Blog Flux Directory Subscribe in NewsGator Online Subscribe with Bloglines http://www.wikio.com Blog directory
And, yes, I DO take it personally: 02/26/2006 - 03/05/2006
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
Send tips and other comments to: profmarcus2010@yahoo.com

And, yes, I DO take it personally

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Iraq troop withdrawal...? An election year gambit...?

there's a really nasty smell coming from somewhere... must be karl rove...
The United States and Britain are planning to pull all their troops out of Iraq by the spring of 2007, two British newspapers reported in their Sunday editions, quoting unnamed senior defense ministry sources.

The Sunday Telegraph said the planned pull-out followed an acceptance by the two governments that the presence of foreign troops in Iraq was now a large obstacle to securing peace.

i guess it's a measure of my cynicism that i find it impossible to take anything on face value anymore... i'm always trying to read between the lines, looking for the malign intentions undoubtedly buried in there somewhere... it's been so long since i've heard honest-to-god good news, i'm not sure i'd recognize it if it bit me in the ass...

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Saturday night "Who's Dumping on Condi" contest

guess the originator of these quotes about condi...

  • "I dislike Condoleezza Rice more than [President] Bush. The thing about it is that she's gotten a free ride from black people."
  • "People say, 'She's so successful' and 'Look at her position as a black woman.' She is a black woman who grew up in Birmingham, Ala., and said that she never experienced a day of racism in her life."
  • "Condi, stop smoking that crack!"
  • "I know you love your Ferragamo shoes, but come on. While people were drowning in New Orleans, she was going up and down Madison Ave. buying Ferragamo shoes. Then she went to see 'Spamalot.'"
i can never see a photo of condi without a certain word coming to mind... and, no, it doesn't start with a "b..."


Condoleeza Rice and Ferragamo Shoe

the prize...? only the satisfaction of knowing how smart you are...

(answer here...)

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Justice in the U.S. - an oxymoron...?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060304/
ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/secret_justice

the above is the url link to the associated press story excerpted below... look at it carefully and then read the excerpt... see if you can spot the oxymoron...
Despite the Sixth Amendment's guarantee of public trials, nearly all records are being kept secret for more than 5,000 defendants who completed their journey through the federal courts over the last three years.

Instances of such secrecy more than doubled from 2003 to 2005.

[...]

Most of these defendants are involved in drug gangs, though lately a very small number come from terrorism cases. Some of these cooperating witnesses are among the most unsavory characters in America's courts — multiple murderers and drug dealers — but the public cannot learn whether their testimony against confederates won them drastically reduced prison sentences or even freedom.

In the nation's capital, which has had a serious problem with drug gangs murdering government witnesses, the secrecy has reached another level — the use of secret dockets. For hundreds of such defendants over the past few years in this city, should someone acquire the actual case number for them and enter it in the U.S. District Court's computerized record system, the computer will falsely reply, "no such case" — rather than acknowledging that it is a sealed case.

this is some chilling shit...
At the request of the AP, the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts conducted its first tally of secrecy in federal criminal cases. The nationwide data it provided the AP showed 5,116 defendants whose cases were completed in 2003, 2004 and 2005, but the bulk of their records remain secret.

"The constitutional presumption is for openness in the courts, but we have to ask whether we are really honoring that," said Laurie Levenson, a former federal prosecutor and now law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. "What are the reasons for so many cases remaining under seal?"

didja figure it out...? i don't know about you, but it caught my eye immediately... "secret justice..." ya, right... that's like "military intelligence..." and, ok, i'll bite... what ARE the reasons for so many cases remaining under seal...?

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Saturday back-to-school weekend in Buenos Aires

late yesterday, it decided to stop raining and clear up... the night was quite cool, perfect sleeping weather, and this morning dawned into a flawless day... when it's gorgeous here, it doesn't fool around...

i toasted the day by walking over to parque de los niños which borders the rio de la plata... it's a kite-flying, picnicking, fútbol-playing, bike-riding, family mecca on weekends... i took my kite but the wind was fickle and i ended up losing about a hundred yards of string... it's only a travel kite and doesn't compare to some of the acrobatic and stunt kites some folks there were showing off...

after a short nap on a bench, i walked over to the nearby carrefour... O-M-G...! i had completely forgotten that summer vacation is over as of monday when school starts again... the place was packed to the rafters with moms, dads and kids stocking up on school supplies and clothes... but, hey, it was fun... how well i remember those very same shopping excursions with my kids... it gave me a warm feeling which, on top of a great day like this one, makes me happy to be alive...

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

More denying... More lying... More looking the other way...

media matters, as always, keeps an eagle eye on how our traditional media gives bush a free pass time after time after time...
[T]elevision news has virtually ignored Bush's April 2004 statement that "any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires ... a court order." That's a clear, concise statement -- as clear and concise as you'll hear from this president, anyway -- and it is unambiguously false, as we now know from Bush's own acknowledgements that he has authorized warrantless domestic spying.

[...]

This week, newly disclosed videotape of a briefing in which President Bush was told, the day before Hurricane Katrina made landfall, that the possibility that the levees might not hold back stormwater was "a very, very grave concern." The newly disclosed videotapes and transcripts of Katrina briefings attended by Bush -- along with former FEMA head Michael D. Brown's statement that he had warned Bush that the levees could be breached -- clearly show that Bush's post-storm comment on ABC's Good Morning America, when he defended his poor response to Katrina by saying "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees," was a lie. People did anticipate the breach -- and they warned Bush about the possibility. He knew this at the time, and he lied. His lie was clear, concise, and videotaped.

[...]

Yet news organizations virtually ignored Bush's Good Morning America lie.

[...]

The news organizations that did address Bush's Good Morning America lie tended to uncritically accept the administration's spin about the comment.

[...]

What can possibly explain the decision by news organizations to ignore and apologize for such obvious Bush lies about such important matters? Is this simply another example of Bush benefiting from the soft bigotry of low expectations -- he's lied so often about so many issues of such great importance, nobody expects anything else out of him any more? Do journalists give Bush a pass for lying when not doing so would prove really, really inconvenient?

let me offer jamison foster and media matters this thought... answer your OWN hard questions... "what can possibly explain...?" and "do journalists give bush a pass...?" should NOT be left open-ended...

