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February 01, 2006
SOTU Address notes...

I didn't see it.

I have read some short excerpts.

Love the "addicted to Oil," thing... Especially coming from a former "pusher," and enabler of current "pushers." Hehe...

I take it that the speech was par for Bush, in that it had it's moments no matter which side of the issues you may be on.

I read this "gleeful," report last night about Sheehan being arrested and that she was aressted for "wearing," a tshirt with an anti-war message. My response... "WTF, I thought Bush is always talking about the Capital as belonging to the PEOPLE. Perhaps that should be, "THE PEOPLE WHO AGREE WITH ME." Whatever, I have two thoughts, Sheehan needs to be told that her 15 minutes are up, Bush needs to be told that in America there is still one constitutional right that is inviolate, Freedom of Speech. And it looks like the Capital Police Agree... Not to mention some other folks, who say it much better than I can... (Please give that link a read, it is awesome). Hat Tip Balloon Juice.

As for the other highlights of the speech... I have to laugh at the "in your face," the Dems gave Bush on Social Security. I think it was a bit juvenile, but hey after getting our ass kicked so much over the last 6 years, I guess you, "smoke em if you got em'"

Bush's big round SCREW YOU on the eavesdropping thing did not surprise me... I mean, one of the best ways to convince everyone you are right is to NEVER admit wrong... And the President excels at that...

Well that's about it... What did you think?

Posted by David A at 06:22 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | 280 Words
The Jay Tea Challenge....

Jay Challenges.... I respond.... BAM!

Posted by David A at 11:43 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | 7 Words
January 31, 2006
What the FUG Ever!

Alito is confirmed... And the sun did not fall from the sky. If his Senate Confirmation Hearing Testimony turns out to be true, then we on the Left have little to fear. If he turns out to be the swing vote on the Imperial Presidency, then damn to hell everyone who voted for Bush and every Democrat who crossed the line. But to hell with the Whining!

Get the FUG over it!

I am so damned tired of being a part of the whinny Left. Anyone who didn't Absolutely KNOW that the man was going to be confirmed is certifiable.... The problem with the Left blogsphere is we spend too damned much time whinning and not enough working together.

The RIGHT kicks our ass DAILY, and all we can do is WHINE, WHINE, WHINE! Bush has ridiculously low approval ratings... Translation... The American Public does not approve of the crap coming from this administration. Do we utilize this as a combat strategy... Do we inform the dissenchanted masses... Hell NO<, we WHINE! I am sick of it!

Posted by David A at 01:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 180 Words
Right On Rogue!

My thoughts exactly!

Posted by David A at 01:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 4 Words
January 30, 2006
Cindy Sheehan Reloaded...

From The Moderate Voice:

Apparently anti-war mom Cindy Sheehan and Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez have become "buds." This just caused me to yell at my computer, calling Cindy Sheehan a "Stupid Idiot." I am liberal, center-left, and the Left embarrasses me when it pulls stunts like this. The far left is just as stupid and dangerous as the far right.

Could not have said it better myself. A while back I engaged in a little bit of a debate with my fellow PBAer Dru, over Cindy's place in History.

My feeling all along was that Cindy was more focussed on being a media star, than being a legitimate alternative anti-war voice. Now she has stepped over the bounds of good taste, and taken camera mugging to a whole new level.

Her embracing of Chavez is embarrassing, and only adds fuel to the fire of those on the Right who seek to discredit the legitimate anti war movement. Chavez is respected and even admired by many in this part of the world. I dont share the admiration, but I do respect a man who has balls big enough to play soccer with. The truth of the matter is that the man is a thug, who's leftist credentials pale in the face of his messianic ego. Chavez is a throwback to the Latin American Strongman, when intellect was a lot less important than testosterone and Machismo. That American Left Activist like Sheehan and Bellafonte are rallying to his banner, say more about their own desperate need for relevance, than any understanding of his "revolution."

I said it back then and I will say it again... Cindy Sheehan is NO Rosa Parks. She never will be, and this relationship with Chavez more than likely signals the begining of the end of her much extended "15 minutes of fame."

Posted by David A at 04:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 307 Words
Criminal Negligence!

Brown should be prosecuted... Nuff Said...

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Federal emergency officials failed to accept offers of possibly life-saving aid from the Department of Interior immediately after Hurricane Katrina, according to documents obtained by CNN.

The Interior Department offered the Federal Emergency Management Agency the use of personnel who were experienced in water rescues and also offered boats, helicopters, heavy equipment and rooms, the documents say.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, chairwoman of a Senate committee with jurisdiction over the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA, said the additional resources may have saved lives. (Watch how FEMA brushed off offers of help -- 2:14)

"It is indeed possible that there was additional suffering and maybe even loss of life that might not have occurred if these assets had been deployed," Collins said.

Her panel, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, is set to hold hearings Monday looking into the search-and-rescue response to Katrina.

A spokesman for Homeland Security, which includes FEMA, says the Bush administration is examining how to better utilize federal and other resources in catastrophes.

But, he observed, "Were there federal assets that were not used in Katrina? Of course."

The Interior Department offered FEMA 500 rooms, 119 pieces of heavy equipment, 300 dump trucks and other vehicles, 300 boats, 11 aircraft and 400 law enforcement officers, according to a questionnaire answered by a department official.

Interior law enforcement officers included special agents and refuge officers from the department's Fish and Wildlife Service.

"Although we attempted to provide these assets, we were unable to efficiently integrate and deploy these resources," an Interior Department official wrote the Senate committee investigating the government's response to Katrina.

Collins said she is particularly concerned by the fact that the offer of help was from the federal government.

"Now, you might be able to understand if it came from outside government," she said. "But this is another federal agency, an agency that was offering trained personnel and exactly the assets that the federal government needed to assist in the search-and-rescue operations."

Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, the committee's senior Democrat, says in a draft statement for Monday's hearing that "the greatest honor we can pay those who risked their lives in the aftermath of Katrina would be to make sure that the heroes of the next catastrophe are given the proper equipment and the clear plan they need to succeed"

According to government officials, 1,322 people died from Katrina, all but 15 of the deaths occurring in Louisiana and Mississippi.

The Senate committee released e-mails that document FEMA's decision to ground its search-and-rescue teams three days after Katrina because of security concerns.

Before then, the Interior Department had offered FEMA hundreds of law enforcement officers trained in search-and-rescue, emergency medical services and evacuation, according to the documents.

Posted by David A at 02:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 464 Words
A couple of thoughts on The Hamas Victory...
LONDON, Jan. 29 — Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice acknowledged Sunday that the United States had failed to understand the depth of hostility among Palestinians toward their longtime leaders. The hostility led to an election victory by the militant group Hamas that has reduced to tatters crucial assumptions underlying American policies and hopes in the Middle East.

"I've asked why nobody saw it coming," Ms. Rice said, speaking of her own staff. "It does say something about us not having a good enough pulse."

Immediately after the election, Bush administration officials said the results reflected a Palestinian desire for change and not necessarily an embrace of Hamas, which the United States, Israel and the European Union consider a terrorist organization sworn to Israel's destruction. But Ms. Rice's comments seemed to reflect a certain second-guessing over how the administration had failed to foresee, or factor into its thinking, the possibility of a Hamas victory.

Indeed, Hamas's victory has set off a debate whether the administration was so wedded to its belief in democracy that it could not see the dangers of holding elections in regions where Islamist groups were strong and democratic institutions weak.

"There is a lot of blame to go around," said Martin Indyk, a top Middle East negotiator in the Clinton administration, referring to Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, and his Fatah party. "But on the American side, the conceptual failure that contributed to disaster was the president's belief that democracy and elections solve everything."

Ms. Rice pointed out that the election results surprised just about everyone. "I don't know anyone who wasn't caught off guard by Hamas's strong showing," she said on her way to London for meetings on the Middle East, Iran and other matters. "Some say that Hamas itself was caught off guard by its strong showing."

1. You can't on the one hand promote democracy, and then when elections dont go the way you want them to, decide you dont want to engage. Hamas has bloody hands, and are still ranting the same nonsense about destroying Israel. But they won the election. We can either engage and negotiate with them, or write off the peace process.

2. We can spend millions spying on Americans, and yet we dont have the intelligence assets to predict an election result? I mean WTF?

Posted by David A at 10:57 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | 386 Words
January 29, 2006
What is Treason?

The term is often bandied about by those on the Right who want to smear anyone who dissagrees with the current administrations policies in the so called war on terror. But to me, TREASON is to willfully abandon the principles that made our country great, in favor of partisanship. We should always first be loyal Americans and not PARTY MEMBERS. I have for the last several years, watched this administration defecate on our constitution.

I have watched mean spirited partisanship rip our country apart and create a divide which in fact may never be healed. And I have watched arrogance triumph over right, time and time again. It has been well documented here and in other places, and yet the vast numbers of the American public have remained silent or oblivious to the real damage being done to our country.

There are many conservatives who I respect, a few who I truly like. I sit astounded at times that they can not see, or refuse to see, what I see... which is a slow erosion of our fundamental rights as Americans and a gross violation of what we are supposed to stand for as a nation. I try to believe that they are innocent... that they are simply blinded by their own faith in a man and an adminstration that long ago lost the right to that faith, but as days go by, and outrage follows outrage, I begin to wonder. This article is a must read. The subjects of the article will be called traitors by some, but to me they stand for the finest examples of American Patriotism. They, Conservatives all, chose to be Americans first. Isn't it time that some of those out there who have been the biggest apologist for this administration chose the same path? Or in the end, in a diminished America, will those of us who chose to fight the lonely fight, be called traitors... while those who betrayed the principles of our country re-write history, while destroying 230 years of the greatest democracy on earth?

Welcome Newsweek Readers...

Posted by David A at 05:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 348 Words
Betcha didn't know this....

Things that make ya go hmmmmm....

It is obvious that Mr. Abramoff was no stranger to the Bush White House from the very beginning. Well before the President took office, Mr. Abramoff was named to the Bush transition team for the Department of the Interior. He may not have had any discernible qualifications to oversee that department’s appointments, but he had clients on tribal reservations and in the Marianas Islands whose businesses were regulated by Interior officials.

He has been a friend of Karl Rove, the deputy chief of staff and Presidential political advisor, for more than a quarter-century. His personal assistant soon showed up as the personal assistant to Mr. Rove. His associate David Safavian, since indicted, became the administration’s chief procurement officer. He told his friends and clients that he could get into the Bush White House — and get whatever he wanted there.

He proved that boast on May 9, 2001, only four months into the first Bush term, when the President met with two Native American tribal leaders represented by Mr. Abramoff. According to a report published in the Texas Observer last June, that meeting was arranged in cooperation with conservative strategist Grover Norquist, another longtime comrade of Mr. Rove. The Texas magazine uncovered documents showing that Mr. Abramoff and Mr. Norquist used their White House access to squeeze money from clients. There are probably photographs of that May 2001 event, and they must be among the photos that the White House is refusing to release.

And for a bit more....

Sortta like me saying I dont know, and never knew, the indicted ex President of Costa Rica.

Seems like some in Bush's own party want him to come clean too.

Posted by David A at 05:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 288 Words
January 28, 2006
I wonder....

How the Log Cabin Republicans feel about this?

Posted by David A at 09:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 9 Words
I dont even know what...

to say about this....

So because doing what is in the interest of the American People's right to know, will hurt Bush, he should not do it... Interesting rationale...

Posted by David A at 02:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 30 Words
January 27, 2006
Chocolate City

From my Bro T-Steel:

I received an e-mail on Saturday (01/21) asking if I would comment on Mayor Ray Nagin's "chocolate city" comment. The e-mailer considers me a moderate voice on matters. Well, I may or may not disappoint with my answer but my answer is relatively short...

I could care less what Mayor Ray Nagin said. I'm not part of a partisan hit squad looking to score as many cool points as possible in order to pimp slap the other side. First and foremost, it will be impossible to make New Orleans into a "chocolate city" since it never was in the first place. And if he tried, he would kiss his mayor job goodbye. Secondly, there was nothing racist or hateful in his remarks. So in the end, I sum up his comments as a insignificant blip on America's social radar. Now if your a "partisan lifer" this is your big chance to cause more ruckus. Whip out some talking points and score points with your fellow lifers. AIn't it grand?

But Mayor Nagin's comments are already out of the media loopy light. His comments had no staying power. His comments were just more background noise in the soundscape of America "gotcha" politics. Bah humbug to all that politicking. Have a 7 UP Plus ™ and smile instead.

I ignored the whole Nagin comment thing when it happened. Like TS, I didn't give a rats ass about it. Go read his piece, the second to last paragraph hits the nail on the head.

Posted by David A at 05:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 258 Words
Actually, as much as I hate to admit it...

He is right:

Sometimes I sympathize with the Dems. It must be so frustrating for them. Every time they get some issue that they are absolutely convinced is an unequivocal and total indictment of the Bush administration, it just fizzles. From "No WMDs" to "PlameGate" to the Downing Street Memos, every time they think they have a winner, not much happens.

Take "warrentless wiretaps." The Dems arouse themselves into (another) self-righteous fury. "These warrantless wiretaps were illegal .. illegal .. illegal. Bush will run roughshod over the Constition. Don't you see? They were illegal! This is an outrage! Bush must be stopped."

The problem is, only one third of the voters feel this way. Another third are conservatives. And the last third are voters in the middle, who might be persuaded on these matters. Unfortunately, every single time, Rove & BushCo manage to persuade a majority of the swing voters that their policy was correct (or that the issue was not as the Dems framed it).

And what does this say about America?

Perhaps one day in the near or distant future, us Democrats may be seen as the voice of sanity in an insane time.... On the other hand, Bush's policies, as much as we may despise them, may be vindicated as necessary for the times we live in. I am no sage, and I simply dont know all the answers.

I am not going to give up my fight, or my beliefs. Nor will I give up hope that even hard core conservatives will one day see what I see. Perhaps I am delusional, then again, perhaps I am a patriot. History will judge my philosophy, just as it will judge the Administrations actions...

But waiting for that judgement is a "painful excercise."

Posted by David A at 05:21 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | 296 Words
January 23, 2006
They can have him....

Nuff said.

Posted by David A at 02:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 3 Words
Hehe.. Odd man in...

Once again I find myself agreeing completely with Jay Tea:

1. Illegal Aliens should not be entitled to medical treatment (Except life threatening emergencies), on the taxpayers dime.

2. The police should not be able to sieze my LEGAL firearm, unless I am doing something ILLEGAL with it.

3. I should be able to defend myself and my property with deadly force if faced with the same...

I am with Jay, these don't seem like Conservative or Liberal issues to me, they are just common sense, and I should add... hehe... All are the law here in Costa Rica.

Posted by David A at 12:18 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | 100 Words
January 22, 2006
Another B.S. Alert

From Yahoo News:

Although President Bush says he doesn't recall meeting convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the two have reportedly turned up in photos together.

Both Washingtonian and Time magazines have reported the existence of about a half-dozen photos showing the two together.

Time reported on its Web site Sunday that its staff members have seen at least six photos featuring Bush and Abramoff, who has pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from his lobbying practices and has pledged to cooperate with investigators. They appeared to have been taken at White House functions, according to the reports.

The White House has acknowledged that Abramoff attended some events at the Executive Mansion, and spokeswoman Dana Perino said Sunday it's not surprising that the two would have met.

"The president has taken tens upon thousands of pictures at such events," Perino said.

Hmmmm, not exactly news since from the moment Bush denied knowing Abramoff, there have been reports of a mad scramble in the White House to do damage control, including identifying photos and, "reasons," for his numerous appearances at the White House.

Response from one of my Favorite Bush Die Hards, Rob....

This is going to get a ton of attention from the media and the left. The contributions made by Abramoff to Bush have already been the subject of much scrutiny and criticism. But before Howard Dean and his ilk begin talking about perp-walking the President out of the White House I'd like to remind everybody, once again, that it is not Abramoff's personal donations to politicians that has him in trouble. Rather, it is the contributions he directed his clients to make to politicians in return for special favors.

This is how it worked: Abramoff would approach a politician to find out if they would be willing to "play ball" for his clients. If yes, Abramoff would direct his clients to contribute the appropriate amount to the politician in question. He did not, as far as we know, route any of this money through his personal accounts or contributions to politicians. And he would be stupid to have done that. Abramoff, as a private individual, faced the same contribution limits under campaign finance law as everybody else. Once he reached those limits he could donate no more in his name. Indian tribes, however, are exempted from that law and can contribute unlimited amounts of money.

Of course, if it comes out that Bush did engaged in some quid pro quo with Abramoff for these contributions the President should have to face the music like everybody else. But that's highly unlikely. Given what we know about Abramoff's other dealings he did not arrange for political favors based on his personal contributions.

Can I call Bullshit now?

First off, no lobbyist, especially Abramoff, makes donations without some expectation. This is not to say that Bush is on par with DeLay, but it is also not to say that it was perfectly okay for Bush or any other representative to dirty their hands with this man.

Rob goes on to make the spurious claim that Abramoff directed his clients to make "hundreds of thousands of dollars," in donations to Democrats... Nice talking point, mostly bullshit.

I am not saying Bush is guilty of corruption because he had now pretty conclussively been tied to the Abramoff scandal. I am also NOT saying that there were ZERO Democrats who accepted money as part of this scandal. Whitewashing Bush involvemen, while implying broader Democratic involvement is just plain BS, and should be called as such.

Posted by David A at 11:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 591 Words
Political Venom....

I am very happy to see this issue getting some traction on both sides of the political spectrum. I am also glad to see that Dean and Joe did not chose to just point fingers at the other side, but give some real thought to the issue.

Political Venom is one of the FEW bi-partisan issues left these days, both sides have their bomb throwers and it is getting sickening. Read Joe and Dean's posts... And then think about it a bit...

Posted by David A at 10:45 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | 82 Words
January 20, 2006
More on civil debate.....

Dean has a good post, on a subject I touched on yesterday:


Charlie Cook has a good piece on Real Clear Politics about Political Venom--and before one of you lefties barks that Real Clear Politics is a right-wing site (it is) please note that Cook has a long and respected record as a non-partisan political analyst, and he's taking swipes at everyone here:

I am deeply troubled by the tenor of current political discourse in this country. More and more Republicans don't just disagree with Democrats, they despise them—and vice versa. People don't just challenge someone's views, they challenge the other person's integrity. Enjoyable, informative, and civil discussions between people with different points of view are becoming rare.
The rest is good. Read the whole thing, then come back here.

I'm not sure it's quite as bad as it seems, although there are certain people who I certainly get intemperate with, certain subjects where I get very, very intemperate. These subjects include communists, fascists, holocaust denialists, and totalitarians of all stripes. Just test me on any of those subjects, and I'll admit it: the foam comes right out of me. What's more, I don't care if people don't like it.

Read the whole post. I have had my run-ins with Dean, but I have found that I have come to respect and like him. In fact, we have even found some things in common. But he hits on some good points. There are few people I truly dislike in the Blogsphere (I refuse to say hate). I wont mention names or blogs, it is clear to my readers who I refer too.

At one time I was known as a person who could carry on conversations with both sides of the debate. And that is still true in some cases, but I have found that many on the Right want to "dictate," the terms of the debate. I often use questions, as a form of generating discussion on my Blog. Many of them are simply ignored. On the "Bush lied," point Dean brings up, I believe he lied, has lied on a number of issues, not just the reasons for entering a war in Iraq. The problem I have is that those on the Right dont even want to consider that he may have lied. I said "I BELIEVE", not "I KNOW". The difference is that Right Wingers KNOW he didn't. How can you have that kind of discussion?

Posted by David A at 10:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 413 Words
January 19, 2006
Rage and Why I don't feel it anymore...

I understand exactly where Jack is coming from with this post:

The rage and despair I feel now is a mixture of the emotions prompted by a loss so deep that it is almost impossible to comprehend, much less to describe, along with what I see as the willful ignorance of others who stake out their partisan positions, repeating the talking points instead of thinking for themselves, choosing to reject the ideals and concepts they claim to believe in, regardless of if they are self-labeled as on the "left" or the "right" because they are all so frightened they are sacrificing freedoms on the altar of expediency.

I have refrained from posting my writings that I know are arising from the rage and the despair I have felt, and I am trying very hard now not to express in the most vulgar, vile terms the disgust I feel when reading what passes for "commentary" in blogworld, whether in posts or in the "hallelujah" comments I read from the worshiping acolytes that accumulate around the most damaged personality types that write weblogs, hate brigades that spew vile vituperation upon anyone who has the temerity to disagree with the object of worship, the damaged personality that does the thinking for the self-selected minions since they have chosen to not think for themselves.

This tendency to prefer others to think instead of doing the hard work themselves existed long before the Internet, note that President Lyndon Johnson once said, "If two men agree on everything, you may be sure that one of them is doing the thinking." Unfortunately for us all, the Internet has allowed many thoughts not worth even the glucose molecules to power them to flourish and take hold among the many who are too lazy to think and prefer to have others think FOR them.

Because I often feel the same way. And I too have had the legions of worshipers at the alter of, (Insert Conservative Blogger Here), come over to ISOU to defend their hero and their position. Their defense is usually something like this:

1. You are stupid and fat
2. You are a traitor and commie
3. Your children are a.) ugly b.) Niggers.
4. How dare you argue with (Fill in the blank), he is so much smarter than you.
5. Quote some obscure Republican or Conservative source to show me how "wrong" I am.

Whatever. I am not filled with rage any more. More like pity.

And Jack, God Bless... Having lost both my parents, I know how you feel. They were my heroes too. Hang in there, one day, and I cant say when... You will look back and celebrate the time you had, and realize that our sense of loss can be overcome by a sense of joy for they who no longer suffer...

Posted by David A at 08:30 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | 473 Words
January 17, 2006
Hehe...

Looks like Angel and I are not the only ones, who think Hillary will eat Condi Rice's lunch in a Presidential bid:

President Bush's advisers are resigned to the Democratic capture of the White House in 2008, according to senior Republican sources close to the White House.

GOP sources said White House strategists have attempted to persuade Mr. Bush that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Democrat and her party's current front-runner to be the next presidential nominee, cannot be defeated in 2008. Bush strategists said the president should instead focus on seeking to retain the Republican majority in both houses of Congress in 2006 and 2008.

Must keep Clinton haters up at night just thinking about it...

Posted by David A at 09:12 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (3) | 119 Words
Ya don't say???
WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Republicans moved to seize the initiative for ethics reform Tuesday with a comprehensive package of changes, including the banning of privately sponsored travel like that arranged by convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

The package also includes a virtual ban on gifts, except for inconsequential items like baseball caps, and a provision that will affect few people: elimination of congressional pensions for anyone convicted of a felony related to official duties.

After months of inaction by the Republican leadership, and with an ethics committee stalled by partisan disagreements, House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier, R-California, pledged to pass the reforms by the end of February.

"I know that fact-finding trips are important, but private travel has been abused by some," Hastert, R-Illinois, told a news conference.

Uh.... Yeah Hastert.... Sure has been abused.... Just as the American people have been abused... I wont say anymore, since this issues and the incredible hypocrisy of you people just get under my damned skin!

Posted by David A at 05:59 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | 167 Words
January 15, 2006
Condi for President?
Laura Bush has revealed for the first time whom she would like to see replacing her husband in the White House: Condoleezza Rice, the Secretary of State.

"I'd love to see her run. She's terrific," Mrs Bush said during an interview in which she predicted that for the first time a woman would soon be elected president of the US.

Laura Bush and Condoleezza Rice

The First Lady, a powerful behind-the-scenes figure in American politics, is the most influential voice to speak in favour of a presidential bid in 2008 by Ms Rice.

I'd love to see her run too, Hillary would eat her for lunch.

Posted by David A at 11:37 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0) | 106 Words
January 12, 2006
Whatever....

Blah, Blah, Blah,Blah...

Like I said last night:

And for that matter so Freakin' what? The woman cried. Did she go to Senate Confirmation hearings expecting them to be an honors banquet?

And please, like the Democrats are suppossed to just lay down and give Bush Appointments a Pass. This shit is getting pyschotic. And I know I an inviting an attack by Wizbang's resident Bad Boy (Yawn), who gives a shit. Bring it on Bad Boy. I know you will just take a couple of smug swipes over in your playground.

John Cole and I agree of few things, but his rationality is obviously something that gets under the skirt of the Brown Shirt wing of the Conservative Blogsphere.

And finaly, get over the hypocrisy, dudes. Its not good for your soul. Not that I am endorsing the idea that some of you HAVE a soul.

And oh yeah.... RIGHT ON Reid!

Posted by David A at 08:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (3) | 158 Words
January 11, 2006
It's commentary like this...

Post...

But the thing is, any reasonable news consumer that's been following this administration and the Democratic opposition to it over the past five years is going to take anything the Democratic leadership conjures up against this president with a hefty dose of salt - I ain't talking about grains, here, but buckets. The howls of outrage about anything and everything having to do with Iraq and the war on Terror have hardened my perception of a select group of Democrats (you know, the ones we see on TV and in newsprint every day) to the point where I don't think I owe them any presumptive characteristics at all - I'm going to take a good, hard look at every accusation they make before I make up my mind that it's substantive, or hogwash.

And people, that ain't my fault - it's the Democrats fault. Just as it's the fault of the Bush administration that I don't take their word about a damned thing anymore either.

So no, I don't think I owe the Democrats, or the Republicans any presumption of patriotism, or legitimacy. And neither do you. The two parties have shown themselves to be so clearly more interested in incumbency, rather than governing, that they've stripped themselves of that mantle all on their own.

That have made me a fan of Cadillac Tight and Don. I find myself more comfortable with people like Don and John Cole for pieces like this one.... Than I do for most Progressive Blogs, who just jump from "Bushwhack," to "Bushwhack," without ever really taking the time to focus on anything. That is a movement of desperation, not consideration.

Oh dont get me wrong... I think this Administration is full of it... This post, reflects a lot of my personal feelings about the Bush Presidency. But the fact of the matter is, the Bush Presidency has been a road littered with failed opportunites for Democrats. Opportunities to present a REAL alternative instead of jingoism and attacks. Republicans have all but dared us to present an alternative, instead of rising to that challenge, our leadership has stumbled from "scandal to scandal," trying to find something that would stick. And at each stage, we have been outplayed about as badly as my beloved Trojans were outplayed in the Rose Bowl. Despite his knee being on the ground (reference to Vince Young in the Rose Bowl), Karl Rove keeps lobbing touchdowns into the End Zone of Public Opinion. This President may or may not be a liar, fraud, evil, Intelligent Stupid... fill in the blanks.... But he is fortunate enough to be liked by a narrow majority in this country, one that is willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

I have NO DOUBT that many conservatives are embarrassed by Bush. I have little doubt that many feel betrayed by him, and even less doubt that many have serious doubts about the honesty of the Administration. Like Don, most of them are not going to join Cindy Sheehan in her next protest march, unless there is definitive proof of that dishonesty, even then there will be some who will insist that any such evidence has to be fabricated. It is the nature of the game. So the BLAME BUSH movement is a failed one. Does this mean that we should stop caring or pointing out activity that we percieve is unconstitutional? No it doesnt. But until the Democratic Leadership starts focusing on an alternative vision for America, we have little chance of reaching the vast middle, who care less about the political scandals, that the impact government has on their everyday lives.

Posted by David A at 03:37 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | 612 Words
January 10, 2006
The Lunatic White House, or Why the Free Press is Dead in America

This story has been floating around for awhile now. It finaly gets the treatment it deserves from a SUPPORTER of the War.

Tomorrow morning, in a court in London, two men will appear to face charges under Britain's Official Secrets Act. The first man, David Keogh, a former employee of the Cabinet Office, is accused of unlawfully handing a confidential memorandum to the second man, Leo O'Connor, a researcher for a former Labor member of Parliament, Tony Clarke.

The memorandum is actually a five-page transcript stamped "Top Secret." It describes a meeting at the White House on April 16, 2004, between President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair. At that meeting, which took place while desperately hard fighting was in progress in the Iraqi town of Fallujah, Bush mooted the idea of taking out the headquarters of Al Jazeera in Doha, Qatar. The network's correspondents inside the city had been transmitting lurid footage of extreme violence. The exchange apparently puts Blair in a good light, in that he dissuaded the president from any such course of action and was assisted in this by Colin Powell, who was then secretary of state.

For me, this story points out two things...

The absolute ineffectiveness of the American Press, and the insanity of the current administration.

The bombshells related to the Iraq War have almost all come from the British Press, The Downing Street Memo, one of the most significant pieces of reporting in recent times, was effectively pooh poohed by the Administration and by the Conservative Blogsphere, and now this...

If Bush seriously proposed bombing the headquarters of a foreign press organization, no matter how odious their reporting has been at times, it is scandalous and even criminal. The fact that the American Press allows these stories to die without proper investigation is shameful. The fact that the Left Wing Blogsphere is left to carry the ball on these issues, ensures that they are more effectively dismissed as pure partisan politics. That Bush has managed to survive scandal after scandal, without proper vetting by the mainstream press, renders claims by the Right of a Liberal Media Bias, ridiculous and hollow.

The fact is that this administration has mastered the art of intimidation, with the aid of the Right Blogsphere, paid hacks and pseudo journalist like Armstrong Williams and Advocate Man of the Year Jeff Guckert. Rathergate acted as a Hammer which beat legitimate journalist into submission. I will NEVER forgive CBS for allowing that to happen. The dampening effect of that event and the RISE of the Conservative Blogsphere to successfully intimidate and shut off discourse, has done massive damage to our Republic and to the idea of a Free Press. ANY of the current scandals of the Bush Administration, are 10 times more damaging to our nation than Clinton's infidelities, and yet this White House manages to spin its way out of scandal after scandal.

If the British Press manages to expose a plot as insidious as this one, and proves it true, it will be a lasting embarrassment for our National Press Corp, and a stain on our honor world wide, not to mention further proof to the Islamic World that America simply does not care about Muslims.

Posted by David A at 11:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 540 Words
January 09, 2006
Quote of the day...

"Power corrupts. Absolute power is kind of neat."
- John Lehman

Sounds like something Bush would say...

Posted by David A at 08:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 17 Words
January 06, 2006
Good thing "Duke," didn't work for Tony Soprano!

Looks like a bunch of folks on Capital Hill may be "going down man!"

Washington's power players have always bragged about being well wired, but for disgraced former congressman Duke Cunningham, "wired" wasn't just a figure of speech. In a week when legislators are focused on the question of who else might be brought down by ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff's cooperation with prosecutors as he seeks lenient sentencing over his two federal guilty pleas this week, sources tell TIME that ex-Rep. Cunningham wore a wire to help investigators gather evidence against others just before copping his own plea.

Sources familiar with the situation say Cunningham, a California Republican who pleaded guilty Nov. 28 to taking $2.4 million in bribes, including a yacht, a Rolls Royce and a 19th Century Louis-Philippe commode, from a defense contractor, wore a wire at some point during the short interval between the moment he began cooperating with the feds and the announcement of his guilty plea on Nov. 28.

The identity of those with whom the San Diego congressman met while wearing the wire remains unclear, and is the source of furious, and nervous speculation by congressional Republicans.

How long before some people starting eating bullets? Oh yeah, I forgot, this set is too cowardly to eat a bullet. They will just cut a check for the March of Dimes or something, and hope it all goes away...

Posted by David A at 02:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 234 Words
As usual John is right...

Speaking of the Mine dissaster:

I fully understand that there will be those on a certain side of the political divide who are going to continue to do everything they can to paint this disaster as avoidable or the result of inadequate government regulation and enforcement. Fine. Let them make their best case for it, and if their accusations are born out in the form of facts, then there should be some changes. The trick will be getting them to acknowledge that they were wrong, should that turn out to be the case.

Several of you have written to me linking to one story or another, saying to the effect "I know this pisses you off to be pointing fingers in the face of tragedy." No. Not at all. What pisses me off is what Scott Shields did the other day- pointing fingers and chucking bodies at people without any facts, and, worse still, while the miners were still in harms way. These poor men weren't even dead yet, and these hacks were using their deaths as ammunition for their little political crusade against Bush.

I have not joined the chorus of voices calling the tragedy a "Republican Dissaster," because I simply don't know. I am not an expert in mining, and it is too early to tell what really happened. But as I said yesterday, I do want to undertand better why the mine was still open after so many safety violations. Someone who understands the nature of enforcement in these issues has probably already answered this question. But I think a lot of us just want to know, could this have been avoided with stricter enforcement?

Posted by David A at 11:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 281 Words
Propaganda Opportunity

So Bush invites 13 Wisemen/women to the White House for a consultation on foreign policy. Get's punked by Madeline Albright, and then issues a pretty lame answer...

Colin Powell said nothing - a silence that spoke volumes to many in the White House today. His predecessor, Madeleine Albright, was a bit riled after hearing an exceedingly upbeat 40-minute briefing to 13 living former secretaries of state and defense about how well things are going in Iraq. Saying the war in Iraq was "taking up all the energy" of President Bush's foreign policy team, she asked Mr. t Bush whether he had let nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea spin out of control, and Latin America and China policy suffer by benign neglect.

Go read the post at Crooks and Liars for Bush's answer...

Posted by David A at 11:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 134 Words
January 03, 2006
Things are about to get Interesting....
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Former high-powered lobbyist Jack Abramoff will plead guilty Tuesday to corruption, fraud and tax evasion charges in a deal with federal prosecutors, a source close to the negotiations told CNN.

Abramoff has reached an agreement that would spare him the maximum 10-year sentence if he cooperates in an ongoing Washington corruption probe, the source said.

Abramoff is a longtime associate of several top GOP leaders, including former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Americans for Tax Reform director Grover Norquist, and former Christian Coalition chief Ralph Reed. (Watch details of the deal -- 4:11)

Abramoff's cooperation deal could have a wide-reaching effect in Washington.
Ripple effect

Sources told CNN's Ed Henry that the former lobbyist may have thousands of e-mails in which he describes influence-peddling and explains what lawmakers were doing in exchange for the money he was putting into their campaign coffers.

Kevin thinks Dems will get caught up in the scandal as well. (For the record, I dont doubt it, but the Republicans are in power and have been for a while, so I have no doubt that the impact on the Republicans will be much greater. There has to be a lot of people sweating in Washington right now, and most of them are wearing Elephant Lapel pins.

Tim at Balloon Juice, also has some interesting notes on the story, including this interesting little tid bit:

Josh Marshall prints a caveat sent in by a lawyeristic friend warning that the judicial branch should shy away from prosecuting cases that could fundamentally upset the balance of power in Washington. I understand that I’m interpreting the email in a slightly slanted way, but that seems to propose a novel way to get off of committing a crime. If everybody in one party robs a bank then the DOJ has to let em go because prosecuting them will put the other party ahead. Brilliant.

Lets add that to excuses of why criminals should not be persecuted.

1. Because it may impact National Security.
and now....

2. Lets not mess up the balance of Power. Put all the Republicans in Jail and you give the Democrats the power that they did not win at the ballot box... Eh... Yeah right....

Like I said, I have no doubt some Dems are going to take a fall as well. But if this all plays out as expected, DeLay is DONE.

Posted by David A at 11:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 400 Words
December 29, 2005
I would have....

