Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Uhh, Mr President, do you think perhaps you could abstain from the festivities during this time of crisis? Could you at least attempt to appear concerned AND Presidential at the same time? Pat Buchanan is right... You should be impeached. You have taken the Presidential oath twice and still don't do your job. If only Trump could tell you "You're fired!"
It was announced that Bush would be cutting his precious vacation by 2 WHOLE DAYS. Oooh, don't hurt yourself by giving a natural disaster of this mammoth proportion your Presidential attention, Bush. Didja catch him presenting a birthday cake to the Arizona Bush Bootlicker McCain? I guess those who have lost everything weren't invited, huh? But why would massive destruction and death toll make Bush take notice? (courtesy of Attytood): "It appears that the money has been moved in the president’s budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that’s the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can’t be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us." -Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, LA as printed in the New Orleans Times-Picayune, June 8, 2004.
God help these people. My soul is so sick as the news pours in: CNN: A guy commits suicide by jumping from the Superdome (which now has 30,000 hot & hungry refugees there), Anderson Cooper reports that 3 shootings have taken place near the Superdome, an untold numbers of deaths have happened in LA & Miss, and looting is rampant. WWLtv: Martial Law has been declared for Jefferson Parish, and they are now being ordered to evacuate b/c they are expecting almost 10 more ft of water in the next 12 hrs. I am so crushingly sad. So hotly pissed off. So fucking fed up w/a leader and leadership that refuses to LEAD and do the very job that they took an oath to do. At least 9 articles in the Times-Picayune from 2004 & 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars. AMERICAblog sums up my own turmoil so well, please read John's succinct take on things. Please, whether you believe or not, please let's pray for these people and donate to help them.
Census Report Press Release: The nation’s official poverty rate rose from 12.5 percent in 2003 to 12.7 percent in 2004. And the number of people with health insurance increased by 2.0 million to 245.3 million between 2003 and 2004, and the number without such coverage rose by 800,000 to 45.8 million. View the entire Census Report PDF here. The NY Times (Poverty Rate Rises to 12.7%) gets exactly what this report means: "Most of that growth in the economy over the last couple of years has gone to higher income people and has taken the form of capital income -- interest, rents, dividends." And The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has put out its reaction (in PDF here) to the Census Report b/c they get it, too: "Despite the fact that 2004 represented the 3rd full year of economic recovery, the Census data released today show that poverty increased again last yr and median income failed to rise. Real median earnings of fulltime yr round male workers fell by nearly $1000 (from $41,761 to $40,798), a decline of 2.3 %, and for the 1st time since 1993- the % of people with employer-based health insurance coverage fell below 60%. If these figures aren't convincing enough, then you must take a look at the following PDF on poverty between 1959-2004. It shows the long decline in poverty from the days of JFK, through LBJ. Even Nixon didn't do too badly. But take a look at the numbers for 2000 thru 2004... nauseatingly horrible. Those wealthy tax cuts are working like gang busters, huh?
Charlotte Observer: Rev Wallace Johnson, pastor of Hickory's First Presbyterian Church, said "Continuing debate about evolution and creationism is pointless and unnecessary. God is the one who created evolution and has been at work w/ that process for eons." That refreshing statement works perfectly for me personally.
BBC News: "Assuming the Iraqi insurgency continues, it is conceivable that any of them could possibly win with the stay-the-course line employed by the Bush WH. Every serious candidate (including those from Bush's Republican Party) is going to have to have a plan to declare victory and get out of Iraq. Pres Bush cannot look Cindy Sheehan in the eye and tell her that her son died because the WH messed up. But a future president will." Yep, as Cindy wraps it up in Crawford and says her goodbyes, her fight has not ended. It has only begun.
Hurricane Katrina Spares New Orleans the Worst
New Orleans was spared the worst, BUT is heavily flooded- submerging entire neighborhoods, dozens have been killed, more are trapped & the Superdome had holes torn in the roof, rain poured in, & people there are getting cranky. This great LA Times article gets how stark the differences are for the rich who could fly 1st class to Dallas and the poor who had to strap their belongings on their backs and hope to get into a shelter. Read NOLA for best coverage of N.O. news. Wetlands like those below N.O. are crucial to breaking the power of hurricanes before they can reach inland with the heaviest winds. You'd think that Bush would be all for helping preserve this valuable barrier protecting his "red" states, but as this N.O. Times- Picayune article points out, late last wk, Gov.Kathleen Blanco's staff received a note from Bush's schedulers saying he would not be able to respond to Blanco's demand that he allow her to accompany him on an aerial tour of LA's fragile coastal wetlands. Ironic, huh? Gov Blanco just told Larry King that she is shorthanded in the Nat'l Guard dept and that LA could certainly use some of the Nat'l Guard water equipment to save the trapped people in their submerged homes... but almost all of the water equipment/ Guardsmen are in Iraq. So, she is calling upon the FL, AL & TX Nat'l Guard to help them out. Hmm, I hear that there is a TX Air Nat'l Guardsman who needs to make up quite a few flying hrs... In case someone tries to say that Bush's war has not caused a Guardsmen shortage, please watch these raw news feeds to make up your own mind. I couldn't edit this if I tried, and all reports are that the Coast Guard is saving trapped people, but there are no Guardsmen to be had in these news reports. Watch these news feeds... the devastation is incredible.
LA Times: YET another example of Bush & Co KILLING THE MESSENGER: W/more than 20 yrs experience in govt procurement, Bunnatine Greenhouse had been the Army Corps of Engineers' top contracting officer until she was demoted to a lower-level staff position Saturday. The military says she was demoted for poor job performance, but Greenhouse's attorney says: "They went after her to destroy her" and added that the demotion was "absolutely" retaliation for her complaints about Halliburton when she testified before Congress in June/05. Since retaliation against employees for providing info to Congress is illegal and entirely unacceptable, Congressional Dems have demanded an investigation today into the demotion. I'm sure Bush will just throw this onto the mounting pile of investigations into his MANY and VARIED criminal activities... who knew a Gotti was in the WH?
AFP: Venezuelan Pres Hugo Chavez offered to send food and fuel to the US after the powerful Hurricane Katrina pummeled the US south. Chavez said Venezuela could send aid workers with drinking water, food and fuel to US communities hit by the hurricane: "We place at the disposition of the people of the United States in the event of shortages - we have drinking water, food, we can provide fuel." Don't hold your breath Prez Hugo... Bush will refuse your desperately needed aid at the expense of those who need it the most. And don't expect federal aid to pull thru... we have wealthy tax cuts to distribute, dammit!
WKYTtv CBS: In a bid to stop the Attorney General's investigation into his administration's merit hiring practices, Kentucky Gov Ernie Fletcher will announce pardons for those involved in the investigation. Hmm, Gov Ernie will be pardoning himself soon, I imagine. Poof! Presto Chango! How nice that a simple pardon wipes all involved in this GOP scandal clean. Party of accountability my ass.
Arizona Daily Star:" We've decided that syndicated columnist Ann Coulter has worn out her welcome. Many readers find her shrill, bombastic and mean-spirited. And those are the words used by readers who identified themselves as conservatives." 1 paper down. How many more to go? As they say... baby steps. But Tony Snow as her replacement? He isn't as shrill but he is bombastic and mean spirited. He just does it with a smirk.
Read Cindy's post about Al Sharpton, a wedding at Camp Casey w/Beatles music (rock!) and meeting w/the Prez... err... OK, not the prez, but he is a guy who plays the prez on TV.
Yahoo: The constitution's language is often vague, sometimes deliberately so, and protections granted in 1 section of the document seem undermined elsewhere, several scholars and political analysts said. The role of Islamic law in society and women's legal protections, are open to interpretation or left for future legislatures or courts to decide. "The whole document is a mix of contradictions" that are unworkable in practice, said David Phillips, a sr fellow at the private Council on Foreign Relations who has worked with Iraqi opposition political groups and Iraqi Kurds. It hard to spin this as a success," Phillips said. Oh never fear Mr Phillips. If Bush carelessly threw away a Cuban cigar that landed into a special ed bus of blind children and led to the inceration of every innocent child, Hannity, O'Reilly, Rush, and the WH would spin it into "Bush tried to prevent blind children from freezing to death on faulty LIBERAL special ed bus." The best line in this article?: "The Iraqis are going to have an Iraqi solution. They're going to have to find ways to live together," said Rumsfeld. Oh, if only the US and your Warmonger and Chief could learn to find ways to live w/others, huh?
