Saturday, December 09, 2006

Must Read IMHO

David Swanson discusses impeachment. Just a bit of it (because its long).

Reposted because its germaine.

However, these electoral concerns should not matter in the face of the importance of this impeachment. If we go into 2009 without having held Bush and Cheney accountable, the next president will be a dictator with absolute power outside the bounds of any laws. And he or she will know that a criminal and unpopular vice president is the best protection against enforcement of the law. That's a disaster in the making, regardless of what party the president comes from.

Thanks to all of you

SPIIDERWEB™ has just surpassed 10,000! visitors. Woot!!!1!!

In the interest of accuracy, that's 10,000 visits because it is not unique visitors.

How in hell did this slip by?

Don't know if its true. Apparently it is true.
On Monday, gathering in a conference room in Washington D.C., Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and her advisors worked on a draft copy of the articles of impeachment against President Bush.

At the heart of the charges contained in McKinney’s articles of impeachment, is the allegation that President Bush has not upheld the oath of presidential office and is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors.

No wonder they didn't want her in the building.

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Cross posted at Brilliant at Breakfast

Hey, I'm a reference source

How kewl is that? I noticed a visit from Layanlina Productions so I visited the site. And there it was at the bottom of the page. One of the sources for an article was:
Spiiderweb. December 2, 2006. "Rice Admits Mistakes Were Made In Iraq, Won't Say What They Were Until Bush Leaves Office."

Hippocrates Meets Fidel, and Even U.S. Students Enroll

This is from a NYT article, as the headline suggests, about medical training in Cuba and some Americans who are getting their medical degrees there. Its a fine article, but something jumped out at me.
Tahirah Benyard, 27, a first-year student from Newark, said it was Cuba’s offer to send doctors to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, which was rejected by the Bush administration, that prompted her to take a look at medical education in Cuba.

“I saw my people dying,” she said. “There was no one willing to help. The government was saying everything is going to be fine.”

Read it all. You may come away with a new appreciation of Fidel Castro and discover Che Guevara was a doctor. If you come away with a new distain and hatred for Bush, well that's just fine too.

Those who got it right

Including daddy.

This is from greenpagan.
I’d like to offer some praise to those who got it right. Here’s a partial honor roll:

Former President George H. W. Bush and Brent Scowcroft, explaining in 1998 why they didn’t go on to Baghdad in 1991: “Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land.”

Representative Ike Skelton, September 2002: “I have no doubt that our military would decisively defeat Iraq’s forces and remove Saddam. But like the proverbial dog chasing the car down the road, we must consider what we would do after we caught it.”

Al Gore, September 2002: “I am deeply concerned that the course of action that we are presently embarking upon with respect to Iraq has the potential to seriously damage our ability to win the war against terrorism and to weaken our ability to lead the world in this new century.”

Barack Obama, now a United States senator, September 2002: “I don’t oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.”

Representative John Spratt, October 2002: “The outcome after the conflict is actually going to be the hardest part, and it is far less certain.”

Representative Nancy Pelosi, now the House speaker-elect, October 2002: “When we go in, the occupation, which is now being called the liberation, could be interminable and the amount of money it costs could be unlimited.”

Senator Russ Feingold, October 2002: “I am increasingly troubled by the seemingly shifting justifications for an invasion at this time. … When the administration moves back and forth from one argument to another, I think it undercuts the credibility of the case and the belief in its urgency. I believe that this practice of shifting justifications has much to do with the troubling phenomenon of many Americans questioning the administration’s motives.”

Howard Dean, then a candidate for president and now the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, February 2003: “I firmly believe that the president is focusing our diplomats, our military, our intelligence agencies, and even our people on the wrong war, at the wrong time. … Iraq is a divided country, with Sunni, Shia and Kurdish factions that share both bitter rivalries and access to large quantities of arms.”

We should honor these people for their wisdom and courage. We should also ask why anyone who didn’t raise questions about the war — or, at any rate, anyone who acted as a cheerleader for this march of folly — should be taken seriously when he or she talks about matters of national security.

Bush at 30%

That's the headline being bandied about the internets and MSM. But, ya just have to know where to look, right? Thirty percent is his overall approval rating, but on Iraq its lower.
President George W. Bush's approval rating on Iraq has slumped to a new low.

Just 27 percent of those questioned in a new AP-Ipsos poll approve of the way he's handling the war. At the same time, dissatisfaction has climbed to an all-time high of 71 percent.

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Jeane J. Kirkpatrick dead at 80

I'm sorry. I'm sorry she has died. I'm sorry for her friends and family.

But I can't shed any tears if for no other reason than she was affiliated with PNAC and thus partly responsible for the dire circumstances in the Middle East. She may have been an instrument in bringing down America and fomenting world war.

When I finally go I'm sure almost no one will mourn, but at least I won't leave the legacy Kirkpatrick has.

The mind of a child

Often I've said Bush behaves or misbehaves as would a petulant 5 year old. If you view him as such you'll gain significant insight into his mentality.

That said, the ISG report has stated troop withdrawl is the only reasonable thing to do concerning Iraq. No precise timetable was set, fine, but withdrawl is the only course of action that makes sense.

So I predict Bush will do the exact opposite. He will increase troop levels. That will allow him to defy daddy and his cronies and give McCain a leg up in '08.

If my prediction is wrong, big deal. Big shot pundits are wrong all the time. Maybe this will get me into the club too.

Cross posted at Brilliant at Breakfast.

Guaranteed to offend.

I stole this whole post from Watertiger, including the title. Please forgive me, but its how the internets tubes work. I particulary relate to #5.
It wouldn't be the first time I've offended someone today.

From an email I just received. My favorite is #9.


1. Schizophrenia: Do You Hear What I Hear?

2. Multiple Personality Disorder: We Three Kings Disoriented Are

3. Dementia: I Think I' ll be Home for Christmas

4. Narcissistic: Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me

5. Manic: Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and.....

6. Paranoid: Santa Claus is Coming to Town to Get Me

7. Borderline Personality Disorder: Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire

8. Personality Disorder: You Better Watch Out, I'm Gonna Cry, I'm Gonna Pout, Maybe I'll Tell You Why

9. Attention Deficit Disorder: Silent night, Holy oooh look at the Froggy - Can I Have a Chocolate, Why is France so Far Away?

10. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells

Fortunately, I suffer from only 8 of the 10 disorders.

Perhaps I would change #5 to Manic/Depressive - Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and.....Oh the hell with it. Tear it all down.

Federal officials break up alleged bombing plot in Chicago area

I've said it before and I'll say it again. This is the sort of law enforcement Homeland Security money should be funding and not the silly armed-guards-at-airports type displays. This is how terrorism is thwarted. And don't even suggest illegal NSA spying was necessary. Legal wire taps would have been very easy to obtain and I suspect were in this case.
A Muslim convert who talked about his desire to wage jihad against civilians was charged Friday in a plot to set off hand grenades at a shopping mall at the height of the Christmas rush, authorities said.

Investigators said Derrick Shareef, 22, an American citizen from Rockford, was acting alone and never actually obtained any grenades. He was arrested Wednesday when he met with an undercover agent in a parking lot to trade a set of stereo speakers for four hand grenades and a gun, authorities said.

"He fixed on a day of December 22nd on Friday ... because it was the Friday before Christmas and thought that would be the highest concentration of shoppers that he could kill and injure," said Robert Grant, the agent in charge of the Chicago
FBI office.

Authorities said Shareef had been under investigation since September, when he told an acquaintance that "he wanted to commit acts of violent jihad against targets in the United States as well as commit other crimes."

The acquaintance immediately informed the FBI, officials said.

While we're on the subject...Please don't start fear mongering about this. This is one deranged* guy and he's been caught before doing any damage.

* Maybe its just me, but anyone who wants to blow up Christmas shoppers is, by my definition, deranged.

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Geek post

Don't worry if you don't "get it". Most people won't.


