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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 01/28/2007 - 02/04/2007
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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Saturday, February 03, 2007

King George, the Defiant

he's gotta go, and we can't wait 'til january 2009...

(thanks to one pissed off liberal at daily kos...)

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Turning up the heat on worthless Condi

'bout time li'l ms. ferragamo started to feel the pressure... she's managed to avoid it for a long time, altho' anybody who's paid attention knows she's about as worthless as tits on a boar...
"For six years, first as national security adviser and then as secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice worked under the cover of an effective shield: Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who was the administration's lightning rod for criticism over its handling of Iraq," Helene Cooper writes for the Times. "But in recent weeks, with Rumsfeld gone, Rice has faced increased, and somewhat unfamiliar, criticism."

i was soooo glad when she announced she wouldn't throw her hat shoes in the ring for 2008...

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"...a political purge..."

every once in a while, steve clemons abandons his carefully crafted moderation and decides to get shrill...
We do need a political purge in this country. We need accountability -- and we need to face up to the terrible mistakes and -- yes -- the horror in some cases that our actions have unleashed.

yes, we do, badly...

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Cully Stimson, purveyor of ugly innuendo, bows out

what i want to know is, even though he apologized and his remarks were disavowed by the defense department, how much of what he said is common and acceptable conversation in the higher reaches of the defense department...?
A senior Pentagon official resigned Friday over controversial remarks in which he criticized lawyers who represent terrorism suspects, the Defense Department said.

Department spokesman Bryan Whitman said Charles ''Cully'' Stimson, deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, told him on Friday that he had made his own decision to resign and was not asked to leave by Defense Secretary Robert Gates.


Stimson drew outrage from the legal community -- and a disavowal from the Defense Department -- for his Jan. 11 comments, in which he also suggested some attorneys were being untruthful about doing the work free of charge and instead were ''receiving moneys from who knows where.''

He also said companies might want to consider taking their legal business to other firms that do not represent suspected terrorists.

''I think, quite honestly, when corporate CEOs see that those firms are representing the very terrorists who hit their bottom line back in 2001, those CEOs are going to make those law firms choose between representing terrorists or representing reputable firms,'' Stimson told Federal News Radio.

because i simply can't believe he came up with such viciousness on his own and obviously he didn't feel any constraint in uttering it in a public forum, all of which implies such opinions are not considered extreme in the halls of the pentagon...

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Saturday photoblogging: Villa Gesell, after the storm

there was a rip-roaring thunderstorm at villa gesell on wednesday afternoon, 17 january... as i've often seen happen in argentina, things start to clear up around sunset... as the rain stopped and i could see sun peeking from the clouds, i rushed to the beach where i witnessed one of the most spectacular post-storm sunsets i have ever seen... this stitched image can only give a small taste of the scene that had me standing motionless, goggle-eyed, for nearly a half-hour, watching the colors change and the wonder continue to unfold until darkness finally took hold...

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Howard Zinn on throwing the bastards out

howard zinn dares to use the "o" word...
Courage is in short supply in Washington, D.C. The realities of the Iraq War cry out for the overthrow of a government that is criminally responsible for death, mutilation, torture, humiliation, chaos.

But all we hear in the nation's capital, which is the source of those catastrophes, is a whimper from the Democratic Party, muttering and nattering about "unity" and "bipartisanship," in a situation that calls for bold action to immediately reverse the present course.

These are the Democrats who were brought to power in November by an electorate fed up with the war, furious at the Bush Administration, and counting on the new majority in Congress to represent the voters.

But if sanity is to be restored in our national policies, it can only come about by a great popular upheaval, pushing both Republicans and Democrats into compliance with the national will.

The Declaration of Independence, revered as a document but ignored as a guide to action, needs to be read from pulpits and podiums, on street corners and community radio stations throughout the nation. Its words, forgotten for over two centuries, need to become a call to action for the first time since it was read aloud to crowds in the early excited days of the American Revolution: "Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it and institute new government."

but, yes, it has come to this... "overthrow" is the right word and it's probably long overdue that we use it...
[T]here seems to be a special viciousness that accompanies the current assault on human rights, in this country and in the world. We have had repressive governments before, but none has legislated the end of habeas corpus, nor openly supported torture, nor declared the possibility of war without end. No government has so casually ignored the will of the people, affirmed the right of the president to ignore the Constitution, even to set aside laws passed by Congress.

but even zinn, powerful and articulate as he is, later shrinks from the full import of his opening paragraph...
The time is right, then, for a national campaign calling for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

i realized yesterday something that should have been intuitively obvious to me for some time... i will keep blogging until bush and his fellow criminals are removed from office and our country has been rescued by real leaders who have our common good at heart... i can do nothing less...

