Saturday, February 03, 2007

Lite Blogging Over the Weekend

Only the high, or low, points, depending on how one looks at it.

....and the truth shall set us free.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Military getting $130 Billion More, in Bush Increase

Goal of bankrupting of America on track.

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Army, which has borne much of the weight of the
Iraq and Afghanistan wars, would get $130 billion under President Bush's 2008 budget — a sizable increase that would help ease the strain and meet equipment needs.

The proposal represents a 16 percent hike over this year, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. When coupled with additional tens of billions of dollars in emergency war funding, it "should go a long ways toward making the Army better," said Steven Kosiak, an analyst with the private Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
Officials would not comment publicly on the budget request because it will not be officially released until Monday.

While the number falls short of the Army's request, it suggests that arguments made by senior Army leaders were heeded by the Bush administration. Initial White House budget plans called for giving the Army $114 billion, which increased to $121 billion by October.

Gen. Peter Schoomaker, Army chief of staff, had said he needed $138 billion for 2008 to replace and repair equipment used in Iraq, cover other war costs and meet day-to-day expenses.
The Iraq war, which began nearly four years ago, has already exceeded the length of U.S. involvement in World War II. A recent report by a special commission on war policy warned that "U.S. military forces, especially our ground forces, have been stretched nearly to the breaking point."

The report said new attention — and billions of dollars — must be devoted to restoring the capabilities of the military so it is ready for future conflicts.

The $130 billion includes more than $46 billion for personnel, an 8 percent increase over this year, and nearly $24 billion to buy weapons and other equipment, a 42 percent hike.

....and the truth shall set us free.

WTF? Huge Chunk of Ice Destroys Mustang (Car)

In freaking Florida, no less. This is very strange.

This guy's insurance is going to claim that this encounter of the extremely weird kind is "and act of God."

Excuse me!

This is the kind of thing that makes my jaw hit the floor.

I have a Friend, to whom something like this happened, excluding the extreme weirdness. Her encounter was with a tornado. It wasn't a monster, like they get in Tornado alley. Still it blew tiles off the building where she worked, at the time.

Some of those tiles slammed into her car, causing quite a bit of damage to the front, especially the grill. The insurance people said that it was an "act of God." They don't compensate for acts of God.

Why the hell not?

Do they believe that the people; the victims of these "acts of God" must have done something to anger God, and therefore to pay up would be against the will of God.

I understand that this same thing is happening to people all over the Gulf Coast.

How about this, you insurance morons, either everything is an act of God, or no act is of God. God is everything, or He is nothing. (Actually, God is both every-thing and no-thing, but that's a whole other post, which I will probably never get around to writing.)

See your dilemma? Either pay up for damage or find other work. If you can really decide what is an act of God and what isn't, maybe you can become a TeeVee preacher, or a member of the Apostolic Congress or, maybe, you can go to work for the Reverend Sun Yung Fool, owner of the Washington Times and hundreds of other businesses all over this country, self-proclaimed "New World Messiah and our perfect parent." (I think my head might just explode)

It's high time that we stop this silliness!

We certianly do not need money-sucking, bottom feeders, like those running Insurance companies, discerning "acts of God."

My point being: We are a people with higly corrupt institutions, both private and governmental, social, including religious, and economic. It is a time for tranformation, not merely reformation.

It is time for expansion of human consciousness. ("The minds true liberation:)

Human existence depends on it.

To think outside the box; to push into the next sphere of human consciousness; that's what is needed now.

Fortunately, we have that, right now, in people all over the planet. We only have to tune in.

It matters not whether one thinks we have entered a new century, a new millinium or a new age, the old institutions aren't working anymore. They do not truly serve the people and their welfare. They need to be replaced

The kind of reformation we need now, must come from transformation. Anything less will lack the one attribute we need now; authenticity.

Our survival, as the human race, now depends on Americans "getting real."

Others have their own demons to fight.

Ours is about getting real and doing it in a very public way.

TAMPA, Fla. - Raymond Rodriguez was changing a tire when an 18-inch chunk of ice plummeted from the sky with a piercing whistle, then a metallic crunch. The ice chunk crushed the roof of a nearby Ford Mustang on Sunday morning. No one was hurt.

"I was scared," Rodriguez said, who was only feet away. "It's crazy, man."

The Federal Aviation Administration is reviewing flight schedules to see if the ice fell off a plane.

The ice did not have a blue tint that would indicate it came from a plane's lavatory. The National Weather Service said conditions in Tampa were not favorable for the formation of large balls of ice, known as megacryometeors.


....and the truth shall set us free.

Wherever a Senator's Question Leads, Kissinger Gamely Follows

By all means, let's seek advice from a war criminal!

Dana Milbank - Wherever a Senator's Question Leads, Kissinger Gamely Follows -

So now it can be told: President Bush has a secret plan to end the war in Iraq.

Henry Kissinger, who as Richard Nixon's secretary of state learned something about secret plans, went before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday to argue that Bush, too, has such a proposal.

Annie Nelson on the ‘Fuel That Doesn’t Kill Us’

The People are leading the politicians and everyone else, in finding ways to lessen climate change.

Truthdig - Interviews - Annie Nelson on the ‘Fuel That Doesn’t Kill Us’:

Annie Nelson, wife of Willie Nelson and co-chairperson of the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance, speaks to Truthdig about stomaching the State of the Union and the myth that alternative fuels are years away

A Case for Impeachment

If Bill Clinton could be impeached for his behavior, the Bushites should be summarily hung on the National Mall.

Truthdig - Reports - A Case for Impeachment:

Not all lies are created equal. It is understood that there is a chasm of importance between little white lies and big black ones. Most would agree that lying about a consensual sexual affair, even by the president, is of significantly lesser concern than lying about the proliferation of nuclear weapons as an excuse to take the nation to war.

How then is it possible that a Republican-controlled Congress impeached President Bill Clinton over his attempt to conceal marital infidelity but that a Democratic-led Congress will not even consider impeaching this president for far more serious transgressions against the public trust? That is the question that arises from early revelations in the trial of Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff.

Escalation of US Iran military planning part of six-year Administration push

What's absolutely stunning to me, is that everyone on earth doesn't already know this.

The Raw Story | Escalation of US Iran military planning part of six-year Administration push:

A project: Raw Story Investigates

The escalation of US military planning on Iran is only the latest chess move in a six-year push within the Bush Administration to attack Iran, a RAW STORY investigation has found.

While Iran was named a part of President George W. Bush’s “axis of evil” in 2002, efforts to ignite a confrontation with Iran date back long before the post-9/11 war on terror. Presently, the Administration is trumpeting claims that Iran is closer to a nuclear weapon than the CIA’s own analysis shows and positing Iranian influence in Iraq’s insurgency, but efforts to destabilize Iran have been conducted covertly for years, often using members of Congress or non-government actors in a way reminiscent of the 1980s Iran-Contra scandal.

