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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 27, 2005

The Cindy Haters

Via a link from Little Green Footballs, check out the masses showing their anti-support for Cindy Sheehan...


Aren't they cute? More Chickenhawks for Bush can be seen here...

Camp Casey II

Over a thousand gathered under a massive tent and surrounding encampment for a full day of music...



"The thing that worries the crap out of me is the almost icon status that I have achieved. I never set out to become the 'Rosa Parks of the Peace Movement'. I ventured out on August 6, 2005 to hold George Bush accountable and to raise awareness about his lies and misuse and abuse of power. I didn't set out to become anyone's hero. I am a regular mom who just wants peace and no one else to be murdered for the deceptions of our government. I love the love and support of America: it is what sustains me through these very difficult times and the reich-wing smear campaign. I am blown away and humbled that people are coming from all over the world to meet me and have their pictures taken with me. I am honored when people ask me for my autograph and I love meeting the little ones. I think we really need to focus our energies on the cause of peace, though... and the message, not the messenger. I am not a perfect person. I am strong and I do have the cajones to tell the world that our 'emperor' has no clothes, but it is done out of love of Casey and the others who have died and who are in harm's way and out of the simple fact that at the end of the day I have to look at myself in the mirror. If I didn't do everything in my power to end this monstrosity of an occupation in Iraq, how could I do that? I promised my boy that I would make the world a better place for his unborn nieces and nephews, and I mean to keep that promise." - Cindy Sheehan

Read the latest from Cindy's Diary...

Help Wanted

Commander in Chief - MBA from an Ivy League school required. Experience in oil or defense industry required. Experience in bankruptcy, propaganda, or war profiteering a plus. Personal recommendation from a member of PNAC a plus. Libruls, progressives, pinkos, and other commie types need not apply. Minorities, women, and homosexuals need not apply. Fundamentalist Christians and recovering alcoholics welcome. Availability to start January 1st of 2009. Generous base salary with many bonuses. Some perks include: private jet and helicopter, 55,000 square-foot mansion, unlimited vacation days, your own public relations network, and no-accountability. Perks, perks, perks! Please send resume and cover letter to: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington, DC 20500.

More Sacrifice



George takes a break from his recreational activities in Crawford, to call for more sacrifice:
"Our efforts in Iraq and the broader Middle East will require more time, more sacrifice and continued resolve. Yet people across the Middle East are choosing a future of freedom and prosperity and hope. And as they take these brave steps, Americans will continue to stand with them because we know that free and democratic nations are peaceful nations. By advancing the cause of liberty in the Middle East, we will bring hope to millions and security to our own citizens. And we will lay the foundation of peace for our children and grandchildren."
Now watch this putt.

Through the Looking Glass



Nearly a thousand prisoners were released from Abu Ghraib today... How many experienced this?

Entropy Nation



So, who is behind the wheel? Certainly not George... But Rumsfeld?
Rep. Charles Rangel, the gravelly voiced dean of the New York State congressional delegation, launched a blistering attack on Vice President Dick Cheney Friday night, calling him a "sick man" who was unfit to lead. In a rambling interview on NY1, the Harlem Democrat also said Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is the "guy who's running the country" - not Cheney or President George W. Bush. "Sometimes I don't think Cheney is awake enough to know what's going on," Rangel said. "He's a sick man, you know. He's got heart disease but the disease is not restricted to that part of his body. He grunts a lot so you never really know what he's thinking."
Is Rummy the lesser of three evils? Well, he sure is doing a bang up job in Iraq. Isn't he?

Nation Meddling

Iraqis to George: Back off! This is our country, our process.
Sadoun Zubaydi, a Sunni member of the drafting committee, blamed the Americans for interfering in what was supposed to be an Iraqi process. "Bush's hypocrisy is huge - in January he wouldn't allow a postponement of parliamentary elections to allow all groups to prepare properly because he was trying to sugarcoat everything that happens here for his domestic audience," Zubaydi said. "Now, he's calling the Shiites and issuing instructions that they should not ignore the group that was marginalized in those defective elections. ... To the last minute, this supposedly Iraqi process is being dictated by the U.S. government." [...] "Don't follow constitutions of the infidels," influential Sunni cleric Sheik Mahmoud al-Sumaidaei told the congregation Friday at Baghdad's Umm al-Qura mosque. "We don't want a constitution that brings the curse of separation and division to this country."
George, you once stated, if this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator... But guess what? You're not - here nor there. Back off and let the Iraqis build their own nation, without your meddling. Besides, our own nation is in desperate need of rebuilding. You could start with our dilapidated education and healthcare systems.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Open Debate: Sandy Berger

A challenge from The Right. They assert: Sandy Berger's removal of classified material from the National Archives is more of a threat to National Security than Karl Rove's CIA leak. The floor is yours, here are the sources they provided:

Sandy Berger: A Case for Accountability

Sandy Berger’s Heavy Lifting

Berger Quits as an Adviser to Kerry

Why Isn't Sandy Berger Going to Jail?

