Saturday, May 20, 2006

John Dean Compares Wartime Dirty Tricks of Bush and Nixon

Yep, I knew just how bad things were getting when I found myself nostalgic for Nixon

Daily Kos: John Dean Compares Wartime Dirty Tricks of Bush and Nixon:

"In his article, Dean writes:

Lately, the Bush Administration has been talking of using the Espionage Act of 1917 to prosecute the New York Times and the Washington Post . Yet these veteran newspapers' 'crimes' consist merely of publishing Pulitzer-Prize-winning articles on the CIA's secret prisons, and the NSA's secret surveillance programs.

Not even Nixon sank so low. He might have initiated criminal prosecutions against the Times for printing the Pentagon Papers, yet did not.

And in other respects, the Bush Administration makes Nixon look like a piker when it comes to free speech, as well as other civil liberties issues: Its electronic surveillance of American citizens has been done in utter defiance of the law.
Does the 'war on terror' justify the Administration's incursions on civil liberties? Putting this Administration's actions in historical perspective suggests the answer is a resounding no."
There's more ^

Political Wire: Hastert Lets Cheney Have It

Can't help but enjoy this.

Seems like the lock-step, jackboot routine is broken.

Political Wire: Hastert Lets Cheney Have It:

"House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) 'engaged in a high-decibel rant last week when he met with Vice President Dick Cheney,' Robert Novak reports. 'The speaker was enraged by the sacking of his friend and former colleague, Porter Goss.'

'Hastert was so vituperative that a private session with President Bush in the living quarters of the White House was scheduled immediately.'

'That wrath reflects the feeling in the House Republican cloakroom that Goss, who gave up a safe congressional seat from Florida for a thankless cleanup mission at the CIA, is being made a scapegoat for the government's intelligence mess. But Hastert's discontent goes beyond the CIA. The GOP mood on Capitol Hill, particularly the House, is poisonous.' "

Folks in the trenches warn Dems U.S.:

Democratic Activists Seek to Punish Their Own for Backing Bush

May 19 (Bloomberg) -- Democratic activist groups that mounted an aggressive campaign against President George W. Bush in the 2004 election have a new target: Democrats who support his policies.

A loose network of organizations, ranging from women's groups to Internet bloggers, is pressuring incumbents such as Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut and Representatives Jane Harman of California and Melissa Bean of Illinois, in some cases by backing insurgent candidates in primary elections.

The groups charge that these and other Democrats have been too supportive of Bush on issues like Iraq and trade, and say they're trying to energize voters disillusioned with a party that has failed to draw clear distinctions with Republicans. "

eXile - Issue #238 - Feature Story - How Dick Cheney Got His Cold War On - By Mark Ames

The Republicans seem lost without the Cold War. I guess Osama, living in a cave in Afghanistan, if he is alive at all, just can't quite stir up American fear like several thousand mirved Nukes aimed at every American city.

Ah yes, those were the good old days....

eXile - Issue #238 - Feature Story - How Dick Cheney Got His Cold War On - By Mark Ames:

"One of the oddest reactions to Vice President Cheney's now-infamous speech in Lithuania, the one which many Russians believe officially heralded the start of a new Cold War, came from the mainstream American media. What was so strange? They actually did their job.

Instead of simply parroting the Administration's latest pieties, something the press has been doing for as long as I've been here, they actually allowed themselves to smell a rat. And what a putrid, bloated, rotting-in-a-flooded-Manila-gutter rat odor it was! You'd have to have been literally brain dead not to have smelled it.

The rat of course was the insane hypocrisy of a foaming fascist like Dick Cheney suddenly getting all Amnesty International righteous over a bad regime that does bad things. The fact that Cheney flew straight to Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan right after squirting over Russia's human rights problems turned the rank hypocrisy into a bad black comedy routine, barely fit for even a Tom Green. Kazakhstan is a country where opposition politicians and media aren't merely jailed, exiled or cowed as they are in Russia, but are shot and dumped in forests, Miller's-Crossing style, on behalf of a despot whose family runs the country like its own fiefdom." (Do you mean like the Bushies?) Read on^

Bush administration has used 27 rationales for war in Iraq, study says

....and do we believe any of them?

Hell no!

Fool us once shame on him, fool us twice....uh... shame on him.

Bush administration has used 27 rationales for war in Iraq, study says:

"CHAMPAIGN, Ill. : If it seems that there have been quite a few rationales for going to war in Iraq, that's because there have been quite a few, 27, in fact, all floated between Sept. 12, 2001, and Oct. 11, 2002, according to a new study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. All but four of the rationales originated with the administration of President George W. Bush.

The study also finds that the Bush administration switched its focus from Osama bin Laden to Saddam Hussein early on, only five months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

In addition to what it says about the shifting sands of rationales and the unsteady path to war in Iraq, what is remarkable about the 212-page study is that its author is a student. "

Specter to Feingold: 'Good Riddance'

Arlen certainly is testy these days.

If he is all that is standing beetween us and dictatorship, we are all doomed.

In the meanwhile, Go Russ!

Why is that Republicans want to do eveything in the dead of night, or behind closed doors? Are they ashamed of what they are doing?

Specter to Feingold: 'Good Riddance':

"'I don't need to be lectured by you. You are no more a protector of the Constitution than am I,' Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) shouted after Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) declared his opposition to the amendment, his affinity for the Constitution and his intention to leave the meeting.

'If you want to leave, good riddance,' Specter finished.
'I've enjoyed your lecture, too, Mr. Chairman,' replied Feingold, who is considering a run for president in 2008. 'Se"

Growing Number of GOP Seats In Doubt

Growing Number of GOP Seats In Doubt:

"VIRGINIA BEACH, May 19 -- When some of the country's top political handicappers drew up their charts of vulnerable House incumbents at the beginning of this year, Rep. Thelma D. Drake (R-Va.) was not among them. Now she is.

President Bush carried her district with 58 percent of the vote in 2004, but strategists say his travails are part of the reason the freshman lawmaker now has a fight on her hands. He swooped into town briefly Friday for a closed-door fundraiser for Drake but made no public appearances." (Wonder if Thelma appreciated the Pariah from Texas showing up and reminding everyone of who heads her party?)

Religious Liberals Gain New Visibility

Well. Praise the Lord. It's about time.

Religious Liberals Gain New Visibility

Religious Liberals Gain New Visibility

Wll. Praise the Lord. It's about time.

Religious Liberals Gain New Visibility

Impeachment By Internet (One helluva good idea!)

This is one of the best ideas I have seen in awhile.

If we all pledge to write three emails a week, describing a law we believe has been broken and giving specific instances, there is no way they can ignore us, though try like hell, I am sure they will.

Daily Kos: Impeachment By Internet:

Is there any way to expedite the impeachment process? Yes!

OK, so you're fed up. You've contacted your representatives in support of House Resolution 635 (Conyers). You've attended demonstrations. You've written letters to the editors. You've passed around and signed petitions. You've joined political action committees. You have even attended public town hall forums on impeachment and joined local efforts to pass state resolutions for impeachment. You've lent your support for Democratic candidates for Congress in November. You've donated to candidates. You bought Center for Constitutional Rights, 'Articles of Impeachment Against George W. Bush.' You even read it." (Please do read on ^)

Impeachment by Internet?

Daily Kos: State of the Nation:

"Is there any way to expedite the impeachment process? Yes!
OK, so you're fed up. You've contacted your representatives in support of House Resolution 635 (Conyers). You've attended demonstrations. You've written letters to the editors. You've passed around and signed petitions. You've joined political action committees. You have even attended public town hall forums on impeachment and joined local efforts to pass state resolutions for impeachment. You've lent your support for Democratic candidates for Congress in November. You've donated to candidates. You bought Center for Constitutional Rights, 'Articles of Impeachment Against George W. Bush.'

You even read it." (Read On ^)

US military, intelligence officials raise concern about possible preparations for Iran strike

If Junior bombs Iran without the permission of Congress and against the will of a majority of Americans, he can forget about being a lame duck; more like dead duck!

The Raw Story US military, intelligence officials raise concern about possible preparations for Iran strike:

"Concern is building among the military and the intelligence community that the US may be preparing for a military strike on Iran, as military assets in key positions are approaching readiness, RAW STORY has learned.

According to military and intelligence sources, an air strike on Iran could be doable in June of this year, with military assets in key positions ready to go and a possible plan already on the table.

Speculation has been growing on a possible air strike against Iran. But with the failure of the Bush administration to present a convincing case to the UN Security Council and to secure political backing domestically, some experts say the march toward war with Iran is on pause barring an 'immediate need.' "

The Raw Story | New White House press secretary alludes to 'competing network' when answering reporter's question

The Raw Story New White House press secretary alludes to 'competing network' when answering reporter's question:

"At the White House press briefing today, White House press secretary and former Fox News radio host Tony Snow suggested he was still a member of the Fox News team -- describing a senator's interview with ABC's 'This Week' as being on a 'competing network.