Voted for this guy for President... Hell I would have walked the precincts for him.

Posted by David A at 11:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | 15 Words
December 26, 2005
Amen....

This about says it all for me...

One wonders if Osama bin Laden didn't win after all. He ruined the America that existed on 9/11. But he had help.

If, back in 2001, anyone had told me that four years after bin Laden's attack our president would admit that he broke U.S. law against domestic spying and ignored the Constitution -- and then expect the American people to congratulate him for it -- I would have presumed the girders of our very Republic had crumbled.

Had anyone said our president would invade a country and kill 30,000 of its people claiming a threat that never, in fact, existed, then admit he would have invaded even if he had known there was no threat -- and expect America to be pleased by this -- I would have thought our nation's sensibilities and honor had been eviscerated.

If I had been informed that our nation's leaders would embrace torture as a legitimate tool of warfare, hold prisoners for years without charges and operate secret prisons overseas -- and call such procedures necessary for the nation's security -- I would have laughed at the folly of protecting human rights by destroying them.

If someone had predicted the president's staff would out a CIA agent as revenge against a critic, defy a law against domestic propaganda by bankrolling supposedly independent journalists and commentators, and ridicule a 37-year Marie Corps veteran for questioning U.S. military policy -- and that the populace would be more interested in whether Angelina is about to make Brad a daddy -- I would have called the prediction an absurd fantasy.

That's no America I know, I would have argued. We're too strong, and we've been through too much, to be led down such a twisted path.

Found at Bark Bark, Woof Woof, who has some dynamite commentary on the Op/Ed, please check it out.

Posted by David A at 01:58 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | 315 Words
December 19, 2005
Double F'ing Wow!

The Gonzales Press Conference:

Q You have stretched this resolution for war into giving you carte blanche to do anything you want to do.

ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES: Well, one might make that same argument in connection with detention of American citizens, which is far more intrusive than listening into a conversation. There may be some members of Congress who might say, we never --

Q That's your interpretation. That isn't Congress' interpretation.

ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES: Well, I'm just giving you the analysis --

[...]

Q If FISA didn't work, why didn't you seek a new statute that allowed something like this legally?

ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES: That question was asked earlier. We've had discussions with members of Congress, certain members of Congress, about whether or not we could get an amendment to FISA, and we were advised that that was not likely to be -- that was not something we could likely get, certainly not without jeopardizing the existence of the program, and therefore, killing the program. And that -- and so a decision was made that because we felt that the authorities were there, that we should continue moving forward with this program.

"Did you get this? Gonzales says it was okay to spy on Americans without authorization because the war resolution gave them that power. But when asked why they didn't ask for specific congressional authorization, he says, well, Congress wouldn't have given them that power.

Wow."
KOS

Is it okay to be outraged about now? I mean I wouldn't want to be accussed of being hysterical or anything. Or God forbid PRO-Terrorist because I think the constitution and congressional authority should mean something...

Is it just me, or are these DARK Days in the history of the Republic. Is there no shame when our Congress has become a rubber stamp for this kind of authoritorian bullshit. What has happened to our country. How have we reached this point where decisions of this gravity are simply ignored or excused by those on the Right. This is a nightmare scenario for our country. It is an Administration run ammok and the very people who I expect to scream the loudest about such abuses are complicit in them... Maybe some of you on the Right, need to look at the broader implications of this...

Posted by David A at 04:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 385 Words
December 18, 2005
Newsflash... "Bush is NOT an idiot." He is just an incompetent manager...

This about says it all...

The Bush regime's management techniques should be familiar to middle management types. The salesman lands a new account by making promises without checking with the operations staff to see if the mechanisms necessary for delivery are in place. A "procedure" is put into place which reds, "Get this done, get that done, get the other thing done," and day to day you just do what must be done.

It's called "firefighting," where you just leap from disaster to disaster.

This is appealing enough. But it goes against the styles of many managers. Their style is reactivity or as it is more commonly known, firefighting. The idea of firefighting is to let a problem fester until it becomes a crisis, and then swoop in and fix it. Firefighting is popular because it is exciting. Furthermore, it is a win-win situation for the firefighter. If the fix works out, the firefighter is a hero. If it doesn't, the firefighter can't be blamed, because the situation was virtually hopeless to begin with. Notice that it is to the firefighter's advantage to actually let the problem become worse, because then there will be less blame if they fail or more praise if they succeed.

Most of us deplore the firefighting style, yet we tacitly perpetuate it by rewarding firefighters for the miraculous things they do. The methodical work of prevention done by others goes unnoticed. Consequently, the firefighting style can be difficult to eliminate, especially in cultures that thrive on action and excitement. In contrast, in Japan, a crisis is evidence of failure: Japanese culture favors a more proactive approach to problem solving.

Bush was a failed corporate manager. And his war management techniques, being exactly the same, has failed as well.

Posted by David A at 06:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 297 Words
Spreading Democracy

I read about this article on Armies of Liberation and Balloon Juice.

I tend to agree with Jane and John, that this in principal is a good idea. Few would argue that encouraging democratic ideas in Islamic states is a bad idea. My concern about our approach to the Middle East and to Islam has always been about culture. Our approach in Iraq and our Middle East Strategy in General has not been one to inspire much confidence in the last few years.

I wonder at times do we really understand the historical and cultural background of the region at a level sufficient to make the kind of impact we want to make. In all honesty, I dont really question the need for the effort, I simply wonder how effective the money being spent is towards solving the problems it is meant to address.

I don't claim to have the answers to the questions, but I think they need asking.

Posted by David A at 05:11 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | 161 Words
I figured the Right would find a way to spin this...

They did not dissapoint:

At first I thought this business of surveillance of phone conversations between people in the U.S. and suspected terrorists overseas was no big deal. Then I realized it is a big deal. We've been doing things like this for decades, yes, and that's not a secret and it's not illegal. But it was a secret that we were now doing it specifically to go after Al Qaeda, that the rules had changed. Now Al Qaeda's been put on notice that we're doing it, and on how we're doing it, and how they can work around it.

Mike Hendrix says this is much ado about nothing. Tom McMahon says the New York Times must be asked some tough questions. Gateway Pundit says the leakers should be frog-marched to the hoosegow. Goldstein is sympathetic to that view. Instapundit says this initially looked bad for the President, but by next week everyone will realize it looks way worse for the leakers.

I think they are all being rather timid. These leakers have exposed a perfectly legal, perfectly sensible government operation that has undoubtedly helped round up hundreds of members of Al Qaeda and saved the lives of countless Americans. Exposing such a secret program is not whistle-blowing--it is high treason.

Is it true that this wiretapping has stopped some terrorism? Yep! Could the same thing have been accomplished using court orders to aurthorize the wiretapping? Yep! Is this another attack on our constitution. Yep! Are Rightwingers spinning for damage control in the face of American Fatigue at this administration stomping all over the constitution in the name of fighting terror? Yep....

I cant wait to see some poll numbers on this issue...

Posted by David A at 02:59 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | 291 Words
Illegal Immigration

Jay Tea thinks I am on a mission to get him fired from Wizbang, but I cant help agreeing when he writes pieces like this one.


One of the standard defenses for illegal immigration is that the aliens are performing the work Americans don't want to do, that our economy needs the cheap, unskilled labor they provide to keep going. They warn that if every single illegal alien were to disappear tomorrow, our entire way of life would be severely affected -- especially in areas like agriculture, construction, and cleaning services.

That argument always bothered me, and for the longest time I didn't understand why. But the instant my friend asked me about it, it became crystal clear:

The economic argument is nothing new. In fact, it's very, very old. So old, that we've alreadye debated and settled it almost 150 years ago -- and the pro-cheap-labor side lost.

You might recall reading about it, It was called the Civil War.

Yeah, it's a bit of a stretch. For one, there were other issues besides slavery involved in the war. For another, indentured servitude might be a better comparison to illegal alien labor than actual slavery. But the essence remains the same -- the notion is that a cheap source of labor is being exploited and used through fear of the power of law. It was wrong then, and it's wrong today.

In my dream world, I'd like to see the restrictions and red tape on immigration reduced to a more manageable system. But that would have to be coupled with an assault on illegal immigration. Streamlined deportation processes. Severe penalties for those who exploit illegal aliens. And, perhaps, even a change to the rules of citizenship, so children born here of illegal aliens have the citizenship of their parent's homeland, not the United States, ending the exploitation of children as "anchor babies."

The Lefty in me tends to agree most with the sentiments about exploitation. I once had a Salvadoran girlfriend who worked in the house of some rich Angelenos. She lived as a practical slave, working 24 hours a day, and having only Saturday night through Sunday Night off. She was a legal resident, I can't even imagine how illegals are treated. Nevertheless, I also agree with the other sentiments in Jay's post. The law is the law, and unless it changes, those who violate our immigration laws should be treated just like anyone who violates other laws of the land. I realize that many come to our country out of desperation. They come seeking a better life than they had in their own country. Many of them find it (marginally), but others find themselves virtual slaves and victims of a variety of types of exploitation. The only way this will ever change is to, as Jay suggested, punish both the illegal and those who employ them, and work to streamline the process of immigration, making it more attractive for people to obey the law, than to violate it.

Posted by David A at 01:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1) | 502 Words
December 17, 2005
The State of Politics in America

Does this remind you of the English Parliment, or our own House? You be the judge.

Posted by David A at 03:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 16 Words
December 16, 2005
What price for safety?
NY TImes: Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts. Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.

Once again, Bush has ignored the Constitution. And once again, Congress has been all too willing to let it happen.

The big surprise in this story is that the Times held it for a full year before publishing, cowed by the administration's insistence that it should not be published. Okay, then, the paper should now tell us what exactly has changed.

I want to know why Conservatives are NOT in an uproar over this one. Did 9/11 change our National Psyche so much that we are willing to accept the destruction of our constitution as the price for "safety."

Posted by David A at 11:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 156 Words
November 30, 2005
The Whole Christmas vs. Holidays thing...

Chris Short of Conservative Thinking, and I had a long discussion the other night about the whole Christmas vs. Holidays thing. Chris was surprised to hear that I didnt care one way or the other. As I explained to Chris, I am a Christian and I celebrate Christmas, not by going on gift buying orgies, but by spending the time reflecting on the values of Christianity.

I also recognize that there are other faiths and believe that we should not have a "state religion," in the U.S.. That is about the extent of my thinking on the issue. Chris warned me that the whole issue was going to be very big this Holliday Season, and he is putting his money where his mouth is... Good for him! Like I said, I personally cant get too fired up over the whole thing, but I respect someone standing up for what they believe in.

Posted by David A at 09:54 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1) | 154 Words
November 29, 2005
Oh Great and Powerful OZ....
WASHINGTON - A top aide to former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Monday that wrongheaded ideas for the handling of foreign detainees arose from White House and Pentagon officials who argued that "the president of the United States is all-powerful" and the Geneva Conventions irrelevant.

In an Associated Press interview, former Powell chief of staff Lawrence Wilkerson also said President Bush was "too aloof, too distant from the details" of postwar planning. Underlings exploited Bush's detachment and made poor decisions, Wilkerson said.

Wilkerson blamed Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and like-minded aides. He said Cheney must have sincerely believed that Iraq could be a spawning ground for new terror assaults, because "otherwise I have to declare him a moron, an idiot or a nefarious bastard."

I would have to go with option number two...

Posted by David A at 06:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 139 Words
November 28, 2005
Calling all Swift Boat Vets.... Your party may need you very soon!

This article on Iraq war veterans running for office as Democrats, has got to make the chickenhawks in the Republican Party a bit nervous, I found the following particularly interesting:

Duckworth is part of a new breed of macho Democrats, joining eight Iraq veterans who have already announced themselves as candidates in next year's congressional elections. (The party is also reaching out to veterans of wars in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Vietnam, as well as former CIA officers and FBI agents.) These Democrats don't offer a unified strategy on how to leave Iraq. But they represent the most visible sign of the sea change in politics over the past year. The GOP has long held an advantage on questions of national security, but that lead has steadily eroded, offering Democrats a rare opening since 9/11. Recent polls show Democrats running neck and neck with Republicans on terrorism and comfortably ahead on Iraq. For all the lack of alternatives, Democrats have gained ground as public opinion has turned against the war. With relatively few competitive seats across the country, as well as a bigger campaign war chest, the GOP is still favored to retain control of the House. But Democrats believe they have found candidates who personify what voters want: real Americans (not politicians) who represent community, service and, of course, security. The vets also represent the Democrats' best hope of burying their GOP-crafted caricature as the Mommy party of John Kerry—unable to defend the country from terrorists or themselves from political attack. "A macho Democrat is someone who isn't afraid to stand up for what they believe in, to tell their story, to fight back when they're unfairly attacked," says John Lapp, executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Their opponents aren't waiting for them to suit up. The White House says it doesn't matter who the candidate is: the Democrats cannot argue from a position of strength on the war given the depth of antiwar sentiment inside their base. One senior Bush aide, who declined to be named while discussing political strategy, pointed to the Democrats' dilemma when confronted with Rep. John Murtha's calls for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq. "It took Hillary Clinton five days to respond to the Murtha statement," the aide said, suggesting that Clinton was struggling to reconcile her hawkish position on the war with the demands of the party base. "That shows the dynamic of the Democratic Party. They are always pulled to the left, the same thing John Kerry found out during the primary process." Other Republicans say the war isn't going to affect the '06 elections either way. "Local dynamics will trump everything," says Tom Reynolds, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. Reynolds dismisses the Democratic veterans' strategy as "just a bunch of hoopla," saying his goal is simply to recruit the best candidates. With just one Iraq veteran on the ballot (Van Taylor, a 33-year-old former Marine who is running in the Texas district where Bush owns his ranch), the GOP has a far more modest strategy: to persuade incumbents to delay their retirement. Reynolds says they shouldn't abandon the Republican majority right now. "I tell them: stay and enjoy it," he says.

I have no doubt that the Republican smear machine will gear up to fight this new challenge. It is also likely that the Republican's will field their own, "heroes." But it is clear that rising anger over the war, and Republican floundering over how to deal with it, will impact next year's elections. And who better to voice this resentment than those who actually made the sacrifice to fight.

Posted by David A at 02:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 602 Words
Another Republican gets the "perp walk."
SAN DIEGO, California (AP) - Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy and tax charges, admitting taking $2.4 million in bribes in a case that grew from an investigation into the sale of his home to a wide-ranging conspiracy involving payments in cash, vacations and antiques.

Cunningham, 63, entered pleas in U.S. District Court to charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud and wire fraud, and tax evasion for underreporting his income in 2004.

Cunningham answered "yes, Your Honor" when asked by U.S. District Judge Larry Burns if he had accepted bribes from someone in exchange for his performance of official duties.

Cunningham, an eight-term Republican congressman, announced in July that he wouldn't seek re-election next year. But it was not immediately clear whether he hoped to keep his seat for the remainder of the current term. He planned to address reporters at a news conference later in the morning.

House Ethics rules say that any lawmaker convicted of a felony no longer should vote or participate in committee work. Under Republican caucus rules, Cunningham also would lose his chairmanship of the House Intelligence subcommittee on terrorism and human intelligence.

The former Vietnam War flying ace is known on Capitol Hill for his interest in defense issues and his occasional temperamental outbursts.

After the hearing, Cunningham was taken away for fingerprinting. He will be released on his own recognizance until a February 27 sentencing hearing. He could receive a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Still waiting for DeLay to get his...

Posted by David A at 12:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 256 Words
November 24, 2005
TCF is at it again....

And as usual, he knocks home some pretty damned good nails!

About a week ago, TCF passed the handyman's van parked in the back of the homestead and spied what I thought was another one of those spurious, yellow 'Support The Troops' ribbon decals. Yet, on closer inspection, the decal actually read 'Bring Our Troops Home Now'. That stunned moment of validation was replicated this past Thursday, as TCF took in the passionate eloquence of Pennsylvania Congressman John Murtha in what will no doubt count as a watershed moment when such history of the Iraq War is finally written.

Leading Conservative William Kristol and his sniveling sidekick Smithers (aka Weekly Standard Managing Editor Fred Barnes) recently implored George Bush from their magazine's editorial page to fight back against his critics, concluding that his plummeting approvals were merely the result of an embolden, flip flopping Democratic opposition capably aided by their conspirators in the Liberal News Media. The historically (and accurately) chronicled precedent of recent occupiers of the White House who faced serious crisis in their second term already reads like a ----- Gate For Dummies. Yet, although Bush #43 began his first term determined to avoid the mistakes of Bush #41, he has no such second term reverse playbook with which to guide him.

A recent CBS Poll ranks the Plame Scandal more severe than that of Clinton's Monica Lewinsky, Reagan's Iran-Contra, and even Nixon's Watergate. Yet, history tells us that the most effective and eventually successful response to these crisis were achieved by those who recognized that they needed to clearly demonstrate to the American public that proper and sweeping changes would be made, as a result. Of those three examples, it is clear which President made the wrong choice.

If the Bush White House were to heed Kristol & Barnes' call to fight back, the boys at RoveVision would have but one option, and that is to revise the successful '04 campaign strategy they used against John Kerry. Unfortunately, the Swift Boat Vets are not yet up to speed to take on Murtha, so it's left to the five Vietnam War deferments Vice-President with a 24% percent approval rating to take up the smear shovel. And, is TCF the only one wondering how Scott McClellan could have left out MoveOn.org as one of the Congressman's new radical pals on the far Left?

A new ABC News Poll shows that only 1 out of 10 Americans support an immediate withdrawal, although an overwhelming 67% percent believe the war was not worth it, and 55% percent now believe the administration deceived us into war. Bush Apologists prefer to focus solely on the close to 2100 American lives lost so far, which is precisely why those on the Left must not let the sacrifices of those 17,000+ troops wounded in this unnecessary war go unnoticed.

Honestly I knew the day was coming that the American people would wake up to the deception, bullshit and dirt (yeah dirt, not just dirty), politics of the Republicans. Almost 20,000 Americans are dead or wounded as a result of the war in Iraq, and the Iraqi's themselves have just about had it... I guess they ran out of Candy and Flowers huh? War can be a mutha! Seems like it's all coming apart at times. With revelations coming daily about how this administration has ignored the law and every concept of international diplomacy and decency.

One thing that the politicians never seem to learn, is that it WILL all come out in the end. Secrets are hard to hide, and BIG secrets are even harder...

Posted by David A at 10:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 603 Words
November 09, 2005
So, how about those elections?

The Dems retained the governorships of VA and NJ, and Arnold's initiatives got creamed. Things are starting to get interesting, at last.

I mentioned over at Cadillac Tight last night that I'm pretty sure the hardline GOP blogs will blame the election results on anything *but* President Bush, and that certainly seems to be the case this morning, doesn't it?

Well, that's to be expected, really. GOP partisans are going to do their best to quash any theories that the President's coattails are shrinking fast, because, well...if that's true, you see, it doesn't bode well for the GOP next year. Part of the GOP's problem, though, is the mere perception of Bush having very short coattails. As possession is 9/10ths of the law, perception is, oh, at least 75% of reality, especially in politics.

What makes these off-year election results interesting (for me, at least), is that now we'll get a chance to see how the Bush White House will react to this obvious wake up call. I'm a frank admirer of the way the President has shrugged off criticism (often bitter, vitriolic criticism) in regards to his War on Terror policies, mainly because I think those policies are better than anything the Democrats have to offer at this point. I'm very dissapointed, though, in his lack of agility where his domestic policies are concerned, and I don't think he'll become any more nimble as a result of last night's smack in the electoral face.

Which, of course, opens a major breach in the GOP's electoral gates next year - especially if we don't suffer any Terror attacks or major setbacks in Iraq or Afghanistan. The War on Terror doesn't have the ooomph it had last year even today, and by next year (oh, and big-time by 2008), it will have even less. That's not necessarily a good thing, to my mind...the war is going to be a long, drawn out effort, and it's important to maintain vigilance and a forward thinking approach. Nevertheless, the vast majority of the voting public is going to be more interested in domestic issues than foreign policy issues if things continue to remain stable, and that ALWAYS hurts the GOP at the polls.

And that's a good thing, I think. The Republican party needed a slap in the face pretty badly, and the one they got last night was comparatively mild. Let's see if it wakes them up.

Update: Forgot to mention - how will these results affect the "GOP Election Fraud" meme? You know, this one? It's not as if these elections weren't important enough to steal, if the GOP was really into doing that sort of thing. Can we put it to bed now, or are some people just too attached to their tinfoil headgear?

Posted by Don H at 09:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 466 Words
November 05, 2005
I wonder...

If he is planning on attending?

From the Washington Post:

President Bush has ordered White House staff to attend mandatory briefings beginning next week on ethical behavior and the handling of classified material after the indictment last week of a senior administration official in the CIA leak probe.

According to a memo sent to aides Friday, Bush expects all White House staff to adhere to the "spirit as well as the letter" of all ethics laws and rules. As a result, "the White House counsel's office will conduct a series of presentations next week that will provide refresher lectures on general ethics rules, including the rules of governing the protection of classified information," according to the memo, a copy of which was provided to The Washington Post by a senior White House aide.

The mandatory ethics primer is the first step Bush plans to take in coming weeks in response to the CIA leak probe that led to the indictment of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, and which still threatens Karl Rove, the deputy White House chief of staff. Libby was indicted last week in connection with the two-year investigation. He resigned when the indictment was announced and on Thursday pleaded not guilty to charges of lying to federal investigators and a grand jury about his conversations with reporters.

Posted by David A at 01:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 226 Words
November 03, 2005
Say it ain't so!
Yahoo News - The Republican majority in the House of Representatives rejected a resolution calling for a "substantive" investigation into abuses before and during the Iraq war.

The resolution was proposed by Democrats who have used increasingly aggressive tactics in Congress to draw attention to President George W. Bush's record on the war.

Republicans in the House defeated the measure by 220 votes to 191.

The Democratic resolution had called for an investigation into "the manipulation of pre-war intelligence", the role of Vice President Dick Cheney into Iraq's reconstruction, the leaking of the name of a CIA agent and abuses against prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison.

Democrats accused the Republican leadership in Congress of failing in their oversight of the Republican administration.

The resolution came on the day that Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, appeared in court in Washington to deny charges linked to an investigation into the naming of a covert CIA agent, Valerie Plame.

I'm shocked, shocked I tell you! I mean we all know that the Republicans want the truth as much as the Democrats right?

Posted by David A at 03:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 183 Words
November 02, 2005
65% of Americans dissaprove of Bush

I guess there won't be any more talk of a Mandate, will there?

Bush's low job approval is far below that of some of his two-term predecessors at this point in their second terms. In November 1985, President Reagan had a 65 percent approval rating, and Bill Clinton's job approval in November 1997 was 57 percent. Bush's rating is higher than Richard Nixon's was at the same point in his administration.

Read the whole thing...

Posted by David A at 10:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 76 Words
What kind of America have we become....

When this debate is even necessary?

WASHINGTON, Nov. 1 - The Bush administration is embroiled in a sharp internal debate over whether a new set of Defense Department standards for handling terror suspects should adopt language from the Geneva Conventions prohibiting "cruel," "humiliating" and "degrading" treatment, administration officials say.

Simple question... WHY? Why is this debate even going on?

Posted by David A at 07:30 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | 59 Words
The INCREDIBLE Hypocrisy of the Right!

Now I am going to make a bet that none of the usual suspects will address the questions posed in this post.

Just as they ignored this one, despite commenting quite "liberally," this week.

The truth is that the Right Wing simply ignore ANYTHING that can not be easily spun, especially when they look hypocritical in doing so.

Anyone up to answer this one?

Posted by David A at 12:23 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | 66 Words
November 01, 2005
Democrats find their Cajones!
schumer_reid_durbin.jpg
The Real, "Bring it on," pose!

It's about freakin' time! Finaly the Rethuglicans are outgamed, and who would have guessed that bookish little Harry would so brilliantly pulled it off. It's understandable how angry Frist was today, considering how badly they were outmaneuvered.

And speaking of Harry, all I can say is right on Senator. Today was the first day (I hope) of the fight back.

We have been living with a cesspool of a Federal Government for over five years now, and the Republican Senate has done little to address the issue, other than perhaps wink, or more commonly howl in outrage at anyone who has the audacity to question it. Right Wing Bloggers have been faithful to the talking points, and shouted down most dissent in the blogsphere, or attempted to pooh pooh allegations of wrongdoing, expressing outrage that anyone would dare question the voracity of an administration that is appearing more and more to be rotten to the core.

I am not going to celebrate todays act of resistance as some milestone, at least not until I see that it is not a temporary phenomenon. If it's not, then perhaps all of us will have cause to celebrate one day. Celebrate this as the day when real American Leaders said, "Enough is enough!"

Hat tip TMV.

More coverage at Shakespear's Sister.

And this post, and John's comments, are the reason that Balloon Juice has become one of my favorite blogs, even if the guy does not have the sense to link to ISOU! (wink).

Picture swiped from OW!

Posted by David A at 11:31 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | 267 Words
October 30, 2005
Innocent until proven guilty?

IF.... you are a Bush Crony it seems, otherwise you may be outta luck!

Posted by David A at 02:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 14 Words
October 28, 2005
The Libby indictment!

Looks like a deliberate smear campaign to me.... And the clearest evidence is the weakness of the spin coming from the Right.


IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Holding a Criminal Term
Grand Jury Sworn in on October 31, 2003
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
) Criminal No.
) GRAND JURY ORIGINAL
v.
) Count 1: Obstruction of Justice (18 U.S.C. § 1503)
)
) Counts 2-3: False Statements (18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(2))
I. LEWIS LIBBY,
)
also known as "SCOOTER LIBBY"
) Counts 4-5: Perjury (18 U.S.C. § 1623)
INDICTMENT
COUNT ONE
(Obstruction of Justice)
THE GRAND JURY CHARGES:
1.
At times material to this indictment:
Defendant's Employment and Responsibilities
a.
Beginning on or about January 20, 2001, and continuing through the date of
this indictment, defendant I. LEWIS LIBBY, also known as "SCOOTER LIBBY," was employed
as Assistant to the President of the United States, Chief of Staff to the Vice President of the United
States, and Assistant to the Vice President for National Security Affairs. In the course of his work,
LIBBY had frequent access to classified information and frequently spoke with officials of the U.S.
intelligence community, as well as other government officials, regarding sensitive national security
matters.
b.
In connection with his role as a senior government official with
responsibilities for national security matters, LIBBY held security clearances entitling him to access
2
to classified information. As a person with such clearances, LIBBY was obligated by applicable
laws and regulations, including Title 18, United States Code, Section 793, and Executive Order
12958 (as modified by Executive Order 13292), not to disclose classified information to persons not
authorized to receive such information, and otherwise to exercise proper care to safeguard classified
information against unauthorized disclosure. On or about January 23, 2001, LIBBY executed a
written "Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement," stating in part that "I understand and
accept that by being granted access to classified information, special confidence and trust shall be
placed in me by the United States Government," and that "I have been advised that the unauthorized
disclosure, unauthorized retention, or negligent handling of classified information by me could cause
damage or irreparable injury to the United States or could be used to advantage by a foreign nation."
The Central Intelligence Agency
c.
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was an agency of the United States
whose mission was to collect, produce, and disseminate intelligence and counterintelligence
information to officers and departments of the United States government, including the President,
the National Security Council, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
d.
The responsibilities of certain CIA employees required that their association
with the CIA be kept secret; as a result, the fact that these individuals were employed by the CIA was
classified. Disclosure of the fact that such individuals were employed by the CIA had the potential
to damage the national security in ways that ranged from preventing the future use of those
individuals in a covert capacity, to compromising intelligence-gathering methods and operations, and
endangering the safety of CIA employees and those who dealt with them.
3
Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame Wilson
e.
Joseph Wilson ("Wilson") was a former career State Department official who
had held a variety of posts, including United States Ambassador. In 2002, after an inquiry to the CIA
by the Vice President concerning certain intelligence reporting, the CIA decided on its own initiative
to send Wilson to the country of Niger to investigate allegations involving Iraqi efforts to acquire
uranium yellowcake, a processed form of uranium ore. Wilson orally reported his findings to the
CIA upon his return.
f.
Joseph Wilson was married to Valerie Plame Wilson ("Valerie Wilson"). At
all relevant times from January 1, 2002 through July 2003, Valerie Wilson was employed by the
CIA, and her employment status was classified. Prior to July 14, 2003, Valerie Wilson's affiliation
with the CIA was not common knowledge outside the intelligence community.
Events Leading up to July 2003
2.
On or about January 28, 2003, President George W. Bush delivered his State of the
Union address which included sixteen words asserting that "The British government has learned that
Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."
3.
On May 6, 2003, the New York Times published a column by Nicholas Kristof which
disputed the accuracy of the "sixteen words" in the State of the Union address. The column reported
that, following a request from the Vice President's office for an investigation of allegations that Iraq
sought to buy uranium from Niger, an unnamed former ambassador was sent on a trip to Niger in
2002 to investigate the allegations. According to the column, the ambassador reported back to the
CIA and State Department in early 2002 that the allegations were unequivocally wrong and based
on forged documents.
4
4.
On or about May 29, 2003, in the White House, LIBBY asked an Under Secretary
of State ("Under Secretary") for information concerning the unnamed ambassador's travel to Niger
to investigate claims about Iraqi efforts to acquire uranium yellowcake. The Under Secretary
thereafter directed the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research to prepare a report
concerning the ambassador and his trip. The Under Secretary provided LIBBY with interim oral
reports in late May and early June 2003, and advised LIBBY that Wilson was the former ambassador
who took the trip.
5.
On or about June 9, 2003, a number of classified documents from the CIA were faxed
to the Office of the Vice President to the personal attention of LIBBY and another person in the
Office of the Vice President. The faxed documents, which were marked as classified, discussed,
among other things, Wilson and his trip to Niger, but did not mention Wilson by name. After
receiving these documents, LIBBY and one or more other persons in the Office of the Vice President
handwrote the names "Wilson" and "Joe Wilson" on the documents.
6.
On or about June 11 or 12, 2003, the Under Secretary of State orally advised LIBBY
in the White House that, in sum and substance, Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and that State
Department personnel were saying that Wilson's wife was involved in the planning of his trip.
7.
On or about June 11, 2003, LIBBY spoke with a senior officer of the CIA to ask
about the origin and circumstances of Wilson's trip, and was advised by the CIA officer that
Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and was believed to be responsible for sending Wilson on the trip.
8.
Prior to June 12, 2003, Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus contacted the Office
of the Vice President in connection with a story he was writing about Wilson's trip. LIBBY
participated in discussions in the Office of the Vice President concerning how to respond to Pincus.
5
9.
On or about June 12, 2003, LIBBY was advised by the Vice President of the United
States that Wilson's wife worked at the Central Intelligence Agency in the Counterproliferation
Division. LIBBY understood that the Vice President had learned this information from the CIA.