Sadly, The 9/11 Commission Has Failed Every American

George Dubya's



How low can he go?

The Economy Is Great!

In Iraq...



Read The Nation...

Journalistic Integrity

George has time to serve up the BBQ to the Press Corps, but still no time for Cindy Sheehan...
President Bush played host to the White House press corps Thursday night for a private off-the-record dinner at his ranch. The casual affair of fried catfish, potato salad, coleslaw, homemade cheese and chocolate-chip cookies followed a tradition in which Bush and his wife, Laura, have the press covering his annual August vacation out to the their ranch in central Texas as a sort of thank-you. The event was not held last year because of the busy campaign season. The invitations to the reporters were issued on the condition that they not discuss conversations at the event.
Tell me Journalists, how did it feel driving by Cindy's camp en route to yuck it up with George and company? Do you feel like you lost a little something on the way... Integrity, Dignity, Self-respect? Or was that lost long ago?

Traitorgate in Review



As Fall nears, so does the finale of the Plamegate/Rovegate/Traitorgate/Treasongate saga, spend some time catching up on any facts you may have missed... Here is the entire cast, and the complete time-line of events. Happy reading.

The New Arbusto

Iraq.
Guerrilla sabotage has deprived Iraq of billions of dollars in crude oil sales that the U.S. and Iraqi officials had hoped would fund rebuilding after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. [...] The relentless guerrilla campaign, which also includes suicide bombings and the killing of officials and civilians, has forced Iraq to rely almost entirely on its southern oilfields for exports. But they too are vulnerable. Saboteurs targeted a power station outside Baghdad on Monday, leaving the southern port city of Basra and the capital in the dark for 12 hours and halting export flows from the country's Gulf terminal. Iraq is exporting about 1.5 million bpd, below its pre-war capacity of 2.2 million bpd.
A failed oiled business in Texas, and now Iraq is on it's way. Everything George touches...

Keeping Us Safe

It took four years for this to start?
U.S. ports are preparing for catastrophic terrorism in a major new program of security drills that began last week in the San Francisco Bay area and continues next week in Baltimore. The federal Port Security Training Exercises Program (PortSTEP) brings together government and private-sector officials responsible for maritime transportation and commerce, emergency response and land transit in 40 port districts around the United States. Officials participate in fictitious incident scenarios intended to reflect the terrorist threat environment.
Better late than never... But only because we've been fortunate enough to have not had an attack. Four years?

Illuminations

How many Bush administration officials does it take to change a light bulb?

1. One to deny that a light bulb needs to be changed;

2. One to attack the patriotism of anyone who says the light bulb needs to be changed;

3. One to blame Clinton for burning out the light bulb;

4. One to arrange the invasion of a country rumored to have a secret stockpile of light bulbs;

5. One to give a billion dollar no-bid contract to Halliburton for the new light bulb;

6. One to arrange a photograph of Bush, dressed as a janitor,
standing on a step ladder under the banner: Light Bulb Change Accomplished;

7. One administration insider to resign and write a book documenting in detail how Bush was literally in the dark;

8. One to viciously smear #7;

9. One surrogate to campaign on TV and at rallies, on how George Bush has had a strong light-bulb-changing policy all along;

10. And finally one to confuse Americans about the difference between screwing a light bulb and screwing the country.

Thanks to America Blog.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Iraqi Constitution

The face-off continues.



Here's the what, why, and when...

Follow the Money

Janis Karpinski, former Abu Ghraib General, exposes the looting and corruption in Iraq:
"I had been hesitant to speak out before because this Administration is so vindictive. But now I will... Anybody who confronts this Administration or Rumsfeld or the Pentagon with a true assessment, they find themselves either out of a job, out of their positions, fired, relieved or chastised. Their career comes to an end."

