Saturday, July 01, 2006

You Think You Had A Bad Day?

This is a bad day. Ouch!!!!1!!
Fateh Mohammad, a prison inmate in Pakistan, says he woke up last weekend with a glass light bulb in his anus.

On Wednesday night, doctors brought Mohammad's misery to an end after a one-and-a-half hour operation to remove the object.

"Thanks Allah, now I feel comfort. Today, I had my breakfast. I was just drinking water, nothing else," Mohammad, a grey-beared man in his mid-40s, told Reuters from a hospital bed in the southern central city of Multan.

"We had to take it out intact," said Dr. Farrukh Aftab at Nishtar Hospital. "Had it been broken inside, it would be a very very complicated situation."

Mohammad, who is serving a four-year sentence for making liquor, prohibited for Muslims, said he was shocked when he was first told the cause of his discomfort. He swears he didn't know the bulb was there.

"When I woke up I felt a pain in my lower abdomen, but later in hospital, they told me this," Mohammad said.

"I don't know who did this to me. Police or other prisoners."

Didn't I mention in my masthead this site is eclectic?

(read more)

Last Throes My Ass

Can we just abandon the proposition the Iraqi insurgents are in their last throes? It was a lie then and its a lie now. It's getting worse and no happy painting of the situation in Iraq can hide the horror experienced daily by the Iraqi people.
A parked car bomb exploded at a popular outdoor market Saturday in a Shiite slum in Baghdad, killing at least 66 people and wounding dozens, authorities said. It was the bloodiest attack to hit Iraq since the death of terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

The blast, which occurred around 10 a.m. when the Sadr City market was packed with shoppers, destroyed the stalls where food and clothes are peddled and sent up a plume of gray smoke. Flames shot out the windows of several scorched cars.

Ambulances rushed to the scene and carried the victims to hospitals, where men cradled crying babies as doctors bandaged them. Rasoul Zaboun, an official from the Imam Ali Hospital in Sadr City, said 66 people were killed and 87 wounded.

Police Col. Hassan Jaloob also said 22 shops and stalls were destroyed, along with 14 vehicles.

I've said this before and I'll probably undoubtedly say it again. When you went about your daily tasks yesterday or last week, did you constantly watch for "mysterious" packages or boxes? Did you carefully scrutinize nearby cars? Did you watch strangers? OK, I'm not talking girl/boy watching, I mean checking out strangers to evaluate their risk to you.

More importantly did you worry you might be blown into tiny pieces at any moment? Of course you didn't, but the Iraqi people do worry about such every minute of every day and night. They might not consciously think about it, but it's always in the back of their minds. They may not get home with that loaf of bread. They may be dead in the next minute or two.

Now imagine this. You come home. Pet the dog/cat or both. You eat and watch a little TV. Then you go to bed. And then imagine several heavily armed people crash through your door and make you drop to your knees or lie flat on the floor. What happens next is up to your imagination, but what I've outlined is enough to instill horrid fear in an Iraqi. They never know if they can sleep in peace.

The US presence is causing much of the violence and the situation will never improve while the coalition forces are there.

I Forgot About This Post. Talk About Prognosticating

This earlier post pretty much foretold what the SCOTUS would do in the Hamdan case.

Great News For Vetrans: Stolen Laptop Recovered

This is terrific news. Apparently no identity theft has occurred.
It's back: intact and apparently un-accessed.

Veterans Administration (VA) Secretary James Nicholson said Thursday his agency's infamous stolen laptop containing the personal records of 26.5 million veterans has been recovered.

Nicholson told the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs the FBI found the laptop after a tipster seeking a $50,000 reward called in the location of the computer. No arrests have been made in the case.

According to Nicholson, initial FBI forensics on the laptop appear to indicate that no one compromised the personal data, including veterans' names and Social Security numbers.

(read more)

OK, 27 Hostages Didn't Work. Let's Try An Assassination Threat

I think the moron-in-chief's illness is spreading to heads of state everywhere.
ISRAEL last night threatened to assassinate Palestinian Prime Minister Ismael Haniyeh if Hamas militants did not release a captured Israeli soldier unharmed.

The unprecedented warning was delivered to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a letter as Israel debated a deal offered by Hamas to free Corporal Gilad Shalit.

It came as Israeli military officials readied a second invasion force for a huge offensive into Gaza.

Hamas's Gaza-based political leaders, including Mr Haniyeh, had already gone into hiding.

But last night's direct threat to kill Mr Haniyeh, a democratically elected head of state, sharply raised the stakes.

The 27 hostages refers to the Palestinian legislators kidnapped by Israel earlier.

(read more)

SPIIDERWEB™ Beats Real News Source By One Month

Too bad it took this "real" news source a month to report what this blog post from May 30 reported. Not bragging or anything, but...wait a too bragging.

Of course I got it from another source. If I "break" any news it'll be about me. That's the limit of my inside info.
I can't be the only person getting a little freaked out about this. Remember during the election in 2004 - the messages from bin-Laden and al-Zawahri that analysts later said played in Bush's favor? Well, they are at it again...and it is getting a little freaky. Only Thursday, the day the Supreme Court berated Bush for his handling of Guantanamo detainees and bin-Laden, almost as if ordered, released a tape that sucked the air out of Bush's bad news, news cycle. Just a little freaky isn't it?

Is it possible that bin-Laden, al-Zawahri, and the al-Qaeda terror network are part of the Bush-Rove campaign team? Suspicious as the gratuitous timing between the al-Qaeda leadership's video releases, i.e. just when Bush and Republicans need them most, and considering only a fool would put anything past Bush, Rove and Republicans: the answer is no. No, al-Qaeda and its leaders are not on the Bush-Rove-Republican campaign team. At least not officially.

What does "not officially" mean?

That means not even the Bush-Rove-Republican political team would go so far as be involved in something that stygian. But it also means the al-Qaeda leadership knows Bush and Republicans are good for them and their cause. In other words, al-Qaeda has a vested interest in Republicans maintaining power.

Actually my post and the Progressive's article are quite different, but both make the point that having the Repugs in office is good for al-Qaeda's leaders.

(read more)

Eleven Sunni Insurgent Groups Offer To Halt Attacks In Iraq

This from AP via Mother Jones.
The Associated Press has reported that eleven Sunni insurgent groups have offered an immediate halt on all attacks in Iraq if the United States will agree to withdraw foreign forces from the country within two years. These groups, which operate north of Baghdad, are know not [sic] for attacking Iraqi civilians, but for attacking U.S.-led coalition forces.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has reiterated George W. Bush's conviction that a timeline for withdrawal "is not something that is useful."

There are believed to be about two dozen insurgent groups in Iraq, so a coaltion of eleven of them is a substantial number. Their other demands include:

-An end to U.S. and Iraqi military operations against insurgent forces.

- Compensation for Iraqis killed by U.S. and government forces and reimbursement for property damage.

- An end to the ban on army officers from Saddam's regime in the Iraqi military.

- An end to the government ban on former members of the Baath Party - which ruled the country under Saddam.

- The release of insurgent detainees.

Posted by Diane E. Dees on 06/29/06 at 12:59 PM |

I'm just pointing this out so you know what's what, but it won't be considered. The two demands above that reference Saddam will kill the offer for US.

Note: That's a courtesy link to Mother Jones because the whole article is here.

H/T BuzzFlash

Another Bush Bashing Bastard

Where do you think the following comes from?
For generations, Republican politicians have spoken reverently of the rule of law. But since 2001, this hoary doctrine has been redefined to mean little more than the enforcement of the secret thoughts of the commander in chief.

