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"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." Theodore Roosevelt


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Saturday, August 20, 2005

Aim High

There has not been much in the news cycle regarding the leaking of a covert agent, Valerie Plame lately... But rest assured the investigation is on going; and if Fitzgerald's past is any precedent, he's setting his sights high on the chain of command...
U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has prosecuted mobsters, terrorists and even journalists. He has investigated and charged state and city officials in this notoriously crooked state with pit bull tenacity. And always, he has methodically, inexorably pursued his investigations to target the man at the top of the organizational pyramid.

[...]

His investigation is continuing and senior White House staffers, including top presidential adviser Karl Rove, have been implicated in the leak, which may have contravened federal law that prohibits the identification of a CIA agent. People who have watched Mr. Fitzgerald operate in Chicago, and before that as assistant U.S. Attorney in New York City, are not surprised by his zeal in pursuing the journalists. But don't expect him to stop there. That's how he operates: Apply maximum pressure to reluctant witnesses in order to build an air-tight case against the most senior member of a criminal conspiracy. [...] "You get the sense that there are absolutely no sacred cows with him. He aims straight for the top."
No sacred cows... Got it. What about Cowboys?

Tour de Shame

No time for Cindy Sheehan, but this. How fucking cute George, and Lance, you're just as bad.



The details of the nauseating event:
It's no yellow jersey, but President Bush on Saturday presented Lance Armstrong with another shirt to show off his biking experiences, a red, white and blue T-shirt emblazoned "Tour de Crawford." The leader of the free world and the world's biking master rode for 17 miles on Bush's ranch for about two hours at midmorning. Bush showed Armstrong the sites of the ranch that he calls "a little slice of heaven," including a stop at a waterfall midway through the ride. [...] "Recognizing what the world has known for years, the president said, 'He's a good rider,'" Duffy said.
Hey Lance, you know Sheryl is going to make you pay for this. Was it worth it?

Iraqapalooza



The White House embarks on 5-day Iraqapalooza Tour, with George and the Unconscionables peforming their cult classic, Pimping 9-11...
Good morning. In a few weeks, our country will mark the four-year anniversary of the attacks of September the 11th, 2001. On that day, we learned that vast oceans and friendly neighbors no longer protect us from those who wish to harm our people. And since that day, we have taken the fight to the enemy.

We have combated terrorists on the home front by disrupting terror cells and their financial support networks. We're fighting the terrorists in Afghanistan, Iraq, and around the world, striking them in foreign lands before they can attack us here at home. And we're spreading the hope of freedom across the broader Middle East. By advancing the cause of liberty in a troubled region, we are bringing security to our own citizens and laying the foundations of peace for our children and grandchildren.

In this war, our nation depends on the courage of those who wear the uniform. During the coming weeks, I will meet with some of the brave men and women who have been on the front lines in the war on terror. Next week in Idaho, I will visit with some of the fine citizen soldiers of the Idaho National Guard. I will also see the men and women of the Mountain Home Air Force Base who played a leading role in the air campaign in Afghanistan after the September the 11th attacks. I will thank all of them for their service in the war on terror and I will thank the families who make their essential work possible.
Once again, George attempts to sell the Iraq War to the tune of 9-11... But this time no one is buying.

Farewell



You broke all the rules, fit into no one's mold, and were loved for it. Have a safe flight. You will be missed, but your words will live on...

Quotable Quotes

Paul Krugman:
"Our current political leaders would suffer greatly if either house of Congress changed hands in 2006, or if the presidency changed hands in 2008. The lids would come off all the simmering scandals, from the selling of the Iraq war to profiteering by politically connected companies. The Republicans will be strongly tempted to make sure that they win those elections by any means necessary. And everything we've seen suggests that they will give in to that temptation."
Maureen Dowd:
"W. says he can't set a deadline to bring the troops home. But he started the war on an artificial deadline; he declared a Mission Accomplished end to major hostilities on an artificial deadline; he was inflexible on deadlines for handing over Iraqi sovereignty and holding elections. And he tried to force the Iraqis to produce a constitution on his deadline when the squabbling politicians of the ethnic and religious factions hadn't even reached consensus on little things like Do we want one country? It isn't only the left that is invoking Vietnam. You know you're in trouble when Henry Kissinger gives you advice on how to exit a war."

