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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 05/14/2006 - 05/21/2006
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"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 20, 2006

Not a good day for blogging

this is one of those days when i'm just fed up with following the crap that's going on in my country... sometimes the sheer weight of it seems almost unbearable... i keep hoping for things to take a positive turn but it doesn't seem like they're going to any time soon... ah, well... in the meantime, what's left to do but keep on keepin' on, eh...?

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I'm deeply "unsettled" by how much I disapprove of this man

it's extremely unsettling to me how intense bush's denial is in the face of what his constitutents are telling him...
GREGORY: Let me ask you about your leadership. In the most recent survey, your disapproval rating is now one point lower than Richard Nixon's before he resigned the presidency. ... [W]hy do you think that is?

BUSH: Because we're at war, and war unsettles people.

[...]

GREGORY: But they're just not unsettled, sir. They disapprove of the job you're doing.

BUSH: That's unsettled.

(thanks to crooks and liars...)

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SOS

same old shit...
At the Senate intelligence committee hearing Thursday on Gen. Michael V. Hayden's nomination to head the CIA, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) asked the nominee a simple question: Is "waterboarding" an acceptable interrogation technique? Gen. Hayden responded: "Let me defer that to closed session, and I would be happy to discuss it in some detail." That was the wrong answer. The right one would have been simple: No.

i am unbelievably tired of being embarrassed for my country...

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Friday, May 19, 2006

I Am Not A Fascist

As reported by Salon War Room blogger Tim Grieve, in a memorandum dated May 5, 2006 "George W. Bush delegated to John Negroponte "the function of the president under section 13(b)(3)(A) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (15 U.S.C. 78m(b)(3)(A))." What does it all mean? The said Securities Exchange Act of 1934 requires corporations to "make and keep books, records, and accounts" that "accurately and fairly" reflect their transactions". The amendment to that act would allow John "the butcher of central America" Negroponte, on a directive from el grande ranchero George W. Bush, to waive such a filial responsibility if said directive is concerned with matters of "National Security." Again, this means that corporations acting under directive from the White House do not have to record or reveal activities which fall under the seemingly all encompassing rubric of "National Security." As Mr. Grieve points out, recent rejoinders by BellSouth and Verizon deny responsibility for alleged collaboration with the NSA by revealing untold numbers of customers identities to the spy agency. Perhaps they are confidant, and have every right to be, that this little presidential directive will cover their asses.

In other news, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III, did not give standing to Khaled al-Masri, a German citizen allegedly kidnapped on New Years Eve by the CIA while on holiday in Macedonia, kept there for a month or so and sent to the "salt pit" in Afghanistan for another 5 months where he claims he was subject to various forms of torture, one of which includes the seemingly pervasive use of sodomy. Masri says in his suit that shortly after his detention, the CIA realized that he was innocent of previous suspicions. Ellis cited the rationale for his non-ruling by deferring to the "State Secrets Act" adding, "any admission or denial of these allegations by defendants in this case would reveal the means and methods employed pursuant to this clandestine program and such a revelation would present a grave risk of injury to national security."

Got Democracy?

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For god's sake, how do we get rid of 'em...?

even tho' i have the "impeach bush" banner at the top of this weblog, i tend to agree with molly ivins... however, i do not believe for one nanosecond that the criminal destruction of the united states is going to cease... ay, and there's the rub... how can we possibly tolerate any more of what's happening to us...? by the time bush leaves office, we will be so far in the hole we might never be able to get out...
It seems to me pointless to impeach Bush. In the first place, the Republicans so trivialized impeachment into partisan piffle, it would look like little more than payback. In the second place, I believe Dick Cheney is seriously off the rails; apparently deeply paranoid -- let's not put him in charge.

The minimum we should expect of Bush in return for dropping impeachment (or not) is that he cease breaking the law.

i also agree with not putting cheney in charge... both the challenge and the dilemma is how do we get ALL of these bad actors OUT...? god, i wish i knew...