10.
On June 12, 2003, the Washington Post published an article by reporter Walter Pincus
about Wilson's trip to Niger, which described Wilson as a retired ambassador but not by name, and
reported that the CIA had sent him to Niger after an aide to the Vice President raised questions about
purported Iraqi efforts to acquire uranium. Pincus's article questioned the accuracy of the "sixteen
words," and stated that the retired ambassador had reported to the CIA that the uranium purchase
story was false.
11.
On or about June 14, 2003, LIBBY met with a CIA briefer. During their
conversation he expressed displeasure that CIA officials were making comments to reporters critical
of the Vice President's office, and discussed with the briefer, among other things, "Joe Wilson" and
his wife "Valerie Wilson," in the context of Wilson's trip to Niger.
12.
On or about June 19, 2003, an article appeared in The New Republic magazine online
entitled "The First Casualty: The Selling of the Iraq War." Among other things, the article
questioned the "sixteen words" and stated that following a request for information from the Vice
President, the CIA had asked an unnamed ambassador to travel to Niger to investigate allegations
that Iraq had sought uranium from Niger. The article included a quotation attributed to the unnamed
ambassador alleging that administration officials "knew the Niger story was a flat-out lie." The
article also was critical of how the administration, including the Office of the Vice President,
portrayed intelligence concerning Iraqi capabilities with regard to weapons of mass destruction, and
accused the administration of suppressing dissent from the intelligence agencies on this topic.
6
13.
Shortly after publication of the article in The New Republic, LIBBY spoke by
telephone with his then Principal Deputy and discussed the article. That official asked LIBBY
whether information about Wilson's trip could be shared with the press to rebut the allegations that
the Vice President had sent Wilson. LIBBY responded that there would be complications at the CIA
in disclosing that information publicly, and that he could not discuss the matter on a non-secure
telephone line.
14.
On or about June 23, 2003, LIBBY met with New York Times reporter Judith Miller.
During this meeting LIBBY was critical of the CIA, and disparaged what he termed "selective
leaking" by the CIA concerning intelligence matters. In discussing the CIA's handling of Wilson's
trip to Niger, LIBBY informed her that Wilson's wife might work at a bureau of the CIA.
The July 6 "Op Ed" Article by Wilson
15.
On July 6, 2003, the New York Times published an Op-Ed article by Wilson entitled
"What I Didn't Find in Africa." Also on July 6, 2003, the Washington Post published an article
about Wilson's 2002 trip to Niger, which article was based in part upon an interview of Wilson.
Also on July 6, Wilson appeared as a guest on the television interview show "Meet the Press." In
his Op-Ed article and interviews in print and on television, Wilson asserted, among other things, that
he had taken a trip to Niger at the request of the CIA in February 2002 to investigate allegations that
Iraq had sought or obtained uranium yellowcake from Niger, and that he doubted Iraq had obtained
uranium from Niger recently, for a number of reasons. Wilson stated that he believed, based on his
understanding of government procedures, that the Office of the Vice President was advised of the
results of his trip.
7
LIBBY's Actions Following Wilson's July 6 "Op Ed" Column
16.
On or about July 7, 2003, LIBBY had lunch with the then White House Press
Secretary and advised the Press Secretary that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and noted that such
information was not widely known.
17.
On or about the morning of July 8, 2003, LIBBY met with New York Times reporter
Judith Miller. When the conversation turned to the subject of Joseph Wilson, LIBBY asked that the
information LIBBY provided on the topic of Wilson be attributed to a "former Hill staffer" rather
than to a "senior administration official," as had been the understanding with respect to other
information that LIBBY provided to Miller during this meeting. LIBBY thereafter discussed with
Miller Wilson's trip and criticized the CIA reporting concerning Wilson's trip. During this
discussion, LIBBY advised Miller of his belief that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA.
18.
Also on or about July 8, 2003, LIBBY met with the Counsel to the Vice President
in an anteroom outside the Vice President's Office. During their brief conversation, LIBBY asked
the Counsel to the Vice President, in sum and substance, what paperwork there would be at the CIA
if an employee's spouse undertook an overseas trip.
19.
Not earlier than June 2003, but on or before July 8, 2003, the Assistant to the Vice
President for Public Affairs learned from another government official that Wilson's wife worked at
the CIA, and advised LIBBY of this information.
20.
On or about July 10, 2003, LIBBY spoke to NBC Washington Bureau Chief Tim
Russert to complain about press coverage of LIBBY by an MSNBC reporter. LIBBY did not discuss
Wilson's wife with Russert.
8
21.
On or about July 10 or July 11, 2003, LIBBY spoke to a senior official in the White
House ("Official A") who advised LIBBY of a conversation Official A had earlier that week with
columnist Robert Novak in which Wilson's wife was discussed as a CIA employee involved in
Wilson's trip. LIBBY was advised by Official A that Novak would be writing a story about
Wilson's wife.
22.
On or about July 12, 2003, LIBBY flew with the Vice President and others to and
from Norfolk, Virginia, on Air Force Two. On his return trip, LIBBY discussed with other officials
aboard the plane what LIBBY should say in response to certain pending media inquiries, including
questions from Time reporter Matthew Cooper.
23.
On or about July 12, 2003, in the afternoon, LIBBY spoke by telephone to Cooper,
who asked whether LIBBY had heard that Wilson's wife was involved in sending Wilson on the trip
to Niger. LIBBY confirmed to Cooper, without elaboration or qualification, that he had heard this
information too.
24.
On or about July 12, 2003, in the late afternoon, LIBBY spoke by telephone with
Judith Miller of the New York Times and discussed Wilson's wife, and that she worked at the CIA.
The Criminal Investigation
25.
On or about September 26, 2003, the Department of Justice authorized the Federal
Bureau of Investigation ("FBI") to commence a criminal investigation into the possible unauthorized
disclosure of classified information regarding the disclosure of Valerie Wilson's affiliation with the
CIA to various reporters in the spring of 2003.
9
26.
As part of the criminal investigation, LIBBY was interviewed by Special Agents of
the FBI on or about October 14 and November 26, 2003, each time in the presence of his counsel.
During these interviews, LIBBY stated to FBI Special Agents that:
a.
During a conversation with Tim Russert of NBC News on July 10 or 11,
2003, Russert asked LIBBY if LIBBY was aware that Wilson's wife worked
for the CIA. LIBBY responded to Russert that he did not know that, and
Russert replied that all the reporters knew it. LIBBY was surprised by this
statement because, while speaking with Russert, LIBBY did not recall that
he previously had learned about Wilson's wife's employment from the Vice
President.
b.
During a conversation with Matthew Cooper of Time magazine on or about
July 12, 2003, LIBBY told Cooper that reporters were telling the
administration that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, but that LIBBY did
not know if this was true; and
c.
LIBBY did not discuss Wilson's wife with New York Times reporter Judith
Miller during a meeting with Miller on or about July 8, 2003.
27.
Beginning in or about January 2004, and continuing until the date of this indictment,
Grand Jury 03-3 sitting in the District of Columbia conducted an investigation ("the Grand Jury
Investigation") into possible violations of federal criminal laws, including: Title 50, United States
Code, Section 421 (disclosure of the identity of covert intelligence personnel); and Title 18, United
States Code, Sections 793 (improper disclosure of national defense information), 1001 (false
statements), 1503 (obstruction of justice), and 1623 (perjury).
10
28.
A major focus of the Grand Jury Investigation was to determine which government
officials had disclosed to the media prior to July 14, 2003 information concerning the affiliation of
Valerie Wilson with the CIA, and the nature, timing, extent, and purpose of such disclosures, as well
as whether any official making such a disclosure did so knowing that the employment of Valerie
Wilson by the CIA was classified information.
29.
During the course of the Grand Jury Investigation, the following matters, among
others, were material to the Grand Jury Investigation:
i.
When, and the manner and means by which, defendant LIBBY learned
that Wilson's wife was employed by the CIA;
ii.
Whether and when LIBBY disclosed to members of the media that
Wilson's wife was employed by the CIA;
iii.
The language used by LIBBY in disclosing any such information to
the media, including whether LIBBY expressed uncertainty about the accuracy of any information
he may have disclosed, or described where he obtained the information;
iv.
LIBBY's knowledge as to whether any information he disclosed was
classified at the time he disclosed it; and
v.
Whether LIBBY was candid with Special Agents of the Federal
Bureau of Investigation in describing his conversations with the other government officials and the
media relating to Valerie Wilson.
11
LIBBY's Grand Jury Testimony
30.
On or about March 5 and March 24, 2004, LIBBY testified before Grand Jury 03-3.
On each occasion of LIBBY's testimony, the foreperson of the Grand Jury administered the oath to
LIBBY and LIBBY swore to tell the truth in the testimony he was about to give.
31.
In or about March 2004, in the District of Columbia,
I. LEWIS LIBBY,
also known as "SCOOTER LIBBY,"
defendant herein, did knowingly and corruptly endeavor to influence, obstruct and impede the due
administration of justice, namely proceedings before Grand Jury 03-3, by misleading and deceiving
the grand jury as to when, and the manner and means by which, LIBBY acquired and subsequently
disclosed to the media information concerning the employment of Valerie Wilson by the CIA.
32.
It was part of the corrupt endeavor that during his grand jury testimony, defendant
LIBBY made the following materially false and intentionally misleading statements and
representations, in substance, under oath:
a.
When LIBBY spoke with Tim Russert of NBC News, on or about July 10,
2003:
i.
Russert asked LIBBY if LIBBY knew that Wilson's wife worked for
the CIA, and told LIBBY that all the reporters knew it; and
ii.
At the time of this conversation, LIBBY was surprised to hear that
Wilson's wife worked for the CIA;
12
b.
LIBBY advised Matthew Cooper of Time magazine on or about July 12, 2003,
that he had heard that other reporters were saying that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, and further
advised him that LIBBY did not know whether this assertion was true; and
c.
LIBBY advised Judith Miller of the New York Times on or about July 12,
2003 that he had heard that other reporters were saying that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA but
LIBBY did not know whether that assertion was true.
33.
It was further part of the corrupt endeavor that at the time defendant LIBBY made
each of the above-described materially false and intentionally misleading statements and
representations to the grand jury, LIBBY was aware that they were false, in that:
a.
When LIBBY spoke with Tim Russert of NBC News on or about July 10,
2003:
i.
Russert did not ask LIBBY if LIBBY knew that Wilson's wife
worked for the CIA, nor did he tell LIBBY that all the reporters knew
it; and
ii.
At the time of this conversation, LIBBY was well aware that
Wilson's wife worked at the CIA; in fact, LIBBY had participated in
multiple prior conversations concerning this topic, including on the
following occasions:
·
In or about early June 2003, LIBBY learned from the Vice
President that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA in the
Counterproliferation Division;
·
On or about June 11, 2003, LIBBY was informed by a senior
CIA officer that Wilson's wife was employed by the CIA and
that the idea of sending him to Niger originated with her;
13
·
On or about June 12, 2003, LIBBY was informed by the
Under Secretary of State that Wilson's wife worked for the
CIA;
·
On or about June 14, 2003, LIBBY discussed "Joe Wilson"
and "Valerie Wilson" with his CIA briefer, in the context of
Wilson's trip to Niger;
·
On or about June 23, 2003, LIBBY informed reporter Judith
Miller that Wilson's wife might work at a bureau of the CIA;
·
On or about July 7, 2003, LIBBY advised the White House
Press Secretary that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA;
·
In or about June or July 2003, and in no case later than on or
about July 8, 2003, LIBBY was advised by the Assistant to
the Vice President for Public Affairs that Wilson's wife
worked for the CIA;
·
On or about July 8, 2003, LIBBY advised reporter Judith
Miller of his belief that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA; and
·
On or about July 8, 2003, LIBBY had a discussion with the
Counsel to the Office of the Vice President concerning the
paperwork that would exist if a person who was sent on an
overseas trip by the CIA had a spouse who worked at the
CIA;
b.
LIBBY did not advise Matthew Cooper, on or about July 12, 2003, that
LIBBY had heard other reporters were saying that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, nor did
LIBBY advise him that LIBBY did not know whether this assertion was true; rather, LIBBY
confirmed to Cooper, without qualification, that LIBBY had heard that Wilson's wife worked at the
CIA; and
14
c.
LIBBY did not advise Judith Miller, on or about July 12, 2003, that LIBBY
had heard other reporters were saying that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, nor did LIBBY advise
her that LIBBY did not know whether this assertion was true;
In violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1503.
15
COUNT TWO
(False Statement)
THE GRAND JURY FURTHER CHARGES:
1.
The Grand Jury realleges Paragraphs 1-26 of Count One as though fully set forth
herein.
2.
During the course of the criminal investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of
Investigation and the Department of Justice, the following matters, among others, were material to
that investigation:
a.
When, and the manner and means by which, defendant LIBBY learned that
Wilson's wife was employed by the CIA;
b.
Whether and when LIBBY disclosed to members of the media that Wilson's
wife was employed by the CIA;
c.
The language used by LIBBY in disclosing any such information to the
media, including whether LIBBY expressed uncertainty about the accuracy of any information he
may have disclosed, or described where he obtained the information; and
d.
LIBBY's knowledge as to whether any information he disclosed was
classified at the time he disclosed it.
3.
On or about October 14 and November 26, 2003, in the District of Columbia,
I. LEWIS LIBBY,
also known as "SCOOTER LIBBY,"
defendant herein, did knowingly and willfully make a materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent
statement and representation in a matter within the jurisdiction of the Federal Bureau of
16
Investigation, an agency within the executive branch of the United States, in that the defendant, in
response to questions posed to him by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, stated that:
During a conversation with Tim Russert of NBC News on July 10 or 11, 2003,
Russert asked LIBBY if LIBBY was aware that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA.
LIBBY responded to Russert that he did not know that, and Russert replied that all
the reporters knew it. LIBBY was surprised by this statement because, while
speaking with Russert, LIBBY did not recall that he previously had learned about
Wilson's wife's employment from the Vice President.
4.
As defendant LIBBY well knew when he made it, this statement was false in that
when LIBBY spoke with Russert on or about July 10 or 11, 2003:
a.
Russert did not ask LIBBY if LIBBY knew that Wilson's wife worked for
the CIA, nor did he tell LIBBY that all the reporters knew it; and
b.
At the time of this conversation, LIBBY was well aware that Wilson's wife
worked at the CIA;
In violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001(a)(2).
17
COUNT THREE
(False Statement)
THE GRAND JURY FURTHER CHARGES:
1.
The Grand Jury realleges Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Count Two as though fully set forth
herein.
2.
On or about October 14 and November 26, 2003, in the District of Columbia,
I. LEWIS LIBBY,
also known as "SCOOTER LIBBY,"
defendant herein, did knowingly and willfully make a materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent
statement and representation in a matter within the jurisdiction of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, an agency within the executive branch of the United States, in that the defendant, in
response to questions posed to him by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, stated that:
During a conversation with Matthew Cooper of Time magazine on July 12, 2003,
LIBBY told Cooper that reporters were telling the administration that Wilson's wife
worked for the CIA, but LIBBY did not know if this was true.
3.
As defendant LIBBY well knew when he made it, this statement was false in that:
LIBBY did not advise Cooper on or about July 12, 2003 that reporters were telling the
administration that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, nor did LIBBY advise him that LIBBY did
not know whether this was true; rather, LIBBY confirmed for Cooper, without qualification, that
LIBBY had heard that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA;
In violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001(a)(2).
18
COUNT FOUR
(Perjury)
THE GRAND JURY FURTHER CHARGES:
1.
The Grand Jury realleges Paragraphs 1-30 of Count One as though fully set forth
herein.
2.
On or about March 5, 2004, in the District of Columbia,
I. LEWIS LIBBY,
also known as "SCOOTER LIBBY,"
defendant herein, having taken an oath to testify truthfully in a proceeding before a grand jury of the
United States, knowingly made a false material declaration, in that he gave the following testimony
regarding a conversation that he represented he had with Tim Russert of NBC News, on or about July
10, 2003 (underlined portions alleged as false):
. . . . And then he said, you know, did you know that this ­ excuse me, did you know
that Ambassador Wilson's wife works at the CIA? And I was a little taken aback by
that. I remember being taken aback by it. And I said ­ he may have said a little more
but that was ­ he said that. And I said, no, I don't know that. And I said, no, I don't
know that intentionally because I didn't want him to take anything I was saying as in
any way confirming what he said, because at that point in time I did not recall that
I had ever known, and I thought this is something that he was telling me that I was
first learning. And so I said, no, I don't know that because I want to be very careful
not to confirm it for him, so that he didn't take my statement as confirmation for him.
Now, I had said earlier in the conversation, which I omitted to tell you, that
this ­ you know, as always, Tim, our discussion is off-the-record if that's okay with
you, and he said, that's fine.
So then he said ­ I said ­ he said, sorry ­ he, Mr. Russert said to me, did you
know that Ambassador Wilson's wife, or his wife, works at the CIA? And I said, no,
I don't know that. And then he said, yeah ­ yes, all the reporters know it. And I said,
again, I don't know that. I just wanted to be clear that I wasn't confirming anything
for him on this. And you know, I was struck by what he was saying in that he
thought it was an important fact, but I didn't ask him anymore about it because I
19
didn't want to be digging in on him, and he then moved on and finished the
conversation, something like that.
3.
In truth and fact, as LIBBY well knew when he gave this testimony, it was false in
that:
a.
Russert did not ask LIBBY if LIBBY knew that Wilson's wife worked for
the CIA, nor did he tell LIBBY that all the reporters knew it; and
b.
At the time of this conversation, LIBBY was well aware that Wilson's wife
worked at the CIA;
In violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1623.
20
COUNT FIVE
(Perjury)
THE GRAND JURY FURTHER CHARGES:
1.
The Grand Jury realleges Paragraphs 1-30 of Count One as though fully set forth
herein.
2.
On or about March 5, 2004 and March 24, 2004, in the District of Columbia,
I. LEWIS LIBBY,
also known as "SCOOTER LIBBY,"
defendant herein, having taken an oath to testify truthfully in a proceeding before a grand jury of the
United States, knowingly made a false material declaration, in that he gave the following testimony
regarding his conversations with reporters concerning the employment of Joseph Wilson's wife by
the CIA (underlined portions alleged as false):
a.
Testimony Given on or about March 5, 2004 Regarding a Conversation
With Matthew Cooper on or About July 12, 2003:
Q.
And it's your specific recollection that when you told Cooper about
Wilson's wife working at the CIA, you attributed that fact to what
reporters ­
A.
Yes.
Q.
­ plural, were saying. Correct?
A.
I was very clear to say reporters are telling us that because in my mind
I still didn't know it as a fact. I thought I was ­ all I had was this
information that was coming in from the reporters.
. . . .
Q.
And at the same time you have a specific recollection of telling him,
you don't know whether it's true or not, you're just telling him what
reporters are saying?
21
A.
Yes, that's correct, sir. And I said, reporters are telling us that, I don't
know if it's true. I was careful about that because among other things,
I wanted to be clear I didn't know Mr. Wilson. I don't know ­ I think
I said, I don't know if he has a wife, but this is what we're hearing.
b.
Testimony Given on or about March 24, 2004 Regarding Conversations
With Reporters:
Q.
And let me ask you this directly. Did the fact that you knew that the
law could turn, the law as to whether a crime was committed, could
turn on where you learned the information from, affect your account
for the FBI when you told them that you were telling reporters
Wilson's wife worked at the CIA but your source was a reporter rather
than the Vice-President?
A.
No, it's a fact. It was a fact, that's what I told the reporters.
Q.
And you're, you're certain as you sit here today that every reporter you
told that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA, you sourced it back to
other reporters?
A.
Yes, sir, because it was important for what I was saying and because
it was ­ that's what ­ that's how I did it.
. . . .
Q.
The next set of questions from the Grand Jury are ­ concern this fact.
If you did not understand the information about Wilson's wife to have
been classified and didn't understand it when you heard it from Mr.
Russert, why was it that you were so deliberate to make sure that you
told other reporters that reporters were saying it and not assert it as
something you knew?
A.
I want ­ I didn't want to ­ I didn't know if it was true and I didn't want
people ­ I didn't want the reporters to think it was true because I said
it. I ­ all I had was that reporters are telling us that, and by that I
wanted them to understand it wasn't coming from me and that it
might not be true. Reporters write things that aren't true sometimes,
or get things that aren't true. So I wanted to be clear they didn't, they
didn't think it was me saying it. I didn't know it was true and I wanted
them to understand that. Also, it was important to me to let them
know that because what I was telling them was that I don't know Mr.
Wilson. We didn't ask for his mission. That I didn't see his report.
22
Basically, we didn't know anything about him until this stuff came out
in June. And among the other things, I didn't know he had a wife.
That was one of the things I said to Mr. Cooper. I don't know if he's
married. And so I wanted to be very clear about all this stuff that I
didn't, I didn't know about him. And the only thing I had, I thought
at the time, was what reporters are telling us.
. . . .
Well, talking to the other reporters about it, I don't see as a crime. What I
said to the other reporters is what, you know ­ I told a couple reporters what
other reporters had told us, and I don't see that as a crime.
3.
In truth and fact, as LIBBY well knew when he gave this testimony, it was false in
that LIBBY did not advise Matthew Cooper or other reporters that LIBBY had heard other reporters
were saying that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, nor did LIBBY advise Cooper or other reporters
that LIBBY did not know whether this assertion was true;
In violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1623.
A TRUE BILL:

FOREPERSON

PATRICK J. FITZGERALD
Special Counsel
Document Outline

Posted by David A at 03:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 5594 Words
Libby Indicted!
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, was indicted Friday by a federal grand jury investigating the public unmasking of an undercover CIA operative.

Charges included making false statements, obstruction of justice, and perjury, court documents show.

Indictments in the case were the first in a nearly two-year investigation into the public unmasking of an undercover CIA operative. Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has scheduled a 2 p.m. ET news conference.

Quote of the Day:

David Gergen, a former adviser to presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton, told CNN's "Larry King Live" that indictments in the case could have an enormous impact on the Iraq war.

"Because if there are indictments, it will not only be people close to the president, the vice president of the United States, but they will raise questions about whether criminal acts were perpetrated to help get the country into war."

Some people have been raising those same questions for a VERY long time. We are either on a course to see some indictments for lying on the part of some major players in this administration, or the beginnings of a conspiracy that could rival Watergate in it's implications. Whatever happens, even the most hardcore Bush supporters are going to find this one difficult to successfully spin.

Rove is not out of the water yet.

Rove's attorney Robert Luskin issued a statement Friday that Fitzgerald "has advised Mr. Rove that he has made no decision about whether or not to bring charges."

And this case along with the DeLay Case and other investigations into prominent Republicans, does not bode well for the Republican Party at this point. At a moment when the Republican Party needs him the most, Spinmiester Karl Rove may be too busy trying to save his own hide, to spin his party out of trouble...

There will likely be a lot of commentary on the issue from both sides. I found this interesting:

Perjury by the President of the United States: No big deal. Everyone lies. Perjury by an assistant to the Vice-President who until last month almost no one had ever heard of: A serious challenge to our democracy and he should be executed.

Special Prosecutor expanding an original investigation to cover perjury by the President of the United States: A partisan tool, out of control prosecutor , hell-bent on destroying our country.
Special Prosecutor expanding an original investigation to cover perjury by an assistant to the Vice-President who until last month almost no one had ever heard of: An absolute requirement for the sake of our country. Democracy would crumble without it.

So let me see... Perjury to cover up personal misconduct vs. Perjury to cover up the outting of a CIA agent...

Choice seems simple to me.... What about you....

And I must have missed something here:

Where in any of these documents does it say Plame was a CIA agent?

Posted by David A at 12:07 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | 489 Words
October 26, 2005
I happen to agree...

With Ed and Steven on their points.

I have a lot of respect for Steve, but this was over the Top.

I admit I have to scratch my head sometimes with some Black Conservatives and how they seem to go out of their way to appeal to conservative friends and "fit in," but you know, it takes all kinds, and if nothing else, there are some Black Conservatives whom I have come to respect and even admire. I may disagree with them on damned near everything, and I may wonder in my heart of hearts how they can feel as they do, but I respect them nonetheless, even in disagreement.

I see no need to call people uncle Toms regardless of what I may think of their politics and I have come to a place in my life where I believe that the better approach is to reach out to Blacks on the other side of the political spectrum, rather than drive them further out of the "family."

The Commissar makes a good point here, racism is racism, no matter who spouts it.

UPDATE: Baldilocks has a very good piece on this subject. I want to say from the perspective of a Black Conservative, but that would lessen the impact of what she has to say. J is speaking as a human being and that is what is so compelling about what she has to say.

Posted by David A at 11:18 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | 237 Words
Busted!
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Rep. Tom DeLay failed to comply with House requirements that he disclose all contributions to a defense fund that pays his legal bills, the Texas Republican acknowledged to House officials.

He wrote officials that $20,850 contributed in 2000 and 2001 was not reported anywhere. Another $17,300 was included in the defense fund's quarterly report but not in DeLay's 2000 annual financial disclosure report -- a separate requirement.

Other donations were understated as totaling $2,800, when the figure should have been $4,450.

It was during that period that DeLay was the subject of several House ethics investigations.

DeLay, R-Texas, stepped aside as House majority leader -- at least temporarily -- after he was indicted on a felony charge September 28 in a Texas campaign fund-raising investigation.

He has since been charged a second time in the same case.

On October 13 DeLay wrote the clerk of the House, Jeff Trandahl, that his first inkling of inconsistencies in his disclosures came last February.

Can him, without "delay."

Posted by David A at 04:27 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | 168 Words
October 25, 2005
A True Alternative for 2008

Newsflash, new Presidential Candidate! Hat Tip John Cole.

zodportrait.jpgVote for Your Ruler

When I first came to your planet and demanded your homes, property and very lives, I didn't know you were already doing so, willingly, with your own government.

I can win no tribute from a bankrupted nation populated by feeble flag-waving plebians. In 2008 I shall restore your dignity and make you servants worthy of my rule.

This new government shall become a tool of my oppression. Instead of hidden agendas and waffling policies, I offer you direct candor and brutal certainty.

I only ask for your tribute, your lives, and your vote.

-- General Zod
Your Future President and Eternal Ruler

Posted by David A at 11:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 114 Words
The Slide Continues...

It does not look good for Republicans in the next elections...

On separate issues, a majority of those questioned felt the Democrats could do a better job than Republicans at handling health care (59 percent to 30 percent), Social Security (56 percent to 33 percent), gasoline prices (51 percent to 31 percent) and the economy (50 percent to 38 percent).

Forty-six percent also believed Democrats could do better at handling Iraq, while 40 percent said the GOP would do better.

In 2003, 53 percent said Republicans would better handle Iraq and only 29 percent believed the Democrats would do better.

The only issue on which Republicans came out on top was in fighting terrorism: 49 percent said the GOP is better at it, while 38 percent said the Democrats are.

And there was a dramatic shift downward in the latest poll, compared with September, in the percentage of people who said that it was a mistake to send U.S. troops to Iraq.

This time, 49 percent said it was a mistake, versus 59 percent who felt that way last month.

Posted by David A at 04:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 180 Words
October 23, 2005
Response to Parting Shot...

I just read this post by Tas, and honestly I am not sure how to respond. I will only say this. I have been extremely busy lately with Business. And honestly focusing on business and making sure that my business vision advances is my number one priority. Political Blogging has been something I have enjoyed the last two years. Recently I will admit it has become less of a pleasant experience. Regardless of one's political leanings or whether one is Pro Bush or Anti Bush, it can not be disputed that this administration will go down in History as one of America's most divisive. It is sad because even those of us who did not vote for Bush the first time hoped that his promises of being a "Uniter," would be true. Sadly, it has not been.

Boyd is my Brother, in more ways than one. We share a bond of Fraternal love that few will ever experience or understand, and we also share respect, even in disagreement. While we disagree on almost everything political, I love him as a friend and a Brother. Tas too is my Brother, and I love and admire him as well. While we mostly agree on the key issues that matter, we too disagree at times. Jay, well Jay is a person who I don't recall ever agreeing with, but for the most part he has been a friend and a supporter of this blog.

Tas's response to today's fight is not unexpected. In fact I have seen it coming for a while. Even when I was in Guatemala on business, he wrote me saying he was hanging it up from posting here. I asked him to continue and he did. I am grateful for that.

As for his decision to hang it up, I can't say much about it, as it gets tiring fighting the same battles day in and day out. One thing I have discovered political blogging the last two years.... Few minds are changed. People just dig in on their positions, and don't budge, and is on both sides.

For people like me who see little to value in our current administration, it can get frustrating trying to make a point, but I am sure it is no less frustrating attempting to defend what often seems ridiculous to defend.

At any rate I have not missed the scraps Tas just encountered today. I have found myself much better equipped to focus on success. As a result, I have a very happy client and an offer to manage their new company for a year as Chief Operating Officer. I am even considering opening another office in Guatemala for Grupo Utopia.

I enjoy discussing politics, and I am blessed by the friendships I have made here, including some very prominent bloggers on the Left and Right, but it does not put food on the table folks, hell I could not even get you guys to buy me a stinking iPod! He he... I am not giving up blogging, and have never run from a fight. But I am going to measure my political blogging for a while. It's good for my blood pressure, and also apparently good for the wallet.

Sorry to see you go Tas. I think you are an extremely talented writer and researcher, and a passionate man, but I also think you are right, you let it get to you too much. I know, because I saw the same thing happening to me, and like you, I had to take a step back.

Posted by David A at 01:25 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | 594 Words
September 30, 2005
Bill Bennett and Genocide

I actually heard about this yesterday from Bennett's alleged former Dominatrix, who has become a pen pal of mine. She is currently running for Governor of Nevada.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Congressional Democrats blasted former Education Secretary William Bennett on Thursday for saying that aborting "every black baby in this country" would reduce the crime rate, and demanded their Republican counterparts do the same.

"This is precisely the kind of insensitive, hurtful and ignorant rhetoric that Americans have grown tired of," said Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Illinois.

Bennett, who held prominent posts in the administrations of former presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush, told a caller to his syndicated radio talk show Wednesday: "If you wanted to reduce crime, you could -- if that were your sole purpose -- you could abort every black baby in this country and your crime rate would go down.

"That would be an impossibly ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down," he said.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, called on President Bush to condemn the comments by Bennett, who was anti-drug chief in Bush's father's administration.

Now I dont know if Bennett likes to be led arround on a Dog Collar or not, but I do know the man has some serious issues, and I guess we can add racism to them.

This comment is so over the top and odius that I cant really even come up with a response. I will be surprised if there is much condemnation from the Right, at least not until and unless there is much traction on the story from the Left. But Jesus, it is this kind of attitude that makes me scratch my head wondering why any black person could support the conservative movement.

Posted by David A at 08:30 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0) | 295 Words
September 27, 2005
They start young...

The New Republic, has a fascinating article about the College Republicans,

Everyone who watched this summer's race for College Republican National Committee (crnc) chair with any detachment has a favorite moment of chutzpah they admire in spite of themselves. Leading the count are the following: speaking sotto voce of your opponent's "homosexuality"; rigging the delegate count so that states that support your candidate have twice as many votes as those that don't; and using a sitting congressman to threaten the careers of undecided voters. I can understand the perverse appeal of each of these incidents. But I cast my vote for the forged letter.

and how they learn the dirty tricks of their elders by practicing on their own. It's a must read.

Posted by David A at 02:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 124 Words
September 26, 2005
How Many More Mike Browns Are Out There?
A TIME inquiry finds that at top positions in some vital government agencies, the Bush Administration is putting connections before experience.

Time Magazine

Doesn't that just make you feel all safe and secure?

Posted by David A at 06:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 33 Words
September 24, 2005
A Chastened Bush? How long will it last?
COLORADO SPRINGS, Sept. 23 -- President Bush flew here ahead of Hurricane Rita on Friday to show command of a federal disaster response effort that even supporters acknowledge he fumbled three weeks ago.

The president said he wanted to see the emergency response system from the ground floor at U.S. Northern Command headquarters. "I need to understand how it works better," he told reporters before leaving Washington. But Bush was also embarking on a broader, and possibly more important, mission: restoring strength and confidence in his presidency.

A president who roamed across the national and world stages with an unshakable self-assurance that comforted Republicans and confounded critics since 2001 suddenly finds himself struggling to reclaim his swagger. Bush's standing with the public -- and within the Republican Party -- has been battered by a failed Social Security campaign, violence in Iraq, and most recently Hurricane Katrina. His approval ratings, 42 percent in the most recent Washington Post-ABC poll, have never been lower.

A president who normally thrives on tough talk and self-assurance finds himself at what aides privately describe as a low point in office, one that is changing the psychic and political aura of the White House, as well as its distinctive political approach.

In small, sometimes subtle but unmistakable ways, the president and top aides sound less certain, more conciliatory and willing to do something they avoided in the first term: admit mistakes. After bulling through crisis after crisis with a "bring 'em on" brashness, a more solemn Bush now has twice taken responsibility for the much-criticized response to Hurricane Katrina.

Aides who never betrayed self-doubt now talk in private of failures selling the American people on the Iraq war, the president's Social Security plan and his response to Hurricane Katrina. The president who once told the United Nations it would drift into irrelevancy if it did not back the invasion of Iraq last week praised the world body and said the world works better "when we act together." A White House team that operated on its terms since 2000 is reaching to outside experts for answers like never before.

It's called a REALITY CHECK. And I think it is a good thing. The fact that the press is finaly waking up and covering Administration failures with a new found aggression, is probably also contributing to the President's sense of insecurity.

Whatever the reasons, it is good to see the President finaly realizing that he does not have a mandate to "screw the nation."

Posted by David A at 07:56 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | 416 Words
September 19, 2005
It's about time!

Clinton finaly opens up:

Former US president Bill Clinton sharply criticised George W. Bush for the Iraq War and the handling of Hurricane Katrina, and voiced alarm at the swelling US budget deficit.

Breaking with tradition under which US presidents mute criticisms of their successors, Clinton said the Bush administration had decided to invade Iraq "virtually alone and before UN inspections were completed, with no real urgency, no evidence that there were weapons of mass destruction."

The Iraq war diverted US attention from the war on terrorism "and undermined the support that we might have had," Bush said in an interview with an ABC's "This Week" programme.

Clinton said there had been a "heroic but so far unsuccessful" effort to put together an constitution that would be universally supported in Iraq.

The US strategy of trying to develop the Iraqi military and police so that they can cope without US support "I think is the best strategy. The problem is we may not have, in the short run, enough troops to do that," said Clinton.

On Hurricane Katrina, Clinton faulted the authorities' failure to evacuate New Orleans ahead of the storm's strike on August 29.

People with cars were able to heed the evacuation order, but many of those who were poor, disabled or elderly were left behind.

"If we really wanted to do it right, we would have had lots of buses lined up to take them out," Clinton.

He agreed that some responsibility for this lay with the local and state authorities, but pointed the finger, without naming him, at the former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

And if you have ANY doubts about how poorly the war in Iraq has been executed, you need look no further than this week's Time Magazine.

Yeah it's a worse disaster than than we knew. And is beginning to look like the... shall we say it... Quagmire, that supporters are so afraid of.

In the meantime, hundreds continue to die weekly, British soldiers are torched in their tank, and it appears that the, "Last Throes," are going to last a long, long time.

As for the Hurricane Katrina thing.... I am a Gang Banger.

Update: John Kerry joins in and hammers the administration. If he had shown this kind of spirit on the campaign trail, he might be President.

Posted by David A at 03:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 394 Words
September 18, 2005
The only good moderate is....

One who leans to the right, drinks Roveco Kool Aide, and believes that the Federal Response to Katrina was Great at best, and the jury is still out at worst. At least that is what Jeff, "Damn I am so smart," Goldstein believes. But, "It's because of the Hypocrisy," you see!

Joe Gandelman writes a reasoned analysis of the Katrina aftermath, sharing the differing points of view. Jeff as he is often want to do, decides that he, "knows where Joe's heart is," and proceeds to blast him for no apparent reason other than he doesn't excuse the Bush Administration completely of blame. Something Jeff did weeks ago, despite claiming to want to "wait until all the facts are in."

Of course the Jeff G fanclub weighs in with their typical inflammatory nonsense, including calling Joe Gay... Which I fail to see what Joe's sexuality has to do with the subject, but then again, most of the trolls I get from Jeff's site seem to be obsessed with my weight. So in a pinch I guess any insult or perceived insult will suffice.

When Mike Reynolds of The Mighty Middle, weighs in on the cheap shot, Jeff Responds.... With an ego like his, would you expect less? Of course Jeff does not own up to the errors and mal attributions in his post! Say it after me kiddies, "It's the Hypocrisy!" Instead he goes into a righteous defense of his attack.

Let me point out a couple of things before Jeff's minions arrive to defend his lordship. Joe Gandelman is one of the most fair minded people in the Blogsphere. If anything, I find myself in disagreement with Joe as much as agreement.

Jeff delights in making fun of my "Conservatives as Hypocrites" meme. At the same time his attack of Joe for balance, while he has been anything but, is the hight of hypocrisy. This guy is supposed to be one of the humorist of the Right. The only thing I find funny about him is that others find him funny.

Posted by David A at 04:06 PM | Comments (21) | TrackBack (3) | 344 Words
September 15, 2005
Hmmmmm Didn't this happen before?
WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Republicans on Wednesday scuttled an attempt by Sen. Hillary Clinton to establish an independent, bipartisan panel patterned after the 9/11 Commission to investigate what went wrong with federal, state and local governments' response to Hurricane Katrina.

I'm not surprised, are you surprised?

Posted by David A at 09:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1) | 46 Words
You know what I find funny?

The way THESE people choose to argue. It's all personal attacks, one person (via comments) even takes offense at the Egyptian theme of my blog, claiming it makes me anti semitic. You want to know why I have not blogged much lately? Eh, it's because I have a life away from these pages. Some obviously do not... Whatever... Their stupidity, prejudice and irrational anger is something I don't even care to deal with.

Posted by David A at 03:14 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | 73 Words
September 12, 2005
Intellectual and Moral Honesty

This was an interesting exercise yesterday. I have to admit, even after two years of political blogging, I am still surprised by the venom from some folks, including my own when driven to anger.

The only thing I can say is that I am honest in my outrage. I may be proven wrong at times, but I am willing to acknowledge and accept that fact... I cant necessarily say the same for some on the other side of the debate. Oh well...

Posted by David A at 12:43 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | 82 Words
September 11, 2005
Newsflash - Kool Aide Rations Running Low Across America!
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush's job approval has dipped below 40 percent for the first time in the AP-Ipsos poll, reflecting widespread doubts about his handling of gasoline prices and the response to Hurricane Katrina.

Nearly four years after Bush's job approval soared into the 80s after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Bush was at 39 percent job approval in an AP-Ipsos poll taken this week. That's the lowest since the the poll was started in December 2003.

The public's view of the nation's direction has grown increasingly negative as well, with nearly two-thirds now saying the country is heading down the wrong track.

Meanwhile rumors spread of Massive Kool Aide stores being horded by Paul at Wizbang, who slams the poor people of New Orleans and boast of his own independence, just a week or so after his compatriots at Wizbang were passing the hat for him. Of course, Paul knows that "85%" of the people who were housed at the Superdome were living in public housing and on welfare. WHY, because most of the images were of black people of course! Remember, Paul feels that Blacks are only good to pick his cotton.

