Saturday, April 29, 2006
Number one. If it is the consumer who is being gouged at the pump, then the money should go to the gasoline consumer who has been gouged. Not taxpayers; who may or may not buy gasoline.
This should not be like a tax rafund. There are consumers of gasoline who live below the poverty line so far, that they are not taxed, but they still must use fuel.
This is apples and oranges. Get the money back oto the consumer, not the tax payer. We were not gouged by the government.
This would be a great way to encourage investment in mass transit systems, in and around urban areas of all sizes, but also to invest in a nationwide rail system of some kind. Obviously, the one kind that will be the most successful will be the one that is the most fuel efficient, as the fares will remain cheaper, no matter the wild fluctuations of the price of oil or other fossil fuels.
Also, can we change the word car to vehicle. Given a person's situaliton like; age, geographical location, income, etc. An actual car might not be the least expensive or fuel efficient choice for many Americans. We should also encourage the use of non-tradtional, individual modes of transportaion to be designed and used, that are more fuel efficient and contribute less to the degradation of our environment, if at all.
Americans will always need individual modes of transportation. It is a part of who we are, as a nation. It is also true of just about every other people on earth. Witness the number of bycycles in Amsterdam.
Henry Ford once believed that the motorcycle would be America's main mode of transportation. He may just be right, after all. Yet they may be motorcycles (and tricycles) of which he could not have conceived.
We could, as a nation, turn things around pretty damned fast if we only had the leadership to do it.
Unfortunately, we have two Oilmen and a bunch of rightwing eggheads running everything and they have only their agenda to think of, because that is all they seem to give a damn about.
Congressman Dennis Kucinich:
"WASHINGTON - April 28 - With gas prices continuing to be sky-high, and the big oil companies reaping historic profits, support has grown in the House of Representatives for legislation, authored by Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH), to place an excessive profits tax on the big oil companies. Currently, 50 Members of Congress are co-sponsors of HR 2070, The Gas Price Spike Act.
'Consumers are being gouged at the pump, and more and more Members of Congress are realizing an excess profits tax is the best, fastest, and most prudent intervention to quickly drop the price of gasoline and restore the integrity of the market,' stated Congressman Kucinich. "
Iraq and Iran will be footnotes, in Bush's "legacy." No one will ever see what is happenng in Iraq as a good thing, nor will anyone consider bombing Iran as a good thing.
Of course, if the idiot Nukes Iran, then his legacy will be the destruction of the planet.
Bush should shut the hell up and sit down, because his "legacy" only stands to get worse, the more he runs his mouth and runs around the world.
Bush's Misbegotten Iran Plan:
"In an article titled ''The Iran Plans,' published in a recent issue of The New Yorker, Seymour M. Hersh -- who helped bring the Abu Ghraib prison scandal to light -- examines what appear to be well-advanced White House plans for a bombing campaign against Iran. Such bombing, according to his findings, might include the use of ''tactical' nuclear weapons, for it seems that Iran's recently elected president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is a ''potential Adolf Hitler.'
Though any story based on deliberate leaks is open to a certain skepticism -- who is doing the leaking; what is their real objective -- elements in Hersh's article ring a painful bell.
He alleges that President Bush's ultimate goal in his confrontation with Iran is, once again, regime change and that the president believes that ''saving Iran will be his legacy.'
Far from saving Iran, if he goes ahead with this plan, Bush will be hailed as the savior of Islamic fundamentalism.
Surely recent United States experience in Iraq and Afghanistan has made one fact clear: US military action is not an efficient tool for defeating religious extremism or promoting democracy. "
I want to know if Bush and Cheney knew about 9/11 before it happened.
I want them to have to take public polygraphs about all the disinformation they peddled, on an almost daily basis, in the run up to the illegal war in Iraq.
I want them all questioned about every thing, every scandal; Abu Ghraib, Gitmo and on and on, ad nauseum.
Yep, if the polygraph is going to become a way of life in Washngton, Let's start with the leaker-in-chief!
Beware the Culture of the Polygraph:
"WASHINGTON - Here we go again with the culture of the polygraph.
In 1985, President Reagan, who complained of being 'up to my keister in leaks,' ordered lie detector tests for a host of officials, including cabinet members. He backed off when Secretary of State George Shultz threatened to resign, saying that management by intimidation was no way to protect national security.
Now, CIA Director Porter Goss is returning to the era of the polygraph after a couple of leaks that caused the administration intense embarrassment.
Last December, The New York Times broke the Pulitzer Prize-winning story of President Bush's secret authorization to the National Security Agency to conduct domestic eavesdropping without warrants.
Last November, the Washington Post broke the Pulitzer award-winning story of the CIA interrogating some of its most important prisoners in secret prisons in Eastern Europe.
Mary McCarthy, who worked in the office of the CIA Inspector General, which has agency-wide access to classified material, was summarily fired. CIA sources said that after a polygraph, she admitted to having been the source of the leak about CIA prisons. "
So, I doubt seriously if any warning from anyone would have mattered. The 9/11 attacks were a gift from on-high for Bush, who was an illigitimate president, with a long-standing plan to go to war in the middle east, specifically, in Iraq.
If Israel was behind the attacks, as more far out conspiracy theories have held, then they are truly nsane over there and do not need there own state. They would stand to lose everything, including the only real ally they have. So no one really believes that one, unless one considers that many NeoCons have worked for the Israeli government as well as the U.S. government, including Wolfowitz and Perle.
One effect this entire sorry episode has had, is to cause many, many Americans to take a look at our foreign policy where Israel in concerned.
It should be re-examined.
Ferment Over 'The Israel Lobby':
"Intellectuals can only dream of having the impact that John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt have had this spring. Within hours of their publishing a critique of the Israel lobby in The London Review of Books for March 23, the article was zinging around the world, soon to show up on the front pages of newspapers and stir heated discussion on cable-TV shows.
Virtually overnight, two balding professors in their 50s had become public intellectuals, ducking hundreds of e-mails, phone messages and challenges to debate.
Titled 'The Israel Lobby,' the piece argued that a wide-ranging coalition that includes neoconservatives, Christian Zionists, leading journalists and of course the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, exerts a 'stranglehold' on Middle East policy and public debate on the issue. While supporting the moral cause for the existence of Israel, the authors said there was neither a strategic nor a moral interest in America's siding so strongly with post-occupation Israel.
Many Americans thought the Iraq War was about oil, but 'the war was motivated in good part by a desire to make Israel more secure.' "
"I really had no idea how to spot a terrorist until I studied the manuals published by the Phoenix FBI, the state employees of Virginia, and the Texas Department of Public Safety. Now that I have absorbed these manuals, I not only know how to spot a terrorist, but I have discovered that I probably am a terrorist.
The Phoenix FBI manual was published while Clinton was still president. The Joint Terrorism Task Force was formed to 'help preserve the American way of life.' Its flyer requested that citizens contact the task force if they saw any of the following:
Defenders of the U.S. Constitution against federal government and the UN
Groups of individuals engaging in para-military training
Those who make numerous references to the U.S. Constitution
Those who attempt to police the police
Read On ^...you might be a terrorist and not know it.
"On Sept. 9, 1969, a big brown envelope was delivered to the Oval Office on behalf of CIA Director Richard M. Helms. On it he had written, 'For and to be opened only by: The President, The White House.' The precise contents of the envelope are still unknown, but it was the latest intelligence on one of Washington's most secretive foreign policy matters: Israel's nuclear program. The material was so sensitive that the nation's spymaster was unwilling to share it with anybody but President Richard M. Nixon himself.
The now-empty envelope is inside a two-folder set labeled 'NSSM 40,' held by the Nixon Presidential Materials Project at the National Archives. (NSSM is the acronym for National Security Study Memorandum, a series of policy studies produced by the national security bureaucracy for the Nixon White House.) The NSSM 40 files are almost bare because most of their documents remain classified."
How many times has this man died, now?
