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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 04/30/2006 - 05/07/2006
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, May 06, 2006

St. George's Day in Sofia

i'm not a fan of things military, be they soldiers, arms, or equipment... i'm honestly not sure what i stumbled onto in the center of sofia this morning but it appeared to be some kind of an armed forces day salute... i can't quite square that with the fact that this is also a minor holiday in bulgaria, st. george's day, celebrated by many as their "name day," since many bulgarians are named georgi or gergana...

anyway, i took it as an opportunity to hang out with the locals, thousands of whom had gathered to see the display, listen to their government officials speak, watch the troops marching, see the jets and choppers fly over, and watch the equipment roll by...




and, to insure none of the bigshot government officials "accidentally" got bumped off...



subject matter notwithstanding, we all enjoyed the spectacle...



you might notice a lot of people wearing jackets and looking faintly bundled up... it's been unseasonably cool here, down to around 6C/41F in the morning and not much above 15C by mid-afternoon...

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Saturday funnies - an interesting variation on "red worm" tequila

thanks to e in buenos aires...
BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungarian builders who drank their way to the bottom of a huge barrel of rum while renovating a house got a nasty surprise when a pickled corpse tumbled out of the empty barrel, a police magazine website reported.

According to online magazine www.zsaru.hu, workers in Szeged in the south of Hungary tried to move the barrel after they had drained it, only to find it was surprisingly heavy and were shocked when the body of a naked man fell out.

The website said that the body of the man had been shipped back from Jamaica 20
years ago by his wife in the barrel of rum in order to avoid the cost and paperwork of an official return.

According to the website, workers said the rum in the 300-liter barrel had a "special taste" so they even decanted a few bottles of the liquor to take home.

The wife has since died and the man was buried in a proper grave.

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Bush forces Goss out...??? Sorry, I ain't buyin' it...

bush forcing out a crony...? that'll be the day... this positively STINKS of rove spin... and, once again, the media gets played like a violin...
Porter J. Goss was forced to step down yesterday as CIA director, ending a turbulent 18-month tenure marked by an exodus of some of the agency's top talent and growing White House dissatisfaction with his leadership during a time of war.

if bush gave even the tiniest piece of shit about "turbulent" tenures and ineffective leadership, rummy would have been toast back in 2004... who the f*** are they trying to kid here...? talk about trying to put lipstick on a pig...

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Oh. My. God. A voice of reason in the NYT about Bolivia...!

honest to pete, this is one editorial i didn't expect to see... there's a voice of reason out there amid the incessant firestorm of political and ideological rhetoric... whaddaya know...?!?


Oil and gas nationalization has been the main political issue in Bolivia for the last several years. Mr. Morales, an Aymara Indian farmer, won a landslide victory in December on a promise to nationalize the gas industry. Now he's delivering on that promise he made to the country's nine million citizens.

And when viewed from a Bolivian perspective, this is less of a nationalization than a return to constitutionality. Mr. Morales has a strong legal argument that the privatization that took place in the mid-1990's was unconstitutional. Under the Bolivian Constitution, the contracts that gave control to private companies were supposed to be approved by Congress, and they were not.

Add this to resentment on the street over Bolivia's Transparency International corruption ranking last year (placing its leaders among the world's most dishonest) and a long history of swindles where natural resources like gold, silver, timber and petroleum have been "privatized" into the global economy to the sole benefit of a few very wealthy Bolivians.

Nor is this a classic nationalization in the sense of the confiscations that took place in the region in the 50's and 70's. In those days, Latin American governments expropriated everything and kicked out the companies the next day. This time Bolivia will exert greater control over the companies, including significantly higher taxes and 50 percent-plus-one state ownership, but Mr. Morales has pledged to create an environment conducive to private profit-making, and the government has repeatedly stated that it is a "nationalization without confiscation," with no expulsion of foreign companies nor expropriation of their assets.

i'm rooting for both evo and bolivia... both of 'em are gonna need all the help they can get...

