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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 08/06/2006 - 08/13/2006
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"Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it."
- Noam Chomsky
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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Aye, matey, and here ya have it

well, gosh and golly... who woulda ever thunk it...? ya don't suppose this might have been part of the PLAN, now do ya...?
Bush Aides Foresee Gains on Eavesdropping and Guantánamo


White House officials said that the fallout from the
discovery of the British bombing plot could help the
administration advance its agenda in Congress.

these people are despicable...

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What's that dead fish smell...? Cynicism reinforced...

i've been waiting for this story and, sure enough, here it is...
"They're just normal guys, they're probably being painted as hateful monsters, but they were just normal guys," Louis Melvin, 26, said Friday as he stood near the Masjid-E-Umer mosque in the Walthamstow neighborhood of London with other young men who said they were friends with some of the suspects. "If they were plotting this for the last year, they wouldn't have been able to spend all that time talking to me about trivial things like soccer," Melvin said.


"There is a perception that this is a trial by media," said Jahangir Mohammed, director of the Center for Muslim Affairs, an independent research organization based in Manchester. "The general feeling is that people believe this has been concocted and it is very timely" as a diversion from the war between Israel and the Hezbollah militia in Lebanon.

Several Muslims said they condemned any terrorist plot but were skeptical about the police investigation and evidence that tied so many seemingly normal, middle-class Muslims to the alleged plot.

i'm so sorry mr. bush, mr. chertoff, mr. blair... i ain't buying this bullshit any more... i'll have to give you credit... this one was much better put together than the fake florida plot against the sears tower, but it still smells like a dead fish left to rot under the sun on the concrete of a florida jetty...

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Ashcroft - two years later, still inducing nausea

the united states of big business and big money, where only a revolving door separates government from the corporate conference room...
Nearly two years after he left the Justice Department for a glass-and-marble office tower six blocks away, Ashcroft is building a lucrative consulting company helping security and other firms find business with federal agencies. Federal spending on homeland security is expected to reach nearly $60 billion in fiscal 2007, according to the Office of Management and Budget.

key words:

federal agencies
$60 billion

words invisible to the naked eye:


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President Weasel weasels away from the media

someone with nothing to hide would welcome media coverage...
The idea that Bush could travel across the country without a full contingent of reporters, especially in the middle of a war, highlights a major cultural shift in the presidency and the news media. In the four decades since the assassination of John F. Kennedy, presidents traditionally have taken journalists with them wherever they traveled on the theory that when it comes to the most powerful leader on the planet, anything can happen at any time.

But increasingly in recent months, Bush has left town without a chartered press plane, often to receptions where he talks to donors chipping in hundreds of thousands of dollars with no cameras or tapes to record his words for the public. Barred from such events, most news organizations will not pay to travel with him. And so a White House policy inclined to secrecy has combined with escalating costs for the strapped news media to let Bush fly under the radar in a way his predecessors could not.

"...presidents traditionally have taken journalists with them wherever they traveled..."

let's re-phrase that...

"...HONEST, WELL-INTENTIONED presidents traditionally have taken journalists with them wherever they traveled..."

(this weasel moment brought to you by karl rove inc...)

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Friday, August 11, 2006

Winter sunset, Buenos Aires

it's been cloudy, drizzly, and chilly but, two nights ago, it cleared up enough to see the full moon and it was in all its glory again last night... this evening, buenos aires cranked up one of its spectacular evening skies... i can never get enough of watching the clouds and the sky here... except on a gray, drizzly day, of course...

11 August 2006, 5:30 p.m., from my front door

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The only thing that would improve his polls is for him to resign

can you spell L-O-S-E-R...?
An Associated Press-Ipsos poll conducted this week found the president's approval rating has dropped to 33 percent, matching his low in May. His handling of nearly every issue, from the Iraq war to foreign policy, contributed to the president's decline around the nation, even in the Republican-friendly South.

More sobering for the GOP are the number of voters who backed Bush in 2004 who are ready to vote Democratic in the fall's congressional elections - 19 percent. These one-time Bush voters are more likely to be female, self-described moderates, low- to middle-income and from the Northeast and Midwest.

Two years after giving the Republican president another term, more than half of these voters - 57 percent - disapprove of the job Bush is doing.

unfortunately, all of us are losing right along with him...

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Bush and Osama - joined at the hip

robert parry reminds us of something we absolutely MUST not forget...
As Americans suffer through another terrorism scare and George W. Bush talks tough about a long war against “Islamic fascists,” it bears remembering that top CIA analysts concluded that al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden released a videotape right before Election 2004 to help Bush win a second term.

Many liberals and Democrats have focused on allegations of Republican voter suppression and vote tampering, especially in the swing state of Ohio. But polls suggest that a more decisive factor in Bush’s narrow victory in 2004 was the reaction of the American people to bin Laden’s last-minute tirade against Bush.

On Oct. 29, 2004, the Friday before Election 2004, bin Laden broke nearly a year of silence and took the risk of releasing a videotape that denounced Bush and was immediately spun by Bush’s supporters as bin Laden’s “endorsement” of Democratic Sen. John Kerry.

According to two polls taken during and after the videotape’s release, Bush experienced a bump of several percentage points, from a virtual tie with Kerry to a five or six percentage point lead. Tracking polls by TIPP and Newsweek detected a surge in Bush support from a statistically insignificant two-point lead to five and six points, respectively.

no wonder bush decided to discontinue the hunt for osama... it'd be a shame to lose such a valuable asset...

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AMLO speaks

you go for it, amlo...
Recounting Our Way to Democracy

Published: August 11, 2006

Mexico City

NOT since 1910, when another controversial election sparked a revolution, has Mexico been so fraught with political tension.

The largest demonstrations in our history are daily proof that millions of Mexicans want a full accounting of last month’s presidential election. My opponent, Felipe Calderón, currently holds a razor-thin lead of 243,000 votes out of 41 million cast, but Mexicans are still waiting for a president to be declared.

Unfortunately, the electoral tribunal responsible for ratifying the election results thwarted the wishes of many Mexicans and refused to approve a nationwide recount. Instead, their narrow ruling last Saturday allows for ballot boxes in only about 9 percent of polling places to be opened and reviewed.

