Friday, December 30, 2005

(JABBS): Large Numbers Of Americans Remain Ignorant On Iraq, Al Qaeda And 9/11

Journalists Against Bush's B.S. (JABBS): Large Numbers Of Americans Remain Ignorant On Iraq, Al Qaeda And 9/11: R
oughly half of U.S. adults are woefully misinformed on ties among Iraq, Al Qaeda, and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, according to a new Harris Poll.

According to the poll, released today:

-- Only 46% said they knew the following statement to be not true: 'Saddam Hussein helped plan and support the hijackers who attacked the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001.' Another 30% weren't sure, and 22% believed the statement to be true.

-- Only 42% said they knew the following statement to be not true: 'Several of the hijackers who attacked the U.S. on Sept. 11 were Iraqis.' Another 31% weren't sure, and 24% believed the statement to be true.

-- Only 33% said they knew the following statement to be not true: 'Saddam Hussein had strong links with Al Qaeda.' Another 24% were not sure, and an amazing 41% believed the statement to be true.

In other words, on three key questions regarding ties between Iraq, Al Qaeda and 9/11, a majority of Americans either are completely misinformed, or unsure of the truth -- and thus open to misinformation.
This one's for you, Bob. And before you start spouting your winger talking points, why don't you click on the link above and actually read the article and the results of the poll. It's all about you, man. Read it. Or are you just a freeper? If that's the case, I won't be wasting my time with you again. Ignorance is not bliss; it's incompetence and maybe just criminally negligent for any U.S. citizen these days. As opposed to peaceful but vehement protest, which is our right and, now, our patriotic duty!


Daily Kos: Torturing children

Daily Kos: Torturing children

Just read it. Follow the link above and read the article. It explains why we are living the novel (now historical) 1984. How can anyone of half a mind and even a quarter of a heart support this administration? It's just insane! We're living in the equivalent of 1930's Germany. The only difference is, we have nukes.

CBS News | Billions In 9/11 Loans Botched | December 29, 2005 19:33:59

CBS News | Billions In 9/11 Loans Botched | December 29, 2005 19:33:59:
(CBS/AP) A golf course in Texas got $640,000 because people allegedly stayed home to watch television immediately after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 instead of playing golf. A dry cleaner in Florida got $420,000 because his business closed for several days after the attacks. And a tanning salon in Las Vegas that got $583,000 because the bank decided tourism was down.

In a program to help businesses after Sept. 11, a high percentage of government-backed loans went to recipients who appeared to be unqualified, some of them unaware they were receiving terrorism-recovery money, investigators report. "
Hey! I could use some money, too. I was traumatized. We all were. No work got done at poor old MOEC, a telecom startup that didn't make it through the bubble-burst. I was laid off for the first time in my life and had to grub for low-wage jobs in the retail sector (I'm a database administrator by trade). But I never tried to get a loan on the entrails of Katrina. Everyone involved in this fiasco should be made to do the perp walk so we can all get a good look at them. Yet another nadir in the history of the Rep's Culture of Corruption and Incompetence.

CBS News | White House Web Site Revelation | December 30, 2005 08:33:41

CBS News | White House Web Site Revelation | December 30, 2005 08:33:41:
"When web bugs are linked to a cookie so that a site can tell if the same person has visited again - a federal agency using them must demonstrate a 'compelling need,' get a senior official's signoff and disclose such usage."Just another nail in the coffin of personal liberties; you were expecting anything less?

Police Kill 20 Sudanese Protestors in Cairo - New York Times

Police Kill 20 Sudanese Protestors in Cairo - New York Times

Meanwhile, the genocide in the Sudan continues. Makes me sick. If the refugees only had oil, we'd be there for them in a flash -- to steal it.

Justice Dept. Opens Inquiry Into Leak of Domestic Spying - New York Times

Justice Dept. Opens Inquiry Into Leak of Domestic Spying - New York TimesTime to go after the whistle blowers, apparently. It didn't work for Blair, let's see how far they get with that here.

Zeta Sets A New Record For Named Storms

My Way News:
"Zeta, the 27th storm of the season, formed Friday about 1,000 miles south-southwest of the Azores islands, according to an advisory posted on the National Hurricane Center's Web site. It posed no immediate threat to land."

Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Doomsday Scenario At DOD -- d-u-m

firedoglake: 12/01/2005 - 12/31/2005:
Nothing like rewarding your cronies for telling you just what you want to hear, rather than rewarding military leadership who tell you the hard truths about things, now is there?

Nothing like devaluing the opinions and advice of the people with the real world, military experience when you are making decisions about life and death situations for our troops.
I love RedHedd. She rocks!

Daily Kos: British torture memos

Daily Kos: British torture memos kos nails another one. Read it.

Iraq wants a non-partisan, unbiased opinion on election

My Way News:
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - An international team has agreed to review Iraq's parliamentary elections, announcing Thursday that members would travel to Iraq in response to protests by Sunni Arab and secular Shiite groups that the polls were tainted by fraud.

The announcement came after the Sunni and secular Shiite groups refused to open discussions with the Shiite religious bloc leading in the elections without a full review of the contested results, despite a U.N. observer's endorsement of the Dec. 15 vote. The official, Craig Jenness, said Wednesday his U.N.-led international election assistance team found the elections to be fair - remarks that represented crucial support for Iraqi election commission officials, who refused opposition demands to step down.

Iraq's leading Sunni Arab group, the Iraqi Accordance Front, welcomed the review.
Fraud in a U.S. sponsored democratic election? Unthinkable! (snrk!) Who do they think they are? US?

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

CBS News | Ex-Enron Accountant Pleads Guilty |

CBS News | Ex-Enron Accountant Pleads Guilty | December 28, 2005 17:07:46:
"(CBS/AP) Former top Enron Corp. accountant Richard Causey pleaded guilty to securities fraud Wednesday and agreed to help pursue convictions against Enron founder Kenneth Lay and former CEO Jeffrey Skilling. "
Ouch! That's gotta hurt. Bwah-ha-ha-ha!

Daily Kos: 10,000 Kurds In Iraqi Army Ready To Fight In Civil War

Daily Kos: 10,000 Kurds In Iraqi Army Ready To Fight In Civil War:
by georgia10
Wed Dec 28, 2005 at 08:26:47 AM PDT

From Knight Ridder News Service, this sad and disturbing news:

KIRKUK, Iraq - Kurdish leaders have inserted more than 10,000 of their militia members into Iraqi army divisions in northern Iraq to lay the groundwork to swarm south, seize the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and possibly half of Mosul, Iraq's third-largest city, and secure the borders of an independent Kurdistan.

Five days of interviews with Kurdish leaders and troops in the region suggest that U.S. plans to bring unity to Iraq before withdrawing American troops by training and equipping a national army aren't gaining traction. Instead, some troops who are formally under U.S. and Iraqi national command are preparing to protect territory and ethnic and religious interests in the event of Iraq's fragmentation, which many of them think is inevitable.

The soldiers said that while they wore Iraqi army uniforms they still considered themselves members of the Peshmerga -- the Kurdish militia -- and were awaiting orders from Kurdish leaders to break ranks. Many said they wouldn't hesitate to kill their Iraqi army comrades, especially Arabs, if a fight for an independent Kurdistan erupted.
My friend, Anton Saurian, is convinced that Iraq will disintegrate and in the process set off World War III. This report, regretably, supports his hypothesis. Will we come to regret Bush's zealotry even more than we ever thought possible?

Political Wire: Quote of the Day

Political Wire: Quote of the Day:
Quote of the Day
"Yeah, but I don't think it should actually be part of the curriculum, to be honest with you. And people have different points of view and they can be discussed at school, but it does not need to be in the curriculum.''

-- Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), when asked by the Miami Herald whether he believes in Darwin's theory of evolution.
I have nothing to add on this one other than to say it's like watching a rerun of a bad All In The Family.

Democrats & Liberals:: Bush's Lewinsky Moment

Democrats & Liberals:: Bush's Lewinsky Moment:
December 27, 2005
Bush's Lewinsky Moment

While the claim that “Bush lied” has been overused, here is one you can take to the bank:
Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires...a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we’re talking about chasing down terrorists, we’re talking about getting a court order before we do so.

President Bush, April 20, 2004
Gee, you don't see this reported in the MSM. Darn librul media can't even keep up with reality.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Pensito Review » GOP Investigated Pres. Clinton’s Cat But Only Plans ‘Oversight’ on Pres. Bush’s Admitted Illegal Spying

Pensito Review » GOP Investigated Pres. Clinton’s Cat But Only Plans ‘Oversight’ on Pres. Bush’s Admitted Illegal Spying Via firedoglake
The article says it all. It's time to jail the jailers, but where to find a fair trial? Hmmmm...Iraq?

UPI - Bush was denied wiretaps, bypassed them

United Press International - NewsTrack - Bush was denied wiretaps, bypassed them
Ah! So that's why he grabbed the reins. Hey, Bozo! The horses are raising their tails! You better get out of the driver's seat!