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Beyond obscene - $745B since 2001

Bush to Request Billions for Wars

President Bush will ask Congress for close to three-quarters of a trillion dollars in defense spending on Monday, including $245 billion to cover the cost of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and other elements of the "global war on terror," senior administration officials said yesterday.

as a minority stockholder in this mega-corporation called bushco, i would greatly appreciate a full accounting of exactly where each and every dollar of this money has ended up or will end up... when you consider that, for $745B, the infrastructure, educational, and health care needs of the entire united states could have been significantly pared down if not entirely met, we should not tolerate this kind of obscene expenditure any longer...

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Friday, February 02, 2007

Bush's Iraq exit

(thanks to friend, d, from macedonia...)

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16,164 casualties magically erased

why, ferchrissake, not simply adjust the figures to reflect BOTH categories, rather than using your statistical magic slate to make 'em disappear...?
On Monday, the bottom line of the Defense Department’s Web page on casualties in Iraq listed a total of 47,657 “nonmortal casualties.”

By Tuesday, the same page no longer showed a total for nonmortal casualties. The bottom line is now “total — medical air transported,” and the figure is 31,493.

The new total excludes 16,164 troops who were wounded but did not require medical air transport because their injuries were minor. The total does include combat wounds, nonhostile injuries and diseases serious enough for medical transport.

i am so ashamed of my government...

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I don't give a damn HOW we get rid of 'em...

as long as we get rid of 'em...
Why do I care so much to impeach these guys? Because, unlike conventional wisdom, I don't think we are going to be able to run out the clock on them. They are going to do something even more hideous before the next two years are up. Every week, Michael Hirsh from Newsweek comes on our show [The Young Turks] and tells us we have no choice but to hold our nose for two years and wait out this administration.

But that's not true. If our legislators were truly courageous, they would have a choice. That choice is impeachment. It is completely warranted and completely necessary.

it's no secret that i am 110% with cenk uygur... they HAVE to go, the sooner, the better...

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"...the Warner-Levin resolution signs off on the President continuing indefinite military operations in Iraq"

ya gotta love russ feingold... i just wish he hadn't declined to run in 2008...
[T]he new Warner-Levin resolution that many Democrats are pushing is flawed and unacceptable. It rejects the surge, but it also misunderstands the situation in Iraq and endorses the President’s underlying approach. It’s basically a back-door authorization of the President’s misguided policies, and passing it would be a big mistake. Under the guise of constructive criticism, the Warner-Levin resolution signs off on the President continuing indefinite military operations in Iraq that will not address the fundamental political challenges in Iraq, and that continue to distract us from developing a comprehensive and global approach to the threats that face our nation.

i'm all for bipartisan push-back on our criminal president, but not of the variety that is actually enabling in disguise...

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Some good news: back to paper ballots in Florida

verifiable, trackable, auditable voting... what a concept...!
Gov. Charlie Crist announced plans on Thursday to abandon the touch-screen voting machines that many of Florida’s counties installed after the disputed 2000 presidential election. The state will instead adopt a system of casting paper ballots counted by scanning machines in time for the 2008 presidential election.

i don't personally give much of a damn HOW it's done, but i do know this - if our electoral system can't consistently demonstrate full integrity, we will continue to be screwed a la florida in 2000 and ohio in 2004...

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Bush signing statements to go under the microscope

about goddam time...
"Asserting that President Bush’s frequent use of “signing statements” to interpret federal laws have allowed the executive branch to effectively thwart Congressional intent, House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) said Wednesday that his panel will launch a formal investigation into the practice," the paid-restricted Roll Call reports Wednesday.


The Michigan lawmaker said the investigation would include both Democratic and Republican staff and will focus on the approximately 150 signing statements issued by Bush, which the American Bar Association estimates have affected more than 1,100 provisions of federal law.

the constitution-ignorer and general, all-around criminal needs some heavy-duty scrutiny...

