October 1, 2006
Goodbye Constitution, Hello Autocracy -- Senator Patrick Leahy: Bush's "detainee bill" is “A total rollback of everything this country has stood for” (Video) Live Journal What's Woodward's Game? Good Ole Boy Bob Woodward, a ruling class insider since his days in Naval Intelligence before Watergate, has now made headlines with a book that reportedly takes the Bush administration to task for lying about the conditions in Iraq. But this is the same man who built Bush's image going into the war with his Bush At War, and who more recently tainted his credibility yet again with claims that the Valerie Plame case was nothing, when he was one of the reporters Plame's CIA agent status was revealed to, as it later came out. He appeared on TV under the pretense of being an objective observer when he was actually on the inside of the scandal, one of the participants. But that was not new for Woodward. His status as one of the reporters to break Watergate was a result of his having already been an insider of the elites, who had secretly passed a veto on Nixon's presidency behind the scenes. With this book, as with any move Woodward makes, watch carefully for hidden motives. The Guardian, The London Times. Vote For Me, I Didn't Choke My Girlfriend -- Another Republican hypocrite, Pennsylvania Congressman Don Sherwood "admitted to a five-year extramarital affair with a woman 35 years his junior. He settled a lawsuit claiming he had choked her," according to an AP report. Another Republican Sex Offender -- Why does the Republican party attract so many closet perverts? They seem to be pouring out of the closet these days. Former GOP rising star Randal D. "Randy" Ankeney, now a convicted sex offender, is being held on a $1 million bond in Larimer County on new charges, five counts of sexual assault on a child, three counts of sexual enticement of a child and one count of sexual exploitation of a child. If convicted, he could get life in prison. Colorado Confidential If Bush Isn't the Devil, Who Is? YouTube.com
"When the president talks to God do they drink near beer and go play golf?"
October 3, 2006The Grand Ole Pedophile party is having a little trouble explaining why they didn't take action when they found out Republican Congressman Mark Foley was exchanging e-mails in which he propositioned 16-year-old boys. The Republican leadership took no action to take Foley off the Missing and Exploited Children's caucus, which he co-chaired.
According to ABC: "Hastert's staff and Republicans in leadership, including Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Rep. Tom Reynolds, R-N.Y., the chairman of the House campaign effort, for months had been aware of a questionable 2005 e-mail exchange between Foley and a Louisiana teen."
House Speaker Dennis Hastert said the reason he didn't take action to remove the pervert from his seat as co-chair of the Missing and Exploited Children's caucus was that "the parents didn't want the matter pursued." So they just left him on the committee. Hell with the parents of other kids who would be next to be propositioned by Foley. (New York Times)
According to epluribusmedia.org, "At least 4 years after having been exposed to House Leadership as a pedophile who presented a danger to teen pages, Foley was not only allowed to remain in Congress, but was allowed to be in a powerful position on committees affecting the well-being of children. After Hastert knew what he was up to, after it had become such common knowlege in Foley's office that staffers would warn incoming children about his abusive behavior, Hastert and the rest of the Republican leadershiop not only abandoned the children in his office to his abuse, but allowed him to influence policies that could leave other children vulnerable to other predators."
Check out Foley's website: "Mark plays a powerful role on the Ways and Means Committee by reforming the tax code, providing tax relief, expanding trade while protecting Florida’s farmers, seeking solutions to save Social Security, shoring up Medicare, reforming welfare and fighting child exploitation. In addition to his committee assignments, Mark serves as Chairman of the Entertainment Industry Task Force, Co-Chairman of the Missing and Exploited Children’s Caucus and Co-Chairman of the Travel and Tourism Caucus."
In this video at Think Progress, Hastert says he didn't remember being told about Foley last spring because he thought that it was "resolved" because "the family had got what it wanted to get". And "if he told me it would have been in the context of half a dozen other things ... that might have affected campaigns." No need to be concerned, as long as it didn't affect any campaigns.