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We're coming before you in Geneva to convince you that we do not torture detainees

and i've got a bridge in brooklyn i'd like to sell you...

obviously, there's been some major pressure on bushco for this to happen, particularly given that bushco routinely sets its own goddam course regardless...

[T]he delegation's appearance was perhaps most significant for its size — it included more than two dozen officials — and its attitude of respect after years in which Bush administration officials have argued that international human rights laws should not constrain the conduct of United States forces.

item...
It was the first time since Sept. 11, 2001, that a United States delegation had answered questions from an international body about abuses by soldiers and intelligence officers.

item...
The delegation's report to the United Nations panel, meeting in Geneva, did not break new ground.

item...
Under the Convention Against Torture, a 1987 treaty that is a centerpiece of international human rights law, the United States was supposed to have reported to the United Nations panel on its compliance by 1999.

item...
Fernando Mariño Menendez of Spain, cited data from human rights groups saying that of 600 American service members or intelligence officers accused of having been involved in the torture or murder of detainees, only 10 have received prison terms of a year or more.

item...
"The very fact that you are asking for diplomatic assurances means you are in doubt," said Andreas Mavrommatis, chairman of the committee.

item...
Terrorist suspects could pose a threat to security if allowed to meet with representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross, as stipulated by the Geneva Conventions, [the State Department's legal adviser, John B. Bellinger III, who led the delegation] said.

item...
Mr. Bellinger said he was not authorized to talk about any intelligence activities that the committee questioned in its report.

convinced yet...?

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Hayden needs to be tortured before and during the Senate hearings

let the domestic spying debate begin...

during the hearings, he needs to be put on a spit and ever-so-slowly roasted over very hot coals, mentally and emotionally tortured with hardball questioning, metaphorically stripped naked, and made to bark like a dog... maybe the senators could take a crash course from donald rumsfeld and ricardo sanchez in nasty, brutalizing interrogation techniques... whatever the outcome of the nomination, the hearings should be something that exposes the seamy underbelly of this administration to brilliant, white light...

General Hayden, the principal deputy director of national intelligence, would ... face serious questions about the controversy over the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program, which he oversaw and has vigorously defended.

if this guy gets a pass, i'm going to have a hissy fit... (yeah, like that's going to make a goddam bit of difference...)

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Friday, May 05, 2006

Somethin's goin' down... Goss' resignation smells like week-old mackerel in the fridge...

or, as we used to say, something's putrid in peru...
CIA Director Porter Goss resigned unexpectedly Friday, leaving behind a spy agency still battling to recover from the scars of intelligence failures before America's worst terrorist attack and faulty information that formed the U.S. rationale for invading Iraq.

my hunch is that this is the start of something really big... bush didn't nominate goss and get him approved all that long ago so you can bet he's hightailing it outta there for a damn good reason... now, what that reason is will be MIGHTY interesting when it finally crawls out from under its rock...

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The Big Dick shoots his mouth off in Vilnius and look what happens

deadeye is so good at what he does, don't you think...? and here i thought i was going to end up having to explain the cold war to my grandsons... there's ONE thing i won't have to worry about...
A Russian newspaper said Friday that Vice President Dick Cheney's harsh criticism of Moscow's human rights record signaled the start of a new Cold War.

The Kommersant business daily compared Cheney's speech Thursday in neighboring Lithuania to Winston Churchill's famous "Iron Curtain" speech in Fulton, Mo., saying in that it "marked the beginning of a second Cold War."

like i commented yesterday, say g'nite, dick...

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Making the world a safe place for greed to flourish

power and money... money and power... power and power... money and money...
Within the Bush Agenda, "freer trade for a freer world" refers to specific economic policies designed especially to support key U.S. multinational corporations that are used as veritable weapons of war, both in the war on terror and in the administration's broader struggle to spread its vision of a freer and safer world. Often, these economic policies are applied in tandem with America's military forces, as was the case in the March 2003 invasion and ongoing occupation of Iraq. To date, the Iraq war represents the fullest and most relentless application of the Bush Agenda. The "freer and safer world" envisioned by Bush and his administration is ultimately one of an ever-expanding American empire driven forward by the growing powers of the nation's largest multinational corporations and unrivaled military.

and the engine that drives it all...?? fear... when you boil it all down to its purest essence, what you have left is fear...

