Saturday, January 06, 2007

Did Ford Trade Nixon Pardon for Presidency?

Still of great interest to us, since we are living through the nightmarish results of that pardon.

Other than the misspelling of Haig's name, we find this fairly right, according to our lived history of the time.

Truthdig - A/V Booth - Did Ford Trade Nixon Pardon for Presidency?:

Victor Navasky, publisher emeritus of The Nation, recalls the magazine’s legal battle over Gerald Ford’s memoirs and the alleged deal the former president struck to pardon Richard Nixon.

"Cataclysmic Change" Is Imminent

OMG, what a freakin' mess!

Riding The Juggernaut: "Cataclysmic Change" Is Imminent: (Click on over and read all of it)

So let's take a good look at the new world order, courtesy of K. Gajendra Singh, a former Indian ambassador to the Middle East:

Now the Gulf Council and other Arab countries like Egypt and Algeria want to embark on uranium enrichment like Iran. Their decades long fears and opposition to Israeli Nukes, developed with French and British help and US acquiescence (if not support) are vetoed by US both in New York and Vienna. Bullies rule the world on an increasingly lawless planet...

In 1945, before a declining Britain was divested of its colonies, the USA signed a memo with the British:

'Our petroleum policy towards the United Kingdom is predicated
on a mutual recognition of a very extensive joint interest and upon control, at
least for the moment, of the great bulk of the free petroleum resources of the

Manipulating Oil Prices For Political Gain

Click on over:

We have nothing more to say on the subject, since we are already blue in the face.

Riding The Juggernaut: Manipulating Oil Prices For Political Gain:

NOTE: This post is reproduced (and edited for updates) from the original post at Bush Out, which prompted hits from the US government departments of Health, Agriculture, Air Force and Army, as well as Australia's Department of Defence, among others. Josh Holland kindly reproduced much of my points in an article for AlterNet. And Josh's original two-part story on Iraq's oil was voted #1 Iraq story of the year at Alternet.

Bush surrounds himself with war supporters

I'm beginning to think that the Bushites may not be as stupid as they look and sound. They are preparing for war, alright, but not with Al Qaeda.

They are preparing for war with the Democrats and with American dissidents.

Bush surrounds himself with war supporters - Newspaper Edition - Times Online:

President Bush yesterday began an overhaul of his top military and diplomatic teams as he prepared to announce a highly controversial increase of 20,000 US troops in Iraq. He is to replace his two senior generals in Iraq, both said to be sceptical about increasing troop numbers, and he has also reshuffled his national security and foreign policy teams.

The moves are part of a broad mission to surround himself, both in Washington and on the ground in Iraq, with officials who support increasing troop numbers, a move largely opposed on Capitol Hill and among the American public.

Mr Bush is also beefing up his White House legal team in anticipation of a blizzard of Iraq-related subpoenas expected to be issued by the new Democrat-controlled Congress. On Thursday he accepted the resignation of Harriet Miers, his White House counsel, after aides expressed doubts about her ability to push back against what Democrats have promised will be vigorous oversight of the war’s management.

Mr Bush has also hired an extra four assistant White House counsels in recent weeks. Ms Miers’s position is expected to be filled by a heavyweight.

The Rethugs are eating each other, again!

Trent Lott says administration pushed evidence for prosecution of war?

Mr. Lott, if you really believe that, why aren't you calling for impeachment for treason, because that is just what it is?

TPMmuckraker January 5, 2007 10:29 AM:

Here's Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott (R-MS) on Hardball last night. Does anybody else find this to be a stunning admission from the Republicans' #2 in the Senate?

Rehnquist FBI File Shows More Bolton Shenanigans

We decided not to link to articles about Rehnquist's drug abuse. The guy was in pain, after all, and he did go into treatment. Case closed.

But, this is different!

TPMmuckraker January 4, 2007 02:31 PM:

Here's a piece of muck history unearthed yesterday from deceased Supreme Court justice William Rehnquist's FBI files.

In 1986, the Reagan administration was eager to protect its nomination of Rehnquist to be chief justice the Supreme Court. Officials learned that at his confirmation hearings, Democrats in Congress planned to bring out witnesses who would testify that Rehnquist had intimidated minority voters as a Republican Party official in Arizona.

Intimidation? Now there's an idea. So the administration enlisted the FBI to do background checks on the witnesses -- and pushed the bureau to send special agents to 'interview' them prior to their testimony. That's not a usual practice, mind you. At the time, at least one FBI official warned that the Justice Department 'should be sensitive to the possibility that Democrats could charge the Republicans of misusing the FBI and intimidating the Democrats' witnesses.'

Despite that warning, the order was approved.

Who would have rubber-stamped such a horrendous idea?"

Click on over and find out!

Lawmaker: U.S. catching, releasing top terror targets -

This fits with our theory that the plan for Iraq was a long, drawn-out, chaotic, war-profiteering boondoggle, meant to rob the treasury, assure political power for the Bushites and assure unbelieveably high profits for Gooper, corporate supporters.

The best possible 'side-effect' would be the end of the New Deal and the Great Society. We are damned near there.

Of course, because Iraq was, for all practical purposes, defenseless, the Bushites believed they could control the chaos. This is just one more example of how much they do not understad their so-called enemy. Muslims do not like chaos anymore than anyone else. As a matter of fact, they would prefer dictatorship to chaos, but not one chosen by Her Bush.

Lawmaker: U.S. catching, releasing top terror targets -

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. military already knows what half of its most-wanted terrorist targets look like because they have been apprehended and photographed in the past, a Republican congresswoman said Friday.

The United States is operating 'a catch and release program for al Qaeda in Iraq,' said Rep. Heather Wilson, a member of the House intelligence committee.

In remarks at the National Press Club, the New Mexico lawmaker said a senior official told her that the U.S. military already has photographs of 'fully half of the high-value al Qaeda targets in Iraq' presently being hunted. (Watch how Congress is divided over whether to send more troops to Iraq )
'They're wearing orange jumpsuits in the mugshots we took of them when we captured them the first time,' Wilson recalled the official telling her.

'We are operating a catch and release program for al Qaeda in Iraq. This is inexcusable and frustrating ... for the young men and women in the military who are in the fight,' she added.

What Are They Hiding Now? if we didn't know.

This reminds me of a speech given by Bush during the 2004 campaign.

In the speech Bush was, as usual, talking about why over-throwing Saddam was the right thing to do.

While I cannot remember the exact quote, it was about how Saddam had not been forthconing with the U.N. weapons inspectors, the very same weapons inspectors whom Bush had said, on no less than three occassions, Saddam had not allowed into Iraq. Of course, they were there. They had to leave to keep from getting their asses blown off by shock and awe.

Bush said something to the effect that because Saddam wasn't being cooperative, he, Bush, believed that Saddam was hidin' somethin' and that he wanted to know what Saddam was hidin'.

My jaw almost hit the floor, because that is exactly how we all felt about him and Cheney.

Saddam, as much of a cruel, nasty bastard as he was, was, at that time, an open book compared to Bush and Cheney.

The projection of this administration is nothing less that stunning.


WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House and the Secret Service quietly signed an agreement last spring in the midst of the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal declaring that records identifying visitors to the White House are not open to the public.

The Bush administration didn't reveal the existence of the memorandum of understanding until last fall. The White House is using it to deal with a legal problem on a separate front, a ruling by a federal judge ordering the production of Secret Service logs identifying visitors to the office of Vice President Dick Cheney.

In a federal appeals court filing three weeks ago, the administration's lawyers used the memo in a legal argument aimed at overturning the judge's ruling. The Washington Post is suing for access to the Secret Service logs.

The five-page document dated May 17 declares that all entry and exit data on White House visitors belongs to the White House as presidential records rather than to the Secret Service as agency records. Therefore, the agreement states, the material is not subject to public disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

The Spirit of Tom Paine

An excellent reminder of our origins and one of the major reasons why it has all gone so dreadfully wrong.