The story was caught by John Amato at Crooks and Liars.

Here's the exchange." (Read On ^)

Friday, May 19, 2006

ABC uncovers ex-CIA executive director's seven-bedroom, 12 guest Hawaiian hideaway

There are pictures. Un-freakin'-believable!

The Raw Story ABC uncovers ex-CIA executive director's seven-bedroom, 12 guest Hawaiian hideaway:

The plot thickens

'Sources close to the widening probe of official corruption in Washington tell ABC News that investigators are studying travel records of expensive trips to Hawaii and Europe taken by top CIA official Dusty Foggo and San Diego defense contractor Brent Wilkes,' ABC News reports Wednesday.

The Hawaiian vacation property was first reported by the San Diego Union Tribune. ABC News was the first to report that the property was part of the government's inquiry into an ever-widening Washington corruption scandal.

ABC has also acquired the real estate photos of the site. The seven bedroom Honolulu property can accomodate 12 guests, according to the real estate listing."

McCain at New School: Honeymoon is Over

New School Students thow a fit about McCain speaking at their commencement.

Way to go, guys and gals!

McCain at New School: Honeymoon is Over: (Read On)

"'I haven't heard anyone aroused about me speaking at the New School,' John McCain said in April, defending his decision to address Jerry Falwell's Liberty University.

Nobody at all, except for virtually the entire crowd at the New School's Madison Square Garden graduation ceremony in New York City. At the beginning of the event, New School President, and former Senator, Bob Kerrey predicted a raucous affair. 'Our founding purpose is proudly liberal,' he said. 'We began as an act of protest.'

The school's tradition of dissent carried on today. Scores of New School students held orange signs, and a few banners, reading 'McCain Does Not Speak For Me,' and 'Our Commencement Is Not Your Platform.' What began as mild rumblings of disapproval before McCain's speech soon exploded into boos, catcalls and turned backs.

The spark was provided by undergraduate keynote speaker Jean Sara Rohe, a composed, seemingly innocuous jazz musician and singer. After beginning with a short folk song (true to classic graduation speech form) Rohe quickly tossed aside her prepared remarks to directly address McCain. "

Lawyer disputes claim Powell aide focus of CIA leak probe; New indication focus is on coverup, not leak

We've been hearing rumblings about Armitage for months.

But, as with everything else, we will believe it when Fitz says it.

The Raw Story Lawyer disputes claim Powell aide focus of CIA leak probe; New indication focus is on coverup, not leak:

"A claim by former National Security director Bobby Ray Inman that a senior Powell aide was a target in the investigation into the outing of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson drew a firestorm of response from individuals close to the case, RAW STORY can report.

A post yesterday by Steve Clemons, editor of the popular foreign relations-focused blog, The Washington Note, noted that the former NSA chief was privately telling associates that Powell's Undersecretary of State Richard Armitage was a focus of the CIA leak investigation.

Late yesterday, Clemons received a barrage of responses from others closer to the case, including a lawyer to one who has testified, Clemons told me. These individuals vehemently disputed claims that Armitage was in legal jeopardy, saying that the erstwhile Powell aide had been nothing but cooperative in his appearances before the grand jury."

Top Air Force brass said to be under FBI probe�|�

Seems corruption is contagious....

Top Air Force brass said to be under FBI probe��

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Air Force's highest-ranking officer and his predecessor are the subjects of an FBI investigation into the handling of a $49.9 million dollar contract for the Thunderbirds, an air demonstration squadron, ABC News reported on Thursday.

The network quoted law enforcement officials as saying the Federal Bureau of Investigation was investigating allegations that Gen. Michael Moseley and Gen. John Jumper helped to steer a Thunderbird contract to a friend, retired Air Force Gen. Hal Hornburg.

The Air Force, responding to the report, said Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne had referred a protest involving the contract to the Defense Department's chief internal inspector.

'Unfortunately, because of the ongoing litigation and investigation it is inappropriate to address specifics concerning the issue,' an Air Force statement said."

Poll: 26% suspect they've been wiretapped - May 18, 2006

Yeah, it is hard to believe that millions of Americans chat it up
with Osama on a regular basis. - Poll: 26% suspect they've been wiretapped - May 18, 2006:

"WASHINGTON (CNN) -- One in four Americans think it is likely that the government has listened to their phone calls, according to a CNN poll conducted by Opinion Research Corporation.

The poll results appeared on the day that Gen. Michael Hayden faced intense questions from senators over domestic spying.

Hayden was head of the National Security Agency when President Bush authorized electronic eavesdropping without a warrant inside the United States. He is facing a confirmation hearing to become head of the CIA."

McCain and the Crusading-crackpots

"MCCAIN AND WAR. I loved this line from Michael Kinsley on John McCain: He 'has a unique genius for telling the truth from his heart and making people believe that he is lying. And these people are his supporters! They admire him as a straight-talking truth-teller, and they forgive him for taking positions on big issues that they find repellent on the grounds that he doesn't really mean what he says.' I do think, though, that Kinsley actually misses part of the dynamic here. He writes that lots of folks are eager to excuse McCain's misdeeds on the grounds that, 'Oh, he has to say that to get the Republican nomination,' where ''That' might refer to McCain's strong right-to-life stand on abortion, or his strong support for the war in Iraq, or his recent rapprochement with Jerry Falwell.'

On abortion and Falwell, that's correct. But with regard to the war, I think it's wrong. Many Democrat-favoring journalists forgive McCain's views of foreign policy because they agree with McCain's views on foreign policy. McCainiacs have gotten a little cagey about this point since the constituency for their views has dwindled to about seventeen people, but if you look up the classic works of left-wing McCainism from the heady days of 2002, it was pretty clear. Here's Jon Chait making the case: "

Dismantling Iraqi Life

Dismantling Iraqi Life:

"After five months of confusion, bickering, dickering, dithering, and strong-arm tactics from Zalmay Khalilzad, our ambassador to Iraq and various high American officials arriving on the fly, Prime Minister-designate Nouri al-Maliki has reportedly chosen his cabinet and a government will evidently be established in Baghdad's Green Zone. At the moment, its reach seems unlikely to extend much beyond the American-protected berms and fortifications of that citadel-mini-state. In the meantime, what governmental authority still existed in Iraq seems to be rapidly on the wane -- and not just in largely Sunni areas of the country either. (In parts of Sunni al-Anbar province, however, according to Mathieu Guid�re and Peter Harling of Le Monde Diplomatique, control seems to be passing into other 'governing' hands: 'A formal procedure is in place for lorry drivers to pay an insurance fee [to insurgent groups] that allows them to cross the governorate, as long as they are not supplying the enemy.')

In the city of Basra, in the Shiite south, the reliable British journalist Patrick Cockburn reports that, according to an Iraqi defense ministry official, an average of one assassination an hour is taking place, and local police 'no longer dare go to the site of a murder because they fear being attacked.' Indeed, when a tribal leader was recently killed by men in police uniforms, a local police station was promptly sacked and 11 policemen killed. Reprisal murders of every sort seem to be sweeping the country as a complex, low-level civil war only grows more intense. In fact, Middle Eastern scholar Juan Cole now regularly begins his daily blog at his Informed Comment website with lines like: 'The Iraqi Civil War took the lives of another 42 persons on Tuesday.') "

Walk the Line

Walk the Line:

"Hard as it may be to distrust General Michael Hayden, the sad truth is that he's not trustworthy. Hayden, who testified before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence yesterday in his bid to become the next director of the CIA, made his reputation at the National Security Agency, which he led from 1999 to 2005, based on his relative openness. Reporters once kept at arms' length from the NSA's Fort Meade headquarters ate and drank at Hayden's dinner table. He fretted publicly that the Will Smith thriller Enemy of the State reflected an entrenched perception that his well-intentioned agency was a latter-day Big Brother. And his most important public statement issued as NSA Director inspired confidence that he took his responsibilities to safeguard civil liberties seriously. 'What I really need you to do is to talk to your constituents and find out where the American people want that line between security and liberty to be,' Hayden told a joint House-Senate hearing on pre-September 11 intelligence failures in October 2002. 'These are serious issues that the country addressed, and resolved to its satisfaction, once before in the mid-1970s. In light of the events of September 11, it is appropriate that we, as a country, readdress them. We need to get it right.'..."

The Da Vinci Code

Like we don't have more pressing things on our minds....

Disinformation :: The gateway to the underground - news, politics, conspiracy and weirdness.: " should add a few words about The Da Vinci Code itself; not the movie, which won't hit theaters until Friday, but the book, which has managed to find the sweet spot between purported fact and purported fiction. It is standard practice for thriller-writers to dress up their stories with preexisting allegations, credible or not, about the cabals that power their plots: the CIA, the KGB, the Vatican, anal-probing aliens, whatever. Some authors drop hints that parts of their story might be real, allowing readers to enjoy not just the pleasures of vicarious sex and gunplay but the frisson of believing they're getting a glimpse of some hidden truth. I assume that when Brown placed a partially accurate note at the beginning of his novel claiming that various plot points really exist, he was merely doing this standard scene-setting. If he wanted to prompt a religious reformation, he would have written a different sort of book.

