Saturday, July 15, 2006

The outrageous war-profiteering continues....

Everyone involved in these scams and others ahould be thrown into prison for about 20 years, their companies dissolved, if need be, in order for the money they have obtained by defrauding the American taxpayer should be returned to the treasury to pay of the huge debt Junior is running up daily.

Firedoglake - Firedoglake weblog:

President Bush submitted a request for an additional $110 billion to finance Iraq and Afghanistan operations. The supplement is likely to increase the total cost of the war in Iraq to $400 billion, about $400 billion off from former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz's estimation. (Give or take.) Though none of this money will go to reconstruction.

(ed. note: Reconstruction is still desperately needed; a situation that is accuarately characterized by the crumbling buildings described in the Parsons post. The major problem was that the money went to corporate lackies of the White House who were only interested in increasing their bottom-line rather than producing quality work. That much is undeniable as defense contractors consistently tried to cut corners. Don't forget that these defense contractors are being paid for jobs that the U.S. military used to do, such as feeding soldiers, you know, food that isn't double-charged and water that isn't contaminated.)"

Wes CLark on Lieberman

Somehow, I missed this Lieberman sin: He questioned Clark's loyalty to the Democratic Party?

Lieberman is an insufferable twit.

Firedoglake - Firedoglake weblog � Wes Clark Writes a Thank-You Note:

I am a proud member of the Democratic Party, and I believe it is our party's responsibility to support the will of the Democratic primary voters in Connecticut. I personally look forward to supporting the candidate CT voters elect as the Democratic nominee. Though, as an aside, I must say I find it ironic that Senator Lieberman is now planning a potential run as an independent after he continually questioned my loyalty to the Democratic Party during the 2004 presidential primary.

Santorum is Toast!

Looks like Peensylvanians are catching on to this empty suit and religious squirrel

Santorum struggles for support at home - Yahoo! News:

PITTSBURGH - Phyllis Sharkady has voted twice for the local boy who made good, Republican Sen. Rick Santorum. Not this year.

'I'm willing to go for change, big time,' said Sharkady, 59, a Hewlett-Packard retiree from Shaler Township, Pa., who admits she knows little about Santorum's Democratic challenger. 'You need somebody without the so-called baggage.'

Santorum's rise in the Republican ranks has been speedy, from state chairman of the College Republicans during his days at Penn State to congressman to No. 3 in the Senate GOP leadership. An unabashed conservative, he has been something of a political misfit in Pennsylvania, which backed Democrats Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004.

Worldwide Alert!

Too bad we don't have some adults in the White House, with the moral authority to put pressure on Israel to stop this murderous rampage.

Latest News The Huffington Post#a025099:

Witnesses said Israeli aircraft attacked central Beirut Saturday for the first time in a four-day offensive, striking a lighthouse and the capital's seaport.

In Lebanon's northernmost city, Tripoli, witnesses said Israeli helicopters carried out the deepest strike yet into Lebanon, firing four missiles into the city's port area and hitting grain silos.

"The Sins of Ralph Reed":

If there is a God, Ralph Reed will go down in flames. He is a hypocrite and a liar, all in the name of Christ.

It's positively sickening!

Eat The Press "The Sins of Ralph Reed": GQ Takes On The Former Golden Boy of the Christian Right, and Abramoff The Huffington Post:

In the upcoming GQ, Sean Flynn takes on, and takes down, Christian Coalition and Republican stalwart Ralph Reed, just days before the Georgia primary this Tuesday, July 18th in which Reed will seek the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor. Flynn pulls absolutely no punches here, charting Reed's rise through the Christian Coalition through his dubious dealings with Jack Abramoff , sketchy history as a campaign consultant and sketchier history touting moneymaking schemes pegged to life insurance payouts from elderly Indians and African-Americans ('mortgaging black people'). The article is long - almost 8,000 words - and packed chock-full of example after damning example of Reed's religious hypocrisy (gambling) and unsavory dealings (Abramoff said of him that he was 'a bad version of us'; Reed called his frequent business partner 'arguably the most influential and effective GOP lobbyist in [sic] congress.' He is also the person credited - though everyone denies it - with delivering the South Carolina to George Bush in 2000 by fanning the suggestion that John McCain's adopted Bangladeshi daughter was his illegitimate black baby.

Dewine of Ohio exploits 9/11 for re-election campaign

Vote the little sychophant out, people of Ohio. It is time to clean up Washington.

Dewine has covered for this corrupt administration as much as any of the rest of the Rethugs in Congress, with the possible exception of Pat Roberts of Kansas, who leads the pack.

We all remember 9/11. How could any of us possibly forget? Nevertheless, voting for the (un) patriot act didn't bring one terrrorist to justice, it only allowed the curtailing of American rights, in ways we may yet live to regret.

As far as voting for the death penalty for terrorists goes; would that not play right into their whole martyrdom scheme?

Death is too good for people who inflict terror on others, no matter who they are.

The Columbus Dispatch - Local/State:

WASHINGTON - Using vivid images of smoke pouring from one of the towers of the World Trade Center, Republican Sen. Mike DeWine unleashed a commercial yesterday that charges Democratic challenger Sherrod Brown with casting votes in Congress that could have weakened America's response to terrorism.

The TV commercial, which also flashed images of the 19 hijackers who took part in the Sept. 11 attack, is an apparent effort by the DeWine campaign to jar Ohio voters into remembering the terrorist attack in New York and suburban Washington and to convince them that the senator will support tougher anti-terrorism measures than Brown, a congressman from Avon.

Citing votes that Brown has cast throughout his 13 years in the House, the commercial asserts that he voted to 'slash' spending for national intelligence, opposed the Patriot Act in 2001 and 2005, and voted against applying the death penalty to terrorists who kill passengers on U.S. trains.

Abramoff Lobbying of White House Probed


What's this? Oversight after over 5 years?

Are things so bad that the Rethugs need to pretend they are actually doing something about corruption in the White House?

Hey, Slimeballs, do you think you could manage to find the billions which have simply disappeared in Iraq?

Abramoff Lobbying of White House Probed:

The House Government Reform Committee has subpoenaed the former law firm of convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff for records of any contacts he or members of his lobbying team had with the Bush White House.

Chairman Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) authorized a subpoena weeks ago to Greenberg Traurig, according to several of the law firm's former clients who have been notified that it is turning over billing records, e-mails, phone logs and other material that reflects efforts to lobby the White House.

Representatives of four of Abramoff's former tribal clients said they have been notified by Greenberg Traurig that the firm is turning over records. In some cases, there were scores of phone calls or other contacts with the White House. It is not known whether any of those contacts resulted in improper aid to Abramoff. Several tribal representatives said they believe many contacts were with staff members at the White House office of intergovernmental affairs.

Putin Jabs Bush:: We Certainly Would Not Want The Same Kind of Democracy As They Have in Iraq

Is Bush drunk?

Think Progress � Putin Jabs Bush: �We Certainly Would Not Want�The Same Kind of Democracy As They Have in Iraq�: (Full artcile; Josh has the video)

During a press conference today at the G8 summit in Russia, President Bush told President Vladimir Putin that Americans want Russia to develop a free press and free religion 'like Iraq.' To laughter and applause, Putin responded: 'We certainly would not want to have same kind of democracy as they have in Iraq, quite honestly.' CNN's Ed Henry called it a 'tough jab.'

Swaggering to nowhere


Swaggering to nowhere Salon: (Fullarticle; it's worth the Day Pass)

President Bush was against diplomacy before he was for it. But with the collapse of U.S. foreign policy across the board he has discarded talk of preemptive strikes and reluctantly claimed to have become a born-again realist. 'And it's, kind of -- you know, it's kind of painful in a way for some to watch, because it takes a while to get people on the same page,' he said at his July 7 press conference, adding, in an astonished tone, 'Not everybody thinks the exact same way we think. Different words mean different things to different people.'

Just two years ago, he appeared before the Republican Convention boasting of his 'swagger, which in Texas is called walking.' But in the face of the consequences of his failures, he has not adopted a new doctrine so much as swaggered into a corner. The cowboy's White House has become Fort Apache.

Go Bobby! First lawsuit Filed.

The Revolution will not be televised.

At least, not yet.


