Saving Our Selves
July 10, 2007Live Earth SOS (Save Our Selves) A Campaign for a Climate in Crisis, a global event sponsored on 7/7/07 by Al Gore and Kevin Wall, with live performances in New York (really New Jersey), Washington D.C., Johannesburg, London, Sydney, Kyoto, Tokyo, Hamburg, Shanghai, Rio de Janeiro, was allegedly viewed by more than 10 million people. Whew! What an event! What a huge participation! Of course anyone with a brain would support the cause, but then we know who doesn't. The "live" online transmission of the concerts was sponsored by Chevy, interestingly. On network or cable TV there was only a small segment of clips from all the concerts from about 8 to 11 p.m.
It's fascinating to ponder how cable TV -- Optimum has the government-sanctioned monoply in my area -- has over 100 channels and somehow manages to fill almost all of it all the time with such garbage that it's hard to imagine anyone subjecting herself to 99% of it, and yet they didn't cover much of this event, which went on for hours and hours of simultaneous concert performances from top bands around the world. Most of the time I can't find a single thing worth looking at on all 100-plus channels, out of all the great films and all the great documentaries made in history. It's a huge resource that is largely a big waste. And essentially it ignored this event all of Saturday when it was going on globally, except for the excerpted bit in the evening on NBC.
Having NBC in charge of the presentation of the Climate in Crisis presentation is a little like having the henhouse crisis brought to you by the foxes' own network. NBC is owned by General Electric, the corporation that polluted the Hudson River with radioactive PCBs that it dumped into the river from the 1940s to the 1970s (and still leaks PCBs into the river, see Healing the Hudson) and has steadfastly refused to clean up. Since late 2000, GE is under order by the Environmental Protection Agency to begin dredging part of the upper Hudson where the fish have continued to be contaminated consistently over the years. We'll see how far it goes. (See Google Finance for "Why does GE falsely represent themselves as an environmentally sensitive company?" with some good background on PCBs and the danger they pose to people. See also EPA's Hudson River site, NY State Department of Health Fish Advisories for the Hudson and Corporate Watch.)
GE is also a big war contractor, a corporation that makes so much money off war and other things that threaten human life on the planet, it's dizzy with greed. It literally doesn't care who dies from it. It will have a nice healthy bank account on a desolate, lifeless planet.
But seeing the Live Earth concerts through the lens of NBC assures that you will see a corporate-scrubbed version of the event. So they had the NBC "expert" on the climate crisis come on and tell everyone to use the energy saving light bulbs and drive less and so forth, all good things for everyone to do to pitch in to help deal with the climate crisis, but they will not mention the corporate part of the problem, which is far greater than whether people use energy saving light bulbs.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. spoke at the New Jersey concert and said, "Now you've heard today a lot of people say that there are many little things that you all can do today to avert climate change on your own. But I will tell you this, it is more important than buying compact flourescent light bulbs or than buying a fuel efficient automobile. The most important thing you can do is to get involved in the political process and get rid of all of these rotten politicians that we have in Washington D.C. -- who are nothing more than corporate toadies for companies like Exxon and Southern Company, these villainous companies that consistently put their private financial interest ahead of American interest and ahead of the interest of all of humanity. This is treason and we need to start treating them now as traitors. And they have their slick public relations firms and their phony think tanks in Washington D.C. and their crooked scientists who are lying to the American people day after day after day. And we have a press that has completely let down American Democracy. That's giving us Ana Nicole Smith and Paris Hilton instead of the issues that we need to understand to make rational decisions in a democracy - like global warming."