UPDATE: And Paul Strikes BACK! The crowd roars! Seems like Paul is twisting my words again, taking a comment I made below and trying to make it look like I am okay with the thousands who have died as a result of politicians incompetence, as "Long as Bush's poll numbers go down." Eh... I don't think so Pablo. And only the Kool Aide chugging morons who hang on your every word are going to buy that, just like they bought your "in jest," comment last year that I was stealing donations to the Costa Rican Red Cross. You are about one of the most ignorant, arrogant and worthless excuses for a human being I have ever seen. It must be nice writing for a blog with traffic like Wizbang's because I cant tell you how many CONSERVATIVES have told me that they stopped reading the blog because of your ignorant tripe. Go on dude, sit in your hotel room and jerk your weenie on the fantasy of putting me in my place. Your aren't up to it cave man, not even close...

UPDATE: Mike Brown resigns, and it's pretty clear that this is an acknowledgment of the failures of FEMA. It wont help the perception of the Federal response, that is for sure.

Posted by David A at 02:32 PM | Comments (38) | TrackBack (2) | 411 Words
Bill Maher gives Bush some Great Advice!

But for some reason, I don't think he will be taking it.

Posted by David A at 10:18 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | 13 Words
September 10, 2005
Damn, Damn, Damn!
"There are still a lot of things I want to say about Hurricane Katrina and the savage, apocalyptic vision of America that she revealed, floating face down in the water. But last night I came across an account of the search for real bodies -- not metaphorical ones -- in the stinking ruins of New Orleans. It's like something out of the charnel houses of World War II:

Volunteer rescuer Gregg Silverman, part of a 14-boat contingent from Columbus, Ohio, said he expected to find many more survivors in his excursion through the city's flooded streets. Instead, he found mostly bodies.

"They had me climb up on a roof, and I did bring an ax up to where a guy had tried to stick a pipe up through a vent,'' Silverman said. "Unfortunately, he had probably just recently perished. His dog was still there, barking. The dog wouldn't come. We had to leave the dog just up there in the attic.''

As for other bodies his group encountered: "Obviously we are not recovering them. We are just tying them up to banisters, leaving them on the roof.''

It is reported that the state of Louisiana has placed an order for 25,000 body bags.

For some reason, it wasn't until I read that story that the full horror of what happened in New Orleans finally hit home for me. Maybe it's because I was on the road part of last week, and missed most of the live broadcasts during the days when the city was in complete chaos. Maybe it's because I don't watch TV much even when I am home. But until now I've thought about the catastrophe more in terms of the loss of a great American city -- and less in terms of the individual human lives that were destroyed.

No longer. The image -- of a man frantically trying to breath through a pipe stuck in a ventilator grate as the waters rise over his head -- is too searing to hold at an emotional distance. How long did he survive, submerged in total darkness? And how many others died in the same bizarre trap -- too weak or terrified to break through the layers of plywood and asphalt that had suddenly become the lids on their underwater coffins?

Thinking about those deaths is like looking at pictures of people jumping, hand in hand, from the windows of the World Trade Center on 9/11 -- forced in a moment of howling panic to choose between the flames and the long fall to the pavement below. Such images are unendurable. The mind recoils from them as if we ourselves were caught in the same trap.

p>And suddenly all the backbiting over who failed first -- or most often, or most spectacularly -- seems too vile to worry about, much less write about." Billmon

He's right, and I can't take it anymore either... I have so much I want to say, so much anger. I want to rage against the injustice of what happened in New Orleans and elsewhere. I want someone to blame. I NEED someone to be angry with, even to HATE. I need it in a visceral way that surprises me at times with it's force. I just finished reading several posts by one of my Blog Daddies, Billmon, and I feel anger rising up in my like acidic bile, that no amount of Alka Seltzer will suppress.

I am an American, and yet I am ashamed of being an American right now... My driver asked me yesterday how a country as Rich as America could let so many die. I had no answer. Tomorrow is 9/11 and there will be solemn ceremonies and the trotting out of stories of heroism and personal reflection. I once took part in all of that. I wont tomorrow, because honestly, I don't have the stomach to look back any more. I will instead be thinking about a Disaster that did not have to happen. I will be thinking of a man desperately drowning while trying to breath through a pipe. I will be thinking about Racist cops denying people escape. I will be thinking about a Horse Breeder put in charge of saving lives. And I will be thinking about other heroes. The ones who tried desperately to help their fellows, even as their government city, state and federal failed them miserably.

The accountability argument has been made on both sides, usually drawn down party lines, and Billmon is right, it all seems pretty shallow now. There is a part of me so filled with anger that I want to stand on my roof and scream for justice, scream for retribution, but I see little changing, in spite of the outrage. When this is all over, I have no doubt that Karina will make 9/11 look insignificant in its human toll. Louisiana has ordered 25,000 body bags. Wrap your mind around that one for a minute. And yet, shamefully, I doubt that any politician or leader will drape themselves in the flag of this disaster. Instead we will likely see a whitewashing of the entire event.

So I am done. This will likely be my last post on Katrina and it's aftermath. Leave history and God to be the judge of the failures of men, because I have no doubt my country and those who support those who failed, have not the stomach for that judgement....

Some Other Posts you might want to Read:

Digby Expresses the Outrage that I feel right now.

The New York Times chronicles what went wrong. Hat Tip: Talk Left.

Brother Cobb answers his Conservative Brethren's criticism of Ray Nagin, and does a helluva job of it!


And Newsweek demonstrates just how disconnected from Reality Bush really is.

And this... Cop... Should be lined up against one of the levees and shot.

No... I don't want to talk about it any more, but I am sure as hell glad someone does...

Posted by David A at 08:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (2) | 999 Words
September 09, 2005
Oh the Outrage....

Wizbang points out this morning that the DNC was using a petition to fire the FEMA Director, to raise funds, you know, to do political stuff. Of course the Republicans never do such things. President Bush would never use a National Tragedy for political gain.... Would he?

While I agree that Katrina should not be used as a fundraiser for anyone other than the victims, I am a bit startled by the sheer hypocrisy.

Posted by David A at 10:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 76 Words
Has the Sanitizing of Karina Begun?

UPDATE: Welcome Daou Report Readers

UPDATE II: Welcome Readers of The National Review Online.

Update at bottom of page.

From Frumious Blues:

Through the day, I saw sporadic reports on various blogs that the military in New Orleans are trying to keep journalists out of the city. Via Atrios (via Josh Marshall) comes this confirming report from NBC anchorman Brian Williams:

National Guard soldiers are ubiquitous. At one fire scene, I counted law enforcement personnel (who I presume were on hand to guarantee the safety of the firefighters) from four separate jurisdictions, as far away as Connecticut and Illinois. And tempers are getting hot. While we were attempting to take pictures of the National Guard (a unit from Oklahoma) taking up positions outside a Brooks Brothers on the edge of the Quarter, the sergeant ordered us to the other side of the boulevard. The short version is: there won’t be any pictures of this particular group of guard soldiers on our newscast tonight. Rules (or I suspect in this case an order on a whim) like those do not HELP the palpable feeling that this area is somehow separate from the United States.

At that same fire scene, a police officer from out of town raised the muzzle of her weapon and aimed it at members of the media

obvious members of the media armed only with notepads. Her actions
(apparently because she thought reporters were encroaching on the
scene) were over the top and she was told. There are automatic weapons and shotguns everywhere you look. It's a stance that perhaps would have been appropriate during the open lawlessness that has long since ended on most of these streets. Someone else points out on television as I post this: the fact that the National Guard now bars entry (by journalists) to the very places where people last week were barred from LEAVING (The Convention Center and Superdome) is a kind of perverse and perfectly backward postscript to this awful chapter in American history.


What are they trying
to hide? Their dicks have been hanging out on national TV for a week
now. The only possible rationale for prohibiting press access is to
keep us from knowing exactly how badly they fucked over the country.

You know what I find most offensive in all this.... It is that the media has been complicit in their own defanging. Where has the outrage been for five years as this administration has operated time and time again in secret. The no bid contracts, Abu Gharib, Camp Delta, Downing Street, Gannongate, 9/11... Time and time again this administration has played it's Rovian games unquestioned by the Press. The Majority of the American public have went about their business oblivious to the putrid stench of a political system rotten to the core.

The Press, long champions of "the truth," have served as miserable lap dogs to an unacknowledged "Ministry of Propaganda," run by Karl Rove. The Republican Spin Machine, supported by Conservative Blogs have fed the American public a constant steam of "truthspeak," creating an impression of Leadership when it never existed beyond the photo op and sound bite. A couple of two bit lawyers and a call center manager from the Midwest become celebrities while shamelessly calling dissenters, "traitors." While the real treason lies among those who fail to question. We have lost our way as a Democracy because some people have feel in love with the idea of power, power at the cost of freedom.

What happened in the Gulf remains a National Embarrassment. No amount of censorship will rid the American mind of the sense of powerlessness we all now feel. Nor will it change the fact that the sense of Safety Americans have had, the promise of Security was a sham, and God help us if another disaster or terrorist strike happens in the U.S. anytime soon. The utter ineptitude of the people running our country, long ago exposed to those us who immune to the snake charmer tactics of Rove and Company, has now been exposed to the entire world. Unfortunately thousands of Americans may have died to finaly demonstrate that indeed... The Emperor has no clothes.

Unfortunately there are still those who refuse to believe what their own eyes and ears tell them. I had a long discussion with a conservative friend tonight who absolutely refused to believe that Bush said that no one anticipated the levies not holding. Even confronted with video of Bush saying those very words, he still insisted that video can be edited and he wanted to see a transcript. How does one fight that kind of partisan lunacy. I have come to the conclussion that you dont... If New Orleans in all of it's horror did not serve as a wake up call for these people, then nothing less than a catastrophic terrorist attack will. I am affraid that even with that, they will find a way to spin Bush out of responsibility for it. My conclussion is that they all suffer from a sense of guilt, that will not allow them to acknowledge their own culpability in a disaster that far exceeds the carnage of Katrina.

And the Spin Continues... (I discovered this piece from Wizbang as part of the same Daou Report.) I applaud Paul for acknowledging the obvious,

"Of course FEMA, and the idiot who runs it, are a different matter."

But the premise of the post, that Lefties are being unfair to Bush for being on vacation, is way off the mark. The Photo of Bush being briefed before the storm means nothing, if it took five days for his team to adequately address it. FEMA, Homeland Security... They were missing in action for days as people died, and this falls directly on Bush's doorstep. There is NO excuse for it. As for the contention that others shared the blame for what went wrong. I agree. Every politician from the local, state and Federal governments share blame in what was a failure of unimaginable proportions. What has happened since has been even more disgraceful. The lying and spin in particular. So Paul may feel comfortable excusing the failures of the Administration, after all, he survived... His brethren who didn't, or who lost people in the aftermath, may not be so generous.

And while the press is effectively shut out of reporting the real tragedy... There is THIS.

You angry yet???

What I truly DON'T understand, is how some Republican Appologist are trying to make Bush a victim in all this.... HELLO! The victims are the potentially thousands who have died.

Posted by David A at 01:05 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | 1106 Words
September 08, 2005
The Boy King...

This kind of says it all, doesnt it:

We have a man-child as President of the United States. That may seem an unfair characterization, but consider the President's performance last Friday when he ventured to the storm ravaged Gulf Coast. In a revealing moment, he referred to the FEMA Director as "Brownie" and joked about his past good times in New Orleans.

It was inappropriate behavior that one would expect from an adolescent and not the adult leader of the free world. It largely went unnoticed.

But perhaps the clearest demonstration of the President's arrested development is his inability to accept responsibility or accountability. Another revelatory moment was when the President pronounced that the response to Katrina was " not acceptable." Of course, he was the one in charge. It was as if a child passively proclaimed that "the milk was spilt".


Posted by David A at 12:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 142 Words
September 07, 2005
The Video.... The Lies.... I am waiting for a Conservative Response

In the age of video, it is "hard work," lying...

Yeah... Real Hard Work...

Anyone who can watch this video and still claim that this is all about Bush Hatred is... well... delusional at best.

Posted by David A at 10:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 36 Words
Things that make me scratch my head in wonder...
It has been a week since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, leveled New Orleans and left hundreds of thousands of Americans homeless. We saw the best of America during that time—millions of people stepped forward to offer help. Meanwhile, the Bush administration failed at their most important job: keeping America safe. The federal effort was too little, too late and it is now becoming obvious that hundreds or even thousands of people died as a result.

Then, starting Friday, in a Karl Rove-led campaign, the White House started to blame state and local officials and even the victims who were stranded without transportation when the Hurricane arrived. Sign our petition demanding that the Bush administration stop blaming victims, including state and local officials, and focus on helping them.

Timeline

Friday, Aug. 26: Gov. Kathleen Blanco declares a state of emergency in Louisiana and requests troop assistance.


Saturday, Aug. 27: Gov. Blanco asks for federal state of emergency. A federal emergency is declared giving federal officials the authority to get involved.


Sunday, Aug. 28: Mayor Ray Nagin orders mandatory evacuation of New Orleans. President Bush warned of Levee failure by National Hurricane Center. National Weather Service predicts area will be "uninhabitable" after Hurricane arrives. First reports of water toppling over the levee appear in local paper.

Monday, Aug. 29: Levee breaches and New Orleans begins to fill with water, Bush travels to Arizona and California to discuss Medicare. FEMA chief finally responds to federal emergency, dispatching employees but giving them two days to arrive on site.


Tuesday, Aug. 30: Mass looting reported, security shortage cited in New Orleans. Pentagon says that local authorities have adequate National Guard units to handle hurricane needs despite governor's earlier request. Bush returns to Crawford for final day of vacation. TV coverage is around-the-clock Hurricane news.

Wednesday, Aug. 31: Tens of thousands trapped in New Orleans including at Convention Center and Superdome in "medieval" conditions. President Bush finally returns to Washington to establish a task force to coordinate federal response. Local authorities run out of food and water supplies.

Thursday, Sept. 1: New Orleans descends into anarchy. New Orleans Mayor issues a "Desperate SOS" to federal government. Bush claims nobody predicted the breach of the levees despite multiple warnings and his earlier briefing.

Friday, Sept. 2: Karl Rove begins Bush administration campaign to blame state and local officials—despite their repeated requests for help. Bush stages a photo-op—diverting Coast Guard helicopters and crew to act as backdrop for cameras. Levee repair work orchestrated for president's visit and White House press corps.

Saturday, Sept. 3: Bush blames state and local officials. Senior administration official (possibly Rove) caught in a lie claiming Gov. Blanco had not declared a state of emergency or asked for help.

Monday, Sept. 5: New Orleans officials begin to collect their dead.

(Adapted from: Katrina Timeline.

Those are the facts. State and local officials BEGGED for help as people in their city suffered. The Bush administration didn't get the job done and when their failure became an embarrassment they attacked those asking for help.

The New York Times reported on Friday that Karl Rove and White House communications director Dan Bartlett "rolled out a plan...to contain the political damage from the administration's response to Hurricane Katrina." The core of the strategy is "to shift the blame away from the White House and toward officials of New Orleans and Louisiana."

This is the same pattern of smearing that the Bush political machine has used for a decade. John McCain and John Kerry had their war records smeared. The CIA cover of Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife was blown after he criticized the Bush Iraq policy. Now, Hurricane victims are attacked when the Bush administration failed to do their duty to help them.

It isn't just the Bush administration. Republican Senator Rick Santorum blamed victims in a TV interview and House Speaker Dennis Hastert suggested New Orleans should not be rebuilt.

Excerpted from a MoveOn.org mailing. Sign their petition here.

I don't have much to say about this. I mean expressions of outrage just seem to bounce off the walls these days. These people are truly disgusting in their ability to play politics with disaster, and to put it simply... LIE. That there are people out there who still, after all this, refuse to deal with the truth is Frankly MIND BOGGLING!

Posted by David A at 08:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 728 Words
September 03, 2005
Anyone but Bush....

Okay, I promised myself that I would not play politics today, but this is too difficult to pass up. For the last couple of days, Jay Tea of Wizbang has been OUTRAGED, OUTRAGED I tell ya! That I would the audacity to blame Bush for any of the problems in New Orleans and the surrounding area! So what do I find on Wizbang today???

"Note that the commander-in-chief of the Louisiana National Guard is Governor Kathleen Blanco (D). How she's deflected all blame for the delays in deployment is beyond me (certainly having the "D" behind her name doesn't hurt), especially when (as of Wednesday) only half of the available Louisiana National Guard was deployed for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts..."


Kevin at Wizbang

Still no mention of the disastrous FEMA response, who I believe report to the President... Nor did I note any mention that the bulk of the LA Guard is in Iraq... Oh well. Jay will of course claim that the post was not his so he has no responsibility for it. I just wonder if he gave Kevin the same lecture he gave me....

Posted by David A at 04:39 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0) | 188 Words
September 02, 2005
Criticism about Criticism
WASHINGTON - President Bush, facing blistering criticism for his administration's response to Hurricane Katrina, said Friday "the results are not acceptable" and pledged to bolster relief efforts with a personal trip to the Gulf Coast.

"We'll get on top of this situation," Bush said, "And we're going to help the people that need help."

He spoke on the White House grounds just before boarding his presidential helicopter, Marine One, with Homeland Security Department secretary Michael Chertoff to tour the region. The department, which oversees the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has been accused of responding sluggishly to the deadly hurricane.

So Bush is now in the affected region, and has admitted that the response has been ineffective. This six days and who knows how many unnecessary deaths since the disaster first struck. There are many on the Right who don't want to talk about who's fault it is that this happened. Some want to imply that Left Bloggers are being petty. There is NOTHING petty about the death and destruction in Luisianna, Mississippi and Alabama. And there is NOTHING that would convince me that these same people would not have been all over Clinton, had this happened on his watch. Without even getting into the LA National Guard being in Iraq, or the fact that the Government cut moneys needed to keep New Orlean levy system functioning, there are still plenty of accountability issues in this case. And Bush's statement today is proof of them.

Call me petty all you like, but I do not consider it petty to hold our government accountable in times of crisis, and perhaps those criticizing the critics have not thought of this, but it has been six days since the Hurricane first hit. Look at the first line of the above article... Do you think that WITHOUT the criticism from the Left Spere, that Bush would be there today?

I have distant relatives that live in New Orleans, as well as countless personal friends and Fraternity Brothers. At this point I don't know where any of them are. I am angry and it appears that a LOT of Americans are angry. I am also dissapointed, that the President elected for Strong Leadership has so far shown VERY LITTLE strength or Leadership. Perhaps those of you who voted for him can stomach that, even EXCUSE it, I can't and won't. So dont DARE lecture me or others for "politicizing the disaster," when YOUR SIDE has politicized everything from 9/11 forward. This situation stinks with the smell of water bloated dead bodies. You are right about one thing, this event is being politicized, but not by the people calling for accountability. It is being politicized by the same people who time after time have excused the failures of this administration. There are two disasters taking place today, one is obvious, the other has been going on for five years!

And while you are pointing fingers at the Left, perhaps you should read this article about how one Conservative Magazine wants to blame the victims!

UPDATE: Jeff G weighs in on this post. As usual it's a distortion of what I wrote:

update: Here is "reasonable" lefty David Anderson, doing what he does best: congratulating himself and his ideological brethren
for saving the poor and displaced by heaping scorn and blame on the
President and his administration for a devestation (sic) he pretends to understand.

Because, you see, without the lefties screaming and yelling about how
Bush hates brown people and wants to see them dead or about how he
underfunded a levee that, were it to have prevented this disaster,
would have needed to be 50% taller to stop the Category 4 storm surge
(a plan that was never in the pipeline) they FORCED him to provide the relief he otherwise wasn't going to give.

They got him off vacation and into ACTION, however reluctantly. THEIR CRITICISM IS SAVING LIVES!

This, my friends, is why having a debate with wannabe pundits on the left is a losing proposition: their ignorance of the facts is surpassed only by their preening and utterly unfounded self-righteousness.

Like Gulliver, I fear I'm beginning to despise large swathes of humanity.

Welcome to the club Jeff, better late than never. I despised hypocrites a long time ago. And just to make it clear, I never accused Bush of Racism, I accused him of incompetence. Neither did I say anyone forced him to take action. What I said was that the criticism from across a broad segment of NON-Kool Aide drinking Americans forced him to move more quickly. Five days is a bit much don't ya think? But gee thanks for reading the blog and for the link. Us "wanna be pundits," take all the help we can get, even from an arrogant child who's own press and preening fan base has went to his head. Oh, and just so you know, I do understand disasters, having lived through a few of them myself. What I dont understand is people who just cant acknowledge that they are wrong. That never fails to amaze and annoy me.

Update HERE.

Posted by David A at 11:02 AM | Comments (41) | TrackBack (2) | 857 Words
September 01, 2005
Truth, Anger and Righteous Indignation!

This is one of the most devastatingly brilliant pieces of blogging I have EVER READ! Thanks to the Brad Blog, for the heads up. It is a long piece, and brilliant every word, but I could not excerpt it in it's entirety. Go read the whole thing!


What happens when Chertoff (whose name actually means "of the Devil" in Russian) decides to forgo civil liberties in general and abuses his office, err, industrial department of Homeland Security? What happens when these Homelanders declare Martial Law in order to keep people from looting, but will not supply them with water, food, and other life sustaining supplies?

Apparently not a damn thing.

After all, no blond "good Christian" wealthy Republican children are drowning. Fox News anchors sit laughing at this tragedy but cry and piss on themselves because a blond girl on an island went missing (no offense to the family of the missing girl).

Do you realize that one person - one single person who is white, blond haired, and blue eyed - is more important to the networks than the thousands of black children spiraling to their deaths in a swirl of sewage in a once historic city?

Looting is what the networks are covering, as though such activity is "typical" of what "black people" do. The majority of residents left behind were the poor, who - due to the inexcusable mismanagement of emergency resources, coupled with high oil prices - were unable to leave on their own. The poor in this country happen to be minorities, so the people left behind were minorities.

Take away food, water, and other supplies and what should someone do? Swim over to an ATM and get some soggy money out? Or maybe dive in, holding their breath, and swim through their underwater living room looking for a lost wallet? Not to worry, the Pentagon is on its way, Martial law is declared, journalists are forced out, and those saved are happily dining on cat food.

Bush's cutting of his vacation short by a whole two hours - jetting off to DC, from where he can look Presidential -- is almost as timely as is him finally putting down My Pet Goat.

And where is that treasure of a mother, that national "I love my gay daughter when it works for the campaign" bastion of integrity? Lynn Cheney, the doyenne of Christian values, is probably rehearsing her "I am an indignant mother" routine, somewhere in the bowls of her underground mansion. Because she is not out, carrying buckets or collecting donations or for god's sake doing something to help the people of "her country."

Congress is still on vacation even though we are witnessing a national tragedy that could produce the worst death toll in recent US history.

Condi's father a prominent minister and educator is spinning in his grave as black women and children drown, while Condi stands and shills somewhere who the hell knows where on how we are spreading Democracy. As though such a thing as Democracy could be spread through rape, torture, and murder, like some venereal disease.

Where is the god damn leadership of this country? Dick, Condi, Rummy, anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

You know I finaly figured out why Jay Tea was so angry with my earlier post. Anyone from the Right who has watched what has happened in the Gulf Coast and is NOT having an "Oh Shit," moment, has got to be delusional. This disaster has absolutely stripped the myth away from George W. Bush and demonstrated not only the complete incompetence of his administration, but the callousness of it as well. It has also completely destroyed the MYTH of George W. Bush as a Leader in times of crises. This is a repeat of the Seven Minute Reading Session, as planes crashed into the towers, only this one has lasted five days. And honestly, if I was a Republican right now, I would be embarrassed beyond words.

Changing the subject will not change the facts. Shields are down Scotty, and there isn't enough Kool Aide in the world to bring 'em back up!

Posted by David A at 09:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 690 Words
Our National Embarrassment

I am watching CNN this morning and the video coming from New Orleans and the Hurricane Zone is horrible. People are dying. People are without food and water. People are without hope...

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- Thousands of people forced from their homes by Hurricane Katrina have crammed into the New Orleans convention center, where they've had no food, no water and no word on when help would come.

And people are dying.

CNN's Chris Lawrence described "many, many" bodies, inside and outside the facility on New Orleans' Riverwalk.

"There are multiple people dying at the convention center," he said. "There was an old woman, dead in a wheelchair with a blanket draped over her, pushed up against a wall. Horrible, horrible conditions.

"We saw a man who went into a seizure, literally dying right in front of us."

People were "being forced to lived like animals," Lawrence said -- surrounded by piles of trash and feces.

He said while he has seen police SWAT teams drive by in armored vehicles, no one has stopped to talk with the refugees.


I saw a video of someone's mother or Grandmother, dead in a wheelchair, pushed against a wall at the Superdome, covered with a blanket. Another grandmother complained of not having food for two days.

That people are still dying after FIVE days is a National Disgrace. This was an act of God, one that was expected and anticipated for days before hand. In fact, New Orleans has been a Hurricane Victim waiting to happen for years, so none of this should have come as a surprise to anyone...

The failure of Homeland Security to move quickly and have sufficient resources to aid the people of the Hurricane Stricken Region is yet another example of the ineptitude of the Bush Administration.

Those of you who voted for Bush with the idea that he was the best candidate to protect the Homeland, have now had your wakeup call. It does not matter the type of disaster. Had this been a terrorist attack, it is likely the same thing would have happened. At a time when the people of Luisiana needs them the most, their sons and daughters of the National Guard are far away fighting a useless war in Iraq. While Billions are wasted and even LOST in Iraq, the pumps and Levy's needed to protect one of our most beautiful and historical cities were neglected by our National Government.

Our Homeland Security appears to have learned nothing from 9/11. Police are not equipted to handle the scope of the disaster. Radios dont work. Police are taking gas from abandoned cars to fuel their cruisers. Coordination between FEMA, Homeland Security and local authorities has been a disaster. This disaster has been made 100 times worse by the incompetance of a Government that has bungled every major operation they have undertaken since first taking office five years ago.

This is NOT one Bush is going to be able to avoid responsibility for. Nor will it be one that Conservatives will be able to spin. It is a disaster of unparalleled proportions, and the responsibility for much of what has happened sits squarely at the door of this administration.

UPDATE: Jay Tea of Wizbang fame, has already posted a scathing comment to this post accussing Lefties of insensitivity to the problems on the ground in New Orleans:

"Things in the South are horrible. And while the Right side of the blogosphere is doing everything they can to help the people, the liberals are busting their asses, doing everything they can to make sure the "right" people get the blame. They'd much rather sit around and shriek in outrage, looking for someone to pin the blame on, than get off their self-indulgent asses, pry themselves away from their circle-jerk of political correctness, and actually step up and DO something about the problem themselves.

It's reminiscent of the illegal alien situation. The problem must be solved PERFECTLY, with no one getting their feelings bruised, or absolutely nothing at all can be done.

And in both cases, the liberals don't seem to mind if dozens, or thousands, or millions of people continue to suffer and die, as long as the liberals can make goddamned sure that they have plenty of bodies to lay at the Right's feet. In fact, for some, the more the merrier.

I'm putting my money where my mouth is, David. I'm helping Kevin coordinate our own relief efforts -- and it's not just because one of our own is one of those in trouble, and happens to be positioned to do some good. Where the FUCK is the massive movement from the Left to help those people?

On second thought, maybe it is best if you folks just stay out of the way while we do the real work. I'm trying to recall the last time liberals got involved in something serious and didn't majorly fuck it up. So keep on playing your little masturbatory political games -- we've got REAL work to do."

Perhaps Jay needs to look around the Liberal Side of the blogsphere before he makes such accusations:

In Search of Utopia

Patridiot Watch


The Rogue Angel


Crooks and Liars

Rox Populi

Billmon

Oliver Willis


Comments from Left Field

Dan Gillmor


Loaded Mouth

Ratboy's Anvil


The Progressive Blog Alliance

Ezra Klein

And that took me all of 30 seconds and was less than 1% of my Leftie Blogroll. Jay... Piss off. Because you Right Wingers want to stick your heads up your ass and pretend that this was a simple act of God, that NO ONE is responsible for, does not mean we should do it. It is time someone called this administration to accounts for the ridiculous policy and budgetary decisions that have led to so many deaths in the South.

You and your ilk would prefer to ignore the issue of responsibility, not just because the responsibility falls at the door of the President you voted for, but because YOU are partially responsible. You voted for this man, knowing well his record. YOU pushed his credentials for protecting the country. YOU supported a WAR that has drained the country of just the resources needed to address this kind of disaster. Yes Jay, you and everyone else who supported Bush, share responsibility. So YES, you should be working hard to help the people affected. It is the decent thing to do, the right thing to do. When it is over, six months or a year from now, you can stop working. We will join you in the effort to help those in need. But we will condemn the people who are responsible, AND we will hold them accountable, whether you chose to or not. And you are part of those who we will hold responsible.

If that hurts your feelings or embarrasses you, perhaps it should. Perhaps the time has come for ALL of you to step back, get off your own high horses and realize that you made a HORRIBLE mistake. One that today is affecting tens of thousands of Americans, including one of your own. One who pooh poohed Global Warming, which may have contributed to this disaster, and who supported the very war that took the Louisiana National Guard away from home at a time when they are desperately needed. With thousands missing, and an unknown number dead, I wonder how many of those troopers can concentrate on fighting your war right now, while the status of their own families are in doubt.


That is being an American.

Oh and Jay, while you are ranting about Liberals taking political advantage of the dissaster, perhaps you should read this Op/Ed from your own hometown and VERY CONSERVATIVE newspaper:

"Katrina already is measured as one of the worst storms in American history. And yet, President Bush decided that his plans to commemorate the 60th anniversary of VJ Day with a speech were more pressing than responding to the carnage.

A better leader would have flown straight to the disaster zone and announced the immediate mobilization of every available resource to rescue the stranded, find and bury the dead, and keep the survivors fed, clothed, sheltered and free of disease."


Posted by David A at 12:16 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack (2) | 1375 Words
August 31, 2005
Talking Loud and Saying Nothing...

Bush is well known for his soaring rhetoric, especially when it comes to Iraq. It is a conflict born out or rhetoric, and indeed sustained by it. But the rhetoric has begun to ring hollow with a majority of the American public, and statements comparing Bush's War on Terror with the greatest conflict of the last century is well.... Ridiculous!

From Slate:

Accept for a moment the argument that Iraq is but one theater in a global war on terrorism. Overlook that, to the degree this is true, it's because Bush's invasion of Iraq and his many miscalculations afterward helped make it so. Even so, it would be an enormous leap to claim that the war in Iraq or the broader war on terror is the political, strategic, or moral equivalent of World War II.

Al-Qaida or its sundry offshoots could crash many more airplanes, wreck many more buildings, and bomb many more subways and the magnitude of their power, and the urgency of their threat, would still fall far short of that posed by Nazi Germany. The panzers of the Wehrmacht rolled across the plains of Europe, toppling governments with ease, imposing totalitarian regimes, and killing millions in their wake. This was a war of civilization on a level that today's war however you might define it doesn't begin to approach.

But let's say that the two wars World War II and Iraq (or the broader war on terrorism) are comparable, that their stakes are even remotely as high. Then why is President Bush fighting this war so tentatively?

From December 1941 to August 1945 the attack on Pearl Harbor until the declaration of Allied victory the United States manufactured 88,430 tanks and 274,941 combat aircraft. Yet in the two years after the invasion of Iraq, much less the four years since the attack on the World Trade Center, the Bush administration has not built enough armor platings to protect our soldiers' jeeps from roadside bombs.

To fund World War II, the United States drastically expanded and raised taxes. (At the start of the war, just 4 million Americans had to pay income tax; by its end, 43 million did.) Beyond that, 85 million Americans—half the population at the time—answered the call to buy War Bonds, $185 billion worth. Food was rationed, scrap metal was donated, the entire country was on a war footing. By contrast, President Bush has asked the citizenry for no sacrifice, no campaigns of national purpose, to fight or fund the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. In fact, he has proudly cut taxes, heaving the hundreds of billions of dollars in war costs on top of the already swelling national debt.

If this war's stakes are comparable to World War II's, the entire nation should be enlisted in its cause not necessarily to fight in it, but at least to pay for it. And if President Bush is not willing to call for some sort of national sacrifice, he cannot expect anyone to believe the stakes are really high.

Bush has not asked the American public to sacrifice for the war in Iraq. If he had, I doubt it would have taken this long for the American Public to become fed up with it. This disorganized, disjointed conflict, in which our young men and women are sent to die in a meatgrinder of RPG's and Roadside Bombs, has been a disaster from it's inception.

And despite claims to the contrary, the shortage in available Guard Units due to the war, has no doubt had an impact on the ability to rapidly respond the victims of Katrina. Would anyone argue that we are one disaster away from a tragedy of ungodly proportions. This administration is an undeclared National Disaster. We put a drunken Frat Boy in the highest office in the land, fronted and propped up by an old boy network and a political hack in Karl Rove, and NOW... NOW with thousands dead in Iraq, New Orleans wiped off the map,fiscal problems that would make The Lemon Drop Kid blush, political scandals ranging from Gay Hookers in the Press Room to Outing CIA agents for revenge, only NOW do we start looking at the five year train wreck and international embarrassment that this administration is...

It is beyond belief to me, that an entire Nation, a nation with the backbone of heroes, could be so cowed by 9/11, that we allowed this man to waltz back into the White House on an Agenda of "Fear All the Time." That Bush is President for three more years, means that the opportunities to continue to squander this nations assets, destroy our international esteem, and generally continue to FUBAR everything in sight, is a reality that we all must face, and all must take responsibility for. My ONLY hope is that in the Mid Term elections, The American people wake up and realize that the only way to apply some sanity to an America on the brink, is to throw those out, Republican and Democrat, who have collaborated with this government. Then there is a long path to getting our house back in order, and I am afraid it will be a few more years yet, before we can start the real cleaning...

In the mean time, The President continues his "vacation," while 10's of thousands of Americans in Louisiana and Alabama wonder how they are going to live now that they have no job or place to live....

Posted by David A at 10:57 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | 912 Words
Finaly the American Public starts to wake up...

First from Rogue Angel:

Bush hits a new low ...

Rising gas prices and ongoing bloodshed in Iraq continue to take their toll on President Bush, whose standing with the public has sunk to an all-time low, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The people aren't very happy with Republican leadership ...

The poll numbers paint a portrait of national frustration with the direction and leadership of the country, which, if not reversed in coming months, is likely to color the environment for next year's midterm elections, putting incumbents in both parties on the defensive.

Dissatisfaction is not limited to the president. Fewer than four in 10 Americans -- 37 percent -- approve of the way the Republican-controlled Congress is doing its job, the lowest rating for lawmakers in nearly eight years.

While on the Right, Conservatives debate impeaching Bush.... The issue? Illegal immigration, but let's face it, that is one of the least of this Administration's problems.

I get the feeling that the Kool Aide rations are getting a bit low and that many Republicans and Conservatives are waking up to the fact that they elected an incompetent administration for a second time. Rather than acknowledge that mistake, they seek an issue, any issue, to create an out... As long as it is something that they can all agree on. The truth is that this administration has been an utter failure in almost everything it has attempted.

