Saturday, May 12, 2007

U.S. Attorney Firings Were Worse Than Political

They were freakin' fascist!


In America, they are criminal!

White House sought investigations of voter fraud allegations before elections
By Margaret Talev and Marisa Taylor
McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON - Only weeks before last year's pivotal midterm elections, the White House urged the Justice Department to pursue voter-fraud allegations against Democrats in three battleground states, a high-ranking Justice official has told congressional investigators.
In two instances in October 2006, President Bush's political adviser, Karl Rove, or his deputies passed the allegations on to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' then-chief of staff, Kyle Sampson.

Sampson tapped Gonzales aide Matthew Friedrich, who'd just left his post as chief of staff of the criminal division. In the first case, Friedrich agreed to find out whether Justice officials knew of "rampant" voter fraud or "lax" enforcement in parts of New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and report back.

But Friedrich declined to pursue a related matter from Wisconsin, he told congressional investigators, because an inquiry so close to an election could inappropriately sway voting results. Friedrich decided not to pass the matter on to the criminal division for investigation, even though Sampson gave him a 30-page report prepared by Republican activists that made claims of voting fraud.

Late Thursday night, a Justice Department spokesman disputed McClatchy's characterization, saying that the White House asked for an inquiry, but never ordered an investigation to be opened.

While it was known that Rove and the White House had complained about prosecutors not aggressively investigating voter fraud, Friedrich's testimony suggests that the Justice Department itself was under pressure to open voter fraud cases despite a department policy that discourages such action so close to an election.

The new details from Friedrich's closed-door testimony were provided to McClatchy Newspapers as Gonzales made his third appearance Thursday before Congress to answer questions about the firings of eight U.S. attorneys.

Congressional investigators are looking into whether the firings were motivated in part by prosecutors' failure to bring voter-fraud charges against Democrats.

In New Mexico, one of the states where voter-fraud allegations surfaced, the U.S. attorney, David Iglesias, was fired. The U.S. attorney in Wisconsin, Steve Biskupic, was targeted for removal but wasn't fired. Sampson told investigators that Biskupic may have been spared because Justice officials were wary of angering Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., then chairman of the judiciary panel.

Gonzales revealed little in the daylong testimony, as Democrats grew increasingly upset with his failure to offer specifics about who decided whom to fire and why.

Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Fla., accused Gonzales of lying when he couldn't be pinned down on who decided to add Iglesias to the list in the eleventh hour. "Are you the attorney general?" he asked. "Do you run the Department of Justice? You know who put him on the list, but you won't tell us."

The Justice Department issued a statement after the hearing, saying "it is again clear that the Attorney General did not ask for the resignation of any individual in order to interfere with or influence a particular prosecution for partisan political gain."

A portion of the transcript of Friedrich's testimony was released during the hearing before the House Judiciary Committee. Other redacted portions were described to McClatchy Newspapers by a senior congressional aide familiar with the testimony. The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because the full transcript hasn't been released. Friedrich couldn't be reached for comment.

White House spokesman Tony Fratto downplayed the importance of Friedrich's testimony, saying, "It's no secret that we and others had long-standing concerns about voter fraud in a number of places - including Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and New Mexico."

He also criticized members of Congress for their "selective leaking of testimony" and "breathless reaction to any mention of Karl Rove."

Gonzales remained unwavering in his insistence that the firings weren't improper as Republicans called for an end to the investigation.

"As we have gone forward, the list of accusations has mushroomed, but the evidence of genuine wrongdoing has not," said Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas. "Mr. Attorney General, this investigation may find that you and your staff did only what you were accused of at the start - the unremarkable and perfectly legal act of considering ordinary politics in the appointment and oversight of political appointees."

Although the Justice Department has released thousands of documents related to the inquiry, officials haven't said whether they considered firing more prosecutors.

McClatchy Newspapers has reported that the department targeted at least four other prosecutors, including Biskupic.

Another former U.S. attorney, Todd Graves of Kansas City, Mo., revealed this week that he was asked to step aside for another candidate. He also said he had refused to sign off on a voting-rights lawsuit, which another Justice Department official later approved in Washington. The official, Brad Schlozman, later became Graves' temporary replacement.

Gonzales denied that the department considered removing Graves as part of the same firing plan.

Asked whether Graves may have been fired for refusing to sign off on the lawsuit, Gonzales said, "I have no basis to believe that particular case had anything to do with Mr. Graves' departure."

He also denied that the department considered firing former Los Angeles U.S. Attorney Debra Yang, despite reports that former White House counsel Harriet Miers had inquired about whether she would be leaving. Yang left to join a law firm representing Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Calif., as her office was investigating him. She has said she left voluntarily.

In addition to Graves and Biskupic, the department targeted at least two other U.S. attorneys before settling on the eight late last year.

The other prosecutors, Thomas Heffelfinger of Minneapolis and Thomas Marino of Pennsylvania, were located in states that Rove identified as election battleground states.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Goodling's Hatred For Heathen Democrats

Ms. Goodling is a product of the Christian Right's plan to flood the justice system with fundies.

They have already taken over the U.S. Air Force, reportedly, turning it into the Air Farce, no doubt.

I've always been a live and let live kind of person, but these past years, that has been changing. Let me just say, that I will not bow down to these people and their twisted theology, which they, apparently, want to codify as U.S. law.

They want war? They will flat get it.

Justice officials detail Goodling’s partisan witchhunt.
The New York Times reports:

Two years ago, Robin C. Ashton, a seasoned criminal prosecutor at the Department of Justice, learned from her boss that a promised promotion was no longer hers.

“You have a Monica problem,” Ms. Ashton was told, according to several Justice Department officials. Referring to Monica M. Goodling, a 31-year-old, relatively inexperienced lawyer who had only recently arrived in the office, the boss added, “She believes you’re a Democrat and doesn’t feel you can be trusted.” […]

Ms. Goodling would soon be quizzing applicants for civil service jobs at Justice Department headquarters with questions that several United States attorneys said were inappropriate, like who was their favorite president and Supreme Court justice. One department official said an applicant was even asked, “Have you ever cheated on your wife?”

Ms. Goodling also moved to block the hiring of prosecutors with résumés that suggested they might be Democrats, even though they were seeking posts that were supposed to be nonpartisan, two department officials said.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Romney Doesn't Stand A Chance

NEW YORK (CNN) -- As former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney tries to distinguish himself from his Republican rivals in the race for president, he's also distancing himself from President Bush.

On the topic of Iraq, Romney gave perhaps his strongest criticism yet of the administration in an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes."

"I think the administration made a number of errors," he told interviewer Mike Wallace. But, he said, Bush isn't solely to blame.

Even with the strongest of criticisms heard yet, from a Gooper, about the horror that is the Iraq War, Romney is quick to point out that there are others to blame and that Junior should not bear the full brunt.

Is everyone afraid of the naked little emperor?

"Well, he's the person where the buck stops," Romney said, "but it goes to the secretary of defense and the planning agencies, the Department of State -- it's the whole administration."
He wouldn't use Wallace's term -- that the administration "screwed up" -- but he said that mistakes were made.

Mr. Romney, what about the lies and disinformation flying out of their mouths? Would you call deception, for the sole purpose of executing an illegal and unjust war, a mistake?

"And we're paying for those mistakes," he added.

Well, some of us are. What was your tax break like, Mr. Romney? Got any kids in theater? (I don't mean broadway)

Asked what those mistakes were, Romney said, "I don't think we were adequately prepared for what occurred. I don't think we had done enough planning. I don't think we considered the various downsides and risks."

What does your religion say about deception, Mr. Romney. What about greed?

Mormon candidate calls polygamy 'awful'

Romney also answered questions about his religion on "60 Minutes," including one of the most often-asked questions about Mormons -- regarding the practice of polygamy, which was outlawed in the late 1800s. (Watch how Romney's sons answer questions about being Mormon )

"I have a great-great grandfather," he said. "They were trying to build a generation out there in the desert, and so he took additional wives, as he was told to. And I must admit I can't imagine anything more awful than polygamy."

Really? You can't think of anything more awful than polygamy?

I can. Far be it from me to defend polygamy, but I can think of a number of things that are worse. Wars of aggression, torture...I would say that those are worse.