Karpinski reveals that there was "no sustainment plan" because "there were a lot of contractors - US contractors exclusively - who realized they could make a lot of money in Iraq." At the Coalition Provisional Authority, Karpinski "saw corruption like I've never seen before - millions of dollars just being pocketed by contractors. Everything was on a cash basis at that time," she said. "You take a request down - literally, you take a request to the Finance Office. If the Pay Officer recognized your face and you were asking for $450,000 to pay a contractor for work, they would pay you in cash: $450,000. Out of control."
Go read the rest, and pass it on. If Karpinski's case, gets any media play, it may be the hair that finally breaks The Elephant's back... And then we can start rebuilding, what they have so earnestly destroyed for personal gain.

Hawks



They're starting to attack their own...
Pro-sharpness neo-cons, whom the US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld wondered around arm in arm just until recently, no longer want him. Neo-cons known for their strict views on Iran, Iraq and Syria in particular wanted to replace Rumsfeld with another figure because he did not believe in victory in Iraq and had a tendency to withdrawal. William Kristol, who is the Editor in Chief, of The Weekly Standard magazine, that is the neo-cons publishing organ, wrote in his column that Rumsfeld stood behind the news that was recently leaked to the press regarding withdrawal from Iraq. Rumsfeld either does not believe in victory in Iraq or does not think political support for the US will continue and the US will not be able to meet the cost of the war, Kristol claimed.
Wow. Time to get some popcorn, this is getting good.

Welcome to Hades

Where the temp today is a brisk 6.66 ° Fahrenheit.



In other news of the weird... Fox News reports, the Bush Administration is drunk with power, spending like drunken sailors:
Republicans control the White House and both houses of Congress. Early on a Saturday morning in August - the day of the week, and the month of the year, least likely to attract media attention - President Bush signed into law a highway bill passed by his own party with more than 6,000 earmarked projects. Bush signed the bill after sternly telling his party he'd veto any highway bill that spent more than $256 billion. He promptly "adjusted" that figure to $284 billion after complaints from party leaders. The bill Bush ultimately signed came at a price of $286 billion, $295 billion if you count a few provisions disguised to make the bill look cheaper than it actually is. Not exactly holding the line.

The Republican Party's wholesale abandonment of limited government principles has been on display since President Bush took office. Government spending under the GOP's reign has soared to historic highs, any way you want to measure it. And in stark contrast to President Reagan - or even the president's own father - President Bush refuses to rein in spending. He hasn't used his veto a single time since taking office - the longest such streak in U.S. history.
Journal Entry: On this day, Fox News almost practiced fair and balanced reporting... Interesting that there was not a mention of Bubba's record surplus at the start of George's term, but Hell it's a start.

The Reality-Based Community

It's growing... Even Republicans are joining.
I was a military wife for 12 years, spent two tours with my husband overseas, and am a registered Republican. I think Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson is the best kind of hero. He is standing up for our troops instead of worrying if he will look patriotic or not. He is risking his job and his standing in the community to save the lives of our loyal men and women fighting in Iraq. Americans have to quit waving their flags and puffing out their chests and start using the good sense that God gave them. How many times do they have to hear that they were lied to? How many times do they have to hear the war in Iraq has nothing to do with Sept. 11? How much money do Halliburton and the oil companies get to put in their pockets before Americans open their eyes to see this is no mission of honor? As Americans we should revere the office of the president of the United States, not the man. To be blind to the man and only see the office is not being patriotic; it's being dangerous. As Americans we are supposed to be ever vigilant, not goose-stepping lemmings. Wake up, because if you don't, the blood of our best and bravest will be on your hands.
Welcome. Please stay a while. Help us get this country back on course, before it's too late.

Return to Crawford



"I can take all of the right wing attacks on me. I have been lied about and to before. Their attacks just show how much I am getting to them and how little truth they have to tell. What really hurts me the most is when people say that I am dishonoring Casey by my protest in Crawford. By wanting our troops to come home alive and well, that I am somehow not supporting them." - Cindy Sheehan

Read the latest from Cindy's diary...

Occam's Razor

Day 3, and still no constitution...
Parliament will not meet Thursday to decide on Iraq's draft constitution, and no date for a new session has been set, a spokesman said. The comments by Bishro Ibrahim, head of the assembly's media department, signaled that no agreement had been reached among the different factions on the issues such as federalism, which prevented a vote on the document during two previous deadlines.
What's the hold up? Federalism. Also known as, who gets control of the oil rich south... It's all about the Oil.