The Spirit of Tom Paine:

We only know about Tom Paine because Thomas Edison discovered him in the 1920s. Edison believed he was our most important political thinker, and it was essential that his writings and ideas be taught in the nation's schools. It's no exaggeration that there might never have been an American Revolution without this man's writings that had such a profound influence on the nation's founders and masses of people he reached through one of the few 'mainstream' means of communicating of that period.

Paine was an unlikely man to have had such influence. He was humbly born and raised in England, was largely self-educated and decided to come to the colonies in 1774 after meeting Benjamin Franklin in London who encouraged and sponsored him to do it. It was a decision that changed the world, but who could have imagined it at the time.

Paine only began writing two years earlier when he took up the cause of excise (or customs) officers arguing in a pamphlet he wrote they were unfairly paid and deserved more. When he came to the colonies he chose the right place settling in Philadelphia where he began writing for the Pennsylvania Magazine, later became its editor and began working on Common Sense in 1776 that he published anonymously. It became an instant best-seller in the colonies and in Europe, made Paine internationally famous and was the most influential piece of writing of the Revolution. It sold as many as 120,000 copies in a population of about four million (equivalent to a runaway 9 million copy best seller today) and convinced many in the colonies to seek independence from the Crown that happened shortly thereafter. He followed up with 16 more pamphlets under the title The Crisis, or American Crisis that were written throughout the war until it ended in April, 1783.

A little laughter and a lot of wisdom

Morford is at his best!

Damn Liberals Cost Us The War! / At the dinner table in a very red state, little room for obvious truths. But can you try?:

So I'm up in the Idaho hinterlands at the family getaway lake house over the holiday break and I'm sitting at a nice dinner party with some family friends, and the wine is flowing and the friends are lovely and the conversation seems relatively open and hence I forget what a deeply, aggressively red part of the country I'm in because, well, the wine was very good, and when you're from San Francisco you tend to carry the progressive bubble with you as some sort of happy delusion that much of the world must be at least relatively informed and open and somewhat willing to lick the divine candy of current truths.

It can be, you know, a problem.

This is when it happened. One of the dinner guests I've met before but don't know very well, he asks me about the media world and the general timbre of my column and, more specifically, what the atmosphere was like in San Francisco when the Dems swept back into power in November like a glorious gob of long overdue balm for our festering national BushCo rash (analogy, of course, mine).
I smiled, I sighed, the nubile S.F. bubble present over my head like a hum of cosmic lubricant as I mentioned the general feeling of a wary sense of renewed hope, a feeling among the attuned and the informed that maybe there can now be a slight return to balanced humanitarian progress in the nation, alongside a blessed reduction in all sorts of brutal, dehumanizing, embarrassing scandals and BushCo atrocities and environmental devastations, et cetera and so on and pass the wine.

John Conyers is Back in the Game, Much to the Dismay of His Critics

Around here, John Conyers is an American hero. The Pendumum has swung so far to the right, it will take people like Conyers to help swing it back, to somewhere to the left of fascism. - John Conyers is Back in the Game, Much to the Dismay of His Critics:

There is only the slightest undulation in the voice, a dry monotone like that of actor John Malkovich, expressive within a narrow bandwidth of sound. It is a curious voice for a member of Congress who specializes in raising issues of great emotion, an unreconstructed — and unapologetic — liberal first elected to Congress during the Democratic landslide of Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1964.

When John Conyers Jr. becomes chairman of the House Judiciary Committee this week — his first time ever — it will mark the beginning of his 43rd year on the panel, which he joined immediately after being elected, one of six African-Americans then serving in the U.S. House of Representatives.

He is a divisive figure, both revered and reviled, in part for the contentiousness of the issues he champions and in part for the doggedness with which he champions them.

Often criticized as irrelevant because his focus strays so far from home — South African apartheid and poverty in Haiti, for example — or because he affixes himself to issues that have almost no chance of success — such as the impeachment of President George W. Bush or reparations for African-Americans — Conyers claims to carry a torch for the entire planet, not just Michigan’s 14th Congressional District.

Sen. Biden: "A Significant Portion Of This Administration...Believes Iraq Is Lost"

I agree with Biden, except that I would go even further.

Biden said that he has known Cheney and Rummy for a very long time and that they are both very smart men. His speculation that they have known for a very long time that Iraq is a lost cause is largely based on that knowledge.

If they are so smart, and I have no reason to think that Biden doesn't know what he's talking about, why did they not know what just about everyone else on earth knew; that Iraq could quickly turn into a long drawn out nighmare if the country was not pacified very quickly after the invasion?

Why did Rumsfeld resist any and all advice that it would take half a million troops to do the job and threaten to fire anyone who wanted a post invasion plan?

Why was the State Department locked out for so long after the invasion?

Why were huge munitions dumps left unsecured for months? Why was looting not only allowed, but encouraged by American troops?

If the guys surrounding Bush are so damned smart, then I can only conclude that, not only do they know Iraq is a lost cause, but that they planned for the invasion and occupation of Iraq to be a long, drawn-out, chaotic affair for political as well as fnancial reasons.

No one is capable of so mis-managing a war, against an all but defenseless nation, unless they are doing it intentionally.

As a wise, lawyer, friend of mine once told me; When nothing about a situation makes any sense, look for the money. In this situation, we don't have very far to look. It won't take a lot of digging, since the truth of the outrageous war-profiteering is very much already in the public domain and has been documented.

Bring on the investigations and put every one of the Jackasses under oath.

THE LOVE-IN IS OVER: Sen. Biden: "A Significant Portion Of This Administration...Believes Iraq Is Lost".... The Huffington Post:

Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said yesterday that he believes top officials in the Bush administration have privately concluded they have lost Iraq and are simply trying to postpone disaster so the next president will 'be the guy landing helicopters inside the Green Zone, taking people off the roof,' in a chaotic withdrawal reminiscent of Vietnam.
'I have reached the tentative conclusion that a significant portion of this administration, maybe even including the vice president, believes Iraq is lost,' Biden said. 'They have no answer to deal with how badly they have screwed it up. I am not being facetious now. Therefore, the best thing to do is keep it from totally collapsing on your watch and hand it off to the next guy -- literally, not figuratively.'

Countdown to Sundance 2007 GHOSTS OF ABU GHRAIB director Rory Kennedy

It's a good thing that Rory Kennedy doesn't depend on her documentaries for a living. She usually makes Docs. about topics no one really wants to think about, but should.

Thanks Rory, for all you do. You have a lot of the father you never knew, in you.

Docs That Inspire » Blog Archive » Countdown to Sundance 2007 GHOSTS OF ABU GHRAIB director Rory Kennedy:

Rory Kennedy’s new documentary Ghosts of Abu Ghraib seeks to reignite the conversation about what happened at the prison where the infamous photographs of Americans torturing Iraqis were taken. Using new first-hand accounts from the perpetrators, witnesses and victims, the film not only tries to understand how young American men and women could commit such heinous acts of violence, but ultimately asks—do we want to be a nation that tortures?Rory Kennedy’s new documentary Ghosts of Abu Ghraib seeks to reignite the conversation about what happened at the prison where the infamous photographs of Americans torturing Iraqis were taken. Using new first-hand accounts from the perpetrators, witnesses and victims, the film not only tries to understand how young American men and women could commit such heinous acts of violence, but ultimately asks—do we want to be a nation that tortures?

Friday, January 05, 2007

Bush and the F-word in 2006: Police State or Progressivism in 2007?

Think about it!

Heather Wokusch: Bush and the F-word in 2006: Police State or Progressivism in 2007? BuzzFlash:
by Heather Wokusch, author of The Progressives' Handbook

Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger
of state and corporate power.'
- attributed to Benito Mussolini,
Italian dictator

'Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the
leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter
to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a
parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can
always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have
to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for
lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.'