This is simply insufficient for a national election where the margin was less than one percentage point — and where the tribunal itself acknowledged evidence of arithmetic mistakes and fraud, noting that there were errors at nearly 12,000 polling stations in 26 states.

unlike gore, he's not letting it go... good for him...

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At least the NYT editorial board isn't fooled

the people we call our leaders are despicable...
It comes like a punch to the gut, at times like these, when our leaders blatantly use the nation’s trauma for political gain. We never get used to this. It never feels like business as usual.

On Wednesday, when the administration already knew that British agents were rounding up suspects in what they believed was a plot to blow up planes en route to the United States, Vice President Dick Cheney had a telephone interview with reporters to discuss the defeat of Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut in a Democratic primary. Mr. Cheney went off on a rather rambling disquisition, but its main point was clear: In rejecting Mr. Lieberman, who supported the war in Iraq, the Democrats were encouraging “the Al Qaeda types.” Within the Democratic ranks, the vice president added, “there’s a significant body of opinion that wants to go back — I guess the way I would describe it is sort of the pre-9/11 mind-set, in terms of how we deal with the world we live in.”

go directly to hell, dick cheney... do not pass "go," do not collect $200...

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Shoeless Joe joins the fear brigade (with Karl's help, natch)

rove offered to help and that's just what he's done... you can count on karl to come through in a pinch...
Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut seized on the reports of a terror plot yesterday to attack Ned Lamont, his Democratic opponent for re-election, saying that Mr. Lamont’s goal of withdrawing American troops from Iraq by a fixed date would constitute a “victory” for extremists.

yeppers... karl not only trotted out a terrorist plot, he also personally faxed over the talking points... ya gotta hand it to karl...

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Meanwhile, the prez will continue to lobotomize the social contract

never say die... they want this trophy on the wall, the trophy of a dead social contract... it's one of the big game bush has been after since his illegal hunting expedition began after the scotus decision of 12 december 2000...
President Remains Eager to Cut Entitlement Spending

The Bush administration has begun sounding out lawmakers and other key figures about mounting a new bipartisan effort to rein in the costs of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security after the midterm elections, according to officials in the administration and on Capitol Hill.

and, of course, the wapo, equally "eager" to maintain its place as the principal bushco public relations firm, is all too happy to use the word "entitlements" in an effort to discredit the legitimacy of the programs... god, they suck...

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Forget about Iraq, forget about Lebanon, forget about Lamont, forget about Bush's war crimes... Let's get back to being afraid...

forget about detainee torture, forget about guantanamo, forget about iran, forget about north korea, forget about the free-fall in the housing market, forget about the minimum wage increase, forget about scooter libby and valerie plame, forget about shredding the u.s. constitution... the headlines are once again filled with fear, and the media has swallowed it, hook, line, and sinker... and, oh, btw, as one anonymous dhs official said yesterday, "this is the real deal..." (as opposed to all those others...?)


Officials Say Foiled Terror Plot on Scale of 9/11

washington post...
Signs Point To a Surviving Terror Network

associated press...
Chertoff: Not certain all plotters found

washington post...
Both Parties Claim Edge as Terror Is Reinforced as a Campaign Topic

washington post...
A Shock That Wore Off

associated press...
Security in U.S. airports to intensify

associated press...
19 suspects in British terror plot ID'd

new york times...
Plan Was to Sneak Liquid Explosives on Planes

new york times...
Officials Cite Scale and Sophistication of Plane Plot

you simply can't tell me that they didn't have this one up their sleeve... good lord, i'm sorry to be so cynical and, god forbid that any plane would have been blown to smithereens over the atlantic (particularly one that i was on), but this is all so fucking convenient... it's way past the possibility of coincidence... i just don't believe anything i'm told any more...

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

The R's are waging full-scale war on the Dems following Joe's loss

all the usual suspects are out in force, just like trick-or-treaters on halloween...
The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) has issued at least 10 press releases today, many asking whether particular Democrats—including Pennsylvania candidate Bob Casey, Arizona candidate Jim Pederson, Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington, and Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey—will “support fringe candidate Ned Lamont or the 2000 VP nominee Joe Lieberman.”

Other Democrats, like Ohio's Sherrod Brown, are blasted for putting "far left politics on display in abandonment of Joe Lieberman."

"Hard left-wing Internet activisits" are blamed for Lieberman's defeat in NRSC statements to local media around the country, which go on to claim that, "what happened in Connecticut's primary clearly demonstrates that the angry left fringe of the Democrat[sic] Party is in charge."

rove is burning the midnight oil... the r's obviously feel deeply threatened... now, if the american people can just see through the barrage of manipulation...

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Details of airline carry-on changes

for you frequent travelers out there, fyi...
Threat Level Change for the Aviation Sector

In response to a serious terrorist threat to international aviation security, the Secretary of Homeland Security has elevated the Homeland Security Advisory System Threat Condition to Severe, or Red, for all commercial flights from the United Kingdom to the United States, and to High, or Orange, for all other international flights and all domestic commercial aviation.

There are approximately 106 flights per day between the United Kingdom and the United States. Although numerous arrests have been made in the U.K. to disrupt and neutralize this threat, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is taking a number of heightened protective measures to ensure the continued safety and security of our international and domestic air travel.

*Protecting the Aviation System. * The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will be implementing a series of security measures -- some visible and some not visible -- to ensure the security of the traveling public and the Nation's transportation system. TSA is immediately implementing following changes to airport screening procedures:

NO LIQUIDS OR GELS OF ANY KIND WILL BE PERMITTED IN CARRY-ON BAGGAGE. ITEMS MUST BE IN CHECKED BAGGAGE. This includes all beverages, shampoo, suntan lotion, creams, tooth paste, hair gel, and other items of similar consistency.

*/Exception: /* Baby formula, breast milk, or juice if a baby or small child is traveling; prescription medicine with a name that matches the passenger's ticket; and insulin and essential other non-prescription medicines

* Beverages purchased in the sterile area must be consumed before boarding because they will not be permitted onboard the aircraft. * Passengers traveling from the U.K. to the U.S. will be subject to a more extensive screening process.

Some measures will not be visible to the public. In light of the elevated threat level, the Federal Air Marshals Service (FAMS) will provide expanded mission coverage for flights from the United Kingdom to the United States.