This from a speech by Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR) on the house floor in which he said the war in Iraq may be criminal.

Well Senator, there is no "maybe" about it. It is criminal.

But this part of his speech is what I want to focus on.
"I for one am at the end of my rope when it comes to supporting a policy that has our soldiers patrolling the same streets in the same way, being blown up by the same bombs day after day," Smith said. [emphasis mine]

Those sneaky bastards have reusable bombs? How can we possibly win?

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Foley scandal

There's just no point in my getting into this. Beside the fact I'm lazy there's John in DC over at AMERICAblog whose covering this like snow covers the Rockies.

Weasel blogging

Someone visited my site after doing a Google™ search for "deranged weasels". I'm so proud.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I'm gonna be guest blogging

For the next week or so I'll be guest blogging for Jill over at Brilliant at Breakfast.

She's invited a couple others to sub for her while she's on vacation, whatever that is, and you are welcome to join us. Some posts will be copies of my posts at SPIIDERWEB™, but some may be originals. I tend to tone down the profanity when I guest post.

This is the second blog to ask me to guest post. Unfortunately, the first time I only posted a few times before breaking my wrist which put me out of commission. Unfortunately the other blog hasn't invited me back. Wahhh.

Anyway, please join me and Jill's other friends at her site. I hope you enjoy your visits.

Must Read IMHO

The latest from Christopher on Beirut. A little taste of it.
Lebanon’s capital is once again a tinderbox, ready to blow because of political rivalries exacerbated by sectarian tensions. Increasingly, the political disputes — which are ostensibly over international tribunals, presidential terms and the legitimacy of a government — have grown into religious disputes, mirroring the sectarian tensions between Sunnis and Shi’ites across the region.

Which leader one supporters is often determined by one’s faith. Shi’ites support the Syrian-backed Hezbollah and its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, who has called for the overthrow of the current government as being too close to the United States and cutting Shi’ites out of power for too long. Sunnis, however, support the current government because it is lead by Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, who is a member of the Future Movement, a political party headed Saad Hariri, the son of the murdered ex-premier Rafik, who was killed in 2005.

“The political issues are sectarian,” explained Tariq Tarqawi, 20, who is, in order, a Palestinian, a Sunni and a car electrician. He lives in Ard Jalloul, a mainly Sunni neighborhood that abuts the mainly Shi’ite suburbs of Beirut. “They love Nasrallah, we love Hariri.”

The story that won't die

Arghhh!!!1!! Just ran across another story about 3 women showing up at the White House wearing an identical suit to the one worn by Laura bush. I won't quote or link to it. You all know the story and have seen the pix.

BTW, they are always called dresses. A jacket and skirt constitute a suit and not a dress.

I just don't understand the fashion conscious. All the men are in black tuxedos, white tuxedo shirts and black bow ties. What's the problem? Just asking.

Another quote of the day

Mosque plans stir up Texas neighbors

Pretty sure there's no need to comment on this. If you've read some of my posts, you know which side I come down on in this little kerfuffle.
A plan to build a mosque in this Houston suburb has triggered a neighborhood dispute, with community members warning the place will become a terrorist hotbed and one man threatening to hold pig races on Fridays just to offend the Muslims.

Many neighborhood residents claim they have nothing against Muslims and are more concerned about property values, drainage and traffic.

But one resident has set up an anti-Islamic Web site that keeps track of terrorist attacks since Sept. 11, 2001. A committee has formed to buy another property and offer to trade it for the Muslims' land. And next-door neighbor Craig Baker has threatened to race pigs on the edge of the property on the Muslim holy day. Muslims consider pigs unclean and do not eat pork.

"The neighbors have created havoc for us, and we didn't expect that," said engineer Kamel Fotouh, president of the 500-member Katy Islamic Association.

Fotouh vowed to press ahead with plans for a mosque on the 11-acre site, as well as a community center that would offer after-school activities, housing for senior citizens, a fitness center and an Islamic school.

"We just bought it," Fotouh said. "And we are going to use it. We have the right, like any one of them."

Obviously that's not a pic of the "proposed" mosque. Nope, that one's the North Texas Dallas Central Mosque which is up and running just fine.

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Saudis reportedly funding insurgents

Now you just know Bush will be looking into this. Uh, not so much.
Private Saudi citizens are giving millions of dollars to Sunni insurgents in Iraq and much of the money is used to buy weapons, including shoulder fired anti-aircraft missiles, according to key Iraqi officials and others familiar with the cash flow.

Saudi government officials deny that any money from their country is being sent to Iraqis fighting the government and the U.S.-led coalition.

But the U.S. Iraq Study Group report said Saudis are a source of funding for Sunni Arab insurgents. Several truck drivers described carrying boxes of cash from Saudi Arabia into Iraq, money they said was headed for insurgents.

Saudi Arabia is a key U.S. ally in the Middle East. The Iraq Study Group report noted that its government has assisted the U.S. military with intelligence on Iraq.

But Saudi citizens have close tribal ties with Sunni Arabs in Iraq and sympathize with their brethren in what they see as a fight for political control — and survival — with Iraq's Shiites.

The Saudi government is determined to curb the growing influence of its chief rival in the region, Iran. Iran is closely linked to Shiite parties that dominate the Iraqi government.

Two high-ranking Iraqi officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the issue's sensitivity, told the AP most of the Saudi money comes from private donations, called zakat, collected for Islamic causes and charities.

Let's see, what was it Bush said yesterday? Oh yeah.
"Countries that participate in talks must not fund terrorism, must help the young democracy survive, must help with the economics of the country," Bush said. [emphasis mine]

Well, not unless they are friends of the Bush family. And yes, I do realize the story says most of the Saudi money comes from private donations. Its the word "most" that stands out.

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Feeling Secure? Well Don't #14

The list gets longer and longer. The GOP at least, can't manage and at worst, is corrupt as Libby.
A multibillion-dollar effort to modernize the Coast Guard's fleet has suffered delays, cost increases, design flaws and, most recently, the idling of eight 123-foot patrol boats that were found to be not seaworthy after an $88 million refurbishment.

The sidelining of eight of 10 Miami-based cutters worsens a patrol-boat crisis while the Coast Guard is preparing for an exodus of Cubans that could happen when dictator Fidel Castro is no longer in power, Coast Guard leaders acknowledge.

More broadly, congressional critics warn that early mistakes in the 25-year modernization program, called Deepwater -- the Coast Guard's largest contract ever -- are hobbling the service's transformation into a front-line homeland security force.

With the failure of the retrofitting program, eight of 49 boats in the service's workhorse fleet of Island-class patrol boats are out of action. Coast Guard leaders reported last year that only 25 percent of the aging cutters were fully "mission capable," because of maintenance problems and deployment of some boats to Iraq. In reports submitted to Congress, the Coast Guard projected that the fleet would be able to log about 80 percent of its targeted 98,200 operational hours a year.

Oh yeah the same players are invloved.
The program's failures are spelled out in a series of Government Accountability Office and Department of Homeland Security inspector general's reports and in congressional testimony, which point to the leeway given to the program's contractors, Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp. Through their joint venture, Integrated Coast Guard Systems, the companies declined to comment, referring all questions to the Coast Guard.

As I've said before, ya gotta love the GAO and I'm beginning to love the Homeland Security inspector general's organization.

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Where's Dr Spock when we need him?

What would a petulant 5 year old do if told to do something he didn't want to? Yep, he'd do exactly the opposite.
A group of Guantanamo Bay detainees have become the first to be moved to a new maximum-security prison - a $37m facility designed to restrict contact among them.

UN human rights investigators and foreign governments have repeatedly called on the US government to close the entire detention centre.

But Guantanamo officials say the new facility is necessary to carry out their mission of holding men deemed to be "enemy combatants" by the US.

You read that right. Instead of closing down Gitmo, its being expanded.

