Saturday, July 29, 2006

At the Heart of the Lebanon Crisis Lie the Lethal Mistakes Of George Bush

At the Heart of the Lebanon Crisis Lie the Lethal Mistakes Of George Bush:

I'm thinking of the United States. It's fashionable to blame the US for all the world's ills, but in this case the sins, both of omission and commission, of the Bush administration genuinely belong at the heart of the trouble.

Diplomacy has had a difficult task from the start, in part because the US is not seen as an honest broker, but as too closely aligned with Israel. Washington has long been pro-Israel, but under President Clinton and the first President Bush there was an effort to be seen as a plausible mediator.

Not under George W. Far from keeping lines of communication open with Hezbollah's two key patrons - Syria and Iran - they have been cast into outer darkness, branded as spokes, or satellites, of the axis of evil. As a result there has been no mechanism to restrain Hezbollah. Now, when the US needs Syria's help, it may be too late. Damascus will extract a high price, no doubt demanding the right to re-enter, in some form, Lebanon. The White House can't grant that - not when it considers Syria's ejection from Lebanon in 2005 one of its few foreign-policy successes.

But the record of failure goes deeper than that. It began in the president's first week, when Bush decided he would not repeat what he perceived as his predecessor's mistake by allowing his presidency to be mired in the fruitless search for Israeli-Palestinian peace. Even though Clinton had got tantalizingly close, Bush decided to drop it. While Henry Kissinger once racked up 24,230 miles in just 34 days of shuttle diplomacy, Bush's envoys have been sparing in their visits to the region.

The result is that the core conflict has been allowed to fester.

"Poll of 50 Most Competitive House Districts Brings Good News for Democrats"

I hope that the people of America so roundly reject this evil brand of Republicanism, that it will be doubtful the GOP will remain a viable party in American pollitics.

But, Democrats, don't be smug.

Your asses will be on the line, if you take power. You are going to have to do some very unpleasant things, or else you al will be relegated to the dust-bin of history as well.

The Progressive Daily Beacon: "Poll of 50 Most Competitive House Districts Brings Good News for Democrats":

Beekler seems to express the underlying mood of 2006 voters: When Greenberg and Bolger asked people who they preferred in a generic match up, i.e., a nameless, faceless Republican or Democrat, and then asked the question again citing the specific incumbent and challenger in the race, '[t]he numbers didn't change much and the voters seemed pretty firm about their choices.' That finding alone, of course, doesn't say too much about what is happening until it is revealed that since 2004, in these 50 districts, there has been an 18 point swing in favor of the Democratic candidate.

In 2004, among these same 50 districts, Republicans won by an average of 12 points. Today; however, Democrats hold a very strong 6 point lead over Republicans. When coupled with every known national poll that asks, generically, who people prefer and Democrats consistently come out ahead, and the finding by Greenberg and Bolger that the difference between the generic and named candidates changes the dynamics very little it becomes very obvious, very quickly that the GOP is in deep trouble in 2006.

Who grieves for dead Iraqis?

By Andrew Greely

We do, Father...we do....

Who grieves for dead Iraqis?:

What is the worth of a single Iraqi life?

The New York Times reported that during recent months a hundred Iraqis die violently every day, 3,000 every month. In terms of size of population, that is the equivalent of 300,000 Americans a month, 10,000 every day. Yet the typical television clip on the evening news -- an explosion, automatic weapon fire, dead bodies on the streets -- has become as much a cliche as the weather report or another loss by the Cubs. The dead Iraqis are of no more value to us than artificial humans in video games. The Iraqis seem less than human, pajama-wearing people with dark skin, hate in their eyes, and a weird religion, screaming in pain over their losses. Weep with them, weep for them?

Why bother?

Rarely do Americans tell themselves that the United States of America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, is responsible for this slaughter. In a spasm of arrogance and power, we destroyed their political and social structure and are now unable to protect them from one another. Their blood is on the hands of our leaders who launched a war on false premises, without adequate forces, without plans for the time after the war and then sent in inept administrators who could not provide even a hint of adequate public services.

Middleeast woes come home to America

Bush set the middle east ablaze, saying, we will fight them there so we don't have to fight the"m here."

That never made any sense.

6 Shot, 1 fatally, at Wash. Jewish center - Yahoo! News:

"SEATTLE - Patti Simon was working in the Jewish Federation's office when she heard screaming, gunshots and what sounded like furniture crashing on the floor above her.

She tried calling her co-workers upstairs, but no one answered, so she called police and fled. 'People got shot, some of our co-workers,' she said, her voice shaking.

Authorities said a man walked into the Jewish agency on Friday and opened fire, killing one woman and injuring at least five others in what they call a hate crime. Naveed Afzal Haq, 30, was booked into the King County Jail for investigation of homicide and attempted homicide, police said.

The gunman, who employees said claimed to be a Muslim angry at Israel, forced his way through the center's security door after an employee had punched in her security code, said Marla Meislin-Dietrich, a co-worker who was not at the building at the time.

Staff members said they overheard him saying ''I am a Muslim American, angry at Israel,' before opening fire on everyone,' Meislin-Dietrich said. 'He was randomly shooting at everyone.'

Israel Accused of Using Illegal Weapons

Who will hold them accountable?

The Bushites have done the same thiing in Iraq.

Who will hold them accountable?

AlterNet: Israel Accused of Using Illegal Weapons:

Dr. Bachir el-Sham at the Complex Hospital in Sidon in the south of Lebanon told IPS in a telephone interview that he has received civilian patients injured by incendiary weapons.
'We are seeing people that are all blackened, with charred flesh that is not burned by normal bombs and flames,' he said. 'I am sure this is a special bomb. They are using incendiary weapons on civilians in the south. We are seeing these patients.'

The doctor also told IPS that the Israelis are again using suction bombs, which they used heavily during the Lebanese civil war.

'They are using suction bombs that implode our buildings,' he added, 'With implosive bombs... instead of the glass blasted out, it is inside the building. These kill everyone inside the building. There are rarely survivors when they use these bombs.'

Bilal Masri, assistant director of the Beirut Government University Hospital (BGUH) had told IPS earlier that 'many of the injured in the south are suffering from the impact of incendiary white phosphorous.'

Air War, Barbarity, and the Middle East

The Brutality of suicide bombers and air war. It's not just about them, it is about us as well.

TomDispatch - Tomgram: Air War, Barbarity, and the Middle East:

Barbarism seems an obvious enough category. Ordinarily in our world, the barbarians are them. They act in ways that seem unimaginably primitive and brutal to us. For instance, they kidnap or capture someone, American or Iraqi, and cut off his head. Now, isn't that the definition of barbaric? Who does that anymore? The eighth century, or maybe the word 'medieval' - anyway, some brutal past time -- comes to mind immediately, and to the mass mind of our media even faster.

Similarly, to jump a little closer to modernity, they strap grenades, plastic explosives, bombs of various ingenious sorts fashioned in home labs, with nails or other bits of sharp metal added in to create instant shrapnel meant to rend human flesh, to maim and kill. Then they approach a target -- an Israeli bus filled with civilians and perhaps some soldiers, a pizza parlor in Jerusalem, a gathering of Shiite or Sunni worshippers at or near a mosque in Iraq or Pakistan, or of unemployed potential police or army recruits in Ramadi or Baghdad, or of shoppers in an Iraqi market somewhere in that country, or perhaps a foreigner on the streets of Kabul and they blow themselves up. Or they arm backpacks or bags and step onto trains in London, Madrid, Mumbai, and set them off.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Repost: Bringing on 'World War III'

We think this is an important article, worthy of rapid repost.

WorkingForChange-Bringing on 'World War III':

If you thought that a global conflagration on the order of a world war was more the stuff of Biblical prophecy, science fiction and apocalyptic end-of- times novels, think again.

For years, U.S. neoconservatives have been ratcheting up the rhetoric -- mostly in small gatherings and on partisan Web sites -- claiming that terrorist activities around the world constituted the initial stages of a new world war.