Friday, August 19, 2005

Post Traumatic Stress Denial

The horror of war continues at home...

Colorado:
On Wednesday, nine days after [Stephen] returned from a tour in Iraq, he apparently shot and killed his wife before turning the gun on himself in their Fort Collins home, Army spokeswoman Dee McNutt said. [Stephen's] wife's name was not released.
Las Vegas:
A young veteran, formerly from Winslow, who returned from Iraq in May, opened fire with his assault rifle in a Las Vegas alley early Sunday morning, leaving a woman dead and a man wounded, according to police reports. [Matthew], 20, who says he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, is charged with murder and attempted murder, but attorneys say the charges may be reduced because of self-defense claims that the wounded man shot at [Matthew] first.
Massachusetts:
Now, [Dan] is charged with two counts of attempted murder after police say he fired a 12-gauge shotgun into a noisy crowd outside his Lawrence apartment early Saturday. While [Dan's] psychological condition is unclear, professionals counseling those returning from the war in Iraq say soldiers are facing extraordinary psychological pressures.
New Hampshire:
The Air Force National Guardsman returned home in August 2004 from a six-month tour of duty in Iraq - to a hero's welcome. The next day, he shot himself in the head. "No-one saw it coming. He came home on Tuesday and was dead on Wednesday. It's still a mystery," says Tim Beebe, the regional director of the New England Vet for veteran Centers.
And the GOP wants to cut funding for treatment...
The U.S. government is reviewing 72,000 cases in which veterans have been diagnosed with severe post-traumatic stress disorder, claiming that misdiagnosis and fraud have inflated the numbers. Outraged vets say the plan is a callous attempt to cut the costs of an increasingly expensive war. [...] The report expresses concern that the number of veterans receiving payments for PTSD is growing rapidly, from approximately 120,000 cases in 1999 to 216,000 in 2004. PTSD benefit payments, it notes, have soared from $1.7 billion in 1999 to $4.3 billion in 2004.

PTSD is a particularly acute problem in Iraq because combat is marked by constant threats that can come from any direction at any time, and the line between civilians and insurgent enemies is blurry at best. A study by the Department of Psychiatric and Behavioral Sciences at Walter Reed Hospital, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in July 2004, showed 17 percent of troops returning from duty in Iraq met the strict screening criteria for mental problems such as PTSD. Nearly 25,000 veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan have been diagnosed with mental-health disorders from war, including PTSD, the V.A. told Congress last month.

Veterans groups say the Bush administration's sticker shock from the Iraq war is behind the review. To them, the review of 72,000 PTSD cases is part of the administration's larger strategy to manage a budget that is already making it harder for veterans to get benefits or healthcare. Last month, the V.A. admitted that veterans healthcare will be $1 billion more this year and $2.6 billion more next year than the agency previously claimed. The department says it underestimated the number of troops coming back from war, but critics say the agency was trying to lowball the V.A. budget. After beating back Democrats' efforts to give the agency more money, embarrassed Republicans quickly began moving $1.5 billion in emergency funds to the department. Former House Veterans Affairs Committee chairman and New Jersey Republican Rep. Christopher H. Smith long sought more funds for the department. Veterans groups and Democrats think that the GOP removed him from that post in favor of Indiana Republican Rep. Steve Buyer because he might be more amenable to cost cuts.
Truly sad. Time and time again, the Support-the-Troops Party, turns their back on the veterans... Shameless war-mongering hypocrites. Same as it ever was...

Fluffing the Case for War

Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, a top aide to Colin Powell, elaborates on the lowest point of his life...
Wilkerson says the information in Powell's presentation initially came from a document he described as "sort of a Chinese menu" that was provided by the White House. "[Powell] came through the door... and he had in his hands a sheaf of papers, and he said, 'This is what I've got to present at the United Nations according to the White House, and you need to look at it,'" Wilkerson says in the program. "It was anything but an intelligence document. It was, as some people characterized it later, sort of a Chinese menu from which you could pick and choose."

[...]

"In fact, Secretary Powell was not told that one of the sources he was given as a source of this information had indeed been flagged by the Defense Intelligence Agency as a liar, a fabricator," says David Kay, who served as the CIA's chief weapons inspector in Iraq after the fall of Saddam. That source, an Iraqi defector had never been debriefed by the CIA, was known within the intelligence community as "Curveball."