'Inadvertently, he landed in the perfect position to launch a cult. Since it doesn't claim to be the literal, infallible truth, The Da Vinci Code isn't easily damaged by the sort of skeptical inquiry that digs out contradictions or obvious inaccuracies in holy texts. Like many writers before him, from H.P. Lovecraft to Robert Anton Wilson to Neal Stephenson, Brown has written a yarn that will attract believers no matter how many times its author assures them it isn't true. In this case, unlike the others, the author isn't eager to make those assurances.' (Reason article). [Editor's note: learn more secrets with the Disinformation DVDs Origins Of The Da Vinci Code, Exploring The Da Vinci Code and Da Vinci Code Decoded; and the precursor book The Passover Plot.]"

How long before this weapon is deployed here?

The Register-Guard, Eugene, Oregon, USA:

"BAGHDAD, Iraq - The U.S. military is deploying a laser device in Iraq that would temporarily blind drivers who fail to heed warnings at checkpoints, in an attempt to stem shootings of innocent Iraqis.

The pilot project would equip thousands of M-4 rifles with the 10 1/2 -inch-long weapon, which projects an intense beam of green light to ``dazzle'' the vision of oncoming drivers. "

The 9/11 Story That Got Away

In case you missed it!

Disinformation :: The 9/11 Story That Got Away:

"'In 2001, an anonymous White House source leaked top-secret NSA intelligence to reporter Judith Miller that Al Qaida was planning a major attack on the United States. But the story never made it into the paper.

'Now, in an exclusive interview, Miller reveals how the attack on the Cole spurred her reporting on Al Qaida and led her, in July 2001, to a still-anonymous top-level White House source, who shared top-secret NSA signals intelligence (SIGINT) concerning an even bigger impending Al Qaida attack, perhaps to be visited on the continental United States.

'Ultimately, Miller never wrote that story either. But two months later -- on Sept. 11 -- Miller and her editor at the Times, Stephen Engelberg, both remembered and regretted the story they 'didn't do.'' (AlterNet article)."

Bowing To The Police State

Bowing To The Police State:

"05/17/06 'Tom Paine' -- - Is Congress aiding and abetting the creation of a police state? Recently, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., helped to give the CIA and NSA unprecedented police powers. By inserting a provision in the FY07 Intelligence Authorization Act, Hoekstra has undermined the existing statutory limits on involvement in domestic law enforcement. This comes after revelations in January of direct NSA involvement with the Baltimore police in order to 'protect' the NSA Headquarters from Quaker protesters.

Add to this, the disquieting news that the White House has been barraging the CIA with totally improper questions about the political affiliation of some of its senior intelligence officers, the ever widening use of polygraph examinations, and the FBI's admission that it acquires phone records of broadcast and print media to investigate leaks at the CIA. I, for one, am reminded of my service in the police state of the U.S.S.R., where there were no First or Fourth Amendments.

Like the proverbial frog in slowly boiling water, we have become inured to what goes on in the name of national security. Recent disclosures about increased government surveillance and illegal activities would be shocking, were it not for the prevailing outrage-fatigue brought on by a long train of abuses. But the heads of the civilian, democratically elected institutions that are supposed to be our bulwark against an encroaching police state, the ones who stand to lose their own power as well as their rights and the rights of all citizens, aren't interested in reigning in the power of the intelligence establishment. To the contrary, Rep. Hoekstra and his counterpart at the Senate, Pat Roberts, R.-Kan., are running the risk of whiplash as they pivot to look the other way."

This isn�t Policy; its barbarism

This isn�t Policy; its barbarism:

"05/17/06 'Information Clearing House' -- -- Politics is a murky business which rarely presents clear moral choices. That's what makes the humanitarian crisis in Palestine so exceptional; there is no gray-area whatsoever. The withholding of food, medical supplies and resources is manifestly immoral, and those who support that policy, even by their silence, are participating in a grave injustice.

Dov Weinglass, advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Olmert, stated, 'The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.'

Weinglass' comments reflect the cynicism and virulent racism which underscores the current crisis. Would he be equally unmoved if Jews were suffering from economic strangulation or are his feelings limited to (what Noam Chomsky calls) the 'unpeople'?

America has used this heinous strategy before; most recently in Iraq where10 years of sanctions led to the deaths of an estimated 500,000 Iraqis. Now they've shifted the policy to Palestine where millions of innocent women and children are being targeted to destabilize the government.

How does this square with Bush's recurrent proclamations on human rights and freedom?

Collective punishment is banned under the Geneva Conventions, but that hasn't deterred Israel or the United States from executing their plan. International law is only applied to Muslim countries that are involved in the peaceful development of nuclear technology (Iran) or who operate independently of Washington and Tel Aviv (Iran, Syria). "



"The Jungian analysis by Paul Levy, of Bush and the culture which maintains him, reaches deep into the American psyche. It should be studied and digested by everyone. If the citizenry would recognize that Bush's egomania is acting out a national illness, we would all be saner. If the US could integrate the 'shadow' which Bush projects upon 'the axis of evil,' perhaps we could achieve world peace and start to solve global problem. A MUST READ.

Carol S. Wolman, MD, Board Certified in Psychiatry

By Paul Levy
05/18/06 'Information Clearing House' -- -- George W. Bush is ill. He has a psycho-spiritual dis-ease of the soul, a sickness that is endemic to our culture and symptomatic of the times we live in. It's an illness that has been with us since time immemorial. Because it's an illness that's in the soul of all of humanity, it pervades the field and is in all of us in potential at any moment, which makes it especially hard to diagnose. Bush's malady is quite different from schizophrenia, for example, in which all the different parts of the personality are fragmented and not connected to each other, resulting in a state of internal chaos. As compared to the dis-order of the schizophrenic, Bush can sound quite coherent and can appear like such a 'regular,' normal guy, which makes the syndrome he is suffering from very hard to recognize. This is because the healthy parts of his personality have been co-opted by the pathological aspect, which drafts them into its service. Because of the way the personality self-organizes an outer display of coherence around a pathogenic core, I would like to name Bush's illness 'malignant egophrenic (as compared to schizophrenic) disease,' or 'ME disorder,' for short. If ME disorder goes unrecognized and is not contained, it can be very destructive"

No shit!

The Scariest Predators in the Corporate Jungle | Asian Tribune

Pease read and boycott

The Scariest Predators in the Corporate Jungle Asian Tribune:

"United Nations, 17 May, (IPS): The world's oil, gas and mining industries account for nearly two-thirds of all violations of human rights, environmental laws and international labor standards, according to a soon-to-be-released United Nations study.

The food and beverages industry is a distant second, followed by apparel, footwear, and the information and communications technology sector.

'The extractive industries -- oil, gas and mining -- also account for most allegations of the worst abuses, up to and including complicity in crimes against humanity,' says the interim report titled 'Promotion and Protection of Human Rights'. A more detailed study is expected to be released later this year.

These are typically for acts committed by public and private security forces protecting company assets and property; large-scale corruption; violations of labor rights; and a broad array of abuses in relation to local communities, especially the indigenous peoples.

Asked for her comments, Kathryn Mulvey of Corporate Accountability International told IPS that human rights abuses by extractive industries are among 'the most concentrated, visible and urgent to address'.
'Abuses by other industries such as tobacco, which claims five million lives around the world each year, have not typically been framed as human rights issues, but that is changing,' she said.

The interim U.N. study, by a team headed by John Ruggie, a special representative of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, was conducted in response to a resolution by the now-defunct U.N. Commission on Human Rights. "

A welcome at the White House

It's time, people!

Let's do away with all of them

Comment is free: A welcome at the White House:

"Gamal Mubarak, son and probable successor of the Egyptian president, visited the US last week, allegedly to renew his pilot's licence. While in Washington, he happened to be passing the White House and decided to drop in and say hello. It's only courteous, and I must try it myself sometime.

Gamal - or Jimmy as his friends call him - had a chat with Steve Hadley, the president's national security adviser, and also met vice-president Dick Cheney and secretary of state Condoleezza Rice.

While he was having his cup of tea with Mr Hadley, President Bush 'dropped by to greet Mr Mubarak and convey his best regards to his father, President Hosni Mubarak', according to a White House spokesman.
What exactly was going on here is still a mystery. 'Jimmy' holds no government post in Egypt, though he is assistant secretary-general of the ruling party - not the sort of post that usually opens doors to all the highest people in the United States.

But what on earth was President Bush doing, passing on 'his best regards' to the Egyptian pharaoh just 24 hours after riot police and government thugs had been beating up demonstrators and journalists in Cairo? That's hardly in line with Mr Bush's 'forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East', is it?"