Zarqawi: the man, the image, the video star csmonitor.com:
"His message for the insurgents is clear: With my robust build and white teeth, I'm your inspiration.
By Fawaz A. Gerges
BRONXVILLE, N.Y.: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the elusive leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, made his screen debut this week. In a 35-minute video, the man responsible for the car-bomb deaths of hundreds of Iraqi civilians and the beheadings of numerous foreigners, dismissed the new Iraqi government as an American 'stooge' and a 'poisoned dagger' in the heart of the Muslim community. He promised more attacks.
The Zarqawi video comes, perhaps not coincidentally, days after another call by Osama bin Laden that Muslims support Al Qaeda in its war with the West. In addition, there was a triple bombing at an Egyptian resort that killed two dozen and injured many more, and double suicide bombings at a multinational peacekeepers' base in the Sinai peninsula. In the midst of the carnage and the threats, what to make of Mr. Zarqawi's message? Here are five points to consider:"
"BAGHDAD, Iraq - Sectarian violence has forced about 100,000 families across Iraq to flee their homes, a top Iraqi official said. At least 17 people, including an American soldier, were killed Saturday in fighting. "
"Iran moves to prevent sanctions by allowing nuclear inspections
Iran is ready for a conditional return to intrusive inspections of its nuclear programme, but uranium enrichment will continue, a senior official said today.
The move was seen as apparent attempt by the Tehran government to prevent its nuclear programme from coming to a sanctions vote in the United Nations Security Council.
'If the issue is returned to the International Atomic Energy Agency, we will be ready to allow intrusive inspections,' Mohammed Saeedi, Iran's deputy nuclear chief, told state-run television.
Mohamed ElBaradei, the IAEA chief, confirmed in a report on Friday that Iran has successfully produced enriched uranium and has defied a UN Security Council deadline to halt all activities related to uranium enrichment."
"Technology behind the Pentagon's controversial data-mining project has been acquired by NSA, and is probably in use.
In April, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the advocacy organization for citizens' digital rights, filed evidence to support its class-action lawsuit alleging that telecom giant AT&T gave the National Security Agency (NSA), the ultra-secret U.S. agency that's the world's largest espionage organization, unfettered access to Americans' telephone and Internet communications. The lawsuit is one more episode in the public controversy that erupted in December 2005, when the New York Times revealed that, following September 11, President Bush authorized a far-reaching NSA surveillance program that included warrantless electronic eavesdropping on telephone calls and e-mails of individuals within the United States. "
"Across California and the nation, workers and employers, students and teachers, consumers and producers are grappling with what to do on May 1, long celebrated as an international workers day. Calls by immigrants rights groups for marches and boycotts have forced them to weigh the risks of losing jobs, missing school and sacrificing business revenue to demonstrate the clout of immigrants in the struggle for reform.
Among other things, many are urging Congress to pass legislation that would create a path toward legalizing most of the nation's 11.5 million illegal immigrants, increase family visas and expand guest worker programs. The Senate is still debating such issues; the House passed a bill in December with strict enforcement provisions, such as making it felony to be in the United States without a valid visa, that many immigrant advocates consider punitive."
If the Democrats can't even stand up for themselves, how can the possibly stand for the interests of the rest of us.
"Iowa City, Ia. : Democrats need to stand up for themselves and their country if they expect to win congressional elections, U.S. Sen. Russell Feingold said here Friday.
'We're not going to win in 2006 by default. We're not going to win in 2006 by running out the clock,' he said.
The Wisconsin Democrat, considered a potential presidential candidate, said Republicans have learned how to keep their critics cowed.
'At the right moment, just when the Democrats start feeling their oats, they say something about 'The Democrats don't support the troops' or 'They're not patriotic,' and all of a sudden the Democrats go back in their foxholes.'"
Wonder if we are going to have this much trouble getting rid of Bush?
BBC NEWS World Europe Italy's Berlusconi set to resign:
"Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is to resign on Tuesday - more than three weeks after his narrow election defeat. "
This must not be allowed to happen!
"This president is destroying American values in every way he can. Now he's absolutely intent on stifling and undermining the free press. Prosecuting reporters as spies is downright Soviet:
But the Bush administration is exploring a more radical measure to protect information it says is vital to national security: the criminal prosecution of reporters under the espionage laws.
Stalin would be so proud."
US court acquits anti-war grannies - Yahoo! News:
"NEW YORK (AFP) - A New York judge acquitted 18 grandmothers of disorderly conduct charges, brought after they blocked a military recruiting office in Times Square as a protest against the Iraq war.
The courtroom burst into cheers and applause as Judge Neil Ross delivered his verdict that the prosecution had failed to prove its case against the 18-member 'Granny Peace Brigade,' whose ages range from 50 to 91.
The elderly activists were arrested in October and charged on two counts -- blocking the recruiting station door and refusing to comply with a police order."
"NEW YORK - A day after the military announced that April was the deadliest month for U.S. forces in Iraq this year, thousands of anti-war demonstrators marched Saturday through lower Manhattan to demand an immediate withdrawal of troops."
"SAN FRANCISCO - The Justice Department said Friday it was moving to dismiss a federal lawsuit challenging the Bush administration's secretive domestic wiretapping program.
The lawsuit, brought by the Internet privacy group, Electronic Frontier Foundation, does not include the government.
Instead, it names AT&T, which the San Francisco-based group accuses of colluding with the National Security Agency to make communications on AT&T networks available to the spy agency without warrants.
The government, in a filing here late Friday, said the lawsuit threatens to expose government and military secrets and therefore should be tossed. The administration added that its bid to intervene in the case should not be viewed as a concession that the allegations are true."
"Now that Congress is back from spring break and looking ahead to Memorial Day, July 4th, the August recess and adjournment early in October for elections, perhaps it can take up this question.
Does President Bush have, or not have, the authority to take us to war with Iran? Because Bush and the War Party are surely behaving as though this were an executive decision alone.
No sooner had President Ahmadinejad declared that his country had enriched a speck of uranium than the war drums began again.
Bush has said of Iran that even 'a process which would enable Iran to develop a nuclear weapon is unacceptable.' John McCain has said too many times to count, 'The military option is on the table.' The 2006 National Security Strategy re-endorses preventive war and elevates Iran to the No. 1 threat to the United States.
This is not enough for the Weekly Standard, which equates our situation with that of France in 1936, when Paris sat immobile while Hitler marched three lightly armed battalions back into the German Rhineland, which had been demilitarized by the Versailles Treaty. "
Bad news continues to pile up around Don Rumsfeld like garbage at a land fill. The latest blast came from an unlikely source, The Army Times, which conducted a poll showing that 64% of enlisted men think Rumsfeld should tender his resignation immediately.
It would be impossible to find a more conservative publication than the Army Times or a more compelling reason for stepping down. Still, the recalcitrant Rumsfeld shows no sign of caving in or loosening his withered grip on the levers of power.
Earlier in the week, an equally devastating article appeared in the New York Times 'Criticism of Rumsfeld Widens to Young Officers' echoing that younger officers are just as sick of the glib Rummy as their elders. One anonymous officer noted, 'We have not lost a single tactical engagement on the ground in Iraq'.The mistakes have all been at the strategic and political levels.' Confidence in the Secretary is deflating more rapidly than the air leaving a punctured tire.
Most of the grumbling about Rumsfeld seems to center on his two salient attributes; arrogance and ineptitude, the twin-axels of predictable failure. There isn't one part of the 3 year occupation he hasn't mishandled, mismanaged or completely bungled. His tenure at the War Dept represents the greatest collapse of leadership in the history of the republic.