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Our senators fiddle while Rome burns

what a friggin' waste of time and energy but, i suppose, on the pandering scale, it rates high...
After a emotional debate fraught with symbolism, the Senate yesterday voted to make English the "national language" of the United States, declaring that no one has a right to federal communications or services in a language other than English except for those already guaranteed by law.

The measure, approved 63 to 34, directs the government to "preserve and enhance" the role of English, without altering current laws that require some government documents and services be provided in other languages. Opponents, however, said it could negate executive orders, regulations, civil service guidances and other multilingual ordinances not officially sanctioned by acts of Congress.

georgia10 at daily kos and i share the same view...
Here's a bright idea. Instead of wasting time on "symbolic" measures, why doesn't Congress do something about the millions of illiterate Americans who can't read or speak English (and no, Rep. Tancredo, I'm not talking about Mexican immigrants.)

while george feeds the united states constitution into the shredder, our esteemed senators throw meat to the xenophobic, racist base...

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Lieberman is fascist-lite

calling lieberman centrist is flat-out wrong... aligning with bush ain't REPUBLICAN-lite, it's FASCIST-lite...
"George Bush's favorite Democrat," they call him. "Republican Lite," they sneer. But liberals are no longer just venting on Internet blogs and talk radio programs about their centrist nemesis: Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut.

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Looks like the Dems wussed out once again

so much for tough questioning and getting the answers we so richly deserve...
General Hayden flatly defended as legal the secret domestic eavesdropping program he ran until last year as director of the National Security Agency, and that argument was directly challenged by only a handful of Democratic senators.

[...]

[F]or the most part, Democrats as well as Republicans praised his experience and said he was a good choice to lead an agency

i am thoroughly disgusted... why do we bother to elect these people...? they are clearly patsies... they sat there on their well-padded asses and failed to mount a serious challenge to this guy in spite of this...
General Hayden could not explain coherently why he testified in 2002 that he had no authority to listen to Americans' phone calls without a warrant, when the president had already given him that authority.

General Hayden's appearance also made it clear that the one warrantless spying operation Mr. Bush has acknowledged — listening to calls between the United States and other countries — is not the only one. And he testified that he did not, as Mr. Bush has said, design the N.S.A. operation, which violates the 28-year-old legal requirement for a warrant for any domestic wiretapping.

The hearing drove home again that the spying is being conducted outside the constitutional system of checks and balances.

screw 'em all... they're not worth the powder to blow 'em up...

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Well, of course!

Omigosh...this whole article just left me with my mouth hanging open.
Bush Turns to Big Military Contractors for Border Control

. . . The high-tech plan being bid now has many skeptics, who say they have heard a similar refrain from the government before.

"We've been presented with expensive proposals for elaborate border technology that eventually have proven to be ineffective and wasteful," Representative Harold Rogers, Republican of Kentucky, said at a hearing on the Secure Border Initiative program last month. "How is the S.B.I. not just another three-letter acronym for failure?"

President Bush, among others, said he was convinced that the government could get it right this time.

Bwahahahaha!!! Not under this administration!!

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A rare clear day in Skopje, Macedonia

after darkness fell last night, a strong wind picked up and, by this morning, had blown away all the crap that usually hangs over the city... when that happens, which it does all too rarely, it's possible to appreciate just what kind of spectacular scenery macedonia has to offer...



The Shar Planina Mountains as
seen from the west side of
Skopje, the neighborhood of
Karpos, with Titov Vrv (Mt.
Tito) on the far right



Titov Vrv, close-up

note the cell phone antenna atop the building in the lower left... we're never far enough away that we can't be reached - or spied on...!