George W. Bush has added more than 750 “signing statements” to new laws since he took office. Earlier presidents occasionally appended such comments to new statutes, but Bush is the first to use signing statements routinely to nullify key provisions of new laws. He perennially announces that he will not be bound by limits on his power and that he will scorn obligations to disclose how federal power is being used.

While Bush supporters speak glowingly of originalist interpretations of the Constitution, Bush’s signing statements have far more in common with George III than with George Washington. The Constitution specifies that Congress shall “make all laws” and that presidents must “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” But Bush—his ego swollen by swarms of groveling intellectuals—has embraced theories that convince him that the president alone may decree what shall be the law.

Did you guess DailyKos, Eschaton, Firedoglake? Or maybe you guessed its from some smaller progressive blog.

Well, you would be wrong. It comes from The American Conservative magazine. If you don't know, Pat Buchanan is a co-founder. Read the article here.

Bushco isn't considered conservative by conservatives. They're right, of course, because Bushco's far too extreme for true conservatives.

H/T BuzzFlash

Lieutenant Commander Charles Swift, Patriot

Glenn Greenwald has a book out titled How would a Patriot Act?. Well this is exactly what one would do. This taken from a Tweety interview.
MATTHEWS: What about the charge made recently, just a couple minutes ago by Kate O‘Beirne of the “National Review,” that people who fight us who are not in uniform, who do not represent countries who are party to the Geneva Convention shouldn‘t be free riders? They shouldn‘t get Geneva Convention treatment. They should be treated like thugs.

SWIFT: Well, you know, if you‘re looking at it from that way, we have a lot of criminals here in this country. And to prejudge anyone that we capture outside the country as a thug, why are we having a trial in the first place? We‘ve already decided they were guilty.

What the Supreme Court said is you have the trial first, you use the procedures that are set up under international law, and then you decide whether they‘re a thug. You don‘t make the thug determination going in.


MATTHEWS: I only have a minute here, sir, and I appreciate your position, and I‘m being tough with you because there is another side to this argument. Let me ask you, do you believe that people who fight us as terrorists deserve Geneva Convention treatment?

SWIFT: It‘s not whether they deserve it or not. It‘s how we conduct ourselves. It has to do where if we say that our opponent can cause us not to follow the rules anymore, then we‘ve lost who we are. We‘re the good guys. We‘re the guys who follow the rule and the people we fight are the bad guys and we show that every day when we follow the rules, regardless of what they do. It‘s what sets us apart. It‘s what makes us great and in my mind, it‘s what makes us undefeatable, ultimately.

I particulary liked the reference to Kate O‘Beirne. Tweety is becoming more transparent by the minute. Maybe we need a new term. We have DINO (Dem in name only) and RINO (Repug in name only) so how about RIPPER (Repug In Practice Posing as an Ethical Reporter)? Just a thought.

(read more at C&L)

Who Thought This Sign Was Needed?

You Like Words? You'll Love Autoantonyms

This is really interesting. Autoantonyms are words that are the opposite of themselves. The info is down there. Sorry for the spacing problem, but I don't know how to fix it. It looks great in preview.

• to clarify
• to cast a shadow over
• anything
• nothing
• invoice (e.g. in a restaurant)
• money; banknote
• to secure in place
• to dash away suddenly
• restrained (e.g. by rope)
• to spring; leap
• to fasten
• to come undone; give way; collapse
• to adhere; stick together
• to cut apart; divide
• to fasten together; hold tightly
• to cut apart; cut off (e.g. with shears)
• to contain; include
• to be composed of; consist of
• usual; normal
• special; unique
• to remove fine particles from (e.g. when cleaning)
• to sprinkle fine particles onto
• fixed firmly in place
• moving quickly; speedy
• just meets minimum standards; satisfactory
• considerably better than average; excellent
 give out
• to produce; distribute
• to stop producing; cease functioning
• advantage (e.g. in sport)
• disadvantage; disability
 hold up
• to support; cope
• to hinder; delay
• impossible to enter (e.g. of a fortress)
• able to be impregnated
• to lend; rent out
• to borrow; hire
• departed from
• remaining
• to allow; grant permission
• to prevent (e.g. "without let or hindrance")
• actually; really
• figuratively; virtually
• archetype; example
• copy; replica
• debatable; arguable
• academic; irrelevant
• to examine; watch over
• to fail to notice; miss
• watchful care; supervision
• overlooking; omission
• an equal; fellow (e.g. classmate)
• a nobleman; person of higher rank
• to begin to move hurriedly
• stationary (e.g. "stay put")
 put out
• to generate; produce
• to extinguish; put an end to
• to pose a problem
• to solve a problem
• very small (e.g. in Physics)
• very large (e.g. "quantum leap")
• to tangle; complicate
• to disentangle; separate
• to lend; lease out
• to borrow; hire
• to quit; give up
• to sign up again
• to remove completely
• to become firmly established
• to endorse; authorise
• a punitive action
• murderous
• cheerfully optimistic
• to examine closely
• to glance at hastily
• to view; show
• to conceal; shield
• to remove seeds from
• to add seeds to
• to fix in place
• to flow; move on
• latter part of a period of time
• early part of a period of time
• to cover with a skin
• to remove the skin
• to join together
• to cut in two
• to miss (e.g. in baseball)
• to hit; collide with
• to propose; suggest
• to postpone; shelve
• to soften; mollify
• to strengthen (e.g. a metal)
• to cut pieces off (e.g. fingernails)
• to add to; ornament
• to withstand; stand up to
• to wear away
 wind up
• to start; prepare
• to end; conclude

Isn't it great what you can learn on the internets?

A Healthy Dose Of Info

This is the whole post over at Beat the Press.
To paraphrase my friend Brad DeLong, “why oh why do newspapers have to use meaningless numbers when it is so easy to provide information.” Today’s example is a Washington Post article about a new rule that requires people to show proof of citizenship before they can be covered by Medicaid.

The article includes much useful information and comments from both proponents and opponents of the rule. Then it tells us that the Congressional Budget Office estimates that this rule will save Medicaid $735 million over the next decade.

Great – everyone realize how much money that is? Okay, we know the Washington Post has an educated readership, but virtually none of their readers has any idea how important $735 million over the next decade is to the budget or their pocketbooks.

Let’s suppose the reporters had taken a moment to look at projected spending for this period. CBO projects total spending over the next decade at $33.3 trillion, or approximately $111,000 per person. The potential savings from the tighter Medicare rules comes to approximately $2.50 per person, or 0.002 percent of projected spending over the next decade. In other words, the potential savings will have no visible impact on the budget, the deficit or the public’s tax burden.

My guess is that most people who read the Post article do not recognize this fact. If the spending figure had been expressed as a share of the budget or a per person cost, readers would know this hugely important part of the story. What do newspapers have such an aversion to providing information? (Yes, I did blog on this before in reference to an NYT article.)

This is so common we don't even notice. Compare $735 million to the money being wasted on the osprey program.
In 1986 the cost of a single V-22 was estimated at $24 million, with 923 aircraft to be built. In 1989 the Bush administration cancelled the project, at which time the unit cost was estimated at $35 million, with 602 aircraft. The V-22 question caused friction between Secretary of Defense Richard B. Cheney and Congress throughout his tenure. DoD spent some of the money Congress appropriated to develop the aircraft, but congressional sources accused Cheney, who continued to oppose the Osprey, of violating the law by not moving ahead as Congress had directed. Cheney argued that building and testing the prototype Osprey would cost more than the amount appropriated. In the spring of 1992 several congressional supporters of the V-22 threatened to take Cheney to court over the issue. A little later, in the face of suggestions from congressional Republicans that Cheney's opposition to the Osprey was hurting President Bush's reelection campaign, especially in Texas and Pennsylvania where the aircraft would be built, Cheney relented and suggested spending $1.5 billion in fiscal years 1992 and 1993 to develop it. He made clear that he personally still opposed the Osprey and favored a less costly alternative.