* We were attacked and thousands died on 9/11 because this administration failed to pay attention to warning signs.

* They failed to capture the man responsible for 9/11 in Afghanistan.

* Our Energy policy has resulted in American's being gouged at the Gas Pump, while Oil Companies and the Saudis make record profits on oil revenue.

*Cronyism has led to companies like Haliburton war profiteering to obscene new levels.

*The American public was led into an unnecessary and illegal war in Iraq that has led to tens of thousands of deaths, many more wounded and a country now ravaged by virtual civil war.

*The country is more divided than ever, and the President who promised to be a "uniter instead of a divider," has instead pushed a Right Wing Agenda and Nominees to important post that have led to further division. (Think anti Gay).

*The administration has practiced bully tactics unprecedented since the Nixon Years, with CIA agents being outed and dissenters being smeared on a regular basis.

All in all, this administration stinks to high heaven. That even Republicans are getting sick of it is no surprise. The Surprise is that it took this long!

Posted by David A at 01:37 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (2) | 440 Words
August 28, 2005
Why do I get the feeling that Money is involved?

When Jessie Jackson is suddenly getting close to Chavez:

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- The Rev. Jesse Jackson offered support for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Sunday, saying a recent call for his assassination was a criminal act and the United States and Venezuela should work out their differences through diplomacy.

The U.S. civil rights leader condemned last week's suggestion by religious broadcaster Pat Robertson that American agents should kill leftist Chavez, calling the conservative commentator's statements "immoral" and "illegal."

Jackson urged U.S. authorities to take action, and said the U.S. government must choose "diplomacy over any threats of sabotage or isolation or assassination."

"We must choose a civilized policy of rational conversation," he said at a news conference.

Chavez, a self-styled "revolutionary," has repeatedly accused U.S. President George W. Bush's government of planning to overthrow him. He warned on Friday that some American leaders have considered killing him.

Eh Jessie, aren't there enough problems here in the United States to be addressing, rather than once again inserting yourself onto the world state.

While I agree with your comments and sentiments, you have nothing to do with this story, and certainly no business addressing the National Assembly of another country...

Posted by David A at 06:18 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | 199 Words
The Sith Lord of the GOP - Exposed

Great Op/Ed piece on Boston.com:

SOME WHITE House sympathizers have attempted to portray Karl Rove's role in the Valerie Plame scandal as that of a statesman, seeking to provide President Bush with the best information possible on Saddam Hussein's nuclear ambitions so that Bush could set policy based on facts. This has been met with deserved skepticism. Rove's career, even before he became Bush's deputy chief of staff, is rich with reasons to think his motives in helping to identify Plame as a CIA agent were far darker.

After all, Plame's identity was revealed in a Robert Novak column on July 14, 2003, just eight days after her husband, Joseph Wilson, had embarrassed Bush over his Iraq war rationale. And Rove had talked with Novak on July 9.

As John Roberts, the Supreme Court nominee and federal appeals court judge, wrote last month in another context, the fact that ''sometimes dogs do eat homework" is no reason to ignore more-logical explanations.

Rove's record has been consistent. Over 35 years, he has been a master of dirty tricks, divisiveness, innuendo, manipulation, character assassination, and roiling partisanship.

He started early. In 1970, when he was 19 and active as a college Republican -- though he didn't graduate from college -- Rove pretended to volunteer for a Democratic candidate in Illinois, stole some campaign stationery, and used it to disrupt a campaign event. Later, in Texas, he gave testimony in court that was embarrassing to an opponent of one of Rove's clients, even though it was not true, according to the book ''Bush's Brain," by two veteran Texas newsmen, James Moore and Wayne Slater.

Negative attacks have often been the center of Rove's strategies. In a race between Texas Governor Mark White and his Republican opponent, Bill Clements, Rove wrote in a memo: ''Anti-White messages are more important than positive Clements messages."

Often Rove has skated on the edge of being identified with certainty as the author of dirty tricks. In 1986, the discovery of a planted listening device in Rove's own office was widely publicized, damaging the Democrats. Many suspect that the source was Rove himself. This was never proven, but Moore and Slater say, ''Karl Rove remains a prime suspect." In 1989, Texas populist Jim Hightower was damaged by grand jury leaks for which, Moore and Slater say, ''Rove remains the most likely source."

Again, most of the personal slurs against candidates who had the temerity to run against Rove's clients have not been pinned on Rove personally, but they follow a pattern. George W. Bush ousted Ann Richards from the Texas governor's office in 1994 after a whisper campaign focused on a small number of Richards appointees who were lesbians and even suggested that Richards was gay. Bush himself stoked the fire, saying some Richards appointees "had agendas that may have been personal in nature."

The Rove issue has been pushed off the front page by recent news and by Cindy Sheehan, but this commentary may be evidence that the issue may be out of sight, but not, "out of mind," for the mainstream media.

Posted by David A at 05:20 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | 516 Words
Better late than never...

With nearly 60% of Americans seeing Iraq as a mistake, and 56% of Americans expressing disapproval of the President's job performance, it does not come as a surprise that Bush is doing the rah rah routine over Iraq.

Likewise it is no surprise that the Conservaphere continues to try and spin positives out of what obviously has become a disaster. The war has become a boat anchor around the President's neck, and it is only getting worse. Rather than face reality and admit that the policy is a failure, the Right Wingers are so upset that they are attacking each other... And these are people who are always talking about "hate."

It has become obvious over the last week that Cindy is having an impact. The Spin, and spin of the spin continues on the Right, trying to discredit her. Roughnecks show up in Crawford in an attempt to intimidate her, and yet her message only grows more compelling as day after day, the "Last Throes," in Iraq seem to grow longer.

Time to do a reality check guys. Cindy is not going away. Iraq is not going to suddenly get better, and the truth about what led to the war is finding resonance with more and more Americans. Time to wake up and smell the coffee.

Posted by David A at 04:21 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0) | 219 Words
August 26, 2005
Right Wing Meme: "Cindy Sheehan is a Wacko"

Reality: This country is being run by Wackos! Thanks to my reader who left that link in a comment to one of my posts.

I am not real big on conspiracy theories, and my BS meter is about as fine tuned as they come. But the stuff in the above report, and this one, are enough to scare the bejeezus out of me.

We have some very interesting people running our country right now, and I have suspected for some time that Bush isn't really the one doing the running... What they are doing is not exactly new. I have pointed out in recent posts that the resentment for US foreign policy and meddling is high in some parts of Latin America, and with just cause. What is going on right now is nothing but a return to and re-emphasis on American Imperialism. What is different is that these guys are arrogant about it, while in the past we always went about it on the QT.

Islamic terrorist have walked into the cave of a sleeping bear, woke him up and pissed him off, and given him an excuse to slap the living shit out of them, while at the same time taking their honey and anyone else's honey that they covet. In the interim, these people have made living in our country infinitely more dangerous. Everyone wants to take down the bear. In the process they have also made it a more uncomfortable place for every American who steps off the shores of the U.S.. Those who have come to and will come to hate America will not distinguish between it's leaders and it's citizens, when it comes to exacting revenge.

It has been said before but merits saying again. After 9/11, America had the sympathy and support of most of the world. That we sought justice in Afghanistan was seen as an indisputable right. On that day and for sometime afterward, Almost everyone was an American. But the people behind the Neocon Agenda sought to capitalize on that tragedy to push their agenda. The war in Iraq was a turning point for us as a state and an empire. It was the moment when we went from benevolent to BULLY, and it persists...

That these plans existed previous to 9/11 are not up for debate. Some on the conservative side would argue on the relative merits or degrees of "wrong," in these plans. Most of us, at least those among us NOT drinking the Kool Aid would argue that whatever the merits, we were lied to, and that in and of itself makes them suspicious.

Posted by David A at 05:42 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | 439 Words
August 24, 2005
Welcome to About.Com Readers

Kathy Gill of About.com, has a great roundup of some of the coverage in the blogsphere on the Pat Robertson issue. ISOU is included in the roundup.

Blogosphere on Robertson
It seems Robertson has struck a cord across the blogosphere, especially in the religious realm. Blogging for Liberty reflects my opinion: "Any minister who condones the murder of a person is not reading the same bible I am." He then calls for a boycott of the 700 club.

serotoninrain writes: "You're giving those of us who actually love Jesus a bad headache." And Alex says: "The world needs Pat Robertson's Christianity as much as it needs Osama bin Laden's Islam."

The Purple Pew also looks at Robertson's comments from a religious perspective:

... Pat's latest statement testifies even further that he is no Christian. It's not because he has sinned. We all sin. But when confronted with his sin instead of repent, he lied, committing another sin against God.

There are some great nuggets in this post, from a wide diversity of Bloggers, check it out.

Great Question at the end of the post:

"Question? Define "becoming a dictator" when you've been elected, 71 percent of the population supports you (far more than Bush) and new elections are scheduled for December."

The truth is, that Chavez has strong support in Latin America. The same Latin America that has been victimized by American Politics for decades. Too often, "Dictator," is defined as any leader not catering to U.S. interest. "Pinochet," one of the most murderous Dictators in Latin American History, was all but installed by the Nixon Administration, and the region has a history of exploitation by American interest.

I don't know enough about Chavez one way or the other to judge what kind of President he is, but living in Latin America, I can assure you of one thing, he is a helluva lot more popular than George W. Bush!

Posted by David A at 08:28 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | 324 Words
Pat Robertson

Now Pat Robertson is saying he was misquoted. Eh, you need to watch the tapes dude.

What Robertson and people like him dont realize, is that Chavez is popular as hell in Latin America. Making idiotic comments like that will only increase his popularity. Che has been dead for how many years? And yet they are still making movies about him...

Posted by David A at 11:43 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | 62 Words
August 22, 2005
Welcome to Amerika!
TAH RAVERS TREATED LIKE TERRORISTS! EVOL INTENT'S ACCOUNT OF THE INCIDENT! Originally Posted by knick evl ntnt

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

So, we got to the show around 11:15 or so and it was really cool. It was all outdoors, in a valley surrounded by huge mountains. They had an amazing light show flashing on to a mountain behind the site, the sound was booming, the crowd was about 1500 people thick and everything just seemed too good to be true really. Well...

At about 11:30 or so, I was standing behind the stage talking with someone when I noticed a helicopter pulling over one of the mountain tops. I jokingly said "Oh look, here comes big brother" to the person I was with. I wasn't far off.

* Apollo's diary :: ::
*

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

No one resisted. That's for sure. They had police dogs raiding the crowd of people and I saw a dog signal out a guy who obviously had some drugs on him. The soldiers attacked the guy (4 of them on 1), and kicked him a few times in the ribs and had their knees in his back and sides. As they were cuffing him, there was about 1000 kids trying to leave in the backdrop, peacefully. Next thing I know, A can of fucking TEAR GAS is launched into the crowd. People are running and screaming at this point. Girls are crying, guys are cussing... bad scene.

Now, this is all I saw with my own eyes, but I heard plenty of other accounts of the night. Now this isnt gossip I heard from some candy raver, these are instances cited straight out of the promoters mouth..

* One of the promoters friends (a very small female) was attacked by one of the police dogs. As she struggled to get away from it, the police tackled her. 3 grown men proceeded to KICK HER IN THE STOMACH.

* The police confiscated 3 video tapes in total. People were trying to document what was happening out there. The police saw one guy filming and ran after him, tackled him and his camera fell, and luckily.. his friend grabbed it and ran and got away. priceless footage. That's not all though. Out of 1,500 people, there's sure to be more footage.

Aint that just special... Doesnt news like that just make you proud of the country we live in. While we are off fighting to "preserve liberty, and our way of life," it is being slowly stolen from us by jackbooted thugs... Things that make you go hmmmmm...

Update: See the Rodney King style video here on Crooks and Liars.

Posted by David A at 09:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 597 Words
The Violation of Cindy Sheehan...

From Frank Rich's NY Times Column:

Hat Tip Dan Gillmor.

CINDY SHEEHAN couldn't have picked a more apt date to begin the vigil that ambushed a president: Aug. 6 was the fourth anniversary of that fateful 2001 Crawford vacation day when George W. Bush responded to an intelligence briefing titled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States" by going fishing. On this Aug. 6 the president was no less determined to shrug off bad news. Though 14 marine reservists had been killed days earlier by a roadside bomb in Haditha, his national radio address that morning made no mention of Iraq. Once again Mr. Bush was in his bubble, ensuring that he wouldn't see Ms. Sheehan coming. So it goes with a president who hasn't foreseen any of the setbacks in the war he fabricated against an enemy who did not attack inside the United States in 2001.

When these setbacks happen in Iraq itself, the administration punts. But when they happen at home, there's a game plan. Once Ms. Sheehan could no longer be ignored, the Swift Boating began. Character assassination is the Karl Rove tactic of choice, eagerly mimicked by his media surrogates, whenever the White House is confronted by a critic who challenges it on matters of war. The Swift Boating is especially vicious if the critic has more battle scars than a president who connived to serve stateside and a vice president who had "other priorities" during Vietnam.

The most prominent smear victims have been Bush political opponents with heroic Vietnam resumes: John McCain, Max Cleland, John Kerry. But the list of past targets stretches from the former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke to Specialist Thomas Wilson, the grunt who publicly challenged Donald Rumsfeld about inadequately armored vehicles last December. The assault on the whistle-blower Joseph Wilson - the diplomat described by the first President Bush as "courageous" and "a true American hero" for confronting Saddam to save American hostages in 1991 - was so toxic it may yet send its perpetrators to jail.

True to form, the attack on Cindy Sheehan surfaced early on Fox News, where she was immediately labeled a "crackpot" by Fred Barnes. The right-wing blogosphere quickly spread tales of her divorce, her angry Republican in-laws, her supposed political flip-flops, her incendiary sloganeering and her association with known ticket-stub-carrying attendees of "Fahrenheit 9/11." Rush Limbaugh went so far as to declare that Ms. Sheehan's "story is nothing more than forged documents, there's nothing about it that's real."

But this time the Swift Boating failed, utterly, and that failure is yet another revealing historical marker in this summer's collapse of political support for the Iraq war.

As usual Rich pulls no punches...

Read it all. It demonstrates an all to clear pattern of abuse on the part of this Administration, abuse of power, abuse of the truth, abuse of the trust of the American Public. It also demonstrates further the sense of invulnerability that this administration feels. And rightfully so. They have successfully used the same tactic again and again and again...

But as Rich says:

When the Bush mob attacks critics like Ms. Sheehan, its highest priority is to change the subject. If we talk about Richard Clarke's character, then we stop talking about the administration's pre-9/11 inattentiveness to terrorism. If Thomas Wilson is trashed as an insubordinate plant of the "liberal media," we forget the Pentagon's abysmal failure to give our troops adequate armor (a failure that persists today, eight months after he spoke up). If we focus on Joseph Wilson's wife, we lose the big picture of how the administration twisted intelligence to gin up the threat of Saddam's nonexistent W.M.D.'s.

The hope this time was that we'd change the subject to Cindy Sheehan's "wacko" rhetoric and the opportunistic left-wing groups that have attached themselves to her like barnacles. That way we would forget about her dead son. But if much of the 24/7 media has taken the bait, much of the public has not.

this time the vast majority of the American Public is NOT buying it. The very principle of repeating something often enough until it becomes truth, has backfired. The American Public has been hearing about Administration lies and manipulation for years now, and the idea is finaly starting to sink in...

The majority of Americans feel compassion for Cindy Sheehan. While her protractors are vocal, the majority see her as a Mother grieving over the loss of a son, who is entitled to her moment with the President. His fundraising, vacationing and grandstanding with Lance Armstrong have come across as callous and heartless, at the very moment when he needs to be explaining some things not only to Sheehan, but to the whole nation. Bush ran the first time as a Straight Talk candidate. Those of us who watched the campaign from the Left, never bought this in the first place, but a lot of people did. His failure to provide Americans with a straight answer on the debacle in Iraq has eroded American confidence in him, and his administration. It does not help his case when his Generals are saying one thing, His SecDef another and Vice President something entirely different altogether.

Recent poll numbers more than anything, demonstrate a lack of confidence on the part of the American Public in ANYTHING having to do with Iraq, and rightfully so...

The attacks on Sheehan have only made the matter worse. I predict that Bush will eventually meet with Sheehan, calls to do so from within his own party have made this a nearly forgone conclusion. The delays at this point are more than likely based on Karl Rove trying to determine the best way to spin a lose/lose situation for Bush.

Posted by David A at 12:46 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | 959 Words
August 21, 2005
Welcome Salon dot Com Readers - Updated

Welcome to Daou Report readers. Please feel free to comment on the post that the Daou Report linked to, as well as anything else you find interesting on ISOU.

And if you want to read two more interesting viewpoints on the effects of the war in Iraq on Bush's legacy. Professor Bainbridge and Kevin Drum have two excellent pieces on the subject. It is heartening to see Conservatives like Bainbridge waking up to the reality of this folly.

I found these two comments, particularly compelling:

The trouble with Bush's justification for the war is that it uses American troops as fly paper. Send US troops over to Iraq, where they'll attract all the terrorists, who otherwise would have come here, and whom we'll then kill. This theory has proven fallacious. The first problem is that the American people are unwilling to let their soldiers be used as fly paper. If Iraq has proven anything, it has confirmed for me the validity of the Powell Doctrine.

and

The second problem is that the fly paper strategy
seems to be radicalizing our foes even more. For every fly that gets
caught, it seems as though 10 more spring up. This should hardly come
as a surprise to anybody who has watched Israel pursue military
solutions to its terrorist problems, after all. Does anybody really
think Israel's military actions have left Hezbollah or Hamas with fewer
foot soldiers? To the contrary, the London bombing suggests to me that
it is only a matter of time before the jihadists strike in the US
again, even though our troops remain hung out as fly paper in the
Augean Stables of Iraq. {Update: The news
that Scotland Yard foiled a gas attack on the House of Commons, for
which the Yard deserves mega-kudos, doesn't change my mind. As the
climax of Tom Clancy's novel Debt of Honor suggests (and I still wonder of that inspired 9/11), the terrorists only need to win once. Conversely, the latest news
about that rocket attack on a US Navy ship in Jordan seems to confirm
my concerns: "The Abdullah Azzam Brigades -- an al-Qaida-linked group
that claimed responsibility for the bombings which killed at least 64
people at Sharm el-Sheik in July and 34 people at two other Egyptian
resorts last October -- said in an Internet statement that its fighters
had fired the Katyushas, bolstering concerns that Islamic extremists
had opened a new front in the region." Indeed, the NYT reports
that: "The possible involvement of Iraqis and the military-style attack
have raised fears that militants linked to Iraq's insurgency may be
operating on Jordanian soil."}

I have to admit, I often wonder what some Conservatives out there are smoking, that they can't see the obvious. I am convinced that they do see it. If 2000 was a heady experience for Conservatives who had suffered through eight years of Bill Clinton, despite aggressive attempts to get rid of him at any cost, then 2004, after surviving numerous mini scandals and debunking Rathergate, must have been the greatest of highs.

That Republicans managed to take healthy majorities in both Houses, and seemed to dominate the U.S. political agenda, must have given Conservatives a sense of invulnerability. But the cracks have been showing in the armor for some time now, and it has taken "Rovian," measures to keep the fact of the Emperors Nakedness from the American Public. It must be painful in the extreme to see those cracks appearing, and know that not only did they make a monumental mistake, but that all they worked so hard for is based on a foundation of lies, deception and corruption.


Admittedly, the Downing Street Memos, in and of themselves might have been compelling to those who already suspected the truth, but they were not "smoking gun," enough to convince the majority of the faithful. This is especially true of those who invested so heavily in what they felt was a new Conservative Revolution. They have been rewarded by stark failures on the part of the Administration to propel that Revolution forward, and have instead seen it get bogged down in a morass of ineptitude. For a time, they were able to defend against this ineptitude by making the issue "Liberal Hate of Bush," rather than accepting the realities of consistent and repeated failure by the Administration to accomplish much of anything, except successfully defending itself against charge after charge. Now, with more and more Conservatives beginning to acknowledge the obvious, the spin begins to ring hollow, even for those who once believed it.

Even still, some refuse to acknowledge the obvious:

I honestly don't see anything "inappropriate" about it. Cindy accuses the President of "lying" about several of the reasons for war in Iraq, so maybe these television stations are worried about giving air time to somebody calling the President a liar when its clear to most of us with common sense that he didn't lie about Iraq. But that's just a guess.

Were it up to me, I'd have let the ad run. Most Americans don't agree with the idea that the President "lied" about the WMD's and know that Saddam had plenty of ties to al Qaeda, though not to the 9/11 attacks specifically. This is why Americans re-elected the President in the face of these accusations of lying. Putting Cindy Sheehan up to repeat these accusations again is only going to do more harm to her causes than it would to the cause of the President.

Rob's argument is deeply flawed... First off, recent polls indicate that as many as 51% of Americans feel the American Public was deceived about Iraq. With some polls nearing 60%. So the argument that "Most Americans believe that the President did not lie is intellectually and morally dishonest.


The Left has often made this spin easier, by failing to stay on message, and by failing to present a clear alternative. The Left has also been guilty of wimping out at key times. Those who have shown strength, have been attacked as members of the "Loony Left." Rove has been able to successfully exploit this time and time again by pointing out the inconsistency of the Left's message, while hammering away on the Administration's, even in those cases where it was obvious that the Administration message was a nefarious one. Rove and his Conservative Disciples have been Masters of hammering away on a message until it BECOMES truth, even when it is clear to any thinking person that the message lacks logic.

9/11 was a catharsis for America. Karl Rove and the Administration have shamelessly taken advantage of this to smear Liberals, out a CIA agent in an act of revenge, and execute a disastrous and unjustified war. This administration's legacy will be based on Post 9/11. With information coming to light almost daily on how badly they bungled the so called "War on Terror," and with little else to point to as accomplishments, Bush's legacy will likely suffer. More significantly, he may join Nixon as a President corrupted by his own sense of infallibility.

Posted by David A at 11:52 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | 1187 Words
The Right Wing Distortion Field
Last week, I heard repeated for the nth time the charge that the war on terror is a failure. Why did we invade Iraq, and more importantly, why is Osama Bin Laden still out there somewhere? Where is he? And how can we say we're winning the war if he's still unaccounted for?

I can see that argument. There's a part of me (the liberal, emotional, vindictive, touchy-feely part of me) even sympathizes with it. I want to see his ugly, bearded head on one of the spikes on the White House fence. But my intellect dismisses it as a non-issue.

Osama Bin Laden is not THE enemy. He is not who we declared war against. He is not the be-all and end-all of our foes, and even if he were to surrender today, that would not put an end to the struggle.
Jay Tea
Wizbang

Eh, are these the same people who supported and continue to champion a war based on, "Saddam Hussein is a bad, bad man... and needed to be removed from power?" Well, I don't know, maybe I am missing something, but I see the dude who ordered the murder of thousands of Americans as being a pretty bad chap too, and "rendering him irrelevant," while convienant for those who want to deflect from the embarrassment that we have not captured him, does not make it so..." Neither do I see us, "thoroughly stomping," anyone. If we have, then the terrorist that Osama continues to at least provide inspiration for, must be roaches, 'cause for every one we "stomp," ten more seem to appear. Jay Tea was once someone I respected, as at least inserting logic into his arguments, now he is nothing more than a well written apologist for a failed policy and a disgraced administration, one that does not quite know it has been disgraced.... YET...

Posted by David A at 03:23 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack (0) | 312 Words
August 18, 2005
Obviously Chris still isn't reading...
Want more proof of liberal's hatred guiding their thoughts? Try and figure out how this article relates to the "lies" that OIF is based on. Personally, I'm baffled.

Conservative Thinking

But he is right about one thing. Hatred pretty much describes my feelings about stupidity and political blindness. The post I made yesterday referred to a number of points. One (And I will keep this short to keep Chris' attention), is that as previously stated, the Iraq war was planned and pre-determined well before any effort was made to "justify," the war. Two, despite the fact that 9/11 happened on Bush's watch, and there appears to be significant evidence that it could have been stopped, had anyone in the administration been paying attention to the threat, Conservatives continue to blame it on Clinton, Liberals, anyone but the people most responsible for it...

I have ratcheted back my blogging lately, mainly because it is just ridiculous dealing with this crap. Disagree, hate me for being a Liberal, whatever. The chickens are coming home to roost, and history will be the judge as to who is right or wrong. Most blogs are preaching to their choirs, so I am sure Chris' audience is buying his spiel. But the Truth is out there.... I am confident that it will all come to light.

Oh, and as an asside, either Liberals are the only ones taking polls these days, or a significant numbers of Conservatives have stopped drinking the Kool Aid.

Posted by David A at 01:48 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (2) | 248 Words
August 17, 2005
Bang, Bang....

That is the sound of all those who have been denying the lies this war is based on, being beat over the head with a "truth stick!"

From Shakespear's Sister comes the latest:

Link (not blockquoted due to length):

State Department experts warned CENTCOM before Iraq war about lack of plans forpost-war Iraq security

Planning for post-Saddam regime change began as early as October 2001

Washington, D.C., August 17, 2005:

Newly declassified State Department documents show that government experts warned the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) in early 2003 about "serious planning gaps for post-conflict public security and humanitarian assistance," well before Operation Iraqi Freedom began.

In a February 7, 2003, memo to Under Secretary of State Paula Dobriansky, three senior Department officials noted CENTCOM's "focus on its primary military objectives and its reluctance to take on 'policing' roles," but warned that "a failure to address short-term public security and humanitarian assistance concerns could result in serious human rights abuses which would undermine an otherwise successful military campaign, and our reputation internationally." The memo adds "We have raised these issues with top CENTCOM officials."

By contrast, a December 2003 report to Congress, also released by the State Department, offers a relatively rosy picture of the security situation, saying U.S. forces are "increasingly successful in preventing planned hostile attacks; and in capturing former regime loyalists, would-be terrorists and planners; and seizing weapons caches." The document acknowledges that "Challenges remain."

Since then, 1,393 U.S. military fatalities have been recorded in Iraq, including two on the day the report went to Congress.

The new documents, released this month to the National 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.

Meanwhile, in Iraq.....

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraqi police arrested four people in connection with a string of car bombings Wednesday morning that killed at least 43 people and wounded 88 in central Baghdad, the Transportation Ministry said.

The blasts came as transitional governmental officials worked to complete a new constitution, which lawmakers hope will help produce stability in the volatile country.

The attacks began about 7:45 a.m. (11:45 p.m. ET), when a car bomb exploded outside of the al-Nahda bus terminal, police said. A second car bomb exploded about 10 minutes later.

Casualties were rushed to the al-Kindi Hospital, where a third explosion was reported a short time later.

Video from the scene showed the smoldering wreckage of a vehicle near two buses, but black smoke obscured much of the view. Iraqi police said 22 vehicles were damaged.

The "last throes," continue...

While some conservative bloggers blow sunshine up our ass... which is in and of itself amazing, considering that their own heads are up their asses. You see to them, it's all about Cindy Sheehan, the outrage of it all. Too bad they dont feel the same outrage about the bullshit that lead to Cindy being in Texas huh?

Wait NO, it was Clinton's fault!!! Everything was Clinton's fault. 9/11 was Clinton's fault... Let's just ignore the fact that it happened on Bush's watch, and that evidence has now been presented that 9/11 could have been stopped.

Posted by David A at 06:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1) | 542 Words
August 16, 2005
More Proof that young Conservatives

Have too much time on their hands.... Instead of beer busst and photoshop contest, wouldn't such creative minds be of much better use on the FRONT, fighting in the war they support so strongly? I mean wow, such energy, such wit, such creativity. I have no question that some of these guys could come up with a way to end the war tomorrow and poor Cindy could come home. What do you think?

Posted by David A at 08:07 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | 74 Words
Frank Rich Delivers a "Reality Check"

Read Frank Rich's column from the NY Times. It's a classic. Somehow the man manages to cover all the bases on the war in Iraq, including Cindy Sheehan's protest movement.

My favorite excerpt:

Nothing that happens on the ground in Iraq can turn around the fate of this war in America: not a shotgun constitution rushed to meet an arbitrary deadline, not another Iraqi election, not higher terrorist body counts, not another battle for Falluja (where insurgents may again regroup, The Los Angeles Times reported last week). A citizenry that was asked to accept tax cuts, not sacrifice, at the war's inception is hardly in the mood to start sacrificing now. There will be neither the volunteers nor the money required to field the wholesale additional American troops that might bolster the security situation in Iraq.

WHAT lies ahead now in Iraq instead is not victory, which Mr. Bush has never clearly defined anyway, but an exit (or triage) strategy that may echo Johnson's March 1968 plan for retreat from Vietnam: some kind of negotiations (in this case, with Sunni elements of the insurgency), followed by more inflated claims about the readiness of the local troops-in-training, whom we'll then throw to the wolves. Such an outcome may lead to even greater disaster, but this administration long ago squandered the credibility needed to make the difficult case that more human and financial resources might prevent Iraq from continuing its descent into civil war and its devolution into jihad central.

Thus the president's claim on Thursday that "no decision has been made yet" about withdrawing troops from Iraq can be taken exactly as seriously as the vice president's preceding fantasy that the insurgency is in its "last throes." The country has already made the decision for Mr. Bush. We're outta there. Now comes the hard task of identifying the leaders who can pick up the pieces of the fiasco that has made us more vulnerable, not less, to the terrorists who struck us four years ago next month.

I was not aware that one of Bush's "loyalist, Senator George Allen of Virginia, instructed the president to meet with Cindy Sheehan, the mother camping out in Crawford, as "a matter of courtesy and decency." Or, to translate his Washingtonese, as a matter of politics. Only someone as adrift from reality as Mr. Bush would need to be told that a vacationing president can't win a standoff with a grief-stricken parent commandeering TV cameras and the blogosphere 24/7."

It will be interesting to see if he takes this advice. Cindy pulled a brilliant strategic move today by inviting Bush to, "Pray with her," on Friday. For this President, who claims a lock on spirituality, that one may be even more difficult to pass up. I still have serious reservations about the Sheehan Strategy at the moment, but I have to admit I am impressed with some of the moves..

Posted by David A at 12:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 486 Words
August 15, 2005
Wandering in the Political Wilderness

Is all the Democratic Party Leadership seems to be able to do these days. Read this shocker from Comments from Left Field!

Many thanks to Mark Crispin Miller for posting the full audio of a speech given by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) at a private party in Georgia on August 2. I have clipped out the relevant two minutes of this speech and transcribed it for everyone to see. Bottom line, Schumer admits to, in effect, a new Democratic strategy whereby he and the DSCC leadership will choose who will run against vulnerable Republicans. The case he uses is our own fight for the seat held by Rick Santorum. Here is the audio clip in mp3 format.

Read the whole thing, Michael has a transcript of the pertinent points.

Others talking about this story:
News Dissector
Liz at the Pennacchio campaign blog.
Salon.com - Daou Report
2 Political Junkies

Posted by David A at 05:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1) | 151 Words
August 08, 2005
I wonder....

How many Republicans were STUPID enough to respond to this.

Tip of the Hat to Jesus General and Crooks and Liars.

Posted by David A at 02:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 23 Words
August 06, 2005
The Pope of Pennsylvania Avenue

From Digby:

Uhm no --- He's Just An Idiot

Bush's loyalty raises doubts about his political judgment

"It seems that President Bush is falling into the Nixon trap - his administration can do no wrong. His allies and people who support him can do no wrong," said Robert Dallek, a presidential historian. "Palmeiro is above suspicion, Rove is not to be questioned, John Bolton is a stand-up guy.

"The danger is he divorces himself from public reality, political reality, and it erodes his ability to lead the country," Dallek said.

It's not that his administration can do no wrong. It's that he can do no wrong. If he picked these people for his administration or for his friends, thay are, by definition, good people who are above suspicion. To sayotherwise would be to admit that his judgment is imperfect and that is impossible. Dear Leader is an infallible child.

Kind of says it all, doesn't it. No... It doesn't really. The biggest problem with Bush is that he is an "encouraged spoiled child."

He was asleep at the switch on 9/11 and he gets a pass. (Blame the failure to stop Al Quaeda on Clinton). He spends the Vietnam years drinking mint juleps and whatever other intoxicant of choice he wanted, and then in 2004, it was Kerry who had the questionable war record. He steals two elections, and NOOOO it was the Democrats who played dirty... He lies about the reasons for invading Iraq, and in a ridiculous revision of history... The reasons changed. A CIA Agent is outed, and the Husband, no reporters, no Who's Who via the Husband... is at fault. Bush has been empowered by the Wizbangs, Powerlines and Wall Street Journal OP/Ed pages for five years. Like a spoiled child he has pressed the boundaries each time, and delighted when he got away with it.

He has absolutely ZERO incentive to tell the truth, to admit fallibility or to acknowledge failure. His faithful supporters shield him from any sense of responsibility. But the day of reckoning is coming. With the sense of invulnerability, has come sloppiness, and cracks have appeared in the armor. Despite frantic and often irrational efforts by the Powerline's and Wizbangs of the blogsphere to spin administration scandals, the American People, including a Great Many Republicans are starting to lose patience. This is evident not only by Bush's falling poll numbers, but by the defection of major Conservative Bloggers and Journalist, who just cant tow the party line anymore... or perhaps it is that they cant stomach the stench... Whatever the case, the tide is changing, slowly but surely, and if the country is to be saved, it will be a combination of Progressives and disaffected Conservatives who lead the fight.

Posted by David A at 11:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 462 Words
Defending Novak II

Update to this post.

It's amazing... Truly amazing... Kevin at Wizbang, who has posted:

Update 2: More on Novak and Plame later, but perhaps the raging debate in the comment section can dissect what effect, if any, Novak's piece would have had if he used Valerie Wilson instead of Valerie Plame? Also do you think Novak, on hearing of the wife's involvement got her name from Who's Who and stuck with it OR found the Who's Who reference to backup his source(s)?

*** Evidently one cannot even make a snarky remark about the Plame affair without having to explain oneself ad nauseum. OK here goes...

I'm over generalizing here, but it seem like there wasn't an outing of an agent until two non-secret bits of information were combined.Joseph Wilson's wife's maiden name, most would now agree, was not a secret. That Wilson worked at the CIA was not widely known, but it was hardly a secret [See Cliff May at NRO and Just One Minute]. That Wilson's wife was (or had been) a covert operative was only known to (if reports are to be believed) the Cuban government and perhaps those receiving information form Aldrich Ames, but it was still a secret. Novak puts two pieces of non-secret information together and gets this flashpoint.

But how did that combination "out" a covert agent? I turns out the the Valerie Plame name (remember, according to many commenters her name's no big deal) was her cover. If her cover name was Valerie Jones how exactly would Novak's column as it was written have "outed" her? It's wouldn't have. As former federal prosecutor Joesph DiGenoa contends it sure looks like the CIA didn't exactly bust a nut to "take every conceivable step to protect this person's identity."

to his misguided latest attempt to defend the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame, has had it blow up in his face. He is getting hammered in his comments by "The Reality Based Community," who has apparently just had enough and called "Bullshit!"