Hitler's propaganda chief

It's not overstating the case to say that 2007 could be make or break for US democracy.
The Bush administration's cutbacks and rollbacks in 2006 were so frequent and so egregious that many Americans stopped paying attention, gave up hope or else failed to see the onslaught as part of a larger pattern.

Return of Bush and the F-Word in 2007, Part II

A must read. Things we must think about.

Heather Wokusch: Return of Bush and the F-Word in 2007, Part II BuzzFlash:

by Heather Wokusch, author of The Progressives' Handbook

Restlessness and discontent are the first necessities of progress.
Thomas A. Edison

The Bush administration's overall record in 2006 was one of public manipulation for the benefit of crony capitalism and imperial overreach. Can the 110th Congress stop them in 2007?

The pessimistic view is that Bush has nothing left to lose anyway, so will crash and burn the country in the next two years, much as he did many business ventures in the past.

He'll let the economy melt and watch as Americans struggle to stay afloat. He'll attack Iran, increase troop presence in the Middle East and bring back the draft. He'll roll back more civil rights in the name of national security, women's rights in the name of God. He'll pin all of the above on the Democrats come 2008.

Senate's First Day Sure To Shock Bush

I doubt he or Cheney have sense enough to be shocked or scared.

But they should be. Senate's First Day Sure To Shock Bush:

Like a young boy who's the new kid at school, George W. Bush probably has no idea what to expect as he starts life with a new, Democratic Congress today. Facing a crew fronted by new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Bush will have to deal with a Congress intent on the actual work of governing, like passing meaningful legislation, scrutinizing judicial nominees and, most frightening of all for Team Bush, actually fulfilling their role in performing oversight on the executive branch of government.

Stores Report Holiday Season Of Letdowns -

The lack of consumer confidence should come as no surprise to anyone. American debt is at an all time high, as is the debt of our nation. People are losing their homes and having to default on other debt.

Millions of Americans are living below the poverty line and many more millions are only one catastrophe away from it. Million are either uninsured or under-insured when it comes to health care.

Financial insitutions have become legal loan sharks and have been, generally, allowed to run amok under this addministration and the last GOP led Congress. Corporate irresponsibility has been apparent for sometime and the people are becoming damned fed up with greedy CEOs and other corporate officers.

Retailers may be taking just the first hit of a barrage of figurative bombings of an irresponsible corporate landscape.

Stores Report Holiday Season Of Letdowns -

Retailers are like little kids when it comes to the holidays: They always hope it will be perfect, and they are always disappointed.

Though a full picture of the busiest shopping season of the year won't emerge until later this month when the Commerce Department publishes its tally of December sales, results from more than 40 national chains released yesterday offered a window into what it might look like -- and, for the most part, it fell short of what retailers hoped for.

Democrats Hope to Take From Oil, Give To Green Energy

This should have been done the day after 9/11/01.

Democrats Hope to Take From Oil, Give To Green Energy -

House Democrats are crafting an energy package that would roll back billions of dollars worth of oil drilling incentives, raise billions more by boosting federal royalties paid by oil and gas companies for offshore production, and plow the money into new tax breaks for renewable energy sources, congressional sources said yesterday.

Eager to paint themselves as different from the Bush administration and the past Republican majority, Democratic leaders are targeting a manufacturing tax cut in 2004 that they say gave unneeded incentives to the oil industry, Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland said in a briefing yesterday.

Hoyer said Democrats are also planning to force oil companies to pay royalties on deepwater Gulf of Mexico tracts leased in 1998 and 1999; the Interior Department has said that the leases inadvertently failed to include provisions for royalty payments once oil prices rose above certain thresholds.

Pelosi: 'Let us work together'

(or not, it's you funeral, Goopers.)

Pelosi: 'Let us work together' -

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- This is a transcript of the speech Rep. Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, gave Thursday after being elected speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives:

Bush purging Pentagon

Not content with purging the CIA, Bush moves on with the blame game.

Nohing is ever his fault, as we all know.

Reports: Bush Replacing Top Generals World Latest Guardian Unlimited:

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush is shaking up the team responsible for carrying out his military and diplomatic strategies in Iraq as he prepares to outline a new direction for the war that has raged for nearly four years.

Bush will replace Gen. John P. Abizaid, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East, and Gen. George Casey, the chief general in Iraq, in the coming weeks, according to media reports Thursday. A revamping of the administration's national security team was already under way.

Bush wants to replace Abizaid with Adm. William Fallon, the top U.S. commander in the Pacific, and Casey's replacement will be Army Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, who headed the effort to train Iraqi security forces, the reports citing administration officials said.

U.S. Bars Lab From Testing Electronic Voting - New York Times

What in hell is wrong with pen and paper?

U.S. Bars Lab From Testing Electronic Voting - New York Times:

A laboratory that has tested most of the nation’s electronic voting systems has been temporarily barred from approving new machines after federal officials found that it was not following its quality-control procedures and could not document that it was conducting all the required tests.

The company, Ciber Inc. of Greenwood Village, Colo., has also come under fire from analysts hired by New York State over its plans to test new voting machines for the state. New York could eventually spend $200 million to replace its aging lever devices.

Experts on voting systems say the Ciber problems underscore longstanding worries about lax inspections in the secretive world of voting-machine testing. The action by the federal Election Assistance Commission seems certain to fan growing concerns about the reliability and security of the devices.

Lieberman Party Now in Hands of Critic

What a hoot!

Is this some kind of Divine Justice for Holy Joe?

My Way News - Lieberman Party Now in Hands of Critic:

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - The party Sen. Joe Lieberman created to mount his independent re-election campaign has been seized by one of his critics, and the secretary of state's office said Wednesday that it won't challenge the takeover.

After the senator's Nov. 7 victory under the Connecticut for Lieberman Party banner, John Orman switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Connecticut for Lieberman and voted himself chairman.

Orman, a political science professor who ran briefly against Lieberman last year, said only critics, bloggers and anyone named Lieberman can join the party, which he said would be a watchdog of the senator's actions.

100 Hours Mark the Change

...and don't forget the butterfly nets for Bush, etal. - 100 Hours Mark the Change:

In the three fleet weeks before the president’s State of the Union address, the new Congress will put down a clear marker that the times, they are changing. The conservative era is over. Common sense is no longer exiled from the nation’s capital.

If the first female Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, is successful, the House will start by passing tough new ethics rules to apply to themselves. The new majority will then pass the first increase in the minimum wage in a decade. They will vote to cut interest rates on student loans in half. They’ll empower Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices. They’ll roll back a portion of the obscene subsidies that go to big oil and use the money to fund renewable energy. They’ll vote to unleash stem cell research from the zealots. They’ll make common sense investments in homeland security.

And, if they are smart, Speaker Pelosi and Senate leader Harry Reid will join with Democratic governors to invite the president to join them in launching a 10-year, concerted drive for energy independence—an Apollo Plan for Energy, that invests in new energy and new efficiency, mobilizes science and technology, generates new jobs in America, redresses global warming, while reducing our dependence on Persian Gulf oil.

All this will take place in 100 hours, before the befuddled president gives his State of the Union address. The slim new Democratic majority in the House will demonstrate that they heard what voters were saying. They will take immediate steps to clean up Washington, and turn the agenda from the dictates of corporate lobbies to the concerns—wages, the cost of college and health care, soaring energy prices—that Americans worry about over their kitchen tables at night.

Democrats' Open-Mic Press Conferences | Let's Try Democracy

Hell yeah, after over 200 years, why not give Democracy a chance?

Democrats' Open-Mic Press Conferences Let's Try Democracy:

Unlike the previous majority party in Congress, the Democrats who take power today know their weaknesses. They know they're not very good at the whole press conference thing where you're supposed to stand there and say something people care about. So they've announced an open-mic policy.