You're doin' a heck-uva job, Rummy. "
"And so it was again this week when The Washington Post outlined the Pentagon's plan to put dirty war -- by death squad, snatch squad, secret armies, subversion, torture and terrorism -- at the very heart of America's military philosophy. Not defense against declared enemies, not deterrence of potential foes, but conducting 'continuous' covert military operations in countries 'where the United States is not at war' is now the Pentagon's 'highest priority,' according to the new 'campaign plan for the global war on terror' issued by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
What's more, the plan makes it clear that Rumsfeld, far from being politically vulnerable, has in fact been exalted above every other institution and official of the U.S. government, with the exception of the twin tyrants in the White House, President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. The Pentagon warlord has been given carte blanche to send the 53,000 secret soldiers of the Special Operations Command into any nation he pleases, to undertake any mission he pleases, without congressional approval, legal restraint or the authority of the target nation's U.S. ambassador. Thus America's diplomats, the ostensible representatives of the nation abroad, have been reduced to mere frontmen, pathetic beards for black ops savaging the laws, sovereignty and citizens of their hosts.
Maybe he is a private contractor with the DOD. I wouldn't doubt it. Seems the Pentagon is willing to deal with almost any criminal they can find to do ther dirty work.
Gun Guys � Convicted Felon Now Says Government Gave Him 1,500 Guns:
"We sure thought we'd heard the last of convicted felon Robert Ferro but apparently this gun dealer's wacky case isn't over yet. First he was caught with over 900 weapons in California (which we've now found out is over 1500). Then, he claimed he was working with a paramilitary group to overthrow Castro (they actually disowned the guy). And now, hope beyond hope, Ferro is trying to claim that all of those weapons actually came from the US Government."
US admits Iraq is terror 'cause' - World - Times Online:
"The State Department said that al-Qaeda as a worldwide terrorist network was getting weaker, but a growing threat had emerged from small and 'difficult to detect' groups who were using the internet. "
What te hell is this? Another reason to seed conrtol of the Internet to huge telecom corporations, which have already shown their willingness to go along with criminal requests by the administration, for data-mined information on American citizens?
US admits Iraq is terror 'cause' - World - Times Online:
"Report says that 11,000 attacks worldwide shows the war has become driving factor for extremists
THREE years after its invasion of Iraq the US Administration acknowledged yesterday that the war has become 'a cause' for Islamic extremists worldwide and there is a risk of the country becoming a safe haven for terrorists hoping to launch fresh attacks on America.
According to CIA data released yesterday, there were 11,111 terrorist incidents last year, killing more than 14,600 non-combatants, including 8,300 in Iraq. Of the 56 American civilians killed by terrorists in 2005, some 47 of them were in Iraq. "
Krugman is priceless
Rozius: Paul Krugman: The Crony Fairy:
"The U.S. government is being stalked by an invisible bandit, the Crony Fairy, who visits key agencies by dead of night, snatches away qualified people and replaces them with unqualified political appointees. There's no way to catch or stop the Crony Fairy, so our only hope is to change the agencies' names. That way she might get confused, and leave our government able to function.
That, at least, is how I interpret the report on responses to Hurricane Katrina that was just released by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs."
Come on, for God's sake, and indict the frog now.
NATIONALJOURNAL.COM: Why Rove Testified For A Fifth Time (04/28/06): "Appearing for a fifth time before the federal grand jury in the CIA leak case, White House adviser Karl Rove on Wednesday was questioned extensively about contradictions between his sworn testimony and that of Time magazine writer Matthew Cooper on the substance of their July 2003 conversation regarding then-agency operative Valerie Plame, according to attorneys involved in the case. "
Watching America: (full article)
"This Vietnam generation once pledged, as Colin Powell wrote in his memoirs: 'If we come into leadership positions we will never be complicit in a half-baked war for half-baked reasons.' Thus the Powell doctrine describes going to war only if it is carried out with a clear goal, an exit strategy, with overwhelming force and as a last resort.
No one fought this doctrine as vehemently as Rumsfeld. Since entering office, he has replaced soldiers with technology, and heavy artillery with computer-guided missiles. He conducted a high-tech air war in Afghanistan and let Osama bin Laden escape on the ground. He made Iraq a showplace for his grand strategy of 'military transformation,' overlooking the fact that computers cannot occupy territory. Not least, the shortage of troops in Iraq allowed the rebellion to thrive. That his president had elevated freedom to a goal of the war didn't especially interest Rumsfeld. For him, any means was proper, including 'better interrogation methods.' Trapped in his self-confidence, he was deaf to the advice of his military subordinates. He saw it as his mission to cure the military of its Vietnam-era trauma. But instead, he reawakened the trauma. So, anyone that demands his resignation can do so for a whole menu of reasons. Rumsfeld symbolizes the brief moment of American hubris after the damage of the great terror attack. Today he seems like a fossil left over from those days."
FT.com / World / US - CIA warns ex-agents over talking to media:
"The Central Intelligence Agency has warned former employees not to have unapproved contacts with reporters, as part of a mounting campaign by the administration to crack down on officials who leak information on national security issues.
A former official said the CIA recently warned several retired employees who have consulting contracts with the agency that they could lose their pensions by talking to reporters without permission. He added that while the threats might be legally 'hollow,' they were having a chilling effect on former employees. "
It takes a lot of gasoline and oil to power a military at war.
It is beyond me to understand why anyone, with an ounce of sense, actually believes this kind of wholesale bullshit from BushCo.
Think Progress � Contrary To Administration Predictions, Iraq War Contributing To High Oil Prices:
"In September 2002, when the price of gas was $1.40 per gallon, White House senior economic adviser Laurence Lindsey predicted regime change in Iraq would lower oil prices:
As for the impact of a war with Iraq, 'It depends how the war goes.' But [Bush senior economic adviser Laurence Lindsey] quickly adds that that 'Under every plausible scenario, the negative effect will be quite small relative to the economic benefits that would come from a successful prosecution of the war.'
'The key issue is oil, and a regime change in Iraq would facilitate an increase in world oil,' which would drive down oil prices, giving the U.S. economy an added boost. "
Bush; a moral failure or just plain old ruthlessness?
Guardian Unlimited Guardian daily comment Beware the hypocrisy of international allegiances
Rights take backseat to oil, Iran:
"Searching for energy supplies and allies against Iran, the Bush administration is reaching out to leaders who rule nations that are rich in oil and gas but accused of authoritarian rule and human rights violations.
The presidents of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Equatorial Guinea are all getting special attention. The effort sometimes seems at odds with President George W. Bush's stated second-term goal of spreading democracy.
'If those countries were not oil producers, we would probably not be meeting with their leaders,' said Michael O'Hanlon, a foreign-policy analyst at the Brookings Institution. 'There is some tension with Bush's democracy-promotion agenda. They are pulling in different directions.'"
" I called the CIA this morning to get their reaction to Ken Silverstein's piece in Harper's that seems to put Goss in the poker-and-more parties thrown by Brent Wilkes. The parties were held in the Watergate and Westin Grand hotels -- and a third hotel, I'm hearing, which hasn't been reported yet -- as well as at the house of Kyle 'Dusty' Foggo, a longtime friend of Wilkes' who is now #3 at the CIA.
After a long series of off-the-record phone calls with CIA spokespeople, I was finally given an on-the-record comment -- about Goss. Speaking on behalf of the director, CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Millerwise Dyck said, 'This is horribly irresponsible. He hasn't even been to the Watergate in decades.'
When I asked if Goss had attended Wilkes' parties at the Westin or other locations, Millerwise Dyck repeated the denial. 'It's horribly irresponsible. Flatly untrue.'
She declined to answer questions about Foggo, but promised another spokesperson would call me and take my questions."
TPM Muckraker April 28, 2006 07:30 AM (Printable Format):
"Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a former Republican Party chairman, arranged the startup financing for a GOP telemarketing company implicated in two criminal cases involving election dirty tricks.
. . . Barbour's investment company arranged a quarter-million dollar loan to GOP Marketplace in 2000 and also gave a promotional plug to the telemarketer several months later.
. . . According to [an] operating agreement, the loan gave the investors a stake in the company."
