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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 06/05/2005 - 06/12/2005
Mandy: Great blog!
Mark: Thanks to all the contributors on this blog. When I want to get information on the events that really matter, I come here.
Penny: I'm glad I found your blog (from a comment on Think Progress), it's comprehensive and very insightful.
Eric: Nice site....I enjoyed it and will be back.
nora kelly: I enjoy your site. Keep it up! I particularly like your insights on Latin America.
Alison: Loquacious as ever with a touch of elegance -- & right on target as usual!
"Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it."
- Noam Chomsky
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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Steve Clemons has the latest on Bolton

according to steve clemons at the washington note, white house chief of staff andy card has called senator harry reid on the bolton nomination following senator reid's firm proclaimed stance of "no information, no bolton..." again, according to steve, if andy says, "whaddaya need?" this should be reid's response...
Whadda We Need? Three things....simple really.

The NSA stuff alone -- too little, too late.

The Syria stuff alone -- make sure it's the whole package.

Freedman -- check his file and tell us what this guy was really doing? You wouldn't run a guy like Freedman on your White House personnel roster, would you?

It's real simple, Andy. . . THREE items. That's it. Then the Senators get to review, digest, and make a decision as to whether John Bolton has the kind of "impeccable credentials" that this job in the U.N. requires and whether or not Bolton is someone that Americans are going to be able to feel pride in his appointment.

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What Howard SAID! ~gasp~

(thanks to truthout...)
Howard Dean said something mean. Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

  • Bush lied and people died. Nope - not news.
  • Ohio Republicans involved in financial and voting scandal. Nope - not news.
  • Republicans jam Democratic phone lines during 2004 election to stop the vote. Republicans hack into Democratic computers. No news there.
  • Tom Delay has repeated ethical lapses and takes money from lobbyists like Jack Abramoff. Nope - not news.
  • The White House edits critical environmental reports to refute scientific fact. Nope - no news there.
Wait a minute! This just in!

  • Howard Dean said something mean.

what he said...

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Jumping right in...

As if we needed any more evidence that the Bush administration lives only for big business. From the Washington Post another example of George Bush's You're-On-Your-Ownership Society:

If I am reading this correctly, all you smokers out there who would like some help in quitting, don't look to the Feds to help you. In fact, unless you become addicted within a very specific one-year time frame forget about it.

The government announced yesterday that it will further scale back its demands for penalties on the tobacco industry in a landmark civil racketeering case, saying it is no longer seeking to help 45 million American smokers quit their habit.
In the surprising final day of an eight-month trial, the Justice Department's lead attorney said the government now wants tobacco companies to pay only for smoking cessation programs for an unspecified number of future smokers who may become addicted to cigarettes in the first year after the trial concludes.

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Announcement: First blog team member - Skadi! Welcome aboard!

i've been hoping for some time to find the right kind of person to team blog with me and, this morning, i found her... she's going to be posting under the name Skadi... for those of you unfamiliar with beowulf and other stories of mythology, Skadi is the Norse Goddess of Justice, Vengeance and Righteous Anger... cool, huh...!?! welcome, Skadi...!!

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Uzbeks stay in Guantanamo - What about the OTHER prisons...?

the recent calls for the closing of guantanamo (here and here) and the torrent of bloggers - not so much in the msm, natch - decrying the violence, repression, and torture being conducted by our war on terror "ally," uzbekistan (here and here), may be having an effect... first, bushco leaves open the option for closing guantanamo and now this...
The Bush administration has decided not to send home three Uzbek prisoners deemed eligible for release from the Guantanamo Bay military prison.

here's my question... we already know about similar prisons run by the u.s. at abu ghraib in iraq and bagram in afghanistan... where are the others...? (and you KNOW there are others...) anybody...?

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Patriot Act hearings: "Even though the chairman is not going to listen..."

i'm still shaking my head in disbelief that this kind of thing can happen in my country...
Representative Jerrold D. Nadler, Democrat of New York, protested, "Point of order!" as the Republican committee members filed out of the room; the staff eventually unplugged his microphone. "Even though the chairman is not going to listen," Mr. Nadler continued, "those of us who question some of the actions of the administration are seeking to make sure that our tradition of liberty and freedom is continued unsullied."

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sometimes, you're reading along and just can't believe your eyes... here's a little laundry list of my saturday WTF's, hand in glove with my saturday snarks... (and the day's only started...!)
Senate Democrats have prepared a list of approximately three dozen "names of concern" and are asking the Bush administration for assurances that John R. Bolton did not misuse his access to highly classified intelligence to seek information about them.

oh, and i suppose bush is going to give anything other than "assurances...?" i am touched by my fellow dems simple faith...
The first Democrat to be elected governor in the Republican-dominated state in more than a decade, Gov. Mark Warner of Virginia, 50, is viewed as a popular centrist whose personal wealth - in the hundreds of millions of dollars - could make him an attractive presidential candidate.

i guess we already knew that having "hundreds of millions of dollars" can make you "an attractive presidential candidate" but it's still somewhat shocking to see it right there in black and white...
In an overdue burst of candor, the superintendent of the Air Force Academy has acknowledged that his campus is so permeated with evangelical proselytizing that it will take years to rid the institution of religious intolerance.

so, where, ferchrissake, was this "candor" when cpt. melinda morton, the former lutheran chaplain, who complained of cadets being abused by "systemic and pervasive" proselytizing, was transferred to asia...?

now here's the nyt's john tierney, consummate jerk, commenting on the smackdown of the new stadium in nyc and the loss of the 2012 olympics while also revealing his true feelings about ordinary people...

The victims of this urban-planning syndrome believe, like some Roman emperors, that a leader's prime civic responsibility is to build entertainment palaces for the masses.

as one of the unwashed masses, i'm sorry to see that the nyt still provides safe haven for asses...
"I've always said it's a serious long-term issue," said President Bush on Tuesday, when asked about his climate change policy. "And my administration isn't waiting around to deal with the issue. We're acting."

speaking of asses, one piece of "dealing with the issue" that bush might consider is pulling his head out of his...

have a good weekend, everybody...!

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Friday, June 10, 2005

R's attempt to shut down hearings on Patriot Act (You MUST read - and see - this...)

john at america blog, atrios, and now, even abc news are all drop-jawed at the latest display of the r's megalomaniacal performance today in the house during hearings on the patriot act... (i have to confess, i'm not all that damn surprised... it's just a behavioral demonstration of what they have been verbalizing for a long time...)

see both videos here...

The Republican chairman walked off with the gavel, leaving Democrats shouting into turned-off microphones at a raucous hearing Friday on the Patriot Act.

The House Judiciary Committee hearing, with the two sides accusing each other of being irresponsible and undemocratic, came as President Bush was urging Congress to renew those sections of the post-Sept. 11 counterterrorism law set to expire in September.

Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., chairman of the panel, abruptly gaveled the meeting to an end and walked out, followed by other Republicans. Sensenbrenner declared that much of the testimony, which veered into debate over the detainees at Guantanamo Bay, was irrelevant.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., protested, raising his voice as his microphone went off, came back on, and went off again.

"We are not besmirching the honor of the United States, we are trying to uphold it," he said.

Democrats asked for the hearing, the 11th the committee has held on the act since April, saying past hearings had been too slanted toward witnesses who supported the law. The four witnesses were from groups, including Amnesty International USA and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, that have questioned the constitutionality of some aspects of the act, which allows law enforcement greater authority to investigate suspected terrorists.

