The Nattering Nabob <$BlogRSDUrl$>
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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Oh, this is fun
 
Signatures, the restaurant that Jack Abramoff and the Republican Congressman used eat at free, is looking for a new name. Guess they didn't like the sort of publicity they were getting.

And (ready?) they have a webpage where you can suggest a new name.

I just suggested "Felons R Us."

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People Get Ready
 
There's a train a-coming.

And the Republicans are drowning in the stench of corruption.

Abramoff is the central figure in what could become the biggest congressional corruption scandal in generations. Justice Department prosecutors are pressing him and his lawyers to settle fraud and bribery allegations by the end of this week, sources knowledgeable about the case said. Unless he reaches a plea deal, he faces a trial Jan. 9 in Florida in a related fraud case.

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Pure politics.
 
This little thing in the Washington Post explains just how screwed up the Bush administration is:

President Bush shifted his rhetoric on Iraq in recent weeks after an intense debate among advisers about how to pull out of his political free fall, with senior adviser Karl Rove urging a campaign-style attack on critics while younger aides pushed for more candor about setbacks in the war, according to Republican strategists.


Disaster in Iraq, indictments, a stagnant economy, a furious Congress. And Bush's solution isn't better GOVERNMENT. It's better propaganda.

He really, really doesn't care about the consequences of his own actions. All he cares about is pure politics.

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Congress is AWOL

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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Civil War?
 
I've been saying for a while now that Iraq is already in a state of civil war, they just aren't calling it that yet.

They are about to start calling it that.

And our soldiers are in the middle of it.

Thanks to that stupid moron in the White House.


Kurds in Iraqi army proclaim loyalty to militia

By Tom Lasseter
Knight Ridder Newspapers


KIRKUK, Iraq - Kurdish leaders have inserted more than 10,000 of their militia members into Iraqi army divisions in northern Iraq to lay the groundwork to swarm south, seize the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and possibly half of Mosul, Iraq's third-largest city, and secure the borders of an independent Kurdistan.

Five days of interviews with Kurdish leaders and troops in the region suggest that U.S. plans to bring unity to Iraq before withdrawing American troops by training and equipping a national army aren't gaining traction. Instead, some troops that are formally under U.S. and Iraqi national command are preparing to protect territory and ethnic and religious interests in the event of Iraq's fragmentation, which many of them think is inevitable.

The soldiers said that while they wore Iraqi army uniforms they still considered themselves members of the Peshmerga - the Kurdish militia - and were awaiting orders from Kurdish leaders to break ranks. Many said they wouldn't hesitate to kill their Iraqi army comrades, especially Arabs, if a fight for an independent Kurdistan erupted.

"It doesn't matter if we have to fight the Arabs in our own battalion," said Gabriel Mohammed, a Kurdish soldier in the Iraqi army who was escorting a Knight Ridder reporter through Kirkuk. "Kirkuk will be ours."

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Monday, December 26, 2005

Powell
 
The headlines say "Powell Supports Government Eavesdropping." But, like most things coming out of the American Pravda, the headline is spin.

What Powell said was:

1) The Government is allowed to eavesdrop, but is supposed to get a warrant when they do so, and he knows no reason why Bush didn't. And needless to say, it is the failure to go through the courts that is the reason for the scandal. THAT'S the problem.

2) Bush didn't tell him a damned thing about it, and he was the Secretary of State.

3) Congress needs to investigate it. That investigation, whether Powell uses the word or not, would have to be an investigation into whether or not Bush broke the law. Is it possible for Congress to discuss whether or not the President broke the law WITHOUT impeachment coming up. I don't think so.


WASHINGTON - Former Secretary of State Colin Powell on Sunday supported government eavesdropping to prevent terrorism but said a major controversy over presidential powers could have been avoided by obtaining court warrants.

Powell said that when he was in the Cabinet, he was not told that
President Bush authorized a warrantless National Security Agency surveillance operation after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks....

But he added, "My own judgment is that it didn't seem to me, anyway, that it would have been that hard to go get the warrants. And even in the case of an emergency, you go and do it."...

Powell said Congress will need to judge whether Bush is correct in his assertion that he could approve eavesdropping without first obtaining court orders.

"And that's going to be a great debate," Powell said.

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Enough
 
It's time to say 'enough'
Marty Luster, Ithaca Journal

As if the lies that took us to Iraq were not enough. As if the knowing use of bad intelligence wasn't enough. As if the ever- shifting justifications for this war were not enough. As if the use of torture by and at the behest of the United States was not enough. As if the disclosure of classified information to retaliate against a critic of the war policy was not enough. As if the shroud of secrecy that binds this administration was not enough. As if the squandering of hundreds of billions of dollars in support of this war at a time when we can't find the money to rebuild one of our great cities, when millions of us go without health care and when the federal government has reneged on its commitment to public education was not enough.

Now, after all that, now we have the disclosure that the president personally ordered and continues to order the interception of telephone and e-mail communications of thousands of U.S. citizens and residents on U.S. soil without search warrants, without court authorization of any sort and without any basis in the constitution or laws of this land.

Now we have had enough.

There's more.

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Sunday, December 25, 2005


 

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Saturday, December 24, 2005


 

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Thursday, December 22, 2005

Republican wants hearings
 
Specter Wants January Surveillance Hearings
The Associated Press

Wednesday 21 December 2005

Washington - Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter said Wednesday he remains skeptical about a government surveillance program despite an explanation from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

The two met for an hour Sunday to discuss the rationale for the warrantless eavesdropping by the National Security Agency that President Bush approved without obtaining any court orders.

"I would summarize it by saying I have grave doubts about his legal conclusion," Specter, R-Pa., said of a meeting with Gonzales, who was confirmed before Specter's committee early this year. "I'm skeptical, but I'm prepared to listen."

Specter said he expects Gonzales to be the leadoff witness at a hearing on the surveillance, which he said he would like to start next month after confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito.

There likely will be a national debate about whether the president really has the kind of power he's been using, said Specter, a five-term senator and former prosecutor.

"There may be legislation which will come out of it to restrict the president's power," Specter said.

Specter said he would seek a copy of the resignation letter of U.S. District Judge James Robertson, who stepped down from a special court set up to oversee government surveillance. The Washington Post reported that the resignation stemmed from Robertson's concerns over whether the surveillance was legal. Specter said he wants to meet with Robertson, and may ask him to appear before the committee.

President Bush's decision after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to allow domestic eavesdropping without court approval first came to light late last week, and he has defended the decision as a matter of protecting national security.

Specter said the issue isn't one he sought out - that it came up on Friday while he was pushing for passage of the anti-terror Patriot Act.

"When a cannon hits you between the eyes, you take notice and I was immediately asked what I thought about it and I said, 'Well, it's a matter that requires a hearing,"' Specter said.

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Open Letter to Harry Reid
 
From the Left Coaster:

I fervently hope, that as the most prominent Democratic spokesperson, you will also hasten to point out the toxic message of support that Bush and his patsies send to dictators and communists everywhere with their actions. A message that:

A capitalist liberal (libertarian) democracy is merely a theory that is unsustainable under threat of war or terrorism

I strongly reject this terrible message and I urge you and the Democratic Party to do the same. I sternly reject the notion perpetrated by Bush and his cronies that somehow American's admired liberal democratic traditions cannot be sustained in wars and in the fight against terrorism.

President Bush, in his words and actions, has demonstrated that he is always quick to raise the white flag of surrender and cut and run from America's fundamental governing principles and philosophies.