Attorney Papantonio on Mike Malloy Show: 'We're gonna shut down some of these companies'!

Excoriates 'Indolent Democrats' and 'Lazy Media' for Not Taking Action; Lauds BRAD BLOG for Putting Issue on 'Radar Screen'

And Now A Word From Reality Planet: Iraq's Civil War Spins out of US and Iraqi Government Control

Why can't the citizens of Wingnuttia see this?

However, I have to admit that I am just a little suspicious of exactly how this got so out-of-control. Me thinks that American and Brittish forces, perhaps special forces and corrupt contractors, had a big hand in fomenting this civil war.

I find it hard to believe that two sects of Muslims really hate each other more than they hate Bush and his crusading crackpots (I am not talking about the troops, in general, though there are some who are crackpots, for sure.)

The Muslim against Muslim thing just doesn't make any sense, if one has ever talked to ordinary citizens of, say, Egypt.

Merely living under Saddam's rule for all those many years would not have caused the sectarian strife we are now seeing.
The Shia cannot possibly believe that every Sunni was somehow involved in their oppression by Saddam. They must know that Saddam simply hated all opposition or dissent. It did not matter to him what Mosque someone attended. He murdered his own son-in-laws, for Pete's sake!

When it comes to crusaders, Muslims will always join each other in opposition to an invasion of their land.

What ordinary Americans do not seem to get, and therefore buy into a lot of administration hooey, is that unlike us, the people of the Arab lands, including Israel/Palestine, have exceedingly long memories. They have their history all around them, all day, every day. Their ancestors have lived and worked these lands for thousands of years; too many generations for us to count.

To most ordinary Arabs, land is wealth. It is very important to them.

But, you see, they have a living, racial, cultural memory of those other crusades. We know little about those crausades, nor do most of us care. That is ancient history, we think, and we had nothing to do with that anyhow. America did not even exist then, right?

Right. At least, it did not exist in it's present form. But, Christianity did. The Arab/Muslim world gets to hear just about everything the demented christian-right has to say about them and their prophet. It feeds right into Osama's Meme about the Great Satan and all the rest, about how the West is waging a war on Islam.

If anyone has betrayed our troops, it is the loud-mouhed whackos who help Osama convince the entire Arab/Muslim world that our soldiers are there as christian crusaders, not liberaters. to steal their wealth and occupy their lands.

Other than Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and the egg-headed NeoCons, who certainly surpass all the rest, the crusading crackpots come in second in the race to betray our men and women in uniform.

DEBKAfile - Iraq�s Civil War Spins out of US and Iraqi Government Control: (Full article)

"Four essential factors underlie the deadly upsurge of Shiite-Sunni sectarian savagery in Baghdad this week:

1. No one, including US forces, has stepped in to halt the sectarian cleansing operation engulfing Baghdad in the last six months, the largest of its kind the world has seen in recent years.

Shiite fighters, many in the uniforms of the new Iraqi national army or Iraqi security forces, are battling Sunni gunmen, in defiance of their duties to - and the authority of � the Nouri al-Maliki government. This conflict is nothing but outright civil war.

First the two hostile camps fought one another for Baghdad suburbs. In early June, they clashed over the control of streets. Now they are dueling for single buildings that overlook strategic sections or installations in the capital. Some streets are consequently ruled half and half, and any Sunni or Shiite venturing into the wrong end of the street takes his life in his hands.

2. The most powerful military force in Baghdad today is the radical Shiite cleric Moqatada Sadr's Mehdi Army militia. With an estimated 15,000-20,000 men under arms, the Mehdi Army outnumbers the government's military and security forces' strength in the capital. "

Stabbed in the Back! The American Right and Their Favorite Meme

This is a must read for all Liberals and Progressives, but especially for moderates who usually avoid the wrath of the American Right.

Stabbed in the Back! (

Every state must have its enemies. Great powers must have especially monstrous foes. Above all, these foes must arise from within, for national pride does not admit that a great nation can be defeated by any outside force. That is why, though its origins are elsewhere, the stab in the back has become the sustaining myth of modern American nationalism. Since the end of World War II it has been the device by which the American right wing has both revitalized itself and repeatedly avoided responsibility for its own worst blunders. Indeed, the right has distilled its tale of betrayal into a formula: Advocate some momentarily popular but reckless policy. Deny culpability when that policy is exposed as disastrous. Blame the disaster on internal enemies who hate America. Repeat, always making sure to increase the number of internal enemies.

As the United States staggers past the third anniversary of its misadventure in Iraq, the dagger is already poised, the myth is already being perpetuated. To understand just how this strategy is likely to unfold, and why this time it may well fail, we must return to the birth of a legend.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Baghdad starts to collapse as its people flee a life of death - World - Times Online

Heckuva job, Junior.

Seems the only thing the Bushites are good at is deception and chaos....oops....wait a minute..... aren't deception and chaos Satan's best talents?


Baghdad starts to collapse as its people flee a life of death - World - Times Online:

As I hung up the phone, I wondered if I would ever see my friend Ali alive again. Ali, The Times translator for the past three years, lives in west Baghdad, an area that is now in meltdown as a bitter civil war rages between Sunni insurgents and Shia militias. It is, quite simply, out of control.

I returned to Baghdad on Monday after a break of several months, during which I too was guilty of glazing over every time I read another story of Iraqi violence. But two nights on the telephone, listening to my lost and frightened Iraqi staff facing death at any moment, persuaded me that Baghdad is now verging on total collapse.

Ali phoned me on Tuesday night, about 10.30pm. There were cars full of gunmen prowling his mixed neighbourhood, he said. He and his neighbours were frantically exchanging information, trying to identify the gunmen.

Condemnation of Israeli action mounts - Yahoo! News

Israel may well have jumped the shark this time.

Condemnation of Israeli action mounts - Yahoo! News:

Israeli strikes against civilian targets in Lebanon and Gaza, from power stations to bridges, stirred growing international condemnation on Friday and warnings the conflict could spread.

But Hizbollah guerrillas, who Israel says triggered the action with missile strikes on Israel and the capture of two of its soldiers, were also urged to curb their operations.

'One can ask oneself whether there isn't a sort of desire to destroy Lebanon,' French President Jacques Chirac said of Israeli attacks that have killed 66 people, almost all civilians. 'I find, honestly, like most Europeans, that the reactions are completely disproportionate.'

He described Hizbollah guerrillas who fired rockets on to the territory of the Jewish state as 'completely irresponsible.'

Palestinians stream into Gaza from Egypt

The Midlle-East, having been on the brink for years, is finally gone over it, it seems.

Palestinians stream into Gaza from Egypt - Yahoo! News:

RAFAH, Gaza Strip - Militants forced open a border gate between Egypt and Gaza on Friday, wounding an Egyptian officer and letting hundreds of Palestinians who had been trapped on the Egyptian side of the border to get into Gaza.

Armed militants stood by as people carrying suitcases crossed into Gaza. Some walked through on crutches while others walked or ran through the gate.

Egyptian police Capt. Mohammed Abdel Hadi said masked Palestinian militants firing guns broke into the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing, clearing the way for the trapped Gazans.

One Egyptian border policeman was wounded when the militants stormed the frontier, said Abdel Hadi, who heads police on the Egyptian side of Rafah.

Mideast Turmoil Sends Oil Prices Past $78

Thanks a lot, Israel. With friends like you, we sure don't need anymore enemies.

It isn't as if we don't have our own greedy-ass Oil Execs to contend with.

Hey, here's a thought. Why don't you send your air force after them?

Mideast Turmoil Sends Oil Prices Past $78:

Intensifying violence in the Middle East on Friday stoked fears of an oil-supply disruption in the region, pushing oil prices above $78 a barrel.

Because oil accounts for more than 50 percent of the cost of gasoline, pump prices, now averaging $2.96 a gallon nationwide, are likely to climb, analysts said. The wholesale price of gasoline is near a 10-month high.

Arlen Specter Successfully Pretends He Accomplished Something - Wonkette

Humerous bit about something that is not so funny....