Daily Kos: Welcome To ScAlito World: Abortion

Daily Kos: Welcome To ScAlito World: Abortion
This is very important reading for anybody interested in either Alito or women's rights, which would seem to be diametrically opposed.


My Way News:
WASHINGTON (AP) - Playboy playmate Anna Nicole Smith has an unusual bedfellow in the Supreme Court fight over her late husband's fortune: the Bush administration.

The administration's top Supreme Court lawyer filed arguments on Smith's behalf and wants to take part when the case is argued before the justices.
This bunch will do anything for the rich. I wonder if they would have cared had the money not come from big oil?

DeLay Appeals To Cronies

My Way News:
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - In a last-ditch effort to secure a speedy trial, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's attorneys asked Friday for the state's highest criminal court to dismiss charges against him or order a lower court to try him immediately.

The money laundering and conspiracy case against the Republican congressman has been on hold while prosecutors appeal a judge's dismissal of some of the charges.

DeLay attorney Dick DeGuerin took the case to the all-GOP Texas Court of Criminal Appeals a day after a lower appeals court denied his request that the case be sent back to the trial court or expedited through the appeals process.
Where else can a money-laundering sycophant go for help these day?

Big Brother Is Watching -- The World!

My Way News:
U.S. President George W. Bush and his aides have said his executive order allowing eavesdropping without warrants was limited to monitoring international phone and e-mail communications linked to people with connections to al-Qaeda. What has not been acknowledged, according to the Times, is that NSA technicians combed large amounts of phone and Internet traffic seeking patterns pointing to terrorism suspects.

Some officials described the program as a large data mining operation, the Times said, and described it as much larger than the White House has acknowledged.

Several officials said senior government officials went to the nation's big telecommunications companies to get access to switches that act as gateways between U.S. and international communications.

Many calls going from one foreign country to another are routed through U.S. switches and a communications expert who once worked at the NSA said in recent years government officials have been encouraging the telecommunications industry to bring more international traffic through U.S.-based switches.
Not that they can't watch outside the U.S. Wait, isn't that what they're supposed to do?

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Barron’s: Congress Should Consider Impeacment… | The Huffington Post

Barron’s: Congress Should Consider Impeacment… | The Huffington Post:
[...] Surely the 'strict constructionists' on the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary eventually will point out what a stretch this is. The most important presidential responsibility under Article II is that he must 'take care that the laws be faithfully executed.' That includes following the requirements of laws that limit executive power. There's not much fidelity in an executive who debates and lobbies Congress to shape a law to his liking and then goes beyond its writ.

Willful disregard of a law is potentially an impeachable offense. It is at least as impeachable as having a sexual escapade under the Oval Office desk and lying about it later. The members of the House Judiciary Committee who staged the impeachment of President Clinton ought to be as outraged at this situation. They ought to investigate it, consider it carefully and report either a bill that would change the wiretap laws to suit the president or a bill of impeachment.

It is important to be clear that an impeachment case, if it comes to that, would not be about wiretapping, or about a possible Constitutional right not to be wiretapped. It would be about the power of Congress to set wiretapping rules by law, and it is about the obligation of the president to follow the rules in the Acts that he and his predecessors signed into law. ...
Even the business people are at their limit about the pResident's willful disregard for the law and all that is sacred to freedom and democracy. Let's face it, even corporations don't like being spied on, especially when even their lawyers don't know about it. The writing's on the wall. It will take impeachment to make Bush see it, let alone bother to read it.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Italian Judge Issues New Warrants For CIA Operatives

CBS News | New Warrants For CIA Operatives | December 23, 2005 08:03:39:
(CBS/AP) A judge has issued European arrest warrants for 22 purported CIA operatives in connection with the alleged kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric from a Milan street in 2003, a prosecutor said Friday.

Prosecutor Armando Spataro said the warrants allowed for the arrest of the suspects in any of the 25 EU member countries. Previously, Italy had issued arrest warrants for the 22 inside Italy.

Spataro has already sought the extradition of the 22 from the U.S. However, the request has remained with Justice Minister Roberto Castelli, who has sought more court documentation on the case before making any decision on whether to forward it to Washington, Spataro said.

Earlier this week, Premier Silvio Berlusconi, a top U.S. ally, suggested the government may not push the prosecutors' request with Washington saying, 'I don't think there is any basis in the case.'

Castelli, for his part, has also questioned Spataro's motives in the case, suggesting the prosecutor was a leftist militant and anti-American.

Milan's chief prosecutor responded by saying he fully supported Spataro, the investigation and its findings.
Ironically, it was Berlusconi who started this when he said he had no knowledge of the operation back in June, and that therefore it was not possible for Italy to have given authorization. He can't use the Woodward Maneuver now, trying to play down the importance of the case, when the justice people are the ones issuing the warrants. They obviously feel it's important. Maybe Silvio shouldn't have been so quick to believe Condoleeza.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

U.S. Appeals Court: Oh, No! Not This Time!

My Way News:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In a stinging rebuke to the Bush administration, a U.S. appeals court refused on Wednesday to transfer Jose Padilla from U.S. military custody to federal authorities in Florida until the Supreme Court considers his case.

The high court said bringing criminal charges against Padilla in Florida after he had been held by the U.S. military for more than three years as an enemy combatant created the appearance that the government may be attempting to avoid Supreme Court review of the case.
Another court sides with reason and the Constitution. Feel the burn!

CBS News | Judge Quits Spy Court | December 21, 2005 11:36:26

CBS News | Judge Quits Spy Court | December 21, 2005 11:36:26:

(CBS/AP) A federal judge has resigned from a special court set up to oversee government surveillance, apparently in protest of President Bush's secret authorization of a domestic spying program on people with suspected terrorist ties.

U.S. District Judge James Robertson would not comment Wednesday on his resignation, but The Washington Post reported that it stemmed from deep concern that the surveillance program Mr. Bush authorized was legally questionable and may have tainted the work of the court.
Well, well. He was probably the one with a conscience. Good for him! Bad for us.

Cheney Scrooges The Nation

My Way News:

Dec 21, 2:20 PM (ET)


WASHINGTON (AP) - The Republican-controlled Senate passed legislation to cut federal deficits by $39.7 billion on Wednesday by the narrowest of margins, 51-50, with Vice President Dick Cheney casting the deciding vote.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A Tiny Revolution: Conyers Introduces Resolution Censuring Bush & Cheney

A Tiny Revolution: Conyers Introduces Resolution Censuring Bush & Cheney:
Conyers Introduces Resolution Censuring Bush & Cheney

Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, just introduced a resolution of censure for both President Bush and Vice-President Cheney in the House of Representatives. He also is asking Congress to create a select committee (ie, like the Ervin Committee, which investigated Watergate) to investigate whether Bush's actions rise to the level of impeachable offenses.

Simultaneously, the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee have released a report called The Constitution in Crisis; The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Coverups in the Iraq War. You can download it here.

You can find out more, and sign a petition supporting Conyers, here.

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at December 20, 2005 11:52 AM
Wow again! Sic 'em, John!

DeLay's Hubris Overwhelms

My Way News:
HOUSTON (AP) - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, facing trial on charges of money laundering, officially filed Tuesday to run for a 12th term in his suburban Houston district.

The filing was not unexpected.
Of course not. Hubris doesn't go away, but it can go to prison.

F.B.I. Watched Activist Groups, New Files Show

F.B.I. Watched Activist Groups, New Files Show - New York Times: "WASHINGTON, Dec. 19 - Counterterrorism agents at the Federal Bureau of Investigation have conducted numerous surveillance and intelligence-gathering operations that involved, at least indirectly, groups active in causes as diverse as the environment, animal cruelty and poverty relief, newly disclosed agency records show.


The F.B.I. had previously turned over a small number of documents on antiwar groups, showing the agency's interest in investigating possible anarchist or violent links in connection with antiwar protests and demonstrations in advance of the 2004 political conventions. And earlier this month, the A.C.L.U.'s Colorado chapter released similar documents involving, among other things, people protesting logging practices at a lumber industry gathering in 2002.

The latest batch of documents, parts of which the A.C.L.U. plans to release publicly on Tuesday, totals more than 2,300 pages and centers on references in internal files to a handful of groups, including PETA, the environmental group Greenpeace and the Catholic Workers group, which promotes antipoverty efforts and social causes.

Many of the investigative documents turned over by the bureau are heavily edited, making it difficult or impossible to determine the full context of the references and why the F.B.I. may have been discussing events like a PETA protest. F.B.I. officials say many of the references may be much more benign than they seem to civil rights advocates, adding that the documents offer an incomplete and sometimes misleading snapshot of the bureau's activities.
Because, you know, we wouldn't want to look benign or anything. Misleading, sure! But not benign!

Senate Plans Bush Hearings

CBS News | Senate Plans Bush Hearings | December 19, 2005 05:03:41:
(CBS/AP) Democrats and Republicans called separately Sunday for congressional investigations into President Bush's decision after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to allow domestic eavesdropping without court approval.

"The president has, I think, made up a law that we never passed," said Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis.


Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Penn., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he intends to hold hearings.

"They talk about constitutional authority," Specter said. "There are limits as to what the president can do."