But during the past two weeks, with the Israeli/ Hezbollah conflict in full swing, Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House of Representatives, is using any media platform available to him to launch a campaign aimed at convincing the public that the United States is engaged in World War III.

Gingrich made national headlines when he claimed while discussing the situation in the Middle East during an appearance on NBC's 'Meet the Press' on July 16 that the United States should be 'helping the Lebanese government have the strength to eliminate Hezbollah as a military force.'

John Dean knocks "imperial presidency"

John Dean is right, and he is far from alone among real conservatives who see what is happening and are appalled.

Certainly, if we survive as a united nation of states, we liberals and conservatives and libertarians will go our separate ways again, and that is how it should be. It is what gives us much needed balance.

But, right now, our democratic nation is at stake and the real danger is clearly within. It is time for real patriots, whatever their political philosophy, to rise up against the corrupt authoritarian regime controlling Washington now.

John Dean knocks �imperial presidency� - BOOKS -

LOS ANGELES - John Dean, the White House lawyer who famously helped blow the whistle on the Watergate scandal that drove Richard Nixon from office, says the country has returned to an 'imperial presidency' that is putting the United States and the world at risk.

In his new book, 'Conservatives Without Conscience,' Dean looks at Republican-controlled Washington and sees a bullying, manipulative, prejudiced leadership edging the nation toward a dark era.

'Are we on the road to fascism?' he writes. 'Clearly, we are not on that road yet. But it would not take much more misguided authoritarian leadership, or thoughtless following of such leaders, to find ourselves there.

Paul Krugman: Reign of Error

Now, we all live in LaLa land, where "facts" really are stupid and no amount of rational reasoning can prevail over the irrational ranting of the far right and their noise machine.

WMD my ass! Even David Kay said that he had chemicals under his kitchen sink that are more dangerous than the badly disintergrated mustard gas in those old shells buried in the Iraqi wilderness.

Yes, I imagine that those shells could be harmful to children who did not know any better than to mess with them, but so can the land mines we leave everywhere, not to mention the Depleted Uranium we used in Gulf War I, Kosovo and, now, in Iraq again.

Let's face it, the only WMD in Iraq is what we have used there.

What to do about epidemic stupidity in America? Damned if I know, but I'm not sure I want to live out the rest of my days with it.

Rozius: Paul Krugman: Reign of Error: (Read full article)

Amid everything else that's going wrong in the world, here's one more piece of depressing news: a few days ago the Harris Poll reported that 50 percent of Americans now believe that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when we invaded, up from 36 percent in February 2005. Meanwhile, 64 percent still believe that Saddam had strong links with Al Qaeda.

At one level, this shouldn't be all that surprising. The people now running America never accept inconvenient truths. Long after facts they don't like have been established, whether it's the absence of any wrongdoing by the Clintons in the Whitewater affair or the absence of W.M.D. in Iraq, the propaganda machine that supports the current administration is still at work, seeking to flush those facts down the memory hole.

But it's dismaying to realize that the machine remains so effective.

Here's how the process works.........

CA-11: Key Republicans come out for Democrat

More on Republican of conscience jumping ship:

Daily Kos: CA-11: Key Republicans come out for Democrat:

Yesterday, the Jerry McNerney campaign held a press conference where two well known Republicans, both of whom had challenged the Abramoff'd incumbent, Richard Pombo, for the Republican nomination, announced their support for the Democratic candidate.

Republican Calls for Dems to Take Over Congress


I don't know whether to be scared witless or elated?

This is a sure, but unexpected sign that I have been right all along, and we are in huge trouble in this country, but maybe there is hope, after-all.

Daily Kos: Republican Calls for Dems to Take Over Congress:

Pete McCloskey released a letter yesterday saying that it is time to Clean House and the only way he sees is for the Democrats to take over the House. Other diaries have been reporting on how McCloskey has endorsed Pombo's Democratic opponent, Jerry McNerney, but this letter goes further. Pete McCloskey is out spoken and a refreshing voice to hear compared to the GOP organized Talking Point Machine. Here are some excerpts from this incredible letter:

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Israel nixes U.N peacekeepers

I hate to say this, but this is bullshit!

Tehe U.N wasn't welcom inIraq and it isn't welcome now, in Lebanon, by the Israelis.

Just think for a moment! People, innocent people are dying and being terrorized and suffering horribly.....

BellSouth - NEWS:

NEW YORK (AP) - Israel's U.N. ambassador on Thursday ruled out major U.N. involvement in any potential international force in Lebanon, saying more professional and better-trained troops were needed for such a volatile situation.

Dan Gillerman also said Israel would not allow the United Nations to join in an investigation of an Israeli airstrike that demolished a post belonging to the current U.N. peacekeeping mission in Lebanon. Four U.N. observers were killed in the Tuesday strike.

'Israel has never agreed to a joint investigation, and I don't think that if anything happened in this country, or in Britain or in Italy or in France, the government of that country would agree to a joint investigation,' Gillerman said.

Gillerman, who spoke at an event hosted by The Israel Project advocacy group and later inside the United Nations, gave a heated defense of Israel's two-week campaign against Hezbollah militants. He said some diplomats from the Middle East had told him that Israel was doing the right thing in going after Hezbollah.

His refusal to conduct a joint investigation will be a slap to U.N. officials, who have specifically sought to partner with Israel to investigate the bombing.


As we said before, Israel has jumped the shark, this time.

But, then so have we........

CCR: Read On

CCR CONDEMNS HUMANITARIAN LAW VIOLATIONS IN THE CURRENT MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT & CALLS ON BUSH TO STOP ARMING ISRAEL IN VIOLATION OF AMERICAN LAW - On July 27, 2006 the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) called for all parties to respect international humanitarian law in the current Middle East conflict and urged President Bush to halt the supply of weapons to Israel in violation of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA). In a letter to President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, CCR noted that defense articles provided to Israel are not being used for internal security or self defense purposes, as required by the AECA......

Rice has Mideast on her mind at Asian summit - Yahoo! News

When will it dawn on this administration that all out nuclear destruction is the only thing that will save them, now, from total ruin, but not a horrible death.

Admit what you have done, step down and take your just desserts like real humans.

Rice has Mideast on her mind at Asian summit - Yahoo! News:

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice took a day off from her bid to untangle the Middle East crisis, but fallout from the fighting trailed her to an East Asia security summit.

Rice flew all night from Europe to Malaysia to join the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum (ARF), after a crisis conference in Rome and visits to Beirut and Jerusalem.

But amid signs she could be preparing a return trip to the Middle East, she found new foreign policy problems, including opposition to Israel's Lebanon offensive and North Korea's intransigence on nuclear talks.

A senior State Department official said she would leave Malaysia on Friday, a day earlier than first thought -- but Rice refused to reveal her destination. 'I have not yet made a determination about my further travel,' Rice said.

Russia defies U.S. with Venezuela arms deal - Jul 27, 2006

Seems Putin saw Junior's soul as well.

One of the things he saw is an underlying cowardice that has been part of Bush since early in his life. - Russia defies U.S. with Venezuela arms deal - Jul 27, 2006:

"MOSCOW, Russia (Reuters) -- Russia said Thursday it had sold 24 aircraft and 53 helicopters to Venezuela, defying the United States, which has urged Moscow to halt arms sales to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Russia's arms export chief, speaking as Chavez met Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin, said the aircraft deal was part of a long-term package of arms contracts with Venezuela that was worth more than $3 billion.

Chavez is a vocal critic of what he calls U.S. imperialism. Washington considers him a dangerous radical and had urged Russia to rethink the weapons sale. It bans its own producers from selling weapons to Venezuela.

'In the face of a blockade that was imposed on us, Russia extended us a hand,' Chavez said after his talks with Putin.
The arms deal is likely to add to friction in an already testy relationship between Washington and a Russia which, under Putin, has taken on a more assertive international role.

Pres. Clinton,: Israel has gone to far...

No shit, Sherlock!

Thanks for saying so, so many of us do not feel as if we are going insane!

