Jun 29, 2006
There is a great blog that gives you a breakdown of each SCOTUS decision and how it affects the laws and the people of these United States of America. Its called simply SCOTUSblog. I had an MRI today, so I didn't get to check them out right after the announcement of the Supreme's ruling this morning. As for what the Hamdan decision didn't do, Marty Lederman, author of the article had this to say:
"One is whether the country is, indeed, at "war" in some constitutional sense, giving the Court reason to look more favorably on claims of expanded presidential power. And the second one is whether the President has authority, acting all alone, to decide what measures are needed to respond to the continuing terrorism threat. The Court in Hamdan makes an assumption about the former, and leaves the latter without any answer." You can read their article in its entirety here regarding the issues not taken up by the Supremes.
On what todays decision did mandate, the SCOTUSblog had this summary:
"it is hard to overstate the principal, powerfully stated themes emanating from the Court, which are (i) that the President's conduct is subject to the limitations of statute and treaty; and (ii) that Congress's enactments are best construed to require compliance with the international laws of armed conflict."(emphasis is theirs, not mine) The final analysis of the ruling is, in their opinion here:
"Even more importantly for present purposes, the Court held that Common Article 3 of Geneva aplies as a matter of treaty obligation to the conflict against Al Qaeda. That is the HUGE part of today's ruling. The commissions are the least of it. This basically resolves the debate about interrogation techniques, because Common Article 3 provides that detained persons "shall in all circumstances be treated humanely," and that "[t]o this end," certain specified acts "are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever"—including "cruel treatment and torture," and "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment." This standard, not limited to the restrictions of the due process clause, is much more restrictive than even the McCain Amendment. See my further discussion here."
"This almost certainly means that the CIA's interrogation regime is unlawful, and indeed, that many techniques the Administation has been using, such as waterboarding and hypothermia (and others) violate the War Crimes Act (because violations of Common Article 3 are deemed war crimes). If I'm right about this, it's enormously significant."
While I was waiting for my MRI, the doctors office had all four TV channels on FAUX news. John Gibson was slamming the left of course, saying we are all rejoicing this decision and obviously we, being the left, are all on the wrong side of the issue. He also kept pimping his radio show and wanted viewers to call in later and talk about how horrible all the progressives are on this dark day for our War against Terrorism. --Stick a sock in Gibson, I have no happiness or joy you asshat, that individuals who POSSIBLY wished to due us harm might very well go free.
And if that didn't piss him off, they also ruled, in a 5-to-3 breakdown,that the effort by Congress to "strip the court of jurisdiction over habeas corpus appeals by detainees at the prison camp in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba" was total and complete bullshit....Alrighty then!
This was based on the case brought by Osama's former driver, the infamous Salmin Hamdan, who the courts said "could not be tried on the conspiracy charge lodged against him because international military law requires that prosecutions focus on specific acts, not broad conspiracy charges"
The majority was made up of Stevens, Souter, Ginsberg, Breyer and once again, Kennedy. Scalia, Thomas and Alito were the dissenting stooges..er..judges. Roberts recused himself since he had ruled on this case at the appeal court level last year.
Thomas was so pissed, that he read his dissenting opinion aloud from the bench. He has never done that during his 15 years as a Supreme. His major statement was that this would "sorely hamper the president's ability to confront and defeat a new and deadly enemy."
Well no shit sherlock..but its also illegal..
Cmdr. Charles Swift, the Navy lawyer assigned to represent Hamdan said that todays ruling brings "a return to our fundamental values."
It was also a wonderful kick in the nads to the Shrub and his facist,power-grabbing buddies. It made my morning to read this article from the NY Times. I hope it makes your day too, my dear reader. :)
Tags: Gitmo, politics, Bush, terrorists, Supreme Court, detainees, military,
Jun 28, 2006
I would like to thank Bob Higgins over at Worldwide Sawdust for posting the following article on his site from one of my favorite places, Booman Tribune. I have lots of favorites and today I was perusing them all..I am just not in the writing mood...life has sucked here at home lately. If you, my dear reader wonder why, I ain't in the mood to repeat it, go check out my fluff blog here.But I digress...
Larry Johnson is the writer of the following article. Just a little about Larry from his bio on Booman here:
Larry C. Johnson is CEO and co-founder of BERG Associates, LLC, an international business-consulting firm that helps corporations and governments manage threats posed by terrorism and money laundering. Mr. Johnson, who worked previously with the Central Intelligence Agency and U.S. State Department's Office of Counter Terrorism (as a Deputy Director), is a recognized expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, crisis and risk management. Mr. Johnson has analyzed terrorist incidents for a variety of media including the Jim Lehrer News Hour, National Public Radio, ABC's Nightline, NBC's Today Show, the New York Times, CNN, Fox News, and the BBC. Mr. Johnson has authored several articles for publications, including Security Management Magazine, the New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times. He has lectured on terrorism and aviation security around the world.
Actually, thats alot about Larry..but hey..its a helluva resume right? Anyway, on to his article:
by Larry Johnson
Mon Jun 26th, 2006 at 09:17:15 PM EST
Most of the men who appeared today before Senator Dorgan and Congressman Jones are Republicans. None are partisans. Their words are horrifying when you realize that over 2500 American men and women have died in Iraq based on a lie.
You can read their statements at this link.
If you have visited this blog before you have probably seen several pieces by me describing how the Administration ignored the intelligence community warnings to not use the claim that Iraq was trying to acquire uranium yellowcake in West Africa and that there was no operational relationship between Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden. On both issues Vice President Cheney, President Bush, National Security Advisor Rice, and Secretary of Defense deliberately ignored the intelligence community.