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U.S. Denies Having Deployed Nuclear Weapons in S. Korea

I only bring this up because 1. When things like this come up they sometimes prove true and especially so when... 2. The US acknowledges and denies the allegations.
The U.S. State Department reaffirmed Thursday the United States has no nuclear weapons in South Korea, responding to accusations by some circles in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the United States has been saying since 1994 it has no nuclear armaments in South Korea. The position was reaffirmed in the Sept. 19, 2005 statement of principles agreed to at six-party talks in China, he said.

According to the spokesman, the United States confirmed in the document that "it has no nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula and has no intention to attack or invade the DPRK with nuclear or conventional weapons."

Earlier, Russia's Interfax news agency reported the DPRK believes Washington has deployed atomic weapons in South Korea and it would not terminate its nuclear program as long as the threats remains.

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Quote of the day

Mary Scott O'Conner was on The John Gibson Show on Fox News Radio.


ME:"It's a civil war anyway -- if we LEAVE, at least WE won't be getting killed anymore."

GIBBY:"Yeah, but they're already killing each other."

OK, here's the money quote.
ME:"Yeah, but they're also killing US and I want that to stop. You're talking to the daughter of a Marine killed in Vietnam. I don't want any more little girls growing up the way I did."

Yeah, that sound you heard was Gibby's jaw hitting the floor.

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Incoming Sec. of Defense tells Senate panel Israel has nukes

Everyone knew they did, but no one was saying so out loud. Now Gates has.
Incoming U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told a Senate committee on Thursday that Israel has nuclear weapons, and that this partially explains Iran's motiviation to acquire nuclear weapons.

"They are surrounded by powers with nuclear weapons - Pakistan to their east, the Russians to the north, the Israelis to the west and us in the Persian Gulf," he told the Senate committee during his confirmation hearing.

Though Israel is widely assumed to have a nuclear weapons arsenal, it has stuck to its policy of ambiguity on the subject, insisting against all the evidence that it will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into the Middle East. A retired Israeli general said Thursday Israel is no longer trying to convince anyone that it has no nuclear arsenal.

Israeli officials traditionally do not respond to statements like the one Gates made, and true to form, government spokeswoman Miri Eisin told The Associated Press, "there is no direct Israeli comment."

One more "dirty little secret" out in the open.

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Woman's Farts Ground Plane

That's the headline, written by a headline writer who was trying to be cute rather than accurate. The first line of the story says why the plane was grounded and it makes perfect sense.
A plane was forced to make an emergency landing after a passenger struck a match to cover up the smell of her breaking wind. [emphasis mine]

Ya just don't light matches on commercial aircraft unless its China Airlines (Maybe it was Cathay Pacific. Can't remember.) which still allows smoking in the rear seats during international flights.

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Now we know, its a Thai thing with the Bushes

Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej

This from Jil in Pattaya.
Lese maj·es·ty also lèse ma·jes·té (lēz' māj'ĭ-stē) n.
pl. lese maj·es·ties or lèse ma·jes·tés

1. An offense or crime committed against the ruler or supreme power of a state.
2. An affront to another's dignity.

I've never heard of such a thing as this in Thailand.Wow-wee. And by a farang, no less. It is really mind-boggling. (From the Bangkok Post.)

A Swiss man was arrested on charges of insulting the monarchy by painting over images of His Majesty the King, police said today.

Jufer Oliver Rudolf, 57, was caught Tuesday on surveillance cameras spray painting over portraits of His Majesty with black paint at several locations in Chiang Mai, police Lt. Col Kittiphan Kamwan said. He was detained Wednesday night, and faces up to 15 years in jail if convicted, the police said.

Pol Lt Col Kittiphan said Rudolf claimed he was drunk.

I doubt he was drunk. Drunks tend to pee on things.

File under: Shit!

I was really hoping for a happier ending.
Lost in the snowy wilderness and seeking help for his stranded family, James Kim probably traveled more than 10 miles on foot before he died, believing he could find a nearby town, authorities said Thursday. An autopsy showed that he died alone of hypothermia. Authorities said when his body was found in a creek's shallow water on Wednesday, he was about a mile away from a fishing lodge stacked with food.

"James Kim did nothing wrong. He was trying to save his family," said Lt. Gregg Hastings of the Oregon State Police said at a Thursday news conference. "He thought that if he could get to the river, he could make it to the town."

Kim thought the nearby town of Galice was only 4 miles away, although it was really 15 miles, Hastings said. Just a mile or so down the road, however, was a fishing lodge where he could have found shelter, warmth, and enough food for months.

Unfortunately, he still had his family to save so the lodge may not have worked out.

His family was found alive earlier. Sorry, didn't mean to leave you hanging like that.

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Damn liberal press

Ya just can't trust 'em.
The Iraq Study Group report delivered to President Bush yesterday contains 79 separate recommendations - but not one that explains how American forces can defeat the terrorist insurgents, only ways to bring the troops home.

They made those recommendations because there is no way to win!

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Chalk up another disaster for Bush

And yes, he's directly responsible. That is he and his thugs.
The surging violence in Iraq has created what is becoming the biggest refugee crisis in the world, a humanitarian group said today.

A report (pdf) by Washington-based Refugees International said an influx of Iraqis threatened to overwhelm other Middle Eastern countries, particularly Syria, Jordon and Lebanon.

Last month, the UN estimated that 100,000 people were fleeing the country each month, with the number of Iraqis now living in other Arab countries standing at 1.8 million.

Today's report came as George Bush and Tony Blair were due to discuss the situation in Iraq, which the bipartisan Iraq Study Group yesterday described as "grave and deteriorating".

Refugees International said the acceleration in the numbers fleeing Iraq meant it could soon overtake the refugee crisis in Darfur.

"We're not saying it's the largest [refugee crisis], but it's quickly becoming the largest," spokeswoman Kristele Younes said. "The numbers are very, very scary."


Bush opened his mouth. More lies.

From the Q & A after Bush and Blair had met. Find it on the White House website.
We've made our choice. Iran now has an opportunity to make its choice. I would hope they would make the choice that most of the free world wants them to make, which is there is no need to have a weapons program; there is no need to isolate your people; there's no need to continue this obstinance when it comes to your stated desires to have a nuclear weapon.

But that ain't what Iran has said. They signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty and swear they are abiding by it which means no weapons.

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The war on Christmas

[A] snippet from the President's press conference today taken from Comandante Agi.

I understand what long deployments mean to wives and husbands and mothers and fathers, particularly as we come into a holiday season.

Did he just say holiday season? Holiday season? HOLIDAY SEASON? HOLIDAY SEASON?

This one flew under my radar

In case you didn't notice it either, please read on.
It’s amazing what you can find if you turn over a few rocks in the anti-terrorism legislation Congress approved during the election season.

Take, for example, the John W. Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2006, named for the longtime Armed Services Committee chairman from Virginia.

Signed by President Bush on Oct. 17, the law (PL 109-364) has a provocative provision called “Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies.”

The thrust of it seems to be about giving the federal government a far stronger hand in coordinating responses to Katrina-like disasters.

But on closer inspection, its language also alters the two-centuries-old Insurrection Act, which Congress passed in 1807 to limit the president’s power to deploy troops within the United States.

That law has long allowed the president to mobilize troops only “to suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy.”

But the amended law takes the cuffs off.

Specifically, the new language adds “natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident” to the list of conditions permitting the President to take over local authority — particularly “if domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of maintaining public order.”

Since the administration broadened what constitutes “conspiracy” in its definition of enemy combatants — anyone who “has purposely and materially supported hostilities against the United States,” in the language of the Military Commissions Act (PL 109-366) — critics say it’s a formula for executive branch mischief.

Yet despite such a radical turn, the new law garnered little dissent, or even attention, on the Hill.

One of the few to complain, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., warned that the measure virtually invites the White House to declare federal martial law.