And it seems to be working. It turns out that an ordinary person who's not been through our campaign bribery system and not agreed to a list of positions acceptable to Washington strategists is much more interesting to listen to than Rahm Emanuel. Speaking at Congressional press conferences could become a regular stop for tourists of our nation's Capital as well as for locals who enjoy karaoke.

Congressman Emanuel had not been informed of the new policy yesterday, but we knew he'd appreciate it. So, while he was in the middle of trying to impress employees of Disney and GE with his commitment to banning lobbyists from donating small islands to Congress Members except on weekends (or something), Cindy Sheehan livened things up by beginning a chant of

U.S. v. Bush administration

Must we wait until 2009?

Coastal Post Online Article January, 2007:

Elizabeth de la Vega, appearing on behalf of the United States. That is a phrase I've uttered hundreds of times in twenty years as a federal prosecutor. I retired two years ago. So, obviously, I do not now speak for any US Attorney's Office, nor do I represent the federal government. This should be apparent from the fact that I am proposing a hypothetical indictment of the President and his senior advisers -- not a smart move for any federal employee who wishes to remain employed. Lest anyone miss the import of this paragraph, let me emphasize that it is a DISCLAIMER: I am writing as a private citizen.

Obviously, as a private citizen, I cannot simply draft and file an indictment. Nor can I convene a grand jury. Instead, in the following pages I intend to present a hypothetical indictment to a hypothetical grand jury. The defendants are President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell. The crime is tricking the nation into war--in legal terms, conspiracy to defraud the United States. And all of you are invited to join the grand jury.

We will meet for seven days. On day one, I'll present the indictment in the morning and in the afternoon I will explain the applicable law. On days two through seven, we'll have witness testimony, presented in transcript form, with exhibits.

As is the practice in most grand jury presentations, the evidence will be presented in summary form, by federal agents -- except that these agents are hypothetical. (Any relationship to actual federal agents, living or deceased, is purely coincidental.)

On day seven, when the testimony is complete, I'll leave the room to allow the grand jury to vote.

Bob Herbert in 'NYT' Labels 'Slaughter' in Iraq 'Criminal'

Seems Bob has reached the end of his tether.

We are with you, Bob!

Bob Herbert in 'NYT' Labels 'Slaughter' in Iraq 'Criminal':

Herbert concluded:

'The war has been an exercise in futility and mind-boggling incompetence, and yet our involvement continues — with no end in sight, no plans for withdrawal, no idea of where we might be headed — as if the U.S. had fallen into some kind of bizarrely destructive trance from which it is unable to awaken....

'This war is not worth fighting. And if there were ever serious talk about enacting a draft or raising taxes to fight it, you’d see quickly enough that the vast majority of Americans would not find it worth fighting.

'There must be a leader somewhere who can shake the U.S. out of this tragic hypnotic state, who can see that it is beyond crazy to continue our involvement in this war indefinitely, to sacrifice another 1,000 young lives, and then another thousand after that.

'All of the tortured, twisted rationales for this war — all of the fatuous intellectual pyrotechnics dreamed up to justify it — have vaporized, and we’re left with just the mad, mindless, meaningless and apparently endless slaughter.

Why won't the failed NeoCons go away?

...and are we gonna have to make them.

This is what happens when there is no accountability. The same old failed theorists just keep coming back and making everything worse.

Why do these people hate America, and where do their loyalties really lie?

Old guard back on Iraq policy - Los Angeles Times:

WASHINGTON — Ever since Iraq began spiraling toward chaos, the war's intellectual architects — the so-called neoconservatives — have found themselves under attack in Washington policy salons and, more important, within the Bush administration.

Eventually, Paul D. Wolfowitz, the Defense department's most senior neocon, went to the World Bank. His Pentagon colleague Douglas J. Feith departed for academia. John R. Bolton left the State Department for a stint at the United Nations.

But now, a small but increasingly influential group of neocons are again helping steer Iraq policy. A key part of the new Iraq plan that President Bush is expected to announce next week — a surge in U.S. troops coupled with a more focused counterinsurgency effort — has been one of the chief recommendations of these neocons since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

This group — which includes William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard magazine, and Frederick W. Kagan, a military analyst at a prominent think tank, the American Enterprise Institute — was expressing concerns about the administration's blueprint for Iraq even before the invasion almost four years ago.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The President of the Soviet States of America Wants to Open Your Mail.

Another one of those goddamned signing statements.

This guy simply has to go, ASAP!

Bush Signing May Change Mail Laws -

WASHINGTON -- A signing statement attached to postal legislation by President Bush last month may have opened the way for the government to open mail without a warrant.

The White House denies any change in policy. (So, What? They deny everything until they are caught red-handed. Have they ever told the truth about anything?)

Miers Resigns As White House Counsel -

Sounds like Harriet isn't up to what's coming.

The White House wil turn to legal big guns now, that they no longer can rely on Congressional cover-up artists.

Miers Resigns As White House Counsel -

White House legal counsel and failed Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, a longtime friend and adviser of President Bush, resigned from her White House position today, Press Secretary Tony Snow announced.

Miers, 61, will leave her job at the end of the month after six years, Snow told reporters at the regular White House briefing. No successor has been named, he said.

Libby Denies Seeing Cheney's Notes on Newspaper Column

Yeah, right...whatever.

If Bush and Cheney aren't impeached, Libby will walk with a pardon anyway.

Libby Denies Seeing Cheney's Notes on Newspaper Column:

Lawyers for I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, the indicted former chief of staff to Vice President Cheney, said in a court filing late Friday that Libby did not see the notes Cheney inscribed on a key newspaper column criticizing the administration's rationale for invading Iraq until he was shown the annotations in the course of an FBI investigation.

Pelosi Becomes Speaker, Preparing to Confront Bush

She has already made history, she is tough and smart and she will sure as hell need to be.

I do not envy her in the least, but I hope, that at the end of the next 6 months, I can still admire her. I am sure as hell betting on it.

Speaker Pelosi, do what you have to do, Just Remember these three words:

Restoration, Truth and Accountability.

(....and contrary to popular belief, not every damn thing that happens in the world is about Hillary Clinton!)

Pelosi Becomes Speaker, Preparing to Confront Bush - Yahoo! News:

(Bloomberg) -- Nancy Pelosi, making history today as the first female speaker of the House, is taking office with two goals: becoming an effective counterweight to President George W. Bush, and proving that a woman can thrive at the summit of U.S. political power.

Pelosi's attacks on Bush while minority leader are credited by many Democrats with helping them win control of Congress for the first time since 1994. As speaker, she'll be dealing with a narrow majority and a president with veto power, making decisions about when to work with Bush and when to confront him.

Pelosi won election as speaker today by a vote of 233-202.

While women have served as Supreme Court justices, lawmakers and in senior Cabinet roles, none has ever led her party in political combat at this level. Her success at retiring the notion that women aren't qualified to manage the responsibilities of top leadership may affect others' aspirations, including New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's possible bid for the White House in 2008.

``As people see Nancy Pelosi on the national stage, setting the agenda and leading the people's House, it helps to set the stage for Senator Clinton in her run for president, and indeed for other women who may want to run for Senate or run for governor,'' said Ellen Moran, executive director of EMILY's List, which raises political funds for Democratic women.

John "Death-Squad" Negroponte to move to State

Negroponte agrees to a demotion to fill a post Condi hasn't been able to fill. People keep turning it down. Wonder why?

Truthdig - Ear to the Ground - Old Ideas, New Job:

Bush’s former Iraq and U.N. ambassador, John Negroponte, currently the director of national intelligence, is expected to accept a tacit demotion in order to become Condoleezza Rice’s deputy at the State Department. As if shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic, the president continues to shift a cast of familiar characters he’s come to rely on to implement his failed policies.

Molly Ivins: Stop This War, Now!