July 11, 2007So many developments -- the downward spiral of the Bush administration and all things related to its rabidly right wing madness seems to be straightening out into a direct plunge. Dear John McCain who won the hearts and minds of so many Americans in 2000 through his image as an outsider, a maverick, a straight-talker who went his own way and stood by principle, turned into mister ass-kisser, the man who would sell out his own mom to the Bush-Rove-Cheney mob if it looked like it would further his ambition and it looks like his ploy is a big fat failure. Selling out everything to power, to the people who slandered his wife, said his kid was a illegitimate and destroyed his campaign with every dirty trick the Master of Slime Karl Rove could come up with was not such a great idea after all. How sad to sell out all your principles for power and then lose that too. So there is some justice in the world. McCain's campaign organization is collapsing, his major people jumping ship, his finances dwindling, his popularity essentially gone. One more guy who hitched up to the Bush wagon on its spectacular journey to hell.
Elsewhere in the motley Republican camp, presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani's hopes may have taken a wee bit of a blow when the southern regional chairman of his campaign Republican Senator David Vitter of Louisiana turned up on the list of customers of the so-called D.C. Madame, Deborah Jeane Palfrey. (Medill Reports) Typically, Vitter is one of these Republicans who has taken on the standard Republican stance of moral uprightness, made it a means for his getting ahead, but of course as always it turns out to be a bunch of phony crap. It's such an obvious formula for Republicans, but it's gotten many of them far. He co-authored a Constitutional amendment designed to define marraige as between a man and a woman. He's a big advocate of abstinence education programs and recently wrote a letter supporting them and posted it on his website. It says, "These programs have been shown to effectively reduce the risks of out-of-wedlock pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases by teaching teenagers that saving sex until marriage and remaining faithful afterwards is the best choice for health and happiness.” Why anyone ever falls for that crap is a wonder. But it seems that fewer are falling for it these days. Vitter is the second of Giuliani's operatives to get burned lately. Thomas Ravenel, Giuliani’s South Carolina state treasurer and state chairman was arraigned Friday for possession of cocaine. They fit right into Giuliani's style, he's phony through and through. 9/11 was a photo-op for Rudy. His real talent was always getting publicity. Even as a prosecutor, he didn't win cases, but he got a lot of publicity as a "law and order" guy. He seems to have a little trouble, however, picking collaborators who can stay away from cocaine and hookers. Impeachment Gaining Momentum After Libby Deal -- "The ARG poll found a remarkable 45 percent in favor of the U.S. House of Representatives beginning impeachment proceedings against Bush." Boston Herald. Republicans abandoning Bush. A Newsweek poll puts Bush's approval rating at 26 percent. Sheep in Wolf's Clothing -- Michael Moore on Wolf Blitzer. Lame lightweight well-paid conformist Blitzer claims, "We did some digging" to find whether Moore "plays fast and loose with the facts," which is about as impressive as the "digging" they did in the "run up to war" when they cheerleaded the whole effort and helped to fool the public into going along with it. Moore reminds Blitzer of CNN's positions for the war and against his anti-war film Fahrenheit 911, which is quite interesting in the perspective of 2007, after five years of disastrous war and billions down the toilet. At the end of the clip Lou Dobbs says Michael Moore is "more of a left wing promoter than Hugo Chavez..." Lou! Very lame comment. (see YouTube) In CNN's anti-Moore trash piece, someone says that in the other advanced industrialized countries besides the U.S., which all have government-provided healthcare, the citizens pay for it out of their taxes. That's fair. Of course it comes from somewhere. What we have in the United States is that instead of paying the government, we pay giant corporations. And the difference is that the government's purpose in healthcare is to provide healthcare and the corporation's purposes are to make profits. Obviously it takes a lot more money to provide healthcare and provide the massive profits of these insurance companies than it does to just provide healthcare. It's simple arithmetic. As Moore points out, the American people have proven that the government is capable of administering such a program effectively with Medicare and Social Security, both socialist programs and both very much beloved by the American people. Ask your doctor how much she likes HMOs some time. (Moore's Response)
July 14, 2007Lather, Rinse, Repeat -- According to William Rivers Pitt of Truthout, "The recipe is simple, like the directions on the back of a shampoo bottle. Damaging reports of Bush administrations malfeasance emerge. Warnings of imminent terrorist-borne doom immediately follow, all spread far and wide by said Bush administration. Lather, rinse, repeat. There are many more instances of this curious timing to be found, but apparently, no one in the administration is concerned this dubious pattern - spreading fear among the populace to change the subject, an act of terrorism itself - might start to wear thin."
