Sep 30, 2006
This is gonna get ugly for the Repubes ..a ripple effect that could ensnare others up for re-election in Nov..
Think about it. Yahoo has the figure pointing by each level of the chain of command here. Will the Moral Majority come out of this without the shit splashing all over a few others? The Dem's will ride this pony if they have an ounce of sense..
Just sayin..all is fair in love and politics right before an election..long as it isn't lies and innuendo..
You know what trips me out..ABC was the one breaking the story. The channel that brought us Path to 9/11 and features guys like John Stossel..well.. folks just redeemed themselves...ya think?
Sep 29, 2006
An elected representative, who resigns this quickly without any charges being filed against him is admitting guilt at some level. Randy Cunningham stuck it out until the case was made against him. He even stood for relection while under investigation claiming his innocence the entire time. Foley's handler read a statement from Foley. In a statement, he said he was "deeply sorry" and apologized for letting down his family and the people of Florida.
When people started asking questions he just quit his job of representing the people of FL. As this article on Forbes states; "Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., submitted a letter of resignation from Congress on Friday in the wake of questions about e-mails he wrote a former male page, according to a congressional official."
Foley, 52, had been considered a shoo-in for re-election until the e-mails surfaced in recent days.
Damn..the Dem's will pick this one up in a cakewalk?
He fired his weapon in an apartment complex and one of the bullets went through an exterior wall and wounded someone in an apartment. If that wasn't bad enough, they also busted his nads about the methods he used to corral and stop the vehicle: "Police also said Scott violated the department's Emergency Vehicle Operations Policy by using unapproved blocking and ramming techniques".
The police report on the issue does state he passed all state and federal laws with respect to guidelines for using deadly force. That's comforting...He still fired his weapon in an apartment complex. It was one of three bullets he fired at the fleeing suspect. There were four suspects total. According to the writeup in the local rag, The Bakersfield Californian: "Police said Scott "used poor judgment in the discharge of his firearm within close proximity of an occupied residential complex."
They don't say if they recovered a weapon from any of the subjects. The subject, who was 16, was later found at his home. This article from one of the local tv stations states the kid was not involved in the alleged armed robbery for which Sergeant Scott was chasing him.
Shoot first and ask questions later.. The suspect was fleeing, the other 3 did not resist. It wasn't as if he confronted the cop or burnished a weapon.
Sep 28, 2006
Well, for starters... This is what is at the top of the site if you enter it today:
"This web site was frozen on September 20, 2004 at 12:00 AM, EDT. It is now a Federal record managed by the National Archives and Records Administration. External links were active as of that date and time. For technical issues, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions about the web site, contact email@example.com."
Frozen in time..kinda creepy, but lets turn back the clock..
On July 22nd, 2004, almost 3 years after the attack of the twin towers..the 9/11 Commission released its report. How has our President complied with the recommendations of the panel?
And evidently he thinks no one will pay attention to their recommendations at this point in our history. I beg to differ Mr. President. I take offense to the fact that you have spent billions of tax dollars on "securing the homeland" and yet failed to heed any of the recommendations put forth in that report. As it says in the Statement of the Chair and Vice Chair of the commission to wit:
What we can say with confidence is that none of the measures adopted
by the U.S. government before 9/11 disturbed or even delayed the progress of the al Qaeda
I guess when Richard Clarke tried to make his points they all fell on deaf ears? Richard Clarke is the ONLY person charged with dealing with the terrorist problem through 4 Presidents: Reagan, Bush the 1st, Clinton and Bush the 2nd..otherwise known here as the "Shrub"..but I digress...
The Shrub tried to blow off the commission as per this CBS report: May 23, 2002-President Bush took a few minutes during his trip to Europe Thursday to voice his opposition to establishing a special commission to probe how the government dealt with terror warnings before Sept. 11. Mr. Bush said the matter should be dealt with by congressional intelligence committees."--Excuse me Mr. President, but the congress didn't have a fucking thing to do with how we dealt with the threat of Al-Qaeda or any other terrorist threat prior to 9/11, and even now..they merely rubber stamp anything your candy ass requests.
Now, lets note what it was the commission stated needed to be done to keep the terrorists from our doorstep:
- The U.S. government must identify and prioritize actual or potential terrorist sanctuaries.
- The United States should make the difficult long-term commitment to the future of Pakistan.
- The United States and the international community should make a long-term commitment to a secure and stable Afghanistan.
- The problems in the U.S.-Saudi relationship must be confronted, openly.
- The U.S. government must define what the message is, that for which it stands.
Has our government done ANY of these things? Has our President paid one ounce of attention to the recommendations of the commission?
The answer is a resounding NO. Afganistan is falling back into the hands of the terrorists, and our government sits and watches with minimal troops and money put into Afganistan.
Months after the 9/11 Commission had officially issued its report and ceased its functions, Chairman Kean and other commissioners toured the country to draw attention to the recommendations of the Commission for reducing the terror risk, claiming that some of their recommendations were being ignored. Co-chairs Kean and Hamilton wrote a book about the constraints they faced as commissioners titled Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission.
Let me leave you with Richard Clarke's words prior to the last presidential election, with regard to how this president has dealt with the terrorists that want to kill us:
"Frankly," he said, "I find it outrageous that the president is running for re-election on the grounds that he's done such great things about terrorism. He ignored it. He ignored terrorism for months, when maybe we could have done something to stop 9/11. Maybe. We'll never know."
This sumbitch continues to do NOTHING.. his own military men confront him and demand the resignation of Rumsfeld, reports from his own departments say he has made the problem worse with regard to building the terrorist's base.
And yet..the Shrub and his minions..among them, Condolezza Rice continue to blame former President Clinton for the destruction of the twin towers,eventhough a memo exists that blows her ass to hell and back? What balls they have..or perhaps, they hope we all have very short memories...
I do not have a short memory and the internet still holds the truth. Read it, my dear reader..read it and vote this November.
Vote for change. Clip the Shrub's friggin wings.Do Not let him continue to blame Iraq for our woes, do NOT let him continue to "stay the course".Do NOT let him start any shit with Iran. Do NOT let him continue to rape our country of its financial resources in the name of his GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR.