Nadler said Sensenbrenner, one of the authors of the Patriot Act, was "rather rude, cutting everybody off in mid-sentence with an attitude of total hostility."

every single time i think it can't get worse, it gets worse...

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Bolivia - A perspective

eduardo rogriquez, the head of the bolivian supreme court and number four in line for the presidency, took the office of president late last night following the resignation of carlos mesa and the refusal of the president of the bolivian congress, vaca díez and the head of the lower house of congress, deputy mario cossío, to accept the office... today, the protests and the roadblocks of rocks and smoking tires and wood continued to cut off the city of la paz from the rest of bolivia due to the failure of protestors to achieve their main goal: the nationalization of the country's natural gas reserves... i've been saying all along, when the impoverished masses have had enough of being exploited and get pissed, look out...
Bolivia's current political crisis is largely the result of the marginalisation of the country's indigenous people, who are rightfully demanding the nationalisation of the country's natural resources and reforms of the state to recognise the country's true multicultural nature, said Roberto Stavenhagen, U.N. special rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people.


The special rapporteur, who lives much of the year in Mexico, adamantly dismissed the suggestion by U.S. intelligence reports that indigenous groups in Latin America might be considered a destabilising political and social force.


Seventy percent of Bolivia's population of 9.2 million live below the poverty line, and a similar proportion are indigenous.

The indigenous movement, trade unions and campesino groups are demanding a constituent assembly to rewrite the constitution in order to grant the country's 36 indigenous groups the right to self-determination and a greater role in decision-making.

The movement is also calling for the nationalisation of Bolivia's natural gas - the second-largest reserves in South America after Venezuela's - in a country where a mere three percent of urban homes have household gas, according to the latest census.

i'm glad someone (besides ips and me) is speaking up about the ridiculousness of the u.s. putting indigenous groups in latin america into the category of potential "terrorist threats..."

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Any bets on the "Friday evening news release...?"

will there be one...? and, if so, what...?

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God pursues "customer service excellence..."

(this is just too good to pass up - courtesy of my very good, long-time friend in minneapolis...)

Customer Service Questionnaire

Please help God help you. God is very interested in hearing feedback from customers and your comments are very important to (choose one) ________ Him/Her/It. Please fill out this form and drop it anywhere. Angels will be by later to collect. God would like to thank you for your belief and patronage. Please keep in mind that your responses will be kept completely confidential and that you need not disclose your name or address unless you prefer a direct response to comments or suggestions.

1. How did you find out about God?
___ Newspaper
___ Bible
___ Torah
___ Book of Mormon
___ Koran
___ Other Book
___ Television
___ Divine Inspiration
___ Word of mouth
___ Dead Sea scrolls
___ My mama done tol' me
___ Near-death experience
___ National Public Radio
___ Tabloid
___ Burning Shrubbery
___ Who?
___ Other (specify): _____________


2. Which model God did you acquire?

___ Yahweh
___ Jehovah
___ Allah
___ Just plain God
___ Krishna
___ Father, Son & Holy Ghost (Trinity Pak)
___ Zeus and entourage (Olympus Pak)
___ Odin and entourage (Valhalla Pak)
___ Gaia/Mother Earth/Mother Nature (Goddess Pak)
___ None of the above; I was taken in by a false god

3. Did your God come to you undamaged, with all parts in good working
order and with no obvious breakage or missing attributes?

__ Yes
__ No

If not, please describe the problems you initially encountered here.
Please indicate all that apply:

___ Not eternal
___ Not omniscient
___ Not omnipotent
___ Finite in space/Does not occupy or inhabit the entire universe
___ Permits sex outside of marriage
___ Prohibits sex outside of marriage
___ Makes mistakes (Geraldo Rivera, Jesse Helms)
___ When beseeched, doesn't stay beseeched
___ Requires burnt offerings
___ Requires virgin sacrifices
___ Plays dice with the universe
___ All of the above

4. What factors were relevant in your decision to acquire a God? Please
check all that apply.

___ Indoctrinated by parents/society
___ Needed a reason to live
___ Needed target for rage
___ Imaginary friend grew up
___ Hate to think for self
___ Wanted to meet girls/boys
___ Fear of death
___ To piss off parents
___ Needed a day away from work
___ Enjoy organ music
___ Needed to feel morally superior
___ My shrubbery caught fire and told me to do it

5. Are you currently using any other source of inspiration in addition to
God? Please check all that apply:

__ Self-help books
__ Tarot, Astrology
__ Star Trek re-runs
__ Fortune cookies
__ Ann Landers
__ Psychic Friends Network
__ Dianetics
__ Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll
__ Mantras
__ Jimmy Swaggart
__ Crystals (not including Crystal Gayle)
__ Human Sacrifice
__ Wandering around in desert
__ Burning shrubbery
__ Other:____________________

6. Have you ever worshiped a false God before? Is so, which false God were
you fooled by? Please check all that apply.

___ Odin
___ Cthulhu
___ Mick Jagger
___ Beelzebub
___ The Almighty Dollar/Bill Gates
___ The Great Pumpkin
___ Ronald Reagan
___ A burning cabbage
___ mushrooms
___ Other: ________________

7. God employs a limited degree of Divine Intervention to preserve the
balanced level of felt presence and blind faith. Which would you prefer...
(circle one)?

a. More Divine Intervention
b. Less Divine Intervention
c. Current level of Divine Intervention is just right
d. Don't know - what's Divine Intervention?

8. God also attempts to maintain a balanced level of disasters and
miracles. Please rate on a scale of 1 to 5 God's handling of the following:
(1 unsatisfactory, 5 excellent):


1 2 3 4 5 flood
1 2 3 4 5 famine
1 2 3 4 5 earthquake
1 2 3 4 5 war
1 2 3 4 5 pestilence
1 2 3 4 5 plague
1 2 3 4 5 AOL
1 2 3 4 5 Republican Congress
1 2 3 4 5 Jerry Lewis
1 2 3 4 5 Dubya
1 2 3 4 5 my last relationship


1 2 3 4 5 rescues
1 2 3 4 5 spontaneous remissions
1 2 3 4 5 crying statues
1 2 3 4 5 water changing to wine
1 2 3 4 5 walking on water
1 2 3 4 5 stars hovering over towns
1 2 3 4 5 VCRs that set their own clocks
1 2 3 4 5 clear and competent statements by the President
1 2 3 4 5 my present relationship

9. Please rate the following on a scale of 1 to 5 (1=unsatisfactory,

1 2 3 4 5 God's Courtesy
1 2 3 4 5 answers to your prayers
1 2 3 4 5 Are your spiritual needs being met?
1 2 3 4 5 How are your shrubs doing?

10. Do you have any additional comments or suggestions for improving the
quality of God's services? (Attach an additional sheet(s) if necessary.)

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The white man's party...

(thanks, once again, to john at americablog...)
99 percent of all Republican legislators across the country and in Congress are white. The national Republican Party, whose base is in the South, the Plains and the Mountain states, looks to white men as its power base and source of leadership. Even when Republican states have significant minority populations, the elected Republican representatives rarely are drawn from those communities.

(quote taken from The Great Divide: Retro vs. Metro America, by John Sperling ...)