First Amendment legal expert Floyd Abrams told CBS News correspondent Randall Pinkston the president is attempting to mitigate his sidestepping of Congress by saying he had informed some lawmakers.

"It is mitigated in the sense that Congress was not completely uninformed," Abrams said. "As a legal matter though, what the president has authorized 30 times may have been illegal 30 times."
Wow! Thirty times? Looks like the pResident has hit a homerun. Not!

Still Lying, I See

CBS News | Dems Say They Never OK'd Spy Plan | December 20, 2005 11:03:37:
(CBS/AP) Some Democrats say they never approved a domestic wiretapping program, undermining suggestions by President Bush and his senior advisers that the plan was fully vetted in a series of congressional briefings.

'I feel unable to fully evaluate, much less endorse, these activities,' West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller, the Senate Intelligence Committee's top Democrat, said in a handwritten letter to Vice President Dick Cheney in July 2003. 'As you know, I am neither a technician nor an attorney.'

Rockefeller is among a small group of congressional leaders who have received briefings on the administration's four-year-old program to eavesdrop — without warrants — on international calls and e-mails of Americans and others inside the United States with suspected ties to al Qaeda.

Score One For Sanity

My Way News:
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - 'Intelligent design' cannot be mentioned in biology classes in a Pennsylvania public school district, a federal judge said Tuesday, ruling in one of the biggest courtroom clashes on evolution since the 1925 Scopes trial.

Dover Area School Board members violated the Constitution when they ordered that its biology curriculum include the notion that life on Earth was produced by an unidentified intelligent cause, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III said. Several members repeatedly lied to cover their motives, he said.

The ruling will not likely be appealed by the slate of new board members, who in the November election ousted the group that installed intelligent design, the new board president said Tuesday.

Friday, December 16, 2005

And The Good News...

CBS News | Senate Defeat For Patriot Act | December 16, 2005 16:48:59:
(CBS/AP) The Senate on Friday rejected attempts to reauthorize several provisions of the USA Patriot Act as infringing too much on Americans' privacy and liberty, dealing a huge defeat to the Bush administration and Republican leaders.

In a crucial vote Friday, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., was not able to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a threatened filibuster by Sens. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., and Larry Craig, R-Idaho, and their allies. The final vote was 52-47.
It's about time some people in Congress started voting their conscience!

1984 Redux

CBS News | Official: Bush OK'd Eavesdropping | December 16, 2005 20:45:19:
(CBS/AP) President Bush has personally authorized a secretive eavesdropping program in the United States more than three dozen times since October 2001, a senior intelligence official told The Associated Press Friday night.

The disclosure follows angry demands by lawmakers earlier in the day for a congressional inquiry into whether the monitoring by the highly secretive National Security Agency violated civil liberties.

"There is no doubt that this is inappropriate," declared Republican Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He promised hearings early next year.


Caroline Fredrickson, director of the Washington legislative office of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the group was shocked by the disclosure.

'We're finding out that the president has possibly authorized the breaking of the law so that our government can eavesdrop on American citizens?' Fredrickson told CBS Radio News. 'We're still trying to process it, but it's truly amazing.'

Earlier this week, the Pentagon said it was reviewing its use of a classified database of information about suspicious people and activity inside the United States after a report by NBC News said the database listed activities of anti-war groups that were not a security threat to Pentagon property or personnel.


The Times said it delayed publication of the report for a year because the White House said it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny. The Times said it omitted information from the story that administration officials argued could be useful to terrorists.
What more can I say? Of course, the Administration defends its position by invoking the War On Terror. It's just another example of killing the patient to stop the disease by destroying what we are supposed to be defending.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Political Wire: Official Says Voting Machines Can Be Hacked

Political Wire: Official Says Voting Machines Can Be Hacked:
'A political operative with hacking skills could alter the results of any election on Diebold-made voting machines -- and possibly other new voting systems in Florida' -- according to a Florida election supervisor, 'who said Diebold software has failed repeated tests,' the Miami Herald reports.

Said the official: ''That's kind of scary. If there's no paper trail, you have to rely solely on electronic results. And now we know that they can be manipulated under the right conditions, without a person even leaving a fingerprint,.'
Diebold, the ideal voting machine to have in the swing states, if you want to swing the election toward your candidates.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Bob Novak Says President Knows Leak Source

My Way News:
WASHINGTON (AP) - Columnist Bob Novak, who first published the identity of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame, says he is confident that President Bush knows who leaked Plame's name.

Novak said that 'I'd be amazed' if the president didn't know the source's identity and that the public should 'bug the president as to whether he should reveal who the source is.'

Novak's remarks, reported in the Raleigh, N.C., News & Observer, came during a question and answer session Tuesday after a speech sponsored by the John Locke Foundation, a conservative think tank.

Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer urged Bush to identify Novak's source or to say that he does not know who it is.
So, if this is true, does that mean the pResident is guilty of obstruction of justice? I'm not a big fan of either Novak or Schumer, but at least they are pushing the right buttons this time.

In The Ownership Society, There Are The Disowned

My Way News:
By a vote of 215-213, the House approved the legislation, which trims $1.4 billion from last year's spending for these social programs. The measure passed after House and Senate negotiators agreed to add back slightly more money sought by Republicans for rural health programs.

The House vote came amid partisan fighting over national spending priorities and after religious activists staged a Capitol Hill protest against spending cuts, which resulted in mass arrests.

Democrats opposed the health-care and education spending bill, noting it would cut $249 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, $780 million from President George W. Bush's 'No Child Left Behind' education program and would add no money to help low-income people pay winter heating bills despite skyrocketing fuel costs.

As a result, Senate Democrats, led by senators Tom Harkin of Iowa and Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, said they would try to defeat this fiscal 2006 spending bill when it arrives on the Senate floor later this week.
And most of us are in the disowned group. It was support for education that led to two decades of prosperity in the U.S. Now, only the rich and privileged need apply. And cutting funds from the CDC while a pandemic looms is just unconscionable.

Iranian Leader Escalates Anti-Israeli Rhetoric - New York Times

Iranian Leader Escalates Anti-Israeli Rhetoric - New York Times:
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's hard-line president lashed out with a new outburst at Israel on Wednesday, calling the Nazi Holocaust a ''myth'' used as a pretext for carving out a Jewish state in the heart of the Muslim world.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's comments drew quick condemnations from Israel, the United States and Europe, which warned he is hurting Iran's position in talks aimed at resolving suspicions about his regime's nuclear program.

The White House said his remarks showed why Iran must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. Germany, one of three European Union countries leading the nuclear talks, called his statements ''shocking and unacceptable.''
Does this guy know he's playing into the hands of the chicken hawks? Do the words "death wish" ring a bell?

CBS News | Gov't Loses Patriot Act Decision | September 9, 2005 23:00:03

CBS News | Gov't Loses Patriot Act Decision | September 9, 2005 23:00:03:
(AP) A federal judge lifted a gag order Friday that shielded the identity of librarians who received an FBI demand for records about library patrons under the Patriot Act.

U.S. District Court Judge Janet Hall ruled in favor of the American Civil Liberties Union, which argued that the gag order prevented their client from participating in a debate over whether Congress should reauthorize the Patriot Act.

'It's fabulous,' said ACLU Associate Legal Director Ann Beeson. 'Clearly the judge recognized it was profoundly undemocratic to gag a librarian from participating in the Patriot Act debate.'

CBS News | House Votes To Renew Patriot Act | December 14, 2005 16:03:26

CBS News | House Votes To Renew Patriot Act | December 14, 2005 16:03:26:
The House voted 251-174 to approve a House-Senate compromise that would modify and make permanent most of the Patriot Act's 16 expiring provisions.

But despite intense lobbying from the Bush administration, the measure could be in trouble in the Senate, where a filibuster is threatened, supported by at least a few Republicans, who say the FBI's new post 9/11 powers need to be reined in.

CBS News | Bush's War On The Press | November 18, 2005 13:30:06

CBS News | Bush's War On The Press | November 18, 2005 13:30:06:
To be sure, every administration has tried to manipulate the nation's media system. Bill Clinton's wrongheaded support for the Telecommunications Act of 1996 cleared the way for George W. Bush's attempts to give media companies the power to create ever larger and more irresponsible monopolies. But with its unprecedented campaign to undermine and, where possible, eliminate independent journalism, the Bush Administration has demonstrated astonishing contempt for the Constitution and considerable fear of an informed public. Consider the bill of particulars:

Corrupting PBS
Tomlinson's tenure at the CPB, which annually distributes $400 million in federal funding to broadcast outlets, was characterized by an assault on the news operations of the Public Broadcasting Service in general, and Moyers in particular, for airing dissenting voices and preparing investigative reports on the Administration. His goal was clearly to fire a shot across the bow of all public stations so managers would shy away from the sort of investigative journalism that might expose Bush Administration malfeasance.

On November 15, on the heels of Tomlinson's resignation, the CPB's inspector general issued a sixty-seven-page report documenting Tomlinson's repeated violations of the Public Broadcasting Act, CPB rules and the CPB code of ethics with his political meddling, though it stopped short of calling for prosecution, or of examining the link between Tomlinson's actions and White House directives.