When asked, Romney said he did not break the Mormon church's strict rules against premarital sex.

Well, thank God. But I stil want to know what your Church teaches about deception and fear-mongering, torture, wars of aggression.....I mean I am glad that you were a virgin on you wedding night.....that is nice, but I want to know what your Church teacehs about more important things.

"What's at the heart of my faith is a belief that there is a creator," he said, "that we're all children of the same God, and then fundamentally, the relationship you have with your spouse is important and eternal."

Ewww. Sounds a little like incest, when you say it that way.

Those who study religion and politics say they expect Romney's religion will factor in his campaign, but not overtly.

Better believe it will. Just wait until the the other religious kooks get a load of the Book of Morman.

"The fact that his Mormonism is out there is going to be manifest more in the whispered conversations and that sort of thing, rather than overt speeches and comments made during a debate," said David Campbell, a professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame.

Yep. Of course, the Mormans and the Fundies do have one belief in common; that the Roman Catholic Church is the great abomination, which lost the truth.

A case in point: Ahead of next week's Republican presidential debate in South Carolina, some in the state have received an eight-page criticism of the Mormon religion from an anonymous sender, questioning whether it's politically dangerous and referring to Mormon texts as hoaxes.
The whispers could get louder, however, and that may move the Romney campaign to address the matter head on.

Why anonymous? If you have something to say or write about Romney's religion, why not do it openly?

"There's been a lot of talk about whether or not he needs to give a speech like John Kennedy did in 1960 in which he says, 'I don't speak for the church, and the church doesn't speak for me,' " said Scott Helman, a Boston Globe reporter who has covered Romney for years. "At this point, his advisers feel he doesn't have to do that. But the more his religion is in the headlines, I think the more they have to consider it."

Kennedy was the United States' first Catholic president.

...and that did not end well.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

America's Caligula

The Counterfeit President
Submitted by Ian MacLeod on Fri, 05/11/2007

George Walker Bush is a counterfeit – everything.

He is a coward who wants desperately to be a war hero. He was born to old money, but he is rude, crude, and even sober, he is an embarrassment whenever he is thrown onto his own resources; he has the wit of a drunken stevedore with the intellect of a slow eight year old. Even when he is given the words of others to speak, they come out mispronounced and disordered; he doesn’t understand all of them, and fails completely to understand what they taken all mean together. He’s a silver–spoon city boy who, if he had to saddle his own horse – if he can ride at all – would end up riding as Odysseus did the sheep of Polyphemus: underneath. Nor would he, with his bought and paid for University degree (they wouldn’t have dared fail a legacy like him anyway), understand the reference.

He is foul-mouthed, his sense of humor runs to the low, the cruel, often the filthy, and is always inappropriate. One has to wonder how many heads of state have been invited to pull his finger... He was genuinely incredulous that the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, didn’t want him manhandling her in public. Nonetheless, he has a sterling record, also bought and paid for, with only a few hard to see ghosts of things that don’t belong, ghosts that are not healthy to bring up or try to see. He believes the family’s money and connections can buy or fix anything; they always have before. He is vengeful and vindictive, even towards those closest to him. As for those who cross or harm him or his in any way – which includes asking questions he doesn’t like or disagreeing with him, he tends towards hatred and overkill. If he could have, he would have called in an airstrike on Natalie Maines and the Dixie Chicks.

He is easily led by those he sees as truly intelligent, though they have to put up with his gloating about him being their "boss" even so. He tends also toward fanaticism or obsession in anything that takes his fancy (until he tires of it, anyway, or until stress or difficulty makes it work), nor does he feel that rules or laws should apply to him, as the president, as a scion of Old Money, or as a Dominionist Christian, so he constantly tries to undermine any laws that might become obstacles – like the entire Constitution, though he doesn’t seem worried about the Third Amendment (quartering of the military in the homes of citizens) - yet. In religion, as in most things, he likes to come across as "one of the guys" until someone treats him that way; otherwise, he takes the aristocrat’s view: he is to be treated as the royalty he believes he is or else; that way he can do his "Aw shucks" routine. As with the priests of the Middle Ages who sold indulgences, his religion has told him that he is forgiven anything he might do, and anyone who believes differently isn’t just bound for Hell, they’re fair game for any torment he can arrange here on earth as well, and with his connections, he can create Hell right here on earth for almost anyone.

In economics, he fastened onto an outdated, disproved theory that takes everything away from those who produce the wealth of a country and gives it all to the deserving rich – like him and his family, and any crony corporations in his good graces. It also incidentally has essentially bankrupted and destroyed every country it has been forced on, and is doing the same here.

He is a liar by preference, whether there is a necessity for it or not, but being called on it can bring up up a destructive, self-righteous rage against the one(s) who saw and exposed the truth. It is as though he feels that even though he lied, his status as a superior being by birth and unearned wealth should dictate that the peons must treat anything he says as gospel truth. Although once, on television, he essentially said that he had lied so the truth wouldn’t influence the upcoming election (this was after the election), as it would have: against him. He was matter-of-fact, as though of course anyone would do the same thing, and there was nothing wrong with it.

He has no empathy save as an abstract concept. He says he doesn’t "know how poor people think." One wonders how difficult it could be to imagine not being able to afford rent and heat and medication and everything else your family needs. Or simplify it: what do you do when you have no roof over your head, can’t work, and the government has cut off any aid to single men your age? According to him, as far as anyone can tell, you die - you deserve it as the lazy, improvident sinner you are. It’s God’s punishment, just as the wealth his grandfather and father stole or got by bankrolling the Nazis, by insider trading, or by any other means they could use God’s reward to His Own, and he deserves the money he was born into because he’s a real Christian, and therefore is "forgiven from the beginning of time," meaning anything he ever does from now on is already forgiven.

His religion, a fanatic, cruel and controlling cult version of Christianity (called Dominionism or Christian Reconstructionism), tells him he is God’s Chosen, shown by his wealth and position; all others deserve not only whatever trouble they already have, but whatever he does that makes life even harder for them. Those who work for a living are resources: they cough up votes and taxes for people like him, and sometimes have other things that can be taken from them to his benefit. It is also his belief that a government must lie to the people it rules, and the people he and the other Dominionists admire and quote often (well, other, more literate Dominionists like Karl Rove do, and George agrees, of course) are people like Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Genghis Kahn and others they call "great leaders" not afraid to kill and conquer, torture or do whatever needed to be done. They teach that rulers must rule by terror, violence, and lies. As Machiavelli, another man they admire, said in "The Prince", a manual for taking over a country and ruling it which they have used as it was intended, "A leader must only appear to have the qualities of goodness — he need not actually possess those attributes." He said that, in fact, it was better if those qualities were only a pose. In George’s case, it isn’t a problem.

George Walker Bush talks about freedom a lot – and liberty, our compassion as a nation and the other things that have made us great. Like freedom of speech. He then follows the advice of his idols, working to remove all of these things from Americans and everyone else. He has taken our right to dissent, to gather peacefully and to protest, to have a say in our own government, our right to privacy, and to make our own choices about our own lives so long as they harm no others, our right to know any charges against us, our right not to be tortured or held incommunicado, to travel anonymously, and to be able to expect to have our taxes go to maintaining the infrastructure necessary to the well-being of the country and everyone in it as those we elect are supposed to do. He wants to tell us who we may and may not marry and live out our lives with, what we can watch on television, read or write, and to force us to allow our children to be taught (his) religion in our schools – which he is defunding and destroying as fast as he can anyway so that children must be taught in churches or at home, not stealing government money for something rightly not the government’s responsibility – and he wants to forbid all contraception, abortion for any reason, including to save the life of the mother or in the case of incest and rape, as well as demands that lying and harmful "information" is all our children may be taught in school about sex (this is abstinence education), making them far more vulnerable to unwanted pregnancies, and STD’s, including HIV, which he views as God’s punishment for fornication and sodomy.

Our roads are falling apart for lack of maintenance, and a full one-third of the dams in the country are a danger to human life. Our electrical grid is an antique, and will fail when it’s most needed.

The regulatory agencies that were set up to protect the people of the U.S. from rapacious, destructive business practices are being gutted, and ethics investigators are routinely fired, to be replaced by crony appointees that favor the administration. Deregulation and the laws promulgated by the neocons have changed things enough so that our medical care system is rated forty-ninth in the industrialized world and falling, based on, among other things, infant mortality.