Egypt: Police Assault Demonstrators, Journalists

Why don't we go after all of the tyrrants, including Bush?

Reuters AlertNet - Egypt: Police Assault Demonstrators, Journalists:

" (New York, May 13, 2006) ? Thousands of Egyptian security forces sealed off much of downtown Cairo on Thursday and violently attacked protestors attempting to demonstrate in support of reformist judges, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch called on President Hosni Mubarak to speak out against the police violence and hold accountable those responsible. Beatings by plainclothes officers and thugs left dozens injured. According to defense lawyers, authorities arrested 255 persons in connection with the incidents. State Security prosecutors have ordered them all held for 15 days pending further investigation on charges of intent to assault property and people, obstructing the authorities' work, endangering public transport, disseminating propaganda and insulting the head of state and public employees.

'The government is apparently determined to stamp out peaceful dissent ? literally,' said Joe Stork, deputy director of the Middle East and North Africa division at Human Rights Watch. 'It seems that President Mubarak sees growing popular support for the reformist judges as a real challenge to his authoritarian ways.'

The incidents occurred when demonstrators tried to reach the area around Cairo's High Court for a 10 a.m. rally in support of two judges, Hisham al-Bastawissi and Mahmud Makki, who were facing a disciplinary hearing in the court as a result of their vocal criticism of fraudulent parliamentary elections late last year.

President Mubarak has remained silent in the face of the escalating police violence"

Aipac Case Impacting Security Clearance

It's about damned time!

Aipac Case Impacting Security Clearance:

"05/17/06 'The Sun' -- -- The Pentagon is invoking the prosecution of two pro-Israel lobbyists and a Defense Department analyst for illegal use of classified information as a basis for stripping security clearances from government contractor employees who have dual citizenship in America and Israel or family members living in the Jewish state.

In at least three instances, Defense Department attorneys have used or attempted to use the case involving the former staffers of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee to justify withdrawing a security clearance or denying one in the first place, according to a Virginia lawyer who closely tracks such disputes, Sheldon Cohen.

'In my personal experience, I know of at least three cases,' Mr. Cohen told The New York Sun yesterday. 'I assume they're raising it in every Israel case.'

Asked why government lawyers were invoking the Aipac case in security clearance disputes with no known connection to the pro-Israel group, Mr. Cohen said, 'The only reason to possibly use it is to implicate anybody with a connection to Israel, to imply they cannot be trusted. There is no other conceivable reason to bring it up.'

The two former Aipac staffers, Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, and the Pentagon analyst, Lawrence Franklin, were indicted in August 2005 on charges they conspired to pass classified information to persons not entitled to receive it, including Israeli "

Liberty Beat by Nat Hentoff

It's all a bunch of crap!

village voice > news > Liberty Beat by Nat Hentoff:

"After 9-11, within the frame-work of the fight against terrorism, the violation of human and fundamental rights was not isolated, or an excessive measure confined to a short period of time, but rather a widespread regular practice by the CIA in which the majority of European countries are involved.

Giovanni Claudio Fava, chief investigator for a European Parliament report on the CIA's 'extraordinary renditions' in Europe, following three months of hearings, April 26 "

Oil Diplomacy

Oil Diplomacy:

"05/18/06 'Tom Paine' -- -- Nothing the Bush administration ever does is about oil. It didn't invade Iraq because that country might have more oil than Saudi Arabia. It isn't threatening Iran because Iran has a tenth of the world's oil and one-sixth of its natural gas. And the United States isn't cozying up to autocrats in Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan because the Caspian Sea is a mini-Persian Gulf in the middle of Central Asia, either.

So it stands to reason, doesn't it, that Washington isn't making a fuss over Venezuela's Hugo Chavez because that country is a major supplier of oil to the United States? And that it isn't making nice to Libya's erratic Colonel Gadhafi because of oil, either?

'This decision is not undertaken because Libya has oil,' said David Welch, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for Near East affairs, in announcing that the United States is restoring diplomatic ties with Libya and removing that country from the hard-to-get-off-of list of nations linked to terrorism. Nevertheless, expect U.S. oil companies to flock into Libya."

Yeah, right!

Bush Is Certifiable

By all tests and measurements, the man is a danger to himself and others.

Get him the hell out of the W.H.!

Bush Is Certifiable:

"George W. Bush is suffering from a peculiar but not that uncommon form of madness in which a pathological part of his psyche has co-opted all of the healthy parts into its service.

05/18/06 'Information Clearing House' -- -- Speaking about such a pathological condition, Jung commented that 'an unknown 'something' has taken possession of a smaller or greater portion of the psyche and asserts its hateful and harmful existence undeterred by all our insight, reason, and energy, thereby proclaiming the power of the unconscious over the conscious mind, the sovereign power of possession.'

Bush has been taken over by an unconscious complex of the collective unconscious. We speak of a mother complex, or a father complex, but Bush has what we could call a savior complex. Jung said, 'The savior complex is an archetypal image of the collective unconscious, and it quite naturally becomes activated in an epoch so full of trouble and disorientation as ours.' The archetypal figure of savior is literally dreamed up into incarnation by the field to be both a compensation for and an expression of the disorientation and dissociation in the field.

Being a reflection of the greater underlying unified field, this figure will embody the unconsciousness of the time. Because of the unconsciousness in the field, the person playing the archetypal role of savior will reflect this unconsciousness and become inflated, blown up out of human proportion by the power of the archetype. He will then, of necessity, be compelled to act out his hubris in a way that is destructive for all who are under his dominion.

Inflated by the power of the underlying archetype, Bush is suffering from delusions of grandeur, and has become megalomaniacal. He is unconscious"

Orwell Rolls in His Grave

Take the wealth away from the 'evil doers."

Call it the Jubilee year of the Lord!

Look it up.

Orwell Rolls in His Grave:

"'Could a media system, controlled by a few global corporations with the ability to overwhelm all competing voices, be able to turn lies into truth?...'"

Senate Votes to Erect a 350-mile Fence along the Mexican Border

...and who, of the Rethug supporters, are making a fortune off the fence

Senate Votes to Erect a 350-mile Fence along the Mexican Border:

"WASHINGTON - The Senate called Wednesday for at least 350 miles of new triple-layered fencing on porous sections of the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexican border to crack down on illegal immigration and smuggling.

The $1 billion proposal, approved by a vote of 83-16, is less extensive than a 700-mile fence proposed by the House of Representatives, but it puts both chambers of Congress in support of building expanded barriers across the southwestern border.

The Mexican government has denounced the House proposal as 'shameful,' but it didn't issue an immediate reaction to the Senate proposal, which was approved as an amendment to a comprehensive immigration bill.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said that his amendment tracks a plan by the Department of Homeland Security to construct fences in areas frequently used by smugglers and illegal immigrants.

The department would determine the locations, but Sessions indicated that much of the fencing would be in Arizona and California and would be linked to a 20-mile fence already constructed near San Diego. The plan also calls for 500 miles of additional vehicle barriers.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has opposed barriers along the full length of the border, but he supports renewed and expanded barriers in vulnerable areas.
The 700-mile fence that the House included in an enforcement-oriented immigration bill in December would cost an estimated $2.2 billion. "

Global Food Supply Near the Breaking Point

Not a bad thing for the fatso in the land of the free and obese.

Global Food Supply Near the Breaking Point:

"BROOKLIN, Canada - The world is now eating more food than farmers grow, pushing global grain stocks to their lowest level in 30 years. Rising population, water shortages, climate change, and the growing costs of fossil fuel-based fertilisers point to a calamitous shortfall in the world's grain supplies in the near future, according to Canada's National Farmers Union (NFU).

Thirty years ago, the oceans were teeming with fish, but today more people rely on farmers to produce their food than ever before, says Stewart Wells, NFU's president.

In five of the last six years, global population ate significantly more grains than farmers produced.

And with the world's farmers unable to increase food production, policymakers must address the 'massive challenges to the ability of humanity to continue to feed its growing numbers', Wells said in a statement.

There isn't much land left on the planet that can be converted into new food-producing areas, notes Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute, a Washington-based non-governmental organisation. And what is left is of generally poor quality or likely to turn into dust bowls if heavily exploited, Brown told IPS. "

Al Gore Overcomes the Fear Factor, Hillary Succumbs


Hillary and all the rest of the DLCers can rot in hell.

Al Gore Overcomes the Fear Factor, Hillary Succumbs:

"Last night, I attended the premiere of An Inconvenient Truth, the powerful new global warming documentary featuring an impassioned and surprisingly humorous Al Gore.
After the screening, as I watched him interact with well-wishers, accepting congratulations and answering questions, he radiated commitment and confidence. Here was a man truly comfortable in his own skin.

And it got me thinking how unlike his old self -- and the vast majority of our would-be leaders -- he has become. I'm talking about the timid, walking-on-eggshells, pusillanimous poltroons that dominate modern politics.