These measures will be constantly evaluated and updated when circumstances warrant. DHS and its components have coordinated closely with the air carrier industry, airports, and state and local stakeholders to implement these significant, but necessary, security measures. The traveling public can assist these agencies in carrying out their important security duties by:

* Packing lightly, without clutter to facilitate easier screening.
* Check with your air carrier well before your flight departs for information on when you should arrive at the airport.
* Cooperating with TSA personnel at all checkpoints and gates because TSA Security Officers will be checking carry-on baggage at the gate.
* Being attentive and vigilant to any suspicious activity.

*Protecting* *U.S.**Borders. * U.S. Customs and Border Protection will increase enforcement efforts in international arrival areas including the use of advanced targeting tools, special response teams including baggage and aircraft search teams, baggage x-ray equipment, specially-trained canine units, and explosive detection technology.

DHS has also mandated that all flights from the U.K. transmit passenger manifest information for intensive screening prior to departure from the gate. In addition, passengers on these flights and all other international flights will be subject to heightened inspection upon arrival in the U.S.

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Juan Cole's perspective on Muslims in the UK

which is, as usual, extremely insightful...
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have contributed to the radicalization of second-generation UK Muslims. They oppose those wars by a large margin. Some 80 percent of UK Muslims oppose the Iraq War, and only 10 percent approve of it. The Israeli treatment of the Palestinians is also a matter of great concern to them, and a radicalizing factor for young people.

Only 1 percent of UK Muslims believe that the 7/7 bombings were "right." But 13 percent of UK Muslims (who are about 1.6 million persons in a population of 60 million) believe that the 7/7 bombers are martyrs. Another 16 percent believe that while their action was wrong, their cause was just.

On the other hand, 56 percent of UK Muslims think that their government is not doing enough to combat extremism, and nearly half want surveillance of mosques. About a third say they would be proud if a family member joined the British police. The community is clearly deeply divided, with a minority attracted by extremism and a majority that is very worried about it and wants something done.

whether or not the foiled heathrow plot was conveniently contrived or not, we seem to have completely forgotten the old maxim that, when you find yourself in a deep hole, you first need to stop digging...

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Now, here's someone to REALLY be afraid of...

(thanks to the general...)

(see previous post...)

when the truth is finally told - and it WILL eventually be told - bush's richelieu will be the one whose fingerprints are everywhere...

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What's wrong with this picture...? MIKE WALLACE talks to Ahmadinejad...?

and finds, no surprise, he isn't quite what we've been led to believe...
"60 Minutes" veteran correspondent Mike Wallace may have retired last March but that hasn't stopped him from scoring an exclusive interview with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.


But when they got there they were told that the Iranian president was very busy and may not get to talk to them. The CBS crew cooled their heels, so to speak, in Tehran's 100-degree heat in a hotel without air conditioning.

"We waited, and they said, 'he's still busy, he doesn't know, he hasn't decided,"' Wallace said. "We were scheduled to return. If he hadn't talked to us by late Tuesday we were going to get on the plane. All of the sudden word came through he was going to talk."

The 3:30 p.m. interview didn't come off until 5 p.m., but Wallace said their talk stretched for an hour and a half. "We went on and on," Wallace said. "We were told we were going to get 30 minutes."


Wallace dismissed the common perceptions of Ahmadinejad.

"He's actually, in a strange way, he's a rather attractive man, very smart, savvy, self-assured, good looking in a strange way," Wallace said. "He's very, very short but he's comfortable in his own skin."

(Wallace's interview will appear on the "CBS Evening News" tonight and on Sunday's "60 Minutes.")

what's wrong with this picture...? mike wallace arranges a sit-down with ahmadinejad...? hey, i mean, good for him... he's got my admiration for doing it... but where, i would like to know, is condi...? where is george...?

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The WaPo's editors are writing for people on another planet

i feel like curly howard in the three stooges when he starts slapping himself repeatedly and jerking in agitated frustration...

Lieberman's decision to move forward with an independent candidacy after his loss in the Democratic primary is a controversial choice but in this circumstance the correct one.


But the critical question facing voters in November, as opposed to party leaders now, is who would make the better senator -- which is why we welcome Mr. Lieberman's decision to remain in the race. He would be, by far, the better choice for the people of Connecticut.

either karl rove wrote this himself or he dictated it over the phone...

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When your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail

one day after lieberman loses the connecticut primary, tony snow almost as much as says that a vote for lamont is a vote for the terrorists...
Snow said that Connecticut voters who backed Ned Lamont ... were choosing to “ignore the difficulties and walk away.” That is the same approach, he said, that led Osama bin Laden to the conclusion “that Americans were weak and wouldn’t stay the course and that led to September 11th.”

two days after joe lieberman loses the connecticut primary, it must be time to get the huddled masses shaking in their boots - again... interesting, no...?
British authorities said Thursday they had thwarted a terrorist plot to simultaneously blow up several aircraft heading to the U.S. using explosives smuggled in hand luggage, averting what police described as "mass murder on an unimaginable scale."

Officials raised security to its highest level in Britain — suggesting a terrorist attack might be imminent — and banned hand-carried luggage on all trans-Atlantic flights. Huge crowds formed at security barriers at London's Heathrow airport as officials searching for explosives barred nearly every form of liquid outside of baby formula.

it's almost as if it was tailor-made...
The U.S. government raised its threat warning to the highest level for commercial flights from Britain to the United States early Thursday in response to a terror plot disrupted in London. Terrorists had targeted United, American and Continental airlines, two U.S. counterterrorism officials said.

In addition to the highest alert for flights from Britain, the alert for all flights coming or going from the United States was also raised slightly. The government banned beverages, hair gels and lotions from flights, explaining only that liquids emerged as a risk from the investigation in Britain.

when your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail... color me extremely cynical...

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Taking a look at some facts (for a change) in Venezuela

first, some polling data...
In March, Consultadores 21, another public opinion firm associated with Venezuela's opposition, released a poll asking Venezuelans their opinion on a wide range of issues.

They found that Chávez got middling marks for tackling some of the country's most persistent problems; just under half of those surveyed approved of his handling of security and his efforts to rein in corruption -- both chronic conditions.

When asked if they thought Chávez was doing a good job tackling other issues, these were the results:

* Education: 69.4 percent approved

* Housing: 65.3 percent approved

* Health care: 65.2 percent approved

* Purchasing power: 54 percent approved

* Employment: 53.6 percent approved

now, some data on the economy...
...another set of data from the opposition -- in this case from the virulently anti-Chávez Venezuelan-American Chamber of Commerce (Vencham), based on research by the polling firm Datos (translation again courtesy of OilWars).