The program was revived by the incoming Clinton administration, and current plans call for building 458 Ospreys for $37.3 billion, or more than $80 million apiece, with the Marines receiving 360 Ospreys, the Navy 48 and the Air Force 50. The first prototype flew in 1989. As of early 2000 three test aircraft had crashed: no one was killed in the 1991 crash, an accident in 1992 killed seven men, and the third in April 2000 killed 19 Marines. [emphasis mine]

Yes, sometimes even Cheney is right and Bill Clinton didn't hang the moon.

Oh This Is Good Stuff

Its Molly Ivins, of course.
Y'all, this isn't gonna work.

North Korea is threatening to launch a long-range missile against us, and we're threatening to reply with an anti-missile missile.

Sorry to remind you, but our "missile defense system" does not work. Good old Star Wars flopped again when tested in 2004 -- in fact, it failed to launch. Since then, several tests have been delayed or cancelled due to technical problems. Just because we spend $130 billion on a bad idea doesn't mean we can ever get it to work. The latest Bush budget has $10.7 billion for Star Wars, almost twice as much as Homeland Security is spending on customs and border patrol.

The good news is that the North Korean rocket doesn't work, either. The last time they fired a long-range missile, it went 1,300 kilometers (807 miles) and could not put a payload into orbit.

It gets better.

I do have to correct one thing. OMG, I'm correcting Molly. NKorea isn't threatening to launch a long-range missile against us. They are threatening to launch a long-range missile "capable of reaching" US. Yeah, its a minor difference like the difference between testing and starting a war, but I'm a stickler for nuance.

Reality Is What You Know

This is my comment to an entry at A Tiny Revolution. For some reason I'm getting server timed out messages. So I post my comment here.

Two things come to mind.

1. How else can these children think? Violence and death are all they have ever known. In fact it's probably all their parents and grandparents have known.They live in a vicious world.

2. Who would not want to reject invaders of their country?

In the West we're comfortable. We can go to work or to the park with no thought of being killed. Not so in the Middle East where anyone could pose a threat. It's amazing people there have any sanity at all. And Its this constant threat of violence in a "normal" setting that causes our armed forces to lose their sanity.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Cat Blogging

You crazy little thief. You've been caught.

Open Post To All Lawyers Who Have Blogs

Please be less verbose. I love your posts, but often get drowsy reading them. Compare this.
Give me liberty or give me death.

To this.
Give, that is provide me or offer me.

Give me, and I am inclusive here and mean all people. Perhaps me is the wrong word and us is more appropriate.

Give me liberty by which I mean the quality or state of being free, the power to do as one pleases, freedom from physical restraint, freedom from arbitrary or despotic control, the positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights and privileges, ie the power of choice.

Where was I. Oh yes. Give me liberty or give (reference give above).

Let's try again. Give me liberty or give me death. Death being that state of non-living or end of life.

Give me liberty or give me death. Of course I would prefer you didn't even consider the death part. I'm very pro-liberty at this point.

Sometimes less is more.

Penis Alert (Will That Get Me Hits Or Just More Spam?)

Are you saying size does matter or is this simply a public service announcement?
For the dudes: Penis pumps can help with erectile dysfunction. You learn something new every day.

What a temptation to add a pic, but this is a dysfunction family blog...

Changed my mind about the pic.

(read more)

Ford Reads NTodd Blogsite

Well maybe they don't, but it couldn't hurt. This post by NTodd is good. Its all here, but I provide a courtesy link.
In a sharp shift of strategy, Ford plans to focus less on hybrid technology and more on a wider range of alternatives to traditional gasoline-powered engines, Ford Chief Executive Bill Ford told employees of the automaker.

Ford (Charts) backed away from a commitment made last fall to build production capacity for 250,000 hybrid vehicles by the end of the decade, calling that goal "too narrow" in a company-wide e-mail message to the automaker's employees Wednesday. The No. 2 U.S. automaker released the e-mail to media Thursday.

Ford, which has faced criticism for lacking a consistent vision for its product development strategy, had heavily promoted its commitment to hybrid technology. Hybrids run on a combination of gasoline and electricity.

"Our strategy going forward is not to wed ourselves to a single technology," Ford said. "The strategy doesn't focus on one catch-all solution but offers a flexible array of options, including hybrids, clean diesels, bio-diesels, advanced engine technologies and E85 ethanol."

Good for Ford. Dedicating the company to a single technological approach is indeed too narrow, and embracing the overall revolution against oil-dependency is the key. Maybe Bill read my post on reinvention a few weeks ago?

Corporations often talk about "thinking outside the box" and this is what its all about. This used to be what Americans were good at. It might save US.

Note: That's a Ford Prodigy hybrid pictured.

Someday I Speak Good

This little item comes to us from Crooks and Liars.
Pelosi: "Continue its oversight of the program? There’s never been any oversight of the program. The fact is that because there has never been any oversight of the program, there isn’t one person in this body, who will vote on this resolution, who can attest to this statement. They’re asking us to vote on something that we absolutely cannot attest to. Not any one of you can attest to this as a fact, because it isn’t a fact.

I have no idea the qualifications/oral exam required to become a leader in Congress. However it seems to me they could have done a hell of a lot better than Pelosi. Don't get me wrong. I'm not anti-Pelosi. Its just her way of speaking that makes me shudder.

OK, OK, OK we get the point. We're talking OVERSIGHT here. And NO ONE CAN ATTEST to this.

Is that a little over the top composition? Yeah it is, but its the mood I'm in.

Don't Children Just Wear You Down?

This via BuzzFlash. They're hawking the book pictured above and well they should.
Of course, the Democrats could fight back, but that would take stamina and the ability to stay on message for a very long period of time.

Been meaning to get to this. Now I will.

Dealing with Bushco is very like trying to parent. Its a 24/7 job and it lasts many years. If your kid wants a puppy, sooner or later you will get a puppy or kill your kid. There's no middle ground. If the kid is around, you'll be pestered incessantly until you give in and you can't kill the kid.

Take Social Security, please. Every time progressives relax because they've killed an attempt by Bushco to vandalize it, here comes another charge by the light in the scruples brigade. Drilling in the Arctic? Eliminating the estate tax? Unitarian executive? The list goes on and on.

And the list is eternal. Nothing gets crossed off the list until Bush and his cabal get what they want. They just wear the Dems down until they give in to stop the pestering.

And just like children, they'll say almost anything to get their way. Oh they may, like children, believe at the time what they say, but they don't have patience and will renege. Or they just don't understand the consequences of what they want. The child says, "I'll feed the puppy and bathe him and take very good care of him." If you're lucky you won't have to feed the puppy the first week.

With something like Social Security its more serious. Everything will be fine until it isn't, but its too late because you already own that puppy.

Bushco Gets Hands Slapped By SCOTUS

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Easy post.

What good does this ruling do if no one acts on it? Bushco will continue as before and they won't be prosecuted. I'm sorry. It would be nice to dance in the streets, but I can't hear Martha and the Vandellas just yet.

Posting Comments Here Cuz I Can't Post Them Over There

For some reason Typepad keeps timing out on me when I try posting such as to AGITPROP.

So I'll just post my comment here. If this happens with other Typepad sites, I'll add new comments later.

