Saturday, October 21, 2006

The American mid-term elections

I've used the author's title because he ties into it:
The title of this article begs a question. Why would an
international audience be interested in the American elections on November 7?

After all, this is not about the presidency. It is about congress, a third of the senate and 36 state governorships. Surely these are internal US issues of little concern to countries with enough problems of their own.

However, because George Bush's Republican party controls senate and congress, these elections may well be less about American state and local issues and more of a referendum on presidential policy.

Furthermore, this Republican congress has given Bush a blank cheque on his policies, including recent legislation that retroactively legalises some of the more extreme measures emanating from the White House.

If the Democratic party seizes congress or senate, or both, the sycophantic congress will disappear. This might even open the door for impeachment - which would never happen under this Republican legislature.

Incidentally, barring impeachment and conviction or death, Bush will be president until January 20, 2009.


Impeachment is a very real threat if the Democrats gain control of congress, and there is little doubt that Bush is a bit worried about that.

All of which brings us to Iran, and the head-shaking is noted.

To put it in a different way: How badly does Bush want to win next month?

He is nearly maniacal in believing that he is the second coming of Franklin D Roosevelt. In his mind, he wants to save the world from fascism – what he sees as an Islamist variety this time – and preserve and expand democracy for all people on the planet to enjoy.

What he fails to realise is that his policies have encouraged the proliferation of extremism, as evidenced recently by 16 US intelligence agencies, and that some peoples really do not want the American brand of democracy.

Will Bush attack Iran by air and sea before next month's elections to prove to his domestic audience that his party is best at preserving and protecting our way of life, thereby "ensuring" a Republican victory in congress?

There's a lot in that article.

(read more)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Bushco Is Making Things More Dangerous For US?

If this German expert is right, Bushco may well push NoKorea into selling nukular technology to al-Qaeda.
North Korea will use its nuclear weapons to pressure the West into proffering economic aid rather than for attacks, a German political expert said Thursday.

"North Korea's government is at the brink of collapse," Herfried Muenkler, political analyst at Berlin's Humboldt University, told German online daily Netzeitung. "In such a situation, playing with a nuclear potential to blackmail is the final sheet anchor."

He added that Pyongyang knew about the U.S. inability to solve the North Korean nuclear issue militarily, due to Washington's commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"The goal seems to be to receive economic privileges in exchange for the commitment to refrain from proceeding with nuclear proliferation," he said.

North Korea, a poor country of 25 million with paltry domestic resources, could turn into a dangerous precedent for other nuclear states to pressure the international community into giving economic aid for non-proliferation, he said.

Muenkler added the possibility that Pyongyang might sell nuclear technology to Iran or even al-Qaida can not be ruled out, despite ideological differences.

"North Korea would in that case act after the principle: 'The enemy of my enemy is my friend,'" he said. "I assume that (U.S. President George W.) Bush has already received a warning in that direction."

BTW, that's the whole article.

(via Associated Press)

When Terrorism Works - The Case In Sri Lanka

This why its ridiculous for Bushco to think he can eliminate terrorism. Sometimes it works. Pavlov's dog comes to mind.
Tamil rebels agreed to talk peace after killing 250 people in a week of suicide bombings and other attacks as Sri Lanka's aid donors push both sides to resurrect a truce, diplomats have said.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) told peace broker Norway on Thursday that they will attend October 28-29 negotiations in Switzerland, but only because the international community wanted them to.

Diplomats involved in the peace process had not expected the LTTE to return to the negotiating table from a position of weakness after they suffered territorial losses and serious casualties since April.

However, the Tigers overturned the situation, first resisting a major government offensive and killing at least 133 soldiers on October 11 on the northern Jaffna peninsula.

They then killed 115 people, mostly sailors, in the island's north-east on Monday in their bloodiest suicide bombing, followed two days later with an audacious suicide attack on Sri Lanka's southern naval base at the port of Galle.

(read more)

Americans Finally Get It

It seems more Americans now suspect November 7 with see fraudulent vote counts. I was gonna do some major cut&paste work on this, but better you just go to the source.

There are some other good polls over there too.

The Repug Syndrome

Help! I m sinking like a rock! -Sid.

Get elected.
Do something wrong.
Get caught.
Deny everything.
Take a breathe until someone proves you lied about doing something wrong.
Sink like a rock.
Orange County Republican leaders on Thursday called for the withdrawal of a GOP congressional candidate they believe sent a letter threatening Hispanic immigrant voters with arrest.

Tan D. Nguyen denied knowing anything about the letter in an interview Thursday with The Associated Press but said he fired a campaign staffer who may have been responsible for it. Nguyen's attorney said his client had no intention of quitting.