Tags: 9/11 Commission,Politics,Bush,Iraq,War on Terror
Sep 27, 2006
And you thought you were just a citizen...NOT!
Some of the ways our information is obtained and stored are:
Student loan application..even if you didn't get one..they keep your info
Large deposits or withdrawls from your bank
Have you ever gotten a parking ticket? Well the Homeland Security boys know about you then.
Does your neighbor hate you and think your a terrorist? the FBI encourages this type of thinking with their online TIP website.
Good stuff folks..our tax dollars at work..keeping track of all citizens under the banner of keeping us safe.
Is Kip Hawley an Idiot? Even if you think so..don't write it on a plastic bag in Milwaukee's airport.
For me, its not so much that the airport employee had the nads to say his "freedom of speech" ended when he entered the airport, its the fact that the flyer was "detained". They chose to harass him because he didn't like the rules and voiced his opinion of them.
He didnt' scream about a hijacking, he didnt' have anything written about a bomb..he wrote that the head of the TSA was an idiot. We can carry placards saying any official is an idiot.Its not the same as screaming "FIRE" in a crowded movie theater now is it? It was an opinion, written on a clear plastic bag..which btw..they wanted to confiscate.. the EMPTY bag, not the contents.
Feel free to post this link on your blog, my dear reader..it shows the length morons will go to give you a hard time when you think the "new rules" are a waste of time, and you evidently have no right to complain. Hey, even the Wonkette is posting about this story!
Tags: Freedom of Speech,Milwaukee Sucks,Kip Hawley is an Idiot
Sep 26, 2006
Slate does a blog roundup at the end of the day, covering the blogs that covered the major stories. Today it was about Virginia's George Allen and his purported use of the "N word". Apparently WaPo searched long and hard to find friends and acquaintences that could recall Allen's use of this disgusting term. Out of the 19 people they interviewed, they found 3 that would corroborate Allen's use of the word. I don't know alot about Allen the Senator, but I do know about his daddy. Daddy talked down to people and if you didn't agree with him or dared to question him he went off like a roman candle at press conferences while coaching the Rams before their move eastward. But I digress, this isn't about George Allen, the coach.
George Allen the Senator from the commonwealth of VA is also a dick. And homophobic,racist(macaca) and a sexist sumbitch. I say this because one of the blogs Slate highlighted was a DailyKos blogger by the name of CoolWaterOverStones. She had the displeasure of meeting and attempting to ask Allen the then Governor of VA, a couple of questions when she was a cub reporter for a small town in VA. The title of her piece over on Kos: George Allen spit at me.
Now, I just had to read that blog post..the title did its job, it drove me to click the link and read it. She starts the post with a little history of herself as a young reporter sent out to cover a story about the Governor of the State coming to town to tout a major defense contract that would provide jobs to this little town. She realized she was the only woman in attendance, but that didn't bother her..and it shouldn't right? She was very excited and listened as Allen spoke, never mentioning the new jobs coming to their town, just shucking and joshing with the menfolk as he took out his smokeless tobacco and put a large pull into his jaw. He ended his short and uneventful visit with the workers and town folks standing around and started towards a building with his buddies. She needed to ask a question, to get some kind of quote about the new jobs coming to town, so she went towards him. She had her press badge, her pen and notebook and she asked him a question.
Georgie Allen sized her up and down..and then spit tobacco juice on her shoe, and without saying a word or answering her question...the sumbitch walked into the building.
Read her post, think about it. Do you want a bag of batshit like Allen as President? We have a cocky, worthless, homophobic sumbitch sitting in the oval office now. We don't need another one to whom we can also add racist and sexist to his title. We don't need another rich boy sitting in the oval office, especially one that has no respect for people, female or otherwise.
Tags: Politics,Senator George Allen,Sexist bag of batshit
This bill will help citizens keep tabs on who is getting what and how much of our tax dollars. This is a great law, and I do have to give the republican-led senate credit for its passage.
Thanks Guys! Now if you could just get our troops out of Iraq, and quit letting the Federal Government eavesdrop on our phone conversations I might vote for some of you.
Two retired Army major generals and a former Marine colonel spoke on the record yesterday. They spoke at a public forum set up by Democrats. One of them, who knows what it is like "over there", Maj. Gen. John R.S. Batiste, who commanded the 1st Infantry Division in Iraq in 2004 and 2005 and served as a senior military assistant to former deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz, charged that Rumsfeld and others in the Bush administration "did not tell the American people the truth for fear of losing support for the war in Iraq." The remaining two also did time in Iraq, retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul D. Eaton, who was responsible for training Iraq's military and police in 2003 and 2004, and retired Marine Col. Thomas X. Hammes, who served in Iraq in 2004 and helped establish bases for the reconstituted Iraqi armed forces.
All three of these military men called for Rummy's resignation. Batiste was the most damning with this set of remarks culled from a WaPo article:
"Secretary Rumsfeld ignored 12 years of U.S. Central Command deliberate planning and strategy, dismissed honest dissent, and browbeat subordinates to build 'his plan,' which did not address the hard work to crush the insurgency, secure a post-Saddam Iraq, build the peace and set Iraq up for self-reliance," *snip* Rumsfeld "refused to acknowledge and even ignored the potential for the insurgency," the retired general said. "At one point, he threatened to fire the next person who talked about the need for a post-war plan," Batiste added."
Does this sound like an administration that knows what it's doing? Does this sound like a military leader that trusts the judgements of his leaders in the field?
The answer is a resounding NO.
This final quote from Batiste is maddening: "Secretary Rumsfeld's dismal strategic decisions resulted in the unnecessary deaths of American servicemen and women, our allies, and the good people of Iraq," Batiste said. "He was responsible for America and her allies going to war with the wrong plan and a strategy that did not address the realities of fighting an insurgency."
Clip their wings this November. Vote out the people that allow this to continue. Vote for Change America. Do not stay the course.