Scientists whose research finds information that Bush doesn’t care for or which offends his backers, or is otherwise inconvenient – which might, for instance, cost Big Business at the all-important "bottom line" – are also routinely censored or gagged, their results redacted or even rewritten by a political crony, keeping the public "properly" misinformed, as per the president’s preference. This applies to the FDA, the EPA (he has rendered their vast library of studies and other knowledge unavailable to it’s own scientists as well as to everyone else), the CDC – or any agency that once protected and informed the public. To Bush’s mind, they owe him loyalty before anyone or anything else. Their only function is to write things that back up what he says.

The radical right is paid back for their votes – and perhaps some of it is Bush’s attempt to practice his own relatively newfound religion – by keeping any research that has to do with stem cells, contraception or sex in general under-funded or unfunded, even illegal if he can manage it.

Attempts are also frequently made to remove rights and benefits from gays, Muslims, the disabled, the homeless, the mentally disturbed, the old, veterans and others who have few resources with which to defend themselves.

The Neocon view is that taxes on the rich or on business are theft, especially if they are given away in social programs, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to "the undeserving poor, who have done nothing to deserve this stolen money." Taxing the working poor or keeping the minimum wage as minimal as possible, however, is fine. Bush somehow thinks that such people have money to invest, too, which is how he keeps trying to arrange medical and welfare programs "to help the poor." Making their lives even more difficult, government restrictions, requirements and rules have made it impossible for many to meet the work requirements, to take care of children, and to continue schooling, and has forced many people off of welfare, out of school and into low-paying, dead-end jobs, even rendering some single-parent families homeless just months or weeks short of a degree or certificate. To Bush, this is a success: he’s improved the economy and the welfare program so much, people are coming off "the public dole" and going on to live their lives. He never mentions their continued poverty, lack of medical care and homelessness. It doesn’t register with him, really; he sees it as their own fault for being lazy and sinful – if he sees it at all. In Bushworld, people’s troubles are always their own fault, no matter that they had no other options. That is God’s doing in punishment for their sins, so they deserve that and more. He has no twinges of conscience, and he reports no trouble sleeping.

To George W. Bush, the business of government is pouring money into business and the military, which exists to conquer countries and competitors that have what Big Business wants. Throwing the entire country into what must become crushing debt is also no problem, and he pours the borrowed cash into crony corporation coffers without a qualm. Other generations of American poor can pay it back – eventually.

To his way of thinking, despite the record numbers of unemployed, homeless and other needy, the failing infrastructure, an American icon of a city still not even close to recovery, no rebuilt Twin Towers and eighty-some dead newly found after having been missed and left in a basement level since 9-11, despite thirty-five million people without health insurance having become forty-seven million, two and a half million citizens (mostly with dark skin) in prison mostly for nonviolent and inflated offences (bigger numbers=better PR) with closer to seven and half million otherwise entangled in the system, - the economy is in fine shape because Big Business is making money hand over fist, much of it by not having to pay their employees a living wage or benefits, and often, especially in Iraq, by not having to actually do anything for it at all. Of course, a lot of his evaluation of the economy may have to do with his anticipation of the forests and all of our national Parks almost being ready to be opened to gas and oil drilling, chemical plants, road building and logging with no regard whatsoever for any animal populations, or for better air quality standards – if you happen to be a power company – because the tons of mercury they spew into the air (and therefore the water, the fish, and our dinners) is officially to be treated as non-toxic, along with the increased arsenic and other poisons. Utility companies, if they find cleaning the water they sell to us to drink and wash with an undue burden, they don’t have to: then, if we go and drink or wash in poison, it’s our problem, not the government’s or the water company’s (who can still promote their product as "promoting good health"), and it’s certainly not the power company’s problem. They can all afford bottled water.

Bush is American only by courtesy of birth. He feels no debt of honor or loyalty to his natal country, or to the people who depend on the government to do the jobs it was created for. Our forests, the environment that literally keeps us healthy and alive, he labels "resources to give away to corporations" and forgets about it; it’s a big world, and there’s always more – somewhere. For him, at least.

He has no problem with stealing elections by any means necessary, as long as he and those he supports win. Besides, as long as "his own kind" control the laws, the courts and the information, no one can prove anything. The deaths of our young men and women are simply what they’re for to him. That’s what all peons are for: if a few thousand, or a few hundred thousand or however many die in securing MORE – more oil, more control, more for the holy "bottom line" for him and his, then they have fulfilled their purpose, and it’s an equitable trade.

His oath to defend the Constitution is simply a silly ritual that he had to go through and nothing more. This is clearly shown in this quote of Bush from a staffer: "Quit throwing the Constitution in my face! It’s just a Goddamned piece of paper!" That it is also the core document that defines America and Americans, that it is the single most magnificent piece of ethical and philosophical poetry in legislation since Hammurabi also means nothing to him. It is just an obstruction that keeps getting in the way by making people think they actually have rights and can make demands on him based on them. If he could, he would simply burn it and forget about it. Anyway, he’s gotten around to almost all of it now. For all the force it has, it may as well have been burned.

The spying he is having done, and the collections of every piece of data on every American and everyone else possible, is touted as being for the War On Terror, though in reality, the Neocons and their creations are the true terrorists in the world. Anyway, it’s all another lie. Experts have said that such an eavesdropping and spying network is utterly useless for finding terrorists.

Witness that it has found none so far. What it is good for is finding information that can be used for blackmail (note several sudden turnarounds of some in Congress who had disagreed with Republican bills up for a vote until the last second), or for getting obstructive individuals out of the way and forestalling dissenters, protests and other legitimate – for the time being – activities of citizens.

Now he is sending more troops into Iraq, despite the opinions of almost every expert in the country and elsewhere; the reasons he gives to the public are lies, as always.

He needs someone there to support Maliki until he can force a law through giving Halliburton and other private oil companies what is essentially ownership of Iraq’s oil. He will also try to use the situation to keep a large, permanent base and an embassy (the largest in the world, which, itself, constitutes a military base), manned, and a U.S. force there to keep control of the oil and a U.S. forward base in the Middle East.

The Iraqis will, at some point, object to getting such a minuscule portion of the sales of their own oil – 25% for the first thirty years, then a bit more – and are bound to rebel. Bush wants people with guns there that the Iraqis are afraid of to make sure the "law" forced through by his pet Prime Minister is enforced.

Until very recently, Bush had no idea there were different kinds of Islam, like the Shia and the Sunnis. He understands the culture not at all, and doesn’t care to learn; it simply isn’t important. They’re all Arabs, all heathens, all savages, and that’s all he needs to know. As long as they’re afraid of him and do what they’re ordered to do, things are as they should be.

Over the time of his presidency, Mr. Bush has packed the federal judiciary with demagogues, the legislation and cabinet with cronies who will back him no matter the law. He has claimed powers that no president has ever had, even in a war actually declared by Congress; he has twisted the laws of the land, and has passed laws by stealth and other methods that are unconstitutional, unethical, and destructive, but no one in government now seems to have the authority to go against him. With what is now almost ownership of the Supreme Court, still a huge Republican support in Congress, and appointees in the Justice Department who owe for the jobs or believe as he does, he is all but unassailable – for the time being. It would require almost all others, including the electorate, to go against him all at once to oust him. So far, the courage and the leadership simply doesn’t exist, especially not in Congress.

It is my fear that he will finish at least a part of his program: the destruction of the Social Contract, and the opening of the Commons – all National Parks and all public lands, with immunity to polluting industries entrenched in the law for decades designed to protect them from the consequences of their own actions (like poisoning the air, water, food and people around them for hundreds of miles, and destroying plants and animals, the function of which in the ecosystem that keeps us alive we still don’t understand, beyond any hope of recovery) – before he goes.

America would never recover. It would take generations now. He has some of the most brilliant and sociopathic strategists and tacticians there are working for him, constantly devising attacks on all of these things from many directions, while others work on keeping opponents busy defending themselves.

All Bush has to do is wait, read what he’s told to, and it’s almost certain that the people who are trying to defend America from this relentless attack on absolutely everything we have ever valued will miss something, and he will win again. America will be dead except as a poisoned resource, a third-world country that exports to Bush and his kind the vast majority of it’s labor and produce, leaving nothing for those who produce it.