Olbermann on Chertoff's Gut -- Excellent Olbermann on Chertoff's latest warnings that something bad will happen if we don't stop paying so much attention to crimes by the Bush administration. Truthout House Votes to Pull Out -- According to Bloomberg.com, "The House of Representatives voted to require the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq by April 2008, defying President George W. Bush's veto threat and his request today for time to allow his war strategy to succeed. The chamber's 223-201 vote to begin a withdrawal within 120 days occurred hours after Bush released an interim progress report that said the Iraqi government has failed so far to meet several key political goals even as a military offensive has improved security." Bush Admits Administration Complicity -- According to the Washington Post, "President Bush acknowledged for the first time yesterday that 'somebody' in his administration leaked the name of an undercover intelligence officer but declined to say whether he was disappointed in such an action and contended that it is time to move on." Another crack in the wall. But then, why think about "the past"? Borrowing Fox network's slogan, Bush said his decision to commute Libby's sentence for perjury and obstruction of justice was "fair and balanced." Apparently confused by his own attempts to deflect the question, Bush said, incomprehensibly, "I'm aware of the fact that perhaps somebody in the administration did disclose the name of that person, and I've often thought about what would have happened had that person come forth and said, 'I did it.' Would we have had this, you know, endless hours of investigation and a lot of money being spent on this matter?" Not eager to get to the bottom of the crime, Bush said, "It's been a tough issue for a lot of people in the White House, and it's run its course and now we're going to move on." Midwest Sours on War and Bush -- According to the Washington Post, "Sissel and Behrle were popular young sons of Tipton, a community of 3,100 where anonymity is an impossibility. Sissel bagged groceries at the supermarket and often bowled at Cedar Lanes. Behrle served, just two years ago, as Tipton High's senior class president and commencement speaker. The town, by all accounts, once gave Bush the benefit of the doubt for a war he said would make America safer and a mission he said was accomplished four years before Behrle died. But funeral by funeral, faith in the president and his project to remake Iraq is ebbing away." Chomsky on Iraq, Iran, North Korea and US -- "There are several issues in the case of Iran. One is simply that it is independent and independence is not tolerated. Sometimes it's called successful defiance in the internal record. Take Cuba. A very large majority of the U.S. population is in favor of establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba and has been for a long time with some fluctuations. And even part of the business world is in favor of it too. But the government won't allow it. It's attributed to the Florida vote but I don't think that's much of an explanation. I think it has to do with a feature of world affairs that is insufficiently appreciated. International affairs is very much run like the mafia. The godfather does not accept disobedience, even from a small storekeeper who doesn't pay his protection money. You have to have obedience otherwise the idea can spread that you don't have to listen to the orders and it can spread to important places. If you look back at the record, what was the main reason for the U.S. attack on Vietnam? Independent development can be a virus that can infect others. That's the way it's been put, Kissinger in this case, referring to Allende in Chile. And with Cuba it's explicit in the internal record. Arthur Schlesinger, presenting the report of the Latin American Study Group to incoming President Kennedy, wrote that the danger is the spread of the Castro idea of taking matters into your own hands, which has a lot of appeal to others in the same region that suffer from the same problems. Later internal documents charged Cuba with successful defiance of U.S. policies going back 150 years -- to the Monroe Doctrine -- and that can't be tolerated. So there's kind of a state commitment to ensuring obedience." zmag.org Bush Pardons GOP Felons -- Mark Morford: "Allegedly reacting to some sort of hallucinogenic fever dream following an overlong bubble bath during which he reportedly sputtered lots of motorboat noises and ate one too many purple crayons, President Bush today made the stunning yet somehow entirely understandable announcement that all Republicans in his administration are hereby officially excused from any and all crimes they have committed, are in the process of committing, are planning to commit, or even merely