Faking TV News
Under Bush Administration directives, at least twenty federal agencies have produced and distributed scores, perhaps hundreds, of 'video news segments' out of a $254 million slush fund. These bogus and deceptive stories have been broadcast on TV stations nationwide without any acknowledgment that they were prepared by the government rather than local journalists. The segments — which trumpet Administration "successes," promote its controversial line on issues like Medicare reform and feature Americans "thanking" Bush — have been labeled "covert propaganda" by the Government Accountability Office.

Paying Off Pundits
The Administration has made under-the-table payments to at least three pundits to sing its praises, including Armstrong Williams, the conservative columnist who collected $240,000 from the Education Department and then cheered on the ill-conceived No Child Left Behind Act.

(The Nation) Turning Press Conferences Into Charades
Bush has all but avoided traditional press conferences, closing down a prime venue for holding the executive accountable. On those rare occasions when he deigned to meet reporters, presidential aides turned the press conferences into parodies by seating a friendly right-wing "journalist," former male escort Jeff Gannon, amid the reporters and then steering questions to him when tough issues arose. They have effectively silenced serious questioners, like veteran journalist Helen Thomas, by refusing to have the President or his aides call on reporters who challenge them. And they have established a hierarchy for journalists seeking interviews with Administration officials, which favors networks that give the White House favorable coverage — as the frequent appearances by Bush and Dick Cheney on Fox News programs will attest.

Gutting the Freedom of Information Act
As Eric Alterman detailed in a May 9 report in these pages, the Administration has scrapped enforcement of the Freedom of Information Act and has made it harder for reporters to do their jobs by refusing to cooperate with even the most basic requests for comment and data from government agencies. This is part of a broader clampdown on access to information that has made it virtually impossible for journalists to cover vast areas of government activity.

Obscuring the Iraq War
In addition to setting up a system for embedding reporters covering the war — which denied Americans a full picture of what was happening during the invasion — the Defense Department has denied access to basic information regarding the war, from accurate casualty counts to images of flag-draped coffins of U.S. dead to the Abu Ghraib torture photos.

Pushing Media Monopoly
The Administration continues to make common cause with the most powerful broadcast corporations in an effort to rewrite ownership laws in a manner that favors dramatic new conglomeratization and monopoly control of information. The Administration's desired rules changes would strike a mortal blow to local journalism, as media "company towns" would be the order of the day. This cozy relationship between media owners and the White House (remember Viacom chair Sumner Redstone's 2004 declaration that re-electing Bush would be "good for Viacom"?) puts additional pressure on journalists who know that when they displease the Administration they also displease their bosses.

In his famous opinion in the 1945 Associated Press v. U.S. case, Justice Hugo Black said that "the First Amendment rests on the assumption that the widest possible dissemination of information from diverse and antagonistic sources is essential to the welfare of the public, that a free press is a condition of a free society." In other words, a free press is the sine qua non of the entire American Constitution and republican experiment.
Yeah, well, not these Republicans. I don't usually quote this much of an article, but it was so refreshing to find real journalism displayed on a major media site that I just had to share it.

No Separation Of Mosque And State For Iraq

My Way News:
Al-Rubaei made his comments during the 'Opposite Direction' program shown Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon on Al-Jazeera.

'Clerics, especially those in the Shiite seminary, go to your mosques and don't work in politics. Keep politics for politicians and stop conspiring against the resistance,' he said.

Hours later, thousands of people chanted anti-Al-Jazeera slogans in the streets of the Baghdad neighborhoods of Sadr City and Karradah, and in the southern cities of Najaf and Karbala.

The demonstrations, which turned into political rallies, threatened to further polarize Thursday's parliamentary elections after angry Shiites in the southern city of Nasiriyah set fire to a building housing the offices of former interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. Allawi, a secular Shiite, has campaigned on a platform calling for national reconciliation.
Religious fundamentalism masquerading as democracy is what's in store for the Iraqis. Just look at how effective it's been in this country. Why shouldn't we export it to those we choose to occupy?

Canada PM Won't Kowtow To Washington

My Way News:
RICHMOND, British Columbia (Reuters) - Prime Minister Paul Martin escalated a war of words with the United States on Wednesday, telling Washington not to dictate to him what topics he can raise in the run-up to Canada's January 23 election.

U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins warned Martin and other Canadian politicians on Tuesday not to bash the United States as part of their campaigning.

But Martin -- who has regularly attacked the U.S. stance on a bilateral trade dispute over softwood lumber and also criticized Washington's approach to climate change -- said he was not paying attention.

'When it comes to defending Canadian values, when it comes to standing up for Canadian interests, I'm going to call it like I see it,' he told reporters in a lumber yard in Richmond, British Columbia.

'I am not going to be dictated to as to the subjects I should raise.'
Way to go, eh?! And what was the ambassador thinking when he tried to influence the debate in a foreign national election? How does that help our image or promote the ideals of democratic freedom? Putz!

Dupont Settles With EPA Over Teflon Chemical

My Way News:
The settlement involves EPA action taken against Dupont for allegedly withholding information about the potential health and environmental risks posed by perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, under provisions of both the Toxic Substances Control Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

The EPA alleged that DuPont withheld information for more than 20 years about the health effects of PFOA, also known as C-8, and about the pollution of water supplies near the company's Washington Works plant near Parkersburg, W.Va.

Among other things, the EPA said that DuPont withheld test results indicating that the chemical had been found in at least one pregnant worker from the Washington Works plant and had been passed on to her fetus.
What I want to know is, how did they manage to "withold" the information for 20 years?! Why weren't they subpoenaed? If they were, why did it take so long for action? And they are still under criminal investigation by federal law enforcement! What kind of slackers are running that? Could it be cronies?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Once Upon a Time...: Hate Sex, and Watch People Suffer and Die

Once Upon a Time...: Hate Sex, and Watch People Suffer and Die
"We have a bunch of ignorant, hate-filled Neanderthals running our government. Damned bastards."I couldn't agree more.

Sen. Dorgan Plays It Straight

ABC News: Sen. Dorgan Returns Tribes' Donations:
WASHINGTON Dec 13, 2005 — The top Democrat on the Senate committee investigating Jack Abramoff's Indian lobbying is returning $67,000 in donations in response to Associated Press reports that he collected tribal money around the time he took actions favorable to those Abramoff clients.

While Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., never met Abramoff and didn't take any actions at the lobbyist's behest, he nonetheless wants to return the money to avoid any appearances that tribal money was directed to him by the controversial lobbyist, his office said Tuesday.
Interestingly enough, the Republicans who accepted money and did take actions at the lobbyist's behest haven't made any moves to return the amounts received. Figures.

Ronnie Earle Connects The Dots

ABC News: Prosecutor Issues Subpoenas in DeLay Case:
WASHINGTON Dec 13, 2005 — A Texas prosecutor has issued subpoenas for bank records and other information of a defense contractor involved in the bribery case of a California congressman as part of the investigation of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

District Attorney Ronnie Earle issued subpoenas late Monday afternoon for California businessmen Brent Wilkes and Max Gelwix, records of Perfect Wave Technologies LLC, Wilkes Corp. and ADCS Inc. in connection with a contribution to a fundraising committee at the center of the investigation that led to DeLay's indictment on money laundering charges.
DeLay's attorney says he's not concerned about this. Is he on 'ludes or what?

Political Wire: Bush Approval Fades Again

Political Wire: Bush Approval Fades Again:
As soon as it seemed there is an upward trend in President Bush's approval rating -- see our earlier post -- the new Zogby poll finds it languishing under 40%, 'despite an upturn in the economy and a public relations onslaught defending the role of the U.S. military in rebuilding Iraq.'

'Just 38% of Americans said they approve of the job the President is doing, down from 41% in a national Zogby America survey conducted last month.'

'Bush is most popular in the western United States, where 46% approve of the job he is doing, and the South, where 44% approve. Just 28% in the East and 37% in the Midwest and Great Lakes states give him good marks.'
Can Americans be learning from experience? Are they paying attention to what's been happening here and abroad? Is hell really freezing over?

The Next Retirement Time Bomb - New York Times

The Next Retirement Time Bomb - New York Times:
ATTEMPTS to balance the competing interests of retirees, active workers and taxpayers are building tension. Ross Eisenbrey, a former Clinton administration official who is now at the Economic Policy Institute, said that 'when taxpayers wake up to these obligations, their first inclination is often to escape them or reduce them.'

The problem is that people have counted on those benefits, and many have accepted lower salaries in exchange for better retirement benefits, said Teresa Ghilarducci, an economics professor at the University of Notre Dame. If they are close to retirement, said William R. Pryor, a firefighters' union official who is an elected board member of the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association, it may well be too late for them to make up for the loss with their own savings.
As a boomer with hopes of retiring wihin the next ten years, this gives me heartburn. I'll have to see what New York State reports in '07. At least we have a fund set aside which has done very well over the past 20 years. Whether it can keep up with the demands is another story. I sure hope it does!