That’s the plan.

Especially since the whole-hearted – well, let’s call it just almost "unlimited" since I’ve seen no evidence of a Neocon with an actual heart – entrée since the start of the Bush regime, the corporations have an access to and a control of government not seen since the robber-barons of yore.

They write our laws, or they ignore them with impunity – and with government complicity, because the regulatory agencies are run by their own.

Worst of all though, the single thing that can keep this going, is this: both parties are controlled by the corporations, so despite their apparent differences, their agenda, minus the Neocon slant, is the same! The corporations contribute the major funding that gets people elected, and they contribute to both parties, always! That way, whoever wins, they owe the corporations. They know that if they don’t pay that debt with influence peddling, laws that benefit businesses instead of We the People, they won’t get that money for the next election, and they will lose their great jobs, their benefits and gifts, and their illusion of being powerful people. The electorate who votes them in keep voting for the same people, the same parties, often knowing that they’re all under the influence of the corporations, because they’re afraid that if they vote for someone who might be good for the people, their vote will be wasted.

WE VOTE OUT OF FEAR! We vote for what looks like the lesser of evils, but it’s only the lesser face – the truth is the same on both sides, and that’s what we need to change.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

More Gooper Doo-Doo: Confront Junior And Vote With Him.

We called this one as soon as it hit the airwaves:

Buy time, buy time.....

Drag it all out, no matter how many innocent people die, including our own people.

GOP, thy name is lying, corrupt hypocrite!

None Of Republican Moderates Who "Warned" Bush Voted For Iraq Bill
By Greg Sargent bio

Here's a list of the "moderate" Republican members of Congress who made a big show of parading into President Bush's office a few days ago to inform him that the American public wants out of Iraq:

Charles W. Dent, Pennsylvania
Tom Davis, Virginia
Ray LaHood, Illinois
John Boehner, Ohio
Fred Upton, Michigan
Mark Kirk, Illinois
Jim Gerlach, Pennsylvania
James T. Walsh, New York
Jo Ann Emerson, Missouri
Jim Ramstad, Minnesota
Mike Castle, Delaware
Todd Platts, Pennsylvania

Guess how many of them voted yesterday for the House short-term bill that would tie funding to progress of the war? Exactly zero.

This isn't all that surprising, and doesn't say a great deal, but it does remind us that we shouldn't take the protestations of these GOP moderates all that seriously until they actually do something in practice, anything at all, to rein in this President and his war.

Update: It's worth adding that there may be a very good reason those GOPers leaked word of the "private" meeting with Bush: It sent a message back to their districts saying, in effect, that they're working hard to get this President to see reality -- really they are!

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

U.S. Attroneys Are No Longer The Issue.

Seem like the Goopers are finding themselves in a no win situation, with Little Alterto.

So, they are doing what they always do, covering up for him, supporting him, during hearings and hoping the whole thing will go away, from neglect and lack of interest over time.

Wait it out.

They are betting on American lethargy and attention deficit, especially with Summer coming.

Hey, Goopers, I would not count on that, if I were you. With gas prices going through the roof. Americans may have much more time on their hands, for things ike paying attention to that snake-pit, Washington, D.C.

It's not just about fired US attorneys anymore

Congress is asking pointed questions about the role of partisanship in prosecutions, hirings at Justice Department.

By Peter Grier Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

WASHINGTON - Pundits for weeks have been predicting his resignation is imminent, and lawmakers from both parties have called on him to quit. But so far Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has defied critics – and shows no signs of packing his bags.

The clamor over the firings of eight US attorneys may yet force Mr. Gonzales out. Members of Congress will have another chance to publicly press for his ouster at his scheduled appearance Thursday before the House Judiciary Committee.

But even if Gonzales leaves, uproar about management at the Department of Justice is unlikely to subside. A steady stream of revelations – from allegations about partisan hiring in the Civil Rights Division to possible White House involvement in the US attorney dismissals – has seen to that.

"Congress now is sufficiently concerned that, even were he to resign, I don't think it would change things very much," says Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond in Virginia.

In one sense, Gonzales's continued survival is a lesson in political power. It has been weeks since experts began to expound about how he couldn't possibly last more than a few days in office.
Influential senators, including some Republicans, have made it clear that Gonzales's continued presence will affect their attitude toward Justice Department initiatives.

Yet he continues in office, with President Bush's apparent unwavering backing. Mr. Bush may well genuinely believe that his attorney general is a good man who is being smeared. After all, charges of politicization at the Justice Department are nothing new in Washington.

"In every administration there are [such] allegations very consistently," said Benjamin Wittes, a governance expert and guest scholar at the Brookings Institution, at a recent seminar here on the subject.

But other calculations may be at work as well. As long as Gonzales stays in office, he remains a focus for criticism that might otherwise be directed elsewhere. There is evidence that White House political adviser Karl Rove and former White House counsel Harriet Miers had input into the list of attorneys to be fired, for example.

Also, if Gonzales left, he would have to be replaced – meaning the administration might face a long confirmation battle in the Democrat-controlled Senate for his successor.

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....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

P.M. Carpenter: Cheney is Pathetic

Oddly enough, those were my exact words for the whole freakin' administration, just last night, in an email to a freind.

That's all, folks

The only thing lacking from Dick Cheney's Persian Gulf appearance yesterday aboard the USS John C. Stennis was the Warner Bros. cartoon theme song as a musical introduction, for this pathetic blusterer has finally become the Yosemite Sam of U.S. foreign policy, if I may be so charitable as to label the hapless presentation of the Bush administration's international conduct as "policy."

On the darker side, the sight and sound of Mr. Cheney aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier also had an Oscar Wilde touch to it -- a lugubrious, Dorian Gray portrait of superficial vim and vigor masking its true core of rotting, impotent corruption.

With Sam's six-guns metaphorically strapped to his waist, the vice president intoned: "Throughout the region our country has interests to protect and commitments to honor. With two carrier strike groups in the Gulf, we're sending clear messages to friends and adversaries alike. We'll keep the sea lanes open. We'll stand with our friends in opposing extremism and strategic threats. We'll disrupt attacks on our own forces. We'll continue bringing relief to those who suffer and delivering justice to the enemies of freedom."

Just who was it that Mr. Cheney thought he was spooking? Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? His Iranian brothers? "Extremist adversaries" at large? No doubt that was his intent, but no man has so singlehandedly and thoroughly reduced a one-time superpower to paper-tiger status in such short order as Mr. Cheney. And Mahmoud & Friends knows it.

We're not only bogged down in Iraq. We're tied down, Gulliver-like, and spent. We can't adequately respond to a small town's tornado-strike, let alone take on Persia's modern military forces. We're toothless. Mr.Cheney had to gum his way through those words, and their transparent emptiness produced nothing but uneasy consternation for his own team and, surely, cocky amusement for the other's.

While Mr. Cheney bluffs, Ms. Rice makes nice, mumbling something or other about "trying to launch diplomatic dialogue with Tehran" -- both of which present a "good-cop, bad-cop strategy" that some analysts say proves an internal administrative divide and others say "is instead simply contradictory."

But these analysts might as well be counting angels on pinheads. Because the fact of the matter is, whether divided or contradictory, the administration's insoluble dilemma remains formidably intact. Because, as Iran knows full well, we're impotent, friendless, clueless and stand naked with little to trade. Because, what is it we have that Iran can't live without -- except our continued, self-defeating and self-destructive presence in Iraq and extraordinarily alienating, hegemonic bluster about "strategic threats" to U.S. "interests" in the Middle East?

On the other hand we can end our presence in Iraq -- and thereby hand Iran the keys. Even better.

Never has one man contributed such thoughtlessness to "policy," such a lack of foresight, such a massive barrel over which to place us, as Mr. Cheney. Watching him drone on and on about muscular efforts we can neither afford to undertake or sustain -- muscular efforts of knock-out force, to us -- was more than the final insult. To those who comprehend just how sticky the wicket is that he and his boss have fashioned, it was a national embarrassment. The co-emperor could not have been more clotheless.