After searching Iraq for several months across the summer of 2003, Kay began e-mailing Tenet to tell him the WMD evidence was falling apart. At one point, Wilkerson says, Tenet called Powell to tell him the claims about mobile bioweapons labs were apparently not true.

"George actually did call the Secretary, and said, 'I'm really sorry to have to tell you. We don't believe there were any mobile labs for making biological weapons,'" Wilkerson says in the documentary. "This was the third or fourth telephone call. And I think it's fair to say the Secretary and Mr. Tenet, at that point, ceased being close. I mean, you can be sincere and you can be honest and you can believe what you're telling the Secretary. But three or four times on substantive issues like that? It's difficult to maintain any warm feelings."
Lowest point of your life? Touching. Tell that to the 1,862 Americans and 23,589 Iraqis, who have lost their lives.

The Surreal Life

Of George W. Bush...

You have to wonder whether reality ever comes knocking on George W. Bush's door. If it did, would the president with the unsettling demeanor of a boy king even bother to answer? Mr. Bush is the commander in chief who launched a savage war in Iraq and now spends his days happily riding his bicycle in Texas. This is eerie. Scary. Surreal.

The war is going badly and lives have been lost by the thousands, but there is no real sense, either at the highest levels of government or in the nation at large, that anything momentous is at stake. The announcement on Sunday that five more American soldiers had been blown to eternity by roadside bombs was treated by the press as a yawner. It got very little attention.

You can turn on the television any evening and tune in to the bizarre extended coverage of the search for Natalee Holloway, the Alabama teenager who disappeared in Aruba in May. But we hear very little about the men and women who have given up their lives in Iraq, or are living with horrific injuries suffered in that conflict. If only the war were more entertaining. Less of a downer. Perhaps then we could meet the people who are suffering and dying in it.

For all the talk of supporting the troops, they are a low priority for most Americans. If the nation really cared, the president would not be frolicking at his ranch for the entire month of August. He'd be back in Washington burning the midnight oil, trying to figure out how to get the troops out of the terrible fix he put them in. Instead, Mr. Bush is bicycling as soldiers and marines are dying.

This is eerie. Scary. Surreal. Indeed.

Synergy

Why are we setting up shop in Iraq? Why does the GOP offer up pork to the Oil Companies in the form of an Energy Bill? Follow the money...



Curious? Learn more about Campaign Finance and the Politics of Oil...

Talk is Cheap

Sounds like Dick's got the balls to round up the Terrorist...
Vice President Cheney declared yesterday that the United States "will not relent" in the war in Iraq and will hunt down insurgents there "one at a time if necessary," implicitly rebutting escalating pressure on the Bush administration to bring U.S. troops home. [...] "They believe that America will lose our nerve and let down our guard," he said at the 73rd national convention of the Military Order of the Purple Heart held in Springfield, Mo., according to a transcript provided by the White House. "They are sorely mistaken."
Great idea Dick. Go get Cowboy in Chief in Crawford, and start with the one to the right. Did you forget about him... Dead or alive, right?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Privileged One

While George has been on vacation seeking balance...



The War continues on, with 57 more soldiers giving their lives...

For All The Cindy Haters In The House

Even The Rude One knows how to treat a grieving mother...
It is the way of the bully, you know, to choose the weakest, nose-pickingest, insignificant, wouldn't-hurt-a-fuckin-flea kid on the playground and pummel that little bastard into the dirt. And, as study after study has shown, bullies lash out against the schoolyard peons because it's the only way they can deal with truths they cannot face.

So, like, when some crazed white collar redneck plows through a field of flags and crosses bearing the names of soldiers who died in Iraq simply because said crosses were planted by Cindy Sheehan and her fellow Crawford protesters, we can pretty much assume that said crazed white collar redneck, also known as Waco realtor Larry Northern, may have been acting out of a sense of impotence, rage, and fear, the same combination that has driven crazed rednecks since Bocephus Yankeebeater pissed on the first pair of shoes ever to make its way up the Ozarks to Fuckedmysister, Arkansas.

