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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 10/29/2006 - 11/05/2006
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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Haggard fired

you can't quit, you're FIRED...!

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"Bush is the world's No. 1 terrorist"

another interesting little twist to the news... it's amazing how many of these you can spot when you're paying attention...
Hundreds of Islamic hard-liners rallied in front of the American Embassy in Jakarta on Saturday, denouncing President Bush's planned trip to the world's most populous Muslim nation.

there were large-scale protests when bush came to argentina last year about this same time for the summit of the americas, but you didn't see protesters here being characterized as "hard-line catholics..."
"Bush should not come to Indonesia," shouted Muhammad Ismail Yusanto, saying Bush was responsible for the violence in the Palestinian territories, Iraq and Afghanistan.


"Bush is the world's No. 1 terrorist," chanted about 600 protesters outside the embassy, which was ringed by police.

"He has ordered U.S. troops to colonize Iraq and Afghanistan," they chanted.

according to a post i put up yesterday about a survey published in the guardian, bush is the world's #2 terrorist, but, who's quibbling...?

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To hell with the American public

to hell with the american voter... to hell with public opinion... to hell with facts... to hell with reality... to hell with you AND the horse you rode in on...
The Bush administration is determined to continue "full speed ahead" with its policy in Iraq, regardless of Tuesday's midterm elections, Vice President Cheney said Friday.

Cheney said in an interview with ABC News that the administration is convinced that it is pursuing the right path in Iraq.

"It may not be popular with the public. It doesn't matter, in the sense that we have to continue what we think is right," Cheney said. "That's exactly what we're doing. We're not running for office. We're doing what we think is right."

well, then... i guess that settles it... i'm so glad we could have this little talk...

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I've got yer "closely guarded interrogation techniques" right here

the wapo lead paragraph...
The Bush administration has told a federal judge that terrorism suspects held in secret CIA prisons should not be allowed to reveal details of the "alternative interrogation methods" that their captors used to get them to talk.

hmmm... and that would mean what, precisely...?

the associated press lead paragraph...

A suspected terrorist who spent years in a secret CIA prison should not be allowed to speak to a civilian attorney, the Bush administration argues, because he could reveal the agency's closely guarded interrogation techniques.

ah, ok, i get it now... it means you don't have access to an attorney...

"closely guarded interrogation techniques," my ass... what a load of bollocks... here they are... all of 'em... (click on images for larger size, readable versions...)

- contained in a memorandum to Combined Joint Task Force Seven and the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, Baghdad, Iraq, dated 14 September 2003, entitled "CTJF-7 Interrogation and Counter-Resistance Policy," written by Ricardo S. Sanchez, Lieutenant General, USA

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Astounding...! The military turns on Rummy (and, by extension, Bush)

when you read an editorial like this, published in military newspapers of long-standing and undisputed patriotism, you know things are bad... i don't disagree... they ARE bad, REALLY bad... perhaps a peaceful military intervention, led by principled generals intent on upholding the u.s. constitution, is the only way out of this mess...

this is the whole thing...

An editorial scheduled to appear on Monday in Army Times, Air Force Times, Navy Times and Marine Corps Times, calls for the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

The papers are sold to American servicemen and women. They are published by the Military Times Media Group, which is a subsidiary of Gannett Co., Inc.

Time for Rumsfeld to go

"So long as our government requires the backing of an aroused and informed public opinion ... it is necessary to tell the hard bruising truth."

That statement was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent Marguerite Higgins more than a half-century ago during the Korean War.

But until recently, the "hard bruising" truth about the Iraq war has been difficult to come by from leaders in Washington. One rosy reassurance after another has been handed down by President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld: "mission accomplished," the insurgency is "in its last throes," and "back off," we know what we're doing, are a few choice examples.

Military leaders generally toed the line, although a few retired generals eventually spoke out from the safety of the sidelines, inciting criticism equally from anti-war types, who thought they should have spoken out while still in uniform, and pro-war foes, who thought the generals should have kept their critiques behind closed doors.

Now, however, a new chorus of criticism is beginning to resonate. Active-duty military leaders are starting to voice misgivings about the war's planning, execution and dimming prospects for success.

Army Gen. John Abizaid, chief of U.S. Central Command, told a Senate Armed Services Committee in September: "I believe that the sectarian violence is probably as bad as I've seen it ... and that if not stopped, it is possible that Iraq could move towards civil war."

Last week, someone leaked to The New York Times a Central Command briefing slide showing an assessment that the civil conflict in Iraq now borders on "critical" and has been sliding toward "chaos" for most of the past year. The strategy in Iraq has been to train an Iraqi army and police force that could gradually take over for U.S. troops in providing for the security of their new government and their nation.

But despite the best efforts of American trainers, the problem of molding a viciously sectarian population into anything resembling a force for national unity has become a losing proposition.

For two years, American sergeants, captains and majors training the Iraqis have told their bosses that Iraqi troops have no sense of national identity, are only in it for the money, don't show up for duty and cannot sustain themselves.

Meanwhile, colonels and generals have asked their bosses for more troops. Service chiefs have asked for more money.

And all along, Rumsfeld has assured us that things are well in hand.

Now, the president says he'll stick with Rumsfeld for the balance of his term in the White House.

This is a mistake.

It is one thing for the majority of Americans to think Rumsfeld has failed. But when the nation's current military leaders start to break publicly with their defense secretary, then it is clear that he is losing control of the institution he ostensibly leads.

These officers have been loyal public promoters of a war policy many privately feared would fail. They have kept their counsel private, adhering to more than two centuries of American tradition of subordination of the military to civilian authority.

And although that tradition, and the officers' deep sense of honor, prevent them from saying this publicly, more and more of them believe it.

Rumsfeld has lost credibility with the uniformed leadership, with the troops, with Congress and with the public at large. His strategy has failed, and his ability to lead is compromised. And although the blame for our failures in Iraq rests with the secretary, it will be the troops who bear its brunt.

This is not about the midterm elections. Regardless of which party wins Nov. 7, the time has come, Mr. President, to face the hard bruising truth:

Donald Rumsfeld must go.

again, astounding... something i never thought i'd see in my lifetime...

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Divorced from reality, "predictive" wars, and Lord of the Flies

one of the reasons i like robert parry is his ability to stand back and look at the bigger picture, something i am always trying to do myself... in his latest piece, parry points out just how much political speech in the u.s., under the leadership of the political speech-maker-in-chief, has reduced the ability to grasp either facts or reality... and it's not just the republican faithful who are living in an alternate universe...instead of completely and unequivocally repudiating republican lies, the democratic leadership and the media keep responding to them as though they merited a rational response rather than eye-rolling and outright scorn, which is what they REALLY deserve...
The Nov. 7 elections are shaping up as not just a choice between Republicans and Democrats, but a test of how gullible – and how divorced from reality – the American people have become.

In campaign stops across the country, George W. Bush is delivering a medley of his favorite lies, half-truths and non sequiturs about Iraq and the “war on terror.” Yet the President’s listeners seem to revel in the distortions, celebrating with shouts of “USA! USA!” and responding on cue when Bush has them mock the Democrats.

Some appearances have a Lord of the Flies quality, as excited Republicans rally around their strong man hailing his pronouncements even when they make little or no sense, or when they celebrate the misjudgments that led to the disaster in Iraq.

“One of the lessons of September the 11th is that when we see a threat we have got to take that threat seriously before it materializes,” Bush told a cheering throng in Springfield, Missouri, on Nov. 3. “It’s an essential lesson in this new war. I saw a threat in Saddam Hussein.”

In that remark, Bush reaffirmed his commitment to what he calls “preemptive war,” but what others call “preventive war” and we have termed “predictive war.” Bush’s strategy is not classically “preemptive,” which implies the other country is poised to strike. Bush’s idea is to predict a future threat and then attack before the threat “materializes.”