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Two of Bolivia's biggest customers (and one mentor) talk about things energetic



Argentina ------ Bolivia ------ Brazil ------ Venezuela

if you want to watch a real, live telenovela, keep your eyes on this one... the good news is that they decided to talk immediately after bolivia's nationalization move, that they met in relatively neutral territory, and that they've pledged to work together...

since it's only a month and a half until winter arrives in the southern cone, and argentina, in particular, depends in no small measure on bolivian natural gas to fuel its many cng vehicles as well as for cooking and heating, there's every incentive to keep things friendly and constructive...




Kirchner, Morales, da Silva, Chavez

A day after Brazil’s state-owned petroleum company announced it was freezing investment in Bolivia because of the nationalization decree, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da da Silva suggested that Petrobras could reverse course after negotiations.

"As a company, it will always invest wherever it sees a chance to obtain a return on its investments," Da Silva said during a press conference with Bolivian President Evo Morales, Argentine President Néstor Kirchner and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez after the summit meeting.

Brazil is the largest consumer of Bolivian gas, and Petróleo Brasileiro SA is among the biggest producers in Bolivia, where the industry was privatized in the 1990s until Morales nationalized it on Monday and sent troops to guard foreign gas installations.

He has threatened to evict all foreign oil companies if they don’t sign contracts within six months surrendering control of the entire chain of natural gas production and giving Bolivia’s cash-strapped state oil company — Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos — a majority stake in all operations.

After meeting for more than three hours, the three leaders issued a statement of respect for Bolivia’s right to make sovereign decisions about its natural resources.

besides, on a strictly personal, selfish note, i would like to have gas for cooking and heating when i get back to buenos aires at the end of july, the dead of winter...

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Kissing ass in Kazakhstan: selling your soul for oil


Vice President Dick Cheney traveled to Kazakhstan on Friday for talks with President Nursultan Nazarbayev, seeking to maximize access to the vast oil and gas reserves in the central Asian nation with a troubled human-rights record.

condi gladhands with equatorial guinea, a nasty dictatorship with big oil reserves, deadeye dick gladhands with kazakhstan, a repressive regime with big oil reserves... but, hey, it's a presidential administration bought and paid for with oil money... would we expect anything less...?
Energy aside, one senior administration official said the vice president would prod Nazarbayev to make further democratic reforms in the country he has ruled since the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991.

"The government's human-rights record remains poor," according to a recent State Department report.

It was unclear how Cheney would attempt to balance the two concerns — American energy needs in a time of high prices alongside a desire for political reforms. His talks came one day after a speech to East European leaders in Lithuania that sharply criticized Russia for backsliding on democracy.

excuse me, dick... i apologize for disturbing your fox news program with an obviously impertinent question, but do you have any idea just how hypocritical you are making my country look to the rest of the world...? any FRIGGIN' IDEA...???

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Blair pulls a Bush, kinda sorta

The Labour Party pulled 26 percent of the vote to the Conservatives 40 percent, a result that renewed calls from some quarters for the prime minister to step down.

so what does tony do...? he fires the help...
Home Secretary Charles Clarke, embroiled in a politically damaging furor over the failure to deport foreign criminals, confirmed that Blair had removed him from office. Defense Secretary John Reid was moved to the Home Office, and Des Browne was promoted from chief secretary at the Treasury to secretary of defense.

Blair removed Jack Straw as foreign secretary, replacing him with Margaret Beckett, who had headed the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. She becomes the first woman to hold the job.

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, who admitted an affair with a secretary, will keep his title but was stripped of the responsibilities of his department, which include housing and planning.

at least the poodle gave the ax to some of the real players rather than the "rearranging-the-deck-chairs-on-the-hindenburg" (thanks to stephen colbert) shuffleboard game bush considers housecleaning...