Still, his performances are entertaining in a perverse sort of way. If only he'd add the Warner Bros. theme, they'd be complete.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

FASCISM ALERT: Has New Hampshire Gone Insane?


Did they break windows or set the place on fire?

Excuse me, but where is it, actually, written that people who are assembling, peacefully, to speak with their elected officials or, in some other peaceful way, get their message across, are a threat to the peace and require policing?

Why do peace officers have to show up?

If police resources are limited, then shouldn't the police chief make a decision regarding what is more important? Ever heard of triage, guys? You know, priorities?

John Sununu is an elected official, a public servant. He is not nobility.

We got rid of that system over 200 years ago.

My Fellow Americans, it is past time to take our country back, from the Tories..


Anti-war protesters, arrested for refusing to leave Sen. John H. Sununu's Manchester office, staged a "vainglorious event to gain publicity" and need to be held on some cash bail because the protest taxed police resources, causing a threat to the public, a police prosecutor said yesterday.

Officer Stephen Reardon said the Manchester Police Department supports the right of freedom of expression as long as it is done in a legal fashion. However, he said the state believes there will be a recurrence of the "criminal acts" and that $1,000 cash/surety bail is needed for the eight protesters who did not post bail set by a bail commissioner.

Manchester District Court Judge Norman Champagne, however, said state law calls for personal recognizance bail to be set for those who have no criminal records. Most had never been arrested before, although two had convictions for prior criminal trespass offenses.

A person granted personal recognizance bail does not have to put up any money.

The judge told Reardon as far as any further protest, "That, obviously, is for another day."

"We feel it's a threat to the public at large," Reardon continued.

Champagne told him they were dealing with the past and "not to conjecture about the future."

He set bail at $1,000 personal recognizance for all of those charged in the protest.

John Fried of Peterborough, a volunteer with New Hampshire Peace Action which staged the protest, said seven squad cars, 12 to 15 officers and a transport wagon arrived at Sununu's Elm Street office about 11:45 p.m. Wednesday night to arrest the nine peaceful protesters. By then, the group had been inside the Senator's office for about nine hours. They were charged with criminal trespass.

Protesters arrested at senator's officeProtesters play a waiting game as attack ad airs

Fried said at the police station, a bail commissioner, whose name he did not know, "lectured them on wasting the police department's resources" and set bail at $1,000 cash/surety. Police said Daniel Goonan, a former Manchester police officer, was the bail commissioner on duty.
Ann Isenberg of Bow, who participated in the protest and attended yesterday's court hearing, said none of those arrested had $1,000 on them. They expected to pay $30 -- the bail commissioner's fee -- and be freed on personal recognizance bail.

Only Patricia Wikzynski, 54, of 4 Academy St., Concord, made bail after calling her husband who brought the money down to the station. She will be arraigned at a later date.

The others were taken to Valley Street jail where they spent the night in a holding cell.
John Hutchinson, 85, of 227 Pleasant St., Concord, the oldest of the group, said it was "very sobering" to be in the jail.

The judge asked Hutchinson if he had any problems with bail conditions -- imposed on all of them -- which included staying away from Sununu's office and not doing drugs or drinking an excessive amount of alcohol.

He said he has asked for an appointment with Sununu -- but he will stay away from his office if that is a condition. As for drugs and alcohol, he said he didn't use them.

"No, sir. I'm a fitness guru," the octogenarian said.

Anne Miller, 36, of 25 Laurel St., Apt. 2, director of NH Peace Action, said she and the other women were held in a 6-x-9-foot cell with narrow seats. At 7 a.m., they were all shackled and later taken to the court. They stayed in shackles for seven hours.

"It was quite something but worth the sacrifice for what we were trying to accomplish which was to continue to pressure the senator to change his position on Iraq and work to end the war," Miller said.

She and all the others pleaded innocent to the criminal trespass charge. The trials are set for July 26, 30 and 31.

Kristine Hobby, 62, of 1046 New Hampshire Road, asked the judge if hers and the other trials could be scheduled the same day. He said it was possible but their attorneys would have to work that out with the court.

Others arrested were: Nellie Grant, 71, of 67 School St., Tilton; Thomas Barker, 52, of 129 Lane Road, Laconia; Jordan Butterfield, 22, of 23 Washington St., Pennacook, and Mary-Lee Sargent, 66, of 10 One Stack Drive, Bow.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

FBI agent steps into Coulter voting case

What the hell happened to all of the concern at the DOJ about voter fraud? We were becoming convinced that voter fraud had become the bane of Democracy.

Oh, well, I guess it wasn't that big of a deal after all.

FBI agent steps into Coulter voting case:

Conservative pundit Ann Coulter has been cleared of allegations that she falsified her Palm Beach County voter's registration and voted illegally — this, after a high-level FBI agent made unsolicited phone calls to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office to vouch for Coulter.

The caller wasn't just any G-man. According to PBSO documents, he was Supervisory Special Agent Jim Fitzgerald, of the FBI Academy's Behavioral Analysis Unit in Quantico, Va. — the closest reality gets to the serial-killer catchers on CBS' Criminal Minds.

Rove Berates GOP Members

Yeah, yeah...whatever.

Still sounds like political theater to me.

If the Goopers are sincere (Sincere Gooper: That's a bit of an Oxymoron, eh?), they are gonna have to do a lot more than talk tough to a president they have carried around on a satin pillow for the last 6 years.

They might have to impeach Bush and Cheney.

Rove Berates GOP Members:

Top Bush administration officials lashed out at a pair of House Republicans at the White House yesterday after details about a contentious meeting between President Bush and GOP legislators were leaked to the media earlier this week.

The confrontations are the latest indications of an intensifying rift between Bush and congressional Republicans.

Reps. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) attracted the ire of White House officials for allegedly speaking to reporters about a Tuesday meeting between Bush and centrist Republicans on the Iraq war. Details of the contentious meeting first emerged Wednesday evening and attracted Page 1 headlines yesterday."

Impeachment: Use It Or Lose It

Yes, Impeach!

But no deals.

Do you hear that, Dems? No deals.

Dave Lindorff: The Democrats and the Impeachment Clause:

What is it about impeachment that has the Democratic Party leadership so frightened?

Talking with members of Congress, one hears the same refrain: 'I know Bush and Cheney have committed impeachable crimes, but impeachment is a bad idea.'

The rationales offered are many, but all are either specious or based upon flawed reasoning. Let's consider them separately:

Junior and Vice Don't Give A Damn About The GOP

We tried to tell the Goopers this over a year ago.

They really don't care. I don't think Cheney has the capacity to care. He has really gone over the edge. He believes his own fear-mongering. When that happens, we call it paranoia.

It might also spell the end of GOP power for several generations.

When you make your bed with snakes..... / In depth - Republicans fear defeat over Iraq:

Talking to Fox News, the conservative broadcaster, on his visit to Baghdad on Thursday, Dick Cheney said: “We didn’t get elected to worry just about the fate of the Republican party. Our mission is to do everything we can to prevail ... against one of the most evil opponents we’ve ever faced.”

Billions in Oil Missing in Iraq

Check out Cheney and Halliburton. Odds on they know where it is.

Billions in Oil Missing in Iraq, U.S. Study Says - New York Times:

"Between 100,000 and 300,000 barrels a day of Iraq’s declared oil production over the past four years is unaccounted for and could have been siphoned off through corruption or smuggling, according to a draft American government report."

Friday, May 11, 2007

A Surge of Insanity

No one in the Bush administration seems, in the least bit, sane to me.

Junior seems more and more like he is on something; something of which I want no part.

Whatever Cheney is on really needs to be outlawed!

A Surge of Insanity - - Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community:

Just one day after a majority of Iraqi lawmakers rejected the continuing occupation of their country, the Washington Post reports that the Pentagon will begin deploying 35,000 soldiers in 10 Army combat brigades to Iraq in August –”making it possible to sustain the increase of US troops there until at least the end of this year.”

It turns out that the “short-term surge” is just another way of saying a war without mission or end. If it’s true what the LA Times reported about Secretary of Defense Robert Gates not being on board with the “surge” policy, then who’s pushing for this new policy? Not former Generals like John Batiste and Paul Eaton who, today, go on the air in a TV ad sponsored by

“You did not listen, Mr. President,” General Batiste says in the ad. “You continue to pursue the failed strategy that is breaking our great Army and Marine Corps.”