Senate Intelligence chairman quietly 'fixed' intelligence, and diverted blame from White House over Iraq

As we have long suspected, Pat Roberts need to be in prison, along with the entire Bush administration!

The Raw Story | Senate Intelligence chairman quietly 'fixed' intelligence, and diverted blame from White House over Iraq:

Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, President George W. Bush issued an order to the Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the State Department, and his cabinet members that severely curtailed intelligence oversight by restricting classified information to just eight members of Congress.

'The only Members of Congress whom you or your expressly designated officers may brief regarding classified or sensitive law enforcement information,' he writes, 'are the Speaker of the House, the House Minority Leader, the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders, and the Chairs and Ranking Members of the Intelligence Committees in the House and Senate.'

The order is aimed at protecting 'military security' and 'sensitive law enforcement.'

Did Spitting 'Victim' from DC Protest Cry Wolf?

A Must read article regarding Right-wing smear tactics that are at least 40 years old.

The very least they could do is get some new ones.

Seeing the Forest: Did Spitting 'Victim' from DC Protest Cry Wolf?:

This piece was first published at AlterNet. This post is revised and extended from that piece.

The media interest surrounding Private Joshua Sparling's claim that he was spit at during the Washington, DC protest merits skepticism considering that his previous claims of victimhood have turned out inaccurate, and that he's been a frequent associate of right-wing figures such as Sean Hannity and Oliver North.

There is a conventional wisdom that Vietnam War protesters included fringe elements who did uncivil things, including spitting at soldiers returning from Vietnam.

Clinton wants talks with Iran

In order for this to happen, and we believe it should, we need a new administration.

The current, appalling one, cannot accomplish any such negotiations or talks with Iran or Syria.

Hell, even our allies barely listen to the Bushites. They have no credibility.

Can the world stand two more years of this?

Clinton wants talks with Iran - Yahoo! News:

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Presidential contender Hillary Rodham Clinton said on Thursday the United States should talk with
Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah as she outlined a plan for the Middle East that left open the possibility of military action against Tehran.

The New York Democratic senator, who aims in 2008 to become the first woman U.S. president, said in a speech to a pro-
Israel lobbying group that valuable knowledge and leverage could be gained from engaging with those countries and organizations.

'I have advocated engagement with our enemies and Israel's enemies because I want to understand better what we can do to defeat those who are aiming their hatred, their extremism and their weapons at us,' Clinton told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee dinner in New York.

The wife of former President Bill Clinton said new tactics were needed 'in the endeavor to rein in terrorism, to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power and to quell the influence of (Islamist groups) Hezbollah and Hamas.'

Ex-advisers offer revised Iraq plans

It will be informative in the extreme to see who votes for the Bush plan after being informed, in no uncertain terms, that it is very doubtful it will work.

Those who do so, ought to be horse-whipped on the National Mall!

Ex-advisers offer revised Iraq plans - Yahoo! News:

"WASHINGTON - President Carter's national security adviser said Thursday the Iraq war was likely to lead to 'a head-on conflict' with Iran and other parts of the Muslim world.

Zbigniew Brzezinski also told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Bush administration policy was driven by 'imperial hubris' and has proved to be a disaster on historic, strategic and moral grounds.

'If the United States continues to be bogged down in a protracted bloody involvement in Iraq, and I emphasize what I am about to say, the final destination on this downhill track is likely to be a head-on conflict with Iran and with much of the world of Islam at large,' Brzezinski said.

Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser to Presidents Ford and George H.W. Bush, said a buildup of U.S. troops in Iraq 'might be a positive blip' if it helped stabilize Baghdad. But he said it would not lead to fundamental changes in the situation.

'It is a tactic, not a strategy,' he said.

How Libby became Cheney's pawn

How Libby became Cheney's pawn |

Feb. 1, 2007 | Few issues more agitated and preoccupied Vice President Dick Cheney in the early months after the declaration of 'Mission Accomplished' in Iraq than former ambassador Joseph Wilson's disclosure that the intelligence underlying the administration's central justification for the invasion was bogus. So far as the occupation of Iraq was concerned, Cheney was in a triumphal mood. In a speech before a conservative group in Washington on July 30, 2003, he repeated his rationales for the war with a sense of finality: 'In Iraq, a dictator with a deep and bitter hatred of the United States, who built, possessed and used weapons of mass destruction and cultivated ties to terrorists, is no more.'

Behind his serene public face a distressed vice president frantically micromanaged a campaign of press leaks to discredit Wilson. Cheney even scripted talking points to aides about what to tell reporters. And he fretted about what was said on cable TV talk shows like MSNBC's 'Hardball.' His chief agent in this intense effort to discredit Wilson was his chief of staff, I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, finely attuned to his principal's wishes.

Cheney's Handwritten Notes Implicate Bush in Plame Affair

Hey, Congress, are you listening?

Jason Leopold and Marc Ash | Cheney's Handwritten Notes Implicate Bush in Plame Affair:

Bush has long maintained that he was unaware of attacks by any member of his administration against [former ambassador Joseph] Wilson. The ex-envoy's stinging rebukes of the administration's use of pre-war Iraq intelligence led Libby and other White House officials to leak Wilson's wife's covert CIA status to reporters in July 2003 in an act of retaliation.

But Cheney's notes, which were introduced into evidence Tuesday during Libby's perjury and obstruction-of-justice trial, call into question the truthfulness of President Bush's vehement denials about his prior knowledge of the attacks against Wilson. The revelation that Bush may have known all along that there was an effort by members of his office to discredit the former ambassador begs the question: Was the president also aware that senior members of his administration compromised Valerie Plame's undercover role with the CIA?

Further, the highly explicit nature of Cheney's comments not only hints at a rift between Cheney and Bush over what Cheney felt was the scapegoating of Libby, but also raises serious questions about potentially criminal actions by Bush. If Bush did indeed play an active role in encouraging Libby to take the fall to protect Karl Rove, as Libby's lawyers articulated in their opening statements, then that could be viewed as criminal involvement by Bush.

Trial Reveals Wilson Smear Began Far Earlier

The Court of Public Opinion is in Session!

Jason Leopold | Trial Reveals Wilson Smear Began Far Earlier:

Speaking under the threat of a perjury penalty, the witnesses admitted for the first time that they had played a role in assisting the Office of the Vice President to attack the credibility of a staunch critic of the Iraq War.

The government officials conceded that a coordinated effort to discredit the man who dared to publicly question the Bush administration's rationale for war was hatched long before his name first entered the public record in July 2003. They said they dug up information about his wife's employment with the CIA, knowing that one of their colleagues would leak it to the media in what is believed to have been a retaliatory act against the war critic.

That is perhaps the revelatory aspect of the week-old perjury and obstruction-of-justice trial involving former vice presidential staffer I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby.

Official Lies Over Najaf Battle Exposed

Ah, we see the Iraqi government has learned well, from the Bushites.

Official Lies Over Najaf Battle Exposed:

Najaf - Iraqi government lies over the killing of hundreds of Shias in an attack on Sunday stand exposed by independent investigations carried out by IPS in Iraq.