- I appreciate your efforts reading winger's reactions to a particular topic and then summarizing for us. You've done this twice in three days now and you're scaring me. Please stop before your mind is destroyed.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Please Call Your Congress Critter First Thing Tomorrow

Am bumping this up so you don't miss it. This is really important. Please act.


Contact information is available in the sidebar.

Bad Boys, Bushco

Finally some reality. The SCOTUS body slams Bushco.
The Supreme Court today delivered a stunning rebuke to the Bush administration over its plans to try Guantanamo detainees before military commissions, ruling that the commissions are unconstitutional.

In a 5-3 decision, the court said the trials were not authorized under U.S. law or the Geneva Conventions. Justice John Paul Stevens wrote the opinion in the case, called Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. recused himself from the case.

The ruling, which overturned a federal appeals court decision in which Roberts had participated, represented a defeat for President Bush, who had ordered military trials for detainees at the Guantanamo Bay naval base. About 450 detainees captured in the war on terrorism are currently held at the U.S. naval base in Cuba.

The case of Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a 36-year-old Yemeni with links to al-Qaeda, was considered a key test of the judiciary's power during wartime and carried the potential to make a lasting impact on American law. It challenged the very legality of the military commissions established by President Bush to try terrorism suspects.

The case raised core constitutional principles of separation of powers as well as fundamental issues of individual rights. Specifically, the questions concerned:

¿ The power of Congress and the executive to strip the federal courts and the Supreme Court of jurisdiction.

¿ The authority of the executive to lock up individuals under claims of wartime power, without benefit of traditional protections such as a jury trial, the right to cross-examine one's accusers and the right to judicial appeal.

¿ The applicability of international treaties -- specifically the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners of war -- to the government's treatment of those it deems "enemy combatants."

They done good. Now does this make still another case for illegal, as in criminal, behaviour Congress can use to impeach Bushco? It seems "plans to try Guantanamo detainees before military commissions...are unconstitutional" at least means Dim Son violated his sworn oath as president to uphold the Constitution. Um, didn't he swear that oath on a Bible? That's his reverence for the Holy Book? Gawd I hope this's his coffin nail.

¿Oh yeah, how do you like the Post's using the Spanish question marks?

(read more)

The Queen: Sometimes I've Believed As Many As Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

This from AMERICAblog. You can't read this without thinking Alice Through the Looking Glass.
In the new campaign speech, Bush, whose staff outed an undercover CIA spy, had the audacity to say this:

"There can be no excuse for anyone entrusted with vital intelligence to leak it, and no excuse for any newspaper to print it," Bush said.

How can anyone take this line of attack seriously when the biggest offenders work for Bush?

Ranks right up there with firing anyone connected to the leak...uh, unless its one of mine.

A Little Overkill Anyone?

This sounds like something straight out of the movies. Specifically The Untouchables. Remember this speech by Sean Connery?

Malone: You wanna know how you do it? Here's how, they pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That's the Chicago way, and that's how you get Capone! Now do you want to do that? Are you ready to do that?
Ness: I have sworn to capture this man with all legal powers at my disposal and I will do so.

More dialogue from the movie over at IMDb. But that's only a movie. Its fiction. This is real life.
Israeli forces arrested nearly one-third of the Hamas-led Palestinian Cabinet and 20 lawmakers early Thursday and pressed their incursion into Gaza, responding to the abduction of one of its soldiers.

On Thursday, Israeli aircraft fired missiles at the southern Gaza Strip, with the military saying it aimed at open areas, and Palestinian medical officials saying a car was hit.

No injuries were reported.

The strike took place near the town of Khan Younis.

Meanwhile, Israeli warplanes also buzzed the summer home of Syria's president, accused by Israel of harboring the hard-line Hamas leaders its [sic] blames for masterminding the kidnapping.

Palestinian witnesses told The Associated Press that Israeli tanks and bulldozers entered northern Gaza before daybreak Thursday, adding a second front to the Israeli action in Gaza that began early Wednesday when thousands of Israeli troops crossed into southern Gaza.

The Israeli military denied it moved into northern Gaza.

Its not only the Chicago way, apparently its the Israeli way.

Twenty seven for one and a side trip to Syria to boot.

(read more)

This Is Why Osama Bin Laden Wanted Dim Son Re-elected

Because he knew the moron would continue following Al Qaeda's game plan.
Al Qaeda's strategic vision involves challenging the United States and its allies overseas using small- to medium-scale attacks, according to an online book available on extremist websites that has become the seminal jihadi textbook. The first English translation of the text is being circulated this week among DOD and government policy circles.

The translation is being released by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. As ABC News reported last month, the Center has been translating thousands of declassified insurgent and extremist documents that were seized in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Abu Bakr Naji, an al Qaeda insider and author of the book, "The Management of Savagery," believes that the 9/11 attacks accomplished what they needed to by forcing the U.S. to commit their military overseas. He says 9/11 forced the U.S. to fall into the "trap" of overextending their military and that "it began to become clear to the American administration that it was being drained."

And you can bet that having this info will cause the idiot-in-chief to continue doing exactly what Bin Laden wants.

(read more)

H/T BuzzFlash

Another Molly Ivins For Your Reading Pleasure

Most of us just can't do snark with the élan and style of Molly Ivins.

Must Read IMHO

This is from Truthdig via A Tiny Revolution. Its a very powerful article.
In reality both Abu Ghraib and Haditha were merely more extreme versions of the day-to-day workings of the American occupation in Iraq, and what makes them unique is not so much how bad they were, or how embarrassing, but the fact that they made their way to the media and were publicized despite attempts to cover them up. Focusing on Abu Ghraib and Haditha distracts us from the daily, little Abu Ghraibs and small-scale Hadithas that have made up the occupation. The occupation has been one vast extended crime against the Iraqi people, and most of it has occurred unnoticed by the American people and the media.

I believe that any journalist who spent even a brief period embedded with American soldiers must have witnessed crimes being committed against innocent Iraqis, so I have always been baffled by how few were reported and how skeptically the Western media treated Arabic reports of such crimes. These crimes were not committed because Americans are bad or malicious; they were intrinsic to the occupation, and even if the Girl Scouts had occupied Iraq they would have resorted to these methods. In the end, it is those who dispatched decent young American men and women to commit crimes who should be held accountable.

(full article)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I Know I'm A Nag. Its For Your Own Good



Do Not Vote For DINOs

You need proof Lieberman's a DINO (Dem in name only)?
George Bush, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter... now Michelle Malkin? Joe's really piling up those endorsements...

Too bad for him he's running in a Democratic primary in Connecticut and not a Republican primary in Alabama.

Folks, Repugs don't endorse the enemy so Joe must be a friend.

The votes are the thing. If we elect DINOs, we're electing Repugs.


Blogger Ain't So Bad

I've had problems with Blogger as have many other bloggers. Its frustrating when things won't post or Blogger won't respond.

But I've had many more problems as a commenter, on TypePad and HaloScan. Those two seem to go awol for long periods of time. Earlier today I'd get error messages from HaloScan saying it had timed out. Then I found, after posting again, it had posted my previous item. Arghhh!!!1!! I've only lost Blogger for a few minutes at a time. And I'd guess I've lost it only a handful of times each month.

Just I'd throw that info out there.

The Road To Theocracy

Great. This is just what we need, the Dems joining Repugs in pandering to the evangelicals.
Sen. Barack Obama chastised fellow Democrats on Wednesday for failing to "acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people," and said the party must compete for the support of evangelicals and other churchgoing Americans.

