Saturday, February 28, 2004

Hastert caves in 

From the daily kos:

Hastert caves on 9-11

by kos
Fri Feb 27th, 2004 at 22:31:48 GMT

Ha ha. Rove ordered Hastert to take the heat for blocking the two-month extension for the 9-11 commission. He took the heat, and it was an all-out inferno.

Hastert has backed down.

And do we love Pelosi or what?

Pelosi said she found Hastert's resistance to Bush questionable.

"I don't know if this is a good cop-bad cop arrangement between the President and the speaker," Pelosi said. "If President Bush truly wanted the 9-11 commission to complete its work, Congress will respond."

She called Rove's bluff, and the commission got its extension.

It'll be great to see Pelosi as Speaker of the House. And it's great seeing Hastert with egg on his face. That'll teach him to do the administration's dirty work for them.


Haiti...I've seen THIS one before, too 

The Bush administration has come out and said it: Aristide should step down. Why? Because armed thugs are threatening to take over the capitol Port-au-Prince. Armed thugs who are angry. Armed thugs who have mowed over Haiti for one simple reason--there is no standing army to STOP them.

Armed thugs who are angry for one simple reason, supposedly--Aristide stole the 2000 Haitian Presidential election. Supposedly. Four years ago.

I've seen this before. Wait. No, I didn't. It was a daydream, a dream that DIDN'T come true.

It was what DIDN'T happen in MY country in 2000.

My friends, this is the ultimate irony. A U.S. President who stole his own election is now urging that a legally elected President of another country step down and give into terrorists.

Via atrios' comments section on Haiti:

Don't believe what you read in the (establishment) papers and see on the (establishment) TV. This is a U.S. coup in Haiti. The "rebels" are organized like commando strike teams and have heavy weapons not available in Haiti. This is not my tinfoil fantasy. This is according to an NPR interview two days ago with famous and respected lawyer Ira Kurzban of Miami, who has won Supreme Court cases, who has been serving as general counsel to the government of Haiti. The U.S. is supposedly driving out Aristide because they want to militarize Haiti. Aristide, a Catholic priest, has refused to permit a standing army.


At the Impeach Bush Meetup on Monday (organized by Democrats.com) a journalist said that the anti-Aristide Haitian Coup is an Otto Reich operation. The primary motivation is that since the Clinton's put Aristide back in power, the Bushies think they must get rid of him.


...I don' wanna confuse you with facts or anything, but the Black Congressional Caucus spent a lot of time trying to work with Powell and Condi on Haiti and got nowhere. They had to appeal to the Preznit himself, who has not met with them since just after he was sworn in.


...is anyone surprised that Georgie is a terrorist appeaser when it suits him? He was negotiating a pipeline deal with the Taliban (the Afghanistan version, not our home-grown Phelpsian nuts) in the weeks and months before 9/11. He knew even then that they were harboring Osama.


People are TALKING.


Friday, February 27, 2004

I remember that one 

I remember when George W. Bush declared he would establish a "commission" that would investigate and report on the problem of the high loss of manufacturing jobs.

Anybody else remember that? Maybe not a "commission", but the promise to establish SOMETHING that would work on the problem?

Huh. Just another broken promise. From CAP:

'Dishonest' Would Be An Understatement

Almost six months ago to the day, President Bush made a Labor Day visit to Ohio, a state which has "lost more than a quarter-million jobs," including 166,000 manufacturing jobs, since 2001. During a speech to workers there, he said he would "appoint an assistant secretary [of Commerce] to focus on the needs of manufacturers, to make sure our manufacturing job base is strong and vibrant…We have a responsibility that when somebody hurts, government has got to move."

Yet, six months later, the country has lost another quarter million manufacturing jobs (and Ohio alone has lost another 9,000 manufacturing jobs) and the Administration has not only failed to offer a policy prescription, it has not even appointed the Commerce department specialist.

And yesterday, the situation hit a boiling point: the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly Mass Layoff report which showed "there were more mass layoffs in January 2004 than in any previous January for the nine years that such records have been kept" – a report that prompted outrage from Sens. Schumer, Corzine and Stabenow.

The promise to address the manufacturing situation with new policies and a new manufacturing czar – and then failure to follow through – is only the latest economic contradiction from the Bush Administration. What follows is a list of the most brazen and calculated economic distortions:






Sounds like a goddamn Newspeak list from 1984, doesn't it?
Go there to read the rest.

If you like links, you gotta like CAP. They're the BEST.


Thursday, February 26, 2004


Looks like all those arguments over the Gay Marriage amendment are moot. Some good laughs from the Borowitz Report:

New Study Jolts White House

The Bush White House’s plan to push for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriages suffered a surprising setback today as a new study revealed that well over seventy percent of existing marriages may already be gay.