Conflicting reports had arisen earlier on how and why a huge battle broke out around the small village Zarqa, located just a few kilometres northeast of the Shia holy city Najaf, which is 90 km south of Baghdad.

One thing certain is that when the smoke cleared, more than 200 people lay dead after more than half a day of fighting Sunday Jan. 28. A U.S. helicopter was shot down, killing two soldiers. Twenty-five members of the Iraqi security force were also killed.

'We were going to conduct the usual ceremonies that we conduct every year when we were attacked by Iraqi soldiers,' Jabbar al-Hatami, a leader of the al-Hatami Shia Arab tribe told IPS.

'We thought it was one of the usual mistakes of the Iraqi army killing civilians, so we advanced to explain to the soldiers that they killed five of us for no reason. But we were surprised by more gunfire from the soldiers.'

The confrontation took place on the Shia holiday of Ashura which commemorates Imam Hussein, grandson of the prophet Muhammad and the most revered of Shia saints. Emotions run high at this time, and self-flagellation in public is the norm.

Grandmothers for Peace Get Federal Prison Instead

A Must read:

This is outrageous!

Bill Quigley | Grandmothers for Peace Get Federal Prison Instead:

Thursday 01 February 2007

Cathy Webster, a grandmother living in Chico, California, organized 'A Thousand Grandmothers for Peace' to protest in November 2006 against the torture-training School of the Americas (SOA) (now called the Western Hemisphere Institute of Security Cooperation or WHINSEC) at Fort Benning, Georgia.

SOA-WHINSEC has been the subject of international criticism since it was disclosed that torture manuals were used in training Latin American military personnel. Amnesty International USA called for the closing of the school, an investigation into the human rights atrocities committed by its graduates, and reparations and an apology to its victims.

This week a federal judge in Columbus, Georgia, sentenced Ms. Webster to two months in federal prison for stepping through a hole in the fence onto the grounds of Fort Benning to carry her protest to the doors of SOA-WHINSEC.

Two other Grandmothers for Peace were also sentenced to federal prison for the nonviolent protest - Julienne Oldfield of Syracuse NY and Val Fillenwarth of Indianapolis IN. The three grandmothers were among sixteen human rights activists, ages 17 to 71, who were on trial in federal court in Georgia this week. Fifteen were given federal prison sentences of one to six months.

Iraq at Risk of Further Strife, Intelligence Report Warns

Wonder if McCain will be so eager to send another 5,000 troops into the meat grinder?

Iraq at Risk of Further Strife, Intelligence Report Warns -

A long-awaited National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, presented to President Bush by the intelligence community yesterday, outlines an increasingly perilous situation in which the United States has little control and there is a strong possibility of further deterioration, according to sources familiar with the document.

In a discussion of whether Iraq has reached a state of civil war, the 90-page classified NIE comes to no conclusion and holds out prospects of improvement. But it couches glimmers of optimism in deep uncertainty about whether the Iraqi leaders will be able to transcend sectarian interests and fight against extremists, establish effective national institutions and end rampant corruption.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Breaking: Double the Troops in "Surge" (Updated)

This should be no surprise to anyone.

Defense Tech: Breaking: Double the Troops in "Surge" (Updated):

President Bush and his new military chiefs have been saying for nearly a month that they would 'surge' an additional 21,500 troops to Iraq, in a last, grand push to quell the violence in Baghdad and in Anbar Province. But a new study by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office says the real troop increase could be as high as 48,000 -- more than double the number the President initially said.

That's because the combat units that President Bush wants to send into hostile areas need to be backed up by support troops, 'including personnel to staff headquarters, serve as military police, and provide communications, contracting, engineering, intelligence, medical, and other services,' the CBO notes.

Over the past few years , DoD’s practice has been to deploy a total of about 9,500 personnel per combat brigade to the Iraq theater, including about 4,000 combat troops and about 5,500 supporting troops.

Only Americans Can Restore America's Honor

So True!

The question is how?

Only Americans Can Restore America's Honor - The Smirking Chimp:

In six short years, the Bush regime has transformed the United States from an exemplar of freedom, democracy and the rule of law, to a pariah and a threat to international law and order. A recent BBC poll of twenty-six countries has found that, by a plurality of 49 to 32 percent, the United States is believed to play a “mainly negative” role in the world. These scores report a continuing decline in international respect for the United States.

As Dave Zweifel writes: “We no longer are viewed as a beacon of freedom for the world, but a nation to be vilified for its war-mongering, its torturing and its refusal to work with other countries.”

This transformation is due, in no small part, to the neoconservative determination to have the United States impose a so-called “benevolent global hegemony” upon the world, and to the subsequent implementation of this objective in Iraq.


We see a very bad moon rising!

Bush Directive Increases Sway on Regulation - New York Times:

"WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 — President Bush has signed a directive that gives the White House much greater control over the rules and policy statements that the government develops to protect public health, safety, the environment, civil rights and privacy.

In an executive order published last week in the Federal Register, Mr. Bush said that each agency must have a regulatory policy office run by a political appointee, to supervise the development of rules and documents providing guidance to regulated industries. The White House will thus have a gatekeeper in each agency to analyze the costs and the benefits of new rules and to make sure the agencies carry out the president’s priorities.

This strengthens the hand of the White House in shaping rules that have, in the past, often been generated by civil servants and scientific experts. It suggests that the administration still has ways to exert its power after the takeover of Congress by the Democrats.

Fill The Streets! Bang the Pots and Pans, Stop it Now!

We will do our best, knowing that you, Molly, will be with us in spirit.

Syndicated columnist Molly Ivins dies - Yahoo! News:

In a Jan. 11 column, Ivins urged readers to stand up against Bush's plan to send more troops to

'We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war,' Ivins wrote. 'We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, 'Stop it, now!''

Syndicated columnist Molly Ivins dies

Good Journey, Molly,

We will miss you terribly, like an old friends do.

Syndicated columnist Molly Ivins dies - Yahoo! News:

AUSTIN, Texas - Witty best-selling author and columnist Molly Ivins, a Texas liberal who died after a long battle with breast cancer, left legions of admirers, even among the politicians she regularly skewered.

President Bush, referred to as 'Shrub' in Ivins' writings, said in a statement issued after her death Wednesday evening that Ivins was a Texas original who was loved by her readers and many friends.

'I respected her convictions, her passionate belief in the power of words, and her ability to turn a phrase. She fought her illness with that same passion. Her quick wit and commitment to her beliefs will be missed,' Bush said.

Ivins died in her home in hospice care. She was 62. Ivins revealed in early 2006 that she was being treated for breast cancer for the third time.

Gonzales to turn over spy documents - U.S. Security -

I don't trust this....there is something rotten in D.C., again....still?

Gonzales to turn over spy documents - U.S. Security -

WASHINGTON - Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Wednesday he will turn over secret documents detailing the government’s domestic spying program, ending a two-week standoff with the Senate Judiciary Committee over surveillance targeting terror suspects.