Scapegoat

Former Abu Ghraib Commander Janice Karpinski, alleges Rumsfeld signed a memorandum authorizing extreme interrogation techniques to be used on the prisoners:
It was a memorandum signed by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, authorizing a short list, maybe 6 or 8 techniques: use of dogs; stress positions; loud music; deprivation of food; keeping the lights on, those kinds of things. And then a handwritten message over to the side that appeared to be the same handwriting as the signature, and that signature was Secretary Rumsfeld's. And it said, "Make sure this happens," with two exclamation points. And that was the only thing that they had. Everything else had been confiscated.
Is this not enough information to start a formal independent investigation?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Success

The Right often states, the The Left dwells on the negative aspects of the Iraq War, and little if any attention is ever brought to the progress that is being made. Well, I must concede, there is success in Iraq...

Where politicians and a draft constitution have failed, a television show has succeeded. Iraqis are united in their enthusiasm for a local version of Australian Idol. Iraq Star has become a television phenomenon since it began six weeks ago, and more than 2000 hopefuls have risked the country's dangerous roads to audition for a chance at a career in pop music.

The show is watched by about half of Iraq's TV viewing audience when broadcast at 9 o'clock every night. Producer Wadia Nader admitted surprise at its success. "We have people coming from across the provinces to audition who say that everyone they know is watching it and talking about those who appear," he said. Nader believes Iraq Star offers much-needed respite from the strains of daily life in the struggling nation racked by power cuts, water shortages and constant threat of death. However, security fears mean there is no studio audience and the final will be held in Lebanon to avoid being targeted by bombers.

Please forgive me for not drawing attention to this stunning achievement of Democracy sooner.

Freedom Fighters

Coming soon, to a town near you...
The American Legion, which has 2.7 million members, has declared war on antiwar protestors, and the media could be next. Speaking at its national convention in Honolulu, the group's national commander called for an end to all "public protests" and “media events” against the war, constitutional protections be damned.

"The American Legion will stand against anyone and any group that would demoralize our troops, or worse, endanger their lives by encouraging terrorists to continue their cowardly attacks against freedom-loving peoples," Thomas Cadmus, national commander, told delegates at the group's national convention in Honolulu. The delegates vowed to use whatever means necessary to "ensure the united backing of the American people to support our troops and the global war on terrorism."
Starting to get a wee bit creepy. Isn't it?

My Own Private Idaho



W. stars in the remake, written by Maureen Dowd.
W. vacationed so hard in Texas he got bushed. He needed a vacation from his vacation. The most rested president in American history headed West yesterday to get away from his Western getaway - and the mushrooming Crawford Woodstock - and spend a couple of days at the Tamarack Resort in the rural Idaho mountains. "I'm kind of hangin' loose, as they say," he told reporters.

As The Financial Times noted, Mr. Bush is acting positively French in his love of le loafing, with 339 days at his ranch since he took office - nearly a year out of his five. Most Americans, on the other hand, take fewer vacations than anyone else in the developed world (even the Japanese), averaging only 13 to 16 days off a year. W. didn't go alone, of course. Just as he took his beloved feather pillow on the road during his 2000 campaign, now he takes his beloved bike. An Air Force One steward tenderly unloaded W.'s $3,000 Trek Fuel mountain bike when they landed in Boise.

Gas is guzzling toward $3 a gallon. U.S. troop casualties in Iraq are at their highest levels since the invasion. As Donald Rumsfeld conceded yesterday, "The lethality, however, is up." Afghanistan's getting more dangerous, too. The defense secretary says he's raising troop levels in both places for coming elections. So our overextended troops must prepare for more forced rotations, while the president hangs loose. I mean, I like to exercise, but W. is psychopathic about it. He interviewed one potential Supreme Court nominee, Harvie Wilkinson III, by asking him how much he exercised. Last winter, Mr. Bush was obsessed with his love handles, telling people he was determined to get rid of seven pounds. Shouldn't the president worry more about body armor than body fat?
Read the rest...

More Troops

More troops, less troops, more troops...
The Pentagon has ordered 1,500 additional troops to Iraq to provide security in advance of two upcoming votes, the military announced Wednesday. Two infantry battalions from the 82nd Airborne Division will deploy to Iraq before the scheduled Oct. 15 referendum on the proposed constitution, and remain through the December national elections, officials said.
And on it goes.