Pray for New Orleans... I So Love The Crescent City
Please, let's pray for all the people who will be impacted by Hurricane Katrina, but let's especially pray for New Orleans. I am so sickened and sad as I watch the Weather Channel & WWL TV in N.O.-live feed here (which will not be broadcasting after midnight Mon b/c of safety concerns) b/c I have so many fond memories of my time spent in N.O. One meteorologist said that by morning water could be up to the balconies on Bourbon St. It will be a shame to see buildings that survived the War of 1812 & the Civil War, fall before our eyes. After this is over with, the hard part comes. If & when the levees fail, N.O. will be flooded, and the disappearing wetlands will only contribute to this flooding. However, the levees then would act as a trap & keep the water in the city, and that water will be a cesspool of pollution in which it will be mixed with oil & gasoline from the surrounding area. This means the cleanup will have an environmental impact,and CNN predicts this hurricane could be our version of the Asian Tsunami. And the impact on our wallets? It will be HARSH: The equipment located in the storm's likely path includes the bulk of the nation's oil/ gas production platforms, 1000s of miles of pipelines and most importantly for national gasoline prices -- much of the country's refinery capacity. In addition, the south LA coastline serves as the entry point for around a 1/3 of the nation's imported oil. "This storm is going to pass through the meat of the oil and gas fields. The whole country will feel it, because it's going to cripple us and the country's whole economy," said Capt Buddy Cantrelle w/Kevin Gros Offshore, which supplies rigs via a fleet of large crew vessels. Here is the NYMEX link- oil is already over $70 per barrel in Sydney, Australia. Poor Gov Blanco (D-LA). Having to deal w/a catastrophe of this size under Bush's rule-which made sure that the US Army Corps of Engineers in N.O. was shortchanged by millions for their projects, and w/almost all LA's Nat'l Guardsmen in the Iraq hellhole. I am asking 2 of my favorite saints to wrap their arms around the Crescent City and protect her.
As the Rev Al Sharpton visited Cindy at Camp Casey, this is a masterpiece anti-Cindy sign that was held up for all to see- referring to her as the Bitch in the Ditch. Nice... such family values, eh? Please visit Truth Out Org to see some fabulous War Fans/ Chickenhawks footage. Of course, they all say that they cannot enlist b/c they have to "fight the culture war at home" or they WOULD certainly go fight in Iraq IF there were a draft. The best sign? Some bitch giggling while holding a sign that says: "Kick their Ass -Take their Gas"... at least she's honest... they finally admit they want to kill 'em for their oil.
Reuters AlterNet: Venezuelan Pres Chavez said his govt would take legal action against Pat Robertson and potentially seek his extradition after the US evangelist called for the US to assassinate him. Chavez said Venezuela could seek Robertson's extradition under internat'l treaties and take its claim to the UN if Bush & Co did not act, and Chavez said this on a televised speech: "I announce that my govt is going to take legal action in the United States... to call for the assassination of a head of state is an act of terrorism." Wonder how distant Bush & Co will remain from Rev Pat's well documented insanity and clearly unChristian behavior now that the Rev has really stepped in it?
Seattle Times: John Loftus, a former prosecutor, wrongly identified and gave out the CA address of the Randy and Ronnell Vorick home on the Fox News report on August 7, saying it was the home of Iyad Hilal. Hilal is allegedly the US leader of a group with ties to those responsible for the July 7 bombings in London. Satellite photos of the house and directions to the residence were posted online. Since then, the family have been bombarded w/threats and harassment, have had people shout profanities at them, take photos of their house and had someone spray-paint the word "terrorist" on their property. Loftus has since apologized via e-mail (excuse me? why didn't he apologize to the family personally... I mean c'mon... he certainly knows where they live), but the Vornicks want nothing short of an on-air apology and retraction so the psycho freaks who have been harassing them will see it. Loftus was previously in the spotlight for his central role in the Sami Al-Arian affair, claiming that he had been defrauded of $2. But what about Hilal? What right does Fox News & Loftus have releasing an address (the incorrect address mind you) of Hilal on a nat'l news show? If he is a terrorist, shouldn't the FBI, CIA, or Homeland Security be all over this and be 1 of the few people to know where he lives so he couldn't skip town? The only reason anyone would release an address on a nat'l news show is so that vigilantees would seek Hilal out. Nice family values. Hat tip to WinstonSmith for finding this.
Boston Herald: When asked if even 1 of his 5 sons have or would be enlisting in the military to fight the war that their dad, Gov Mitt Romney supports so earnestly, Romney responded w/this: "No, I have not urged my own children to enlist.I don't know the status of my childrens' potentially enlisting in the Guard and Reserve," Romney said, his voice tinged with anger. Hmm, so at least 1100 Mass residents are serving/have served in Iraq & Afghanistan, and 28 have been killed, YET neither the Romney children nor the gov have served in the military, Romney spokeswoman Julie Teer said. Keep in mind, Mass residents can enlist in the Nat'l Guard up to age 39. Romney's 5 sons range in age from 24 to 35. Yet another hypocrite Chickenhawk for Bush & Co's war... so many War Fans... so few serve.
American Legion... Fascists? Could be...
American Legion Press Release: Speech from American Legion nat'l commander Thomas Cadmus: “We had hoped that the lessons learned from the Vietnam War would be clear to our fellow citizens: public protests against the war here at home while our young men and women are in harm’s way on the other side of the globe only provide aid and comfort to our enemies. We understand that the terrorists they are engaging there would slit the throats of every American, adult and child, if they could.” OK, so "vowing to use whatever means necessary to ensure the united support of the American people for our troops and the global war on terrorism" doesn't smack of fascism w/anyone, not to mention suppressing our very rights (that are guaranteed by the Constitution) doesn't ring a fascist bell w/anyone? B/c correct me if I'm wrong Mr Cadmus, but you swore to uphold and defend the Constitution of the US, which provides for people to "assemble peaceably," and to "petition their govt for redress of grievances." Hmm, these vets in FL are not offended or outraged by the anti-war protests. In fact, they say that they recognize that the protests are against POLICY not the troops. Gee, I just read Gen Wes Clark's op/ed in the Wash Post, I guess he is giving aid & comfort to the enemy, huh?
Live Jrnl- This is a Gold Star Families for Peace Member's Response by Diana Rowe Pauls to the Amer Legion's stance that people who protest the war in Iraq are giving aid & comfort to the enemy: In 1999, the American Legion wrote the following letter to President Clinton: The Amer Legion, a wartime vets organization of nearly 3 million members, urges the immediate w/drawal of US troops participating in "Operation Allied Force" in Yugoslavia. Mr. President, the United States Armed Forces should never be committed to wartime operations unless the following conditions are fulfilled: 1) That there be a clear statement by the Pres of why it is in our vital nat'l interests to be engaged in hostilities. 2) Guidelines be established for the mission, including a clear exit strategy. 3) That there be support of the mission by the U.S. Congress and the American people. 4) That it be made clear that US Forces will be commanded only by US officers whom we acknowledge are superior military leaders. It is the opinion of The Amer Legion, which I am sure is shared by the majority of Americans, that 3 of the above listed conditions have not been met in the current joint operation w/NATO. In no case should America commit its Armed Forces in the absence of clearly defined objectives agreed upon by the U.S. Congress in accordance with Art I, Sect 8, of the Constitution of the US. Really? Nice to see that you felt that way. So, what exactly has changed bitches? Hell, while I'm at it, here is a complete list of Clinton era anti-war quotes from the Iraq War Fans/ Chickenhawks of today. And by the way, as of Aug/05, a clear majority of Americans (56%) feel this war in Iraq (which is being fought w/Coalition Forces ya F-ing hypocrites) was not worth it, has been mismanaged, or has not made us safer from terrorism. Would you care to retort Amer Legion? Yeah... didn't think so.
While it is refreshing to see that The Emaciated Hag has stopped plagiarizing other people's stuff, she certainly didn't need to open her gaping spew-hole and say another word EVER. (via HuffPost): From "Hannity and Colmes" 8/25/05 (video here courtesy of Crooks & Liars)- COLMES: "You said, "It's far preferable to fight them on the streets of Baghdad than in the streets of NY, where the residents would immediately surrender... You certainly don't feel that New Yorkers are cowards?" COULTER: I think they would immediately surrender... I don't -- I don't think -- I think I'd rather have them trying to invade Mississippi or Georgia, Alabama, you know, the states where I want Cindy Sheehan's bus tour to go." Yes, we know that you do not think- you vacuous Trany. And as far as those S. Red states... yeah, the Civil War, segregation, and the current state of hillbillies living and breeding off of welfare is the pinnacle of success, huh? And correct me if I'm wrong, but plenty of acts of terrorism have occurred on the GOPers' watch, and Independent Wire illustrates this point beautifully here. I know much has been made of Mann Coulter's engorged Adam's apple, but I think it is just one of Sean Hannity's balls stuck in her throat.
