The Nattering Nabob <$BlogRSDUrl$>
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Thursday, June 30, 2005


 
VIETNAM 2 PREFLIGHT CHECK

1. Cabal of oldsters who won't listen to outside advice? Check.


2. No understanding of ethnicities of the many locals? Check.


3. Imposing country boundaries drawn in Europe, not by the locals? Check.


4. Unshakeable faith in our superior technology? Check.


5. France secretly hoping we fall on our asses? Check.


6. Russia secretly hoping we fall on our asses? Check.


7. China secretly hoping we fall on our asses? Check.


8. SecDef pushing a conflict the JCS never wanted? Check.


9. Fear we'll look bad if we back down now? Check.


10. Corrupt Texan in the WH? Check.


11. Land war in Asia? Check.


12. Right unhappy with outcome of previous war? Check.


13. Enemy easily moves in/out of neighboring countries? Check.


14. Soldiers about to be dosed with *our own* chemicals? Check.


15. Friendly fire problem ignored instead of solved? Check.


16. Anti-Americanism up sharply in Europe? Check.


17. B-52 bombers? Check.


18. Helicopters that clog up on the local dust? Check.


19. In-fighting among the branches of the military? Check.


20. Locals that cheer us by day, hate us by night? Check.


21. Local experts ignored? Check.


22. Local politicians ignored? Check.


23. Locals used to conflicts lasting longer than the USA has been a country? Check.


24. Against advice, Prez won't raise taxes to pay for war? Check.


25. Blue water navy ships operating in brown water? Check.


26. Use of nukes hinted at if things don't go our way? Check.


27. Unpopular war? Check.


VIETNAM 2 YOU ARE CLEARED TO TAXI

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Top Ten Rejected Titles For Saddam Hussein's New Novel...

10. The Da Vinci Goat.

9. Of Lice and Men.

8. I'm Okay, You're Uday.

7. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sand.

6. Inspectors Turn up no Evidence that Herbie was Ever Fully Loaded.

5. Mahmoud Potter and the Goblet of Hummus.

4. Kuwaiting for Godot.

3. Along Came a Spider Hole.

2. Sunnis are from Mars, Shiites are from Venus, Americans are Infidel Pig Dogs.

1. The Brotherhood of the Traveling Underpants

- David Letterman's Top Ten List

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Speechless
 
Just in case, you all missed it, Tuesday night President Johnson told us all how well things were going in Vietnam.

=sigh=

Bush seems to still be laboring under the mad illusion that Iraq had something to do with 9/11. Not only is he still croaking that same monotonous tune, but he's even doing it in the same, insulting way: he doesn't actually SAY that there's a connection, but by continuously invoking them together, he is able to both IMPLY that there is a connection, and DENY that he ever made the connection.

And his obsequious followers are so enthralled by their pathetic hero worship that they think a man who does THAT can still be considered honest.

He also says that we will leave once the Iraqi army is able to deal with the "insurgency."

And not only does he refuse to say when that will be - how many years, how many lives - but he doesn't see the obvious: WE haven't been able to deal with the insurgency. How the hell is the Iraqi army ever going to?

We are supposed to have the most powerful military in the WORLD, and we can't even secure the road from Bagdhad to the airport. We have not shown the ability to handle this kind of opposition. But we expect the IRAQI ARMY to be able to? REALLY?

He ALSO blathered out the same tired old line about how "We are fighting them there instead of fighting them here."

1) That's a REALLY hateful sentiment if you're an Iraqi. If accurate, it means that Bush flooded Iraq with Al Qaeda terrorists ON PURPOSE, so he could turn THEIR COUNTRY into a battlefield in a war that they had nothing to do with. What a guy. Gee, why don't they love us? That's the way to win the old hearts and minds.

2) It makes no sense: it isn't like this is a war that has a DMZ and a line of battle. Fighting people in Iraq is obviously not doing damned thing to prevent terrorists from striking here. The September 11th attack was carried out by 20 guys.

3) It's contradictory. If "we are fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here," what's this crap about turning things over to the Iraqi Army? Is Bush saying that he is going to place the safety and security of the United States into the hands of the Iraqi Army?

Well, if fighting in Iraq is for OUR safety and security, then that's EXACTLY what he's saying when he says he's going to turn it over to them.

And that's one of the many ways you know that even HE doesn't believe his BS.

If the man was capable of shame, he would be ashamed of himself - going before the American People at a time of crisis with such worthless codswallop. And only someone desperate would even TRY.

It looks to me as thought the Bush administration might be in its last throes.

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Spain
 
Is there any country more traditionally Roman Catholic than Spain?

Spain's Parliament Legalizes Gay Marriage

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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Operation Truth
 
Iraq Vets To President: We Need Honest Answers, Not Pep Rallies

In an early response to the President's speech this evening, Operation Truth (www.optruth.org) the nation's first and largest organization for Troops and Veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom, released the following statement from Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff. Operation Truth is comprised of hundreds of Veterans and Troops from Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, from all branches of the military, across all fifty states, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

"Tonight at Fort Bragg, in front of a backdrop of American service members, President Bush will tell the nation that victory is at hand, as long as we stay the course. Add a banner praising a job well-done and an aircraft carrier, and this all begins to seem eerily familiar.

"But the men and women of the American military have had enough of what's familiar from this administration. For us there is no alternative but to serve when called, as we have in Iraq for the past two years.

"Mr. President, this is a time for hard truths, and now that the opinion polls on the war have started to turn, you are going to Fort Bragg to make your case. Will it continue to be one version of progress from our Commander in Chief, but a very different measure from our commanders in the field? Why does your view of Iraq look so different from ours?

"We agree there is no choice but to succeed in Iraq. But, Mr. President, what is the plan to get there? We still don't know. To quote Senator Chuck Hagel, a great patriot, it seems to those of us who served in Iraq that your administration is "making it up as they go along."

"What is success? Tonight you will tell us Iraq is on the path to freedom and stability, but what does right look like? The CIA tells us Iraq is now a top breeding ground for terrorists. Are we killing more enemies than we're making?

"Last week, Vice President Cheney said the insurgency is in its last throes, but this week we're told to dig in for a 12-year battle. Have you asked your Secretary of Defense and Vice President to offer the Troops a straight answer?

"We don't need to be told about the political successes in Iraq, because we were there to safeguard an election one-year ago that you will certainly cite as progress. And we know that now is not a time for cheerleading.

"Mr. President, we don't need to be told that the insurgents intend to shake our will, because we've sifted through the havoc wreaked by even the crudest weapons, then watched our friends sent home, changed forever. We don't need to be told that your administration is committed to taking care of the Troops, because we've already gotten the bill you sent us for the meals we ate while recovering at Walter Reed.

"We don't need to be told that flak jackets and safer Humvees are on the way, because we've already learned that a phone-call home and a few hundred bucks is probably the quickest way to get body armor. Hundreds of Troops have been wounded or killed because of faulty vehicles or missing armor, but who has been held accountable?

"Each day we fulfill our commitment to this country, but we are still waiting for a Veteran's Administration that is properly funded and prepared to handle the consequences of this war. This past week it was revealed the VA was one billion dollars short of its health care need. Whose fault is that, and have you punished them for their failure to serve America's heroes?

"We have come a long way since the early days of tough talk and "Mission Accomplished" banners. The body count has increased exponentially, and the rumbling of an awakening public can now be heard. But for American Troops on the ground in Iraq, little has changed. For their families back home, the sleepless nights continue. The members of the military have long agreed that the strength of our force in Iraq cannot be sustained with an all-volunteer Army and dwindling recruitment numbers. Are you prepared to tell America's parents that their children will be needed to finish the job?

"Mr. President, we need honest answers, not pep rallies."

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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Flip Flop
 
George W. Bush, 6/3/99 (Talking about Clinton and Kosovo): “I think it’s also important for the president to lay out a timetable as to how long they will be involved and when they will be withdrawn.”

VS.


George W. Bush, 6/24/05: “It doesn’t make any sense to have a timetable. You know, if you give a timetable, you’re — you’re conceding too much to the enemy.”

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THANK YOU, GENERAL
 

Wes Clark: Stop Blaming the Troops - Investigate the Real Culprits.

The time has come to investigate the Bush Administration's role in the prisoner abuse and humiliation that has motivated our enemies in the war on terror and endangers the well-being of our fighting forces.


There is more, and petition demanding an investigation, at the link.

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Downing Street
 
The Leak that keeps on leaking. From the Washington Post:

In public, British officials were declaring their solidarity with the Bush administration's calls for elimination of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. But Straw's memo and seven other secret documents disclosed in recent months by British journalist Michael Smith together reveal a much different picture. Behind the scenes, British officials believed the U.S. administration was already committed to a war that they feared was ill-conceived and illegal and could lead to disaster.

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John Kerry
 
Op-Ed. You may be disappointed in the man, but he's absolutely right.