It's not to excuse Northern (Operation Truth has already done the takedown) or stupid ass neighbor Larry Mattlage, apparently forgetting that bullets that go up do fuckin' come down, fired a warning shot near the demonstrators. But Mattlage and Northern are helpless, voiceless, deluded pukes who, like the kid whose father is beating his mother and him, have no other way but violence to express their anger and chimp-like confusion about Sheehan. ("She's a mother whose son died in the war. But wait. She opposes our President. But wait. She's a mother whose son died in the war. But wait. She's gettin' more people to protest the war. Aw, fuck it, let's just break shit.")

However, what are we to make of our depraved, desperate right wing punditry who are clinging, like plague fleas to the hair on the balls of the last rat in 1665 London, to any shred of an iota of evidence that Sheehan is wrong, which would discredit her vigil and, they hope, the entire cause of anti-war protesters. There's needs-to-be-sodomized-with-a-microphone Bill O'Reilly, who on his Fox "news" masturbatory yowl-fest, keeps repeating that Sheehan once said that Israel should get out of Palestine (as if that's somehow a far-left sentiment, despite having been expressed by many on the right who are not nutzoid end-of-days evangelicals or nutzoid neocons or David Horowitz) and that Sheehan posts messages on Michael Moore's website. And, of course, O'Reilly's making the story about himself, about whether or not he implied Sheehan was "treasonous." He did not, but he did say and imply that she was now a tool of "radicals" in America, denying her the voice he repeatedly insists she's allowed to have, treating her like the little woman who can't compete in the big, bad world of ideological rhetoric.

And what are we to make of Ann Coulter, whose cuntistry knows no bounds or limitations? In her latest "column" (if by "column," you mean "the sidewalk chalk scribbles of a delusional paranoiac just escaped from the chains holding her in her shit covered cell in the basement of the local charity hospital"), Coulter lashes out at Sheehan as if, say, Sheehan had sent the nation to war under false pretenses. Coulter, always the mainstream voice of the monkeyfuck insane right, says, "After your third profile on Entertainment Tonight, you're no longer a grieving mom; you're a C-list celebrity trolling for a book deal or a reality show." Coulter then tries to impugn Sheehan with out of context quotes. But the words don't matter. O'Reilly's connections don't matter.

All over the right, the attempts to destroy Sheehan are getting increasingly desperate and repellent, from dragging out her divorce documents and the liens against her property to saying that she "endangers" the troops (damn, you'd think lack of body armor would be doin' that, but then, fuck you - if you speak of it, our troops'll die). But that image, of the mother, outside, in that no-wonder-everyone's-goin'-insane heat of West Texas, is far more powerful. When you hear her voice, it ain't the crazy rantings of the so-called loony left. It's the calm, reasonable tone of the righteous. And that's what's so fuckin' threatening to the bullies.

Goddamn, it feels good to pound that weakling into the dirt until you hear the weakling's sobs and cries of mercy. But what happens if the weakling gets up, brushes off, and dares you to take another shot? That's the way the bullies crumble.
A-Fucking-Men.

For What Noble Cause?

George, we are still waiting for an answer...



Thanks to Dan P for the photo.

The latest info on Cindy Sheehan's plight, from the Iconoclast...

BREAKING NEWS: Cindy's mother had a stroke and she will be temporarily leaving the camp. It is reported that the rest of her supporters will remain.

Iraqistan

If we stay the course in Iraq for only two more years, it will be another shining Mecca of Freedom and Democracy, just like Afghanistan...

Nearly four years after the defeat of the Taleban, efforts to rebuild Afghanistan face a real and worrying risk of failure?, the British Government has concluded. Terrorism remains an ever-present threat. Opium production is spreading. Large parts of the country's infrastructure are in tatters and United Nations targets for improving basic services such as education and water will not be met.
Move along, nothing to see here... Freedom's on the march.

Truth Via Parody

From The Onion:
Proponents of Intelligent Falling assert that the different theories used by secular physicists to explain gravity are not internally consistent. Even critics of Intelligent Falling admit that Einstein's ideas about gravity are mathematically irreconcilable with quantum mechanics. This fact, Intelligent Falling proponents say, proves that gravity is a theory in crisis.