Administration Withheld E-Mails About Rove

The BS just keeps getting deeper and deeper

NATIONAL JOURNAL: Administration Withheld E-Mails About Rove (05/10/07):

The Bush administration has withheld a series of e-mails from Congress showing that senior White House and Justice Department officials worked together to conceal the role of Karl Rove in installing Timothy Griffin, a protégé of Rove's, as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Bush and Cheney: Hard Liquor and Loose Women

Oh, Jeebus!

Can't quite decide whether this is shocking or nauseating.

Dark Darth is the former CEO and current high Bush administration official who is on the D.C. Madam's list?

Junior deals with the dreaded visit of QEII by getting drunk before lunch?

What a nightmare!

Bush and Cheney: Hard Liquor and Loose Women

Bushite Blame Game Played In Israel

Is this guy, Halutz, the Israeli"Slam Dunk?" Worldwide:

May 10 (Bloomberg) -- Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert blamed his former military chief of staff for telling him that the army was prepared enough to defeat Hezbollah before he sent troops into Lebanon last July.

In testimony released today by the government commission studying the five-week conflict, Olmert also described the political confusion during the six months after former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had a crippling stroke and he took over.

"You have a quality army that is strong and prepared. We can fulfill any mission,'' Olmert quoted Lieutenant-General Dan Halutz as telling him, according to a transcript e-mailed by the Winograd Commission. "I could not have known that things were otherwise.''

Robert Guttman: The Times They Are A Changin'

No they aren't.

Not unless we, the people, of these so-called Democracies make the times change. It is up to us;.not to our respective leaders.

Left to their own devices, they will behave as the elite and strive to keep the status quo.

Let us not forget:, "Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely."

The only people who can disrupt this common cycle, are the people of every country who are not brain-damaged by extreme, rigid ideology, be it religious, political, economic...whatever.

Having concrete for brains is not helpful, now.

Neither is being bound up in nationalism. That's just another mental trap, constructed by people who know better.

We have been and are being told a huge lie by our leaders, in general, all around the world.. It is a lie with many heads and faces. All the lies we have been told, are just parts of the one Big Deadly Lie.

Anyone care to guess what that Lie is?

The Blog | Robert Guttman: The Times They Are A Changin': The Ending Of The Bush, Blair, Chirac Era | The Huffington Post:

British Prime Minister Tony Blair has just announced his resignation after ten years in power ('I've been the Prime Minister of this country for just over ten years... I think that's long enough for me, but more especially, for the country.') and French President Jacques Chirac didn't run for re-election in France.

Cheney caught saying 'kick the press out' at Iraq briefing

As we have said before, Darth, the slitherin' VP, cannot function in the light of day.

The Raw Story | Cheney caught saying 'kick the press out' at Iraq briefing:

An explosion struck the Green Zone as Vice President Cheney made a surprise visit to Iraq.

Adds Washington Wire, 'Once safely ensconced in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone, however, Cheney appeared to reserve his toughest language for his normal target – the press.

Cheney held a lot of photo ops with key Iraqi leaders like Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, but was adamant about not taking questions.

At one point, Cheney emphasized to the assembled journalists that “this is just a photo spray.” Later in the day, as reporters filed into an embassy conference room for another photo of Cheney they overheard him tell his staff “then we kick the press out.”

Gonzales testimony contradicts White House, revealing new Bush 'conversation' over US attorney firings

Oops, there goes plausible deniability!

The Raw Story | Gonzales testimony contradicts White House, revealing new Bush 'conversation' over US attorney firings:

Weeks after the White House ruled out the involvement of President George W. Bush in any discussions on the firing of 8 US Attorneys, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said on Thursday morning that the President had discussed the matter with advisers in an October 2006 meeting.

'I've now been made aware of the fact that there was a conversation with the President that basically mentioned the same thing in October of 2006,' the Attorney General said while answering a question from Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA).

'The same thing' referred to voter fraud cases in three US Attorneys' districts, which Gonzales earlier acknowledged had been raised by Karl Rove in a meeting 'sometime in the Fall of 2006.'

Former US Attorneys: "Charges May Result From Firings"

Charges may be filed against top officials at the DOJ.


Now, what about their counterparts in the White House?

Former US Attorneys: "Charges May Result From Firings":

Two former U.S. attorneys said today they believe ongoing investigations into the dismissals last year of eight federal prosecutors could result in criminal charges against senior Justice Department officials.

John McKay, the former U.S. attorney for Western Washington, and David Iglesias, the former U.S. attorney for New Mexico, also said they believe White House political operative Karl Rove and his aides instigated the dismissals and ultimately decided who among the nation's 93 U.S. attorneys should be fired.

McKay and Iglesias, who were among those fired, made their assertions during a meeting this morning with Seattle Times editors and reporters. The two are scheduled to appear this afternoon along with Paul Charlton, the former U.S. attorney for Arizona, during a public-policy forum on the dismissals at Seattle University's School of Law.

'I think there will be a criminal case that will come out of this,' McKay said during his meeting with Times journalists. 'This is going to get worse, not better.'

Majority of Iraqi Lawmakers Now Reject Occupation

Hey, Junior, do you have a problem with Democracy?

What happened to all the talk about Iraqi Sovereignty?

They want us gone, out of their country.

"Let Freedom Reign," eh?

Majority of Iraqi Lawmakers Now Reject Occupation:

More than half of the members of Iraq's parliament rejected for the first time on Tuesday the continuing occupation of their country. The US media ignored the story.

On Tuesday, without note in the U.S. media, more than half of the members of Iraq's parliament rejected the continuing occupation of their country. 144 lawmakers signed onto a legislative petition calling on the United States to set a timetable for withdrawal, according to Nassar Al-Rubaie, a spokesman for the Al Sadr movement, the nationalist Shia group that sponsored the petition.

It's a hugely significant development. Lawmakers demanding an end to the occupation now have the upper hand in the Iraqi legislature for the first time; previous attempts at a similar resolution fell just short of the 138 votes needed to pass (there are 275 members of the Iraqi parliament, but many have fled the country's civil conflict, and at times it's been difficult to arrive at a quorum).

Guard Faces Shortages in Dealing With Natural Disasters

Of course, the Guard isn't ready and I am beginning to believe it is by design.

This isn't an unfortunate by-product of the war in Iraq. It is intentional.

The message is consistent since before Katrina: "You are on your own."

The GOP has been trying to convince the American people for decades that the federal government is pretty worthless, when it comes to responding to their legitimate needs, in times of natural disaster or other such crisis, let alone anything else, other than committing war.

Well, they have pretty much convinced me.

I say, let's all move to a state, the politics of which we find we can, at least, tolerate, and become rabid States-Righters.

Screw revenue sharing. The red and blue states are on their own.

Let's see how that works.

Guard Faces Shortages in Dealing With Natural Disasters:

Washington - With much of their equipment in Iraq and Afghanistan, state National Guards face profound shortages in responding to natural disasters, particularly as they get ready for the hurricane season, which begins June 1.

The Guard has been shipping gear to hurricane-prone states in an effort to ease concerns, but a large disaster affecting several states would tax the Guard's ability to respond, according to National Guard officials and government reports. Some deficiencies aren't correctable. The Texas National Guard's helicopters, for example, are in Iraq and can't be replaced easily.

The potential impact of the equipment shortages became apparent over the weekend when a tornado devastated Greensburg, Kan. Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said Monday that the state's National Guard couldn't respond as quickly as it should have because much of its equipment is overseas. About 300 Kansas National Guardsmen have been sent to Greensburg.

Is a Major Oil Company Short-Changing the American Public?

We can't impeach these greedy bastards and others like them. We didn't elect them to anything.

They are just citizens like the rest of us.

What would you do if you knew that your neighbor was siphoning gasoline out of your tank every night?

Call the cops? And if the Cops did nothing?

Think about it.

NOW | Is a Major Oil Company Short-Changing the American Public?:

When veteran government auditor Bobby Maxwell learned oil giant Kerr-McGee was not paying the $10 million he says it owed in oil royalties, he prepared an order to Kerr-McGee to pay up. Making sure the government gets its money from energy companies was Maxwell's job in the Minerals Management Service (MMS), a division of the Department of the Interior.