"Not every mention of God in public is a breach to the wall of separation. Context matters," the Illinois Democrat said in remarks prepared for delivery to a conference of Call to Renewal, a faith-based movement to overcome poverty.

Obama's dead wrong. I agree when Obama says this.
"It is doubtful that children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance feel oppressed or brainwashed as a consequence of muttering the phrase `under God,'" he said.

Some do. Most don't I'm sure. I regularly went to a Presbyterian church as a child (even got prizes for not skipping Sundays). But I refused to say "under God" when reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. I guess I was an early bloomer as a Progressive.

But just because children don't recognize oppression or brainwashing doesn't mean its not happening to them. Parents and churches are free to evangelize their children all they want to. I wouldn't, but I would never say others can't.

The state has no right getting involved. That's what religious freedom is all about. If I were Muslim or Buddhist and were raising my child in my religion I would tell my kid to refuse to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Furthermore, many Dems are religious and fully do understand how important religion is in people's lives. I agree their faith should be acknowledged, but please don't ask them to court evangelicals because usually court = pander. Placating or appeasing is fine, but politicians don't stop there.

(read more)

Bush Committing Impeachable Offenses

Now let's see if anything comes of this. The Senators already knew this because many are attorneys, but now its out in the open for all to see and its coming from impartial experts.
In a hearing today, the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony on presidential signing statements, which Ranking Member Leahy called "a grave threat to our constitutional system of checks and balances." Recent reports have highlighted how Bush has issued these orders in record numbers and exercised unprecedented overreach by giving himself the authority to ignore certain parts of the laws he signs."In a hearing today, the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony on presidential signing statements, which Ranking Member Leahy called "a grave threat to our constitutional system of checks and balances." Recent reports have highlighted how Bush has issued these orders in record numbers and exercised unprecedented overreach by giving himself the authority to ignore certain parts of the laws he signs.

Because of the extralegal nature of the signing statements, there is nothing for Congress or the Supreme Court to actually overrule. Nevertheless, the statements are binding for policy implementation.

Bruce Fein, attorney and renowned legal scholar, told the committee that Bush has essentially given himself a line item veto power by declaring portions of new laws unconstitutional and offering his own revisions.

"These statements, which have multiplied logarithmically under President George W. Bush, flout the Constitution's checks and balances and separation of powers. They usurp legislative prerogatives and evade accountability," Fein said. "The President does not enjoy a constitutional option of unilaterally pronouncing a provision he has signed into law as unconstitutional and refuse to enforce it on that count."

Citing Bush's behavior as "alarming," Fein suggested that the President could be impeached for "political crime(s) against the Constitution."

Also at the hearing, Harvard Law Professor Charles J. Ogletree added, "this excessive exercise of executive power, coupled with the failure to use the authorized veto power, creates serious issues of constitutional magnitude." Bush's abuse of signing statements is "not only bad public policy, but also creates a unilateral and unchecked exercise of authority in one branch of government without the interaction and consideration of the others."

In a statement, Sen. Russ Feingold said that the Administration "has taken upon itself the powers of all three branches of government" by not only executing but also interpreting and creating laws as it sees fit. [emphasis mine]

(courtesy link to BuzzFlash) Whole story is here.

When Is Losing Winning?

When its Repugs "posturing" for the benefit of their base. They offer up bills they know they can't pass, but it makes them look like they're tring to appease conservative voters. When voters ask, "What have you done for me lately?", they have legislation to point to and can blame the Dems for the bills' failures.

This's preposterous of course when the Repugs control Congress.
The Republican-controlled Congress seems to be struggling lately to carry out its most basic mission: passing legislation.

A proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage failed. Long-debated immigration legislation has reached an impasse. The House passed a line-item veto and estate-tax measures that face significant hurdles in the Senate, while the Senate devoted a week to impassioned debates about Iraq that resulted only in two failed Democratic resolutions.

Democratic critics are reviving Harry Truman's taunt about a "do-nothing" Congress. But many Republicans say they are where they want to be as they head into November elections, which will determine whether they retain House and Senate majorities.

In every instance, Republican leaders pushed legislation known to have little or no chance of enactment but also known to appeal to conservative voters, whose turnout is crucial to the party's success.

(read more)

OK, Enough Is Enough

This from True Blue Liberal.
By using what are known as signing statements, memorandums issued with legislation as he signs it, the president has reserved the right to not enforce any laws he thinks violate the Constitution or national security, or that impair foreign relations.

A lawyer for the White House said that Mr. Bush was only doing his duty to uphold the Constitution. But Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, characterized the president’s actions as a declaration that he “will do as he pleases,” without regard to the laws passed by Congress. [emphasis mine]

And Specter will let the moron do as he pleases. Specter is all talk and less action than a pimple-faced 16 year old boy whose mother dresses him in plaid slacks.

Enough already. Specter is now on my list of people I won't listen to. The person at the top of the list is Orrin Hatch. Neither one of them says anything of consequence.

Dictators Have To Control The Press And Bushco Is Trying To Do Just That

This via Truthdig. There is no way any interpretation of the Constitution supports the idea that the executive can silence the press. In fact, the Constitution specifically states it can't. But that won't stop Bushco from trying.
The Bush administration’s jihad against newspapers that reported on a secret program to monitor the personal-banking records of unsuspecting citizens is more important than the original story. For what the president and his spokesmen are once again asserting is that the prosecution of this ill-defined, open-ended “war on terror” inevitably trumps basic democratic rights in general and the constitutionally enshrined freedom of the press in particular.

The stakes are very high here. We’ve already been told that we must put up with official lies about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the unprecedented torture of prisoners of war and a massive electronic-eavesdropping program and other invasions of privacy. Now the target is more basic — the freedom of the press to report on such nefarious government activities. The argument in defense of this assault on freedom is the familiar refrain of dictators, wannabe and real, who grasp for power at the expense of democracy: We are in a war with an enemy so powerful and devious that we cannot afford the safeguard of transparent and accountable governance.

“We’re at war with a bunch of people who want to hurt the United States of America, and for people to leak that program, and for a newspaper to publish it, does great harm to the United States of America,” President Bush said Monday.

The “bunch of people” Bush says we are fighting was originally believed to be those behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, specifically Osama bin Laden and his decentralized Al Qaeda terrorist organization. Yet Bush, prodded by the neoconservative clique, quickly expanded this war beyond what should have been a worldwide manhunt for Al Qaeda operatives into an open-ended occupation of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq — which, as we know from the Sept. 11 commission report, had nothing to do with Al Qaeda or Sept. 11.

Progressive Rep Jim McDermott Interview

There's a post, a long one, over at Let's Try Democracy - Writings by David Swanson. It seems to be a true transcript of the interview with, you know, its a transcript of how people talk, the way they, its how they talk and it can be, its difficult to follow sometimes, but worth the effort.
Swanson. So if there is a plan now that leaves the US in control but brings something in the direction of a halfway step towards peace that starts to talk about negotiations and amnesty and so forth, is it possible to support that sort of plan while urging more, or do you have to . . . .

McDermott: I think all of us would support anything that looks like it might work. But I have to say I have serious reservations. I mean, I just talked to my friend again in Iraq, rather in Amman. And he sent me an email. There’s an article in the Seattle paper called, “It’s Tribal,” meaning it’s not, this was I think last Sunday, it’s not religious. It’s tribal. Well, I sent that to him and I said, “What do you think of this?” He said, “Well, you know, it’s not bad for a start. But,” he said, “this is way more complicated than the author really understands.” And he said that the fundamental thing is that as long as you are on my land this is not going to be resolved. And he said you can see that in Palestine and you can see it in Iraq.