"Let's take a look at the evidence," said ECFR senior fellow Gregory Lunsden."In Matthew 15:14, Jesus says, 'And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.' He says nothing about some gravity making them fall—just that they will fall. Then, in Job 5:7, we read, 'But mankind is born to trouble, as surely as sparks fly upwards.' If gravity is pulling everything down, why do the sparks fly upwards with great surety? This clearly indicates that a conscious intelligence governs all falling."
This was only a highlight, read the rest...

Losing the House

The public is losing their enthusiasm for the war, and the GOP is concerned...
A stream of bad news out of Iraq, echoed at home by polls that show growing impatience with the war and rising disapproval of President Bush's Iraq policies, is stirring political concern in Republican circles, party officials said Wednesday. Some said that the perception that the war was faltering was providing a rallying point for dispirited Democrats and could pose problems for Republicans in the Congressional elections next year.

Republicans said a convergence of events - including the protests inspired by the mother of a slain American soldier outside Mr. Bush's ranch in Texas, the missed deadline to draft an Iraqi Constitution and the spike in casualties among reservists - was creating what they said could be a significant and lasting shift in public attitude against the war.

The Republicans described that shift as particularly worrisome, occurring 14 months before the midterm elections. As further evidence, they pointed to a special election in Ohio two weeks ago, where a Democratic marine veteran from Iraq who criticized the invasion decision came close to winning in a district that should have easily produced a Republican victory. "There is just no enthusiasm for this war," said Representative John J. Duncan Jr., a Tennessee Republican who opposes the war. "Nobody is happy about it. It certainly is not going to help Republican candidates, I can tell you that much."
As usual, the Republicans are more concerned with perception than reality... And next year they will pay the price.

Solidarity of Support

Say Hello, to the newest member of the Reality-Based Community...



This photo was taken from a Vigil in Denver, Colorado, where over 700 concerned citizens showed their solidarity with Cindy Sheehan's cause. Other grassroots contributions can be found over at Daily Kos...

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The New Truman



The repairing of a legacy has officially begun (video)...

It's All Clinton's Fault

First the recession, and now 9-11. As usual, Fox News is leading the charge...



Funny thing though, I read the documents, and I could not find anything as remotely alarming, as this:

BIN LADEN DETERMINED TO ATTACK INSIDE THE UNITED STATES

So Fox, what's your point? If George was aware of the same information that Bill was privy to in 1996, he should have been all the more alarmed when he received the above warning on August 6th of 2001. But what did he do? He went fishing. Nice try.

Indictments in Ohio

Fraud, embezzlement, expect no less from the party of family values...
Gov. Bob Taft has been charged in Franklin County Municipal Court with four criminal misdemeanors for failing to disclose golf outings and possibly other favors. The charges were outlined at a press conference this afternoon with Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien and Columbus City Attorney Richard C. Pfeiffer Jr. If convicted on the first-degree misdemeanor charges, Taft faces a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to six months in jail on each count.

Taft's problems surfaced in connection with Thomas W. Noe, a prominent Republican campaign contributor who managed failed rare-coin investments for the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation. Taft appointed Noe to the Ohio Board of Regents and Ohio Turnpike Commission. Noe resigned from both jobs in the wake of the coin scandal. Noe, a Maumee coin dealer, has been accused of stealing nearly $4 million from the $50 million investment for personal use, and his lawyers have acknowledged a shortfall of up to $13 million.
The charges are minor, but hopefully they will shed some light on the GOP's corruption in Ohio... And beyond.

Freedom's On The March

Drink up...

Like Father, Like Son

Priorities...
How could President Bush be cavorting around on a long vacation with American troops struggling with a spiraling crisis in Iraq? Wasn't he worried that his vacation activities might send a frivolous signal at a time when he had put so many young Americans in harm's way? "I'm determined that life goes on," Mr. Bush said stubbornly.

That wasn't the son, believe it or not. It was the father - 15 years ago. I was in Kennebunkport then to cover the first President Bush's frenetic attempts to relax while reporters were pressing him about how he could be taking a month to play around when he had started sending American troops to the Persian Gulf only three days before.

"I just don't like taking questions on serious matters on my vacation," the usually good-natured Bush senior barked at reporters on the golf course. "So I hope you'll understand if I, when I'm recreating, will recreate." His hot-tempered oldest son, who was golfing with his father that day, was even more irritated. "Hey! Hey!" W. snapped at reporters asking questions on the first tee. "Can't you wait until we finish hitting, at least?"
Like they say... The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Grieving Parents in Ohio

Voice their dissent for George's handling of the war...