It “subverts solid, longstanding posse comitatus statutes that limit the military’s involvement in law enforcement, thereby making it easier for the President to declare martial law,” he said in remarks submitted to the Congressional Record on Sept. 29.

“The changes to the Insurrection Act will allow the President to use the military, including the National Guard, to carry out law enforcement activities without the consent of a governor,” he said.

Moreover, he said, it breaks a long, fundamental tradition of federal restraint.

“Using the military for law enforcement goes against one of the founding tenets of our democracy.”


File under: WTF?

The picture says it all.


Fascinating pix of WTC taken from the air

I found the link at Jonco. Here's the original site. I too had never seen these.

Sorry, but I can't stand Bush

What a fucking maroon.
"Countries that participate in talks must not fund terrorism, must help the young democracy survive, must help with the economics of the country," Bush said. "If people are not committed, if Syria and Iran is [is] not committed to that concept, then they shouldn't bother to show up."

Is not committed? Did he really go to school or pay any attention when he did?

And what about "shouldn't bother to show up"? What a magnanimous gesture.

Oh yeah, earlier.
Bush was asked whether he thought the study group suggested that he did not appreciate the extent of the violence in Iraq.

"It's bad in Iraq. That help?" retorted Bush.

Still the petulant little 5 year old.

And, of course, Bush still won't admit that its bad in Iraq and difficult because of him and his policies.

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Hard Rock Cafe sold to Native Americans

I love it. There's a joke in here somewhere, but I can't find it.
Britain's Rank Group said on Thursday it had agreed to sell its Hard Rock cafe and casino business to the Florida Seminoles for $965 million.

It does my heart good to see the Seminoles' success. Looks like they've got the hang of this hotel-casino business down pretty well.

BTW, that's a pic of the original Hard Rock Cafe in London.

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When is a story big and when not?

This is a big story. No doubt.
A military court on Thursday set the court-martial of a U.S. Marine suspected of being the ringleader in the kidnap and murder of an Iraqi grandfather for April 23.

Sgt. Lawrence G. Hutchins, 22, did not enter a plea to charges of conspiracy, murder, kidnapping and obstructing an investigation in the killing of Hashim Ibrahim Awad, 52, in the Iraqi town of Hamdania in April 2006.

He could face life in prison if convicted.

Three other Marines and a Navy medic have pleaded guilty and received sentences of 21 months or less in prison in exchange for their testimony against the others.

They have testified that Hutchins led the group of eight on an unauthorized late-night mission to kill an insurgent in which the wrong man was killed.

So is this one.
A soldier was sentenced Thursday to life in prison with the possibility of parole for conspiring to rape a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and kill her and her family.

And this one.
Fifteen-year-old Abeer Qasim Hamza was afraid, her mother confided in a neighbor.

As pretty as she was young, the girl had attracted the unwelcome attention of U.S. soldiers manning a checkpoint that the girl had to pass through almost daily in their village in the south-central city of Mahmudiyah, her mother told the neighbor.

Abeer told her mother again and again in her last days that the soldiers had made advances toward her, a neighbor, Omar Janabi, said this weekend, recounting a conversation he said he had with the girl's mother, Fakhriyah, on March 10.

Fakhriyah feared that the Americans might come for her daughter at night, at their home. She asked her neighbor if Abeer might sleep at his house, with the women there.

Janabi said he agreed.

Then, "I tried to reassure her, remove some of her fear," Janabi said. "I told her, the Americans would not do such a thing."

Abeer did not live to take up the offer of shelter.

Instead, attackers came to the girl's house the next day, apparently separating Abeer from her mother, father and young sister.

Janabi and others knowledgeable about the incident said they believed that the attackers raped Abeer in another room. Medical officials who handled the bodies also said the girl had been raped, but they did not elaborate.

Before leaving, the attackers fatally shot the four family members -- two of Abeer's brothers had been away at school -- and attempted to set Abeer's body on fire, according to Janabi, another neighbor who spoke on condition of anonymity, the mayor of Mahmudiyah and a hospital administrator with knowledge of the case.

Yes they are all separate incidences. My question is, why isn't this a big story? Because she wasn't killed? Is it because she isn't a teenager?
The conviction of a US marine for raping a Filipina was widely hailed as a victory in the country Tuesday, but the government said it was unlikely to seriously affect ties between the Philippines and its main defense ally.

Local newspapers devoted their main headlines to the court's decision to convict Lance Corporal Daniel Smith but acquit three other US marines for the rape of a 22-year-old Filipina last year.

The conviction pushed off the front pages the deadly mudflows that have left more than a thousand dead or missing and many more homeless.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer headlined its front page with "40 years in jail for Smith," and its cartoon showed a cheering Filipino over a cowering American.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

New Weapon Cleared by Military for Use in Iraq Under Scrutiny

I have very mixed feelings about this report. If there are no serious side affects, then it sounds like a great way to avoid killing, but I'm not sure it is safe.
Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act detail the US military's extensive human tests of its Active Denial System - a non-lethal weapon that uses millimeter wave radiation to induce instant, searing pain that forces people to flee.

The crowd is getting ugly. Soldiers roll up in a Hummer. Suddenly, the whole right half of your body is screaming in agony. You feel like you've been dipped in molten lava. You almost faint from shock and pain, but instead you stumble backwards -- and then start running. To your surprise, everyone else is running too. In a few seconds, the street is completely empty.

You've just been hit with a new nonlethal weapon that has been certified for use in Iraq -- even though critics argue there may be unforeseen effects.

According to documents obtained for Wired News under federal sunshine laws, the Air Force's Active Denial System, or ADS, has been certified safe after lengthy tests by military scientists in the lab and in war games.

The ADS shoots a beam of millimeters waves, which are longer in wavelength than x-rays but shorter than microwaves - 94 GHz (= 3 mm wavelength) compared to 2.45 GHz (= 12 cm wavelength) in a standard microwave oven.

The longer waves are thought to limit the effects of the radiation. If used properly, ADS will produce no lasting adverse affects, the military argues.

Documents acquired for Wired News using the Freedom of Information Act claim that most of the radiation (83 percent) is instantly absorbed by the top layer of the skin, heating it rapidly.

The beam produces what experimenters call the "Goodbye effect," or "prompt and highly motivated escape behavior." In human tests, most subjects reached their pain threshold within 3 seconds, and none of the subjects could endure more than 5 seconds.

"It will repel you," one test subject said. "If hit by the beam, you will move out of it - reflexively and quickly. You for sure will not be eager to experience it again."

But while subjects may feel like they have sustained serious burns, the documents claim effects are not long-lasting. At most, "some volunteers who tolerate the heat may experience prolonged redness or even small blisters," the Air Force experiments concluded.

The reports describe an elaborate series of investigations involving human subjects.

The volunteers were military personnel: active, reserve or retired, who volunteered for the tests. They were unpaid, but the subjects would "benefit from direct knowledge that an effective nonlethal weapon system could soon be in the inventory," said one report. The tests ranged from simple exposure in the laboratory to elaborate war games involving hundreds of participants.

(read more)

The Iraq Study Group

My take is pretty simple because I'm simple. They lowered the bar. But Bush will stick his head into the fire.

Remarkably, man survives after half of his body was severed in an accident

Just be ready to be amazed, again. This story is fascinating.
On 2 December, at 9:50 am, a train from Changsha T30 was gradually moving towards the Beijing West Station. When the train door opened, a man with only half a body was leaning onto his son's chest. Hugging tightly to his son's body with his arms, he looked around excitingly with a smile on his face. He was going on an excursion round Beijing with the companion of his wife and son, transported by a specially made small cart. It was not easy for him to travel as the airline has rejected him due to his condition. Thus, they turned to traveling by rail. The person-in-charge of train station provided them a special compartment and free meals for dinner and breakfast for the family in the journey.