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Preview.
 
Just in case you were thinking of watching Clown-Boy's speech tonight, I thought I'd save you the trouble.

"It's hard work."

"The terrorists want to weaken our resolve."

"We appreciate the sacrifice of our troops."

"Freedom and liberty are on the march."

"We are safer."

"They hate us because of our freedom."

"We are in Iraq because of 9/11."

"The world is better off without Saddam Hussein."

"The insurgency is on the run."

"We are fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here."

Did I miss anything?

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Monday, June 27, 2005

Support WHAT mission?
 
The Babbling Heads who are responsible for disseminating the news suddenly seem rather breathless over the latest polls which show VERY LOW support for the Iraqi War.

General John Abizaid has actually been reduced to asking the American People to support the war, because public support is necessary to "the mission."

Left unsaid in all this chatter is one simple fact:

WE HAVE NEVER SUPPORTED "THE MISSION."

There is essentially NO difference between now and two years ago in American support for "the mission." Rather, there is a growing awareness that what is happening in Iraq is NOT what we were told the mission WAS.

What the American People supported was the removal of WMDs from the hands of Saddam Hussein. That's it, and that's all. Don't lose sight of that.

The American People NEVER supported this idiotic neocon theory of using warfare to spread democracy. When the hell did ANY poll show widespread support for THAT? Never, that's when.

So why are they expecting us to support it NOW? Have any events made that stupid idea seem like a good one?

We were told that "the mission" was to get rid of weapons that could kill us. We were told that going to war in Iraq was NECESSARY because Saddam Hussein had chemical and biological weapons.

And that was FALSE.

In fact, Bush used WMDs as an excuse BECAUSE it was the only excuse he could think of that would garner public support. He didn't say what was true - he said what he thought would work.

But if the American People had been told from the get-go, "We want to start a war because we have a theory about how we can force Democracy on the Middle East" the response would have been, "What are you - CRAZY?" Which is exactly what the response is now.

And that's WHY Bush didn't say that.

There has been NO real loss of support for the war in Iraq. It was never there in the first place.

If people support a war on the basis of false justifications, then they don't really support the actual war, do they?

The Citizens of the United States have finally realized that this war is REALLY about something that they have NEVER supported.

The American People support wars of necessity, not wars of choice.

The American People support the TROOPS.

Not the criminals who lied to the troops.

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Sunday, June 26, 2005


 
There are two things we know for sure:

1) The insurgency is NOT in its "last throes."

2) Either Cheney is getting totally different information than the rest of the Bush administration, or he intentionally lied.

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Saturday, June 25, 2005


 


There are three boobs in this picture.


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Friday, June 24, 2005

US admits torture?
 
The source is anonymous, but it looks authentic.

Washington has, for the first time, acknowledged to the United Nations that prisoners have been tortured at US detention centres in Guantanamo Bay, as well as Afghanistan and Iraq, a UN source said.

The acknowledgement was made in a report submitted to the UN Committee against Torture, said a member of the ten-person panel, speaking on on condition of anonymity.

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Never Forget
 
George W. Bush ran and hid on September 11th.

New Yorkers - most of who are Democrats - waited for the world to end on their doorstep.

Rove has some nerve.

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There are differences
 
From Kicking Ass:

Democrats
Believe capturing the person primarily responsible for the attack should be a top priority.

Republicans
It's been four years, and Osama bin Laden is still free, even though Bush's CIA chief says he knows where he is.

Democrats
Investigate the intelligence failures that led to 9/11.

Republicans
Do everything in their power to block the 9/11 Commission from doing its work.

Democrats
Propose creating the Department of Homeland Security.

Republicans
Push tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

Democrats
Believe we should have stayed the course in Afghanistan, not allowing the Taliban to resurge, the warlords to take power, and the opium trade to skyrocket.

Republicans
Ignore Afghanistan as the situation worsens.

Democrats
Believe that we should be honest with our troops about the reasons we go to war, give them everything they need to be safe, and make sure we go in with an exit plan.

Republicans
Manipulate intelligence to trump up reasons to go to war, don't give our troops the support they need, constantly mislead the public about the direction the war is going, and fail to make an exit plan. And turn Iraq into the ultimate terrorist training ground.


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Krugman

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Thursday, June 23, 2005

Rove=Goebbels
 
On Karl Rove attacking most Americans as traitors, go read Americablog.

Here.

Here.

And here.

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Eminent Ptomaine
 
Just what we need.

A pack of judges - mostly ones who are regarded as liberal, no less - deciding that it's okay for the Government to force you to sell your house to a giant corporation.

I'm so mad about this, I can barely see straight.

1) It's morally indefensible.

2) It plays into every "Big Government" stereotype that the right-wingers like to use to smear liberals.

3) It's ACTUALLY a gift to giant corporations, and doesn't have a damned thing to do with using Government in an activist manner to help the community. The Supreme Court has decided that a giant corporation's WANTS are more important than a person's RIGHTS.

Politically, they couldn't have given the right-wingers a bigger present if they tried.

And pragmatically, it just SUCKS, and it's a BAD DECISION that will negatively impact our cities and towns.

The right-wingers will use it as a weapon, and this time, they'll be RIGHT.

I think I'm gonna be sick.

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Republican Candidate Calls Bush Administration “Nazis”

Cary, NC - A candidate for North Carolina Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court has announced on her campaign's blog that she is leaving the Republican Party and denounced the Bush administration's policy on troop withdrawal from Iraq. Rachel Lea Hunter, a Republican and a candidate for Chief Justice, likens Bush’s administration to the “Nazis” and says that all who disagree with the administration are being branded as “traitors”.

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Last Throes
 
The top American military commander in the Persian Gulf disputed a contention by Vice President Dick Cheney that the Iraqi insurgency was in its "last throes" and told Congress on Thursday its strength was basically undiminished from six months ago.

Furthermore, Gen. John Abizaid told the Senate Armed Services Committee, "I believe there are more foreign fighters coming into Iraq than there were six months ago." - AP

Let's see if any member of the liberal media thinks it's a good idea to ask Cheney why the top military commander flatly contradicted him.

I'm not holding my breath.

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From the War Blog:

When you ask liberal hawks to enlist, they are offended by the question.

When you ask conservatives to enlist, they are offended by the question.

And America's parents are NOT sending their kids to die in Iraq if they can, at all, help it. No one blows up IED's at Wal Mart.

What I want people to do is be honest.

If you will not serve in Iraq, and no one you know will serve, stop expecting someone else to do what you will not.

Therefore, it is time to stop calling for more troops, or the US to make Iraq safe. We cannot do this and even Americans are refusing to join the fight. It is time to look at your actions and realize, that despite your ideals, you oppose continuing this war. In practical terms, you have decided that this war is not worth your life or anyone you know. And million of Americans have joined you in this decision.

So, with this fact evident, it is time to call for US troops to withdraw from Iraq. Not save it, not add more boots on the ground. You have already voted by your actions. It is time that you match it with your words.


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Downing Street
 
A column by Michael Smith, the London Times Reporter who first broke the story.

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Nearly 40 people died in a rash of car bombings in Iraq's capital over a 12-hour span, including two coordinated blasts early Thursday that killed 15 and wounded 28 in a central Baghdad shopping district, police said.

Thursday's carnage in the capital's Karradah area came on the heels of bloodshed late Wednesday that included four car bombs exploding within minutes of one another. At least 23 people were killed in western Baghdad's Shula neighborhood and a nearby suburb. Nineteen were killed in Shula alone.

The attacks served as a chilling reminder of how potent militants remain in the capital despite around-the-clock American and Iraqi troop patrols. - AP


Just like in Vietnam, the longer we are there, the more sophisticated our opponents become.

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George W. Bush, scientist
 
Unconvinced that the world is warming, President Bush looks set to shun pleas by his main industrial allies to step up a fight against climate change at a Group of Eight summit next month. - Reuters


Bush is totally ignorant about warfare, he is totally ignorant about economics, he is totally ignorant about science. But he thinks he knows all about them, and that all of the REAL experts are just idiots.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The Tyranny of Balance
 
Some people have pointed out that the media operate on what is called "The Tyranny of Balance" - the need to present "two sides" to every issue without comment or critical thinking. Even when one side is transparently ludicrous, and not legitimate at all.

It is only a slight exagerration to say that if the modern media has a Holocaust survivor on the air, they feel the need to ALSO have a Holocaust denier for "balance," and to treat the two sides as though they have equal validity.

Anywho, a less dramatic example of this is the press waxing orgasmic over "Cheney vs. Dean." To wit:



Two things of note:

1) What Cheney says is a plain INSULT. "Maybe his mother loves him, but I've never met anybody who does." But what Dean says ISN'T. He just says that he doesn't CARE what Cheney thinks of him, and of course, he shouldn't. And yet this "news" item treats the two statements as though they were of equal nastiness, and equally polarizing.