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Theoligarchy Watch: Focus on your OWN damn family...!

theocracy alert is an excellent and well-researched paper on the rise of the theocrats and where their agenda may be taking us... it's 5 pages in .pdf format but well worthwhile... a short snippet to give you the flavor...
Think about it. “Jesus” is definitely not a name that comes to mind with “slavery,” even metaphorically. A “slave to Jesus” seems the quintessential oxymoron and a distortion of what his philosophy taught before “religious leaders” perverted it to create their weapon of mass destruction. The Crusades. The Holy Inquisition. The genocide perpetrated by “Christians” against the peoples of the New World. The Salem witch hunts. The horrors of slavery. How many millions of human beings have suffered and died as a result of what politically- motivated so-called “Christian” leaders claimed was “God’s Will”?

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Krugman: Middle class essential to democracy

every time i read paul krugman, i hear the voice of impassioned reason... i'm totally amazed that someone as insightful and shoe-leather honest is tolerated in the won't-say-shit-even-tho'- i'm-up-to-my-eyeballs-in-it school of journalism...
But the real reasons to worry about the explosion of inequality since the 1970's have nothing to do with envy. The fact is that working families aren't sharing in the economy's growth, and face growing economic insecurity. And there's good reason to believe that a society in which most people can reasonably be considered middle class is a better society - and more likely to be a functioning democracy - than one in which there are great extremes of wealth and poverty.

i'm also reminded of a terrific graffiti i ran across in buenos aires...

"Anti-fascist action. We are being peed on
and the press says it is raining."

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On the ground in Iraq

nothing to add...

"I know the party line. You know, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Army, five-star generals, four-star generals, President Bush, Donald Rumsfeld: The Iraqis will be ready in whatever time period," said 1st Lt. Kenrick Cato, 34, of Long Island, N.Y., . . . who sold his share in a database firm to join the military full time after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. "But from the ground, I can say with certainty they won't be ready before I leave. And I know I'll be back in Iraq, probably in three or four years. And I don't think they'll be ready then."

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WaPo: "Tobacco Sellout" - why should we be surprised...?

it's just another day in bushworld...
SINCE TAKING office, the Bush administration has spent more than $100 million suing the tobacco industry. This week it scuttled its own case just as it was approaching judgment. The episode looks like politically inspired malfeasance, and it should be investigated.

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Chinese currency revision weighed

China's political leadership is actively considering breaking the 11-year link between the dollar and China's currency, the yuan, and tying its value instead to a group of currencies.

bushco has been pushing hard on getting the chinese to re-value their currency, the yuan, citing that its current fixed value of 8.277 to the dollar where it has been locked since 1998 during the Asian financial crisis, significantly understates its value... the real reason of course is the low price of chinese goods that are flooding world markets (including the u.s., of course) and hampering u.s. competitiveness... the idea is that raising the value of the yuan will make chinese goods more expensive and thus reduce the massive trade deficit... that's the good side...

the bad side is that if the yuan jumps in value and chinese goods become more expensive, the chinese might not continue to buy dollars after the shift and the fall-off of chinese purchases could hurt the dollar's value and u.s. stock and bond prices - and those developments, in turn, could impact the real estate bubble... personally, i think bushco's playing with fire... you'd think they would have learned their lesson after repeatedly putting their hands on the hot stove... but n-o-o-o-o...

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Guantanamo, pt. 2: "And there you have it."

H.D.S. Greenway in the Boston Globe comments on the "gulag" flap and cites a letter to the New York Times written by Amnesty International's William Shultz...
There are plenty of people in this world who hate America -- considerably more since Bush took office -- but Amnesty International is not among them. Its research is thorough, and its findings considered. It often reflects what the United States says it wants for the world.

''No amount of spin," Shultz wrote, ''can erase the myriad human rights abuses committed by the United States in the 'war on terror.' The United States cannot simultaneously claim that it 'promotes freedom around the world' while detaining tens of thousands without charge or trial."

And there you have it. The United States is engaged in a long-term effort to persuade an alienated Muslim world that the United States stands for justice. By allowing systematic torture and indefinite detention to sully our system, we have handed our enemies the most perfect recruiting tool we could devise, for it exposes all our high ideals about democracy to the charges of hypocrisy.

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Guantanamo: " the hands of the countries of origin, for the most part."

“Our desire is not to have these people. ... Our goal is to have them in the hands of the countries of origin, for the most part,” Rumsfeld said.

the above comment by rummy regarding closing down guantanamo along with another comment by bush that, “We’re exploring all alternatives as to how best to do the main objective, which is to protect America," are both being interpreted as being open to the possibility... rummy's comment obviously followed a little "awareness" chat with the white house... in his previous statement the day before he said he was "unaware" of anyone in the Bush administration discussing closing the base in Cuba.

i'd like to know if having them "in the hands of the countries of origin" is an oblique reference to extraordinary rendition... i'm also curious about what "for the most part" means... but that's just me...

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Thursday, June 09, 2005

Bolivia "Deserves Better Days" - [UPDATE]

the word on the street was that if mesa stepped down, the protestors wouldn't accept the next two in line to take his job... it looks like both declined, leaving #4, the head of the supreme court, the one the protestors were hoping would be the one, to accept the job... a really tough day in bolivia but maybe things are turning the corner...
Supreme Court head Eduardo Rodriguez was sworn in as president, after Senate speaker Hormando Vaca Diez, who would normally take over, refused the job. [...] The next in line, the head of the lower house, had already said he would decline to succeed Mr Mesa - meaning that the presidency would pass to the head of the Supreme Court. Mr Rodriguez will now be obliged to call presidential elections - which would defuse the protests.


following his inauguration, mr. rodriguez had this to say...
"Bolivia deserves better days," Mr Rodriguez told deputies.

"I am convinced that one of my tasks will be to begin an electoral process to renew and continue building a democratic system that is more just."

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George, I hate to tell ya this... It's not just the polls, George...

Not only are many Americans coming to disagree with Bush’s policies, they are concluding that they neither like nor trust him. A critical mass seems to be forming of Americans who judge that Bush is not on their side, that he duped them with his folksy style, that he’s really a friend of the super-rich.

oh, fer gawd's sake... how the hell could ANYONE come to THOSE conclusions...?

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"One-tenth of one percent of the world’s population controls one-quarter of the world’s assets"

(thanks to think progress for posting these STUNNING numbers...!)

from the top looking down...

According to a new report (the 9th Annual Merrill Lynch/Capgemini World Wealth Report), just over 8 million people worldwide control $31 TRILLION in assets. In other words, one-tenth of one percent of the world’s population controls one-quarter of the world’s assets.

and from the bottom looking up...

3 billion people live on less than 2 bucks a day.

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Don't give an inch, Howard... Let the R's outsource THEIR rhetoric...

"We're not going to let the Republicans set the agenda and to be quite honest we aren't going to let you set the agenda," Dean told reporters after a private meeting at the Capitol with Senate Democratic leaders, calling the fallout over his comments "a media circus."

truth-tellers never rank very high in popularity contests... i oughta know... yes, some of what dean had to say was harsh but that doesn't mean it isn't laced through and through with truth... the r's can sit back and criticize dean for his rhetoric because they've outsourced all their potty-mouthed, mean-spiritedness to the likes of rush, ann, o'reilly, hannity, and, yes, hal turner... ~looks over shoulder~ just wonderin' if anyone's payin' attention...

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But is it constitutional...?