On 9 March 2004, this 46-year-old man was hit badly by a truck causing the bones below his abdomen to be crushed in Shenzhen, China. Doctors spent 7 months trying to rescue him from death and they succeeded. Due to the lost of the lower half of his body, his height has been reduced from 1.62 meters to 0.78 meters and now weights only 33 kg.

(read more)

Bipartisan panel urges agencies to order civilians to Iraq

So the US will have a draft, but it won't be called conscription. Yeah, that should go over well. Shit!
With the situation in Iraq "grave and deteriorating," the United States must begin the process of shifting troops out of the country, members of a bipartisan panel said Wednesday. But at the same time, the group recommended, the Bush administration must make sure that it has sufficient civilian personnel in Iraq -- if necessary, by ordering some employees to serve there.

"The nature of the mission in Iraq is unfamiliar and dangerous, and the United States has had great difficulty filling civilian assignments in Iraq with sufficient numbers of properly trained personnel at the appropriate rank," wrote members of the Iraq Study Group, co-chaired by former Secretary of State James A. Baker II and former Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Ind., in their report. For example, panel members said, the United States still has "far too few Arab language-proficient" officials in the country.

To address the problem, the group recommended that the secretaries of State and Defense and the Director of National Intelligence put the "highest possible priority" on language and cultural training for military personnel and civilian employees about to be assigned to Iraq. And, the report said, if not enough of the latter group volunteer to go to the country, "civilian agencies must fill those positions with directed assignments."

If agencies do so, the panel recommended, the federal government should take steps to address employees' financial hardships resulting from service in Iraq, such as providing the same tax breaks military personnel stationed in the country receive.

(read more)

Legislators may reconsider suspending habeas corpus for detainees

This is great news except for one thing. Its Arlen Specter they're talking about and he is brave as a lion until push comes to shove when he becomes a paper tiger.
President Bush's victory in getting the rules he wanted to try suspected terrorists could be diminished.

The top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee signaled this week that he'll join prominent Democrats in seeking to restore legal rights to hundreds of suspected terrorists confined at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and elsewhere.

While the measure to restore the right of habeas corpus has almost no chance of passing before Congress adjourns later this week, the message is clear: When Democrats take over in early January, the issue could resurface.

The Military Commissions Act of 2006, which Bush signed into law in October, prevents detainees who aren't U.S. citizens from challenging their detentions in civilian courts. But Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., who voted for the legislation despite his opposition to stripping such rights from detainees, on Tuesday reintroduced legislation to restore those rights. A similar measure sponsored by Specter failed by three votes in October.

In a speech on the Senate floor, Specter said he was reintroducing the issue to prevent federal courts from striking down the legislation, which some of the detainees' attorneys have challenged.

(read more)

Homeland Security reports massive abuse by government employees

I'll set this up, but you have to read it all to see how extensive this is.
A semi-annual report filed this week by Homeland Security Inspector General Richard L. Skinner showed a marked increase in arrests of department and other government employees, but contained no recommendations for security improvements, RAW STORY has learned.

Media spokeswoman Tamara Faulkner of the Inspector General's office told RAW STORY that many of the arrests associated with the report, "were due to oversight associated with the inter-departmental oversight involved with the recovery process of Hurricane Katrina."

Indeed, there was fraud discovered in connection with Katrina and the FEMA division of Homeland Security, but more alarming are the many arrests made of employees working for the government. Among the claims:

Insane in the Brain

I just don't know what to excerpt. This guy is so fucking crazy that everything he says is as loony as the last. Just read for yourself at Sadly, No!

Unfortunately this idiot still has influence in Washington.

'Miracle' recovery of boy whose head was severed from neck

Just be ready to be amazed. This story is fascinating.
The mother of a 12-year-old boy whose head was severed from his neck in a racing car crash has spoken of her son’s miraculous recovery.

Chris Stewart suffered an internal decapitation, which kills or disables most people, when he hit a crash barrier at a track in Hampshire, England, on September 24.

But just four weeks after the 40mph crash, Chris was allowed home from Southampton General Hospital for weekend visits.

His parents Debra, 40, and John, a 42-year-old carpenter, said his survival and recovery is a miracle.

“I was watching the race and I just felt physically sick,” said Mrs Stewart. I could see the impact, how fast he was going.

“At first I wasn’t really sure about the extent of his injuries. He had been knocked out but came round and stayed awake while they cut him out of the car. I certainly never thought he had broken his neck.”
Chris was 11 at the time and driving in a junior class on a grass track with the Tongham Motor Club. The impact of the crash separated his head from his neck internally.

His tongue was also detached at the root which makes speaking and eating difficult for him.

Firefighters spent 90 minutes cutting him out of the wrecked 1,000cc Mini before he was taken by ambulance to Southampton General Hospital.

He underwent a six-hour, life-saving operation, known as a occipital-cervical fusion, which re-attached his head to his top vertebrae with metal plates and bone-grafts.

Mrs Stewart, a financial advisor who also has 10-year-old son Patrick and eight-year-old daughter Sophie, said: “He is very lucky to be alive. It’s a miracle really. The surgeon told us we had no choice, he would die without the operation but that there was only a seven per cent chance he would survive it. Once they had done the operation they couldn’t guarantee what condition he would be in.”

But the schoolboy did survive. He spent 19 days in intensive care and after four weeks wearing a neck collar he can now swim, walk, exercise and can’t wait to get behind the wheel again.

“He has no chance. I can’t go through that again,” added Mrs Stewart.

I'm with mom. His racing days are through.
(read more)

The Bush family unvieled

Personally I think they're both losing it.

It always was and still is about the oil

I hope you never doubted that for a moment because to do so would to admit your mental illness.
In its heavily anticipated report released on Wednesday, the Iraq Study Group made at least four truly radical proposals.

The report calls for the United States to assist in privatizing Iraq's national oil industry, opening Iraq to private foreign oil and energy companies, providing direct technical assistance for the "drafting" of a new national oil law for Iraq, and assuring that all of Iraq's oil revenues accrue to the central government. President Bush hired an employee from the U.S. consultancy firm Bearing Point Inc. over a year ago to advise the Iraq Oil Ministry on the drafting and passage of a new national oil law. As previously drafted, the law opens Iraq's nationalized oil sector to private foreign corporate investment, but stops short of full privatization. The ISG report, however, goes further, stating that "the United States should assist Iraqi leaders to reorganize the national oil industry as a commercial enterprise." In addition, the current Constitution of Iraq is ambiguous as to whether control over Iraq's oil should be shared among its regional provinces or held under the central government. The report specifically recommends the latter: "Oil revenues should accrue to the central government and be shared on the basis of population." If these proposals are followed, Iraq's national oil industry will be privatized and opened to foreign firms, and in control of all of Iraq's oil wealth.

The proposals should come as little surprise given that two authors of the report, James A. Baker III and Lawrence Eagleburger, have each spent much of their political and corporate careers in pursuit of greater access to Iraq's oil and wealth.

(read more)

Considering Jose Padilla

The US government drove him mad by the cruel treatment meeted out to him. What if he had been a dog? Well here are a few of the laws pertaining to dogs in Oregon:
(a) Food of sufficient quantity and quality to allow for normal growth or maintenance of body weight.

(b) Open or adequate access to potable water in sufficient quantity to satisfy the animal's needs. Snow or ice is not an adequate water source.

(c) In the case of pet or domestic animals, access to a barn, dog house or other enclosed structure sufficient to protect the animal from wind, rain, snow or sun and which has adequate bedding to protect against cold and dampness.

(d) Veterinary care deemed necessary by a reasonably prudent person to relieve distress from injury, neglect or disease.

(e) Pet or domestic animals shall not be confined to an area without adequate space for exercise necessary for the health of the animal or which does not allow access to a dry place for the animal to rest. The air temperature in a confinement area must be suitable for the animal involved. Confinement areas must be kept reasonably clean and free from excess waste or other contaminants which could affect the animal's health.