Tags:Terrorism,Politics,Rumsfeld,Iraq,War on Terror
Sep 25, 2006
"The Nation has learned that the Bush Administration and the Pentagon have moved up the deployment of a major "strike group" of ships, including the nuclear aircraft carrier Eisenhower as well as a cruiser, destroyer, frigate, submarine escort and supply ship, to head for the Persian Gulf, just off Iran's western coast. This information follows a report in the current issue of Time magazine, both online and in print, that a group of ships capable of mining harbors has received orders to be ready to sail for the Persian Gulf by October 1."
Ok, we don't have enough military personnel to get the job done in Iraq or Afganistan, but we are going to take on Iran? Are these guys in that big a hurry for the friggin rapture? What is the deal with this administration? I am sorry, I just don't get it. Unless our Asshat-in-Chief is planning on bringing back the draft, how is he going to pull this one off? How is this making us safer? How the hell does this do anything but stretch our military to the very limit of their capabilities, not to mention piss off Ahmandinejad? The Nations article has reliable sources quoted within the article on what Bush might or might not be doing with all this military hardware moving so close to Iran's border.
This is a very important article, I suggest all three of my regular readers read it. I also suggest you get your bomb shelters ready in case this isn't a bluff by our Decider-in-Chief and the shit is about to hit the fan.
Tags: Politics,Bush, Iran,Bush deploys ships to Iranian waters
Now, you know he is pissed. Damn pissed. But the DMV of CO was just following the law, right? This brings up the problems of these types of laws which the narrow-minded fuckwits that propose and pass them never think through. Andy had this to say about the DMV's refusal to allow his kid to get her learner's permit:
"Our daughter is a legal citizen with a legal passport," said McElhany, R-Colorado Springs. "There is no reason to believe a 15-year-old has a fake passport."--Why the hell not Andy? Its a perfectly good assumption to make, afterall, illegals are just flocking to Colorado in the thousands to try and get a drivers license, and of course they are bringing their kids too you asshat.
But in all fairness, the head of the DMV has changed the guidelines 4 times since the new law was passed last summer. The arguement is that it's too easy to get a Federal passport. Very little ID is required to get one. Which if you think about it is...FELONY DUMB FOLKS! According to the article this is all you need to get a passport:
Cooke said the federal government does not require the use of a person's full legal name for the issuance of a passport. It also does not require "rigid proof" of identity or legal residency in the United States. And, Cooke said, if an applicant can't produce some form of ID, he or she can still get a passport if friends or family members take an oath that they've known the individual for at least two years and that he or she is a U.S. citizen.
So, to all the terrorists and illegals out there..go for a passport, but do, not under ANY circumstances, try to get a drivers license from the state of Colorado because..
Even a Colorado. state senator's daughter can't get one.
Sep 24, 2006
Former President Clinton spent little time on his wife, the senator. He talked politics and his current causes,one of which is the Global Initiative Conference, part deux. He has many former and current heads of states involved..or in the case of Laura Bush, married to the village idiot. He talked about the Dems and what they are doing right and wrong this election season. It was a better give and take than the bullshit that passed for a news show on Faux.
John Danforth was pushing his book: "Faith and Politics: How the "Moral Values" Debate Divides America and How to Move Forward Together." I blogged earlier in the week about his views on politics and the religious right's agenda. For those of you unfamiliar with Danforth he is an episcopal minister and has held the following positions in government: former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and retired three-term U.S. Senator John Danforth. His views are centrist and moderate and he doesn't like it one friggin bit that his party has become the patsy of the religious rightwing nutjobs and their narrow-minded agenda.
President Karzai dodges questions very well. He does complain that he had the $300 Billion we have wasted in Iraq he could of won over his entire country by provding them with basic services they are still lacking like an infrastructrue that delivers clean running water, constant electricity and education for both girls and boys.. not to mention a better army to protect against the terrorists still running rampant in his country.. and changing the crops grown from opium back to what ever the hell it was they used to grow. I think the man is right on many issues and the lack of American financial aid is key. He wouldn't say where Bin Laden is, nor would he badmouth Pakistan directly, saying anyone that harbors terrorists are the problem. A free republic was almost within our reach in Afganistan, that war was almost won, and yet we split off and went into Iraq.
You can watch the complete show online here.
Sep 23, 2006
Watch it if you can..I am going to look for it now so I can tivo the sucker..Its on at 8am Left Coast Time..
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Sep 22, 2006
That wasn't the impression I got last night. Ted pretty much ripped the Shrub a new ass. He also said Iran should be able to have nukes. He also backed the UN as one of the only places on earth to solve all the problems looming between nations.
This made me actually sit UP in bed and pay attention. Ted said this about the UN, its paraphrased kinda..afterall, I was under the influence of meds: The UN is a good institution. It gives every countries leadership a place to vent. You have to at least listen to people, give them a forum for what they are pissed off about. You don't have to act necessarily on what they say, but it makes alot of people feel better and calm down just being able to vent about whats wrong in their world. Ted must really beleive in the UN because he has pledged a huge chunk of his net worth, 1 Billion Bucks, to the organization. He has already handed over roughly $600 million to them so far. He also talked at length about global warming and how it's one of the most important problems facing the world, and how we are running out of time to fix it.
Three cheers for Ted Turner.
I have been thinking about Teds pearls of wisdom all day, so I googled him and lo and behold, Ted is on a campaign of sorts..talking to anyone that will allow him the time to tell what he thinks is wrong in the world. I found an article on CNN, the news organization that Turner founded. Then I found this article where he says he told Al Gore its HIS DUTY to run for President in 08. Then Editor and Publisher has this up about Turner's global warming stand and how the media doesn't do enough to keep it in the forefront of the minds of the worlds citizens. He also had this to say about women running the world instead of men,which he repeated last night on Letterman and got a big holler out of me, you gotta love it:
"If we had women holding all the public offices, the amount of money on the military would be immediately cut way back and more would be spent on healthcare and education," Turner said. "There wouldn't be lack of family planning or birth control if the women ran things."
You go Ted..I am with ya dude. Thanks for speaking up, its not easy to find a rich man that will stand against the status quo and call the Shrub a moron for starting the war in Iraq.
Wlliam Fisher has managed economic development programs in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia for the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development. He served in the international affairs area in the administration of President John F. Kennedy.