While “preemptive” invasions are illegal under international law, “preventive” or “predictive” wars represent even greater threats to world order. They effectively guarantee endless warfare based not on real security threats but on vague perceptions of the future, a prescription for one, two, many Iraq Wars.

see what i mean...? parry stands back and sees what's REALLY going on, precisely the things that make the stakes riding on this tuesday's election so astronomically high... meanwhile, bush is still pushing his crap, and we're all at great risk...
As he crisscrosses the country in the days before the Nov. 7 election, Bush is showing that his determination to protect one-party control of Washington is so strong that he will let nothing stand in his way. He will say whatever he feels he must to keep the Republican majorities in the House and Senate.

What is perhaps even more unsettling is how willing and even eager so many Americans are to be misled, finding some pleasure or a sense of unity in Bush’s lies and deceptions. It is hard to imagine a democratic Republic surviving with such a debased public discourse.

"hard to imagine a democratic republic surviving...?!?!" great god... never in my worst nightmares did i imagine i would ever read such a statement about my country... even worse, never did i imagine i would be saying it myself...

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Friday, November 03, 2006

Ney out

friggin' FINALLY...!
Rep. Bob Ney, facing certain expulsion from the House after being convicted of two felonies in relation to the Jack Abramoff scandal, said on Friday he will resign by the end of the day.

just yesterday, i was bemoaning the fact that ney's corrupt backside was still occupying a seat in congress after pleading GUILTY, when an evangelical leader was resigning on ALLEGATIONS...

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Colorado Springs in the news

ah... it's always good to see someone from my (disowned) home town make the news...

Ted Haggard and George Bush

something for the family album... now, if jeff gannon had just been in the picture too...

(thanks to crooks and liars...)

p.s. i'm waiting for the bestiality story about dobson to break...

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Threat of Bush tops Kim Jong-Il

fine, just fine...

America is now seen as a threat to world peace by its closest neighbours and allies, according to an international survey of public opinion published today that reveals just how far the country's reputation has fallen among former supporters since the invasion of Iraq.

Carried out as US voters prepare to go to the polls next week in an election dominated by the war, the research also shows that British voters see George Bush as a greater danger to world peace than either the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, or the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Both countries were once cited by the US president as part of an "axis of evil", but it is Mr Bush who now alarms voters in countries with traditionally strong links to the US.

just one more thing that should be front-paged in the u.s., but won't be, thanks to our toadying media...

(thanks to the unknown candidate...)

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Ambassador Wilson and tin foil hats

brainwrap at daily kos has a diary up that recounts a campaign event in michigan he attended last night at which ambassador joseph wilson was the featured speaker... he asked the ambassador a question...
I asked a serious question about how he thinks the Bush administration will respond if the Dems DO retake both houses of Congress, considering that a) Bush can now LEGALLY arrest, lock up and torture any U.S. citizen he wants to; b) Bush can now declare martial law anywhere and anytime he wants to; and c) Rumor has it that FEMA has contracted with Halliburton to build dozens of detention centers here in the U.S.


I prefaced my question by admitting that I might be going into tinfoil hat territory. Unfortunately, Wilson stated that at this point, under this administration "there are no tinfoil hats anymore."

although that's not really the answer any of us want to hear, i find it oddly comforting that someone as solid as joe wilson acknowledges just how far this administration has taken us down the road to a police state... brainwrap's reaction to wilson's response was somewhat in the same vein...
This wasn't some paranoid guy at the bowling alley; this was Ambassador Joseph friggin' Wilson, and he was deadly serious.

listen up, folks... serious as a heart attack...

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Larisa asks the question that's been troubling me as well

i've made no secret out of the fact that my fundamental professional skill is that of pattern recognition... i've been intensely focused on putting the pieces of the bushco pattern together since that criminal regime was installed against the wishes of the majority of the american people by the scotus decision of 12 december 2000... enough pieces are now on the table to make a reasonably cogent guess as to what the complete picture looks like... god help us all, i hope i am wrong... i hope larisa is wrong, but one can't deny the facts...
If there is no insurrection, then why suspend habeus corpus? Unless it is a contingency plan for a possible insurrection. Why pass this before the election, urgently, as though the country were on fire and despite the begging of the world? Perhaps the contingency planning for an insurrection is taking into account what the exit polls will once again fail to deliver. Perhaps the answer is as simple as it is historically supportable: (a) if the GOP cannot give up control of Congress, (b) and there is ample proof that they will retain control of Congress through election fraud, then (c) faced with a no longer sedated public, this brave new America of the GOP might require extreme measures in order to secure peace in the event of an uprising, (d) perhaps through something like domestic policing measures.

please, please, let it not be true... let the dems score a clean win next tuesday, and let's begin the process of climbing out of this terribly dark, dank, noxious hole...

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No accountability, no honesty, no answers... No jack...

the level of arrogance and the degree of stonewalling are positively stupefying...

moreover, this is a story that should have been front-paged, not stuck on A19 in the wapo...

The following is a representative exchange between [Attorney General Alberto] Gonzales and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) [during] testimony before the House Judiciary Committee in April.

- from a transcript provided by the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy.

Nadler : Well, do we claim the authority to render someone to another country -- let's assume we believe they're not going to use torture -- by what right do we, legal right, do we pick someone up at an airport and deny him the right to continue to Canada which is where he's a citizen of, and send them to Syria without any kind of administrative or judicial process?

Gonzales : Well, I'm not comment[ing] as to what actually may have happened or may not have --

Nadler : Do we claim the right to do that? Whatever happened in that case, is that something we claim the right to do?

Gonzales : I don't know, but I would be happy to get back to you on that.

Nadler: You don't know if we claim the right to do that because the Government defended that in court, your Department defended that in court.

Gonzales : Before I comment any further on that, Congressman, I'd like the opportunity to get back to you.

Nadler : Okay. And let me further ask, since we have done this, and since your Department has defended this in court . . . is this practice limited only to airports, or do we claim the right to take people going about their business, walking on the street, grocery shopping, window shopping, at the mall, suddenly and unexpectedly to grab them and to deport them to places like Syria without any evidence, without any due process? Do we claim that right? And if we don't claim that right, why do we claim it at airports?

Gonzales : Mr. Congressman, I'm not going to get into specific, what we do, what we don't do. What I can say is that we understand what our legal obligations are, we follow the law.

Nadler: Let me ask you the last question then. Can you assure this Committee that the United States Government will not grab anybody at an airport or anyplace in U.S. territory, and send them to another country without some sort of due process?

Gonzales: Well, what I can tell you is that we're going to follow the law in terms of what--

Nadler: Well, does the law permit us to send someone to another country without any due process, without a hearing before an administrative, an immigration judge or somebody? Just grab them off the street and put them on a plane, goodbye without -- we've done that. Does the law permit us to do that? Do we claim that right?

Gonzales: I'm not going to confirm that we've done that.

that a cabinet-level officer of a presidential administration in the united states of america should come before a congressional hearing and not be at all forthcoming on issues of the most critical importance to the country, its people, and the constitution, is beyond reprehensible... when the day for accountability comes, which, hopefully, will be soon, i will take great delight in seeing them all walk the plank...

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Question for the super-rich... Who loves ya, baby...?

income for the richest 1% is up 19.8%; median income is up an underwhelming 1.6%... congratulations, george... your plan is working perfectly...
The rich are getting much richer, much faster than everyone else

In 2004, the richest 1 percent of households - 719,910 of them, with an average annual income of $326,720 - had 19.8 percent of the entire nation's pretax income. That's up from 17.8 percent a year earlier, according to a study by University of California-Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez.


However, median, or midpoint, family income rose only 1.6 percent between 2001 and 2004, when adjusted for inflation, according to the Federal Reserve. Median family real net worth - a family's gross assets minus liabilities - rose only 1.5 percent during those four years.