October 5, 2006
While Republicans were wringing their hands and tearing out their hair to think of how to spin the Foley pedophile case, Fox News came up with the perfect solution, in keeping with their utter lack of integrity and contempt for the intelligence of their audience they just put Foley's face up on the screen and labeled him a Democrat. Believe it when you see one of the shots at Bradblog.com Ah, the elegant simplicity of the mind with absolutely no trace of scruples. The inability of Dennis Hastert to even pretend he had the slightest concern about a pedophile congressman sexually abusing teenage pages other than its potential effect on elections is a clear cut reason to force his resignation from a leadership position in the U.S. Congress. And right down the line from Hastert to the voters, silence is complicity. Do the sanctimonious Republicans really care at all about protecting our youth from sexual predators? Click at PeaceTeam.net to send a message to Congress and your local paper. If this isn't a time to force some accountability in Washington, what ever could be? Timber! Could this Foley Scandal be the long overdue Tipping Point? Welcome to Fascist America -- It's official now. "We’ve now gotten to the point where Nazi Germany was, say, in 1934. Remember, at that time, if you had told a typical German what his government would do over the next ten years, he would have looked at you as a madman. After all, his land had been civilized for over a thousand years. His was the nation of Albertus Magnus, Gutenberg, Goethe, Schiller, Beethoven, Bach, Kant, Hegel, Schelling, Fichte, Heisenberg, Reimann, Mann, Lessing, Herder, Handel, Dürer, Leibniz, Gauss, Helmholtz – he could have gone on, but you get the point. His nation could not possibly descend into barbarism! If you tried to tell him he was living in a police state, he would have pointed out that his government had used its vast new powers very judiciously, and only against a few trouble-makers. So far." LewRockwell.com Hot Time -- One third of the planet will be desert by 2100. Independent Save Keith Olbermann -- Truthout
October 7, 2006
Olbermann steams and burns -- On Bush's current stump speech lies. How is this happening on corporate media? youtube.com Wall Street Wins, You Lose -- "Should we be cheering over the fact that the Dow Jones Industrial Average has finally set a new record? No. The Dow is doing well largely because American employers are waging a successful war against wages. ... Consider the latest news from Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart already has a well-deserved reputation for paying low wages and offering few benefits...; last year, an internal Wal-Mart memo conceded that 46 percent of its workers’ children were either on Medicaid or lacked health insurance. Nonetheless, the memo expressed concern that wages and benefits were rising, in part 'because we pay an associate more in salary and benefits as his or her tenure increases.'" What's good for Wall Street is not necessarily good for the country. Paul Krugman Coming out of Denial about Vote Fraud -- Robert Koehler on the necessity of coming to terms with the vote fraud issue. "As the party of torture and war profiteering finally founders on a scandal tawdry and trivial enough to achieve media staying power — a month before the congressional election, no less — I counsel sober restraint on the ironic gloating..." Koehler gives some of the strategies that are being used to fight against vote fraud. "These are extraordinary times. We're being pressed to take a stand like never before. The Bush administration's incompetence to govern is equaled by its ruthless determination to gain and maintain power, and it will not go away quietly just because it would lose a fair election." Commonwonders.com Olbermann and the Witch -- This little vid at youtube.com shows first an interview with the rabid witch scarecrow Ann Coulter, wearing a revealing, sleaveless, slitted miniskirt, pale skinny arms and legs everywhere, a mad look in her eye, getting very excited, turning green with rage as she describes how the so-called 9/11 Widows are enjoying their husbands' deaths and they are merely a tool of the malign, diseased Left, the Godless Liberals who are destroying all that is righteous and holy about America. She turns it all upside down. The fact that they lost family members should disqualify them from trying to make a political statement. Why? Because you can't answer them, according to Coulter. From this, Coulter realizes that what you can do is insult their integrity. Attack their right to speak out. Act as if their only reason for existing and going through their personal horrors is in order to be a tool of the Godless Liberals. Watching her getting all worked up, it looks as if she maybe really believes the absurd things she is saying. Olbermann undresses her arguments and shows the absurdity under her rage.