The study, conducted by Dr. Charles Cranborn of the University of Minnesota, confirmed what many social scientists have long suspected: that within the first five years of marriages, most men become, for all intents and purposes, gay.

“Soon after marrying, most men stop hitting on women and start shopping for furniture,” Dr. Cranborn said. “Scientifically speaking, how gay is that?”

Within ten years of marriage, Dr. Cranborn added, a significant number of married men stop having sex with women altogether.

“There’s only one way to describe someone who does not have sex with women, does not hit on women, and spends his free time shopping for furniture,” Dr. Cranborn added. “That word, to be scientific about it, is gay.”

Time to get ready for work.


Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Honest Abe 

This is good. Not just good. It's GREAT.

From Slacktivist:

The text of the letter can be found in Vol. 2 of the Complete Writings of Abraham Lincoln, available online here.


Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose, and you allow him to make war at pleasure. Study to see if you can fix any limit to his power in this respect, after having given him so much as you propose. If to-day he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him,--I see no probability of the British invading us"; but he will say to you, "Be silent: I see it, if you don't."

The provision of the Constitution giving the war making power to Congress was dictated, as I understand it, by the following reasons: kings had always been involving and impoverishing their people in wars, pretending generally, if not always, that the good of the people was the object. This our convention understood to be the most oppressive of all kingly oppressions, and they resolved to so frame the Constitution that no one man should hold the power of bringing this oppression upon us. But your view destroys the whole matter, and places our President where kings have always stood.

Write soon again.

Yours truly,



Which Scares You More? 

A: Heavenly Body Gives Bush Close Call
Guardian (UK), 26 February 2004

EXCERPT: January 14 could have been a bad day for George Bush. As the president was preparing to announce America's return to the moon in a speech at the headquarters of Nasa, he was almost asked to deliver a very different message: that the Earth could suffer a devastating asteroid strike within 24 hours. Astronomers have revealed that during a "nine-hour crisis" the night before Mr Bush's speech they believed there was a one in four chance an asteroid would hit the planet in 36 hours. Had it not been for a break in the clouds that allowed an amateur astronomer to give the all-clear, the scientists say they were on the verge of calling the White House. "A preliminary analysis of the discovery data for this object yielded a possible impact with the Earth in less than two days' time," said David Morrison, an asteroid and comet impact hazard expert at Nasa's Ames Research Centre. "And if a possibility of an impact in two days existed, what should we do about notifying governments or the public?" The scientists could only say they thought the 30-metre asteroid would strike somewhere in the northern hemisphere; at that size it would have exploded well before reaching the ground, though it could have killed thousands if it broke up over a big city....

Astronomers confirmed that the asteroid could be on a collision course, but the telescopes that could see the relevant part of the sky were obscured by cloud. Several hours after the scare began, an amateur astronomer, Brian Warner in Colorado, saw through a gap in the clouds and confirmed the area of sky was empty.

or B: And Now for Something Really Dangerous
(I recommend visiting this link, since it's annotated with other links.)

EXCERPT: Engaged in a post-Cold-War global arms-race-of-one, the Pentagon is the sole part of our government determinedly focused on planning for the distant future rather than making hay while the sun shines now. We're talking, of course, about people (or their predecessors) who, from the 1950s on, spent remarkable amounts of time, in Herman Kahn's phrase, "thinking the unthinkable." They are all-stars at war-gaming the nuclear destruction of the Earth or, more modestly, the deaths of hundreds of millions of us humans in various first, second, and third-strike scenarios. By the way, for those of you who think all this has ended, wake up and smell the fumes. In a post-Cold-War world where paths to nuclear abolition were never considered, nuclear-armed nations abound. Putin's Russia only recently conducted large-scale nuclear games with its aging nuclear arsenal. Based on possible first-strike scenarios, they actually test-fired ICBMs from submarines in two tests that went disastrously amiss (which may almost be more frightening than tests that go well).


What a world, what a world...



Richard Perle resigns from the Defense Policy Board 

It's TRUE.

You'll never guess WHY. But the shocker is...

He comes right out and SAYS IT!

"We are now approaching a long presidential election campaign, in the course of which issues on which I have strong views will be widely discussed and debated," Perle wrote. "I would not wish those views to be attributed to you or the President at any time, and especially not during a presidential campaign."

Can you BELIEVE THIS SHIT? Is this really the end of the world? They're coming right out and admitting everything. "I would not wish those views to be attributed to you or the President..."

Why the fuck NOT? Didn't he work for Bush for the last THREE YEARS? Didn't he urge war in Iraq? Isn't it a little too LATE to disavow any relationship? Like this is "Mission: Impossible", and Jim has bungled the mission and the secretary has to disavow any knowledge...