.....and, we might add, whatever it takes, we must stop the insanity NOW, given that that we have some small sense of hope with Democrats in the majority in Congress, though a tenuous one in the Senate.

(Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Senator Tim Johnson.)

Truthdig - Reports - Molly Ivins: Stop This War, Now!:

The president of the United States does not have the sense God gave a duck—so it’s up to us. You and me, Bubba.

I don’t know why Bush is just standing there like a frozen rabbit, but it’s time we found out. The fact is we have to do something about it. This country is being torn apart by an evil and unnecessary war, and it has to be stopped now.

This war is being prosecuted in our names, with our money, with our blood, against our will. Polls consistently show that less than 30 percent of the people want to maintain current troop levels. It is obscene and wrong for the president to go against the people in this fashion. And it’s doubly wrong for him to send 20,0000 more soldiers into this hellhole, as he reportedly will announce next week.

What happened to the nation that never tortured? The nation that wasn’t supposed to start wars of choice? The nation that respected human rights and life? A nation that from the beginning was against tyranny? Where have we gone? How did we let these people take us there? How did we let them fool us?

Can't You See? Crucial Differences Too Many on the Left Seem to Miss

Neither the far left nor the far right is ever patient or wise. Isn't that the very definition of extremism?

However, I will say this. The Left has never scared me. The Right scares the hell out of me and most people I know.

I do not buy that there is no difference in the Democrats and the Republicans, especially these Republicans.

That kind of thinking, and election machinations in Jebistan, got us into this mess in 2000

Can't You See? Crucial Differences Too Many on the Left Seem to Miss:

It is often said, as a way of proving that the Democrats are no different from the Republicans: 'The Democrats voted for war, they funded war, they voted for the Patriot Act... They are not different; they are the same. Hoping they will be different is unrealistic and foolish.' That's a direct quote from a comment on one of my recent essays in which I argued that the Democrats' newly one power in Congress is an absolutely essential weapon of ours in the battle against the Bushite evil. But one hears variations on that argument all the time.

And I just have to scratch my head and ask: When the Democrats do these things --and I acknowledge that they've done often done such things since 2002-- can't you see that they are not doing them for the same reasons as the Bushites?

Can't you see that the field of forces in which these people are operating compels them to go directions that they'd prefer not to go? I mean it 'compels' them, assuming we grant their priorities, which is to survive politically.

Dead Wrong

Bush is unfit for duty and everyone knows it.

It is amazing to me that anyone in Congress and/or the media pretends that he is.

Dead Wrong:

In other words, George Bush has been so dead wrong about so much that his credibility to make new or any war strategy at all should not just be questioned, it should be denounced.

Bush's plan to send 20,000 more of our young into the abyss of war is as dead wrong as the more than 3,000 American troops who have been killed and it is as dead wrong as the more than 650,000 Iraqis who have perished. It is also as dead wrong as the many disfigured 'Coalition' forces, the maimed and displaced Iraqis, and the families who have sacrificed for the lies of George Bush, a sacrifice of such eviscerating pain and one that the president is incapable of imagining.

Why should any of us consider even for a second that George Bush has anything to offer the world except more disaster? Why should a label of 'new' receive an iota of attention or consideration? Let one of the president's many verbal gaffes remind you. 'Fool me once, shame on, shame on you. Fool me-you can't get fooled again.'

Many of us weren't fooled by Bush. We knew from the beginning that he was dead wrong. Those of you who did believe him should take his latest proposal with a huge serving of caution. George Bush is a man of ideas. Tragically, they are all dead wrong.

Dem Congress Must Revoke Bush's War Powers ASAP

That would be a good start, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Dem Congress Must Revoke Bush's War Powers ASAP:

One of the first things the Dem led congress must do is to formally revoke and rescind the congressional authorization for Bush to wage. war.

This is absolutely essential. Otherwise, Bush could and probably will claim that he still has the congressional authorization to wage more blind, stupid, incompent war.

Congress must pass a motion clearly stating that it has formally, officially, conclusively and definitively taken away Bush's war powers and authorizations.

Failure to do so puts the nation at risk of being thrown, dragged, stumbled into another war without end without plans.

This should be one of the elements of the legislation the Dems commit to passing in the first 100 hours.

Now, in the senate, Joe Lieberman will probably block it. No matter. There should be enough sane Republicans who want to keep their jobs after the 2008 elections who will support this legislation.

It will be a real test for the presidential candidates. Will those who voted FOR the war in 2002 vote against it this time? There are no good excuses any more, unless, you are a war hawk Bush sycophant like McCain or Lieberman.

The Decider Lays Down The Law, Reid and Pelosi Should Lay It Right Back


Rolling over and playing dead in one thing when you are the minority in both bodies of Congress, with a majority president. It is totally unacceptable when you are in the majority in Congress, with a criminal executive.

Let the investigations begin!

The Decider Lays Down The Law, Reid and Pelosi Should Lay It Right Back:

Americans awoke today to read the President in the Wall Street Journal call for bipartisan cooperation and then threaten Democratic Leaders against what he called stalemate.

While the President was claiming to initiate a new period of bipartisan cooperation, and while Democratic Leaders were preparing to meet with the President to consult about Iraq, news media were widely reporting that the President had made a firm and final decision to escalate the war, and send more troops.

Presumably when the Decider meets with the Congressional leaders to consult, he will inform them of his firm and final decisions taken before the meetings. Presumably if they do not agree with his firm and final decision to escalate the war, without consultations with Democratic or Republican leaders, he will then remind them of his warning against stalemate.

The Democratic Leaders should state clearly, unequivocally and immediately that in the American system of government, there are three coequal branches of government, the executive is one of them, the legislative branch is another.

NPR : Bush May Have Lost Chance to Tailor Bugging Law

WE can be assured that he is still illegally doing it.

NPR : Bush May Have Lost Chance to Tailor Bugging Law:

The Bush administration's decision to eavesdrop on some domestic phone conversations without a court order spurred complaints, but it also led to proposals to adjust federal law to allow precisely such surveillance. Changes in the law, known as FISA, did not pass the Republican-led Congress; they now face a new landscape under Democratic control.

Intelligent Growth: A Vision for a New Low-Energy Economy

Moving to alternative, renwable fuels could create much needed jobs and, sooner rather than later, reduce the use off fossil fuels, world-wide.

If anyone sane and not connected to the oil business had ben president on 9/11/0, e would already be miles down that road.

AlterNet: EnviroHealth: Intelligent Growth: A Vision for a New Low-Energy Economy:

Continuing with standard economic growth will not halt the unfolding environmental crisis. But employing 'tradable energy quotas' to ration the use of fossil fuels just might.

Silencing Saddam


AlterNet: Silencing Saddam:

It is a very frightening precedent that the United States can invade a country on false pretenses, depose its leader and summarily execute him without an international trial or appeals process. This is about vengeance, not justice, for if it were the latter the existing international norms would have been observed. The trial should have been overseen by the World Court, in a country that could have guaranteed the safety of defense lawyers, who, in this case, were killed or otherwise intimidated.
The irony here is that the crimes for which Saddam Hussein was convicted occurred before the United States, in the form of Donald Rumsfeld, embraced him. Those crimes were well known to have occurred 15 months before Rumsfeld visited Iraq to usher in an alliance between the United States and Saddam to defeat Iran.

The fact is that Saddam Hussein knew a great deal about the United States' role in Iraq, including deals made with Bush's father. This rush to execute him had the feel of a gangster silencing the key witness to a crime.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Saint McCain: 'I'll sleep a hell of a lot better' if we stay in Iraq

....and to think I once liked this guy. What in hell was I thinking?

McCain and his presidential candidacy will sink like a stone!