It crunched the economic data from 2005 and concluded -- no doubt to Vencham's chagrin -- that in addition to an "increase in social spending and social investment," unemployment was down, there was a "real increase in the minimum wage and improvements in other benefits," and interest rates fell in 2005.

Venezuelans' purchases of consumer goods -- supposedly the ultimate sign of a healthy society -- is up by 16 percent since Chávez took office -- the highest level since the 1980s...

and, guess who's benefiting the MOST...? (if you guessed the super-rich, the scenario in the u.s., you would be dead-wrong...)
But a majority of Venezuelans -- the bottom 60 percent (58 percent to be exact) of the income distribution -- saw stunning gains. In 2004, their real income grew by 30 percent, and last year by another 16 percent. This is the poor majority that Hugo Chávez promised to help when he was elected.

Taken together, these numbers explain why Venezuelans' confidence in their economy is at its highest level since 1988 and the second highest since Datos started measuring it in 1982 (and more than double what it was before Chávez took power in 1998).

the point the article so clearly makes is that voters in venezuela, like voters everywhere, are going to vote on the issues, despite the attempts from u.s. political consultants like dick morris to meddle and turn things toward a u.s.-style, polarized mess...

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The latest chapter from bizarro world

a startling development...

(from john at americablog, currently blogging from paris...)
GOP party chair Ken Mehlman refuses to endorse Republican Senate candidate

Oh man, the head of the entire Republican party is now refusing to endorse the Republican candidate for US Senate in Connecticut. Chris Matthews asked Mehlman REPEATEDLY, and each time Mehlman refused to endorse the Republican candidate. Clearly it's because George Bush has now endorsed Joe Lieberman, and Lieberman is therefore the Republcan party's candidate in Connecticut. This is absolutely stunning. Just whose side is Joe Lieberman on?

Video from PoliticsTV:
MATTHEWS: Do you want Republicans in Connecticut to vote for the Republican candidate or do you want them to vote for Joe Lieberman, which one?

MEHLMAN: I'm letting Republicans in Connecticut make that decision.

good lord...

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Argentina: on the one hand, +'s, on the other hand, -'s

lots of pluses and minuses in the latest imf report on argentina...

on the plus side...

Argentina's economy has continued to deliver very positive outturns in the period following the 2002 crisis. After three years of around 9 percent growth, real GDP has surpassed its 1998 peak by some 6 percent, led by strong investment and consumption.

However, inflation has risen steadily ending 2005 at 12.3 percent.

on the plus side...
The post-crisis fiscal adjustment is historically unprecedented. In 2005 the overall cash surplus of the consolidated government was 2½ percent of GDP, underpinned by strong revenue performance.

However, non-interest spending rose by 11 percent in real terms, leading to an erosion of the primary surplus (to 4½ percent of GDP in 2005, from 5 percent in 2004) despite the high rate of economic growth...

on the plus side...
The exchange rate has remained stable amid sustained intervention by the central bank. Interest rates have risen gradually as bank lending has recovered and liquidity conditions have normalized...

...but short-term interest rates remain negative in real terms.

on the plus side...
There has been a demonstrable improvement in social conditions. By end-2005, the poverty rate had declined to 34 percent from the peak of 57 percent reached in 2002, and extreme poverty had more than halved to 12 percent. Other social indicators such as secondary school enrollment and completion rates, as well as formal health insurance coverage, and the infant mortality rate have also seen impressive improvements in the past few years.

...the labor market remains highly segmented with a widening gap between formal and informal sector wages.

the "informal" economy, according to reports by the argentine government, comprises more than 45% of the total wages paid... for those of you wondering what an "informal" economy means, it's very simple... people are hired and paid off the books, without paying taxes, without receiving benefits, and without any employment security whatsoever... it's a system where only the have's win and the poor take it in the chops...

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I knew Joe was a blackguard but I didn't know Satan had taken an interest

go ahead, joe... karl would be more than happy to take an adjustable rate mortgage on your soul...
Karl Rove, a close advisor to the President, has expressed interest in assisting Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman in retaining his seat, despite a loss in the Democratic Primary last night, ABC News has reported.

Rove was, according to the report, acting on behalf of President Bush.

George Stephanopoulos, writing for the World Newser blog at ABC, wrote that a Lieberman aide had shared with the news agency a message from the White House: "The boss wants to help. Whatever we can do, we will do."

you toss in with that gang, joe, you deserve whatever happens to you... and, believe me, when the mortgage comes due, it won't be pretty...

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Well, maybe someone's getting the message

The NYT editorial page gets it:

Revenge of the Irate Moderates


The primary upset was not, however, a rebellion against the bipartisanship and centrism that Mr. Lieberman said he represented in the Senate. Instead, Connecticut Democrats were reacting to the way those concepts have been perverted by the Bush White House.


Mr. Lieberman’s supporters have tried to depict Mr. Lamont and his backers as wild-eyed radicals who want to punish the senator for working with Republicans and to force the Democratic Party into a disastrous turn toward extremism. It’s hard to imagine Connecticut, which likes to be called the Land of Steady Habits, as an encampment of left-wing isolationists, and it’s hard to imagine Mr. Lamont, who worked happily with the Republicans in Greenwich politics, leading that kind of revolution.

The rebellion against Mr. Lieberman was actually an uprising by that rare phenomenon, irate moderates. They are the voters who have been unnerved over the last few years as the country has seemed to be galloping in a deeply unmoderate direction. A war that began at the president’s choosing has degenerated into a desperate, bloody mess that has turned much of the world against the United States. The administration’s contempt for international agreements, Congressional prerogatives and the authority of the courts has undermined the rule of law abroad and at home.

Yet while all this has been happening, the political discussion in Washington has become a captive of the Bush agenda. Traditional beliefs like every person’s right to a day in court, or the conviction that America should not start wars it does not know how to win, wind up being portrayed as extreme. The middle becomes a place where senators struggle to get the president to volunteer to obey the law when the mood strikes him. Attempting to regain the real center becomes a radical alternative.


His constituents felt that when the White House led the country into a disastrous international crisis and started subverting the nation’s basic traditions, Joe Lieberman should have changed enough to take a lead in fighting back.