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In the "take it for what it's worth dept," more on Rove

lessee... i'm 6 hours ahead of edt... that could put the press conference, assuming it's held sometime between noon and 2, in prime time in macedonia... thank god for satellite...
[A]n announcement concerning the indictment of Rove will be made on Friday, May 19 generally following the same scenario from October 28, 2005 -- the posting of the indictment on the Special Prosecutor's web site followed by a press conference at Main Justice.

and luskin too...!?!
[P]art of the reason for Fitzgerald's visit to Patton and Boggs was to inform Rove attorney Luskin that he has moved into the category of a "subject" of the special prosecutor's investigation as a result of a conversation with Time reporter Viveca Novak, in which Novak told Luskin that Rove was a source for Time's Matt Cooper. The special prosecutor, who has prosecuted one defense attorney in the Hollinger case, is reportedly investigating whether Luskin, as an officer of the court, may have violated laws on obstruction of justice.

talk about a bunker-buster...! taking rove out would be sweet enough but if his attorney goes down with him...? NOW, we're talking...! and, yeah, ok, maybe i'm guilty of wishful thinking, but, imho, this is one straw that's well worth grabbing on to...

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The falling dollar - the chickens are coming home to roost

it's not pretty and neither is it getting much media coverage in the u.s...
  • In the last few months, speculators selling off dollars are not just buying other currencies like the euro or yen, but they are also buying commodities like gold and oil, forcing up their prices further.
  • The higher price of imported goods could lead to a hike in domestic inflation, and it could take several years before consumers switch back to buying more US goods.
  • High inflation, combined with the stronger-than-expected growth of the US economy, could force the US central bank, the Federal Reserve, to keep raising interest rates.
  • But the fears of inflation are also likely to affect the interest rates on long-term bonds, which determine mortgage rates.
  • The rising mortgage rates, while they may eventually dampen the housing boom, will also give a further boost to inflationary pressures.
  • The sharp falls in non-US stock markets, especially in Asia, are a response to this fear, with electronics and car companies like Toyota and Sony especially vulnerable.
but wait, it gets better...
  • As the value of the dollar falls, [Asian exporters'] reserves of the currency also reduce in value, as do the yields on the US Treasury bonds held by many of their central banks.
  • The Asian governments and investors may be tempted to sell many of their dollar holdings in order to protect themselves - but this would have the effect of weakening the dollar further. And it would force the Fed to raise interest rates even more to protect the dollar.
meanwhile, in yet another move calculated to make the super-rich ever-so-obscenely richer, bush approves $70B in tax cuts...
President George W Bush has signed into law a $70bn ... tax cut which he says will boost the US economy.

so far, however, it seems to be having the opposite effect...
By [Wednesday's] close, New York's Dow Jones Industrial Average index was 1.9%, or 214 points lower at 11,206.

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Hayden needs to be slowly roasted over very hot coals

President Bush's CIA director-nominee, Gen. Michael Hayden, to face what undoubtedly will be the toughest public questioning of his 37-year government career at a Senate confirmation hearing.

it had better be tough and there had better be some answers forthcoming... it wouldn't be advisable to hold your breath, however...
To help smooth Hayden's path, the administration reversed course after five months and decided this week to provide more information to Congress about the ultra-secret NSA's activities. That includes full briefings for the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.

oh, SURE... NOW, they want to offer some opportunity for oversight...! gimme a break... like they'll do anything but lie anyway...



Santorum and Hayden

don't they make a handsome couple...?

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Mexico is staggering down the road to the July election



i haven't been doing a very good job staying abreast of the run-up to mexico's july presidential election until this caught my eye, none of it good... items from the story...

  • A poll published Friday in Excelsior newspaper found 50 percent of respondents feared the government was on the brink of losing control.
  • In April, suspected drug lords posted the heads of two police officers on a wall outside a government building where four drug traffickers died in a Jan. 27 shootout with officers in the Pacific resort of Acapulco.
  • [A] radical group of townspeople kidnapped and beat six policemen in a dispute over unlicensed flower vendors. Police responded with rage the next day. Television crews captured officers repeatedly beating unarmed protesters, and several detained women alleged officers raped them.
  • The clash followed another bloody battle between steelworkers and police trying to break up an illegal strike at a plant in Lazaro Cardenas last month. Unions later threatened to shut down the country.
  • George Grayson, a Mexico expert at the College of William & Mary, said the violence reflects Fox's lack of leadership. "The state has become much weaker under his watch," Grayson said.
  • Gerardo Aranda, a tourism guide in Mexico City, said [...] "No one really knows now what could happen next. All the candidates are bad. ... There is so much anger toward the government, everyone is against everything."