The Raw Story McCain: 'I'll sleep a hell of a lot better' if we stay in Iraq:

In a wide ranging interview with Vanity Fair's Todd Purdum, Senator John McCain sounded off on his presidential ambitions, his experience in 2000, the New York Times being a 'Communist' newspaper, the Iraq war, and a variety of other topics. Noting that 'the Straight Talk Express, Version 2.008, is often a far cry from the Magic Bus of 2000,' Purdum paints a picture of a candidate who is ambivalent on the many compromises he must make in order to be a viable Republican candidate for president.

Purdum writes that the Iraq war is 'a huge albatross for McCain, and it is by no means clear that he will be anything close to free of it by the time the presidential campaign begins in earnest.' When responding to a question on the Iraq war in front of an audience at one point, McCain is described as having nothing succinct to say other than 'I believe in prayer. I pray every night.' Reflecting on his experience in Vietnam, the senator also states 'I saw the kind of impact of a broken army, a defeated army and Marine Corps, after Vietnam. And I'd much rather have 'em take a strain and have some success than be defeated.' ( Read on ^, it gets worse.)

WTF Is It Now??

Read more like this at link below.

WTF Is It Now??:

How fucking stupid is this?

Grand Canyon National Park is not permitted to give an official estimate of
the geologic age of its principal feature, due to pressure from Bush
administration appointees. Despite promising a prompt review of its approval for
a book claiming the Grand Canyon was created by Noah's flood rather than by
geologic forces, more than three years later no review has ever been done and
the book remains on sale at the park, according to documents released today by
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

'In order to avoid offending religious fundamentalists, our National Park Service is under orders to suspend its belief in geology,' stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch. 'It is disconcerting that the official position of a national park as to the geologic age of the Grand Canyon is ‘no comment.''

Shit, everyone knows it was created by a meatball rolling off one of the noodly appendages of the FSM.

Are we going to do anything to keep from offending paranoid schizophrenics and other delusional people?

Just wondering....

UhOh! God's been talking to Pat Robertson again.

Funny thing, I was just speaking with God yesterday, and He told me that Pat Robertson is a loon, whom Gabriel ocaasionally goofs on, just for fun.

Pat Robertson: God told me of 'mass killing' in 2007 -

VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia (AP) -- Evangelical broadcaster Pat Robertson said Tuesday that God has told him that a terrorist attack on the United States would cause a 'mass killing' late in 2007.
'I'm not necessarily saying it's going to be nuclear,' he said during his news-and-talk television show 'The 700 Club' on the Christian Broadcasting Network.

'The Lord didn't say nuclear. But I do believe it will be something like that.'

Robertson said God told him about the impending tragedy during a recent prayer retreat.

God also said, he claims, that major cities and possibly millions of people will be affected by the attack, which should take place sometime after September.

Robertson suggested in January 2006 that God punished then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon with a stroke for ceding Israeli-controlled land to the Palestinians.

Administration Official: Troop Escalation ‘More Of A Political Decision Than A Military One’

Ain't it just like the MSM to tell us what we already know?

Has Bush done a damn thing, including getting us into the hellish quagmire that is Iraq, that wasn't for political reasons?

Think Progress » Administration Official: Troop Escalation ‘More Of A Political Decision Than A Military One’:

CNN reports “President Bush is expected to announce his new Iraq strategy in an address to the nation early next week.”

According to the BBC, “The speech will reveal a plan to send more US troops to Iraq.”

Last night on NBC News, Jim Miklaszewski reported that the new strategy will be announced next Tuesday, and that an administration official “admitted to us today that this surge option is more of a political decision than a military one. Watch it: Josh has the video ^.

Pardoning Nixon Saved the GOP, Not the USA

....and it will not work again.

Nixon was pardoned leading to Iran/Contra, for which no one did any real time due to technicalities and pardons. which led to this really long national nightmare in which we currently find ourselves.


Truth, Accountability and Restoration! Nothing else will do.

Pensito Review » Pardoning Nixon Saved the GOP, Not the USA:

Gerald Ford was a solid and even-tempered Old School pol. But I agree with Margie Burns that Ford’s motives in pardoning Pres. Nixon were much more basic than the stated goal of sparing the nation the agony of witnessing an ex-president on trial — and that, contrary to the conventional wisdom in D.C., pardoning Nixon was not “the right thing to do”:

[The pardon] did not spare the nation; it spared Richard M. Nixon. The nation had not undergone a long nightmare with Nixon’s resignation; Nixon had. The nation had not endured a virtual state of siege with Nixon’s attempt to spy on and to steal from the opposition and then to stonewall investigation into his actions (assisted by then-head of the Republican National Committee George H. W. Bush); Nixon had. And with all due respect, most of the graybeards on television probably know that. If they don’t, they’re not qualified to be either reporters or commentators. Anyone who recollects the Seventies as being a period when public adoration of Dick Nixon was at its peak -– such that seeing him answer questions about Watergate would have been simply unbearable -– is remembering wrong.

Search of a Criminal: Donald Rumsfeld's Name Tops the List of Accused of War Crimes

Damned straight it will have a ripple effect.

It already has.

The new Bush family ranch in Paraguay is not for weekend getaways and family reunions. - In Search of a Criminal: Donald Rumsfeld's Name Tops the List of Accused of War Crimes:

No one thinks that Donald Rumsfeld will end his days in a German prison. Or that there is any real chance he will have to face trial in Germany over allegations that he authorized policies leading to the torture of prisoners at U.S. detention facilities in Iraq and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

But that doesn’t mean that a complaint filed in Germany last month won’t have some ripple effects. The complaint asks a federal prosecutor there to begin an investigation, and ultimately a criminal prosecution, of the former secretary of defense and other U.S. officials for their roles in the abuses.

“Rumsfeld is no longer untouchable,” says Wolfgang Kaleck, the German lawyer who filed the complaint along with the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights and the International Federation for Human Rights. “He is now deeply connected with claims of abuses and torture. We have taken the first step to begin the legal discussion on his accountability.”

Bringing the "Perps," Bush and Cheney, to Justice

Time for regime change in the U.S.A.!

Walter C. the "Perps," Bush and Cheney, to Justice:

A Review of U.S. v. Bush
By Elizabeth de la Vega

According to President Bush, Saddam Hussein was brought to 'justice,' when, after being sentenced to die by a kangaroo court, he was taunted before his hanging by petulant Shiite's from Bush's puppet regime inside the Green Zone -- Baghdad's Alamo, where the quislings can cower and nominally rule on behalf of 'democratic' Iraq.

Granted, Saddam was evil and his horrendous crimes demanded justice. After all, he gassed Kurds, executed hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis and launched unprovoked invasions of Iran and Kuwait, in violation of international law. Yet, the indignities and blasphemies attending Saddam's hanging seem certain to inflame the civil war raging outside the Green Zone bubble.

Moreover, it's a shame that Iraqis couldn't overthrow their own tyrant and criminal, just as it's a shame that the puppet regime's 'justice' required death - officially sanctioned murder at a time when sectarian murder has become a way of life. As I heard just the other day, an eye for an eye - taken to its logical conclusion - leaves everybody blind. Somebody must call a halt.

Activists on the Left Applying Pressure to Democratic Leaders -

Hopefully a little pressure will work, or the rest of us will be up there as well.

We need to let the Dems get through their initial initial time and plan, but they must not foget the the watch words are truth and accountability.

Activists on the Left Applying Pressure to Democratic Leaders -

Democratic leaders set to take control of Congress tomorrow are facing mounting pressure from liberal activists to chart a more confrontational course on Iraq and the issues of human rights and civil liberties, with some even calling for the impeachment of President Bush.

The carefully calibrated legislative blitz that Democrats have devised for the first 100 hours of power has left some activists worried the passion that swept the party to power in November is already dissipating. A cluster of protesters will greet the new congressional leaders at the Capitol tomorrow. They will not be disgruntled conservatives wary of Democratic control, but liberals demanding a ban on torture, an end to warrantless domestic spying and a restoration of curbed civil liberties.