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Bushco - denying, lying, who's splitting hairs...?

had it been in frist's hands, the language would simply have been inserted AFTER the vote was taken...
"Literally minutes before the Senate cast its vote" on Sept. 14, 2001, Daschle wrote, the White House asked to insert the words "in the United States" into the use-of-force resolution. "I could see no justification for Congress to accede to this extraordinary request for additional authority," Daschle added. "I refused."

Assistant Attorney General William Moschella, responding yesterday to questions from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), wrote that "we do not recall such a discussion with former Senator Daschle and are not aware of any record reflecting such a conversation." Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse, asked about the letter, said Moschella was referring only to Justice Department officials.

Daschle, in a telephone interview yesterday, stood by his account. "They can deny it, but it happened," Daschle said, "and there's no question in my mind that the reason" is that Bush advisers "feared that they didn't have the authority" to exercise war powers domestically without the inserted language.

in the bushworld dictionary, denial and lying are synonyms...

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Friday, March 03, 2006

Big news: Guantánamo names released

kudos to the associated press for the action that, finally, after four long years of stonewalling, is forcing bushco to cough up the names of the guantánamo detainees...
After four years of secrecy, the Pentagon handed over documents Friday that contain the names of detainees held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay. The release resulted from a victory by The Associated Press in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

The Bush administration had hidden the identities, home countries and other information about the men, who were accused of having links to the Taliban or al-Qaida. But a federal judge rejected administration arguments that releasing the identities would violate the detainees' privacy and could endanger them and their families.

The names were scattered throughout more than 5,000 pages of transcripts of hearings at Guantanamo Bay, but no complete list was given and it was unclear how many names the documents contained. In most of the transcripts, the person speaking is identified only as "detainee." Names appear only when court officials or detainees refer to people by name.

so, despite a court order, these criminals can't even provide a decent list... they are so pathetic...

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Rumsfeld is not playing with a full deck

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says the U-S has to "avoid filling every vacuum" in Iraq with U-S troops.

O-M-G...!
Rumsfeld told an audience at the Truman Presidential Library in Missouri that America needs enough military force in Iraq to support the forging of an inclusive government. But he says the number shouldn't be so big that it feeds the insurgency and makes Iraqis think the U-S cares only about oil.

the stuff that comes outta this guy's mouth is beyond belief...
Rumsfeld also likened America's impatience and political division over the war on terror to disagreements over the Cold War, when he says a nation weary from World War Two resisted global involvements.

jerk... fool... he needs to go check into the home...

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Bushcoland - the theater of the absurd, the bizarre and the downright unbelievable

yep, robert parry's no longer behind the news power curve...
George W. Bush's latest mind-bending rationalizations about torturing detainees from the Iraq War and the War on Terror might have left Kafka and Orwell scratching their heads. Bush's lawyers are now arguing that while a new law may bar cruel and inhuman treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, the detainees have no legal standing in U.S. courts to contest the abuse -- and thus there is no way they can stop it. Under these legal theories, the only person who can enforce this law is President Bush -- and he's one of the key people responsible for the illegal treatment in the first place.

the inmates are running the asylum...
Bush, of course, insists that the United States does not torture despite extensive evidence that detainees in the Iraq War and the War on Terror have been subjected to simulated drowning by “water-boarding,” beatings to death, suffocations, coffin-like confinements, painful stress positions, naked exposure to heat and cold, anal rape, sleep deprivation, dog bites, and psychological ploys involving sexual and religious humiliation.

But Bush says none of this amounts to torture, even as his protection of abusive practices now ventures beyond word games into mind-bending legal rationalizations.

Bush’s lawyers went into federal court in Washington on March 2 and argued that a new law that specifically prohibits cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees – known as the McCain Amendment after its sponsor, Sen. John McCain – can’t be enforced at Guantanamo Bay because another clause of the law grants these prisoners only limited access to U.S. courts.

In other words, the Bush administration is contending that the McCain Amendment might make it illegal to abuse the Guantanamo prisoners, but that the inmates have no legal recourse to enforce the law by going to court and getting an order for the abuses to end.

mommy, mommy, make the bad man stop...

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

R's increasingly nervous about Dear Leader

A series of political missteps has raised questions about the Bush administration's candor, competence and credibility and left the White House off-balance, off-message and unable to command either the nation's policy agenda or its politics the way the president did during his first term.

i could easily make the argument that bush's entire tenure has been one big misstep although, as i've said a nauseating number of times, i don't think any of the so-called missteps have been viewed as such by bushco... let's face it... bush and his gang of criminals have gotten pretty much everything they've wanted and, when the horse has been out of the barn almost six years already, waking up and trying to close the barn door now seems like a pretty futile exercise... i suppose it'd be a good idea to try and keep the rest of the horses from getting out...

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Doin' the nuclear deal and then sellin' a few weapons

it's just another day for george and the u.s. defense industry...
The United States said on the heels of a landmark civilian nuclear cooperation pact with India on Thursday that it was prepared to sell advanced warplanes and other high-tech arms to the south Asia nation.

and then, georgie-porgie hops up to islamabad where the pakis and the indians have been sniping at each other for quite a few decades now, kashmir is still in dispute and musharraf has stalled on elections since his takeover six years ago... oh, yes, and btw, the u.s. sells boatloads of weaponry to pakistan too but why write a news story and bother adding in the history and the context... that might actually inform people and we certainly wouldn't want THAT, now would we...?

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

McCain bill bans torture - except at Guántanamo

and bagram and abu ghraib and...
Bush administration lawyers, fighting a claim of torture by a Guantanamo Bay detainee, yesterday argued that the new law that bans cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees in U.S. custody does not apply to people held at the military prison.

you could see this one coming a mile away...

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

A serious resistance to biting the hand that feeds you

and, understandably so... what earthly incentive do congressmen have to put any roadblocks between them and those who pay to not only help them enjoy the finer things of life but also to get them elected in the first place...? answer...? none that i can see...
A Senate committee yesterday rejected a bipartisan proposal to establish an independent office to oversee the enforcement of congressional ethics and lobbying laws, signaling a reluctance in Congress to beef up the enforcement of its rules on lobbying.

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Nobody knows nuttin' about nuttin'

my post from wednesday offered up robert parry's perspective:
Far more often than not, the Bushes have prevailed in keeping their secrets – and keeping a truthful historical record – from the American people.

now, we learn that even the program of keeping secrets has been kept a secret from the very person who has the responsibility for maintaining the records and who, now that he knows, doesn't appear to be happy about being kept in the dark...
Allen Weinstein, the nation's chief archivist, announced what he called a "moratorium" on reclassification of documents until an audit can be completed to determine which records should be secret.