fantasize about committing while encased in sweaty latex bodysuits in any one of a number of GOP-friendly D.C. fetish dungeons." Judicial Tyranny -- Ernest Partridge speculates on ways to deal with what appears to be in store for us now: a rogue Supreme Court. Online Journal The Most Impeachable -- "Never before has there been such a compelling case for impeachment and removal from office of the president and vice president of the United States. Bush and Cheney have committed the most serious crimes known to law and history. Nothing in the experience of the impeachment power under the US Constitution compares. Of course, the first and foremost reason to impeach Bush and Cheney is their pack of lies to Congress and the American people depicting an "all-powerful" Saddam Hussein being an imminent threat to the US in order to justify an illegal preemptive attack on Iraq. By lying to Congress, Bush violated US laws related to fraud and false statements (Title 18, Chapter 47, Section 1001) and conspiracy to defraud the United States. The truth is that while these two liars were still in the process of whipping up their climate of fear and hate to discourage dissent to their war goals, 30,000 US troops had already secretly fought their way in and took control of 15 percent of an impotent Iraq. Bush and Cheney repeatedly spewed out the big lie that Iraq harbored weapons of mass destruction and that they knew where they were. They falsely claimed that Iraq had a nuclear weapons program for which it was importing aluminum tubes and yellowcake uranium and warned of seeing mushroom clouds. They made the bogus charge that Iraq had produced thousands of tons of chemical agents and used mobile weapons labs. They fabricated the tale that the secular Saddam had ties with the al-Qaeda religious extremists. And, they mislead the public with mind-blurring rhetoric that implied Iraq had indirectly caused 9/11." Dan Merica
July 15, 2007The Not-Elected Sitting President -- The UK's Telegraph ran a little smear piece on Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, who said that Bush used 9/11 the way the Nazis used the Reichstag fire to justify a seizure of power. It is true, if you can take the emotions out of the loaded references, that the Bushies used 9/11 and continue to use it to further their agenda, which includes a huge seizure of executive power. Ellison is actually a very rational congressman who dares to speak in plain English about corporate abuse and other critical issues most politicians avoid. The Telegraph article shows Ellison looking very angry and a little crazy, obviously selected to get the paper's smear across. It quotes Mark Drake, the Republican party Thought Police officer, saying, "To compare the democratically elected leader of the United States of America to Hitler is an absolute moral outrage which trivialises the horrors of Nazi Germany." There are a couple of problems with this. One is that Bush was not elected either in 2000, when the Supreme Court stopped the vote count when Bush's alleged lead had dwindled to 525 votes and they cemented it at that point. A massive campaign of voter irregularities including suppression of voters, wiping Afro-Americans off the voter roles and manipulating electronic vote counts was still not enough to give Bush a victory in Florida, or in the U.S., but that fact has only been whispered in the major media. In 2004, and even more expert campaign of voter suppression and manipulation gave Bush Ohio, which gave him the election. In 2006, the Republican vote manipulation was not enough to keep Democrats from winning congress. Hitler's Nazi party won a big victory in 1932 and he used that as a pretext for urging the elected president Hindenberg to appoint him chancellor. (see "How Hitler Became Dictator") Like Bush, he was appointed, but his initial rise to power was "legal" on the surface of it anyway, though the Nazi Brownshirts stirring up violence and chaos was part of the process. And the Nazis did use the burning of the Reichstag, where parliament operated, as a pretext to grab executive power. German General Franz Halder testified at the Nuremburg war crimes tribunal that Hitler's crony Hermann Goering had claimed to have been responsible for burning the Reichstag. Goering denied it. But making the simple comparison between the way the Bush administration used 9/11 to ram through their USA Patriot Act, which demonstrably gives them enormous, unprecedented powers, with what the Nazis did with the Reichstag is not to "trivialize" the horrors of the Nazis. Let's not trivialize what is happening now in Iraq, either, or what has happened to the Constitution in the U.S. Now is the time to appreciate the Constitution and the importance of fighting for it. Let's not leave it for the historians to figure it out.