(from oldest son - 3 nights out of 3...!)
President Bush urged the U.S. Congress on Thursday to renew major provisions of the USA Patriot Act and rejected critics who have complained the post-Sept. 11 anti-terrorism law erodes civil liberties.

in the entire course of his presidency so far, has bush EVER actually RESPONDED to ANY criticism except by "rejecting" it...? here's a couple of things that are troubling me (among others)...
"The most offensive portion of the President's remarks was his claim that the Patriot Act is constitutional," Lisa Graves, the ACLU's senior counsel for legislative strategy said.

and this...
After hours of secret deliberations, the oversight panel voted 11-4 to send to the full Senate a proposal that would give the FBI the power to subpoena without judicial approval a wide range of personal documents ranging from health and library records to tax statements.

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Working Together To Help Move America Forward !

i just got an email from campaign for america's future, the take back america people, with "moving america forward" in the subject line... i damn near deleted it, thinking it had come from the "move america forward" folks, the fine people who are trying to kick the u.s. out of the u.n., have "linked" michael moore with hezbollah, and want nothing more than to see john bolton confirmed as u.s. ambassador to the u.n... need i say more...? anyway, i emailed cfa back and suggested they might wanna think about a different subject line... here's a little reminder about just who we're dealing with here...
Among the many accomplishments of Move America Forward to date are:

* Was the leading organization to publicly speak out against Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 - exposing it as an Anti-American propaganda piece filled with countless inaccuracies and misrepresentations.
* Exposed the partnership between Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" distribution companies and the terrorist group, Hezbollah which worked to help make sure the Anti-American film was seen throughout the Middle East.
* We've broadcast more than one dozen television and radio commercials throughout the nation advocating support for our troops and the fight against terrorism and speaking out against the United Nations. Our ads have been seen by more than 100 million Americans.
* Started petition drive to kick the UN out of the USA -- we've collected almost 100,000 signatures to date.
* We've been a leading voice speaking out against the United Nations' "Oil for Food" scam, the abuse and sexual assault of children by U.N. workers, and the failure of the U.N. to fight the terrorist organizations that threaten freedom-loving nations around the globe.

We're proud of the success we've had in fighting to make America an even greater nation. Unlike Michael Moore or the "Blame America First" crowd or the Dean types who only see a future of failure for this country, we see a future where freedom and liberty create endless opportunities for Americans and our friends and allies around the world.

"freedom-loving nations..." sounds like an old communist party propaganda line... retch, vomit, spew...

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Watching Bolivia

things continue to deteriorate...
Two days after Mr. Mesa offered to leave office to defuse mounting protests, demonstrators vowed to topple the new government if it is led by the next in line to the presidency, the Senate president, Hormando Vaca Díez. Congress is preparing to accept Mr. Mesa's resignation on Thursday and anoint Mr. Vaca Díez as successor in a special session in Sucre, the judicial capital.

Leaders of Bolivia's powerful indigenous movement vehemently oppose Mr. Vaca Díez, a wealthy land owner and long-time politician who has the support of the influential business elites in Santa Cruz, his home province. The conservative business class there wants more autonomy, giving it control over the natural gas reserves that the Indians in the highlands want to nationalize.

Mr. Mesa, who remains president, warned the nation that Mr. Vaca Díez must stand down and permit early elections to prevent bloodshed.

"Let us avoid lost lives, let us avoid a violence that devours us all," Mr. Mesa
, who has been in office less than 20 months, said in a televised address late Tuesday. "This is an exhortation for a country that is on the verge of civil war."

"The conservative business class there wants more autonomy, giving it control over the natural gas reserves that the Indians in the highlands want to nationalize."

just like everywhere else - follow the money...

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Keep on 'splainin', George...


"My strategy is pretty simple: explain the problem to the American people, and keep explaining it and explaining it." [George Bush speaking to members of the Associated Builders and Contractors trade association]

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House Ethics Committee: Unacceptable

we should all be screaming bloody murder about this...
The ethics committee, the House's mechanism for enforcing rules for members, has operated for exactly one day since the 109th Congress convened in early January. In May, after Republicans broke an impasse with Democrats by backing off an effort to change the rules for investigations, the committee voted to organize for the year. But it has not met since then. No session is scheduled, and both parties say any investigation is months off.

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Theoligarchy Watch: Janice Rogers Brown

~sigh~ it's all proceeding as planned...
The Senate confirmed Janice Rogers Brown to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit yesterday, handing President Bush and his conservative supporters a long-sought addition to the nation's second most influential court.

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Absolutely, positively KEE-RECT...!

yeppers... it ain't about dean at all... it's about who's got the power in the democratic party...
Yesterday the RNC put out a ''Democrat Leaders' Report Card" which gave the Democrats an ''F" in communication skills, civics, and unity and an ''A" in obstruction. It is hard to argue with the assessment, and that -- not Howard Dean -- is the Democrats' problem.

Congress is a place where voters expect partisanship to yield to compromise. And Congress is where the Democrats have failed to convey a sense of mission and purpose, probably because too many are running around the country running for president.

dean's rebuilding the party from the ground up and, as ms. vennochi says, "a few hot-shot donors are upset that Dean isn't stroking them as constantly as McAuliffe, and suddenly he's a failure." screw 'em... i can only speak for myself, but i want to support a party that stands on principle... the r's, at least in their current incarnation, are the antithesis of everything i believe...

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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

And NOW, direct from TULSA...!

(story courtesy of oldest son... that makes two nights in a row...! do i have a contributor on my hands...?)

ah, yes, the bible belt... ok, i'm not going to fall prey to stereotypes... i addressed a conference there a few years ago at the behest of a former professional colleague, a lebanese ph.d, and a super guy... there is quite a lebanese community there and his family has been rooted in tulsa for many years... he clued me in on a thriving arts scene, lovely parks and neighborhoods, and some of the best damn art deco architecture in the country, thanks to all the fabulously wealthy oil companies and tycoons that thrived there mid-last century... however, there is this "other side..." ~cough~

The Tulsa Zoo will add a display featuring the biblical account of creation following complaints to a city board about other displays with religious significance, including a Hindu elephant statue.


Zoo employees, religious leaders and others spoke in opposition, saying religion shouldn't be part of the taxpayer-funded scientific institution.

But those who favored the creationist exhibit, including Mayor Bill LaFortune, argued that the zoo already displayed religious items, including the statue of the Hindu god, Ganesh, outside the elephant exhibit and a marble globe inscribed with an American Indian saying: "The earth is our mother. The sky is our father."

"I see this as a big victory," said Dan Hicks, the Tulsa resident who approached the zoo with the idea. "It's a matter of fairness. To not include the creationist view would be discrimination."

~cough, cough~ ok, well, it's interesting that RELIGIOUS LEADERS SPOKE IN OPPOSITION... at least there's a streak of sanity out there in the heartland... but what's this DISCRIMINATION bullshit...? if anything, the exhibit should be scrubbed as a flat-out INSULT TO ANTHROPOLOGISTS, PALEONTOLOGISTS, BIOLOGISTS, CHEMISTS, AND GEOLOGISTS...

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nightsweat at kos: Dean foxy, not crazy

i've been feeling this way in my gut but haven't put quite the words to it the way nightsweat has... these are just the highlights... go to kos and read the rest for yourselves...
1. [Dean] knocks the Republicans off message by forcing them to react to his attacks.
2. He uses hyperbole to divorce Republican voters from the Republican Party. [e.g., "Hey, wait a minute! I WORK for a living!"]
3. [He] gives red meat to the base.
4. [His] remarks give the Dems in right leaning areas someone to contrast themselves with.
5. [His] remarks get Dems in the press without the words filibuster, opposed, obstructionist, or any other Corporate Media favorites.
6. [He] takes the heat off the leadership and lets Pelosi and Reid et al get some work done without being attacked constantly.

