Vice President Dick) Cheney first," said Biden, again drawing applause.

Biden said the best deterrent to prevent pre-emptive military action in Iran is to make it clear, even if it is at the end of his final term, action will be taken against Bush to ensure "his legacy will be marred for all time."...[Open in new window

Take a deep breath & get ready to feel proud. Here's our president. (Is he on the cough syrup again?)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Better off dead,Scumwad, Republican...


BY DAVID TALBOT | Fred Snodgrass, a 76-year-old Florida retiree, says he gets so upset when he watches Rep. Henry Hyde on TV that "I nearly jump out of my chair." Hyde, the Illinois Republican who heads the House Judiciary Committee, is on television often these days. Hyde's committee will decide whether the adulterous affair President Clinton carried on with a White House intern, and his efforts to keep it hidden, should be referred to the House of Representatives for impeachment proceedings. "I watched on TV the other night," said Snodgrass. "These politicians were going on about how he should have been on the Supreme Court, what a great man he is, how we're lucky to have him in Congress in charge of the impeachment case. And all I can think of is here is this man, this hypocrite who broke up my family."

Snodgrass says Hyde carried on a five-year sexual relationship with his then-wife, Cherie, that shattered his family. Hyde admitted to Salon Wednesday that he had been involved with Cherie Snodgrass, and that the relationship ended after Hyde's wife found out about it. At the time of the affair, which lasted from 1965 to 1969, Fred Snodgrass was a furniture salesman in Chicago, and his wife was a beauty stylist. They had three small children, two girls and a boy. Hyde, then 41 years old, was a lawyer and rising star in Republican state politics. In 1966, he was elected for the first time to the Illinois House. Hyde was married and the father of four sons. (His wife, Jeanne Hyde, died of breast cancer in 1992, after a 45-year marriage.)

"Cherie was young and naive at the time," said a Snodgrass family intimate. "She was a glamour queen with three young kids, stuck at home. Then this Prince Charming guy, Hyde, comes along. She was very impressed with him. He was 12 years older, he was a hotshot, he knew everyone downtown. She had nothing, and he comes along, shows her off, she was young and beautiful."

Alex Berke, a former jewelry businessman and 37-year member of the Chicago Board of Trade who has been a friend of Fred Snodgrass for more than 50 years, also confirmed the story of the family breakup. "I knew Fred and Cherie when they first got married," he said. "They were an ideal couple. She was tall and gorgeous and he was a handsome SOB. They made a hell of a couple. The affair between Hyde and Cherie played a hell of a bad part in Fred's life. It went on for several years. It changed his whole life. And it affected the kids too. Being a nice guy, Fred took Cherie back, but it never worked out after that. He told me all about it when it was happening. It beat the hell out of him...
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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

McClellan admission evokes memories of Nixon era

This trail is starting to look familiar. When an excerpt from the soon-to-be-released book by former presidential press secretary Scott McClellan revealed that President Bush and Vice President Cheney instructed him to tell journalists that top White House aides played no role in the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson, I had an eerie feeling that the nation had been down this path before.

In discussing a 2003 press briefing during which he told reporters that Karl Rove, the president's political adviser, and Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, had nothing to do with the leak, McClellan says he was misled.

"There was one problem," he wrote of what he told journalists that day. "It was not true. I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest-ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice president, the president's chief of staff (Andrew Card) and the president himself," McClellan writes.

This blurb from What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and What's Wrong with Washington, is posted on the website of its publisher, Public Affairs Books.

We now know that Plame Wilson's identity as a CIA undercover operative was leaked to reporters by at least two Bush administration officials,...


The seedy path taken by Bush's aides looks a lot like one taken by another White House.

In 1971, a group of advisers close to Richard Nixon decided to go after people they considered opponents of that Republican president. The people whose names made it onto that "opponents' list" were targeted for retribution in much the same way that the Bush administration went after Wilson. As Nixon White House counsel John Dean said at the time, "We can use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies." And, in fact, Nixon's henchmen tried to use the Internal Revenue Service to do just that.

Bush's minions took a similar road. They used information secretly gained from the CIA to strike at one of Bush's "enemies" — and to publicly use the president's press secretary to deny any role in this act of retribution.

When the House Judiciary Committee voted to impeach Nixon in 1974 (he resigned before the full House could vote on the resolution), it accused him of, among other things, trying to misuse the IRS to attack his enemies — and using his subordinates to make "false or misleading public statements for the purpose of deceiving the people of the United States" about the White House involvement...[Open in new window]



In some cases they're the same scum sucking weirdos.

Hopefully we're about to enter an era where 'Bush supporter' will be synonymous with 'stupid' in pop cultural parlance. That's pretty mild. 'Stupid' plus 'degenerate' is more to my liking. And more truthful.

It just blows my mind how stupid people are. My entire life has been haunted by these morons. I hate them...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Sen. Trent Lott to resign

NBC News has learned that Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., the minority whip is in the midst of informing close allies that he plans to resign his senate seat before the end of the year. It's possible a formal announcement of his plans could take place as early as today...[Open in new window]

Is it his health? Another perv deal? Or the sweet song of Jack Abramoff namin' names & dollar amounts? Stay tuned.

(He's resigning now, one year into a six-year term, to get under the wire of a law banning Senators becoming lobbyists.

Giuliani Firm Fights for Washington Money He Vows to Eliminate

By Jonathan D. Salant

Nov. 26 (Bloomberg) -- On the campaign trail, Rudy Giuliani rails against congressional spending set aside for lawmakers' pet projects. In Washington, his law firm fights to obtain them.

Giuliani, the Republican presidential front-runner, last month pledged to ``get rid of'' so-called earmarks, which cost taxpayers about $13 billion this year, saying his party should promote ``fiscal discipline.'' Just weeks later, Bracewell & Giuliani LLP won $3 million worth of projects for its clients in defense-spending legislation.

``It's a bit hypocritical,'' said Republican consultant Eddie Mahe, who isn't aligned with any presidential candidate. ``He profits from it. I don't think Joe Sixpack is going to buy into that.''

While the firm's earmarks account for only a small fraction of the defense bill's $7.9 billion in such projects, they show that Giuliani's business interests continue to collide with his campaign rhetoric...[Open in new window]

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Republicans who would've impeached Bush?

Not so long ago, members of Congress put the rule of law above partisan politics and loyalty to the White House.

By Vincent Rossmeier

Nov. 26, 2007 | During the past six years, leading Republicans in Congress have prioritized allegiance to a Republican president above all other governmental and constitutional concerns. But there was a time when U.S. lawmakers, regardless of party affiliation, actually voted the way of their conscience. There was a time when a president could not break the law or ignore a summons from Congress with impunity. Indeed, by the height of Richard Nixon's Watergate scandal, a number of congressmen -- including Republicans staunchly loyal to their party -- acted to uphold the law and make Nixon accountable.

Today, the main concern of lawmakers seems to be the preservation of power and the entitlements that come with it. Republican allies of the White House have blocked congressional investigations into the Bush administration's alleged misdeeds, including illegal spying on Americans' phone calls. In 2006, the Senate Intelligence Committee, led by Pat Roberts, R-Kan., thwarted an investigation into warrantless eavesdropping by the National Security Agency. While serving as chairman of the Judiciary Committee prior to the Democratic takeover of Congress in 2006, Arlen Specter, R-Pa., though a vocal critic of the spying, failed to initiate any investigations into Bush's wiretapping program, despite ample evidence that it violated the existing FISA laws. Meanwhile, top Democrats, including Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia and Dianne Feinstein of California, have shown a willingness to cave into Bush's demands, including retroactive immunity for American telecom companies that assisted the government's spying.