(1) A person commits the crime of aggravated animal abuse in the first degree if the person:

(a) Maliciously kills an animal; or

(b) Intentionally or knowingly tortures an animal.

(2) Aggravated animal abuse in the first degree is a Class C felony.

(3) As used in this section, "maliciously" means intentionally acting with a depravity of mind and reckless and wanton disregard of life.


1) A person commits the crime of animal neglect in the first degree if, except as otherwise authorized by law, the person intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or with criminal negligence:

(a) Fails to provide minimum care for an animal in such person's custody or control; and

(b) Such failure to provide care results in serious physical injury or death to the animal.

I picked Oregon because I suspected they would have some pretty complete laws on the subject.

The point is, you are breaking the law in Oregon if you treat a dog the way Jose Padilla was.

(read more)

Sorry I was AWOL

Had technical problems for several hours. Have I shown you how old my PC is?

Just joking about the PC. Anyway, when I was able to blog I discovered there was really only one story which was 1. Not covered my every MoFo blogger and news outlet in the world and 2. Worth mentioning.
The Bush administration is considering doing away with health standards that cut lead from gasoline, widely regarded as one of the nation's biggest clean-air accomplishments.

Battery makers, lead smelters, refiners all have lobbied the administration to do away with the Clean Air Act limits.

A preliminary staff review released by the
Environmental Protection Agency this week acknowledged the possibility of dropping the health standards for lead air pollution. The agency says revoking those standards might be justified "given the significantly changed circumstances since lead was listed in 1976" as an air pollutant.

The EPA says concentrations of lead in the air have dropped more than 90 percent in the past 2 1/2 decades. [emphasis mine]

Uh, yeah. It was effective so why in hell keep it? Duh!

Tinfoil hat time. Many cars can't run on leaded gasoline. Is this a way to bolster sagging US auto makers by forcing buyers to purchase new can-run-on-leaded cars? Or, equally tinfoilish, is it a bone for the oil companies because they can refine oil more cheaply by just infusing lead into their products? Just asking.

Hahaha. Just as I was going to hit "enter" to post this, I lost my connection to Blogger. Good thing I have a sense of humor isn't it, you Blogger Bastards.

(read more)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Michael Kinsley's last column? Could be

Oh my. This is reporting.
It is not the fault of Jenna or Barbara Bush that their father, the president, has gotten us into a war that he doesn't know how to get us out of. And, although you can blame parents for almost anything, George W. and Laura Bush are no longer responsible for the behavior of their twin daughters, who are in their mid-20s. Presidents, like the rest of us, don't get to choose their relatives. Remember Billy Carter?

He gets much more [sorry, don't know the word to enter here] Perhaps caustic?

(read more)

The inconvenient truth

Gore? Humorless? Pshaaa.

Hello, I'm Al Gore, former next president of the United States.

Must Read IMHO

Quote du jour

This from Carpetbagger Report.
Of course, Bush says we’re winning [in Iraq], Gates says we’re not. Why would anyone think they disagree?

Different religions do offer perks

I used to work with a woman who is Jewish. One day she was saying she loved Christmas because, as a skier, she could go skiing on Christmas day and the slopes were quite empty.

File under: Eclectic

I really don't want to do this, but...

This post may cost me some readers. I sure hope not.

I grew up with guns. They aren't tools of the devil no more than are kitchen knives. If handled properly they are safe.

I also feel all Americans have a right to own guns and the government has no right to know who has them. That's exactly how people can be controlled. If you know I have a gun and you want to take it, you can.

All that shit said, I see no reason why most people need assault weapons.

I also feel adults are responsible if children can get their hands on their guns.

Cheap handguns designed only to kill people are a abhorrent.

And I see absolutely nothing wrong with "waiting periods". In fact I like them. People do amazingly stupid things in the heat of the moment.

Laws that hold adults responsible when children get guns.

Assault-weapon bans in Columbus and six other cities.

Prohibitions on "Saturday night specials."

A Cincinnati measure barring firearms sales within 1,000 feet of schools.

All those and dozens of other ordinances would be swept away by a proposed state law that Gov. Bob Taft has pledged to veto.

Overall, 80 ordinances in Columbus, Dublin and 18 other communities would be preempted if House Bill 347 becomes law. The bill is on the way to Taft after passing the Republican-controlled Ohio House 74-14 and the Ohio Senate 19-10.

Taft spokesman Mark Rickel said yesterday that the bill had not arrived at the governor’s office. Once Taft gets the bill, he has 10 days to sign it, veto it or let it take effect without his signature.

If Taft, a Republican, rejects the bill, the House would have to muster 60 votes and the Senate 20 votes to override the veto.

The proposal would wipe out five Columbus ordinances in addition to the assault-weapons ban: a permit requirement for firearms dealers, display regulations for firearms for sale, a prohibition on large-capacity ammunition magazines, local licensing of gun purchasers and daily delivery of firearms sales records by dealers.

Dublin would have four ordinances eliminated, including a waiting period for gun purchases.

I understand the position of people in favor of gun control, but don't believe it's the right solution. Regulating guns is treating the symptom and not the disease. Hell, I could kill with a pencil if I wanted to, which I don't. Well...

(read more)

Nuke the bastards!

I have no idea why this conformation went so well.
Robert Gates, seemingly clinching confirmation as the new secretary of defense, said Tuesday the United States is not winning in Iraq and he's confident President Bush will listen to his ideas about forging a new war strategy.

He was confirmed BTW.

Oh yeah, Bush will listen. OMG! Spare me the jokes. Can't take it. Tummy hurts.

(read more)

Putin's government says it will call the shots in probe over whether Putin's government murdered a former KGB agent in London

Yeah, that worked for the Pentagon.

Another one bites the dust

Some coalition, huh?
The Korean government has notified the United States of its plan to draw up a roadmap next year aimed at pulling all Korean troops out of Iraq while extending the deployment for another year, Seoul sources said yesterday.

They're dropping like flies.

(read more)

Big Oil can count on Interior motives

Just throw up after reading this. I'll understand and feel for ya.
It came in the mail the other day, a solicitation for a small- cap oil company stock that promised to make me a millionaire almost overnight.

"You'll be a card-carrying member of the easy-money crowd," it promised in suitably purple prose; be a part of "the cartel of smart Texans who send out a secret radar to their pals about where piles of money are stashed as they blow across west Texas' dusty roads in their hot-rodded Rolls Royces, Corvettes and Escalades." You can, it cooed, "be filthy rich." Fancy that.

Don't know just who put this impassioned pitch together, but he's slick. Probably got a sideline selling cemetery sites in Baghdad and perhaps a past peddling Enron stock to widows and orphans. But in the process he (or she?) offered this insight into why the awl bid ness, as Texan Molly Ivins would put it, is hyper profitable today and promises to remain so in the immediate future: The oil industry won't spend a penny of its obscene profits for new exploration.

Instead, he bragged, it has conned Congress into forking over $10 billion in tax incentives to help it find more of the black gold to sell at exorbitant profits.

Jesus H Christ on steroids, but the Bush admin never lets up. They intend to rape the public for generations.

(read more)

Lest we forget

Sure looks like fun, huh? Just asking

Sometimes the Repugs do someting right.
Notorious internment camps where Japanese-Americans were kept behind barbed wire during World War II will be preserved as stark reminders of how the United States turned on some of its citizens in a time of fear.

As one of its last acts, the Republican-led Congress on Tuesday sent
President Bush legislation establishing a $38 million program of National Park Service grants to restore and pay for research at 10 camps where the government sent people of Japanese descent after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

I have no idea why this would take $38 million. They want gold toilet seats?

Be that as it may, the idea we have to preserve such sites so people won't forget the atrocities is laudable.

In that same article.
On another issue, the House postponed a showdown vote on opening 8 million more acres in the Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas drilling. Supporters were worried about achieving the two-thirds supermajority needed to pass the measure under rules allowing little debate. They said they might make another attempt before week's end using different rules that allow broader debate but require only a simple majority.