[...]

Mr. Weinstein, who became archivist of the United States a year ago, said he knew "precious little" about the seven-year-old reclassification program before it was disclosed in The New York Times on Feb. 21.

when you read something like the following, particularly the parts about "leak investigations" and "executive privilege," you have to ask what it is they're hiding...
The flap over reclassified records takes place at a time when record-setting numbers of documents are being classified, fewer historical records are being released and several criminal leak investigations are under way. Bush administration officials have cited the need to keep sensitive information from terrorist groups and executive privilege in justifying the need for secrecy, and some members of Congress have called for tougher laws against leaks.

how long will it be before mr. weinstein is forced out...?

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Are you a blogger...? If so, CENTCOM wants to talk with you...

if you've been contacted, leave a comment... also, go to think progress and let them know as well...
By Capt. Steve Alvarez, USA
American Forces Press Service

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla., March 2, 2006 – The widespread use of Web logs, or "blogs," by online writers has proliferated information on topics as varied as the authors.

Blogs, in essence, are online journals or forums for their authors, known as "bloggers."

Public affairs officials here said thousands of blogs are created each day, and they estimate that more than 21 million blogs are posted on the World Wide Web today.

Blogs sometimes include information -- accurate and otherwise -- about the U.S. military's global war on terror. U.S. Central Command officials here took notice and created a team to engage these writers and their electronic information forums.

"The main interest is to drive their readers to our site," Army Reserve Maj. Richard J. McNorton said. McNorton is CENTCOM's chief of engagement operations.

Anyone who wants a virtual voice can create a blog and share information with the online world. The ease with which bloggers spread information is what public affairs officials at CENTCOM saw when they created the blog team.

McNorton said the team contacts bloggers to inform the writers about any given topic that may have been posted on their site. This outreach effort enables the team to offer complete information to bloggers by inviting them to visit CENTCOM's Web site for news releases, data or imagery.

The team engages bloggers who are posting inaccurate or untrue information, as well as bloggers who are posting incomplete information. They extend a friendly invitation to all bloggers to visit the command's Web site.

Many bloggers appreciate the team's contact, blog team officials said, and most post CENTCOM's Web site as a link on their blog sites. This, McNorton said, has a "viral effect" that drives Internet news consumers to CENTCOM's Web site.

i'm so sure... i have no doubt that visiting CENTCOM's web site will correct any inaccurate, untrue or incomplete information i might be peddling to unwary readers... it's comforting to know that the american forces press service has our best interests at heart...

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Bite me, Dick... And I say that with all due respect to our multimillionaire Vice President...

Vice President Dick Cheney urged Americans Thursday to do a better job of saving. [...] "The American dream begins with saving money and that should begin on the very first day of work," Cheney told a conference [in D.C.].

climb down from your pulpit, you disgusting jerk, and take a cold hard look at reality...
From 2001 to 2004, average family income fell 2.3%, to an inflation-adjusted $70,700 from $72,400 in the 1998-2001 period. By contrast, from 1998 to 2001, average income jumped 17.3%.

not only are americans dealing with the fact that they just flat out don't HAVE any money to save, they are also among the most brainwashed people in the world after having their heads filled for years and years with the obscene notion that more "stuff" = more happiness... they will, by god, have that new house with that new car in the driveway, the home theater, the nice furniture and all of the other "must-have" goodies before they will EVER put a thin dime in a savings account... and THEN, dick, you want to privatize social security which, for many (like me), is their only fallback position, which essentially means that wall street can get their grubby hands on even more money than they've been able to grab already...

if there was any justice in this world, whittington would have peppered YOU...


(thanks to SusanG at Daily Kos...)

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Stupefied by poverty and overwork, and pacified by entertainment and by lotteries

tim robbins has a new play...
After his incandescent plays about the death penalty ("The Exonerated") and the media in Iraq ("Embedded"), it seemed inevitable that actor-writer-director Tim Robbins would continue to fearlessly produce politically charged theater.

In his newest production by Los Angeles' Actors' Gang ensemble, a corrosive play based on George Orwell's novel "1984" and adapted by Michael Gene Sullivan, director of the San Francisco Mime Troupe, Big Brother is here and torture is us.

it was this passage that caught my eye...
Robbins marvels at how Orwell the novelist did not allow Big Brother's omnipotence to concern itself with the downtrodden majority. "Brilliant how prescient he was. When you reread the book, there's a passage where they don't care about 85 percent of the people who are proles -- they're so stupefied by poverty and overwork, and pacified by entertainment and by lotteries, that they're never going to be a problem … What Big Brother has to monitor and be concerned with is the other 15 percent of people who are in the upper rungs of society."

makes a certain pathetic kind of sense, doesn't it...?

(thanks to alternet...)

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

An anti-immigration movement is spreading like wildfire

Around the country, an anti-immigration movement is spreading like wildfire. An array of activists is fanning the flames.

when fear is used to drive intolerance, bigotry, xenophobia and hatred, violence is rarely far behind... i've posted several times on illegal immigration, the minutemen (here, here and here, among others) and american renaissance... i'm also taking note of how often that disgusting, sleazebag congressman from colorado, tom tancredo, is appearing in the news of late... the southern poverty law center has always done a good job keeping track of intolerance and hate and has a good report on some of the vicious, foaming individuals behind the anti-immigration movement... it's long, well-researched and readable... here's a taste...
One of them says he'd like to bring nuclear weapons to the border. Another vows to stop the alleged Mexican invasion of Idaho. Several have links to white supremacist hate groups; others are given to dire warnings of horrible diseases, "barbaric" practices, and secret Latino conspiracies to "reconquer" the American Southwest. These are the nativists -- the new crop of activists who are driving the movement that exploded last spring with the Minuteman Project in Arizona, a month-long effort by armed civilians to seal the border with Mexico.

[...]

