Thursday, June 23, 2005
Karl Rove isn't stupid. Therefore, he must be Evil.
Let us analyze this statement. Clearly Karl gets it. I think he’s 100% correct. Conservatives believed that they could bomb our enemies into submission.
Now almost 4 years later the insurgency in Iraq grows, the War in Iraq wasn’t a cakewalk, the Taliban in Afghanistan are resurgent, Osama bin Laden is still on the loose, 1,700 American soldiers can be added to the list of dead, another 10,000 are permanently disabled, 25-100,000 dead Iraqis can be added to the pile, the CIA claims that Iraq has become a more dangerous training ground for Terrorists than Afghanistan was during the 80’s, we have sunk nearly $300 billion into Iraq, Iraq is now on the brink of civil war destablizing the entire middle east, and U.S. military leaders say that for every terrorist they kill they create three more.
"Therefore, I say: Know your enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles, you will never be defeated. When you are ignorant of the enemy but know yourself, your chances of winning or losing are equal. If ignorant both of your enemy and of yourself, you are sure to be defeated in every battle." - Sun Tzu - The Art of War
Maybe if we had understood our enemies, things would be different. But then again we learned this lesson once, in a little place called Vietnam.
Bill O'Reilly must have had the dildo up his ass turned on HIGH that day.
O'Reilly: FBI should arrest the "clowns" at Air America Radio for being traitors
Responding to controversial comments by Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-IL) regarding the treatment of detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly said that Americans "must know the difference between dissent from the Iraq war and the war on terror and undermining it," and that "any American who undermines that war ... is a traitor."
He then hurled this accusation at Air America Radio: "So, all those clowns at the liberal radio network, we could incarcerate them immediately. Will you have that done, please? Send over the FBI and just put them in chains, because they, you know, they're undermining everything and they don't care."
From the June 20 broadcast of Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:
O'REILLY: "And when he [Durbin] went out there, his intent was to whip up the American public against the Bush detainee policy. That's what his intent was. His intent wasn't to undermine the war effort, because he never even thought about it. He never even thought about it. But by not thinking about it, he made an egregious mistake because you must know the difference between dissent from the Iraq war and the war on terror and undermining it. And any American that undermines that war, with our soldiers in the field, or undermines the war on terror, with 3,000 dead on 9-11, is a traitor."
"Everybody got it? Dissent, fine; undermining, you're a traitor. Got it? So, all those clowns over at the liberal radio network, we could incarcerate them immediately. Will you have that done, please? Send over the FBI and just put them in chains, because they, you know, they're undermining everything and they don't care, couldn't care less."
Apparently Bill believes freedom of speech only applies to him. Explain to me again how this fuckwit stays on the air? It's also interesting to note that one of the definitions of traitor is one who deliberately deceives... this might apply to all those jackasses at Fox News. Benedict Arnold anyone?
More Republican Hypocrites. Man these guys have got balls the size of Jupiter.
by Chris Bowers
As Mathew Yglesias reports, conservative pundits are falling all over themselves to try and punish Senator Durbin for his Nazi-themed comments. He must be censured! He must resign his leadership post! I think we should call them on this, and introduce a bi-partisan concurrent resolution to censure all elected officials who have made comparisons between Americans and Nazis. In addition to agreeing to conservative demands, this resolution would see both parties agree to all of the following:
* Ken Melhman must also resign as chairman of the Republican National Committee for defending a Republican ad that compared Democrats to Hitler.
* All Republican elected officials must refuse and return any money from organizations associated with Grover Norquist for directly comparing Democrats to Nazis.
* Senator Rick Santorum must step down from his leadership position within the Senate for his comments comparing Democratic use of the filibuster to Nazis.
* Senator James Inhofe must step down as Chairman of the Committee on Environment and public works, for his likening of the Democratic supported Kyoto treaty to Nazism.
* Senator Jeff Sessions must be censured for his likening of a Democratic sponsored bill on stem cell research to Nazism.
* Representative Steve King must also be censured for comparing those who support abortion rights to Nazis.
* A sense of the Senate resolution rebuking former Senators Tim Cole and Phil Graham for their comparisons of Democrats to Nazis must also be passed.
Any Republican action to censure Durbin must take place simultaneously with all of these actions. That is, of course, unless Republicans think some of these Nazi-related comments are okay, and others are not. Oh wait---that is what they think.