They are Beltway versions of the Cowardly Lion of Oz, driven by the fear of saying the wrong thing (wouldn't want to give the other side ammo for the inevitable attack ad), of offending someone (anyone!), of going out on a limb (the branches of government get a little shaky out there). And, the Wickedest Bitch of them all, the fear of having a giant red 'Loser' stamped on their foreheads and their resumes. "

Hawks for Withdrawal

The Democrats had better wise the hell up!

Hawks for Witdrawal:

"Democrats are slowly but surely uniting around a plan for military withdrawal designed by the Center for American Progress, a think tank linked to Clinton-era Democrats and headed by former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta.
Not all the party leaders agree. Senator Hillary Clinton continues to posture as a military hawk. Senator Joe Biden wants to dilute and divide Iraq into three sectarian enclaves. Neither Senator Charles Schumer nor Representative Rahm Emanuel, who are charged with winning November's elections, have a coherent message on Iraq, preferring themes like 'corruption' and 'incompetence' to a straightforward alternative.

Despite the timidity and paralysis, however, Democrats on the campaign trail increasingly know they must address the war. Polls show that Iraq is dragging down ratings for the President and the Republican Party. Democrats prefer to simply criticize the Administration's handling of Iraq without discussing an exit plan of their own. This Democratic approach worked brilliantly on Social Security, where Bush could find no Democratic divisions to exploit. John Kerry's presidential campaign tried the same approach on Iraq but discovered that Kerry was losing both centrist and progressive voters. Today, the most common concern voters have about the Democratic Party is whether it stands for anything. "

Everybody Look What's Going Down

Everybody Look What's Going Down:

"I'm getting pretty sick of trying to talk to you people.

Oh, not you personally, I suppose. I'm sure you're a thoughtful, intelligent, generous, worthwhile member of human society, a credit to yourself and your family's name, and the world is better for your being in it. For all I know, you may even read books.

I guess it's the great mass of men that frustrates my periodic forays into dialogue. These would be the same great group of putative sapiens who drove poor Henry to his cabin in Walden woods, many a monk to a mountaintop, and Henry Louis Mencken to his typewriter to the enduring delight and sustenance of lesser practitioners of his sarcastic art such as I.
So here's where I am today, and this is what I have to say and I'll deviate from my usual route by posting my complaint here boldly, not yet two hundred words into our proceedings, perhaps thus to snare one or more of those who habitually quit my longer, more layered excursions in disgust when no point has risen before their attention spans have timed out.
The National Security Administration (whatever, exactly, that is, and whomever, precisely, it answers to, and however many hundreds of millions of dollars it gets from those few of us earning under a hundred thousand dollars a year and thus paying any taxes at all) has a list of all the telephone calls you make and of all the calls you receive. This includes the messages from your mistress and from the married man you met in a sports bar in Portland one winter night to test out your feeling that you might be 'bi-curious'. They know about your son's calls from jail, your daughter's pregnancy and VD scares, the flurry of communications between you and the
'Financial Management Expert' that led to your purchase of several embarrassing stocks, as well as the several calls"

One Step Closer to a Police State

Oh, hells bells we are already there!

We may be fooling ourselves, but we aren't fooling anyone else.

AlterNet: One Step Closer to a Police State:

"Placing National Guard troops on the border could be a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act. And that's just fine with the Bush administration. "

Why Are Gore and Kerry Polling Worse Than Bush?

AlterNet: Why Are Gore and Kerry Polling Worse Than Bush?:

"Be pragmatic. Take a good, long look at reality, and recognize that even though there isn't a Democrat in Washington who will admit that our political system is profoundly sick and obsolete, in the real world, the Democratic Party is currently all we have. So support it anyway.

That's what I've been telling myself, but boy can it be hard to swallow. Take, for example, the sea of problems Hillary Clinton poses to any political idealist. Hillary Clinton may represent many awful things -- Iraq, corporatism, insane military spending -- but the truth is, millions of Americans may well have health care if she becomes president, and they won't if she loses to a Republican in the next election.

I know it's good when Jack Abramoff sinks six congressmen and a senator; I know it's good when Bush's ratings hover in the 30s. I choke down my speeches about how both of these things are symptomatic of systemic problems and not due to the virtue of elected Democrats. And I am intrigued and hopeful at the prospect of Al Gore running for president, even though I think it's bizarre to engage in the dominant political language surrounding presidential contests -- where the every little move of one human being is treated as representative of the political desires of 300 million. Still, that's all there is. So I'm going with it."

How Bush Destroyed the CIA

Leave it to Jumior to destroy the agency that bears his father's name.

If he had only gone to AA or a therapist or someone with any sense at all, we might not be going through this constitutional crisis.

AlterNet: How Bush Destroyed the CIA:

"In Porter Goss, the Bush administration found the perfect hatchet man to drive the CIA into the ground. Hayden, the former NSA chief, may oversee its liquidation. "

How the Right Stole the '60s (And Why We Should Get Them Back)

We have some thoughts on this as well.


AlterNet: How the Right Stole the '60s (And Why We Should Get Them Back):

"It wasn't until I got to college that I heard that the 1960s had 'failed' and that all the Baby Boomers went straight and sold out.

Yet such sweeping proclamations never quite rung true.

Those weren't the people I knew when I was a kid: the aging organic farmers, the people living on and running a commune founded long before I was born, the self-sacrificing teachers and social workers, the lawyers who gave up a big paycheck for a good cause, or my friends' parents, who managed the local Kinko's and were anything but wealthy. Those weren't the adults I later met who sometimes struck me as more radical in their ideals and extreme in their political convictions than my college classmates. Maybe these folks weren't the vanguard of the revolution, but neither were they getting rich from selling it out. Instead, they were just regular people trying to make ends meet and live by their principles"

Senate panel OKs gay-marriage ban

15 cheers for Russ Feingold!

It is beyond me why the Democrats keep acting like this nightmare, we are all in, is politics as usual.

They should all walk out and go home. I don't see that they are doing any good in D.C.

Maybe if they went home, they would realize what the rest of us knows. There is enough anger and outrage in this country right now, that if the energy could be harnassed, itwould rid us of our oil addiction, over night.

Senate panel OKs gay-marriage ban:

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. Senate panel advanced a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage on Thursday as the committee chairman shouted 'good riddance' to a Democrat who walked out of the tense session.

'If you want to leave, good riddance,' The Senate Judiciary Chairman, Republican Arlen Specter, told Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Russell Feingold, who refused to participate because, he said, the meeting was not sufficiently open to the public.

'I've enjoyed your lecture too. See you later, Mr. Chairman,' Feingold told the Pennsylvania senator before storming out of the private room where the meeting took place.

The testy exchange highlighted tensions over the proposal, which seeks to amend the U.S. Constitution to prevent states from recognizing same-sex marriages.

The measure passed 10-8 on a party-line vote. Specter said he voted for the amendment because he thought it should be taken up by the full Senate, even though he does not back it."

In the Black(water)

Why do you think it tok the Bushites so long to respond to Katrina?

They were lining up all their contributors for contracts to clean up the mess, so that wealthy white people will want to re-build New Orleans, for their ilk, of course

And speaking of 'Blackwater,' in the subculture of RV owners, blackwater is the term used for piss and crap. Appropriate, don't you think?

In the Black(water):

"Tens of thousands of Hurricane Katrina victims remain without homes. The environment is devastated. People are disenfranchised. Financial resources, desperate residents are told, are scarce. But at least New Orleans has a Wal-Mart parking lot serving as a FEMA Disaster Recovery Center with perhaps the tightest security of any parking lot in the world. That's thanks to the more than $30 million Washington has shelled out to the Blackwater USA security firm since its men deployed after Katrina hit. Under contract with the

Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Federal Protective Service, Blackwater's men are ostensibly protecting federal reconstruction projects for FEMA. Documents show that the government paid Blackwater $950 a day for each of its guards in the area. Interviewed by The Nation last September, several of the company's guards stationed in New Orleans said they were being paid $350 a day. That would have left Blackwater with $600 per man, per day to cover lodging, ammo, other overhead--and profits. "

Unless something big happens, don't expect any tectonic shifts in power.

Perhaps, when the people get some guts and are really willing to fight for our Democracy, which is now on life-support, our leaders will follow.

Mainly because they will have no choice.

The Opinion Mill:

"Bush's poll numbers are in the toilet, the war is a disaster (Iraq now, Afghanistan soon), the GOP is sodden with corruption and scandal, so obviously conditions are ripe for a Democratic landslide in November -- right?

As I see it, there are two ways to start a landslide: either you push things until they start rolling, or you make a noise so loud that something on the verge of collapsing actually shakes loose and starts tumbling.