Some of them, like Minuteman co-founder Jim Gilchrist, have made attempts to win high political office. Others have contented themselves with trying to build a mass movement. Not all those who have joined the movement are extremists -- many are legitimately concerned about the ability of the nation to absorb large numbers of immigrants, particularly the undocumented. But one thing seems clear: A dangerous mix of nativist intolerance, armed and untrained civilians, and wild-eyed conspiracy theories could easily explode into violence.

i'm always both astounded and vastly amused when i hear whites, descended from northern european stock, call for returning the united states to the white christians who founded it... it just seems to me that going by those who got there first, particularly when you're calling yourselves "nativists," is a very slippery slope... i know a few native american tribes who could make a pretty legitimate case for tossing those cheeky whiteys out on their collective asses...

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Gonzales' recanted testimony: did Bush follow legal advice into pervasive spying on his political enemies?

i have become accustomed to robert parry being a week to ten days behind the news curve and, consequently, did not look to him for immediate commentary on breaking news... over the past few weeks, however, that has changed... witness this piece on yesterday's story of alberto gonzales' "corrected" testimony...
Correcting misleading testimony to Congress, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has signaled that George W. Bush’s warrantless surveillance of Americans went beyond the known eavesdropping on communications to suspected terrorists overseas.

In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Feb. 28, Gonzales recanted testimony he gave on Feb. 6 when he declared that Bush had only authorized a narrowly constructed warrantless wiretapping program by the National Security Agency against Americans in touch with foreign terror suspects.

[...]

In his testimony, Gonzales argued that the congressional use-of-force authorization, combined with the President’s Commander-in-Chief power in the Constitution, permitted Bush to approve a wiretapping program for communications between Americans and terror suspects operating outside the United States.

[...]

A logical suspicion is that the administration is blocking a thorough examination of the wiretapping program because it might show that Bush followed the legal advice on his unlimited powers into pervasive spying of his political enemies.

my very strong hunch is that the number of things this administration is hiding that we don't even have a clue about would immediately cause our collective heads to explode...

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Bush is a BIG, FAT LIAR...! (Like we didn't know that...)

when and how can we put this lying son-of-a-bitch OUT OF OUR MISERY...?
In dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms, federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees, put lives at risk in New Orleans' Superdome and overwhelm rescuers, according to confidential video footage.

[...]

Some of the footage and transcripts from briefings Aug. 25-31 conflicts with the defenses that federal, state and local officials have made in trying to deflect blame and minimize the political fallout from the failed Katrina response.

[...]

Bush declared four days after the storm, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees" that gushed deadly flood waters into New Orleans. But the transcripts and video show there was plenty of talk about that possibility — and Bush was worried too.

what is it gonna take...? WHAT, FER GOD'S SAKE, IS IT GONNA TAKE...???

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Dear Dr. Dobson... Sincerely Yours, Samuel Alito...

why in the world would alito run the risk of putting something like this in print, knowing full well it would be splashed all over the country...?
This is just a short note to express my heartfelt thanks to you and the entire staff of Focus on the Family for your help and support during the past few challenging months.

I would also greatly appreciate it if you would convey my appreciation to the good people from all parts of the country who wrote to tell me they were praying for me and for my family during this period.

As I said when I spoke at my formal vestiture at the White House last week, the prayers of so many people from around the country were a palpable and powerful force.

As long as I serve on the Supreme Court, I will keep in mind the trust that has been placed in me.

I hope we'll have the opportunity to meet personally at some point in the future. In the meantime, my entire family and I hope that you and the Focus on the Family staff know how much we appreciate all that you have done.

unless things are simply now so far gone that fear of consequences is not even a consideration...

as i said a couple of days ago in response to the latest cunningham revelation:
i'm beyond being surprised... i guess i've just had to go numb... my outrage meter redlined many months ago...

(thanks to raw story...)

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

The United States Senate sinks into complete shame

a lousy four goddam senators have the guts to stand up against the naked and unrelenting bushco power grab and erosion of civil rights...
Senators voting against S. 2271 (USA PATRIOT Act Additional Reauthorizing Amendments Act of 2006):

Byrd (D-WV)
Feingold (D-WI)
Harkin (D-IA)
Jeffords (I-VT)

Senator Inouye (D-HI) did not cast a vote. All other U.S. Senators voted to reauthorize.

and, in case you forgot what we're trying, without any help from the rest of the u.s. senate, to preserve...
The Fourth Amendment reads:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

(thanks to raw story...)

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Think Again

All right, I'm gonna come out and say it: Dems, get prepared to visualize that warm, fuzzy place, preferably in a fetal position. What, don't tell me you were getting all giddy 'cause everyone and their mother was turning on the Radical Right? We all knew this was coming. Low polling numbers, horrendous governance, unprecedented arrogation of power; no biggie. Republicans'll take that seat, thank ya, and have another. Want to know why? Anyone remember the Texas gerrymandering fiasco of 2003? Well, our man at The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin certainly does. Describing the modern day state of one of our "representative's" favorite pastimes, Toobin explains...
“It used to be that the idea was, once every two years voters elected their representatives, and now, instead, it’s every ten years the representatives choose their constituents,” Pamela Karlan, a professor at Stanford Law School, told me.

Republicans currently hold a 231 to 201 advantage in the House, which means that Democrats would need to win only seventeen new seats—or about four per cent of the Congress—in order to regain the majority. But the extreme gerrymandering in most states makes the Democrats’ challenge nearly impossible, even in a year when national political trends may favor them. Outside Texas, only two incumbents lost in the 2004 congressional elections, and only in twenty-one seats did the winner have less than fifty-five per cent of the vote. “Congressmen are more likely to die or be indicted than they are to lose a seat,” Karlan said.

Ouch. Add to this the ever familiar equivocations of our beloved Democrats and who needs enemies? Oh, and if you're inclined to say, "Yeah, well, they're better than what we've got," well, then, I'm inclined to agree. I still think we need a new party.

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

You wanna know something...? You DO, huh...? Well, forget it... We don't DO THAT in the U.S...

freedom of information...? our country's history...? those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it...? a country "by and for the people...?" "with the consent of the governed...?" poof and piffle... such quaint notions...
[M]y story, “History on the Ballot” dated Nov. 5, 2000, predicted that a victory by George W. Bush and his running mate, Dick Cheney, would mean that the flow of records “could slow to a trickle or be stopped outright.”

Little did I know, however, that the reality would be even worse, that Bush would not only block the release of those documents but move aggressively to reclassify papers already released – and let the heirs of presidents and vice presidents continue the withholding of historic records long after the principals had died.