Latest News The Huffington Post#a025946:

The United States and other western countries should be pushing hard for a ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah, along with the insertion of an international peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon, former U.S. president Bill Clinton said Wednesday.

The Islamic group Hezbollah's tactics are at the root of the latest bloody conflict in the region, but Clinton also questioned the length to which Israel has gone to defend itself. 'It's important for us to get some kind of ceasefire now,' Clinton said.

Bringing on 'World War III'

Oh God, just shoot me now!

WorkingForChange-Bringing on 'World War III':

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich re-inserts himself into the political debate

If you thought that a global conflagration on the order of a world war was more the stuff of Biblical prophecy, science fiction and apocalyptic end-of- times novels, think again.

For years, U.S. neoconservatives have been ratcheting up the rhetoric -- mostly in small gatherings and on partisan Web sites -- claiming that terrorist activities around the world constituted the initial stages of a new world war.

But during the past two weeks, with the Israeli/ Hezbollah conflict in full swing, Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House of Representatives, is using any media platform available to him to launch a campaign aimed at convincing the public that the United States is engaged in World War III.


Now Hiring _ sociopaths and other born-Killers!

HAMPTON ROADS Military (Printable Version):

Private military contractors can earn substantially more money than members of the armed services.

A Government Accountability Office study last year found that contractors were earning $12,000 to $13,000 a month working on security convoys in Iraq and as much as $33,000 a month guarding high-ranking government officials.

That compares to $4,670 in monthly base pay and housing allowance earned by a typical Navy SEAL with 10 years of experience, 'the sort of person private military companies like to hire.'

That raises the question: Are private companies like Blackwater draining manpower from the military services?
Blackwater and its competitors say no.

'It's not true. It's an urban legend that's been created by the media,' said Chris Taylor, a Blackwater vice president. 'People leave the military for a wide variety of reasons. We�re not interested in luring people away from the military.'

The GAO study found that attrition in military jobs preferred by security outfits rose in 2004 after declining for two years, but was no higher than in 2001.

'The Navy will never compete financially with the civilian sector in sheer monetary terms', said Lt. Taylor Clark, a spokesman for the Naval Special Warfare Command. But Clark said an assortment of extra incentives, including re-enlistment bonuses up to $90,000, have helped the Navy keep SEAL's in uniform.

One thing is clear: Private military companies are pulling people from civilian law enforcement agencies.
Michael McKenna, president of International Brotherhood of Police Officers Local 412, said at least half a dozen Norfolk police officers have departed for Blackwater in the past two to three years. Most had 10 or more years on the force.

OMG, this is one sick country.

Seriously, run for your lives!

Israel Attacks US

Whoa; a mind-bender for sure; read the whole article...........

Israel Attacks US: (Read On)

"07/27/06 'Information Clearing House' -- --

The government of Israel today launched a massive air assault on suspected terrorist targets along coastal cities of the United States of America. Termed operation Just Reward II, hundreds of Israeli fighter jets streamed across the Atlantic in precise formation and fired surgical air strikes at alleged terrorist strongholds in the heavy Muslim populations of Jersey City and North Bergen, New Jersey. The jets then continued south into Elizabeth and Newark, inflicting massive destruction in the densely populated northeastern US state.

Reaction to the attacks was swift. President Bush asked for restraint, but stated emphatically that 'Israel had the right to defend itself.' The President, who took an oath to defend the US and to preserve, protect and defend it against all foreign and domestic enemies, said that the fight against suspected terrorist sites and alleged al-Qaeda involvement, coupled with our close relationship with Israel, requires special sacrifices by the American people and special exceptions to both US and international law.

Earlier in the day, the US Congress passed a unanimous resolution in both houses, backing the Jewish state. Even New Jersey Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez voted with the 98 other US Senators, backing Israel's right to self-defense.

Claiming there were terrorists in New Jersey who had links to al-Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as other radical Islamic groups, New York Senators Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer appeared at a UN rally just across the river from the Israeli incursion and pledged their unwavering support for Israel. 'We are all Israelis now,' Senator Clinton proudly proclaimed.'

Israel steps up "psy-ops" in Lebanon

When will the Likudniks turn this on their own people.

When will we?

BBC NEWS Middle East Israel steps up "psy-ops" in Lebanon: (Read On)

From mass targeting of mobile phones with voice and text messages to old-fashioned radio broadcasts warning of imminent attacks, Israel is deploying a range of old and new technologies in Lebanon as part of the psychological operations ('psyops') campaign supplementing its military attacks.

Why Israel Can't Win the War

Not the point of the article, but it is ironic that the Maronite Christians, who are far more like the early Christians than the crusading-crackpots in America, who are pushing these wars every bit as much as the NeoCons, are the ones who will suffer in Lebanon, as a result of the Israeli bombardment.

I doubt that is a problem, for the Bushites since the crackpots do not believe any one is really Christian but them.

We have all fallen into the cuckoos nest!

Why Israel Can�t Win the War:

"07/27/06 'Arab News' -- -- The world is witnessing what could be a critical turning point in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Israel is now engaged in a war that could permanently undermine the efficacy of its much-vaunted military apparatus.

Ironically, there are several reasons for believing that Israel's destruction of southern Lebanon and southern Beirut will weaken its bargaining position relative to its adversaries, and will strengthen its adversaries, hands.

First, Israel has no clearly defined tactical or strategic objective, and so the Israeli offensive fails the first test of military logic: There is no way that Israel's actions can improve its position relative to Hamas or Hezbollah, much less Syria or Iran.

The logic of power politics also implies that a no-win situation for Israel is a definite loss, because Israel is the stronger party and thus has the most to lose. In an asymmetric war, the stronger party always has the most to lose, in terms of reputation and in terms of its ability to project its will through the instruments of force.

The lack of any clearly defined objective is a major miscalculation by Israel and its American patron.

Lebanon's Children and Israeli Phosphorous Bombs


we see, we hear

and we are sickened,
heartbroken and livid.

You will not hear from us on the News, because we are not asked what we think. We could hold a protest of 3 million, and you would still not know about it, because our corporate controlled media will not cover any such protest by Americans

We are the same people, many of us, who fought the war in Iraq. As it turns out, we were right, but that is of little comfort, now.

Do you believe that ordinary American people have anymore power than you?

Our once healthy democracy is, for all practical purposes, dead. All that is left is an image of democracy. All legal remedies the people once had have been denied by the right-wing party which controls this country.

I wish I could give you hope that Americans will rise up and throw the bums out, but I cannot; not anymore.

But, I think you can count on the more evolved people of the world, including some Americans, to listen to their better angels and do what must be done and can be done.

Lebanon's Children and Israeli Phosphorous Bombs:

"07/27/06 'Al-Hayat' -- -- Did the American people see on CNN the child whose face was burnt by Israeli phosphorous bombs in Lebanon? Did they hear him screaming in pain at Sidon Hospital, with his mother falling to pieces in agony beside him because of the injury he sustained from the terrible bombs? How can the American people accept their elected President George W. Bush's rejection of a ceasefire?

The insanity of the Jewish State that is brutally attacking families and children in South Lebanon and in Beirut's southern suburb has almost become an everyday feature in the Palestinian territories.

Can the disaster that has befallen Lebanon, in which fathers, mothers and children have lost their homes and relatives, be a solution for the US administration and the Jewish State?

60th Anniversary of terrorist attacks on the King Davis Hitel

At least, that is what they would be called today.

Reflective truth Jerusalem Post:

'The bombing of the British headquarters [in the King David Hotel],' Danny declared, 'was the most important event of the pre-state period. It led to the establishment of the state. We helped to drive out the British Empire, because the British realized that we Jews could fight and that we would. And I would do it again, in a second.'

Like all the former IZL underground fighters, Danny refused to accept any responsibility or express any remorse for the loss of life.

'We warned them to get out. They didn't. It's their own fault,' he said flatly.

The academics asserted the importance of the underground movements, the IZL and the Lehi, which, they contended, had been shut out and shut up by the establishment. History, they quoted, is written by the strong and the victorious, and not by splinter movements such as the IZL.