Our dignified and esteemed President.
Hmm, this could explain Bush's behavior: Newsday: Researchers say a region of the brain that is active during daydreaming may cause the scourge of old age: Alzheimer's disease. Researchers suspect that having an idle brain for sustained periods of time, such as over decades of daily use, will wear down the brain, sparking a chemical that results in the disease's deposits and tangles that damage the brain. Or is Bush just slipping? Maybe so: It was already reported last summer that the WH physician was prescribing Bush w/ powerful antidepressants to control embarrassing emotional public outbursts from the Prez during the reelection campaign. And this summer appears to be no different: While Bush travels around the country in a last-ditch effort to sell his Iraq war, WH aides scramble frantically behind the scenes to hide the dark mood of an increasingly angry leader who unleashes obscenity-filled outbursts at anyone who dares to disagree w/ him (check out Digby's post on Bush's erractic behavior). He reportedly called anti-war protesters “motherfucking traitors", called Cindy Sheehan a "goddamned bitch", and referred to the VFW Vets who wore "bullshit protector covers" on their ears when Bush spoke at their convention as "VFW assholes." I guess Kitty Kelley was telling the truth when she wrote in her book Bush Dynasty that Jr was known for his foul mouth and swearing tirades. Could it be a narcissistic personality disorder? Sure, or it could be that, somehow the citizenry of our nation managed to elect a brain damaged, lazy, former cokehead suffering some alcohol related dementia.
Madison State Jrnl: Staff Sgt Chad Simon was severely injured Nov 8/04 by a roadside bomb that killed 3 other Marines. His wife, in accordance w/Simon's living will of not wanting food/ water given to him if he were completely incapacitated, had his feeding tube removed. He died 2 wks later on Aug 4/05. The problem? The Wisc ProLifers say he was murdered: "Sgt Simon died of dehydration, not from any sort of brain injuries. Sgt Simon was rendered handicapped by the bomb in Iraq, he was murdered by those who were in charge of his medical care." Julie Grimstad of Pro-Life called Simon's health-care power of attorney document "signing your own suicide note. It may be legal, but it's most certainly immoral." Ending your life by your own choice when there is absolutely no quality of life to speak of is MORAL and LEGAL bitch... and taking advantage of a family's grief for your political purposes is truly immoral. I guess it is a shame Dr Frist couldn't make a videotape diagnosis w/the medical tool that NO doctor is ever w/out: a Mickey Mouse balloon. I just want to know this: Will these ProLifers be picking up the bill to pay for all of these brain dead people who could languish on feeding tubes/life support for yrs? Of course not. I guess this Marine's wife & 6yr old son should sell all of their possessions and live on the streets so Sgt Celery can remain hooked up to a feeding tube.
James Wolcott Blog: "In the condemnation of Robertson's statement, the man behind the mouth was diminuitized as a sort of quaint old garden gnome whose name recognition was all out of proportion to his influence. The State Dept... described Pat modestly as a "private citizen." He's rather more than that. A former Repub presidential candidate and former head of the Christian Coalition... where he... helped forge the alliance between Christian conservatives and American Zionists." Exactly, but they can dismiss him now b/c they have so many other Neo-Con/ GOP whores lined up to turn their tricks. And has Rev Pat cooled the bigoted rhetoric since Mon's call for Chavez's death? Nope. On Tues he was blathering on about the speculation of biblical roots for Islamic terrorism: "The Bible talks about Ishmael as being 'a wild ass.' He's just uncontrollable, and it's almost like this seed of rebellion and uncontrolled anger has, you know, filtered into these people." Hmm, slavery was once backed up by the Bible, too. Will the 700 Club advocate enslaving the descendents of Ham, too? And please take a gander at this compilation of Rev Pat cartoons popping up in newspapers around the nation. Some are killer. I can't help but love laughing at a Talibornagain's expense.
USA Today: After returning to Camp Casey late yesterday, Cindy talks about her return and says that the day after she leaves Aug 31, she will embark on a bus tour ending up in D.C., on Sept 24. Then the group will start a 24-hr vigil in the nation's capital. There is a major anti-war/anti-Bush rally planned for Sept 24, so Cindy will have lots of company. Speaking of getting company, the Rev Al Sharpton is planning on visiting Camp Casey this Sunday for a prayer vigil. I love Rev Al more and more (his amazing speech at the DNC last summer totally vindicated him from being involved in the Tawanna Brawley incident). Cindy addresses succinctly the cliche that War Fans say to her: Freedom isn't Free and PLEASE watch this clip We Will Not Be Silenced. I cannot say enough about it, except that it beautifully (w/cool images and music) marries the brave and timeless non violent resistance of Dr MLK Jr w/ today's war and peace movement led by Cindy.
Holy Crap... this is just batshit crazy (from Storm Front Org- yes, a Neo-Nazi site): "I'm driving out to Crawford, TX tomorrow, Friday August 26th to help put up a White Nationalist voice in the protest against Bush's War for Israel that was started by Cindy Sheehan. We'll be uploading digital photos, and maybe video, from Crawford so that Stormfront's 58,000 Members (achieved today) and hundreds of thousands of Guests can follow the events in Crawford from a White patriot perspective." If this is true, what kind of insanity will this bring to Camp Casey? I hope Cindy is not harmed or hindered by their anti-Semitic crap, not to mention the fact that the very African American Rev Al Sharpton is planning a prayer vigil there this weekend. Hat tip to RockMoonWater... b/c I DO NOT read nor/belong to a White Power group. I am Caucasian, but Neo-Nazis do not embrace Catholics, Italians, and E. Europeans (Romanians) like me.
Mercury News: Insurgents in Anbar province, the center of guerrilla resistance in Iraq, have fought the US military to a stalemate. After repeated major combat offensives in Fallujah & Ramadi, and after losing 100s of soldiers/Marines in Anbar during the past 2 yrs (75 since June 1) many US officers and enlisted men assigned to Anbar have stopped talking about winning a military victory in Iraq's Sunni Muslim heartland. Instead, they're trying to hold on to a handful of population centers and hit smaller towns in a series of quick-strike operations designed to disrupt insurgent activities temporarily. Nice. A stalemate... and this is what their blood was shed for? Is this the noble cause Bush speaks of?
Evolution = Science. Intelligent Design = Religious Faith.
NY Times: "Evolution is a robust theory, in the scientific sense, that has been tested and confirmed again and again. Intelligent design is not a theory at all, as scientists understand the word, but a well-financed political and religious campaign to muddy science. Its basic proposition (the intervention of a designer, aka God) cannot be tested. It has no evidence to offer, and its assumptions that humans were divinely created are the same as its conclusions. Accepting the fact of evolution does not necessarily mean discarding a personal faith in God. But accepting intelligent design means discarding science." Absolutely! Personally, I choose to believe that a Creator, w/the omniscient wisdom only a Divine Creator could have, sprinkled together all the right ingredients over the cosmos and life evolved over eons and eons. Is this science? Hell no. It is faith. And believing that the universe evolved w/out a Divine Creator does not threaten my faith in any way at all. That is the beauty of faith: It is personal, private, and unproven. It is in your heart only & it does not impose on others. Science is tested quantitatively/ qualitatively and proven publicly, only to be tested again & again. These religious/ anti-facts freaks (and Sen McCain just joined the ranks w/them- how shocking that the Bush Bootlicker chimed in on this, eh?) should STFU and stop dumbing down our children, who already lag far enough behind the rest of the world in science and technology.