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Sirota on Lieberman's treachery - to his OWN PARTY

if we ever needed proof that lieberman isn't a democrat, his announced intention to proceed with his independent candidacy is it... as sirota sees it...
[I]n his last coughing gasps, Lieberman is now saying he will, in fact, fire off that last spiteful round - right into the gut of the Democratic Party.


This, from the guy who went on television after the 2004 presidential race (which was the closer than the Connecticut primary) to declare that "there's no prizes for second place in American politics." Yes, you read that right - the Senator who says there's "no prizes for second place" and who has in the final days of Democratic primary campaigning been running around claiming that he gets the message and realizes he no longer should enable George W. Bush's right-wing agenda now is saying that he will try to rely on hard-core Republican voters and moneymen in a general election contest in a desperate attempt to hold onto power.

but, lest we forget to celebrate the moment...
This is an incredible victory tonight. Ordinary people showed that no politician - even a snake like Lieberman with every single advantage - is above American democracy. Though Lieberman and the lobbyists who are backing him would like everyone to forget about democracy, Ned Lamont tonight showed that ordinary people in this country still have power and that no Senate seat is the exclusive property of any one individual.

but, my god, there's so far to go...

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Reuters and the rest of the media just don't get it

here's a quarter for the clue-phone... iraq is just a SMALL piece of why lieberman lost...
Lieberman loses battle over war

August 09, 2006 07:36 AM ET

HARTFORD, Connecticut (Reuters) - Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman lost a Democratic Party showdown to a relative unknown on Tuesday, a casualty of voter anger over his support for the war in Iraq and President George W. Bush.

evidently, the media simply doesn't recognize that lieberman has been an ENABLER of renegade, out-of-control presidential administration that has wreaked total havoc in the united states and the rest of the world via its criminal, unconstitutional actions...

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The WH drafts legislation insuring their own immunity from war crimes prosecution

check out THIS quote...
"People have gotten worried, thinking that it's quite likely they might be under a microscope," said a U.S. official.


O-M-G...! you mean to tell me there's a way we can be held ACCOUNTABLE...! quick...! DESTROY IT before someone tries to use it...!

The Bush administration has drafted amendments to a war crimes law that would eliminate the risk of prosecution for political appointees, CIA officers and former military personnel for humiliating or degrading war prisoners, according to U.S. officials and a copy of the amendments.

Officials say the amendments would alter a U.S. law passed in the mid-1990s that criminalized violations of the Geneva Conventions, a set of international treaties governing military conduct in wartime. The conventions generally bar the cruel, humiliating and degrading treatment of wartime prisoners without spelling out what all those terms mean.

if the american people have any huevos whatsoever, we will deluge our legislators to insure such self-serving crapola doesn't get passed...

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The military destruction of Hezbollah: "There is a limit to what the world will be willing to tolerate"

on alternet today, scott ritter offers a thoughtful and well-informed assessment of the growing intensity of the world's condemnation of the israeli incursion into lebanon and the support israel is being provided support by the u.s...
The reality of Hezbollah is that it is a decidedly nationalistic organization that has gone on record condemning the September 2001 terror attacks against the United States, rejecting Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda, as well as any killing of innocent civilians in the name of Islam. If it were not for the Israeli angle, the irony is that Hezbollah actually represents the kind of home-grown political party that the United States should be supporting.

Hezbollah is very much a political reality. It is woven into the daily reality of the lives of Lebanese Shi'a, providing medical and education support to impoverished civilians who otherwise would have to go without. Hezbollah has participated in the legitimate political processes of the Lebanese democracy, winning over a dozen seats in the Lebanese Parliament, and holding several cabinet-level positions. The Lebanese government itself recognizes the unique character of Hezbollah, rejecting any notion that it is an illegitimate militia, but rather a legitimate national resistance movement that will continue to exist until Israel stops meddling in Lebanese affairs.


The fact of the matter is, Hezbollah is a reality that neither the United States nor Israel can negotiate away. To attempt to bomb Lebanon into submission as a proxy for its inability to militarily defeat Hezbollah is not only criminal, but counterproductive.

Hezbollah today has the support of nearly 90 percent of the Lebanese population. Hassan Nasrullah has taken on legendary proportions throughout the Arab world, where his and Hezbollah's ongoing stout resistance to Israel's mighty military stands in stark contrast to the impotence of the rest of the Arab world and its leaders.

ritter's concluding observation should be enough to give us all pause...
[T]he mindset in much of the Arab and Muslim world that if Iran and Syria are targeted for providing military support for Hezbollah, then the No. 1 underwriter for the ongoing Israeli slaughter of Lebanese, the United States, likewise becomes a legitimate military target.

to say nothing of the fact that the lebanon situation is providing yet more reason for angry muslims to take up the jihad cause against the great satan...

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Out of Connecticut, finally, some good news, followed by whining

and turnout was double what was expected... that oughta tell ya somethin', eh...?
Lamont won with 52 percent of the vote, or 146,061, to 48 percent for Lieberman, with 136,042, with 99 percent of precincts reporting. Turnout was projected at twice the norm for a primary.

but whiny joe just can't get it through his 18-years-in-a-seat-of-power-and-privilege thick head...
Lieberman, undaunted, vowed to run as an independent against fellow Democrat Ned Lamont. "For the sake of our state, our country and my party, I cannot and will not let that result stand," he said of Tuesday's Democratic primary results.

earth to joe... the voters DON'T WANT YOU...! for the "sake" of your state and your country, LET IT GO...!
On Wednesday, leaders of the Democratic Party aim to make him change his mind — before Lieberman's camp files a petition to run as an independent, due by the afternoon.

do you think he's gonna listen...? if it's dems doing the talking, probably not...

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The White House decides to help the rapture along

how is it possible for the actions of this criminal presidential administration to get any more bizarre...?
Over the past months, the White House has convened a series of off-the-record meetings about its policies in the Middle East with leaders of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), a newly formed political organization that tells its members that supporting Israel's expansionist policies is "a biblical imperative." CUFI's Washington lobbyist, David Brog, told me that during the meetings, CUFI representatives pressed White House officials to adopt a more confrontational posture toward Iran, refuse aid to the Palestinians and give Israel a free hand as it ramped up its military conflict with Hezbollah.