The words and actions of Bush and his blind supporters in Government and the media, regrettably, help America's enemies perpetrate the myth that people worldwide should abandon dreams of liberal democracy because such democracy is not possible under threats to the people's security.

I simply and soundly reject this false notion and act of surrender to terrorists and communist dictators everywhere, an act that also deceives all our children - the future of America - into believing that you cannot have a liberal democracy in this world as long as there are terrorists around.


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I don't know these people anymore
 
There are still a few actual old-style conservatives who are appalled at the modern right-wing's slouch toward fascism. As for the rest of them - Barry Goldwater must be turning in his grave.

Conservative Blogger Mark Earnest is on the way to becoming an outcast in his own party.

I almost feel I don't know these people anymore. It seems now they feel government cannot have nearly enough power. Secret courts, secret warrants, secret prisons, suspect torture, massive data gathering on all aspects of US citizens including medical records, library records, and financial records are all wonderful things. They hold up the Patriot Act as a great piece of legislation that the Bush Whitehouse pushed through to combat terrorism (little seem to understand most of it was written during Clinton's years).

I truly and honestly do not understand. People who once proudly quoted Franklin's "Those who give up essential liberty for a little safety deserve neither" now cheerlead the executive branch on in removing any judicial oversight, congressional oversight, and in fact ANY oversight (as most of these laws are secret) from the land. Far from the transparent government the founders imagined, we are now entering a system where laws are kept secret, prosecutions are kept secret, and national security is a password to removing any and all liberty that stands in the way of anything government wishes to do.

I however, unlike most conservatives it seems, did not change from the 90s. I am still fiscally conservative, which means I think Bush is totally destroying the "small government" ideals I hold with through the roof spending. I'm all for tax cuts, but you have to cut spending also for that to work right. And I still remain wary of government claiming unprecedented and unconstitutional powers over US citizens, especially when they are so veiled in secrecy. A common conservative talking point is "so point out any abuses the government has used these new powers for" and that is simply an ignorant statement. You cannot, the very use of the secret warrants, secret courts, and spying without warrants is SECRET. You cannot find out how the government is using these new powers, we are lucky to occasionally find out these new powers even exist, usually due to a bureaucratic mistake or someone with the courage to come forward.

Lastly, the one thing I notice that conservatives who applaud these powers seem to be completely missing is that Bush will not be in power forever, nor will a Republican Congress. These things always go in cycles. Even if you feel the current government is not abusing this power at all, how will you feel when an ultra liberal president gets a Democrat controlled congress and now has all of these powers. What happens when the focus on all of these secret surveillance powers, secret trial powers, and cloak and dagger style of government come to bear on conservative causes. Do you people even think more than one year down the road?

Conservative or Liberal, the new powers the government is illegally giving itself are sowing the seeds of this country's destruction. It may not be tomorrow, but we have shifted so far already from what we once all believed in that some consider it already destroyed. I am not one of them, but I will admit it is getting pretty damn close, and it is showing no signs of stopping.


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Questions from Dave Johnson, by way of Left End of the Dial.

Questions About Bush Spying

1) Is the White House listening in on Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald's calls and e-mails as he investigates White House crimes?

2) Was the Bush campaign listening in on calls and e-mails from the people in charge of the Kerry campaign?

3) Is the Bush Administration using the NSA to determine whether applicants for jobs, travel, etc. are Bush supporters or not?

4) Did the NSA tip off the Bush Administration that the federal prosecutor in Guam was looking into Jack Abramoff?

5) Did Bush use this new spying capability to monitor "groups active in causes as diverse as the environment, animal cruelty and poverty relief"?

One F.B.I. document indicates that agents in Indianapolis planned to conduct surveillance as part of a "Vegan Community Project." Another document talks of the Catholic Workers group's "semi-communistic ideology." A third indicates the bureau's interest in determining the location of a protest over llama fur planned by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
6) When Bush says we are only spying on "the enemy" does he mean that same enemy that Senior White House Advisor and Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove means when he says,
liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers
Republicans say they are only monitoring the phone calls and e-mails of "the enemy." But they also say that we - you and I - are "the enemy."

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Ms. Ivins is correct, as usual.


Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country: Damn the inconvenience, full speed ahead. On his own, without consulting the Congress, the courts or the people, the president decided to use secret branches of government to spy on the American people. He is, of course, using Sept. 11, 2001, to justify his actions in this, as he does for everything else--Sept. 11 happened so the Constitution does not apply, Sept. 11 happened so there is no separation of powers, Sept. 11 happened so 200 years of experience curbing the executive power of government is something we can now overlook.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2005


 

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Too much trouble
 
Why did Bush break the law? By their own admission, because obeying it was just too damned much trouble.

"The whole key here is agility," he said at a White House briefing before Bush's news conference. According to Hayden, most warrantless surveillance conducted under Bush's authorization lasts just days or weeks, and requires only the approval of a shift supervisor. Hayden said getting retroactive court approval is inefficient because it "involves marshaling arguments" and "looping paperwork around."


"It's sooooo boring having to explain my reasons and fill out forms! I want to go out and play instead!"

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Lie
 
"Any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so." - Bush, last year.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Jack Cafferty
 
A right-winger, but an honest one.

Cafferty:

Who cares if the Patriot Act get's renewed? Want to abuse our civil liberties? Just do it!

Who cares about the Geneva conventions? Want to torture prisoners? Just do it!

Who cares about rules concerning the identity of CIA gents? Want to reveal the name of a covert operative? Just do it!

Who cares about whether the intelligence concerning WMD's is accurate? You want to invade Iraq? Just do it!

Who cares about qualifications to serve on the nation's highest court? Want to nominate a personal friend with no qualifications? Just do it!

And the latest outrage, which I read about in "The New York Times" this morning, who cares about needing a court order to eavesdrop on American citizens? Want to wiretap their phones conversations? Just do it!

What a joke. A very cruel, very sad joke.

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Executive Activism
 
Bush has spent five years decrying "activist judges." One of his mantras has been that we should to what the Constitution says, and only what the Constitution says, and we should stop making up laws that aren't there.

Well, his bizarre claim that no law can stop him from domestic spying without a warrant is nowhere to be found in the text of the Constitution.

It has never been so much as implied to be part of the Consitution by any court in American history.

It is nowhere to be found in any legislation ever passed by Congress, in even the most oblique manner.

Bush apparently makes up brand new laws out of his own head, and pretends that they exist without ever having them passed by Congress or approved by the Supreme Court.

If this is allowed to stand, we are no longer a nation of laws, but a nation of lawlessness.

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President Run Amok
 
Marie Cocco needs more syndication.

This is a president who believes no law applies to him.

He long ago violated a 1971 statute that bars the detention of U.S. citizens "except pursuant to an Act of Congress." In his "war on terror," Bush has nonetheless thrown American citizens into the clink and asserted he has the right to hold them there indefinitely, without charge and without showing any evidence against them.

He failed to comply with U.S. and international laws against cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of prisoners - his political apparatchiks at the Pentagon and in the Justice Department instead concocted justifications for violating them. The president relented only days ago, and only after Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) forced submission by engineering overwhelming votes in Congress to bring a measure of sanity to our detention schemes.

The Geneva Conventions have been tossed aside like wastepaper. They are replaced by gross violations of basic human rights at U.S. detention facilities, secret and semi-secret, around the world. The Pentagon, supposedly restricted from gathering information on the American citizenry, has compiled a vast database of information on anti-war protesters and those opposed to military recruitment practices.