Arlen Specter Successfully Pretends He Accomplished Something - Wonkette:

Arlen Specter announced today that the administration has tentatively agreed to let the secret FISA court do a 'one-time review' of the illegal NSA domestic spying program that has been in operation for years and will continue to be in operation indefinitely. President Bush reserves the right to change any bit of the deal he feels like changing. Mr. Specter said the agreement reflected the fact that 'the president does not have a blank check.' (Just a blank mind)

Specter then began striking his open palm against his cheek while White House spokesperson Dana Parino asked reporters, 'why is Senator Specter hitting himself? Why is Senator Specter hitting himself?' (I guess it is too much to hope that he knocked some sense into himself)

Are The Bush administration's Post 9/11 Insane Policies Crumbling

We aren't going to hold our breath.

Not after Specter just gave Bush carte blanche to continue eves dropping on Americans

tbe Progressive American: (FULL ARTICLE: Bob Herbert)

Could it be? Will the Bush administration, under pressure from the Supreme Court, actually make an attempt to emerge from the Middle Ages? Is the post-9/11 American Inquisition beginning to come undone?

Here's the way it has been. The administration has rounded up people at various points on the globe and dumped them like animals (sometimes literally in cages) at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Top officials have insisted not only that these were terrorists, but that they were, as Donald Rumsfeld loudly proclaimed, the 'worst of the worst.'
Dick Cheney told Fox News: 'They are very dangerous. They are devoted to killing millions of Americans, innocent Americans, if they can.'

In the administration's view, these prisoners had no rights. They could be kept in a state of permanent degradation. They had no right to a lawyer, or even to see the evidence against them. They could be sentenced to life in prison or even death in what could only be called a kangaroo court.

The entire system was rigged. Hearsay evidence would be allowed. Witnesses could be concealed. Information obtained through abuse and even torture could be used.

Cheney, Rove, Libby sued in CIA leak case | Chicago Tribune

"Bivens suits are hard to bring because officials are granted immunity when acting in the course of their official duties."

Since when did it become anyone's official duty to smear an American citizen for telling the truth about administration lies.

If attempting to smear Joe Wilson is part of executive official duties, then, instead of expanding the executive, maybe we should just abolish it all together.

Cheney, Rove, Libby sued in CIA leak case Chicago Tribune:

Such suits, known as Bivens actions, are difficult to win. The law affords federal officials immunity from suits where they are acting within the scope of their duties.

The law also requires that the officials know that their conduct affects the exercise of particular constitutional rights. Some legal scholars said it would be hard for Wilson to show that his right to speak out was affected by the decision of Rove and Libby to reveal the CIA affiliation of his wife.

'If you are going to be out there criticizing the government, then the government, just like anybody else, will often try to explain why you are in the wrong. That is part of the public debate,' said Eugene Volokh, a law professor at UCLA.

Other experts said the ultimate success of the lawsuit, measured in dollars, may be beside the point. They said the suit is likely to give Plame, Wilson and their legal team an opportunity to question the officials under oath and obtain their notes, documents and even statements and grand jury testimony given as part of the Fitzgerald probe.

That could help answer the major unanswered question: the identity of a senior administration official who tipped Novak off about Plame. Novak discussed his role in the investigation this week, but has declined to reveal his main source.

'The key point is that filing the lawsuit will permit Plame/Wilson to subpoena witnesses, such as Robert Novak, to provide testimony,' said John Nockleby, a professor at Loyola Law School in California. 'As a result, we may finally learn who was the primary source for Novak's column, which outed Valerie Wilson.

Newspaper Slams Santorum For Proclaiming Kim Jong Il "Doesn't Want To Die...He Wants To Watch NBA Basketball"... | The Huffington Post

Santorum is a friggin' idiot!

Santorum thinks Iran is more of a threat because they are Muslim. He would prefer an athiest like Kim Jong Fool to a Muslim.


Newspaper Slams Santorum For Proclaiming Kim Jong Il "Doesn't Want To Die...He Wants To Watch NBA Basketball"... The Huffington Post:

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il 'doesn't want to die,' accord ing to U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum. 'He wants to watch NBA basketball.'

Pennsylvania's junior Republican senator offered that assessment in explaining why he thinks Iran poses a graver threat than North Korea.

Hell Fire in The Middle East

...with our guys stuck in the middle, thanks to the lunatics in our illegitimate administration.

The Huffington Post:

Israeli PM Orders More Strikes On Lebanon, Hezbollah Fires Rockets Into Israel, Iran Threatens, Fierce Response, If Israel Attacks Syria. Israeli Army Chief: 'Nothing Is Safe.' In Lebanon, Israel Bombs Beirut Airport And Lebanese Army Bases, Imposes Naval Blockade, Russia, France, Britain, Italy Criticize Israel's 'Disproportionate Use Of Force'...

Novak The Flack is right where he belongs...

Faux News.

No one is the White House was trying to hurt Joe Wilson. Yeah, Right, and frogs fly loopty-loops at 10,000 feet. - Novak: No Bush Administration Effort to Discredit Joe Wilson - The Executive Branch:

WASHINGTON - The senior Bush administration official who gave Robert Novak information about former CIA officer Valerie Plame's role in sending her husband, Amb. Joe Wilson, to Niger in 2002 was not trying to discredit Wilson, the columnist told FOX News on Wednesday.

Novak also said he doesn't believe the senior administration official, whom Novak referred to as 'Mr. X,' had the conversation with him about Wilson's fact-finding mission on Iraq's nuclear weapons program as part of a 'conscious effort to manipulate me.'

Can The Democrats Regain Senate Control? Doubtful, But With More Races Are In Play, Here's A Roadmap

Winning the House is more important than the Senate. The House is where impeachment begins.

A simple parity will be fine for the Senate. If the House votes to impeach, the senators who are up for re-election in 2008 will be very mindful of public opinion polls.

JABBS: Can The Democrats Regain Senate Control? Doubtful, But With More Races Are In Play, Here's A Roadmap:

With four months to go until Election Day, the odds the Democratic Party will regain control of the Senate remain doubtful.

But things are getting interesting. Some races that three months ago looked out of reach are now toss-ups. Others have Democrats in striking distance.

It's enough to make some pundits take a second look at the map, and take into consideration the possibility that a larger than previously expected number of Democrats may be motivated to vote this November, while a larger than previously expected number of Republicans either switch loyalties or stay home.

Republicans currently have a 55-44-1 advantage in the Senate, so only a fantastic day by the Democrats will allow them to regain control. But support for the party has been waning, in part because support for President Bush and Vice President Cheney has been historically poor, Republicans have unsuccessfully substituted name-calling for policy in dealing with the increasingly unpopular Iraq War, and well-publicized negatives like the Jack Abramoff scandal have been tied to the GOP.

Bush can't let go of the pig.....

What an insufferable dunce! News - Latest News - Roast pig guest-stars on Bush visit to Germany:

STRALSUND, Germany (Reuters) - U.S. President George W. Bush had more on his mind than Iran's nuclear programme, Middle East tensions and Russian press freedoms during a visit to Germany on Thursday.
He kept mentioning a wild boar, slaughtered and roasted according to local tradition, that he planned to share at a dinner with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in her home constituency at a Baltic resort.

'I'm looking forward to the feast you're going to have tonight. I understand I may have the honour of slicing the pig,' Bush told Merkel at the outset of their joint news conference in Stralsund, north of Berlin.

A few minutes later -- after discussing Iran, the Middle East, the merits of press freedoms in Russia and progress on the Doha round of free trade talks -- Bush returned to the boar.

Most Americans plan to vote for Democrats - Yahoo! News

But they must reamin unaffected by the onslaught of fear tactics being used for the third election cycle by Rove and his minions.

Most Americans plan to vote for Democrats - Yahoo! News:

Republicans are in jeopardy of losing their grip on Congress in November. With less than four months to the midterm elections, the latest Associated Press-Ipsos poll found that Americans by an almost 3-to-1 margin hold the GOP-controlled Congress in low regard and profess a desire to see Democrats wrest control after a dozen years of Republican rule.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Blacmailing Whistleblowers is illegal, court rules

A rare victory!

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility: News Releases:

Washington, DC - Federal agencies may not cancel a vacancy announcement as a means of refusing to hire a job applicant because the applicant has a history of blowing the whistle, according to a decision this week by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The ruling expands coverage of the federal Whistleblower Protection Act and overruled a longstanding policy of the civil service court, called the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).