The White House instructed Brog not to reveal the names of officials he met with, Brog said.

nothing like giving the good ol' rapture index (see previous post) a little helping hand...
CUFI's advice to the Bush Administration reflects the Armageddon-based foreign-policy views of its founder, John Hagee. Hagee is a fire-and-brimstone preacher from San Antonio who commands the nearly 18,000-member Cornerstone Church and hosts a major TV ministry where he explains to millions of viewers how the end times will unfold. He is also the author of numerous bestselling pulp-prophecy books, like his recent Jerusalem Countdown, in which he cites various unnamed Israeli intelligence sources to claim that Iran is producing nuclear "suitcase bombs." The only way to defeat the Iranian evildoers, he says, is a full-scale military assault.

"The coming nuclear showdown with Iran is a certainty," Hagee wrote this year in the Pentecostal magazine Charisma. "Israel and America must confront Iran's nuclear ability and willingness to destroy Israel with nuclear weapons. For Israel to wait is to risk committing national suicide."


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The Rapture Index

the end times I'M waiting for is when we can get bush and his criminal posse out of office and, if there is a god, that will happen before 20 january 2009...
The Rapture Index -- a popular evangelical Christian Web posting that calculates a global rise in natural disasters, war and inflation -- bills itself as "a Dow Jones industrial average of end-time activity."

An index below 85 signifies a week of "slow prophetic activity." Anything above 145 signals the apocalypse is near.

The Rapture Index this week: 158. The spike reflects many U.S. evangelicals' view that growing conflict in the Middle East signals the start of a global struggle leading to Christ's return.

"We believe 100 percent what the Scripture has to say about this," said Jack Heintz, a South Florida businessman and president of the Christian group Peace for Israel, who recruited 23 evangelical Christians to join a July telephone fundraising event for Israel. "There's going to be a total battle, the battle of Armageddon, and I believe that's very close to happening."

religious wingnuttery makes for strange bedfellows... oh, and, btw, where's mel gibson on this...?

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We don't have a president in the WH, we have an inmate at a maximum security mental institution

these people have totally lost their friggin' minds...
According to Israeli sources, Olmert and Bush agreed at the May 23 summit to make 2006 the year for neutralizing Iran’s nuclear ambitions, while deferring a border settlement with the Palestinians until 2007.

Provoking a wider regional conflict also revived hopes among Bush’s neoconservative advisers that they might yet create a “new Middle East” that would be amenable to U.S. and Israeli desires and interests.

In this context, the Israeli-Lebanese war was a confrontation looking for a pretext, not an ad hoc response to Hezbollah’s capture of two Israeli soldiers on July 12. That so-called “kidnapping” has been sold to the American people and many world leaders as the precipitating event for the conflict, but it now appears only to have been a trigger for prearranged scheme.

Israeli sources indicate that Bush gave Olmert a green light for the conflict at the May 23 summit. The sources said Bush has even encouraged Israel to expand the war by attacking Syria, although Israeli leaders balked at that recommendation because they lacked an immediate justification.

One Israeli source said some Israeli officials considered Bush’s interest in an attack on Syria “nuts” since it would have been viewed by much of the world as an act of aggression. Bush, however, is said to still hold out hope that reactions by Syria or Iran – such as coming to the aid of Hezbollah – could open the door to a broader conflict.

In an article on July 30, the Jerusalem Post hinted at Bush’s continued interest in a wider war involving Syria. “Defense officials told the Post last week that they were receiving indications from the US that America would be interested in seeing Israel attack Syria,” the newspaper reported.

the totally bizarre part of reading something like this, which would once be considered barking moonbat crazy, is now completely believable... considering the author, robert parry of consortium news, a guy who didn't just fall off the turnip truck, it's more than just believable... my god, we have fallen so far...

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Longest delivery in the history of panda reproduction

if you follow that kind of thing...
A giant panda in China has given birth to the heaviest cub born in captivity after the longest period in labor and elsewhere twin pandas each gave birth to twins, Xinhua news agency reported.

Six-year-old Zhang Ka delivered the baby on Monday at the Wolong Giant Panda Research Center in the mountainous southwest, Xinhua said.

The cub weighed just 218 grams (half a pound), but was still the heaviest panda ever born in captivity, where most cubs are born at between 83 and 190 grams, Xinhua said.

"It is very rare for them to be even near 200 grams," it said in a report late on Monday.

But the size and the fact that it was Zhang Ka's first meant a "painstaking and eventful" birth for the mother, who was born in the wild.

"The whole process lasted about 34 hours and was the longest in the history of panda reproduction," Xinhua quoted Zhang Hemin, head of the Wolong center, as saying.

and probably no ice chips or saddle block either...

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More wasted advice because "Syria knows what we think"

when i read editorials offering advice to the bush administration, i don't know whether to laugh or cry... after nearly six years, bush has demonstrated zero willingness to listen to anyone outside of his satanic advisors...
When asked yesterday why the United States isn’t talking with Syria about the Lebanon crisis, President Bush replied, “Syria knows what we think.” That may be. But Syria is also unlikely to even consider doing what Mr. Bush wants — rein in Hezbollah and help halt the killing in Lebanon and Israel — unless its leaders know what potential rewards as well as punishments await them. And for that, the United States needs to offer a serious high-level discussion with Syria, and it needs to do it now.

just another chapter in a very long-running horror story...

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Cuba: putting out the message

once you start reading between the lines of news stories, it's no longer possible not to see the spin...
High-ranking Cuban officials worked hard Monday to put out the message that Cuba was stable after the transfer of power from Fidel Castro to his younger brother last week.

if bush had undergone emergency surgery and the reins of government had been handed over to cheney for the interim, you can bet your sweet ass that you wouldn't see a story lead-in saying, "U.S. officials worked hard to put out the message that America was stable..." nosirreee... not bloody likely...

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Victory in Iraq, whatever that might mean, is no longer possible

we're so crosswise in iraq there's no longer anything we can do that doesn't make things worse... it's been a disaster from the beginning, and about the only ones who refuse to admit it are the ones whose decisions took us there and are keeping us there...
Iraq's prime minister sharply criticized a U.S.-Iraqi attack on a Shiite militia stronghold in Baghdad, exposing a rift with his American partners on security tactics, as 24 people were killed Tuesday in a series of bombings and a shooting.