[...] I guarantee you Dean knows what he's doing. Let Howard be Howard. He's pulling in record donations for the Dems and he's getting the word out while building a 50 state party again.

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Do ya THINK...? Oh, by the way... 'Scuse me... Got a light...? [UPDATE]

The judge in the racketeering case against cigarette makers on Wednesday questioned whether "additional influences" prompted the government to drastically reduce a sanction it is seeking against the industry. [...] "Big Tobacco is one of the top donors to Republicans, and it is getting what it paid for," New Jersey Democrat Frank Lautenberg said in a statement.

lessee... "additional influences...?" hmmmmm... rove...? bush...? cheney...? gonzales...?)


(thanks to think progress...)
A person familiar with the situation, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the change was "forced on the tobacco team by higher-level, politically appointed officials of the Justice Department," including Associate Atty. Gen. Robert McCallum, who oversees the civil division.

but WAIT...! there's MORE...!
Before his appointment in the Justice Department in 2001, McCallum had been a partner at Alston & Bird, an Atlanta-based firm that has done trademark and patent work for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco.

what absolutely, positively BLOWS ME AWAY, is that these characters don't even TRY to keep up appearances... even having mccallum on the justice department payroll, much less as asst. atty general, stinks like a dead skunk under the back porch...

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Global Climate Coalition (a/k/a ExxonMobil): Our work here is done...

the global climate coalition (gcc), an energy industry group that supported bushco in its stand on kyoto and worked to prevent senate ratification of the kyoto protocol on the basis that it "would assign such stringent targets for lowering greenhouse gas emissions that economic growth in the U. S. would be severely hampered and energy prices for consumers would skyrocket," has been "deactivated"...

well, they certainly deserve to sit back and celebrate... economic growth is soaring and energy prices haven't been this low since... ummmm... since... never mind...

ExxonMobil, as one of gcc's richest and most powerful backers, should take a bow too even though, in 2003, Exxon's head of public affairs, Nick Thomas, said: "I think we can say categorically we have not campaigned with the United States government or any other government to take any sort of position over Kyoto."

oh, really...?
In briefing papers given before meetings to the US under-secretary of state, Paula Dobriansky, between 2001 and 2004, the administration is found thanking Exxon executives for the company's "active involvement" in helping to determine climate change policy, and also seeking its advice on what climate change policies the company might find acceptable.

little by little, there will eventually be enough pieces to make a coherent picture out of the secret group that advised dick cheney on u.s. energy policy... too bad the guardian doesn't make the connection...

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Quote of the day...? Week...? Month...?

ok, maybe the year... (thanks to steve clemons at the washington note...)

"Nominating John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations is a little like nominating Jeffrey Dahmer for surgeon general."

- Robert Wright, author of Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny, writing in an opinion piece in Slate...

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Bolivia: "A country on the brink of civil war"

i've been following developments in bolivia... things aren't looking any better and, in fact, may be getting considerably worse... my biggest concern is the outbreak of violence and what the ramifications of that could be... given bolivia's 90% indigenous population and the fact that the cia has grouped latin american indigenous unrest under the category of "war on terror," there could be some unpleasant developments...
In a dramatic late-night broadcast, Mesa appealed to the Congress president and lower parliament chamber chief to step aside and allow early elections to halt protests that have blockaded La Paz and other cities.

"The country can not continue playing with the possibility of splitting into a thousand pieces. ... The only solution for Bolivia is an immediate electoral process," Mesa said.

"This is coming from a president who is on his way out. ... It is a call to a country on the brink of civil war."

i've said it before... the masses will only stand for being exploited by the elites and the foreign corporations for so long before they get really pissed, and when they get really pissed, look out...

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Why Hillary?

(robert kuttner in the boston globe...)
First, the potent Clinton political apparatus enables her to raise prodigious sums. Second, she has proven in places like upstate New York that she can attract independent support. Third, she is a real charmer, having worked with Republican senators on legislation of joint interest -- people who initially viewed her as the arch-fiend.

She also has an uncanny ability to charm reporters.

i suppose saying this is asking to have someone jump down my throat, but she is the only democrat of national prominence that inspires me - outside of howard dean...

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Boston Globe: Shut up, Howard

Howard Dean should squelch the incendiary rhetoric on behalf of the Democratic National Committee. [...] It's . . . one more angry voice in a divided America, which desperately needs political leaders to lift the national vision and speak a language of civility. [...] He has . . . defined the political landscape as ''a struggle between good and evil."

i'm really torn on this... i'm all for civility and, god knows, we've already got way too much of a wwe atmosphere going in this country... on the other hand, my gut tells me that perhaps the time for civility has passed, that we are truly engaged in "a struggle between good and evil," and that, at this point, anything less than fighting hard and openly for what is right is complicity... i dunno... i just dunno...

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Whaddaya know... An about-face on ElBaradei

v-e-d-d-d-y int-e-r-r-r-r-res-tink... (omg... now i'm channeling laugh-in's artie johnson... age is definitely creeping up...)

after waging what looked to be an uncompromising campaign to get rid of one of the two most-qualified nay-sayers over bushco's claim of wmd in iraq, condi's now offering support for mohamed elbaradei's candidacy for a third term as director-general of the vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)...

hans blix made it easy... he resigned... but elbaradei is a tough nut and has ridden out the negativity bordering on character assassination that is bushco's hallmark, secure, no doubt, in his own high standards, professionalism, and the verification of his work in iraq... but, as with condi's "support" for OAS Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza, there are strings attached...

"The U.S. will support ElBaradei but it wants some things in return," a European diplomat told Reuters, adding these issues involved Iran and the general fight against nuclear arms proliferation. The diplomat did not elaborate.

IAEA spokesman Mark Gwozdecky confirmed that ElBaradei had been invited to Washington but declined to give details.

"He's been invited by Rice to discuss a number of important non-proliferation matters that will come up at next week's (IAEA) board of governors meeting," Gwozdecky said.

hold on to your wallet, mohamed... these guys are slick...

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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Y-E-S-S-SS - Holding firm against Bolton

Senate Democrats back from a weeklong recess said on Tuesday they were holding firm against allowing a vote to confirm John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations until the Bush administration turns over more information on him.

damn straight... it's about time the unbridled arrogance of the bush/cheney/rove axis of evil was challenged... they think they can sit there like little gods on mt. olympus and toss lightning bolts at all of us lesser mortals and, god knows (pardon the pun), they've been getting away with it for 4 1/2 years... maybe the worm is turning...?

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The OAS bites Condi; Insulza the ingrate [UPDATE]

this is a LOT more fun than survivor or american idol... a LOT more...! click here for the full story... it's in chronological order so start from the top...

a few weeks ago, i posted a story about how the new oas (organization of american states) secretary general, Jose Miguel Insulza - (NOT the first choice of the u.s. btw) - was reluctantly supported by the u.s. after the u.s. pick, Mexico's Secretary of Foreign Affairs Luis Ernest Derbez, was roundly rejected by the rest of the oas member states... the fine print of that support, as extorted by condi rice, was that insulza would back an american proposal to create an oas committee to monitor the quality of democracy and the exercise of power in Latin America... today, an oas summit convened in florida and, sure enough...