Let's Hope This Helps

Saudi Prince Gives Millions to Harvard and Georgetown - New York Times:
In making the two gifts, the prince focused on the importance of uniting disparate cultures.

Harvard's news release quoted him as saying that he hoped Harvard's Islamic studies program 'will enable generations of students and scholars to gain a thorough understanding of Islam and its role both in the past and in today's world.'

'Bridging the understanding between East and West is important for peace and tolerance,' he said.

The Georgetown release quoted him as saying, 'We are determined to build a bridge between Islam and Christianity for tolerance that transcends cultural and geographical boundaries.'
It's a bold move by someone who is "liberal by Saudi Arabian standards." I have no doubt that better understanding is required on the subject. Whether this method leads to that end is yet to be determined, but it probably couldn't hurt.

U.S. Envoy Says Detainee Abuse Was Worse Than Described - New York Times

U.S. Envoy Says Detainee Abuse Was Worse Than Described - New York Times:
"RAMADI, Iraq, Dec. 13 - The American ambassador in Iraq said today that more than 100 detainees had been abused in two Iraqi detention facilities, more than had been previously disclosed."It looks like the Shiites have learned all the wrong lessons from Sadam and the U.S. Will there ever be a real democracy in Iraq? Can real democracy take place where religion is allowed influence in affairs of state? I doubt it. And the lesson holds here in this country as well. The separation of church and state was imposed with good reason. We should all fear for our freedoms if it is allowed to disappear.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Iraq Learning The American Way

Iraq Prison Raid Finds a New Case of Mistreatment - New York Times:
The Interior Ministry is run by Bayan Jabr, a member of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, a leading religious Shiite party that has an Iranian-trained armed wing called the Badr Organization. Many Iraqi officials have said the ministry has recruited heavily from Badr and other Shiite militias, and there is growing evidence that such forces are abducting, torturing and killing Sunni Arabs.


With just four days to go until the parliamentary elections, the Iraqi electoral commission said Sunday that it had found irregularities in voter registration in the volatile northern city of Kirkuk.

The discovery was the first election irregularity announced by the commission as the country prepares for the vote on Thursday.

The commission said experts conducting an audit of voter lists had found an unexpected surge in voter registration in the area. When the experts scrutinized the registration forms, the commission said in a written statement, they found that many had been filled out incorrectly. Some had missing signatures and others had more than one signature. In some cases, the same name appeared on several forms.
Hmmmm. Bigotry, hatred, fundamentalism, election gerrymandering...yep, looks like they're learning everything we can teach them.

Friday, December 09, 2005

So Much For An Improving Economy

ABC News: Housing Slowdown May Claim 800,000 Jobs:
LOS ANGELES Dec 7, 2005 — A sustained decline will hit the U.S. housing market next year, costing the nation as many as 800,000 jobs, according to a new economic report released Wednesday.

The slowdown is likely to last several years, with as many as 500,000 construction jobs and 300,000 financial sector positions lost, the quarterly Anderson Forecast predicted."
And the hits just keep on coming. I wonder what the spinmeisters will do with this.

The Plot Thickens

ABC News: EXCLUSIVE: Shoe Bomber Alert Preceded Airport Shooting:
"Federal law enforcement sources told ABC News they had been on the alert for a possible shoe bomber when a federal air marshal opened fire at the Miami International Airport yesterday."So, were the marshalls over-reacting because they were on high alert? Hmmmm.

Nobody heard the B-word except the air marshalls

My Way NewsMakes you wonder, doesn't it?

Torture Victims Say Whatever You Want Them To

Qaeda-Iraq Link U.S. Cited Is Tied to Coercion Claim - New York Times:
The officials said the captive, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, provided his most specific and elaborate accounts about ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda only after he was secretly handed over to Egypt by the United States in January 2002, in a process known as rendition.

The new disclosure provides the first public evidence that bad intelligence on Iraq may have resulted partly from the administration's heavy reliance on third countries to carry out interrogations of Qaeda members and others detained as part of American counterterrorism efforts. The Bush administration used Mr. Libi's accounts as the basis for its prewar claims, now discredited, that ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda included training in explosives and chemical weapons.
Gee, what a surprise! And based on this story, we don't do torture -- we outsource it.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Coulter admits to being stupid - Ann Coulter to audience: You're stupider than I am - Dec 8, 2005:
STORRS, Connecticut (AP) -- Conservative columnist Ann Coulter cut short a speech at the University of Connecticut amid boos and jeers, and decided to hold a question-and-answer session instead.

'I love to engage in repartee with people who are stupider than I am,' Coulter told the crowd of 2,600 Wednesday.
Okay, so she was being sarcastic (a change from merely bombastic). Her presence was protested by Students Against Hate and other groups. I wonder how the Q&A period went. Hooray for UConn!

A Gift From Afar

Politics or Not, Bronx Warmly Receives Venezuelan Heating Oil:
"Chavez's gift, which arrived on Tuesday and is being distributed this week, may be nothing more than a chance to tweak the nose of the Bush administration, which has long opposed the South American leader. But few residents in the South Bronx, where 41 percent live on incomes below the federal poverty line, are inclined to worry about international politics."

I'm glad the oil is getting to the people who need it. At least that went right here. I was half expecting FEMA to jump in and confiscate the oil for some half-assed reason or another.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Everybody Knows They Do It Au Naturel

Oddly Enough News Article |
OTTAWA (Reuters) - One of Canada's leading cinema chains has stopped handing out Christmas wrapping paper to its patrons after parents complained it featured angels fondling each other suggestively, newspapers reported on Tuesday.


The paper features a male angel grasping the breast of his female partner, while she has hold of his genitals, as they kiss. Both are fully clothed in white angel attire.
What the heck is "white angel attire?" Are we talking togas here or feathers or what? Victoria's Secret lingerie, maybe?

First GM, Now Ford: another 30,000 high-paying jobs down the drain

US News Article |
DETROIT (Reuters) - The restructuring plan that Ford Motor Co. will announce next month as it moves to restore its North American operations to profitability will be more aggressive than many analysts had expected, the Detroit News reported on Wednesday.

Citing people familiar with the plan, the newspaper said the automaker will cut up to 30,000 hourly jobs in North America within five years and close at least 10 assembly and component plants.
You can say all you want about the economy, but more and more people here in the U.S. are losing their livelihood and joining the ranks of the working poor if they are working at all. I'm no fan of the U.S. auto industry. The writing has been on the wall for decades and they still don't get it. Still, if we are going to be a service-based economy, we better find a way to pay our servants enough money to live on.

Okay, NOW we don't do torture

Fund Launches Article |
KIEV (Reuters) - The United States, seeking to defuse criticism of reports of abuse of prisoners, has changed its policy on interrogating detainees, officials said on Wednesday, but human rights groups were skeptical there was a real shift.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, on a trip to Ukraine, said U.S. personnel would be banned worldwide from subjecting prisoners to cruelty.
Yep, you caught us. We were only kidding before. No more torture from now on. Promise.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Torturers R Us

CBS News | German Sues CIA Claiming Torture | December 6, 2005 13:00:07:

(CBS/AP) A German man filed a lawsuit Tuesday claiming he was held captive and tortured by U.S. government agents after being mistakenly identified as an associate of the Sept. 11 hijackers.

Khaled El-Masri, who is being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, said he was arrested while attempting to enter Macedonia for a holiday trip and flown to Afghanistan. During five months in captivity he was subjected to 'torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment,' says a lawsuit he filed in U.S. District Court in suburban Alexandria, Va.


The CIA rendition program, in which terror suspects are captured and taken to foreign countries for interrogation, has been heavily criticized by human rights groups. European governments have expressed outrage over reports of a network of secret Soviet-era prisons in Eastern Europe where detainees may have been harshly treated and reports of CIA flights carrying al Qaeda prisoners through European airports.

The scope of the program has not been disclosed by the CIA. If the United States did operate such prisons, or is still doing so, the information would be classified. The Bush administration has refused to answer questions about it in public.

"Were I to confirm or deny, say yes or say no, then I would be compromising intelligence information, and I'm not going to do that," Rice told reporters on her plane to Germany. Before leaving Washington, Rice told reporters that fighting terrorism is "a two-way street" and that Europeans are safer for tough but legal U.S. tactics.

Her comments seemed to imply that if any European governments provided secret prisons, they did so willingly.
So, that makes it okay? The reasoning is, it's a tough world out there, so get used to it? Condi needs a new pair of shoes.

Friday, December 02, 2005

That Culture of Corruption Thing, Again

My Way News:
WASHINGTON (AP) - Justice Department lawyers objected to a Texas redistricting plan orchestrated by former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, but top agency officials brushed aside concerns about diluting minority voting strength and approved the plan anyway, according to an agency memo released Friday.


Because of historic discrimination against minority voters, Texas is required under provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to get Justice Department approval for any voting changes it makes to ensure the changes don't undercut minority voting.

'The State of Texas has not met its burden in showing that the proposed congressional redistricting plan does not have a discriminatory effect,' Justice Department officials said in the memo made public by the Lone Star Project, a Democratic group.

Eight department staffers, including the heads of the Voting Rights Division, objected to the redistricting map, according to the memo which was first reported in Friday editions of The Washington Post.