Those are very sluggish income-growth rates compared with the four years between 1998 and 2001, when median family income grew by 9.5 percent and median family real net worth grew by 10.3 percent.

as we approach election day, november 7, remember who loves ya, baby...

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Next week's election: read it and weep

the stuff of nightmares...
[V]oters will flock to the polls to vote on fragile, untested alpha systems that, when they break, cannot be fixed by the on-site poll workers; the votes that are recorded cannot be adequately verified by a post-election audit, even if a voter-verified paper "receipt" is printed by each machine and saved by the county; and individual counties may or may not have the technical capacity to actually carry out the task of tabulating all of the electronic results (forget about the paper receipts!) from all of the machines in a coherent and reliable manner.

In sum, people will show up on November 7th at many precincts across America, they will select items on a touch-screen, a lucky few of them will see a paper record of their choices (correctly marked or not) scroll by under a glass, and they will return home having participated in a bit of high-tech political theater that may or may not amount to a bona fide election.

this will make the possibility of sitting there, listening to pundits describe the bush team's amazing come-from-behind victory (see previous post), a mental equivalent to waterboarding...

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"America’s rapid descent into a dark fantasy world..."

oh, man, i HATE to be on the same page with a perspective like this - but i am...
In many ways, Election 2006 not only marks the last chance to exact some accountability from those responsible for the disastrous Iraq War and other failures, but it also represents a point of no return for a nation hurtling toward a future of endless warfare abroad and a new-age totalitarianism at home.

Indeed, one could argue that the trivialization of this important U.S. election – with major U.S. news outlets devoting two days of breathless coverage to Senator Kerry’s clunky joke – is confirmation of America’s rapid descent into a dark fantasy world incapable of separating meaningful fact from silly irrelevancies.

More than 2,800 American soldiers are dead along with possibly hundreds of thousands of Iraqis in what is likely just a small down-payment in blood for President Bush’s Iraq War – yet the U.S. press corps is obsessed with Kerry’s supposed affront to the troops, though the joke seemed actually to be aimed at Bush and the former Democratic presidential nominee isn’t even on the ballot.

All that’s left now is for the Washington pundits – many of the same people who climbed aboard the Iraq War bandwagon in 2002-03 – to explain to the nation on Election Night how Bush and his political team brilliantly engineered a dramatic come-from-behind win or how the Kerry gaffe and the overconfident Democrats blew it.

robert parry sets forth the very scenario i'm dreading and then makes it all the worse by succinctly stating the consequences...
The elections have become a referendum on whether the United States will wage a virtually endless “World War III” against Muslim radicals – a kind of global version of Iraq – and whether the U.S. Constitution will be effectively repealed, replaced by a new system without “unalienable rights” for citizens and with an all-powerful President.

it's driving me crazy that the full gravity of what is happening in the u.s. is still not sinking in... yeah, there are liberals and progressives working their fingers to the bone to bring about a change next week... yeah, that's a good thing... but a lot of those same people still haven't fully gotten their minds around the fact that we're dealing with pure evil... there is nothing that these people won't do to win, and that includes rigging the election... i will have to ask friends to apply physical restraints if i have to sit there and listen to pundits explain how the bush team "engineered a dramatic come-from-behind win..." the physical restraints will be to prevent serious harm to both myself and those around me...

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Meanwhile, a U.S. Congressman refuses to step down even though he pleaded guilty

is this an upside-down world or what...?
Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals and founder and leader of the Colorado Springs-based New Life Church, stepped down Thursday following allegations that he has had a three-year homosexual affair with a male prostitute.

Mike Jones, a self-professed male escort, talked publicly of the affair Wednesday morning on KHOW radio. Haggard denied the affair Wednesday night to KUSA Channel 9News.

But today, Haggard stated he could "not continue to minister under the cloud created by the accusations made on Denver talk radio..."

After consulting with his spiritual counsel and the church's board of overseers, Haggard said, "I am voluntarily stepping aside from leadership so that the overseer process can be allowed to proceed with integrity. I hope to be able to discuss this matter in more detail at a later date."

one of the top evangelical leaders in the united states steps aside on the basis of ALLEGATIONS and a sitting united states congressman is still in office after PLEADING GUILTY to charges of conspiracy and making false statements...
Rep. Bob Ney pleaded guilty Friday [October 13] in the Jack Abramoff influence-peddling investigation, the first lawmaker to confess to crimes in an election-year scandal that has stained the Republican-controlled Congress and the Bush administration.

Beleaguered GOP leaders said Ney will be expelled from the House if he doesn't quit by the time they return to Washington after the November 7 elections.

help me, please... i'm terribly confused...

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What's wrong with this picture...?

somewhere in this excerpt from a raw story article, there is a statement that is, on its face, completely untrue... see if you can spot it...
Senator James Inhofe, R-OK, calls climate change a hoax, voted against stem cell research, and since the 2002 election has taken more than $500,000 in campaign contributions from the oil, gas and electric industries. He's also the chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

"Inhofe is really horrific when it comes to the environment. He's continuing to perpetuate misinformation," says Tirenan Sittenfeld, legislative director of the independent organization, the League of Conservation Voters. She says he's not the only one.

Rep. Joe Barton, R-TX, is a skeptic on global warming and sponsored the House version of the Clear Skies Act, which would actually increase the amount of pollution permitted, according to the Sierra Club. He's also the chair of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Barton is the primary House author of the Bush Administration's Energy Policy Act of 2005, which was passed by Congress in July. Among other things, it encourages increases in nuclear and coal use. (However, drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was removed from the Act.) Between 1997 and 2004, Barton received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the energy industry, the Washington Post reported.

This year he received more than $383,000 from oil, gas and electric companies.

But don't blame President Bush, Sittenfeld said. It's not the Administration that selects the chairmen; it's Congress. That doesn't make it any less unfortunate, she added.

didja find it...? here's a clue... separation of powers... got it yet...? exonerating bush for any blame in this travesty ignores that congress has done nothing but the bidding of republican leadership since bush's ascendancy to imperial power on 20 january 2001... there has been no substantive difference between the republicans in the executive branch, those in congress, their media sycophants, and the super-rich clientele which keeps them in power and to whom they are beholden... certainly, the blame can be laid at the door of congress, but letting the bush administration off the hook is either naivete or flat-out disingenuousness...

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George wants to stay above the fray...?

when i hear words like this coming out of our president's mouth, i am so flabbergasted, i momentarily lose the power of rational thinking, much less articulate speech...
On Tuesday, in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, President Bush said the worst thing about being President was the “tone” in Washington, saying that it “has gotten ugly.” Bush said that he had stayed above the fray, noting “I really don’t think it’s fitting for the president to drag the presidency into that kind of a mudslinging.”

as olbermann said in his special comment (see previous post):
There is ... no political division in this country that [Bush] and his party will not exploit, nor have not exploited; no anxiety that he and his party will not inflame.

There is no line this President has not crossed — nor will not cross — to keep one political party, in power.

He has spread any and every fear among us, in a desperate effort to avoid that which he most fears — some check, some balance against what has become not an imperial, but a unilateral presidency.

And now it is evident that it no longer matters to him, whether that effort to avoid the judgment of the people, is subtle and nuanced — or laughably transparent.

the thought of bush in office until 20 january 2009 is completely unbearable... i pray every day that something will happen to sink him and his ship of fools...

(thanks to think progress...)

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More Olbermann

there is not one of keith olbermann's special comments that i have not viewed without becoming choked up with tears at the end... is that because he is manipulating my feelings...? no... it is because it is such an overwhelming relief to hear someone telling the truth in a public forum in an unvarnished, highly articulate way... here is the latest... as with the rest, it's a must-see...

And Mr. Bush owes us an apology… for this destructive and omnivorous presidency.

(thanks to crooks and liars...)

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Evangelicals feel "used"

that's because they have been - cynically, shamelessly, and abusively...
Many evangelicals "feel used and taken for granted by the Republican Party," according to a release issued by the Washington, D.C. based Christian Defense Coalition.