“It’s never been the case where we said we would never provide access,” Gonzales told reporters.

“We obviously would be concerned about the public disclosure that may jeopardize the national security of our country,” he said. “But we’re working with the Congress to provide the information that it needs.”

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Europeans fear US attack on Iran as nuclear row intensifies |

Just a thought, floating through my consciousness; what would you do is you were told that you had, maybe, a year to live, at best?

It's a question we might want to be asking ourselves.

Europeans fear US attack on Iran as nuclear row intensifies | Iran | Guardian Unlimited:

Transatlantic rift emerges over how to handle crisis
· America builds up its naval forces in the Gulf

Ian Traynor in Brussels and Jonathan Steele
Wednesday January 31, 2007
The Guardian

Senior European policy-makers are increasingly worried that the US administration will resort to air strikes against Iran to try to destroy its suspect nuclear programme.

As transatlantic friction over how to deal with the Iranian impasse intensifies, there are fears in European capitals that the nuclear crisis could come to a head this year because of US frustration with Russian stalling tactics at the UN security council. 'The clock is ticking,' said one European official. 'Military action has come back on to the table more seriously than before. The language in the US has changed.'

Bush's tall tales of terrorist plots get K.O.ed

How stupid does Bush believe we are?

Well, he is the champion of "projection," after all.

Lawdy, Miss Claudy!

Crooks and Liars:

Keith Olbermann takes a look at Bush's claims about thwarted terrorists plots and fact checks them. Pray tell, what shall he ever find?

Olbermann: Upon his appointment, Sir Norman Bettison made one of the strangest comments of the year: 'The threat of terrorism,' he says, 'is lurking out there like Jaws 2.' Sir Norman did not exactly mine the richest ore for his analogy of warning. A critic once said of the flopping sequel to the classic film: 'You're gonna need a better screenplay.'

Does Anyone Believe Anything These People Say?

The Libby Trail begins to draw a caricature of the Bush White House and just how it has always functioned, from November 2000, before it was a White House, right up to the present.

For most of us, the Libby trial has brought no real surprises. We venture to guess, however, that it will be an eye-opener for quite a few.

White House Watch -- News on President George W Bush and the Bush Administration -

From the first time the White House was asked about allegations that senior officials had exposed a CIA agent's identity as part of a plot to discredit an administration critic, the answer was consistent.

As spokesman Scott McClellan put it as early as July 22, 2003: 'That is not the way this President or this White House operates.'

Hold Out Bush/Cheney Republicans – and Lieberman – Betray our GIs and Help Sign Their Death Warrants

Well said.

Hold Out Bush/Cheney Republicans – and Lieberman – Betray our GIs and Help Sign Their Death Warrants | BuzzFlash:

The likes of McCain, Graham, McConnell and Lieberman betray our GIs and abandon them to their deaths.

Nothing could be more tragically ironic at this time than the issuance of a report from the Inspector General for the Defense Dept. that our troops are inadequately supplied, protected and armed.

According to Business Week, 'The Inspector General found that the Pentagon hasn't been able to properly equip the soldiers it already has. Many have gone without enough guns, ammunition, and other necessary supplies to 'effectively complete their missions' and have had to cancel or postpone some assignments while waiting for the proper gear, according to the report from auditors with the Defense Dept. Inspector General's office. Soldiers have also found themselves short on body armor, armored vehicles, and communications equipment, among other things, auditors found.'

Report: FBI conducting sweeping Internet wiretaps that mirror warantless NSA surveillance

My response to this: Increase criticism of the Bush administration 10 fold; cc. email to the FBI and blog-posts as well.

Actually, we are not at all surprised by this. The minute Gonzales said they were putting NSA surveillance under FISA (well sort of) we suspected that they had simply moved the program.

The Raw Story | Report: FBI conducting sweeping Internet wiretaps that mirror warantless NSA surveillance:

The FBI appears to have adopted an invasive Internet surveillance technique that collects far more data on innocent Americans than previously has been disclosed,' according to a story posted Tuesday on ZDNet, a technology news website.

Agents engaging in investigations appear to be amassing huge databases of data on thousands of Internet users, rather than eyeing the activities of particular suspects -- similar to the sweeping approach employed by the National Security Agency. The NSA wiretaps program drew congressional uproar after it was revealed the program was taking place without supervision by a court.

Chavez a threat to democracy, US intelligence chief says

We need to start calling people on their use of the term "Democracy," when what they are really talking about is "free markets," (which are never really free) not necessarily free, self-determining people.

It isn't Democracy that leads to a lack of prosperity for the many, but the incredible greed of the few and lust for power in some.

That can be said of any economic system, capitalism or communism.

Unless governments recognize the problem as a problem of human nature, and institute laws which discourage such demons of our nature and encourage our better nature, no economic system will be anything but deeply flawed and bound to fail, taking down, with it, any form of government.

The Raw Story | Chavez a threat to democracy, US intelligence chief says:

Washington- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez exports a form of 'radical populism' throughout Latin America that poses a threat to democracy, the top US intelligence official said Tuesday. John Negroponte, during hearings on his nomination to become deputy secretary of state, warned that frustration in Latin America about the lack of prosperity under democratic governments could further fuel the populism advocated by Chavez.

US-Venezuelan relations have suffered during Chavez's presidency. Chavez has traveled the world lambasting what he considers American imperialism and in September called US President George W Bush 'the devil.'

Can Humanity Survive? Want to Bet on It? - New York Times

Will our own fear do us all in?

A far more likely scenario, I think. Fear does strange things to people, one of which is to make them stupid and gullible. The years since 9/11/01 are a perfect example of that phenomenon, in the U.S.

I'm getting a little annoyed with the term, "existential threat," being thrown around by simply everyone, these days.

Being born is an existential threat, because it means you're gonna die. It's only a matter of time.

On that, I will bet.

John Tierney: Can Humanity Survive? Want to Bet on It? - New York Times:

Sixty ago years, a group of physicists concerned about nuclear weapons created the Doomsday Clock and set its hands at seven minutes to midnight. Now, the clock’s keepers, alarmed by new dangers like climate change, have moved the hands up to 11:55 p.m.

My first reaction was a sigh of relief. After all, the 1947 doomsday prediction marked the start of a golden age. Never have so many humans lived so long — and maybe never so peacefully — as during the past 60 years. The per-capita rate of violence, particularly in the West, seems remarkably low by historical standards. If the clock’s keepers are worried once again, their track record suggests we’re in for even happier days.

But there’s one novel twist that gives me pause. When the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced two weeks ago in Washington that it was adjusting the clock, it was joined in a trans-Atlantic press conference by scientists at the Royal Society in London. One of them was the society’s president, Martin Rees, a new breed of doom-sayer.

World Scientists Near Consensus on Warming

Time is clearly of the essence.

Can we afford two more years of Bush and his science hating administration?