2) What Cheney says is FACTUALLY FALSE - "He's never won anything, as far as I can tell." Dean, of course, was elected Governor of Vermont five times. And yet you won't find a single word in the entire rest of the article where the "reporter" (sic) takes the trouble to point out that Cheney's insult is plain FALSE.

The liberal media strike again.

Did I just type "waxing orgasmic"?

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Flag-burning amendment
 
It's official. The GOP has made satire impossible:

"Ask the men and women who stood on top of the (World) Trade Center," said Rep. Randy (Duke) Cunningham, R-Calif. "Ask them and they will tell you: pass this amendment.
"

The people who jumped from the top of the burning towers wanted a flag-burning amendment. Randy Cunningham says so.

Holy shit.

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Iraq now a terrorist training ground.
 
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Not only have George W, Bush's actions not hurt the terrorist, he has done them a gigantic favor.

A new classified assessment by the Central Intelligence Agency says Iraq may prove to be an even more effective training ground for Islamic extremists than Afghanistan was in Al Qaeda's early days, because it is serving as a real-world laboratory for urban combat.

The assessment, completed last month and circulated among government agencies, was described in recent days by several Congressional and intelligence officials. The officials said it made clear that the war was likely to produce a dangerous legacy by dispersing to other countries Iraqi and foreign combatants more adept and better organized than they were before the conflict.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Pride goeth before destruction
 
"And bullshit will catch up with you." - Ignatz 7:23

Nearly six in 10 Americans oppose the war in Iraq and a growing number of them are dissatisfied with the war on terrorism, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Monday.

Only 39 percent of those polled said they favored the war in Iraq -- down from 47 percent in March -- and 59 percent were opposed.

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If the facts aren't on your side....
 
...just change the facts.

Document: US wants climate statement 'watered down'

Leaked draft shows Bush won't let G-8 take strong stand on global warming.

The draft statement shows that the Bush administration is engaged in an "extraordinary effort" to "undermine completely the science of climate change and show that the US position has hardened during the G-8 negotiations. They [the leaked documents] also reveal that the White House has withdrawn from a crucial United Nations commitment to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions."

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Stifling dissent
 
RNC protestor goes on trial

Opening statements are expected Tuesday in the trial of a protester arrested after unfurling an anti-Bush banner at last summer's Republican National Convention.

On the evening of Sept. 2, during President George W. Bush's acceptance speech, June Brashares, 41, stood on top of a chair in the California delegation and held up a banner that read, "Bush Lies, People Die."

In response she was escorted out of Madison Square Garden by security to a chorus of "Four more years," forcing Bush to stop his speech.

She is charged with kicking one of the guards, Shawn Flannigan, while she was dragged out, causing a cut to his shin. "It's a fabrication," said Brashares' lawyer, Robert Gottlieb. "It's a made up lie. They grabbed her and removed her."

He described the men who removed her as Republican "security goons" wearing yellow baseball caps emblazoned with a black "W", a nickname for the president.

She was charged with assault, attempted assault, disorderly conduct and harassment, and faces a year in jail if convicted.

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He's even paused his Gameboy for it.
 
Asked if he agreed with Vice President Dick Cheney's assertion that the insurgency was in its "last throes," Bush replied that he understood "how dangerous it is there," adding: "I think about Iraq every day, every single day. - Reuters


He understands how dangerous it is.

He thinks about Iraq every day.

Well, holy crap, Einstein, you're the Commander-In-Chief. I certainly HOPE you "think about Iraq" every day. That's pretty much the MINIMUM expectation. I think about Iraq every day, too, and I'm not the Commander-In-Chief.

What do you want, a frigging cookie?

Our Commander-In-Chief thinks about the war every day, and knows it's dangerous. Holy crap.

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The Democrats blocked Bolton again.

I'll be shocked if Clown-boy DOESN'T appoint him in a recess appointment.

When he does, let's see if the Democrats have the political sense to weave Bush's action into the broader narrative of Republican Abuse of Power.

If they do, and do it right, we'll see Bush's popularity break into the 30s.

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Good morning, Saigon
 
Amazingly, this was a top story. Good. If the news from Iraq (for a daily update, check this site) actually starts getting reported instead of ignored, it's a giant step in the right direction.
Marines win Iraq desert battle, war far from over
U.S. Marines claimed success on Tuesday in another battle against insurgents in the Iraqi desert but acknowledged that the war was far from over and that guerrillas would soon recover lost ground...

"Yeah, in a couple of weeks they'll be back and they'll make up for these losses. But that's fine, because we're not beating them in two weeks. We're beating them in two years."

Mohammed Solfeij, 33, whose house is on the outskirts of Karabila near where the Americans first entered the town, said the insurgents would be back "as soon as the Americans leave."

"The people are suffering. Most of them have fled to live in the desert," he said.


Gee, didn't Cheney just say that the insurgency was in its "last throes"? The people actually on the ground don't seem to haven't gotten the news. I wonder how many "throes" they have left? Sure sounds like a bunch.

We drive them out of a town, and then LEAVE so they can come back. That's completely insane. But we have no choice. It's a direct result of Rumsfeld's brilliant theory that you fight a war more effectively with fewer people. He actually believes that. There just aren't enough people there to HOLD the areas after they win them.

And the insurgency keeps recruiting more people, since every day of our occupation feeds right into their desired PR. And we keep LOSING people. Recruiting is WAY down, since the people who favor this stupid war think that it's only OTHER people who should fight it.

This looks more like Vietnam every day.

And the Neocon Death Cult never got over being wrong in Vietnam.

So the idiots are still trying to prove that Vietnam WASN'T a bad idea.

So they went and did it again.

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Monday, June 20, 2005

Recess appointment?
 

W.House does not rule out Bolton recess appointment

The White House on Monday did not rule out the possibility of sidestepping the Senate by naming John Bolton as U.N. ambassador in a recess appointment, as it urged an up-or-down Senate vote on the nomination.


No surprise there. Georgie is basically a spoiled little boy who MUST get his own way, or he throws a tantrum.

"It is critical that we get him in place," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said of Bush's controversial nominee.


Why is it "critical"? What, does Bolton possess magic pixie dust that no one else has?

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Bill Clinton on Guantanamo
 
Close it down or clean it up.

In an interview with the Financial Times, the former president called for the camp, set up to hold suspected terrorists, to “be closed down or cleaned up”.

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Let's play fair.
 
You want to know what chutzpah is?

When an official in the Bush administration claims that he has an "excellent idea" where Osama Bin Laden is, but he can't do anything about it because (ready?) we have too much respect for sovereign nations - that's chutzpah.

The director of the CIA says he has an "excellent idea" where Osama bin Laden is hiding, but that the United States' respect for sovereign nations makes it more difficult to capture the al-Qaida chief.

In an interview with Time for the magazine's June 27 issue, Porter Goss was asked about the progress of the hunt for bin Laden.

"When you go to the question of dealing with sanctuaries in sovereign states, you're dealing with a problem of our sense of international obligation, fair play," Goss said.


"Respect for sovereign nations." Yep, that's the first phrase that pops into MY mind when I think of the Bush Administration.

This from the crew that has antagonized the nations of the world by its sheer DISrespect for them.

This from the crew that went and invaded a "sovereign nation" that WASN'T harboring Bin Laden.

Didn't Bush say that any nation that harbors terrorists would be treated as a terrorist nation?

Well, the only nation he invaded WASN'T harboring terrorists, and his invasion turned it into a country that is a breeding ground for terrorists.

But now he claims that he's too diplomatic to do anything about a country that is harboring terrorists.

Well, my own opinion is that he's full of it. He wanted a distraction from all of the Downing Street leaks, and he wants to do something to prop up his pathetic poll numbers. So he turned to his old playbook, and scratched that terrorist itch again.

I think he's lying and he no idea where Bin Laden is. And, strangely enough, my opinion that he's lying is actually giving him the benefit of the doubt.

Because if he actually DOES have an "excellent idea" where the guy is who staged the largest attack on the United States in history, and he isn't doing anything about it because of "a sense of fair play" (yes, that's what he said), he should be tried for treason.

"Fair play" when dealing with Bin Laden.

Total irresponsibility when dealing with everything else.

That's Bush.

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Sunday, June 19, 2005

The more things change...
 
A reader alerted me to this from looking through the archives: Lo, these many moons ago - March 27, 2004, to be exact - I wrote this post which details one of Bill Frist's lies. And just below I have a post called "Frist is a liar." That isn't surprising - compulsive liars show remarkable consistency. But this is what I noticed. The post was about the Bushites Reaction to Richard Clarke saying that the White House largely ignored the terrorist threat prior to 9/11. And I wrote this:


"[T]his whole thing is making me wonder. Clarke's testimony was indeed gripping and damaging, but the White House's reaction has been truly bizarre. They just started running around like lunatics, throwing out wild accusations, contradicting each other, contradicting themselves, and not even CARING if what they were saying was even slightly convincing, as long as there was a flood of it.