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Sy Hersh's chilling comments on Bush, Iran, and Iraq

one of the country's premier investigative journalists, for whom i have a great deal of respect, tells us what we should already know, but is nonetheless horrifying for that...
  • "The fact of the matter is we have a government that will do what it wants to do for the next two years," he said. "The worst is yet to come. It's sort of like we're essentially powerless [and] just play it out."
  • He said that Bush and top aides have largely ignored the military intelligence presented to them on Iran's nuclear program.
  • "It may come down to the president making an order that the military will object to," Hersh said. "It would be devastating, but it may come down to it. My fear is that he will do what he wants."
  • "He's a total radical, probably the most radical president we've ever had in terms of his definition of the power of the presidency," he said. "There's nothing more dangerous than a radical who doesn't have information, doesn't learn from information and doesn't learn from the past."
  • Hersh said that not even negative press coverage has slowed the administration. "They couldn't care less about what we write. They're immune, inured to what The New York Times can write, what The New Yorker can write," he said.
  • "You will not believe what's going to be happening in the next few years with returning vets," Hersh said.
the key point for me is that bushco "will do what it wants to do for the next two years..." THAT is precisely what must NOT be allowed to happen...

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Banding together against the Boy King's insanity

this could be the start of something good... REAL bipartisanship, not the faux bushco variety, means deciding as a congress and as a country to get rid of these bastards... hopefully, this is a first step in that much-needed direction...
Democratic and Republican opponents of President Bush's troop-buildup plan joined forces last night behind the nonbinding resolution with the broadest bipartisan backing: a Republican measure from Sen. John W. Warner of Virginia.

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) announced the shift, hoping to unite a large majority of the Senate and thwart efforts by the White House and GOP leaders to derail any congressional resolution of disapproval of Bush's decision to increase U.S. troop levels in Iraq by 21,500.

as with so many previous glimmers of hope that turned out to be false, i won't hold my breath...

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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Molly Ivins

a tremendous loss for the country, texas, me, and the human race... may her unrivaled sense of humor, her indefatigable spirit, her razor-sharp insight, and her fond memory be with us always...

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Help us help ourselves, join MoveOn's Stop the Iraq Escalation effort

Tomorrow, February 1st—just days before the Senate votes on the escalation—we're letting senators know where their constituents stand by flooding their offices with 1 million messages.

March on Washington
Passing a bipartisan resolution opposing escalation will be the strongest stand Congress has taken on the war since it began—and it will give our leaders in Washington the support they need to take future actions to stop the war

Thursday is going to be a huge day of action all over the country. MoveOn members, along with members of True Majority, Americans Against Escalation in Iraq, USAction, CampusProgress and many others are working together to make sure Congress gets the message: Americans not only oppose escalation, but are counting on Congress to block it. And if enough of us get involved, we can really win this vote.

Thursday is going to be a critical day in the fight to end the war. People can sign up for the Virtual March on Washington here:

Join the Virtual March on Washington and Stop the Iraq Escalation Now!

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"...please solve your problems outside Iraq"

hmmm... interesting-er and interesting-er, eh...?
Iraq's prime minister said Wednesday he's sure Iran is behind some attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq and he won't allow his country to be a battleground for the two nations.

"We have told the Iranians and the Americans, 'We know that you have a problem with each other, but we are asking you, please solve your problems outside Iraq,' " Nuri al-Maliki old CNN.

"We will not accept Iran to use Iraq to attack the American forces," al-Maliki said Wednesday in an exclusive interview with CNN.

"We don't want the American forces to take Iraq as a field to attack Iran or Syria," he added.

Asked about the role of Iran in Iraq, al-Maliki said he was confident that Iranian influence was behind attacks on U.S. forces. "It exists, and I assure you it exists," he said.

all the more reason to get the hell out of there...

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A war with Iran: "the likelihood of Islamic retaliation reaching directly into the United States"

if an attack on iran is a-building as many seem to think, how, pray tell, can we stop it...?
Military and intelligence sources continue to tell me that preparations are advancing for a war with Iran starting possibly as early as mid-to-late February. The sources offer some differences of opinion over whether Bush might cite a provocation from Iran or whether Israel will take the lead in launching air strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

But there is growing alarm among military and intelligence experts that Bush already has decided to attack and simply is waiting for a second aircraft carrier strike force to arrive in the region – and for a propaganda blitz to stir up some pro-war sentiment at home.