World Scientists Near Consensus on Warming - New York Times:

PARIS, Jan. 29 — Scientists from across the world gathered Monday to hammer out the final details of an authoritative report on climate change that is expected to project centuries of rising temperatures and sea levels unless there are curbs in emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases that trap heat in the atmosphere.

Scientists involved in writing or reviewing the report say it is nearly certain to conclude that there is at least a 90 percent chance that human-caused emissions are the main factor in warming since 1950. The report is the fourth since 1990 from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is overseen by the United Nations.

The report, several of the authors said, will describe a growing body of evidence that warming is likely to cause a profound transformation of the planet.

Three large sections of the report will be forthcoming during the year. The first will be a summary for policy makers and information on basic climate science, which is expected to be issued on Friday.

Among the findings in recent drafts: (Read On ^)

Bush Enablers in The Senate Plan To Halt Iraq Vote

Seems they want to protect the preznit from embarrassment.

God forbid that Bush should feel the pangs of embarrassment.

After all, he has only been responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and even more, who are maimed for life.

Senate Allies of Bush Work to Halt Iraq Vote - New York Times:

With the Senate expected to reach votes on possible resolutions sometime next week, the signs of the new campaign seeped out after a weekly closed-door lunch in which Republican senators engaged in what participants described as a heated debate over how to approach the issue.

The new effort by President Bush’s allies, including Senators John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, is aimed at blocking two non-binding resolutions directly critical of the White House that had appeared to be gaining broad support among Democrats and even some Republicans.

Republicans skeptical of the troop buildup said some of their colleagues had begun to suggest that opponents of the White House plan ran the risk of undermining Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus, the new military commander in Iraq, as well as Mr. Bush.

Judith Miller (yes, that one) Torpedos Libby

...and it's back to the Libby Trial!

Kinda makes you feel sorry for Libby's lawyers. Seems they are pulling at loose straws.

Judge Walton had better be extremely careful; the only chance they have is a technicality of some kind.

Miller Testimony Contradicts Libby Story -

"WASHINGTON -- Reporter Judith Miller testified Tuesday that former vice presidential aide I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby identified a CIA operative to her on two occasions on dates earlier than he has told investigators he first heard the information from another reporter.

Miller, the former New York Times reporter who spent 85 days in jail trying to avoid revealing these conversations, said Libby identified the wife of a prominent Iraq war critic as a CIA employee in face-to-face meetings on June 23 and July 8, 2003.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Reverend Moon's Anti-Obama Agit-Prop

The Chief Moonie Ding-bat, new world messiah needs to stay the hell out of American politics, unless he wishes to lose a lot of money in these United States.

Robert Parry | Reverend Moon's Anti-Obama Agit-Prop:

If you've ever wondered how agit-propaganda works, you might take a look at the latest case study from the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's media empire - a bogus story about Barack Obama attending a Muslim 'madrassah' when he was six years old, a smear that was then attributed to operatives of Hillary Clinton.

The shrewdness of Moon's Insight magazine story is that it hit two enemies with one anonymously sourced stone, a strategy of slime and divide straight from the textbooks of a spy agency like the CIA.

Only in this case, it is not the CIA planting black propaganda in a foreign publication to undermine some U.S. enemy. It is Moon using his media outlets subsidized by his mysterious foreign money to manipulate and distort the U.S. political process, again.

The Insight 'madrassah' story also turned out to be false. As CNN reported on Jan. 22, the Indonesian school that Obama attended as a child was not a 'madrassah' where sometimes extreme forms of Islam are taught, but rather a well-kept public school in an upper-middle-class neighborhood of Jakarta.

The boys and girls wear school uniforms and are taught a typical school curriculum today as they were 39 years ago when Obama was a student there, while living with his mother in Indonesia, reported CNN correspondent John Vause.

Off the Rails

Bush and his Rat-licking lies and razors in policy apples.

Greg Palast | Off the Rails:

There was that tongue again. When the President lies he's got this weird nervous tick: He sticks the tip of his tongue out between his lips. Like a little boy who knows he's fibbing. Like a snake licking a rat.

In his State of the Union tonight the President did his tongue thing 124 times - my kids kept count.

But it wasn't all rat-licking lies.

Most pundits concentrated on Iraq and wacky health insurance stuff. But that's just bubbles and blather. The real agenda is in the small stuff. The little razors in the policy apple, the nasty little pieces of policy shrapnel that whiz by between the appearances of the Presidential tongue.

First, there was the announcement the regime will, 'give employers the tools to verify the legal status of their workers.' In case you missed that one, the President is talking about creating a federal citizen profile database.

There's a problem with that idea. It's against the law. The law in question is the United States Constitution. The Founding Fathers thought the government had no right to keep track on a citizen unless there is evidence they have committed, or planned to commit, a crime.

Fleischer Testimony Contradicts Libby Defense

Common sense contradicts Libby defense.

Fleischer Testimony Contradicts Libby Defense:

Defense won't know ex-White House spokesman immunity details.

Washington - Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer testified Monday that then-colleague I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby told him over lunch that the wife of a prominent war critic worked at the CIA.

Fleischer said the conversation happened on Monday, July 7, 2003, the day after former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's op-ed article appeared in the New York Times, and he was a guest on 'Meet the Press,' accusing the administration of 'twisting' intelligence on Iraq's weapons programs. Libby - according to prosecutors - told Fleischer at lunch at the White House that the information that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA was 'hush-hush.'

That is the same day that the White House issued a statement saying that the '16 words' in the State of the Union address about Iraq seeking nuclear materials from Africa, should not have been included in the speech.

Fleischer was about to go overseas with the president and a number of other officials on an official delegation to various African countries. Fleischer would be traveling with the White House press corps on the trip.


Libby Trial: Will Ari Hang 'Em All

Could be...........

His testimony begins today, and by the time he's through the trial could be over, except for the rest of the witnesses Fitzgerald can crucify, as the rest of the trial drags on, gouging bigger and bigger holes in the administration's case for war and revealing more criminal slime.

"Bush Administration Is Focus of Leak Inquiry":

On the evening of September 27, 2003, Ari Fleischer logged onto a computer and read a story published on the Washington Post's web site - a story that would be printed above the fold on the front page of the paper the next morning.

'Bush Administration Is Focus of Leak Inquiry,' the headline read. 'CIA Agent's Identity Was Leaked to Media.'

The story, reported by the Washington Post's Mike Allen and Dana Priest, said that 'two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and disclosed the identity and occupation of Wilson's wife' and that as a result the Justice Department was launching an informal inquiry to find out who leaked the name of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson to syndicated columnist Robert Novak two months earlier.

Fleischer cringed when he read the news. Worse, the story said that whoever was responsible for the leak might have violated an obscure 1982 federal law that carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and tens of thousand of dollars in fines 'for unauthorized disclosure by government employees with access to classified information.' (The law actually states that officials who 'knowingly' disclose information about an undercover agent could be prosecuted under this statute. The Washington Post incorrectly characterized the law.)