Swanson: Yep.

McDermott: You are an occupier. And as long as you occupy my land, then I am going to fight. So as long as the United States - that’s why Jack Murtha’s, the best part of his plan is strategic redeployment. Let’s pull out to the periphery. Let’s get down into Kuwait. We can send our troops down to Kuwait. If there is something we want to go and do we can do it from there. Or maybe we can, maybe even the Kurds would allow us to have some troops up there. I mean, who knows. But if we don’t pull out, we will still be occupiers.

I Guess The Terrorists' Target Makes A Difference

I won't even get into who the worst terrorist is. Hint: he likes to clear brush and fish. There's more to this story over at Left Eye on the News.

While the U.S. government entraps a group of hapless people in Miami who can't even afford a camera, much less weapons and ammunition, the real terrorists roam free:

A former board member of the Cuban American National Foundation says he and other CANF leaders created a paramilitary group to carry out destabilizing acts in Cuba and do away with Cuban ruler Fidel Castro.

Jose Antonio Llama, known as Toñin, told El Nuevo Herald that the arsenal to carry out these plans included a cargo helicopter, 10 ultralight radio-controlled planes, seven vessels and abundant explosive materials.

Too Cool Cloud

Sometimes there are things besides politics out there.

via Neatorama

Bad Move, Karl. Looks Like You Picked The Wrong Horse To Ride In November

Considering the poll I posted just before this post, Rove's idea of framing the mid-term elections around Iraq may not be such a good idea. Americans do see Iraq as the biggest issue in the elections, but...

ABC News/Washington Post Poll. June 22-25, 2006. N=1,000 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3 (for all adults). Fieldwork by TNS. RV = registered voter

"Which political party -- the Democrats or the Republicans -- do you trust to do a better job handling the situation in Iraq?" Options rotated. Half sample.

The fact is, the Repugs just don't have any advantage concerning Iraq. The difference is 6 points in favour of the Dems, but could be as little as 3 or as high as 9 because of the margin of error (± 3). Those are pretty good odds.


Hmmm. Terrorism Doesn't Seem Too Important

ABC News/Washington Post Poll. June 22-25, 2006. N=1,000 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3. Fieldwork by TNS.

"What will be the single most important issue in your vote for Congress this year: the U.S. campaign against terrorism, the war in Iraq, the economy, immigration, gas prices, health care or something else?" Items rotated


Dictatorship Should Worry You

One person, one vote? How about one person, unlimited votes?
Fla. Dem Rep. Corrine Brown on Politics

I drove to Tallahassee and went to see what was supposed to be a secure facility. They had brought in an outside hacker. In less than thirty minutes, he was able to completely change the vote.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

DINO Alert

Sheer bullshit.
La. Dem. Sen. Mary Landrieu on Politics

When we send Americans to fight a war, our principal goal must be victory. Despite the administration’s mismanagement of this war, their early miscalculations that were based on faulty intelligence and their failure to adequately armor and protect our troops, victory must still be our goal. Last year, the Louisiana Guard deployed to Iraq for what turned out to be a very difficult tour of duty. I went to see them in Iraq, and have talked with the leadership since their return. Based on these conversations, as well as my own observations of the circumstances today, I do not believe now is the time to set arbitrary start or end dates for withdrawal. We all want a peaceful and democratic Iraq, guarded and defended by Iraqis, but in my judgment, the disengagement of American forces, when it comes, must be based on protecting American lives, smart strategy and the realities on the ground — not on arbitrary timetables.

That's the whole post and no courtesy link. No comments are accepted anyway.

Shorter Mary Landrieu: Stay the course.

Are you proud of me? You should be. I chose a flattering pic of Mary to post. There are some...others. No, not that kind. You swine.

Anyway its curious how Congress photogs decide who to photo. Little Ms Mary has hundreds more pics online than several other people I've searched lately. I can't say she's attractive. She ain't ugly, but why the photog obsession?''

(read more)

Won't Post About Rush. Hated Their Last Album

Just joking. I love all things Rush unless it's Limbaugh. I hope he'll now be imprisoned, but the Miami thing is too sketchy to tell.

Yes I know FLY BY NIGHT wasn't Rush's last album, but this cover was so kewl, and it was all a joke anyway, jeeze.

House Of The Rising Snark

This is great. Seems snark has infiltrated the House.
Calif. Dem. Rep. Maxine Waters on Politics

Two weeks ago House Republicans took to the floor and did everything they could to paint Democrats as unpatriotic, against the troops, and as having adopted a craven, “cut and run” posture on the war in Iraq.

Now we find out not only has the Bush administration already started to draw down troops in Iraq, but they have a plan on the table that is virtually identical to H.J. Res. 73, the Murtha “Over the Horizon” plan-the proposal endorsed by the 72 member “Out of Iraq” Caucus, which I Chair.

Oh yeah, the snark. Here ya go.
But, what about the stone-throwing House Republicans? They seem to be in a rather embarrassing position because it looks like they either received the wrong talking points from Karl Rove, or the White House has cut-and-run on them.

We couldn't have snarked it better.

(read more)

Another Must Read IMHO

Most bloggers have no "special sources". We aren't important enough for anyone in power to talk to us, hell we're not important enough for other bloggers to talk to us, so we rely on the hard work of others.

I was gonna start with BuzzFlash's post about the pre-war Iraqi intelligence and present many a pithy observation and unassailable argument. But sometimes BuzzFlash is just too good for embellishment.

This is arguably the most damning post you'll read about Bushco.

MSM Professionals Versus Bloggers

It isn't a competition on the scale of the world cup or anything, but it does exist. Even using existing news sources bloggers often can patch together a more complete story than that found in an MSM offering. For instance, take a look at this parsing of the NY Times.

Big Shot Bob In Texas (really, in TX) Nails It

Monday, June 26, 2006

Productivity Up? Maybe Not For All

I've a small blog. Its big enough for me because its great to have so many people read my posts and a few come back regularly for which I'm grateful. If the visitor count grew to many hundreds or thousands daily, I couldn't post for free which means I couldn't post at all. This isn't a shoestring operation. Think dental floss.

Hey, please don't think I'm asking you to stop coming here. I'm in no danger of "hit overload", so visit often and tell your friends. All are welcome.

Anyway, I check SiteMeter from time to time. Many of my hits come from the US. Many of them also come during normal US working hours. Hmmm. People are reading my blog site, and I would guess many others, instead of working? Makes you wonder, huh?

The good news is my site isn't blocked by corporate firewalls. I know because I worked for many years at one of the most paranoid corporations in the US. It was often shocking to see which URLs were blocked*, sites I visited at home which were very workplace safe. And so far, I can still get through to my friends and former co-workers.

* It also became a game to find what I could access before IT (information technology, the computer gurus) would block me. I usually tried porn sites. Found many which were subsequently blocked. So you could say I helped IT refine their blacklist. Me not bad.

This Is A Short Powerful Post

Check out White Noise Insanity.
Hate is all she [Ann Coulter] and the rest of the neocons know.

But equally important to the text is the photo. I'm disgusted by parents who teach their children to hate. That picture is repulsive and its only one of hundreds. Thousands?

Better the picture above. This is good parenting IMHO.

May It Be So. Rinos Switching Sides

I won't make the same mistake again. RINO = Republican In Name Only. This may be very good news for Dems who need to rebuild.
Paul Harris of the Guardian Unlimited Observer reports on the resignation of the Kansas GOP Chairman Mark Parkinson and his candidacy for Deputy Governor --- as a Democrat. Writes Harris:

His defection to the Democrats sent shockwaves through a state deeply associated with the national Republican cause and the evangelical conservatives at its base. Nor was it just Parkinson's leave-taking that left Republicans spluttering with rage and talking of betrayal. It was that as he left Parkinson lambasted his former party's obsession with conservative and religious issues such as gay marriage, evolution and abortion.