Chalk one up for sanity. All oil all the time isn't what we need.

(read more)

My take on the Bolton resignation

I once worked with a black guy who had lived in the South and North of America. He told me he preferred the South because the bigots were identifiable. They didn't hide their hatred of blacks. Northerners were more subtle and harder to spot.

That's how I view Bolton. He was never a wolf in sheep's clothing. His fangs showed.

Unfortunately, because he was identifiable by all UN members as a wolf, he was incapable of doing anything constructive. He was dismissed as a smelly animal that would eat you if given a chance. He was always a tool for Bush, as are all Bush appointees, and never a significant contributor to the UN.

BTW if you haven't visited® you are deprived. The Photoshopping® there is fantastic.

This Just Sucks

This is the whole post, complete with link. I'll make a courtesy link to Jonco later.
A family moving from Geneva (Illinois) to California is coping with the theft of their 26-foot moving truck — and virtually all their possessions — from a Las Vegas hotel.

“It was our whole house,” said Justin Krzyston, a 2000 Geneva High School graduate. “My parents have been married for 30 years. It’s everything they’ve worked for.”

The family stopped at the Venetian Hotel Nov. 25 to spend the night and have some fun. They parked their rented moving truck, along with their 1999 Jeep Cherokee on a trailer, in a lot with a guarded, gated entrance.

The next morning they returned to find both trucks gone.

The Jeep was found less than a day later in another parking lot, but the truck is still missing, Las Vegas police department spokesman Jose Montoya said.

He said investigators have reviewed surveillance tapes, but the moving truck was blocked from view by two large semitrailers.

“Auto theft is a crime of opportunity,” Montoya said. “Unfortunately, it was all their household goods.”

Justin Krzyston said Venetian officials denied liability for the loss and only offered the family a room at a discounted rate. Krzyston said the family did not have insurance for the cross-country trip. The hotel did not immediately respond to messages.

Krzyston set up a Web site, to tell their story and ask for donations.

Yeah, I know people have it worse in NOLA, Afganistan, Iraq...

(courtesy link as promised)

The War On Christmas

Must. Do. My. Part. To. Destroy. It.

Must Read IMHO

The reason why I believe you need to see this site will become quite apparent.

Let me save you some time

Always picture a 5 year old when you encounter anything Bush.

His response to Bolton's resignation was a perfect example. Oh, you don't like my friend. You're such meanies. Perhaps I'll cry. And that's how he reacts even when he has no owie.

Afghanistan churns out yet another record crop of opium

The latest news out of Afganistan. Thank gawd something positive is happening there. At least opium and heroin prices will be dropping.
Opium production in Afghanistan, which provides more than 90 percent of the world's heroin, broke all records in 2006, reaching a historic high despite ongoing U.S.-sponsored eradication efforts, the Bush administration reported yesterday.

In addition to a 26 percent production increase over past year -- for a total of 5,644 metric tons -- the amount of land under cultivation in opium poppies grew by 61 percent. Cultivation in the two main production provinces, Helmand in the southwest and Oruzgan in central Afghanistan, was up by 132 percent.

White House drug policy chief John Walters called the news "disappointing."

Walters was disappointed because they were shooting for a 150% increase in production.

Now can Bush do something about the price of oil? Just asking.

(read more)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Jim Webb and his Bush encounter

Gotta weigh in on this because the story won't die.

Jim Webb is a man. He didn't leave his balls at the gate to the White House. He was angered by Bush the idiot and he showed remarkable restrain to only bith slap Bush verbaly,K?

Must Read IMHO

Kids killing kids. A sad story, but its reality. A snippet.
At least 21 people were killed at school during the 2004-05 academic year, a slight increase from the year before, the government reported Sunday.

The study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics does not include data from fatal shootings in Wisconsin, Colorado and Pennsylvania this fall. In Pennsylvania, five Amish girls were killed in a one-room schoolhouse by a milk truck driver who then turned the gun on himself.

Yes the guy who killed the Amish girls was an adult, but he is an exception. Most often its children who kill their classmates.

What is civil war?

Let's see. For a country as small as Iraq, doesn't 40-50 dead and probably mutilated bodies qualify as civil war? That stuff ain't normal in my neighborhood.

Sorry for the picture folks, but this is the Iraqi reality.

Minnesota Tops List in Health Rankings

Is there a lesson here? Sure looks like it. Minnesota might be a model for America.
An annual report released Tuesday put Minnesota at the top of its health rankings for the fourth straight year, while concluding that the nation's health improved slightly.

The report by United Health Foundation, an independent, not-for-profit foundation funded by the health care company UnitedHealth Group, said Americans are 0.3 percent healthier than they were a year ago.

The report is based on factors such as personal behaviors, the environment people live and work in, decisions by public and elected officials, and the quality of medical care delivered by health professionals.

Examples include smoking, motor vehicle deaths, high school graduation rates, children in poverty, access to care and incidence of preventable disease.

Dr. Reed Tuckson, senior vice president of the United Health Foundation, called the report a "call to action for all of us" to make the nation healthier.

"We can do better and our children deserve better," he said.

Minnesota, which has held the top spot in 11 of the 17 years of the survey, was cited for, among other things, its low rate of uninsured (8.4 percent), low percentage of children in poverty (10 percent), and low infant mortality rate (5.1 deaths per 1,000 live births).

Uninsured at 8.4%. Fantastic.

(read more)

The War On Christmas

It just keeps getting uglier.

Welcome to the internets tubes, candidates

Very interesting although not at all surprising.
Is this the dawning of the Presidential e-Announcement? Are candidates picking the unpredictable (and debatably unquantifiable) internet audience over traditional Nielsen ratings? Will this crop of Presidential candidates choose to declare their intentions on their own Web site instead of Meet The Press? Recent events show this might be the case.

Hahaha. Bet ya thought I couldn't find a picture of the internets tubes, but you were wrong. You can find anything on the internets. Well, everything except my car keys. Damn! Where did I put them?

(read more)

A little quiz for you

I will give you some headlines from The Hill Blog. See if you can guess if it is a Repug or a Dem. You'll have to go to the blog for the answers, but you won't need them. You'll score 100% on this quiz. Trust me.
Unborn Children Feel Pain Too

EPA Failed Us, Tens of Thousands Still Sick from 9/11

Drilling Bill Protects Florida’s Coasts

Rewarding Our Allies by Extending the Visa Waiver Program

Drilling Means Revenue for Gulf States

The Senate Failed John Bolton

See? I told you it was an easy quiz.

What is Bush on anyway?

In a post a while back I suggested it would be good if the GOP would just put Bush in a quiet room somewhere until the end of his term of office so he could do no more damage. Now I'm thinking the room should be padded.

"For example some would argue that the fact that…ummm 90% of the country—most of the country outside of the Baghdad area is relatively peaceful—doesn't indicate a civil war as far as they're concerned."

-- George W Bush
Delusional world leader

The brown people are going to be allowed to stay. Whatever will we do?

No link to this because, well, on principle. But you don't need one because I swiped the whole fucking post. Gawd these people are scared little children. I bet they sleep with the light on.
Charles Hurt at the Washington Times wrote today, it is very likely that the new liberal Congress, will pass pro-amnesty legislation, when they take over next month.

“ Democrats in both chambers say they will start with some form of legislation first drafted by Sens. John McCain, Arizona Republican, and Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, which was the basis for the bill that was approved earlier this year by the Senate. ”

Looks like McCain will be happy. He’s one RINO who has benefited from this past Novembers election. Finally he can get his beloved amnesty passed. Not to mention, Edward “McBurpsalot” Kennedy, who McCain sides with on this, and many, issues.