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

I'm waiting for Putin to accuse the U.S. of backsliding on democracy

i'm trying to remember... how does it go...? pot...? kettle...? black...? something like that... or maybe it had something to do with houses, stones and glass...? oh, well...
Vice President Dick Cheney accused Russia on Thursday of backsliding on democracy...

say g'nite, dick...

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History Repeats Itself

According to an article from CNN yesterday, 80 people from Montana were given posthumous pardons, the first in the history of the state, for crimes of sedition committed 80 years ago, during WW1. Relatives of the pardoned, who were mostly of modest means including farmers, butchers, carpenters and cooks, attended a ceremony to commemorate the sudden change of heart, instigated by the Governor Brian Schweitzer, a man of German ancestry.

Those who were convicted were also primarily of German ancestry, and at the time, recent immigrants to the United States. One man, Herman Bausch, had refused to buy war bonds and told his neighbors so, was sent to prison for 28 months. Another man remarked that the U.S. would “get a licking” in France and was sent away for 7 months. A liquor salesman, Ben Kahn, told a hotel owner that WW1 was a “…rich man's war, and we have no business in it,” and, “The poor man has no show in this war. The soldiers are fighting the battles of the rich." He was convicted and sent to prison for 34 months.

Montana’s sedition law prohibited speech that was “disloyal, profane, violent, scurrilous, contemptuous, slurring or abusive about the U.S. Constitution, the federal government, soldiers or sailors, the flag or the uniforms of the Army or Navy.” In addition, German was prohibited from being spoken in public. The article goes on to say that most of those who were put in prison were informed upon by their patriotic neighbors.

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Let's see who jumps up first and attacks Ruth

oh, THIS oughta be good for some wingnuttery in the blogosphere...
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Tuesday that a Republican proposal in Congress to set up a watchdog over the federal courts is a "really scary idea."

Ginsburg told a gathering of the American Bar Association that lawyers should stick up for judges when they are criticized by congressional leaders.

"My sense now is that the judiciary is under assault in a way that I haven't seen before," she said.

As an example, she mentioned proposals by senior Republicans who want an inspector general to police judges' acceptance of free trips or their possible financial interests with groups that could appear before them.

"It sounds to me very much like the Soviet Union was .... That's a really scary idea," said Ginsburg, who was put on the court by President Clinton and is one of its liberal members.

yep, the soviet union... sounds about right... and, here i sit, blogging this comment while sitting in the computer room of an old communist building in a former communist country... think about it...

(thanks to john at americablog...)

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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

We must not forget Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez' 2004 perjury

this is only a small part of the recent aclu release of department of defense documents it received in a foia request...
[A] May 19, 2004 Defense Intelligence Agency document implicating Sanchez in potentially abusive interrogation techniques. In the document, an officer in charge of a team of interrogators stated that there was a 35-page order spelling out the rules of engagement that interrogators were supposed to follow, and that they were encouraged to "go to the outer limits to get information from the detainees by people who wanted the information." When asked to whom the officer was referring, the officer answered "LTG Sanchez." The officer stated that the expectation coming from "Headquarters" was to break the detainees.

we must not forget that general ricardo sanchez appeared before the senate armed services committee on may 19, 2004, and perjured himself under oath when questioned whether or not he authored a memorandum of september 14, 2003, authorizing the use of torture techniques in abu ghraib in contravention of geneva... i posted about it in april 2005 along with a transcription of the memorandum... (i labored over making the transcription as a public service because the aclu pdf's were difficult to access and read...)

sanchez has never been charged with perjury for that instance of outright lying... perhaps it's time now to think about it... god knows, it's long overdue...