Perle is a vampire who feeds on human death in epic amounts; he needs it to fulfill himself. He is, as my guitar hero David Bromberg once said, a demon in disguise.


You have a brain...USE IT 

Again, I say: I'm a Christian. But...

Is there any doubt as to what Mel Gibson wants out of his movie?

Converts? Rally the Christians? Spread the Gospel? Express his own faith?

How about MAKE A SHITLOAD OF MONEY while we're at it?

What a surprise. " The website of official licensed products for Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ."

Now whose idea was THAT?

Unless anyone can show me irreproachable proof that he's donating all proceeds to a church, a charity or otherwise, I'll assume the worst when it comes to Mel.

And that irreproachable proof would NOT include taking Mel's word for it.


Tuesday, February 24, 2004

The bottom line on banning gay marriage 

You can't ban gay marriage because there is NO FEDERAL DEFINITION of a "man" or a "woman."

Think about it. I heard this from a transgendered woman on the Mike Malloy show, and nowhere else. It's just too hot of a topic for most mainstream news outlets, too crazy-sounding, too counter-intuitive for too many folks. But it's the truth.

We have no definition of "man" or "woman", and there really can't be one. Why?

DNA should be the final arbiter--right? Wrong. Many "men" have no Y chromosome; many "women" have a Y chromosome. The men look "fem", and the women look "butch". The DNA test is not infallible.

If you have a penis, you're a man, right? Opposite if you have a vagina, right?

Then where do the transgendered fit in? Who is what? Aren't they, finally, whatever they WANT to be?

Ask their doctors. They'll tell you. Yes, they are whatever they choose, in the transgendered world. Sure, some say they were born a man in a woman's body, etc, but it's their choice to be one or the other--or BOTH.

Same thing with the true-life hermaphrodites, with BOTH sets of organs. Man? Woman? Both? Where do they fit in the Federal definition of "man" and "woman"?

They don't. They have a lawsuit just waiting to wreck the pipe dreams of Mr. and Mrs. Normal American Christian. Tuff titty for them.

There is no definition. Even if they pass a Constitutional amendment, there can't be a definition without a Constitutional crisis--between this never-gonna-get-it Musgrave amendment and the FOURTEENTH.


LOL--or your money back 

White House economic adviser Gregory Mankiw has been in hot water the last week or so. He's claimed that it's actually a GOOD thing that jobs are being outsourced to other countries such as India and China.

Even more idiotic was his hare-brained idea to count fast food and other entry-level minimum wage jobs as MANUFACTURING jobs, in a pathetic attempt to staunch the political fallout sure to come from this administration's record of said job loss in the last three years.

Here's an actual letter Congressman John Dingell (D-Mich) wrote in response.

Via atrios:

Dear Dr. Mankiw:

I noticed in the recently released Economic Report of the President that there was some consternation in the defining of manufacturing. It could be inferred from our report that the administration is willing to recognize drink mixing, hamburger garnishing, French/freedom fry cooking, and milk shake mixing to be vital components of our manufacturing sector.

I am sure that the 163,000 factory workers who have lost their jobs in Michigan will find it heartening to know that a world of opportunity awaits them in the high growth manufacturing careers like spatula operator, napkin restocking, and lunch tray removal. I do have some questions of this new policy and I hope you will help me provide answers for my constituents:

Will federal student loans and Trade Adjustment Assistance grants be applied to tuition costs at Burger College?

Will the administration commit to allowing the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) to fund cutting edge burger research such as new nugget ingredients or keeping the hot and cold sides of burgers separate until consumption?

Will special sauce now be counted as a durable good?

Do you want fries with that?

Finally, at a speech he gave in Michigan this past September, Secretary Evans announced the creation of a new Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing. While I understand that it takes a while to find the right candidate to fill these positions, I am concerned that five months after the announcement no Assistant Secretary has yet been named. I do, however, know of a public official who would be perfect for the job. He has over thirty years of administrative and media experience, has a remarkable record of working with diverse constituencies, and is extraordinarily well qualified to understanding this emerging manufacturing sector: the Hon. Mayor McCheese.

With every good wish,


John D. Dingell
Member of Congress


Rod Paige and his 15 minutes of fame 

I thought he'd apologized, then it turned out he hadn't...now it seems as though he's digging in his heels. He must like the spotlight.

Secretary Paige stands by NEA claim


Education Secretary Rod Paige says he chose poor words in calling the nation's largest teachers union a "terrorist organization," but he stands by his claim that the group uses "obstructionist scare tactics" in its fight over the nation's education law.

So...those 'scare tactics' include roadside bombs? anthrax attacks? sniper fire? suicide bombings? flying airplanes into buildings?

No...they mainly consist of demanding Bush fund his laws' mandates. Now THAT'S scary. Especially considering how RARELY that happens.