WHEREAS, the College Republican membership has always fully supported the war in Iraq;
WHEREAS, we have encouraged the notion that the degree of one's patriotism is directly proportional to their support for the war;
WHEREAS, by word, by deed and by the financial support of Ann Coulter, David Horowitz, and Michelle Malkin, we have decreed that dissent against the war is the equivalent of treason;
WHEREAS, the military continually falls far short of meeting its recruitment needs resulting in a manpower crisis;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT:
1. The College Republican National Committee shall officially disband until the conclusion of the war;
2. The College Republican membership shall immediately volunteer for military service as infantrymen.
3. All College Republican National Committee monies raised from taking advantage of elderly women shall be placed into a fund for the purpose of supporting Ann Coulter, David Horowitz, and Michelle Malkin until they receive additional Scaife funding, sell a house to Duke Cunningham's lobbyist, or obtain a presidential grant to edit global warming reports.
Graft & War Profiteering
U.S. was big spender in days before Iraq handover
By Sue PlemingWed Jun 22, 2:07 AM ET
The United States handed out nearly $20 billion of Iraq's funds, with a rush to spend billions in the final days before transferring power to the Iraqis nearly a year ago, a report said on Tuesday.
A report by Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman (news, bio, voting record) of California, said in the week before the hand-over on June 28, 2004, the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority ordered the urgent delivery of more than $4 billion in Iraqi funds from the U.S. Federal Reserve in New York.
One single shipment amounted to $2.4 billion -- the largest movement of cash in the bank's history, said Waxman.
Most of these funds came from frozen and seized assets and from the Development Fund for Iraq, which succeeded the U.N.'s oil-for-food program. After the U.S. invasion, the U.N. directed this money should be used by the CPA for the benefit of the Iraqi people.
Cash was loaded onto giant pallets for shipment by plane to Iraq, and paid out to contractors who carried it away in duffel bags.
The report, released at a House of Representatives committee hearing, said despite the huge amount of money, there was little U.S. scrutiny in how these assets were managed.
"The disbursement of these funds was characterized by significant waste, fraud and abuse," said Waxman.
An audit by the U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction said U.S. auditors could not account for nearly $8.8 billion in Iraqi funds and the United States had not provided adequate controls for this money.
"The CPA's management of Iraqi money was an important responsibility that, in my view, required more diligent accountability, pursuant to its assigned mandate, than we found," said chief inspector Stuart Bowen in testimony.
CASES OF ABUSE
Auditors found problems safeguarding funds including one instance where a CPA comptroller did not have access to a field safe as the key was located in an unsecured backpack.
Bowen's office has referred three criminal cases to the U.S. Attorney's Office in the past two weeks for misuse of funds. Bowen declined to provide details at the hearing.
In one e-mail released in Waxman's report with the subject line "Pocket Change," a CPA official stressed the need to get money flowing fast before the handover.
Rep. Stephen Lynch (news, bio, voting record) of Massachusetts, a Democrat, questioned why so much money had to be transferred so fast.
Senior defense official Joseph Benkert said an infusion of funds was needed to address a wide variety of needs before the new Iraqi government took over.
Part of the challenge in tracking how money was spent was the cash environment and lack of electronic transfers.
Contractors were told to turn up with big duffel bags to pick up their payments and some were paid from the back of pick-up trucks.
One picture shows grinning CPA officials standing in front of a pile of cash said to be worth $2 million to be paid to a security contractor.
Rep. Christopher Shays (news, bio, voting record) of Connecticut, a Republican, said the photograph disturbed him. "It looks a little loose to me," he said, of the smiling officials.
"I share your concern," said Bowen.
Citing documents from the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank in New York, Waxman said the United States flew in nearly $12 billion overall in U.S. currency to Iraq from the United States between May 2003 and June 2004.
This money was used to pay for Iraqi salaries, fund Iraqi ministries and also to pay some U.S. contractors.
In total, more than 281 million individual bills, including more than 107 million $100 bills, were shipped to Iraq on giant pallets loaded onto C-130 planes, the report said.
Editors Note: Just for the Record the U.S. government is currently controlled by the Republican Party. You remember those guys, the ones always preaching about fiscal responsibility? Athough they control the Presidency, the House, the Senate, and the Supreme Court, I'm sure you right wing hacks will find a way to blame this on Clinton.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Chuck Hagel, Senator Nebraska Republican, steps up.
Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel is angry. He's upset about the more than 1,700 U.S. soldiers killed and nearly 13,000 wounded in Iraq. He's also aggravated by the continued string of sunny assessments from the Bush administration, such as Vice President Dick Cheney's recent remark that the insurgency is in its "last throes." "Things aren't getting better; they're getting worse. The White House is completely disconnected from reality," Hagel tells U.S. News. "It's like they're just making it up as they go along. The reality is that we're losing in Iraq."
That's strikingly blunt talk from a member of the president's party, even one cast as something of a pariah in the GOP because of his early skepticism about the war. "I got beat up pretty good by my own party and the White House that I was not a loyal Republican," he says. Today, he notes, things are changing: "More and more of my colleagues up here are concerned."
Translation: You dumb fuck Republicans and your war mongering are finally starting to realize what those us us on the left have known for 4 years. Maybe if you dumb fuckers would read a book instead of burning them it wouldn't take thousands of dead for you to realize your course of action was a bad idea. Now if you idiots would just listen to us on some other issues, Global Warming, Poverty, Education, Science, those kinds of things maybe we could make the world a better place. Just my thoughts.... Hugs and Kisses.
From that Fair and Balanced News Network: Bill O'Reilly Lies Again
On yesterday's "The O'Reilly Factor."
O'REILLY: Time now for "Most Ridiculous Item of the Day." A new poll taken in France says relations between Americans and the French are not good, "pas bon." The poll says 70 percent of French citizens feel the USA is not a loyal ally, and 56 percent of Americans believe France is not a reliable friend. We are among that 56 percent and are boycotting French goods and services, which is part of the reason the French don't like us. But we'll remember, we'll lift the boycott if French officials can point to one thing they're doing to help the USA in the war on terror. So far they can't, which might be ridiculous. C'est la vie.
One thing? Here's CENTCOM (US Central Command) on France's many contributions to the war on terror:
French commitment to OEF has been strong and resolute since the beginning of the operation.
The French liaison team to HQ USCENTCOM was established on 10 October 2001 to coordinate all matters/issues related to the French contribution to OEF.
As soon as United Nations Security Council Resolution 1378 was issued on 18 October 2001, France forces were sent in Afghanistan. Since October 21, French reconnaissance aircraft and air tankers have contributed to the air campaign. They were reinforced between the winter of 2001 and the summer of 2002 by French naval aviation forces and French air force transport planes and fighters. Indeed, France was the first country, along with the United States, to have flown bombing missions over Afghanistan in direct support of American ground troops. French forces arrived on the ground as early as 2 December 2001, securing Mazar-e-Sharif. In total, some 5,500 French service members were sent to the region.
Unless Afghanistan isn't part of the war on terror.
But even if the military's own information proves O'Reilly's a liar, maybe we don't want his French boycott called off: French imports and exports have actually increased since O'Reilly called for a boycott in March 2003.
More evidence the Democrats have no spine.
On what planet should a Democrat apologize for criticizing an administration that allows prisoners to be shackled naked to the floor for 24 hours and forced to defecate on themselves? Welcome to Bushworld.
How the hell Durbin's comments "disrespected the troops" is beyond me. And why the fuck he ever apologized just shows his fear in the face of the relentless assault of the right wing machine. Fuck you Durbin, you coward.
Durbin apologizes for Gitmo remarks
No. 2 Democrat says he intended no disrespect to U.S. troops
Wednesday, June 22, 2005; Posted: 3:31 a.m. EDT (07:31 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Senate's No. 2 Democrat apologized Tuesday for remarks comparing the treatment of detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp to methods used by the Nazis, Soviets and other repressive regimes. (Just for the record, the treatment by the United States of prisoners at Gitmo is similar to methods used by the Nazi's, Soviets, Saddam Hussein, Pol Pot and other repressive regimes. You should not have to apologize for speaking the truth.)
Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said he "never intended any disrespect" to U.S. troops with his June 14 comments, for which the minority whip has endured a week of criticism from Republicans and some Democrats. [The right wing indignation machine at work]
"In the end, I don't want anything in my public career to detract from my love for this country, my respect for those who serve it, and this great Senate," Durbin said in an emotional statement on the Senate floor.
"I offer my apologies to those that were offended by my words."
Human rights groups and the Red Cross have criticized the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a U.S. Navy base where prisoners from the war on terrorism have been held since early 2002. The facility currently houses about 520 prisoners. (Oh no! The Red Cross doesn't support the troops! Why shouldn't they apologize?)