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Maybe Rove goes down on Friday [WITH UPDATE]

oh, please, please, please... P-L-E-A-S-E...!
* apparently Jason Leopold was on the radio:
The bottom line is that he sounded VERY confident of the following:

1) GJ meets tomorrow at 9:30 EST
2) Rove received a target letter a month ago
3) Fitz had charges drawn up a month ago for false statements and perjury, but not obstruction
4) The "no target letter" spin was carefully phrased by Luskin to mean "only in relation to Rove's most recent appearance"
5) The "nothing for at least 10 days" story was spin control to keep the story out of the news cycle.
6) A Friday press conference is predicted to be announced Thursday
7) The investigation will continue to remain open.
8) Rove will be indicted for false statements and perjury, and conceivably, but not probably, obstruction of justice."

(thanks to lukery at wot is it good 4...)

[UPDATE]

only 20 paragraphs down in abc's the note...

The grand jury investigating the CIA leak may meet this morning at the federal courthouse in Washington, DC.

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Rudy can kiss my butt

stick a sock in it, rudy... we don't want you or your brand of politics... go back to consulting with the mexico city police department...
Former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani said on Monday that he was seriously exploring whether he has "a chance" of winning the presidency in 2008, as he visited politically important Iowa and huddled with state advisers, donors to President Bush and other prominent Republicans.

and, while you're at it, mediawhores, don't dignify this twit with any more than passing mention... he ain't worth the column inches or printer's ink... jeralyn is equally forthcoming...
It's time to get his history out in the blogosphere. The man is not qualified. People think he is some sort of hero because he didn't fall apart during 9/11. He is not. He was a prosecutor who loved putting people in jail and a Mayor who trounced the downtrodden.

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Iran: miscalculating about miscalculating

i believe that steve may be miscalculating that the u.s. could miscalculate its way into a war... my calculation is that is precisely what they're attempting to do and there's no miscalculation about it...
Energy Secretary Sam Bodman is saying that it will take three years for Americans to see gas prices fall again.

But that's if we don't bomb Iran, don't create an axis of oil states allied with Russia and China against America, and don't somehow disrupt oil flow from Venezuela.

What I learned from [a former foreign minister of a major nation] last night and a room full of extremely smart people is that there are forces escalating America's and Iran's tensions -- and a single serious miscalculation could dramatically alter America's position in the world -- and yet miscalculations are already abounding.

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Hispanics and immigrants are "regular people...?" Goddam right...

the headline says it all and you better believe it...
They Are America

they're the same kind of folks that've been arriving on u.s. soil for nearly 250 years - moms, pops, kids, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, cousins, neighbors and friends... they're not "them..." they're you and me...
The worst among our citizens and politicians are eager to depict illegal immigrants as criminals, potential terrorists and alien invaders. But what we saw yesterday, in huge, peaceful rallies in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, Denver, New York, Atlanta and other cities, were regular people: the same types of assimilation-minded moms, dads and children we wistfully romanticize on holidays devoted to, say, St. Patrick and Columbus.

and, just to get in another dig, ted tancredo is an asshole...

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Evo makes his big move and you can bet George & Co. will have something to say about it soon



for the worshippers in the church of unfettered capitalism, "nationalization" is the most abhorrent form of blasphemy... so, you can be sure that the spin soon to issue in unending streams from the faithful in washington d.c. and the financial and business centers of the world will be that evo has revealed his true self, a fidel castro clone...

i say, that for one of the western hemisphere's poorest countries, second only to haiti, one that has endured centuries of the most blatant exploitation of natural resources imaginable, all by foreign entities with little concern for either the environment or the local citizens, it may possibly be the only logical step... but, as with all else, time will tell whether evo is being smart or just another well-intentioned idiot...

President Evo Morales decreed the nationalization of Bolivia’s hydrocarbons — mainly natural gas — yesterday, threatening to evict foreign companies that tap all of the country’s gas unless they sign new contracts within six months giving control of the industry to the Bolivian state.

"The time has come, the awaited day, a historic day in which Bolivia retakes absolute control of our natural resources," Morales said from the San Alberto petroleum field in southern Bolivia operated by Brazil’s Petróleo Brasileiro SA in association with the Spanish-Argentine Repsol YPF SA.

Morales ordered soldiers to take over Bolivia’s natural gas fields and threatened to evict foreign companies unless they give Bolivia control over the entire chain of production.