October 8, 2006The Foley thing is fascinating. The Republicans, as they say, don't know whether to s*** or go blind. They are finally at the end of their bag of tricks. This particular twist is beyond their repertoire. All their familiar poses of sanctimonious virtuousness fall flat in this circumstance. It's just so hard for them to appear holier than thou. But that doesn't stop them from trying. What else can they do? For years they've clanged on the same tiresome bell. Ultimately it doesn't matter what people think because they can control the outcome of the elections with a few well-placed strokes in a master computer. But their pretense that they won in 2004 because of an inexplicable surge of concern with "values issues" like opposition to gay marriage, is going to be hard to pull off this time.
October 9, 2006Happy Birthday John Lennon -- Remember. War is over if you want it.
If you ever feel so sad
And the whole world is driving you mad
Remember, remember today
"Remember" by John Lennon.
Remember today, because today is when something can happen. A new world is created today. It doesn't have to be a recreation of the old one.
I heard Chavez' UN Speech today on the radio again. Remember the one the media described only to the extent that Chavez called Bush "the devil". The way it was described in the U.S. corporate media, it sounded like Chavez is a raving lunatic, calling Bush the devil the way the militant theocrats and fanatics use the term. But if you listen to Chavez speech, it's not at all fanatical. It's reasonable, lucid, logical, compassionate. It's actually a little inspiring to hear someone evoke a vision of the future that differs from the deadly one of Bush and corporate America.
As the media did point out, Chavez started his speech talking about Noam Chomsky's book Hegemony or Survival. And he spoke like someone who actually reads books, unlike George W. Bush. "The hegemonic pretensions of the American empire are placing at risk the very survival of the human species," he said. "We continue to warn you about this danger and we appeal to the people of the United States and the world to halt this threat, which is like a sword hanging over our heads." Are these the words of a lunatic? Of course lunatics can say almost anything. What else did he say?
Referring to the book, Chavez said that it's published in many languages, but, "the first people who should read this book are our brothers and sisters in the United States, because their threat is right in their own house. The devil is right at home. The devil, the devil himself, is right in the house." This is where the devil metaphor was introduced. "And the devil came here yesterday. Yesterday the devil came here. Right here. [crosses himself] And it smells of sulfur still today. Yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, from this rostrum, the president of the United States, the gentleman to whom I refer as the devil, came here, talking as if he owned the world. Truly. As the owner of the world."
Well? Didn't he? Forget everything you've heard about Chavez. How he's a "leftist", a "dictator" though he was elected, unlike Bush. Just take the words on their own merit. Isn't it true that that's the way Bush talks? And the way he acts, reserving the right to attack or capture anyone he wants to anywhere in the world. Imagine! Has anyone had such gargantuan pretension in world history?
Chavez' continues: "As Chomsky says here, clearly and in depth, the American empire is doing all it can to consolidate its system of domination. And we cannot allow them to do that. We cannot allow world dictatorship to be consolidated." Well? Anything wrong with that? Domination of the world. Is that not U.S. policy? Is it not the stated objective of "Rebuilding America's Defenses", the foreign policy position paper of the United States? It is.
Then Chavez states an alternative vision to that of George W. Bush. "I think there are reasons to be optimistic. A poet would have said 'helplessly optimistic,' because over and above the wars and the bombs and the aggressive and the preventive war and the destruction of entire peoples, one can see that a new era is dawning. As Sylvia Rodriguez says, the era is giving birth to a heart. There are alternative ways of thinking. There are young people who think differently. And this has already been seen within the space of a mere decade. It was shown that the end of history was a totally false assumption, and the same was shown about Pax Americana and the establishment of the capitalist neo-liberal world. It has been shown, this system, to generate mere poverty. Who believes in it now? What we now have to do is define the future of the world. Dawn is breaking out all over. You can see it in Africa and Europe and Latin America and Oceanea. I want to emphasize that optimistic vision. We have to strengthen ourselves, our will to do battle, our awareness. We have to build a new and better world."