The decision came in the case of James Ruggieri, an electrical engineer, who was apparently selected to fill a vacancy at the Minerals Management Service (MMS), an arm of the Interior Department which collects royalties from oil and gas production on public lands. Ruggieri was later told by an MMS official that he would not be hired because he had been a whistleblower at a previous position in the U.S. Coast Guard. MMS then cancelled the vacancy announcement, waited a few months and reposted the same job.

Armed with a tape of his conversation with the MMS official, Ruggieri filed a complaint of whistleblower retaliation with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel which, after 18 months, ruled that the tape recording was not sufficient evidence of a retaliatory motive by MMS. Ruggieri then appealed to the MSPB which ultimately ruled that since MMS had cancelled the vacancy announcement there was no 'personnel action' and therefore it was not covered by the Whistleblower Protection Act.

Republican Congressman Says Bush Should Be Removed from Office

These two Republicans should be praised for their courage!

Republican Congressman Says Bush Should Be Removed from Office (full article)

A radio show reported yesterday that Republican Texas Congressman Ron Paul said the following:

'I would have trouble arguing that he's been a Constitutional President, and once you violate the Constitution and be proven to do that I think these people should be removed from office.'

And this: 'Congress has generously ignored the Constitution while the President flaunts it, the courts have ignored it and they get in the business of legislating so there's no respect for the rule of law.'

And this: 'When the President signs all these bills and then adds statements after saying I have no intention of following it - he's in a way signing it and vetoing - so in his mind he's vetoing a lot of bills, in our mind under the rule of law he hasn't vetoed a thing.'

And Paul said the United States had entered a period of 'soft fascism.'

Joe Wilson Responds to Bob "GOP Partisan The Traitor" Novak

Valerie is suing Libby, Rove and Cheney. Hot Damn!

Libby Defense Fund: Joe Wilson Responds to Bob "GOP Partisan The Traitor" Novak: (FULL ARTICLE)

We have a received a response from Ambassador Joe Wilson to the latest partisan lies, deceptions and distortions from Bob 'Who Cares If I Betray America, I am Republican First' Novak.

Here is the statement from Ambassador Wilson:

CLAIM: GOP Likely to Charge E-Vote Fraud This November; DNC Advised to Wake Up! Quickly!

In a typical Rovian maneuver, seems the GOP is all prepared to cry foul in every close election Dems win in

While the 2004 election theft went virtually ignored by the MSM, if the Rethugs cry foul, that is all we will hear, and every election will have to go to the Supreme Court to be settled. That is Karl Roves way.

The Rethugs have nothing to lose any everything to gain.

The BRAD BLOG : CLAIM: GOP Likely to Charge E-Vote Fraud This November; DNC Advised to Wake Up! Quickly!:

BTCNews' Weldon Berger makes a very astute observation in an article posted Monday suggesting 'Republicans set to cry 'Foul!' in November elections.'

He contends (with a suggested measure of inside skinny) that the GOP will use the evidence and arguments of election integrity advocates, such as yours truly and others, in making their case that Electronic Voting Machine fraud may have occurred in certain close elections this November if needed.

Berger's observations are well supported by both common sense and history of the GOP — who, unlike Dems, have proven themselves more than willing to pull out any and all stops to fight a close election and even go to court to throw out valid votes whenever necessary if that's what they need to do to win. The GOP doesn't have the same fear gene that curses Dems when it comes to standing up and fighting when they feel they've been robbed (or, perhaps more appropriately with the GOP, opportunistically announcing they've been robbed even when they haven't been.)

Berger's column ought to serve as a siren call for the DNC to wake the hell up about what's going on here. Before it's too late. If it isn't already.

Sacramento Bee on Busby/Bilbray Mess: 'The Threat to Democracy is Very Real'

Democracy is on life support!

The BRAD BLOG : Sacramento Bee on Busby/Bilbray Mess: 'The Threat to Democracy is Very Real': (Full Article at Brad Blog)

Sacramento Bee columnist Peter Schrag runs a decent article on Busby/Bilbray election mess in today's paper.

I recommend you read it in full, as it's mostly balanced (in the honest way, not the Fox 'News' way) and gets most of the elements of the story close enough for government work. In other words, it's a legitimate article, even with a few quibbles I have. But the legit effort is certainly appreciated in contrast with the lazy piece of disinformation disguised as a news article which ran last week in San Diego Union-Tribune on this matter.

Schrag's focus throughout is largely on the uber-matter in question; The looming threat we face to the legitimacy of American elections across the board. The article starts this way…

A Chronology of Vote Theft and Corruption Post 2004; Post Script to "Invisible Ballots" documentary

A very comprehensive article about on-going Vote Theft and Corruption in the U.S:

In case you haven't noticed, we are a failed Democratic state, ripe for fascism, also known as corporatism..

A Chronology of Vote Theft and Corruption Post 2004; Post Script to "Invisible Ballots" documentary: (FULL ARTICLE)

So much has happened since the documentary 'Invisible Ballots' was released in April 2004 that it's time to offer a companion piece to the film that brings viewers up to speed. In the coming months, developments will undoubtedly gain momentum, rendering this update obsolete. In the meantime, here are the highlights.

What Went Wrong In Ohio: The Conyers Report on the 2004 Presidential Election. Academy Chicago Publishers, 2005.
Rep. John Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, along with 11 Congressional colleagues, went to Ohio to gather sworn testimony regarding the 2004 election. 'Witnesses included both Republicans and Democrats, elected officials, voting machine company employees, poll observers, and many voters who testified about the harassment they endured, some of which led to actual vote repression.'

Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report [on Electronic Voting], September 2005
This report essentially validated concerns originally brushed aside as coming from 'sore losers' and 'conspiracy theorists.' The GAO is one of the few nonpartisan, incorruptible institutions left, and their indictment is extremely serious. However, the report received virtually no media coverage, except for on the web."

Notable Names Mourn Lay In Houston, Former President Bush Among The Guests At Enron Founder's Texas Funeral - CBS News

Well, I guess this speaks for itself.

Notable Names Mourn Lay In Houston, Former President Bush Among The Guests At Enron Founder's Texas Funeral - CBS News:

Former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, were among the mourners Wednesday at the funeral of Enron Corp. founder Kenneth Lay.

Lay's funeral drew some of the high-profile guests who were close to him before he was convicted in May of fraud and conspiracy for lying to investors and the public about the energy company's financial health before it collapsed in 2001.

Among the other mourners at the downtown Houston church Lay attended for 12 years were former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane Jr., heart surgeon Denton Cooley and Lay's criminal lawyer, Mike Ramsey.

Former Houston Mayor Bob Lanier, 80, collapsed at the funeral shortly after arriving and was taken away by ambulance.

'He was very, very ill,' said Pastor Steve Wende, officiating at Lay's funeral, held a few blocks from the glittering towers that once were the Enron buildings. "

Road to Victory in Iraq 'Unclear,' US Auditors Conclude

Oh, puleeze, Louise!

This "war' was lost before it ever started.

Road to Victory in Iraq 'Unclear,' US Auditors Conclude:

The investigative arm of the US Congress has openly questioned if victory in Iraq can be achieved without a significant overhaul of President George W. Bush's strategy, arguing the outcome of the war was presently 'unclear'.
The findings by the Government Accountability Office mark the first time a non-partisan US government agency publicly doubted whether the geo-strategic undertaking that Bush made the defining element of his presidency, could be successful.

U.S. Democracy Crusade Falls by the Wayside

The "Crusade" wasn't about Democracy in the first place. It was about Capitalism on Steroids, just as it always is with the Rethugs.

U.S. Democracy Crusade Falls by the Wayside:

America, in this young century, proclaims liberty throughout all the world, and to all the inhabitants thereof.' So spoke U.S. President George W. Bush in his second inaugural address last January, vowing to help build democratic institutions and strengthen civil society in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East.

Yet today, the Bush administration is substantially reducing funding for the organisations that are traditionally mandated to transform the president's vision into reality.

Prisons at Center of Damning Report on U.S. Human Rights

It's about time someone brought this up.

Inhumane treatment of prisoners in the U.S. is common. People busted for Cannabis are subjected to degrading treatment as if they committed a far more serious crime.