Who else is in their sights? We do not yet know.

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Lie # 6,987
 
Bush's claim that Congress approve his domestic spying plan is a lie, and a provable lie, thanks to Jay Rockefeller.


July 17, 2003

Dear Mr. Vice President,

I am writing to reiterate my concern regarding the sensitive intelligence issues we discussed today with the DCI, DIRNSA, and Chairman Roberts and our House Intelligence Committee counterparts.

Clearly the activities we discussed raise profound oversight issues. As you know, I am neither a technician or an attorney. Given the security restrictions associated with this information, and my inability to consult staff or counsel on my own, I feel unable to fully evaluate, much less endorse these activities.

As I reflected on the meeting today, and the future we face, John Poindexter's TIA project sprung to mind, exacerbating my concern regarding the direction the Administration is moving with regard to security, technology, and surveiliance.

Without more information and the ability to draw on any independent legal or techical expertise, I simply cannot satisfy lingering concerns raised by the briefing we received.

I am retaining a copy of this letter in a sealed envelope in the secure spaces of the Senate Intelligence Committee to ensure that I have a record of this communication.

I appreciate your consideration of my views.

Most respectfully,

Jay Rockefeller


The letter is here.

Rockefeller had the good sense to save it and seal it, probably because he knew these sons of bitches would lie about it if caught.

What does it take to impeach this slime?

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Monday, December 19, 2005

Just a theory
 
I have been thinking.

It is BIZARRE that Bush didn't get clearance for his eavesdropping from the FISA courts. The FISA courts are set up so you can get clearance after the fact. And they almost never turn down a request. They didn't turn down a single request in the first three years of Bush's presidency.

So why didn't Napoleon Bonehead get clearance?

At first I thought that it was because Bush can't stand the idea that he has to answer to ANYone. He wouldn't get clearance because he'd be having a private little hissy fit over the fact that he couldn't just do any damned thing he pleased. So he'd just refuse, because he's a spoiled brat. But that really doesn't quite sound right.

If Bush didn't ask for clearance, the simplest explanation is because he thought it would be REFUSED.

A FISA court almost never refuses a request, but Bush apparently thought that they would refuse his.

Which means that he WASN'T spying on people that could reasonably be considered a real threat, and he knew it.

I think Bush used the FSA to spy on his perceived political enemies - not terrorists.

Which would explain why he didn't ask for clearance.

And I think Congress should demand the names of every single person that Bush spied on without clearance.

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Just a note to real conservatives who have enough sense to distrust the government:

George Bush has repealed the 2nd Amendment.

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Most corrupt ever
 
U.S. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid called the Republican-led Congress "the most corrupt in history" on Sunday, and distanced himself from lobbyist Jack Abramoff, at the center of an escalating probe.

The Justice Department is investigating whether Jack Abramoff directed illegal payoffs to lawmakers, including Rep. Tom DeLay of Texas, who was forced to step down as House Republican leader in September after indicted in his home state of Texas on unrelated charges.

"Don't lump me in with Jack Abramoff. This is a Republican scandal," Reid told Fox News Sunday, saying he never received any money from Abramoff.

America can do better than what we've done," said Reid. "The most corrupt Congress in the history of the country. We have such significant problems with what's going on in this country." - Reuters


Thank you, Senator Reid

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Bush attacks Christmas
 
My favorite part of his press conference was how he closed it:

"Thank you all for coming. Happy holidays to you. Appreciate it."

Why does Bush hate Christmas?

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Sunday, December 18, 2005

Operation Flabbergasted
 
Operation Flabbergasted: Let's Watergate Bush

I'm in. How about you?

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Saturday, December 17, 2005

Criminal
 
Info from atrios.

* FISA makes it a crime, punishable by up to five years in prison, to conduct electronic surveillance except as provided for by statute. The only defense is for law government agents engaged in official duties conducting “surveillance authorized by and conducted pursuant to a search warrant or court order.” [50 U.S.C. § 1809]

* Congress has specifically stated, in statute, that the criminal wiretap statute and FISA “shall be the exclusive means by which electronic surveillance . . . and the interception of domestic wire, oral, and electronic communications may be conducted.” [18 U.S.C. § 2518(f)]

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Question for Bush
 
I would pay money to have one reporter say:

"Mr. President, have you ordered any OTHER illegal actions?"

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Dictator-In-Chief
 
Bush says: "I broke the law. I'll keep breaking the law. Too F'in bad."

"Appearing angry at points during his eight-minute address, Bush said he had reauthorized the program more than 30 times since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and plans to continue doing so.

"I intend to do so for as long as our nation faces a continuing threat from al-Qaida and related groups," he said.


Time for impeachment. If this isn't impeachable - what is?

Reacting to Bush's defense of the NSA program, Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis., said the president's remarks were "breathtaking in how extreme they were."

Feingold said it was "absurd" that Bush said he relied on his inherent power as president to authorize the wiretaps.

"If that's true, he doesn't need the Patriot Act because he can just make it up as he goes along. I tell you, he's President George Bush, not King George Bush. This is not the system of government we have and that we fought for," Feingold told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

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Thanks, Arlo
 

Storied Train Used As Vehicle For Giving
Guthrie Tour Aids Musicians With Losses in Katrina

This train is bound for glory," sang Arlo Guthrie, joined by his daughter Sarah Lee, son Abe and various friends, as the City of New Orleans train rumbled past factories and fields between Chicago and Kankakee, Ill.

The Dec. 6 trip was actually the first time Guthrie rode the train celebrated in the Steve Goodman song of the same name that Guthrie made so famous. In a hastily-pulled-together benefit, Guthrie and a crew of musicians are riding the City of New Orleans from Chicago to the Big Easy, stopping along the way to play fundraising shows. The goal is to raise money for New Orleans musicians who lost instruments, homes and work as a result of Hurricane Katrina.



The only thing is that I would like to see Arlo do this to raise awareness for the Government's complete neglect in rebuilding the city - not just to help one segment of the city. But at least it's SOMETHING.

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"I am not a crook"
 
When it comes to the eavesdropping, Bush's response has been to indulge in his usual shenanigans, which we've all come to know and love.

Which is to basically say, "I haven't done anything wrong, but I won't let anybody check on what I've done." The same tactics indulged in by your average four-year-old.

But you know what? It may actually have stopped working. He may have finally pushed it too far for even the supine Congress to tolerate. Congress is furious. People in the NSA are furious, since only a handful of them knew about it. There is NO justification for it, and everybody - even a Republican - knows it.

Bush attempt to justify it by claiming that 9/11 constituted an emergency. But nobody who hasn't drunk the kool-aid will buy that for a second. NOBODY thinks that 9/11 gave the President the authority to do away with the Constitution. NOBODY thinks that state of emergency exists for three years which forces you to circumvent the courts.

If George W. Bush doesn't like the law, then he has to ask our elected officials to change it. Instead, he just broke it. For three straight years.

"Checks and balances? Hey, we don't need no steenking checks and balances."

But you know what's really scary? That so many of our fellow Americans are willing to give the Executive Branch completely dictatorial power, in complete violation of everything that America has ever stood for. They are willing to destroy the very foundations of the United States of America, as either a response to 9/11, or a wish for partisan power, or both. But the things that made America great are SECONDARY to the Bush-worshippers.

However, the Ride of the Dictator may finally be coming to an end. Because this one smells so rancid that it may even force the Congressional Republicans to finally, finally, FINALLY, drag this loser on to the stand, and force him to answer some stinking questions. The Congress may finally demand that Bush be accountable, like they should have been doing for five years.