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Truthout is sticking by its Rove story

marc ash at truthout, after giving some background on where things stand as of yesterday (5/17), issues a caveat...
Fitzgerald is not obliged to make an announcement at any point; he does so at his own discretion, and not if it compromises his case. So we're all stuck waiting here. Grab some coffee.

outside of rove's aei speech the other day, a classic piece from the karl rove smoke and mirrors circus, all has been ominously quiet on the fitzgerald front this week...

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And Bush is now within striking distance of being Carterized!

juan cole...
In 2002 few could have imagined him falling in approval ratings to the level of Carter, who had the misfortune to be president during the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the taking of US hostages, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, gasoline shortages and high fuel prices, a stagnant economy, high unemployment, and double-digit inflation! Indeed, Bush's disapproval rating is now higher than Carter's!
Bush's Handling of the Issues

Americans who disapprove of Bush's performance overwhelmingly cite Iraq as the main reason. His rating for handling the war has hit a new low. Sixty-two percent say the war was not worth fighting, a new high. And 59 percent call the war a mistake — about as many as said that about Vietnam in the early 1970s.

  • Terrorism - Approve: 53% Disapprove: 43%
  • Privacy Rights - Approve 52 Disapprove: 45
  • Taxes - Approve: 42 Disapprove: 54
  • Ethics - Approve: 39 Disapprove: 54
  • Economy - Approve: 38 Disapprove: 60
  • Immigration - Approve: 34 Disapprove:56
  • Overall job - Approve: 33 Disapprove:65
  • Iraq - Approve: 32 Disapprove: 66
  • Deficit - Approve: 27 Disapprove: 67
  • Gas Prices - Approve: 20 Disapprove: 76
it's a good thing bush doesn't pay attention to any polls but those conducted by the rnc... just ask karl, without whom bush would be unable to utter an articulate thought (not that he can anyway)... speaketh karl...
But the polls I believe are the polls that get run through the RNC. And I look at those polls all the time. The American people like this president. His personal approval ratings are in the 60s. Job approval is lower. And what that says to me is that people like him, they respect him, he’s somebody they feel a connection with, but they’re just sour right now on the war. And that’s the way it’s going to be.

i have little doubt that, even if millions of americans were massed outside the white house screaming for george's immediate resignation, karl would have george issue a statement to the effect that "i'm taking care of the nation's business and will not be distracted by politically-motivated attempts to distract us from the people's agenda..."

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Could Bush be barking mad...?

molly raises the possibility that george may be certifiable...
Insane immigration policies, a new $70 billion tax cut for the rich, and increasing ineptitude in Iraq all indicate that this administration has lost its marbles.

I hate to raise such an ugly possibility, but have you considered lunacy as an explanation? Craziness would make a certain amount of sense.

lunacy...? incompetence...? ya know, i would actually PREFER either of those two explanations for the astoundingly destructive path bush and his criminal compadres have followed since 20 january 2001... either of them would at least provide some measure of empathy for the man... sadly, in my opinion, neither of them are accurate...

bush and his buds are astoundingly COMPETENT and eminently RATIONAL in their behavior but you have to put it in the right frame... and that frame would be, you may ask...? first and foremost, divest yourself of any notion that there's a desire to act for the good of the country... secondly, repeat to yourself as many times as necessary to have it sink in: money, power, money, power, power, money, money... third, think of everything in your life that has ever caused you fear... think of the times you were most terrified... continue to think of those times until you have worked yourself into a state, repeating "money and power" all the while... then, take another look at the track record of the bush administration to date... most of the pieces will quickly fall into place...