THE ANGRY ONE: Chuck Hagel Sounds Off

Go, Chuck, Go. Tell it like it is.

Hagel is one of us who learned the lessons of Vietnam, while Cheney, Bush and the idiots in this administration learned nothing but how to dodge serving in the wars they believe in.

THE ANGRY ONE: GQ Features on

Chuck Hagel came home from Vietnam in 1968 with shrapnel in his chest, scars on his face, and an unyielding certainty that the freedom of men is theirs alone to win. As an infantryman, he had not bombed from above or commanded from behind; he had stood knee-deep in the muck, face-to-face with the enemy, firing on men and watching them die. It’s a hard memory to leave behind. Even after four decades and a lifetime of change—a fortune earned in the investment-banking business; a decade as a senator from Nebraska; and a position as one of the GOP’s conservative torchbearers with a shot at the White House—Hagel has put everything on the line to oppose the war in Iraq, refusing to send a “surge” of new troops into battle, or to forget the lessons he brought home from the killing fields long ago.

Sitting in his office on a recent afternoon, Hagel leaned back in his armchair to explain, in a voice reminiscent of sandpaper on rough oak, how he was deceived by the president, and won’t let it happen again.

Media Downplays Anti-War March Size

Again, what else is new?

The march in August 2004, the Sunday before the RNC was at least 1/2 million strong, but it went uncovered, by the MSM.

September, 2005, saw, at least, 350,000 encircle the White House.

Nothing new here, except that this protest was, at least, mentioned, even if it was downplayed.

Danny Schechter: Media Downplays Anti-War March Size | BuzzFlash:

New York: January 28: This past weekend's anti-war march was big, say the organizers and I have no reason to doubt them. They made this claim:

Washington, D.C. -- In a massive showing of public opposition to the Iraq war, 500,000 people filled the streets around the Capitol today, completely surrounding the building. Participants converged on the National Mall from all over the country to voice their support for an end to the conflict in Iraq.

Three hundred buses rolled in early this morning, coming from more than 40 states and including at least 20 buses filled by New York City trade unions. United For Peace & Justice, the march coordinator, called this one of the largest and most diverse demonstrations since the war began.

According to UFPJ National Coordinator and veteran peace and justice leader Leslie Cagan, 'This is a decisive moment in the history of this country and of our peace movement. In November, the people of this nation voted for peace. We are here today, all ages, from all walks of life, to hold our elected officials to the mandate of the people.'

Add in protests in the rest of the country and it was even bigger.

Worldwide, 'War on Terror' Used as Excuse to Oppress, Charge Activists - Yahoo! News

C'mon everyone, all together now:


It is our right to peacefully assemble and petition our government. We plan on doing a lot more of it.

Start messing with our Bill of Rights or rounding us up and a lot of people will get hurt or wake up dead.

Don't push us, Junior!

Worldwide, 'War on Terror' Used as Excuse to Oppress, Charge Activists - Yahoo! News:

NEW YORK, Jan 24 (OneWorld) - Government leaders across the world must stop using anti-terror laws as a tool to suppress opposition movements and deprive ordinary citizens of their due civil and human rights, say international civil society groups attending the World Social Forum in Kenya this week.

'The 'so-called war on terror' is being used by both democratic and repressive governments alike to justify restrictions on civil society activities,' said Kumi Naidoo, secretary general of the World Alliance for Citizens' Participation (CIVICUS), a Johannesburg, South Africa-based coalition of hundreds of advocacy groups.

On Tuesday, in collaboration with the international human rights group Oxfam and the U.S.-based Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), Naidoo's group held a news conference where they charged that many governments were committing human rights abuses and imposing unlawful restrictions on the movement of activists.

From Tunisia to Tonga and from the United States to Uzbekistan, the voices of activists and organizations are being silenced, said the groups' representatives, noting that many governments were trying to justify new security laws as a means to protect their citizens, but in practice, they were using them to create a climate of fear.

Bush Definat in Face of Protests in D.C.

So, what else is new?

It isn't as if these protests haven't been happening ever since before the war began.

Independent Online Edition > Americas:

As thousands of demonstrators protested against the Iraq war outside the Capitol yesterday, top Congressional Republicans have warned President George Bush that his controversial troop increase has a few months at the very most to show results.

The threat that his own party will turn against him is the clearest sign yet of the intensifying pressure on Mr Bush after the cool reaction to his State of the Union plea to lawmakers to 'give a chance' to his plan to send 21,500 more troops to Baghdad and al-Anbar province, seat of the Sunni insurgency.

But the public overwhelmingly opposes the plan, by a majority of two to one, while the Iraq débâcle has driven down Mr Bush's approval rating to barely 30 per cent, a level rarely reached since Richard Nixon at the height of Watergate.

The 'bring the troops home' rally, held in brilliant sunshine on the Washington Mall, was intended to highlight not only the 3,100 US troops who have died, but also the countless thousands of Iraqi civilian dead.

Biden: Only 20 Senators Will Support Troop Increase

I hope Biden is right!

Biden: Only 20 Senators Will Support Troop Increase | The Huffington Post:

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee predicted today that no more than 20 senators would vote to support the president's troop increase for Iraq, and he and other Democrats angrily contested the Bush administration's suggestion that their criticism of the war was emboldening the nation's enemies.

It remains to be seen whether this prediction by the Democratic chairman, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, will come to fruition once debate begins this week or next on resolutions critical of President Bush's new war plan. Republican leaders are working hard to limit defections, and competing resolutions may dilute support for that resolution backed by Mr. Biden that finds a troop increase would not be 'in the national interest.'

Schumer: Iraq Vote Will Send Shockwaves Through White House

No it won't!

Junior and Vice have made it abundantly clear that they do not give a rat's ass what anyone thinks, and nothing Congress can do will stop them from plowing forward with the PNAC Doctrine.

Schumer: Iraq Vote Will Send Shockwaves Through White House | The Huffington Post:

Democratic Senator Charles Schumer predicted a large number of lawmakers in Bush's Republican Party -- possibly 'even a majority' -- would support the resolution condemning the proposed deployment.

'And that will send shockwaves through the White House and through the country,' Schumer told NBC.

Republicans Scared Stiff of Bush's War Bumbles

They ought to be!

If they think 2006 was bad for the GOP, they should try to imagine what 2008 will look like.

Wonder when it will dawn on them that Junior doesn't give a damn about the party of his father?

The Blog | Earl Ofari Hutchinson: Republicans Scared Stiff of Bush's War Bumbles | The Huffington Post:

A bull-headed President Bush has made a career out of thumbing his nose at Congressional Democrats that take shots at his Iraq war folly. And now he's doing the same with the few Republicans that have dared break the code of silence and slam his Iraq war policy. When Republican Senator Olympia Snowe said she would back the Senate's non-binding resolution that gently put the brakes on war escalation, Bush lashed out that it wouldn't change anything.