Margie Burns :: The Nixon pardon, another preemptive strike against the Kennedys. Part 1

Interesting article.

Some facts we, too, have been pondering.

Are the Clintons shacked up with straying NeoCons?

Ase have pointed out before, the NeoCons do not suffer from party loyalty. They are only loyal to their own theories.

Margie Burns :: The Nixon pardon, another preemptive strike against the Kennedys. Part 1:

Practically the first thing President William Jefferson Clinton did on entering the White House was in effect to shut off congressional investigation into the Reagan-Bush scandal of Iran-Contra. Practically the last thing Clinton did on leaving the White House was to pardon fugitive billionaire financier Marc Rich, heavily involved in Iran-Contra. If Senator Clinton is indeed serious about running for the White House – by no means a given – it will be important to ask her why her spouse prevented investigation into Iran-Contra. But in any case, when Mr. Clinton dies, I shall be surprised if any neo-con or other right-winger refers to either of these Clinton actions as “healing.”

Not that the episodes are likely to be mentioned – corporate media outlets seldom bring up Iran-Contra – but if they are, it will be generally and accurately registered that their primary healing was to Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Marc Rich, and their personnel, some of whom serve under the current White House, rather than to the nation. This withholding of grateful acknowledgement will not be mitigated by the fact that the beneficiaries of Clinton’s shutting down investigation and prosecution in Iran-Contra are the patrons and promoters of neo-cons and neo-con policies. As we know by now, neo-con gratitude doesn’t work that way.

De mortuis nil nisi bonum.

Bush Breakdown Dead Ahead?

Don't count on it!

As long as he has a few people around him to tell him what he wants to hear, this freakin' nightmare is going to go on.

Bush Breakdown Dead Ahead? « Project for the Old American Century blog:

Although the thought has crossed my mind many times in the past, I have to admit that my concern for the psychological stability (or lack thereof) of George Dubya has increased tenfold since his joint appearance with Tony Blair a few weeks ago. In the wake of the release of the ISG Report the day before, Bush’s statements and mannerisms during that press conference revealed a level of disconnect and desperation that I had to wonder if the men with the big nets and white coats might be lurking in the White House somewhere.

Bush’s statements were not anything that we hadn’t heard in the past, but when taken in the context of the present situation he and his administration find themselves in, those statements took on a darker connotation. We were watching a man whose main concern was that his world was falling apart while failing to comprehend that the real world was also crumbling due to his ineptitude. But after a few minutes into the question and answer session, a troubling thought occurred to me; what if Bush’s infamous bubble is really beginning to break?

Although there have been numerous comparisons over the last few years of Bush vs. Hitler, one cannot avoid the similarities between the two in their final days. Depleted armies, lost wars, generals in revolt and a desperate cling to an unrealistic hope of resuscitating misguided ideologies are just a few of the parallels shared by these two figures. Sadly, neither leader was able to recognize the irony of their respective falls being a result of those ideologies to which they so strictly embraced.

Oil prices stay near $61 a barrel

This sounds like good news, but don't plna any long trips just yet.

Wait and see if there is bipartisan support for reigning BuCheney in on their Neocon disasters; like bombing Iran.

BBC NEWS Business Oil prices stay near $61 a barrel:

Oil prices hit $78-a-barrel highs in mid-July last year at the height of the crisis between Israel and Lebanon.

Other factors that increased prices in 2006 were fears of trade sanctions against Iran, and unrest in Nigeria.

Analysts estimate that barring unforeseen events, oil should trade between $60 and $55 a barrel in 2007.

Global demand for oil has been boosted in recent years by China's fast-growing economy. Oil prices hit $78-a-barrel highs in mid-July last year at the height of the crisis between Israel and Lebanon.

Other factors that increased prices in 2006 were fears of trade sanctions against Iran, and unrest in Nigeria.
Analysts estimate that barring unforeseen events, oil should trade between $60 and $55 a barrel in 2007.

Global demand for oil has been boosted in recent years by China's fast-growing economy.

A familiar hairline

George H.W. Bsuh once told an interviwer that he could not really remember where he was on the day Kennedy was assassinated. Since he has told other stories. He was in Houston, he was in Haiti. One thing we know for sure, as there is a FBI file which verifies it, is that he called the local FBI office in Houston, told them his name, he was in Houston and told them that a man named James Parrot had openly threatened to kill Kennedy, in Houston.

Needless to say, the Kennedys moved through Houston with no problem. There would indeed be an asassination, al right, but not in Houston; in Dallas, the next day.

GHWB was, at the time, the CEO of Zapata Oil company. There is some evidence that Zapata was a front for the CIA, for whom GHWB swears he never worked, until he became Director of the CIA under Gerald Ford. There is a great deal of evidence to the contrary. As a matter of fact, there is evidence that GHWB was involved in the Bay of Pigs Opearation. He supplied two refurbished and repainted old naval vessels for the effort. One was named the Barbara J, the other was named the Houson

Funny, I don't know many people, over the age of 50, who do not remember where they were that horrible day, in November of 1963; Black Friday in America.

Google is your friend
 Posted by Picasa

Who is this guy and what is he doing there?

Take a good look. Magnify as best you can. Note the stance. Hands in pants pockets, causing suit coat to flare out on both side. These types of personal, habitual stances and other in-grained body language do not change very much over time. Where else have we seen this posture? To whom is it habitual? Check it out for yourself
 Posted by Picasa

Bill Kristol is a Chicken-hawk who has no clue what he is talking about

Some people deserve to be taken out back and, actually, horse-whipped. NeoCons who continue to show their faces and run their ignorant mouths head the list.

Crooks and Liars: (See the video, if you have a strong stomach)

'William the Bloody' Kristol, (I have many names for him) is being hired by TIME magazine. The neocons have been totally discredited in their world domination aspirations and they decide to give him a new gig, Unbelievable. Check out 'The Vampire' in action that I posted a few days ago. I guess TIME finds his type of thinking—appealing…

If your stomach can take it, Bill 'the Vampire' Kristol practically orgasms at
the thought of a long and sustained troop level surge in Iraq. 'What's needed is
a sustained and large surge.' Billie got almost three solid minutes to praise
Bush for his—cough—cough—leadership.

Olbermann: Special comment about 'sacrifice'

In the next three months, your question will be answered, Keith.

Will Americans raise their hands and stand together against the "sacrificer?"

Olbermann: Special comment about 'sacrifice' - Countdown with Keith Olbermann -

If in your presence an individual tried to sacrifice an American serviceman or woman, would you intervene?

Would you at least protest?

What if he had already sacrificed 3,003 of them?

What if he had already sacrificed 3,003 of them — and was then to announce his intention to sacrifice hundreds, maybe thousands, more?

This time, it's going to be different

We certainly hope so!

However, the Democrats to not have time to dawdle. Much has to be done and done fast.

Corruption is certainly one of those problems.

But so are the results of unbelievable corruption of the last Congress, like that godawful Medicare Bill, for one, which was nothing but a huge give-away to big pharma and did little for the elderly and disabled, to lower the outrageous prices of drugs.

If Americans have to be the experimental lab rats for Big Pharma, we should not have to go broke doing it.

Two words must become the buzzwords for the next two years: Truth and Accountability.

WorkingForChange-This time, it's going to be different:

WASHINGTON -- This time, it's going to be different.

Whenever a new crowd displaces an old guard, the promise is always the same. The fresh managers swear they understand what the tired bunch they're replacing did wrong and vow to make all things new.

The Democrats who take power in Congress on Thursday have been given an opportunity that has not come their party's way for a half-century: They can remake their own image -- and Congress' -- and they can begin to restore public confidence in government.

While control of the Senate has flip-flopped between the parties since 1980, the House has stayed in one party's hands for long periods. Democrats controlled the House for 40 years after 1954, Republicans for the last 12. The 2006 election marked the first time since that 1954 contest that both Houses switched from the Republicans to the Democrats.