One well-informed U.S. military source called me in a fury after consulting with Pentagon associates and discovering how far along the war preparations are. He said the plans call for extensive aerial attacks on Iran, including use of powerful bunker-busting ordnance.

Another source with a pipeline into Israeli thinking said the Iran war plan has expanded over the past several weeks. Earlier thinking had been that Israeli warplanes would hit Iranian nuclear targets with U.S. forces in reserve in case of Iranian retaliation, but now the strategy anticipates a major U.S. military follow-up to an Israeli attack, the source said.

Both sources used the same word “crazy” in describing the plan to expand the war to Iran. The two sources, like others I have interviewed, said that attacking Iran could touch off a regional – and possibly global – conflagration.

“It will be like the TV show ‘24’,” the American military source said, citing the likelihood of Islamic retaliation reaching directly into the United States.

and, it's no longer a question of you "might" be killed in baghdad, it's the certainty of you "WILL" be killed...
The rapidly deteriorating situation in Iraq is seen as another factor pressing on Bush to act quickly against Iran.

Other sources with first-hand knowledge of conditions in Iraq have told me that the U.S. position is even more precarious than generally understood. Westerners can’t even move around Baghdad and many other Iraqi cities except in armed convoys.

“In some countries, if you want to get out of the car and go to the market, they’ll tell you that it might be dangerous,” one experienced American cameraman told me. “In Iraq, you will be killed. Not that you might be killed, but you will be killed. The first Iraqi with a gun will shoot you, and if no one has a gun, they’ll stone you.”

and, typically, the americans who can - and you know it's not the poor soldiering grunts who are out there getting killed every day - live the way i've seen american governmental ex-pats living in every country i've visited...
Once getting past the risks of the Baghdad airport and the dangerous road into the city, U.S. civilian government personnel ensconce themselves in the Green Zone, which amounts to a bubble of U.S. creature comforts – from hamburgers to lounging by the pool – separate from the world of average Iraqis who are mostly barred.

Cooks are brought in from other countries out of the unstated concern that Iraqis might poison the food.

That American officials have come to view a posting in Iraq as a pleasant career enhancer – rather than a vital national security mission for the United States – is another sign that the war is almost certainly beyond recovery.

but, it seems that those in the know have no faith in bush's plan...
Another experienced observer of conflicts around the world told me that Bush’s new idea of putting small numbers of U.S. troops among Iraqi government forces inside police stations represents an act of idiocy that is sure to get Americans killed.

why are we allowing this man to remain in office...?

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Bush: I won't rob banks any more, I promise!

george bush breaking the law is such old news...
Last Aug. 17, Judge Anna Diggs Taylor of the United States District Court in Detroit issued her ruling in the A.C.L.U. case. The president, she wrote, had “undisputedly violated” not only the First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution, but also statutory law, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Enacted by a bipartisan Congress in 1978, the FISA statute was a response to revelations that the National Security Agency had conducted warrantless eavesdropping on Americans. To deter future administrations from similar actions, the law made a violation a felony punishable by a $10,000 fine and five years in prison.

and then...? and THEN...? < rubs hands together gleefully >
Yet despite this ruling, the Bush Justice Department never opened an F.B.I. investigation, no special prosecutor was named, and there was no talk of impeachment in the Republican-controlled Congress.

oh... < looks disappointed > so, NOW what...?
On Jan. 17, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales unexpectedly declared that President Bush had ended the program, deciding to again seek warrants in all cases. Exactly what kind of warrants — individual, as is required by the law, or broad-based, which would probably still be illegal — is as yet unknown.

The action may have been designed to forestall a potentially adverse ruling by the federal appeals court in Cincinnati, which had scheduled oral arguments on the case for today. At that hearing, the administration is now expected to argue that the case is moot and should be thrown out — while reserving the right to restart the program at any time.