Okay, so Rev Pat Robertson issued a press release late this afternoon where he apologizes for calling for Hugo Chavez's assassination... after he vehemently denied ever saying that on the Monday broadcast of the 700 Club (but videotape proves you said it Rev). Hmm, bearing false witness and calling for the death of another human being? You're racking 'em up Rev. But let's examine this press release, shall we? 1) "Is it right to call for assassination? No, and I apologize for that statement. I spoke in frustration that we should accommodate the man who thinks the US is out to kill him." 2) On the heels of his apology, however, Pat goes on to cite the example of a WWIIera German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer to defend his call to assassinate Chavez. Bonhoeffer joined with people who wanted to assassinate Hitler: "The brilliant Protestant theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who lived under the hellish conditions of Nazi Germany, is reported to have said: "If I see a madman driving a car into a group of innocent bystanders, then I can't, as a Christian, simply wait for the catastrophe and then comfort the wounded and bury the dead. I must try to wrestle the steering wheel out of the hands of the driver." On the strength of this reasoning, he decided to lend his support to those in Germany who had joined together in an attempt to assassinate Hitler" and Bonhoeffer was hanged for this. 3) Bonheoffer was a pretty liberal guy who opposed theocracy, and was an avowed humanist, & some claim he denied all cardinal doctrine of Christianity. All of these traits are things that Rev Pat would warn his 700 Club viewers about b/c of the "dangers" of liberalism and humanism, so it is amazing that Pat uses Bonhoeffer to defend his words about Chavez, no? 4) Chavez is a democratically elected president of a peaceful sovereign nation. Hitler was a power usurping dictator who invaded other nations, led a religious war against Jews, and warred w/most of the Western world. Key differences, no? 5) Bonhoeffer was part of a resistance movement to assassinate his own country's dictator. Robertson implies that the US GOVT should assassinate the leader of ANOTHER COUNTRY. Big difference, no? 6) Bush actively sought Rev Pat's council before invading Iraq, and Pat gave Bush his blessing to do so, so who has blood on their hands for this debacle, too? So, for me, Rev Pat's apology is as fake as the hate-filled "Christianity" he preaches and practices. For an eye-opening-- but blood chilling-- look at the incestuous ties between Rev Pat, the GOP, & the Christian Coalition, read this. For some good old common sense on people like these Fascists for Christ, read The Rude Pundit's pearls of wisdom: "How freeing it must be to walk through this world heeding neither conscience nor soul."- 5/4/05, and John Chuckman asks: "Why Isn't Robertson Treated Like a Terrorist?"... indeed.
Courier Press: What will thrice married and divorced Rush Limbaugh do?: Rep John Hostettler told area clergy that divorce on demand is as dangerous as gay marriage. Read this shit: Hostettler, who describes his elected office as a ministry, said: "The picture of marriage is the picture of Christian salvation. Any diminishing of that notion - whether homosexual marriage or any other degradation of marriage - is something we must fight in public policy." Public policy, he added, that is rooted in Scriptural truth. All of those multiple married and divorced Talibornagains are gonna have an aneurysm over this. But let 'em go ahead and do this... and we all see how the institution of marriage comes to a screeching halt b/c nobody will risk NEVER having the option of getting out of an abusive/miserable/adulterous marriage.
Boston Globe: California nurses picketed outside Fenway Park before a Rolling Stones concert on Sunday, part of their ongoing battle against Gov Arnold and his so-called "year of reform" ballot measures, and chanted "Arnold, Arnold you're no good, go on back to Hollywood" and carried signs, including some that read "Sticky Fingers for corrupt corporate cash," a reference to the classic 1971 Stones album, "Sticky Fingers." I only wish Arnold would have had a Boston bean pot bounced off of his big ass head and had a nurse give him a full cavity search to teach him a lesson (just like the Nurse Ratchet character in Beavis and Butthead Do America... hey!... stop right there... Beavis and Butthead deserve their place in American culture).
Hurting at the Pump? Chavez Offers US Help
CNN: Despite Pat Robertson's call for his head on a platter, Venezuelan Prez Hugo Chavez, popular with the poor at home, offered on Tuesday to help needy Americans with cheap supplies of gasoline: "We want to sell gasoline and heating fuel directly to poor communities in the United States." Uh-oh... now we know the REAL reason Robertson wants Chavez dead. Chavez is offering to undercut Robertson's precious cabal of evangelical oil barons. Rev Pat can't have the politicians & corporations who stuff his wallet w/wads of cash not making an OUTRAGEOUS profit while poor people suffer, now can he?
MSNBC: Forget the fact that political assassination was put off-limits by Pres Ford in an executive order in the mid-70s, and that Sec of Defense Rumsfeld said that Robertson's call for assassinating Venezuelan prez Chavez is illegal: "Our dept doesn’t do that kind of thing. It’s against the law. He’s a private citizen. Private citizens say all kinds of things all the time." And forget the fact that Venezuelan Vice Prez Rangel sarcastically said that Robertson's words were "very Christian" and that the real worry is this: "Robertson is a man who seems to have quite a bit of influence in that country," and that the comments "reveal that religious fundamentalism is 1 of the great problems facing humanity in these times." B/c what really matters is what will the Talibornagains and Bush- who reportedly seeks Robertson's input on major decisions- do to counter this call for assassination? I look foward to the postivie spin that will be put on this by Bush & Co, Rush, and O'Reilley, as they all scramble to defend Rev Pat's bloodthirsty call. At least the Rev Jesse Jackson had the balls and good sense to say this (despite the fact that all other Dems are silent on this issue): "Robertson's remarks are morally reprehensible and dangerously suggestive.'' Speak the truth Rev Jesse.
Counterpunch: The list of Cheneyburton's many sins are as long as Pharaoh's papyrus in the Ten Commandments, but here are 2 especially heinous crimes: 1) Halliburton's strenuous efforts prevents a company hired by the Iraqis, Lloyd-Owen International, from delivering gasoline into the conquered land from Kuwait for 18 cents a gallon. Why? Because LOI's cost-efficient operation undercuts Halliburton's highway-robbery price of $1.30 a gallon for the exact same service. 2) Employees testified that Halliburton brass ordered them to serve spoiled and rotten food to US soldiers, day in and day out. Meanwhile, Halliburton brass were reserving choice cuts for the big beer-soaked BBQs they threw for themselves 2 or 3 times a week. They also billed the taxpayer for 10,000 "ghost meals" a day at a single base: the food was phantom, but the rake-off was real. Meanwhile, any employee who made noises about exposing the fraud to auditors was threatened w/transfer to a red-hot fire zone, like Fallujah or Saddam's hometown, Tikrit. I believe there is a special place in Hell for the likes of Cheneyburton's war profiteers: They will gorge themselves on blood soaked rotten food and be forced to wash it down w/Iraqi oil... fitting, no?
I think this is good news for CA's kids no matter how you look at it, but I'm sure that Bush and his Talibornagains will start bitching about this: Same-sex couples who raise children are lawful parents, and just like heterosexual couples, they must provide for their children if they break up the CA Supreme Crt ruled Mon. The justices ruled for the 1st time that custody and child support laws that hold absent fathers accountable also apply to estranged gay and lesbian couples who used reproductive science to conceive. I couldn't agree more, and having consistent child support and parental influence can only benefit kids, not hinder or hurt them. I hope other states follow suit, but I'm not holding my breath.
Connecticut became the 1st state to challenge the No Child Left Behind law in crt, arguing that Bush's education law amounts to an unfunded mandate from the fed'l govt. The lawsuit argues that NCLB is illegal because it requires expensive standardized tests and other school programs that the govt doesn't pay for. It asks a fed'l judge to declare that state and local money cannot be used to meet the law's goals. " Our message today is give up the unfunded mandates, or give us the money," said CT Attorney Gen Richard Blumenthal. I am so hoping that this lawsuit will get other states off their asses and challenge this piss poor law and begin an avalanche of dissent. For the sake of our public schools, we must ditch this law that merely makes states pay thru the nose to find out what all of us already know: minorities and poor kids do worst than their wealthy, white peers on standardized tests.
Please check out Cindy's response to the Prez, and I can't elaborate on Cindy's great post b/c what she says is near perfect, but I am especially fond of this part: "If he cares so much about an Iraqi Constitution, why doesn't he take some time from his busy vacation activities and read the US Constitution. He may find out that he started an un-Constitutional war in Iraq. He may lose some sleep over it." Not bloody likely.
NY Times: Sen Specter sent a 2nd letter to Judge Roberts, and Specter appeared to be pushing Roberts to choose between conservative calls for "judicial restraint" and efforts by other conservatives to shift power from Congress to the states, and Specter warned that justices have started acting as a "super legislature." Isn't is refreshing when a politician (GOP or Dem) actually does the job that they were elected to do?