"If Republicans lose the House or Senate, they only have themselves to blame," said the group's director, Rev. Pat Mahoney, who was formerly with the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue. "They have failed to energize and empower faith and value voters which provide a critical base of support for the Republican Party."

Rev. Mahoney claims that many evangelicals believe that the Republican Party "courts them during elections and then abandons and ignores them after the election is over."

i'd be tempted to do a "toldja," but i DESPISE manipulation, particularly when the ones being manipulated are people of faith (whether i agree with them or not is beside the point), and they're being manipulated in the service of such a blatantly evil agenda...

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“When we wake up tomorrow morning, there will be one less day.”

please, let the nation survive long enough to be rid of this terrible, terrible man, who has inflicted untold damages both on the fabric of the united states and on the rest of the world...
“The bad news,” investigative reporter Seymour Hersh told a Montreal audience last Wednesday, “is that there are 816 days left in the reign of King George II of America.”

The good news? “When we wake up tomorrow morning, there will be one less day.”


If Americans knew the full extent of U.S. criminal conduct, they would receive returning Iraqi veterans as they did Vietnam veterans, Hersh said.

“In Vietnam, our soldiers came back and they were reviled as baby killers, in shame and humiliation,” he said. “It isn’t happening now, but I will tell you – there has never been an [American] army as violent and murderous as our army has been in Iraq.”
Hersh came out hard against President Bush for his involvement in the Middle East.
“In Washington, you can’t expect any rationality. I don’t know if he’s in Iraq because God told him to, because his father didn’t do it, or because it’s the next step in his 12-step Alcoholics Anonymous program,” he said.

Hersh hinted that the responsibility for the invasion of Iraq lies with eight or nine members of the administration who have a “neo-conservative agenda” and dictate the U.S.’s post-September 11 foreign policy.

“You have a collapsed Congress, you have a collapsed press. The military is going to do what the President wants,” Hersh said. “How fragile is democracy in America, if a president can come in with an agenda controlled by a few cultists?”

thank god for people like mr. hersh, like keith olbermann, and the precious few other media figures who have the courage to speak the truth, as hard as it is to hear...

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Let the battles about the Military Commissions Act begin!

the only battle i'd REALLY like to see is the one to overturn this despicable and shameful piece of legislation...
Attorneys for captives in the Guantanamo Bay military prison asked a federal appeals court yesterday to reject a provision of the new military-commission law that strips hundreds of detainees of their right to challenge their detention in U.S. courts.

The lawyers, joined by a group of retired judges from both political parties, argued that the United States cannot indefinitely imprison foreign nationals in a military prison without charging them with crimes and deny them the chance to test the evidence against them in the U.S. justice system.

this could be interesting, assuming the courts can summon the huevos to stand foursquare behind our constitution, the bill of rights, and united states treaty obligations...

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The headline and the teaser say it all: Bush foments hate

The Great Divider

When the president of the United States gleefully bathes in
the muck to divide Americans into those who love their
country and those who don't, it is destructive to the
fabric of the nation he is supposed to be leading.

"supposed to be leading..." yup, that about sums it up...

in flagrant disregard of the fair use standard, i am posting all of today's nyt op-ed... it's too clear and too potent to let a few excerpts carry the message...

As President Bush throws himself into the final days of a particularly nasty campaign season, he’s settled into a familiar pattern of ugly behavior. Since he can’t defend the real world created by his policies and his decisions, Mr. Bush is inventing a fantasy world in which to campaign on phony issues against fake enemies.

In Mr. Bush’s world, America is making real progress in Iraq. In the real world, as Michael Gordon reported in yesterday’s Times, the index that generals use to track developments shows an inexorable slide toward chaos. In Mr. Bush’s world, his administration is marching arm in arm with Iraqi officials committed to democracy and to staving off civil war. In the real world, the prime minister of Iraq orders the removal of American checkpoints in Baghdad and abets the sectarian militias that are slicing and dicing their country.

In Mr. Bush’s world, there are only two kinds of Americans: those who are against terrorism, and those who somehow are all right with it. Some Americans want to win in Iraq and some don’t. There are Americans who support the troops and Americans who don’t support the troops. And at the root of it all is the hideously damaging fantasy that there is a gulf between Americans who love their country and those who question his leadership.

Mr. Bush has been pushing these divisive themes all over the nation, offering up the ludicrous notion the other day that if Democrats manage to control even one house of Congress, America will lose and the terrorists will win. But he hit a particularly creepy low when he decided to distort a lame joke lamely delivered by Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts. Mr. Kerry warned college students that the punishment for not learning your lessons was to “get stuck in Iraq.” In context, it was obviously an attempt to disparage Mr. Bush’s intelligence. That’s impolitic and impolite, but it’s not as bad as Mr. Bush’s response. Knowing full well what Mr. Kerry meant, the president and his team cried out that the senator was disparaging the troops. It was a depressing replay of the way the Bush campaign Swift-boated Americans in 2004 into believing that Mr. Kerry, who went to war, was a coward and Mr. Bush, who stayed home, was a hero.

It’s not the least bit surprising or objectionable that Mr. Bush would hit the trail hard at this point, trying to salvage his party’s control of Congress and, by extension, his last two years in office. And we’re not naïve enough to believe that either party has been running a positive campaign that focuses on the issues.

But when candidates for lower office make their opponents out to be friends of Osama bin Laden, or try to turn a minor gaffe into a near felony, that’s just depressing. When the president of the United States gleefully bathes in the muck to divide Americans into those who love their country and those who don’t, it is destructive to the fabric of the nation he is supposed to be leading.

This is hardly the first time that Mr. Bush has played the politics of fear, anger and division; if he’s ever missed a chance to wave the bloody flag of 9/11, we can’t think of when. But Mr. Bush’s latest outbursts go way beyond that. They leave us wondering whether this president will ever be willing or able to make room for bipartisanship, compromise and statesmanship in the two years he has left in office.

will he ever be "willing or able...?" i can't speak to his ability, although i would suspect that, if he has the ability to divide, he probably also has the ability to unite... however, i believe i can offer up a solid opinion on his willingness... doing anything that falls within the boundaries of the accepted notions of leadership and presidential behavior would be completely counter to the agenda of bush and his gang of criminals... by fostering intolerance, hate, and fear, they are able to continue the relentless move toward a totalitarian state...

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

"Extremely visionary...?" Oh, Rush, you're so, so... Words fail me...

it doesn't make the slightest bit of difference how many people are long past their "gag factor," this energizer bunny just keeps on keepin' on...
During an interview with conservative pundit Rush Limbaugh, US President George Bush expressed deep concerns about the possibility of the United States leaving the Middle East, raising fears that extremists could topple governments to "control oil resources."

"Give me a second here, Rush, because I want to share something with you," Bush said. "I am deeply concerned about a country, the United States, leaving the Middle East."

Bush said that he was "worried that rival forms of extremists will battle for power, obviously creating incredible damage if they do so; that they will topple modern governments, that they will be in a position to use oil as a tool to blackmail the West."

"People say, 'What do you mean by that?'" The president continued. "I say, 'If they control oil resources, then they pull oil off the market in order to run the price up, and they will do so unless we abandon Israel, for example, or unless we abandon allies.'"

"You couple that with a country that doesn't like us with a nuclear weapon, and people will look back at this moment and say, 'What happened to those people in 2006?' and those are the stakes in this war we face," Bush said.

"On the one hand we've got a plan to make sure we protect you from immediate attack, and on the other hand we've got a long-term strategy to deal with these threats, and part of that strategy is to stay on the offense," Bush continued. "Part of the strategy is to help young democracies like Lebanon and Iraq be able to survive against the terrorists and the extremists who are trying to crush their hopes, and part of the democracy is for a freedom movement, which will help create the conditions so that the extremists become marginalized and unable to recruit."