But that’s a bit like a bank robber coming into court and arguing that, although he has been sticking up banks for the past half-decade, he has agreed to a temporary halt and therefore he shouldn’t be prosecuted.

and, in the final analysis...
To allow a president to break the law and commit a felony for more than five years without even a formal independent investigation would be the ultimate subversion of the Constitution and the rule of law. As Judge Taylor warned in her decision, “There are no hereditary kings in America.”

yeah...? so...? what's being done about it besides an nyt op-ed by james bamford...?

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I'm starting to see "V's" everywhere

it's another over-the-top gorgeous morning here in my little barrio of buenos aires, and i'd like to share something with you that i am passing along from the unknown candidate... i found it uplifting, the perfect complement to the sparkling green trees and the intensely blue sky that serves as their backdrop, that i am seeing outside my window right now... i hope it will make your day brighter as well...

be sure not to miss the "v" at the end...

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Lower expectations for Iraq...? Lower than WHAT...?

i never HAD any expectations for an illegal war, initiated on the basis of lies, other than that it would be a disaster... well, ok... i guess THAT expectation has already been met...
[T]he man tapped to take over command of U.S. forces in the Middle East said Americans may have to lower their expectations for Iraq.

"What we've been doing is not working," Admiral William Fallon, nominated by President George W. Bush to become the top U.S. military commander for the Middle East, told the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.

"The likelihood that Iraq is suddenly going to turn into something that looks close to what we enjoy here in this country is going to be a long time coming," he said.

and precisely what the hell does he think is going to make THIS happen...?
"I believe the situation in Iraq can be turned around, but time is short," Fallon told the committee, meeting to consider his nomination.

needless to say, the article didn't include any of fallon's thoughts on WHY he thought it could be "turned around," or what he thought a "turned around" iraq might look like...

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The FBI conducts "full-pipe surveillance" of the internet

no surprise here... i've figured for a number of years now that every single electronic transaction of whatever form was being clandestinely "vacuumed up" by various spy agencies in the u.s. government and probably by most of our big power allies as well, the most likely additional suspect being the uk...
Agents engaging in investigations appear to be amassing huge databases of data of thousands of Internet users rather than eyeing the activities of particular suspects -- similar to the sweeping approach employed by the National Security Agency. The NSA wiretaps program drew congressional uproar after it was revealed the program was taking place without supervision of a court.

"Such a technique is broader and potentially more intrusive than the FBI's Carnivore surveillance system, later renamed DCS1000," ZDNet's Declan McCullagh writes. "It raises concerns similar to those stirred by widespread Internet monitoring that the National Security Agency is said to have done, according to documents that have surfaced in one federal lawsuit, and may stretch the bounds of what's legally permissible.


"That kind of full-pipe surveillance can record all Internet traffic, including Web browsing--or, optionally, only certain subsets such as all e-mail messages flowing through the network. Interception typically takes place inside an Internet provider's network at the junction point of a router or network switch," McCullagh writes.

if people really knew just how far down the road we are to a totalitarian state, they would be amazed... i've been paying attention for years and i am still amazed every day...

(thanks to raw story...)

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Bush creates "political officers" reminiscent of the Politburo

how long before each town has one...? how long before each business has one...? each neighborhood...?
The President "signed a directive that gives the White House much greater control over the rules that the federal government develops to regulate public health, safety," privacy and other issues, writes Robert Pear for the Times.

Pear reports that "in an executive order published last week in the Federal Register, Bush said that each federal agency must have a regulatory policy office run by a political appointee" who will monitor the creation of process and procedures and the associated documentation.

i'm tellin' ya... these people have to be REMOVED...! they're pulling out all the stops to make the united states an authoritarian, fascist state, and they ain't gonna stop unless we stop 'em...

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"Stop them from doing any more damage."

imho, i don't see that it's going to be possible to set "limits..." i think that there is only one way to stop the damage and that's to get rid of them as quickly as possible...
[F]or the United States as a country, right now, that means doing everything constitutionally, legally and politically possible to limit the president's and even more Vice President Cheney's free hand to shape and execute American foreign policy. Sift it all out and it's that simple. Stop them from doing any more damage. All the rest is commentary and elaboration.

i'm glad to see that even a "moderate" like josh marshall is starting to come around... there is NOTHING more critical for the u.s. right now than getting rid of the bush administration... while that's not precisely what josh is advocating, he's coming perilously close to it and that's a good thing...