The Right Wing efforts to defend Rove, Novak and the other co-conspirators in the treasonous act of outing an undercover CIA agent have gotten so ridiculous, that they don't even pass the smell test for some on the Right. Novak cracking under the pressure is just another example of things starting to unravel in the disciplined Bush Spin apparatus. This all started a while back with the unraveling of the Armstrong Williams scandal, followed by countless others. The recent Downing Street revelations, The exposure of the ACVR as a disgusting front for Partisan GOP Politics, and countless other mini-scandals, have demonstrated to any RATIONAL thinking person, that this administration is rotten to the core, and that the Emperor Indeed has no clothes.

That Wizbang, (A blog that based on comments on this blog demonstrate), has been discredited even among rational members of the Right (See RINOS), continues to spin the unspinnable, is no surprise. That they would do so with such completely ridiculous arguments, (even for them), is....

Apparently Kool Aide rations are running low, because more and more Right Wing Blogs seem to be changing their tone these days, subtly acknowledging that their Party has been hijacked by an extreme element that wants to impose a dogmatism on them that they never expected and don't support.

Many people on the Right voted for Bush last year for one reason. They saw him being stronger on Terrorism. These one issue voters are seeing religious dogmatism shoved down their throat. They are watching in horror as, "The man who would bring honor back to the White House," does anything but. They are alarmed.

There are those on the Right who absolutely believe the garbage that is coming from the Administration. And there are others who shamefully just cant stomach the idea that they made such a monumental mistake. Perhaps out of embarrassment, perhaps out of a vain hope that they are right, they will continue to defend the indefensible.

As a side note, while he has gotten a lot fewer comments, Rob has gotten slammed too.

Posted by David A at 11:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 689 Words
August 05, 2005
Still Sayin' Anything! No Really!

"And, if memory serves me correctly, the information in the Who's Who listings are provided (or at the very least approved) by those listed in the directory themselves. Meaning that Wilson likely "outed" his own wife at least a year before President Bush was even in office."

The Ever so Brilliant Rob from Say Anything....

Eh, what did he "out her" as... His wife?"

Really need to think these things through Robster before you let your desire to crawl up the arse of the Wizbangers get the best of you!

Posted by David A at 09:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 91 Words
This is hilarious...

I just got this email that says in part:

"You know why Republicans and Conservatives don't comment on your blog? It's because you are insulting. You insult anyone that does not share your POV. You are just like all the other Moonbat idiots that think they know everything."

Eh, Okay. Let me see. I am insulting, and yet half the email is full of insults. And the post and comments on Right Wing blogs that insult everyone on the left, call us moonbats, traitors or worse... Those are examples of reasonable debate right?

Well, let me straighten a few things out... For the record... I am a Liberal, not a pacifist. You come here with rhetoric, be prepared to defend it with logic, not insults. I don't roll over. Perhaps for too long I sold myself as a "reasonable," member of the left, and to some of you, that was taken as a sign that I was someone who could be swayed to your way of thinking... Eh... NO!

Some of you on the Right have sold out your country, and your soul in the process by electing an idiot to the highest office in the land. A man who is an international disgrace to the office. You thought Clinton getting a blow job in the oval office was a disgrace. Well, most foreign leaders, and foreign nationals thought that it was moronic that a nation like ours even wasted our time on that witch hunt.

You on the other hand voted for a President who cant speak for five minutes without sounding like a total moron. You voted for a President who is directly responsible for the death of 1,800 Americans, tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis, and the maiming of thousands of other Americans in a "war of vanity." You voted for a man who sees no problem with considering selling our Largest Oil company to the Chinese. You voted for a man who has lied repeatedly to the American People. You voted for a man who believes we should be teaching Creationism in our schools, right alongside REAL science. You voted for a man who has spent 20% of his time in office, ON VACATION! You voted for a man who has spent the last 4 1/2 years "working hard," to reward those who helped him steal the Presidency. You voted for a man who talks about National Security, while pandering to Vincente Fox and Business interest, as millions of illegal aliens flood into the country. You have elected a man who has draped himself in the greatest tragedy to ever befall this country, and has shamelessly exploited it for his own political gain. You elected a man who's administration has used our constitution as toilette paper.

I could go on, but I wont.

I enjoy debate. And there are people I can have civil disagreement with. But when you come to this Blog with snide remarks, insults and an air of superiority... When you come to this Blog, expecting me to be swayed by Rhetoric and Talking points... You need to realize something, being civil does not mean being compliant. Nor does it mean sitting still for insults direct or implied.

Tonight I get two insults in comments to post... Childish, arrogant and mal advised... But lets be real here. The reason that most hard core Bushistas don't comment here is simple... They like to attack in packs from the comfort of their own little echo chambers. For the past two days this one guy has been trying to convince me to go to Dan Gillmor's blog to "engage in debate," about a post I wrote here. Now what kind of idiotic logic dictates me going to someone else's blog to fight a battle started by my own post... Simple, on Gillmor's blog there were a group of "Right Thinking," people like my dear commenter. Nothing like having the crowd behind you! Please...

My advice? You come into my home claiming to want debate... DEBATE. Make your points. If I agree, I will say so. If I don't, I wont call you an idiot. Make sure you extend me the same courtesy, or stay in your own comfort zone where you can call Liberals anything you want.

Posted by David A at 08:10 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0) | 714 Words
Bush gettin' a little R&R.... Cause being President is "Hard Work"

From Billmon:

President Bush is getting the kind of break most Americans can only dream of -- nearly five weeks away from the office, loaded with vacation time. The president departed Tuesday for his longest stretch yet away from the White House, arriving at his Crawford ranch in the evening to clear brush, visit with family and friends, and tend to some outside-the-Beltway politics. By historical standards, it is the longest presidential retreat in at least 36 years.

The August getaway is Bush's 49th trip to his cherished ranch since taking office and Tuesday was the 319th day that Bush has spent, entirely or partially, in Crawford -- roughly 20 percent of his presidency to date.


Washington Post
Vacationing Bush Poised to Set a Record
August 3, 2005

The U.S. ranks below 10 other countries in paid vacation
days for workers. In the U.S., the average worker gets 16 paid vacation
days a year, compared to 30 days in Portugal and Spain; 25 days in
Austria, Finland, Sweden and France; and 20 days in Belgium, the
Netherlands and Switzerland. European countries guarantee workers paid
vacation days by law.


Rep. Bernie Sanders, I-VT
Working Families in the Global Economyp>


Staggers the mind doesn't it. Tens of thousands of Americans out of work.... Stop Loss orders keeping soldiers in Iraq for obscene periods of time, other Americans afraid to take a vacation for fear that they will lose their job, and its all Barbecues and pony rides in Crawford. Makes you sick doesn't it?

Posted by David A at 05:57 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | 254 Words
Where Progressives failed!

I read this quote on Dean's World tonight:

The Left. Hopeless. Shameful. History will record that the U.S. could have saved tremendous loss of life and treasure had we liberated Iraqi with more troops and a proper "after-victory" plan. But the chronicles will also show that America could have saved time, money and--most especially, lives--had the Left contributed its valuable resources to the liberation effort as well. Imagine if feminists, labor leaders, environmentalists, civil rights activists, artists and the media had joined in the struggle instead of sitting on the sidelines--or worse, assisting the fascists? Imagine if the clarion cry of freedom and democracy had arisen from a unified progressive front consisting of conservatives and liberals? Just as we've learned how much succor the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong took from the anti-war protesters of the 1960s, we will someday learn how the parochial, small-minded, narrow-souled opposition to the establishment of democracy in Iraq stiffen the fascist backbone of the "insurgency." But of course, the Michael Moores, Robert Fisks, George Galloways, Ted Kennedys and innumerable Hollywood celebrities and academics of this world will not care--they will always find reporters, voters, fans and tenure committees willing to dull the sting of conscience.

Written by some right-wing death beast? No. By the late Steve Vincent.

Dean goes on to agree with the quote. Well, perhaps I am showing my ignorance, but I have no idea who Steve Vincent was. I will take some time tomorrow to read his blog. But I want to offer a strong opposing point of view.

I don't think Leftist have done ENOUGH in opposing the war. Yes you read that right, and if you have read ISOU before, you are probably not surprised.

Many of us opposed this war BEFORE the Downing Street Memos. We had different reasons. Mine is sitting in a cave in Afghanistan or Pakistan right now. I felt, and still feel that we should have focused our ire and our energies on punishing those responsible for 9/11, and bringing ALL of the perpetrators to justice.

No, we allowed ourselves to be deceived, and to be swept up in the "War on Terror," which has become a disjointed quagmire. Iraq is a mess, more of a mess than it was under it's former dictator, and even the CIA says it has become a breeding ground for 21st Century Terrorism. All the jingoism in the world does not change the fact that there was no plan and is no plan, at least no consistent one.

Iraq has become a meat grinder for our troops and the Iraqi people, and it will probably have to get to the point where it is proven that there have been more killed during the occupation, than during the Hussein Regime, before anyone on the Right is willing to admit it.

I am not a moonbat, and stupid/dramatic protest do not make an impact on middle America. What we needed was for our elected representatives to stand up, show some spine and demand accountability in the decision to go into Iraq. What we needed and still need is for Progressives to speak out logically, sanely and without rhetoric on the true impact of this war, on the American People, The American Economy and the Iraqi people.

That we did not contribute to a war that we did not believe in is not the sad thing, that we did not contribute to stopping it, and have not suitably contributed to exposing it for what it is, is...

Posted by David A at 12:41 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | 588 Words
August 04, 2005
American Center for Voting Rights... The Ultimate Oxymoron

First my apologies for breaking Blog etiquette and posting this post from Crooks and liars in it's entirety, but it is too hard to choose what to excerpt:

Brad Blog reports on this: "We'd expect it from the wingnut blogs out there like "Captain's Quarters", "Pardon my English", "Betsy Newmark", "WizBang", "The Anchoress" and "Mr. Remainder" (all of whom couldn't wait to re-type the nonsense without taking even thirty seconds to do a Google seach on the ACVR democracy-hating scam artists). But several in the "news" media faired as poorly as the Rightwing bloggers....read on"

The Moderate Voice is up in arms over this whole mess: WE WERE WRONG on that "The fact that a controversy has raged for months on the group being loaded with people alleged to be GOP activists means the report's allegations don't have the credibility it would have had if it was truly a bipartisan group with no controversy going back months....read on"

John Cole busted them this morning: "Sorry folks. I am calling bullshit on this group and on this report. The group was newly formed this year, it appears to be made up of nothing but Republicans, and for what it is worth, non-partisan groups concerned with voting rights don’t issue reports that amount to little more than “Democrats are worse. Neener Neener Neener!”

I have said it repeatedly, but it is worth repeating, John Cole is one of the few Conservative Bloggers I TRULLY respect. Please add me to the "Lefty Bloggers having a field day!"

The typical Conservative approach to the ACVR report is par for the course, echo chamber STUPIDITY and Hypocrisy. It is why I have stopped reading and linking to their silly rewarmed GOP Talking Points.

You want to talk about treason... Treason is serving the crap up on a daily basis that these people serve up. It is one thing for the Government to deceive the people, it has happened in Republican and Democratic administrations alike, but the GOP Bloggers as I like to call them, have taken this to a whole new level. They lie and they know they lie. They promote an agenda that is unAmerican, and they subvert the constitution in the process by supporting a radical agenda that has no respect for TRUTH!

I am not giving them a free pass by saying they were "deceived." Deceived means they did not know that this was a partisan group, and I am sure that the majority of them did. Wizbang prides itself in being a blog of Google Masters. I have not doubt that the Holy Trinity of Conservative Blogging "googled," this group the minute they read the report. What they then did was selective publish to make a point. So like John Cole, I am going to CALL BULLSHIT ON THIS ONE!

Posted by David A at 02:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1) | 486 Words
Roberts and Catholicism

Chris Hitchens post an interesting commentary yesterday on the Roberts nomination:

Everybody seems to have agreed to tiptoe around the report that Judge John G. Roberts said he would recuse himself in a case where the law required a ruling that the Catholic Church might consider immoral. According to Jonathan Turley, a professor of law at George Washington University, the judge gave this answer in a private meeting with Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., who is the Senate minority whip. Durbin told Turley that when asked the question, Roberts looked taken aback and paused for a long time before giving his reply.

Attempts have been made to challenge Turley's version, and Sen. Durbin (who was himself unfairly misquoted recently as having made a direct comparison between Guantanamo, Hitler, and Stalin when he had only mentioned them in the same breath) probably doesn't need any more grief. But how probable is it that the story is wrong? A clever conservative friend writes to me that obviously Roberts, who is famed for his unflappability, cannot have committed such a betise. For one thing, he was being faced with a question that he must have known he would be asked. Yes, but that's exactly what gives the report its ring of truth. If Roberts had simply said that the law and the Constitution would control in all cases (the only possible answer), then there would have been no smoke. If he had said that the Vatican would decide, there would have been a great deal of smoke. But who could have invented the long pause and the evasive answer? I think there is a gleam of fire here. At the very least, Roberts should be asked the same question again, under oath, at his confirmation.

It is already being insinuated, by those who want this thorny question de-thorned, that there is an element of discrimination involved. Why should this question be asked only of Catholics? Well, that's easy. The Roman Catholic Church claims the right to legislate on morals for all its members and to excommunicate them if they don't conform. The church is also a foreign state, which has diplomatic relations with Washington. In the very recent past, this church and this state gave asylum to Cardinal Bernard Law, who should have been indicted for his role in the systematic rape and torture of thousands of American children. (Not that child abuse is condemned in the Ten Commandments, any more than slavery or genocide or rape.) More recently still, the newly installed Pope Benedict XVI (who will always be Ratzinger to me) has ruled that Catholic politicians who endorse the right to abortion should be denied the sacraments: no light matter for believers of the sincerity that Judge Roberts and his wife are said to exhibit. And just last month, one of Ratzinger's closest allies, Cardinal Schonborn of Vienna, wrote an essay in which he announced that evolution was "ideology, not science."

The commentary has received a firestorm of criticism from Catholics. As someone who lives in a Catholic Country, and one that all but shuts down on certain Catholic Holidays, I have a unique perspective on the influence of the Catholic Church. I also watched with great interest last year, the last minute news of an alleged Kerry excommunication... The news being spread right before the General Election. So I have no love for Catholicism and Political meddling!

I have not had much to say about the Roberts nomination, because honestly, I believe Bush will eventually get his way. But I am becoming increasingly concerned about the issue of separation of church and state.

If Roberts can not be trusted to place our constitution above Church Dogma, we should all be concerned...

Posted by David A at 12:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 622 Words
America's Dirty War on Terror

"If Americans only knew," I keep telling myself.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- Two Yemeni men say they were held in solitary confinement in secret, underground U.S. detention facilities in an unknown country and interrogated by masked men for more than 18 months without being charged or allowed any contact with the outside world, Amnesty International said Wednesday.

The report appeared to confirm long-standing allegations that the United States has held "secret detainees" in its war on terror, according to Amnesty and human rights lawyers.

"We fear that what we have heard from these two men is just one small part of the much broader picture of U.S. secret detentions around the world," said Sharon Critoph, a researcher at Amnesty International who interviewed the men in Yemen.

In its report, Amnesty urged the United States to provide details about these and other prisoners.

"The U.S. authorities must disclose the identities of all people who are being held in secret, where they're being held, and open these places up to international scrutiny," Critoph said.

U.S. officials have previously denied allegations of secret detention facilities, saying they hold terror suspects only at the U.S. Naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In June, U.S. officials denied a suggestion from the U.N.'s special expert on torture, Manfred Nowak, that some undeclared holding areas could include American ships cruising international waters. Others have suggested "high-value" detainees could be held secretly in Diego Garcia, a British-held island in the Indian Ocean that the United States rents as a strategic military base.

Lawyers who represent detainees at Guantanamo have long believed that the CIA or other U.S. government agencies have used clandestine jails for terror suspects.

"The fact that there are underground CIA facilities somewhere where people are being tortured has been known for a while," said Michael Ratner of the U.S. Center for Constitutional Rights in New York City.

Amnesty interviewed Salah Nasser Salim Ali and Muhammad Faraj Ahmed Bashmilah in a jail in Yemen in late June. The group also spoke to a Yemeni government official who said the men were being held in that country only because it was a condition of their release from U.S. custody.

Salah told the rights group that he was originally detained in Indonesia in August 2003 and then flown several days later to Jordan; Muhammad said he was detained in Jordan in October 2003 while on a trip to visit his mother.

Both men claimed they were tortured by Jordanian intelligence agents for four days and then flown to what they believe were underground jails in an unknown location.

But then you get that creepy feeling in your guy that American's do know. Just like the people living near the death camps in Nazi Germany knew... Just like the Serbians knew... Just like we all knew about what was happening in Rwanda.

But we don't want to know. What we want... Is to feel safe. What we want, is to believe the things our President tells us. We want to believe that we are the champions of Freedom around the globe. We want to believe that we are the guys in the white hats. We want to believe that wherever we go we will be met with flowers and candy. We want to believe that we are fighting on the side of right.

But it has been a long, long time since America has been purely on the side of right, that is unless you consider what is best for American Business and Political interest to be RIGHT.

I live in a region where for years, America propped up tin pan dictators and regularly overthrew constitutional governments, when it was in the best interest of American big business. Nothing we do today in the War on Terror is going to surprise me.

Our proud black ops warriors have been involved in torture and dirty tricks for years.

Secret Wars of the CIA (PDF FILE)

What is sad is that in the past, Americans could claim ignorance of some of these tactics and their results. Today we are more likely to turn a blind eye, despite being aware, because we have been fed four years of FEAR by our current administration. Mind Numbing, Nationalist Fear... A fear that almost any amount of evil is insignificant when compared with the possible consequences of one terrorist escaping.

Those of us on the left who question this policy, and the fallacy that created it, are often labeled terrorist supporters, traitors and worse. Our patriotism is called into question, and we are labeled. Well the greatest form of Patriotism is dissent, belief in the constitution, and the ideals of our Founding Fathers, and few would suggest that our Founding Fathers would have supported the kind of blatant disregard for our constitution as practiced under this administration, nor can I believe that they would support torture or the overthrow of sovereign governments as a preemptive measure...

How Far we have come... And yet looking back over the last 50 years, we really haven't come that far at all, have we.

Posted by David A at 12:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 853 Words
August 03, 2005
CAFTA

Bush signed CAFTA into law today, and it will be interesting to see it's effects.
I have mixed emotions.

There is no doubt that CAFTA will have major benefits to Grupo Utopia, the company I founded here in Costa Rica. Despite HEAVY opposition from trade unions here, who see the opening of the market as a threat to their job security, the agreement will likely eventually pass. What it means is that that ICE, the local telephone monopoly, and other government owned monopolies in Insurance, etc. will be forced to compete, something that will challenge their records of slow and often BAD customer service. It will also mean investment by high technology companies like cellular providers, that will directly challenge ICE. This is good news for Utopia, as the high technology and wireless market is our base.

On the flip side, I do believe that CAFTA will continue to erode employment opportunities for people in the States, especially in the low end manufacturing sector, as more investment is made in Near Shore manufacturing in Central America, where cost are considerably lower and productivity often higher.

We will no doubt expoit the opportunities offered by CAFTA, and are evaluating how we can best take advantage of the opportunities now. Nevertheless, I can not help but to feel for some Americans who will suffer as a result of its passing.

Posted by David A at 02:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 231 Words
14 Marines Killed in Iraq

Obviously no one told the terrorist and insurgents in Iraq that they were in the "Last Throes" of their fight.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A roadside bomb blast killed 14 Marines and a civilian interpreter Wednesday as they rode in a vehicle near Haditha, Iraq, U.S. military officials said.

The military said the bomb struck the amphibious assault vehicle about 1 mile (about 2 kilometers) south of Haditha, a city along the Euphrates River about 135 miles (217 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad. The military said one Marine was wounded.

The 14 Marines belonged to the same Ohio-based battalion as six Marines who were killed in the region on Monday, according to The Associated Press.

The six sniper team members were killed in a firefight near Haditha. A suicide car bomb killed a seventh Marine Monday in nearby Hit.

In the past 10 days, 43 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq. That brings the number of U.S. troops killed in the war to 1,820, according to U.S. military reports.

Posted by David A at 12:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 171 Words
August 02, 2005
I am not sure what to make of the so called, "Air America Scandal"

When The Commissar gets passionate about something, it is usually "Something."

When the story first showed up on Wizbang, I pretty much ignored it as Partisan.

Likewise, these three:

Captain Ed

Brian Maloney

Michelle Malkin

don't exactly inspire me to get all fired up with outrage over anything.

From what I have read so far, it sounds like the former head of Air America got some sweet heart loans from a children's charity. All in all, it looks like somewhere around a million bucks was involved. The network has now changed hands and there is some dispute over whether the new owners will make good on the loans.

To be honest, it is hard to tell where the political opportunism ends and reality begins, and considering the clear cut common sense thing to do, it is not worth me "researching". Whatever the situation, pay the goddamned money and move on! Whomever is responsible at the Charity for loaning the money should be fired. The bozo who took it is already gone from Air America, and this "scandal," only dilutes the message Air America is trying to get out.

Posted by David A at 06:37 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (1) | 188 Words
Tough First Day on the Job, huh Johnny?

From Crooks and Liars, who has a video of Bolton being booed as he showed up at the UN, comes this choice excerpt:

Yellow Dog digs up this piece on Richard Holbooke's nomination. "Richard Holbrooke, who Republicans delayed for 14 months as Bill Clinton's nominee to the U.N., refused to bypass the Senate with a recess appointment, saying that it would introduce him to the world body with no credibility or authority."

Funny how all the Republicans screaming about the obstructionist Democrats, seem to have short memories huh?

Posted by David A at 12:58 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1) | 90 Words
Hmmmm... The Plot Thickens

From Alternate Brain:

From the August 8 issue of Time:

As the investigation tightens into the leak of the identity of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame, sources tell TIME some White House officials may have learned she was married to former ambassador Joseph Wilson weeks before his July 6, 2003, Op-Ed piece criticizing the Administration. That prospect increases the chances that White House official Karl Rove and others learned about Plame from within the Administration rather than from media contacts. Rove has told investigators he believes he learned of her directly or indirectly from reporters, according to his lawyer.

Who has plans for a kinky celebration following Administration Perp Walks! Hehe...

Recent news has taken Rove off the front page and off our minds for a few days. Time to get back on the job!

Meanwile scumbag Novak admitted today that he outted Valerie Plame, even after the CIA asked him not to. Sounds like the Wizbang and the Boys meme that Plame was an unprotected assett is starting to fall apart.

Posted by David A at 12:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 174 Words
July 31, 2005
More Questions on Ohio... November 9, 2004

Interest was strong right after the election:

Ohio.... The Battle Continues...

[The following message has just been distributed tonight to Democratic Party officials across the state of Ohio.]

Dear Regional Counsel,

Well, it seems the presidential election is not quite over yet.

John Kerry called National Counsel with his request that Ohio legal counsel not retire quite yet but rather take vigorous steps to assure that the vote in Ohio, including the provisional ballots, is accurately counted.

This is to live up to his pledge to do everything possible to assure that all votes in this election would be accurately counted. We do not expect the outcome of the election to change.

However, there are widely-circulating reports of election irregularities, some of which we knew about, and a lot of speculation about election fraud. This is in addition to the voter suppression activities performed by the GOP on election day. We want to identify and record as best we can precisely what happened.

Via Rox Populi

Read the rest of the letter. It is interesting.

More from November 11th

More on the Suspected Voter Fraud Issue

This appears to be the story Kevin from Wizbang was pooh poohing today.

Good evening. An Associated Press poll tonight suggests that 54 percent of us Americans have been given renewed confidence about the nation‘s electoral system based on last week‘s decisive presidential election. You guys might want to put that poll back into the field again next week.

Our fifth story on the COUNTDOWN, there is a small but blood curdling group of reports of voting irregularities and possible fraud principally in Ohio and Florida. That group of reports is moving from that end of the spectrum in which believers are likely to be wearing hats made out of Reynolds wrap to the other end of the spectrum in which the believers are going to the general accounting office and perhaps the FBI. The mainstream newspaper, the “Cincinnati Inquirer,” reports that officials in Warren County, Ohio, that‘s 20 miles northeast of Cincinnati, locked down their administration building last Tuesday night to prevent anybody from observing the vote count. Moreover the secrecy, unique among all 88 of Ohio‘s counties, was attributed to concerns about potential terrorism.

The newspaper reports that Warren County emergency services director Frank Young had recommended the walling off of the vote count based on information received from the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI Mr. Young did not explain whether al Qaeda might have been planning to hit Caesar Creek State Park in Waynesville or the King‘s Island Amusement Park. After some negotiating, reporters were finally admitted to that building around midnight. They were kept in the lobby. The counting went on unobserved two floors above them. Warren County‘s polls were among the last in Ohio to close, thus among the last to report and thus among the votes that clinched the state and the election for President Bush. A local television news director called the homeland security explanation a, quote, “ red herring.”

County prosecutor Rachel Hutzel told the newspaper that the Warren County commissioners were, quote, “within their rights to lock the building down, even though no other Ohio county did so because having photographers or reporters present could have interfered with the count.” You bet, Rachel.

Ohio, whose 20 electoral votes were based on a margin of 2 percent in the vote, has other problems tonight. The state reports 92,000 presidential votes did not count. Ranging from votes improperly cast to votes improperly counted. And in Cuyahoga County, that is greater Cleveland, the official records of 29 different voting precincts show more votes than registered voters to a total of 93,000 extra votes in that county alone.

As an example, in Fairview Park, 12 miles west of Cleveland, 13,342 voters were registered. 18,472 votes were cast. None of this even addresses the story we told you about last week in the town of Gahanna outside Columbus, Ohio. There in a district with just 800 voters, a voting machine added 3,893 votes to Mr. Bush‘s total.

'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Nov. 8
Read the Whole thing...
Hat Tip Deb


Kevin said of the story: "Good for him (and the DU pack fueling him) if he can find wide scale problems in Ohio

or Florida, but maybe Olbermann and his staff might allow the results
to bubble up a bit before running to air, lest they looks like partisan
hacks."

Maybe Wizbang should settle down and let Obermann do his job, or better yet, maybe everyone should be concerned enough, regardless of partisan position, to be supportive of finding the truth. There was this massive groudswell of enthusiam in "Finding the Truth," about Kerry's military record... I dont know, maybe its just me, but I think this story is just a tad more important. There is a reason that there is a sense of urgency in all this... That we cant afford to let things, "bubble up," becuase if we wait to long for those bubbles, perhaps a man who did not win the election will be sitting in the White House for Four more years.

Like Tas, I am trying to stay objective on this issue. But thats objective, not blind, deaf and stupid. This MUST be investigated, and the American People need to know the truth one way or the other. I would think, and perhaps I am being naive, that conservatives would want the truth as much as Liberals do.

Note 2005: It appears they did not, and while a number of former staunch Bush supporters have gotten to the point, where even they smell the stench of this administration's corruption... Wizbang stands solidly behind the President, and there is far from a revolution taking place in the streets.

Posted by David A at 03:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 970 Words
Some of my Ohio Coverage from 2004

Considering Today's Piece on Ohio, I thought I would dig up some of my old archived discussions on the subject. This piece from October 24, 2004, just before the election. More to come.

Stealing the Election 2004 Edition

Update IV: This is one of the fairest responses yet to my Rant... So much so that I want to highlight it as trully progressive thinking.

And thanks to Oliver Willis for giving this some attention.

Also a big thanks to Digby of Hullabalooo.


If Republicans think they can intimidate Black Voters in this year's election, they will soon find it is NOT going to fly. For my conservative friends who tried to pooh pooh dissenfranchisement of black voters in Florida in 2000, or spin it with claims that soldiers voting by absentee ballot were also dissenfranchised, whatever. It is NOT going to happen this time folks. This kind of bullshit will not stand.

Where the Hell is Malcom X or the Black Panther Party

when you need them. Someone needs to gaurantee that people will be able
to vote without being subjected to some stormtrooper who wants to
interogate you becuase they THINK you are going to vote Democratic.

The Bullshit is starting to stink up the whole country now. What is happening in Ohio is an outrage. But this time it wont be allowed to stand. A lot has happened in four years, and part of what happened is US, the troops in the trenches who will not allow this to be covered over.

I am going to make it my mission the next days up until the election to fight this bullshit at every turn, and to mobilize as many progressive bloggers as I can to the cause as well.

So I am throwing out a challenge to progressives everywhere, and to those on the right who care about our constitution, and not just their guy winning. It is time we cleaned up the dirt, and go back to being Americans again, people who pledge every day to defend the ideals of our republic.

Read On...

Pass the word on what is happening in Ohio and elsewhere, and trackback to this post. I will do likewise.

Others Blogging This subject

Oliver

Atrios

Majikthis

The Flybottle

Mousemusings

Crossposted the The PBA Site.


UPDATE:
Okay, so one of my conservative buddies gives me the old, "what for," in my comments section. I was going to answer him there, but I will do it here, so everyone can see it.

I am sorry Marty, but I dont really care what my conservative friends think about this one. I have read the comments from Philadelphia about the rationale for moving polling places at the last moment. I believe the Republican Party official said he was insisting on them being moved becuase he did not want to go into minority areas for fear of being stabbed in the back. Please Marty, I am just as sick of this shit as you are, but I am also tired of the hypocritical bullshit coming out of republicans and conservatives so save me the lecture.

Ohio is cesspool of dirty Republican Tricks. I guess you would explain this:

Link

away as an annomoly as well, right? I like you and Chad, Rob and JT, Kevin, Johnny Walker Red, Boyd, Bo, consider you all friends, but why is it that you can run with the most hateful and slanderous bullshit about Kerry, and its okay. As soon as someone brings this kind of thing up, its lowering the discourse, I am going to call you on it... BULL SHIT.

Why is it, that none of you are concerned about the CIA report that hasnt been released. Or the lies on Iraq. If this country is harmed it will not be becuase some of us choose to question what is going on on BOTH sides in this filthy process we are calling an election. At least I have the decency to point out both sides. Point to me ONE post you have made where you seriously questioned the actions of your party and the administration, just one!

I am black man, one who's parents suffered to win the right to vote, and this is an EMMOTIONAL issue for me.

And when you talk about hypocrisy on NADER, PLEASE.... How many republicans would be writing checks for him and insisting he were on the ballot if they thought he would hurt Bush. No one is fucking stupid enough to even imagine that scenario. I noticed a couple of my conservative friends stopped linking to me a few weeks ago as things started to heat up on the election. I have never stopped linking to them if I find something interesting on their blog. So I really dont give a rats ass, it simply goes to prove you can dish it, but you cant take it. But you know what, you are right about the Nazi picture, it just gives people an excuse to blow off what I am saying. So I have changed it for a more appropriate one with a Link that will explain it.

You said, "What is also outrageous is the fact that the Kerry campaign and the DNC have planned all along to challenge the outcome of the election regardless of the outcome (unless of course they win every state.) Even if there is no sign of voter intimidation, they have as their stated objective to make the charge everywhere they think that they are not doing well. Of course, I wouldn't expect you to write about that. It's your blog, and that doesn't match your agenda."

My agenda is seeing a fair election, whoever wins. Democrats would be STUPID not to be prepared to contest the election based on things that are going on right now. Why do I have the feeling that all the conservative bruhah over it, is a preemptive strike to discredit such efforts should they be necessary? You have the audacity to question my fairness in my blog postings. I challenge you or anyone else to find a blog on either side who has attempted to be as fair and objective as mine. You noted the link to the conservative blog, How often do you see a conservative blog giving the other side via links, it is rare. So sorry Marty, save me the lectures.

I saw my people robbed of their constitutional right in Florida, something that infuriates me every time a conservative denies it. I also saw what happened in Philadelphia....It wont happen again, and if I have to join forces with the devil himself, (a reference to you and my other conservative friends constantly criticizing me for linking other liberal blogs who take a harder outlook on the issues) I will do so.

It IS time we woke up and realized we were all Americans, and part of that wake up call is to realize that no one candidate is worth subverting our constitution or throwing our American values out the window for!

Some Additional Reading

Pierre Omidyar (Founder of eBay) - Requires Registration

Aldon Hynes

Orient Lodge (PBA)

Greater Democracy

Gentle Breezes



American Samizdat

Why are we back in Iraq

Netpolitik

Prometheus 6

Cul

Loaded Mouth

Sortapundit

UPDATE- Via Jesus General who says....
Hopefully, one of the major papers will pick up on this ChronWatch column by Sam Wells where he makes the charge that "Kerry is lying to Negroes about being disenfranchised in Florida."

The Following is my favorite part of the Column:

Kerry is lying to Negroes about being disenfranchised in Florida. You may recall that it was Democrats in West Palm Beach and other Dem strongholds in Florida who tried to steal the election in 2000 by having people stuff several blank ballots in the voting machine at the same time and punching the Democrat Party slate--giving rise to ''hanging'' and ''pregnant'' chads (partially punched out ballots). If a single ballot is placed in a Vote-a-Matic machine, which is the proper and legal way to vote, it is virtually impossible to punch one's vote in such a way as to produce either a hanging or bulging chad; each punch is clean and complete, producing a perfectly punched-out hole. Knowing that they had stuffed the ballots in those heavily Democrat (and heavily Negro) areas, the Democrats demanded recounts in only those areas, hoping that if enough of the ballots with the hanging and pregnant chads were counted--instead of being discarded for being spoiled as they should have been--that their man Gore might win. At the same time, the Gore lawyers worked to disenfranchise native Floridian military personnel serving overseas from voting by absentee ballot on the assumption (probably correct) that most of them would be for Bush and not Gore

Negroes???? Why dont cha go all the way Sam Baby, and just say Niggers, or Niggras as you Southern Boys used to say. Oh I know he didnt... And you people question WHY I am pissed on this issue? A bit of advice, dont come incorrect at me on this one, becuase if you do, friend or FOE, you are subject to get your feelings hurt!

UPDATE III: And now McGehee, a conservative I know from Wizbang, thinks we are drinking Koolaide. You know what McGehee, all the pathetic little insults in the world are not going to matter in this case. Bring it on... This has me so angry, I can barely talk about it. You pooh pooh it all you want. But the we will not stop. I lived in the South in the Early 60's and I saw these kind of intimidation tactics. This is not 1960, and it will NOT STAND. So pass the fucking KoolAide.

Thanks to the Commissar for trying to lighten the mood. And for pointing out ballot irregularities. But Rooftop Report has a logical explanation. It seems that whatever comes up indicating Republican Dirty Tricks, the other side has an answer and points to something suppossedly even more sinister.


And now another conservative blogger has weighed in on the recent court decision to deny provissional ballots. He says....
When you register to vote, you receive a voter registration card, or some other piece of information that tells you where your polling precinct is. Why do they do that? Could it be so you know where in the hell to go to place your vote on election day? Could your polling precinct actually be a location relatively close to where you live, so as to make sure you have a convenient place to go on election day? Yep, that would be about right, except you see there as some scumbags on your side doing this. Sort of defeats the whole purpose doesnt it?