The Bush era has drawn various comparisons with the Nixon era, but what seems forgotten from that time is the courage exhibited by a handful of lawmakers, once fiercely loyal to the president, who ultimately decided to impeach him. In recent interviews with Salon, some of those former congressmen spoke about their reasons for risking their political career and taking a principled stand, the kind that seems so unlikely on Capitol Hill today.

In the spring of 1974, allegations filled the airwaves that Nixon had misused the CIA and FBI and had spied on Democratic opponents. A summer of contentious televised deliberations, conducted by the House Judiciary Committee, resulted in a vote in favor of three articles of impeachment. After thoroughly examining the evidence, a handful of Republicans decided to break ranks with the party and vote with the majority. They were joined by two Democrats from conservative Southern districts who ignored pressure and even threats of violence from their Nixon-supporting constituencies to vote the way the facts demanded. (The release of an audiotape directly implicating Nixon in the Watergate burglary led to his resignation on Aug. 9, before the full House could vote on the impeachment.)

At the outset of the deliberations, Rep. Peter Rodino of New Jersey, the Democratic chairman of the 38-member committee, stated that "the law must deal fairly with everyone." But particularly for the Republicans from conservative districts, voting for impeachment meant not only going against their party, but also potentially angering their constituents and sacrificing their political career.

One them was M. Caldwell Butler of Virginia. In Nixon's 1972 landslide reelection, Butler's district had voted 73 percent in Nixon's favor. In an interview given for a 1984 PBS documentary titled "Summer of Judgment: The Impeachment Hearings," Butler said that when the Judiciary Committee began its deliberations, he was "still very defensive of the president." Yet, by the end of that summer, he became one of the decisive Republican votes that sealed Nixon's fate...[Open in new window]

Frederick 'Fake Reagan' of Hollywood loves him some guns.

Who can blame ol' Fred from thinking he might be able to sneak into the presidency. Look at the choices!

The sleazeball ex-Mayor (who thinks Israel is the 51st state), the guy who thinks he'll be going to another planet to start his own empire (Morman doctrine is weirder than Scientology), the guy who doesn't accept the theory of evolution (& in his own case might be right), etc, etc. A gallery of screwballs. Who can blame the Gucci loafer-red neck?
Then there was one: US now alone as Kyoto holdout

by Richard Ingham

PARIS (AFP) - Supporters of the Kyoto Protocol were gleeful on Saturday after Australian elections left the United States in the wilderness as the only major economy to boycott the UN's climate pact.

The ouster of Prime Minister John Howard stripped President George W. Bush of a key ally barely a week before a conference in Bali, Indonesia, on the world's response to climate change beyond 2012, they said.

"It's great news for the Kyoto Protocol," Shane Rattenburg, Greenpeace's political director, told AFP.

"It's a very important event in the international climate debate, and for Bali. It will leave Bush and the United States more isolated."...[Open in new window]

From the Seattle PI

Impeachment: If not now, when?

Lawmakers need to stand up for the Constitution and support impeachment


The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors. -- Article II, Section 4

On Nov. 6, Rep. Dennis Kucinich introduced articles of impeachment against Vice President Dick Cheney on the floor of the House of Representatives. For one shining moment the will of the majority of Americans and the promise of this nation's founders were truly represented.

The detailed charges were solemnly read from the House podium and televised on C-Span. House Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer made a motion to table the bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi lobbied hard for votes to table.

In a stunning turnaround, House Republicans changed strategy and voted decisively to prevent tabling the impeachment resolution.

Pelosi was defied by 85 Democratic members who voted against tabling the impeachment resolution. This includes John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and six committee members. The resolution was quickly voted back to the Judiciary Committee, where it is not resting quietly.

Judiciary Committee member Bob Wexler wrote, "The American people are served well with a legitimate and thorough impeachment inquiry. I will urge the Judiciary Committee to schedule impeachment hearings immediately and not let this issue languish as it has over the last six months. Only through hearings can we begin to correct the abuses of Dick Cheney and the Bush administration."

Impeachment is squarely on the table, and momentum is building. A year ago, almost no elected official breathed the word impeachment. Now impeachment has hit the House floor, and our electeds have gone on record. Millions of Americans are demanding an end to executive abuse of power.

After six years of state of emergency, the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, continual war and occupations, our Constitution is deeply in crisis. Americans are in danger of losing our system of government and civil rights if they do not roll back the Bush administration's assault on the rule of law.

Allowing Cheney and George W. Bush to finish their terms without being impeached means future presidents are free to copy their lawless behavior. Of course many important issues deserve the attention of Congress. But the Constitution is the foundation of our democracy, not just an issue. Without the Constitution, we have nothing.

Polls show that 74 percent of Democrats and the majority of American adults support impeaching Cheney. "Never in our history have the high crimes and misdemeanors been so flagrant, and the people of our country know it," writes local author Richard Behan.

Kucinich has targeted Cheney first, but investigations will implicate the president as well. For the first time in the history of the Gallup Poll, 50 percent of respondents say they "strongly disapprove" of the president. Richard Nixon had reached the previous high, 48 percent, just before an impeachment inquiry was launched in 1974. With these numbers, why aren't Bush and Cheney gone already?

The vice president is accused of: [Open in new window]

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The following is a transcript of the Democratic response by Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez to President Bush's radio address:

RICARDO SANCHEZ: Good morning, this is Lieutenant General Ricardo S. Sanchez, U.S. Army, retired.

I speak to you today, not as a representative of the Democratic Party, but as a retired military officer who is a former commander of the Multi-National Force-Iraq.

In that capacity, I saw firsthand the consequences of the administration's failure to devise a strategy for victory in Iraq that employed, in a coordinated manner, the political, economic, diplomatic and military power of the United States. That failure continues today. At its base is the mistaken belief, despite years of evidence to the contrary, that victory can be achieved through the application of military power alone.

Our Army and Marine Corps will execute as directed, perform magnificently and never complain. That is the ethic of our warriors and that is what America expects of them. They will not disappoint us.

The keys to securing the future of Iraq are aggressive regional diplomacy, political reconciliation and economic hope. Yet, as our current commanders in Iraq have recently noted, the improvements in security produced by the courage and blood of our troops have not been matched by a willingness on the part of Iraqi leaders to make the hard choices necessary to bring peace to their country. There is no evidence that the Iraqis will choose to do so in the near future or that we have an ability to force that result. America lost that ability upon the transfer of sovereignty back in June of 2004.

Under the administration's recently announced plan, U.S. force levels in Iraq in July 2008 will be at about the same level they were in November 2006, when the American people demanded a change in direction in our Iraq policy.

Our Army and Marine Corps are struggling with changing deployment schedules that are disrupting combat readiness training and straining the patience and daily lives of military families. It will take the Army at least a decade to repair the damage done to its full-spectrum readiness, which is at its lowest level since the Vietnam War. In the meantime, the ability of our military to fully execute our national security strategy will be called into doubt, producing what is, in my judgment, unacceptable strategic risk.