The debate over whether the United States can legally torture terrorism suspects will soon move from the Senate—where a flawed compromise has been reached—to the House. In this debate, the tragic case of Maher Arar should be Exhibit A. The American mainstream press has front-paged the exoneration of Maher Arar, the Canadian citizen who was flown to Syria, imprisoned in a coffin-size cell and tortured for 10 months until the Syrians released him without charges. But headlines such as the one topping a New York Times editorial last week—“Tortured by Mistake”—are missing some larger points.
Most media accounts of Arar’s ordeal have attributed this travesty to faulty intelligence passed to U.S. authorities by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the RCMP. The Mounties characterized the now 37-year-old engineer as "an Islamic extremist individual," and placed him—and his entire family, including a six-month-old infant—on a U.S. al-Qaida no-fly watchlist.
Arar was detained by U.S. authorities at JFK International Airport in New York in 2002 after returning from a trip to Tunisia en route to his home in Ottowa. He was questioned for 12 days without access to counsel, and then flown on a U.S. government plane to Jordan, and finally overland to Syria.
Indeed, the Canadian information was grossly incorrect. The chairman of the two-and-a-half-year investigation, Ontario Justice Dennis O'Connor, concluded that "categorically there is no evidence" that Arar did anything wrong or was a security threat.
The first point being missed is whether U.S. intelligence agencies made any effort to verify the Canadian information, or merely accepted the word of a trusted neighbor. We will probably never know the answer, because the CIA and the FBI aren’t likely to ever tell us.
The second is whether the U.S. government sought the customary—and customarily useless, to be sure—“diplomatic assurances” from the Syrians that they would not torture their detainee. The U.S. State Department has been following this absurd protocol for years, receiving such assurances from some of the world’s most pernicious purveyors of torture. Again, we will probably never know because State has from the outset declined to cooperate with the Canadian inquiry.
In fact, the State Department has consistently refused to utter a single word of comment on the case. And, until last week, all other government officials were similarly silent.
Some time ago, we heard from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who said, "Mr. Arar was deported under immigration laws. He was initially detained because his name appeared on a terrorist list. He was deported according to our laws.” Gonzales said that Arar’s removal was “a deportation, not a rendition.”
But last week came a contradictory and bumbling statement from the attorney general. Gonzales denied Canadian findings that the U.S. was responsible for deporting an innocent man. At a news conference about the Canadian commission, Gonzales replied, “Well, we were not responsible for his removal to Syria.” He added, “I’m not aware that he was tortured.”
The attorney general’s denial followed front-page news articles of the findings of the Canadian commission, which reported that American officials ordered him taken to Syria. Shortly afterward, a Justice Department spokesman attempted to clarify the AG’s remarks, saying Gonzales had intended to make only a narrow point: that deportations are now handled by the Department of Homeland Security, not the Department of Justice. The spokesman said the attorney general forgot that at the time of Arar’s deportation, deportation was still handled by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, then part of the Department of Justice. “He had his timeline mixed up.”
He also declined to elaborate on why Gonzales appeared to cast doubt on the Canadian finding that Arar had been tortured, except to note that Arar had brought a lawsuit against United States officials. The case was dismissed by a lower court after the DOJ invoked the so-called “state secrets” privilege.
The “state secrets” maneuver was rarely used before the Bush presidency. Since then, The state secrets privilege has become standard practice for government lawyers, who argue to a judge that if the case were to go forward, or if certain evidence were to be presented, it would expose national security secrets in open court.
The third point missing from the mainstream coverage of Arar’s case is the entire issue of rendition itself. Arar was spirited off to Syria under a CIA program known as “extraordinary rendition.” Authorized by a secret “finding” by President Clinton in 1995, and exponentially accelerated after the 9/11 attacks, this program was illegal before Arar’s kidnapping, was illegal after it and it remains illegal. It is illegal because it violates U.S. and international law.
Egypt’s Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif noted in 2005 that the U.S. had transferred some 60 to 70 detainees to Egypt alone, and a former CIA agent with experience in the region believes that hundreds of detainees have been sent by the U.S. to prisons in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere in North Africa and the Middle East.
The U.S. has used the “diplomatic assurances” fig leaf to continue this program. And Congress has largely turned a blind eye. It has failed to exercise anything approaching its oversight responsibilities where intelligence agencies are concerned. Congressional hearings offering public testimony by CIA officials are extremely rare. And what the House and Senate Intelligence Committees learn in closed session remains largely secret—unless leaked to the media. This gives Congress a perfect cover for doing nothing.
A few legislators have tried to deal with the issue, with mixed success. A Massachusetts congressman, Edward Markey, introduced legislation last year to ban extraordinary renditions. A companion bill in the Senate—the Convention Against Torture Implementation Act—has been introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Like Markey's, the Leahy bill would require annual reporting of countries that engage in torture, and prohibit the U.S. government from transferring or rendering a detainee to a country that has a history of torture. But it is unlikely these bills will ever come to a vote in either chamber.
The compromise bill agreed on by the White House and the famous “Republican rebels”—Senators McCain, Lindsey Graham, John Warner, Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe and others—fails to mention extraordinary rendition explicitly. But unless Congress decides to abrogate the Geneva Conventions and kindred treaties altogether, rendition itself would constitute a clear violation.
There is a strong case to be made that the techniques known to be used by the CIA in carrying out extraordinary renditions constitute cruel, degrading and inhumane treatment – before the suspects themselves ever reach their destination prisons. We know from eyewitness testimony and various leaks to the media that typically masked CIA operatives forcibly abduct a suspect, strip him, insert a suppository into his anus to drug him, put a diaper on him and then put him aboard a CIA-chartered aircraft, where he is placed in a standing position against a bulkhead with his wrists handcuffed above his head. He remains in that position until the plane lands.
That’s what reportedly happened to two Egyptians, who were free in Sweden awaiting a decision on their asylum application. They were kidnapped, flown back to Egypt, arrested by security services, and tried before a military court.
The take-offs, landings and flights of various CIA-leased aircraft over airspace in Europe and elsewhere have been meticulously documented, causing major disruptions in U.S. relations with the European Union and other bodies.