Of course, prisons are big business these days, and we all know how humane big business is...

Prisons at Center of Damning Report on U.S. Human Rights:

Rights advocacy groups in the United States are calling for the United Nations to take note of the gross human rights violations being committed in their country.

A coalition of human and civil rights organizations Monday sent a 465-page report to a key United Nations committee, which details ongoing abuses of human rights across the United States.

The 'shadow report' comes at a time when the Geneva-based UN Committee on Human Rights is about to complete its findings on human rights abuses in the United States.

The UN inquiry into the United States' human rights conduct is part of a review process that takes place every four years for countries that have ratified the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, also known as the 'International Bill of Rights.'

As a signatory to the treaty, the U.S. government is bound to respond to the Committee's questions on human rights. The official U.S. response to the UN inquiry is due next week.

U.S Chamber seeks to Smear Candidates and Influece Elections.

Perhaps they should be notified that we, the people, will not stand for it. They are not invulnerable and they all need to be reminded of this.

Center for Justice & Democracy:

WASHINGTON - July 12 - A major new report released today by the Center for Justice & Democracy finds that U.S. Chamber of Commerce provides substantial financial and strategic assistance to local front groups to influence state elections, including funding major media buys to smear local candidates.

The report, 'The Secret Chamber - The Inner Workings of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Hijacking of an Election,' draws from the cache of newly-released papers and deposition testimony uncovered in connection with litigation surrounding the failed 2004 election bid of Deborah Senn for Washington State Attorney General. Senn, a former pro-consumer insurance commissioner, was viciously attacked in an advertising blitz, which contributed to her defeat. It was only later revealed that the ad campaign was funded by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its Institute for Legal Reform. Litigation arose after the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission concluded that the ads violated state election law and the participation of the Chamber and the ILR was revealed.

According to author Laurie Beacham, 'This report shows that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is involved in an organized, aggressive, covert and nasty effort to infiltrate local election campaigns. While the Chamber tries to disassociate itself from the negative campaigning conducted by its local front groups, it remains actively involved in elections, pursuing all the trimmings of a full-out political campaign.'

"Never Again" Gone Mad In Israel

The world is not silent. It is that no one is listening!

"Never Again" Gone Mad In Israel:

In the name of forcing the release of a single soldier, Israel has seized members of a democratically elected government; bombed its interior ministry, the prime minister's offices and a school; threatened another sovereign state (Syria) with a menacing overflight; dropped leaflets from the air, warning of harm to the civilian population if it does not 'follow all orders' of the Israel Defense Forces; loosed nocturnal 'sound bombs' under orders from the Israeli prime minister to 'make sure no one sleeps at night in Gaza'; fired missiles into residential areas, killing children; and demolished a power station that was the sole generator of electricity and running water for hundreds of thousands of Gazans.

Besieged Palestinian families, trapped in a locked-down Gaza, are down to one meal a day, eaten in candlelight. Yet their desperate conditions go largely ignored by a world accustomed to extreme Israeli measures in the name of security.

'Wake up!' shouted the young Palestinian journalist Mohammed Omer from Gaza on San Francisco's 'Arab Talk' radio in late June. 'The Gaza people are starving. There is a real humanitarian crisis. Our children are born to live. Don't these people have any heart? No feelings at all? The world is silent!'

A Maverick Media Mogul Takes on Mainstream Spinelessness

We could sure use more of this.

The MSM, including Cable and some print journalism, should be made irrelevent as soon as possible.

They have dome almost as much harm to this country as the Bushites, of whom they appear to be deathly afraid.

A Maverick Media Mogul Takes on Mainstream Spinelessness:

I will tell you that there won't be any corporate considerations. No earnings per share issues, No worries about advertisers and what they might think.' Okay, you probably think these are lines from a recent Nation editorial or Bill Moyers' latest speech.

It's actually Mark Cuban blogging about his negotiations with Dan Rather to launch a program on HDNet, his high-definition cable channel that reaches about 3 million homes. (Later this week, Rather will announce that he's joining Cuban's channel--launching 'Dan Rather Presents' this October. ) Cuban also owns HDfilms production company.

At a time when CBS News is run by 'by bean counters and profiteers with no interest in serious news,' as Moyers recently put it, the billionaire entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball franchise seems ready to revive public interest journalism.

Two polls say Reed dropping

A vote for Reed is a vote for continuing corruption and hypocrisy. It is that simple.

Power corrupts, Ralph. That is pecisely why Jesus refused it.

Two polls say Reed dropping Political Insider

Two polls out today say that support for Ralph Reed is dropping in the Republican race for lieutenant governor, thanks to a ruthless push on the ground and in the air by Casey Cagle.

Tony Blair's Top Fundraiser Arrested

Is this the Brittish version of Abramoff?

God, will the corruption ever end?

Tony Blair's Top Fundraiser Arrested:

Tony Blair's top fundraiser, Lord Levy, was arrested Wednesday in an investigation into whether Labour Party leaders improperly nominated their financial backers for seats in the House of Lords, Levy's spokesman said.

The arrest could mean major political trouble for Blair, who counts Levy as a key political ally. The prime minister's approval ratings took a big hit when the so-called 'cash-for-honors' scandal first broke in March and Levy's arrest brings it dangerously close to home.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair's chief fundraiser Lord Levy arrives at his home in north London after his arrest by police investigating allegations of the sale of honours, Wednesday July 12, 2006. The peer, who is a close ally and tennis partner of Tony Blair and has been nicknamed Lord Cashpoint by the British media for his ability to raise millions for Labour from wealthy backers, was arrested earlier Wednesday and held in custody after being required to attend a police station in London.

The War They Wanted, The Lies they Needed



The Bush administration invaded Iraq claiming Saddam Hussein had tried to buy yellowcake uranium in Niger. As much of Washington knew, and the world soon learned, the charge was false. Worse, it appears to have been the cornerstone of a highly successful 'black propaganda' campaign with links to the White House.

Israel imposes Lebanon blockade

Is this the conflict that will lead to a nuclear conflagaration?

BBC NEWS World Middle East Israel imposes Lebanon blockade:

Israel is imposing an air and sea blockade on Lebanon as part of a major offensive after two soldiers were seized by the militant group Hezbollah.

Israeli warships have blocked Lebanese ports, and its international airport was closed after Israeli bombing.
A Lebanese cabinet minister said the Israeli response was disproportionate, and called for a ceasefire.

Raids on targets across south Lebanon have killed at least 35. Two have died in Hezbollah attacks on Israel.

The operation comes as Israel continues a separate offensive in the Gaza Strip. An Israeli soldier was captured there last month.

The Government isn't only spying on International Banking Transactions....

Big Brother is coming together nicely...

TPMmuckraker: surveillance Archives:

Over the last four years, U.S. law enforcement agencies have gained access to over 28,000 financial records inside the United States under a little known provision of the USA Patriot Act that parallels the secret international bank data program disclosed by news organizations last week, Treasury Department records show. . . .

[T]he international program is only one part of a much broader, if little publicized, Treasury Department effort to probe suspect financial records, including thousands of bank accounts, wire transfers and other transactions involving individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations inside the United States. . . . .

Although it has received little attention, the Patriot Act program has produced a wealth of previously unavailable financial data that has been shared with U.S. law enforcement agencies, without any notice to the account holders who are being investigated.

Cruella Harris loses top campaign staff, again

Harris appears to be in pathological denial.

When will she get it though her tiny little mind that she is lucky she hasn't been strung up for helping the BFEE steal the 2000 election, considering what her actions have cost this country?

Apparenly even Floridians are sick of her. From what I hear, they aren't to happy with Jebby either, but he isn't running again, having done all the damage he can.

TPMmuckraker July 12, 2006 09:48 PM:

Top aides to Rep. Katherine Harris' (R-FL) Senate campaign are heading for the exit, the Hotline On Call reports.

The departing staff includes Glen Hodas, Harris's campaign manager, her spokesperson, Chris Ingram, and Pat Thomas, her field director. The status of Harris's chief fundraiser, Erin Delullo, is not clear,' the blog says.

Harris is trailing her Democratic challenger by 33 points, according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll.

Cheney is the Big Time Torture Guy

Col. Wilkerson nails Cheney and company.