George W. Bush is OUR EMPLOYEE. He is accountable to the citizens of the United States, and his actions MUST HAVE OVERSIGHT. And it's time we started demanding it.

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Friday, December 16, 2005

Patriot Act, R.I.H.
 
That's "Rest In Hell," in case you were wondering.

The Senate on Friday refused to reauthorize major portions of the USA Patriot Act after critics complained they infringed too much on Americans' privacy and liberty, dealing a huge defeat to the Bush administration and Republican leaders.

In a crucial vote early Friday, the bill's Senate supporters were not able to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster by Sens. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., and Larry Craig, R-Idaho, and their allies. The final vote was 52-47.

Wow. Actual GOOD news. Be still, my beating heart.

Bush has demonstrated that if you give him power, he will abuse it. The Senate - including many Republicans - decided that he had abused it enough.

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12 Days of Dubya
 
Sorry, but I don't know the author:


On the first day of Christmas,
George Dubya sent to me
A tax rebate paid for by thee.

On the second day of Christmas,
George Dubya sent to me
Two bald faced lies,
And a tax rebate paid for by thee.

On the third day of Christmas,
George Dubya sent to me
Three FBI agents,
Two bald faced lies,
And a tax rebate paid for by thee.

On the fourth day of Christmas,
George Dubya sent to me
Four 4-letter words,
Three FBI agents,
Two bald faced lies,
And a tax rebate paid for by thee.

On the fifth day of Christmas,
George Dubya sent to me
Five Libby mug shots,
Four 4-letter words,
Three FBI agents,
Two bald faced lies
And a tax rebate paid for by thee.

On the sixth day of Christmas,
George Dubya sent to me
Six silly speeches,
Five Libby mug shots,
Four 4-letter words,
Three FBI agents,
Two bald faced lies,
And a tax rebate paid for by thee.

On the seventh day of Christmas,
George Dubya sent to me
Seven aides a leaking,
Six silly speeches,
Five Libby mug shots,
Four 4-letter words,
Three FBI agents,
Two bald faced lies,
And a tax rebate paid for by thee.

On the eighth day of Christmas,
George Dubya sent to me
Eight no bid contracts,
Seven Aides a leaking,
Six silly speeches,
Five Libby mug shots,
Four 4-letter words,
Three FBI agents,
Two bald faced lies,
And a tax rebate paid for by thee.

On the ninth day of Christmas,
George Dubya sent to me
Nine Delay indictments,
Eight no bid contracts,
Seven Aides a leaking,
Six silly speeches,
Five Libby mugg shots,
Four 4-letter words,
Three FBI agents,
Two bald faced lies,
And a tax rebate paid for by thee.

On the tenth day of Christmas,
George Dubya sent to me
Ten unarmored Humvees,
Nine DeLay indictments,
Eight no bid contracts,
Seven Aides a leaking,
Six silly speeches,
Five Libby mug shots,
Four 4-letter words,
Three FBI agents,
Two bald faced lies,
And a tax rebate paid by thee

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
George Dubya sent to me
Eleven Illegal aliens,
Ten unarmored Humvees,
Nine DeLay indictments,
Eight no bid contracts,
Seven Aides a leaking,
Six silly speeches,
Five Libby mug shots,
Four 4-lettered words
Three FBI agents,
Two bald faced lies,
And a tax rebate paid by thee.

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
George Dubya sent to me
Twelve stupid smirks,
Eleven illegal aliens,
Ten unarmored Humvees,
Nine DeLay indictments,
Eight no bid contracts,
Seven Aides a leaking,
Six silly speeches,
Five Libby mug shots,
Four 4-letter words,
Three FBI agents,
Two bald faced lies,
And a tax rebate paid for by Thee.

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You know how the Bushies have been claiming that Congress saw the same intelligence as the White House? Senator Feinstein asked an independent commission to determine whether or not that was true.

It wasn't. And that's official.

"In addition to their greater access to intelligence, the President and his senior advisors also are better equipped than is Congress to assess intelligence information by virtue of the primacy of their roles in formulating U.S. foreign policy."

"The President is able to control dissemination of intelligence information to Congress because the Intelligence Community is part of the executive branch."


But DO read the whole thing.

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Psychopaths
 
You know what I want to see? I want to see the American Press actually SAY what everybody knows and no one wants to admit:

The President of the United States likes torturing people.

Is there any real question about this?

Congress has finally passed a ban on torture, but Bush only agreed to it because he had no choice.

We've seen this insane scenario for months now: Bush publicly saying that the United States doesn't torture, while doing everything in his power to make sure that he's ALLOWED to torture, and playing twisted words games with the definition of what is and is not torture.

I'm sorry to bring up Clinton, but remember when Clinton played stupid transparent word games to keep his blowjob private? The media were all over him like jackals. Bush, though, plays stupid transparent word games so he can legally torture prisoners, and everyone pretends that it isn't happening.

And even now, when we have finally passed a ban on torture, the psychopaths in the White House didn't even wait until the ink was dry before qualifying it, and explaining that torture meant "severe" physical harm.

The utterly repulsive Alberto Gonzales appeared on Wolf Blitzer (video here, Windows media required, prepare to be disgusted) and played word games with the law immediately after it was passed. And watching this guy explain that "it depends what the definition of torture is" with this smug little grin on his face is enough to make any decent human being wretch.

WOLF BLITZER: I guess some people would say that it depends on your definition of the word 'torture.' One very sensitive interrogation technique is this 'waterboarding,' where the detainee or suspect thinks he is drowning. Is that something that you think is acceptable?

ALBERTO GONZALES: What I will tell you is that the Congress has defined what torture is, and it is intentional infliction of severe - I emphasize the word 'severe' - the intentional infliction of severe physical or mental pain or suffering. That is the definition that Congress says; that kind of conduct would constitute torture.

BLITZER: And waterboarding, is that severe?

GONZALES: Well, again, that would be something that would have to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. But Congress - Wolf, I'm not going to get into a discussion or debate with you about specific techniques. What I can reassure you is that we know what the Congress has said what torture means, and we try to provide guidance to assure that everyone is meeting the standards as prescribed to us by Congress.

Gonzales is saying that if he can legally justify it, he will do it.

Is there any other reasonable way to interpret this disgusting exchange?

And we know - just look at the wiretapping news this morning - that the Bush administration doesn't even really think that they need to allow the law to prevent them from doing what they want to do.

If they can legally justify it, they will do it.

If they can't - they'll do it anyway.

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"The President now says he is responsible for the war in Iraq. I agree with the President. He is responsible. He is responsible for attacking a nation that did not attack us. He is responsible for the 2,151 American troops killed in Iraq. He is responsible for the 15,881 U.S. troops injured in the war. He is responsible for at least 30,000 Iraqi civilians killed since the start of the war. He is responsible for draining $250 billion from U.S. taxpayers to pay for the war. And he is responsible for the failed reconstruction and for the continued occupation." - Dennis Kucinich

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Constitution - what Constitution?
 
Ok, so what do you do when you have a President who just plain doesn't believe in obeying the law?

You IMPEACH him, that's what you do.

NEW YORK - The National Security Agency has eavesdropped, without warrants, on as many 500 people inside the United States at any given time since 2002, The New York Times reported Friday.

That year, following the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush authorized the NSA to monitor the international phone calls and international e-mails of hundreds — perhaps thousands — of people inside the United States, the Times reported.