Months after Dana Priest of the Washington Post broke the story of secret CIA prisons in Eastern Europe and elsewhere, and after the Supreme Court handed down its Hamdan decision, President Bush announced that these prisons would now be emptied and their occupants transferred to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Thus, he implicitly acknowledged that the U.S. had used extraordinary renditions to transport detainees to these secret prisons—and he promised that we would do so again in the future.
There is only one reason prisoners are whisked off to other countries: To allow the CIA to use what President Bush euphemistically calls “alternative interrogation” methods outside the reach of U.S. law. But neither the CIA secret prisons nor Guantanamo Bay are outside the reach of U.S. law. The test is whether these people are effectively in U.S. custody or under U.S. control. The Supreme Court has said they are.
Which won’t help Maher Arar. The damage to his life cannot be undone. But an acknowledgement by the U.S. of its role in his ordeal, apologies from both Canada and America, and payment of damages, would be reasonable places to begin.
But at the end of the day, it will be up to Congress not just to enact effective and fair legislation, but to begin to exercise the oversight responsibilities it has so recklessly ceded to the White House
Sep 21, 2006
Now, comes this piece that RFK Jr. did for Rolling Stone, which debuts tomorrow. The headline of the article: Will the next Election be Hacked? The new RFK Jr. article seems to say "no problem". The biggest is the news that a Diebold employee "altered" software of 5000 voting machines in two key Democratic strongholds in the State of GA, without the states knowledge. A piece of the article below:
"In late July, to speed deployment of the new machines, Cox quietly signed an agreement with Diebold that effectively privatized Georgia’s entire electoral system. The company was authorized to put together ballots, program machines and train poll workers across the state – all without any official supervision. “We ran the election,” says Hood. “We had 356 people that Diebold brought into the state. Diebold opened and closed the polls and tabulated the votes. Diebold convinced Cox that it would be best if the company ran everything due to the time constraints, and in the interest of a trouble-free election, she let us do it.”
Then, one muggy day in mid-August, Hood was surprised to see the president of Diebold’s election unit, Bob Urosevich, arrive in Georgia from his headquarters in Texas. With the primaries looming, Urosevich was personally distributing a “patch,” a little piece of software designed to correct glitches in the computer program. “We were told that it was intended to fix the clock in the system, which it didn’t do,” Hood says. “The curious thing is the very swift, covert way this was done.”
Georgia law mandates that any change made in voting machines be certified by the state. But thanks to Cox’s agreement with Diebold, the company was essentially allowed to certify itself. “It was an unauthorized patch, and they were trying to keep it secret from the state,” Hood told me. “We were told not to talk to county personnel about it. I received instructions directly from Urosevich. It was very unusual that a president of the company would give an order like that and be involved at that level.”
According to Hood, Diebold employees altered software in some 5,000 machines in DeKalb and Fulton counties – the state’s largest Democratic strongholds. To avoid detection, Hood and others on his team entered warehouses early in the morning. “We went in at 7:30 a.m. and were out by 11,” Hood says. “There was a universal key to unlock the machines, and it’s easy to get access. The machines in the warehouses were unlocked. We had control of everything. The state gave us the keys to the castle, so to speak, and they stayed out of our way.” Hood personally patched fifty-six machines and witnessed the patch being applied to more than 1,200 others."It’s an incredible story, read it but be prepared to bring your lunch, its 6 pages long. Don’t let that deter you my dear reader. If what happened in my county during the primary this year is any indication, Diebold doesn’t give a shit about protocol and neither do many of the various state’s representatives in charge of securing the votes and counting them all.
Tags: Politics, Diebold,Stealing the elections
The linkage is here.
Sep 20, 2006
Things I'd like to do before I die:
Run a political campaign on a local level
See Paris and the River Seine
Sit and talk to one of my hero's, like Maxine Waters, one on one and no holds barred.
Things I cannot do:
Wiggle my ears
Touch my nose with my tongue
Things I can do:
Feed and Care for a boatload of cats and two overweight dogs without going insane.
Watch professional football for 12 hours straight.
Things that attracted me to my significant other:
His kind, compassionate heart
His wonderful laugh
His love of animals
Things I like to say:
Jesus Christ in a thong..
Kiss my ass and you better get started, it's gonna take you awhile.
Books I like best:
David Sirota's Hostile Takeover
Anything by Steve Martini
Movies I like to see:
Iraq;The War Profiteers
I tag for this meme:
My back is toast, can't sit for too long today, physical therapy kicked MY ass yesterday..enjoy the video and pass it on please..I got it from TomPaine.com..I love that site and their writers & articles.
Sep 19, 2006
If you want the MSM's view, the HuffPo article eulogizing her is here and the WaPo article about her memorial is here.
Rest in Peace Ann Richards we are all worse off with you leaving us for the promised land.
Tag: Ann Richards laid to rest
As for the Shrub's speech today, Slate has a writeup about what he said..which boils down to nothing new..he said the same bs that he has been saying all along..only he took 25 minutes to say it in front of the UN General Assembly. So basically, its was the same shit just a different day and location. But...there was this, which he directed to the "people" of Iran: "We're working toward a diplomatic solution to the crisis. And as we do, we look to the day when you can live in freedom."--excuse me, but didn't Iran elect the current President? Last time I checked, that means they are free jackass. Freedom doesn not always mean what the Shrub is trying to sell. As the Slate article points out about Bush's message to Iran:
"Bush revealed in those two sentences his utter lack of interest in a diplomatic solution. Why would Iran's leaders--why would any nation's leaders--take seriously any offer or inducement from a president who, in one breath, endorses sitting down for talks and, in the next breath, calls on their people to rise up and overthrow them?"
I suggest you read their writeup..I am getting ill just trying to write about it.
The Chaplains have come out against Hunters proposal..but this doesn't seem to bother Hunter. Per the article this is their line of reasoning: The Defense Department, the main military chaplains association and a variety of ecumenical groups have spoken against the provision, saying that sectarian prayer would create division within the military.