The Ten Eight Commandments

Apparently, Pat Robertson has no qualms with murder or lies...

August 22, 2005:
"You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war. And I don't think any oil shipments will stop. But this man is a terrific danger and the United... This is in our sphere of influence, so we can't let this happen. We have the Monroe Doctrine, we have other doctrines that we have announced. And without question, this is a dangerous enemy to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil, that could hurt us very badly. We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."
August 24, 2005:
"Wait a minute, I didn't say 'assassination'. I said our special forces should, quote, 'take him out,' and 'take him out' can be a number of things including kidnapping. There are a number of ways to take out a dictator from power besides killing him. I was misinterpreted by the AP, but that happens all the time."
Umm, Pat. It's all on video... You know, those cameras that tape your show.

Republican Congressman Signs DSM Inquiry

Say Hello, to the only Congressman in the GOP to choose country over party, in regards to the fixing of pre-war intelligence...
Congressman Jim Leach (R, Iowa) has informed Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D, California) that he will co-sponsor her Resolution of Inquiry into Bush Administration communications with the U.K. about Iraq at the time of the Downing Street Memos. Leach is the first Republican member of Congress to publicly support a demand for an inquiry into the Bush Administration's pre-war claims. The 131 congress members who have signed Congressman John Conyers' letter to the President about the Downing Street Memo are all Democrats. The 11 Senators who have asked the Senate Intelligence Committee to do the investigation it committed to in February 2004 but never did are all Democrats.

[...]

"Congressman Leach has broken the silence of the Republican Party on the Downing Street Minutes," said John Bonifaz, Co-Founder of the After Downing Street Coalition. "His willingness to co-sponsor Congresswoman Barbara Lee's Resolution of Inquiry is bound to make the White House nervous. It is not possible for the President to paint this demand for documents as coming solely from his opponents. This is a demand for the truth. Did the president deliberately deceive and mislead the United States Congress and the American people about the basis for going to war against Iraq? We as a people, from Crawford to Des Moines to Washington, DC, regardless of our political persuasion, deserve to know the answer to that basic question."
Attention MSM: Downing Street Memos. Do you remember them?

Bush League



George's losing streak, makes the sports page...
[George and Lance] biked together on the president's Crawford, Texas, ranch for a couple of hours over the weekend before Bush ordered his personal peloton into the pool, where everyone presumably splashed loudly enough to muffle the sounds of demonstrators gathered down the road. The president couldn't have looked weaker, more distant, more out of touch with a nation tiring of a war its leader can't adequately define.

[...]

And then this was Bush at his worst, after that finger-wagging witness on Capitol Hill, ex-Ranger Rafael Palmeiro, was found to have raided Ben Johnson's medicine chest: "Rafael Palmeiro is a friend. He testified in public, and I believe him." Good grief. Bush called for reform, then railed against the reform. This was a minor misstep when measured against a biking and fishing vacation lasting longer than the Spanish Inquisition. Bush is a man who cares about fitness - this is good. When a bum knee forced him to stop running, he could've done what most 50-something men with bum knees do: limit their recreational pursuits to synchronized channel-surfing. Bush burned calories on the 10-speed instead. But nobody wants to hear about his impressive pulse rate and body-fat percentages when American boys and girls are dying overseas, and when lawmakers start throwing around the dreaded V-word - Vietnam - in the daily dialogue on Iraq.
Wow. Even the sports writers are taking time out of their regular game to voice dissent. George has been caught doctoring the ball, his curveballs are ineffective, and everyone is keeping score... The game is over.

Catch-22



Oh, what to do...
Venezuela's ambassador to the United States has blasted a call by a conservative U.S. televangelist for the assassination of President Hugo Chavez. Pat Robertson's statement "demands the strongest condemnation by the White House," Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez said Tuesday. He also wants the U.S. to guarantee Chavez's safety during any future visit to the U.S., including an upcoming trip to the United Nations in New York. [...] Alvarez said, "Mr. Robertson's call that U.S. covert operatives murder President Chavez is a call to terrorism." [...] Alvarez noted that Robertson has close ties to U.S. President George W. Bush, and that his remarks can't be brushed off as those of a mere private citizen.
What a bind for George... Alienate a prominent figure of his wingnut base, or jeopardize relations with an oil providing nation. Decisions, decisions.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Something Is Brewing In Iran...