But that is finally changing, they contended.

Great soul of power

Power doth corrupt!

Absolute power doth corrupt heart, mind, and soul.

Great soul of power:

A large part of the Bible is devoted to people who condemned the crimes of state and immoral practices. They are called 'prophets,' a dubious translation of an obscure word. In contemporary terms, they were 'dissident intellectuals.' There is no need to review how they were treated: miserably, the norm for dissidents.

There were also intellectuals who were greatly respected in the era of the prophets: the flatterers at the court. The Gospels warn of 'false prophets, who come to you in sheep�s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. By their fruits ye shall know them.'

The dogmas that uphold the nobility of state power are nearly unassailable, despite the occasional errors and failures that critics allow themselves to condemn.

A prevailing truth was expressed by US President John Adams two centuries ago: 'Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak.' That is the deep root of the combination of savagery and self-righteousness that infects the imperial mentality, and in some measure, every structure of authority and domination.

Never Quite Away From It All

Ain't it the truth!

I often think it would be good to find a mountain top in some obscure place and live there, totally disconnected and un-wired.

Never Quite Away From It All:

I'm sitting on my duff on Mackinac Island and fussing about the heat. With no newspaper, no TV and a gummy-slow Internet, I'm in a news vacuum.

I now understand how George W. Bush got to be the way he is. If you don't read the news, and only occasionally step off the shady porch to slash brush, you can pretty much avoid knowing that the world is blowing up around you. You get the most peripheral take on things, little glimpses of trouble spots, which prompt you to mutter inane things about who oughta stop doin' what to whom. Just the other day I said to my husband, 'Whassup with Israel?' That's about as deep as it gets when your daily news intake has the nutritional value of a marshmallow.

Back home in Minneapolis I start the day with the media equivalent of bran and hardtack. My teeth grind, my stomach knots and the little needle on my rage meter pings over to the red zone.

Up here I take my coffee looking out at Lake Huron, a sweep of clear, fresh water that shimmers over the distant horizon like the world's biggest infinity pool, which in a way it is. After the religious wars and the oil wars -- if there is an after -- they say it'll be the water wars, which puts those of us situated in the middle of the five Great Lakes sort of in the catbird seat. Or in a war zone.

Dissent Grows in Israel Over Lebanon

Dissent Grows in Israel Over Lebanon:

The government of the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, is facing a barrage of criticism over its handling of the war in Lebanon, with questions being raised about the decision to attack Hizbullah, mounting military losses, continuing missile strikes on northern Israel, and disquiet about Lebanese civilian casualties.

Israel has yet to confirm reports of 12 soldiers killed in heavy fighting around the south Lebanese town of Bint Jbeil, but analysts in Jerusalem said fatalities on that scale are likely to bring pressure from the army and the public for a significant change of tack.

Two weeks into the fighting, growing unease about a wide range of war-related issues has burst into the open with a series of anxious comments by politicians, former officers and leading experts and pundits.

Few Israelis are protesting against the war, as they did in their hundreds of thousands after the 1982 invasion of Lebanon. Apart from small demonstrations by Israeli Arabs and Jewish leftwingers, there is broad support for hitting back at the Shia guerrillas after their border raid and abduction of two Israeli soldiers. But what is becoming clear is the deep concern about the conduct and progress of the campaign.

Poll: U.S. Pessimism on Increase

It's even worse than they think!

Did they ask people how many of them will, or would if they could, leave the U.S.?

NBC/WSJ Poll: U.S. Pessimism on Increase:

"WASHINGTON - With congressional midterm elections less than four months away, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that candidates will be facing a public that has grown increasingly pessimistic, as nearly two-thirds don't believe life for their children's generation will be better than it has been for them, and nearly 60 percent are doubtful the Iraq war will come to a successful conclusion.

And there's more pessimism: Among those who believe the nation is headed on the wrong track, more than 80 percent say it's part of a longer-term decline.

'This is just a horrendous set of numbers,' says Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted this survey with Republican Bill McInturff. The mood is 'as dank and depressing as I have seen.'

According to the poll, 65 percent say they feel less confident that life for their children's generation will be better than it was for them. In December 2001, the last time this question was asked, respondents, by a 49-42 percent margin, said they were confident life would be better for their children.

Little Aberto the Miraculous

He is the result of policical cronyism and democracy and freedom are paying a price; a rather high one.

Of course, he knows he can get away with it as long as there is the current cover-up Congress. He should be slapped with a subpoena and held incontempt?

Something is terribly wrong, when the chief law enforcement officer in the land refuses to answer legitimate over-sight questions.

But I really don't think anyone could make me miss Ashcroft, the only man in history to lose a senate race to a dead man, saved from political ruin by Karl Rove and is now, I hear, one of the new K-street gang.

Ashcroft Nostalgia:

Alberto Gonzales is achieving something remarkable, even miraculous, as attorney general: He is making John Ashcroft look good.

I was no fan of President Bush's first attorney general, who may be best remembered for holding prayer breakfasts with department brass, hiding the bare-breasted statue in the Great Hall of Justice behind an $8,000 set of drapes, and warning darkly that those who differed with administration policy were giving aid to terrorists.

WaPo: Understatement of the Century

It is absolutely insane, in a democracy, to have a voting sytem that the people do not trust, especially after 2000 and 2004. There is enough evidence in the public domain to lead people to the conclusion that there has been significant fraud, manipulation and other electioneering tricks

Why not simply issue paper ballots in every state in the union until this matter can be resolved? Who cares how long it takes to count the votes?

At least, then, we can be relatively sure that our one vote each has been counted, especially if the counting is done in an open way.

Tech Trouble in the Voting Booth:

"Last year, a report called 'Asking the Right Questions About Electronic Voting' took a look at the issues surrounding the move by most of the country's election jurisdictions to electronic voting machines. The report's theoretical approach contrasted with the often bitter dispute about the security of the technology between activists and voting-machine vendors.

The report's authors -- a committee of National Research Council experts, including prominent computer scientists and two former governors -- then turned their attention to this year's elections. What they found, according to a council analysis released yesterday, is not reassuring....

Our own military says that US made insuergency what it is today...

We believe that it was intentional, on the part of the civilian leaders, an has gotten way out-of-control.

Failue means big bucks to many who are involed in this Mes-O-Potamia. - I Hate To Say I Told You So:

Those of us who were labeled America-haters for saying that Iraq was a mess and that our military presence was making things worse are actually being proven right, by the military's own documentation.

Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, written by Washington Post senior Pentagon correspondent Thomas Ricks and set to be published this summer, is not to be dismissed as the opinions of shifty Iraqis or pointy-headed academics. Instead, for his material Ricks went straight to the good old, blood-and-guts sources, the Armed Services archives themselves, or, as The Washington Post puts it in its excerpts from the book, which started running in the paper Sunday, 'a review of more than 30,000 pages of military documents and several hundred interviews with U.S. military personnel.'

And what do they tell us ?

...There is ... strong evidence, based on a review of thousands of military documents and hundreds of interviews with military personnel, that the
U.S. approach to pacifying Iraq in the months after the collapse of Hussein helped spur the insurgency and made it bigger and stronger than it might have been. ..."

All Fall Down

So, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction......

All Fall Down:

It has come down to this.

'Sectarian Break-Up of Iraq Is Now Inevitable, Admit Officials,' read the headline from Monday's UK Independent. ''Iraq as a political project is finished,' a senior government official was quoted as saying,' continued the report, 'adding: 'The parties have moved to plan B.' He said that the Shia, Sunni and Kurdish parties were now looking at ways to divide Iraq between them and to decide the future of Baghdad, where there is a mixed population. 'There is serious talk of Baghdad being divided into (Shia) east and (Sunni) west,' he said.'

At a minimum, the predicted Balkanization of Iraq points to nothing more or less than the comprehensive failure of the Bush administration to bring democracy to that nation. The Iraqi parliament is today comprised of Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish elements, the three main groups that comprise the Iraqi population. Yet the fighting within this parliament mirrors the bloodshed taking place on the streets, and this signaled desire to split Iraq into three parts means there isn't any hope left for anything other than an utterly shattered state.