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

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Providing maximum control of the entire electromagnetic spectrum

why don't they just turn the entire internet over to fox news...?
[I]nformation put out as part of the military's psychological operations, or Psyops, is finding its way onto the computer and television screens of ordinary Americans.

"Information intended for foreign audiences, including public diplomacy and Psyops, is increasingly consumed by our domestic audience," it* reads.

"Psyops messages will often be replayed by the news media for much larger audiences, including the American public," it goes on.

The document's authors acknowledge that American news media should not unwittingly broadcast military propaganda. "Specific boundaries should be established," they write. But they don't seem to explain how.

"In this day and age it is impossible to prevent stories that are fed abroad as part of psychological operations propaganda from blowing back into the United States - even though they were directed abroad," says Kristin Adair of the National Security Archive.

perhaps they should do it "wittingly" instead...?

if the above doesn't give you cold chills, check this...

[T]he United States should seek the ability to "provide maximum control of the entire electromagnetic spectrum".

US forces should be able to "disrupt or destroy the full spectrum of globally emerging communications systems, sensors, and weapons systems dependent on the electromagnetic spectrum".

Consider that for a moment.

The US military seeks the capability to knock out every telephone, every networked computer, every radar system on the planet.

*The declassified document is called "Information Operations Roadmap". It was obtained by the National Security Archive at George Washington University using the Freedom of Information Act.

ya gotta love bushco... such audacity, such sweeping vision, such an unlimited desire for power...

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Norah Jones: "We drifted from the shore / With a captain who's too proud to say / That he dropped the oar"

yay, norah... you go, girl...
[O]n her foreboding and magnificently moody new album, "Not Too Late," Jones tackles not just matters of the heart, but matters of state as well. And nowhere does she do that as forcefully or succinctly as on "My Dear Country," a plaintive, understated work that arrives just past the midpoint of this 13-song collection and seems offered as a heartfelt plea for an America beset by mistrust and paralyzed by fear.

After positing that "nothing is as scary as Election Day," Jones sings: "But the day after is darker / And darker and darker it goes / Who knows maybe the plans will change / Who knows maybe he's not deranged."

It's an almost stunning statement of opposition and despair coming from the top-selling female artist of the 21st century (30 million records worldwide and counting, thank you very much). And though it may be a risky career move to make political statements, Jones doesn't hold back. On "Sinkin' Soon," a slow, swampy New Orleans dirge, the singer loads on the symbolism: "In a boat that's built of sticks and hay / We drifted from the shore / With a captain who's too proud to say / That he dropped the oar."

i've always thought she was damn good, as good or better in her own way than diana krall... now, i not only think she's damn good, i tip my hat to her courage and wisdom in speaking out and using her prodigious talent to do it...

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The U.S. is creating the "Iran problem"

of course... it is part and parcel of the bushco strategy for making endless war a reality, perpetuating the presidential commander in chief role, and insuring that the u.s. is always on a wartime footing, thus "necessitating" the draconian measures curtailing fundamental constitutional freedoms so prized by bushco...
"The United States is the first to be blamed for the rise of Iranian influence in the Middle East," said Khaled al-Dakhil, a Saudi writer and academic. "There is one thing important about the ascendance of Iran here. It does not reflect a real change in Iranian capabilities, economic or political. It's more a reflection of the failures on the part of the U.S. and its Arab allies in the region."

as our criminals in the white house, encouraged by their neocon handlers, point solemnly to the "threat" they've created while they continue to pour more gasoline on an-already tense situation, all that remains is for the spark to be struck - which they're no doubt working on as i write this...

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Monday, January 29, 2007


yes, in blogosphere time, it's old news...
President Bush's approval rating stands at 30 percent in the latest Newsweek poll, the lowest approval rating recorded for the president in that poll's history.

by anyone's standards, it's an incredibly dismal number for an incredibly malign president...