In the June 14 floor speech, Durbin read from an FBI agent's account of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay being shackled to the floor without food or water in extreme temperatures for up to 24 hours at a stretch.
Prisoners in those conditions sometimes urinated or defecated on themselves, the agent reported.
"If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags or some mad regime -- Pol Pot or others -- that had no concern for human beings," Durbin said.
The White House, which insists prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are treated in accordance with the Geneva Conventions, called Durbin's remarks "reprehensible." (How is it that his remarks are "reprehensible" but chaining prisoners naked to the floor and forcing them to shit their pants isn't reprehensible? More proof of how the right wing machine attacks the messenger but never directly responds to the accusations. And remember this administration insists on calling the prisoners at Gitmo "enemy combatants" for the express purpose of avoiding the requirements of the Geneva Conventions. Why isn't this pointed out by the "liberal" media!)
Republicans quickly called for Durbin to apologize -- a call he rejected Friday, saying his statement was "misused and misunderstood."
But Durbin said Tuesday he had erred by invoking the specter of the Holocaust, which he called "the greatest moral tragedy of our time."
"Nothing should ever be said to demean or diminish that moral tragedy," Durbin said. "I'm also sorry if anything I said, in any way, cast a negative light on our fine men and women in the military."
He said he would "continue to speak out on the issues that I think are important to the people of Illinois and to the nation."
Sen. John McCain -- who was a prisoner of war for more than five years during the Vietnam War -- said Sunday that Durbin should apologize.
But the Arizona Republican (speaking out of the other side of his mouth) also said reports of controversial interrogation techniques and allegations of abuse could endanger American POWs in a future conflict.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Bill Frist: Corporate Donation Junkie! SELLING YOUR KIDS FOR FUN AND PROFIT!
The federal officials and industry representatives had assembled to discuss a disturbing new study that raised alarming questions about the safety of a host of common childhood vaccines administered to infants and young children. According to a CDC epidemiologist named Tom Verstraeten, who had analyzed the agency’s massive database containing the medical records of 100,000 children, a mercury-based preservative in the vaccines – thimerosal – appeared to be responsible for a dramatic increase in autism and a host of other neurological disorders among children. “I was actually stunned by what I saw,” Verstraeten told those assembled at Simpsonwood, citing the staggering number of earlier studies that indicate a link between thimerosal and speech delays, attention-deficit disorder, hyperactivity and autism.
Since 1991, when the CDC and the FDA had recommended that three additional vaccines laced with the preservative be given to extremely young infants – in one case, within hours of birth – the estimated number of cases of autism had increased fifteenfold, from one in every 2,500 children to one in 166 children.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who has received $873,000 in contributions from the pharmaceutical industry, has been working to immunize vaccine makers from liability in 4,200 lawsuits that have been filed by the parents of injured children. On five separate occasions, Frist has tried to seal all of the government’s vaccine-related documents – including the Simpsonwood transcripts – and shield Eli Lilly, the developer of thimerosal, from subpoenas. In 2002, the day after Frist quietly slipped a rider known as the “Eli Lilly Protection Act” into a homeland security bill, the company contributed $10,000 to his campaign and bought 5,000 copies of his book on bioterrorism. The measure was repealed by Congress in 2003 – but earlier this year, Frist slipped another provision into an anti-terrorism bill that would deny compensation to children suffering from vaccine-related brain disorders.
Editor's Note: I hate fucking Republicans.
Bush calls for more transparency and accountability... Just so long as it's not his administration that has to provide it.
"We want more accountability and transparency and less bureaucracy, and John Bolton will help to achieve that mission," Bush told reporters at an appearance with European Union leaders at the White House.
Democrats said they would continue to block Bolton's nomination until the White House produces records of communications intercepts he sought from the National Security Agency. The White House has refused, citing executive privilege.
Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, said the records could clear up allegations that Bolton used them to spy on "rivals in the bureaucracy, both inferior and superior to him."
Bush, asked Monday about a recess appointment for Bolton, did not answer the question. (A recess appointment allows the President to appoint someone without congressional approval.)
Asked about that prospect (of a recess appointment for Bolton) in an interview with "Fox News Sunday," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said, "We'll see what happens this week."
So Bushies… Tell me again about that transparency and accountability?