US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has called for greater intervention by the Organisation of American States in promoting democracy in Latin America.


Ms Rice said she had confidence that the new OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza, of Chile, could help bring about a change in fortunes for the region.

oh, i am s-o-o-o-o sure... when news of the proposal first surfaced several weeks ago, the argentine ambassador to the oas, rodolfo hugo gil, had the following choice comment...
"This explanation is going to be impossible to sell to any adult human being."

some of the other members were not very happy either...
Jorge Chen, the Mexican ambassador, said, "I don't think this idea will pass." Some Latin American ambassadors say they fear that the new committee will turn into a star chamber, where ministers would summon representatives of certain countries for interrogation and.

needless to say, president hugo chavez of venezuela isn't jumping up and down for joy...
Chavez accused the United States of seeking to impose a "global dictatorship."

"So, they're going to try to monitor the Venezuelan government through the OAS, they must be joking!" he said, speaking in Caracas shortly before the conference opened on Sunday.

"If there is any government that should be monitored by the OAS, then it should be the US government," he added.

bush addresses the conference on monday... stay tuned for more fun...


told ya to stay tuned...!
The major nations of Latin America have told the United States that they cannot support an American plan to establish a permanent committee of the Organization of American States that would monitor the exercise of democracy in the hemisphere, Latin American diplomats said Sunday.

If the organization fails to approve the American proposal, it would be a significant diplomatic defeat for the United States - from a region that for decades has generally gone along with Washington's requests. The United States is negotiating with the other countries, though diplomats and officials said they made little progress on Sunday.

"a region that has generally gone along with washington's requests..." what a disingenuous remark...! for decades, throughout latin america, the oas has been seen for precisely what it is - a u.s. front group... well, the world is changing, folks, and it looks like the "region" may actually be starting to chart its own course rather than the one the u.s. sets for them...

and, guess what...? they ARE charting their own course... not only that, but chile's insulza, who condi backed for oas director general on condition of his support for her oas "democracy" proposal, has given the finger to "ms. ferragamo shoes..."
A U.S. proposal to intervene in Western Hemisphere nations to push democracy rankled the leaders of several South American countries debating the issue Monday at the meeting of the Organization of American States.


Chile introduced a counter-proposal backed by at least 10 other OAS nations, including Brazil.

The Chilean plan, described as offering a "middle-ground," asks OAS Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza to study how the organization has used the Democratic Charter since its inception and recommend ways to make it more effective.

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Revised Patriot Act approved by Senate Foreign Intelligence Committee

story tip courtesy of oldest son... :)

The FBI would get expanded powers to subpoena records without the approval of a judge or grand jury in terrorism investigations under Patriot Act revisions approved Tuesday by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Some senators who voted 11-4 to move the bill forward said they would push for limits on the new powers the measure would grant to law enforcement agencies.

"This bill must be amended on the floor to protect national security while protecting Constitutional rights," said Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md.

oh, yeah, right... abdicate your responsibility to do the right thing in committee and then cross your friggin' fingers that your colleagues will fix the goddam holes on the senate floor... wusses... weenies... let's just dump all our civil liberties in a 50-gallon drum, douse 'em with kerosene and drop in a match...

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David Neiwert on Hatred and Multiculturalism

david neiwert at orcinus is one hell of a thoughtful guy and he ain't bad at articulating either... he likes to look at macro trends, overarching patterns, and deep, underlying currents... in a current post, he writes in depth on one of my bigger concerns - how the current political/cultural/religious scene and its invective directed at liberals both directly and indirectly encourages bigotry, racism, intolerance, and hatred...

At the root of this liberal-bashing, as I've argued for a long time, is a hatred of multiculturalism. What happens on the street level is that all of the minorities whose presence is embraced by multiculturalism are the natural first targets of this intolerance as it festers into white working-class resentment and finally action.

Remember, too, that multiculturalism arose specifically as a response to white supremacism -- which, in fact, it replaced as the reigning national racial ethos. Those who constantly disparage multiculturalism seem oddly reticent about what they'd replace it with -- except, of course, white supremacists like David Duke and Billy Roper, who are fairly clear on the subject.

It's time, I think, for liberals to wake up and listen to what's marching their way.

sometimes at night, with the coyotes howling in the distance, i can almost hear the sound of the drums beating over the hill...

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Biden proposes 9/11-type commission for prisoner abuse

this oughta set off some fireworks when it comes up for debate... it's undoubtedly the LAST thing bushco wants to see put in place...

the legislation introduced by biden, titled ”The Targeting Terrorists More Effectively Act of 2005,” includes a provision to establish a commission, in structure and mandate identical to the 9/11 commission, that would

"specifically investigate whether individuals may have played a policy-making role in setting conditions for detainees, and examine frequently-reported differences of opinion between the Pentagon's civilian leadership and senior members of the armed forces. Its scope would be government-wide, thus including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

[The] legislation would establish a national commission to examine the role of policymakers in the development of intelligence related to the treatment of individuals detained during Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom, and the impact of the abuse of prisoners by the U.S. personnel on the security of the armed forces.

the bill may come before the senate foreign relations committee in a couple of weeks, allowing for a decent period of mourning after the john bolton funeral... (i hope...!)

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Decade-old bombing in Argentina jumps back into the light

A former investigator of the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community centre in the Argentine capital, in which 85 people were killed and hundreds were injured, said he would reveal everything he knows about the terrorist attack and the alleged cover-up.

this will be interesting... president nestor kirchner is ostensibly committed to transparency although there are plenty of argentinians who don't think he's all that serious... his popularity remains high, however, due to the continuing economic improvement following the currency collapse of 2001... since the investigation of this tragic event has been nothing but a comedy of errors, since no one has been indicted in the ten years that have passed, and since the case is still open and unresolved, perhaps it's now time for things to break loose...


Criminal lawyer Claudio Lifschitz, a former federal police intelligence agent, was named chief investigator to federal Judge Juan José Galeano in 1995 in the investigation of the attack on the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA).

No one has yet been convicted in connection with the bombing.

Lifschitz worked with Galeano until 1997, when he resigned. In 2000 he accused the judge of taking part in a cover-up by the government of Carlos Menem (1989-1999) designed to steer the case into a dead-end alley. Galeano has since been removed from the case.

The investigation, now in the hands of prosecuting Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral, points in the direction of members of the pro-Iranian Lebanese militia Hezbollah, which also has support from Syria, and diplomats from Iran, who are facing arrest warrants issued in connection with the case nearly a decade ago.

From the very start, the investigators believed the attack was carried out with local logistical support, which may have come from Argentine security bodies.

The probe focused in that direction over the past decade, until it turned into a complete fiasco, fraught with irregularities and outright crimes committed by people involved in the investigation.

According to Lifschitz, the State Intelligence Secretariat (SIDE) was able to infiltrate Iranian ”sleeper cells” in Argentina months before the attack.

SIDE thus found out about plans to bomb the AMIA building, and decided to mount a ”controlled operation” in which it even ”provided logistical support for the attack”, with the idea of aborting at the last moment, Lifschitz told IPS.

But things ”got out of hand,” he added.

sounds a little bit like an episode from jerry springer - "when keystone cops go bad..."

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Such a STUNNING visual...!

just like the previous post, sometimes being able to SEE something all nice and laid out beats the hell out of any amount of words you could spew...


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California dreamin' - one pic is worth, etc...