One of Bush’s first acts after being inaugurated President on Jan. 20, 2001, was to stop the scheduled release of documents from the Reagan-Bush administration. Supposedly, the delay was to permit a fuller review of the papers, but that review was strung out through Bush’s first several months in office.

Then, after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, Bush began considering how to lock those records away from the public indefinitely. On Nov. 1, 2001, Bush issued Executive Order 13233, which effectively negated the 1978 Presidential Records Act by allowing presidents, vice presidents and their heirs the power to prevent many document releases.

and it ain't just about keeping classified material from being de-classified... oh, no...
George W. Bush has even moved aggressively to reclassify documents that had previously been released. A study by the privately funded National Security Archive at George Washington University found that more than 55,000 pages of records have been taken off the shelves of publicly available documents.

every day in every way, the country to which i have pledged my citizenship and my allegiance, where my loved ones live, the country of my culture and my heritage, seems more and more like a foreign and alien land...

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Some India facts for George

anuradha mittal, writing on alternet, offers george some things to think about as he visits a country of a billion people...
  • [A]n estimated 330 to 350 million people in India survive on less than $1 a day, joining the ranks of starving millions in the country who face the prospect of "starvation deaths" each year.
  • An estimated 60 to 115 million children are classified as working children -- the highest number in the world.
  • [T]he World Food Program's country page: "Nearly 50 percent of the world's hungry live in India … Around 35 percent of India's population -- 350 million -- are considered food-insecure … Nearly nine out of 10 pregnant women aged between 15 and 49 years suffer from malnutrition and anemia … More than half of the children under five are moderately or severely malnourished, or suffer from stunting."
  • [India] was the largest arms importer in 2004 and now is in the market for 126 new multi-role combat aircraft, which could be a lucrative $6.5 billion contract.
  • Just a month ago, India was the proud host of DefExpo. All sorts of goodies ranging from anti-aircraft guns, artillery, military vehicles, decoy systems, rocket launcher systems, submarines, tanks, infantry combat vehicles and torpedoes were on display.
  • [U.S.] defense companies, including Raytheon and Lockheed Martin and, of course, the U.S. Army, . . . outshone the others, promoting everything from fighter jets to over-the-horizon radars.
  • The new budget presented in the Indian Parliament on February 28, 2006, has allocated a substantial amount -- Rs. 89,000 crores ($20 billion) -- to defense.
you don't think george is there to help peddle defense contracts, do you...? nah... we all know he's REALLY there to lay the wreath for gandhi...

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Bush makes first (surprise) visit to Afghanistan

The opening paragraph of this NYT story makes me want to barf. I had no idea that Afghanistan did not exist before Dear Leader appeared. What magical powers he has!
President Bush made a surprise five-hour visit to Afghanistan on Wednesday to meet with President Hamid Karzai and to see for the first time the country created after the United States went to war against the Taliban in retaliation for the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Uh...the country was there folks. A new government was created, not a new country. Good God.

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Heckuva job, Bushie

"Maybe I see the end more clearly now," she said over a lunch of salads and a cocktail. "The end of Iraq."

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

The Strings Around Gulliver

In a must read interview, Salon`s Tom Engelhardt talks with veteran journalist and professor Mark Danner about a host of important issues, including what he calls the "Iceberg Effect"; where a paralyzed population watches as scandal after scandal passes before their eyes while they stare transfixed, unable to do, to say a thing about it. In fact, as the cycle of world domination whirls about us, spinning out its rarefied language and images of power, authorization of torture, manufactured wars, suspended human rights, outrageous peculation, we learn to acquiesce, to accept those images of caged humans, to take in those expressions like; "War on Terror" "Torture Light" "Homeland Security" "Rendition" "Take the gloves off" "Bring Democracy to the Middle East" and on and on, as meaningful beyond their purely political usurpation. As a result, we become "corrupted" by the reality we digest. Here are just some of the many worthwhile nuggets from the interview:
In what I've started to call Bush's state of exception, we've now reached the second stage. Many of these steps, including extreme interrogation, eavesdropping, arresting aliens -- one could go down a list -- were taken in relative or complete secrecy. Gradually, they have come into the light, becoming matters of political disputation; and, insofar as the administration's political antagonists have failed to overturn them, they have also become matters of accepted practice, which is where I think we are now.

...there were the Church and Pike hearings of the mid-1970s, which, in their (Bush admin.) view, disabled the CIA. So part of this has to do with righting wrongs that they believe were committed in an earlier and very traumatic time in their lives. Rumsfeld was secretary of defense just after the Vietnam War. Cheney was chief of staff in a White House that was under siege. So history is coming back to haunt this era in a personal and vivid way.

They don't care about people concerned with facts. They care about the broader arc of the story. We sit here constantly citing facts -- that they've broken this or that law, that what they originally said turns out not to be true. None of this particularly interests them. What interests them is the larger reality believed by the 50.1 percent that they need to govern.

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Out of the bubble and off to India

note to the good folks there on the indian sub-continent - yeah, we're kind of fond of him here too...
Tens of thousands of Indians waving black and white flags and chanting "Death to Bush!" rallied Wednesday in New Delhi to protest a visit by President Bush.

Surindra Singh Yadav, a senior police officer in charge of crowd control, said as many as 100,000 people, most of them Muslim, had gathered in a fairground in central New Delhi ordinarily used for political rallies.

"Whether Hindu or Muslim, the people of India have gathered here to show our anger. We have only one message — killer Bush go home," one of the speakers, Hindu politician Raj Babbar, told the crowd.

and today is the day he's supposed to lay a memorial wreath in honor of gandhi... i doubt if he will be fooling anybody there... the u.s...? well, that's another story...

p.s. there's a lot of anti-bush graffiti here in buenos aires... i wish my camera wasn't broken... i'd really like to post a few pics...

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Wars cause mental health problems... Who knew...?

the study compares iraq, afghanistan, bosnia and kosovo...
More than one in three soldiers and Marines who have served in Iraq later sought help for mental health problems, according to a comprehensive snapshot by Army experts of the psyches of men and women returning from the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places.

[...]

Iraq veterans are far more likely to have witnessed people getting wounded or killed, to have experienced combat, and to have had aggressive or suicidal thoughts, the Army report said. Nearly twice as many of those returning from Iraq reported having a mental health problem -- or were hospitalized for a psychiatric disorder -- compared with troops returning from Afghanistan.

i'd like to see comparative data from vietnam...
[T]he Department of Veterans Affairs is already contending with a recent surge in demand for help with PTSD from troops whose combat experiences go as far back as the Vietnam War or World War II.

i am part of that "surge..." on another note, there's nothing like reading a phrase like "as far back as the vietnam war" to remind me of my advancing age...