Firefighters on Giuliani -- The Firefighters Union fights back against Giuliani's carefully crafted image with which he uses 9/11 as a platform for his presidential campaign. (See Congressional Quarterly) In the union's video Rudy Giuliani: Urban Legend, IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger says, "“Rudy Giuliani has used a horrible event, Sept. 11, 2001, to create a carefully crafted persona. But the fact is, what Rudy portrays is not a full picture of the decisions made that led, in our view, to the unnecessary deaths of our FDNY members and the attempt to stop the dignified recovery of those lost.” YouTube
July 16, 2007Forewarned -- Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Ron Paul, said the country is in "great danger" of the U.S. government staging a terrorist attack or a Gulf of Tonkin style provocation, as the war in Iraq continues to deteriorate. Chertoff is warning of feelings in his gut. You are forewarned. The Politico Video: breitbart.tv
Minnesota Money Race -- Al Franken is raising more money than his prospective opponent Senator Norm Coleman in the race to represent Minnesota in the Senate, the seat once held by Senator Paul Wellstone, one of the most courageous and outspoken thorns in the Bush administration's side, who died in a plane crash, as do so many opponents of Republicans. Politico Gloves-Off Moyers -- Moyers on Impeachment: PBS
July 17, 2007Blind Faith -- Intriguing article by Reggie at tvnewslies.org over the curious fact that after mountains of lies by the Bush administration are now openly acknowledged even by the mainstream media, there is still a wide resistance to challenging the official story of 9/11. An interesting read if just for the length of the list of lies, and it's still only a small selection of the total.
Traitors -- Dr. Robert Bowman, USAF Ret., a pilot who flew 101 combat missions in Vietnam, proclaims his opposition to the war and more in "Some Dare Call It Treason: Wake Up America!" Bowman: "This war has nothing to do with national security or freedom or democracy or human rights or protecting our allies or weapons of mass destruction or defeating terrorism or disarming Iraq. It has to do with money. It has to do with oil. And it has to do with raw imperial power. It is based on a pack of lies. And it is wrong. Those who forced this war on an unwilling world are guilty of flagrantly violating the US Constitution, the UN Charter, and international law. What they have done is illegal, immoral, unconstitutional and TREASON.... The cabal of neoconservatives at PNAC who planned this war (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Libby, Perle, Jeb Bush) even before W became president, knew the American people would not stand for it unless there was a new Pearl Harbor. 9/11 supplied that. Our government was warned. They were warned by the Clinton Administration. They were warned by 11 other countries. And they were specifically warned by an FBI agent that one of them was planning on flying a hijacked airliner into the World Trade Center. They not only ignored the warnings, they made sure no fighter jets were scrambled to stop it. If they had just done nothing, and allowed normal procedures to be followed, the Twin Towers would still be standing and thousands of dead Americans would still be alive. This is not stupidity, it is TREASON." baltimorechronicle.com Take This as a Warning -- According to the Guardian, "A nuclear power plant near the epicenter of a powerful earthquake suffered a slew of problems, including spilled waste drums, leaked radioactive water, fires and burst pipes, the reactor's operator said Tuesday." This is the kind of potential catastrophe that could occur in many places, especially as extreme weather events continue to become more frequent as a result of climate change. New York City, which does experience tremors from time to time, is in danger of having General Electric's radioactive PCB pollution at the bottom of the Hudson River stirred up if there is a tremor. Then all of New York City can be exposed to a blast of radioactivity, courtesy of Jack Welch and GE. -- Phony Republican moralist, brothel crawler and Giuliani pal David Vitter is happily resuming his cushy Washington high life after claiming his "serious sin" and his brothel escapades are over and he has received forgiveness from God. What garbage! Press TV