The day after burying their son, parents of a fallen Marine urged President Bush to either send more reinforcements to Iraq or withdraw U.S. troops altogether. "We feel you either have to fight this war right or get out," Rosemary Palmer, mother of Lance Cpl. Edward Schroeder II, said Tuesday.

Schroeder, 23, died two weeks ago in a roadside explosion, one of 16 Ohio-based Marines killed recently in Iraq. The soldier's father said his son and other Marines were being misused as a stabilizing force in Iraq. "Our comments are not just those of grieving parents," Paul Schroeder said in front of the couple's home. "They are based on anger, Mr. President, not grief. Anger is an honest emotion when someone's family has been violated."

And show their support for Cindy's protest in Crawford...
The couple applauded Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a fallen soldier who has camped out in protest near Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, for bringing the war to the public's attention. "We consider her the Rosa Parks of the new movement opposing the Iraq war," Palmer said.
If Schroeder's dissent with Team Bush gets a tenth of the media coverage usually reserved for missing girls in Aruba or celebrity pedophiles, expect the Smear Machine to follow.

More Tragedy in Iraq

The AP reports:
Three car bombs exploded near a bus station and hospital in Baghdad Wednesday, killing at least 43 people and wounding 89 in the deadliest attacks in the capital in weeks, police said. Survivors searched charred buses and cars for signs of relatives.
Sad. On and on, the killing continues...

Texas Hospitality

Finally...
The piece of private property was offered by a relative of a man who had a fired shotgun in frustration over the protests, a source in the Sheehan camp said. The property owner is also a veteran. "A neighbour of President Bush's has offered us his land," the source said. "It's got plenty of acreage for us, it's private land, we would have legal permission to be on it, it's much closer to the ranch, in fact it's across the street from his [Bush's] church."
Speaking of church... Is George going to accept Cindy Sheehan's invitation, and join the group in a prayer vigil for the troops tonight?

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Iraq 9-11 Myth Redux



Melanie Morgan takes a big swig of the Kool-Aid, and rants on about her Iraq 9-11 delusions (video)...

"[The reason for war with Iraq is] to battle a fanatical network of terrorist... The President never made weapons of mass destruction the only criteria for war, that's only what The Left has redefined... We are still going to find weapons of mass destruction... The reason we are in Iraq is because those planes went flying into the World Trade towers, al-Qaida was definitely connected to a bunch of terrorist who were operating out of Iraq, under the direction of Saddam Hussein and his general at the time..."

Here's the full clip, with Melanie's attempts to smear Cindy Sheehan (video)...

Melanie who? Apparently she is a co-founder of Move America Forward, a conservative political action group.

Write Your Own Headline



CNN is in full Wormapalooza Mode at the moment... Join in on the fun!

Voting Irregularities

I'm cautiously optimistic...
Armed with a $7.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation, Johns Hopkins University is leading a new effort to improve the reliability of electronic voting machines. The project's goal is to design the most foolproof, transparent voting system possible, officials said Monday. "I don't think with today's technology we can have a voting system that is fully electronic that can be trusted," said Avi Rubin, a computer science professor. He will head a new Hopkins center called ACCURATE, short for A Center for Correct, Usable, Reliable, Auditable and Transparent Elections. Rubin told The Baltimore Sun he hopes the center will provide information in time for the 2008 presidential contest, but that its research will take longer.
It's certainly not time to raise the victory flag, but there is hope.

New Lows for Cindy Sheehan's Opposition



Support the troops, but no respect for the fallen...
Late Monday, a pickup truck tore through rows of white crosses that stretched about two-tenths of a mile along the side of the road at the Crawford camp. The crosses bore the names of fallen U.S. soldiers. No one was hurt.
Is this any way to honor our dead? Shameful.

Dirty Little Lies

Rush indulges us with his latest absurdities:
"The dirty little secret in both Afghanistan and Iraq is the emergence of women as power figures. The emergence of women to run for office, the emergence of women to be governors of provinces, women to drive cars, to vote. You see the women that voted in Iraq, and the same thing in Afghanistan? It's absurd."
That's right. In Limbaugh's alternate universe, women in Iraq have more freedom than ever.