I disagree with virtually every word uttered by George W. Bush. But I can't argue with that.
In other news
The spread between Democrats and Republicans in the polls stretched to 21% after the Foley scandal broke. "Among likely voters, 58 percent say they plan to vote for Democrats in November, versus 37 percent who say they will vote Republican, according to the CNN-Gallup poll. The 21 percentage point margin is 5 points wider than it was a week earlier in the same poll," writes The Mercury News.
October 12, 2006
Holocaust in Iraq -- In CBS News' "Deaths in the Fog of War", it says, "The margin of error is worth mentioning: Researchers said the true number of deaths could be anywhere from 426,369 to 793,663. The 655,000 figure, which takes into account both deaths from violence and 'excess deaths,' represents about two and a half percent of Iraq's population." Is the margin of error really so significant? If the number is really only 400,000, is that somehow much better? This is mass murder on an unthinkable scale, and the blood is on the hands of every American. How does that make you feel? And this is a number that is still climbing, and will continue to climb as long as Bush is able to "stay the course". He said it "troubles" and "grieves" him how many innocent people have died. He said, "And I applaud the Iraqis for their courage in the face of violence." Do they have a choice? He makes it sound like they volunteered for this.
Bush said the number is 30,000, the same number he used a year ago, as if no one died in a year. “I stand by the figure,” he said. Bush seems to exist in a timeless state, unaffected by anything that goes on in the outside world. (Daily Telegraph) But according to the health ministry of Iraq's U.S.-puppet government, 2,660 died just last month.
Meanwhile, this is no joke -- Now that Bush & Co. has succeeded in removing habeus corpus, a right won by the Magna Carta in 1215, he can throw anyone he wants in jail at will, no need to file charges, or do anything. He has absolute power by the laws of his own puppet congress. Now considering that, it may be worthwhile noting that Henry Kissinger has been advising Evil Dick Cheney and his hapless sidekick Cowboy George. Given Kissinger's still-whispered history of mass murder, it may be well to take note of how that history might have significance in the current situation. See Buzzflash for some important facts and ideas about Kissinger's violent past, including his involvement in the sweeping bloody purges in Latin America called Operation Condor. The people in democratic Chile also did not believe their country could be taken over by a violent military regime that would kill and imprison thousands of people to maintain its iron grip on power, a regime backed by Nixon, Kissinger and a network of American corporations. Wake up, America before Bush and Cheney bring Kissinger's bloodbaths home. Waves of Change -- According to The Ostroy Report, a new NY Times/CBS News poll released Monday indicated that:
-Those approving of Bush's handling of terrorism dropped to 46% from 54% in the past two weeks -Americans are now evenly divided (41R-40D) on which party they think would better handle terrorism, the first time in Bush's presidency that Democrats didn't trail. Before Labor Day, Republicans had a 42-34% edge -Bush's job approval rating dropped from 37% to 34% -83% believe Bush is either hiding something or lying when he discusses Iraq -57% believe Bush knew of pre-9/11 intelligence reports that warned of impending attacks using airplanes. This is up from 41% in May 2002 -47% of voters now believe Democrats are the party of moral values, not Republicans (38%)
Speaking Out Against Torture and Tyranny -- And let us now turn to the great, plain-speaking Robyn Blumner of the St. Petersburg Times: "We Americans really ought to be ashamed..." she said. "You see, it is one thing for a renegade executive to crown himself like Charlemagne and declare that his (cough) wisdom is exceptional enough to designate Americans and foreigners as enemies to be detained indefinitely. It is quite another for 315 members of Congress to go along. When the people's representatives collude to collapse the separation of powers into one omnipotent executive, our nation becomes defined by that act. We are a nation of laws, even when it's a really bad one.... America's bedrock principles may be a pile of rubble, but the Republican president won a political victory. Proving once again that there is no national conscience anymore. Holding power is all that matters. So now, under the newly enacted military commissions, as long as a military judge rules the evidence reliable and it was obtained before 2006, it can be admitted even if the evidence was drawn out of someone by freezing him or almost drowning him or keeping him awake and on his feet for days. Hey, it's the new American way, which sounds an awful lot like the old European way." Damn she's good! Do yourself a favor and read this whole thing.