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Great...! Now we know that SOMETHING crashed into the Pentagon

why now, 4 1/2 years later...? the excuse that it was evidence being held pending the completion of moussouai's trial just doesn't cut it... furthermore, why release a video that essentially shows that, yes, like we all ALREADY know, SOMETHING crashed into the pentagon...? terrific...! really helpful information...!
US releases 9/11 Pentagon video



Pentagon crash site
11 September 2001

The US justice department has released the first video of the plane crashing into the Pentagon on 11 September 2001.

and why do i feel vaguely soiled over being manipulated, ONE MORE TIME, by 9/11...?

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

One of the darkest eras in American history (or, you better turn off your Blackberry)

when the full truth finally comes out - and it will - we will be completely astounded at the extent and length of time that our government has been spying on us... (hint: it didn't start with bush...)
Salon's Kim Zetter asks intelligence historian Matthew Aid about the latest reports on the National Security Agency's wiretap program.

The fact that the federal government has my phone records scares the living daylights out of me. They won't learn much from them other than I like ordering pizza on Friday night and I don't call my mother as often as I should. But it should scare the living daylights out of everybody, even if you're willing to permit the government certain leeways to conduct the war on terrorism.

We should be terrified that Congress has not been doing its job and because all of the checks and balances put in place to prevent this have been deliberately obviated. In order to get this done, the NSA and White House went around all of the checks and balances. I'm convinced that 20 years from now we, as historians, will be looking back at this as one of the darkest eras in American history. And we're just beginning to sort of peel back the first layers of the onion. We're hoping against hope that it's not as bad as I suspect it will be, but reality sets in every time a new article is published and the first thing the Bush administration tries to do is quash the story.

[...]

The newest system being added to the NSA infrastructure, by the way, is called Project Trailblazer, which was initiated in 2002 and which was supposed to go online about now but is fantastically over budget and way behind schedule. Trailblazer is designed to copy the new forms of telecommunications -- fiber optic cable traffic, cellphone communication, BlackBerry and Internet e-mail traffic.

sorry, but you can't tell me there aren't already means to capture that traffic... maybe the sophisticated, next-generation "trailblazer" is the supposed cutting edge, but you can bet they've been gathering data from those technologies for as long as the technologies have been available...

(thanks to raw story...)

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Gangs are letting Sao Paulo know who's REALLY in charge



Brazil

this is a blatant effort to derail the efforts of governments who try to recapture their cities and their citizens from organized crime...
Masked men attacked police stations, banks and bars with machineguns. Gangs set almost 50 buses on fire. And inmates at dozens of prisons took guards hostage in an unprecedented four-day wave of violence around South America’s largest city and elsewhere in southern Brazil. The death toll had passed the mark of 80 by yesterday.

Twenty-one new killings were reported on Sunday night and Monday morning, the state government of Sao Paulo said, putting the death toll at 81 in the spree set off by a gang’s fury at prison transfers: 39 police officers and prison guards, 38 suspected gang members and four civilians caught in 181 attacks since Friday.

[...]

The violence was triggered by an attempt to isolate PCC leaders, who control many of Sao Paulo’s teeming, notoriously corrupt prisons, by transferring eight of them last week to a high-security facility in a remote part of Sao Paulo state. Gang leaders reportedly used cell phones to order the attacks.



Georgia

although it was restricted to inside prison walls, a related riot took place in tblisi, georgia, in late march...

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Big pharma's phantasy

so far, their plan is working brilliantly...
The pharmaceutical industry has a dream: at least one disease (and more than one prescription drug) for every American.

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Bulgaria and Romania - a conditional yes



Bulgaria ----- Romania

The European Commission is expected to tell Bulgaria and Romania they can join the EU next year as planned, but only if they fulfil 10 more conditions.

Bulgaria in particular will have to show tangible results in the fight against corruption and organised crime.

A draft report obtained by the BBC also warns that both countries could face serious membership restrictions and cuts to EU funds even after they join.