It is hard to be surprised by this, considering the nature of the Iraqi government the Bush administration actively assisted in cobbling together. Consider the speaker of the Iraqi Parliament, who said on July 13th, 'Some people say 'we saw you beheading, kidnapping and killing. These acts are not the work of Iraqis. I am sure that he who does this is a Jew and the son of a Jew. I can tell you about these Jewish, Israelis and Zionists who are using Iraqi money and oil to frustrate the Islamic movement in Iraq.'

'Janes': US gearing for showdown with Syria

This was published in January, 2004.

Perhaps, because they had already been caught in a truckload of lies by then, they had to slow down.

Israel has now set the stage for what the NeoCons have waited for for over a quarter century, WWIII.

'Janes': US gearing for showdown with Syria:

LONDON - US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is considering provoking a military confrontation with Syria by attacking Hizbullah bases near the Syrian border in Lebanon, according to the authoritative London-based Jane's Intelligence Digest.

It noted that the deployment of US special forces in the Bekaa Valley, where most of Syria's occupation forces in Lebanon are based, would be highly inflammatory and would 'almost certainly involve a confrontation with Syrian troops.'

'Targeting Syria via Lebanon, the only concrete political influence Damascus has to show following decades of radical diplomacy could prove to be a means to that end.'

Al-Qaida calls for holy war against Israel

It was only a matter of time before we heard from Al Qaeda on this....

But wait...wasn't Al Qaeda already in a holy war against Israel? Or was that just America?

It all gets so confusing at times.

Al-Qaida calls for holy war against Israel - Yahoo! News:

CAIRO, Egypt - Al-Qaida's No. 2 leader issued a worldwide call in a new videotape released Thursday for Muslims to rise up in a holy war against Israel and join the fighting in Lebanon and Gaza until Islam reigns from 'Spain to Iraq.'

In the message broadcast by Al-Jazeera television, Ayman al-Zawahri, second in command to Osama bin Laden, said that al-Qaida now views 'all the world as a battlefield open in front of us.'

The Egyptian-born physician said that the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah and Palestinian militants would not be ended with 'cease-fires or agreements.'
'It is a Jihad for the sake of God and will last until (our) religion prevails ... from Spain to Iraq,' al-Zawahri said. 'We will attack everywhere.' Spain was controlled by Arab Muslims until they were driven from power at the turn of the 16th century.

He also said that Arab regimes were complicit in Israeli fighting against Hezbollah and the Palestinians. 'My fellow Muslims, it is obvious that Arab and Islamic governments are not only impotent but also complicit ... and you are alone on the battlefield. Rely on God and fight your enemies ... make yourselves martyrs.'

Waste, abuse in Homeland Security contracts: report - Yahoo! News

Waste fraud, abuse, murder, grand theft; isn't that what this administration is all about?

Waste, abuse in Homeland Security contracts: report - Yahoo! News:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A dependence on no-bid contracts and inadequate oversight have contributed to extensive waste and misspending at the Department of Homeland Security, The Washington Post reported on Thursday, citing a congressional investigation.

In the latest report on the agency's spending, U.S. government investigators found problems involving 'significant overcharges' or 'mismanagement' in 32 DHS contracts worth a total of $34 billion, the Post said.
The findings were to be released on Thursday. The Washington Post said it had obtained a copy of the report.
According to the newspaper, the bipartisan congressional report says an explosion of no-bid deals and a critical shortage of government contract managers created a system prone to abuse.

Among the contracts that raised questions were deals for hiring airport screeners, securing borders and housing Hurricane Katrina evacuees, the newspaper said.

Iraqi PM calls for more money and troops - Yahoo! News

It's beginning to look like we will be in Iraq for the rest of my lifetime.

Iraqi PM calls for more money and troops - Yahoo! News:

WASHINGTON - Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki appealed to Congress Wednesday to press the war in Iraq with money and troops, portraying his country as crucial to the U.S. as a front line in the war on terror and comparing violence there to the Sept. 11 attacks.

Addressing a joint meeting of Congress, al-Maliki said, 'Do not imagine that this problem is solely an Iraqi problem because the terrorist front represents a threat to all free countries and free people of the world.'

Lawmakers in the House chamber gave him a warm welcome, but a number of Democrats stayed away, upset by al-Maliki's stance on another Mideast crisis: He has refused to criticize Hezbollah for its attacks on Israel.

Despite tough rhetoric against terrorism in the Middle East, al-Maliki did not mention the combat between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas that over the past two weeks has killed hundreds, devastated parts of Lebanon and seen rockets bombard northern Israel.

Selling Out America

Economic treason!

Selling Out America BuzzFlash:

The Bush GOP, a group of sycophantic scavengers, are selling out our ports, our roads, infrastructure, our common wealth ... what's next? Our icons? Our States? Maybe it's time for Americans to quit joking about the sale of this and that, such as the Brooklyn bridge, and find out who really owns it, and what else in this country is being disposed of, discounted, and up for sale, besides our democracy, our Bill of Rights, along with the cheapening of the lives of all Americans.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Rolling Stone : Iran: The Next War

The Effing Crazies are at it again, and it looks like they might get their way unless we pitch a fit to end all fits!

Rolling Stone : Iran: The Next War:

II. The Guru and the Exile

In recent weeks, the attacks by Hezbollah on Israel have given neoconservatives in the Bush administration the pretext they were seeking to launch what former House Speaker Newt Gingrich calls 'World War III.' Denouncing the bombings as 'Iran's proxy war,' William Kristol of The Weekly Standard is urging the Pentagon to counter 'this act of Iranian aggression with a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.' According to Joseph Cirincione, an arms expert and the author of Deadly Arsenals: Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Threats, 'The neoconservatives are now hoping to use the Israeli-Lebanon conflict as the trigger to launch a U.S. war against Syria, Iran or both.'

But the Bush administration's hostility toward Iran is not simply an outgrowth of the current crisis. War with Iran has been in the works for the past five years, shaped in almost complete secrecy by a small group of senior Pentagon officials attached to the Office of Special Plans. The man who created the OSP was Douglas Feith, the undersecretary of defense for policy. A former Middle East specialist on the National Security Council in the Reagan administration,

Feith had long urged Israel to secure its borders in the Middle East by attacking Iraq and Iran. After Bush's election, Feith went to work to make that vision a reality, putting together a team of neoconservative hawks determined to drive the U.S. to attack Tehran. Before Bush had been in office a year, Feith's team had arranged a covert meeting in Rome with a group of Iranians to discuss their clandestine help.

Report: U.N. observers' calls unheeded - Yahoo! News

The UN was not safe in Iraq and they are not safe in Lebanon. Hummmm. There's a connection there somewhere.


Report: U.N. observers' calls unheeded - Yahoo! News:

"JERUSALEM - U.N. observers in Lebanon telephoned the Israeli military 10 times in six hours to ask it to stop shelling near their position before an attack killed four observers and sparked international anger with Israel, U.N. officials said Wednesday.

The U.N. observation post near Khiam came under close Israeli fire 21 times Tuesday, including 12 hits within 100 yards and five direct hits from 1:20 p.m. until the peacekeepers' post was destroyed at 7:30 p.m., Jane Lute, assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping, told the U.N. Security Council in New York.

U.N. officials said Hezbollah militants had been operating in the area of the post near the eastern end of the border with Israel, a routine tactic to prevent Israel from attacking them.

'We did repeatedly in recent days say (to Israel) that this was an exposed position, that Hezbollah militants were 500 meters (yards) away shielding themselves near U.N. workers and civilians,' U.N. humanitarian chief Jan Egeland said. 'That's why it is so inexplicable that what happened happened.'

U.S., allies divided over cease-fire terms - Yahoo! News

This looks and smells like a Cheney/Rummy Cabal action.