Limbaugh called Bush's comments "extremely visionary."

the fact that our president, the president of the united states of america, would stoop to being a guest on the show of one of the most disgusting personages in american, if not worldwide, media, speaks volumes... i can't even conceive of such a thing happening in the u.s., and, yet, here it is...

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"The Nov. 7 elections stand as the last check and balance"

robert parry chooses his words carefully, so a comment like this is not to be taken lightly...
So, it now falls to the electoral process – another flawed part of the American democratic system – to exact some measure of accountability on individuals and institutions that sent more than 2,800 American soldiers to their death on false pretenses.

The Nov. 7 elections stand as the last check and balance, perhaps the last hope.

while i whole-heartedly support those of my colleagues who stress that we must build for the long haul, and that, no matter the outcome of next week's elections, we've made great strides in doing just that, i am not at all sure that, even if the house is recaptured by democrats (or the senate, which would truly be miraculous), that we will earn a reprieve from the death spiral the bush administration has locked us into... the military commissions act and the seizure of martial law powers and control of the national guard from the states are both moves so frightening in their scope that i am not sure we can recover without a shake-up of truly monumental proportions...

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"I haven't had no ethical problems." - Two negatives make a positive.

ya gotta love it, AND he had a broad smile on his face the entire time...
Tom Delay appeared on Fox News's Hannity & Colmes Tuesday night. The Former Speaker Of The House has been indicted for money-laundering and conspiracy to commit money-laundering, and has been linked to a number of other scandals. Colmes pressed DeLay on whether his "ethical problems" have contributed to "the negative view that Americans have of the Republican Party and Congress right now." DeLay replied, "I haven't had no ethical problems."

drilled in to me from grade school english grammar lessons: two negatives make a positive...

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Bush between a rock and a hard place

now, IF the election isn't rigged, AND the dems turn out to vote in large numbers, AND the independents are as disaffected as polls would indicate, AND the election is truly a referendum on bush, AND the wingnut base is as unhappy with the predatory sexual and massively corrupt repub leadership as they should be, AND gays who are tired of being demonized decide to vote en masse, AND parents are tired of seeing their children thrown to the wolves in iraq, AND the general public has lost its appetite for being spied on, AND rove doesn't pull another vicious, twisted rabbit out of his hat, why, THEN...
GOP strategists know well that no political party has successfully weathered a midterm election with such an unpopular president in office. Bush's challenge as he campaigns in the final days of the election is to find a way to excite and mobilize a fractured Republican base without triggering an even bigger turnout among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents that could cost his party the House or Senate.

my little chinese-made, lacquered, birthday gift, music box-cum-clock started ticking last night on its own after my feeble repair efforts failed... to show you how desperate i am to have this election turn out well, i'm taking that as a good sign...

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Read the first paragraph of this post

and then tell me who YOU think kerry's talking about...
"You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq," Kerry said.

bingo... you're absolutely right...! it ain't our troops... but, why miss another opportunity to attack and smear...? i mean, really... if george had studied hard and done his homework, he could have figured out all by himself who kerry was REALLY talking about...
At a GOP rally in Georgia, President George Bush blasted comments recently made by his former opponent in 2004, Democratic Senator John Kerry, which he interpreted as directed at U.S. troops.

Bush called Kerry's comments "insulting and shameful," and said that the Senator owed the troops an apology.

During a campaign rally in Pasadena, California, ahead of the November 7 congressional elections, Kerry was making comments Monday on the importance of education when, according to a spokesman, he misspoke while trying to make fun of Bush.

Earlier today, Kerry released a statement claiming that right-wingers were "desperately distorting" his comments about President George W. Bush to "divert attention from their disastrous record."

as long as we're on the subject of apologies, bush not only owes the WORLD an apology, he deserves to be put behind bars for the rest of his life...

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This does not bode well for our hope for a fair election

more disturbing news, this from the uk...
Florida voters using electronic ballot machines are having persistent problems choosing Democrats in early elections, the Miami Herald reports.

The touch-screen gizmos seem strangely attracted to Republican candidates. One voter needed assistance from an election official, and even then, needed three tries to convince the machine that he wanted to vote for Democrat Jim Davis in the gubernatorial race, not his Republican opponent Charlie Crist.

Another voter who went Democrat across the board kept finding Republicans listed in the summary screen. He made repeated attempts until, finally, the machine registered his votes correctly, and he cast his ballot.

Yet another frustrated voter who complained of difficulties selecting a Democrat was told that the machine she was using had been troublesome. Poll workers fiddled with it for a bit, and then it seemed to work properly.

Apparently, this happens all the time. According to the Herald, "Broward County Supervisor of Elections spokeswoman Mary Cooney said it's not uncommon for screens on heavily used machines to slip out of sync, making votes register incorrectly. Poll workers are trained to recalibrate them on the spot - essentially, to realign the video screen with the electronics inside. The 15-step process is outlined in the poll-worker's manual."

there are no "glitches" or "out of sync" excuses that carry any water... this is wrong, wrong, wrong... what it means is that everybody who casts a vote has to be extra-vigilant if their votes are to be registered correctly... now, we know how pressed people are for time on a day-to-day basis... they want to go in, get out, and be on their way... there is no reason why they cannot have confidence that their votes are accurately recorded without having to worry...

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Who said this? "Prolonging the war is in our interest"

you'll certainly not hear anyone in bushco saying those words, but they might as well, because they're the truth...
Prolonging the war is in our interest,” wrote “Atiyah,” one of bin Laden’s top lieutenants.

Atiyah’s letter and other internal al-Qaeda communications reveal that one of the group’s biggest worries has been that a prompt U.S. military withdrawal might expose how fragile al-Qaeda’s position is in Iraq and cause many young jihadists to lay down their guns and go home.

But a Republican victory in the Nov. 7 congressional elections almost certainly would end that concern. A GOP-controlled Congress would continue to give Bush a blank check, meaning the Iraq War would be prolonged and, quite possibly, expanded into other Middle East countries.

Bush would be tempted to double up on his Iraq wager by attacking Iran and Syria, two countries that U.S. officials have accused of aiding Iraqi insurgents. A number of U.S. military experts also believe that Bush would order the bombing of Iran if it doesn’t agree to curtail its nuclear research.

An expanded war would thrill Bush’s neoconservative advisers and other prominent Republicans, such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who have lusted publicly over the idea of fighting “World War III” against radical Muslims around the globe.

But the continued war in Iraq and its regional expansion would serve bin Laden’s interests, too, by proving to many of the world’s one billion Muslims that the Saudi exile was right in his predictions of an aggressive Western assault on Islam.

what does bushco want...? repeat after me: endless war... what if al qaeda was defeated...? what if osama was captured or killed...? what if the iraq war wasn't consuming billions of dollars a month...? WHAT IF THERE WASN'T A WAR...? think about it, people, for god's sake... the bush administration has ABSOLUTELY NO INCENTIVE TO WIN THE WAR ON TERROR OR TO KEEP AMERICA SAFE... NONE... ZERO... ZILCH... NADA...

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The "Denver Three" are sticking it out even tho' only two are left

i was beginning to think this had fallen through the cracks... i'm glad it hasn't... of course, with our limited attention spans, it might as well have, even though it's re-emerging now...
Two people ejected from a speech by President Bush in Denver in 2005, allegedly because of an anti-war bumper sticker on a car they drove to the event, won a court order Monday they hope will uncover who gave the order to kick them out.

Leslie Weise and Alex Young, two of the three people removed from the taxpayer-funded event, are suing two Denver men for actually ousting them. But they believe a White House official gave the order.

Weise and Young say they did nothing disruptive at the speech and maintain the ouster violated their rights to free speech and protection from unreasonable search and seizure.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Wiley Daniel rejected a motion to dismiss the case by defendants Michael Casper and Jay Klinkerman, who worked as volunteers at the event.

That decision allows attorneys for Weise and Young to question the two Denver men under oath.