July 18, 2007Patheticity -- This Senator Vitter deal with the prostitute revelations is just so sordid and disgusting and without a shred of dignity... it's not even worth chuckling about. This poor wife of his that now has to get dragged out into the spotlight to defend this creep, this mega-hypocrite who wrote a detailed case as to why Clinton should be impeached for his affair with Monica Lewinsky, who preaches self righteously against gay marriage and abortion on allegedly "moral" grounds, is now caught with his pants way way down, and he's not even going to bother to pull them up before he rushes back to Washington to resume his cushy life as a Senator, to get his hand back into the till and suck out as much as he can before he finally has to give it all up. And the wife will put up with the most crushing humiliation in front of all the world -- she'll do it if she knows what's good for her. What can she do? She could have some real guts and kick the sonofabitch out on his ass and let him go back to his hookers. But she doesn't look that steely. She stands to lose it all too. And because the shameless panderer -- himself the real prostitute -- can't fess up to some of these other stories that are coming up, he's going to prolong the whole deal to the last drop. This will not be the last we hear of it. Paris Hilton is starting to look like a culture hero in this pit in which we now reside. This guy is not just an insufferably self-righteous moralist who uses his pretended moral superiority as a bludgeon with which to force himself upward in the world of power. That is in itself intolerable and of no redeeming social value. But on top of it, the guy is a real bottom scraper, a real whorehound. He can't seem to hold still. The good life has addled his brain. Power has gone to his head.
July 20, 2007Stop Welfare! For Halliburton and Bechtel. Make them split it up equitably among the rest of us welfare bums! What we could do with those billions!
Loyal Bushie Cans Plame Case -- Judge John Bates of the US District Court in Washington, DC, a loyal Bushie who has held on to his job by being one and would like to continue to hold onto it, dismissed the lawsuit by former CIA agent Valerie Plame against Bush administration thugs who revealed her undercover CIA job to reporters in order to smear her husband for telling the world they lied about his trip to Africa to check on rumors that Saddam Hussein tried to buy nuclear materials. Master Bates is a Bush appointee, a loyal company man who previously dismissed a lawsuit filed by the federal government against Whitehouse Godfather Richard Cheney. During an earlier administration, he had very different ideas about executive power, curiously enough. He worked for Republican Junkyard Dog Hitman Kenneth Starr prosecuting Clinton over his Whitewater investment deals and anything else he could dig up till he finally got something that would stick -- on a black dress. In 1997, Bates successfully argued for the release of thousands of pages of White House documents related to Hillary Clinton's conversations about Whitewater. A real bottom feeder, now he is "Your Honor" and as a loyal Bushie, he avoided the recent purge of judges by the White House.
According to Truthout. Bates wrote that, as a technical legal matter, the Wilsons can't sue under the Constitution. "Bates added that the defendants had the right to rebut criticism aimed at the White House by Plame's husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, who accused the administration of twisting prewar Iraq intelligence. He said the leak of Plame's undercover CIA status to a handful of reporters was 'unsavory' but simply a casualty of Wilson's criticism of the administration. Bates: "The alleged means by which defendants chose to rebut Mr. Wilson's comments and attack his credibility may have been highly unsavory. But there can be no serious dispute that the act of rebutting public criticism, such as that levied by Mr. Wilson against the Bush administration's handling of prewar foreign intelligence by speaking with members of the press, is within the scope of defendants' duties as high-level Executive Branch officials."
Whew! This clown justifies a felony by saying that the White House had the right to rebut criticism. Would this still apply if they'd just mowed Wilson down with a machine gun? How does the right to "rebut criticism" turn into the right to commit a crime? This is a very serious manipulation of the law by a highly ranked judge obviously talking gibberish. With each inch of power they seize, they become more dangerous, our dissent becomes less effectual.