Although we cannot withdraw precipitously from Iraq, we must move rapidly to minimize our force presence. Shifting the primary mission of our troops away from combat will lead to a smaller U.S. military presence, and a greater obligation on the part of the Iraqis to take the lead in solving their country's problems. Having fewer American troops in Iraq will also allow us to devote more resources to refit our ground forces to respond to different contingencies in other parts of the world. However, for as long as we have troops in Iraq, the American people must insist that our deploying men and women are properly trained and properly equipped for the missions they will be asked to perform.

The funding bill passed by the House of Representatives last week, with a bipartisan vote, makes the proper preparation of our deploying troops a priority and requires the type of shift in their mission that will allow their numbers to be reduced substantially. Furthermore, the bill puts America on the path to regaining our moral authority by requiring all government employees to abide by the Army Field Manual on interrogations, which is in compliance with the Geneva Conventions. America must accept nothing less.

It is well past time to adopt a new approach in Iraq that will improve chances to produce stability in the Middle East. I urge our political leaders to put aside partisan considerations and unite to lessen the burden our troops and their families have been under for nearly five years now. Strengthening America's security is a burden that must be shared by all Americans.

America must mobilize our diplomatic, political and economic power to achieve the reconciliation necessary to roll back de- Baathification and to advance the political progress in Iraq. Anything less is a dereliction of duty.

This is retired Lieutenant General Ricardo S. Sanchez, and thank you for listening.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Iran hints it could halt nuclear enrichment for a quid pro quo
Matthew Schofield | McClatchy Newspapers

last updated: November 23, 2007 05:30:00 PM

VIENNA, Austria — Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency said Friday that his country could suspend uranium enrichment if the United States and Western Europe agreed to acknowledge that its nuclear program was peaceful.

But Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh said there was a "serious confidence gap" between his country and the United States and Western Europe and that he saw little point in trying to "build confidence" with an American administration that had none in his country.

"We don't trust the United States," he told McClatchy Newspapers after the IAEA Board of Governors finished its latest round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. "We could suspend nuclear enrichment. We did it before for two and half years. But it wasn't enough then, and wouldn't be enough now. We will not suspend enrichment again because there is no end to what the United States will demand."

Diplomats said Soltanieh's remarks reflected what he'd been saying in private. "Iran is willing to deal," one said. "But they've made it clear there would have to be a quid pro quo, and they don't believe that's possible." The diplomats said they couldn't be quoted by name because of the sensitivity of the issue...[Open in new window]
A plan to attack Iran swiftly and from above

A bombing campaign has been in the works for months - a blistering air war that would last anywhere from one day to two weeks

By Paul Koring
From Thursday's Globe and Mail

11/23/07 "Globe and Mail" -- -- WASHINGTON — Massive, devastating air strikes, a full dose of "shock and awe" with hundreds of bunker-busting bombs slicing through concrete at more than a dozen nuclear sites across Iran is no longer just the idle musing of military planners and uber-hawks.

Although air strikes don't seem imminent as the U.S.-Iranian drama unfolds, planning for a bombing campaign and preparing for the geopolitical blowback has preoccupied military and political councils for months.

No one is predicting a full-blown ground war with Iran. The likeliest scenario, a blistering air war that could last as little as one night or as long as two weeks, would be designed to avoid the quagmire of invasion and regime change that now characterizes Iraq. But skepticism remains about whether any amount of bombing can substantially delay Iran's entry into the nuclear-weapons club.

Attacking Iran has gone far beyond the twilight musings of a lame-duck president. Almost all of those jockeying to succeed U.S. President George W. Bush are similarly bellicose. Both front-runners, Democrat Senator Hillary Clinton and Republican Rudy Giuliani, have said that Iran's ruling mullahs can't be allowed to go nuclear. "Iran would be very sure if I were president of the United States that I would not allow them to become nuclear," said Mr. Giuliani. Ms. Clinton is equally hard-line...[Open in new window]

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Likudnik Hawks Work to Undermine Annapolis

Jim Lobe

WASHINGTON, Nov 21 (IPS) - Despite near-universal scepticism about the prospects for launching a serious, new Middle East peace process at next week's Israeli-Palestinian summit in Annapolis, a familiar clutch of neo-conservative hawks close to the Likud Party leader, former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, isn't taking any chances.
Hard-liners associated with the American Enterprise Institute and Freedom's Watch, a bountifully funded campaign led by prominent backers of the Republican Jewish Coalition, among other like-minded groups, are mounting a concerted attack against next week's meeting which they fear could result in pressure on Israel to make territorial concessions.

The attack, which comes amid steadily growing neo-conservative fears that the administration of President George W. Bush is becoming increasingly "realist" in its last year in office, is being directed primarily against Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, rather than the president himself.

Rice, who has devoted an unprecedented amount of time and travel in the past several months to nudging Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas toward agreement on a framework that will deliver a two-state solution, said she hoped to achieve that goal by the time Bush leaves office in January 2009.

"The parties have said they are going to make efforts to conclude in this president's term, and it's no secret that means about a year," she told reporters, noting that next Tuesday's meeting is designed to launch an intensive negotiating effort over the coming months. "That's what we'll try and do. Nobody can guarantee that -- all you can do is make your best effort."

But such an effort is anathema to hard-line neo-conservatives whose presence in the Bush administration has dwindled steadily over the past two years, but who retain influence primarily through Vice President Dick Cheney and key members of the White House national security staff, notably Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams...[
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Holocaust Denial, American Style

By Mark Weisbrot, AlterNet. Posted November 21, 2007.

Institutionally unwilling to consider America's responsibility for the bloodbath, the traditional media have refused to acknowledge the massive number of Iraqis killed since the invasion.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad's flirtation with those who deny the reality of the Nazi genocide has rightly been met with disgust. But another holocaust denial is taking place with little notice: the holocaust in Iraq. The average American believes that 10,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since the US invasion in March 2003. The most commonly cited figure in the media is 70,000. But the actual number of people who have been killed is most likely more than one million.

This is five times more than the estimates of killings in Darfur and even more than the genocide in Rwanda 13 years ago.

The estimate of more than one million violent deaths in Iraq was confirmed again two months ago in a poll by the British polling firm Opinion Research Business, which estimated 1,220,580 violent deaths since the US invasion. This is consistent with the study conducted by doctors and scientists from the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health more than a year ago. Their study was published in the Lancet, Britain's leading medical journal. It estimated 601,000 people killed due to violence as of July 2006; but if updated on the basis of deaths since the study, this estimate would also be more than a million. These estimates do not include those who have died because of public health problems created by the war, including breakdowns in sewerage systems and electricity, shortages of medicines, etc.

Amazingly, some journalists and editors - and of course some politicians - dismiss such measurements because they are based on random sampling of the population rather than a complete count of the dead. While it would be wrong to blame anyone for their lack of education, this disregard for scientific methods and results is inexcusable. As one observer succinctly put it: if you don't believe in random sampling, the next time your doctor orders a blood test, tell him that he needs to take all of it.

The methods used in the estimates of Iraqi deaths are the same as those used to estimate the deaths in Darfur, which are widely accepted in the media. They are also consistent with the large numbers of refugees from the violence (estimated at more than four million). There is no reason to disbelieve them, or to accept tallies such as that the Iraq Body Count (73,305 - 84,222), which include only a small proportion of those killed, as an estimate of the overall death toll.