Bush has wiped away civilized laws and customs dating back to 1215, the earliest days of the proclamation of the rights of man. No one has rights anymore. The smug right wing and its dull followers say, "I don't have anything to worry about. I've done nothing wrong." It's okay because Bush and McCain, those great wise men, say that those people in Guantanamo are "bad people" and Bush needs "the tools" to deal with them. But they apparently aren't bad enough to prove it in a court of law. So how are they different from you?
October 15, 2006
Them Evil Pages Making Eyes at Our Boy! I just caught up to this, but Rush Limbaugh, the great tough-on-drug-crime drug criminal, advanced the theory that the problem with Foley was really the fault of the pages, the underage kids that Foley was urging to masturbate with him via e-mail and so forth. (See Think Progress ) This is only an extension of Limbaugh's routine way of justifying every right wing crime by turning logic upside down and lying artfully. But this time it has gone so far out of acceptable behavior in a civilized world it's really hard to fathom. It's one thing to advocate vicious treatment for other users of illegal drug addicts when you are one of them yourself. But to blame kids for the behavior of a Congressman who approaches them sexually is ... what can you even say? This is taking the swift boating thing to the reductio ad absurdum. "A Greedy, Aggressive Child -- " Randi Rhodes compiled a number of clips of the defenses against the Foley affair, from denial, to lying, to covering up, to blaming the victim: 16-year-old targets of sexual advances. (Hear it here) Michael Savage takes it much further that Rush. He claims that the congressional pages were "baiting him". As if any amount of baiting would take one iota of responsibility off the shoulders of an adult, a man who holds the respected title of U.S. Congressman, having ay kind of sexual involvement with a 16-year-old. "This kid was playing with him, he's no innocent kid, let's be very clear ...," frothed the savage. "He went to Washington to get ahead, so he's a greedy, aggressive child from a family that's pushing him already like a stage mother. So he knew how to play a congressman that was gay... " This is what happens to pages who dare to cross one of our boys! say the Republicans. They're all piling on, and this time it's on 16-year-old boys who work as pages in the U.S. Congress, around all these Congresspeople they are supposed to respect. So it's the kid's fault. Poor Mark Foley!! Poor innocent victim! And poor Dennis Hastert, just cause he didn't care about it till it became public and looked like it could cause political problems. What I wonder is, are there any morons out there still falling for this stuff? Nothing Out of the Ordinary? As someone asked recently, Could it be that the reason the Republicans never acted to thwart Foley's child molesting antics because it's business as usual in Washington? A 1994 BBC film "Conspiracy of Silence" explores a pedophilic ring run out of a Catholic boy’s orphanage (Boys Town) in Omaha, Nebraska in the late 1980s. The investigation of the crimes ended after the film's chief investigator, Gary Caradori, blew up in midair in his private plane.