Bush, and others in his administration, have denied they were trying to persuade Americans that Iraq was somehow behind 9-11. That too is a lie. A bald faced lie. How can I be so confident? We now have public testimony that the Administration repeatedly tried to link the 9-11 attacks to Iraq and willfully ignored the analysis of the intelligence community and the evidence from the law enforcement community. Vice President Cheney and Stephen Hadley, the current National Security Advisor, pressured and bullied the intelligence community to confirm that Mohammed Atta met with Iraqi intelligence officers in the Czech Republic prior to the 9-11 attack.
First, we have the testimony of Col. Wikerson. According to the Colonel:
Now, you have to hit the link to Mr. Johnson's article in the first paragraph to read the rest, I am not stealing his entire piece..give them the traffic over at Booman..ok? But I swear its a great read..take the time and check it out..please..cuz I think you will be highly pissed off when you finish reading it..or at the very least..figuring you were right all along about Tricky Dick..the prick.
The Supreme's today shot down a portion of Tommy boy's grand plan to remake the Texas voting districts in his and the Republican's image. The higher court did affirm that states have the right to reset the lines of voting districts whenever they feel like it. A quote from the MSNBC article about the redistricting laws of Texas:
"On a different matter, the court ruled 7-2 that state legislators may draw new maps as often as they like — not just once a decade as Texas Democrats claimed. That means Democratic and Republican state lawmakers can push through new maps anytime there is a power shift at a state capital.
The Constitution says states must adjust their congressional district lines every 10 years to account for population shifts. In Texas the boundaries were redrawn twice after the 2000 census, first by a court, then by state lawmakers in a second round promoted by DeLay after Republicans took control.That was acceptable, the justices said."
On the subject of the boundaries set by Tommy and his cronies the justices had this to say:
"Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the majority, said Hispanics do not have a chance to elect a candidate of their choosing under the plan. The vote was 5-4 on that issue." *snip* "We reject the statewide challenge to Texas redistricting as an unconstitutional political gerrymander,” Kennedy wrote. However, he said the state’s redrawing of District 23 violated the Voting Rights Act."
Thanks to TruthOut for posting this newest bitch-slap to Tommy's grand plan to rule the world.
Jun 26, 2006
This case(Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, 05-1120) centers on whether the Shrub's boyz over at the EPA are actually doing anything about protecting the environment..as well they should. Its called earning their paycheck in my simple little mind. The case stems from a lawsuit regarding the "sins of omission" perpetuated by the bastards currently running the EPA. Seems the EPA wants voluntary efforts to combat the greenhouse effect on our atmosphere. Besides my grand state of Cali, the following states AND there cities have joined the appeal to the Supremes: are Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maine, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. Three cities — New York, Baltimore and Washington..plus a couple of conservation groups. Said an attorney, David Bookbinder, representing the Sierra Club, and I quote from this article over at SFGate regarding this case: "The decision means the court will address whether the administration's decision to rely on voluntary measures to combat climate change are legal under federal clean air laws. "This is the whole ball of wax. This will determine whether the Environmental Protection Agency is to regulate greenhouse gases from cars and whether EPA can regulate carbon dioxide from power plants," said David Bookbinder, an attorney for the Sierra Club."
You can not legislate commonsense has always been my belief. But, I also believe we have to legislate cleaning up and protecting the environment, and that includes car emissions and power plants. I believe the EPA is there as a protector of our environment and therefore a neccesity exists to force the vehicle manufactuters and the Oil companies to adhere to a standard which will demonstrate our efforts to control and ultimately reduce greenhouse gasses and thereby insure we as a country are doing the best we can to keep this planet alive for our children and their children.
The arguments being put forth in this case, which the Supremes just accepted are the following,per the above-linked article:
The Sierra Club argues that the Environmental Protection Agency is obligated to limit carbon dioxide emissions from motor vehicles under the federal Clean Air Act because as the primary "greenhouse" gas causing a warming of the earth, carbon dioxide is a pollutant.
The administration maintains that carbon dioxide — unlike other chemicals that must be controlled to assure healthy air — is not a pollutant under the federal clean air law, and that even if it were the EPA has discretion over whether to regulate it.
Ok..carbon dioxide is not a pollutant? Where the hell did these guys go to school? And then,to look even more fucktarded..that wonderful last part of their statement..IF it is a pollutant they,meaning the asshats at the EPA, have discretion over whether to regulate it..WTF? They can pick and choose which horrible ozone killing pollutants to regulate? This isn't a smorgasboard dudes..if it fucks up the environment, its bad and it needs to be addressed. If its not addressed..it will kill us you dickwads.
Those lovely corporate bastards in the oil industy weighed in on this case...its a goodie:
"Fundamentally, we don't think carbon dioxide is a pollutant, and so we don't think these attempts (to require reductions) are a good idea," said John Felmy, chief economist of the American Petroleum Institute, a trade group representing oil and gas producers."
I don't think having a large bowl of ice cream every night will make me fat..but in essence, it does when combined with other fat-inducing foods I consume over the course of my day. If I don't want to get fat, I can't have that friggin bowl of ice cream each night..it pisses me the hell off..but its not rocket science folks..And neither is limiting the amount of carbon dioxide spewed from our vehicles..it doesn't take Albert Einstein to tell us that we need to lower the level of these gases being released into the atmosphere. The car manufacturers won't do it on their own, they have shown us that they will not do anything unless they are told to. The Oil Companies don't give a rat's ass as long as they keep selling us gas and oil..its about the money for them..not the protection of the environment.