Sitting in his headquarters, the new Democrat is sticking to his guns. Republicans in Kansas, he says, have let down their own people. 'They were fixated on ideological issues that really don't matter to people's everyday lives. What matters is improving schools and creating jobs,' he said. 'I got tired of the theological debate over whether Charles Darwin was right.'

Could this be a harbinger of a nation-wide trend of substance-hungry Republicans becoming Democrats?

As stated in my profile. I don't consider myself extreme. Who wouldn't want no torture, everyone to have health care, a pension and/or a job, privacy, freedom and NO WAR. Not too radical. Well, those things come with the Dems and not the Repugs. The choice is easy in my estimation.

(read more)

Colour Me A Cynic Too I Guess

Normally I think of my self as an optimist. If I hear a family member has had and accident or needs an operation I don't get cold chills. They'll be fine. I just know it. Then I read this post at Brilliantatbreakfast that finishes thusly.

But for those less cynical than I, I'm not sure I can fault them for trying, however futile that effort might be, to split the difference in the hope, vain as it might be, that something can be salvaged from the wreckage of the United States in the waning years of the Bush reign.

Bushco has been one giant train wreck and we'll be picking up body pieces for many many years.

Warning: If you don't want to be slapped up side your head, don't personally tell me you voted for this moron who would be king.

Must Read IMHO

There's a fine article by Gary Younge in The Guardian. But, before you go there, please contemplate the headline "If wanton murder is essential to the US campaign in Iraq, it's time to leave". Gawd did the headline writer get it right.

Read the article.

Destroying America One Moronic Step At A Time

Is there no end to the list of ways Bushco can rape the American public? Just when I think they've done all the damage they can, they come up with some new way to destroy US.
Apparently rushing to lock in a long-sought goal before the fall elections, GOP congressional leaders may bring to a vote within weeks a proposal that could literally wipe out any federal program that protects public health or the environment--or for that matter civil rights, poverty programs, auto safety, education, affordable housing, Head Start, workplace safety or any other activity targeted by anti-regulatory forces.

With strong support from the Bush White House and the Republican Study Committee, the proposal would create a "sunset commission"--an unelected body with the power to recommend whether a program lives or dies, and then move its recommendations through Congress on a fast-track basis with limited debate and no amendments.

Three leading proposals have been introduced and are being winnowed into a final version. They would give the White House some--or total--authority to nominate members to the commission. House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) has confirmed that his office is coordinating development of a final version for prompt floor action.

Sunset commissions have been proposed, and defeated, before. But public interest veterans say the current situation is unlike any in the past, because the House Republican Study Committee, which includes some of the most anti-regulatory members of Congress, has secured guaranteed floor consideration of a sunset bill.

If such a bill should become law, the sunset commission could be packed with industry lobbyists and representatives from industry-funded think tanks, and could conduct its business in secrecy. Two of the sunset proposals under consideration would mandate that programs die after they are reviewed, unless Congress takes action to save them. [emphasis mine]

At the least, this is a very expensive idea. It would mean that every bill voted into law on environment, public health, worker safety and so on would have to be voted on again whenever this almost certainly big business controlled "sunset commission" decides to kill one.

Folks, bear in mind energy companies were involved in setting US energy policy and now they'll be given the power to kill legislation unless overruled by Congress. Then ask yourself if this is government "by the people and for the people"?

(read more)

Troop Withdrawl With Dignity

Bushco constantly says they won't "cut-and-run" from Iraq. To withdraw the troops would be an admission of having been wrong which they most assuredly were. By any objective measure, they were astonishingly wrong. They were criminally wrong. They were morally wrong. They were disasterously wrong. They were always wrong.I could go on, but won't.

So how do you maintain your position and hold onto your dignity? Let's see. Hmmm. Got it. Have your puppet in Iraq say he wants a timetable for troop withdrawl. After all, jorgie has said we would leave if asked to by the elected government of Iraq.

Now it will take some time to draft such a plan so...

What? General Casey has one? Within hours of Maliki's announcement there's a plan? How could anyone draft a useful plan for withdrawl within hours? No matter. We've got one.

Bullshit with steam on it. That plan has long been in the works. Bushco knows the American public is losing patience and will demand a withdrawl by voting against Repugs who back the idiot's "stay the course". They have to withdraw at least some troops before November.

But they needed a trigger to put the plan into action. I would bet my left nut the 5 hours in Iraq included an order to Maliki to put a withdrawl request in his announcement if in fact they had not already told him to. Ask US to leave so we can do it and not lose face.

Oh yeah, I said they need to withdraw at least some troops before November? Casey's plan just "happens" to begin withdrawl in September. Checking the calendar I see September not only comes before November, but there's another month in between those those 2 months. So Repugs are set free 2 months before the polls. They don't have to mention "stay the course". It will be like the whole war is nearly over.

Just for the tinfoil hat crowd. This was all most likely orchestrated from the start by Rove. Pound away the message that the Repugs are strong and would never be quitters. Because no one likes, uh, ya know, quitters. But the Dems would definitely "cut-and-run" (the only way they said it, btw). Get your puppet to ask jorgie to leave. And as a good superpower would do, he obliges.

Anyway that's how I would have done it.

Bushco Trying To Infiltrate MSM

Not content to just bully the MSM and threaten to bring reporters up on criminal charges if they write things Jorgie doesn't like. Now they're trying to actually plant their people in MSM newspapers. I'm sorry, but there is no way on earth to avoid thinking of Stalinist Russia or Hitler's Germany. Or Animal Farm for that matter.
A former spokesman for President Bush recently offered to several newspapers supposedly objective freelance stories from Iraq by two combat veterans who lead a pro-war group with deep Republican ties.

Several months after revelations that a Pentagon contractor was paying Iraqi news outlets for favorable war coverage, former White House spokesman Taylor Gross approached at least four major newspapers, including The Buffalo News, with the offer.

Gross' pitch to The News said the two highly decorated veterans could serve as embedded correspondents and "offer balanced and credible viewpoints gained directly from those closest to and most affected by the Iraq War." One of the reporters, former Marine Lt. Wade Zirkle, helped run Republican Jerry Kilgore's 2005 campaign for governor of Virginia.

Zirkle and the other reporter, David Bellavia of Batavia, are top leaders of Vets for Freedom, a new group with a highly polished Web site hosted by a firm that previously worked for the 2004 Bush-Cheney re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee.

Fortunately, the papers aren't taking the bait. But it might be good to watch out for bylines by these two "objective" reporters.
No mainstream paper accepted Gross' offer. Several major papers did, however, publish opinion pieces by Vets for Freedom leaders this spring. And last week, Bellavia and Zirkle returned to Iraq and embedded with military units. Their blog, at, paints a largely positive picture of the war effort.

(read more)

Maliki's 28 Point Deal Might Work

It looks like Maliki's government just might work. He's outlined 28 points which appear have been accepted by all factions. This just might be the reason why.
This deal [Maliki's 28 point plan] has been in the works for a long time, since November 2004, actually. Michael Ware of TIME, now CNN, reported on the secret negotiations between the Ba’athists and the then-Allawi government and the U.S. military commanders. If Maliki is announcing this, there’s a fair chance that most of the kinks have been ironed out. You don’t drop this on a war-weary public if it doesn’t have a fair chance of working.