County Republican Chairman Scott Baugh said that after speaking with state investigators and the company that distributed the mailer, he believes Nguyen had direct knowledge of the "obnoxious and reprehensible" letter.

(read more)

Sucker Punching James A Baker III

Advise all you want Jamie boy 'cause nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah—I can’t hear you!
Awaiting the recommendations of a commission exploring U.S. options in Iraq, the White House on Wednesday emphatically ruled out some proposals to end the long and unpopular war.

Presidential spokesman Tony Snow said a suggestion to divide Iraq into Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish regions, each with high degrees of autonomy, was a “nonstarter.” Similarly, he said a phased withdrawal of American troops — perhaps by 5 percent every two months — also was a “nonstarter.”

“You withdraw when you win,” Snow said. “Phased withdrawal is a way of saying, ‘Regardless of what the conditions are on the ground, we’re going to get out of Dodge.’ “

Daddy's thrown the moron a life ring and junior refuses to use it. Unfortunately, the idiot son isn't the only one who's drowning.

(read more)

Bushco Determines Court Jurisdiction Now

And they say the courts have none when it comes to detainees.
Moving quickly to implement the bill signed by President Bush this week that authorizes military trials of enemy combatants, the administration has formally notified the U.S. District Court here that it no longer has jurisdiction to consider hundreds of habeas corpus petitions filed by inmates at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.

In a notice dated Wednesday, the Justice Department listed 196 pending habeas cases, some of which cover groups of detainees. The new Military Commissions Act (MCA), it said, provides that "no court, justice, or judge" can consider those petitions or other actions related to treatment or imprisonment filed by anyone designated as an enemy combatant, now or in the future.

(read more)

Must Read IMHO

Very interesting article:
I fear that either we will be attacked by nations that finally wake up and decide to stop the Bush Crime Family or, those of us who dissent, will become the victims of this regime. It parelells what happened in 1930's Germany. Dissenters were jailed and called "politically unreliable". The world closed its eyes while Germany invaded Poland and started setting up the Jewish ghettos. The world has closed its eyes for over four years now and allowed this rogue regime in Washington to create chaos and instigate the deaths of thousands upon thousands of people that never attacked the United States.

Eventually, if these people are not peacefully and legally removed from power, another nation and it's allies will have to step in and take us off our high horse just like the Alied Forces did in World War II.

So stay scared and keep your eyes open. Don't be afraid of the trumped up terror threats that are being released to scare the dumbed-down into believing that the Bush Crime Family "keeps us safe". Be scared of the criminal regime that threatens us from within.

I seriously doubt that they will allow the Democrats to win back Congress, weakening their power and possibly holding them accountable for the crimes they have committed.

The pertinent stuff is after this graphic:

(read more)

Bushco Makes Cover Of Rolling Stone

Illustration by Robert Grossman

But this isn't something they really wanted.
These past six years were more than just the most shameful, corrupt and incompetent period in the history of the American legislative branch. These were the years when the U.S. parliament became a historical punch line, a political obscenity on par with the court of Nero or Caligula -- a stable of thieves and perverts who committed crimes rolling out of bed in the morning and did their very best to turn the mighty American empire into a debt-laden, despotic backwater, a Burkina Faso with cable.


The end result is a Congress that has hijacked the national treasury, frantically ceded power to the executive, and sold off the federal government in a private auction. It all happened before our very eyes. In case you missed it, here's how they did it -- in five easy steps:

(read more)

Priest Denies Foley Allegations

Just as would be expected, but I believe him. Why? Because of what he does admit to doing.
A priest acknowledged Thursday that he was naked in saunas and went skinny-dipping with Mark Foley decades ago when the former congressman was a boy in Florida, but denied that the two had sex.

The Rev. Anthony Mercieca, 69, speaking by telephone from his home on the Maltese island of Gozo, made his comments after the Sarasota Herald-Tribune published an interview in which he described several encounters that he said Foley might perceive as sexually inappropriate. Mercieca said the Florida newspaper report was "exaggerated."

"We were friends and trusted each other as brothers and loved each other as brothers," Mercieca told The Associated Press in Rome. Asked if their association was sexual, the priest replied: "It wasn't."

Inasmuch as the priest showed unfortunate judgement, he shouldn't take the blame for "harming" Foley.