And who does the EPA and the Shrub look to protect...you guessed it..Big Oil and Big Business..
screw the environment..the rapture is coming right? Who needs clean air? The LAT has a writeup here also.
+the pic..I have no friggin clue where I got it..if someone claims it,I will be more than happy to provide credit where credit is due..
With Zarqawi dead, Baghdad photo-op and Rove in the clear, Bush has most fun since taunting a man in a wheelchair. W approval ratings jump from catatonic to moribund. Threat level unchanged.
Ripped off from the folks at Perrspectives.com
Jun 25, 2006
The answer is wrong. Its going o so very wrong over there. The only safe area has been the "green zone" and that is now unsecure as well. An LA Times article estimates the number of Iraq citizens dead as...
As for being safe in Iraq..no one is anymore..if they ever were. The NY Times published an article today that documents the life of the upper-class residents in Baghdad's Mansour section. This is a very upscale area, that hasn't seen too much violence..until recently. Its located 3 miles outside the Green Zone. It's also a religiously mixed area which has co-existed well within itself inspite of the diversity of Kurds, Sunni's and Shia's within its city limits. Read the NYT article if you want to see what it would be like here to suddenly be tossed into the middle of a warzone, or to suddenly have groups of thugs demanding money for protection of your business and if you do not comply..they merely bomb your business...and no one does anything about it. If the rich of Baghdad are now feeling the heat of the occupation, you know its going to hell in the proverbial handbasket. The comfortable folks are now very uncomfortable...and afraid. Huge sections of Baghdad are in a state of anarchy. With the insurgents setting up roadblocks and no one stops them. Bodies can not be picked up for fear of snipers killing the people attempting to retrieve their friends and loved ones. Garbage is no longer being picked up.
And if your one of THOSE, that think this is all put upon us by a liberal-biased media..think again. You have only to read the memo from our governments Iraq Embassy to understand the fear and hatred that is rampant in Iraq.
So whats the plan Decider-Man? How is this the final throes of the insurgency? Try talking to us about this, not about illegal immigration, gay marriage and all the other horseshit issues brought to the forefront to deflect what is really happening over in Iraq and the billions of dollars spent there that are draining our country financially. Try telling us the truth..and what you plan to do about it.
I know..the terrorists will then know our plans..we can't have that now, can we? You had over three years to look for Bin Laden using all that data you have mined illegally and yet..you never found him. Telling your secrets publicly isn't why we can't find him. Its putting chickenhawks in positions of authority who haven't a fucking clue what to do or how to do it. You made this war you sumbitch..you need to bring an end to it. Whats the plan pal? If you have one, you better get your ass in gear and insitute it..or our people will be boarding helicopters in the Embassy compound ala Vietnam..running with our tail tucked between our legs. And leaving the Iraqi's to fend for themselves..again ala Vietnam. GET A FUCKING PLAN YOU MORONS..FIGURE IT OUT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND HUMANITY.
** the graphic for this post is from , a great group blog and discussion group that I contribute rantings to, on occasion. Go check them out if you can. We welcome people with all views, not just progressive ones, providing the righties can discuss and not just flame.
Tags: war, Bush, Iraq, anarchy, Iraqi death toll, stay the course, cut and run, government spying
Jun 24, 2006
"The plan also calls for a withdrawal timetable for coalition forces from Iraq, but it doesn't specify an actual date—one of the Sunnis' key demands. It calls for "the necessity of agreeing on a timetable under conditions that take into account the formation of Iraqi armed forces so as to guarantee Iraq's security," and asks that a U.N. Security Council decree confirm the timetable. Mahmoud Othman, a National Assembly member who is close to President Talabani, said that no one disagrees with the concept of a broad, conditions-based timetable. The problem is specifying a date, which the United States has rejected as playing into the insurgents' hands. But Othman didn't rule out that reconciliation negotiations called for in the plan might well lead to setting a date. "That will be a problem between the Iraqi government and the other side [the insurgents], and we will see how it goes. It's not very clear yet."
Look, if THEY want us out. we need to GET OUT..I mean, for the love of pete..we are not welcome there any more and by all accounts our prescence is making it worse. Bush isn't going to like this ultimatum from Maliki..and frankly I wonder how far it will go without the Shrub's approval..but I hope it sends a loud and very clear message..its time to leave America..you wore out your welcome. If Maliki wants to give it a shot at fixing the bullshit we started..give it to him..afterall, its his fucking country..not ours.
Thanks to TruthOut for posting this article and link on their website.
Tags; politics, Iraq, withdrawal+timetable, war, Bush, cut and run, Iraqi Prime Minister's Plan
1700 people live in the streets outside the fences around their former homes at this specific location. There are over 7200 public housing units in NOLA. Some have lived there as long as 40 years. They are good people for the most part. They are demonstrating and attempting to raise awareness of what is being shoved down their throats by their elected reps and greedy developers.
On July 4th, these people are going guerilla. They are going to crash down the gates and take possession of their homes and lives again. They know what can happen. They also don't care, they have NOTHING to lose at this point. Watch the video, see hope where there really isn't any. See the faces and hear the voices of the 9th ward. The ones who by no fault of their own are put in harm's way so the greedy bastards can take it for themselves. A Loyola Professor is helping them, he is interviewed in the video. Its a powerful video..it gave me hope...and HOPE is very powerful, it can defeat your empy stomach and fill your soul with fire. These folks have hope too..please watch it.