NEA asks Bush to fire Education Secretary

Is that why Paige feels terrorized? Probably not. Bush is loyal to those loyal to him.

Then again..we ARE talkin' about a NEGRO here.

Call it fifty-fifty.


The sanctity of REPUBLICAN marriage 

From my good friend brew:

The Daily Brew
© February 24, 2004

The Sanctity of Marriage

Perhaps sensing that the Bob Jones University crowd might not be as
motivated towards electoral politics as they would like, the Bush
administration has come out of the closet supporting a Constitutional
amendment to cement the status of gay and lesbian Americans as
second-class citizens. Casting the amendment as necessary to protect
the “sanctity of marriage,” Bush has found the perfect issue to move
the debate towards more comfortable ground than the war in Iraq, the
economy, and his Vietnam era service record. But with each passing day,
the spectacle of the ongoing celebration of love and devotion by
monogamous gay couples in San Francisco is convincing more and more
heterosexual Americans that married gays pose no real threat to them,
or to the sanctity of their marriages. So, to avoid the perception that
this amendment is really a political stunt designed by Karl Rove to
mobilize Bush’s base, Bush needs to go further, get out in front of the
curve, and really push for getting the amendment passed. I have a few
suggestions for the Bush team.

First, Bush should appoint his brother Neil to act as his point man in
promoting the Constitutional amendment. On an important issue like
amending the Constitution, Bush needs someone he can trust to
coordinate the massive lobbying effort that will be required to secure
supermajorities in the House, Senate, and state legislatures. Only
someone inside the Bush family should be trusted with such an important
job. Besides, who better to promote the sanctity of marriage than a man
who admitted during his divorce trial he contracted herpes while
cheating on his wife with prostitutes in Thailand?

To stoke the base, Neil could ask Rush Limbaugh to give the issue daily
attention on his radio program. Having been married three times, Rush
has significantly more experience with the sanctity of marriage than
your average American. Rush could also compare his own marriage with
the gays lining up to get married in San Francisco. Homosexuals
obviously require years to figure out if a person is right for them, as
many of these couples have been together in monogamous relationships
for decades. In contrast, Limbaugh met his current wife on the
internet. With talent on loan from God, Limbaugh can obviously smell
out sanctity sight unseen.

For some star power with younger voters, Rush could invite Britney
Spears on the program. Unlike most of the Hollywood elite, Britney has
been outspoken in her support for the President, so the Bush
administration can trust her not to embarrass them on this important
issue. Raised in bible-belt “Bush Country”, Britney recently married her
childhood friend Jason Alexander in Las Vegas. These traditional kids
practically wrote the book on the sanctity of marriage. As told by
Alexander, “It was just crazy, man…we were just looking at each other
and said, 'Let's do something wild, crazy. Let's go get married, just
for the hell of it.” Spears' high-powered visibility with younger
Americans, her outspoken support for the President, and the fact that
she managed to stay married for a stunning 55 hours before getting it
annulled, all combine to make her the perfect spokesperson for the
White House.

For the more erudite set, columnist George Will should be brought on
board. Syndicated in hundreds of newspapers across the country, Will
has spoken with enormous authority on cultural issues for decades. Like
Limbaugh, Will has first-hand experience with the “sanctity of marriage.”
While still married to another women, Will was romantically linked to
Lally Weymouth, daughter of Washington Post owner Katharine Graham.
When Will moved out on his wife and children, he found his office
furniture dumped on his front lawn with a note reading, "Take it
somewhere else, buster." It is this kind of first-hand experience with
the sanctity of marriage that allows Will to sit in judgment of others
and to convince them to amend the Constitution.

Finally, for the cable television assault, the obvious go-to-guy is
former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. The leader of the Republican
revolution that captured the House of Representatives in 1994, Gingrich
has the proven political skills to move a constitutional amendment to
ratification. Already a Fox News regular, Gingrich has years of
practice in the kinds of rhetoric that is crucial to win this
battlefront in the larger cultural war. After he married his first wife
Jackie Battley to avoid service in Vietnam, Newt enlisted Jackie to write
a letter attacking his opponent for planning to leave her family in the
district: ''When elected, Newt will keep his family together,''
declared one campaign ad. Gingrich ended his 19-year marriage shortly
after his victory, visiting Jackie in the hospital where she was
recovering from surgery for uterine cancer, to discuss details of the
divorce. He then failed to pay alimony and child support for his two
daughters, causing a church to take up a collection, and then left the
congregation in response to the pastor's criticism of his divorce.
Gingrich then married Marianne Ginther. He called her ''the woman I
love'' and ''my best friend and closest adviser'' in his first speech
as House speaker, in January 1995. At the time, Newt was having an
affair with wife number three, Castilla Bisek. In his political
testament, Newt criticized sex outside of marriage, promoted
traditional family life and opined that ''any male who doesn't support
his children is a bum.'' In May 1999, eight months after she told him
she had a neurological condition that could lead to multiple sclerosis,
Gingrich called Marianne at her mother's home. After wishing the
84-year-old matriarch happy birthday, he told Marianne that he wanted a
divorce. Newt then wed Callista Bisek, the ex-congressional aide 20
years his junior, with whom he had an affair while still married to

All in all, the President has a deep bench of family members,
celebrities, and seasoned political operatives who are perfectly
positioned to take his message of sanctimony to the masses. Let us all
hope he uses them.