I don't see the party leadership doing much pushing, and they sure aren't making much noise. All I hear is the mild cheeping of Nancy Pelosi assuring Tim Russert that the Democrats would never dream of doing something so gauche as censure or impeach a president who lied the country into an unnecessary war. I'd love to see a political leader give Russert a disgusted look and say, 'Gee, Lil' Russ, just because you've forgotten how to do your job doesn't mean everyone else has to.' I'd also love to see a political party that honors fighters like Russ Feingold and tells a mingy appeaser like Hillary Clinton to give all that money she's raised to somebody who'll put it to good use, and then go wind-surfing with John Kerry. But I guess we'll have to wait for some other political party to come along before that happens."

Dust up between Feingold and Specter

This isn't anything like a nasty as it should be, given what is going on.

Senate panel OKs gay-marriage ban:

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. Senate panel advanced a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage on Thursday as the committee chairman shouted 'good riddance' to a Democrat who walked out of the tense session.

'If you want to leave, good riddance,' The Senate Judiciary Chairman, Republican Arlen Specter, told Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Russell Feingold, who refused to participate because, he said, the meeting was not sufficiently open to the public.

'I've enjoyed your lecture too. See you later, Mr. Chairman,' Feingold told the Pennsylvania senator before storming out of the private room where the meeting took place.

The testy exchange highlighted tensions over the proposal, which seeks to amend the U.S. Constitution to prevent states from recognizing same-sex marriages.

The measure passed 10-8 on a party-line vote. Specter said he voted for the amendment because he thought it should be taken up by the full Senate, even though he does not back it." - News - Robertson: God Says Tsunami Possible For U.S.###

God told Pat Robertson that storms would strike the U.S. coast. Jeebus, Pat, you needed God for that. It would be a freakin' miracle if they didn't.

Pat isn't sure he heard God right, but there may even be something as big as A Tsunami. He isn't sure he heard him right? Now, I would think that if God spoke to somone, that someone would sure as hell hear him. I would imagine that if God chose to speak to a deaf person, that person would hear him right.

Does Pat have ADD or something; spaces out when God is speaking to him about something as important as a Tsunami htting the North West?

God deliver us from your lame brain followers! - News - Robertson: God Says Tsunami Possible For U.S.###:

"VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- The Rev. Pat Robertson says God has told him that storms and possibly a tsunami will hit America's coastline this year.

The founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network has told viewers of 'The 700 Club' that the revelations came to him during his annual personal prayer retreat in January.
'If I heard the Lord right about 2006, the coasts of America will be lashed by storms,' Robertson said May 8.

He added specifics in Wednesday's show.

'There well may be something as bad as a tsunami in the Pacific Northwest,' he said."

The Lie Lives On ... and On ... and On | The Huffington Post

Like the freakin' Energizer Bunny...

Why doesn't some one stop this mess, any way they have to! This is a constituional crisis of unimaginable proportions.

The Blog Larry Beinhart: The Lie Lives On ... and On ... and On The Huffington Post:

"Then he said, there were two guys in San Diego ...
He was referring to Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Mihdhar. George Bush also talks about them when he wants to justify wiretaps without warrants.

The truth is that Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Mihdhar are the poster boys for missed opportunities. If the NSA, the CIA, the FBI and the White House had not screwed up so royally, mostly by cherishing their secrets, they would have had al Hasmi and al Mihdhar several times over.

Here are the facts.

Both of them were in the NSA and CIA files. They'd fought in Bosnia. They'd been to Afghanistan. They had friends and relatives who were jihadists and who were in Al Qaeda and they had associations with bin Laden."

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Bush's biggest fraud: the phony war on terrorism!

Evil cycles must end where they began. This one will end back in lower Manhattan, where it began.

Bush's biggest fraud: the phony war on terrorism!:

"Since the beginning of the year, the Bush administration has conducted a campaign of lies and misinformation about widespread domestic spying. Bushco has lied about it, denied it, acknowledged it, and, most egregiously, Bush has said that if he orders it, it's legal! Interestingly, none of the various cover stories are consistent with one another. How convenient for Bush should you forget one of his past lies!

But among the numerous and conflicting official cover stories is, not surprisingly, a most pernicious cover story: had there been an NSA domestic spying program in place prior to 911 the attacks might have been prevented.

That is, of course, an outrageous, bald-faced lie. The attacks might have been prevented anyway! But were not!
Moreover, the measures Bush has taken since then have utterly failed to address the issue of terrorism.
That Bush ignored numerous warnings is heavily documented. And there is yet another new story from AlterNet: "

80% of contributions from oil comoanies went to Republicans.

Their should be no doubt now who is responsible for the high gas prices.

Throw the bums out, ALL OF THEM!


"80 percent of oil and gas political contributions go to Republicans

With the price of a barrel of oil hovering at around $70 and a lot of pissed off voters paying more than three bucks a gallon at the pump, President Bush and his fellow Republicans are practically stumbling over each other as they seek to look tough on big oil and act to bring gas prices down before the November election.

But scramble as they may, there is no denying that the Republican majority and the Bush energy plan are bought and paid for by the Oil and Gas industry. According to data published by the Center for Responsive Politics, since 1990, the oil and gas industry has donated $140,870,847 to Republican candidates including the President and leading members of Congress. In the 2000 elections alone, in which George W. Bush was elected President, oil and gas companies gave more than $26 million to Bush and his fellow Republicans. A full 80 percent of oil and gas contributions, more than $20 million, went to Republicans during the 2004 election cycle."

Bus is primary recipient of contributions of Telecoms that handed over customer data.

Well, do tell....

The Tip of the Iceberg:

"President Bush is top recipient of political funds from phone companies that turned over calling records of millions of Americans. AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth gave Bush $511,955 "

| Tax cuts lose more money than they generate, studies conclude

It's Voodoo Economics on Steroids.

Some one notify John McCain that Bushite economists are on steroids, since he apparently think that steroidsare the most impoatant national issue going.

KR Washington Bureau 05/17/2006 Tax cuts lose more money than they generate, studies conclude:

"WASHINGTON - When President Bush signed legislation Wednesday to extend lower tax rates for capital gains and dividend income through 2010, he suggested that his tax cuts are behind a surge of new revenue into the Treasury, and implied that it's enough to offset the revenue lost by these reductions.

At a ceremony on the White House lawn, Bush said his tax cuts had helped the economy grow, 'which means more tax revenue for the federal Treasury.'

That's just not true. A host of studies, some of them written by economists who served in the Bush administration, have concluded that tax reductions mean less money for the Treasury.

The cuts Bush extended Wednesday will cost the Treasury an estimated $70 billion over five years. They may help spur economic growth, but they still lose more revenue than they generate. And unless they're matched by lower federal spending, they worsen federal budget deficits. "

Judge ruled against AT&T.

Good Morning Silicon Valley: AT&T. Your world, delivered.:

"A federal judge dealt a blow to AT&T Wednesday, ruling that secret documents supposedly linking the company to a vast domestic surveillance program can be used in a lawsuit. The suit, filed in January by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says AT&T illegally gave the National Security Agency the telephone and Internet records of millions of customers without a court order or warrant (see 'Can you hear that on your end -- a faint rendition of 'Someone To Watch Over Me'?'). In a standing-room-only hearing Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker rejected AT&T's motion asking the court to order EFF to return the documents, noting, 'Plaintiffs say they got the documents innocently, therefore, their possession is in no way improper and in no way illegal.' But Walker also ordered the documents, which allegedly show AT&T providing the government with access to millions of e-mail messages, Web browsing sessions and phone calls, sealed on the grounds that they may contain trade secrets. "

Wreckage of the Bush administration

It's still not wrecked for us!

WorkingForChange-Wreckage of the Bush administration:

"AUSTIN, Texas -- Looking at the wreckage of the Bush administration leaves one with the depressed query, 'Now what?' The only help to the country that can come from this ugly and spectacular crack-up is, in theory, things can't get worse. This administration is so discredited it cannot talk the country into an unnecessary war with Iran as it did with Iraq. In theory, spending is so out of control it cannot cut taxes for the rich again; the fiscal irresponsibility of the Bushies is already among its lasting legacies.

As we all know, things can always get worse, and often do. I rather think it's going to be up to the Democrats to hold the metaphoric hands of this crippled administration until it limps off stage. The Republican National Committee has a new scare tactic for the faithful: You must give to the party, or else the Democrats will spend the next two years investigating the administration (horror of horrors). Those who recall the insanely trivial investigations of the Clinton years may indeed regard this as the ultimate waste of time and money (as even Ken Starr concluded, there never was anything to Whitewater), but in fact it could be a therapeutic use of the next biennium. In fact, the offenses are not comparable."

The NY Times, Judy Miller and 9/11: The most stunning failure yet?

Holy Crap! A high level member of the WH staff? Knew about 9/11, before it happened?

Attytood: The NY Times, Judy Miller and 9/11: The most stunning failure yet?:

"At this point, we thought that nothing new coming out of West 43rd Street could surprise us -- until today.