Daniel limited their questioning of the defendants to issues of whether they are entitled to governmental immunity. But the judge said in his order that includes "whether defendants were 'closely supervised' by government officials."

"I think it's pretty clear," Young said. "Whether they were closely supervised" must include "who the supervisors were and what their functions were."

if nothing else, it's an excellent reminder of just how bush and his criminal compatriots have worked diligently to make it look like bush had solid support by packing his appearances with pre-screened loyalists...

also, i have to give these people credit... it takes a lot of determination to stick something like this out... it's one thing when you're still in the media spotlight and can pull energy from notoriety... it's something else altogether when you're just another voice crying in the wilderness...

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Oh, yes, Laura... Let's be sure NOT to manipulate people's feelings

(photo courtesy of media needle and AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar...)

heaven's sake, we wouldn't want to do THAT, now would we...?
C-Span: One of the issues that’s come up. Michael J. Fox. The whole issue of stem cell research. Your reaction to the events of the past week.

LAURA BUSH: Well, I don’t have any idea about any of those. I mean, I’ve watch on television just like you have. But the fact is President Bush is the only president that authorized funding for stem cell research. And, um, you know, it’s an issue that it’s easy to try to manipulate people’s feelings about and I understand that. My dad died of Alzheimer’s. You know, there’ s nothing I’d like more than to think there was a cure for Alzheimer’s. Especially before I get to be the age he is, but knowing also how he suffered. It’s always easy to manipulate people’s feelings, especially when you are talking about diseases that are so difficult.

so, i presume that when your husband, the vice president, and karl rove try to instill fear in the american people and claim that a win by the dems next week will mean the u.s. loses the war in iraq, against al qaeda, and the gwot in general, that DOESN'T qualify as manipulation...? never mind... i withdraw the question... no, of course not...

she oughta feel very lucky her stepford-wife wiring didn't malfunction as she was speaking... imagine the endless loop of "before I get to be the age he is," "before I get to be the age he is," "before I get to be the age he is..."

(thanks to think progress...)

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Voter fraud alert

i just received this from the carter campaign in nevada...
Voter Fraud Alert in Nevada

A Jack Carter voter in North Las Vegas has reported that she cast her vote for Jack Carter and the machine would not register her vote for Jack Carter. Instead, her vote was cast for the None of the Above option.

The Election Protection lawyers are following up on this report now.

It is of vital importance to our democracy and the future of our nation that each and every citizen be vigilant and aware of the potential for voter fraud.

If anybody hears of any incident of voter fraud,intimidation, telephone, e-mail or any difficulties WHAT-SO-EVER with casting a vote, WHETHER in, at or around a POLLING PLACE or ANY OTHER PLACE as we continue through early voting and lead up to election day, please do the following:

* Get the full name and phone number, polling place, time and as detailed a description of the facts of the incident as you know them.
* Call the Election Protection Hotline at 1-866-737-3367 and pass on the report to the lawyers on call as soon as possible. DO NOT DELAY! Any delay in reporting could prevent effective action from being taken and could disenfranchise more voters.

a one-off malfunction or not, we need to be hyper-alert to this kind of stuff... as i've repeatedly said, my faith in our system is gone... i believe everything and i believe nothing...

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Bush plays the "Who's crazy here, you or me?" game

i'm very familiar with this game... in its most in-your-face version, it's played by kids who, when confronted by parents or an adult about something they did wrong, offer a totally cock-and-bull version of what happened, non-verbally daring the accuser to prove otherwise... by doggedly sticking to the story, they can (and often do) create doubt in the accuser, creating doubt in his or her grasp of the facts or even of reality... that's the "who's crazy here, you or me?" game...

i've witnessed and been party to its adult, more sophisticated, more insidious version that is played daily in the organizational world of work... you know in your heart that the sun rises in the east... you've even seen it yourself a few times... but, here is this organizational authority, complete with an important title and possibly even a corner office, insisting to you that the sun rises in the west... many times you walk away vowing to yourself to get up early the next day to check it out once again and see if maybe you aren't mistaken...

President Bush said terrorists will win if Democrats win and impose their policies on Iraq, as he and Vice President Cheney escalated their rhetoric Monday in an effort to turn out Republican voters in next week's midterm elections.


"However they put it, the Democrat approach in Iraq comes down to this: The terrorists win and America loses," Bush told a raucous crowd of about 5,000 GOP partisans packed in an arena at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, one of his stops Monday. "That's what's at stake in this election. The Democrat goal is to get out of Iraq. The Republican goal is to win in Iraq."

see how this works...? in the organizational world, if you end up getting all pissed off, you mark yourself as "NOT A TEAM PLAYER," an organizational misfit who isn't willing to support "ORGANIZATIONAL GOALS AND OBJECTIVES" and may eventually find yourself out on the street... in the united states of america organization, you're branded as being opposed to what's good for the country, possibly even as a traitor, and, if bush has his way, you may find yourself held without recourse as a threat to the nation...

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Monday, October 30, 2006

Uh-oh... Now, the shit is gonna hit the fan...

well, probably not, given bushco's incredible ability to lie and completely evade any vestige of truth... but, still, this is one hell of an indictment...
A former political adviser to Saddam Hussein's son said today that Saddam was willing to yield to all American demands before the U.S. invasion of Iraq -- but that the Bush administration refused his offers.

The disclosure was made by Hossam Shaltout, a Canadian aerospace engineer, former American pilot, and founder of the peace organization Rights and Freedom International (, who said that war could have been averted, but Bush aides blocked his efforts to announce Saddam's decision.

"Saddam was willing to yield to all American demands, announced and unannounced, to reach peaceful resolution," said Shaltout, "but the Bush administration, including Elizabeth Cheney, undersecretary of State, David Welch, the U.S. ambassador in Egypt, and Gene Cretz, his political attache, did not respond to his offers."

oh, my, my, my... while this doesn't surprise ME in the least, if it is indeed true, which, on its face, to me, at least, seems quite likely, i will be very interested to see if this story has legs...

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WHO is peddling this complete and utter nonsense...?

why, dick cheney, the vice president of the united states of america, of cuss, of cuss... and, fortunately for him, there's someone there to feed him the perfect straight line...
CAVUTO: Do you suspect that these insurgent attacks are timed to influence our midterm elections?

VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY: That's my belief. I think they are, very, very cognizant of our schedule, if you will. They also -- you've got to remember what the strategy is of the terrorists. They specifically can't beat us in a stand-up fight. They never have. But whether it's al Qaeda or the other elements that are active in Iraq, they are betting on the proposition they can break the will of the American people. They think we won't have the stomach for the fight long-term.

of COURSE, they're paying attention to our upcoming elections... they ABSOLUTELY are paying attention... but, as think progress points out, and as many, many others have pointed out, al qaeda would like NOTHING MORE than to have us STAY in iraq... we're the best recruiting tool they have...

all this son-of-a-bitch, cheney, wants to do is keep the american people believing that we have this fearsome, relentless enemy that we have to keep doing battle with over years and years and years, and it's crap... our country CREATED this enemy, and, more than anything else, wants the world to remain a dangerous, fear-filled place, were we have to continue our HOLY WAR AGAINST THE BAD, BROWN PEOPLE... what he can't and won't admit is that terror and endless war are what he and his evil cohorts most desire... it's completely in their interest to keep it going as long as possible, and they're succeeding beyond their wildest dreams...

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37% of Americans still have their heads where the sun does not shine

i have to seriously question what passes for gray matter residing between the ears of over 1/3 of the american people...
The poll, conducted by Opinion Research Corp., found that 37 percent of Americans approve of how Bush is handling his job as president; 58 percent disapprove. (View Bush's approval rating)

The president's approval dropped slightly from the poll taken a week earlier, from 39 percent down to 37 percent, but the change was within the poll's sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

i also have to seriously wonder what these people will do when the full truth comes out and it all comes crashing down - which it is going to do, sooner or later...