Frankly, they are acting guilty as hell. REALLY guilty.

FAR more guilty than Clarke's statements make them out to be.

And it really does make me wonder if there isn't some information that is REALLY damning and that they REALLY are terrified of becoming public.


And now we have the Downing Street Memo.

Interesting.

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Saturday, June 18, 2005

Drip...drip...drip...
 
More damning memos. And wonder of wonders, it's the top AP story on Yahoo News.

When Prime Minister Tony Blair's chief foreign policy adviser dined with Condoleezza Rice six months after Sept. 11, the then-U.S. national security adviser didn't want to discuss Osama bin Laden or al-Qaida. She wanted to talk about "regime change" in Iraq, setting the stage for the U.S.-led invasion more than a year later.

President Bush wanted Blair's support, but British officials worried the White House was rushing to war, according to a series of leaked secret Downing Street memos that have renewed questions and debate about Washington's motives for ousting Saddam Hussein.

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Frist is a liar
 
He lied about Terri Schiavo; he lied about another Senator.

Bill Frist is the worst kind of political whore - a soulless man with no real principles or values whatsoever.

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Bush lied about napalm
 
And the British are rightly furious.

American officials lied to British ministers over the use of "internationally reviled" napalm-type firebombs in Iraq.

Yesterday's disclosure led to calls by MPs for a full statement to the Commons and opened ministers to allegations that they held back the facts until after the general election.

Despite persistent rumours of injuries among Iraqis consistent with the use of incendiary weapons such as napalm, Adam Ingram, the Defence minister, assured Labour MPs in January that US forces had not used a new generation of incendiary weapons, codenamed MK77, in Iraq.

But Mr Ingram admitted to the Labour MP Harry Cohen in a private letter obtained by The Independent that he had inadvertently misled Parliament because he had been misinformed by the US. "The US confirmed to my officials that they had not used MK77s in Iraq at any time and this was the basis of my response to you," he told Mr Cohen. "I regret to say that I have since discovered that this is not the case and must now correct the position."

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Unamerican
 
This is America. We have laws here.

But George W. Bush has done everything in his power to operate out of reach of the Constitution, and out of the reach of all laws.

Bush has unilaterally designated some prisoners as "unlawful enemy combatants" - a category that hasn't been used since WWII - entirely for the purpose of not having to obey ANY LAWS when it comes to the treatment of those prisoners.

And by the way, he is legally not allowed to do so. According to Geneva III, the designation of "unlawful combatant" can only be determined by a court.

It is unbelievable that in America, a person can be held "in perpetuity" without charges even being filed against him entirely because the government slapped a label on him. It's Unamerican. And, yes, I think the adjective fits. I think that's it's an adjective Liberals should start using more, because when describing Bush's actions, it actually applies.

Label a man "unlawful enemy combatant," and the law is what Bush says it is. Like some medieval feudal duchy.

That should set off alarm bells all over the country.

And I'm not sure what's worse - that the man actually had the gall to do such a thing, or that Congress was actually supine enough to let him.

IS George W. Bush sanctioning torture? Well, why the hell ELSE would you spend all that time and money having lawyers figure out ways to make torture legal?

Why would you DO that if you didn't want to torture people?

Bush seems to think that saying "Everything changed after 9/11" gives him the justification to do any damned thing he pleases, legal or illegal. Well, it doesn't. This is America. We have laws here.

Congress is FINALLY holding a hearing into the disgrace that is Guantanamo, and it's about time. And I only hope that there are enough moral Republicans to demand full Congressional oversight on the place, which is what should have been happening all along.

IF new rules have to be made to deal with those detained in antiterrorism operations, then it is the job of Congress to determine what those rules are, how one defines "unlawful enemy combatant," whether the Geneva Convention applies, and if not, what does.

It isn't the job of some political appointee operating entirely behind close doors, out the reach of all oversight.

This is America. We have laws here.

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Second verse, same as the first
 
"We're serious this time - we gave it a cool name."

U.S. Iraq Troops Launch Operation Dagger.

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Friday, June 17, 2005

What a POS
 
Jeb Bush has apparently decided that the only way to save face is to keep trying to raise suspicions about Michael Schiavo.

These people should be ashamed of themselves and they would be, if they had a conscience.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Gov. Jeb Bush asked a prosecutor Friday to investigate why
Terri Schiavo collapsed 15 years ago, calling into question how long it took her husband to call 911 after he found her.

In a letter faxed to Pinellas-Pasco County State Attorney Bernie McCabe, Bush said Michael Schiavo testified in a 1992 medical malpractice trial that he found his wife collapsed at 5 a.m., and he said in a 2003 television interview that he found her about 4:30 a.m. He called 911 at 5:40 a.m.


Has it occurred to these clowns that when a guy says "5 o'clock in the morning," he wasn't necessarily staring at a clock and calmly noting the time upon discovering that his wife had collapsed, but just means "it was really late at night, almost morning"?

Sheesh.

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China can kill us, if they want to.
 
The deficit in the broadest measure of international trade rose to an all-time high of $195.1 billion from January through March of this year as the country sank deeper into debt to Japan, China and other nations. - AP

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Thursday, June 16, 2005


 
William Rivers Pitt is live-blogging the Congressional Hearing into the Downing Street Memo.

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Liberal Media
 

ABC Bosses Tell ABC News Kill The Interviews With Robert Kennedy Jr.


ABC corporate executives at the network's highest levels ordered three interviews with Robert Kennedy Jr. pulled from ABC News programming.

The interviews all centered around Mr. Kennedy's investigation of thimerosal, a mercury based preservative, used in vaccines given to children and

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Liar.
 
From Think Progress:

Frist Lies to Matt Lauer


Majority Leader Bill Frist this morning on the Today Show:


LAUER: But when you stood on the floor and you said, She does respond, are you at all worried that you led some senators…


FRIST: I never said, She responded. I said I reviewed the court videotapes – the same ones the other doctors reviewed – and I questioned, Is her diagnosis correct?


Frist on Senate Floor, 3/17/05:



I have looked at the video footage. Based on the footage provided to me, which was part of the facts of the case, she does respond.


More from Frist, 3/17/05:


She certainly seems to respond to visual stimuli…


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Rats. Sinking Ship.
 
Delay aide quits amid maelstrom

The communications director for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) abruptly announced his resignation yesterday after months of defending his boss amid intense media scrutiny of the outspoken lawmaker.

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Heil
 

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Guantanamera
 
Thanks to Talk Left for this:

Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) has made a floor statement about Guantanamo.

When you read some of the graphic descriptions of what has occurred here [at Guantanamo Bay]--I almost hesitate to put them in the [Congressional] Record, and yet they have to be added to this debate. Let me read to you what one FBI agent saw. And I quote from his report:

On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food or water. Most times they urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for 18-24 hours or more. On one occasion, the air conditioning had been turned down so far and the temperature was so cold in the room, that the barefooted detainee was shaking with cold. . . . On another occasion, the [air conditioner] had been turned off, making the temperature in the unventilated room well over 100 degrees. The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his hair out throughout the night. On another occasion, not only was the temperature unbearably hot, but extremely loud rap music was being played in the room, and had been since the day before, with the detainee chained hand and foot in the fetal position on the tile floor.

If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime--Pol Pot or others--that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners.


He is calling for the Geneva Conventions to be applied to the detainees.

The President could declare the United States will apply the Geneva Conventions to the war on terrorism. He could declare, as he should, that the United States will not, under any circumstances, subject any detainee to torture, or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment. The administration could give all detainees a meaningful opportunity to challenge their detention before a neutral decisionmaker. Such a change of course would dramatically improve our image and it would make us safer. I hope this administration will choose that course. If they do not, Congress must step in.


The morally bankrupt right-wing's response to this is to attack Durbin. Durbin isn't making it up - he's reading it from an FBI report.

The Bushites will defend ANYTHING.

They have completely lost their consciences and their decency.

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AP admits it
 
According to Salon (go ahead, subscribe), the reason the major news organizations give for not covering the Downing Street Memo was because they were looking an AP wire story on it, and AP didn't produce one.

This is basically an admission on the part of the major media outlets that they have no independent thought processes, and are addicted to the Lemming Method of news reporting.

But the AP at least admitted screwing up royally:

In response to a request for comment, Deborah Seward, AP's international editor, conceded to Salon in an e-mail, "Yes, there is no question AP dropped the ball in not picking up on the Downing Street memo sooner."


That's more than the New York Times and the Washington Post have done: they have chosen to circle the wagons, and stubbornly cling to their illusion of virtue and objectivity. If they didn't report it, it must not have been newsworthy. And the rooster made the sun come up.