Damn, he's got a plan..no shit? For reals?
When asked why the Fed's needed more troops than they had "planned" for..the Shrub's spokesman referred the question to the DC office of the National Guard. Why does this non-answer not surprise me?
The fact that Ahnold rented a set of nads and stood up to the Shrub filled me with hope..then I got a firm grip on reality and realized..
Its an election year for Arnie and his numbers are..how do you say...sucking wind..in the latino camp.The LA Times has an article up about this little skirmish between the Fed's and Cali's governator. They state that Arnie's percentage numbers have fallen 7% in latino support from the time he was elected until now. I smell an attempt to gain mexican votes here..don't you? Could Rover's braintrust be part of this decision?
According to Bob Mullholland an advisor to Democratic candidate Phil Angelides,and I quote from the Times article here: "This so-called request [from the White House] was a phony political request to try to give Schwarzenegger political cover: 'Look it. I'm standing up to Bush.' But last week Schwarzenegger was a French poodle in Bush's lap — authorizing 1,000 stressed-out, overextended National Guard members to spend weeks and months at the border, even though many of them have done two tours in Iraq."
This does sound far more plausible to me than the renting a pair of nuts theory in retrospect..how about you, my dear reader?
tags: politics, border, immigration, national guard, election
Jun 22, 2006
Power is still off more than its on, in some places they get two or three hours of power in 24..thats it!. The temps are OVER 110 there sportsfans! If you live near a hospital or government building you will get it almost 24 hours. Or, if a very important Iraqi lives in your building, suddenly you will have power when you never had it before. Power is being sold on the black market. people are paying $60 a month for 6 hours a day of electricity off the black market.
The Iraqi woman that work for the US Embassy are being harrassed by their neighbors for their mode of dress. They are being threatened for even driving a car. They have to hide their employer from their neighbors in fear of reprisals..meaning someone will kill them. These are women of Shia,Kurd and Sunni religions. They also live in the upper-class neighborhoods. I can't imagine what its like in the poor parts of Bagdad..can you?
The various Iraqi-controlled Ministries such as the Ministry of Transportation are demanding that women wear the total,complete clothing package..including the headdress and face coverings. Women tell of taxi's that will not pick them up unless they are dressed in the traditional religious clothing,including the headcover. Women are not even allowed to talk on cell phones....WTF?
The Iraqi Security Forces have suddenly become militia-like and actually taunt the Iraqi-native employees by yelling out that they are employed by the US when they attempt to enter or leave the "the Green Zone". This type of information is a "death sentence" if heard by the wrong people, and the security forces know this.
Every single Iraqi-born employee fears for their life. America is hated so much that they will be killed on sight if it is known they work for the Embassy.. They say the strain of hiding their employement is getting to them...
This one memo told me more about Iraq than watching a year's worth of the Mainstream Media. That is so FUCKED UP.
Edit: The Iraqi government has declared a state of emergency in Baghdad this morning and imposed a curfew. The insurgents set up roadblocks inside Baghdad city limits and were fighting in the open with US troops. Its going to hell in a handbasket folks..zero to 60 in the blink of an eye.
Withdraw immediately or stay the present course? That is the key question about the war in Iraq today. American public opinion is now decidedly against the war. From liberal New England, where citizens pass town-hall resolutions calling for withdrawal, to the conservative South and West, where more than half of “red state” citizens oppose the war, Americans want out. That sentiment is understandable.
The prewar dream of a liberal Iraqi democracy friendly to the United States is no longer credible. No Iraqi leader with enough power and legitimacy to control the country will be pro-American. Still, U.S. President George W. Bush says the United States must stay the course. Why? Let’s consider his administration’s most popular arguments for not leaving Iraq.
If we leave, there will be a civil war. In reality, a civil war in Iraq began just weeks after U.S. forces toppled Saddam. Any close observer could see that then; today, only the blind deny it. Even President Bush, who is normally impervious to uncomfortable facts, recently admitted that Iraq has peered into the abyss of civil war. He ought to look a little closer. Iraqis are fighting Iraqis. Insurgents have killed far more Iraqis than Americans. That’s civil war.
Withdrawal will encourage the terrorists. True, but that is the price we are doomed to pay. Our continued occupation of Iraq also encourages the killers—precisely because our invasion made Iraq safe for them. Our occupation also left the surviving Baathists with one choice: Surrender, or ally with al Qaeda. They chose the latter. Staying the course will not change this fact. Pulling out will most likely result in Sunni groups’ turning against al Qaeda and its sympathizers, driving them out of Iraq entirely.
Before U.S. forces stand down, Iraqi security forces must stand up. The problem in Iraq is not military competency; it is political consolidation. Iraq has a large officer corps with plenty of combat experience from the Iran-Iraq war. Moktada al-Sadr’s Shiite militia fights well today without U.S. advisors, as do Kurdish pesh merga units. The problem is loyalty. To whom can officers and troops afford to give their loyalty? The political camps in Iraq are still shifting. So every Iraqi soldier and officer today risks choosing the wrong side. As a result, most choose to retain as much latitude as possible to switch allegiances. All the U.S. military trainers in the world cannot remove that reality. But political consolidation will. It should by now be clear that political power can only be established via Iraqi guns and civil war, not through elections or U.S. colonialism by ventriloquism.