Update IV: And now Paul from Wizbang has weighed in, determining that Democrats are really trying to steal Ohio. Surprise, Surprise Gomer Pyle.

Posted by David A at 02:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 1831 Words
Revisiting Ohio

I found this interesting piece via Tas:

HIGHLY IRREGULAR

The Ohio election story is going to come back.

By Matt Taibbi

I was in Washington last week, covering a story in Congress, when a friend invited me to a panel discussion in the basement of the Capitol building. I agreed before he told me what the subject was. Boy was I bummed when I saw the title on the e-circular:

What went wrong in Ohio? A Harper's Magazine Forum on Voting Irregularities in the 2004 Election.

Oh, Christ, not that, I thought. Like a lot of people in this country (and like most all of my colleagues in the journalism world), my instinctual reaction to the Ohio electoral-mess story has always been one of revulsion and irritation. Almost on principle I had refused even to look at any of the news stories surrounding the Ohio vote; there is a part of me that did not want to be associated with any sore-loser hysteria of the political margins, and in particular with this story, the great conspiratorial Snuffleupagus of the defeated left.

It had always seemed to me that I understood the psychology of the Ohio story without having to examine the facts involved. I thought the story appealed most directly to a group of people who were still reeling after 2000, an election which George W. Bush not only lost according to the popular vote, but plainly stole in the electoral college. The evidence for this theft has been there for everyone to see for five years now; few serious thinkers even dispute the matter anymore, just as few Democrats would even bother denying now that John Kennedy stole the 1960 election.

Yet, Bush remains president. And not only has he remained president, he hasn't even had the decency to act embarrassed about it. He's remained president right out in the open, in front of our faces, like he's proud of that shit.

For a certain segment of the population, this state of affairs must have been psychologically unacceptable. Somewhere deep inside, they must have been clinging to the absurd notion that if the president is caught stealing an election, he is to be automatically removed from office, and perhaps even jailed. And so they nursed this notion in their breasts through 2000, and then—just like that, like the hansom magically appearing at Cinderella's door—the Ohio story fell in their laps. Ohio, it always seemed to me, was a wish their hearts made.

That in itself didn't make the Ohio story illegitimate. It did, however, make it something I wanted to avoid precisely because I disliked George Bush. On some level I suspected that the more publicity the Ohio mess got, the more discredited Bush's political opponents would be in the end. The media, I knew, would dismiss the Ohio story in exactly the casually vicious manner described above—as hysteria, as the delusional work of professional conspiracy theorists, as the behavior of sore losers unable to accept George Bush's clear popular victory.

That last part, incidentally, was the formulation most journalists used when picking their official excuse for ignoring the '04 Ohio story. Because Bush really did win the popular vote, they argued, there was no point in investigating a possible electoral fraud in Ohio, because no one had really been cheated out of office.

That idea allowed the media simply sidestep the entire issue, and escape having to make a pronouncement about the legitimacy of the Ohio elections—something they seemed hell bent on avoiding.

Even when they had a completely plausible excuse to at least investigate the Ohio charges on their own—after Michigan congressman John Conyers issued a lengthy report detailing the Ohio indiscretions—the big dailies still blew off the case. The New York Times mentioned the Conyers report only in the context of a 381-word page A16 item in January about John Kerry endorsing the election results ("Election Results to Be Certified, With Little Fuss From Kerry," 1/16/05). That piece ended with a quote by Dennis Hastert, who dismissed the Conyers report as the work of the "loony left."

Make sure to read the entire piece. It is to say the least, reason enough to revisit the case of Ohio election fraud. Ron B, has done extensive work on voter fraud in 2004. He has an excellent piece on Ohio, here.

I have not written much about voter fraud, for the same reason Taibbi states. I KNOW Bush stole Florida in 2000, and nothing happened. I decided a long time ago to chose my battles carefully. Perhaps this story will get some traction again. I have no doubt that it will again be described as "rantings of the loony left," What the hell ever. I have discovered that some on the Right just don't WANT to know the truth. They are so busy defending the corruption of this administration, that they just cant see that the long term implication of, "winning," is ALL of us,"losing," in the end...

Posted by David A at 02:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 832 Words
July 30, 2005
Oh those Republican Family Values!

You just got to love 'em!

schmidt's campaign manager likes it rough?

update (all in bold): hold the phones! joe braun says today he is still schmidt's campaign manager. ok, now that DEFINITELY explains why the BDSM profile went bye-bye about thirty minutes ago.

gee, i wonder what the family values crowd would think about all this kinktasticness.


for those keeping up with the special election in OH-2, this should pique your interest. now i'll preface this post by saying i am not one to really get up in anybody's bedroom business... unless it exposes some hypocrisy.

and it seems that jean schmidt and her (now ex as of today) campaign manager, joe braun, have some hypocrisy issues.

Not that I give a rats ass about this race one way or the other, but man, it just amazes me how many anti gay, anti sex, anti whatever, Republicans turn out to be exactly what they are "anti about!"

Read the whole piece, it is pretty interesting, and just goes to show, ya never know what will come back to haunt you on the "internets!"

Hat Tip The General

And by the way, aint nothin' wrong with a little friendly spanking between consenting adults!(Wink). By a show of hands, how many of ya'll been spanked, or did some spankin'? While I have been told I am a great spanker, I prefer the flogger myself. Hehe...

Remind me to tell you sometimes about my kinky past.... On Second thought... Eh, never mind!

Posted by David A at 01:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 252 Words
July 28, 2005
Did Judith Miller start Plamegate?

This is some devastating Stuff! Is a lot of it conjecture, yeah it is, but it is brilliant conjecture. Read the whole thing here.

Not everyone in the Times building is on the same page when it comes to Judy Miller. The official story the paper is sticking to is that Miller is a heroic martyr, sacrificing her freedom in the name of journalistic integrity.

But a very different scenario is being floated in the halls. Here it is: It's July 6, 2003, and Joe Wilson's now famous op-ed piece appears in the Times, raising the idea that the Bush administration has "manipulate[d]" and "twisted" intelligence "to exaggerate the Iraqi threat." Miller, who has been pushing this manipulated, twisted, and exaggerated intel in the Times for months, goes ballistic. Someone is using the pages of her own paper to call into question the justification for the war -- and, indirectly, much of her reporting. The idea that intelligence was being fixed goes to the heart of Miller's credibility. So she calls her friends in the intelligence community and asks, Who is this guy? She finds out he's married to a CIA agent. She then passes on the info about Mrs. Wilson to Scooter Libby (Newsday has identified

a meeting Miller had on July 8 in Washington with an "unnamed
government official"). Maybe Miller tells Rove too -- or Libby does.
The White House hatchet men turn around and tell Novak and Cooper. The
story gets out.

This is why Miller doesn't want to reveal her "source" at the White House -- because she was the source. Sure, she first got the info from someone else, and the odds are she wasn't the only one who clued in Libby and/or Rove (the State Dept. memo likely played a role too) but, in this scenario, Miller certainly wasn't an innocent writer caught up in the whirl of history. She had a starring role in it. This also explains why Miller never wrote a story about Plame, because her goal wasn't to write a story, but to get out the story that cast doubts on Wilson's motives. Which Novak did.

Hat tip Stephen, who just made Inside the Blogs on CNN!

Posted by David A at 03:32 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | 373 Words
July 21, 2005
Okay Michael I don't get it....

Michael King of Ramblings Journal writes:

Josh Marshall has boiled the entire sordid Plame/CIA affair down to a basic truism: Joe Wilson's a liar.

I have taken to reading Michael's Blog lately and overall I think it is pretty good for a Conservative. But "Dayum," Michael... How the hell did you spin what Marshall said into, "Joe Wilson is a liar?"

It's late, and my brain's a bit fried from working on an RFP response. What I got out of Josh's post was, "Both Joe Wilson and Karl Rove are childish brats and political hacks, but Karl Rove is a scumbag who probably broke the law. Even if he didn't, what he did was immoral. You want to try to explain to me how you got what you got?
I realize that you probably read too many of your posse's blogs, but Brother you lost me....

Posted by David A at 02:31 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | 146 Words
Another Republican Talking Point Goes down in Flames!

Eh... But she wasn't in the field....
Republican Meme

The Reality:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Eleven former intelligence officers say the leak of CIA officer Valerie Plame's identity may have damaged national security and the government's ability to gather intelligence.

The former officers made their views known in a three-page statement to congressional leaders.

They said the Republican National Committee has circulated suggestions for officials to deal with the Plame case by focusing on the idea that Plame was not working undercover and legally merited no protection.

Thousands of U.S. intelligence officers work at desks in the Washington area every day whose identities are shielded, as Plame's was when her identity was leaked by Bush administration officials, the 11 former officers said.

Read it all... And while you are at it, READ THIS, it says it all.

Hat Tip, Shakespear's Sister

Posted by David A at 02:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 141 Words
July 19, 2005
Pick your cotton?

Last Update to this thread, see my post here.

I ask ALL decent members of the blogsphere to condemn this hate speech by Paul of Wizbang, disguised as some sort of sick satire. I especially beseech those decent conservatives I know to provide feedback on this post, and to demonstrate once and for all, that this type of speech is unwelcome as part of our political discourse!

Dear Paul:
I have always known that you were a stupid, insensitive racist clod, but today you have outdone yourself. You have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, what an ignorant ASS you are. Hiding behind the idea of SATIRE, does not help the situation or justify your hateful racist screed. Amos and Andy and Minstrel shoes were satire too Paul, and I find what you wrote to be the MOST DISGUSTING thing I have ever read on Wizbang, and with your record at Wizbang there is MUCH competition.

I hope that EVERY blogger of conscience condemns your actions today as the disgusting dribbling of a racist idiot, as they are.
I can not believe someone like Kevin even allowed you to post something so vile and hateful.

You are a disgusting coward who would not dare utter those words, satire or no, in the presence of black people, or for that matter, decent people of any race or creed.

So picking your cotton is out of the question, but god help you if you ever make the mistake of spouting your childish and racist ideology in public.

The Reid Report has a much more logical response to Paul, than I ever could write. Fact of the matter is, I can barely contain my anger.

Update: Forrest Gump has responded. Earth to Paul. I disagree with Ebonics as much as you do. But I am not using stereotypes like cotton picking am I? Your conclusions about Ebonics are correct, your way of getting there is hateful, insensitive and racist. If you think using racial stereotypes like cotton picking is OKAY, you are more stupid that I already assumed you were.

And let me add Yellow Elephant to this post, because my ignorant friend, you would be shitting your pants if you walked into a black area of any major city, and were pointed out as a person who wrote something like this. But that is the benefit to blogging anonymously on someone else's dime isn't it. You can say the most ignorant shit, and know that you wont be held accountable for it outside the echo chamber of your own little racist world.


Update II: Who let the Dogs out?

So I wake up this morning to various attacks from the right wing, including this brilliant ode to irrationality:

This person, whoever he is, is an idiot. Rather than reflect on the similarities of the argument for the incomprehensible illiteracy called "ebonics" and the arguments of decades past about the futility of trying to educate blacks, he attacks the man who dared to introduce such a "hateful" subject. But perhaps he's a racist himself. Being black, he'd be one of the "victimist" sort, but really, one collectivist perversion is quite as good as another.

First off, I have to admit, that I don't even know why I am justifying this post. As I said above. I agree that Ebonics is a STUPID idea. BUT, and this is a big but, Paul has absolutely NO Cred whatsoever with being concerned about the welfare of inner city of black youth. I challenge anyone to show me ONE piece that Paul has penned, that demonstrates such concern. Even this one is simply another attempt by him to attack Liberal ideas.

I found his post odious for a variety of reasons. As others have stated, he could have simply stated the facts in the case and made the point that this is a stupid idea. It was not necessary to resort to stereotypes and inflammatory comments like the "pick my cotton," line.

I am not surprised at all, by the vicious response by conservatives to my post. Nor am I surprised by Marty's apologist stance for Paul's post. The fact is that the post was in very poor taste. For all the rabid dogs who posted insulting comments, they are like water off a ducks back. You have only exposed your own ignorance and racism.

I deleted a couple of comments, including one that suggested that my children would be perfect for picking cotton. Of course these comments came from cowards who would never use a real email address.
Thanks people for showing your true colors, and making my argument much better than I could...

Paul is a racist, he has demonstrated it in previous post on Wizbang, that were... Shall we say, not so blatant. But more significantly, he is a political hack who has ZERO concern for anything other than making a partisan point.

And to Marty, who just posted another comment on the subject. I am on the same Page too Marty, when it comes to Ebonics. I just don't think it is necessary or productive to use hateful satire to make the point.

What I find most interesting is that I have been called Nigger once in comments this morning, and had it suggested that my children be sent to the cotton fields. You as a fellow black man have found no offense in that. I guess to some conservatives, being conservative is much more important than being an American, or being sensitive to the racism of fellow conservatives.

Posted by David A at 12:33 AM | Comments (33) | TrackBack (6) | 931 Words
July 09, 2005
Is Judith Miller a Bush Administration Shill?

It sure looks like it, if we are to believe this:

[promoted by BooMan. Now, this is what I'm talking about. And I want a Safire exposure next]

The scenario sounds somehow familiar: in support of a somewhat loopy Republican president's campaign against an Arab dictator, Judith Miller was willing to plant official US disinformation in the New York Times.

The year was 1986.

Nine years into her tenure at the New York Times, she participated in John Poindexter's disinformation campaign against Libya for the Reagan administration. As Bob Woodward later revealed in the Washington Post, Miller planted Poindexter's propaganda in her own writings: claiming that el-Khadaffi was being betrayed from within his own country, that he had sunk into depression, and had turned to drugs. Miller went on to claim Khadaffi had tried to have sex with her, but lost interest when she claimed Jewish heritage.

Khadaffi, you'll remember, was the 80's Saddam Hussein (back when Saddam Hussein was still cool). Muammar was Reagan's "Mad Dog of the Middle East," which is kinda weird when you consider that Libya is in North Africa. As you'll see at the bottom of this article, there was no event on earth that Republicans would not attach to his name for the sake of justifying what they wanted to do in the region anyway. He was our blame-sink at that time. Other Muslims have since taken his place. It's all still the same game, and Judith has been playing it since the days of skinny ties and perms.

And so now, with the First Amendment drama playing out, a quick review of the material that's been building up on this woman for the last two years on the blogsphere reveals a much longer but very consistent career. Judith Miller has been and probably still is an informal asset not of our government but of an American political faction. From North Africa to the Mesopotamian, she has provided copy to support imperial adventures. Perhaps she thinks her powerful patrons will protect her, perhaps she knows too much, or perhaps she's just too old to start over and simply needs to protect her accustomed sources. Her access to them is what's made an otherwise utterly undistinguished career. If it weren't for her usefulness as a propaganda outlet, over three decades, she'd have no content at all.

Read the whole thing....

Posted by David A at 11:40 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | 396 Words
The Next Member of SCOTUS

TCF has an interesting post on the next Supreme Court nominee...

Surely, like many on the Left, I knew it was too much to hope that the precarious ideological balance of the current U.S. Supreme Court bench could survive, till such time as the inauguration of Hillary Rodham Clinton as the nation's forty-fourth President. And, although Senate Democrats have been successful in beating back many of Bush’s most extremist Conservative judicial nominees, until recently we still lived in a political climate where such objectionable jurists could very well join a Chief Justice Scalia or Thomas, on the high court.

However, the disastrous, last eight months of Bush's second term have proven to me that this is not the fight over Justice Sandra Day O'Connor’s replacement everyone is gearing up for.

If you're one from the Left adamant that the White House will select from the Conservative fringe, relishing a fight of Borkian proportions, then you're just as delusional as any from the Right who still believe Bill Frist has the votes to trigger 'the nuclear option', if needed.

If you're one from the Left who insists this is a perfect opportunity for the administration to make good on its promise to advance the Evangelical Conservative agenda, could you also cc: me on a progress report detailing the Constitutional Ban on Gay Marriage effort? And, although I would look forward to a substantive explanation from the Right in defense of the pronouncements and judgment of the typical, extremist Bush nominee, I predict his ultimate choice will be a major disappointment to the likes of James Dobson & Co, instead.

And, at this juncture, I'd be willing to bet my first Social Security check that choice will be Alberto Gonzales.

I am willing to double his bet and say the same thing. Why? Becuase the Conservaspere has been buzzing about a Gonzales nomination every since O'Connor announced her retirement. These guys usually have a pretty good idea of what's in the pipeline.

Posted by David A at 11:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 331 Words
July 03, 2005
The Rove Factor...

Wizbang has the first spin on the story breaking today about Karl Roves involvement in the outing of a CIA agent.

Wizbang's conclusion:

So Lawrence O'Donnell's breathless allegations were all much ado about nothing.

Of course, this isn't likely to stop the leftist-driven media storm over the accusation that Rove was the leaker.

I would say that the article is being very cautious. It is clear that Rove had something to do with the case. To what degree remains in question. I am not ready to stand on the rooftops and demand his prosecution, but I am not ready to say he is off the hook either.

Posted by David A at 12:37 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | 107 Words
July 02, 2005
Odds are increasing that Rove is the Plame Leak...

Now if it is proven conclussively that he was... What will happen? Will the man who likely knows where a lot of bodies are burried, go to Jail. I think it unlikely. But it will be interesting to see if O'Donnell is right.

Posted by David A at 04:07 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | 43 Words
Interesting...

I read with interest this guest commentary by Pennywit on Random Fate. He seemed to go out of the way to criticize me for pointing out the hypocrisy of those who strongly advocate the war in Iraq, but are unwilling to sacrifice anything to the cause.

In his post below, Mr. Anderson assays a chickenhawk lite argument, that is:

Rhetoric is rhetoric, and while I agree that it can get a bit ridiculous at times discussing this issue, I believe the assumption that those most strongly advocating something, should be willing to sacrifice themselves for the cause they advocate... Is not an unreasonable position.

The problem with chickenhawk lite is that it's really no better than the usual "chickenhawk" ad hominem. It's just another attempt to shut down debate by asserting that the opponent's point is invalid because the opponet himself doesn't behave a certain way. Only instead of calling his fellow belligerent "chickenhawk" or "coward," Mr. Anderson would simply call him "hypocrite."

Unfortunately, name-calling, of whatever stripe, is not reasoned debate or discourse, but rather an attempt to choke off the same.

He conveniently ignores the venom evident in the comments to my post. Which go a long way toward demonstrating the smug arrogance many on the Right, (And the ones I am addressing with my post, have)... Whatever...

I am not into name calling, but for the sake of argument I will venture to look at the last line of his post.

"Unfortunately, name-calling, of whatever stripe, is not reasoned debate or discourse, but rather an attempt to choke off the same."

First off, Mr. Pennywit obviously knows nothing about me or my blog, and obviously has made no attempt to educate himself. My Blog is probably the most open to debate in the Blogsphere. (Eh, take a look at my Guest Bloggers PW.) My position is simply part of the debate, and I find it interesting that so many are trying to CHOKE OFF that position, while claiming that my position is the one trying to eliminate debate. So I call out Pennywit, and any one else who took offense to my position. I offer you an opportunity to guest blog on ISOU and explain your position as you will. You see, in reality, I believe in discussion, not sarcasm or personal attacks. Like I said in the original post, I walk the walk IN ALL of my life's endeavors.

I think my issue with War Supporting Bloggers is pretty clear. I am not insisting that anyone strap on a gun and go to war to support their argument, or to have a voice in the discussion. I am simply saying that I find it most ironic that the ones who are most vehement in their support for the war, are often the ones who have made no sacrifice for the cause of winning it. I stand by the position...

Posted by David A at 02:39 PM | Comments (22) | TrackBack (1) | 484 Words
Mixed Emotions...

I have mixed emotions about the O'Connor resignation.

While it is true that she has been the swing vote on a couple of critical decisions important to those on the Left. It is also true that she was the key vote in deciding to end Al Gore's Challenge of the Florida Election results in 2000. That will always leave something of a bad taste in my mouth...

Posted by David A at 12:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 68 Words
June 30, 2005
Idiot Republican Update!

From Crooks and Liars - Watch the Video

In an interview on CNN, Hayes insisted, "Saddam Hussein and people like him were very much involved in 9/11."

Posted by David A at 02:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 28 Words
June 28, 2005
I did not watch it...

Read the transcript... To use my good friend Kevin from Wizbang's favorite term... Nothing New There...

Same insulting bullshit, using 9/11 shamelessly, implying a connection between 9/11 and why we are in Iraq. Dropping the "Fight 'em there so we dont have to fight 'em here," meme. (Wonder how the Iraqis feel about us using their country and their people as a buffer zone. Yawn....

Ezra has a better take on it than I do...

Posted by David A at 11:33 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0) | 77 Words
Question for my Conservative Friends...

Lets see who will have the stones to answer it....

Recruitment is down significantly. We cant even seem to properly equip troops already on station in Iraq.

What happens if we NEED to go to war in Iran or North Korea?

Posted by David A at 01:16 AM | Comments (24) | TrackBack (1) | 41 Words
June 27, 2005
How can you tell when Conservatives Have their backs against the wall - Updated!

When they start nit picking and feigning outrage over shit. LOL!
I mean I am sorry, I love Jay Tea, he has always been nice and decent with me, but his responses to this post... And then his OUTRAGE over this one... Where I called Dear Patrick out for repeating the same revolting bile as "Mr. Wizard." Or Jeff and Chris making a big deal over the fact that I mistakenly said that Rummy had not served in the military? Please boys.... You guys have been running bullshit for over a year now or longer. You make outrageous statements and then "back them up," with carefully selected google bits, and then you get bent out of shape when someone pushes back?

Get over it!

Update: I was on the way out last night and did not get an opportunity to address this the way I wanted to. That actually ended up being a good thing as several comments were posted and Jeff Quinton goes on an extended diatribe accusing me of moonbattery.

The following is an excerpt from a comment Jay Tea made on this post:

Have you bothered to even READ Rove's speech? The whole thing? Seeing the remarks in the original context?

You could read the whole thing here, but here are a few lines just BEFORE the part that has everyone on the Left in a hissy:

"'Liberalism is at greater risk now than at any time in recent American history. The risk is of political marginality, even irrelevance. Liberalism risks getting defined, as conservatism once was, entirely in negative terms.' These are not the words of William F. Buckley, Jr. or Sean Hannity; they are the words of Paul Starr, co-editor of The American Prospect, a leading liberal publication.
There is much merit in what Mr. Starr writes though he and I fundamentally disagree as to why liberalism is edging toward irrelevance. I believe the reason can be seen when comparing conservatism with liberalism."

And LOOK at the examples he cited. Michael Moore was honored with leading Democrats attending his premiere and praising his sack of lies called "Fahrenheit 9/11," and given a place of honor at the DNC, seated right next to former president Jimmy Carter. Nancy Pelosi is the Minority Leader of the House. Howard "I hate Republicans" Dean is the Chairman of the DNC. John Kerry was the Democrats' nominee for president. And Moveon.org has bought and paid for its admission into the inner circles of the Democratic party, even once using that exact phrase to describe how they believe they "own" the party.

When enough extremists are in control of an organization, they BECOME the mainstream, and the former mainstream BECOMES the extremists, by definition. To cite my favorite example, Joe Lieberman was considered enough of a representative of where the Democratic party was in 2000 to serve as their vice-presidential nominee; in 2004, he's severely marginalized and scorned -- and I don't think he's changed that much in the meantime.

I am not going to spend a lot time addressing Jay's comment, Jeff's Rant or the outrage over the Yellow Pissing elephant. I am just going to make a few key points, and move on.

1. There are extremist on both sides. In the post that started all this, Jay bought up the Byrd as Klansman meme AGAIN. I answered him with a number of documented examples of Republican and Conservative Racism. He ignored most of the points. Fine his prerogative.

2. Jay went off in comments on this post, thinking he had been called a Yellow Pissing Elephant. He excused the fact that he was not volunteering for the military by claiming various health issues. Again his prerogative. But then he takes offense to me calling out Patrick Ruffini.

Now to the gist of my response to all of this.

Karl Rove called ME out, me personally. I am a Liberal, and damned proud of it. And I was ALL for going into Afghanistan. YOU Jay, Jeff and a bunch of others have defended Rove. If you expected myself and others to just stand by why you made that insult you have another thing coming. You talk about extremism? Yeah there is extremism in the Democratic Camp, but there is also enough of it on your side that a number of your prominent voices in the Conservative Blogsphere have went off and started their own Group, just to get away from your hateful and divisive rhetoric, your pseudo science and YOUR extremism. Some of your greatest voices are fed up with the bullshit. And they are calling you on it.

Jeff, and a few others are somehow claiming that I have now lost my sanity. That I am now a raving moonbat. If by standing up for my beliefs and calling BULLSHIT when I smell it makes me a moonbat I will wear the title with pride!

As for the Chicken Hawk, Yellow Elephant Meme.... I have a feeling that the outrage over that is based on it hitting a little too close to home for some people. I personally don't know ANYONE on my side, who if America were attacked, would not do their part to defend it, even those of us who are well past Flack Jacket age would find some way to help. But for those young men and women on the Right who RANT and RAVE over Iraq, but would prefer someone else fight the battles, I have no obligation to your sensitivities. A lot of us LIBRULS have lost friends or family there. We sit and watch you beat the drums of this war while ignoring the evidence that it was an illegal and unjust one, and many of us are prone to say,

"You want to fight this war, sign up and go fight it."

Because as long as you sit back in the comfort of your homes, sip your latte and cheerlead as others die, you will get NO respect. All the philosophical arguments in the world are not going to change that, and insulting those of us who are against it by calling us pacifist, cowards and traitors does nothing to deflect from your own disingenuous prattle.

This kind of says it all for me (Read the whole thing, it's a classic):


There's nothing like a gaggle of young reactionaries to help sharpen your aim. They're easy targets, yes, wide-eyed and green, but given what they have in mind for us down the road, they are more than fair game. In fact, they are mandatory game.

For the past few days, these Coulter/Hannity wannabes convened at the College Republican National Convention in Arlington, VA. Some of the activities, as witnessed by a couple of undercover moles, were pretty much what one would expect -- lots of beer chugging, cigar smoking, political networking, and of course extensive liberal baiting. Nothing new there. (One guy was spotted wearing a Rumsfeld t-shirt. A Rumsfeld t-shirt?) But the big topic that these little GOPers either dodged or tried to explain away was their avoidance of active military service. They are prime Army or Marine stock, and since most if not all of them support the occupation of Iraq, you'd think, being solid patriots, they'd finish their weekend blast by immediately enlisting for combat duty.

(Crickets.)

As Steve Gilliard points out (he loves shooting chickenhawks), these GOPers have no intention of acting on their professed love of war. Which is no surprise. Most domestic supporters of Bush's war who are capable of military service simply and arrogantly refuse to do so. Steve calls them cowards, which I suspect many are. But in my experience, most of these people are crass elitists.

They see themselves as the Smart Folk who must remain alive in order to influence or help shape national policy. Dying in war? That's for the working class and the poor. That's for idiots and losers who could not get into the Heritage Foundation, CATO Institute, or CSIS.

Hat Tip Steve

Jay talks about extremist taking over the Democratic Party. What I see is Democrats and Liberals coming together, not splitting off into sub groups. And THAT is BAD news for you. While Michael Moore might have been seen as a fringe element last year when your machine so effectively took apart F-9/11. His claims are beginning to look prophetic to say the least. And this time...

"We are NOT going away!"

Posted by David A at 09:01 PM | Comments (32) | TrackBack (2) | 1417 Words
June 26, 2005
Another Lie... Another Day at the Ranch...

"No nation can negotiate with terrorists. For there is no way to make peace with those whose only goal is death.  George W. Bush Remarks to Reporters April 4, 2002"

Read what Billmon has to say

"The true believers of the Bush cult no doubt can be relied upon to wipe the contradiction from their minds. We'll probably get a post any day now from the Powerline bundists explaining why only liberal traitors oppose negotiating with terrorists. But the silent majority might not be so easy to con. It supported the war when the goal was to defeat the insurgency. It was willing -- much more reluctantly -- to keep the troops in Iraq long enough for "Iraqization" to work, so that Iraqi troops could defeat the insurgency. But you have to wonder whether they'll be willing to keep sending their children to die fighting evil, head-chopping terrorists, when their government is negotiating with those very same terrorists."

Too bad they did not change their mind while a few people still had heads.

Posted by David A at 03:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 174 Words
NAACP Joins the 21st Century

This is good news...

It is time that the NAACP faced the realities of the 21st Century, and started addressing the economic needs of the people.

Posted by David A at 02:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 27 Words
Now this is dedication, commitment....

Real Dedication!

Posted by David A at 02:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 3 Words
June 24, 2005
Pearls of Wisdom from Billmon...

And all I can say is, "No shit!"

I'm gratified to see Bill O'Reilly agrees with me that the architects of the Iraq invasion should be thrown in the slammer -- if not for war crimes, than for high treason:

O'REILLY: Any American that undermines that war, with our soldiers in the field, or undermines the war on terror, with 3,000 dead on 9-11, is a traitor.

That's telling 'em, Bill. And you know it took guts, too, considering who he works for. There aren't many broadcasters with the courage and moral integrity to tell their own bosses they should be in prison -- and say it on the air, no less.

O'Reilly no doubt was reacting to this story, which I guess we can label Exhibit A for the prosecution:

The CIA believes the Iraq insurgency poses an international threat and may produce better-trained Islamic terrorists than the 1980s Afghanistan war that gave rise to Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, officials said yesterday.

A classified report from the agency says Iraqi and foreign fighters are developing a broad range of skills, from car bombings and assassinations to coordinated conventional attacks on police and military targets, officials said.

Once the insurgency ends, Islamic militants are likely to disperse as highly organized battle-hardened combatants capable of operating throughout the Arab-speaking world and in other regions including Europe.

The May report, which has been widely circulated in the intelligence community, also cites a potential threat to the United States. (emphasis added)

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen of the jury. By invading Iraq on the basis of a wildly overhyped and nonexistent WMD threat, the Cheney administration has deliberately and with malice aforethought created a failed state -- one that is producing a generation of "better-trained Islamic terrorists than the 1980s Afghanistan war that gave rise to Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda."

Posted by David A at 07:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 316 Words
June 23, 2005
Some thoughts on a blogging friend...


In light of yesterdays dustup and resulting idiotfest with Rob, I went back to one of my favorite Conservative Blogs. I needed to remind myself that there are people on the Right that I genuinely like and tremendously respect.

Stephen is someone on the Right whom I have always respected, even though we disagree on most things political. He is someone who has reached out to me on more than one occasion to work together and inject some calm and bipartisanship in the partisan warfare that is the blogsphere, and I respect him for it.

I have no doubt benefited much more from our relationship than he has. He has given me lots of exposure and even opened channels of communication with other Right leaning bloggers. I have watched him grow tired of some of the extremism on the Right side of the Blogsphere, and seen his efforts to "take back," his party. All of these things I respect. Today he wrote a powerful piece that I think a lot of us should read...

When I noticed Paul at Woozebang, pushing his Creationist nonsense ("Evolution Nazis Don't Let Kids Think"), I joined the debate.

As it happens, Paul is a combative individual who had pissed off a lot of people. In that sense, he was an easy mark, but it was unsettling to see a number of Conservative bloggers jump to his defense. Whether these bloggers are also Creationists or merely of the "Don't rock the boat," school is irrelevant. Bottom line: calling out Creationism is not popular among many in The Party.

About this time, President Bush and the Congress intervened in the Schiavo affair. Personally, I was thunderstruck at the anti-federalist (if technically Constitutional) aspect of this. Since the Supreme Court did not strike it down, I presume it was Constitutional, but it was also voluntary. No matter how you slice it, Federal intervention in the Schiavo matter was not Constitutionally required. The rhetoric from many areas of The Party also became distasteful, "You have that view because you have no respect for life; to you she is merely an inconvenience."

It's hard to separate the Conservative blogsphere, and individual excesses within it, from the wider public events. Remember the "Talking Points Memo," the Holy Grail of the Conserva-sphere, The Second Coming of Rathergate? Oops. I absolutely could not believe it when Powerline kept thrashing away that some reporter had "some 'splaining to do" or insisting that the real issue was how the memo came to be in the hands of some Democratic senator. The goddam thing came from Senator "BUT NOT A PARTY LEADER" Mel Martinez' office.

The post is not likely to change many minds on the Right, and it more than likely just continued to isolate him from his former pals, but it showed balls. And it showed something I have believed all along... That the Commissar is no hack. He is a person who believes firmly in his ideals and principals, and however much I may disagree with some of them, I respect the hell out of him.

Posted by David A at 03:20 PM | Comments (20) | TrackBack (0) | 515 Words
I am a new fan of John Cole.

John Cole just made my blogroll. Now I don't expect that this will impress John very much, as his is one of the Right's Powerblogs, but Damn if the man has not earned my respect. Once again I find a post of his via Jack at Random Fate, and the post is a classic.

The fact of the matter is, we just don't know the whole story. And no matter what the blowhards and the administration apologists (and I used to be one) say, it isn't liberal ACLU pro-terrorist anti-military crazinesss to demand the facts and to demand that we behave better than we have in the past. It isn't anti-soldier to question policy and to demand that abuses and torture aren't being conducted under our flag, even if we benignly label them 'approved interrogation techniques.'

And one more thing- Dick Durbin didn't do anything wrong- he used some stupid rhetoric. He could have used a better example, and it was stupid to include regimes as murderous as the Khmer Rouge and the Nazis in that speech, even though he didn't compare our troops to those guys. But that doesn't give us any excuse to ignore his message.

Read John's whole post. It is an interesting contrast to those on the Right who have made Sen. Durbin's choice of words a bigger issue, than what is potentially disgraceful and illegal behaviour on the part of some serving in Gitmo.

Posted by David A at 11:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 241 Words
June 22, 2005
Whats so funny?

Our President seems to think the war in Iraq is funny. I just found him funny...

And while you are checking that out, make sure to check out this video.

Take a look see Chris, and tell me what you think...

Posted by David A at 07:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 43 Words
The Mission in Bush's own Words...

It Started Here:

Bush: "Our mission is clear in Iraq. Should we have to go in, our mission is very clear: disarmament." [3/6/03]

See how it has evolved...

Posted by David A at 05:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 29 Words
Thanks Frank!
The Speech I wish I had Heard

From Scrutiny Hooligans

Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich gave the following speech this week on the House floor:

"Depending on whom you listen to, the insurgents in Iraq are either in their "last throes" or they are growing in size and strength. But both the administration and critics seem to agree that the U.S. military will be deployed to Iraq for a long time to come. It is our quagmire.

"Every day our forces wake up in Iraq, more die and are wounded, and more families on the homefront are strained and suffer losses. Meantime, the vitality of the U.S. army is shriveling, as they are not able to bribe enough young people to join to fight this war in Iraq.

"At some terrible point in the future, the nation's leaders will say 'enough is enough.' Whether the number of casualties at that point is 15,000, or 20,000 or 50,000, I do not know. Whether the cost at that point is $250 billion, $350 billion or $500 billion, I do not know. At some point, the terrible arithmetic of the war will add up to overwhelm everybody.

I hope we reach the point before then... I also hope that at some point we examine HOW and WHY we went to war in Iraq in the first place.