Haunted By A Soldier's Face 

A knock-out column by Jimmy Breslin--again.

In case you needed reminding, this is the most important reason to get Bush out of office this November.

She didn't know his name. It was on a tag someplace and it had already been logged in. They did that the moment they brought the dead soldier off the plane from Iraq and into the morgue at Dover Air Force Base. The body had to pass through a metal detector in case there was some ordnance still there.

He had been taken right from the dirt of Iraq and flown here.

Now, he was on a gurney that was brought right up to her in the forensic dental department. The gurney was up to her waist. She looked down.

He had no head. Oh, there was part of his head still there, on the left side. Just a part. No more.

The left eye was there, wide open. The startled left eye.

"It was looking out as if to say, 'What happened?'" she was saying yesterday. "I don't think he believed that he was dead."


Ali Burton and the Forty Thieves 

Saw that on a Bruce Yurgil cartoon yesterday and almost fell out of my chair laughing. Perfect.

Then I saw this on atrios this morning:

Halliburton Investigation Whitewash

Sorry, all, I'm not going to get excited about the fact that the Pentagon has opened a criminal fraud investigation into Halliburton.

The investigation is being handled by the Pentagon's Defense Criminal investigation Service, which is a part of the Inspector General's office.

The chief of staff of the Inspector General's office is...L. Jean Lewis.

From Joe Conason's Journal at salon.com (links provided there):

The Bush administration has rewarded various Clinton pursuers from Kenneth Starr's staff with federal patronage, of course. (Brett Kavanaugh and John Bates, two principal authors of the appalling Starr Report, were among the most fortunate veterans of the Clinton jihad, although they were scarcely alone in winning plum jobs in the Justice Department and the White House. It was all part of what Bush spinners used to call "changing the tone.")

But Lewis is very special. Anyone who remembers the dramatic performances she gave before the House and Senate committees probing Whitewater will have to wonder how anyone in Washington would dare offer her a responsible position. As Gene Lyons and I reported in "The Hunting of the President", Lewis proved repeatedly that her relationship with the truth was rather distant, even while under oath -- and she was deeply partisan and incompetent as well. (For those without quick reference to "Hunting" p. 194-98, see this excellent post by Orcinus with a link to Atrios, as well as the Horse.)

The scoop on her new job appears in Newsweek, somewhat ironically under the byline of Michael Isikoff. According to the indefatigable Isikoff, Lewis will join the Pentagon inspector general's office as chief of staff at a salary of $118,000. She told him that top Defense officials interviewed her about her qualifications. That's right: A normally nonpartisan, exceptionally important agency is being turned over to this peculiar lady, who used to peddle "Presidential BITCH" memorabilia, betokening her hatred of Hillary Clinton, from a clerk's desk at the Resolution Trust Corporation in Kansas City. Obviously, she was executive material.

"With 1,240 employees and a budget of $160 million, this office is the largest of its kind in the government," as he reports. "It investigates fraud and audits Pentagon contracts, including the billions of dollars being awarded in Iraq to companies like Halliburton and Bechtel." Hey, maybe that's why the Bush crowd put Lewis in charge of preventing Pentagon corruption. This isn't the kind of office where they want anyone who actually knows how to do the job. But the Democrats should raise hell about this partisan outrage -- especially when we're being asked to turn over billions more for privatized defense functions.

Thank God for reporters like Joe Conason who aren't afraid to tell the truth about these crooks. CROOKS. LIARS. THIEVES.

Many, many more than just a mere FORTY.


Monday, February 23, 2004

More Rod Paige lies 

From body and soul:

I wonder how honest Republicans feel when their party keeps lying to them

The NYT has another article on the front page today on Republicans frustrated with Bush administration lies -- this time over the No Child Left Behind Act.

Last month, the Republican-controlled Virginia House of Delegates passed a resolution, 98 to 1, urging Congress to exempt Virginia from the law. That vote came after Rod Paige, the education secretary, and other administration officials met with Virginia lawmakers, said James H. Dillard II, chairman of the House Education Committee.

"Six of us met with Paige," Mr. Dillard, a Republican, said. "He looked us in the eye and said, `It's fully funded.' We looked him back in the eye and said, `We don't think so.' "

"We got platitudes and stonewalls, but no corrective action," he said.