"The Legacy of Pious Jack: Forced Abortions For Sweatshop Workers
Ms. Magazine visited the Northern Mariana Islands recently to determine the legacy of Jack Abramoff's work on behalf of sweatshop owners there. What did they find? Forced abortions, unemployment, and a thriving sex trade -- comprised mostly of unemployed garment workers. Nice work, Jacko."
"As we discussed in a recent post, the Washington Post revealed that the 'threat' posed by this alleged Al Qaeda leader was largely the creation of a military PSYOPS unit. The propaganda campaign created by this unit targeted both the foreign press and the U.S. 'home audience.' Our troops were another target: When they unleashed 'Whiskey Pete' on civilians in Fallujah, they did so in the belief that they were fighting Zarqawi.
On the same day the Post story appeared, Bush -- in a speech -- cited as genuine a Zarqawi letter now known to be fake."
He never wanted Jeb to run and win, so his attitude will help with that as well.
Hell, the whole Bush family may have to flee the country before Junior is done tearing it down.
Bush Rejects Calls for Tax on Oil Profits - Yahoo! News:
"WASHINGTON - President Bush said Friday that taxing enormous oil industry profits is not the way to calm Americans' anxieties about pain at the gas pump, and that his 'inclination and instincts' are that major oil companies are not intentionally overcharging drivers. "
Rush Limbaugh arrested on prescription fraud charges: South Florida Sun-Sentinel:
"WEST PALM BEACH -- Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh on Friday turned himself into the Palm Beach County Jail to face a charge of fraud for concealing information to obtain a prescription.
He was quickly released after posting $3,000 bond, jail officials said. Prosecutors alleged that Limbaugh violated the state's 'doctor shopping' law by getting four doctors to write overlapping prescriptions and failing to tell them about each other. Limbaugh, who pleaded not guilty, struck an agreement with the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office that calls for the charge to be dropped in 18 months provided that Limbaugh continues to seek treatment from the doctor he has seen for the past 2 1/2 years and must refrain from breaking the law during that period, Limbaugh's attorney, Roy Black, said in a statement."
Memo to self: Buy party stuff before next Friday; Fitzmas
Fitzgerald to Seek Indictment of Rove:
"Despite vehement denials by his attorney who said this week that Karl Rove is neither a 'target' nor in danger of being indicted in the CIA leak case, the special counsel leading the investigation has already written up charges against Rove, and a grand jury is expected to vote on whether to indict the Deputy White House Chief of Staff sometime next week, sources knowledgeable about the probe said Friday afternoon.
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was in Chicago Friday and did not meet with the grand jury.
Luskin was informed via a target letter that Fitzgerald is prepared to charge Rove for perjury and lying to investigators during Rove's appearances before the grand jury in 2004 and in interviews with investigators in 2003 when he was asked how and when he discovered that Valerie Plame Wilson worked for the CIA, and whether he shared that information with the media.
If the grand jury returns an indictment Rove would become the second White House official - and one of the most powerful political operatives in the country - charged in the case since the leak investigation began in the fall of 2003. "
Friday, April 28, 2006
But I really don't care who the corporations support, for PR purposes, they are still sociopathic.
FORTUNE: Plugged In: Companies say "no" to discrimination - Apr. 26, 2006:
"NEW YORK (FORTUNE) - This spring, shareholders at such big companies as ExxonMobil (Research), Ford (Research) and American Express (Research) are voting on whether gay and lesbian people deserve protection against discrimination in the workplace.
But even as battles over gay rights flare up in the corporate world, there's no doubt about who's winning the war."
"While on the campaign trail in 2000, Bush told President Bill Clinton how to handle OPEC, in public no less. 'What I think the president ought to do,' he said, 'is he ought to get on the phone with the OPEC cartel and say we expect you to open your spigots.'
And in a brilliant, highly educational follow-up comment, Bush informed the audience: 'One reason why the price is so high is because the price of crude oil has been driven up.'
'OPEC has gotten its supply act together,' Bush advised listeners, 'and it's driving the price, like it did in the past.'
'And,' he said in direct advice to Clinton, 'the president of the United States must jawbone OPEC members to lower the prices.'
Apparently, Bush has lost the phone numbers for OPEC members, or they are refusing to take his calls, because I think it's safe to assume that he did not 'jawbone' members of the OPEC cartel."
"By TOM RAUM, Associated Press Writer 3 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - Searching for energy supplies and allies against Iran , the Bush administration is reaching out to leaders who rule countries that are rich in oil and gas but accused of authoritarian rule and human rights violations.
The presidents of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Equatorial Guinea are all getting special attention. The effort sometimes seems at odds with President Bush �s stated second-term goal of spreading democracy.
Bush meets Friday at the White House with the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliev. Vice President Dick Cheney next week visits the central Asian nation of Kazakhstan and its leader President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Administration officials defend the meetings and similar ones, noting that Bush and other officials make a point of raising human rights and other social policy concerns, as Bush did when Chinese President Hu Jintao visited last week. "
Then you can stream the other 20 some-odd who are involved.
The Ostroy Report:
Rove's Status as "Official A" Spells Indictment: "It's beginning to look a lot like Fitzmas, as they say in Democratic circles. It's likely the former top policy advisor for President Bush will soon come under federal indictment for his role in the CIA leak case. In the Fall '05 indictment of VP Dick Cheney's former chief I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, Rove is repeatedly referred to as 'Official A.' According to legal experts, individuals given that status typically get indicted. More significant, of all the cases prosecuted by independent counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, who's leading the investigation, every single 'Official A' was indicted. Not a good sign for Turd Blossom.
On Wednesday, Rove was called before the grand jury for a fifth time, and faced 3 1/2 hours of grueling questioning by Fitzpatrick. Given the amount of times he's been called to testify, and the amount of time he spent under oath this week, it's becoming increasingly certain that an indictment is imminent."
CBC News: Security Council must act against Iran, Rice says:
"The UN Security Council has to take action against Iran over the Islamic republic's nuclear program or lose credibility, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday. "
CNN covers, but media still generally ignore ex-CIA official's allegation that WH dismissed contrary prewar intelligence on Iraq's WMD
"Summary: Four days after former high-ranking CIA official Tyler Drumheller revealed that the Bush administration dismissed clear-cut evidence undermining President Bush's central case for war -- that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction -- the media, except for MSNBC and now CNN, have largely ignored the story."
Bush Set to Approve Takeover of 9 Military Plants by Dubai - New York Times:
"WASHINGTON, April 27 : President Bush is expected on Friday to announce his approval of a deal under which a Dubai-owned company would take control of nine plants in the United States that manufacture parts for American military vehicles and aircraft, say two administration officials familiar with the terms of the deal."
Just Do It!
Prosecutor Weighs Charges Against Rove in Leak Case - New York Times:
"WASHINGTON, April 27: Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor in the C.I.A. leak case, is expected to decide in the next two to three weeks whether to bring perjury charges against Karl Rove, the powerful adviser to President Bush, lawyers involved in the case said Thursday."
Fascists in our midst Needlenose:
"Hullabaloo alerts us to more reactionary shenanigans that can only be interpreted as fascist - tshirts that call us liberals 'the enemy' and suggest various acts of violence against us from bitch slapping, running us off the road with SUVs and shooting us in order to win their so-called 'culture wars.'
The other night I was having a drink with Fubar who suggested during a heated point in the discussion that I was overreacting and shouldn't go all 'Red Dawn' and keep obsessing over what we are all going to do if/when these fascist fucks ever try to make good on their threats. Just when I start to think that ol' Fubar might be right, I see something like this."
"You gotta love the cosmopolitan parochialism of New Yorkers, so smug in their Steinbergian view of the world. Preaching the inevitability of the New American Century, the neo-cons forgot the warning of Yogi Berra, the great Yankees philosopher, 'In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.' The last time Bill Kristol was on Comedy Central, he was doing victory laps. He even went slumming and appeared on The Daily Show. Taunting Jon Stewart, he smirked, 'It's not too late to join us.'