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The Dems sure took a chomp out of the big green weenie - AGAIN...!

anybody who was paying the slightest bit of attention could have seen this one coming at least a mile away...
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Friday an effort in Congress to pass a resolution opposing President Bush's troop buildup undercuts U.S. commanders in Iraq and "emboldens the enemy."

but did our dear senators, especially our dear DEMOCRATIC senators, seize the moment back in december and put bobby under the microscope... oh, n-o-o-o-o-oooo... perish the thought...
In December 2006, ignoring warnings from former CIA officers who had worked with Gates, Senate Democrats embraced his nomination to replace Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. They fawned over Gates at a one-day hearing, spared the former CIA director any tough questions, and then unanimously endorsed him.

Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York and others hailed Gates’s “candor” when he acknowledged the obvious, that the United States wasn’t winning the war in Iraq, a position that even Bush subsequently embraced.

In December, the “conventional wisdom” was that Bush would bend to the troop-drawdown recommendations of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group and that Gates – as a former member of the ISG – would guide the President toward disengagement from Iraq.

But in rushing Gates’s nomination through with only pro forma hearings, the Democrats sacrificed a rare opportunity to demand answers from the Bush administration about its war policy at a time when the White House wanted something from the Democrats, i.e. the quick confirmation of Gates.

now that they're breaking their arms patting each other on the back for their successful "first 100 hours," our presidential administration and its hand-picked cast of professional toadies continues to run our country into the ground...
Though then still in the Senate minority, committee Democrats had the power to demand fuller hearings. But they were desperate to demonstrate their bipartisanship and their generosity in victory, extending Bush an olive branch and hoping that Bush would respond in kind.

after SIX FRIGGIN' YEARS of getting the finger from george bush and his gang, what in god's name would give anyone the slightest indication that anything was going to change, particularly when cheney announced even BEFORE the november election that, regardless of the outcome, the administration would continue as before, full-tilt boogey, damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead...? how many times do you have to bend over before you finally figure out what's coming...?

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"I'm Vice-President and they're not" and pay no attention to the flawed intelligence

ya just gotta love darth... the round face, the twinkling eyes, the grandfatherly look, the hannibal lecter attitude... but, omg, then he goes and exposes a chink in his armor...
“Obviously, there was flawed intelligence prior to the war … but we should not let the fact of past problems in that area lead us to ignore the threat we face today and in the future. It would be a huge mistake.”

flawed intelligence...? FLAWED INTELLIGENCE...? OBVIOUSLY...? he simply COULDN'T be referring to the flawed intelligence HE cooked up...? could he...? nah...

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You'd think the story was just about Iraq, Chevron, and Exxon

well, wouldn't you...?
Iraq in Talks With Chevron, Exxon

LONDON — Iraq is in negotiations with Chevron Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp. to build a new $3 billion petrochemical facility, and is in talks with several other Western companies over industrial projects.

ah, but no... what the article is REALLY about is making iraq a wholly-owned subsidiary of the usual suspects, namely, the global mega-corporations... starting a full seven paragraphs in, we get this list, and it's probably not complete... in addition to chevron and exxon, we have...

  • ABB Lummus, a unit of Swiss-Swedish electrical engineering company ABB Ltd.
  • Dow Chemical Corp.
  • KBR Inc.
  • General Electric Corp.
  • General Motors Corp.
  • Bechtel Corp.
i mean, really... what did we go in to iraq for if not to provide business opportunities for those who so "generously donate" the money to get our government officials elected...?

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Fresh from an engagement in a parallel universe, please welcome Darth Cheney

i don't know about you, but i've been somewhat underwhelmed with news reports of middle east countries begging us to stay...
Vice President Cheney said the deployment this month of a second aircraft-carrier task force to the Persian Gulf delivered a "strong signal" of the United States' commitment to confront Iran's growing influence in the region.

Countries in the Middle East "want us to have a major presence there," Cheney said in a Newsweek interview published online yesterday. Referring to the deployment of the carrier USS John C. Stennis, Cheney said, "That sends a very strong signal to everybody in the region that the United States is here to stay, that we clearly have significant capabilities, and that we are working with friends and allies as well as the international organizations to deal with the Iranian threat."

oh, yes, we simply MUST deal with The Iranian Threat... would that be the same Iranian Threat that we have been so busily working to create, or could it possibly be an hallucinatory iraqi flashback...?