Seriously - if you live in Red State especially, call your Congressman, and call your Senator and demand some bloody investigations. The only reason that this clown hasn't been dragged into a legal proceeding and forced to testify is because the Republicans control both houses and wouldn't hold him accountable if he raped a nun on the steps of the Capitol. So the only choice is to hold THEM accountable for refusing to hold HIM accountable.


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Thursday, December 15, 2005


 
"Started off as a humanitarian mission and it changed into a nation-building mission, and that's where the mission went wrong. The mission was changed. And as a result, our nation paid a price. And so I don't think our troops ought to be used for what's called nation-building. I think our troops ought to be used to fight and win war. I think our troops ought to be used to help overthrow the dictator when it's in our best interests. But in this case it was a nation-building exercise, and same with Haiti. I wouldn't have supported either.

But we can't be all things to all people in the world, Jim. And I think that's where maybe the vice president and I begin to have some differences. I'm worried about overcommitting our military around the world. I want to be judicious in its use. You mentioned Haiti. I wouldn't have sent troops to Haiti. I didn't think it was a mission worthwhile. It was a nation-building mission.

I think what we need to do is convince people who live in the lands they live in to build the nations. Maybe I'm missing something here. I mean, we're going to have kind of a nation building core from America? Absolutely not. Our military is meant to fight and win war. That's what it's meant to do." - George W. Bush, 2000

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Zimmy Radio
 
Just when you think Bob can't suprise you anymore:

Bob Dylan shocked his fans 40 years ago by embracing the electric guitar. Now he's stunning a few more by embracing another technological innovation: satellite radio.

The singer has signed on to serve as host of a weekly one-hour program on XM Satellite Radio, spinning records and offering commentary on new music and other topics, starting in March. The famously reclusive 64-year-old performer said in a statement yesterday that "a lot of my own songs have been played on the radio, but this is the first time I've ever been on the other side of the mike."

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New Blog from an Old Warrior
 
The Freeway Blogger has started a blog.

Good luck. Just please don't let it take too much time away from doing that voodoo that you do so well.

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Maureen Dowd
 
W. Won't Read This

by Maureen Dowd

Never ask a guy who's in a bubble if he's in a bubble. He can't answer.

'Cause he's in a bubble.

But the NBC anchor Brian Williams gamely gave it a shot, showing the president the Newsweek cover picturing him trapped in a bubble.

"This says you're in a bubble," Brian told W. "You have a very small circle of advisers now. Is that true? Do you feel in a bubble?"

"No, I don't feel in a bubble," Bubble Boy replied, unable to see the bubble because he's in it. "I feel like I'm getting really good advice from very capable people and that people from all walks of life have informed me and informed those who advise me." He added, "I'm very aware of what's going on."

He swiftly contradicted himself by admitting that "this is the first time I'm seeing this magazine" - his version of his dad's Newsweek "Wimp Factor" cover - and that he doesn't read newsmagazines.

The anchor and the anchorite spent a few anodyne moments probing the depths of what it's like to be president. "I just talked to the president-elect of Honduras," W. said. "A lot of my job is foreign policy, and I spend an enormous amount of time with leaders from other countries."

Brian struggled to learn whether W. read anything except one-page memos. Talking about his mom, Bubble Boy returned to the idea of the bubble: "If I'm in a bubble, well, if there is such thing as a bubble, she's the one who can penetrate it."

"I'll tell the guys at Newsweek," the anchor said impishly.

"Is that who put the bubble story?" W. asked. First he didn't know about it, and now he's forgotten it already? That's the alluring, memory-cleansing beauty of the bubble.

The idea that W. is getting good advice from very capable people is silly - administration officials have blown it on everything from the occupation and natural disasters to torture. In the bubble, they can torture while saying they don't.
They can pretend that Iraqi forces are stronger than they are. They can try to frighten people with talk of Al Qaeda's dream of a new Islamic caliphate - their latest attempt to scare Americans into supporting the war they ginned up.

"Whether or not it needed to happen," the president told the anchor, "I'm still convinced it needed to happen." The Bubble Boy can even contradict himself and not notice.

W.'s contention that he's informed by people from all walks of life is a joke, as is his wacky assertion that he can "reach out" to the public more than Abraham Lincoln because he has Air Force One. Lincoln actually went to the front in his war, with Minié balls whizzing by. No phony turkey for him.

The president may fly over all walks of life in Air Force One or drive by them and hide behind dark-tinted windows. In his bubble, he floats through a comforting world of doting women, respectful military audiences, loyal Republican donors and screened partisan groups - with protesters, Democrats, journalists, critics and coffins of dead soldiers kept at bay.

(He has probably even been shielded from the outrage of John and Stacey Holley, both Army veterans, who were shocked to learn that their only child, Matthew, killed in Iraq, would be arriving in San Diego as freight on a commercial airliner.)

Jack Murtha, a hawkish Democrat close to the Pentagon who supported both wars against Iraq waged by the Bushes, has been braying against the Bush isolation.

He told Newsweek that a letter he wrote to the president making suggestions about how to fight the Iraq war was ignored for seven months, then brushed off by a deputy under secretary of defense. Even after he went public, he still did not get a call from the White House.

"If they talked to people," he said, "they wouldn't get these outbursts."

Mr. Murtha told Rolling Stone that the administration's deafness had doomed Iraq: "Everything we did was mishandled. Plans that the military and the State Department had in place - they ignored 'em. The military tells me that when they were planning the invasion, the administration wouldn't let one of the primary three-star generals in the room."

The president's bubble requires constant care. It's not easy to keep out huge tragedies like Katrina, or flawed policies like Iraq. As Newsweek noted, a foreign diplomat "was startled when Secretary of State Rice warned him not to lay bad news on the president. 'Don't upset him,' she said."

Heaven forbid. Don't burst his bubble.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2005


 
Novak says that Bush knows who the source is.

Columnist Bob Novak, who first published the identity of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame, says he is confident that President Bush knows who leaked Plame's name.
Novak said that "I'd be amazed" if the president didn't know the source's identity and that the public should "bug the president as to whether he should reveal who the source is."


If Novak is right, that's a clear charge of obstruction of justice.

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Breaking
 
According to Raw Story, Fitzgerald is going to ask the grand jury to indict Karl Rove.

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Thank God I'm a Country Boy
 
Via Sharon:

Christmas in East Texas


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Scuttlebutt
 
Bill Frist's Chief of Staff went and flipped out on a reporter who asked him about the insider trading investigation.

Yeah, THAT'S the way to stop those wagging tongues.

You know what's different about these guys? Politicians would ALWAYS lie to you. But if you called them on it, they would just hem and haw and lie some more. Now, if you call them on it, they DEMEAN and INSULT you. They really are the most brazen sons of bitches I've ever seen.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Never mind
 
The American Public, yesterday:

"Gee, maybe Bush is actually getting himself a clue! You think? Maybe?"

One day later:

"Nope. He's still an asshole. Never mind."

Bush Job Approval at 38%

After edging above 40%, it fades again

Just 38% of Americans said they approve of the job the President is doing, down from 41% in a national Zogby America survey conducted last month.

“Perhaps most ominous for the President is that only 52% of self-described born-again Protestants give him a positive job performance rating,” said John Zogby, President and CEO of Zogby International.

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The Emperor Will Take No Questions
 
By Gary Hart

The first U.S. president I ever saw was Dwight Eisenhower during the presidential campaign in 1956. I was in the top most balcony of the Oklahoma City civic center auditorium and there were probably two or three thousand people between me and the president.