What is happening to the judiciary in this country is alarming and progressing with startling speed in spite of the "scandal" of the purge of non-Bushie judges, or any other of hundreds of "scandals". This is, remember, a judicially determined presidency, not an elected one. And in 2004, the administration had taken such advantage of its entrenched power to control events and elections, it didn't need the judiciary to step in. Since it has appointed two more Supreme Court Justices, effectively taking over even more than when the court installed it in office in defiance of law and precedent. This is very very serious business. It's one thing for the public's knowledge of the Bush administration's crimes and abuses of power to be spreading through the population. But that knowledge, that outrage has done nothing to stop or hinder the progress of the neocon agenda. They still do whatever they want, commit outrage after outrage, and nothing or no one is stopping them. The approval of the country has drained away, that is something to be very happy about. Fewer and fewer are fooled. But it's hard to tell if any of this popular outrage has hindered the administration at all. What do you do after you hit the panic button?
Creeping Usurpation -- Bush has issued an executive order that gives him the right to seize the assets of anyone he declares to be "threatening" the economic and political stabilization efforts in Iraq. ( See democraticunderground.com) If there is some kind of attack, regardless of what really causes it, even if it's an inside job, a Gulf of Tonkin incident, Bush can use it as a pretext to declare a national emergency and then gain total power. If you recall the first nearly eight months of Bush reign, he behaved as if he had no future. He practically bankrupted the country with his tax cuts. He had nowhere to go. He painted himself into a corner. His approval ratings were below 50%. Suddenly there was 9/11 and Bush had no more problems. His approvals were high, he could get away with nearly anything he wanted. At lightning speed the pushed the USA Patriot Act, which gave him almost absolute power, after several major Democratic leaders received anthrax in the mail, attributed to terrorists at the time until the batch of anthrax was traced back to the U.S. military. Then all investigations into the crime were suddenly forgotten. The crime has never been solved or even investigated in a public forum. The behavior of the Bush administration continues to be almost totally without regard to public opinion. They still behave with the kind of assurance they had before 9/11, as if ultimately public opinion may be an irritant at times, an inconvenience, but it will never stop them, never even slow them down. See the executive order at WhiteHouse.gov. This is extremely frightening. The Best is Yet to Be -- Al Gore's inaugural address, as written by Brent Budowsky. Don't Miss -- The voice of the Firefighters Union on the phony image of Giuliani as a hero of 9/11. See Rudy Giuliani: Urban Legend. Money as Free Speech -- is one of the most ludicrous judicial scams ever. See Nolan Bowie, an adjunct lecturer in public policy and a senior fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, on Treating Money as Free Speech. Impeach the Bastards! Rep. John Conyers: "What are we waiting for? Let's take these two guys out!" democraticunderground.com Check -- The Bush administration claims the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, to whom Congress must submit its charge of contempt of Congress when the White House ignores suopoenas for testimony. Congress can't charge the administration with contempt because the principle of executive privilege makes Bush immune to Congress' wishes. Washington Post Is America Ready for Breasts? The Washington Post has decided to publish a story about Hillary Clinton's breasts and her showing or not showing any part of them. See Now.Org for a second opinion on the Post's news judgment. Wrong on Everything -- David Corn lays out Bill Kristol's track record in the Washington Post. First Principles -- Chomsky on what's going on, from early 2004, an interview with Dissident Voice: "It is impossible to give a measure to the influence of the Israeli lobby, but in my opinion it is more of a swing factor than an independently decisive one. It is important to bear in mind that it is not neoconservatives, or Jewish. Friedman, for example, is a liberal in the US system. The union leadership, often strong supporters of Israeli crimes, are protypical liberals, not neocons. The self-styled “democratic socialists” who modestly call themselves “the decent left” have compiled an unusually ugly record in support of Israeli government actions ever since Israel’s massive victory in 1967, which won it many friends in left-liberal circles, for a variety of reasons. The Christian right is a huge voting bloc, plainly not Jewish, and in fact to a significant extent anti-Semitic, but welcomed by the government of Israel and its supporters because they support Israel’s atrocities, violence, and aggression, for their own reasons. It is a varied and large group, which happens also to constitute a substantial part of the intellectual elite, hence the media elite, so of course there is ideological influence. However, these groups rarely distance themselves far from what they know to be authentic power: state-corporate power. If US government policy would shift, they would shift along with it, maybe with some snapping at the heels of the powerful, but never daring too much."