Setting a withdrawal deadline will damage the morale of U.S. troops. Hiding behind the argument of troop morale shows no willingness to accept the responsibilities of command. The truth is, most wars would stop early if soldiers had the choice of whether or not to continue. This is certainly true in Iraq, where a withdrawal is likely to raise morale among U.S. forces. A recent Zogby poll suggests that most U.S. troops would welcome an early withdrawal deadline. But the strategic question of how to extract the United States from the Iraq disaster is not a matter to be decided by soldiers. Carl von Clausewitz spoke of two kinds of courage: first, bravery in the face of mortal danger; second, the willingness to accept personal responsibility for command decisions. The former is expected of the troops. The latter must be demanded of high-level commanders, including the president.
Withdrawal would undermine U.S. credibility in the world. Were the United States a middling power, this case might hold some water. But for the world’s only superpower, it’s patently phony. A rapid reversal of our present course in Iraq would improve U.S. credibility around the world. The same argument was made against withdrawal from Vietnam. It was proved wrong then and it would be proved wrong today. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the world’s opinion of the United States has plummeted, with the largest short-term drop in American history. The United States now garners as much international esteem as Russia. Withdrawing and admitting our mistake would reverse this trend. Very few countries have that kind of corrective capacity. I served as a military attaché in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow during Richard Nixon’s Watergate crisis. When Nixon resigned, several Soviet officials who had previously expressed disdain for the United States told me they were astonished. One diplomat said, “Only your country is powerful enough to do this. It would destroy my country.”
Two facts, however painful, must be recognized, or we will remain perilously confused in Iraq. First, invading Iraq was not in the interests of the United States. It was in the interests of Iran and al Qaeda. For Iran, it avenged a grudge against Saddam for his invasion of the country in 1980. For al Qaeda, it made it easier to kill Americans. Second, the war has paralyzed the United States in the world diplomatically and strategically. Although relations with Europe show signs of marginal improvement, the trans-Atlantic alliance still may not survive the war. Only with a rapid withdrawal from Iraq will Washington regain diplomatic and military mobility. Tied down like Gulliver in the sands of Mesopotamia, we simply cannot attract the diplomatic and military cooperation necessary to win the real battle against terror. Getting out of Iraq is the precondition for any improvement.
In fact, getting out now may be our only chance to set things right in Iraq. For starters, if we withdraw, European politicians would be more likely to cooperate with us in a strategy for stabilizing the greater Middle East. Following a withdrawal, all the countries bordering Iraq would likely respond favorably to an offer to help stabilize the situation. The most important of these would be Iran. It dislikes al Qaeda as much as we do. It wants regional stability as much as we do. It wants to produce more oil and gas and sell it. If its leaders really want nuclear weapons, we cannot stop them. But we can engage them.
None of these prospects is possible unless we stop moving deeper into the “big sandy” of Iraq. America must withdraw now.
Now, I am sure that Odom, like Murtha will get bashed by the Rove-loving rightwingers. But I firmly agree with all his points and especially the point regarding civil war.
Many thanks to WTF is it Now? for pointing this article out by Lt. Gen. Odom.
Jun 21, 2006
For the record, since the entire basis for Lauria's story is a poorly defined, and factually uncorroborated version of events promulgated by Karl Rove's public relations contractor, I think Lauria's getting a free ride to notoriety from the Post. Apparently Lauria recognized that there was a hot market for hit pieces on Jason Leopold and TO. The Washington Post was buying, and Lauria was all to happy to cash in.
We urge The Post and Lauria to meet the same standard that we have been held to these past weeks - account for your statements, please.It was a nasty article, if you would like to read Lauria's WaPo piece..the linkage is here.
WaPo actually links to my last post about the Lauria article here, stating I am defending Leopold. I thought I merely said that Lauria was sliming the man and I refused to post any of his nastiness in my blog...
The Charlie Rose Show with Al Gore.
I am glad the Clean Water Act won...The key decision was by Kennedy, who agreed with the liberal judges that federal regulations can apply to land adjacent to tributaries, including tributaries that are not filled with water all year.
The conservatives voiced the opinion, that virtually any land in America would be covered under the government's interpretation of the law.
Its nice to know that the Bush adminstration hasn't removed everyone in the EPA that believes in protecting our land,air or water. Yahoo has a writeup about the ruling here.
Jun 20, 2006
Who will hire Rep. Bill Thomas, Chair of the House Ways & Means Committee when he retires from Congress this year? Will it be a law firm that specializes in estate planning or an investment house that puts trust fund money to work? Might it be a large for profit health care company wishing to thank the Chair for his hard work on their behalf over the years?
Regardless of which cash cow Rep. Thomas chooses to milk, he has one last assignment courtesy of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (of the HCA for profit hospital Frist family). Mr. Thomas has been charged with reducing taxes on inherited estates. Current law provides for a one year gutting of that revenue source for the federal government. Senator Frist doesn’t plan to die in the next year, so he would like the tax cut extended for his heirs to benefit from drastically reduced inheritance taxes.
Ever the good soldier, Rep. Thomas gave the Republican salute and is tarrying onward with a July 4th deadline. Did you know it is American to cut taxes in the midst of record deficits? Fly the flag as I can feel a big dose of patriotism coming. How come the ones who seem to benefit are the ones making the laws? That may not patriotism after all, I hope I can make it to the bathroom….
I would like to add this..Billy Thomas has proudly taken over Half A Million Bucks from the Pharma's in the last couple of years..so my bet is that he goes over to lobby for them..or join the board of one of the Major Players like Merck... or... just pick one sportsfans..they have all paid him, I am pretty sure with half a million in his pocket..