And in his State of the Union speech, he again made it clear that he'll do as he pleases when it comes to squandering more billions and wasting more American lives in the quagmire.

But defiance on Iraq is one thing, and domestic political realities are another. Massive public discontent with Bush's hopelessly flawed and failed Iraq war policy cost the Republicans big in the mid-term elections, and with a slew of key Republicans up for reelection in 2008, they are terrified that it cost them even bigger in the 2008 elections, and that includes the loss of the White House.

Bush can't dodge Webb's critique

Well said......

Bush can't dodge Webb's critique -

The president's State of the Union address was rocked Tuesday by the improvised explosive device set off by the freshman senator from Virginia. The eight-minute rebuttal by Democratic Sen. Jim Webb tracked closer to the reality of the current affairs of state than the 49-minute ramble of George W. Bush.

Having squeaked past Republican George Allen for his seat, Webb is stranger neither to conflict nor to the written word. The novelist, filmmaker, Vietnam veteran and author of books on military strategy is also a former U.S. secretary of the Navy. Not one to suffer fool politicians, Webb reportedly resigned as secretary rather than shrink the Navy.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Iran is Going to Be Attacked

Who, indeed?

We cannot except anything less than full accountability under the law. Doing so would be treason on our part.

Our national well-being depends on official accountability, this time.

There must be no pardons, as the court of public opinion will not recognize any such pardons, on the grounds of national security or ending long national nightmares. That won't fly this time.

There can be no bargains. No such bargains can be made in the name of the people. We want the entire force of the law to be applied to members of this administration.

If Congress allows Junior and company to attack Iran, given that they must surely know, or they are much less informed than we are, that Bush is doing his dead level best to lure Iran into over-reacting to on-going provocations . It is always possible, that if the Iranian government doesn't over-react to Bushite taunting, an incident may still happen.

Congress would never know what hit them.

The time to act is now!

Iran is Going to Be Attacked:

Who gets to decide what laws are followed and what laws are not followed? Who decides who will be charged with a crime and who will give 'state's evidence' and be given amnesty, or just not charged and allowed to walk after the commission of a crime? The one that usually decides that is the District Attorney that has jurisprudence over the crime. Things that they consider are what the crime was, the person who committed the crime, whether that person that committed the crime is likely to do it again, what is on the court calender, the severity of the crime, and also if the crime was the kind of a crime that if ignored, might set a dangerous precedent and therefore a dangerous message to the community.


Most all of it goes all the way to the Oval, not just the OVP.

The president is not allowed to plead out-of-the-loop.

Loopy won't work either.

They are all toast!


Like a rabid bear being smoked from its lair, America's most dangerous unindicted criminal Dick ' Iraq resistance in its last throes ' Cheney has been forced out of his self imposed bunker by the ' Scooter ' Libby trial revelations that Cheney himself ( as predicted here three years ago ) was personally involved in an effort to try to discredit a critic of the Iraq War ~ U.S. Envoy Joseph Wilson.

The Pandora's box of Cheney/Bush abuses of power is starting to open ~ and virtually all of its deceptions and scandals begin with Cheney

Here's another perfect example ~ courtesy of the American Progress Report. (LINK ABOVE)

Putting it on the Table: Kucinich Says Bush Risking Impeachment


Do we have to wait for the fool to start a nuclear war before we impeach and try him and his gang of thugs?

Would it not be a just thing to start preemptive impeachment?

Putting it on the Table: Kucinich Says Bush Risking Impeachment:

'The degree to which this President continues to take steps to go to war against Iran without consulting with the full Congress is the degree to which he is increasingly putting himself in jeopardy of an impeachment proceeding.' - Dennis Kucinich"

Will Rove Testify?

Does he have a choice?

I imagine he has already given up just about everyone to save his own sorry, fat ass. Can he stop cooperating now, and risk getting indicted?

Rove would throw his own wife under a bus, if he had to.

Will Rove Testify? - Newsweek National News -

Jan. 26, 2007 - White House anxiety is mounting over the prospect that top officials—including deputy chief of staff Karl Rove and counselor Dan Bartlett-may be forced to provide potentially awkward testimony in the perjury and obstruction trial of Lewis (Scooter) Libby.

Returning to the scene of the original crime

Anyone who will steal an election in a Democracy is capable of anything.

If we don't know that by now, we are hopeless.

Those who steal power will abuse it.

The Betrayal of America: How the Supreme Court Undermined the Constitution and Chose Our President (Paperback):

With the ongoing crisis of America being held hostage by a rogue, runaway executive branch, we thought it was time to return to the scene of the original crime that made this horror possible: the theft of an election from the American people by five members of the Supreme Court.

It may be January of 2007 when we write this updated commentary on Vincent Bugliosi's indictment of the Supreme Court coup leaders, which Molly Ivins (now seriously ill with a relapse of cancer) called the 'J'Accuse' of the new millenium, but we are not getting over it.

How can you get over a man who lost a presidential election by more than 540,000 votes acting like a dictator for six years -- and doing everything in his power to build the institutional constructs of fascism?

Focus Is on Cheney at Libby Trial

The focus should be on Cheney.

Libby didn't commit perjury and obstruction in a vacuum, nor did he out a CIA operative, who just happened to be an expert on non-proliferation, with Iran as her main focus, all by himself.

Libby is a lawyer, with Washington, D.C. experience. He had to have known that outing a CIA NOC was an unlawful act, especially when doing so took down a CIA front company and put the lives of CIA assets, abroad, in danger. I doubt seriously that he would act on his own.

The very fact that he lied his ass off shows a consciousness of guilt. He knows damn well, what he did was unlawful, as well as amoral.

NPR : Focus Is on Cheney at Libby Trial:

January 27, 2007 · A week of testimony in the perjury trial of Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Cheney, reveals more about the defense strategy, and about the way the vice president's office works behind closed doors.

Clinton concedes role in authorizing war

Clinton says authorizing Bush's war was a mistake, but says that he misused the authorization.

No Shit. Did anyone expect this president to do otherwise. Bill could have told her that the Bushites were hell-bent on carrying out a Neocon plan which he had seen and refused to act on.

Senator Clinton needs to get real!

Clinton concedes role in authorizing war - Yahoo! News:

DES MOINES, Iowa - New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton blamed President Bush on Saturday for misusing authority given him by Congress to act in Iraq, but conceded 'I take responsibility' for her role in allowing that to happen.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Clinton also said she would not cede black votes to Barack Obama (news, bio, voting record) and that she had proven as a U.S. senator that gender is irrelevant.

Of her husband, the former president, she said he would have a role in the campaign but 'I'm the one running for president.'

Clinton was making her first campaign swing through this early nominating state, which twice voted for
Bill Clinton for president. She met with key activists and held a raucous town hall meeting with 1,500 cheering backers and hundreds of journalists.

'I have said clearly and consistently for quite some time that I regret the way the president misused the authority,' said Clinton. 'He misled Congress and the country on what he was seeking and what he intended to do.'