U.S., allies divided over cease-fire terms - Yahoo! News:

ROME - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged the international community on Wednesday to work quickly to end the 'spasms of violence' rocking the Middle East, but the U.S. remained isolated from most of its allies by insisting that any cease fire address the region's long-term problems.

'There is much work to do and everyone has a role to play,' said Rice, joined by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and diplomats from European and moderate Arab countries attending a daylong conference on the Mideast crisis.
The policy conference came after two weeks of fighting between Israel and the Hezbollah militia in which hundreds of Lebanese have been killed and more than half a million more have become refugees. Hezbollah has inflicted dozens of Israeli casualties by firing hundreds of rockets into northern Israel and in firefights with Israeli troops.

Spy agencies call for broader surveillance laws | CNET

Too bad that nothing that has happened during this administration would lead anyone to trust them with this kind of power.

Truth be told, no executive should have this kind of power.

Spy agencies call for broader surveillance laws CNET

WASHINGTON--The heads of the nation's two major spy agencies on Wednesday told Congress that it's impractical to seek warrants before tracking the global phone and Internet activities of groups like al-Qaida and terrorist sympathizers.

At a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing here, CIA Director Michael Hayden (who until recently headed the National Security Agency) and NSA Director Keith Alexander urged adoption of a proposal that would grant spy agencies more power and current practices more legitimacy. The proposed law amounts to a rewrite of the 1978 wiretapping law called the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq

Like we don't have enough to read, here is another must read:

Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq:

Many officers have shared their anger with renowned military reporter Thomas E. Ricks, and in Fiasco, Ricks combines these astonishing on-the-record military accounts with his own extraordinary on-the-ground reportage to create a spellbinding account of an epic disaster.

As many in the military publicly acknowledge here for the first time, the guerrilla insurgency that exploded several months after Saddam's fall was not foreordained. In fact, to a shocking degree, it was created by the folly of the war's architects. But the officers who did raise their voices against the miscalculations, shortsightedness, and general failure of the war effort were generally crushed, their careers often ended. A willful blindness gripped political and military leaders, and dissent was not tolerated.

50 percent of U.S. says Iraq had WMDs�-�Nation/Politics�-�The Washington Times, America's Newspaper

Never underestimate the power of Rethug lies and the willingness of Americans to believe them.

Is there any hope for this country?

50 percent of U.S. says Iraq had WMDs�-�Nation/Politics�-�The Washington Times, America's Newspaper:

Half of Americans now say Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when the United States invaded the country in 2003 -- up from 36 percent last year, a Harris poll finds. Pollsters deemed the increase both 'substantial' and 'surprising' in light of persistent press reports to the contrary in recent years.

The survey did not speculate on what caused the shift in opinion, which supports President Bush's original rationale for going to war. Respondents were questioned in early July after the release of a Defense Department intelligence report that revealed coalition forces recovered 500 aging chemical weapons containing mustard or sarin gas nerve agents in Iraq.

'Filled and unfilled pre-Gulf War chemical munitions are assessed to still exist,' said Sen. Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania Republican, during a June 21 press conference detailing the newly declassified information.

Rep. Peter Hoekstra, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, who shared the podium, said, 'Iraq was not a WMD-free zone.'

Wildfires are raging -- why isn't concern about climate change? | By Maywa Montenegro | Grist Magazine | Soapbox | 25 Jul 2006

Maybe because goofballs like James Inhofe R-oatmeal-for-brains, keeps telling people that Global warming is a huge hoax, like War of the Worlds, or something.

Wildfires are raging -- why isn't concern about climate change? By Maywa Montenegro Grist Magazine Soapbox 25 Jul 2006:

Earlier this month, Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert delivered a provocative Los Angeles Times op-ed explaining why the public is more scared of terrorism than global warming. Gilbert's basic premise was that human beings are conditioned by evolution to react most strongly to situations that have certain characteristics: they must be personal (have a face or an intention attached), morally repugnant, imminent, or rapid. Terrorism, he said, fulfills all of these requirements; climate change, on the other hand, fulfills none. Thus, while we focus on combating ideological hoodlums around the world, we fail to respond to an even greater global peril.

Evidence suggests that global warming is more imminent and rapid than most people think. But it may take a literal fire -- the kind now blazing through California, Montana, New Mexico, Arizona, Idaho, and Wyoming -- to light a fire under us. As I write this, the Sawtooth complex fire has just merged with the Millard complex, about 20 miles east of California's Big Bear Lake. Together they have charred about 61,000 acres so far and forced hundreds to evacuate their homes; the weather forecast, meanwhile, calls for 'little relief' in the next few days, in the form of 100-degree-plus temperatures.

Democrats say Iraq war is top problem - Yahoo! News

It's still looking good for November!

Democrats say Iraq war is top problem - Yahoo! News:

WASHINGTON - For Democrats, war looms as the nation's most pressing problem. Republicans cite the economy, terrorism, the war and immigration, the Associated Press-Ipsos poll found.

A third of Democrats, 31 percent, identified war, both the three-year-old Iraq war and conflicts in general, as the top problem for the country while 14 percent listed the economy, highlighting an issue at the forefront for Democrats, with less than four months to the midterm elections.

In Connecticut, three-term Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman's support for the war has made him the target of a tough primary challenge from anti-war candidate Ned Lamont. The two are locked in a close race with the primary on Aug. 8.

Republicans were most likely to mention war, 18 percent; immigration, 14 percent; terrorism, 14 percent, and the economy, 10 percent.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

CAUGHT ON TAPE: Tom Friedman's Shocking Admission

So, Friedman advocates for tarde agreements he has never even read?

What a putz!

Daily Kos: CAUGHT ON TAPE: Tom Friedman's Shocking Admission: (More at Kos)
'We got this free market, and I admit, I was speaking out in Minnesota--my hometown, in fact, and guy stood up in the audience, said, `Mr. Friedman, is there any free trade agreement you'd oppose?' I said, `No, absolutely not.' I said, `You know what, sir? I wrote a column supporting the CAFTA, the Caribbean Free Trade initiative. I didn't even know what was in it. I just knew two words: free trade.'

Juniors signing statements

A quote fro the NYT that may have gotten through the early moring brain fog.

What this guy is doing isn't anywhere near right.

There's more at Kos:

Daily Kos: State of the Nation:

Over 212 years, 42 presidents issued 'signing statements' objecting to a grand total of 600 provisions of new laws. George W. Bush has done that more than 800 times in just over five and a half years in office.

Most presidents used signing statements to get legal objections on the record for judges to consider in any court challenge. For Mr. Bush, they are far more: part of a strategy to expand presidential powers at the expense of Congress and the courts. His signing statements have become notices to Congress that he simply does not intend to follow the law, especially any attempt to hold him accountable for his actions.

Meanwhile, The View From Inside Iran -- Jul 31, 2006 -- Page 1

The official NeoCon version of all this never did make any sense.

How does it help Iran to deflect attention from itself, by unleashing a group that is tied to it? Duh! Meanwhile, The View From Inside Iran -- Jul 31, 2006 -- Page 1:

It's not only ordinary Iranians who are worried about what the Middle East explosion means for Iran. Even as state infomercials order Iranians to boycott soft drinks, officials in Tehran--pragmatists and conservatives alike--concur that the conflict is bad news for the Iranian regime because it exacerbates the West's image of Tehran as a regional troublemaker. Rather than helpfully distracting attention from Iran, as many have charged, the conflict 'undermines Iran's position,' says a university professor close to senior Iranian officials.

New questions over death of David Kelly | the Daily Mail

Now, it begins!

The horrible truth behind what has been happening for the last 5 years is starting to come out.

All the crimes many of us have not dared to contemplate; it will all come out.

It has to, now....not 50 years from now.

The world cannot wait. Truth, all of it, must reach the peoples' consciousness.

The Great unraveling has only just begun......

New questions over death of David Kelly the Daily Mail:

Alarming new questions about the death of Iraq weapons inspector David Kelly have been raised as a major investigation cast doubt on the official verdict that he committed suicide.

The inquiry by campaigning MP Norman Baker will spark renewed speculation about how the Government's leading expert on weapons of mass destruction was found dead in a field in Oxfordshire three years ago.