Jun 19, 2006
New this Afternoon: Marc Ash over at TruthOut has posted again on the subject of the Rove indictment. Read it here. The jest of it is that TruthOut believes that their breaking of the Indictment story forced Rove into deal with Fitz. They are still standing by their story. A very interesting quote from the article:
"The electronic communication from Fitzgerald to Luskin, coming immediately on the heels of our Monday morning, June 12 article "Sealed vs. Sealed" that became the basis for the mainstream media's de facto exoneration of Karl Rove was, our sources told us, negotiated quickly over the phone later that afternoon. Luskin contacted Fitzgerald, reportedly providing concessions that Fitzgerald considered to be of high value, and Fitzgerald reportedly reciprocated with the political cover Rove wanted in the form of a letter that was faxed to Luskin's office.
Our sources provided us with additional detail, saying that Fitzgerald is apparently examining closely Dick Cheney's role in the Valerie Plame matter, and apparently sought information and evidence from Karl Rove that would provide documentation of Cheney's involvement. Rove apparently was reluctant to cooperate and Fitzgerald, it appears, was pressuring him to do so, our sources told us."
Personally, I would rather have Rove over Cheney..Rove is the architect..Dead-eye just the Vice Prez.
The folks who brought us the Vietnam War, My Lai and a generation of soldiers that learned the horrors of PTSD among other war-related illnesses, is wining and dining the leaders of Vietnam. Donald Rumsfeld went over to visit as well. In fact, the NY Times has an article this morning about the "new" Vietnamese relationship being developed with the U.S. This excerpt caught my eye whilst I was perusing the paper this morning:
This month, Mr. Rumsfeld announced small but significant steps to deepen military cooperation between the United States and Vietnam, including the possibility that Vietnam would buy American military spare parts. Two Vietnamese military officers were to enroll at a military language school in San Antonio this month for English classes financed by the Pentagon's International Military Education and Training program that is open to friendly countries.
Its all about that time-honored tradition of kissing ass,cozying up and making new allies. Vietnam wants the U.S. in their corner because they don't trust China as far as they can proverbially toss her.
I just wonder..why does Vietnam think they can trust us?
According to the Times article...they don't. They don't trust us or the chinese..but they are willing to dance with both countries as long as it suits their agenda and needs.
American investment is going big time in Vietnam..Intel is building a $600 Million dollar microchip plant in..yes, you guessed it...Ho Chi Minh City. Harley Davidson is opening showrooms and recently negotiated a drop in tariffs on their products shipped to Vietnam. McDonalds is the model used for a very sucessful noodle soup store that now has 33 outlets and growing by leaps and bounds. The entreprenuer plans to open an additional 100 stores within the next two years.
Its a very good read if your tired of the occupation of Iraq, the corruption in DC and a host of other nightmares that permeate our daily lives.
Jun 18, 2006
To the left is a diagram of the Chain of Command for the marines involved in the killings in Haditha. It is part of a three page article that appeared yesterday in the NY Times. As expected, everyone involved has an attorney. As expected, the chain of events differs greatly depending on who you talk to..the soldiers attorneys or the residents of Haditha. The passage of 7 months since the Massacre happened doesnt help the investigation process. The 5 men killed in or near a taxi is the most contentious part of the investigation. The investigators state that the deaths of these men and the evidence of how they were killed directly contradicts the marine's version of what happened. The marines involved don't even agree on how they entered the first house,some saying they were let in, other's saying they forced their way in. Even the marines that were dispatched to the death scene after the roadside bombed went off have differing recollections of what happened.
What is known for sure is the the lead senior enlisted man, Sargent Wuterich, had no combat experience. What else is known is that their previous tour of duty was in an area that was vastly different than Haditha. The rules of engagement were significantly different from their prior tour to the one in Haditha. The other fact not being disputed is how many Iraqi's died: 24 civilians which included 10 women and children, an elderly man walking with a cane and an elderly man that was wheelchair bound.
About a dozen enlisted marines, including Sergeant Wuterich and Sergeant Wolf, who engaged in or witnessed the shootings are under investigation for possible charges ranging from dereliction of duty to murder. A number of their superiors, up to the division level, are also under scrutiny for failing to report the events accurately and respond appropriately.
Two mid-level officers,one a Lt. Colonel, the other a Captain, have already been relieved, for reasons not made public as of the printing of the story by the NY Times.
The Time article interviewed every soldiers attorney and one soldier who agreed to talk to them. The Times reporters also interviewed the investigators on the case and Iraqi residents who witnessed the killings.
The diagram can be clicked on and enlarged.
Jun 16, 2006
Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers
This documentary's trailer interviews the contractors that have been over "there". They talk about how when one of the brand spanking-new $40,000 4-wheel drive vehicles shipped over there,broke down..they didn't even try to fix the bastard..they were told to "bury it in the desert" and were given another new one. Contractors talk about making $25K a month..and being protected by soldiers that are making at most..$4-$6K a month. They talk about living in five-star hotels and watching the soldiers sleeping in the desert, in tents and on cots. Its about the gouging of America's wallet..from the people hired to do it. To find a theater near you,click here.
Jun 15, 2006
Pelosi said after the vote: "This isn't about proof in a court of law. This is about an ethical standard,"
The matter will now go to the entire House for a full vote. In an 11th hour letter from Jefferson to Pelosi, he offered to step down if certain conditions met with his approval. Nanc said thanks but no thanks to that offer.
Democraptic Caucus rules state a rep has to be either indicted or charged with a crime..Jefferson hasn't been charged or indicted on squat yet.