Thnak God for patriots like Wilkerson. I hope someone is covering his back.

We are entering extremely dangerous times.

Be Prepared!

The Washington Note:

Wilkerson: Cheney's Office Cultivated a Pro-Torture Environment

Crime in D.C. soars

When there is lawlessness at the top of any society, one can expect it to 'trickle down'.

AMERICAblog: Because a great nation deserves the truth:

"DC has become 'A Clockwork Orange.' The rumors of it being crime-ridden are well deserved"

Kidnappers gun down 22 during Rumsfeld's visit / At least 45 killed throughout Iraq in a fourth violence-filled day

Rummy still contends that Iraq is not in a civil war. What the hell does he believe a civil war is?

Will Sunni and Shia have to dress in Blue and Gray, before it dawns on the old fool that this is a civil war.?

Kidnappers gun down 22 during Rumsfeld's visit / At least 45 killed throughout Iraq in a fourth violence-filled day:

Rumsfeld, in Iraq for a day-long visit, and Army Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said U.S. and allied forces in the country are focusing on ways to reduce sectarian fighting. Both said the best solution would be a combination of stronger Iraqi security forces and more robust political efforts to bring the country's factions together.

'There certainly has been an upsurge in sectarian violence,' Rumsfeld told reporters en route to Iraq from Kandahar, Afghanistan. 'There's no question but that they're trying to incite a civil war, and they have been for a long time, and they've failed so far.'

Oil prices hit new high of $75.89 a barrel

This is nothing compared to what's coming.

Oil prices hit new high of $75.89 a barrel - Yahoo! News:

LONDON - Oil prices hit a new intraday high near $76 a barrel Thursday in a market agitated by escalating violence in the Middle East and news of explosions on Nigerian pipelines.

Israeli warplanes struck the runways of Beirut's international airport as part of a campaign against Hezbollah, which attacked Israeli border positions Wednesday and captured two soldiers.

Adding to market tensions was news that Iran, OPEC's No. 2 supplier, was referred back to the U.N. Security Council Wednesday after nuclear talks failed to yield agreements.

'Geopolitics, the markets, Iran and Iraq and Lebanon, all that turmoil is in the front of people's minds and the tensions in the region gets the most attention,' said Kevin Norrish, energy analyst for Barclays Capital in London.

Gorbachev: 'Americans Have a Severe Disease'

He says that Cheney and Rummy are shallow people, only interested in the military.

You have that right, Gorby. But please don't lump all Americans in with this crowd.

ABC News: Gorbachev: 'Americans Have a Severe Disease':

Now, 15 years after a coup removed him from power and the Soviet Union dissolved, he has some stern words for the United States, whose relationship with Russia has soured lately.

'We have made some mistakes,' he said, referring to recent attacks on Russia's democracy. 'So what? Please don't put even more obstacles in our way. Do you really think you are smarter than we are?'

The former general secretary of the Soviet Union Communist Party accused Americans of arrogance and trying to impose their way of life on other nations.

'Americans have a severe disease, worse than AIDS. It's called the winner's complex,' he said. 'You want an American style-democracy here. That will not work.'

Cedar Rapids Newspaper Drops Ann Coulter's Column

Every newspaper that carries Coulter's hate speech should drop her column. Those who carry hate speech, like that of Coulter, will have only themselves to blame when civil war breaks out in this country.

Cedar Rapids Newspaper Drops Ann Coulter's Column:

NEW YORK - Ann Coulter is no stranger to controversy, but her latest adventures have several newspapers questioning whether carrying her syndicated column is worth the trouble. The Shreveport (La.) Times is currently leaving the decision of whether or not to keep Coulter up to its readers. But the first newspaper to officially drop Coulter's column since the latest uproar began seems to be The Gazette of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where she had appeared for about 14 months.

Opinion Page Editor Doug Neumann told E&P, 'Our decision was made before the plagiarism allegations. It did come after the publication of [Coulter's] book, but I would say it didn't directly play any role on our decision.'

Ga. judge blocks voter ID law enforcement - Yahoo! News

No Jim Crowe Law this year for Georgia, thanks to Judge Harold Murphy, if his ruling stands.

We salute you, Your Honor.

Ga. judge blocks voter ID law enforcement - Yahoo! News:

ROME, Ga. - The same federal judge who threw out Georgia's voter ID law last year blocked the state Wednesday from enforcing its revised law during this year's elections.

The New York Subway Or An Alabama Petting Zoo? Guess Which One Is Amply Being Protected By The Department Of Homeland Security ... Then Guess Again

The Deapartment of Homeland Security is one big old Ham Store and the tax-payers are stuck with the bill.

I refuse to protect a petting zoo from Al Qaeda. Why? Because it's stupid.

JABBS: The New York Subway Or An Alabama Petting Zoo? Guess Which One Is Amply Being Protected By The Department Of Homeland Security ... Then Guess Again:

Bush continues in defiance of Court Ruling....

...even though Rethugs try to make his stupid show trials legal.

Defense and Justice lawyers say they are afraid they won't be able to use "coerced" testimony.

Military Justice Idea Rejected for Alleged Terror Defendants - Los Angeles Times:

Bush administration lawyers today rejected congressional suggestions to try alleged Al Qaeda and Taliban war criminals in the U.S. military justice system, saying military courts provide protections for defendants that are unwarranted in the war on terrorism.

In their most detailed description of administration policy since the Supreme Court struck down the Pentagon's special war crimes tribunals last month, the lawyers said their ability to introduce evidence gathered through coercion or through sensitive intelligence sources would be compromised if they were forced to use the Uniform Code of Military Justice to charge Al Qaeda defendants.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Retired Supreme Court Justice hits attacks on courts and warns of dictatorship

This is about as unusual as it gets, so I thought we sould re-post this today.

The Raw Story Retired Supreme Court Justice hits attacks on courts and warns of dictatorship: (Full Article)

In an unusually forceful and forthright speech, O'Connor said that attacks on the judiciary by some Republican leaders pose a direct threat to our constitutional freedoms. O�Connor began by conceding that courts do have the power to make presidents or the Congress or governors, as she put it 'really, really angry.' But, she continued, if we don't make them mad some of the time we probably aren't doing our jobs as judges, and our effectiveness, she said, is premised on the notion that we won't be subject to retaliation for our judicial acts. The nation's founders wrote repeatedly, she said, that without an independent judiciary to protect individual rights from the other branches of government those rights and privileges would amount to nothing. But, said O'Connor, as the founding fathers knew statutes and constitutions don't protect judicial independence, people do.

Putin takes swipe at Cheney

Seems BuCheney has undone everything Ronnie Raygun accomplished.

Junior's soulmate is pissed.

This should be a fun G-8.....

Putin takes swipe at Cheney - Europe -

President Vladimir Putin lashed out at Vice President Dick Cheney ahead of this weekend's G-8 summit, calling his recent criticisms of Russia 'an unsuccessful hunting shot,' according to a television interview being broadcast Wednesday.

The remark, from an interview with 'Today' show anchor Matt Lauer, referred to shotgun blast by Cheney on a hunting trip that accidentally wounded a companion.

Cheney, in a May speech in the ex-Soviet republic of Lithuania, accused Russia of cracking down on religious and political rights and of using its energy reserves as 'tools of intimidation or blackmail.'

Army to End Expansive, Exclusive Halliburton Deal

It's safer to steal from the Tax Payers in New Orleans.

So, now what's gonna happen in Iraq? The winger pundits all told us that Halliburton was the only company in the whole world that could do the job in Iraq.

What a bunch of horse-manure!

These contracts need to be investigated 'til hell won't have it.

Harry Truman will spin in his grave until everyone invloved in this mess is behind bars for treason, as that is just what he said war-prfiteering is; TREASON.

Army to End Expansive, Exclusive Halliburton Deal:

The Army is discontinuing a controversial multibillion-dollar deal with oil services giant Halliburton Co. to provide logistical support to U.S. troops worldwide, a decision that could cut deeply into the firm's dominance of government contracting in Iraq.

The choice comes after several years of attacks from critics who saw the contract as a symbol of politically connected corporations profiteering on the war.

U.S. May Want More Bank Data on All Americans

This is crazy.