Then the wheels came off... "
Proving once again, that theories are quite beautiful, like the tail feathers of a Peacock; yet, they are of absolutely no use in a head wind.
"This list of touchscreen anomalies is derived from the Election Incident Reporting System, a division of VerifiedVoting.org.
This is just a sample of the thousands of 'anomalies' that were reported to the EIRS during the 2004 election. This batch consists mostly of 'vote flipping' in Florida.
Still don't think there is a problem? You need to give Mark Crispin Miller a listen, and read 'What Went Wrong in Ohio'... pronto."
WHILE HIS SUPPORTERS CONTINUE TO PUT ON A GOOD FACE, SOURCES CLOSE TO KARL ROVE SAY THE PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR IS NOW MORE WORRIED, NOT LESS, THAT HE IS GOING TO GET INDICTED. THE SOURCES SAY ROVE WAS SURPRISED BY SOME OF THE QUESTIONS HE WAS ASKED AND BY THE FACT THE SESSION STRETCHED ON FOR THREE AND A HALF HOURS.
MINUTES AFTER ROVE LEFT THE GRAND JURY, HIS LEGAL TEAM ISSUED A WRITTEN STATEMENT SAYING PROSECUTORS HAD, QUOTE, 'WANTED TO EXPLORE A MATTER RAISED SINCE MR. ROVE'S LAST APPEARANCE IN OCTOBER 2005.'
BUT THE GRAND JURY, ACCORDING TO SOURCES, ALSO PRESSED ROVE ABOUT HIS TESTIMONY IN 2004 WHEN HE FAILED TO REVEAL HE SPOKE TO TIME MAGAZINE'S MATT COOPER ABOUT VALERIE PLAME -- THE FORMER CIA OPERATIVE AT THE HEART OF THE INVESTIGATION."
Wayne Madsen Report - Home:
"It has also been learned that new White House Press Secretary Tony Snow was a frequent contributor to the vile racist, homophobic, and fascist web site FreeRepublic.com.
The California-based web site is the Der Sturmer of the Internet, replete with hate mongers and other clearly deranged individuals. Snow is seen as a new face for the Bush administration. It would appear that he is more in keeping with the extreme right-wing agenda of the White House and its GOP supporters."
Nobody liles them. Nobody wants them visiting.
Why don't thet just stay home?
Visit by Rumsfeld, Rice Sets Off Criticism in Iraq - Los Angeles Times:
"BAGHDAD: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld paid a surprise visit to Baghdad on Wednesday to express support for Iraq's new leaders, but drew criticism from Iraqi politicians who said they feared the unannounced visit might do more harm than good.
'We didn't invite them,' said Kamal Saadi, a Shiite legislator close to the new prime minister-designate, Nouri Maliki."
Corporateering: How Corporate Power Steals Your Personal Freedom... And What You Can Do About It (Hardcover)
You can buy the book by clicking the link below, and finish reading the review.
Corporateering: How Corporate Power Steals Your Personal Freedom... And What You Can Do About It (Hardcover):
"'Corporateering: How Corporate Power Steals Your Personal Freedom' is an excellent overview of how the basic political purchase of government by corporations impacts us as citizens.
With 'corporateering,' it's not the quality of your product or its low price that determines your likelihood of succeeding; it's who you know in the government and how much your company does for them -- in campaign contributions and other favors.
James Court, author of 'Corporateering,' concludes this book with several suggestions on how to counter 'corporateering.' He wrote this book a couple of years back, but everything he said is still relevant and much too needed, alas.
Michael Moore penned the introduction to 'Corporateering,' writing, 'If you want to understand the influence of corporate culture on American culture, and the growing power of the corporation to impose its goals on every other sector of society, this is the book to read.'"
This war has cost us our nation's soul.
Independent Online Edition > Americas:
"The Iraq war has already cost the United States $320bn (�180bn), according to an authoritative new report, and even if a troop withdrawal begins this year, the conflict is set to be more expensive in real terms than the Vietnam War, a generation ago.
The estimate, circulated this week by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS), can only increase unease over the US presence in Iraq, whose direct costs now run at some $6bn a month, or $200m a day, with no end in sight.
The Bush administration has refused to provide any specific overall figure for the war's cost. But the Senate is set to approve another emergency spending bill in May, meaning that Iraq will have consumed $101bn in fiscal 2006 alone, almost double the $51bn of 2003, the year of the invasion itself - and all at a time when the federal budget deficit is running at near record levels."
Guardian Unlimited World Latest Archives: 1 in 3 Records Wrongly Resealed:
"WASHINGTON (AP) - The government improperly sealed hundreds of previously public CIA, Pentagon and other records by reclassifying them as secret on questionable grounds, an internal review said Wednesday.
The National Archives' audit of thousands of records withdrawn from public view since 1995 contends that one of every three was resealed without justification.
The investigation covered historical records held by the National Archives. But it comes amid broader debate on classifying records on national security grounds, which critics say is often done based on political expediency.
The Associated Press reported earlier this month that the National Archives agreed to seal previously public records - many of them more than 50 years old - despite concerns about whether it was justified. "
The War Looks Different from Inside Congress AfterDowningStreet.org:
"Inside Congress opinions vary, and it is a distinct minority that is willing to support public opinion. Some in Congress are willing to take half-way and tenth-of-the-way steps in the direction of ending the war, some of them from within such fantasyland worldviews that they are 'threatening' to stop occupying Iraq if the Iraqis don't behave better (that is, threatening something that over 80 percent of Iraqis desire). "
"In my February 7 E-Letter earlier this year, Spencer Wright and I analyzed the electoral landscape for the upcoming mid-term elections, using some very sophisticated polling data. We wanted to see if the electoral map indicated a big sweep by the Democrats, as the media was suggesting at the time.
As you may recall, what we found was that the GOP was actually in pretty good shape in early February, despite the various missteps of the Bush administration in 2005. Based on the state-by-state polling data, we concluded that the best-case scenario for the Democrats was that they might pick up a few seats in the House, but nowhere near a majority, and they would likely pick up no seats in the Senate -- despite President Bush's low approval ratings.
The problem for the Democrats -- in early February -- was that there were not that many 'contested races' and of those that were, several were in states which seemed very unlikely to change parties.
Well, a LOT has changed in less than three months time! The continued gaffs by the Bush administration -- including the disastrous Dubai ports deal -- have radically changed voter sentiment, and the electoral map has swung significantly toward the Democrats. There is now the real chance that the Dems could take back the House and win a couple of seats in the Senate. "
Know how you feel, Bob.
Sound off: Where the views and opinions of our staff and others are expressed on various topics that relate to Bush:
"The nation seems, very belatedly, to be catching on to the tragic failures and monumental ineptitude of its president. Mr. Bush's poll numbers are abysmal. Republicans up for re-election are running from him as if he were the bogyman.
Callers to conservative talk radio programs who were once ecstatic about the president and his policies are now deeply disillusioned.
The libertarian Cato Institute is about to release a study titled 'Power Surge: The Constitutional Record of George W. Bush.' It says, 'Unfortunately, far from defending the Constitution, President Bush has repeatedly sought to strip out the limits the document places on federal power.' While I disagree with parts of the study, I certainly agree with that particular comment. "
AMERICAblog: Because a great nation deserves the truth:
"Jesus Christ. Where are we, the Soviet Union? A week after the Chinese communist dictator is welcomed to the White House we're told that former government officials are no longer allowed to criticize the government?
Thursday, April 27, 2006
"April 27, 2006--Democrats currently hold a 12-point advantage over Republicans on a generic 2008 Presidential ballot. However, a third-party candidate focusing on immigration enforcement issues could fundamentally alter those political dynamics.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national opinion survey finds that 44% of Americans say they would vote for a Democrat if the Presidential Election were held today. Just 32% would vote for a Republican. Those figures are likely a reflection of unhappiness with the Bush Administration rather than a commentary on prospective candidates from either party (see crosstabs).