Because just now, some 56 months after the fact, we are learning that both Judy Miller and her editors at the New York Times had information that foretold the 9/11 terror attacks and elected not to publish it. Reading the new story carefully, it does seem that a decision to publish the article in the summer of 2001 was not a 'slam dunk,' that there were legitimate questions whether Miller's tip was enough to hang a story on. But the episode does raise a couple of other serious questions -- surely about the pre-attack ineptitude of the Bush White House, but also over the Times' handling of this explosive info both before and after 9/11.

The news comes (by way of Raw Story) from journalists Rory O'Connor and William Scott Malone, and it was published today on the Alternet web site:"

Sounds to me like Dianne is just a bit miffed.

Wider Briefing for Lawmakers on Spy Efforts - New York Times:

"A Democrat who had previously been briefed, Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, complained that the White House had made 'a political decision on intelligence that because Hayden is up tomorrow, they'd brief the committee.'
Ms. Feinstein said he 'has to discuss his role in the N.S.A. program and the legal opinions that govern it,' during the open session. 'And then,' she added, 'I think he's got to show that, yes, he can stand up to the Pentagon and he can give unvarnished intelligence, speak truth to power.'"

Bush stomps on Fourth Amendment

In cased you haven't noticed, the 4th amendment has been in tatters since the beginning of the 'war on Drugs.'

What we need to do is stop declaring war, period; because everytime we do, there goes another chunk of the Bill of Rights, swirling right down the old toilet bowl

Certainly, we should stop declaring war on innanimate objects and emotional states, because it's stupid.

Bush stomps on Fourth Amendment - The Boston Globe:

"THE ESCALATING controversy over the National Security Agency's data mining program illustrates yet again how the Bush administration's intrusions on personal privacy based on a post-9/11 mantra of ''national security' directly threaten one of the enduring sources of that security: the Fourth Amendment ''right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.'"

Announcement from Politburo: NSA Spying is Legal

Hayden Insists NSA Surveillance Is Legal - Yahoo! News:

"WASHINGTON - CIA nominee Gen. Michael Hayden insisted on Thursday that the Bush administration's warrantless surveillance program was legal and that it was designed to ensnare terrorists, not spy on ordinary people.

'Clearly the privacy of American citizens is a concern constantly,' the four-star Air Force general told the Senate Intelligence Committee at his confirmation hearing. 'We always balance privacy and security.'

Hayden was peppered by as many questions about the National Security Agency, the super-secret agency that he headed from 1999-2005, as about his visions for the CIA.
Senators grilled him on the NSA's eavesdropping without warrants on conversations and e-mails believed by the government to involve terrorism suspects, and reports of the tracking of millions of phone calls made and received by ordinary Americans"

Meltdown fear as Arctic ice cover falls to record winter low

On the bright side, it gives us more room to move North and get away from the American Police State.

Just kidding. There is no bright side to this unholy mess, that I can see ,anyway.

Guardian Unlimited Special reports Meltdown fear as Arctic ice cover falls to record winter low:

"Record amounts of the Arctic ocean failed to freeze during the recent winter, new figures show, spelling disaster for wildlife and strengthening concerns that the region is locked into a destructive cycle of irreversible climate change.
Satellite measurements show the area covered by Arctic winter sea ice reached an all-time low in March, down some 300,000 square kilometres on last year -an area bigger than the UK.

Scientists say the decline highlights an alarming new trend, with recovery of the ice in winter no longer sufficient to compensate for increased melting in the summer. If the cycle continues, the Arctic ocean could lose all of its ice much earlier than expected, possibly by 2030.

Walt Meier, a researcher at the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado, which collected the figures, said: 'It's a pretty stark drop. In the winter the ice tends to be pretty stable, so the last three years, with this steady decline, really stick out.'"

Freshly briefed lawmakers to question Hayden today -

OK, so lawmakers have been briefed. Now, what about the people?

Not sure we trust the Congress that has rolled over for the Bushites time and time again.

Freshly briefed lawmakers to question Hayden today -

"Yesterday, after a sudden reversal by the White House, Lt. Gen. Keith B. Alexander, the current NSA director, briefed the House and Senate intelligence committees on the details of the surveillance program. Only select members of each panel had been privy to the information before yesterday's briefing.

Lawmakers were tight-lipped about the contents of those conversations, but most said they appreciated being able to hear more about the programs.

'It levels the playing field' because now all of the committees' members have the same information, said Sen. Christopher S. Bond, a Missouri Republican who had been briefed earlier on the NSA programs.

Hayden's defense of the warrantless surveillance program, which was disclosed in December, has raised the hackles of some senators, some of whom have suggested that it could derail his nomination.

A Democratic intelligence committee aide said yesterday's briefings took 'some of the wind out of that sail,' but committee members are still expected to press Hayden on the civil liberties element of the program in the public hearings."

What is Hayden Hiding?

My guess would be plenty.

What we have heard about so far, is only the tip of the police state iceberg

NSA rejected system that sifted phone data legally -

"WASHINGTON // The National Security Agency developed a pilot program in the late 1990s that would have enabled it to gather and analyze huge amounts of communications data without running afoul of privacy laws. But after the Sept. 11 attacks, it shelved the project - not because it failed to work but because of bureaucratic infighting and a sudden White House expansion of the agency's surveillance powers, according to several intelligence officials.

The agency opted instead to adopt only one component of the program, which produced a far less capable and rigorous program. It remains the backbone of the NSA's warrantless surveillance efforts, tracking domestic and overseas communications from a vast databank of information, and monitoring selected calls.

Four intelligence officials knowledgeable about the program agreed to discuss it with The Sun only if granted anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject."

Father's Message Lost on Bush


Father's Message Lost on Bush:

"In his call last night to send thousands of National Guard troops to the border between the United States and Mexico, the son once again failed to listen to the father. Bush is sending the Iraq-weary Guard to the border to mollify hardline conservatives who are building their careers around - whether they say this explicitly or not -- a brown invasion from the south.

Over the weekend, White House officials swore up and down that the United States was not militarizing the border. 'It's about assisting the civilian Border Patrol in doing their job, providing intelligence, providing support, logistics support and training and these sorts of things,' said National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley. White House counselor Dan Bartlett said the Guard 'will not have law enforcement responsibilities or powers. They will be there in a supportive role.'

If Bush insists on the Guard going to the watchtowers, let us hope that is all that happens. But the mobilization exacerbates the image of the United States as a nation that exploits the cheap labor of Mexicans and other undocumented workers while conservatives exploit the rhetoric of throwing them back across the wall. "

Power-Hungry Pentagon Needs to be Reined In

That's the understatement of the year!

Power-Hungry Pentagon Needs to be Reined In:

"Some influential Republicans are upset at the nomination of Gen. Michael Hayden to head the Central Intelligence Agency, preferring a civilian to maintain the CIA's independence from the powerful Pentagon. Just a change of clothing isn't enough to distance Hayden from his fellow generals.

When Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, backing Hayden, asserts, 'There's no power play taking place in Washington,' lock up the silverware, for the Big Con Game is afoot. Rummy is surpassed only by his buddy, Vice President Dick Cheney, in playing the capital's inside-power game � just ask Colin Powell.

Public fears brought on by 9/11 have given the American military unchallenged access to taxpayer funds and increased responsibilities and prestige that can only be compared to World War II. Along with the super-secret National Security Agency, which Hayden headed while it collected personal data on millions of Americans without a court warrant, Pentagon intelligence is shrouded in secrecy.

Its increased power has come largely at the expense of the State Department and the CIA. The Pentagon already controls some 80 percent of intelligence funding, and has greatly expanded the scope of its intelligence operations under Rumsfeld. "

Attack Iran? Yes He Would

Why in the hell does anyone still put anything past the Bushites?

Attack Iran? Yes He Would:

"'But he wouldn't do that.'

That sentiment is what made it possible for President Bush to stampede America into the Iraq war and to fend off hard questions about the reasons for that war until after the 2004 election. Many people just didn't want to believe that an American president would deliberately mislead the nation on matters of war and peace.

Now people with contacts in the administration and the military warn that Mr. Bush may be planning another war. The most alarming of the warnings come from Seymour Hersh, the veteran investigative journalist who broke the Abu Ghraib scandal. Writing in The New Yorker, Mr. Hersh suggests that administration officials believe that a bombing campaign could lead to desirable regime change in Iran - and that they refuse to rule out the use of tactical nuclear weapons.

'But he wouldn't do that,' say people who think they're being sensible. Given what we now know about the origins of the Iraq war, however, discounting the possibility that Mr. Bush will start another ill-conceived and unnecessary war isn't sensible. It's wishful thinking.

As it happens, rumors of a new war coincide with the emergence of evidence that appears to confirm our worst suspicions about the war we're already in. "

Ms. Smith: The DLC or the CDL?

The DLCers are worse than the Rethugs.

At least, with the Rethugs there are no surprises. You know what they are about.