Salon comments:

But a more pressing question remains about the media at large and the group think at play: Why, in the face of the clearly newsworthy memo -- which made international headlines and went straight to the issue of how and why President Bush decided to invade Iraq -- did senior editors and producers at virtually every major American news outlet let the story slip through the cracks and fail to do the most rudimentary reporting?

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Paul Craig Roberts

I DO wish that the Democrats in Congress had half the nuts of some anti-Bush conservatives.

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New Downing Street Memos
 
Drip...drip...drip...

In March 2002, the Bush administration had just begun to publicly raise the possibility of confronting Iraq. But behind the scenes, officials already were deeply engaged in seeking ways to justify an invasion, newly revealed British memos indicate.

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A roadside bomb attack killed five U.S. Marines and gunfire killed an American sailor in a western Iraqi town, the U.S. military and Iraqi officials said Thursday, as an upsurge in rebel violence battered American forces.

The six U.S. deaths raised Wednesday’s toll from insurgent attacks to 58 killed, making it the deadliest day of violence in more than a month.

At least 1,714 U.S. military members have died since the war began in 2003, according to an AP count. - AP

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The PR is offensive
 
"The people aren't buying my bullshit! What should I do?"

Bullshit MORE, of course.

White House officials acknowledged yesterday that the public's gloomy mood about the Iraq war is forcing President Bush to take a more assertive and public role to reassure nervous Americans and Republican lawmakers about the White House plan for victory.

Bush had hoped the successful January elections in Iraq would boost the popularity of the conflict and allow him to distance himself from it. But his aides have concluded that recent events in Iraq have contributed to an erosion in support for the president -- and that he needs to shift strategies. Bush's new approach will be mostly rhetorical, however, as the White House does not plan any changes to the policy or time frame for bringing home the 140,000 U.S. troops, as some lawmakers are demanding.


Why is Bush such a disaster? Because he CANNOT CHANGE HIS MIND.

That's not "resolute" - that's a rockheaded asshole.

Things in Iraq SUCK. Bush's solution is do just keep doing what has failed, failed, failed, and PRETEND that it hasn't.

And the scary thing is that some Americans actually don't see what a horrible way that is to run things.

He's running the country into the ground while whistling a happy tune.

And he thinks the solution is to just whistle LOUDER.

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Patriot (sic) Act
 
Bush hates to veto things so much that he's bankrupted the United States rather than veto ANYthing. So when Bush actually threatens to USE the veto, you know that he wants something truly, truly reprehensible.

Now, he's all pissy that even his fellow Republicans don't think the FBI should be checking on your reading materials.

The House voted Wednesday to block a provision of the USA Patriot Act that makes it easier for federal investigators to review the records of libraries and bookstores on national security grounds.

The White House has threatened to veto the measure if it impedes the Patriot Act, and Mr. Bush as recently as Tuesday personally urged lawmakers to renew the law.

But it shows you how totally screwed up we've become that this unamerican garbage is even a matter of debate.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2005


 
On the subject of the press defending it's negligence on the grounds that it was "conventional wisdom," Billmon slaughters the apologists with a puff of logic.

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Bullshit.
 
I LOVE the excuse given by both the New York Whore Times and the Washington Post for not covering one of the most important stories of the last three years.

They already knew it.

They say they've known that Bush was exagerrating intelligence for three years.

And since they knew about it three years ago, it can't be news NOW. Even if YOU didn't know about it three years ago, because they didn't cover it three years ago either. How's THAT for convenient?

This is straight out of the Marx Brothers Duck Soup.

Rufus T. Firefly: And now, members of the cabinet we'll take up old business.
Cabinet Member: I wish to discuss the tariff.
Rufus T. Firefly: Sit down, that's new business. No old business? Very well, we'll take up new business.
Cabinet Member: Now, about that tariff...
Rufus T. Firefly: Too late, that's old business already. Sit down.


How about their damned-near-criminal negligence? Is that news? Probably not. After all, we've known about THAT for a long time, too.
AFTER LAGGING for months, debate on Iraq in Washington is picking up again. That's a needed and welcome development, but much of the discussion is being diverted to the wrong subject. War opponents have been trumpeting several British government memos from July 2002, which describe the Bush administration's preparations for invasion, as revelatory of President Bush's deceptions about Iraq. Bloggers have demanded to know why "the mainstream media" have not paid more attention to them. Though we can't speak for The Post's news department, the answer appears obvious: The memos add not a single fact to what was previously known about the administration's prewar deliberations. Not only that: They add nothing to what was publicly known in July 2002....

One observation in the memos is vague but intriguing: A British official is quoted as saying that the "intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." Yet it was argued even then, and has since become conventional wisdom, that Mr. Bush, Vice President Cheney and other administration spokesmen exaggerated the threat from Iraq to justify the elimination of its noxious regime.


Ok - let's see all the news stories from the last three years showing this "conventional wisdom." Go on - let's see one story from the last three years saying that the Bush administration was playing with the facts in order to pursue a pre-determined policy. Not editorials saying that some people were WONDERING about that. Actual stories STATING it.

It was conventional wisdom?

So how come the American public seems completely unaware of it, if it's "conventional wisdom?"

Because the major news outlets KNEW it, but didn't see any need to PRINT it.

British Ministers were being told that the United States was going to go to war while Bush was still pretending that he was trying to avoid it. We all knew that? Really? We all knew that the British Ministers were told that the war was illegal, and that it was their job to make it legal? We all knew that?

Well, how the HELL did a news junkie like ME miss it if ALL THE NEWSPAPERS knew it?

If the Mainstream Media knew that Bush was fixing facts around a pre-determined decision to go to war, why didn't they point this out when the Bushies trashed Richard Clarke's reputation because he said EXACTLY THAT?

The fact is that 1700 Americans are dead, and the Bush administration spread bullshit far and wide for the purpose of CAUSING it.

And if the media knew about it three years ago, they are almost as guilty as HE is.

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What he said
 
Letter to the New York Times

Re "A Peephole to the War Room: British Documents Shed Light on Bush Team's State of Mind" (news analysis, June 14) and "Prewar British Memo Says War Decision Wasn't Made" (news article, June 13):

Two articles in two days about memos leaking from Downing Street have focused more on why the news was not news.

And therefore what? They did not need to be covered?

On the contrary, the documents include damning assessments from British intelligence that the Bush administration was doctoring the case for war, that it hadn't planned for the postwar period, and the suggestion that the evidence the administration had amassed on weapons of mass destruction was thin.

The bloggers have every right to be disgusted with the mainstream media, which once covered every stained dress, cigar and rumor (even giving advice to the parties in a presidential sex scandal); while pretending to be interested only in the "lies," they now deem evidence of lies in a rush to war "not quite so shocking."

If the administration's duplicity was so "old hat" to The Times in July 2002, why didn't you write as much at the time?

Hawley Rising
San Jose, Calif., June 14, 2005

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Tuesday, June 14, 2005


 
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Okay, you twisted our arm
 
The Senate went out on a limb and admitted that yes, lynching was bad. And just think, it only took 125 years.

The Senate on Monday formally apologized for having rejected decades of pleas to make lynching a federal crime as scores victims' descendants watched from the chamber's gallery.

On a voice vote and without opposition, the Senate passed a resolution expressing its regrets to the relatives as well as to the nearly 5,000 Americans -- mostly black males -- who were documented as having been lynched from 1880 to 1960.


Here's the kicker:

No lawmaker opposed the measure, but 20 of the 100 senators had not signed a statement of support of it shortly before a vote was taken on a nearly empty Senate floor.

"I think it's politics. They're afraid of losing votes from people of prejudice," Duster said of those who did not sign the statement of support.


Well, there's 20 folks destined for the vestibule of the Dantean hell, if ever I saw them.

No news story has the names of the 20 people who were two chicken to vote against lynching.

And the Senate intentionally went to a voice vote instead of a roll call vote to protect them.

Those 20 people are the real story. Why are they in the Senate at all?

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20 dead
 
>sigh<

Suicide Bombing in Iraq Kills At Least 20
It's the Deadliest Such Attack in a Month

BAGHDAD, June 14 -- A man wearing an explosive belt blew himself up Tuesday outside a bank in the northern city of Kirkuk, police said, killing at least 20 bystanders and wounding 83, many of them women and children, in the deadliest single suicide bombing in Iraq in more than a month.

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Nearly six in 10 Americans say the United States should withdraw some or all of its troops from Iraq, a new Gallup Poll finds, the most downbeat view of the war since it began in 2003.

Patience for the war has dropped sharply as optimism about the Iraqi elections in January has ebbed and violence against U.S. troops hasn't abated. For the first time, a majority would be "upset" if President Bush sent more troops.