Of course, acknowledging the holocaust in Iraq might change the debate over the war. While Iraqi lives do not count for much in US politics, recognizing that a mass slaughter of this magnitude is taking place could lead to more questions about how this horrible situation came to be. Right now a convenient myth dominates the discussion: the fall of Saddam Hussein simply unleashed a civil war that was waiting to happen, and the violence is all due to Iraqis' inherent hatred of each other...[Open in new window]
How the Neocon-Christian Right Alliance Brought Down the House of Bush

By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!. Posted November 21, 2007.

Craig Unger shares the untold story of how a band of true believers seized the executive branch, started the Iraq war, and still imperils America’s future.

AMY GOODMAN: We turn now to investigative journalist Craig Unger in Washington, D.C., here with Democracy Now! He is author of the new book The Fall of the House of Bush: The Untold Story of How a Band of True Believers Seized the Executive Branch, Started the Iraq War, and Still Imperils America's Future. The book examines how neoconservatives secretly forged an alliance with the Christian Right during the Bush presidency and helped make the case for war in Iraq. Craig Unger is the contributing editor at Vanity Fair, also author of the book House of Bush, House of Saud.

Craig, welcome to Democracy Now!

CRAIG UNGER: Thanks for having me, Amy.

AMY GOODMAN: Why don't you start off by laying out the thesis of this book.

CRAIG UNGER: Well, I think when most people look at the Middle East conflict today, they frame it in terms of Islam versus the West. I want to try looking at a new paradigm, and that is, I want to examine fundamentalisms, and by that I mean not just Islamic fundamentalism, but Christian and Jewish fundamentalism, as well. And I really throw in neoconservatism as sort of a secular form of fundamentalism, which are in conflict with a modern post-Enlightenment world. And I think that’s a larger conflict that has gotten us into trouble today in the Middle East.

AMY GOODMAN: Talk about President Bush, President George W. Bush's relationship with George H.W. Bush, a central theme that runs through The Fall of the House of Bush.

CRAIG UNGER: Right. Well, you may have seen there have been a raft of stories recently that they have a very congenial relationship. Last summer, the New York Times had them playing horseshoes out in Kennebunkport, Maine. And on the surface, I think that’s the case. I interviewed Bob Strauss, for example, who had been chairman of the National Democratic Party. He was a friend of Bush Sr.’s and had been ambassador to Moscow when the elder George Bush was president. And he said that when he had dinner with the two men, they would just be gossiping, talking about, “Oh, how’s Susie doing in Midland, Texas?” and so on.

But under the surface, I think there’s a real very deep conflict that has affected millions of lives, cost hundreds of billions of dollars, and they represent almost polar opposite points of view. I call the first chapter in my book “Oedipus Tex.” And if you look at the current Bush administration, you realize he has put together an administration consisting of some of his father's worst enemies. For example, his father was a very congenial man, had very few bitter enemies, but one of them was certainly Donald Rumsfeld. In addition, his father had very little -- was not terribly fond of the Christian Right, and at one point he called them the “extra chromosome crowd,” a remark for which he had to apologize.

And finally, his father had been doing battle with the neoconservatives as early as 1976. If you go back to that period, Bush Sr. was then head of the CIA, and you see the young neocons then had put together what was known as Team B, and they began to challenge the CIA’s intelligence on the Cold War. This was the era of detente. They were saying the CIA was a bunch of liberals who were being soft on the Soviet Union. And they tried to come up -- they began to politicize intelligence and distort it and come up with a much tougher line. And in there I think you see a lot of the foreshadowing of the events we're going through today...[Open in new window]

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Fox logic: give traitors a medal. Brought to you in the words of one of the biggest fuckwits who ever lived.

Who Should Get Medal for Outing Valerie Plame?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

By John Gibson

...So did she pull strings? Her bosses say she did, that she set up the meetings which eventually led to her anti-war husband setting off to ostensibly establish a reason the president might use to underpin his war plans. Instead, her husband went on a mission so lackadaisical that it certainly was no surprise to his wife when he came home and said Saddam was not trying to buy nuke bomb material from Africa. If her husband had stumbled on Saddam's actual nuke bomb he would have denied ever seeing it.

And the fact that later subsequent reports from the CIA itself said her husband was wrong should also be noted.

In total, it was "Miss Spy" — Plame — and her former ambassador husband deciding they would tank the president's war plans by responding to the vice president's query with an answer the president and the vice president wouldn't like and would put them in the box, no matter what the actual facts in Africa were.

So I still want someone to get that medal. I just can't figure out which person deserves it most: Rove, Cheney, Armitage, Libby or Bush himself...[Open in new window]

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"The government here is afraid of the people. That's why we get free medical care, university tuition, and in-home child care."--French guy in Michael Moore's SICKO

"There's a policeman in all our heads who must be killed."--Graffiti from Paris May '68

"Anything good on TV tonight?"--American idiot
McClellan points finger at Bush, Rove

By: Mike Allen
Nov 20, 2007 01:05 PM EST

Ex-White House press secretary says he was misled over Plame – and so was the press and public.

Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan names names in a caustic passage from a forthcoming memoir that accuses President Bush, Karl Rove and Vice President Cheney of being "involved" in his giving the press false information about the CIA leak case.

McClellan’s publisher released three paragraphs from the book “WHAT HAPPENED: Inside the Bush White House and What’s Wrong With Washington.”

The excerpts give no details about the alleged involvement of the president or vice president.

But McClellan lists five top officials as having allowed him inadvertently to mislead the public.

“I stood at the White house briefing room podium in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and publicly exonerated two of the seniormost aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby,” McClellan wrote.

“There was one problem. It was not true.”

McClellan then absolves himself and makes an inflammatory — and potentially lucrative for his publisher — charge.

“I had unknowingly passed along false information,” McClellan wrote.

“And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice president, the president's chief of staff and the president himself."

McClellan says he was in that position because he trusted the president: "The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.”

In recent conversations and in his many public speaking engagements, McClellan has made it clear he retains great affection for the president.

But White House sources have long said that Rove and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the vice president’s chief of staff, allowed McClellan to suggest day after day that they had no involvement in the publication of the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame.

Later testimony showed that they did, although neither was the original source of the leak.

Friends say McClellan was privately bitter and hurt.

He and Rove had come to Washington from Texas together.

“Scottie,” as Bush called him, had worked in the Texas governor’s office, making him one of the president’s longest serving aides.

McClellan, an Austin native, was White House press secretary from 2003 to 2006. Before that, he was traveling press secretary for the Bush-Cheney campaign of 2000.

When McClellan announced his resignation in April 2006, he and the president embraced during a tearful appearance on the South Lawn.

Bush said: “I thought he handled his assignment with class, integrity. ... One of these days he and I are going to be rocking on chairs in Texas, talking about the good old days and his time as the press secretary. And I can assure you I will feel the same way then that I feel now, that I can say to Scott, 'Job well done.'”

Now they’ll have even more to talk about...[Open in new window]
That McClellan boy just didn't understand what the job was. He thought it was spinning, not outright lying. He just didn't grasp who the bosses were.

Monday, November 19, 2007

O’Reilly Runs Ad For ‘Vile’ Movie That He Claims Hurts ‘Our Troops’ And Helps ‘The Terrorists’

For two months now, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly has been using his various media perches to criticize and attack Brian De Palma’s controversial new film, Redacted, which was financed by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. The film centers around a fictionalized portrayal of “the true story of a group of U.S. soldiers who raped and killed a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and murdered members of her family.”