But Maxwell claims his bosses at the MMS quashed that order.

After filing a lawsuit under the False Claims Act, which protects and encourages whistle-blowers, Maxwell lost his job.

On Friday, May 11, at 8:30 p.m., NOW talks with Maxwell about the personal and professional price he says he paid in pursuit of fairness, and examines an industry under fire for keeping too much of the enormous revenue it makes for drilling on land and waters owned by us all.

Are oil and gas companies being protected - and even feted - by the government agency charged with regulating them?

War is Slavery - An Awakening

Awakenings are like this.

War is Slavery - An Awakening - - Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community:

It was January of 2003, late at night, and I was home alone. I turned on the TV. The movie Platoon was on. I had never watched any violent shows nor read anything about war or Viet Nam since I left there in March of 1971. Now, all these years later, I figured it was time and I could handle it. The scene was a US patrol entering a village. I saw the kids with their big dark eyes, skinny bodies and ragged clothes - and it all came back. The sights, the sounds, the smells. I turned off the TV and sat in a darkened room. It was like a lightning bolt followed by thunder. It hit me . . . and then proceeded to roll through my mind. Now what?, I asked myself.

The next day was a frenzy of activity. Answers. Answers. I needed answers. The internet (thank goodness for this powerful tool) became my life. Unstructured for the first few months, I consumed a new world of information. At 57 years of age with an MBA, it seemed like I should have known these things. But I was almost totally ignorant. Information on war, peace, politics, world affairs, religion, organizations, books, magazines, videos, DVDs, in depth radio and TV shows - and the list grew with each passing day. I needed structure.

So Maybe I Was Wrong About Impeachment

Time concerns me, about impeachment. This White House will fight for every shred of paper, all the way into the collective lap of the Supremes.

Nevertheless, that does not let the people off the hook, nor does it let Congress off the hook. There must be accountability for the members of this administration. We are talking prison time.

It cannot matter to the people of this country whether or not impeachment is politically feasible. We must call for it. Where is it written that the president and vice-president cannot both be impeached, at the same time, for conspiracy to commit all the crimes we know they have committed? Hell, start with Vice!

Number 1: Banana Republics never bothered with impeachment. They just shot up the palace, or whatever. We were closer to being a Banana Republic during the dark years of assassinations, in the 1960s.

Number 2: There is enough evidence in the pubic domain to conclude that Junior and Vice have never been elected to national office. We didn't re-elect them in 2004. We didn't elect them in 2000. They are an illegitimate regime from day one and we are witnessing an on-going coup. Had they not invaded Iraq, more people would be aware of that fact.

Don't worry so much about a President Cheney. He cannot function in the light and even he knows it.

Criminals need to be dealt with. We must have the courage to do so, now!

I have only one major concern, regarding impeachment. With Congress there can always be deals made. I do not want any deals. Not this time.

So Maybe I Was Wrong - - Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community:

I have been steadfastly against trying to impeach George W. Bush, even though he is clearly the worst president in the modern history of America.

These were my main reasons for feeling that way:

1) Politically, I saw impeachment as absolutely impossible to bring off.

2) As bad as Bush is, I don’t want to see America turn into some kind of parody banana republic, in which the opposition party tries to impeach every president.

3) America knew what the Shrub was selling, and re-elected him, so we got what we deserve.

Plus, I felt that any effort to impeach the rascal would divert attention from the very real agenda of trying to stop his criminal war. And finally, what if you did manage to remove him? You’d get the puppet master himself, the sneering Darth Cheney, widely regarded to be the brains of the current Reich. Not only that, he would be eligible to run for re-election, and given the Democrats’ penchant for political suicide, that’s a risk I don’t think anyone wants.

Yet I am beginning to think I was wrong.

The Lady Of The House Wants to Put Junior On An Allowance

This should have been done four years ago.

Never, ever should Shrub have been allowed a credit card with no limit, but the majority GOP insisted. They said or implied that asking for accountability was treasonous, unpatriotic..... blah, blah, blah.

Well, now we see which party has driven this county over a cliff.

Democrats! Now is your chance to show us what you are made of, so don't be shy. Take on the madmen in the administration and do it now.

Pelosi’s Next Tactic: Fund The War in Iraq 2 Months at a TimeNew Strings Attached To Funding of The War - - Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community:

WASHINGTON — The confrontation between Congress and President Bush over the Iraq war will enter its next phase Thursday, when the House plans to vote on the Democratic leadership’s new plan to put war spending on a strict, almost month-by-month diet.

The White House indicated strongly Tuesday that Bush would veto such a bill, just as he did an earlier version of the war spending bill that required U.S. troops to begin to withdraw from Iraq later this year.

Retired US Army Colonel Speaks to Group; ‘Hit the Streets’

Hey, the lady outranks me. I consider this an order, from an officer deserving of respect.

Through and by her own actions, she has shown an ability to lead where many feared to tread.

Aye, Aye, Colonel.

Retired US Army Colonel Speaks to Group; ‘Hit the Streets’ - - Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Pelosi To Sue Bush?

Whatever works, Madam Speaker!

Pelosi threat to sue Bush over Iraq bill
By Jonathan E. Kaplan and Elana Schor
May 09, 2007

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is threatening to take President Bush to court if he issues a signing statement as a way of sidestepping a carefully crafted compromise Iraq war spending bill. Pelosi recently told a group of liberal bloggers, “We can take the president to court” if he issues a signing statement, according to Kid Oakland, a blogger who covered Pelosi’s remarks for the liberal website

“The president has made excessive use of signing statements and Congress is considering ways to respond to this executive-branch overreaching,” a spokesman for Pelosi, Nadeam Elshami, said.

“Whether through the oversight or appropriations process or by enacting new legislation, the Democratic Congress will challenge the president’s non-enforcement of the laws.”

It is a scenario for which few lawmakers have planned. Indicating that he may consider attaching a signing statement to a future supplemental spending measure, Bush last week wrote in his veto message, “This legislation is unconstitutional because it purports to direct the conduct of operations of the war in a way that infringes upon the powers vested in the presidency.”

A lawsuit could be seen as part of the Democrats’ larger political strategy to pressure — through a series of votes on funding the war — congressional Republicans to break with Bush over Iraq.Democrats floated other ideas during yesterday’s weekly caucus meeting.

Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) suggested that the House consider a measure to rescind the 2002 authorization for the war in Iraq. Several senators and Democratic presidential candidates recently have proposed that idea.“There was a ripple around the room” in support of the idea, said Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.).

In the 1970s, congressional Democrats tried to get the courts to force President Nixon to stop bombing in Cambodia. The courts ruled that dissident lawmakers could not sue solely to obtain outcomes they could not secure in Congress.In order to hear an argument, a federal court would have to grant what is known as “standing,” meaning that lawmakers would have to show that Bush is willfully ignoring a bill Congress passed and that he signed into law.

The House would have to demonstrate what is called “injury in fact.”

A court might accept the case if “it is clear that the legislature has exhausted its ability to do anything more,” a former general counsel to the House of Representatives, Stanley Brand, said.

Lawmakers have tried to sue presidents in the past for taking what they consider to be illegal military action, but courts have rejected such suits. A law professor at Georgetown Law Center, Nicholas Rosenkranz, said Bush is likely to express his view on the constitutionality of the next supplemental in writing.

Whether Bush has leeway to treat any provision of the supplemental as advisory, however, depends on the wording Congress chooses, Rosenkranz added.

Bruce Fein, who was a Justice Department official under President Reagan, said Democrats seeking to challenge a signing statement would have to try to give themselves standing before filing a lawsuit.“You’d need an authorizing resolution in the House and Senate … to seek a declaratory judgment from the federal district court that the president, by issuing a signing statement, is denying Congress’s obligation to [hold a veto override vote],” Fein said.

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) introduced legislation to that end last year, but the idea of a lawsuit has yet to gain traction in Congress.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said that “the odds would be good” for a signing statement on the next supplemental, considering that Bush has in the past shown a predilection for excusing his administration from contentious bills. But Levin did not offer any clues as to how Democratic leaders would counter Bush.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Green Zone Attacked During Cheney Visit

I would hate to be Cheney's clothes cleaner.

I guess that is about as close as he has ever come to real combat, eh?