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Monday, June 13, 2005

Mea culpa
 
"The patriot's dream is as old as the sky
It lives in the lust of a cold callous lie
Let's drink to the men who got caught by the chill
Of the patriotic fever and the cold steel that kills." - Gordon Lightfoot, "Patriot's Dream"


Below, I refer to Representative Walter Jones as a "guy who is so totally right-wing and loonie that he coined the term 'freedom fries.'"

Well, it turns out that Walter Jones thinks one of the dumbest things he ever did was coin the term freedom fries. He says he wishes it never happened.

The man was just caught by the chill of the patriotic fever and the cold steel that kills.

Happens to the best of us.

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Quack, quack
 
When Bush's tanking poll numbers are mentioned, some right-winger is sure to say, "So what? He's not running again."

But Bush's lack of popularity has a much bigger effect, of course: He's not running, but his fellow Republicans are running. They're running far away.

If Bush can't keep the support of the guy who is so totally right-wing and loonie that he coined the term "freedom fries" - whose support CAN he keep?

Republican congressman called for a deadline to pull U.S. troops from Iraq, while some other members of President George W. Bush’s party urged on Sunday that his administration come to grips with a persistent insurgency and revamp Iraq policy.

Rep. Walter Jones, a North Carolina conservative, said on ABC’s “This Week” that he would offer legislation this week setting a timetable for the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.

“I voted for the resolution to commit the troops, and I feel that we’ve done about as much as we can do,” said Jones, who coined the phrase “freedom fries” to lash out at the French for opposing the Iraq invasion.

Other Republicans on television talk shows joined Democrats in criticizing the administration for playing down the insurgency, while overestimating the ability of Iraq’s fledgling forces to fight without U.S. soldiers in the lead and failing to plan for the post-invasion occupation.

“The insurgency is alive and well. We underestimated the viability of the insurgency,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said on CBS’ Face the Nation. He said the administration has “been slow to adjust when it comes to troop strength and supporting our troops.”

Graham said the Army is contending with a serious shortfall in recruiting “because this war is going sour in terms of word of mouth from parents and grandparents.” He said “if we don’t adjust, public opinion is going to keep slipping away.”

Jones, a member of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, said “primarily the neoconservatives” in the administration were to blame for flawed war planning.

“The reason of going in for weapons of mass destruction, the ability of the Iraqis to make a nuclear weapon, that’s all been proven that it was never there,” he said....

Rep. Curt Weldon, a Pennsylvania Republican who just returned from Iraq, joined several Democrats saying the administration must be more candid and acknowledge that it could take about two years to train Iraqi forces to replace U.S. soldiers and allow a significant pullout.

“We can’t come back to America and have our people being convinced that the Iraqi troops are prepared to take over, when they’re not,” he said on NBC’s Meet the Press.

Weldon also said the administration must “come to grips” with a rising insurgency, boosted by fighters from Syria and Iran, “which for some reason our intelligence community does not want to acknowledge or deal with.”

Sen. Chuck Hagel, a Nebraska Republican, said on CNN’s Late Edition, that “many of us warned this administration before we ever put a boot on the ground” that it would face a long-term conflict. “We didn’t have plans for it. And we are now where we are,” he said.

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Sunday, June 12, 2005

Bull's eye.
 
"I think it's hypocritical for the Republicans to pretend to reach out to the African-American community unless they say they are going to reauthorize what gave the African-American community political power. I'd love to have the president say whether he's going to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act."

"The chairman of the Republican Party as you know has made a big deal about attracting African-American voters. And this is a litmus test. If you aren't going to support the extension of the Voting Rights Act, I don't know what right you have to go to a black church and show your face." - Howard Dean

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"My view is FOX News is a propaganda outlet for the Republican Party and I don't comment on FOX News." - Howard Dean, in response to a question about Dick Cheney calling him "over the top" on Fox News.

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"If Howard Dean was a Republican and saying the same things that he's saying about Democrats, Fox News would give him a talk show." - Jay Leno

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Drip, drip, drip...
 
The British knew that the US was not prepared to deal with post-war Iraq when Bush was pretending that he hadn't already decided to start a war.

A briefing paper prepared for British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top advisers eight months before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq concluded that the U.S. military was not preparing adequately for what the British memo predicted would be a "protracted and costly" postwar occupation of that country.

The eight-page memo, written in advance of a July 23, 2002, Downing Street meeting on Iraq, provides new insights into how senior British officials saw a Bush administration decision to go to war as inevitable, and realized more clearly than their American counterparts the potential for the post-invasion instability that continues to plague Iraq. - Washington Post


You know what's sad? The British knew that we weren't prepared for a post-war occupation BEFORE IT HAPPENED.

And Bush won't even admit it NOW, AFTER it happened, even though it's become obvious to EVERYONE.

Not only didn't He have foresight, and he doesn't even have HINDSIGHT.

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Downing Street is Leaking
 
From the London Times

Ministers were told of need for Gulf war ‘excuse’

MINISTERS were warned in July 2002 that Britain was committed to taking part in an American-led invasion of Iraq and they had no choice but to find a way of making it legal.

The warning, in a leaked Cabinet Office briefing paper, said Tony Blair had already agreed to back military action to get rid of Saddam Hussein at a summit at the Texas ranch of President George W Bush three months earlier.

The briefing paper, for participants at a meeting of Blair’s inner circle on July 23, 2002, said that since regime change was illegal it was “necessary to create the conditions” which would make it legal.

It very obvious that the American Press is consciously and intentionally engaging in a blackout of this story. The job of the blogs and the grassroots is to make enough noise that they CAN'T ignore it, even though they WANT to.

The question is: Why are they so obviously TRYING to ignore this story? Why do they want to? Why do Americans have to read foreign newspapers to find out what's going on in their own country? Remember when Radio Free Europe used to broadcast into the Soviet Bloc?

Well, the Internet has become Radio Free America.

It's just a shame that we now NEED one.

From the rest of the article:

Frustrated at the refusal by the White House to respond to their letter, the congressmen have set up a website — www.downingstreetmemo.com — to collect signatures on a petition demanding the same answers.

Conyers promised to deliver it to Bush once it reached 250,000 signatures. By Friday morning it already had more than 500,000 with as many as 1m expected to have been obtained when he delivers it to the White House on Thursday.

AfterDowningStreet.org, another website set up as a result of the memo, is calling for a congressional committee to consider whether Bush’s actions as depicted in the memo constitute grounds for impeachment.

It has been flooded with visits from people angry at what they see as media self-censorship in ignoring the memo. It claims to have attracted more than 1m hits a day.

Democrats.com, another website, even offered $1,000 (about £550) to any journalist who quizzed Bush about the memo’s contents, although the Reuters reporter who asked the question last Tuesday was not aware of the reward and has no intention of claiming it.

The complaints of media self-censorship have been backed up by the ombudsmen of The Washington Post, The New York Times and National Public Radio, who have questioned the lack of attention the minutes have received from their organisations.

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Saturday, June 11, 2005

Republicans shoot Big Bird
 
A House subcommittee voted yesterday to sharply reduce the federal government's financial support for public broadcasting, including eliminating taxpayer funds that help underwrite such popular children's educational programs as "Sesame Street," "Reading Rainbow," "Arthur" and "Postcards From Buster."

In addition, the subcommittee acted to eliminate within two years all federal money for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting -- which passes federal funds to public broadcasters -- starting with a 25 percent reduction in CPB's budget for next year, from $400 million to $300 million. - Washington Post


Need I point out that - as disgusting as this action is - it's a giant gift-wrapped political gift to the Democrats that they could EASILY use to beat the Republicans senseless, should they be so inclined?

But they won't, because that would be MEAN.

Howard Dean says something accurate, and the right-wingers pull it out of context and use it as a weapons.

The Republicans decide to target Sesame Street in the name of "liberal bias" - and the Democrats say nothing.

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Friday, June 10, 2005

Fair and Balanced Part II
 
The FOX Interview with the most powerful man on the planet.

"Do you think that the focus on Michael Jackson has hurt you?"

This is where right-wingers get all of their info.

No WONDER they think Iraq is going well.

Incidentally, if you go to FOX News and do a search on "Downing Street Memo" - you discover that they have not covered it at ALL. On Jume 1, about a week-and-a-half ago, they ran ONE article saying that there was a lack of media coverage. Nothing before. Nothing since.

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Ignoring the dead
 
From atrios:

Bush's personal version of Pravda - Fox News - apparently decided to stop updating their list of deaths in Iraq back on May 17th - almost a month ago.

They didn't even update on Memorial Day.

I guess the dead don't matter to the Bushites.

I guess it just isn't important.

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Occupation Without End, Amen
 
We are going to leave Iraq once the "Iraqi Army is ready to handle things themselves."

Translation: "Never."

The Iraqi soldiers had no clue where they were going. They shrugged their shoulders when asked what they would do. The U.S. military had billed the mission as pivotal in the Iraqis' progress as a fighting force but had kept the destination and objectives secret out of fear the Iraqis would leak the information to insurgents.