The survey also asked respondents how they would vote if 'a third party candidate ran in 2008 and promised to build a barrier along the Mexican border and make enforcement of immigration law his top priority.' "
"With television executives increasingly obsessed with reality programming, it was just a matter of time until this format was adapted to exploit the controversial political issues of the day. Following are the promotional releases for some of these new reality shows slated to debut this coming Fall.
1. Survivor-New Orleans: Contestants compete in such events as the back-stroke, roof-dwelling, and fasting, to the delight of cheering throngs of network cameramen. Tune in to see who comes away with the high-stakes prize of a case of bottled water, a Chocolate Key to the City, and educational software presented by Barbara Bush.
2. Swapping Political Parties: Watch the fun as the worlds of Red and Blue collide. Lesbian environmentalists are forced to watch NASCAR events and picket abortion clinics, while red-meat conservatives must attend gay weddings and off-Broadway productions such as 'The Puppetry of the Penis.'"
"Will the Internet become, in the words of AT&T�s CEO, their private 'pipes' or will it remain 'the most participatory form of mass speech yet developed'? Jeff Chester writes about the citizens uprising that has, in the words of
Congreeswoman Anna Eshoo, spread like a 'pairie fire' across the country"
"A prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, held without charge for more than four years, has tried to kill himself a dozen times in an attempt to escape the misery and isolation of his incarceration. On one occasion he tried to take his life during a visit by his lawyer.
Jumah al-Dossari, 33, claims he has been repeatedly beaten and suffered intense psychological abuse during his years of incarceration at the US prison camp in Cuba. He says he has watched US guards abuse the Koran, that he has been sexually humiliated and regularly kept in isolation.
His 12 attempts to take his life - either by hanging, slitting his wrists or a combination of both - account for a third of all the suicide attempts by prisoners at Guantanamo Bay reported by the US authorities. The most recent was in March. "
Can we spell it?
Need we say more?
BBC NEWS Health World Bank accused over malaria:
"The World Bank has been accused of publishing false accounts and wasting money on ineffective medicines in its malaria treatment programme.
A Lancet paper claims the bank faked figures, boosting the success of its malaria projects, and reneged on a pledge to invest $300-500m in Africa.
It also claims the bank funded obsolete treatments - against expert advice.
The bank has denied the allegations and says it is investing $500m to $1bn ($280m-$560m) over the next five years.
But it also admits it is not easy, and sometimes 'not even possible', to know exactly how much input from each donor goes into a specific activity. "
Construction Begins at Ground Zero - Yahoo! News:
New York - After months of disputes over the future of ground zero, state and city officials finally brought in the heavy equipment and began construction Thursday on the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower that will rise on the site of the World Trade Center. "
And when they fought back'as corporations always do, Schweitzer let 'em have it right between the eyes.
Back when Schweitzer was still on the campaign trail, and well before he had set foot in the governor's office, he was blasting BN not for its toxic waste, but for the outrageous rates the railroad was charging Montana farmers to ship their grain out of state. Because BN has a total monopoly over rail lines coming into and leaving the state, the company could basically charge whatever the market would bear, and that turned out to be about double what Canadians and other states are paying. And just in case you thought this might be simple politics, Schweitzer's sentiments were echoed by Sen. Conrad Burns, who likewise chided the nation's second-largest railroad for ripping off Montana's farmers. "
Slashdot Deep Brain Stimulation as Depression Treatment:
"Posted by samzenpus on Thursday April 27, @01:35AM
from the there's-something-wrong-with-my-brain dept.
Neopallium writes 'Medtronic, today announced its intentions to pursue a major clinical trial of the company's deep brain stimulation (DBS) technology in the treatment of severe and intractable depression, a disabling form of the psychiatric disorder affecting millions of people worldwide. 'While not a cure, DBS has allowed these patients to return to much more functional and happy lives,' said Dr. Rezai, who represented an international working group of physicians that has been studying the application of DBS therapy in the treatment of intractable depression and OCD in collaboration with Medtronic.' "
Rave on Fitz!
If you want we will make a citizens' arrest of Bush and Cheney
Think Progress � The Gaping Hole In Rove�s Defense:
"Yesterday, Karl Rove testified for almost four hours before a federal grand jury about his previous statements pertaining to the leak of an undercover CIA agent's identity. Rove offered this stunning defense:
Rove's testimony focused almost exclusively on his conversation about Plame with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper in 2003 and whether the top aide later tried to conceal it, the source [close to Rove] said. Rove testified, in essence, that 'it would have been a suicide mission' to 'deliberately lie' about his conversation with Cooper because he knew beforehand that it eventually would be revealed, the source said.
Rove wants the grand jury to believe that he wouldn't have lied in 2003 about his role in the Plame affair because he knew journalists would ultimately tell the truth. But in fact, President Bush and the White House believed in 2003 that journalists would remain silent about the case and would refuse to name their sources:"
"Don't they have somewhere lurking in their brain any critical faculties at all? For the sake of one's own integrity and reputation if nothing else, who would read an undocumented assertion on Drudge -- no matter how much of an emotional need they feel for it to be true -- and then run around reflexively reciting it as truth, writing whole posts celebrating it and analyzing it, without bothering to spend a second of time or a molecule of mental energy trying to figure out if it's really true?
This intellectually corrupt syndrome goes back a long way and has been festering for a long time. Nuggets of deceitful, fact-free fantasy get planted in some cesspool like Drudge and then mindless followers who want to believe it start repeating it as fact, and then it gets ossified forever as conventional wisdom and can never be dislodged from their minds. That's how Al Gore came to 'claim that he invented the Internet,' how Howard Dean became a far left radical pacifist, how Jessica Lynch had a heroic shoot-out with Al Qaeda and was then rescued by gun-blazing Marines, how Moveon.org produced commercials saying that Bush was Hitler, how Saddam funded Al Qaeda and personally participated in the planning of 9/11. It's even how the lesbian, Hillary, killed Vince Foster in order to ensure that their affair (or whitewater crimes or drug-running landing strip) would be kept quiet and, to this day, it's how Bill Clinton was a wildly unpopular president"
"WHILE HIS SUPPORTERS CONTINUE TO PUT ON A GOOD FACE, SOURCES CLOSE TO KARL ROVE SAY THE PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR IS NOW MORE WORRIED, NOT LESS, THAT HE IS GOING TO GET INDICTED. THE SOURCES SAY ROVE WAS SURPRISED BY SOME OF THE QUESTIONS HE WAS ASKED AND BY THE FACT THE SESSION STRETCHED ON FOR THREE AND A HALF HOURS.
MINUTES AFTER ROVE LEFT THE GRAND JURY, HIS LEGAL TEAM ISSUED A WRITTEN STATEMENT SAYING PROSECUTORS HAD, QUOTE, 'WANTED TO EXPLORE A MATTER RAISED SINCE MR. ROVE'S LAST APPEARANCE IN OCTOBER 2005.'
BUT THE GRAND JURY, ACCORDING TO SOURCES, ALSO PRESSED ROVE ABOUT HIS TESTIMONY IN 2004 WHEN HE FAILED TO REVEAL HE SPOKE TO TIME MAGAZINE'S MATT COOPER ABOUT VALERIE PLAME -- THE FORMER CIA OPERATIVE AT THE HEART OF THE INVESTIGATION."
"CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - Al-Jazeera's Cairo bureau chief was released on $1,745 bail Thursday and charged with propagating lies with his reporting on this week's Sinai resort bombings, the pan-Arab satellite channel reported.
Hussein Abdel Ghani was detained on Wednesday evening in Dahab, the Sinai resort struck by three bombs on Monday that killed 21 people and wounded another 85.
He was transported to the Cairo suburb of Heliopolis, questioned by state security prosecutors and accused of 'propagating false news that can disturb national security and cause chaos,' Al-Jazeera said."