O’Reilly kicked off his campaign against the film with a column in September, saying the filmmakers “should be ashamed” because “they are hurting their own country.” He sharpened his attacks last week, calling for a boycott of the “vile,” “anti-American” film during multiple segments on his show. In a second column, O’Reilly compared Cuban and DePalma to Charles Manson:

There is no excuse for “Redacted.” The incident is based on a true story, but those who committed the crimes are in prison for life. You don’t celebrate this kind of aberration with a movie–you don’t brand the U.S. military with this stigma.

Charles Manson is an American too, but does he represent this country in any way? Of course not. And I believe even the odious Manson would not make a movie like “Redacted.”

Cuban has responded to O’Reilly’s criticism by claiming that the Fox News star is mischaracterizing the film and attacking it without having seen it. Last week, in order to test “O’Reilly’s motivation” for his campaign, Cuban bought ad time for the film during The O’Reilly Factor. The ad ran during the Nov. 15 edition of the show.

According to Cuban, the point of the ad buy was to see if the issue “really was important to Mr. O’Reilly, or whether” he “would say whatever he needed to say to get more people to watch.” Cuban said he had no problem whatsoever obtaining the time...[Open in new window]


O'Reilly is a big man, a tough man, a strong man, a man's man (I think he & Geraldo have a 'thing') a sickening sexual predator man, a prostitute man & you shouldn't let your children watch him or they'll grow up to be freaks like him too.

O’Hanlon Teams Up With AEI’s Kagan To Advocate Pre-Emptive Strike On Pakistan

In the wake of the recent crisis in Pakistan, Iraq escalation architect Frederick Kagan of AEI and Brookings analyst Michael O’Hanlon penned a column yesterday urging the U.S. to weigh a military option in Pakistan to secure its nuclear stockpiles:

[T]he United States simply could not stand by as a nuclear-armed Pakistan descended into the abyss. … We need to think — now — about our feasible military options in Pakistan, should it really come to that. … Pakistan may be the next big test.

As the “intellectual architect” of the Iraq “surge,” Kagan (who also advocates war with Syria and Iran) was personally invited by the White House to help “hammer out” the escalation strategy last year. O’Hanlon has backed war with Iraq since 2002 and is a chief proponent of a long-term occupation of Iraq...[Open in new window]


These guys really, really like war. Neo-cons, Israel-firsters, war profiteers. Scum. A good war is a war against them. Let's give 'em what they want. Let's win it & then never have another.

Freedom's Watch Focus Groups War with Iran

The hawkish advocacy group recently rolled out a multi-million dollar ad blitz in support of the troop surge in Iraq. It's now test marketing language that could be used to sell a war with Iran.

Laura Rozen
November 19 , 2007

Laura Sonnenmark is a focus group regular. "I've been asked to talk about orange juice, cell phone service, furniture," the Fairfax County, Virginia-based children's book author and Democratic Party volunteer says. But when she was called by a focus group organizer for a prospective assignment earlier this month, she was told the questions this time would be about something "political."

On the appointed day, she drove to the offices of Martin Focus Groups in Alexandria, Virginia, knowing she would be paid $150 for two hours of her time. After joining a half dozen other women in a conference room, she found, to her surprise, that she had been called in to help some of the country's most prominent hawks test-market language that could be used to sell a war against Iran to the American public. "The whole basis of the whole thing was, 'we're going to go into Iran and what do we have to do to get you guys to along with it,'" Sonnenmark, 49, tells Mother Jones.

The client paying for the focus group session, according to Sonnemark, was Freedom's Watch, a high-powered, well-connected advocacy group that launched a $15 million ad campaign this summer in support of the surge of American troops in Iraq. Among the group's leadership: former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer and Bradley A. Blakeman, a former deputy assistant to President Bush. The focus group session suggests that Freedom's Watch may be looking beyond Iraq and expanding its mission to building support for military action against Iran.

Sonnemark says she only learned of the organization's involvement after members of her politically mixed group were handed a flier bearing a bald headed eagle—its insignia. "I saw Freedom's Watch's logo on the bottom of the flier," Sonnenmark recalls. She says she vaguely knew Freedom's Watch was a pro-war organization at the time of the focus group and was aware of its recent pro-surge television ads. But as the leader of the group began the discussion, she found that his main focus was not Iraq. "He was asking questions about Ahmadinejad going to speak at Columbia University, how terrible it was that he was able to go to Columbia and was invited," Sonnemark says. "And he used lots of catch phrases, like 'victory' and 'failure is not an option.'"

"Of all the focus groups I've ever been to," Sonnenmark wrote in an email to a group of fellow volunteers for the 2006 Senate campaign of Jim Webb, "I've never seen a moderator who was so persistent in manipulating and leading the participants."(Webb, for his part, is lead author of a Senate letter warning President Bush not to attack Iran without direct congressional approval; see here and here.)

The upshot of the November focus group? "After two hours, asked three final questions," Sonnemark recalls: "How would you feel if Hillary bombed Iran? How would you feel if George Bush bombed Iran? And how would you feel if Israel bombed Iran?" Sonnenmark says she responded, "It would depend on the circumstances.... What is the situation in Iraq? Do we have international support?"...

Rudy at Nascar!
All fish, no water.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

15,000 or more US casualties in Iraq War

By Mike Whitney

11/17/07 "ICH" -- -- The Pentagon has been concealing the true number of American casualties in the Iraq War. The real number exceeds 15,000 and CBS News can prove it.

CBS’s Investigative Unit wanted to do a report on the number of suicides in the military and “submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of Defense”. After 4 months they received a document which showed--that between 1995 and 2007--there were 2,200 suicides among “active duty” soldiers.


The Pentagon was covering up the real magnitude of the “suicide epidemic”. Following an exhaustive investigation of veterans’ suicide data collected from 45 states; CBS discovered that in 2005 alone “THERE WERE AT LEAST 6,256 AMONG THOSE WHO SERVED IN THE ARMED FORCES. THAT’S 120 EACH AND EVERY WEEK IN JUST ONE YEAR.”

That is not a typo. Active and retired military personnel, mostly young veterans between the ages of 20 to 24, are returning from combat and killing themselves in record numbers. We can assume that "multiple-tours of duty" in a war-zone have precipitated a mental health crisis of which the public is entirely unaware and which the Pentagon is in total denial.

If we add the 6,256 suicide victims from 2005 to the “official” 3,865 reported combat casualties; we get a sum of 10,121. Even a low-ball estimate of similar 2004 and 2006 suicide figures, would mean that the total number of US casualties from the Iraq war now exceed 15,000.

That’s right; 15,000 dead US servicemen and women in a war that--as yet--has no legal or moral above

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Fox & Friends cheerleads for Bush and aviation, but gets punked

President Bush announced that he was opening up the military airways to help ease air traffic congestion for the holidays and Fox & Friends was jumping for joy. Finally, Bush did something that they could celebrate, right? Wrong….

“Great,” said Steve Doocy a few times as he waited for Mike Boyd, an aviator analyst to agree….unfortunately, he quickly threw water on their happiness and called Bush’s new measure a waste of time..

Doocy:…what’s that going to do?

Boyd: What Bush said yesterday isn’t going to fix anything.