The "Race" issue has been raised by a few members of the Black Caucus. They question why Rep. Alan Mollohan of West Virginia, a white Democrat who also is under investigation, was allowed to keep his seat on the equally powerful Appropriations Committee.---I am wondering why also..
CNN has a write-up here.
Up on the hill, the elected asshats debated..and I use that term loosely..the occupation of Iraq. There was a vote of 93-6 by those clowns to "shelve" the idea of demanding a troop reduction. So, as much as the Democraps argue about how wrong the occupation of Iraq is...look at the vote. The only folks to vote against shelving the bill were: Kerry, Russ Feingold, Barbara Boxer, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, Tom Harkin of Iowa, and Ted Kennedy.
Can you say "lip-service"? I can..
Just a little something to pass the time whilst the asshats in DC argue the merits of the occupation of Iraq today. The death toll in Iraq, for our soldiers is now at 2500. So, while the asshats in DC posture and play the fool..more die. Lets not forget the 18,490 American soldiers that have been horribly injured..So the funnies are not quite so funny are they?
Jun 14, 2006
Mr. Ash stated they are going to "stand down" on the Rove indictment and let the MSM lead the way. He stated they stand behind Jason Leopold and his reporting, that they in fact support him totally. Their sources will not be "outed" and they support and will continue to protect their identities.
Nothing much to add..it was short and sweet..Oh..he also wants to see the letter that Luskin has.
Don't we all...but my bet is we won't. Luskin doesn't have to prove anything to anyone.
And..they will say more on Monday the 19th..its curious..isn't it? There is also a big fundraising effort going on right now at TruthOut...not that has anything to do with it..right?
Both TalkLeft and Tim Grieve's Salon article question how Leopold and TruthOut can still imply they might be vindicated..Krazy Karl isn't indicted and doesn't appear to be on the verge of it either after Tuesday's announcement. TalkLeft is quite methodical in their attempt to stand behind Leopold on his story, but come to the conclusion that Leopold was lied to. The Shultz show,which you can hear in the link above, was interesting. Shultz kept hammering at him about the "story" sources. Leopold refused to admit they lied to him. He is still hanging onto the hope that he will be vindicated...how, I haven't a clue. Leopold was demanding that Rove's attorney Luskin produce the letter..
Dude..he doesn't have to..and he won't.
Shultz used the words..credibility and integrity..he asked why was Leopold protecting the very people that led to his and TruthOut's credibility and integrity being questioned. Leopold said this is not just "his" story anymore..its a joint effort at TruthOut. Leopold states its not up to him anymore if the sources on the Rove Indictment are outed.
If anyone listens to the interview I have linked..let me know what you think of it. My thought is that Jason Leopold got slapped around pretty good by Ed and he had no comeback, no excuse other than to ask questions that have no answers forthcoming, and as Ed pointed out, don't have a damn thing to do with his story that Rove was indicted. His response was this: "Until I hear from Patrick Fitzgerald, until Patrick Fitzgerald actually makes a statement and says, 'This is, in fact, exactly what's going on,' I'm not going to budge from my position in terms of what was reported."
In any case..a retraction is due..at the very least, if TruthOut values its credibility and integrity.
Jun 13, 2006
There is a new site that is available, to see the REAL WAR and what it's doing to the Iraqi People, the soldiers and infrastructure of Iraq.
I refuse to type her name. I will not give that whacked-out bitch another hit at Google. I think everyone should quit posting,bitching,whining and mentioning her. Then we remove her biggest asset..if you think about it..I am right you know..
Jun 12, 2006
Today at TruthOut, Jason has an article up entitled : Sealed vs. Sealed
This one doesn't purport to know what is going on, it merely provides information about recent activity the Grand Jury in DC has completed. It gives us a case number and relavent facts, no promises or innuendo. It gives us a case number: "06 cr 128." and the following: "No further information is available." He does remind us however, that this GJ is also hearing the Abramoff case. Could this new sealed indictment combine the two cases? Interesting to say the least..
Marc Ash also has a post up here about Leopold's latest.
Check it out.
Jun 10, 2006
Thats short and to the point I would say. It's not brilliant by any means. Thank god it was a brief speechifying moment, a scant 15 minutes. There was also the customary bow to god:
"I rely upon the Almighty for strength and comfort,"
"This morning we come together to give our thanks for all our blessings, and recognize our nation's continuing dependence on divine providence,"
I like to refer to this as the "now a word from our sponsor" time...after all, God is driving this bus according to the Shrub and his boyz.
So, what exactly did the Decider-in-chief tell the gathering of Hispanic leaders while they ate their eggs? Nothing..notta damn thing. But he did smile and kiss their ass..afterall, its voting season.
Not much has been said about the recent revelation that the Colorado Rockies are going with the God Squad, other than a USAToday and Alternet article. I mean, they are REALLY going with God. They are only recruiting players,coaches and now fans that are born-again,dyed in the wool Christians.The owner has deemed this the new direction of the Rockies and by god..oops,sorry for the pun…its working!
Well, not really. The Rockies,as usual, are mired in last place in their division. This isn’t deterring the managment from their new direction however. They relish this uphill battle. They are a team on a mission from god.
Perhaps they are,who’s to say their not? Not, I..I am a god-loving soul that prays daily to a spiritual being. As long as its a private business I think they should be allowed to preach the word of god to their employees and if they choose, their customers. As long as the customers and employees are aware in advance that part of the game will include worship or strict guidelines for behavior. The managers and owners should make it very clear to all prospective ball players that god is a big deal and any deviation will not be tolerated. That way, when a Babe-ruthian type that likes to stay up late,party with the “ladies” and drink like the proverbial fish sign’s on the dotted line..he knows full well what he has gotten himself into. If the Rockies think their fan base of christians is large enough to sustain the revenue of the team..more power to them. I do however, feel very sorry for the fans that don’t want a side of religion with their crackerjacks and baseball game.