The Other Cost of Offshoring

Your identity.
According Australian media sources, Indian call centres are at the centre of a fresh controversy with an Australian television channel claiming that some of them were illegally selling personal information of tens of thousand Australian customers. [...] Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) TV claimed that its reporters were offered banking pin numbers, passport numbers, credit card details and other personal information on thousands of Australians for just 10 Australian dollars each.
Is it worth it?

More Last Throes

Despite the pending Iraqi Constitution, the carnage continues...
At least 17 people were killed and more than 30 wounded in several attacks on Monday, including an explosion targeting the family of Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdel Mehdi.
Move along, nothing to see here... Freedom is on the march.

Texas Scold 'Em



Stewart covers Cindy Sheehan's plight in Crawford (video)...

Monday, August 15, 2005

Fire Rumsfeld



Biden gets tough on Rumsfeld (video)...

"Well, you know, I don't understand how it happens. Imagine if Secretary Rumsfeld was the CEO of a corporation. These guys talk about how they came from business backgrounds. He'd be fired by now. The idea that we are at this moment, with this headline saying U.S. Struggles to Get Soldiers Updated Armor, is absolutely irresponsible. And I realize all the problems. If you read the article, it goes back two and a half years and the mistakes consistently being made. And I just, I don't get it. I think Rumsfeld should get his notice on Monday morning."

Journalistic Integrity

Members of the Newspaper Guild find their integrity and demand the same of the Washington Post...
Newspaper Guild leaders at The Washington Post on Monday afternoon called on the newspaper to withdraw its sponsorship of a controversial Sept. 11 memorial walk organized by the Department of Defense. The event has drawn opposition from several groups for its alleged pro-war tilt.

"Basically, the guild is calling for the Post to reconsider and drop sponsorship," said Rick Weiss, a Post reporter and co-chair of the Washington Post unit of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild Local 32035. "As a matter of maintaining its appearance of neutrality on polarizing issues of policy."

Weiss said eight members of the local's leadership committee met Monday and unanimously passed a resolution asking the paper to drop its support of the event. He said the resolution would be delivered to Post Publisher Bo Jones as soon as possible. The unit represents more than 1,400 Post employees.

The resolution reads, in part, "Post news employees are subject to disciplinary action for participating in political activities that may be perceived as revelatory of personal opinions or bias. The Washington Post itself should be held to the same high standard. Moreover, arguments that the Freedom Walk is anything other than a political activity -- and indeed, a political activity in support of the war in Iraq -- should be put to rest by the prominent participation of country music star Clint Black, best known of late for his war-glorifying song Iraq and I Roll.
Didn't that feel good? Too bad you didn't find the courage during the onset of the war... But Hell, better late than never.

No Iraq Constitution...



for you. Come back one week.
Iraqi leaders failed to meet a key deadline Monday to finish a new constitution. [...] Even if negotiators do produce a constitution in the next week, the wide divide over issues such as federalism, oil revenues and Islam's role are unlikely to dissipate. The majority Shiites also have a stake in federalism, hoping to create an autonomous region in the south as Kurds have in the north, both areas rich in oil. Minority Sunni Arabs oppose federalism, while showing some willingness to compromise.
Like I've said all along... It's the Oil.

Fallen Angels

A glimmer of humanity, in the Hell of war...
Whether the Iraqi was an enemy or a friend is not known by the Marines when the body lies before them in the bunker, said Johnson. All they know is that he or she was a human that deserves the same respect afforded to American troops.

"You never know who that Iraqi is," said Johnson. "I've personally taken three Iraqi contractors that worked for us to their families in Baghdad."

The crying parents, who otherwise may never have seen their children again, were thankful the Marines took the time to fly their angels home to them.

"They are good people," said Johnson. "They thanked me and told me they will pray for me for the rest of my life. What makes it worth it is you have a hand in making sure they get back to their families."
Propaganda? Possibly, but this Bleeding Heart Liberal would like to believe otherwise.