Morales said soldiers and engineers with Bolivia’s state-owned oil company would be sent "immediately" to facilities and gas fields tapped by foreign petroleum companies — including Britain’s BG Group PLC and BP PLC, France’s Total and US-based Exxon Mobil Corp as well as Repsol YPF and Petrobras.

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Monday, May 01, 2006

The Iran "crisis" and Bush's 32%

i'm a little slow on this one but, by god, josh is dead on...
The only crisis with Iran is the crisis with the president's public approval ratings. Period. End of story.

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2400 die for oil, power and money and Gonzales lies to a 12 year-old

A 12-year-old at the other end of the table had a question. "What do you think about the [Iraq] war?" he asked.

Gonzales put down his hamburger. "One thing you have to remember is that sometimes people have to die so we can all live in freedom. That's always been the case."

we can all rest assured, alberto gonzales is not a stupid man and i hope, for his sake, that he truly believes it when such crap issues from his mouth... the iraq war has nothing to do with freedom, not one goddam thing... if the intent was really to establish democracy and to free people from saddam's repression and killing, we would have gone about it entirely differently... but those were never what it was about, wmd notwithstanding, then or now... it's about a terrorist state, the u.s., attempting to rule the world by fiat, consequences be damned... some day, mr. gonzales, you will see the truth... some day, you may even SPEAK the truth... i only hope it will come in your present lifetime and, god willing, mine...

(thanks to raw story...)

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I don't want a president with "mojo"

you think using a word like "mojo" is cute...? bite me, bolten...
It's time for the White House to go on offense and "get our mojo back." Josh Bolten said Sunday in his first interview since taking over as the president's chief of staff.

bolten hires fox news to be the public face of the white house and then gives his first interview on fox news... talk about taking the meaning of "chutzpah" to an entirely new level...
"We've taken advice from a lot of folks that we ought to put the president out more in ways that the American people can see what he's really like," Bolten said on "Fox News Sunday."

what he's REALLY like...? oh, no, josh... you don't wanna do THAT...! parading that smirking, spoiled-brat, silver-spoon, frat-boy in front of our faces is just going to piss us off even more...
Bolten said it may be worth considering whether to end the daily televised press briefings where reporters and the press secretary frequently air disputes in front of the cameras, but he will leave that decision up to Snow.

what the hell do we need press briefings for, anyway...? there's no honesty, no integrity, no news... they're just an exercise in public bullshit...

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Truth, even in the guise of humor, doesn't amuse Bush or the press

it's kind of a shame that the blogosphere should be atwitter over a barbed comic routine... after all, isn't that what comedians, like court jesters in the past, are for...? i guess we've become so unaccustomed to hearing the truth spoken in public, even under the guise of humor, that it's a shock to one and all...
A blistering comedy “tribute” to President Bush by Comedy Central’s faux talk show host Stephen Colbert at the White House Correspondent Dinner Saturday night left George and Laura Bush unsmiling at its close.

[...]

He attacked those in the press who claim that the shake-up at the White House was merely re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. “This administration is soaring, not sinking,” he said. “If anything, they are re-arranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg.”

[...]

As Colbert walked from the podium, when it was over, the president and First Lady gave him quick nods, unsmiling. The president shook his hand and tapped his elbow, and left immediately.

Those seated near Bush told E&P's Joe Strupp, who was elsewhere in the room, that Bush had quickly turned from an amused guest to an obviously offended target as Colbert’s comments brought up his low approval ratings and problems in Iraq.

Several veterans of past dinners, who requested anonymity, said the presentation was more directed at attacking the president than in the past.

deal with it, george... after all, we've got to deal with YOU...

(i recorded a selection from the transcript of colbert's shtick for my weekly podcast... you can listen here...)