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Iraq and Bush: "the worst of all possible worlds"

once upon a time, hearing someone with credibility, authority and respect declare that bush was in a pickle would have given me reason to hope, thinking that, perhaps, if others saw what i was seeing, there would eventually be a groundswell for deposing this faux king...
Tactically, strategically and politically Bush now finds himself in the worst of all possible worlds. With Americans increasingly fed up with the Iraq debacle, he needs to start drawing down troops soon, but he can't do it while the country teeters on the brink of civil war. If civil war does break out, a U.S. withdrawal will look even more like cutting and running -- under these circumstances, not even Karl Rove will be able to figure out a way to get away with simply declaring victory and going home. Yet if American troops stay, they have no good options either. . ."

while i believe that juan cole's perspective is spot on, i have abandoned any hope that bushco is the slightest bit inclined to even consider doing the right thing nor do i see the slimmest thread of a possibility of removing these criminals from their incredibly destructive path...

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The neocon deity, Michael Ledeen, talks to Raw Story

fascinating... depressing... confusing... faintly encouraging... faintly horrifying...
  • ML: The left, which has become reactionary and counterrevolutionary, wants to stigmatize people who advocate democratic revolution, and so they use the word "conservative," which for the left is an epithet.
  • ML: Can I say something about how I view human nature? I think it will help at least part of this conversation. I have a pretty dim view of human nature, as I think any serious historian must. Most human activities aren't very pretty, most of the time we screw up, it's rare when you find an exceptional person and even in such cases they often fall from grace. [...] And I'm not sure Machiavelli was wrong when he said that "man is more inclined to do evil than to do good."
  • RS: Who should be held accountable for violating the Geneva Conventions and for committing war crimes, the soldiers following orders, or the officials setting that policy, or the attorneys who made it somehow legal? ML: We've been through this several times now. Punish all the guilty parties, whoever they are, and do everything possible to prevent anything of the sort happening again. RS: Including Dick Cheney and George W. Bush? ML: No exceptions.
  • ML: I agree that our support for the Saudi Royal Family is a mistake, and I've said that, and I have always included them in my list of "terror masters," along with Saddam's Iraq, the mullahs' Iran, and the Assads' Syria.
i wouldn't at all look forward to sitting down with mr. ledeen for a chat over coffee... he gives me the creeps...

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Osama is Bush's best friend...

cynical, calculated, manipulative - and completely revolting...
U.S. President George W. Bush said his 2004 re-election victory over Sen. John Kerry was aided by Osama bin Laden, who issued a taped diatribe against him the Friday before Americans went to the polls, The Examiner newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Bush said there were "enormous amounts of discussion" inside his campaign about the 15-minute tape, which he called "an interesting entry by our enemy" into the presidential race.

[...]

"What does it mean? Is it going to help? Is it going to hurt?" Bush told Sammon of the bin Laden tapes. "Anything that drops in at the end of a campaign that is not already decided creates all kinds of anxieties, because you're not sure of the effect.

"I thought it was going to help," Bush said. "I thought it would help remind people that if bin Laden doesn't want Bush to be the president, something must be right with Bush."

ya know what's missing from this account...? do ya, huh...? why, the single largest ingredient of the entire story... c'mon... guess... c'mon, c'mon... two words... sounds like... wanna clue...? he-who-must-not-be-named...

KARL ROVE

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Glenn Greenwald: "nobody serious ever -- over the 30 years since its enactment -- suggested that FISA was unconstitutional or even problematic"

The scandal is not about eavesdropping and whether the President should be able to eavesdrop without warrants but about the rule of law and whether the President has, as he claims, the power to break the law.

we desperately need to inject some reality and facts into the fisa/nsa spying discussion... unfortunately, given the attention deficit disorder of traditional media and the american people, it's hard to do that when the discussion is rapidly fading from the public consciousness...
FISA is a carefully constructed legislative framework which balances the need to have our government aggressively engage in foreign intelligence surveillance while ensuring that the past abuses by our government of eavesdropping powers do not repeat themselves. It has worked extremely well for 30 years and it was amended in 2001 at the request of the Bush Administration in order to cater it to the modern communication technologies which the Administration claims are used by terrorists.

Until George Bush got caught breaking this law and needed a defense, nobody serious ever -- over the 30 years since its enactment -- suggested that FISA was unconstitutional or even problematic. The opposite is true: we defeated the Soviet Union while our government eavesdropped only in accordance with FISA, and George Bush lavishly praised FISA when it was liberalized in the aftermath of 9/11 as a tool which enables the government to "conduct court-ordered surveillance of all modern forms of communication used by terrorists . . . ."

FISA is a law which enables strong, aggressive eavesdropping while preventing abuse, and there is no need to change it -- certainly not fundamentally. The Specter legislation provides eavesdropping powers to the government which are far too permissive and which simply are not necessary.

But we have to live with reality and the reality is that this legislation has now been introduced by the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and, I’d be willing to wager a fair amount, many Democrats (and some, but not by many, Republicans) will be tempted to support it as some sort of illusory middle ground. I do not believe this bill has any real chance of being enacted because the White House will vigorously oppose it.

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Does Washington retain "the moral standing to lecture anybody about respect for human rights and international law?"

robert parry of consortium news has really been cranking it out lately - which is a very good thing... not only is he articulate, he also does extensive research and puts things together in an in-depth, yet fully understandable way that does not stint on context, a commodity sadly lacking in most journalistic endeavors...
The U.S. news media is experiencing a cognitive meltdown as it tries to hold onto the traditional view of the United States as a beacon for human rights while facing the new reality in which George W. Bush has plunged the nation into the dark arts of torture, assassination and “disappearances” more common in “death-squad” states.

Rarely has that disconnect been more clearly on display than on the Feb. 28 editorial page of the Washington Post.

The lead editorial, entitled “Homicide Unpunished,” criticizes the Bush administration for letting off U.S. interrogators implicated in murder and torture in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the page’s final editorial hails the Bush administration for demanding that the United Nations purge its human rights organization of human rights violators.