'The fact that the White House has covered up this document for so long provides a smoking gun pointing out efforts, led by Bush political appointees and Tom DeLay, to systematically cripple the voting rights of minorities,' said Texas Sen. Leticia Van De Putte, one of the Democratic lawmakers who fled to New Mexico to thwart passage of the redistricting plan.

Pumping Up The Volume

Lobbyist's Role in Hiring Aides Is Investigated - New York Times:
Investigators are said to be especially interested in how Tony C. Rudy, a former deputy chief of staff to Representative Tom DeLay of Texas, and Neil G. Volz, a former chief of staff to Representative BobNey of Ohio, obtained lobbying positions with big firms on K Street.

The hiring pattern is 'very much a part of' what prosecutors are focusing on, a person involved in the case said. Another participant confirmed that investigators were trying to determine whether aides conducted 'job negotiations with Jack Abramoff' while they were in a position to help him on Capitol Hill.

Prosecutors are trying to establish that 'it's not just a ticket to a ballgame, it's major jobs' that exchanged hands, the participant in the case said. Also under examination are payments to lobbyists and lawmakers' wives, including Mr. Rudy's wife, Lisa Rudy, whose firm, Liberty Consulting, worked in consultation with Mr. Abramoff, people involved in case said.
I'm really looking forward to seeing that slimy smile on Tom Delay's face turned upside down. In fact, I'd like to see that happen to quite a few of the faces in Congress.

At least we can agree on some things

My Way News:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Arab nations are acutely suspicious of the Bush administration's 'democracy' agenda in the Middle East and believe the U.S. invasion of Iraq has made the region less secure, said a poll released on Friday.

The poll, conducted in six Arab countries in October, found 78 percent of respondents thought there was more terrorism because of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, with four out of five saying the war had brought less peace to the region.

Asked which countries posed the biggest threat to their nations, a majority chose Israel and the United States.


Rather than being a model to inspire Arab nations to adopt democratic goals, Telhami said respondents felt the opposite was true of the United States, whose image has been tarnished by scandals involving abuse by U.S. forces of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and at a U.S. base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.


In the new poll, 69 percent of those surveyed doubted that spreading democracy was the real U.S. objective. Oil, protecting Israel, dominating the region and weakening the Muslim world were seen as U.S. goals.

"America's presence in Iraq is seen as a negative. It is scaring people about American intentions and having the opposite intended impact on Arab public opinion," Telhami said in an interview.


More than half -- 58 percent -- said Iraq was less democratic than before the war and three of four said Iraqis were worse off.

Asked from a list of countries which they would like to be the superpower, the first choice was France with 21 percent, followed by China with 13 percent, Pakistan and Germany tied with 10 percent, Britain with 7 percent, the United States with 6 percent and finally Russia with 5 percent.
Hey! We beat the Russians (I'm trying to see the glass as half-full here, but it's really only about an eighth full.

Hurricane Epsilon establishes new record as 14th hurricane of season

My Way News:
MIAMI (AP) - Epsilon strengthened into a record 14th hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean on Friday - two days after the 2005 season officially ended. Forecasters said it posed no threat to land. Epsilon had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph at 10 a.m. EST, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. Its top sustained winds had been near 65 mph earlier in the day.


The latest that a hurricane formed in the Caribbean was Dec. 30, which happened in 1954, he said.

No other major storms have appeared on the horizon, he said.

Forecasters say 2006 could be another brutal hurricane year because the Atlantic is in a period of frenzied activity that began in 1995 and could last at least another decade.

Government hurricane experts blame the increase on a natural cycle of higher sea temperatures, lower wind shear and other factors, though some scientists cite global warming.
I didn't know this government/administration had any experts; just spin doctors.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Studies Confirm New Orleans Levees' Flaws

My Way News:
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Government engineers performing sonar tests at the site of a major levee failure confirmed that steel reinforcements barely went more than half as deep as they were supposed to, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers official said Wednesday.

'We've come up with similar results' to those from earlier tests performed by Louisiana State University engineers, said Walter Baumy, the Corps' chief engineer for the New Orleans District.

Alito File Shows Strategy to Curb Abortion Ruling - New York Times

Alito File Shows Strategy to Curb Abortion Ruling - New York Times:
(H)e recommended advancing the administration's ultimate case against Roe by defending state regulations requiring doctors to provide women seeking abortions with information about fetal development, the risks and 'unforeseeable detrimental effects' of the procedure and the availability of adoption services or paternal child support.

Although the information might cause 'emotional distress, anxiety, guilt and in some cases physical pain' to the women, Judge Alito wrote, such results 'are part of the responsibility of moral choice,' comparable to the feelings of 'a legislator voting on abortion legislation, a judge or juror pronouncing a sentence of death or imprisonment,' or 'a military officer commanding a mission he knows will cost lives.'
Sorry, Ladies, as far as Alito is concerned, your just collateral damage statistics in the war for uterine supremacy. Think that's why he was selected?

Louisiana's Levee Inquiry Faults Army Corps - New York Times

Louisiana's Levee Inquiry Faults Army Corps - New York Times:
"The devastation of New Orleans was a disaster waiting to happen because of a significant flaw in levee design by the Army Corps of Engineers, according to preliminary findings from the official Louisiana team investigating the Hurricane Katrina flooding.

Fly CIA And Hope For A Round Trip

Reports of Secret U.S. Prisons in Europe Draw Ire and Otherwise Red Faces - New York Times:
'If we are allowing facilities for aircraft carrying out these actions,' he added, 'we are at the very least facilitating, and we may even be complicit in it.'

A report on Nov. 2 in The Washington Post about a covert prison system did not identify the European countries, but Human Rights Watch has said such facilities were in Poland and Romania.

Poland and Romania have strongly denied the accusations, and American officials have declined comment.

On the issue of extraordinary renditions, more than 100 prisoners are suspected of being transferred in this way since September 2001. The case with the highest profile occurred here in Italy. On Feb. 17, 2003, an Islamic militant, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, disappeared in Milan and appeared later in Egypt, where he said he had been tortured.

Connecticutt First State To Get Real On Campaign Finance

My Way News:
The bill passed after separate seven-hour debates in the House and Senate. The Senate voted 27-8 in favor of the legislation Wednesday; the House followed with a 82-65 vote Thursday morning.

It comes in the wake of a corruption scandal last year that sent former Gov. John G. Rowland to prison and led his former co-chief of staff and a major state contractor to plead guilty in federal court. Rell, who pushed lawmakers for months to pass reforms, was lieutenant governor during Rowland's tenure.

The bill, which would take effect on Dec. 31, 2006, allots about $17 million each year in public funds for political campaigns. To reduce the influence of special interests, it bans political contributions from lobbyists and state contractors.
If only Congress would do the same!

The "Duke's" Legacy Gathers Weight

My Way News:
WASHINGTON (AP) - The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee has asked committee attorneys to review former Rep. Randy 'Duke' Cunningham's work on the panel to ensure he didn't improperly influence committee actions or decisions.

Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., ordered the review after learning of Cunningham's guilty plea Monday to charges of corruption and tax evasion for taking $2.4 million in bribes, mostly from two defense contractors, in exchange for steering government business their way, said committee spokesman Jamal Ware.

Hoekstra also ordered Cunningham's access to classified information terminated immediately, Ware said Wednesday.
Wish the White House would move as quickly to clean up after some of the messes, but then, how can they?

Ahhnold Shows Some Brains And Balls In Chief Of Staff Pick

My Way News:
SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) - California's Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger named a Democrat in a same-sex marriage as his chief of staff on Wednesday in an apparent political shift on the heels of a major electoral defeat.

Susan Kennedy, 45, was the confidant and number two to ousted Democratic Gov. Gray Davis, whom Schwarzenegger beat in a bitter recall election in 2003. She married her lesbian partner in 1999.
This must be the first time I've agreed with and actually congratulate the Govenator for one of his decisions. Maybe Maria's influence is finally showing through. He definitely needs help if he plans to stay. Good for you, Gov!

Note the mention of Ms. Kennedy's sexuality in the article. I hope someday these specifics will not require mention because they will not be news, but for now, I'm glad Arnold isn't following his party's line of bigotry and hate.

Pelosi Steps Up To The Plate

My Way News:
"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday backed a call by Democratic Rep. John Murtha to quickly start the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, and said she believed a majority of her caucus supported it as well."

Saw her on The Daily Show last night and thought she did okay. She seems to be getting feistier with time. Good! She'll have to be in the coming months and years.

Propaganda Machine At Work In Iraq

CBS News | U.S. Pressed On Iraq Propaganda | November 30, 2005 21:30:07:
Two other federal agencies have been investigated in the past year for similar activities, leading Congress' Government Accountability Office to condemn one, the Education Department, for engaging in illegal covert propaganda.