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Amen... Wait... Make that two...

altho' as anybody who follows this half-assed blog already knows, i support the following 110%...
So, steadily and quietly, the build-up continues for the wider Middle East conflagration to come. In utter, contemptuous defiance of the overwhelming majority of the American public, their weak-kneed opponents in the Congress, and indeed the vast mass of people all around the world, the Stalinist weasels at the controls of the power structure won’t be distracted or deterred from their program of catastrophe. The demands of real people in the streets? Hot air. Smart-mouthed bloggers? Virtual ass-gas. The uncountable billions of poor and destitute, particularly those in the Neo-Con cross-hairs? Who the fuck are they ...?

I realize that this question isn’t especially underivative, and that it sprouts out of a sickening manure pile of despair and loathing, but here it is anyway: what’s the answer to this madness? Remove them from office -- remove them now. There’s no future for anyone so long as the Bushniks retain their death grip on power.

e. buttler of the barstool chronicles is reporting on the departure of the aircraft carrier uss ronald reagan which is headed to the persian gulf to support war efforts in iraq...

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Hit the road, Jeb, and dontcha come back no mo'...

no mo', no mo', no mo', no mo'... hit the road jeb, and dontcha come back no mo'...
At a time when the conservative movement is looking bereft, humbled by midterm-election defeats and hungering for a presidential candidate to rally around, Jeb Bush delivered yesterday in Washington a resounding endorsement of conservative principles, bringing his audience repeatedly to its feet.

In his lunchtime remarks to the Conservative Summit, Bush struck every conservative chord, blaming Republicans' defeat in November on the party's abandonment of tenets including limited government and fiscal restraint.

"Don't take offense personally if I get mad at Congress," the Republican former Florida governor began. "It's important for us to realize we lost, and there are significant reasons that happened, but it isn't because conservatives were rejected. But it's because we rejected the conservative philosophy in this country."

we don't like you and your kind in these here parts...

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"But we can never know what they know. We do not have sufficient clearance."

garry wills nails it...
The president is not the commander in chief of civilians. He is not even commander in chief of National Guard troops unless and until they are federalized. The Constitution is clear on this: “The president shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States.”

When Abraham Lincoln took actions based on military considerations, he gave himself the proper title, “commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States.” That title is rarely — more like never — heard today. It is just “commander in chief,” or even “commander in chief of the United States.” This reflects the increasing militarization of our politics. The citizenry at large is now thought of as under military discipline. In wartime, it is true, people submit to the national leadership more than in peacetime. The executive branch takes actions in secret, unaccountable to the electorate, to hide its moves from the enemy and protect national secrets. Constitutional shortcuts are taken “for the duration.” But those impositions are removed when normal life returns.

But we have not seen normal life in 66 years. The wartime discipline imposed in 1941 has never been lifted, and “the duration” has become the norm. World War II melded into the cold war, with greater secrecy than ever — more classified information, tougher security clearances. And now the cold war has modulated into the war on terrorism.

There has never been an executive branch more fetishistic about secrecy than the Bush-Cheney one. The secrecy has been used to throw a veil over detentions, “renditions,” suspension of the Geneva Conventions and of habeas corpus, torture and warrantless wiretaps. We hear again the refrain so common in the other wars — If you knew what we know, you would see how justified all our actions are.

But we can never know what they know. We do not have sufficient clearance.

there's nothing like a clear-eyed historian to keep us mindful of the truth that, these days, seems to be so easily misplaced... garry wills is a clear-eyed historian, and, even better, a bona-fide truth-teller...

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Is there a limit to Bushco's outrages...? Is the bear a catholic...?

does the pope shit in the woods...?

the answer...? in a word, no... in two words, hell no...

We often wonder whether there is a limit to the Bush administration’s obsession with secrecy, its assault on the rule of law, its disdain for the powers of Congress, its willingness to con the public and its refusal to heed expert advice or recognize facts on the ground. Events of the past week suggest the answer is no.

c'mon, nyt... events of the LAST WEEK...? how 'bout let's try the PAST SIX YEARS... the administration walked in the door on 20 january 2001, fresh from the scotus-engineered power grab spelled out on 12 december 2000, intent on grabbing and holding on to any and all powers it could possibly grab, and, by golly, it's done pretty well, dontcha think...? and, gawdamighty, it sure as hell DIDN'T HAPPEN LAST WEEK... so, whenryagonna start calling for these s.o.b.'s to resign... huh...? huh...? when...?

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