The Italian press reports, Halliburton lost a major contract due to its ongoing investigation for sanction violations:
Halliburton lost a 310 million dollar contract for natural gas extraction in the Iranian site of South Pars. According to Tehran authorities, Oriental Oil Kish, a subsidiary of Halliburton operating in the Middle East, won the contract last January thanks to bribes. The activities of the company in South Pars have been suspended and the contract annulled.
While the Pakistani press reports, Halliburton decided that Iran was not conducive to [their] overall strategies and objectives:
US oil giant Halliburton is to end its activities in Iran and also plans to divest itself of subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root, group chairman and chief executive Dave Lesar said. "The business environment currently in Iran is not conducive to our overall strategies and objectives. As a result we have decided to exit Iran and wind down our operations there," Lesar said Friday during a conference with investors.
And what is the U.S. press reporting? Well, nothing.

Regardless of who killed the deal... This certainly raises suspicions that our relationship with Iran is reaching a boiling point. Is war just over the horizon? Time will tell.

Illogical Extremism

In an exchange with Coleen Rowley, a Democratic congressional candidate in Minnesota, Norah O'Donnell defines one who is against the war as an extremist:
"You're a Democrat running for Congress. It was reported that Republican leaders in your state were just thrilled that you had decided to align yourself with anti-war extremists. Do you think that this could affect your race for Congress?"
But a recent poll suggest the vast majority of Americans are against the war:
Approval of Bush's handling of Iraq, which had been hovering in the low-to mid-40s most of the year, dipped to 38 percent.
And according to Websters an extremist is defined as:
One who advocates or resorts to measures beyond the norm, especially in politics.
I'm confused, how can the majority be outside the norm?

Thank You Rocky



Thank you Mayor Anderson, for speaking out, and taking a stand for Democracy, when so few in the establishment will.

Write Your Own Caption



Hat tip to Drunkee at Eschaton

The New Hillary



Where does she stand on the issues?

Recycling Nostalgia



Iraq is just like WWII, not Vietnam... Repeat after me, Iraq is just like WWII, not Vietnam... Just like WWII, not Vietnam...
Each of these struggles for freedom required great sacrifice. From the beaches of Normandy to the snows of Korea, courageous Americans gave their lives so others could live in freedom. Since the morning of September the 11th, we have known that the war on terror would require great sacrifice, as well. We have lost 1,864 members of our Armed Forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and 223 in Operation Enduring Freedom. Each of these men and women left grieving families and loved ones back home. Each of these heroes left a legacy that will allow generations of their fellow Americans to enjoy the blessings of liberty. And each of these Americans have brought the hope of freedom to millions who have not known it. We owe them something. We will finish the task that they gave their lives for. We will honor their sacrifice by staying on the offensive against the terrorists, and building strong allies in Afghanistan and Iraq that will help us win and fight, fight and win the war on terror.
See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.

Got Fascism?



Believe it. The eyewitness account of a Rave in Utah that was disbanded with militant force; government sources say, this action was undertaken out of fear the gathering would be used to rally support for the protest against George's Utah visit...

Last night, I was booked to play an event about an hour outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. The hype behind this show was huge, they pre-sold 700 tickets and they expected up to 3,000 people total. The promoters did an amazing job with the show... They even made slip-mats with the flyers on them to promote in local shops.

The helicopter dipped lower and lower and started shining its lights on the crowd. I was kind of in awe and just sat and watched this thing circle us for a minute. As I looked back towards the crowd I saw a guy dressed in camouflage walking by, toting an assault rifle. At this point, everyone was fully aware of what was going on . A few "troops" rushed the stage and cut the sound off and started yelling that everyone "get the fuck out of here or go to jail". This is where it got really sticky.

One of the promoters friends (a very small female) was attacked by one of the police dogs. As she struggled to get away from it, the police tackled her. 3 grown men proceeded to kick her in the stomach. The police confiscated 3 video tapes in total. People were trying to document what was happening out there. The police saw one guy filming and ran after him, tackled him and his camera fell, and luckily.. His friend grabbed it and ran and got away. Priceless footage. That's not all though. Out of 1,500 people, there's sure to be more footage.

This event was 100% legal. They had every permit the city told them they needed. They had a 2 million dollar insurance policy for the event. They had licensed security guards at the gates confiscating any alcohol or drugs found upon entry (yes, they searched every car on the way in). Oh, I suppose I should mention that they arrested all the security guards for possession.