But it was a great thrill to be there with a cross section of citizens of Oklahoma City. The event was open to all and, except for the big-wigs, we were admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. The event did not lend itself to questions and answers, but my recollection was that, in those days, presidents did have a give and take with ordinary citizens.

If anyone then had told me that, in my lifetime, U.S. presidents would appear only in select audiences of their hand-picked partisan supporters, before patriotic tableau carefully designed by their "communications directors," and take questions only from pre-screened, adoring fans, I would have scoffed at the idea of such quasi-authoritarian practices ever becoming commonplace in the republic of Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and Madison.

But, in the early 21st century here we are. I cannot recall an event since the early Republican primaries in 2000 when George W. Bush has gotten anywhere near a cross-section of the American people he has been elected to represent and to govern. Here in Denver a few months back, some local Republican hack who got himself up to appear to be a Secret Service agent (a federal crime) hustled three local people out of the hall where the president was to speak simply because they had some kind of "no more war for oil" bumper strip on their car. The White House still claims they had nothing to do with it.

Even today, President Bush used the august platform of the Council on Foreign Relations, most recently granted to that great fraud and pretender Ahmad Chalabi (who should have been held to account for the deaths of 2100 Americans but was not), but only on the condition that the president would not take questions from the kind of knowledgable, informed leaders the Council seeks to attract.

How can a president govern who is so isolated, so cocooned away from the American public, so protected from any question, let alone voice of dissent? And how can the press, not only protected by the First Amendment, but also heavily obligated by that protection, not regularly report that the president has not seen a variety of real Americans for FIVE YEARS?

This kind of unAmerican behavior destroys the very core of democracy. It is more characteristic of a Latin American dictatorship than the American republic. Of even deeper concern, this is the behavior of frightened people. What is the Bush administration frightened of? Are they really convinced the president is incapable of handling himself in the give-and-take of democracy? Or are they simply afraid of the American people?

They may be afraid of me. But I'm even more afraid of them.

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1000 days
 
We have been in Iraq for 1000 days.

This is the last 1000 days.

This is just today.

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Monday, December 12, 2005

Wow! Only 58 % hate him!
 
The Liberal Media (sic), true to form, are breathlessly rushing to report that Bush's poll numbers have improved:

After months in a ratings nosedive, President Bush's poll numbers are slowly rising. According to a New York Times/CBS News poll, Bush's overall approval rating is at 40 percent. An AP-Ipsos poll, meanwhile, shows that figure at 42 percent.


To a pathetic 40 or 42 per cent.

But the sycophantic, Bush-licking media is trying to call it a comeback.

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Clooney for Congress
 
I'm not fond quoting the political opinions of celebrities, since there opinions are no more valid than yours or mine - they are just more famous.

So maybe George Clooney should run for office, and show the Democrats how they should be talking:

“Yes, I’m a liberal and I’m sick of it being a bad word.

“I don’t know at what time in history liberals have stood on the wrong side of social issues. We thought that blacks should sit at the front of the bus, that women should be allowed to vote, that maybe McCarthy was a jerk, that Vietnam was wrong and strip-bombing Cambodia was probably stupid. We’ve been on the right side of all these issues.”

“The Democrats were scared on Iraq and the truth is they backed themselves into a corner,” says Clooney. “They didn’t have the political resolve to tough it out and now they are paying the price.”

Asked about Clinton’s tortured attempts to distance herself from her past support for Bush, Clooney shrugs dismissively: “She’s pretty political so I’m not surprised. Am I disappointed? Yeah. I hate it when smart men and women are saying, ‘Well, if I knew then what I know now’. The fact is: I knew it then and I don’t have national security clearance. I knew there was no tie between Saddam Hussein and 9/11. We all knew the UN inspectors wanted to keep looking for weapons of mass destruction. Basically, the Democrat leadership was scared (of criticising Bush) and it’s too bad, because it’s come back to haunt them.”


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He said, she said
 
Here's an example of the he said/she said approach to journalism, and why it works in the Republicans favor:

Iraq has dominated debate this fall on Capitol Hill with accusations being tossed around almost daily.

Democrats accuse Bush of misleading the United States into war and of failing to be candid about the current situation in Iraq. Republicans assert that Democrats are emboldening U.S. enemies with a "cut-and-run strategy."

"One side uses the word lie, the other side implies treason," said Jamieson, director of the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center.


Note: Democrats claim that Bush hasn't been candid, which is unquestionably true, and is not something that people get placed in front of a firing squad for. But the Republicans accuse the Democrats of (ready?) TREASON, and EMBOLDENING OUR ENEMIES, which is extreme rhetoric, obviously horseshit, and which people DO get placed in front of a firing squad for.

The press treats the two as though they had equal validity, and were equally divisive.

And the Republicans know that the press will do that.

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Sunday, December 11, 2005


 
By the way, I am blogging - clandestinely - from the home of conservatives. This gives me far too much guilty pleasure.

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Eugene McCarthy. When I was quite young, he was regarded by many around me as either a very great hero or a very large villain. He was the former.

Eugene McCarthy, a former US senator and an indomitable anti-war activist whose firm stance against the Vietnam War forced a re-evaluation of the US role in the conflict, has died at the age of 89, Democratic Party officials said.

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Rest in Peace
 
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Saturday, December 10, 2005

Clip and save
 
I don't know the original source of this compilation, but really - have these clowns been right about anything?

Paul Bremer Warned Administration Six Months Before 911.
May, 2001
L. Paul Bremer III, Head of Iraq Coalition:
"The new administration seems to be paying no attention to the problem of terrorism," Mr. Bremer said in remarks to the Robert R. McCormick Tribune Foundation."What they will do is stagger along until there's a major incident and then suddenly say, `Oh, my God, shouldn't we be organized to deal with this?' That's too bad. They've been given a window of opportunity with very little terrorism now, and they're not taking advantage of it."

Rumsfeld: Use of force less than five months.
Nov. 14, 2002
Donald Rumsfeld, Sect. of Defense:
"I can't tell you if the use of force in Iraq today will last five days, five weeks or five months, but it won't last any longer than that."

A Short War
Nov. 15, 2002
Donald Rumsfeld, Infinity Radio call in show:
"The idea that it's going to be a long, long, long battle of some kind I think is belied by the fact of what happened in 1990," he said on an Infinity Radio call-in program. "Five days or five weeks or five months, but it certainly isn't going to last any longer than that."

Mission Accomplished
May 1, 2003
G.W. Bush: "Thank you all very much. Admiral Kelly, Captain Card, officers and sailors of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, my fellow Americans: Major combat operations in Iraq have ended."

Bush claimed to have found WMDs
May 29, 2003
G.W. Bush: We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories. You remember when Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said, Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons. They're illegal. They're against the United Nations resolutions, and we've so far discovered two. And we'll find more weapons as time goes on. But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them. (May 23, 2003--a month after he declared victory.)

Cheney: No Doubt Saddam Has WMD
Aug. 26, 2002
Dick Cheney, Vice President: "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction."

Bush: Iraq Currently Expanding WMD Production
Sep. 12, 2002
George W. Bush, Speech to UN General Assembly: "Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons." .

Bush: Iraq Has WMD Stockpile
Oct. 5, 2002
George W. Bush, Radio Address : "Iraq has stockpiled biological and chemical weapons, and is rebuilding the facilities used to make more of those weapons."

Iraq has WMDs
Oct. 7, 2002
George W. Bush: "The Iraqi regime . . . possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons. We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas."