That final editorial, entitled “Prodding the U.N.,” reads like something written from the not-so-distant past when the United States could credibly point fingers at nations with poor records for respecting civil liberties and human rights.

“The administration refused to accept a proposed structure for this new (U.N. human rights) body, reasonably fearing that it would protect human rights abusers rather than put pressure on them,” the Post said, listing those offending nations as Zimbabwe, Sudan, China and Cuba.

The Post added that Washington should confront allies, such as Pakistan and Egypt, and tell them “that relations with the United States will be affected if they resist a serious U.N. human rights body.”

Leaving aside the question of whether some of these U.S. allies have appreciably better human rights records than the countries on the Post’s list, the editorial also ignores the bigger elephant in the room, whether Washington retains the moral standing to lecture anybody about respect for human rights and international law.

dontcha get that weird feeling of cognitive dissonance just creeping up your spine even as you're reading this...?

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Monday, February 27, 2006

Can we just have a national recall election?

Honestly, these numbers are abysmal.
Mr. Bush's overall job rating has fallen to 34 percent, down from 42 percent last month. Fifty-nine percent disapprove of the job the president is doing.

Looks like profmarcus covered most of this but, this is really, really sad if this is all they have to hang their hat on.
In a bright spot for the administration, most Americans appeared to have heard enough about Vice President Dick Cheney's hunting accident.

More then three in four said it was understandable that the accident had occurred and two-thirds said the media had spent too much time covering the story.

Still, the incident appears to have made the public's already negative view of Cheney a more so. Just 18 percent said they had a favorable view of the vice president, down from 23 percent in January.

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

The latest polls: that familiar flushing sound

consider...
  • Mr. Bush's overall job rating has fallen to 34 percent, down from 42 percent last month. Fifty-nine percent disapprove of the job the president is doing.
  • For the first time in this poll, most Americans say the president does not care much about people like themselves. Fifty-one percent now think he doesn't care, compared to 47 percent last fall.
  • Just 30 percent approve of how Mr. Bush is handling the Iraq war, another all-time low.
  • By two to one, the poll finds Americans think U.S. efforts to bring stability to Iraq are going badly – the worst assessment yet of progress in Iraq.
  • Even on fighting terrorism, which has long been a strong suit for Mr. Bush, his ratings dropped lower than ever. Half of Americans say they disapprove of how he's handling the war on terror, while 43 percent approve.
  • Just 18 percent said they had a favorable view of the vice president, down from 23 percent in January.

oh, and by the way...
  • Americans are also overwhelmingly opposed to the Bush-backed deal giving a Dubai-owned company operational control over six major U.S. ports. Seven in 10 Americans, including 58 percent of Republicans, say they're opposed to the agreement.

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Ummm... Lessee... How about a yacht, a mansion and a Rolls Royce... Hold the mayo...

you want fries with that...?
Prosecutors call it a corruption case with no parallel in the long history of the U.S. Congress. And it keeps getting worse. Convicted Rep. Randall "Duke" Cunningham actually priced the illegal services he provided.

[...]

The sentencing memorandum includes the California Republican's "bribery menu" on one of his congressional note cards, "starkly framed" under the seal of the United States Congress.

The card shows an escalating scale for bribes, starting at $140,000 and a luxury yacht for a $16 million Defense Department contract. Each additional $1 million in contract value required a $50,000 bribe.

The rate dropped to $25,000 per additional million once the contract went above $20 million.

i'm beyond being surprised... i guess i've just had to go numb... my outrage meter redlined many months ago...

(thanks to think progress...)

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Talking points echolalia

major-league hooey...
The White House on Monday rejected the call by several House Democrats for a special counsel to investigate the Bush administration's eavesdropping program.

"I think that where these Democrats who are calling for this ought to spend their time is on what was the source of the unauthorized disclosure of this vital, incredible program in the war on terrorism," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said. "I really don't think there is any basis for a special counsel. … But the fact that this information was disclosed about the existence of this program has given the enemy some of our playbook."

echolalia

One entry found for echolalia.
Main Entry: echo·la·lia
Pronunciation: "e-kO-'lA-lE-&
Function: noun
Etymology: New Latin
: the often pathological repetition of what is said by other people as if echoing them

ya gotta admit, there's something downright catchy about that phrase, "pathological repetition," dontcha think...?

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

More Just Words

Just a quick thought. You know the oft related exception to the 1st amendment to the Constitution, the one about yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater. Ok. Lets run through this example logically. Lets say that a man yells "Fire!" and everyone in the crowded theater runs for the exits, escaping ostensible danger. Now, we should assume that the man who yelled would be responsible for any physical or, with some obvious exceptions, emotional injury caused by his lie. Could we not then make the case for the impeachment of Bush 2 based on a violation of the 1st Amendment for falsely claiming that the principal, "sole question" of going to war was over Iraq’s possession of WMDs? It is a fact admitted even by the Administration that no such WMDs were found, and therefore existed (my addendum). Just think of all the harm (fill in cost in terms of physical, emotional and financial injury) that was caused by such a blatant disregard for free speech.

Hey, this argument should work, right? I could just see it now, the lawyers in front of our current Supreme Court, the jokes, the cruel jokes.........

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Just Words

Where do we draw the line between free speech and not-so-free, in fact, rather expensive speech? The determining factors become muddled pretty quick. For example; free speech can get quite expensive, say, when one attempts to purchase point-of-view on national legislation, an elected official or plain old commerical time on national television. Expensive speech, on the other hand, although costing very little initially - like spewing your angry, prejudicial, hateful reactions-turned-explitives the second they come to mind - can wind up costing a bundle, including a 10-year jail term and 750,000 in fines, especially if those prejudices are aimed at the infallible policies of the U.S. government. Take a recent headline from Democracy Now.
Christian Peace Group Charged Over Gitmo Vigil

Obviously enough, concerned citizens can take things too seriously and step over that line.

Another case in point, although the results are slightly different. Saturday, in
Orlando, a motley crew of concerned citizens gathered to protest what their spokesman called "crime in Orlando", urging "White People" to "Unite." About 300 law enforcement officers, including K-9 units and officers on horses, patrolled Saturday's rally, at no small cost one can imagine. What was all the fuss about? These hardy fellows were after all members of the benign sounding National Socialist Party. Why did they need so many police to protect them from the disturbed crowds who gathered to yell and throw things at them? We soon read that 17 arrests were made.
...including 14 members of out-of-town groups such as the Skinheads Against Racial Prejudices and the Southeastern Anarchist Network.