Pat Robertson Wants Hugo Chavez Assassinated
Media Matters: Pat Robertson, host of Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club and founder of the Christian Coalition of America, called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Why? Well, Robertson claims this: "There was a popular coup that overthrew him [Chavez]. Within about 48 hrs that coup was broken; Chavez was back in power, but we had a chance to move in." Popular coup? No, more like pissed off members of the corporate media (IAPA- InterAmerican Press Assoc) conspired w/some pissed off military members to overthrow a democratically elected Chavez who got over 80% of the vote. Pat spews on: "He has destroyed the Venezuelan economy, and he's going to make that a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism all over the continent." Well, if you call using the wealth obtained from oil sales to help the poor, then sure, Chavez has destroyed the economy. Now, I don't know everything, but I certainly know that the nation of Venezuela is NOT Muslim. It is almost exclusively Catholic, and a small percentage of the population practices a mixture of Catholicism and S. American Indian beliefs based upon a fertility goddess called Maria Lionza. NOT ISLAM. But would any of the 700 Club's viewers take the time to actually find out the truth? Naw, it is easier to have a liar like Robertson spoon feed your stupidity to you. Please watch the Media Matters clip of Pat in action, b/c his Holy Call for Chavez's assassination is unbelievable: "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... We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability." So very Christian, no?
KUTV- CBS Salt Lake: Bush spoke to more than 6,000 people at the annual convention of the Vets of Foreign Wars, while three blocks away about 2,000 people gathered to protest Bush administration policies and the war in Iraq. Gold Star Families for Peace, Veterans for Peace, and Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson headlined the protest (see his great speech here). Anderson said: "The message we want to send is that we are behind our troops, we care very much about our troops. That if their lives are going to be put on the line, they are going to be put in harm's way, that we're told the truth and our nation hasn't been told the truth. Those who take a stand ... who stand up to deceit by our govt. Those are true patriots. You are true patriots." KSL- NBC Salt Lake: George Muller of Salt Lake, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who was dressed in desert fatigues said: "It's like Vietnam all over again, and I opposed that too. That's what it's going to take -- veterans groups, veterans and mothers who have lost kids speaking out." Amen, I couldn't agree more & I pray that this is the beginning of Bush's end. Here is an assortment of videos of the protest, courtesy of KUTV-CBS.
Yahoo: Bush, speaking amid protests and growing public unease over the war in Iraq said on Monday America owed it to the more than 1800 US soldiers killed there to complete the mission: "We owe them something. We will finish the task that they gave their lives for. We'll 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 ... the war on terror." Bush YET AGAIN linked the Iraq war w/ efforts to protect the US from another Sept 11-style attack- which is just a weak attempt to shift the justification for war. Nice, he whores out 9/11 AGAIN, and then finally tells us what the mission in Iraq really is: So many have been used as cannon fodder, therefore the slaughter must go on. If not, those who were used as cannon fodder would have died in vain. So, it's full throttle ahead for more needless slaughter!
In another dramatic last-minute standoff, Iraqi leaders put off a vote on a draft constitution Monday, adjourning parliament at a midnight deadline in a bid for 3 more days to win over the Sunni Arab minority. More than 20 issues still divide the sides. Apart from federalism, power-sharing, & women's rights, the constitution spoke of Iraq's national identity as "part of the Islamic world" rather than the Arab world — a concession to the non-Arab Kurds. According to Saleh al-Mutlaq, 1 of 4 top Sunni negotiators: "This constitution is full of land mines that would explode on Iraqis. This constitution will divide the country." Great. It just keeps getting better, doesn't it? So nice to see all of our billions pissed away and soldiers' blood was sacrificed for an Islamic theocracy that will explode in civil war, but the media chooses to ignore this.
No Quarter: Larry Johnson says this about Casey Sheehan and the other soldiers who died w/Casey in April 04: Maybe George Bush could clarify why these men died. According to several press reports, they were attacked and killed by forces loyal to Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. And where is al-Sadr today? He's a player in the Shiite community in Iraq which is on the verge of installing Islam as the basis of govt in Iraq. In effect, Casey and his comrades were killed by people whose leaders are on the verge of taking control in Iraq. It would be 1 thing if Bush could tell Casey's mom and the moms of the other boys who died that their sons gave their lives to create a secular Iraq. But we now know that is not true. They gave their lives in a cause that is allowing some Islamic extremists loyal to Iran to play a major role in the "new" Iraq.
A Utah television station (owned by ClearChannel) is refusing to air an anti-war ad featuring Cindy Sheehan, as a nat'l sales rep for KTVX, a local ABC affiliate, rejected the ad in an e-mail to media buyers, writing that it was an "inappropriate commercial advertisement for Salt Lake City." KTVX said that after viewing the ad, local managers found the content "could very well be offensive to our community in Utah, which has contributed more than its fair share of fighting soldiers and suffered significant loss of life in this Iraq war." Good to see that Utah likes being kept in the dark about why their loved ones are serving, huh? And Cindy responds to all of the hate mail she receives from people who tell her to "Go home and take care of her kids" (all of which, are adults and have their dad to rely on if they needed care). Funny, but nobody ever tells Bush that he needs to stop gallavanting around the ranch or the country and go take care of the Drunken Twins, now do they?
Women's Rights Not Critical to Iraqi Democracy
Crooks and Liars (video here also): Reuel Marc Gerecht of The American Enterprise Institute says this on Meet the Press concerning women's rights in the new Iraqi Constitution, which is reportedly based upon Sharia Law: MR. GERECHT: "Actually, I'm not terribly worried about this. I mean, one hopes that the Iraqis protect women's social rights as much as possible. I think it's important to remember that in the US in the year 1900, women did not have the right to vote. If Iraqis could develop a democracy that resembled America in the 1900s, I think we'd all be thrilled. I mean, women's social rights are not critical to the evolution of democracy. We hope they're there. I think they will be there. But I think we need to put this into perspective. " Nice. So good to see that half of the world's population is not critical to the evolution of democracy. Hmm, should Iraqi women wear corsets, sport a black eye that her husband "had to give her" since she disobeyed him, and fan themselves- in order to prevent "the vapors", just as women in 1900 did? Nice to see that the secular rule of Saddam was scrapped so that females could go back in time 105 yrs. Just take a look at the 1990 Iraqi Constitution for proof. Hmm, I thought this was supposed to be Operation Iraqi FREEDOM. I guess only men are worthy. But remember: W is for women!
Wanna know how much this war is costing us US taxpayers? It is more than we are being told: 1) Basic running costs of the current conflicts are $6 billion a month - a figure that reflects the Pentagon's unprecedented reliance on expensive private contractors. 2) In order to keep our soldiers serving in the military, high cost inducements for recruits and for military personnel serving 2nd & 3rd deployments, extra pay for reservists and members of the Nat'l Guard. 3) The bill for repairing and replacing military hardware is $20 billion a yr. 4) More than $2 billion a year in additional foreign aid to Jordan, Pakistan, Turkey and others to reward their cooperation in Iraq & Afghanistan. But the biggest long-term costs are disability and health payments for returning troops, which will be incurred even if hostilities were to stop tomorrow. Why? B/c the US currently pays more than $2 billion in disability claims per yr for 159,000 vets of the 91 Gulf War, even though that conflict lasted only 5 wks, w/ 148 dead & 467 wounded. Even if we assume that the 525,000 US troops who have so far served in Iraq & Afghanistan will require treatment only on the same scale as their predecessors from the Gulf War, these payments are likely to run at $7 billion a yr for the next 45 yrs. If the US military presence in the region lasts another 5 yrs, the total cost for the war could stretch to more than $1.3 trillion, or $11,300 for every household in the US. Nice, and keep this in mind: Each $5 increase in the price of oil reduces our nat'l income by about $17 billion a yr. Oh well, we'll just keep shoving all of this cost into that neverending hole known as the Nat'l Deficit.
The Army is planning to keep well over 100,000 troops ready for deployment to Iraq for the next 4 yrs. The size of the US force may be scaled back next yr if certain conditions are achieved: an Iraqi constitution must be drafted in coming days; it must be approved in a nat'l referendum; and elections must be held for a new govt under that charter. That is alot to be "fixed" before we can even think of getting the hell outta there, assuming of course that any of these Iraqi issues can even occur amidst the rising ethnic /religious "civil war" that is brewing, insurgent attacks that are more sophisticated than ever, and that some dumbass warmonger Neo-Con doesn't launch us into war w/Iran. What is Bush doing? Going on a 5 day "tour" to defend the war and the many costs of this war. Good luck w/that. But I'm sure he will just whip out the tired and old "it is better to fight 'em there than here" crap that is completely unfounded (can we say London bombings?) and he will of course whore out the victims of 9/11 YET AGAIN. Of course, he offers no plans on how to do this (other than stay the course!), but he'll say it anyway: "We must finish the task that our troops have given their lives for and honor their sacrifice by completing their mission." What is that mission, exactly? It has changed so many times since the days of those mythical mushroom clouds & WMDs in 02/03.