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'Scuse ME...! A giant, plush WHAT...???

i stumbled across this one yesterday, thinking maybe i would post on it... well, i didn't but, somehow, it just didn't go away... ok, so who am i to fight it...?
"Unlike their Latin American colleagues, Argentine men are very eager to learn sexual techniques to better satisfy women — and also their own egos," says Alessandra Rampolla, a Puerto Rican sexologist who has come to the Buenos Aires Book Fair to launch her first book — on sex, of course. But, for for the first time during her frequent trips abroad, she left at home Bamba, a giant plush vulva she uses for sexual education on TV programmes watched throughout all Latin America.

there's lambchop and charlie mccarthy and the cookie monster and big bird, but, you gotta admit, "bamba" ain't something you run across every day...
"Everybody asks about Bamba," said a smiling Rampolla in an interview with the Herald at a downtown hotel. The expert was raised amid a conservative family background in Puerto Rico, attending a Catholic school and Jesuit university "with all their taboos about sex."

Rampolla graduated in French Literature at Loyola University in New Orleans and pursued postgraduate studies in matrimonial and family therapy. She is currently undertaking a doctorate at the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, California.

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Why George doesn't need to use his veto power

i'm terribly, terribly tired of repeating myself but, when my country is in trouble this serious, i have no choice but to suck it up and keep on keepin' on...
It is not uncommon for a President to refrain from executing a law which he believes, and states, is unconstitutional. Other Presidents have invoked that doctrine, although Bush has done so far more aggressively and frequently. But what is uncommon - what is entirely unprecedented - is that the administration's theories of its own power arrogate unto itself not just the right to refrain from enforcing such laws, but to act in violation of those laws, to engage in the very conduct which those laws criminalize, and they do so secretly and deceitfully, after signing the law and pretending that they are engaged in the democratic process. That is why the President has never bothered to veto a law -- why bother to veto laws when you have the power to violate them at will?

it's extremely hard for me to wrap my mind around just how bad things have gotten... i hope and pray every single day that my fellow citizens will rouse themselves from their slumber, see what's happened to our country in the hands of these criminals, and demand that they, all of them, resign... they are betraying everything good and decent about the united states and they must be stopped...

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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Sacrificed for oil, power and money: 2400 and climbing

the collateral damage of megalomania and greed...
On Friday, officials at the Pentagon said that the American death toll in Iraq since the start of the war has topped 2,400.

we must remember the many, many thousands more emotionally and physically damaged and disabled who will struggle the rest of their lives to overcome the horrors of war as well as the many more thousands of iraqis similarly impacted... we desperately need to bring this insanity to a halt...

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Oh right, we are trying to protect the Guatanamo detainees

Life has been exceedingly hectic for me in the past few weeks, culminating in the April 29th National Neighbor to Neighbor Organizing Day, but I couldn't let this piece of crap go unacknowledged.

According to the New York Times, the US government is reluctant to repatriate Guantanamo detainees for fear that they may be tortured and abused in their home countries.

Bwahahahahahahahahaha! Snort! Sniffle! Bwahahahahahahahaha!!!

No, really. But buried in the article is the money quote:
A spokesman for the Saudi Embassy in Washington, Nail al-Jubeir, said he could not comment on specifics of the negotiations, but recalled that the United States had earlier insisted that foreign governments agree to imprison the repatriated Guantánamo detainees, regardless of whether they had committed crimes at home.

"The people coming back from Guantánamo will be questioned and investigated, and if they have blood on their hands, they will face the Saudi justice system," Mr. Jubeir said. But he added, "If we have nothing to hold them on, why hold them?"

So the problem really isn't that the detainees might be tortured. It's that their home governments will not cooperate in the coverup and actually might set the innocent free. And free they will be. Free to talk.

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Sunday photoblogging: Sofia, Bulgaria

it may be the last day of april but, what with the clouds, the temperature and the stiff breeze, it feels more like late october or early november... yes, it's damn chilly...! the high today was 12C/52F, not exactly a balmy day... however, as always, the walking was good, lots of folks were out and about, and the people-watching was excellent...



Bus-pulling contest
Sunday, 30 April
Vitosha Street
Sofia, Bulgaria

(go here to see more...)

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