Q: Yea, but isn’t it going to open it up at least the people will not experience potentially some of the delays that we’ve all been experiencing in the last year. It seems to have gotten so much worse?

Boyd: It’s not going to be any better or any worse, but the point is there is not much military air space that’s going to make a whole lot of difference. Plus, we still have the dilapidated air traffic control system that can’t handle weather, managing those airplanes, so we’re just as vulnurable as we were last week. Not gonna be any better, but it might not going to be any worse.–but this is no solution. What I heard yesterday from President Bush was him reading off of a crib sheet. It was really embarrassing.

Doocy: Mike Boyd, who will not be going to the White House Christmas party this year…(laughter)

I’m sure Mike was anxiously waiting for his invite to appear….That’ll teach him….


FOX is shameless. It's like they're broadcasting from a fairytale world where Bush isn't the worst president ever.

It'd almost be funny if he wasn't a mass-murderer.

I think he's going to need that land in Paraguay he bought. I think there'll be an international man-hunt for him & his cabal of war-criminals shortly after they leave office. It won't bring back the dead, but it'll be the right thing.

Special Relationship: Bush Family Friends Flay Rape Victim
Saturday, 17 November 2007
by Chris Floyd

The ever-estimable Buzzflash asks the pertinent question: Will Laura Bush, renowned campaigner on behalf of the oppressed women of Islam, take up the cudgels for the "Girl from Qatif": a 19-year-old woman who was gang-raped – and has now been sentenced by a Saudi court to six months in jail – and 200 lashes – for the "crime" of being in the car of a man who was not her relative?

Like Buzz, we all know the answer: she will not. At the most, we might possibly see a bland statement of mild, tut-tutting disapproval issued by a minor minion in the State Department, probably during the late Friday, post-deadline news dump. But as for Lady Laura, she will doubtless be too busy overseeingthe next intimate get-together with the Saudi royals, watching with who knows what strange tingly fascination as her husband plants a wet kiss on the grizzled face of King Abdullah, or sits down to chomp barbecue man-to-man with the billion-dollar bribetaker and backroom grease merchant Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud – better known by the nickname "Bandar Bush," bestowed by the president himself in honor of his long-standing connection with America's ruling family.

Saudi Arabia remains a highly personal tyranny: a single word from Bush's smooching partner could spare the rape victim from this savage punishment. These longtime Bush Family business partners and paymasters – who rule their kingdom through repression, mutilation and execution – could use their authoritarian power to reform the perverted, pseudo-religious strictures they have imposed at gunpoint on their people. But they will not – and Laura and George and Babs and old George Humperdink Warbucks Bush will never ask them to.

Why? Because they do not give a damn if a young woman who has been brutally raped is now whipped almost to death by their family friends -- friends who have helped make the Bushes richer and richer down through the years. If the lashing took place in front of their very eyes, they'd simply chat to Prince Bandar about the Cowboys game this weekend or ask King Abdullah if the weather was fine during his last stay on the Riveria. "Sure does scream a lot, don't she?" George might say at some point, provoking a playfully stern wag of the head from Laura for bringing up an unseemly topic during such a pleasant conversation. Then burly guards – American-armed, American-trained – would drag the quivering mass of shredded flesh out of the room, while elegant footmen stepped nimbly around her, bringing in the evening's sumptuous feast.

Oh, no doubt when Laura looks in her mirror at night, what she sees is one of God's little sunbeams, who wants nothing but the very bestest best for every single person on earth. But what is actually there is the visage reflected in countless gilded mirrors of the Establishment elite: a wretched, bloodstained collaborator with evil...[Open in new window]

Host tries to get aggressive liberal blogger booted from law school

For Bill O'Reilly, ambushing your political enemies with a video camera is just fine, as long as the camera is pointed in the opposite direction.

Blogger Mike Stark has a history of haranguing O'Reilly during his call-in radio show, and he once visited the Fox host's house to mock him over sexual harassment allegations. And now Stark, 39, has become the target of a network executive working on behalf of the combative Fox News pundit. Fox VP Dianne Brandi has written to the dean of the Univeristy of Virginia's law school, where Stark is in his second year, urging an investigation of his conduct...


O'Reilly's most famous legal troubles came in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former coworker. Before that lawsuit was even filed, O'Reilly and the Fox News legal team hit the host's accuser -- Andrea Mackris, a former Fox News producer -- with a countersuit claiming she was trying to extort $60 million from O'Reilly.

The top-rated cable news host eventually settled for several million dollars and dropped the extortion suit against Mackris, who claimed O'Reilly had accosted her with sexually harassing phone calls. O'Reilly would ask his then-producer about masturbation, encourage her to purchase vibrators and appeared to be pleasuring himself during the phone calls, Mackris alleged.

O'Reilly's legal troubles provided plenty of giggles for his critics when the story broke in October 2004. Stark, who runs the blog Calling All Wingnuts and is a regular commentor at Daily Kos, latched on to the most amusing allegation in the suit, taken from O'Reilly's description of his shower fantasies in a phone call with Mackris.

"Then I would take the other hand with the falafel (sic) thing and I'd put it on your p---y but you'd have to do it really light, just kind of a tease business," O'Reilly told Mackris.

Stark was confused as to how the Middle Eastern dish of chickpeas and vegetables would fare in the scene O'Reilly outlined.

"How'd you keep the falafel together in the shower," Stark asked O'Reilly in the video as the host, wearing gym shorts and a T-shirt emerges from his house to fetch the morning paper.

The antagonism directed O'Reilly's way is not limited to the driveway confrontation. Stark also distributed copies of the sexual harassment lawsuit to O'Reilly's neighbors in official-looking envelopes, and he displayed signs in the neighborhood branding O'Reilly a "pervert" and saying he "can't be trusted with your daughters."

The letter to Stark's dean claims his actions "may constitute criminal harassment" under New York law, and it warns that a civil lawsuit could be headed Stark's way, he told RAW STORY.

While he acknowledges that some may take issue with his tactics, Stark said the letter was more about damaging his personal reputation than raising any serious legal concerns. He has followed up with a letter to Fox News CEO Roger Ailes requesting an apology "for the attempt to harass and intimidate me at my school place," but he's received no response from Fox...


Despite the letter, Stark said he does not plan to curtail his criticism of O'Reilly, who he calls a "propagandist" whose methods deserve to be challenged.

"This guy's going to other people's houses," Stark said, "and I had to impress the gravity of that on him by going to his house."...[Open in new window]


I think Orally should be hounded until he goes beserk & tries to assault the 'wrong person' (like a little ol' 'peace' granny) & then they can taser him, get him down on the ground & fix his little red wagon real good.

He's a big-mouthed moron. There just ain't no room in the world for people like that.

An O'Reilly style lesson needs to be taught to O'Reilly. It'll be a warning to the others.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Wrecking Ball of Innovation
By Tony Judt
Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life
by Robert B. Reich

Knopf, 272 pp., $25.00

Supercapitalism is Robert Reich's account of the way we live now. Its story is familiar, its diagnosis superficial. But there are two reasons for paying attention to it. The author was President Clinton's first secretary of labor. Reich emphasizes this connection, adding that "the Clinton administration—of which I am proud to have been a part —was one of the most pro-business administrations in American history." Indeed, this is a decidedly "Clintonesque" book, its shortcomings perhaps a foretaste of what to expect (and not expect) from another Clinton presidency. And Reich's subject—economic life in today's advanced capitalist economy and the price we are paying for it in the political and civic health of democracies—is important and even urgent, though the "fixes" that he proposes are unconvincing.