When they look you in the eye and lie to you about an important issue, it's time to reconsider your plan to vote for them.

Amen, sistah. Amen.


The new definition of "terrorist" 

Rod Paige has surely stepped in it. Ankle deep. Via atrios:

Paige Denounces Teachers' Union

Education Secretary Rod Paige called the nation's largest teachers union a "terrorist organization" Monday, taking on the 2.7-million-member National Education Association early in the presidential election year.

Paige's comments, made to the nation's governors at a private White House meeting, were denounced by union president Reg Weaver as well as prominent Democrats.

The education secretary's words were "pathetic and they are not a laughing matter," said Weaver, whose union has said it plans to sue the Bush administration over lack of funding for demands included in the "No Child Left Behind" schools law.

Paige said later in an Associated Press interview that his comment was "a bad joke; it was an inappropriate choice of words." President Bush was not present at the time he made the remark.

"As one who grew up on the receiving end of insensitive remarks, I should have chosen my words better," said Paige, the first black education secretary.

So...that makes it all right, sort of. He DID apologize...right?


He said he had made clear to the governors that he was referring to the Washington-based union organization, not the teachers it represents.

Oh! Thanks for clearing that up.

It's the UNION that kills innocent civilians to pursue their political aims, not the TEACHERS. The TEACHERS are different from the UNION.

Yeah. Right.


Gov. Jennifer Granholm of Michigan, a Democrat, said the comments were made in the context of "we can't be supportive of the status quo and they're the status quo. But whatever the context, it is inappropriate — I know he wasn't calling teachers terrorists — but to ever suggest that the organization they belong to was a terrorist organization is uncalled for."


Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, said that during the private meeting, Bush took only two questions, leaving little time for a full exploration of issues.

"It would have been helpful for him to have heard the discussions about 'No Child Left Behind' because there may be a disconnect between what he thinks and what we know," Vilsack said.

A disconnect...between what he THINKS he knows...and what WE know...

Now that's genius. I couldn't have put it better myself. And I doubt Governor Vilsack was even trying.

Hey, my wife is an NEA member, and a reading specialist. F*CK Rod Paige and his anti-union fascist comments.


Sunday, February 22, 2004

A break in the case of the missing WMDs 

C.I.A. Admits It Didn't Give Weapon Data to the U.N.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 20 — The Central Intelligence Agency has acknowledged that it did not provide the United Nations with information about 21 of the 105 sites in Iraq singled out by American intelligence before the war as the most highly suspected of housing illicit weapons.

The acknowledgment, in a Jan. 20 letter to Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan, contradicts public statements before the war by top Bush administration officials.

Both George J. Tenet, the director of central intelligence, and Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, said the United States had briefed United Nations inspectors on all of the sites identified as "high value and moderate value" in the weapons hunt.

The contradiction is significant because Congressional opponents of the war were arguing a year ago that the United Nations inspectors should be given more time to complete their search before the United States and its allies began the invasion. The White House, bolstered by Mr. Tenet, insisted that it was fully cooperating with the inspectors, and at daily briefings the White House issued assurances that the administration was providing the inspectors with the best information possible.

[Is that why the inspectors referred to that information as "garbage"?]

In a telephone interview on Friday, Senator Levin said he now believed that Mr. Tenet had misled Congress, which he described as "totally unacceptable."

[Oh, it's way more than "unacceptable"...it's just as illegal as Martha Stewart lying to HER investigators. When will they perp-walk Tenet?]

Senior administration officials said Friday night that Ms. Rice had relied on information provided by intelligence agencies when she assured Senator Levin, in a letter on March 6, 2003, that "United Nations inspectors have been briefed on every high or medium priority weapons of mass destruction, missile and U.A.V.-related site the U.S. intelligence community has identified." Mr. Tenet said much the same thing in testimony on Feb. 12, 2003.

U.A.V.'s are unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly called drones.

George Tenet isn't going down without taking somebody with him. Ah gah-ron-TEE it.


How to come to a pre-arranged conclusion for fun and profit 

State Dept. excluded from Senate intelligence hearing

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. State Department's intelligence branch, whose skeptical prewar assessments of Iraq's weapons programs were more accurate than other agencies' judgments, is being excluded from a panel that advises Congress each year on worldwide threats.

The State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research was not invited by Republican leaders to testify at the annual threat hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee being held Tuesday, even though the bureau has participated in the hearing every year since it began in the early 1990s, congressional and administration officials said.

The move has puzzled some Democrats on Capitol Hill, who note that postwar findings in Iraq have vindicated many of the State Department's calls.

"At the very time when I&R seems to have been right and everyone else wrong, it's at least unusual that this year for the first time they're not invited," said a congressional staffer.