"The Dalai Lama met with religious leaders to defend Muslim teachings and discuss how to mitigate intolerance and promote understanding among various faiths. "
"I spent a month in Venezuela recently talking to young people about how they viewed the country's hot political situation. There was a lot of diversity, even in my large family. I found out that some support the Revolucion Boliviarian, which is all about solidarity and anti-imperialism, some work for the government and some protest against the government. Some of my family members are rich and some are poor, they are a mix of Chavistas (supporters of President Hugo Chavez and the socialist revolution) and Escualidos (of the opposition).
Chavez has become an international firebrand. In 2005, he made bold statements about his opposition to the war in Iraq and Bush and just recently kicked out all U.S. navel bases and forces out of Venezuela. The United States got him back by immediately evacuating the Venezuelan ambassador out of the country and closing the Venezuelan embassy that same day. It is now illegal to change U.S. dollars for Bolivares in Venezuela, and vice versa in the United States. This conflict could create a war between the continents of North and South America with the tension between politics and resources.
Everyone had something to say about President Hugo Chavez. Javier Escalona, a 19-year-old student in San Juan De Los Morros, explained to me that, 'If you have coffee in your house and your neighbor asks to borrow it and you give it all to them, later there will not be enough coffee for you and your family.' Really, he was talking about President Chavez's policies. Chavez has been giving millions of dollars to other countries in Latin America in order to gain international political support. Recently he gave 30 million dollars to President Morales in Bolivia and has also given millions to Brazil, Jamaica and Cuba."
Love ya, Man, but Rummy would be hung in short order, if he starts drafting the sons of the tax-paying deprived (Elite) of our nation.
Besides the last people he wants anywhere 'over there,' are smart civilians who will rat him and Bush out in a heartbeat.
He has enough problems, with Retired Generals and the rest of us, he knows nothing about, but will, soon enough.
AlterNet: WireTap: Scott Ritter on Iran and the Return of a Draft:
"When Scott Ritter speaks about Iraq, he does so from a position of authority. As the chief U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 to 1998, Ritter worked for seven years to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction, confronting deceptive Iraqis in what were often heated meetings that eventually resulted in the former Marine facing accusations of being a U.S. spy.
By 2001, Ritter arose as one of the harshest critics of the Bush administration, claiming that it had exploited the 9/11 terrorist attacks in order to pursue the 'immoral' and 'illegal' war on Iraq, a war based on the deliberate distortion of the country's weapons of mass destruction capabilities.
Nowadays, Ritter is busy traveling around the country as part of a tour in support of his new book 'Iraq Confidential.'"
Where the hell is te MSM on this!
AlterNet: An Intel Story Finally Told:
"Confession time: In fall 2004, during a crucial presidential election campaign, I made the mistake of playing by corporate media rules that amount to self-censorship.
Specifically, I joined other journalists in denying the public the right to learn of a definitive investigative report by CBS' '60 Minutes' on President Bush's disregard for the truth concerning the weapons-of-mass-destruction threat allegedly posed to the United States by Iraq. Having received an advance copy of the devastating segment, I honored CBS' proprietary request not to write about the news it carried until after it aired.
Only, it never aired. CBS got cold feet, probably because of Dan Rather's troubles over an unrelated story critical of the president. The suppressed story was solidly reported and, by exposing the Bush administration's utter disregard for the truth concerning Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, should have been made available to the public before the November election. Now, no one seems to care."
...and who really killed Nick Berg?
Who is behind "Al Qaeda in Iraq"? Pentagon acknowledges fabricating a "Zarqawi Legend":
"Abu Musab Al Zarqawi has been presented both by the Bush administration and the Western media as the mastermind behind the 'insurgency' in Iraq, allegedly responsible for the massacres of Iraqi civilians.
Zarqawi is the outside enemy of America. The Bush administration in official statements, including presidential speeches, national security documents, etc. has repeatedly pointed to the need to 'go after' Abu Musab Al Zarqawi and Osama bin Laden.
'You know, I hate to predict violence, but I just understand the nature of the killers. This guy, Zarqawi, an al Qaeda associate -- who was in Baghdad, by the way, prior to the removal of Saddam Hussein -- is still at large in Iraq. And as you might remember, part of his operational plan was to sow violence and discord amongst the various groups in Iraq by cold- blooded killing. And we need to help find Zarqawi so that the people of Iraq can have a more bright -- bright future.' (George W. Bush, Press Conference, 1 June 2004)"
"24" is turning into reality TV!
Online Journal Editors' Blog:
"The Bush administration has so badly fumbled their mandate that one of their greatest propaganda weapons has turned against them. The Fox television series '24' has shifted from being the most unapologetically gung-ho entertainment voices for Bush's anti-war/police state 'war on terrorism' to nihilistic, angry, and decidedly anti-Bush fare.
The series now features an openly corrupt, murdering US president who is spineless, ignorant and evil, and guided by a cadre of criminal advisors, one of whom is a transparently obvious Dick Cheney clone, another a Karl Rove-type advisor, and scores of Scott McClellans, etc. Anti-terrorist agent Jack Bauer, played by Kiefer Sutherland, has been 'betrayed' from within his own intelligence community. The US government, particularly the intelligence-military apparatus, is a snake pit, deeply corrupt and crawling with double and triple crossing untrustworthies blowing things up, and ordering murders of their own people, over cell phones. "
Forget impeachment, concentrate on the 25th Amendment to the Constitution:
"Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution states, 'Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.' The Amendment contains other more detailed procedural rules that must be followed."
Another Bush Lie (Bush lies usually involve the words like Diplomacy and/or Democracy)
�Diplomacy,� the smokescreen for savagery:
"Open any Western newspaper and you are struck by the abundant use of the word 'diplomacy.' It is the second most used word after 'democracy.' However, careful analysis shows that U.S. version of diplomacy has become the favourite smokescreen of U.S. wars of aggression. Iraq and Iran provide the best cases.
In relation to Iran, the Bush administration alleged that it is using 'diplomacy' to convince Iran to give up her rights to nuclear technology. President Bush frequently says that 'we are working with European allies' to use diplomacy to avert a nuclear impasse with Iran. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that a 'diplomatic solution' will be found to the Iranian nuclear crisis. The reality is the opposite. By accusing Iran of intending to manufacture nuclear weapons, the U.S. and its European vassals are using the so-called 'diplomacy' to coerce as many nations as possible to report Iran to the UN Security Council and pave the way for sanctions and most likely war of aggression against Iran."
"04/27/06 'ICH' -- -- I have a new friend. She is a 15-year-young peace activist named Ava Lowery. She is disgusted with the war and with the Bush regime, and she has started to use her talents for animation to make cartoons that oppose Bush and the war in Iraq.
She first came to my attention when I read an article about all of the ugly hate mail she is getting on her site for a particularly poignant and brilliant animation she has called: 'WWJD.' It is a heartbreaking piece that has a child singing 'Jesus loves me,' and during the song she shows pictures of dead, wounded, bloody and screaming Iraqi children. She wanted to show how Jesus loves Iraqi children also, which is apparently a frightening concept to the people who practice Bushianity.
For this inspired bit of courageous matriotism, Ava has been the object of intense and horribly ugly hate emails and not too subtle threats to do her bodily harm. As soon as I heard about her troubles, I emailed her, and she phoned me right away so we could talk.
Even before I went to Crawford last summer, I was the object of these attacks by many people who touted themselves as Christians doing God's work. The attacks are rabidly obscene and horrible in their rage and just downright meanness. There are entire web sites dedicated to assailing me and my character and where such comments as 'Someone ought to do the world a favor and shoot the bitch in the head to shut her up' are common. During Camp Casey, we had to refer more than one death threat to the FBI. "
"When two of America's most distinguished academics dared to suggest that US foreign policy was being driven by a powerful 'Israel Lobby' whose influence was incompatible with their nation's own interests, they knew they would face allegations of anti-Semitism. But the episode has prompted America's Jewish liberals to confront their own complacency. Might the tide be turning? "
"WASHINGTON - April 27 - Last night, the House Republican leadership attached a restrictive rule to its pathetically weak 'Lobbying Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006' (H.R. 4975). The bill itself offers almost nothing to increase accountability and transparency in government; it is but a ruse by congressional leaders to give an appearance that Congress is responding to the corruption scandals that have swept Capitol Hill, all the while failing to change in any meaningful way how business is done on the Hill.