This allows the new Democratic majority, in principle at least, to come in with no commitments to doing business as it was done in the immediate past.

Democrats likely to face difficulties with agenda - CREW

This may well be true. A slim majority is not going to be enough to do all that needs to be done, and done quickly. Time is not on anyone's side.

However, it seems that it is our job, as citizens and voters, to make life a living burning hell for obstructionists in the minority, and if they fail to cooperate for two years, make them even more of a minority in 2008. It isn't as if they have nothing to lose. They do. Things could get much worse for them.

Democrats likely to face difficulties with agenda - CREW:

WASHINGTON — When the 110th Congress convenes Thursday, it will be a historic moment as the Republican Party turns the gavel over to Democrats in both the House and the Senate and the first woman takes her place as House speaker.

That moment will mark a shift in the balance of power in Washington as President Bush's authority diminishes and Democrats attempt to hold him accountable for his administration's actions. No longer will Bush be able to control the legislative branch, telling Republican leaders what to do while generally getting his way.

But after the pageantry and the pomp of swearing in newly elected members, Democrats may find it's downhill from there as they struggle to enact laws, not just pass bills.

'I don't think the 110th Congress is going to be very productive,' said Stephen Hess of the Brookings Institution. 'If you thought the 109th was down the drain, wait till you see this.'

Boston University historian Julian Zelizer said the midterm election results are unlikely to alter the dynamics in Congress. January 2, 2007

Bush's Photo Op Snubbed by Ford Family

It's bad enough, at whatever age, to lose a beloved father. Why should the kids expose themselves to idiotic evil as well.

News For The Left: Bush's Photo Op Snubbed by Ford Family:

The children of late President Gerald Ford spent every hour of public viewing in the United States Capitol to greet tens of thousands of everyday Americans who came to pay tribute to their father. When President George W. Bush showed up, the Ford children were nowhere to be seen.

According to a Capitol Hill source, Bush is the only person to have the Rotunda cleared for his visit, bringing a screeching halt to the public's visit to the casket. Other former Presidents and political VIP's went to the front of the line, but nonetheless greeted fellow mourners while paying their condolences. Further, Bush reportedly spent only seven seconds at the casket and promptly left the building.

While the nation, including Democrats and Republicans alike, joins together in honoring the service and life of a former President, Dubya doesn't seem to get it. Instead, he seems to just be going through the motions.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A Formal Intervention with a Dry Drunk President

It's going to take more than an intervention!

A Formal Intervention with a Dry Drunk President:

The long-anticipated report of the Iraq Study Group has been likened in some media reports to the classic treatment Intervention provided to drug users and alcoholics who have 'hit bottom.' Seething in its criticism, the report (Intervention) made a number of take-it- or-leave-it recommendations. 'This is not like fruit salad,' the head facilitator later explained; the recommendations must be followed as a whole. Characteristic of a person with an addictive mentality, the president responded in a state of denial as do the 'enablers' around him. His supporters are getting fewer and fewer, however. And even his father recently broke into tears. We will return to that later.

The addictive mentality I am talking about is a cognitive impairment that is associated with alcohol-drug use, and may have preceded or followed the addictive behavior. George W. Bush, over his lifetime, has gone from one extreme-extensive and long-term binge drinking and at least some cocaine use-to another-affiliation with religious fundamentalism and authoritarian belief systems that cannot be explained by his religious upbringing. From an elitist background, the junior Bush was able to build a political base from a cultural group that was arguably alien from his own. (See What's the Matter with Kansas?)

Democrats To Start Without GOP Input

We don't have a problem with this.

The Goopers need to shut the hell up for awhile.

Democrats To Start Without GOP Input -

As they prepare to take control of Congress this week and face up to campaign pledges to restore bipartisanship and openness, Democrats are planning to largely sideline Republicans from the first burst of lawmaking.

House Democrats intend to pass a raft of popular measures as part of their well-publicized plan for the first 100 hours. They include tightening ethics rules for lawmakers, raising the minimum wage, allowing more research on stem cells and cutting interest rates on student loans.

Former Saddam judge says execution violates Iraqi law

No doubt. Has anything happened in Iraq that is legal?

Former Saddam judge says execution violates Iraqi law:

SULAIMANIYAH, Iraq (AFP) - The first chief judge who presided over Saddam Hussein's trial for crimes against humanity has said that the late dictator's execution by the Iraqi government was illegal.

Rizkar Mohammed Amin, who later resigned as the trial's chief judge, said Iraqi law banned executions during the Eid al-Adha festival period that marks the end of the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

The four-day Feast of the Sacrifice began for Iraqi Sunnis on Saturday -- the day Saddam was hanged in Baghdad -- and on Sunday for Shiites.

Amin also claimed that Iraqi law stipulates an execution must be carried out 30 days after the appeal court's decision on the sentencing, which in this case upheld the death sentence of Saddam.

But in ratifying the death sentence on December 26, the appeals chamber insisted that the law stipulated the sentence be implemented within 30 days.

Amin resigned as chief judge of the Dujail trial following political pressure amid accusations that he was lenient with Saddam and occasionally allowed the late dictator to carry out outbursts in court.

Saddam was hanged on Saturday in a Shiite district of Baghdad after he was found guilty of executing 148 Shiite villagers from Dujail in the 1980s where he escaped an assassination bid.

He was buried on Sunday in his home village of Awja.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Lugar: Bush Must Consult Congress Over Escalation Or It ‘Could Get Ugly’

Excuse me, but this is the frst I have heard from any Gooper about demands and/or threats about Bush coming to Congress with plans for anything.

So, what's up with this?

Lugar is a crafty old dude. He didn't give a crap about real oversight for the last 6 years, but now that the Dems are in control, he wants everything to pass through for Congressional approval?

Spread that blame around, eh?

No matter what Bush decides, we have already lost the "war in Iraq." Truth be told, we lost it before the first bomb fell, as the whole thing was a house of cards propped by lies and exaggerations.

No matter what the Democrats do, they will be blamed for the loss of the war, now that they are in the majority, by the usual suspeccts like Limbaugh and others of his ilk.

The Dems need to make it clear, right now, and in no uncertain terms, that the Bush war was a failure from day one and it has only gotten worse in the years since. They need to cut up Bush's credit cards and bring the troops home, now!

Any escalation is just nuts.

Think Progress » Lugar: Bush Must Consult Congress Over Escalation Or It ‘Could Get Ugly’:

Today on Fox News Sunday, Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), the outgoing chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said President Bush should have congressional support before he announces any plan for escalation in Iraq. “[I]n the past, the administration has been inclined not to disregard Congress but to not take Congress very seriously. I think this time Congress has to be taken seriously.”

If Bush ignores Congress, Lugar said he should expect “a lot of hearings, a lot of study, a lot of criticism,” and “demands for subpoenas.” Fox host Chris Wallace said, “You’re saying this could get ugly.” Lugar replied, “Yes, it could.” Watch it: ^ Josh has te video

Baghdad Burning


Apparently the timing of Saddam's execution wass even worse than most of us thought.

Of course, we don't believe in executions anyway, so what the hell do we know?

Baghdad Burning:

A Lynching...

It's official. Maliki and his people are psychopaths. This really is a new low. It's outrageous- an execution during Eid. Muslims all over the world (with the exception of Iran) are outraged. Eid is a time of peace, of putting aside quarrels and anger- at least for the duration of Eid.

This does not bode well for the coming year. No one imagined the madmen would actually do it during a religious holiday. It is religiously unacceptable and before, it was constitutionally illegal. We thought we'd at least get a few days of peace and some time to enjoy the Eid holiday, which coincides with the New Year this year. We've spent the first two days of a holy holiday watching bits and pieces of a sordid lynching.This does not bode well for the coming year. No one imagined the madmen would actually do it during a religious holiday.