“This provision could marginalize chaplains who, in exercising their conscience, generate discomfort at mandatory formations,” the Pentagon said in a written statement. “Such erosion of unit cohesion is avoided by the military’s present insistence on inclusive prayer at interfaith gatherings — something that the House legislation would operate against.”
When will religious nutjobs stop trying to force feed us their religion and their religious beliefs?
In the last two years, the military has faced several disputes over religion. In 2004, some staff members, alumni and cadets at the Air Force Academy accused evangelical Christians in leadership posts of aggressive proselytizing and discrimination. A group of evangelical chaplains have filed a class-action suit against the Navy saying they were dismissed or denied promotions. Last week, the Navy court-martialed an evangelical chaplain, Lt. Gordon J. Klingenschmitt, for disobeying an order and wearing his uniform to a March protest before the White House.
Sep 18, 2006
"If Retired Air Force Lt. Colonel Charlie Brown is half as loose and engergized as this spot, John Doolittle may really be in trouble." Go Charlie! Spread the word my dear reader, spread the word..the Dem's are coming out fighting...least some of em are, the military ones it seems. Between this one and the Vets ad I had up..they aren't sitting on their asses.
"In Faith and Politics, to be released Tuesday, Danforth blasts the alignment of the Republican Party with the Christian right, lays out his most aggressive pro-gay stance to date and attacks the handling of the Terri Schiavo case. Some people have asked me whether America is a Christian country. The answer must be no, for to call this a Christian country is to say that non-Christians are of some lesser order, not full fledged citizens of one nation." Danforth is himself an ordained Episcopal minister."
He also blasted the interference of the legislative branch in the Terry Schiavo case: ""They intervened not in the name of principle, but at the expense of principle," Danforth avers. "They abandoned principle by deciding a medical question without any firsthand knowledge of what they were doing."He blasts the Repubes on gay rights as well: "I believe that homosexuality is a matter of sexual orientation rather than preference," he writes. "Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is, in my view, comparable to discrimination on other civil rights grounds. It is wrong, and it should be prohibited by law." *snip*"I think that the only purpose served by the campaign for the amendment is the humiliation of gay Americans, advocated by the Christian right and eagerly supported by its suitors in the Republican Party," he adds. "In reality, it is gay bashing."*snip*"America's divorce rate is now over 50 percent, and marriage is under attack from a number of quarters: finances, promiscuity, alcohol and drugs, the pressures of work, cultural acceptance of divorce, et cetera," he pens. "But it is incomprehensible that one of these threats is when someone else, whom we have never seen, in a place where we may have never been, has done something we don't like."
Now I can see why Bush didn't pick Danforth..he made much too much sense for Bush to deal with a person of his intelligence and lack of fear-mongering and most likely his lack of war-mongering as well since he is a true religious man...unlike Bush, DeLay, Rove and the rest of the regime's chickenhawks.
Tags: Politics,Danforth blasts Republicans
Attorney General Steve Carter has filed a lawsuit today in Brown County Circuit Court against a group making automated phone calls targeting Democratic congressional candidate Baron Hill. Carter also is seeking a preliminary injunction against the California-based group, Economic Freedom Fund, which is financed by Bob J. Perry, a Texas homebuilder with close ties to White House adviser Karl Rove. Perry also bankrolled the Swift Boat attack ads against the war record of Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry in 2004.
Carter is holding a news conference at 2:15 p.m. today to discuss the legal action.
Carter, a Republican, began investigating the calls after receiving complaints about them from people who live in the 9th Congressional District in southeastern Indiana. Hill is running to represent the district, against Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Sorrel and Libertarian Eric Schonberg.
While political calls are exempt from Indiana's do-not-call law, they are not exempt from a 1988 law which bans prerecorded automated calls. A live person must first seek a person's permission before playing a recorded message.
The entire writeup is here.
Sep 17, 2006
The Dems aren't running the show, so how can the Repubes legitimately expect people to buy the bs? The Dem's have to hit this talking point hard the next few weeks..and hit them every frigging day on it. The Repubes aren't doing squat to get us out of the mess in Iraq and Afganistan and they just love the shit out of torture and holding 14,000 people for years at a time without one ounce of due process. Who is in charge? THEY are..and they are doing a shitty job of wrapping this 5 year nightmare up. The Dem's have to get their plan for getting out of the mess out in front and to the people. They have one, they just haven't harped on it like the Repubes do with regard to calling the other side of the aisle soft on terrorism.
Sep 16, 2006
"It seems to me that commercial radio has become less about community and more about conflict. Less about information and more about repetition. Less about improving ourselves and more about being angry at the world." - Gloria Steinem, July 2006
Austin, Texas - She was so generous with her responses to other people. If you told Ann Richards something really funny, she wouldn't just smile or laugh, she would stop and break up completely. She taught us all so much -- she was a great campfire cook. Her wit was a constant delight. One night on the river on a canoe trip, while we all listened to the next rapid, which sounded like certain death, Ann drawled, "It sounds like every whore in El Paso just flushed her john."
She knew how to deal with teenage egos: Instead of pointing out to a kid who was pouring charcoal lighter on a live fire that he was idiot, Ann said, "Honey, if you keep doing that, the fire is going to climb right back up to that can in your hand and explode and give you horrible injuries, and it will just ruin my entire weekend."
She knew what it was like to have four young children and to be so tired you cried while folding the laundry. She knew and valued Wise Women like Virginia Whitten and Helen Hadley.
At a long-ago political do at Scholz Garten in Austin, everybody who was anybody was there meetin' and greetin' at a furious pace. A group of us got the tired feet and went to lean our butts against a table at the back wall of the bar. Perched like birds in a row were Bob Bullock, then state comptroller, moi, Charles Miles, the head of Bullock's personnel department, and Ms. Ann Richards. Bullock, 20 years in Texas politics, knew every sorry, no good sumbitch in the entire state. Some old racist judge from East Texas came up to him, "Bob, my boy, how are you?"
Bullock said, "Judge, I'd like you to meet my friends: This is Molly Ivins with the Texas Observer."
The judge peered up at me and said, "How yew, little lady?"