Posted by David A at 02:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 216 Words
Congrats to Rogue and The New Democratic Blogs Site

"I have started a new blog for Democratic Blogs. It will now serve as the starting point to our community and will help bring more attention to us. I am also going to use it to post DNC news items and raise funds for the DNC."

Rogue

Posted by David A at 12:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1) | 47 Words
June 21, 2005
Accountability? They Can't Even Spell it!
As an appropriate follow-up to Durbin's apology for calling out the heinous nature of abuses going on at Gitmo, the White House has rejected the proposed creation of an independent commission to investigate abuses of detainees held at Gitmo and elsewhere.

From Ezra Klein's Blog

Did anyone expect more?

Posted by David A at 10:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 49 Words
Maybe they ought to run her for President in '08

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Blond porn star, political candidate. And now you can add one more line to Mary Carey's resume: Republican booster.

mary_carey_180436g.jpg

Carey was in Washington on Tuesday to attend the President's Dinner, an annual fund-raiser put on by the National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

---

I think she would make a great candidate for the Republicans... She has at least as high an I.Q. as the current President, and obviously has support high up in the G.O.P. Hmmmm, wonder how the Republican base feels about this...

Posted by David A at 06:15 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0) | 93 Words
The Profound Impact of War

This has got to be one of the most profound things I have read on the War...

By Chris Hedges


Online Journal Guest Writer

June 17, 2005

(DemocracyRising.US)- The vanquished know war. They see through the empty jingoism of those who use the abstract words of glory, honor, and patriotism to mask the cries of the wounded, the senseless killing, war profiteering, and chest-pounding grief. They know the lies the victors often do not acknowledge, the lies covered up in stately war memorials and mythic war narratives, filled with words of courage and comradeship. They know the lies that permeate the thick, self-important memoirs by amoral statesmen who make wars but do not know war.

The vanquished know the essence of war-death. They grasp that war is necrophilia. They see that war is a state of almost pure sin with its goals of hatred and destruction. They know how war fosters alienation, leads inevitably to nihilism, and is a turning away from the sanctity and preservation of life. All other narratives about war too easily fall prey to the allure and seductiveness of violence, as well as the attraction of the godlike power that comes with the license to kill with impunity.

But the words of the vanquished come later, sometimes long after the war, when grown men and women unpack the suffering they endured as children, what it was like to see their mother or father killed or taken away, or what it was like to lose their homes, their community, their security, and be discarded as human refuse. But by then few listen. The truth about war comes out, but usually too late. We are assured by the war-makers that these stories have no bearing on the glorious violent enterprise the nation is about to inaugurate. And, lapping up the myth of war and its sense of empowerment, we prefer not to look.

We see the war in Iraq only through the distorted lens of the occupiers. The embedded reporters, dependent on the military for food and transportation as well as security, have a natural and understandable tendency, one I have myself felt, to protect those who are protecting them. They are not allowed to report outside of the unit and are, in effect, captives.

They have no relationships with the occupied, essential to all balanced reporting of conflicts, but only with the Marines and soldiers who drive through desolate mud-walled towns and pump grenades and machine-gun bullets into houses, leaving scores of nameless dead and wounded in their wake. The reporters admire and laud these fighters for their physical courage. They feel protected as well by the jet fighters and heavy artillery and throaty rattle of machine guns. And the reporting, even among those who struggle to keep some distance, usually descends into a shameful cheerleading.

There is no more candor in Iraq or Afghanistan than there was in Vietnam, but in the age of live satellite feeds the military has perfected the appearance of candor. What we are fed is the myth of war. For the myth of war, the myth of glory and honor sells newspapers and boosts ratings, real war reporting does not. Ask the grieving parents of Pat Tillman. Nearly every embedded war correspondent sees his or her mission as sustaining civilian and army morale. This is what passes for coverage on FOX, MSNBC or CNN. In wartime, as Senator Hiram Johnson reminded us in 1917, "truth is the first casualty."

All our knowledge of the war in Iraq has to be viewed as lacking the sweep and depth that will come one day, perhaps years from now, when a small Iraqi boy or girl reaches adulthood and unfolds for us the sad and tragic story of the invasion and bloody occupation of their nation. I have spent most of my adult life in war. I began two decades ago covering wars in Central America, where I spent five years, then the Middle East, where I spent seven, and the Balkans where I covered the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo. My life has been marred, let me say deformed, by the organized industrial violence that year after year was an intimate part of my existence. I have watched young men bleed to death on lonely Central American dirt roads and cobblestone squares in Sarajevo. I have looked into the eyes of mothers, kneeling over the lifeless and mutilated bodies of their children. I have stood in warehouses with rows of corpses, including children, and breathed death into my lungs.
I carry within me the ghosts of those I worked with, my comrades, now gone.

I have felt the attraction of violence. I know its seductiveness, excitement and the powerful addictive narcotic it can become. The young soldiers, trained well enough to be disciplined but encouraged to maintain their naive adolescent belief in invulnerability, have in wartime more power at their fingertips than they will ever have again. They catapult from being minimum wage employees at places like Burger King, facing a life of dead-end jobs with little hope of health insurance and adequate benefits, to being part of, in the words of the Marines, "the greatest fighting force on the face of the earth." The disparity between what they were and what they have become is breathtaking and intoxicating. This intoxication is only heightened in wartime when all taboos are broken. Murder goes unpunished and often rewarded. The thrill of destruction fills their days with wild adrenaline highs, strange grotesque landscapes that are hallucinogenic, all accompanied by a sense of purpose and comradeship, overpowers the alienation many left behind. They become accustomed to killing, carrying out acts of slaughter with no more forethought than they take to relieve themselves. And the abuses committed against the helpless prisoners in Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo are not aberrations but the real face of war. In wartime all human beings become objects, objects either to gratify or destroy or both. And almost no one is immune. The contagion of the crowd sees to that.
"Force," Simon Weil wrote, "is as pitiless to the man who possess it, or thinks he does, as it is to his victim. The second it crushes; the first it intoxicates."

This myth, the lie, about war, about ourselves, is imploding our democracy.
We shun introspection and self-criticism. We ignore truth, to embrace the strange, disquieting certitude and hubris offered by the radical Christian Right. These radical Christians draw almost exclusively from the book of Revelation, the only time in the Gospels where Jesus sanctions violence, peddling a vision of Christ as the head of a great and murderous army of heavenly avengers. They rarely speak about Christ's message of love, forgiveness and compassion.

They relish the cataclysmic destruction that will befall unbelievers, including those such as myself, whom they dismiss as "nominal Christians."
They divide the world between good and evil, between those anointed to act as agents of God and those who act as agents of Satan. The cult of masculinity and esthetic of violence pervades their ideology. Feminism and homosexuality are forces, believers are told, that have rendered the American male physically and spiritually impotent. Jesus, for the Christian Right, is a man of action, casting out demons, battling the Anti-Christ, attacking hypocrites and castigating the corrupt. The language is one not only of exclusion, hatred and fear, but a call for apocalyptic violence, in short the language of war.

As the war grinds forward, as we sink into a morass of our own creation, as our press and political opposition, and yes even our great research universities, remain complacent and passive, as we refuse to confront the forces that have crippled us outside our gates and are working to cripple us within, the ideology of the Christian Right, so intertwined with intolerance and force, will become the way we speak not only to others but among ourselves.

In war, we always deform ourselves, our essence. We give up individual conscience—maybe even consciousness—for contagion of the crowd, the rush of patriotism, the belief that we must stand together as nation in moments of extremity. To make a moral choice, to defy war's enticement, to find moral courage, can be self-destructive.

The attacks on the World Trade Center illustrate that those who oppose us, rather than coming from another moral universe, have been schooled well in modern warfare. The dramatic explosions, the fireballs, the victims plummeting to their deaths, the collapse of the towers in Manhattan, were straight out of Hollywood. Where else, but from the industrialized world, did the suicide bombers learn that huge explosions and death above a city skyline are a peculiar and effective form of communication? They have mastered the language we have taught them. They understand that the use of indiscriminate violence against innocents is a way to make a statement. We leave the same calling cards. We delivered such incendiary messages in Vietnam, Serbia, Afghanistan and Iraq. It was Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara who in the summer of 1965 defined the bombing raids that would kill hundreds of thousands of civilians north of Saigon as a means of communication to the Communist regime in Hanoi.

The most powerful anti-war testaments, of war and what war does to us, are those that eschew images of combat. It is the suffering of the veteran whose body and mind are changed forever because he or she served a nation that sacrificed them, the suffering of families and children caught up in the unforgiving maw of war, which begin to tell the story of war. But we are not allowed to see dead bodies, at least of our own soldiers, nor do we see the wounds that forever mark a life, the wounds that leave faces and bodies horribly disfigured by burns or shrapnel. We never watch the agony of the dying. War is made palatable. It is sanitized. We are allowed to taste war's perverse thrill, but spared from seeing war's consequences.

The wounded and the dead are swiftly carted offstage. And for this I blame the press, which willingly hides from us the effects of bullets, roadside bombs and rocket-propelled grenades, which sat at the feet of those who lied to make this war possible and dutifully reported these lies and called it journalism.

War is always about this betrayal. It is about the betrayal of the young by the old, idealists by cynics and finally soldiers by politicians. Those who pay the price, those who are maimed forever by war, however, are crumpled up and thrown away. We do not see them. We do not hear them. They are doomed, like wandering spirits, to float around the edges of our consciousness, ignored, even reviled. The message they bring is too painful for us to hear.
We prefer the myth of war, the myth of glory, honor, patriotism and heroism, words that in the terror and brutality of combat are empty, meaningless and obscene.

We are losing the war in Iraq. We are an isolated and reviled nation. We are pitiless to others weaker than ourselves. We have lost sight of our democratic ideals. Thucydides wrote of Athens expanding empire and how this empire led it to become a tyrant abroad and then a tyrant at home. The tyranny Athens imposed on others it finally imposed on itself. If we do not confront the lies and hubris told to justify the killing and mask the destruction carried out in our name in Iraq, if we do not grasp the moral corrosiveness of empire and occupation, if we continue to allow force and violence to be our primary form of communication, if we do not remove from power our flag-waving, cross-bearing versions of the Taliban, we will not so much defeat dictators such as Saddam Hussein as become them.

Chris Hedges has been a war reporter for 15 years most recently for the New York Times. He is author of "What Every person Should Know About War," a book that offers a critical lesson in the dangerous realities of war. He's also author of "War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning."

Thanks Leola, for sending me this, and for keeping me informed. You are not only one of the most beautiful women I know, but also one of the most profound.

Posted by David A at 04:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1) | 2057 Words
June 20, 2005
Leave the Old Man Alone...

Byrd, and others, would have you believe KKK membership was a youthful indescression... pitiful...
Kevin

And just what was Ronald Reagan's membership in the John Birch Society?

Posted by David A at 03:18 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1) | 27 Words
I see everyone is not drinking the Koolaid....
Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel is angry. He's upset about the more than 1,700 U.S. soldiers killed and nearly 13,000 wounded in Iraq. He's also aggravated by the continued string of sunny assessments from the Bush administration, such as Vice President Dick Cheney's recent remark that the insurgency is in its "last throes." "Things aren't getting better; they're getting worse. The White House is completely disconnected from reality," Hagel tells U.S. News. "It's like they're just making it up as they go along. The reality is that we're losing in Iraq."

US News and World Report

Posted by David A at 12:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 96 Words
June 19, 2005
Is There Room for Another Alliance Among Democrats?

Angel started a new Blog alliance the other day. I posted about it here:

Angel has started a new Democratic Blogs alliance. I realize that there are a lot of blogger alliances out there right now, but I am actually excited about this one. The main reason is I know that Angel will work on making it successful and wont let ego or bullshit get in the way. I don't think the goal in this particular effort is 300+ Blogs on a blog roll, but just hooking people like us up to have a little fun and enhance communication. I hope that my buddies on the Left out there will sign up.

Angel wrote me yesterday a bit discouraged at the lack of people willing to commit. I have thought about it, and I asked myself the above question.

"Is There Room for Another Alliance Among Democrats?"

I think there is. I realize that with membership in the BBA, PBA, and Homespun Blogger Alliance, I am probably borderline Allianced out at this point. But despite being one of the cofounders of the PBA, and being an enthusiastic supporter of the BBA, there is still a void in my blogging life. Both have become HUGE organizations with hundreds of members, most of which I have never even read. Therein lies the problem for me.

I like what The Commissar has done with his RINO Alliance, and I have always respected Cobb for founding the Conservative Brotherhood. While I believe the RINOS are going to be huge, based on the popularity of Stephen and his logical politics, The Conservative Brotherhood is a small group. I would like to see Angel's initiative work out, but more along the model of a small group of friends with the same general goals of promoting the Democratic platform. I am not going to call anyone out by name, but YOU ALL KNOW WHO YOU ARE! Hehe.. I hope that some of my regular buddies, many of who read Angel as well, will take the plunge and join the alliance.

Angel has been specific about pointing out that she does not want the Alliance to be about TLB Rankings, my blog's bigger than yours or any of that bullshit. I think it will be fun. So I am going to ask again. Take a look at what Angel wrote about the Alliance, and join up.

Posted by David A at 03:47 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | 406 Words
Democratic Blogs

Sticky Post
Will remain at the Top until Sunday!

Angel has started a new Democratic Blogs Alliance. I realize that there are a lot of blogger alliances out there right now, but I am actually excited about this one. The main reason is I know that Angel will work on making it successful and wont let ego or bullshit get in the way. I don't think the goal in this particular effort is 300+ Blogs on a blog roll, but just hooking people like us up to have a little fun and enhance communication. I hope that my buddies on the Left out there will sign up.

DA

Posted by David A at 12:31 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | 109 Words
June 16, 2005
It's NOT Going Away...

"And Conyers, et. all, will wonder why their fake hearing receives scant attention..."

Kevin from Wizbang, as usual pooh poohing Rep. Conyers hearings scheduled for this afternoon on the Downing Street Memo.

I guess Kevin did not see CNN this morning...
Odd that Kevin has not answered my post earlier this week on Why Right Wingers don't want this investigated???


BBA

Oh yeah, and just one more thing Kevin...

"What a handful of C-SPAN3 viewers will be treated too is a bunch of Democrats, many of whom are members of the Judiciary Committee attempting to hold a hearing without the Chairman and majority members. Given the moonbat factor I suspect that every member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (note their website is hosted by the lone Socialist in Congress - Rep. Bernie Sanders) will find a way to get some face time."

Eh... Are we suppossed to find it shocking that a Republican House that refuses to even acknowledge the stink coming from Tom DeLay's office, will not support a legitimate investigation into the allegations posed by the Downing Street Memo? Eh... You can do better than that.

Update: From Raw Story, Rep. Conyers releases a statement before todays hearing:

Few issues are more important under our constitutional form of government than the decision to go to war and place our soldiers lives at risk.

It is no insignificant matter when in the fall of 2002 President Bush told us that war would be his last resort. It is not unimportant when on March 6, 2003, the president promised us, "I've not made up [my] mind about military action."

Over the last two months, the veracity of those statements has - to put it mildly -- come into question:

*

On May 1, the London Times released the now infamous Downing Street Minutes, in which the head of Britain's intelligence agency reported "military action [by the U.S.] was now seen as inevitable ... and "intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." A former senior U.S. official subsequently told Knight Ridder that the minutes were "an absolutely accurate description of what transpired."
*

On May 29, further documents were released revealing that in the summer of 2002, British and U.S. aircraft had doubled their rates of bombing in Iraq, in an apparent attempt to provoke an excuse for war.
*

Last Sunday, the London Times released six new British documents corroborating the Downing Street Minutes and indicating that as early as March of 2002, our government had decided it would be "necessary to create the conditions" to justify war.
*

Today Newsweek is reporting that two high ranking British Officials confirmed that by 2002, Iraq's nuclear weapons program was "effectively frozen" and there was "no recent evidence" tying Iraq to international terrorism.

If these disclosures are true - and so far no one from the Bush Administration has bothered to respond to our letters -- they establish a prima facie case of going to war under false pretenses. This means that more than 1,600 brave Americans and hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis would have lost their lives for a lie.

That is why we are here today. That is why 122 Members of Congress -- which as of today includes the Minority Leader -- have asked the president to explain his actions. That is why more than 550,000 Americans are joining with us in demanding answers from the Administration.

122 Representatives and 550,000 Americans are demanding answers, and yet "Good Republicans," like Kevin seem to think that is is some kind of lunacy to even question the Administration's pre-war intentions. I am at a complete loss as to why this is. I mean the Right has tired to put a lock on patriotism as a uniquely Conservative trait for the last two years+, and yet what is more patriotic than demanding accountability from our Government.

This issue for me is not about who is right on this issue. It is about OUR Right to know, one way or the other...

I also found this little tidbit interesting:

Conyers and other Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee were recently told the Republican majority staff had instituted a new policy to deny any request from a Democrat to use a committee hearing room.

GOP Judiciary spokesman Jeff Lungren told The Hill Tuesday Republicans were upset Congressmembers were addressing Conyers as “Mr. Chairman.”

“They were unwilling or unable to make those changes,” Lungren added. “At this point, if they want to hold these forums, they’ll have to find some other place to do it.”

I always find it interesting that Bush is always talking about the White House being, "The People's House," and I would assume that would also extend to the Capital itself... And yet, Republicans can deny duly elected members of Congress use of a meeting room...

Posted by David A at 10:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 812 Words
June 15, 2005
The Commissar is an Equal Opportunity Critic

Stephen points out Right Wing exploitation of the lynching meme in criticizing the fillibuster compromise, the other day, and yesterday points out an equaly ridiculous exploitation by Left Wingers of the "so called Appology," by the U.S. Senate for not passing lynching laws in the past.

Jack of Random Fate, one of my favorite Bloggers, adds some compelling commentary, which I happen to agree with:

The resolution on lynching passed today is being used by some very prominent bloggers on the left-wing to attack Republicans who did not co-sponsor the bill, despite the fact that the passage was unanimous.

With his typical, honorable self-consistency, the Commissar condemns this invocation of lynching by the left to score political points just as he did a prior summons of this horrific imagery that was utilized by the right.

A personal aside here, there are times I get so disgusted with what I read in blogworld I am tempted to walk away from this strange yet enthralling occupation completely. Then I find someone as honorable and self-consistent as Stephen, aka the Commissar, and it reaffirms my faith that there are more than a few out there who are not blinded to the point of insanity by their point of view.

To return from the personal aside, using the "non-sponsorship" of a bill seems rather weak as a way of attacking a Senator of a particular party, especially when there were members of BOTH parties on the "non-sponsorship" list.

As someone who's own father barely escaped being lynched by escaping to California from Virginia, after having being secretely warned by friends who were members of the Klan, I have a unique sensitivity to the issue. My feeling is that the recent action by the Senate was noble, but means little in the face of the history it addresses, nevertheless, Like Stephen and Jack, I am appalled to see the issue used as a political punching bag by both sides.

I think the following comment from John Cole's Blog, says it all for me...

"Overreaction by lefty blogs is a legitimate criticism, although the fact that we still live in a country where some senators feel signing onto this would be politically unwise is a real shame, and IMO overshadows the opportunism of partisan blogs. At any rate, these senators are either way off base about their constituency, which would be a relief, or they're spot on about their constituency, which would suck."
Posted by David A at 08:10 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1) | 409 Words
June 12, 2005
I say, you got what you deserved!

Every Single person who voted for Bush... Got what they deserved. Perhaps that explains the reluctance to accept or even discuss The Downing Street Memo. I have not seen a Republican in a while, but I imagine quite a few of them are walking around with glazed eyes and a shell shocked look on their face.

The Spin machine can do little to stop it now. You have to give it to them, they held on long enough to get the man reelected, but the same weaknesses that were there before, are still there, and this has been compounded by the reality of a corrupt leadership in both the House and Senate.

When you have Conservatives grasping at Strawmen, to create buzz on non existent issues, it is clear that we are making an impact.

I read this on Robs blog today, and it about says it all:

The eroding support for the war, the Downing Street Memo, the fact that, as one House GOP member once commented "I don't believe the president understands that though he never again will run for any office, we have to run every two years" (thus they are more accountable to the people), the troubles he's having with his domestic agenda...Bush seems on the ropes. Support for his plan to privatize Social Security has all but evaporated (thanks, in part, to a campaign on the Internet similar to the one now being waged concerning the Downing Street Memo). He is faced with a promised veto on a bill on stem cell research funding that passed Congress with the strong support of the GOP. His party's plan to make the Senate a judicial nominee rubber-stamp went down in flames...due to the compromise hammered out by Senators from his own party.

The pressure is on him from all fronts...he's failed in foreign policy, he's failed in domestic policy, his much-touted anti-gay amendment hasn't even been mentioned in months (good riddence), his poll numbers are at record lows, and now Congress is pushing (from both sides of the aisle) to end the "Vietnam in the sand".

I'd like to see the results if the 2004 Presidental election were held today.

All I can say is that the time of reckonning is coming. And people are going to have to let their reality distortion fields down. You elected an idiot for President of the United States, that is the lesser of it. You may have also elected a liar and a criminal.

Posted by David A at 09:07 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | 419 Words
June 10, 2005
What I want from Howard Dean

Since JadeGold insist on putting words in my mouth, and thoughts in my head, I have decided to spell out what I WANT from Howard Dean as DNC Chair.

1. I want him to challenge the President and the Republicans on Policy.
2. I want him to strongly support Rep. Conyers and his investigation into the Downing Street Memo.
3. I want him to clearly identify the Democratic Party vision for America, and how it differs from the Republican Reality.
4. I want him to attack policy and the people responsible for it, not make generalist statements.
5. I want him to push the media to cover Democratic issues, and challenge them... call them out, when they dont.
6. I want to see the Democratic base grow, and I recognize that growth will have to come from the very people he insults.
7. I want to see a CLEAR Democratic Agenda presented to the American People.
8. I want the lies and hypocrisy of the administration exposed.
9. I want to see more Minorities in the spotlight in the Democratic Party Infrastructure, including more women.
10. More coordination with Blogs. (Maybe appoint a National Blog Coordinator.

What I dont want...

1. Generalized statements about the makeup of the Republican Party.
2. Comments about how he hates Republicans
3. General comments designed to inflame, with no substance. (If Dean wants to inflame the American Public, he can start RIGHT HERE.
4. Him spending more time clarrifying remarks, instead of getting out the message.

Posted by David A at 10:47 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1) | 256 Words
Two Important Pieces on the Media

Raw Story runs a compelling interview with Nancy Pelosi today, where she lauds Blogs and gives her take on why the media is simply not effective anymore. It is a must read.

Oliver has a rant on the inneffectiveness of the media and gives some good advice on dealing with them.

Posted by David A at 09:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 51 Words
June 08, 2005
I'm Shocked! Shocked I tell ya!
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- A White House official, who previously worked for the American Petroleum Institute, has repeatedly edited government climate reports in a way that downplays links between greenhouse gas emissions and global warming, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Philip Cooney, chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, made changes to descriptions of climate research that had already been approved by government scientists and their supervisors, the newspaper said, citing internal documents.

The White House declined comment on the report.

I can't wait to see how the boys on the Right Spin this one!

I guess all that "scientific," research, Paul from Wizbang did, was all for naught.

BUT WAIT... There it is... The Wizbang Line that explains everything funky, uncomfortable or ugly from the current administration. That's RIGHT, you got it....


"This really is nothing new."

Hehe... We can all sleep comfortably now!

Posted by David A at 03:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1) | 150 Words
For all those who thought I was a softy....

For saying it was sheer lunacy to appoint Howard Dean as DNC Chair. Bite me! The guy is a lose cannon and an idiot, an arrogant idiot. I say give him the boot!

Posted by David A at 03:18 PM | Comments (17) | TrackBack (0) | 34 Words
A Bargain by any other name!

Restoring "Honor" to the White House, $25,000 at a time! I love it!

Got $25,000? You too can have Tom DeLay's lobbyist arrange a meet and greet with the President.

Hat Tip Oliver

Posted by David A at 09:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 33 Words
Eh... Michelle Dear....

He lost... Give it a rest. Or better yet concentrate on something meaningful. Or If you REALLY want to be real about it... Why dont you put as much emphasis on Your President's military records?

Hat Tip The Commissar

Posted by David A at 08:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 41 Words
June 07, 2005
Another Traitor to the Cause of Democracy!

Yeah Right! Although as Jack says in his post, I have no doubt that this guy will be demonized.

Here is one I missed:


Good Intentions Gone Bad
NEWSWEEK's Baghdad bureau chief, departing after two years of war and American occupation, has a few final thoughts.

By Rod Nordland
Newsweek

June 13 issue - Two years ago I went to Iraq as an unabashed believer in toppling Saddam Hussein. I knew his regime well from previous visits; WMDs or no, ridding the world of Saddam would surely be for the best, and America's good intentions would carry the day. What went wrong? A lot, but the biggest turning point was the Abu Ghraib scandal. Since April 2004 the liberation of Iraq has become a desperate exercise in damage control. The abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib alienated a broad swath of the Iraqi public. On top of that, it didn't work. There is no evidence that all the mistreatment and humiliation saved a single American life or led to the capture of any major terrorist, despite claims by the military that the prison produced "actionable intelligence."

---

The most powerful army in human history can't even protect a two-mile stretch of road. The Airport Highway connects both the international airport and Baghdad's main American military base, Camp Victory, to the city center. At night U.S. troops secure the road for the use of dignitaries; they close it to traffic and shoot at any unauthorized vehicles. More troops and more helicopters could help make the whole country safer. Instead the Pentagon has been drawing down the number of helicopters. And America never deployed nearly enough soldiers. They couldn't stop the orgy of looting that followed Saddam's fall. Now their primary mission is self-defense at any cost — which only deepens Iraqis' resentment.

The four-square-mile Green Zone, the one place in Baghdad where foreigners are reasonably safe, could be a showcase of American values and abilities. Instead the American enclave is a trash-strewn wasteland of Mad Max-style fortifications. The traffic lights don't work because no one has bothered to fix them. The garbage rarely gets collected. Some of the worst ambassadors in U.S. history are the GIs at the Green Zone's checkpoints. They've repeatedly punched Iraqi ministers, accidentally shot at visiting dignitaries and behave (even on good days) with all the courtesy of nightclub bouncers -- to Americans and Iraqis alike. Not that U.S. soldiers in Iraq have much to smile about. They're overworked, much ignored on the home front and widely despised in Iraq, with little to look forward to but the distant end of their tours — and in most cases, another tour soon to follow. Many are reservists who, when they get home, often face the wreckage of careers and family.

Jack mentions in his post at Random Fate and The Moderate Voice, that Rod will likely be tagged a traitor. No doubt, or at least called a Liberal. Hehe... Pretty nasty stuff if you ask me...

Posted by David A at 09:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 499 Words
June 02, 2005
The "Big Payback" Hehe...

Has Bush betrayed his base? Angel thinks so... And like her, I wonder what the Conservatives will say about this one...

Okay ... so we all know that the Religious Right has backed Bush and lately he hasn't been paying the Piper. What I am wondering is what will they do about this ...

"The Israelis are reeling from the body blow delivered them by President Bush following his meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. In one pronouncement, Bush totally scuttled all the hard-fought, blood-bought gains Israel has made in the three wars forced upon her.

All peace negotiations and concessions by Israel in the pursuit of peace with the Muslim Nations and Palestinians since 1949 have been rendered null and void.

---

But there is an even graver consequence for the USA. I have believed for decades that God has protected America despite our growing sin. He has done so because the USA has been a base for world evangelism and we have supported Israel's right to exist in the land God promised them. This betrayal, if followed through, will effectively remove God's protective shield. May God help us."

See, I think that Bush knows that he doesn't have to sweat the Christian Coalition anymore so he is going to do whatever he wants at this point. He can show his true colors and he can go back on all the promises he made to the "Christians" ... because what are they going to do? Not vote for him next election?

Posted by David A at 04:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 253 Words
May 30, 2005
Funny the lack of reaction on this from the Right...

Former Hillary Clinton aide acquitted
The former national finance director for Hillary Rodham Clinton's Senate campaign was acquitted Friday of lying to the government about a lavish 2000 Hollywood fundraising gala.

Hat Tip Oliver

Posted by David A at 01:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 34 Words
Looks like Jane continues to be a celebrity in Yemen

Hehe... You go get 'em Jane. Although I would stay out of Yemen for the time being.

Posted by David A at 01:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 17 Words
May 26, 2005
I love it....

When my friends come together... And once again The Commissar has proven why he is the most logical man on the Right.

Posted by David A at 09:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 23 Words
If True....

This could be a bombshell...

A cold case is heating up. Iowa paperboy Johnny Gosch vanished without a trace in 1982. But, now, after KWWL's story last month on Johnny's disappearance, there is new information on the case.

A private investigator working Johnny's disappearance believe his kidnapping was part of a government conspiracy. The investigator shared new evidence with KWWL and it could be the break needed to solve this case. That evidence includes a recorded phone call that has never been heard publicly, until now.

During the early morning of Septmeber 5, 1982, Johnny Gosch was kidnapped from a West Des Moines neighborhood while delivering newspapers. It was silent, quick and professional. "This man has told us that at the end of their investigation that there were 834 kids involved that were kidnapped," says James Rothstein. He's talking about a former CIA agent who must remain anonymous.

Rothstein is a former New York City police detective, now a private investigator working the case for Johnny's mother, Noreen. And within the last couple weeks, Rothstein has uncovered new evidence linking Johnny's kidnapping to child prostitution. "It basically came down to one thing and one thing only. You know, it was money. These kids were being grabbed to satisfy the malignant, twisted, you know, evil depravity of very powerful individuals who have the money," he says.

Rothstein is talking about individuals who would spend as much as $10,000 to have sex with young boys and girls. And this new evidence points to the involvement of U.S. government officials. "They were using kids to compromise people. And what better way to compromise somebody than get a young boy with a politician or some powerful person that may be in the military or whatever and then you can compromise them and get what ever you want."

Last month, people on the internet and investigators like Rothstein began to believe a man who passed himself off as a White House reporter and known male prostitute Jeff Gannon could be Johnny Gosch. And while Gannon's true idenity still can't be confirmed, Rothstein says the more clues he uncovers, the possibility Gannon may be Gosch increases, "When you look into the whole abduction of Johnny, what happened, the cover-up that took place, the way the kidnapping was done, this was a professional job and it fits the profile that I have seen over the years as a professional investigator."

And I mean a BIG one...

I have been so busy the last couple of days finalizing things here in Monteverde, that I have had little time to read other blogs or post here. I will look into this story later, but I thought it might be an interesting place to start some discussion.

Posted by David A at 02:04 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | 457 Words
May 14, 2005
Jane does it again...

Jane is on the case again on political abuses in Yemen. Please check out her post and give her some linky love.

Posted by David A at 07:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1) | 23 Words
May 10, 2005
Public Services for Illegal Aliens

Digger has been on a sort of crusade lately against illegal immigration. In his latest piece he laments a recent decision regarding the federal government picking up the cost of emergency medical care. This is one of those areas where I happen to agree with Digger 100%. While I am not a heartless person, and I would not want anyone to die for lack of emergency medical care, I believe as Digger does, that we must get out of the business of endorsing illegal immigration by providing illegal immigrants with services at taxpayer expense.

What do you think???

Posted by David A at 12:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 99 Words
May 09, 2005
Hey Bert!

Can I be a co-signer on this letter?

The Fineman Fallout

Howard Fineman
Chief Political Correspondent, Newsweek

Mr. Fineman,

Not sure if this missive will reach you, but I needed to make a significant point pertaining to you anyway.

This insipid piece on James Dobson is an example of why I decided to cancel my Newsweek subscription after 13 years. In fact, watching you play the complicit, compromised twin of Chris Matthews for the past few years on MSNBC, was the seed of discontent that ultimately led to my decision.

Posted by David A at 04:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 91 Words
Who Scares YOU the most?
"I watched a Chris Rock special on HBO last night, and he did this bit about "Who are you more afraid of?" He said, "Who bombed the Federal Building in Oklahoma City? That wasn't al Qaeda. Who sent anthrax through mail? Not al Qaeda. Who did Ruby Ridge and Waco and a mess of others? Not al Qaeda. I say to George Bush, I'm not afraid of no al Qaeda, I'm afraid of Al Cracker." The real terrorist in this country don't come from Arab lands, they are people like Eric Rudolph and the guy in this picture. Of course, we might also just call them George Bush's base."

iFlipFlop

I sure as hell know who scares me the most... And they don't pray to the east...

Posted by David A at 10:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 127 Words
Dealing with Nazis and other Mixed Nuts!

I have to tell you that if Jay ever does do a counter protest against Nazi's, I want to be there. This was an awesome piece...

"I've always wanted to organize a counter-rally to a Nazi gathering. I'd get a bunch of people together, and we'd assemble nearby. Then we'd all laugh at them. We'd have Charlie Chaplin impersonators. We'd have Photoshopped pictures of Hitler, post-suicide. We'd point out that Nazi Germany's greatest military triumph was beating France, and who the hell hasn't done that before? We'd have posters made from World War II comic book covers, showing Hitler getting his ass kicked by Batman and Robin, Captain America, and the like.

And then, in unison, we'd all turn our backs on them.

These Neo-Nazis have wrapped a huge amount of their ego and self-esteem into the outrage they generate. They thrill with every shout, every threat, every attack -- it reinforces their self-image as a noble, oppressed group seeking higher ideals. But when they simply can't be taken seriously, that's what really hurts them. And that's exactly what I want to do -- hurt them in the worst way possible."

Posted by David A at 12:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 192 Words
May 08, 2005
Is it safe...

To call Bullshit yet?

The Washington Post

DeLay Calls for Greater Humility

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) delivered an emotional homily yesterday on the need for greater humility in public servants, declaring himself a sinner before a largely Christian audience and warning that pride has brought down leaders throughout history.

"Just think of what we could accomplish if we checked our pride at the door, if collectively we all spent less time taking credit and more time deserving it," DeLay told the 54th annual National Day of Prayer gathering on Capitol Hill. "If we spent less time ducking responsibility and more time welcoming it. If we spent less time on our soapboxes and more time on our knees."

This from a guy who ordered the FCC to be his personal tails, or who bragged to owners of foreign sweat shops and sex establishments, about how he would fix things for them, while traveling on lobbyist junkets?

Please....

Posted by David A at 10:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 158 Words
Every Now and Then....

I agree with Rob of Say Anything with a vengeance.... This is one of them.

Posted by David A at 10:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 16 Words
What is up with...

Republican talking heads always excusing the failure to capture Ossama, by saying, "he will just be replaced." What the hell is that suppossed to mean? That we should NOT focus on him?

Posted by David A at 11:52 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1) | 32 Words
May 06, 2005
And This State's Governor is the Heir to the Bush Dynasty?

From Michael via Tas:

I have been writing about the horror stories happening to children in Florida for a while now. The state has had 532 children missing over the past decade.

And now the religious nuts want to deny an abortion to a 13 year old victim of rape? I would say shit is getting out of hand up there...

Posted by David A at 07:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | 62 Words
 
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