The U.S.-Iraqi air and ground attack was launched before dawn Monday in Sadr City, which is controlled by radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army militia. Police said three people, including a woman and a child, were killed in the raid, which the U.S. command said was aimed at "individuals involved in punishment and torture cell activities."

Three people were captured, the U.S. military said.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite, said he was "very angered and pained" by the operation, warning that it could undermine his efforts toward national reconciliation.

a case study in lose-lose...

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Monday, August 07, 2006

A gigantic load of Lieberman(ure)

FOX just did a segment on Lamont-Lieberman. Highlights:

* Lieberman: If I lose tomorrow, the message is there is no room in the Party for “strong on security” Democrats.


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From the pulpit of the Divine Church of I've Got Mine, the WSJ dispenses THE TRUTH

this piece of garbage from the wsj is so supremely arrogant and so abysmally wrong, nothing i or anyone else can say would suffice...
[Lamont] does have one issue, and it is Iraq. He grasps little of the complexities of his issue, but then this, too, is true of the genus of the peace candidate. Peace candidates know only one thing, and that is why people vote for them. I know the type well.


{When] people like Joe Lieberman emerged, muscular on defense, assertive in foreign policy, genuinely liberal on social and economic matters, but not doctrinaire on regulatory issues. He had marched for civil rights and is committed to an equal opportunity agenda with equal opportunity results. He has qualms about affirmative action. But who, in his hearts of hearts, does not? He is appalled by the abysmal standards of our popular culture and our public discourse. Who really loves our popular culture--or, at least, which parent? He is thoroughly a Democrat. But Mr. Lieberman believes that, in an age of communal and global stress, one would do well to speak with the president (even, on rare occasion, speak well of him) and compromise with him on urgent matters of practical law.

Yes, Mr. Lieberman sometimes sounds a bit treacly. He certainly is preachy, and advertises his sense of his own righteousness. But he has also been brave, and bravery is a rare trait in politicians, especially in states that are really true-blue or, for that matter, really true-red. The blogosphere Democrats, whose victory Mr. Lamont's will be if Mr. Lamont wins, have made Iraq the litmus test for incumbents. There are many reasonable, and even correct, reproofs that one may have for the conduct of the war. They are, to be sure, all retrospective. But one fault cannot be attributed to the U.S., and that is that we are on the wrong side. We are at war in a just cause, to protect the vulnerable masses of the country from the helter-skelter ideological and religious mass-murderers in their midst. Our enemies are not progressive peasants as was imagined three and four decades ago.

If Mr. Lieberman goes down, the thought-enforcers of the left will target other centrists as if the center was the locus of a terrible heresy, an emphasis on national strength. Of course, they cannot touch Hillary Clinton, who lists rightward and then leftward so dexterously that she eludes positioning. Not so Mr. Lieberman. He does not camouflage his opinions. He does not play for safety, which is why he is now unsafe.

to say that this wsj pseudo-intellectual doesn't get it is perhaps the understatment of the century... i believe it was the nyt that used a three-syllable word that completely sums up precisely why joe lieberman should not be returned to the senate - ENABLER... lieberman has sat by actively cheered from the sidelines while george bush and his criminal posse have trashed the united states of america... iraq is just ONE of the ways bush has pissed on everything we stand for... and it ain't the "thought-enforcers of the left" that are bringing down a "centrist..." lieberman's bringing HIMSELF down by being completely out of touch with what's REALLY happened to his own country while he's been busy sucking up to power... THAT'S why he's gotta go... and, ferchrissakes, lamont is NOT A PEACE CANDIDATE...! he's a REAL CANDIDATE, as opposed to one made out of papier-mâché...

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"We don't want a portion of democracy. We want 100% democracy."

i hope amlo has more success than we did in florida... the 12 december 2000 scotus decision started the descent into our current level of dante's hell...

Protestors at the Stock
Exchange in Mexico City
Mr Lopez Obrador rejected the tribunal's decision to recount votes from only 9% of polling stations.

"We don't want a portion of democracy. We want 100% democracy," he told thousands of supporters in Mexico City.

Official results from the 2 July vote gave victory to the conservative Felipe Calderon by half of a percentage point.

For the past week his supporters have been camped out in central Mexico City as part of a campaign of "civil disobedience" to demand a full "vote-by-vote" recount.

Mr Lopez Obrador told tens of thousands of supporters in the city's vast Zocalo Square on Sunday: "This week we are going to carry out actions of resistance." The fight, he added, would "possibly will take more time, but will not be in vain". [He] urged followers to march on the electoral tribunal headquarters on Monday, and to keep up their sit-in of the Zocalo Square and main Reforma Avenue.

The sit-ins have snarled up much of the centre of the city for the last week.

mexico's poor are insisting that they be heard... hint: it's not free trade and globalization they're demanding...

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"How do you figure out which side God is really on?"

tom mccarthy, a beirut resident, writing in the huffpo...
How many innocents did Hizbullah murder in the last week, in reply to the innocents Israel murdered, in reply to the innocents Hizbullah murdered?

The death accountants and blood apologists on both sides, too, are now fully engaged, every day on TV getting out their scorecards, history books and slide rules and proving with dates, numbers and names the greater suffering of their particular side, and its consequent moral spotlessness.

What happens when two morally unimpeachable sides square off in a fight to the death? How do you figure out which side God is really on?

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Ney's out - another Abramoff casualty

now, if blackwell could have the courtesy to disappear, maybe ohio could start working on cleaning up its reputation for official corruption and election-rigging...
Statement By Congressman Bob Ney

Ohio, Aug 7 -

Congressman Bob Ney (OH-18) made the following statement today that he is withdrawing from the 18th Congressional race:

“After much consideration and thought I have decided today to no longer seek re-election in Ohio’s 18th Congressional District. I am extremely proud of my 25 years serving the people of Ohio. We’ve accomplished many things to make this state better and I will always be grateful for the trust my constituents put in me. Ultimately this decision came down to my family. I must think of them first, and I can no longer put them through this ordeal.”

yeah, bob, you're SUCH a victim - of your own lack of principles...

(thanks to raw story...)