Reich's theme goes as follows. During what he calls the "Not Quite Golden Age" of American capitalism, from the end of World War II through the 1970s, American economic life was stable and in comfortable equilibrium. A limited number of giant firms—like General Motors—dominated their predictable and secure markets; skilled workers had steady and (relatively) safe jobs. For all the lip service paid to competition and free markets, the American economy (in this respect comparable to the economies of Western Europe) depended heavily upon protection from foreign competition, as well as standardization, regulation, subsidies, price supports, and government guarantees. The natural inequities of capitalism were softened by the assurance of present well-being and future prosperity and a widespread sentiment, however illusory, of common interest. "While Europeans set up cartels and fussed with democratic socialism, America went right to the heart of the matter—creating democratic capitalism as a planned economy, run by business."<1>

But since the mid-Seventies, and with increasing ferocity in recent years, the winds of change—"supercapitalism"— have blown all that away. Thanks to technologies initially supported by or spun off from cold-war research proj-ects—such as computers, fiber optics, satellites, and the Internet—commodities, communications, and information now travel at a vastly accelerated pace. Regulatory structures set in place over the course of a century or more were superseded or dismantled within a few years. In their place came increased competition both for global markets and for the cataract of international funds chasing lucrative investments. Wages and prices were driven down, profits up. Competition and innovation generated new opportunities for some and vast pools of wealth for a few; meanwhile they destroyed jobs, bankrupted firms, and impoverished communities.

Reflecting the priorities of the new economy, politics are dominated by firms and financiers ("Wal-Mart and Wall Street" in Reich's summary) lobbying for sectional advantage: "Supercapitalism has spilled over into politics, and engulfed democracy." As investors —and above all as consumers—Americans in particular have benefited in ways their parents could not have imagined. But no one is looking after the broader public interest. Investment values have gone through the roof, but "the institutions that used to aggregate citizen values have declined." Public policy debates in the contemporary US, as Robert Reich observes, "are, on closer inspection, matters of mundane competitive advantage in pursuit of corporate profit." The notion of the "common good" has disappeared. Americans have lost control of their democracy.

Reich has a nice eye for the instructive example. The wealth gap in the US is now at its widest since 1929: in 2005, 21.2 percent of US national income accrued to just 1 percent of earners. In 1968 the CEO of General Motors took home, in pay and benefits, about sixty-six times the amount paid to a typical GM worker; in 2005 the CEO of Wal-Mart earned nine hundred times the pay of his average employee. Indeed, the wealth of the Wal-Mart founders' family that year was estimated at about the same ($90 billion) as that of the bottom 40 percent of the US population: 120 million people. If the overall economy has grown "exuberantly" but "median household income has gone nowhere over the last three decades,...where has all the wealth gone? Mostly to the very top." As for the intrepid boldness of the latest generation of "wealth creators": Reich lists the tax breaks, pension guarantees, safety nets, "superfunds," and bail-outs provided in recent years to savings and loans, hedge funds, banks, and other "risk-takers" before dryly concluding that arrangements "that confer all upside benefit on private investors and all downside risk on the public are bound to stimulate great feats of entrepreneurial daring."

How stupid do you have to be to watch FAUX NEWS for anything other than it's comedic value?

This screen capture really captures faux news in the making.

On the screen with the standard issue fake news guy it says "Gas prices up 39% since Dems picked Nancy Pelosi."

Sure, of course. It's not our oil family president, it's the speaker of the house.

"Of course. Them fake news guys is smart. It wouldn't be on the TV unless it was true. Well, better go get ready for the 'war on Christmas'.

"I guess that's what Booosh was doin' instead of keeping us safe from a terrorist attack on 9/11, he was keepin' gas prices down. Good man, hard work, good heart."

The next FCC commisioner should make FOX change the name to FAUX for real.
That Biden Magic
By Kathleen Reardon

Posted November 16, 2007 | 06:51 PM (EST)

Who would have guessed he'd shine in yet a second debate? Isn't this the Joe Biden who jokes about how frequently he inserts his foot in his mouth? Yet this is also the Joe Biden who has been impressive not only in debate formats of late but in other venues as well.

If anyone came across as having the necessary experience to be President last night, it was Joseph Biden. He turned the debate around, away from pettiness, to focus on what matters to the American people when he said they care about making mortgage payments, their sons and daughters fighting in Iraq, crime, and keeping their jobs.

Who is this unmasked man? Suddenly he's the candidate with the big picture, the one capable of articulating it as well. I don't know about you, but I keep expecting him to say something completely off base, but he's been focused. And his preparation showed - all thirty-five plus years of it.

Kucinich firmly called for bringing the troops home now and not giving George Bush another dime. Richardson aptly framed Edward's strategy as an attempt to elicit a class war, Obama a generational war and accused Clinton of simply not being sufficiently anti-war. Dodd's comments about education were excellent and he, with Biden, altered the course and tone of the debate by calling attention to the growing "shrillness".

Clinton likely regained her lead. She was alert, prepared on every question this time, humorous, and comfortable. Edwards had good moments despite the unnecessary, sarcastic "Cute" quip in response to Kucinich. Obama was persuasive on the topic of renewable energy, lectured less and, with the exception of likely losing ground due to his support of illegal immigrant driver licenses, he landed on his feet.

Any of them would make a far better President than the one we have now. But Biden stood out, demonstrated depth, and connected with the concerns of real people. It's inspiring to hear the views of this relaxed Joe Biden and to observe his class, searing intellect, dedication to country, and engaging humor.

I remain undecided. But Biden is growing on more than just me. Something very magical has happened to Joe. Maybe it won't last. But it's good for the country and a joy to behold...[Open in new window]
BREAKING: Reid shut downs Bush recess appointments during Thanksgiving
by John Aravosis (DC) · 11/16/2007 11:50:00 AM

Now who's relevant? A statement from Senator Harry Reid:

The Senate will be coming in for pro-forma sessions during the Thanksgiving holiday to prevent recess appointments.

My hope is that this will prompt the President to see that it is our mutual interests for the nominations process to get back on track.

While an election year looms, significant progress can still be made on nominations.

I am committed to making that progress if the President will meet me half way.

But that progress can’t be made if the President seeks controversial recess appointments and fails to make Democratic appointments to important commissions.

As Democratic leader, I recommend nominees to the President for many important commissions like the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

These independent agencies are required by law to have Democratic representation.

As a result, the President has a statutory obligation to honor my recommendations and move on them in good faith.

And, up until recently, the President has generally discharged that obligation.

In the last several months, however, the administration has been stalling progress on Democratic appointments.

This problem existed before the August break.

In an effort to solve it, I worked hard to confirm over 40 administration nominees in exchange for a commitment by the President to make progress on a number of important commissions.

When we reconvened after August break, I also worked to quickly move on the President’s new Attorney General.

I did this despite my own opposition to that nominee.

Even with all this hard work on our side, the commitments the administration made to me before August break were not met.

In the almost three months since that break, we have received no Democratic nominees to full-time commission positions.

For some, in fact, absolutely no discernable progress has been made.

With Thanksgiving break looming, the administration informed me that they would make several recess appointments.

I indicated I would be willing to confirm various appointments if the administration would agree to move on Democratic appointments.