Bullock, "And this is Charles Miles, the head of my personnel department." Miles, who is black, stuck out his hand, and the judge got an expression on his face as though he had just stepped into a fresh cowpie. He reached out and touched Charlie's palm with one finger, while turning eagerly to the pretty, blonde, blue-eyed Ann Richards. "And who is this lovely lady?"
Ann beamed and replied, "I am Mrs. Miles."
One of the most moving memories I have of Ann is her sitting in a circle with a group of prisoners. Ann and Bullock had started a rehab program in prisons, the single most effective thing that can be done to cut recidivism (George W. Bush later destroyed the program). The governor of Texas looked at the cons and said, "My name is Ann, and I am an alcoholic."
She devoted untold hours to helping other alcoholics, and anyone who ever heard her speak at an AA convention knows how close laughter and tears can be.
I have known two politicians who completely reformed the bureaucracies they were elected to head. Bob Bullock did it by kicking ass at the comptroller's until hell wouldn't have it. Fear was his m.o. Ann Richards did it by working hard to gain the trust of the employees and then listening to what they told her. No one knows what's wrong with a bureaucracy better than the bureaucrats who work in it.
The 1990 race for governor was one of the craziest I ever saw, with Ann representing "New Texas."
Republican nominee Claytie Williams was a perfect foil, down to his boots, making comments that could be construed as racist and sexist. Ann was the candidate of everybody else, especially for women. She represented all of us who have lived with and learned to handle good ol' boys, and she did it with laughter. The spirit of the crowd that set off from the Congress Avenue Bridge up to the Capitol the day of Ann's inauguration was so full of spirit and joy. I remember watching San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros that day with tears running down his cheeks because Chicanos were finally included.
Ann got handed a stinking mess: Damn near every state function was under court order. The prisons were so crowded, dangerous convicts were being let loose. She had a long, grinding four years and wound up fixing all of it. She always said you could get a lot done in politics if you didn't need to take credit.
But she disappointed many of her fans because she was so busy fixing what was broken, she never got to change much. The '94 election was a God, gays and guns deal. Annie had told the legislature that if they passed a right-to-carry law, she would veto it. They did, and she did. At the last minute, the NRA launched a big campaign to convince the governor that we Texas women would feel ever so much safer if we could just carry guns in our purses.
Said Annie, "Well, you know that I am not a sexist, but there is not a woman in this state who could find a gun in her handbag."
Molly Ivins writes about politics, Texas and other bizarre happenings.
Sep 15, 2006
"Bob J. Perry, a Texas homebuilder with close ties to White House advisor Karl Rove and former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, recently made the hefty donations to the Economic Freedom Fund, a newly created California group." --The 'donation' amount you ask?
Five Million Bucks.
Now, for some reason I thought a "donation" of that amount was illegal..nope, according to CHB:
"The group is a so-called 527 that is not subject to conventional campaign finance restrictions and can spend unlimited amounts on election advocacy, similar to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. In the 2004 presidential race, the group of Vietnam veterans made unsubstantiated allegations challenging Kerry's record of wartime heroism."
The fact that this guy is aligned with Tom DeLay and Karl Rove says it all, doesn't it? The group is called, god I just love this name...Economic Freedom Fund. Anything BUT the truth right guys? But it sure is a catchy name. Perry is the ONLY contributor listed so far and the group's FEC filing gives this info about them: Charles H. Bell Jr., a Sacramento attorney listed as the fund's contact, did not return repeated phone calls. On its FEC filings, the group lists as its address the same Sacramento office as Bell's law firm, Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk...Read the rest of the article and who they have attacked so far here, its not long but its worth the time.
Tags: Politics,Swiftboating,Smear Campaigns
Its a very powerful video. It shows two different types of body armor. One they are using in Iraq and Afganistan from the Vietnam era, the other is one purchased by the individual in the video and not being used in the Middle East. He then fires a rifle at both vests and shows the results. The Vet in the video then states that Sen George Allen voted against the new, safer vests..watch the video here.
VoteVets.org is a politcal action group and they could use some money to keep getting the word out. Send them a few bucks if you can.
Sep 14, 2006
4 of the panel's 13 Repubs joined the 11 Democrats in rejecting Bush's proposal which would keep defendants from seeing classified information that would be used against them. The NYT has the writeup here.
Can I get an amen brotha's and sista's?
The House's version of the same committee rubber stamped the Shrub's version of the bill. Like this is friggin news..
Colin Powell spoke out through a letter to Sen. John McCain: “The world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism,"*snip* “Furthermore, it would put our own troops at risk,”--as you recall, dear reader, McCain was a POW. The man knows first hand what torture is and what it accomplishes..notta friggin thing. The Repubes that stood with the Dems are:
Sen. John Warner
Sen. Lindsey O. Graham
Sen. Susan E. Collins
Screw anyone that advocates torture and the removal of due process for crimes that, if found guilty, could result in execution or a life in prison.
The last paragraph was a topper, for me: "Today, just before the armed forces panel met, Mr. Graham said, “We are not going to win the war by killing every terrorist with a bomb or bullet,” according to Bloomberg News. “You win the war by persuading those people in the Mideast to reject terrorism.” Mr. Graham is an authority on military law."-It echoes MY battlecry,that you can not kill a thought,belief or idea with bombs or bullets.
Tags: Politics,Bush,War on Terror,Torture does not work
Big oil, drug companies, insurers, and HMOs give millions to legislators, costing taxpayers billions in special interest giveaways and cutting voters out of the loop.
Proposition 89, The Clean Money and Fair Elections Act, puts us in charge of elections, not big money special interests. Candidates who build a coalition of $5 donors and refuse special interest money get Clean Money public financing, leveling the playing field so elections are about ideas not money.
Prop 89 ends the fundraising madness with constitutional limits so regular voters aren’t drowned out by big money.
- Bans contributions from lobbyists and state contractors
- Limits contributions from corporations, unions, and individuals to state candidates
- Limits corporation donations to initiatives to $10,000
Prop 89 levels the playing field so new candidates can win on their ideas, not because of the money they raise.
- Candidates who agree to spending limits and to take no private contributions qualify for public funding
- $5 contributions from voters required to prove viability
- Clean candidates receive enough to run competitive campaigns. They can't raise money beyond public funds
Prop 89 stops candidates from hiding behind negative ads and punishes politicians who violate the law.