The report will be presented to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

For Bulgaria and Romania, the answer from the European Commission will be a conditional yes.

having recently had my head filled with several bulgarian friends' views of the situation in their own country, to say nothing of getting the cook's tour of sofia and environs in addition to the drive to and from the macedonian border, i have to say that there is a major gap between bulgaria and the "old" eu... i can't comment on bulgaria vis á vis the newer eu members but, by conservative estimate, i would say that bulgaria has at least 5 more years of concerted effort before the corrupt infrastructure is under control - and that's assuming they actually put out the effort... yesterday, i got a similar, albeit single, second-hand, and ex-pat perspective from someone living in romania...

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Border Illusions = Borderline Delusions on the Fear-Stricken Fringe

yep, yep, yep...
President Bush's speech from the Oval Office last night was not a blueprint for comprehensive immigration reform. It was a victory for the fear-stricken fringe of the debate.

These are the people who say illegal border crossings must be stopped immediately, with military boots in the desert sand. Never mind the overwhelming burdens of Iraq and Afghanistan, the absence of a coherent and balanced immigration policy, and the broad public support for a comprehensive solution. America must send its overtaxed troops to the border right now, they say, so a swarm of ruthless, visa-less workers cannot bury our way of life under a relentless onslaught of hard work.

Rather than standing up for truth, Mr. Bush swiveled last night in the direction of those who see immigration, with delusional clarity, as entirely a problem of barricades and bad guys.

pander to red-necked, xenophobic white guys... pander to racism... pander to intolerance... but, no matter what, ALWAYS pander to fear...

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Pathological...? Megalomaniacal...? Karl Rove...?

and a supremely arrogant s-o-b to boot...
"Karl's focus is sharper than ever and his spirit is high," said Dan Bartlett, White House counselor, downplaying any claims that Rove is distracted. "He packs more work into one day than most of us get done in a week."

Rove was asked about his legal problems Monday after a speech on the economy at a conservative think tank, the American Enterprise Institute. He ducked. "Nice try," Rove told the questioner.

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Monday, May 15, 2006

Alarm bells are ringing at the IMF over the dollar's slide

the imf customarily worries about 3rd world countries and emerging economies... i've heard said that the u.s. financial and monetary situation is, proportionally, worse than argentina before the 2001 collapse...
The International Monetary Fund is in behind-the-scenes talks with the US, China and other major powers to arrange a series of top-level meetings about tackling imbalances in the global economy, as the dollar sell-off reverberates through financial markets.

when you read a quote like this, it may be time to consider moving to higher ground...
'We are in meltdown mode,' said David Brown, chief European economist at Bear Stearns. 'It's all being whipped up into a bit of a selling frenzy. The dollar has a massive portfolio of negatives against it: it's the long-term problems of the trade deficit, and the government's budget deficit.'

[...]

Brown added that the dollar's woes were likely to be exacerbated by central banks shifting their reserves towards other currencies, including the euro.

is washington concerned...? what a silly question... of course not...
He added that with the US current account deficit with the rest of the world worth 7 per cent of its GDP in 2005, the White House and the Federal Reserve would probably be happy to watch the dollar decline. 'I don't think Washington's going to be concerned,' he said.

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As many as 10,000 NG troops to Mexican border

bush has lost the few marbles he had left...
The officials who discussed Bush's proposal would not say how many troops he wanted to use, except that it would be in the thousands but less than 10,000 — an estimate being discussed at the Pentagon.

what if somebody attacked the u.s. and nobody was around who could defend it...?

(thanks to raw story...)

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White House pillowtalk at the core of denial

of COURSE, she would say this...
First lady Laura Bush said polls showing her husband's approval rating at record lows reflect the difficulties the United States is facing rather than any lack of confidence in the president.

can't you just imagine the pillowtalk...?

l: turn out the light, george, and get some sleep

g: i just wish folks would take a minute to really SEE all the good things i'm trying to do

l: you can lead a horse to water

g: i explain, explain, explain, explain

l: and you do a great job of it too, honey

g: so why don't they LISTEN?

l: it's a hard time for the country, dear, and people need to blame SOMEONE

g: i suppose you're right and i guess that's what presidents are for

l: you've got the hardest job in the world and you're showing how it should be done

g: what would i do without you? 'nite, honey

l: 'nite, dear

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The (fundamentalist Christian) worm turns

so, bushco's pandering to extreme religious conservatives has returned to bite them in the ass...
Some of President Bush's most influential conservative Christian allies are becoming openly critical of the White House and Republicans in Congress...