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With an ass-licking likely, Lieberman FINALLY talks about the big "I"


change that headline to "kicking," not "licking..." freudian slip, undoubtedly... :)

watching this guy unravel as the spotlight was turned up to full has been a very painful but extremely educational experience...
With polls showing Lamont leading the three-term incumbent, Lieberman at last moved to confront the issues -- opposition to the war and anger with Bush -- that have put his political career in jeopardy.

it gives confirmation to a suspicion i think many of us have held - that multi-term congressmen and women are highly prone to begin believing that they are somehow infallible and omnipotent as they become ever more disconnected from the all-too-real and gritty world of their constituents...

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Sunday, August 06, 2006

"An 'honour killing' to murder someone who is gay" in Iraq

this is what american troops have been dying to protect...
[Iraq] is seeing a sudden escalation of brutal attacks on what are being called the 'immorals' - homosexual men and children as young as 11 who have been forced into same-sex prostitution.

There is growing evidence that Shia militias have been killing men suspected of being gay and children who have been sold to criminal gangs to be sexually abused. The threat has led to a rapid increase in the numbers of Iraqi homosexuals now seeking asylum in the UK because it has become impossible for them to live safely in their own country.


Homosexuality is seen as so immoral that it qualifies as an 'honour killing' to murder someone who is gay - and the perpetrator can escape punishment. Section 111 of Iraq's penal code lays out protections for murder when people are acting against Islam.

coming on top of the previous post, this is almost too much...

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Iraq: horrible and getting much worse

this week's issue of time has an excellent cover story entitled...
Life in Hell: A Tale of Everyday Struggle in the Chaos of Baghdad



For ordinary Iraqis who live on the other side of the Green Zone's tall walls, the time to debate if and when civil war will start is past: it is already under way. It's a view that I share. After three years of dwindling optimism over Iraq's future, I now feel a mounting pessimism.

In the red zone (the name given to the rest of Baghdad by Green Zoners too nervous to venture outside the walls), the sporadic spurts of violence between Shi'ites and Sunnis have given way to a steady stream of blood. Partisans on both sides are arming themselves for battle, and ordinary folks are looking for ways to defend themselves. Owing to soaring demand, the price of a Chinese-made AK-47 has quadrupled, to $200, since the start of the year; the Russian-made version has doubled, to $600. The U.N. reports that nearly 6,000 Iraqis were killed in May and June, more than in any comparable period since the fall of Saddam. These days, almost all the killing is Iraqi on Iraqi. Many people are abandoning neighborhoods that were harmoniously mixed for centuries, instead seeking the safety of all-Shi'ite or Sunni-only districts. The government says more than 180,000 people have become refugees in their own country; tens of thousands of others are fleeing Iraq altogether. The political leadership, from Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on down, lacks both the stature and the will to bridge the chasm between the two communities. Caught in the middle, the U.S. military is unable to halt the bloodshed.

it's far from a pleasant read... mostly, it's just terribly, terribly sad...

(thanks to raw story...)

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"A profound concern about where America finds itself today"

yep, yep, and yep...
The "netroots" - which is simply a trendy way of saying "politically-active Americans" - are motivated by a profound concern about where America finds itself today. That kind of concern isn't liberal, it isn't anti-war, it isn't even partisan. It's American. And check out the polls, George and all the rest of ya - most of the country agrees with us, not most of the Democratic party, most of the COUNTRY.

So please, for the love of God, stop labeling us all as cumbaya peaceniks. It's getting real old.

john at americablog (temporarily hq'd in paris, god love 'im) hits the nail squarely on the head... concern for where my country is headed tops every other concern i have and it has been that way for nearly six years... yeah, i have other concerns, important ones - to me at least - but what i see happening in the u.s. is so big and so very wrong, it crowds everything else to the back of the bus...

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Killing each other on Argentina's roads and highways

last year i got to know an individual, an attorney, who, pro bono, heads a non-profit devoted to promoting automobile safety in argentina, and who considers the two words - "automobile" and "safety" - to be one of argentina's biggest oxymorons...
[I]f we look at the annual toll, the appalling truth is that in all too many years during the two decades since the National Commission of the Disappearance of Persons (CONADEP) issued its report on the “dirty war” missing, more people have died on the roads than the nearly 9,000 names in that first CONADEP list...


Road accidents may not capture the same dramatic headlines as the terrorism causing war after war in this young century but it causes more deaths than the terrorism or even those wars so that rather than fret about crime or terrorism, it is high time we started thinking soberly about where the main threat to our lives lies.

i'll be embarking on a several-thousand kilometer trip next saturday from buenos aires to the andes near the chilean border, a repeat of one i took last year at this time... particularly on the two-lane highways in provincia de la buenos aires as you get closer to the metro area, the driving becomes increasingly insane... i've driven with nutty drivers in mexico, vietnam, costa rica, macedonia, greece, and italy, and lived to tell the tale... i managed to pull off last summer's 4000km trip here in one piece... think good thoughts from this coming saturday through the following week...

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It's all about OIL AND GAS: Juan Cole outlines a Middle East scenario and why Lebanon is under attack

it's long, it's detailed, it's full of facts and long on analysis, and it's definitely worth reading...

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They stand up, they fall down, things get worse, and we try to pick up the slack

on and on she goes, where she stops, noboby knows...

Over the past year, as American commanders pushed Iraqi forces to take over responsibility for this violent capital, Baghdad became a markedly more dangerous place.

Now the Americans are being forced to call in more of their own troops to bring the city under control.

The failure of the Iraqis to halt the slide into chaos in Baghdad undercuts the central premise of the American project here: that Iraqi forces can be trained and equipped to secure their own country, allowing the Americans to go home.

powell's "pottery barn" rule...
You break it, you own it.

- Colin Powell

but, interestingly enough...
So it turns out Pottery Barn doesn't even have a rule that says, "You break it, you own it." According to a company spokesperson, "in the rare instance that something is broken in the store, it's written off as a loss." Yet the nonexistent policy of a store selling $80 corkscrews continues to wield more influence in the United States than the Geneva Conventions and the US Army's Law of Land Warfare combined. As Bob Woodward has noted, Colin Powell invoked "the Pottery Barn rule" before the invasion, while John Kerry pledged his allegiance to it during the first presidential debate. And the imaginary rule is still the favored blunt instrument with which to whack anyone who dares to suggest that the time has come to withdraw troops from Iraq: Sure the war is a disaster, the argument goes, but we can't stop now--you break it, you own it.

bush lied, people died - the epitaph of one of the bleakest eras in american history...

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