- Makes wealthy self-funded candidates disclose the amount of personal funds they will spend
- Publicly financed candidates must engage in debates
- Imposes mandatory jail time and provides for removal from office of candidates who break the law.
Click on the picture to go to the YES on Prop 89 website.
"Air America could remain on the air under the deal, but significant personnel changes are already in the works. Sources say five Air America employees were laid off yesterday and were told there would be no severance without capital infusion or bankruptcy. Also, Air America has ended its relationship with host Jerry Springer."--Jerry's new gig is "Dancing with the Stars", I swear to god..I saw him Wednesday night.
It should be noted that Air America is denying this will happen. Never fear, the article states Clear Channel is looking to venture into Progressive Talk Radio..oh joy.
Tags: Air America,Progressive Talk Radio
Sep 13, 2006
I know, thats probably a little tacky for a title..but Ann Richards had a sense of humor. The former governor of TX died today at 73. She had cancer. She was a fiesty, no holds barred type of broad, and I mean that in the best sense of the word...broad is not a bad word to me.
Her family said this about her, according to the CNN writeup here: "Her family said as governor she was most proud of two actions that probably cost her re-election. She vetoed legislation that would allow people to carry concealed handguns, automatic weapons and "cop-killer bullets." She also vetoed a bill that would have allowed the destruction of the environment over the Edwards Aquifer."
I like this memorable quote by Ann: "Poor George, he can't help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth."--speaking about King George the 1st.
She only held one term as TX governor, but she put more women and minorities into positions of authority in TX than any of the good ol boyz before her.Her feminism also saw the first first black and female officers in the famous Texas Rangers.(not the baseball team folks.)
Its too damn bad she lost to the Shrub..think of what might NOT have been. if he lost that election...
Rest in Peace woman. We were blessed by your service to the citizens of TX and basically the US, in my view.
"Shiite political groups, including those in power, claim that armed militias have nothing to do with them and that their own military wings were disarmed months ago and turned into social and humanitarian groups. They claim that armed groups and militias are "rogue" elements beyond their control, but many Sunni Arabs contend that they are in fact controlled by Shiite politicians and clerics."--If you buy that..I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell ya, my dear reader.
Another gory, sickening quote from the writeup:
"Police said 60 of the bodies were found overnight around Baghdad, with the majority dumped in predominantly Sunni Arab neighborhoods. All the bodies were bound, bore signs of torture and had been shot, police said. Such killings are usually the work of death squads who kidnap people and usually torture them with power drills, or beat them, before shooting them execution-style with a bullet to the head."
Don't you just love watching our tax dollars at work, bringing Democracy to the Middle East...GET US OUT OF IRAQ NOW MUTHAFUCKAS!
I. The threat of terrorism is wildly exaggerated.
A strong and convincing case that the al-Qaida bogeyman is inflated far beyond the real but limited threat that it poses is made in the current issue of Foreign Affairs, in an article by political scientist John Mueller. He and others argue persuasively that the reason the United States has not been attacked since 9/11 is that terrorists are far less powerful than the White House claims. “If al Qaeda operatives are as determined and inventive as assumed, they should be here by now. If they are not yet here, they must not be trying very hard or must be far less dedicated, diabolical, and competent than the common image would suggest,” writes Mueller. Why haven’t the Democrats picked up this argument?
II. Al-Qaida barely exists at all as a threat.
The organization that attacked the United States on 9/11 has been shattered and pushed to the brink of extinction, despite claims to the contrary of the vast anti-terrorism industrial complex and its journalistic heavy-breathers. I interviewed Carl Ford, the former assistant secretary of state for intelligence, who told me:
“We’re overstating their capability, because we can’t believe that there isn’t a more nefarious explanation for the fact that we haven’t been attacked. There aren’t a lot of terrorists out there, and they’re not 10-feet tall. … One appealing hypothesis is: they’ve been damaged more than we know.”
The Democrats should stop ringing alarm bells about al-Qaida and explain calmly that the terrorist threat, which was small five years ago, has been greatly reduced since 9/11.
III. There is no Terrorist International.
President Bush lumps the remnants of al-Qaida together with states such as Iran and Syria, the resistance movement in Iraq, insurgent political parties such as Hezbollah and Hamas and other assorted entities into one, big “Islamofascist” enemy. Nothing could be more ill-informed or further from the truth. "That's an oversimplification of the task of dealing with the tactic [terrorism] that is used by many different groups, with many different ideologies," Paul R. Pillar, a former top CIA analyst and the author of a respected book on terrorism, told The Washington Post . "It leads to a misunderstanding of the need of what is in fact a different counterterrorist policy for each group and state we are dealing with. . . . Hamas is an entirely different entity than al-Qaeda. . . . Their objectives are very much different." Pillar said much the same thing to me. Bush claims that al-Qaida and its terrorist allies want to create an “empire than spans from Spain to Indonesia.” Not a chance. Larry Wilkerson, the former top aide to Colin Powell, told me: “I don’t think there’s a soul in the administration, except for Vice President Dick Cheney, who believes that crap about Islamofascism.” Why don’t Democrats ridicule this specific sort of fear-mongering?
And this final quote from the article: "After 9/11, the Bush administration launched an open-ended war on an ambiguous enemy ("terror") while offering the nation no definition of what victory would look like. Five years later, the nation has spent billions in taxpayer dollars and lost thousands of American lives fighting a threat that should be the province of law enforcement and intelligence services, not the military. And the White House tells us there is no end in sight."
He has 10 talking points on the issue of the "War on Terror" and how its REALLY going..go read the rest if your so inclined..hopefully the Democrats running will check them out...but I am not holding my breath on that, my dear reader.
Tags; Terrorism,Politics,War on Terror,Fuckwits at the Helm
Sep 12, 2006
Once again the Decider-in-Chief showed us whats important to him...Politics and nothing but. This writeup is reprinted from the Progress Report, put out daily by ThinkProgress.org.
Tags: Terrorism,Politics,Bush,War on Terror