Several Republican and Democratic members of Congress planned to introduce strengthening amendments during floor debate today that would address the concerns of the American public, amendments to create an ethics enforcement office that would monitor Congress, to restrict the use of corporate jets to fly members of Congress around the globe on travel junkets, to slow the revolving door of members taking lucrative lobbying jobs with businesses that are lobbying them for favors, and to ban gifts from lobbyists to members of Congress."
The Great Bush Reclassification Project:
"It's nice to know that the investigative reporter Jack Anderson is still under investigation, although seriously dead.
Anderson died last year, and for 19 years before his death he suffered from Parkinson's disease and was increasingly less active as a reporter.
Now that he's safely deceased, the Federal Bureau of Investigation wants to go through nearly 200 boxes of his files to see if there are any classified documents in there. If it's classified, they want it back, even though Anderson was in the habit of printing anything he ever got that was of any interest.
This is apparently part of the Great Bush Reclassification Project, in which government information that has previously been declassified and offered for public consumption is now being reclassified as secret so nobody can find out about it.
Those who saw government documents between declassification and reclassification are just going to have to forget what they saw. That, or some Man in Black will be sent around to zap your memory with a little thingamajig. "
"This week marks the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl explosion, the worst nuclear power disaster in history. People are still dying from the long-term effects. An area the size of a small city is still off limits to human habitation.
In the U.S., there hasn't been a new nuclear power plant built since the Three Mile Island accident of 1979. But that is beginning to change. Last year Congress passed an energy bill that gave the nuclear power industry tax credits worth $3.1 billion along with new liability protection. Now at least half a dozen new nuclear power plants are in various planning stages.
According to Physics Today, the nuclear power industry believes the first new US order is only two years away. Most of the new facilities would be in the South, where pay scales are lower and the public seems willing to accept the risks in order to get badly needed jobs. "
"Today the U.S. House is expected to take up the lobbying- and ethics-reform bill that has been in the works since the Jack Abramoff scandal first broke. If all goes according to GOP-leadership plan, House members will approve legislation so ineffectual as to be almost a parody of itself. Then, behind closed doors, House-Senate conferees will hash out the differences between that bill and a slightly (only slightly) better Senate version; President Bush will sign it into law; and voila! Members can return to their districts and say they've taken care of lobbying reform.
The problem is that the process so far illustrates exactly the kind of congressional disingenuousness that makes 80 percent of Americans think that bribery and other corruption are widespread in Washington. For example, for all the talk of need for transparency and openness in government, House GOP leadership is expected to bring the lobbying-reform bill to the floor in a way that would limit debate and prevent members from offering any amendments. "
Guffaws About a Fox Guarding the White House:
"NEW YORK: The selection of Fox News host Tony Snow on Wednesday as the next White House press secretary reignited a debate about the network's political leanings.
The liberal blogosphere chortled about the choice. 'Snow, like everybody else on the payroll at Fox, is already a White House spokesman,' the blog Reclusive Leftist read, one of many liberal sites that mocked the move. 'Is there really a need to give him an office in the West Wing and pay him a government salary?'
The Democratic National Committee took a swipe at the cable network as well, with spokeswoman Karen Finney calling Snow's hiring 'an interdepartmental move from one part of the conservative infrastructure to another.'
Fox News anchors responded to the chatter about the White House tapping one of the network's own."
"Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev urged the world's biggest industrialized nations to set up a 50-billion-dollar (44-billion-euro) fund to support solar power, warning that oil or nuclear energy were not viable energy sources for the future.
Gorbachev -- who chairs an environmental thinktank, Green Cross International -- called on leaders of the Group of Eight (G8) industrialized nations to invest in renewable energy sources, in a statement marking the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
As leader of the Soviet Union in 1986, Gorbachev led the immediate response to the world's worst nuclear disaster, which led to at least 4,000 deaths and sent a radioactive cloud over parts of Europe.
The Green Cross proposals were contained in a letter sent to the leaders of the Group of Eight industrialized nations who are due to meet in Russia in July. Some of the proposals were reported last week in the Financial Times."
The people are getting sick of all of them!
Advertising Age - Congressional Bill Could Change Internet's Balance of Power:
"WASHINGTON (AdAge.com) -- Rejecting warnings that it was 'selling out the public,' a House committee today approved a bill that could open the door for phone and cable companies to play a potentially controlling role in the Internet's future"
"You know President George W. Bush's ratings are in the toilet when he starts bashing oil companies in the name of protecting what he repeatedly called 'our consumers,' as he did yesterday.
And you know the Party in Power -- just back from getting an earful from angry constituents about rising gasoline prices -- is shaking in its shoes at the prospect of tomorrow's profit announcement by ExxonMobil.
So the president did what a floundering politician does: he tried to change the subject.
In this case, the president made the environment a scapegoat for rising gasoline prices. He suggested a false choice -- lower prices at the pump, or dirtier air."
"Today, President Bush will make a quick visit to the Gulf Coast for yet another post-Hurricane Katrina photo-op. Last September, Bush made this pledge to Katrina's victims: 'We will do what it takes, we will stay as long as it takes, to help citizens rebuild their communities and their lives.' Over half a year later, 59 percent of Americans disapprove of the way Bush is handling the recovery and not enough is being done to provide for the storm's victims. 'This government will learn the lessons of Hurricane Katrina,' Bush promised. Yet, the nation remains unprepared for another natural disaster of Katrina's scale. Even former House Speaker Newt Gingrich acknowledged recently: 'It's going to be really bad by September when we go back and have a one-year review and we realize how much of New Orleans is not fixed as of this coming September.' "
"Bexar County's electronic voting machines 'for which it paid $8 million' will be unplugged when early voting starts Monday in local elections because the equipment supplier failed to deliver the necessary software, according to county officials. "
"Ron Wyden has long been a big supporter of progressive energy policy within the Senate. He's on CSPAN-2 right now passionately filibustering against the 'outrageous boondoggle' (as he calls it) for the oil companies that his amendment seeks to take away. It's quite heroic.
This is the thing we always encourage Democrats to do. This is something worth standing for. He's going straight after the onerus Gail Norton right now. I urge you strongly to turn on your television sets, because cable news outlets aren't covering it. Contact your Senator and tell them you support this.
Some background:" (Read On ^)
BostonHerald.com - Business News: Two-tiered Internet: Panel paves way for fees:
"A Republican-controlled House committee yesterday rejected a measure by U.S. Rep. Edward Markey (D-Malden) that would have barred telecommunication companies from socking Web sites with extra fees based on bandwidth usage.
Markey's so-called 'Internet neutrality' amendment was defeated on a 34-22 vote by members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
With defeat of the amendment, Markey warned yesterday that America is moving closer to a two-tiered Internet system in which telecom firms such as AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and other firms can start giving special price deals to some users - while hitting others with higher fees. "
"John Negroponte, the national intelligence director, who is in the thick of an unprecedented effort to crack down on leaks of classified information, figured he'd start off his speech at the Mayflower Hotel yesterday with a couple of journalism jokes.
After an affectionate introduction by an official from the Anti-Defamation League, Negroponte quipped, 'Beats the introduction I got at the National Press Club the other day.'"
Judge Won't Dismiss Case Against Libby - Yahoo! News:
"WASHINGTON - A federal judge refused Thursday to dismiss charges against I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, the former top White House aide who was indicted on perjury and obstruction charges last year in the CIA leak scandal"