Unlike the CIA or other spy agencies, the Bureau of Intelligence and Research does not collect intelligence. Rather, it undertakes independent analysis of intelligence gathered by other agencies. The bureau's main function is to advise the secretary of State, and it has long prided itself on taking independent views.

The bureau was in agreement with other agencies that Saddam Hussein's regime likely had chemical and biological weapons, but it was more skeptical that Baghdad was rebuilding its nuclear program, a claim the Bush administration made in making the case for war.

In a footnote to a multi-agency prewar assessment of Iraq's programs, the bureau called the evidence "inadequate to support such a judgment." U.S. search teams since have concluded that Baghdad's nuclear program had been largely destroyed and was nearly dormant.

Looks like the Republican Congress is taking a lesson from the Bush administration in how to get the results you want by ignoring anyone who might not agree with your predetermined outcome.



Those enviro-whackos at . . . Fortune Magazine 

You have to know things are bad when the capitalists themselves are crying "The sky is falling!" This is bound to make Rush Limbaugh's head 'splode.

The grownups are in charge...but they're not in the White House. I'm glad to see that somebody is able to understand the climate science behind global warming. If nothing else--the collapse of our economic architecture, the collapse of our culture, the collapse of our real estate values on the coastlines, the collapse of our faith in our government to choose the right policies that PROTECT us instead of a CORPORATION'S PROFITS--

--if nothing else, the Pentagon almost ALWAYS takes security threats SERIOUSLY.

Via thismodernworld.com:


The Pentagon's Weather Nightmare

The climate could change radically, and fast. That would be the mother of all national security issues.

By David Stipp

Global warming may be bad news for future generations, but let's face it, most of us spend as little time worrying about it as we did about al Qaeda before 9/11. Like the terrorists, though, the seemingly remote climate risk may hit home sooner and harder than we ever imagined. In fact, the prospect has become so real that the Pentagon's strategic planners are grappling with it.

The threat that has riveted their attention is this: Global warming, rather than causing gradual, centuries-spanning change, may be pushing the climate to a tipping point. Growing evidence suggests the ocean-atmosphere system that controls the world's climate can lurch from one state to another in less than a decade -— like a canoe that's gradually tilted until suddenly it flips over. Scientists don't know how close the system is to a critical threshold. But abrupt climate change may well occur in the not-too-distant future. If it does, the need to rapidly adapt may overwhelm many societies —- thereby upsetting the geopolitical balance of power.

Though triggered by warming, such change would probably cause cooling in the Northern Hemisphere, leading to longer, harsher winters in much of the U.S. and Europe. Worse, it would cause massive droughts, turning farmland to dust bowls and forests to ashes. Picture last fall's California wildfires as a regular thing. Or imagine similar disasters destabilizing nuclear powers such as Pakistan or Russia—it's easy to see why the Pentagon has become interested in abrupt climate change.

Then there's THIS from the Guardian:

Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us

· Secret report warns of rioting and nuclear war
· Britain will be 'Siberian' in less than 20 years
· Threat to the world is greater than terrorism


A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a 'Siberian' climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world.

The document predicts that abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies. The threat to global stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism, say the few experts privy to its contents.

'Disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life,' concludes the Pentagon analysis. 'Once again, warfare would define human life.'

The findings will prove humiliating to the Bush administration, which has repeatedly denied that climate change even exists. Experts said that they will also make unsettling reading for a President who has insisted national defence is a priority.

Bush reads this stuff? I thought he had a "filter"...


Even Tom Tomorrow can't support Nader THIS time 



I supported Ralph Nader in 2000.

And let's get this out of the way: if you're hoping for a Stalinist-re-education-camp-self-denunciation sort of thing, you'll have to go to a different website. I still believe that Nader had (and has) an important critique of the American political system.

But 2004 is not 2000. If you will forgive me for stating the obvious, 9/11 changed the world we live in. I don't know what the Bush administration would have been like if not for the terrorist attacks, but I know what they've done as a result. 9/11 gave the administration's most radical elements the perfect excuse to pursue their wildest fantasies of empire.

And we can't afford four more years of this.


I think the damage he will do is in re-igniting the liberal/left Civil War of 2000. To expand on something I wrote a few days ago: Nader's critique is, essentially, that there is a cancer on the body politic--and he's right about that. The problem in the year 2004 is that the body politic is also suffering from multiple wounds and blunt force trauma, we're in the emergency room and it's a damn mess and there's blood everywhere and the doctors are working furiously but it's anybody's guess how things are gonna turn out. We are in triage, and we have to deal with the immediate problems, or the long-term ones won't matter anyway.