John Kerry told state legislators that the Dem Party doesn't need to undergo an extreme makeover, saying "the last thing America needs is a 2nd GOP." He said Dems have an opportunity to rebuild nationally by simply addressing the concerns that affect people's daily lives — energy, transportation, health care and security. Amen brother! But Kerry saved the best for last about the president's recent statement in favor of teaching "intelligent design" as an alternative to the theory of evolution, Kerry said, "I think we ought to be getting some intelligent design in our policy in Iraq." Maureen Dowd seems to get it when it comes to Iraq: "Domestic support is waning because the prez remains too stubbornly ensconced in his fantasy world - it's worse than Barbie in her dream house - to reassure Americans that he has a plan to get out." I wonder if Skipper visits at Crawford? Only if she's guzzling the GOP Kool-Aid.
Toledo Blade: Tom Noe asked OH Gov Bob Taft to issue a public statement correcting his accusation Thurs that Noe "made a great effort to conceal" his role in the state's $50 million investment in rare coins. If Mr.Taft does not acknowledge that he made a "simple mistake," then Mr. Noe "will help people to understand that it was incorrect," said Noe's attorney, William Wilkinson. He would not elaborate but said that Noe spoke face to face w/Taft about the Workers' Compensation rare-coin investment as they stood among others at an undisclosed location in May/01, in Toledo. Hmm, it's amazing how prison time- when hanging over one's head- makes one willing to sing like a canary? I think Noe should sing, sing, sing, and leave Taft twisting in the wind.
Roberts: No Right to be Free From Discrimination
If the article in the NY Times yesterday(Roberts said: "Some might question whether encouraging homemakers to become lawyers contributes to the common good.") did not seal the deal for me on Roberts then this completely has. (Yahoo): As a lawyer in the Reagan WH, John Roberts scoffed at the notion of elevating Supreme Crt Justice O'Connor to chief justice as a way to close a political gender gap, calling it a "crass political consideration." On another topic, Roberts, advised the WH to strike language from a description of a housing bill that referred to the "fundamental right to be free from discrimination." He said that "there of course is no such right." WTF??? No right to be free from discrimination? Oh, silly me... I have to get busy and back to the business at hand that puts a big smile on Roberts and his ilk's faces: Being pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen.
Big Dick... wherever do you get the balls to say these things: Speaking at the 73rd nat'l convention of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the vice pres cited the darkest days of the American Revolution, when the war was going badly and ragtag rebels were ready to go home until George Washington rallied them. "They stayed in the fight, and America won the war," he said. "From that day to this, our country has always counted on the bravest among us to answer the call of duty." He also declared that the US "will not relent" in the war in Iraq and will hunt down insurgents there "one at a time if necessary." Oh.. My.. God. The nerve of that 5 time Vietnam deferment fuck to even attend an event with actual veterans is bad enough (especially after wearing Purple band-aids at the RNC last yr to compare Kerry's war wounds to boo-boos), but to even suggest that this war in Iraq is comparable to the Revolutionary War is beyond the pale (b/c let's face it, if Bush & Co had been leading that war, we'd all be singing God Save the Queen right now), AND THEN to say that we will hunt down insurgents 1 at a time if necessary is pretty easy to do when it isn't your blood being shed & it isn't your money being spent to pay for this war, but given that he is a war profiteer, what else should we expect?
Here is Cindy's post that she couldn't write yesterday, about Rush saying she is not real, Camp Casey is not real, and that her entire story is based on "forged documents". Hat tip to Karena for posting this about Rush and his comments about Cindy's story being based on "forged documents", and please check out Media Matters' info on Rush. And it will be next to impossible for us to check Rush's transcripts to prove all of his many, many lies b/c he has put his transcripts behind lock and key now (only Rush fans who pay can take a peek now). Here is Cindy's post to update us on her mom's condition. I wish her a speedy recovery.
Prayers for Cindy & Her Mom who Suffered a Stroke
Yahoo: Cindy Sheehan told reporters she had just received the phone call and was leaving immediately to be with her 74 yr old mother at a LA hospital. "I'll be back as soon as possible if it's possible," she said, and she leaves Camp Casey in the hands of fellow anti-war protesters and family members who have lost loved ones in Iraq. Read her "Vigils" post about how much she appreciates the nearly 1700 vigils that took place around the nation Weds night, and she addresses the anti-Semite smear that will not die. Rabbi Arthur Waskow of the Shalom Center verifies that he has personally investigated this smear and that he concludes that the War Fans and GOPers are just trying to paint her as a Jew hater when in fact she has said no such thing. But unfortunately, nothing will stop those on the other side from calling her an anti-Semite: Please watch this Media Matters clip of G Gordon Liddy attacking Cindy and he actually claims that the word Neo-Con is liberal code word for Jew... WTF!??) and also please watch David Horowitz attack Cindy by saying: "She exploits her dead son" and treats him "like an idiot who was used by deceitful liars". Well, I'm sure Casey was no idiot, but he sure as hell has been used by deceitful liars.
Oh the irony!: the War Fans are trying get the IRS invovled in a Louisville church that held a candlelight vigil for Cindy last night. Now everyone knows that I am all for separation of church and state, but let's just see only a few of the many times that the GOP has used places of worship as a launching pad for their political agenda: 1) Justice Sunday I and II. Sen Frist (at Justice I, but not invited to II b/c he flip flopped on his anti-stem cell position) and Sen Delay (at Justice II) have asked the members of the GOP and members of this GOP (and by this I mean God's Own Party, as they like to think of themselves) to abolish the filibuster and to stop those imaginary activist judges. The best quote from this article?: "Mike Miller says he believes Supreme Court justices are trying to create laws with their rulings instead of interpreting the Constitution. "Activist justices - we're trying to find out what we can do to stop that activity," he said. "Our laws are based on the Ten Commandments." Riiight... and it says that where exactly in our Constitution in words, intent, and/or deed? And what about this?: Politicians who support abortion and gay rights have been banned from speaking at Roman Catholic churches in the Phoenix Diocese by Bishop Thomas Olmsted. And what about TX Gov Parry signing state legislature inside of a church? The list goes on and on of examples of the GOP using churches to spread their agenda, and they are just pissed that peace protesters can pray at a church for peace... in the name of Christ... who is known as the Prince of Peace. Jon Stewart captures the irony and insanity of it all perfectly here in Prayback Time.
Oh the irony!... The Sequel: (June 8, 1999) - TX Gov Bush, cranking up his still-unofficial run for the WH, said he would have voted to impeach President Clinton for lying about his affair w/ Monica Lewinsky. In response to a reporter's question, Bush said he supported impeachment for a simple reason: "The man lied." Bush said he was embarrassed by the scandal and that leaders should "behave responsibly" to set a good example for children. Oh.. My.. God.. I guess that lying to Congress to wage an illegal war, having the blood of 1000s of Iraqis and Americans on your hands, bankrupting our children's children's future w/your massive deficits b/c you had to dish out wealthy tax cuts, and destroying our planet for corporate greed and profit sets a good example for children...... children from the Manson Family, maybe.
Wash Post: OH Gov Taft entered a plea of no contest and was convicted on 4 misdemeanor counts for failing to report 52 golf outings, dinners and other entertainment gifts. He was fined $4,000, the maximum and issued a public "heartfelt" apology. Fuck your apology Gov- that is my heartfelt sentiment. Now return all the billions your Republican Party stole from Workers' Compensation, ya thieving bastard.
Yahoo: Hagel (R-NB), a Vietnam vet, acknowledged the US military presence was becoming harder and harder to justify. He believes Iraq faces a serious danger of civil war that would threaten Middle East stability, and said there is little Washington can do to avert this. Hagel said: "We are seen as occupiers, we are targets. We have got to get out. I don't think we can sustain our current policy, nor do I think we should." USA Today: This June, Feingold (D-WS)introduced a resolution in Senate that called on the pres to clarify the mission in Iraq and lay out "a plan and timeframe for accomplishing that mission," but the senator did not call for a deadline for w/drawing troops. Now, however, Feingold has changed his mind and believes a deadline for the withdrawal of all US troops from Iraq by 12/31/06 is necessary: "I offered a resolution and tried to engage colleagues and asked the president to give us a vision," he said. "The president has simply refused to give us a mission or timeframe to bring the troops home." Combine the bring our troops home sentiment of these senators along w/the American anxiety over oil prices (which, are expected to rise to over $100 a barrel) and you have a recipe for serious trouble for Bush & Co. But as cartoonist Mark Fiore points out, Victory Is... not having to say you're sorry.