[...]

"I can't tell you how much anger there is at the Republican leadership," [Richard Viguerie, a conservative direct-mail pioneer] said. "I have never seen anything like it."

[...]

"There's just very, very little to show for what has happened," [Dr. James C. Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family and one of the most influential Christian conservatives] said, "and I think there's going to be some trouble down the road if they don't get on the ball."

look, i don't care that these people have stuck "christian" labels all over themselves and wrapped themselves in the bible and the american flag, they are the antithesis of true christianity... and all i have to say to bush, rove, frist, hastert, and boehner (and delay too) is, when you strike a bargain with the devil, you can be sure he will be back to demand his due...

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Should Fox believe that deploying the Nat'l Guard on the Mexican border is "temporary...?"

with his track record, is there any particular reason to believe anything george says...?
President Bush's plan to send National Guard troops to patrol the southern border of the United States has raised the concern of his longtime ally President Vicente Fox of Mexico, who called Mr. Bush on Sunday to express his worries.

White House officials said Mr. Bush assured Mr. Fox that a permanent National Guard presence on the border was not being considered.

"The president made clear that the United States considers Mexico a friend," said Maria Tamburri, a White House spokeswoman.

Ms. Tamburri said the president told Mr. Fox, "What is being considered is not a militarization of the border, but support of border patrol capabilities, on a temporary basis, by National Guard personnel."

when the mexican head of state is sufficiently concerned about the plans of his northern neighbor to place a call to that country's head of state on a SUNDAY, i think it would be safe to say, "houston, we have a problem..." i'm also sure that fox is quite aware of george's propensity for lying his ass off...

also, calling fox a "longtime ally" of bush is stretching the truth almost beyond recognition... george has repeatedly and thoroughly flipped off vicente in almost every conceivable way... george might WANT to think of fox as an ally and i think, at one time, fox actually WANTED TO BE an ally, but that window of opportunity slammed shut when mexico refused to support the u.s. on the iraq invasion and the u.s. was actually hinting at sanctions...

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Jeralyn at TalkLeft has both the spin and the analysis on Leopold's Rove story

jeralyn, as usual, has trenchant analysis and first-hand information on the leopold/fitzgerald/rove indictment story, here, here and here...

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Bypassing the judiciary and doing whatever you want

we don't need no st-e-e-e-eenking oversight...
The common denominator of all of the Bush search plans is the refusal to involve a judge.

[...]

Of course, judges have been eliminated from the trial and sentencing portions of other Bush Administration law enforcement programs, so why am I not suprised?

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The lie of the day

the daily dose of finding out after-the-fact...
A year after Bush administration claims about Iraqi "bioweapons trailers" were discredited by American experts, U.S. officials were still suppressing the findings, according to a senior member of the CIA-led inspection team.

At one point, former U.N. arms inspector Rod Barton says, a CIA officer told him it was "politically not possible" to report that the White House claims were untrue. In the end, Barton says, he felt "complicit in deceit."

bit by bit, the puzzle pieces fall into place... even without the boxtop, i think we figured out the major outlines of the picture quite some time ago...

(thanks to juan cole...)

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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day ... here and south of the border

I wish the NYT had printed this LAST Sunday
Try this experiment: Call your florist and say that you'd like a dozen pesticide-free roses delivered to your mother. Explain that you also want an assurance that the woman who picked them wasn't forced to work unpaid overtime or take her children to work to help her meet her quotas.

Silence? Yeah, that's the response my florist gave, too. But my mother didn't raise a shrinking violet. I said that I would find certified flowers somewhere, and eventually I did. Mom, your roses are coming from an Internet florist that sells only organic bouquets. I don't know what the woman who picked them will do with her day off, but at least I know that she gets a day off. I wish a happy Mother's Day to both of you.