Strong Explosion In Baghdad Thought To Be Near Green Zone

BAGHDAD (AP)--A thunderous explosion struck Baghdad Wednesday, coinciding with a visit by Vice President Dick Cheney to discuss efforts to reduce the violence in Iraq.

The blast, which occurred at about 1825 local time appeared to strike in the vicinity of the heavily fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad, but that couldn't immediately be confirmed.

Witnesses said it appeared to have been fired from the mostly Shiite areas on the east side of the Tigris River.

The U.S. military and the U.S. Embassy said they had no information but were looking into what happened.

Cheney, who arrived earlier Wednesday for an unannounced visit, met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

After the explosion, Cheney's spokeswoman Lea Anne McBride said, "His business was not disrupted. He was not moved." (Having had a look at that flack jacket he was wearing, when he arrived in Emerald City, I doubt anyone could have moved him. It would have taken a small crane.)

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

The Democrats' Vow

Please do get this done, before we all wind up in Gitmo, or a like facility here at home.

Last year, Congressional Democrats allowed the Bush administration to ram through one of the worst laws in the nation’s history — the Military Commissions Act of 2006. This year, the Democrats pledged to use their new majority to begin repairing the profound damage the law has done to the nation’s justice system and global image.

But there are disturbing signs their pledge may fall victim to the same tactical political calculations and Bush administration propagandizing that allowed this scandalous law to pass in the first place.

Rewriting the act should start with one simple step: restoring to prisoners of the war on terror the fundamental right to challenge their detention in a real court. So far, promised measures to restore habeas corpus have yet to see the light of day, and they may remain buried unless

Democratic leaders make them a priority and members of both parties vote on principle, not out of fear of attack ads.

President Bush turned habeas corpus into a partisan issue by declaring that the prisoners in Guantánamo Bay, even innocent ones, do not deserve a hearing. Lawmakers who objected were painted as friends of terrorists.

But let’s be clear. There is nothing “conservative” or “tough on terrorism” in selectively stripping people of their rights. Suspending habeas corpus is an extreme notion on the radical fringes of democratic philosophy. As four retired military chief prosecutors — from the Navy, the Marines and the Army — pointed out to Congress, holding prisoners without access to courts merely feeds Al Qaeda’s propaganda machine, increases the risk to the American military and sets a precedent by which other governments could justify detaining American civilians without charges or appeal.

Consider some of the other wild-eyed liberals calling on Congress to restore habeas corpus: William Sessions, director of the F.B.I. under the first President Bush; David Keene, head of the American Conservative Union; the National Association of Evangelicals; David Neff, editor of Christianity Today, founded by the Rev. Billy Graham; a long list of other evangelical leaders and scholars; and nearly two dozen sitting and retired federal judges.

There are a half-dozen bills in the House and the Senate that would restore habeas corpus. But the Democratic leadership has not found a way to bring the issue to a vote. The first vehicle is the Defense Department’s budget authorization bill. But Representative Ike Skelton, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, chose not to include habeas corpus in his baseline version of the measure, known as the chairman’s mark, which will be taken up by the committee today.

We hope habeas will be added to the bill by the committee, or that other sponsors of measures to restore the ancient right, including Representatives John Conyers Jr. of Michigan and Jerrold Nadler of New York, and Senators Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and Patrick Leahy of Vermont, will find ways to bring their bills to a vote.

The Democratic majority has a long list of wrongs to right from six years of Mr. Bush’s leadership. We are sympathetic to their concerns about finding a way to revive habeas corpus that won’t die in committee or be subject to a presidential veto of a larger bill. But lawmakers sometimes have to stand on principle and trust the voters to understand.

This is one of those times.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Goopers Employ SOYA Tactic At 1600 Penn.


Oh no, boys and girls, this ain't gonna fly.

That Dog won't hunt!

Been there, done that, got three tee-shirts.

Seems that it was a Rethug who leaked this to the media. Surprise, Surprise.

Tim Russert covered it with a certain breathlessness that should be reserved for a president actually stepping down, getting shot or impeached and found guilty.

This is great political theatre, but that is all it is. It is, no doubt, designed to make the Goopers seem moral, strong and in command. But how many of these same people have been suppoprting, covering up for and looking the other way for this administration for these past long, seemingly endless years?

Polls came out. The GOP in Congress are smelling something in the air. Their own rotting political corpses , not doubt.

They see the writing on the wall, finally, and they want to survive the Arbusto Administration.

Well, we tried to tell you people this before the first bombs fell on Iraq and you wouldn't listen. Loyalty to this nitwit president and his Vice was more important to you than this nation and its people.

So, you can flounce your over-paid, over-fed butts down Pennsylvania Avenue until the cows come home, but it won't matter.

We won't forget the last 6 years of zero meaningful oversight.

NBC News is reporting that a delegation of House members called on Pres. Bush yesterday in the private residence of the White House to inform him that he has lost all credibility on the war among their constituents. He was advised that he and his spokespersons should stop making claims about progress in Iraq altogether. One of the congressmen told him, “We need candor. We need honesty, Mr. President.”

Couple of things here: The Rethugs leaked this to that "Commie" channel, NBC? Why not Faux News?

These guys told the Murder Monkey that he is, essentially, a known liar and the people in their districts are sick and tired of being lied to, so he needs to leave the lying to the military?

“My district is prepared for defeat.”– GOP rep to Bush

Defeat? What defeat? We went there to find WMD and remove Hussein. There were no WMD and Hussein was done in December 2003. If we have lost, whatever the hell that means, it is because we out-stayed our welcome, if there was any, and I seriously doubt that there was, for a Bush led invasion and occupation. It has been almost 3 1/2 years since Saddam was captured. Still, you Goopers excepted one lie after another about why we were there in the first damn place and refused to do your damned jobs. The GOP is done.

Here’s a rough transcript of the NBC News report:

TIM RUSSERT: All eyes on the Republican Party. How long will they support the president’s position on the Iraq war. Yesterday may have been the defining, pivotal moment. At 2:30 in the afternoon, in the private quarters of the White House, the Solarium Room, 11 Republican congressmen had a private meeting with the president, the secretary of defense, the secretary of state, the chief political advisor, Karl Rove, and White House Press Sec. Tony Snow and others.

Geeze Louise, Russert, how many defining, pivitol moments do these guys get? Lord, Timmy, get a freakin' grip. Nothing has happened yet, except some good political theatre. Wake me, when impeachment hearings begin, will ya?

This delegation was headed by Mark Kirk of Illinois and Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania. It was, in the words of one of the participants, the most unvarnished conversation they’ve ever had with the president. Another member said he has met with three presidents and never been so candid. They told the president, and one said, quote, “My district is prepared for defeat. We need candor. We need honesty, Mr. President.”

Who the hell are these guys? I watch a lot of news, and I have no idea who the hell they are?

Oh, by the way, we could have used some candor and honesty before hundreds of thousands of people died in Iraq, our treasury was emptied and the national debt soared.

Why the hell aren't you people candid with a president, any president, especially one from your own damnable party? What the hell do we pay you for?

The president responded, “I don’t want to pass this off to another president. I don’t want to pass this off, particularly, to a Democratic president — underscoring how serious the situation was.

That's the dead give-away, right there, Of course he wants to pass this mess-o-potamia off to the next president, especially a Democratic president.

How do I know that?

It has to do with life patterns. I know he wants to run from this mess the same way I knew Bill Clinton was lying when he said he did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinski.. Life patterns...

[The] Republican congressman went on to say the word about the war and its progress cannot come from the White House or even you, Mr. President. There’s no longer any credibility. It has to come from Gen. Petraeus.

Let The Military Lie. Yeah, that's it. Let Petraeus do the lying. Nobody knows whether he is a Republican or not.

The meeting lasted an hour and fifteen minutes, and was, in the words of one, remarkable for the bluntness and no-holds-barred honesty in the message delivered by all these Republican congressmen.

Yeah, right. Is anyone buying this, even for a moment?

I feel a new reality being shoved down our colective throats: "Bush bad, GOP good." Give us 'til September, then will hang Petraeus out to dry.

Update: Crooks & Liars has video of Keith Olbermann’s report on this story on Countdown.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. The Lantern has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is The Lantern endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free