Halliburton Scandal Du Jour

Those two words are all too redundant these days... But Hell, what's a couple billion between friends? The Guardian reports, Halliburton is currently being investigated by the Nigerian Senate:
Why would a project, which cost 950m US dollars in Qatar, be awarded in Nigeria for 2.2bn US dollars? This is a puzzle to which the Senate is currently trying to give an answer, The Guardian has learnt. The 2.2bn-dollar contract was given to [US energy firm] Halliburton by American oil conglomerate, Chevron/Texaco, a joint venture partner of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
More information from a Nigerian source...

Gas Pain

Thanks, George.
Retail gas prices hit another record high over the past three weeks, mirroring a rapid increase in the cost of crude oil, according to a nationwide survey released Sunday. The average price for all three grades rose nearly 20 cents to $2.53 in the three weeks ending Aug. 12, said Trilby Lundberg, who publishes the semimonthly Lundberg Survey of 7,000 gas stations around the country. The figures were not adjusted for inflation. In the same three-week period, crude oil price futures rose about $8.21. A barrel of oil produces about 42 gallons of gasoline, resulting in a price increase of 19.6 cents per gallon — nearly identical to the 19.8 cent rise in the price of gas at the pumps, Lundberg said.
Let the analogies begin...

George the Uniter

President Bush promised early on to be a Uniter...
U.S. military documents point to Tehran backing for at least one network of insurgents that is using advanced bomb making techniques to create an even deadlier insurgency. A Time investigation reports that Iran has arranged a partnership between influential Iraqi Shiites and the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah. [...] The investigation also shows an alleged plan for Tehran to gain influence in the new Iraqi government. [...] It also appears that Iran is paying the salaries of a military wing of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the Badr Corps, the magazine said.
Who said he's not a man of his word?

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Camp Casey Day 8

Over 300 supporters came out to Tonkawa Falls Park in Crawford...



Read the latest from Cindy's diary...

Shock and Awe



George states his reasoning for not meeting with Cindy Sheehan:
"It's also important for me to go on with my life, but whether it be here or in Washington or anywhere else, there's somebody who has got something to say to the president, that's part of the job. And I think it's important for me to be thoughtful and sensitive to those who have got something to say, but I think it's also important for me to go on with my life, to keep a balanced life. I think the people want the president to be in a position to make good, crisp decisions and to stay healthy, and part of my being is to be outside exercising."
As reported, this was Saturday's agenda:
In addition to the two-hour bike ride, Bush's Saturday schedule included an evening Little League Baseball playoff game, a lunch meeting with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a nap, some fishing and some reading.
Un-fucking believable... This is our president.

The War Is Over

Will someone please tell George...

Shots Fired at Camp Casey

The Iconoclast reports:
I went over and talked to the man. He is Larry Mattlage, who says he is on his property and just posted a no-parking sign.

"We're going to start doing our war and it's going to be underneath the law," he told me. "Whatever it takes. So y'all go find another place to do whatever you do. 'Cause this is our front yard and back yard."

I asked, "Do you mean the protestors?"

Wait... Now there's some Secret Service and cops. I'm going to get closer to hear what they're saying. People in bullet-proof vests are here now. Two Secret Service agents are now walking up his driveway towards his house, with Mr. Mattlage. A member of the Sheriff's Department has arrived. Mr. Mattlage is waving his arms now. All of them are now walking back this way.
An audio clip of the conversation with Larry Mattlage, can be found here...

Sobriety Takes Hold in Washington

Some members of the Bush Administration seem to be awakening from their drunken stupor...

"What we expected to achieve was never realistic given the timetable or what unfolded on the ground," said a senior official involved in policy since the 2003 invasion. "We are in a process of absorbing the factors of the situation we're in and shedding the unreality that dominated at the beginning."

"We set out to establish a democracy, but we're slowly realizing we will have some form of Islamic republic," said another U.S. official familiar with policymaking from the beginning, who like some others interviewed would speak candidly only on the condition of anonymity. "That process is being repeated all over."

"The most thoroughly dashed expectation was the ability to build a robust self-sustaining economy. We're nowhere near that. State industries, electricity are all below what they were before we got there," said Wayne White, former head of the State Department's Iraq intelligence team who is now at the Middle East Institute. "The administration says Saddam ran down the country. But most damage was from looting [after the invasion], which took down state industries, large private manufacturing, the national electric" system.

Welcome to Sobriety... Put the drinks down, and stay for a while.

Sunday Morning Comics



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