The Los Angeles Times quoted unidentified officials as saying that some of the stories in Iraqi newspapers were written by U.S. troops and while basically factual, they sometimes give readers a slanted view of what is happening in Iraq. Some of those officials expressed fear that use of such stories could hurt the U.S. military's credibility, the newspaper said.
I guess they felt it was working so well here, they should use the same techniques in Iraq.
In the last year, the Bush administration has been called to task for paying journalists to promote its programs. GAO slammed the Education Department for illegal propaganda when the agency paid columnist Armstrong Williams to publicize the "No Child Left Behind" education law.

And the GAO is looking into the Heath and Human Services Department's contract with syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher to help promote a marriage initiative.

Earlier this year, the Pentagon's inspector general's office said it was investigating a program that paid journalists to write articles and commentary for a Web site called Southeast European Times that was aimed at influencing opinion in the Balkans.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Enron Scandle Still Reverberating Through Industry

My Way Finance:
"NEW YORK (Reuters) - Calpine Corp. (CPN) on Tuesday replaced its chief executive and chief financial officer as the power producer struggles with a $17 billion debt load and a recent court ruling that restricts its ability to buy fuel for its plants."

And So It Begins

Case Reopens Abortion Issue for Justices - New York Times

Another Opportunity For Brownie?

U.S. Lacks Plan to Curb Terror Funds, Agency Says - New York Times:
WASHINGTON, Nov. 28 - The government's efforts to help foreign nations cut off the supply of money to terrorists, a critical goal for the Bush administration, have been stymied by infighting among American agencies, leadership problems and insufficient financing, a new Congressional report says.


Senator Charles E. Grassley, the Iowa Republican who leads the Senate Finance Committee and was one of the lawmakers who requested the study, said he was disappointed to learn that in an area as critical as countering terrorist financing, "they haven't gotten very far yet."

In an interview, Mr. Grassley said: "It's as simple as learning to stop the infighting and turf protection and get on with the job. What's happening is just inexplicable in light of the war on terrorism."
There's a war on terrorism?! Good God, men, get crackin'!

The Canadian Solution

My Way News:
TORONTO (AP) - Canadian politicians will hit the campaign trail this holiday season after opposition parties seized upon a corruption scandal to bring down the minority government of Prime Minister Paul Martin in a vote of no confidence.

Monday's loss means an election for all 308 seats in the lower House of Commons, likely on Jan. 23. Martin and his Cabinet will continue to govern until then.
Along with a national health care program, our neighbors to the north show the wisdom of a parliamentary system. Too bad we don't have a similar option here. It would be so nice to be able to make a clean sweep of the executive and legislative branches in one move. Sigh. The elections seem so far away...

Monday, November 28, 2005

Ex-Powell Aide Criticizes Detainee Effort

Ex-Powell Aide Criticizes Detainee Effort:
WASHINGTON -- A top aide to former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Monday that wrongheaded ideas for the handling of foreign detainees arose from White House and Pentagon officials who argued that 'the president of the United States is all-powerful' and the Geneva Conventions irrelevant.

In an Associated Press interview, former Powell chief of staff Lawrence Wilkerson also said President Bush was 'too aloof, too distant from the details' of postwar planning. Underlings exploited Bush's detachment and made poor decisions, Wilkerson said.

Wilkerson blamed Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and like-minded aides. He said Cheney must have sincerely believed that Iraq could be a spawning ground for new terror assaults, because 'otherwise I have to declare him a moron, an idiot or a nefarious bastard.'
Oh, c'mon, Larry! Why not all three?

Rove's Secretary Comes Cleaner

The attorneys say that Rove’s former personal assistant, Susan B. Ralston -- who was also a special assistant to President Bush -- testified in August about why Cooper’s call to Rove was not logged. Ralston said it occurred because Cooper had phoned in through the White House switchboard and was then transferred to Rove’s office as opposed to calling Rove’s office directly. As Rove’s assistant, Ralston screened Rove’s calls.

But those close to the probe tell RAW STORY that Fitzgerald obtained documentary evidence showing that other unrelated calls transferred to Rove’s office by the switchboard were logged. He then called Ralston back to testify.

Earlier this month, attorneys say Fitzgerald received additional testimony from Ralston -- who said that Rove instructed her not to log a phone call Rove had with Cooper about Plame in July 2003.


Ralston previously worked as a personal secretary to Jack Abramoff, the Republican power lobbyist now under investigation for allegedly defrauding Indian tribes who was recently indicted on conspiracy and wire fraud charges. While working with Abramoff, Ralston arranged fundraisers and events at Washington MCI Center skyboxes for members of Congress and their staff. Ralston communicated with Rove on Abramoff’s behalf on tribal affairs, though she does not stand accused of any wrongdoing.
Sounds like Ralston can provide a lot of evidence in several investigations. Popular girl!

Europe May Suspend Nations With Secret Prisons - New York Times

Europe May Suspend Nations With Secret Prisons - New York Times:
BERLIN (AP) -- The United States has told the European Union it needs more time to respond to media reports that the CIA set up secret jails in some European nations and transported terror suspects by covert flights, the top EU justice official said Monday.

Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Franco Frattini also warned that any of the 25 bloc nations found to have operated secret CIA prisons could have their EU voting rights suspended.

The Council of Europe -- the continent's main human rights watchdog -- is investigating the allegations, and EU justice official Jonathan Faul last week formally raised the issue with White House and U.S. State Department representatives, Frattini said.

''They told him: 'Give us the appropriate time to evaluate the situation.' Right now, there is no response,'' he said.
Yeah. It's gonna take us some time to come up with the right story for this one. Rove is busy with other things right now, and Rummy has dyspepsia.

Another One Bites The Dust

CBS News | Lawmaker Quits After Guilty Plea | November 28, 2005 19:57:41:
"(CBS/AP) Rep. Randy 'Duke' Cunningham resigned from Congress on Monday after admitting he took $2.4 million in bribes to steer defense contracts to co-conspirators. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy and tax charges in a case that grew from an investigation into the sale of his home to a wide-ranging conspiracy involving payments in cash, vacations and antiques. "

Mapping Approval

The Washington Note Archives

Meanwhile, Back In Afghanistan

Afghans Confront Surge in Violence:
KABUL, Afghanistan, Nov. 27 -- An onslaught of grisly and sophisticated attacks since parliamentary elections in September has left Afghan and international officials concerned that Taliban guerrillas are obtaining support from abroad to carry out strikes that increasingly mimic insurgent tactics in Iraq.

The recent attacks -- including at least nine suicide bombings -- have shown unusual levels of coordination, technological knowledge and blood lust, according to officials. Although military forces and facilities have been the most common targets, religious leaders, judges, police officers and foreign reconstruction workers have also fallen prey to the violence.
Remember this place? And somebody named Osama? And the Taliban? Well, they are still around and kicking in a war we haven't won.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Meet The Next Leader Of Iraq

Shiite Cleric Increases His Power in Iraq - New York Times:
When the smoke cleared after the fight, at least 21 bodies lay scattered among the weeds, making it the deadliest militia battle in months. The black-clad Shiites swaggered away, boasting about the carnage.

Even as that battle raged on Oct. 27, Mr. Sadr's aides in Baghdad were quietly closing a deal that would signal his official debut as a kingmaker in Iraqi politics, placing his handpicked candidates on the same slate - and on equal footing - with the Shiite governing parties in the December parliamentary elections. The country's rulers had come courting him, and he had forced them to meet his terms.

Wielding violence and political popularity as tools of his authority, Mr. Sadr, the Shiite cleric who has defied the American authorities here since the fall of Saddam Hussein, is cementing his role as one of Iraq's most powerful figures.
Is this supposed to make us proud of what we've done in Iraq? Did we depose a secular tyrant so he could be replaced by a clerical tyrant? At least women had rights under Saddam, and he apparently had no plans to rebuild his destroyed arsenal of WMD. Saddr is young and ambitious. What do you think he'll be up to in a few years?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Intelligence Has Nothing To Do With It

Once Upon a Time...: Walking into the Iran Trap, Part I:
It is simply not true that the Bush administration's decision to go to war with Iraq was the result of 'bad intelligence.' In the most significant sense, that decision had nothing at all to do with the quality of the intelligence they were getting. The decision was one of policy -- a decision that depended 'not upon available facts but upon judgment.' As the Star-Tribune editorial points out, the Clinton administration had virtually the same intelligence -- yet came to a different conclusion altogether with regard to the proper course of action.

But this tactic serves an important purpose: it passes blame off to another party, and in effect lets the administration off the hook. The administration thus hopes to insulate itself from examination, criticism and accountability. It's as if the administration is saying: 'The intelligence made us do it.'

But the intelligence, whatever it was, didn't make them do anything. They had already decided what they wanted to do -- and the intelligence was almost irrelevant.
I've said before that the Bushies might want to rekindle the war-lust of the mob again by forcing a confrontation with Iraq or Syria. Here is an article that makes the case not only for such a thing happening, but takes opposition to the premise that underlies such actions. It's important reading, so read it!

New Medicare plan to cut free drugs

.: Albany Democrat-Herald :. Archives:
Under federal rules effective Jan. 1, low-income and elderly patients who enroll in the program, known as Medicare Part D, will lose the ability to get free medications through the drugmakers’ tax-deductible charities, known as patient-assistance programs.