In particular, the dossier compiled by the Liberal Democrat MP for Lewes shows that the method of suicide said to have been chosen by Dr Kelly, far from being common as was claimed at the time, was in fact unique.

Dr Kelly was the only person in the United Kingdom that year deemed to have died from severing the ulnar artery in his wrist, a particularly difficult and painful process as the artery is deep and Dr Kelly had only a blunt garden knife.

Baptist Group's Leaders Convicted

We learned a long time ago, if someone hands you a business with a fish on it, run for your life.

People who get rich off other people's well-intentioned faith should be horse whipped in the public square.

What is it with the fundies and all of their over-the-top crimes?

I guess when all you think about is sin and corruption, eventually that is where you wind up, eh?

There is always the danger of becoming what we hate.

Baptist Group's Leaders Convicted:

PHOENIX, July 24 -- Two former executives of a failed Southern Baptist foundation were convicted here Monday in what prosecutors said was the nation's largest fraud ever targeting members of a religious group.

William Pierre Crotts, who was president of the Baptist Foundation of Arizona, and Thomas Dale Grabinski, the group's former chief legal counsel, were each convicted of three counts of fraud and one count of conducting an illegal enterprise in a scheme that lasted decades and cheated 11,000 investors across the country of about $585 million.

Frist lacks votes to overcome Bolton filibuster

Vote not likely to come until September, after the recess.

Call your Senators; No on Bolton!

The Raw Story Frist lacks votes to overcome Bolton filibuster:

The Republican leadership in the Senate may lack the votes it needs to overcome a filibuster of a confirmation vote for controversial US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton, RAW STORY has learned.

A report in today's Roll Call quotes senate aides on both sides of the aisle who believe that the Bolton vote may be difficult for the Republicans. While the declaration of support for the Bush pick by Republican Senator George Voinovich of Ohio means that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is likely to pass the vote onto the Senate floor, Republican Majority leader Bill Frist may not be able to persuade enough Democrats to invoke cloture and bring Bolton's nomination to a vote over a possible filibuter by other Democrats. By some counts, Frist is at least two votes short of 60.

Bush administration new of PAK. Nuke program; Did not tell congress.

The Bush administration acknowledged yesterday that it had long known about Pakistan's plans to build a large plutonium-production reactor, but it said the White House was working to dissuade Pakistan from using the plant to expand its nuclear arsenal.

'We discourage military use of the facility,' White House spokesman Tony Snow said of a powerful heavy-water reactor under construction at Pakistan's Khushab nuclear site in Punjab state.

The reactor, which reportedly will be capable of producing enough plutonium for as many as 50 bombs each year, was brought to light on Sunday by independent analysts who spotted the partially completed plant in commercial-satellite photos. Snow said the administration had 'known of these plans for some time.'

The acknowledgment came as arms-control experts and some in Congress expressed alarm about a possible escalation of South Asia's arms race. Some also sharply criticized the administration for failing to disclose the existence of a facility that could influence an upcoming congressional debate over U.S. nuclear policy toward India and Pakistan.

The Raw Story | GRAPHIC VIDEO - Lebanese Doctor Says 'Phosphorus Weapons' Cause Suffering

The bastards are using phosphorus, as well as cluster munitions.

The Raw Story GRAPHIC VIDEO - Lebanese Doctor Says 'Phosphorus Weapons' Cause Suffering:

CNN video correspondent, Karl Penhaul, follows a family that had been mistakenly caught in an Israeli air strike. The doctor treating the family says that there is phosphorus in the weapons that cause extremely painful burns on its victims.

About those stolen elections....

Real Change:

We the People, the rank and file of all political parties, should ask ourselves if we believe that any past generations have sacrificed for a real representative democracy or if any future generations would like one. If so, does the living generation today have the right to let verifiable democracy slip away?

Stand up to US, voters tell Blair

Even the Brits hate us, now.

Some of us are beginning to hate to look in the mirror.

Some of us do not dare!

Guardian Unlimited Politics Special Reports Stand up to US, voters tell Blair:

Britain should take a much more robust and independent approach to the United States, according to a Guardian/ICM poll published today, which finds strong public opposition to Tony Blair's close working relationship with President Bush.

The wide-ranging survey of British attitudes to international affairs - the first since the conflict between Lebanon and Israel started- shows that a large majority of voters think Mr Blair has made the special relationship too special.

Coulter Jokes to Reporter About Mailing White Powder to 'NY Times' - Yahoo! News

Given this woman's verbal assaults on people, often advocation pyhsical, deadly assaults, why would anyone just assume that she is joking?

I believe that the Justice Department should investigate.

Hell, Ashcroft, would have had someone arrested and sent to Gitmo for less than this.

Coulter should have listened to Ari when he said, "Americans need to be careful what they say."

Call the FBI. I'm not kidding.

Coulter Jokes to Reporter About Mailing White Powder to 'NY Times' - Yahoo! News:

NEW YORK - According to a published report, Ann Coulter has (in jest, we assume) claimed to have sent that mysterious white powder to The New York Times.

Reporter Jacob Bernstein, in a 'Memo Pad' item in today's Women's Wear Daily, wrote that he received a message from a New York Times source saying that Friday's powder mailing -- which included an Xed-out Times editorial and what ended up being corn starch -- 'makes all of Ann Coulter's comments a little less funny. I wonder if she considers herself at all responsible when lunatics read her columns and she says that we should be killed.'

Coulter, whose column is distributed by Universal Press Syndicate, has 'joked' that maybe terrorist
Timothy McVeigh should have blown up the Times building and that maybe Times Executive Editor Bill Keller should be executed.
'Memo Pad' sent an e-mail to Coulter's AOL account and according to Bernstein, received a reply claiming that she was the sender of the mysterious powder.

Fox News calls Olbermann 'over the line' - Yahoo! News

Faux News is really threatened byOlberman, it seems.

Of course, they seem threatened when it comes to any criticism of their Pravda-like "news channel."

Rave on, Keith.

F*** Faux Windbags.

Fox News calls Olbermann 'over the line' - Yahoo! News:

"PASADENA, Calif. - Fox News Channel chairman and CEO Roger Ailes responded to Keith Olbermann's latest critical volley against Bill O'Reilly on Monday, saying the MSNBC host's behavior 'is over the line.'

Ailes, appearing Monday at the summer meeting of the Television Critics Association, was referring to a weekend incident at the gathering in which Olbermann whipped out a mask of O'Reilly and gave a Nazi salute.

Ailes said Olbermann picks on Fox's O'Reilly to boost his ratings.

'Clearly he has no viewers except those he gets when he attacks Fox News,' Ailes said.

Of Saturday's incident, Ailes said, 'I really think that's over the line.'

During his 'Countdown' show on MSNBC, Olbermann regularly tweaks O'Reilly. Olbermann has named O'Reilly his 'Worst Person in the World' at least 15 times. The nightly 'award' is Olbermann's way of criticizing what he deems bad behavior.

Think Progress � Sen. Inhofe Compares People Who Believe In Global Warming To �The Third Reich�

Inhofe is a total fruitcake.

It is stunning to me that the people of Oklahoma haven't gotten rid of him.

He is an embarrassment to his species!

Think Progress � Sen. Inhofe Compares People Who Believe In Global Warming To �The Third Reich�:

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) is the nation's most prominent global warming denier. He famously declared that global warming is 'the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.' Now, he's taken the argument a step further. In an interview with Tulsa World, Inhofe compared people who believed global warming was a problem to Nazis:

In an interview, he heaped criticism on what he saw as the strategy used by those on the other side of the debate and offered a historical comparison.

'It kind of reminds . . . I could use the Third Reich, the big lie,' Inhofe said.

Former President Joins Rally for Lieberman

If there is one thing I have learned from Billl Clinton it is that ex-presidents are far better not seen and not heard, except when it is a matter of a national and/or constitutional crisis.

Lieberman's current smackdown by the Dems of Conn., does not fall into either of those categories.