October 15, 2006
Beware the Cornered Rattlesnake -- Cheney is still at the center of the Valerie Plame leak case. "Fitzgerald has already, in the discovery phase of Libby's prosecution, presented substantial evidence that there was an effort by Libby and Vice President Cheney, with assistance from Karl Rove, to expose Plame's job at the CIA. Indeed, one of the most intriguing questions is how Fitzgerald will follow up on the suggestions he has already offered that Cheney directed Libby to tell New York Times reporter Judith Miller about Plame." American Prospect
October 19, 2006
Something Wicked This Way Comes -- "Recent polls have revealed some rather startling facts: A large majority of Americans now believe the president and his administration willfully lied the nation to war in Iraq. Incredibly only 16 percent believe the administration is telling the truth about what they knew prior to the terror attacks on 9/11. What is more stunning than the findings is the reality behind them. The American people suspect their president and his party have lied about the biggest events in their lifetime, because the evidence leads to those conclusions... Despite poll after poll showing Democrats leading Republicans by wide margins and despite the nation's most prestigious political organizations, Cook and Rothenberg Reports, predicting that Democrats will pick up between 18 and 30 seats in the House of Representatives; Bush, Cheney, and Rove remain eerily optimistic that Republicans will maintain control of congress. They remain insanely optimistic even though several Republican pollsters have confirmed the impending GOP losses. Bush and his people have absolutely no factual basis for believing Republicans will maintain control of congress -- nothing! That they continue to believe otherwise, considering they have proven themselves willing to lie the nation to war and capable of hiding pre-9/11 facts from the public, is nothing short of scary. In the end it boils down to this: If a group of people are willing to falsify evidence in order to bring the nation to war and, too, can't be trusted to speak truthfully about what they knew prior to 9/11 -- what is to stop them from stealing an election?" Progressive Daily Beacon Bush Administration Lays Groundwork for Martial Law Crackdown After Election -- A new law surreptitiously gives Bush the authority to: involuntarily take National Guard troops from a state and require them to work in State B for up to a year, in law enforcement rather than just traditional areas like disaster relief, over the objection of both state's governors. See Daily Kos Lawsuit Attacks Voter Purge in Ohio -- opednews.com Bush's Autocracy -- Al Jazeera on Bush's new "anti-terror" powers. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, "The president can now - with the approval of Congress - indefinitely hold people without charge, take away protections against horrific abuse, put people on trial based on hearsay evidence, authorize trials that can sentence people to death based on testimony literally beaten out of witnesses, and slam shut the courthouse door for habeas petitions." (See www.news.com.au) Protecting Power and Perversion -- Hearings continue behind closed doors about the Foley case, who knew, what they didn't do about it and why, and allegations into sexual misconduct with pages by other congressmen. How low can they go? According to www.news.com.au, "The chairman of the board is Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., who acknowledged freezing out Kildee and Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., when he learned of Foley's conduct in the fall of 2005. Capito also has expressed concern that she was not informed, and her Democratic opponent has accused her of failing teenagers in Congress' care. Shimkus testified before the ethics committee last week, and told reporters he was following the wishes of the parents of a Louisiana page when he decided not to inform Capito and Kildee." How ludicrous! Does anyone buy a story like that? The parents of a page do not have the authority to order Shimkus to cover up the child abuse of a congressman. No one does. He didn't even tell the other members of the Page Board. Why is this guy not being criminally prosecuted? And get this: "Hastert has said if any of his staff members are part of a cover-up, they would be fired." In other words, if Hastert can't cover up evidence that he participated in a cover up of the Foley shenanigans, he'll fire some staff members. These guys are foul!! Cheney hits Topeka -- A New York Times article posted on AOL described a visit by Evil Dick Cheney to Topeka, Kansas, where, it says, he was treated "like a rock star". In spite of Cheney's 20% approval rating, party hacks were able to assemble a group of brain dead Cheney fans for a demonstration of Cheneylove. The wife of Republican Congressman Jim Ryun said, "There was a peacefulness and a truthfulness to this man that really caught my heart." Dick Cheney: Peaceful and truthful. There you go. Apparently Hitler was right when he said the great masses of people will more easily fall victim to a great lie than a small one. At the end of the article there was an online poll and the result was that 65% said they "can't stand him", another 9% were "neutral".
October 20, 2006
History lesson -- Interesting film: Catch hired liar Peter Jennings in the act. JFK II