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Moving from a dictatorship to a military dictatorship

another step in the consolidation of power using (what else?) fear as the principal driver...
Officials say [Bush] is considering substantially increasing the presence of National Guard troops, some of whom are already deployed under state of emergency declarations in New Mexico and Arizona. Administration officials are exploring ways to allow governors to deploy troops across state lines to help seal the porous border with Mexico.

The militarization of border security would be a dramatic -- and controversial -- gesture in the ongoing political war over illegal immigration. The military has long maintained a small presence under the auspices of drug interdiction, but conservatives in Congress have been pushing for a far more visible and substantial effort.

putting general hayden in charge of the cia fits nicely with the overall plan, dontcha think...?

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Jason Leopold update from Saturday says the Rove indictment is a done deal

i literally have chills running up and down my back...
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald spent more than half a day Friday at the offices of Patton Boggs, the law firm representing Karl Rove.

During the course of that meeting, Fitzgerald served attorneys for former Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove with an indictment charging the embattled White House official with perjury and lying to investigators related to his role in the CIA leak case, and instructed one of the attorneys to tell Rove that he has 24 hours to get his affairs in order, high level sources with direct knowledge of the meeting said Saturday morning.

let me say, one more time, that i do not wish ill or bad times for anyone... i have closely followed karl rove for a little less than two years... i suppose it's accurate to say that he has occupied as much of my political bandwidth as any other member of the bush cabal except, perhaps, for george himself...

in the course of my observations, i have come to an inescapable conclusion... karl rove is a major source of fear and darkness in this world... he has carefully and meticulously cultivated his considerable abilities in those two areas and has succeeded, very nearly single-handedly, in twisting our national discourse in ways unimaginable 20 years ago... we desperately need to have karl rove permanently removed from any centers of power, not only in the united states but in the world...

maybe karl will take the opportunity, at some point in whatever years he has remaining to him, to realign himself with the forces of good... i sincerely hope that he does... in the meantime, if tomorrow morning dawns on an announcement of his resignation, i, for one, will be dancing in the street...

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The WaPo's naivete again rears its ugly head

once again, the wapo demos an astounding naivete...
[Bush] should stop stonewalling his critics or playing for partisan advantage and work with Congress to create legal means to fight terrorism compatible with American values and democracy. It would be nice to see him begin before the next disturbing revelation; we have a feeling there are more to come.

1. advising bush to stop stonewalling is a complete waste of words

2. playing for partisan advantage is not "A" bushco strategy, it is "THE" bushco strategy

3. working "with" ANYBODY is antithetical to the core of bush's being

4. creating legal means to fight terrorism ignores the fact that bush considers himself to BE the law and falsely assumes that he gives a fig about fighting terrorism

5. american values and democracy juxtaposed with the bush administration creates an oxymoron of epic proportions

6. continuing to live in a dream world where it would be "nice" to see george do something differently is flirting with a dangerous level of denial

7. feeling that more disturbing revelations are to come is perhaps the understatement of the decade, if not the century

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Oh, Dick, Dick, Dick...! What tangled webs we weave...!

if this ain't a smoking gun, it's a pretty decent facsimile...
Vice President Dick Cheney made handwritten notations on a July 2003 newspaper column ... a copy of an Op-Ed article by Joseph C. Wilson IV, a former ambassador, that was published in The New York Times on July 6, 2003.

[...]

In neat writing above the text of the column, prosecutors say, Mr. Cheney wrote: "Have they done this sort of thing before? Send an Amb. to answer a question? Do we ordinarily send people out pro bono to work for us? Or did his wife send him on a junket?"

[...]

Mr. Cheney's notations confirm that he was aware of who Ms. Wilson was, if not her name, before her name was first publicly disclosed in a July 14, 2003, column by Robert D. Novak.

big-time may be gettin' a little old to be doin' time, but i would suggest he consider starting to collect some good reading material...

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