Because I sure as hell wouldn’t. If I lived in the team’s hometown, you wouldn’t find me going to a game if I had to listen to gospel instead of “take me out to the ballgame” during the 7th inning stretch, or a small sermon prior to the first pitch or a prayer meeting after the last out. Nope, I like my god at home, in private or sometimes in a church setting. I do not go to baseball games for any other reason than to watch a baseball game,drink a beer or two..and eat a couple of hotdogs.
But, it is a privately-owned team right? They can run it into the ground if they want,or perhaps this new fangled god n’ baseball thing will take off through the roof..I don’t care. Its my right as a fan to reject this type of religious indoctrination at a Major League Baseball Game.
But I do wonder about the anti-trust exemption that congress extended to Major League Baseball. I wonder how the folks that don’t want god at the ballpark feel about that one.
Cross-posted at Bring it On!.
*Picture:The MLB Hall of Fame exhibit of Don Larsen's perfect game in Cooperstown.
Jun 9, 2006
I really choked when I read this passage of his speech: "What a blessing this place is, Mr. Speaker. What a castle of hope this building is, this institution is for the people of the world." I mean, really now..who the hell is this guy kidding?
Then, there is this comment about the "liberals".."In any place or any time on any issue, what does liberalism ever seek, Mr. Speaker? More -- more government, more taxation, more control over people's lives and decisions and wallets. If conservatives don't stand up to liberalism, no one will. And for a long time around here, almost no one did."--oh yeah Tommy, you conservatives really kept money in everyone's wallets..
And I waxed nostalgic over this part: "Had liberals not fought us tooth and nail over tax cuts and budget cuts and energy and Iraq, and partial-birth abortion, those of us on this side of the aisle could only imagine all the additional things we could have accomplished."--did he hit all the important stuff there folks?
"For us, conservatives, there are two such principles that can never be honorably compromised: human freedom and human dignity."--do the words "Abu-Ghraib" mean anything at all to ya Tommy?
For the rest of the gem..click the title of the post,WaPo has it.
Jun 8, 2006
Well,never fear...there is a Tom DeLay Gift Registry!
Its on the website for The Public Campaign for Action Fund. Here are just a few of their gift ideas:
A Can of Raid Perhaps his next job will be his old one -- exterminator!
Unused Frequent Flyer Miles Lobbyists and corporate donors don't have any more reasons to fly him around the world.
Glass of Dirty Water and Jar of Dirty Air DeLay led fights to damage the environment to help out his polluting donors. Let's return the favor!
Enron Stock Known as the Congressman from Enron, DeLay never donated contributions from Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling to charity.
Golden Handcuffs He must already have the matching golden cufflinks.
$90,000 From William Jefferson's Freezer Isn't that what he always wanted? Cold hard cash?
Head on over to their site today and mark off YOUR gift for one of the biggest asshats Congress has ever seen.
Jun 7, 2006
Everyone knows its a smokescreen. So why do "they" keep tossing it out there? Is the religious-right so fucking gullible? Seriously sportsfans..are those clowns banging the bible like a friggin drum so damn gullible?
We got people dying..daily, sometimes hourly and that dumb sumbitch is talking about the Gay Marriage Amendment? I will ask again..is the religious-rightwing nutjobs so freaking gullible as to buy into this happy horseshit? They are chasing that ellusive rabbit that easily?
IF they are that fucking dumb, then god does need to save em..because the rest of the country sees through this ruse.
Whats next on the agenda of "lighting a fire under their ass's" to get out the vote? They already trotted out the illegals...whats the next Rovian issue on the horizon? Cross-dressing Cats and the men that love them or perhaps the elimination of the estate tax will get your ass to heaven faster? Got to keep the rapture set chasing their proverbial tail until after that Tuesday in November..dumb sumbitches..he's playing you fools like a Vegas hooker in a bar full of fat,old convention-goers.
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE 50TH DISTRICT - (RUN-OFF)
Precincts: 500Counted: 451Percentage: 90.2%
Vote for: 1
BRIAN BILBRAY - REP
FRANCINE BUSBY - DEM
W. GRIFFITH - IND
PAUL KING - LIB
My own red county had serious Diebold issues bright and early at 7am. Seems the "credit card" style voting cards to access the machines weren't working at many of the polling places. As of Noon, some were still down and People were having to vote by Paper ballot, of which they ran out..nice eh?
Jun 6, 2006
Molly Ivins points out that the difference between the right and left is simple: The Republicans are worried about the flag, gay marriage and the terrible burden of the estate tax on the rich. The rest of us are obviously unnecessarily worried about war, peace, the economy, the environment and civilization.
Tommy boy DeLay's last day on the hill is this Friday, I say we give him a real warm sendoff..perhaps actually letting the door hit him in his sorry ass,since we can't physically attack the bug-man without getting arrested..or maybe cheered.
David Safavian finished his time on the witness stand. He was grilled relentlessly by the prosecution, even admitting he wasn't qualified for the job he held..seems its better to say your stupid than dirty. One of my favorite parts..he had NO IDEA how much a luxury trip for two to Europe cost...jesus christ in a thong..WE aren't that stupid David..and we don't believe you are either.
If anyone wanted the entire text of Stephen Colberts speech at Knox College..its here.