"We can't tell these guys about a lot of this stuff, because we're not really sure who's good and who isn't," said Rick McGovern, a tough-talking 37-year-old platoon sergeant from Hershey, Pa., who heads the military training for Charlie Company.

"I know the party line. You know, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Army, five-star generals, four-star generals, President Bush, Donald Rumsfeld: The Iraqis will be ready in whatever time period," said 1st Lt. Kenrick Cato, 34, of Long Island, N.Y., the executive officer of McGovern's company, who sold his share in a database firm to join the military full time after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. "But from the ground, I can say with certainty they won't be ready before I leave. And I know I'll be back in Iraq, probably in three or four years. And I don't think they'll be ready then."

"We don't want to take responsibility; we don't want it," said Amar Mana, 27, an Iraqi private whose forehead was grazed by a bullet during an insurgent attack in November. "Here, no way. The way the situation is, we wouldn't be ready to take responsibility for a thousand years."


Personally, I don't beleive that the Bushies WANT the Iraqis to take responsibility, because they actually don't WANT to leave. The whole IDEA of this stupid thing is an endless occupation. That's why they actually went in the first place. So why would they want to leave?

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The Politics of Greed
 
Krugman

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"We're not going to let the Republicans set the agenda and to be quite honest we aren't going to let you set the agenda." - Howard Dean, talking to the "Liberal Media."

Isn't it ODD that the Republican Party and the Liberal Media so often seem to be reciting from exactly the same script?

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Thursday, June 09, 2005


 
The Rude Pundit defends Howard Dean will all the rudeness he can muster.

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The Downing Street Two-Step
 
The Downing Street Memo is big news everyplace else BUT in the United States. Here, it has been more of a slow drip. But it's threatening to pour.

Bush and Blair were forced to officially deny the charges yesterday. This is a step in the right direction. Up until now, Bush has IGNORED the charges.

And the denials of Bush and Blair were extremely unconvincing and clearly rehearsed.

BLAIR: No, the facts were not being fixed in any shape or form at all. And let me remind you that that memorandum was written before we then went to the United Nations.

BUSH: ...somebody said, Well, you know, we had made up our mind to go to use military force to deal with Saddam. There’s nothing farther from the truth...this meeting, evidently it took place in London, happened before we even went to the United Nations – or I went to the United Nations.


Obviously, they compared notes and agreed on what to say before the conference. And the excuse is obviously a red herring anyway: So WHAT if the meeting took place before they went to the United Nations? If they had determined to go to war before even GOING to the United Nations, that makes it even worse. It means the whole UN thing was pure PR, and they had no real intention of allowing anything the UN did to stop the war, anyway. It was for show.

And their own actions lend creedence to this idea. It is the fact that Bolton got Bistani - a U.N. diplomat - fired BECAUSE Bistani was in danger of finding a peaceful solution.

And Bush - once again - cited UN Resolution 1441 as his excuse.

And so we worked hard to see if we could figure out how to do this peacefully, take a -- put a united front up to Saddam Hussein, and say, the world speaks, and he ignored the world. Remember, 1441 passed the Security Council unanimously. He made the decision. And the world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power.
He keeps trying to blame the UN for HIS decision, when the UN specifically told him NOT to.

Needless to say, Bush's excuse is total crap:

Resolution 1441 is the resolution that says that Hussein had to allow UN inspectors into the country to inspect for weapons. And he did. The UN gave him until November 15th to comply, and he allowed them in on November 13th. When Bush made the PUBLIC decision to invade Iraq, the inspectors were in the country, and they left because Bush was about to attack.


That's easily checkable fact
. Forgotten by the Orwellian mouthpieces in the press and the administration: when Hussein allowed the Weapons Inspectors in - complying with the UN - Bush CHANGED his demands and changed his ultimatum: he said Saddam had to leave the country or he would attack. But Hussein leaving the country is mentioned NOWHERE in UN Security Council Resolution 1441. Nowhere. But don't expect the press to mention it: they don't report, they take dictation. Unless some high-level Democrat stands up and publicly says that Bush's statements about the weapons inspectors are FALSE it will not get into the press. Which is why some Democrat HAS to say it. Hillary? Biden? Dean? ANYbody? Contradict this clown when he lies. PLEASE. It's the ONLY way that the information becomes public. You CAN'T expect the press to hold him accountable. They won't.

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Dean and the DNC
 
Liberal Oasis has the final word.

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Just how far down is recruitment?

They've resorted to kidnapping.


No, I'm not kidding.

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By way of Josh Marshall:

When Bush went to Missouri to push privatization of Social Security, the SEIU was there to greet him.

And they have pictures.

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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

A Crisis of Bullshit
 
The lack of recruitment points out a fatal, and obvious, flaw in Bush's thinking:

You can't fight a war without public support.

And that's why Bush lied about his reasons for starting the war. He lied because he KNEW that his REAL reasons WOULD NOT be supported by the public. So he did what the polls told him to do: the polls told him that the ONE REASON that would make the public support military action was the fear that Hussein had Weapons ofMass Destruction. So Bush chose that as the official lie.

But now the public knows that that was BS. And they know the real reasons we were led to war. So now Bush exactly where he would have been if he had told the truth: no public support. Except that NOW, he has no public support and an ACTIVE WAR. As usual, Bush took a problem and turned it into a crisis with nothing but his own skill.

Now he has a crisis caused by his own bullshit.

And he STILL won't admit that he made a mistake.

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Sticks and Stones
 
From the Poor Man

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The New Communist Chic
 
Actual ad appearing on MARC Rail, the commuter train between Baltimore and Washington, DC.


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Recruiting down
 
The army had a goal of recruiting 8,000 new recruits in the month of May.

But, since recruiting had fallen, they very suddenly, with no public notice LOWERED that goal to 6,700.

And they STILL fell 25% short.


Surprise, surprise - what sort of maniac would enlist right now? Who would want to lose an arm to prop up criminal greed?

And how come the neocons - who CLAIM to support this debale - aren't enlisting? How come they aren't encouraging their sons and daughters to enlist?

Or do they ONLY favor wars that OTHER people die in?

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Faking info AGAIN.
 
Does this surprise anybody?

A White House official who once led the oil industry's fight against limits on greenhouse gases has repeatedly edited government climate reports in ways that play down links between such emissions and global warming, according to internal documents.

In handwritten notes on drafts of several reports issued in 2002 and 2003, the official, Philip A. Cooney, removed or adjusted descriptions of climate research that government scientists and their supervisors, including some senior Bush administration officials, had already approved. In many cases, the changes appeared in the final reports.

The dozens of changes, while sometimes as subtle as the insertion of the phrase "significant and fundamental" before the word "uncertainties," tend to produce an air of doubt about findings that most climate experts say are robust.

Mr. Cooney is chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the office that helps devise and promote administration policies on environmental issues.


They falsify intelligence when it comes to starting a war; they falsify intelligence when it comes to poisoning the air.

And the reaction of the SCLM will be a big yawn, and because the Bush White house has so lowered standards of accountability that the media EXPECT the White House to lie and falsify documents. It isn't even news anymore that Bush lies. Everybody knows that he lies and everybody expects him to lie.

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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

An open letter to George Bush
 
Here.

November 4, 2004

Dear George,

You don’t mind if I call you George do you? When you sent me a letter offering your condolences on the death of my son, Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan, in the illegal and unjust war on Iraq, you called me Cindy, so I naturally assume we are on a first name basis.

George, it has been seven months today since your reckless and wanton foreign policies killed my son, my big boy, my hero, my best-friend: Casey. It has been seven months since your ignorant and arrogant lack of planning for the peace murdered my oldest child. It has been two days since your dishonest campaign stole another election…but you all were way more subtle this time than in 2000, weren’t you? You hardly had to get the Supreme Court of the United States involved at all this week.

You feel so proud of yourself for betraying the country again, don’t you? You think you are very clever because you pulled the wool over the eyes of some of the people again. You think that you have some mandate from God…that you can “spend your political capital” any way that you want. George you don’t care or even realize that 56,000,000 plus citizens of this country voted against you and your agenda. Still, you are going to continue your ruthless work of being a divider and not a uniter. George, in 2000 when you stole that election and the Democrats gave up, I gave up too. I had the most ironic thought of my life then: "Oh well, how much damage can he do in four years?" Well, now I know how much you have damaged my family, this country, and this world. If you think I am going to allow you another four years to do even more damage, then you truly are mistaken. I will fight for a true vote count and if that fails, your impeachment. Also, the impeachment of your Vice President. The only thing is, I'm not politically savvy, and I don't have a Karl Rove to plan my strategy, but I do have a big mouth and a righteous cause, which still mean something in this country, I hope.

All of this lying, fooling, and betraying must be “hard work” George. You really think you know what hard work is?

George, let me tell you what “hard work” really is.