Oh, another interesting fact... The police did not have a warrant. The owner of the land already has a lawsuit against the city for something similar. A few months ago, she rented her land for a party and the police raided that as well. And catch this, the police forced her to leave her own personal property. That's right. They didn't arrest her, but made her leave her own property.

Utterly stunned. This is not my America. See the Orwellian atrocity with your own eyes (video)...

Monday, August 22, 2005

Railroaded

By the Gravy Train...



I suspect, somebody didn't want to play ball...
A former employee of a Halliburton Co. Subsidiary pleaded guilty Friday to accepting more than $100,000 in kickbacks from an Iraqi company in exchange for securing it a U.S. military construction contract, prosecutors said. Glenn Allen Powell, 40, of Cedar Park, Texas, will be sentenced Nov. 18 in federal court for major fraud against the United States and violating the anti-kickback act. He faces 10 years in prison on each count and up to $1.25 million in fines.
Call me a cynic, but the U.S. government prosecuting a Halliburton employee for fraud and bribery... I don't buy it.

Christian Values



"You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war. And I don't think any oil shipments will stop. But this man is a terrific danger and the United... This is in our sphere of influence, so we can't let this happen. We have the Monroe Doctrine, we have other doctrines that we have announced. And without question, this is a dangerous enemy to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil, that could hurt us very badly."

Tell me Pat, how would Jesus protect his access to oil? A sniper rifle, or something more personal like a dagger to the heart?

Hat tip to Dartanyon at Connect Left.

A Joke



But no one is laughing...

Utah

A Red State?
Between 400 and 500 people gathered at an anti-war rally in Pioneer Park, about three blocks from the Salt Palace where Bush spoke. "It's like Vietnam all over again, and I opposed that too," said George Muller of Salt Lake, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who was dressed in desert fatigues. Muller, who said he served from 1961-2002, said he was pleased to see so many people at the rally, and that he believed there was a shift in the country's attitude toward the war. "That's what it's going to take - veterans groups, veterans and mothers who have lost kids speaking out," Muller said.
Mass protest of our Dear Leader in a Red State, with a retired colonel leading the charge? Shocking. Could it have anything to do with... Iraq falling apart, Afghanistan not being too far behind, our young men and woman dying for a needless cause, the White House being investigated for treasonous acts, our education and healthcare systems in desperate need of repair, our jobs and growing national debt being shipped to India and China, and our unsecured borders... Could it?

Hat tip to Blackhole.

Goals



George aspires to reach the popularity of Nixon in his Watergate days...
George W. Bush’s overall job approval ratings have dropped from a month ago even as Americans who approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president are turning more optimistic about their personal financial situations according to the latest survey from the American Research Group. Among all Americans, 36% approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president and 58% disapprove. When it comes to Bush’s handling of the economy, 33% approve and 62% disapprove. Among Americans registered to vote, 38% approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president and 56% disapprove, and 36% approve of the way Bush is handling the economy and 60% disapprove. For a little perspective, recall that Richard Nixon’s approval rating in the summer of 1973 (when the Watergate scandal was in full swing) was 39%.
Ouch.

Hat tip to Dartanyon at Connect Left.

To Be, Or Not To Be

As we await the outcome of the "major breakthroughs" that were reached today, regarding the Iraqi Constitution... Consider these words from our Dear Leader on Meet the Press, from February 7th of 2004:
Tim Russert: If the Iraqis choose, however, an Islamic extremist regime, would you accept that, and would that be better for the United States than Saddam Hussein?

President Bush: They're not going to develop that. And the reason I can say that is because I'm very aware of this basic law they're writing. They're not going to develop that because right here in the Oval Office I sat down with Mr. Pachachi and Chalabi and al-Hakim, people from different parts of the country that have made the firm commitment, that they want a constitution eventually written that recognizes minority rights and freedom of religion.
Will this be another broken promise, another failed policy, another false pretense for war? Stay tuned...