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I wanna be around when Bush's karma catches up with him

front-row center...
“When it came time on whether to allow the Central Intelligence Agency to continue to detain and question terrorists, almost 80 percent of the House Democrats voted against it,” Bush said, as the crowd booed the Democrats.

“When it came time to vote on whether the NSA [National Security Agency] should continue to monitor terrorist communications through the Terrorist Surveillance Program, almost 90 percent of House Democrats voted against it.

“In all these vital measures for fighting the war on terror, the Democrats in Washington follow a simple philosophy: Just say no. When it comes to listening in on the terrorists, what’s the Democratic answer? Just say no. When it comes to detaining terrorists, what’s the Democrat answer?”

Crowd: “Just say no!”

Bush: “When it comes to questioning terrorists, what’s the Democrat answer?”

Crowd: “Just say no!”

Bush: “When it comes to trying terrorists, what’s the Democrat’s answer?”

Crowd: “Just say no!”

i'm not sure how many lifetimes it's going to take for him to work off a karmic debt of THIS magnitude, but, you can bet, it's gonna be plenty...
Bush’s defenders may argue that the President was just using some oratorical license in the Indiana stump speech. But all the points he made to the crowd, he also has expressed in more formal settings.

The distortions also fit with Bush’s long pattern of slanting the truth or engaging in outright lies when describing his adversaries, both foreign and domestic.

Yet Bush is almost never held to account by a U.S. news media that seems almost as cowed today as it was when Bush misled the nation into the Iraq War or – after the invasion – when he lied repeatedly, claiming that he had no choice but to invade because Saddam Hussein had barred U.N. weapons inspectors from Iraq. [See’s “Bush & His Dangerous Delusions.”]

Even when acknowledging that Bush’s statements often turn out to be false, his defenders say it’s unfair to call him a liar. They say he’s just an honest guy who gets lots of bad information.

and i'm marie antoinette...

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A peek at Rove's homestretch strategy

of course, it only highlights the legal, ethical, tactical side, but we know that's only the stuff we're ALLOWED to see...

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No warm, fluffy-bunny sentimentality for Bushco

nosiree... just like cheney shooting caged birds, nobody in the bush administration is going to be guilty of any compassionate conservatism (or any compassion, period) for the plant and animal kingdoms - or human beings either, for that matter...
A senior Bush political appointee at the Interior Department has rejected staff scientists' recommendations to protect imperiled animals and plants under the Endangered Species Act at least six times in the past three years, documents show.

In addition, staff complaints that their scientific findings were frequently overruled or disparaged at the behest of landowners or industry have led the agency's inspector general to look into the role of Julie MacDonald, who has been deputy assistant secretary of the interior for fish and wildlife and parks since 2004, in decisions on protecting endangered species.

The documents show that MacDonald has repeatedly refused to go along with staff reports concluding that species such as the white-tailed prairie dog and the Gunnison sage grouse are at risk of extinction. Career officials and scientists urged the department to identify the species as either threatened or endangered.

Overall, President Bush's appointees have added far fewer species to the protected list than did the administrations of either Bill Clinton or George H.W. Bush, according to the advocacy group Center for Biological Diversity. As of now, the administration has listed 56 species under the Endangered Species Act, for a rate of about 10 a year. Under Clinton, officials listed 512 species, or 64 a year, and under George H.W. Bush, the department listed 234, or 59 a year.

why does the environmental protection agency need to employ staff scientists in the first place...? clearly, political appointees have the knowledge and ability to determine environmental impacts on nature... no need to spend money needlessly...

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Karl Rove's legacy is assured

never fear, karl... regardless of the outcome of next week's elections, you have nothing to worry about...
Midterm Vote May Define Rove's Legacy
Big Losses Could Dim Aura of Bush Adviser

By Michael Abramowitz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, October 30, 2006; Page A01

By many calculations, Democrats are ready to make big gains in the midterm elections, enough to take over the House and possibly the Senate. But White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten says there is one reason he is feeling upbeat amid so much Republican gloom.

"I believe Karl Rove," Bolten said in an interview in his West Wing office Friday. "Karl Rove, somewhere inside that massive brain of his, has figured out the political landscape more clearly than the entire collection of conventional-wisdom pundits and pollsters in the entire city of Washington."

Some strategists see the Nov. 7 vote as a referendum on Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove's polarizing brand of politics.

That was true for two elections in a row, in 2002 and 2004, and President Bush's senior adviser has insisted to West Wing colleagues and party faithful alike that it will be again. But Rove is just eight days from having his genius designation revoked -- or upgraded to platinum status.

no matter what happens, karl rove's place in history is guaranteed as the orchestra leader for the most evil, polarizing, vicious, ugly, manipulative, and scurrilous campaign tactics yet seen in the united states... certainly, karl had notable predecessors, but it was karl who re-fashioned the template into something utterly despicable... that's what makes it even more stomach-churning when i read things like the following...
Inside the White House, he is a revered figure, known as something of a jokester who will show up at senior staff meetings bearing snacks and promising a coup if Bolten is absent. Ed Rogers, a prominent GOP lobbyist, calls him "the glue" that holds the White House together.

i believe rove is truly pathological, one of the darkest forces ever seen on the american political landscape... karl rove is a man who should never be allowed within 10 miles of a position of political power - at any level...

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Watchwords for November 7

such a tremendous shame to be reading a headline like this in the united states of america...
Remember to Vote, Hope It Counts

Published: October 30, 2006

ON Nov. 7, many voters will encounter new voting machines, new computerized voter lists and new rules regarding registration and ID requirements. As primaries earlier this year demonstrated, local officials and poll workers are overwhelmed by all the changes — some of them engineered by mischievous partisans who have passed laws and rules that would block many eligible citizens from voting.

There is a silent disenfranchisement afoot — one that could affect hundreds of thousands of voters. That’s bad for democracy. In the 2004 presidential election, some states were decided by less than 1 percent of the vote. This year, dozens of Congressional races could be close enough that vote suppression would affect them.

what if races appear stolen...? what if people start turning out to protest (as some voter protection organizations are suggesting we should *)...? will that be the excuse to declare martial law...?
* How to Stop the November Elections from Being Stolen

By Don Hazen, AlterNet. Posted October 30, 2006

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Still MORE on martial law

i can honestly say i feel more strongly about this than almost anything else that's come down the pike... maybe it's because it feeds into my already heightened sense of paranoia, or, just possibly, i am sensing a real threat here... i tend to think it's the latter... anyway, check this out, and, if you can, take action... any work you've done helping move things forward for the upcoming election is critical, the vote you cast is critical, but this may be THE most critical issue of all... please, take it seriously...
This is it. We are going to make Congress repeal Section 1076 of the National Defense Appropriations Act of 2007: the paragraphs that gut the Posse Comitatus Act and smooth the President's path towards declaring martial law. It begins here and now.

We're going to do this by making every incumbent and every challenger for federal offices and governorships take a stand on the repeal of Section 1076.

If you're wondering what all this is about, this is a good place to start [previous diary on daily kos].

We're going to raise the profile of this obscene abuse of executive power by letting the people of this country know what has just been done to them under a cloak of secrecy and cloud of confusion. We're going to talk on the radio. We're going to write letters. We're going to send faxes and make calls.

I have started an organization with an unwieldy name but a good acronym: FINGER. The symbol for FINGER is one raised finger. No, not that one - the index finger. The ones that we've seen Iraqis raising when they vote. Because our struggle for our democracy is now no less critical or momentous than theirs.

many thanks to major danby at daily kos for getting this ball rolling... let's just hope it's not too late...