Hard work is seeing your oldest son, your brave and honorable man-child go off to a war that had, and still has, no basis in reality. Hard work is worrying yourself gray and not being able to sleep for 2 weeks because you don’t know if your child is safe.

Hard work is seeing your son’s murder on CNN one Sunday evening while you’re enjoying the last supper you’ll ever truly enjoy again.

Hard work is having three military officers come to your house a few hours later to confirm the aforementioned murder of your son…your first born…your kind and gentle sweet baby.

Hard work is burying your child 46 days before his 25th birthday. Hard work is holding your other three children as they lower the body of their big “baba” into the ground. Hard work is not jumping in the grave with him and having the earth cover you both.

But, Dear George, do you know what the hardest work of all is? Trying to digest the fact that the leader of the country that your family has fought for and died for, for generations, lied to you and betrayed your dear boy’s sense of honor and exploited his courage and exploited his loyalty to his buddies. Hard work is having your country abandon you after they killed your son. Hard work is coming to the realization that your son had his future robbed from him and that you have had your son's future and future grand-children stolen from you. Hard work is knowing that there are so many people in this world that have prospered handsomely from your son's death.

George, I must confess that I and my family worked very HARD to re-defeat you this time, but you refuse to stay defeated. Well, we are watching you very carefully. We are going to do everything in our power to have you impeached for misleading the American people into a disastrous war and for mis-using and abusing your power as Commander-in-Chief. We are going to scream until our last breath to bring the rest of our babies home from this quagmire of a war that you have gotten our country in to: before too many more families learn the true meaning of Hard Work. We know it is going to be an uphill battle, knowing how Republican Congress is, but thanks to you, we know the meaning of Hard Work and we’re not afraid of hard work at all.

The 56,000,000 plus citizens who voted against you and your agenda have given me a mandate to move forward with my agenda. Also, thanks to you and your careless domestic policies, I am unemployed, so this will be my full-time job. Being your political downfall will be the most noble accomplishment of my life and it will bring justice for my son and 1125 (so far) other brave Americans and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis your lies have killed. By the way, George, how many more innocent Iraqis are your policies going to kill before you convince them that you are better than Saddam? How many more of their cities are you going to level before you consider that they are liberated? If you really had any moral values, or if you were an honorable man at all you would resign. My son was a man who had high moral values and true courage. Humanity lost a bright light on April 04, 2004. I will live the rest of my life missing Casey desperately. Thank you for that, George. Have a nice day.


God Bless America!! We surely need it!

Cindy Sheehan
Broken hearted mother of a True American Hero: Spc Casey Austin Sheehan, KIA 04/04/04 Sadr City, Baghdad

"When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall - think of it, always." - Gandhi

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Down, down, down
 
"Down, down, down. Would the fall never come to an end?" - Alice in Wonderland

For the first time, most Americans, 55 percent, say Bush has done more to divide than to unite the country. A career-high 52 percent disapprove of his job performance overall, and, in another first, a bare majority rates him unfavorably on a personal level. Most differ with him on issues ranging from the economy and Social Security to stem-cell research and nuclear power.

Iraq is a major thorn. With discontent over U.S. casualties at a new peak, a record 58 percent say the war there was not worth fighting. Nearly two-thirds think the United States has gotten bogged down in Iraq, up 11 points since March. Forty-five percent go so far as to foresee the equivalent of another Vietnam. - ABC News

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From John Edwards blog

What a flap has arisen over a disagreement about the way something is said! I was in Nashville over the weekend, thanking the good people of Tennessee who supported the Democratic presidential ticket this year, when I was asked whether I thought that it was fair to say that people who were Republican hadn’t done a good day’s work. Of course, I didn’t think so, and I said that. I don’t think our DNC chair, Howard Dean, would put it that way again if asked either. I disagreed with him, and I said so. And, I want to be clear, I would have to say so again if I were asked again. I said a lot of good things about Howard’s outreach program and invigoration of the internet as a communication and fundraising tool, but no one wrote about that. Instead the headlines blared that I disagreed with Howard. And then the flap arose: A chasm! A split! A revolt!

Instead, how about: Nonsense!

We are both talking about the Republicans and their failure to address the needs of working people. We both agree with this basic truth: This Republican president and this Republican majority are not doing what they should be doing for working people in this country. That’s a core belief we need to fight for. And what’s more, we agree that we - all Democrats and all working people - should be complaining, criticizing, and generally speaking out about this critical failure of the Republican party and offering our positive vision for America. And we have.

Howard and I have been saying the same thing about this for years. Hear that? The same thing. For years
.

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Bombshell
 
Remember John Bolton? No, no, not Michael Bolton; get them straight: Michael Bolton is the guy who tried and failed to sing soul music. John Bolton is the guy who tried and failed to appear unrepulsive.

Anywho, hot on the heels of the Downing Street Memo, we find out that John Bolton engineered the firing of diplomat Jose Bustani, because (ready?) Bustani was in danger of successfully using diplomacy to avoid war.

HORRORS. We can't tolerate diplomats who actually practice diplomacy.

Remember when Bush CLAIMED that he was seeking peaceful solutions to his manufactured crisis? Remember that? Didn't you suspect at the time that it was total bullshit? You probably felt that way because "Bush wants a peaceful solution" is an oxymoronic statement, and we all knew it.

But now it isn't a suspicion, it's a stone fact: Bush wanted a war. And he was willing to lie, cheat and deceive in order to create one.

And if we had a REAL press, this story would be the headline of every newspaper in the country.

John R. Bolton flew to Europe in 2002 to confront the head of a global arms-control agency and demand he resign, then orchestrated the firing of the unwilling diplomat in a move a U.N. tribunal has since judged unlawful, according to officials involved.

A former Bolton deputy says the U.S. undersecretary of state felt Jose Bustani "had to go," particularly because the Brazilian was trying to send chemical weapons inspectors to Baghdad. That might have helped defuse the crisis over alleged Iraqi weapons and undermined a U.S. rationale for war.


Imagine that: he was fired because his actions might have DEFUSED A CRISIS.

He was fired for trying to send Chemical Weapons Inspectors to inspect for weapons.

Bush and Bolton knew that if Baghdad had been inspected, they would have found no weapons. and his phony excuse for war would have gone up in smoke.

And Bush NEEDED a crisis because he wanted a war.

Leaving George W. Bush in office is an insult to every soldier who has died from his lies. It's denying them justice.

And the Republican Party has become so totally unprincipled and morally bankrupt that they won't even CONSIDER impeaching him for crimes that make Richard Nixon look like a choir boy.

Lies that have cause thousands of needless deaths. Manufacturing an endless war. Placing every single American - you, me, EVERYone - in danger just to line his own filthy pockets.

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Give 'em hell Hillary
 
Hillary Clinton - who has disappointed me many times - is actually standing up and telling the Democrats what to do. And what ALL of us have been saying that they should do.

"There has never been an administration, I don't believe in our history, more intent upon consolidating and abusing power to further their own agenda," Mrs. Clinton told the audience at a "Women for Hillary" gathering in Midtown Manhattan this morning.

"I know it's frustrating for many of you; it's frustrating for me: Why can't the Democrats do more to stop them?" she continued to growing applause and cheers. "I can tell you this: It's very hard to stop people who have no shame about what they're doing. It is very hard to tell people that they are making decisions that will undermine our checks and balances and constitutional system of government who don't care. It is very hard to stop people who have never been acquainted with the truth.

"The press is missing in action, with all due respect. Where are the investigative reporters today? Why aren't they asking the hard questions? It's shocking when you see how easily they fold in the media today. They don't stand their ground. If they're criticized by the White House, they just fall apart.

"I mean, c'mon, toughen up, guys, it's only our Constitution and country at stake. Let's get some spine."

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Last one out, turn off the lights
 
"At last count America has pumped at least $7 billion into reconstruction projects, with little to show for it but the hostility of ordinary Iraqis, who still have an 18 percent unemployment rate. Most of the cash goes to U.S. contractors who spend much of it on personal security. Basic services like electricity, water and sewers still aren't up to prewar levels. Electricity is especially vital in a country where summer temperatures commonly reach 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Yet only 15 percent of Iraqis have reliable electrical service. In the capital, where it counts most, it's only 4 percent.

"The most powerful army in human history can't even protect a two-mile stretch of road. The Airport Highway connects both the international airport and Baghdad's main American military base, Camp Victory, to the city center. At night U.S. troops secure the road for the use of dignitaries; they close it to traffic and shoot at any unauthorized vehicles. More troops and more helicopters could help make the whole country safer. Instead the Pentagon has been drawing down the number of helicopters. And America never deployed nearly enough soldiers. They couldn't stop the orgy of looting that followed Saddam's fall. Now their primary mission is self-defense at any cost—which only deepens Iraqis' resentment." - Rod Norland, Bagdhad Bureau Chief

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