Sen Trent Lott (R-Miss) has characterized Bill Frist as a back stabbing SOB who betrayed him in order to grab the Majority Leader position in 2002. The book, "Herding Cats: A Life in Politics," is due out on August 23rd. Yahoo: Former Sen Majority Leader Lott blames his fall from power in '02 on a "personal betrayal" by an ambitious Frist, and Lott's final fall from power was triggered when he said at Sen Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday that the country "wouldn't have had all these problems over the yrs" if it had elected Thurmond president in 1948. Yeah Lott, these damn minorities and women getting uppity and demanding equality is so problematic, huh? And if he's pissed that his fellow GOPers betrayed him he shouldn't be shocked: When you lie down w/dogs you get fleas.
Wash Post: An experimental therapy that uses skin cells grown from an aborted fetus successfully healed severe burns in 8 children, sparing them the need for skin grafts, and the treatment led to the regrowth of essentially normal skin on 2nd and 3rd degree burns in about 2 wks. Further, it appears that a piece of fetal skin smaller than a postage stamp could be used to produce enough cells to treat 100s of patients. Man, I bet this news (that is great for poor burned children) is really pissing off the people who fell under Justice Sunday's spell. I bet their "Screw you kid, Too bad about your life altering burn scars" tour will be sweeping thru a church near you.
Chicago Sun Times: Lawyers for Pope Benedict XVI have asked Pres Bush to declare the pontiff immune from liability in a lawsuit that accuses him of conspiring to cover up the molestation of three boys by a seminarian in TX, crt records show. I am speechless. I knew this Pope had behaved questionably in regards to the sex abuse scandals in the past, but this just sickens me. There is some hope that justice can be served: The lawyer who is suing Pope Benedict XVI said he would challenge the US diplomatic recognition of the Vatican if the pope is given immunity in the case. Joseph Ratzinger - Benedict's former name - is named as a defendant in the civil lawsuit, accused of conspiring with the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston to cover up the abuse of three boys during the mid-90s. Who would Jesus molest and conspire with?
The Onion: As the debate over the teaching of evolution in public schools continues, a new controversy over the science curriculum arises: Scientists from the Evangelical Center For Faith-Based Reasoning are now asserting that the long-held "theory of gravity" is flawed, and they have responded to it w/ a new theory of Intelligent Falling. Founded in 1987, the ECFR is the world's leading institution of evangelical physics, a branch of physics based on literal interpretation of the Bible: "Things fall not because they are acted upon by some gravitational force, but because a higher intelligence, 'God' if you will, is pushing them down," said Gabriel Burdett, who holds degrees in education, applied Scripture, and physics from Oral Roberts University. Yes, we laugh at this satire, but it is sadly true. And yet we wonder why nations like India and China far surpass us in science-based technologies.
Oopsie! Judge Roberts' File Missing from Library
Wash Post: A file folder containing papers from Supreme Crt nominee John Roberts' work on affirmative action more than 20 yrs ago disappeared from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library after its review by 2 lawyers from the WH and the Justice Dept in July, according to officials at the library and the National Archives and Records Administration. Archivists said the lawyers returned the file but it now cannot be located. No duplicates of the folder's contents were made before the lawyers' review. What a stroke of convenient luck, huh?
Nat'l Security Archive: The new documents, just released to the Nat'l Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, also provide more evidence on when the Bush administration began planning for regime change in Iraq - as early as October 2001. These records plus the Downing St Memo Minutes = Bush lied our nation into a war. He just wanted regime change in Iraq, knew that the WMDs charge was complete crap but would be very powerful since 9/11 just happened, and then he lied to Congress to get them behind this war. Lying before Conrgress is an impeachable offense. How about answering to that whole "noble cause" thing now Bush?
As Cindy and her fellow peace protesters moved onto the acre of Army Vet Fred Mattlage- Bush's anti-war neighbor and cousin of Larry "I fired off shots in the air b/c I hate bereaved parents" Mattlage - the case of the Cross Mower has picked up. Operation Truth: Perry Jeffries from Operation Truth wrote an e-mail to Larry Northern, a Waco TX realtor, local gun club president, and also the guy who attached chain and pipe to his pickup truck and ran down the memorial crosses for our fallen soldiers at Camp Casey in Crawford. Read Jeffries email to Northern. A sounder and more thorough bitchslapping I have never heard.
Columbus Dispatch: Gov Bob Taft was charged this afternoon in Franklin Cnty Crt w/4 criminal misdemeanors for failing to disclose golf outings and possibly other favors. If convicted on the 1st-degree misdemeanor charges, Taft faces a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to 6 months in jail on each count. The best part?: While it is not expected, the criminal charges could lead to Taft's impeachment under the OH Constitution. The Constitution says that the governor, judges and any state officer can be impeached if they are charged with a misdemeanor, even if they are not convicted. For analysis of the whole OH shake-up, please visit Hypothetically Speaking's posts More on Taft Charges and 3 More Likely Targets of Ethics Charges to get the full picture of how major this is. Maybe some time in the big house would give Taft a chance to rethink his ridiculous position on whether we should be teaching evolution in OH schools. Taft's statement?: He doesn't know if Intelligent Design is science... no dumb ass, it's not.
While War Fans like Erick of RedState villify Cindy: "The remarkably humorous bit of all of this is that while Sheehan is using the body of a dead solider to get her 15 mins of fame, she is letting that body be used by Michael Moore, Code Pink, the DNC, and the media to extend their 15 mins of fame. The only 1 in this orgy of antiwar sentiment who has not spoken is Casey, who gave his life that Iraq might be free. But he did not die in vain. Iraq will be free. And in Sept we will all go back to forgetting who Sheehan is, not that we ever cared to begin w/, and we will remain in Iraq." Yes, we will remain in Iraq b/c our pig headed prez refuses to ever admit a mistake, but how proud will we be of the Radical Islamic Theocracy that will become Iraq? Cindy is scaring the War Fans b/c she is putting a face on the sentiments of a country that has stopped believing the president's promises about Iraq. She could be any soldier's mom. And despite what Rush says: "Frankly, I'm also fed up -not fed up. I retract that. I'm weary, ladies and gentlemen, of even having to express sympathy. "Oh, she lost her son!" Yes, yes, yes, but (sigh) we all lose things." Casey was a human being. Not a set of keys, or 1 of your precious bottles of Oxycontin, ya prick. Funny, but I don't recall these same people saying that Terri Schiavo's parents were embarrassing, exploiting her and that they were an arm of a partisan group, even though DeLay & Frist got actively involved and Bush even rushed from his ranch to hold an emergency session of Congress. Well, as Kudos says: Not All Mothers are Treated Equally.
CBS News: DC lobbyist Jack Abramoff, accused of fed'l fraud charges in a casino fleet purchase deal, is willing to submit to an interview with FL investigators trying to solve the gangland-style murder of businessman (Gus Boulis) who sold the boats. Abramoff and Adam Kidan concocted a fake $23 million wire transfer to make it appear to lenders they were putting a sizable stake of their own money into the boat purchase deal. A few months following the $147.5 million sale of SunCruz, Boulis was shot to death in his car after what police say was an apparent hit. The killing occurred after wks of acrimony stemming from the sale, including a physical altercation between Kidan and Boulis.
How badly does Katherine Harris have to be treated before she realizes that she is GOP toilet paper? It serves a purpose but then it must be gotten rid of. So, Joe Scarborough has a choice to make: renew his contract with NBC or challenge Harris for the GOP nomination for US Senate, after GOPers are begging him to run. Good, now we can re-open the investigation of Lori Klausutis- you know, the intern found dead in his office that he had "nothing to do with"... even though the congressman resigned only 6 months after re-election, just prior to his aide's death and that the guy who performed the autopsey had his medical license revoked. But I guess that only Dems who have scandals are of interest to the media, b/c when Imus said this to Joe: "You said you had sex with that intern and then you had to kill her." and Joe, laughing, replied, "Yeah, well what are you gonna do?" can you imagine a Dem getting away w/that? Does anyone think that FL Gov Jeb would be interested in re-opening an investigation into what happened to a young woman who is not brain dead? Naw, probably not... but there is always the hope that people will look into Joe's fromer voting record such as his 1995 sponsorship of a bill to abolish the Department of Education or his sponsorship of a bill for the US to w/draw from the UN.
Hastert’s Turkish Allies Tied to Bin Laden
The International Post: Sibel Edmonds may not be the only well-known FBI Whistleblower w/ connections to a narcotics/ money laundering/ illegal weapons procurement/ 9/11-related investigation in Chicago. Beginning in the mid 90s, FBI Special Agent Robert Wright was given orders to investigate several Chicago-based businessmen w/ ties to Turkey and Osama bin Laden. Read this article b/c it left me w/my jaw open and even more certain that the whoring out of 9/11 has been done to cover up how complicit the WH and elected officials are in the attacks.