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Thanks be to the all-powerful, all-knowing, senile dementia-riddled Rummy

(thanks to think progress...)

there is no comment i could possibly make that would in any way add to what the honorable mr. boehner says so very well for himself...
BOEHNER: I think Donald Rumsfeld is the best thing that’s happened to the Pentagon in 25 years. This Pentagon and our military needs a transformation and I think Donald Rumsfeld is the only man in America who knows where the bodies are buried at the Pentagon, has enough experience to help transform that institution. Let’s not take the problems in Iraq, the tough fight that we’re in there and blame it on anyone. We’re in a tough fight. Al Qaeda is doing everything they can to disrupt our efforts in Iraq, to disrupt the new government, creating more violence than anyone can imagine and defeating al Qaeda there is important, because if we were to pull out before we win, we will embolden every terrorist in every corner of the world and then instead of fighting them in Iraq, we’ll be fighting them on every street in America.

scrub that... oh, my freakin' god...!

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The "Salvador Option" - very successful in perpetuating Iraq's violence and chaos

under full sail of cynicism, i once again maintain that the bush administration has no desire to quell violence or to see iraq stabilized... the presence of american troops continue to fuel the insurgency, which continues to fuel the islamic jihad, which, in turn, keeps alive the so-called gwot, and provides bushco with the endless war they so desperately desire, and to complete the makeover of the united states into a totalitarian dictatorship... so far, it's working like a charm...
Iraq's savage sectarian war is now regarded as a greater obstacle to any semblance of peace returning than the insurgency, and was the main reason for the Americans recently pouring 12,000 troops into the capital - an operation that, they now acknowledge, has failed.

Yet, ironically, the death squads are the result of US policy. At the beginning of last year, with no end to the Sunni insurgency in sight, the Pentagon was reported to have decided to train Shia and Kurdish fighters to carry out "irregular missions". The policy, exposed in the US media, was called the "Salvador Option" after the American-backed counter-insurgency in Latin America more than 20 years ago, which led to 70,000 deaths and countless instances of human rights abuse.

there's no "irony" about it... passing along the so-called "counter-insurgency" techniques that have already proven themselves throughout latin america, originally hatched by the school of the americas (now euphemistically called the "western hemisphere institute for security cooperation"), was only another calculated move in the repertoire of tactics designed to insure that bushco accomplishes its dark agenda...

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Lula poised to win run-off election in Brazil today

meanwhile, in our single-minded focus on the u.s., let's not lose touch with what's happening in the rest of the world... (yes, there still IS a rest of the world...)

Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva greets supporters at a re-election campaign rally in Sao Bernardo do Campo, some 32 km south of Sao Paulo yesterday. Lula will face former Sao Paulo governor Geraldo Alckmin in runoff elections today and he is expected to win comfortably.

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We can't move on until we know what it is we're moving on FROM

i've struggled most of my life with what i have often been made to feel is an almost obsessive preoccupation with everything that's WRONG... needless to say, given the happenings of the past six years, i confess to having been particularly obsessed... this feeling of guilt is only compounded when i see many of my esteemed colleagues (and i'm speaking of many of those who appear regularly on progressive weblogs) throwing themselves unreservedly into efforts designed to make things better... for most of those folks, that takes the form of political activism, working like trojans to accomplish a democratic resurgence and putting a stop to the criminals in bushco... hopefully, in less than a week and a half, we will harvest some of the fruits of their efforts... but, this morning, lying in bed, listening to the soft rain falling, floating in that mellow, quiet time between sleep and wakefulness, before the full-blown consciousness of the day kicked in, i had a major realization...

in my teaching and from my own experience, i know that real progress, real accomplishment, real achievement of any future vision, can only happen when the full dimensions and truths about present reality are fully grasped and understood... my life's work has been devoted to helping that to happen, to help create a sufficient critical mass of people who understand what IS, so that it becomes possible to make our way to the CAN BE... what troubles me deeply, and what is keeping me from focusing my energy on the CAN BE, is my profound belief that, collectively, we are not yet anywhere close to fully apprehending the gravity and scope of what IS, which means that the efforts to put the CAN BE in place will only serve to perpetuate many of the deeply flawed parts of the what IS...

i do not in any way disparage the work of my colleagues... their work is critical and invaluable... any forward movement is not only welcome but essential... what i desire with all my heart, however, is that we learn the full truth of our present reality, and, the sooner, the better... there has been a lot coming to light, much more so than i would have believed possible just a few short years ago, but, i suspect there is many times more still to learn... it is essential that we find out the truth, ALL of it... we can't hope to create the kind of world we all so desperately want if we don't... so, i will continue to lay out pieces of the current reality puzzle as i see them and, maybe, just maybe, the rest of the pieces will soon fall into place...

p.s. apologies for the high-concept stream of consciousness... hopefully, there will be one (or maybe even both) of my readers who will have the foggiest notion of what i'm trying to say... :)

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Bush is now telling his lies for free

first the lies...
"I want you to think about the Democrat plan for success. There isn't one," Bush told thousands of energized Republicans packed into a high school gymnasium. "They are in agreement on one thing — they will leave before the job is done, and we will not let them."

then the venue...
The rally was aimed at boosting GOP Rep. Mike Sodrel [R-IN], facing former Democratic Rep. Baron Hill (news, bio, voting record) for the third time in a rural southern Indiana district so evenly divided between the parties that each man has won once.

now, the really interesting part...
Until the Indiana campaign stop, all of Bush's approximately 90 political events in the 2005-2006 election season were fundraisers with donors willing to pay a high price to see him.

The rally was the president's first free appearance and came in the final stretch of an election that will determine whether Republicans retain their majorities in the House and Senate.

imagine...! not having to PAY to see your president... desperate times call for desperate measures...

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More on martial law

(thanks to the unknown candidate...)

i was deeply disturbed after writing the previous post... i'm all the more so now...

Public Law 109-364, or the "John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007" (H.R.5122) (2), which was signed by the commander in chief on October 17th, 2006, in a private Oval Office ceremony, allows the President to declare a "public emergency" and station troops anywhere in America and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities, in order to "suppress public disorder."

President Bush seized this unprecedented power on the very same day that he signed the equally odious Military Commissions Act of 2006. In a sense, the two laws complement one another. One allows for torture and detention abroad, while the other seeks to enforce acquiescence at home, preparing to order the military onto the streets of America. Remember, the term for putting an area under military law enforcement control is precise; the term is "martial law."

Section 1076 of the massive Authorization Act, which grants the Pentagon another $500-plus-billion for its ill-advised adventures, is entitled, "Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies." Section 333, "Major public emergencies; interference with State and Federal law" states that "the President may employ the armed forces, including the National Guard in Federal service, to restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition in any State or possession of the United States, the President determines that domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of ("refuse" or "fail" in) maintaining public order, "in order to suppress, in any State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy."

For the current President, "enforcement of the laws to restore public order" means to commandeer guardsmen from any state, over the objections of local governmental, military and local police entities; ship them off to another state; conscript them in a law enforcement mode; and set them loose against "disorderly" citizenry - protesters, possibly, or those who object to forced vaccinations and quarantines in the event of a bio-terror event.

The law also facilitates militarized police round-ups and detention of protesters, so called "illegal aliens," "potential terrorists" and other "undesirables" for detention in facilities already contracted for and under construction by Halliburton. That's right. Under the cover of a trumped-up "immigration emergency" and the frenzied militarization of the southern border, detention camps are being constructed right under our noses, camps designed for anyone who resists the foreign and domestic agenda of the Bush administration.

the overwhelming question is why...? why was this draconian measure even being considered, much less enacted...? why was it done covertly...? why haven't the media picked up on it...? never mind, i can answer that last one, but, fer god's sake, why hasn't it been jumped on by the major progressive blogs...? is it because no one wants to believe our government capable of actually taking such criminal action...? for those who pay attention, i don't see why that would be so hard to swallow... i've watched bushco move in this direction for nearly two years, step by secretive step... the pattern is clear for anyone who isn't afraid to see it for what it is... how, pray tell, can we bring this to a halt...? please, someone, tell me...

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