The Liberal Media must have missed this story 

This interview is via blah3.com:

Soldier for the Truth

Exposing Bush’s talking-points war

by Marc Cooper

After two decades in the U.S. Air Force, Lieutenant Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski, now 43, knew her career as a regional analyst was coming to an end when — in the months leading up to the war in Iraq — she felt she was being “propagandized” by her own bosses.

With master’s degrees from Harvard in government and zoology and two books on Saharan Africa to her credit, she found herself transferred in the spring of 2002 to a post as a political/military desk officer at the Defense Department’s office for Near East South Asia (NESA), a policy arm of the Pentagon.

Kwiatkowski got there just as war fever was spreading, or being spread as she would later argue, through the halls of Washington. Indeed, shortly after her arrival, a piece of NESA was broken off, expanded and re-dubbed with the Orwellian name of the Office of Special Plans. The OSP’s task was, ostensibly, to help the Pentagon develop policy around the Iraq crisis.

She would soon conclude that the OSP — a pet project of Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld — was more akin to a nerve center for what she now calls a “neoconservative coup, a hijacking of the Pentagon.”

Though a lifelong conservative, Kwiatkowski found herself appalled as the radical wing of the Bush administration, including her superiors in the Pentagon planning department, bulldozed internal dissent, overlooked its own intelligence and relentlessly pushed for confrontation with Iraq.

Deeply frustrated and alarmed, Kwiatkowski, still on active duty, took the unusual step of penning an anonymous column of internal Pentagon dissent that was posted on the Internet by former Colonel David Hackworth, America’s most decorated veteran.

As war inevitably approached, and as she neared her 20-year mark in the Air Force, Kwiatkowski concluded the only way she could viably resist what she now terms the “expansionist, imperialist” policies of the neoconservatives who dominated Iraq policy was by retiring and taking up a public fight against them.

She left the military last March, the same week that troops invaded Iraq. Kwiatkowski started putting her real name on her Web reports and began accepting speaking invitations. “I’m now a soldier for the truth,” she said in a speech last week at Cal Poly Pomona. Afterward, I spoke with her.

Go read the rest.


Buy Girl Scout cookies 

Again, via atrios:

Unlike the Boy Scouts, who are in thrall of homophobes all across America, the Girl Scouts are not budging in the face of an all-out attack by rightwing nutjob fanatics.

This year's annual Girl Scout cookie sale is going well, despite, or perhaps because of calls for a boycott over the local council's sponsorship of Planned Parenthood's "Nobody's Fool Conference" and the groups’ decision to honor Planned Parenthood's executive director.

"We're pleased to report that the cookie sales have been going very well. All the media attention has definitely put us in the spotlight and those that are very much in support of girl scouts and want to show their support of girl scouts, have been going out of their way to find out where they can purchase cookies, " says local Girl Scouts Executive Director Beth Vivio.

Vivio says some residents are dropping by the scout office to place orders -- something that's never happened before.

And some regular cookie buyers are doubling their orders.

Girl Scouts support Planned Parenthood. And rightwing fanatics are convinced of the harm caused by PP's REAL agenda--

The right to decide for one's self when to have a baby;

The right to make family planning decisions for one's self, and not the state or church;

The right to health care as a result of those decisions--protection from VD, AIDS, unwanted pregnancy, counseling, etc;

The right for the MOTHER to determine rights, and the freedom to decide for herself what she wants.

So buy Girl Scout cookies. Double your order this year. They're under ATTACK.


Bush the Uniter 

Via atrios:

It looks like Karl Rove has blundered completely in the stand on immigration. I knew it was a mistake when they first suggested it, but it's becoming even more divisive than I thought. This initiative is tearing the California GOP to shreds.

Rifts Show at State GOP Event

Anger over illegal immigration and high spending shakes up the convention. Bush and Schwarzenegger are heavily criticized.

BURLINGAME, Calif. — An uproar over illegal immigration roiled the state Republican convention on Saturday as party leaders struggled to keep the rank and file united behind Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and President Bush.

Hundreds of GOP loyalists booed the president at a rally where U.S. Senate hopeful Howard Kaloogian and his allies denounced Bush's plan to give temporary legal status to undocumented workers.

"Enough is enough!" the crowd shouted. "Enough is enough!"

A Kaloogian supporter, Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado, told the crowd he knew a gynecologist who surveyed patients about the plan and found it rated "right below genital herpes."

Schwarzenegger fared no better than Bush. Even staunch allies of the governor distanced themselves from his effort to strike a deal with Democrats on a bill to give driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa of Vista warned that the move would "empower criminal aliens."

"If we find an illegal, we have an obligation to deport them; it's that simple," said the San Diego County car-alarm tycoon, who bankrolled the recall petition effort that led to Schwarzenegger's victory. "As long as people are here illegally, to give them the ability to further cover their status is to empower Al Qaeda."

Wow. WOW.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com