Some companies, going further, said this week that they would drop patients who were merely eligible for Part D, whether or not they actually enrolled in it, as allowed under long-standing rules.

As a result, in about six weeks, up to half of the roughly three million to four million charity patients nationwide may lose free access to more than 1,200 brand-name drugs, according to estimates of three companies. Other recipients should be unaffected.
There are no words to fit this news. This is your corporatocracy at work. This is Katrina for the elderly and homeless.

Bush Wanted To Bomb al-Jazeera; Free Speech A Quaint Notion

Shakespeare's Sister:
'He made clear he wanted to bomb al-Jazeera in Qatar and elsewhere. Blair replied that would cause a big problem.

'There's no doubt what Bush wanted to do -- and no doubt Blair didn't want him to do it.'

Iraqi Leaders Call For Implementation Of Murtha Plan

Guardian Unlimited | World Latest | Iraqi Leaders Call for Pullout Timetable:
"The participants in Cairo agreed on ``calling for the withdrawal of foreign troops according to a timetable, through putting in place an immediate national program to rebuild the armed forces ... control the borders and the security situation'' and end terror attacks."

Whether the Republicans realize it or not, the real majorities are taking back their countries by the end of next year.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Your Government At Work (Big Brother Over-protects Little Sisters)

Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report Summarizes Opinion Pieces Discussing Plan B Emergency Contraceptive, USA:
"A Government Accountability Office report released on Monday found many 'unusual' aspects regarding FDA's 2004 rejection of Barr Laborartories' application to allow nonprescription sales of the emergency contraceptive Plan B, including atypical involvement of senior staff and a 'novel' rationale for rejection of the application. FDA in May 2004 issued a 'not approvable' letter in response to the application, citing inadequate data on Plan B use among girls under age 16. The decision contradicted the recommendations of two FDA advisory panels, which in December 2003 voted 23-4 to recommend that Plan B be sold without a prescription. In addition, the letter was signed only by Steven Galson, then acting director of FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, and not by members of the FDA review team, as is routine. Galson later acknowledged that he made the decision to reject the application on his own and did not follow the recommendations of his staff. According to the report, high-level officials at FDA told some staff members as early as January 2004 that the agency would reject the application even though the scientific review was not completed until April 2004 (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 11/15)."

BB sticks his nose where it doesn't belong. Welcome to the new millennium, where some bureaucrate in Washington makes biological decisions for you so you don't have to. Because, after all, you wouldn't want to miss out on the regret of a moment's weakness (or the result of an uninvited attack).

Friday, November 18, 2005

A New Record For Atlantic Storms

CBS News | Tropical Storm Gamma Forms | November 18, 2005 19:30:05


Vatican Official Refutes Intelligent Design - Yahoo! News:
The Rev. George Coyne, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, said placing intelligent design theory alongside that of evolution in school programs was 'wrong' and was akin to mixing apples with oranges.

'Intelligent design isn't science even though it pretends to be,' the ANSA news agency quoted Coyne as saying on the sidelines of a conference in Florence. 'If you want to teach it in schools, intelligent design should be taught when religion or cultural history is taught, not science.'

Color My Blog

Your Blog Should Be Red

Your blog is full of intensity and passion.
You are very opinionated - and people love or hate you for it.
You have the potential to be both a famous and infamous blogger.

Hmmmmm. Thanks to Body and Soul for the idea an link. Not what I was expecting, but I hope it's right. Iraqi guards seen as death squads Iraqi guards seen as death squads: (thanks to Body and Soul
BAGHDAD -- Among the varied armed security men on Baghdad's streets these days, you can't miss the police commandos. In combat uniforms, bulletproof vests and wrap-around sunglasses or ski masks, they muscle through Baghdad's traffic jams in police cars or camouflage-painted pickup trucks, clearing nervous drivers from their path with shouted commands and the occasional gunshot in the air.

The commandos are part of the Iraqi security forces that the Bush administration says will gradually replace American troops in this war. But the commandos are being blamed for a wave of kidnappings and executions around Baghdad since the spring.


For three hours, the raiders burst into Sunni homes, handcuffed dozens of men and loaded them into vans. They ended the assault and drove out of the neighborhood just before the dawn call to prayer, which would bring men into the streets, walking to the local mosques, Abu Yusuf said.

Two days later and 90 miles away, residents of the desert town of Badrah, near the Iranian border, found the bodies of 36 of the men in a gully, their hands still bound and their skulls shattered by bullets. Two were the cousins who had phoned him the warning, Abu Yusuf said.
This is what we are accomplishing in Iraq?! Shame on all of us. Shame!

I wondered when the British had to rescue their own from one of these jails what was driving the Brits to use such force. At the time, I suspected that they knew what was in store for them. The stories at the time never got into the real details behind the action, only that it happened. Now we know.

Let Them Be Sick And Stupid -- NOT

In Loss for G.O.P., House Rejects Spending Plan - New York Times:
In rebelling against the spending measure, Democrats and some Republicans said it fell woefully short of fulfilling federal commitments.

They pointed, for example, to $900 million in health care cuts that took a toll on the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and on rural health care. They opposed the elimination of $8 billion to prepare for a potential flu pandemic. And they pointed to a provision that would strip money from a variety of popular education programs and leave Pell Grants to college students frozen, as part of the first reduction in education spending in a decade.
This is the problem with trying to get Conservatives to prepare for disasters; until they happen, there is always the chance they won't, so why spend the money to prepare? Until the odds are irresistably compelling, budgets will always be too tight to do what's needed. It all goes under the heading of "acceptable losses." Our personal welfare is not a priority, as long as the system, and the constituency, is preserved.

Scrooge Recants At FEMA

My Way News

The Race Is On

Post Editor Foresees Possibility of Naming Leak Source - New York Times:
"While a decision on whether to print the identity would depend on a number of factors, Mr. Downie said, 'if the information is found independent of our source relationship, sure we'll print it.'"

Finally Getting Serious At The Pentagon?

My Way News:
"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon's inspector general has agreed to review the prewar intelligence activities of former U.S. defense undersecretary Douglas Feith, a main architect of the Iraq war, congressional officials said on Thursday."

Woody Opens New Hole In White House

My Way News:
After Fitzgerald was tipped by Woodward's source that they had discussed Plame in June 2003, Woodward met with the prosecutor and on Monday recounted their conversation. His account, but not the source's name, was reported in Tuesday editions of the Washington Post, renewing speculation about who leaked Plame's name and how high in the administration his source resides.

'The Libby case was always going to cause heartburn for the White House,' said Washington defense lawyer E. Lawrence Barcella Jr., a former federal prosecutor. 'But not like this.'


Also on Thursday, 16 former intelligence officers released a letter they wrote to Bush early in the week asking for a pledge to not pardon anyone involved in the leak and to pull security clearances of anyone at the White House who spoke to reporters about the CIA status of Wilson's wife.

One of the letter's authors, former CIA analyst Larry Johnson, said the pledge on security clearances 'definitely ... would apply to Woodward's source.'

Johnson noted that Bush ordered everyone in the administration to cooperate with Fitzgerald nearly two years ago. 'Clearly, there's someone at a senior level who hasn't fully cooperated,' he said.

What The Hell!? The Man Who Sold the War : Politics:
As the war in Iraq has spiraled out of control, the Bush administration's covert propaganda campaign has intensified. According to a secret Pentagon report personally approved by Rumsfeld in October 2003 and obtained by Rolling Stone, the Strategic Command is authorized to engage in 'military deception' -- defined as 'presenting false information, images or statements.' The seventy-four-page document, titled 'Information Operations Roadmap,' also calls for psychological operations to be launched over radio, television, cell phones and 'emerging technologies' such as the Internet. In addition to being classified secret, the road map is also stamped noforn, meaning it cannot be shared even with our allies.

As the acknowledged general of such propaganda warfare, Rendon insists that the work he does is for the good of all Americans. 'For us, it's a question of patriotism,' he says. 'It's not a question of politics, and that's an important distinction. I feel very strongly about that personally. If brave men and women are going to be put in harm's way, they deserve support.' But in Iraq, American troops and Iraqi civilians were put in harm's way, in large part, by the false information spread by Rendon and the men he trained in information warfare. And given the rapid growth of what is known as the 'security-intelligence complex' in Washington, covert perception managers are likely to play an increasingly influential role in the wars of the future.

Indeed, Rendon is already thinking ahead. Last year, he attended a conference on information operations in London, where he offered an assessment on the Pentagon's efforts to manipulate the media. According to those present, Rendon applauded the practice of embedding journalists with American forces. 'He said the embedded idea was great,' says an Air Force colonel who attended the talk. 'It worked as they had found in the test. It was the war version of reality television, and for the most part they did not lose control of the story.' But Rendon also cautioned that individual news organizations were often able to 'take control of the story,' shaping the news before the Pentagon asserted its spin on the day's events.

'We lost control of the context,' Rendon warned. 'That has to be fixed for the next war.'
Are you kidding me?! This guy should be tried for mass murder and treason! The people who pay him should be tried for insurrection. Rumsfeld should be tried for crimes against humanity.


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