Conyers Blog: The time deadline for an intial reponse on the Freedom of Info Act has lapsed, and the Administration has largely ignored us. While the Pentagon did contact my office and suggested modifications to narrow the request (which we did), we heard nothing from the White House or State Department. As a result, I submitted an appeal late last request to the WH and the State Department. I will be closely monitoring this situation in the days and wks to come, and further legal actions may be necessary.Shocking. They ignore what they refuse to acknowledge.
Damn you Sy Hersh!... you always scare the living shit out of me w/your deadly accurate predictions that always seem to come true. His appearance w/Jon was what I expected: SCARY. Sy's summary:1) The insurgency is prepping their own version of the Tet offensive. 2)They may be about to strike the Green Zone itself in an attempt to retake Baghdad flat-out from under us. 3) Bush & Co knows this is coming, is scared shitless about it (as well as the tide turning here at home), and is now putting all of its' efforts into nothing but A) Pinning everything on the Iraqi govt that is crumbling as we speak and B) Getting the hell out of there before the '06 elections so they can dig their nails in and keep the GOP seats advantage. Compare Hersh's comments w/this article on Iran taking advantage of the focus being on Iraq to build up their power to see how carelessly Bush has driven us over the cliff.
NY Times: Wasn't the Prez 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 in Iraq? "I'm determined that life goes on," Mr. Bush said stubbornly. That was not W, that was Bush the Elder'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 3 days before. Whoa... Deja vu anyone?
Talk about a big old sissy-pissy pants: Bush can't take the heat in Crawford so he will make his 1st trip to Idaho next wk, spending Mon and Tues vacationing in the lake and resort region near Donnelly and then speaking about the war against terrorism at the agricultural community of Nampa on Weds. So much for that whole "shed his coat and tie and meet with folks out in the heartland and hear what's on their minds" idea, huh? Oh that's right... he will only meet w/those who agree w/him and bootlick. Read Cindy's post "Putting Out Fires" where she sets the record straight on "the lie that she had said that Casey died for Israel" smear that the GOPers are flinging her way.
Since their son died w/16 other fellow OH Marines 2 wks ago, I have watched these grieving parents express their dismay over their son's death and this war. I also noticed that our local news channels gave them only a tiny amount of air time for their anti-war sentiments while giving War Fan parents much more time, so finding this story on Yahoo made my heart leap w/joy!: "We feel you either have to fight this war right or get out," Rosemary Palmer, mother of Lance Cpl. Edward Schroeder II. "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." "We want to point out that 30 people have died since our son. Are people listening?" Palmer asked. We are listening... but Il Duce Bush refuses to hear 1 word of it.
Roberts, Fetus Funerals, Prayer & Prez Powers
Judge Roberts is toxic to the integrity of the Sup Crt in so many ways: 1) Wash Post: As a senior legal adviser to Reagan, Judge John Roberts concluded that a controversial memorial service for aborted fetuses, organized by a group of CA doctors who opposed Roe vs Wade , was "an entirely appropriate means of calling attention to the abortion tragedy." 2) Yahoo: Supreme Crt nominee Roberts showed sympathy for the idea of permitting prayer in public schools in 1985, writing that a ruling to the contrary "seems indefensible" under the Constitution... yeah, except for that pesky lil Separation of Church & State part, huh? 3) CNN: Roberts rejected the protections of the fed'l Endangered Species Act b/c he said it hampered the commerce of businesses. 4)LA Times: Roberts is BIG on expanding a prez's executive powers- even going to war w/OUT congressional authorization. 5) Wash Post: Roberts says that there is only a "so-called right to privacy... that is not to be found in the Constitution. He specifically criticizes Roe v. Wade" when discussing privacy, and says that privacy does not exist as the basis of a woman's right to choose. 6) Wash Post: Roberts believes that states legally have the right to stop married couples from obtaining contraceptives, as was decided in Griswold vs state of CT- "Roberts approvingly quoted from a dissenting opinion by Justice Hugo Black in the '65 crt decision, in which the majority held that a CT law forbidding the use of contraceptives was unconstitutional." Roberts is SCARY, and since GOPers claim that they alone uphold hetero marriage, how can they dare to infringe on the sanctity of anyone's marriage by pushing for states to have the legal right to deny married couples birth control and privacy rights? Can you think of anything more private & central to a marriage than how many children to have (or not have) and what to do to control your reproductive futures? Nope, me either.
Last week, Curt Weldon said a data gathering exercise called Able Danger-(read Booman's take on this group, Weldon & all the lies being told this week) spotted Mohammed Atta and other hijackers in '99, but Pentagon lawyers in Sept 2000 blocked officials running the program from handing the tip to the FBI. Weldon further alleged that the 9/11 Commission was alerted to the alleged oversight but ignored it. In Weldon’s book, Countdown to Terror, Weldon describes personally handing to then-Deputy Nat'l Security Adviser Steve Hadley ( just after 9/11) an Able Danger chart produced in '99 identifying Atta but now this week when talking to TIME, Weldon says this: "But Weldon told TIME he’s no longer certain Atta’s name was on that original document. The congressman says he handed Hadley his only copy." How convenient, huh? Let me guess, this is yet another GOP flip flop and we are supposed to just blindly accept whatever spin is put upon it, except for the fact that nat'l security issues this important should check out.
Some of these letters are over the top, but it just goes to show ya how pissed people can get when you spit on a mom who buried her vet son. I said this before and I absolutely stand by it: Gallagher and his 4 military age sons should be hog-tied, dropped in a remote are of Iraq-- armed w/their megaphones and lil US flags. We'd all see then how much screaming & flag waving they would do, now wouldn't we? Yeah, as Bob Cesca says: The Chickenhawks have an Army, too.
Given that they have already lost so much AND have had to endure watching a war launched that has absolutely nothing to do w/ Sept 11th AND had to watch the capture of a guy who isn't bin Laden, I think that the September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows saying that they support Cindy's Crawford actions is very significant. I hope some will join her and together they can demand accountability from Bush. On a not so good note, some fucker (probably proudly driving his gas hogging SUV plastered in Bush/Cheney stickers and that empty gesture of a yellow Support Our Troops magnet) mowed down the crosses of The Fallen at Camp Casey (w/pix). That is patriotism, no?
Pissed off Bush neighbor, Larry Mattlage, who fired shots into the air on Sun b/c he told reporters earlier in the day he was getting tired of protesters and media driving and camping on private property, creating a nuisance and generating a traffic mess, has said: "When they 1st came out here, I was sympathetic to their cause. American citizens have a right to march, protest. Still, if you had your brother-in-law in your house after 5 days, wouldn't it start stinking after awhile? You'd really want them to go home, wouldn't you?'' Well, for someone who doesn't like to be bothered and values his privacy so much, why would he have agreed to this?: NBC News has an agreement with Mattlage that allows its news crews access to his land to obtain long-range camera shots of the Bush ranch, said correspondent Kelly O'Donnell. The agreement, disclosed yesterday because Mattlage became a news figure, has been in place since Bush became president. Hmm, let's see, this August getaway is Bush's 49th trip to his cherished ranch since he took office, that means that there are over 330 days that Bush has spent, entirely or partially, in Crawford and it is the longest presidential retreat in at least 36 yrs... SOOOO, I'm guessing that Mattlage has had to be incovenienced plenty by NBC. Did he fire shots at them, too? Well, it looks like old Larry won't have to be "put out" much longer. A fellow Crawford property owner just down the street has offered Camp Casey an acre to protest on.
The title of Cindy's diary "Leave my Family Alone" says it all when it comes to the "big" news that Sheehan's husband filed for divorce. I really tried to find definitive statistics on parents who divorce after the death of a child, and unfortunately, the stats are simply not available. The best I could come up was the divorce rate for parents who have lost a child is between 9% (Oct 1999 study) and 12% (June 1999 study). In Cindy's own words: "We were high school sweethearts and the stress of Casey's death lead to us getting a separation." I can only say this, if 50% of all marriages in the US already end in divorce, try adding the unimaginable stress of losing a child on top of that, and then tell me if the Sheehans' troubled marriage is freakish. I dare that bloated drug addict Rush to say 1 word about this, b/c that fat fuck has been married AND divorced 3 times. What excuse does he use to explain his thrice failed marriages? His addiction to drugs, perhaps?