May 30, 2003
Bush cites 2 trailers found as evidence of " the weapons of mass destruction" that were the United States' primary justification for going to war.
"Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons."

September 12, 2002
George W. Bush, Speech to UN General Assembly: "Iraq has stockpiled biological and chemical weapons, and is rebuilding the facilities used to make more of those weapons. We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons - the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have."

10/5/2002
George W. Bush, Radio Address: "The Iraqi regime . . . possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons. We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas."

10/7/2002
George W. Bush, Cincinnati, Ohio Speech: "We've also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas."

10/7/2002
George W. Bush, Cincinnati, Ohio Speech:"Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent."

1/28/2003
George W. Bush, State of the Union Address: “The best way for peace is for Mr. Saddam Hussein to disarm. It's up to him to make his decision.”

Sep. 18, 2002
Donald Rumsfeld: "His regime has amassed large, clandestine stockpiles of biological weapons—including anthrax and botulism toxin, and possibly smallpox.His regime has amassed large, clandestine stockpiles of chemical weapons—including VX, sarin, cyclosarin and mustard gas.His regime has an active program to acquire and develop nuclear weapons. "


January 18, 2003
State of the Union Address: "We have also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas."

January 18, 2003
State of the Union Address: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." - State of the Union Address (1/28/2003).

January 18, 2003
State of the Union Address: "Our intelligence sources tell us that he (Saddam) has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for production."

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Friday, December 09, 2005


 
Richard Cohen can be an a-hole, but SOMEBODY should be saying the obvious, and he is.

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Torture doesn't work
 
There are two stories here:

For one thing, the death of two thousand Americans in Iraq (so far) is the rotten fruit of our morally bankrupt practice of sending people to foreign regimes to be "interrogated" in ways that we legally can't. We relied on information obtained through questionable means. This is a graphic demonstration of the fact that the Bush administrations fascination with torturing prisoners is not only warping our national soul, but engandering our national life:

The Bush administration based a crucial prewar assertion about ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda on detailed statements made by a prisoner while in Egyptian custody who later said he had fabricated them to escape harsh treatment, according to current and former government officials.

The officials said the captive, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, provided his most specific and elaborate accounts about ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda only after he was secretly handed over to Egypt by the United States in January 2002, in a process known as rendition.

But, in addition, the Bush administration KNEW that the information was probably false, and used it anyway.

The question of why the administration relied so heavily on the statements by Mr. Libi has long been a subject of contention. Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, made public last month unclassified passages from the February 2002 document, which said it was probable that Mr. Libi "was intentionally misleading the debriefers."

The document showed that the Defense Intelligence Agency had identified Mr. Libi as a probable fabricator months before the Bush administration began to use his statements as the foundation for its claims about ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda involving illicit weapons.


So, they not only turned a wilful blind eye while prisoners were tortured - they did so even though they knew that it yielded bad information.

There are no words in the English language that can adequately describe scum like that.


These people have done so much to warp our national soul that we are having a DEBATE as to whether or not we should TORTURE PRISONERS.

I don't know what country that is that has such a debate. It CAN'T be Amerca. Because in America when I was growing up, it went without saying that our ENEMIES tortured prisoners, and that was part of the REASON that they were our enemies. Everyone KNEW that it was an evil act to torture prisoners.

Under Bush, we aren't so sure anymore.

Isn't it odd that America is suddenly claiming to be "Christian" - while newly embracing actions that have been considered evil for centuries?

These people have warped both America AND Christianity completely beyond recognition.

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Thursday, December 08, 2005

Good God.
 
Mike Wallace.

I guess when you're 87, it becomes easier to speak the truth, even if it hurts.

Q. President George W. Bush has declined to be interviewed by you. What would you ask him if you had the chance?

WALLACE. What in the world prepared you to be the commander in chief of the largest superpower in the world? In your background, Mr. President, you apparently were incurious. You didn't want to travel. You knew very little about the military. . . . The governor of Texas doesn't have the kind of power that some governors have. . . . Why do you think they nominated you? . . . Do you think that has anything to do with the fact that the country is so [expletive] up?

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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Murtha
 
I think I like this guy:

"It is time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge hat he will be commander in chief for three more critical years and that in matters of war we undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril." - Joe Leibermann

"Undermining his credibility? What has he said that would give him credibility?" - John Murtha
Damned good question.

You think Joe has an answer?

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Extra: Right-wingers' heads explode
 
'Holiday' Cards Ring Hollow for Some on Bushes' List

By Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 7, 2005; Page A01

What's missing from the White House Christmas card? Christmas.

This month, as in every December since he took office, President Bush sent out cards with a generic end-of-the-year message, wishing 1.4 million of his close friends and supporters a happy "holiday season."

Many people are thrilled to get a White House Christmas card, no matter what the greeting inside. But some conservative Christians are reacting as if Bush stuck coal in their stockings.

"This clearly demonstrates that the Bush administration has suffered a loss of will and that they have capitulated to the worst elements in our culture," said William A. Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

Bush "claims to be a born-again, evangelical Christian. But he sure doesn't act like one," said Joseph Farah, editor of the conservative Web site WorldNetDaily.com. "I threw out my White House card as soon as I got it."

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"MERRY CHRISTMAS, YOU LIBERAL ASSHOLES!" - a right-wing pundit preserving the spirit of the season.

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Democrats need to grow a spine
 
Go read Oliver Willis's article.

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Just thought I'd draw attention to the unthinking right-wing lingo used by the "liberal" Washington Post. From an article about Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, who's a Democrat (and one part of a genuine total waste of an article):


So how is it that a man of somewhat Neiman-Marxist tastes, a self-described liberal on social issues, became the potential rescuer of Rove, whom many on the left are salivating to see frog-marched from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.?


Got that? A liberal who dresses well is a "Neiman-Marxist." I guess the liberal Washington Post thinks that liberals are Marxists. Funny - I don't know any actual liberals who think that. And he's not just a liberal, he's a "self-described" liberal. My God, the man admits it. "We know it's not nice to call somebody a liberal, but he says it himself."

Sheeesh.

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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Heh
 

Letters page, NY Times:

The focus on public opinion at the heart of President Bush's speech at the Naval Academy last week is not new. The war policy has always been about marketing.

In 2002, before the invasion of Iraq, Andrew H. Card Jr., the White House chief of staff, said about the timing, "From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August."

You can trace the rest of the history of this war in banners, from "Mission Accomplished" on the carrier Abraham Lincoln in 2003 to the "Plan for Victory" at the Naval Academy.

If all we need to get our troops home safely is to convince the public that we've won, let's unite, declare victory and withdraw. I'd be willing to accept it even if the president announced the victory against a backdrop of red, white and blue "I Was Right" banners.

Hugh Crossin
Walnut Creek, Calif., Dec. 4, 2005



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No kidding.
 
FEMA Official: Katrina Response 'Broken'

Yeah, I had the same thought: "Tell me something I don't know."

But, astoundingly, since the debacle occurred, many Bush apologists have actually claimed that IT WASN'T SO. Even though we all SAW it.

One thing that drives me crazy about the Bush administration is that they think nothing of flat DENYING facts that everyone knows. They are like Chico Marx, who said, "Who you gonna believe - me or your own eyes?"

This is because there is a small group of mindless sycophants who DO believe everything Bush tells them instead of their own eyes. And Bush figures that as long as he has a segment of the population willing to help him play his game of deny, deny, deny, that's good enough.