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Sen. Kennedy speaks out on the Downing St. Memo and Iraq

the senator posted the following on kos and on his own website... i'm grateful the senator has stepped to the fore...

The contents of the Downing Street Minutes confirm that the Bush Administration was determined to go to war in Iraq, regardless of whether there was any credible justification for doing so. The Administration distorted and misrepresented the intelligence in its attempt to link Saddam Hussein with the terrorists of 9/11 and Osama bin Laden, and with weapons of mass destruction that Iraq did not have.

In addition, the Downing Street Minutes also confirm what has long been obvious - that the timing of the war was linked to the 2002 Congressional elections, and that the Administration's planning for post-war Iraq was incompetent in all its aspects. The current continuing crisis is a direct result of that incompetence.

Many of you have worked hard for the American people, the media and those in government to speak out about the Downing Street Minutes and the Iraq war. If you visit my website, you can join me in speaking out as well:


The policy of "shoot first, ask questions later" took us into an unjustified war, and without a clear concept of what "winning the war" actually means.

President Bush constantly talks about the "progress" that is being made in Iraq against the insurgency, but he's looking for good news with a microscope. All anyone can see is "Mission Mis-accomplished" and the continuing losses of American lives, the deaths of thousands of innocent Iraqis, the torture scandal, and the ominous decline in our nation's moral authority in the world community.

We know the Administration had been planning to invade Iraq for many months before the invasion actually began. We know the Administration twisted the intelligence to make the facts fit their plan. We know that the Administration never really intended to give the U.N. weapons inspectors a reasonable chance to succeed. The Downing Street Minutes demonstrate that the Administration knew their case for war was paper thin, and that in order to go into war with the support of our allies, we had to demonstrate some willingness to go along with the UN inspection process. But the Administration continued to misuse its intelligence, distort the facts and pay only lip-service to the UN's role in disarming Iraq.

We never should have gone to war for ideological reasons driven by politics and based on manipulated intelligence. The Downing Street Minutes provide even more proof that this is exactly what happened on Iraq. The Administration's dishonesty, lack of candor, and lack of planning have brought us to where we are today, with American soldiers dying, Iraqi civilians living in constant fear, and with no clearer picture of our strategy for victory in Iraq than when we started.

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Federal loan guarantees...? Coal gasification...? ENRON...? Alien meets predator...

(thanks to raw story...)

Buried in the 700-plus page energy bill currently under debate in the U.S. Senate is a provision that provides hundreds of millions of dollars worth of federal loan guarantees for a power project apparently to be built by four former Enron executives.


Title XIV of the Senate energy bill provides federal loan guarantees for "a project to produce energy from coal … mined in the western United States using appropriate advanced integrated gasification combined cycle technology that minimizes and offers the potential to sequester carbon dioxide emissions and … shall be located in a western State at an altitude greater than 4,000 feet."

to paraphrase atrios, great jumping jeebus on a cracker...! not only are the feds planning to shower money on these crooks, but it's going to go for a coal gasification project...! to former enron executives...! at an altitude above 4,000 feet...! can you spell c-o-l-o-r-a-d-o...? pass the ibuprofen...

the last time that screwed up technology reared its ugly head was in and around rifle/parachute, colorado, in the 70's after the first energy crisis... then-governor richard lamm, not one for keeping his counsel, called it yet another sad story of the boom and bust cycle of the western states and he was spot on... you can drive through rifle and parachute today and look at the empty subdivisions, the vacant schools, the sad remnants of yet another public and natural resources rape... now, in true horror movie fashion, coal gasification and enron are BOTH coming back to life... time to break out the wooden stakes...

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Blogging in China

The Chinese authorities have ordered all weblogs and websites in the country to register with the government or face closure in Beijing's latest attempt to control online dissent. [...] Private bloggers or websites must register the complete identity of the person responsible for the site, and the ministry - which has set a June 30 deadline for compliance - said 74% of all sites had already registered.

stupid question... if the sites have to register so that the government will know who they are, how do they know that 74% have already registered...?

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Reverend "used to be gay..." o-o-o-o-ok...

(thanks to john at americablog...)

Angry protesters battle it out with members of a Mid-South group who are trying to turn gay teens straight! Protesters say the Christian based organization “Love In Action” is brain washing kids and putting them in danger.

Reverend John Smid says “The truth is that if someone is expressing themselves homosexually, they are involving themselves in inappropriate sexual conduct.” Smid has been the executive director of “Love In Action” for the past 19 years. He makes no apologies for his strong beliefs about gay and lesbian lifestyles. Smid says he used to be gay, and says sexual exploration by youth is out of control.

the "truth...?" the "TRUTH...?" anyone remember father bruce ritter...? "used to be gay...?" i am s-o-o-o-o-o sure...

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Leahy and Bolton: Steve Clemons is irritated and we should be too...

steve clemons is fairly bristling over sen. patrick leahy's comment that john bolton's nomination is going to squeak through... the old li'l abner line about "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory" springs to mind... steve tries to maintain his cool, reminding us that in most situations, leahy is "a good guy" but i don't feel any such constraint... i think we (meaning people who have at least some tenuous grasp on reality) ought to battle bolton into the ground... in my previous post on tancredo, i exceeded my own self-imposed boundary on crude speech but bolton provokes similar knee-jerk tendencies...

(Senator Patrick Leahy - 202-224-4242 - or click here...)

Dear Senator Leahy,

I'm not a constituent, so I'll be short and to the point. You should be battling John Bolton into the ground, not aiding and abetting the White House psychological warfare campaign that is trying to shove this monster down our throats.


Mr. Bolton is an individual who has shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that he does not deserve a single ounce of public trust. He is a litmus-tested, party-loyal, extreme conservative, U.N.-hating, serial-abusing, lying, Bush/Rove operative trying to pass himself off as a diplomat.

You know in your heart that John Bolton is the worst possible person to represent the United States at the United Nations. Stick to your guns. Toss your body across the tracks if necessary but stop his confirmation. PLEASE!


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Tancredo for president...? N-o-o-o-o-o

Oh - my - god...! say it isn't so... i happen to have an inside view of this jerk gleaned from my friendship with the former mexican vice consul in denver upon whom ted tried to do a very bloody hatchet job... ted tancredo doesn't deserve one single ounce of the public trust... he's mean, he's exploitive, he's racist, he's ~sputter, sputter~ a NUTCASE...!
Tancredo has carefully crafted an image as a Republican maverick willing to challenge both his party and his president.

With most analysts betting that immigration will play a major role in the 2008 presidential election, the Littleton lawmaker and his staff are ramping up to ride the wave.

He plans to tour several primary states, calling for militarization of the border and a crackdown on employers who hire illegal immigrants.

If no other serious candidate appears who will support those goals, Tancredo says he plans to enter the Republican presidential primaries.

"It's such an odd thing to talk about," Tancredo told The Denver Post. But "if there is no other person ... then we have no choice" but to enter the presidential race.

i'm sorry, truly... i don't often yield to my baser impulses in print but with ted tancredo, i make an exception... fuck you, ted tancredo and the horse you rode in on...