Its clear this is complicated and may never be sorted out properly. What a young boy "sees" or "experiences" can differ wildly from reality..
(read more)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Blue, Blue Kansas

Hey, get this straight. We're talking Kansas here. You don't abandon a political party you believe in for another unless you have a good reason. Well, that is unless you're a complete asshole with no scruples. However, this sounds like true conficts in the minds of the candidates. They believe the GOP and Bushco have abandoned them and their beliefs.
Nine former Republicans have figured out what's the matter with Kansas. It's the hard core right wing GOP. That's why all nine are running for office as Democrats in Kansas this year. The Washington Post examines this phenomenon and decide [sic] it's part of a bigger trend.

(read more)

Bushco And Homeland Security Have Prevented A Terrorist Attack Since 9/11

Here's my take on this. Cause and affect. At about the middle of September of 2001, I started driving a new vehicle. On 9/11 I had my old car. So logic dictates my buying a new car must be the reason no terrorists have attacked. Hey, you can't argue with the timing, right? Cause and affect. I don't know why this happened, but I'm sure Bushco has no idea either.

Since 9/11, I've accidentally taken scissors, knives, letter openers and various other banned items onto airplanes. I've also gotten thru metal detectors when I had metal objects on my person. I've been invited onto the flight deck to talk with the pilots. So much for the terrorist-proof flight deck doors.

Folks, there's no security in airplane travel and I doubt there's any for cruise ships, buses or trains moving across borders. I'm not trying to scare anyone. I'm just saying don't worry about it. You have a much better chance of dying on your trip to the airport than on a plane.

Talk About A Balancing Act

This guy's amazing...and pretty stupid. Its 604 meters down to the bottom.
"It was extremely fun," Rønningsbakken, who's one of the best performers of balancing acts in the world, told

Simply doing a conventional handstand on the edge of the cliff wasn't quite exciting enough for Rønningsbakken, though, so he added to the suspense by perching on a four-rung metal ladder that in turn teetered on the edge of Norway's famed Pulpit Rock (Prekestolen).

He said he wanted to show that there's a ladder to heaven after all.

Pulpit Rock is a familiar spot for daredevils, being one of the most popular places in the world for BASE jumpers. The 27-year-old Rønningsbakken from Hedmark stayed true to form by not using security devices of any kind.

(read more)

Space, The Next Frontier, But Not In A Star Trek Way

This is another power grab, pure and simple. There is no hint at peaceful co-existence in space.

President George W. Bush has approved a new national space policy aimed at denying "adversaries'" the use of space capabilities deemed hostile to US interests.

Bush authorized the new policy on August 31 and the document, which replaces a 1996 space policy, was published quietly by the White House on October 6.

"United States national security is critically dependent upon space capabilities, and this dependence will grow," the strategic document says.

"The United States will preserve its rights, capabilities, and freedom of action in space; ... and deny, if necessary, adversaries the use of space capabilities hostile to US national interests," it says.


The text also rejects any treaties forbidding space weapons: "The United States will oppose the development of new legal regimes or other restrictions that seek to prohibit or limit US access to or use of space."

The US government assured this new policy was not a first step toward a weaponization of space.


"While this policy does not explicitly say we are not going to shoot satellites or we are going to put weapons in space, it does, it seems to me, open the door toward that," Theresa Hitchens, director of the Center for Defense Information, told AFP.

According to Hitchens, this reading was confirmed by a series of US army documents that clearly express interest in space weapons.

She noted the new policy also represents a significant shift from its 10-year-old predecessor initiated under then-president Bill Clinton.

"This is a much more unilateralist vision of space. The United States in this policy seeks to establish its rights but fails to acknowledge the rights of other countries in space, where the Clinton policy was very careful to acknowledge the rights of all nations in space," Hitchens said.

(read more)

Thank You Bushco...For All You've Done So Far

For my international readers that's a reference to a say in America: Things are going to hell in a handbasket.

Fighting For Net Neutrality

Which I won't define here. Definitions are easy to find.
In the six months since the Coalition was launched, millions of Americans have joined the campaign, spoken out for Internet freedom and put Congress and the phone companies on notice.

This grassroots movement barely existed at the beginning of 2006. Now we're on the verge of toppling one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington.

I would encourage you to join the fight if you haven't already. Without net neutrality, blogging would probably come to a screeching halt.

(read more)

Dim Son Recognizes Vietnam-Iraq Similarities?

Its about time. Now, learn from history and get the hell out of Iraq. And, while I have your attention (haha), quit thinking about Iran.
US President George W. Bush for the first time acknowledged a possible parallel between the raging violence in Iraq and the Vietnam War.

Bush was asked in an ABC News interview if he agreed with a New York Times columnist's comparison of the strife in Iraq with the Tet offensive, which is considered a key turning point in the US war in Vietnam.

"He could be right," he said. "There's certainly a stepped up level of violence."