Monday, June 20, 2005
What's the matter with Kansas? Legal Woes may shut down schools.
By JOHN HANNA, Associated Press Writer Thu Jun 16, 3:32 PM ET
TOPEKA, Kan. - Still smarting from a fight over evolution, Kansas schools now face an almost unthinkable possibility: They might not reopen in the fall because of a political and legal battle over education funding.
The Kansas Supreme Court has ordered legislators to provide millions more in aid to schools by July 1. Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has called a special legislative session for June 22 to act on the order.
Some Republicans who control the Legislature want to defy the court, arguing it cannot tell them exactly what to spend on anything. Their tough talk has educators and others worried the court will order schools to remain closed until legislators comply.
Such orders have been issued or threatened in other states, and a Kansas judge even told the state last year that it could not spend a penny on its schools until legislators fixed the funding system, a decision that would have kept classrooms closed — and 445,000 students at home — had the Supreme Court not put it on hold.
"It truly does seem to me to be the natural consequence," said Dan Biles, an attorney for the State Board of Education.
Such a development would represent another embarrassment for the Kansas school system, which was ridiculed around the country in 1999 when the state school board deleted most references to evolution. The school system later reversed course. But now it is likely to adopt new science standards that are critical of evolution.
Michele Henry, a Topeka mother of two daughters, ages 7 and 9, said legislators need to provide enough money for schools.
"Other people are not allowed not to do their jobs," said Henry, who is the president of the parent-teacher organization at her daughters' school. "Their job is to fund education programs for our children."
The Supreme Court's directive June 3 came in a six-year-old lawsuit from Dodge City and Salina, where parents and administrators claimed Kansas spends too little money on education and distributes its aid unfairly, shortchanging poor children, minorities and struggling students.
In January, the Supreme Court said legislators had failed to do their duty under the Kansas Constitution to provide a suitable education for all children. But the justices were not specific about a fix.
GOP leaders pushed through a plan to increase state school aid by $142 million, or about 5 percent, while avoiding the tax increases that Sebelius and other Democrats saw as necessary.
The high court said that the plan was inadequate and that the increase for the next school year must be $285 million, or 10 percent. The court also said it could order much larger spending increases in the future.
The governor and legislators received new, more optimistic revenue projections this week, which they said eliminated the need to consider an immediate tax increase.
Kansas' Republican legislators, particularly conservatives, were furious with the court when it ruled and remained so even after the good fiscal news.
"I think it's high time we confronted the court," said Rep. Frank Miller. "One thing we could do is just refuse to obey."
Such rhetoric has some educators worried about the next school term.
"Families organize their lives around the school system," said Andrea Ewert, a counselor at Hutchinson High School. "When school is in session, children don't only have breakfast here but lunch here, and in many elementary schools, there are after-school programs to keep them in a safe environment."
In a similar dispute in New York state, a master appointed by the state's highest court recently said New York City's schools need an additional $5.6 billion over the next four years. In New Jersey in 1976, the state's highest court ordered schools to remain closed, successfully forcing legislators to improve funding. Threats from high courts in Arizona and Texas compelled legislators in those states to do the same.
"That is a remedy that clearly is within the court's power," said Michael Rebell, executive director of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, which sued over New York City's education funding. "The threat is usually very effective."
The Kansas court has not said what it would do if lawmakers defied the order.
"I would just as soon not learn the answer to that question," said Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt, a Republican.
Sunday, June 19, 2005
the abuse of intelligence in concerted efforts to punish those operatives who disputed the required Bush Administration view wasn't limited to Bolton. It was a Bush Administration policy carried out by a number of independent groups, presumably on a higher order. And in both these cases, it involves dubious use of intelligence intercepts and other classified sources to further that political aim.
this is just lovely....
When asked whether he, as the FBI's former counterterrorism chief, could describe the differences between Shiite and Sunni Muslims, Watson answered, "Not technically, no."
Watson, who oversaw the first two years of transformation, testified he could not recall a single meeting in the aftermath of Sept. 11 in which FBI leaders discussed the type of skills or training needed for counterterrorism.
The FBI's current terror-fighting chief, Executive Assistant Director Gary Bald, said his first terrorism training came "on the job" when he moved to headquarters to oversee anti-terrorism strategy two years ago.
Asked about his grasp of Middle Eastern culture and history, Bald responded: "I wish that I had it. It would be nice."
I'm beginning to believe that we have a bunch of idiots running this country....