Not one of those arrested were National Socialists.
All faced charges including disorderly conduct, battery on a law enforcement officer and wearing a mask.

Wearing a mask? I guess those folks over at Mardi Gras are in for a surprise.

Why is it that people want so desperately for other people to say the same thing, to think the same thing, to be a member of a simliar organization? Why are people driven to act is such outrageous ways, incited merely by words and images? Are they not the brainwashed idols of a cruel and implacable Fetish?


"Yes, indeed, I was a slave, but if I too become vicious I cease to be a slave, despite my shackled feet and my mute mouth."

Albert Camus - The Renegade

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Honoring Gandhi - the height of cynicism

(thanks to peter daou and news unfiltered...)
Peace Action today denounced the plan for President George Bush to lay a memorial wreath in honor of Mohandas K. Gandhi when visiting India next week. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley announced the plan at a White House press briefing yesterday.

"Mahatma Gandhi was a man of non-violence and peace, and is a hero to people all over the world. As his war-strewn presidency shows, George Bush knows nothing about non-violence. Gandhi would in no way condone his actions. Bush should reconsider this cynical, disrespectful display of symbolism," said Kevin Martin, executive director of Peace Action.

The plan for Bush to "honor" Gandhi is even more astonishing given one of the main purposes of Bush's trip -- to cement a deal for U.S. nuclear aid to India, which would violate current U.S. non-proliferation law and has drawn criticism from a host of peace, disarmament and non-proliferation groups. The deal will also be a tough sell to a skeptical Congress, which would need to amend U.S. law to create a "loophole" to give nuclear technology to India because of its nuclear weapons arsenal.

"george bush knows nothing about non-violence..." true enough... but what he DOES know about is keeping up appearances, mouthing empty phrases and making misleading symbolic gestures... after all, look at the many years of practice he's had... the chances bush would reconsider...? slim, fat and none...

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Harpers: "Impeach him!"

(thanks to suskind at daily kos...)



March 2006 issue
(excerpt available here)

suskind leaves us with this...
Burning question: Can a US magazine that has a total circulation of just 250,000 with only about 50,000 issues on the newstands (based on June, 2004 circulation figures) make a dramatic impact on the political scene today? Sales figures for this March, 2006 issue will be the answer.

yes, i'm a supporter of impeachment but not an enthusiastic one... reasons...? time, difficulty, money... the u.s. has lost significantly each and every day that bush and the rest of the criminals have been in office and the pace of the loss has not slowed even in the face of almost daily revelations of outrages... to the contrary, it has accelerated appreciably... impeachment proceedings could easily take over a year, leaving just that much more time for havoc to be wreaked... is impeachment the RIGHT thing to do...? absolutely and it should be initiated regardless of the downside... but i hope and pray that there will be a more expedient solution...

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Even Roman dictators still had constraints on what they could do

steve clemons riffs on sidney blumenthal's assault on bush and cheney's bag of cowpies, the unitary executive...
Bush has become the epitome of a Roman dictator in the 21st century in his assertion of "unitary executive" authority which this White House has argued has "inherent and limitless powers in his role as commander in chief, above the system of checks and balances." The problem is that unlike Rome, where the Senate granted the dictator great powers, Congress has not -- in fact -- given Bush the authority to operate beyond his Constitutional authority. Bush has, instead, asserted that authority and taunted Congress to stop him.

This power grab should dominate our media and our civic discourse. Our President -- via a deranged, anti-democratic team of power-obsessed thugs in Vice President Cheney's office -- is engaged in a clear assault on the core architectural joists of American democracy.

nothing i haven't been hollering about here for quite some time, but it takes steve reasoned-discourse-and-moderation-are-the- cornerstones-of-my-religion clemons a little longer than most to call the fire department...

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Ken Lay: Boo-friggin'-hoo

The ex-chief of Enron is keeping up appearances, but his stated net worth now stands at less than $650,000.

this simply has to rank as one of the more nauseating news statements i've ever read... look, I'M managing to keep up appearances and MY net worth, i'm pleased to say, has finally risen to, ummm... never mind... let's just say i'm in the medium 4-digits after more than a lifetime of debt... if i had $650K, i would consider myself set for the rest of my life with some left over to pass along to my kids... everyone, please shed a tear for kenny-boy...

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments

Afghan prisons: a bleaker Guantánamo (U.S.) and rioting (Afghanistan)

the stories about the u.s. treatment of detainees worsen by the day...
While an international debate rages over the future of the American detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the military has quietly expanded another, less-visible prison in Afghanistan, where it now holds some 500 terror suspects in more primitive conditions, indefinitely and without charges.

NB: "expanded," "less visible," "more primitive," and "indefinitely" - quite a damning list for a single paragraph.
[U]nlike those at Guantánamo, they have no access to lawyers, no right to hear the allegations against them and only rudimentary reviews of their status as "enemy combatants," military officials said.

[...]

[A] picture emerges of a place that is in many ways rougher and more bleak than its counterpart in Cuba. Men are held by the dozen in large wire cages, the detainees and military sources said, sleeping on the floor on foam mats and, until about a year ago, often using plastic buckets for latrines. Before recent renovations, they rarely saw daylight except for brief visits to a small exercise yard.

and, now that guantánamo is fully in the spotlight...
[T]he growing detainee population at Bagram, which rose from about 100 prisoners at the start of 2004 to as many as 600 at times last year, according to military figures, was in part a result of a Bush administration decision to shut off the flow of detainees into Guantánamo after the Supreme Court ruled that those prisoners had some basic due-process rights.

so, not only are we diverting prisoners from guantánamo to bagram, we're also diverting them to an afghan prison where rioting broke out this morning...
Terror convicts and hundreds of other inmates clashed with guards and took control of parts of a high-security prison in Afghanistan's capital, officials said Sunday.

Police and soldiers surrounded the Policharki Prison on Sunday as government officials attempted to negotiate with the inmates, who include al-Qaida and Taliban militants.

[...]

Several wings of Policharki are being refurbished to improve security and living conditions. Some 110 Afghan terror suspects are expected to be transferred there later this year from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Afghan officials say.

we've got one hell of a mess on our hands with zero indication that anything is going to be done to clean it up...

Submit To Propeller



[Permalink] 0 comments