Doesn't anyone else just wish ne would shut the hell up, just for a few minutes?

Former President Joins Rally for Lieberman:

WATERBURY, Conn., July 24 -- Former president Bill Clinton joined a stage full of Connecticut officials Monday night in testifying to the Democratic credentials of Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, whose 18-year tenure is threatened by the primary challenge of antiwar insurgent Ned Lamont.

Clinton headed a rescue effort disguised as a rally in the refurbished Palace Theater in downtown Waterbury -- a city famous in Democratic lore as the site of a tumultuous 2 a.m. outdoor rally on the final night of the 1960 presidential campaign.

Sen. Specter readies bill to sue Bush - Yahoo! News

We will believe it when we see it, Arlen.

We don't trust you much anymore.

When all of the nightmarish abuses of power and such came out during the Watergate hearings, it was a few good Republicans, as I recall, who had their priorities straight; Country above party.

Howard Baker is a hero of mine to this day.

They are what saved the Republican party. If the Republicans had all jackbooted off with Nixon, in lock step, standing by their paranoid, drunken man, it could have well been the end of the Republican party for several generations.

The truth is going to out, Arlen. It l always does. It is only a matter of how much hell we wish to put ourselves through before we bite the bullet and seek the truth, with all of our hearts, minds and souls.

The truth will set us free, after all; right after it pisses us off.

Sen. Specter readies bill to sue Bush - Yahoo! News:

WASHINGTON - A powerful Republican committee chairman who has led the fight against President Bush's signing statements said Monday he would have a bill ready by the end of the week allowing Congress to sue him in federal court.

'We will submit legislation to the United States Senate which will...authorize the Congress to undertake judicial review of those signing statements with the view to having the president's acts declared unconstitutional,' Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said on the Senate floor.

Specter's announcement came the same day that an American Bar Association task force concluded that by attaching conditions to legislation, the president has sidestepped his constitutional duty to either sign a bill, veto it, or take no action.

Bush has issued at least 750 signing statements during his presidency, reserving the right to revise, interpret or disregard laws on national security and constitutional grounds.

Fighting could harden world's Iran stance - Yahoo! News

Those who are dependent on Iran for Oil will not desert them. On that, I believe we can depend.

This outbreeak of hell in Lebanon and Israel could easily widen into something none of us will like very much, even the wrong-headed NeoCons.

Fighting could harden world's Iran stance - Yahoo! News:

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran insists it will not be drawn into the Middle East fighting between Israel and Tehran's Hezbollah clients but may be unable to avoid fallout on the already difficult diplomatic struggle over its nuclear program, hardening positions on all sides, experts on the talks say.

Outside Iran, the fighting could sharpen the resolve of Western powers and others that fear Iran wants to build a nuclear weapon and is using what it calls a civilian program as a cover for that ambition. Inside the country, hard-line forces might become increasingly unwilling to make concessions.

One of the immediate worries is that Iran could set off a regional arms race and bring new risks to an area brimming with tensions. The fighting in Lebanon and the Hezbollah rocket attacks highlight concerns that nuclear material, whether from Iran or elsewhere, could in the future find its way into the hands of militant groups like Hezbollah who want to destroy Israel.

Poll: Dems Have 2006 Advantage, Bush, Republican Congress Show Nearly Record Low Ratings - CBS News

By all rights, the Republican Party should be through as a national political party after this Republican president and Republican congress, but because we do not have a real democracy anymore, this will not be the case.

Poll: Dems Have 2006 Advantage, Bush, Republican Congress Show Nearly Record Low Ratings - CBS News:

President Bush and the Republican Congress show nearly record low ratings while Democrats are viewed much more favorably in their performance on the issues that matter most to Americans, according to the latest CBS News/New York Times poll.

Only 31% of those polled approve of Mr. Bush's job performance and 68% believe the United States is worse off today than it was before Mr. Bush became president.

Personal evaluations of Mr. Bush are the lowest they've ever been during his presidency. On the public's confidence in Mr. Bush's ability to handle a crisis, 51% had been the previous low in September 2005. That figure is now at 50%. The President's handling of the Hurricane Katrina crisis is tied to that decrease.

Monday, July 24, 2006




Lieberman's odd contempt for local media is representative of his larger problems. Note to Joe: the national and beltway press are not the people who are voting for you. Making nice with the locals is probably a good idea."

MediaCulture: Where D.C. Pundits Get Their Placebo Politics

Must read:

AlterNet: MediaCulture: Where D.C. Pundits Get Their Placebo Politics:

In the spring of 2005, a story came along that was so important, so history-altering that it threatened to revive a killer press instinct that had been dormant for the previous four years. Of course, it helped that it was a Clinton-flavored scandal: That May, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's former campaign finance director, David Rosen, went on trial for his handling of a 2000 fundraiser staged in Hollywood to benefit Clinton's campaign for the U.S. Senate. Rosen was accused of hiding, or underreporting, $800,000 worth of costs. At the time, CNN political editor John Mercurio suggested that Rosen's funny money trial 'reminds people of Whitewater' and the 'sleazy side of the Clinton administration that [Hillary] and the president are both trying to forget.'

Taking the lead in trumpeting the importance of the Rosen trial was ABC's The Note. An inside-baseball daily tip sheet for a readership it has dubbed the 'Gang of 500' (politicians, lobbyists, consultants, and journalists who help shape the Beltway's public agenda), The Note is posted online every weekday morning and is widely viewed as the agenda-setter for the political class. On 14 different days between May 2 and 27, The Note posted cumulatively nearly forty links to Rosen-related articles, calling them 'must-read.' A typical Note entry came on May 10, highlighting 'The opening and closing paragraphs in Dick Morris' New York Post column -- perfectly explaining why the David Rosen story is going to be with us for a while.'

U.S. faces new challenges as Mideast realigns itself

Yeah, like having any credibility left at all>>

When will they ever learn; leave te liberating to the Liberals and the Libertarians.

The Seattle Times: Nation & World: U.S. faces new challenges as Mideast realigns itself:

"Over the past week, the world has been stunned by the rising ferocity of the war between Israel and Hezbollah. But equally surprising, to many, has been the way the conflict has illuminated the sweeping changes that are reshaping the entire Middle East.

Behind Hezbollah's rockets lurks the specter of a newly unleashed Iran, its patron and supplier. Israel, which hoped to reap some peace after its withdrawal from Gaza, has been emboldened to lash out against its enemies more aggressively than it has in two decades. Iraq remains in turmoil, and the Arab states seem paralyzed. Everywhere, the struts that upheld the region's tenuous stability are wavering, and fierce new winds are blowing.

Whatever the outcome of the current proxy war, fought on the soil of the suffering Lebanese, this broader struggle for dominance will continue to play itself out. So the question arises: What is America's role in this volatile new world? Arab democracy may be a distant dream, but there is still much to be gained or lost in the region, from access to crucial oil fields, to fighting terrorism, to the security of Israel.

Augusta Editor Explains Why He Dropped Coulter Column

Ann Coulter is an "Oral Whore" and it is about time that people began to realize that!

Augusta Editor Explains Why He Dropped Coulter Column:

NEW YORK The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle has become the second newspaper to drop Ann Coulter's column this month, explaining that her 'stridency' had crossed the line.

Coulter, of Universal Press Syndicate, is being replaced by another conservative columnist -- Michelle Malkin of Creators Syndicate.

'We're a conservative editorial page,' Chronicle Editorial Page Editor Michael Ryan told E&P today, noting that the paper also runs columnists such as Robert Novak, George Will, and Walter Williams along with liberal Ellen Goodman.

Ryan emphasized that the paper wouldn't have dropped Coulter if she had made 'one or two' controversial comments. 'But it came to the point where she was the issue rather that what she was writing about,' he said, adding that Coulter's reputation has become mixed even among conservatives.

He also observed that the situation was 'becoming kind of a broken record' as Coulter constantly promoted her new book and took swipes at The New York Times. Plagiarism charges were not a factor, said Ryan, noting that those allegations haven't been proved.