“”This past May, the Senate Judiciary Committee reported and then the Senate passed bipartisan versions of comprehensive immigration reform to bring people out of the shadows while strengthening our borders,” Mr. Leahy said. “I look forward to building on that work next year and making progress on a bipartisan effort that improves security, supports our economy and respects the dignity of all people.”

You all remember this past May. When illegals and their supporters marched in the streets, blocking traffic, leaving school, switching our flag, with the Mexican and attempting (and failing) to halt our economy? Apparently, they are going to come out of the shadows now. I wasn’t aware they were hiding in the shadows before. Note how Leahy pretends for a moment that he cares about American security and protecting our borders.

The House, where we took the most casualities, was the only body of government set to halt all attempts to pass pro-amnesty immigration reform. Now that the House has been taken over and the President as pro-amnesty, open borders, as ever, there is nothing to stand in its way. Except Us.

Get used to it. White Anglo-Saxons will soon be the minority in America and their ain't a thing you can do about it. I'm not so sure that will be a bad situation at all.

And if historians and archaeologists are right, everyone in America is an immigrant including the Native Americans. So this is like a tradition, right? Just asking.

RIP Zappa

(December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993)

This from a link over on Crooks and Liars.
It is not only Frank Zappa's absurd sense of humor that has made him a revered rock legend. He was also one of rock's very best composers, drawing from a deep understanding of classical music, as well as 50's rock and 70's pop.


In the 60's, when Zappa owned a small studio, a costumer asked him to produce a 'suggestive' recording for a stag party. Mostly as a joke, Zappa recruited some friends, and together they faked sounds of people having sex for the 'erotic' recording. The customer turned out to be an undercover Vice Squad member, and Zappa was thrown in jail for ten days for supplying pornography. Ever since, he was a constant rebel against authority and especially music censorship.

Let me save you some time

If you see Bolton's name in a headline, you can stop reading. The story will be this or that person in Washington saying one of two things depending on party affiliation or inclination (think Faux News)

Dem: "The president can nominate someone we can all live with."

Repug: "The Democrats are responsible for Bolton's resignation."

All other statements are slight variations of these two.

Been there. Done that. Wore out the shirt

From Overheard in New York.
Professor: Have a good weekend! [Pause] What day is today?
Students: Monday.
Professor: Shit!



This came from an article about the guy chosen to head this government body.

Israel now has a Minister of Strategic Threats?

What's next? Perhaps a Minister of Minor Threats? Maybe a Minister of Threatening Speech?

The world has gone completely insane which is fine by me because I'm already there.

Must Read IMHO

If you read the whole story, the picture will make sense...or not.

We must never forget what Bush and his minions did to Jose Padilla. From the NYT.
One spring day during his three and a half years as an enemy combatant, Jose Padilla experienced a break from the monotony of his solitary confinement in a bare cell in the brig at the Naval Weapons Station in Charleston, S.C.

In the videotape, Mr. Padilla's feet were shackled.

That day, Mr. Padilla, a Brooklyn-born Muslim convert whom the Bush administration had accused of plotting a dirty bomb attack and had detained without charges, got to go to the dentist.

“Today is May 21,” a naval official declared to a camera videotaping the event. “Right now we’re ready to do a root canal treatment on Jose Padilla, our enemy combatant.”

Several guards in camouflage and riot gear approached cell No. 103. They unlocked a rectangular panel at the bottom of the door and Mr. Padilla’s bare feet slid through, eerily disembodied. As one guard held down a foot with his black boot, the others shackled Mr. Padilla’s legs. Next, his hands emerged through another hole to be manacled.

Did you catch that? He was born in Brooklyn. He wasn't captured in Afganistan of Iraq or any other foreign country. He's a fellow American.

And just how much useful information can one glean from "a piece of furniture"? Just asking.

Charge the guy, try him, convict him and imprison him, but don't treat him worse than is legally permissible for a dog.

Read the whole story if you think you can stomach it.

Your quote of the day

I love to post quotes. Its so much easier than, like, thinking.

“It’s not that he [Bush] can’t handle the truth about Iraq. He doesn’t know what the truth is.”

-- Frank Rich
NYT Op-Ed guy

Is there a more succinct way to portray Bush? Gawd I love brevity.

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Your ROFLMAO moment

‘Whatever happened to the concept of accountability for catastrophic failure?’

This is really good. From Carpetbagger Report. Gore at his finest.
GQ asked, for example, whether we’d be safer today if he’d won the 2000 race. Gore said, “Well, no one [can] say that the 9-11 attack wouldn’t have occurred whoever was president.” [moderate political response so far - ed]

GQ followed up, “Really? How about all the warnings?” That’s when it got good. The description of Gore’s speaking style appears in the original:
“That’s a separate question. And it’s almost too easy to say, ‘I would have heeded the warnings.’ In fact, I think I would have, I know I would have. We had several instances when the CIA’s alarm bells went off, and what we did when that happened was, we had emergency meetings and called everybody together and made sure that all systems were go and every agency was hitting on all cylinders, and we made them bring more information, and go into the second and third and fourth level of detail. And made suggestions on how we could respond in a more coordinated, more effective way. It is inconceivable to me that Bush would read a warning as stark and as clear [voice angry now] as the one he received on August 6th of 2001, and, according to some of the new histories, he turned to the briefer and said, ‘Well, you’ve covered your ass.’ And never called a follow up meeting. Never made an inquiry. Never asked a single question. To this day, I don’t understand it. And, I think it’s fair to say that he personally does in fact bear a measure of blame for not doing his job at a time when we really needed him to do his job.

Exclusive photo of the Bush White House

Please don't hotlink to this.

Must Read IMHO

I'll offer a snippet, but it doesn't do justice to the post.
George W. Bush, who proudly claimed the mantle of “war president,” was keenly rebuked in the recent mid-term election. The event was notable, but it merely continued the surreal politics of premeditated war—a politics that has dominated the last six bizarre, hideous years of our nation’s history.

Two elements of the repudiation seem unreal, indeed. Not the fact of it, but the amazing length of its gestation period—those six years—and how tepid it was. Given the documented record of the Bush Administration—lying us into war, torturing prisoners, rewarding cronies with no-bid contracts, spying secretly on the nation’s citizens, selling public policy to Jack Abramoff’s clients, stating even their intent to ignore laws with dozens of “signing statements”—one would expect the political about-face to have occurred far sooner, and the protest to have been a firestorm. Bush loyalists in Congress (and George Bush) should have been turned out angrily and en masse two years ago.

Moderation in all things, right?

I'm beginning to become very fond of David Kuo. You know, the guy who wrote the book about Bushco's fleecing of the flock? Sort of a bait-and-switch sort of thing.

Read his latest.

Must Read IMHO

Its long, but this is a good story.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Bush accepts Bolton's U.N. resignation

OMG!!!1!! And this came while the GOP still controls the Senate? Will wonders never cease?
Unable to win Senate confirmation, U.N. Ambassador John Bolton will step down when his temporary appointment expires within weeks, the White House said Monday.

Bolton's nomination has languished in the
Senate Foreign Relations Committee for more than a year, blocked by Democrats and several Republicans. Sen. Lincoln Chafee (news, bio, voting record), a moderate Republican who lost in the midterm elections Nov. 7 that swept Democrats to power in both houses of Congress, was adamantly opposed to Bolton.

Critics have questioned Bolton's brusque style and whether he could be an effective public servant who could help bring reform to the U.N.

President Bush, in a statement, said he was "deeply disappointed that a handful of United States senators prevented Ambassador Bolton from receiving the up or down vote he deserved in the Senate."

"They chose to obstruct his confirmation, even though he enjoys majority support in the Senate, and even though their tactics will disrupt our diplomatic work at a sensitive and important time," Bush said. "This stubborn obstructionism ill serves our country, and discourages men and women of talent from serving their nation."

Personally, I thought with a little more tact and restraint, Bolton might have been a decent ambassador, but that was never Bolton's style.

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