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Latin American (indigenous) unrest: Bolivia

With Bolivia paralyzed by protests, President Carlos Mesa announced his resignation on Monday night in a nationally televised address. [...] In March, the former journalist and historian offered to quit in a calculated gamble aimed at rallying support in the face of road-choking protests. The tactic worked, and Congress rejected the offer, giving Mr. Mesa a new start.

i posted just yesterday about the very real possibility that indigenous unrest in latin america, should it turn violent, could serve as justification for armed intervention and how the u.s., as it has done many times in the past, may actually be encouraging violence in order to claim such justification, this time under the rubric, "war on terror..."


bolivia, with a population that is 90% indigenous, has been a hot-spot in recent months, with massive protests demanding the nationalization of the natural gas industry... the feeling is that the foreign companies controlling production and gaining most of the profit (Petrobras of Brazil, Repsol YPF of Spain and British Gas) are unfairly exploiting the bolivian people... talk of nationalization makes lots of people nervous, not the least of which are the large, capitalist, 1st world countries who are home to the big companies invested in bolivian natural gas... it also makes smaller countries nervous...

a case in point is argentina who imports virtually all of its natural gas from bolivia and who recently signed agreements to increase the supply... argentina has literally many thousands of vehicles that run on natural gas and mom-and-pop businesses around the country thrive on converting gasoline-powered vehicles to natural gas... cutting off bolivian gas to argentina could potentially create a national crisis...

now that bolivian president mesa has offered to resign (for the second time in three months), there are many eyes turned on la paz, waiting to see what happens next...

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Learning to talk to "'these' folks..."

Those who dwell in the nation's progressive oases must learn to communicate and connect with a much broader swath of Americans. Our panel* of progressive thinkers tackles the problem.

* A standing-room-only book panel in San Francisco for AlterNet's new book, Start Making Sense: Turning the Lessons of Election 2004 into Winning Progressive Politics. The panel included Van Jones (executive director of Ella Baker Center for Human Rights), George Lakoff (linguist and best-selling author), Wes Boyd (co-founder of, Adam Werbach (executive director of Common Assets Defense Fund), Lakshmi Chaudhry (senior editor of AlterNet) and moderator Holly Minch (director of the Spin Project).

"learning how to talk to" a broader swath of america is a bogus exercise... we liberals and progressives talk just fine already and, h-e-l-l-o-o-o-o, we already ARE a broader swath of america... we don't just live on the coasts and we don't just live in blue states... ya gotta drop this red state/blue state crap... it's another artificial divide we plain don't need...


i spend a fair amount of time talking with folks who support bush, with folks who support fundamentalist christian values, and with folks who support conservative government policies and i have no difficulty whatsoever being understood... (please note: i deliberately used "talk 'with'" and not "talk 'to'...") what i have found time and time and time again is that the vast majority of these folks don't WANT to be "talked with" and they DEFINITELY don't want to be "talked TO..." for whatever reasons - political conviction, religious faith, bigotry, bias, preconceived notions - they have imbibed the "kool-aid" and nothing, and i mean NOTHING, is going to change their minds... sitting around, wasting our time talking to each other about how to talk to THEM, is an empty exercise and besides, it positively stinks of elitism...

speaking of elitism, reading about a conference where "those who dwell in the nation's progressive oases" sit around and jerk each other off, leaves me ice cold... that's precisely the nose-in-the-air crap that turns everybody off - including li'l ol' progressive me...

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Monday, June 06, 2005



and on that note...

say g'nite, folks...

g'nite, folks...

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Theoligarchy Watch: RAT-zinger

i'm finding it harder and harder to tell the difference between RAT-zinger and dobson... maybe they use the same guy to write their talking points...
Pope Benedict, in his first clear pronouncement on gay marriages since his election, on Monday condemned same-sex unions as fake and expressions of "anarchic freedom" that threatened the future of the family.

The Pope, who was elected in April, also condemned divorce, artificial birth control, trial marriages and free-style unions, saying all of these practices were dangerous for the family.

when i drove by focus on the family headquarters in colorado springs a week ago yesterday, i was bemoaning the fact that i had forgotten to throw my camera in the car before we left the house... now, i'm also sorry i didn't pack a can of spray paint... they've got some great walls for graffiti...

Focus on the Family Headquarters,
Colorado Springs

(since i stupidly forgot my camera, you'll just
have to do with a pic i swiped from their website...)

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Anyone for CLUE...? "Bush - with the candlestick..."

Observing the behavior of the national news media over the past three years has been like watching incompetent players in the mystery game “Clue” as they visit all the rooms and ask about all the suspects and weapons, but still insist on guessing at combinations that are transparently incorrect.

robert parry of consortium news has the right analogy... there's really only one suspect left and his fingerprints are all over the murder weapon...
To some extent, the news media’s reluctance to solve the Mystery of Bush’s Iraq War Lies may be explained by a well-founded fear of retaliation from Bush’s powerful defense apparatus – from the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page to the screamers on Fox News and right-wing talk radio.

But there may be another motive, a fear of the logical consequence that would follow a conclusion that Bush willfully deceived the American people into a disastrous war that has killed almost 1,700 American soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis.

If that conclusion were to be accepted as true, it would force mainstream editors into a tough decision about whether they should join the supposedly fringe position advocating Bush’s impeachment.

that "supposedly fringe position" is getting less and less fringe by the day...

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The "War on Terror" vs. Latin American Indigenous Populations

with the oas meeting in florida, with condi proposing an oas committee to "monitor latin american democracy," with the u.s. stalling on venezuela's extradition request for luis posada carilles, with operation condor being revisited in havana over the weekend, it's no surprise that the ”Global Trends 2020 - Mapping the Global Future” study by the U.S. National Intelligence Council (NIC) is depicting both growing indigenous activism in Latin America and Islamic radicalism as threats to the security and hegemony of the United States...

the u.s. strategy seems to be to one of infiltration and exploitation and, if indigenous movements can be goaded into violent reaction, then the use of military force would be "justified..." with ex-contra negroponte at the helm as national intelligence director, you were expecting maybe a walk in the park...?


The ”war on terror”, identified in Amnesty International's annual report as a new source of human rights abuses, is threatening to expand to Latin America, targeting indigenous movements that are demanding autonomy and protesting free-market policies and ”neo-liberal” globalisation.

In the United States ”there is a perception of indigenous activists as destabilising elements and terrorists,” and their demands and activism have begun to be cast in a criminal light, [said] lawyer José Aylwin, with the Institute of Indigenous Studies at the University of the Border in Temuco [Chile].


[T]he emergence of increasingly organised indigenous movements and the strengthening of their ethnic identities become . . . targets of ”the so-called low-intensity warfare doctrine, a renovated version of the National Security Doctrine” that formed the basis of U.S. interventionism in Latin America from the 1960s to the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s.


In Latin America, the Andean subregion is seen as the ”hottest” area, because of the growing political role played by well-organised indigenous movements in Bolivia and Ecuador, but also because of the impact on indigenous peoples of armed conflict and drug trafficking in Colombia.

Farther south in the Andes mountains, Mapuche organisations in southern Chile and Argentina have become more and more radical in recent years in their claims to their ancestral territory, demands for autonomy and the creation of indigenous reserves, and defence of the environment, which is threatened by transnational mining and forestry corporations that are granted tax breaks and other incentives by governments.


[T]he former president of Bolivia's Confederación Sindical Unica de Trabajadores Campesinos de Bolivia, a peasant farmer union, accused foreign oil companies of backing the demands for regional autonomy put forth by business and large landowners in the wealthy eastern regions of Santa Cruz, Tarija, Pando and Beni, where the country's natural gas reserves are concentrated.

”Behind that movement lies a hidden plan aimed at generating a violent reaction by the indigenous movements, in order to justify external military intervention,” he maintained.

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