(read more)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Now This Is A Crisis

Forget about NoKorea and nukular tests, global warming, the ozone layer, peak oil, etc. This is a tragedy.
Cocoa farmers across Ivory Coast went on strike Monday, holding back their crops to protest low retail prices and high export taxes. If the action is sustained it could affect the global chocolate industry.

I personally plan to go out and buy all the chocolate I can before the hoarders get it.

(read more)

And Somehow This Is All Bill Clinton's Fault

When it comes to balls, Kim Jong-il has them and Bushco doesn't.
South Korean and Japan monitored reports today of North Korea’s possible preparations for a second nuclear test, a day after the US confirmed that communist country had, as it claimed, detonated its first nuclear device.

Washington pressed forward with a round of diplomacy in Asia to address divisions over how to impose sanctions on the North in response to the test blast, with secretary of state Condoleezza Rice due to arrive in Japan tomorrow before travelling to South Korea and China.

China, whose support for the measures is key to whether it will have any impact on neighbouring North Korea, has begun examining trucks at the North Korean border to comply with new United Nations sanctions endorsed over the weekend.

But China’s UN ambassador, Wang Guangya, said in New York that his country’s inspectors would not board ships to search for suspicious equipment or material.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm as concerned as anyone that NoKorea is playing around with nukular bombs, but they have the right to do so just as does any sovereign nation. I do wish no one would do it.

(read more)

Well, Color Me Surprised...Not

Now who in their right (sorry for that term) mind would expect NoKorea to knuckle under?
A defiant North Korea has declared UN sanctions impossed following its nuclear test tantamount to a "declaration of war" as Japan sounded the alert over a possible second atom bomb test.

In its first government reaction since the UN Security Council imposed the measures, the Stalinist regime warned it would strike with "merciless blows" against any countries that impinged on its sovereignty.

The statement came as the United States sought to tighten the screws on the reclusive nation with a diplomatic drive aimed at cutting off its lifeblood by ensuring the UN measures are vigorously enforced.

(read more)

Texas Isn't Far Enough South For dim son?

Bush clan moving to Paraguay? Hmmm...
At least two sources, including Upsidedownworld and Prensa Latina, report rumors of a Bush family purchase of land in northern Paraguay.

Upsidedownworld writes, on October 11:
The Governor of Alto Paraguay, Erasmo Rodríguez Acosta has admitted to hearing that George Bush Sr. owns land in the Chaco region of Paraguay, in Paso de Patria. Acosta says that rumor has it that Bush owns near to 70 thousand hectares (173,000 acres) as part of an ecological reserve and/or ranch. However, the governor said he had no documents to prove the rumor.

Prensa Latina, writing on October 13, gives a similar story but names George W. Bush rather than his father:
An Argentine official regarded the intention of the George W. Bush family to settle on the Acuifero Guarani (Paraguay) as surprising, besides being a bad signal for the governments of the region...Luis D Elia, undersecretary for the Social Habitat in the Argentine Federal Planning Ministry, issued a memo partially reproduced by digital, in which he spoke of the purchase by Bush of a 98,842-acre farm in northern Paraguay, between Brazil and Bolivia.

A visit by Jenna Bush on behalf of Unicef may have triggered speculation, as Upsidedownworld also suggests. But, could there be truth to the rumors? As calls increase for his impeachment, the President could well be thinking that South America would make a fine place to retire.

Retire my ass. Its a safe place to be when the bombs start dropping on the US.

(read more)

Time For A Mid-Course Correction?

I sure hope after 3 years we're not in the middle. Oh wait. We are. Damn
Here's how the President described the enemy in Iraq at his press conference last week. "The violence is being caused by a combination of terrorists, elements of former regime criminals, and sectarian militias." "Elements of former regime criminals," aka "bitter-enders," aka "Saddamists." The "sectarian militias" may have been a relatively recent add-on, but this is essentially the same list, the same sort of terminology the President has been using for years.

In the last two weeks, however, rumblings of discontent, the urge for a change of course (or at least a mid-course correction) in Iraq have been persistently bubbling to the surface of already roiling Washington. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner recently returned from Iraq to rattle the Bush administration by saying that policy there was "drifting sideways" and if it didn't improve, "all options" should be on the table not long after the mid-term elections.

(read more)

h/t shinola via JC

Bring Out The Rack

Oops! Sorry about that. Naughty Google. Here's the correct picture.

From Truthdig:
It’s official. We just got medieval.

The Associated Press calls it “tough interrogation.” We call it ‘the indefinite-detainment, unyielding-torture, habeas-corpus-suspending, mortgage-America's-bedrock-princibles-upon-the-alter-of-anti-

terrorism bill.'
But different strokes for different folks.