The responsibility Clinton said she accepts was helping clear the way for Bush's path in Iraq.

Crowds on both coasts protest Iraq war

Silence, now, is treason!

Crowds on both coasts protest Iraq war - Yahoo! News:

WASHINGTON - Convinced this is their moment, tens of thousands marched Saturday in an anti-war demonstration linking military families, ordinary people and an icon of the Vietnam protest movement in a spirited call to get out of

Celebrities, a half-dozen lawmakers and protesters from distant states rallied in the capital under a sunny sky, seizing an opportunity to press their cause with a Congress restive on the war and a country that has turned against the conflict.

Marching with them was Jane Fonda, in what she said was her first anti-war demonstration in 34 years.

'Silence is no longer an option,' Fonda said to cheers from the stage on the National Mall. The actress once derided as 'Hanoi Jane' by conservatives for her stance on Vietnam said she had held back from activism so as not to be a distraction for the Iraq anti-war movement, but needed to speak out now.

The rally on the Mall unfolded peacefully, although about 300 protesters tried to rush the Capitol, running up the grassy lawn to the front of the building. Police on motorcycles tried to stop them, scuffling with some and barricading entrances.

Sen. Kerry blasts U.S. foreign policy

The sickening thing about it all is that we knew it all in 2004.

We knew that the war in Iraq was bogus, a war of choice and, therefore, a war crime. We knew that crimes against humanity were being committed. We knew that ignoring Iran and North Korea, except when Bush decided to name-call or saber-rattle, was a horrible mistake.

Sen. Kerry blasts U.S. foreign policy - Yahoo! News:

DAVOS, Switzerland - Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry slammed the foreign policy of the Bush administration on Saturday, saying it has caused the United States to become 'a sort of international pariah.'

The statement came as the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee responded to a question about whether the U.S. government had failed to adequately engage
Iran's government before the election of hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005.

Kerry said the Bush administration has failed to adequately address a number of foreign policy issues.

'When we walk away from global warming, Kyoto, when we are irresponsibly slow in moving toward AIDS in Africa, when we don't advance and live up to our own rhetoric and standards, we sent a terrible message of duplicity and hypocrisy,' Kerry said.

'So we have a crisis of confidence in the Middle East — in the world, really. I've never seen our country as isolated, as much as a sort of international pariah for a number of reasons as it is today.'

McCain TV performance dings candidacy

We can't figure McCain out anymore. His support for Junior is stunningly stupid and was from the git-go

Union Leader - Robert D. Novak: McCain TV performance dings candidacy - Saturday, Jan. 27, 2007:

WASHINGTON – Democratic strategists who had feared Sen. John McCain as the potentially unbeatable Republican candidate for President in 2008 were surprised and delighted by his dour appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” last Sunday.

One Democratic leader referred to McCain’s performance, in suggesting President Bush’s additional 21,000 troops may be inadequate, as “comatose.” A Republican adviser to McCain said it was one of the worst performances ever on “Meet the Press.” The senator’s defender said he could not be expected to be cheerful about a plan to send additional U.S. troops in harm’s way.

A footnote: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is picking up support for President among House Republicans, headed by former Speaker Dennis Hastert.

Iraq National Intelligence Estimate Will Advise Against Sending More Troops

Hey Congress, No NIE, No surge!

You let them get by with that once, as what you were given before the Iraq war was more like a scrubbed White Paper than an NIE.

Don't make the same mistake again!

NPR: Iraq National Intelligence Estimate Will Advise Against Sending More Troops... | The Huffington Post:

Six months ago, Harper's Ken Silverstein reported that 'in spite of pressure from CIA analysts, intelligence czar John Negroponte was blocking a new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq.' National Intelligence Estimates present the consensus view of the U.S. intelligence apparatus. Despite pressure from Congress, the administration insisted it could not complete the NIE until January 2007.

Last week, however, an administration intelligence official told senators that the report is still not complete. According to Silverstein, Senate hearing attendees 'believe that senior intelligence officials are stalling because an NIE will be bleak enough to present a significant political liability.'

Notes: Gergen on Bush's Handling of Iran: "This is Nuts!"

That's putting it mildly.

The Blog | Arianna Huffington: Davos Notes: Gergen on Bush's Handling of Iran: "This is Nuts!" | The Huffington Post:

'This is nuts! It's just crazy to me.'

That was David Gergen's assessment of the Bush administration's failure to use diplomacy to confront the looming Iran nuclear crisis (he is clearly far more unplugged in Davos than he is on CNN).

We were wrapping up our early morning panel, taking a look ahead at the key economic and political issues on America's horizon. Our fellow panelists were Nicholas Kristof and Jay Nordlinger. Paul Laudicina moderated.

Gergen started off the session by evaluating Bush's State of the Union on the two criteria Aristotle said are essential to a great speech, logos and pathos (logic and emotion). He thought the problem with the speech was that it was light on pathos. I thought it was light on pathos, too -- but utterly devoid of even a wisp of logos.

Is McCain becoming a bit unhinged?

Could be....

Nevertheless, why is it that anyone who opposes any Republican's goofy ideas is automatically labeled part of the left fringe or far left?

I wish, that just once, someone would ask these people to explain who they are talking about. Who exactly is the far left?

The Blog | Arianna Huffington: Davos Notes: John McCain Bites My Head Off | The Huffington Post:

Toward the end of the conversation, I raised my hand and asked McCain:

'Given that you've said that you are 'scared to death that it's going to be a very hot spring in Afghanistan,' and given that you have also said, repeatedly, that only a substantial increase in troops in Iraq would make a real difference, why not send the 21,000 troops headed to Iraq, in what is clearly an act of desperation, to Afghanistan instead?'

During his response, McCain equated those opposing his position with 'the far left.'

'Do you consider Sam Brownback part of the far left?' I jumped in.

The Senator flared and told me that if I'd only let him finish his answer instead of interrupting, we could have 'a civil discussion.'

He then continued on about why he supports the escalation (see his speech to the AIE if you need a refresher). Along the way, he denied that he had used the phrase 'the far left.'

Wow, I thought, the Straight Talk Express has run so far off the rails McCain is now denying things he'd said in front of close to two-dozen note-taking journalists not half-a-minute before.

Stop The Iran War Before It Starts

If Bush launches an attack on Iran, he's coming down!

NewsTrust - About this Story - Stop The Iran War Before It Starts:

The Nation - By Scott Ritter - Jan 27, 2007 - Full Story

Democrats in Congress have the opportunity to nip this looming disaster in the bud. The fact that most of the Democratic members of Congress who enjoy tenure voted in favor of the resolutions giving the President such sweeping authority is moot. Democrats are all capable of pleading that they were acting under the influence of a Republican-controlled body and unable to adequately ascertain through effective oversight the genuine state of affairs. This is no longer the case. The Democrats in Congress are in firm control of their own destiny, and with it the destiny of America. A war with Iran will pale in comparison with the current conflict in Iraq...