Listen to what they are saying. They want banking data on every American who has ever sent a wire transfer over-seas, regardless of ties to terrorism.

We would hope that they are investigating corporate crime and tax evasoion schemes, but we sure as hell won't hold our breath.

Oh, by the way, if the preznit wants to see all of our banking records, we want to see the records for Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait and Israel, just to name a few.

Sorry, we don't believe this is being done to track terrorist funding.

U.S. May Want More Bank Data - Los Angeles Times:

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration is considering requiring U.S. banks, for the first time, to inform the government of all their customers' international wire transfers, regardless of possible terrorist ties, a Treasury Department official said Tuesday.

Such mandatory reporting would mark a major expansion of the government's efforts to comb financial data to fight terrorism and other international crimes. Depending on how the program is structured, it could mean that banks would be forced to turn over data on millions of transactions that they are now required to keep secret.

Undesirable army / Shortfalls allow the entry of hate-filled recruits

With Gang Members, NeoNazis and other hate-group members being trained in urban warfare, America should be a fun pplace to live when "little Adolph" comes marching home.

Editorial: Undesirable army / Shortfalls allow the entry of hate-filled recruits:

Sensing an opportunity for mischief, white supremacists are enlisting and volunteering for battle assignments so they can get training in light infantry tactics they'll need for what they see as the coming race war in America. According to a report by the Southern Poverty Law Center, large numbers of neo-Nazis and white supremacist skinheads, possibly in the thousands, are on active duty in the U.S. military.

When a Defense Department investigator positively identified 320 racist extremists in the past year, only two were discharged, according to The New York Times. This reflects a 'see no evil, hear no evil' stance by the military in a time of recruitment shortfalls.

A warm body, even if it has racist tendencies, is still a warm body to anxious recruiters. A volunteer military that tolerates a racially intolerant fifth column in its midst has decided that scraping the bottom of the barrel for recruits makes tactical and military sense. This is shortsighted and will prove disastrous in the long run.

Olberman v. O'Liely

O'Liely is a vile, tasteless little man and why anyone still watches him is beyond me.

Oilberman is funny, fearless and accurate.
TV News- msnbcs-star-carves-anti-fox-niche - AOL News:

You can't spell momentum without Olbermann, or something like that, he said in a telephone interview, with a typical sprinkle of wry in his voice.

The momentum reference related to MSNBC's recent aggressive positioning of the program 'Countdown With Keith Olbermann' as the centerpiece of this all-news cable network's latest effort to become more competitive with Fox News Channel and CNN.

MSNBC revamped its prime-time schedule two weeks ago, shelving many of its prime-time hosts in favor of documentary-style programs but retaining 'Countdown,' a program the network cites as its great growth story.

That growth, while coming from a base that Fox News would find disastrously puny, is demonstrable, especially among the group that is chiefly sold to news advertisers: people between the ages of 25 and 54. For the last quarter, Mr. Olbermann, who is 47, has seen his ratings in that group grow by more than 30 percent.

Reality Check: Who's Behind TV Ads About Cable Prices

More Telecommunications BS....

Big corporations become more sociopathic by the day,. No one can, or should, believe a damn thing they say. - News - Reality Check: Who's Behind TV Ads About Cable Prices:

MADISON, Wis. -- A multi-million dollar television advertising campaign is aiming to sway the public and lawmakers to change telecommunications policy.
The 32-member TV4US coalition has few household names except AT&T, formally SBC. But is has big bucks based on how many TV and newspaper ads are scattered across America.

A coalition spokesperson wouldn't tell WISC-TV how much money was being spent on the campaign. It aims to open up cable video service to phone companies like AT&T and Verizon.

In one ad, viewers see a red line slowly rising diagonally across the screen while the narrator talks about how the price of everything is rising. 'If it seems like the things you pay for keep going up, you're right,' said the narrator in the ad.

Bush Iraq Policy: 'Who Knows? We Might Get Lucky.'

BuCheney didn't give a flying damn what Americans thought then or think now.

The vast majority of Americans were against the invasion of Iraq until the Bushites began painting pictures of mushroom clouds rising over American cities and arial drones spraying god knows what all over the eastern seaboard.

The Iraq war became a war of vengeance when we were told that Saddam and Al Qaeda were both responsible for 9/11. It could have never been a war of liberation for that reason.

Now there are other on.

Except for die-hard neoconservatives and George W. Bush's staunchest followers, most Americans, if allowed to turn back the clock to March 2003, would happily agree to give the United Nations weapons inspectors more time to complete their search for Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

Though it's a bitter pill for the Bush team to swallow, even with a swig of fine Bordeaux, the French were right. If their advice had been taken, more than 2,500 U.S. soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis might be alive today, and the United States might have averted a strategic disaster.

Even looking back at post-invasion high points, like Saddam Hussein's capture, many Americans might wish the Bush administration had opted for a 'declare victory and leave' approach. But Bush saw each positive development as encouragement to press on toward a more total victory.

In retrospect, Bush's policy might be summed up by the slogan, 'Who knows? We might get lucky.'

The Intel. Community has been penetrated?

Seems to us that Hoekstra has gone way over the edge!

This guy is totally loopy.

Of course he doesn't have any evidence of infiltration of the Intel. Community because there is none. To say that there has been is about the sappiest thing I have ever heard in my life.

It is right up there with the latest Rethug meme about Liberals being in league with Osama bin Laden.

Can anyone imagine that? Only the truly ignorant and paranoid could come up with something like that.

Republican says US readying crackdown on leaks��

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration is preparing a crackdown on intelligence leaks to the media and will try to pursue prosecutions in some recent cases, the chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.

Michigan Republican Rep. Peter Hoekstra also suggested some unauthorized leaks could have been deliberate attempts to help al Qaeda.

'More frequently than what we would like, we find out that the intelligence community has been penetrated, not necessarily by al Qaeda, but by other nations or organizations,' he said.

'I don't have any evidence. But from my perspective, when you have information that is leaked that is clearly helpful to our enemy, you cannot discount that possibility,' he added.

It's Crazy Time in The (un)Holy Land

Will this lead to all out war? If it does we could all live to regret it.

Hezbollah captures 2 Israeli soldiers - Yahoo! News:

BEIRUT, Lebanon - The militant group Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers during clashes Wednesday across the border in southern Lebanon, prompting a swift reaction from Israel, which sent ground forces into its neighbor to search for them.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Man Arrested For Protesting Against War In Iraq

Actually, this is freakin' hilarious, if you think about it. - Local News - Man Arrested For Protesting Against War In Iraq:

A local man was handcuffed and arrested after standing at Nine Mile Road and Woodward Avenue in protest against the war in Iraq.

Victor Kittila, 55, of Eastpointe was standing near the road in Ferndale last week holding a sign that read 'Honk if you want Bush Out,' according to the Daily Tribune. Kittila lost the sign after police confiscated it and placed him under arrest.

'I'll be back there,' said Kittila.

Ferndale police seized the sign asking people to honk because it was becoming too noisy in an already busy part of town, according to the paper's reports.

Reid Blasts Do-Nothing GOP Congress |

Rethugs are doing their best to stay away from the crime scene in an election year.

Reid Blasts Do-Nothing GOP Congress

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) took his morning time slot on the Senate floor yesterday to blast Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) and his Republican colleagues for spending the bulk of the 109th Congress wasting time on nonsense issues and avoiding the real problems facing America. Reid was responding to Frist's stated goal of ending before the scheduled October 6 Senate adjournment date and to 'wrap up work on as many appropriations bills and other must-pass measures before September 27.''

'This new adjournment date means the Senate has only 8 more weeks in which it will be in session, 40 business days,' said Reid on Monday morning. 'If we subtract Labor Day, that makes 39 days. If we subtract Mondays and Fridays--which seem to be what we subtract on a weekly basis--there are 23 legislative days left in the 109th Congress--23 days and so much to do.'

Reid then listed the issues that have guided so much of the Senate's time in this session under Frist's leadership.

MZM Played Role in Pre-war Intel. Fiasco

So what's wrong with privatizing every damn thing imaginable? This is just one example of what's wrong with it. The contractors are even more corrupt than the government, and that's going some, these days.