But with the DLCers, they slink and slime around like they are really Denmocrats, but they aren't. They are just Rethugs in Democrat disguise.

Ms. Smith: The DLC or the CDL?:

"These people scare me because if we don't gain control back of Congress, it will be their fault (crappy Democratic leadership -- CDL), not the fault of the GOP, they have done everything they can to lose their undeserved power by flouting their loyalty to Bush instead of to this country, which brings us to those type of Democrats. All are sellouts. The reason they (DLC) have trouble leading is that they don't possess the passion down deep in their heart of hearts. It's not there. That's why they are so close to being identified with today's GOP. People can't fake that kind of passion. But, I would be happy if they would just 'try to fake it.' But, they don't believe in the core of Democratic values. If they did, they would never have backed Bush in anything.

I was so angry when I learned who was behind that push for the Internet, and even more angry to know that we are being taken by the DLC probably in other ways that we have no idea about. No leadership at all, and I'm sure all of those Democratic blogs must be furious. To my mind, there should be some kind of clause in such contracts, so they don't lose all control of their own sites, because this kind of ad is Bush GOP type of trickery (fraud), and I have to say that I have never fully trusted the set of values of anyone who claims to be a member of the DLC, but I still was surprised about this. "

Air Marshall Program is a Mess

Sensenbrenner is shocked, just shocked!

What an idiot.

Will the people of Michigan please rid of this man!

The Blotter:

"A damning investigation of the Federal Air Marshal program is set to be released by Congress next week, staffers tell ABC News.

'The attitude of this agency stinks,' the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, James Sensenbrenner, told Brian Ross in an interview to be broadcast on World News Tonight and 20/20 this Friday.

Sensenbrenner said officials of the Air Marshal program 'stonewalled' his staff and retaliated against air marshals who tried to reveal problems.

'This report should have come out a year ago had we gotten even minimal cooperation from the Air Marshal service,' Sensenbrenner said.

'I think the American public will be shocked,' Sensenbrenner said of his committee's findings." (No, no one will be shocked. We have come to expect this kind of criminal negligence from the Bush administration, and from you, Rethugs, who have been covering up for the W.H. since 9/11.)

GOP: Racists, Fools and Thieves fall out.

Don't ya just love Rethug cannibalism?

Sensenbrenner: Bush Turned Back on Bill - Yahoo! News:

"WASHINGTON - Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, who has pushed a tough border security bill through the House, accused President Bush on Wednesday of abandoning the legislation after asking for many of its provisions.

'He basically turned his back on provisions of the House-passed bill, a lot of which we were requested to put in the bill by the White House,' Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., angrily told reporters in a conference call. 'That was last fall when we were drafting the bill, and now the president appears not to be interested in it at all.'"

Battles in Afghanistan Leave Over 40 Dead - Yahoo! News

What was that Bush said about the Taliban being defeated?

Does that dunce ever tire of lying?

Battles in Afghanistan Leave Over 40 Dead - Yahoo! News:

"KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - Heavy fighting involving several hundred Taliban fighters and Afghan and coalition forces in southern Afghanistan killed about a dozen police, a Canadian soldier and more than 30 militants, officials said Thursday. "

Security & Terrorism - Nat Guard leaders oppose Bush takeover

Seems the NG is getting a little sick of the little emperor and his political stunts. Who can blame them?

United Press International - Security & Terrorism - Nat Guard leaders oppose Bush takeover:

"WASHINGTON, May 17 (UPI) -- U.S. state-level National Guard leaders will fight any effort to place their forces under direct presidential control.

The National Guard commanders are poised to carry out the Bush administration's border-security plan to deploy thousands of troops to patrol the Mexican border, but they likely will fight any attempts to place the state-run units under the president's control, CongressDaily reported Tuesday. "

Feds' citizenship flashcards omit Freedom of the Press

Why is this not suprising?

Boing Boing: Feds' citizenship flashcards omit Freedom of the Press:

"Steve sez, 'The Government Printing Office sells a set of flash cards that are designed to help soon-to-be citizens learn about our government. Question 80 asks, 'Name one right or freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment.' The answer lists freedom of speech, religion, assembly and the right to petition the government, but omits freedom of the press.' Link (Thanks, Steve!) "

Orrin Hatch: Loose Lips On Surveillance

So, is the FBI tapping Orrin's phone calls now, or merely surveilling whom he calls and who calls him?

Think Progress � Orrin Hatch: Loose Lips On Surveillance:

"When reporters ask the White House about the NSA program that secretly collects 'phone call records of tens of millions of Americans,' administration officials insist that they 'cannot confirm or deny the claims in the USA Today story.'

Apparently, someone forgot to send the talking points to Senate Intelligence Committee member Orrin Hatch (R-UT). Here's how Hatch responded to a question, about recent reports of the government compiling lists of Americans' phone calls:"

Bellsouth and Verizon; something is damn fishy


"WHY DID VERIZON AND BELLSOUTH ISSUE DENIALS AFTER THE STORY BROKE? Here's another thing about the denials that doesn't quite add up. As we've seen, both Verizon and Bellsouth have more or less denied the USA Today story saying that the NSA has been secretly collecting their phone records. USA Today appears to be sticking to the story, though the paper's statement seems to carefully avoid a total commitment to it, instead saying that the paper's 'confident' in its reporting.

But something doesn't quite make sense. Why are Verizon and Bellsouth only denying these allegations after the story broke? The USA Today reporters who did the initial story contacted the companies before publishing it. We know this because it contains statements from both companies, each of which declined to comment.

So why didn't the companies deny the story then? I can already hear your answer: 'classification' issues. Classification issues do come into play -- though not how you'd expect. And they don't account for this initial failure to deny the story."

The SS is playing games with White House logs

Yep, and everyone knows it.

AMERICAblog: Because a great nation deserves the truth:

"UPDATE: I just heard from Paul at TPM Muckraker who explained the following: 'Conyers and Slaughter were able to get Guckert's visits because they sent a FOIA to the Executive Office of the President after they were told that the Secret Service didn't have the records.' Okay, that explains that, but it doesn't explain how the White House can justify turning over the Gannon records but not the Abramoff records - what's the difference? Why release one and not the other? Man-whores are okay but convicted criminals aren't?

How is it that the Secret Service now claims, per TPM Muckraker, to have no visitor logs prior to October 2004 - supposedly the Secret Service gave all the pre-10/04 logs to the White House which you can't really FOIA - when Congress was able to FOIA Secret Service logs about Jeff Gannon's visits going back to February of 2003?"

Murtha: Marines deliberately killed Iraqis - Conflict in Iraq -

Maybe an all volunteer army is not such a good thing. Too many sociopaths sign up.

This is disgusting and yet another stain on our flag.

Send Bush and Cheney over to Iraq and let them explain to the innocent people of Iraq why their family members and friends had to die.

Lawmaker: Marines deliberately killed Iraqis - Conflict in Iraq -

"WASHINGTON - A Pentagon probe into the death of Iraqi civilians last November in the Iraqi city of Haditha will show that U.S. Marines 'killed innocent civilians in cold blood,' a U.S. lawmaker said Wednesday.

From the beginning, Iraqis in the town of Haditha said U.S. Marines deliberately killed 15 unarmed Iraqi civilians, including seven women and three children.

One young Iraqi girl said the Marines killed six members of her family, including her parents. 'The Americans came into the room where my father was praying,' she said, 'and shot him.'"

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Ex-NSA Head Bobby Ray Inman on the National Security Agency's Domestic Surveillance Program: This Activity Was Not Authorized

Democracy Now! Ex-NSA Head Bobby Ray Inman on the National Security Agency�s Domestic Surveillance Program: �This Activity Was Not Authorized�:

"Admiral Bobby Ray Inman has become the highest-ranking former NSA official to speak out about the domestic spy program. 'There clearly was a line in the FISA statutes which says you couldn't do this,' said Inman last week in remarks that have received little attention. [includes rush transcript]

On Thursday the Senate Intelligence Committee will open its confirmation hearing for General Michael Hayden to become the next director of the CIA. Hayden is the former head of the National Security Agency who authorized the agency in 2001 to begin monitoring the phone calls of U.S. citizens without legally required court warrants.

While Hayden and the Bush administration have defended the secret domestic surveillance program, it is now being criticized by an unlikely source; a former director of the NSA. Last week Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, who headed the NSA from 1977 to 1981, spoke in New York at a forum sponsored by the New York Public Library and the Century Foundation. It was part of the library's Live at the NYPL series.

Besides an article at the website Wired News, Inman's statements have received almost no media attention even though he is believed to the highest ranking former NSA official to speak out about the program. At the forum he disputed the Bush administration's claim that Congress authorized the secret spy program when it authorized the president to use force following the Sept. 11 attacks. Inman also said the program clearly contradicts the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act which Congress passed in 1978, at the time he was head of the National Security Agency. "