Now if the coalition forces can get out, the Iraqis have a chance.

Can't Argue With This

Chuck has some good ideas here.

Hey, I think I can do this "shorter..." thing. We'll see.

Shorter Chuck Dupree: Democrats, be Democrats.

Did that work?

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Now We'll Know

We'll know now if the SCOTUS is a Bushco puppet or an idependent arm of the government.
A former driver for Osama bin Laden may help decide the fate of dozens of Guantanamo Bay detainees, and perhaps all of them, as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on his legal challenge to the first U.S. war crimes trials since World War II.

The court, which is expected to rule as early as Monday, is considering a range of issues in Salim Ahmed Hamdan's case, including whether President Bush had the authority to order military trials for men captured in the war on terror and sent to the Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

(read more)

Bushco Doesn't Control All The Courts

This judge is doing the right thing. Its temporary, but that isn't the point.
A federal judge temporarily has barred the government from publicizing its free credit monitoring offer to veterans whose personal data was stolen and wants to see if they might get a better federal offer.

Lawyers who have filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of the 26.5 million veterans and active-duty troops affected contend that accepting the government's offer could jeopardize their chance of winning more money in the privacy suit.

U.S. District Judge William Bertelsman in Kentucky scheduled a hearing this Friday to determine whether the Veterans Affairs Department should revise its offer. His order on the credit monitoring was issued late last Friday.

The suit seeks free monitoring and other credit protection for an indefinite period as well as $1,000 in damages for each person - or up to $26.5 billion total - in what has become one of the nation's largest information security breaches.

At least someone is watching out for US veterans. That used to be the purview of the government but we have idiots and morons in office so all bets are off.

Personally I think $1,000 is chump change for this offence. Even though it would add to our collective debt, these veterans deserve better.

(read more)

You Can't Ignore This 15 year old girl

Usually going to links with flash is a no-no. It requires too much bandwidth, but I did go to this one. OMG! This girl has a fantastic future.

What would Jesus do?

I've Supersized SPIIDERWEB™

It seems some posts each day were not on the home page because I'd set the number to show too low. I would have to post fewer items or lose a few on the home page. That's the problem with having postarrhea.

Well, you may be happy to know I've increased the number of posts shown so you can get your SPIIDERWEB™ fix more easily.

The Kidnappings Just Don't Stop

In addition to the bombings, kidnappings also have to concern the Iraqi people. They can't even go to work or return home safely. Think about that. You don't have to live with that threat when you jump into the old Toyota for your commute now do you?
Unidentified gunmen kidnapped 16 workers for a research center north of Baghdad on Sunday, a police source said.

Armed men kidnapped 16 workers in the Technology Research Center in the Taji area, about 20 km north of Baghdad, the source said on condition of anonymity.

Last week, police sources said that more than 100 people were kidnapped in the same area. Some 50 of them have been released, according to the sources.

I'm going to make a prediction here, so you can bookmark this and check it out later because I'm never wrong.

Its gonna be at least 30 years before life is anywhere near "normal" in Iraq. I hope that's an outside estimate. If the prediction is wrong its only because life will never be "normal". People will live in never-ending fear of violence. Either prediction is entirely plausible.

Courtesy post. I've pasted the whole article.

Careful Who You Arrest

I've ignored this story, but shouldn't have.
The Association of Muslim Scholars, the influential Sunni religious authority, and Iraqi Islamic party, and Iraqi Islamic party, the country's largest Sunni political group, condemned on Saturday, June 24, the American several-hour detention of Iraq's grand mufti Jamal al-Din Abdul Karim al-Dabban.

"[He] represents an Islamic and national symbol and these violations could cause the security situation to deteriorate," warned Sheikh Yahya Ibrahim al-Atwani, a senior AMS official in Tikrit, reported Al-Jazeera.

Sheikh Dabban and his three sons were arrested by American forces at about 5 a.m. in the city of Tikrit, 175 km north of Baghdad.

The Iraqi Islamic party, the country's largest Sunni political group, also condemned the arrest.

The US army released the Sunni religious leader and his two sons.

It apologized, saying the raid on the family's home was based on bad intelligence, an official at the joint US-Iraqi coordination center in Tikrit told Reuters.

Unfortunately, our troops are in a foreign land they probably don't understand well enough. This was a huge mistake and they should have known it. And I'm confused why they would feel a 70 year old was a probable terrorist. At any rate, they should have talked with the man and realised who he was.

To be fair, and I always am of course, I searched (several different ways) for a picture of the cleric and came up with bubkes, nada, zip. So it is reasonable the troops had no idea of who he is and his importance to the Iraqi people.

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Markos Moulitsas Zuniga. Kingmaker?

You're gonna read a lot about this in the next few hours at the very least.
Markos Moulitsas Zuniga is sitting on his back porch in Berkeley, Calif., listening to the hummingbirds and explaining his plans to seize control of the Democratic Party. It is one week after YearlyKos, the Las Vegas conference of progressives that Moulitsas sponsored and promoted heavily on his popular liberal blog, Every major media outlet in the country had attended the conference, detailing the spectacle of Democratic bigwigs (including the party's Senate minority leader and four of its leading 2008 presidential aspirants) embracing Moulitsas as the guru of an activist movement they were eager to exploit. With the conference, Moulitsas says, his movement had finally proved its relevance to the party. "We're not sitting around waiting for the so-called professionals to give us power in the party," he tells NEWSWEEK. "We're taking it for ourselves."

Then the article brought up "that email stuff" and they weren't too kind to Markos.
Moulitsas is also learning another downside of membership in the elite: the bigger the liberal sniper gets, the more incoming fire he faces. The talk of the blogosphere last week was "Kosola"—allegations that Mou-litsas wrote favorably about candidates with whom he or his close friend and coauthor Jerome Armstrong had financial relationships. Moulitsas swore the charges were baseless (Armstrong, too, has denied impropriety), but they clearly got under his skin. When The New Republic's Web site published an e-mail from Moulitsas to a group of friendly activists urging them not to talk about Kosola and thus "starve it of oxygen," Moulitsas went berserk in a blog posting, accusing the venerable liberal journal of treason. By the weekend, Moulitsas's allies were sending each other e-mails infected with the paranoia of revolutionaries who've gained power too fast: How should they deal with traitors? How much openness could they handle? Which fellow travelers could they really trust?

Near the end of the article they treat Markos even more harshly.
The pressure on Moulitsas—to be consistent, to be pragmatic, to win—will only grow as the fall elections approach. Already, the strain of the spotlight is beginning to show in his growing belligerence and paranoia. When Kosola broke, Moulitsas e-mailed fellow progressive activists, wondering who might be shopping the story. "I've gotten reliable tips that Hillary's operation has been digging around my past (something I confronted them about, btw, and never got a denial), and you know the Lieberman/DLC/TNR camp is digging as well," he wrote, referring to the centrist Democratic Leadership Council and The New Republic. (Aides to Senators Clinton and Lieberman deny the allegations in the e-mails.)

None of this is unexpected of Newsweek. But I've read some of what Markos has written and to say "he went berserk" isn't too far off the mark. Unfortunately berserk, though an accurate assessment has bad connotations. Markos was outraged and probably started typing before calming down. Come to think of it, I often go far more berserk on a fairly regular schedule.

There's no doubt Markos is feeling pressure and he has gained a lot of political power in a relatively short time. Sometimes he has trouble handling it all and some bloggers have tried to caution him and help him handle everything, but there's no doubt he must be frightening the GOP. That's probably why he's the subject of a Newsweek article in the first place.

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