TPMmuckraker July 11, 2006 11:45 AM:

Buried in this new Business Week article by Eamon Javers and Dawn Kopecki is a startling revelation: MZM Inc., the company once owned by admitted felon Mitchell Wade, worked on assessing Saddam Hussein's nuclear capabilities during the runup to the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

[B]efore the invasion of Iraq,' the duo writes, '[MZM's business] included helping with [the] controversial analysis of Saddam Hussein's nuclear capabilities.'

Wade, of course, has confessed to bribing former Rep. Randy 'Duke' Cunningham (R-CA) with over a million dollars in money, gifts and favors.

The politics of greed

Molly is right on, as usual.

Check out the numbers she gives from Mother Jones. Astounding.

WorkingForChange-The politics of greed: (Full Article)

It seems to me that we've seen enough evidence over the years that the capitalist system is not going to be destroyed by an outside challenger like communism -- it will be destroyed by its own internal greed. Greed is the greatest danger as we develop an increasingly winner-take-all system. And voices like The Wall Street Journal's editorial page encourage this mentality by insisting that any form of regulation is bad. But for whom?

It is so discouraging to watch this country become less and less fair -- 'justice for all' seems like an embarrassingly archaic tag. Republicans have rigged the 'lottery of life' in this country in ways we don't even know about yet. The new bankruptcy law is unfair, and the new college loan rules are worse. The system has been stacked so that large corporations have an inside track over small businesses in getting government contracts. We won't see the full consequences of this mean and careless legislation for years, but it starting to affect us already.

US judge to rule on legality of warrantless wiretaps on Yahoo! News

Of course, this will go all the way to the Supremes, if the judge rules in favor of the ACLU.

Print Story: US judge to rule on legality of warrantless wiretaps on Yahoo! News: (Full article)

A federal judge heard arguments in a suit arguing that US President George W. Bush overstepped his authority when he authorized the use of warrantless wiretaps on Americans.

The arguments came less than two weeks after the Supreme Court ruled that the Bush administration overstepped its authority in setting up military tribunals to try war on terror detainees held at a US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The American Civil Liberties Union asked a judge in Detroit, Michigan to rule that the wiretaps are illegal because they circumvent the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which requires the executive branch to obtain a warrant before engaging in electronic surveillance of Americans.

Those warrants are obtained in a secret court which has only denied three requests in nearly 30 years and which allows law enforcement to initiate surveillance before the warrant is obtained, Michael Steinberg, legal director of the ACLU of Michigan, told AFP.

'Our democracy depends on checks and balances,' he said. 'Obtaining a court order before intercepting people's personal communication serves as a check on unbridled executive power.'

A spokesman for the Department of Justice declined to comment on the case.

Novak: Rove was a source in outing Plame - Yahoo! News

Well, duh!

Who didn't know this?

What I can't figure out is why the fat frogman hasn't been indicted. This really sucks.

Novak: Rove was a source in outing Plame - Yahoo! News:

Columnist Robert Novak said publicly for the first time Tuesday that White House political adviser Karl Rove was a source for his story outing the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame.

In a column, Novak also says his recollection of his conversation with Rove differs from what the Rove camp has said.

CIA Vs. Congress Vs. The White House, The Nation: Who To Root For In The Intelligence Tussle? - CBS News

I doubt that anyone is really fooled by Hoekstra. He threw a little hissy fit, as his ego was offended.

It's over. We won't hear anymore about it.

CIA Vs. Congress Vs. The White House, The Nation: Who To Root For In The Intelligence Tussle? - CBS News:

It was easy for some to see Hoekstra as a heroic reformer challenging secret government. named Hoekstra the 'Truthdigger of the Week.' But the spy wars of Washington are not linear affairs, and the battle lines murky. Is the CIA a rotting institution that failed prior to 9/11 and then provided Bush flawed intelligence to justify an invasion of Iraq? Or is it a bastion of risk-averse conventionalists who have undermined Bush's ambitious, forward-looking national security agenda (which includes the Iraq war)? The CIA has been getting it from the left and the right in recent years. And it's unclear whether the top tier of the agency ought to be backed or booted.

Running Against The Press, Christian Science Monitor Puts White House Criticism Of NY Times In Perspective - CBS News

I don't think it is going to work this time. Everyone knows that this White House has been all too willing to use the NYT and other press as back channels to get their lies and fear-mongering out when they have deemed it to their advantage. They can't have it both ways.

Running Against The Press, Christian Science Monitor Puts White House Criticism Of NY Times In Perspective - CBS News:

The outgoing secretary of the Treasury, John Snow, in what may have been his last official act, wrote to The New York Times that in exposing the monitoring of bank transfers, it had undermined a successful counterterrorism program.

A House resolution, passed by a party line vote, called on the media to safeguard classified programs.

The government has discovered what governments have discovered before, that an undercurrent of hostility toward the news media runs through the country and that there could be political advantage in campaigning against the press in general.

The champion press hater, of course, was President Nixon, who told his staff that the press is the enemy, and he proceeded to declare his own private war against the media.

Will The Supreme Court Decision Matter?

This is a turning point.

The question remains whether the ship of state will, indeed, turn or keep plowing on, straight for the iceberg.

The St. Petersburg Times - Opinion - American Dream:

As The New Yorker reports, all laws now pass through the hands of this unelected factotum, who feverishly screens them for any possible encroachments on presidential power, then writes the 'signing statements' that Bush appends to every major piece of legislation, declaring that he will follow the new law, or not, as it suits him.

'I'm the decider,' as Bush likes to say in his cretinous playground patois. But it is Addington and Cheney who have sown the noxious weeds of tyranny that Bush so happily grazes upon.

So there was rich irony in seeing their malevolent system chastised by Stevens, a conservative Republican whose 1975 appointment by President Gerald Ford was certainly handled by Ford's powerful chief of staff: an ambitious apparatchik named Dick Cheney. And the Stevens decision would indeed be a landmark ruling, a return to sanity, if we were still in an era where the institutions of American government and society were actually functional, and officeholders felt bound by law. But if there is no political will in the American establishment to enforce the ruling, it will be nothing more than a pretty ornament for the republic's coffin.

Bushites see writing on the wall; WAR CRIMES

But does what is done now, make any difference after what has been done since 09/12/01?

This will not do! It is what has already been done which has defiled the human rights of all people, no matter what they have done.

At least, this shows a consciousnes of guilt, or something like that.

Still, what is done is done. It cannot be taken back, nor can the results be ameliorated now, by this admninistration.

This is what happens when the executive attempts to interpret the constitution and congressional actions. That is not the role of the executive, in our three co-equal branches of government.

U.S. Will Give Detainees Geneva Rights Chicago Tribune:

WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration, called to account by Congress after the Supreme Court blocked military tribunals, said Tuesday all detainees at Guantanamo Bay and in U.S. military custody everywhere are entitled to protections under the Geneva Conventions.

White House spokesman Tony Snow said the policy, outlined in a new Defense Department memo, reflects the recent 5-3 Supreme Court decision blocking military tribunals set up by President Bush. That decision struck down the tribunals because they did not obey international law and had not been authorized by Congress.

What Changed on 9/11? A Radical, Extremist Cabal Decided to Use a Terrorist Attack for the Dismantling of Democracy

The only thing we would add to this, is that there is little doubt that there is complicity in our govewrnment with the events of 9/11 and the anthrax attacks. At the very least, there is criminal negligence, but we believe that there is ample documented evidence in the public domain to indicate that it went well beyond simple negligence.

BuzzFlash Editorial: What Changed on 9/11? A Radical, Extremist Cabal Decided to Use a Terrorist Attack for the Dismantling of Democracy: (full artcile)

We were hijacked twice on 9/11, once by terrorists, and once by our own one-party Republican government which has shamelessly used a horrible incident for a partisan thuggish suppression of our Constitutional rights. What the Bush Administration seeks to do is to use 9/11 and the threat of terrorism as a veneer under which to build a secret shadow government that has no accountability to the process of democracy.

Make no mistake about this (and the Democratic Leadership on Capitol Hill still doesn't get what is really going on), there are surely terrorists in the world (there always have been), but there are also enemies within who are actively undermining the Constitution and the very concept of rule by the people. For the Cheneys of the world, there is no trust to be placed in the 'rabble' of democracy.