They would not make that commitment.

As a result, I am keeping the Senate in pro-forma to prevent recess appointments until we get this process back on track...[Open in new window]


From NBC's Domenico Montanaro

It's a trend we've noticed at the debates, that many of the Democratic candidates -- sometimes more than once a debate -- will say, "Joe is right" or they agree with him on one stance or another (usually foreign policy.)

The Biden campaign tries to capitalize on it with an improved version of an earlier "Joe is Right" video. This one is set to music: "You've got a friend in me" and includes text on the screen: "Not so much parsing, but certainly piling on." (References to videos from the Edwards and Clinton camps, respectively.) Then, there's a montage of the candidates agreeing with Biden.

"Sounds like they agree," appears on screen. "Joe is Right. Find out why:"...[Open in new window]

Glenn Greenwald
Friday November 16, 2007

Self-satire scales new heights

It's genuinely hard to believe that the writers of George Bush's speech last night to the Federalist Society weren't knowingly satirizing him. They actually had him say this:

When the Founders drafted the Constitution, they had a clear understanding of tyranny. They also had a clear idea about how to prevent it from ever taking root in America. Their solution was to separate the government's powers into three co-equal branches: the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. Each of these branches plays a vital role in our free society. Each serves as a check on the others. And to preserve our liberty, each must meet its responsibilities -- and resist the temptation to encroach on the powers the Constitution accords to others.

Then they went even further and this came out:

The President's oath of office commits him to do his best to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States." I take these words seriously. I believe these words mean what they say.

To top it all off -- by which point they must have been cackling uncontrollably -- they had him say this:

Others take a different view. . . . They forgot that our Constitution lives because we respect it enough to adhere to its words. (Applause.) Ours is the oldest written Constitution in the world. It is the foundation of America's experiment in self-government. And it will continue to live only so long as we continue to recognize its wisdom and division of authority.

Here is the still-valid and binding September 25, 2001 Memorandum, written by then-Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo, concerning Bush's view of his own power:

In both the War Powers Resolution and the Joint Resolution, Congress has recognized the President's authority to use force in circumstances such as those created by the September 11 incidents. Neither statute, however, can place any limits on the President's determinations as to any terrorist threat, the amount of military force to be used in response, or the method, timing, and nature of the response. These decisions, under our Constitution, are for the President alone to make.

That Memorandum also "conclude(d) that the Constitution vests the President with the plenary authority, as Commander in Chief and the sole organ of the Nation in its foreign relations, to use military force abroad" and hailed "the President's inherent constitutional powers to use military force" free of Congressional interference. It declared "the centralization of authority in the President alone . . . in matters of national defense, war, and foreign policy." And while the powers of Congress are virtually non-existent, "congressional concurrence is welcome." Thus:


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thursday, November 15, 2007 -Louisville, KY Courier Journal

Bush talks nonsense

Let's get this straight: President Bush, speaking Tuesday in New Albany, Ind., denounced "free-spending" Democrats in Congress who are going to push the nation toward tax increases?

Would this be the same president who in six years, from 2001 through 2006, signed more than 50 spending bills passed by the "free-spending" Republican majority in Congress that exceeded his budget requests and did not veto a single one?

Would this be the same president who led the United States into a pointless war in Iraq -- without the war tax that American presidents traditionally have demanded in order to pay for military conflicts -- that is rapidly (at the rate of about $200 million a day) approaching a price tag of $500 billion and is likely to reach $1 trillion?

And, is this the same president whose ill-advised tax cuts, skewed heavily to the wealthiest Americans, helped turn a promising federal surplus into an alarmingly high deficit?...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

U.S. can seek Ken Lay estate assets, judge rules

A judge rejected on Wednesday a request from the widow of former Enron Chairman Ken Lay to throw out the government's bid to seize nearly $13 million from his estate, including the upscale condominium they shared.

U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein's ruling allows the government to move ahead with its effort to recover the gains, which it contends are ill-gotten .

The judge wrote that prosecutors had provided "ample allegations" of criminal activity by Lay and others to pursue its case.

Samuel Buffone, a Washington attorney who represents Linda Lay, the executrix of her husband's estate, said that she intends to fight...[Open in new window]
The bitch probably killed Kenny-boy so she could keep the loot. It's stolen money. Stolen from the retirment of exploited Enron employees.
It's ridiculous that the pig-bitch should keep ill gotten gains.

The Insanity of Bush Hatred
Our politics suffer when passions overcome reason and vitriol becomes virtue.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 12:01 a.m. EST

Hating the president is almost as old as the republic itself. The people, or various factions among them, have indulged in Clinton hatred, Reagan hatred, Nixon hatred, LBJ hatred, FDR hatred, Lincoln hatred, and John Adams hatred, to mention only the more extravagant hatreds that we Americans have conceived for our presidents.

But Bush hatred is different. It's not that this time members of the intellectual class have been swept away by passion and become votaries of anger and loathing. Alas, intellectuals have always been prone to employ their learning and fine words to whip up resentment and demonize the competition. Bush hatred, however, is distinguished by the pride intellectuals have taken in their hatred, openly endorsing it as a virtue and enthusiastically proclaiming that their hatred is not only a rational response to the president and his administration but a mark of good moral hygiene.

This distinguishing feature of Bush hatred was brought home to me on a recent visit to Princeton University. I had been invited to appear on a panel to debate the ideas in Princeton professor and American Prospect editor Paul Starr's excellent new book, "Freedom's Power: The True Force of Liberalism." To put in context Prof. Starr's grounding of contemporary progressivism in the larger liberal tradition, I recounted to the Princeton audience an exchange at a dinner I hosted in Washington in June 2004 for several distinguished progressive scholars, journalists, and policy analysts.

To get the conversation rolling at that D.C. dinner--and perhaps mischievously--I wondered aloud whether Bush hatred had not made rational discussion of politics in Washington all but impossible. One guest responded in a loud, seething, in-your-face voice, "What's irrational about hating George W. Bush?" His vehemence caused his fellow progressives to gather around and lean in, like kids on a playground who see a fight brewing...[Open in new window]
I hate people who don't hate Bush.

Along with neo-cons, war profiteers & the editorial board of the Wall Street Urinal.

Those people shouldn't be calling anyone insane. That cuckoo flew over the nest a long time ago.
(Image: Dave being exposed to Courtney Love's no-doubt toxic titties.)

Dave Letterman: Real American, Union Man & Your TV Pal.
(PS: Fuck the bosses!)

WGA strike update: David Letterman pays staff out of his pocket


By Stone Martindale Nov 14, 2007, 22:35 GMT
Nikki Finke of Deadline Hollywood is reporting that David Letterman and his producers yesterday morning announced to his Late Show staff that they will be paid through the end of the year, even though the show is off the air during the writers strike.

"Dave's not doing this to get good press, which is why it hasn't been reported for almost two days," Nikki's source says.
"This is really significant because, as opposed to all of the other shows, this money comes out of Dave's own pocket." (Earlier this month, a news report claimed Jon Stewart had made a similar offer, but his rep denied it was true.)

Striking Late Show writers Eric Stangel, Justin Stangel, Bill Scheft, Steve Young, Matt Roberts, Tom Ruprecht, Jeremy Weiner, Lee Ellenberg, Joe Grossman and Bob Borden have begun a blog about the writers walkout