Fear

An eye-opening analysis from The Republican Nemesis on the perception of fear and courage:
Democrats need to understand the importance of showing Swing Voters that they fear Republican rule. The more apparent it is to Swing Voters that a lot of Americans are truly scared of George Bush & The Republicans, the more they’re going to wonder if maybe they should also be afraid of him. (Typically, we first learn to fear things that we didn't fear previously after seeing fear in the faces of others.) Some Democrats might think it would be better for us to emphasize our anger, but we need to be aware of the ways that this can backfire. We do not want to be characterized as "Angry People" who are always angry [in a threatening sort of way]. Voters need to see that behind our anger is a real fear for the well-being of the American People and for America’s reputation around the world. We should never be reluctant to show our fear of Bush, but we need to make it clear in our tone that our fear is appropriate and that our anger is controlled & justified.

Think of the many times when Republicans have accused Democrats of "hating America" or of "hating George Bush." They make this charge to invoke an image of people who are imagined to be inherently angry and who are therefore a threat to 'us normal people.' Now think of how that image changes if—when we are accused of hating—we point out that people only hate that which they fear. Whenever we are accused of hating the Republicans, we need to keep repeating to the media that no, it is fear that we feel. It's our best defense. We want the Swing Voters to see us as people who fear the Republicans, but we also want them to see that we are also brave enough to take on the threat. Like the sergeant said to the private in the foxhole, "Everyone's afraid, son. But we can't let that fear stop us. We still have a mission to carry out." We are afraid and angry. We just know that we must oppose evil when we see it. Verbalize fear. Show courage.
James Kroeger nails it. Read the rest...

Hat tip to Linette at Eschaton.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Thank You Laura



Laura Flanders referenced Friday's post on PTSD, last night; here's an audio clip from her show.

Many thanks Laura, it's an honor.

What



How many more lies? How many more lives? What will it take?

Iraqetnam

There is a growing divide in the GOP on the state of Iraq...
A leading Republican senator and prospective presidential candidate said Sunday that the war in Iraq has destabilized the Middle East and is looking more like the Vietnam conflict from a generation ago. Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, who received two Purple Hearts and other military honors for his service in Vietnam, reiterated his position that the United States needs to develop a strategy to leave Iraq. Hagel scoffed at the idea that U.S. troops could be in Iraq four years from now at levels above 100,000, a contingency for which the Pentagon is preparing.

"We should start figuring out how we get out of there," Hagel said on This Week on ABC. "But with this understanding, we cannot leave a vacuum that further destabilizes the Middle East. I think our involvement there has destabilized the Middle East. And the longer we stay there, I think the further destabilization will occur." Hagel said "stay the course" is not a policy. "By any standard, when you analyze 2 1/2 years in Iraq... we're not winning," he said. [...] "We're past that stage now because now we are locked into a bogged-down problem not unsimilar, dissimilar to where we were in Vietnam," Hagel said. "The longer we stay, the more problems we're going to have."
Unlike AWOL-from-TANG George and 5-Deferments Dick, who refuse to accept that Iraq is becoming a quagmire reminiscent of the Vietnam War, Chuck knows Vietnam when he sees it... He was actually there.

Freeway Blogging



There's more...

Bring Them On



Since George made the fateful statement above, on July 2nd of 2003, 1,656 of our troops have been killed. And how many of these funerals has he attended? None.

Sunday Morning Comics



More from Mike Luckovich...

Quotable Quotes

Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson:
"This administration has been disastrous to the country. If people could organize and speak out in an effective manner from the reddest state in the country, that would garner a lot of attention."
Frank Rich:
"Cindy Sheehan couldn't have picked a more apt date to begin the vigil that ambushed a president: Aug. 6 was the fourth anniversary of that fateful 2001 Crawford vacation day when George W. Bush responded to an intelligence briefing titled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States" by going fishing. On this Aug. 6 the president was no less determined to shrug off bad news. Though 14 marine reservists had been killed days earlier by a roadside bomb in Haditha, his national radio address that morning made no mention of Iraq. Once again Mr. Bush was in his bubble, ensuring that he wouldn't see Ms. Sheehan coming. So it goes with a president who hasn't foreseen any of the setbacks in the war he fabricated against an enemy who did not attack inside the United States in 2001."
Cindy Sheehan:
"If you fall on the side that is pro-George and pro-war, you get your ass over to Iraq, and take the place of somebody who wants to come home. And if you fall on the side that is against this war and against George Bush, stand up and speak out. This is what the Camp Casey miracle is all about. American citizens who oppose the war but never had a conduit for their disgust and dismay are dropping everything and traveling to Crawford to stand in solidarity with us who have made a commitment to sit outside of George's ranch for the duration of the miserable Texan August."







Take what you want, leave what you don't.

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