(read more)

China becoming ‘like Africa’ with AIDS scourge

Oh great. A raging illness in the world's most populous country.
AIDS in China has spread beyond high risk groups such as injecting drug users, prostitutes and homosexuals and the country was becoming ‘like Africa’ in how the virus is transmitted, a senior health official says.

‘There are 190 new HIV infections every day ... and one percent of all pregnant women in China are infected,’ said Hao Yang, deputy director general of the bureau of diseases prevention and control at the Ministry of Health.

‘That is a very high percentage. It is a generalised epidemic,’ he told Reuters in an interview.

(read more)

h/t: shinola

But Bushco Is Making Progress In Iraq

Four days of sectarian slaughter killed at least 91 people by Monday in Balad, a town near a major U.S. air base an hour's drive north of the capital. Elsewhere, 60 Iraqis died in attacks and 16 tortured bodies were found.

The U.S. command said seven American troops died in fighting a day earlier. That raised the U.S. toll to 58 killed in the first two weeks of October, a pace that if continued would make the month the worst for coalition forces since 107 U.S. and 10 British soldiers died in January 2005.

(read more)

There Are Solutions

This is just so cool, hot, cool...

(read it)

Oh My, But I'm So Lazy

Of course this isn't news to any regular readers.

Check out Digby.

Another Must Read IMHO

From raingeragainstwar.

If I keep being this lazy I'm gonna have a lot of words to use later. So thrifty.

Another Must Read IMHO

If only for the list of words. Go now.

Must Read IMHO

At the Mahablog.

Am I lazy or what? Yeah, I am.

Here We Go Again

Once more corruption, Texas and Repugs come together. Deja vu.
Former FDA chief Lester Crawford has agreed to plead guilty to charges of failing to disclose a financial interest in PepsiCo Inc. and other firms regulated by his agency, his lawyer said Monday.

The Justice Department accused the former head of the Food and Drug Administration in court papers of falsely reporting that he had sold stock in companies when he continued holding shares in the firms governed by FDA rules.

Court papers say Crawford chaired the Food and Drug Administration's Obesity Working Group while he and his wife owned shares worth at least $62,000 in soft drink and snack food manufacturer Pepsico Inc., based in Purchase, N.Y. In addition, the documents say, he held stock worth at least $78,000 in food product manufacturer Sysco Corp., based in Houston.

Question: Did dim son know anyone in Texas who wasn't a crook? I ask because I know most Texans are not crooks, but all of his friends/cronies seem to be.

(read more)

It WAS The Oil, Stupid

Many of us always knew the Iraq invasion was for the oil. Well, now you shall know it too.
Iraq is sitting on a mother lode of some of the lightest, sweetest, most profitable crude oil on earth, and the rules that will determine who will control it and on what terms are about to be set.

The Iraqi government faces a December deadline, imposed by the world's wealthiest countries, to complete its final Oil Law. Industry analysts expect that the result will be a radical departure from the laws governing the country's oil-rich neighbors, giving foreign multinationals a much higher rate of return than with other major oil producers, and locking in their control over what George Bush called Iraq's "patrimony" for decades, regardless of what kind of policies future elected governments might want to pursue.

(read more)

PS - Stole the pic from the article.

For The NFL & the FCC

And all you pervs out there.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Be Warned

I don't necessarily agree with everything I say.

Next Six Months Critical In Iraq

How does Bushco become a laughing stock throughout the world? Well this probably helps:
General George Casey, head of US forces in Iraq, has joined the long list of those to have warned that the next six months will be critical for the country ... over the past three-and-a-half years.

The tradition began in February 2003 when US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, in a now much mocked prediction, told soldiers based in Europe that the Iraq war "could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months."

Three years and eight months later, 2,700 American troops have been killed and 142,000 are still deployed in an increasingly violent Iraq, where officials are nevertheless still talking in terms of a six month turnaround.

(read more)

Another Politician In Trouble

©AFP/File - Pedro Ugarte

But this time its in Isreal. Why do these idiots make such stupid mistakes and ruin their lives?
Israeli President Moshe Katsav was fighting for his political life after police said they had enough evidence to indict him on charges of rape, sexual harassment and wire-tapping.

Katsav, who cancelled his appearance to open the new session of parliament later Monday, is immune from prosecution while holder of the largely ceremonial post of president, but could be charged if impeached by the Knesset.

"There is sufficient evidence indicating that in several cases... the president carried out acts of rape, forced sexual acts, sexual acts without consent and sexual harassment," police said in a statement Sunday.

(read more)