So -

Dear mindless sycophants: you now have Bush's permission to stop bullshitting, and to admit that the response to Katrina sucked.

Now, don't you feel better?

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Monday, December 05, 2005

Trash
 
These people are just total trash.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld assailed U.S. news coverage of the Iraq war on Monday and accused journalists of rushing to find fault with the United States and its military....

Rumsfeld accused news organizations of focusing on the deaths of U.S. troops while offering little context about the cause for which they died.


Yeah! The NERVE of those nasty news organizations - talking about DEAD AMERICANS as though they MATTERED. Why don't they write about the WONDERFUL and GLORIOUS side of this FILTHY, BLOODY, UNHOLY MESS? How DARE they refuse to sanitize the BIGGEST DISASTER IN THE HISTORY OF AMERICA?

"The cause for which they died?" And what was that, Donald? Weapons of Mass Destruction, WASN'T it? Just because you've CHANGED your pathetic excuse since then, do you REALLY expect everybody else to go along with it? Do you think that our memories are as feeble as your sense of decency?

They died because YOU LIED THROUGH YOUR TEETH, you disgusting psychopath.

And the whole country knows it.

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Liar
 
Surprise, surprise.

Iraq VP Disputes Bush on Training of Forces
The Associated Press

DUBAI The training of Iraqi security forces has suffered a big "setback" in the last six months, with the army and other forces being increasingly used to settle scores and make other political gains, Iraqi Vice President Ghazi al-Yawer said Monday.

Al-Yawer disputed contentions by U.S. officials, including President Bush, that the training of security forces was gathering speed, resulting in more professional troops.

Bush has said the United States will not pull out of Iraq until Iraq's own forces can maintain security. In a speech last week, he said Iraqi forces are becoming increasingly capable of securing the country.

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After 4 years, we are STILL unprepared
 
U.S. Unprepared for Attack, 9/11 Panel Says

The former Sept. 11 commission is giving Congress and the White House poor marks on protecting the U.S. against an inevitable terror attack because of their failure to enact several strong security measures.

The 10-member panel, equally divided between Republicans and Democrats, prepared to release a report Monday assessing how well their recommendations have been followed. They say the government deserves "more F's than A's" in responding to their 41 suggested changes.

"People are not paying attention," chairman Thomas Kean, a former Republican governor of New Jersey, said Sunday. "God help us if we have another attack."


So what have they been doing for four years?

They've haven't destroying America's moral authority. its soul and the lives of its young men and women over an idiotic pipe dream.

They HAVEN'T been making us safer.

The Bushites are completely incapable of changing their focus when faced with new information. They weren't interested in protecting America from terrorism before 9/11, and they STILL weren't interested AFTER 9/11. They just started to us the language of "protecting from terrorism" for PR purposes, whie pursuing an agenda that really had nothing to do with protecting America from terrorism.

Instead of preparing America for a terrorist attack, they used the terrorist attack as a justification for actions that had nothing to do with terrorism.

4 years.

This is criminal.

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Saturday, December 03, 2005

Number 3?
 
Officials: CIA missile strike kills al-Qaida No. 3


How many times is this that we've "killed their number 3"? How many number 3 guys do these people have?

The following is from Bill Maher's May 6th, 2005 broadcast - seven months ago:

BILL MAHER: So I guess you read in the paper yesterday, as we all did, that apparently we have captured the number-three man in Al Qaeda. Does it seem to you that this is about the fifth time we've captured the “number-three man”? In Al Queda? I mean, how many number-three men do they have over there in Al Qaeda?

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT: It's very hard to tell. And the problem is that we haven't captured the number-one man, though we have thousands of troops there looking for him.


That was seven months ago.

Personally, I think they may be feeding us some Number Two.

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Friday, December 02, 2005


 
From Dave Letterman

Top Ten New President Bush Strategies For Victory in Iraq


10. "Make an even larger 'Mission Accomplished' sign"

9. "Encourage Iraqis to settle their feud like Dave and Oprah"

8. "Put that go-getter Michael Brown in charge"

7. "Launch slogan, 'It's not Iraq, it's Weraq'"

6. "Just do whatever he did when he captured Osama"

5. "A little more vacation time at the ranch to clear his head"

4. "Pack on a quick 30 pounds and trade places with Jeb"

3. "Wait, you mean it ain't going well?"

2. "Boost morale by doing his hilarious 'Locked Door' gag"

1. "Place Saddam back in power and tell him, 'It's your problem now, dude'"


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Thursday, December 01, 2005


 
We ended slavery a hundred and forty years ago. South Africa ended Apartheid only about 20 years ago.

And they seem to be getting this "equality" thing down a lot faster than us.

Same-Sex Unions to Become Legal in South Africa

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Bush Lied
 
Which - like Dog Bites Man - hardly warrants a headline:

From Think Progress (which has a video and more, if you go to the link):


Yesterday, President Bush claimed that Iraqi security forces “primarily led” the assault on the city of Tal Afar. Bush highlighted it as an “especially clear” sign of the progress Iraq security forces were making in Iraq.

The progress of the Iraqi forces is especially clear when the recent anti-terrorist operations in Tal Afar are compared with last year’s assault in Fallujah. In Fallujah, the assault was led by nine coalition battalions made up primarily of United States Marines and Army — with six Iraqi battalions supporting them…This year in Tal Afar, it was a very different story. The assault was primarily led by Iraqi security forces — 11 Iraqi battalions, backed by five coalition battalions providing support.


TIME Magazine reporter Michael Ware, who is embedded with the U.S. troops in Iraq who participated in the Tal Afar battle, appeared on Anderson Cooper yesterday. He said Bush’s description was completely untrue:

I was in that battle from the very beginning to the very end. I was with Iraqi units right there on the front line as they were battling with al Qaeda. They were not leading. They were being led by the U.S. green beret special forces with them.





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*sigh*
 
Speaking at the National Defense University at Fort McNair, [Gen. Peter] Pace said he is often asked if the United States would be better off by ending the fight and leaving Iraq. "There is no option other than victory," he said. "You need to get out and read what our enemies have said ... Their goal is to destroy our way of life." - AP


Dear General: The question isn't "Should we fight terrorists"? The question is: "What idiot thought the best way to do that was to start a war in a place that HAD NO TERRORISTS?"

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Stars and Stripes.
 
A good article from Stars and Stripes showing both sides of the picture from the point of view of the troops.

While some think we should go and some thing we should stay, I don't see ANY buying the Republican balderdash that dissent hurts the troops.

“Don’t say that political speeches hurt morale. That’s an insult to me and my soldiers,” said one senior officer in Baghdad who asked that his name not be used. “What hurts morale is lack of equipment. What hurts morale is watching a soldier die. What hurts morale is not having enough boots on the ground to get the job done and keep it that way.”


Notice that when they utter sentiments like that, they feel the need to remain anonymous.

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More attacks:

"Insurgents attacked several U.S. bases and government offices with mortars and rockets Thursday before dispersing in the capital of western Iraq's Anbar province, residents and police said."


And apparently, Iraq's interior minister believes in accountability more than Bush
does.

Iraq's interior minister, meanwhile, fired his top official for human rights in connection with a torture investigation....

Al-Jaafari, a Shiite, ordered a probe into the alleged mistreatment of up to 173 detainees after U.S. forces entered a ministry of interior lock up on Nov. 13 and found at least some of those being held showed signs of torture.


Seriously - can you imagine Bush EVER firing ANYBODY for violations of human rights?

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